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Sample records for action observation task

  1. Facilitation effect of observed motor deviants in a cooperative motor task: Evidence for direct perception of social intention in action.

    PubMed

    Quesque, François; Delevoye-Turrell, Yvonne; Coello, Yann

    2016-01-01

    Spatiotemporal parameters of voluntary motor action may help optimize human social interactions. Yet it is unknown whether individuals performing a cooperative task spontaneously perceive subtly informative social cues emerging through voluntary actions. In the present study, an auditory cue was provided through headphones to an actor and a partner who faced each other. Depending on the pitch of the auditory cue, either the actor or the partner were required to grasp and move a wooden dowel under time constraints from a central to a lateral position. Before this main action, the actor performed a preparatory action under no time constraint, consisting in placing the wooden dowel on the central location when receiving either a neutral ("prêt"-ready) or an informative auditory cue relative to who will be asked to perform the main action (the actor: "moi"-me, or the partner: "lui"-him). Although the task focused on the main action, analysis of motor performances revealed that actors performed the preparatory action with longer reaction times and higher trajectories when informed that the partner would be performing the main action. In this same condition, partners executed the main actions with shorter reaction times and lower velocities, despite having received no previous informative cues. These results demonstrate that the mere observation of socially driven motor actions spontaneously influences the low-level kinematics of voluntary motor actions performed by the observer during a cooperative motor task. These findings indicate that social intention can be anticipated from the mere observation of action patterns.

  2. Action observation versus motor imagery in learning a complex motor task: a short review of literature and a kinematics study.

    PubMed

    Gatti, R; Tettamanti, A; Gough, P M; Riboldi, E; Marinoni, L; Buccino, G

    2013-04-12

    Both motor imagery and action observation have been shown to play a role in learning or re-learning complex motor tasks. According to a well accepted view they share a common neurophysiological basis in the mirror neuron system. Neurons within this system discharge when individuals perform a specific action and when they look at another individual performing the same or a motorically related action. In the present paper, after a short review of literature on the role of action observation and motor imagery in motor learning, we report the results of a kinematics study where we directly compared motor imagery and action observation in learning a novel complex motor task. This involved movement of the right hand and foot in the same angular direction (in-phase movement), while at the same time moving the left hand and foot in an opposite angular direction (anti-phase movement), all at a frequency of 1Hz. Motor learning was assessed through kinematics recording of wrists and ankles. The results showed that action observation is better than motor imagery as a strategy for learning a novel complex motor task, at least in the fast early phase of motor learning. We forward that these results may have important implications in educational activities, sport training and neurorehabilitation.

  3. Primary Motor Cortex Activation during Action Observation of Tasks at Different Video Speeds Is Dependent on Movement Task and Muscle Properties

    PubMed Central

    Moriuchi, Takefumi; Matsuda, Daiki; Nakamura, Jirou; Matsuo, Takashi; Nakashima, Akira; Nishi, Keita; Fujiwara, Kengo; Iso, Naoki; Nakane, Hideyuki; Higashi, Toshio

    2017-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to investigate how the video speed of observed action affects the excitability of the primary motor cortex (M1), as assessed by the size of motor-evoked potentials (MEPs) induced by transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). Twelve healthy subjects observed a video clip of a person catching a ball (Experiment 1: rapid movement) and another 12 healthy subjects observed a video clip of a person reaching to lift a ball (Experiment 2: slow movement task). We played each video at three different speeds (slow, normal and fast). The stimulus was given at two points of timing in each experiment. These stimulus points were locked to specific frames of the video rather than occurring at specific absolute times, for ease of comparison across different speeds. We recorded MEPs from the first dorsal interosseous muscle (FDI) and abductor digiti minimi muscle (ADM) of the right hand. MEPs were significantly different for different video speeds only in the rapid movement task. MEPs for the rapid movement task were higher when subjects observed an action played at slow speed than normal or fast speed condition. There was no significant change for the slow movement task. Video speed was effective only in the ADM. Moreover, MEPs in the ADM were significantly higher than in the FDI in a rapid movement task under the slow speed condition. Our findings suggest that the M1 becomes more excitable when subjects observe the video clip at the slow speed in a rapid movement, because they could recognize the elements of movement in others. Our results suggest the effects of manipulating the speed of the viewed task on the excitability of the M1 during passive observation differ depending on the type of movement task observed. It is likely that rehabilitation in the clinical setting will be more efficient if the video speed is changed to match the task’s characteristics. PMID:28163678

  4. Stereoscopically Observing Manipulative Actions

    PubMed Central

    Ferri, S.; Pauwels, K.; Rizzolatti, G.; Orban, G. A.

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate the contribution of stereopsis to the processing of observed manipulative actions. To this end, we first combined the factors “stimulus type” (action, static control, and dynamic control), “stereopsis” (present, absent) and “viewpoint” (frontal, lateral) into a single design. Four sites in premotor, retro-insular (2) and parietal cortex operated specifically when actions were viewed stereoscopically and frontally. A second experiment clarified that the stereo-action-specific regions were driven by actions moving out of the frontoparallel plane, an effect amplified by frontal viewing in premotor cortex. Analysis of single voxels and their discriminatory power showed that the representation of action in the stereo-action-specific areas was more accurate when stereopsis was active. Further analyses showed that the 4 stereo-action-specific sites form a closed network converging onto the premotor node, which connects to parietal and occipitotemporal regions outside the network. Several of the specific sites are known to process vestibular signals, suggesting that the network combines observed actions in peripersonal space with gravitational signals. These findings have wider implications for the function of premotor cortex and the role of stereopsis in human behavior. PMID:27252350

  5. Tactile perception during action observation.

    PubMed

    Vastano, Roberta; Inuggi, Alberto; Vargas, Claudia D; Baud-Bovy, Gabriel; Jacono, Marco; Pozzo, Thierry

    2016-09-01

    It has been suggested that tactile perception becomes less acute during movement to optimize motor control and to prevent an overload of afferent information generated during action. This empirical phenomenon, known as "tactile gating effect," has been associated with mechanisms of sensory feedback prediction. However, less attention has been given to the tactile attenuation effect during the observation of an action. The aim of this study was to investigate whether and how the observation of a goal-directed action influences tactile perception as during overt action. In a first experiment, we recorded vocal reaction times (RTs) of participants to tactile stimulations during the observation of a reach-to-grasp action. The stimulations were delivered on different body parts that could be either congruent or incongruent with the observed effector (the right hand and the right leg, respectively). The tactile stimulation was contrasted with a no body-related stimulation (an auditory beep). We found increased RTs for tactile congruent stimuli compared to both tactile incongruent and auditory stimuli. This effect was reported only during the observation of the reaching phase, whereas RTs were not modulated during the grasping phase. A tactile two-alternative forced-choice (2AFC) discrimination task was then conducted in order to quantify the changes in tactile sensitivity during the observation of the same goal-directed actions. In agreement with the first experiment, the tactile perceived intensity was reduced only during the reaching phase. These results suggest that tactile processing during action observation relies on a process similar to that occurring during action execution.

  6. Environmental Educational Youth Action Task Program

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ab Rahman, Nik Norulaini Nik; Omar, Fatehah Mohd; Kalia, Noorliza; Hasmi, Mohammad

    2008-01-01

    An educational environmental youth camp was held comprising of fifty one 16-year old secondary students and facilitated by volunteers from the university and Friends of the Earth, a non profit organization in Penang. A weekend camp on youth action task program was held at an isolated beach packed with activities that were structured towards…

  7. TASK channels contribute to neuroprotective action of inhalational anesthetics

    PubMed Central

    Yao, Chengye; Li, Yu; Shu, Shaofang; Yao, Shanglong; Lynch, Carl; Bayliss, Douglas A.; Chen, Xiangdong

    2017-01-01

    Postconditioning with inhalational anesthetics can reduce ischemia-reperfusion brain injury, although the cellular mechanisms for this effect have not been determined. The current study was designed to test if TASK channels contribute to their neuroprotective actions. Whole cell recordings were used to examine effects of volatile anesthetic on TASK currents in cortical neurons and to verify loss of anesthetic-activated TASK currents from TASK−/− mice. A transient middle cerebral artery occlusion (tMCAO) model was used to establish brain ischemia-reperfusion injury. Quantitative RT-PCR analysis revealed that TASK mRNA was reduced by >90% in cortex and hippocampus of TASK−/− mice. The TASK−/− mice showed a much larger region of infarction than C57BL/6 J mice after tMCAO challenge. Isoflurane or sevoflurane administered after the ischemic insult reduced brain infarct percentage and neurological deficit scores in C57BL/6 J mice, these effect were reduced in TASK−/− mice. Whole cell recordings revealed that the isoflurane-activated background potassium current observed in cortical pyramidal neurons from wild type mice was conspicuously reduced in TASK−/− mice. Our studies demonstrate that TASK channels can limit ischemia-reperfusion damage in the cortex, and postconditioning with volatile anesthetics provides neuroprotective actions that depend, in part, on activation of TASK currents in cortical neurons. PMID:28276488

  8. Improving multi-tasking ability through action videogames.

    PubMed

    Chiappe, Dan; Conger, Mark; Liao, Janet; Caldwell, J Lynn; Vu, Kim-Phuong L

    2013-03-01

    The present study examined whether action videogames can improve multi-tasking in high workload environments. Two groups with no action videogame experience were pre-tested using the Multi-Attribute Task Battery (MATB). It consists of two primary tasks; tracking and fuel management, and two secondary tasks; systems monitoring and communication. One group served as a control group, while a second played action videogames a minimum of 5 h a week for 10 weeks. Both groups returned for a post-assessment on the MATB. We found the videogame treatment enhanced performance on secondary tasks, without interfering with the primary tasks. Our results demonstrate action videogames can increase people's ability to take on additional tasks by increasing attentional capacity.

  9. Slowing after Observed Error Transfers across Tasks

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Lijun; Pan, Weigang; Tan, Jinfeng; Liu, Congcong; Chen, Antao

    2016-01-01

    After committing an error, participants tend to perform more slowly. This phenomenon is called post-error slowing (PES). Although previous studies have explored the PES effect in the context of observed errors, the issue as to whether the slowing effect generalizes across tasksets remains unclear. Further, the generation mechanisms of PES following observed errors must be examined. To address the above issues, we employed an observation-execution task in three experiments. During each trial, participants were required to mentally observe the outcomes of their partners in the observation task and then to perform their own key-press according to the mapping rules in the execution task. In Experiment 1, the same tasksets were utilized in the observation task and the execution task, and three error rate conditions (20%, 50% and 80%) were established in the observation task. The results revealed that the PES effect after observed errors was obtained in all three error rate conditions, replicating and extending previous studies. In Experiment 2, distinct stimuli and response rules were utilized in the observation task and the execution task. The result pattern was the same as that in Experiment 1, suggesting that the PES effect after observed errors was a generic adjustment process. In Experiment 3, the response deadline was shortened in the execution task to rule out the ceiling effect, and two error rate conditions (50% and 80%) were established in the observation task. The PES effect after observed errors was still obtained in the 50% and 80% error rate conditions. However, the accuracy in the post-observed error trials was comparable to that in the post-observed correct trials, suggesting that the slowing effect and improved accuracy did not rely on the same underlying mechanism. Current findings indicate that the occurrence of PES after observed errors is not dependent on the probability of observed errors, consistent with the assumption of cognitive control account

  10. Eye Movements During Action Observation

    PubMed Central

    Gredebäck, Gustaf; Falck-Ytter, Terje

    2015-01-01

    An important element in social interactions is predicting the goals of others, including the goals of others’ manual actions. Over a decade ago, Flanagan and Johansson demonstrated that, when observing other people reaching for objects, the observer’s gaze arrives at the goal before the action is completed. Moreover, those authors proposed that this behavior was mediated by an embodied process, which takes advantage of the observer’s motor knowledge. Here, we scrutinize work that has followed that seminal article. We include studies on adults that have used combined eye tracking and transcranial magnetic stimulation technologies to test causal hypotheses about underlying brain circuits. We also include developmental studies on human infants. We conclude that, although several aspects of the embodied process of predictive eye movements remain to be clarified, current evidence strongly suggests that the motor system plays a causal role in guiding predictive gaze shifts that focus on another person’s future goal. The early emergence of the predictive gaze in infant development underlines its importance for social cognition and interaction. PMID:26385998

  11. Similarity of actions depends on the functionality of previously observed actions.

    PubMed

    Naber, Marnix; Eijgermans, Wessel; Herman, Anne-Sophie; Bergman, Annemiek; Hommel, Bernhard

    2016-05-01

    People have a tendency to imitate the behavior of others, sometimes even automatically. And yet, evidence suggests that many of our actions are controlled, mediated by current goals and careful considerations. Here, we investigated whether the observation and evaluation of previous actions of another person modulates the similarity of actions between people in present trials. We manipulated the functionality of a confederate's actions and the interactive context in 2 behavioral tasks, which consisted of games that participants played against a confederate or a virtual computer opponent. To measure effects of working memory load on imitation rates, participants additionally performed an easy or difficult auditory n-back task in parallel to the tasks. We show that participants occasionally produced rather bizarre and dysfunctional behavior when the confederate had done so as well. Even more importantly, results from both tasks show that participants most likely copied dysfunctional behavior in the present trial when the confederate performed functional actions in the previous trial. Thus, the positive evaluation of action consequences in previous trials increases the probability of similarity between the participant's and confederate's actions in present trials despite a chance to copy improper actions. Furthermore, we found a trend of increased action similarities when participants were under high working memory load in Experiment 1 but not in Experiment 2. These results suggest that copying an observed action is an efficient and effortless behavioral and social strategy to achieve similar goals as others, though with an increased risk of maladaptive behavior.

  12. Action video game experience reduces the cost of switching tasks.

    PubMed

    Cain, Matthew S; Landau, Ayelet N; Shimamura, Arthur P

    2012-05-01

    Video game expertise has been shown to have beneficial effects for visual attention processes, but the effects of action video game playing on executive functions, such as task switching and filtering out distracting information, are less well understood. In the main experiment presented here, video game players (VGPs) and nonplayers (nVGPs) switched between two tasks of unequal familiarity: a familiar task of responding in the direction indicated by an arrow, and a novel task of responding in the opposite direction. nVGPs had large response time costs for switching from the novel task to the familiar task, and small costs for switching from the familiar task to the novel task, replicating prior findings. However, as compared to the nVGPs, VGPs were more facile in switching between tasks, producing overall smaller and more symmetric switching costs, suggesting that experience with action video games produces improvements in executive functioning. In contrast, VGPs and nVGPs did not differ in filtering out the irrelevant flanking stimuli or in remembering details of aurally presented stories. The lack of global differences between the groups suggests that the improved task-switching performance seen in VGPs was not due to differences in global factors, such as VGPs being more motivated than nVGPs.

  13. A Novel Task for the Investigation of Action Acquisition

    PubMed Central

    Stafford, Tom; Thirkettle, Martin; Walton, Tom; Vautrelle, Nicolas; Hetherington, Len; Port, Michael; Gurney, Kevin; Redgrave, Pete

    2012-01-01

    We present a behavioural task designed for the investigation of how novel instrumental actions are discovered and learnt. The task consists of free movement with a manipulandum, during which the full range of possible movements can be explored by the participant and recorded. A subset of these movements, the ‘target’, is set to trigger a reinforcing signal. The task is to discover what movements of the manipulandum evoke the reinforcement signal. Targets can be defined in spatial, temporal, or kinematic terms, can be a combination of these aspects, or can represent the concatenation of actions into a larger gesture. The task allows the study of how the specific elements of behaviour which cause the reinforcing signal are identified, refined and stored by the participant. The task provides a paradigm where the exploratory motive drives learning and as such we view it as in the tradition of Thorndike [1]. Most importantly it allows for repeated measures, since when a novel action is acquired the criterion for triggering reinforcement can be changed requiring a new action to be discovered. Here, we present data using both humans and rats as subjects, showing that our task is easily scalable in difficulty, adaptable across species, and produces a rich set of behavioural measures offering new and valuable insight into the action learning process. PMID:22675490

  14. Representation of action in Parkinson's disease: imagining, observing, and naming actions.

    PubMed

    Poliakoff, Ellen

    2013-09-01

    People with Parkinson's disease (PD) exhibit slowed movements and difficulty in initiating movements. This review addresses the issue of whether or not cognitive representations of actions in PD are affected, alongside these motor problems. In healthy people, the motor system can be involved in tasks such as observing a graspable object or another person's action, or imagining and naming actions, in the absence of overt movement. As described in this review, the fact that the slowed real movements exhibited by PD patients are coupled with slower motor imagery and verb processing provides additional evidence for the involvement of the motor system in these processes. On the other hand, PD patients can still engage in motor imagery and action observation to some extent, which is encouraging for the use of these processes in rehabilitation. Findings across the different domains of action-representation reveal several important factors. First, the nature of action is critical: patients' performance in observation and naming tasks is influenced by whether or not the action is in their repertoire and by the extent of motion required to execute the action. Second, people with PD may use alternative or compensatory mechanisms to represent actions, such as relying more on a third-person perspective or a visual strategy. Third, people with PD show a lack of specificity, responding as strongly to stimuli related and unrelated to actions. Investigating action-representation in PD has implications for our understanding of both the symptoms of PD and the cognitive representation of actions in the healthy system.

  15. Observing Joint Action: Coordination Creates Commitment

    PubMed Central

    Michael, John; Sebanz, Natalie; Knoblich, Günther

    2016-01-01

    Previous research has shown that interpersonal coordination enhances pro-social attitudes and behavior. Here, we extend this research by investigating whether the degree of coordination observed in a joint action enhances the perception of individuals’ commitment to the joint action. In four experiments, participants viewed videos of joint actions. In the low coordination condition, two agents made independent individual contributions to a joint action. In the high coordination condition, the individual contributions were tightly linked. Participants judged whether and for how long the observed agents would resist a tempting outside option and remain engaged in the joint action. The results showed that participants were more likely to expect agents to resist outside options when observing joint actions with a high degree of coordination. This indicates that observing interpersonal coordination is sufficient to enhance the perception of commitment to joint action. PMID:27610745

  16. Sharing a task or sharing space? On the effect of the confederate in action coding in a detection task.

    PubMed

    Guagnano, Delia; Rusconi, Elena; Umiltà, Carlo Arrigo

    2010-03-01

    Several studies showed a Simon effect when two participants sit close to each other and perform one of the two halves of a two-choice RT task. That is, each participant perform a go-nogo task. A Simon effect emerges, which instead is absent when the same go-nogo tasks are performed individually. Hence the terms were introduced of "social Simon task" and 'social Simon effect". As of now, the social Simon effect was observed with social Simon tasks that overtly gave the participants the impression of being performing in collaboration with another person. In the present study we show that the social Simon effect was present also when, in the social Simon task, the two participants did not actually collaborate. It is, however, absent when participants perform the social task outside of each other's peripersonal space (i.e., outside arm-reach). We argue that the social Simon effect does not necessarily imply a representation of the other's action, as previously suggested. The presence of an active confederate in peripersonal space might simply provide a reference for coding one's own action in space.

  17. Competing mechanisms for mapping action-related categorical knowledge and observed actions.

    PubMed

    Candidi, Matteo; Vicario, Carmelo Mario; Abreu, Ana Maria; Aglioti, Salvatore Maria

    2010-12-01

    Responses to pictures of famous tennis and soccer athletes are slower when the responding effector is a hand or foot, respectively, indicating that visual recognition of individuals characterized by skilled motor behavior interferes with the motor reactivity of nonproficient observers. By contrast, directly viewing actions induces motor facilitation, suggesting that actions are mapped in the observers' motor system. Here, we used single-pulse Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation to determine 1) whether observing and recognizing the identity of famous tennis and soccer athletes selectively reduce the corticospinal excitability of arm and leg representations (categorization), 2) whether any athlete-related inhibition effect contrasts the facilitation associated with direct action observation (categorization + action), and 3) whether the classic action observation-related facilitation effect is found when viewing "in action" nonathlete models (action). In 3 experiments, we found that amplitude of motor evoked potentials (MEPs) recorded from leg and arm muscles gradually shifted from reduction to facilitation, moving from the categorization to the action observation tasks. Thus, semantic derivation of motor skills is reflected in limb-specific reduction of MEP amplitude, indicating that even abstract action knowledge is embodied in the motor system and that mapping others' actions on the basis of categorization or of their direct observation relies on competing functional mechanisms.

  18. Determining robot actions for tasks requiring sensor interaction

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Budenske, John; Gini, Maria

    1989-01-01

    The performance of non-trivial tasks by a mobile robot has been a long term objective of robotic research. One of the major stumbling blocks to this goal is the conversion of the high-level planning goals and commands into the actuator and sensor processing controls. In order for a mobile robot to accomplish a non-trivial task, the task must be described in terms of primitive actions of the robot's actuators. Most non-trivial tasks require the robot to interact with its environment; thus necessitating coordination of sensor processing and actuator control to accomplish the task. The main contention is that the transformation from the high level description of the task to the primitive actions should be performed primarily at execution time, when knowledge about the environment can be obtained through sensors. It is proposed to produce the detailed plan of primitive actions by using a collection of low-level planning components that contain domain specific knowledge and knowledge about the available sensors, actuators, and sensor/actuator processing. This collection will perform signal and control processing as well as serve as a control interface between an actual mobile robot and a high-level planning system. Previous research has shown the usefulness of high-level planning systems to plan the coordination of activities such to achieve a goal, but none have been fully applied to actual mobile robots due to the complexity of interacting with sensors and actuators. This control interface is currently being implemented on a LABMATE mobile robot connected to a SUN workstation and will be developed such to enable the LABMATE to perform non-trivial, sensor-intensive tasks as specified by a planning system.

  19. Observing end-state comfort favorable actions does not modulate action plan recall.

    PubMed

    Seegelke, Christian

    2015-01-01

    A large corpus of work demonstrates that observing other people's actions activates corresponding motor representations in the observer by running an internal simulation of the observed action. Recent evidence suggests that recalled action plans reflect a plan of how the observer would execute that action (based on the specific motor representation) rather than a plan of the actually observed action (based on the visual representation). This study examined whether people would recall an action plan based on a visual representation if the observed movement is biomechanically favorable for their own subsequent action. Participants performed an object manipulation task alongside a confederate. In the intra-individual task, the participant (or confederate) transported a plunger from an outer platform of fixed height to a center target platform located at different heights (home-to-target move), and then the same person transported the plunger back to the outer platform (target-back-to-home move). In the inter-individual task, the sequence was split between the two persons such that the participant (or confederate) performed the home-to-target move and the other person performed the target-back-to-home move. Importantly, the confederate always grasped the plunger at the same height. This grasp height was designated such that if participants would copy the action (i.e., grasp the object at the same height) it would place the participant's arm in a comfortable position at the end of the target-back-to-home move (i.e., end-state comfort). Results show that participants' grasp height was inversely related to center target height and similar regardless of direction (home-to-target vs. target-back-to-home move) and task (intra- vs. inter-individual). In addition, during the inter-individual task, participant's target-back-to-home grasp height was correlated with their own, but not with the confederate's grasp height during the home-to-target moves. These findings provide

  20. Observing end-state comfort favorable actions does not modulate action plan recall

    PubMed Central

    Seegelke, Christian

    2015-01-01

    A large corpus of work demonstrates that observing other people’s actions activates corresponding motor representations in the observer by running an internal simulation of the observed action. Recent evidence suggests that recalled action plans reflect a plan of how the observer would execute that action (based on the specific motor representation) rather than a plan of the actually observed action (based on the visual representation). This study examined whether people would recall an action plan based on a visual representation if the observed movement is biomechanically favorable for their own subsequent action. Participants performed an object manipulation task alongside a confederate. In the intra-individual task, the participant (or confederate) transported a plunger from an outer platform of fixed height to a center target platform located at different heights (home-to-target move), and then the same person transported the plunger back to the outer platform (target-back-to-home move). In the inter-individual task, the sequence was split between the two persons such that the participant (or confederate) performed the home-to-target move and the other person performed the target-back-to-home move. Importantly, the confederate always grasped the plunger at the same height. This grasp height was designated such that if participants would copy the action (i.e., grasp the object at the same height) it would place the participant’s arm in a comfortable position at the end of the target-back-to-home move (i.e., end-state comfort). Results show that participants’ grasp height was inversely related to center target height and similar regardless of direction (home-to-target vs. target-back-to-home move) and task (intra- vs. inter-individual). In addition, during the inter-individual task, participant’s target-back-to-home grasp height was correlated with their own, but not with the confederate’s grasp height during the home-to-target moves. These findings

  1. Staying Mindful in Action: The Challenge of "Double Awareness" on Task and Process in an Action Lab

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Svalgaard, Lotte

    2016-01-01

    Action Learning is a well-proven method to integrate "task" and "process", as learning about team and self (process) takes place while delivering on a task or business challenge of real importance (task). An Action Lab® is an intensive Action Learning programme lasting for 5 days, which aims at balancing and integrating…

  2. Age-related differences in task goal processing strategies during action cascading.

    PubMed

    Stock, Ann-Kathrin; Gohil, Krutika; Beste, Christian

    2016-06-01

    We are often faced with situations requiring the execution of a coordinated cascade of different actions to achieve a goal, but we can apply different strategies to do so. Until now, these different action cascading strategies have, however, not been examined with respect to possible effects of aging. We tackled this question in a systems neurophysiological study using EEG and source localization in healthy older adults and employing mathematical constraints to determine the strategy applied. The results suggest that older adults seem to apply a less efficient strategy when cascading different actions. Compared to younger adults, older adults seem to struggle to hierarchically organize their actions, which leads to an inefficient and more parallel processing of different task goals. On a systems level, the observed deficit is most likely due to an altered processing of task goals at the response selection level (P3 ERP) and related to changes of neural processes in the temporo-parietal junction.

  3. Evaluating Cognitive Action Control Using Eye-Movement Analysis: An Oculomotor Adaptation of the Simon Task

    PubMed Central

    Duprez, Joan; Houvenaghel, Jean-François; Naudet, Florian; Dondaine, Thibaut; Auffret, Manon; Robert, Gabriel; Drapier, Dominique; Argaud, Soizic; Vérin, Marc; Sauleau, Paul

    2016-01-01

    Cognitive action control has been extensively studied using conflict tasks such as the Simon task. In most recent studies, this process has been investigated in the light of the dual route hypothesis and more specifically of the activation-suppression model using distributional analyses. Some authors have suggested that cognitive action control assessment is not specific to response modes. In this study we adapted the Simon task, using oculomotor responses instead of manual responses, in order to evaluate whether the resolution of conflict induced by a two-dimensional stimulus yielded similar results to what is usually reported in tasks with manual responses. Results obtained from 43 young healthy participants revealed the typical congruence effect, with longer reaction times (RT) and lesser accuracy in the incongruent condition. Conditional accuracy functions (CAF) also revealed a higher proportion of fast errors in the incongruent condition and delta plots confirmed that conflict resolution was easier, as the time taken to respond increased. These results are very similar to what has been reported in the literature. Furthermore, our observations are in line with the assumptions of the activation-suppression model, in which automatic activation in conflict situations is captured in the fastest responses and selective inhibition of cognitive action control needs time to build up. Altogether, our results suggest that conflict resolution has core mechanisms whatever the response mode, manual or oculomotor. Using oculomotor responses in such tasks could be of interest when investigating cognitive action control in patients with severe motor disorders. PMID:26973499

  4. How Task Goals Mediate the Interplay between Perception and Action.

    PubMed

    Haazebroek, Pascal; van Dantzig, Saskia; Hommel, Bernhard

    2013-01-01

    Theories of embodied cognition suppose that perception, action, and cognition are tightly intertwined and share common representations and processes. Indeed, numerous empirical studies demonstrate interaction between stimulus perception, response planning, and response execution. In this paper, we present an experiment and a connectionist model that show how the Simon effect, a canonical example of perception-action congruency, can be moderated by the (cognitive representation of the) task instruction. To date, no representational account of this influence exists. In the experiment, a two-dimensional Simon task was used, with critical stimuli being colored arrows pointing in one of four directions (backward, forward, left, or right). Participants stood on a Wii balance board, oriented diagonally toward the screen displaying the stimuli. They were either instructed to imagine standing on a snowboard or on a pair of skis and to respond to the stimulus color by leaning toward either the left or right foot. We expected that participants in the snowboard condition would encode these movements as forward or backward, resulting in a Simon effect on this dimension. This was confirmed by the results. The left-right congruency effect was larger in the ski condition, whereas the forward-backward congruency effect appeared only in the snowboard condition. The results can be readily accounted for by HiTEC, a connectionist model that aims at capturing the interaction between perception and action at the level of representations, and the way this interaction is mediated by cognitive control. Together, the empirical work and the connectionist model contribute to a better understanding of the complex interaction between perception, cognition, and action.

  5. How Task Goals Mediate the Interplay between Perception and Action

    PubMed Central

    Haazebroek, Pascal; van Dantzig, Saskia; Hommel, Bernhard

    2013-01-01

    Theories of embodied cognition suppose that perception, action, and cognition are tightly intertwined and share common representations and processes. Indeed, numerous empirical studies demonstrate interaction between stimulus perception, response planning, and response execution. In this paper, we present an experiment and a connectionist model that show how the Simon effect, a canonical example of perception–action congruency, can be moderated by the (cognitive representation of the) task instruction. To date, no representational account of this influence exists. In the experiment, a two-dimensional Simon task was used, with critical stimuli being colored arrows pointing in one of four directions (backward, forward, left, or right). Participants stood on a Wii balance board, oriented diagonally toward the screen displaying the stimuli. They were either instructed to imagine standing on a snowboard or on a pair of skis and to respond to the stimulus color by leaning toward either the left or right foot. We expected that participants in the snowboard condition would encode these movements as forward or backward, resulting in a Simon effect on this dimension. This was confirmed by the results. The left–right congruency effect was larger in the ski condition, whereas the forward–backward congruency effect appeared only in the snowboard condition. The results can be readily accounted for by HiTEC, a connectionist model that aims at capturing the interaction between perception and action at the level of representations, and the way this interaction is mediated by cognitive control. Together, the empirical work and the connectionist model contribute to a better understanding of the complex interaction between perception, cognition, and action. PMID:23675361

  6. Motor Imagery in Asperger Syndrome: Testing Action Simulation by the Hand Laterality Task

    PubMed Central

    Conson, Massimiliano; Mazzarella, Elisabetta; Frolli, Alessandro; Esposito, Dalila; Marino, Nicoletta; Trojano, Luigi; Massagli, Angelo; Gison, Giovanna; Aprea, Nellantonio; Grossi, Dario

    2013-01-01

    Asperger syndrome (AS) is a neurodevelopmental condition within the Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) characterized by specific difficulties in social interaction, communication and behavioural control. In recent years, it has been suggested that ASD is related to a dysfunction of action simulation processes, but studies employing imitation or action observation tasks provided mixed results. Here, we addressed action simulation processes in adolescents with AS by means of a motor imagery task, the classical hand laterality task (to decide whether a rotated hand image is left or right); mental rotation of letters was also evaluated. As a specific marker of action simulation in hand rotation, we assessed the so-called biomechanical effect, that is the advantage for judging hand pictures showing physically comfortable versus physically awkward positions. We found the biomechanical effect in typically-developing participants but not in participants with AS. Overall performance on both hand laterality and letter rotation tasks, instead, did not differ in the two groups. These findings demonstrated a specific alteration of motor imagery skills in AS. We suggest that impaired mental simulation and imitation of goal-less movements in ASD could be related to shared cognitive mechanisms. PMID:23894683

  7. Objects tell us what action we can expect: dissociating brain areas for retrieval and exploitation of action knowledge during action observation in fMRI

    PubMed Central

    Schubotz, Ricarda I.; Wurm, Moritz F.; Wittmann, Marco K.; von Cramon, D. Yves

    2014-01-01

    Objects are reminiscent of actions often performed with them: knife and apple remind us on peeling the apple or cutting it. Mnemonic representations of object-related actions (action codes) evoked by the sight of an object may constrain and hence facilitate recognition of unrolling actions. The present fMRI study investigated if and how action codes influence brain activation during action observation. The average number of action codes (NAC) of 51 sets of objects was rated by a group of n = 24 participants. In an fMRI study, different volunteers were asked to recognize actions performed with the same objects presented in short videos. To disentangle areas reflecting the storage of action codes from those exploiting them, we showed object-compatible and object-incompatible (pantomime) actions. Areas storing action codes were considered to positively co-vary with NAC in both object-compatible and object-incompatible action; due to its role in tool-related tasks, we here hypothesized left anterior inferior parietal cortex (aIPL). In contrast, areas exploiting action codes were expected to show this correlation only in object-compatible but not incompatible action, as only object-compatible actions match one of the active action codes. For this interaction, we hypothesized ventrolateral premotor cortex (PMv) to join aIPL due to its role in biasing competition in IPL. We found left anterior intraparietal sulcus (IPS) and left posterior middle temporal gyrus (pMTG) to co-vary with NAC. In addition to these areas, action codes increased activity in object-compatible action in bilateral PMv, right IPS, and lateral occipital cortex (LO). Findings suggest that during action observation, the brain derives possible actions from perceived objects, and uses this information to shape action recognition. In particular, the number of expectable actions quantifies the activity level at PMv, IPL, and pMTG, but only PMv reflects their biased competition while observed action unfolds

  8. Understanding Action beyond Imitation: Reversed Compatibility Effects of Action Observation in Imitation and Joint Action

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    van Schie, Hein T.; van Waterschoot, Boris M.; Bekkering, Harold

    2008-01-01

    A robust finding in imitation literature is that people perform their actions more readily if they are congruent with the behavior of another person. These action congruency effects are typically explained by the idea that the observation of someone else acting automatically activates our motor system in a directly matching way. In the present…

  9. Behavioral and TMS Markers of Action Observation Might Reflect Distinct Neuronal Processes

    PubMed Central

    Hétu, Sébastien; Taschereau-Dumouchel, Vincent; Meziane, Hadj Boumediene; Jackson, Philip L.; Mercier, Catherine

    2016-01-01

    Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) studies have shown that observing an action induces muscle-specific changes in corticospinal excitability. From a signal detection theory standpoint, this pattern can be related to sensitivity, which here would measure the capacity to distinguish between two action observation conditions. In parallel to these TMS studies, action observation has also been linked to behavioral effects such as motor priming and interference. It has been hypothesized that behavioral markers of action observation could be related to TMS markers and thus represent a potentially cost-effective mean of assessing the functioning of the action-perception system. However, very few studies have looked at possible relationships between these two measures. The aim of this study was to investigate if individual differences in sensitivity to action observation could be related to the behavioral motor priming and interference effects produced by action observation. To this end, 14 healthy participants observed index and little finger movements during a TMS task and a stimulus–response compatibility task. Index muscle displayed sensitivity to action observation, and action observation resulted in significant motor priming+interference, while no significant effect was observed for the little finger in both task. Nevertheless, our results indicate that the sensitivity measured in TMS was not related to the behavioral changes measured in the stimulus–response compatibility task. Contrary to a widespread assumption, the current results indicate that individual differences in physiological and behavioral markers of action observation may be unrelated. This could have important impacts on the potential use of behavioral markers in place of more costly physiological markers of action observation in clinical settings. PMID:27683548

  10. Observation and Initiation of Joint Action in Infants

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fawcett, Christine; Liszkowski, Ulf

    2012-01-01

    Infants imitate others' individual actions, but do they also replicate others' joint activities? To examine whether observing joint action influences infants' initiation of joint action, forty-eight 18-month-old infants observed object demonstrations by 2 models acting together (joint action), 2 models acting individually (individual action), or 1…

  11. Variability in functional brain networks predicts expertise during action observation.

    PubMed

    Amoruso, Lucía; Ibáñez, Agustín; Fonseca, Bruno; Gadea, Sebastián; Sedeño, Lucas; Sigman, Mariano; García, Adolfo M; Fraiman, Ricardo; Fraiman, Daniel

    2017-02-01

    Observing an action performed by another individual activates, in the observer, similar circuits as those involved in the actual execution of that action. This activation is modulated by prior experience; indeed, sustained training in a particular motor domain leads to structural and functional changes in critical brain areas. Here, we capitalized on a novel graph-theory approach to electroencephalographic data (Fraiman et al., 2016) to test whether variability in functional brain networks implicated in Tango observation can discriminate between groups differing in their level of expertise. We found that experts and beginners significantly differed in the functional organization of task-relevant networks. Specifically, networks in expert Tango dancers exhibited less variability and a more robust functional architecture. Notably, these expertise-dependent effects were captured within networks derived from electrophysiological brain activity recorded in a very short time window (2s). In brief, variability in the organization of task-related networks seems to be a highly sensitive indicator of long-lasting training effects. This finding opens new methodological and theoretical windows to explore the impact of domain-specific expertise on brain plasticity, while highlighting variability as a fruitful measure in neuroimaging research.

  12. The Anatomy of Action Systems: Task Differentiation When Learning an EMG Controlled Game.

    PubMed

    van Dijk, Ludger; Heerschop, Anniek; van der Sluis, Corry K; Bongers, Raoul M

    2016-01-01

    This study aims to determine to what extent the task for an action system in its initial development relies on functional and anatomical components. Fifty-two able-bodied participants were randomly assigned to one of three experimental groups or to a control group. As a pre- and post-test all groups performed a computer game with the same goal and using the same musculature. One experimental group also trained to perform this test, while the other two experimental groups learned to perform a game that differed either in its goal or in the musculature used. The observed change in accuracy indicated that retaining the goal of the task or the musculature used equally increased transfer performance relative to controls. Conversely, changing either the goal or the musculature equally decreased transfer relative to training the test. These results suggest that in the initial development of an action system, the task to which the system pertains is not specified solely by either the goal of the task or the anatomical structures involved. It is suggested that functional specificity and anatomical dependence might equally be outcomes of continuously differentiating activity.

  13. The Anatomy of Action Systems: Task Differentiation When Learning an EMG Controlled Game

    PubMed Central

    van Dijk, Ludger; Heerschop, Anniek; van der Sluis, Corry K.; Bongers, Raoul M.

    2016-01-01

    This study aims to determine to what extent the task for an action system in its initial development relies on functional and anatomical components. Fifty-two able-bodied participants were randomly assigned to one of three experimental groups or to a control group. As a pre- and post-test all groups performed a computer game with the same goal and using the same musculature. One experimental group also trained to perform this test, while the other two experimental groups learned to perform a game that differed either in its goal or in the musculature used. The observed change in accuracy indicated that retaining the goal of the task or the musculature used equally increased transfer performance relative to controls. Conversely, changing either the goal or the musculature equally decreased transfer relative to training the test. These results suggest that in the initial development of an action system, the task to which the system pertains is not specified solely by either the goal of the task or the anatomical structures involved. It is suggested that functional specificity and anatomical dependence might equally be outcomes of continuously differentiating activity. PMID:28018278

  14. Manipulation Action Understanding for Observation and Execution

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yang, Yezhou

    2015-01-01

    Modern intelligent agents will need to learn the actions that humans perform. They will need to recognize these actions when they see them and they will need to perform these actions themselves. We want to propose a cognitive system that interprets human manipulation actions from perceptual information (image and depth data) and consists of…

  15. Social Mimicry Enhances Mu-Suppression During Action Observation.

    PubMed

    Hogeveen, Jeremy; Chartrand, Tanya L; Obhi, Sukhvinder S

    2015-08-01

    During social interactions, there is a tendency for people to mimic the gestures and mannerisms of others, which increases liking and rapport. Psychologists have extensively studied the antecedents and consequences of mimicry at the social level, but the neural basis of this behavior remains unclear. Many researchers have speculated that mimicry is related to activity in the human mirror system (HMS), a network of parietofrontal regions that are involved in both action execution and observation. However, activity of the HMS during reciprocal social interactions involving mimicry has not been demonstrated. Here, we took an electroencephalographic (EEG) index of mirror activity-mu-suppression during action observation-in a pretest/post-test design with 1 of 3 intervening treatments: 1) social interaction in which the participant was mimicked, 2) social interaction without mimicry, or 3) an innocuous computer task, not involving another human agent. The change in mu-suppression from pre- to post-test varied as a function of the intervening treatment, with participants who had been mimicked showing an increase in mu-suppression during the post-treatment action observation session. We propose that this specific modulation of HMS activity as a function of mimicry constitutes the first direct evidence for mirror system involvement in real social mimicry.

  16. Nested task constraints shape continuous perception-action coupling control during human locomotor pointing.

    PubMed

    Renshaw, Ian; Davids, Keith

    2004-10-14

    Behavioural studies of human locomotor pointing have been dominated by specific task constraints of generating maximal approach velocity towards spatial targets. To examine locomotor pointing under different nested task constraints, at sub-maximal approach velocities and with concomitant differences in speed-accuracy trade offs, run-ups of professional cricket bowlers (n = 6) were analysed. Inter- and intra-trial analyses of step length adjustments revealed how differences between current and required locomotor pointing behaviour constrained visual adaptations of gait. Results supported a continuous perception-action coupling control mechanism, although no relationship was observed between step number in sequence and total amount of adjustment made, implying that visual adaptations did not continue to the end of a run-up once initiated. Rather, bowlers made step adjustments throughout the run-up, with strong associations for amount of adjustment made and amount needed. Significant variations were observed in inter-individual strategies for making most adjustments at different points of the run-up. A key premise of prospective control models of locomotor pointing was found to be robust, since regulation of cricketer's gait was continuous and based on perception of current and required behaviour. Findings extend understanding of the nature and range of nested task constraints under which perception-action coupling controls locomotor pointing performance.

  17. A Causal Role for Primary Motor Cortex in Perception of Observed Actions

    PubMed Central

    Palmer, Clare E.; Bunday, Karen L.; Davare, Marco; Kilner, James M.

    2017-01-01

    It has been proposed that motor system activity during action observation may be modulated by the kinematics of observed actions. One purpose of this activity during action observation may be to predict the visual consequence of another person’s action based on their movement kinematics. Here, we tested the hypothesis that the primary motor cortex (M1) may have a causal role in inferring information that is present in the kinematics of observed actions. Healthy participants completed an action perception task before and after applying continuous theta burst stimulation (cTBS) over left M1. A neurophysiological marker was used to quantify the extent of M1 disruption following cTBS and stratify our sample a priori to provide an internal control. We found that a disruption to M1 caused a reduction in an individual’s sensitivity to interpret the kinematics of observed actions; the magnitude of suppression of motor excitability predicted this change in sensitivity. PMID:27458752

  18. A behavioral task for investigating action discovery, selection and switching: comparison between types of reinforcer

    PubMed Central

    Fisher, Simon D.; Gray, Jason P.; Black, Melony J.; Davies, Jennifer R.; Bednark, Jeffery G.; Redgrave, Peter; Franz, Elizabeth A.; Abraham, Wickliffe C.; Reynolds, John N. J.

    2014-01-01

    Action discovery and selection are critical cognitive processes that are understudied at the cellular and systems neuroscience levels. Presented here is a new rodent joystick task suitable to test these processes due to the range of action possibilities that can be learnt while performing the task. Rats learned to manipulate a joystick while progressing through task milestones that required increasing degrees of movement accuracy. In a switching phase designed to measure action discovery, rats were repeatedly required to discover new target positions to meet changing task demands. Behavior was compared using both food and electrical brain stimulation reward (BSR) of the substantia nigra as reinforcement. Rats reinforced with food and those with BSR performed similarly overall, although BSR-treated rats exhibited greater vigor in responding. In the switching phase, rats learnt new actions to adapt to changing task demands, reflecting action discovery processes. Because subjects are required to learn different goal-directed actions, this task could be employed in further investigations of the cellular mechanisms of action discovery and selection. Additionally, this task could be used to assess the behavioral flexibility impairments seen in conditions such as Parkinson's disease and obsessive-compulsive disorder. The versatility of the task will enable cross-species investigations of these impairments. PMID:25477795

  19. A behavioral task for investigating action discovery, selection and switching: comparison between types of reinforcer.

    PubMed

    Fisher, Simon D; Gray, Jason P; Black, Melony J; Davies, Jennifer R; Bednark, Jeffery G; Redgrave, Peter; Franz, Elizabeth A; Abraham, Wickliffe C; Reynolds, John N J

    2014-01-01

    Action discovery and selection are critical cognitive processes that are understudied at the cellular and systems neuroscience levels. Presented here is a new rodent joystick task suitable to test these processes due to the range of action possibilities that can be learnt while performing the task. Rats learned to manipulate a joystick while progressing through task milestones that required increasing degrees of movement accuracy. In a switching phase designed to measure action discovery, rats were repeatedly required to discover new target positions to meet changing task demands. Behavior was compared using both food and electrical brain stimulation reward (BSR) of the substantia nigra as reinforcement. Rats reinforced with food and those with BSR performed similarly overall, although BSR-treated rats exhibited greater vigor in responding. In the switching phase, rats learnt new actions to adapt to changing task demands, reflecting action discovery processes. Because subjects are required to learn different goal-directed actions, this task could be employed in further investigations of the cellular mechanisms of action discovery and selection. Additionally, this task could be used to assess the behavioral flexibility impairments seen in conditions such as Parkinson's disease and obsessive-compulsive disorder. The versatility of the task will enable cross-species investigations of these impairments.

  20. Observation of Simple Intransitive Actions: The Effect of Familiarity

    PubMed Central

    Plata Bello, Julio; Modroño, Cristián; Marcano, Francisco; González–Mora, José Luis

    2013-01-01

    Introduction Humans are more familiar with index – thumb than with any other finger to thumb grasping. The effect of familiarity has been previously tested with complex, specialized and/or transitive movements, but not with simple intransitive ones. The aim of this study is to evaluate brain activity patterns during the observation of simple and intransitive finger movements with differing degrees of familiarity. Methodology A functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) study was performed using a paradigm consisting of the observation of 4 videos showing a finger opposition task between the thumb and the other fingers (index, middle, ring and little) in a repetitive manner with a fixed frequency (1 Hz). This movement is considered as the pantomime of a precision grasping action. Results Significant activity was identified in the bilateral Inferior Parietal Lobule and premotor regions with the selected level of significance (FDR [False Discovery Rate] = 0.01). The extent of the activation in both regions tended to decrease when the finger that performed the action was further from the thumb. More specifically, this effect showed a linear trend (index>middle>ring>little) in the right parietal and premotor regions. Conclusions The observation of less familiar simple intransitive movements produces less activation of parietal and premotor areas than familiar ones. The most important implication of this study is the identification of differences in brain activity during the observation of simple intransitive movements with different degrees of familiarity. PMID:24073213

  1. Memory for actions: self-performed tasks and the reenactment effect.

    PubMed

    Mulligan, Neil W; Hornstein, Susan L

    2003-04-01

    Encoding action phrases by enactment (self-performed tasks, or SPTs) leads to better memory than does observing actions (experimenter-performed tasks, or EPTs) or hearing action phrases (Engelkamp, 1998). In addition, recognition memory for SPTs is enhanced when test items are reenacted. Experiment 1 demonstrated a reenactment effect for EPTs, as well as for SPTs, indicating that the effect can be based on visual, as well as motoric, feedback. However, the reenactment effect in SPTs was found even when the participants were blindfolded at test (Experiment 2), indicating that the basis for the reenactment effect differs across SPTs and EPTs. Experiments 3 and 4 provided additional evidence that visual feedback is not critical for reenactment recognition in the case of SPTs. In addition, these experiments failed to show a hand congruency effect (enhanced recognition when the same hand enacts at study and at test), indicating that this effect is not as generalizable as the reenactment effect. These results have important implications for the motor-encoding hypothesis of the enactment effect.

  2. Responses to irrational actions in action observation and mentalising networks of the human brain.

    PubMed

    Marsh, Lauren E; Mullett, Timothy L; Ropar, Danielle; Hamilton, Antonia F de C

    2014-12-01

    By observing other people, we can often infer goals and motivations behind their actions. This study examines the role of the action observation network (AON) and the mentalising network (MZN) in the perception of rational and irrational actions. Past studies in this area report mixed results, so the present paper uses new stimuli which precisely control motion path, the social form of the actor and the rationality of the action. A cluster in medial prefrontal cortex and a large cluster in the right inferior parietal lobule extending to the temporoparietal junction distinguished observation of irrational from rational actions. Activity within the temporoparietal region also correlated on a trial-by-trial basis with each participant's judgement of action rationality. These findings demonstrate that observation of another person performing an irrational action engages both action observation and mentalising networks. Our results advance current theories of action comprehension and the roles of action observation and mentalising networks in this process.

  3. Army Task Force on Behavioral Health: Corrective Action Plan

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-01-01

    will interface with the VA system and will be fully operational by 2017 . 5. MEDCOM is in the final stages of an OSC Concept Plan to be sent to DCS G-3...system testing at multiple sites, and the agencies must demonstrate significant single-site operations by 2014. Entire system field- ing is set for 2017 ...additional courses of action. The other courses of action included continuing the status quo with maxi - mum utilization of Reservists or partially

  4. Joint action modulates motor system involvement during action observation in 3-year-olds.

    PubMed

    Meyer, Marlene; Hunnius, Sabine; van Elk, Michiel; van Ede, Freek; Bekkering, Harold

    2011-06-01

    When we are engaged in a joint action, we need to integrate our partner's actions with our own actions. Previous research has shown that in adults the involvement of one's own motor system is enhanced during observation of an action partner as compared to during observation of an individual actor. The aim of this study was to investigate whether similar motor system involvement is present at early stages of joint action development and whether it is related to joint action performance. In an EEG experiment with 3-year-old children, we assessed the children's brain activity and performance during a joint game with an adult experimenter. We used a simple button-pressing game in which the two players acted in turns. Power in the mu- and beta-frequency bands was compared when children were not actively moving but observing the experimenter's actions when (1) they were engaged in the joint action game and (2) when they were not engaged. Enhanced motor involvement during action observation as indicated by attenuated sensorimotor mu- and beta-power was found when the 3-year-olds were engaged in the joint action. This enhanced motor activation during action observation was associated with better joint action performance. The findings suggest that already in early childhood the motor system is differentially activated during action observation depending on the involvement in a joint action. This motor system involvement might play an important role for children's joint action performance.

  5. Quantifying Learning in Young Infants: Tracking Leg Actions During a Discovery-learning Task.

    PubMed

    Sargent, Barbara; Reimann, Hendrik; Kubo, Masayoshi; Fetters, Linda

    2015-06-01

    Task-specific actions emerge from spontaneous movement during infancy. It has been proposed that task-specific actions emerge through a discovery-learning process. Here a method is described in which 3-4 month old infants learn a task by discovery and their leg movements are captured to quantify the learning process. This discovery-learning task uses an infant activated mobile that rotates and plays music based on specified leg action of infants. Supine infants activate the mobile by moving their feet vertically across a virtual threshold. This paradigm is unique in that as infants independently discover that their leg actions activate the mobile, the infants' leg movements are tracked using a motion capture system allowing for the quantification of the learning process. Specifically, learning is quantified in terms of the duration of mobile activation, the position variance of the end effectors (feet) that activate the mobile, changes in hip-knee coordination patterns, and changes in hip and knee muscle torque. This information describes infant exploration and exploitation at the interplay of person and environmental constraints that support task-specific action. Subsequent research using this method can investigate how specific impairments of different populations of infants at risk for movement disorders influence the discovery-learning process for task-specific action.

  6. Task-Based Language Learning and Teaching: An Action-Research Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Calvert, Megan; Sheen, Younghee

    2015-01-01

    The creation, implementation, and evaluation of language learning tasks remain a challenge for many teachers, especially those with limited experience with using tasks in their teaching. This action-research study reports on one teacher's experience of developing, implementing, critically reflecting on, and modifying a language learning task…

  7. Preparing for (valenced) action: The role of differential effort in the orthogonalized go/no-go task.

    PubMed

    Schevernels, Hanne; Bombeke, Klaas; Krebs, Ruth M; Boehler, C Nico

    2016-02-01

    Associating reward to task performance has been shown to benefit scores of cognitive functions. Importantly, this typically entails associating reward to the execution of a response, hence intertwining action-related processes with motivational ones. However, recently, preparatory action requirements (go/no-go) and outcome valence (reward/punishment) were elegantly separated using a cued orthogonalized go/no-go task. Functional magnetic resonance imaging results from this task showed that typical areas of the "reward network," like the dopaminergic midbrain and the striatum, predominantly encode action rather than valence, displaying enhanced activity when preparing for action (go) compared to inaction (no-go). In the current study, we used ERPs to probe for differences in preparatory state related to cognitive effort in this task, which has similarly been linked to reward-network activity. Importantly, the contingent negative variation, which is linked to effortful cognitive preparation processes during cue-target intervals, was clearly observed in go trials but not in no-go trials. Moreover, target-locked ERP results (N1 and P3) suggested that attention to the target was enhanced when an action had to be performed (go trials), and typical inhibition-related ERP components were not observed in no-go trials, suggesting a lack of active response inhibition. Finally, feedback-related P3 results could suggest that correct feedback was valued more in motivated go trials, again implying that more effort was required to correctly perform the task. Together, these results indicate that the anticipation of action compared to inaction simultaneously entails differences in mental effort, highlighting the need for further dissociation of these concepts.

  8. Additive Routes to Action Learning: Layering Experience Shapes Engagement of the Action Observation Network

    PubMed Central

    Kirsch, Louise P.; Cross, Emily S.

    2015-01-01

    The way in which we perceive others in action is biased by one's prior experience with an observed action. For example, we can have auditory, visual, or motor experience with actions we observe others perform. How action experience via 1, 2, or all 3 of these modalities shapes action perception remains unclear. Here, we combine pre- and post-training functional magnetic resonance imaging measures with a dance training manipulation to address how building experience (from auditory to audiovisual to audiovisual plus motor) with a complex action shapes subsequent action perception. Results indicate that layering experience across these 3 modalities activates a number of sensorimotor cortical regions associated with the action observation network (AON) in such a way that the more modalities through which one experiences an action, the greater the response is within these AON regions during action perception. Moreover, a correlation between left premotor activity and participants' scores for reproducing an action suggests that the better an observer can perform an observed action, the stronger the neural response is. The findings suggest that the number of modalities through which an observer experiences an action impacts AON activity additively, and that premotor cortical activity might serve as an index of embodiment during action observation. PMID:26209850

  9. Additive Routes to Action Learning: Layering Experience Shapes Engagement of the Action Observation Network.

    PubMed

    Kirsch, Louise P; Cross, Emily S

    2015-12-01

    The way in which we perceive others in action is biased by one's prior experience with an observed action. For example, we can have auditory, visual, or motor experience with actions we observe others perform. How action experience via 1, 2, or all 3 of these modalities shapes action perception remains unclear. Here, we combine pre- and post-training functional magnetic resonance imaging measures with a dance training manipulation to address how building experience (from auditory to audiovisual to audiovisual plus motor) with a complex action shapes subsequent action perception. Results indicate that layering experience across these 3 modalities activates a number of sensorimotor cortical regions associated with the action observation network (AON) in such a way that the more modalities through which one experiences an action, the greater the response is within these AON regions during action perception. Moreover, a correlation between left premotor activity and participants' scores for reproducing an action suggests that the better an observer can perform an observed action, the stronger the neural response is. The findings suggest that the number of modalities through which an observer experiences an action impacts AON activity additively, and that premotor cortical activity might serve as an index of embodiment during action observation.

  10. Students' Concepts- and Theorems-in-Action on a Novel Task about Similarity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    DeJarnette, Anna Fricano; Walczak, Marissa; González, Gloriana

    2014-01-01

    Similarity is a fundamental concept in the middle grades. In this study, we applied Vergnaud's theory of conceptual fields to answer the following questions: What concepts-in-action and theorems-in-action about similarity surfaced when students worked in a novel task that required them to enlarge a puzzle piece? How did students use geometric…

  11. Teacher Actions That Encourage Students to Persist in Solving Challenging Mathematical Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ingram, Naomi; Linsell, Chris; Holmes, Marilyn; Livy, Sharyn; Sullivan, Peter

    2016-01-01

    As part of a project exploring the use of challenging mathematical tasks, data from New Zealand teachers and their students were analysed to explore teachers' actions that encouraged students to persist. Rather than rescuing the students when they needed help, the teachers' actions included arranging for and encouraging students to work…

  12. Embodied Action Improves Cognition in Children: Evidence from a Study Based on Piagetian Conservation Tasks

    PubMed Central

    Lozada, Mariana; Carro, Natalia

    2016-01-01

    Converging evidence highlights the relevance of embodied cognition in learning processes. In this study we evaluate whether embodied action (enaction) improves cognitive understanding in children. Using the Piagetian conservation tasks in 6–7 year olds, we analyzed quantity conservation conceptualization in children who were active participants in the transformation process and compared these results to those of children who were mere observers of an adult's demonstration (as traditionally conducted). The investigation was performed with 105 first-graders. Conservation tasks were demonstrated to half the children, while the other half actively carried out the transformation of matter. Our findings showed that active manipulation of the material helped children recognize quantity invariance in a higher proportion than when the demonstration was only observed. That is, their enactive experience enabled them to comprehend conservation phenomena more easily than if they were merely passive observers. The outcome of this research thus emphasizes how active participation benefits cognitive processes in learning contexts, promoting autonomy, and agency during childhood. PMID:27047420

  13. Good is up—spatial metaphors in action observation

    PubMed Central

    Gottwald, Janna M.; Elsner, Birgit; Pollatos, Olga

    2015-01-01

    Positive objects or actions are associated with physical highness, whereas negative objects or actions are related to physical lowness. Previous research suggests that metaphorical connection (“good is up” or “bad is down”) between spatial experience and evaluation of objects is grounded in actual experience with the body. Prior studies investigated effects of spatial metaphors with respect to verticality of either static objects or self-performed actions. By presenting videos of object placements, the current three experiments combined vertically-located stimuli with observation of vertically-directed actions. As expected, participants’ ratings of emotionally-neutral objects were systematically influenced by the observed vertical positioning, that is, ratings were more positive for objects that were observed being placed up as compared to down. Moreover, effects were slightly more pronounced for “bad is down,” because only the observed downward, but not the upward, action led to different ratings as compared to a medium-positioned action. Last, some ratings were even affected by observing only the upward/downward action, without seeing the final vertical placement of the object. Thus, both, a combination of observing a vertically-directed action and seeing a vertically-located object, and observing a vertically-directed action alone, affected participants’ evaluation of emotional valence of the involved object. The present findings expand the relevance of spatial metaphors to action observation, thereby giving new impetus to embodied-cognition research. PMID:26539147

  14. The case of pretense: observing actions and inferring goals.

    PubMed

    Schubotz, Ricarda I; von Cramon, D Yves

    2009-04-01

    When we observe an action, we know almost immediately what goal is pursued by the actor. Strikingly, this applies also to pretend action (pantomime), which provides relevant information about the manipulation itself but not about the manipulated objects. The present fMRI study addressed the issue of goal inference from pretend action as compared with real action. We found differences as well as commonalities for the brain correlates of inferring goals from both types of action. They differed with regard to the weights of the underlying action observation network, indicating the exploitation of object information in the case of real actions and manipulation information in the case of pretense. However, goal inferences from manipulation information resulted in a common network for both real and pretend action. Interestingly, this latter network also comprised areas that are not identified by action observation and that might be due to the processing of scene gist and to the evaluation of fit of putative action goals. These findings suggest that observation of pretense emphasizes the requirement to internally simulate the observed act but rule out fundamental differences of how observers cope with real and pretend action.

  15. Modulation of brain activity during action observation: influence of perspective, transitivity and meaningfulness.

    PubMed

    Hétu, Sébastien; Mercier, Catherine; Eugène, Fanny; Michon, Pierre-Emmanuel; Jackson, Philip L

    2011-01-01

    The coupling process between observed and performed actions is thought to be performed by a fronto-parietal perception-action system including regions of the inferior frontal gyrus and the inferior parietal lobule. When investigating the influence of the movements' characteristics on this process, most research on action observation has focused on only one particular variable even though the type of movements we observe can vary on several levels. By manipulating the visual perspective, transitivity and meaningfulness of observed movements in a functional magnetic resonance imaging study we aimed at investigating how the type of movements and the visual perspective can modulate brain activity during action observation in healthy individuals. Importantly, we used an active observation task where participants had to subsequently execute or imagine the observed movements. Our results show that the fronto-parietal regions of the perception action system were mostly recruited during the observation of meaningless actions while visual perspective had little influence on the activity within the perception-action system. Simultaneous investigation of several sources of modulation during active action observation is probably an approach that could lead to a greater ecological comprehension of this important sensorimotor process.

  16. Nonlinear analysis of saccade speed fluctuations during combined action and perception tasks

    PubMed Central

    Stan, C.; Astefanoaei, C.; Pretegiani, E.; Optican, L.; Creanga, D.; Rufa, A.; Cristescu, C.P.

    2014-01-01

    Background: Saccades are rapid eye movements used to gather information about a scene which requires both action and perception. These are usually studied separately, so that how perception influences action is not well understood. In a dual task, where the subject looks at a target and reports a decision, subtle changes in the saccades might be caused by action-perception interactions. Studying saccades might provide insight into how brain pathways for action and for perception interact. New method: We applied two complementary methods, multifractal detrended fluctuation analysis and Lempel-Ziv complexity index to eye peak speed recorded in two experiments, a pure action task and a combined action-perception task. Results: Multifractality strength is significantly different in the two experiments, showing smaller values for dual decision task saccades compared to simple-task saccades. The normalized Lempel-Ziv complexity index behaves similarly i.e. is significantly smaller in the decision saccade task than in the simple task. Comparison with existing methods: Compared to the usual statistical and linear approaches, these analyses emphasize the character of the dynamics involved in the fluctuations and offer a sensitive tool for quantitative evaluation of the multifractal features and of the complexity measure in the saccades peak speeds when different brain circuits are involved. Conclusion: Our results prove that the peak speed fluctuations have multifractal characteristics with lower magnitude for the multifractality strength and for the complexity index when two neural pathways are simultaneously activated, demonstrating the nonlinear interaction in the brain pathways for action and perception. PMID:24854830

  17. Beyond Synchrony: Joint Action in a Complex Production Task Reveals Beneficial Effects of Decreased Interpersonal Synchrony

    PubMed Central

    Mitkidis, Panagiotis; Roepstorff, Andreas

    2016-01-01

    A variety of joint action studies show that people tend to fall into synchronous behavior with others participating in the same task, and that such synchronization is beneficial, leading to greater rapport, satisfaction, and performance. It has been noted that many of these task environments require simple interactions that involve little planning of action coordination toward a shared goal. The present study utilized a complex joint construction task in which dyads were instructed to build model cars while their hand movements and heart rates were measured. Participants built these models under varying conditions, delimiting how freely they could divide labor during a build session. While hand movement synchrony was sensitive to the different tasks and outcomes, the heart rate measure did not show any effects of interpersonal synchrony. Results for hand movements show that the more participants were constrained by a particular building strategy, the greater their behavioral synchrony. Within the different conditions, the degree of synchrony was predictive of subjective satisfaction and objective product outcomes. However, in contrast to many previous findings, synchrony was negatively associated with superior products, and, depending on the constraints on the interaction, positively or negatively correlated with higher subjective satisfaction. These results show that the task context critically shapes the role of synchronization during joint action, and that in more complex tasks, not synchronization of behavior, but rather complementary types of behavior may be associated with superior task outcomes. PMID:27997558

  18. Astronomical observation tasks short-term scheduling using PDDS algorithm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kornilov, M. V.

    2016-07-01

    A concept of the ground-based optical astronomical observation efficiency is considered in this paper. We believe that a telescope efficiency can be increased by properly allocating observation tasks with respect to the current environment state and probability to obtain the data with required properties under the current conditions. An online observations scheduling is assumed to be an essential part for raising the efficiency. The short-term online scheduling is treated as the discrete optimisation problems which are stated using several abstraction levels. The optimisation problems are solved using the parallel depth-bounded discrepancy search (PDDS) algorithm by Moisan et al. (2014). Some aspects of the algorithm performance are discussed. The presented algorithm is a core of open-source chelyabinsk C++ library which is planned to be used at 2.5 m telescope of Sternberg Astronomical Institute of Lomonosov Moscow State University.

  19. Anatomical substrates of cooperative joint-action in a continuous motor task: virtual lifting and balancing.

    PubMed

    Newman-Norlund, Roger D; Bosga, Jurjen; Meulenbroek, Ruud G J; Bekkering, Harold

    2008-05-15

    An emerging branch of social cognitive neuroscience attempts to unravel the critical cognitive mechanisms that enable humans to engage in joint action. In the current experiment, differences in brain activity in participants engaging in solitary action and joint action were identified using whole brain fMRI while participants performed a virtual bar-balancing task either alone (S), or with the help of a partner in each of two separate joint-action conditions (isomorphic [Ji] and non-isomorphic [Jn]). Compared to the performing the task alone, BOLD signal was found to be stronger in both joint-action conditions at specific sites in the human mirror system (MNS). This activation pattern may reflect the demand on participants to simulate the actions of others, integrate their own actions with those of their partners, and compute appropriate responses. Increasing inter-dependence (complementarity) of movements being generated by cooperating individuals (Jn>Ji>S) was found to correlate with BOLD signal in the right anterior node of the MNS (pars opercularis), and the area around the right temporoparietal junction (TPJ). These data are relevant to current debates concerning the role of right IFG in complementary action, as well as evolving theories of joint action.

  20. Controlling Attention through Action: Observing Actions Primes Action-Related Stimulus Dimensions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fagioli, Sabrina; Ferlazzo, Fabio; Hommel, Bernhard

    2007-01-01

    Previous findings suggest that planning an action "backward-primes" perceptual dimension related to this action: planning a grasp facilitates the processing of visual size information, while planning a reach facilitates the processing of location information. Here we show that dimensional priming of perception through action occurs even in the…

  1. Evaluating the Effects of Formal Corrective Feedback on Off-Task/On-Task Behavior of Mild Intellectually Disabled Students: An Action Research Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    George, Kevin

    2016-01-01

    The off-task behavior demonstrated by the study participants appears to interfere with classroom instruction, contribute to poor academic performance and in many instances lead to disciplinary actions such as suspension. The purpose of the study entailed determining if formal corrective feedback has an effect on the off-task/on-task behavior of…

  2. Self-organized complementary joint action: Behavioral dynamics of an interpersonal collision-avoidance task.

    PubMed

    Richardson, Michael J; Harrison, Steven J; Kallen, Rachel W; Walton, Ashley; Eiler, Brian A; Saltzman, Elliot; Schmidt, R C

    2015-06-01

    Understanding stable patterns of interpersonal movement coordination is essential to understanding successful social interaction and activity (i.e., joint action). Previous research investigating such coordination has primarily focused on the synchronization of simple rhythmic movements (e.g., finger/forearm oscillations or pendulum swinging). Very few studies, however, have explored the stable patterns of coordination that emerge during task-directed complementary coordination tasks. Thus, the aim of the current study was to investigate and model the behavioral dynamics of a complementary collision-avoidance task. Participant pairs performed a repetitive targeting task in which they moved computer stimuli back and forth between sets of target locations without colliding into each other. The results revealed that pairs quickly converged onto a stable, asymmetric pattern of movement coordination that reflected differential control across participants, with 1 participant adopting a more straight-line movement trajectory between targets, and the other participant adopting a more elliptical trajectory between targets. This asymmetric movement pattern was also characterized by a phase lag between participants and was essential to task success. Coupling directionality analysis and dynamical modeling revealed that this dynamic regime was due to participant-specific differences in the coupling functions that defined the task-dynamics of participant pairs. Collectively, the current findings provide evidence that the dynamical coordination processes previously identified to underlie simple motor synchronization can also support more complex, goal-directed, joint action behavior, and can participate the spontaneous emergence of complementary joint action roles.

  3. Age-Related Differences in Corticospinal Excitability during Observation and Motor Imagery of Balance Tasks

    PubMed Central

    Mouthon, Audrey A.; Ruffieux, Jan; Keller, Martin; Taube, Wolfgang

    2016-01-01

    Postural control declines across adult lifespan. Non-physical balance training has been suggested as an alternative to improve postural control in frail/immobilized elderly people. Previous studies showed that this kind of training can improve balance control in young and older adults. However, it is unclear whether the brain of young and older adults is activated differently during mental simulations of balance tasks. For this purpose, soleus (SOL) and tibialis motor evoked potentials (MEPs) and SOL H-reflexes were elicited while 15 elderly (mean ± SD = 71 ± 4.6 years) and 15 young participants (mean ± SD = 27 ± 4.6 years) mentally simulated static and dynamic balance tasks using motor imagery (MI), action observation (AO) or the combination of AO and MI (AO + MI). Young subjects displayed significant modulations of MEPs that depended on the kind of mental simulation and the postural task. Elderly adults also revealed differences between tasks, but not between mental simulation conditions. Furthermore, the elderly displayed larger MEP facilitation during mental simulation (AGE-GROUP; F(1,28) = 5.9; p = 0.02) in the SOL muscle compared to the young and a task-dependent modulation of the tibialis background electromyography (bEMG) activity. H-reflex amplitudes and bEMG in the SOL showed neither task- nor age-dependent modulation. As neither mental simulation nor balance tasks modulated H-reflexes and bEMG in the SOL muscle, despite large variations in the MEP-amplitudes, there seems to be an age-related change in the internal cortical representation of balance tasks. Moreover, the modulation of the tibialis bEMG in the elderly suggests that aging partially affects the ability to inhibit motor output. PMID:28066238

  4. Action Video Games Do Not Improve the Speed of Information Processing in Simple Perceptual Tasks

    PubMed Central

    van Ravenzwaaij, Don; Boekel, Wouter; Forstmann, Birte U.; Ratcliff, Roger; Wagenmakers, Eric-Jan

    2015-01-01

    Previous research suggests that playing action video games improves performance on sensory, perceptual, and attentional tasks. For instance, Green, Pouget, and Bavelier (2010) used the diffusion model to decompose data from a motion detection task and estimate the contribution of several underlying psychological processes. Their analysis indicated that playing action video games leads to faster information processing, reduced response caution, and no difference in motor responding. Because perceptual learning is generally thought to be highly context-specific, this transfer from gaming is surprising and warrants corroborative evidence from a large-scale training study. We conducted 2 experiments in which participants practiced either an action video game or a cognitive game in 5 separate, supervised sessions. Prior to each session and following the last session, participants performed a perceptual discrimination task. In the second experiment, we included a third condition in which no video games were played at all. Behavioral data and diffusion model parameters showed similar practice effects for the action gamers, the cognitive gamers, and the nongamers and suggest that, in contrast to earlier reports, playing action video games does not improve the speed of information processing in simple perceptual tasks. PMID:24933517

  5. Action video games do not improve the speed of information processing in simple perceptual tasks.

    PubMed

    van Ravenzwaaij, Don; Boekel, Wouter; Forstmann, Birte U; Ratcliff, Roger; Wagenmakers, Eric-Jan

    2014-10-01

    Previous research suggests that playing action video games improves performance on sensory, perceptual, and attentional tasks. For instance, Green, Pouget, and Bavelier (2010) used the diffusion model to decompose data from a motion detection task and estimate the contribution of several underlying psychological processes. Their analysis indicated that playing action video games leads to faster information processing, reduced response caution, and no difference in motor responding. Because perceptual learning is generally thought to be highly context-specific, this transfer from gaming is surprising and warrants corroborative evidence from a large-scale training study. We conducted 2 experiments in which participants practiced either an action video game or a cognitive game in 5 separate, supervised sessions. Prior to each session and following the last session, participants performed a perceptual discrimination task. In the second experiment, we included a third condition in which no video games were played at all. Behavioral data and diffusion model parameters showed similar practice effects for the action gamers, the cognitive gamers, and the nongamers and suggest that, in contrast to earlier reports, playing action video games does not improve the speed of information processing in simple perceptual tasks.

  6. Action observation: the less-explored part of higher-order vision

    PubMed Central

    Platonov, Artem; Orban, Guy A.

    2016-01-01

    Little is presently known about action observation, an important perceptual component of high-level vision. To investigate this aspect of perception, we introduce a two-alternative forced-choice task for observed manipulative actions while varying duration or signal strength by noise injection. We show that accuracy and reaction time in this task can be modeled by a diffusion process for different pairs of action exemplars. Furthermore, discrimination of observed actions is largely viewpoint-independent, cannot be reduced to judgments about the basic components of action: shape and local motion, and requires a minimum duration of about 150–200 ms. These results confirm that action observation is a distinct high-level aspect of visual perception based on temporal integration of visual input generated by moving body parts. This temporal integration distinguishes it from object or scene perception, which require only very brief presentations and are viewpoint-dependent. The applicability of a diffusion model suggests that these aspects of high-level vision differ mainly at the level of the sensory neurons feeding the decision processes. PMID:27857160

  7. Are people successful at learning sequences of actions on a perceptual matching task?

    PubMed

    Yakushijin, Reiko; Jacobs, Robert A

    2011-07-01

    We report the results of an experiment in which human subjects were trained to perform a perceptual matching task. Subjects were asked to manipulate comparison objects until they matched target objects using the fewest manipulations possible. An unusual feature of the experimental task is that efficient performance requires an understanding of the hidden or latent causal structure governing the relationships between actions and perceptual outcomes. We use two benchmarks to evaluate the quality of subjects' learning. One benchmark is based on optimal performance as calculated by a dynamic programming procedure. The other is based on an adaptive computational agent that uses a reinforcement-learning method known as Q-learning to learn to perform the task. Our analyses suggest that subjects were successful learners. In particular, they learned to perform the perceptual matching task in a near-optimal manner (i.e., using a small number of manipulations) at the end of training. Subjects were able to achieve near-optimal performance because they learned, at least partially, the causal structure underlying the task. In addition, subjects' performances were broadly consistent with those of model-based reinforcement-learning agents that built and used internal models of how their actions influenced the external environment. We hypothesize that people will achieve near-optimal performances on tasks requiring sequences of action-especially sensorimotor tasks with underlying latent causal structures-when they can detect the effects of their actions on the environment, and when they can represent and reason about these effects using an internal mental model.

  8. Neural Mechanisms Underlying Action Observation in Adults with Down Syndrome

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Virji-Babul, Naznin; Moiseev, Alexander; Cheung, Teresa; Weeks, Daniel J.; Cheyne, Douglas; Ribary, Urs

    2010-01-01

    Results of a magnetoencephalography (MEG) brain imaging study conducted to examine the cortical responses during action execution and action observation in 10 healthy adults and 8 age-matched adults with Down syndrome are reported. During execution, the motor responses were strongly lateralized on the ipsilateral rather than the contralateral side…

  9. TASK-1 Channels May Modulate Action Potential Duration of Human Atrial Cardiomyocytes

    PubMed Central

    Limberg, Sven H.; Netter, Michael F.; Rolfes, Caroline; Rinné, Susanne; Schlichthörl, Günter; Zuzarte, Marylou; Vassiliou, Timon; Moosdorf, Rainer; Wulf, Hinnerk; Daut, Jürgen; Sachse, Frank B.; Decher, Niels

    2011-01-01

    Background/Aims: Atrial fibrillation is the most common arrhythmia in the elderly, and potassium channels with atrium-specific expression have been discussed as targets to treat atrial fibrillation. Our aim was to characterize TASK-1 channels in human heart and to functionally describe the role of the atrial whole cell current ITASK-1. Methods and Results: Using quantitative PCR, we show that TASK-1 is predominantly expressed in the atria, auricles and atrio-ventricular node of the human heart. Single channel recordings show the functional expression of TASK-1 in right human auricles. In addition, we describe for the first time the whole cell current carried by TASK-1 channels (ITASK-1) in human atrial tissue. We show that ITASK-1 contributes to the sustained outward current IKsus and that ITASK-1 is a major component of the background conductance in human atrial cardiomyocytes. Using patch clamp recordings and mathematical modeling of action potentials, we demonstrate that modulation of ITASK-1 can alter human atrial action potential duration. Conclusion: Due to the lack of ventricular expression and the ability to alter human atrial action potential duration, TASK-1 might be a drug target for the treatment of atrial fibrillation. PMID:22178873

  10. Entrainment and task co-representation effects for discrete and continuous action sequences.

    PubMed

    van der Wel, Robrecht P R D; Fu, En

    2015-12-01

    A large body of work has established an influence of other people's actions on our own actions. For example, actors entrain to the movements of others, in studies that typically employ continuous movements. Likewise, studies on co-representation have shown that people automatically co-represent a co-actor's task, in studies that typically employ discrete actions. Here we examined entrainment and co-representation within a single task paradigm. Participants sat next to a confederate while simultaneously moving their right hand back and forth between two targets. We crossed whether or not the participant and the confederate moved over an obstacle and manipulated whether participants generated discrete or continuous movement sequences, while varying the space between the actors and whether the actors could see each other's movements. Participants moved higher when the confederate cleared an obstacle than when he did not. For continuous movements, this effect depended on the availability of visual information, as would be expected on the basis of entrainment. In contrast, the co-actor's task modulated the height of discrete movements, regardless of the availability of visual information, which is consistent with co-representation. Space did not have an effect. These results provide new insights into the interplay between co-representation and entrainment for discrete- and continuous-action tasks.

  11. Perception and action de-coupling in congenital amusia: sensitivity to task demands.

    PubMed

    Williamson, Victoria J; Liu, Fang; Peryer, Guy; Grierson, Mick; Stewart, Lauren

    2012-01-01

    Theories that purport the existence of a distinct auditory action stream have received support from the finding that individuals with congenital amusia, a disorder of pitch perception, are able to reproduce the direction of a pitch change that they are unable to identify (Loui, Guenther, Mathys, & Schlaug, 2008). Although this finding has proved influential in theorizing about the existence of an auditory action-stream, aspects of the original study warrant further investigation. The present report attempts to replicate the original study's findings across a sizeable cohort of individuals with amusia (n=14), obtaining action (production) and perception thresholds for pitch direction. In contrast to the original study, we find evidence of a double dissociation: while a minority of amusics had lower (better) thresholds for production compared to perception of pitch, more than half showed the reverse pattern. To explore the impact of task demands, perception thresholds were also measured using a two alternative, criterion-free, forced choice task that avoided labeling demands. Controls' thresholds were task-invariant while amusics' thresholds were significantly task-dependent. We argue that the direction and extent of a perception/production dissociation in this population reflects individual differences in the mapping of pitch representations to labels ("up"; "down") and to the vocal apparatus, as opposed to anything intrinsically yoked to perception or action per se.

  12. Enhancing perceptual and attentional skills requires common demands between the action video games and transfer tasks

    PubMed Central

    Oei, Adam C.; Patterson, Michael D.

    2015-01-01

    Despite increasing evidence that shows action video game play improves perceptual and cognitive skills, the mechanisms of transfer are not well-understood. In line with previous work, we suggest that transfer is dependent upon common demands between the game and transfer task. In the current study, participants played one of four action games with varying speed, visual, and attentional demands for 20 h. We examined whether training enhanced performance for attentional blink, selective attention, attending to multiple items, visual search and auditory detection. Non-gamers who played the game (Modern Combat) with the highest demands showed transfer to tasks of attentional blink and attending to multiple items. The game (MGS Touch) with fewer attentional demands also decreased attentional blink, but to a lesser degree. Other games failed to show transfer, despite having many action game characteristics but at a reduced intensity. The results support the common demands hypothesis. PMID:25713551

  13. Location estimation of approaching objects is modulated by the observer's inherent and momentary action capabilities.

    PubMed

    Kandula, Manasa; Hofman, Dennis; Dijkerman, H Chris

    2016-08-01

    Action capability may be one of the factors that can influence our percept of the world. A distinction can be made between momentary action capability (action capability at that particular moment) and inherent action capability (representing a stable action capability). In the current study, we investigated whether there was a biasing effect of these two forms of action capability on visual perception of location. In a virtual reality room, subjects had to stop a moving ball from hitting a pillar. On some trials, the ball disappeared automatically during its motion. Subjects had to estimate the location of the ball's disappearance in these trials. We expected that if action is necessary but action capability (inherent or momentary) is limiting performance, the location of approaching objects with respect to the observer is underestimated. By judging the objects to be nearer than they really are, the need to select and execute the appropriate action increases, thereby facilitating quick action (Cole et al. in Psychol Sci 24(1):34-40, 2013. doi: 10.1177/0956797612446953 ). As a manipulation of inherent action capability in a virtual environment, two groups of participants (video game players vs. non-video game players) were entered into the study (high and low action capability). Momentary action capability was manipulated by using two difficulty levels in the experiment (Easy vs. Difficult). Results indicated that inherent and momentary action capabilities interacted together to influence online location judgments: Non-players underestimated locations when the task was Difficult. Taken together, our data suggest that both inherent and momentary action capabilities influence location judgments.

  14. The Scintillation Prediction Observations Research Task (SPORT) Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spann, James; Le, Guan; Swenson, Charles; Denardini, Clezio Marcos; Bishop, Rebecca L.; Abdu, Mangalathayil A.; Cupertino Durao, Otavio S.; Heelis, Roderick; Loures, Luis; Krause, Linda; Fonseca, Eloi

    2016-07-01

    Structure in the charged particle number density in the equatorial ionosphere can have a profound impact on the fidelity of HF, VHF and UHF radio signals that are used for ground-to-ground and space-to-ground communication and navigation. The degree to which such systems can be compromised depends in large part on the spatial distribution of the structured regions in the ionosphere and the background plasma density in which they are embedded. In order to address these challenges it is necessary to accurately distinguish the background ionospheric conditions that favor the generation of irregularities from those that do not. Additionally we must relate the evolution of those conditions to the subsequent evolution of the irregular plasma regions themselves. The background ionospheric conditions are conveniently described by latitudinal profiles of the plasma density at nearly constant altitude, which describe the effects of ExB drifts and neutral winds, while the appearance and growth of plasma structure requires committed observations from the ground from at least one fixed longitude. This talk will present an international collaborative CubeSat mission called SPORT that stands for the Scintillation Prediction Observations Research Task. This mission will advance our understanding of the nature and evolution of ionospheric structures around sunset to improve predictions of disturbances that affect radio propagation and telecommunication signals. The science goals will be accomplished by a unique combination of satellite observations from a nearly circular middle inclination orbit and the extensive operation of ground based observations from South America near the magnetic equator. This approach promises Explorer class science at a CubeSat price.

  15. The Scintillation Prediction Observations Research Task (SPORT) Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spann, James; Swenson, Charles; Durão, Otavio; Loures, Luis; Heelis, Rod; Bishop, Rebecca; Le, Guan; Abdu, Mangalathayil; Krause, Linda; Nardin, Clezio; Fonseca, Eloi

    2016-04-01

    Structure in the charged particle number density in the equatorial ionosphere can have a profound impact on the fidelity of HF, VHF and UHF radio signals that are used for ground-to-ground and space-to-ground communication and navigation. The degree to which such systems can be compromised depends in large part on the spatial distribution of the structured regions in the ionosphere and the background plasma density in which they are embedded. In order to address these challenges it is necessary to accurately distinguish the background ionospheric conditions that favor the generation of irregularities from those that do not. Additionally we must relate the evolution of those conditions to the subsequent evolution of the irregular plasma regions themselves. The background ionospheric conditions are conveniently described by latitudinal profiles of the plasma density at nearly constant altitude, which describe the effects of ExB drifts and neutral winds, while the appearance and growth of plasma structure requires committed observations from the ground from at least one fixed longitude. This talk will present an international collaborative CubeSat mission called SPORT that stands for the Scintillation Prediction Observations Research Task. This mission will advance our understanding of the nature and evolution of ionospheric structures around sunset to improve predictions of disturbances that affect radio propagation and telecommunication signals. The science goals will be accomplished by a unique combination of satellite observations from a nearly circular middle inclination orbit and the extensive operation of ground based observations from South America near the magnetic equator. This approach promises Explorer class science at a CubeSat price.

  16. Perturbing the action observation network during perception and categorization of actions' goals and grips: state-dependency and virtual lesion TMS effects.

    PubMed

    Jacquet, Pierre O; Avenanti, Alessio

    2015-03-01

    Watching others grasping and using objects activates an action observation network (AON), including inferior frontal (IFC), anterior intraparietal (AIP), and somatosensory cortices (S1). Yet, causal evidence of the differential involvement of such AON sensorimotor nodes in representing high- and low-level action components (i.e., end-goals and grip type) is meager. To address this issue, we used transcranial magnetic stimulation-adaptation (TMS-A) during 2 novel action perception tasks. Participants were shown adapting movies displaying a demonstrator performing goal-directed actions with a tool, using either power or precision grips. They were then asked to match the end-goal (Goal-recognition task) or the grip (Grip-recognition task) of actions shown in test pictures to the adapting movies. TMS was administered over IFC, AIP, or S1 during presentation of test pictures. Virtual lesion-like effects were found in the Grip-recognition task where IFC stimulation induced a general performance decrease, suggesting a critical role of IFC in perceiving grips. In the Goal-recognition task, IFC and S1 stimulation differently affected the processing of "adapted" and "nonadapted" goals. These "state-dependent" effects suggest that the overall goal of seen actions is encoded into functionally distinct and spatially overlapping neural populations in IFC-S1 and such encoding is critical for recognizing and understanding end-goals.

  17. Anger fosters action. Fast responses in a motor task involving approach movements toward angry faces and bodies

    PubMed Central

    de Valk, Josje M.; Wijnen, Jasper G.; Kret, Mariska E.

    2015-01-01

    Efficiently responding to others’ emotions, especially threatening expressions such as anger and fear, can have great survival value. Previous research has shown that humans have a bias toward threatening stimuli. Most of these studies focused on facial expressions, yet emotions are expressed by the whole body, and not just by the face. Body language contains a direct action component, and activates action preparation areas in the brain more than facial expressions. Hence, biases toward threat may be larger following threatening bodily expressions as compared to facial expressions. The current study investigated reaction times of movements directed toward emotional bodies and faces. For this purpose, a new task was developed where participants were standing in front of a computer screen on which angry, fearful, and neutral faces and bodies were presented which they had to touch as quickly as possible. Results show that participants responded faster to angry than to neutral stimuli, regardless of the source (face or body). No significant difference was observed between fearful and neutral stimuli, demonstrating that the threat bias was not related to the negativity of the stimulus, but likely to the directness of the threat in relation to the observer. Whereas fearful stimuli might signal an environmental threat that requires further exploration before action, angry expressions signal a direct threat to the observer, asking for immediate action. This study provides a novel and implicit method to directly test the speed of actions toward emotions from the whole body. PMID:26388793

  18. Movement observation specifies motor programs activated by the action observed objective.

    PubMed

    Lago, Angel; Fernandez-del-Olmo, Miguel

    2011-04-15

    There are human cortical areas that fire both when a person executes an action and when he observes someone performing a similar action. The observer activates a motor program that resembles the observed action. However, it is not known whether the motor program activated via action observation is muscle specific. In this study, using simple pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) applied over the primary motor cortex (M1), we investigated whether the Mirror System activates a muscle specific motor program, or codes the observed action in terms of its goal. The results showed that when subjects observed a static effector in front of an object, cortical excitability was enhanced even in muscles not involved in the observed movement, but that are able to achieve the goal of the action. When there was an effector-object interaction the motor program activated via action observation is muscle specific. These results suggest that when subjects observe an object related action there is an activation of a motor program based on the observed action goal, that is transformed into a muscle specific program when the subject shows an effector-object interaction.

  19. Using action observation to study superior motor performance: a pilot fMRI study

    PubMed Central

    Olsson, Carl-Johan; Lundström, Peter

    2013-01-01

    The most efficient way to acquire motor skills may be through physical practice. Nevertheless, it has also been shown that action observation may improve motor performance. The aim of the present pilot study was to examine a potential action observation paradigm used to (1) capture the superior performance of expert athletes and (2) capture the underlying neural mechanisms of successful action observation in relation to task experience. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to measure regional blood flow while presenting videos of a hockey player shooting a puck toward a hockey goal. The videos (a total of 120) where stopped at different time frames with different amount of information provided, creating a paradigm with three different levels of difficulty to decide the fate of a shot. Since this was only a pilot study, we first tested the paradigm behaviorally on six elite expert hockey players, five intermediate players, and six non-hockey playing controls. The results showed that expert hockey players were significantly (p < 0.05) more accurate on deciding the fate of the action compared to the others. Thus, it appears as if the paradigm can capture superior performance of expert athletes (aim 1). We then tested three of the hockey players and three of the controls on the same paradigm in the MRI scanner to investigate the underlying neural mechanisms of successful action anticipation. The imaging results showed that when expert hockey players observed and correctly anticipated situations, they recruited motor and temporal regions of the brain. Novices, on the other hand, relied on visual regions during observation and prefrontal regions during action decision. Thus, the results from the imaging data suggest that different networks of the brain are recruited depending on task experience (aim 2). In conclusion, depending on the level of motor skill of the observer, when correctly anticipating actions different neural systems will be recruited. PMID

  20. Watching novice action degrades expert motor performance: Causation between action production and outcome prediction of observed actions by humans

    PubMed Central

    Ikegami, Tsuyoshi; Ganesh, Gowrishankar

    2014-01-01

    Our social skills are critically determined by our ability to understand and appropriately respond to actions performed by others. However despite its obvious importance, the mechanisms enabling action understanding in humans have remained largely unclear. A popular but controversial belief is that parts of the motor system contribute to our ability to understand observed actions. Here, using a novel behavioral paradigm, we investigated this belief by examining a causal relation between action production, and a component of action understanding - outcome prediction, the ability of a person to predict the outcome of observed actions. We asked dart experts to watch novice dart throwers and predict the outcome of their throws. We modulated the feedbacks provided to them, caused a specific improvement in the expert's ability to predict watched actions while controlling the other experimental factors, and exhibited that a change (improvement) in their outcome prediction ability results in a progressive and proportional deterioration in the expert's own darts performance. This causal relationship supports involvement of the motor system in outcome prediction by humans of actions observed in others. PMID:25384755

  1. The perception-action dynamics of action competency are altered by both physical and observational training.

    PubMed

    Buchanan, John J; Ramos, Jorge; Robson, Nina

    2015-04-01

    Action competency is defined as the ability of an individual to self-evaluate their own performance capabilities. The current experiment demonstrated that physical and observational training with a motor skill alters action competency ratings in a similar manner. Using a pre-test and post-test protocol, the results revealed that action competency is constrained prior to training by the intrinsic dynamics of relative phase (ϕ), with in-phase (ϕ = 0°) and anti-phase (ϕ = 180°) patterns receiving higher competency ratings than other relative phase patterns. After 2 days of training, action competency ratings for two trained relative phase patterns, +60° and +120°, increased following physical practice or observational practice. A transfer test revealed that both physical performance ability and action competency ability transferred to the symmetry partners (-60° and -120°) of the two trained relative phase patterns following physical or observational training. The findings also revealed that relative motion direction acts as categorical information that helps to organize action production and facilitate action competency. The results are interpreted based on the coordination dynamics theory of perception-action coupling, and extend this theory by showing that visual perception, action production, and action competency are all constrained in a consistent manner by the dynamics of the order parameter relative phase. As a whole, the findings revealed that relative motion, relative phase, and possibly relative amplitude information are all distinct sources of information that contribute to the emergence of a kinematic understanding of action in the nervous system.

  2. Action observation activates neurons of the monkey ventrolateral prefrontal cortex

    PubMed Central

    Simone, Luciano; Bimbi, Marco; Rodà, Francesca; Fogassi, Leonardo; Rozzi, Stefano

    2017-01-01

    Prefrontal cortex is crucial for exploiting contextual information for the planning and guidance of behavioral responses. Among contextual cues, those provided by others’ behavior are particularly important, in primates, for selecting appropriate reactions and suppressing the inappropriate ones. These latter functions deeply rely on the ability to understand others’ actions. However, it is largely unknown whether prefrontal neurons are activated by action observation. To address this issue, we recorded the activity of ventrolateral prefrontal (VLPF) neurons of macaque monkeys during the observation of videos depicting biological movements performed by a monkey or a human agent, and object motion. Our results show that a population of VLPF neurons respond to the observation of biological movements, in particular those representing goal directed actions. Many of these neurons also show a preference for the agent performing the action. The neural response is present also when part of the observed movement is obscured, suggesting that these VLPF neurons code a high order representation of the observed action rather than a simple visual description of it. PMID:28290511

  3. Action observation treatment: a novel tool in neurorehabilitation

    PubMed Central

    Buccino, Giovanni

    2014-01-01

    This review focuses on a novel rehabilitation approach known as action observation treatment (AOT). It is now a well-accepted notion in neurophysiology that the observation of actions performed by others activates in the perceiver the same neural structures responsible for the actual execution of those same actions. Areas endowed with this action observation–action execution matching mechanism are defined as the mirror neuron system. AOT exploits this neurophysiological mechanism for the recovery of motor impairment. During one typical session, patients observe a daily action and afterwards execute it in context. So far, this approach has been successfully applied in the rehabilitation of upper limb motor functions in chronic stroke patients, in motor recovery of Parkinson's disease patients, including those presenting with freezing of gait, and in children with cerebral palsy. Interestingly, this approach also improved lower limb motor functions in post-surgical orthopaedic patients. AOT is well grounded in basic neuroscience, thus representing a valid model of translational medicine in the field of neurorehabilitation. Moreover, the results concerning its effectiveness have been collected in randomized controlled studies, thus being an example of evidence-based clinical practice. PMID:24778380

  4. Observation Can Be as Effective as Action in Problem Solving

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Osman, Magda

    2008-01-01

    This study discusses findings that replicate and extend the original work of Burns and Vollmeyer (2002), which showed that performance in problem-solving tasks was more accurate when people were engaged in a non-specific goal than in a specific goal. The main innovation here was to examine the goal specificity effect under both observation-based…

  5. Both novelty and expertise increase action observation network activity

    PubMed Central

    Liew, Sook-Lei; Sheng, Tong; Margetis, John L.; Aziz-Zadeh, Lisa

    2013-01-01

    Our experiences with others affect how we perceive their actions. In particular, activity in bilateral premotor and parietal cortices during action observation, collectively known as the action observation network (AON), is modulated by one's expertise with the observed actions or individuals. However, conflicting reports suggest that AON activity is greatest both for familiar and unfamiliar actions. The current study examines the effects of different types and amounts of experience (e.g., visual, interpersonal, personal) on AON activation. fMRI was used to scan 16 healthy participants without prior experience with individuals with amputations (novices), 11 experienced occupational therapists (OTs) who had varying amounts of experience with individuals with amputations, and one individual born with below-elbow residual limbs (participant CJ), as they viewed video clips of goal-matched actions performed by an individual with residual limbs and by an individual with hands. Participants were given increased visual exposure to actions performed by both effectors midway through the scanning procedure. Novices demonstrated a large AON response to the initial viewing of an individual with residual limbs compared to one with hands, but this signal was attenuated after they received visual exposure to both effectors. In contrast, OTs, who had moderate familiarity with residual limbs, demonstrated a lower AON response upon initial viewing—similar to novices after they received visual exposure. At the other extreme, CJ, who has extreme familiarity with residual limbs both visually and motorically, shows a largely increased left-lateralized AON response, exceeding that of novices and experienced OTs, when viewing the residual limb compared to hand actions. These results suggest that a nuanced model of AON engagement is needed to explain how cases of both extreme experience (CJ) and extreme novelty (novices) can result in the greatest AON activity. PMID:24062656

  6. Task planning and action coordination in integrated sensor-based robots

    SciTech Connect

    Chen, C.; Trivedi, M.M.

    1995-04-01

    A System Architecture for Sensor-based Intelligent Robots (SASIR) is introduced. The system architecture consists of perception, motor, task planner, knowledge-base, user interface, and supervisor modules. SASIR is constructed using a frame data structure, which provides a suitable and flexible scheme for representation and manipulation of the world model, the sensor derived information, as well as for describing the actions required for the execution of a specific task. The experimental results show the basic validity of the general architecture as well as the robust and successful performance of two working systems: (1) the Autonomous Spill Cleaning (ASC) Robotic System, and (2) ROBOSIGHT, which is capable of a range of autonomous inspection and manipulation tasks. 45 refs.

  7. Time for actions in lucid dreams: effects of task modality, length, and complexity.

    PubMed

    Erlacher, Daniel; Schädlich, Melanie; Stumbrys, Tadas; Schredl, Michael

    2013-01-01

    The relationship between time in dreams and real time has intrigued scientists for centuries. The question if actions in dreams take the same time as in wakefulness can be tested by using lucid dreams where the dreamer is able to mark time intervals with prearranged eye movements that can be objectively identified in EOG recordings. Previous research showed an equivalence of time for counting in lucid dreams and in wakefulness (LaBerge, 1985; Erlacher and Schredl, 2004), but Erlacher and Schredl (2004) found that performing squats required about 40% more time in lucid dreams than in the waking state. To find out if the task modality, the task length, or the task complexity results in prolonged times in lucid dreams, an experiment with three different conditions was conducted. In the first condition, five proficient lucid dreamers spent one to three non-consecutive nights in the sleep laboratory. Participants counted to 10, 20, and 30 in wakefulness and in their lucid dreams. Lucidity and task intervals were time stamped with left-right-left-right eye movements. The same procedure was used for the second condition where eight lucid dreamers had to walk 10, 20, or 30 steps. In the third condition, eight lucid dreamers performed a gymnastics routine, which in the waking state lasted the same time as walking 10 steps. Again, we found that performing a motor task in a lucid dream requires more time than in wakefulness. Longer durations in the dream state were present for all three tasks, but significant differences were found only for the tasks with motor activity (walking and gymnastics). However, no difference was found for relative times (no disproportional time effects) and a more complex motor task did not result in more prolonged times. Longer durations in lucid dreams might be related to the lack of muscular feedback or slower neural processing during REM sleep. Future studies should explore factors that might be associated with prolonged durations.

  8. Time for actions in lucid dreams: effects of task modality, length, and complexity

    PubMed Central

    Erlacher, Daniel; Schädlich, Melanie; Stumbrys, Tadas; Schredl, Michael

    2014-01-01

    The relationship between time in dreams and real time has intrigued scientists for centuries. The question if actions in dreams take the same time as in wakefulness can be tested by using lucid dreams where the dreamer is able to mark time intervals with prearranged eye movements that can be objectively identified in EOG recordings. Previous research showed an equivalence of time for counting in lucid dreams and in wakefulness (LaBerge, 1985; Erlacher and Schredl, 2004), but Erlacher and Schredl (2004) found that performing squats required about 40% more time in lucid dreams than in the waking state. To find out if the task modality, the task length, or the task complexity results in prolonged times in lucid dreams, an experiment with three different conditions was conducted. In the first condition, five proficient lucid dreamers spent one to three non-consecutive nights in the sleep laboratory. Participants counted to 10, 20, and 30 in wakefulness and in their lucid dreams. Lucidity and task intervals were time stamped with left-right-left-right eye movements. The same procedure was used for the second condition where eight lucid dreamers had to walk 10, 20, or 30 steps. In the third condition, eight lucid dreamers performed a gymnastics routine, which in the waking state lasted the same time as walking 10 steps. Again, we found that performing a motor task in a lucid dream requires more time than in wakefulness. Longer durations in the dream state were present for all three tasks, but significant differences were found only for the tasks with motor activity (walking and gymnastics). However, no difference was found for relative times (no disproportional time effects) and a more complex motor task did not result in more prolonged times. Longer durations in lucid dreams might be related to the lack of muscular feedback or slower neural processing during REM sleep. Future studies should explore factors that might be associated with prolonged durations. PMID:24474942

  9. The effect of action video game experience on task-switching

    PubMed Central

    Green, C.Shawn; Sugarman, Michael A.; Medford, Katherine; Klobusicky, Elizabeth; Daphne Bavelier

    2012-01-01

    There is now a substantial body of work demonstrating that action video game experience results in enhancements in a wide variety of perceptual skills. More recently, several groups have also demonstrated improvements in abilities that are more cognitive in nature, in particular, the ability to efficiently switch between tasks. In a series of four experiments, we add to this body of work, demonstrating that the action video game player advantage is not exclusively due to an ability to map manual responses onto arbitrary buttons, but rather generalizes to vocal responses, is not restricted to tasks that are perceptual in nature (e.g. respond to a physical dimension of the stimulus such as its color), but generalizes to more cognitive tasks (e.g. is a number odd or even), and is present whether the switch requires a goal-switch or only a motor switch. Finally, a training study establishes that the relationship between the reduction in switch cost and action game playing is causal. PMID:22393270

  10. The effect of action video game experience on task-switching.

    PubMed

    Green, C Shawn; Sugarman, Michael A; Medford, Katherine; Klobusicky, Elizabeth; Daphne Bavelier

    2012-05-01

    There is now a substantial body of work demonstrating that action video game experience results in enhancements in a wide variety of perceptual skills. More recently, several groups have also demonstrated improvements in abilities that are more cognitive in nature, in particular, the ability to efficiently switch between tasks. In a series of four experiments, we add to this body of work, demonstrating that the action video game player advantage is not exclusively due to an ability to map manual responses onto arbitrary buttons, but rather generalizes to vocal responses, is not restricted to tasks that are perceptual in nature (e.g. respond to a physical dimension of the stimulus such as its color), but generalizes to more cognitive tasks (e.g. is a number odd or even), and is present whether the switch requires a goal-switch or only a motor switch. Finally, a training study establishes that the relationship between the reduction in switch cost and action game playing is causal.

  11. The interference effect of men's handling of muscular action figures on a lexical decision task.

    PubMed

    Barlett, Christopher P; Smith, Sara J; Harris, Richard J

    2006-12-01

    It has been shown in previous work [Action figures and men. Sex Roles 53, 877-885] that male participants who handled extremely muscular action figures had lower body esteem than those who did not handle action figures or a Ken doll. However, the internal mechanisms that dictated this effect are unclear. Therefore, the current study extended this previous work by having male participants handle action figures of varying muscularity and completing a lexical decision task with target words that consisted of both positive and negative body words and feeling words in order to determine if males would be primed to think negatively about their bodies and self or if positive thoughts about their bodies and self would be interfered with. The results show that those participants who handled the extremely muscular action figures responded significantly more slowly to feeling positive words (e.g., content, confident) and marginally more slowly to body positive words (e.g., muscle, bicep) than those who did not handle any action figures. Overall, this suggests that the interference of positive words, not the priming of negative words, is the internal mechanism that produces the decreased body image satisfaction after exposure to muscular stimuli. Implications and future research are discussed.

  12. Action Experience, More than Observation, Influences Mu Rhythm Desynchronization

    PubMed Central

    Cannon, Erin N.; Yoo, Kathryn H.; Vanderwert, Ross E.; Ferrari, Pier F.; Woodward, Amanda L.; Fox, Nathan A.

    2014-01-01

    Since the discovery of mirror neurons in premotor and parietal areas of the macaque monkey, the idea that action and perception may share the same neural code has been of central interest in social, developmental, and cognitive neurosciences. A fundamental question concerns how a putative human mirror neuron system may be tuned to the motor experiences of the individual. The current study tested the hypothesis that prior motor experience modulated the sensorimotor mu and beta rhythms. Specifically, we hypothesized that these sensorimotor rhythms would be more desynchronized after active motor experience compared to passive observation experience. To test our hypothesis, we collected EEG from adult participants during the observation of a relatively novel action: an experimenter used a claw-like tool to pick up a toy. Prior to EEG collection, we trained one group of adults to perform this action with the tool (performers). A second group comprised trained video coders, who only had experience observing the action (observers). Both the performers and the observers had no prior motor and visual experience with the action. A third group of novices was also tested. Performers exhibited the greatest mu rhythm desynchronization in the 8–13 Hz band, particularly in the right hemisphere compared to observers and novices. This study is the first to contrast active tool-use experience and observation experience in the mu rhythm and to show modulation with relatively shorter amounts of experience than prior mirror neuron expertise studies. These findings are discussed with respect to its broader implication as a neural signature for a mechanism of early social learning. PMID:24663967

  13. The Joint Role of Trained, Untrained, and Observed Actions at the Origins of Goal Recognition

    PubMed Central

    Gerson, Sarah A.; Woodward, Amanda L.

    2014-01-01

    Recent findings across a variety of domains reveal the benefits of self-produced experience on object exploration, object knowledge, attention, and action perception. The influence of active experience may be particularly important in infancy, when motor development is undergoing great changes. Despite the importance of self-produced experience, we know that infants and young children are eventually able to gain knowledge through purely observational experience. In the current work, three-month-old infants were given experience with object-directed actions in one of three forms and their recognition of the goal of grasping actions was then assessed in a habituation paradigm. All infants were given the chance to manually interact with the toys without assistance (a difficult task for most three-month-olds). Two of the three groups were then given additional experience with object-directed actions, either through active training (in which Velcro mittens helped infants act more efficiently) or observational training. Findings support the conclusion that self-produced experience is uniquely informative for action perception and suggest that individual differences in spontaneous motor activity may interact with observational experience to inform action perception early in life. PMID:24468646

  14. The interaction of approach-alcohol action tendencies, working memory capacity, and current task goals predicts the inability to regulate drinking behavior.

    PubMed

    Sharbanee, Jason M; Stritzke, Werner G K; Wiers, Reinout W; Young, Paul; Rinck, Mike; MacLeod, Colin

    2013-09-01

    The inability to regulate alcohol consumption has been attributed to an imbalance between stimulus-driven behavioral biases, or action tendencies, and the ability to exert goal-directed control, or working memory capacity (WMC). Previous research assessing the interaction between these variables has not considered the effect of whether individuals' current goals or task demands require goal-directed control. Our aim was to examine the potential interaction of appetitive action tendencies and the ability to exert control over these action tendencies as a function of whether task demands require applying control for successful task completion. Two groups of social drinkers (n = 40 per group) who differed in their ability to regulate their alcohol consumption completed a novel variant of the Approach-Avoidance Task (AAT), which separately assessed approach and avoid trials. The approach and avoidance responses differentially require goal-directed control, depending on whether the task-relevant response is incongruent with the stimulus-driven action tendency. Results indicated that (a) group differences in AAT indices were only observed on trials that required an avoidance movement, which are trials where the task-relevant response would be incongruent with an approach action tendency, and (b) the extent of the group differences for these avoidance trials was moderated by individual differences in WMC, such that problem drinkers with lower WMC showed greater behavioral bias toward alcohol than those with higher WMC. These findings suggest that difficulties in regulating alcohol consumption arise from a complex interaction of action-tendencies, WMC, and current goals or task demands.

  15. The Impact of Experience on Affective Responses during Action Observation.

    PubMed

    Kirsch, Louise P; Snagg, Arielle; Heerey, Erin; Cross, Emily S

    2016-01-01

    Perceiving others in action elicits affective and aesthetic responses in observers. The present study investigates the extent to which these responses relate to an observer's general experience with observed movements. Facial electromyographic (EMG) responses were recorded in experienced dancers and non-dancers as they watched short videos of movements performed by professional ballet dancers. Responses were recorded from the corrugator supercilii (CS) and zygomaticus major (ZM) muscles, both of which show engagement during the observation of affect-evoking stimuli. In the first part of the experiment, participants passively watched the videos while EMG data were recorded. In the second part, they explicitly rated how much they liked each movement. Results revealed a relationship between explicit affective judgments of the movements and facial muscle activation only among those participants who were experienced with the movements. Specifically, CS activity was higher for disliked movements and ZM activity was higher for liked movements among dancers but not among non-dancers. The relationship between explicit liking ratings and EMG data in experienced observers suggests that facial muscles subtly echo affective judgments even when viewing actions that are not intentionally emotional in nature, thus underscoring the potential of EMG as a method to examine subtle shifts in implicit affective responses during action observation.

  16. Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation of the Motor Cortex Biases Action Choice in a Perceptual Decision Task.

    PubMed

    Javadi, Amir-Homayoun; Beyko, Angeliki; Walsh, Vincent; Kanai, Ryota

    2015-11-01

    One of the multiple interacting systems involved in the selection and execution of voluntary actions is the primary motor cortex (PMC). We aimed to investigate whether the transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) of this area can modulate hand choice. A perceptual decision-making task was administered. Participants were asked to classify rectangles with different height-to-width ratios into horizontal and vertical rectangles using their right and left index fingers while their PMC was stimulated either bilaterally or unilaterally. Two experiments were conducted with different stimulation conditions: the first experiment (n = 12) had only one stimulation condition (bilateral stimulation), and the second experiment (n = 45) had three stimulation conditions (bilateral, anodal unilateral, and cathodal unilateral stimulations). The second experiment was designed to confirm the results of the first experiment and to further investigate the effects of anodal and cathodal stimulations alone in the observed effects. Each participant took part in two sessions. The laterality of stimulation was reversed over the two sessions. Our results showed that anodal stimulation of the PMC biases participants' responses toward using the contralateral hand whereas cathodal stimulation biases responses toward the ipsilateral hand. Brain stimulation also modulated the RT of the left hand in all stimulation conditions: Responses were faster when the response bias was in favor of the left hand and slower when the response bias was against it. We propose two possible explanations for these findings: the perceptual bias account (bottom-up effects of stimulation on perception) and the motor-choice bias account (top-down modulation of the decision-making system by facilitation of response in one hand over the other). We conclude that motor responses and the choice of hand can be modulated using tDCS.

  17. A leader-follower relationship in joint action on a discrete force production task.

    PubMed

    Masumoto, Junya; Inui, Nobuyuki

    2014-11-01

    The present study examined the development of a leader-follower relationship in joint action performed by participants with different skill levels. Two participants were instructed to produce discrete isometric forces such that the sum of the forces was the target force. The task did not prescribe the onset time or share of force each participant contributed to the target force. Although novices with low force variability did not produce an earlier force than those with high force variability in the novice-novice group, experienced participants produced an earlier force than novices in the novice-experienced group. While participants with low force variability always produced a stronger force than those with high force variability in both the groups, there was no significant difference in force distributions between participants with low and high force variabilities. Although a novice-experienced pair produced force more complementarily than a novice-novice pair in the first practice block, the difference between pairs vanished after the first practice block, suggesting that leader-follower relations were not always beneficial to task performance. In addition, practice of the joint action did not transfer to individual action.

  18. Constraining the Noncommutative Spectral Action via Astrophysical Observations

    SciTech Connect

    Nelson, William; Ochoa, Joseph; Sakellariadou, Mairi

    2010-09-03

    The noncommutative spectral action extends our familiar notion of commutative spaces, using the data encoded in a spectral triple on an almost commutative space. Varying a rather simple action, one can derive all of the standard model of particle physics in this setting, in addition to a modified version of Einstein-Hilbert gravity. In this Letter we use observations of pulsar timings, assuming that no deviation from general relativity has been observed, to constrain the gravitational sector of this theory. While the bounds on the coupling constants remain rather weak, they are comparable to existing bounds on deviations from general relativity in other settings and are likely to be further constrained by future observations.

  19. The Impact of Experience on Affective Responses during Action Observation

    PubMed Central

    Kirsch, Louise P.; Snagg, Arielle; Heerey, Erin

    2016-01-01

    Perceiving others in action elicits affective and aesthetic responses in observers. The present study investigates the extent to which these responses relate to an observer’s general experience with observed movements. Facial electromyographic (EMG) responses were recorded in experienced dancers and non-dancers as they watched short videos of movements performed by professional ballet dancers. Responses were recorded from the corrugator supercilii (CS) and zygomaticus major (ZM) muscles, both of which show engagement during the observation of affect-evoking stimuli. In the first part of the experiment, participants passively watched the videos while EMG data were recorded. In the second part, they explicitly rated how much they liked each movement. Results revealed a relationship between explicit affective judgments of the movements and facial muscle activation only among those participants who were experienced with the movements. Specifically, CS activity was higher for disliked movements and ZM activity was higher for liked movements among dancers but not among non-dancers. The relationship between explicit liking ratings and EMG data in experienced observers suggests that facial muscles subtly echo affective judgments even when viewing actions that are not intentionally emotional in nature, thus underscoring the potential of EMG as a method to examine subtle shifts in implicit affective responses during action observation. PMID:27149106

  20. [Connectionist models of social learning: a case of learning by observing a simple task].

    PubMed

    Paignon, A; Desrichard, O; Bollon, T

    2004-03-01

    This article proposes a connectionist model of the social learning theory developed by Bandura (1977). The theory posits that an individual in an interactive situation is capable of learning new behaviours merely by observing them in others. Such learning is acquired through an initial phase in which the individual memorizes what he has observed (observation phase), followed by a second phase where he puts the recorded observations to use as a guide for adjusting his own behaviour (reproduction phase). We shall refer to the two above-mentioned phases to demonstrate that it is conceivable to simulate learning by observation otherwise than through the recording of perceived information using symbolic representation. To this end we shall rely on the formalism of ecological neuron networks (Parisi, Cecconi, & Nolfi, 1990) to implement an agent provided with the major processes identified as essential to learning through observation. The connectionist model so designed shall implement an agent capable of recording perceptive information and producing motor behaviours. The learning situation we selected associates an agent demonstrating goal-achievement behaviour and an observer agent learning the same behaviour by observation. Throughout the acquisition phase, the demonstrator supervises the observer's learning process based on association between spatial information (input) and behavioural information (output). Representation thus constructed then serves as an adjustment guide during the production phase, involving production by the observer of a sequence of actions which he compares to the representation stored in distributed form as constructed through observation. An initial simulation validates model architecture by confirming the requirement for both phases identified in the literature (Bandura, 1977) to simulate learning through observation. The representation constructed over the observation phase evidences acquisition of observed behaviours, although this phase

  1. Rational adaptation under task and processing constraints: implications for testing theories of cognition and action.

    PubMed

    Howes, Andrew; Lewis, Richard L; Vera, Alonso

    2009-10-01

    The authors assume that individuals adapt rationally to a utility function given constraints imposed by their cognitive architecture and the local task environment. This assumption underlies a new approach to modeling and understanding cognition-cognitively bounded rational analysis-that sharpens the predictive acuity of general, integrated theories of cognition and action. Such theories provide the necessary computational means to explain the flexible nature of human behavior but in doing so introduce extreme degrees of freedom in accounting for data. The new approach narrows the space of predicted behaviors through analysis of the payoff achieved by alternative strategies, rather than through fitting strategies and theoretical parameters to data. It extends and complements established approaches, including computational cognitive architectures, rational analysis, optimal motor control, bounded rationality, and signal detection theory. The authors illustrate the approach with a reanalysis of an existing account of psychological refractory period (PRP) dual-task performance and the development and analysis of a new theory of ordered dual-task responses. These analyses yield several novel results, including a new understanding of the role of strategic variation in existing accounts of PRP and the first predictive, quantitative account showing how the details of ordered dual-task phenomena emerge from the rational control of a cognitive system subject to the combined constraints of internal variance, motor interference, and a response selection bottleneck.

  2. Action dynamics in multitasking: the impact of additional task factors on the execution of the prioritized motor movement

    PubMed Central

    Scherbaum, Stefan; Gottschalk, Caroline; Dshemuchadse, Maja; Fischer, Rico

    2015-01-01

    In multitasking, the execution of a prioritized task is in danger of crosstalk by the secondary task. Task shielding allows minimizing this crosstalk. However, the locus and temporal dynamics of crosstalk effects and further sources of influence on the execution of the prioritized task are to-date only vaguely understood. Here we combined a dual-task paradigm with an action dynamics approach and studied how and according to which temporal characteristics crosstalk, previously experienced interference and previously executed responses influenced participants' mouse movements in the prioritized task's execution. Investigating continuous mouse movements of the prioritized task, our results indicate a continuous crosstalk from secondary task processing until the endpoint of the movement was reached, although the secondary task could only be executed after finishing execution of the prioritized task. The motor movement in the prioritized task was further modulated by previously experienced interference between the prioritized and the secondary task. Furthermore, response biases from previous responses of the prioritized and the secondary task in movements indicate different sources of such biases. The bias by previous responses to the prioritized task follows a sustained temporal pattern typical for a contextual reactivation, while the bias by previous responses to the secondary task follows a decaying temporal pattern indicating residual activation of previously activated spatial codes. PMID:26217267

  3. Balancing cognitive control: how observed movements influence motor performance in a task with balance constraints.

    PubMed

    Verrel, Julius; Lisofsky, Nina; Kühn, Simone

    2014-07-01

    We investigated the influence of observed movements on executed movements in a task requiring lifting one foot from the floor while maintaining whole-body balance. Sixteen young participants (20-30 years) performed foot lift movements, which were either cued symbolically by a letter (L/R, indicating to lift the left/right foot) or by a short movie showing a foot lift movement. In the symbol cue condition, stimuli from the movie cue condition were used as distractors, and vice versa. Anticipatory postural adjustments (APAs) and actual foot lifts were recorded using force plates and optical motion capture. Foot lift responses were generally faster in response to the movie compared to the symbol cue condition. Moreover, incongruent movement distractors interfered with performance in the symbol cue condition, as shown by longer response times and increased number of APAs. Latencies of the first (potentially wrong) APA in a trial were shorter for movie compared to symbol cues but were not affected by cue-distractor congruency. Amplitude of the first APA was smaller when it was followed by additional APAs compared to trials with a single APA. Our results show that automatic imitation tendencies are integrated with postural control in a task with balance constraints. Analysis of the number, timing and amplitude of APAs indicates that conflicts between intended and observed movements are not resolved at a purely cognitive level but directly influence overt motor performance, emphasizing the intimate link between perception, cognition and action.

  4. I don't get you. Action observation effects inverted by kinematic variation.

    PubMed

    González-Perilli, Fernando; Ellis, Rob

    2015-05-01

    Recent studies have reported an intricate interplay between affordance and mirror effects (the imitation of another agent) when participants attend to the concurrent presentation of an object and another agent interacting with it. In the present paper, we compare two experimental settings in which an observed action was presented as a prime for a task involving the categorization of a graspable object. In experiment 1a, the action depicted a reach and grasp gesture whereas in experiment 1b, only the reach phase was presented. This modification led to very different outcomes. Experiment 1a reflected the traditional imitation effect elicited by human motion. Conversely, experiment 1b showed the facilitation of contralateral responses. Affordance effects were found in experiment 1a only for the RVF. Our results support the view that motor simulation processes underlying imitation or joint actions are extremely sensitive to specific phase kinematics.

  5. The Things You Do: Internal Models of Others’ Expected Behaviour Guide Action Observation

    PubMed Central

    Schenke, Kimberley C.; Wyer, Natalie A.; Bach, Patric

    2016-01-01

    Predictions allow humans to manage uncertainties within social interactions. Here, we investigate how explicit and implicit person models–how different people behave in different situations–shape these predictions. In a novel action identification task, participants judged whether actors interacted with or withdrew from objects. In two experiments, we manipulated, unbeknownst to participants, the two actors action likelihoods across situations, such that one actor typically interacted with one object and withdrew from the other, while the other actor showed the opposite behaviour. In Experiment 2, participants additionally received explicit information about the two individuals that either matched or mismatched their actual behaviours. The data revealed direct but dissociable effects of both kinds of person information on action identification. Implicit action likelihoods affected response times, speeding up the identification of typical relative to atypical actions, irrespective of the explicit knowledge about the individual’s behaviour. Explicit person knowledge, in contrast, affected error rates, causing participants to respond according to expectations instead of observed behaviour, even when they were aware that the explicit information might not be valid. Together, the data show that internal models of others’ behaviour are routinely re-activated during action observation. They provide first evidence of a person-specific social anticipation system, which predicts forthcoming actions from both explicit information and an individuals’ prior behaviour in a situation. These data link action observation to recent models of predictive coding in the non-social domain where similar dissociations between implicit effects on stimulus identification and explicit behavioural wagers have been reported. PMID:27434265

  6. Time to Tango: expertise and contextual anticipation during action observation.

    PubMed

    Amoruso, Lucía; Sedeño, Lucas; Huepe, David; Tomio, Ailin; Kamienkowski, Juan; Hurtado, Esteban; Cardona, Juan Felipe; Álvarez González, Miguel Ángel; Rieznik, Andrés; Sigman, Mariano; Manes, Facundo; Ibáñez, Agustín

    2014-09-01

    Predictive theories of action observation propose that we use our own motor system as a guide for anticipating and understanding other people's actions through the generation of context-based expectations. According to this view, people should be better in predicting and interpreting those actions that are present in their own motor repertoire compared to those that are not. We recorded high-density event-related potentials (ERPs: P300, N400 and Slow Wave, SW) and source estimation in 80 subjects separated by their level of expertise (experts, beginners and naïves) as they observed realistic videos of Tango steps with different degrees of execution correctness. We also performed path analysis to infer causal relationships between ongoing anticipatory brain activity, evoked semantic responses, expertise measures and behavioral performance. We found that anticipatory activity, with sources in a fronto-parieto-occipital network, early discriminated between groups according to their level of expertise. Furthermore, this early activity significantly predicted subsequent semantic integration indexed by semantic responses (N400 and SW, sourced in temporal and motor regions) which also predicted motor expertise. In addition, motor expertise was a good predictor of behavioral performance. Our results show that neural and temporal dynamics underlying contextual action anticipation and comprehension can be interpreted in terms of successive levels of contextual prediction that are significantly modulated by subject's prior experience.

  7. Predicting Individual Action Switching in Covert and Continuous Interactive Tasks Using the Fluid Events Model

    PubMed Central

    Radvansky, Gabriel A.; D’Mello, Sidney K.; Abbott, Robert G.; Bixler, Robert E.

    2016-01-01

    The Fluid Events Model is aimed at predicting changes in the actions people take on a moment-by-moment basis. In contrast with other research on action selection, this work does not investigate why some course of action was selected, but rather the likelihood of discontinuing the current course of action and selecting another in the near future. This is done using both task-based and experience-based factors. Prior work evaluated this model in the context of trial-by-trial, independent, interactive events, such as choosing how to copy a figure of a line drawing. In this paper, we extend this model to more covert event experiences, such as reading narratives, as well as to continuous interactive events, such as playing a video game. To this end, the model was applied to existing data sets of reading time and event segmentation for written and picture stories. It was also applied to existing data sets of performance in a strategy board game, an aerial combat game, and a first person shooter game in which a participant’s current state was dependent on prior events. The results revealed that the model predicted behavior changes well, taking into account both the theoretically defined structure of the described events, as well as a person’s prior experience. Thus, theories of event cognition can benefit from efforts that take into account not only how events in the world are structured, but also how people experience those events. PMID:26858673

  8. Predicting Individual Action Switching in Covert and Continuous Interactive Tasks Using the Fluid Events Model.

    PubMed

    Radvansky, Gabriel A; D'Mello, Sidney K; Abbott, Robert G; Bixler, Robert E

    2016-01-01

    The Fluid Events Model is aimed at predicting changes in the actions people take on a moment-by-moment basis. In contrast with other research on action selection, this work does not investigate why some course of action was selected, but rather the likelihood of discontinuing the current course of action and selecting another in the near future. This is done using both task-based and experience-based factors. Prior work evaluated this model in the context of trial-by-trial, independent, interactive events, such as choosing how to copy a figure of a line drawing. In this paper, we extend this model to more covert event experiences, such as reading narratives, as well as to continuous interactive events, such as playing a video game. To this end, the model was applied to existing data sets of reading time and event segmentation for written and picture stories. It was also applied to existing data sets of performance in a strategy board game, an aerial combat game, and a first person shooter game in which a participant's current state was dependent on prior events. The results revealed that the model predicted behavior changes well, taking into account both the theoretically defined structure of the described events, as well as a person's prior experience. Thus, theories of event cognition can benefit from efforts that take into account not only how events in the world are structured, but also how people experience those events.

  9. Predicting individual action switching in covert and continuous interactive tasks using the fluid events model

    SciTech Connect

    Radvansky, Gabriel A.; D’Mello, Sidney K.; Abbott, Robert G.; Bixler, Robert E.

    2016-01-27

    The Fluid Events Model is aimed at predicting changes in the actions people take on a moment-by-moment basis. In contrast with other research on action selection, this work does not investigate why some course of action was selected, but rather the likelihood of discontinuing the current course of action and selecting another in the near future. This is done using both task-based and experience-based factors. Prior work evaluated this model in the context of trial-by-trial, independent, interactive events, such as choosing how to copy a figure of a line drawing. In this paper, we extend this model to more covert event experiences, such as reading narratives, as well as to continuous interactive events, such as playing a video game. To this end, the model was applied to existing data sets of reading time and event segmentation for written and picture stories. It was also applied to existing data sets of performance in a strategy board game, an aerial combat game, and a first person shooter game in which a participant’s current state was dependent on prior events. The results revealed that the model predicted behavior changes well, taking into account both the theoretically defined structure of the described events, as well as a person’s prior experience. Hence, theories of event cognition can benefit from efforts that take into account not only how events in the world are structured, but also how people experience those events.

  10. Predicting individual action switching in covert and continuous interactive tasks using the fluid events model

    DOE PAGES

    Radvansky, Gabriel A.; D’Mello, Sidney K.; Abbott, Robert G.; ...

    2016-01-27

    The Fluid Events Model is aimed at predicting changes in the actions people take on a moment-by-moment basis. In contrast with other research on action selection, this work does not investigate why some course of action was selected, but rather the likelihood of discontinuing the current course of action and selecting another in the near future. This is done using both task-based and experience-based factors. Prior work evaluated this model in the context of trial-by-trial, independent, interactive events, such as choosing how to copy a figure of a line drawing. In this paper, we extend this model to more covertmore » event experiences, such as reading narratives, as well as to continuous interactive events, such as playing a video game. To this end, the model was applied to existing data sets of reading time and event segmentation for written and picture stories. It was also applied to existing data sets of performance in a strategy board game, an aerial combat game, and a first person shooter game in which a participant’s current state was dependent on prior events. The results revealed that the model predicted behavior changes well, taking into account both the theoretically defined structure of the described events, as well as a person’s prior experience. Hence, theories of event cognition can benefit from efforts that take into account not only how events in the world are structured, but also how people experience those events.« less

  11. WDAC Task Team on Observations for Model Evaluation: Facilitating the use of observations for CMIP

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Waliser, D. E.; Gleckler, P. J.; Ferraro, R.; Eyring, V.; Bosilovich, M. G.; Schulz, J.; Thepaut, J. N.; Taylor, K. E.; Chepfer, H.; Bony, S.; Lee, T. J.; Joseph, R.; Mathieu, P. P.; Saunders, R.

    2015-12-01

    Observations are essential for the development and evaluation of climate models. Satellite and in-situ measurements as well as reanalysis products provide crucial resources for these purposes. Over the last two decades, the climate modeling community has become adept at developing model intercomparison projects (MIPs) that provide the basis for more systematic comparisons of climate models under common experimental conditions. A prominent example among these is the coupled MIP (CMIP). Due to its growing importance in providing input to the IPCC, the framework for CMIP, now planning CMIP6, has expanded to include a very comprehensive and precise set of experimental protocols, with an advanced data archive and dissemination system. While the number, types and sophistication of observations over the same time period have kept pace, their systematic application to the evaluation of climate models has yet to be fully exploited due to a lack of coordinated protocols for identifying, archiving, documenting and applying observational resources. This presentation will discuss activities and plans of the World Climate Research Program (WCRP) Data Advisory Council's (WDAC) Task Team on Observations for Model Evaluation for facilitating the use of observations for model evaluation. The presentation will include an update on the status of the obs4MIPs and ana4MIPs projects, whose purpose is to provide a limited collection of well-established and documented observation and reanalysis datasets for comparison with Earth system models, targeting CMIP in particular. The presentation will also describe the role these activities and datasets play in the development of a set of community standard observation-based climate model performance metrics by the Working Group on Numerical Experimentation (WGNE)'s Performance Metrics Panel, as well as which CMIP6 experiments these activities are targeting, and where additional community input and contributions to these activities are needed.

  12. Human Dorsal Striatum Encodes Prediction Errors during Observational Learning of Instrumental Actions

    PubMed Central

    Cooper, Jeffrey C.; Dunne, Simon; Furey, Teresa; O’Doherty, John P.

    2013-01-01

    The dorsal striatum plays a key role in the learning and expression of instrumental reward associations that are acquired through direct experience. However, not all learning about instrumental actions require direct experience. Instead, humans and other animals are also capable of acquiring instrumental actions by observing the experiences of others. In this study, we investigated the extent to which human dorsal striatum is involved in observational as well as experiential instrumental reward learning. Human participants were scanned with fMRI while they observed a confederate over a live video performing an instrumental conditioning task to obtain liquid juice rewards. Participants also performed a similar instrumental task for their own rewards. Using a computational model-based analysis, we found reward prediction errors in the dorsal striatum not only during the experiential learning condition but also during observational learning. These results suggest a key role for the dorsal striatum in learning instrumental associations, even when those associations are acquired purely by observing others. PMID:21812568

  13. Action specificity increases anticipatory performance and the expert advantage in natural interceptive tasks.

    PubMed

    Mann, David L; Abernethy, Bruce; Farrow, Damian

    2010-09-01

    The relationship between perception-action coupling and anticipatory skill in an interceptive task was examined using an in-situ temporal occlusion paradigm. Skilled and novice cricket batsmen were required to predict the direction of balls bowled towards them under four counterbalanced response conditions of increasing perception-action coupling: (i) verbal, (ii) lower-body movement only, (iii) full-body movement (no bat), and (iv) full-body movement with bat (i.e., the usual batting response). Skilled but not novice anticipation was found to improve as a function of coupling when responses were based on either no ball-flight, or early ball-flight information, with a response requiring even the lowest degree of body movement found to enhance anticipation when compared to a verbal prediction. Most importantly, a full-body movement using a bat elicited greater anticipation than an equivalent movement with no bat. This result highlights the important role that the requirement and/or opportunity to make bat-ball interception may play in eliciting skill differences for anticipation. Results verify the importance of using experimental conditions and task demands that closely reflect the natural performance environment in order to reveal the full nature of the expert advantage.

  14. Action observers implicitly expect actors to act goal-coherently, even if they do not: an fMRI study.

    PubMed

    Hrkać, Mari; Wurm, Moritz F; Schubotz, Ricarda I

    2014-05-01

    Actions observed in everyday life normally consist of one person performing sequences of goal-directed actions. The present fMRI study tested the hypotheses that observers are influenced by the actor's identity, even when this information is task-irrelevant, and that this information shapes their expectation on subsequent actions of the same actor. Participants watched short video clips of action steps that either pertained to a common action with an overarching goal or not, and were performed by either one or by varying actors (2 × 2 design). Independent of goal coherence, actor coherence elicited activation in dorsolateral and ventromedial frontal cortex, together pointing to a spontaneous attempt to integrate all actions performed by one actor. Interestingly, watching an actor performing unrelated actions elicited additional activation in left inferior frontal gyrus, suggesting a search in semantic memory in an attempt to construct an overarching goal that can reconcile the disparate action steps with a coherent intention. Post-experimental surveys indicate that these processes occur mostly unconsciously. Findings strongly suggest a spontaneous expectation bias toward actor-related episodes in action observers, and hence to the immense impact of actor information on action observation.

  15. Effects of goal- and task-oriented motivation in the guilty action test.

    PubMed

    Elaad, Eitan

    2013-04-01

    The present study examined the effectiveness of the Guilty Action Test in detecting critical information from goal-oriented and task-oriented informed innocent examinees. A mock crime procedure was employed and informed innocent participants were either motivated to prove innocence (goal-oriented motivation) or to prove innocence by being cooperative on the test (task-oriented motivation). Half of the participants in each motivation condition were promised course credit reward for successful completion of their mission to prove innocence or to be cooperative (high incentive level). The other half were promised no reward (low incentive level). A fifth group of uninformed innocent participants served for control purposes. Electrodemal, respiration, and cardiovascular measures were used to indicate the motivation effects. Results showed that the combination of goal-oriented instructions and an incentive for success contributed to enhanced responses to the crime-related information. The combination of task-oriented instructions and an incentive for success attenuated these responses. Skin conductance responses were most sensitive to these effects. Theoretical and practical aspects of the results were discussed.

  16. Sharing a Task or Sharing Space? On the Effect of the Confederate in Action Coding in a Detection Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Guagnano, Delia; Rusconi, Elena; Umilta, Carlo Arrigo

    2010-01-01

    Several studies showed a Simon effect when two participants sit close to each other and perform one of the two halves of a two-choice RT task. That is, each participant perform a go-no go task. A Simon effect emerges, which instead is absent when the same go-nogo tasks are performed individually. Hence the terms were introduced of "social Simon…

  17. Enhanced Impulsive Action Selection in Middle-Aged Adults—Insights From an Oculomotor Simon Task

    PubMed Central

    Duprez, Joan; Houvenaghel, Jean-François; Argaud, Soizic; Naudet, Florian; Dondaine, Thibaut; Auffret, Manon; Robert, Gabriel; Drapier, Dominique; Vérin, Marc; Sauleau, Paul

    2016-01-01

    Several studies have investigated the age-related impact in cognitive action control. However, to our knowledge, none of the studies have focused on the effect of moderate age on the strength of automatic activation according to the activation-suppression model. We therefore investigated the effect of moderate age on cognitive action control using an oculomotor version of the Simon task and distributional analyses. A group of middle-aged (n = 39; 57 ± 9 years) healthy adults were compared to a group of young healthy participants (n = 43; 24 ± 3 years). We first analyzed the overall impact of age on the congruence effect and then used conditional accuracy functions (CAFs) and delta plots to assess the strength of automatic activation and selective inhibition, respectively. Compared to young participants, middle-aged participants showed a greater congruence effect as well as higher rates of fast errors in conflict situations indicating an enhanced impulsive action selection. Furthermore, the overall downward slope of the congruence effect’s evolution was significantly steeper in older participants and the last slope tended to be significantly steeper. This may indicate that the middle-aged participants exerted a stronger selective inhibition. Our results suggest that middle-aged adults are more prone to impulsive action selection than young adults. Recent theories postulate that older adults might implement compensatory mechanisms to supply cognitive difficulties. This is in line with our results suggesting a potential greater selective inhibition. Overall, this study proposes that moderate aging impacts both processes of impulsive response selection and suppression underlying cognitive action control. PMID:27826239

  18. Anticipatory Planning in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: An Assessment of Independent and Joint Action Tasks.

    PubMed

    Scharoun, Sara M; Bryden, Pamela J

    2016-01-01

    Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders. Although not a diagnostic feature, motor impairments have been recently acknowledged as prevalent and significant, such that these children have difficulties planning, organizing and coordinating movements. This study aimed to further investigate anticipatory motor planning in children with ASD by means of assessing end- and beginning-state comfort, considering inconsistent reports of end-state comfort in independent action, and the study of beginning-state comfort being limited to one study with young adults. Five- to eleven-year-old children with ASD, and chronologically age- and sex-matched typically-developing children picked-up a glass and: (1) poured a cup of water; and (2) passed it to the researcher to pour a cup of water. End-state comfort was deemed evident if participants grasped the glass thumb-down followed by a 180° rotation; therefore ending with a thumb-up posture. Beginning-state comfort was deemed evident if participants passed the glass to the researcher oriented upright. Findings revealed less end-state comfort in children with ASD, attributed to motor planning deficits. Beginning-state comfort did not differ, ascribed to the habitual nature of the task; therefore reflecting a stimulus-driven response as opposed to an action which reflects anticipatory planning. The findings support difficulties with motor planning and control for children with ASD in an independent task. However, when acting with a familiar object in joint action, behavior does not differ, likely indicative of a habitual, stimulus-driven response.

  19. Anticipatory Planning in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: An Assessment of Independent and Joint Action Tasks

    PubMed Central

    Scharoun, Sara M.; Bryden, Pamela J.

    2016-01-01

    Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders. Although not a diagnostic feature, motor impairments have been recently acknowledged as prevalent and significant, such that these children have difficulties planning, organizing and coordinating movements. This study aimed to further investigate anticipatory motor planning in children with ASD by means of assessing end- and beginning-state comfort, considering inconsistent reports of end-state comfort in independent action, and the study of beginning-state comfort being limited to one study with young adults. Five- to eleven-year-old children with ASD, and chronologically age- and sex-matched typically-developing children picked-up a glass and: (1) poured a cup of water; and (2) passed it to the researcher to pour a cup of water. End-state comfort was deemed evident if participants grasped the glass thumb-down followed by a 180° rotation; therefore ending with a thumb-up posture. Beginning-state comfort was deemed evident if participants passed the glass to the researcher oriented upright. Findings revealed less end-state comfort in children with ASD, attributed to motor planning deficits. Beginning-state comfort did not differ, ascribed to the habitual nature of the task; therefore reflecting a stimulus-driven response as opposed to an action which reflects anticipatory planning. The findings support difficulties with motor planning and control for children with ASD in an independent task. However, when acting with a familiar object in joint action, behavior does not differ, likely indicative of a habitual, stimulus-driven response. PMID:27601983

  20. Enhanced activation of motor execution networks using action observation combined with imagination of lower limb movements.

    PubMed

    Villiger, Michael; Estévez, Natalia; Hepp-Reymond, Marie-Claude; Kiper, Daniel; Kollias, Spyros S; Eng, Kynan; Hotz-Boendermaker, Sabina

    2013-01-01

    The combination of first-person observation and motor imagery, i.e. first-person observation of limbs with online motor imagination, is commonly used in interactive 3D computer gaming and in some movie scenes. These scenarios are designed to induce a cognitive process in which a subject imagines himself/herself acting as the agent in the displayed movement situation. Despite the ubiquity of this type of interaction and its therapeutic potential, its relationship to passive observation and imitation during observation has not been directly studied using an interactive paradigm. In the present study we show activation resulting from observation, coupled with online imagination and with online imitation of a goal-directed lower limb movement using functional MRI (fMRI) in a mixed block/event-related design. Healthy volunteers viewed a video (first-person perspective) of a foot kicking a ball. They were instructed to observe-only the action (O), observe and simultaneously imagine performing the action (O-MI), or imitate the action (O-IMIT). We found that when O-MI was compared to O, activation was enhanced in the ventralpremotor cortex bilaterally, left inferior parietal lobule and left insula. The O-MI and O-IMIT conditions shared many activation foci in motor relevant areas as confirmed by conjunction analysis. These results show that (i) combining observation with motor imagery (O-MI) enhances activation compared to observation-only (O) in the relevant foot motor network and in regions responsible for attention, for control of goal-directed movements and for the awareness of causing an action, and (ii) it is possible to extensively activate the motor execution network using O-MI, even in the absence of overt movement. Our results may have implications for the development of novel virtual reality interactions for neurorehabilitation interventions and other applications involving training of motor tasks.

  1. Anticipatory regulation of action control in a simon task: behavioral, electrophysiological, and FMRI correlates.

    PubMed

    Strack, Gamze; Kaufmann, Christian; Kehrer, Stefanie; Brandt, Stephan; Stürmer, Birgit

    2013-01-01

    With the present study we investigated cue-induced preparation in a Simon task and measured electroencephalogram and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data in two within-subjects sessions. Cues informed either about the upcoming (1) spatial stimulus-response compatibility (rule cues), or (2) the stimulus location (position cues), or (3) were non-informative. Only rule cues allowed anticipating the upcoming compatibility condition. Position cues allowed anticipation of the upcoming location of the Simon stimulus but not its compatibility condition. Rule cues elicited fastest and most accurate performance for both compatible and incompatible trials. The contingent negative variation (CNV) in the event-related potential (ERP) of the cue-target interval is an index of anticipatory preparation and was magnified after rule cues. The N2 in the post-target ERP as a measure of online action control was reduced in Simon trials after rule cues. Although compatible trials were faster than incompatible trials in all cue conditions only non-informative cues revealed a compatibility effect in additional indicators of Simon task conflict like accuracy and the N2. We thus conclude that rule cues induced anticipatory re-coding of the Simon task that did not involve cognitive conflict anymore. fMRI revealed that rule cues yielded more activation of the left rostral, dorsal, and ventral prefrontal cortex as well as the pre-SMA as compared to POS and NON-cues. Pre-SMA and ventrolateral prefrontal activation after rule cues correlated with the effective use of rule cues in behavioral performance. Position cues induced a smaller CNV effect and exhibited less prefrontal and pre-SMA contributions in fMRI. Our data point to the importance to disentangle different anticipatory adjustments that might also include the prevention of upcoming conflict via task re-coding.

  2. Neural correlates related to action observation in expert archers.

    PubMed

    Kim, Yang-Tae; Seo, Jee-Hye; Song, Hui-Jin; Yoo, Done-Sik; Lee, Hui Joong; Lee, Jongmin; Lee, Gunyoung; Kwon, Eunjin; Kim, Jin Goo; Chang, Yongmin

    2011-10-01

    A growing body of evidence suggests that activity of the mirror neuron system is dependent on the observer's motor experience of a given action. It remains unclear, however, whether activity of the mirror neuron system is also associated with the observer's motor experience in sports game. Therefore, the aim of the present study is to investigate differences in activation of the mirror neuron system during action observation between experts and non-archer control subjects. We used video of Western-style archery in which participants were asked to watch the archery movements. Hyperactivation of the premotor and inferior parietal cortex in expert archers relative to non-archer control subjects suggests that the human mirror neuron system could contain and expand representations of the motor repertoire. The fact that dorsomedial prefrontal cortex was more active in expert archers than in non-archer control subjects indicates a spontaneous engagement of theory of mind in experts when watching video of Western-style archery. Compared with the non-archer control subjects, expert archers showed greater activation in the neural system in regions associated with episodic recall from familiar and meaningful information, including the cingulate cortex, retrosplenial cortex, and parahippocampal gyrus. The results demonstrate that expertise effects stimulate brain activity not only in the mirror neuron system but also in the neural networks related to theory of mind and episodic memory.

  3. Exercise Performance and Corticospinal Excitability during Action Observation

    PubMed Central

    Wrightson, James G.; Twomey, Rosie; Smeeton, Nicholas J.

    2016-01-01

    Purpose: Observation of a model performing fast exercise improves simultaneous exercise performance; however, the precise mechanism underpinning this effect is unknown. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether the speed of the observed exercise influenced both upper body exercise performance and the activation of a cortical action observation network (AON). Method: In Experiment 1, 10 participants completed a 5 km time trial on an arm-crank ergometer whilst observing a blank screen (no-video) and a model performing exercise at both a typical (i.e., individual mean cadence during baseline time trial) and 15% faster than typical speed. In Experiment 2, 11 participants performed arm crank exercise whilst observing exercise at typical speed, 15% slower and 15% faster than typical speed. In Experiment 3, 11 participants observed the typical, slow and fast exercise, and a no-video, whilst corticospinal excitability was assessed using transcranial magnetic stimulation. Results: In Experiment 1, performance time decreased and mean power increased, during observation of the fast exercise compared to the no-video condition. In Experiment 2, cadence and power increased during observation of the fast exercise compared to the typical speed exercise but there was no effect of observation of slow exercise on exercise behavior. In Experiment 3, observation of exercise increased corticospinal excitability; however, there was no difference between the exercise speeds. Conclusion: Observation of fast exercise improves simultaneous upper-body exercise performance. However, because there was no effect of exercise speed on corticospinal excitability, these results suggest that these improvements are not solely due to changes in the activity of the AON. PMID:27014037

  4. Social class affects Mu-suppression during action observation.

    PubMed

    Varnum, Michael E W; Blais, Chris; Brewer, Gene A

    2016-01-01

    Socioeconomic status (SES) has been linked to differences in the degree to which people are attuned to others. Those who are lower in SES also tend to be more interpersonally attuned. However, to date, this work has not been demonstrated using neural measures. In the present electroencephalogram study, we found evidence that lower SES was linked to stronger Mu-suppression during action observation. This finding adds to the growing literature on factors that affect Mu-suppression and suggests that the mirror neuron system may be influenced by one's social class.

  5. Observing functional actions affects semantic processing of tools: evidence of a motor-to-semantic priming.

    PubMed

    De Bellis, Francesco; Ferrara, Antonia; Errico, Domenico; Panico, Francesco; Sagliano, Laura; Conson, Massimiliano; Trojano, Luigi

    2016-01-01

    Recent evidence shows that activation of motor information can favor identification of related tools, thus suggesting a strict link between motor and conceptual knowledge in cognitive representation of tools. However, the involvement of motor information in further semantic processing has not been elucidated. In three experiments, we aimed to ascertain whether motor information provided by observation of actions could affect processing of conceptual knowledge about tools. In Experiment 1, healthy participants judged whether pairs of tools evoking different functional handgrips had the same function. In Experiment 2 participants judged whether tools were paired with appropriate recipients. Finally, in Experiment 3 we again required functional judgments as in Experiment 1, but also included in the set of stimuli pairs of objects having different function and similar functional handgrips. In all experiments, pictures displaying either functional grasping (aimed to use tools) or structural grasping (just aimed to move tools independently from their use) were presented before each stimulus pair. The results demonstrated that, in comparison with structural grasping, observing functional grasping facilitates judgments about tools' function when objects did not imply the same functional manipulation (Experiment 1), whereas worsened such judgments when objects shared functional grasp (Experiment 3). Instead, action observation did not affect judgments concerning tool-recipient associations (Experiment 2). Our findings support a task-dependent influence of motor information on high-order conceptual tasks and provide further insights into how motor and conceptual processing about tools can interact.

  6. Emulating Real-Life Situations with a Play Task to Observe Parenting Skills and Child Behaviors

    PubMed Central

    Rusby, Julie C.; Metzler, Carol W.; Sanders, Matthew R.; Crowley, Ryann

    2015-01-01

    Play tasks that use standardized procedures and materials are a practical way to assess parenting skills, child behaviors, and the ways in which parents and children interact. We describe a systematic process for developing the Parent–Child Play Task (PCPT) to assess mother–child interactions for a randomized controlled trial on a video-based parenting program. Participants are 307 mothers and their 3-through 6-year-old children who present oppositional and disruptive behavior challenges. The validity of the PCPT was investigated by testing (a) the extent to which the tasks elicit the specific parent and child behaviors of interest, (b) the consistency of individuals’ behavior across the play tasks, and (c) the concurrent associations of the PCPT observed child behaviors and mother reports of child behavior. The different tasks elicited the mother and child behaviors that they were designed to elicit. Behavior consistency across tasks for individual mothers and children was fair to good, with the exception of two task-specific behaviors. Mothers’ guidance (provision of instructions to foster a skill) during the teaching task and children’s interruptions while mother was busy during the questionnaire task were highly task specific. Modest associations were found between observed children’s noncompliance and inappropriate behaviors, and mother-reported conduct problems and oppositional behaviors. Implications for clinical and research assessments are discussed. PMID:25689090

  7. Age-Related Frontal Hyperactivation Observed across Different Working Memory Tasks: An fMRI Study

    PubMed Central

    Fakhri, Mohammad; Sikaroodi, Hajir; Maleki, Farid; Ali Oghabian, Mohammad; Ghanaati, Hosein

    2012-01-01

    Purpose: To evaluate patterns of activation, convergence and divergence of three functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) Working Memory (WM) tasks in two different age groups. We want to understand potential impact of task and subjects’ age on WM activations as well as most important areas with regard to WM functions. Materials and methods: Thirty-five healthy volunteers completed visual, verbal, and novel auditory WM tasks. The subjects were selected from age extremes to depict possible impact of normal aging. The General Linear Model was used to report significant activations and the effect of age group. Contrasts revealed differences in activation between tasks, and Combined Task Analysis was performed to determine common regions of activation across tasks. Results: Most of the observed differences between the tasks were seen in areas that were responsible for feature processing. Frontal regions were mainstay activation areas, regardless of the utilized stimulus. We found an age-related reduction in activity of visual (in visually-presented tasks) and auditory (in auditory task) cortices but an age-related increase in prefrontal cortex for all tasks. Conclusion: Regardless of the type of the task stimuli, frontal regions are the most important activation areas in WM processing. These areas are also main targets of age-related changes with regard to activation patterns. Our results also indicate that prefrontal overactivity in working memory might be a compensatory effort to mask age-related decline in sensory processing. PMID:22885811

  8. What are you doing? How active and observational experience shape infants' action understanding

    PubMed Central

    Hunnius, Sabine; Bekkering, Harold

    2014-01-01

    From early in life, infants watch other people's actions. How do young infants come to make sense of actions they observe? Here, we review empirical findings on the development of action understanding in infancy. Based on this review, we argue that active action experience is crucial for infants' developing action understanding. When infants execute actions, they form associations between motor acts and the sensory consequences of these acts. When infants subsequently observe these actions in others, they can use their motor system to predict the outcome of the ongoing actions. Also, infants come to an understanding of others’ actions through the repeated observation of actions and the effects associated with them. In their daily lives, infants have plenty of opportunities to form associations between observed events and learn about statistical regularities of others’ behaviours. We argue that based on these two forms of experience—active action experience and observational experience—infants gradually develop more complex action understanding capabilities. PMID:24778386

  9. Enactment versus observation: item-specific and relational processing in goal-directed action sequences (and lists of single actions).

    PubMed

    Schult, Janette; von Stülpnagel, Rul; Steffens, Melanie C

    2014-01-01

    What are the memory-related consequences of learning actions (such as "apply the patch") by enactment during study, as compared to action observation? Theories converge in postulating that enactment encoding increases item-specific processing, but not the processing of relational information. Typically, in the laboratory enactment encoding is studied for lists of unrelated single actions in which one action execution has no overarching purpose or relation with other actions. In contrast, real-life actions are usually carried out with the intention to achieve such a purpose. When actions are embedded in action sequences, relational information provides efficient retrieval cues. We contrasted memory for single actions with memory for action sequences in three experiments. We found more reliance on relational processing for action-sequences than single actions. To what degree can this relational information be used after enactment versus after the observation of an actor? We found indicators of superior relational processing after observation than enactment in ordered pair recall (Experiment 1A) and in emerging subjective organization of repeated recall protocols (recall runs 2-3, Experiment 2). An indicator of superior item-specific processing after enactment compared to observation was recognition (Experiment 1B, Experiment 2). Similar net recall suggests that observation can be as good a learning strategy as enactment. We discuss possible reasons why these findings only partly converge with previous research and theorizing.

  10. Enactment versus Observation: Item-Specific and Relational Processing in Goal-Directed Action Sequences (and Lists of Single Actions)

    PubMed Central

    Schult, Janette; von Stülpnagel, Rul; Steffens, Melanie C.

    2014-01-01

    What are the memory-related consequences of learning actions (such as “apply the patch”) by enactment during study, as compared to action observation? Theories converge in postulating that enactment encoding increases item-specific processing, but not the processing of relational information. Typically, in the laboratory enactment encoding is studied for lists of unrelated single actions in which one action execution has no overarching purpose or relation with other actions. In contrast, real-life actions are usually carried out with the intention to achieve such a purpose. When actions are embedded in action sequences, relational information provides efficient retrieval cues. We contrasted memory for single actions with memory for action sequences in three experiments. We found more reliance on relational processing for action-sequences than single actions. To what degree can this relational information be used after enactment versus after the observation of an actor? We found indicators of superior relational processing after observation than enactment in ordered pair recall (Experiment 1A) and in emerging subjective organization of repeated recall protocols (recall runs 2–3, Experiment 2). An indicator of superior item-specific processing after enactment compared to observation was recognition (Experiment 1B, Experiment 2). Similar net recall suggests that observation can be as good a learning strategy as enactment. We discuss possible reasons why these findings only partly converge with previous research and theorizing. PMID:24927279

  11. Evaluation of Music Instruction by Musicians and Nonmusicians Assigned Differential Observation Tasks.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Prickett, Carol A.; Duke, Robert A.

    1992-01-01

    Discusses a study in which music education majors and non-music-education majors observed a violin lesson. Reports that observers received varying instructions regarding how to observe the lesson. Reports that majors' evaluations were generally lower or equal to nonmusic majors' ratings. Concludes that the focus of the observation task and…

  12. Overview and history of the Beach Vitex Task Force: an interagency partnership in action

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Westbrooks, Randy G.; Brabson, Elizabeth N.

    2011-01-01

    Beach vitex (Vitex rotundifolia L. f.), a woody vine from Korea, was introduced into the United States as a dune stabilization plant in the mid-1980s. By the mid- to late-1990s, Beach vitex was observed spreading from landscape plantings along the South Carolina coast, crowding out native dune species. In 2003, in response to concerns about possible impacts of the plant on native dune species, as well as loggerhead sea turtle nesting habitat, the South Carolina Beach Vitex Task Force was organized to address the problem. Since that time, the effort to control Beach vitex has expanded to include North Carolina, and more recently, Virginia.

  13. Group membership affects spontaneous mental representation: failure to represent the out-group in a joint action task.

    PubMed

    McClung, Jennifer Susan; Jentzsch, Ines; Reicher, Stephen David

    2013-01-01

    Predicting others' actions is crucial to successful social interaction. Previous research on joint action, based on a reaction-time paradigm called the Joint Simon Task, suggests that successful joint action stems from the simultaneous representation of the self with the other. Performance on this task provides a read-out of the degree of intrusion from a partner that participants experience from acting jointly compared to acting alone, which in turn is a measure of the degree to which participants mentally represent their co-actors during the task. To investigate the role of perceived group membership in this type of joint action and its influence on the representation of others, we first subjected participants to a minimal group paradigm while manipulating differences in social competition. We then asked participants to do the Joint Simon Task in pairs with an in-group or out-group member. Only participants who acted with an "in-group" partner on the joint task showed altered reaction times compared to when acting alone, presumably a change caused by the simultaneous and automatic representation of their in-group partner. In contrast, participants who acted with an out-group partner were unaffected in their reactions when doing the joint task, showing no evidence of representation of their out-group partner. This effect was present in both the high-competition and low-competition conditions, indicating that the differential effects of group membership on representation during joint action were driven by perceived group membership and independent of the effects of social competition. We concluded that participants failed to represent out-group members as socially relevant agents not based on any personality or situational characteristics, but in reaction only to their status as "other". In this way group membership appears to affect cognition on a very immediate and subconscious level.

  14. Learning from observation, feedback, and intervention in linear and non-linear task environments.

    PubMed

    Henriksson, Maria P; Enkvist, Tommy

    2016-12-12

    This multiple-cue judgment study investigates whether we can manipulate the judgment strategy and increase accuracy in linear and non-linear cue-criterion environments just by changing the training mode. Three experiments show that accuracy in simple linear additive task environments are improved with feedback training and intervention training, while accuracy in complex multiplicative tasks are improved with observational training. The observed interaction effect suggests that the training mode invites different strategies that are adjusted as a function of experience to the demands from the underlying cue-criterion structure. Thus, feedback and the intervention training modes invite cue abstraction, an effortful but successful strategy in combination with simple linear task structures, and observational training invites exemplar memory processes, a simple but successful strategy in combination with complex non-linear task structures. The study discusses adaptive cognition and the implication of the different training modes across a life span and for clinical populations.

  15. Nonparametric EROC analysis for observer performance evaluation on joint detection and estimation tasks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wunderlich, Adam; Goossens, Bart

    2014-03-01

    The majority of the literature on task-based image quality assessment has focused on lesion detection tasks, using the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve, or related variants, to measure performance. However, since many clinical image evaluation tasks involve both detection and estimation (e.g., estimation of kidney stone composition, estimation of tumor size), there is a growing interest in performance evaluation for joint detection and estimation tasks. To evaluate observer performance on such tasks, Clarkson introduced the estimation ROC (EROC) curve, and the area under the EROC curve as a summary figure of merit. In the present work, we propose nonparametric estimators for practical EROC analysis from experimental data, including estimators for the area under the EROC curve and its variance. The estimators are illustrated with a practical example comparing MRI images reconstructed from different k-space sampling trajectories.

  16. Biologically plausible learning in recurrent neural networks reproduces neural dynamics observed during cognitive tasks.

    PubMed

    Miconi, Thomas

    2017-02-23

    Neural activity during cognitive tasks exhibits complex dynamics that flexibly encode task-relevant variables. Chaotic recurrent networks, which spontaneously generate rich dynamics, have been proposed as a model of cortical computation during cognitive tasks. However, existing methods for training these networks are either biologically implausible, and/or require a continuous, real-time error signal to guide learning. Here we show that a biologically plausible learning rule can train such recurrent networks, guided solely by delayed, phasic rewards at the end of each trial. Networks endowed with this learning rule can successfully learn nontrivial tasks requiring flexible (context-dependent) associations, memory maintenance, nonlinear mixed selectivities, and coordination among multiple outputs. The resulting networks replicate complex dynamics previously observed in animal cortex, such as dynamic encoding of task features and selective integration of sensory inputs. We conclude that recurrent neural networks offer a plausible model of cortical dynamics during both learning and performance of flexible behavior.

  17. Effects of Different Forms of Tutor Action in a Conditional Reasoning Task: An Experimental Approach to the Tutorial Dialogue

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Olry-Louis. Isabelle

    2009-01-01

    This study investigated how different forms of tutor action influenced novice students' performance on the Wason selection task, and how the students perceived the situation. In the control condition, the tutor provided supportive feedback which was minimal in terms of content (CG), in contrast to help in the form of directives (IM) or questions…

  18. Southern Regional Action Plan To Improve the Quality of Early Care and Education. Southern Regional Task Force on Child Care.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Southern Inst. on Children and Families, Columbia, SC.

    This booklet presents the action plan developed by the Southern Regional Task Force on Child Care for improving the quality of early care and education (ECE) in southern states. Also included in the booklet are tables that represent data collected from 16 participating states and the District of Columbia on state child care quality standards and…

  19. Effect of image compression for model and human observers in signal-known-statistically tasks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eckstein, Miguel P.; Pham, Binh; Abbey, Craig K.

    2002-04-01

    Previous studies have shown that model observers can be used for automated evaluation and optimization of image compression with respect to human visual performance in a task where the signal does not vary and is known a priori by the observer (signal known exactly, SKE). Here, we extend previous work to two tasks that are intended to more realistically represent the day-to-day visual diagnostic decision in the clinical setting. In the signal known exactly but variable task (SKEV), the signal varies from trial to trial (e.g., size, shape, etc) but is known to the observer. In the signal known statistically task (SKS) the signal varies from trial to trial and the observer does not have knowledge of which signal is present in that trial. We compare SKEV/SKS human and model observer performance detecting simulated arterial filling defects embedded in real coronary angiographic backgrounds in images that have undergone different amounts of JPEG and JPEG 2000 image compression. Our results show that both human and model performance at low compression ratios is better for the JPEG algorithm than the JPEG 2000 algorithm. Metrics of image quality such as the root mean square error (or the related peak signal to noise ratio) incorrectly predict a JPEG 2000 superiority. Results also show that although model and to a lesser extent human performance improves with the trial to trial knowledge of the signal present (SKEV vs. SKS task), conclusions about which compression algorithm is better (JPEG vs. JPEG 2000) for the current task would not change whether one used an SKEV or SKS task. These findings might suggest that the computationally more tractable SKEV models could be used as a good first approximation for automated evaluation of the more clinically realistic SKS task.

  20. Non-physical practice improves task performance in an unstable, perturbed environment: motor imagery and observational balance training

    PubMed Central

    Taube, Wolfgang; Lorch, Michael; Zeiter, Sibylle; Keller, Martin

    2014-01-01

    For consciously performed motor tasks executed in a defined and constant way, both motor imagery (MI) and action observation (AO) have been shown to promote motor learning. It is not known whether these forms of non-physical training also improve motor actions when these actions have to be variably applied in an unstable and unpredictable environment. The present study therefore investigated the influence of MI balance training (MI_BT) and a balance training combining AO and MI (AO+MI_BT) on postural control of undisturbed and disturbed upright stance on unstable ground. As spinal reflex excitability after classical (i.e., physical) balance training (BT) is generally decreased, we tested whether non-physical BT also has an impact on spinal reflex circuits. Thirty-six participants were randomly allocated into an MI_BT group, in which participants imagined postural exercises, an AO+MI_BT group, in which participants observed videos of other people performing balance exercises and imagined being the person in the video, and a non-active control group (CON). Before and after 4 weeks of non-physical training, balance performance was assessed on a free-moving platform during stance without perturbation and during perturbed stance. Soleus H-reflexes were recorded during stable and unstable stance. The post-measurement revealed significantly decreased postural sway during undisturbed and disturbed stance after both MI_BT and AO+MI_BT. Spinal reflex excitability remained unchanged. This is the first study showing that non-physical training (MI_BT and AO+MI_BT) not only promotes motor learning of “rigid” postural tasks but also improves performance of highly variable and unpredictable balance actions. These findings may be relevant to improve postural control and thus reduce the risk of falls in temporarily immobilized patients. PMID:25538598

  1. Brain plasticity in Parkinson's disease with freezing of gait induced by action observation training.

    PubMed

    Agosta, Federica; Gatti, Roberto; Sarasso, Elisabetta; Volonté, Maria Antonietta; Canu, Elisa; Meani, Alessandro; Sarro, Lidia; Copetti, Massimiliano; Cattrysse, Erik; Kerckhofs, Eric; Comi, Giancarlo; Falini, Andrea; Filippi, Massimo

    2017-01-01

    Gait disorders represent a therapeutic challenge in Parkinson's disease (PD). This study investigated the efficacy of 4-week action observation training (AOT) on disease severity, freezing of gait and motor abilities in PD, and evaluated treatment-related brain functional changes. 25 PD patients with freezing of gait were randomized into two groups: AOT (action observation combined with practicing the observed actions) and "Landscape" (same physical training combined with landscape-videos observation). At baseline and 4-week, patients underwent clinical evaluation and fMRI. Clinical assessment was repeated at 8-week. At 4-week, both groups showed reduced freezing of gait severity, improved walking speed and quality of life. Moreover, AOT was associated with reduced motor disability and improved balance. AOT group showed a sustained positive effect on motor disability, walking speed, balance and quality of life at 8-week, with a trend toward a persisting reduced freezing of gait severity. At 4-week vs. baseline, AOT group showed increased recruitment of fronto-parietal areas during fMRI tasks, while the Landscape group showed a reduced fMRI activity of the left postcentral and inferior parietal gyri and right rolandic operculum and supramarginal gyrus. In AOT group, functional brain changes were associated with clinical improvements at 4-week and predicted clinical evolution at 8-week. AOT has a more lasting effect in improving motor function, gait and quality of life in PD patients relative to physical therapy alone. AOT-related performance gains are associated with an increased recruitment of motor regions and fronto-parietal mirror neuron and attentional control areas.

  2. Channelized relevance vector machine as a numerical observer for cardiac perfusion defect detection task

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kalayeh, Mahdi M.; Marin, Thibault; Pretorius, P. Hendrik; Wernick, Miles N.; Yang, Yongyi; Brankov, Jovan G.

    2011-03-01

    In this paper, we present a numerical observer for image quality assessment, aiming to predict human observer accuracy in a cardiac perfusion defect detection task for single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT). In medical imaging, image quality should be assessed by evaluating the human observer accuracy for a specific diagnostic task. This approach is known as task-based assessment. Such evaluations are important for optimizing and testing imaging devices and algorithms. Unfortunately, human observer studies with expert readers are costly and time-demanding. To address this problem, numerical observers have been developed as a surrogate for human readers to predict human diagnostic performance. The channelized Hotelling observer (CHO) with internal noise model has been found to predict human performance well in some situations, but does not always generalize well to unseen data. We have argued in the past that finding a model to predict human observers could be viewed as a machine learning problem. Following this approach, in this paper we propose a channelized relevance vector machine (CRVM) to predict human diagnostic scores in a detection task. We have previously used channelized support vector machines (CSVM) to predict human scores and have shown that this approach offers better and more robust predictions than the classical CHO method. The comparison of the proposed CRVM with our previously introduced CSVM method suggests that CRVM can achieve similar generalization accuracy, while dramatically reducing model complexity and computation time.

  3. The influence of expertise on brain activation of the action observation network during anticipation of tennis and volleyball serves.

    PubMed

    Balser, Nils; Lorey, Britta; Pilgramm, Sebastian; Naumann, Tim; Kindermann, Stefan; Stark, Rudolf; Zentgraf, Karen; Williams, A Mark; Munzert, Jörn

    2014-01-01

    In many daily activities, and especially in sport, it is necessary to predict the effects of others' actions in order to initiate appropriate responses. Recently, researchers have suggested that the action-observation network (AON) including the cerebellum plays an essential role during such anticipation, particularly in sport expert performers. In the present study, we examined the influence of task-specific expertise on the AON by investigating differences between two expert groups trained in different sports while anticipating action effects. Altogether, 15 tennis and 16 volleyball experts anticipated the direction of observed tennis and volleyball serves while undergoing functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). The expert group in each sport acted as novice controls in the other sport with which they had only little experience. When contrasting anticipation in both expertise conditions with the corresponding untrained sport, a stronger activation of AON areas (SPL, SMA), and particularly of cerebellar structures, was observed. Furthermore, the neural activation within the cerebellum and the SPL was linearly correlated with participant's anticipation performance, irrespective of the specific expertise. For the SPL, this relationship also holds when an expert performs a domain-specific anticipation task. Notably, the stronger activation of the cerebellum as well as of the SMA and the SPL in the expertise conditions suggests that experts rely on their more fine-tuned perceptual-motor representations that have improved during years of training when anticipating the effects of others' actions in their preferred sport. The association of activation within the SPL and the cerebellum with the task achievement suggests that these areas are the predominant brain sites involved in fast motor predictions. The SPL reflects the processing of domain-specific contextual information and the cerebellum the usage of a predictive internal model to solve the anticipation task.

  4. How Equivalent Are the Action Execution, Imagery, and Observation of Intransitive Movements? Revisiting the Concept of Somatotopy during Action Simulation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lorey, Britta; Naumann, Tim; Pilgramm, Sebastian; Petermann, Carmen; Bischoff, Matthias; Zentgraf, Karen; Stark, Rudolf; Vaitl, Dieter; Munzert, Jorn

    2013-01-01

    Jeannerod (2001) hypothesized that action execution, imagery, and observation are functionally equivalent. This led to the major prediction that these motor states are based on the same action-specific and even effector-specific motor representations. The present study examined whether hand and foot movements are represented in a somatotopic…

  5. Action Effects and Task Knowledge: The Influence of Anticipatory Priming on the Identification of Task-Related Stimuli in Experts

    PubMed Central

    Land, William M.

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of the present study was to examine the extent to which anticipation of an action’s perceptual effect primes identification of task-related stimuli. Specifically, skilled (n = 16) and novice (n = 24) tennis players performed a choice-reaction time (CRT) test in which they identified whether the presented stimulus was a picture of a baseball bat or tennis racket. Following their response, auditory feedback associated with either baseball or tennis was presented. The CRT test was performed in blocks in which participants predictably received the baseball sound or tennis sound irrespective of which stimulus picture was displayed. Results indicated that skilled tennis players responded quicker to tennis stimuli when the response was predictably followed by the tennis auditory effect compared to the baseball auditory effect. These findings imply that, within an individual’s area of expertise, domain-relevant knowledge is primed by anticipation of an action’s perceptual effect, thus allowing the cognitive system to more quickly identify environmental information. This finding provides a more complete picture of the influence that anticipation can have on the cognitive-motor system. No differences existed for novices. PMID:27272987

  6. NEQ and task in dual-energy imaging: from cascaded systems analysis to human observer performance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Richard, Samuel; Siewerdsen, Jeffrey H.; Tward, Daniel J.

    2008-03-01

    The relationship between theoretical descriptions of imaging performance (Fourier-based cascaded systems analysis) and the performance of real human observers was investigated for various detection and discrimination tasks. Dual-energy (DE) imaging provided a useful basis for investigating this relationship, because it presents a host of acquisition and processing parameters that can significantly affect signal and noise transfer characteristics and, correspondingly, human observer performance. The detectability index was computed theoretically using: 1) cascaded systems analysis of the modulation transfer function (MTF), and noise-power spectrum (NPS) for DE imaging; 2) a Fourier description of imaging task; and 3.) integration of MTF, NPS, and task function according to various observer models, including Fisher-Hotelling and non-prewhitening with and without an eye filter and internal noise. Three idealized tasks were considered: sphere detection, shape discrimination (sphere vs. disk), and texture discrimination (uniform vs. textured disk). Using images of phantoms acquired on a prototype DE imaging system, human observer performance was assessed in multiple-alternative forced choice (MAFC) tests, giving an estimate of area under the ROC curve (A Ζ). The degree to which the theoretical detectability index correlated with human observer performance was investigated, and results agreed well over a broad range of imaging conditions, depending on the choice of observer model. Results demonstrated that optimal DE image acquisition and decomposition parameters depend significantly on the imaging task. These studies provide important initial validation that the detectability index derived theoretically by Fourier-based cascaded systems analysis correlates well with actual human observer performance and represents a meaningful metric for system optimization.

  7. The Influence of Task Instruction on Action Coding: Constraint Setting or Direct Coding?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wenke, Dorit; Frensch, Peter A.

    2005-01-01

    In 3 experiments, the authors manipulated response instructions for 2 concurrently performed tasks. Specifically, the authors' instructions described left and right keypresses on a manual task either as left versus right or as blue versus green keypresses and required either "left" versus "right" or "blue" versus "green" concurrent verbalizations.…

  8. Do non-human primates cooperate? Evidences of motor coordination during a joint action task in macaque monkeys.

    PubMed

    Visco-Comandini, Federica; Ferrari-Toniolo, Simone; Satta, Eleonora; Papazachariadis, Odysseas; Gupta, Rajnish; Nalbant, Laura Elena; Battaglia-Mayer, Alexandra

    2015-09-01

    Humans are intensively social primates, therefore many of their actions are dedicated to communication and interaction with other individuals. Despite the progress in understanding the cognitive and neural processes that allow humans to perform cooperative actions, in non-human primates only few studies have investigated the ability to interact with a partner in order to reach a common goal. These studies have shown that in naturalistic conditions animals engage in various types of social behavior that involve forms of mutual coordination and cooperation. However, little is known on the capacity of non-human primates to actively cooperate in a controlled experimental setting, which allows full characterization of the motor parameters underlying individual action and their change during motor cooperation. To this aim, we analyzed the behavior of three pairs of macaque monkeys trained to perform solo and joint-actions by exerting a force on an isometric joystick, as to move an individual or a common cursor toward visual targets on a screen. We found that during cooperation monkeys reciprocally adapt their behavior by changing the parameters that define the spatial and temporal aspects of their action, as to fine tune their joint effort, and maximize their common performance. Furthermore the results suggest that when acting together the movement parameters that specify each actor's behavior are not only modulated during execution, but also during planning. These findings provide the first quantitative description of action coordination in non-human primates during the performance of a joint action task.

  9. Cooperative Scheduling of Imaging Observation Tasks for High-Altitude Airships Based on Propagation Algorithm

    PubMed Central

    Chuan, He; Dishan, Qiu; Jin, Liu

    2012-01-01

    The cooperative scheduling problem on high-altitude airships for imaging observation tasks is discussed. A constraint programming model is established by analyzing the main constraints, which takes the maximum task benefit and the minimum cruising distance as two optimization objectives. The cooperative scheduling problem of high-altitude airships is converted into a main problem and a subproblem by adopting hierarchy architecture. The solution to the main problem can construct the preliminary matching between tasks and observation resource in order to reduce the search space of the original problem. Furthermore, the solution to the sub-problem can detect the key nodes that each airship needs to fly through in sequence, so as to get the cruising path. Firstly, the task set is divided by using k-core neighborhood growth cluster algorithm (K-NGCA). Then, a novel swarm intelligence algorithm named propagation algorithm (PA) is combined with the key node search algorithm (KNSA) to optimize the cruising path of each airship and determine the execution time interval of each task. Meanwhile, this paper also provides the realization approach of the above algorithm and especially makes a detailed introduction on the encoding rules, search models, and propagation mechanism of the PA. Finally, the application results and comparison analysis show the proposed models and algorithms are effective and feasible. PMID:23365522

  10. Cooperative scheduling of imaging observation tasks for high-altitude airships based on propagation algorithm.

    PubMed

    Chuan, He; Dishan, Qiu; Jin, Liu

    2012-01-01

    The cooperative scheduling problem on high-altitude airships for imaging observation tasks is discussed. A constraint programming model is established by analyzing the main constraints, which takes the maximum task benefit and the minimum cruising distance as two optimization objectives. The cooperative scheduling problem of high-altitude airships is converted into a main problem and a subproblem by adopting hierarchy architecture. The solution to the main problem can construct the preliminary matching between tasks and observation resource in order to reduce the search space of the original problem. Furthermore, the solution to the sub-problem can detect the key nodes that each airship needs to fly through in sequence, so as to get the cruising path. Firstly, the task set is divided by using k-core neighborhood growth cluster algorithm (K-NGCA). Then, a novel swarm intelligence algorithm named propagation algorithm (PA) is combined with the key node search algorithm (KNSA) to optimize the cruising path of each airship and determine the execution time interval of each task. Meanwhile, this paper also provides the realization approach of the above algorithm and especially makes a detailed introduction on the encoding rules, search models, and propagation mechanism of the PA. Finally, the application results and comparison analysis show the proposed models and algorithms are effective and feasible.

  11. Impact of observers' experience and training on reliability of observations for a manual handling task.

    PubMed

    Denis, Denys; Lortie, Monique; Bruxelles, Mélanie

    2002-05-15

    Observation reliability (agreement percentage and kappa coefficients) for six experienced ergonomists and six untrained participants was computed. Participants were first tested after a training session and 1 week later after an additional practice session. Two formats were used: free practice and directed exercise. Reliability was tested for 17 variables and 20 sequences using photographic and video supports. The participants were asked to indicate whether they were confident about their answer, to rate this confidence on a scale of 1 to 10, and when the confidence rating was below 8, to provide a reason for this. Experience and additional practices had no clear impact on reliability, which was excellent overall. The main reason given was that the event to be observed took place at the borderline between two classes. The observers' rating on the scale appeared to be tied to the subsequent reliability computed. The use of a confidence scale appeared to be a useful tool for forecasting observation problems.

  12. A Test of Bayesian Observer Models of Processing in the Eriksen Flanker Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    White, Corey N.; Brown, Scott; Ratcliff, Roger

    2012-01-01

    Two Bayesian observer models were recently proposed to account for data from the Eriksen flanker task, in which flanking items interfere with processing of a central target. One model assumes that interference stems from a perceptual bias to process nearby items as if they are compatible, and the other assumes that the interference is due to…

  13. Comparing Vignette Instruction and Assessment Tasks to Classroom Observations and Reflections

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jeffries, Carolyn; Maeder, Dale W.

    2011-01-01

    The growing body of research on the use of vignettes in teacher education courses suggests that vignette-based instruction and assessment tasks may represent a viable alternative to traditional forms of scaffolded instruction and reflective essays following classroom observations, thereby creating a bridge between college and K-12 classrooms for…

  14. Broca's area processes the hierarchical organization of observed action

    PubMed Central

    Wakita, Masumi

    2014-01-01

    Broca's area has been suggested as the area responsible for the domain-general hierarchical processing of language and music. Although meaningful action shares a common hierarchical structure with language and music, the role of Broca's area in this domain remains controversial. To address the involvement of Broca's area in the processing action hierarchy, the activation of Broca's area was measured using near-infrared spectroscopy. Measurements were taken while participants watched silent movies that featured hand movements playing familiar and unfamiliar melodies. The unfamiliar melodies were reversed versions of the familiar melodies. Additionally, to investigate the effect of a motor experience on the activation of Broca's area, the participants were divided into well-trained and less-trained groups. The results showed that Broca's area in the well-trained participants demonstrated a significantly larger activation in response to the hand motion when an unfamiliar melody was played than when a familiar melody was played. However, Broca's area in the less-trained participants did not show a contrast between conditions despite identical abilities of the two participant groups to identify the melodies by watching key pressing actions. These results are consistent with previous findings that Broca's area exhibits increased activation in response to grammatically violated sentences and musically deviated chord progressions as well as the finding that this region does not represent the processing of grammatical structure in less-proficient foreign language speakers. Thus, the current study suggests that Broca's area represents action hierarchy and that sufficiently long motor training is necessary for it to become sensitive to motor syntax. Therefore, the notion that hierarchical processing in Broca's area is a common function shared between language and music may help to explain the role of Broca's area in action perception. PMID:24478668

  15. The equivalence of a human observer and an ideal observer in binary diagnostic tasks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    He, Xin; Samuelson, Frank; Gallas, Brandon D.; Sahiner, Berkman; Myers, Kyle

    2013-03-01

    The Ideal Observer (IO) is "ideal" for given data populations. In the image perception process, as the raw images are degraded by factors such as display and eye optics, there is an equivalent IO (EIO). The EIO uses the statistical information that exits the perception/cognitive degradations as the data. We assume a human observer who received sufficient training, e.g., radiologists, and hypothesize that such a human observer can be modeled as if he is an EIO. To measure the likelihood ratio (LR) distributions of an EIO, we formalize experimental design principles that encourage rationality based on von Neumann and Morgenstern's (vNM) axioms. We present examples to show that many observer study design refinements, although motivated by empirical principles explicitly, implicitly encourage rationality. Our hypothesis is supported by a recent review paper on ROC curve convexity by Pesce, Metz, and Berbaum. We also provide additional evidence based on a collection of observer studies in medical imaging. EIO theory shows that the "sub-optimal" performance of a human observer can be mathematically formalized in the form of an IO, and measured through rationality encouragement.

  16. An observational study of secondary task engagement while driving on urban streets in Iranian Safe Communities.

    PubMed

    Torkamannejad Sabzevari, Javad; Nabipour, Amir Reza; Khanjani, Narges; Molaei Tajkooh, Ali; Sullman, Mark J M

    2016-11-01

    In Iran the prevalence of traffic injuries and death from vehicle collisions are high. Driver engagement in non-driving-related tasks has been previously identified as an important contributing factor to crashes. Therefore, the objective of the present study was to investigate the prevalence of drivers' engagement in potentially distracting activities in Kashmar, Khalilabad and Bardaskan, which are three Iranian International Safe Communities. Observations took place at 12 randomly selected roadside locations in each city, which were comprised of six main streets and six side streets. In total 7979 drivers were observed. The prevalence rates of potentially distracting activities in Kashmar, Khalilabad and Bardaskan were 24.3%, 26% and 24.9%, respectively. In both Kashmar and Khalilabad the most frequently observed secondary tasks were drivers talking to passengers (10.6% and 11.5%, respectively) followed by mobile phone use (3.4% and 4.0%, respectively). Although in Bardaskan the most commonly observed secondary task was also talking to passengers (12.7%), the second most common was reaching for an object (3.2%). In all three cities younger drivers were significantly more likely to be observed engaged in a secondary task while driving. Furthermore, involvement in secondary tasks while driving was significantly higher amongst females and those driving on a working day. The percentage of drivers identified as potentially distracted in these three Safe Communities was worryingly high. Thus, interventions should be integrated into the WHO Safe Community network in these cities, including: education regarding the risks associated with engaging in secondary activities while driving, law enforcement, tougher legislation, periodic assessment, raising public awareness, as well as attracting political and social support.

  17. Classroom Use of Multimedia-Supported Predict Observe Explain Tasks in a Social Constructivist Learning Environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kearney, Matthew

    2004-08-01

    This paper focuses on the use of multimedia-based predict-observe-explain (POE) tasks to facilitate small group learning conversations. Although the tasks were given to pairs of students as a diagnostic tool to elicit their pre-instructional physics conceptions, they also provided a peer learning opportunity for students. The study adopted a social constructivist perspective to analyse and interpret the students conversations, focussing on students articulation and justification of their own science conceptions, clarification of and critical reflection on their partners views, and negotiation of new, shared meanings. Two senior science classes participated in this interpretive study. Data sources were mainly qualitative and included audio and video recordings of students small group discussions at the computer, interviews with selected students and their teachers, classroom observations, and student surveys. Findings indicate that the computer-based POE tasks supported students peer learning conversations, particularly during the prediction, reasoning and observation stages of the POE strategy. The increased level of student control of the POE tasks, combined with the multimedia nature of the program, initiated quality peer discussions. The findings have implications for authentic, technology-mediated learning in science.

  18. Object visibility alters the relative contribution of ventral visual stream and mirror neuron system to goal anticipation during action observation.

    PubMed

    Thioux, Marc; Keysers, Christian

    2015-01-15

    We used fMRI to study the effect of hiding the target of a grasping action on the cerebral activity of an observer whose task was to anticipate the size of the object being grasped. Activity in the putative mirror neuron system (pMNS) was higher when the target was concealed from the view of the observer and anticipating the size of the object being grasped requested paying attention to the hand kinematics. In contrast, activity in ventral visual areas outside the pMNS increased when the target was fully visible, and the performance improved in this condition. A repetition suppression analysis demonstrated that in full view, the size of the object being grasped by the actor was encoded in the ventral visual stream. Dynamic causal modeling showed that monitoring a grasping action increased the coupling between the parietal and ventral premotor nodes of the pMNS. The modulation of the functional connectivity between these nodes was correlated with the subject's capability to detect the size of hidden objects. In full view, synaptic activity increased within the ventral visual stream, and the connectivity with the pMNS was diminished. The re-enactment of observed actions in the pMNS is crucial when interpreting others' actions requires paying attention to the body kinematics. However, when the context permits, visual-spatial information processing may complement pMNS computations for improved action anticipation accuracy.

  19. The Role of Expertise in Tool Use: Skill Differences in Functional Action Adaptations to Task Constraints

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bril, Blandine; Rein, Robert; Nonaka, Tetsushi; Wenban-Smith, Francis; Dietrich, Gilles

    2010-01-01

    Tool use can be considered a particularly useful model to understand the nature of functional actions. In 3 experiments, tool-use actions typified by stone knapping were investigated. Participants had to detach stone flakes from a flint core through a conchoidal fracture. Successful flake detachment requires controlling various functional…

  20. Task Equivalence for Model and Human-Observer Comparisons in SPECT Localization Studies.

    PubMed

    Sen, Anando; Kalantari, Faraz; Gifford, Howard C

    2016-06-01

    While mathematical model observers are intended for efficient assessment of medical imaging systems, their findings should be relevant for human observers as the primary clinical end users. We have investigated whether pursuing equivalence between the model and human-observer tasks can help ensure this goal. A localization ROC (LROC) study tested prostate lesion detection in simulated In-111 SPECT imaging with anthropomorphic phantoms. The test images were 2D slices extracted from reconstructed volumes. The iterative OSEM reconstruction method was used with Gaussian postsmoothing. Variations in the number of iterations and the level of postfiltering defined the test strategies in the study. Human-observer performance was compared with that of a visual-search (VS) observer, a scanning channelized Hotelling observer, and a scanning nonprewhitening (CNPW) observer. These model observers were applied with precise information about the target regions of interest (ROIs). ROI knowledge was a study variable for the human observers. In one study format, the humans read the SPECT image alone. With a dual-modality format, the SPECT image was presented alongside an anatomical image slice extracted from the density map of the phantom. Performance was scored by area under the LROC curve. The human observers performed significantly better with the dual-modality format, and correlation with the model observers was also improved. Given the human-observer data from the SPECT study format, the Pearson correlation coefficients for the model observers were 0.58 (VS), -0.12 (CH), and -0.23 (CNPW). The respective coefficients based on the human-observer data from the dual-modality study were 0.72, 0.27, and -0.11. These results point towards the continued development of the VS observer for enhancing task equivalence in model-observer studies.

  1. Anthropomorphic model observer performance in three-dimensional detection task for low-contrast computed tomography.

    PubMed

    Ba, Alexandre; Eckstein, Miguel P; Racine, Damien; Ott, Julien G; Verdun, Francis; Kobbe-Schmidt, Sabine; Bochud, François O

    2016-01-01

    X-ray medical imaging is increasingly becoming three-dimensional (3-D). The dose to the population and its management are of special concern in computed tomography (CT). Task-based methods with model observers to assess the dose-image quality trade-off are promising tools, but they still need to be validated for real volumetric images. The purpose of the present work is to evaluate anthropomorphic model observers in 3-D detection tasks for low-contrast CT images. We scanned a low-contrast phantom containing four types of signals at three dose levels and used two reconstruction algorithms. We implemented a multislice model observer based on the channelized Hotelling observer (msCHO) with anthropomorphic channels and investigated different internal noise methods. We found a good correlation for all tested model observers. These results suggest that the msCHO can be used as a relevant task-based method to evaluate low-contrast detection for CT and optimize scan protocols to lower dose in an efficient way.

  2. Visual long-term memory stores high-fidelity representations of observed actions.

    PubMed

    Urgolites, Zhisen Jiang; Wood, Justin N

    2013-04-01

    The ability to remember others' actions is fundamental to social cognition, but the precision of action memories remains unknown. To probe the fidelity of the action representations stored in visual long-term memory, we asked observers to view a large number of computer-animated actions. Afterward, observers were shown pairs of actions and indicated which of the two actions they had seen for each pair. On some trials, the previously viewed action was paired with an action from a different action category, and on other trials, it was paired with an action from the same category. Accuracy on both types of trials was remarkably high (81% and 82%, respectively). Further, results from a second experiment showed that the action representations maintained in visual long-term memory can be nearly as precise as the action representations maintained in visual working memory. Together, these findings provide evidence for a mechanism in visual long-term memory that maintains high-fidelity representations of observed actions.

  3. Correlation between human and model observer performance for discrimination task in CT

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Yi; Leng, Shuai; Yu, Lifeng; Carter, Rickey E.; McCollough, Cynthia H.

    2014-07-01

    Although physical metrics can objectively characterize computed tomography (CT) image quality, quantitative approaches to predict human observer performance are more accurate and clinically relevant. This study compared a modified channelized Hotelling model observer (CHO) with human observers in a shape discrimination task. Eight lesion-mimicking rods (two contrasts, two sizes and two shapes) were inserted into a 35 × 26 cm2 torso-shaped water phantom and scanned 100 times on a 128-slice CT scanner at five dose levels. CT images were reconstructed using filtered backprojection (FBP) and iterative reconstruction (IR) techniques. Two-alternative forced choice studies were constructed with hexagonal and circular rod images put side-by-side in a randomized order. An edge mask was introduced to CHO to reflect the human observers' emphasis on lesion boundaries in discriminating shape. For small size lesions, the performance of three human observers and the modified CHO was highly correlated across lesion contrasts, CT doses and reconstruction algorithms; while for large size lesions, a ceiling effect was observed for both human and model observers' performance at high doses. Our result suggests the potential of CHO to predict human observer performance for both FBP and IR. For this shape discrimination task with uniform background, IR significantly improved human and model observer performance compared to FBP, with the amount of improvement depending on lesion size, contrast and dose.

  4. Deactivation in the Sensorimotor Area during Observation of a Human Agent Performing Robotic Actions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shimada, Sotaro

    2010-01-01

    It is well established that several motor areas, called the mirror-neuron system (MNS), are activated when an individual observes other's actions. However, whether the MNS responds similarly to robotic actions compared with human actions is still controversial. The present study investigated whether and how the motor area activity is influenced by…

  5. Frontal Functional Connectivity of Electrocorticographic Delta and Theta Rhythms during Action Execution Versus Action Observation in Humans

    PubMed Central

    Babiloni, Claudio; Del Percio, Claudio; Lopez, Susanna; Di Gennaro, Giancarlo; Quarato, Pier P.; Pavone, Luigi; Morace, Roberta; Soricelli, Andrea; Noce, Giuseppe; Esposito, Vincenzo; Gallese, Vittorio; Mirabella, Giovanni

    2017-01-01

    We have previously shown that in seven drug-resistant epilepsy patients, both reaching-grasping of objects and the mere observation of those actions did desynchronize subdural electrocorticographic (ECoG) alpha (8–13 Hz) and beta (14–30) rhythms as a sign of cortical activation in primary somatosensory-motor, lateral premotor and ventral prefrontal areas (Babiloni et al., 2016a). Furthermore, that desynchronization was greater during action execution than during its observation. In the present exploratory study, we reanalyzed those ECoG data to evaluate the proof-of-concept that lagged linear connectivity (LLC) between primary somatosensory-motor, lateral premotor and ventral prefrontal areas would be enhanced during the action execution compared to the mere observation due to a greater flow of visual and somatomotor information. Results showed that the delta-theta (<8 Hz) LLC between lateral premotor and ventral prefrontal areas was higher during action execution than during action observation. Furthermore, the phase of these delta-theta rhythms entrained the local event-related connectivity of alpha and beta rhythms. It was speculated the existence of a multi-oscillatory functional network between high-order frontal motor areas which should be more involved during the actual reaching-grasping of objects compared to its mere observation. Future studies in a larger population should cross-validate these preliminary results. PMID:28223926

  6. Gender equality observations and actions by the European Research Council

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rydin, Claudia Alves de Jesus; Farina Busto, Luis; Penny, Martin

    2016-04-01

    Women have historically been underrepresented in science. Much positive progress in attracting women to research careers has been achieved in recent years; however, the most influential and high profile positions in most countries are still predominantly occupied by men. The European Research Council (ERC), Europe's premiere funding agency for frontier research, views gender equality as an important challenge. The ERC monitors closely gender figures on every call and has taken actions to tackle gender imbalances and potential unconscious biases. The ERC talk is focused on efforts made to understand and ensure equal treatment of all candidates, with particular focus on gender balance and with specific attention to geosciences. Data and statistics collected from ERC's internationally recognised funding schemes are presented.

  7. Bit-plane-channelized hotelling observer for predicting task performance using lossy-compressed images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmanske, Brian M.; Loew, Murray H.

    2003-05-01

    A technique for assessing the impact of lossy wavelet-based image compression on signal detection tasks is presented. A medical image"s value is based on its ability to support clinical decisions such as detecting and diagnosing abnormalities. Image quality of compressed images is, however, often stated in terms of mathematical metrics such as mean square error. The presented technique provides a more suitable measure of image degradation by building on the channelized Hotelling observer model, which has been shown to predict human performance of signal detection tasks in noise-limited images. The technique first decomposes an image into its constituent wavelet subband coefficient bit-planes. Channel responses for the individual subband bit-planes are computed, combined,and processed with a Hotelling observer model to provide a measure of signal detectability versus compression ratio. This allows a user to determine how much compression can be tolerated before signal detectability drops below a certain threshold.

  8. Stimulation over primary motor cortex during action observation impairs effector recognition.

    PubMed

    Naish, Katherine R; Barnes, Brittany; Obhi, Sukhvinder S

    2016-04-01

    Recent work suggests that motor cortical processing during action observation plays a role in later recognition of the object involved in the action. Here, we investigated whether recognition of the effector making an action is also impaired when transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) - thought to interfere with normal cortical activity - is applied over the primary motor cortex (M1) during action observation. In two experiments, single-pulse TMS was delivered over the hand area of M1 while participants watched short clips of hand actions. Participants were then asked whether an image (experiment 1) or a video (experiment 2) of a hand presented later in the trial was the same or different to the hand in the preceding video. In Experiment 1, we found that participants' ability to recognise static images of hands was significantly impaired when TMS was delivered over M1 during action observation, compared to when no TMS was delivered, or when stimulation was applied over the vertex. Conversely, stimulation over M1 did not affect recognition of dot configurations, or recognition of hands that were previously presented as static images (rather than action movie clips) with no object. In Experiment 2, we found that effector recognition was impaired when stimulation was applied part way through (300ms) and at the end (500ms) of the action observation period, indicating that 200ms of action-viewing following stimulation was not long enough to form a new representation that could be used for later recognition. The findings of both experiments suggest that interfering with cortical motor activity during action observation impairs subsequent recognition of the effector involved in the action, which complements previous findings of motor system involvement in object memory. This work provides some of the first evidence that motor processing during action observation is involved in forming representations of the effector that are useful beyond the action observation period.

  9. Preliminary results of BRAVO project: brain computer interfaces for Robotic enhanced Action in Visuo-motOr tasks.

    PubMed

    Bergamasco, Massimo; Frisoli, Antonio; Fontana, Marco; Loconsole, Claudio; Leonardis, Daniele; Troncossi, Marco; Foumashi, Mohammad Mozaffari; Parenti-Castelli, Vincenzo

    2011-01-01

    This paper presents the preliminary results of the project BRAVO (Brain computer interfaces for Robotic enhanced Action in Visuo-motOr tasks). The objective of this project is to define a new approach to the development of assistive and rehabilitative robots for motor impaired users to perform complex visuomotor tasks that require a sequence of reaches, grasps and manipulations of objects. BRAVO aims at developing new robotic interfaces and HW/SW architectures for rehabilitation and regain/restoration of motor function in patients with upper limb sensorimotor impairment through extensive rehabilitation therapy and active assistance in the execution of Activities of Daily Living. The final system developed within this project will include a robotic arm exoskeleton and a hand orthosis that will be integrated together for providing force assistance. The main novelty that BRAVO introduces is the control of the robotic assistive device through the active prediction of intention/action. The system will actually integrate the information about the movement carried out by the user with a prediction of the performed action through an interpretation of current gaze of the user (measured through eye-tracking), brain activation (measured through BCI) and force sensor measurements.

  10. Slips of Action and Sequential Decisions: A Cross-Validation Study of Tasks Assessing Habitual and Goal-Directed Action Control.

    PubMed

    Sjoerds, Zsuzsika; Dietrich, Anja; Deserno, Lorenz; de Wit, Sanne; Villringer, Arno; Heinze, Hans-Jochen; Schlagenhauf, Florian; Horstmann, Annette

    2016-01-01

    Instrumental learning and decision-making rely on two parallel systems: a goal-directed and a habitual system. In the past decade, several paradigms have been developed to study these systems in animals and humans by means of e.g., overtraining, devaluation procedures and sequential decision-making. These different paradigms are thought to measure the same constructs, but cross-validation has rarely been investigated. In this study we compared two widely used paradigms that assess aspects of goal-directed and habitual behavior. We correlated parameters from a two-step sequential decision-making task that assesses model-based (MB) and model-free (MF) learning with a slips-of-action paradigm that assesses the ability to suppress cue-triggered, learnt responses when the outcome has been devalued and is therefore no longer desirable. MB control during the two-step task showed a very moderately positive correlation with goal-directed devaluation sensitivity, whereas MF control did not show any associations. Interestingly, parameter estimates of MB and goal-directed behavior in the two tasks were positively correlated with higher-order cognitive measures (e.g., visual short-term memory). These cognitive measures seemed to (at least partly) mediate the association between MB control during sequential decision-making and goal-directed behavior after instructed devaluation. This study provides moderate support for a common framework to describe the propensity towards goal-directed behavior as measured with two frequently used tasks. However, we have to caution that the amount of shared variance between the goal-directed and MB system in both tasks was rather low, suggesting that each task does also pick up distinct aspects of goal-directed behavior. Further investigation of the commonalities and differences between the MF and habit systems as measured with these, and other, tasks is needed. Also, a follow-up cross-validation on the neural systems driving these constructs

  11. Slips of Action and Sequential Decisions: A Cross-Validation Study of Tasks Assessing Habitual and Goal-Directed Action Control

    PubMed Central

    Sjoerds, Zsuzsika; Dietrich, Anja; Deserno, Lorenz; de Wit, Sanne; Villringer, Arno; Heinze, Hans-Jochen; Schlagenhauf, Florian; Horstmann, Annette

    2016-01-01

    Instrumental learning and decision-making rely on two parallel systems: a goal-directed and a habitual system. In the past decade, several paradigms have been developed to study these systems in animals and humans by means of e.g., overtraining, devaluation procedures and sequential decision-making. These different paradigms are thought to measure the same constructs, but cross-validation has rarely been investigated. In this study we compared two widely used paradigms that assess aspects of goal-directed and habitual behavior. We correlated parameters from a two-step sequential decision-making task that assesses model-based (MB) and model-free (MF) learning with a slips-of-action paradigm that assesses the ability to suppress cue-triggered, learnt responses when the outcome has been devalued and is therefore no longer desirable. MB control during the two-step task showed a very moderately positive correlation with goal-directed devaluation sensitivity, whereas MF control did not show any associations. Interestingly, parameter estimates of MB and goal-directed behavior in the two tasks were positively correlated with higher-order cognitive measures (e.g., visual short-term memory). These cognitive measures seemed to (at least partly) mediate the association between MB control during sequential decision-making and goal-directed behavior after instructed devaluation. This study provides moderate support for a common framework to describe the propensity towards goal-directed behavior as measured with two frequently used tasks. However, we have to caution that the amount of shared variance between the goal-directed and MB system in both tasks was rather low, suggesting that each task does also pick up distinct aspects of goal-directed behavior. Further investigation of the commonalities and differences between the MF and habit systems as measured with these, and other, tasks is needed. Also, a follow-up cross-validation on the neural systems driving these constructs

  12. Observations of Distribution Company Decisive Action Operations at the NTC

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2016-02-26

    November–December 2015 Army Sustainment54 TR AI NI NG & ED UC AT IO N Serving as a distribution company observer-coach/trainer (OC/T) for brigade...support battalions (BSBs) at the National Training Center (NTC) at Fort Irwin, Cali- fornia, gave me a clear perspective of company -level...rotations. I observed how company commanders exercise mission com- mand and how distribution com- panies execute tactical distribution operations at

  13. Rational Adaptation under Task and Processing Constraints: Implications for Testing Theories of Cognition and Action

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Howes, Andrew; Lewis, Richard L.; Vera, Alonso

    2009-01-01

    The authors assume that individuals adapt rationally to a utility function given constraints imposed by their cognitive architecture and the local task environment. This assumption underlies a new approach to modeling and understanding cognition--cognitively bounded rational analysis--that sharpens the predictive acuity of general, integrated…

  14. Reputation in an economic game modulates premotor cortex activity during action observation.

    PubMed

    Farmer, Harry; Apps, Matthew; Tsakiris, Manos

    2016-09-01

    Our interactions with other people - and our processing of their actions - are shaped by their reputation. Research has identified an Action Observation Network (AON) which is engaged when observing other people's actions. Yet, little is known about how the processing of others' actions is influenced by another's reputation. Is the response of the AON modulated by the reputation of the actor? We developed a variant of the ultimatum game in which participants watched either the visible or occluded actions of two 'proposers'. These actions were tied to decisions of how to split a pot of money although the proposers' decisions on each trial were not known to participants when observing the actions. One proposer made fair offers on the majority of trials, establishing a positive reputation, whereas the other made predominantly, unfair offers resulting in a negative reputation. We found significant activations in two regions of the left dorsal premotor cortex (dPMC). The first of these showed a main effect of reputation with greater activation for the negative reputation proposer than the positive reputation proposer. Furthermore individual differences in trust ratings of the two proposers covaried with activation in the right primary motor cortex (M1). The second showed an interaction between visibility and reputation driven by a greater effect of reputation when participants were observing an occluded action. Our findings show that the processing of others' actions in the AON is modulated by an actor's reputation, and suggest a predictive role for the PMC during action observation.

  15. Action observation and acquired motor skills: an FMRI study with expert dancers.

    PubMed

    Calvo-Merino, B; Glaser, D E; Grèzes, J; Passingham, R E; Haggard, P

    2005-08-01

    When we observe someone performing an action, do our brains simulate making that action? Acquired motor skills offer a unique way to test this question, since people differ widely in the actions they have learned to perform. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to study differences in brain activity between watching an action that one has learned to do and an action that one has not, in order to assess whether the brain processes of action observation are modulated by the expertise and motor repertoire of the observer. Experts in classical ballet, experts in capoeira and inexpert control subjects viewed videos of ballet or capoeira actions. Comparing the brain activity when dancers watched their own dance style versus the other style therefore reveals the influence of motor expertise on action observation. We found greater bilateral activations in premotor cortex and intraparietal sulcus, right superior parietal lobe and left posterior superior temporal sulcus when expert dancers viewed movements that they had been trained to perform compared to movements they had not. Our results show that this 'mirror system' integrates observed actions of others with an individual's personal motor repertoire, and suggest that the human brain understands actions by motor simulation.

  16. Task-based optimization of dedicated breast CT via Hotelling observer metrics

    PubMed Central

    Sanchez, Adrian A.; Sidky, Emil Y.; Pan, Xiaochuan

    2014-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this work is to develop and demonstrate a set of practical metrics for CT systems optimization. These metrics, based on the Hotelling observer (HO) figure of merit, are task-based. The authors therefore take the specific example of optimizing a dedicated breast CT system, including the reconstruction algorithm, for two relevant tasks, signal detection and Rayleigh discrimination. Methods: A dedicated breast CT system is simulated using specifications in the literature from an existing prototype. The authors optimize configuration and image reconstruction algorithm parameters for two tasks: the detection of simulated microcalcifications and the discrimination of two adjacent, high-contrast signals, known as the Rayleigh discrimination task. The effects on task performance of breast diameter, signal location, image grid size, projection view number, and reconstruction filter were all investigated. Two HO metrics were evaluated: the percentage of correct decisions in a two-alternative forced choice experiment (equivalent to area under the ROC curve or AUC), and the HO efficiency, defined as the squared ratio of HO signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) in the reconstructed image to HO SNR in the projection data. Results: The ease and efficiency of the HO metric computation allows a rapid high-resolution survey of many system parameters. Optimization of a range of system parameters using the HO results in images that subjectively appear optimal for the tasks investigated. Further, the results of assessment through the HO reproduce closely many existing results in the literature regarding the impact of parameter selection on image quality. Conclusions: This study demonstrates the utility of a task-based approach to system design, evaluation, and optimization. The methodology presented is equally applicable to determining the impact of a wide range of factors, including patient parameters, system and acquisition design, and the reconstruction algorithm. The

  17. Ventral Premotor to Primary Motor Cortical Interactions during Noxious and Naturalistic Action Observation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lago, Angel; Koch, Giacomo; Cheeran, Binith; Marquez, Gonzalo; Sanchez, Jose Andres; Ezquerro, Milagros; Giraldez, Manolo; Fernandez-del-Olmo, Miguel

    2010-01-01

    Within the motor system, cortical areas such as the primary motor cortex (M1) and the ventral premotor cortex (PMv), are thought to be activated during the observation of actions performed by others. However, it is not known how the connections between these areas become active during action observation or whether these connections are modulated…

  18. Regional accent variation in the shadowing task: evidence for a loose perception-action coupling in speech.

    PubMed

    Mitterer, Holger; Müsseler, Jochen

    2013-04-01

    We investigated the relation between action and perception in speech processing, using the shadowing task, in which participants repeat words they hear. In support of a tight perception-action link, previous work has shown that phonetic details in the stimulus influence the shadowing response. On the other hand, latencies do not seem to suffer if stimulus and response differ in their articulatory properties. The present investigation tested how perception influences production when participants are confronted with regional variation. Results showed that participants often imitate a regional variation if it occurs in the stimulus set but tend to stick to their variant if the stimuli are consistent. Participants were forced or induced to correct by the experimental instructions. Articulatory stimulus-response differences do not lead to latency costs. These data indicate that speech perception does not necessarily recruit the production system.

  19. Prevalence learning and decision making in a visual search task: an equivalent ideal observer approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    He, Xin; Samuelson, Frank; Zeng, Rongping; Sahiner, Berkman

    2015-03-01

    Research studies have observed an influence of target prevalence on observer performance for visual search tasks. The goal of this work is to develop models for prevalence effects on visual search. In a recent study by Wolfe et. al, a large scale observer study was conducted to understand the effects of varying target prevalence on visual search. Particularly, a total of 12 observers were recruited to perform 1000 trials of simulated baggage search as target prevalence varied sinusoidally from high to low and back to high. We attempted to model observers' behavior in prevalence learning and decision making. We modeled the observer as an equivalent ideal observer (EIO) with a prior belief of the signal prevalence. The use of EIO allows the application of ideal observer mathematics to characterize real observers' performance reading real-life images. For every given new image, the observer updates the belief on prevalence and adjusts his/her decision threshold according to utility theory. The model results agree well with the experimental results from the Wolfe study. The proposed models allow theoretical insights into observer behavior in learning prevalence and adjusting their decision threshold.

  20. Differentiation of rodent behavioral phenotypes and methylphenidate action in sustained and flexible attention tasks.

    PubMed

    Chu, Richard; Shumsky, Jed; Waterhouse, Barry D

    2016-06-15

    Methyphenidate (MPH) is the primary drug treatment of choice for ADHD. It is also frequently used off-label as a cognitive enhancer by otherwise healthy individuals from all age groups and walks of life. Military personnel, students, and health professionals use MPH illicitly to increase attention and improve workplace performance over extended periods of work activity. Despite the frequency of its use, the efficacy of MPH to enhance cognitive function across individuals and in a variety of circumstances is not well characterized. We sought to better understand MPH׳s cognitive enhancing properties in two different rodent models of attention. We found that MPH could enhance performance in a sustained attention task, but that its effects in this test were subject dependent. More specifically, MPH increased attention in low baseline performing rats but had little to no effect on high performing rats. MPH exerted a similar subject specific effect in a test of flexible attention, i.e. the attention set shifting task. In this test MPH increased behavioral flexibility in animals with poor flexibility but impaired performance in more flexible animals. Overall, our results indicate that the effects of MPH are subject-specific and depend on the baseline level of performance. Furthermore, good performance in in the sustained attention task was correlated with good performance in the flexible attention task; i.e. animals with better vigilance exhibited greater behavioral flexibility. The findings are discussed in terms of potential neurobiological substrates, in particular noradrenergic mechanisms, that might underlie subject specific performance and subject specific responses to MPH. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled SI: Noradrenergic System.

  1. NREL's Education Program in Action in the Concentrating Solar Power Program Advanced Materials Task

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kennedy, Cheryl

    2010-03-01

    Concentrating solar power (CSP) technologies use large mirrors to concentrate sunlight and the thermal energy collected is converted to electricity. The CSP industry is growing rapidly and is expected to reach 25 GW globally by 2020. Cost target goals are for CSP technologies to produce electricity competitive with intermediate-load power generation (i.e., natural gas) by 2015 with 6 hours of thermal storage and competitive in carbon constrained base load power markets (i.e., coal) by 2020 with 12-17 hours of thermal storage. The solar field contributes more than 40% of the total cost of a parabolic trough plant and together the mirrors and receivers contribute more than 25% of the installed solar field cost. CSP systems cannot hit these targets without aggressive cost reductions and revolutionary performance improvements from technology advances. NREL's Advanced Materials task in the CSP Advanced R&D project performs research to develop low cost, high performance, durable solar reflector and high-temperature receiver materials to meet these needs. The Advanced Materials task leads the world in this research and the task's reliance on NREL's educational program will be discussed.

  2. Decoding Actions and Emotions in Deaf Children: Evidence from a Biological Motion Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ludlow, Amanda Katherine; Heaton, Pamela; Deruelle, Christine

    2013-01-01

    This study aimed to explore the recognition of emotional and non-emotional biological movements in children with severe and profound deafness. Twenty-four deaf children, together with 24 control children matched on mental age and 24 control children matched on chronological age, were asked to identify a person's actions, subjective states,…

  3. Watching a real moving object expands tactile duration: the role of task-irrelevant action context for subjective time.

    PubMed

    Jia, Lina; Shi, Zhuanghua; Zang, Xuelian; Müller, Hermann J

    2015-11-01

    Although it is well established that action contexts can expand the perceived durations of action-related events, whether action contexts also impact the subjective duration of events unrelated to the action remains an open issue. Here we examined how the automatic implicit reactions induced by viewing task-irrelevant, real moving objects influence tactile duration judgments. Participants were asked to make temporal bisection judgments of a tactile event while seeing a potentially catchable swinging ball. Approaching movement induced a tactile-duration overestimation relative to lateral movement and to a static baseline, and receding movement produced an expansion similar in duration to that from approaching movement. Interestingly, the effect of approaching movement on the subjective tactile duration was greatly reduced when participants held lightweight objects in their hands, relative to a hands-free condition, whereas no difference was obtained in the tactile-duration estimates between static hands-free and static hands-occupied conditions. The results indicate that duration perception is determined by internal bodily states as well as by sensory evidence.

  4. Progesterone attenuates impulsive action in a Go/No-Go task for sucrose pellets in female and male rats.

    PubMed

    Swalve, Natashia; Smethells, John R; Carroll, Marilyn E

    2016-09-01

    Impulsivity, or a tendency to act without anticipation of future consequences, is associated with drug abuse. Impulsivity is typically separated into two main measures, impulsive action and impulsive choice. Given the association of impulsivity and drug abuse, treatments that reduce impulsivity have been proposed as an effective method for countering drug addiction. Progesterone has emerged as a promising treatment, as it is associated with decreased addiction-related behaviors and impulsive action. The goal of the present study was to determine the effects of progesterone (PRO) on impulsive action for food: a Go/No-Go task. Female and male rats responded for sucrose pellets during a Go component when lever pressing was reinforced on a variable-interval 30-s schedule. During the alternate No-Go component, withholding a lever press was reinforced on a differential reinforcement of other (DRO) behavior 30-s schedule, where a lever press reset the DRO timer. Impulsive action was operationally defined as the inability to withhold a response during the No-Go component (i.e. the number of DRO resets). Once Go/No-Go behavior was stable, responding between rats treated with PRO (0.5mg/kg) or vehicle was examined. Progesterone significantly decreased the total number of DRO resets in both males and females, but it did not affect VI responding for sucrose pellets. This suggests that PRO decreases motor impulsivity for sucrose pellets without affecting motivation for food. Thus, PRO may reduce motor impulsivity, a behavior underlying drug addiction.

  5. The effects of anatomical information and observer expertise on abnormality detection task

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, L.; Cavaro-Ménard, C.; Le Callet, P.; Cooper, L. H. K.; Hunault, G.; Tanguy, J.-Y.

    2011-03-01

    This paper presents a novel study investigating the influences of Magnetic Resonance (MR) image anatomical information and observer expertise on an abnormality detection task. MRI is exquisitely sensitive for detecting brain abnormalities, particularly in the evaluation of white matter diseases, e.g. multiple sclerosis (MS). For this reason, MS lesions are simulated as the target stimuli for detection in the present study. Two different image backgrounds are used in the following experiments: a) homogeneous region of white matter tissue, and b) one slice of a healthy brain MR image. One expert radiologist (more than 10 years' experience), three radiologists (less than 5 years' experience) and eight naïve observers (without any prior medical knowledge) have performed these experiments, during which they have been asked different questions dependent upon level of experience; the three radiologists and eight naïve observers were asked if they were aware of any hyper-signal, likely to represent an MS lesion, while the most experienced consultant was asked if a clinically significant sign was present. With the percentages of response "yes" displayed on the y-axis and the lesion intensity contrasts on the x-axis, psychometric function is generated from the observer' responses. Results of psychometric functions and calculated thresholds indicate that radiologists have better hyper-signal detection ability than naïve observers, which is intuitively shown by the lower simple visibility thresholds of radiologists. However, when radiologists perform a task with clinical implications, e.g. to detect a clinically significant sign, their detection thresholds are elevated. Moreover, the study indicates that for the radiologists, the simple visibility thresholds remain the same with and without the anatomical information, which reduces the threshold for the clinically significant sign detection task. Findings provide further insight into human visual system processing for this

  6. Humans but Not Chimpanzees Vary Face-Scanning Patterns Depending on Contexts during Action Observation

    PubMed Central

    Myowa-Yamakoshi, Masako; Yoshida, Chisato; Hirata, Satoshi

    2015-01-01

    Human and nonhuman primates comprehend the actions of other individuals by detecting social cues, including others’ goal-directed motor actions and faces. However, little is known about how this information is integrated with action understanding. Here, we present the ontogenetic and evolutionary foundations of this capacity by comparing face-scanning patterns of chimpanzees and humans as they viewed goal-directed human actions within contexts that differ in whether or not the predicted goal is achieved. Human adults and children attend to the actor’s face during action sequences, and this tendency is particularly pronounced in adults when observing that the predicted goal is not achieved. Chimpanzees rarely attend to the actor’s face during the goal-directed action, regardless of whether the predicted action goal is achieved or not. These results suggest that in humans, but not chimpanzees, attention to actor’s faces conveying referential information toward the target object indicates the process of observers making inferences about the intentionality of an action. Furthermore, this remarkable predisposition to observe others’ actions by integrating the prediction of action goals and the actor’s intention is developmentally acquired. PMID:26535901

  7. Familiarity modulates motor activation while other species' actions are observed: a magnetic stimulation study.

    PubMed

    Amoruso, Lucia; Urgesi, Cosimo

    2016-03-01

    Observing other people's actions facilitates the observer's motor system as compared with observing the same individuals at rest. This motor activation is thought to result from mirror-like activity in fronto-parietal areas, which enhances the excitability of the primary motor cortex via cortico-cortical pathways. Although covert motor activation in response to observed actions has been widely investigated between conspecifics, how humans cope with other species' actions has received less attention. For example, it remains unclear whether the human motor system is activated by observing other species' actions, and whether prior familiarity with the non-conspecific agent modulates this activation. Here, we combined single-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation and motor-evoked potential recording to explore the impact of familiarity on motor activation during the observation of non-conspecific actions. Videos displaying actions performed either by a conspecific (human) or by a non-conspecific (dog) were shown to individuals who had prior familiarity or no familiarity at all with the non-conspecific agent. We found that, whereas individuals with long-lasting familiarity showed similar levels of motor activation for human and canine actions, individuals who had no familiarity showed higher motor activation for human than for canine actions. These findings suggest that the human motor system is flexible enough to resonate with other species, and that familiarity plays a key role in tuning this ability.

  8. Observations of Children's Interactions with Teachers, Peers, and Tasks across Preschool Classroom Activity Settings.

    PubMed

    Booren, Leslie M; Downer, Jason T; Vitiello, Virginia E

    2012-07-01

    This descriptive study examined classroom activity settings in relation to children's observed behavior during classroom interactions, child gender, and basic teacher behavior within the preschool classroom. 145 children were observed for an average of 80 minutes during 8 occasions across 2 days using the inCLASS, an observational measure that conceptualizes behavior into teacher, peer, task, and conflict interactions. Findings indicated that on average children's interactions with teachers were higher in teacher-structured settings, such as large group. On average, children's interactions with peers and tasks were more positive in child-directed settings, such as free choice. Children experienced more conflict during recess and routines/transitions. Finally, gender differences were observed within small group and meals. The implications of these findings might encourage teachers to be thoughtful and intentional about what types of support and resources are provided so children can successfully navigate the demands of particular settings. These findings are not meant to discourage certain teacher behaviors or imply value of certain classroom settings; instead, by providing an evidenced-based picture of the conditions under which children display the most positive interactions, teachers can be more aware of choices within these settings and have a powerful way to assist in professional development and interventions.

  9. The effects of action observation training and mirror therapy on gait and balance in stroke patients

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Ho Jeong; Kim, Young Mi; Lee, Dong Kyu

    2017-01-01

    [Purpose] The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of action observation training and mirror therapy to improve on balance and gait function of stroke patients. [Subjects and Methods] The participants were randomly allocated to one of three groups: The action observation training with activity group practiced additional action observation training with activity for three 30-minute session for six weeks (n=12). The mirror therapy with activity group practiced additional mirror therapy with activity for three 30-minute sessions for six weeks (n=11). The only action observation training group practiced additional action observation training for three 30-minute sessions for weeks (n=12). All groups received conventional therapy for five 60-minute sessions over a six-week period. [Results] There were significant improvements in balance and gait function. The action observation training with activity group significantly improved subjects’ static balance. The action observation training with activity group and the mirror therapy with activity group significantly improved subjects’ gait ability. [Conclusion] The activation of mirror neurons combined with a conventional stroke physiotherapy program enhances lower-extremity motor recovery and motor functioning in stroke patients. PMID:28356646

  10. Patients' Views on a Combined Action Observation and Motor Imagery Intervention for Parkinson's Disease

    PubMed Central

    Webb, Jordan; Gowen, Emma; Vogt, Stefan; Crawford, Trevor J.; Sullivan, Matthew S.; Poliakoff, Ellen

    2016-01-01

    Background. Action observation and motor imagery activate neural structures involved in action execution, thereby facilitating movement and learning. Although some benefits of action observation and motor imagery have been reported in Parkinson's disease (PD), methods have been based on stroke rehabilitation and may be less suitable for PD. Moreover, previous studies have focused on either observation or imagery, yet combining these enhances effects in healthy participants. The present study explores the feasibility of a PD-specific home-based intervention combining observation, imagery, and imitation of meaningful everyday actions. Methods. A focus group was conducted with six people with mild to moderate PD and two companions, exploring topics relating to the utility and feasibility of a home-based observation and imagery intervention. Results. Five themes were identified. Participants reported their experiences of exercise and use of action observation and motor imagery in everyday activities, and the need for strategies to improve movement was expressed. Motivational factors including feedback, challenge, and social support were identified as key issues. The importance of offering a broad range of actions and flexible training was also highlighted. Conclusions. A home-based intervention utilising action observation and motor imagery would be useful and feasible in mild to moderate PD. PMID:27777809

  11. Patients' Views on a Combined Action Observation and Motor Imagery Intervention for Parkinson's Disease.

    PubMed

    Bek, Judith; Webb, Jordan; Gowen, Emma; Vogt, Stefan; Crawford, Trevor J; Sullivan, Matthew S; Poliakoff, Ellen

    2016-01-01

    Background. Action observation and motor imagery activate neural structures involved in action execution, thereby facilitating movement and learning. Although some benefits of action observation and motor imagery have been reported in Parkinson's disease (PD), methods have been based on stroke rehabilitation and may be less suitable for PD. Moreover, previous studies have focused on either observation or imagery, yet combining these enhances effects in healthy participants. The present study explores the feasibility of a PD-specific home-based intervention combining observation, imagery, and imitation of meaningful everyday actions. Methods. A focus group was conducted with six people with mild to moderate PD and two companions, exploring topics relating to the utility and feasibility of a home-based observation and imagery intervention. Results. Five themes were identified. Participants reported their experiences of exercise and use of action observation and motor imagery in everyday activities, and the need for strategies to improve movement was expressed. Motivational factors including feedback, challenge, and social support were identified as key issues. The importance of offering a broad range of actions and flexible training was also highlighted. Conclusions. A home-based intervention utilising action observation and motor imagery would be useful and feasible in mild to moderate PD.

  12. Information System Engineering Supporting Observation, Orientation, Decision, and Compliant Action

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Georgakopoulos, Dimitrios

    The majority of today's software systems and organizational/business structures have been built on the foundation of solving problems via long-term data collection, analysis, and solution design. This traditional approach of solving problems and building corresponding software systems and business processes, falls short in providing the necessary solutions needed to deal with many problems that require agility as the main ingredient of their solution. For example, such agility is needed in responding to an emergency, in military command control, physical security, price-based competition in business, investing in the stock market, video gaming, network monitoring and self-healing, diagnosis in emergency health care, and many other areas that are too numerous to list here. The concept of Observe, Orient, Decide, and Act (OODA) loops is a guiding principal that captures the fundamental issues and approach for engineering information systems that deal with many of these problem areas. However, there are currently few software systems that are capable of supporting OODA. In this talk, we provide a tour of the research issues and state of the art solutions for supporting OODA. In addition, we provide specific examples of OODA solutions we have developed for the video surveillance and emergency response domains.

  13. Predictive gaze during observation of irrational actions in adults with autism spectrum conditions.

    PubMed

    Marsh, L E; Pearson, A; Ropar, D; Hamilton, A F de C

    2015-01-01

    Understanding irrational actions may require the observer to make mental state inferences about why an action was performed. Individuals with autism spectrum conditions (ASC) have well documented difficulties with mentalizing; however, the degree to which rationality understanding is impaired in autism is not yet clear. The present study uses eye-tracking to measure online understanding of action rationality in individuals with ASC. Twenty adults with ASC and 20 typically developing controls, matched for age and IQ watched movies of rational and irrational actions while their eye movements were recorded. Measures of looking time, scan path and saccade latency were calculated. Results from looking time and scan path analyses demonstrate that participants with ASC have reduced visual attention to salient action features such as the action goal and the hand performing the action, regardless of action rationality. However, when participants with ASC do attend to these features, they are able to make anticipatory goal saccades as quickly as typically developing controls. Taken together these results indicate that individuals with autism have reduced attention to observed actions, but when attention is maintained, goal prediction is typical. We conclude that the basic mechanisms of action understanding are intact in individuals with ASC although there may be impairment in the top-down, social modulation of eye movements.

  14. Distinct brain signatures of content and structure violation during action observation.

    PubMed

    Maffongelli, L; Bartoli, E; Sammler, D; Kölsch, S; Campus, C; Olivier, E; Fadiga, L; D'Ausilio, A

    2015-08-01

    Sentences, musical phrases and goal-directed actions are composed of elements that are linked by specific rules to form meaningful outcomes. In goal-directed actions including a non-canonical element or scrambling the order of the elements alters the action's content and structure, respectively. In the present study we investigated event-related potentials of the electroencephalographic (EEG) activity recorded during observation of both alterations of the action content (obtained by violating the semantic components of an action, e.g. making coffee with cola) and alterations of the action structure (obtained by inverting the order of two temporally adjacent pictures of sequences depicting daily life actions) interfering with the normal flow of the motor acts that compose an action. Action content alterations elicited a bilateral posterior distributed EEG negativity, peaking at around 400 ms after stimulus onset similar to the ERPs evoked by semantic violations in language studies. Alteration of the action structure elicited an early left anterior negativity followed by a late left anterior positivity, which closely resembles the ERP pattern found in language syntax violation studies. Our results suggest a functional dissociation between the processing of action content and structure, reminiscent of a similar dissociation found in the language or music domains. Importantly, this study provides further support to the hypothesis that some basic mechanisms, such as the rule-based structuring of sequential events, are shared between different cognitive domains.

  15. Comparison of human and Hotelling observer performance for a fan-beam CT signal detection task

    PubMed Central

    Sanchez, Adrian A.; Sidky, Emil Y.; Reiser, Ingrid; Pan, Xiaochuan

    2013-01-01

    Purpose: A human observer study was performed for a signal detection task for the case of fan-beam x-ray computed tomography. Hotelling observer (HO) performance was calculated for the same detection task without the use of efficient channels. By considering the full image covariance produced by the filtered backprojection (FBP) algorithm and avoiding the use of channels in the computation of HO performance, the authors establish an absolute upper bound on signal detectability. Therefore, this study serves as a baseline for relating human and ideal observer performance in the case of fan-beam CT. Methods: Eight human observers participated in a two-alternative forced choice experiment where the signal of interest was a small simulated ellipsoid in the presence of independent, identically distributed Gaussian detector noise. Theoretical performance of the HO, which is equivalent to the ideal observer in this case (see Sec. 13.2.12 in Barrett and Myers [Foundations of Image Science (Wiley, Hoboken, NJ, 2004)], was also computed and compared to the performance of the human observers. In addition to a reference FBP implementation, two FBP implementations with inherent loss of HO signal detectability (e.g., by apodizing the ramp filter) were also investigated. Each of these latter two implementations takes the form of a discrete-to-discrete linear operator (i.e., a matrix), which has a nontrivial null-space resulting in the loss of detectability. Results: Estimated observer detectability index (\\documentclass[12pt]{minimal}\\begin{document}$\\hat{d}_A$\\end{document}d^A) values for the human observers and SNR values for the HO were obtained. While Hanning filtering in the FBP implementation with a cutoff frequency of 1/4 of the Nyquist frequency reduces HO SNR (due to the reconstruction matrix's nontrivial null-space), this filtering was shown to consistently improve human observer performance. By contrast, increasing the image pixel size was seen to have a comparable

  16. Is Brain Activity during Action Observation Modulated by the Perceived Fairness of the Actor?

    PubMed Central

    Gazzola, Valeria; Keysers, Christian

    2016-01-01

    Perceiving other people’s actions triggers activity in premotor and parietal areas, brain areas also involved in executing and sensing our own actions. Paralleling this phenomenon, observing emotional states (including pain) in others is associated with activity in the same brain areas as activated when experiencing similar emotions directly. This emotion perception associated activity has been shown to be affected by the perceived fairness of the actor, and in-group membership more generally. Here, we examine whether action observation associated brain activity is also affected by the perceived social fairness of the actors. Perceived fairness was manipulated using an alternating iterated Prisoner’s Dilemma game between the participant and two confederates, one of whom played fairly and the other unfairly. During fMRI scanning the participants watched movies of the confederates performing object-directed hand actions, and then performed hand actions themselves. Mass-univariate analysis showed that observing the actions triggered robust activation in regions associated with action execution, but failed to identify a strong modulation of this activation based on perceived fairness. Multivariate pattern analysis, however, identified clusters potentially carrying information about the perceived fairness of the actor in the middle temporal gyrus, left postcentral gyrus, right inferior parietal lobule, right middle cingulate cortex, right angular gyrus, and right superioroccipital gyrus. Despite being identified by a whole-brain searchlight analysis (and so without anatomical restriction), these clusters fall into areas frequently associated with action observation. We conclude that brain activity during action observation may be modulated by perceived fairness, but such modulation is subtle; robust activity is associated with observing the actions of both fair and unfair individuals. PMID:26820995

  17. Is Brain Activity during Action Observation Modulated by the Perceived Fairness of the Actor?

    PubMed

    Etzel, Joset A; Valchev, Nikola; Gazzola, Valeria; Keysers, Christian

    2016-01-01

    Perceiving other people's actions triggers activity in premotor and parietal areas, brain areas also involved in executing and sensing our own actions. Paralleling this phenomenon, observing emotional states (including pain) in others is associated with activity in the same brain areas as activated when experiencing similar emotions directly. This emotion perception associated activity has been shown to be affected by the perceived fairness of the actor, and in-group membership more generally. Here, we examine whether action observation associated brain activity is also affected by the perceived social fairness of the actors. Perceived fairness was manipulated using an alternating iterated Prisoner's Dilemma game between the participant and two confederates, one of whom played fairly and the other unfairly. During fMRI scanning the participants watched movies of the confederates performing object-directed hand actions, and then performed hand actions themselves. Mass-univariate analysis showed that observing the actions triggered robust activation in regions associated with action execution, but failed to identify a strong modulation of this activation based on perceived fairness. Multivariate pattern analysis, however, identified clusters potentially carrying information about the perceived fairness of the actor in the middle temporal gyrus, left postcentral gyrus, right inferior parietal lobule, right middle cingulate cortex, right angular gyrus, and right superioroccipital gyrus. Despite being identified by a whole-brain searchlight analysis (and so without anatomical restriction), these clusters fall into areas frequently associated with action observation. We conclude that brain activity during action observation may be modulated by perceived fairness, but such modulation is subtle; robust activity is associated with observing the actions of both fair and unfair individuals.

  18. Human Dorsal Striatum Encodes Prediction Errors during Observational Learning of Instrumental Actions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cooper, Jeffrey C.; Dunne, Simon; Furey, Teresa; O'Doherty, John P.

    2012-01-01

    The dorsal striatum plays a key role in the learning and expression of instrumental reward associations that are acquired through direct experience. However, not all learning about instrumental actions require direct experience. Instead, humans and other animals are also capable of acquiring instrumental actions by observing the experiences of…

  19. Infants' Grip Strength Predicts Mu Rhythm Attenuation during Observation of Lifting Actions with Weighted Blocks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Upshaw, Michaela B.; Bernier, Raphael A.; Sommerville, Jessica A.

    2016-01-01

    Research has established that the body is fundamentally involved in perception: bodily experience influences activation of the shared neural system underlying action perception and production during action observation, and bodily characteristics influence perception of the spatial environment. However, whether bodily characteristics influence…

  20. Predictive Gaze during Observation of Irrational Actions in Adults with Autism Spectrum Conditions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Marsh, L. E.; Pearson, A.; Ropar, D.; Hamilton, A. F. de C.

    2015-01-01

    Understanding irrational actions may require the observer to make mental state inferences about why an action was performed. Individuals with autism spectrum conditions (ASC) have well documented difficulties with mentalizing; however, the degree to which rationality understanding is impaired in autism is not yet clear. The present study uses…

  1. Effect of tactile stimulation on primary motor cortex excitability during action observation combined with motor imagery.

    PubMed

    Tanaka, Megumi; Kubota, Shinji; Onmyoji, Yusuke; Hirano, Masato; Uehara, Kazumasa; Morishita, Takuya; Funase, Kozo

    2015-07-23

    We aimed to investigate the effects of the tactile stimulation to an observer's fingertips at the moment that they saw an object being pinched by another person on the excitability of observer's primary motor cortex (M1) using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). In addition, the above effects were also examined during action observation combined with the motor imagery. Motor evoked potentials (MEP) were evoked from the subjects' right first dorsal interosseous (FDI) and abductor digiti minimi (ADM) muscles. Electrical stimulation (ES) inducing tactile sensation was delivered to the subjects' first and second fingertips at the moment of pinching action performed by another person. Although neither the ES nor action observation alone had significant effects on the MEP amplitude of the FDI or ADM, the FDI MEP amplitude which acts as the prime mover during pinching was reduced when ES and action observation were combined; however, no such changes were seen in the ADM. Conversely, that reduced FDI MEP amplitude was increased during the motor imagery. These results indicated that the M1 excitability during the action observation of pinching action combined with motor imagery could be enhanced by the tactile stimulation delivered to the observer's fingertips at the moment corresponding to the pinching being observed.

  2. Mirror observation of finger action enhances activity in anterior intraparietal sulcus: a functional magnetic resonance imaging study.

    PubMed

    Numata, Kenji; Murayama, Takashi; Takasugi, Jun; Monma, Masahiko; Oga, Masaru

    2013-01-01

    Mirror therapy can be used to promote recovery from paralysis in patients with post-stroke hemiplegia, There are a lot of reports that mirror-image observation of the unilateral moving hand enhanced the excitability of the primary motor area (M1) ipsilateral to the moving hand in healthy subjects. but the neural mechanisms underlying its therapeutic effects are currently unclear. To investigate this issue, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging to measure activity in brain regions related to visual information processing during mirror image movement observation. Thirteen healthy subjects performed a finger-thumb opposition task with the left and right hands separately, with or without access to mirror observation. In the mirror condition, one hand was reflected in a mirror placed above the abdomen in the MRI scanner. In the masked mirror condition, subjects performed the same task but with the mirror obscured. In both conditions, the other hand was held at rest behind the mirror. A between-task comparison (mirror versus masked mirror) revealed significant activation in the ipsilateral hemisphere in the anterior intraparietal sulcus (aIP) while performing all tasks, regardless of which hand was used. The right aIP was significantly activated while moving the right hand. In contrast, in the left aIP, a small number of voxels showed a tendency toward activation during both left and right hand movement. The enhancement of ipsilateral aIP activity by the mirror image observation of finger action suggests that bimodal aIP neurons can be activated by visual information. We propose that activation in the M1 ipsilateral to the moving hand can be induced by information passing through the ventral premotor area from the aIP.

  3. Effect of Work Group Size and Task Size on Observers' Job Characteristics Ratings.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Greenberg, Carl I.; And Others

    The Job Characteristics Model proposed by Hackman and his associates postulates that positive personal and work outcomes are derived from five core job dimensions: skill variety, task identity, task significance, autonomy, and feedback from the job. The effects of the number of workers (work group size) and the number of tasks (task size) on…

  4. Sensitivity of Alpha and Beta Oscillations to Sensorimotor Characteristics of Action: An EEG Study of Action Production and Gesture Observation

    PubMed Central

    Quandt, Lorna C.; Marshall, Peter J.; Shipley, Thomas F.; Beilock, Sian L.; Goldin-Meadow, Susan

    2012-01-01

    The sensorimotor experiences we gain when performing an action have been found to influence how our own motor systems are activated when we observe others performing that same action. Here we asked whether this phenomenon applies to the observation of gesture. Would the sensorimotor experiences we gain when performing an action on an object influence activation in our own motor systems when we observe others performing a gesture for that object? Participants were given sensorimotor experience with objects that varied in weight, and then observed video clips of an actor producing gestures for those objects. Electroencephalography (EEG) was recorded while participants first observed either an iconic gesture (pantomiming lifting an object) or a deictic gesture (pointing to an object) for an object, and then grasped and lifted the object indicated by the gesture. We analyzed EEG during gesture observation to determine whether oscillatory activity was affected by the observer’s sensorimotor experiences with the object represented in the gesture. Seeing a gesture for an object previously experienced as light was associated with a suppression of power in alpha and beta frequency bands, particularly at posterior electrodes. A similar pattern was found when participants lifted the light object, but over more diffuse electrodes. Moreover, alpha and beta bands at right parieto-occipital electrodes were sensitive to the type of gesture observed (iconic vs. deictic). These results demonstrate that sensorimotor experience with an object affects how a gesture for that object is processed, as measured by the gesture-observer’s EEG, and suggest that different types of gestures recruit the observer’s own motor system in different ways. PMID:22910276

  5. SKE/BKE task-based methodology for calculating Hotelling observer SNR in mammography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Haimo; Kyprianou, Iacovos S.; Badano, Aldo; Myers, Kyle J.; Jennings, Robert J.; Park, Subok; Kaczmarek, Richard V.; Chakrabarti, Kish

    2009-02-01

    A common method for evaluating projection mammography is Contrast-Detail (CD) curves derived from the CD phantom for Mammography (CDMAM). The CD curves are derived either by human observers, or by automated readings. Both methods have drawbacks which limit their reliability. The human based reading is significantly affected by reader variability, reduced precision and bias. On the other hand, the automated methods suffer from limited statistics. The purpose of this paper is to develop a simple and reliable methodology for the evaluation of mammographic imaging systems using the Signal Known Exactly/Background Known Exactly (SKE/BKE) detection task for signals relevant to mammography. In this paper, we used the spatial definition of the ideal, linear (Hotelling) observer to calculate the task-specific SNR for mammography and discussed the results. The noise covariance matrix as well as the detector response H matrix of the imaging system were estimated and used to calculate the SNRSKEBKE for the simulated discs of the CDMAM. The SNR as a function of exposure, disc diameter and thickness were calculated.

  6. Task-Irrelevant Expectation Violations in Sequential Manual Actions: Evidence for a “Check-after-Surprise” Mode of Visual Attention and Eye-Hand Decoupling

    PubMed Central

    Foerster, Rebecca M.

    2016-01-01

    When performing sequential manual actions (e.g., cooking), visual information is prioritized according to the task determining where and when to attend, look, and act. In well-practiced sequential actions, long-term memory (LTM)-based expectations specify which action targets might be found where and when. We have previously demonstrated (Foerster and Schneider, 2015b) that violations of such expectations that are task-relevant (e.g., target location change) cause a regression from a memory-based mode of attentional selection to visual search. How might task-irrelevant expectation violations in such well-practiced sequential manual actions modify attentional selection? This question was investigated by a computerized version of the number-connection test. Participants clicked on nine spatially distributed numbered target circles in ascending order while eye movements were recorded as proxy for covert attention. Target’s visual features and locations stayed constant for 65 prechange-trials, allowing practicing the manual action sequence. Consecutively, a task-irrelevant expectation violation occurred and stayed for 20 change-trials. Specifically, action target number 4 appeared in a different font. In 15 reversion-trials, number 4 returned to the original font. During the first task-irrelevant change trial, manual clicking was slower and eye scanpaths were larger and contained more fixations. The additional fixations were mainly checking fixations on the changed target while acting on later targets. Whereas the eyes repeatedly revisited the task-irrelevant change, cursor-paths remained completely unaffected. Effects lasted for 2–3 change trials and did not reappear during reversion. In conclusion, an unexpected task-irrelevant change on a task-defining feature of a well-practiced manual sequence leads to eye-hand decoupling and a “check-after-surprise” mode of attentional selection. PMID:27933016

  7. Task-Irrelevant Expectation Violations in Sequential Manual Actions: Evidence for a "Check-after-Surprise" Mode of Visual Attention and Eye-Hand Decoupling.

    PubMed

    Foerster, Rebecca M

    2016-01-01

    When performing sequential manual actions (e.g., cooking), visual information is prioritized according to the task determining where and when to attend, look, and act. In well-practiced sequential actions, long-term memory (LTM)-based expectations specify which action targets might be found where and when. We have previously demonstrated (Foerster and Schneider, 2015b) that violations of such expectations that are task-relevant (e.g., target location change) cause a regression from a memory-based mode of attentional selection to visual search. How might task-irrelevant expectation violations in such well-practiced sequential manual actions modify attentional selection? This question was investigated by a computerized version of the number-connection test. Participants clicked on nine spatially distributed numbered target circles in ascending order while eye movements were recorded as proxy for covert attention. Target's visual features and locations stayed constant for 65 prechange-trials, allowing practicing the manual action sequence. Consecutively, a task-irrelevant expectation violation occurred and stayed for 20 change-trials. Specifically, action target number 4 appeared in a different font. In 15 reversion-trials, number 4 returned to the original font. During the first task-irrelevant change trial, manual clicking was slower and eye scanpaths were larger and contained more fixations. The additional fixations were mainly checking fixations on the changed target while acting on later targets. Whereas the eyes repeatedly revisited the task-irrelevant change, cursor-paths remained completely unaffected. Effects lasted for 2-3 change trials and did not reappear during reversion. In conclusion, an unexpected task-irrelevant change on a task-defining feature of a well-practiced manual sequence leads to eye-hand decoupling and a "check-after-surprise" mode of attentional selection.

  8. From observation to action simulation: the role of attention, eye-gaze, emotion, and body state.

    PubMed

    Tipper, Steven P

    2010-11-01

    This paper reviews recent aspects of my research. It focuses, first, on the idea that during the perception of objects and people, action-based representations are automatically activated and, second, that such action representations can feed back and influence the perception of people and objects. For example, when one is merely viewing an object such as a coffee cup, the action it affords, such as a reach to grasp, is activated even though there is no intention to act on the object. Similarly, when one is observing a person's behaviour, their actions are automatically simulated, and such action simulation can influence our perception of the person and the object with which they interacted. The experiments to be described investigate the role of attention in such vision-to-action processes, the effects of such processes on emotion, and the role of a perceiver's body state in their interpretation of visual stimuli.

  9. The Role of Cue-Response Mapping in Motorvisual Impairment and Facilitation: Evidence for Different Roles of Action Planning and Action Control in Motorvisual Dual-Task Priming

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thomaschke, Roland; Hopkins, Brian; Miall, R. Christopher

    2012-01-01

    Previous research has shown that actions impair the visual perception of categorically action-consistent stimuli. On the other hand, actions can also facilitate the perception of spatially action-consistent stimuli. We suggest that motorvisual impairment is due to action planning processes, while motorvisual facilitation is due to action control…

  10. Upper limb performance and the structuring of joint movement in teenagers with cerebral palsy: the reciprocal role of task demands and action capabilities.

    PubMed

    Figueiredo, Priscilla Rezende Pereira; Silva, Paula Lanna; Avelar, Bruna Silva; da Fonseca, Sérgio Teixeira; Bootsma, Reinoud J; Mancini, Marisa Cotta

    2015-04-01

    Individuals with unilateral cerebral palsy (CP) demonstrate reduced performance in upper limb tasks compared to typically developing (TD) peers. We examined whether task conditions modify differences between teenagers with and without CP during a reciprocal aiming task. Twenty teenagers (nine CP and 11 TD) moved a pointer between two targets as fast as possible without missing a target. Task conditions were manipulated by changing the targets' size, by modifying the inertial properties of the pointer and by varying the upper limb used to perform the task (preferred/non-affected and non-preferred/affected upper limbs). While compared to TD peers, CP teenagers exhibited lower performance (longer movement times). Such differences were attenuated when the task was performed with the preferred upper limb and when accuracy requirements were less stringent. CP teenagers were not differentially affected by the pointer inertia manipulation. Task conditions not only affected performance but also joint kinematics. CP teenagers revealed less movement at the elbow and more movement at the shoulder when performing the task with their less skilled upper limb. However, both CP and TD teenagers demonstrated a larger contribution of trunk movement when facing more challenging task conditions. The overall pattern of results indicated that the joint kinematics employed by individuals with unilateral CP constituted adaptive responses to task requirements. Thus, the explanation of the effects of unilateral CP on upper limb behavior needs to go beyond a context-indifferent manifestation of the brain injury to include the interaction between task demands and action capabilities.

  11. Combined Action Observation and Motor Imagery Neurofeedback for Modulation of Brain Activity

    PubMed Central

    Friesen, Christopher L.; Bardouille, Timothy; Neyedli, Heather F.; Boe, Shaun G.

    2017-01-01

    Motor imagery (MI) and action observation have proven to be efficacious adjuncts to traditional physiotherapy for enhancing motor recovery following stroke. Recently, researchers have used a combined approach called imagined imitation (II), where an individual watches a motor task being performed, while simultaneously imagining they are performing the movement. While neurofeedback (NFB) has been used extensively with MI to improve patients' ability to modulate sensorimotor activity and enhance motor recovery, the effectiveness of using NFB with II to modulate brain activity is unknown. This project tested the ability of participants to modulate sensorimotor activity during electroencephalography-based II-NFB of a complex, multi-part unilateral handshake, and whether this ability transferred to a subsequent bout of MI. Moreover, given the goal of translating findings from NFB research into practical applications, such as rehabilitation, the II-NFB system was designed with several user interface and user experience features, in an attempt to both drive user engagement and match the level of challenge to the abilities of the subjects. In particular, at easy difficulty levels the II-NFB system incentivized contralateral sensorimotor up-regulation (via event related desynchronization of the mu rhythm), while at higher difficulty levels the II-NFB system incentivized sensorimotor lateralization (i.e., both contralateral up-regulation and ipsilateral down-regulation). Thirty-two subjects, receiving real or sham NFB attended four sessions where they engaged in II-NFB training and subsequent MI. Results showed the NFB group demonstrated more bilateral sensorimotor activity during sessions 2–4 during II-NFB and subsequent MI, indicating mixed success for the implementation of this particular II-NFB system. Here we discuss our findings in the context of the design features included in the II-NFB system, highlighting limitations that should be considered in future designs

  12. Exploring students' perceptions and performance on predict-observe-explain tasks in high school chemistry laboratory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vadapally, Praveen

    This study sought to understand the impact of gender and reasoning level on students' perceptions and performances of Predict-Observe-Explain (POE) laboratory tasks in a high school chemistry laboratory. Several literature reviews have reported that students at all levels have not developed the specific knowledge and skills that were expected from their laboratory work. Studies conducted over the last several decades have found that boys tend to be more successful than girls in science and mathematics courses. However, some recent studies have suggested that girls may be reducing this gender gap. This gender difference is the focal point of this research study, which was conducted at a mid-western, rural high school. The participants were 24 boys and 25 girls enrolled in two physical science classes taught by the same teacher. In this mixed methods study, qualitative and quantitative methods were implemented simultaneously over the entire period of the study. MANOVA statistics revealed significant effects due to gender and level of reasoning on the outcome variables, which were POE performances and perceptions of the chemistry laboratory environment. There were no significant interactions between these effects. For the qualitative method, IRB-approved information was collected, coded, grouped, and analyzed. This method was used to derive themes from students' responses on questionnaires and semi-structured interviews. Students with different levels of reasoning and gender were interviewed, and many of them expressed positive themes, which was a clear indication that they had enjoyed participating in the POE learning tasks and they had developed positive perceptions towards POE inquiry laboratory learning environment. When students are capable of formal reasoning, they can use an abstract scientific concept effectively and then relate it to the ideas they generate in their minds. Thus, instructors should factor the nature of students' thinking abilities into their

  13. Observing Expertise-Related Actions Leads to Perfect Time Flow Estimations

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Yin-Hua; Pizzolato, Fabio; Cesari, Paola

    2013-01-01

    The estimation of the time of exposure of a picture portraying an action increases as a function of the amount of movement implied in the action represented. This effect suggests that the perceiver creates an internal embodiment of the action observed as if internally simulating the entire movement sequence. Little is known however about the timing accuracy of these internal action simulations, specifically whether they are affected by the level of familiarity and experience that the observer has of the action. In this study we asked professional pianists to reproduce different durations of exposure (shorter or longer than one second) of visual displays both specific (a hand in piano-playing action) and non-specific to their domain of expertise (a hand in finger-thumb opposition and scrambled-pixels) and compared their performance with non-pianists. Pianists outperformed non-pianists independently of the time of exposure of the stimuli; remarkably the group difference was particularly magnified by the pianists’ enhanced accuracy and stability only when observing the hand in the act of playing the piano. These results for the first time provide evidence that through musical training, pianists create a selective and self-determined dynamic internal representation of an observed movement that allows them to estimate precisely its temporal duration. PMID:23405131

  14. Seeing or doing? Influence of visual and motor familiarity in action observation.

    PubMed

    Calvo-Merino, Beatriz; Grèzes, Julie; Glaser, Daniel E; Passingham, Richard E; Haggard, Patrick

    2006-10-10

    The human brain contains specialized circuits for observing and understanding actions. Previous studies have not distinguished whether this "mirror system" uses specialized motor representations or general processes of visual inference and knowledge to understand observed actions. We report the first neuroimaging study to distinguish between these alternatives. Purely motoric influences on perception have been shown behaviorally, but their neural bases are unknown. We used fMRI to reveal the neural bases of motor influences on action observation. We controlled for visual and knowledge effects by studying expert dancers. Some ballet moves are performed by only one gender. However, male and female dancers train together and have equal visual familiarity with all moves. Male and female dancers viewed videos of gender-specific male and female ballet moves. We found greater premotor, parietal, and cerebellar activity when dancers viewed moves from their own motor repertoire, compared to opposite-gender moves that they frequently saw but did not perform. Our results show that mirror circuits have a purely motor response over and above visual representations of action. We understand actions not only by visual recognition, but also motorically. In addition, we confirm that the cerebellum is part of the action observation network.

  15. Modulation of motor cortex excitability by physical similarity with an observed hand action.

    PubMed

    Désy, Marie-Christine; Théoret, Hugo

    2007-10-03

    The passive observation of hand actions is associated with increased motor cortex excitability, presumably reflecting activity within the human mirror neuron system (MNS). Recent data show that in-group ethnic membership increases motor cortex excitability during observation of culturally relevant hand gestures, suggesting that physical similarity with an observed body part may modulate MNS responses. Here, we ask whether the MNS is preferentially activated by passive observation of hand actions that are similar or dissimilar to self in terms of sex and skin color. Transcranial magnetic stimulation-induced motor evoked potentials were recorded from the first dorsal interosseus muscle while participants viewed videos depicting index finger movements made by female or male participants with black or white skin color. Forty-eight participants equally distributed in terms of sex and skin color participated in the study. Results show an interaction between self-attributes and physical attributes of the observed hand in the right motor cortex of female participants, where corticospinal excitability is increased during observation of hand actions in a different skin color than that of the observer. Our data show that specific physical properties of an observed action modulate motor cortex excitability and we hypothesize that in-group/out-group membership and self-related processes underlie these effects.

  16. Improving Teachers' Practices through Supervision and Observations by School Principals: An Action Research Project

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Taylor, Latasha M.

    2013-01-01

    This study focused on the impact of a new observation tool for principals to utilize and the effects it has on improving teachers' instruction and influencing best practices. The action research project explored the impact and influence that a well-developed observation tool could possess to help address areas of need; essentially, focusing on how…

  17. Eye Gaze Metrics Reflect a Shared Motor Representation for Action Observation and Movement Imagery

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McCormick, Sheree A.; Causer, Joe; Holmes, Paul S.

    2012-01-01

    Action observation (AO) and movement imagery (MI) have been reported to share similar neural networks. This study investigated the congruency between AO and MI using the eye gaze metrics, dwell time and fixation number. A simple reach-grasp-place arm movement was observed and, in a second condition, imagined where the movement was presented from…

  18. Becoming team players: team members' mastery of teamwork knowledge as a predictor of team task proficiency and observed teamwork effectiveness.

    PubMed

    Hirschfeld, Robert R; Jordan, Mark H; Feild, Hubert S; Giles, William F; Armenakis, Achilles A

    2006-03-01

    The authors explored the idea that teams consisting of members who, on average, demonstrate greater mastery of relevant teamwork knowledge will demonstrate greater task proficiency and observed teamwork effectiveness. In particular, the authors posited that team members' mastery of designated teamwork knowledge predicts better team task proficiency and higher observer ratings of effective teamwork, even while controlling for team task proficiency. The authors investigated these hypotheses by developing a structural model and testing it with field data from 92 teams (1,158 team members) in a United States Air Force officer development program focusing on a transportable set of teamwork competencies. The authors obtained proficiency scores on 3 different types of team tasks as well as ratings of effective teamwork from observers. The empirical model supported the authors' hypotheses.

  19. A visual processing advantage for young-adolescent deaf observers: Evidence from face and object matching tasks

    PubMed Central

    Megreya, Ahmed M.; Bindemann, Markus

    2017-01-01

    It is unresolved whether the permanent auditory deprivation that deaf people experience leads to the enhanced visual processing of faces. The current study explored this question with a matching task in which observers searched for a target face among a concurrent lineup of ten faces. This was compared with a control task in which the same stimuli were presented upside down, to disrupt typical face processing, and an object matching task. A sample of young-adolescent deaf observers performed with higher accuracy than hearing controls across all of these tasks. These results clarify previous findings and provide evidence for a general visual processing advantage in deaf observers rather than a face-specific effect. PMID:28117407

  20. Effect of purposeful action observation on upper extremity function in stroke patients

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Eunjoo; Kim, KyeongMi

    2015-01-01

    [Purpose] The purpose of this study was to identify the effect of purposeful action observation on upper extremity function in patients with stroke. [Subjects and Methods] Twelve subjects were randomly to either the experimental group or control group. The experimental group underwent occupational therapy and a purposeful action observation program. The control group underwent occupational therapy and placebo treatment in which the subjects performed a purposeful action observation program without actually observing the purposeful actions. The Wolf Motor Function Test was used to measure upper extremity function before and after the intervention in both groups. [Results] Both the experimental and control groups demonstrated improved upper extremity function after the intervention, but there was no significant difference between groups. Compared with before the intervention, the experimental group showed significantly improved upper extremity function after the intervention. [Conclusion] Based on these results, a purposeful action observation program can improve upper extremity function in patients with stroke. In future research, more subjects should be included for evaluation of different treatments. PMID:26504313

  1. Effects of purposeful action observation on kinematic patterns of upper extremity in individuals with hemiplegia

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Eunjoo; Kim, KyeongMi

    2015-01-01

    [Purpose] This study investigated the effects of purposeful action observation on upper extremity kinematic patterns in individuals with hemiplegia. [Subjects and Methods] Twelve patients were recruited in accordance with the inclusion criteria. The experimental group (n=6) was trained with a purposeful action observation program. The control group (n=6) was trained with only purposeful action without action observation. The programs were performed 30 min/session, 5 times per week for 30 sessions in 6 weeks of training. Upper extremity kinematic patterns were measured by a 3-dimensional motion analysis system before and after training, and the results were analyzed. [Results] The experimental group and the control group showed improvements in average velocity, trajectory ratio, and movement degree, but no statistically significant differences were observed between the groups. The experimental group showed statistically significant improvements in average velocity, trajectory ratio after the intervention. The experimental group also showed an improvement in movement degree, but the post-intervention difference was not significant. [Conclusion] The results of this study show that purposeful action observation training program improved the average velocity and trajectory ratio of stroke patients. Further research should enroll more subjects divided into more specific groups for treatment. PMID:26180326

  2. Seeing the World through Another Person's Eyes: Simulating Selective Attention via Action Observation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Frischen, Alexandra; Loach, Daniel; Tipper, Steven P.

    2009-01-01

    Selective attention is usually considered an egocentric mechanism, biasing sensory information based on its behavioural relevance to oneself. This study provides evidence for an equivalent allocentric mechanism that allows passive observers to selectively attend to information from the perspective of another person. In a negative priming task,…

  3. Equipment Management for Sensor Networks: Linking Physical Infrastructure and Actions to Observational Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jones, A. S.; Horsburgh, J. S.; Matos, M.; Caraballo, J.

    2015-12-01

    Networks conducting long term monitoring using in situ sensors need the functionality to track physical equipment as well as deployments, calibrations, and other actions related to site and equipment maintenance. The observational data being generated by sensors are enhanced if direct linkages to equipment details and actions can be made. This type of information is typically recorded in field notebooks or in static files, which are rarely linked to observations in a way that could be used to interpret results. However, the record of field activities is often relevant to analysis or post-processing of the observational data. We have developed an underlying database schema and deployed a web interface for recording and retrieving information on physical infrastructure and related actions for observational networks. The database schema for equipment was designed as an extension to the Observations Data Model 2 (ODM2), a community-developed information model for spatially discrete, feature based earth observations. The core entities of ODM2 describe location, observed variable, and timing of observations, and the equipment extension contains entities to provide additional metadata specific to the inventory of physical infrastructure and associated actions. The schema is implemented in a relational database system for storage and management with an associated web interface. We designed the web-based tools for technicians to enter and query information on the physical equipment and actions such as site visits, equipment deployments, maintenance, and calibrations. These tools were implemented for the iUTAH (innovative Urban Transitions and Aridregion Hydrosustainability) ecohydrologic observatory, and we anticipate that they will be useful for similar large-scale monitoring networks desiring to link observing infrastructure to observational data to increase the quality of sensor-based data products.

  4. Aging effects in cueing tasks as assessed by the ideal observer: peripheral cues.

    PubMed

    Swan, Eleanor F; Hutchinson, Claire V; Everard, Mark; Shimozaki, Steven S

    2015-02-04

    Previous aging and cueing studies suggest that automatic orienting driven by peripheral cues is preserved with aging; however, inconsistencies can be found. One issue might be the use of response times (RT) to assess cueing effects (invalid RT--valid RT), which, in many cases, may not have clear quantitative predictions. We propose an ideal observer (IO) analysis of accuracy estimating participants' internal value of cue validity, or weight, which should equal the actual cue validity. The weight measures the use of information provided by the cue and is insensitive to variations in set size and difficulty, thus potentially providing advantages to RT. Older (n = 54) and younger (n = 58) participants performed a yes/no detection task of a two-dimensional (2-D) Gaussian (60 ms). Square peripheral precues (150 ms) indicated likely target locations (70% valid) across two or six locations (set sizes). For cueing effects, (valid--invalid hit rates), younger participants had set-size effects (larger cueing effects for set size 6), while older participants did not. The opposite pattern was found for weights (younger: no set-size effects, older: set-size effects) due to the IO predicting larger cueing effects for larger set sizes. Comparisons to the ideal weight (cue validity) suggested that older participants used the cue information effectively with set size 2 (as or more so than younger participants), but not with set size 6. These results suggest that attentional deficits from aging in peripheral cueing tasks may only arise as difficulty increases, such as larger set sizes.

  5. Decision-related cortical potentials during an auditory signal detection task with cued observation intervals

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Squires, K. C.; Squires, N. K.; Hillyard, S. A.

    1975-01-01

    Cortical-evoked potentials were recorded from human subjects performing an auditory detection task with confidence rating responses. Unlike earlier studies that used similar procedures, the observation interval during which the auditory signal could occur was clearly marked by a visual cue light. By precisely defining the observation interval and, hence, synchronizing all perceptual decisions to the evoked potential averaging epoch, it was possible to demonstrate that high-confidence false alarms are accompanied by late-positive P3 components equivalent to those for equally confident hits. Moreover the hit and false alarm evoked potentials were found to covary similarly with variations in confidence rating and to have similar amplitude distributions over the scalp. In a second experiment, it was demonstrated that correct rejections can be associated with a P3 component larger than that for hits. Thus it was possible to show, within the signal detection paradigm, how the two major factors of decision confidence and expectancy are reflected in the P3 component of the cortical-evoked potential.

  6. Vitality Forms Processing in the Insula during Action Observation: A Multivoxel Pattern Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Di Cesare, Giuseppe; Valente, Giancarlo; Di Dio, Cinzia; Ruffaldi, Emanuele; Bergamasco, Massimo; Goebel, Rainer; Rizzolatti, Giacomo

    2016-01-01

    Observing the style of an action done by others allows the observer to understand the cognitive state of the agent. This information has been defined by Stern “vitality forms”. Previous experiments showed that the dorso-central insula is selectively active both during vitality form observation and execution. In the present study, we presented participants with videos showing hand actions performed with different velocities and asked them to judge either their vitality form (gentle, neutral, rude) or their velocity (slow, medium, fast). The aim of the present study was to assess, using multi-voxel pattern analysis, whether vitality forms and velocities of observed goal-directed actions are differentially processed in the insula, and more specifically whether action velocity is encoded per se or it is an element that triggers neural populations of the insula encoding the vitality form. The results showed that, consistently across subjects, in the dorso-central sector of the insula there were voxels selectively tuned to vitality forms, while voxel tuned to velocity were rare. These results indicate that the dorso-central insula, which previous data showed to be involved in the vitality form processing, contains voxels specific for the action style processing. PMID:27375461

  7. Self-selected conscious strategies do not modulate motor cortical output during action observation

    PubMed Central

    Obhi, Sukhvinder S.

    2015-01-01

    The human motor system is active not only when actions are performed but also when they are observed. Experimenters often manipulate aspects of the action or context to examine factors that influence this “mirror” response. However, little is known about the role of the observer's own top-down intentions and motivation. In this exploratory study, we investigated whether observers are able to exert conscious control over their mirror response, when they are explicitly instructed to either increase or decrease mirroring. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) was used to elicit motor-evoked potentials (MEPs) in a thumb abductor muscle as participants (n = 13) watched a video of a hand squeezing a rubber ball. The size of these MEPs, relative to the size of MEPs elicited during fixation cross observation, was taken as an index of mirroring. In an initial block of trials, participants were instructed to merely observe the actions presented. After the first block, the concept of mirroring was explained to the participants, and in the second and third blocks participants were instructed to either increase or decrease their mirror response. We did not instruct them about how to achieve this increase or decrease. Our results showed no difference in either facilitation or absolute motor excitability (i.e., nonnormalized MEP size) between the three blocks, indicating that individuals do not seem to be able to exert control over motor excitability during action observation, at least in the absence of a specific and maintained strategy. PMID:26311182

  8. Development of the action observation network during early adolescence: a longitudinal study

    PubMed Central

    Shaw, Daniel J.; Grosbras, Marie-Helene; Leonard, Gabriel; Pike, G. Bruce

    2012-01-01

    Adolescence places high demands on inter-personal interactions and, hence, on the extraction and processing of social cues. Here we assess longitudinally the development of brain activity within a network implicated in social cognition—the action observation network. We performed activation likelihood estimation meta-analyses to define regions of interest based upon the mature action observation network of adults. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we then examined developmental trajectories of functional brain activity within these brain regions. Using this approach, we reveal quadratic trajectories within a fronto-parietal network previously shown to demonstrate correlated morphological development. PMID:21278194

  9. Astroinformation resource of the Ukrainian virtual observatory: Joint observational data archive, scientific tasks, and software

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vavilova, I. B.; Pakulyak, L. K.; Shlyapnikov, A. A.; Protsyuk, Yu. I.; Savanevich, V. E.; Andronov, I. L.; Andruk, V. N.; Kondrashova, N. N.; Baklanov, A. V.; Golovin, A. V.; Fedorov, P. N.; Akhmetov, V. S.; Isak, I. I.; Mazhaev, A. E.; Golovnya, V. V.; Virun, N. V.; Zolotukhina, A. V.; Kazantseva, L. V.; Virnina, N. A.; Breus, V. V.; Kashuba, S. G.; Chinarova, L. L.; Kudashkina, L. S.; Epishev, V. P.

    2012-04-01

    The overview of the most important components of the national project - Ukrainian Virtual Observatory (UkrVO) - is presented.Among these components, there is the establishment of a Joint Digital Archive (JDA) of observational data obtained at Ukrainian observatories since 1890, including astronegative's JDA (more than 200 thousand plates). Because of this task requires a VO-oriented software, such issues as software verification of content integrity and JDA administration; compliance of image for mats to IVOA standards; photometric and astrometry calibration of images. Among other developments of local UkrVO software the means of automatic registration of moving celestial objects at the starry sky followed by visual inspection of the results as well as stellar fields image processing software are considered. Research projects that use local UkrVO data archives, namely, an analysis of long observational series of active galactic nuclei, the study of solar flares and solar active regions based on spectral observational archives, research and discovery of variable stars, the study of stellar fields in vicinity gamma-ray bursts are discussed. Particular attention is paid to the CoLiTec program, which allows to increase significantly the number of registered small solar system bodies, and to dis cover new ones, in particular, with the help of this program the comets C/2010 X1 (Elenin) and P/2011 N 01 were discovered in ISON-NM observatory. Development of the UkrVO JDA pro to type is noted which provides access to data bases of MAO NAS of Ukraine, Nikolaev Astronomical Observatory and L'viv Astronomical Observatory.

  10. Simulation during observation of human actions--theories, empirical studies, applications.

    PubMed

    Zentgraf, Karen; Munzert, Jörn; Bischoff, Matthias; Newman-Norlund, Roger D

    2011-04-22

    Historically, data from brain imaging and brain stimulation studies have supported the idea that the processing of observed actions recruits - among other areas - a distinct sub-set of brain sites in the sensory and motor cortices. These empirical findings have initially been linked with the thesis of direct matching as a mechanism of action understanding, i.e., the idea of motor resonance implemented by mirror neurons. In more recent approaches, it has been proposed that the mirror neuron system plays a role in minimizing prediction error when inferring the most likely cause of an observed action. According to these theories, motor resonance is thought to function as predictive coding. Other theoretical accounts suggest that action understanding might result from a hypothesis testing mechanism in which potential goals are continually fed into the system until the correct one is identified. In this review, we will explore the relationship of these theories to specific empirical findings. Finally, we will discuss the implications of these theoretical structures on action observation-based approaches to the optimization of skilled performance in athletes and patients.

  11. The Nation's Report Card: Science in Action--Hands-On and Interactive Computer Tasks from the 2009 Science Assessment. NCES 2012-468

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National Center for Education Statistics, 2012

    2012-01-01

    Science education is not just about learning facts in a classroom--it's about doing activities where students put their understanding of science principles into action. That's why two unique types of activity-based tasks were administered as part of the 2009 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) science assessment. In addition to the…

  12. Piracetam facilitates long-term memory for a passive avoidance task in chicks through a mechanism that requires a brain corticosteroid action.

    PubMed

    Loscertales, M; Rose, S P; Daisley, J N; Sandi, C

    1998-07-01

    We investigated the effects of piracetam, a nootropic, on learning and memory formation for a passive avoidance task in day-old chicks. To test for the possible cognitive-enhancing properties of piracetam, a weak learning version of this task--whereby chicks maintain a memory to avoid pecking at a bead coated in a diluted aversant for up to 10 h--was used. Post-training (5, 30 or 60 min), but not pretraining, injections of piracetam (10 or 50 mg/kg, i.p.) increased recall for the task when the chicks were tested 24 h later. Because previous studies showed that long-term memory for the passive avoidance task is dependent upon a brain corticosteroid action, and because the efficacy of piracetam-like compounds is also modulated by corticosteroids, we tested whether the facilitating effect of piracetam was dependent upon a corticosteroid action through specific brain receptors (mineralocorticoid receptor and glucocorticoid receptor). First, increased plasma levels of corticosterone were found 5 min after piracetam injection. In addition, intracerebral administration of antagonists for each receptor type (RU28318, for mineralocorticoid receptors, and RU38486 for glucocorticoid receptors; i.c.) given before the nootropic inhibited the facilitative effect of piracetam on memory consolidation. These results give further support to a modulatory action of piracetam on the mechanisms involved in long-term memory formation through a neural action that, in this learning model, requires the activation of the two types of intracellular corticosteroid receptors.

  13. The Plan of Action for Children: A Task Force Report. Prepared for the Colman Fund for the Well-Being of Children and Youth.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chicago Community Trust, IL.

    Addressed to policymakers and to all the citizens of Illinois, this report of the Plan of Action for Children Task Force offers 81 recommendations for addressing the serious problems faced by children residing in the state. Taken together, the recommendations lead to six conclusions: (1) focus on prevention; (2) commit resources to strengthen…

  14. Development of Functional Connectivity during Adolescence: A Longitudinal Study Using an Action-Observation Paradigm

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shaw, Daniel J.; Grosbras, Marie-Helene; Leonard, Gabriel; Pike, G. Bruce; Paus, Tomas

    2011-01-01

    Successful interpersonal interactions rely on an ability to read the emotional states of others and to modulate one's own behavior in response. The actions of others serve as valuable social stimuli in this respect, offering the observer an insight into the actor's emotional state. Social cognition continues to mature throughout adolescence. Here…

  15. Influence of perspective on the neural correlates of motor resonance during natural action observation.

    PubMed

    Vingerhoets, Guy; Stevens, Lenny; Meesdom, Morgan; Honoré, Pieterjan; Vandemaele, Pieter; Achten, Eric

    2012-01-01

    We investigated the neural correlates of motor resonance during the observation of natural transitive actions and determined how the observer's perspective modulates the neural activation. Seventeen right-handed participants observed right and left hand tool grasping actions from a first-person or third-person perspective while undergoing fMRI. A two-factorial analysis of variance over the parietal region revealed no main effects of hand identity or perspective, but unveiled a hand by perspective interaction effect. The first-person perspective elicited parietal activation in the hemisphere contralateral to the performing hand as if the modelled action was mimicked with the same anatomical hand. In the third-person perspective, parietal activation ipsilateral to the modelled hand was found, indicating a specular strategy, rather than an anatomical imitation. Motor resonance was maximal in three foci in the superior parietal lobule and intraparietal sulcus that have been associated with prehensile actions. Our results suggest that therapeutic strategies aimed to elicit motor resonance, such as motor imagery and observational modelling, can adjust their spatial frame of reference according to the hemisphere they intend to stimulate.

  16. BDNF Val66Met Polymorphism Influences Visuomotor Associative Learning and the Sensitivity to Action Observation

    PubMed Central

    Taschereau-Dumouchel, Vincent; Hétu, Sébastien; Michon, Pierre-Emmanuel; Vachon-Presseau, Etienne; Massicotte, Elsa; De Beaumont, Louis; Fecteau, Shirley; Poirier, Judes; Mercier, Catherine; Chagnon, Yvon C.; Jackson, Philip L.

    2016-01-01

    Motor representations in the human mirror neuron system are tuned to respond to specific observed actions. This ability is widely believed to be influenced by genetic factors, but no study has reported a genetic variant affecting this system so far. One possibility is that genetic variants might interact with visuomotor associative learning to configure the system to respond to novel observed actions. In this perspective, we conducted a candidate gene study on the Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) Val66Met polymorphism, a genetic variant linked to motor learning in regions of the mirror neuron system, and tested the effect of this polymorphism on motor facilitation and visuomotor associative learning. In a single-pulse TMS study carried on 16 Met (Val/Met and Met/Met) and 16 Val/Val participants selected from a large pool of healthy volunteers, Met participants showed significantly less muscle-specific corticospinal sensitivity during action observation, as well as reduced visuomotor associative learning, compared to Val homozygotes. These results are the first evidence of a genetic variant tuning sensitivity to action observation and bring to light the importance of considering the intricate relation between genetics and associative learning in order to further understand the origin and function of the human mirror neuron system. PMID:27703276

  17. Action observation for upper limb function after stroke: evidence-based review of randomized controlled trials

    PubMed Central

    Kim, KyeongMi

    2015-01-01

    [Purpose] The purpose of this study was to suggest evidenced information about action observation to improve upper limb function after stroke. [Methods] A systematic review of randomized controlled trials involving adults aged 18 years or over and including descriptions of action observation for improving upper limb function was undertaken. Electronic databases were searched, including MEDLINE, CINAHL, and PEDro (the Physiotherapy Evidence Database), for articles published between 2000 to 2014. Following completion of the searches, two reviewers independently assessed the trials and extracted data using a data extraction form. The same two reviewers independently documented the methodological quality of the trials by using the PEDro scale. [Results] Five randomized controlled trials were ultimately included in this review, and four of them (80%) reported statistically significant effects for motor recovery of upper limb using action observation intervention in between groups. [Conclusion] This review of the literature presents evidence attesting to the benefits conferred on stroke patints resulting from participation in an action observation intervention. The body of literature in this field is growing steadily. Further work needs to be done to evaluate the evidence for different conditions after stroke and different duration of intervention. PMID:26644700

  18. When Action Observation Facilitates Visual Perception: Activation in Visuo-Motor Areas Contributes to Object Recognition.

    PubMed

    Sim, Eun-Jin; Helbig, Hannah B; Graf, Markus; Kiefer, Markus

    2015-09-01

    Recent evidence suggests an interaction between the ventral visual-perceptual and dorsal visuo-motor brain systems during the course of object recognition. However, the precise function of the dorsal stream for perception remains to be determined. The present study specified the functional contribution of the visuo-motor system to visual object recognition using functional magnetic resonance imaging and event-related potential (ERP) during action priming. Primes were movies showing hands performing an action with an object with the object being erased, followed by a manipulable target object, which either afforded a similar or a dissimilar action (congruent vs. incongruent condition). Participants had to recognize the target object within a picture-word matching task. Priming-related reductions of brain activity were found in frontal and parietal visuo-motor areas as well as in ventral regions including inferior and anterior temporal areas. Effective connectivity analyses suggested functional influences of parietal areas on anterior temporal areas. ERPs revealed priming-related source activity in visuo-motor regions at about 120 ms and later activity in the ventral stream at about 380 ms. Hence, rapidly initiated visuo-motor processes within the dorsal stream functionally contribute to visual object recognition in interaction with ventral stream processes dedicated to visual analysis and semantic integration.

  19. Observation and imitation of actions performed by humans, androids, and robots: an EMG study.

    PubMed

    Hofree, Galit; Urgen, Burcu A; Winkielman, Piotr; Saygin, Ayse P

    2015-01-01

    Understanding others' actions is essential for functioning in the physical and social world. In the past two decades research has shown that action perception involves the motor system, supporting theories that we understand others' behavior via embodied motor simulation. Recently, empirical approach to action perception has been facilitated by using well-controlled artificial stimuli, such as robots. One broad question this approach can address is what aspects of similarity between the observer and the observed agent facilitate motor simulation. Since humans have evolved among other humans and animals, using artificial stimuli such as robots allows us to probe whether our social perceptual systems are specifically tuned to process other biological entities. In this study, we used humanoid robots with different degrees of human-likeness in appearance and motion along with electromyography (EMG) to measure muscle activity in participants' arms while they either observed or imitated videos of three agents produce actions with their right arm. The agents were a Human (biological appearance and motion), a Robot (mechanical appearance and motion), and an Android (biological appearance and mechanical motion). Right arm muscle activity increased when participants imitated all agents. Increased muscle activation was found also in the stationary arm both during imitation and observation. Furthermore, muscle activity was sensitive to motion dynamics: activity was significantly stronger for imitation of the human than both mechanical agents. There was also a relationship between the dynamics of the muscle activity and motion dynamics in stimuli. Overall our data indicate that motor simulation is not limited to observation and imitation of agents with a biological appearance, but is also found for robots. However we also found sensitivity to human motion in the EMG responses. Combining data from multiple methods allows us to obtain a more complete picture of action

  20. Observation and imitation of actions performed by humans, androids, and robots: an EMG study

    PubMed Central

    Hofree, Galit; Urgen, Burcu A.; Winkielman, Piotr; Saygin, Ayse P.

    2015-01-01

    Understanding others’ actions is essential for functioning in the physical and social world. In the past two decades research has shown that action perception involves the motor system, supporting theories that we understand others’ behavior via embodied motor simulation. Recently, empirical approach to action perception has been facilitated by using well-controlled artificial stimuli, such as robots. One broad question this approach can address is what aspects of similarity between the observer and the observed agent facilitate motor simulation. Since humans have evolved among other humans and animals, using artificial stimuli such as robots allows us to probe whether our social perceptual systems are specifically tuned to process other biological entities. In this study, we used humanoid robots with different degrees of human-likeness in appearance and motion along with electromyography (EMG) to measure muscle activity in participants’ arms while they either observed or imitated videos of three agents produce actions with their right arm. The agents were a Human (biological appearance and motion), a Robot (mechanical appearance and motion), and an Android (biological appearance and mechanical motion). Right arm muscle activity increased when participants imitated all agents. Increased muscle activation was found also in the stationary arm both during imitation and observation. Furthermore, muscle activity was sensitive to motion dynamics: activity was significantly stronger for imitation of the human than both mechanical agents. There was also a relationship between the dynamics of the muscle activity and motion dynamics in stimuli. Overall our data indicate that motor simulation is not limited to observation and imitation of agents with a biological appearance, but is also found for robots. However we also found sensitivity to human motion in the EMG responses. Combining data from multiple methods allows us to obtain a more complete picture of action

  1. Observing Grasping Actions Directed to Emotion-Laden Objects: Effects upon Corticospinal Excitability

    PubMed Central

    Nogueira-Campos, Anaelli A.; Saunier, Ghislain; Della-Maggiore, Valeria; De Oliveira, Laura A. S.; Rodrigues, Erika C.; Vargas, Claudia D.

    2016-01-01

    The motor system is recruited whenever one executes an action as well as when one observes the same action being executed by others. Although it is well established that emotion modulates the motor system, the effect of observing other individuals acting in an emotional context is particularly elusive. The main aim of this study was to investigate the effect induced by the observation of grasping directed to emotion-laden objects upon corticospinal excitability (CSE). Participants classified video-clips depicting the right-hand of an actor grasping emotion-laden objects. Twenty video-clips differing in terms of valence but balanced in arousal level were selected. Motor evoked potentials (MEPs) were then recorded from the first dorsal interosseous using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) while the participants observed the selected emotional video-clips. During the video-clip presentation, TMS pulses were randomly applied at one of two different time points of grasping: (1) maximum grip aperture, and (2) object contact time. CSE was higher during the observation of grasping directed to unpleasant objects compared to pleasant ones. These results indicate that when someone observes an action of grasping directed to emotion-laden objects, the effect of the object valence promotes a specific modulation over the motor system. PMID:27625602

  2. Mars Observer Propulsion and Pyrotechnics Corrective Actions Test Program Blanket Release

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Saulsberry, Regor L.; Fries, Joseph (Technical Monitor)

    1999-01-01

    The Mars Observer Propulsion and Pyrotechnic Corrective Actions Test Program has been in progress at the NASA White Sands Test Facility since 1995. This program has developed capabilities to accurately characterize pyrovalve hazards and has established corrective actions that arc helping to preclude loss of spacecraft due to pyrovalve and propellant interaction. Rather than wait for conclusion of the test program, significant rest results, findings, and safety recommendations have been and will continue to be released soon after they became available to meet needs of near-term NASA and commercial space programs. This release will cover approximately three to five papers per year until program end.

  3. Abnormal Brain Responses to Action Observation in Complex Regional Pain Syndrome.

    PubMed

    Hotta, Jaakko; Saari, Jukka; Koskinen, Miika; Hlushchuk, Yevhen; Forss, Nina; Hari, Riitta

    2017-03-01

    Patients with complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) display various abnormalities in central motor function, and their pain is intensified when they perform or just observe motor actions. In this study, we examined the abnormalities of brain responses to action observation in CRPS. We analyzed 3-T functional magnetic resonance images from 13 upper limb CRPS patients (all female, ages 31-58 years) and 13 healthy, age- and sex-matched control subjects. The functional magnetic resonance imaging data were acquired while the subjects viewed brief videos of hand actions shown in the first-person perspective. A pattern-classification analysis was applied to characterize brain areas where the activation pattern differed between CRPS patients and healthy subjects. Brain areas with statistically significant group differences (q < .05, false discovery rate-corrected) included the hand representation area in the sensorimotor cortex, inferior frontal gyrus, secondary somatosensory cortex, inferior parietal lobule, orbitofrontal cortex, and thalamus. Our findings indicate that CRPS impairs action observation by affecting brain areas related to pain processing and motor control.

  4. Postural and Balance Disorders in Patients with Parkinson's Disease: A Prospective Open-Label Feasibility Study with Two Months of Action Observation Treatment

    PubMed Central

    Santamato, Andrea; Ranieri, Maurizio; Cinone, Nicoletta; Stuppiello, Lucia Anna; Valeno, Giovanni; De Sanctis, Jula Laura; Fortunato, Francesca; Solfrizzi, Vincenzo; Greco, Antonio; Seripa, Davide; Panza, Francesco

    2015-01-01

    Action observation treatment has been proposed as therapeutic option in rehabilitation of patients affected by Parkinson's disease (PD) to improve freezing of gait episodes. The purpose of this prospective open-label feasibility study was to evaluate the impact of 8-week action observation training (video-therapy) for the treatment of postural instability and balance impairment in PD patients. Fifteen PD patients aged under 80 years with scores of 1 to 3 on the Hoehn and Yahr staging and without evidence of freezing of gait were recruited. They underwent 24 sessions of video-therapy training based on carefully watching video clips on motor tasks linked to balance, subsequently performing the same observed movements. No statistically significant differences were observed in the identified outcome measures with the Berg Balance Scale and the Activities-Specific Balance Confidence Scale after two months of follow-up. In the present study, a short course of action observation treatment seems to be not effective in reducing balance impairments and postural instability in patients affected by mild to moderate PD. Further studies with larger samples, longer follow-up period, and standardized protocols of action observation treatment are needed to investigate the effects of this rehabilitation technique in the management of postural and balance disorders of PD patients. PMID:26798551

  5. Postural and Balance Disorders in Patients with Parkinson's Disease: A Prospective Open-Label Feasibility Study with Two Months of Action Observation Treatment.

    PubMed

    Santamato, Andrea; Ranieri, Maurizio; Cinone, Nicoletta; Stuppiello, Lucia Anna; Valeno, Giovanni; De Sanctis, Jula Laura; Fortunato, Francesca; Solfrizzi, Vincenzo; Greco, Antonio; Seripa, Davide; Panza, Francesco

    2015-01-01

    Action observation treatment has been proposed as therapeutic option in rehabilitation of patients affected by Parkinson's disease (PD) to improve freezing of gait episodes. The purpose of this prospective open-label feasibility study was to evaluate the impact of 8-week action observation training (video-therapy) for the treatment of postural instability and balance impairment in PD patients. Fifteen PD patients aged under 80 years with scores of 1 to 3 on the Hoehn and Yahr staging and without evidence of freezing of gait were recruited. They underwent 24 sessions of video-therapy training based on carefully watching video clips on motor tasks linked to balance, subsequently performing the same observed movements. No statistically significant differences were observed in the identified outcome measures with the Berg Balance Scale and the Activities-Specific Balance Confidence Scale after two months of follow-up. In the present study, a short course of action observation treatment seems to be not effective in reducing balance impairments and postural instability in patients affected by mild to moderate PD. Further studies with larger samples, longer follow-up period, and standardized protocols of action observation treatment are needed to investigate the effects of this rehabilitation technique in the management of postural and balance disorders of PD patients.

  6. Effects of action observation on corticospinal excitability: Muscle specificity, direction, and timing of the mirror response.

    PubMed

    Naish, Katherine R; Houston-Price, Carmel; Bremner, Andrew J; Holmes, Nicholas P

    2014-11-01

    Many human behaviours and pathologies have been attributed to the putative mirror neuron system, a neural system that is active during both the observation and execution of actions. While there are now a very large number of papers on the mirror neuron system, variations in the methods and analyses employed by researchers mean that the basic characteristics of the mirror response are not clear. This review focuses on three important aspects of the mirror response, as measured by modulations in corticospinal excitability: (1) muscle specificity; (2) direction; and (3) timing of modulation. We focus mainly on electromyographic (EMG) data gathered following single-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), because this method provides precise information regarding these three aspects of the response. Data from paired-pulse TMS paradigms and peripheral nerve stimulation (PNS) are also considered when we discuss the possible mechanisms underlying the mirror response. In this systematic review of the literature, we examine the findings of 85 TMS and PNS studies of the human mirror response, and consider the limitations and advantages of the different methodological approaches these have adopted in relation to discrepancies between their findings. We conclude by proposing a testable model of how action observation modulates corticospinal excitability in humans. Specifically, we propose that action observation elicits an early, non-specific facilitation of corticospinal excitability (at around 90ms from action onset), followed by a later modulation of activity specific to the muscles involved in the observed action (from around 200ms). Testing this model will greatly advance our understanding of the mirror mechanism and provide a more stable grounding on which to base inferences about its role in human behaviour.

  7. TU-AB-209-02: Designing Model Observers for Signal-Known-Exactly Tasks in Digital Breast Tomosynthesis.

    PubMed

    Park, S

    2016-06-01

    Digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT), a limited-angle tomographic technique by its nature has multiple optimal system configurations, which can lead to many potential changes to the existing and new DBT systems entering the US market. With the availability of computational tools such as for modeling imaging physics, it is becoming increasingly important to conduct virtual trials for a rigorous, preclinical and task-based assessment of DBT. For such virtual assessment to be successful, it is critical to: (1) develop model-observer approaches that can account for patient data statistics stemming from realistic or real breast backgrounds as well as lesion characteristics, thereby performing given tasks effectively and (2) validate the model-observer approaches and their performance trends/levels with physical measurements from a prototype or real DBT system and a physical phantom ensemble. It is also important to understand trade-offs between patient (phantom) sample/effect size and observer performance reliability for gaining knowledge on how to choose appropriate model observers for the given tasks. In this session, a variety of model-observer approaches associated with currently available breast phantoms (either physical or virtual) and their sample size will be discussed. The presenters in this session will also discuss the limitations of each model observer approach to provide an understanding of the circumstances where each of these approaches can be more suitable than the others. The session is organized as follows: First, the development of virtual and physical phantoms that mimic breast anatomy will be presented. This will be followed by two presentations on model observers for DBT, one on the designing of model observers for signal-known-exactly (SKE) tasks and another on the development of visual search based model observers with the intent of identifying useful image features. Finally, this will be followed by practical examples where such model observers

  8. On the Inclusion of Externally Controlled Actions in Action Planning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tsai, Jessica Chia-Chin; Knoblich, Gunther; Sebanz, Natalie

    2011-01-01

    According to ideomotor theories, perceiving action effects produced by others triggers corresponding action representations in the observer. We tested whether this principle extends to actions performed by externally controlled limbs and tools. Participants performed a go-no-go version of a spatial compatibility task in which their own actions…

  9. Neural mirroring and social interaction: Motor system involvement during action observation relates to early peer cooperation.

    PubMed

    Endedijk, H M; Meyer, M; Bekkering, H; Cillessen, A H N; Hunnius, S

    2017-01-07

    Whether we hand over objects to someone, play a team sport, or make music together, social interaction often involves interpersonal action coordination, both during instances of cooperation and entrainment. Neural mirroring is thought to play a crucial role in processing other's actions and is therefore considered important for social interaction. Still, to date, it is unknown whether interindividual differences in neural mirroring play a role in interpersonal coordination during different instances of social interaction. A relation between neural mirroring and interpersonal coordination has particularly relevant implications for early childhood, since successful early interaction with peers is predictive of a more favorable social development. We examined the relation between neural mirroring and children's interpersonal coordination during peer interaction using EEG and longitudinal behavioral data. Results showed that 4-year-old children with higher levels of motor system involvement during action observation (as indicated by lower beta-power) were more successful in early peer cooperation. This is the first evidence for a relation between motor system involvement during action observation and interpersonal coordination during other instances of social interaction. The findings suggest that interindividual differences in neural mirroring are related to interpersonal coordination and thus successful social interaction.

  10. From perception to action: phase-locked gamma oscillations correlate with reaction times in a speeded response task

    PubMed Central

    Fründ, Ingo; Busch, Niko A; Schadow, Jeanette; Körner, Ursula; Herrmann, Christoph S

    2007-01-01

    Background Phase-locked gamma oscillations have so far mainly been described in relation to perceptual processes such as sensation, attention or memory matching. Due to its very short latency (≈90 ms) such oscillations are a plausible candidate for very rapid integration of sensory and motor processes. Results We measured EEG in 13 healthy participants in a speeded reaction task. Participants had to press a button as fast as possible whenever a visual stimulus was presented. The stimulus was always identical and did not have to be discriminated from other possible stimuli. In trials in which the participants showed a fast response, a slow negative potential over central electrodes starting approximately 800 ms before the response and highly phase-locked gamma oscillations over central and posterior electrodes between 90 and 140 ms after the stimulus were observed. In trials in which the participants showed a slow response, no slow negative potential was observed and phase-locked gamma oscillations were significantly reduced. Furthermore, for slow response trials the phase-locked gamma oscillations were significantly delayed with respect to fast response trials. Conclusion These results indicate the relevance of phase-locked gamma oscillations for very fast (not necessarily detailed) integration processes. PMID:17439642

  11. Becoming Team Players: Team Members' Mastery of Teamwork Knowledge as a Predictor of Team Task Proficiency and Observed Teamwork Effectiveness

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hirschfeld, Robert R.; Jordan, Mark H.; Feild, Hubert S.; Giles, William F.; Armenakis, Achilles A.

    2006-01-01

    The authors explored the idea that teams consisting of members who, on average, demonstrate greater mastery of relevant teamwork knowledge will demonstrate greater task proficiency and observed teamwork effectiveness. In particular, the authors posited that team members' mastery of designated teamwork knowledge predicts better team task…

  12. 77 FR 58143 - Interagency Task Force on Antimicrobial Resistance (ITFAR): An Update of A Public Health Action...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-09-19

    ... Resistance (ITFAR): An Update of A Public Health Action Plan to Combat Antimicrobial Resistance AGENCY... concerning antimicrobial resistance. The purpose of the meeting is twofold. First, the meeting will provide... outlined in ``A Public Health Action Plan to Combat Antimicrobial Resistance (Action Plan)''. Secondly,...

  13. Right sensory-motor functional networks subserve action observation therapy in aphasia.

    PubMed

    Gili, Tommaso; Fiori, Valentina; De Pasquale, Giada; Sabatini, Umberto; Caltagirone, Carlo; Marangolo, Paola

    2016-10-12

    Recent studies have shown that the systematic and repetitive observation of actions belonging to the experiential human motor repertoire without verbal facilitation enhances the recovery of verbs in non fluent aphasia. However, it is still an open question whether this approach extends its efficacy also on discourse productivity by improving the retrieval of other linguistic units (i.e. nouns, sentences, content words). Moreover, nothing is known regarding the neural substrates which support the language recovery process due to action observation treatment.In the present study, ten non fluent aphasics were presented with two videoclips (real everyday life context vs. familiar pantomimed context), each video for six consecutive weeks (Monday to Friday, weekend off). During the treatment, they were asked to observe each video and to describe it without verbal facilitation from the therapist. In all patients, language measures were collected before and at the end of treatment. Before and after each treatment condition (real vs. pantomimed context), each subject underwent a resting state fMRI. After the treatment, significant changes in functional connectivity were found in right sensory-motor networks which were accompanied by a significant improvement for the different linguistic units in the real context condition. On the contrary, the language recovery obtained in the pantomimed context did not match any functional modification. The evidence for a recruitment of the sensory-motor cortices during the observation of actions embedded in real context suggests to potentially enhance language recovery in non fluent aphasia through a simulation process related to the sensory-motor properties of actions.

  14. Integrating Education and Patient Care. Observations from the GME Task Force.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Association of American Medical Colleges, Washington, DC.

    The American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) appointed a task force in November 1999 to examine how AAMC member institutions and others were developing, and could develop, new ways to integrate education and patient care. Mechanisms were identified that would aid in reorienting residency programs to education, rather than services. These…

  15. An EEG study on the somatotopic organisation of sensorimotor cortex activation during action execution and observation in infancy

    PubMed Central

    de Klerk, Carina C.J.M.; Johnson, Mark H.; Southgate, Victoria

    2015-01-01

    Previous studies have shown that sensorimotor cortex activation is somatotopically-organised during action execution and observation in adulthood. Here we aimed to investigate the development of this phenomenon in infancy. We elicited arm and leg actions from 12-month-old infants and presented them, and a control group of adults, with videos of arm and leg actions while we measured their sensorimotor alpha suppression using EEG. Sensorimotor alpha suppression during action execution was somatotopically organised in 12-month-old infants: there was more suppression over the arm areas when infants performed reaching actions, and more suppression over the leg area when they performed kicking actions. Adults also showed somatotopically-organised activation during the observation of reaching and kicking actions. In contrast, infants did not show somatotopically-organised activation during action observation, but instead activated the arm areas when observing both reaching and kicking actions. We suggest that the somatotopic organisation of sensorimotor cortex activation during action observation may depend on infants’ understanding of the action goal and their expectations about how this goal will be achieved. PMID:26318840

  16. Ideal and visual-search observers: accounting for anatomical noise in search tasks with planar nuclear imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sen, Anando; Gifford, Howard C.

    2015-03-01

    Model observers have frequently been used for hardware optimization of imaging systems. For model observers to reliably mimic human performance it is important to account for the sources of variations in the images. Detection-localization tasks are complicated by anatomical noise present in the images. Several scanning observers have been proposed for such tasks. The most popular of these, the channelized Hotelling observer (CHO) incorporates anatomical variations through covariance matrices. We propose the visual-search (VS) observer as an alternative to the CHO to account for anatomical noise. The VS observer is a two-step process which first identifies suspicious tumor candidates and then performs a detailed analysis on them. The identification of suspicious candidates (search) implicitly accounts for anatomical noise. In this study we present a comparison of these two observers with human observers. The application considered is collimator optimization for planar nuclear imaging. Both observers show similar trends in performance with the VS observer slightly closer to human performance.

  17. Observation-execution matching and action inhibition in human primary motor cortex during viewing of speech-related lip movements or listening to speech.

    PubMed

    Murakami, Takenobu; Restle, Julia; Ziemann, Ulf

    2011-06-01

    One influential theory posits that language has evolved from gestural communication through observation-execution matching processes in the mirror neuron system (MNS). This theory predicts that observation of speech-related lip movements or even listening to speech would result in effector and task specific increase of the excitability of the corresponding motor representations in the primary motor cortex (M1), since actual movement execution is known be effector and task specific. In addition, effector and task specific inhibitory control mechanisms should be important to prevent overt motor activation during observation of speech-related lip movements or listening to speech. We tested these predictions by applying focal transcranial magnetic stimulation to the left M1 of 12 healthy right-handed volunteers and measuring motor evoked potentials (MEPs) and short-interval intracortical inhibition (SICI) in a lip muscle, the right orbicularis oris (OO), vs. a hand muscle, the right first dorsal interosseus (FDI). We found that MEP and SICI increased only in the OO but not in the FDI during viewing of speech-related lip movements or listening to speech. These changes were highly task specific because they were absent when lip movements non-related to speech were viewed. Finally, the increase in MEP amplitude in the OO correlated inversely with accuracy of speech perception, i.e. the MEP increase was directly related to task difficulty. The MEP findings support the notion that observation-execution matching is an operating process in the putative human MNS that might have been fundamental for evolution of language. Furthermore, the SICI findings provide evidence that inhibitory mechanisms are recruited to prevent unwanted overt motor activation during action observation.

  18. A novel strategy for dissecting goal-directed action and arousal components of motivated behavior with a progressive hold-down task.

    PubMed

    Bailey, Matthew R; Jensen, Greg; Taylor, Kathleen; Mezias, Chris; Williamson, Cait; Silver, Rae; Simpson, Eleanor H; Balsam, Peter D

    2015-06-01

    Motivation serves 2 important functions: It guides actions to be goal-directed, and it provides the energy and vigor required to perform the work necessary to meet those goals. Dissociating these 2 processes with existing behavioral assays has been a challenge. In this article, we report a novel experimental strategy to distinguish the 2 processes in mice. First, we characterize a novel motivation assay in which animals must hold down a lever for progressively longer intervals to earn each subsequent reward; we call this the progressive hold-down (PHD) task. We find that performance on the PHD task is sensitive to both food deprivation level and reward value. Next, we use a dose of methamphetamine (METH) 1.0 mg/kg, to evaluate behavior in both the progressive ratio (PR) and PHD tasks. Treatment with METH leads to more persistent lever pressing for food rewards in the PR. In the PHD task, we found that METH increased arousal, which leads to numerous bouts of hyperactive responding but neither increases nor impairs goal-directed action. The results demonstrate that these tools enable a more precise understanding of the underlying processes being altered in manipulations that alter motivated behavior.

  19. Task specific evaluation of clinical full field digital mammography systems using the Fourier definition of the Hotelling observer SNR

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Haimo; Badano, Aldo; Benevides, Luis; Chakrabarti, Kish; Kaczmarek, Richard V.; Kyprianou, Iacovos S.

    2010-04-01

    Pixel Signal to Noise Ratio (SNR) is a commonly used clinical metric for evaluating mammography. However, we showed in this paper, the pixel SNR can produce misleading system detectability when image processing is utilized. We developed a simple, reliable and clinically applicable methodology to evaluate mammographic imaging systems using a task SNR that accounts for the imaging system performance in the presence of the patient. We used the Hotelling observer method in spatial frequency domain to calculate the task SNR of small disk test objects embedded in the breast tissue-equivalent series (BRTES) phantom for GE Senographe DS Full Field Digital Mammography (FFDM) system. The results were compared to the calculation of pixel SNR. We calculated the Hotelling observer SNR by estimating the generalized modulation transfer function (GMTF), generalized normalized noise power spectrum (GNNPS) and generalized noise equivalent quanta (GNEQ) in the presence of the breast phantom. The task SNR we calculated increased with the square root of the exposure as expected. Furthermore, we showed that the method is stable under image processing. The task SNR is a more reliable method for evaluating the performance of imaging systems especially under realistic clinical conditions where patient equivalent phantoms or image processing is used.

  20. Overt orienting of spatial attention and corticospinal excitability during action observation are unrelated

    PubMed Central

    Betti, Sonia; Castiello, Umberto; Guerra, Silvia

    2017-01-01

    Observing moving body parts can automatically activate topographically corresponding motor representations in the primary motor cortex (M1), the so-called direct matching. Novel neurophysiological findings from social contexts are nonetheless proving that this process is not automatic as previously thought. The motor system can flexibly shift from imitative to incongruent motor preparation, when requested by a social gesture. In the present study we aim to bring an increase in the literature by assessing whether and how diverting overt spatial attention might affect motor preparation in contexts requiring interactive responses from the onlooker. Experiment 1 shows that overt attention—although anchored to an observed biological movement—can be captured by a target object as soon as a social request for it becomes evident. Experiment 2 reveals that the appearance of a short-lasting red dot in the contralateral space can divert attention from the target, but not from the biological movement. Nevertheless, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) over M1 combined with electromyography (EMG) recordings (Experiment 3) indicates that attentional interference reduces corticospinal excitability related to the observed movement, but not motor preparation for a complementary action on the target. This work provides evidence that social motor preparation is impermeable to attentional interference and that a double dissociation is present between overt orienting of spatial attention and neurophysiological markers of action observation. PMID:28319191

  1. Overt orienting of spatial attention and corticospinal excitability during action observation are unrelated.

    PubMed

    Betti, Sonia; Castiello, Umberto; Guerra, Silvia; Sartori, Luisa

    2017-01-01

    Observing moving body parts can automatically activate topographically corresponding motor representations in the primary motor cortex (M1), the so-called direct matching. Novel neurophysiological findings from social contexts are nonetheless proving that this process is not automatic as previously thought. The motor system can flexibly shift from imitative to incongruent motor preparation, when requested by a social gesture. In the present study we aim to bring an increase in the literature by assessing whether and how diverting overt spatial attention might affect motor preparation in contexts requiring interactive responses from the onlooker. Experiment 1 shows that overt attention-although anchored to an observed biological movement-can be captured by a target object as soon as a social request for it becomes evident. Experiment 2 reveals that the appearance of a short-lasting red dot in the contralateral space can divert attention from the target, but not from the biological movement. Nevertheless, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) over M1 combined with electromyography (EMG) recordings (Experiment 3) indicates that attentional interference reduces corticospinal excitability related to the observed movement, but not motor preparation for a complementary action on the target. This work provides evidence that social motor preparation is impermeable to attentional interference and that a double dissociation is present between overt orienting of spatial attention and neurophysiological markers of action observation.

  2. Action observation and motor imagery for rehabilitation in Parkinson's disease: A systematic review and an integrative hypothesis.

    PubMed

    Caligiore, Daniele; Mustile, Magda; Spalletta, Gianfranco; Baldassarre, Gianluca

    2017-01-01

    This article discusses recent evidence supporting the use of action observation therapy and motor imagery practice for rehabilitation of Parkinson's disease. A main question that emerges from the review regards the different effectiveness of these approaches and the possibility of integrating them into a single method to enhance motor behaviour in subjects with Parkinson's disease. In particular, the reviewed studies suggest that action observation therapy can have a positive effect on motor facilitation of patients and that a long-term rehabilitation program based on action observation therapy or motor imagery practice can bring some benefit on their motor recovery. Moreover, the paper discusses how the research on the combined use of action observation and motor imagery for motor improvements in healthy subjects may encourage the combined use of action observation therapy and motor imagery practice for therapeutic aims in Parkinson's disease. To date, this hypothesis has never been experimented.

  3. 76 FR 63927 - Interagency Task Force on Antimicrobial Resistance (ITFAR): An Update on A Public Health Action...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-10-14

    ... Resistance (ITFAR): An Update on A Public Health Action Plan to Combat Antimicrobial Resistance AGENCY... open meeting concerning antimicrobial resistance. The purpose of the meeting is to present the annual... Plan to Combat Antimicrobial Resistance (Action Plan) and solicit comments from the public...

  4. Active Drumming Experience Increases Infants’ Sensitivity to Audiovisual Synchrony during Observed Drumming Actions

    PubMed Central

    Timmers, Renee; Hunnius, Sabine

    2015-01-01

    In the current study, we examined the role of active experience on sensitivity to multisensory synchrony in six-month-old infants in a musical context. In the first of two experiments, we trained infants to produce a novel multimodal effect (i.e., a drum beat) and assessed the effects of this training, relative to no training, on their later perception of the synchrony between audio and visual presentation of the drumming action. In a second experiment, we then contrasted this active experience with the observation of drumming in order to test whether observation of the audiovisual effect was as effective for sensitivity to multimodal synchrony as active experience. Our results indicated that active experience provided a unique benefit above and beyond observational experience, providing insights on the embodied roots of (early) music perception and cognition. PMID:26111226

  5. Active Drumming Experience Increases Infants' Sensitivity to Audiovisual Synchrony during Observed Drumming Actions.

    PubMed

    Gerson, Sarah A; Schiavio, Andrea; Timmers, Renee; Hunnius, Sabine

    2015-01-01

    In the current study, we examined the role of active experience on sensitivity to multisensory synchrony in six-month-old infants in a musical context. In the first of two experiments, we trained infants to produce a novel multimodal effect (i.e., a drum beat) and assessed the effects of this training, relative to no training, on their later perception of the synchrony between audio and visual presentation of the drumming action. In a second experiment, we then contrasted this active experience with the observation of drumming in order to test whether observation of the audiovisual effect was as effective for sensitivity to multimodal synchrony as active experience. Our results indicated that active experience provided a unique benefit above and beyond observational experience, providing insights on the embodied roots of (early) music perception and cognition.

  6. Effects of a no-go Task 2 on Task 1 performance in dual - tasking: From benefits to costs.

    PubMed

    Janczyk, Markus; Huestegge, Lynn

    2017-04-01

    When two tasks are combined in a dual-task experiment, characteristics of Task 2 can influence Task 1 performance, a phenomenon termed the backward crosstalk effect (BCE). Besides instances depending on the (spatial) compatibility of both responses, a particularly interesting example was introduced by Miller (2006): If Task 2 was a no-go task (i.e., one not requiring any action at all), responses were slowed in Task 1. Subsequent work, however, also reported the opposite result-that is, faster Task 1 responses in cases of no-go Task 2 trials. We report three experiments aiming to more precisely identify the conditions under which a no-go Task 2 facilitates or impedes Task 1 performance. The results suggest that an adverse no-go BCE is only observed when the Task 2 response(s) are sufficiently prepared in advance, yielding strong inhibitory control demands for Task 2 that eventually hamper Task 1 processing as well (i.e., inhibitory costs). If this is not the case, encountering a no-go Task 2 trial facilitates Task 1 performance, suggesting that the underlying task representation is reduced to a single - task. These results are discussed in the context of other recent work on BCEs and of recently suggested accounts of the no-go BCE.

  7. Sex Differences in Task Distribution and Task Exposures among Danish House Painters: An Observational Study Combining Questionnaire Data with Biomechanical Measurements

    PubMed Central

    Heilskov-Hansen, Thomas; Wulff Svendsen, Susanne; Frølund Thomsen, Jane; Mikkelsen, Sigurd; Hansson, Gert-Åke

    2014-01-01

    Objectives Sex differences in occupational biomechanical exposures may be part of the explanation why musculoskeletal complaints and disorders tend to be more common among women than among men. We aimed to determine possible sex differences in task distribution and task-specific postures and movements of the upper extremities among Danish house painters, and to establish sex-specific task exposure matrices. Methods To obtain task distributions, we sent out a questionnaire to all members of the Painters' Union in Denmark (N = 9364), of whom 53% responded. Respondents reported their task distributions in a typical week. To obtain task exposures, postures and movements were measured in 25 male and 25 female house painters for one whole working day per person. We used goniometers on the wrists, and inclinometers on the forehead and the upper arms. Participants filled in a logbook allowing task-specific exposures to be identified. Percentiles and % time with non-neutral postures were used to characterise postures. Velocity, range of motion, repetitiveness, and variation were used as measures of movement. Cochran-Mantel-Haenszel statistics and unpaired double-sided t-tests with post-hoc Bonferroni correction were used to evaluate sex differences. Results Statistically significant (p<0.05) sex differences were revealed in task proportions, but the proportions differed by less than 4%. For task exposures, no statistically significant sex differences were found. Conclusions Only minor sex differences were found in task distribution and task exposures regarding postures and movements among Danish house painters. Sex-specific task exposure matrices were established. PMID:25365301

  8. Motor Imagery during Action Observation: A Brief Review of Evidence, Theory and Future Research Opportunities

    PubMed Central

    Eaves, Daniel L.; Riach, Martin; Holmes, Paul S.; Wright, David J.

    2016-01-01

    Motor imagery (MI) and action observation (AO) have traditionally been viewed as two separate techniques, which can both be used alongside physical practice to enhance motor learning and rehabilitation. Their independent use has largely been shown to be effective, and there is clear evidence that the two processes can elicit similar activity in the motor system. Building on these well-established findings, research has now turned to investigate the effects of their combined use. In this article, we first review the available neurophysiological and behavioral evidence for the effects of combined action observation and motor imagery (AO+MI) on motor processes. We next describe a conceptual framework for their combined use, and then discuss several areas for future research into AO+MI processes. In this review, we advocate a more integrated approach to AO+MI techniques than has previously been adopted by movement scientists and practitioners alike. We hope that this early review of an emergent body of research, along with a related set of research questions, can inspire new work in this area. We are optimistic that future research will further confirm if, how, and when this combined approach to AO+MI can be more effective in motor learning and rehabilitation settings, relative to the more traditional application of MI or AO independently. PMID:27917103

  9. Observations of Children's Interactions with Teachers, Peers, and Tasks across Preschool Classroom Activity Settings

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Booren, Leslie M.; Downer, Jason T.; Vitiello, Virginia E.

    2012-01-01

    Research Findings: This descriptive study examined classroom activity settings in relation to children's observed behavior during classroom interactions, child gender, and basic teacher behavior within the preschool classroom. A total of 145 children were observed for an average of 80 min during 8 occasions across 2 days using the Individualized…

  10. Choosing Actions

    PubMed Central

    Rosenbaum, David A.; Chapman, Kate M.; Coelho, Chase J.; Gong, Lanyun; Studenka, Breanna E.

    2013-01-01

    Actions that are chosen have properties that distinguish them from actions that are not. Of the nearly infinite possible actions that can achieve any given task, many of the unchosen actions are irrelevant, incorrect, or inappropriate. Others are relevant, correct, or appropriate but are disfavored for other reasons. Our research focuses on the question of what distinguishes actions that are chosen from actions that are possible but are not. We review studies that use simple preference methods to identify factors that contribute to action choices, especially for object-manipulation tasks. We can determine which factors are especially important through simple behavioral experiments. PMID:23761769

  11. Prefrontal Neurons Encode Actions and Outcomes in Conjunction with Spatial Location in Rats Performing a Dynamic Delayed Non-Match to Position Task

    PubMed Central

    Wormwood, Benjamin A.; Miller, Rikki L. A.; Gibson, Brett M.; Mair, Robert G.

    2016-01-01

    To respond adaptively to change organisms must utilize information about recent events and environmental context to select actions that are likely to produce favorable outcomes. We developed a dynamic delayed nonmatching to position task to study the influence of spatial context on event-related activity of medial prefrontal cortex neurons during reinforcement-guided decision-making. We found neurons with responses related to preparation, movement, lever press responses, reinforcement, and memory delays. Combined event-related and video tracking analyses revealed variability in spatial tuning of neurons with similar event-related activity. While all correlated neurons exhibited spatial tuning broadly consistent with relevant task events, for instance reinforcement-related activity concentrated in locations where reinforcement was delivered, some had elevated activity in more specific locations, for instance reinforcement-related activity in one of several locations where reinforcement was delivered. Timing analyses revealed a limited set of distinct response types with activity time-locked to critical behavioral events that represent the temporal organization of dDNMTP trials. Our results suggest that reinforcement-guided decision-making emerges from discrete populations of medial prefrontal neurons that encode information related to planned or ongoing movements and actions and anticipated or actual action-outcomes in conjunction with information about spatial context. PMID:26848579

  12. Age-related variability in performance of a motor action selection task is related to differences in brain function and structure among older adults.

    PubMed

    Stewart, Jill Campbell; Tran, Xuan; Cramer, Steven C

    2014-02-01

    Task performance for behaviors that engage motor cognitive processes may be particularly sensitive to age-related changes. One well-studied model of cognitive motor function involves engagement of action selection (AS) processes. In young adults, task conditions that add AS demands result in increased preparation times and greater engagement of bilateral dorsal premotor (PMd) and parietal cortices. The current study investigated the behavioral and neural response to a change in motor cognitive demands in older adults through the addition of AS to a movement task. Sixteen older adults made a joystick movement under two conditions during functional magnetic resonance imaging. In the AS condition, participants moved right or left based on an abstract rule; in the execution only (EO) condition, participants moved in the same direction on every trial. Across participants, the AS condition, as compared to the EO condition, was associated with longer reaction time and increased activation of left inferior parietal lobule. Variability in behavioral response to the AS task between participants related to differences in brain function and structure. Overall, individuals with poorer AS task performance showed greater activation in left PMd and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and decreased structural integrity of white matter tracts that connect sensorimotor, frontal, and parietal regions-key regions for AS task performance. Additionally, two distinct patterns of functional connectivity were found. Participants with a pattern of decreased primary motor-PMd connectivity in response to the AS condition, compared to those with a pattern of increased connectivity, were older and had poorer behavioral performance. These neural changes in response to increased motor cognitive demands may be a marker for age-related changes in the motor system and have an impact on the learning of novel, complex motor skills in older adults.

  13. The Impact of Help Seeking on Individual Task Performance: The Moderating Effect of Help Seekers' Logics of Action

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Geller, Dvora; Bamberger, Peter A.

    2012-01-01

    Drawing from achievement-goal theory and the social psychological literature on help seeking, we propose that it is the variance in the logic underpinning employees' help seeking that explains divergent findings regarding the relationship between help seeking and task performance. Using a sample of 110 newly hired customer contact employees, a…

  14. Observation learning versus physical practice leads to different consolidation outcomes in a movement timing task.

    PubMed

    Trempe, Maxime; Sabourin, Maxime; Rohbanfard, Hassan; Proteau, Luc

    2011-03-01

    Motor learning is a process that extends beyond training sessions. Specifically, physical practice triggers a series of physiological changes in the CNS that are regrouped under the term "consolidation" (Stickgold and Walker 2007). These changes can result in between-session improvement or performance stabilization (Walker 2005). In a series of three experiments, we tested whether consolidation also occurs following observation. In Experiment 1, participants observed an expert model perform a sequence of arm movements. Although we found evidence of observation learning, no significant difference was revealed between participants asked to reproduce the observed sequence either 5 min or 24 h later (no between-session improvement). In Experiment 2, two groups of participants observed an expert model perform two distinct movement sequences (A and B) either 10 min or 8 h apart; participants then physically performed both sequences after a 24-h break. Participants in the 8-h group performed Sequence B less accurately compared to participants in the 5-min group, suggesting that the memory representation of the first sequence had been stabilized and that it interfered with the learning of the second sequence. Finally, in Experiment 3, the initial observation phase was replaced by a physical practice phase. In contrast with the results of Experiment 2, participants in the 8-h group performed Sequence B significantly more accurately compared to participants in the 5-min group. Together, our results suggest that the memory representation of a skill learned through observation undergoes consolidation. However, consolidation of an observed motor skill leads to distinct behavioural outcomes in comparison with physical practice.

  15. Prediction of human observer performance in a 2-alternative forced choice low-contrast detection task using channelized Hotelling observer: Impact of radiation dose and reconstruction algorithms

    SciTech Connect

    Yu Lifeng; Leng Shuai; Chen Lingyun; Kofler, James M.; McCollough, Cynthia H.; Carter, Rickey E.

    2013-04-15

    Purpose: Efficient optimization of CT protocols demands a quantitative approach to predicting human observer performance on specific tasks at various scan and reconstruction settings. The goal of this work was to investigate how well a channelized Hotelling observer (CHO) can predict human observer performance on 2-alternative forced choice (2AFC) lesion-detection tasks at various dose levels and two different reconstruction algorithms: a filtered-backprojection (FBP) and an iterative reconstruction (IR) method. Methods: A 35 Multiplication-Sign 26 cm{sup 2} torso-shaped phantom filled with water was used to simulate an average-sized patient. Three rods with different diameters (small: 3 mm; medium: 5 mm; large: 9 mm) were placed in the center region of the phantom to simulate small, medium, and large lesions. The contrast relative to background was -15 HU at 120 kV. The phantom was scanned 100 times using automatic exposure control each at 60, 120, 240, 360, and 480 quality reference mAs on a 128-slice scanner. After removing the three rods, the water phantom was again scanned 100 times to provide signal-absent background images at the exact same locations. By extracting regions of interest around the three rods and on the signal-absent images, the authors generated 21 2AFC studies. Each 2AFC study had 100 trials, with each trial consisting of a signal-present image and a signal-absent image side-by-side in randomized order. In total, 2100 trials were presented to both the model and human observers. Four medical physicists acted as human observers. For the model observer, the authors used a CHO with Gabor channels, which involves six channel passbands, five orientations, and two phases, leading to a total of 60 channels. The performance predicted by the CHO was compared with that obtained by four medical physicists at each 2AFC study. Results: The human and model observers were highly correlated at each dose level for each lesion size for both FBP and IR. The

  16. Neural Correlates of Action Observation and Execution in 14-Month-Old Infants: An Event-Related EEG Desynchronization Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Marshall, Peter J.; Young, Thomas; Meltzoff, Andrew N.

    2011-01-01

    There is increasing interest in neurobiological methods for investigating the shared representation of action perception and production in early development. We explored the extent and regional specificity of EEG desynchronization in the infant alpha frequency range (6-9 Hz) during action observation and execution in 14-month-old infants.…

  17. Machine-learning model observer for detection and localization tasks in clinical SPECT-MPI

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parages, Felipe M.; O'Connor, J. Michael; Pretorius, P. Hendrik; Brankov, Jovan G.

    2016-03-01

    In this work we propose a machine-learning MO based on Naive-Bayes classification (NB-MO) for the diagnostic tasks of detection, localization and assessment of perfusion defects in clinical SPECT Myocardial Perfusion Imaging (MPI), with the goal of evaluating several image reconstruction methods used in clinical practice. NB-MO uses image features extracted from polar-maps in order to predict lesion detection, localization and severity scores given by human readers in a series of 3D SPECT-MPI. The population used to tune (i.e. train) the NB-MO consisted of simulated SPECT-MPI cases - divided into normals or with lesions in variable sizes and locations - reconstructed using filtered backprojection (FBP) method. An ensemble of five human specialists (physicians) read a subset of simulated reconstructed images, and assigned a perfusion score for each region of the left-ventricle (LV). Polar-maps generated from the simulated volumes along with their corresponding human scores were used to train five NB-MOs (one per human reader), which are subsequently applied (i.e. tested) on three sets of clinical SPECT-MPI polar maps, in order to predict human detection and localization scores. The clinical "testing" population comprises healthy individuals and patients suffering from coronary artery disease (CAD) in three possible regions, namely: LAD, LcX and RCA. Each clinical case was reconstructed using three reconstruction strategies, namely: FBP with no SC (i.e. scatter compensation), OSEM with Triple Energy Window (TEW) SC method, and OSEM with Effective Source Scatter Estimation (ESSE) SC. Alternative Free-Response (AFROC) analysis of perfusion scores shows that NB-MO predicts a higher human performance for scatter-compensated reconstructions, in agreement with what has been reported in published literature. These results suggest that NB-MO has good potential to generalize well to reconstruction methods not used during training, even for reasonably dissimilar datasets (i

  18. Moving mirrors: a high-density EEG study investigating the effect of camera movements on motor cortex activation during action observation.

    PubMed

    Heimann, Katrin; Umiltà, Maria Alessandra; Guerra, Michele; Gallese, Vittorio

    2014-09-01

    Action execution-perception links (mirror mechanism) have been repeatedly suggested to play crucial roles in social cognition. Remarkably, the designs of most studies exploring this topic so far excluded even the simplest traces of social interaction, such as a movement of the observer toward another individual. This study introduces a new design by investigating the effects of camera movements, possibly simulating the observer's own approaching movement toward the scene. We conducted a combined high-density EEG and behavioral study investigating motor cortex activation during action observation measured by event-related desynchronization and resynchronization (ERD/ERS) of the mu rhythm. Stimuli were videos showing a goal-related hand action filmed while using the camera in four different ways: filming from a fixed position, zooming in on the scene, approaching the scene by means of a dolly, and approaching the scene by means of a steadycam. Results demonstrated a consistently stronger ERD of the mu rhythm for videos that were filmed while approaching the scene with a steadycam. Furthermore, videos in which the zoom was applied reliably demonstrated a stronger rebound. A rating task showed that videos in which the camera approached the scene were felt as more involving and the steadycam was most able to produce a visual experience close to the one of a human approaching the scene. These results suggest that filming technique predicts time course specifics of ERD/ERS during action observation with only videos simulating the natural vision of a walking human observer eliciting a stronger ERD than videos filmed from a fixed position. This demonstrates the utility of ecologically designed studies for exploring social cognition.

  19. DOD Task Force for Business and Stability Operations: Actions Needed to Establish Project Management Guidelines and Enhance Information Sharing

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-07-01

    requirements to establish metrics, and monitoring and evaluation processes. As a result, the Task Force does not have the framework needed to ensure a...requirements to establish project metrics, monitoring and evaluation processes, and the type of project information that should be collected and documented...metrics, monitoring and evaluation processes, or how program managers should maintain project information. Standards for Internal Control in the

  20. Uncovering the Connection between Artist and Audience: Viewing Painted Brushstrokes Evokes Corresponding Action Representations in the Observer

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Taylor, J. Eric T.; Witt, Jessica K.; Grimaldi, Phillip J.

    2012-01-01

    Observed actions are covertly and involuntarily simulated within the observer's motor system. It has been argued that simulation is involved in processing abstract, gestural paintings, as the artist's movements can be simulated by observing static brushstrokes. Though this argument is grounded in theory, empirical research has yet to examine the…

  1. Direct mapping rather than motor prediction subserves modulation of corticospinal excitability during observation of actions in real time

    PubMed Central

    Gueugneau, Nicolas; Mc Cabe, Sofia I.; Villalta, Jorge I.; Grafton, Scott T.

    2015-01-01

    Motor facilitation refers to the specific increment in corticospinal excitability (CSE) elicited by the observation of actions performed by others. To date, the precise nature of the mechanism at the basis of this phenomenon is unknown. One possibility is that motor facilitation is driven by a predictive process reminiscent of the role of forward models in motor control. Alternatively, motor facilitation may result from a model-free mechanism by which the basic elements of the observed action are directly mapped onto their cortical representations. Our study was designed to discern these alternatives. To this aim, we recorded the time course of CSE for the first dorsal interosseous (FDI) and the abductor digiti minimi (ADM) during observation of three grasping actions in real time, two of which strongly diverged in kinematics from their natural (invariant) form. Although artificially slow movements used in most action observation studies might enhance the observer's discrimination performance, the use of videos in real time is crucial to maintain the time course of CSE within the physiological range of daily actions. CSE was measured at 4 time points within a 240-ms window that best captured the kinematic divergence from the invariant form. Our results show that CSE of the FDI, not the ADM, closely follows the functional role of the muscle despite the mismatch between the natural and the divergent kinematics. We propose that motor facilitation during observation of actions performed in real time reflects the model-free coding of perceived movement following a direct mapping mechanism. PMID:25810483

  2. Direct mapping rather than motor prediction subserves modulation of corticospinal excitability during observation of actions in real time.

    PubMed

    Gueugneau, Nicolas; Mc Cabe, Sofia I; Villalta, Jorge I; Grafton, Scott T; Della-Maggiore, Valeria

    2015-06-01

    Motor facilitation refers to the specific increment in corticospinal excitability (CSE) elicited by the observation of actions performed by others. To date, the precise nature of the mechanism at the basis of this phenomenon is unknown. One possibility is that motor facilitation is driven by a predictive process reminiscent of the role of forward models in motor control. Alternatively, motor facilitation may result from a model-free mechanism by which the basic elements of the observed action are directly mapped onto their cortical representations. Our study was designed to discern these alternatives. To this aim, we recorded the time course of CSE for the first dorsal interosseous (FDI) and the abductor digiti minimi (ADM) during observation of three grasping actions in real time, two of which strongly diverged in kinematics from their natural (invariant) form. Although artificially slow movements used in most action observation studies might enhance the observer's discrimination performance, the use of videos in real time is crucial to maintain the time course of CSE within the physiological range of daily actions. CSE was measured at 4 time points within a 240-ms window that best captured the kinematic divergence from the invariant form. Our results show that CSE of the FDI, not the ADM, closely follows the functional role of the muscle despite the mismatch between the natural and the divergent kinematics. We propose that motor facilitation during observation of actions performed in real time reflects the model-free coding of perceived movement following a direct mapping mechanism.

  3. Primary somatosensory contribution to action observation brain activity—combining fMRI and cTBS

    PubMed Central

    Valchev, Nikola; Avenanti, Alessio; Keysers, Christian

    2016-01-01

    Traditionally the mirror neuron system (MNS) only includes premotor and posterior parietal cortices. However, somatosensory cortices, BA1/2 in particular, are also activated during action execution and observation. Here, we examine whether BA1/2 and the parietofrontal MNS integrate information by using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)-guided continuous theta-burst stimulation (cTBS) to perturb BA1/2. Measuring brain activity using fMRI while participants are under the influence of cTBS shows local cTBS effects in BA1/2 varied, with some participants showing decreases and others increases in the BOLD response to viewing actions vs control stimuli. We show how measuring cTBS effects using fMRI can harness this variance using a whole-brain regression. This analysis identifies brain regions exchanging action-specific information with BA1/2 by mapping voxels away from the coil with cTBS-induced, action-observation-specific BOLD contrast changes that mirror those under the coil. This reveals BA1/2 exchanges action-specific information with premotor, posterior parietal and temporal nodes of the MNS during action observation. Although anatomical connections between BA1/2 and these regions are well known, this is the first demonstration that these connections carry action-specific signals during observation and hence, that BA1/2 plays a causal role in the human MNS. PMID:26979966

  4. Impact of number of repeated scans on model observer performance for a low-contrast detection task in CT

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ma, Chi; Yu, Lifeng; Chen, Baiyu; Vrieze, Thomas; Favazza, Christopher; Leng, Shuai; McCollough, Cynthia

    2015-03-01

    In previous investigations on CT image quality, channelized Hotelling observer (CHO) models have been shown to well represent human observer performance in several phantom-based detection/discrimination tasks. In these studies, a large number of independent images was necessary to estimate the expectation images and covariance matrices for each test condition. The purpose of this study is to investigate how the number of repeated scans affects the precision and accuracy of the CHO's performance in a signal-known-exactly detection task. A phantom containing 21 low-contrast objects (3 contrast levels and 7 sizes) was scanned with a 128-slice CT scanner at three dose levels. For each dose level, 100 independent images were acquired for each test condition. All images were reconstructed using filtered-backprojection (FBP) and a commercial iterative reconstruction algorithm. For each combination of dose level and reconstruction method, the low-contrast detectability, quantified with the area under receiver operating characteristic curve (Az), was calculated using a previously validated CHO model. To determine the dependency of CHO performance on the number of repeated scans, the Az value was calculated for different number of channel filters, for each object size and contrast, and for different dose/reconstruction settings using all 100 repeated scans. The Az values were also calculated using randomly selected subsets of the scans (from 10 to 90 scans with an increment of 10 scans). Using the Az from the 100 scans as the reference, the accuracy of Az values calculated from a fewer number of scans was determined and the minimal number of scans was subsequently derived. For the studied signal-known-exactly detection task, results demonstrated that, the minimal number of scans depends on dose level, object size and contrast level, and channel filters.

  5. A simulated passive intervertebral motion task: observations of performance in a cross-sectional study

    PubMed Central

    Hazle, Charles R; Nitz, Arthur J

    2012-01-01

    Introduction: Passive motion palpation is an integral component in examination, diagnosis or classification, and treatment of persons with mechanical disorders of the cervical spine. If the magnitude of force application during passive movement assessment is associated with greater palpatory accuracy has not been established. Methods: This investigation used a novel mechanical model as a basis for assessing the palpatory force of students and clinicians. The model included multiple palpable resistance and displacement levels similar to that observed in humans. The ability of the subjects to discriminate the various levels of resistance and displacement offered by the model was concurrently measured. Results: Large variability occurred in the amount of force applied by the subjects in completing the palpatory examination. The data indicated no major differences in palpatory accuracy across the student and clinician groups with different training and experience levels beyond basic competency. Those subjects applying less force in the palpatory exam demonstrated greater accuracy of palpatory assessment with one measure. Discussion: The data indicate training and experience had minimal relationship to palpatory interpretation precision beyond the basic level and individual natural discriminatory ability may be a factor in accuracy of palpatory skill. The results demonstrate remarkable inconsistency in palpatory force among examiners and suggest that palpatory accuracy may be related to less force application. PMID:23904750

  6. A Call To Action for Physics Departments: Findings and Recommendations of the National Task Force on Teacher Education in Physics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vokos, Stamatis

    2010-10-01

    The National Task Force on Teacher Education in Physics (T-TEP) concluded its two-year investigation of the professional preparation of teachers of physics in the U.S. T-TEP, formed by APS, AAPT, and AIP, was charged with (a) identifying generalizable, yet flexible, strategies that institutions, and in particular physics departments and schools or colleges of education, can employ to increase the number of qualified physics teachers, (b) identifying effective strategies in recruitment, models of professional preparation, and higher education systems of support during the first three years of teaching, and (c) articulating research, policy, and funding implications. In this talk, the major findings and recommendations of the T-TEP report will be discussed and ways to leverage the report to transform the physics teacher education system will be outlined.

  7. The impact of help seeking on individual task performance: the moderating effect of help seekers' logics of action.

    PubMed

    Geller, Dvora; Bamberger, Peter A

    2012-03-01

    Drawing from achievement-goal theory and the social psychological literature on help seeking, we propose that it is the variance in the logic underpinning employees' help seeking that explains divergent findings regarding the relationship between help seeking and task performance. Using a sample of 110 newly hired customer contact employees, a prospective study design, and archival performance data, we found no evidence of a hypothesized main effect of help seeking on performance. However, we did find that the help seeking-performance relationship was conditioned by the degree to which help seekers endorse 2 alternative help-seeking logics (autonomous vs. dependent logic) such that the level of help seeking is more strongly related to performance among those either more strongly endorsing an autonomous help-seeking logic or more weakly endorsing a dependent help-seeking logic.

  8. Neural Correlates of Human Action Observation in Hearing and Deaf Subjects

    PubMed Central

    Corina, David; Chiu, Yi-Shiuan; Knapp, Heather; Greenwald, Ralf; Jose-Robertson, Lucia San; Braun, Allen

    2007-01-01

    Accumulating evidence has suggested the existence of a human action recognition system involving inferior frontal, parietal, and superior temporal regions that may participate in both the perception and execution of actions. However, little is known about the specificity of this system in response to different forms of human action. Here we present data from PET neuroimaging studies from passive viewing of three distinct action types, intransitive self-oriented actions (e.g., stretching, rubbing one’s eyes, etc.), transitive object-oriented actions (e.g., opening a door, lifting a cup to the lips to drink), and the abstract, symbolic actions–signs used in American Sign Language. Our results show that these different classes of human actions engage a frontal/parietal/STS human action recognition system in a highly similar fashion. However, the results indicate that this neural consistency across motion classes is true primarily for hearing subjects. Data from deaf signers shows a non-uniform response to different classes of human actions. As expected, deaf signers engaged left-hemisphere perisylvian language areas during the perception of signed language signs. Surprisingly, these subjects did not engage the expected frontal/parietal/STS circuitry during passive viewing of non-linguistic actions, but rather reliably activated middle-occipital temporal-ventral regions which are known to participate in the detection of human bodies, faces, and movements. Comparisons with data from hearing subjects establish statistically significant contributions of middle-occipital temporal-ventral during the processing of non-linguistic actions in deaf signers. These results suggest that during human motion processing, deaf individuals may engage specialized neural systems that allow for rapid, online differentiation of meaningful linguistic actions from non-linguistic human movements. PMID:17459349

  9. End or Means--The "What" and "How" of Observed Intentional Actions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hesse, Maike D.; Sparing, Roland; Fink, Gereon R.

    2009-01-01

    Action understanding and learning are suggested to be mediated, at least in part, by the human mirror neuron system (hMNS). Static images as well as videos of actions with the outcome occluded have been shown to activate the hMNS. However, whether the hMNS preferentially responds to "end" or "means" of an action remains to be investigated. We,…

  10. Processing of action- but not stimulus-related prediction errors differs between active and observational feedback learning.

    PubMed

    Kobza, Stefan; Bellebaum, Christian

    2015-01-01

    Learning of stimulus-response-outcome associations is driven by outcome prediction errors (PEs). Previous studies have shown larger PE-dependent activity in the striatum for learning from own as compared to observed actions and the following outcomes despite comparable learning rates. We hypothesised that this finding relates primarily to a stronger integration of action and outcome information in active learners. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we investigated brain activations related to action-dependent PEs, reflecting the deviation between action values and obtained outcomes, and action-independent PEs, reflecting the deviation between subjective values of response-preceding cues and obtained outcomes. To this end, 16 active and 15 observational learners engaged in a probabilistic learning card-guessing paradigm. On each trial, active learners saw one out of five cues and pressed either a left or right response button to receive feedback (monetary win or loss). Each observational learner observed exactly those cues, responses and outcomes of one active learner. Learning performance was assessed in active test trials without feedback and did not differ between groups. For both types of PEs, activations were found in the globus pallidus, putamen, cerebellum, and insula in active learners. However, only for action-dependent PEs, activations in these structures and the anterior cingulate were increased in active relative to observational learners. Thus, PE-related activity in the reward system is not generally enhanced in active relative to observational learning but only for action-dependent PEs. For the cerebellum, additional activations were found across groups for cue-related uncertainty, thereby emphasising the cerebellum's role in stimulus-outcome learning.

  11. An integrative neural model of social perception, action observation, and theory of mind

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Daniel Y.-J.; Rosenblau, Gabriela; Keifer, Cara; Pelphrey, Kevin A.

    2016-01-01

    In the field of social neuroscience, major branches of research have been instrumental in describing independent components of typical and aberrant social information processing, but the field as a whole lacks a comprehensive model that integrates different branches. We review existing research related to the neural basis of three key neural systems underlying social information processing: social perception, action observation, and theory of mind. We propose an integrative model that unites these three processes and highlights the posterior superior temporal sulcus (pSTS), which plays a central role in all three systems. Furthermore, we integrate these neural systems with the dual system account of implicit and explicit social information processing. Large-scale meta-analyses based on Neurosynth confirmed that the pSTS is at the intersection of the three neural systems. Resting-state functional connectivity analysis with 1000 subjects confirmed that the pSTS is connected to all other regions in these systems. The findings presented in this review are specifically relevant for psychiatric research especially disorders characterized by social deficits such as autism spectrum disorder. PMID:25660957

  12. Actions, Observations, and Decision-Making: Biologically Inspired Strategies for Autonomous Aerial Vehicles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pisanich, Greg; Ippolito, Corey; Plice, Laura; Young, Larry A.; Lau, Benton

    2003-01-01

    This paper details the development and demonstration of an autonomous aerial vehicle embodying search and find mission planning and execution srrategies inspired by foraging behaviors found in biology. It begins by describing key characteristics required by an aeria! explorer to support science and planetary exploration goals, and illustrates these through a hypothetical mission profile. It next outlines a conceptual bio- inspired search and find autonomy architecture that implements observations, decisions, and actions through an "ecology" of producer, consumer, and decomposer agents. Moving from concepts to development activities, it then presents the results of mission representative UAV aerial surveys at a Mars analog site. It next describes hardware and software enhancements made to a commercial small fixed-wing UAV system, which inc!nde a ncw dpvelopnent architecture that also provides hardware in the loop simulation capability. After presenting the results of simulated and actual flights of bioinspired flight algorithms, it concludes with a discussion of future development to include an expansion of system capabilities and field science support.

  13. Action Observation and Motor Imagery: Innovative Cognitive Tools in the Rehabilitation of Parkinson's Disease.

    PubMed

    Abbruzzese, Giovanni; Avanzino, Laura; Marchese, Roberta; Pelosin, Elisa

    2015-01-01

    Parkinson's disease (PD) is characterized by a progressive impairment of motor skills with deterioration of autonomy in daily living activities. Physiotherapy is regarded as an adjuvant to pharmacological and neurosurgical treatment and may provide small and short-lasting clinical benefits in PD patients. However, the development of innovative rehabilitation approaches with greater long-term efficacy is a major unmet need. Motor imagery (MI) and action observation (AO) have been recently proposed as a promising rehabilitation tool. MI is the ability to imagine a movement without actual performance (or muscle activation). The same cortical-subcortical network active during motor execution is engaged in MI. The physiological basis of AO is represented by the activation of the "mirror neuron system." Both MI and AO are involved in motor learning and can induce improvements of motor performance, possibly mediated by the development of plastic changes in the motor cortex. The review of available evidences indicated that MI ability and AO feasibility are substantially preserved in PD subjects. A few preliminary studies suggested the possibility of using MI and AO as parts of rehabilitation protocols for PD patients.

  14. Action Observation and Motor Imagery: Innovative Cognitive Tools in the Rehabilitation of Parkinson's Disease

    PubMed Central

    Abbruzzese, Giovanni; Avanzino, Laura; Marchese, Roberta; Pelosin, Elisa

    2015-01-01

    Parkinson's disease (PD) is characterized by a progressive impairment of motor skills with deterioration of autonomy in daily living activities. Physiotherapy is regarded as an adjuvant to pharmacological and neurosurgical treatment and may provide small and short-lasting clinical benefits in PD patients. However, the development of innovative rehabilitation approaches with greater long-term efficacy is a major unmet need. Motor imagery (MI) and action observation (AO) have been recently proposed as a promising rehabilitation tool. MI is the ability to imagine a movement without actual performance (or muscle activation). The same cortical-subcortical network active during motor execution is engaged in MI. The physiological basis of AO is represented by the activation of the “mirror neuron system.” Both MI and AO are involved in motor learning and can induce improvements of motor performance, possibly mediated by the development of plastic changes in the motor cortex. The review of available evidences indicated that MI ability and AO feasibility are substantially preserved in PD subjects. A few preliminary studies suggested the possibility of using MI and AO as parts of rehabilitation protocols for PD patients. PMID:26495150

  15. Development of action representation during adolescence as assessed from anticipatory control in a bimanual load-lifting task.

    PubMed

    Barlaam, F; Fortin, C; Vaugoyeau, M; Schmitz, C; Assaiante, C

    2012-09-27

    The aim of this study was to explore, during adolescence, alterations in the use of a sensori-motor representation as unveiled by the measurement of anticipatory postural control in a bimanual load-lifting task. We hypothesised that adolescence constitutes a period of refinement of anticipatory postural control due to on-going updates of the body schema and sensori-motor representations. The anticipatory postural control was assessed using a bimanual load-lifting paradigm in which subjects stabilise their left postural forearm, which is supporting an object, while they use their right hand to lift up the object. Kinematics and electromyographic data were recorded in two groups of adolescents (11-13 and 14-16 years of age) and a group of adults. Age and gender effects were tested. During voluntary unloading, the postural forearm stabilisation in adolescents was still different from the adult one, suggesting that further improvement of the postural forearm stabilisation must take place after the age of 16. No differences occur in the two adolescent groups. Moreover, girls presented a better stabilisation of the postural forearm than boys, indicating an earlier refinement of anticipatory postural control. The decrease of activity over postural flexors, which ensure postural stabilisation, appeared later in adolescents with respect to adults. Delayed timing adjustments and increased variability could reflect intense developmental processes underlain by an intense period of CNS maturation during adolescence. We discuss the role of brain maturation in the refinement of sensori-motor representations and the update of body schema.

  16. Weight dependent modulation of motor resonance induced by weight estimation during observation of partially occluded lifting actions.

    PubMed

    Valchev, Nikola; Zijdewind, Inge; Keysers, Christian; Gazzola, Valeria; Avenanti, Alessio; Maurits, Natasha M

    2015-01-01

    Seeing others performing an action induces the observers' motor cortex to "resonate" with the observed action. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) studies suggest that such motor resonance reflects the encoding of various motor features of the observed action, including the apparent motor effort. However, it is unclear whether such encoding requires direct observation or whether force requirements can be inferred when the moving body part is partially occluded. To address this issue, we presented participants with videos of a right hand lifting a box of three different weights and asked them to estimate its weight. During each trial we delivered one transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) pulse over the left primary motor cortex of the observer and recorded the motor evoked potentials (MEPs) from three muscles of the right hand (first dorsal interosseous, FDI, abductor digiti minimi, ADM, and brachioradialis, BR). Importantly, because the hand shown in the videos was hidden behind a screen, only the contractions in the actor's BR muscle under the bare skin were observable during the entire videos, while the contractions in the actor's FDI and ADM muscles were hidden during the grasp and actual lift. The amplitudes of the MEPs recorded from the BR (observable) and FDI (hidden) muscle increased with the weight of the box. These findings indicate that the modulation of motor excitability induced by action observation extends to the cortical representation of muscles with contractions that could not be observed. Thus, motor resonance appears to reflect force requirements of observed lifting actions even when the moving body part is occluded from view.

  17. NF-kappaB activity affects learning in aversive tasks: possible actions via modulation of the stress axis.

    PubMed

    Lehmann, Michael L; Brachman, Rebecca A; Listwak, Samuel J; Herkenham, Miles

    2010-08-01

    The role of altered activity of nuclear factor kappaB (NF-kappaB) in specific aspects of motivated behavior and learning and memory was examined in mice lacking the p50 subunit of the NF-kappaB/rel transcription factor family. Nfkb1-deficient mice are unable to produce p50 and show specific susceptibilities to infections and inflammatory challenges, but the behavioral phenotype of such mice has been largely unexamined, owing in large part to the lack of understanding of the role of NF-kappaB in nervous system function. Here we show that Nfkb1 (p50) knockout mice more rapidly learned to find the hidden platform in the Morris water maze than did wildtype mice. The rise in plasma corticosterone levels after the maze test was greater in p50 knockout than in wildtype mice. In the less stressful Barnes maze, which tests similar kinds of spatial learning, the p50 knockout mice performed similarly to control mice. Adrenalectomy with corticosterone replacement eliminated the differences between p50 knockout and wildtype mice in the water maze. Knockout mice showed increased levels of basal anxiety in the open-field and light/dark box tests, suggesting that their enhanced escape latency in the water maze was due to activation of the stress (hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal) axis leading to elevated corticosterone production by strongly but not mildly anxiogenic stimuli. The results suggest that, as in the immune system, p50 in the nervous system normally serves to dampen NF-kappaB-mediated intracellular activities, which are manifested physiologically through elevated stress responses to aversive stimuli and behaviorally in the facilitated escape performance in learning tasks.

  18. Weight dependent modulation of motor resonance induced by weight estimation during observation of partially occluded lifting actions

    PubMed Central

    Valchev, Nikola; Zijdewind, Inge; Keysers, Christian; Gazzola, Valeria; Avenanti, Alessio; Maurits, Natasha M.

    2016-01-01

    Seeing others performing an action induces the observers’ motor cortex to “resonate” with the observed action. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) studies suggest that such motor resonance reflects the encoding of various motor features of the observed action, including the apparent motor effort. However, it is unclear whether such encoding requires direct observation or whether force requirements can be inferred when the moving body part is partially occluded. To address this issue, we presented participants with videos of a right hand lifting a box of three different weights and asked them to estimate its weight. During each trial we delivered one transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) pulse over the left primary motor cortex of the observer and recorded the motor evoked potentials (MEPs) from three muscles of the right hand (first dorsal interosseous, FDI, abductor digiti minimi, ADM, and brachioradialis, BR). Importantly, because the hand shown in the videos was hidden behind a screen, only the contractions in the actor’s BR muscle under the bare skin were observable during the entire videos, while the contractions in the actor’s FDI and ADM muscles were hidden during the grasp and actual lift. The amplitudes of the MEPs recorded from the BR (observable) and FDI (hidden) muscle increased with the weight of the box. These findings indicate that the modulation of motor excitability induced by action observation extends to the cortical representation of muscles with contractions that could not be observed. Thus, motor resonance appears to reflect force requirements of observed lifting actions even when the moving body part is occluded from view. PMID:25462196

  19. fMRI Adaptation between Action Observation and Action Execution Reveals Cortical Areas with Mirror Neuron Properties in Human BA 44/45

    PubMed Central

    de la Rosa, Stephan; Schillinger, Frieder L.; Bülthoff, Heinrich H.; Schultz, Johannes; Uludag, Kamil

    2016-01-01

    Mirror neurons (MNs) are considered to be the supporting neural mechanism for action understanding. MNs have been identified in monkey’s area F5. The identification of MNs in the human homolog of monkeys’ area F5 Broadmann Area 44/45 (BA 44/45) has been proven methodologically difficult. Cross-modal functional MRI (fMRI) adaptation studies supporting the existence of MNs restricted their analysis to a priori candidate regions, whereas studies that failed to find evidence used non-object-directed (NDA) actions. We tackled these limitations by using object-directed actions (ODAs) differing only in terms of their object directedness in combination with a cross-modal adaptation paradigm and a whole-brain analysis. Additionally, we tested voxels’ blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) response patterns for several properties previously reported as typical MN response properties. Our results revealed 52 voxels in left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG; particularly BA 44/45), which respond to both motor and visual stimulation and exhibit cross-modal adaptation between the execution and observation of the same action. These results demonstrate that part of human IFG, specifically BA 44/45, has BOLD response characteristics very similar to monkey’s area F5. PMID:26973496

  20. Task-specific modulations of locomotor action parameters based on on-line visual information during collision avoidance with moving objects.

    PubMed

    Cinelli, Michael Eric; Patla, Aftab E

    2008-06-01

    The objectives of this study were: (a) to determine if the control mechanism for interacting with a dynamic real environment is the same as in the virtual reality (VR) studies, and (b) to identify the action control parameters that are modulated to successfully pass through oscillating doors. The participants walked along a 14-m path towards oscillating doors (rate of change in aperture size = 44 cm/s and maximum aperture varied 70, 80, or 100 cm). The participants had to use vision to extrapolate what the aperture of the doors would be at the time of crossing and determine if a change in action parameters was necessary. If their current state did not match the required state then the participants made modifications to their actions. The results showed that individuals in a real environment used similar action modifications (i.e., velocity adjustments) as those seen in VR studies to increase success. Aside from the gradual velocity adjustments observed, there was an immergence of a different locomotor action parameter on some trials that was not seen in VR studies (i.e., shoulder rotations). These shoulder rotations occurred when the participants perceived that a velocity adjustment alone would not lead to a successful trial. These results show that participants use perception to control movement in a feedback rather than feedforward manner.

  1. Frequency and topography in monkey electroencephalogram during action observation: possible neural correlates of the mirror neuron system

    PubMed Central

    Coudé, G.; Vanderwert, R. E.; Thorpe, S.; Festante, F.; Bimbi, M.; Fox, N. A.; Ferrari, P. F.

    2014-01-01

    The observation of actions executed by others results in desynchronization of electroencephalogram (EEG) in the alpha and beta frequency bands recorded from the central regions in humans. On the other hand, mirror neurons, which are thought to be responsible for this effect, have been studied only in macaque monkeys, using single-cell recordings. Here, as a first step in a research programme aimed at understanding the parallels between human and monkey mirror neuron systems (MNS), we recorded EEG from the scalp of two monkeys during action observation. The monkeys were trained to fixate on the face of a human agent and subsequently to fixate on a target upon which the agent performed a grasping action. We found that action observation produced desynchronization in the 19–25 Hz band that was strongest over anterior and central electrodes. These results are in line with human data showing that specific frequency bands within the power spectrum of the ongoing EEG may be modulated by observation of actions and therefore might be a specific marker of MNS activity. PMID:24778383

  2. Action simulation plays a critical role in deceptive action recognition.

    PubMed

    Tidoni, Emmanuele; Borgomaneri, Sara; di Pellegrino, Giuseppe; Avenanti, Alessio

    2013-01-09

    The ability to infer deceptive intents from nonverbal behavior is critical for social interactions. By combining single-pulse and repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) in healthy humans, we provide both correlational and causative evidence that action simulation is actively involved in the ability to recognize deceptive body movements. We recorded motor-evoked potentials during a faked-action discrimination (FAD) task: participants watched videos of actors lifting a cube and judged whether the actors were trying to deceive them concerning the real weight of the cube. Seeing faked actions facilitated the observers' motor system more than truthful actions in a body-part-specific manner, suggesting that motor resonance was sensitive to deceptive movements. Furthermore, we found that TMS virtual lesion to the anterior node of the action observation network, namely the left inferior frontal cortex (IFC), reduced perceptual sensitivity in the FAD task. In contrast, no change in FAD task performance was found after virtual lesions to the left temporoparietal junction (control site). Moreover, virtual lesion to the IFC failed to affect performance in a difficulty-matched spatial-control task that did not require processing of spatiotemporal (acceleration) and configurational (limb displacement) features of seen actions, which are critical to detecting deceptive intent in the actions of others. These findings indicate that the human IFC is critical for recognizing deceptive body movements and suggest that FAD relies on the simulation of subtle changes in action kinematics within the motor system.

  3. Chronic atomoxetine treatment during adolescence does not influence decision-making on a rodent gambling task, but does modulate amphetamine's effect on impulsive action in adulthood.

    PubMed

    Silveira, Mason M; Murch, W Spencer; Clark, Luke; Winstanley, Catharine A

    2016-06-01

    In addition to the symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity, individuals with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder exhibit impaired performance on tests of real-world cost/benefit decision-making. Atomoxetine, a nonstimulant drug approved for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, is a selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor administered chronically during adolescence, a time during which the frontal brain regions necessary for executive function undergo extensive maturation. This treatment protocol can affect behavior well into adulthood, but whether it produces long-term changes in complex decision-making has not been investigated. Twenty-four Long-Evans rats were administered saline or 1.0 mg/kg atomoxetine daily from postnatal day 40 to 54. Two weeks after treatment, the adult rats were trained and assessed on the rodent gambling task, in which the animals chose from four options varying in reward, punishment, and uncertainty. Impulsive action was also measured by recording the number of premature responses made. Regardless of the treatment administered during adolescence, rats learned to favor the advantageous options characterized by small, low-penalty rewards in lieu of the larger, higher-penalty reward options. Rodent gambling task performance was then assessed following acute treatment with atomoxetine (0.1-1.0 mg/kg) and amphetamine (0.3-1.5 mg/kg). Across groups, the highest dose of atomoxetine impaired decision-making and decreased premature responding at all doses tested. Amphetamine also impaired choice performance, but selectively increased impulsive action in rats that had previously received atomoxetine treatment during adolescence. These findings contribute to our understanding of the long-term effects associated with chronic adolescent atomoxetine exposure and suggest that this treatment does not alter decision-making under conditions of risk and uncertainty in adulthood.

  4. Do monkey F5 mirror neurons show changes in firing rate during repeated observation of natural actions?

    PubMed

    Kilner, J M; Kraskov, A; Lemon, R N

    2014-03-01

    Mirror neurons were first discovered in area F5 of macaque monkeys. In humans, noninvasive studies have demonstrated an increased blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) signal in homologous motor areas during action observation. One approach to demonstrating that this indicates the existence of mirror neurons in humans has been to employ functional (f)MRI adaptation to test whether the same population of neurons is active during both observation and execution conditions. Although a number of human studies have reported fMRI adaptation in these areas, a recent study has shown that macaque mirror neurons do not attenuate their firing rate with two repetitions. Here we investigated whether mirror neurons modulate their firing rate when monkeys observed the same repeated natural action multiple times. We recorded from 67 mirror neurons in area F5 of two macaque monkeys while they observed an experimenter perform a reach-to-grasp action on a small food reward using a precision grip. Although no changes were detectable for the first two repetitions, we show that both the firing rate and the latency at which mirror neurons discharged during observation were subtly modulated by the repetition of the observed action over 7-10 trials. Significant adaption was mostly found in the period immediately before the grasp was performed. We also found that the local field potential activity in F5 (beta-frequency range, 16-23 Hz), which is attenuated during action observation, also showed systematic changes with repeated observation. These LFP changes occurred well in advance of the mirror neuron adaptation. We conclude that macaque mirror neurons can show intra-modal adaptation, but whether this is related to fMRI adaptation of the BOLD signal requires further investigation.

  5. Action Production Influences 12-Month-Old Infants' Attention to Others' Actions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cannon, Erin N.; Woodward, Amanda L.; Gredeback, Gustaf; von Hofsten, Claes; Turek, Colleen

    2012-01-01

    Recent work implicates a link between action control systems and action understanding. In this study, we investigated the role of the motor system in the development of visual anticipation of others' actions. Twelve-month-olds engaged in behavioral and observation tasks. "Containment activity", infants' spontaneous engagement in producing…

  6. Action-centered display design: Observations and conclusions to HMI by applying digital I and C in main control rooms

    SciTech Connect

    Treier, C.; Zeck, K.; Weich, A.; Schildheuer, R.

    2006-07-01

    With the increasing use of digital I and C systems, the shift personnel in a Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) has the chance to dispose of new supporting methods that influence their actions directly or indirectly. Besides the automation of monitoring and control functions, the task- and problem-oriented increased number of (current state) information in screen based displays is to be mentioned. A few released screen based displays of a German NPP illustrate the influence on the course of action. Therefore the design of displays won't only be determined by the operating mode in future but displays themselves are influencing the operating mode offering both very compact and dynamic information that can directly be used in the operating mode. In order to be able to take these future key functions adequately and early into consideration when designing screen based displays, the development of design instruments like Style Guides with Good Practice methods and construction catalogues both on a company and on an company spanning level is essential: a challenging task for economy and science and also for standardization committees that shall be illustrated in the following report. (authors)

  7. CAN-DOO: The Climate Action Network through Direct Observations and Outreach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taubman, B.; Sherman, J. P.; Perry, L. B.; Markham, J.; Kelly, G.

    2011-12-01

    The urgency of climate change demands a greater understanding of our climate system, not only by the leaders of today, but by the scientists, policy makers, and citizens of tomorrow. Unfortunately, a large segment of the population currently possesses inadequate knowledge of climate science. In direct response to a need for greater scientific literacy with respect to climate science, researchers from Appalachian State University's Appalachian Atmospheric Interdisciplinary Research (AppalAIR) group, with support from NASA, have developed CAN-DOO: the Climate Action Network through Direct Observations and Outreach. CAN-DOO addresses climate science literacy by 1) Developing the infrastructure for sustaining and expanding public outreach through long-term climate measurements capable of complementing existing NASA measurements, 2) Enhancing public awareness of climate science and NASA's role in advancing our understanding of the Earth System, and 3) Introducing Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics principles to homeschooled, public school, and Appalachian State University students through applied climate science activities. Project partners include the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation, Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute, and local elementary schools. In partnership with Grandfather Mountain, climate science awareness is promoted through citizen science activities, interactive public displays, and staff training. CAN-DOO engages students by involving them in the entire scientific investigative process as applied to climate science. We introduce local elementary and middle school students, homeschooled students throughout North Carolina, and undergraduate students in a new Global Climate Change course and select other courses at Appalachian State University to instrument assembly, measurement techniques, data collection, hypothesis testing, and drawing conclusions. Results are placed in the proper context via comparisons with other student

  8. Remedial action and feedback processing in a time-estimation task: evidence for a role of the rostral cingulate zone in behavioral adjustments without learning.

    PubMed

    van der Veen, Frederik M; Röder, Christian H; Mies, Gabry W; van der Lugt, Aad; Smits, Marion

    2011-01-01

    The present study examined the role of the rostral cingulate zone (RCZ) in feedback processing, and especially focused on effects of modality of the feedback stimulus and remedial action. Participants performed a time-estimation task in which they had to estimate a 1-second interval. After the estimation participants received verbal (correct/false) or facial (fearful face/happy face) feedback. Percentage of positive and negative feedback was kept at 50% by dynamically adjusting the interval in which estimations were labeled correct. Contrary to predictions of the reinforcement learning theory, which predicts more RCZ activation when the outcome of behavior is worse than expected, we found that the RCZ was more active after positive feedback than after negative feedback, independent of the modality of the feedback stimulus. More in line with the suggested role of the RCZ in reinforcement learning was the finding that the RCZ was more active after negative feedback that was followed by a correct adjustment as compared to negative feedback followed by an incorrect adjustment. Both findings can be explained in terms of the RCZ being involved in facilitating remedial action as opposed to the suggested signaling function (outcome is worse than expected) proposed by the reinforcement learning theory.

  9. Learning by observing: the effect of multiple sessions of action-observation training on the spontaneous movement tempo and motor resonance.

    PubMed

    Lagravinese, Giovanna; Bisio, Ambra; Ruggeri, Piero; Bove, Marco; Avanzino, Laura

    2017-02-01

    The present study was designed to explore the changes in motor performance and motor resonance after multiple sessions of action observation (AO) training. Subjects were exposed to the observation of a video showing finger tapping movements executed at 3Hz, a frequency higher than the spontaneous one (2Hz) for four consecutive days. Motor performance and motor resonance were tested before the AO training on the first day, and on the last day. Results showed that multiple sessions of AO training induced a shift of the speed of execution of finger tapping movements toward the observed one and a change in motor resonance. Before the 3Hz-AO training cortical excitability was highest during the observation of the 2Hz video. This motor resonance effect was lost after one single session of 3Hz-AO training whereas after multiple sessions of 3Hz-AO training cortical excitability was highest during the observation of the 3Hz video. Our study shows for the first time that multiple sessions of AO training are able not only to induce performance gains but also to change the way by which the observer's motor system recognizes a certain movement as belonging to the individual motor repertoire. These results may encourage the development of novel rehabilitative protocols based on multiple sessions of action observation aimed to regain a correct movement when its spontaneous speed is modified by pathologies or to modify the innate temporal properties of certain movements.

  10. Defense Contracting: Observations on Air Force Use of Undefinitized Contract Actions

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-05-18

    incur unnecessary costs if requirements change before the contract is definitized . To help minimize these risks, defense acquisition regulations...generally require UCAs to be definitized within 180 days of issuance of the contract action or before more than 50 percent of the estimated contract... definitization time frames. In June 2007, we found that DOD did not know the extent to which it was using UCAs and identified the need for the department to

  11. Observing prioritization effects on cognition and gait: The effect of increased cognitive load on cognitively healthy older adults' dual-task performance.

    PubMed

    Maclean, Linda M; Brown, Laura J E; Khadra, H; Astell, Arlene J

    2017-03-01

    Previous studies exploring the effects of attention-prioritization on cognitively healthy older adults' gait and cognitive dual task (DT) performance have shown DT cost in gait outcomes but inconsistent effects on cognitive performance, which may reflect task difficulty (the cognitive load). This study aimed to identify whether changing the cognitive load during a walking and counting DT improved the challenge/sensitivity of the cognitive task to observe prioritization effects on concurrent gait and cognitive performance outcomes. Seventy-two cognitively healthy older adults (Mean=73years) walked 15m, counted backwards in 3s and 7s as single tasks (ST), and concurrently walked and counted backwards as DTs. Attention-prioritization was examined in Prioritizing Walking (PW) and Prioritizing Counting (PC) DT conditions. Dual-task performance costs (DTC) were calculated for number of correct cognitive responses (CCR) in the counting tasks, and step-time variability and velocity in the gait task. All DT conditions showed a benefit (DTB) for cognitive outcomes with trade-off cost to gait. In the Serial 3s task, the cognitive DTBs increased in PC over the PW condition (p<0.05), with a greater cost to walking velocity (p<0.05). DT effects were more pronounced in the Serial 7s with a lower cognitive DTB when PC than when PW, (p<0.05) with no trade-off increase in cost to gait outcomes (p<0.05). The findings suggest that increased cognitive load during a gait and cognitive DT produces more pronounced gait measures of attention-prioritization in cognitively healthy older adults. A cognitive load effect was also observed in the cognitive outcomes, with unexpected results.

  12. Motor facilitation during action observation: topographic mapping of the target muscle and influence of the onlooker's posture.

    PubMed

    Urgesi, Cosimo; Candidi, Matteo; Fabbro, Franco; Romani, Michela; Aglioti, Salvatore M

    2006-05-01

    Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) studies report that viewing a given action performed by a model activates the neural representation of the onlooker's muscles that are activated during the actual execution of the observed action. Here we sought to determine whether this mirror observation-execution facilitation reflects only muscular specificity or whether it is also influenced by postural congruency between onlooker/model body parts. We recorded motor potentials evoked by single-pulse TMS from the first dorsal interosseous (FDI) and abductor digiti minimi (ADM) muscles during observation of the right index and little finger abduction/adduction movements of models who kept their hands in a palm-down or palm-up position. Moreover, in different experiments observers kept their right hand palm down or palm up. Selective motor facilitation was observed during observation of movements that map the motor function of the targeted muscles, regardless of the posture of the observed hand. Modulation of FDI, however, was obtained only when participants kept their hand palm down; by contrast, modulation of ADM was obtained only when participants kept their hand palm up. Interestingly, electromyographic recordings showed that FDI is mostly active when index abduction/adduction movements are performed in the palm-down position, whereas ADM is mostly active when little finger abduction/adduction movements are performed in the palm-up position. Results show that the influence of the onlooker's hand posture is comparable in action execution and observation, thus indicating a fine-grain functional correspondence between these two processes.

  13. A preliminary fMRI study of a novel self-paced written fluency task: observation of left-hemispheric activation, and increased frontal activation in late vs. early task phases

    PubMed Central

    Golestanirad, Laleh; Das, Sunit; Schweizer, Tom A.; Graham, Simon J.

    2015-01-01

    Neuropsychological tests of verbal fluency are very widely used to characterize impaired cognitive function. For clinical neuroscience studies and potential medical applications, measuring the brain activity that underlies such tests with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is of significant interest—but a challenging proposition because overt speech can cause signal artifacts, which tend to worsen as the duration of speech tasks becomes longer. In a novel approach, we present the group brain activity of 12 subjects who performed a self-paced written version of phonemic fluency using fMRI-compatible tablet technology that recorded responses and provided task-related feedback on a projection screen display, over long-duration task blocks (60 s). As predicted, we observed robust activation in the left anterior inferior and medial frontal gyri, consistent with previously reported results of verbal fluency tasks which established the role of these areas in strategic word retrieval. In addition, the number of words produced in the late phase (last 30 s) of written phonemic fluency was significantly less (p < 0.05) than the number produced in the early phase (first 30 s). Activation during the late phase vs. the early phase was also assessed from the first 20 s and last 20 s of task performance, which eliminated the possibility that the sluggish hemodynamic response from the early phase would affect the activation estimates of the late phase. The last 20 s produced greater activation maps covering extended areas in bilateral precuneus, cuneus, middle temporal gyrus, insula, middle frontal gyrus and cingulate gyrus. Among these areas, greater activation was observed in the bilateral middle frontal gyrus (Brodmann area BA 9) and cingulate gyrus (BA 24, 32) likely as part of the initiation, maintenance, and shifting of attentional resources. Consistent with previous pertinent fMRI literature involving overt and covert verbal responses, these findings highlight

  14. TU-AB-209-00: Model Observer Design and Its Validation for Task-Based Evaluation of Digital Breast Tomosynthesis.

    PubMed

    Glick, Stephen

    2016-06-01

    Digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT), a limited-angle tomographic technique by its nature has multiple optimal system configurations, which can lead to many potential changes to the existing and new DBT systems entering the US market. With the availability of computational tools such as for modeling imaging physics, it is becoming increasingly important to conduct virtual trials for a rigorous, preclinical and task-based assessment of DBT. For such virtual assessment to be successful, it is critical to: (1) develop model-observer approaches that can account for patient data statistics stemming from realistic or real breast backgrounds as well as lesion characteristics, thereby performing given tasks effectively and (2) validate the model-observer approaches and their performance trends/levels with physical measurements from a prototype or real DBT system and a physical phantom ensemble. It is also important to understand trade-offs between patient (phantom) sample/effect size and observer performance reliability for gaining knowledge on how to choose appropriate model observers for the given tasks. In this session, a variety of model-observer approaches associated with currently available breast phantoms (either physical or virtual) and their sample size will be discussed. The presenters in this session will also discuss the limitations of each model observer approach to provide an understanding of the circumstances where each of these approaches can be more suitable than the others. The session is organized as follows: First, the development of virtual and physical phantoms that mimic breast anatomy will be presented. This will be followed by two presentations on model observers for DBT, one on the designing of model observers for signal-known-exactly (SKE) tasks and another on the development of visual search based model observers with the intent of identifying useful image features. Finally, this will be followed by practical examples where such model observers

  15. The motor system resonates to the distal goal of observed actions: testing the inverse pliers paradigm in an ecological setting.

    PubMed

    Cattaneo, Luigi; Maule, Francesca; Barchiesi, Guido; Rizzolatti, Giacomo

    2013-11-01

    Does motor mirroring in humans reflect the observed movements or the goal of the observed motor acts? Tools that dissociate the agent/object dynamics from the movements of the body parts used to operate them provide a model for testing resonance to both movements and goals. Here, we describe the temporal relationship of the observer's motor excitability, assessed with transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), with the observed goal-directed tool actions, in an ecological setting. Motor-evoked potentials (MEPs) to TMS were recorded from the opponens pollicis (OP, thumb flexor) and the extensor indicis proprius (EIP, index extensor) muscles of participants while they observed a person moving several small objects with a pair of normal pliers (closed by finger flexion) or reverse pliers (opened by finger flexion). The MEPs were a significant predictor of the pliers' kinematics that occurred in a variable time interval between -400 and +300 ms from TMS. Whatever pliers' type was being observed, OP MEPs correlated positively and EIP MEPs correlated negatively with the velocity of pliers' tips closure. This datum was confirmed both at individual and at a group level. Motor simulation can be demonstrated in single observers in a "real-life" ecological setting. The relation of motor resonance to the tool type shows that the observer's motor system codes the distal goal of the observed acts (i.e., grasping and releasing objects) in terms of its own motor vocabulary, irrespective of the actual finger movements that were performed by the observed actor.

  16. Observed form and action of the magnetic energy release in flares

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Machado, Marcos E.; Moore, Ronald L.

    1986-01-01

    The observable spatio-temporal characteristics of the energy release in flares and their association with the magnetic environment and tracers of field dynamics are reviewed. The observations indicate that impulsive phase manifestations, like particle acceleration, may be related to the formation of neutral sheets at the interface between interacting bipoles, but that the site for the bulk of the energy release is within closed loops rather than at the interaction site.

  17. Linking Perception, Cognition, and Action: Psychophysical Observations and Neural Network Modelling

    PubMed Central

    Prado, Luis; Merchant, Hugo

    2014-01-01

    It has been argued that perception, decision making, and movement planning are in reality tightly interwoven brain processes. However, how they are implemented in neural circuits is still a matter of debate. We tested human subjects in a temporal categorization task in which intervals had to be categorized as short or long. Subjects communicated their decision by moving a cursor into one of two possible targets, which appeared separated by different angles from trial to trial. Even though there was a 1 second-long delay between interval presentation and decision communication, categorization difficulty affected subjects’ performance, reaction (RT) and movement time (MT). In addition, reaction and movement times were also influenced by the distance between the targets. This implies that not only perceptual, but also movement-related considerations were incorporated into the decision process. Therefore, we searched for a model that could use categorization difficulty and target separation to describe subjects’ performance, RT, and MT. We developed a network consisting of two mutually inhibiting neural populations, each tuned to one of the possible categories and composed of an accumulation and a memory node. This network sequentially acquired interval information, maintained it in working memory and was then attracted to one of two possible states, corresponding to a categorical decision. It faithfully replicated subjects’ RT and MT as a function of categorization difficulty and target distance; it also replicated performance as a function of categorization difficulty. Furthermore, this model was used to make new predictions about the effect of untested durations, target distances and delay durations. To our knowledge, this is the first biologically plausible model that has been proposed to account for decision making and communication by integrating both sensory and motor planning information. PMID:25029193

  18. Observation of gaseous films at solid-liquid interfaces: removal by ultrasonic action.

    PubMed

    Zbik, Marek S; Du, Jianhua; Pushkarova, Rada A; Smart, Roger St C

    2009-08-15

    The critical role of dissolved gas nano-bubbles at solid surfaces in particle association, aggregation, adsorption and flotation has been recognised in the recent literature. The principles of mineral processing, fine particle separation, and water recovery depend upon changing the surface properties at the solid-liquid interface. It has been assumed that the solid surfaces are either in direct contact with the liquid or may have nano-bubbles attached only at hydrophobic surfaces. This paper shows that gaseous layers 50-100 nm thick can be attached surrounding high proportions of solid clay mineral surfaces restricting reagent access, producing buoyancy and aggregation. Ultrasonic treatment before flocculant addition effectively removes these gaseous layers as well as dispersed micro-bubbles. Re-aggregation after brief ultrasonication produces denser (less buoyant) flocs, demonstrated with cryo-SEM statistical analysis, giving more complete access of the flocculant to the aggregate surfaces. In the subsequent flocculant addition, the settling rates of the denser flocs can be increased up to 40%. If ultrasonic action is continued, the bridged flocs are disturbed with some redispersion of smaller flocs and individual platelets and consequent slower settling rates.

  19. Behavior of the Linea Alba During a Curl-up Task in Diastasis Rectus Abdominis: An Observational Study.

    PubMed

    Lee, Diane; Hodges, Paul W

    2016-07-01

    Study Design Cross-sectional repeated measures. Background Rehabilitation of diastasis rectus abdominis (DRA) generally aims to reduce the inter-rectus distance (IRD). We tested the hypothesis that activation of the transversus abdominis (TrA) before a curl-up would reduce IRD narrowing, with less linea alba (LA) distortion/deformation, which may allow better force transfer between sides of the abdominal wall. Objectives This study investigated behavior of the LA and IRD during curl-ups performed naturally and with preactivation of the TrA. Methods Curl-ups were performed by 26 women with DRA and 17 healthy control participants using a natural strategy (automatic curl-up) and with TrA preactivation (TrA curl-up). Ultrasound images were recorded at 2 points above the umbilicus (U point and UX point). Ultrasound measures of IRD and a novel measure of LA distortion (distortion index: average deviation of the LA from the shortest path between the recti) were compared between 3 tasks (rest, automatic curl-up, TrA curl-up), between groups, and between measurement points (analysis of variance). Results Automatic curl-up by women with DRA narrowed the IRD from resting values (mean U-point between-task difference, -1.19 cm; 95% confidence interval [CI]: -1.45, -0.93; P<.001 and mean UX-point between-task difference, -0.51 cm; 95% CI: -0.69, -0.34; P<.001), but LA distortion increased (mean U-point between-task difference, 0.018; 95% CI: 0.0003, 0.041; P = .046 and mean UX-point between-task difference, 0.025; 95% CI: 0.004, 0.045; P = .02). Although TrA curl-up induced no narrowing or less IRD narrowing than automatic curl-up (mean U-point difference between TrA curl-up versus rest, -0.56 cm; 95% CI: -0.82, -0.31; P<.001 and mean UX-point between-task difference, 0.02 cm; 95% CI: -0.22, 0.19; P = .86), LA distortion was less (mean U-point between-task difference, -0.025; 95% CI: -0.037, -0.012; P<.001 and mean UX-point between-task difference, -0.021; 95% CI: -0.038, -0

  20. The role of observational reference data for climate downscaling: Insights from the VALUE COST Action

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kotlarski, Sven; Gutiérrez, José M.; Boberg, Fredrik; Bosshard, Thomas; Cardoso, Rita M.; Herrera, Sixto; Maraun, Douglas; Mezghani, Abdelkader; Pagé, Christian; Räty, Olle; Stepanek, Petr; Soares, Pedro M. M.; Szabo, Peter

    2016-04-01

    VALUE is an open European network to validate and compare downscaling methods for climate change research (http://www.value-cost.eu). A key deliverable of VALUE is the development of a systematic validation framework to enable the assessment and comparison of downscaling methods. Such assessments can be expected to crucially depend on the existence of accurate and reliable observational reference data. In dynamical downscaling, observational data can influence model development itself and, later on, model evaluation, parameter calibration and added value assessment. In empirical-statistical downscaling, observations serve as predictand data and directly influence model calibration with corresponding effects on downscaled climate change projections. We here present a comprehensive assessment of the influence of uncertainties in observational reference data and of scale-related issues on several of the above-mentioned aspects. First, temperature and precipitation characteristics as simulated by a set of reanalysis-driven EURO-CORDEX RCM experiments are validated against three different gridded reference data products, namely (1) the EOBS dataset (2) the recently developed EURO4M-MESAN regional re-analysis, and (3) several national high-resolution and quality-controlled gridded datasets that recently became available. The analysis reveals a considerable influence of the choice of the reference data on the evaluation results, especially for precipitation. It is also illustrated how differences between the reference data sets influence the ranking of RCMs according to a comprehensive set of performance measures.

  1. Online action monitoring and memory for self-performed actions in autism spectrum disorder.

    PubMed

    Grainger, Catherine; Williams, David M; Lind, Sophie E

    2014-05-01

    This study explored whether individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) experience difficulties with action monitoring. Two experimental tasks examined whether adults with ASD are able to monitor their own actions online, and whether they also show a typical enactment effects in memory (enhanced memory for actions they have performed compared to actions they have observed being performed). Individuals with ASD and comparison participants showed a similar pattern of performance on both tasks. In a task which required individuals to distinguish person-caused from computer-caused changes in phenomenology both groups found it easier to monitor their own actions compared to those of an experimenter. Both groups also showed typical enactment effects. Despite recent suggestions to the contrary, these results support suggestions that action monitoring is unimpaired in ASD.

  2. Increased premotor cortex activation in high functioning autism during action observation.

    PubMed

    Perkins, Tom J; Bittar, Richard G; McGillivray, Jane A; Cox, Ivanna I; Stokes, Mark A

    2015-04-01

    The mirror neuron (MN) hypothesis of autism has received considerable attention, but to date has produced inconsistent findings. Using functional MRI, participants with high functioning autism or Asperger's syndrome were compared to typically developing individuals (n=12 in each group). Participants passively observed hand gestures that included waving, pointing, and grasping. Concerning the MN network, both groups activated similar regions including prefrontal, inferior parietal and superior temporal regions, with the autism group demonstrating significantly greater activation in the dorsal premotor cortex. Concerning other regions, participants with autism demonstrated increased activity in the anterior cingulate and medial frontal gyrus, and reduced activation in calcarine, cuneus, and middle temporal gyrus. These results suggest that during observation of hand gestures, frontal cortex activation is affected in autism, which we suggest may be linked to abnormal functioning of the MN system.

  3. Rapid learning of associations between sound and action through observed movement. A TMS study

    PubMed Central

    Dean, Roger T.; Bailes, Freya

    2016-01-01

    Research has established that there is a cognitive link between perception and production of the same movement. However, there has been relatively little research into the relevance of this for non-expert perceivers, such as music listeners who do not play instruments themselves. In two experiments we tested whether participants can quickly learn new associations between sounds and observed movement without performing those movements themselves. We measured motor evoked potentials (MEPs) in the first dorsal interosseous muscle of participants’ right hands while test tones were heard and single transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) pulses were used to trigger motor activity. In Experiment 1 participants in a ‘human’ condition (n=4) learnt to associate the test tone with finger movement of the experimenter, while participants in a ‘computer’ condition (n=4) learnt that the test tone was triggered by a computer. Participants in the human condition showed a larger increase in MEPs compared with those in the computer condition. In a second experiment pairing between sounds and movement occurred without participants repeatedly observing the movement and we found no such difference between the human (n=4) and computer (n=4) conditions. These results suggest that observers can quickly learn to associate sound with movement, so it should not be necessary to have played an instrument to experience some motor resonance when hearing that instrument. PMID:27182100

  4. When Do We Confuse Self and Other in Action Memory? Reduced False Memories of Self-Performance after Observing Actions by an Out-Group vs. In-Group Actor.

    PubMed

    Lindner, Isabel; Schain, Cécile; Kopietz, René; Echterhoff, Gerald

    2012-01-01

    Observing another person performing an action can lead to a false memory of having performed the action oneself - the observation-inflation effect. In the experimental paradigm, participants first perform or do not perform simple actions, and then observe another person perform some of these actions. The observation-inflation effect is found when participants later remember performing actions that they have merely observed. In this case, self and other are confused in action memory. We examined social conditions of this self-other confusion when remembering actions, specifically whether the effect depends on the observed actor's group membership. In our experiment, we manipulated group membership based on physical appearance, specifically complexion of the hands. Fair-skinned participants observed either an in-group (i.e., fair-skinned) or an out-group (i.e., dark-skinned) actor. Our results revealed that the observed actor's group membership moderated the observation-inflation effect: False memories were significantly reduced when the actor was from the out-group (vs. in-group). We found no difference to a control condition in which the actor wore black gloves, suggesting that distinctiveness of perceptual or sensory features alone (due to the out-group member's dark skin) is not critical. We discuss these findings in light of social-neuroscience studies demonstrating the impact of an observed person's group membership on motor simulation. Overall, our findings suggest that action memory can be affected by a ubiquitous feature of people's social perception, that is, group-based social categorization of others.

  5. Doing Gesture Promotes Learning a Mental Transformation Task Better than Seeing Gesture

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Goldin-Meadow, Susan; Levine, Susan C.; Zinchenko, Elena; Yip, Terina KuangYi; Hemani, Naureen; Factor, Laiah

    2012-01-01

    Performing action has been found to have a greater impact on learning than observing action. Here we ask whether a particular type of action--the gestures that accompany talk--affect learning in a comparable way. We gave 158 6-year-old children instruction in a mental transformation task. Half the children were asked to produce a "Move"…

  6. Exploring the Neural Basis of Real-Life Joint Action: Measuring Brain Activation during Joint Table Setting with Functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy

    PubMed Central

    Egetemeir, Johanna; Stenneken, Prisca; Koehler, Saskia; Fallgatter, Andreas J.; Herrmann, Martin J.

    2011-01-01

    Many every-day life situations require two or more individuals to execute actions together. Assessing brain activation during naturalistic tasks to uncover relevant processes underlying such real-life joint action situations has remained a methodological challenge. In the present study, we introduce a novel joint action paradigm that enables the assessment of brain activation during real-life joint action tasks using functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). We monitored brain activation of participants who coordinated complex actions with a partner sitting opposite them. Participants performed table setting tasks, either alone (solo action) or in cooperation with a partner (joint action), or they observed the partner performing the task (action observation). Comparing joint action and solo action revealed stronger activation (higher [oxy-Hb]-concentration) during joint action in a number of areas. Among these were areas in the inferior parietal lobule (IPL) that additionally showed an overlap of activation during action observation and solo action. Areas with such a close link between action observation and action execution have been associated with action simulation processes. The magnitude of activation in these IPL areas also varied according to joint action type and its respective demand on action simulation. The results validate fNIRS as an imaging technique for exploring the functional correlates of interindividual action coordination in real-life settings and suggest that coordinating actions in real-life situations requires simulating the actions of the partner. PMID:21927603

  7. Different neuroplasticity for task targets and distractors.

    PubMed

    Spingath, Elsie Y; Kang, Hyun Sug; Plummer, Thane; Blake, David T

    2011-01-31

    Adult learning-induced sensory cortex plasticity results in enhanced action potential rates in neurons that have the most relevant information for the task, or those that respond strongly to one sensory stimulus but weakly to its comparison stimulus. Current theories suggest this plasticity is caused when target stimulus evoked activity is enhanced by reward signals from neuromodulatory nuclei. Prior work has found evidence suggestive of nonselective enhancement of neural responses, and suppression of responses to task distractors, but the differences in these effects between detection and discrimination have not been directly tested. Using cortical implants, we defined physiological responses in macaque somatosensory cortex during serial, matched, detection and discrimination tasks. Nonselective increases in neural responsiveness were observed during detection learning. Suppression of responses to task distractors was observed during discrimination learning, and this suppression was specific to cortical locations that sampled responses to the task distractor before learning. Changes in receptive field size were measured as the area of skin that had a significant response to a constant magnitude stimulus, and these areal changes paralleled changes in responsiveness. From before detection learning until after discrimination learning, the enduring changes were selective suppression of cortical locations responsive to task distractors, and nonselective enhancement of responsiveness at cortical locations selective for target and control skin sites. A comparison of observations in prior studies with the observed plasticity effects suggests that the non-selective response enhancement and selective suppression suffice to explain known plasticity phenomena in simple spatial tasks. This work suggests that differential responsiveness to task targets and distractors in primary sensory cortex for a simple spatial detection and discrimination task arise from nonselective

  8. A contrast-sensitive channelized-Hotelling observer to predict human performance in a detection task using lumpy backgrounds and Gaussian signals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Park, Subok; Badano, Aldo; Gallas, Brandon D.; Myers, Kyle J.

    2007-03-01

    Previously, a non-prewhitening matched filter (NPWMF) incorporating a model for the contrast sensitivity of the human visual system was introduced for modeling human performance in detection tasks with different viewing angles and white-noise backgrounds by Badano et al. But NPWMF observers do not perform well detection tasks involving complex backgrounds since they do not account for random backgrounds. A channelized-Hotelling observer (CHO) using difference-of-Gaussians (DOG) channels has been shown to track human performance well in detection tasks using lumpy backgrounds. In this work, a CHO with DOG channels, incorporating the model of the human contrast sensitivity, was developed similarly. We call this new observer a contrast-sensitive CHO (CS-CHO). The Barten model was the basis of our human contrast sensitivity model. A scalar was multiplied to the Barten model and varied to control the thresholding effect of the contrast sensitivity on luminance-valued images and hence the performance-prediction ability of the CS-CHO. The performance of the CS-CHO was compared to the average human performance from the psychophysical study by Park et al., where the task was to detect a known Gaussian signal in non-Gaussian distributed lumpy backgrounds. Six different signal-intensity values were used in this study. We chose the free parameter of our model to match the mean human performance in the detection experiment at the strongest signal intensity. Then we compared the model to the human at five different signal-intensity values in order to see if the performance of the CS-CHO matched human performance. Our results indicate that the CS-CHO with the chosen scalar for the contrast sensitivity predicts human performance closely as a function of signal intensity.

  9. Comparing methods for measuring peak look duration: are individual differences observed on screen-based tasks also found in more ecologically valid contexts?

    PubMed

    Wass, Sam V

    2014-08-01

    Convergent research points to the importance of studying the ontogenesis of sustained attention during the early years of life, but little research hitherto has compared and contrasted different techniques available for measuring sustained attention. Here, we compare methods that have been used to assess one parameter of sustained attention, namely infants' peak look duration to novel stimuli. Our focus was to assess whether individual differences in peak look duration are stable across different measurement techniques. In a single cohort of 42 typically developing 11-month-old infants we assessed peak look duration using six different measurement paradigms (four screen-based, two naturalistic). Zero-order correlations suggested that individual differences in peak look duration were stable across all four screen-based paradigms, but no correlations were found between peak look durations observed on the screen-based and the naturalistic paradigms. A factor analysis conducted on the dependent variable of peak look duration identified two factors. All four screen-based tasks loaded onto the first factor, but the two naturalistic tasks did not relate, and mapped onto a different factor. Our results question how individual differences observed on screen-based tasks manifest in more ecologically valid contexts.

  10. Spatial attention: differential shifts in pseudoneglect direction with time-on-task and initial bias support the idea of observer subtypes.

    PubMed

    Benwell, Christopher S Y; Thut, Gregor; Learmonth, Gemma; Harvey, Monika

    2013-11-01

    Asymmetry in human spatial attention has long been documented. In the general population the majority of individuals tend to misbisect horizontal lines to the left of veridical centre. Nonetheless in virtually all previously reported studies on healthy participants, there have been subsets of people displaying rightward biases. In this study, we report differential time-on task effects depending on participants' initial pseudoneglect bias: participants with an initial left bias in a landmark task (in which they had to judge whether a transection mark appeared closer to the right or left end of a line) showed a significant rightward shift over the course of the experimental session, whereas participants with an initial right bias shifted leftwards. We argue that these differences in initial biases as well as the differential shifts with time-on task reflect genuine observer subtypes displaying diverging behavioural patterns. These observer subtypes could be driven by differences in brain organisation and/or lateralisation such as varying anatomical pathway asymmetries (Thiebaut de Schotten et al., 2011).

  11. Spatio-temporal analysis reveals active control of both task-relevant and task-irrelevant variables

    PubMed Central

    Rácz, Kornelius; Valero-Cuevas, Francisco J.

    2013-01-01

    The Uncontrolled Manifold (UCM) hypothesis and Minimal Intervention principle propose that the observed differential variability across task relevant (i.e., task goals) vs. irrelevant (i.e., in the null space of those goals) variables is evidence of a separation of task variables for efficient neural control, ranked by their respective variabilities (sometimes referred to as hierarchy of control). Support for this comes from spatial domain analyses (i.e., structure of) of kinematic, kinetic, and EMG variability. While proponents admit the possibility of preferential as opposed to strictly uncontrolled variables, such distinctions have only begun to be quantified or considered in the temporal domain when inferring control action. Here we extend the study of task variability during tripod static grasp to the temporal domain by applying diffusion analysis. We show that both task-relevant and task-irrelevant parameters show corrective action at some time scales; and conversely, that task-relevant parameters do not show corrective action at other time scales. That is, the spatial fluctuations of fingertip forces show, as expected, greater ranges of variability in task-irrelevant variables (>98% associated with changes in total grasp force; vs. only <2% in task-relevant changes associated with acceleration of the object). But at some time scales, however, temporal fluctuations of task-irrelevant variables exhibit negative correlations clearly indicative of corrective action (scaling exponents <0.5); and temporal fluctuations of task-relevant variables exhibit neutral and positive correlations clearly indicative of absence of corrective action (scaling exponents ≥0.5). In agreement with recent work in other behavioral contexts, these results propose we revise our understanding of variability vis-á-vis task relevance by considering both spatial and temporal features of all task variables when inferring control action and understanding how the CNS confronts task

  12. Preliminary observations on the presence of sustained tendon strain and eccentric contractions of the wrist extensors during a common manual task: implications for lateral epicondylitis.

    PubMed

    Murgia, Alessio; Harwin, William; Prakoonwit, Simant; Brownlow, Harry

    2011-07-01

    Lateral epicondylitis (LE) is hypothesized to occur as a result of repetitive, strenuous and abnormal postural activities of the elbow and wrist. There is still a lack of understanding of how wrist and forearm positions contribute to this condition during common manual tasks. In this study the wrist kinematics and the wrist extensors' musculotendon patterns were investigated during a manual task believed to elicit LE symptoms in susceptible subjects. A 42-year-old right-handed male, with no history of LE, performed a repetitive movement involving pushing and turning a spring-loaded mechanism. Motion capture data were acquired for the upper limb and an inverse kinematic and dynamic analysis was subsequently carried out. Results illustrated the presence of eccentric contractions sustained by the extensor carpi radialis longus (ECRL), together with an almost constant level of tendon strain of both extensor carpi radialis brevis (ECRB) and extensor digitorum communis lateral (EDCL) branch. It is believed that these factors may partly contribute to the onset of LE as they are both responsible for the creation of microtears at the tendons' origins. The methodology of this study can be used to explore muscle actions during movements that might cause or exacerbate LE.

  13. Collimator optimization in myocardial perfusion SPECT using the ideal observer and realistic background variability for lesion detection and joint detection and localization tasks

    PubMed Central

    Ghaly, Michael; Du, Yong; Links, Jonathan M; Frey, Eric C

    2016-01-01

    In SPECT imaging, collimators are a major factor limiting image quality and largely determine the noise and resolution of SPECT images. In this paper, we seek the collimator with the optimal tradeoff between image noise and resolution with respect to performance on two tasks related to myocardial perfusion SPECT: perfusion defect detection and joint detection and localization. We used the Ideal Observer (IO) operating on realistic background-known-statistically (BKS) and signal-known-exactly (SKE) data. The areas under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) and localization ROC (LROC) curves (AUCd, AUCd+l), respectively, were used as the figures of merit for both tasks. We used a previously developed population of 54 phantoms based on the eXtended Cardiac Torso Phantom (XCAT) that included variations in gender, body size, heart size and subcutaneous adipose tissue level. For each phantom, organ uptakes were varied randomly based on distributions observed in patient data. We simulated perfusion defects at six different locations with extents and severities of 10% and 25%, respectively, which represented challenging but clinically relevant defects. The extent and severity are, respectively, the perfusion defect's fraction of the myocardial volume and reduction of uptake relative to the normal myocardium. Projection data were generated using an analytical projector that modeled attenuation, scatter, and collimator-detector response effects, a 9% energy resolution at 140 keV, and a 4 mm full-width at half maximum (FWHM) intrinsic spatial resolution. We investigated a family of eight parallel-hole collimators that spanned a large range of sensitivity-resolution tradeoffs. For each collimator and defect location, the IO test statistics were computed using a Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) method for an ensemble of 540 pairs of defect-present and -absent images that included the aforementioned anatomical and uptake variability. Sets of test statistics were computed

  14. Collimator optimization in myocardial perfusion SPECT using the ideal observer and realistic background variability for lesion detection and joint detection and localization tasks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ghaly, Michael; Du, Yong; Links, Jonathan M.; Frey, Eric C.

    2016-03-01

    In SPECT imaging, collimators are a major factor limiting image quality and largely determine the noise and resolution of SPECT images. In this paper, we seek the collimator with the optimal tradeoff between image noise and resolution with respect to performance on two tasks related to myocardial perfusion SPECT: perfusion defect detection and joint detection and localization. We used the Ideal Observer (IO) operating on realistic background-known-statistically (BKS) and signal-known-exactly (SKE) data. The areas under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) and localization ROC (LROC) curves (AUCd, AUCd+l), respectively, were used as the figures of merit for both tasks. We used a previously developed population of 54 phantoms based on the eXtended Cardiac Torso Phantom (XCAT) that included variations in gender, body size, heart size and subcutaneous adipose tissue level. For each phantom, organ uptakes were varied randomly based on distributions observed in patient data. We simulated perfusion defects at six different locations with extents and severities of 10% and 25%, respectively, which represented challenging but clinically relevant defects. The extent and severity are, respectively, the perfusion defect’s fraction of the myocardial volume and reduction of uptake relative to the normal myocardium. Projection data were generated using an analytical projector that modeled attenuation, scatter, and collimator-detector response effects, a 9% energy resolution at 140 keV, and a 4 mm full-width at half maximum (FWHM) intrinsic spatial resolution. We investigated a family of eight parallel-hole collimators that spanned a large range of sensitivity-resolution tradeoffs. For each collimator and defect location, the IO test statistics were computed using a Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) method for an ensemble of 540 pairs of defect-present and -absent images that included the aforementioned anatomical and uptake variability. Sets of test statistics were

  15. Thoracic and lumbar posture behaviour in sitting tasks and standing: Progressing the biomechanics from observations to measurements.

    PubMed

    Claus, Andrew P; Hides, Julie A; Moseley, G Lorimer; Hodges, Paul W

    2016-03-01

    Few studies quantify spinal posture behaviour at both the thoracolumbar and lumbar spinal regions. This study compared spontaneous spinal posture in 50 asymptomatic participants (21 males) during three conditions: 10-min computer task in sitting (participants naïve to the measure), during their perceived 'correct' sitting posture, and standing. Three-dimensional optical tracking quantified surface spinal angles at the thoracolumbar and lumbar regions, and spinal orientation with respect to the vertical. Despite popular belief that lordotic lumbar angles are 'correct' for sitting, this was rarely adopted for 10-min sitting. In 10-min sitting, spinal angles flexed 24(7-9)deg at lumbar and 12(6-8)deg at thoracolumbar regions relative to standing (P < 0.001). When participants 'corrected' their sitting posture, their thoracolumbar angle -2(7)deg was similar to the angle in standing -1(6)deg (P = 1.00). Males were flexed at the lumbar angle relative to females for 10-min sitting, 'correct' sitting and standing, but showed no difference at the thoracolumbar region.

  16. A QUESTIONNAIRE TO ASSESS THE RELEVANCE AND CREDIBILITY OF OBSERVATIONAL STUDIES TO INFORM HEALTH CARE DECISION MAKING: AN ISPOR-AMCP-NPC GOOD PRACTICE TASK FORCE REPORT

    PubMed Central

    Berger, Marc L; Martin, Bradley C; Husereau, Don; Worley, Karen; Allen, Dan; Yang, Winnie; Mullins, C. Daniel; Kahler, Kristijan; Quon, Nicole C.; Devine, Scott; Graham, John; Cannon, Eric; Crown, William

    2014-01-01

    Evidence-based healthcare decisions are best informed by comparisons of all relevant interventions used to treat conditions in specific patient populations. Observational studies are being performed to help fill evidence gaps. However, widespread adoption of evidence from observational studies has been limited due to a variety of factors, including the lack of consensus regarding accepted principles for their evaluation and interpretation. Two Task Forces were formed to develop questionnaires to assist decision makers in evaluating observational studies, with one Task Force addressing retrospective research and the other prospective research. The intent was to promote a structured approach to reduce the potential for subjective interpretation of evidence and drive consistency in decision-making. Separately developed questionnaires were combined into a single questionnaire consisting of 33 items. These were divided into two domains: relevance and credibility. Relevance addresses the extent to which findings, if accurate, apply to the setting of interest to the decision maker. Credibility addresses the extent to which the study findings accurately answer the study question. The questionnaire provides a guide for assessing the degree of confidence that should be placed from observational studies and promotes awareness of the subtleties involved in evaluating those. PMID:24636373

  17. Development of 4D mathematical observer models for the task-based evaluation of gated myocardial perfusion SPECT

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Taek-Soo; Frey, Eric C.; Tsui, Benjamin M. W.

    2015-04-01

    This paper presents two 4D mathematical observer models for the detection of motion defects in 4D gated medical images. Their performance was compared with results from human observers in detecting a regional motion abnormality in simulated 4D gated myocardial perfusion (MP) SPECT images. The first 4D mathematical observer model extends the conventional channelized Hotelling observer (CHO) based on a set of 2D spatial channels and the second is a proposed model that uses a set of 4D space-time channels. Simulated projection data were generated using the 4D NURBS-based cardiac-torso (NCAT) phantom with 16 gates/cardiac cycle. The activity distribution modelled uptake of 99mTc MIBI with normal perfusion and a regional wall motion defect. An analytical projector was used in the simulation and the filtered backprojection (FBP) algorithm was used in image reconstruction followed by spatial and temporal low-pass filtering with various cut-off frequencies. Then, we extracted 2D image slices from each time frame and reorganized them into a set of cine images. For the first model, we applied 2D spatial channels to the cine images and generated a set of feature vectors that were stacked for the images from different slices of the heart. The process was repeated for each of the 1,024 noise realizations, and CHO and receiver operating characteristics (ROC) analysis methodologies were applied to the ensemble of the feature vectors to compute areas under the ROC curves (AUCs). For the second model, a set of 4D space-time channels was developed and applied to the sets of cine images to produce space-time feature vectors to which the CHO methodology was applied. The AUC values of the second model showed better agreement (Spearman’s rank correlation (SRC) coefficient = 0.8) to human observer results than those from the first model (SRC coefficient = 0.4). The agreement with human observers indicates the proposed 4D mathematical observer model provides a good predictor of the

  18. Development of 4D mathematical observer models for the task-based evaluation of gated myocardial perfusion SPECT.

    PubMed

    Lee, Taek-Soo; Frey, Eric C; Tsui, Benjamin M W

    2015-04-07

    This paper presents two 4D mathematical observer models for the detection of motion defects in 4D gated medical images. Their performance was compared with results from human observers in detecting a regional motion abnormality in simulated 4D gated myocardial perfusion (MP) SPECT images. The first 4D mathematical observer model extends the conventional channelized Hotelling observer (CHO) based on a set of 2D spatial channels and the second is a proposed model that uses a set of 4D space-time channels. Simulated projection data were generated using the 4D NURBS-based cardiac-torso (NCAT) phantom with 16 gates/cardiac cycle. The activity distribution modelled uptake of (99m)Tc MIBI with normal perfusion and a regional wall motion defect. An analytical projector was used in the simulation and the filtered backprojection (FBP) algorithm was used in image reconstruction followed by spatial and temporal low-pass filtering with various cut-off frequencies. Then, we extracted 2D image slices from each time frame and reorganized them into a set of cine images. For the first model, we applied 2D spatial channels to the cine images and generated a set of feature vectors that were stacked for the images from different slices of the heart. The process was repeated for each of the 1,024 noise realizations, and CHO and receiver operating characteristics (ROC) analysis methodologies were applied to the ensemble of the feature vectors to compute areas under the ROC curves (AUCs). For the second model, a set of 4D space-time channels was developed and applied to the sets of cine images to produce space-time feature vectors to which the CHO methodology was applied. The AUC values of the second model showed better agreement (Spearman's rank correlation (SRC) coefficient = 0.8) to human observer results than those from the first model (SRC coefficient = 0.4). The agreement with human observers indicates the proposed 4D mathematical observer model provides a good predictor of the

  19. PETALL in Action: Latest Developments and Future Directions of the EU-Funded Project Pan-European Task Activities for Language Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lopes, António

    2016-01-01

    The Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) proposes Task-Based Language Teaching (TBLT) as an important strategy to develop the learners' linguistic competences along with their communicative skills. Since it is learner-centred and relies mostly on engaging learners in meaningful communicative interchanges in a foreign language, it allows…

  20. Optimization of energy window for {sup 90}Y bremsstrahlung SPECT imaging for detection tasks using the ideal observer with model-mismatch

    SciTech Connect

    Rong Xing; Ghaly, Michael; Frey, Eric C.

    2013-06-15

    Purpose: In yttrium-90 ({sup 90}Y) microsphere brachytherapy (radioembolization) of unresectable liver cancer, posttherapy {sup 90}Y bremsstrahlung single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) has been used to document the distribution of microspheres in the patient and to help predict potential side effects. The energy window used during projection acquisition can have a significant effect on image quality. Thus, using an optimal energy window is desirable. However, there has been great variability in the choice of energy window due to the continuous and broad energy distribution of {sup 90}Y bremsstrahlung photons. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) for the ideal observer (IO) is a widely used figure of merit (FOM) for optimizing the imaging system for detection tasks. The IO implicitly assumes a perfect model of the image formation process. However, for {sup 90}Y bremsstrahlung SPECT there can be substantial model-mismatch (i.e., difference between the actual image formation process and the model of it assumed in reconstruction), and the amount of the model-mismatch depends on the energy window. It is thus important to account for the degradation of the observer performance due to model-mismatch in the optimization of the energy window. The purpose of this paper is to optimize the energy window for {sup 90}Y bremsstrahlung SPECT for a detection task while taking into account the effects of the model-mismatch. Methods: An observer, termed the ideal observer with model-mismatch (IO-MM), has been proposed previously to account for the effects of the model-mismatch on IO performance. In this work, the AUC for the IO-MM was used as the FOM for the optimization. To provide a clinically realistic object model and imaging simulation, the authors used a background-known-statistically and signal-known-statistically task. The background was modeled as multiple compartments in the liver with activity parameters independently following a

  1. Kinematic and kinetic improvements associated with action observation facilitated learning of the power clean in Australian footballers.

    PubMed

    Sakadjian, Alex; Panchuk, Derek; Pearce, Alan J

    2014-06-01

    This study investigated the effectiveness of action observation (AO) on facilitating learning of the power clean technique (kinematics) compared with traditional strength coaching methods and whether improvements in performance (kinetics) were associated with an improvement in lifting technique. Fifteen subjects (age, 20.9 ± 2.3 years) with no experience in performing the power clean exercise attended 12 training and testing sessions over a 4-week period. Subjects were assigned to 2 matched groups, based on preintervention power clean performance and performed 3 sets of 5 repetitions of the power clean exercise at each training session. Subjects in the traditional coaching group (TC; n = 7) received the standard coaching feedback (verbal cues and physical practice), whereas subjects in the AO group (n = 8) received similar verbal coaching cues and physical practice but also observed a video of a skilled model before performing each set. Kinematic data were collected from video recordings of subjects who were fitted with joint center markings during testing, whereas kinetic data were collected from a weightlifting analyzer attached to the barbell. Subjects were tested before intervention, at the end of weeks 2 and 3, and at after intervention at the end of week 4. Faster improvements (3%) were observed in power clean technique with AO-facilitated learning in the first week and performance improvements (mean peak power of the subject's 15 repetitions) over time were significant (p < 0.001). In addition, performance improvement was significantly associated (R = 0.215) with technique improvements. In conclusion, AO combined with verbal coaching and physical practice of the power clean exercise resulted in significantly faster technique improvements and improvement in performance compared with traditional coaching methods.

  2. Comparison between human and model observer performance in low-contrast detection tasks in CT images: application to images reconstructed with filtered back projection and iterative algorithms

    PubMed Central

    Calzado, A; Geleijns, J; Joemai, R M S; Veldkamp, W J H

    2014-01-01

    Objective: To compare low-contrast detectability (LCDet) performance between a model [non–pre-whitening matched filter with an eye filter (NPWE)] and human observers in CT images reconstructed with filtered back projection (FBP) and iterative [adaptive iterative dose reduction three-dimensional (AIDR 3D; Toshiba Medical Systems, Zoetermeer, Netherlands)] algorithms. Methods: Images of the Catphan® phantom (Phantom Laboratories, New York, NY) were acquired with Aquilion ONE™ 320-detector row CT (Toshiba Medical Systems, Tokyo, Japan) at five tube current levels (20–500 mA range) and reconstructed with FBP and AIDR 3D. Samples containing either low-contrast objects (diameters, 2–15 mm) or background were extracted and analysed by the NPWE model and four human observers in a two-alternative forced choice detection task study. Proportion correct (PC) values were obtained for each analysed object and used to compare human and model observer performances. An efficiency factor (η) was calculated to normalize NPWE to human results. Results: Human and NPWE model PC values (normalized by the efficiency, η = 0.44) were highly correlated for the whole dose range. The Pearson's product-moment correlation coefficients (95% confidence interval) between human and NPWE were 0.984 (0.972–0.991) for AIDR 3D and 0.984 (0.971–0.991) for FBP, respectively. Bland–Altman plots based on PC results showed excellent agreement between human and NPWE [mean absolute difference 0.5 ± 0.4%; range of differences (−4.7%, 5.6%)]. Conclusion: The NPWE model observer can predict human performance in LCDet tasks in phantom CT images reconstructed with FBP and AIDR 3D algorithms at different dose levels. Advances in knowledge: Quantitative assessment of LCDet in CT can accurately be performed using software based on a model observer. PMID:24837275

  3. The Effect of Hierarchical Task Representations on Task Selection in Voluntary Task Switching

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Weaver, Starla M.; Arrington, Catherine M.

    2013-01-01

    The current study explored the potential for hierarchical representations to influence action selection during voluntary task switching. Participants switched between 4 individual task elements. In Experiment 1, participants were encouraged to represent the task elements as grouped within a hierarchy based on experimental manipulations of varying…

  4. Task 1, Fractal characteristics of drainage patterns observed in the Appalachian Valley and Ridge and Plateau provinces

    SciTech Connect

    Wilson, T.; Dominic, J.; Halverson, J.

    1996-04-10

    Drainage patterns observed in the Appalachian Valley and Ridge and Plateau provinces exhibit distinctly different patterns. The patterns appear to be controlled by varying influences of local structural and lithologic variability. Drainage patterns in the Valley and Ridge study area can be classified as a combination of dendritic and trellis arrangements. The patterns vary over short distances in both the strike and dip directions. In the Granny Creek area of the Appalachian Plateau drainage patterns are predominantly dendritic. The possibility that these drainage patterns have fractal characteristics was evaluated by box-counting. Results obtained from box counting do not yield a well defined fractal regime in either areas. In the Valley and Ridge a space-filling, or random regime (D=2) is observed for boxes with side-lengths of 300 meters and greater. Below 300 meters, large changes in D occur between consecutively smaller box sizes. From side lengths of 300 to 150m, 150 to 75m, and 75 to 38m, D is measured at 1.77, 1.39, and 1.08 respectively. For box sizes less than 38m the fractal dimension is 1 or less. While the l0g-log response of the box counting data is nonlinear and does not define a fractal regime, the curves offer the possibility of characterizing non-fractal patterns. The rate at which D drops outside the random regime correlates to drainage density. D in areas with a smaller density of drainage segments fell toward saturation (D=1) more abruptly. The break-away point from the random regime and the transition to the saturated regime may provide useful information about the relative lengths of stream segments.

  5. When you have to climb downhill to reach the top: the effect of action versus state orientation on solvinga goal-subgoal conflict in the Tower of Hanoi task.

    PubMed

    Jostmann, Nils B; Gieselmann, Annika

    2014-01-01

    Complex problems often include a response conflict between a subgoal and a final goal. The present experiment investigated the roles of situational demands and individual differences in self-regulation on solving goal-subgoal conflicts in a computerized Tower of Hanoi task. Action-oriented versus state-oriented individuals were randomly assigned to a demanding condition in which they deliberated about a personal decision problem, or to a nondemanding control condition. In line with expectations state-oriented individuals had greater difficulties to solve goal-subgoal conflicts in the demanding compared to the nondemanding condition. Action-oriented individuals performed well in both conditions. In line with Personality Systems Interactions theory (Kuhl, 2000) the findings show that complex problem solving depends on how well people are able to deal with situational demands.

  6. Influence of the actions observed on cervical motion in patients with chronic neck pain: a pilot study

    PubMed Central

    de-la-Puente-Ranea, Lucía; García-Calvo, Beatriz; La Touche, Roy; Fernández-Carnero, Josué; Gil-Martínez, Alfonso

    2016-01-01

    The aim of the present pilot study was to prove if the action-observation (AOb) improved the cervical range of motion (CROM) in patients with nonspecific chronic neck pain (CNP). Double blind pilot study. A total of 28 subjects were randomly assigned to an effective-movement group (n=14) and an ineffective-movement group (n=14). The follow-up consisted of: pretreatment, posttreatment and 10 min after second measurement (motor imagery). Outcome measures were CROM, and pres-sure pain detection thresholds (PPDTs). No statistical differences were found in baseline on CROM and on the PPDT. Test for independent groups revealed significant changes in cervical rotation movement. Both groups in posttreatment (P=0.042; Cohen d=0.81) and after 10 min (P=0.019; Cohen d=0.9). For intragroup PPDT, the Wilcoxon test revealed significant effects in the effective movement at C2 of the pre to 10-min post (P=0.040). However, the ineffective movement revealed a significant reduction in PPDT in zygapophyseal joint of C5–C6 as the pre to post (P=0.010) as the pre to 10-min post (P=0.041) periods. In conclusions this pilot study demonstrated that the effective AOb produced significant changes versus ineffective AOb in the CROM and it could influences in PPT in subject with CNP immediately. PMID:27656633

  7. Expert anticipation from deceptive action.

    PubMed

    Mori, Shuji; Shimada, Takuro

    2013-05-01

    Expertise in sports enhances the ability to anticipate forthcoming events from the observation of a player's actions. In the present study, we investigated whether this ability is applicable to deceptive action. In three experiments, performance at anticipating the direction change of a running opponent was examined with experienced rugby players and novice counterparts. These experiments were conducted with reaction-time and temporal-occlusion tasks, in combination with eye movement recordings and the presentation of filmed actions and their point-light representations. The main finding was that the experienced players were superior to the novices in their anticipation of deceptive actions, although their performance was still impaired by the deception, in comparison with their anticipation of nondeceptive actions. We also found that the experienced players anticipated nondeceptive actions less accurately than the novices, suggesting that the players' expectations of deceptive actions worked negatively on their judgments of nondeceptive actions. The results obtained with the point-light representations closely resembled those obtained with the filmed sequences, indicating that anticipation was based on the kinematics of the running action. These results are discussed in the context of recent developments in research on expertise and deception in sports.

  8. Task-based evaluation of a 4D MAP-RBI-EM image reconstruction method for gated myocardial perfusion SPECT using a human observer study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Taek-Soo; Higuchi, Takahiro; Lautamäki, Riikka; Bengel, Frank M.; Tsui, Benjamin M. W.

    2015-09-01

    We evaluated the performance of a new 4D image reconstruction method for improved 4D gated myocardial perfusion (MP) SPECT using a task-based human observer study. We used a realistic 4D NURBS-based Cardiac-Torso (NCAT) phantom that models cardiac beating motion. Half of the population was normal; the other half had a regional hypokinetic wall motion abnormality. Noise-free and noisy projection data with 16 gates/cardiac cycle were generated using an analytical projector that included the effects of attenuation, collimator-detector response, and scatter (ADS), and were reconstructed using the 3D FBP without and 3D OS-EM with ADS corrections followed by different cut-off frequencies of a 4D linear post-filter. A 4D iterative maximum a posteriori rescaled-block (MAP-RBI)-EM image reconstruction method with ADS corrections was also used to reconstruct the projection data using various values of the weighting factor for its prior. The trade-offs between bias and noise were represented by the normalized mean squared error (NMSE) and averaged normalized standard deviation (NSDav), respectively. They were used to select reasonable ranges of the reconstructed images for use in a human observer study. The observers were trained with the simulated cine images and were instructed to rate their confidence on the absence or presence of a motion defect on a continuous scale. We then applied receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis and used the area under the ROC curve (AUC) index. The results showed that significant differences in detection performance among the different NMSE-NSDav combinations were found and the optimal trade-off from optimized reconstruction parameters corresponded to a maximum AUC value. The 4D MAP-RBI-EM with ADS correction, which had the best trade-off among the tested reconstruction methods, also had the highest AUC value, resulting in significantly better human observer detection performance when detecting regional myocardial wall motion

  9. Task-Based Evaluation of a 4D MAP-RBI-EM Image Reconstruction Method for Gated Myocardial Perfusion SPECT using a Human Observer Study

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Taek-Soo; Higuchi, Takahiro; Lautamäki, Riikka; Bengel, Frank M.; Tsui, Benjamin M. W.

    2015-01-01

    We evaluated the performance of a new 4D image reconstruction method for improved 4D gated myocardial perfusion (MP) SPECT using a task-based human observer study. We used a realistic 4D NURBS-based Cardiac-Torso (NCAT) phantom that models cardiac beating motion. Half of the population was normal; the other half had a regional hypokinetic wall motion abnormality. Noise-free and noisy projection data with 16 gates/cardiac cycle were generated using an analytical projector that included the effects of attenuation, collimator-detector response, and scatter (ADS), and were reconstructed using the 3D FBP without and 3D OS-EM with ADS corrections followed by different cut-off frequencies of a 4D linear post-filter. A 4D iterative maximum a posteriori rescaled-block (MAP-RBI)-EM image reconstruction method with ADS corrections was also used to reconstruct the projection data using various values of the weighting factor for its prior. The trade-offs between bias and noise were represented by the normalized mean squared error (NMSE) and averaged normalized standard deviation (NSDav), respectively. They were used to select reasonable ranges of the reconstructed images for use in a human observer study. The observers were trained with the simulated cine images and were instructed to rate their confidence on the absence or presence of a motion defect on a continuous scale. We then applied receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis and used the area under the ROC curve (AUC) index. The results showed that significant differences in detection performance among the different NMSE-NSDav combinations were found and the optimal trade-off from optimized reconstruction parameters corresponded to a maximum AUC value. The 4D MAP-RBI-EM with ADS correction, which had the best trade-off among the tested reconstruction methods, also had the highest AUC value, resulting in significantly better human observer detection performance when detecting regional myocardial wall motion

  10. Comparing Neuromorphic Solutions in Action: Implementing a Bio-Inspired Solution to a Benchmark Classification Task on Three Parallel-Computing Platforms

    PubMed Central

    Diamond, Alan; Nowotny, Thomas; Schmuker, Michael

    2016-01-01

    Neuromorphic computing employs models of neuronal circuits to solve computing problems. Neuromorphic hardware systems are now becoming more widely available and “neuromorphic algorithms” are being developed. As they are maturing toward deployment in general research environments, it becomes important to assess and compare them in the context of the applications they are meant to solve. This should encompass not just task performance, but also ease of implementation, speed of processing, scalability, and power efficiency. Here, we report our practical experience of implementing a bio-inspired, spiking network for multivariate classification on three different platforms: the hybrid digital/analog Spikey system, the digital spike-based SpiNNaker system, and GeNN, a meta-compiler for parallel GPU hardware. We assess performance using a standard hand-written digit classification task. We found that whilst a different implementation approach was required for each platform, classification performances remained in line. This suggests that all three implementations were able to exercise the model's ability to solve the task rather than exposing inherent platform limits, although differences emerged when capacity was approached. With respect to execution speed and power consumption, we found that for each platform a large fraction of the computing time was spent outside of the neuromorphic device, on the host machine. Time was spent in a range of combinations of preparing the model, encoding suitable input spiking data, shifting data, and decoding spike-encoded results. This is also where a large proportion of the total power was consumed, most markedly for the SpiNNaker and Spikey systems. We conclude that the simulation efficiency advantage of the assessed specialized hardware systems is easily lost in excessive host-device communication, or non-neuronal parts of the computation. These results emphasize the need to optimize the host-device communication architecture

  11. Comparing Neuromorphic Solutions in Action: Implementing a Bio-Inspired Solution to a Benchmark Classification Task on Three Parallel-Computing Platforms.

    PubMed

    Diamond, Alan; Nowotny, Thomas; Schmuker, Michael

    2015-01-01

    Neuromorphic computing employs models of neuronal circuits to solve computing problems. Neuromorphic hardware systems are now becoming more widely available and "neuromorphic algorithms" are being developed. As they are maturing toward deployment in general research environments, it becomes important to assess and compare them in the context of the applications they are meant to solve. This should encompass not just task performance, but also ease of implementation, speed of processing, scalability, and power efficiency. Here, we report our practical experience of implementing a bio-inspired, spiking network for multivariate classification on three different platforms: the hybrid digital/analog Spikey system, the digital spike-based SpiNNaker system, and GeNN, a meta-compiler for parallel GPU hardware. We assess performance using a standard hand-written digit classification task. We found that whilst a different implementation approach was required for each platform, classification performances remained in line. This suggests that all three implementations were able to exercise the model's ability to solve the task rather than exposing inherent platform limits, although differences emerged when capacity was approached. With respect to execution speed and power consumption, we found that for each platform a large fraction of the computing time was spent outside of the neuromorphic device, on the host machine. Time was spent in a range of combinations of preparing the model, encoding suitable input spiking data, shifting data, and decoding spike-encoded results. This is also where a large proportion of the total power was consumed, most markedly for the SpiNNaker and Spikey systems. We conclude that the simulation efficiency advantage of the assessed specialized hardware systems is easily lost in excessive host-device communication, or non-neuronal parts of the computation. These results emphasize the need to optimize the host-device communication architecture for

  12. Action Properties of Object Images Facilitate Visual Search.

    PubMed

    Gomez, Michael A; Snow, Jacqueline C

    2017-03-06

    There is mounting evidence that constraints from action can influence the early stages of object selection, even in the absence of any explicit preparation for action. Here, we examined whether action properties of images can influence visual search, and whether such effects were modulated by hand preference. Observers searched for an oddball target among 3 distractors. The search arrays consisted either of images of graspable "handles" ("action-related" stimuli), or images that were otherwise identical to the handles but in which the semicircular fulcrum element was reoriented so that the stimuli no longer looked like graspable objects ("non-action-related" stimuli). In Experiment 1, right-handed observers, who have been shown previously to prefer to use the right hand over the left for manual tasks, were faster to detect targets in action-related versus non-action-related arrays, and showed a response time (reaction time [RT]) advantage for rightward- versus leftward-oriented action-related handles. In Experiment 2, left-handed observers, who have been shown to use the left and right hands relatively equally in manual tasks, were also faster to detect targets in the action-related versus non-action-related arrays, but RTs were equally fast for rightward- and leftward-oriented handle targets. Together, or results suggest that action properties in images, and constraints for action imposed by preferences for manual interaction with objects, can influence attentional selection in the context of visual search. (PsycINFO Database Record

  13. Complementary actions.

    PubMed

    Sartori, Luisa; Betti, Sonia

    2015-01-01

    Complementary colors are color pairs which, when combined in the right proportions, produce white or black. Complementary actions refer here to forms of social interaction wherein individuals adapt their joint actions according to a common aim. Notably, complementary actions are incongruent actions. But being incongruent is not sufficient to be complementary (i.e., to complete the action of another person). Successful complementary interactions are founded on the abilities: (i) to simulate another person's movements, (ii) to predict another person's future action/s, (iii) to produce an appropriate incongruent response which differ, while interacting, with observed ones, and (iv) to complete the social interaction by integrating the predicted effects of one's own action with those of another person. This definition clearly alludes to the functional importance of complementary actions in the perception-action cycle and prompts us to scrutinize what is taking place behind the scenes. Preliminary data on this topic have been provided by recent cutting-edge studies utilizing different research methods. This mini-review aims to provide an up-to-date overview of the processes and the specific activations underlying complementary actions.

  14. Complementary actions

    PubMed Central

    Sartori, Luisa; Betti, Sonia

    2015-01-01

    Complementary colors are color pairs which, when combined in the right proportions, produce white or black. Complementary actions refer here to forms of social interaction wherein individuals adapt their joint actions according to a common aim. Notably, complementary actions are incongruent actions. But being incongruent is not sufficient to be complementary (i.e., to complete the action of another person). Successful complementary interactions are founded on the abilities: (i) to simulate another person’s movements, (ii) to predict another person’s future action/s, (iii) to produce an appropriate incongruent response which differ, while interacting, with observed ones, and (iv) to complete the social interaction by integrating the predicted effects of one’s own action with those of another person. This definition clearly alludes to the functional importance of complementary actions in the perception–action cycle and prompts us to scrutinize what is taking place behind the scenes. Preliminary data on this topic have been provided by recent cutting-edge studies utilizing different research methods. This mini-review aims to provide an up-to-date overview of the processes and the specific activations underlying complementary actions. PMID:25983717

  15. "I Have No English Friends": Some Observations on the Practice of Action Learning with International Business Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brook, Cheryl; Milner, Christopher

    2014-01-01

    This account reports on some experiences of facilitating action learning with international business students. Interest in international student learning and the international student experience is significant and increasing with a considerable range of literature on the subject. Some of this literature is concerned with the perceived…

  16. Building Warmth Sculpture in the Student-Teacher Relationship: Goethean Observation and Contemplative Practice in an Action Research Inquiry

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kresin-Price, Nancy

    2013-01-01

    Through an action research approach, this dissertation focuses on the central role of interpersonal warmth in the teacher and student relationship. The heart of its inquiry is based on data gathered by a set of teachers working collaboratively as co-researchers in their own classrooms. These individuals inquired into the potential of the teacher…

  17. Distraction during learning with hypermedia: difficult tasks help to keep task goals on track.

    PubMed

    Scheiter, Katharina; Gerjets, Peter; Heise, Elke

    2014-01-01

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

  18. Observation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Helfrich, Shannon

    2016-01-01

    Helfrich addresses two perspectives from which to think about observation in the classroom: that of the teacher observing her classroom, her group, and its needs, and that of the outside observer coming into the classroom. Offering advice from her own experience, she encourages and defends both. Do not be afraid of the disruption of outside…

  19. Observations

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Joosten, Albert Max

    2016-01-01

    Joosten begins his article by telling us that love and knowledge together are the foundation for our work with children. This combination is at the heart of our observation. With this as the foundation, he goes on to offer practical advice to aid our practice of observation. He offers a "List of Objects of Observation" to help guide our…

  20. Task-based detectability comparison of exponential transformation of free-response operating characteristic (EFROC) curve and channelized Hotelling observer (CHO)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khobragade, P.; Fan, Jiahua; Rupcich, Franco; Crotty, Dominic J.; Gilat Schmidt, Taly

    2016-03-01

    This study quantitatively evaluated the performance of the exponential transformation of the free-response operating characteristic curve (EFROC) metric, with the Channelized Hotelling Observer (CHO) as a reference. The CHO has been used for image quality assessment of reconstruction algorithms and imaging systems and often it is applied to study the signal-location-known cases. The CHO also requires a large set of images to estimate the covariance matrix. In terms of clinical applications, this assumption and requirement may be unrealistic. The newly developed location-unknown EFROC detectability metric is estimated from the confidence scores reported by a model observer. Unlike the CHO, EFROC does not require a channelization step and is a non-parametric detectability metric. There are few quantitative studies available on application of the EFROC metric, most of which are based on simulation data. This study investigated the EFROC metric using experimental CT data. A phantom with four low contrast objects: 3mm (14 HU), 5mm (7HU), 7mm (5 HU) and 10 mm (3 HU) was scanned at dose levels ranging from 25 mAs to 270 mAs and reconstructed using filtered backprojection. The area under the curve values for CHO (AUC) and EFROC (AFE) were plotted with respect to different dose levels. The number of images required to estimate the non-parametric AFE metric was calculated for varying tasks and found to be less than the number of images required for parametric CHO estimation. The AFE metric was found to be more sensitive to changes in dose than the CHO metric. This increased sensitivity and the assumption of unknown signal location may be useful for investigating and optimizing CT imaging methods. Future work is required to validate the AFE metric against human observers.

  1. Report on Project Action Sheet PP05 task 3 between the U.S. Department of Energy and the Republic of Korea Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology (MEST).

    SciTech Connect

    Snell, Mark Kamerer

    2013-01-01

    This report documents the results of Task 3 of Project Action Sheet PP05 between the United States Department of Energy (DOE) and the Republic of Korea (ROK) Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology (MEST) for Support with Review of an ROK Risk Evaluation Process. This task was to have Sandia National Laboratories collaborate with the Korea Institute of Nuclear Nonproliferation and Control (KINAC) on several activities concerning how to determine the Probability of Neutralization, PN, and the Probability of System Effectiveness, PE, to include: providing descriptions on how combat simulations are used to determine PN and PE; comparisons of the strengths and weaknesses of two neutralization models (the Neutralization.xls spreadsheet model versus the Brief Adversary Threat-Loss Estimator (BATLE) software); and demonstrating how computer simulations can be used to determine PN. Note that the computer simulation used for the demonstration was the Scenario Toolkit And Generation Environment (STAGE) simulation, which is a stand-alone synthetic tactical simulation sold by Presagis Canada Incorporated. The demonstration is provided in a separate Audio Video Interleave (.AVI) file.

  2. Action-based touch observation in adults with high functioning autism: Can compromised self-other distinction abilities link social and sensory everyday problems?

    PubMed

    Deschrijver, Eliane; Wiersema, Jan R; Brass, Marcel

    2016-09-09

    Next to social problems, individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often report severe sensory difficulties. Altered processing of touch is however a stronger mediator of social symptoms' severity than altered processing of for instance vision or audition. Why is this the case? We reasoned that sensory difficulties may be linked to social problems in ASD through insufficient self-other distinction centred on touch. We investigated by means of EEG whether the brain of adults with ASD adequately signals when a tactile consequence of an observed action does not match own touch, as compared to the brain of matched controls. We employed the action-based somatosensory congruency paradigm. Participants observed a human or wooden hand touching a surface, combined with a tap-like tactile sensation that either matched or mismatched the tactile consequence of the observed movement. The ASD group showed a diminished congruency effect for human hands only in the P3-complex, suggesting difficulties with signalling observed action-based touch of others that does not match own touch experiences. Crucially, this effect reliably correlated with self-reported social and sensory everyday difficulties in ASD. The findings might denote a novel theoretical link between sensory and social impairments in the autism spectrum.

  3. Observation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kripalani, Lakshmi A.

    2016-01-01

    The adult who is inexperienced in the art of observation may, even with the best intentions, react to a child's behavior in a way that hinders instead of helping the child's development. Kripalani outlines the need for training and practice in observation in order to "understand the needs of the children and...to understand how to remove…

  4. Decoding Concrete and Abstract Action Representations During Explicit and Implicit Conceptual Processing.

    PubMed

    Wurm, Moritz F; Ariani, Giacomo; Greenlee, Mark W; Lingnau, Angelika

    2016-08-01

    Action understanding requires a many-to-one mapping of perceived input onto abstract representations that generalize across concrete features. It is debated whether such abstract action concepts are encoded in ventral premotor cortex (PMv; motor hypothesis) or, alternatively, are represented in lateral occipitotemporal cortex (LOTC; cognitive hypothesis). We used fMRI-based multivoxel pattern analysis to decode observed actions at concrete and abstract, object-independent levels of representation. Participants observed videos of 2 actions involving 2 different objects, using either an explicit or implicit task with respect to conceptual action processing. We decoded concrete action representations by training and testing a classifier to discriminate between actions within each object category. To identify abstract action representations, we trained the classifier to discriminate actions in one object and tested the classifier on actions performed on the other object, and vice versa. Region-of-interest and searchlight analyses revealed decoding in LOTC at both concrete and abstract levels during both tasks, whereas decoding in PMv was restricted to the concrete level during the explicit task. In right inferior parietal cortex, decoding was significant for the abstract level during the explicit task. Our findings are incompatible with the motor hypothesis, but support the cognitive hypothesis of action understanding.

  5. Task breakdown

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pavlich, Jane

    1990-01-01

    The topics concerning the Center for Space Construction (CSC) space construction breakdown structure are presented in viewgraph form. It is concluded that four components describe a task -- effecting, information gathering, analysis, and regulation; uncertainties effect the relative amount of information gathering and analysis that occurs; and that task timing requirements drive the 'location in time' of cognition.

  6. Understanding the flexibility of action-perception coupling.

    PubMed

    Poljac, Edita; van Schie, Hein T; Bekkering, Harold

    2009-07-01

    The idea that observing an action triggers an automatic and obligatory activation of an imitative action in the motor system of the observer has recently been questioned by studies examining complementary actions. Instead of a tendency for imitation, cooperative settings may facilitate the execution of dissimilar actions, resulting in a relative disadvantage for imitative actions. The present study aimed at clarifying the contribution of associative learning and interference of task representations to the reversal of congruency effects. To distinguish between the two, an experiment was designed, in which we increased the effects of associative learning and minimized the effects of task interference. Participants completed a series of imitation and complementary action runs, in which they continuously imitated or complemented the actions of a virtual co-actor. Each run was alternated with a test run showing the same actions but including color-cues, and the participants were instructed to respond to color instead of the actor's posture. Reaction times to test runs showed no reversal of facilitation effects between the imitation and complementary action conditions. This result strongly argues that associative learning cannot adequately account for reversed facilitation effects. Our study provides additional support for action-perception models that allow flexible selection of action-perception coupling and challenges the existing models purely based on stimulus-response associations.

  7. The observation of manual grasp actions affects the control of speech: a combined behavioral and Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation study.

    PubMed

    Gentilucci, Maurizio; Campione, Giovanna Cristina; Dalla Volta, Riccardo; Bernardis, Paolo

    2009-12-01

    Does the mirror system affect the control of speech? This issue was addressed in behavioral and Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) experiments. In behavioral experiment 1, participants pronounced the syllable /da/ while observing (1) a hand grasping large and small objects with power and precision grasps, respectively, (2) a foot interacting with large and small objects and (3) differently sized objects presented alone. Voice formant 1 was higher when observing power as compared to precision grasp, whereas it remained unaffected by observation of the different types of foot interaction and objects alone. In TMS experiment 2, we stimulated hand motor cortex, while participants observed the two types of grasp. Motor Evoked Potentials (MEPs) of hand muscles active during the two types of grasp were greater when observing power than precision grasp. In experiments 3-5, TMS was applied to tongue motor cortex of participants silently pronouncing the syllable /da/ and simultaneously observing power and precision grasps, pantomimes of the two types of grasps, and differently sized objects presented alone. Tongue MEPs were greater when observing power than precision grasp either executed or pantomimed. Finally, in TMS experiment 6, the observation of foot interaction with large and small objects did not modulate tongue MEPs. We hypothesized that grasp observation activated motor commands to the mouth as well as to the hand that were congruent with the hand kinematics implemented in the observed type of grasp. The commands to the mouth selectively affected postures of phonation organs and consequently basic features of phonological units.

  8. Manipulator Performance Evaluation Using Fitts' Taping Task

    SciTech Connect

    Draper, J.V.; Jared, B.C.; Noakes, M.W.

    1999-04-25

    Metaphorically, a teleoperator with master controllers projects the user's arms and hands into a re- mote area, Therefore, human users interact with teleoperators at a more fundamental level than they do with most human-machine systems. Instead of inputting decisions about how the system should func- tion, teleoperator users input the movements they might make if they were truly in the remote area and the remote machine must recreate their trajectories and impedance. This intense human-machine inter- action requires displays and controls more carefully attuned to human motor capabilities than is neces- sary with most systems. It is important for teleoperated manipulators to be able to recreate human trajectories and impedance in real time. One method for assessing manipulator performance is to observe how well a system be- haves while a human user completes human dexterity tasks with it. Fitts' tapping task has been, used many times in the past for this purpose. This report describes such a performance assessment. The International Submarine Engineering (ISE) Autonomous/Teleoperated Operations Manipulator (ATOM) servomanipulator system was evalu- ated using a generic positioning accuracy task. The task is a simple one but has the merits of (1) pro- ducing a performance function estimate rather than a point estimate and (2) being widely used in the past for human and servomanipulator dexterity tests. Results of testing using this task may, therefore, allow comparison with other manipulators, and is generically representative of a broad class of tasks. Results of the testing indicate that the ATOM manipulator is capable of performing the task. Force reflection had a negative impact on task efficiency in these data. This was most likely caused by the high resistance to movement the master controller exhibited with the force reflection engaged. Measurements of exerted forces were not made, so it is not possible to say whether the force reflection helped partici- pants

  9. ERPs and their brain sources in perceptual and conceptual prospective memory tasks: Commonalities and differences between the two tasks.

    PubMed

    Cruz, Gabriela; Miyakoshi, Makoto; Makeig, Scott; Kilborn, Kerry; Evans, Jonathan

    2016-10-01

    The present study examined whether Event-Related Potential (ERP) components and their neural generators are common to perceptual and conceptual prospective memory (PM) tasks or specific to the form of PM cue involved. We used Independent Component Analysis (ICA) to study the contributions of brain source activities to scalp ERPs across the different phases of two event-based PM-tasks: (1) holding intentions during a delay (monitoring) (2) detecting the correct context to perform the delayed intention (cue detection) and (3) carrying out the action (realisation of delayed intentions). Results showed that monitoring for both perceptual and conceptual PM-tasks was characterised by an enhanced early occipital negativity (N200). In addition the conceptual PM-task showed a long-lasting effect of monitoring significant around 700ms. Perceptual PM-task cues elicited an N300 enhancement associated with cue detection, whereas a midline N400-like response was evoked by conceptual PM-task cues. The Prospective Positivity associated with realisation of delayed intentions was observed in both conceptual and perceptual tasks. A common frontal-midline brain source contributed to the Prospective Positivity in both tasks and a strong contribution from parieto-frontal brain sources was observed only for the perceptually cued PM-task. These findings support the idea that: (1) The enhanced N200 can be understood as a neural correlate of a 'retrieval mode' for perceptual and conceptual PM-tasks, and additional strategic monitoring is implemented according the nature of the PM task; (2) ERPs associated with cue detection are specific to the nature of the PM cues; (3) Prospective Positivity reflects a general PM process, but the specific brain sources contributing to it depend upon the nature of the PM task.

  10. A Review of the Cognitive Effects Observed in Humans Following Acute Supplementation with Flavonoids, and Their Associated Mechanisms of Action

    PubMed Central

    Bell, Lynne; Lamport, Daniel J.; Butler, Laurie T.; Williams, Claire M.

    2015-01-01

    Flavonoids are polyphenolic compounds found in varying concentrations in many plant-based foods. Recent studies suggest that flavonoids can be beneficial to both cognitive and physiological health. Long term flavonoid supplementation over a period of weeks or months has been extensively investigated and reviewed, particularly with respect to cognitive ageing and neurodegenerative disease. Significantly less focus has been directed towards the short term effects of single doses of flavonoids on cognition. Here, we review 21 such studies with particular emphasis on the subclass and dose of flavonoids administered, the cognitive domains affected by flavonoid supplementation, and the effect size of the response. The emerging evidence suggests that flavonoids may be beneficial to attention, working memory, and psychomotor processing speed in a general population. Episodic memory effects are less well defined and may be restricted to child or older adult populations. The evidence also points towards a dose-dependent effect of flavonoids, but the physiological mechanisms of action remain unclear. Overall, there is encouraging evidence that flavonoid supplementation can benefit cognitive outcomes within an acute time frame of 0–6 h. But larger studies, combining cognitive and physiological measures, are needed to strengthen the evidence base. PMID:26690214

  11. A Review of the Cognitive Effects Observed in Humans Following Acute Supplementation with Flavonoids, and Their Associated Mechanisms of Action.

    PubMed

    Bell, Lynne; Lamport, Daniel J; Butler, Laurie T; Williams, Claire M

    2015-12-09

    Flavonoids are polyphenolic compounds found in varying concentrations in many plant-based foods. Recent studies suggest that flavonoids can be beneficial to both cognitive and physiological health. Long term flavonoid supplementation over a period of weeks or months has been extensively investigated and reviewed, particularly with respect to cognitive ageing and neurodegenerative disease. Significantly less focus has been directed towards the short term effects of single doses of flavonoids on cognition. Here, we review 21 such studies with particular emphasis on the subclass and dose of flavonoids administered, the cognitive domains affected by flavonoid supplementation, and the effect size of the response. The emerging evidence suggests that flavonoids may be beneficial to attention, working memory, and psychomotor processing speed in a general population. Episodic memory effects are less well defined and may be restricted to child or older adult populations. The evidence also points towards a dose-dependent effect of flavonoids, but the physiological mechanisms of action remain unclear. Overall, there is encouraging evidence that flavonoid supplementation can benefit cognitive outcomes within an acute time frame of 0-6 h. But larger studies, combining cognitive and physiological measures, are needed to strengthen the evidence base.

  12. Assessing Changes in High School Students' Conceptual Understanding through Concept Maps before and after the Computer-Based Predict-Observe-Explain (CB-POE) Tasks on Acid-Base Chemistry at the Secondary Level

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yaman, Fatma; Ayas, Alipasa

    2015-01-01

    Although concept maps have been used as alternative assessment methods in education, there has been an ongoing debate on how to evaluate students' concept maps. This study discusses how to evaluate students' concept maps as an assessment tool before and after 15 computer-based Predict-Observe-Explain (CB-POE) tasks related to acid-base chemistry.…

  13. The Observation of Manual Grasp Actions Affects the Control of Speech: A Combined Behavioral and Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gentilucci, Maurizio; Campione, Giovanna Cristina; Volta, Riccardo Dalla; Bernardis, Paolo

    2009-01-01

    Does the mirror system affect the control of speech? This issue was addressed in behavioral and Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) experiments. In behavioral experiment 1, participants pronounced the syllable /da/ while observing (1) a hand grasping large and small objects with power and precision grasps, respectively, (2) a foot interacting…

  14. Norepinephrine and dopamine modulate impulsivity on the five-choice serial reaction time task through opponent actions in the shell and core sub-regions of the nucleus accumbens.

    PubMed

    Economidou, Daina; Theobald, David E H; Robbins, Trevor W; Everitt, Barry J; Dalley, Jeffrey W

    2012-08-01

    Impulsive behavior is a hallmark of several neuropsychiatric disorders (eg, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, ADHD). Although dopamine (DA) and norepinephrine (NE) have a significant role in the modulation of impulsivity their neural loci of action is not well understood. Here, we investigated the effects of the selective NE re-uptake inhibitor atomoxetine (ATO) and the mixed DA/NE re-uptake inhibitor methylphenidate (MPH), both with proven clinical efficacy in ADHD, on the number of premature responses on a five-choice serial reaction time task, an operational measure of impulsivity. Microinfusions of ATO into the shell, but not the core, sub-region of the nucleus accumbens (NAcb) significantly decreased premature responding whereas infusions of MPH in the core, but not the shell, sub-region significantly increased premature responding. However, neither ATO nor MPH significantly altered impulsive behavior when infused into the prelimbic or infralimbic cortices. The opposing effects of ATO and MPH in the NAcb core and shell on impulsivity were unlikely mediated by ancillary effects on behavioral activation as locomotor activity was either unaffected, as in the case of ATO infusions in the core and shell, or increased when MPH was infused into either the core and shell sub-region. These findings indicate an apparently 'opponent' modulation of premature responses by NE and DA in the NAcb shell or core, respectively, and suggest that the symptom clusters of hyperactive-impulsive type ADHD may have distinct neural and neurochemical substrates.

  15. Learning Via Observation during the Second Year of Life.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Abravanel, Eugene; Gingold, Herbert

    1985-01-01

    Deferred imitation of object-related actions was studied at two ages, 12 and 18 months, to examine development of competence in observational learning. Three task categories were investigated: simple/single reiterative, and sequentially coordinated actions. Examination of partial successes at both ages was useful for suggesting phases in…

  16. Action perception predicts action performance

    PubMed Central

    Bailey, Heather R.; Kurby, Christopher A.; Giovannetti, Tania; Zacks, Jeffrey M.

    2013-01-01

    Everyday action impairments often are observed in demented older adults, and they are common potential barriers to functional independence. We evaluated whether the ability to segment and efficiently encode activities is related to the ability to execute activities. Further, we evaluated whether brain regions important for segmentation also were important for action performance. Cognitively healthy older adults and those with very mild or mild dementia of the Alzheimer's type watched and segmented movies of everyday activities and then completed the Naturalistic Action Test. Structural MRI was used to measure volume in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), medial temporal lobes (MTL), posterior cortex, and anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). Dementia status and the ability to segment everyday activities strongly predicted naturalistic action performance, and MTL volume largely accounted for this relationship. In addition, the current results supported the Omission-Commission Model: Different cognitive and neurological mechanisms predicted different types of action error. Segmentation, dementia severity, and MTL volume predicted everyday omission errors, DLPFC volume predicted commission errors, and ACC volume predicted action additions. These findings suggest that event segmentation may be critical for effective action production, and that the segmentation and production of activities may recruit the same event representation system. PMID:23851113

  17. Action perception predicts action performance.

    PubMed

    Bailey, Heather R; Kurby, Christopher A; Giovannetti, Tania; Zacks, Jeffrey M

    2013-09-01

    Everyday action impairments often are observed in demented older adults, and they are common potential barriers to functional independence. We evaluated whether the ability to segment and efficiently encode activities is related to the ability to execute activities. Further, we evaluated whether brain regions important for segmentation also were important for action performance. Cognitively healthy older adults and those with very mild or mild dementia of the Alzheimer's type watched and segmented movies of everyday activities and then completed the Naturalistic Action Test. Structural MRI was used to measure volume in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), medial temporal lobes (MTL), posterior cortex, and anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). Dementia status and the ability to segment everyday activities strongly predicted naturalistic action performance, and MTL volume largely accounted for this relationship. In addition, the current results supported the Omission-Commission Model: Different cognitive and neurological mechanisms predicted different types of action error. Segmentation, dementia severity, and MTL volume predicted everyday omission errors, DLPFC volume predicted commission errors, and ACC volume predicted action additions. These findings suggest that event segmentation may be critical for effective action production, and that the segmentation and production of activities may recruit the same event representation system.

  18. Field observations, experiments, and modeling of sediment production from freeze and thaw action on a bare, weathered granite slope in a temperate region of Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsutsumi, Daizo; Fujita, Masaharu

    2016-08-01

    In the present study, field observations and model simulations were conducted to examine the process of sediment production due to freeze and thaw action in a temperate climate region. Two small areas were designated and observations were conducted to determine the mechanisms of sediment production due to freeze and thaw action on a bare, weathered granite slope in the Tanakami Mountains in the southern part of Shiga Prefecture, Japan. During the cold season from 2004 to 2005, air, surface, and subsurface temperatures were measured at 10-min intervals. The sediment produced on plot 1 was collected and weighed once per week, whereas the sediment produced on plot 2 was left untouched until the end of the cold season. The freeze and thaw cycle occurred repeatedly, with the frozen zone (i.e., temperature < 0 °C) extending to a depth of 10 cm. Sediment was produced as a result of active freeze and thaw processes and, accordingly, there was no longer sediment production at the end of the cold season. Plots 1 and 2 produced 108 and 44 kg m- 2 year- 1 of sediment, respectively. This difference indicates that sediment cover of the saprolite surface mitigated the destructive effects of freezing. During the cold season from 2005 to 2006, a half of plot 1 was covered by broadleaves (Quercus serrata) and the other half was covered by coniferous leaves (Pinus densiflora); plot 2 was covered by no leaves to understand the effects of surface cover on the reduction in sediment production. The results showed that surface leaf cover dramatically decreased sediment production due to freeze and thaw action versus the no-surface cover. A simulation model combining a thermal conductivity analysis and a simple and empirical sediment production model was developed to estimate the amount of sediment produced by the freeze and thaw action. The observation results of temperature change and amount of sediment during the first season, from 2004 to 2005, were simulated with the model. The model

  19. Crystal structures of bis­(phen­oxy)silicon phthalocyanines: increasing π–π inter­actions, solubility and disorder and no halogen bonding observed

    PubMed Central

    Lessard, Benoît H.; Lough, Alan J.; Bender, Timothy P.

    2016-01-01

    We report the syntheses and characterization of three solution-processable phen­oxy silicon phthalocyanines (SiPcs), namely bis­(3-methyl­phen­oxy)(phthalocyanine)silicon [(3MP)2-SiPc], C46H30N8O2Si, bis­(2-sec-butyl­phen­oxy)(phthalocyanine)silicon [(2secBP)2-SiPc], C44H24I2N8O2Si, and bis­(3-iodo­phen­oxy)(phthalocyanine)silicon [(3IP)2-SiPc], C52H42N8O2Si. Crystals grown of these compounds were characterized by single-crystal X-ray diffraction and the π–π inter­actions between the aromatic SiPc cores were studied. It was determined that (3MP)2-SiPc has similar inter­actions to previously reported bis­(3,4,5-tri­fluoro­phen­oxy)silicon phthalocyanines [(345 F)2-SiPc] with significant π–π inter­actions between the SiPc groups. (3IP)2-SiPc and (2secBP)2-SiPc both experienced a parallel stacking of two of the peripheral aromatic groups. In all three cases, the solubility of these mol­ecules was increased by the addition of phen­oxy groups while maintaining π–π inter­actions between the aromatic SiPc groups. The solubility of (2secBP)2-SiPc was significantly higher than other bis-phen­oxy-SiPcs and this was exemplified by the higher observed disorder within the crystal structure. PMID:27555947

  20. Crystal structures of bis-(phen-oxy)silicon phthalocyanines: increasing π-π inter-actions, solubility and disorder and no halogen bonding observed.

    PubMed

    Lessard, Benoît H; Lough, Alan J; Bender, Timothy P

    2016-07-01

    We report the syntheses and characterization of three solution-processable phen-oxy silicon phthalocyanines (SiPcs), namely bis-(3-methyl-phen-oxy)(phthalocyanine)silicon [(3MP)2-SiPc], C46H30N8O2Si, bis-(2-sec-butyl-phen-oxy)(phthalocyanine)silicon [(2secBP)2-SiPc], C44H24I2N8O2Si, and bis-(3-iodo-phen-oxy)(phthalocyanine)silicon [(3IP)2-SiPc], C52H42N8O2Si. Crystals grown of these compounds were characterized by single-crystal X-ray diffraction and the π-π inter-actions between the aromatic SiPc cores were studied. It was determined that (3MP)2-SiPc has similar inter-actions to previously reported bis-(3,4,5-tri-fluoro-phen-oxy)silicon phthalocyanines [(345 F)2-SiPc] with significant π-π inter-actions between the SiPc groups. (3IP)2-SiPc and (2secBP)2-SiPc both experienced a parallel stacking of two of the peripheral aromatic groups. In all three cases, the solubility of these mol-ecules was increased by the addition of phen-oxy groups while maintaining π-π inter-actions between the aromatic SiPc groups. The solubility of (2secBP)2-SiPc was significantly higher than other bis-phen-oxy-SiPcs and this was exemplified by the higher observed disorder within the crystal structure.

  1. Decision paths in complex tasks

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Galanter, Eugene

    1991-01-01

    Complex real world action and its prediction and control has escaped analysis by the classical methods of psychological research. The reason is that psychologists have no procedures to parse complex tasks into their constituents. Where such a division can be made, based say on expert judgment, there is no natural scale to measure the positive or negative values of the components. Even if we could assign numbers to task parts, we lack rules i.e., a theory, to combine them into a total task representation. We compare here two plausible theories for the amalgamation of the value of task components. Both of these theories require a numerical representation of motivation, for motivation is the primary variable that guides choice and action in well-learned tasks. We address this problem of motivational quantification and performance prediction by developing psychophysical scales of the desireability or aversiveness of task components based on utility scaling methods (Galanter 1990). We modify methods used originally to scale sensory magnitudes (Stevens and Galanter 1957), and that have been applied recently to the measure of task 'workload' by Gopher and Braune (1984). Our modification uses utility comparison scaling techniques which avoid the unnecessary assumptions made by Gopher and Braune. Formula for the utility of complex tasks based on the theoretical models are used to predict decision and choice of alternate paths to the same goal.

  2. Dynamics of Social Interaction: Kinematic Analysis of a Joint Action.

    PubMed

    Moreau, Quentin; Galvan, Lucie; Nazir, Tatjana A; Paulignan, Yves

    2016-01-01

    Non-verbal social interaction between humans requires accurate understanding of the others' actions. The cognitivist approach suggests that successful interaction depends on the creation of a shared representation of the task, where the pairing of perceptive and motor systems of partners allows inclusion of the other's goal into the overarching representation. Activity of the Mirror Neurons System (MNS) is thought to be a crucial mechanism linking two individuals during a joint action through action observation. The construction of a shared representation of an interaction (i.e., joint action) depends upon sensorimotor cognitive processes that modulate the ability to adapt in time and space. We attempted to detect individuals' behavioral/kinematic change resulting in a global amelioration of performance for both subjects when a common representation of the action is built using a repetitive joint action. We asked pairs of subjects to carry out a simple task where one puts a base in the middle of a table and the other places a parallelepiped fitting into the base, the crucial manipulation being that participants switched roles during the experiment. We aimed to show that a full comprehension of a joint action is not an automatic process. We found that, before switching the interactional role, the participant initially placing the base orientated it in a way that led to an uncomfortable action for participants placing the parallelepiped. However, after switching roles, the action's kinematics by the participant who places the base changed in order to facilitate the action of the other. More precisely, our data shows significant modulation of the base angle in order to ease the completion of the joint action, highlighting the fact that a shared knowledge of the complete action facilitates the generation of a common representation. This evidence suggests the ability to establish an efficient shared representation of a joint action benefits from physically taking our

  3. Time will show: real time predictions during interpersonal action perception.

    PubMed

    Manera, Valeria; Schouten, Ben; Verfaillie, Karl; Becchio, Cristina

    2013-01-01

    Predictive processes are crucial not only for interpreting the actions of individual agents, but also to predict how, in the context of a social interaction between two agents, the actions of one agent relate to the actions of a second agent. In the present study we investigated whether, in the context of a communicative interaction between two agents, observers can use the actions of one agent to predict when the action of a second agent will take place. Participants observed point-light displays of two agents (A and B) performing separate actions. In the communicative condition, the action performed by agent B responded to a communicative gesture performed by agent A. In the individual condition, agent A's communicative action was substituted with a non-communicative action. For each condition, we manipulated the temporal coupling of the actions of the two agents, by varying the onset of agent A's action. Using a simultaneous masking detection task, we demonstrated that the timing manipulation had a critical effect on the communicative condition, with the visual discrimination of agent B increasing linearly while approaching the original interaction timing. No effect of the timing manipulation was found for the individual condition. Our finding complements and extends previous evidence for interpersonal predictive coding, suggesting that the communicative gestures of one agent can serve not only to predict what the second agent will do, but also when his/her action will take place.

  4. Task-dependent color discrimination

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Poirson, Allen B.; Wandell, Brian A.

    1990-01-01

    When color video displays are used in time-critical applications (e.g., head-up displays, video control panels), the observer must discriminate among briefly presented targets seen within a complex spatial scene. Color-discrimination threshold are compared by using two tasks. In one task the observer makes color matches between two halves of a continuously displayed bipartite field. In a second task the observer detects a color target in a set of briefly presented objects. The data from both tasks are well summarized by ellipsoidal isosensitivity contours. The fitted ellipsoids differ both in their size, which indicates an absolute sensitivity difference, and orientation, which indicates a relative sensitivity difference.

  5. Epistemic Thinking in Action: Evaluating and Integrating Online Sources

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barzilai, Sarit; Zohar, Anat

    2012-01-01

    This study examines epistemic thinking in action in order to shed light on the relation between students' personal epistemologies and their online learning practices. The study is based on observations of the learning behaviors of 6th-grade students (n = 38) during two online inquiry tasks. Data were collected through think-aloud protocols and…

  6. Neuro-cognitive mechanisms of decision making in joint action: a human-robot interaction study.

    PubMed

    Bicho, Estela; Erlhagen, Wolfram; Louro, Luis; e Silva, Eliana Costa

    2011-10-01

    In this paper we present a model for action preparation and decision making in cooperative tasks that is inspired by recent experimental findings about the neuro-cognitive mechanisms supporting joint action in humans. It implements the coordination of actions and goals among the partners as a dynamic process that integrates contextual cues, shared task knowledge and predicted outcome of others' motor behavior. The control architecture is formalized by a system of coupled dynamic neural fields representing a distributed network of local but connected neural populations. Different pools of neurons encode task-relevant information about action means, task goals and context in the form of self-sustained activation patterns. These patterns are triggered by input from connected populations and evolve continuously in time under the influence of recurrent interactions. The dynamic model of joint action is evaluated in a task in which a robot and a human jointly construct a toy object. We show that the highly context sensitive mapping from action observation onto appropriate complementary actions allows coping with dynamically changing joint action situations.

  7. Doing gesture promotes learning a mental transformation task better than seeing gesture

    PubMed Central

    Goldin-Meadow, Susan; Levine, Susan C.; Zinchenko, Elena; Yip, Terina KuangYi; Hemani, Naureen; Factor, Laiah

    2012-01-01

    Performing action has been found to have a greater impact on learning than observing action. Here we ask whether a particular type of action—the gestures that accompany talk—affect learning in a comparable way. We gave 158 6-year-old children instruction in a mental transformation task. Half the children were asked to produce a Move gesture relevant to the task; half were asked to produce a Point gesture. The children also observed the experimenter producing either a Move or Point gesture. Children who produced a Move gesture improved more than children who observed the Move gesture. Neither producing nor observing the Point gesture facilitated learning. Doing gesture promotes learning better than seeing gesture, as long as the gesture conveys information that could help solve the task. PMID:23106741

  8. Perceptual learning during action video game playing.

    PubMed

    Green, C Shawn; Li, Renjie; Bavelier, Daphne

    2010-04-01

    Action video games have been shown to enhance behavioral performance on a wide variety of perceptual tasks, from those that require effective allocation of attentional resources across the visual scene, to those that demand the successful identification of fleetingly presented stimuli. Importantly, these effects have not only been shown in expert action video game players, but a causative link has been established between action video game play and enhanced processing through training studies. Although an account based solely on attention fails to capture the variety of enhancements observed after action game playing, a number of models of perceptual learning are consistent with the observed results, with behavioral modeling favoring the hypothesis that avid video game players are better able to form templates for, or extract the relevant statistics of, the task at hand. This may suggest that the neural site of learning is in areas where information is integrated and actions are selected; yet changes in low-level sensory areas cannot be ruled out.

  9. Dynamics of Social Interaction: Kinematic Analysis of a Joint Action

    PubMed Central

    Moreau, Quentin; Galvan, Lucie; Nazir, Tatjana A.; Paulignan, Yves

    2016-01-01

    Non-verbal social interaction between humans requires accurate understanding of the others’ actions. The cognitivist approach suggests that successful interaction depends on the creation of a shared representation of the task, where the pairing of perceptive and motor systems of partners allows inclusion of the other’s goal into the overarching representation. Activity of the Mirror Neurons System (MNS) is thought to be a crucial mechanism linking two individuals during a joint action through action observation. The construction of a shared representation of an interaction (i.e., joint action) depends upon sensorimotor cognitive processes that modulate the ability to adapt in time and space. We attempted to detect individuals’ behavioral/kinematic change resulting in a global amelioration of performance for both subjects when a common representation of the action is built using a repetitive joint action. We asked pairs of subjects to carry out a simple task where one puts a base in the middle of a table and the other places a parallelepiped fitting into the base, the crucial manipulation being that participants switched roles during the experiment. We aimed to show that a full comprehension of a joint action is not an automatic process. We found that, before switching the interactional role, the participant initially placing the base orientated it in a way that led to an uncomfortable action for participants placing the parallelepiped. However, after switching roles, the action’s kinematics by the participant who places the base changed in order to facilitate the action of the other. More precisely, our data shows significant modulation of the base angle in order to ease the completion of the joint action, highlighting the fact that a shared knowledge of the complete action facilitates the generation of a common representation. This evidence suggests the ability to establish an efficient shared representation of a joint action benefits from physically

  10. Areas Recruited during Action Understanding Are Not Modulated by Auditory or Sign Language Experience

    PubMed Central

    Fang, Yuxing; Chen, Quanjing; Lingnau, Angelika; Han, Zaizhu; Bi, Yanchao

    2016-01-01

    The observation of other people’s actions recruits a network of areas including the inferior frontal gyrus (IFG), the inferior parietal lobule (IPL), and posterior middle temporal gyrus (pMTG). These regions have been shown to be activated through both visual and auditory inputs. Intriguingly, previous studies found no engagement of IFG and IPL for deaf participants during non-linguistic action observation, leading to the proposal that auditory experience or sign language usage might shape the functionality of these areas. To understand which variables induce plastic changes in areas recruited during the processing of other people’s actions, we examined the effects of tasks (action understanding and passive viewing) and effectors (arm actions vs. leg actions), as well as sign language experience in a group of 12 congenitally deaf signers and 13 hearing participants. In Experiment 1, we found a stronger activation during an action recognition task in comparison to a low-level visual control task in IFG, IPL and pMTG in both deaf signers and hearing individuals, but no effect of auditory or sign language experience. In Experiment 2, we replicated the results of the first experiment using a passive viewing task. Together, our results provide robust evidence demonstrating that the response obtained in IFG, IPL, and pMTG during action recognition and passive viewing is not affected by auditory or sign language experience, adding further support for the supra-modal nature of these regions. PMID:27014025

  11. Areas Recruited during Action Understanding Are Not Modulated by Auditory or Sign Language Experience.

    PubMed

    Fang, Yuxing; Chen, Quanjing; Lingnau, Angelika; Han, Zaizhu; Bi, Yanchao

    2016-01-01

    The observation of other people's actions recruits a network of areas including the inferior frontal gyrus (IFG), the inferior parietal lobule (IPL), and posterior middle temporal gyrus (pMTG). These regions have been shown to be activated through both visual and auditory inputs. Intriguingly, previous studies found no engagement of IFG and IPL for deaf participants during non-linguistic action observation, leading to the proposal that auditory experience or sign language usage might shape the functionality of these areas. To understand which variables induce plastic changes in areas recruited during the processing of other people's actions, we examined the effects of tasks (action understanding and passive viewing) and effectors (arm actions vs. leg actions), as well as sign language experience in a group of 12 congenitally deaf signers and 13 hearing participants. In Experiment 1, we found a stronger activation during an action recognition task in comparison to a low-level visual control task in IFG, IPL and pMTG in both deaf signers and hearing individuals, but no effect of auditory or sign language experience. In Experiment 2, we replicated the results of the first experiment using a passive viewing task. Together, our results provide robust evidence demonstrating that the response obtained in IFG, IPL, and pMTG during action recognition and passive viewing is not affected by auditory or sign language experience, adding further support for the supra-modal nature of these regions.

  12. Embodied Task Dynamics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Simko, Juraj; Cummins, Fred

    2010-01-01

    Movement science faces the challenge of reconciling parallel sequences of discrete behavioral goals with observed fluid, context-sensitive motion. This challenge arises with a vengeance in the speech domain, in which gestural primitives play the role of discrete goals. The task dynamic framework has proved effective in modeling the manner in which…

  13. Task analysis for the single-shell Tank Waste Retrieval Manipulator System

    SciTech Connect

    Draper, J.V.

    1993-03-01

    This document describes a task analysis for the Tank Waste Retrieval Manipulator System. A task analysis is a formal method of examining work that must be done by the operators of human-machine systems. The starting point for a task analysis is the mission that a human-machine system must perform, and the ending point is a list of requirements for human actions and the displays and controls that must be provided to support them. The task analysis approach started with a top-down definition of the steps in a tank retrieval campaign. It started by dividing a waste retrieval campaign for one single-shell tank into the largest logical components (mission phases), then subdivided these into secondary components (sub functions), and then further subdivided the secondary components into tertiary units (tasks). Finally, the tertiary units were divided into potentially observable operator behaviors (task elements). In the next stage of the task analysis, the task elements were evaluated by completing an electronic task analysis form patterned after one developed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for task analysis of nuclear power plant control rooms. In the final stage, the task analysis data base was used in a bottom-up approach to develop clusters of controls and displays called panel groups and to prioritize these groups for each subfunction. Panel groups are clusters of functionally related controls and displays. Actual control panels will be designed from panel groups, and panel groups will be organized within workstations to promote efficient operations during retrieval campaigns.

  14. From language comprehension to action understanding and back again.

    PubMed

    Tremblay, Pascale; Small, Steven L

    2011-05-01

    A controversial question in cognitive neuroscience is whether comprehension of words and sentences engages brain mechanisms specific for decoding linguistic meaning or whether language comprehension occurs through more domain-general sensorimotor processes. Accumulating behavioral and neuroimaging evidence suggests a role for cortical motor and premotor areas in passive action-related language tasks, regions that are known to be involved in action execution and observation. To examine the involvement of these brain regions in language and nonlanguage tasks, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) on a group of 21 healthy adults. During the fMRI session, all participants 1) watched short object-related action movies, 2) looked at pictures of man-made objects, and 3) listened to and produced short sentences describing object-related actions and man-made objects. Our results are among the first to reveal, in the human brain, a functional specialization within the ventral premotor cortex (PMv) for observing actions and for observing objects, and a different organization for processing sentences describing actions and objects. These findings argue against the strongest version of the simulation theory for the processing of action-related language.

  15. Reafferent copies of imitated actions in the right superior temporal cortex

    PubMed Central

    Iacoboni, Marco; Koski, Lisa M.; Brass, Marcel; Bekkering, Harold; Woods, Roger P.; Dubeau, Marie-Charlotte; Mazziotta, John C.; Rizzolatti, Giacomo

    2001-01-01

    Imitation is a complex phenomenon, the neural mechanisms of which are still largely unknown. When individuals imitate an action that already is present in their motor repertoire, a mechanism matching the observed action onto an internal motor representation of that action should suffice for the purpose. When one has to copy a new action, however, or to adjust an action present in one's motor repertoire to a different observed action, an additional mechanism is needed that allows the observer to compare the action made by another individual with the sensory consequences of the same action made by himself. Previous experiments have shown that a mechanism that directly matches observed actions on their motor counterparts exists in the premotor cortex of monkeys and humans. Here we report the results of functional magnetic resonance experiments, suggesting that in the superior temporal sulcus, a higher order visual region, there is a sector that becomes active both during hand action observation and during imitation even in the absence of direct vision of the imitator's hand. The motor-related activity is greater during imitation than during control motor tasks. This newly identified region has all the requisites for being the region at which the observed actions, and the reafferent motor-related copies of actions made by the imitator, interact. PMID:11717457

  16. The interleaving of actions in everyday life multitasking demands.

    PubMed

    Frisch, Stefan; Förstl, Sabine; Legler, Angela; Schöpe, Sabine; Goebel, Hans

    2012-09-01

    It has been argued that executive tests should capture central aspects of executive functions in everyday life such as initiating and monitoring parallel actions in low-structured environments (so-called multitasking; see Burgess, 2000). We present a cooking task in order to assess executive function impairments in brain-damaged patients, which focuses on a central feature of multitasking, the interleaving of tasks (Burgess, 2000). Behavioural performance of 21 brain-damaged patients (stroke, traumatic brain injury) and of a group of matched controls was analysed on the basis of a standardized protocol. In comparison to controls, the patients explored less, were less successful in monitoring their actions and corrected errors less efficiently. Interleaving of actions was observed less frequently in patients, with respect to both cooking itself as well as to subordinate goals (e.g., cleaning up). Interleaving proved efficient, as it was associated with less time to complete the task. Patients' scores in the cooking task correlated with performance in both the Behavioural Assessment of the Dysexecutive Syndrome (BADS) Zoo Map Test and the BADS Six Elements Test, but not with tests of attention, verbal memory, or figural fluency, thus demonstrating convergent and discriminant validity. In summary, our task demonstrates that cooking can provide a valid testing ground for assessing a central aspect of everyday multitasking demands, namely, the interleaving of actions.

  17. Task Organizing for Urban Combat

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1978-06-09

    varying urbanisation s-a exatmined in this chapter. Nine ex&aples of Soviet and German task organization employed in urban combat ranging frca emaml...in swaler vill •ges. ’rhus if a tank battalion supported an infantry battalion in small village actions, it covid have to support up to eight infantry

  18. Science education and everyday action

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCann, Wendy Renee Sherman

    2001-07-01

    This dissertation addresses three related tasks and issues in the larger field of science education. The first is to review of the several uses of "everydayness" at play in the science education literature, and in the education and social science literatures more generally. Four broad iterations of everydayness were found in science education, and these were traced and analyzed to develop their similarities, and contradictions. It was concluded that despite tendencies in science education research to suppose a fundamental demarcation either between professional science and everyday life, or between schools and everyday life, all social affairs, including professional science and activity in schools, are continuous with everyday life, and consist fundamentally in everyday, ordinary mundane actions which are ordered and organized by the participants to those social activities and occasions. The second task for this dissertation was to conduct a naturalistic, descriptive study of undergraduate-level physics laboratory activities from the analytic perspective of ethnomethodology. The study findings are presented as closely-detailed analysis of the students' methods of following their instructions and 'fitting' their observed results to a known scientific concept or principle during the enactment of their classroom laboratory activities. Based on the descriptions of students' practical work in following instructions and 'fitting'. The characterization of school science labs as an "experiment-demonstration hybrid" is developed. The third task of this dissertation was to synthesize the literature review and field study findings in order to clarify what science educators could productively mean by "everydayness", and to suggest what understandings of science education the study of everyday action recommends. It is argued that the significance of the 'experiment-demo hybrid' characterization must be seen in terms of an alternate program for science education research, which

  19. Modeling of autonomous problem solving process by dynamic construction of task models in multiple tasks environment.

    PubMed

    Ohigashi, Yu; Omori, Takashi

    2006-10-01

    Traditional reinforcement learning (RL) supposes a complex but single task to be solved. When a RL agent faces a task similar to a learned one, the agent must re-learn the task from the beginning because it doesn't reuse the past learned results. This is the problem of quick action learning, which is the foundation of decision making in the real world. In this paper, we suppose agents that can solve a set of tasks similar to each other in a multiple tasks environment, where we encounter various problems one after another, and propose a technique of action learning that can quickly solve similar tasks by reusing previously learned knowledge. In our method, a model-based RL uses a task model constructed by combining primitive local predictors for predicting task and environmental dynamics. To evaluate the proposed method, we performed a computer simulation using a simple ping-pong game with variations.

  20. The specificity of action knowledge in sensory and motor systems

    PubMed Central

    Watson, Christine E.; Cardillo, Eileen R.; Bromberger, Bianca; Chatterjee, Anjan

    2014-01-01

    Neuroimaging studies have found that sensorimotor systems are engaged when participants observe actions or comprehend action language. However, most of these studies have asked the binary question of whether action concepts are embodied or not, rather than whether sensory and motor areas of the brain contain graded amounts of information during putative action simulations. To address this question, we used repetition suppression (RS) functional magnetic resonance imaging to determine if functionally-localized motor movement and visual motion regions-of-interest (ROI) and two anatomical ROIs (inferior frontal gyrus, IFG; left posterior middle temporal gyrus, pMTG) were sensitive to changes in the exemplar (e.g., two different people “kicking”) or representational format (e.g., photograph or schematic drawing of someone “kicking”) within pairs of action images. We also investigated whether concrete versus more symbolic depictions of actions (i.e., photographs or schematic drawings) yielded different patterns of activation throughout the brain. We found that during a conceptual task, sensory and motor systems represent actions at different levels of specificity. While the visual motion ROI did not exhibit RS to different exemplars of the same action or to the same action depicted by different formats, the motor movement ROI did. These effects are consistent with “person-specific” action simulations: if the motor system is recruited for action understanding, it does so by activating one's own motor program for an action. We also observed significant repetition enhancement within the IFG ROI to different exemplars or formats of the same action, a result that may indicate additional cognitive processing on these trials. Finally, we found that the recruitment of posterior brain regions by action concepts depends on the format of the input: left lateral occipital cortex and right supramarginal gyrus responded more strongly to symbolic depictions of actions than

  1. The specificity of action knowledge in sensory and motor systems.

    PubMed

    Watson, Christine E; Cardillo, Eileen R; Bromberger, Bianca; Chatterjee, Anjan

    2014-01-01

    Neuroimaging studies have found that sensorimotor systems are engaged when participants observe actions or comprehend action language. However, most of these studies have asked the binary question of whether action concepts are embodied or not, rather than whether sensory and motor areas of the brain contain graded amounts of information during putative action simulations. To address this question, we used repetition suppression (RS) functional magnetic resonance imaging to determine if functionally-localized motor movement and visual motion regions-of-interest (ROI) and two anatomical ROIs (inferior frontal gyrus, IFG; left posterior middle temporal gyrus, pMTG) were sensitive to changes in the exemplar (e.g., two different people "kicking") or representational format (e.g., photograph or schematic drawing of someone "kicking") within pairs of action images. We also investigated whether concrete versus more symbolic depictions of actions (i.e., photographs or schematic drawings) yielded different patterns of activation throughout the brain. We found that during a conceptual task, sensory and motor systems represent actions at different levels of specificity. While the visual motion ROI did not exhibit RS to different exemplars of the same action or to the same action depicted by different formats, the motor movement ROI did. These effects are consistent with "person-specific" action simulations: if the motor system is recruited for action understanding, it does so by activating one's own motor program for an action. We also observed significant repetition enhancement within the IFG ROI to different exemplars or formats of the same action, a result that may indicate additional cognitive processing on these trials. Finally, we found that the recruitment of posterior brain regions by action concepts depends on the format of the input: left lateral occipital cortex and right supramarginal gyrus responded more strongly to symbolic depictions of actions than concrete

  2. Brain systems for visual perspective taking and action perception.

    PubMed

    Mazzarella, Elisabetta; Ramsey, Richard; Conson, Massimiliano; Hamilton, Antonia

    2013-01-01

    Taking another person's viewpoint and making sense of their actions are key processes that guide social behavior. Previous neuroimaging investigations have largely studied these processes separately. The current study used functional magnetic resonance imaging to examine how the brain incorporates another person's viewpoint and actions into visual perspective judgments. Participants made a left-right judgment about the location of a target object from their own (egocentric) or an actor's visual perspective (altercentric). Actor location varied around a table and the actor was either reaching or not reaching for the target object. Analyses examined brain regions engaged in the egocentric and altercentric tasks, brain regions where response magnitude tracked the orientation of the actor in the scene and brain regions sensitive to the action performed by the actor. The blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) response in dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (dmPFC) was sensitive to actor orientation in the altercentric task, whereas the response in right inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) was sensitive to actor orientation in the egocentric task. Thus, dmPFC and right IFG may play distinct but complementary roles in visual perspective taking (VPT). Observation of a reaching actor compared to a non-reaching actor yielded activation in lateral occipitotemporal cortex, regardless of task, showing that these regions are sensitive to body posture independent of social context. By considering how an observed actor's location and action influence the neural bases of visual perspective judgments, the current study supports the view that multiple neurocognitive "routes" operate during VPT.

  3. Influence of action-effect associations acquired by ideomotor learning on imitation.

    PubMed

    Bunlon, Frédérique; Marshall, Peter J; Quandt, Lorna C; Bouquet, Cedric A

    2015-01-01

    According to the ideomotor theory, actions are represented in terms of their perceptual effects, offering a solution for the correspondence problem of imitation (how to translate the observed action into a corresponding motor output). This effect-based coding of action is assumed to be acquired through action-effect learning. Accordingly, performing an action leads to the integration of the perceptual codes of the action effects with the motor commands that brought them about. While ideomotor theory is invoked to account for imitation, the influence of action-effect learning on imitative behavior remains unexplored. In two experiments, imitative performance was measured in a reaction time task following a phase of action-effect acquisition. During action-effect acquisition, participants freely executed a finger movement (index or little finger lifting), and then observed a similar (compatible learning) or a different (incompatible learning) movement. In Experiment 1, finger movements of left and right hands were presented as action-effects during acquisition. In Experiment 2, only right-hand finger movements were presented during action-effect acquisition and in the imitation task the observed hands were oriented orthogonally to participants' hands in order to avoid spatial congruency effects. Experiments 1 and 2 showed that imitative performance was improved after compatible learning, compared to incompatible learning. In Experiment 2, although action-effect learning involved perception of finger movements of right hand only, imitative capabilities of right- and left-hand finger movements were equally affected. These results indicate that an observed movement stimulus processed as the effect of an action can later prime execution of that action, confirming the ideomotor approach to imitation. We further discuss these findings in relation to previous studies of action-effect learning and in the framework of current ideomotor approaches to imitation.

  4. Critical brain regions for action recognition: lesion symptom mapping in left hemisphere stroke.

    PubMed

    Kalénine, Solène; Buxbaum, Laurel J; Coslett, Harry Branch

    2010-11-01

    A number of conflicting claims have been advanced regarding the role of the left inferior frontal gyrus, inferior parietal lobe and posterior middle temporal gyrus in action recognition, driven in part by an ongoing debate about the capacities of putative mirror systems that match observed and planned actions. We report data from 43 left hemisphere stroke patients in two action recognition tasks in which they heard and saw an action word ('hammering') and selected from two videoclips the one corresponding to the word. In the spatial recognition task, foils contained errors of body posture or movement amplitude/timing. In the semantic recognition task, foils were semantically related (sawing). Participants also performed a comprehension control task requiring matching of the same verbs to objects (hammer). Using regression analyses controlling for both the comprehension control task and lesion volume, we demonstrated that performance in the semantic gesture recognition task was predicted by per cent damage to the posterior temporal lobe, whereas the spatial gesture recognition task was predicted by per cent damage to the inferior parietal lobule. A whole-brain voxel-based lesion symptom-mapping analysis suggested that the semantic and spatial gesture recognition tasks were associated with lesioned voxels in the posterior middle temporal gyrus and inferior parietal lobule, respectively. The posterior middle temporal gyrus appears to serve as a central node in the association of actions and meanings. The inferior parietal lobule, held to be a homologue of the monkey parietal mirror neuron system, is critical for encoding object-related postures and movements, a relatively circumscribed aspect of gesture recognition. The inferior frontal gyrus, on the other hand, was not predictive of performance in any task, suggesting that previous claims regarding its role in action recognition may require refinement.

  5. Realistic Sensor Tasking Strategies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frueh, C.; Fiedler, H.; Herzog, J.

    2016-09-01

    Efficient sensor tasking is a crucial step in building up and maintaining a catalog of space objects at the highest possible orbit quality. Sensor resources are limited; sensor location and setup (hardware and processing software) influence the quality of observations for initial orbit determination or orbit improvement that can be obtained. Furthermore, improved sensing capabilities are expected to lead to an increase of objects that are sought to be maintained in a catalog, easily reaching over 100'000 objects. Sensor tasking methods hence need to be computationally efficient in order to be successfully applied to operational systems, and need to take realistic constraints, such as limited visibility of objects, time-varying probability of detection and the specific capabilities in software and hardware for the specific sensors into account. This paper shows a method to formulate sensor tasking as an optimization problem and introduces a new method to provide fast and computationally efficient real time, near optimal sensor tasking solutions. Simulations are preformed using the USSTRATCOM TLE catalog of all geosynchronous objects. The results are compared to state of the art observation strategies.

  6. Modulation of Rolandic Beta-Band Oscillations during Motor Simulation of Joint Actions.

    PubMed

    Ménoret, Mathilde; Bourguignon, Mathieu; Hari, Riitta

    2015-01-01

    Successful joint actions require precise temporal and spatial coordination between individuals who aim to achieve a common goal. A growing number of behavioral data suggest that to efficiently couple and coordinate a joint task, the actors have to represent both own and the partner's actions. However it is unclear how the motor system is specifically recruited for joint actions. To find out how the goal and the presence of the partner's hand can impact the motor activity during joint action, we assessed the functional state of 16 participants' motor cortex during observation and associated motor imagery of joint actions, individual actions, and non-goal-directed actions performed with either 1 or 2 hands. As an indicator of the functional state of the motor cortex, we used the reactivity of the rolandic magnetoencephalographic (MEG) beta rhythm following median-nerve stimulation. Motor imagery combined with action observation was associated with activation of the observer's motor cortex, mainly in the hemisphere contralateral to the viewed (and at the same time imagined) hand actions. The motor-cortex involvement was enhanced when the goal of the actions was visible but also, in the ipsilateral hemisphere, when the partner's hand was visible in the display. During joint action, the partner's action, in addition to the participant's own action, thus seems to be represented in the motor cortex so that it can be triggered by the mere presence of an acting hand in the peripersonal space.

  7. Bimanual coordination as task-dependent linear control policies.

    PubMed

    Diedrichsen, Jörn; Dowling, Noreen

    2009-06-01

    When we perform actions with two hands in everyday life, coordination has to change very quickly depending on task goals. Here, we study these task-dependent changes using a bimanual reaching task in which participants move two separate cursors to two visual targets, or move a single cursor, displayed at the average position of the two hands, to a single target. During the movement, one of the hands is perturbed in a random direction using a viscous curl field. We have previously shown that feedback control, the structure of noise, and adaptation change between these two tasks as predicted by optimal control theory: feedback control is independent when the hands control two cursors, but becomes dependent when they move one cursor together. The same changes are observed even on trials in which no visual feedback about the cursor position is given. One assumption in this model is that coordinative motor commands can be described as a linear function of the state of the left and right hands. Here we test the assumption by studying the feedback corrections for 25 combinations of force fields applied to the two hands. Our study shows that feedback gains are constant across all levels of force fields strength, providing strong evidence that intermanual coordination for this task can accurately be explained by optimal task-dependent linear feedback gains.

  8. All possible modes of gene action are observed in a global comparison of gene expression in a maize F1 hybrid and its inbred parents

    PubMed Central

    Swanson-Wagner, Ruth A.; Jia, Yi; DeCook, Rhonda; Borsuk, Lisa A.; Nettleton, Dan; Schnable, Patrick S.

    2006-01-01

    Heterosis is the phenomenon whereby the progeny of particular inbred lines have enhanced agronomic performance relative to both parents. Although several hypotheses have been proposed to explain this fundamental biological phenomenon, the responsible molecular mechanisms have not been determined. The maize inbred lines B73 and Mo17 produce a heterotic F1 hybrid. Global patterns of gene expression were compared in seedlings of these three genotypes by using a microarray that contains 13,999 cDNAs. Using an estimated 15% false discovery rate as a cutoff, 1,367 ESTs (9.8%) were identified as being significantly differentially expressed among genotypes. All possible modes of gene action were observed, including additivity, high- and low-parent dominance, underdominance, and overdominance. The largest proportion of the ESTs (78%; 1,062 of 1,367) exhibited expression patterns that are not statistically distinguishable from additivity. Even so, 22% of the differentially regulated ESTs exhibited nonadditive modes of gene expression. Classified on the basis of significant pairwise comparisons of genotype means, 181 of these 305 nonadditive ESTs exhibited high-parent dominance and 23 exhibited low-parent dominance. In addition, 44 ESTs exhibited underdominance or overdominance. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that multiple molecular mechanisms, including overdominance, contribute to heterosis. PMID:16641103

  9. COGNITION, ACTION, AND OBJECT MANIPULATION

    PubMed Central

    Rosenbaum, David A.; Chapman, Kate M.; Weigelt, Matthias; Weiss, Daniel J.; van der Wel, Robrecht

    2012-01-01

    Although psychology is the science of mental life and behavior, it has paid little attention to the means by which mental life is translated into behavior. One domain where links between cognition and action have been explored is the manipulation of objects. This article reviews psychological research on this topic, with special emphasis on the tendency to grasp objects differently depending on what one plans to do with the objects. Such differential grasping has been demonstrated in a wide range of object manipulation tasks, including grasping an object in a way that reveals anticipation of the object's future orientation, height, and required placement precision. Differential grasping has also been demonstrated in a wide range of behaviors, including one-hand grasps, two-hand grasps, walking, and transferring objects from place to place as well as from person to person. The populations in whom the tendency has been shown are also diverse, including nonhuman primates as well as human adults, children, and babies. Meanwhile, the tendency is compromised in a variety of clinical populations and in children of a surprisingly advanced age. Verbal working memory is compromised as well if words are memorized while object manipulation tasks are performed; the recency portion of the serial position curve is reduced in this circumstance. In general, the research reviewed here points to rich connections between cognition and action as revealed through the study of object manipulation. Other implications concern affordances, Donders' Law, and naturalistic observation and the teaching of psychology. PMID:22448912

  10. Small Groups in Action

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Suessmuth, Patrick

    1974-01-01

    Small groups can sometimes be difficult to set up and work with properly. A number of tips for small group instruction are divided into seven areas: (1) presenting tasks; (2) group seating; (3) task time; (4) answering questions; (5) teacher's role in observing groups; (6) group noise level patterns; and (7) serial take-ups. (BP)

  11. Use of Sub-Ensembles and Multi-Template Observers to Evaluate Detection Task Performance for Data That are Not Multivariate Normal.

    PubMed

    Li, Xin; Jha, Abhinav K; Ghaly, Michael; Elshahaby, Fatma E A; Links, Jonathan M; Frey, Eric C

    2017-04-01

    The Hotelling Observer (HO) is widely used to evaluate image quality in medical imaging. However, applying it to data that are not multivariate-normally (MVN) distributed is not optimal. In this paper, we apply two multi-template linear observer strategies to handle such data. First, the entire data ensemble is divided into sub-ensembles that are exactly or approximately MVN and homoscedastic. Next, a different linear observer template is estimated for and applied to each sub-ensemble. The first multi-template strategy, adapted from previous work, applies the HO to each sub-ensemble, calculates the area under the receiver operating characteristics curve (AUC) for each sub-ensemble, and averages the AUCs from all the sub-ensembles. The second strategy applies the Linear Discriminant (LD) to estimate test statistics for each sub-ensemble and calculates a single global AUC using the pooled test statistics from all the sub-ensembles. We show that this second strategy produces the maximum AUC when only shifting of the HO test statistics is allowed. We compared these strategies to the use of a single HO template for the entire data ensemble by applying them to the non-MVN data obtained from reconstructed images of a realistic simulated population of myocardial perfusion SPECT studies with the goal of optimizing the reconstruction parameters. Of the strategies investigated, the multi-template LD strategy yielded the highest AUC for any given set of reconstruction parameters. The optimal reconstruction parameters obtained by the two multi-template strategies were comparable and produced higher AUCs for each sub-ensemble than the single-template HO strategy.

  12. Is a "Complex" Task Really Complex? Validating the Assumption of Cognitive Task Complexity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sasayama, Shoko

    2016-01-01

    In research on task-based learning and teaching, it has traditionally been assumed that differing degrees of cognitive task complexity can be inferred through task design and/or observations of differing qualities in linguistic production elicited by second language (L2) communication tasks. Without validating this assumption, however, it is…

  13. Modulation of Rolandic Beta-Band Oscillations during Motor Simulation of Joint Actions

    PubMed Central

    Ménoret, Mathilde; Bourguignon, Mathieu; Hari, Riitta

    2015-01-01

    Successful joint actions require precise temporal and spatial coordination between individuals who aim to achieve a common goal. A growing number of behavioral data suggest that to efficiently couple and coordinate a joint task, the actors have to represent both own and the partner’s actions. However it is unclear how the motor system is specifically recruited for joint actions. To find out how the goal and the presence of the partner’s hand can impact the motor activity during joint action, we assessed the functional state of 16 participants’ motor cortex during observation and associated motor imagery of joint actions, individual actions, and non-goal-directed actions performed with either 1 or 2 hands. As an indicator of the functional state of the motor cortex, we used the reactivity of the rolandic magnetoencephalographic (MEG) beta rhythm following median-nerve stimulation. Motor imagery combined with action observation was associated with activation of the observer’s motor cortex, mainly in the hemisphere contralateral to the viewed (and at the same time imagined) hand actions. The motor-cortex involvement was enhanced when the goal of the actions was visible but also, in the ipsilateral hemisphere, when the partner’s hand was visible in the display. During joint action, the partner’s action, in addition to the participant’s own action, thus seems to be represented in the motor cortex so that it can be triggered by the mere presence of an acting hand in the peripersonal space. PMID:26151634

  14. Task directed sensing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Firby, R. James

    1990-01-01

    High-level robot control research must confront the limitations imposed by real sensors if robots are to be controlled effectively in the real world. In particular, sensor limitations make it impossible to maintain a complete, detailed world model of the situation surrounding the robot. To address the problems involved in planning with the resulting incomplete and uncertain world models, traditional robot control architectures must be altered significantly. Task-directed sensing and control is suggested as a way of coping with world model limitations by focusing sensing and analysis resources on only those parts of the world relevant to the robot's active goals. The RAP adaptive execution system is used as an example of a control architecture designed to deploy sensing resources in this way to accomplish both action and knowledge goals.

  15. Effects of Action Observational Training Plus Brain-Computer Interface-Based Functional Electrical Stimulation on Paretic Arm Motor Recovery in Patient with Stroke: A Randomized Controlled Trial.

    PubMed

    Kim, TaeHoon; Kim, SeongSik; Lee, ByoungHee

    2016-03-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate whether action observational training (AOT) plus brain-computer interface-based functional electrical stimulation (BCI-FES) has a positive influence on motor recovery of paretic upper extremity in patients with stroke. This was a hospital-based, randomized controlled trial with a blinded assessor. Thirty patients with a first-time stroke were randomly allocated to one of two groups: the BCI-FES group (n = 15) and the control group (n = 15). The BCI-FES group administered to AOT plus BCI-FES on the paretic upper extremity five times per week during 4 weeks while both groups received conventional therapy. The primary outcomes were the Fugl-Meyer Assessment of the Upper Extremity, Motor Activity Log (MAL), Modified Barthel Index and range of motion of paretic arm. A blinded assessor evaluated the outcomes at baseline and 4 weeks. All baseline outcomes did not differ significantly between the two groups. After 4 weeks, the Fugl-Meyer Assessment of the Upper Extremity sub-items (total, shoulder and wrist), MAL (MAL-Activity of Use and Quality of Movement), Modified Barthel Index and wrist flexion range of motion were significantly higher in the BCI-FES group (p < 0.05). AOT plus BCI-based FES is effective in paretic arm rehabilitation by improving the upper extremity performance. The motor improvements suggest that AOT plus BCI-based FES can be used as a therapeutic tool for stroke rehabilitation. The limitations of the study are that subjects had a certain limited level of upper arm function, and the sample size was comparatively small; hence, it is recommended that future large-scale trials should consider stratified and lager populations according to upper arm function.

  16. Motor training and the combination of action observation and peripheral nerve stimulation reciprocally interfere with the plastic changes induced in primary motor cortex excitability.

    PubMed

    Bisio, Ambra; Avanzino, Laura; Biggio, Monica; Ruggeri, Piero; Bove, Marco

    2017-04-21

    AO-PNS is a stimulation protocol combining action observation (AO) and peripheral nerve stimulation (PNS) to induce plasticity in the primary motor cortex (M1) (increased excitability). Another method to increase M1 excitability is motor training. The combination of two protocols, which individually induce long-term potentiation (LTP)-like plasticity in overlapping neural circuits, results in a transitory occlusion or reverse of this phenomenon. This study aimed to understand the neurophysiological mechanisms underlying AO-PNS by testing whether AO-PNS and motor training induced LTP-like plasticity in, at least partially, overlapping neural networks. One group of participants practiced a motor training (finger opposition movements) followed by AO-PNS, whereas another group performed the two protocols in reverse order. Motor performance was evaluated by means of a sensor-engineered glove and transcranial magnetic stimulation was used to assess M1 excitability before and after each conditioning protocol. Motor training increased movement frequency, suggesting the occurrence of motor learning in both groups. When applied on first, both motor training and AO-PNS significantly increased the motor-evoked potential (MEP), but occluded the increase of cortical excitability expected after the following protocol, leading to a significant decrease of MEP amplitude. These results suggest that motor training and AO-PNS act on partially overlapping neuronal networks, which include M1, and that AO-PNS might be able to induce LTP-like plasticity in a similar way to overt movement execution. This candidates AO-PNS as methodology potentially useful when planning rehabilitative interventions on patients who cannot voluntarily move.

  17. Inferring learners' knowledge from their actions.

    PubMed

    Rafferty, Anna N; LaMar, Michelle M; Griffiths, Thomas L

    2015-04-01

    Watching another person take actions to complete a goal and making inferences about that person's knowledge is a relatively natural task for people. This ability can be especially important in educational settings, where the inferences can be used for assessment, diagnosing misconceptions, and providing informative feedback. In this paper, we develop a general framework for automatically making such inferences based on observed actions; this framework is particularly relevant for inferring student knowledge in educational games and other interactive virtual environments. Our approach relies on modeling action planning: We formalize the problem as a Markov decision process in which one must choose what actions to take to complete a goal, where choices will be dependent on one's beliefs about how actions affect the environment. We use a variation of inverse reinforcement learning to infer these beliefs. Through two lab experiments, we show that this model can recover people's beliefs in a simple environment, with accuracy comparable to that of human observers. We then demonstrate that the model can be used to provide real-time feedback and to model data from an existing educational game.

  18. Temporal dynamics of action perception: differences on ERP evoked by object-related and non-object-related actions.

    PubMed

    Wamain, Yannick; Pluciennicka, Ewa; Kalénine, Solène

    2014-10-01

    While neuropsychological dissociations suggest that distinct processes are involved in execution or perception of transitive (object-related) and intransitive (non-object-related) actions, the few neuroimaging studies that directly contrasted the brain activations underlying transitive and intransitive gesture perception failed to find substantial differences between the two action types. However, the distinction could be visible on brain activity timing within the fronto-parietal network. In this study, we used Event-Related Potential (ERP) method to assess the temporal dynamics of object-related and non-object-related action processing. Although both meaningful, only object-related actions involve object motor features. Accordingly, perception of the two action types would show distinct neural correlates. Participants were presented with four movie types (ORA, Object-Related Action, NORA: Non-Object-Related Action and 2 control movies) and were instructed to perform tasks that required explicit or implicit action recognition (specific action recognition or color change detection). Movies were presented as Point-Light Display (PLD) and thus provided only information about gesture kinematics regardless of action type. ERP were computed during movie visual perception and analyzed as a function of movie type and task. The main result revealed a difference between ORA and NORA on the amplitude of the P3a component in the fronto-parietal region. The difference observed around 250 ms after movie onset do not likely origin from variation in low-level visual features or attention resource allocation. Instead, we suggest that it reflects incidental recruitment of object attributes during object-related action perception. The exact nature of these attributes is discussed.

  19. Action semantics modulate action prediction.

    PubMed

    Springer, Anne; Prinz, Wolfgang

    2010-11-01

    Previous studies have demonstrated that action prediction involves an internal action simulation that runs time-locked to the real action. The present study replicates and extends these findings by indicating a real-time simulation process (Graf et al., 2007), which can be differentiated from a similarity-based evaluation of internal action representations. Moreover, results showed that action semantics modulate action prediction accuracy. The semantic effect was specified by the processing of action verbs and concrete nouns (Experiment 1) and, more specifically, by the dynamics described by action verbs (Experiment 2) and the speed described by the verbs (e.g., "to catch" vs. "to grasp" vs. "to stretch"; Experiment 3). These results propose a linkage between action simulation and action semantics as two yet unrelated domains, a view that coincides with a recent notion of a close link between motor processes and the understanding of action language.

  20. 77 FR 42334 - Meeting of the Attorney General's National Task Force on Children Exposed to Violence (Correction)

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-07-18

    ... Violence (Correction) AGENCY: Office of Justice Programs, Justice. ACTION: Notice; correction. SUMMARY: The... meeting of the Attorney General's National Task Force on Children Exposed to Violence (the ``task...

  1. A Causality Representation for Enriched Robot Task Domains.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    Existing robot projects in the field of artificial intelligence have concentrated on tasks wherein the robot must excite an action in order to change...action or the maintenance of the current state of its environment. In particular, the authors propose a representation for knowledge that a robot would need if it is to solve problems from such task domains. (Author)

  2. Increasing Speed of Processing With Action Video Games

    PubMed Central

    Dye, Matthew W.G.; Green, C. Shawn; Bavelier, Daphne

    2010-01-01

    In many everyday situations, speed is of the essence. However, fast decisions typically mean more mistakes. To this day, it remains unknown whether reaction times can be reduced with appropriate training, within one individual, across a range of tasks, and without compromising accuracy. Here we review evidence that the very act of playing action video games significantly reduces reaction times without sacrificing accuracy. Critically, this increase in speed is observed across various tasks beyond game situations. Video gaming may therefore provide an efficient training regimen to induce a general speeding of perceptual reaction times without decreases in accuracy of performance. PMID:20485453

  3. TASK-1 and TASK-3 may form heterodimers in human atrial cardiomyocytes.

    PubMed

    Rinné, Susanne; Kiper, Aytug K; Schlichthörl, Günter; Dittmann, Sven; Netter, Michael F; Limberg, Sven H; Silbernagel, Nicole; Zuzarte, Marylou; Moosdorf, Rainer; Wulf, Hinnerk; Schulze-Bahr, Eric; Rolfes, Caroline; Decher, Niels

    2015-04-01

    TASK-1 channels have emerged as promising drug targets against atrial fibrillation, the most common arrhythmia in the elderly. While TASK-3, the closest relative of TASK-1, was previously not described in cardiac tissue, we found a very prominent expression of TASK-3 in right human auricles. Immunocytochemistry experiments of human right auricular cardiomyocytes showed that TASK-3 is primarily localized at the plasma membrane. Single-channel recordings of right human auricles in the cell-attached mode, using divalent-cation-free solutions, revealed a TASK-1-like channel with a single-channel conductance of about 30pS. While homomeric TASK-3 channels were not found, we observed an intermediate single-channel conductance of about 55pS, possibly reflecting the heteromeric channel formed by TASK-1 and TASK-3. Subsequent experiments with TASK-1/TASK-3 tandem channels or with co-expressed TASK-1 and TASK-3 channels in HEK293 cells or Xenopus oocytes, supported that the 55pS channels observed in right auricles have electrophysiological characteristics of TASK-1/TASK-3 heteromers. In addition, co-expression experiments and single-channel recordings suggest that heteromeric TASK-1/TASK-3 channels have a predominant surface expression and a reduced affinity for TASK-1 blockers. In summary, the evidence for heteromeric TASK-1/TASK-3 channel complexes together with an altered pharmacologic response to TASK-1 blockers in vitro is likely to have further impact for studies isolating ITASK-1 from cardiomyocytes and for the development of drugs specifically targeting TASK-1 in atrial fibrillation treatment.

  4. Modeling the Scheduling of Eye Movements and Manual Responses in Performing a Sequence of Discrete Tasks

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wu, Shu-Chieh; Remington, Roger W.; Lewis, Richard

    2006-01-01

    Common tasks in daily life are often accomplished by a sequence of actions that interleave information acquisition through the eyes and action execution by the hands. How are eye movements coordinated with the release of manual responses and how may their coordination be represented at the level of component mental operations? We have previously presented data from a typing-like task requiring separate choice responses to a series of five stimuli. We found a consistent pattern of results in both motor and ocular timing, and hypothesized possible relationships among underlying components. Here we report a model of that task, which demonstrates how the observed timing of eye movements to successive stimuli could be accounted for by assuming systems: an open-loop system generating saccades at a periodic rate, and a closed-loop system commanding a saccade based on stimulus processing. We relate this model to models of reading and discuss the motivation for dual control.

  5. Abnormal motor cortex excitability during linguistic tasks in adductor-type spasmodic dysphonia.

    PubMed

    Suppa, A; Marsili, L; Giovannelli, F; Di Stasio, F; Rocchi, L; Upadhyay, N; Ruoppolo, G; Cincotta, M; Berardelli, A

    2015-08-01

    In healthy subjects (HS), transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) applied during 'linguistic' tasks discloses excitability changes in the dominant hemisphere primary motor cortex (M1). We investigated 'linguistic' task-related cortical excitability modulation in patients with adductor-type spasmodic dysphonia (ASD), a speech-related focal dystonia. We studied 10 ASD patients and 10 HS. Speech examination included voice cepstral analysis. We investigated the dominant/non-dominant M1 excitability at baseline, during 'linguistic' (reading aloud/silent reading/producing simple phonation) and 'non-linguistic' tasks (looking at non-letter strings/producing oral movements). Motor evoked potentials (MEPs) were recorded from the contralateral hand muscles. We measured the cortical silent period (CSP) length and tested MEPs in HS and patients performing the 'linguistic' tasks with different voice intensities. We also examined MEPs in HS and ASD during hand-related 'action-verb' observation. Patients were studied under and not-under botulinum neurotoxin-type A (BoNT-A). In HS, TMS over the dominant M1 elicited larger MEPs during 'reading aloud' than during the other 'linguistic'/'non-linguistic' tasks. Conversely, in ASD, TMS over the dominant M1 elicited increased-amplitude MEPs during 'reading aloud' and 'syllabic phonation' tasks. CSP length was shorter in ASD than in HS and remained unchanged in both groups performing 'linguistic'/'non-linguistic' tasks. In HS and ASD, 'linguistic' task-related excitability changes were present regardless of the different voice intensities. During hand-related 'action-verb' observation, MEPs decreased in HS, whereas in ASD they increased. In ASD, BoNT-A improved speech, as demonstrated by cepstral analysis and restored the TMS abnormalities. ASD reflects dominant hemisphere excitability changes related to 'linguistic' tasks; BoNT-A returns these excitability changes to normal.

  6. The Role of Attention in a Joint-Action Effect

    PubMed Central

    Doneva, Silviya P.; Cole, Geoff G.

    2014-01-01

    The most common explanation for joint-action effects has been the action co-representation account in which observation of another's action is represented within one's own action system. However, recent evidence has shown that the most prominent of these joint-action effects (i.e., the Social Simon effect), can occur when no co-actor is present. In the current work we examined whether another joint-action phenomenon (a movement congruency effect) can be induced when a participant performs their part of the task with a different effector to that of their co-actor and when a co-actor's action is replaced by an attention-capturing luminance signal. Contrary to what is predicted by the action co-representation account, results show that the basic movement congruency effect occurred in both situations. These findings challenge the action co-representation account of this particular effect and suggest instead that it is driven by bottom-up mechanisms. PMID:24642806

  7. The role of attention in a joint-action effect.

    PubMed

    Doneva, Silviya P; Cole, Geoff G

    2014-01-01

    The most common explanation for joint-action effects has been the action co-representation account in which observation of another's action is represented within one's own action system. However, recent evidence has shown that the most prominent of these joint-action effects (i.e., the Social Simon effect), can occur when no co-actor is present. In the current work we examined whether another joint-action phenomenon (a movement congruency effect) can be induced when a participant performs their part of the task with a different effector to that of their co-actor and when a co-actor's action is replaced by an attention-capturing luminance signal. Contrary to what is predicted by the action co-representation account, results show that the basic movement congruency effect occurred in both situations. These findings challenge the action co-representation account of this particular effect and suggest instead that it is driven by bottom-up mechanisms.

  8. 78 FR 9891 - South Dakota Task Force Meeting

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-02-12

    ... Department of the Army; Corps of Engineers South Dakota Task Force Meeting AGENCY: Department of the Army, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, DoD. ACTION: Notice of meeting. SUMMARY: The duties of the Task Force... erosion. DATES: The Task Force will hold a meeting on February 26, 2013 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30...

  9. 77 FR 61019 - Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force Meeting

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-10-05

    ...: 134] Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force Meeting AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION... Force. The ANS Task Force's purpose is to develop and implement a program for U.S. waters to prevent... disseminate related information. The meeting is open to the public. DATES: The ANS Task Force will meet from...

  10. 76 FR 11307 - Small Business Information Security Task Force

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-03-01

    ... ADMINISTRATION Small Business Information Security Task Force AGENCY: U.S. Small Business Administration. ACTION... Small Business Information Security Task Force Meeting. DATES: 1 p.m., Wednesday, January 12, 2011... meeting minutes for the third meeting of the Small Business Information Security Task Force. Chairman,...

  11. 75 FR 77934 - Small Business Information Security Task Force

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-12-14

    ... ADMINISTRATION Small Business Information Security Task Force AGENCY: U.S. Small Business Administration. ACTION... Small Business Information Security Task Force Meeting. DATES: 1 p.m., Wednesday, November 10, 2010... meeting minutes for the second meeting of the Small Business Information Security Task Force....

  12. 75 FR 76744 - National Disaster Housing Task Force

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-12-09

    ... SECURITY Federal Emergency Management Agency National Disaster Housing Task Force AGENCY: Federal Emergency Management Agency, DHS. ACTION: Notice of Meeting. SUMMARY: The National Disaster Housing Task Force (NDHTF... INFORMATION CONTACT: Mitchell Wyllins, National Disaster Housing Task Force, 500 C Street, SW., (Room...

  13. 76 FR 81009 - Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee-New Task

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-12-27

    ... Federal Aviation Administration Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee--New Task AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of new task assignment for the Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee (ARAC). SUMMARY: The FAA assigned the Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee (ARAC) a new task...

  14. 78 FR 49595 - Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee-New Task

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-08-14

    ... Federal Aviation Administration Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee--New Task AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of new task assignment for the Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee (ARAC). SUMMARY: The FAA assigned the Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee (ARAC) a new task...

  15. 77 FR 10797 - Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee-New Task

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-02-23

    ... Federal Aviation Administration Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee--New Task AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of withdrawal of task assignment for the Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee (ARAC). SUMMARY: The FAA has withdrawn a task assigned to the Aviation Rulemaking...

  16. 76 FR 21936 - Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee-New Task

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-04-19

    ... Federal Aviation Administration Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee--New Task AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of new task assignment for the Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee (ARAC). SUMMARY: The FAA assigned the Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee (ARAC) a new task...

  17. Sense of agency in continuous action: Assistance-induced performance improvement is self-attributed even with knowledge of assistance.

    PubMed

    Inoue, Kazuya; Takeda, Yuji; Kimura, Motohiro

    2017-02-01

    In a task involving continuous action to achieve a goal, the sense of agency increases with an improvement in task performance that is induced by unnoticed computer assistance. This study investigated how explicit instruction about the existence of computer assistance affects the increase of sense of agency that accompanies performance improvement. Participants performed a continuous action task in which they controlled the direction of motion of a dot to a goal by pressing keys. When instructions indicated the absence of assistance, the sense of agency increased with performance improvement induced by computer assistance, replicating previous findings. Interestingly, this increase of sense of agency was also observed even when instructions indicated the presence of assistance. These results suggest that even when a plausible cause of performance improvement other than one's own action exists, the improvement can be misattributed to one's own control of action, resulting in an increased sense of agency.

  18. From action to abstraction: Gesture as a mechanism of change

    PubMed Central

    Goldin-Meadow, Susan

    2015-01-01

    Piaget was a master at observing the routine behaviors children produce as they go from knowing less to knowing more about at a task, and making inferences not only about how the children understood the task at each point, but also about how they progressed from one point to the next. In this paper, I examine a routine behavior that Piaget overlooked—the spontaneous gestures speakers produce as they explain their solutions to a problem. These gestures are not mere hand waving. They reflect ideas that the speaker has about the problem, often ideas that are not found in that speaker’s talk. But gesture can do more than reflect ideas—it can also change them. In this sense, gesture behaves like any other action; both gesture and action on objects facilitate learning problems on which training was given. However, only gesture promotes transferring the knowledge gained to problems that require generalization. Gesture is, in fact, a special kind of action in that it represents the world rather than directly manipulating the world (gesture does not move objects around). The mechanisms by which gesture and action promote learning may therefore differ—gesture is able to highlight components of an action that promote abstract learning while leaving out details that could tie learning to a specific context. Because it is both an action and a representation, gesture can serve as a bridge between the two and thus be a powerful tool for learning abstract ideas. PMID:26692629

  19. From action to abstraction: Gesture as a mechanism of change.

    PubMed

    Goldin-Meadow, Susan

    2015-12-01

    Piaget was a master at observing the routine behaviors children produce as they go from knowing less to knowing more about at a task, and making inferences not only about how the children understood the task at each point, but also about how they progressed from one point to the next. In this paper, I examine a routine behavior that Piaget overlooked-the spontaneous gestures speakers produce as they explain their solutions to a problem. These gestures are not mere hand waving. They reflect ideas that the speaker has about the problem, often ideas that are not found in that speaker's talk. But gesture can do more than reflect ideas-it can also change them. In this sense, gesture behaves like any other action; both gesture and action on objects facilitate learning problems on which training was given. However, only gesture promotes transferring the knowledge gained to problems that require generalization. Gesture is, in fact, a special kind of action in that it represents the world rather than directly manipulating the world (gesture does not move objects around). The mechanisms by which gesture and action promote learning may therefore differ-gesture is able to highlight components of an action that promote abstract learning while leaving out details that could tie learning to a specific context. Because it is both an action and a representation, gesture can serve as a bridge between the two and thus be a powerful tool for learning abstract ideas.

  20. A Teacher Observation Instrument for PBL Classroom Instruction

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stearns, Linda M.; Morgan, Jim; Capraro, Mary Margaret; Capraro, Robert M.

    2012-01-01

    Teaching is a complex activity that requires making ongoing multiple decisions and sporadic, responsive actions all while performing preplanned prescribed tasks. Evidence of certain aspects of teaching can be best assessed with a well-designed observation instrument. This instrument was designed to assess the enactment of the essential elements of…

  1. The role of action prediction and inhibitory control for joint action coordination in toddlers.

    PubMed

    Meyer, M; Bekkering, H; Haartsen, R; Stapel, J C; Hunnius, S

    2015-11-01

    From early in life, young children eagerly engage in social interactions. Yet, they still have difficulties in performing well-coordinated joint actions with others. Adult literature suggests that two processes are important for smooth joint action coordination: action prediction and inhibitory control. The aim of the current study was to disentangle the potential role of these processes in the early development of joint action coordination. Using a simple turn-taking game, we assessed 2½-year-old toddlers' joint action coordination, focusing on timing variability and turn-taking accuracy. In two additional tasks, we examined their action prediction capabilities with an eye-tracking paradigm and examined their inhibitory control capabilities with a classic executive functioning task (gift delay task). We found that individual differences in action prediction and inhibitory action control were distinctly related to the two aspects of joint action coordination. Toddlers who showed more precision in their action predictions were less variable in their action timing during the joint play. Furthermore, toddlers who showed more inhibitory control in an individual context were more accurate in their turn-taking performance during the joint action. On the other hand, no relation between timing variability and inhibitory control or between turn-taking accuracy and action prediction was found. The current results highlight the distinct role of action prediction and inhibitory action control for the quality of joint action coordination in toddlers. Underlying neurocognitive mechanisms and implications for processes involved in joint action coordination in general are discussed.

  2. Task Integration Facilitates Multitasking

    PubMed Central

    de Oliveira, Rita F.; Raab, Markus; Hegele, Mathias; Schorer, Jörg

    2017-01-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate multi-task integration in a continuous tracking task. We were particularly interested in how manipulating task structure in a dual-task situation affects learning of a constant segment embedded in a pursuit-tracking task. Importantly, we examined if dual-task effects could be attributed to task integration by varying the structural similarity and difficulty of the primary and secondary tasks. In Experiment 1 participants performed a pursuit tracking task while counting high-pitched tones and ignoring low-pitched tones. The tones were either presented randomly or structurally 250 ms before each tracking turn. Experiment 2 increased the motor load of the secondary tasks by asking participants to tap their feet to the tones. Experiment 3 further increased motor load of the primary task by increasing its speed and having participants tracking with their non-dominant hand. The results show that dual-task interference can be moderated by secondary task conditions that match the structure of the primary task. Therefore our results support proposals of task integration in continuous tracking paradigms. We conclude that multi-tasking is not always detrimental for motor learning but can be facilitated through task-integration. PMID:28360878

  3. Task Integration Facilitates Multitasking.

    PubMed

    de Oliveira, Rita F; Raab, Markus; Hegele, Mathias; Schorer, Jörg

    2017-01-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate multi-task integration in a continuous tracking task. We were particularly interested in how manipulating task structure in a dual-task situation affects learning of a constant segment embedded in a pursuit-tracking task. Importantly, we examined if dual-task effects could be attributed to task integration by varying the structural similarity and difficulty of the primary and secondary tasks. In Experiment 1 participants performed a pursuit tracking task while counting high-pitched tones and ignoring low-pitched tones. The tones were either presented randomly or structurally 250 ms before each tracking turn. Experiment 2 increased the motor load of the secondary tasks by asking participants to tap their feet to the tones. Experiment 3 further increased motor load of the primary task by increasing its speed and having participants tracking with their non-dominant hand. The results show that dual-task interference can be moderated by secondary task conditions that match the structure of the primary task. Therefore our results support proposals of task integration in continuous tracking paradigms. We conclude that multi-tasking is not always detrimental for motor learning but can be facilitated through task-integration.

  4. Structure learning in action

    PubMed Central

    Braun, Daniel A.; Mehring, Carsten; Wolpert, Daniel M.

    2010-01-01

    ‘Learning to learn’ phenomena have been widely investigated in cognition, perception and more recently also in action. During concept learning tasks, for example, it has been suggested that characteristic features are abstracted from a set of examples with the consequence that learning of similar tasks is facilitated—a process termed ‘learning to learn’. From a computational point of view such an extraction of invariants can be regarded as learning of an underlying structure. Here we review the evidence for structure learning as a ‘learning to learn’ mechanism, especially in sensorimotor control where the motor system has to adapt to variable environments. We review studies demonstrating that common features of variable environments are extracted during sensorimotor learning and exploited for efficient adaptation in novel tasks. We conclude that structure learning plays a fundamental role in skill learning and may underlie the unsurpassed flexibility and adaptability of the motor system. PMID:19720086

  5. TASK-3 as a Potential Antidepressant Target

    PubMed Central

    Gotter, Anthony L.; Santarelli, Vincent P.; Doran, Scott M.; Tannenbaum, Pamela L.; Kraus, Richard L.; Rosahl, Thomas W.; Meziane, Hamid; Montial, Marina; Reiss, Duane R.; Wessner, Keith; McCampbell, Alexander; Stevens, Joanne; Brunner, Joseph; Fox, Steven V.; Uebele, Victor N.; Bayliss, Douglas A.; Winrow, Christopher J.; Renger, John J.

    2011-01-01

    Modulation of TASK-3 (Kcnk9) potassium channels affect neurotransmitter release in thalamocortical centers and other sleep-related nuclei having the capacity to regulate arousal cycles and REM sleep changes associated with mood disorders and antidepressant action. Circumstantial evidence from this and previous studies suggest the potential for TASK-3 to be a novel antidepressant therapeutic target; TASK-3 knock-out mice display augmented circadian amplitude and exhibit sleep architecture characterized by suppressed REM activity. Detailed analysis of locomotor activity indicate that the amplitude of activity bout duration and bout number are augmented in TASK-3 mutants well beyond that seen wildtypes, findings substantiated by amplitude increases in body temperature and EEG recordings of sleep stage bouts. Polysomnographic analysis of TASK-3 mutants reveal increases in nocturnal active wake and suppressed REM sleep time while increased slow wave sleep typifies the inactive phase, findings that have implications for the cognitive impact of reduced TASK-3 activity. In direct measures of their resistance to despair behavior, TASK-3 knock-outs displayed significant decreases in immobility relative to wildtype controls in both tail suspension and forced swim tests. Treatment of wildtype animals with the antidepressant Fluoxetine markedly reduced REM sleep, while leaving active wake and slow wave sleep relatively intact. Remarkably, these effects were absent in TASK-3 mutants indicating that TASK-3 is either directly involved in the mechanism of this drug’s action, or participates in parallel pathways that achieve the same effect. Together, these results support the TASK-3 channel to act as a therapeutic target for antidepressant action. PMID:21885038

  6. Interference effect of body shadow in action control.

    PubMed

    Badets, Arnaud; Toussaint, Lucette; Blandin, Yannick; Bidet-Ildei, Christel

    2013-01-01

    Observing actions performed by other persons can subsequently influence our own motor behaviours. However, it is unknown whether the shadows cast by such actions can also have an impact on the observers' actions. Here we show that the mere observation of a cast shadow can influence imitative behaviours. Specifically, participants were shown a hand picture and its associated cast shadow in a neutral position. In a 'compatible trial' the hand and the shadow that followed were turned in the same open or closed direction, whereas in an 'incompatible trial' the hand and the shadow were turned in different directions. We contrasted two experimental conditions: (i) 'hand-shadow' in which participants observed a hand and its cast shadow (the hand covered the shadow); (ii) 'hand-hand' in which participants observed a hand and another black hand (the shadow covered the hand). The participants' task was to imitate (ie by closing or opening their own hands) the hand or the cast shadow of an action. For both conditions results revealed interference (ie longer response latencies) for incompatible trials. This suggests for the first time that the mere observation of a cast shadow of a hand can influence imitative behaviours. However, time courses of the response latencies revealed that imitative effect in the hand-shadow condition was different than the imitative effect in the hand-hand condition. Therefore, we suggest considering the cast shadow of an action as an important feature during motor control for humans.

  7. Dissociations of action means and outcome processing in left hemisphere stroke

    PubMed Central

    Kalénine, Solène; Shapiro, Allison D.; Buxbaum, Laurel J.

    2013-01-01

    Previous evidence suggests that distinct fronto-parietal regions may be involved in representing action kinematics (means) and action results (outcome) during action observation. However, the evidence is contradictory with respect to the precise regions that are critical for each type of representation. Additionally unknown is the degree to which ability to detect action means and outcome during observation is related to action production performance. We used a behavioral task to evaluate the ability of healthy and left-hemisphere stroke participants to detect differences between pairs of videos that dissociated object-related action means (e.g., wiping with circular or straight movement) and/or outcome (e.g., applying or removing detergent). We expected that deficits in detecting action means would be associated with spatiomotor gesture production deficits, whereas deficits in detecting action outcome would predict impairments in complex naturalistic action. We also hypothesized a posterior to anterior gradient in the regions critical for each type of representation, disproportionately affecting means and outcome encoding, respectively. Results indicated that outcome – but not means – detection predicted naturalistic action performance in stroke participants. Regression and voxel lesion-symptom mapping analyses of lesion data revealed that means – but not outcome – coding relies on the integrity of the left inferior parietal lobe, whereas no selective critical brain region could be identified for outcome detection. Thus, means and outcome representations are dissociable at both the behavioral and neuroanatomical levels. Furthermore, the data are consistent with a degree of parallelism between action perception and production tasks. Finally, they reinforce the evidence for a critical role of the left inferior parietal lobule in the representation of action means, whereas action outcome may rely on a more distributed neural circuit. PMID:23566892

  8. "Task" as Research Construct

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Seedhouse, Paul

    2005-01-01

    The article examines "task" as research construct as predominantly conceived in terms of task-as-workplan in the task-based learning/second language acquisition literature. It is suggested that "task" has weak construct validity and ontology in an overwhelmingly quantitative paradigm because the construct has a "split personality."…

  9. Action physics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McGinness, Lachlan P.; Savage, C. M.

    2016-09-01

    More than a decade ago, Edwin Taylor issued a "call to action" that presented the case for basing introductory university mechanics teaching around the principle of stationary action [E. F. Taylor, Am. J. Phys. 71, 423-425 (2003)]. We report on our response to that call in the form of an investigation of the teaching and learning of the stationary action formulation of physics in a first-year university course. Our action physics instruction proceeded from the many-paths approach to quantum physics to ray optics, classical mechanics, and relativity. Despite the challenges presented by action physics, students reported it to be accessible, interesting, motivational, and valuable.

  10. Finding minimal action sequences with a simple evaluation of actions

    PubMed Central

    Shah, Ashvin; Gurney, Kevin N.

    2014-01-01

    Animals are able to discover the minimal number of actions that achieves an outcome (the minimal action sequence). In most accounts of this, actions are associated with a measure of behavior that is higher for actions that lead to the outcome with a shorter action sequence, and learning mechanisms find the actions associated with the highest measure. In this sense, previous accounts focus on more than the simple binary signal of “was the outcome achieved?”; they focus on “how well was the outcome achieved?” However, such mechanisms may not govern all types of behavioral development. In particular, in the process of action discovery (Redgrave and Gurney, 2006), actions are reinforced if they simply lead to a salient outcome because biological reinforcement signals occur too quickly to evaluate the consequences of an action beyond an indication of the outcome's occurrence. Thus, action discovery mechanisms focus on the simple evaluation of “was the outcome achieved?” and not “how well was the outcome achieved?” Notwithstanding this impoverishment of information, can the process of action discovery find the minimal action sequence? We address this question by implementing computational mechanisms, referred to in this paper as no-cost learning rules, in which each action that leads to the outcome is associated with the same measure of behavior. No-cost rules focus on “was the outcome achieved?” and are consistent with action discovery. No-cost rules discover the minimal action sequence in simulated tasks and execute it for a substantial amount of time. Extensive training, however, results in extraneous actions, suggesting that a separate process (which has been proposed in action discovery) must attenuate learning if no-cost rules participate in behavioral development. We describe how no-cost rules develop behavior, what happens when attenuation is disrupted, and relate the new mechanisms to wider computational and biological context. PMID:25506326

  11. An exploration of the ecological validity of the Virtual Action Planning-Supermarket (VAP-S) with people with schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Aubin, Ginette; Béliveau, Marie-France; Klinger, Evelyne

    2015-08-28

    People with schizophrenia often have functional limitations that affect their daily activities due to executive function deficits. One way to assess these deficits is through the use of virtual reality programmes that reproduce real-life instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs). One such programme is the Virtual Action Planning-Supermarket (VAP-S). This exploratory study aimed to examine the ecological validity of this programme, specifically, how task performance in both virtual and natural environments compares. Case studies were used and involved five participants with schizophrenia, who were familiar with grocery shopping. They were assessed during both the VAP-S shopping task and a real-life grocery shopping task using an observational assessment tool, the Perceive, Recall, Plan and Perform (PRPP) System of Task Analysis. The results show that when difficulties were present in the virtual task, difficulties were also observed in the real-life task. For some participants, greater difficulties were observed in the virtual task. These difficulties could be explained by the presence of perceptual deficits and problems remembering the required sequenced actions in the virtual task. In conclusion, performance on the VAP-S by these five participants was generally comparable to the performance in a natural environment.

  12. Optimizing electrode-attached redox-peptide systems for kinetic characterization of protease action on immobilized substrates. Observation of dissimilar behavior of trypsin and thrombin enzymes.

    PubMed

    Anne, Agnès; Chovin, Arnaud; Demaille, Christophe

    2012-06-12

    In this work, we experimentally address the issue of optimizing gold electrode attached ferrocene (Fc)-peptide systems for kinetic measurements of protease action. Considering human α-thrombin and bovine trypsin as proteases of interest, we show that the recurring problem of incomplete cleavage of the peptide layer by these enzymes can be solved by using ultraflat template-stripped gold, instead of polished polycrystalline gold, as the Fc-peptide bearing electrode material. We describe how these fragile surfaces can be mounted in a rotating disk configuration so that enzyme mass transfer no longer limits the overall measured cleavage kinetics. Finally, we demonstrate that, once the system has been optimized, in situ real-time cyclic voltammetry monitoring of the protease action can yield high-quality kinetic data, showing no sign of interfering effects. The cleavage progress curves then closely match the Langmuirian variation expected for a kinetically controlled surface process. Global fit of the progress curves yield accurate values of the peptide cleavage rate for both trypsin and thrombin. It is shown that, whereas trypsin action on the surface-attached peptide closely follows Michaelis-Menten kinetics, thrombin displays a specific and unexpected behavior characterized by a nearly enzyme-concentration-independent cleavage rate in the subnanomolar enzyme concentration range. The reason for this behavior has still to be clarified, but its occurrence may limit the sensitivity of thrombin sensors based on Fc-peptide layers.

  13. Sensorimotor Coarticulation in the Execution and Recognition of Intentional Actions

    PubMed Central

    Donnarumma, Francesco; Dindo, Haris; Pezzulo, Giovanni

    2017-01-01

    Humans excel at recognizing (or inferring) another's distal intentions, and recent experiments suggest that this may be possible using only subtle kinematic cues elicited during early phases of movement. Still, the cognitive and computational mechanisms underlying the recognition of intentional (sequential) actions are incompletely known and it is unclear whether kinematic cues alone