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Sample records for action observation task

  1. Prediction of human actions: expertise and task-related effects on neural activation of the action observation network.

    PubMed

    Balser, Nils; Lorey, Britta; Pilgramm, Sebastian; Stark, Rudolf; Bischoff, Matthias; Zentgraf, Karen; Williams, Andrew Mark; Munzert, Jörn

    2014-08-01

    The action observation network (AON) is supposed to play a crucial role when athletes anticipate the effect of others' actions in sports such as tennis. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to explore whether motor expertise leads to a differential activation pattern within the AON during effect anticipation and whether spatial and motor anticipation tasks are associated with a differential activation pattern within the AON depending on participant expertise level. Expert (N=16) and novice (N=16) tennis players observed video clips depicting forehand strokes with the instruction to either indicate the predicted direction of ball flight (spatial anticipation) or to decide on an appropriate response to the observed action (motor anticipation). The experts performed better than novices on both tennis anticipation tasks, with the experts showing stronger neural activation in areas of the AON, namely, the superior parietal lobe, the intraparietal sulcus, the inferior frontal gyrus, and the cerebellum. When novices were contrasted with experts, motor anticipation resulted in stronger activation of the ventral premotor cortex, the supplementary motor area, and the superior parietal lobe than spatial anticipation task did. In experts, the comparison of motor and spatial anticipation revealed no increased activation. We suggest that the stronger activation of areas in the AON during the anticipation of action effects in experts reflects their use of the more fine-tuned motor representations they have acquired and improved during years of training. Furthermore, results suggest that the neural processing of different anticipation tasks depends on the expertise level.

  2. I know what I will see: action-specific motor preparation activity in a passive observation task.

    PubMed

    Bozzacchi, Chiara; Spinelli, Donatella; Pitzalis, Sabrina; Giusti, Maria Assunta; Di Russo, Francesco

    2015-06-01

    Literature on mirror neurons has shown that seeing someone preparing to move generates in the motor areas of the observers a brain activity similar to that generated when the subject prepares his own actions. Thus, the 'mirroring' of action would not be limited to the execution phase but also involves the preparation process. Here we confirm and extend this notion showing that, just as different brain activities prepare different voluntary actions, also different brain activities prepare to observe different predictable actions. Videos of two different actions from egocentric point of view were presented in separate blocks: (i) grasping of a cup and (ii) impossible grasping of a cup. Subjects had to passively observe the videos showing object-directed hand movements. Through the use of the event-related potentials, we found a cortical activity before observing the actions, which was very similar to the one recorded prior to the actual execution of that same action, in terms of both topography and latency. This anticipatory activity does not represent a general preparation state but an action-specific state, because being dependent on the specific meaning of the forthcoming action. These results reinforce our knowledge about the correspondence between action, perception and cognition. PMID:25261822

  3. Stereoscopically Observing Manipulative Actions.

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

    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

  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. PMID:27161552

  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. Differential activation of brain regions involved with error-feedback and imitation based motor simulation when observing self and an expert's actions in pilots and non-pilots on a complex glider landing task.

    PubMed

    Callan, Daniel E; Terzibas, Cengiz; Cassel, Daniel B; Callan, Akiko; Kawato, Mitsuo; Sato, Masa-Aki

    2013-05-15

    In this fMRI study we investigate neural processes related to the action observation network using a complex perceptual-motor task in pilots and non-pilots. The task involved landing a glider (using aileron, elevator, rudder, and dive brake) as close to a target as possible, passively observing a replay of one's own previous trial, passively observing a replay of an expert's trial, and a baseline do nothing condition. The objective of this study is to investigate two types of motor simulation processes used during observation of action: imitation based motor simulation and error-feedback based motor simulation. It has been proposed that the computational neurocircuitry of the cortex is well suited for unsupervised imitation based learning, whereas, the cerebellum is well suited for error-feedback based learning. Consistent with predictions, pilots (to a greater extent than non-pilots) showed significant differential activity when observing an expert landing the glider in brain regions involved with imitation based motor simulation (including premotor cortex PMC, inferior frontal gyrus IFG, anterior insula, parietal cortex, superior temporal gyrus, and middle temporal MT area) than when observing one's own previous trial which showed significant differential activity in the cerebellum (only for pilots) thought to be concerned with error-feedback based motor simulation. While there was some differential brain activity for pilots in regions involved with both Execution and Observation of the flying task (potential Mirror System sites including IFG, PMC, superior parietal lobule) the majority was adjacent to these areas (Observation Only Sites) (predominantly in PMC, IFG, and inferior parietal loblule). These regions showing greater activity for observation than for action may be involved with processes related to motor-based representational transforms that are not necessary when actually carrying out the task.

  8. Task Force Report on Affirmative Action.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    1978

    Issues raised by affirmative action are explored and a legislative agenda for reform is offered. Part One of the report examines affirmative action in practice and includes discussions of the Bakke case and affirmative action in the federal government. Part Two considers the legal aspect of affirmative action and reverse discrimination, and Part…

  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. 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.

  11. Peer Observation Action Research Project

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sandt, Fred-Ole

    2012-01-01

    This paper outlines the initial findings of an action research project that focuses on the possible contribution of peer observation to a more collaborative environment and teachers' professional growth at The University High School. The research component played a significant part as previous attempts to change the culture at the school were…

  12. Crossmodal action selection: evidence from dual-task compatibility.

    PubMed

    Huestegge, Lynn; Koch, Iring

    2010-06-01

    Response-related mechanisms of multitasking were studied by analyzing simultaneous processing of responses in different modalities (i.e., crossmodal action). Participants responded to a single auditory stimulus with a saccade, a manual response (single-task conditions), or both (dual-task condition). We used a spatially incompatible stimulus-response mapping for one task, but not for the other. Critically, inverting these mappings varied temporal task overlap in dual-task conditions while keeping spatial incompatibility across responses constant. Unlike previous paradigms, temporal task overlap was manipulated without utilizing sequential stimulus presentation, which might induce strategic serial processing. The results revealed dual-task costs, but these were not affected by an increase of temporal task overlap. This finding is evidence for parallel response selection in multitasking. We propose that crossmodal action is processed by a central mapping-selection mechanism in working memory and that the dual-task costs are mainly caused by mapping-related crosstalk.

  13. 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

  14. Observational Learning without a Model Is Influenced by the Observer's Possibility to Act: Evidence from the Simon Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Iani, Cristina; Rubichi, Sandro; Ferraro, Luca; Nicoletti, Roberto; Gallese, Vittorio

    2013-01-01

    We assessed whether observational learning in perceptual-motor tasks is affected by the visibility of an action producing perceived environmental effects and by the observer's possibility to act during observation. To this end, we conducted three experiments in which participants were required to observe a spatial compatibility task in which only…

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Visual Experience Enhances Infants' Use of Task-Relevant Information in an Action Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wang, Su-hua; Kohne, Lisa

    2007-01-01

    Four experiments examined whether infants' use of task-relevant information in an action task could be facilitated by visual experience in the laboratory. Twelve- but not 9-month-old infants spontaneously used height information and chose an appropriate (taller) cover in search of a hidden tall toy. After watching examples of covering events in a…

  18. 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.

  19. Visual Working Memory for Observed Actions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wood, Justin N.

    2007-01-01

    Human society depends on the ability to remember the actions of other individuals, which is information that must be stored in a temporary buffer to guide behavior after actions have been observed. To date, however, the storage capacity, contents, and architecture of working memory for observed actions are unknown. In this article, the author…

  20. Action-effect binding by observational learning.

    PubMed

    Paulus, Markus; van Dam, Wessel; Hunnius, Sabine; Lindemann, Oliver; Bekkering, Harold

    2011-10-01

    The acquisition of bidirectional action-effect associations plays a central role in the ability to intentionally control actions. Humans learn about actions not only through active experience, but also through observing the actions of others. In Experiment 1, we examined whether action-effect associations can be acquired by observational learning. To this end, participants observed how a model repeatedly pressed two buttons during an observation phase. Each of the buttonpresses led to a specific tone (action effect). In a subsequent test phase, the tones served as target stimuli to which the participants had to respond with buttonpresses. Reaction times were shorter if the stimulus-response mapping in the test phase was compatible with the action-effect association in the observation phase. Experiment 2 excluded the possibility that the impact of perceived action effects on own actions was driven merely by an association of spatial features with the particular tones. Furthermore, we demonstrated that the presence of an agent is necessary to acquire novel action-effect associations through observation. Altogether, the study provides evidence for the claim that bidirectional action-effect associations can be acquired by observational learning. Our findings are discussed in the context of the idea that the acquisition of action-effect associations through observation is an important cognitive mechanism subserving the human ability for social learning.

  1. Congruency of gaze metrics in action, imagery and action observation.

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

    The aim of this paper is to provide a review of eye movements during action execution, action observation, and movement imagery. Furthermore, the paper highlights aspects of congruency in gaze metrics between these states. The implications of the imagery, observation, and action gaze congruency are discussed in terms of motor learning and rehabilitation. Future research directions are outlined in order to further the understanding of shared gaze metrics between overt and covert states. Suggestions are made for how researchers and practitioners can structure action observation and movement imagery interventions to maximize (re)learning. PMID:24068996

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Goal anticipation during action observation is influenced by synonymous action capabilities, a puzzling developmental study.

    PubMed

    Gredebäck, Gustaf; Kochukhova, Olga

    2010-04-01

    Eighteen- and 25-month-old human toddlers' ability to manually solve a puzzle and their ability to anticipate the goal during observation of similar actions were investigated. Results demonstrate that goal anticipation during action observation is dependent on manual ability, both on a group level (only 25-month-olds solved the manual task and anticipated the goal during observation) and individually within the older age group (r (xy) = 0.53). These findings suggests a connection between manual ability and the ability to anticipate the goal of others' actions in toddlers, in accordance with the direct matching hypothesis. PMID:20041233

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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…

  8. Combined action observation and imagery facilitates corticospinal excitability

    PubMed Central

    Wright, David J.; Williams, Jacqueline; Holmes, Paul S.

    2014-01-01

    Observation and imagery of movement both activate similar brain regions to those involved in movement execution. As such, both are recommended as techniques for aiding the recovery of motor function following stroke. Traditionally, action observation and movement imagery (MI) have been considered as independent intervention techniques. Researchers have however begun to consider the possibility of combining the two techniques into a single intervention strategy. This study investigated the effect of combined action observation and MI on corticospinal excitability, in comparison to either observation or imagery alone. Single-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) was delivered to the hand representation of the left motor cortex during combined action observation and MI, passive observation (PO), or MI of right index finger abduction-adduction movements or control conditions. Motor evoked potentials (MEPs) were recorded from the first dorsal interosseous (FDI) and abductor digiti minimi (ADM) muscles of the right hand. The combined action observation and MI condition produced MEPs of larger amplitude than were obtained during PO and control conditions. This effect was only present in the FDI muscle, indicating the facilitation of corticospinal excitability during the combined condition was specific to the muscles involved in the observed/imagined task. These findings have implications for stroke rehabilitation, where combined action observation and MI interventions may prove to be more effective than observation or imagery alone. PMID:25505880

  9. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

  11. Social interaction enhances motor resonance for observed human actions.

    PubMed

    Hogeveen, Jeremy; Obhi, Sukhvinder S

    2012-04-25

    Understanding the neural basis of social behavior has become an important goal for cognitive neuroscience and a key aim is to link neural processes observed in the laboratory to more naturalistic social behaviors in real-world contexts. Although it is accepted that mirror mechanisms contribute to the occurrence of motor resonance (MR) and are common to action execution, observation, and imitation, questions remain about mirror (and MR) involvement in real social behavior and in processing nonhuman actions. To determine whether social interaction primes the MR system, groups of participants engaged or did not engage in a social interaction before observing human or robotic actions. During observation, MR was assessed via motor-evoked potentials elicited with transcranial magnetic stimulation. Compared with participants who did not engage in a prior social interaction, participants who engaged in the social interaction showed a significant increase in MR for human actions. In contrast, social interaction did not increase MR for robot actions. Thus, naturalistic social interaction and laboratory action observation tasks appear to involve common MR mechanisms, and recent experience tunes the system to particular agent types.

  12. Dynamic modulation of the action observation network by movement familiarity.

    PubMed

    Gardner, Tom; Goulden, Nia; Cross, Emily S

    2015-01-28

    When watching another person's actions, a network of sensorimotor brain regions, collectively termed the action observation network (AON), is engaged. Previous research suggests that the AON is more responsive when watching familiar compared with unfamiliar actions. However, most research into AON function is premised on comparisons of AON engagement during different types of task using univariate, magnitude-based approaches. To better understand the relationship between action familiarity and AON engagement, here we examine how observed movement familiarity modulates AON activity in humans using dynamic causal modeling, a type of effective connectivity analysis. Twenty-one subjects underwent fMRI scanning while viewing whole-body dance movements that varied in terms of their familiarity. Participants' task was to either predict the next posture the dancer's body would assume or to respond to a non-action-related attentional control question. To assess individuals' familiarity with each movement, participants rated each video on a measure of visual familiarity after being scanned. Parametric analyses showed more activity in left middle temporal gyrus, inferior parietal lobule, and inferior frontal gyrus as videos were rated as increasingly familiar. These clusters of activity formed the regions of interest for dynamic causal modeling analyses, which revealed attenuation of effective connectivity bidirectionally between parietal and temporal AON nodes when participants observed videos they rated as increasingly familiar. As such, the findings provide partial support for a predictive coding model of the AON, as well as illuminate how action familiarity manipulations can be used to explore simulation-based accounts of action understanding. PMID:25632133

  13. Motor imagery in Asperger syndrome: testing action simulation by the hand laterality task.

    PubMed

    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.

  14. Human parietofrontal networks related to action observation detected at rest.

    PubMed

    Molinari, Elisa; Baraldi, Patrizia; Campanella, Martina; Duzzi, Davide; Nocetti, Luca; Pagnoni, Giuseppe; Porro, Carlo A

    2013-01-01

    Recent data show a broad correspondence between human resting-state and task-related brain networks. We performed a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study to compare, in the same subjects, the spatial independent component analysis (ICA) maps obtained at rest and during the observation of either reaching/grasping hand actions or matching static pictures. Two parietofrontal networks were identified by ICA from action observation task data. One network, specific to reaching/grasping observation, included portions of the anterior intraparietal cortex and of the dorsal and ventral lateral premotor cortices. A second network included more posterior portions of the parietal lobe, the dorsomedial frontal cortex, and more anterior and ventral parts, respectively, of the dorsal and ventral premotor cortices, extending toward Broca's area; this network was more generally related to the observation of hand action and static pictures. A good spatial correspondence was found between the 2 observation-related ICA maps and 2 ICA maps identified from resting-state data. The anatomical connectivity among the identified clusters was tested in the same volunteers, using persistent angular structure-MRI and deterministic tractography. These findings extend available knowledge of human parietofrontal circuits and further support the hypothesis of a persistent coherence within functionally relevant networks during rest.

  15. Disentangling attention from action in the emotional spatial cueing task.

    PubMed

    Mulckhuyse, Manon; Crombez, Geert

    2014-01-01

    In the emotional spatial cueing task, a peripheral cue--either emotional or non-emotional--is presented before target onset. A stronger cue validity effect with an emotional relative to a non-emotional cue (i.e., more efficient responding to validly cued targets relative to invalidly cued targets) is taken as an indication of emotional modulation of attentional processes. However, results from previous emotional spatial cueing studies are not consistent. Some studies find an effect at the validly cued location (shorter reaction times compared to a non-emotional cue), whereas other studies find an effect at the invalidly cued location (longer reaction times compared to a non-emotional cue). In the current paper, we explore which parameters affect emotional modulation of the cue validity effect in the spatial cueing task. Results from five experiments in healthy volunteers led to the conclusion that a threatening spatial cue did not affect attention processes but rather indicate that motor processes are affected. A possible mechanism might be that a strong aversive cue stimulus decreases reaction times by means of stronger action preparation. Consequently, in case of a spatially congruent response with the peripheral cue, a stronger cue validity effect could be obtained due to stronger response priming. The implications for future research are discussed.

  16. Action Recognition and Movement Direction Discrimination Tasks Are Associated with Different Adaptation Patterns.

    PubMed

    de la Rosa, Stephan; Ekramnia, Mina; Bülthoff, Heinrich H

    2016-01-01

    The ability to discriminate between different actions is essential for action recognition and social interactions. Surprisingly previous research has often probed action recognition mechanisms with tasks that did not require participants to discriminate between actions, e.g., left-right direction discrimination tasks. It is not known to what degree visual processes in direction discrimination tasks are also involved in the discrimination of actions, e.g., when telling apart a handshake from a high-five. Here, we examined whether action discrimination is influenced by movement direction and whether direction discrimination depends on the type of action. We used an action adaptation paradigm to target action and direction discrimination specific visual processes. In separate conditions participants visually adapted to forward and backward moving handshake and high-five actions. Participants subsequently categorized either the action or the movement direction of an ambiguous action. The results showed that direction discrimination adaptation effects were modulated by the type of action but action discrimination adaptation effects were unaffected by movement direction. These results suggest that action discrimination and direction categorization rely on partly different visual information. We propose that action discrimination tasks should be considered for the exploration of visual action recognition mechanisms.

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

    PubMed

    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.

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

    PubMed

    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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Task-specific stability of multifinger steady-state action.

    PubMed

    Reschechtko, Sasha; Zatsiorsky, Vladimir M; Latash, Mark L

    2015-01-01

    The authors explored task-specific stability during accurate multifinger force production tasks with different numbers of instructed fingers. Subjects performed steady-state isometric force production tasks and were instructed not to interfere voluntarily with transient lifting-and-lowering perturbations applied to the index finger. The main results were (a) intertrial variance in the space of finger modes at steady states was larger within the subspace that had no effect on the total force (the uncontrolled manifold [UCM]); (b) perturbations caused large deviations of finger modes within the UCM (motor equivalence); and (c) deviations caused by the perturbation showed larger variance within the UCM. No significant effects of the number of task fingers were noted in any of the 3 indicators. The results are discussed within the frameworks of the UCM and referent configuration hypotheses. The authors conclude, in particular, that all the tasks were effectively 4-finger tasks with different involvement of task and nontask fingers. PMID:25565327

  2. 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…

  3. Modulation of the Intracortical LFP during Action Execution and Observation.

    PubMed

    Waldert, Stephan; Vigneswaran, Ganesh; Philipp, Roland; Lemon, Roger N; Kraskov, Alexander

    2015-06-01

    The activity of mirror neurons in macaque ventral premotor cortex (PMv) and primary motor cortex (M1) is modulated by the observation of another's movements. This modulation could underpin well documented changes in EEG/MEG activity indicating the existence of a mirror neuron system in humans. Because the local field potential (LFP) represents an important link between macaque single neuron and human noninvasive studies, we focused on mirror properties of intracortical LFPs recorded in the PMv and M1 hand regions in two macaques while they reached, grasped and held different objects, or observed the same actions performed by an experimenter. Upper limb EMGs were recorded to control for covert muscle activity during observation.The movement-related potential (MRP), investigated as intracortical low-frequency LFP activity (<9 Hz), was modulated in both M1 and PMv, not only during action execution but also during action observation. Moreover, the temporal LFP modulations during execution and observation were highly correlated in both cortical areas. Beta power in both PMv and M1 was clearly modulated in both conditions. Although the MRP was detected only during dynamic periods of the task (reach/grasp/release), beta decreased during dynamic and increased during static periods (hold).Comparison of LFPs for different grasps provided evidence for partially nonoverlapping networks being active during execution and observation, which might be related to different inputs to motor areas during these conditions. We found substantial information about grasp in the MRP corroborating its suitability for brain-machine interfaces, although information about grasp was generally low during action observation. PMID:26041914

  4. Observational learning without a model is influenced by the observer's possibility to act: evidence from the Simon task.

    PubMed

    Iani, Cristina; Rubichi, Sandro; Ferraro, Luca; Nicoletti, Roberto; Gallese, Vittorio

    2013-07-01

    We assessed whether observational learning in perceptual-motor tasks is affected by the visibility of an action producing perceived environmental effects and by the observer's possibility to act during observation. To this end, we conducted three experiments in which participants were required to observe a spatial compatibility task in which only the effects of computer-generated responses were visible before executing a Simon task. In Experiment 1, we compared the effects of a passively observed practice with either a spatially compatible or incompatible stimulus-response (S-R) association. In Experiment 2, during the observed spatially incompatible practice participants were prevented from potentially acting, either because a plexiglas barrier separated the participant from the response device rendering it out of reach; or because the participant's hands were tied; or the device affording a response was absent. In Experiment 3, the plexiglas presented an opening that could allow the participant to potentially reach and interact with it. As when the practice is physically performed, we found an elimination of the Simon effect following a spatially incompatible observed practice, suggesting that participants learned an incompatible S-R association by observing and transferred this knowledge to the subsequent Simon task. No evidence of transfer of learning was found when, during passive observation, the participant's hands were tied, or a barrier prevented him/her from potentially interacting with the device, or no response device was present. Differently, a transfer-of-learning effect was observed when the barrier presented an opening. These results suggest that learning can derive from the mere observation of action effects, even when an action is not visible, as long as the observer has the potential to act.

  5. Your actions in my cerebellum: subclinical deficits in action observation in patients with unilateral chronic cerebellar stroke.

    PubMed

    Cattaneo, Luigi; Fasanelli, Monica; Andreatta, Olaf; Bonifati, Domenico Marco; Barchiesi, Guido; Caruana, Fausto

    2012-03-01

    Empirical evidence indicates that cognitive consequences of cerebellar lesions tend to be mild and less important than the symptoms due to lesions to cerebral areas. By contrast, imaging studies consistently report strong cerebellar activity during tasks of action observation and action understanding. This has been interpreted as part of the automatic motor simulation process that takes place in the context of action observation. The function of the cerebellum as a sequencer during executed movements makes it a good candidate, within the framework of embodied cognition, for a pivotal role in understanding the timing of action sequences. Here, we investigated a cohort of eight patients with chronic, first-ever, isolated, ischemic lesions of the cerebellum. The experimental task consisted in identifying a plausible sequence of pictures from a randomly ordered group of still frames extracted from (a) a complex action performed by a human actor ("biological action" test) or (b) a complex physical event occurring to an inanimate object ("folk physics" test). A group of 16 healthy participants was used as control. The main result showed that cerebellar patients performed significantly worse than controls in both sequencing tasks, but performed much worse in the "biological action" test than in the "folk physics" test. The dissociation described here suggests that observed sequences of simple motor acts seem to be represented differentially from other sequences in the cerebellum.

  6. 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…

  7. Look What I Am Doing: Does Observational Learning Take Place in Evocative Task-Sharing Situations?

    PubMed Central

    Ferraro, Luca; Iani, Cristina; Mariani, Michele; Nicoletti, Roberto; Gallese, Vittorio; Rubichi, Sandro

    2012-01-01

    Two experiments were conducted to investigate whether physical and observational practice in task-sharing entail comparable implicit motor learning. To this end, the social-transfer-of-learning (SToL) effect was assessed when both participants performed the joint practice task (Experiment 1 – complete task-sharing), or when one participant observed the other performing half of the practice task (Experiment 2 – evocative task-sharing). Since the inversion of the spatial relations between responding agent and stimulus position has been shown to prevent SToL, in the present study we assessed it in both complete and evocative task-sharing conditions either when spatial relations were kept constant or changed from the practice to the transfer session. The same pattern of results was found for both complete and evocative task-sharing, thus suggesting that implicit motor learning in evocative task-sharing is equivalent to that obtained in complete task-sharing. We conclude that this motor learning originates from the simulation of the complementary (rather than the imitative) action. PMID:22905256

  8. Look what I am doing: does observational learning take place in evocative task-sharing situations?

    PubMed

    Ferraro, Luca; Iani, Cristina; Mariani, Michele; Nicoletti, Roberto; Gallese, Vittorio; Rubichi, Sandro

    2012-01-01

    Two experiments were conducted to investigate whether physical and observational practice in task-sharing entail comparable implicit motor learning. To this end, the social-transfer-of-learning (SToL) effect was assessed when both participants performed the joint practice task (Experiment 1--complete task-sharing), or when one participant observed the other performing half of the practice task (Experiment 2--evocative task-sharing). Since the inversion of the spatial relations between responding agent and stimulus position has been shown to prevent SToL, in the present study we assessed it in both complete and evocative task-sharing conditions either when spatial relations were kept constant or changed from the practice to the transfer session. The same pattern of results was found for both complete and evocative task-sharing, thus suggesting that implicit motor learning in evocative task-sharing is equivalent to that obtained in complete task-sharing. We conclude that this motor learning originates from the simulation of the complementary (rather than the imitative) action.

  9. Corticospinal excitability modulation to hand muscles during the observation of appropriate versus inappropriate actions.

    PubMed

    Cavallo, Andrea; Sartori, Luisa; Castiello, Umberto

    2011-06-01

    Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) studies have shown that the observation of an action causes subliminal activation within the motor system. However, the issue of whether such an effect is modulated by the match between the observed action and that the observer would have exhibited if acting under similar circumstances remains unclear. We address this issue by recording motor potentials evoked by single-pulse TMS from the first dorsal interosseous (FDI) and abductor digiti minimi (ADM) muscles during the observation of video-clips representing prehensile actions towards small or large objects. In a separate behavioral study, participants were asked to evaluate which type of grasp would be the most appropriate for the tested objects. The TMS data revealed a selective motor facilitation during the observation of movements recruiting the targeted digits. We contend that, in action observation tasks, the human corticospinal system mediating action observation effects codes merely for the visual aspects of the observed action. PMID:24168477

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Task complexity and sources of task-related information during the observational learning process.

    PubMed

    Laguna, Patricia L

    2008-08-01

    Although research has examined the influence of various sources of task information for skill acquisition during observational learning, the results have been ambiguous. The purpose of this study was to examine sources of information in relation to the type of task. One hundred and twenty participants were randomly assigned to one of two sets of six treatment strategies: (1) all model demonstrations; (2) model demonstrations with physical practice with knowledge of performance; (3) model demonstrations with physical practice without knowledge of performance; (4) physical practice without knowledge of performance; (5) physical practice with knowledge of performance; or (6) verbal instructions only. One set learned a simple version of the task while the other set learned a more complex version. Cognitive representation and performance accuracy (spatial and temporal) were assessed. Results indicate that task type does influence the source of information to facilitate skill acquisition. The simple task benefited from model demonstrations, physical practice with knowledge of performance, or a combination of model demonstrations and practice both with and without knowledge of performance, while the complex version benefited more from a combination of model demonstrations and knowledge of performance practice. The results of this study provide an insight into the ambiguity that exists within the observational learning and motor learning literature regarding the effectiveness of information sources for motor skill acquisition.

  13. Vision for Action in Toddlers: The Posting Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Street, Sandra Y.; James, Karin H.; Jones, Susan S.; Smith, Linda B.

    2011-01-01

    Three experiments examine 18- to 24-month-old (N = 78) toddlers' ability to spatially orient objects by their major axes for insertion into a slot. This is a simplified version of the posting task that is commonly used to measure dorsal stream functioning. The experiments identify marked developmental changes in children's ability to preorient…

  14. Embodied representation of tool-use action verbs and hand action verbs: evidence from a tone judgment task.

    PubMed

    Yang, Jie; Shu, Hua

    2011-04-15

    Many studies have found that language comprehension involves sensory-motor system. However, the relationship between word form and embodied semantic representation still lacks evidence. The current fMRI study used Chinese tool-use action verbs, hand action verbs and a Mandarin lexical tone task to explore the issue. In the tone task, all verbs showed strong effects in hand motor areas. However, the contrasts between the hand action verbs and the tool-use action verbs yielded differences mainly in tone processing areas, and the hand action verbs had stronger effects. The ROI analyses indicated consistent result pattern with the contrast analyses. In short, these results revealed that word processing involves basic sensory-motor information automatically, whereas the fine grained information which distinguishes among different semantics can be hindered by the processing of word form.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26066904

  16. 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.

  17. Report of the Build Subsidized Child Care Rate Policy Task Force: Recommendations for Action

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stoney, Louise

    2004-01-01

    In the Fall of 2003, the Pennsylvania Build Initiative convened a Rate Policy Task Force to broadly examine the issue of child care rates and make recommendations for action. The Task Force goal was two-fold: (1) to suggest ways that the rate and payment process currently used by the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare (DPW) can better…

  18. 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…

  19. 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. PMID:26481327

  20. 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. PMID:21479943

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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…

  4. Predictive motor activation during action observation in human infants.

    PubMed

    Southgate, Victoria; Johnson, Mark H; Osborne, Tamsin; Csibra, Gergely

    2009-12-23

    Certain regions of the human brain are activated both during action execution and action observation. This so-called 'mirror neuron system' has been proposed to enable an observer to understand an action through a process of internal motor simulation. Although there has been much speculation about the existence of such a system from early in life, to date there is little direct evidence that young infants recruit brain areas involved in action production during action observation. To address this question, we identified the individual frequency range in which sensorimotor alpha-band activity was attenuated in nine-month-old infants' electroencephalographs (EEGs) during elicited reaching for objects, and measured whether activity in this frequency range was also modulated by observing others' actions. We found that observing a grasping action resulted in motor activation in the infant brain, but that this activity began prior to observation of the action, once it could be anticipated. These results demonstrate not only that infants, like adults, display overlapping neural activity during execution and observation of actions, but that this activation, rather than being directly induced by the visual input, is driven by infants' understanding of a forthcoming action. These results provide support for theories implicating the motor system in action prediction. PMID:19675001

  5. Stimulus onset predictability modulates proactive action control in a Go/No-go task

    PubMed Central

    Berchicci, Marika; Lucci, Giuliana; Spinelli, Donatella; Di Russo, Francesco

    2015-01-01

    The aim of the study was to evaluate whether the presence/absence of visual cues specifying the onset of an upcoming, action-related stimulus modulates pre-stimulus brain activity, associated with the proactive control of goal-directed actions. To this aim we asked 12 subjects to perform an equal probability Go/No-go task with four stimulus configurations in two conditions: (1) uncued, i.e., without any external information about the timing of stimulus onset; and (2) cued, i.e., with external visual cues providing precise information about the timing of stimulus onset. During task both behavioral performance and event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded. Behavioral results showed faster response times in the cued than uncued condition, confirming existing literature. ERPs showed novel results in the proactive control stage, that started about 1 s before the motor response. We observed a slow rising prefrontal positive activity, more pronounced in the cued than the uncued condition. Further, also pre-stimulus activity of premotor areas was larger in cued than uncued condition. In the post-stimulus period, the P3 amplitude was enhanced when the time of stimulus onset was externally driven, confirming that external cueing enhances processing of stimulus evaluation and response monitoring. Our results suggest that different pre-stimulus processing come into play in the two conditions. We hypothesize that the large prefrontal and premotor activities recorded with external visual cues index the monitoring of the external stimuli in order to finely regulate the action. PMID:25964751

  6. Intentional binding in self-made and observed actions.

    PubMed

    Poonian, S K; Cunnington, Ross

    2013-09-01

    Sense of agency is the way in which we understand the causal relationships between our actions and sensory events. Agency is implicitly measured using intentional binding paradigms, where voluntary self-made actions and consequential sensory events are perceived as shifted closer together in time. However, a crucial question remains as to how we understand the relationship between others' actions and sensory events. Do we use similar binding processes as for our own actions? Previous attempts to investigate this phenomenon in others' have reached no clear consensus. Therefore, in an attempt to understand how we attribute the causal relationships between others' actions and sensory events, we investigated intentional binding in others' actions using an interval estimation paradigm. In a first experiment participants were required to make a button-press response to indicate the perceived interval between a self-made action and a tone, between a closely matched observed action and tone, and between two tones. For both self-made and observed actions, we found a significant perceived shortening of the interval between the actions and tones as compared with the interval between two tones, thus intentional binding was found for both self-made and observed actions. In a second experiment we validated the findings of the first by contrasting the perceived intervals between an observed action and tone with a matched visual-auditory stimulus and a tone. We again found a significant perceived shortening of the interval for observed action compared with the closely matched visual-auditory control stimulus. The occurrence of intentional binding when observing an action suggests we use similar processes to make causal attributions between our own actions, others' actions, and sensory events.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Modulation of Brain Activity during Action Observation: Influence of Perspective, Transitivity and Meaningfulness

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:21931832

  10. 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.

  11. Using Walkthrough Observations to Document Dispositional Actions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Danley, Angela; Theiss, Deb

    2015-01-01

    Faculty from a Midwestern university implemented walkthrough observations in a Professional Development Schools (PDS) field experience with elementary and early childhood majors. The instructors researchers used walkthrough observation forms to track, evaluate, and monitor teacher candidate dispositions. The data were collected electronically and…

  12. Objects Mediate Goal Integration in Ventrolateral Prefrontal Cortex during Action Observation.

    PubMed

    Hrkać, Mari; Wurm, Moritz F; Kühn, Anne B; Schubotz, Ricarda I

    2015-01-01

    Actions performed by others are mostly not observed in isolation, but embedded in sequences of actions tied together by an overarching goal. Therefore, preceding actions can modulate the observer's expectations in relation to the currently perceived action. Ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (vlPFC), and inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) in particular, is suggested to subserve the integration of episodic as well as semantic information and memory, including action scripts. The present fMRI study investigated if activation in IFG varies with the effort to integrate expected and observed action, even when not required by the task. During an fMRI session, participants were instructed to attend to short videos of single actions and to deliver a judgment about the actor's current goal. We manipulated the strength of goal expectation induced by the preceding action, implementing the parameter "goal-relatedness" between the preceding and the currently observed action. Moreover, since objects point to the probability of certain actions, we also manipulated whether the current and the preceding action shared at least one object or not. We found an interaction between the two factors goal-relatedness and shared object: IFG activation increased the weaker the goal-relatedness between the preceding and the current action was, but only when they shared at least one object. Here, integration of successive action steps was triggered by the re-appearing (shared) object but hampered by a weak goal-relatedness between the actually observed manipulation. These findings foster the recently emerging view that IFG is enhanced by goal-related conflicts during action observation. PMID:26218102

  13. Observer analysis and its impact on task performance modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jacobs, Eddie L.; Brown, Jeremy B.

    2014-05-01

    Fire fighters use relatively low cost thermal imaging cameras to locate hot spots and fire hazards in buildings. This research describes the analyses performed to study the impact of thermal image quality on fire fighter fire hazard detection task performance. Using human perception data collected by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) for fire fighters detecting hazards in a thermal image, an observer analysis was performed to quantify the sensitivity and bias of each observer. Using this analysis, the subjects were divided into three groups representing three different levels of performance. The top-performing group was used for the remainder of the modeling. Models were developed which related image quality factors such as contrast, brightness, spatial resolution, and noise to task performance probabilities. The models were fitted to the human perception data using logistic regression, as well as probit regression. Probit regression was found to yield superior fits and showed that models with not only 2nd order parameter interactions, but also 3rd order parameter interactions performed the best.

  14. Action observation: mirroring across our spontaneous movement tempo

    PubMed Central

    Avanzino, Laura; Lagravinese, Giovanna; Bisio, Ambra; Perasso, Luisa; Ruggeri, Piero; Bove, Marco

    2015-01-01

    During action observation (AO), the activity of the “mirror system” is influenced by the viewer’s expertise in the observed action. A question that remains open is whether the temporal aspects of the subjective motor repertoire can influence the “mirror system” activation. PMID:25989029

  15. No transfer of calibration between action and perception in learning a golf putting task.

    PubMed

    Van Lier, Wim; Van der Kamp, John; van der Zanden, Anne; Savelsbergh, Geert J P

    2011-10-01

    We assessed calibration of perception and action in the context of a golf putting task. Previous research has shown that right-handed novice golfers make rightward errors both in the perception of the perfect aiming line from the ball to the hole and in the putting action. Right-handed experts, however, produce accurate putting actions but tend to make leftward errors in perception. In two experiments, we examined whether these skill-related differences in directional error reflect transfer of calibration from action to perception. In the main experiment, three groups of right-handed novice participants followed a pretest, practice, posttest, retention test design. During the tests, directional error for the putting action and the perception of the perfect aiming line were determined. During practice, participants were provided only with verbal outcome feedback about directional error; one group trained perception and the second trained action, whereas the third group did not practice. Practice led to a relatively permanent annihilation of directional error, but these improvements in accuracy were specific to the trained task. Hence, no transfer of calibration occurred between perception and action. The findings are discussed within the two-visual-system model for perception and action, and implications for perceptual learning in action are raised. PMID:21814859

  16. Self-Organized Complementary Joint Action: Behavioral Dynamics of an Interpersonal Collision-Avoidance Task

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:25751036

  17. Modulation of neural activity during observational learning of actions and their sequential orders.

    PubMed

    Frey, Scott H; Gerry, Valerie E

    2006-12-20

    How does the brain transform perceptual representations of others' actions into motor representations that can be used to guide behavior? Here we used functional magnetic resonance imaging to record human brain activity while subjects watched others construct multipart objects under varied task demands. We find that relative to resting baseline, passive action observation increases activity within inferior frontal and parietal cortices implicated in action encoding (mirror system) and throughout a distributed network of areas involved in motor representation, including dorsal premotor cortex, pre-supplementary motor area, cerebellum, and basal ganglia (experiments 1 and 2). Relative to passive observation, these same areas show increased activity when subjects observe with the intention to subsequently reproduce component actions using the demonstrated sequential procedures (experiment 1). Observing the same actions with the intention of reproducing component actions, but without the requirement to use the demonstrated sequential procedure, increases activity in the same regions, although to a lesser degree (experiment 2). These findings demonstrate that when attempting to learn behaviors through observation, the observers' intentions modulate responses in a widely distributed network of cortical and subcortical regions implicated previously in action encoding and/or motor representation. Among these regions, only activity within the right intraparietal sulcus predicts the accuracy with which observed procedures are subsequently performed. Successful formation of motor representations of sequential procedures through observational learning is dependent on computations implemented within this parietal region. PMID:17182769

  18. Human dorsal striatum encodes prediction errors during observational learning of instrumental actions.

    PubMed

    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 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Viewing Instructions Accompanying Action Observation Modulate Corticospinal Excitability

    PubMed Central

    Wright, David J.; McCormick, Sheree A.; Williams, Jacqueline; Holmes, Paul S.

    2016-01-01

    Action observation interventions may have the potential to contribute to improved motor function in motor (re)learning settings by promoting functional activity and plasticity in the motor regions of the brain. Optimal methods for delivering such interventions, however, have yet to be established. This experiment investigated the effect on corticospinal excitability of manipulating the viewing instructions provided to participants (N = 21) prior to action observation. Specifically, motor evoked potential responses measured from the right hand muscles following single-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to the left motor cortex were compared when participants were instructed to observe finger-thumb opposition movement sequences: (i) passively; (ii) with the intent to imitate the observed movement; or (iii) whilst simultaneously and actively imagining that they were performing the movement as they observed it. All three action observation viewing instructions facilitated corticospinal excitability to a greater extent than did observation of a static hand. In addition, the extent to which corticospinal excitability was facilitated was greater during combined observation and imagery, compared to passive observation. These findings have important implications for the design of action observation interventions in motor (re)learning settings, where instructions that encourage observers to simultaneously imagine themselves performing the observed movement may offer the current optimal method for improving motor function through action observation. PMID:26869901

  2. Somatosensory Experiences with Action Modulate Alpha and Beta Power during Subsequent Action Observation

    PubMed Central

    Quandt, Lorna C.; Marshall, Peter J.; Bouquet, Cedric A.; Shipley, Thomas F.

    2013-01-01

    How does prior experience with action change how we perceive a similar action performed by someone else? Previous research has examined the role of sensorimotor and visual experiences in action mirroring during subsequent observation, but the contribution of somatosensory experiences to this effect has not been adequately examined. The current study tests whether prior somatosensory stimulation experienced during action production modulates brain activity during observation of similar actions being performed by others. Specifically, changes in alpha- and beta-range oscillations in the electroencephalogram (EEG) during observation of reaching actions were examined in relation to the observer’s own prior experience of somatosensory stimulation while carrying out similar actions. Analyses revealed that alpha power over central electrodes was significantly decreased during observation of an action expected to result in somatosensory stimulation. Conversely, beta power was increased when an observed action was expected to result in somatosensory stimulation. These results suggest that somatosensory experiences may uniquely contribute to the way in which we process others people’s actions. PMID:23994217

  3. Functional deficits in the extrastriate body area during observation of sports-related actions in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Takahashi, Hidehiko; Kato, Motoichiro; Sassa, Takeshi; Shibuya, Tomohisa; Koeda, Michihiko; Yahata, Noriaki; Matsuura, Masato; Asai, Kunihiko; Suhara, Tetsuya; Okubo, Yoshiro

    2010-05-01

    Exercise and sports are increasingly being implemented in the management of schizophrenia. The process of action perception is as important as that of motor execution for learning and acquiring new skills. Recent studies have suggested that body-selective extrastriate body area (EBA) in the posterior temporal-occipital cortex is involved not only in static visual perception of body parts but also in the planning, imagination, and execution of actions. However, functional abnormality of the EBA in schizophrenia has yet to be investigated. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) with a task designed to activate the EBA by sports-related actions, we aimed to elucidate functional abnormality of the EBA during observation of sports-related actions in patients with schizophrenia. Twelve schizophrenia patients and 12 age-sex-matched control participants participated in the study. Using sports-related motions as visual stimuli, we examined brain activations during observation of context-congruent actions relative to context-incongruent actions by fMRI. Compared with controls, the patients with schizophrenia demonstrated diminished activation in the EBA during observation of sports-related context-congruent actions. Furthermore, the EBA activation in patients was negatively correlated with the severity of negative and general psychopathology symptoms measured by the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale. Dysfunction of the EBA might reflect a difficulty in representing dynamic aspects of human actions and possibly lead to impairments of simulation, learning, and execution of actions in schizophrenia.

  4. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spann, J. F.; Swenson, C.; Durão, O.; Loures, L.; Heelis, R. A.; Bishop, R. L.; Le, G.; Abdu, M. A.; Habash Krause, L.; De Nardin, C. M.; Fonseca, E.

    2015-12-01

    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 Scintillation Prediction Observations Research Task. This mission that 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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. PMID:25911443

  8. Authentic Tasks: A Participatory Action Research Study on a Teaching Method for the Inclusive Classroom

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bruffy, Wendy Raso

    2012-01-01

    The way in which education is taught is forever changing. Therefore, a new method in which content is delivered is a central component in examining areas for improvement. In this paper, participatory action research (PAR) was used to investigate authentic tasks in the inclusive tenth and eleventh grade classroom. The purpose of this study was to…

  9. 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. PMID:22138419

  10. 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…

  11. Sensory-motor properties of past actions bias memory in a recognition task.

    PubMed

    Brouillet, Denis; Vagnot, Caroline; Milhau, Audrey; Brunel, Lionel; Briglia, Johan; Versace, Rémy; Rousset, Stéphane

    2015-07-01

    The aim of this study was to show that sensory-motor consequences of past actions form part of memory trace components cued by current experience. In a first task participants had to learn a list of words. Then in a guessing task they played against the computer. Finally, in a recognition task, they had to judge if the words were or were not present in the learning task. Words appeared either in the colour associated with success or failure in the guessing task, or in a non-informative colour. In the first experiment, results show that when the words to be judged were in the colour associated with success, participants answered faster and produced more "old" responses than when the words to be judged were in the colour associated with failure in the previous task. Moreover, when the words to be judged were in the colour associated with failure, participants were slower and produced less "old" responses than when the words were in a colour not informative of success or failure. The second experiment confirms that the results obtained in Experiment 1 were linked to the sensory-motor consequences of past actions associated with the colour and not to the colour itself.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  14. 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. PMID:27117302

  15. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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

  17. Action anticipation beyond the action observation network: a functional magnetic resonance imaging study in expert basketball players.

    PubMed

    Abreu, A M; Macaluso, E; Azevedo, R T; Cesari, P; Urgesi, C; Aglioti, S M

    2012-05-01

    The ability to predict the actions of others is quintessential for effective social interactions, particularly in competitive contexts (e.g. in sport) when knowledge about upcoming movements allows anticipating rather than reacting to opponents. Studies suggest that we predict what others are doing by using our own motor system as an internal forward model and that the fronto-parietal action observation network (AON) is fundamental for this ability. However, multiple-duty cells dealing with action perception and execution have been found in a variety of cortical regions. Here we used functional magnetic resonance imaging to explore, in expert basketball athletes and novices, whether the ability to make early predictions about the fate of sport-specific actions (i.e. free throws) is underpinned by neural regions beyond the classical AON. We found that, although involved in action prediction, the fronto-parietal AON was similarly activated in novices and experts. Importantly, athletes exhibited relatively greater activity in the extrastriate body area during the prediction task, probably due to their expert reading of the observed action kinematics. Moreover, experts exhibited higher activation in the bilateral inferior frontal gyrus and in the right anterior insular cortex when producing errors, suggesting that they might become aware of their own errors. Correct action prediction induced higher posterior insular cortex activity in experts and higher orbito-frontal activity in novices, suggesting that body awareness is important for performance monitoring in experts, whereas novices rely more on higher-order decision-making strategies. This functional reorganization highlights the tight relationship between action anticipation, error awareness and motor expertise leading to body-related processing and differences in decision-making processes.

  18. 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.

  19. Letter posting and orientation matching: two equivalent tasks in action and perception?

    PubMed

    Hesse, Constanze; Franz, Volker H; Schenk, Thomas

    2011-01-01

    The finding that in a patient with visual form agnosia (DF), the performance level varies in a visuomotor letter-posting task and a perceptual orientation matching task was considered as part of the evidence for the perception-action model (Milner and Goodale, 1995). In this study we examined an alternative interpretation of these findings. We specifically tested whether orientation matching and letter posting can be accomplished using different strategies. Sixteen neurologically intact participants were asked to either put cards of different sizes through a target slot of a certain orientation or to simply indicate the slot's orientation. Letter-posting was performed in three different conditions varying the amount of visual feedback available. Results show that some participants apply a strategy of obstacle-avoidance in the posting task. That is, they oriented the card such that the safety margin between the edges of the target and the card was increased. This tendency became stronger with increasing card size. In contrast, in the orientation matching task, the end-orientation of the card was unaffected by its size and closer to the slot's actual orientation. The findings suggest that posting and matching can be solved using different visuo-spatial information. The perception-action dissociation reported for these tasks in DF might therefore simply indicate a difficulty in computing visual orientation, an ability that is needed for successful orientation matching but not for posting.

  20. Sensory-motor interference abolishes repetition priming for observed actions, but not for action-related verbs.

    PubMed

    Busiello, Marianna; Costantini, Marcello; Galati, Gaspare; Committeri, Giorgia

    2011-04-01

    Several studies on humans have shown a recruitment of the sensory-motor system in the perception of action-related visual and verbal material, suggesting that actions are represented through sensory-motor processes. To date, these studies have not disentangled whether such a recruitment is epiphenomenal or necessary to action representation. Here we took advantage of repetition priming as a tool to investigate the cognitive representation of actions, and systematically looked whether a concurrent motor or verbal task had a detrimental effect on this representation. In a first experiment participants discriminated images depicting meaningless and meaningful actions, while performing either a concurrent sensory-motor or an articulatory suppression task. Images were classified as depicting a repeated or a new action, relative to the previous image in the trial series. We found a facilitation by repetition priming, that was unaffected by the articulatory task but was completely abolished by the sensory-motor task. In a second experiment, we investigated whether the sensory-motor system is also causally involved in processing action-related verbs. In this experiment actions were presented as written infinitive verbs rather than as images. The facilitation by repetition priming was again unaffected by the concurrent articulatory task, while the sensory-motor concurrent task, although reducing the facilitation, did not abolish it. Our data provide evidence that the sensory-motor system is differentially involved during visual processing of actions and during processing of action-related verbs. Results are discussed within the theoretical frame of embodied cognition.

  1. Differential activation of the lateral premotor cortex during action observation

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Action observation leads to neural activation of the human premotor cortex. This study examined how the level of motor expertise (expert vs. novice) in ballroom dancing and the visual viewpoint (internal vs. external viewpoint) influence this activation within different parts of this area of the brain. Results Sixteen dance experts and 16 novices observed ballroom dance videos from internal or external viewpoints while lying in a functional magnetic resonance imaging scanner. A conjunction analysis of all observation conditions showed that action observation activated distinct networks of premotor, parietal, and cerebellar structures. Experts revealed increased activation in the ventral premotor cortex compared to novices. An internal viewpoint led to higher activation of the dorsal premotor cortex. Conclusions The present results suggest that the ventral and dorsal premotor cortex adopt differential roles during action observation depending on the level of motor expertise and the viewpoint. PMID:20673366

  2. Action-effect congruence during observational learning leads to faster action sequence learning.

    PubMed

    Horvath, Jared C; Gray, Zachary; Schilberg, Lukas; Vidrin, Ilya; Pascual-Leone, Alvaro

    2015-01-01

    Common coding theory suggests that any action (pressing a piano key) is intimately linked with its resultant sensory effect (an auditory musical tone). We conducted two experiments to explore the effect of varying auditory action-effect patterns during complex action learning. In Experiment 1, participants were assigned to 1 of 4 groups, watched a silent video of a hand playing a sequence on a piano keyboard with no auditory action effect (observation) and were asked to practise and perform the sequence on an identical keyboard with varying action effects (reproduction). During reproduction, Group 1 heard no auditory tones (identical to observed video), Group 2 heard typical scale-ascending piano tones with each key press, Group 3 heard fixed but out-of-sequence piano tones with each key press, and Group 4 heard random piano tones with each key press. In Experiment two, new participants were assigned to 1 of 2 groups and watched an identical video; however, the video in this experiment contained typical, scale-ascending piano sounds. During reproduction, Group 1 heard no auditory tones while Group 2 heard typical, scale-ascending piano tones with each key press (identical to observed video). Our results showed that participants whose action-effect patterns during reproduction matched those in the observed video learned the action sequence faster than participants whose action-effect patterns during reproduction differed from those in the observed video. Additionally, our results suggest that adding an effect during reproduction (when one is absent during observation) is somewhat more detrimental to action sequence learning than removing an effect during reproduction (when one is present during observation).

  3. Action observation and robotic agents: learning and anthropomorphism.

    PubMed

    Press, Clare

    2011-05-01

    The 'action observation network' (AON), which is thought to translate observed actions into motor codes required for their execution, is biologically tuned: it responds more to observation of human, than non-human, movement. This biological specificity has been taken to support the hypothesis that the AON underlies various social functions, such as theory of mind and action understanding, and that, when it is active during observation of non-human agents like humanoid robots, it is a sign of ascription of human mental states to these agents. This review will outline evidence for biological tuning in the AON, examining the features which generate it, and concluding that there is evidence for tuning to both the form and kinematic profile of observed movements, and little evidence for tuning to belief about stimulus identity. It will propose that a likely reason for biological tuning is that human actions, relative to non-biological movements, have been observed more frequently while executing corresponding actions. If the associative hypothesis of the AON is correct, and the network indeed supports social functioning, sensorimotor experience with non-human agents may help us to predict, and therefore interpret, their movements.

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

    PubMed

    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

  5. 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

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

    PubMed

    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.

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

    PubMed

    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

  8. 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

  9. 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…

  10. The effect of action video game playing on sensorimotor learning: Evidence from a movement tracking task.

    PubMed

    Gozli, Davood G; Bavelier, Daphne; Pratt, Jay

    2014-10-12

    Research on the impact of action video game playing has revealed performance advantages on a wide range of perceptual and cognitive tasks. It is not known, however, if playing such games confers similar advantages in sensorimotor learning. To address this issue, the present study used a manual motion-tracking task that allowed for a sensitive measure of both accuracy and improvement over time. When the target motion pattern was consistent over trials, gamers improved with a faster rate and eventually outperformed non-gamers. Performance between the two groups, however, did not differ initially. When the target motion was inconsistent, changing on every trial, results revealed no difference between gamers and non-gamers. Together, our findings suggest that video game playing confers no reliable benefit in sensorimotor control, but it does enhance sensorimotor learning, enabling superior performance in tasks with consistent and predictable structure.

  11. The effect of action video game playing on sensorimotor learning: Evidence from a movement tracking task.

    PubMed

    Gozli, Davood G; Bavelier, Daphne; Pratt, Jay

    2014-10-12

    Research on the impact of action video game playing has revealed performance advantages on a wide range of perceptual and cognitive tasks. It is not known, however, if playing such games confers similar advantages in sensorimotor learning. To address this issue, the present study used a manual motion-tracking task that allowed for a sensitive measure of both accuracy and improvement over time. When the target motion pattern was consistent over trials, gamers improved with a faster rate and eventually outperformed non-gamers. Performance between the two groups, however, did not differ initially. When the target motion was inconsistent, changing on every trial, results revealed no difference between gamers and non-gamers. Together, our findings suggest that video game playing confers no reliable benefit in sensorimotor control, but it does enhance sensorimotor learning, enabling superior performance in tasks with consistent and predictable structure. PMID:25318081

  12. 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.

  13. 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. PMID:24474942

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Both novelty and expertise increase action observation network activity.

    PubMed

    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.

  18. The combined effects of action observation and passive proprioceptive training on adaptive motor learning.

    PubMed

    Lei, Yuming; Bao, Shancheng; Wang, Jinsung

    2016-09-01

    Sensorimotor adaptation can be induced by action observation, and also by passive training. Here, we investigated the effect of a protocol that combined action observation and passive training on visuomotor adaptation, by comparing it with the effect of action observation or passive training alone. Subjects were divided into five conditions during the training session: (1) action observation, in which the subjects watched a video of a model who adapted to a novel visuomotor rotation; (2) proprioceptive training, in which the subject's arm was moved passively to target locations that were associated with desired trajectories; (3) combined training, in which the subjects watched the video of a model during a half of the session and experienced passive movements during the other half; (4) active training, in which the subjects adapted actively to the rotation; and (5) a control condition, in which the subjects did not perform any task. Following that session, all subjects adapted to the same visuomotor rotation. Results showed that the subjects in the combined training condition adapted to the rotation significantly better than those in the observation or proprioceptive training condition, although their performance was not as good as that of those who adapted actively. These findings suggest that although a protocol that combines action observation and passive training consists of all the processes involved in active training (error detection and correction, effector-specific and proprioceptively based reaching movements), these processes in that protocol may work differently as compared to a protocol in which the same processes are engaged actively.

  19. The Effect of Action Experience on Sensorimotor EEG Rhythms during Action Observation

    PubMed Central

    Quandt, Lorna C.; Marshall, Peter J.

    2014-01-01

    A recent line of inquiry has examined how an observer’s experience with action changes the neural processing of similar actions when they are subsequently observed. The current study used electroencephalography (EEG) to test the hypothesis that giving participants different types and amounts of experience with specific objects would lead to differential patterns of sensorimotor rhythms during the observation of similar actions on those objects. While EEG was recorded, three groups of participants (n = 20 in each group; mean age = 22.0 years, SD = 2.7) watched video clips of an actor reaching, grasping, and lifting two objects. Participants then received information about differences in weight between the two objects. One group gained this information through extended sensorimotor experience with the objects, a second group received much briefer sensorimotor experience with the objects, and the third group read written information about the objects’ weights. Participants then viewed the action sequences again. For participants who had sensorimotor experience with the objects, the EEG response to viewing the actions was differentially sensitive to the anticipated weight of the objects. We conclude that this sensitivity was based on the participant’s prior sensorimotor experience with the objects. The participants who only received semantic information about the objects showed no such effects. The primary conclusion is that even brief experience with actions affects sensorimotor cortex activity during the subsequent observation of similar actions. PMID:24568874

  20. Mirror neurons encode the subjective value of an observed action.

    PubMed

    Caggiano, Vittorio; Fogassi, Leonardo; Rizzolatti, Giacomo; Casile, Antonino; Giese, Martin A; Thier, Peter

    2012-07-17

    Objects grasped by an agent have a value not only for the acting agent, but also for an individual observing the grasping act. The value that the observer attributes to the object that is grasped can be pivotal for selecting a possible behavioral response. Mirror neurons in area F5 of the monkey premotor cortex have been suggested to play a crucial role in the understanding of action goals. However, it has not been addressed if these neurons are also involved in representing the value of the grasped object. Here we report that observation-related neuronal responses of F5 mirror neurons are indeed modulated by the value that the monkey associates with the grasped object. These findings suggest that during action observation F5 mirror neurons have access to key information needed to shape the behavioral responses of the observer.

  1. Mirror neurons encode the subjective value of an observed action

    PubMed Central

    Caggiano, Vittorio; Fogassi, Leonardo; Rizzolatti, Giacomo; Casile, Antonino; Giese, Martin A.; Thier, Peter

    2012-01-01

    Objects grasped by an agent have a value not only for the acting agent, but also for an individual observing the grasping act. The value that the observer attributes to the object that is grasped can be pivotal for selecting a possible behavioral response. Mirror neurons in area F5 of the monkey premotor cortex have been suggested to play a crucial role in the understanding of action goals. However, it has not been addressed if these neurons are also involved in representing the value of the grasped object. Here we report that observation-related neuronal responses of F5 mirror neurons are indeed modulated by the value that the monkey associates with the grasped object. These findings suggest that during action observation F5 mirror neurons have access to key information needed to shape the behavioral responses of the observer. PMID:22753471

  2. The joint role of trained, untrained, and observed actions at the origins of goal recognition.

    PubMed

    Gerson, Sarah A; Woodward, Amanda L

    2014-02-01

    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.

  3. The joint role of trained, untrained, and observed actions at the origins of goal recognition.

    PubMed

    Gerson, Sarah A; Woodward, Amanda L

    2014-02-01

    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

  4. Imitation and observational learning of hand actions: prefrontal involvement and connectivity.

    PubMed

    Higuchi, S; Holle, H; Roberts, N; Eickhoff, S B; Vogt, S

    2012-01-16

    The first aim of this event-related fMRI study was to identify the neural circuits involved in imitation learning. We used a rapid imitation task where participants directly imitated pictures of guitar chords. The results provide clear evidence for the involvement of dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, as well as the fronto-parietal mirror circuit (FPMC) during action imitation when the requirements for working memory are low. Connectivity analyses further indicated a robust connectivity between left prefrontal cortex and the components of the FPMC bilaterally. We conclude that a mechanism of automatic perception-action matching alone is insufficient to account for imitation learning. Rather, the motor representation of an observed, complex action, as provided by the FPMC, only serves as the 'raw material' for higher-order supervisory and monitoring operations associated with the prefrontal cortex. The second aim of this study was to assess whether these neural circuits are also recruited during observational practice (OP, without motor execution), or only during physical practice (PP). Whereas prefrontal cortex was not consistently activated in action observation across all participants, prefrontal activation intensities did predict the behavioural practice effects, thus indicating a crucial role of prefrontal cortex also in OP. In addition, whilst OP and PP produced similar activation intensities in the FPMC when assessed during action observation, during imitative execution, the practice-related activation decreases were significantly more pronounced for PP than for OP. This dissociation indicates a lack of execution-related resources in observationally practised actions. More specifically, we found neural efficiency effects in the right motor cingulate-basal ganglia circuit and the FPMC that were only observed after PP but not after OP. Finally, we confirmed that practice generally induced activation decreases in the FPMC during both action observation and

  5. 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. PMID:26151605

  6. 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. PMID:24880223

  7. A common coding framework in self-other interaction: evidence from joint action task.

    PubMed

    Tsai, Chia-Chin; Kuo, Wen-Jui; Jing, Jung-Tai; Hung, Daisy L; Tzeng, Ovid J-L

    2006-11-01

    Many of our actions are influenced by the social context. Traditional approach attributes the influence of the social context to arousal state changes in a socially promotive way. The ideomotor approach, which postulates common coding between perceived events and intended actions, uses a conceptual scheme of ideomotor compatibility to explain self-other interaction. In this study, we recorded reaction times (RTs) and event-related potentials in a Go/NoGo task with stimulus-response (S-R) compatibility arrangement to examine how the social context affects self-other interaction. Although the social facilitation theory predicted that RTs would be faster when acting together with audience rather than acting alone, the ideomotor theory predicted S-R compatibility effects only for the joint condition. The results revealed S-R compatibility on the RTs, lateralized readiness potential of the Go trials, and P3 of the NoGo trials in the joint condition, which were in line with the predictions of the ideomotor theory. Owing to the anticipation of other's actions, self and other's actions are internally and unintentionally coded at the representational level and their functional equivalency can be realized through a common coding framework between perception and action systems. Social facilitation theory was not supported, because we found no significant data differences depending on the setting. PMID:16799815

  8. 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.

  9. Gaze behavior when learning to link sequential action phases in a manual task.

    PubMed

    Säfström, Daniel; Johansson, Roland S; Flanagan, J Randall

    2014-04-02

    Most manual tasks comprise a sequence of action phases. Skill acquisition in such tasks involves a transition from reactive control, whereby motor commands for the next phase are triggered by sensory events signaling completion of the current phase, to predictive control, whereby commands for the next phase are launched in anticipation of these events. Here we investigated gaze behavior associated with such learning. Participants moved a cursor to successively acquire visual targets, as quickly as possible, by actively keeping the cursor within the target zone (hold phase) for a required duration, before moving to the next target (transport phase). Distinct visual and auditory events marked completion of each phase and, with learning, the launching of the transport phase shifted from being reactively to predictively controlled. Initially, gaze was directed to the current target throughout the hold phase, allowing visual feedback control of the cursor position, and shifted to the next target in synchrony with the cursor. However, with learning, two distinct gaze behaviors emerged. Gaze either shifted to the next target well before the end of the hold phase, facilitating planning of the forthcoming cursor movement, or shifted to the next target after the cursor, enabling cursor exits to be monitored in central vision. These results suggest that, with learning, gaze behavior changes to support evolving task demands, and that people distribute different gaze behaviors across repetitions of the task.

  10. Constraining the noncommutative spectral action via astrophysical observations.

    PubMed

    Nelson, William; Ochoa, Joseph; Sakellariadou, Mairi

    2010-09-01

    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.

  11. 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

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

    PubMed

    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.

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

    PubMed

    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

  14. 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

  15. Observed actions affect body-specific associations between space and valence.

    PubMed

    de la Fuente, Juanma; Casasanto, Daniel; Santiago, Julio

    2015-03-01

    Right-handers tend to associate "good" with the right side of space and "bad" with the left. This implicit association appears to arise from the way people perform actions, more or less fluently, with their right and left hands. Here we tested whether observing manual actions performed with greater or lesser fluency can affect observers' space-valence associations. In two experiments, we assigned one participant (the actor) to perform a bimanual fine motor task while another participant (the observer) watched. Actors were assigned to wear a ski glove on either the right or left hand, which made performing the actions on this side of space disfluent. In Experiment 1, observers stood behind the actors, sharing their spatial perspective. After motor training, both actors and observers tended to associate "good" with the side of the actors' free hand and "bad" with the side of the gloved hand. To determine whether observers' space-valence associations were computed from their own perspectives or the actors', in Experiment 2 we asked the observer to stand face-to-face with the actor, reversing their spatial perspectives. After motor training, both actors and observers associated "good" with the side of space where disfluent actions had occurred from their own egocentric spatial perspectives; if "good" was associated with the actor's right-hand side it was likely to be associated with the observer's left-hand side. Results show that vicarious experiences of motor fluency can shape valence judgments, and that observers spontaneously encode the locations of fluent and disfluent actions in egocentric spatial coordinates.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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. PMID:26858673

  19. 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

  20. 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.; 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 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

  1. 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.

  2. EEG and behavioural correlates of different forms of motor imagery during action observation in rhythmical actions.

    PubMed

    Eaves, D L; Behmer, L P; Vogt, S

    2016-07-01

    Recent studies show that participants can engage in motor imagery (MI) and action observation (AO) simultaneously (AO+MI), indicating a capacity for dual action simulation. Here we studied the electrophysiological correlates and behavioural outcomes of two forms of AO+MI, along with pure MI and pure AO control conditions. In synchronised AO+MI, participants imagined performing a rhythmical action in synchrony with an observed distractor action. In contrast in static AO+MI, where the imagery served to conflict with AO, participants imagined holding a static hand posture during AO. Following synchronised AO+MI, rhythmical execution was strongly biased toward the cycle time of the previously observed rhythm ('imitation bias'), whereas a weaker bias was found following pure MI, and particularly for static AO+MI. In line with these findings, event-related desynchronisation (ERD) in primary sensorimotor and parietal regions was more pronounced in synchronised AO+MI compared to both pure AO and pure MI. These ERD amplitudes were, however, highly similar for static and synchronised AO+MI; suggesting that, regardless of co-represented content, both AO+MI states produced stronger motor activations than single action simulation. In contrast, synchronised AO+MI produced significantly stronger ERD in rostral prefrontal cortex compared to the other three conditions. This specific rostral prefrontal involvement most likely reflected additional cognitive processing for aligning dual action simulations. Together these results provide an important empirical validation of different AO+MI states, in that the imitation bias was strongly modulated by the content of the AO+MI instructions, and that synchronised AO+MI produced stronger behavioural and neurophysiological effects compared to pure AO or MI. PMID:27266395

  3. When co-action eliminates the Simon effect: disentangling the impact of co-actor's presence and task sharing on joint-task performance.

    PubMed

    Sellaro, Roberta; Treccani, Barbara; Rubichi, Sandro; Cubelli, Roberto

    2013-01-01

    This study aimed at assessing whether the mere belief of performing a task with another person, who is in charge of the complementary part of the task, is sufficient for the so-called joint Simon effect to occur. In all three experiments of the study, participants sat alone in a room and underwent two consecutive Go/NoGo tasks that were identical except for the instructions. In Experiment 1, participants performed the task first individually (baseline task), and then either co-acting with another person who responded from an unknown location to the NoGo stimuli (joint task) or imaging themselves responding to the NoGo stimuli (imaginative task). Relative to the baseline, the instructions of the imaginative task made the Simon effect occur, while those of the joint task were ineffective in eliciting the effect. This result suggests that sharing a task with a person who is known to be in charge of the complementary task, but is not physically present, is not sufficient to induce the representation of an alternative response able to produce interference, which happens instead when the instructions explicitly require to imagine such a response. Interestingly, we observed that when the Simon effect was already present in the baseline task (i.e., when the response alternative to the Go response was represented in the individual task due to non-social factors), it disappeared in the joint task. We propose that, when no information about the co-actor's position is available, the division of labor between the participant and co-actor allows participants to filter out the possible (incidental) representation of the alternative response from their task representation, thus eliminating potential sources of interference. This account is supported by the results of Experiments 2 and 3 and suggests that under certain circumstances task-sharing may reduce the interference produced by the irrelevant information, rather than increase it.

  4. When co-action eliminates the Simon effect: disentangling the impact of co-actor's presence and task sharing on joint-task performance

    PubMed Central

    Sellaro, Roberta; Treccani, Barbara; Rubichi, Sandro; Cubelli, Roberto

    2013-01-01

    This study aimed at assessing whether the mere belief of performing a task with another person, who is in charge of the complementary part of the task, is sufficient for the so-called joint Simon effect to occur. In all three experiments of the study, participants sat alone in a room and underwent two consecutive Go/NoGo tasks that were identical except for the instructions. In Experiment 1, participants performed the task first individually (baseline task), and then either co-acting with another person who responded from an unknown location to the NoGo stimuli (joint task) or imaging themselves responding to the NoGo stimuli (imaginative task). Relative to the baseline, the instructions of the imaginative task made the Simon effect occur, while those of the joint task were ineffective in eliciting the effect. This result suggests that sharing a task with a person who is known to be in charge of the complementary task, but is not physically present, is not sufficient to induce the representation of an alternative response able to produce interference, which happens instead when the instructions explicitly require to imagine such a response. Interestingly, we observed that when the Simon effect was already present in the baseline task (i.e., when the response alternative to the Go response was represented in the individual task due to non-social factors), it disappeared in the joint task. We propose that, when no information about the co-actor's position is available, the division of labor between the participant and co-actor allows participants to filter out the possible (incidental) representation of the alternative response from their task representation, thus eliminating potential sources of interference. This account is supported by the results of Experiments 2 and 3 and suggests that under certain circumstances task-sharing may reduce the interference produced by the irrelevant information, rather than increase it. PMID:24312066

  5. 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

  6. 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…

  7. Observing Pair-Work Task in an English Speaking Class

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Achmad, Diana; Yusuf, Yunisrina Qismullah

    2014-01-01

    This paper reports on students' pair-work interactions to develop their speaking skills in an ELT classroom which consisted of international learners. A number of 16 learners of intermediate proficiency with IELTS score band 5.5 were observed. The teacher had paired those he considered among them to be the more competent ones (hereafter, stronger)…

  8. 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

  9. 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. PMID:27601983

  10. 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.

  11. 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... report on progress by Federal agencies in accomplishing activities outlined in A Public Health Action... (AR) in recognition of the increasing importance of AR as a public health threat. The Task Force is...

  12. Why do dogs (Canis familiaris) select the empty container in an observational learning task?

    PubMed

    Kupán, Krisztina; Miklósi, Ádám; Gergely, György; Topál, József

    2011-03-01

    Many argue that dogs show unique susceptibility to human communicative signals that make them suitable for being engaged in complex co-operation with humans. It has also been revealed that socially provided information is particularly effective in influencing the behaviour of dogs even when the human's action demonstration conveys inefficient or mistaken solution of task. It is unclear, however, how the communicative nature of the demonstration context and the presence of the human demonstrator affect the dogs' object-choice behaviour in observational learning situations. In order to unfold the effects of these factors, 76 adult pet dogs could observe a communicative or a non-communicative demonstration in which the human retrieved a tennis ball from under an opaque container while manipulating another distant and obviously empty (transparent) one. Subjects were then allowed to choose either in the presence of the demonstrator or after she left the room. Results showed a significant main effect of the demonstration context (presence or absence of the human's communicative signals), and we also found some evidence for the response-modifying effect of the presence of the human demonstrator during the dogs' choice. That is, dogs predominantly chose the baited container, but if the demonstration context was communicative and the human was present during the dogs' choice, subjects' tendency to select the baited container has been reduced. In agreement with the studies showing sensitivity to human's communicative signals in dogs, these findings point to a special form of social influence in observational learning situations when it comes to learning about causally opaque and less efficient (compared to what comes natural to the dog) action demonstrations.

  13. 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. PMID:24015241

  14. Enhanced Activation of Motor Execution Networks Using Action Observation Combined with Imagination of Lower Limb Movements

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:24015241

  15. 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

  16. Emulating real-life situations with a play task to observe parenting skills and child behaviors.

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

    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 of a video-based parenting program. Participants were 307 mothers and their 3- to 6-year-old children who presented oppositional and disruptive behavior challenges. The validity of the PCPT was investigated by testing (a) the extent to which the tasks elicited 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 2 task-specific behaviors. Mother's 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.

  17. 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

  18. Adaptation of lift forces in object manipulation through action observation.

    PubMed

    Reichelt, Andreas F; Ash, Alyssa M; Baugh, Lee A; Johansson, Roland S; Flanagan, J Randall

    2013-07-01

    The ability to predict accurately the weights of objects is essential for skilled and dexterous manipulation. A potentially important source of information about object weight is through the observation of other people lifting objects. Here, we tested the hypothesis that when watching an actor lift an object, people naturally learn the object's weight and use this information to scale forces when they subsequently lift the object themselves. Participants repeatedly lifted an object in turn with an actor. Object weight unpredictably changed between 2 and 7 N every 5th to 9th of the actor's lifts, and the weight lifted by the participant always matched that previously lifted by the actor. Even though the participants were uninformed about the structure of the experiment, they appropriately adapted their lifting force in the first trial after a weight change. Thus, participants updated their internal representation about the object's weight, for use in action, when watching a single lift performed by the actor. This ability presumably involves the comparison of predicted and actual sensory information related to actor's actions, a comparison process that is also fundamental in action.

  19. 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…

  20. Sensitivity of the Action Observation Network to Physical and Observational Learning

    PubMed Central

    Cross, Emily S.; Kraemer, David J.M.; de C. Hamilton, Antonia F.; Kelley, William M.

    2009-01-01

    Human motor skills can be acquired by observation without the benefit of immediate physical practice. The current study tested if physical rehearsal and observational learning share common neural substrates within an action observation network (AON) including premotor and inferior parietal regions, that is, areas activated both for execution and observation of similar actions. Participants trained for 5 days on dance sequences set to music videos. Each day they physically rehearsed one set of dance sequences (“danced”), and passively watched a different set of sequences (“watched”). Functional magnetic resonance imaging was obtained prior to and immediately following the 5 days of training. After training, a subset of the AON showed a degree of common activity for observational and physical learning. Activity in these premotor and parietal regions was sustained during observation of sequences that were danced or watched, but declined for unfamiliar sequences relative to the pretraining scan session. These imaging data demonstrate the emergence of action resonance processes in the human brain based on observational learning without physical practice and identify commonalities in the neural substrates for physical and observational learning. PMID:18515297

  1. Sensitivity of the action observation network to physical and observational learning.

    PubMed

    Cross, Emily S; Kraemer, David J M; Hamilton, Antonia F de C; Kelley, William M; Grafton, Scott T

    2009-02-01

    Human motor skills can be acquired by observation without the benefit of immediate physical practice. The current study tested if physical rehearsal and observational learning share common neural substrates within an action observation network (AON) including premotor and inferior parietal regions, that is, areas activated both for execution and observation of similar actions. Participants trained for 5 days on dance sequences set to music videos. Each day they physically rehearsed one set of dance sequences ("danced"), and passively watched a different set of sequences ("watched"). Functional magnetic resonance imaging was obtained prior to and immediately following the 5 days of training. After training, a subset of the AON showed a degree of common activity for observational and physical learning. Activity in these premotor and parietal regions was sustained during observation of sequences that were danced or watched, but declined for unfamiliar sequences relative to the pretraining scan session. These imaging data demonstrate the emergence of action resonance processes in the human brain based on observational learning without physical practice and identify commonalities in the neural substrates for physical and observational learning.

  2. Multiple roles of motor imagery during action observation

    PubMed Central

    Vogt, Stefan; Di Rienzo, Franck; Collet, Christian; Collins, Alan; Guillot, Aymeric

    2013-01-01

    Over the last 20 years, the topics of action observation (AO) and motor imagery (MI) have been largely studied in isolation from each other, despite the early integrative account by Jeannerod (1994, 2001). Recent neuroimaging studies demonstrate enhanced cortical activity when AO and MI are performed concurrently (“AO+MI”), compared to either AO or MI performed in isolation. These results indicate the potentially beneficial effects of AO+MI, and they also demonstrate that the underlying neurocognitive processes are partly shared. We separately review the evidence for MI and AO as forms of motor simulation, and present two quantitative literature analyses that indeed indicate rather little overlap between the two bodies of research. We then propose a spectrum of concurrent AO+MI states, from congruent AO+MI where the contents of AO and MI widely overlap, over coordinative AO+MI, where observed and imagined action are different but can be coordinated with each other, to cases of conflicting AO+MI. We believe that an integrative account of AO and MI is theoretically attractive, that it should generate novel experimental approaches, and that it can also stimulate a wide range of applications in sport, occupational therapy, and neurorehabilitation. PMID:24324428

  3. Conceptual response distance and intervening keys distinguish action goals in the Stroop color-identification task.

    PubMed

    Chen, Jing; Proctor, Robert W

    2014-10-01

    In previous studies, a physical response-distance effect was found in the two-choice Stroop color-identification task, with the Stroop effect being larger when the two response keys were physically close together than when they were far apart. In the present study, we found a conceptual response-distance effect, with the Stroop effect being larger when the response keys were conceptually close (labeled as "5" and "6") than when they were conceptually far (labeled as "1" and "9"). Moreover, a response-distance effect due to pure physical distance was not evident; rather, the effect was found only when additional keys were placed between the two far response keys. These results are in agreement with a view that response keys are coded as action goals, with farther conceptual distance and additional keys helping distinguish the action goals. The results are difficult to reconcile with accounts that place emphasis on the physical separation of the effectors or their inanimate extensions.

  4. 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

  5. Dissecting children's observational learning of complex actions through selective video displays.

    PubMed

    Flynn, Emma; Whiten, Andrew

    2013-10-01

    Children can learn how to use complex objects by watching others, yet the relative importance of different elements they may observe, such as the interactions of the individual parts of the apparatus, a model's movements, and desirable outcomes, remains unclear. In total, 140 3-year-olds and 140 5-year-olds participated in a study where they observed a video showing tools being used to extract a reward item from a complex puzzle box. Conditions varied according to the elements that could be seen in the video: (a) the whole display, including the model's hands, the tools, and the box; (b) the tools and the box but not the model's hands; (c) the model's hands and the tools but not the box; (d) only the end state with the box opened; and (e) no demonstration. Children's later attempts at the task were coded to establish whether they imitated the hierarchically organized sequence of the model's actions, the action details, and/or the outcome. Children's successful retrieval of the reward from the box and the replication of hierarchical sequence information were reduced in all but the whole display condition. Only once children had attempted the task and witnessed a second demonstration did the display focused on the tools and box prove to be better for hierarchical sequence information than the display focused on the tools and hands only.

  6. 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.

  7. Uncovering the connection between artist and audience: viewing painted brushstrokes evokes corresponding action representations in the observer.

    PubMed

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

    2012-10-01

    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 claim. Five experiments are described wherein participants executed arm movements resembling the act of painting horizontal brushstrokes while observing paintings featuring broad, discernable brushstrokes. Participants responded faster when their movement was compatible with the observed brushstrokes, even though the paintings were irrelevant to their task. Additional results suggest that this effect occurs outside of awareness. These results provide evidence that observers can simulate the actions of the painter by simply observing the painting, revealing a connection between artist and audience hitherto undemonstrated by cognitive science.

  8. Action semantics and movement characteristics engage distinct processing streams during the observation of tool use.

    PubMed

    Hoeren, Markus; Kaller, Christoph P; Glauche, Volkmar; Vry, Magnus-Sebastian; Rijntjes, Michel; Hamzei, Farsin; Weiller, Cornelius

    2013-08-01

    The cortical motor system follows a modular organization in which different features of executed movements are supported by distinct streams. Accordingly, different levels of action recognition, such as movement characteristics or action semantics may be processed within distinct networks. The present study aimed to differentiate areas related to the analysis of action features involving semantic knowledge from regions concerned with the evaluation of movement characteristics determined by structural object properties. To this end, the assessment of (i) tool-associated actions in relation to semantically, but not functionally inappropriate recipients (factor "Semantics"), and the evaluation of (ii) tool-associated movements performed with awkward versus correct hand postures (factor "Hand") were experimentally manipulated in an fMRI study with an event-related 2 × 2 factorial design. The videos used as stimuli displayed actions performed with the right hand in third-person perspective. Conjunction analysis of all four experimental conditions showed that observing videos depicting tool-related actions compared to rest was associated with widespread bilateral activity within the frontal lobes, inferior and superior parietal lobules, parts of the temporal lobes, as well as the occipital lobes. Viewing actions executed with incorrect compared to correct hand postures (factor "Hand") elicited significantly more activity within right primary sensory cortex (Brodmann area 2) and superior parietal lobule. Conversely, tool-associated actions displayed after semantically incorrect compared to correct recipients elicited higher activation within a left-lateralized network comprising the ventro-lateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC), parts of the intraparietal sulcus and the angular gyrus (AG), as well as the supplementary motor area (SMA) and pre-SMA. Probabilistic diffusion tensor imaging-based tractography revealed two distinct fiber connections between AG and the frontal

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Task-dependent calibration of auditory spatial perception through environmental visual observation.

    PubMed

    Tonelli, Alessia; Brayda, Luca; Gori, Monica

    2015-01-01

    Visual information is paramount to space perception. Vision influences auditory space estimation. Many studies show that simultaneous visual and auditory cues improve precision of the final multisensory estimate. However, the amount or the temporal extent of visual information, that is sufficient to influence auditory perception, is still unknown. It is therefore interesting to know if vision can improve auditory precision through a short-term environmental observation preceding the audio task and whether this influence is task-specific or environment-specific or both. To test these issues we investigate possible improvements of acoustic precision with sighted blindfolded participants in two audio tasks [minimum audible angle (MAA) and space bisection] and two acoustically different environments (normal room and anechoic room). With respect to a baseline of auditory precision, we found an improvement of precision in the space bisection task but not in the MAA after the observation of a normal room. No improvement was found when performing the same task in an anechoic chamber. In addition, no difference was found between a condition of short environment observation and a condition of full vision during the whole experimental session. Our results suggest that even short-term environmental observation can calibrate auditory spatial performance. They also suggest that echoes can be the cue that underpins visual calibration. Echoes may mediate the transfer of information from the visual to the auditory system. PMID:26082692

  12. 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

  13. Observing accidental and intentional unusual actions is associated with different subregions of the medial frontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Desmet, Charlotte; Brass, Marcel

    2015-11-15

    The literature on action observation revealed contradictory results regarding the activation of different subregions of the medial prefrontal cortex when observing unusual behaviour. Error observation research has shown that the posterior part of the medial prefrontal cortex is more active when observing unusual behaviour compared to usual behaviour while action understanding research has revealed some mixed results concerning the role of the anterior part of the medial prefrontal cortex during the observation of unusual actions. Here, we resolve this discrepancy in the literature by showing that different parts of the medial prefrontal cortex are active depending on whether an observed unusual behaviour is intentional or not. While the posterior medial prefrontal cortex is more active when we observe unusual accidental actions compared to unusual intentional actions, a more anterior part of the medial prefrontal cortex is more active when we observe unusual intentional actions compared to unusual accidental actions.

  14. Working memory modulates neural efficiency over motor components during a novel action planning task: an EEG study.

    PubMed

    Behmer, Lawrence P; Fournier, Lisa R

    2014-03-01

    Research shows neural efficiency of motor-related activity based on learning and expertise in a specific domain (e.g., guitar playing, sharp-shooting or a sport). However, it is unknown whether neural efficiency of motor-related activity, underlying action planning and maintenance, can be modulated by general cognitive ability alone. This study examined whether working memory span can influence motor-related neural activity during a novel motor task. Participants were divided into low- and high-span working memory groups based on their scores in an operation span task. Afterwards, participants learned different sequences of button responses corresponding to different abstract stimuli. The task required participants to briefly maintain an action plan in working memory to a stimulus that they would execute after responding to a subsequent stimulus. We used EEG to record changes in event related power in the mu- and beta-bands in left and right motor components during the interval where participants planned and maintained an action in working memory. Results showed decreases in mu- and beta-event related power for low-span participants and increases in mu- and beta-event related power for high-span participants over the left motor cluster while maintaining an action plan in working memory. Also, high-span participants were faster and more accurate in the task than low-span participants. This suggests that neural efficiency during a novel motor task can be influenced by working memory span, and that such differences are localized to the motor system. PMID:24291024

  15. 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…

  16. 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.

  17. 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. PMID:23365522

  18. 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

  19. 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…

  20. A News Game Called TRIO: A Task for Reporting, Interviewing and Observing.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Talbott, Albert D.; And Others

    The reason for creating the Task for Reporting, Interviewing, and Observing (TRIO) was to make selective perception and metaphoric transformation come alive for students. This paper includes the experiences in designing, implementing, and trying out the exercise, a description of the exercise, a summary of the participants' play, and suggestions…

  1. Beyond motor scheme: a supramodal distributed representation in the action-observation network.

    PubMed

    Ricciardi, Emiliano; Handjaras, Giacomo; Bonino, Daniela; Vecchi, Tomaso; Fadiga, Luciano; Pietrini, Pietro

    2013-01-01

    The representation of actions within the action-observation network is thought to rely on a distributed functional organization. Furthermore, recent findings indicate that the action-observation network encodes not merely the observed motor act, but rather a representation that is independent from a specific sensory modality or sensory experience. In the present study, we wished to determine to what extent this distributed and 'more abstract' representation of action is truly supramodal, i.e. shares a common coding across sensory modalities. To this aim, a pattern recognition approach was employed to analyze neural responses in sighted and congenitally blind subjects during visual and/or auditory presentation of hand-made actions. Multivoxel pattern analyses-based classifiers discriminated action from non-action stimuli across sensory conditions (visual and auditory) and experimental groups (blind and sighted). Moreover, these classifiers labeled as 'action' the pattern of neural responses evoked during actual motor execution. Interestingly, discriminative information for the action/non action classification was located in a bilateral, but left-prevalent, network that strongly overlaps with brain regions known to form the action-observation network and the human mirror system. The ability to identify action features with a multivoxel pattern analyses-based classifier in both sighted and blind individuals and independently from the sensory modality conveying the stimuli clearly supports the hypothesis of a supramodal, distributed functional representation of actions, mainly within the action-observation network.

  2. On the Relations between Action Planning, Object Identification, and Motor Representations of Observed Actions and Objects

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vainio, Lari; Symes, Ed; Ellis, Rob; Tucker, Mike; Ottoboni, Giovanni

    2008-01-01

    Recent evidence suggests that viewing a static prime object (a hand grasp), can activate action representations that affect the subsequent identification of graspable target objects. The present study explored whether stronger effects on target object identification would occur when the prime object (a hand grasp) was made more action-rich and…

  3. 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. PMID:27505096

  4. 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.

  5. Task-Specific Stability of Multi-Finger Steady-State Action

    PubMed Central

    Reschechtko, Sasha; Zatsiorsky, Vladimir M.; Latash, Mark L.

    2016-01-01

    We explored task-specific stability during accurate multi-finger force production tasks with different numbers of instructed fingers. Subjects performed steady-state isometric force production tasks and were instructed “not to interfere voluntarily” with transient lifting-and-lowering perturbations applied to the index finger. The main results were: (1) Inter-trial variance in the space of finger modes at steady states was larger within the subspace that had no effect on the total force (the uncontrolled manifold, UCM); (2) Perturbations caused large deviations of finger modes within the UCM (motor equivalence); and (3) Deviations caused by the perturbation showed larger variance within the UCM. No significant effects of the number of task fingers were noted in any of the three indicators. The results are discussed within the frameworks of the UCM and referent configuration hypotheses. We conclude, in particular, that all the tasks were effectively four-finger tasks with different involvement of task and non-task fingers. PMID:25565327

  6. 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.

  7. Gender differences in non-standard mapping tasks: A kinematic study using pantomimed reach-to-grasp actions.

    PubMed

    Copley-Mills, Freya; Connolly, Jason D; Cavina-Pratesi, Cristiana

    2016-09-01

    Comparison between real and pantomimed actions is used in neuroscience to dissociate stimulus-driven (real) as compared to internally driven (pantomimed) visuomotor transformations, with the goal of testing models of vision (Milner & Goodale, 1995) and diagnosing neuropsychological deficits (apraxia syndrome). Real actions refer to an overt movement directed toward a visible target whereas pantomimed actions refer to an overt movement directed either toward an object that is no longer available. Although similar, real and pantomimed actions differ in their kinematic parameters and in their neural substrates. Pantomimed-reach-to-grasp-actions show reduced reaching velocities, higher wrist movements, and reduced grip apertures. In addition, seminal neuropsychological studies and recent neuroimaging findings confirmed that real and pantomimed actions are underpinned by separate brain networks. Although previous literature suggests differences in the praxis system between males and females, no research to date has investigated whether or not gender differences exist in the context of real versus pantomimed reach-to-grasp actions. We asked ten male and ten female participants to perform real and pantomimed reach-to-grasp actions toward objects of different sizes, either with or without visual feedback. During pantomimed actions participants were required to pick up an imaginary object slightly offset relative to the location of the real one (which was in turn the target of the real reach-to-grasp actions). Results demonstrate a significant difference between the kinematic parameters recorded in male and female participants performing pantomimed, but not real reach-to-grasp tasks, depending on the availability of visual feedback. With no feedback both males and females showed smaller grip aperture, slower movement velocity and lower reach height. Crucially, these same differences were abolished when visual feedback was available in male, but not in female participants

  8. Beyond Motor Scheme: A Supramodal Distributed Representation in the Action-Observation Network

    PubMed Central

    Ricciardi, Emiliano; Handjaras, Giacomo; Bonino, Daniela; Vecchi, Tomaso; Fadiga, Luciano; Pietrini, Pietro

    2013-01-01

    The representation of actions within the action-observation network is thought to rely on a distributed functional organization. Furthermore, recent findings indicate that the action-observation network encodes not merely the observed motor act, but rather a representation that is independent from a specific sensory modality or sensory experience. In the present study, we wished to determine to what extent this distributed and ‘more abstract’ representation of action is truly supramodal, i.e. shares a common coding across sensory modalities. To this aim, a pattern recognition approach was employed to analyze neural responses in sighted and congenitally blind subjects during visual and/or auditory presentation of hand-made actions. Multivoxel pattern analyses-based classifiers discriminated action from non-action stimuli across sensory conditions (visual and auditory) and experimental groups (blind and sighted). Moreover, these classifiers labeled as ‘action’ the pattern of neural responses evoked during actual motor execution. Interestingly, discriminative information for the action/non action classification was located in a bilateral, but left-prevalent, network that strongly overlaps with brain regions known to form the action-observation network and the human mirror system. The ability to identify action features with a multivoxel pattern analyses-based classifier in both sighted and blind individuals and independently from the sensory modality conveying the stimuli clearly supports the hypothesis of a supramodal, distributed functional representation of actions, mainly within the action-observation network. PMID:23472216

  9. 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

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

    PubMed

    Wakita, Masumi

    2013-01-01

    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

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

    PubMed

    Wakita, Masumi

    2013-01-01

    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.

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

    PubMed

    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 cm(2) 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  14. Dissociating action inhibition, conflict monitoring and sensory mismatch into independent components of event related potentials in GO/NOGO task.

    PubMed

    Kropotov, Juri D; Ponomarev, Valery A; Hollup, Stig; Mueller, Andreas

    2011-07-15

    The anterior N2 and P3 waves of event related potentials (ERPs) in the GO/NOGO paradigm in trials related to preparatory set violations in previous studies were inconsistently associated either with action inhibition or conflict monitoring operations. In the present study a paired stimulus GO/NOGO design was used in order to experimentally control the preparatory sets. Three variants of the same stimulus task manipulated sensory mismatch, action inhibition and conflict monitoring operations by varying stimulus-response associations. The anterior N2 and P3 waves were decomposed into components by means of independent component analysis (ICA). The ICA was performed on collection of 114 individual ERPs in the three experimental conditions. Three of the independent components were selectively affected by the task manipulations indicating association of these components with sensory mismatch, action inhibition and conflict monitoring operations. According to sLORETA the sensory mismatch component was generated in the left and right temporal areas, the action suppression component was generated in the supplementary motor cortex, and the conflict monitoring component was generated in the anterior cingulate cortex.

  15. 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…

  16. 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.

  17. Task performance on constrained reconstructions: human observer performance compared with suboptimal Bayesian performance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wagner, Robert F.; Myers, Kyle J.; Hanson, Kenneth M.

    1992-06-01

    We have previously described how imaging systems and image reconstruction algorithms can be evaluated on the basis of how well binary-discrimination tasks can be performed by a machine algorithm that `views' the reconstructions. Algorithms used in these investigations have been based on approximations to the ideal observer of Bayesian statistical decision theory. The present work examines the performance of an extended family of such algorithmic observers viewing tomographic images reconstructed from a small number of views using the Cambridge Maximum Entropy software, MEMSYS 3. We investigate the effects on the performance of these observers due to varying the parameter (alpha) ; this parameter controls the stopping point of the iterative reconstruction technique and effectively determines the smoothness of the reconstruction. For the detection task considered here, performance is maximum at the lowest values of (alpha) studied; these values are encountered as one moves toward the limit of maximum likelihood estimation while maintaining the positivity constraint intrinsic to entropic priors. A breakdown in the validity of a Gaussian approximation used by one of the machine algorithms (the posterior probability) was observed in this region. Measurements on human observers performing the same task show that they perform comparably to the best machine observers in the region of highest machine scores, i.e., smallest values of (alpha) . For increasing values of (alpha) , both human and machine observer performance degrade. The falloff in human performance is more rapid than that of the machine observer at the largest values of (alpha) (lowest performance) studied. This behavior is common to all such studies of the so-called psychometric function.

  18. Your mistake is my mistake . . . or is it? Behavioural adjustments following own and observed actions in cooperative and competitive contexts.

    PubMed

    De Bruijn, Ellen R A; Mars, Rogier B; Bekkering, Harold; Coles, Michael G H

    2012-01-01

    A social speeded choice-reaction-time task was used to study adaptive behaviours following own and observed actions (errors and correct responses) in cooperative and competitive contexts. After making an erroneous response, the appropriate remedial action to avoid future errors in speeded reaction tasks is to slow down. Consistent with previous results, people indeed slow down following their own errors. Importantly, people who slow down most following own errors also slow down following observed errors in a cooperative situation. In a competitive context, a different pattern was found. People accelerated after errors from their opponent. The current findings demonstrate that the social context determines the way people respond to the errors of others, indicating that the neural systems that control remedial actions are highly flexible. These systems may underlie social adaptive behaviour, enabling people to respond flexibly to other people's actions in a wide variety of social contexts.

  19. 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…

  20. The interaction between felt touch and tactile consequences of observed actions: an action-based somatosensory congruency paradigm.

    PubMed

    Deschrijver, Eliane; Wiersema, Jan R; Brass, Marcel

    2016-07-01

    Action observation leads to a representation of both the motor aspect of an observed action (motor simulation) and its somatosensory consequences (action-based somatosensory simulation) in the observer's brain. In the current electroencephalography-study, we investigated the neuronal interplay of action-based somatosensory simulation and felt touch. We presented index or middle finger tapping movements of a human or a wooden hand, while simultaneously presenting 'tap-like' tactile sensations to either the corresponding or non-corresponding fingertip of the participant. We focused on an early stage of somatosensory processing [P50, N100 and N140 sensory evoked potentials (SEPs)] and on a later stage of higher-order processing (P3-complex). The results revealed an interaction effect of animacy and congruency in the early P50 SEP and an animacy effect in the N100/N140 SEPs. In the P3-complex, we found an interaction effect indicating that the influence of congruency was larger in the human than in the wooden hand. We argue that the P3-complex may reflect higher-order self-other distinction by signaling simulated action-based touch that does not match own tactile information. As such, the action-based somatosensory congruency paradigm might help understand higher-order social processes from a somatosensory point of view.

  1. The interaction between felt touch and tactile consequences of observed actions: an action-based somatosensory congruency paradigm.

    PubMed

    Deschrijver, Eliane; Wiersema, Jan R; Brass, Marcel

    2016-07-01

    Action observation leads to a representation of both the motor aspect of an observed action (motor simulation) and its somatosensory consequences (action-based somatosensory simulation) in the observer's brain. In the current electroencephalography-study, we investigated the neuronal interplay of action-based somatosensory simulation and felt touch. We presented index or middle finger tapping movements of a human or a wooden hand, while simultaneously presenting 'tap-like' tactile sensations to either the corresponding or non-corresponding fingertip of the participant. We focused on an early stage of somatosensory processing [P50, N100 and N140 sensory evoked potentials (SEPs)] and on a later stage of higher-order processing (P3-complex). The results revealed an interaction effect of animacy and congruency in the early P50 SEP and an animacy effect in the N100/N140 SEPs. In the P3-complex, we found an interaction effect indicating that the influence of congruency was larger in the human than in the wooden hand. We argue that the P3-complex may reflect higher-order self-other distinction by signaling simulated action-based touch that does not match own tactile information. As such, the action-based somatosensory congruency paradigm might help understand higher-order social processes from a somatosensory point of view. PMID:26152577

  2. Influence of Perspective of Action Observation Training on Residual Limb Control in Naïve Prosthesis Usage.

    PubMed

    Lawson, Delisa T; Cusack, William F; Lawson, Regan; Hardy, Ashley; Kistenberg, Robert; Wheaton, Lewis A

    2016-01-01

    Prior work in amputees and partial limb immobilization have shown improved neural and behavioral outcomes in using their residual limb with prosthesis when undergoing observation-based training with a prosthesis-using actor compared to an intact limb. It was posited that these improvements are due to an alignment of user with the actor. It may be affected by visual angles that allow emphasis of critical joint actions which may promote behavioral changes. The purpose of this study was to examine how viewing perspective of observation-based training effects prosthesis adaptation in naïve device users. Twenty nonamputated prosthesis users learned how to use an upper extremity prosthetic device while viewing a training video from either a sagittal or coronal perspective. These views were chosen as they place visual emphasis on different aspects of task performance to the device. The authors found that perspective of actions has a significant role in adaptation of the residual limb while using upper limb prostheses. Perspectives that demonstrate elbow adaptations to prosthesis usage may enhance the functional motor outcomes of action observation therapy. This work has potential implications on how prosthetic device operation is conveyed to persons adapting to prostheses through action observation based therapy. PMID:27253208

  3. 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.

  4. 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…

  5. Responses of the human motor system to observing actions across species: A transcranial magnetic stimulation study.

    PubMed

    White, Nicole C; Reid, Connor; Welsh, Timothy N

    2014-10-22

    Ample evidence suggests that the role of the mirror neuron system (MNS) in monkeys is to represent the meaning of actions. The MNS becomes active in monkeys during execution, observation, and auditory experience of meaningful, object-oriented actions, suggesting that these cells represent the same action based on a variety of cues. The present study sought to determine whether the human motor system, part of the putative human MNS, similarly represents and reflects the meaning of actions rather than simply the mechanics of the actions. To this end, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) of primary motor cortex was used to generate motor-evoked potentials (MEPs) from muscles involved in grasping while participants viewed object-oriented grasping actions performed by either a human, an elephant, a rat, or a body-less robotic arm. The analysis of MEP amplitudes suggested that activity in primary motor cortex during action observation was greatest during observation of the grasping actions of the rat and elephant, and smallest for the human and robotic arm. Based on these data, we conclude that the human action observation system can represent actions executed by non-human animals and shows sensitivity to species-specific differences in action mechanics. PMID:25463135

  6. 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

  7. 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. PMID:27364606

  8. 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

  9. Preparing for Routine Satellite Global Volcano Deformation Observations: The Volcano Deformation Database Task Force

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pritchard, M. E.; Jay, J.; Andrews, B. J.; Cooper, J.; Henderson, S. T.; Delgado, F.; Biggs, J.; Ebmeier, S. K.

    2014-12-01

    Satellite Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) has greatly expanded the number volcanoes that can be monitored for ground deformation - the number of known deforming volcanoes has increased almost five-fold since 1997 (to more than 213 volcanoes in 2014). However, from 1992-2014, there are still gaps in global volcano surveillance and only a fraction of the 1400 subaerial Holocene volcanoes have frequent observations in this time period. Starting in 2014, near global observations of volcano deformation should begin with the Sentinel satellites from the European Space Agency, ALOS-2 from the Japanese Space Agency, and eventually NISAR from the Indian Space Agency and NASA. With more frequent observations, more volcano deformation episodes are sure to be observed, but evaluating the significance of the observed deformation is not always straightforward -- how can we determine if deformation will lead to eruption? To answer this question, an international task force has been formed to create an inventory of volcano deformation events as part of the Global Volcano Model (http://globalvolcanomodel.org/gvm-task-forces/volcano-deformation-database/). We present the first results from our global study focusing on volcanoes that have few or no previous studies. In some cases, there is a lack of SAR data (for example, volcanoes of the South Sandwich Islands). For others, observations either show an absence of deformation or possible deformation that requires more data to be verified. An example of a deforming volcano that has few past studies is Pagan, an island in the Marianas Arc comprised of 2 stratovolcanoes within calderas. Our new InSAR measurements from both the ALOS and Envisat satellites show deformation near the 1981 May VEI 4 lava flow eruption on North Pagan at 2-3 cm/year between 2004-2010. Another example of a newly observed volcano is Karthala volcano in the Comoros. InSAR observations between 2004-2010 span four eruptions, only one of which is

  10. Conscious and unconscious representations of observed actions in the human motor system.

    PubMed

    Mattiassi, Alan D A; Mele, Sonia; Ticini, Luca F; Urgesi, Cosimo

    2014-09-01

    Action observation activates the observer's motor system. These motor resonance responses are automatic and triggered even when the action is only implied in static snapshots. However, it is largely unknown whether an action needs to be consciously perceived to trigger motor resonance. In this study, we used single-pulse TMS to study the facilitation of corticospinal excitability (a measure of motor resonance) during supraliminal and subliminal presentations of implied action images. We used a forward and backward dynamic masking procedure that successfully prevented the conscious perception of prime stimuli depicting a still hand or an implied abduction movement of the index or little finger. The prime was followed by the supraliminal presentation of a still or implied action probe hand. Our results revealed a muscle-specific increase of motor facilitation following observation of the probe hand actions that were consciously perceived as compared with observation of a still hand. Crucially, unconscious perception of prime hand actions presented before probe still hands did not increase motor facilitation as compared with observation of a still hand, suggesting that motor resonance requires perceptual awareness. However, the presentation of a masked prime depicting an action that was incongruent with the probe hand action suppressed motor resonance to the probe action such that comparable motor facilitation was recorded during observation of implied action and still hand probes. This suppression of motor resonance may reflect the processing of action conflicts in areas upstream of the motor cortex and may subserve a basic mechanism for dealing with the multiple and possibly incongruent actions of other individuals. PMID:24666166

  11. 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…

  12. Effects of Brief Imitative Experience on EEG Desynchronization during Action Observation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Marshall, Peter J.; Bouquet, Cedric A.; Shipley, Thomas F.; Young, Thomas

    2009-01-01

    There is a good deal of evidence that observing the actions of other people is associated with activation of the observer's motor system, which may reflect involvement of the mirror neuron system (MNS) in certain aspects of action processing in humans. Furthermore, variation in the extent of this activation appears to be partly dependent on…

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:25717282

  14. Action observation as a tool for neurorehabilitation to moderate motor deficits and aphasia following stroke

    PubMed Central

    Ertelt, Denis; Binkofski, Ferdinand

    2012-01-01

    The mirror neuron system consists of a set of brain areas capable of matching action observation with action execution. One core feature of the mirror neuron system is the activation of motor areas by action observation alone. This unique capacity of the mirror neuron system to match action perception and action execution stimulated the idea that mirror neuron system plays a crucial role in the understanding of the content of observed actions and may participate in procedural learning. These features bear a high potential for neurorehabilitation of motor deficits and of aphasia following stroke. Since the first articles exploring this principle were published, a growing number of follow-up studies have been conducted in the last decade. Though, the combination of action observation with practice of the observed actions seems to constitute the most powerful approach. In the present review, we present the existing studies analyzing the effects of this neurorehabilitative approach in clinical settings especially in the rehabilitation of stroke associated motor deficits and give a perspective on the ongoing trials by our research group. The data obtained up to date showed significant positive effect of action observation on recovery of motor functions of the upper limbs even in the chronic state after stroke, indicating that our approach might become a new standardized add-on feature of modern neurorehabilitative treatment schemes. PMID:25624838

  15. Visual influences on sensorimotor EEG responses during observation of hand actions.

    PubMed

    Drew, Ashley R; Quandt, Lorna C; Marshall, Peter J

    2015-02-01

    There is growing interest within the field of social-cognitive neuroscience in the dynamics of sensorimotor EEG rhythms during the observation of actions performed by others. However, there remain important gaps in the literature regarding the effects of perceptual aspects of the observed hand movements. This study investigated two visual influences on the EEG response to hand actions. Specifically, the perspective of the action in relation to the participant (egocentric/allocentric) was varied and the effect of the hand used to carry out the action (left/right) was also assessed. While EEG was recorded, 28 undergraduate participants observed video clips showing an actor's hand reaching for, grasping, and lifting a cylindrical object across four conditions (right-hand egocentric, left-hand egocentric, right-hand allocentric, and left-hand allocentric). For actions viewed from an egocentric perspective, significantly greater event-related desynchronization (ERD) was present in the 7-9 Hz range over right mid-frontal, right central, and bilateral mid-parietal sites for right-handed actions compared to left-handed actions. In addition, greater ERD was observed within the 7-9 Hz band during the observation of right-handed egocentric actions compared to actions viewed from the allocentric perspective. This finding was present at bilateral central and mid-parietal sites, and emerged as an anticipatory effect prior to the onset of the observed hand movements.

  16. Walking but Not Barking Improves Verb Recovery: Implications for Action Observation Treatment in Aphasia Rehabilitation

    PubMed Central

    Marangolo, Paola; Cipollari, Susanna; Fiori, Valentina; Razzano, Carmela; Caltagirone, Carlo

    2012-01-01

    Recent studies have shown that action observation treatment without concomitant verbal cue has a positive impact on the recovery of verb retrieval deficits in aphasic patients. In agreement with an embodied cognition viewpoint, a hypothesis has been advanced that gestures and language form a single communication system and words whose retrieval is facilitated by gestures are semantically represented through sensory-motor features. However, it is still an open question as to what extent this treatment approach works. Results from the recovery of motor deficits have suggested that action observation promotes motor recovery only for actions that are part of the motor repertoire of the observer. The aim of the present experiment was to further investigate the role of action observation treatment in verb recovery. In particular, we contrasted the effects induced by observing human actions (e.g. dancing, kicking, pointing, eating) versus non human actions (e.g. barking, printing). Seven chronic aphasic patients with a selective deficit in verb retrieval underwent an intensive rehabilitation training that included five daily sessions over two consecutive weeks. Each subject was asked to carefully observe 115 video-clips of actions, one at a time and, after observing them, they had to produce the corresponding verb. Two groups of actions were randomly presented: humans versus nonhuman actions. In all patients, significant improvement in verb retrieval was found only by observing video-clips of human actions. Moreover, follow-up testing revealed long-term verb recovery that was still present two months after the two treatments had ended. In support of the multimodal concept representation's proposal, we suggest that just the observation of actions pertaining to the human motor repertoire is an effective rehabilitation approach for verb recovery. PMID:22719906

  17. 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.

  18. 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,…

  19. 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. PMID:27497836

  20. 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

  1. 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. PMID:26666833

  2. 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…

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Contextual modulation of motor resonance during the observation of everyday actions.

    PubMed

    Amoruso, Lucia; Urgesi, Cosimo

    2016-07-01

    Neuroimaging studies on action observation suggest that context plays a key role in coding high-level components of motor behavior, including the short-term and the end-goal of an action. However, little is known about the possible role of context in shaping lower-levels of action processing such as reading action kinematics and simulating muscular activity. Here, we combined single-pulse TMS and motor-evoked potentials (MEPs) recording to explore whether top-down contextual information is capable of modulating low-level motor representations. We recorded MEPs from FDI and FCR muscles while participants watched videos about everyday actions embedded in congruent, incongruent or ambiguous contexts. Videos were interrupted before action ending, and participants were requested to predict the course of the observed action. A contextual modulation of corticospinal excitability was observed only for the FDI muscle, which is specifically involved in the execution of reaching-to-grasping movements, and whose corticospinal pathway is influenced by the observation of the very same movements. This modulation was reflected in a selective decrease of corticospinal excitability during the observation of actions embedded in incongruent as compared to congruent and ambiguous contexts. These findings indicate that motor resonance is not an entirely automatic process, but it can be modulated by high-level contextual representations.

  6. Approximations to ideal-observer performance on signal-detection tasks.

    PubMed

    Clarkson, E; Barrett, H H

    2000-04-10

    The ideal-observer performance, as measured by the area under the receiver's operating characteristic curve, is computed for six examples of signal-detection tasks. Exact values for this quantity, as well as approximations based on the signal-to-noise ratio of the log likelihood and the likelihood-generating function, are found. The noise models considered are normal, exponential, Poisson, and two-sided exponential. The signal may affect the mean or the variance in each case. It is found that the approximation from the likelihood-generating function tracks well with the exact area, whereas the log-likelihood signal-to-noise approximation can fail badly. The signal-to-noise ratio of the likelihood ratio itself is also computed for each example to demonstrate that it is not a good measure of ideal-observer performance. PMID:18345075

  7. Joint Task Force Andrew: the 44th Medical Brigade mental health staff officer's after action review.

    PubMed

    Holsenbeck, L S

    1994-03-01

    The massive Department of Defense deployment in support of Hurricane Andrew relief cast the military medical departments in a new role. Military medical personnel were challenged to apply the traditional principles of combat medicine to a noncombat environment, within the continental United States, within an existing health care infrastructure, in a role subordinate to local civilian health care agencies. As a medical "subject matter expert" assigned to the Joint Task Force Andrew Surgeon's staff, the author worked at the civil-military interface. The lessons learned in his role as a special staff officer should benefit any health care provider involved in disaster relief. They focus on problem areas peculiar to the disaster relief scenario.

  8. On the nature of unintentional action: a study of force/moment drifts during multifinger tasks.

    PubMed

    Parsa, Behnoosh; O'Shea, Daniel J; Zatsiorsky, Vladimir M; Latash, Mark L

    2016-08-01

    We explored the origins of unintentional changes in performance during accurate force production in isometric conditions seen after turning visual feedback off. The idea of control with referent spatial coordinates suggests that these phenomena could result from drifts of the referent coordinate for the effector. Subjects performed accurate force/moment production tasks by pressing with the fingers of a hand on force sensors. Turning the visual feedback off resulted in slow drifts of both total force and total moment to lower magnitudes of these variables; these drifts were more pronounced in the right hand of the right-handed subjects. Drifts in individual finger forces could be in different direction; in particular, fingers that produced moments of force against the required total moment showed an increase in their forces. The force/moment drift was associated with a drop in the index of synergy stabilizing performance under visual feedback. The drifts in directions that changed performance (non-motor equivalent) and in directions that did not (motor equivalent) were of about the same magnitude. The results suggest that control with referent coordinates is associated with drifts of those referent coordinates toward the corresponding actual coordinates of the hand, a reflection of the natural tendency of physical systems to move toward a minimum of potential energy. The interaction between drifts of the hand referent coordinate and referent orientation leads to counterdirectional drifts in individual finger forces. The results also demonstrate that the sensory information used to create multifinger synergies is necessary for their presence over the task duration. PMID:27193319

  9. Domestic dogs (Canis familiaris) coordinate their actions in a problem-solving task.

    PubMed

    Bräuer, Juliane; Bös, Milena; Call, Josep; Tomasello, Michael

    2013-03-01

    Cooperative hunting is a cognitively challenging activity since individuals have to coordinate movements with a partner and at the same time react to the prey. Domestic dogs evolved from wolves, who engage in cooperative hunting regularly, but it is not clear whether dogs have kept their cooperative hunting skills. We presented pairs of dogs with a reward behind a fence with two openings in it. A sliding door operated by the experimenter could block one opening but not both simultaneously. The dogs needed to coordinate their actions, so that each was in front of a different opening, if one of them was to cross through and get food. All 24 dog pairs solved the problem. In study 1, we demonstrated that dogs understood how the apparatus worked. In study 2, we found that, although the performance of the pairs did not depend on the divisibility of the reward, pairs were quicker at coordinating their actions when both anticipated rewards. However, the dogs did not monitor one another, suggesting that their solutions were achieved by each individual attempting to maximize for itself. PMID:23090682

  10. 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.

  11. 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. PMID:26004058

  12. Toward the Development of an Observation Measure of Interest and Attention for Literacy Tasks in Kindergarten Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Coughlan, Kelly A.

    2012-01-01

    Kindergarten students (N = 95) in three schools and seven classrooms were observed for on-task versus off-task behavior during three literacy instruction opportunities; small group instruction, whole group instruction and the less structured library setting over the 2011-2012 school year. Students' early literacy skills were assessed before…

  13. 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.

  14. 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. PMID:26820995

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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…

  18. The Early Development of Object Knowledge: A Study of Infants' Visual Anticipations during Action Observation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hunnius, Sabine; Bekkering, Harold

    2010-01-01

    This study examined the developing object knowledge of infants through their visual anticipation of action targets during action observation. Infants (6, 8, 12, 14, and 16 months) and adults watched short movies of a person using 3 different everyday objects. Participants were presented with objects being brought either to a correct or to an…

  19. 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…

  20. 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

  1. Activity of human motor system during action observation is modulated by object presence.

    PubMed

    Villiger, Michael; Chandrasekharan, Sanjay; Welsh, Timothy N

    2011-03-01

    Neurons in the monkey mirror neuron system (MNS) become active when actions are observed or executed. Increases in activity are greater when objects are engaged than when the actions are mimed. This modulation occurs even when object manipulation is hidden from view. We examined whether human motor systems are similarly modulated during action observation because such observation-related modulations are potentially mediated by a putative human MNS. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) was used to elicit motor-evoked potentials (MEPs) of a grasping muscle while participants observed actual or pantomimed grasping movements whose endpoints were sometimes hidden from view. MEP amplitudes were found to be modulated by object presence. Critically, the object-based modulation was found when the participant directly observed object manipulation and when the object manipulation had to be inferred because it was hidden. These findings parallel studies of MNS activity in monkeys and support the hypothesis that the MNS influences motor system activity during action observation. Although the object-based modulation of MEP amplitudes was consistent with the hypotheses, the direction of the modulation was not--MEP amplitudes decreased during action observation in contrast to the increase that has previously been observed. We suggest that the decrease in MEP amplitude on object-present trials resulted from inhibitory mechanisms that were activated to suppress the observation-evoked response codes from generating overt muscle activity.

  2. Parietal theta burst TMS: Functional fractionation observed during bistable perception not evident in attention tasks.

    PubMed

    Schauer, Georg; Kanai, Ryota; Brascamp, Jan W

    2016-02-01

    When visual input is ambiguous, perception spontaneously alternates between interpretations: bistable perception. Studies have identified two distinct sites near the right intraparietal sulcus where inhibitory transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) affects the frequency of occurrence of these alternations, but strikingly with opposite directions of effect for the two sites. Lesion and TMS studies on spatial and sustained attention have also indicated a parcellation of right parietal cortex, into areas serving distinct attentional functions. We used the exact TMS procedure previously employed to affect bistable perception, yet measured its effect on spatial and sustained attention tasks. Although there was a trend for TMS to affect performance, trends were consistently similar for both parietal sites, with no indication of opposite effects. We interpret this as signifying that the previously observed parietal fractionation of function regarding the perception of ambiguous stimuli is not due to TMS-induced modification of spatial or sustained attention.

  3. Infants' grip strength predicts mu rhythm attenuation during observation of lifting actions with weighted blocks.

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

    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 action perception and its underlying neural system is unknown, particularly in early ontogeny. We measured grip strength in 12-month-old infants and investigated relations with mu rhythm attenuation, an electroencephalographic correlate of the neural system underlying action perception, during observation of lifting actions performed with differently weighted blocks. We found that infants with higher grip strength exhibited significant mu attenuation during observation of lifting actions, whereas infants with lower grip strength did not. Moreover, a progressively strong relation between grip strength and mu attenuation during observation of lifts was found with increased block weight. We propose that this relation is attributable to differences in infants' ability to recognize the effort associated with lifting objects of different weights, as a consequence of their developing strength. Together, our results extend the body's role in perception by demonstrating that bodily characteristics influence action perception by shaping the activation of its underlying neural system.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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. PMID:25579662

  7. The comparative effect of subjective and objective after-action reviews on team performance on a complex task.

    PubMed

    Villado, Anton J; Arthur, Winfred

    2013-05-01

    The after-action review (AAR; also known as the after-event review or debriefing) is an approach to training based on a review of trainees' performance on recently completed tasks or performance events. Used by the military for decades, nonmilitary organizations' use of AARs has increased dramatically in recent years. Despite the prevalence of AARs, empirical research investigating their effectiveness has been limited. This study sought to investigate the comparative effectiveness of objective AARs (reviews based on an objective recording and playback of trainees' recent performance) and subjective AARs (reviews based on a subjective, memory-based recall of trainees' recent performance). One hundred eighty-eight individuals, participating in 47 4-person teams, were assigned to 1 of 3 AAR conditions and practiced and tested on a cognitively complex performance task. Although there were no significant differences between objective and subjective AAR teams across the 5 training outcomes, AAR teams had higher levels of team performance, team efficacy, openness of communication, and cohesion than did non-AAR teams but no differences in their levels of team declarative knowledge. Our results suggest that AARs are effective at enhancing training outcomes. Furthermore, AARs may not be dependent on objective reviews and therefore may be a viable training intervention when objective reviews are not feasible or possible.

  8. Verbal Self-Instructions in Task Switching: A Compensatory Tool for Action-Control Deficits in Childhood and Old Age?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kray, Jutta; Eber, Jutta; Karbach, Julia

    2008-01-01

    This study examined the influence of verbal self-instructions on age differences in task switching. Task-switching ability, measured as the difference between performance in single-task blocks and in mixed-task blocks in which participants switch between two tasks (mixing costs), increases during childhood and decreases in old age. To measure the…

  9. When Your Decisions Are Not (Quite) Your Own: Action Observation Influences Free Choices

    PubMed Central

    Cole, Geoff G.; Wright, Damien; Doneva, Silviya P.; Skarratt, Paul A.

    2015-01-01

    A growing number of studies have begun to assess how the actions of one individual are represented in an observer. Using a variant of an action observation paradigm, four experiments examined whether one person’s behaviour can influence the subjective decisions and judgements of another. In Experiment 1, two observers sat adjacent to each other and took turns to freely select and reach to one of two locations. Results showed that participants were less likely to make a response to the same location as their partner. In three further experiments observers were asked to decide which of two familiar products they preferred or which of two faces were most attractive. Results showed that participants were less likely to choose the product or face occupying the location of their partner’s previous reaching response. These findings suggest that action observation can influence a range of free choice preferences and decisions. Possible mechanisms through which this influence occurs are discussed. PMID:26024480

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. The Potential of General Classroom Observation: Turkish EFL Teachers' Perceptions, Sentiments, and Readiness for Action

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Merç, Ali

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to determine Turkish EFL teachers' attitudes towards classroom observation. 204 teachers from different school settings responded to an online questionnaire. Data were analyzed according to three types of attitudes towards classroom observation: perceptions, sentiments, and readiness for action. The findings revealed…

  13. Observing Children's Learning: Informing Effective Intervention. A Personal Story of Investigative Research in Action.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lockett, Andrew

    This paper outlines the underlying principles that have guided the development of an observational orientation to assessing children's learning. The development of an observation orientation was achieved through a process of a number of action-type research projects within a range of early years settings in the United Kingdom. The paper outlines a…

  14. 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…

  15. Cortical kinematic processing of executed and observed goal-directed hand actions.

    PubMed

    Marty, Brice; Bourguignon, Mathieu; Jousmäki, Veikko; Wens, Vincent; Op de Beeck, Marc; Van Bogaert, Patrick; Goldman, Serge; Hari, Riitta; De Tiège, Xavier

    2015-10-01

    Motor information conveyed by viewing the kinematics of an agent's action helps to predict how the action will unfold. Still, how observed movement kinematics is processed in the brain remains to be clarified. Here, we used magnetoencephalography (MEG) to determine at which frequency and where in the brain, the neural activity is coupled with the kinematics of executed and observed motor actions. Whole-scalp MEG signals were recorded from 11 right-handed healthy adults while they were executing (Self) or observing (Other) similar goal-directed hand actions performed by an actor placed in front of them. Actions consisted of pinching with the right hand green foam-made pieces mixed in a heap with pieces of other colors placed on a table, and put them in a plastic pot on the right side of the heap. Subjects' and actor's forefinger movements were monitored with an accelerometer. The coherence between movement acceleration and MEG signals was computed at the sensor level. Then, cortical sources coherent with movement acceleration were identified with Dynamic Imaging of Coherent Sources. Statistically significant sensor-level coherence peaked at the movement frequency (F0) and its first harmonic (F1) in both movement conditions. Apart from visual cortices, statistically significant local maxima of coherence were observed in the right posterior superior temporal gyrus (F0), bilateral superior parietal lobule (F0 or F1) and primary sensorimotor cortex (F0 or F1) in both movement conditions. These results suggest that observing others' actions engages the viewer's brain in a similar kinematic-related manner as during own action execution. These findings bring new insights into how human brain activity covaries with essential features of observed movements of others. PMID:26123380

  16. Cortical kinematic processing of executed and observed goal-directed hand actions.

    PubMed

    Marty, Brice; Bourguignon, Mathieu; Jousmäki, Veikko; Wens, Vincent; Op de Beeck, Marc; Van Bogaert, Patrick; Goldman, Serge; Hari, Riitta; De Tiège, Xavier

    2015-10-01

    Motor information conveyed by viewing the kinematics of an agent's action helps to predict how the action will unfold. Still, how observed movement kinematics is processed in the brain remains to be clarified. Here, we used magnetoencephalography (MEG) to determine at which frequency and where in the brain, the neural activity is coupled with the kinematics of executed and observed motor actions. Whole-scalp MEG signals were recorded from 11 right-handed healthy adults while they were executing (Self) or observing (Other) similar goal-directed hand actions performed by an actor placed in front of them. Actions consisted of pinching with the right hand green foam-made pieces mixed in a heap with pieces of other colors placed on a table, and put them in a plastic pot on the right side of the heap. Subjects' and actor's forefinger movements were monitored with an accelerometer. The coherence between movement acceleration and MEG signals was computed at the sensor level. Then, cortical sources coherent with movement acceleration were identified with Dynamic Imaging of Coherent Sources. Statistically significant sensor-level coherence peaked at the movement frequency (F0) and its first harmonic (F1) in both movement conditions. Apart from visual cortices, statistically significant local maxima of coherence were observed in the right posterior superior temporal gyrus (F0), bilateral superior parietal lobule (F0 or F1) and primary sensorimotor cortex (F0 or F1) in both movement conditions. These results suggest that observing others' actions engages the viewer's brain in a similar kinematic-related manner as during own action execution. These findings bring new insights into how human brain activity covaries with essential features of observed movements of others.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Examining the Agreement of Direct Behavior Ratings and Systematic Direct Observation Data for On-Task and Disruptive Behavior

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Riley-Tillman, T. Chris; Chafouleas, Sandra M.; Sassu, Kari A.; Chanese, Julie A. M.; Glazer, Amy D.

    2008-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to replicate previous findings indicating a moderate association between teacher perceptions of behavior as measured by direct behavior ratings (DBRs) and systematic direct observation (SDO) conducted by an external observer. In this study, data regarding student on-task and disruptive behavior were collected via SDO…

  20. 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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  2. M1 corticospinal mirror neurons and their role in movement suppression during action observation.

    PubMed

    Vigneswaran, Ganesh; Philipp, Roland; Lemon, Roger N; Kraskov, Alexander

    2013-02-01

    Evidence is accumulating that neurons in primary motor cortex (M1) respond during action observation, a property first shown for mirror neurons in monkey premotor cortex. We now show for the first time that the discharge of a major class of M1 output neuron, the pyramidal tract neuron (PTN), is modulated during observation of precision grip by a human experimenter. We recorded 132 PTNs in the hand area of two adult macaques, of which 65 (49%) showed mirror-like activity. Many (38 of 65) increased their discharge during observation (facilitation-type mirror neuron), but a substantial number (27 of 65) exhibited reduced discharge or stopped firing (suppression-type). Simultaneous recordings from arm, hand, and digit muscles confirmed the complete absence of detectable muscle activity during observation. We compared the discharge of the same population of neurons during active grasp by the monkeys. We found that facilitation neurons were only half as active for action observation as for action execution, and that suppression neurons reversed their activity pattern and were actually facilitated during execution. Thus, although many M1 output neurons are active during action observation, M1 direct input to spinal circuitry is either reduced or abolished and may not be sufficient to produce overt muscle activity.

  3. 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

  4. Comparison of model and human observer performance for detection and discrimination tasks using dual-energy x-ray images

    SciTech Connect

    Richard, Samuel; Siewerdsen, Jeffrey H.

    2008-11-15

    Model observer performance, computed theoretically using cascaded systems analysis (CSA), was compared to the performance of human observers in detection and discrimination tasks. Dual-energy (DE) imaging provided a wide range of acquisition and decomposition parameters for which observer performance could be predicted and measured. This work combined previously derived observer models (e.g., Fisher-Hotelling and non-prewhitening) with CSA modeling of the DE image noise-equivalent quanta (NEQ) and imaging task (e.g., sphere detection, shape discrimination, and texture discrimination) to yield theoretical predictions of detectability index (d{sup '}) and area under the receiver operating characteristic (A{sub Z}). Theoretical predictions were compared to human observer performance assessed using 9-alternative forced-choice tests to yield measurement of A{sub Z} as a function of DE image acquisition parameters (viz., allocation of dose between the low- and high-energy images) and decomposition technique [viz., three DE image decomposition algorithms: standard log subtraction (SLS), simple-smoothing of the high-energy image (SSH), and anti-correlated noise reduction (ACNR)]. Results showed good agreement between theory and measurements over a broad range of imaging conditions. The incorporation of an eye filter and internal noise in the observer models demonstrated improved correspondence with human observer performance. Optimal acquisition and decomposition parameters were shown to depend on the imaging task; for example, ACNR and SSH yielded the greatest performance in the detection of soft-tissue and bony lesions, respectively. This study provides encouraging evidence that Fourier-based modeling of NEQ computed via CSA and imaging task provides a good approximation to human observer performance for simple imaging tasks, helping to bridge the gap between Fourier metrics of detector performance (e.g., NEQ) and human observer performance.

  5. Groups' Actions Trump Injunctive Reaction in an Incidental Observation by Young Children

    PubMed Central

    Turner, Cameron R.; Nielsen, Mark; Collier-Baker, Emma

    2014-01-01

    Children's ability to use social information to direct their behavior is key to their survival and development. However, in observing adult behavior, children are confronted with multiple forms of social information that may vary in reliability and adaptiveness. Two of the most well established biases influencing human behavior are: (1) following the majority (majority influence or conformity); and (2) the use of emotional signals. The current experiment aimed to evaluate how children respond when both information about the majority behavior of a group (descriptive norm) and attitudes of the group towards a behavior (injunctive norm, expressed through an emotional reaction) are present and what happens when they are in conflict. We used a method designed to mimic the manner in which children might observe group members' behavior during development. Novel apparatuses were constructed for which there were two discrete actions that could be performed to retrieve a reward. Three-year-olds observed four adults demonstrating one set of actions, followed by a fifth adult who presented an alternative set of actions. The first four adults' injunctive responses to this fifth adult's actions were manipulated between-groups: positive, negative, or neutral. It was found that children preferred to copy the majority action, regardless of the injunctive reaction of the group. We argue that this affirms the adaptive utility of copying the majority. PMID:25198163

  6. Groups' actions trump injunctive reaction in an incidental observation by young children.

    PubMed

    Turner, Cameron R; Nielsen, Mark; Collier-Baker, Emma

    2014-01-01

    Children's ability to use social information to direct their behavior is key to their survival and development. However, in observing adult behavior, children are confronted with multiple forms of social information that may vary in reliability and adaptiveness. Two of the most well established biases influencing human behavior are: (1) following the majority (majority influence or conformity); and (2) the use of emotional signals. The current experiment aimed to evaluate how children respond when both information about the majority behavior of a group (descriptive norm) and attitudes of the group towards a behavior (injunctive norm, expressed through an emotional reaction) are present and what happens when they are in conflict. We used a method designed to mimic the manner in which children might observe group members' behavior during development. Novel apparatuses were constructed for which there were two discrete actions that could be performed to retrieve a reward. Three-year-olds observed four adults demonstrating one set of actions, followed by a fifth adult who presented an alternative set of actions. The first four adults' injunctive responses to this fifth adult's actions were manipulated between-groups: positive, negative, or neutral. It was found that children preferred to copy the majority action, regardless of the injunctive reaction of the group. We argue that this affirms the adaptive utility of copying the majority.

  7. Action observation in the infant brain: The role of body form and motion

    PubMed Central

    Grossmann, Tobias; Cross, Emily S.; Ticini, Luca F.; Daum, Moritz M.

    2012-01-01

    Much research has been carried out to understand how human brains make sense of another agent in motion. Current views based on human adult and monkey studies assume a matching process in the motor system biased toward actions performed by conspecifics and present in the observer's motor repertoire. However, little is known about the neural correlates of action cognition in early ontogeny. In this study, we examined the processes involved in the observation of full body movements in 4-month-old infants using functional near-infrared spectroscopy to measure localized brain activation. In a 2 × 2 design, infants watched human or robotic figures moving in a smooth, familiar human-like manner, or in a rigid, unfamiliar robot-like manner. We found that infant premotor cortex responded more strongly to observe robot-like motion compared with human-like motion. Contrary to current views, this suggests that the infant motor system is flexibly engaged by novel movement patterns. Moreover, temporal cortex responses indicate that infants integrate information about form and motion during action observation. The response patterns obtained in premotor and temporal cortices during action observation in these young infants are very similar to those reported for adults. These findings thus suggest that the brain processes involved in the analysis of an agent in motion in adults become functionally specialized very early in human development. PMID:22694145

  8. 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…

  9. 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…

  10. Action!

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Senese, Joseph

    1998-01-01

    A small group of teachers at one Illinois high school is helping to effect and promote change. Through the Action Research Laboratory (ARL), teams of teachers conduct collaborative action research to improve classroom practices. Data from the first two years of the ARL indicate that teachers are eager to participate in, and have thrived in, their…

  11. 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…

  12. 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

  13. Peer Observation of Teaching in the Online Environment: An Action Research Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Swinglehurst, D.; Russell, J.; Greenhalgh, T.

    2008-01-01

    This paper describes a collaborative action research approach used to explore peer observation of teaching (POT) within the online environment. Although POT has become familiar in face-to-face teaching contexts, little is understood of its potential role in online settings. We conducted "virtual" focus groups to explore the experience and views of…

  14. 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

  15. Motor facilitation during action observation: The role of M1 and PMv in grasp predictions.

    PubMed

    de Beukelaar, Toon T; Alaerts, Kaat; Swinnen, Stephan P; Wenderoth, Nicole

    2016-02-01

    Recent theories propose that movement observation is not a "passive mirror" of ongoing actions but might induce anticipatory activity when predictable movements are observed, e.g., because the action goal is known. Here we investigate this mechanism in a series of 3 experiments, by applying transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to primary motor cortex (M1) while subjects observed either whole hand or precision grasping performed by an actor. We show that corticomotor excitability changes in a grip-specific manner but only once the grip can be decoded based on the observed kinematic cues (Exp. 1). By contrast, presenting informative contextual precues evokes anticipatory modulations in M1 already during the reach phase, i.e., well before the grip type could be observed, a finding in line with a predictive coding account (Exp. 2). Finally, we used paired-pulse (PP) TMS to show that ventral premotor cortex (PMv) facilitates grip-specific representations in M1 but only while grip formation is observed. These findings suggest that PMv and M1 interact temporarily and mainly when motor aspects of hand-object interactions are extracted from visual information. By contrast, no sustained input from PMv to M1 seems to be required to maintain action representations that are anticipated based on contextual information or once the grip is formed (Exp. 3). PMID:26800203

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

    PubMed

    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

  17. The right temporoparietal junction encodes efforts of others during action observation

    PubMed Central

    Mizuguchi, Nobuaki; Nakata, Hiroki; Kanosue, Kazuyuki

    2016-01-01

    Smooth social interactions require a deep understanding of others’ intentions and feelings. In the present study, to investigate brain regions that respond to inference of others’ effort level, we recorded brain activity during action observation of different effort levels using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). We used a dumbbell curl movement to depict a movement requiring effort. To dissociate the factors of effort level of the actor and weight of the dumbbell, we used four combinations of dumbbell weight and actor physique: a thin actor or a built actor lifting a heavy or light dumbbell. During observation of dumbbell curls, the bilateral front-parietal action observation network (AON) was activated. This included the premotor cortices, parietal cortices, visual areas 5/superior temporal cortices (STS), amygdalae, hippocampi, right dorsolateral and ventrolateral frontal cortices. When we evaluated brain regions associated with the actor’s effort level, activity in the right temporoparietal junction (TPJ) and STS was observed. However, activity in the front-parietal AON was independent of the actor’s effort during action observation. This finding suggests that the right TPJ and STS play an important role in the inference of others’ effort levels during the observation of others’ movements. PMID:27458025

  18. 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.

  19. The right temporoparietal junction encodes efforts of others during action observation.

    PubMed

    Mizuguchi, Nobuaki; Nakata, Hiroki; Kanosue, Kazuyuki

    2016-01-01

    Smooth social interactions require a deep understanding of others' intentions and feelings. In the present study, to investigate brain regions that respond to inference of others' effort level, we recorded brain activity during action observation of different effort levels using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). We used a dumbbell curl movement to depict a movement requiring effort. To dissociate the factors of effort level of the actor and weight of the dumbbell, we used four combinations of dumbbell weight and actor physique: a thin actor or a built actor lifting a heavy or light dumbbell. During observation of dumbbell curls, the bilateral front-parietal action observation network (AON) was activated. This included the premotor cortices, parietal cortices, visual areas 5/superior temporal cortices (STS), amygdalae, hippocampi, right dorsolateral and ventrolateral frontal cortices. When we evaluated brain regions associated with the actor's effort level, activity in the right temporoparietal junction (TPJ) and STS was observed. However, activity in the front-parietal AON was independent of the actor's effort during action observation. This finding suggests that the right TPJ and STS play an important role in the inference of others' effort levels during the observation of others' movements. PMID:27458025

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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…

  4. 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.

  5. 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... within the Department of Health and Human Services, announce a public meeting and opening of a docket... outlined in ``A Public Health Action Plan to Combat Antimicrobial Resistance (Action Plan)''. Secondly,...

  6. 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…

  7. Affirmative Action: A Course for the Future. Affirmative Action Task Force for the Study "New Directions: African Americans in a Diversifying Nation."

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, Washington, DC.

    A primary social dilemma today is that current strategies have led to the perception that affirmative action favors some population groups at the expense of others, that in a sense it uses one form of discrimination to combat another. It is essential to reconsider affirmative action strategies to implement those that are most appropriate for today…

  8. Observation of radiation-pressure effects and back-action cancellation in interferometric measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heidmann, A.; Caniard, T.; Verlot, P.; Briant, T.; Cohadon, P.-F.

    2008-02-01

    Radiation pressure exerted by light in interferometric measurements is responsible for displacements of mirrors which appear as an additional back-action noise and limit the sensitivity of the measurement. We experimentally study these effects by monitoring in a very highfinesse optical cavity the displacements of a mirror with a sensitivity at the 10 -20 m/√Hz level. This unique sensitivity is a step towards the first observation of the fundamental quantum effects of radiation pressure and the resulting standard quantum limit in interferometric measurements. Our experiment may become a powerful facility to test quantum noise reduction schemes, and we already report the first experimental demonstration of a back-action noise cancellation. Using a classical radiation-pressure noise to mimic the quantum noise of light, we have observed a drastic improvement of sensitivity both in position and force measurements.

  9. 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.

  10. Training the motor cortex by observing the actions of others during immobilization.

    PubMed

    Bassolino, Michela; Campanella, Martina; Bove, Marco; Pozzo, Thierry; Fadiga, Luciano

    2014-12-01

    Limb immobilization and nonuse are well-known causes of corticomotor depression. While physical training can drive the recovery from nonuse-dependent corticomotor effects, it remains unclear if it is possible to gain access to motor cortex in alternative ways, such as through motor imagery (MI) or action observation (AO). Transcranial magnetic stimulation was used to study the excitability of the hand left motor cortex in normal subjects immediately before and after 10 h of right arm immobilization. During immobilization, subjects were requested either to imagine to act with their constrained limb or to observe hand actions performed by other individuals. A third group of control subjects watched a nature documentary presented on a computer screen. Hand corticomotor maps and recruitment curves reliably showed that AO, but not MI, prevented the corticomotor depression induced by immobilization. Our results demonstrate the existence of a visuomotor mechanism in humans that links AO and execution which is able to effect cortical plasticity in a beneficial way. This facilitation was not related to the action simulation, because it was not induced by explicit MI.

  11. Modulation of Corticospinal Excitability during Acquisition of Action Sequences by Observation

    PubMed Central

    Sakamoto, Masanori; Moriyama, Noriyoshi; Mizuguchi, Nobuaki; Muraoka, Tetsuro; Kanosue, Kazuyuki

    2012-01-01

    Excitability of the corticospinal pathway increases during observation of an action. However, how corticospinal excitability changes during observation of sequential actions in the course of acquiring novel skills (observational learning) remains unexplored. To investigate this, we used a previously unpracticed sequence of ten hand postures. Participants were asked to repeat observation and replication of the sequence. This block of observation and replication was repeated 5 times. During observation of a given hand posture (OK sign), motor-evoked potentials (MEPs) elicited by transcranial magnetic stimulation were recorded from hand muscles. In experiment 1, the OK sign appeared in the 9th position of the sequence. Almost all participants could replicate the OK sign only at the 5th block of the experiment. MEP amplitude was greater than that in the control, and decreased with the stages. This suggested that during observational learning of sequential hand postures MEP changed with the progress of the learning. To evaluate this idea, we performed two additional experiments. In experiment 2, the OK sign appeared in the 2nd position. Almost all participants replicated the OK sign even in the 1st block. The MEP amplitude did not change across stages. In experiment 3, the OK sign appeared in the 9th position, but the order of other signs was randomized in every stage. Many participants were not able to replicate the OK sign even during the 5th block of the experiment. The MEP amplitude did not change across stages. These results suggest that: (1) During observational learning modulation of corticospinal excitability is associated with the learning process. (2) Corticospinal excitability decreases as learning progresses. PMID:22615889

  12. On the Regulation of Cognitive Control: Action Orientation Moderates the Impact of High Demands in Stroop Interference Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jostmann, Nils B.; Koole, Sander L.

    2007-01-01

    Previous research has established that people vary in action orientation, a tendency toward decisiveness and initiative, versus state orientation, a tendency toward indecisiveness and hesitation (J. Kuhl & J. Beckmann, 1994b). In the present 3 studies, the authors examined whether action orientation versus state orientation regulates cognitive…

  13. [Decision behavior and task orientation of adolescent psychiatric patients--on the diagnostic and therapeutic relevance of a questionnaire for action control].

    PubMed

    Hobrücker, B; Kühl, R

    1991-01-01

    The diagnostic and therapeutic relevance of a questionnaire on action control. The present study deals with the applicability of the "theory of action control" (Kuhl, 1983) to psychiatric disorders in adolescents. A questionnaire on action vs state orientation in planning situations (HOP scale; Kuhl, 1985) was given to adolescent inpatients. The sample was subdivided into an anorectic group and by extreme-group clustering, a group with severe conduct disorders and a clinical control group. The hypothesis of high scores on action orientation on the HOP scale was confirmed for the anorectic patients but not for those with conduct disorders. A factor analysis of the HOP scale items yielded a three-factor solution. For two of the three factors differences between the clinical groups were found: The anorectic patients showed a high level of action orientation in situations with intense task commitment, whereas the patients with conduct disorders were mainly action-oriented in situations with forced decisions. With some restrictions the findings can be interpreted as clinical validation of the questionnaire.

  14. 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

  15. 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. PMID:26111226

  16. Motor-related brain activity during action observation: a neural substrate for electrocorticographic brain-computer interfaces after spinal cord injury.

    PubMed

    Collinger, Jennifer L; Vinjamuri, Ramana; Degenhart, Alan D; Weber, Douglas J; Sudre, Gustavo P; Boninger, Michael L; Tyler-Kabara, Elizabeth C; Wang, Wei

    2014-01-01

    After spinal cord injury (SCI), motor commands from the brain are unable to reach peripheral nerves and muscles below the level of the lesion. Action observation (AO), in which a person observes someone else performing an action, has been used to augment traditional rehabilitation paradigms. Similarly, AO can be used to derive the relationship between brain activity and movement kinematics for a motor-based brain-computer interface (BCI) even when the user cannot generate overt movements. BCIs use brain signals to control external devices to replace functions that have been lost due to SCI or other motor impairment. Previous studies have reported congruent motor cortical activity during observed and overt movements using magnetoencephalography (MEG) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Recent single-unit studies using intracortical microelectrodes also demonstrated that a large number of motor cortical neurons had similar firing rate patterns between overt and observed movements. Given the increasing interest in electrocorticography (ECoG)-based BCIs, our goal was to identify whether action observation-related cortical activity could be recorded using ECoG during grasping tasks. Specifically, we aimed to identify congruent neural activity during observed and executed movements in both the sensorimotor rhythm (10-40 Hz) and the high-gamma band (65-115 Hz) which contains significant movement-related information. We observed significant motor-related high-gamma band activity during AO in both able-bodied individuals and one participant with a complete C4 SCI. Furthermore, in able-bodied participants, both the low and high frequency bands demonstrated congruent activity between action execution and observation. Our results suggest that AO could be an effective and critical procedure for deriving the mapping from ECoG signals to intended movement for an ECoG-based BCI system for individuals with paralysis.

  17. Motor-related brain activity during action observation: a neural substrate for electrocorticographic brain-computer interfaces after spinal cord injury

    PubMed Central

    Collinger, Jennifer L.; Vinjamuri, Ramana; Degenhart, Alan D.; Weber, Douglas J.; Sudre, Gustavo P.; Boninger, Michael L.; Tyler-Kabara, Elizabeth C.; Wang, Wei

    2014-01-01

    After spinal cord injury (SCI), motor commands from the brain are unable to reach peripheral nerves and muscles below the level of the lesion. Action observation (AO), in which a person observes someone else performing an action, has been used to augment traditional rehabilitation paradigms. Similarly, AO can be used to derive the relationship between brain activity and movement kinematics for a motor-based brain-computer interface (BCI) even when the user cannot generate overt movements. BCIs use brain signals to control external devices to replace functions that have been lost due to SCI or other motor impairment. Previous studies have reported congruent motor cortical activity during observed and overt movements using magnetoencephalography (MEG) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Recent single-unit studies using intracortical microelectrodes also demonstrated that a large number of motor cortical neurons had similar firing rate patterns between overt and observed movements. Given the increasing interest in electrocorticography (ECoG)-based BCIs, our goal was to identify whether action observation-related cortical activity could be recorded using ECoG during grasping tasks. Specifically, we aimed to identify congruent neural activity during observed and executed movements in both the sensorimotor rhythm (10–40 Hz) and the high-gamma band (65–115 Hz) which contains significant movement-related information. We observed significant motor-related high-gamma band activity during AO in both able-bodied individuals and one participant with a complete C4 SCI. Furthermore, in able-bodied participants, both the low and high frequency bands demonstrated congruent activity between action execution and observation. Our results suggest that AO could be an effective and critical procedure for deriving the mapping from ECoG signals to intended movement for an ECoG-based BCI system for individuals with paralysis. PMID:24600359

  18. A gunner model for an AAA tracking task with interrupted observations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yu, C. F.; Wei, K. C.; Vikmanis, M.

    1982-01-01

    The problem of modeling a trained human operator's tracking performance in an anti-aircraft system under various display blanking conditions is discussed. The input to the gunner is the observable tracking error subjected to repeated interruptions (blanking). A simple and effective gunner model was developed. The effect of blanking on the gunner's tracking performance is approached via modeling the observer and controller gains.

  19. Two-year-old children copy more reliably and more often than nonhuman great apes in multiple observational learning tasks.

    PubMed

    Tennie, Claudio; Greve, Kathrin; Gretscher, Heinz; Call, Josep

    2010-10-01

    Individuals observing a proficient model can potentially benefit by copying at least one of the following three elements: motor movements (i.e., actions), goals, and results. Although several studies have investigated this issue in human infants, there are still very few studies that have systematically examined great apes' ability to spontaneously copy each of these three elements (particularly in comparison with human infants). We tested great apes and human children with eight two-target puzzle boxes-with varying levels of difficulty-to isolate the aspects that the various species may be more prone to copying. We found first trial evidence for observational learning of actions, goals, and results in children. Some copying was found for apes as well, but only if their performance was averaged across trials.

  20. Humour production may enhance observational learning of a new tool-use action in 18-month-old infants.

    PubMed

    Esseily, Rana; Rat-Fischer, Lauriane; Somogyi, Eszter; O'Regan, Kevin John; Fagard, Jacqueline

    2016-01-01

    Many studies have shown that making children laugh enhances certain cognitive capacities such as attention, motivation, perception and/or memory, which in turn enhance learning. However, no study thus far has investigated whether laughing has an effect on learning earlier in infancy. The goal of this study was to see whether using humour with young infants in a demonstration of a complex tool-use task can enhance their learning. Fifty-three 18-month-old infants participated in this study and were included either in a humorous or a control demonstration group. In both groups infants observed an adult using a tool to retrieve an out-of-reach toy. What differed between groups was that in the humorous demonstration group, instead of playing with the toy, the adult threw it on the floor immediately after retrieval. The results show that infants who laughed at the demonstration in the humorous demonstration group reproduced significantly more frequent target actions than infants who did not laugh and those in the control group. This effect is discussed with regard to individual differences in terms of temperament and social capacities as well as positive emotion and dopamine release.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Imagined actions aren't just weak actions: task variability promotes skill learning in physical practice but not in mental practice.

    PubMed

    Coelho, Chase J; Nusbaum, Howard C; Rosenbaum, David A; Fenn, Kimberly M

    2012-11-01

    Early research on visual imagery led investigators to suggest that mental visual images are just weak versions of visual percepts. Later research helped investigators understand that mental visual images differ in deeper and more subtle ways from visual percepts. Research on motor imagery has yet to reach this mature state, however. Many authors have implicitly subscribed to the view that motor images are just weak versions of physical actions. We tested this view by comparing motor learning in variable practice conditions with motor learning in constant practice conditions when participants either physically or mentally practiced golf-putting. We found that physical and mental practice both resulted in significant learning but that variable practice was only better than constant practice when participants practiced physically. This outcome was not predicted by the hypothesis that motor imagery is just a weaker form of real-action experience. PMID:22545613

  4. 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

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

    PubMed

    Onos, Kristen D; Francoeur, Miranda J; 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

  6. 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…

  7. Encoding of point of view during action observation in the local field potentials of macaque area F5.

    PubMed

    Caggiano, Vittorio; Giese, Martin; Thier, Peter; Casile, Antonino

    2015-02-01

    The discovery of mirror neurons compellingly shows that the monkey premotor area F5 is active not only during the execution but also during the observation of goal-directed motor acts. Previous studies have addressed the functioning of the mirror-neuron system at the single-unit level. Here, we tackled this research question at the network level by analysing local field potentials in area F5 while the monkey was presented with goal-directed actions executed by a human or monkey actor and observed either from a first-person or third-person perspective. Our analysis showed that rhythmic responses are not only present in area F5 during action observation, but are also modulated by the point of view. Observing an action from a subjective point of view produced significantly higher power in the low-frequency band (2-10 Hz) than observing the same action from a frontal view. Interestingly, an increase in power in the 2-10 Hz band was also produced by the execution of goal-directed motor acts. Independently of the point of view, action observation also produced a significant decrease in power in the 15-40 Hz band and an increase in the 60-100 Hz band. These results suggest that, depending on the point of view, action observation might activate different processes in area F5. Furthermore, they may provide information about the functional architecture of action perception in primates.

  8. Mirror-neuron system recruitment by action observation: effects of focal brain damage on mu suppression.

    PubMed

    Frenkel-Toledo, Silvi; Bentin, Shlomo; Perry, Anat; Liebermann, Dario G; Soroker, Nachum

    2014-02-15

    Mu suppression is the attenuation of EEG power in the alpha frequency range (8-12 Hz), recorded over the sensorimotor cortex during execution and observation of motor actions. Based on this dual characteristic mu suppression is thought to signalize activation of a human analogue of the mirror neuron system (MNS) found in macaque monkeys. However, much uncertainty remains concerning its specificity and full significance. To further explore the hypothesized relationship between mu suppression and MNS activation, we investigated how it is affected by damage to cortical regions, including areas where the MNS is thought to reside. EEG was recorded in 33 first-event stroke patients during observation of video clips showing reaching and grasping hand movements. We examined the modulation of EEG oscillations at central and occipital sites, and analyzed separately the lower (8-10 Hz) and higher (10-12 Hz) segments of the alpha/mu range. Suppression was determined relative to observation of a non-biological movement. Normalized lesion data were used to investigate how damage to regions of the fronto-parietal cortex affects the pattern of suppression. The magnitude of mu suppression during action observation was significantly reduced in the affected hemisphere compared to the unaffected hemisphere. Differences between the hemispheres were significant at central (sensorimotor) sites but not at occipital (visual) sites. Total hemispheric volume loss did not correlate with mu suppression. Suppression in the lower mu range in the unaffected hemisphere (C3) correlated with lesion extent within the right inferior parietal cortex. Our lesion study supports the role of mu suppression as a marker of MNS activation, confirming previous studies in normal subjects.

  9. Same task, same observers, different values: the problem with visual assessment of breast density

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sergeant, Jamie C.; Walshaw, Lani; Wilson, Mary; Seed, Sita; Barr, Nicky; Beetles, Ursula; Boggis, Caroline; Bundred, Sara; Gadde, Soujanya; Lim, Yit; Whiteside, Sigrid; Evans, D. Gareth; Howell, Anthony; Astley, Susan M.

    2013-03-01

    The proportion of radio-opaque fibroglandular tissue in a mammographic image of the breast is a strong and modifiable risk factor for breast cancer. Subjective, area-based estimates made by expert observers provide a simple and efficient way of measuring breast density within a screening programme, but the degree of variability may render the reliable identification of women at increased risk impossible. This study examines the repeatability of visual assessment of percent breast density by expert observers. Five consultant radiologists and two breast physicians, all with at least two years' experience in mammographic density assessment, were presented with 100 digital mammogram cases for which they had estimated density at least 12 months previously. Estimates of percent density were made for each mammographic view and recorded on a printed visual analogue scale. The level of agreement between the two sets of estimates was assessed graphically using Bland-Altman plots. All but one observer had a mean difference of less than 6 percentage points, while the largest mean difference was 14.66 percentage points. The narrowest 95% limits of agreement for the differences were -11.15 to 17.35 and the widest were -13.95 to 40.43. Coefficients of repeatability ranged from 14.40 to 38.60. Although visual assessment of breast density has been shown to be strongly associated with cancer risk, the lack of agreement shown here between repeat assessments of the same images by the same observers questions the reliability of using visual assessment to identify women at high risk or to detect moderate changes in breast density over time.

  10. 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.…

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Functional Organization of the Action Observation Network in Autism: A Graph Theory Approach

    PubMed Central

    Alaerts, Kaat; Geerlings, Franca; Herremans, Lynn; Swinnen, Stephan P.; Verhoeven, Judith; Sunaert, Stefan; Wenderoth, Nicole

    2015-01-01

    Background The ability to recognize, understand and interpret other’s actions and emotions has been linked to the mirror system or action-observation-network (AON). Although variations in these abilities are prevalent in the neuro-typical population, persons diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) have deficits in the social domain and exhibit alterations in this neural network. Method Here, we examined functional network properties of the AON using graph theory measures and region-to-region functional connectivity analyses of resting-state fMRI-data from adolescents and young adults with ASD and typical controls (TC). Results Overall, our graph theory analyses provided convergent evidence that the network integrity of the AON is altered in ASD, and that reductions in network efficiency relate to reductions in overall network density (i.e., decreased overall connection strength). Compared to TC, individuals with ASD showed significant reductions in network efficiency and increased shortest path lengths and centrality. Importantly, when adjusting for overall differences in network density between ASD and TC groups, participants with ASD continued to display reductions in network integrity, suggesting that also network-level organizational properties of the AON are altered in ASD. Conclusion While differences in empirical connectivity contributed to reductions in network integrity, graph theoretical analyses provided indications that also changes in the high-level network organization reduced integrity of the AON. PMID:26317222

  14. Mirror neurons in monkey area F5 do not adapt to the observation of repeated actions.

    PubMed

    Caggiano, Vittorio; Pomper, Joern K; Fleischer, Falk; Fogassi, Leonardo; Giese, Martin; Thier, Peter

    2013-01-01

    Repetitive presentation of the same visual stimulus entails a response decrease in the action potential discharge of neurons in various areas of the monkey visual cortex. It is still unclear whether this repetition suppression effect is also present in single neurons in cortical premotor areas responding to visual stimuli, as suggested by the human functional magnetic resonance imaging literature. Here we report the responses of 'mirror neurons' in monkey area F5 to the repeated presentation of action movies. We find that most single neurons and the population at large do not show a significant decrease of the firing rate. On the other hand, simultaneously recorded local field potentials exhibit repetition suppression. As local field potentials are believed to be better linked to the blood-oxygen-level-dependent (BOLD) signal exploited by functional magnetic resonance imaging, these findings suggest caution when trying to derive conclusions on the spiking activity of neurons in a given area based on the observation of BOLD repetition suppression.

  15. 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. PMID:24666130

  16. Measuring cerebral hemodynamic changes during action observation with functional transcranial doppler

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Seong-Sik; Lee, Byoung-Hee

    2015-01-01

    [Purpose] The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of action observation training (AOT) on cerebral hemodynamic changes including cerebral blood flow velocity (CBFV) and cerebral blood flow volume (CBFvol) in healthy subjects. [Subjects] Fifteen healthy subjects participated in this study. [Methods] All subjects were educated regarding AOT, and systolic peak velocity (Vs) as well as mean flow velocity (Vm) in the middle cerebral artery (MCA), anterior cerebral artery (ACA), and posterior cerebral artery (PCA) were evaluated using functional transcranial doppler with a 2-MHz probe, before and after performing AOT. [Results] Healthy subjects showed significant differences in Vs and Vm in the MCA, ACA, and PCA after AOT compared with those before AOT. [Conclusion] Our findings indicate that AOT has a positive effect in terms of an increase in CBFV and CBFvol in healthy subjects, since the brain requires more blood to meet the metabolic demand during AOT. PMID:26157224

  17. Optical shuttering action in nematic phase of SMHBLC: observation of a ribbon-like texture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pongali Sathya Prabu, N.; Madhu Mohan, M. L. N.

    2012-07-01

    In this study, complexes belonging to supramolecular hydrogen-bonded liquid crystal homologous series are synthesized and characterized. Hydrogen bond is formed between p-n-alkyloxy benzoic acids (nBAO, where n = 5-11) and chlorobenzoic acid (ClBAO), respectively. The isolated homologues are characterized by various techniques such as polarizing optical microscopic (POM) studies, differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), and Fourier transform-infrared spectroscopy. Based on the POM and DSC studies, the phase diagram has been constructed and discussed. A new smectic ordering, labeled as smectic R, has been characterized, which exhibits a ribbon-like texture. This phase is observed in the complexes pertaining to the higher homologous series. Tilt angle in this phase has been experimentally deduced and the results are fitted to the power law which concurs with the mean-field theory predicted value. Optical shuttering action in the homologue has been detected in the nematic phase and the results are also discussed.

  18. Mirroring multiple agents: motor resonance during action observation is modulated by the number of agents.

    PubMed

    Cracco, Emiel; De Coster, Lize; Andres, Michael; Brass, Marcel

    2016-09-01

    Although social situations regularly involve multiple persons acting together, research on the mirror neuron system has focused on situations in which a single agent is observed. Therefore, the goal of the current study was to explore the role of the mirror mechanism in situations involving multiple agents. Specifically, we used transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to investigate whether mirror activation is modulated by the number of observed agents. Based on group contagion research, we hypothesized that multiple agents would provide a stronger trigger to the motor system and would therefore produce a stronger mirror response than a single agent. Participants observed movements performed by a single hand or by two hands while TMS was applied to the primary motor cortex. The results confirmed that activation in the motor system was stronger for two hands. This suggests that input to the motor system increases as the number of agents grows. Relating back to group contagion, our study suggests that groups may be more contagious simply because their actions resonate louder. Given that the mirror mechanism has been linked to a variety of social skills, our findings additionally have important implications for the understanding of social interaction at the group level.

  19. Mirroring multiple agents: motor resonance during action observation is modulated by the number of agents.

    PubMed

    Cracco, Emiel; De Coster, Lize; Andres, Michael; Brass, Marcel

    2016-09-01

    Although social situations regularly involve multiple persons acting together, research on the mirror neuron system has focused on situations in which a single agent is observed. Therefore, the goal of the current study was to explore the role of the mirror mechanism in situations involving multiple agents. Specifically, we used transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to investigate whether mirror activation is modulated by the number of observed agents. Based on group contagion research, we hypothesized that multiple agents would provide a stronger trigger to the motor system and would therefore produce a stronger mirror response than a single agent. Participants observed movements performed by a single hand or by two hands while TMS was applied to the primary motor cortex. The results confirmed that activation in the motor system was stronger for two hands. This suggests that input to the motor system increases as the number of agents grows. Relating back to group contagion, our study suggests that groups may be more contagious simply because their actions resonate louder. Given that the mirror mechanism has been linked to a variety of social skills, our findings additionally have important implications for the understanding of social interaction at the group level. PMID:27118879

  20. 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

  1. 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…

  2. Development and evaluation of an observational method for assessing repetition in hand tasks.

    PubMed

    Latko, W A; Armstrong, T J; Foulke, J A; Herrin, G D; Rabourn, R A; Ulin, S S

    1997-04-01

    Several physical stressors, including repetitive, sustained, and forceful exertions, awkward postures, localized mechanical stress, highly dynamic movements, exposures to low temperatures, and vibration have been linked to increased risk of work-related musculoskeletal disorders. Repetitive exertions have been among the most widely studied of these stressors, but there is no single metric for assessing exposure to repetitive work. A new methodology enables repetitive hand activity to be rated based on observable characteristics of manual work. This method uses a series of 10-cm visual-analog scales with verbal anchors and benchmark examples. Ratings for repetition reflect both the dynamic aspect of hand movements and the amount of recovery or idle hand time. Trained job analysis experts rate the jobs individually and then agree on ratings. For a group of 33 jobs, repetition ratings using this system were compared to measurements of recovery time within the cycle, exertion counts, and cycle time. Amount of recovery time within the job cycle was found to be significantly correlated with the analysis ratings (r2 = 0.58), as were the number of exertions per second (r2 = 0.53). Cycle time was not related to the analyst ratings. Repeated analyses using the new method were performed 1 1/2 to 2 years apart on the same jobs with the same group of raters. Ratings for repetition differed less than 1 point (on the 10-cm scale), on average, among the different sessions. These results indicate that the method is sensitive to exertion level and recovery time, and that the decision criteria and benchmark examples allow for a consistent application of these methods over a period of time. This method of rating repetition can be combined with similar scales for other physical stressors. PMID:9115085

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

    PubMed

    Valchev, Nikola; Gazzola, Valeria; Avenanti, Alessio; Keysers, Christian

    2016-08-01

    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. 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

  5. High-order interactions observed in multi-task intrinsic networks are dominant indicators of aberrant brain function in schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Plis, Sergey M; Sui, Jing; Lane, Terran; Roy, Sushmita; Clark, Vincent P; Potluru, Vamsi K; Huster, Rene J; Michael, Andrew; Sponheim, Scott R; Weisend, Michael P; Calhoun, Vince D

    2013-01-01

    Identifying the complex activity relationships present in rich, modern neuroimaging data sets remains a key challenge for neuroscience. The problem is hard because (a) the underlying spatial and temporal networks may be nonlinear and multivariate and (b) the observed data may be driven by numerous latent factors. Further, modern experiments often produce data sets containing multiple stimulus contexts or tasks processed by the same subjects. Fusing such multi-session data sets may reveal additional structure, but raises further statistical challenges. We present a novel analysis method for extracting complex activity networks from such multifaceted imaging data sets. Compared to previous methods, we choose a new point in the trade-off space, sacrificing detailed generative probability models and explicit latent variable inference in order to achieve robust estimation of multivariate, nonlinear group factors (“network clusters”). We apply our method to identify relationships of task-specific intrinsic networks in schizophrenia patients and control subjects from a large fMRI study. After identifying network-clusters characterized by within- and between-task interactions, we find significant differences between patient and control groups in interaction strength among networks. Our results are consistent with known findings of brain regions exhibiting deviations in schizophrenic patients. However, we also find high-order, nonlinear interactions that discriminate groups but that are not detected by linear, pair-wise methods. We additionally identify high-order relationships that provide new insights into schizophrenia but that have not been found by traditional univariate or second-order methods. Overall, our approach can identify key relationships that are missed by existing analysis methods, without losing the ability to find relationships that are known to be important. PMID:23876245

  6. Neural Network Development in Late Adolescents during Observation of Risk-Taking Action

    PubMed Central

    Higuchi, Shigekazu; Hida, Akiko; Enomoto, Minori; Umezawa, Jun; Mishima, Kazuo

    2012-01-01

    Emotional maturity and social awareness are important for adolescents, particularly college students beginning to face the challenges and risks of the adult world. However, there has been relatively little research into personality maturation and psychological development during late adolescence and the neural changes underlying this development. We investigated the correlation between psychological properties (neuroticism, extraversion, anxiety, and depression) and age among late adolescents (n = 25, from 18 years and 1 month to 22 years and 8 months). The results revealed that late adolescents became less neurotic, less anxious, less depressive and more extraverted as they aged. Participants then observed video clips depicting hand movements with and without a risk of harm (risk-taking or safe actions) during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). The results revealed that risk-taking actions elicited significantly stronger activation in the bilateral inferior parietal lobule, temporal visual regions (superior/middle temporal areas), and parieto-occipital visual areas (cuneus, middle occipital gyri, precuneus). We found positive correlations of age and extraversion with neural activation in the insula, middle temporal gyrus, lingual gyrus, and precuneus. We also found a negative correlation of age and anxiety with activation in the angular gyrus, precentral gyrus, and red nucleus/substantia nigra. Moreover, we found that insula activation mediated the relationship between age and extraversion. Overall, our results indicate that late adolescents become less anxious and more extraverted with age, a process involving functional neural changes in brain networks related to social cognition and emotional processing. The possible neural mechanisms of psychological and social maturation during late adolescence are discussed. PMID:22768085

  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. PMID:22082458

  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

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

    2015-04-01

    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. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. A Relevant War Against Poverty. A Study of Community Action Programs and Observable Social Change.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Clark, Kenneth B.; Hopkins, Jeannette

    Twelve urban community action programs (CAP) were examined in depth to determine how each of them operationally defined community action and to evaluate their performance. The criteria used were: (1) a clear statement of purpose and programs consistent with that purpose; (2) strong independent leadership and a built-in evaluation and…

  16. 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

  17. Two types of action error: electrophysiological evidence for separable inhibitory and sustained attention neural mechanisms producing error on go/no-go tasks.

    PubMed

    O'Connell, Redmond G; Dockree, Paul M; Bellgrove, Mark A; Turin, Alessandra; Ward, Seamus; Foxe, John J; Robertson, Ian H

    2009-01-01

    Disentangling the component processes that contribute to human executive control is a key challenge for cognitive neuroscience. Here, we employ event-related potentials to provide electrophysiological evidence that action errors during a go/no-go task can result either from sustained attention failures or from failures of response inhibition, and that these two processes are temporally and physiologically dissociable, although the behavioral error--a nonintended response--is the same. Thirteen right-handed participants performed a version of a go/no-go task in which stimuli were presented in a fixed and predictable order, thus encouraging attentional drift, and a second version in which an identical set of stimuli was presented in a random order, thus placing greater emphasis on response inhibition. Electrocortical markers associated with goal maintenance (late positivity, alpha synchronization) distinguished correct and incorrect performance in the fixed condition, whereas errors in the random condition were linked to a diminished N2-P3 inhibitory complex. In addition, the amplitude of the error-related negativity did not differ between correct and incorrect responses in the fixed condition, consistent with the view that errors in this condition do not arise from a failure to resolve response competition. Our data provide an electrophysiological dissociation of sustained attention and response inhibition.

  18. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Kraskov, A.; Lemon, R. N.

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:24371289

  20. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

    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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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)

  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. Perspective Taking Promotes Action Understanding and Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lozano, Sandra C.; Martin Hard, Bridgette; Tversky, Barbara

    2006-01-01

    People often learn actions by watching others. The authors propose and test the hypothesis that perspective taking promotes encoding a hierarchical representation of an actor's goals and subgoals-a key process for observational learning. Observers segmented videos of an object assembly task into coarse and fine action units. They described what…

  7. Markov-chain Monte Carlo for the performance of a channelized-ideal observer in detection tasks with non-Gaussian lumpy backgrounds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Park, Subok; Clarkson, Eric

    2008-03-01

    The Bayesian ideal observer is optimal among all observers and sets an upper bound for observer performance in binary detection tasks. This observer provides a quantitative measure of diagnostic performance of an imaging system, summarized by the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC), and thus should be used for image quality assessment whenever possible. However, computation of ideal-observer performance is difficult because this observer requires the full description of the statistical properties of the signal-absent and signal-present data, which are often unknown in tasks involving complex backgrounds. Furthermore, the dimension of the integrals that need to be calculated for the observer is huge. To estimate ideal-observer performance in detection tasks with non-Gaussian lumpy backgrounds, Kupinski et al. developed a Markovchain Monte Carlo (MCMC) method, but this method has a disadvantage of long computation times. In an attempt to reduce the computation load and still approximate ideal-observer performance, Park et al. investigated a channelized-ideal observer (CIO) in similar tasks and found that the CIO with singular vectors of the imaging system approximated the performance of the ideal observer. But, in that work, an extension of the Kupinski MCMC was used for calculating the performance of the CIO and it did not reduce the computational burden. In the current work, we propose a new MCMC method, which we call a CIO-MCMC, to speed up the computation of the CIO. We use singular vectors of the imaging system as efficient channels for the ideal observer. Our results show that the CIO-MCMC has the potential to speed up the computation of ideal observer performance with a large number of channels.

  8. The effect of action observation training on knee joint function and gait ability in total knee replacement patients

    PubMed Central

    Park, Seong Doo; Song, Hyun Seung; Kim, Jin Young

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to investigate that effect of action observation training (AOT) on knee joint function and balance in total knee replacement (TKR) patients. The subjects consisted of eighteen post-TKR patients. All participants underwent conventional physical therapy. In addition, patients in the AOT group (n= 9) were asked to observe video clips showing daily actions and to imitate them afterward. Patients in the control group (n= 9) were asked to execute the same actions as patients in the AOT group. Outcome measures Western Ontario and Mc-Master Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC) included pain, stiffness, function and Timed Up and Go (TUG) test. After intervention, patients in the AOT group score better than patients in the control group. After TUG test, patients in the AOT group and control group were no significant difference between two groups. In addition to conventional physical therapy, AOT is effective in the rehabilitation of post-TKR patients. Action observation training is considered conducive to improving knee functions and ameliorating pain and stiffness, of patients who underwent TKR. PMID:25061596

  9. The effect of the action observation physical training on the upper extremity function in children with cerebral palsy.

    PubMed

    Kim, Jin-Young; Kim, Jong-Man; Ko, Eun-Young

    2014-06-01

    The purpose this study was to investigate the effect of action observation physical training (AOPT) on the functioning of the upper extremities in children with cerebral palsy (CP), using an evaluation framework based on that of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF). The subjects were divided into an AOPT group and a physical training (PT) group. AOPT group practiced repeatedly the actions they observed on video clips, in which normal child performed an action with their upper extremities. PT group performed the same actions as the AOPT group did after observing landscape photographs. The subjects participated in twelve 30-min sessions, 3 days a week, for 4 weeks. Evaluation of upper extremity function using the following: the power of grasp and Modified Ashworth Scale for body functions and structures, a Box and Block test, an ABILHAND-Kids questionnaire, and the WeeFIM scale for activity and participation. Measurements were performed before and after the training, and 2 weeks after the end of training. The results of this study showed that, in comparison with the PT group, the functioning of the upper extremities in the AOPT group was significantly improved in body functions and activity and participation according to the ICF framework. This study demonstrates that AOPT has a positive influence on the functioning of the upper extremities in children with CP. It is suggested that this alternative approach for functioning of the upper extremities could be an effective method for rehabilitation in children with CP. PMID:25061598

  10. Upper limb children action-observation training (UP-CAT): a randomised controlled trial in Hemiplegic Cerebral Palsy

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Rehabilitation for children with hemiplegic cerebral palsy (HCP) aimed to improve function of the impaired upper limb (UL) uses a wide range of intervention programs. A new rehabilitative approach, called Action-Observation Therapy, based on the recent discovery of mirror neurons, has been used in adult stroke but not in children. The purpose of the present study is to design a randomised controlled trial (RCT) for evaluating the efficacy of Action-Observation Therapy in improving UL activity in children with HCP. Methods/Design The trial is designed according to CONSORT Statement. It is a randomised, evaluator-blinded, match-pair group trial. Children with HCP will be randomised within pairs to either experimental or control group. The experimental group will perform an Action-Observation Therapy, called UP-CAT (Upper Limb-Children Action-Observation Training) in which they will watch video sequences showing goal-directed actions, chosen according to children UL functional level, combined with motor training with their hemiplegic UL. The control group will perform the same tailored actions after watching computer games. A careful revision of psychometric properties of UL outcome measures for children with hemiplegia was performed. Assisting Hand Assessment was chosen as primary measure and, based on its calculation power, a sample size of 12 matched pairs was established. Moreover, Melbourne and ABILHAND-Kids were included as secondary measures. The time line of assessments will be T0 (in the week preceding the onset of the treatment), T1 and T2 (in the week after the end of the treatment and 8 weeks later, respectively). A further assessment will be performed at T3 (24 weeks after T1), to evaluate the retention of effects. In a subgroup of children enrolled in both groups functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging, exploring the mirror system and sensory-motor function, will be performed at T0, T1 and T2. Discussion The paper aims to describe the

  11. 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

  12. 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

    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 the

  13. Importance of baseline in event-related desynchronization during a combination task of motor imagery and motor observation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tangwiriyasakul, Chayanin; Verhagen, Rens; van Putten, Michel J. A. M.; Rutten, Wim L. C.

    2013-04-01

    Objective. Event-related desynchronization (ERD) or synchronization (ERS) refers to the modulation of any EEG rhythm in response to a particular event. It is typically quantified as the ratio between a baseline and a task condition (the event). Here, we focused on the sensorimotor mu-rhythm. We explored the effects of different baselines on mu-power and ERD of the mu-rhythm during a motor imagery task. Methods. Eighteen healthy subjects performed motor imagery tasks while EEGs were recorded. Five different baseline movies were shown. For the imagery task a right-hand opening/closing movie was shown. Power and ERD of the mu-rhythm recorded over C3 and C4 for the different baselines were estimated. Main Results. 50% of the subjects showed relatively high mu-power for specific baselines only, and ERDs of these subjects were strongly dependent on the baseline used. In 17% of the subjects no preference was found. Contralateral ERD of the mu-rhythm was found in about 67% of the healthy volunteers, with a significant baseline preference in about 75% of that subgroup. Significance. The sensorimotor ERD quantifies activity of the brain during motor imagery tasks. Selection of the optimal baseline increases ERD.

  14. μ-suppression during action observation and execution correlates with BOLD in dorsal premotor, inferior parietal, and SI cortices.

    PubMed

    Arnstein, Dan; Cui, Fang; Keysers, Christian; Maurits, Natasha M; Gazzola, Valeria

    2011-10-01

    The discovery of mirror neurons in the monkey, that fire during both the execution and the observation of the same action, sparked great interest in studying the human equivalent. For over a decade, both functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and electroencephalography (EEG) have been used to quantify activity in the human mirror neuron system (MNS)-yet, little is still known about how fMRI and EEG measures of the MNS relate to each other. To test the frequent assumption that regions of the MNS as evidenced by fMRI are the origin of the suppression of the EEG μ-rhythm during both action execution and observation, we recorded EEG and BOLD-fMRI signals simultaneously while participants observed and executed actions. We found that the suppression of the μ-rhythm in EEG covaried with BOLD activity in typical MNS regions, inferior parietal lobe (IPL), dorsal premotor (dPM) and primary somatosensory cortex (BA2), during both action observation and execution. In contrast, in BA44, only nonoverlapping voxels correlated with μ-suppression during observation and execution. These findings provide direct support for the notion that μ-suppression is a valid indicator of MNS activity in BA2, IPL, and dPM, but argues against the idea that mirror neurons in BA44 are the prime source of μ-suppression. These results shed light on the neural basis of μ-suppression and provide a basis for integrating more closely the flourishing but often separate literatures on the MNS using fMRI and EEG.

  15. Singular vectors of a linear imaging system as efficient channels for the ideal observer in detection tasks involving non-Gaussian distributed lumpy images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Witten, Joel M.; Park, Subok; Myers, Kyle J.

    2008-03-01

    The Bayesian ideal observer sets an upper bound for diagnostic performance of an imaging system in binary detection tasks. Thus, this observer should be used for image quality assessment whenever possible. However, it is difficult to compute ideal-observer performance because the probability density functions of the data, required for the observer, are often unknown in tasks involving complex backgrounds. Furthermore, the dimension of the integrals that need to be calculated for the observer is huge. To attempt to reduce the dimensionality of the problem, and yet still approximate ideal-observer performance, a channelized-ideal observer (CIO) with Laguerre-Gauss channels was previously investigated for detecting a Gaussian signal at a known location in non-Gaussian lumpy images. While the CIO with Laguerre-Gauss channels had, in some cases, approximated ideal-observer performance, there was still a gap between the mean performance of the ideal observer and the CIO. Moreover, it is not clear how to choose efficient channels for the ideal observer. In the current work, we investigate the use of singular vectors of a linear imaging system as efficient channels for the ideal observer in the same tasks. Singular value decomposition of the imaging system is performed to obtain its singular vectors. Singular vectors most relevant to the signal and background images are chosen as candidate channels. Results indicate that the singular vectors are not only more efficient than Laguerre-Gauss channels, but are also highly efficient for the ideal observer. The results further demonstrate that singular vectors strongly associated with the signal-only image are the most efficient channels.

  16. Reflecting on mirror mechanisms: motor resonance effects during action observation only present with low-intensity transcranial magnetic stimulation.

    PubMed

    Loporto, Michela; Holmes, Paul S; Wright, David J; McAllister, Craig J

    2013-01-01

    Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) studies indicate that the observation of other people's actions influences the excitability of the observer's motor system. Motor evoked potential (MEP) amplitudes typically increase in muscles which would be active during the execution of the observed action. This 'motor resonance' effect is thought to result from activity in mirror neuron regions, which enhance the excitability of the primary motor cortex (M1) via cortico-cortical pathways. The importance of TMS intensity has not yet been recognised in this area of research. Low-intensity TMS predominately activates corticospinal neurons indirectly, whereas high-intensity TMS can directly activate corticospinal axons. This indicates that motor resonance effects should be more prominent when using low-intensity TMS. A related issue is that TMS is typically applied over a single optimal scalp position (OSP) to simultaneously elicit MEPs from several muscles. Whether this confounds results, due to differences in the manner that TMS activates spatially separate cortical representations, has not yet been explored. In the current study, MEP amplitudes, resulting from single-pulse TMS applied over M1, were recorded from the first dorsal interosseous (FDI) and abductor digiti minimi (ADM) muscles during the observation of simple finger abductions. We tested if the TMS intensity (110% vs. 130% resting motor threshold) or stimulating position (FDI-OSP vs. ADM-OSP) influenced the magnitude of the motor resonance effects. Results showed that the MEP facilitation recorded in the FDI muscle during the observation of index-finger abductions was only detected using low-intensity TMS. In contrast, changes in the OSP had a negligible effect on the presence of motor resonance effects in either the FDI or ADM muscles. These findings support the hypothesis that MN activity enhances M1 excitability via cortico-cortical pathways and highlight a methodological framework by which the neural

  17. Effects of paired-object affordance in search tasks across the adult lifespan.

    PubMed

    Wulff, Melanie; Stainton, Alexandra; Rotshtein, Pia

    2016-06-01

    The study investigated the processes underlying the retrieval of action information about functional object pairs, focusing on the contribution of procedural and semantic knowledge. We further assessed whether the retrieval of action knowledge is affected by task demands and age. The contribution of procedural knowledge was examined by the way objects were selected, specifically whether active objects were selected before passive objects. The contribution of semantic knowledge was examined by manipulating the relation between targets and distracters. A touchscreen-based search task was used testing young, middle-aged, and elderly participants. Participants had to select by touching two targets among distracters using two search tasks. In an explicit action search task, participants had to select two objects which afforded a mutual action (e.g., functional pair: hammer-nail). Implicit affordance perception was tested using a visual color-matching search task; participants had to select two objects with the same colored frame. In both tasks, half of the colored targets also afforded an action. Overall, middle-aged participants performed better than young and elderly participants, specifically in the action task. Across participants in the action task, accuracy was increased when the distracters were semantically unrelated to the functional pair, while the opposite pattern was observed in the color task. This effect was enhanced with increased age. In the action task all participants utilized procedural knowledge, i.e., selected the active object before the passive object. This result supports the dual-route account from vision to action. Semantic knowledge contributed to both the action and the color task, but procedural knowledge associated with the direct route was primarily retrieved when the task was action-relevant. Across the adulthood lifespan, the data show inverted U-shaped effects of age on the retrieval of action knowledge. Age also linearly increased the

  18. Actions and Names: Observing Responses and the Role of Multiple Stimulus Control in Incidental Language Acquisition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cahill, Claire S.

    2013-01-01

    The present research focuses on the possible relation between observing responses and language acquisition. In the first of three experiments, preschool aged participants with and without disabilities were presented with the opportunity to observe multiple aspects of a stimulus. A Naming experience was created in which the stimulus was presented…

  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. 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

  1. From observation to experimentation: leptin action in the mediobasal hypothalamus1234

    PubMed Central

    Williams, Kevin W; Scott, Michael M; Elmquist, Joel K

    2009-01-01

    The burgeoning obesity epidemic has fueled the drive to describe, mechanistically, metabolic homeostasis. From the early theories implicating glucose as a principal modulator grew an understanding of a complex array of metabolic signals, sensed by peripheral organs along with specific locations within the central nervous system (CNS). The discovery that leptin, an adipose-derived hormone, acts within the mediobasal hypothalamus to control food intake and energy expenditure ushered in a decade of research that went on to describe not only the specific nuclei and cell type, such as proopiomelanocortin neurons of the arcuate nucleus, that respond to leptin but also the signaling cascades that mediated its effects. This review thus highlights the sites and mechanisms of action of leptin, both in the hypothalamus and in extrahypothalamic sites within the CNS, and shows our current knowledge and direction of future research aimed at understanding the multifunctional role of leptin in maintaining metabolic homeostasis. PMID:19176744

  2. Linking perception, cognition, and action: psychophysical observations and neural network modelling.

    PubMed

    Méndez, Juan Carlos; Pérez, Oswaldo; 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.

  3. 250 ms to code for action affordance during observation of manipulable objects.

    PubMed

    Proverbio, Alice Mado; Adorni, Roberta; D'Aniello, Guido Edoardo

    2011-07-01

    It is well known that viewing graspable tools (but not other objects) activates motor-related brain regions, but the time course of affordance processing has remained relatively unexplored. In this study, EEG was continuously recorded from 128 scalp sites in 15 right-handed university students while they received stimuli in the form of 150 pictures of familiar non-tool objects and 150 pictures of manipulable tools, matched for size, luminance and perceptual familiarity. To select the 300 images for the study, a wider set of preliminary stimuli was screened for motoric content by 20 judges using a 3-point scale (0=absent; 2=strong); pictures that scored below 1.5 or above 0.6 were excluded from the tool and non-tool categories, respectively. Tools and non-tools were presented in random order, interspersed with 25 photos of live plants. Each slide was presented for 1000 ms, with an interval ranging from 1500 to 1900 ms. The task consisted of responding to the photos of plants while ignoring the other stimuli. Both an anterior negativity (210-270 ms) and a centroparietal P300 (550-600 ms) were larger in response to tools than objects, particularly in the left hemisphere. swLORETA inverse solution identified the occipito-temporal cortex (BA19 and BA37) as the most significant source of activity (in the 210-270-ms time window) for both types of visual objects and the left postcentral gyrus (BA3) and the left and right premotor cortex (BA6) as the most significant source of activity for tools only. These data hint at an automatic access to motoric object properties even under conditions in which attention is devoted to other stimulus categories.

  4. Optimal kVp selection for dual-energy imaging of the chest: Evaluation by task-specific observer preference tests

    SciTech Connect

    Williams, D. B.; Siewerdsen, J. H.; Tward, D. J.; Paul, N. S.; Dhanantwari, A. C.; Shkumat, N. A.; Richard, S.; Yorkston, J.; Van Metter, R.

    2007-10-15

    Human observer performance tests were conducted to identify optimal imaging techniques in dual-energy (DE) imaging of the chest with respect to a variety of visualization tasks for soft and bony tissue. Specifically, the effect of kVp selection in low- and high-energy projection pairs was investigated. DE images of an anthropomorphic chest phantom formed the basis for observer studies, decomposed from low-energy and high-energy projections in the range 60-90 kVp and 120-150 kVp, respectively, with total dose for the DE image equivalent to that of a single chest radiograph. Five expert radiologists participated in observer preference tests to evaluate differences in image quality among the DE images. For visualization of soft-tissue structures in the lung, the [60/130] kVp pair provided optimal image quality, whereas [60/140] kVp proved optimal for delineation of the descending aorta in the retrocardiac region. Such soft-tissue detectability tasks exhibited a strong dependence on the low-kVp selection (with 60 kVp providing maximum soft-tissue conspicuity) and a weaker dependence on the high-kVp selection (typically highest at 130-140 kVp). Qualitative examination of DE bone-only images suggests optimal bony visualization at a similar technique, viz., [60/140] kVp. Observer preference was largely consistent with quantitative analysis of contrast, noise, and contrast-to-noise ratio, with subtle differences likely related to the imaging task and spatial-frequency characteristics of the noise. Observer preference tests offered practical, semiquantitative identification of optimal, task-specific imaging techniques and will provide useful guidance toward clinical implementation of high-performance DE imaging systems.

  5. 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

    Berger, Marc L; Martin, Bradley C; Husereau, Don; Worley, Karen; Allen, J Daniel; Yang, Winnie; Quon, Nicole C; Mullins, C Daniel; Kahler, Kristijan H; Crown, William

    2014-03-01

    Evidence-based health care 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. Widespread adoption of evidence from observational studies, however, has been limited because of various 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 Task Force addressing 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.

  6. The Effectiveness of Predict-Observe-Explain Tasks in Diagnosing Students' Understanding of Science and in Identifying Their Levels of Achievement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Liew, Chong-Wah; Treagust, David F.

    This study involves action research to explore the effectiveness of the Predict-Observe-Explain (POE) technique in diagnosing students' understanding of science and identifying their levels of achievement. A multidimensional interpretive framework is used to interpret students' understanding of science. The research methodology incorporated…

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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 Central

    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. PMID:23130007

  10. 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" gesture…

  11. 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.

  12. Electrophysiological evaluation of nerve function in inferior alveolar nerve injury: relationship between nerve action potentials and histomorphometric observations.

    PubMed

    Murayama, M; Sasaki, K; Shibahara, T

    2015-12-01

    The objective of this study was to improve the accuracy of diagnosis of inferior alveolar nerve (IAN) injury by determining degrees of nerve disturbance using the sensory nerve action potential (SNAP) and sensory nerve conduction velocity (SCV). Crush and partial and complete nerve amputation injuries were applied to the IAN of rabbits, then SNAPs and histomorphometric observations were recorded at 1, 5, and 10 weeks. For crush injury, most nerves were smaller in diameter at 5 weeks than at 1 week, however after 10 weeks, extensive nerve regeneration was observed. The SNAP showed a decrease in SCV at weeks 1 and 5, followed by an increase at week 10. For partial nerve amputation, small to medium-sized nerve fibres were observed at weeks 1 and 5, then larger nerves were seen at week 10. Minimal changes in SCV were observed at weeks 1 and 5, however SCV increased at week 10. For complete nerve amputation, nerve fibres were sparse at week 1, but gradual nerve regeneration was observed at weeks 5 and 10. SNAPs were detectable from week 10, however the SCV was extremely low. This study showed SCV to be an effective factor in the evaluation of nerve injury and regeneration. PMID:26433750

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Collimator optimization in myocardial perfusion SPECT using the ideal observer and realistic background variability for lesion detection and joint detection and localization tasks.

    PubMed

    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 computed

  16. Collimator optimization in myocardial perfusion SPECT using the ideal observer and realistic background variability for lesion detection and joint detection and localization tasks.

    PubMed

    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 computed

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

    2015-04-01

    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 (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

  1. Is Learning by Observation Impaired in Children with Dyslexia?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Menghini, Deny; Vicari, Stefano; Mandolesi, Laura; Petrosini, Laura

    2011-01-01

    Numerous studies have shown that imitating observed actions belongs to the same category of processes involved in planning and executing actions. New competencies may be acquired by actually executing a task or by executing a task after having seen how to do it. The performance of thirty dyslexic children was compared with that of an age- and…

  2. Hand and Grasp Selection in a Preferential Reaching Task: The Effects of Object Location, Orientation, and Task Intention.

    PubMed

    Scharoun, Sara M; Scanlan, Kelly A; Bryden, Pamela J

    2016-01-01

    As numerous movement options are available in reaching and grasping, of particular interest are what factors influence an individual's choice of action. In the current study a preferential reaching task was used to assess the propensity for right handers to select their preferred hand and grasp a coffee mug by the handle in both independent and joint action object manipulation contexts. Mug location (right-space, midline, and left-space) and handle orientation (toward, away, to left, and to right of the participant) varied in four tasks that differed as a function of intention: (1) pick-up (unimanual, independent); (2) pick-up and pour (bimanual, independent); (3) pick-up and pass (unimanual, joint action); and (4) pick-up, pour and pass (bimanual, joint action). In line with previous reports, a right-hand preference for unimanual tasks was observed. Furthermore, extending existing literature to a preferential reaching task, role differentiation between the hands in bimanual tasks (i.e., preferred hand mobilizing, non-preferred hand stabilizing) was displayed. Finally, right-hand selection was greatest in right space, albeit lower in bimanual tasks compared to what is typically reported in unimanual tasks. Findings are attributed to the desire to maximize biomechanical efficiency in reaching. Grasp postures were also observed to reflect consideration of efficiency. More specifically, within independent object manipulation (pick-up; pick-up and pour) participants only grasped the mug by the handle when it afforded a comfortable posture. Furthermore, in joint action (pick-up and pass; pick-up, pour and pass), the confederate was only offered the handle if the intended action of the confederate was similar or required less effort than that of the participant. Together, findings from the current study add to our knowledge of hand and grasp selection in unimanual and bimanual object manipulation, within the context of both independent and joint action tasks. PMID

  3. Grid Task Execution

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hu, Chaumin

    2007-01-01

    IPG Execution Service is a framework that reliably executes complex jobs on a computational grid, and is part of the IPG service architecture designed to support location-independent computing. The new grid service enables users to describe the platform on which they need a job to run, which allows the service to locate the desired platform, configure it for the required application, and execute the job. After a job is submitted, users can monitor it through periodic notifications, or through queries. Each job consists of a set of tasks that performs actions such as executing applications and managing data. Each task is executed based on a starting condition that is an expression of the states of other tasks. This formulation allows tasks to be executed in parallel, and also allows a user to specify tasks to execute when other tasks succeed, fail, or are canceled. The two core components of the Execution Service are the Task Database, which stores tasks that have been submitted for execution, and the Task Manager, which executes tasks in the proper order, based on the user-specified starting conditions, and avoids overloading local and remote resources while executing tasks.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Task Analysis: A Proactive Paradigm.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cipriano, Robert E.

    A sequential and developmental curriculum design is conceptualized, based on task analysis. Task analysis is a detailed inquiry into actions undertaken in performing specific tasks or jobs. Baseline data form a database on which education and training programs are designed, produced, and evaluated. The following are sources of information for task…

  7. 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.

  8. Joint action: bodies and minds moving together.

    PubMed

    Sebanz, Natalie; Bekkering, Harold; Knoblich, Günther

    2006-02-01

    The ability to coordinate our actions with those of others is crucial for our success as individuals and as a species. Progress in understanding the cognitive and neural processes involved in joint action has been slow and sparse, because cognitive neuroscientists have predominantly studied individual minds and brains in isolation. However, in recent years, major advances have been made by investigating perception and action in social context. In this article we outline how studies on joint attention, action observation, task sharing, action coordination and agency contribute to the understanding of the cognitive and neural processes supporting joint action. Several mechanisms are proposed that allow individuals to share representations, to predict actions, and to integrate predicted effects of own and others' actions. PMID:16406326

  9. Cortical Excitability During Passive Action Observation in Hospitalized Adults With Subacute Moderate to Severe Traumatic Brain Injury: A Preliminary TMS Study.

    PubMed

    Fecteau, Shirley; Dickler, Maya; Pelayo, Raul; Kumru, Hatice; Bernabeu, Monste; Opisso Salleras, Eloy; Tormos, José Maria; Pascual-Leone, Alvaro

    2015-07-01

    Studies indicate that motor functions in patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI) can be improved with action observation. It has been hypothesized that this clinical practice relies on modulation of motor cortical excitability elicited by passive action observation in patients with TBI, a phenomenon shown thus far only in normal controls. The purpose of this work was to test this hypothesis and characterize the modulation of motor cortex excitability during passive action observation in patients with subacute moderate to severe TBI. We measured motor evoked potentials induced by single-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation to the left primary motor cortex and recorded from the contralateral first dorsal interosseus while 20 participants observed videos of static and moving right index finger. Results were compared with those of 20 age-and gender-matched healthy controls. As expected, greater excitability was elicited during moving than static stimuli in healthy subjects. However, this was not observed in patients with TBI. Modulation of motor excitability during action observation is impaired in patients with TBI depending on motor dysfunction, lesion site, and number of days postinjury. These preliminary results suggest a strategy to identify patients in whom action observation might be a valuable neurorehabilitative strategy. PMID:25505219

  10. 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…

  11. 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.

  12. 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. PMID:24836122

  13. Influence of the actions observed on cervical motion in patients with chronic neck pain: a pilot study.

    PubMed

    de-la-Puente-Ranea, Lucía; García-Calvo, Beatriz; La Touche, Roy; Fernández-Carnero, Josué; Gil-Martínez, Alfonso

    2016-08-01

    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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Influence of the actions observed on cervical motion in patients with chronic neck pain: a pilot study.

    PubMed

    de-la-Puente-Ranea, Lucía; García-Calvo, Beatriz; La Touche, Roy; Fernández-Carnero, Josué; Gil-Martínez, Alfonso

    2016-08-01

    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.

  17. Hierarchical Encoding of Behavior: Translating Perception into Action

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hard, Bridgette Martin; Lozano, Sandra C.; Tversky, Barbara

    2006-01-01

    People encode goal-directed behaviors, such as assembling an object, by segmenting them into discrete actions, organized as goal-subgoal hierarchies. Does hierarchical encoding contribute to observational learning? Participants in 3 experiments segmented an object assembly task into coarse and fine units of action and later performed it…

  18. Bottom-Up Influences on Voluntary Task Switching: The Elusive Homunculus Escapes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yeung, Nick

    2010-01-01

    Voluntary action can be studied by giving participants free choice over which task to perform in response to each presented stimulus. In such experiments, performance costs are observed when participants choose to switch tasks from the previous trial. It has been proposed that these costs primarily index the time-consuming operation of top-down…

  19. Action goals influence action-specific perception.

    PubMed

    Cañal-Bruland, Rouwen; van der Kamp, John

    2009-12-01

    We examined the processes that mediate the emergence of action-specific influences on perception that have recently been reported for baseball batting and golf putting (Witt, Linkenauger, Bakdash, & Proffitt, 2008; Witt & Proffitt, 2005). To this end, we used a Schokokusswurfmaschine: Children threw a ball at a target, which, if hit successfully, launched a ball that the children then had to catch. In two experiments, children performed either a throwing-and-catching task or a throwing-only task, in which no ball was launched. After each task, the size of the target or of the ball was estimated. Results indicate that action-specific influences on perceived size occur for objects that are related to the end goal of the action, but not for objects that are related to intermediate action goals. These results suggest that action-specific influences on perception are contingent upon the primary action goals to be achieved.

  20. 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

  1. Task-based evaluation of a 4D MAP-RBI-EM image reconstruction method for gated myocardial perfusion SPECT using a human observer study.

    PubMed

    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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. "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…

  8. 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…

  9. Your own actions influence how you perceive other people: A misattribution of action appraisals

    PubMed Central

    Tipper, Steven P.; Bach, Patric

    2008-01-01

    The attribution of personal traits to other persons depends on the actions the observer performs at the same time (Bach & Tipper, 2007). Here, we show that the effect reflects a misattribution of appraisals of the observers’ own actions to the actions of others. We exploited spatial compatibility effects to manipulate how fluently—how fast and how accurately—participants identified two individuals performing sporty or academic actions. The traits attributed to each person in a subsequent rating task depended on the fluency of participants’ responses in a specific manner. An individual more fluently identified while performing the academic action appeared more academic and less sporty. An individual more fluently identified while performing the sporty action appeared sportier. Thus, social perception is—at least partially—embodied. The ease of our own responses can be misattributed to the actions of others, affecting which personal traits are attributed to them. PMID:21633518

  10. 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.

  11. Action controls dopaminergic enhancement of reward representations

    PubMed Central

    Guitart-Masip, Marc; Chowdhury, Rumana; Sharot, Tali; Dayan, Peter; Duzel, Emrah; Dolan, Raymond J.

    2012-01-01

    Dopamine is widely observed to signal anticipation of future rewards and thus thought to be a key contributor to affectively charged decision making. However, the experiments supporting this view have not dissociated rewards from the actions that lead to, or are occasioned by, them. Here, we manipulated dopamine pharmacologically and examined the effect on a task that explicitly dissociates action and reward value. We show that dopamine enhanced the neural representation of rewarding actions, without significantly affecting the representation of reward value as such. Thus, increasing dopamine levels with levodopa selectively boosted striatal and substantia nigra/ventral tegmental representations associated with actions leading to reward, but not with actions leading to the avoidance of punishment. These findings highlight a key role for dopamine in the generation of appetitively motivated actions. PMID:22529363

  12. Action Congruency Influences Crowding When Discriminating Biological Motion Direction.

    PubMed

    Ikeda, Hanako; Watanabe, Katsumi

    2016-09-01

    Identification and discrimination of peripheral stimuli are often difficult when a few stimuli adjacent to the target are present (crowding). Our previous study showed that crowding occurs for walking direction discrimination of a biological motion stimulus. In the present study, we attempted to examine whether action congruency between the target and flankers would influence the crowding effect on biological motion stimuli. Each biological motion stimulus comprised one action (e.g., walking, throwing wastepaper, etc.) and was rotated in one of five directions around the vertical axis. In Experiment 1, observers discriminated between the directions of the target stimulus actions, which were surrounded by two flankers in the peripheral visual field. The crowding effect was stronger when the flankers performed the same action as the target and the directions differed. The congruency of action type enhanced the crowding effect in the direction-discrimination task. In Experiment 2, observers discriminated between action types of target stimuli. The crowding effect for the action-discrimination task was not modulated by the congruency of action direction. Thus, identical actions induced a larger crowding effect for action-direction discrimination, but congruent directions did not influence crowding for action-type discrimination. These results suggest that the processes involved in direction discrimination of biological motion are partially distinct from action discrimination processes.

  13. 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.

  14. Action verbal fluency in Parkinson's patients.

    PubMed

    Rodrigues, Inês Tello; Ferreira, Joaquim J; Coelho, Miguel; Rosa, Mario M; Castro-Caldas, Alexandre

    2015-06-01

    We compared the performance of 31 non-demented Parkinson's disease (PD) patients to 61 healthy controls in an action verbal fluency task. Semantic and phonemic fluencies, cognitive impairment and behavioural dysfunction were also assessed. The mean disease duration of PD was 9.8 years (standard deviation (SD) = 6.13). There were no age (U = 899.5, p = 0.616), gender(chi-square = 0.00, p = 1.00) or literacy (U = 956, p = 0.96) differences between the two groups. A significant difference was observed between the two groups in the action verbal fluency task (U = 406.5, p < 0.01) that was not found in the other fluency tasks. The education level was the only biographical variable that influenced the action (verb) fluency outcomes, irrespective of disease duration. Our findings suggest a correlation between the disease mechanisms in PD and a specific verb deficit, support the validity of the action (verb) fluency as an executive function measure and suggest that this task provides unique information not captured with traditional executive function tasks. PMID:26083889

  15. A note on the discrepancy between the predicted and observed speed of the propagated action potential in the squid giant axon.

    PubMed

    Lindsay, K A; Rosenberg, J R; Tucker, G

    2004-09-01

    The Hodgkin-Huxley model for the ionic currents in the membrane of the squid giant axon has become the standard model for the electrophysiological behaviour of many excitable cells. A strong test of the model predicted a travelling wave speed of 18.76 m/s for the propagated action potential in an axon with a reported speed of 21.2 m/s. This discrepancy between prediction and observation was considered satisfactory when the model was proposed 50 years ago, appears not to have been re-evaluated, but is unsatisfactory for a mature and important model. The separate and combined influences of measurement error and biological variability on the discrepancy between prediction and observation are quantified, as is the effect of using of a one-dimensional model to represent a three-dimensional axon. The main tool in this investigation is the use of simulation to study the behaviour of the Hodgkin-Huxley membrane model. These studies show that measurement error in combination with biological variability cannot account for the discrepancy between prediction and observation. Also, calculation shows that the one-dimensional description of the behaviour of the axon is adequate. Further calculation shows that the travelling wave description of the propagated action potential is valid only for sufficiently long axons. In shorter axons the propagated action potential is predicted to travel faster than the travelling wave; consequently under suitable experimental conditions the discrepancy between prediction and observation may be negligible.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.…

  20. 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

  1. 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

    2015-12-01

    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

  2. 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…

  3. Effects of being imitated on motor responses evoked by pain observation: exerting control determines action tendencies when perceiving pain in others.

    PubMed

    De Coster, Lize; Andres, Michael; Brass, Marcel

    2014-05-14

    Brain-imaging research has shown that experiencing pain oneself and perceiving pain in others lead to a similar pattern of activation, suggesting that the latter is based on internal simulation of the observed pain. Further evidence for this idea stems from transcranial magnetic stimulation measuring corticospinal excitability (CSE). It has been demonstrated that our motor cortex is involved whenever we observe another person receiving painful stimulation to the hand (Avenanti et al., 2005). However, both decreases and increases of CSE have been described during pain observation, so the exact nature of these CSE changes has remained unclear so far. In the present study, we hypothesized that CSE changes are determined by the control that the observer has over the hand that receives painful stimulation. To test this hypothesis, we manipulated the control over the observed hand using a paradigm in which participants' movements are being imitated by a hand on screen-giving them full control over the hand-or not. Consistent with previous results, we evidenced a decrease in CSE when participants experienced no control over the hand that received painful stimulation. In contrast, inducing control resulted in an increase in CSE. We conclude that exerting control over the observed hand leads to a completely altered action tendency. Whereas an anesthetic response is typically observed in the absence of control, increasing control induces motor facilitation reminiscent of preparation of an avoidance response. PMID:24828648

  4. The Observation and Execution of Actions Share Motor and Somatosensory Voxels in all Tested Subjects: Single-Subject Analyses of Unsmoothed fMRI Data

    PubMed Central

    Keysers, Christian

    2009-01-01

    Many neuroimaging studies of the mirror neuron system (MNS) examine if certain voxels in the brain are shared between action observation and execution (shared voxels, sVx). Unfortunately, finding sVx in standard group analyses is not a guarantee that sVx exist in individual subjects. Using unsmoothed, single-subject analyses we show sVx can be reliably found in all 16 investigated participants. Beside the ventral premotor (BA6/44) and inferior parietal cortex (area PF) where mirror neurons (MNs) have been found in monkeys, sVx were reliably observed in dorsal premotor, supplementary motor, middle cingulate, somatosensory (BA3, BA2, and OP1), superior parietal, middle temporal cortex and cerebellum. For the premotor, somatosensory and parietal areas, sVx were more numerous in the left hemisphere. The hand representation of the primary motor cortex showed a reduced BOLD during hand action observation, possibly preventing undesired overt imitation. This study provides a more detailed description of the location and reliability of sVx and proposes a model that extends the original idea of the MNS to include forward and inverse internal models and motor and sensory simulation, distinguishing the MNS from a more general concept of sVx. PMID:19020203

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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. PMID:27555947

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Time Will Show: Real Time Predictions during Interpersonal Action Perception

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:23349992

  14. Binding actions and scenes in visual long-term memory.

    PubMed

    Urgolites, Zhisen Jiang; Wood, Justin N

    2013-12-01

    How does visual long-term memory store representations of different entities (e.g., objects, actions, and scenes) that are present in the same visual event? Are the different entities stored as an integrated representation in memory, or are they stored separately? To address this question, we asked observers to view a large number of events; in each event, an action was performed within a scene. Afterward, the participants were shown pairs of action-scene sets and indicated which of the two they had seen. When the task required recognizing the individual actions and scenes, performance was high (80%). Conversely, when the task required remembering which actions had occurred within which scenes, performance was significantly lower (59%). We observed this dissociation between memory for individual entities and memory for entity bindings across multiple testing conditions and presentation durations. These experiments indicate that visual long-term memory stores information about actions and information about scenes separately from one another, even when an action and scene were observed together in the same visual event. These findings also highlight an important limitation of human memory: Situations that require remembering actions and scenes as integrated events (e.g., eyewitness testimony) may be particularly vulnerable to memory errors. PMID:23653419

  15. Embodied communication: speakers' gestures affect listeners' actions.

    PubMed

    Cook, Susan Wagner; Tanenhaus, Michael K

    2009-10-01

    We explored how speakers and listeners use hand gestures as a source of perceptual-motor information during naturalistic communication. After solving the Tower of Hanoi task either with real objects or on a computer, speakers explained the task to listeners. Speakers' hand gestures, but not their speech, reflected properties of the particular objects and the actions that they had previously used to solve the task. Speakers who solved the problem with real objects used more grasping handshapes and produced more curved trajectories during the explanation. Listeners who observed explanations from speakers who had previously solved the problem with real objects subsequently treated computer objects more like real objects; their mouse trajectories revealed that they lifted the objects in conjunction with moving them sideways, and this behavior was related to the particular gestures that were observed. These findings demonstrate that hand gestures are a reliable source of perceptual-motor information during human communication. PMID:19682672

  16. The (un)coupling between action execution and observation. Comment on "Grasping synergies: A motor-control approach to the mirror neuron mechanism" by D'Ausilio, Bartoli and Maffongelli

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cavallo, Andrea; Ansuini, Caterina; Becchio, Cristina

    2015-03-01

    When we observe actions performed by others, our motor system resonates along with that of the observed agent [1]. The exact features of this resonant motor response, however, are unclear. Do we mirror the goal of others' actions or rather the low-kinematic features of their movements? D'Ausilio et al. suggest that this is an ill-defined problem: the mirror system plausibly replicates the same computational mechanisms implicated by motor control. Accordingly, motor synergies may not only constitute a pervasive element of motor control, but also form the fundamental unit of action observation.

  17. 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…

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. The timing and precision of action prediction in the aging brain.

    PubMed

    Diersch, Nadine; Jones, Alex L; Cross, Emily S

    2016-01-01

    Successful social interactions depend on the ability to anticipate other people's actions. Current conceptualizations of brain function propose that causes of sensory input are inferred through their integration with internal predictions generated in the observer's motor system during action observation. Less is known concerning how action prediction changes with age. Previously we showed that internal action representations are less specific in older compared with younger adults at behavioral and neural levels. Here, we characterize how neural activity varies while healthy older adults aged 56-71 years predict the time-course of an unfolding action as well as the relation to task performance. By using fMRI, brain activity was measured while participants observed partly occluded actions and judged the temporal coherence of the action continuation that was manipulated. We found that neural activity in frontoparietal and occipitotemporal regions increased the more an action continuation was shifted backwards in time. Action continuations that were shifted towards the future preferentially engaged early visual cortices. Increasing age was associated with neural activity that extended from posterior to anterior regions in frontal and superior temporal cortices. Lower sensitivity in action prediction resulted in activity increases in the caudate. These results imply that the neural implementation of predicting actions undergoes similar changes as the neural process of executing actions in older adults. The comparison between internal predictions and sensory input seems to become less precise with age leading to difficulties in anticipating observed actions accurately, possibly due to less specific internal action models. PMID:26503586

  1. 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. PMID:27014025

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. The dopamine D2/D3 receptor agonist quinpirole increases checking-like behaviour in an operant observing response task with uncertain reinforcement: A novel possible model of OCD?

    PubMed Central

    Eagle, Dawn M.; Noschang, Cristie; d’Angelo, Laure-Sophie Camilla; Noble, Christie A.; Day, Jacob O.; Dongelmans, Marie Louise; Theobald, David E.; Mar, Adam C.; Urcelay, Gonzalo P.; Morein-Zamir, Sharon; Robbins, Trevor W.

    2014-01-01

    Excessive checking is a common, debilitating symptom of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). In an established rodent model of OCD checking behaviour, quinpirole (dopamine D2/3-receptor agonist) increased checking in open-field tests, indicating dopaminergic modulation of checking-like behaviours. We designed a novel operant paradigm for rats (observing response task (ORT)) to further examine cognitive processes underpinning checking behaviour and clarify how and why checking develops. We investigated i) how quinpirole increases checking, ii) dependence of these effects on D2/3 receptor function (following treatment with D2/3 receptor antagonist sulpiride) and iii) effects of reward uncertainty. In the ORT, rats pressed an ‘observing’ lever for information about the location of an ‘active’ lever that provided food reinforcement. High- and low-checkers (defined from baseline observing) received quinpirole (0.5 mg/kg, 10 treatments) or vehicle. Parametric task manipulations assessed observing/checking under increasing task demands relating to reinforcement uncertainty (variable response requirement and active-lever location switching). Treatment with sulpiride further probed the pharmacological basis of long-term behavioural changes. Quinpirole selectively increased checking, both functional observing lever presses (OLPs) and non-functional extra OLPs (EOLPs). The increase in OLPs and EOLPs was long-lasting, without further quinpirole administration. Quinpirole did not affect the immediate ability to use information from checking. Vehicle and quinpirole-treated rats (VEH and QNP respectively) were selectively sensitive to different forms of uncertainty. Sulpiride reduced non-functional EOLPs in QNP rats but had no effect on functional OLPs. These data have implications for treatment of compulsive checking in OCD, particularly for serotonin-reuptake-inhibitor treatment-refractory cases, where supplementation with dopamine receptor antagonists may be

  5. Students' Engagement in Literacy Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Parsons, Seth A.; Malloy, Jacquelynn A.; Parsons, Allison Ward; Burrowbridge, Sarah Cohen

    2015-01-01

    This article offers insight into what makes literacy tasks engaging or disengaging based on observations of and interviews with students. In a yearlong study of a sixth-grade classroom in a Title I school, students engaged in integrated literacy-social studies instruction. Researchers studied the degree of task openness and the degree to which…

  6. 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.

  7. Language bootstrapping: learning word meanings from perception-action association.

    PubMed

    Salvi, Giampiero; Montesano, Luis; Bernardino, Alexandre; Santos-Victor, José

    2012-06-01

    We address the problem of bootstrapping language acquisition for an artificial system similarly to what is observed in experiments with human infants. Our method works by associating meanings to words in manipulation tasks, as a robot interacts with objects and listens to verbal descriptions of the interactions. The model is based on an affordance network, i.e., a mapping between robot actions, robot perceptions, and the perceived effects of these actions upon objects. We extend the affordance model to incorporate spoken words, which allows us to ground the verbal symbols to the execution of actions and the perception of the environment. The model takes verbal descriptions of a task as the input and uses temporal co-occurrence to create links between speech utterances and the involved objects, actions, and effects. We show that the robot is able form useful word-to-meaning associations, even without considering grammatical structure in the learning process and in the presence of recognition errors. These word-to-meaning associations are embedded in the robot's own understanding of its actions. Thus, they can be directly used to instruct the robot to perform tasks and also allow to incorporate context in the speech recognition task. We believe that the encouraging results with our approach may afford robots with a capacity to acquire language descriptors in their operation's environment as well as to shed some light as to how this challenging process develops with human infants.

  8. 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

  9. Action on Affirmative Action.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wells, Allen R.

    1987-01-01

    Describes how Lambton County (Ontario) school board implemented activities to encourage equal opportunity for employees and students: delegating temporary management responsibility equally to male/female staff, standardizing procedures for and publicizing promotional opportunities, assigning classroom tasks by pursuing class lists without regard…

  10. Social modulation of spatial judgment: The case of line bisection task.

    PubMed

    D'Ascenzo, Stefania; Rubichi, Sandro; Di Gregorio, Gianluca; Tommasi, Luca

    2016-06-01

    Our actions are influenced by the social context in which they are performed, specifically it has been shown that observing others' actions influences the execution of the same action. In the present study, we examined whether and to what extent observers are influenced by the presence and performance of another person in a visual spatial task, using a line bisection paradigm in which two participants performed the task in turns while sitting in front of each other. Thirty pairs of participants took part in the experiment, which was divided into a non-social and a social session. In the latter, each participant was alternately an agent (performing the task) and an observer (evaluating covertly the other's performance). Results show that the leftward bias (pseudoneglect) in the line bisection task was significantly reduced when the task was performed in the social session, although the bias (both in the non-social and in the social session) was observed only when the left hand was used. Moreover, a dissociation between performance and perception was observed: the judgment given to the other's performance (which visually deviated in the direction opposite to one's own bias due to the spatial arrangement of participants and their facing vantage points) was significantly in disagreement with one's own performance. Overall, our results demonstrate that the other's presence influences our own action during a line bisection task and that spatial judgments on other's performance can modulate our own performance, even when coordination between participants is not required. Results are discussed in relation to social influence and perspective taking in the general framework of interpersonal resonance.

  11. Encoding of human action in Broca's area.

    PubMed

    Fazio, Patrik; Cantagallo, Anna; Craighero, Laila; D'Ausilio, Alessandro; Roy, Alice C; Pozzo, Thierry; Calzolari, Ferdinando; Granieri, Enrico; Fadiga, Luciano

    2009-07-01

    Broca's area has been considered, for over a century, as the brain centre responsible for speech production. Modern neuroimaging and neuropsychological evidence have suggested a wider functional role is played by this area. In addition to the evidence that it is involved in syntactical analysis, mathematical calculation and music processing, it has recently been shown that Broca's area may play some role in language comprehension and, more generally, in understanding actions of other individuals. As shown by functional magnetic resonance imaging, Broca's area is one of the cortical areas activated by hand/mouth action observation and it has been proposed that it may form a crucial node of a human mirror-neuron system. If, on the one hand, neuroimaging studies use a correlational approach which cannot offer a final proof for such claims, available neuropsychological data fail to offer a conclusive demonstration for two main reasons: (i) they use tasks taxing both language and action systems; and (ii) they rarely consider the possibility that Broca's aphasics may also be affected by some form of apraxia. We administered a novel action comprehension test--with almost no linguistic requirements--on selected frontal aphasic patients lacking apraxic symptoms. Patients, as well as matched controls, were shown short movies of human actions or of physical events. Their task consisted of ordering, in a temporal sequence, four pictures taken from each movie and randomly presented on the computer screen. Patient's performance showed a specific dissociation in their ability to re-order pictures of human actions (impaired) with respect to physical events (spared). Our study provides a demonstration that frontal aphasics, not affected by apraxia, are specifically impaired in their capability to correctly encode observed human actions.

  12. Effects of the model's handedness and observer's viewpoint on observational learning.

    PubMed

    Rohbanfard, Hassan; Proteau, Luc

    2011-10-01

    Observation promotes motor skill learning. However, little is known about the type of model and conditions of observation that can optimize learning. In this study, we investigated the effects of the model's handedness and the observer's viewpoint on the learning of a complex spatiotemporal task. Four groups of right-handed participants observed, from either a first- or third-person viewpoint, right- or left-handed models performing the task. Observation resulted in significant learning. More importantly, observation of same-handed models resulted in improved learning as compared with observation of opposite-handed models, regardless of the observer's viewpoint. This suggests that the action observation network (AON) is more sensitive to the model's handedness than to the observer's viewpoint. Our results are consistent with recent studies that suggest that the AON is linked to or involves sensorimotor regions of the brain that simulate motor programming as if the observed movement was performed with one's own dominant hand.

  13. On the influence of reward on action-effect binding.

    PubMed

    Muhle-Karbe, Paul S; Krebs, Ruth M

    2012-01-01

    Ideomotor theory states that the formation of anticipatory representations about the perceptual consequences of an action [i.e., action-effect (A-E) binding] provides the functional basis of voluntary action control. A host of studies have demonstrated that A-E binding occurs fast and effortlessly, yet little is known about cognitive and affective factors that influence this learning process. In the present study, we sought to test whether the motivational value of an action modulates the acquisition of A-E associations. To this end, we linked specific actions with monetary incentives during the acquisition of novel A-E mappings. In a subsequent test phase, the degree of binding was assessed by presenting the former effect stimuli as task-irrelevant response primes in a forced-choice response task, absent reward. Binding, as indexed by response priming through the former action-effects, was only found for reward-related A-E mappings. Moreover, the degree to which reward associations modulated the binding strength was predicted by individuals' trait sensitivity to reward. These observations indicate that the association of actions and their immediate outcomes depends on the motivational value of the action during learning, as well as on the motivational disposition of the individual. On a larger scale, these findings also highlight the link between ideomotor theories and reinforcement-learning theories, providing an interesting perspective for future research on anticipatory regulation of behavior.

  14. On the influence of reward on action-effect binding.

    PubMed

    Muhle-Karbe, Paul S; Krebs, Ruth M

    2012-01-01

    Ideomotor theory states that the formation of anticipatory representations about the perceptual consequences of an action [i.e., action-effect (A-E) binding] provides the functional basis of voluntary action control. A host of studies have demonstrated that A-E binding occurs fast and effortlessly, yet little is known about cognitive and affective factors that influence this learning process. In the present study, we sought to test whether the motivational value of an action modulates the acquisition of A-E associations. To this end, we linked specific actions with monetary incentives during the acquisition of novel A-E mappings. In a subsequent test phase, the degree of binding was assessed by presenting the former effect stimuli as task-irrelevant response primes in a forced-choice response task, absent reward. Binding, as indexed by response priming through the former action-effects, was only found for reward-related A-E mappings. Moreover, the degree to which reward associations modulated the binding strength was predicted by individuals' trait sensitivity to reward. These observations indicate that the association of actions and their immediate outcomes depends on the motivational value of the action during learning, as well as on the motivational disposition of the individual. On a larger scale, these findings also highlight the link between ideomotor theories and reinforcement-learning theories, providing an interesting perspective for future research on anticipatory regulation of behavior. PMID:23130005

  15. 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. PMID:26151634

  16. 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…

  17. To eat or not to eat? Kinematics and muscle activity of reach-to-grasp movements are influenced by the action goal, but observers do not detect these differences.

    PubMed

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

    2013-03-01

    Recent evidence suggests that the mirror neuron system responds to the goals of actions, even when the end of the movement is hidden from view. To investigate whether this predictive ability might be based on the detection of early differences between actions with different outcomes, we used electromyography (EMG) and motion tracking to assess whether two actions with different goals (grasp to eat and grasp to place) differed from each other in their initial reaching phases. In a second experiment, we then tested whether observers could detect early differences and predict the outcome of these movements, based on seeing only part of the actions. Experiment 1 revealed early kinematic differences between the two movements, with grasp-to-eat movements characterised by an earlier peak acceleration, and different grasp position, compared to grasp-to-place movements. There were also significant differences in forearm muscle activity in the reaching phase of the two actions. The behavioural data arising from Experiments 2a and 2b indicated that observers are not able to predict whether an object is going to be brought to the mouth or placed until after the grasp has been completed. This suggests that the early kinematic differences are either not visible to observers, or that they are not used to predict the end-goals of actions. These data are discussed in the context of the mirror neuron system.

  18. 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

  19. Cognition, action, and object manipulation.

    PubMed

    Rosenbaum, David A; Chapman, Kate M; Weigelt, Matthias; Weiss, Daniel J; van der Wel, Robrecht

    2012-09-01

    Although psychology is the science of mental life and behavior, little attention has been paid to the means by which mental life is translated into behavior. One domain in which 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 1-hand grasps, 2-hand grasps, walking, and transferring objects from place to place as well as from person to person. The populations in which the tendency has been shown are also diverse, including nonhuman primates as well as human adults, children, and babies. 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, naturalistic observation, and the teaching of psychology.

  20. 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.

  1. Mental simulation of drawing actions enhances delayed recall of a complex figure.

    PubMed

    De Lucia, Natascia; Trojano, Luigi; Senese, Vincenzo Paolo; Conson, Massimiliano

    2016-10-01

    Motor simulation implies that the same motor representations involved in action execution are re-enacted during observation or imagery of actions. Neurofunctional data suggested that observation of letters or abstract paintings can elicit simulation of writing or drawing gestures. We performed four behavioural experiments on right-handed healthy participants to test whether observation of a static and complex geometrical figure implies re-enactment of drawing actions. In Experiment 1, participants had to observe the stimulus without explicit instruction (observation-only condition), while performing irrelevant finger tapping (motor dual task), or while articulating irrelevant verbal material (verbal dual task). Delayed drawing of the stimulus was less accurate in the motor dual-task (interfering with simulation of hand actions) than in verbal dual-task and observation-only conditions. In Experiment 2, delayed drawing in the observation only was as accurate as when participants encoded the stimulus by copying it; in both conditions, accuracy was higher than when participants were instructed to observe the stimulus to recall it later verbally (observe to recall), thus being discouraged from engaging motor simulation. In Experiment 3, delayed drawing was as accurate in the observation-only condition as when participants imagined copying the stimulus; accuracy in both conditions was higher than in the observe-to-recall condition. In Experiment 4, in the observe-only condition participants who observed the stimulus with their right arm hidden behind their back were significantly less accurate than participants who had their left arm hidden. These findings converge in suggesting that mere observation of a geometrical stimulus can activate motor simulation and re-enactment of drawing actions.

  2. Mental simulation of drawing actions enhances delayed recall of a complex figure.

    PubMed

    De Lucia, Natascia; Trojano, Luigi; Senese, Vincenzo Paolo; Conson, Massimiliano

    2016-10-01

    Motor simulation implies that the same motor representations involved in action execution are re-enacted during observation or imagery of actions</