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Sample records for active tasks task

  1. Preparation time modulates pro-active control and enhances task conflict in task switching.

    PubMed

    Kalanthroff, Eyal; Henik, Avishai

    2014-03-01

    Performance in the Stroop task reflects two conflicts--informational (between the incongruent word and ink color) and task (between relevant color naming and irrelevant word reading). Neuroimaging findings support the existence of task conflict in congruent trials. A behavioral indication for task conflict--Stroop reverse facilitation--was found in previous studies under low task-control conditions. Task switching also causes reduction in task control because the task set frequently changes. We hypothesized that it would be harder to efficiently manage task conflicts in switching situations and, specifically, as cue-target interval (CTI) decreases. This suggestion was examined in two experiments using a combined Stroop task-switching design. We found a large interference effect and reverse facilitation that decreased with elongation of CTI. Results imply that task switching reduces pro-active task control and thereby enhances the informational and the task conflicts. This calls for a revision of recent control models to include task conflict. PMID:23712333

  2. Brain activations during bimodal dual tasks depend on the nature and combination of component tasks.

    PubMed

    Salo, Emma; Rinne, Teemu; Salonen, Oili; Alho, Kimmo

    2015-01-01

    We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate brain activations during nine different dual tasks in which the participants were required to simultaneously attend to concurrent streams of spoken syllables and written letters. They performed a phonological, spatial or "simple" (speaker-gender or font-shade) discrimination task within each modality. We expected to find activations associated specifically with dual tasking especially in the frontal and parietal cortices. However, no brain areas showed systematic dual task enhancements common for all dual tasks. Further analysis revealed that dual tasks including component tasks that were according to Baddeley's model "modality atypical," that is, the auditory spatial task or the visual phonological task, were not associated with enhanced frontal activity. In contrast, for other dual tasks, activity specifically associated with dual tasking was found in the left or bilateral frontal cortices. Enhanced activation in parietal areas, however, appeared not to be specifically associated with dual tasking per se, but rather with intermodal attention switching. We also expected effects of dual tasking in left frontal supramodal phonological processing areas when both component tasks required phonological processing and in right parietal supramodal spatial processing areas when both tasks required spatial processing. However, no such effects were found during these dual tasks compared with their component tasks performed separately. Taken together, the current results indicate that activations during dual tasks depend in a complex manner on specific demands of component tasks. PMID:25767443

  3. Brain activations during bimodal dual tasks depend on the nature and combination of component tasks

    PubMed Central

    Salo, Emma; Rinne, Teemu; Salonen, Oili; Alho, Kimmo

    2015-01-01

    We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate brain activations during nine different dual tasks in which the participants were required to simultaneously attend to concurrent streams of spoken syllables and written letters. They performed a phonological, spatial or “simple” (speaker-gender or font-shade) discrimination task within each modality. We expected to find activations associated specifically with dual tasking especially in the frontal and parietal cortices. However, no brain areas showed systematic dual task enhancements common for all dual tasks. Further analysis revealed that dual tasks including component tasks that were according to Baddeley's model “modality atypical,” that is, the auditory spatial task or the visual phonological task, were not associated with enhanced frontal activity. In contrast, for other dual tasks, activity specifically associated with dual tasking was found in the left or bilateral frontal cortices. Enhanced activation in parietal areas, however, appeared not to be specifically associated with dual tasking per se, but rather with intermodal attention switching. We also expected effects of dual tasking in left frontal supramodal phonological processing areas when both component tasks required phonological processing and in right parietal supramodal spatial processing areas when both tasks required spatial processing. However, no such effects were found during these dual tasks compared with their component tasks performed separately. Taken together, the current results indicate that activations during dual tasks depend in a complex manner on specific demands of component tasks. PMID:25767443

  4. Networks of Task Co-Activations

    PubMed Central

    Laird, Angela R.; Eickhoff, Simon B.; Rottschy, Claudia; Bzdok, Danilo; Ray, Kimberly L.; Fox, Peter T.

    2013-01-01

    Recent progress in neuroimaging informatics and meta-analytic techniques has enabled a novel domain of human brain connectomics research that focuses on task-dependent co-activation patterns across behavioral tasks and cognitive domains. Here, we review studies utilizing the BrainMap database to investigate data trends in the activation literature using methods such as meta-analytic connectivity modeling (MACM), connectivity-based parcellation (CPB), and independent component analysis (ICA). We give examples of how these methods are being applied to learn more about the functional connectivity of areas such as the amygdala, the default mode network, and visual area V5. Methods for analyzing the behavioral metadata corresponding to regions of interest and to their intrinsically connected networks are described as a tool for local functional decoding. We finally discuss the relation of observed co-activation connectivity results to resting state connectivity patterns, and provide implications for future work in this domain. PMID:23631994

  5. Task-free MRI predicts individual differences in brain activity during task performance.

    PubMed

    Tavor, I; Parker Jones, O; Mars, R B; Smith, S M; Behrens, T E; Jbabdi, S

    2016-04-01

    When asked to perform the same task, different individuals exhibit markedly different patterns of brain activity. This variability is often attributed to volatile factors, such as task strategy or compliance. We propose that individual differences in brain responses are, to a large degree, inherent to the brain and can be predicted from task-independent measurements collected at rest. Using a large set of task conditions, spanning several behavioral domains, we train a simple model that relates task-independent measurements to task activity and evaluate the model by predicting task activation maps for unseen subjects using magnetic resonance imaging. Our model can accurately predict individual differences in brain activity and highlights a coupling between brain connectivity and function that can be captured at the level of individual subjects. PMID:27124457

  6. Brain activities during synchronized tapping task.

    PubMed

    Hiroyasu, Tomoyuki; Murakami, Akiho; Mao Gto; Yokouchi, Hisatake

    2015-08-01

    This study aims to investigate how people process information about other people to determine a response during human-to-human cooperative work. As a preliminary study, the mechanism of cooperative work was examined using interaction between a machine and a human. This machine was designed to have an "other person" model that simulates an emotional model of another person. The task performed in the experiment was a synchronized tapping task. Two models were prepared for this experiment, a simple model that does not employ the other person model and a synchronized model that employs the other person model. Subjects performed cooperative work with these machines. During the experiment, brain activities were measured using functional near-infrared spectroscopy. It was observed that the left inferior frontal gyrus was activated more with the synchronized model than the simple model. PMID:26737670

  7. Amygdala task-evoked activity and task-free connectivity independently contribute to feelings of arousal.

    PubMed

    Touroutoglou, Alexandra; Bickart, Kevin C; Barrett, Lisa Feldman; Dickerson, Bradford C

    2014-10-01

    Individual differences in the intensity of feelings of arousal while viewing emotional pictures have been associated with the magnitude of task-evoked blood-oxygen dependent (BOLD) response in the amygdala. Recently, we reported that individual differences in feelings of arousal are associated with task-free (resting state) connectivity within the salience network. There has not yet been an investigation of whether these two types of functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) measures are redundant or independent in their relationships to behavior. Here we tested the hypothesis that a combination of task-evoked amygdala activation and task-free amygdala connectivity within the salience network relate to individual differences in feelings of arousal while viewing of negatively potent images. In 25 young adults, results revealed that greater task-evoked amygdala activation and stronger task-free amygdala connectivity within the salience network each contributed independently to feelings of arousal, predicting a total of 45% of its variance. Individuals who had both increased task-evoked amygdala activation and stronger task-free amygdala connectivity within the salience network had the most heightened levels of arousal. Task-evoked amygdala activation and task-free amygdala connectivity within the salience network were not related to each other, suggesting that resting-state and task-evoked dynamic brain imaging measures may provide independent and complementary information about affective experience, and likely other kinds of behaviors as well. PMID:24862171

  8. Cortical Activation Changes During Simple Motor Task over Repeated Sessions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matsuzaki, Shuichi; Yamada, Taro; Wada, Yasuhiro

    Recent fMRI studies of human motor function and learning have reported that the magnitude of brain activity involves a decreasing trend over repeated tasks in the absence of improvements in task performance, probably suggesting the effect of habituation. Here we show that similar effect can be detected by NIRS. In experiments, oxygenated hemoglobin (HbO) changes were monitored during a finger tapping task over repeated sessions. Results showed that task-related brain activity exhibited a decreasing trend on motor-related areas over the sessions. These suggest that measurements of NIRS may exhibit the brain-induced trends over repetition of simple motor tasks.

  9. Modulation of human motoneuron activity by a mental arithmetic task.

    PubMed

    Bensoussan, Laurent; Duclos, Yann; Rossi-Durand, Christiane

    2012-10-01

    This study aimed to determine whether the performance of a mental task affects motoneuron activity. To this end, the tonic discharge pattern of wrist extensor motor units was analyzed in healthy subjects while they were required to maintain a steady wrist extension force and to concurrently perform a mental arithmetic (MA) task. A shortening of the mean inter-spike interval (ISI) and a decrease in ISI variability occurred when MA task was superimposed to the motor task. Aloud and silent MA affected equally the rate and variability of motoneuron discharge. Increases in surface EMG activity and force level were consistent with the modulation of the motor unit discharge rate. Trial-by-trial analysis of the characteristics of motor unit firing revealed that performing MA increases activation of wrist extensor SMU. It is suggested that increase in muscle spindle afferent activity, resulting from fusimotor drive activation by MA, may have contributed to the increase in synaptic inputs to motoneurons during the mental task performance, likely together with enhancement in the descending drive. The finding that a mental task affects motoneuron activity could have consequences in assessment of motor disabilities and in rehabilitation in motor pathologies. PMID:23159444

  10. Task Analysis of Shuttle Entry and Landing Activities

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Holland, Albert W.; Vanderark, Stephen T.

    1993-01-01

    The Task Analysis of Shuttle Entry and Landing (E/L) Activities documents all tasks required to land the Orbiter following an STS mission. In addition to analysis of tasks performed, task conditions are described, including estimated time for completion, altitude, relative velocity, normal and lateral acceleration, location of controls operated or monitored, and level of g's experienced. This analysis precedes further investigations into potential effects of zero g on piloting capabilities for landing the Orbiter following long-duration missions. This includes, but is not limited to, researching the effects of extended duration missions on piloting capabilities. Four primary constraints of the analysis must be clarified: (1) the analysis depicts E/L in a static manner--the actual process is dynamic; (2) the task analysis was limited to a paper analysis, since it was not feasible to conduct research in the actual setting (i.e., observing or filming duration an actual E/L); (3) the tasks included are those required for E/L during nominal, daylight conditions; and (4) certain E/L tasks will vary according to the flying style of each commander.

  11. Active controllers and the time duration to learn a task

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Repperger, D. W.; Goodyear, C.

    1986-01-01

    An active controller was used to help train naive subjects involved in a compensatory tracking task. The controller is called active in this context because it moves the subject's hand in a direction to improve tracking. It is of interest here to question whether the active controller helps the subject to learn a task more rapidly than the passive controller. Six subjects, inexperienced to compensatory tracking, were run to asymptote root mean square error tracking levels with an active controller or a passive controller. The time required to learn the task was defined several different ways. The results of the different measures of learning were examined across pools of subjects and across controllers using statistical tests. The comparison between the active controller and the passive controller as to their ability to accelerate the learning process as well as reduce levels of asymptotic tracking error is reported here.

  12. Physical Activity Perceptions of Task- and Ego-Oriented Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cruickshanks, Carla M.

    2010-01-01

    Children begin to show sedentary behaviors around the age of 12 and increased mortality is associated with sedentary behaviors in children and adults. This case study examined physical activity (PA) perceptions of task oriented and ego oriented children. Research has addressed perceptions based on goal orientations and how perception of PA changes…

  13. Response Activation in Overlapping Tasks and the Response-Selection Bottleneck

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schubert, Torsten; Fischer, Rico; Stelzel, Christine

    2008-01-01

    The authors investigated the impact of response activation on dual-task performance by presenting a subliminal prime before the stimulus in Task 2 (S2) of a psychological refractory period (PRP) task. Congruence between prime and S2 modulated the reaction times in Task 2 at short stimulus onset asynchrony despite a PRP effect. This Task 2…

  14. Prefrontal Activity Predicts Monkeys' Decisions During an Auditory Category Task

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Jung H.; Russ, Brian E.; Orr, Lauren E.; Cohen, Yale E.

    2009-01-01

    The neural correlates that relate auditory categorization to aspects of goal-directed behavior, such as decision-making, are not well understood. Since the prefrontal cortex (PFC) plays an important role in executive function and the categorization of auditory objects, we hypothesized that neural activity in the PFC should predict an animal's behavioral reports (decisions) during a category task. To test this hypothesis, we tested PFC activity that was recorded while monkeys categorized human spoken words (Russ et al., 2008b). We found that activity in the ventrolateral PFC, on average, correlated best with the monkeys' choices than with the auditory stimuli. This finding demonstrates a direct link between PFC activity and behavioral choices during a non-spatial auditory task. PMID:19587846

  15. Characterizing “fibrofog”: Subjective appraisal, objective performance, and task-related brain activity during a working memory task

    PubMed Central

    Walitt, Brian; Čeko, Marta; Khatiwada, Manish; Gracely, John L.; Rayhan, Rakib; VanMeter, John W.; Gracely, Richard H.

    2016-01-01

    The subjective experience of cognitive dysfunction (“fibrofog”) is common in fibromyalgia. This study investigated the relation between subjective appraisal of cognitive function, objective cognitive task performance, and brain activity during a cognitive task using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Sixteen fibromyalgia patients and 13 healthy pain-free controls completed a battery of questionnaires, including the Multiple Ability Self-Report Questionnaire (MASQ), a measure of self-perceived cognitive difficulties. Participants were evaluated for working memory performance using a modified N-back working memory task while undergoing Blood Oxygen Level Dependent (BOLD) fMRI measurements. Fibromyalgia patients and controls did not differ in working memory performance. Subjective appraisal of cognitive function was associated with better performance (accuracy) on the working memory task in healthy controls but not in fibromyalgia patients. In fibromyalgia patients, increased perceived cognitive difficulty was positively correlated with the severity of their symptoms. BOLD response during the working memory task did not differ between the groups. BOLD response correlated with task accuracy in control subjects but not in fibromyalgia patients. Increased subjective cognitive impairment correlated with decreased BOLD response in both groups but in different anatomic regions. In conclusion, “fibrofog” appears to be better characterized by subjective rather than objective impairment. Neurologic correlates of this subjective experience of impairment might be separate from those involved in the performance of cognitive tasks. PMID:26955513

  16. Brain Activation of Identity Switching in Multiple Identity Tracking Task

    PubMed Central

    Lyu, Chuang; Hu, Siyuan; Wei, Liuqing; Zhang, Xuemin; Talhelm, Thomas

    2015-01-01

    When different objects switch identities in the multiple identity tracking (MIT) task, viewers need to rebind objects’ identity and location, which requires attention. This rebinding helps people identify the regions targets are in (where they need to focus their attention) and inhibit unimportant regions (where distractors are). This study investigated the processing of attentional tracking after identity switching in an adapted MIT task. This experiment used three identity-switching conditions: a target-switching condition (where the target objects switched identities), a distractor-switching condition (where the distractor objects switched identities), and a no-switching condition. Compared to the distractor-switching condition, the target-switching condition elicited greater activation in the frontal eye fields (FEF), intraparietal sulcus (IPS), and visual cortex. Compared to the no-switching condition, the target-switching condition elicited greater activation in the FEF, inferior frontal gyrus (pars orbitalis) (IFG-Orb), IPS, visual cortex, middle temporal lobule, and anterior cingulate cortex. Finally, the distractor-switching condition showed greater activation in the IFG-Orb compared to the no-switching condition. These results suggest that, in the target-switching condition, the FEF and IPS (the dorsal attention network) might be involved in goal-driven attention to targets during attentional tracking. In addition, in the distractor-switching condition, the activation of the IFG-Orb may indicate salient change that pulls attention away automatically. PMID:26699865

  17. International Reference Ionosphere (IRI): Task Force Activity 2000

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bilitza, D.

    2000-01-01

    The annual IRI Task Force Activity was held at the Abdus Salam International Center for Theoretical Physics in Trieste, Italy from July 10 to July 14. The participants included J. Adeniyi (University of Ilorin, Nigeria), D. Bilitza (NSSDC/RITSS, USA), D. Buresova (Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Czech Republic), B. Forte (ICTP, Italy), R. Leitinger (University of Graz, Austria), B. Nava (ICTP, Italy), M. Mosert (University National Tucuman, Argentina), S. Pulinets (IZMIRAN, Russia), S. Radicella (ICTP, Italy), and B. Reinisch (University of Mass. Lowell, USA). The main topic of this Task Force Activity was the modeling of the topside ionosphere and the development of strategies for modeling of ionospheric variability. Each day during the workshop week the team debated a specific modeling problem in the morning during informal presentations and round table discussions of all participants. Ways of resolving the specific modeling problem were devised and tested in the afternoon in front of the computers of the ICTP Aeronomy and Radiopropagation Laboratory using ICTP s computer networks and internet access.

  18. Reduction of Dual-task Costs by Noninvasive Modulation of Prefrontal Activity in Healthy Elders

    PubMed Central

    Manor, Brad; Zhou, Junhong; Jor'dan, Azizah; Zhang, Jue; Fang, Jing; Pascual-Leone, Alvaro

    2016-01-01

    Dual tasking (e.g., walking or standing while performing a cognitive task) disrupts performance in one or both tasks, and such dual-task costs increase with aging into senescence. Dual tasking activates a network of brain regions including pFC. We therefore hypothesized that facilitation of prefrontal cortical activity via transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) would reduce dual-task costs in older adults. Thirty-seven healthy older adults completed two visits during which dual tasking was assessed before and after 20 min of real or sham tDCS targeting the left pFC. Trials of single-task standing, walking, and verbalized serial subtractions were completed, along with dual-task trials of standing or walking while performing serial subtractions. Dual-task costs were calculated as the percent change in markers of gait and postural control and serial subtraction performance, from single to dual tasking. Significant dual-task costs to standing, walking, and serial subtraction performance were observed before tDCS (p < .01). These dual-task costs were less after real tDCS as compared with sham tDCS as well as compared with either pre-tDCS condition (p < .03). Further analyses indicated that tDCS did not alter single task performance but instead improved performance solely within dual-task conditions (p < .02). These results demonstrate that dual tasking can be improved by modulating prefrontal activity, thus indicating that dual-task decrements are modifiable and may not necessarily reflect an obligatory consequence of aging. Moreover, tDCS may ultimately serve as a novel approach to preserving dual-task capacity into senescence. PMID:26488591

  19. Understanding Student Coregulation in Task Interpretation during Electronics Laboratory Activities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rivera-Reyes, Presentacion; Lawanto, Oenardi; Pate, Michale L.

    2016-01-01

    Coregulation (CRL) is a transitional process in which students share problem-solving techniques and utilize self-regulated learning (SRL) when interacting with peers. Coregulation may help students to define and modify inconsistencies in their SRL strategy. Task interpretation is described as the critical first step in the SRL process, and it is a…

  20. Task-discriminative space-by-time factorization of muscle activity

    PubMed Central

    Delis, Ioannis; Panzeri, Stefano; Pozzo, Thierry; Berret, Bastien

    2015-01-01

    Movement generation has been hypothesized to rely on a modular organization of muscle activity. Crucial to this hypothesis is the ability to perform reliably a variety of motor tasks by recruiting a limited set of modules and combining them in a task-dependent manner. Thus far, existing algorithms that extract putative modules of muscle activations, such as Non-negative Matrix Factorization (NMF), identify modular decompositions that maximize the reconstruction of the recorded EMG data. Typically, the functional role of the decompositions, i.e., task accomplishment, is only assessed a posteriori. However, as motor actions are defined in task space, we suggest that motor modules should be computed in task space too. In this study, we propose a new module extraction algorithm, named DsNM3F, that uses task information during the module identification process. DsNM3F extends our previous space-by-time decomposition method (the so-called sNM3F algorithm, which could assess task performance only after having computed modules) to identify modules gauging between two complementary objectives: reconstruction of the original data and reliable discrimination of the performed tasks. We show that DsNM3F recovers the task dependence of module activations more accurately than sNM3F. We also apply it to electromyographic signals recorded during performance of a variety of arm pointing tasks and identify spatial and temporal modules of muscle activity that are highly consistent with previous studies. DsNM3F achieves perfect task categorization without significant loss in data approximation when task information is available and generalizes as well as sNM3F when applied to new data. These findings suggest that the space-by-time decomposition of muscle activity finds robust task-discriminating modular representations of muscle activity and that the insertion of task discrimination objectives is useful for describing the task modulation of module recruitment. PMID:26217213

  1. Upper Limb Muscle and Brain Activity in Light Assembly Task on Different Load Levels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zadry, Hilma Raimona; Dawal, Siti Zawiah Md.; Taha, Zahari

    2010-10-01

    A study was conducted to investigate the effect of load on upper limb muscles and brain activities in light assembly task. The task was conducted at two levels of load (Low and high). Surface electromyography (EMG) was used to measure upper limb muscle activities of twenty subjects. Electroencephalography (EEG) was simultaneously recorded with EMG to record brain activities from Fz, Pz, O1 and O2 channels. The EMG Mean Power Frequency (MPF) of the right brachioradialis and the left upper trapezius activities were higher on the high-load task compared to low-load task. The EMG MPF values also decrease as time increases, that reflects muscle fatigue. Mean power of the EEG alpha bands for the Fz-Pz channels were found to be higher on the high-load task compared to low-load task, while for the O1-O2 channels, they were higher on the low-load task than on the high-load task. These results indicated that the load levels effect the upper limb muscle and brain activities. The high-load task will increase muscle activities on the right brachioradialis and the left upper tapezius muscles, and will increase the awareness and motivation of the subjects. Whilst the low-load task can generate drowsiness earlier. It signified that the longer the time and the more heavy of the task, the subjects will be more fatigue physically and mentally.

  2. 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

  3. Cognitive tasks in information analysis: Use of event dwell time to characterize component activities

    SciTech Connect

    Sanquist, Thomas F.; Greitzer, Frank L.; Slavich, Antoinette L.; Littlefield, Rik J.; Littlefield, Janis S.; Cowley, Paula J.

    2004-09-28

    Technology-based enhancement of information analysis requires a detailed understanding of the cognitive tasks involved in the process. The information search and report production tasks of the information analysis process were investigated through evaluation of time-stamped workstation data gathered with custom software. Model tasks simulated the search and production activities, and a sample of actual analyst data were also evaluated. Task event durations were calculated on the basis of millisecond-level time stamps, and distributions were plotted for analysis. The data indicate that task event time shows a cyclic pattern of variation, with shorter event durations (< 2 sec) reflecting information search and filtering, and longer event durations (> 10 sec) reflecting information evaluation. Application of cognitive principles to the interpretation of task event time data provides a basis for developing “cognitive signatures” of complex activities, and can facilitate the development of technology aids for information intensive tasks.

  4. Meditation leads to reduced default mode network activity beyond an active task.

    PubMed

    Garrison, Kathleen A; Zeffiro, Thomas A; Scheinost, Dustin; Constable, R Todd; Brewer, Judson A

    2015-09-01

    Meditation has been associated with relatively reduced activity in the default mode network, a brain network implicated in self-related thinking and mind wandering. However, previous imaging studies have typically compared meditation to rest, despite other studies having reported differences in brain activation patterns between meditators and controls at rest. Moreover, rest is associated with a range of brain activation patterns across individuals that has only recently begun to be better characterized. Therefore, in this study we compared meditation to another active cognitive task, both to replicate the findings that meditation is associated with relatively reduced default mode network activity and to extend these findings by testing whether default mode activity was reduced during meditation, beyond the typical reductions observed during effortful tasks. In addition, prior studies had used small groups, whereas in the present study we tested these hypotheses in a larger group. The results indicated that meditation is associated with reduced activations in the default mode network, relative to an active task, for meditators as compared to controls. Regions of the default mode network showing a Group × Task interaction included the posterior cingulate/precuneus and anterior cingulate cortex. These findings replicate and extend prior work indicating that the suppression of default mode processing may represent a central neural process in long-term meditation, and they suggest that meditation leads to relatively reduced default mode processing beyond that observed during another active cognitive task. PMID:25904238

  5. Meditation leads to reduced default mode network activity beyond an active task

    PubMed Central

    Garrison, Kathleen A.; Zeffiro, Thomas A.; Scheinost, Dustin; Constable, R. Todd; Brewer, Judson A.

    2015-01-01

    Meditation has been associated with relatively reduced activity in the default mode network, a brain network implicated in self-related thinking and mind wandering. However, previous imaging studies have typically compared meditation to rest despite other studies reporting differences in brain activation patterns between meditators and controls at rest. Moreover, rest is associated with a range of brain activation patterns across individuals that has only recently begun to be better characterized. Therefore, this study compared meditation to another active cognitive task, both to replicate findings that meditation is associated with relatively reduced default mode network activity, and to extend these findings by testing whether default mode activity was reduced during meditation beyond the typical reductions observed during effortful tasks. In addition, prior studies have used small groups, whereas the current study tested these hypotheses in a larger group. Results indicate that meditation is associated with reduced activations in the default mode network relative to an active task in meditators compared to controls. Regions of the default mode showing a group by task interaction include the posterior cingulate/precuneus and anterior cingulate cortex. These findings replicate and extend prior work indicating that suppression of default mode processing may represent a central neural process in long-term meditation, and suggest that meditation leads to relatively reduced default mode processing beyond that observed during another active cognitive task. PMID:25904238

  6. Suppression of irrelevant activation in the horizontal and vertical Simon task differs quantitatively not qualitatively.

    PubMed

    Töbel, Lisa; Hübner, Ronald; Stürmer, Birgit

    2014-10-01

    The Simon effect is usually explained by the assumption that the irrelevant stimulus location automatically activates the corresponding response. In the case of incongruent stimulus-response assignments automatically activated responses therefore have to be suppressed to ensure correct responses. This account, however, has been called into question for other than horizontally arranged visual Simon tasks. We investigated whether there is a qualitative or quantitative difference in suppression of irrelevant activation between horizontally and vertically arranged Simon tasks, using delta-function analyses. Sequential analyses revealed suppression after incongruent trials in both tasks, supporting the idea of a quantitative rather than a qualitative difference between the tasks. We conclude that automatic response activation is weaker in vertical tasks resulting in lower inhibitory demands as compared to horizontal tasks. PMID:25113126

  7. Comparison of trunk muscle activities in lifting and lowering tasks at various heights

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Hyun; Hong, Ji Heon

    2016-01-01

    [Purpose] Biomechanical data for manual material handling are important for appropriate engineering design. The goal of this study was to investigate differences in trunk muscle activity in lifting and lowering tasks at various heights. [Subjects and Methods] Thirty healthy, young adult subjects performed 6 asymmetrical lifting and lowering tasks at various heights. Trunk muscle activity of the abdominal external oblique muscle (EO), rectus abdominis muscle (RA), and lumbar erector spinae muscles (ES) were recorded using surface electromyography (EMG). [Results] The EMG activities of the bilateral ES differed significantly among heights. The left EO activity in the ankle to knee lifting task was significantly increased compared with that of the knee to ankle lowering task. However, there were no significant differences in the right EO, bilateral ES, or RA between lifting and lowering tasks. [Conclusion] The results show that the optimal range for manual material handling was at trunk height, not only for lifting but also for lowering tasks. PMID:27065548

  8. Task-specific Dystonias

    PubMed Central

    Torres-Russotto, Diego; Perlmutter, Joel S.

    2009-01-01

    Task-specific dystonias are primary focal dystonias characterized by excessive muscle contractions producing abnormal postures during selective motor activities that often involve highly skilled, repetitive movements. Historically these peculiar postures were considered psychogenic but have now been classified as forms of dystonia. Writer’s cramp is the most commonly identified task-specific dystonia and has features typical of this group of disorders. Symptoms may begin with lack of dexterity during performance of a specific motor task with increasingly abnormal posturing of the involved body part as motor activity continues. Initially, the dystonia may manifest only during the performance of the inciting task, but as the condition progresses it may also occur during other activities or even at rest. Neurological exam is usually unremarkable except for the dystonia-related abnormalities. Although the precise pathophysiology remains unclear, increasing evidence suggests reduced inhibition at different levels of the sensorimotor system. Symptomatic treatment options include oral medications, botulinum toxin injections, neurosurgical procedures, and adaptive strategies. Prognosis may vary depending upon body part involved and specific type of task affected. Further research may reveal new insights into the etiology, pathophysiology, natural history, and improved treatment of these conditions. PMID:18990127

  9. Task Definition: A Motivating Task = Eager Learners!

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jansen, Barbara A.

    2005-01-01

    Teachers who design meaningful and developmentally appropriate tasks will motivate their students to engage in the content and as students work through the Big6 process, interacting with the content, they learn and practice information and technology skills. A valuable task definition technique is to develop questions that students in each group…

  10. Goal-directed behavior under emotional distraction is preserved by enhanced task-specific activation.

    PubMed

    Wessa, Michèle; Heissler, Janine; Schönfelder, Sandra; Kanske, Philipp

    2013-03-01

    Despite the distracting effects of emotional stimuli on concurrent task performance, humans are able to uphold goal-directed behavior. Here, we investigated the hypothesis that this effect is due to the enhanced recruitment of task-specific neural resources. In a two-step functional magnetic resonance imaging study, we first localized those areas involved in mental arithmetics by contrasting arithmetic problems with a number detection task. The resulting activation maps were then used as masks in a second experiment that compared the effects of neutral and emotional distracter images on mental arithmetics. We found increased response times in the emotional distracter condition, accompanied by enhanced activation in task-specific areas, including superior parietal cortex, dorsolateral and dorsomedial prefrontal cortex. This activation increase correlated with larger behavioral impairment through emotional distraction. Similar error rates in both conditions indicate that cognitive task performance is preserved through enhanced recruitment of task-specific neural resources when emotional distracter stimuli are present. PMID:22302842

  11. Muscle activity and hand motion in veterinarians performing laparoscopic training tasks with a box trainer.

    PubMed

    Tapia-Araya, Angelo E; Usón-Gargallo, Jesús; Sánchez-Margallo, Juan A; Pérez-Duarte, Francisco J; Martin-Portugués, Idoia Díaz-Güemes; Sánchez-Margallo, Francisco M

    2016-02-01

    OBJECTIVE To evaluate muscle activity and hand motion in veterinarians performing a standard set of laparoscopic training tasks. SAMPLE 12 veterinarians with experience performing laparoscopic procedures. PROCEDURES Participants were asked to perform peg transfer, coordination, precision cutting, and suturing tasks in a laparoscopic box trainer. Activity of the right biceps brachii, triceps brachii, forearm flexor, forearm extensor, and trapezius muscles was analyzed by means of surface electromyography. Right hand movements and wrist angle data were registered through the use of a data glove, and risk levels for the wrist joint were determined by use of a modified rapid upper limb assessment (RULA) method. One-way repeated-measures ANOVA with a Bonferroni post hoc test was performed to compare values between tasks. RESULTS Activity in the biceps muscle did not differ significantly among the 4 tasks. Activity in the triceps, forearm flexor, and forearm extensor muscles was significantly higher during precision cutting than during the coordination task. Activity in the trapezius muscle was highest during the suturing task and did not differ significantly among the other 3 tasks. The RULA score was unacceptable (score, 3) for the coordination, peg transfer, and precision cutting tasks but was acceptable (score, 2) for the suturing task. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results indicated that the ergonomics of laparoscopic training depended on the tasks performed and the design of the instruments used. Precision cutting and suturing tasks were associated with the highest muscle activity. Acceptable wrist position, as determined with the RULA method, was found with the suturing task, which was performed with an axial-handled instrument. (Am J Vet Res 2016;77:186-193). PMID:27027713

  12. TASK: Let's Have a Party!

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rees, James

    2012-01-01

    In this article, the author describes a creative way to demystify contemporary art for students. TASK is artist Oliver Herring's creation, where participants actively interpret instructions found on little pieces of paper--what he calls "tasks." An art classroom has all the key ingredients for a TASK event: (1) people; (2) materials; (3) space;…

  13. Designing Probabilistic Tasks for Kindergartners

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Skoumpourdi, Chrysanthi; Kafoussi, Sonia; Tatsis, Konstantinos

    2009-01-01

    Recent research suggests that children could be engaged in probability tasks at an early age and task characteristics seem to play an important role in the way children perceive an activity. To this direction in the present article we investigate the role of some basic characteristics of probabilistic tasks in their design and implementation. In…

  14. Increased Brain Activation for Dual Tasking with 70-Days Head-Down Bed Rest.

    PubMed

    Yuan, Peng; Koppelmans, Vincent; Reuter-Lorenz, Patricia A; De Dios, Yiri E; Gadd, Nichole E; Wood, Scott J; Riascos, Roy; Kofman, Igor S; Bloomberg, Jacob J; Mulavara, Ajitkumar P; Seidler, Rachael D

    2016-01-01

    Head-down tilt bed rest (HDBR) has been used as a spaceflight analog to simulate the effects of microgravity exposure on human physiology, sensorimotor function, and cognition on Earth. Previous studies have reported that concurrent performance of motor and cognitive tasks can be impaired during space missions. Understanding the consequences of HDBR for neural control of dual tasking may possibly provide insight into neural efficiency during spaceflight. In the current study, we evaluated how dual task performance and the underlying brain activation changed as a function of HDBR. Eighteen healthy men participated in this study. They remained continuously in the 6° head-down tilt position for 70 days. Functional MRI for bimanual finger tapping was acquired during both single task and dual task conditions, and repeated at 7 time points pre-, during- and post-HDBR. Another 12 healthy males participated as controls who did not undergo HDBR. A widely distributed network involving the frontal, parietal, cingulate, temporal, and occipital cortices exhibited increased activation for dual tasking and increased activation differences between dual and single task conditions during HDBR relative to pre- or post-HDBR. This HDBR-related brain activation increase for dual tasking implies that more neurocognitive control is needed for dual task execution during HDBR compared to pre- and post-HDBR. We observed a positive correlation between pre-to-post HDBR changes in dual-task cost of reaction time and pre-to-post HDBR change in dual-task cost of brain activation in several cerebral and cerebellar regions. These findings could be predictive of changes in dual task processing during spaceflight. PMID:27601982

  15. Increased Brain Activation for Dual Tasking with 70-Days Head-Down Bed Rest

    PubMed Central

    Yuan, Peng; Koppelmans, Vincent; Reuter-Lorenz, Patricia A.; De Dios, Yiri E.; Gadd, Nichole E.; Wood, Scott J.; Riascos, Roy; Kofman, Igor S.; Bloomberg, Jacob J.; Mulavara, Ajitkumar P.; Seidler, Rachael D.

    2016-01-01

    Head-down tilt bed rest (HDBR) has been used as a spaceflight analog to simulate the effects of microgravity exposure on human physiology, sensorimotor function, and cognition on Earth. Previous studies have reported that concurrent performance of motor and cognitive tasks can be impaired during space missions. Understanding the consequences of HDBR for neural control of dual tasking may possibly provide insight into neural efficiency during spaceflight. In the current study, we evaluated how dual task performance and the underlying brain activation changed as a function of HDBR. Eighteen healthy men participated in this study. They remained continuously in the 6° head-down tilt position for 70 days. Functional MRI for bimanual finger tapping was acquired during both single task and dual task conditions, and repeated at 7 time points pre-, during- and post-HDBR. Another 12 healthy males participated as controls who did not undergo HDBR. A widely distributed network involving the frontal, parietal, cingulate, temporal, and occipital cortices exhibited increased activation for dual tasking and increased activation differences between dual and single task conditions during HDBR relative to pre- or post-HDBR. This HDBR-related brain activation increase for dual tasking implies that more neurocognitive control is needed for dual task execution during HDBR compared to pre- and post-HDBR. We observed a positive correlation between pre-to-post HDBR changes in dual-task cost of reaction time and pre-to-post HDBR change in dual-task cost of brain activation in several cerebral and cerebellar regions. These findings could be predictive of changes in dual task processing during spaceflight. PMID:27601982

  16. Primary motor cortex neurons classified in a postural task predict muscle activation patterns in a reaching task.

    PubMed

    Heming, Ethan A; Lillicrap, Timothy P; Omrani, Mohsen; Herter, Troy M; Pruszynski, J Andrew; Scott, Stephen H

    2016-04-01

    Primary motor cortex (M1) activity correlates with many motor variables, making it difficult to demonstrate how it participates in motor control. We developed a two-stage process to separate the process of classifying the motor field of M1 neurons from the process of predicting the spatiotemporal patterns of its motor field during reaching. We tested our approach with a neural network model that controlled a two-joint arm to show the statistical relationship between network connectivity and neural activity across different motor tasks. In rhesus monkeys, M1 neurons classified by this method showed preferred reaching directions similar to their associated muscle groups. Importantly, the neural population signals predicted the spatiotemporal dynamics of their associated muscle groups, although a subgroup of atypical neurons reversed their directional preference, suggesting a selective role in antagonist control. These results highlight that M1 provides important details on the spatiotemporal patterns of muscle activity during motor skills such as reaching. PMID:26843605

  17. Atypical Activation during the Embedded Figures Task as a Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging Endophenotype of Autism

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Spencer, Michael D.; Holt, Rosemary J.; Chura, Lindsay R.; Calder, Andrew J.; Suckling, John; Bullmore, Edward T.; Baron-Cohen, Simon

    2012-01-01

    Atypical activation during the Embedded Figures Task has been demonstrated in autism, but has not been investigated in siblings or related to measures of clinical severity. We identified atypical activation during the Embedded Figures Task in participants with autism and unaffected siblings compared with control subjects in a number of temporal…

  18. Tools for Activating Materials and Tasks in the English Language Classroom

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rosenberg, Rick

    2009-01-01

    Most teachers have seen the reactions students can have to tasks and activities that they do not find engaging: the glassy or rolling eyes, the unfocused behavior, and the cries of "Not again!" This article provides practical techniques that the author's students have helped him learn over the years to better "activate" materials and tasks in the…

  19. School-Based Collaborative Teams: An Exploratory Study of Tasks and Activities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Phillippo, Kate; Stone, Susan

    2006-01-01

    This study reports findings from a content analysis of the activities and tasks of a school-based problem-solving team. Analyses of observational data collected over the course of five months found that team tasks and activities fell into the following five clusters: (1) needs identification, program development, and planning; (2) intrateam…

  20. Cardiac autonomic activity predicts dominance in verbal over spatial reasoning tasks: results from a preliminary study.

    PubMed

    Solernó, Juan I; Chada, Daniela Pérez; Guinjoan, Salvador M; Lloret, Santiago Pérez; Hedderwick, Alejandro; Vidal, María Florencia; Cardinali, Daniel P; Vigo, Daniel E

    2012-04-01

    The present study sought to determine whether autonomic activity is associated with dominance in verbal over spatial reasoning tasks. A group of 19 healthy adults who performed a verbal and spatial aptitude test was evaluated. Autonomic function was assessed by means of heart rate variability analysis, before and during the tasks. The results showed that a better relative performance in verbal over spatial reasoning tasks was associated with vagal prevalence in normal subjects. PMID:22118959

  1. Task 1 quarternary tectonics

    SciTech Connect

    Bell, J.W.

    1994-12-31

    Activities on the task of quarternary tectonics for the Yucca Mountain Site investigations are described. Technical topics include: A preliminary reveiw of Bare Mountain Trench; A preliminary detailed lineament map of the Southwestern part of the proposed repository; A discussion on the 1994 Double Spring Flat, Nevada earthquake; and evidence for temporal clustering.

  2. Brain activity during auditory and visual phonological, spatial and simple discrimination tasks.

    PubMed

    Salo, Emma; Rinne, Teemu; Salonen, Oili; Alho, Kimmo

    2013-02-16

    We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to measure human brain activity during tasks demanding selective attention to auditory or visual stimuli delivered in concurrent streams. Auditory stimuli were syllables spoken by different voices and occurring in central or peripheral space. Visual stimuli were centrally or more peripherally presented letters in darker or lighter fonts. The participants performed a phonological, spatial or "simple" (speaker-gender or font-shade) discrimination task in either modality. Within each modality, we expected a clear distinction between brain activations related to nonspatial and spatial processing, as reported in previous studies. However, within each modality, different tasks activated largely overlapping areas in modality-specific (auditory and visual) cortices, as well as in the parietal and frontal brain regions. These overlaps may be due to effects of attention common for all three tasks within each modality or interaction of processing task-relevant features and varying task-irrelevant features in the attended-modality stimuli. Nevertheless, brain activations caused by auditory and visual phonological tasks overlapped in the left mid-lateral prefrontal cortex, while those caused by the auditory and visual spatial tasks overlapped in the inferior parietal cortex. These overlapping activations reveal areas of multimodal phonological and spatial processing. There was also some evidence for intermodal attention-related interaction. Most importantly, activity in the superior temporal sulcus elicited by unattended speech sounds was attenuated during the visual phonological task in comparison with the other visual tasks. This effect might be related to suppression of processing irrelevant speech presumably distracting the phonological task involving the letters. PMID:23261663

  3. JV Task 119 - Effects of Aging on Treated Activated Carbons

    SciTech Connect

    Edwin Olson; Lucinda Hamre; John Pavlish; Blaise Mibeck

    2009-03-25

    For both the United States and Canada, testing has been under way for electric utilities to find viable and economical mercury control strategies to meet pending future mercury emission limits. The technology that holds the most promise for mercury control in low-chlorine lignite to meet the needs of the Clean Air Act in the United States and the Canada-Wide Standards in Canada is injection of treated activated carbon (AC) into the flue gas stream. Most of the treated carbons are reported to be halogenated, often with bromine. Under a previous multiyear project headed by the Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC), testing was performed on a slipstream unit using actual lignite-derived flue gas to evaluate various sorbent technologies for their effectiveness, performance, and cost. Testing under this project showed that halogenated ACs performed very well, with mercury capture rates often {ge} 90%. However, differences were noted between treated ACs with respect to reactivity and capacity, possibly as a result of storage conditions. Under certain conditions (primarily storage in ambient air), notable performance degradation had occurred in mercury capture efficiency. Therefore, a small exploratory task within this project evaluated possible differences resulting from storage conditions and subsequent effects of aging that might somehow alter their chemical or physical properties. In order to further investigate this potential degradation of treated (halogenated) ACs, the EERC, together with DOE's National Energy Technology Laboratory, the North Dakota Industrial Commission (NDIC), the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), SaskPower, and Otter Tail Power Company, assessed the aging effects of brominated ACs for the effect that different storage durations, temperatures, and humidity conditions have on the mercury sorption capacity of treated ACs. No aging effects on initial capture activity were observed for any carbons or conditions in the investigation

  4. Functional Task Test (FTT)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bloomberg, Jacob J.; Mulavara, Ajitkumar; Peters, Brian T.; Rescheke, Millard F.; Wood, Scott; Lawrence, Emily; Koffman, Igor; Ploutz-Snyder, Lori; Spiering, Barry A.; Feeback, Daniel L.; Platts, Steven H.; Stenger, Michael B.; Lee, Stuart M.C.; Arzeno, Natalia; Feiveson, Alan H.; Ryder, Jeffrey; Garcia, Yamil; Guilliams, Mark E.

    2009-01-01

    This slide presentation reviews the Functional Task Test (FTT), an interdisciplinary testing regimen that has been developed to evaluate astronaut postflight functional performance and related physiological changes. The objectives of the project are: (1) to develop a set of functional tasks that represent critical mission tasks for the Constellation Program, (2) determine the ability to perform these tasks after space flight, (3) Identify the key physiological factors that contribute to functional decrements and (4) Use this information to develop targeted countermeasures.

  5. Launching Complex Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jackson, Kara J.; Shahan, Emily C.; Gibbons, Lynsey K.; Cobb, Paul A.

    2012-01-01

    Mathematics lessons can take a variety of formats. In this article, the authors discuss lessons organized around complex mathematical tasks. These lessons usually unfold in three phases. First, the task is introduced to students. Second, students work on solving the task. Third, the teacher "orchestrates" a concluding whole-class discussion in…

  6. Selecting Proportional Reasoning Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    de la Cruz, Jessica A.

    2013-01-01

    With careful consideration given to task selection, students can construct their own solution strategies to solve complex proportional reasoning tasks while the teacher's instructional goals are still met. Several aspects of the tasks should be considered including their numerical structure, context, difficulty level, and the strategies they are…

  7. Task Time Tracker

    2013-07-24

    This client-side web app tracks the amount of time spent on arbitrary tasks. It allosw the creation of an unlimited number of arbitrarily named tasks ans via simple interactions, tracks the amount of time spent working on the drfined tasks.

  8. A Cross-Cultural Investigation into How Tasks Influence Seatwork Activities in Mathematics Lessons

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Serrano, Ana M.

    2012-01-01

    This study examined how types of tasks influenced student activities/thinking and defined the role of Seatwork in mathematics lessons. It used 60 lessons from the TIMSS videotaped Study. These data indicated that practice was the most prevalent form of tasks in the U.S. In Germany, students completed mathematical calculations after a complex…

  9. A Goal Activation Approach to the Study of Executive Function: An Application to Antisaccade Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nieuwenhuis, Sander; Broerse, Annelies; Nielen, Marjan M. A.; de Jong, Ritske

    2004-01-01

    We argue that a general control process, responsible for the activation and maintenance of task goals, is central to the concept of executive function. Failures of this process can become manifest as "goal neglect": disregard of a task requirement even though it has been understood (Duncan, 1995). We discuss the results of several published and…

  10. Advanced Marketing 8130. Instructional Areas. Duties and Tasks. Learning Activities. Referenced Resources.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Virginia State Dept. of Education, Richmond.

    This resource handbook, which is designed for use by instructors of courses in advanced marketing, consists of a duty/task list with referenced resources, a duty/task list with learning activities, and a list of resources. Included in each list are materials dealing with the following topics: communication in marketing, economics in marketing,…

  11. Cognitive Activities in Solving Mathematical Tasks: The Role of a Cognitive Obstacle

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Antonijevic, Radovan

    2016-01-01

    In the process of learning mathematics, students practice various forms of thinking activities aimed to substantially contribute to the development of their different cognitive structures. In this paper, the subject matter is a "cognitive obstacle", a phenomenon that occurs in the procedures of solving mathematical tasks. Each task in…

  12. Brain activity during divided and selective attention to auditory and visual sentence comprehension tasks

    PubMed Central

    Moisala, Mona; Salmela, Viljami; Salo, Emma; Carlson, Synnöve; Vuontela, Virve; Salonen, Oili; Alho, Kimmo

    2015-01-01

    Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we measured brain activity of human participants while they performed a sentence congruence judgment task in either the visual or auditory modality separately, or in both modalities simultaneously. Significant performance decrements were observed when attention was divided between the two modalities compared with when one modality was selectively attended. Compared with selective attention (i.e., single tasking), divided attention (i.e., dual-tasking) did not recruit additional cortical regions, but resulted in increased activity in medial and lateral frontal regions which were also activated by the component tasks when performed separately. Areas involved in semantic language processing were revealed predominantly in the left lateral prefrontal cortex by contrasting incongruent with congruent sentences. These areas also showed significant activity increases during divided attention in relation to selective attention. In the sensory cortices, no crossmodal inhibition was observed during divided attention when compared with selective attention to one modality. Our results suggest that the observed performance decrements during dual-tasking are due to interference of the two tasks because they utilize the same part of the cortex. Moreover, semantic dual-tasking did not appear to recruit additional brain areas in comparison with single tasking, and no crossmodal inhibition was observed during intermodal divided attention. PMID:25745395

  13. SHINE Tritium Nozzle Design: Activity 6, Task 1 Report

    SciTech Connect

    Okhuysen, Brett S.; Pulliam, Elias Noel

    2015-11-05

    In FY14, we studied the qualitative and quantitative behavior of a SHINE/PNL tritium nozzle under varying operating conditions. The result is an understanding of the nozzle’s performance in terms of important flow features that manifest themselves under different parametric profiles. In FY15, we will consider nozzle design with a focus on nozzle geometry and integration. From FY14 work, we will understand how the SHINE/PNL nozzle behaves under different operating scenarios. The first task for FY15 is to evaluate the FY14 model as a predictor of the actual flow. Considering different geometries is more time-intensive than parameter studies, therefore we recommend considering any relevant flow features that were not included in the FY14 model. In the absence of experimental data, it is particularly important to consider any sources of heat in the domain or boundary conditions that may affect the flow and incorporate these into the simulation if they are significant. Additionally, any geometric features of the beamline segment should be added to the model such as the orifice plate. The FY14 model works with hydrogen. An improvement that can be made for FY15 is to develop CFD properties for tritium and incorporate those properties into the new models.

  14. 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.

  15. Brain Activity in Cigarette Smokers Performing a Working Memory Task: Effect of Smoking Abstinence

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Jiansong; Mendrek, Adrianna; Cohen, Mark S.; Monterosso, John; Rodriguez, Paul; Simon, Sara L.; Brody, Arthur; Jarvik, Murray; Domier, Catherine P.; Olmstead, Richard; Ernst, Monique; London, Edythe D.

    2009-01-01

    Background When nicotine-dependent human subjects abstain from cigarette smoking, they exhibit deficits in working memory. An understanding of the neural substrates of such impairments may help to understand how nicotine affects cognition. Our aim, therefore, was to identify abnormalities in the circuitry that mediates working memory in nicotine-dependent subjects after they initiate abstinence from smoking. Methods We used blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to study eight smokers while they performed a letter version of the N-Back working memory task under satiety (≤1.5 hours abstinence) and abstinence (≥14 hours abstinence) conditions. Results Task-related activity in the left dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) showed a significant interaction between test session (satiety, abstinence) and task load (1-back, 2-back, and 3-back). This interaction reflected the fact that task-related activity in the satiety condition was relatively low during performance of the 1-back task but greater at the more difficult task levels, whereas task-related activity in the abstinence condition was relatively high at the 1-back level and did not increase at the more difficult task levels. Conclusions We conclude that neural processing related to working memory in the left DLPFC is less efficient during acute abstinence from smoking than at smoking satiety. PMID:16038685

  16. Planetary image conversion task

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Martin, M. D.; Stanley, C. L.; Laughlin, G.

    1985-01-01

    The Planetary Image Conversion Task group processed 12,500 magnetic tapes containing raw imaging data from JPL planetary missions and produced an image data base in consistent format on 1200 fully packed 6250-bpi tapes. The output tapes will remain at JPL. A copy of the entire tape set was delivered to US Geological Survey, Flagstaff, Ariz. A secondary task converted computer datalogs, which had been stored in project specific MARK IV File Management System data types and structures, to flat-file, text format that is processable on any modern computer system. The conversion processing took place at JPL's Image Processing Laboratory on an IBM 370-158 with existing software modified slightly to meet the needs of the conversion task. More than 99% of the original digital image data was successfully recovered by the conversion task. However, processing data tapes recorded before 1975 was destructive. This discovery is of critical importance to facilities responsible for maintaining digital archives since normal periodic random sampling techniques would be unlikely to detect this phenomenon, and entire data sets could be wiped out in the act of generating seemingly positive sampling results. Reccomended follow-on activities are also included.

  17. Age-Related Changes in Brain Activation Underlying Single- and Dual-Task Performance: Visuomanual Drawing and Mental Arithmetic

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Van Impe, A.; Coxon, J. P.; Goble, D. J.; Wenderoth, N.; Swinnen, S. P.

    2011-01-01

    Depending on task combination, dual-tasking can either be performed successfully or can lead to performance decrements in one or both tasks. Interference is believed to be caused by limitations in central processing, i.e. structural interference between the neural activation patterns associated with each task. In the present study, single- and…

  18. Job level risk assessment using task level ACGIH hand activity level TLV scores: a pilot study.

    PubMed

    Drinkaus, Phillip; Sesek, Richard; Bloswick, Donald S; Mann, Clay; Bernard, Thomas

    2005-01-01

    Existing upper extremity musculoskeletal disorder analytical tools are primarily intended for single or mono-task jobs. However, many jobs contain more than 1 task and some include job rotation. This case/control study investigates methods of modifying an existing tool, the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) Hand Activity Level (HAL) Threshold Limit Value (TLV), to assess the upper extremity risk of multi-task jobs. Various methods of combining the task differences and ratios into a job level assessment were explored. Two methods returned significant odds ratios, (p < .05) of 18.0 (95% CI 1.8-172) and 12.0 (95% CI 1.2-120). These results indicate that a modified ACGIH HAL TLV may provide insight into the work-related risk of multi-task jobs. Further research is needed to optimize this process. PMID:16219155

  19. Dizocilpine (MK-801) impairs learning in the active place avoidance task but has no effect on the performance during task/context alternation.

    PubMed

    Vojtechova, Iveta; Petrasek, Tomas; Hatalova, Hana; Pistikova, Adela; Vales, Karel; Stuchlik, Ales

    2016-05-15

    The prevention of engram interference, pattern separation, flexibility, cognitive coordination and spatial navigation are usually studied separately at the behavioral level. Impairment in executive functions is often observed in patients suffering from schizophrenia. We have designed a protocol for assessing these functions all together as behavioral separation. This protocol is based on alternated or sequential training in two tasks testing different hippocampal functions (the Morris water maze and active place avoidance), and alternated or sequential training in two similar environments of the active place avoidance task. In Experiment 1, we tested, in adult rats, whether the performance in two different spatial tasks was affected by their order in sequential learning, or by their day-to-day alternation. In Experiment 2, rats learned to solve the active place avoidance task in two environments either alternately or sequentially. We found that rats are able to acquire both tasks and to discriminate both similar contexts without obvious problems regardless of the order or the alternation. We used two groups of rats, controls and a rat model of psychosis induced by a subchronic intraperitoneal application of 0.08mg/kg of dizocilpine (MK-801), a non-competitive antagonist of NMDA receptors. Dizocilpine had no selective effect on parallel/sequential learning of tasks/contexts. However, it caused hyperlocomotion and a significant deficit in learning in the active place avoidance task regardless of the task alternation. Cognitive coordination tested by this task is probably more sensitive to dizocilpine than spatial orientation because no hyperactivity or learning impairment was observed in the Morris water maze. PMID:26970577

  20. Effects of overhead work configuration on muscle activity during a simulated drilling task.

    PubMed

    Maciukiewicz, Jacquelyn M; Cudlip, Alan C; Chopp-Hurley, Jaclyn N; Dickerson, Clark R

    2016-03-01

    Overhead work is a known catalyst for occupational shoulder injury. Industrial workers must often adopt awkward overhead postures and loading profiles to complete required tasks, potentially elevating injury risk. This research examined the combined influence of multiple overhead working parameters on upper extremity muscular demands for an industrial drilling application. Twenty-two right-handed males completed 24 unilateral and bilateral overhead work exertions stratified by direction (upward, forward), point of force application (15, 30 and 45 cm in front of the body), and whole-body posture (seated, standing). The dependency of electromyographic (EMG) activity on several factors was established. Significant two-way interactions existed between point of force application and direction (p < 0.0001) and direction and whole body posture (p < 0.0001). An average increase in muscular activity of 6.5% maximal voluntary contraction (MVC) occurred for the contralateral limb when the bilateral task was completed, compared to unilateral tasks, with less than a 1% MVC increase for the active limb. These findings assist evidence-based approaches to overhead tasks, specifically in the construction industry. A bilateral task configuration is recommended to reduce glenohumeral stability demands. As well, particularly for tasks with a far reach distance, design tasks to promote a forward directed exertion. The considerable inter-subject variability suggests that fixed heights are not ideal, and should be avoided, and where this is not possible reaches should be reduced. PMID:26674399

  1. Reward sensitivity modulates brain activity in the prefrontal cortex, ACC and striatum during task switching.

    PubMed

    Fuentes-Claramonte, Paola; Ávila, César; Rodríguez-Pujadas, Aina; Ventura-Campos, Noelia; Bustamante, Juan C; Costumero, Víctor; Rosell-Negre, Patricia; Barrós-Loscertales, Alfonso

    2015-01-01

    Current perspectives on cognitive control acknowledge that individual differences in motivational dispositions may modulate cognitive processes in the absence of reward contingencies. This work aimed to study the relationship between individual differences in Behavioral Activation System (BAS) sensitivity and the neural underpinnings involved in processing a switching cue in a task-switching paradigm. BAS sensitivity was hypothesized to modulate brain activity in frontal regions, ACC and the striatum. Twenty-eight healthy participants underwent fMRI while performing a switching task, which elicited activity in fronto-striatal regions during the processing of the switch cue. BAS sensitivity was negatively associated with activity in the lateral prefrontal cortex, anterior cingulate cortex and the ventral striatum. Combined with previous results, our data indicate that BAS sensitivity modulates the neurocognitive processes involved in task switching in a complex manner depending on task demands. Therefore, individual differences in motivational dispositions may influence cognitive processing in the absence of reward contingencies. PMID:25875640

  2. Reward Sensitivity Modulates Brain Activity in the Prefrontal Cortex, ACC and Striatum during Task Switching

    PubMed Central

    Fuentes-Claramonte, Paola; Ávila, César; Rodríguez-Pujadas, Aina; Ventura-Campos, Noelia; Bustamante, Juan C.; Costumero, Víctor; Rosell-Negre, Patricia; Barrós-Loscertales, Alfonso

    2015-01-01

    Current perspectives on cognitive control acknowledge that individual differences in motivational dispositions may modulate cognitive processes in the absence of reward contingencies. This work aimed to study the relationship between individual differences in Behavioral Activation System (BAS) sensitivity and the neural underpinnings involved in processing a switching cue in a task-switching paradigm. BAS sensitivity was hypothesized to modulate brain activity in frontal regions, ACC and the striatum. Twenty-eight healthy participants underwent fMRI while performing a switching task, which elicited activity in fronto-striatal regions during the processing of the switch cue. BAS sensitivity was negatively associated with activity in the lateral prefrontal cortex, anterior cingulate cortex and the ventral striatum. Combined with previous results, our data indicate that BAS sensitivity modulates the neurocognitive processes involved in task switching in a complex manner depending on task demands. Therefore, individual differences in motivational dispositions may influence cognitive processing in the absence of reward contingencies. PMID:25875640

  3. FEF-microstimulation causes task-dependent modulation of occipital fMRI activity.

    PubMed

    Premereur, Elsie; Janssen, Peter; Vanduffel, Wim

    2013-02-15

    Electrical microstimulation of FEF (FEF-EM) modulates neuronal activity in area V4 (Moore and Armstrong, 2003) and elicits functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) activations in visual cortex in a bottom-up dependent manner (Ekstrom et al., 2008). Here we test the hypothesis that FEF-EM-induced modulations of fMRI activity are also function of task demands, which would suggest top-down dependent gating of FEF signals in early visual cortex. We scanned two monkeys performing a visually guided saccade task; a passive fixation task with a very similar visual display; and a passive fixation task without peripheral dots. We found increased effects of FEF-EM on fMRI-activity in visual cortex during saccades compared to fixation, indicating that the FEF-EM induced modulation is task-dependent. Finally, the effect of FEF-EM is mainly present in voxels which were less activated by visual stimuli in the absence of electrical stimulation. Our results show that the FEF-EM-induced pattern of activation in early visual cortex is topographically specific and more pronounced during increased task demands. These results fit with models suggesting that FEF is an important source modulating activity in early sensory cortex and that these influences can be enhanced by coincident bottom-up or top-down signals. PMID:23186918

  4. Central as well as Peripheral Attentional Bottlenecks in Dual-Task Performance Activate Lateral Prefrontal Cortices

    PubMed Central

    Szameitat, André J.; Vanloo, Azonya; Müller, Hermann J.

    2016-01-01

    Human information processing suffers from severe limitations in parallel processing. In particular, when required to respond to two stimuli in rapid succession, processing bottlenecks may appear at central and peripheral stages of task processing. Importantly, it has been suggested that executive functions are needed to resolve the interference arising at such bottlenecks. The aims of the present study were to test whether central attentional limitations (i.e., bottleneck at the decisional response selection stage) as well as peripheral limitations (i.e., bottleneck at response initiation) both demand executive functions located in the lateral prefrontal cortex. For this, we re-analyzed two previous studies, in which a total of 33 participants performed a dual-task according to the paradigm of the psychological refractory period (PRP) during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). In one study (N = 17), the PRP task consisted of two two-choice response tasks known to suffer from a central bottleneck (CB group). In the other study (N = 16), the PRP task consisted of two simple-response tasks known to suffer from a peripheral bottleneck (PB group). Both groups showed considerable dual-task costs in form of slowing of the second response in the dual-task (PRP effect). Imaging results are based on the subtraction of both single-tasks from the dual-task within each group. In the CB group, the bilateral middle frontal gyri and inferior frontal gyri were activated. Higher activation in these areas was associated with lower dual-task costs. In the PB group, the right middle frontal and inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) were activated. Here, higher activation was associated with higher dual-task costs. In conclusion we suggest that central and peripheral bottlenecks both demand executive functions located in lateral prefrontal cortices (LPFC). Differences between the CB and PB groups with respect to the exact prefrontal areas activated and the correlational patterns

  5. NSI security task: Overview

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tencati, Ron

    1991-01-01

    An overview is presented of the NASA Science Internet (NSI) security task. The task includes the following: policies and security documentation; risk analysis and management; computer emergency response team; incident handling; toolkit development; user consulting; and working groups, conferences, and committees.

  6. Analysis of the Structure of Surgical Activity for a Suturing and Knot-Tying Task

    PubMed Central

    Vedula, S. Swaroop; Malpani, Anand O.; Tao, Lingling; Chen, George; Gao, Yixin; Poddar, Piyush; Ahmidi, Narges; Paxton, Christopher; Vidal, Rene; Khudanpur, Sanjeev; Hager, Gregory D.; Chen, Chi Chiung Grace

    2016-01-01

    Background Surgical tasks are performed in a sequence of steps, and technical skill evaluation includes assessing task flow efficiency. Our objective was to describe differences in task flow for expert and novice surgeons for a basic surgical task. Methods We used a hierarchical semantic vocabulary to decompose and annotate maneuvers and gestures for 135 instances of a surgeon’s knot performed by 18 surgeons. We compared counts of maneuvers and gestures, and analyzed task flow by skill level. Results Experts used fewer gestures to perform the task (26.29; 95% CI = 25.21 to 27.38 for experts vs. 31.30; 95% CI = 29.05 to 33.55 for novices) and made fewer errors in gestures than novices (1.00; 95% CI = 0.61 to 1.39 vs. 2.84; 95% CI = 2.3 to 3.37). Transitions among maneuvers, and among gestures within each maneuver for expert trials were more predictable than novice trials. Conclusions Activity segments and state flow transitions within a basic surgical task differ by surgical skill level, and can be used to provide targeted feedback to surgical trainees. PMID:26950551

  7. Debugging tasked Ada programs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fainter, R. G.; Lindquist, T. E.

    1986-01-01

    The applications for which Ada was developed require distributed implementations of the language and extensive use of tasking facilities. Debugging and testing technology as it applies to parallel features of languages currently falls short of needs. Thus, the development of embedded systems using Ada pose special challenges to the software engineer. Techniques for distributing Ada programs, support for simulating distributed target machines, testing facilities for tasked programs, and debugging support applicable to simulated and to real targets all need to be addressed. A technique is presented for debugging Ada programs that use tasking and it describes a debugger, called AdaTAD, to support the technique. The debugging technique is presented together with the use interface to AdaTAD. The component of AdaTAD that monitors and controls communication among tasks was designed in Ada and is presented through an example with a simple tasked program.

  8. Task Description Language

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Simmons, Reid; Apfelbaum, David

    2005-01-01

    Task Description Language (TDL) is an extension of the C++ programming language that enables programmers to quickly and easily write complex, concurrent computer programs for controlling real-time autonomous systems, including robots and spacecraft. TDL is based on earlier work (circa 1984 through 1989) on the Task Control Architecture (TCA). TDL provides syntactic support for hierarchical task-level control functions, including task decomposition, synchronization, execution monitoring, and exception handling. A Java-language-based compiler transforms TDL programs into pure C++ code that includes calls to a platform-independent task-control-management (TCM) library. TDL has been used to control and coordinate multiple heterogeneous robots in projects sponsored by NASA and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). It has also been used in Brazil to control an autonomous airship and in Canada to control a robotic manipulator.

  9. Analysis of Time-Dependent Brain Network on Active and MI Tasks for Chronic Stroke Patients.

    PubMed

    Kim, Da-Hye; Kim, Leahyun; Park, Wanjoo; Chang, Won Hyuk; Kim, Yun-Hee; Lee, Seong-Whan; Kwon, Gyu Hyun

    2015-01-01

    Several researchers have analyzed brain activities by investigating brain networks. However, there is a lack of the research on the temporal characteristics of the brain network during a stroke by EEG and the comparative studies between motor execution and imagery, which became known to have similar motor functions and pathways. In this study, we proposed the possibility of temporal characteristics on the brain networks of a stroke. We analyzed the temporal properties of the brain networks for nine chronic stroke patients by the active and motor imagery tasks by EEG. High beta band has a specific role in the brain network during motor tasks. In the high beta band, for the active task, there were significant characteristics of centrality and small-worldness on bilateral primary motor cortices at the initial motor execution. The degree centrality significantly increased on the contralateral primary motor cortex, and local efficiency increased on the ipsilateral primary motor cortex. These results indicate that the ipsilateral primary motor cortex constructed a powerful subnetwork by influencing the linked channels as compensatory effect, although the contralateral primary motor cortex organized an inefficient network by using the connected channels due to lesions. For the MI task, degree centrality and local efficiency significantly decreased on the somatosensory area at the initial motor imagery. Then, there were significant correlations between the properties of brain networks and motor function on the contralateral primary motor cortex and somatosensory area for each motor execution/imagery task. Our results represented that the active and MI tasks have different mechanisms of motor acts. Based on these results, we indicated the possibility of customized rehabilitation according to different motor tasks. We expect these results to help in the construction of the customized rehabilitation system depending on motor tasks by understanding temporal functional

  10. Analysis of Time-Dependent Brain Network on Active and MI Tasks for Chronic Stroke Patients

    PubMed Central

    Chang, Won Hyuk; Kim, Yun-Hee; Lee, Seong-Whan; Kwon, Gyu Hyun

    2015-01-01

    Several researchers have analyzed brain activities by investigating brain networks. However, there is a lack of the research on the temporal characteristics of the brain network during a stroke by EEG and the comparative studies between motor execution and imagery, which became known to have similar motor functions and pathways. In this study, we proposed the possibility of temporal characteristics on the brain networks of a stroke. We analyzed the temporal properties of the brain networks for nine chronic stroke patients by the active and motor imagery tasks by EEG. High beta band has a specific role in the brain network during motor tasks. In the high beta band, for the active task, there were significant characteristics of centrality and small-worldness on bilateral primary motor cortices at the initial motor execution. The degree centrality significantly increased on the contralateral primary motor cortex, and local efficiency increased on the ipsilateral primary motor cortex. These results indicate that the ipsilateral primary motor cortex constructed a powerful subnetwork by influencing the linked channels as compensatory effect, although the contralateral primary motor cortex organized an inefficient network by using the connected channels due to lesions. For the MI task, degree centrality and local efficiency significantly decreased on the somatosensory area at the initial motor imagery. Then, there were significant correlations between the properties of brain networks and motor function on the contralateral primary motor cortex and somatosensory area for each motor execution/imagery task. Our results represented that the active and MI tasks have different mechanisms of motor acts. Based on these results, we indicated the possibility of customized rehabilitation according to different motor tasks. We expect these results to help in the construction of the customized rehabilitation system depending on motor tasks by understanding temporal functional

  11. Development of statistical models for predicting muscle and mental activities during repetitive precision tasks.

    PubMed

    Zadry, Hilma Raimona; Dawal, Siti Zawiah Md; Taha, Zahari

    2016-09-01

    This study was conducted to develop muscle and mental activities on repetitive precision tasks. A laboratory experiment was used to address the objectives. Surface electromyography was used to measure muscle activities from eight upper limb muscles, while electroencephalography recorded mental activities from six channels. Fourteen university students participated in the study. The results show that muscle and mental activities increase for all tasks, indicating the occurrence of muscle and mental fatigue. A linear relationship between muscle activity, mental activity and time was found while subjects were performing the task. Thus, models were developed using those variables. The models were found valid after validation using other students' and workers' data. Findings from this study can contribute as a reference for future studies investigating muscle and mental activity and can be applied in industry as guidelines to manage muscle and mental fatigue, especially to manage job schedules and rotation. PMID:27053140

  12. Understanding hippocampal activity by using purposeful behavior: Place navigation induces place cell discharge in both task-relevant and task-irrelevant spatial reference frames

    PubMed Central

    Zinyuk, L.; Kubik, S.; Kaminsky, Yu.; Fenton, A. A.; Bures, J.

    2000-01-01

    Continuous rotation of an arena in a cue-rich room dissociates the stationary room-bound information from the rotating arena-bound information. This disrupted spatial discharge in the majority of place cells from rats trained to collect randomly scattered food. In contrast, most place cell firing patterns recorded from rats trained to solve a navigation task on the rotating arena were preserved during the rotation. Spatial discharge was preserved in both the task-relevant stationary and the task-irrelevant rotating reference frames, but firing was more organized in the task-relevant frame. It is concluded that, (i) the effects of environmental manipulations can be understood with confidence only when the rat's purposeful behavior is used to formulate interpretations of the data, and (ii) hippocampal place cell activity is organized in multiple overlapping spatial reference frames. PMID:10716713

  13. Putting Mathematical Tasks into Context

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nagle, Courtney R.; Styers, Jodie L.

    2015-01-01

    Although many factors affect students' mathematical activity during a lesson, the teacher's selection and implementation of tasks is arguably the most influential in determining the level of student engagement. Mathematical tasks are intended to focus students' attention on a particular mathematical concept and it is the careful developing and…

  14. Quarternary tectonics, Task 1

    SciTech Connect

    Bell, J.W.

    1993-09-30

    Activities conducted for the evaluation of the geology and seismotectonics stability of Yucca Mountain as a potential site for the underground disposal of high-level radioactive wastes continued. Tasks concerned with quaternary tectonics include: scheduling of photography of Little Skull Mountain area; the collection and dating of rock varnish samples from the 1932 Cedar Mountain earthquake area for carbon 14 AMS and cation-ratio analysis; collection of samples for thermoluminescence dating from the 1932 Cedar Mountain earthquake area; mapping of the northern area of Crater Flat; and surveying of the May 17, 1993 Eureka the Valley earthquake area.

  15. Evaluation of 16 measures of mental workload using a simulated flight task emphasizing mediational activity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wierwille, W. W.; Rahimi, M.; Casali, J. G.

    1985-01-01

    As aircraft and other systems become more automated, a shift is occurring in human operator participation in these systems. This shift is away from manual control and toward activities that tap the higher mental functioning of human operators. Therefore, an experiment was performed in a moving-base flight simulator to assess mediational (cognitive) workload measurement. Specifically, 16 workload estimation techniques were evaluated as to their sensitivity and intrusion in a flight task emphasizing mediational behavior. Task loading, using navigation problems presented on a display, was treated as an independent variable, and workload-measure values were treated as dependent variables. Results indicate that two mediational task measures, two rating scale measures, time estimation, and two eye behavior measures were reliably sensitive to mediational loading. The time estimation measure did, however, intrude on mediational task performance. Several of the remaining measures were completely insensitive to mediational load.

  16. Learning one task by interleaving practice with another task

    PubMed Central

    Szpiro, Sarit; Wright, Beverly A.; Carrasco, Marisa

    2014-01-01

    Perceptual learning is a sustainable improvement in performance on a perceptual task following training. A hallmark of perceptual learning is task specificity – after participants have trained on and learned a particular task, learning rarely transfers to another task, even with identical stimuli. Accordingly, it is assumed that performing a task throughout training is a requirement for learning to occur on that specific task. Thus, interleaving training trials of a target task, with those of another task, should not improve performance on the target task. However, recent findings in audition show that interleaving two tasks during training can facilitate perceptual learning, even when the training on neither task yields learning on its own. Here we examined the role of cross-task training in the visual domain by training 4 groups of human observers for 3 consecutive days on an orientation comparison task (target task) and/or spatial-frequency comparison task (interleaving task). Interleaving small amounts of training on each task, which were ineffective alone, not only enabled learning on the target orientation task, as in audition, but also surpassed the learning attained by training on that task alone for the same total number of trials. This study illustrates that cross-task training in visual perceptual learning can be more effective than single-task training. The results reveal a comparable learning principle across modalities and demonstrate how to optimize training regimens to maximize perceptual learning. PMID:24959653

  17. Independent task Fourier filters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Caulfield, H. John

    2001-11-01

    Since the early 1960s, a major part of optical computing systems has been Fourier pattern recognition, which takes advantage of high speed filter changes to enable powerful nonlinear discrimination in `real time.' Because filter has a task quite independent of the tasks of the other filters, they can be applied and evaluated in parallel or, in a simple approach I describe, in sequence very rapidly. Thus I use the name ITFF (independent task Fourier filter). These filters can also break very complex discrimination tasks into easily handled parts, so the wonderful space invariance properties of Fourier filtering need not be sacrificed to achieve high discrimination and good generalizability even for ultracomplex discrimination problems. The training procedure proceeds sequentially, as the task for a given filter is defined a posteriori by declaring it to be the discrimination of particular members of set A from all members of set B with sufficient margin. That is, we set the threshold to achieve the desired margin and note the A members discriminated by that threshold. Discriminating those A members from all members of B becomes the task of that filter. Those A members are then removed from the set A, so no other filter will be asked to perform that already accomplished task.

  18. Maximally Expressive Task Modeling

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Japp, John; Davis, Elizabeth; Maxwell, Theresa G. (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    Planning and scheduling systems organize "tasks" into a timeline or schedule. The tasks are defined within the scheduling system in logical containers called models. The dictionary might define a model of this type as "a system of things and relations satisfying a set of rules that, when applied to the things and relations, produce certainty about the tasks that are being modeled." One challenging domain for a planning and scheduling system is the operation of on-board experiment activities for the Space Station. The equipment used in these experiments is some of the most complex hardware ever developed by mankind, the information sought by these experiments is at the cutting edge of scientific endeavor, and the procedures for executing the experiments are intricate and exacting. Scheduling is made more difficult by a scarcity of space station resources. The models to be fed into the scheduler must describe both the complexity of the experiments and procedures (to ensure a valid schedule) and the flexibilities of the procedures and the equipment (to effectively utilize available resources). Clearly, scheduling space station experiment operations calls for a "maximally expressive" modeling schema. Modeling even the simplest of activities cannot be automated; no sensor can be attached to a piece of equipment that can discern how to use that piece of equipment; no camera can quantify how to operate a piece of equipment. Modeling is a human enterprise-both an art and a science. The modeling schema should allow the models to flow from the keyboard of the user as easily as works of literature flowed from the pen of Shakespeare. The Ground Systems Department at the Marshall Space Flight Center has embarked on an effort to develop a new scheduling engine that is highlighted by a maximally expressive modeling schema. This schema, presented in this paper, is a synergy of technological advances and domain-specific innovations.

  19. fMRI activation patterns in an analytic reasoning task: consistency with EEG source localization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Bian; Vasanta, Kalyana C.; O'Boyle, Michael; Baker, Mary C.; Nutter, Brian; Mitra, Sunanda

    2010-03-01

    Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is used to model brain activation patterns associated with various perceptual and cognitive processes as reflected by the hemodynamic (BOLD) response. While many sensory and motor tasks are associated with relatively simple activation patterns in localized regions, higher-order cognitive tasks may produce activity in many different brain areas involving complex neural circuitry. We applied a recently proposed probabilistic independent component analysis technique (PICA) to determine the true dimensionality of the fMRI data and used EEG localization to identify the common activated patterns (mapped as Brodmann areas) associated with a complex cognitive task like analytic reasoning. Our preliminary study suggests that a hybrid GLM/PICA analysis may reveal additional regions of activation (beyond simple GLM) that are consistent with electroencephalography (EEG) source localization patterns.

  20. JV Task 90 - Activated Carbon Production from North Dakota Lignite

    SciTech Connect

    Steven Benson; Charlene Crocker; Rokan Zaman; Mark Musich; Edwin Olson

    2008-03-31

    The Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) has pursued a research program for producing activated carbon from North Dakota lignite that can be competitive with commercial-grade activated carbon. As part of this effort, small-scale production of activated carbon was produced from Fort Union lignite. A conceptual design of a commercial activated carbon production plant was drawn, and a market assessment was performed to determine likely revenue streams for the produced carbon. Activated carbon was produced from lignite coal in both laboratory-scale fixed-bed reactors and in a small pilot-scale rotary kiln. The EERC was successfully able to upgrade the laboratory-scale activated carbon production system to a pilot-scale rotary kiln system. The activated carbon produced from North Dakota lignite was superior to commercial grade DARCO{reg_sign} FGD and Rheinbraun's HOK activated coke product with respect to iodine number. The iodine number of North Dakota lignite-derived activated carbon was between 600 and 800 mg I{sub 2}/g, whereas the iodine number of DARCO FGD was between 500 and 600 mg I{sub 2}/g, and the iodine number of Rheinbraun's HOK activated coke product was around 275 mg I{sub 2}/g. The EERC performed both bench-scale and pilot-scale mercury capture tests using the activated carbon made under various optimization process conditions. For comparison, the mercury capture capability of commercial DARCO FGD was also tested. The lab-scale apparatus is a thin fixed-bed mercury-screening system, which has been used by the EERC for many mercury capture screen tests. The pilot-scale systems included two combustion units, both equipped with an electrostatic precipitator (ESP). Activated carbons were also tested in a slipstream baghouse at a Texas power plant. The results indicated that the activated carbon produced from North Dakota lignite coal is capable of removing mercury from flue gas. The tests showed that activated carbon with the greatest iodine number

  1. The Dissipating Task-Repetition Benefit in Cued Task Switching: Task-Set Decay or Temporal Distinctiveness?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Horoufchin, Himeh; Philipp, Andrea M.; Koch, Iring

    2011-01-01

    Decay of task-set activation, as commonly assumed in models of task switching, has been thought to be indexed by manipulating the response-to-cue interval (RCI) in a task-cuing paradigm. We propose an alternative account for RCI effects suggesting that episodic task retrieval is modulated by temporal distinctiveness, which we define as the ratio…

  2. Using Antecedent Physical Activity to Increase On-Task Behavior in Young Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Luke, Sara; Vail, Cynthia O.; Ayres, Kevin M.

    2014-01-01

    A withdrawal design was used to investigate how physical activity affects on-task behavior of young children with significant developmental delays in a special education preschool classroom. Five preschool age children with significant developmental delays engaged in either physical activity or seated center activities for 20 min prior to a 15-min…

  3. Automated Visual Cognitive Tasks for Recording Neural Activity Using a Floor Projection Maze

    PubMed Central

    Kent, Brendon W.; Yang, Fang-Chi; Burwell, Rebecca D.

    2014-01-01

    Neuropsychological tasks used in primates to investigate mechanisms of learning and memory are typically visually guided cognitive tasks. We have developed visual cognitive tasks for rats using the Floor Projection Maze1,2 that are optimized for visual abilities of rats permitting stronger comparisons of experimental findings with other species. In order to investigate neural correlates of learning and memory, we have integrated electrophysiological recordings into fully automated cognitive tasks on the Floor Projection Maze1,2. Behavioral software interfaced with an animal tracking system allows monitoring of the animal's behavior with precise control of image presentation and reward contingencies for better trained animals. Integration with an in vivo electrophysiological recording system enables examination of behavioral correlates of neural activity at selected epochs of a given cognitive task. We describe protocols for a model system that combines automated visual presentation of information to rodents and intracranial reward with electrophysiological approaches. Our model system offers a sophisticated set of tools as a framework for other cognitive tasks to better isolate and identify specific mechanisms contributing to particular cognitive processes. PMID:24638057

  4. Balancing emotional processing with ongoing cognitive activity: the effects of task modality on intrusions and rumination

    PubMed Central

    Curci, Antonietta; Soleti, Emanuela; Lanciano, Tiziana; Doria, Valentina; Rimé, Bernard

    2015-01-01

    In the present paper we aimed to show that competition for resources between post-emotional processes and the execution of a cognitive task will result in two possible effects: (1) an impairment of the cognitive task in the short run and (2) an elongation of intrusions and rumination in the long run. The outcome of this competition is influenced by the interaction of the modality (verbal vs. visuospatial) of cognitive tasks run in the aftermath of an emotional experience and the nature (verbal vs. visuospatial) of the same experience. Non-clinical participants were given a working memory task (OSPAN vs. an analog Visual task) before and after the presentation of negative vs. neutral material (a novel excerpt in Experiment 1 and a video clip in Experiment 2). Intrusions and rumination were measured after a 24-h delay. Rumination was also assessed immediately after the experimental induction. Results showed that exposure to verbal negative material impaired verbal performance (Experiment 1); by contrast, exposure to visual negative material impaired both verbal and visuospatial performance (Experiment 2). Intrusions were only affected by the emotional valence of the original experience, while performing a visuospatial task resulted in enhanced rumination only after exposure to verbal emotional material. The findings of both experiments suggest that emotional processing spreads over time in balance with ongoing cognitive activities, and, in such a balance, the visuospatial processing mode tends to prevail over verbal engagements. PMID:26379598

  5. Data analysis tasks: BATSE

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Paciesas, William S.

    1993-01-01

    Miscellaneous tasks related to the operation of, and analysis of data from, the Burst and Transient Experiment (BATSE) on the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory (CGRO) were performed. The results are summarized and relevant references are included.

  6. Subjective Significance Shapes Arousal Effects on Modified Stroop Task Performance: A Duality of Activation Mechanisms Account.

    PubMed

    Imbir, Kamil K

    2016-01-01

    Activation mechanisms such as arousal are known to be responsible for slowdown observed in the Emotional Stroop and modified Stroop tasks. Using the duality of mind perspective, we may conclude that both ways of processing information (automatic or controlled) should have their own mechanisms of activation, namely, arousal for an experiential mind, and subjective significance for a rational mind. To investigate the consequences of both, factorial manipulation was prepared. Other factors that influence Stroop task processing such as valence, concreteness, frequency, and word length were controlled. Subjective significance was expected to influence arousal effects. In the first study, the task was to name the color of font for activation charged words. In the second study, activation charged words were, at the same time, combined with an incongruent condition of the classical Stroop task around a fixation point. The task was to indicate the font color for color-meaning words. In both studies, subjective significance was found to shape the arousal impact on performance in terms of the slowdown reduction for words charged with subjective significance. PMID:26869974

  7. Subjective Significance Shapes Arousal Effects on Modified Stroop Task Performance: A Duality of Activation Mechanisms Account

    PubMed Central

    Imbir, Kamil K.

    2016-01-01

    Activation mechanisms such as arousal are known to be responsible for slowdown observed in the Emotional Stroop and modified Stroop tasks. Using the duality of mind perspective, we may conclude that both ways of processing information (automatic or controlled) should have their own mechanisms of activation, namely, arousal for an experiential mind, and subjective significance for a rational mind. To investigate the consequences of both, factorial manipulation was prepared. Other factors that influence Stroop task processing such as valence, concreteness, frequency, and word length were controlled. Subjective significance was expected to influence arousal effects. In the first study, the task was to name the color of font for activation charged words. In the second study, activation charged words were, at the same time, combined with an incongruent condition of the classical Stroop task around a fixation point. The task was to indicate the font color for color-meaning words. In both studies, subjective significance was found to shape the arousal impact on performance in terms of the slowdown reduction for words charged with subjective significance. PMID:26869974

  8. Effect of Mild Thyrotoxicosis on Performance and Brain Activations in a Working Memory Task

    PubMed Central

    Göbel, Anna; Heldmann, Marcus; Göttlich, Martin; Dirk, Anna-Luise; Brabant, Georg; Münte, Thomas F.

    2016-01-01

    Aims Disturbed levels of thyroid hormones are associated with neuropsychiatric disorders, including memory impairments. The aim of this study was to evaluate effects of mild induced thyrotoxicosis on working memory and its neural correlates. Methods Twenty-nine healthy, male subjects with normal thyroid state participated in the study. Functional MRI was acquired during a working memory task (n-back task) before and after ingesting 250 μg L-thyroxin per day for a period of eight weeks. In addition, neuropsychological tests were performed. Results In the hyperthyroid condition the subjects showed slower reaction times, but a higher accuracy in the 0-back version of the memory tasks. Fewer differences between euthyroid and hyperthyroid state were seen for the more difficult conditions of the n-back task. FMRI revealed effects of difficulty in the parahippocampal gyrus, supplementary motor area, prefrontal cortex, anterior cingulate cortex, posterior cerebellum, rolandic operculum and insula (p<0.05, FWE corrected). When comparing euthyroid and hyperthyroid condition in relation to task-induced activation, differences of activation were found in the right prefrontal cortex as well as in the right parahippocampal area. In the psychological assessment, the alerting effect in the Attention Network Task (ANT) and four out of five parameters of the auditory verbal learning test (AVLT) showed an increase from euthyroid to hyperthyroid state. Conclusions It can be concluded that even a short-term intake of thyroid hormones leads to an activation of brain areas associated with working memory and to an improvement of accuracy of working memory tasks. PMID:27536945

  9. Brain activity during observation and motor imagery of different balance tasks: an fMRI study.

    PubMed

    Taube, Wolfgang; Mouthon, Michael; Leukel, Christian; Hoogewoud, Henri-Marcel; Annoni, Jean-Marie; Keller, Martin

    2015-03-01

    After immobilization, patients show impaired postural control and increased risk of falling. Therefore, loss of balance control should already be counteracted during immobilization. Previously, studies have demonstrated that both motor imagery (MI) and action observation (AO) can improve motor performance. The current study elaborated how the brain is activated during imagination and observation of different postural tasks to provide recommendations about the conception of non-physical balance training. For this purpose, participants were tested in a within-subject design in an fMRI-scanner in three different conditions: (a) AO + MI, (b) AO, and (c) MI. In (a) participants were instructed to imagine themselves as the person pictured in the video whereas in (b) they were instructed simply to watch the video. In (c) subjects closed their eyes and kinesthetically imagined the task displayed in the video. Two tasks were evaluated in each condition: (i) static standing balance and (ii) dynamic standing balance (medio-lateral perturbation). In all conditions the start of a new trial was indicated every 2 sec by a sound. During AO + MI of the dynamic task, participants activated motor centers including the putamen, cerebellum, supplementary motor area, premotor cortices (PMv/d) and primary motor cortex (M1). MI showed a similar pattern but no activity in M1 and PMv/d. In the SMA and cerebellum, activity was generally higher in the dynamic than in the static condition. AO did not significantly activate any of these brain areas. Our results showed that (I) mainly AO + MI, but also MI, activate brain regions important for balance control; (II) participants display higher levels of brain activation in the more demanding balance task; (III) there is a significant difference between AO + MI and AO. Consequently, best training effects should be expected when participants apply MI during AO (AO + MI) of challenging postural tasks. PMID:25461711

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-02-01

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

  11. Investigating the correlation between the neural activity and task performance in a psychomotor vigilance test.

    PubMed

    Hu, Zhongze; Sun, Yu; Lim, Julian; Thakor, Nitish; Bezerianos, Anastasios

    2015-01-01

    Neural activity is known to correlate with decrements in task performance as individuals enter the state of mental fatigue which might lead to lowered productivity and increased safety risks. Incorporating a passive brain computer interface (BCI) technique that detects changes in subject's neural activity and predicts the behavioral performance when the subject is underperforming might be a promising approach to reduce human error in real-world situations. Here, we developed a reliable model using EEG power spectrum to estimate time-on-task performance in a psychomotor vigilance test (PVT) which can fit across individuals. High correlation between the estimated and actual reaction time was achieved. Hence, our results illustrate the feasibility for modeling time-on-task decrements in performance among different individuals from their brainwave activity, with potential applications in several domains, including traffic and industrial safety. PMID:26737349

  12. Active inference, evidence accumulation and the urn task

    PubMed Central

    FitzGerald, Thomas HB; Schwartenbeck, Philipp; Moutoussis, Michael; Dolan, Raymond J; Friston, Karl

    2015-01-01

    Deciding how much evidence to accumulate before making a decision is a problem we and other animals often face, but one which is not completely understood. This issue is particularly important because a tendency to sample less information (often known as reflection impulsivity) is a feature in several psychopathologies, such as psychosis. A formal understanding information sampling may therefore clarify the computational anatomy of psychopathology. In this theoretical paper, we consider evidence accumulation in terms of active (Bayesian) inference using a generic model of Markov decision processes. Here, agents are equipped with beliefs about their own behaviour – in this case, that they will make informed decisions. Normative decision-making is then modelled using variational Bayes to minimise surprise about choice outcomes. Under this scheme, different facets of belief updating map naturally onto the functional anatomy of the brain (at least at a heuristic level). Of particular interest is the key role played by the expected precision of beliefs about control, which we have previously suggested may be encoded by dopaminergic neurons in the midbrain. We show that manipulating expected precision strongly affects how much information an agent characteristically samples, and thus provides a possible link between impulsivity and dopaminergic dysfunction. Our study therefore represents a step towards understanding evidence accumulation in terms of neurobiologically plausible Bayesian inference, and may cast light on why this process is disordered in psychopathology. PMID:25514108

  13. Do surface electrode recordings validly represent latissimus dorsi activation patterns during shoulder tasks?

    PubMed

    Ginn, Karen A; Halaki, Mark

    2015-02-01

    Because of its superficial location surface electrodes are commonly used to record latissimus dorsi (LD) activity. Despite the fact that the recommended electrode placement is over the belly where LD is quite thin no studies have investigated the possibility of signal contamination from muscles lying deep to LD. Therefore, the aim of this study was to determine the validity of using surface electrodes to record activity from LD. Eight asymptomatic subjects performed ramped isometric (0-100% maximum load) and dynamic (70% maximum load) shoulder tasks. Intramuscular electrodes were inserted into LD and the adjacent erector spinae. Surface electrodes were placed over LD around the intramuscular electrodes. Results indicated that while there was no difference in activity level or activation pattern (ICC>0.94) recorded by the two electrode types during shoulder tasks in which LD would be expected to be active (extension and adduction), significantly lower (p<0.05) LD activity was recorded via intramuscular electrodes during the shoulder flexion and abduction tasks. Therefore, recordings of LD activity by surface electrodes overestimate LD activity during shoulder tasks when this muscle would be expected to be activated at minimum levels. Erector spinae immediately deep to LD was confirmed as a source of crosstalk contamination. PMID:25467544

  14. Silica exposure during construction activities: statistical modeling of task-based measurements from the literature.

    PubMed

    Sauvé, Jean-François; Beaudry, Charles; Bégin, Denis; Dion, Chantal; Gérin, Michel; Lavoué, Jérôme

    2013-05-01

    Many construction activities can put workers at risk of breathing silica containing dusts, and there is an important body of literature documenting exposure levels using a task-based strategy. In this study, statistical modeling was used to analyze a data set containing 1466 task-based, personal respirable crystalline silica (RCS) measurements gathered from 46 sources to estimate exposure levels during construction tasks and the effects of determinants of exposure. Monte-Carlo simulation was used to recreate individual exposures from summary parameters, and the statistical modeling involved multimodel inference with Tobit models containing combinations of the following exposure variables: sampling year, sampling duration, construction sector, project type, workspace, ventilation, and controls. Exposure levels by task were predicted based on the median reported duration by activity, the year 1998, absence of source control methods, and an equal distribution of the other determinants of exposure. The model containing all the variables explained 60% of the variability and was identified as the best approximating model. Of the 27 tasks contained in the data set, abrasive blasting, masonry chipping, scabbling concrete, tuck pointing, and tunnel boring had estimated geometric means above 0.1mg m(-3) based on the exposure scenario developed. Water-fed tools and local exhaust ventilation were associated with a reduction of 71 and 69% in exposure levels compared with no controls, respectively. The predictive model developed can be used to estimate RCS concentrations for many construction activities in a wide range of circumstances. PMID:23223272

  15. Associations between prefrontal cortex activation and H-reflex modulation during dual task gait

    PubMed Central

    Meester, Daan; Al-Yahya, Emad; Dawes, Helen; Martin-Fagg, Penny; Piñon, Carmen

    2014-01-01

    Walking, although a largely automatic process, is controlled by the cortex and the spinal cord with corrective reflexes modulated through integration of neural signals from central and peripheral inputs at supraspinal level throughout the gait cycle. In this study we used an additional cognitive task to interfere with the automatic processing during walking in order to explore the neural mechanisms involved in healthy young adults. Participants were asked to walk on a treadmill at two speeds, both with and without additional cognitive load. We evaluated the impact of speed and cognitive load by analyzing activity of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) using functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS) alongside spinal cord reflex activity measured by soleus H-reflex amplitude and gait changes obtained by using an inertial measuring unit. Repeated measures ANOVA revealed that fNIRS Oxy-Hb concentrations significantly increased in the PFC with dual task (walking while performing a cognitive task) compared to a single task (walking only; p < 0.05). PFC activity was unaffected by increases of walking speed. H-reflex amplitude and gait variables did not change in response to either dual task or increases in walking speed. When walking under additional cognitive load participants adapted by using greater activity in the PFC, but this adaptation did not detrimentally affect H-reflex amplitude or gait variables. Our findings suggest that in a healthy young population central mechanisms (PFC) are activated in response to cognitive loads but that H-reflex activity and gait performance can successfully be maintained. This study provides insights into the mechanisms behind healthy individuals safely performing dual task walking. PMID:24600375

  16. Performance-Related Activity in Medial Rostral Prefrontal Cortex (Area 10) during Low-Demand Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gilbert, Sam J.; Simons, Jon S.; Frith, Christopher D.; Burgess, Paul W.

    2006-01-01

    Neuroimaging studies have frequently observed relatively high activity in medial rostral prefrontal cortex (PFC) during rest or baseline conditions. Some accounts have attributed this high activity to the occurrence of unconstrained stimulus-independent and task-unrelated thought processes during baseline conditions. Here, the authors investigated…

  17. Prefrontal Cortex Activation While Walking Under Dual-Task Conditions in Stroke: A Multimodal Imaging Study.

    PubMed

    Al-Yahya, Emad; Johansen-Berg, Heidi; Kischka, Udo; Zarei, Mojtaba; Cockburn, Janet; Dawes, Helen

    2016-07-01

    Background Walking while performing another task (eg, talking) is challenging for many stroke survivors, yet its neural basis are not fully understood. Objective To investigate prefrontal cortex activation and its relationship to gait measures while walking under single-task (ST) and dual-task (DT) conditions (ie, walking while simultaneously performing a cognitive task) in stroke survivors. Methods We acquired near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) data from the prefrontal cortex during treadmill walking in ST and DT conditions in chronic stroke survivors and healthy controls. We also acquired functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and NIRS during simulated walking under these conditions. Results NIRS revealed increased oxygenated hemoglobin concentration in DT-walking compared with ST-walking for both groups. For simulated walking, NIRS showed a significant effect of group and group × task, being greater on both occasions, in stroke survivors. A greater increase in brain activation observed from ST to DT walking/ simulated walking was related to a greater change in motor performance in stroke survivors. fMRI revealed increased activity during DT relative to ST conditions in stroke patients in areas including the inferior temporal gyri, superior frontal gyri and cingulate gyri bilaterally, and the right precentral gyrus. The DT-related increase in fMRI activity correlated with DT-related change in behavior in stroke participants in the bilateral inferior temporal gyrus, left cingulate gyrus, and left frontal pole. Conclusion Our results provide novel evidence that enhanced brain activity changes relate to dual task motor decrements. PMID:26493732

  18. The Relationship between Cortisol Activity during Cognitive Task and Posttraumatic Stress Symptom Clusters

    PubMed Central

    Duan, Hongxia; Wang, Li; Zhang, Liang; Liu, Jing; Zhang, Kan; Wu, Jianhui

    2015-01-01

    Background The latest development in the dimensional structure of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a novel 6-factor model, which builds on the newly released DSM-5. One notable gap in the literature is that little is known about how distinct symptom clusters of PTSD are related to hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis activity when people perform a relatively less stressful cognitive task. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between cortisol activity when individuals perform cognitive tasks in the laboratory and a contemporary phenotypic model of posttraumatic stress symptomatology in earthquake survivors. Methods Salivary cortisol while performing cognitive tasks was collected and analyzed in 89 adult earthquake survivors. The PTSD Checklist for the DSM-5 (PCL-5) was used to assess the severity of total PTSD as well as six distinct symptom clusters. Regression analyses were conducted to examine the associations between the six distinct PTSD symptom clusters and cortisol profiles. Results The results showed that the score of the negative affect symptom cluster, but not anhedonia or other clusters, was positively associated with cortisol levels before and during the cognitive tasks. Conclusion The results showed that higher cortisol levels before and during cognitive tasks might be specifically linked to a distinct symptom cluster of PTSD—negative affect symptomatology. This suggests that a distinction should be made between negative affect and anhedonia symptom clusters, as the 6-factor model proposed. PMID:26630485

  19. Age-related shifts in brain activity dynamics during task switching.

    PubMed

    Jimura, Koji; Braver, Todd S

    2010-06-01

    Cognitive aging studies have suggested that older adults show declines in both sustained and transient cognitive control processes. However, previous neuroimaging studies have primarily focused on age-related change in the magnitude, but not temporal dynamics, of brain activity. The present study compared brain activity dynamics in healthy old and young adults during task switching. A mixed blocked/event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging design enabled separation of transient and sustained neural activity associated with cognitive control. Relative to young adults, older adults exhibited not only decreased sustained activity in the anterior prefrontal cortex (aPFC) during task-switching blocks but also increased transient activity on task-switch trials. Another pattern of age-related shift in dynamics was present in the lateral PFC (lPFC) and posterior parietal cortex (PPC), with younger adults showing a cue-related response during task-switch trials in lPFC and PPC, whereas older adults exhibited switch-related activation during the cue period in PPC only. In all 3 regions, these qualitatively distinct patterns of brain activity predicted qualitatively distinct patterns of behavioral performance across the 2 age groups. Together, these results suggest that older adults may shift from a proactive to reactive cognitive control strategy as a means of retaining relatively preserved behavioral performance in the face of age-related neurocognitive changes. PMID:19805420

  20. Age-Related Shifts in Brain Activity Dynamics during Task Switching

    PubMed Central

    Braver, Todd S.

    2010-01-01

    Cognitive aging studies have suggested that older adults show declines in both sustained and transient cognitive control processes. However, previous neuroimaging studies have primarily focused on age-related change in the magnitude, but not temporal dynamics, of brain activity. The present study compared brain activity dynamics in healthy old and young adults during task switching. A mixed blocked/event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging design enabled separation of transient and sustained neural activity associated with cognitive control. Relative to young adults, older adults exhibited not only decreased sustained activity in the anterior prefrontal cortex (aPFC) during task-switching blocks but also increased transient activity on task-switch trials. Another pattern of age-related shift in dynamics was present in the lateral PFC (lPFC) and posterior parietal cortex (PPC), with younger adults showing a cue-related response during task-switch trials in lPFC and PPC, whereas older adults exhibited switch-related activation during the cue period in PPC only. In all 3 regions, these qualitatively distinct patterns of brain activity predicted qualitatively distinct patterns of behavioral performance across the 2 age groups. Together, these results suggest that older adults may shift from a proactive to reactive cognitive control strategy as a means of retaining relatively preserved behavioral performance in the face of age-related neurocognitive changes. PMID:19805420

  1. Who Multi-Tasks and Why? Multi-Tasking Ability, Perceived Multi-Tasking Ability, Impulsivity, and Sensation Seeking

    PubMed Central

    Sanbonmatsu, David M.; Strayer, David L.; Medeiros-Ward, Nathan; Watson, Jason M.

    2013-01-01

    The present study examined the relationship between personality and individual differences in multi-tasking ability. Participants enrolled at the University of Utah completed measures of multi-tasking activity, perceived multi-tasking ability, impulsivity, and sensation seeking. In addition, they performed the Operation Span in order to assess their executive control and actual multi-tasking ability. The findings indicate that the persons who are most capable of multi-tasking effectively are not the persons who are most likely to engage in multiple tasks simultaneously. To the contrary, multi-tasking activity as measured by the Media Multitasking Inventory and self-reported cell phone usage while driving were negatively correlated with actual multi-tasking ability. Multi-tasking was positively correlated with participants’ perceived ability to multi-task ability which was found to be significantly inflated. Participants with a strong approach orientation and a weak avoidance orientation – high levels of impulsivity and sensation seeking – reported greater multi-tasking behavior. Finally, the findings suggest that people often engage in multi-tasking because they are less able to block out distractions and focus on a singular task. Participants with less executive control - low scorers on the Operation Span task and persons high in impulsivity - tended to report higher levels of multi-tasking activity. PMID:23372720

  2. Who multi-tasks and why? Multi-tasking ability, perceived multi-tasking ability, impulsivity, and sensation seeking.

    PubMed

    Sanbonmatsu, David M; Strayer, David L; Medeiros-Ward, Nathan; Watson, Jason M

    2013-01-01

    The present study examined the relationship between personality and individual differences in multi-tasking ability. Participants enrolled at the University of Utah completed measures of multi-tasking activity, perceived multi-tasking ability, impulsivity, and sensation seeking. In addition, they performed the Operation Span in order to assess their executive control and actual multi-tasking ability. The findings indicate that the persons who are most capable of multi-tasking effectively are not the persons who are most likely to engage in multiple tasks simultaneously. To the contrary, multi-tasking activity as measured by the Media Multitasking Inventory and self-reported cell phone usage while driving were negatively correlated with actual multi-tasking ability. Multi-tasking was positively correlated with participants' perceived ability to multi-task ability which was found to be significantly inflated. Participants with a strong approach orientation and a weak avoidance orientation--high levels of impulsivity and sensation seeking--reported greater multi-tasking behavior. Finally, the findings suggest that people often engage in multi-tasking because they are less able to block out distractions and focus on a singular task. Participants with less executive control--low scorers on the Operation Span task and persons high in impulsivity--tended to report higher levels of multi-tasking activity. PMID:23372720

  3. Simultaneous EEG-fMRI Reveals a Temporal Cascade of Task-Related and Default-Mode Activations During a Simple Target Detection Task

    PubMed Central

    Walz, Jennifer M.; Goldman, Robin I.; Carapezza, Michael; Muraskin, Jordan; Brown, Truman R.; Sajda, Paul

    2013-01-01

    Focused attention continuously and inevitably fluctuates, and to completely understand the mechanisms responsible for these modulations it is necessary to localize the brain regions involved. During a simple visual oddball task, neural responses measured by electroencephalography (EEG) modulate primarily with attention, but source localization of the correlates is a challenge. In this study we use single-trial analysis of simultaneously-acquired scalp EEG and functional magnetic resonance image (fMRI) data to investigate the blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) correlates of modulations in task-related attention, and we unravel the temporal cascade of these transient activations. We hypothesize that activity in brain regions associated with various task-related cognitive processes modulates with attention, and that their involvements occur transiently in a specific order. We analyze the fMRI BOLD signal by first regressing out the variance linked to observed stimulus and behavioral events. We then correlate the residual variance with the trial-to-trial variation of EEG discriminating components for identical stimuli, estimated at a sequence of times during a trial. Post-stimulus and early in the trial, we find activations in right-lateralized frontal regions and lateral occipital cortex, areas that are often linked to task-dependent processes, such as attentional orienting, and decision certainty. After the behavioral response we see correlates in areas often associated with the default-mode network and introspective processing, including precuneus, angular gyri, and posterior cingulate cortex. Our results demonstrate that during simple tasks both task-dependent and default-mode networks are transiently engaged, with a distinct temporal ordering and millisecond timescale. PMID:23962956

  4. Impact of changed positive and negative task-related brain activity on word-retrieval in aging

    PubMed Central

    Meinzer, M.; Seeds, L.; Flaisch, T.; Harnish, S.; Cohen, M.L.; McGregor, K.; Conway, T.; Benjamin, M.; Crosson, B.

    2010-01-01

    Previous functional imaging studies that compared activity patterns in older and younger adults during non-linguistic tasks found evidence for two phenomena: older participants usually show more pronounced task-related positive activity in the brain hemisphere that is not dominant for the task and less pronounced negative task-related activity in temporo-parietal and midline brain regions. The combined effects of these phenomena and the impact on word-retrieval, however, have not yet been assessed. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to explore task-related positive (active task > baseline) and negative activity (baseline > active task) during semantic and phonemic verbal fluency tasks. Increased right-frontal positive activity during the semantic task and reduced negative activity in the right hemisphere during both tasks was associated with reduced performance in older subjects. No substantial relationship between changes in positive and negative activity was observed in the older participants, pointing towards two partially independent but potentially co-occurring processes. Underlying causes of the observed functional network inefficiency during word-retrieval in older adults need to be determined in the future. PMID:20696496

  5. Trait Anxiety Modulates Brain Activity during Performance of Verbal Fluency Tasks

    PubMed Central

    Gawda, Barbara; Szepietowska, Ewa

    2016-01-01

    Trait anxiety is thought to be associated with pathological anxiety, and a risk factor for psychiatric disorders. The present study examines the brain mechanisms associated with trait anxiety during the performing of verbal fluency tasks. The aim is to show how trait anxiety modulates executive functions as measured by verbal fluency, and to explore the link between verbal fluency and anxiety due to the putative negative biases in high-anxious individuals. Seven tasks of verbal fluency were used: letter “k,” “f,” verbs, “animals,” “vehicles,” “joy,” and “fear.” The results of 35 subjects (whole sample), and 17 subjects (nine men, eight women) selected from the whole sample for the low/high-anxious groups on the basis of Trait Anxiety scores were analyzed. The subjects were healthy, Polish speaking, right-handed and aged from 20 to 35 years old. fMRI (whole-brain analysis with FWE corrections) was used to show the neural signals under active participation in verbal fluency tasks. The results confirm that trait anxiety slightly modulates neural activation during the performance of verbal fluency tasks, especially in the more difficult tasks. Significant differences were found in brain activation during the performance of more complex tasks between individuals with low anxiety and those with high anxiety. Greater activation in the right hemisphere, frontal gyri, and cerebellum was found in people with low anxiety. The results reflect better integration of cognitive and affective capacities in individuals with low anxiety. PMID:26903827

  6. Effects of feedback on activation of the quadriceps during weight-bearing tasks of the Wii

    PubMed Central

    Fernandes da Silva, Fabiano; Aparecido de Souza, Renato; Dias, Eric Fernandes; Silveira, Landulfo; Villaverde, Antonio Balbin

    2015-01-01

    [Purpose] This investigation evaluated the effect of real-time feedback on electrical activation of the quadriceps during 3 weight-bearing tasks of the Wii Fit Plus®. [Subjects] Thirty male healthy volunteers were recruited. [Methods] Activation of the vastus medialis, vastus lateralis, and rectus femoris muscles was recorded during virtual lunge, single leg extension, and single leg reach exercises. Each exercise was performed twice in 3 randomized experimental conditions (with visual feedback, with auditory feedback, and with no feedback). The normalized electromyographic data (using maximum voluntary isometric contraction) were analyzed using repeated measures analysis of variance and Tukey’s test. [Results] No significant difference was found in the muscles among the feedback conditions during the 3 exercises. However, the variation in the muscle activity of the vastus medialis and vastus lateralis (18.23–29.20% of maximum voluntary isometric contraction) was higher (47–62%) than that in the rectus femoris (7.35–12.98% of maximum voluntary isometric contraction). [Conclusion] Real-time feedback did not alter quadriceps activation during the Wii tasks. Additionally, these games showed electromyographic activation levels similar to those for the same tasks outside the virtual environment. The Wii weight-bearing tasks could therefore constitute a physical activity program but without the additional benefit of feedback. PMID:26180301

  7. Effects of feedback on activation of the quadriceps during weight-bearing tasks of the Wii.

    PubMed

    Fernandes da Silva, Fabiano; Aparecido de Souza, Renato; Dias, Eric Fernandes; Silveira, Landulfo; Villaverde, Antonio Balbin

    2015-06-01

    [Purpose] This investigation evaluated the effect of real-time feedback on electrical activation of the quadriceps during 3 weight-bearing tasks of the Wii Fit Plus(®). [Subjects] Thirty male healthy volunteers were recruited. [Methods] Activation of the vastus medialis, vastus lateralis, and rectus femoris muscles was recorded during virtual lunge, single leg extension, and single leg reach exercises. Each exercise was performed twice in 3 randomized experimental conditions (with visual feedback, with auditory feedback, and with no feedback). The normalized electromyographic data (using maximum voluntary isometric contraction) were analyzed using repeated measures analysis of variance and Tukey's test. [Results] No significant difference was found in the muscles among the feedback conditions during the 3 exercises. However, the variation in the muscle activity of the vastus medialis and vastus lateralis (18.23-29.20% of maximum voluntary isometric contraction) was higher (47-62%) than that in the rectus femoris (7.35-12.98% of maximum voluntary isometric contraction). [Conclusion] Real-time feedback did not alter quadriceps activation during the Wii tasks. Additionally, these games showed electromyographic activation levels similar to those for the same tasks outside the virtual environment. The Wii weight-bearing tasks could therefore constitute a physical activity program but without the additional benefit of feedback. PMID:26180301

  8. Noise power associated with decreased task-induced variability of brain electrical activity in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Molina, Vicente; Bachiller, Alejandro; Suazo, Vanessa; Lubeiro, Alba; Poza, Jesús; Hornero, Roberto

    2016-02-01

    In schizophrenia, both increased baseline metabolic and electroencephalographic (EEG) activities as well as decreased task-related modulation of neural dynamics have been reported. Noise power (NP) can measure the background EEG activity during task performance, and Shannon entropy (SE) is useful for quantifying the global modulation of EEG activity with a high temporal resolution. In this study, we have assessed the possible relationship between increased NP in theta and gamma bands and decreased SE modulation in 24 patients with schizophrenia and 26 controls over the parietal and central regions during a P300 task. SE modulation was calculated as the change from baseline to the active epoch (i.e., 150-550 ms following the target stimulus onset). Patients with schizophrenia displayed statistically significant higher NP values and lower SE modulation than healthy controls. We found a significant association between gamma NP and SE in all of the participants. Specifically, a NP increase in the gamma band was followed by a decrease in SE change. These results support the notion that an excess of gamma activity, unlocked to the task being performed, is accompanied by a decreased modulation of EEG activity in schizophrenia. PMID:25547316

  9. Task Switching in a Hierarchical Task Structure: Evidence for the Fragility of the Task Repetition Benefit

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lien, Mei-Ching; Ruthruff, Eric

    2004-01-01

    This study examined how task switching is affected by hierarchical task organization. Traditional task-switching studies, which use a constant temporal and spatial distance between each task element (defined as a stimulus requiring a response), promote a flat task structure. Using this approach, Experiment 1 revealed a large switch cost of 238 ms.…

  10. Walking while Performing Working Memory Tasks Changes the Prefrontal Cortex Hemodynamic Activations and Gait Kinematics

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Ming-I B.; Lin, Kuan-Hung

    2016-01-01

    Background: Increasing evidence suggests that walking while performing a concurrent task negatively influences gait performance. However, it remains unclear how higher-level cognitive processes and coordination of limb movements are altered in challenging walking environments. This study investigated the influence of cognitive task complexity and walking road condition on the neutral correlates of executive function and postural control in dual-task walking. Methods: Twenty-four healthy young adults completed a series of overground walks with three walking road conditions (wide, narrow, with obstacles) with and without the concurrent n-back working memory tasks of two complexity levels (1-back and 3-back). Prefrontal brain activation was assessed by functional near-infrared spectroscopy. A three-dimensional motion analysis system was used simultaneously to measure gait performance and lower-extremity kinematics. Repeated measures analysis of variance were performed to examine the differences between the conditions. Results: In comparison with standing still, participants showed lower n-back task accuracy while walking, with the worst performance from the road with obstacles. Spatiotemporal gait parameters, lower-extremity joint movements, and the relative changes in oxygenated hemoglobin (HbO) concentration levels were all significantly different across the task complexity and walking path conditions. While dual-tasking participants were found to flex their hips and knees less, leading to a slower gait speed, longer stride time, shorter step length, and greater gait variability than during normal walking. For narrow-road walking, smaller ankle dorsiflexion and larger hip flexion were observed, along with a reduced gait speed. Obstacle negotiation was mainly characterized by increased gait variability than other conditions. HbO levels appeared to be lower during dual-task walking than normal walking. Compared to wide and obstacle conditions, walking on the narrow

  11. 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.

  12. The Association Between Eye Movements and Cerebellar Activation in a Verbal Working Memory Task.

    PubMed

    Peterburs, Jutta; Cheng, Dominic T; Desmond, John E

    2016-09-01

    It has been argued that cerebellar activations during cognitive tasks may masquerade as cognition, while actually reflecting processes related to movement planning or motor learning. The present study investigated whether the cerebellar load effect for verbal working memory, that is, increased activations in lobule VI/Crus I and lobule VIIB/VIIIA, is related to eye movements and oculomotor processing. Fifteen participants performed an fMRI-based Sternberg verbal working memory task. Oculomotor and cognitive task demands were manipulated by using closely and widely spaced stimuli, and high and low cognitive load. Trial-based quantitative eye movement parameters were obtained from concurrent eye tracking. Conventional MRI analysis replicated the cerebellar load effect in lobules VI and VIIB/VIIIa. With quantitative eye movement parameters as regressors, analysis yielded very similar activation patterns. While load effect and eye regressor generally recruited spatially distinct neocortical and cerebellar regions, conjunction analysis showed that a small subset of prefrontal areas implicated in the load effect also responded to the eye regressor. The present results indicate that cognitive load-dependent activations in lateral superior and posteroinferior cerebellar regions in the Sternberg task are independent of eye movements occurring during stimulus encoding. This is inconsistent with the notion that cognitive load-dependent cerebellar activations merely reflect oculomotor processing. PMID:26286918

  13. Materials processing in space programs tasks. [NASA research tasks

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pentecost, E.

    1981-01-01

    Active research tasks as of the end of fiscal year 1981 of the materials processing in space program, NASA Office of Space and Terrestrial Applications are summarized to provide an overview of the program scope for managers and scientists in industry, university, and government communities. The program, its history, strategy, and overall goal are described the organizational structures and people involved are identified and a list of recent publications is given for each research task. Four categories: Crystal Growth; Solidification of Metals, Alloys, and Composites; Fluids, Transports, and Chemical Processes, and Ultrahigh Vacuum and Containerless Processing Technologies are used to group the tasks. Some tasks are placed in more than one category to insure complete coverage of each category.

  14. Flight tests for the assessment of task performance and control activity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pausder, H. J.; Hummes, D.

    1982-01-01

    The tests were performed with the helicopters BO 105 and UH-1D. Closely connected with tactical demands the six test pilots' task was to minimize the time and the altitude over the obstacles. The data reduction yields statistical evaluation parameters describing the control activity of the pilots and the achieved task performance. The results are shown in form of evaluation diagrams. Additionally dolphin tests with varied control strategy were performed to get more insight into the influence of control techniques. From these test results recommendations can be derived to emphasize the direct force control and to reduce the collective to pitch crosscoupling for the dolphin.

  15. A modelization of the task allocation problem for prescribing activity in an ICU.

    PubMed Central

    Renard, J. M.; Bricon-Souf, N.; Guigue, L.; Beuscart, R.

    2000-01-01

    The improvement of coordination between Health Care Professionals belonging different specialities and who are extremely mobile, is a crucial problem in Medicine. A workflow System is one example of the new informatics tools which facilitate the transfer of information and responsibility between health care providers. Medical informatics systems in particular should be reactive enough to cope with the flexibility of real work situations: in this paper, we present the task allocation problem. We distinguish between the workflow control process and the notifying process, which concerns the sharing out of the tasks between the actors concerned. We focus on the impact of strategies of notification on the progress of coordinated work. We propose a simulator to model and study the different ways of sharing tasks between actors in an Intensive Care Unit's activity of prescription. PMID:11079971

  16. Task 11 final report

    SciTech Connect

    Bolton, P.

    2000-10-01

    Under this task, RAE personnel were on call to accompany members of the Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety (CCNS) if and when they exercised the option to borrow radiac instruments from the Laboratory and survey areas they thought might be contaminated by the Lab. Five members of the RAE team were given refresher training on the latest Lab owned instruments and on Lab procedures for using them and reporting results. On one occasion, a RAE team member accompanied LANL personnel when they did a survey of a house trailer which the owner claimed may have been contaminated. No contamination was found at the site. No requests were received to accompany CCNS members. The original task completion date of September 30, 1998 was extended to June 21, 1999. No requests were received to accompany CCNS members during this timeframe either. The task was terminated as it was determined there was no longer a need.

  17. A task description model for robotic rehabilitation.

    PubMed

    Carmichael, Marc G; Liu, Dikai

    2012-01-01

    The desire to produce robots to aid in physical neurorehabilitation has led to the control paradigm Assistance-As-Needed. This paradigm aims to assist patients in performing physical rehabilitation tasks whilst providing the least amount of assistance required, maximizing the patient's effort which is essential for recovery. Ideally the provided assistance equals the gap between the capability required to perform the task and the patient's available capability. Current implementations derive a measure of this gap by critiquing task performance based on some criteria. This paper presents a task description model for tasks performed by a patient's limb, allowing physical requirements to be calculated. Applied to two upper limb tasks typical of rehabilitation and daily activities, the effect of task variations on the task's physical requirements are observed. It is proposed that using the task description model to compensate for changing task requirements will allow better support by providing assistance closer to the true needs of the patient. PMID:23366577

  18. Annual Progress report - General Task

    SciTech Connect

    Wesnousky, S.G.

    1993-09-30

    This report provides a summary of progress for the project {open_quotes}Evaluation of the Geologic Relations and Seismotectonic Stability of the Yucca Mountain Area, Nevada Nuclear Waste Site Investigation (NNWSI).{close_quotes} A similar report was previously provided for the period of 1 October 1991 to 30 September 1992. The report initially covers the activities of the General Task and is followed by sections that describe the progress of the other ongoing tasks.

  19. Reading-Related Literacy Activities of American Adults: Time Spent, Task Types, and Cognitive Skills Used

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    White, Sheida; Chen, Jing; Forsyth, Barbara

    2010-01-01

    This article presents data on the types and duration of reading-related activities reported by a volunteer sample of 400 adults (demographically similar to the U.S. adult population age 20 and older in terms of race, ethnicity, education, and working status) in the 2005 Real-World Tasks Study. This diary study revealed that adults spent, on…

  20. Evaluating Integrated Task Based Activities and Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL)

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Anwar, Khoirul; Husniah, Rohmy

    2016-01-01

    This study is to evaluate the implementation of Task Activities based on CALL which consist of observing, questioning, exploring, and communicating. The developed materials are nine chapters that had been implemented in two different classes of SMPN 1 Gresik and SMPM 4 Gresik in Indonesia. Of quesionnaires and interviews, the results indicate that…

  1. Left inferior-parietal lobe activity in perspective tasks: identity statements

    PubMed Central

    Arora, Aditi; Weiss, Benjamin; Schurz, Matthias; Aichhorn, Markus; Wieshofer, Rebecca C.; Perner, Josef

    2015-01-01

    We investigate the theory that the left inferior parietal lobe (IPL) is closely associated with tracking potential differences of perspective. Developmental studies find that perspective tasks are mastered at around 4 years of age. Our first study, meta-analyses of brain imaging studies shows that perspective tasks specifically activate a region in the left IPL and precuneus. These tasks include processing of false belief, visual perspective, and episodic memory. We test the location specificity theory in our second study with an unusual and novel kind of perspective task: identity statements. According to Frege's classical logical analysis, identity statements require appreciation of modes of presentation (perspectives). We show that identity statements, e.g., “the tour guide is also the driver” activate the left IPL in contrast to a control statements, “the tour guide has an apprentice.” This activation overlaps with the activations found in the meta-analysis. This finding is confirmed in a third study with different types of statements and different comparisons. All studies support the theory that the left IPL has as one of its overarching functions the tracking of perspective differences. We discuss how this function relates to the bottom-up attention function proposed for the bilateral IPL. PMID:26175677

  2. Cognitive Conflict in a Syllable Identification Task Causes Transient Activation of Speech Perception Area

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Saetrevik, Bjorn; Specht, Karsten

    2012-01-01

    It has previously been shown that task performance and frontal cortical activation increase after cognitive conflict. This has been argued to support a model of attention where the level of conflict automatically adjusts the amount of cognitive control applied. Conceivably, conflict could also modulate lower-level processing pathways, which would…

  3. Task-Dependent Modulations of Prefrontal and Hippocampal Activity during Intrinsic Word Production

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Whitney, Carin; Weis, Susanne; Krings, Timo; Huber, Walter; Grossman, Murray; Kircher, Tilo

    2009-01-01

    Functional imaging studies of single word production have consistently reported activation of the lateral prefrontal and cingulate cortex. Its contribution has been shown to be sensitive to task demands, which can be manipulated by the degree of response specification. Compared with classical verbal fluency, free word association relies less on…

  4. Beyond Rhyme or Reason: ERPs Reveal Task-Specific Activation of Orthography on Spoken Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pattamadilok, Chotiga; Perre, Laetitia; Ziegler, Johannes C.

    2011-01-01

    Metaphonological tasks, such as rhyme judgment, have been the primary tool for the investigation of the effects of orthographic knowledge on spoken language. However, it has been recently argued that the orthography effect in rhyme judgment does not reflect the automatic activation of orthographic codes but rather stems from sophisticated response…

  5. Pedagogical Values of Mobile-Assisted Task-Based Activities to Enhance Speaking Skill

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mohammadi, Mojtaba; Safdari, Nastaran

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of the present study was to examine the impact of online mobile-assisted task-based activities on improving Iranian intermediate English as a Foreign Language (EFL) learners' speaking skills. To achieve the purpose of the study, 90 intermediate language learners were selected ranging between 13 to 16 years old and divided into three…

  6. Planning and Managing Learning Tasks and Activities. Advances in Research on Teaching. Volume 3.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brophy, Jere, Ed.

    This publication is the third volume in the "Advanced in Research on Teaching" series, which has been established to provide state-of-the-art conceptualization and analysis of the processes involved in functioning as a classroom teacher. This volume focuses on the planning and managing of learning tasks and activities, in particular, what is…

  7. Task Rotation: Strategies for Differentiating Activities and Assessments by Learning Style. A Strategic Teacher PLC Guide

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Silver, Harvey; Moirao, Daniel; Jackson, Joyce

    2011-01-01

    One of the hardest jobs in teaching is to differentiate learning activities and assessments to your students' learning styles. But you and your colleagues can learn how to do this together when each of you has this guide to the Task Rotation strategy from our ultimate guide to teaching strategies, "The Strategic Teacher". Use the guide in your…

  8. Assessing L2 Task Performance: Understanding Effects of Task Design

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tavakoli, Parvaneh

    2009-01-01

    The overarching aim of the research reported here was to investigate the effects of task structure and storyline complexity of oral narrative tasks on second language task performance. Participants were 60 Iranian language learners of English who performed six narrative tasks of varying degree of structure and storyline complexity in an assessment…

  9. The maturation of task-set related activation supports late developmental improvements in inhibitory control

    PubMed Central

    Velanova, Katerina; Wheeler, Mark E.; Luna, Beatriz

    2009-01-01

    The ability to voluntarily inhibit a single response is evident early in development, even as the ability to maintain an inhibitory “task set” continues to improve. To date, functional neuroimaging studies have detailed developmental changes in systems supporting inhibitory control exerted at the single-trial level, but changes underlying the ability to maintain an inhibitory task set remain little understood. Here we present findings from a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study that characterizes the development of systems supporting both transient (trial-related) and sustained (task-set-related) activation during performance of the antisaccade (AS) task—an oculomotor test of inhibitory control (Hallett, 1978). Transient activation decreased from childhood to adolescence in regions known to support inhibitory processes and oculomotor control, likely reflecting less effortful response production. In contrast, sustained activation increased to adulthood in regions implicated in control. Our results suggest that development of the ability to maintain a task set is primary to the maturation of inhibitory control, and further, that this ability is still immature in adolescence. PMID:19812330

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Establishing a role of the dorsal medial frontal cortex in the performance monitoring and cognitive control has been a challenge to neuroscientists for the past decade. In light of recent findings, the conflict monitoring hypothesis has been elaborated to an action-outcome predictor theory. One of the findings that led to this re-evaluation was the fMRI study in which conflict-related brain activity was investigated in terms of the so-called time on task effect, i.e., a linear increase of the BOLD signal with longer response times. The aim of this study was to investigate brain regions involved in the processing of saccadic response conflict and to account for the time on task effect. A modified spatial cueing task was implemented in the event-related fMRI study with oculomotor responses. The results revealed several brain regions which show higher activity for incongruent trials in comparison to the congruent ones, including pre-supplementary motor area together with the frontal and parietal regions. Further analysis accounting for the effect of response time provided evidence that these brain activations were not sensitive to time on task but reflected purely the congruency effect. PMID:26696871

  11. Neonatal infection modulates behavioral flexibility and hippocampal activation on a Morris Water Maze task

    PubMed Central

    Williamson, Lauren L.; Bilbo, Staci D.

    2014-01-01

    Neonatal infection has enduring effects on the brain, both at the cellular and behavioral levels. We determined the effects of peripheral infection with Escherichia coli at postnatal day (P) 4 in rats on a water maze task in adulthood, and assessed neuronal activation in the dentate gyrus (DG) following the memory test. Rats were trained and tested on one of 3 distinct water maze task paradigms: 1) minimal training (18 trials/ 3 days), 2) extended training (50 trials/ 10 days) or 3) reversal training (extended training followed by 30 trials/ 3 days with a new platform location). Following a 48HR memory test, brains were harvested to assess neuronal activation using activity-regulated cytoskeleton-associated (Arc) protein in the DG. Following minimal training, rats treated neonatally with E. coli had improved performance and paradoxically reduced Arc expression during the memory test compared to control rats treated with PBS early in life. However, neonatally-infected rats did not differ from control rats in behavior or neuronal activation during the memory test following extended training. Furthermore, rats treated neonatally with E. coli were significantly impaired during the 48HR memory test for a reversal platform location, unlike controls. Specifically, whereas neonatally-infected rats were able to acquire the new location at the same rate as controls, they spent significantly less time in the target quadrant for the reversal platform during a memory test. However, neonatally-infected and control rats had similar levels of Arc expression following the 48HR memory test for reversal. Together, these data indicate that neonatal infection may improve the rate of acquisition on hippocampal-dependent tasks while impairing flexibility on the same tasks; in addition, network activation in the DG during learning may be predictive of future cognitive flexibility on a hippocampal-dependent task. PMID:24576680

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kaniel, Shlomo; Aram, Dorit

    1998-01-01

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

  13. Frontal EEG activation asymmetry reflects cognitive biases in anxiety: evidence from an emotional face Stroop task.

    PubMed

    Avram, Julia; Balteş, Felicia Rodica; Miclea, Mircea; Miu, Andrei C

    2010-12-01

    Electroencephalography (EEG) has been extensively used in studies of the frontal asymmetry of emotion and motivation. This study investigated the midfrontal EEG activation, heart rate and skin conductance during an emotional face analog of the Stroop task, in anxious and non-anxious participants. In this task, the participants were asked to identify the expression of calm, fearful and happy faces that had either a congruent or incongruent emotion name written across them. Anxious participants displayed a cognitive bias characterized by facilitated attentional engagement with fearful faces. Fearful face trials induced greater relative right frontal activation, whereas happy face trials induced greater relative left frontal activation. Moreover, anxiety specifically modulated the magnitude of the right frontal activation to fearful faces, which also correlated with the cognitive bias. Therefore, these results show that frontal EEG activation asymmetry reflects the bias toward facilitated processing of fearful faces in anxiety. PMID:20607389

  14. Chizu Task Mapping Tool

    2014-07-01

    Chizu is a tool for Mapping MPI processes or tasks to physical processors or nodes for optimizing communication performance. It takes the communication graph of a High Performance Computing (HPC) application and the interconnection topology of a supercomputer as input. It outputs a new MPI rand to processor mapping, which can be used when launching the HPC application.

  15. Creating Positive Task Constraints

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mally, Kristi K.

    2006-01-01

    Constraints are characteristics of the individual, the task, or the environment that mold and shape movement choices and performances. Constraints can be positive--encouraging proficient movements or negative--discouraging movement or promoting ineffective movements. Physical educators must analyze, evaluate, and determine the effect various…

  16. Data Center Tasking.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Temares, M. Lewis; Lutheran, Joseph A.

    Operations tasking for data center management is discussed. The original and revised organizational structures of the data center at the University of Miami are also described. The organizational strategy addresses the functions that should be performed by the data center, anticipates the specialized skills required, and addresses personnel…

  17. Project Echo Task Group

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1964-01-01

    'A technician assigned to the Project Echo Task Group separates the two hemispheres of the Echo 1 container for inspection. The charge that freed the balloon was placed inside of a ring encircling the canister at its equator.' Published in James R. Hansen, Spaceflight Revolution: NASA Langley Research Center From Sputnik to Apollo, NASA SP-4308, p. 181.

  18. Randomization in robot tasks

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Erdmann, Michael

    1992-01-01

    This paper investigates the role of randomization in the solution of robot manipulation tasks. One example of randomization is shown by the strategy of shaking a bin holding a part in order to orient the part in a desired stable state with some high probability. Randomization can be useful for mobile robot navigation and as a means of guiding the design process.

  19. Mining Task Force Report.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Saskatchewan Inst. of Applied Science and Technology, Saskatoon.

    In fall 1988, the Board of Directors of the Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology (SIAST) created a task force to study the training needs of the mining industry in the province and evaluate SIAST's responsiveness to those needs. After assessing the technological changes taking place in the industry, surveying manpower needs,…

  20. 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…

  1. Job Task Analysis.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Clemson Univ., SC.

    This publication consists of job task analyses for jobs in textile manufacturing. Information provided for each job in the greige and finishing plants includes job title, job purpose, and job duties with related educational objectives, curriculum, assessment, and outcome. These job titles are included: yarn manufacturing head overhauler, yarn…

  2. Thinking about "Rich" Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Box, Lorna; Watson, Anne

    2010-01-01

    This article presents an e-mail conversation between two teachers discussing how to have a "rich task" lesson in which they get to the heart of mathematical modeling and in which students are motivated into working on mathematics. One teacher emphasizes that the power of maths is in developing mathematical descriptions of situations by looking at…

  3. Biomedical applications engineering tasks

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Laenger, C. J., Sr.

    1976-01-01

    The engineering tasks performed in response to needs articulated by clinicians are described. Initial contacts were made with these clinician-technology requestors by the Southwest Research Institute NASA Biomedical Applications Team. The basic purpose of the program was to effectively transfer aerospace technology into functional hardware to solve real biomedical problems.

  4. Hormonal contraceptives masculinize brain activation patterns in the absence of behavioral changes in two numerical tasks.

    PubMed

    Pletzer, Belinda; Kronbichler, Martin; Nuerk, Hans-Christoph; Kerschbaum, Hubert

    2014-01-16

    The aim of the present study was to identify, whether and how oral hormonal contraceptives (OCs) alter women's number processing. Behavioral performance and brain activation patterns (BOLD-response) of 14 OC-users were evaluated during two distinct numerical tasks (number comparison, number bisection) and compared to 16 men (high testosterone), and 16 naturally cycling women, once during their follicular (low hormone levels) and once during their luteal cycle phase (high progesterone). For both tasks, reliable sex differences and menstrual cycle dependent modulation have previously been described. If progestogenic effects of the synthetic progestins contained in OC play a predominant role, OC-users should be comparable to luteal women. If androgenic effects of the synthetic steroids exert the progestogenic actions, OC-users should be comparable to men. Likewise, if neither of the above are the case, the reduction of endogenous steroids by OCs should make OC-users comparable to follicular women. Our findings suggest that OC-users resemble follicular women in their behavioral performance, but show male-like brain activation patterns during both tasks. Analysis of brain-behavior relationships suggests that OC-users differ from naturally cycling women in the way they recruit their neural resources to deal with challenges of the tasks. We conclude that OCs, which are used by 100 million women worldwide, may have profound effects on cognition that have not been recognized so far. PMID:24231554

  5. Control processes through the suppression of the automatic response activation triggered by task-irrelevant information in the Simon-type tasks.

    PubMed

    Kim, Sanga; Lee, Sang Ho; Cho, Yang Seok

    2015-11-01

    The congruency sequence effect, one of the indices of cognitive control, refers to a smaller congruency effect after an incongruent than congruent trial. Although the effect has been found across a variety of conflict tasks, there is not yet agreement on the underlying mechanism. The present study investigated the mechanism underlying cognitive control by using a cross-task paradigm. In Experiments 1, 2, and 3, participants performed a modified Simon task and a spatial Stroop task alternately in a trial-by-trial manner. The task-irrelevant dimension of the two tasks was perceptually and conceptually identical in Experiment 1, whereas it was perceptually different but conceptually identical in Experiment 2. The response sets for both tasks were different in Experiment 3. In Experiment 4, participants performed two Simon tasks with different task-relevant dimensions. In all experiments in which the task-irrelevant dimension and response mode were shared, significant congruency sequence effects were found between the two different congruencies, indicating that Simon-type conflicts were resolved by a control mechanism, which is specific to an abstract task-irrelevant stimulus spatial dimension. PMID:26479902

  6. Emotional task management: neural correlates of switching between affective and non-affective task-sets

    PubMed Central

    Reeck, Crystal

    2015-01-01

    Although task-switching has been investigated extensively, its interaction with emotionally salient task content remains unclear. Prioritized processing of affective stimulus content may enhance accessibility of affective task-sets and generate increased interference when switching between affective and non-affective task-sets. Previous research has demonstrated that more dominant task-sets experience greater switch costs, as they necessitate active inhibition during performance of less entrenched tasks. Extending this logic to the affective domain, the present experiment examined (a) whether affective task-sets are more dominant than non-affective ones, and (b) what neural mechanisms regulate affective task-sets, so that weaker, non-affective task-sets can be executed. While undergoing functional magnetic resonance imaging, participants categorized face stimuli according to either their gender (non-affective task) or their emotional expression (affective task). Behavioral results were consistent with the affective task dominance hypothesis: participants were slower to switch to the affective task, and cross-task interference was strongest when participants tried to switch from the affective to the non-affective task. These behavioral costs of controlling the affective task-set were mirrored in the activation of a right-lateralized frontostriatal network previously implicated in task-set updating and response inhibition. Connectivity between amygdala and right ventrolateral prefrontal cortex was especially pronounced during cross-task interference from affective features. PMID:25552571

  7. Dynamic trajectory of multiple single-unit activity during working memory task in rats

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Xiaofan; Yi, Hu; Bai, Wenwen; Tian, Xin

    2015-01-01

    Working memory plays an important role in complex cognitive tasks. A popular theoretical view is that transient properties of neuronal dynamics underlie cognitive processing. The question raised here as to how the transient dynamics evolve in working memory. To address this issue, we investigated the multiple single-unit activity dynamics in rat medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) during a Y-maze working memory task. The approach worked by reconstructing state space from delays of the original single-unit firing rate variables, which were further analyzed using kernel principal component analysis (KPCA). Then the neural trajectories were obtained to visualize the multiple single-unit activity. Furthermore, the maximal Lyapunov exponent (MLE) was calculated to quantitatively evaluate the neural trajectories during the working memory task. The results showed that the neuronal activity produced stable and reproducible neural trajectories in the correct trials while showed irregular trajectories in the incorrect trials, which may establish a link between the neurocognitive process and behavioral performance in working memory. The MLEs significantly increased during working memory in the correctly performed trials, indicating an increased divergence of the neural trajectories. In the incorrect trials, the MLEs were nearly zero and remained unchanged during the task. Taken together, the trial-specific neural trajectory provides an effective way to track the instantaneous state of the neuronal population during the working memory task and offers valuable insights into working memory function. The MLE describes the changes of neural dynamics in working memory and may reflect different neuronal population states in working memory. PMID:26441626

  8. Working together may be better: activation of reward centers during a cooperative maze task.

    PubMed

    Krill, Austen L; Platek, Steven M

    2012-01-01

    Humans use theory of mind when predicting the thoughts and feelings and actions of others. There is accumulating evidence that cooperation with a computerized game correlates with a unique pattern of brain activation. To investigate the neural correlates of cooperation in real-time we conducted an fMRI hyperscanning study. We hypothesized that real-time cooperation to complete a maze task, using a blind-driving paradigm, would activate substrates implicated in theory of mind. We also hypothesized that cooperation would activate neural reward centers more than when participants completed the maze themselves. Of interest and in support of our hypothesis we found left caudate and putamen activation when participants worked together to complete the maze. This suggests that cooperation during task completion is inherently rewarding. This finding represents one of the first discoveries of a proximate neural mechanism for group based interactions in real-time, which indirectly supports the social brain hypothesis. PMID:22355319

  9. Working Together May Be Better: Activation of Reward Centers during a Cooperative Maze Task

    PubMed Central

    Krill, Austen L.; Platek, Steven M.

    2012-01-01

    Humans use theory of mind when predicting the thoughts and feelings and actions of others. There is accumulating evidence that cooperation with a computerized game correlates with a unique pattern of brain activation. To investigate the neural correlates of cooperation in real-time we conducted an fMRI hyperscanning study. We hypothesized that real-time cooperation to complete a maze task, using a blind-driving paradigm, would activate substrates implicated in theory of mind. We also hypothesized that cooperation would activate neural reward centers more than when participants completed the maze themselves. Of interest and in support of our hypothesis we found left caudate and putamen activation when participants worked together to complete the maze. This suggests that cooperation during task completion is inherently rewarding. This finding represents one of the first discoveries of a proximate neural mechanism for group based interactions in real-time, which indirectly supports the social brain hypothesis. PMID:22355319

  10. Influence of monkey dorsolateral prefrontal and posterior parietal activity on behavioral choice during attention tasks.

    PubMed

    Katsuki, Fumi; Saito, Mizuki; Constantinidis, Christos

    2014-09-01

    The dorsolateral prefrontal and the posterior parietal cortex have both been implicated in the guidance of visual attention. Traditionally, posterior parietal cortex has been thought to guide visual bottom-up attention and prefrontal cortex to bias attention through top-down information. More recent studies suggest a parallel time course of activation of the two areas in bottom-up attention tasks, suggesting a common involvement, though these results do not necessarily imply identical roles. To address the specific roles of the two areas, we examined the influence of neuronal activity recorded from the prefrontal and parietal cortex of monkeys as they performed attention tasks based on choice probability and on correlation between reaction time and neuronal activity. The results revealed that posterior parietal but not dorsolateral prefrontal activity correlated with behavioral choice during the fixation period, prior to the appearance of the stimulus, resembling a bias factor. This preferential influence of posterior parietal activity on behavior was transient, so that dorsolateral prefrontal activity predicted choice after the appearance of the stimulus. Additionally, reaction time was better predicted by posterior parietal activity. These findings confirm the involvement of both dorsolateral prefrontal and posterior parietal cortex in the bottom-up guidance of visual attention, but indicate different roles of the two areas in the guidance of attention and a dynamic time course of their effects, influencing behavior at different stages of the task. PMID:24964224

  11. Maintaining Gait Performance by Cortical Activation during Dual-Task Interference: A Functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy Study

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Yea-Ru; Wu, Yu-Te; Wang, Ray-Yau

    2015-01-01

    In daily life, mobility requires walking while performing a cognitive or upper-extremity motor task. Although previous studies have evaluated the effects of dual tasks on gait performance, few studies have evaluated cortical activation and its association with gait disturbance during dual tasks. In this study, we simultaneously assessed gait performance and cerebral oxygenation in the bilateral prefrontal cortices (PFC), premotor cortices (PMC), and supplemental motor areas (SMA), using functional near-infrared spectroscopy, in 17 young adults performing dual tasks. Each participant was evaluated while performing normal-pace walking (NW), walking while performing a cognitive task (WCT), and walking while performing a motor task (WMT). Our results indicated that the left PFC exhibited the strongest and most sustained activation during WCT, and that NW and WMT were associated with minor increases in oxygenation levels during their initial phases. We observed increased activation in channels in the SMA and PMC during WCT and WMT. Gait data indicated that WCT and WMT both caused reductions in walking speed, but these reductions resulted from differing alterations in gait properties. WCT was associated with significant changes in cadence, stride time, and stride length, whereas WMT was associated with reductions in stride length only. During dual-task activities, increased activation of the PMC and SMA correlated with declines in gait performance, indicating a control mechanism for maintaining gait performance during dual tasks. Thus, the regulatory effects of cortical activation on gait behavior enable a second task to be performed while walking. PMID:26079605

  12. Attention in a multi-task environment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Andre, Anthony D.; Heers, Susan T.

    1993-01-01

    Two experiments used a low fidelity multi-task simulation to investigate the effects of cue specificity on task preparation and performance. Subjects performed a continuous compensatory tracking task and were periodically prompted to perform one of several concurrent secondary tasks. The results provide strong evidence that subjects enacted a strategy to actively divert resources towards secondary task preparation only when they had specific information about an upcoming task to be performed. However, this strategy was not as much affected by the type of task cued (Experiment 1) or its difficulty level (Experiment 2). Overall, subjects seemed aware of both the costs (degraded primary task tracking) and benefits (improved secondary task performance) of cue information. Implications of the present results for computational human performance/workload models are discussed.

  13. Electrical brain stimulation improves cognitive performance by modulating functional connectivity and task-specific activation.

    PubMed

    Meinzer, Marcus; Antonenko, Daria; Lindenberg, Robert; Hetzer, Stefan; Ulm, Lena; Avirame, Keren; Flaisch, Tobias; Flöel, Agnes

    2012-02-01

    Excitatory anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (atDCS) can improve human cognitive functions, but neural underpinnings of its mode of action remain elusive. In a cross-over placebo ("sham") controlled study we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate neurofunctional correlates of improved language functions induced by atDCS over a core language area, the left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG). Intrascanner transcranial direct current stimulation-induced changes in overt semantic word generation assessed behavioral modulation; task-related and task-independent (resting-state) fMRI characterized language network changes. Improved word-retrieval during atDCS was paralleled by selectively reduced task-related activation in the left ventral IFG, an area specifically implicated in semantic retrieval processes. Under atDCS, resting-state fMRI revealed increased connectivity of the left IFG and additional major hubs overlapping with the language network. In conclusion, atDCS modulates endogenous low-frequency oscillations in a distributed set of functionally connected brain areas, possibly inducing more efficient processing in critical task-relevant areas and improved behavioral performance. PMID:22302824

  14. Evaluating Reverse Speech as a Control Task with Language-Related Gamma Activity on Electrocorticography

    PubMed Central

    Brown, Erik C; Muzik, Otto; Rothermel, Robert; Matsuzaki, Naoyuki; Juhász, Csaba; Shah, Aashit K; Atkinson, Marie D; Fuerst, Darren; Mittal, Sandeep; Sood, Sandeep; Diwadkar, Vaibhav A; Asano, Eishi

    2012-01-01

    Reverse speech has often been used as a control task in brain-mapping studies of language utilizing various non-invasive modalities. The rationale is that reverse speech is comparable to forward speech in terms of auditory characteristics, while omitting the linguistic components. Thus, it may control for non-language auditory functions. This finds some support in fMRI studies indicating that reverse speech resulted in less blood-oxygen-level-dependent (BOLD) signal intensity in perisylvian regions than forward speech. We attempted to externally validate a reverse speech control task using intracranial electrocorticography (ECoG) in eight patients with intractable focal epilepsy. We studied adolescent and adult patients who underwent extraoperative ECoG prior to resective epilepsy surgery. All patients received an auditory language task during ECoG recording. Patients were presented 115 audible question stimuli, including 30 reverse speech trials. Reverse speech trials more strongly engaged bilateral superior temporal sites than did the corresponding forward speech trials. Forward speech trials elicited larger gamma-augmentation at frontal lobe sites not attributable to sensorimotor function. Other temporal and frontal sites of significant augmentation showed no significant difference between reverse and forward speech. Thus, we failed to validate reported evidence of weaker activation of temporal neocortices during reverse compared to forward speech. Superior temporal lobe engagement may indicate increased attention to reverse speech. Reverse speech does not appear to be a suitable task for the control of non-language auditory functions on ECoG. PMID:22387167

  15. Feature diagnosticity and task context shape activity in human scene-selective cortex.

    PubMed

    Lowe, Matthew X; Gallivan, Jason P; Ferber, Susanne; Cant, Jonathan S

    2016-01-15

    Scenes are constructed from multiple visual features, yet previous research investigating scene processing has often focused on the contributions of single features in isolation. In the real world, features rarely exist independently of one another and likely converge to inform scene identity in unique ways. Here, we utilize fMRI and pattern classification techniques to examine the interactions between task context (i.e., attend to diagnostic global scene features; texture or layout) and high-level scene attributes (content and spatial boundary) to test the novel hypothesis that scene-selective cortex represents multiple visual features, the importance of which varies according to their diagnostic relevance across scene categories and task demands. Our results show for the first time that scene representations are driven by interactions between multiple visual features and high-level scene attributes. Specifically, univariate analysis of scene-selective cortex revealed that task context and feature diagnosticity shape activity differentially across scene categories. Examination using multivariate decoding methods revealed results consistent with univariate findings, but also evidence for an interaction between high-level scene attributes and diagnostic visual features within scene categories. Critically, these findings suggest visual feature representations are not distributed uniformly across scene categories but are shaped by task context and feature diagnosticity. Thus, we propose that scene-selective cortex constructs a flexible representation of the environment by integrating multiple diagnostically relevant visual features, the nature of which varies according to the particular scene being perceived and the goals of the observer. PMID:26541082

  16. Task Performance and Meta-Cognitive Outcomes When Using Activity Workstations and Traditional Desks

    PubMed Central

    Pilcher, June J.; Baker, Victoria C.

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of the current study is to compare the effects of light physical activity to sedentary behavior on cognitive task performance and meta-cognitive responses. Thirty-eight undergraduate students participated in the study. The participants used a stationary bicycle with a desk top and a traditional desk while completing two complex cognitive tasks and measures of affect, motivation, morale, and engagement. The participants pedaled the stationary bicycle at a slow pace (similar in exertion to a normal walking pace) while working. The results indicated that cognitive task performance did not change between the two workstations. However, positive affect, motivation, and morale improved when using the stationary bicycle. These results suggest that activity workstations could be implemented in the work place and in educational settings to help decrease sedentary behavior without negatively affecting performance. Furthermore, individuals could experience a positive emotional response when working on activity workstations which in turn could help encourage individuals to choose to be more physical active during daily activities. PMID:27445921

  17. Task Performance and Meta-Cognitive Outcomes When Using Activity Workstations and Traditional Desks.

    PubMed

    Pilcher, June J; Baker, Victoria C

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of the current study is to compare the effects of light physical activity to sedentary behavior on cognitive task performance and meta-cognitive responses. Thirty-eight undergraduate students participated in the study. The participants used a stationary bicycle with a desk top and a traditional desk while completing two complex cognitive tasks and measures of affect, motivation, morale, and engagement. The participants pedaled the stationary bicycle at a slow pace (similar in exertion to a normal walking pace) while working. The results indicated that cognitive task performance did not change between the two workstations. However, positive affect, motivation, and morale improved when using the stationary bicycle. These results suggest that activity workstations could be implemented in the work place and in educational settings to help decrease sedentary behavior without negatively affecting performance. Furthermore, individuals could experience a positive emotional response when working on activity workstations which in turn could help encourage individuals to choose to be more physical active during daily activities. PMID:27445921

  18. Event Related Potentials (ERPs) in Elementary Cognitive Tasks Reflect Task Difficulty and Task Threshold.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Caryl, P. G.; Harper, Alison

    1996-01-01

    Effects on the event-related potential (ERP) waveform of differences in stimuli (task difficulty) and threshold were studied with 35 undergraduates performing a visual inspection time task and 30 performing a pitch discrimination task. In both tasks, ERP differences related to threshold were temporally localized differences in waveform shape. (SLD)

  19. Brain Activity During a Motor Learning Task: An fMRI and Skin Conductance Study

    PubMed Central

    MacIntosh, Bradley J.; Mraz, Richard; McIlroy, William E.; Graham, Simon J.

    2016-01-01

    Measuring electrodermal activity (EDA) during fMRI is an effective means of studying the influence of task-related arousal, inferred from autonomic nervous system activity, on brain activation patterns. The goals of this study were: (1) to measure reliable EDA from healthy individuals during fMRI involving an effortful unilateral motor task, (2) to explore how EDA recordings can be used to augment fMRI data analysis. In addition to conventional hemodynamic modeling, skin conductance time series data were used as model waveforms to generate activation images from fMRI data. Activations from the EDA model produced significantly different brain regions from those obtained with a standard hemodynamic model, primarily in the insula and cingulate cortices. Onsets of the EDA changes were synchronous with the hemodynamic model, but EDA data showed additional transient features, such as a decrease in amplitude with time, and helped to provide behavioral evidence suggesting task difficulty decreased with movement repetition. Univariate statistics also confirmed that several brain regions showed early versus late session effects. Partial least squares (PLS) multivariate analysis of EDA and fMRI data provided complimentary, additional insight on how the motor network varied over the course of a single fMRI session. Brain regions identified in this manner included the insula, cingulate gyrus, pre- and postcentral gyri, putamen and parietal cortices. These results suggest that recording EDA during motor fMRI experiments provides complementary information that can be used to improve the fMRI analysis, particularly when behavioral or task effects are difficult to model a priori. PMID:17318835

  20. Task switching in a hierarchical task structure: evidence for the fragility of the task repetition benefit

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lien, Mei-Ching; Ruthruff, Eric

    2004-01-01

    This study examined how task switching is affected by hierarchical task organization. Traditional task-switching studies, which use a constant temporal and spatial distance between each task element (defined as a stimulus requiring a response), promote a flat task structure. Using this approach, Experiment 1 revealed a large switch cost of 238 ms. In Experiments 2-5, adjacent task elements were grouped temporally and/or spatially (forming an ensemble) to create a hierarchical task organization. Results indicate that the effect of switching at the ensemble level dominated the effect of switching at the element level. Experiments 6 and 7, using an ensemble of 3 task elements, revealed that the element-level switch cost was virtually absent between ensembles but was large within an ensemble. The authors conclude that the element-level task repetition benefit is fragile and can be eliminated in a hierarchical task organization.

  1. Effects of noise and task loading on a communication task loading on a communication task

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Orrell, Dean H., II

    Previous research had shown the effect of noise on a single communication task. This research has been criticized as not being representative of a real world situation since subjects allocated all of their attention to only one task. In the present study, the effect of adding a loading task to a standard noise-communication paradigm was investigated. Subjects performed both a communication task (Modified Rhyme Test; House et al. 1965) and a short term memory task (Sternberg, 1969) in simulated levels of aircraft noise (95, 105 and 115 dB overall sound pressure level (OASPL)). Task loading was varied with Sternberg's task by requiring subjects to memorize one, four, or six alphanumeric characters. Simulated aircraft noise was varied between levels of 95, 105 and 115 dB OASPL using a pink noise source. Results show that the addition of Sternberg's task and little effect on the intelligibility of the communication task while response time for the communication task increased.

  2. Assessment of students' behavioral interactions during on-task classroom activities.

    PubMed

    Morgan, H

    1990-04-01

    This study was designed to characterize the quality and quantity of interactions between students and significant others in the processing of new information during classroom activities. I wanted to test the hypothesis that black children, from moderate to low income urban environments, tend to have a more socially active cognitive style than their white peers in the performance of classroom tasks. Five different English classes, all 8th graders in a single junior high school (total of 114 black and white boys and girls), were observed in the same environment at different intervals to identify differences in the number of interactions between boys and girls, by racial groups. Classroom lessons and related activities were videotaped. The recorded activity was tabulated and rated by 3 trained observers. Black children more than white, and boys more than girls, initiated interactions with peers in the classroom in performing assigned tasks. This social interaction also showed that (1) 76% of the observed classroom time, subjects as a group were observed on-task and (2) pupils' interactions with their selected targets (classmates and their teacher) were 87% positive, and (3) relatively few interactions could be classified as disruptive. PMID:2342857

  3. Using Fiberless, Wearable fNIRS to Monitor Brain Activity in Real-world Cognitive Tasks

    PubMed Central

    Pinti, Paola; Aichelburg, Clarisse; Lind, Frida; Power, Sarah; Swingler, Elizabeth; Merla, Arcangelo; Hamilton, Antonia; Gilbert, Sam; Burgess, Paul; Tachtsidis, Ilias

    2015-01-01

    Functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS) is a neuroimaging technique that uses near-infrared light to monitor brain activity. Based on neurovascular coupling, fNIRS is able to measure the haemoglobin concentration changes secondary to neuronal activity. Compared to other neuroimaging techniques, fNIRS represents a good compromise in terms of spatial and temporal resolution. Moreover, it is portable, lightweight, less sensitive to motion artifacts and does not impose significant physical restraints. It is therefore appropriate to monitor a wide range of cognitive tasks (e.g., auditory, gait analysis, social interaction) and different age populations (e.g., new-borns, adults, elderly people). The recent development of fiberless fNIRS devices has opened the way to new applications in neuroscience research. This represents a unique opportunity to study functional activity during real-world tests, which can be more sensitive and accurate in assessing cognitive function and dysfunction than lab-based tests. This study explored the use of fiberless fNIRS to monitor brain activity during a real-world prospective memory task. This protocol is performed outside the lab and brain haemoglobin concentration changes are continuously measured over the prefrontal cortex while the subject walks around in order to accomplish several different tasks. PMID:26651025

  4. Muscle activity, time to fatigue, and maximum task duration at different levels of production standard time

    PubMed Central

    Nur, Nurhayati Mohd; Dawal, Siti Zawiah Md; Dahari, Mahidzal; Sanusi, Junedah

    2015-01-01

    [Purpose] This study investigated the variations in muscle fatigue, time to fatigue, and maximum task duration at different levels of production standard time. [Methods] Twenty subjects performed repetitive tasks at three different levels of production standard time corresponding to “normal”, “hard” and “very hard”. Surface electromyography was used to measure the muscle activity. [Results] The results showed that muscle activity was significantly affected by the production standard time level. Muscle activity increased twice in percentage as the production standard time shifted from hard to very hard (6.9% vs. 12.9%). The muscle activity increased over time, indicating muscle fatigue. The muscle fatigue rate increased for the harder production standard time (Hard: 0.105; Very hard: 0.115), which indicated the associated higher risk of work-related musculoskeletal disorders. Muscle fatigue was also found to occur earlier for hard and very hard production standard times. [Conclusion] It is recommended that the maximum task duration should not exceed 5.6, 2.9, and 2.2 hours for normal, hard, and very hard production standard times, respectively, in order to maintain work performance and minimize the risk of work-related musculoskeletal disorders. PMID:26311974

  5. Gaining Proficiency through Task-Based Activities in the Portuguese Classroom (Beginning and Intermediate Year Case Studies)

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jones-Kellogg, Rebecca

    2015-01-01

    This paper describes a task-based activity used at the United States Military Academy, in their first- through third-semester Portuguese language sequence "Proficiencies" (Proficiências). The stand-alone task-based activity can be an effective tool in gaining foreign-language proficiency at even the lowest levels of classroom instruction…

  6. Mobile Thread Task Manager

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Clement, Bradley J.; Estlin, Tara A.; Bornstein, Benjamin J.

    2013-01-01

    The Mobile Thread Task Manager (MTTM) is being applied to parallelizing existing flight software to understand the benefits and to develop new techniques and architectural concepts for adapting software to multicore architectures. It allocates and load-balances tasks for a group of threads that migrate across processors to improve cache performance. In order to balance-load across threads, the MTTM augments a basic map-reduce strategy to draw jobs from a global queue. In a multicore processor, memory may be "homed" to the cache of a specific processor and must be accessed from that processor. The MTTB architecture wraps access to data with thread management to move threads to the home processor for that data so that the computation follows the data in an attempt to avoid L2 cache misses. Cache homing is also handled by a memory manager that translates identifiers to processor IDs where the data will be homed (according to rules defined by the user). The user can also specify the number of threads and processors separately, which is important for tuning performance for different patterns of computation and memory access. MTTM efficiently processes tasks in parallel on a multiprocessor computer. It also provides an interface to make it easier to adapt existing software to a multiprocessor environment.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

    Two experiments investigate the influence of goal and implementation intentions on effort mobilization during task performance. Although numerous studies have demonstrated the beneficial effects of setting goals and making plans on performance, the effects of goals and plans on effort-related cardiac activity and especially the cardiac preejection period (PEP) during goal striving have not yet been addressed. According to the Motivational Intensity Theory, participants should increase effort mobilization proportionally to task difficulty as long as success is possible and justified. Forming goals and making plans should allow for reduced effort mobilization when participants perform an easy task. However, when the task is difficult, goals and plans should differ in their effect on effort mobilization. Participants who set goals should disengage, whereas participants who made if-then plans should stay in the field showing high effort mobilization during task performance. As expected, using an easy task in Experiment 1, we observed a lower cardiac PEP in both the implementation intention and the goal intention condition than in the control condition. In Experiment 2, we varied task difficulty and demonstrated that while participants with a mere goal intention disengaged from difficult tasks, participants with an implementation intention increased effort mobilization proportionally with task difficulty. These findings demonstrate the influence of goal striving strategies (i.e., mere goals vs. if-then plans) on effort mobilization during task performance. PMID:27374255

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, Yuan; Zhu, Ye; Jiang, Tianzi

    2007-05-01

    Functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) has been used to investigate the changes in the concentration of oxygenated (O2Hb) and deoxygenated (HHb) hemoglobin in brain issue during several cognitive tasks. In the present study, by means of multichannel dual wavelength light-emitting diode continuous-wave (CW) NIRS, we investigated the blood oxygenation changes of prefrontal cortex in 18 healthy subjects while performing a verbal n-back task (0-back and 2-back), which has been rarely investigated by fNIRS. Compared to the 0-back task (control task), we found a significant increase of O2Hb and total amount of hemoglobin (THb) in left and right ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC) during the execution of the 2-back task compared to the 0-back task (p<0.05, FDR corrected). This result is consistent with the previous functional neuroimaging studies that have found the VLPFC activation related to verbal working memory. However, we found no significant hemisphere dominance. In addition, the effects of gender and its interaction with task performance on O2Hb concentration change were suggested in the present study. Our findings not only confirm that multichannel fNIRS is suitable to detect spatially specific activation during the performance of cognitive tasks; but also suggest that it should be cautious of gender-dependent difference in cerebral activation when interpreting the fNIRS data during cognitive tasks.

  9. Task frequency influences stimulus-driven effects on task selection during voluntary task switching.

    PubMed

    Arrington, Catherine M; Reiman, Kaitlin M

    2015-08-01

    Task selection during voluntary task switching involves both top-down (goal-directed) and bottom-up (stimulus-driven) mechanisms. The factors that shift the balance between these two mechanisms are not well characterized. In the present research, we studied the role that task frequency plays in determining the extent of stimulus-driven task selection. In two experiments, we used the basic paradigm adapted from Arrington (Memory & Cognition, 38, 991-997, 2008), in which the effect of stimulus availability serves as a marker of stimulus-driven task selection. A number and letter appeared on each trial with varying stimulus onset asynchronies, and participants performed either a consonant/vowel or an even/odd judgment. In Experiment 1, participants were instructed as to the relative frequency with which each task was to be performed (i.e., 50/50, 60/40, or 75/25) and were further instructed to make their transitions between tasks unpredictable. In Experiment 2, participants were given no instructions about how to select tasks, resulting in naturally occurring variation in task frequency. With both instructed (Exp. 1) and naturally occurring (Exp. 2) relative task frequencies, the less frequently performed task showed a greater effect of stimulus availability on task selection, suggestive of a larger influence of stimulus-driven mechanisms during task performance for the less frequent task. When goal-directed mechanisms of task choice are engaged less frequently, the relative influence of the stimulus environment increases. PMID:26106057

  10. Sleep is associated with task-negative brain activity in fibromyalgia participants with comorbid chronic insomnia

    PubMed Central

    Vatthauer, Karlyn E; Craggs, Jason G; Robinson, Michael E; Staud, Roland; Berry, Richard B; Perlstein, William M; McCrae, Christina S

    2015-01-01

    Patients with chronic pain exhibit altered default mode network (DMN) activity. This preliminary project questioned whether comorbid disease states are associated with further brain alterations. Thirteen women with fibromyalgia (FM) only and 26 women with fibromyalgia with comorbid chronic insomnia (FMI) underwent a single night of ambulatory polysomnography and completed a sleep diary each morning for 14 days prior to performing a neuroimaging protocol. Novel imaging analyses were utilized to identify regions associated with significantly disordered sleep that were more active in task-negative periods than task-oriented periods in participants with FMI, when compared to participants with FM. It was hypothesized that core DMN areas (ie, cingulate cortex, inferior parietal lobule, medial prefrontal cortex, medial temporal cortex, precuneus) would exhibit increased activity during task-negative periods. Analyses revealed that significantly disordered sleep significantly contributed to group differences in the right cingulate gyrus, left lentiform nucleus, left anterior cingulate, left superior gyrus, medial frontal gyrus, right caudate, and the left inferior parietal lobules. Results suggest that FMI may alter some brain areas of the DMN, above and beyond FM. However, future work will need to investigate these results further by controlling for chronic insomnia only before conclusions can be made regarding the effect of FMI comorbidity on the DMN. PMID:26648751

  11. Sleep is associated with task-negative brain activity in fibromyalgia participants with comorbid chronic insomnia.

    PubMed

    Vatthauer, Karlyn E; Craggs, Jason G; Robinson, Michael E; Staud, Roland; Berry, Richard B; Perlstein, William M; McCrae, Christina S

    2015-01-01

    Patients with chronic pain exhibit altered default mode network (DMN) activity. This preliminary project questioned whether comorbid disease states are associated with further brain alterations. Thirteen women with fibromyalgia (FM) only and 26 women with fibromyalgia with comorbid chronic insomnia (FMI) underwent a single night of ambulatory polysomnography and completed a sleep diary each morning for 14 days prior to performing a neuroimaging protocol. Novel imaging analyses were utilized to identify regions associated with significantly disordered sleep that were more active in task-negative periods than task-oriented periods in participants with FMI, when compared to participants with FM. It was hypothesized that core DMN areas (ie, cingulate cortex, inferior parietal lobule, medial prefrontal cortex, medial temporal cortex, precuneus) would exhibit increased activity during task-negative periods. Analyses revealed that significantly disordered sleep significantly contributed to group differences in the right cingulate gyrus, left lentiform nucleus, left anterior cingulate, left superior gyrus, medial frontal gyrus, right caudate, and the left inferior parietal lobules. Results suggest that FMI may alter some brain areas of the DMN, above and beyond FM. However, future work will need to investigate these results further by controlling for chronic insomnia only before conclusions can be made regarding the effect of FMI comorbidity on the DMN. PMID:26648751

  12. Brain functional network connectivity based on a visual task: visual information processing-related brain regions are significantly activated in the task state

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Yan-li; Deng, Hong-xia; Xing, Gui-yang; Xia, Xiao-luan; Li, Hai-fang

    2015-01-01

    It is not clear whether the method used in functional brain-network related research can be applied to explore the feature binding mechanism of visual perception. In this study, we investigated feature binding of color and shape in visual perception. Functional magnetic resonance imaging data were collected from 38 healthy volunteers at rest and while performing a visual perception task to construct brain networks active during resting and task states. Results showed that brain regions involved in visual information processing were obviously activated during the task. The components were partitioned using a greedy algorithm, indicating the visual network existed during the resting state. Z-values in the vision-related brain regions were calculated, confirming the dynamic balance of the brain network. Connectivity between brain regions was determined, and the result showed that occipital and lingual gyri were stable brain regions in the visual system network, the parietal lobe played a very important role in the binding process of color features and shape features, and the fusiform and inferior temporal gyri were crucial for processing color and shape information. Experimental findings indicate that understanding visual feature binding and cognitive processes will help establish computational models of vision, improve image recognition technology, and provide a new theoretical mechanism for feature binding in visual perception. PMID:25883631

  13. Learning Opportunities: Adding Learning Value to Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Crabbe, David

    2007-01-01

    Tasks provide a framework for communicative performance. Underlying each task is a set of learning opportunities--potential activities for learning. Not all of these opportunities are exploited for learning by teachers or learners. It is proposed that, when using tasks, the range of such learning opportunities needs to be identified and modelled…

  14. Modulation of brain activity during a Stroop inhibitory task by the kind of cognitive control required.

    PubMed

    Grandjean, Julien; D'Ostilio, Kevin; Phillips, Christophe; Balteau, Evelyne; Degueldre, Christian; Luxen, André; Maquet, Pierre; Salmon, Eric; Collette, Fabienne

    2012-01-01

    This study used a proportion congruency manipulation in the Stroop task in order to investigate, at the behavioral and brain substrate levels, the predictions derived from the Dual Mechanisms of Control (DMC) account of two distinct modes of cognitive control depending on the task context. Three experimental conditions were created that varied the proportion congruency: mostly incongruent (MI), mostly congruent (MC), and mostly neutral (MN) contexts. A reactive control strategy, which corresponds to transient interference resolution processes after conflict detection, was expected for the rare conflicting stimuli in the MC context, and a proactive strategy, characterized by a sustained task-relevant focus prior to the occurrence of conflict, was expected in the MI context. Results at the behavioral level supported the proactive/reactive distinction, with the replication of the classic proportion congruent effect (i.e., less interference and facilitation effects in the MI context). fMRI data only partially supported our predictions. Whereas reactive control for incongruent trials in the MC context engaged the expected fronto-parietal network including dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and anterior cingulate cortex, proactive control in the MI context was not associated with any sustained lateral prefrontal cortex activations, contrary to our hypothesis. Surprisingly, incongruent trials in the MI context elicited transient activation in common with incongruent trials in the MC context, especially in DLPFC, superior parietal lobe, and insula. This lack of sustained activity in MI is discussed in reference to the possible involvement of item-specific rather than list-wide mechanisms of control in the implementation of a high task-relevant focus. PMID:22911806

  15. Dexamphetamine normalises electrophysiological activity in attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder during the Stroop task.

    PubMed

    Horrobin, S L; McNair, N A; Kirk, I J; Waldie, K E

    2007-10-01

    A case study was conducted to investigate whether dexamphetamine enhances interference control in an adult with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Continuous electroencephalography was recorded both on and off dexamphetamine during performance on a Stroop task. An age-, gender- and IQ-matched control also completed the same task. Event related potentials for the control participant revealed a positive potential to incongruent stimuli between 270 and 440 ms, whereas for the participant with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder off medication, the reverse polarity was observed in a later time window. Following administration of dexamphetamine, however, the event-related potentials for the incongruent condition closely resembled those in the control, suggesting that dexamphetamine successfully normalises electroencephalographic activity. PMID:18781428

  16. Reduced posterior parietal cortex activation after training on a visual search task.

    PubMed

    Bueichekú, Elisenda; Miró-Padilla, Anna; Palomar-García, María-Ángeles; Ventura-Campos, Noelia; Parcet, María-Antonia; Barrós-Loscertales, Alfonso; Ávila, César

    2016-07-15

    Gaining experience on a cognitive task improves behavioral performance and is thought to enhance brain efficiency. Despite the body of literature already published on the effects of training on brain activation, less research has been carried out on visual search attention processes under well controlled conditions. Thirty-six healthy adults divided into trained and control groups completed a pre-post letter-based visual search task fMRI study in one day. Twelve letters were used as targets and ten as distractors. The trained group completed a training session (840 trials) with half the targets between scans. The effects of training were studied at the behavioral and brain levels by controlling for repetition effects using both between-subjects (trained vs. control groups) and within-subject (trained vs. untrained targets) controls. The trained participants reduced their response speed by 31% as a result of training, maintaining their accuracy scores, whereas the control group hardly changed. Neural results revealed that brain changes associated with visual search training were circumscribed to reduced activation in the posterior parietal cortex (PPC) when controlling for group, and they included inferior occipital areas when controlling for targets. The observed behavioral and brain changes are discussed in relation to automatic behavior development. The observed training-related decreases could be associated with increased neural efficiency in specific key regions for task performance. PMID:27132048

  17. Pre-Task Syntactic Priming and Focused Task Design

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Boston, Jeremy S.

    2010-01-01

    Focused tasks engage learners in using language for communication and in addition have a specific predetermined linguistic focus in mind. The difficulty in designing focused tasks is that many meanings can be articulated using more than one language form, making it difficult to design tasks which induce learner use of a specific target form. This…

  18. Learner Mining of Pre-Task and Task Input

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Boston, Jeremy Scott

    2008-01-01

    The findings reported in this article suggest that learners inevitably "mine" wordings contained in pre-task and task materials when performing tasks, even when the teacher did not explicitly draw learner attention to these features. However, this was found to be true only with written materials, and learners did not appear to mine specific…

  19. Graphical programming of telerobotic tasks

    SciTech Connect

    Small, D.E.; McDonald, M.J.

    1997-02-01

    With a goal of producing faster, safer, and cheaper technologies for nuclear waste cleanup, Sandia is actively developing and extending intelligent systems technologies. Graphical Programming is a key technology for robotic waste cleanup that Sandia is developing for this goal. This paper describes Sancho, Sandia most advanced Graphical Programming supervisory software. Sancho, now operational on several robot systems, incorporates all of Sandia`s recent advances in supervisory control. Sancho, developed to rapidly apply Graphical Programming on a diverse set of robot systems, uses a general set of tools to implement task and operational behavior. Sancho can be rapidly reconfigured for new tasks and operations without modifying the supervisory code. Other innovations include task-based interfaces, event-based sequencing, and sophisticated GUI design. These innovations have resulted in robot control programs and approaches that are easier and safer to use than teleoperation, off-line programming, or full automation.

  20. A methodology for assessing the effect of correlations among muscle synergy activations on task-discriminating information

    PubMed Central

    Delis, Ioannis; Berret, Bastien; Pozzo, Thierry; Panzeri, Stefano

    2013-01-01

    Muscle synergies have been hypothesized to be the building blocks used by the central nervous system to generate movement. According to this hypothesis, the accomplishment of various motor tasks relies on the ability of the motor system to recruit a small set of synergies on a single-trial basis and combine them in a task-dependent manner. It is conceivable that this requires a fine tuning of the trial-to-trial relationships between the synergy activations. Here we develop an analytical methodology to address the nature and functional role of trial-to-trial correlations between synergy activations, which is designed to help to better understand how these correlations may contribute to generating appropriate motor behavior. The algorithm we propose first divides correlations between muscle synergies into types (noise correlations, quantifying the trial-to-trial covariations of synergy activations at fixed task, and signal correlations, quantifying the similarity of task tuning of the trial-averaged activation coefficients of different synergies), and then uses single-trial methods (task-decoding and information theory) to quantify their overall effect on the task-discriminating information carried by muscle synergy activations. We apply the method to both synchronous and time-varying synergies and exemplify it on electromyographic data recorded during performance of reaching movements in different directions. Our method reveals the robust presence of information-enhancing patterns of signal and noise correlations among pairs of synchronous synergies, and shows that they enhance by 9–15% (depending on the set of tasks) the task-discriminating information provided by the synergy decompositions. We suggest that the proposed methodology could be useful for assessing whether single-trial activations of one synergy depend on activations of other synergies and quantifying the effect of such dependences on the task-to-task differences in muscle activation patterns. PMID

  1. Task Analysis Inventories. Series II.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wesson, Carl E.

    This second in a series of task analysis inventories contains checklists of work performed in twenty-two occupations. Each inventory is a comprehensive list of work activities, responsibilities, educational courses, machines, tools, equipment, and work aids used and the products produced or services rendered in a designated occupational area. The…

  2. Silicon material task review

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lorenz, J. H.

    1986-01-01

    The objectives of the Flat-plate Solar Array (FSA) Project Silicon Material Task are to evaluate technologies, new and old; to develop the most promising technologies; to establish practicality of the processes to meet production, energy use, and economic criteria; and to develop an information base on impurities in polysilicon and to determine their effects on solar cell performance. The approach involves determining process feasibility, setting milestones for the forced selection of the processes, and establishing the technical readiness of the integrated process.

  3. Reduced prefrontal activation during performance of the Iowa Gambling Task in patients with bipolar disorder.

    PubMed

    Ono, Yasuki; Kikuchi, Mitsuru; Hirosawa, Tetsu; Hino, Shoryoku; Nagasawa, Tatsuya; Hashimoto, Takanori; Munesue, Toshio; Minabe, Yoshio

    2015-07-30

    The Iowa Gambling Task (IGT) is a complex decision-making task in which monetary wins and losses guide the development of strategies. The objective of this study was to evaluate hemodynamic responses of patients with bipolar disorder (BD) during performance of the IGT using near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS). Participants comprised 13 patients and 15 healthy control subjects who were matched for age, sex, handedness, and intelligence quotient. Relative changes in oxygenated and deoxygenated hemoglobin (oxy-Hb and deoxy-Hb) levels in the frontal region were measured using a 46-channel NIRS system. All subjects were evaluated using NIRS during a verbal fluency task (VFT) and the IGT. During performance of the IGT, BD patients showed significantly decreased oxy-Hb levels in the bilateral orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) and left prefrontal cortex (PFC) compared with normal control subjects. However, during the VFT, patients with BD showed no significant changes in oxy-Hb levels compared with control subjects. Changes in oxy-Hb levels in the bilateral OFC and the PFC during the IGT were negatively correlated with total scores on the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HAM-D). Although the IGT was useful for differentiating patients with BP from control subjects, no significant differences in autonomic activity were observed. PMID:25978934

  4. Rhesus leg muscle EMG activity during a foot pedal pressing task on Bion 11

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hodgson, J. A.; Riazansky, S. N.; Goulet, C.; Badakva, A. M.; Kozlovskaya, I. B.; Recktenwald, M. R.; McCall, G.; Roy, R. R.; Fanton, J. W.; Edgerton, V. R.

    2000-01-01

    Rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) were trained to perform a foot lever pressing task for a food reward. EMG activity was recorded from selected lower limb muscles of 2 animals before, during, and after a 14-day spaceflight and from 3 animals during a ground-based simulation of the flight. Integrated EMG activity was calculated for each muscle during the 20-min test. Comparisons were made between data recorded before any experimental manipulations and during flight or flight simulation. Spaceflight reduced soleus (Sol) activity to 25% of preflight levels, whereas it was reduced to 50% of control in the flight simulation. During flight, medial gastrocnemius (MG) activity was reduced to 25% of preflight activity, whereas the simulation group showed normal activity levels throughout all tests. The change in MG activity was apparent in the first inflight recording, suggesting that some effect of microgravity on MG activity was immediate.

  5. Atomic Oxygen Task

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hadaway, James B.

    1997-01-01

    This report details work performed by the Center for Applied Optics (CAO) at the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) on the contract entitled 'Atomic Oxygen Task' for NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center (contract NAS8-38609, Delivery Order 109, modification number 1). Atomic oxygen effects on exposed materials remain a critical concern in designing spacecraft to withstand exposure in the Low Earth Orbit (LEO) environment. The basic objective of atomic oxygen research in NASA's Materials & Processes (M&P) Laboratory is to provide the solutions to material problems facing present and future space missions. The objective of this work was to provide the necessary research for the design of specialized experimental test configurations and development of techniques for evaluating in-situ space environmental effects, including the effects of atomic oxygen and electromagnetic radiation on candidate materials. Specific tasks were performed to address materials issues concerning accelerated environmental testing as well as specifically addressing materials issues of particular concern for LDEF analysis and Space Station materials selection.

  6. Analysis of Task Analysis Procedures.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jonassen, David H.; Hannum, Wallace H.

    1986-01-01

    Describes functions comprising task analysis process--inventory, description, selection, sequencing, and analysis--and reviews distinctions between the micro/macro level, top-down/bottom-up, and job/learning task analysis processes. These functions and distinctions are combined into a quasi-algorithm suggesting which of 30 task analysis procedures…

  7. Word Fluency: A Task Analysis.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Laine, Matti

    It is suggested that models of human problem solving are useful in the analysis of word fluency (WF) test performance. In problem-solving terms, WF tasks would require the subject to define and clarify the conditions of the task (task acquisition), select and employ appropriate strategies, and monitor one's performance. In modern neuropsychology,…

  8. Inhibition in Dot Comparison Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Clayton, Sarah; Gilmore, Camilla

    2015-01-01

    Dot comparison tasks are commonly used to index an individual's Approximate Number System (ANS) acuity, but the cognitive processes involved in completing these tasks are poorly understood. Here, we investigated how factors including numerosity ratio, set size and visual cues influence task performance. Forty-four children aged 7-9 years completed…

  9. Information Processing in Memory Tasks.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johnston, William A.

    The intensity of information processing engendered in different phases of standard memory tasks was examined in six experiments. Processing intensity was conceptualized as system capacity consumed, and was measured via a divided-attention procedure in which subjects performed a memory task and a simple reaction-time (RT) task concurrently. The…

  10. Reverse-Engineering Communication Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lamber, Craig

    2004-01-01

    This article introduces an approach to planning sequences of communication tasks that require learners to become personally involved in their learning. By drawing on their own ideas and experiences, as a product of earlier tasks in a given sequence, learners generate the content and resource material on which subsequent tasks operate. The article…

  11. 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…

  12. Skill Components of Task Analysis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Adams, Anne E.; Rogers, Wendy A.; Fisk, Arthur D.

    2013-01-01

    Some task analysis methods break down a task into a hierarchy of subgoals. Although an important tool of many fields of study, learning to create such a hierarchy (redescription) is not trivial. To further the understanding of what makes task analysis a skill, the present research examined novices' problems with learning Hierarchical Task…

  13. Task-Based Information Searching.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vakkari, Pertti

    2003-01-01

    Reviews studies on the relationship between task performance and information searching by end-users, focusing on information searching in electronic environments and information retrieval systems. Topics include task analysis; task characteristics; search goals; modeling information searching; modeling search goals; information seeking behavior;…

  14. Component Processes in Task Switching.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Meiran, Nachshon; Chorev, Ziv; Sapir, Ayelet

    2000-01-01

    Studied task switching in 4 experiments involving 111 Israeli undergraduates. Results show the preparation for a task switch is not a by-product of general preparation by phasic alertness or predicting target onset and establish reconfiguration as a separate preparatory process. Suggests that there are at least three components of task switching…

  15. Effects of task complexity on activation of language areas in a semantic decision fMRI protocol.

    PubMed

    Lopes, Tátila Martins; Yasuda, Clarissa Lin; Campos, Brunno Machado de; Balthazar, Marcio L F; Binder, Jeffrey R; Cendes, Fernando

    2016-01-29

    Language tasks used for clinical fMRI studies may be too complex for some patients with cognitive impairments, and "easier" versions are sometimes substituted, though the effects on brain activity of such changes in task complexity are largely unknown. To investigate these differences, we compared two versions of an fMRI language comprehension protocol, with different levels of difficulty, in 24 healthy right-handed adults. The protocol contrasted an auditory word comprehension task (semantic decision) with a nonspeech control task using tone sequences (tone decision). In the "complex" version (CV), the semantic decision task required two complex semantic decisions for each word, and the tone decision task required the participant to count the number of target tones in each sequence. In the "easy" version (EV), the semantic task required only a single easier decision, and the tone task required only detection of the presence or absence of a target tone in each sequence. The protocols were adapted for a Brazilian population. Typical left hemisphere language lateralization was observed in 92% of participants for both CV and EV using the whole-brain lateralization index, and typical language lateralization was also observed for others regions of interest. Task performance was superior on the EV compared to the CV (p=0.014). There were many common areas of activation across the two version; however, the CV produced greater activation in the left superior and middle frontal giri, angular gyrus, and left posterior cingulate gyrus compared to the EV, the majority of which are areas previously identified with language and semantic processing. The EV produced stronger activation only in a small area in the posterior middle temporal gyrus. These results reveal differences between two versions of the protocol and provide evidence that both are useful for language lateralization and worked well for Brazilian population. The complex version produces stronger activation in

  16. Bilateral motor tasks involve more brain regions and higher neural activation than unilateral tasks: an fMRI study

    PubMed Central

    Noble, Jeremy W.; Eng, Janice J.; Boyd, Lara A.

    2015-01-01

    Movements that involve simultaneous coordination of muscles of the right and left lower limbs form a large part of our daily activities (e.g., standing, rising from a chair). This study used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to determine which brain areas are used to control coordinated lower limb movements, specifically comparing regions that are activated during bilateral exertions to those performed unilaterally. Plantarflexor exertions were produced at a target force level of 15% of the participants’ maximum voluntary contraction, in three conditions, with their right (dominant) foot, with their left foot and with both feet simultaneously. A voxel-wise analysis determined which regions were active in the bilateral, but not in the unilateral conditions. In addition, a regions of interest (ROI) approach was used to determine differences in the percent signal change (PSC) between the conditions within motor areas. The voxel-wise analysis showed a large number of regions (cortical, subcortical and cerebellar) that were active during the bilateral condition, but not during either unilateral condition. The ROI analysis showed several motor regions with higher activation in the bilateral condition than unilateral conditions; further, the magnitude of bilateral PSC was more than the sum of the two unilateral conditions in several of these regions. We postulate that the greater levels of activation during bilateral exertions may arise from interhemispheric inhibition, as well as from the greater need for motor coordination (e.g., synchronizing the two limbs to activate together) and visual processing (e.g., monitoring of two visual stimuli). PMID:24770862

  17. Prestimulus default mode activity influences depth of processing and recognition in an emotional memory task.

    PubMed

    Soravia, Leila M; Witmer, Joëlle S; Schwab, Simon; Nakataki, Masahito; Dierks, Thomas; Wiest, Roland; Henke, Katharina; Federspiel, Andrea; Jann, Kay

    2016-03-01

    Low self-referential thoughts are associated with better concentration, which leads to deeper encoding and increases learning and subsequent retrieval. There is evidence that being engaged in externally rather than internally focused tasks is related to low neural activity in the default mode network (DMN) promoting open mind and the deep elaboration of new information. Thus, reduced DMN activity should lead to enhanced concentration, comprehensive stimulus evaluation including emotional categorization, deeper stimulus processing, and better long-term retention over one whole week. In this fMRI study, we investigated brain activation preceding and during incidental encoding of emotional pictures and on subsequent recognition performance. During fMRI, 24 subjects were exposed to 80 pictures of different emotional valence and subsequently asked to complete an online recognition task one week later. Results indicate that neural activity within the medial temporal lobes during encoding predicts subsequent memory performance. Moreover, a low activity of the default mode network preceding incidental encoding leads to slightly better recognition performance independent of the emotional perception of a picture. The findings indicate that the suppression of internally-oriented thoughts leads to a more comprehensive and thorough evaluation of a stimulus and its emotional valence. Reduced activation of the DMN prior to stimulus onset is associated with deeper encoding and enhanced consolidation and retrieval performance even one week later. Even small prestimulus lapses of attention influence consolidation and subsequent recognition performance. PMID:26663662

  18. Payload crew activity planning integration. Task 2: Inflight operations and training for payloads

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hitz, F. R.

    1976-01-01

    The primary objectives of the Payload Crew Activity Planning Integration task were to: (1) Determine feasible, cost-effective payload crew activity planning integration methods. (2) Develop an implementation plan and guidelines for payload crew activity plan (CAP) integration between the JSC Orbiter planners and the Payload Centers. Subtask objectives and study activities were defined as: (1) Determine Crew Activity Planning Interfaces. (2) Determine Crew Activity Plan Type and Content. (3) Evaluate Automated Scheduling Tools. (4) Develop a draft Implementation Plan for Crew Activity Planning Integration. The basic guidelines were to develop a plan applicable to the Shuttle operations timeframe, utilize existing center resources and expertise as much as possible, and minimize unnecessary data exchange not directly productive in the development of the end-product timelines.

  19. The effect of task-oriented training on the muscle activation of the upper extremity in chronic stroke patients.

    PubMed

    Park, JuHyung

    2016-04-01

    [Purpose] The aim of this study was to determine the effects of task-oriented training on upper extremity muscle activation in daily activities performed by chronic stoke patients. [Subjects and Methods] In this research, task-oriented training was conducted by 2 chronic hemiplegic stroke patients. Task-oriented training was conducted 5 times a week, 30 minutes per day, for 2 weeks. Evaluation was conducted 3 times before and after the intervention. The Change of muscle activation in the upper extremity was measured using a BTS FreeEMG 300. [Results] The subjects' root mean square values for agonistic muscles for the reaching activity increased after the intervention. All subjects' co-coordination ratios decreased after the intervention in all movements of reaching activity. [Conclusion] Through this research, task-oriented training was proven to be effective in improving the muscle activation of the upper extremity in chronic hemiplegic stroke patients. PMID:27190488

  20. The effect of task-oriented training on the muscle activation of the upper extremity in chronic stroke patients

    PubMed Central

    Park, JuHyung

    2016-01-01

    [Purpose] The aim of this study was to determine the effects of task-oriented training on upper extremity muscle activation in daily activities performed by chronic stoke patients. [Subjects and Methods] In this research, task-oriented training was conducted by 2 chronic hemiplegic stroke patients. Task-oriented training was conducted 5 times a week, 30 minutes per day, for 2 weeks. Evaluation was conducted 3 times before and after the intervention. The Change of muscle activation in the upper extremity was measured using a BTS FreeEMG 300. [Results] The subjects’ root mean square values for agonistic muscles for the reaching activity increased after the intervention. All subjects’ co-coordination ratios decreased after the intervention in all movements of reaching activity. [Conclusion] Through this research, task-oriented training was proven to be effective in improving the muscle activation of the upper extremity in chronic hemiplegic stroke patients. PMID:27190488

  1. Task Analysis Technologies at KSC

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Carstens, Deborah S.

    2003-01-01

    Project objective: (1) Form an integrated team of NASA. USA, Boeing, and Dynacs researches. (2) Create a user friendly software prototype that assists an analyst in performing a human factors process failure modes and effects analysis (HF-PFMEA). (3)Perform four task analyses on center: cargo late access task analysis (NASA/Boeing team); payload test and verification system task analysis (NASA/Boeing team); slammer cover installation operations task analysis (NASA/USA team); ATDC LOX pump acceptance test procedure task analysis (NASA/Dynacs team).

  2. Simultaneous fNIRS and thermal infrared imaging during cognitive task reveal autonomic correlates of prefrontal cortex activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pinti, Paola; Cardone, Daniela; Merla, Arcangelo

    2015-12-01

    Functional Near Infrared-Spectroscopy (fNIRS) represents a powerful tool to non-invasively study task-evoked brain activity. fNIRS assessment of cortical activity may suffer for contamination by physiological noises of different origin (e.g. heart beat, respiration, blood pressure, skin blood flow), both task-evoked and spontaneous. Spontaneous changes occur at different time scales and, even if they are not directly elicited by tasks, their amplitude may result task-modulated. In this study, concentration changes of hemoglobin were recorded over the prefrontal cortex while simultaneously recording the facial temperature variations of the participants through functional infrared thermal (fIR) imaging. fIR imaging provides touch-less estimation of the thermal expression of peripheral autonomic. Wavelet analysis revealed task-modulation of the very low frequency (VLF) components of both fNIRS and fIR signals and strong coherence between them. Our results indicate that subjective cognitive and autonomic activities are intimately linked and that the VLF component of the fNIRS signal is affected by the autonomic activity elicited by the cognitive task. Moreover, we showed that task-modulated changes in vascular tone occur both at a superficial and at larger depth in the brain. Combined use of fNIRS and fIR imaging can effectively quantify the impact of VLF autonomic activity on the fNIRS signals.

  3. Simultaneous fNIRS and thermal infrared imaging during cognitive task reveal autonomic correlates of prefrontal cortex activity

    PubMed Central

    Pinti, Paola; Cardone, Daniela; Merla, Arcangelo

    2015-01-01

    Functional Near Infrared-Spectroscopy (fNIRS) represents a powerful tool to non-invasively study task-evoked brain activity. fNIRS assessment of cortical activity may suffer for contamination by physiological noises of different origin (e.g. heart beat, respiration, blood pressure, skin blood flow), both task-evoked and spontaneous. Spontaneous changes occur at different time scales and, even if they are not directly elicited by tasks, their amplitude may result task-modulated. In this study, concentration changes of hemoglobin were recorded over the prefrontal cortex while simultaneously recording the facial temperature variations of the participants through functional infrared thermal (fIR) imaging. fIR imaging provides touch-less estimation of the thermal expression of peripheral autonomic. Wavelet analysis revealed task-modulation of the very low frequency (VLF) components of both fNIRS and fIR signals and strong coherence between them. Our results indicate that subjective cognitive and autonomic activities are intimately linked and that the VLF component of the fNIRS signal is affected by the autonomic activity elicited by the cognitive task. Moreover, we showed that task-modulated changes in vascular tone occur both at a superficial and at larger depth in the brain. Combined use of fNIRS and fIR imaging can effectively quantify the impact of VLF autonomic activity on the fNIRS signals. PMID:26632763

  4. Patterns of Brain Activation in Foster Children and Nonmaltreated Children During an Inhibitory Control Task

    PubMed Central

    Bruce, Jacqueline; Fisher, Philip A.; Graham, Alice M.; Moore, William E.; Peake, Shannon J.; Mannering, Anne M.

    2012-01-01

    Children in foster care have often encountered a range of adverse experiences, including neglectful and/or abusive care and multiple caregiver transitions. Prior research findings suggest that such experiences negatively affect inhibitory control and the underlying neural circuitry. In the current study, event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was employed during a go/no go task that assesses inhibitory control to compare the behavioral performance and brain activation of foster children and nonmaltreated children. The sample included two groups of 9- to 12-year-old children: 11 maltreated foster children and 11 nonmaltreated children living with their biological parents. There were no significant group differences on behavioral performance on the task. In contrast, patterns of brain activation differed by group. The nonmaltreated children demonstrated stronger activation than the foster children across several regions including the right anterior cingulate cortex, middle frontal gyrus, and right lingual gyrus during correct no go trials, whereas the foster children displayed stronger activation than the nonmaltreated children in the left inferior parietal lobule and right superior occipital cortex including the lingual gyrus and cuneus during incorrect no go trials. These results provide preliminary evidence that the early adversity experienced by foster children impacts the neural substrates of inhibitory control. PMID:24229540

  5. Type 1 Diabetes Modifies Brain Activation in Young Patients While Performing Visuospatial Working Memory Tasks

    PubMed Central

    Gallardo-Moreno, Geisa B.; González-Garrido, Andrés A.; Gudayol-Ferré, Esteban; Guàrdia-Olmos, Joan

    2015-01-01

    In recent years, increasing attention has been paid to the effects of Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) on cognitive functions. T1D onset usually occurs during childhood, so it is possible that the brain could be affected during neurodevelopment. We selected young patients of normal intelligence with T1D onset during neurodevelopment, no complications from diabetes, and adequate glycemic control. The purpose of this study was to compare the neural BOLD activation pattern in a group of patients with T1D versus healthy control subjects while performing a visuospatial working memory task. Sixteen patients and 16 matched healthy control subjects participated. There was no significant statistical difference in behavioral performance between the groups, but, in accordance with our hypothesis, results showed distinct brain activation patterns. Control subjects presented the expected activations related to the task, whereas the patients had greater activation in the prefrontal inferior cortex, basal ganglia, posterior cerebellum, and substantia nigra. These different patterns could be due to compensation mechanisms that allow them to maintain a behavioral performance similar to that of control subjects. PMID:26266268

  6. Patterns of brain activation in foster children and nonmaltreated children during an inhibitory control task.

    PubMed

    Bruce, Jacqueline; Fisher, Philip A; Graham, Alice M; Moore, William E; Peake, Shannon J; Mannering, Anne M

    2013-11-01

    Children in foster care have often encountered a range of adverse experiences, including neglectful and/or abusive care and multiple caregiver transitions. Prior research findings suggest that such experiences negatively affect inhibitory control and the underlying neural circuitry. In the current study, event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging was employed during a go/no go task that assesses inhibitory control to compare the behavioral performance and brain activation of foster children and nonmaltreated children. The sample included two groups of 9- to 12-year-old children: 11 maltreated foster children and 11 nonmaltreated children living with their biological parents. There were no significant group differences on behavioral performance on the task. In contrast, patterns of brain activation differed by group. The nonmaltreated children demonstrated stronger activation than did the foster children across several regions, including the right anterior cingulate cortex, the middle frontal gyrus, and the right lingual gyrus, during correct no go trials, whereas the foster children displayed stronger activation than the nonmaltreated children in the left inferior parietal lobule and the right superior occipital cortex, including the lingual gyrus and cuneus, during incorrect no go trials. These results provide preliminary evidence that the early adversity experienced by foster children impacts the neural substrates of inhibitory control. PMID:24229540

  7. Brain activity during a visuospatial working memory task predicts arithmetical performance 2 years later.

    PubMed

    Dumontheil, Iroise; Klingberg, Torkel

    2012-05-01

    Visuospatial working memory (WM) capacity is highly correlated with mathematical reasoning abilities and can predict future development of arithmetical performance. Activity in the intraparietal sulcus (IPS) during visuospatial WM tasks correlates with interindividual differences in WM capacity. This region has also been implicated in numerical representation, and its structure and activity reflect arithmetical performance impairments (e.g., dyscalculia). We collected behavioral (N = 246) and neuroimaging data (N = 46) in a longitudinal sample to test whether IPS activity during a visuospatial WM task could provide more information than psychological testing alone and predict arithmetical performance 2 years later in healthy participants aged 6-16 years. Nonverbal reasoning and verbal and visuospatial WM measures were found to be independent predictors of arithmetical outcome. In addition, WM activation in the left IPS predicted arithmetical outcome independently of behavioral measures. A logistic model including both behavioral and imaging data showed improved sensitivity by correctly classifying more than twice as many children as poor arithmetical performers after 2 years than a model with behavioral measures only. These results demonstrate that neuroimaging data can provide useful information in addition to behavioral assessments and be used to improve the identification of individuals at risk of future low academic performance. PMID:21768226

  8. Differential effects of bupropion on acquisition and performance of an active avoidance task in male mice.

    PubMed

    Gómez, M C; Redolat, R; Carrasco, M C

    2016-03-01

    Bupropion is an antidepressant drug that is known to aid smoking cessation, although little experimental evidence exists about its actions on active avoidance learning tasks. Our aim was to evaluate the effects of this drug on two-way active avoidance conditioning. In this study, NMRI mice received bupropion (10, 20 and 40mg/kg) or saline before a daily training session (learning phase, days 1-4) in the active avoidance task. Performance was evaluated on the fifth day (retention phase): in each bupropion-treated group half of the mice continued with the same dose of bupropion, and the other half received saline. Among the vehicle-treated mice, different sub-groups were challenged with different doses of bupropion. Results indicated that mice treated with 10 and 20mg/kg bupropion exhibited more number of avoidances during acquisition. The response latency confirmed this learning improvement, since this parameter decreased after bupropion administration. No differences between groups were observed in the retention phase. In conclusion, our data show that bupropion influences the learning process during active avoidance conditioning, suggesting that this drug can improve the control of emotional responses. PMID:26688488

  9. Measurement of Brain Activation During an Upright Stepping Reaction Task Using Functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy

    PubMed Central

    Huppert, Theodore; Schmidt, Benjamin; Beluk, Nancy; Furman, Joseph; Sparto, Patrick

    2016-01-01

    Functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) is a non-invasive brain imaging technology that uses light to measure changes in cortical hemoglobin concentrations. FNIRS measurements are recorded through fiber optic cables, which allow the participant to wear the fNIRS sensors while standing upright. Thus, fNIRS technology is well suited to study cortical brain activity during upright balance, stepping, and gait tasks. In this study, fNIRS was used to measure changes in brain activation from the frontal, motor, and premotor brain regions during an upright step task that required subjects to step laterally in response to visual cues that required executive function control. We hypothesized that cognitive processing during complex stepping cues would elicit brain activation of the frontal cortex in areas involved in cognition. Our results show increased prefrontal activation associated with the processing of the stepping cues. Moreover, these results demonstrate the potential to use fNIRS to investigate cognitive processing during cognitively demanding balance and gait studies. Hum Brain Mapp 34:2817–2828, 2013. VC 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:23161494

  10. Task Interpretation and Task Effectiveness: A Vygotskian Analysis of a French L2 Classroom Task.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Myers, Lindsy L.

    2000-01-01

    This paper focuses on second language (L2) learning through task-based interaction as well as the compatibility of the theories of task-based learning and Vygotsky's sociocultural theory. Language tasks encourage L2 learning by using language as a tool to accomplish a goal. This study analyzes the interaction of first-semester French students…

  11. 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…

  12. AMU NEXRAD Exploitation Task

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lambert, Winifred C.; Wheeler, Mark M.

    1997-01-01

    This report documents the results of the Applied Meteorology Unit's NEXRAD Exploitation Task. The objectives of this task are to determine what radar signatures are present prior to and at the time of convection initiation, and to determine radar signatures which will help distinguish whether the ensuing convection will become severe. Radar data from the WSR-88D radar located at NWS Melbourne (WSR-88D/KMLB) were collected between June and September 1995, and 16 convective case studies were analyzed for which the radar was operating during the entire period of interest. All WSR-88D/KMLB products were scrutinized for their utility in detecting convection initiation and severe storm signatures. Through process of elimination, it was found that the 0.5 deg reflectivity product with the lowest reflectivity values displayed is the best product to monitor for convection initiation signatures. Seven meteorological features associated with the initiation of deep convection were identified: the Merritt Island and Indian River convergence zones, interlake convergence, horizontal convective rolls, the sea breeze, storm outflow boundaries, and fires. Their reflectivity values ranged from -5 to 20 dBZ. Of the three severe weather phenomena (winds greater than or equal to 50 kts, tornado, 3/4 inch hail), high wind events due to microbursts were most common in the data set. It was found that the values and trends of composite reflectivity, vertically integrated liquid, and core aspect ratio were key indicators of the potential of a cell to produce a microburst. The data were not analyzed for the other two severe weather phenomena because they rarely occurred during the data collection period. This report also includes suggestions for new WSR-88D products, summaries of ongoing research aimed at creating new products, and explicit recommended procedures for detecting convection initiation and severe storm signatures in the radar data using the currently available technology.

  13. Classification of autistic individuals and controls using cross-task characterization of fMRI activity.

    PubMed

    Chanel, Guillaume; Pichon, Swann; Conty, Laurence; Berthoz, Sylvie; Chevallier, Coralie; Grèzes, Julie

    2016-01-01

    Multivariate pattern analysis (MVPA) has been applied successfully to task-based and resting-based fMRI recordings to investigate which neural markers distinguish individuals with autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) from controls. While most studies have focused on brain connectivity during resting state episodes and regions of interest approaches (ROI), a wealth of task-based fMRI datasets have been acquired in these populations in the last decade. This calls for techniques that can leverage information not only from a single dataset, but from several existing datasets that might share some common features and biomarkers. We propose a fully data-driven (voxel-based) approach that we apply to two different fMRI experiments with social stimuli (faces and bodies). The method, based on Support Vector Machines (SVMs) and Recursive Feature Elimination (RFE), is first trained for each experiment independently and each output is then combined to obtain a final classification output. Second, this RFE output is used to determine which voxels are most often selected for classification to generate maps of significant discriminative activity. Finally, to further explore the clinical validity of the approach, we correlate phenotypic information with obtained classifier scores. The results reveal good classification accuracy (range between 69% and 92.3%). Moreover, we were able to identify discriminative activity patterns pertaining to the social brain without relying on a priori ROI definitions. Finally, social motivation was the only dimension which correlated with classifier scores, suggesting that it is the main dimension captured by the classifiers. Altogether, we believe that the present RFE method proves to be efficient and may help identifying relevant biomarkers by taking advantage of acquired task-based fMRI datasets in psychiatric populations. PMID:26793434

  14. Classification of autistic individuals and controls using cross-task characterization of fMRI activity

    PubMed Central

    Chanel, Guillaume; Pichon, Swann; Conty, Laurence; Berthoz, Sylvie; Chevallier, Coralie; Grèzes, Julie

    2015-01-01

    Multivariate pattern analysis (MVPA) has been applied successfully to task-based and resting-based fMRI recordings to investigate which neural markers distinguish individuals with autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) from controls. While most studies have focused on brain connectivity during resting state episodes and regions of interest approaches (ROI), a wealth of task-based fMRI datasets have been acquired in these populations in the last decade. This calls for techniques that can leverage information not only from a single dataset, but from several existing datasets that might share some common features and biomarkers. We propose a fully data-driven (voxel-based) approach that we apply to two different fMRI experiments with social stimuli (faces and bodies). The method, based on Support Vector Machines (SVMs) and Recursive Feature Elimination (RFE), is first trained for each experiment independently and each output is then combined to obtain a final classification output. Second, this RFE output is used to determine which voxels are most often selected for classification to generate maps of significant discriminative activity. Finally, to further explore the clinical validity of the approach, we correlate phenotypic information with obtained classifier scores. The results reveal good classification accuracy (range between 69% and 92.3%). Moreover, we were able to identify discriminative activity patterns pertaining to the social brain without relying on a priori ROI definitions. Finally, social motivation was the only dimension which correlated with classifier scores, suggesting that it is the main dimension captured by the classifiers. Altogether, we believe that the present RFE method proves to be efficient and may help identifying relevant biomarkers by taking advantage of acquired task-based fMRI datasets in psychiatric populations. PMID:26793434

  15. Locomotion and task demands differentially modulate thalamic audiovisual processing during active search

    PubMed Central

    Williamson, Ross S.; Hancock, Kenneth E.; Shinn-Cunningham, Barbara G.; Polley, Daniel B.

    2015-01-01

    SUMMARY Active search is a ubiquitous goal-driven behavior wherein organisms purposefully investigate the sensory environment to locate a target object. During active search, brain circuits analyze a stream of sensory information from the external environment, adjusting for internal signals related to self-generated movement or “top-down” weighting of anticipated target and distractor properties. Sensory responses in the cortex can be modulated by internal state [1–9], though the extent and form of modulation arising in the cortex de novo versus an inheritance from subcortical stations is not clear [4, 8–12]. We addressed this question by simultaneously recording from auditory and visual regions of the thalamus (MG and LG, respectively) while mice used dynamic auditory or visual feedback to search for a hidden target within an annular track. Locomotion was associated with strongly suppressed responses and reduced decoding accuracy in MG but a subtle increase in LG spiking. Because stimuli in one modality provided critical information about target location while the other served as a distractor, we could also estimate the importance of task relevance in both thalamic subdivisions. In contrast to the effects of locomotion, we found that LG responses were reduced overall yet decoded stimuli more accurately when vision was behaviorally relevant, whereas task relevance had little effect on MG responses. This double dissociation between the influences of task relevance and movement in MG and LG highlights a role for extrasensory modulation in the thalamus but also suggests key differences in the organization of modulatory circuitry between the auditory and visual pathways. PMID:26119749

  16. Temporal evolution of oscillatory activity predicts performance in a choice-reaction time reaching task.

    PubMed

    Perfetti, Bernardo; Moisello, Clara; Landsness, Eric C; Kvint, Svetlana; Pruski, April; Onofrj, Marco; Tononi, Giulio; Ghilardi, M Felice

    2011-01-01

    In this study, we characterized the patterns and timing of cortical activation of visually guided movements in a task with critical temporal demands. In particular, we investigated the neural correlates of motor planning and on-line adjustments of reaching movements in a choice-reaction time task. High-density electroencephalography (EEG, 256 electrodes) was recorded in 13 subjects performing reaching movements. The topography of the movement-related spectral perturbation was established across five 250-ms temporal windows (from prestimulus to postmovement) and five frequency bands (from theta to beta). Nine regions of interest were then identified on the scalp, and their activity was correlated with specific behavioral outcomes reflecting motor planning and on-line adjustments. Phase coherence analysis was performed between selected sites. We found that motor planning and on-line adjustments share similar topography in a fronto-parietal network, involving mostly low frequency bands. In addition, activities in the high and low frequency ranges have differential function in the modulation of attention with the former reflecting the prestimulus, top-down processes needed to promote timely responses, and the latter the planning and control of sensory-motor processes. PMID:21047934

  17. Neural activity in monkey amygdala during performance of a multisensory operant task.

    PubMed

    Montes-Lourido, Pilar; Vicente, Ana F; Bermudez, Maria A; Gonzalez, Francisco

    2015-09-01

    In this paper, we study the potential involvement of monkey amygdala in the evaluation of value encoding of visual and auditive stimuli associated with reward or no reward. We recorded the activity of 93 extracellular neurons from the monkey right amygdala, while performing a multisensory operant task. The activity of 78 task-related neurons was studied. Of these, 13 neurons (16%) responded to the value of visual stimuli, 22 neurons (28%) responded after the presentation of visual stimuli, 22 neurons (28%) showed an inhibition around the lever-pressing and were classified as action related neurons and 22 neurons (28%) responded after reward delivery. These findings suggest that neurons in the amygdala play a role in encoding value and processing visual information, participate in motor regulation and are sensitive to reward. The activity of these neurons did not change in the evaluation of auditive stimuli. These data support the hypothesis that amygdala neurons are specific to each sensory modality and that different groups of amygdala neurons process visual and auditive information. PMID:26246438

  18. Intrinsic and Task-Dependent Coupling of Neuronal Population Activity in Human Parietal Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Foster, Brett L.; Rangarajan, Vinitha; Shirer, William R.; Parvizi, Josef

    2015-01-01

    Summary Human neuroimaging studies have suggested that subregions of the medial and lateral parietal cortex form key nodes of a larger brain network supporting episodic memory retrieval. To explore the electrophysiological correlates of functional connectivity between these subregions, we recorded simultaneously from medial and lateral parietal cortex using intracranial electrodes in three human subjects. We observed electrophysiological co-activation of retrosplenial/posterior cingulate cortex (RSC/PCC) and angular gyrus (AG) in the high frequency broadband (HFB, or high-gamma) range, for conditions that required episodic retrieval. During resting and sleeping states, slow fluctuations (< 1 Hz) of HFB activity were highly correlated between these task-co-activated neuronal populations. Furthermore, intrinsic electrophysiological connectivity patterns matched those obtained with resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) from the same subjects. Our findings quantify the spatiotemporal dynamics of parietal cortex during episodic memory retrieval and provide clear neurophysiological correlates of intrinsic and task-dependent functional connectivity in the human brain. PMID:25863718

  19. Defining feasible bounds on muscle activation in a redundant biomechanical task; practical implications of redundancy

    PubMed Central

    Sohn, M. Hongchul; McKay, J. Lucas; Ting, Lena H.

    2013-01-01

    Measured muscle activation patterns often vary significantly from musculoskeletal model predictions that use optimization to resolve redundancy. Although experimental muscle activity exhibits both inter- and intra-subject variability we lack adequate tools to quantify the biomechanical latitude that the nervous system has when selecting muscle activation patterns. Here, we identified feasible ranges of individual muscle activity during force production in a musculoskeletal model to quantify the degree to which biomechanical redundancy allows for variability in muscle activation patterns. In a detailed cat hindlimb model matched to the posture of three cats, we identified the lower and upper bounds on muscle activity in each of 31 muscles during static endpoint force production across different force directions and magnitudes. Feasible ranges of muscle activation were relatively unconstrained across force magnitudes such that only a few (0∼13%) muscles were found to be truly “necessary” (e.g. exhibited non-zero lower bounds) at physiological force ranges. Most muscles were “optional” having zero lower bounds, and frequently had “maximal” upper bounds as well. Moreover, “optional” muscles were never selected by optimization methods that either minimized muscle stress, or that scaled the pattern required for maximum force generation. Therefore, biomechanical constraints were generally insufficient to restrict or specify muscle activation levels for producing a force in a given direction, and many muscle patterns exist that could deviate substantially from one another but still achieve the task. Our approach could be extended to identify the feasible limits of variability in muscle activation patterns in dynamic tasks such as walking. PMID:23489436

  20. Activity recognition of assembly tasks using body-worn microphones and accelerometers.

    PubMed

    Ward, Jamie A; Lukowicz, Paul; Tröster, Gerhard; Starner, Thad E

    2006-10-01

    In order to provide relevant information to mobile users, such as workers engaging in the manual tasks of maintenance and assembly, a wearable computer requires information about the user's specific activities. This work focuses on the recognition of activities that are characterized by a hand motion and an accompanying sound. Suitable activities can be found in assembly and maintenance work. Here, we provide an initial exploration into the problem domain of continuous activity recognition using on-body sensing. We use a mock "wood workshop" assembly task to ground our investigation. We describe a method for the continuous recognition of activities (sawing, hammering, filing, drilling, grinding, sanding, opening a drawer, tightening a vise, and turning a screwdriver) using microphones and three-axis accelerometers mounted at two positions on the user's arms. Potentially "interesting" activities are segmented from continuous streams of data using an analysis of the sound intensity detected at the two different locations. Activity classification is then performed on these detected segments using linear discriminant analysis (LDA) on the sound channel and hidden Markov models (HMMs) on the acceleration data. Four different methods at classifier fusion are compared for improving these classifications. Using user-dependent training, we obtain continuous average recall and precision rates (for positive activities) of 78 percent and 74 percent, respectively. Using user-independent training (leave-one-out across five users), we obtain recall rates of 66 percent and precision rates of 63 percent. In isolation, these activities were recognized with accuracies of 98 percent, 87 percent, and 95 percent for the user-dependent, user-independent, and user-adapted cases, respectively. PMID:16986539

  1. Prefrontal cortex activity during motor tasks with additional mental load requiring attentional demand: a near-infrared spectroscopy study.

    PubMed

    Mandrick, Kevin; Derosiere, Gérard; Dray, Gérard; Coulon, Denis; Micallef, Jean-Paul; Perrey, Stéphane

    2013-07-01

    Functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) is suitable for investigating cerebral oxygenation changes during motor and/or mental tasks. In the present study, we investigated how an additional mental load during a motor task at two submaximal loadings affects the fNIRS-measured brain activation over the right prefrontal cortex (PFC). Fifteen healthy males performed isometric grasping contractions at 15% and 30% of the maximal voluntary contraction (MVC) with or without an additional mental (i.e., arithmetic) task. Mental performance, force variability, fNIRS and subjective perception responses were measured in each condition. The performance of the mental task decreased significantly while the force variability increased significantly at 30% MVC as compared to 15% MVC, suggesting that performance of dual-task required more attentional resources. PFC activity increased significantly as the effort increased from 15% to 30% MVC (p<.001). Although a larger change in the deoxyhemoglobin was observed in dual-task conditions (p=.051), PFC activity did not change significantly as compared to the motor tasks alone. In summary, participants were unable to invest more attention and effort in performing the more difficult levels in order to maintain adequate mental performance. PMID:23665138

  2. Working memory activation of neural networks in the elderly as a function of information processing phase and task complexity.

    PubMed

    Charroud, Céline; Steffener, Jason; Le Bars, Emmanuelle; Deverdun, Jérémy; Bonafe, Alain; Abdennour, Meriem; Portet, Florence; Molino, François; Stern, Yaakov; Ritchie, Karen; Menjot de Champfleur, Nicolas; Akbaraly, Tasnime N

    2015-11-01

    Changes in working memory are sensitive indicators of both normal and pathological brain aging and associated disability. The present study aims to further understanding of working memory in normal aging using a large cohort of healthy elderly in order to examine three separate phases of information processing in relation to changes in task load activation. Using covariance analysis, increasing and decreasing neural activation was observed on fMRI in response to a delayed item recognition task in 337 cognitively healthy elderly persons as part of the CRESCENDO (Cognitive REServe and Clinical ENDOphenotypes) study. During three phases of the task (stimulation, retention, probe), increased activation was observed with increasing task load in bilateral regions of the prefrontal cortex, parietal lobule, cingulate gyrus, insula and in deep gray matter nuclei, suggesting an involvement of central executive and salience networks. Decreased activation associated with increasing task load was observed during the stimulation phase, in bilateral temporal cortex, parietal lobule, cingulate gyrus and prefrontal cortex. This spatial distribution of decreased activation is suggestive of the default mode network. These findings support the hypothesis of an increased activation in salience and central executive networks and a decreased activation in default mode network concomitant to increasing task load. PMID:26456114

  3. Summary report for ITER Task -- D4: Activation calculations for the stainless steel ITER design

    SciTech Connect

    Attaya, H.

    1995-02-01

    Detailed activation analysis for ITER has been performed as a part of ITER Task D4. The calculations have been performed for the shielding blanket (SS/water) and for the breeding blanket (LiN) options. The activation code RACC-P, which has been modified under IFER Task-D-10 for pulsed operation, has been used in this analysis. The spatial distributions of the radioactive inventory, decay heat, biological hazard potential, and the contact dose were calculated for the two designs for different operation modes and targeted fluences. A one-dimensional toroidal geometrical model has been utilized to determine the neutron fluxes in the two designs. The results are normalized for an inboard and outboard neutron wall loadings of 0.91 and 1.2 MW/M{sup 2}, respectively. The point-wise distributions of the decay gamma sources have been calculated everywhere in the reactor at several times after the shutdown of the two designs and are then used in the transport code ONEDANT to calculate the biological dose everywhere in the reactor. The point-wise distributions of all the responses have also been calculated. These calculations have been performed for neutron fluences of 3.0 MWa/M{sup 2}, which corresponds to the target fluence of ITER, and 0.1 MWa/M{sup 2}, which is anticipated to correspond to the beginning of an extended maintenance period.

  4. Individual differences in oscillatory brain activity in response to varying attentional demands during a word recall and oculomotor dual task

    PubMed Central

    Kwon, Gusang; Lim, Sanghyun; Kim, Min-Young; Kwon, Hyukchan; Lee, Yong-Ho; Kim, Kiwoong; Lee, Eun-Ju; Suh, Minah

    2015-01-01

    Every day, we face situations that involve multi-tasking. How our brain utilizes cortical resources during multi-tasking is one of many interesting research topics. In this study, we tested whether a dual-task can be differentiated in the neural and behavioral responses of healthy subjects with varying degree of working memory capacity (WMC). We combined word recall and oculomotor tasks because they incorporate common neural networks including the fronto-parietal (FP) network. Three different types of oculomotor tasks (eye fixation, Fix-EM; predictive and random smooth pursuit eye movement, P-SPEM and R-SPEM) were combined with two memory load levels (low-load: five words, high-load: 10 words) for a word recall task. Each of those dual-task combinations was supposed to create varying cognitive loads on the FP network. We hypothesize that each dual-task requires different cognitive strategies for allocating the brain’s limited cortical resources and affects brain oscillation of the FP network. In addition, we hypothesized that groups with different WMC will show differential neural and behavioral responses. We measured oscillatory brain activity with simultaneous MEG and EEG recordings and behavioral performance by word recall. Prominent frontal midline (FM) theta (4–6 Hz) synchronization emerged in the EEG of the high-WMC group experiencing R-SPEM with high-load conditions during the early phase of the word maintenance period. Conversely, significant parietal upper alpha (10–12 Hz) desynchronization was observed in the EEG and MEG of the low-WMC group experiencing P-SPEM under high-load conditions during the same period. Different brain oscillatory patterns seem to depend on each individual’s WMC and varying attentional demands from different dual-task combinations. These findings suggest that specific brain oscillations may reflect different strategies for allocating cortical resources during combined word recall and oculomotor dual-tasks. PMID:26175681

  5. Task Prioritization in Dual-Tasking: Instructions versus Preferences

    PubMed Central

    Jansen, Reinier J.; van Egmond, René; de Ridder, Huib

    2016-01-01

    The role of task prioritization in performance tradeoffs during multi-tasking has received widespread attention. However, little is known on whether people have preferences regarding tasks, and if so, whether these preferences conflict with priority instructions. Three experiments were conducted with a high-speed driving game and an auditory memory task. In Experiment 1, participants did not receive priority instructions. Participants performed different sequences of single-task and dual-task conditions. Task performance was evaluated according to participants’ retrospective accounts on preferences. These preferences were reformulated as priority instructions in Experiments 2 and 3. The results showed that people differ in their preferences regarding task prioritization in an experimental setting, which can be overruled by priority instructions, but only after increased dual-task exposure. Additional measures of mental effort showed that performance tradeoffs had an impact on mental effort. The interpretation of these findings was used to explore an extension of Threaded Cognition Theory with Hockey’s Compensatory Control Model. PMID:27391779

  6. Upper extremity coordination strategies depending on task demand during a basic daily activity.

    PubMed

    Ricci, Flávia Pessoni F M; Santiago, Paulo Roberto Pereira; Zampar, Ana Carolina; Pinola, Lívia Nahas; Fonseca, Marisa de Cássia Registro

    2015-10-01

    Injury conditions affecting the upper extremity may lead to severe functional impairment and an accurate evaluation is needed in order to select the most effective treatment in a rehabilitation program. This study focused on simultaneous electromyographic and kinematic analysis to assess movement patterns of upper extremity during a basic daily activity, considering different demands existing within the task. Twenty-five healthy subjects, average age 19.8 ys SD 1.7 ys, with no upper extremity impairment, were assessed by means of electromyography (EMG) and a 3D motion capture system while performing a task that required reach, transport and release. Integrated EMG (iEMG), timing of muscle onset and active range of motion (AROM) were calculated for each subject. Data were compared within each phase and between the three phases and a repeated measure ANOVA was used for statistical analysis. We found early activation of upper trapezius associated with high activity of serratus anterior for proximal stability while anterior deltoid and triceps brachii performed shoulder flexion and elbow extension, in Reach phase. In Transport phase there was early and higher activation of upper trapezius, higher muscle activity of almost all muscles and increased AROM of all joints. No change in flexion/extension wrist posture with increased forearm muscles activity were identified as the main control strategy to keep optimal grasping. Triceps brachii was found to act as an important synergist in shoulder abduction and extension in free load conditions. Such information can lead clinicians to more specific assessment and subsequent better intervention in upper extremity rehabilitation. PMID:26282047

  7. Disentangling stereotype activation and stereotype application in the stereotype misperception task.

    PubMed

    Krieglmeyer, Regina; Sherman, Jeffrey W

    2012-08-01

    When forming impressions about other people, stereotypes about the individual's social group often influence the resulting impression. At least 2 distinguishable processes underlie stereotypic impression formation: stereotype activation and stereotype application. Most previous research has used implicit measures to assess stereotype activation and explicit measures to assess stereotype application, which has several disadvantages. The authors propose a measure of stereotypic impression formation, the stereotype misperception task (SMT), together with a multinomial model that quantitatively disentangles the contributions of stereotype activation and application to responses in the SMT. The validity of the SMT and of the multinomial model was confirmed in 5 studies. The authors hope to advance research on stereotyping by providing a measurement tool that separates multiple processes underlying impression formation. PMID:22663350

  8. Do Cardiovascular Responses to Active and Passive Coping Tasks predict Future Blood Pressure over a 10-Month Later?

    PubMed

    Yuenyongchaiwat, Kornanong; Baker, Ian; Maratos, Frankie; Sheffield, David

    2016-01-01

    The study examined whether cardiovascular responses to active or passive coping tasks and single or multiple tasks predicted changes in resting blood pressure (BP) over a ten-month period. Heart rate (HR), BP, cardiac output (CO), and total peripheral resistance (TPR) were measured at rest, and during mental stress tests (mental arithmetic, speech, and cold pressor tasks). A total of 104 eligible participants participated in the initial study, and 77 (74.04%) normotensive adult participants' resting BP were re-evaluated at ten-month follow-up. Regression analyses indicated that after adjustment for baseline BP, initial age, gender, body mass index, family history of cardiovascular disease, and current cigarette smoking, heighted systolic blood pressure (SBP) and HR responses to an active coping task (mental arithmetic) were associated with increased future SBP (ΔR2 = .060, ΔR2 = .045, respectively). Further, aggregated SBP responsivity (over the three tasks) to the predictor models resulted in significant, but smaller increases in ΔR2 accounting for .040 of the variance of follow-up SBP. These findings suggest that cardiovascular responses to active coping tasks predict future SBP. Further, compared with single tasks, the findings revealed that SBP responses to three tasks were less predictive compared to an individual task (i.e., mental arithmetic). Of importance, hemodynamic reactivity (namely CO and TPR) did not predict future BP suggesting that more general psychophysiological processes (e.g., inflammation, platelet aggregation) may be implicated, or that BP, but not hemodynamic reactivity may be a marker of hypertension. PMID:26972632

  9. Oral methylphenidate normalizes cingulate activity in cocaine addiction during a salient cognitive task

    SciTech Connect

    Goldstein, R.Z.; Goldstein, R.Z.; Woicik, P.A.; Maloney, T.; Tomasi, D.; Alia-Klein, N.; Shan, J.; Honorario, J.; Samaras, d.; Wang, R.; Telang, F.; Wang, G.-J.; Volkow, N.D.

    2010-09-21

    Anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) hypoactivations during cognitive demand are a hallmark deficit in drug addiction. Methylphenidate (MPH) normalizes cortical function, enhancing task salience and improving associated cognitive abilities, in other frontal lobe pathologies; however, in clinical trials, MPH did not improve treatment outcome in cocaine addiction. We hypothesized that oral MPH will attenuate ACC hypoactivations and improve associated performance during a salient cognitive task in individuals with cocaine-use disorders (CUD). In the current functional MRI study, we used a rewarded drug cue-reactivity task previously shown to be associated with hypoactivations in both major ACC subdivisions (implicated in default brain function) in CUD compared with healthy controls. The task was performed by 13 CUD and 14 matched healthy controls on 2 d: after ingesting a single dose of oral MPH (20 mg) or placebo (lactose) in a counterbalanced fashion. Results show that oral MPH increased responses to this salient cognitive task in both major ACC subdivisions (including the caudal-dorsal ACC and rostroventromedial ACC extending to the medial orbitofrontal cortex) in the CUD. These functional MRI results were associated with reduced errors of commission (a common impulsivity measure) and improved task accuracy, especially during the drug (vs. neutral) cue-reactivity condition in all subjects. The clinical application of such MPH-induced brain-behavior enhancements remains to be tested.

  10. Oral methylphenidate normalizes cingulate activity in cocaine addiction during a salient cognitive task.

    PubMed

    Goldstein, Rita Z; Woicik, Patricia A; Maloney, Thomas; Tomasi, Dardo; Alia-Klein, Nelly; Shan, Juntian; Honorio, Jean; Samaras, Dimitris; Wang, Ruiliang; Telang, Frank; Wang, Gene-Jack; Volkow, Nora D

    2010-09-21

    Anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) hypoactivations during cognitive demand are a hallmark deficit in drug addiction. Methylphenidate (MPH) normalizes cortical function, enhancing task salience and improving associated cognitive abilities, in other frontal lobe pathologies; however, in clinical trials, MPH did not improve treatment outcome in cocaine addiction. We hypothesized that oral MPH will attenuate ACC hypoactivations and improve associated performance during a salient cognitive task in individuals with cocaine-use disorders (CUD). In the current functional MRI study, we used a rewarded drug cue-reactivity task previously shown to be associated with hypoactivations in both major ACC subdivisions (implicated in default brain function) in CUD compared with healthy controls. The task was performed by 13 CUD and 14 matched healthy controls on 2 d: after ingesting a single dose of oral MPH (20 mg) or placebo (lactose) in a counterbalanced fashion. Results show that oral MPH increased responses to this salient cognitive task in both major ACC subdivisions (including the caudal-dorsal ACC and rostroventromedial ACC extending to the medial orbitofrontal cortex) in the CUD. These functional MRI results were associated with reduced errors of commission (a common impulsivity measure) and improved task accuracy, especially during the drug (vs. neutral) cue-reactivity condition in all subjects. The clinical application of such MPH-induced brain-behavior enhancements remains to be tested. PMID:20823246

  11. Oral methylphenidate normalizes cingulate activity in cocaine addiction during a salient cognitive task

    PubMed Central

    Goldstein, Rita Z.; Woicik, Patricia A.; Maloney, Thomas; Tomasi, Dardo; Alia-Klein, Nelly; Shan, Juntian; Honorio, Jean; Samaras, Dimitris; Wang, Ruiliang; Telang, Frank; Wang, Gene-Jack; Volkow, Nora D.

    2010-01-01

    Anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) hypoactivations during cognitive demand are a hallmark deficit in drug addiction. Methylphenidate (MPH) normalizes cortical function, enhancing task salience and improving associated cognitive abilities, in other frontal lobe pathologies; however, in clinical trials, MPH did not improve treatment outcome in cocaine addiction. We hypothesized that oral MPH will attenuate ACC hypoactivations and improve associated performance during a salient cognitive task in individuals with cocaine-use disorders (CUD). In the current functional MRI study, we used a rewarded drug cue-reactivity task previously shown to be associated with hypoactivations in both major ACC subdivisions (implicated in default brain function) in CUD compared with healthy controls. The task was performed by 13 CUD and 14 matched healthy controls on 2 d: after ingesting a single dose of oral MPH (20 mg) or placebo (lactose) in a counterbalanced fashion. Results show that oral MPH increased responses to this salient cognitive task in both major ACC subdivisions (including the caudal-dorsal ACC and rostroventromedial ACC extending to the medial orbitofrontal cortex) in the CUD. These functional MRI results were associated with reduced errors of commission (a common impulsivity measure) and improved task accuracy, especially during the drug (vs. neutral) cue-reactivity condition in all subjects. The clinical application of such MPH-induced brain-behavior enhancements remains to be tested. PMID:20823246

  12. Hypercube matrix computation task

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Calalo, R.; Imbriale, W.; Liewer, P.; Lyons, J.; Manshadi, F.; Patterson, J.

    1987-01-01

    The Hypercube Matrix Computation (Year 1986-1987) task investigated the applicability of a parallel computing architecture to the solution of large scale electromagnetic scattering problems. Two existing electromagnetic scattering codes were selected for conversion to the Mark III Hypercube concurrent computing environment. They were selected so that the underlying numerical algorithms utilized would be different thereby providing a more thorough evaluation of the appropriateness of the parallel environment for these types of problems. The first code was a frequency domain method of moments solution, NEC-2, developed at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. The second code was a time domain finite difference solution of Maxwell's equations to solve for the scattered fields. Once the codes were implemented on the hypercube and verified to obtain correct solutions by comparing the results with those from sequential runs, several measures were used to evaluate the performance of the two codes. First, a comparison was provided of the problem size possible on the hypercube with 128 megabytes of memory for a 32-node configuration with that available in a typical sequential user environment of 4 to 8 megabytes. Then, the performance of the codes was anlyzed for the computational speedup attained by the parallel architecture.

  13. Hypercube matrix computation task

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Calalo, Ruel H.; Imbriale, William A.; Jacobi, Nathan; Liewer, Paulett C.; Lockhart, Thomas G.; Lyzenga, Gregory A.; Lyons, James R.; Manshadi, Farzin; Patterson, Jean E.

    1988-01-01

    A major objective of the Hypercube Matrix Computation effort at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) is to investigate the applicability of a parallel computing architecture to the solution of large-scale electromagnetic scattering problems. Three scattering analysis codes are being implemented and assessed on a JPL/California Institute of Technology (Caltech) Mark 3 Hypercube. The codes, which utilize different underlying algorithms, give a means of evaluating the general applicability of this parallel architecture. The three analysis codes being implemented are a frequency domain method of moments code, a time domain finite difference code, and a frequency domain finite elements code. These analysis capabilities are being integrated into an electromagnetics interactive analysis workstation which can serve as a design tool for the construction of antennas and other radiating or scattering structures. The first two years of work on the Hypercube Matrix Computation effort is summarized. It includes both new developments and results as well as work previously reported in the Hypercube Matrix Computation Task: Final Report for 1986 to 1987 (JPL Publication 87-18).

  14. Uncertainty-dependent activity within the ventral striatum predicts task-related changes in response strategy.

    PubMed

    Buzzell, George A; Roberts, Daniel M; Fedota, John R; Thompson, James C; Parasuraman, Raja; McDonald, Craig G

    2016-04-01

    Recent neuroimaging work has demonstrated that the ventral striatum (VS) encodes confidence in perceptual decisions. However, it remains unclear whether perceptual uncertainty can signal the need to adapt behavior (such as by responding more cautiously) and whether such behavioral changes are related to uncertainty-dependent activity within the VS. Changes in response strategy have previously been observed following errors and are associated with both medial frontal cortex (MFC) and VS, two components of the performance-monitoring network. If uncertainty can elicit changes in response strategy (slowing), then one might hypothesize that these changes rely on the performance-monitoring network. In the present study, we investigated the link between perceptual uncertainty and task-related behavioral adaptations (response slowing and accuracy increases), as well as how such behavioral changes relate to uncertainty-dependent activity within MFC and VS. Our participants performed a two-choice perceptual decision-making task in which perceptual uncertainty was reported on each trial while behavioral and event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging data were collected. Analysis of the behavioral data revealed that uncertain (but correct) responses led to slowing on subsequent trials, a phenomenon that was positively correlated with increased accuracy. Critically, post-uncertainty slowing was negatively correlated with the VS activity elicited by uncertain responses. In agreement with previous reports, increases in MFC activation were observed for uncertain responses, although MFC activity was not correlated with post-uncertainty slowing. These results suggest that perceptual uncertainty can serve as a signal to adapt one's response strategy and that such behavioral changes are closely tied to the VS, a key node in the performance-monitoring network. PMID:26453582

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Modeling Task Switching without Switching Tasks: A Short-Term Priming Account of Explicitly Cued Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schneider, Darryl W.; Logan, Gordon D.

    2005-01-01

    Switch costs in task switching are commonly attributed to an executive control process of task-set reconfiguration, particularly in studies involving the explicit task-cuing procedure. The authors propose an alternative account of explicitly cued performance that is based on 2 mechanisms: priming of cue encoding from residual activation of cues in…

  18. Rhythmic Components in Extracranial Brain Signals Reveal Multifaceted Task Modulation of Overlapping Neuronal Activity.

    PubMed

    van der Meij, Roemer; van Ede, Freek; Maris, Eric

    2016-01-01

    Oscillatory neuronal activity is implicated in many cognitive functions, and its phase coupling between sensors may reflect networks of communicating neuronal populations. Oscillatory activity is often studied using extracranial recordings and compared between experimental conditions. This is challenging, because there is overlap between sensor-level activity generated by different sources, and this can obscure differential experimental modulations of these sources. Additionally, in extracranial data, sensor-level phase coupling not only reflects communicating populations, but can also be generated by a current dipole, whose sensor-level phase coupling does not reflect source-level interactions. We present a novel method, which is capable of separating and characterizing sources on the basis of their phase coupling patterns as a function of space, frequency and time (trials). Importantly, this method depends on a plausible model of a neurobiological rhythm. We present this model and an accompanying analysis pipeline. Next, we demonstrate our approach, using magnetoencephalographic (MEG) recordings during a cued tactile detection task as a case study. We show that the extracted components have overlapping spatial maps and frequency content, which are difficult to resolve using conventional pairwise measures. Because our decomposition also provides trial loadings, components can be readily contrasted between experimental conditions. Strikingly, we observed heterogeneity in alpha and beta sources with respect to whether their activity was suppressed or enhanced as a function of attention and performance, and this happened both in task relevant and irrelevant regions. This heterogeneity contrasts with the common view that alpha and beta amplitude over sensory areas are always negatively related to attention and performance. PMID:27336159

  19. Rhythmic Components in Extracranial Brain Signals Reveal Multifaceted Task Modulation of Overlapping Neuronal Activity

    PubMed Central

    van Ede, Freek; Maris, Eric

    2016-01-01

    Oscillatory neuronal activity is implicated in many cognitive functions, and its phase coupling between sensors may reflect networks of communicating neuronal populations. Oscillatory activity is often studied using extracranial recordings and compared between experimental conditions. This is challenging, because there is overlap between sensor-level activity generated by different sources, and this can obscure differential experimental modulations of these sources. Additionally, in extracranial data, sensor-level phase coupling not only reflects communicating populations, but can also be generated by a current dipole, whose sensor-level phase coupling does not reflect source-level interactions. We present a novel method, which is capable of separating and characterizing sources on the basis of their phase coupling patterns as a function of space, frequency and time (trials). Importantly, this method depends on a plausible model of a neurobiological rhythm. We present this model and an accompanying analysis pipeline. Next, we demonstrate our approach, using magnetoencephalographic (MEG) recordings during a cued tactile detection task as a case study. We show that the extracted components have overlapping spatial maps and frequency content, which are difficult to resolve using conventional pairwise measures. Because our decomposition also provides trial loadings, components can be readily contrasted between experimental conditions. Strikingly, we observed heterogeneity in alpha and beta sources with respect to whether their activity was suppressed or enhanced as a function of attention and performance, and this happened both in task relevant and irrelevant regions. This heterogeneity contrasts with the common view that alpha and beta amplitude over sensory areas are always negatively related to attention and performance. PMID:27336159

  20. Correlation between LIFG and autonomic activation during stressful tasks: a functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) study.

    PubMed

    Shi, Jie; Sakatani, Kaoru; Okamoto, Masako; Yamaguchi, Yui; Zuo, Huan-Cong

    2014-10-01

    It remains unclear whether language tasks in one's first (L1) or second (L2) language can cause stress responses and whether frontal, autonomic and behavioral responses to stressful tasks are correlated. In this study, we studied 22 Chinese subjects whose L2 was English and measured the cerebral blood oxygenation in their frontal lobe by using functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) as participants engaged in a mental arithmetic task (MAT) and verbal fluency tasks (VFTs) in L1 (Chinese) and L2 (English). To examine the activated cortical areas, we estimated the channel location based on Montreal Neurological Institute (MNI) standard brain space by using a probabilistic estimation method. We evaluated heart rate (HR) changes to analyze autonomic nervous system (ANS) functioning. We found that the MAT and VFTs induced greater increases in HR than did the control (Ctrl) task. Furthermore, subjects developed greater increases in HR in the MAT and VFTL2 than they did in the VFTL1. Compared with the Ctrl task, the MAT and both VFTL1 and VFTL2 produced robust and widespread bilateral activation of the frontal cortex. Interestingly, partial correlation analysis indicated that the activity in the left inferior frontal gyrus (LIFG) [Brodmann's area (BA) 47] was consistently correlated with the increases in HR across the three tasks (MAT, VFTL2, and VFTL1), after controlling for the performance data. The present results suggested that a VFT in L2 may be more stressful than in L1. The LIFG may affect the activation of the sympathetic system induced by stressful tasks, including MATs and VFTs. PMID:25318875

  1. Correlates of academic procrastination: discomfort, task aversiveness, and task capability.

    PubMed

    Milgram, N; Marshevsky, S; Sadeh, C

    1995-03-01

    The relationships among five aspects of academic procrastination--behavioral delay, personal upset about the delay, task aversiveness, task capability, and the desire to reduce behavioral delay--were investigated in 10th-grade Israeli students (N = 195). Upset about delay was weakly related to delay itself, and--unlike delay--was strongly related to perceived capability to perform academic tasks and to the desire to change delaying behavior. Students delayed more on academic tasks labeled unpleasant than pleasant, were neutral in between, and were correspondingly more upset about the former than the latter. They more frequently acknowledged reasons for academic procrastination that were less threatening to their self-image (e.g., problems in time management) than reasons that were more threatening (e.g., lack of ability). Interest in reducing delay is related more to self-perceived ability to handle tasks than to time spent procrastinating or reasons given for procrastinating. PMID:7760291

  2. The effects of sleep, wake activity and time-on-task on offline motor sequence learning.

    PubMed

    Landry, Shane; Anderson, Clare; Conduit, Russell

    2016-01-01

    While intervening sleep promotes the consolidation of memory, it is well established that cognitive interference from competing stimuli can impede memory retention. The current study examined changes in motor skill learning across periods of wakefulness with and without competing stimuli, and periods of sleep with and without disruption from external stimuli. A napping study design was adopted where participants (N=44) either had (1) a 30min nap composed of Non-Rapid Eye Movement (NREM) sleep, (2) 30min NREM nap fragmented by audio tone induced arousals, (3) 45min of quiet wakefulness, or (4) 45min of active wakefulness. Measures of subjective sleepiness (KSS), alertness (PVT) and motor skill learning (Sequential Finger Tapping Task, SFTT) were completed in the morning and evening to assess performance pre- and post-nap or wakefulness. Following a practice session, change in motor skill performance was measured over a 10min post training rest interval, as well as following a 7h morning to evening interval comprising one of the four study conditions. A significant offline enhancement in motor task performance (13-23%) was observed following 10min of rest in all conditions. Following the long delay with the intervening nap/wake condition, there were no further offline gains or losses in performance in any sleep (uninterrupted/fragmented) or wake (quiet/active) condition. The current findings suggest that after controlling for offline gains in performance that occur after a brief rest and likely to due to the dissipation of fatigue, the subsequent effect of an intervening sleep or wake period on motor skill consolidation is not significant. Consistent with this null result, the impact of disrupting the sleep episode or manipulating activity during intervening wake also appears to be negligible. PMID:26655281

  3. Functional Activation during the Rapid Visual Information Processing Task in a Middle Aged Cohort: An fMRI Study

    PubMed Central

    Neale, Chris; Johnston, Patrick; Hughes, Matthew; Scholey, Andrew

    2015-01-01

    The Rapid Visual Information Processing (RVIP) task, a serial discrimination task where task performance believed to reflect sustained attention capabilities, is widely used in behavioural research and increasingly in neuroimaging studies. To date, functional neuroimaging research into the RVIP has been undertaken using block analyses, reflecting the sustained processing involved in the task, but not necessarily the transient processes associated with individual trial performance. Furthermore, this research has been limited to young cohorts. This study assessed the behavioural and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) outcomes of the RVIP task using both block and event-related analyses in a healthy middle aged cohort (mean age = 53.56 years, n = 16). The results show that the version of the RVIP used here is sensitive to changes in attentional demand processes with participants achieving a 43% accuracy hit rate in the experimental task compared with 96% accuracy in the control task. As shown by previous research, the block analysis revealed an increase in activation in a network of frontal, parietal, occipital and cerebellar regions. The event related analysis showed a similar network of activation, seemingly omitting regions involved in the processing of the task (as shown in the block analysis), such as occipital areas and the thalamus, providing an indication of a network of regions involved in correct trial performance. Frontal (superior and inferior frontal gryi), parietal (precuenus, inferior parietal lobe) and cerebellar regions were shown to be active in both the block and event-related analyses, suggesting their importance in sustained attention/vigilance. These networks and the differences between them are discussed in detail, as well as implications for future research in middle aged cohorts. PMID:26488289

  4. Graphical programming of telerobotic tasks

    SciTech Connect

    Small, D.E.; McDonald, M.J.

    1996-11-01

    With a goal of producing faster, safer, and cheaper technologies for nuclear waste cleanup, Sandia is actively developing and extending intelligent systems technologies through the US Department of Energy Office of Technology Development (DOE OTD) Robotic Technology Development Program (RTDP). Graphical programming is a key technology for robotic waste cleanup that Sandia is developing for this goal. Graphical programming uses simulation such as TELEGRIP `on-line` to program and control robots. Characterized by its model-based control architecture, integrated simulation, `point-and-click` graphical user interfaces, task and path planning software, and network communications, Sandia`s Graphical Programming systems allow operators to focus on high-level robotic tasks rather than the low-level details. Use of scripted tasks, rather than customized programs minimizes the necessity of recompiling supervisory control systems and enhances flexibility. Rapid world-modelling technologies allow Graphical Programming to be used in dynamic and unpredictable environments including digging and pipe-cutting. This paper describes Sancho, Sandia`s most advanced graphical programming supervisory software. Sancho, now operational on several robot systems, incorporates all of Sandia`s recent advances in supervisory control. Graphical programming uses 3-D graphics models as intuitive operator interfaces to program and control complex robotic systems. The goal of the paper is to help the reader understand how Sandia implements graphical programming systems and which key features in Sancho have proven to be most effective.

  5. Performance of a 6-Degree-of-Freedom Active Microsurgical Manipulator in Handheld Tasks

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Sungwook; Wells, Trent S.; MacLachlan, Robert A.; Riviere, Cameron N.

    2013-01-01

    This paper presents the first experimental results from human users of a new 6-degree-of-freedom handheld micromanipulator. This is the latest prototype of a fully-handheld system, known as “Micron,” which performs active compensation of hand tremor for microsurgery. The manipulator is a miniature Gough-Stewart platform incorporating linear ultrasonic motors that provide a cylindrical workspace 4 mm long and 4 mm wide. In addition, the platform allows the possibility of imposing a remote center of motion for controlling motion not only at the tip but also at the entry point in the sclera of the eye. We demonstrate hand tremor reduction in both static and dynamic micromanipulation tasks on a rubber pad. The handheld performance is also evaluated in an artificial eye model while imposing a remote center of motion. In all cases, hand tremor is significantly reduced. PMID:24111024

  6. EVA Task Timing and Timeline Planning

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Looper, Christopher A.; Ney, Zane A.

    2007-01-01

    EVA timeline development occurs using task execution data generated through underwater training and simulation. This project collected task time data during final training events for several Space Shuttle and International Space Station missions and compared like task time data collected during on-orbit execution. Analysis was performed to compare types of activities and times required for each looking specifically for how activities can be accurately trained from a timeline planning perspective. The data revealed two significant aspects of flight timeline planning; Zero-g task times will match training times for activities that can be accurately simulated with appropriate fidelity hardware; and not all activities can be simulated sufficiently to produce training task times that will reflect required zero-g times. An approach for timeline planning utilizing this knowledge is also presented.

  7. Task Models in the Digital Ocean

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    DiCerbo, Kristen E.

    2014-01-01

    The Task Model is a description of each task in a workflow. It defines attributes associated with that task. The creation of task models becomes increasingly important as the assessment tasks become more complex. Explicitly delineating the impact of task variables on the ability to collect evidence and make inferences demands thoughtfulness from…

  8. 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…

  9. Welding Series. Duty Task List.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Oklahoma State Dept. of Vocational and Technical Education, Stillwater. Curriculum and Instructional Materials Center.

    This document contains the occupational duty/task lists for six occupations in the welding series. Each occupation is divided into a number of duties. A separate page for each duty in the occupation lists the tasks in that duty along with its code number and columns to indicate whether that particular duty has been taught and to provide space for…

  10. Task Structure Design: Beyond Linkage.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baker, Eva L.; Herman, Joan L.

    1983-01-01

    This analysis of the role of testing in educational programs and services maintains that the connection between tests and instruction is best made integrally through an understanding of the design of learning tasks rather than through linkage. The context for, use of, and limitations of task structures are described. (Author/CM)

  11. 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.

  12. Cosmetology Series. Duty Task List.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Oklahoma State Dept. of Vocational and Technical Education, Stillwater. Curriculum and Instructional Materials Center.

    This document contains the occupational duty/task lists for three occupations in the cosmetology series. Each occupation is divided into a number of duties. A separate page for each duty in the occupation lists the tasks in that duty along with its code number and columns to indicate whether that particular duty has been taught and to provide…

  13. Teachers' Aides: Tasks and Concerns

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Balderson, James H.; Nixon, Mary

    1976-01-01

    Addresses three questions: (1) What tasks do aides perform? (2) Does training make a difference in the type of tasks aides perform? (3) What are the concerns of aides? (Available from the Department of Educational Administration, The University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T6G 2G5; $0.50, single copy.) (Author/IRT)

  14. Task Switching: A PDP Model

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gilbert, Sam J.; Shallice, Tim

    2002-01-01

    When subjects switch between a pair of stimulus-response tasks, reaction time is slower on trial N if a different task was performed on trial N--1. We present a parallel distributed processing (PDP) model that simulates this effect when subjects switch between word reading and color naming in response to Stroop stimuli. Reaction time on "switch…

  15. Creativity, Overinclusion, and Everyday Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ottemiller, Dylan D.; Elliott, Colette Seter; Giovannetti, Tania

    2014-01-01

    This study examined relations between creative thinking and performance on routine, everyday tasks. Results were considered in light of past research on the putative relation between creativity and schizophrenia/psychotic thinking. Thirty healthy undergraduates completed the Alternative Uses Task, a measure of divergent thinking, and the 2 × 3…

  16. Drafting Series. Duty Task List.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Oklahoma State Dept. of Vocational and Technical Education, Stillwater. Curriculum and Instructional Materials Center.

    This task list is intended for use in planning and/or evaluating a competency-based course in drafting. The tasks required to perform the duties of seven types of drafters (i.e., general, architectural, electronic, civil, structural, mechanical, and process pipe drafters) and technical illustrators are outlined. The following are among the duties…

  17. Receptionist: Task List Competency Record.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Minnesota Instructional Materials Center, White Bear Lake.

    One of a series of 12 in the secretarial/clerical area, this booklet for the vocational instructor contains a job description for the receptionist, a task list of areas of competency, an occupational tasks competency record (suggested as replacement for the traditional report card), a list of industry representatives and educators involved in…

  18. TASK: Anarchy in the Artroom

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schubert, Cynthia; Van Patten, Kelda

    2012-01-01

    Most teenagers do not really like to be told what to do. For that matter, most adults don't either. This article discusses contemporary artist Oliver Herring's TASK, which is an opportunity for participants to bend or define the rules on their own terms. It is about choice, and, for many, it is a dream come true. TASK is controlled chaos that can…

  19. Electricity Series. Duty Task List.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Oklahoma State Dept. of Vocational and Technical Education, Stillwater. Curriculum and Instructional Materials Center.

    This task list is intended for use in planning and/or evaluating a competency-based course in electricity. The guide outlines the tasks entailed in 10 different duties typically required of employees in the following occupations: residential electrician apprentice, material handler/supply clerk, maintenance electrician apprentice,…

  20. Watching TV news as a memory task -- brain activation and age effects

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Neuroimaging studies which investigate brain activity underlying declarative memory processes typically use artificial, unimodal laboratory stimuli. In contrast, we developed a paradigm which much more closely approximates real-life situations of information encoding. Methods In this study, we tested whether ecologically valid stimuli - clips of a TV news show - are apt to assess memory-related fMRI activation in healthy participants across a wide age range (22-70 years). We contrasted brain responses during natural stimulation (TV news video clips) with a control condition (scrambled versions of the same clips with reversed audio tracks). After scanning, free recall performance was assessed. Results The memory task evoked robust activation of a left-lateralized network, including primarily lateral temporal cortex, frontal cortex, as well as the left hippocampus. Further analyses revealed that - when controlling for performance effects - older age was associated with greater activation of left temporal and right frontal cortex. Conclusion We demonstrate the feasibility of assessing brain activity underlying declarative memory using a natural stimulation paradigm with high ecological validity. The preliminary result of greater brain activation with increasing age might reflect an attempt to compensate for decreasing episodic memory capacity associated with aging. PMID:20738888

  1. Cardiovascular activity during laboratory tasks in women with high and low worry.

    PubMed

    Knepp, Michael M; Friedman, Bruce H

    2008-12-01

    Worry has been related to delayed stress recovery and cardiovascular disease risk. Cardiovascular responses to a range of laboratory tasks were examined in this study of high and low worriers. Undergraduate women were recruited with the Penn State Worry Questionnaire to form low (n=19) and high (n=22) worry groups. These individuals engaged in six laboratory tasks (orthostatic stress, supine rest, hand cold pressor, mental arithmetic, and worry and relaxation imagery) while heart rate (HR), HR spectral analysis, impedance cardiography, and blood pressure were acquired. The only significant group difference found was a consistently greater HR across tasks in high worriers (p<.05). No group by condition interactions emerged. High trait worry in healthy young women appears to be marked by elevated HR in the absence of autonomic abnormalities. These findings are discussed relative to the literature on worry, with particular reference to its health implications. PMID:18706472

  2. Task attention facilitates learning of task-irrelevant stimuli.

    PubMed

    Huang, Tsung-Ren; Watanabe, Takeo

    2012-01-01

    Attention plays a fundamental role in visual learning and memory. One highly established principle of visual attention is that the harder a central task is, the more attentional resources are used to perform the task and the smaller amount of attention is allocated to peripheral processing because of limited attention capacity. Here we show that this principle holds true in a dual-task setting but not in a paradigm of task-irrelevant perceptual learning. In Experiment 1, eight participants were asked to identify either bright or dim number targets at the screen center and to remember concurrently presented scene backgrounds. Their recognition performances for scenes paired with dim/hard targets were worse than those for scenes paired with bright/easy targets. In Experiment 2, eight participants were asked to identify either bright or dim letter targets at the screen center while a task-irrelevant coherent motion was concurrently presented in the background. After five days of training on letter identification, participants improved their motion sensitivity to the direction paired with hard/dim targets improved but not to the direction paired with easy/bright targets. Taken together, these results suggest that task-irrelevant stimuli are not subject to the attentional control mechanisms that task-relevant stimuli abide. PMID:22563424

  3. Task Attention Facilitates Learning of Task-Irrelevant Stimuli

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Tsung-Ren; Watanabe, Takeo

    2012-01-01

    Attention plays a fundamental role in visual learning and memory. One highly established principle of visual attention is that the harder a central task is, the more attentional resources are used to perform the task and the smaller amount of attention is allocated to peripheral processing because of limited attention capacity. Here we show that this principle holds true in a dual-task setting but not in a paradigm of task-irrelevant perceptual learning. In Experiment 1, eight participants were asked to identify either bright or dim number targets at the screen center and to remember concurrently presented scene backgrounds. Their recognition performances for scenes paired with dim/hard targets were worse than those for scenes paired with bright/easy targets. In Experiment 2, eight participants were asked to identify either bright or dim letter targets at the screen center while a task-irrelevant coherent motion was concurrently presented in the background. After five days of training on letter identification, participants improved their motion sensitivity to the direction paired with hard/dim targets improved but not to the direction paired with easy/bright targets. Taken together, these results suggest that task-irrelevant stimuli are not subject to the attentional control mechanisms that task-relevant stimuli abide. PMID:22563424

  4. Dissociating activity in the lateral intraparietal area from value using a visual foraging task

    PubMed Central

    Mirpour, Koorosh; Bisley, James W.

    2012-01-01

    We make decisions about where to look approximately three times per second in normal viewing. It has been suggested that eye movements may be guided by activity in the lateral intraparietal area (LIP), which is thought to represent the relative value of objects in space. However, it is not clear how values for saccade goal selection are prioritized while free-viewing in a cluttered visual environment. To address this question, we compared the neural responses of LIP neurons in two subjects with their saccadic behavior and three estimates of stimulus value. These measures were extracted from the subjects’ performance in a visual foraging task, in which we parametrically controlled the number of objects on the screen. We found that the firing rates of LIP neurons did not correlate well with the animals’ behavior or any of our estimated measures of value. However, if the LIP activity was further normalized, it became highly correlated with the animals’ decisions. These data suggest that LIP activity does not represent value in complex environments, but that the value can easily be extracted with one further step of processing. We propose that activity in LIP represents attentional priority and that the downstream normalization of this activity is an essential process in guiding action. PMID:22670055

  5. Metabolic equivalents of task are confounded by adiposity, which disturbs objective measurement of physical activity

    PubMed Central

    Tompuri, Tuomo T.

    2015-01-01

    Physical activity refers any bodily movements produced by skeletal muscles that expends energy. Hence the amount and the intensity of physical activity can be assessed by energy expenditure. Metabolic equivalents of task (MET) are multiplies of the resting metabolism reflecting metabolic rate during exercise. The standard MET is defined as 3.5 ml/min/kg. However, the expression of energy expenditure by body weight to normalize the size differences between subjects causes analytical hazards: scaling by body weight does not have a physiological, mathematical, or physical rationale. This review demonstrates by examples that false methodology may cause paradoxical observations if physical activity would be assessed by body weight scaled values such as standard METs. While standard METs are confounded by adiposity, lean mass proportional measures of energy expenditure would enable a more truthful choice to assess physical activity. While physical activity as a behavior and cardiorespiratory fitness or adiposity as a state represents major determinants of public health, specific measurements of health determinants must be understood to enable a truthful evaluation of the interactions and their independent role as a health predictor. PMID:26321958

  6. Evaluation of the sensitivity and intrusion of workload estimation techniques in piloting tasks emphasizing mediational activity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rahimi, M.; Wierwille, W. W.

    1982-01-01

    In this experiment, pilots flew an instrumented moving-base simulator. Mediational loading was elicited by having them solve a variety of navigational problems. The problems were sorted into low, medium, and high load conditions based on the number and complexity of arithmetic and geometric operations required to solve them. Workload estimation techniques based on opinion, spare mental capacity, primary task performance, and physiological measures were obtained and compared. This paper describes: (1) the ability of the techniques to discriminate statistically between the three levels of loading conditions, and (2) changes in primary task performance caused by introduction of the workload technique procedures and equipment.

  7. Differences in time course activation of dorsolateral prefrontal cortex associated with low or high risk choices in a gambling task

    PubMed Central

    Bembich, Stefano; Clarici, Andrea; Vecchiet, Cristina; Baldassi, Giulio; Cont, Gabriele; Demarini, Sergio

    2014-01-01

    Prefrontal cortex plays an important role in decision making (DM), supporting choices in the ordinary uncertainty of everyday life. To assess DM in an unpredictable situation, a playing card task, such as the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT), has been proposed. This task is supposed to specifically test emotion-based learning, linked to the integrity of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (VMPFC). However, the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) has demonstrated a role in IGT performance too. Our aim was to study, by multichannel near-infrared spectroscopy, the contribution of DLPFC to the IGT execution over time. We tested the hypothesis that low and high risk choices would differentially activate DLPFC, as IGT execution progressed. We enrolled 11 healthy adults. To identify DLPFC activation associated with IGT choices, we compared regional differences in oxy-hemoglobin variation, from baseline to the event. The time course of task execution was divided in four periods, each one consisting of 25 choices, and DLPFC activation was distinctly analyzed for low and high risk choices in each period. We found different time courses in DLPFC activation, associated with low or high risk choices. During the first period, a significant DLPFC activation emerged with low risk choices, whereas, during the second period, we found a cortical activation with high risk choices. Then, DLPFC activation decreased to non-significant levels during the third and fourth period. This study shows that DLPFC involvement in IGT execution is differentiated over time and according to choice risk level. DLPFC is activated only in the first half of the task, earlier by low risk and later by high risk choices. We speculate that DLPFC may sustain initial and more cognitive functions, such as attention shifting and response inhibition. The lack of DLPFC activation, as the task progresses, may be due to VMPFC activation, not detectable by fNIRS, which takes over the IGT execution in its second half. PMID

  8. Lateralization of cervical spinal cord activity during an isometric upper extremity motor task with functional magnetic resonance imaging.

    PubMed

    Weber, Kenneth A; Chen, Yufen; Wang, Xue; Kahnt, Thorsten; Parrish, Todd B

    2016-01-15

    The purpose of this study was to use an isometric upper extremity motor task to detect activity induced blood oxygen level dependent signal changes in the cervical spinal cord with functional magnetic resonance imaging. Eleven healthy volunteers performed six 5minute runs of an alternating left- and right-sided isometric wrist flexion task, during which images of the cervical spinal cord were acquired with a reduced field-of-view T2*-weighted gradient-echo echo-planar-imaging sequence. Spatial normalization to a standard spinal cord template was performed, and group average activation maps were generated in a mixed-effects analysis. The task activity significantly exceeded that of the control analyses. The activity was lateralized to the hemicord ipsilateral to the task and reliable across the runs at the group and subject level. Finally, a multi-voxel pattern analysis was able to successfully decode the left and right tasks at the C6 and C7 vertebral levels. PMID:26488256

  9. Subjective Task Value in Physical Activity Participation: The Perspective of Hong Kong Schoolchildren

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pang, Bonnie; Ha, Amy Sau Ching

    2010-01-01

    Subjective Task Value (STV) is a multidimensional construct of values predominantly used to examine western culture (Eccles et al., 1983); it is influential in motivating individuals to make choices and display long-lasting behaviours. While existing studies were conducted with western populations, the manifestation of value has yet to be…

  10. The Development of Creativity in Preschoolers' Drawings through Task-Oriented Activities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dulama, Maria Eliza; Iovu, Mihai-Bogdan; Vanea, Cornelia

    2011-01-01

    The goal of this paper is to plan working task for preschool children in order to deliver original and creative outputs. The theoretical background of the paper is set in defining creativity as "the capacity to create something new, original, and adequate to reality" (Roco, 2004; Jaoui, 1975; Rosca, 1981; Boden, 1992). The research…

  11. ECoG Gamma Activity during a Language Task: Differentiating Expressive and Receptive Speech Areas

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Towle, Vernon L.; Yoon, Hyun-Ah; Castelle, Michael; Edgar, J. Christopher; Biassou, Nadia M.; Frim, David M.; Spire, Jean-Paul; Kohrman, Michael H.

    2008-01-01

    Electrocorticographic (ECoG) spectral patterns obtained during language tasks from 12 epilepsy patients (age: 12-44 years) were analyzed in order to identify and characterize cortical language areas. ECoG from 63 subdural electrodes (500 Hz/channel) chronically implanted over frontal, parietal and temporal lobes were examined. Two language tasks…

  12. Dissociating Linguistic and Task-Related Activity in the Left Inferior Frontal Gyrus

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wright, Paul; Randall, Billi; Marslen-Wilson, William D.; Tyler, Lorraine K.

    2011-01-01

    The left inferior frontal gyrus (LIFG) has long been claimed to play a key role in language function. However, there is considerable controversy as to whether regions within LIFG have specific linguistic or domain-general functions. Using fMRI, we contrasted linguistic and task-related effects by presenting simple and morphologically complex words…

  13. Decreased Functional Brain Activation in Friedreich Ataxia Using the Simon Effect Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Georgiou-Karistianis, N.; Akhlaghi, H.; Corben, L. A.; Delatycki, M. B.; Storey, E.; Bradshaw, J. L.; Egan, G. F.

    2012-01-01

    The present study applied the Simon effect task to examine the pattern of functional brain reorganization in individuals with Friedreich ataxia (FRDA), using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Thirteen individuals with FRDA and 14 age and sex matched controls participated, and were required to respond to either congruent or incongruent…

  14. Materials on Technical Resources and Program Evaluation. Teacher Corps Task Forces Document II. Developmental Training Activities.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nebraska Univ., Omaha. Center for Urban Education.

    This report by a National Task Force of the Teacher Corps provides charts, tables, and analysis of two distinct facets of previous analysis of the work of the Teacher Corps. The first is a detailed consideration of the availability and use of technical resources. Included are considerations of the purposes for providing technical resources;…

  15. Thinking with Your Hands: Speech-Gesture Activity during an L2 Awareness-Raising Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    van Compernolle, Remi A.; Williams, Lawrence

    2011-01-01

    This article reports on a study of second language (L2) French learners' self-generated use of gesture to think through and resolve a metalinguistic awareness-raising task during small-group work with an expert mediator. Although the use of gesture in L2 communication and pedagogy has recently received increasing attention, little research has…

  16. Beta and gamma oscillatory activities associated with olfactory memory tasks: different rhythms for different functional networks?

    PubMed Central

    Martin, Claire; Ravel, Nadine

    2014-01-01

    Olfactory processing in behaving animals, even at early stages, is inextricable from top down influences associated with odor perception. The anatomy of the olfactory network (olfactory bulb, piriform, and entorhinal cortices) and its unique direct access to the limbic system makes it particularly attractive to study how sensory processing could be modulated by learning and memory. Moreover, olfactory structures have been early reported to exhibit oscillatory population activities easy to capture through local field potential recordings. An attractive hypothesis is that neuronal oscillations would serve to “bind” distant structures to reach a unified and coherent perception. In relation to this hypothesis, we will assess the functional relevance of different types of oscillatory activity observed in the olfactory system of behaving animals. This review will focus primarily on two types of oscillatory activities: beta (15–40 Hz) and gamma (60–100 Hz). While gamma oscillations are dominant in the olfactory system in the absence of odorant, both beta and gamma rhythms have been reported to be modulated depending on the nature of the olfactory task. Studies from the authors of the present review and other groups brought evidence for a link between these oscillations and behavioral changes induced by olfactory learning. However, differences in studies led to divergent interpretations concerning the respective role of these oscillations in olfactory processing. Based on a critical reexamination of those data, we propose hypotheses on the functional involvement of beta and gamma oscillations for odor perception and memory. PMID:25002840

  17. Performance Enhancements Under Dual-task Conditions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kramer, A. F.; Wickens, C. D.; Donchin, E.

    1984-01-01

    Research on dual-task performance has been concerned with delineating the antecedent conditions which lead to dual-task decrements. Capacity models of attention, which propose that a hypothetical resource structure underlies performance, have been employed as predictive devices. These models predict that tasks which require different processing resources can be more successfully time shared than tasks which require common resources. The conditions under which such dual-task integrality can be fostered were assessed in a study in which three factors likely to influence the integrality between tasks were manipulated: inter-task redundancy, the physical proximity of tasks and the task relevant objects. Twelve subjects participated in three experimental sessions in which they performed both single and dual-tasks. The primary task was a pursuit step tracking task. The secondary tasks required the discrimination between different intensities or different spatial positions of a stimulus. The results are discussed in terms of a model of dual-task integrality.

  18. Altered patterns of cortical activation in ALS patients during attention and cognitive response inhibition tasks.

    PubMed

    Goldstein, L H; Newsom-Davis, I C; Bryant, V; Brammer, M; Leigh, P N; Simmons, A

    2011-12-01

    Since amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) can be accompanied by executive dysfunction, it is hypothesised that ALS patients will have impaired performance on tests of cognitive inhibition. We predicted that ALS patients would show patterns of abnormal activation in extramotor regions when performing tests requiring the inhibition of prepotent responses (the Stroop effect) and the inhibition of prior negatively primed responses (the negative priming effect) when compared to healthy controls. Functional magnetic resonance imaging was used to measure activation during a sparse sequence block design paradigm investigating the Stroop and negative priming effects in 14 ALS patients and 8 healthy age- and IQ-matched controls. Behavioural measures of performance were collected. Both groups' reaction times (RTs) reflected the Stroop effect during scanning. The ALS and control groups did not differ significantly for any of the behavioural measures but did show significant differences in cerebral activation during both tasks. The ALS group showed increased activation predominantly in the left middle temporal gyrus (BA 20/21), left superior temporal gyrus (BA 22) and left anterior cingulate gyrus (BA 32). Neither group's RT data showed clear evidence of a negative priming effect. However the ALS group showed decreased activation, relative to controls, particularly in the left cingulate gyrus (BA 23/24), left precentral gyrus (BA 4/6) and left medial frontal gyrus (BA 6). Greater cerebral activation in the ALS group accompanying the performance of the Stroop effect and areas of decreased activation during the negative priming comparison suggest altered inhibitory processing in ALS, consistent with other evidence of executive dysfunction in ALS. The current findings require further exploration in a larger study. PMID:21556876

  19. Multiple paths in complex tasks

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Galanter, Eugene; Wiegand, Thomas; Mark, Gloria

    1987-01-01

    The relationship between utility judgments of subtask paths and the utility of the task as a whole was examined. The convergent validation procedure is based on the assumption that measurements of the same quantity done with different methods should covary. The utility measures of the subtasks were obtained during the performance of an aircraft flight controller navigation task. Analyses helped decide among various models of subtask utility combination, whether the utility ratings of subtask paths predict the whole tasks utility rating, and indirectly, whether judgmental models need to include the equivalent of cognitive noise.

  20. On task and theory specificity.

    PubMed

    Newell, K M

    1989-03-01

    One of the significant limitations of the motor control and skill acquisition domain is that the theories, models, and hypotheses are, in most cases, task specific. Many lines of theorizing fail to hold up under even small changes in task constraints, although clearly the field does have some robust phenomena. It is proposed that a broader consideration of the role of task constraints, which is grounded in the methodology of nonlinear dynamics, may help to formulate a more general action theory of coordination and control. PMID:15117675

  1. Relative contributions of task-relevant and task-irrelevant dimensions in priming of pop-out.

    PubMed

    Michal, Audrey L; Lleras, Alejandro; Beck, Diane M

    2014-01-01

    Intertrial effects such as priming of pop-out (PoP) often occur for task-irrelevant dimensions as well as task-relevant dimensions, though to a weaker extent. Here we test the hypothesis that increased priming for task-relevant dimensions is due to greater passive build-up of priming for the task-relevant dimension rather than to an active filtering of task-irrelevant dimensions; if this is the case, then we should observe a positive correlation between the magnitude of task-relevant and task-irrelevant priming. We tested this hypothesis using a pop-out search task in which the task-relevant dimension was orientation and the task-irrelevant dimension was color. We found a strong, positive association between task-relevant and task-irrelevant priming across a large group of participants (N = 100); additionally, we observed increased priming over consecutive repetitions for the task-relevant dimension, whereas task-irrelevant priming was constant across multiple repetitions. As further evidence against an active filtering account, task-irrelevant priming showed no systematic relationship with visual short-term memory capacity, which has been shown to correlate with filtering ability. Together, our results suggest that task-irrelevant dimensions are co-selected rather than filtered out during target search. Further, increased task-relevant priming may reflect an enhanced representation of the task-relevant dimension that is reinforced over consecutive repetitions. PMID:25311302

  2. Impaired hippocampal activity at the goal zone on the place preference task in a DISC1 mouse model.

    PubMed

    Hayashi, Yuichiro; Sawa, Akira; Hikida, Takatoshi

    2016-05-01

    Learning deficit is a clinical feature of many mental disorders and is hypothesized to result from an inability to integrate information in neural systems. We showed that transgenic mice expressing a dominant-negative form of DISC1, a risk gene for neuropsychiatric disorders, exhibited impaired performance in a reward-place association task when combined with a mild isolation stress. CA1 cells in the mutant mice showed normal place cell properties, but their activity at the goal zone was diminished. This abnormality in hippocampal activity at the goal zone during the task may underlie the learning deficit observed in the DISC1 mutant mice. PMID:26497623

  3. Spatiotemporal activity patterns of rat cortical neurons predict responses in a conditioned task

    PubMed Central

    Villa, Alessandro E. P.; Tetko, Igor V.; Hyland, Brian; Najem, Abdellatif

    1999-01-01

    Precise and repeated spike-train timings within and across neurons define spatiotemporal patterns of activity. Although the existence of these patterns in the brain is well established in several species, there has been no direct evidence of their influence on behavioral output. To address this question, up to 15 neurons were recorded simultaneously in the auditory cortex of freely moving rats while animals waited for acoustic cues in a Go/NoGo task. A total of 235 significant patterns were detected during this interval from an analysis of 13 hr of recording involving over 1 million spikes. Of particular interest were 129 (55%) patterns that were significantly associated with the type of response the animal made later, independent of whether the response was that prompted by the cue because the response occurred later and the cue was chosen randomly. Of these behavior-predicting patterns, half (59/129) were associated with an enhanced tendency to go in response to the stimulus, and for 11 patterns of this subset, trials including the pattern were followed by significantly faster reaction time than those lacking the pattern. The remaining behavior-predicting patterns were associated with an enhanced NoGo tendency. Overall mean discharge rates did not vary across trials. Hence, these data demonstrate that particular spatiotemporal patterns predict future behavioral responses. Such presignal activity could form templates for extracting specific sensory information, motor programs prespecifying preference for a particular act, and/or some intermediate, associative brain process. PMID:9927701

  4. Activation and tremor of the shoulder muscles to the demands of an archery task.

    PubMed

    Lin, Jiu-Jenq; Hung, Cheng-Ju; Yang, Ching-Ching; Chen, Hsing-Yu; Chou, Feng-Ching; Lu, Tung-Wu

    2010-02-01

    Physiological tremor and strength during the maintenance of shoulder position occur during a precision aiming task, such as archery. It is unclear how positions for precision demands affect physiological tremor and associated muscular activities. The purpose of this study was to assess the tremor amplitude and muscular activities of the shoulder between the various positions for precision demands. Ten males (age 21.9 +/- 2.0 years) participated in the study. Electromyography (EMG) was quantified on eight humeral/scapular muscles. The tremor was measured by the acceleration component of a motion tracking sensor in the 3-7 Hz and 8-12 Hz frequency bands. Participants simulated six preparatory archery shooting positions (3 arm angles x 2 arm draw positions) and performed isometric contractions. The relative root mean square (RMS) amplitudes of the shoulder muscles were significantly greater for the full drawing position compared with the partial position (humeral muscles: P = 0.011; scapular muscles: P = 0.026). In the full drawing position, increased humeral/scapular muscle EMG amplitude was moderately associated with an increased power spectrum of 8-12/3-7 Hz tremor in humerus/scapula motion (R = 0.43-0.57). To minimize fluctuations in high strength muscle performance, 90 degrees of elevation in the full drawing position may be a suitable position for demands in archery. In addition, scapular muscle amplitude is important for stability to reduce humerus tremor during archery performance. PMID:20432134

  5. Resolving Task Rule Incongruence during Task Switching by Competitor Rule Suppression

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Meiran, Nachshon; Hsieh, Shulan; Dimov, Eduard

    2010-01-01

    Task switching requires maintaining readiness to execute any task of a given set of tasks. However, when tasks switch, the readiness to execute the now-irrelevant task generates interference, as seen in the task rule incongruence effect. Overcoming such interference requires fine-tuned inhibition that impairs task readiness only minimally. In an…

  6. Promoting Physical Activity in Hong Kong Chinese Young People: Factors Influencing Their Subjective Task Values and Expectancy Beliefs in Physical Activity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pang, Bonnie

    2014-01-01

    According to Eccles et al.'s (1983) Expectancy Value Model, the two major constructs that influence young people's activity choice are subjective task value and expectancy beliefs (Eccles et al., 1983). Eccles et al. (1983) conceptually distinguished four dimensions of subjective task value: attainment value, intrinsic value, utility…

  7. Children's performance on a false-belief task is impaired by activation of an evolutionarily-canalized response system.

    PubMed

    Keenan, Thomas; Ellis, Bruce J

    2003-07-01

    We examine whether children's performance on a false-belief task is impaired by task content that activates an early-developing, prepotent motivational system: predator-avoidance. In two studies (N = 46 and N = 37), children aged 3-4 years completed variants of a false-belief task that involved predator-avoidance, playmate-avoidance, prey-seeking, and playmate-seeking, respectively. The proportion of correct answers on the playmate-avoidance task (Study 1: 52%; Study 2: 51%) was significantly greater than the proportion of correct answers on the analogous predator-avoidance task (Study 1: 28%; Study 2: 22%). This difference was not an artifact of children generally performing better on playmate stories than on predator-prey stories. The findings are consistent with the hypothesis that activation of the predator-avoidance system generates prepotent response patterns that pre-empt full consideration of the mental states of the prey characters in false-belief stories. PMID:12810037

  8. Task Board Tests Manipulator Performance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hill, J. W.

    1983-01-01

    Task board constructed to facilitate time-and-motion studies for remote manipulators. Apparatus equipped with holes, objects of various shapes to be grasped and sensors with switches to indicate contact. Useful in industrial robots programmed to assemble parts.

  9. Making everyday tasks easier - arthritis

    MedlinePlus

    ... cell phone, wallet, and keys. Get automatic light switches installed. If going up and down stairs is ... taking out the garbage, gardening, and other household tasks. Ask someone to shop for you or have ...

  10. The acquisition of passive avoidance, active avoidance, and spatial navigation tasks by animals prenatally exposed to cocaine.

    PubMed

    Riley, E P; Foss, J A

    1991-01-01

    Pregnant Long-Evans rats were administered cocaine orally (60 mg/kg) on gestational days 14-21. One control group was administered the vehicle and another left untreated. Cocaine treatment produced some maternal lethality, and the weight gain of the surviving dams was reduced approximately 15%. Offspring of mothers treated with cocaine did not differ from those of untreated mothers in their numbers, birth weight, or growth. Weanling offspring were tested in a passive avoidance task, and adult offspring were tested for two-way active avoidance and in a spatial navigation task. Although a few animals in the cocaine group showed poor retention of passive avoidance, the group differences were not statistically significant. The adult animals showed normal performance in both the active avoidance and spatial navigation tasks. PMID:1758412

  11. Task-specific stability in muscle activation space during unintentional movements.

    PubMed

    Falaki, Ali; Towhidkhah, Farzad; Zhou, Tao; Latash, Mark L

    2014-11-01

    We used robot-generated perturbations applied during position-holding tasks to explore stability of induced unintentional movements in a multidimensional space of muscle activations. Healthy subjects held the handle of a robot against a constant bias force and were instructed not to interfere with hand movements produced by changes in the external force. Transient force changes were applied leading to handle displacement away from the initial position and then back toward the initial position. Intertrial variance in the space of muscle modes (eigenvectors in the muscle activations space) was quantified within two subspaces, corresponding to unchanged handle coordinate and to changes in the handle coordinate. Most variance was confined to the former subspace in each of the three phases of movement, the initial steady state, the intermediate position, and the final steady state. The same result was found when the changes in muscle activation were analyzed between the initial and final steady states. Changes in the dwell time between the perturbation force application and removal led to different final hand locations undershooting the initial position. The magnitude of the undershot scaled with the dwell time, while the structure of variance in the muscle activation space did not depend on the dwell time. We conclude that stability of the hand coordinate is ensured during both intentional and unintentional actions via similar mechanisms. Relative equifinality in the external space after transient perturbations may be associated with varying states in the redundant space of muscle activations. The results fit a hierarchical scheme for the control of voluntary movements with referent configurations and redundant mapping between the levels of the hierarchy. PMID:25092272

  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 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

  13. Utilizing Electroencephalography Measurements for Comparison of Task-Specific Neural Efficiencies: Spatial Intelligence Tasks.

    PubMed

    Call, Benjamin J; Goodridge, Wade; Villanueva, Idalis; Wan, Nicholas; Jordan, Kerry

    2016-01-01

    Spatial intelligence is often linked to success in engineering education and engineering professions. The use of electroencephalography enables comparative calculation of individuals' neural efficiency as they perform successive tasks requiring spatial ability to derive solutions. Neural efficiency here is defined as having less beta activation, and therefore expending fewer neural resources, to perform a task in comparison to other groups or other tasks. For inter-task comparisons of tasks with similar durations, these measurements may enable a comparison of task type difficulty. For intra-participant and inter-participant comparisons, these measurements provide potential insight into the participant's level of spatial ability and different engineering problem solving tasks. Performance on the selected tasks can be analyzed and correlated with beta activities. This work presents a detailed research protocol studying the neural efficiency of students engaged in the solving of typical spatial ability and Statics problems. Students completed problems specific to the Mental Cutting Test (MCT), Purdue Spatial Visualization test of Rotations (PSVT:R), and Statics. While engaged in solving these problems, participants' brain waves were measured with EEG allowing data to be collected regarding alpha and beta brain wave activation and use. The work looks to correlate functional performance on pure spatial tasks with spatially intensive engineering tasks to identify the pathways to successful performance in engineering and the resulting improvements in engineering education that may follow. PMID:27584838

  14. Error-related brain activation during a Go/NoGo response inhibition task.

    PubMed

    Menon, V; Adleman, N E; White, C D; Glover, G H; Reiss, A L

    2001-03-01

    Inhibitory control and performance monitoring are critical executive functions of the human brain. Lesion and imaging studies have shown that the inferior frontal cortex plays an important role in inhibition of inappropriate response. In contrast, specific brain areas involved in error processing and their relation to those implicated in inhibitory control processes are unknown. In this study, we used a random effects model to investigate error-related brain activity associated with failure to inhibit response during a Go/NoGo task. Error-related brain activation was observed in the rostral aspect of the right anterior cingulate (BA 24/32) and adjoining medial prefrontal cortex, the left and right insular cortex and adjoining frontal operculum (BA 47) and left precuneus/posterior cingulate (BA 7/31/29). Brain activation related to response inhibition and competition was observed bilaterally in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (BA 9/46), pars triangularis region of the inferior frontal cortex (BA 45/47), premotor cortex (BA 6), inferior parietal lobule (BA 39), lingual gyrus and the caudate, as well as in the right dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (BA 24). These findings provide evidence for a distributed error processing system in the human brain that overlaps partially, but not completely, with brain regions involved in response inhibition and competition. In particular, the rostal anterior cingulate and posterior cingulate/precuneus as well as the left and right anterior insular cortex were activated only during error processing, but not during response competition, inhibition, selection, or execution. Our results also suggest that the brain regions involved in the error processing system overlap with brain areas implicated in the formulation and execution of articulatory plans. PMID:11170305

  15. Activation of the dentate nucleus in a verb generation task: A 7T MRI study.

    PubMed

    Thürling, M; Küper, M; Stefanescu, R; Maderwald, S; Gizewski, E R; Ladd, M E; Timmann, D

    2011-08-01

    There is increasing evidence of a topographic organization within the human cerebellar cortex for motor and non-motor functions. Likewise, a subdivision of the dentate nucleus in a more dorsal and rostral motor domain and a more ventral and caudal non-motor domain has been proposed by Dum and Strick (2003) based on anatomical studies in monkey. In humans, however, very little is known about topographic organization within the dentate nucleus. Activation of the dentate nucleus in a verb generation task was examined in young and healthy subjects using ultra-highfield 7T functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) with its increase in signal-to-noise ratio. Data of 17 subjects were included in statistical analysis. Subjects were asked to (i) read words (nouns) aloud presented on a screen, (ii) silently read the same nouns, (iii) silently generate the appropriate verbs to the same nouns and (iv) to silently repeat the names of the months. A block design was used. For image processing, a recently developed region of interest (ROI) driven normalization method of the dentate nuclei was applied. Activation related to motor speech (contrast aloud reading minus silent reading) was strongest in the rostral parts of the dentate nucleus. Dorsorostral activations were present bilaterally. Activation related to verb generation (contrast verb generation minus silent reading) was found in the ventrocaudal parts of the dentate nucleus on the right. The present findings are in good accordance with the anatomical data in monkeys and suggest that the human dentate nucleus can be subdivided into a rostral and more dorsal motor domain and a ventrocaudal non-motor domain. PMID:21640191

  16. An electromyographic study of strength and upper extremity muscle activity in simulated meat cutting tasks.

    PubMed

    Grant, K A; Habes, D J

    1997-04-01

    Meat cutting has long been associated with a high incidence rate of upper extremity musculoskeletal disorders. This study examined upper extremity muscle activities and force exertion capabilities to identify postures which have potential for causing overexertion injuries. Fifteen subjects exerted force against a handle in postures similar to those observed in the meatpacking industry. Exertion level, direction of exertion, handle height, reach distance and grip type were varied. Activity in the posterior deltoid, biceps brachii, triceps brachii, extensor digitorum and flexor digitorum superficialis was monitored via surface electromyography (EMG). The ratio of normalized EMG activity to force produced during the exertion was computed for each muscle under each condition. The results showed that handle position had a significant effect on force exertion capability and the EMG/force ratio in all muscles. Force exertion capability was maximized, and the EMG/force ratio was generally minimized when participants pulled downward on a handle positioned at full arm's reach above the shoulder. For vertical cuts, force decreased and muscle activity generally increased as the handle height was lowered. For horizontal cuts, the full reach distance tended to allow greater force exertion with lower EMG/force ratios. The stab grip also tended to be associated with higher forces and lower EMG/force ratios than the slice grip. This study supports the premise that musculoskeletal stresses in meatpacking tasks can be altered through tool and workstation redesign. The data provided herein may be useful in selecting design modifications that reduce biomechanical stress on the upper extremities. PMID:9414348

  17. Brain Activity toward Gaming-Related Cues in Internet Gaming Disorder during an Addiction Stroop Task

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Yifen; Lin, Xiao; Zhou, Hongli; Xu, Jiaojing; Du, Xiaoxia; Dong, Guangheng

    2016-01-01

    Background and Aims: Attentional bias for drug-related stimuli is a key characteristic for drug addiction. Characterizing the relationship between attentional bias and brain reactivity to Internet gaming-related stimuli may help in identifying the neural substrates that critical to Internet gaming disorder (IGD). Methods: 19 IGD and 21 healthy control (HC) subjects were scanned with functional magnetic resonance imaging while they were performing an addiction Stroop task. Results: Compared with HC group, IGD subjects showed higher activations when facing Internet gaming-related stimuli in regions including the inferior parietal lobule, the middle occipital gyrus and the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. These brain areas were thought to be involved in selective attention, visual processing, working memory and cognitive control. Discussion and Conclusions: The results demonstrated that compared with HC group, IGD subjects show impairment in both visual and cognitive control ability while dealing with gaming-related words. This finding might be helpful in understanding the underlying neural basis of IGD. PMID:27242623

  18. Oscillatory brain activity in vegetative and minimally conscious state during a sentence comprehension task.

    PubMed

    Schabus, Manuel; Pelikan, Christoph; Chwala-Schlegel, Nicole; Weilhart, Katharina; Roehm, Dietmar; Donis, Johann; Michitsch, Gabriele; Pichler, Gerald; Klimesch, Wolfgang

    2011-01-01

    Patients with altered states of consciousness continue to constitute a major challenge in terms of clinical assessment, treatment and daily management. Furthermore, the exploration of brain function in severely brain-damaged patients represents a unique lesional approach to the scientific study of consciousness. Electroencephalography is one means of identifying covert behaviour in the absence of motor activity in these critically ill patients. Here we focus on a language processing task which assesses whether vegetative (n=10) and minimally conscious state patients (n=4) (vs control subjects, n=14) understand semantic information on a sentence level ("The opposite of black is... white/yellow/nice"). Results indicate that only MCS but not VS patients show differential processing of unrelated ("nice") and antonym ("white") words in the form of parietal alpha (10-12Hz) event-related synchronization and desynchronization (ERS/ERD), respectively. Controls show a more typical pattern, characterized by alpha ERD in response to unrelated words and alpha ERS in response to antonyms. PMID:21693086

  19. On the Need of Objective Vigilance Monitoring: Effects of Sleep Loss on Target Detection and Task-Negative Activity Using Combined EEG/fMRI

    PubMed Central

    Czisch, Michael; Wehrle, Renate; Harsay, Helga A.; Wetter, Thomas C.; Holsboer, Florian; Sämann, Philipp G.; Drummond, Sean P. A.

    2012-01-01

    Sleep loss affects attention by reducing levels of arousal and alertness. The neural mechanisms underlying the compensatory efforts of the brain to maintain attention and performance after sleep deprivation (SD) are not fully understood. Previous neuroimaging studies of SD have not been able to separate the effects of reduced arousal from the effects of SD on cerebral responses to cognitive challenges. Here, we used a simultaneous electroencephalography (EEG) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) approach to study the effects of 36 h of total sleep deprivation (TSD). Specifically, we focused on changes in selective attention processes as induced by an active acoustic oddball task, with the ability to isolate runs with objective EEG signs of high (SDalert) or reduced (SDsleepy) vigilance. In the SDalert condition, oddball task-related activity appears to be sustained by compensatory co-activation of insular regions, but task-negative activity in the right posterior node of the default mode network is altered following TSD. In the SDsleepy condition, oddball task-positive activity was massively impaired, but task-negative activation was showing levels comparable with the control condition after a well-rested night. Our results suggest that loss of strict negative correlation between oddball task-positive and task-negative activation reflects the effects of TSD, while the actual state of vigilance during task performance can affects either task-related or task-negative activity, depending on the exact vigilance level. PMID:22557992

  20. On the Need of Objective Vigilance Monitoring: Effects of Sleep Loss on Target Detection and Task-Negative Activity Using Combined EEG/fMRI.

    PubMed

    Czisch, Michael; Wehrle, Renate; Harsay, Helga A; Wetter, Thomas C; Holsboer, Florian; Sämann, Philipp G; Drummond, Sean P A

    2012-01-01

    Sleep loss affects attention by reducing levels of arousal and alertness. The neural mechanisms underlying the compensatory efforts of the brain to maintain attention and performance after sleep deprivation (SD) are not fully understood. Previous neuroimaging studies of SD have not been able to separate the effects of reduced arousal from the effects of SD on cerebral responses to cognitive challenges. Here, we used a simultaneous electroencephalography (EEG) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) approach to study the effects of 36 h of total sleep deprivation (TSD). Specifically, we focused on changes in selective attention processes as induced by an active acoustic oddball task, with the ability to isolate runs with objective EEG signs of high (SD(alert)) or reduced (SD(sleepy)) vigilance. In the SD(alert) condition, oddball task-related activity appears to be sustained by compensatory co-activation of insular regions, but task-negative activity in the right posterior node of the default mode network is altered following TSD. In the SD(sleepy) condition, oddball task-positive activity was massively impaired, but task-negative activation was showing levels comparable with the control condition after a well-rested night. Our results suggest that loss of strict negative correlation between oddball task-positive and task-negative activation reflects the effects of TSD, while the actual state of vigilance during task performance can affects either task-related or task-negative activity, depending on the exact vigilance level. PMID:22557992

  1. Voluntary Task Switching: Chasing the Elusive Homunculus

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Arrington, Catherine M.; Logan, Gordon D.

    2005-01-01

    In the voluntary task switching procedure, subjects choose the task to perform on a series of bivalent stimuli, requiring top-down control of task switching. Experiments 1-3 contrasted voluntary task switching and explicit task cuing. Choice behavior showed small, inconsistent effects of external stimulus characteristics, supporting the assumption…

  2. Synchronous activity of two people's prefrontal cortices during a cooperative task measured by simultaneous near-infrared spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Funane, Tsukasa; Kiguchi, Masashi; Atsumori, Hirokazu; Sato, Hiroki; Kubota, Kisou; Koizumi, Hideaki

    2011-07-01

    The brain activity during cooperation as a form of social process is studied. We investigate the relationship between coinstantaneous brain-activation signals of multiple participants and their cooperative-task performance. A wearable near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) system is used for simultaneously measuring the brain activities of two participants. Each pair of participants perform a cooperative task, and their relative changes in cerebral blood are measured with the NIRS system. As for the task, the participants are told to count 10 s in their mind after an auditory cue and press a button. They are also told to adjust the timing of their button presses to make them as synchronized as possible. Certain information, namely, the ``intertime interval'' between the two button presses of each participant pair and which of the participants was the faster, is fed back to the participants by a beep sound after each trial. When the spatiotemporal covariance between the activation patterns of the prefrontal cortices of each participant is higher, the intertime interval between their button-press times was shorter. This result suggests that the synchronized activation patterns of the two participants' brains are associated with their performance when they interact in a cooperative task.

  3. Active Tasks to Change the Use of Class Time within an Outcomes Based Approach to Curriculum Design

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Salter, Diane; Pang, Marco Y. C.; Sharma, Piyush

    2009-01-01

    This paper describes how new roles for instructors and learners can be integrated into course design and delivery by rethinking course design as part of a process-based staff development program. The goal of incorporating online learning tasks was to engage students with course resources prior to class time through active learning. The staff…

  4. Comparison of brain activation patterns during executive function tasks in hoarding disorder and non-hoarding OCD.

    PubMed

    Hough, Christina M; Luks, Tracy L; Lai, Karen; Vigil, Ofilio; Guillory, Sylvia; Nongpiur, Arvind; Fekri, Shiva M; Kupferman, Eve; Mathalon, Daniel H; Mathews, Carol A

    2016-09-30

    We examined differences in regional brain activation during tests of executive function in individuals with Hoarding Disorder (HD), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), and healthy controls (HC) using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Participants completed computerized versions of the Stroop and Go/No-Go task. We found that during the conflict monitoring and response inhibition condition in the Go/No-Go task, individuals with HD had significantly greater activity than controls in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). HD also exhibited significantly greater right DLPFC activity than OCD. We also observed significant differences in activity between HD and HC and between HD and OCD in regions (ACC, anterior insula, orbitofrontal cortex, and striatum) involved in evaluating stimulus-response-reward associations, or the personal and task-relevant value of stimuli and behavioral responses to stimuli. These results support the hypothesis that individuals with HD have difficulty deciding on the value or task relevance of stimuli, and may perceive an abnormally high risk of negative feedback for difficult or erroneous cognitive behavior. PMID:27522332

  5. Brain Activity in Adults Who Stutter: Similarities across Speaking Tasks and Correlations with Stuttering Frequency and Speaking Rate

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ingham, Roger J.; Grafton, Scott T.; Bothe, Anne K.; Ingham, Janis C.

    2012-01-01

    Many differences in brain activity have been reported between persons who stutter (PWS) and typically fluent controls during oral reading tasks. An earlier meta-analysis of imaging studies identified stutter-related regions, but recent studies report less agreement with those regions. A PET study on adult dextral PWS (n = 18) and matched fluent…

  6. 3-D Art Tasks.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Niswander, Virginia

    1983-01-01

    Perceptual motor dysfunctions may not allow children with learning and behavior problems to perform as most children do. A successful art activity for these children is construction using wood scraps. (SR)

  7. Differences in cortical activity between methamphetamine-dependent and healthy individuals performing a facial affect matching task.

    PubMed

    Payer, Doris E; Lieberman, Matthew D; Monterosso, John R; Xu, Jiansong; Fong, Timothy W; London, Edythe D

    2008-01-11

    As individuals who abuse methamphetamine (MA) often exhibit socially maladaptive behaviors such as violence and aggression, it is possible that they respond abnormally to social cues. To investigate this issue, we exposed 12 MA-dependent participants (abstinent 5-16 days) and 12 healthy comparison participants to fearful and angry faces while they performed an affect matching task during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Although the groups did not differ in task performance, the healthy participants showed more task-related activity than the MA-dependent participants in a set of cortical regions consisting of the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC), temporoparietal junction (TPJ), anterior and posterior temporal cortex, and fusiform gyrus in the right hemisphere, and the cuneus in the left hemisphere. In contrast, the MA-dependent participants showed more task-related activity than the healthy participants in the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC). As expected, the task elicited activation of the amygdala in both groups; however, contrary to expectation, we found no difference between groups in this activation. Dorsal ACC hyperactivity, along with high self-ratings of hostility and interpersonal sensitivity in the MA-dependent group, suggest a hyper-sensitivity to socially threatening cues in the MA-dependent participants, while lower VLPFC activation could point to a deficit in integrating socio-emotional information and/or regulating this limbic hyperactivity. Additional activation differences in neural circuitry related to social cognition (TPJ, anterior, and posterior temporal cortex) suggest further socio-emotional deficits. Together, the results point to cortical abnormalities that could underlie the socially inappropriate behaviors often shown by individuals who abuse MA. PMID:17964741

  8. Materials processing in space program tasks

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mckannan, E. C. (Editor)

    1978-01-01

    A list of active research tasks as of the end of 1978 of the Materials Processing in Space Program of the Office of Space and Terrestrial Applications, involving several NASA Centers and other organizations is reported. An overview of the program scope for managers and scientists in industry, university and government communities is provided. The program, its history, strategy and overall goal; the organizational structures and people involved; and each research task are described. Tasks are categorized by ground based research according to four process areas. Cross references to the performing organizations and principal investigators are provided.

  9. Neural efficiency as a function of task demands.

    PubMed

    Dunst, Beate; Benedek, Mathias; Jauk, Emanuel; Bergner, Sabine; Koschutnig, Karl; Sommer, Markus; Ischebeck, Anja; Spinath, Birgit; Arendasy, Martin; Bühner, Markus; Freudenthaler, Heribert; Neubauer, Aljoscha C

    2014-01-01

    The neural efficiency hypothesis describes the phenomenon that brighter individuals show lower brain activation than less bright individuals when working on the same cognitive tasks. The present study investigated whether the brain activation-intelligence relationship still applies when more versus less intelligent individuals perform tasks with a comparable person-specific task difficulty. In an fMRI-study, 58 persons with lower (n = 28) or respectively higher (n = 30) intelligence worked on simple and difficult inductive reasoning tasks having the same person-specific task difficulty. Consequently, less bright individuals received sample-based easy and medium tasks, whereas bright subjects received sample-based medium and difficult tasks. This design also allowed a comparison of lower versus higher intelligent individuals when working on the same tasks (i.e. sample-based medium task difficulty). In line with expectations, differences in task performance and in brain activation were only found for the subset of tasks with the same sample-based task difficulty, but not when comparing tasks with the same person-specific task difficulty. These results suggest that neural efficiency reflects an (ability-dependent) adaption of brain activation to the respective task demands. PMID:24489416

  10. Task-Oriented Evaluation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kanis, Ira B.

    1992-01-01

    In 1985, participants in the Second International Science Study developed and evaluated hands-on problem-solving activities and gave students the opportunity to demonstrate mastery of science process skills. Six evaluation stations for fifth and sixth graders are presented: Blowing in a Liquid, Compare and Contrast, Electrical Circuit, Hot and…

  11. Noninvasive imaging of prefrontal activation during attention-demanding tasks performed while walking using a wearable optical topography system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Atsumori, Hirokazu; Kiguchi, Masashi; Katura, Takusige; Funane, Tsukasa; Obata, Akiko; Sato, Hiroki; Manaka, Takaaki; Iwamoto, Mitsumasa; Maki, Atsushi; Koizumi, Hideaki; Kubota, Kisou

    2010-07-01

    Optical topography (OT) based on near-infrared spectroscopy is a noninvasive technique for mapping the relative concentration changes in oxygenated and deoxygenated hemoglobin (oxy- and deoxy-Hb, respectively) in the human cerebral cortex. In our previous study, we developed a small and light wearable optical topography (WOT) system that covers the entire forehead for monitoring prefrontal activation. In the present study, we examine whether the WOT system is applicable to OT measurement while walking, which has been difficult with conventional OT systems. We conduct OT measurements while subjects perform an attention-demanding (AD) task of balancing a ping-pong ball on a small card while walking. The measured time course and power spectra of the relative concentration changes in oxy- and deoxy-Hb show that the step-related changes in the oxy- and deoxy-Hb signals are negligible compared to the task-related changes. Statistical assessment of the task-related changes in the oxy-Hb signals show that the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and rostral prefrontal area are significantly activated during the AD task. These results suggest that our functional imaging technique with the WOT system is applicable to OT measurement while walking, and will be a powerful tool for evaluating brain activation in a natural environment.

  12. Reduced task-induced variations in the distribution of activity across back muscle regions in individuals with low back pain.

    PubMed

    Falla, Deborah; Gizzi, Leonardo; Tschapek, Marika; Erlenwein, Joachim; Petzke, Frank

    2014-05-01

    This study investigated change in the distribution of lumbar erector spinae muscle activity and pressure pain sensitivity across the low back in individuals with low back pain (LBP) and healthy controls. Surface electromyographic (EMG) signals were recorded from multiple locations over the lumbar erector spinae muscle with a 13×5 grid of electrodes from 19 people with chronic nonspecific LBP and 17 control subjects as they performed a repetitive lifting task. The EMG root mean square (RMS) was computed for each location of the grid to form a map of the EMG amplitude distribution. Pressure pain thresholds (PPT) were recorded before and after the lifting task over a similar area of the back. For the control subjects, the EMG RMS progressively increased more in the caudal region of the lumbar erector spinae during the repetitive task, resulting in a shift in the distribution of muscle activity. In contrast, the distribution of muscle activity remained unaltered in the LBP group despite an overall increase in EMG amplitude. PPT was lower in the LBP group after completion of the repetitive task compared to baseline (average across all locations: pre: 268.0±165.9 kPa; post: 242.0±166.7 kPa), whereas no change in PPT over time was observed for the control group (320.1±162.1 kPa; post: 322.0±179.5 kPa). The results demonstrate that LBP alters the normal adaptation of lumbar erector spinae muscle activity to exercise, which occurs in the presence of exercise-induced hyperalgesia. Reduced variability of muscle activity may have important implications for the provocation and recurrence of LBP due to repetitive tasks. PMID:24502841

  13. Brain oscillatory signatures of motor tasks

    PubMed Central

    Birbaumer, Niels

    2015-01-01

    Noninvasive brain-computer-interfaces (BCI) coupled with prosthetic devices were recently introduced in the rehabilitation of chronic stroke and other disorders of the motor system. These BCI systems and motor rehabilitation in general involve several motor tasks for training. This study investigates the neurophysiological bases of an EEG-oscillation-driven BCI combined with a neuroprosthetic device to define the specific oscillatory signature of the BCI task. Controlling movements of a hand robotic orthosis with motor imagery of the same movement generates sensorimotor rhythm oscillation changes and involves three elements of tasks also used in stroke motor rehabilitation: passive and active movement, motor imagery, and motor intention. We recorded EEG while nine healthy participants performed five different motor tasks consisting of closing and opening of the hand as follows: 1) motor imagery without any external feedback and without overt hand movement, 2) motor imagery that moves the orthosis proportional to the produced brain oscillation change with online proprioceptive and visual feedback of the hand moving through a neuroprosthetic device (BCI condition), 3) passive and 4) active movement of the hand with feedback (seeing and feeling the hand moving), and 5) rest. During the BCI condition, participants received contingent online feedback of the decrease of power of the sensorimotor rhythm, which induced orthosis movement and therefore proprioceptive and visual information from the moving hand. We analyzed brain activity during the five conditions using time-frequency domain bootstrap-based statistical comparisons and Morlet transforms. Activity during rest was used as a reference. Significant contralateral and ipsilateral event-related desynchronization of sensorimotor rhythm was present during all motor tasks, largest in contralateral-postcentral, medio-central, and ipsilateral-precentral areas identifying the ipsilateral precentral cortex as an integral

  14. Attentional Control of Task and Response in Lateral and Medial Frontal Cortex: Brain Activity and Reaction Time Distributions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Aarts, Esther; Roelofs, Ardi; van Turennout, Miranda

    2009-01-01

    It is unclear whether task conflict is reflected in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) or in more dorsal regions of the medial frontal cortex (MFC). When participants switch between tasks involving incongruent, congruent, and neutral stimuli, it is possible to examine both response conflict (incongruent vs. congruent) and task conflict (congruent…

  15. What Comes First? How Selective Attentional Processes Regulate the Activation of a Motor Routine in a Manual Search Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Riviere, James; Falaise, Aurelie

    2011-01-01

    An intriguing error has been observed in toddlers presented with a 3-location search task involving invisible displacements of an object, namely, the C-not-B task. In 3 experiments, the authors investigated the dynamics of the attentional focus process that is suspected to be involved in this task. In Experiment 1, 2.5-year-old children were…

  16. Brain Activation and Deactivation during Location and Color Working Memory Tasks in 11-13-Year-Old Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2009-01-01

    Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and n-back tasks we investigated whether, in 11-13-year-old children, spatial (location) and nonspatial (color) information is differentially processed during visual attention (0-back) and working memory (WM) (2-back) tasks and whether such cognitive task performance, compared to a resting state,…

  17. Differences in Induced Brain Activity during the Performance of Learning and Working-Memory Tasks Related to Intelligence

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jausovec, Norbert; Jausovec, Ksenija

    2004-01-01

    Thirteen high intelligent (H-IQ) and 13 low intelligent (L-IQ) individuals solved two figural working-memory (WM) tasks and two figural learning tasks while their EEG was recorded. For the WM tasks, only in the theta band group related differences in induced event-related desynchronization/synchronization (ERD/ERS) were observed. L-IQ individuals…

  18. Evaluating auditory stream segregation of SAM tone sequences by subjective and objective psychoacoustical tasks, and brain activity

    PubMed Central

    Dolležal, Lena-Vanessa; Brechmann, André; Klump, Georg M.; Deike, Susann

    2014-01-01

    Auditory stream segregation refers to a segregated percept of signal streams with different acoustic features. Different approaches have been pursued in studies of stream segregation. In psychoacoustics, stream segregation has mostly been investigated with a subjective task asking the subjects to report their percept. Few studies have applied an objective task in which stream segregation is evaluated indirectly by determining thresholds for a percept that depends on whether auditory streams are segregated or not. Furthermore, both perceptual measures and physiological measures of brain activity have been employed but only little is known about their relation. How the results from different tasks and measures are related is evaluated in the present study using examples relying on the ABA- stimulation paradigm that apply the same stimuli. We presented A and B signals that were sinusoidally amplitude modulated (SAM) tones providing purely temporal, spectral or both types of cues to evaluate perceptual stream segregation and its physiological correlate. Which types of cues are most prominent was determined by the choice of carrier and modulation frequencies (fmod) of the signals. In the subjective task subjects reported their percept and in the objective task we measured their sensitivity for detecting time-shifts of B signals in an ABA- sequence. As a further measure of processes underlying stream segregation we employed functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). SAM tone parameters were chosen to evoke an integrated (1-stream), a segregated (2-stream), or an ambiguous percept by adjusting the fmod difference between A and B tones (Δfmod). The results of both psychoacoustical tasks are significantly correlated. BOLD responses in fMRI depend on Δfmod between A and B SAM tones. The effect of Δfmod, however, differs between auditory cortex and frontal regions suggesting differences in representation related to the degree of perceptual ambiguity of the sequences

  19. Characterization of Task-free and Task-performance Brain States via Functional Connectome Patterns

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Xin; Guo, Lei; Li, Xiang; Zhang, Tuo; Zhu, Dajiang; Li, Kaiming; Chen, Hanbo; Lv, Jinglei; Jin, Changfeng; Zhao, Qun; Li, Lingjiang; Liu, Tianming

    2014-01-01

    Both resting state fMRI (R-fMRI) and task-based fMRI (T-fMRI) have been widely used to study the functional activities of the human brain during task-free and task-performance periods, respectively. However, due to the difficulty in strictly controlling the participating subject's mental status and their cognitive behaviors during R-fMRI/T-fMRI scans, it has been challenging to ascertain whether or not an R-fMRI/T-fMRI scan truly reflects the participant's functional brain states during task-free/task-performance periods. This paper presents a novel computational approach to characterizing and differentiating the brain's functional status into task-free or task-performance states, by which the functional brain activities can be effectively understood and differentiated. Briefly, the brain's functional state is represented by a whole-brain quasi-stable connectome pattern (WQCP) of R-fMRI or T-fMRI data based on 358 consistent cortical landmarks across individuals, and then an effective sparse representation method was applied to learn the atomic connectome patterns (ACP) of both task-free and task-performance states. Experimental results demonstrated that the learned ACPs for R-fMRI and T-fMRI datasets are substantially different, as expected. A certain portion of ACPs from R-fMRI and T-fMRI data were overlapped, suggesting some subjects with overlapping ACPs were not in the expected task-free/task-performance brain states. Besides, potential outliers in the T-fMRI dataset were further investigated via functional activation detections in different groups, and our results revealed unexpected task-performances of some subjects. This work offers novel insights into the functional architectures of the brain. PMID:23938590

  20. Dual task performance with LPC (Linear Predictive Coding) degraded speech in a sentence verification task

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmidt-Nielsen, Astrid; Kallman, Howard J.; Meijer, Corinne

    1989-10-01

    The results of a preliminary study on the effects of reduced speech intelligibility on dual task performance are reported. The speech task was a sentence verification task, and the speech degradation was accomplished using a narrowband digital voice transmission system operating with and without random bit errors. The second task was a visual picture sorting task. There was a dual task decrement on the sorting task, and in addition, there was a further decrease in sorts per minute as the speech was increasingly degraded. Reaction time for the speech task increased with the concurrent sorting task, but the dual task condition did not affect speech task error rates.

  1. Comparison of functional magnetic resonance imaging in cerebral activation between normal Uygur and Mandarin participants in semantic identification task

    PubMed Central

    Xi, Yan-Ling; Tian, Qing; Tuerxun, Tuerhong; Kaheman, Kuerbannaimu; Jiang, Chun-Hui; Huang, Hai-Xia; Wang, Bao-Lan

    2015-01-01

    Purpose: This study utilized blood oxygenation level-dependent functional magnetic resonance imaging (BOLD-fMRI) technology to study the activated cerebral regions in normal participants whose native language was Uyghur or Chinese. Methods: We collected the fMRI data from 15 Uyghur-speaking volunteers and 15 Mandarin-speaking volunteers when executing the semantic identification task and compared the results of two groups. Results: Statistically significant difference of brain activation was found primarily in the left anterior cingulate gyrus (BA23) and the midline precuneus (P<0.05). When performing the semantic identification task, the Uyghur group exhibited significant activation in these two regions, whereas the Chinese group demonstrated relatively weak activation in these areas. Conclusion: The cerebral regions activated by Uyghur and Chinese semantic identification are not identical, the dominant hemisphere for both languages is the left cerebral hemisphere. The left anterior cingulate gyrus might have a language function in Uyghur semantic processing. PMID:26550318

  2. Cortical activity of skilled performance in a complex sports related motor task.

    PubMed

    Baumeister, Jochen; Reinecke, Kirsten; Liesen, Heinz; Weiss, Michael

    2008-11-01

    A skilled player in goal-directed sports performance has the ability to process internal and external information in an effective manner and decide which pieces of information are important and which are irrelevant. Focused attention and somatosensory information processing play a crucial role in this process. Electroencephalographic (EEG) recordings are able to demonstrate cortical changes in conjunction with this concept and were examined during a golf putting performance in an expert-novice paradigm. The success in putting (score) and performance-related cortical activity were recorded with an EEG during a 5 x 4 min putting series. Subjects were asked to putt balls for four min at their own pace. The EEG data was divided into different frequencies: Theta (4.75-6.75 Hz), Alpha-1 (7-9.5 Hz), Alpha-2 (9.75-12.5 Hz) and Beta-1 (12.75-18.5 Hz) and performance related power values were calculated. Statistical analysis shows significant better performance in the expert golfers (P < 0.001). This was associated with higher fronto-midline Theta power (P < 0.05) and higher parietal Alpha-2 power values (P < 0.05) compared to the novices in golf putting. Frontal Theta and parietal Alpha-2 spectral power in the ongoing EEG demonstrate differences due to skill level. Furthermore the findings suggest that with increasing skill level, golfers have developed task solving strategies including focussed attention and an economy in parietal sensory information processing which lead to more successful performance. In a theoretical framework both cortical parameters may play a role in the concept of the working memory. PMID:18607621

  3. Improved Neural Signal Classification in a Rapid Serial Visual Presentation Task Using Active Learning.

    PubMed

    Marathe, Amar R; Lawhern, Vernon J; Wu, Dongrui; Slayback, David; Lance, Brent J

    2016-03-01

    The application space for brain-computer interface (BCI) technologies is rapidly expanding with improvements in technology. However, most real-time BCIs require extensive individualized calibration prior to use, and systems often have to be recalibrated to account for changes in the neural signals due to a variety of factors including changes in human state, the surrounding environment, and task conditions. Novel approaches to reduce calibration time or effort will dramatically improve the usability of BCI systems. Active Learning (AL) is an iterative semi-supervised learning technique for learning in situations in which data may be abundant, but labels for the data are difficult or expensive to obtain. In this paper, we apply AL to a simulated BCI system for target identification using data from a rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) paradigm to minimize the amount of training samples needed to initially calibrate a neural classifier. Our results show AL can produce similar overall classification accuracy with significantly less labeled data (in some cases less than 20%) when compared to alternative calibration approaches. In fact, AL classification performance matches performance of 10-fold cross-validation (CV) in over 70% of subjects when training with less than 50% of the data. To our knowledge, this is the first work to demonstrate the use of AL for offline electroencephalography (EEG) calibration in a simulated BCI paradigm. While AL itself is not often amenable for use in real-time systems, this work opens the door to alternative AL-like systems that are more amenable for BCI applications and thus enables future efforts for developing highly adaptive BCI systems. PMID:26600162

  4. Secondary task for full flight simulation incorporating tasks that commonly cause pilot error: Time estimation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rosch, E.

    1975-01-01

    The task of time estimation, an activity occasionally performed by pilots during actual flight, was investigated with the objective of providing human factors investigators with an unobtrusive and minimally loading additional task that is sensitive to differences in flying conditions and flight instrumentation associated with the main task of piloting an aircraft simulator. Previous research indicated that the duration and consistency of time estimates is associated with the cognitive, perceptual, and motor loads imposed by concurrent simple tasks. The relationships between the length and variability of time estimates and concurrent task variables under a more complex situation involving simulated flight were clarified. The wrap-around effect with respect to baseline duration, a consequence of mode switching at intermediate levels of concurrent task distraction, should contribute substantially to estimate variability and have a complex effect on the shape of the resulting distribution of estimates.

  5. Effects of Selected Task Performance Criteria at Initiating Adaptive Task Real locations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Montgomery, Demaris A.

    2001-01-01

    In the current report various performance assessment methods used to initiate mode transfers between manual control and automation for adaptive task reallocation were tested. Participants monitored two secondary tasks for critical events while actively controlling a process in a fictional system. One of the secondary monitoring tasks could be automated whenever operators' performance was below acceptable levels. Automation of the secondary task and transfer of the secondary task back to manual control were either human- or machine-initiated. Human-initiated transfers were based on the operator's assessment of the current task demands while machine-initiated transfers were based on the operators' performance. Different performance assessment methods were tested in two separate experiments.

  6. Of "what" and "where" in a natural search task: Active object handling supports object location memory beyond the object's identity.

    PubMed

    Draschkow, Dejan; Võ, Melissa L-H

    2016-08-01

    Looking for as well as actively manipulating objects that are relevant to ongoing behavioral goals are intricate parts of natural behavior. It is, however, not clear to what degree these two forms of interaction with our visual environment differ with regard to their memory representations. In a real-world paradigm, we investigated if physically engaging with objects as part of a search task influences identity and position memory differently for task-relevant versus irrelevant objects. Participants equipped with a mobile eye tracker either searched for cued objects without object interaction (Find condition) or actively collected the objects they found (Handle condition). In the following free-recall task, identity memory was assessed, demonstrating superior memory for relevant compared to irrelevant objects, but no difference between the Handle and Find conditions. Subsequently, location memory was inferred via times to first fixation in a final object search task. Active object manipulation and task-relevance interacted in that location memory for relevant objects was superior to irrelevant ones only in the Handle condition. Including previous object recall performance as a covariate in the linear mixed-model analysis of times to first fixation allowed us to explore the interaction between remembered/forgotten object identities and the execution of location memory. Identity memory performance predicted location memory in the Find but not the Handle condition, suggesting that active object handling leads to strong spatial representations independent of object identity memory. We argue that object handling facilitates the prioritization of relevant location information, but this might come at the cost of deprioritizing irrelevant information. PMID:27165170

  7. Airborne imaging spectrometer development tasks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bolten, John

    The tasks that must be completed to design and build an airborne imaging spectrometer are listed. The manpower and resources required to do these tasks must be estimated by the people responsible for that work. The tasks are broken down by instrument subsystem or discipline. The instrument performance can be assessed at various stages during the development. The initial assessment should be done with the preliminary computer model. The instrument calibration facilities should be designed, but no calibration facilities are needed. The intermediate assessment can be done when the front end has been assembled. The preliminary instrument calibration facility should be available at this stage. The final assessment can only be done when the instrument is complete and ready for flight. For this, the final instrument calibration facility and the flight qualification facilities must be ready. The final assessment is discussed in each discipline under the section on integration and test.

  8. Agent independent task planning

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Davis, William S.

    1990-01-01

    Agent-Independent Planning is a technique that allows the construction of activity plans without regard to the agent that will perform them. Once generated, a plan is then validated and translated into instructions for a particular agent, whether a robot, crewmember, or software-based control system. Because Space Station Freedom (SSF) is planned for orbital operations for approximately thirty years, it will almost certainly experience numerous enhancements and upgrades, including upgrades in robotic manipulators. Agent-Independent Planning provides the capability to construct plans for SSF operations, independent of specific robotic systems, by combining techniques of object oriented modeling, nonlinear planning and temporal logic. Since a plan is validated using the physical and functional models of a particular agent, new robotic systems can be developed and integrated with existing operations in a robust manner. This technique also provides the capability to generate plans for crewmembers with varying skill levels, and later apply these same plans to more sophisticated robotic manipulators made available by evolutions in technology.

  9. Task Lists for Industrial Occupations. Education for Employment Task Lists.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dimmlich, David

    These cluster matrices provide duties and tasks that form the basis of instructional content for secondary, postsecondary, and adult occupational training programs for industrial occupations. Duties and skills are presented for the following: (1) electric home appliance and power tool repairers; (2) office machine/cash register repairer; (3)…

  10. Working Memory, Task Switching, and Executive Control in the Task Span Procedure

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Logan, Gordon D.

    2004-01-01

    Four experiments explored the task span procedure: Subjects received lists of 1-10 task names to remember and then lists of 1-10 stimuli on which to perform the tasks. Task span is the number of tasks performed in order perfectly. Experiment 1 compared the task span with the traditional memory span in 6 practiced subjects and found little…

  11. Task 21 - Development of Systems Engineering Applications for Decontamination and Decommissioning Activities

    SciTech Connect

    Erickson, T.A.

    1998-11-01

    The objectives of this task are to: Develop a model (paper) to estimate the cost and waste generation of cleanup within the Environmental Management (EM) complex; Identify technologies applicable to decontamination and decommissioning (D and D) operations within the EM complex; Develop a database of facility information as linked to project baseline summaries (PBSs). The above objectives are carried out through the following four subtasks: Subtask 1--D and D Model Development, Subtask 2--Technology List; Subtask 3--Facility Database, and Subtask 4--Incorporation into a User Model.

  12. Prefrontal Cortex Activation Upon a Demanding Virtual Hand-Controlled Task: A New Frontier for Neuroergonomics.

    PubMed

    Carrieri, Marika; Petracca, Andrea; Lancia, Stefania; Basso Moro, Sara; Brigadoi, Sabrina; Spezialetti, Matteo; Ferrari, Marco; Placidi, Giuseppe; Quaresima, Valentina

    2016-01-01

    Functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) is a non-invasive vascular-based functional neuroimaging technology that can assess, simultaneously from multiple cortical areas, concentration changes in oxygenated-deoxygenated hemoglobin at the level of the cortical microcirculation blood vessels. fNIRS, with its high degree of ecological validity and its very limited requirement of physical constraints to subjects, could represent a valid tool for monitoring cortical responses in the research field of neuroergonomics. In virtual reality (VR) real situations can be replicated with greater control than those obtainable in the real world. Therefore, VR is the ideal setting where studies about neuroergonomics applications can be performed. The aim of the present study was to investigate, by a 20-channel fNIRS system, the dorsolateral/ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC/VLPFC) in subjects while performing a demanding VR hand-controlled task (HCT). Considering the complexity of the HCT, its execution should require the attentional resources allocation and the integration of different executive functions. The HCT simulates the interaction with a real, remotely-driven, system operating in a critical environment. The hand movements were captured by a high spatial and temporal resolution 3-dimensional (3D) hand-sensing device, the LEAP motion controller, a gesture-based control interface that could be used in VR for tele-operated applications. Fifteen University students were asked to guide, with their right hand/forearm, a virtual ball (VB) over a virtual route (VROU) reproducing a 42 m narrow road including some critical points. The subjects tried to travel as long as possible without making VB fall. The distance traveled by the guided VB was 70.2 ± 37.2 m. The less skilled subjects failed several times in guiding the VB over the VROU. Nevertheless, a bilateral VLPFC activation, in response to the HCT execution, was observed in all the subjects. No correlation was found

  13. Prefrontal Cortex Activation Upon a Demanding Virtual Hand-Controlled Task: A New Frontier for Neuroergonomics

    PubMed Central

    Carrieri, Marika; Petracca, Andrea; Lancia, Stefania; Basso Moro, Sara; Brigadoi, Sabrina; Spezialetti, Matteo; Ferrari, Marco; Placidi, Giuseppe; Quaresima, Valentina

    2016-01-01

    Functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) is a non-invasive vascular-based functional neuroimaging technology that can assess, simultaneously from multiple cortical areas, concentration changes in oxygenated-deoxygenated hemoglobin at the level of the cortical microcirculation blood vessels. fNIRS, with its high degree of ecological validity and its very limited requirement of physical constraints to subjects, could represent a valid tool for monitoring cortical responses in the research field of neuroergonomics. In virtual reality (VR) real situations can be replicated with greater control than those obtainable in the real world. Therefore, VR is the ideal setting where studies about neuroergonomics applications can be performed. The aim of the present study was to investigate, by a 20-channel fNIRS system, the dorsolateral/ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC/VLPFC) in subjects while performing a demanding VR hand-controlled task (HCT). Considering the complexity of the HCT, its execution should require the attentional resources allocation and the integration of different executive functions. The HCT simulates the interaction with a real, remotely-driven, system operating in a critical environment. The hand movements were captured by a high spatial and temporal resolution 3-dimensional (3D) hand-sensing device, the LEAP motion controller, a gesture-based control interface that could be used in VR for tele-operated applications. Fifteen University students were asked to guide, with their right hand/forearm, a virtual ball (VB) over a virtual route (VROU) reproducing a 42 m narrow road including some critical points. The subjects tried to travel as long as possible without making VB fall. The distance traveled by the guided VB was 70.2 ± 37.2 m. The less skilled subjects failed several times in guiding the VB over the VROU. Nevertheless, a bilateral VLPFC activation, in response to the HCT execution, was observed in all the subjects. No correlation was found

  14. Atypical Functional Brain Activation During a Multiple Object Tracking Task in Girls With Turner Syndrome: Neurocorrelates of Reduced Spatiotemporal Resolution

    PubMed Central

    Beaton, Elliott A.; Stoddard, Joel; Lai, Song; Lackey, John; Shi, Jianrong; Ross, Judith L.; Simon, Tony J.

    2010-01-01

    Turner syndrome is associated with spatial and numerical cognitive impairments. We hypothesized that these nonverbal cognitive impairments result from limits in spatial and temporal processing, particularly as it affects attention. To examine spatiotemporal attention in girls with Turner syndrome versus typically developing controls, we used a multiple object tracking task during functional magnetic resonance (fMRI) imaging. Participants actively tracked a target among six distracters or passively viewed the animations. Neural activation in girls with Turner syndrome during object tracking overlapped with but was dissimilar to the canonical frontoparietal network evident in typically developing controls and included greater limbic activity. Task performance and atypical functional activation indicate anomalous development of cortical and subcortical temporal and spatial processing circuits in girls with Turner syndrome. PMID:20441384

  15. Brain activation during dual-task processing is associated with cardiorespiratory fitness and performance in older adults

    PubMed Central

    Wong, Chelsea N.; Chaddock-Heyman, Laura; Voss, Michelle W.; Burzynska, Agnieszka Z.; Basak, Chandramallika; Erickson, Kirk I.; Prakash, Ruchika S.; Szabo-Reed, Amanda N.; Phillips, Siobhan M.; Wojcicki, Thomas; Mailey, Emily L.; McAuley, Edward; Kramer, Arthur F.

    2015-01-01

    Higher cardiorespiratory fitness is associated with better cognitive performance and enhanced brain activation. Yet, the extent to which cardiorespiratory fitness-related brain activation is associated with better cognitive performance is not well understood. In this cross-sectional study, we examined whether the association between cardiorespiratory fitness and executive function was mediated by greater prefrontal cortex activation in healthy older adults. Brain activation was measured during dual-task performance with functional magnetic resonance imaging in a sample of 128 healthy older adults (59–80 years). Higher cardiorespiratory fitness was associated with greater activation during dual-task processing in several brain areas including the anterior cingulate and supplementary motor cortex (ACC/SMA), thalamus and basal ganglia, right motor/somatosensory cortex and middle frontal gyrus, and left somatosensory cortex, controlling for age, sex, education, and gray matter volume. Of these regions, greater ACC/SMA activation mediated the association between cardiorespiratory fitness and dual-task performance. We provide novel evidence that cardiorespiratory fitness may support cognitive performance by facilitating brain activation in a core region critical for executive function. PMID:26321949

  16. A Synthesized Heuristic Task Scheduling Algorithm

    PubMed Central

    Dai, Yanyan; Zhang, Xiangli

    2014-01-01

    Aiming at the static task scheduling problems in heterogeneous environment, a heuristic task scheduling algorithm named HCPPEFT is proposed. In task prioritizing phase, there are three levels of priority in the algorithm to choose task. First, the critical tasks have the highest priority, secondly the tasks with longer path to exit task will be selected, and then algorithm will choose tasks with less predecessors to schedule. In resource selection phase, the algorithm is selected task duplication to reduce the interresource communication cost, besides forecasting the impact of an assignment for all children of the current task permits better decisions to be made in selecting resources. The algorithm proposed is compared with STDH, PEFT, and HEFT algorithms through randomly generated graphs and sets of task graphs. The experimental results show that the new algorithm can achieve better scheduling performance. PMID:25254244

  17. Cortical subnetwork dynamics during human language tasks.

    PubMed

    Collard, Maxwell J; Fifer, Matthew S; Benz, Heather L; McMullen, David P; Wang, Yujing; Milsap, Griffin W; Korzeniewska, Anna; Crone, Nathan E

    2016-07-15

    Language tasks require the coordinated activation of multiple subnetworks-groups of related cortical interactions involved in specific components of task processing. Although electrocorticography (ECoG) has sufficient temporal and spatial resolution to capture the dynamics of event-related interactions between cortical sites, it is difficult to decompose these complex spatiotemporal patterns into functionally discrete subnetworks without explicit knowledge of each subnetwork's timing. We hypothesized that subnetworks corresponding to distinct components of task-related processing could be identified as groups of interactions with co-varying strengths. In this study, five subjects implanted with ECoG grids over language areas performed word repetition and picture naming. We estimated the interaction strength between each pair of electrodes during each task using a time-varying dynamic Bayesian network (tvDBN) model constructed from the power of high gamma (70-110Hz) activity, a surrogate for population firing rates. We then reduced the dimensionality of this model using principal component analysis (PCA) to identify groups of interactions with co-varying strengths, which we term functional network components (FNCs). This data-driven technique estimates both the weight of each interaction's contribution to a particular subnetwork, and the temporal profile of each subnetwork's activation during the task. We found FNCs with temporal and anatomical features consistent with articulatory preparation in both tasks, and with auditory and visual processing in the word repetition and picture naming tasks, respectively. These FNCs were highly consistent between subjects with similar electrode placement, and were robust enough to be characterized in single trials. Furthermore, the interaction patterns uncovered by FNC analysis correlated well with recent literature suggesting important functional-anatomical distinctions between processing external and self-produced speech. Our

  18. The Harvard Automated Phone Task: new performance-based activities of daily living tests for early Alzheimer’s disease

    PubMed Central

    Marshall, Gad A.; Dekhtyar, Maria; Bruno, Jonathan M.; Jethwani, Kamal; Amariglio, Rebecca E.; Johnson, Keith A.; Sperling, Reisa A.; Rentz, Dorene M.

    2015-01-01

    Background Impairment in activities of daily living is a major burden for Alzheimer’s disease dementia patients and caregivers. Multiple subjective scales and a few performance-based instruments have been validated and proven to be reliable in measuring instrumental activities of daily living in Alzheimer’s disease dementia but less so in amnestic mild cognitive impairment and preclinical Alzheimer’s disease. Objective To validate the Harvard Automated Phone Task, a new performance-based activities of daily living test for early Alzheimer’s disease, which assesses high level tasks that challenge seniors in daily life. Design In a cross-sectional study, the Harvard Automated Phone Task was associated with demographics and cognitive measures through univariate and multivariate analyses; ability to discriminate across diagnostic groups was assessed; test-retest reliability with the same and alternate versions was assessed in a subset of participants; and the relationship with regional cortical thickness was assessed in a subset of participants. Setting Academic clinical research center. Participants One hundred and eighty two participants were recruited from the community (127 clinically normal elderly and 45 young normal participants) and memory disorders clinics at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital (10 participants with mild cognitive impairment). Measurements As part of the Harvard Automated Phone Task, participants navigated an interactive voice response system to refill a prescription (APT-Script), select a new primary care physician (APT-PCP), and make a bank account transfer and payment (APT-Bank). The 3 tasks were scored based on time, errors, and repetitions from which composite z-scores were derived, as well as a separate report of correct completion of the task. Results We found that the Harvard Automated Phone Task discriminated well between diagnostic groups (APT-Script: p=0.002; APT-PCP: p<0.001; APT-Bank: p=0

  19. Task Descriptions in Diagnostic Radiology. Research Report No. 7. Volume 2, Radiologic Technologist Tasks Dealing with Patient Procedures. Part I: Tasks 7 through 386.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gilpatrick, Eleanor

    Part I of the second of four volumes in Research Report No. 7 of the Health Services Mobility Study (HSMS), this book contains 76 task descriptions covering most of the medical activities carried out by radiologic technologists. Chapter I of this volume defines "tasks" and tells how the descriptions were developed. Chapter 2 lists the tasks by…

  20. ASPEN PLUS modeling of the SRC-I Demonstration Plant. Task 19: modeling support activities report

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1984-09-28

    The APCI version of ASPEN PLUS was maintained and enhanced in order to support the requirements of the simulation effort described in the earlier tasks. The support effort is conveniently divided into systems support and technical support in the areas of flowsheeting and thermophysical properties. Systems support required installation of the fourth release of ASPEN PLUS, installation of AspenTech's updates to correct program errors, and several general maintenance tasks unique to the APCI version of ASPEN PLUS. Technical support in the area of flowsheeting consisted of the organization of training courses, consultation in solving simulation problems, and identifying and resolving problems resulting from bugs in ASPEN PLUS. Thermodynamic technical support consisted of developing a few new models, implementing the coal-fluid thermophysical models into ASPEN PLUS, providing convenient access to the physical properties through INSERTs, and consultation to resolve simulation problems resulting from the nonideality of the properties. All software enhancements to ASPEN PLUS have been described and delivered so that APCI's version of the program may be duplicated and maintained at other sites. 16 references.

  1. Task Selection, Task Switching and Multitasking during Computer-Based Independent Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Judd, Terry

    2015-01-01

    Detailed logs of students' computer use, during independent study sessions, were captured in an open-access computer laboratory. Each log consisted of a chronological sequence of tasks representing either the application or the Internet domain displayed in the workstation's active window. Each task was classified using a three-tier schema…

  2. Acute tryptophan depletion promotes an anterior-to-posterior fMRI activation shift during task switching in older adults.

    PubMed

    Lamar, Melissa; Craig, Michael; Daly, Eileen M; Cutter, William J; Tang, Christine; Brammer, Michael; Rubia, Katya; Murphy, Declan G M

    2014-02-01

    Studies have long reported that aging is associated with declines in several functions modulated by the prefrontal cortex, including executive functions like working memory, set shifting, and inhibitory control. The neurochemical basis to this is poorly understood, but may include the serotonergic system. We investigated the modulatory effect of serotonin using acute tryptophan depletion (ATD) during a cognitive switching task involving visual-spatial set shifting modified for a functional MRI environment. Ten healthy women over 55 years were tested on two separate occasions in this within-group double-blind sham-controlled crossover study to compare behavioral and physiological brain functioning following ATD and following a ("placebo") sham depletion condition. ATD did not significantly affect task performance. It did modulate brain functional recruitment. During sham depletion women significantly activated the expected task-relevant brain regions associated with the Switch task including prefrontal and anterior cingulate cortices. In contrast, following ATD participants activated posterior regions of brain more during switch than repeat trials. In addition to the main effects of depletion condition, a comparison of the ATD relative to the sham condition confirmed this anterior-to-posterior shift in activation. The posterior (increased) activation clusters significantly and negatively correlated with the reduced prefrontal activation clusters suggesting a compensation mechanism for reduced prefrontal activation during ATD. Thus, serotonin modulates an anterior-to-posterior shift of activation during cognitive switching in older adults. Neural adaptation to serotonin challenge during cognitive control may prove useful in determining cognitive vulnerability in older adults with a predisposition for serontonergic down-regulation (e.g., in vascular or late life depression). PMID:23281064

  3. Task Group 9 Update (Presentation)

    SciTech Connect

    Bosco, N.

    2014-04-01

    This presentation is a brief update of IEC TC82 QA Task Force, Group 9. Presented is an outline of the recently submitted New Work Item Proposal (NWIP) for a Comparative Thermal Cycling Test for CPV Modules to Differentiate Thermal Fatigue Durability.

  4. Interpretation Tasks for Grammar Teaching.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ellis, Rod

    1995-01-01

    The traditional approach to grammar teaching provides learners with opportunities to produce specific grammatical structures. This article explores an alternative approach, one based on interpreting input. The rationale for the approach is discussed, as are the principles for designing interpretation tasks for grammar teaching. (Contains 35…

  5. Physiological assessment of task underload

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Comstock, J. Raymond, Jr.; Harris, Randall L., Sr.; Pope, Alan T.

    1988-01-01

    The ultimate goal of research efforts directed at underload, boredom, or complacency in high-technology work environments is to detect conditions or states of the operator that can be demonstrated to lead to performance degradation, and then to intervene in the environment to restore acceptable system performance. Physiological measures may provide indices of changes in condition or state of the operator that may be of value in high-technology work environments. The focus of the present study was on the use of physiological measures in the assessment of operator condition or state in a task underload scenario. A fault acknowledgement task characterized by simple repetitive responses with minimal novelty, complexity, and uncertainty was employed to place subjects in a task underload situation. Physiological measures (electrocardiogram (ECG), electroencephalogram (EEG), and pupil diameter) were monitored during task performance over a one-hour test session for 12 subjects. Each of the physiological measures exhibited changes over the test session indicative of decrements in subject arousal level. While high correlations between physiological measures were found across subjects, individual differences between subjects support the use of profiling techniques to establish baselines unique to each subject.

  6. A Population of Assessment Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Daro, Phil; Burkhardt, Hugh

    2012-01-01

    We propose the development of a "population" of high-quality assessment tasks that cover the performance goals set out in the "Common Core State Standards for Mathematics." The population will be published. Tests are drawn from this population as a structured random sample guided by a "balancing algorithm."

  7. Sex Offender Task Force Report.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    California State Dept. of the Youth Authority, Sacramento.

    This report includes the findings of a California task force convened to examine juvenile and youthful sex offenders and the impact of their behavior on the citizenry. The foreword notes this report attempts to identify informational and research needs and encourage networking and coordination to support state and local efforts to improve the…

  8. Incidental Learning and Task Boundaries

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Freedberg, Michael; Wagschal, Tana T.; Hazeltine, Eliot

    2014-01-01

    For skill learning processes to be effective, they must encode associations that are inherent to the current task and avoid those that are spurious or particular to training conditions so that learning can transfer to novel situations. Some everyday contexts even require grouped responding to simultaneously presented stimuli. Here we test whether…

  9. Conducting the Job Task Analysis.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Burkhart, Jennifer

    This guide, which is intended for project directors, coordinators, and other professional staff involved in developing and delivering workplace education programs, explains the process of conducting a job task analysis to create customized curricula to meet the workplace education students' needs. After a brief discussion of the rationale for…

  10. Attention, Task Difficulty, and ADHD

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nigg, Joel T.

    2005-01-01

    Comments on analysis of attention tasks in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) provided by Wilding (2005)points out that whereas many regulatory functions, including alertness or arousal, appear to be impaired in ADHD, demonstrating basic attention deficits in selection or orienting functions in the disorder has proven difficult. Yet…

  11. Task-driven dictionary learning.

    PubMed

    Mairal, Julien; Bach, Francis; Ponce, Jean

    2012-04-01

    Modeling data with linear combinations of a few elements from a learned dictionary has been the focus of much recent research in machine learning, neuroscience, and signal processing. For signals such as natural images that admit such sparse representations, it is now well established that these models are well suited to restoration tasks. In this context, learning the dictionary amounts to solving a large-scale matrix factorization problem, which can be done efficiently with classical optimization tools. The same approach has also been used for learning features from data for other purposes, e.g., image classification, but tuning the dictionary in a supervised way for these tasks has proven to be more difficult. In this paper, we present a general formulation for supervised dictionary learning adapted to a wide variety of tasks, and present an efficient algorithm for solving the corresponding optimization problem. Experiments on handwritten digit classification, digital art identification, nonlinear inverse image problems, and compressed sensing demonstrate that our approach is effective in large-scale settings, and is well suited to supervised and semi-supervised classification, as well as regression tasks for data that admit sparse representations. PMID:21808090

  12. Timing Tasks Synchronize Cerebellar and Frontal Ramping Activity and Theta Oscillations: Implications for Cerebellar Stimulation in Diseases of Impaired Cognition

    PubMed Central

    Parker, Krystal L.

    2016-01-01

    Timing is a fundamental and highly conserved mammalian capability, yet the underlying neural mechanisms are widely debated. Ramping activity of single neurons that gradually increase or decrease activity to encode the passage of time has been speculated to predict a behaviorally relevant temporal event. Cue-evoked low-frequency activity has also been implicated in temporal processing. Ramping activity and low-frequency oscillations occur throughout the brain and could indicate a network-based approach to timing. Temporal processing requires cognitive mechanisms of working memory, attention, and reasoning, which are dysfunctional in neuropsychiatric disease. Therefore, timing tasks could be used to probe cognition in animals with disease phenotypes. The medial frontal cortex and cerebellum are involved in cognition. Cerebellar stimulation has been shown to influence medial frontal activity and improve cognition in schizophrenia. However, the mechanism underlying the efficacy of cerebellar stimulation is unknown. Here, we discuss how timing tasks can be used to probe cerebellar interactions with the frontal cortex and the therapeutic potential of cerebellar stimulation. The goal of this theory and hypothesis manuscript is threefold. First, we will summarize evidence indicating that in addition to motor learning, timing tasks involve cognitive processes that are present within both the cerebellum and medial frontal cortex. Second, we propose methodologies to investigate the connections between these areas in patients with Parkinson’s disease, autism, and schizophrenia. Lastly, we hypothesize that cerebellar transcranial stimulation may rescue medial frontal ramping activity, theta oscillations, and timing abnormalities, thereby restoring executive function in diseases of impaired cognition. This hypothesis could inspire the use of timing tasks as biomarkers for neuronal and cognitive abnormalities in neuropsychiatric disease and promote the therapeutic potential of

  13. Effect of handedness on fMRI activation in the medial temporal lobe during an auditory verbal memory task

    PubMed Central

    Cuzzocreo, Jennifer L.; Yassa, Michael A.; Verduzco, Guillermo; Honeycutt, Nancy A.; Scott, David J.; Bassett, Susan Spear

    2009-01-01

    Several studies have shown marked differences in the neural localization of language functions in the brains of left-handed individuals when compared with right-handers. Previous experiments involving functional lateralization have demonstrated cerebral blood flow patterns that differ concordantly with subject handedness while performing language-related tasks. The effect of handedness on function in specific stages of memory processing however is a largely unexplored area. We used a paired-associates verbal memory task to elicit activation of neural areas related to declarative memory, examining the hypothesis that there are differences in activation in the medial temporal lobe (MTL) between handedness groups. 15 left-handed and 25 right-handed healthy adults were matched for all major demographic and neuropsychological variables. Functional and structural imaging data were acquired and analyzed for group differences within MTL subregions. Our results show that activation of the MTL during declarative memory processing varies with handedness. While both groups showed activation in left and right MTL subregions, the left-handed group showed a statistically significant increase in the left hippocampus and amygdala during both encoding and recall. No increases in activation were found in the right-handed group. This effect was found in the absence of any differences in performance on the verbal memory task, structural volumetric disparities or functional asymmetries. This provides evidence of functional differences between left-handers and right-handers that extends to declarative memory processes. PMID:18570207

  14. Relation Between Prefrontal Cortex Activity and Respiratory Rate During Mental Stress Tasks: A Near-Infrared Spectroscopic Study.

    PubMed

    Murayama, Yuta; Hu, Lizhen; Sakatani, Kaoru

    2016-01-01

    In order to clarify the central mechanism controlling respiratory rate during mental stress, we examined the relation between prefrontal cortex (PFC) activity and respiratory rate during mental arithmetic (MA) tasks. Employing two-channel near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS), we measured hemoglobin (Hb) concentration changes in the bilateral PFC during MA tasks in normal adults. To evaluate asymmetry of the PFC activity, we calculated the laterality index (LI); (R-L)/(R + L) of oxy-Hb concentration changes (R = right, L = left); positive LI scores indicate right-dominant activity, while negative scores indicate left-dominant activity. For measurements of respiratory rate, we employed a Kinect motion sensor (Microsoft). The MA tasks increased both oxy-Hb in the bilateral PFC and respiratory rate (p < 0.001). In addition, there was a significant correlation between LI and respiratory rate (r = 0.582, p < 0.02). These results indicate that the MA-induced activity in the right PFC was greater than that in the left PFC in subjects with large increases of respiratory rate, suggesting that the right PFC has a greater role in cerebral regulation of respiratory rate during mental stress. PMID:27526145

  15. An architecture for intelligent task interruption

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sharma, D. D.; Narayan, Srini

    1990-01-01

    In the design of real time systems the capability for task interruption is often considered essential. The problem of task interruption in knowledge-based domains is examined. It is proposed that task interruption can be often avoided by using appropriate functional architectures and knowledge engineering principles. Situations for which task interruption is indispensable, a preliminary architecture based on priority hierarchies is described.

  16. Masonry: Task Analyses. Competency-Based Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Henrico County Public Schools, Glen Allen, VA. Virginia Vocational Curriculum Center.

    These task analyses are designed to be used in combination with the "Trade and Industrial Education Service Area Resource" in order to implement competency-based education in the masonry program in Virginia. The task analysis document contains the task inventory, suggested task sequence lists, and content outlines for the secondary courses Masonry…

  17. Cosmetology: Task Analyses. Competency-Based Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Henrico County Public Schools, Glen Allen, VA. Virginia Vocational Curriculum Center.

    These task analyses are designed to be used in combination with the "Trade and Industrial Education Service Area Resource" in order to implement competency-based education in the cosmetology program in Virginia. The task analysis document contains the task inventory, suggested task sequence lists, and content outlines for the secondary courses…

  18. Are Letter Detection and Proofreading Tasks Equivalent?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Saint-Aubin, Jean; Losier, Marie-Claire; Roy, Macha; Lawrence, Mike

    2015-01-01

    When readers search for misspellings in a proofreading task or for a letter in a letter detection task, they are more likely to omit function words than content words. However, with misspelled words, previous findings for the letter detection task were mixed. In two experiments, the authors tested the functional equivalence of both tasks. Results…

  19. Tasks for Easily Modifiable Virtual Environments

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Swier, Robert

    2014-01-01

    Recent studies of learner interaction in virtual worlds have tended to select basic tasks involving open-ended communication. There is evidence that such tasks are supportive of language acquisition, however it may also be beneficial to consider more complex tasks. Research in task-based learning has identified features such as non-linguistic…

  20. PRESCHOOL CHILDREN'S WILLINGNESS TO TRY DIFFICULT TASKS.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    STARKWEATHER, ELIZABETH K.

    INSTRUMENTS WERE ADMINISTERED TO PRESCHOOL CHILDREN TO MEASURE THEIR PERFORMANCE ON VARIOUS TASKS. THE INSTRUMENTS WERE (1) A BUTTONING TASK FOR FINE MOTOR COORDINATION, (2) A PUZZLE TASK FOR VISUAL DISCRIMINATION, AND (3) A TARGET GAME FOR GROSS MOTOR COORDINATION. EACH INSTRUMENT CONSISTED OF FIVE TASKS GRADED IN DIFFICULTY, ADJUSTED TO THE…

  1. Cross-language activation of morphological relatives in cognates: the role of orthographic overlap and task-related processing

    PubMed Central

    Mulder, Kimberley; Dijkstra, Ton; Baayen, R. Harald

    2015-01-01

    We considered the role of orthography and task-related processing mechanisms in the activation of morphologically related complex words during bilingual word processing. So far, it has only been shown that such morphologically related words (i.e., morphological family members) are activated through the semantic and morphological overlap they share with the target word. In this study, we investigated family size effects in Dutch-English identical cognates (e.g., tent in both languages), non-identical cognates (e.g., pil and pill, in English and Dutch, respectively), and non-cognates (e.g., chicken in English). Because of their cross-linguistic overlap in orthography, reading a cognate can result in activation of family members both languages. Cognates are therefore well-suited for studying mechanisms underlying bilingual activation of morphologically complex words. We investigated family size effects in an English lexical decision task and a Dutch-English language decision task, both performed by Dutch-English bilinguals. English lexical decision showed a facilitatory effect of English and Dutch family size on the processing of English-Dutch cognates relative to English non-cognates. These family size effects were not dependent on cognate type. In contrast, for language decision, in which a bilingual context is created, Dutch and English family size effects were inhibitory. Here, the combined family size of both languages turned out to better predict reaction time than the separate family size in Dutch or English. Moreover, the combined family size interacted with cognate type: the response to identical cognates was slowed by morphological family members in both languages. We conclude that (1) family size effects are sensitive to the task performed on the lexical items, and (2) depend on both semantic and formal aspects of bilingual word processing. We discuss various mechanisms that can explain the observed family size effects in a spreading activation framework

  2. Heteromeric TASK-1/TASK-3 is the major oxygen-sensitive background K+ channel in rat carotid body glomus cells.

    PubMed

    Kim, Donghee; Cavanaugh, Eric J; Kim, Insook; Carroll, John L

    2009-06-15

    Carotid body (CB) glomus cells from rat express a TASK-like background K+ channel that is believed to play a critical role in the regulation of excitability and hypoxia-induced increase in respiration. Here we studied the kinetic behaviour of single channel openings from rat CB cells to determine the molecular identity of the 'TASK-like' K+ channels. In outside-out patches, the TASK-like background K+ channel in CB cells was inhibited >90% by a reduction of pH(o) from 7.3 to 5.8. In cell-attached patches with 140 mM KCl and 1 mM Mg2+ in the bath and pipette solutions, two main open levels with conductance levels of approximately 14 pS and approximately 32 pS were recorded at a membrane potential of -60 mV. The K+ channels showed kinetic properties similar to TASK-1 (approximately 14 pS), TASK-3 (approximately 32 pS) and TASK-1/3 heteromer (approximately 32 pS). The presence of three TASK isoforms was tested by reducing [Mg2+](o) to approximately 0 mM, which had no effect on the conductance of TASK-1, but increased those of TASK-1/3 and TASK-3 to 42 pS and 74 pS, respectively. In CB cells, the reduction of [Mg2+](o) to approximately 0 mM also caused the appearance of approximately 42 pS (TASK-1/3-like) and approximately 74 pS (TASK-3-like) channels, in addition to the approximately 14 pS (TASK-1-like) channel. The 42 pS channel was the most abundant, contributing approximately 75% of the current produced by TASK-like channels. Ruthenium red (5 microM) had no effect on TASK-1 and TASK-1/3, but inhibited TASK-3 by 87%. In CB cells, ruthenium red caused approximately 12% inhibition of TASK-like activity. Methanandamide reduced the activity of all three TASKs by 80-90%, and that of TASK-like channels in CB cell also by approximately 80%. In CB cells, hypoxia caused inhibition of TASK-like channels, including TASK-1/3-like channels. These results show that TASK-1, TASK-1/3 and TASK-3 are all functionally expressed in isolated CB cells, and that the TASK-1/3 heteromer

  3. Associations between depressive symptoms and fronto-temporal activities during a verbal fluency task in patients with schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Pu, Shenghong; Nakagome, Kazuyuki; Miura, Akihiko; Iwata, Masaaki; Nagata, Izumi; Kaneko, Koichi

    2016-01-01

    Though depressive symptoms are common in patients with schizophrenia, they are often left untreated and are associated with a high relapse rate, suicidal ideation, increased mortality, reduced social adjustment, and poor quality of life. The present study aims to elucidate the association between depressive symptoms and fronto-temporal activities during a cognitive task in patients with schizophrenia. The fronto-temporal activities of 41 Japanese patients with schizophrenia was evaluated during a verbal fluency task using 52-channel near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS). Depressive symptoms were assessed using the depression/anxiety component of the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) five-factor model. The depression/anxiety component of the PANSS five-factor model was negatively correlated with activities of the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (PFC), right dorsolateral PFC, and left temporal regions. Our findings suggest that reduced fronto-temporal activities on NIRS during a verbal fluency task is related to depressive symptom severity in patients with schizophrenia. PMID:27465466

  4. [The "Mining Rescue System and Mine Fires" Working Group. Tasks, results, future activities].

    PubMed

    Coenders, A

    1983-01-01

    The president of the working party presents details of its principal tasks in the past and in the present time. These can be summed up in a study of the problems mentioned below and the subsequent elaboration of recommendations for the benefit of the governments, guidelines, information reports and research proposals. The principal problems that were or are still under study are: --prevention of fires: shaft equipment, hydraulic fluids, belt conveyors, . . .; --detection of mine fires and spontaneous combustion; --fighting of mine fires: shaft fires, construction of stoppings, openings and recovering of fire zones, . . .; --coordination and rescue equipment: escape and rescue breathing apparatus, flameproof clothing, rescue of trapped miners; --stabilization of ventilation in the event of fire, . . . The speaker stresses the importance of the information exchange and the atmosphere of fellowship and solidarity that prevails in the working party. PMID:6622911

  5. Analysis of brain activity and response to colour stimuli during learning tasks: an EEG study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Folgieri, Raffaella; Lucchiari, Claudio; Marini, Daniele

    2013-02-01

    The research project intends to demonstrate how EEG detection through BCI device can improve the analysis and the interpretation of colours-driven cognitive processes through the combined approach of cognitive science and information technology methods. To this end, firstly it was decided to design an experiment based on comparing the results of the traditional (qualitative and quantitative) cognitive analysis approach with the EEG signal analysis of the evoked potentials. In our case, the sensorial stimulus is represented by the colours, while the cognitive task consists in remembering the words appearing on the screen, with different combination of foreground (words) and background colours. In this work we analysed data collected from a sample of students involved in a learning process during which they received visual stimuli based on colour variation. The stimuli concerned both the background of the text to learn and the colour of the characters. The experiment indicated some interesting results concerning the use of primary (RGB) and complementary (CMY) colours.

  6. Event-related oscillations (ERO) during an active discrimination task: Effects of lesions of the nucleus basalis magnocellularis.

    PubMed

    Sanchez-Alavez, Manuel; Ehlers, Cindy L

    2016-05-01

    The cholinergic system in the brain is involved in attentional processes that are engaged for the identification and selection of relevant information in the environment and the formation of new stimulus associations. In the present study we determined the effects of cholinergic lesions of nucleus basalis magnocellularis (NBM) on amplitude and phase characteristics of event related oscillations (EROs) generated in an auditory active discrimination task in rats. Rats were trained to press a lever to begin a series of 1kHz tones and to release the lever upon hearing a 2kHz tone. A time-frequency based representation was used to determine ERO energy and phase synchronization (phase lock index, PLI) across trials, recorded within frontal cortical structures. Lesions in NBM produced by an infusion of a-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionic acid (AMPA) resulted in (1) a reduction of the number of correct behavioral responses in the active discrimination task, (2) an increase in ERO energy in the delta frequency bands, (3) an increase in theta, alpha and beta ERO energy in the N1, P3a and P3b regions of interest (ROI), and (4) an increase in PLI in the theta frequency band in the N1 ROIs. These studies suggest that the NBM cholinergic system is involved in maintaining the synchronization/phase resetting of oscillations in different frequencies in response to the presentation of the target stimuli in an active discrimination task. PMID:25660307

  7. No difference in frontal cortical activity during an executive functioning task after acute doses of aripiprazole and haloperidol

    PubMed Central

    Bolstad, Ingeborg; Andreassen, Ole A.; Groote, Inge R.; Haatveit, Beathe; Server, Andres; Jensen, Jimmy

    2015-01-01

    Background: Aripiprazole is an atypical antipsychotic drug that is characterized by partial dopamine D2 receptor agonism. Its pharmacodynamic profile is proposed to be beneficial in the treatment of cognitive impairment, which is prevalent in psychotic disorders. This study compared brain activation characteristics produced by aripiprazole with that of haloperidol, a typical D2 receptor antagonist, during a task targeting executive functioning. Methods: Healthy participants received an acute oral dose of haloperidol, aripiprazole or placebo before performing an executive functioning task while blood-oxygen-level-dependent (BOLD) functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was carried out. Results: There was a tendency towards reduced performance in the aripiprazole group compared to the two other groups. The image analysis yielded a strong task-related BOLD-fMRI response within each group. An uncorrected between-group analysis showed that aripiprazole challenge resulted in stronger activation in the frontal and temporal gyri and the putamen compared with haloperidol challenge, but after correcting for multiple testing there was no significant group difference. Conclusion: No significant group differences between aripiprazole and haloperidol in frontal cortical activation were obtained when corrected for multiple comparisons. This study is registered in ClinicalTrials.gov (identifier: 2009-016222-14).1 PMID:26074803

  8. Respiratory sinus arrhythmia responses to cognitive tasks: effects of task factors and RSA indices.

    PubMed

    Overbeek, Thérèse J M; van Boxtel, Anton; Westerink, Joyce H D M

    2014-05-01

    Many studies show that respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) decreases while performing cognitive tasks. However, there is uncertainty about the role of contaminating factors such as physical activity and stress-inducing task variables. Different methods to quantify RSA may also contribute to variable results. In 83 healthy subjects, we studied RSA responses to a working memory task requiring varying levels of cognitive control and a perceptual attention task not requiring strong cognitive control. RSA responses were quantified in the time and frequency domain and were additionally corrected for differences in mean interbeat interval and respiration rate, resulting in eight different RSA indices. The two tasks were clearly differentiated by heart rate and facial EMG reference measures. Cognitive control induced inhibition of RSA whereas perceptual attention generally did not. However, the results show several differences between different RSA indices, emphasizing the importance of methodological variables. Age and sex did not influence the results. PMID:24561100

  9. Effects of task-oriented training on upper extremity function and performance of daily activities in chronic stroke patients with impaired cognition

    PubMed Central

    Park, JuHyung

    2016-01-01

    [Purpose] This study aimed to determine the effects of task-oriented training on upper extremity function and performance of daily activities in chronic stroke patients with impaired cognition. [Subjects and Methods] In this study, 2 chronic hemiplegic stroke patients underwent task-oriented training. The training was conducted once a day for 30 minutes, 5 times/week, for 2 weeks. The patients were evaluated 3 times before and after the task-oriented training. Changes in upper extremity function were assessed using the manual function test, and changes in the ability to carry out daily activities were assessed using the functional independence measure. [Results] The patients showed improvement in both the upper extremity function and ability to perform daily activities after task-oriented training. [Conclusion] Task-oriented training was proven effective in improving upper extremity function and ability to perform daily activities in chronic hemiplegic stroke patients with impaired cognition. PMID:26957782

  10. Targeted brain activation using an MR-compatible wrist torque measurement device and isometric motor tasks during functional magnetic resonance imaging.

    PubMed

    Vlaar, Martijn P; Mugge, Winfred; Groot, Paul F C; Sharifi, Sarvi; Bour, Lo J; van der Helm, Frans C T; van Rootselaar, Anne-Fleur; Schouten, Alfred C

    2016-07-01

    Dedicated pairs of isometric wrist flexion tasks, with and without visual feedback of the exerted torque, were designed to target activation of the CBL and BG in healthy subjects during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Selective activation of the cerebellum (CBL) and basal ganglia (BG), often implicated in movement disorders such as tremor and dystonia, may help identify pathological changes and expedite diagnosis. A prototyped MR-compatible wrist torque measurement device, free of magnetic and conductive materials, allowed safe execution of tasks during fMRI without causing artifacts. A significant increase of activity in CBL and BG was found in healthy volunteers during a constant torque task with visual feedback compared to a constant torque task without visual feedback. This study shows that specific pairs of motor tasks using MR-compatible equipment at the wrist allow for targeted activation of CBL and BG, paving a new way for research into the pathophysiology of movement disorders. PMID:26968144

  11. Task duration in contextual interference.

    PubMed

    Smith, Peter J K

    2002-12-01

    Duration of practice trial on a pursuit rotor task in contextual interference was investigated. Participants practiced at each of 4 angular velocities, with 24 participants completing 28 trials lasting 20 sec., and 24 participants completing 112 trials of 5 sec. Half of the participants in each trial-duration condition practiced in a blocked format and half practiced in a random format. After random practice posttest performance was better than blocked practice when practice-trial duration was 20 sec., but worse when practice-trial duration was 5 sec. This result is not consistent with theoretical explanations of the contextual interference effect and is discussed with reference to the task characteristics and demands of the pursuit rotor. PMID:12578255

  12. Serpentine Robots for Inspection Tasks

    SciTech Connect

    Choset, Howie

    2003-09-11

    Serpentine robots are snake like devices that can use their internal degrees of freedom to thread through tightly packed volumes accessing locations that people or conventional machinery cannot. These devices are ideally suited for minimally invasive inspection tasks where the surrounding areas do not have to be disturbed. Applications for these devices are therefore inspection of underground tanks and other storage facilities for classification purposes. This work deals with the design, construction, and control of a serpentine robot. The challenges lie in developing a device that can lift itself in three dimensions, which is necessary for the inspection tasks. The other challenge in control deals with coordinating all of the internal degrees of freedom to exact purposeful motion.

  13. Materials processing in space tasks. WBS task 5.4: Generic tasks

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Crull, Robert

    1994-01-01

    This task encompassed a wide range of activities related to materials processing in space. For example, all aspects of the space station's flight and ground based systems design were assessed for the Office of Advanced Concepts and Technology (OACT) Space Processing Division Office. Activities for that organization also included the consolidation of space processing payload requirements for the space station and the development of an OACT payload operations plan. Similar duties were performed for the MSFC Payload Project Office. The SPACECOM database was used to conduct preliminary design studies for microgravity payload carriers and to conduct assessments of materials processing technology. Concepts for the Advanced Protein Crystal Growth Facility (APCGF) were developed. Materials processing vent products were analyzed and a furnace facility filter concept was developed using those studies. A preliminary design for a space station aluminum payload rack was developed. Analysis was conducted to characterize the acceleration environment onboard the space shuttle. Equipment for two fluid experiment apparatus was designed and manufactured for the Space Science Laboratory. The Fluids and Materials Experiments (FAME) data base was expanded. Also, Mir payload integration, technology transfer, and spacelab-to-space station transition studies were conducted.

  14. Fuel oil quality task force

    SciTech Connect

    Laisy, J.; Turk, V.

    1997-09-01

    In April, 1996, the R.W. Beckett Corporation became aware of a series of apparently unrelated symptoms that made the leadership of the company concerned that there could be a fuel oil quality problem. A task force of company employees and industry consultants was convened to address the topic of current No. 2 heating oil quality and its effect on burner performance. The task force studied changes in fuel oil specifications and trends in properties that have occurred over the past few years. Experiments were performed at Beckett and Brookhaven National Laboratory to understand the effect of changes in some fuel oil properties. Studies by other groups were reviewed, and field installations were inspected to gain information about the performance of fuel oil that is currently being used in the U.S. and Canada. There was a special concern about the use of red dye in heating oils and the impact of sulfur levels due to the October, 1993 requirement of low sulfur (<0.05%) for on-highway diesel fuel. The results of the task force`s efforts were published in July, 1996. The primary conclusion of the task force was that there is not a crisis or widespread general problem with fuel oil quality. Localized problems that were seen may have been related to refinery practices and/or non-traditional fuel sources. System cleanliness is very important and the cause of many oil burner system problems. Finally, heating oil quality should get ongoing careful attention by Beckett engineering personnel and heating oil industry groups.

  15. The SEDIBUD (Sediment Budgets in Cold Environments) Programme: Current activities and future key tasks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beylich, A. A.; Lamoureux, S. F.; Decaulne, A.

    2012-04-01

    Projected climate change in cold regions is expected to alter melt season duration and intensity, along with the number of extreme rainfall events, total annual precipitation and the balance between snowfall and rainfall. Similarly, changes to the thermal balance are expected to reduce the extent of permafrost and seasonal ground frost and increase active layer depths. These effects will undoubtedly change surface environments in cold regions and alter the fluxes of sediments, nutrients and solutes, but the absence of quantitative data and coordinated process monitoring and analysis to understand the sensitivity of the Earth surface environment is acute in cold climate environments. The International Association of Geomorphologists (I.A.G./A.I.G.)SEDIBUD (Sediment Budgets in Cold Environments) Programme was formed in 2005 to address this existing key knowledge gap. SEDIBUD currently has about 400 members worldwide and the Steering Committee of this international programme is composed of ten scientists from eight different countries: Achim A. Beylich (Chair) (Norway), Armelle Decaulne (Secretary) (France), John C. Dixon (USA), Scott F. Lamoureux (Vice-Chair) (Canada), John F. Orwin (Canada), Jan-Christoph Otto (Austria), Irina Overeem (USA), Thorsteinn Saemundsson (Iceland), Jeff Warburton (UK), Zbigniew Zwolinski (Poland). The central research question of this global group of scientists is to: Assess and model the contemporary sedimentary fluxes in cold climates, with emphasis on both particulate and dissolved components. Initially formed as European Science Foundation (ESF) Network SEDIFLUX (2004-2006), SEDIBUD has further expanded to a global group of researchers with field research sites located in polar and alpine regions in the northern and southern hemisphere. Research carried out at each of the close to 50 defined SEDIBUD key test sites varies by programme, logistics and available resources, but typically represent interdisciplinary collaborations of

  16. Task Force on Homosexuality. Final Report.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National Inst. of Mental Health (DHEW), Rockville, MD.

    This final Task Force report recommends the coordination of NIMH activities in the broad area of sexual behavior through the establishment of a Center for the Study of Sexual Behavior. The activities proposed for the Center fall into two major areas: research, training and education, prevention, and treatment; and questions of social policy with…

  17. The effects of L-theanine on alpha-band oscillatory brain activity during a visuo-spatial attention task.

    PubMed

    Gomez-Ramirez, Manuel; Kelly, Simon P; Montesi, Jennifer L; Foxe, John J

    2009-06-01

    Background/Objectives Ingestion of the non-proteinic amino acid L-theanine (gamma-glutamylethylamide) has been shown to influence oscillatory brain activity in the alpha band (8-14 Hz) in humans during resting electroencephalographic (EEG) recordings and also during cognitive task performance. We have previously shown that ingestion of a 250-mg dose of L-theanine significantly reduced tonic (background) alpha power during a demanding intersensory (auditory-visual) attentional cueing task. Further, cue-related phasic changes in alpha power, indexing the shorter-term anticipatory biasing of attention between modalities, were stronger on L-theanine compared to placebo. This form of cue-contingent phasic alpha activity is also known to index attentional biasing within visual space. Specifically, when a relevant location is pre-cued, anticipatory alpha power increases contralateral to the location to be ignored. Here we investigate whether the effects of L-theanine on tonic and phasic alpha activity, found previously during intersensory attentional deployment, occur also during a visuospatial task. Subjects/Methods 168-channel EEG data were recorded from thirteen neurologically normal individuals while engaged in a highly demanding visuo-spatial attention task. Participants underwent testing on two separate days, ingesting either a 250-mg colorless and tasteless solution of L-theanine mixed with water, or a water-based solution placebo on each day in counterbalanced order. We compared the alpha-band activity when subjects ingested L-Theanine vs. Placebo. Results We found a significant reduction in tonic alpha for the L-theanine treatment compared to placebo, which was accompanied by a shift in scalp topography, indicative of treatment-related changes in the neural generators of oscillatory alpha activity. However, L-theanine did not measurably affect cue-related anticipatory alpha effects. Conclusions This pattern of results implies that L-theanine plays a more general

  18. Time-varying covariance of neural activities recorded in striatum and frontal cortex as monkeys perform sequential-saccade tasks.

    PubMed

    Fujii, N; Graybiel, A M

    2005-06-21

    Cortico-basal ganglia circuits are key parts of the brain's habit system, but little is yet known about how these forebrain pathways function as ingrained habits are performed. We simultaneously recorded spike and local field potential (LFP) activity from regions of the frontal cortex and basal ganglia implicated in visuo-oculomotor control as highly trained macaque monkeys performed sequences of visually guided saccades. The tasks were repetitive, required no new learning, and could be performed nearly automatically. Our findings demonstrate striking differences between the relative timing of striatal and cortical activity during performance of the tasks. At the onset of the visual cues, LFPs in the prefrontal cortex and the oculomotor zone of the striatum showed near-synchronous activation. During the period of sequential-saccade performance, however, peak LFP activity occurred 100-300 msec later in the striatum than in the prefrontal cortex. Peak prefrontal activity tended to be peri-saccadic, whereas peak striatal activity tended to be post-saccadic. This temporal offset was also apparent in pairs of simultaneously recorded prefrontal and striatal neurons. In triple-site recordings, the LFP activity recorded in the supplementary eye field shared temporal characteristics of both the prefrontal and the striatal patterns. The near simultaneity of prefrontal and striatal peak responses at cue onsets, but temporal lag of striatal activity in the movement periods, suggests that the striatum may integrate corollary discharge or confirmatory response signals during sequential task performance. These timing relationships may be signatures of the normal functioning of striatal and frontal cortex during repetitive performance of learned behaviors. PMID:15956185

  19. Time-varying covariance of neural activities recorded in striatum and frontal cortex as monkeys perform sequential-saccade tasks

    PubMed Central

    Fujii, N.; Graybiel, A. M.

    2005-01-01

    Cortico-basal ganglia circuits are key parts of the brain's habit system, but little is yet known about how these forebrain pathways function as ingrained habits are performed. We simultaneously recorded spike and local field potential (LFP) activity from regions of the frontal cortex and basal ganglia implicated in visuo-oculomotor control as highly trained macaque monkeys performed sequences of visually guided saccades. The tasks were repetitive, required no new learning, and could be performed nearly automatically. Our findings demonstrate striking differences between the relative timing of striatal and cortical activity during performance of the tasks. At the onset of the visual cues, LFPs in the prefrontal cortex and the oculomotor zone of the striatum showed near-synchronous activation. During the period of sequential-saccade performance, however, peak LFP activity occurred 100–300 msec later in the striatum than in the prefrontal cortex. Peak prefrontal activity tended to be peri-saccadic, whereas peak striatal activity tended to be post-saccadic. This temporal offset was also apparent in pairs of simultaneously recorded prefrontal and striatal neurons. In triple-site recordings, the LFP activity recorded in the supplementary eye field shared temporal characteristics of both the prefrontal and the striatal patterns. The near simultaneity of prefrontal and striatal peak responses at cue onsets, but temporal lag of striatal activity in the movement periods, suggests that the striatum may integrate corollary discharge or confirmatory response signals during sequential task performance. These timing relationships may be signatures of the normal functioning of striatal and frontal cortex during repetitive performance of learned behaviors. PMID:15956185

  20. Updating Sensory "versus" Task Representations during Task-Switching: Insights from Cognitive Brain Potentials in Humans

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Perianez, Jose A.; Barcelo, Francisco

    2009-01-01

    Task-cueing studies suggest that the updating of sensory and task representations both contribute to behavioral task-switch costs [Forstmann, B. U., Brass, M., & Koch, I. (2007). "Methodological and empirical issues when dissociating cue-related from task-related processes in the explicit task-cuing procedure." "Psychological Research, 71"(4),…

  1. Investigating Perfect Timesharing: The Relationship between IM-Compatible Tasks and Dual-Task Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Halvorson, Kimberly M.; Ebner, Herschel; Hazeltine, Eliot

    2013-01-01

    Why are dual-task costs reduced with ideomotor (IM) compatible tasks (Greenwald & Shulman, 1973; Lien, Proctor & Allen, 2002)? In the present experiments, we first examine three different measures of single-task performance (pure single-task blocks, mixed blocks, and long stimulus onset asynchrony [SOA] trials in dual-task blocks) and two measures…

  2. 78 FR 27969 - Meeting of the Community Preventive Services Task Force (Task Force)

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-05-13

    ... Task Force (Task Force) AGENCY: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Department of Health... Prevention (CDC) announces the next meeting of the Community Preventive Services Task Force (Task Force). The Task Force is independent and nonfederal. Its members are nationally known leaders in public...

  3. 77 FR 56845 - Meeting of the Community Preventive Services Task Force (Task Force)

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-09-14

    ... Task Force (Task Force) AGENCY: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Department of Health... Prevention (CDC) announces the next meeting of the Community Preventive Services Task Force (Task Force). The Task Force is independent and nonfederal. Its members are nationally known leaders in public...

  4. 78 FR 63208 - UPDATE-Meeting of the Community Preventive Services Task Force (Task Force)

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-10-23

    ... Services Task Force (Task Force) AGENCY: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Department of... Force (Task Force). The in-person Task Force meeting is being replaced by an abbreviated conference call... necessary scientific and logistical support for the meeting. The Task Force is an independent,...

  5. 78 FR 2996 - Meeting of the Community Preventive Services Task Force (Task Force)

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-01-15

    ... Task Force (Task Force) AGENCY: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Department of Health... Prevention (CDC) announces the next meeting of the Community Preventive Services Task Force (Task Force). The Task Force is independent and nonfederal. Its members are nationally known leaders in public...

  6. Learner-Learner Interaction during Collaborative Pragmatic Tasks: The Role of Cognitive and Pragmatic Task Demands

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kim, YouJin; Taguchi, Naoko

    2016-01-01

    Previous task complexity studies have suggested that learners produce more negotiation of meaning opportunities during complex tasks than simple tasks (Robinson, 2011). The present study builds on the existing task complexity literature by examining the impact of task complexity and pragmatic situational demands on the number of learning…

  7. The Shielding Function of Task Sets and Its Relaxation during Task Switching

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dreisbach, Gesine; Wenke, Dorit

    2011-01-01

    The goal of the presented experiments was to investigate the dynamic interplay of task shielding and its relaxation during task switching. Task shielding refers to the finding that single task sets in terms of 2-choice categorization rules help shielding against distraction from irrelevant stimulus attributes. During task switching, this shielding…

  8. Task appraisals, emotions, and performance goal orientation.

    PubMed

    Fisher, Cynthia D; Minbashian, Amirali; Beckmann, Nadin; Wood, Robert E

    2013-03-01

    We predict real-time fluctuations in employees' positive and negative emotions from concurrent appraisals of the immediate task situation and individual differences in performance goal orientation. Task confidence, task importance, positive emotions, and negative emotions were assessed 5 times per day for 3 weeks in an experience sampling study of 135 managers. At the within-person level, appraisals of task confidence, task importance, and their interaction predicted momentary positive and negative emotions as hypothesized. Dispositional performance goal orientation was expected to moderate emotional reactivity to appraisals of task confidence and task importance. The hypothesized relationships were significant in the case of appraisals of task importance. Those high on performance goal orientation reacted to appraisals of task importance with stronger negative and weaker positive emotions than those low on performance goal orientation. PMID:23276116

  9. Brain activation for language dual-tasking: listening to two people speak at the same time and a change in network timing.

    PubMed

    Buchweitz, Augusto; Keller, Timothy A; Meyler, Ann; Just, Marcel Adam

    2012-08-01

    The study used fMRI to investigate brain activation in participants who were able to listen to and successfully comprehend two people speaking at the same time (dual-tasking). The study identified brain mechanisms associated with high-level, concurrent dual-tasking, as compared with comprehending a single message. Results showed an increase in the functional connectivity among areas of the language network in the dual task. The increase in synchronization of brain activation for dual-tasking was brought about primarily by a change in the timing of left inferior frontal gyrus (LIFG) activation relative to posterior temporal activation, bringing the LIFG activation into closer correspondence with temporal activation. The results show that the change in LIFG timing was greater in participants with lower working memory capacity, and that recruitment of additional activation in the dual-task occurred only in the areas adjacent to the language network that was activated in the single task. The shift in LIFG activation may be a brain marker of how the brain adapts to high-level dual-tasking. PMID:21618666

  10. Brain activation deficit in increased-load working memory tasks among adults with ADHD using fMRI.

    PubMed

    Ko, Chih-Hung; Yen, Ju-Yu; Yen, Cheng-Fang; Chen, Cheng-Sheng; Lin, Wei-Chen; Wang, Peng-Wei; Liu, Gin-Chung

    2013-10-01

    Working memory (WM) is impaired among adults with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). This study aimed to investigate the brain activation deficit for low-level or increased-load WM among adults with ADHD. A total of 20 adults with ADHD and controls were recruited according to diagnostic interviewing by a psychiatrist. Phonological and visual-spatial 2-back and 3-back tasks were performed under functional magnetic resonance scanning. The results demonstrated that both the adults with ADHD and the controls exhibited activation of the fronto-parietal network for WM, and the intensity was greater in the adult ADHD group. The ADHD group had higher brain activation over the bilateral anterior cingulate, left inferior frontal lobe, hippocampus, and supplementary motor area (SMA) for phonological WM than the control group. When the task loading increased from 2-back to 3-back tasks, the adults with ADHD perceived greater difficulty. The control group exhibited increased brain activation over the frontal-parietal network in response to increased phonological WM load. However, the ADHD group showed decreased brain activation over the left precuneus, insula, and SMA. Further analysis demonstrated that the ADHD group exhibited a greater decrease in brain activation over the left fronto-parietal network, including the precuneus, SMA, insula/inferior frontal lobe, and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, than the control group. These results suggest that adults with ADHD pay more effort to low demanding phonological WM. On the other hand, brain activation of the left fronto-parietal network is impaired when the demands of WM exceed the capacity of adults with ADHD. PMID:23645101

  11. Understanding of Student Task Interpretation, Design Planning, and Cognitive Strategies during Engineering Design Activities in Grades 9-12. Final Report. Research in Engineering and Technology Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lawanto, Oenardi

    2011-01-01

    The objective of this study was to describe the task interpretation of students engaged in a design activity and determine the extent to which students translate their understanding of their design task to their planning and cognitive strategies. Twenty-nine students at one Colorado high school participated in this study. Students worked…

  12. Development and Validation of Career Development Guidelines by Task/Activity Analysis of Occupational Safety and Health Professions: Industrial Hygiene and Safety Professional. Final Report. Technical Report XII.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vernon, Ralph J.; And Others

    This report summarizes research findings which resulted in development of curricula for occupational safety and health professions based on task/activity analyses and related performance objectives. The first seven chapters focus on the seven objectives. Chapter 1, Literature Review and Selection of Employers, concerns tasks required for…

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1986-01-01

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

  14. Muon Collider Task Force Report

    SciTech Connect

    Ankenbrandt, C.; Alexahin, Y.; Balbekov, V.; Barzi, E.; Bhat, C.; Broemmelsiek, D.; Bross, A.; Burov, A.; Drozhdin, A.; Finley, D.; Geer, S.; /Fermilab /Argonne /Brookhaven /Jefferson Lab /LBL, Berkeley /MUONS Inc., Batavia /UCLA /UC, Riverside /Mississippi U.

    2007-12-01

    Muon Colliders offer a possible long term path to lepton-lepton collisions at center-of-mass energies {radical}s {ge} 1 TeV. In October 2006 the Muon Collider Task Force (MCTF) proposed a program of advanced accelerator R&D aimed at developing the Muon Collider concept. The proposed R&D program was motivated by progress on Muon Collider design in general, and in particular, by new ideas that have emerged on muon cooling channel design. The scope of the proposed MCTF R&D program includes muon collider design studies, helical cooling channel design and simulation, high temperature superconducting solenoid studies, an experimental program using beams to test cooling channel RF cavities and a 6D cooling demonstration channel. The first year of MCTF activities are summarized in this report together with a brief description of the anticipated FY08 R&D activities. In its first year the MCTF has made progress on (1) Muon Collider ring studies, (2) 6D cooling channel design and simulation studies with an emphasis on the HCC scheme, (3) beam preparations for the first HPRF cavity beam test, (4) preparations for an HCC four-coil test, (5) further development of the MANX experiment ideas and studies of the muon beam possibilities at Fermilab, (6) studies of how to integrate RF into an HCC in preparation for a component development program, and (7) HTS conductor and magnet studies to prepare for an evaluation of the prospects for of an HTS high-field solenoid build for a muon cooling channel.

  15. International Space Station ECLSS Technical Task Agreement Summary Report

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Minton-Summers, S.; Ray, C. D.

    1996-01-01

    A summary of work accomplished under Technical Task Agreement by the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) documents activities regarding the Environmental Control and Life Support Systems (ECLSS) of the International Space Station (ISS) program. These MSFC activities were in-line to the designing, the development, the testing, and the flight of ECLSS equipment. MSFC's unique capabilities for performing integrated system testing and analyses, and its ability to perform some tasks cheaper and faster to support ISS program needs are the basis for the Technical Task Agreement activities. Tasks were completed in the Water Recovery Systems, Air Revitalization Systems, and microbiology areas. The results of each task is described in this summary report.

  16. Solar Energy Task Force Report: Technical Training Guidelines.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    O'Connor, Kevin

    This task force report offers guidelines and information for the development of vocational education programs oriented to the commercial application of solar energy in water and space heating. After Section I introduces the Solar Energy Task Force and its activities, Section II outlines the task force's objectives and raises several issues and…

  17. Dual-task backward compatibility effects are episodically mediated.

    PubMed

    Giammarco, Maria; Thomson, Sandra J; Watter, Scott

    2016-02-01

    In dual-task performance, the backward compatibility effect (BCE; faster Task 1 reaction time when Task 1 and Task 2 responses are compatible) is thought to represent automatic activation of Task 2 response information in parallel with attended Task 1 performance. Work by Hommel and Eglau (Psychological Research, 66, 260-273, 2002) has suggested the BCE relies on stimulus-response learning in long-term memory. Subsequent work by Ellenbogen and Meiran (Memory and Cognition, 36, 968-978, 2008), however, proposed that the BCE is mediated by Task 2 rules held in working memory (WM) during Task 1 performance. The present study aimed to dissociate these two theoretical claims. In Experiment 1, we assessed the effects of prior single-task practice with Task 1 or Task 2 of a subsequent dual-task paradigm. Where the WM-mediated model predicts both BCE and overall reaction time improvement relative to prior task practice, an episodic learning model makes divergent predictions for BCE based on the context specificity of prior Task 2 learning. Results showed a close fit with episodic predictions and contradicted WM model predictions. Experiment 2 examined the finer grained timecourse of BCE over initial development, subsequent interference of this initial learning on BCE development with new conflicting Task 2 response mappings, and finally reestablishment of BCE in the original dual task. Data again showed close agreement with long-term learning predictions. We argue in favor of an episodic account of the BCE, and consider implications of WM and episodic mechanisms of automatic response activation on other aspects of dual-task performance. PMID:26572914

  18. Optogenetic silencing of locus coeruleus activity in mice impairs cognitive flexibility in an attentional set-shifting task

    PubMed Central

    Janitzky, Kathrin; Lippert, Michael T.; Engelhorn, Achim; Tegtmeier, Jennifer; Goldschmidt, Jürgen; Heinze, Hans-Jochen; Ohl, Frank W.

    2015-01-01

    The locus coeruleus (LC) is the sole source of noradrenergic projections to the cortex and essential for attention-dependent cognitive processes. In this study we used unilateral optogenetic silencing of the LC in an attentional set-shifting task (ASST) to evaluate the influence of the LC on prefrontal cortex-dependent functions in mice. We expressed the halorhodopsin eNpHR 3.0 to reversibly silence LC activity during task performance, and found that silencing selectively impaired learning of those parts of the ASST that most strongly rely on cognitive flexibility. In particular, extra-dimensional set-shifting (EDS) and reversal learning was impaired, suggesting an involvement of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and the orbitofrontal cortex. In contrast, those parts of the task that are less dependent on cognitive flexibility, i.e., compound discrimination (CD) and the intra-dimensional shifts (IDS) were not affected. Furthermore, attentional set formation was unaffected by LC silencing. Our results therefore suggest a modulatory influence of the LC on cognitive flexibility, mediated by different frontal networks. PMID:26582980

  19. Teacher management behaviors and pupil task involvement during small group laboratory activities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beasley, Warren

    A major concern of many beginning and experienced teachers is that of classroom management and control. This article describes recent research into defining classroom management procedures that are used by high school science teachers and their relationship to pupil ontaskness. The classroom is conceptualized as a manipulable behavioral system. This construct arises directly from Barker's (1968) ecological psychology, the classroom and its occupants being conceptualized as a behavior setting. The behaviors of the teacher and the pupils are an integral part of the unit (behavior setting), which in turn coerces certain behaviors from its participants. Thus settings, and, in particular, subsettings, are seen as more important determiners of social behavior than the personality of individual teacher or pupil. The methodology employed in this research has involved the extensive use of video in naturalistic science classrooms. Tapes of both teacher and pupil behaviors were continuously and independently recorded. Intensive analysis using electronic recording instruments interfaced with the computer has allowed the collection and sophisticated analysis of the observational data. Data relating to teacher management behavior in small group settings have been analyzed and the relationships to pupil task involvement have been explored.

  20. Heimdall System for MSSS Sensor Tasking

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Herz, A.; Jones, B.; Herz, E.; George, D.; Axelrad, P.; Gehly, S.

    coordinated sensor usage, and tasking schedules driven by catalog improvement goals (reduced overall covariance, etc.). The improved performance also enables more responsive sensor tasking to address external events, newly detected objects, newly detected object activity, and sensor anomalies. Instead of having to wait until the next day's scheduling phase, events can be addressed with new tasking schedules immediately (within seconds or minutes). Perhaps the most important benefit is improved SSA based on an overall improvement to the quality of the space catalog. By driving sensor tasking and scheduling based on predicted Information Gain and other relevant factors, better decisions are made in the application of available sensor resources, leading to an improved catalog and better information about the objects of most interest. The Heimdall software solution provides a configurable, automated system to improve sensor tasking efficiency and responsiveness for SSA applications. The FISST algorithms for Track Prioritization, SSA specific task and resource attributes, Scheduler algorithms, and configurable SSA-specific Figure-of-Merit together provide optimized and tunable scheduling for the Maui Space Surveillance Site and possibly other sites and organizations across the U.S. military and for allies around the world.

  1. Brain Network Adaptability across Task States

    PubMed Central

    Davison, Elizabeth N.; Schlesinger, Kimberly J.; Bassett, Danielle S.; Lynall, Mary-Ellen; Miller, Michael B.; Grafton, Scott T.; Carlson, Jean M.

    2015-01-01

    Activity in the human brain moves between diverse functional states to meet the demands of our dynamic environment, but fundamental principles guiding these transitions remain poorly understood. Here, we capitalize on recent advances in network science to analyze patterns of functional interactions between brain regions. We use dynamic network representations to probe the landscape of brain reconfigurations that accompany task performance both within and between four cognitive states: a task-free resting state, an attention-demanding state, and two memory-demanding states. Using the formalism of hypergraphs, we identify the presence of groups of functional interactions that fluctuate coherently in strength over time both within (task-specific) and across (task-general) brain states. In contrast to prior emphases on the complexity of many dyadic (region-to-region) relationships, these results demonstrate that brain adaptability can be described by common processes that drive the dynamic integration of cognitive systems. Moreover, our results establish the hypergraph as an effective measure for understanding functional brain dynamics, which may also prove useful in examining cross-task, cross-age, and cross-cohort functional change. PMID:25569227

  2. ERP Components Activated by the "GO!" and "WITHHOLD!" Conflict in the Random Sustained Attention to Response Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zordan, Lara; Sarlo, Michela; Stablum, Franca

    2008-01-01

    The present study investigates the event related potential (ERP) components associated with the random version of the Sustained Attention to Response Task (SART). The random SART is a Go/No-Go task in which the No-Go target appears unpredictably and rarely. In the present experiment, the EEG was recorded from 58 electrodes with mastoids as…

  3. Age-Related Differences in Cortical Activity during a Visuo-Spatial Working Memory Task with Facial Stimuli

    PubMed Central

    Belham, Flávia Schechtman; Satler, Corina; Garcia, Ana; Tomaz, Carlos; Gasbarri, Antonella; Rego, Artur; Tavares, Maria Clotilde H.

    2013-01-01

    Emotion, importantly displayed by facial expressions, is one of the most significant memory modulators. The interaction between memory and the different emotional valences change across lifespan, while young adults (YA) are expected to better recall negative events (Negativity Bias Hypothesis), older adults (OA) tend to focus on positive stimuli (Positivity Effect Hypothesis). This research work aims at verifying whether cortical electrical activity of these two age groups would also be differently influenced by emotional valences in a visuo-spatial working memory task. 27 YA (13 males) and 25 OA (14 males), all healthy volunteers, underwent electroencephalographic recordings (21 scalp electrodes montage), while performing the Spatial Delayed Recognition Span Task using a touch screen with different stimuli categories: neutral, positive and negative faces and geometric pictures. YA obtained higher scores than OA, and showed higher activation of theta and alpha bands in the frontal and midline regions, besides a more evident right-hemispheric asymmetry on alpha band when compared to OA. For both age groups, performance in the task was worse for positive faces than to negative and to neutral faces. Facial stimuli induced a better performance and higher alpha activation on the pre-frontal region for YA, and on the midline, occipital and left temporal regions for OA when compared to geometric figures. The superior performance of YA was expected due to the natural cognitive deficits connected to ageing, as was a better performance with facial stimuli due to the evolutionary importance of faces. These results were related to cortical activity on areas of importance for action-planning, decision making and sustained attention. Taken together, they are in accordance with the Negativity Bias but do not support the Positivity Effect. The methodology used was able to identify age-related differences in cortical activity during emotional mnemonic processing and may be

  4. DARPA Program-Intelligent Task Automation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Levinthal, Elliott C.

    1983-05-01

    The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is supporting the development of tomorrow's more productive manufacturing processes for the military hardware that will be required at the end of the century, and is establishing technological advances that will support extension and enhancement of military operational capabilities in the combat environment. This paper describes the thrust that has been initiated by DARPA in Intelligent Task Automation (ITA) -- a broad based activity intended to lay groundwork for future developments. Integration of the necessary intelligence for dealing with sophisticated tasks in unstructured environments is specifically addressed. The implied emphasis is on linking computation for an understanding of uncertain environments to mechanical functions.

  5. Electroencephalographic monitoring of complex mental tasks

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Guisado, Raul; Montgomery, Richard; Montgomery, Leslie; Hickey, Chris

    1992-01-01

    Outlined here is the development of neurophysiological procedures to monitor operators during the performance of cognitive tasks. Our approach included the use of electroencepalographic (EEG) and rheoencephalographic (REG) techniques to determine changes in cortical function associated with cognition in the operator's state. A two channel tetrapolar REG, a single channel forearm impedance plethysmograph, a Lead I electrocardiogram (ECG) and a 21 channel EEG were used to measure subject responses to various visual-motor cognitive tasks. Testing, analytical, and display procedures for EEG and REG monitoring were developed that extend the state of the art and provide a valuable tool for the study of cerebral circulatory and neural activity during cognition.

  6. Component processes in voluntary task switching.

    PubMed

    Demanet, Jelle; Liefooghe, Baptist

    2014-05-01

    The present study investigated the involvement of bottom-up and top-down control in task-switching situations in which tasks are selected on a voluntary basis. We tested for indices of both types of control in the reduction in switch cost that is observed when more time is available before executing a task. Participants had to indicate their task choice overtly prior to the actual task execution, and two time intervals were manipulated: the interval between the task-execution response of the previous trial and task-indication response of the current trial and the interval between task-indication response and task-execution response of a particular trial. In Experiment 1, the length of these intervals was manipulated orthogonally, and indices for top-down and bottom-up control were observed. Concerned with the validity of these results, Experiments 2-3 additionally discouraged participants from preparing the upcoming task before their task-indication response. Indices for bottom-up control remained, but not for top-down control. The characteristics of top-down and bottom-up control in voluntary task switching and task switching in general are discussed. PMID:24070330

  7. AGENDA: A task organizer and scheduler

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fratter, Isabelle

    1993-01-01

    AGENDA will be the main tool used in running the SPOT 4 Earth Observation Satellite's Operational Control Center. It will reduce the operator's work load and make the task easier. AGENDA sets up the work plan for a day of operations, automatically puts the day's tasks into sequence and monitors their progress in real time. Monitoring is centralized, and the tasks are run on different computers in the Center. Once informed of any problems, the operator can intervene at any time while an activity is taking place. To carry out the various functions, the operator has an advanced, efficient, ergonomic graphic interface based on X11 and OSF/MOTIF. Since AGENDA is the heart of the Center, it has to satisfy several constraints that have been taken into account during the various development phases. AGENDA is currently in its final development stages.

  8. What Matters in Implicit Task Sequence Learning: Perceptual Stimulus Features, Task Sets, or Correlated Streams of Information?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Weiermann, Brigitte; Cock, Josephine; Meier, Beat

    2010-01-01

    Implicit task sequence learning may be attributed to learning the order of perceptual stimulus features associated with the task sequence, learning a series of automatic task set activations, or learning an integrated sequence that derives from 2 correlated streams of information. In the present study, our purpose was to distinguish among these 3…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mitchell, Rachel L. C.

    2005-01-01

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

  10. The Indirect Effect of Age Group on Switch Costs via Gray Matter Volume and Task-Related Brain Activity.

    PubMed

    Steffener, Jason; Gazes, Yunglin; Habeck, Christian; Stern, Yaakov

    2016-01-01

    Healthy aging simultaneously affects brain structure, brain function, and cognition. These effects are often investigated in isolation ignoring any relationships between them. It is plausible that age related declines in cognitive performance are the result of age-related structural and functional changes. This straightforward idea is tested in within a conceptual research model of cognitive aging. The current study tested whether age-related declines in task-performance were explained by age-related differences in brain structure and brain function using a task-switching paradigm in 175 participants. Sixty-three young and 112 old participants underwent MRI scanning of brain structure and brain activation. The experimental task was an executive context dual task with switch costs in response time as the behavioral measure. A serial mediation model was applied voxel-wise throughout the brain testing all pathways between age group, gray matter volume, brain activation and increased switch costs, worsening performance. There were widespread age group differences in gray matter volume and brain activation. Switch costs also significantly differed by age group. There were brain regions demonstrating significant indirect effects of age group on switch costs via the pathway through gray matter volume and brain activation. These were in the bilateral precuneus, bilateral parietal cortex, the left precentral gyrus, cerebellum, fusiform, and occipital cortices. There were also significant indirect effects via the brain activation pathway after controlling for gray matter volume. These effects were in the cerebellum, occipital cortex, left precentral gyrus, bilateral supramarginal, bilateral parietal, precuneus, middle cingulate extending to medial superior frontal gyri and the left middle frontal gyri. There were no significant effects through the gray matter volume alone pathway. These results demonstrate that a large proportion of the age group effect on switch costs can

  11. The Indirect Effect of Age Group on Switch Costs via Gray Matter Volume and Task-Related Brain Activity

    PubMed Central

    Steffener, Jason; Gazes, Yunglin; Habeck, Christian; Stern, Yaakov

    2016-01-01

    Healthy aging simultaneously affects brain structure, brain function, and cognition. These effects are often investigated in isolation ignoring any relationships between them. It is plausible that age related declines in cognitive performance are the result of age-related structural and functional changes. This straightforward idea is tested in within a conceptual research model of cognitive aging. The current study tested whether age-related declines in task-performance were explained by age-related differences in brain structure and brain function using a task-switching paradigm in 175 participants. Sixty-three young and 112 old participants underwent MRI scanning of brain structure and brain activation. The experimental task was an executive context dual task with switch costs in response time as the behavioral measure. A serial mediation model was applied voxel-wise throughout the brain testing all pathways between age group, gray matter volume, brain activation and increased switch costs, worsening performance. There were widespread age group differences in gray matter volume and brain activation. Switch costs also significantly differed by age group. There were brain regions demonstrating significant indirect effects of age group on switch costs via the pathway through gray matter volume and brain activation. These were in the bilateral precuneus, bilateral parietal cortex, the left precentral gyrus, cerebellum, fusiform, and occipital cortices. There were also significant indirect effects via the brain activation pathway after controlling for gray matter volume. These effects were in the cerebellum, occipital cortex, left precentral gyrus, bilateral supramarginal, bilateral parietal, precuneus, middle cingulate extending to medial superior frontal gyri and the left middle frontal gyri. There were no significant effects through the gray matter volume alone pathway. These results demonstrate that a large proportion of the age group effect on switch costs can

  12. Active ocular vergence improves postural control in elderly as close viewing distance with or without a single cognitive task.

    PubMed

    Matheron, Eric; Yang, Qing; Delpit-Baraut, Vincent; Dailly, Olivier; Kapoula, Zoï

    2016-01-01

    Performance of the vestibular, visual, and somatosensory systems decreases with age, reducing the capacity of postural control, and increasing the risk of falling. The purpose of this study is to measure the effects of vision, active vergence eye movements, viewing distance/vergence angle and a simple cognitive task on postural control during an upright stance, in completely autonomous elderly individuals. Participated in the study, 23 elderly subjects (73.4 ± 6.8 years) who were enrolled in a center dedicated to the prevention of falling. Their body oscillations were measured with the DynaPort(®) device, with three accelerometers, placed at the lumbosacral level, near the center of mass. The conditions were the following: eyes open fixating on LED at 20 cm or 150 cm (vergence angle 17.0° and 2.3° respectively) with or without additional cognitive tasks (counting down from one hundred), performing active vergence by alternating the fixation between the far and the near LED (convergence and divergence), eyes closed after having fixated the far LED. The results showed that the postural stability significantly decreased when fixating on the LED at a far distance (weak convergence angle) with or without cognitive tasks; active convergence-divergence between the LEDs improved the postural stability while eye closure decreased it. The privilege of proximity (with increased convergence at near), previously established with foot posturography, is shown here to be valid for accelerometry with the center of mass in elderly. Another major result is the beneficial contribution of active vergence eye movements to better postural stability. The results bring new perspectives for the role of eye movement training to preserve postural control and autonomy in elderly. PMID:26522373

  13. Task Based Language Teaching: Development of CALL

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Anwar, Khoirul; Arifani, Yudhi

    2016-01-01

    The dominant complexities of English teaching in Indonesia are about limited development of teaching methods and materials which still cannot optimally reflect students' needs (in particular of how to acquire knowledge and select the most effective learning models). This research is to develop materials with complete task-based activities by using…

  14. The Predictive Evaluation of Language Learning Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vasiljevic, Zorana

    2011-01-01

    Teachers are often faced with difficulty in choosing appropriate teaching activities for use in their classroom. In selecting suitable materials for their learners, teachers need to be able to analyze any tasks (i.e., their objectives, procedures and intended outcomes) before they are applied in the classroom. This paper will attempt to outline a…

  15. 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…

  16. Task-dependent activity of motor unit populations in feline ankle extensor muscles

    PubMed Central

    Hodson-Tole, Emma F.; Pantall, Annette; Maas, Huub; Farrell, Brad; Gregor, Robert J.; Prilutsky, Boris I.

    2012-01-01

    SUMMARY Understanding the functional significance of the morphological diversity of mammalian skeletal muscles is limited by technical difficulties of estimating the contribution of motor units with different properties to unconstrained motor behaviours. Recently developed wavelet and principal components analysis of intramuscular myoelectric signals has linked signals with lower and higher frequency contents to the use of slower and faster motor unit populations. In this study we estimated the relative contributions of lower and higher frequency signals of cat ankle extensors (soleus, medial and lateral gastrocnemii, plantaris) during level, downslope and upslope walking and the paw-shake response. This was done using the first two myoelectric signal principal components (PCI, PCII), explaining over 90% of the signal, and an angle θ, a function of PCI/PCII, indicating the relative contribution of slower and faster motor unit populations. Mean myoelectric frequencies in all walking conditions were lowest for slow soleus (234 Hz) and highest for fast gastrocnemii (307 and 330 Hz) muscles. Motor unit populations within and across the studied muscles that demonstrated lower myoelectric frequency (suggesting slower populations) were recruited during tasks and movement phases with lower mechanical demands on the ankle extensors – during downslope and level walking and in early walking stance and paw-shake phases. With increasing mechanical demands (upslope walking, mid-phase of paw-shake cycles), motor unit populations generating higher frequency signals (suggesting faster populations) contributed progressively more. We conclude that the myoelectric frequency contents within and between feline ankle extensors vary across studied motor behaviours, with patterns that are generally consistent with muscle fibre-type composition. PMID:22811250

  17. Task-dependent activity of motor unit populations in feline ankle extensor muscles.

    PubMed

    Hodson-Tole, Emma F; Pantall, Annette; Maas, Huub; Farrell, Brad; Gregor, Robert J; Prilutsky, Boris I

    2012-11-01

    Understanding the functional significance of the morphological diversity of mammalian skeletal muscles is limited by technical difficulties of estimating the contribution of motor units with different properties to unconstrained motor behaviours. Recently developed wavelet and principal components analysis of intramuscular myoelectric signals has linked signals with lower and higher frequency contents to the use of slower and faster motor unit populations. In this study we estimated the relative contributions of lower and higher frequency signals of cat ankle extensors (soleus, medial and lateral gastrocnemii, plantaris) during level, downslope and upslope walking and the paw-shake response. This was done using the first two myoelectric signal principal components (PCI, PCII), explaining over 90% of the signal, and an angle θ, a function of PCI/PCII, indicating the relative contribution of slower and faster motor unit populations. Mean myoelectric frequencies in all walking conditions were lowest for slow soleus (234 Hz) and highest for fast gastrocnemii (307 and 330 Hz) muscles. Motor unit populations within and across the studied muscles that demonstrated lower myoelectric frequency (suggesting slower populations) were recruited during tasks and movement phases with lower mechanical demands on the ankle extensors--during downslope and level walking and in early walking stance and paw-shake phases. With increasing mechanical demands (upslope walking, mid-phase of paw-shake cycles), motor unit populations generating higher frequency signals (suggesting faster populations) contributed progressively more. We conclude that the myoelectric frequency contents within and between feline ankle extensors vary across studied motor behaviours, with patterns that are generally consistent with muscle fibre-type composition. PMID:22811250

  18. Anxiety and cognitive efficiency: differential modulation of transient and sustained neural activity during a working memory task.

    PubMed

    Fales, C L; Barch, D M; Burgess, G C; Schaefer, A; Mennin, D S; Gray, J R; Braver, T S

    2008-09-01

    According to the processing-efficiency hypothesis (Eysenck, Derakshan, Santos, & Calvo, 2007), anxious individuals are thought to require greater activation of brain systems supporting cognitive control (e.g.,dorsolateral prefrontal cortex; DLPFC) in order to maintain equivalent performance to nonanxious subjects. A recent theory of cognitive control (Braver, Gray, & Burgess, 2007) has proposed that reduced cognitive efficiency might occur as a result of changes in the temporal dynamics of DLPFC recruitment. In this study, we used a mixed blocked/ event-related fMRI design to track transient and sustained activity in DLPFC while high- and low-anxious participants performed a working memory task. The task was performed after the participants viewed videos designed to induce neutral or anxiety-related moods. After the neutral video, the high-anxious participants had reduced sustained but increased transient activation in working memory areas, in comparison with low-anxious participants. The high-anxious group also showed extensive reductions in sustained activation of "default-network" areas (possible deactivation). After the negative video,the low-anxiety group shifted their activation dynamics in cognitive control regions to resemble those of the high-anxious group. These results suggest that reduced cognitive control in anxiety might be due to a transient, rather than sustained, pattern of working memory recruitment. Supplementary information for this study may be found at www.psychonomic.org/archive. PMID:18814461

  19. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor val66met polymorphism and hippocampal activation during episodic encoding and retrieval tasks.

    PubMed

    Dennis, Nancy A; Cabeza, Roberto; Need, Anna C; Waters-Metenier, Sheena; Goldstein, David B; LaBar, Kevin S

    2011-09-01

    Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a neurotrophin which has been shown to regulate cell survival and proliferation, as well as synaptic growth and hippocampal long-term potentiation. A naturally occurring single nucleotide polymorphism in the human BDNF gene (val66met) has been associated with altered intercellular trafficking and regulated secretion of BDNF in met compared to val carriers. Additionally, previous studies have found a relationship between the BDNF val66met genotype and functional activity in the hippocampus during episodic and working memory tasks in healthy young adults. Specifically, studies have found that met carriers exhibit both poorer performance and reduced neural activity within the medial temporal lobe (MTL) when performing episodic memory tasks. However, these studies have not been well replicated and have not considered the role of behavioral differences in the interpretation of neural differences. The current study sought to control for cognitive performance in investigating the role of the BDNF val66met genotype on neural activity associated with episodic memory. Across item and relational memory tests, met carriers exhibited increased MTL activation during both encoding and retrieval stages, compared to noncarriers. The results suggest that met carriers are able to recruit MTL activity to support successful memory processes, and reductions in cognitive performance observed in prior studies are not a ubiquitous effect associated with variants of the BDNF val66met genotype. PMID:20865733

  20. Antenna pattern study, task 2

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Harper, Warren

    1989-01-01

    Two electromagnetic scattering codes, NEC-BSC and ESP3, were delivered and installed on a NASA VAX computer for use by Marshall Space Flight Center antenna design personnel. The existing codes and certain supplementary software were updated, the codes installed on a computer that will be delivered to the customer, to provide capability for graphic display of the data to be computed by the use of the codes and to assist the customer in the solution of specific problems that demonstrate the use of the codes. With the exception of one code revision, all of these tasks were performed.

  1. General Aviation Task Force report

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1993-01-01

    General aviation is officially defined as all aviation except scheduled airlines and the military. It is the only air transportation to many communities throughout the world. In order to reverse the recent decline in general aviation aircraft produced in the United States, the Task Force recommends that NASA provide the expertise and facilities such as wind tunnels and computer codes for aircraft design. General aviation manufacturers are receptive to NASA's innovations and technological leadership and are expected to be effective users of NASA-generated technologies.

  2. Sequencing instructional tasks. A comparison of contingent and noncontingent interspersal of preferred academic tasks.

    PubMed

    Noell, George H; Whitmarsh, Ernest L; VanDerHeyden, Amanda M; Gatti, Susan L; Slider, Natalie J

    2003-04-01

    This study compared two strategies for increasing accurate responding on a low-preference academic task by interspersing presentations of a preferred academic task. Five children attending a preschool program for children with delayed language development participated in this study. Preferred and nonpreferred tasks were identified through a multiple-stimulus, free-operant preference assessment. Contingent access to a preferred academic task was associated with improved response accuracy when compared to noncontingent access to that activity for 3 students. For 1 student, noncontingent access to the preferred activity led to improved response accuracy, and 1 student's analysis suggested the importance of procedural variety. The implications of these findings for use of preference assessments to devise instructional sequences that improve student responding are discussed. PMID:12705105

  3. U.S. Preventive Services Task Force

    MedlinePlus

    ... USPSTF Our Members Conflict of Interest Disclosures Task Force 101 Resources Our Partners Reports to Congress Contact ... effort to make the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommendations clearer and its processes more transparent, ...

  4. Fault-tolerant dynamic task graph scheduling

    SciTech Connect

    Kurt, Mehmet C.; Krishnamoorthy, Sriram; Agrawal, Kunal; Agrawal, Gagan

    2014-11-16

    In this paper, we present an approach to fault tolerant execution of dynamic task graphs scheduled using work stealing. In particular, we focus on selective and localized recovery of tasks in the presence of soft faults. We elicit from the user the basic task graph structure in terms of successor and predecessor relationships. The work stealing-based algorithm to schedule such a task graph is augmented to enable recovery when the data and meta-data associated with a task get corrupted. We use this redundancy, and the knowledge of the task graph structure, to selectively recover from faults with low space and time overheads. We show that the fault tolerant design retains the essential properties of the underlying work stealing-based task scheduling algorithm, and that the fault tolerant execution is asymptotically optimal when task re-execution is taken into account. Experimental evaluation demonstrates the low cost of recovery under various fault scenarios.

  5. Bursts of beta oscillation differentiate postperformance activity in the striatum and motor cortex of monkeys performing movement tasks

    PubMed Central

    Feingold, Joseph; Gibson, Daniel J.; DePasquale, Brian; Graybiel, Ann M.

    2015-01-01

    Studies of neural oscillations in the beta band (13–30 Hz) have demonstrated modulations in beta-band power associated with sensory and motor events on time scales of 1 s or more, and have shown that these are exaggerated in Parkinson’s disease. However, even early reports of beta activity noted extremely fleeting episodes of beta-band oscillation lasting <150 ms. Because the interpretation of possible functions for beta-band oscillations depends strongly on the time scale over which they occur, and because of these oscillations’ potential importance in Parkinson’s disease and related disorders, we analyzed in detail the distributions of duration and power for beta-band activity in a large dataset recorded in the striatum and motor-premotor cortex of macaque monkeys performing reaching tasks. Both regions exhibited typical beta-band suppression during movement and postmovement rebounds of up to 3 s as viewed in data averaged across trials, but single-trial analysis showed that most beta oscillations occurred in brief bursts, commonly 90–115 ms long. In the motor cortex, the burst probabilities peaked following the last movement, but in the striatum, the burst probabilities peaked at task end, after reward, and continued through the postperformance period. Thus, what appear to be extended periods of postperformance beta-band synchronization reflect primarily the modulated densities of short bursts of synchrony occurring in region-specific and task-time-specific patterns. We suggest that these short-time-scale events likely underlie the functions of most beta-band activity, so that prolongation of these beta episodes, as observed in Parkinson’s disease, could produce deleterious network-level signaling. PMID:26460033

  6. An overview of task order 10

    SciTech Connect

    Rousculp, Christopher L

    2011-01-12

    Task Order 10 formalizes a collaboration in high explosive pulsed power (HEPP) experiments between LANL and VNIIEF. The focus is the VNIIEF disk explosive magnetic generator (DEMG) technology. The task order outlines a sequence of tasks and deliverables culminating in an experiment which takes place in the US utilizing US explosives and a Russian DEMG. This talk summarizes task order 10. It gives a brief history and present status in terms of the proposed high pressure EOS experiment (ALT-3).

  7. Managing Multiple Tasks in Complex, Dynamic Environments

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Freed, Michael; Null, Cynthia H. (Technical Monitor)

    1998-01-01

    Sketchy planners are designed to achieve goals in realistically complex, time-pressured, and uncertain task environments. However, the ability to manage multiple, potentially interacting tasks in such environments requires extensions to the functionality these systems typically provide. This paper identifies a number of factors affecting how interacting tasks should be prioritized, interrupted, and resumed, and then describes a sketchy planner called APEX that takes account of these factors when managing multiple tasks.

  8. Monitoring of prefrontal cortex activation during verbal n-back task with 24-channel functional NIRS imager

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Chengjun; Gong, Hui; Gan, Zhuo; Luo, Qingming

    2005-01-01

    Human prefrontal cortex (PFC) helps mediate working memory (WM), a system that is used for temporary storage and manipulation of information and is involved with many higher-level cognitive functions. Here, we report a functional near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) study on the PFC activation caused by verbal WM task. For investigating the effect of memory load on brain activation, we adopted the "n-back" task in which subjects must decide for each present letter whether it matches the letter presented n items back in sequence. 27 subjects (ages 18-24, 13 females) participated in the work. Concentration changes in oxy-Hb (HbO2), deoxy-Hb (Hb), and total-Hb (HbT) in the subjects" prefrontal cortex were monitored by a 24-channel functional NIRS imager. The cortical activations and deactivations were found in left ventrolateral PFC and bilateral dorsolateral PFC. As memory load increased, subjects showed poorer behavioral performance as well as monotonically increasing magnitudes of the activations and deactivations in PFC.

  9. The relation between brain activity during memory tasks and years of education in young and older adults.

    PubMed

    Springer, Mellanie V; McIntosh, Anthony R; Winocur, Gordon; Grady, Cheryl L

    2005-03-01

    Higher education is associated with less age-related decline in cognitive function, but the mechanism of this protective effect is unknown. The authors examined the effect of age on the relation between education and brain activity by correlating years of education with activity measured using functional MRI during memory tasks in young and older adults. In young adults, education was negatively correlated with frontal activity, whereas in older adults, education was positively correlated with frontal activity. Medial temporal activity was associated with more education in young adults but less education in older adults. This suggests that the frontal cortex is engaged by older adults, particularly by the highly educated, as an alternative network that may be engaged to aid cognitive function. PMID:15769202

  10. Task Analysis: A Top-Down Approach.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Harmon, Paul

    1983-01-01

    This approach to task analysis includes descriptions of (1) inputs, outputs, and jobs; (2) flow of materials and decisions between jobs; (3) inputs, major tasks, and outputs of each job; (4) sequence of steps for major tasks; (5) heuristics/algorithms for each sequence step; and (6) information needed to use heuristics algorithms. (EAO)

  11. Task Variables in Mathematical Problem Solving.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Goldin, Gerald A., Ed.; McClintock, C. Edwin, Ed.

    A framework for research in problem solving is provided by categorizing and defining variables describing problem tasks. A model is presented in an article by Kulm for the classification of task variables into broad categories. The model attempts to draw realtionships between these categories of task variables and the stages of problem solving…

  12. The Potential of Statement-Posing Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yang, Kai-Lin

    2010-01-01

    This communication aims at revealing the potential of statement-posing tasks to facilitate students' thinking and strategies of understanding proof. Besides outlining the background of statement-posing tasks, four points were advanced as potential benefits of the tasks: (1) focusing on the logic of arguments in addition to the meaning of…

  13. Teaching Task Sequencing via Verbal Mediation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rusch, Frank R.; And Others

    1987-01-01

    Verbal sequence training was used to teach a moderately mentally retarded woman to sequence job-related tasks. Learning to say the tasks in the proper sequence resulted in the employee performing her tasks in that sequence, and the employee was capable of mediating her own work behavior when scheduled changes occurred. (Author/JDD)

  14. The Sex Assumption in Task Allocation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    DiCanio, Margaret; Johnson, Gordon

    A questionnaire dealing with sex role related household task performance was administered to 284 individuals who were randomly selected from the Memphis (Tennessee) City Directory. The questionnaire was designed to explore both attitudes regarding who "should" carry out 29 different household tasks, and who actually carried out each task in the…

  15. Linking Task Analysis with Student Learning.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sherman, Thomas M.; Wildman, Terry M.

    An examination of task analysis from several perspectives in order to identify some of its purposes and advantages reveals that, as the interest in learning theory has shifted from a predominately behavioral perspective to a more cognitive orientation, the purpose of task analysis has also shifted. Formerly the purpose of task analysis was to aid…

  16. Task Complexity and Second Language Narrative Discourse.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Robinson, Peter

    1995-01-01

    Examines differences in oral narrative discourse of adult second-language learners of English on narrative tasks simulating the ability to describe events in the Here-and-Now versus the There-and-Then. Results indicate that complex tasks elicit less fluent, but more accurate and complex narration than do simpler tasks. (90 references) (Author/CK)

  17. Task Difficulty in Oral Speech Act Production

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Taguchi, Naoko

    2007-01-01

    This study took a pragmatic approach to examining the effects of task difficulty on L2 oral output. Twenty native English speakers and 59 Japanese students of English at two different proficiency levels produced speech acts of requests and refusals in a role play task. The task had two situation types based on three social variables:…

  18. 18 CFR 701.58 - Task forces.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-04-01

    ... 18 Conservation of Power and Water Resources 2 2012-04-01 2012-04-01 false Task forces. 701.58... Headquarters Organization § 701.58 Task forces. The Director with Council concurrence or the Council may establish task forces from time to time to aid in the preparation of issues for presentation to the...

  19. 18 CFR 701.58 - Task forces.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

    ... 18 Conservation of Power and Water Resources 2 2011-04-01 2011-04-01 false Task forces. 701.58... Headquarters Organization § 701.58 Task forces. The Director with Council concurrence or the Council may establish task forces from time to time to aid in the preparation of issues for presentation to the...

  20. 18 CFR 701.58 - Task forces.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-04-01

    ... 18 Conservation of Power and Water Resources 2 2014-04-01 2014-04-01 false Task forces. 701.58... Headquarters Organization § 701.58 Task forces. The Director with Council concurrence or the Council may establish task forces from time to time to aid in the preparation of issues for presentation to the...

  1. 18 CFR 701.58 - Task forces.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ... 18 Conservation of Power and Water Resources 2 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Task forces. 701.58... Headquarters Organization § 701.58 Task forces. The Director with Council concurrence or the Council may establish task forces from time to time to aid in the preparation of issues for presentation to the...

  2. 18 CFR 701.58 - Task forces.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-04-01

    ... 18 Conservation of Power and Water Resources 2 2013-04-01 2012-04-01 true Task forces. 701.58... Headquarters Organization § 701.58 Task forces. The Director with Council concurrence or the Council may establish task forces from time to time to aid in the preparation of issues for presentation to the...

  3. Human Performance on the Temporal Bisection Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kopec, Charles D.; Brody, Carlos D.

    2010-01-01

    The perception and processing of temporal information are tasks the brain must continuously perform. These include measuring the duration of stimuli, storing duration information in memory, recalling such memories, and comparing two durations. How the brain accomplishes these tasks, however, is still open for debate. The temporal bisection task,…

  4. Working Memory Costs of Task Switching

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Liefooghe, Baptist; Barrouillet, Pierre; Vandierendonck, Andre; Camos, Valerie

    2008-01-01

    Although many accounts of task switching emphasize the importance of working memory as a substantial source of the switch cost, there is a lack of evidence demonstrating that task switching actually places additional demands on working memory. The present study addressed this issue by implementing task switching in continuous complex span tasks…

  5. Emergency Medical Technician Series. Duty Task List.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Oklahoma State Dept. of Vocational and Technical Education, Stillwater. Curriculum and Instructional Materials Center.

    This document contains the occupational duty/task lists for 12 duties in the occupation of emergency medical technician. Each duty is divided into a number of tasks. A separate page for each duty lists the task with its code number and columns to indicate whether that particular duty has been taught and to provide space for comments. The 12 duties…

  6. Task-dependent and task-independent neurovascular responses to syntactic processing⋆

    PubMed Central

    Caplan, David; Chen, Evan; Waters, Gloria

    2008-01-01

    The neural basis for syntactic processing was studied using event-related fMRI to determine the locations of BOLD signal increases in the contrast of syntactically complex sentences with center-embedded, object-extracted relative clauses and syntactically simple sentences with right-branching, subject-extracted relative clauses in a group of 15 participants in three tasks. In a sentence verification task, participants saw a target sentence in one of these two syntactic forms, followed by a probe in a simple active form, and determined whether the probe expressed a proposition in the target. In a plausibility judgment task, participants determined whether a sentence in one of these two syntactic forms was plausible or implausible. Finally, in a non-word detection task, participants determined whether a sentence in one of these two syntactic forms contained only real words or a non-word. BOLD signal associated with the syntactic contrast increased in the left posterior inferior frontal gyrus in non-word detection and in a widespread set of areas in the other two tasks. We conclude that the BOLD activity in the left posterior inferior frontal gyrus reflects syntactic processing independent of concurrent cognitive operations and the more widespread areas of activation reflect the use of strategies and the use of the products of syntactic processing to accomplish tasks. PMID:18387556

  7. Electrophysiological evidence for preparatory reconfiguration before voluntary task switches but not cued task switches.

    PubMed

    Kang, Min-Suk; Diraddo, Adrienne; Logan, Gordon D; Woodman, Geoffrey F

    2014-04-01

    An unresolved issue in the task-switching literature is whether preparatory reconfiguration occurs before a change of task. In this study, we used event-related potentials (ERPs) to determine whether preparatory reconfiguration occurs during two different task-switching procedures: voluntary and cued task switching. We focused on two ERP components that index different cognitive operations. The contingent negative variation (CNV) is a sensitive measure of a participant's preparedness to use a specific stimulus-response mapping. In contrast, the P3 indexes memory updating. We found a pronounced modulation of the CNV before voluntary task switches, but not before cued task switches. Instead, cued task switches were preceded by a larger P3, as compared with task repetitions. Our findings suggest that task set reconfiguration is carried out prior to voluntary task switches, whereas memory processes dominate cued task switches. PMID:23979831

  8. Neuronal activity in primate prefrontal cortex related to goal-directed behavior during auditory working memory tasks.

    PubMed

    Huang, Ying; Brosch, Michael

    2016-06-01

    Prefrontal cortex (PFC) has been documented to play critical roles in goal-directed behaviors, like representing goal-relevant events and working memory (WM). However, neurophysiological evidence for such roles of PFC has been obtained mainly with visual tasks but rarely with auditory tasks. In the present study, we tested roles of PFC in auditory goal-directed behaviors by recording local field potentials in the auditory region of left ventrolateral PFC while a monkey performed auditory WM tasks. The tasks consisted of multiple events and required the monkey to change its mental states to achieve the reward. The events were auditory and visual stimuli, as well as specific actions. Mental states were engaging in the tasks and holding task-relevant information in auditory WM. We found that, although based on recordings from one hemisphere in one monkey only, PFC represented multiple events that were important for achieving reward, including auditory and visual stimuli like turning on and off an LED, as well as bar touch. The responses to auditory events depended on the tasks and on the context of the tasks. This provides support for the idea that neuronal representations in PFC are flexible and can be related to the behavioral meaning of stimuli. We also found that engaging in the tasks and holding information in auditory WM were associated with persistent changes of slow potentials, both of which are essential for auditory goal-directed behaviors. Our study, on a single hemisphere in a single monkey, reveals roles of PFC in auditory goal-directed behaviors similar to those in visual goal-directed behaviors, suggesting that functions of PFC in goal-directed behaviors are probably common across the auditory and visual modality. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled SI: Auditory working memory. PMID:26874071

  9. Altered brain activation in a reversal learning task unmasks adaptive changes in cognitive control in writer's cramp.

    PubMed

    Zeuner, Kirsten E; Knutzen, Arne; Granert, Oliver; Sablowsky, Simone; Götz, Julia; Wolff, Stephan; Jansen, Olav; Dressler, Dirk; Schneider, Susanne A; Klein, Christine; Deuschl, Günther; van Eimeren, Thilo; Witt, Karsten

    2016-01-01

    Previous receptor binding studies suggest dopamine function is altered in the basal ganglia circuitry in task-specific dystonia, a condition characterized by contraction of agonist and antagonist muscles while performing specific tasks. Dopamine plays a role in reward-based learning. Using fMRI, this study compared 31 right-handed writer's cramp patients to 35 controls in reward-based learning of a probabilistic reversal-learning task. All subjects chose between two stimuli and indicated their response with their left or right index finger. One stimulus response was rewarded 80%, the other 20%. After contingencies reversal, the second stimulus response was rewarded in 80%. We further linked the DRD2/ANKK1-TaqIa polymorphism, which is associated with 30% reduction of the striatal dopamine receptor density with reward-based learning and assumed impaired reversal learning in A + subjects. Feedback learning in patients was normal. Blood-oxygen level dependent (BOLD) signal in controls increased with negative feedback in the insula, rostral cingulate cortex, middle frontal gyrus and parietal cortex (pFWE < 0.05). In comparison to controls, patients showed greater increase in BOLD activity following negative feedback in the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (BA32). The genetic status was not correlated with the BOLD activity. The Brodmann area 32 (BA32) is part of the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) that plays an important role in coordinating and integrating information to guide behavior and in reward-based learning. The dACC is connected with the basal ganglia-thalamo-loop modulated by dopaminergic signaling. This finding suggests disturbed integration of reinforcement history in decision making and implicate that the reward system might contribute to the pathogenesis in writer's cramp. PMID:26702397

  10. Altered brain activation in a reversal learning task unmasks adaptive changes in cognitive control in writer's cramp

    PubMed Central

    Zeuner, Kirsten E.; Knutzen, Arne; Granert, Oliver; Sablowsky, Simone; Götz, Julia; Wolff, Stephan; Jansen, Olav; Dressler, Dirk; Schneider, Susanne A.; Klein, Christine; Deuschl, Günther; van Eimeren, Thilo; Witt, Karsten

    2015-01-01

    Previous receptor binding studies suggest dopamine function is altered in the basal ganglia circuitry in task-specific dystonia, a condition characterized by contraction of agonist and antagonist muscles while performing specific tasks. Dopamine plays a role in reward-based learning. Using fMRI, this study compared 31 right-handed writer's cramp patients to 35 controls in reward-based learning of a probabilistic reversal-learning task. All subjects chose between two stimuli and indicated their response with their left or right index finger. One stimulus response was rewarded 80%, the other 20%. After contingencies reversal, the second stimulus response was rewarded in 80%. We further linked the DRD2/ANKK1-TaqIa polymorphism, which is associated with 30% reduction of the striatal dopamine receptor density with reward-based learning and assumed impaired reversal learning in A + subjects. Feedback learning in patients was normal. Blood-oxygen level dependent (BOLD) signal in controls increased with negative feedback in the insula, rostral cingulate cortex, middle frontal gyrus and parietal cortex (pFWE < 0.05). In comparison to controls, patients showed greater increase in BOLD activity following negative feedback in the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (BA32). The genetic status was not correlated with the BOLD activity. The Brodmann area 32 (BA32) is part of the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) that plays an important role in coordinating and integrating information to guide behavior and in reward-based learning. The dACC is connected with the basal ganglia-thalamo-loop modulated by dopaminergic signaling. This finding suggests disturbed integration of reinforcement history in decision making and implicate that the reward system might contribute to the pathogenesis in writer's cramp. PMID:26702397

  11. A Preliminary Study of Functional Brain Activation among Marijuana Users during Performance of a Virtual Water Maze Task

    PubMed Central

    Sneider, Jennifer Tropp; Gruber, Staci A.; Rogowska, Jadwiga; Silveri, Marisa M.; Yurgelun-Todd, Deborah A.

    2013-01-01

    Numerous studies have reported neurocognitive impairments associated with chronic marijuana use. Given that the hippocampus contains a high density of cannabinoid receptors, hippocampal-mediated cognitive functions, including visuospatial memory, may have increased vulnerability to chronic marijuana use. Thus, the current study examined brain activation during the performance of a virtual analogue of the classic Morris water maze task in 10 chronic marijuana (MJ) users compared to 18 nonusing (NU) comparison subjects. Imaging data were acquired using blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) functional MRI at 3.0 Tesla during retrieval (hidden platform) and motor control (visible platform) conditions. While task performance on learning trials was similar between groups, MJ users demonstrated a deficit in memory retrieval. For BOLD fMRI data, NU subjects exhibited greater activation in the right parahippocampal gyrus and cingulate gyrus compared to the MJ group for the Retrieval-Motor Control contrast (NU > MJ). These findings suggest that hypoactivation in MJ users may be due to differences in the efficient utilization of neuronal resources during the retrieval of memory. Given the paucity of data on visuospatial memory function in MJ users, these findings may help elucidate the neurobiological effects of marijuana on brain activation during memory retrieval. PMID:23951549

  12. Age-related changes in trunk neuromuscular activation patterns during a controlled functional transfer task include amplitude and temporal synergies.

    PubMed

    Quirk, D Adam; Hubley-Kozey, Cheryl L

    2014-12-01

    While healthy aging is associated with physiological changes that can impair control of trunk motion, few studies examine how spinal muscle responses change with increasing age. This study examined whether older (over 65 years) compared to younger (20-45 years) adults had higher overall amplitude and altered temporal recruitment patterns of trunk musculature when performing a functional transfer task. Surface electromyograms from twelve bilateral trunk muscle (24) sites were analyzed using principal component analysis, extracting amplitude and temporal features (PCs) from electromyographic waveforms. Two PCs explained 96% of the waveform variance. Three factor ANOVA models tested main effects (group, muscle and reach) and interactions for PC scores. Significant (p<.0125) group interactions were found for all PC scores. Post hoc analysis revealed that relative to younger adults, older adults recruited higher agonist and antagonistic activity, demonstrated continuous activation levels in specific muscle sites despite changing external moments, and had altered temporal synergies within abdominal and back musculature. In summary both older and younger adults recruit highly organized activation patterns in response to changing external moments. Differences in temporal trunk musculature recruitment patterns suggest that older adults experience different dynamic spinal stiffness and loading compared to younger adults during a functional lifting task. PMID:25457424

  13. Pattern of brain activation during social cognitive tasks is related to social competence in siblings discordant for schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Villarreal, Mirta F; Drucaroff, Lucas J; Goldschmidt, Micaela G; de Achával, Delfina; Costanzo, Elsa Y; Castro, Mariana N; Ladrón-de-Guevara, M Soledad; Busatto Filho, Geraldo; Nemeroff, Charles B; Guinjoan, Salvador M

    2014-09-01

    Measures of social competence are closely related to actual community functioning in patients with schizophrenia. However, the neurobiological mechanisms underlying competence in schizophrenia are not fully understood. We hypothesized that social deficits in schizophrenia are explained, at least in part, by abnormally lateralized patterns of brain activation in response to tasks engaging social cognition, as compared to healthy individuals. We predicted such patterns would be partly heritable, and therefore affected in patients' nonpsychotic siblings as well. We used a functional magnetic resonance image paradigm to characterize brain activation induced by theory of mind tasks, and two tests of social competence, the Test of Adaptive Behavior in Schizophrenia (TABS), and the Social Skills Performance Assessment (SSPA) in siblings discordant for schizophrenia and comparable healthy controls (n = 14 per group). Healthy individuals showed the strongest correlation between social competence and activation of right hemisphere structures involved in social cognitive processing, whereas in patients, the correlation pattern was lateralized to left hemisphere areas. Unaffected siblings of patients exhibited a pattern intermediate between the other groups. These results support the hypothesis that schizophrenia may be characterized by an abnormal functioning of nondominant hemisphere structures involved in the processing of socially salient information. PMID:24927685

  14. A preliminary study of functional brain activation among marijuana users during performance of a virtual water maze task.

    PubMed

    Sneider, Jennifer Tropp; Gruber, Staci A; Rogowska, Jadwiga; Silveri, Marisa M; Yurgelun-Todd, Deborah A

    2013-01-01

    Numerous studies have reported neurocognitive impairments associated with chronic marijuana use. Given that the hippocampus contains a high density of cannabinoid receptors, hippocampal-mediated cognitive functions, including visuospatial memory, may have increased vulnerability to chronic marijuana use. Thus, the current study examined brain activation during the performance of a virtual analogue of the classic Morris water maze task in 10 chronic marijuana (MJ) users compared to 18 non-using (NU) comparison subjects. Imaging data were acquired using blood oxygen-level dependent (BOLD) functional MRI at 3.0 Tesla during retrieval (hidden platform) and motor control (visible platform) conditions. While task performance on learning trials was similar between groups, MJ users demonstrated a deficit in memory retrieval. For BOLD fMRI data, NU subjects exhibited greater activation in the right parahippocampal gyrus and cingulate gyrus compared to the MJ group for the Retrieval - Motor control contrast (NU > MJ). These findings suggest that hypoactivation in MJ users may be due to differences in the efficient utilization of neuronal resources during the retrieval of memory. Given the paucity of data on visuospatial memory function in MJ users, these findings may help elucidate the neurobiological effects of marijuana on brain activation during memory retrieval. PMID:23951549

  15. The Keck Task Library (KTL)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lupton, W. F.; Conrad, A. R.

    1992-01-01

    KTL is a set of routines which eases the job of writing applications which must interact with a variety of underlying sub-systems (known as services). A typical application is an X Window user interface coordinating telescope and instruments. In order to connect to a service, application code specifies a service name--typically an instrument name--and a style, which defines the way in which the application will interact with the service. Two styles are currently supported: keyword, where the application reads and writes named keywords and the resulting inter-task message traffic is hidden; and message, where the application deals directly with messages. The keyword style is intended mainly for user interfaces, and the message style is intended mainly for lower-level applications. KTL applications are event driven: a typical application first connects to all its desired services, then expresses interest in specified events. The application then enters an event dispatch loop in which it waits for events and calls the appropriate service's event-handling routine. Each event is associated with a call-back routine which is invoked when the event occurs. Call-back routines may (and typically do) interact with other sub-systems and KTL provides the means of doing so without blocking the application (vital for X Window user interfaces). This approach is a marriage of ideas culled from the X window, ADAM, Keck instrument, and Keck telescope control systems. A novel feature of KTL is that it knows nothing about any services or styles. Instead it defines a generic set of routines which must be implemented by all services and styles (essentially open(), ioctl(), read(), write(), event(), and close()) and activates sharable libraries at run-time. Services have been implemented (in both keyword and message styles) for HIRES (the Keck high resolution echelle spectrograph built by Lick Observatory), LWS (the Keck long wavelength spectrometer built by UC San Diego), and the Keck

  16. Task Type E report for National Launch Demonstration Center (NLDC) (Task 32)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elliot, G. E.

    1991-12-01

    The objective of this task was to define National Launch Demonstration Center (NLDC) requirements in support of National Launch System (NLS) Joint Program Office (JPO) Level 11 Task #32, NLDC Requirement Definition. The following document provided the basis for the study: Task authorization - Contract FO4701-88-C-0109, Modification P00025, SOW 3.2.11, Define NLDC Requirements. The Task was structured into the following series of activities: (1) identify NLS vehicle, operations, or information system requirements which could be demonstrated, integrated, validated, or verified using the NLDC; (2) establish groundrules and constraints for the NLDC; (3) develop a time phased approach for implementing the NLDC to match the NLS need dates and Spaceport Florida Authority/JPO funding availability; (4) support development of NLS JPO NLDC Plan; and (5) support development of NLS JPO NLDC Coordination Briefing.

  17. Integrated Task and Data Parallel Programming

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Grimshaw, A. S.

    1998-01-01

    This research investigates the combination of task and data parallel language constructs within a single programming language. There are an number of applications that exhibit properties which would be well served by such an integrated language. Examples include global climate models, aircraft design problems, and multidisciplinary design optimization problems. Our approach incorporates data parallel language constructs into an existing, object oriented, task parallel language. The language will support creation and manipulation of parallel classes and objects of both types (task parallel and data parallel). Ultimately, the language will allow data parallel and task parallel classes to be used either as building blocks or managers of parallel objects of either type, thus allowing the development of single and multi-paradigm parallel applications. 1995 Research Accomplishments In February I presented a paper at Frontiers 1995 describing the design of the data parallel language subset. During the spring I wrote and defended my dissertation proposal. Since that time I have developed a runtime model for the language subset. I have begun implementing the model and hand-coding simple examples which demonstrate the language subset. I have identified an astrophysical fluid flow application which will validate the data parallel language subset. 1996 Research Agenda Milestones for the coming year include implementing a significant portion of the data parallel language subset over the Legion system. Using simple hand-coded methods, I plan to demonstrate (1) concurrent task and data parallel objects and (2) task parallel objects managing both task and data parallel objects. My next steps will focus on constructing a compiler and implementing the fluid flow application with the language. Concurrently, I will conduct a search for a real-world application exhibiting both task and data parallelism within the same program. Additional 1995 Activities During the fall I collaborated

  18. Activation and measurement of threat associations in fear of spiders: an application of the Extrinsic Affective Simon Task.

    PubMed

    Ellwart, Thomas; Becker, Eni S; Rinck, Mike

    2005-12-01

    The Extrinsic Affective Simon Task (DeHouwer, EAST; Experimental Psychol. 50 (2003) 77) was used to assess how different context conditions lead to differential activation of cognitive schemata in anxiety. Participants completed two identical EASTs, in which ambiguous target words (e.g., legs, net) were categorized together with pleasant words and unpleasant, fear-related words. Each EAST was preceded by the presentation of pictures, activating either a 'human' concept or a 'spider' concept. Results indicated that spider fearful participants showed threat associations towards the target words, but only when the spider concept was primed. Non-fearful participants did not show threat associations with either type of priming. We conclude that impact of threat associations depends on the activated context, and that the EAST is suitable for the assessment of fear associations and their current activation level. PMID:16153389

  19. Return to Flight Task Group

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2005-01-01

    It has been 29 months since Columbia was lost over East Texas in February 2003. Seven months after the accident, the Columbia Accident Investigation Board (CAIB) released the first volume of its final report, citing a variety of technical, managerial, and cultural issues within NASA and the Space Shuttle Program. To their credit, NASA offered few excuses, embraced the report, and set about correcting the deficiencies noted by the accident board. Of the 29 recommendations issued by the CAIB, 15 were deemed critical enough that the accident board believed they should be implemented prior to returning the Space Shuttle to flight. Some of these recommendations were relatively easy, most were straightforward, a few bordered on the impossible, and others were largely overcome by events, particularly the decision by the President to retire the Space Shuttle by 2010. The Return to Flight Task Group (RTF TG, or simply, the Task Group) was chartered by the NASA Administrator in July 2003 to provide an independent assessment of the implementation of the 15 CAIB return-to-flight recommendations. An important observation must be stated up-front: neither the CAIB nor the RTF TG believes that all risk can be eliminated from Space Shuttle operations; nor do we believe that the Space Shuttle is inherently unsafe. What the CAIB and RTF TG do believe, however, is that NASA and the American public need to understand the risks associated with space travel, and that NASA must make every reasonable effort to minimize such risk. Since the release of the CAIB report, NASA and the Space Shuttle Program expended enormous effort and resources toward correcting the causes of the accident and preparing to fly again. Relative to the 15 specific recommendations that the CAIB indicated should be implemented prior to returning to flight, NASA has met or exceeded most of them the Task Group believes that NASA met the intent of the CAIB for 12 of these recommendations. The remaining three

  20. Effect of handedness on brain activity patterns and effective connectivity network during the semantic task of Chinese characters.

    PubMed

    Gao, Qing; Wang, Junping; Yu, Chunshui; Chen, Huafu

    2015-01-01

    Increasing efforts have been denoted to elucidating the effective connectivity (EC) among brain regions recruited by certain language task; however, it remains unclear the impact of handedness on the EC network underlying language processing. In particularly, this has not been investigated in Chinese language, which shows several differences from alphabetic language. This study thereby explored the functional activity patterns and the EC network during a Chinese semantic task based on functional MRI data of healthy left handers (LH) and right handers (RH). We found that RH presented a left lateralized activity pattern in cerebral cortex and a right lateralized pattern in cerebellum; while LH were less lateralized than RH in both cerebral and cerebellar areas. The conditional Granger causality method in deconvolved BOLD level further demonstrated more interhemispheric directional connections in LH than RH group, suggesting better bihemispheric coordination and increased interhemispheric communication in LH. Furthermore, we found significantly increased EC from right middle occipital gyrus to bilateral insula (INS) while decreased EC from left INS to left precentral gyrus in LH group comparing to RH group, implying that handedness may differentiate the causal relationship of information processing in integration of visual-spatial analysis and semantic word retrieval of Chinese characters. PMID:26666706

  1. Unintentional Activation of Translation Equivalents in Bilinguals Leads to Attention Capture in a Cross-Modal Visual Task

    PubMed Central

    Singh, Niharika; Mishra, Ramesh Kumar

    2015-01-01

    Using a variant of the visual world eye tracking paradigm, we examined if language non- selective activation of translation equivalents leads to attention capture and distraction in a visual task in bilinguals. High and low proficient Hindi-English speaking bilinguals were instructed to programme a saccade towards a line drawing which changed colour among other distractor objects. A spoken word, irrelevant to the main task, was presented before the colour change. On critical trials, one of the line drawings was a phonologically related word of the translation equivalent of the spoken word. Results showed that saccade latency was significantly higher towards the target in the presence of this cross-linguistic translation competitor compared to when the display contained completely unrelated objects. Participants were also slower when the display contained the referent of the spoken word among the distractors. However, the bilingual groups did not differ with regard to the interference effect observed. These findings suggest that spoken words activates translation equivalent which bias attention leading to interference in goal directed action in the visual domain. PMID:25775184

  2. Unintentional activation of translation equivalents in bilinguals leads to attention capture in a cross-modal visual task.

    PubMed

    Singh, Niharika; Mishra, Ramesh Kumar

    2015-01-01

    Using a variant of the visual world eye tracking paradigm, we examined if language non-selective activation of translation equivalents leads to attention capture and distraction in a visual task in bilinguals. High and low proficient Hindi-English speaking bilinguals were instructed to programme a saccade towards a line drawing which changed colour among other distractor objects. A spoken word, irrelevant to the main task, was presented before the colour change. On critical trials, one of the line drawings was a phonologically related word of the translation equivalent of the spoken word. Results showed that saccade latency was significantly higher towards the target in the presence of this cross-linguistic translation competitor compared to when the display contained completely unrelated objects. Participants were also slower when the display contained the referent of the spoken word among the distractors. However, the bilingual groups did not differ with regard to the interference effect observed. These findings suggest that spoken words activates translation equivalent which bias attention leading to interference in goal directed action in the visual domain. PMID:25775184

  3. Task network models in the prediction of workload imposed by extravehicular activities during the Hubble Space Telescope servicing mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Diaz, Manuel F.; Takamoto, Neal; Woolford, Barbara

    1994-01-01

    In a joint effort with Brooks AFB, Texas, the Flight Crew Support Division at JSC has begun a computer simulation and performance modeling program directed at establishing the predictive validity of software tools for modeling human performance during spaceflight. This paper addresses the utility of task network modeling for predicting the workload that astronauts are likely to encounter in extravehicular activities (EVA) during the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) repair mission. The intent of the study was to determine whether two EVA crewmembers and one intravehicular activity (IVA) crewmember could reasonably be expected to complete HST Wide Field/Planetary Camera (WFPC) replacement in the allotted time. Ultimately, examination of the points during HST servicing that may result in excessive workload will lead to recommendations to the HST Flight Systems and Servicing Project concerning (1) expectation of degraded performance, (2) the need to change task allocation across crewmembers, (3) the need to expand the timeline, and (4) the need to increase the number of EVA's.

  4. Effect of handedness on brain activity patterns and effective connectivity network during the semantic task of Chinese characters

    PubMed Central

    Gao, Qing; Wang, Junping; Yu, Chunshui; Chen, Huafu

    2015-01-01

    Increasing efforts have been denoted to elucidating the effective connectivity (EC) among brain regions recruited by certain language task; however, it remains unclear the impact of handedness on the EC network underlying language processing. In particularly, this has not been investigated in Chinese language, which shows several differences from alphabetic language. This study thereby explored the functional activity patterns and the EC network during a Chinese semantic task based on functional MRI data of healthy left handers (LH) and right handers (RH). We found that RH presented a left lateralized activity pattern in cerebral cortex and a right lateralized pattern in cerebellum; while LH were less lateralized than RH in both cerebral and cerebellar areas. The conditional Granger causality method in deconvolved BOLD level further demonstrated more interhemispheric directional connections in LH than RH group, suggesting better bihemispheric coordination and increased interhemispheric communication in LH. Furthermore, we found significantly increased EC from right middle occipital gyrus to bilateral insula (INS) while decreased EC from left INS to left precentral gyrus in LH group comparing to RH group, implying that handedness may differentiate the causal relationship of information processing in integration of visual-spatial analysis and semantic word retrieval of Chinese characters. PMID:26666706

  5. Exposure to smoking cues during an emotion recognition task can modulate limbic fMRI activation in cigarette smokers.

    PubMed

    Artiges, Eric; Ricalens, Emmanuel; Berthoz, Sylvie; Krebs, Marie-Odile; Penttilä, Jani; Trichard, Christian; Martinot, Jean-Luc

    2009-09-01

    Smoking cues (SCs) refer to smoking-associated environmental stimuli that may trigger craving and withdrawal symptoms, and predispose to relapse in smokers. Although previous brain imaging studies have explored neural responses to SCs, no study has characterized the effects of SCs on cerebral activity in smokers engaged in an attention-demanding cognitive task that is unrelated to smoking. Thirteen tobacco smokers and a demographically matched group of 13 healthy non-smokers participated in a fast event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study that involved a visual task integrating SCs and neutral cues (NCs) during emotion recognition trials requiring a high level of attention. No significant SC-induced alterations were detected in smokers' behavioural performance. fMRI results show that non-smokers exhibited no difference between SC and NC trials; in contrast, smokers showed SC-induced widespread deactivations in a limbic, paralimbic and striatal network classically involved in addiction, and activation in the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. In addition, a correlation between deactivation of the right insula and the severity of smoking dependence (Fagerström test) was detected in smokers. These results suggest that the neural reactivity of smokers to SCs can be modified in the context of a cognitive challenge. This could reflect smokers' ability to inhibit cue-induced craving and may help in smoking cessation. PMID:19650816

  6. Top-down control of MEG alpha-band activity in children performing Categorical N-Back Task.

    PubMed

    Ciesielski, Kristina T; Ahlfors, Seppo P; Bedrick, Edward J; Kerwin, Audra A; Hämäläinen, Matti S

    2010-10-01

    Top-down cognitive control has been associated in adults with the prefrontal-parietal network. In children the brain mechanisms of top-down control have rarely been studied. We examined developmental differences in top-down cognitive control by monitoring event-related desynchronization (ERD) and event-related synchronization (ERS) of alpha-band oscillatory activity (8-13 Hz) during anticipation, target detection and post-response stages of a visual working memory task. Magnetoencephalography (MEG) was used to record brain oscillatory activity from healthy 10-year-old children and young adults performing the Categorical N-Back Task (CNBT). Neuropsychological measures assessing frontal lobe networks were also acquired. Whereas adults showed a modulation of the ERD at the anticipatory stages of CNBT and ERS at the post-response stage, children displayed only some anticipatory modulation of ERD but no ERS at the post-response stage, with alpha-band remaining at a desynchronized state. Since neuropsychological and prior neuroimaging findings indicate that the prefrontal-parietal networks are not fully developed in 10-year olds, and since the children performed as well as the adults on CNBT and yet displayed different patterns of ERD/ERS, we suggest that children may be using different top-down cognitive strategies and, hence, different, developmentally apt neuronal networks. PMID:20713071

  7. Establishing viable task domains for telerobot demonstrations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zimmerman, Wayne

    1989-01-01

    A suite of telerobotic tasks has been compiled and assessed for the purpose of selecting viable tasks for near and far term laboratory demonstrations. The primary intent of developing the task is to provide some technical guidelines, with supporting data, for focusing laboratory demonstrations toward application domains that address a wide array of potential telerobot tasks and required technologies. This wide application would then result in a rich technology development environment to meet the broad task requirements of a system such as the Flight Telerobot Servicer. The methodology and results of the telerobot task assessment are described, including a ranking of the final select suite of major tasks. The presented along with guidelines for both interpreting the task ranking results and setting programmatic objectives based on these results. Detailed data about the task candidates and their respective levels of complexity, task primitive actions, and the actual relative measures of task worth as associated with key tradeoff variables such as cost, available research resources, technology availability, and importance to the user community are also presented.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

    In this study, we investigated teachers' teaching practices and their underlying beliefs regarding context-based tasks to find a possible explanation for students' difficulties with these tasks. The research started by surveying 27 Junior High School teachers from seven schools in Indonesia through a written questionnaire. Then, to further examine teachers' teaching practices related to context-based tasks, four teachers were observed and video recorded in two mathematics lessons in which they were asked to deal with context-based tasks. The questionnaire data revealed that the teachers had a tendency toward a view on teaching and learning mathematics which includes encouraging students to be actively involved in solving problems in various contexts. Although this finding suggests that the teachers may offer opportunities to learn context-based tasks to students, the questionnaire data also revealed that the teachers saw context-based tasks as plain word problems. Furthermore, the observations disclosed that their teaching was mainly teacher-centered and directive, which is not considered to be supportive for learning to solve context-based tasks. Combining the findings of this study with the results from our earlier study on Indonesian students' errors when solving context-based tasks, we found a relationship between how Indonesian teachers teach context-based tasks and the errors Indonesian students make in solving these tasks. These findings support the conclusion that insufficient opportunity-to-learn to solve context-based tasks offered by teachers is a possible explanation for students' difficulties in solving these tasks.

  9. Impulse variability in isometric tasks.

    PubMed

    Carlton, L G; Kim, K H; Liu, Y T; Newell, K M

    1993-03-01

    An isometric elbow flexion task was used in two experiments that examined the influence of force-production characteristics on impulse variability. Impulse size was held constant while peak force, time to peak force, rate of force, and, hence, the shape of the criterion force-time curve were manipulated. The results indicated that changes in the force-time curve under conditions of equal impulse bring about systematic changes in impulse variability, and this effect is more pronounced for larger impulse conditions. The inability of existing functions to account for the peak force variability findings led to the generation of a new predicted force variability function. The proposed function accounts for changes in the standard deviation and coefficient of variation of peak force, impulse, and rate of force over a range of force-time conditions. PMID:12730039

  10. CNTRICS Final Task Selection: Working Memory

    PubMed Central

    Barch, Deanna M.; Berman, Marc G.; Engle, Randy; Jones, Jessica Hurdelbrink; Jonides, John; MacDonald, Angus; Nee, Derek Evan; Redick, Thomas S.; Sponheim, Scott R.

    2009-01-01

    The third meeting of the Cognitive Neuroscience Treatment Research to Improve Cognition in Schizophrenia (CNTRICS) was focused on selecting promising measures for each of the cognitive constructs selected in the first CNTRICS meeting. In the domain of working memory, the 2 constructs of interest were goal maintenance and interference control. CNTRICS received 3 task nominations for each of these constructs, and the breakout group for working memory evaluated the degree to which each of these tasks met prespecified criteria. For goal maintenance, the breakout group for working memory recommended the AX-Continuous Performance Task/Dot Pattern Expectancy task for translation for use in clinical trial contexts in schizophrenia research. For interference control, the breakout group recommended the recent probes and operation/symmetry span tasks for translation for use in clinical trials. This article describes the ways in which each of these tasks met the criteria used by the breakout group to recommend tasks for further development. PMID:18990711

  11. The numerical distance effect is task dependent.

    PubMed

    Goldfarb, Liat; Henik, Avishai; Rubinsten, Orly; Bloch-David, Yafit; Gertner, Limor

    2011-11-01

    Number comparison tasks produce a distance effect e.g., Moyer & Landauer (Nature 215: 1519-1520, 1967). It has been suggested that this effect supports the existence of semantic mental representations of numbers. In a matching task, a distance effect also appears, which suggests that the effect has an automatic semantic component. Recently, Cohen (Psychonomic Bulletin & Review 16: 332-336, 2009) suggested that in both automatic and intentional tasks, the distance effect might reflect not a semantic number representation, but a physical similarity between digits. The present article (1) compares the distance effect in the automatic matching task with that in the intentional number comparison task and suggests that, in the latter, the distance effect does include an additional semantic component; and (2) indicates that the distance effect in the standard automatic matching task is questionable and that its appearance in previous matching tasks was based on the specific analysis and design that were applied. PMID:21698497

  12. A preliminary study of sex differences in brain activation during a spatial navigation task in healthy adults.

    PubMed

    Sneider, Jennifer Tropp; Sava, Simona; Rogowska, Jadwiga; Yurgelun-Todd, Deborah A

    2011-10-01

    The hippocampus plays a significant role in spatial memory processing, with sex differences being prominent on various spatial tasks. This study examined sex differences in healthy adults, using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in areas implicated in spatial processing during navigation of a virtual analogue of the Morris water-maze. There were three conditions: learning, hidden, and visible control. There were no significant differences in performance measures. However, sex differences were found in regional brain activation during learning in the right hippocampus, right parahippocampal gyrus, and the cingulate cortex. During the hidden condition, the hippocampus, parahippocampal gyrus, and cingulate cortex were activated in both men and women. Additional brain areas involved in spatial processing may be recruited in women when learning information about the environment, by utilizing external cues (landmarks) more than do men, contributing to the observed sex differences in brain activation. PMID:22185061

  13. Task Results Processing for the Needs of Task-Oriented Design Environments

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zheliazkova, Irina; Kolev, R.

    2008-01-01

    This paper presents learners' task results gathered by means of an example task-oriented environment for knowledge testing and processed by EXCEL. The processing is domain- and task-independent and includes automatic calculation of several important task and session's parameters, drawing specific graphics, generating tables, and analyzing the…

  14. The Effect of a Workload-Preview on Task-Prioritization and Task-Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Minotra, Dev

    2012-01-01

    With increased volume and sophistication of cyber attacks in recent years, maintaining situation awareness and effective task-prioritization strategy is critical to the task of cybersecurity analysts. However, high levels of mental-workload associated with the task of cybersecurity analyst's limits their ability to prioritize tasks.…

  15. Is Performance in Task-Cuing Experiments Mediated by Task Set Selection or Associative Compound Retrieval?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Forrest, Charlotte L. D.; Monsell, Stephen; McLaren, Ian P. L.

    2014-01-01

    Task-cuing experiments are usually intended to explore control of task set. But when small stimulus sets are used, they plausibly afford learning of the response associated with a combination of cue and stimulus, without reference to tasks. In 3 experiments we presented the typical trials of a task-cuing experiment: a cue (colored shape) followed,…

  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. How to Correct a Task Error: Task-Switch Effects Following Different Types of Error Correction

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Steinhauser, Marco

    2010-01-01

    It has been proposed that switch costs in task switching reflect the strengthening of task-related associations and that strengthening is triggered by response execution. The present study tested the hypothesis that only task-related responses are able to trigger strengthening. Effects of task strengthening caused by error corrections were…

  18. Cue-Independent Task-Specific Representations in Task Switching: Evidence from Backward Inhibition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Altmann, Erik M.

    2007-01-01

    The compound-cue model of cognitive control in task switching explains switch cost in terms of a switch of task cues rather than of a switch of tasks. The present study asked whether the model generalizes to Lag 2 repetition cost (also known as backward inhibition), a related effect in which the switch from B to A in ABA task sequences is costlier…

  19. Teaching to the Task: Preservice Teachers' Instruction for Cognitively Demanding Writing Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Benko, Susanna Latham

    2012-01-01

    In this study, I examine the instruction of four preservice English teachers (PSTs) for cognitively demanding literature-based writing tasks in order to investigate the types of tasks that PSTs identify as cognitively demanding, how PSTs' instruction for such tasks maintains or degrades the task's intellectual rigor, and possible…

  20. Increased topographical variability of task-related activation in perceptive and motor associative regions in adult autistics

    PubMed Central

    Poulin-Lord, Marie-Pier; Barbeau, Elise B.; Soulières, Isabelle; Monchi, Oury; Doyon, Julien; Benali, Habib; Mottron, Laurent

    2014-01-01

    Background An enhanced plasticity is suspected to play a role in various microstructural alterations, as well as in regional cortical reallocations observed in autism. Combined with multiple indications of enhanced perceptual functioning in autism, and indications of atypical motor functioning, enhanced plasticity predicts a superior variability in functional cortical allocation, predominant in perceptual and motor regions. Method To test this prediction, we scanned 23 autistics and 22 typical participants matched on age, FSIQ, Raven percentile scores and handedness during a visuo-motor imitation task. For each participant, the coordinates of the strongest task-related activation peak were extracted in the primary (Brodmann area 4) and supplementary (BA 6) motor cortex, the visuomotor superior parietal cortex (BA 7), and the primary (BA 17) and associative (BAs 18 + 19) visual areas. Mean signal changes for each ROI in both hemispheres, and the number of voxels composing the strongest activation cluster were individually extracted to compare intensity and size of the signal between groups. For each ROI, in each hemisphere, and for every participant, the distance from their respective group average was used as a variable of interest to determine group differences in localization variability using repeated measures ANOVAs. Between-group comparison of whole-brain activation was also performed. Results Both groups displayed a higher mean variability in the localization of activations in the associative areas compared to the primary visual or motor areas. However, despite this shared increased variability in associative cortices, a direct between-group comparison of the individual variability in localization of the activation revealed a significantly greater variability in the autistic group than in the typical group in the left visuo-motor superior parietal cortex (BA 7) and in the left associative visual areas (BAs 18 + 19). Conclusion Different and possibly

  1. Prefrontal Dynamics Underlying Rapid Instructed Task Learning Reverse with Practice

    PubMed Central

    Cole, Michael W.; Bagic, Anto; Kass, Robert; Schneider, Walter

    2011-01-01

    The ability to rapidly reconfigure our minds to perform novel tasks is important for adapting to an ever-changing world, yet little is understood about its basis in the brain. Furthermore, it is unclear how this kind of task preparation changes with practice. Previous research suggests that prefrontal cortex (PFC) is essential when preparing to perform either novel or practiced tasks. Building upon recent evidence that PFC is organized in an anterior-to-posterior hierarchy, we postulated that novel and practiced task preparation would differentiate hierarchically distinct regions within PFC across time. Specifically, we hypothesized and confirmed using functional magnetic resonance imaging and magnetoencephalography with humans that novel task preparation is a bottom-up process that involves lower-level rule representations in dorsolateral PFC (DLPFC) before a higher-level rule-integrating task representation in anterior PFC (aPFC). In contrast, we identified a complete reversal of this activity pattern during practiced task preparation. Specifically, we found that practiced task preparation is a top-down process that involves a higher-level rule-integrating task representation (recalled from long-term memory) in aPFC before lower-level rule representations in DLPFC. These findings reveal two distinct yet highly inter-related mechanisms for task preparation, one involving task set formation from instructions during rapid instructed task learning and the other involving task set retrieval from long-term memory to facilitate familiar task performance. These two mechanisms demonstrate the exceptional flexibility of human PFC as it rapidly reconfigures cognitive brain networks to implement a wide variety of possible tasks. PMID:20962245

  2. Advanced Materials for Exploration Task Research Results

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cook, M. B. (Compiler); Murphy, K. L.; Schneider, T.

    2008-01-01

    The Advanced Materials for Exploration (AME) Activity in Marshall Space Flight Center s (MSFC s) Exploration Science and Technology Directorate coordinated activities from 2001 to 2006 to support in-space propulsion technologies for future missions. Working together, materials scientists and mission planners identified materials shortfalls that are limiting the performance of long-term missions. The goal of the AME project was to deliver improved materials in targeted areas to meet technology development milestones of NASA s exploration-dedicated activities. Materials research tasks were targeted in five areas: (1) Thermal management materials, (2) propulsion materials, (3) materials characterization, (4) vehicle health monitoring materials, and (5) structural materials. Selected tasks were scheduled for completion such that these new materials could be incorporated into customer development plans.

  3. Lucid dreaming and ventromedial versus dorsolateral prefrontal task performance.

    PubMed

    Neider, Michelle; Pace-Schott, Edward F; Forselius, Erica; Pittman, Brian; Morgan, Peter T

    2011-06-01

    Activity in the prefrontal cortex may distinguish the meta-awareness experienced during lucid dreams from its absence in normal dreams. To examine a possible relationship between dream lucidity and prefrontal task performance, we carried out a prospective study in 28 high school students. Participants performed the Wisconsin Card Sort and Iowa Gambling tasks, then for 1 week kept dream journals and reported sleep quality and lucidity-related dream characteristics. Participants who exhibited a greater degree of lucidity performed significantly better on the task that engages the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (the Iowa Gambling Task), but degree of lucidity achieved did not distinguish performance on the task that engages the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (the Wisconsin Card Sort Task), nor did it distinguish self-reported sleep quality or baseline characteristics. The association between performance on the Iowa Gambling Task and lucidity suggests a connection between lucid dreaming and ventromedial prefrontal function. PMID:20829072

  4. Lucid Dreaming and Ventromedial versus Dorsolateral Prefrontal Task Performance

    PubMed Central

    Neider, Michelle; Pace-Schott, Edward F.; Forselius, Erica; Pittman, Brian; Morgan, Peter T.

    2010-01-01

    Activity in the prefrontal cortex may distinguish the meta-awareness experienced during lucid dreams from its absence in normal dreams. To examine a possible relationship between dream lucidity and prefrontal task performance, we carried out a prospective study in 28 high school students. Participants performed the Wisconsin Card Sort and Iowa Gambling tasks, then for one week kept dream journals and reported sleep quality and lucidity-related dream characteristics. Participants who exhibited a greater degree of lucidity performed significantly better on the task that engages the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (the Iowa Gambling Task), but degree of lucidity achieved did not distinguish performance on the task that engages the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (the Wisconsin Card Sort Task), nor did it distinguish self-reported sleep quality or baseline characteristics. The association between performance on the Iowa Gambling Task and lucidity suggests a connection between lucid dreaming and ventromedial prefrontal function. PMID:20829072

  5. Higher Media Multi-Tasking Activity Is Associated with Smaller Gray-Matter Density in the Anterior Cingulate Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Loh, Kep Kee; Kanai, Ryota

    2014-01-01

    Media multitasking, or the concurrent consumption of multiple media forms, is increasingly prevalent in today’s society and has been associated with negative psychosocial and cognitive impacts. Individuals who engage in heavier media-multitasking are found to perform worse on cognitive control tasks and exhibit more socio-emotional difficulties. However, the neural processes associated with media multi-tasking remain unexplored. The present study investigated relationships between media multitasking activity and brain structure. Research has demonstrated that brain structure can be altered upon prolonged exposure to novel environments and experience. Thus, we expected differential engagements in media multitasking to correlate with brain structure variability. This was confirmed via Voxel-Based Morphometry (VBM) analyses: Individuals with higher Media Multitasking Index (MMI) scores had smaller gray matter density in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). Functional connectivity between this ACC region and the precuneus was negatively associated with MMI. Our findings suggest a possible structural correlate for the observed decreased cognitive control performance and socio-emotional regulation in heavy media-multitaskers. While the cross-sectional nature of our study does not allow us to specify the direction of causality, our results brought to light novel associations between individual media multitasking behaviors and ACC structure differences. PMID:25250778

  6. Assessing the Cost of Task Switching with a Three-Task Paradigm

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Remington, Roger W.; Ruthruff, Eric; Johnston, James C.; Connors, Mary M. (Technical Monitor)

    1998-01-01

    To study task switching when subjects need not inhibit inappropriate responses, we examine tasks with non-overlapping stimulus sets (e.g. color patches and uncolored letters). A new three-task paradigm permits the dissociation of several otherwise confounded variables. We find that performance declines monotonically with increasing time since last performance of a task. Adjusting for the effects of this factor permits a fresh assessment of the relationship between task expectancy and recency (Ruthruff, Remington & Johnston, 1996).

  7. Tool and Task Analysis Guide for Vocational Welding (150 Tasks). Performance Based Vocational Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    John H. Hinds Area Vocational School, Elwood, IN.

    This book contains a task inventory, a task analysis of 150 tasks from that inventory, and a tool list for performance-based welding courses in the state of Indiana. The task inventory and tool list reflect 28 job titles found in Indiana. In the first part of the guide, tasks are listed by these domains: carbon-arc, electron beam, G.M.A.W., gas…

  8. On the importance of Task 1 and error performance measures in PRP dual-task studies.

    PubMed

    Strobach, Tilo; Schütz, Anja; Schubert, Torsten

    2015-01-01

    The psychological refractory period (PRP) paradigm is a dominant research tool in the literature on dual-task performance. In this paradigm a first and second component task (i.e., Task 1 and Task 2) are presented with variable stimulus onset asynchronies (SOAs) and priority to perform Task 1. The main indicator of dual-task impairment in PRP situations is an increasing Task 2-RT with decreasing SOAs. This impairment is typically explained with some task components being processed strictly sequentially in the context of the prominent central bottleneck theory. This assumption could implicitly suggest that processes of Task 1 are unaffected by Task 2 and bottleneck processing, i.e., decreasing SOAs do not increase reaction times (RTs) and error rates of the first task. The aim of the present review is to assess whether PRP dual-task studies included both RT and error data presentations and statistical analyses and whether studies including both data types (i.e., RTs and error rates) show data consistent with this assumption (i.e., decreasing SOAs and unaffected RTs and/or error rates in Task 1). This review demonstrates that, in contrast to RT presentations and analyses, error data is underrepresented in a substantial number of studies. Furthermore, a substantial number of studies with RT and error data showed a statistically significant impairment of Task 1 performance with decreasing SOA. Thus, these studies produced data that is not primarily consistent with the strong assumption that processes of Task 1 are unaffected by Task 2 and bottleneck processing in the context of PRP dual-task situations; this calls for a more careful report and analysis of Task 1 performance in PRP studies and for a more careful consideration of theories proposing additions to the bottleneck assumption, which are sufficiently general to explain Task 1 and Task 2 effects. PMID:25904890

  9. [Medical support of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation: results of activity and tasks for 2016].

    PubMed

    Fisun, A Ya

    2016-01-01

    The author gives an analysis of activity of the medical service of the Armed Forces in 2015 concerning development of normative legal basis for the military health care, improvement of the level of operational and mobilization readiness of subunits of army group, and military-medical institutions, improvement of effectiveness of treatment and evacuation measures, health resort treatment, medical stuff training optimization, sanitary-and-epidemiologic support, material and technical support improvement, adoption of advanced scientific achievements focusing on medical care delivery to army group, active development and increase in medical information systems, telehealth. system. The author gives data characterizing state and level of development of medical service of the Armed Forces and its dynamics. Main tasks and parameters of development of the service in 2016 and up to 2020 are formulated. PMID:27120950

  10. The effects of task-oriented versus repetitive bilateral arm training on upper limb function and activities of daily living in stroke patients

    PubMed Central

    Song, Gui Bin

    2015-01-01

    [Purpose] The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of task-oriented bilateral arm training and repetitive bilateral arm training on upper limb function and activities of daily living in stroke patients. [Subjects] Forty patients with hemiplegia resulting from stroke were divided into a task orientied bilateral arm training group (n=20) and a repetitive bilateral arm training group (n=20). [Methods] The task-oriented group underwent bilateral arm training with 5 functional tasks, and the repetitive group underwent bilateral arm training with rhythmin auditory cueing for 30 minutes/day, 5 times/week, for 12 weeks. [Results] The upper limb function and the ability to perform activities of daily living improved significantly in both groups. Although there were significant differences between the groups, the task-oriented group showed greater improvement in upper limb function and activities of daily living. [Conclusion] We recommend bilateral arm training as well as adding functional task training as a clinical intervention to improve upper limb function activities of daily living in patients with hemiplegia. PMID:26157217

  11. The Multi-Feature Hypothesis: Connectionist Guidelines for L2 Task Design

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moonen, Machteld; de Graaff, Rick; Westhoff, Gerard; Brekelmans, Mieke

    2014-01-01

    This study focuses on the effects of task type on the retention and ease of activation of second language (L2) vocabulary, based on the multi-feature hypothesis (Moonen, De Graaff, & Westhoff, 2006). Two tasks were compared: a writing task and a list-learning task. It was hypothesized that performing the writing task would yield higher…

  12. Task Descriptions in Diagnostic Radiology. Research Report No. 7. Volume 2, Radiologic Technologist Tasks Dealing with Patient Procedures. Part II: Tasks 387 through 526.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gilpatrick, Eleanor

    Part II of the second of four volumes in Research Report No. 7 of the Health Services Mobility Study (HSMS), this book is the remainder of Chapter 3, which contains 76 task descriptions covering most of the medical activities carried out by radiologic technologists. The steps of the task descriptions are presented in logical sequence in…

  13. Manipulation of D2 receptors with quinpirole and sulpiride affects locomotor activity before spatial behavior of rats in an active place avoidance task.

    PubMed

    Stuchlik, Ales; Rehakova, Lenka; Rambousek, Lukas; Svoboda, Jan; Vales, Karel

    2007-06-01

    Dopamine-mediated neurotransmission is widely studied with respect to motivation, motor activity and cognitive processes. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the role of D2 receptors in the behavior of rats in the active allothetic place avoidance (AAPA) task. D2 receptor agonist quinpirole and antagonist sulpiride were administered intraperitoneally 20min prior to behavioral testing. Administration of quinpirole led to dose-dependent increase of locomotion; the spatial efficiency was spared across the dose range studied (0.05-1.0mg/kg). In contrast, sulpiride decreased locomotor activity at a dose not influencing spatial efficiency (60mg/kg); the highest dose of sulpiride (100mg/kg) caused a deficit in both locomotor and spatial behaviors. The results suggest a relatively lesser importance of D2 receptors for spatial efficiency in the AAPA task, with a predominant influence of D2 receptor ligands on motor activity. PMID:17360063

  14. Task-switching in pigeons: Associative learning or executive control?

    PubMed

    Meier, Christina; Lea, Stephen E G; McLaren, Ian P L

    2016-04-01

    Human performance in task-switching paradigms is seen as a hallmark of executive-control processes: switching between tasks induces switch costs (such that performance when changing from Task A to Task B is worse than on trials where the task repeats), which is generally attributed to executive control suppressing one task-set and activating the other. However, even in cases where task-sets are not employed, as well as in computational modeling of task switching, switch costs can still be found. This observation has led to the hypothesis that associative-learning processes might be responsible for all or part of the switch costs in task-switching paradigms. To test which cognitive processes contribute to the presence of task-switch costs, pigeons performed two different tasks on the same set of stimuli in rapid alternation. The pigeons showed no sign of switch costs, even though performance on Trial N was influenced by Trial N - 1, showing that they were sensitive to sequential effects. Using Pearce's (1987) model for stimulus generalization, we conclude that they learned the task associatively-in particular, a form of Pavlovian-conditioned approach was involved-and that this was responsible for the lack of any detectable switch costs. Pearce's model also allows us to make interferences about the common occurrence of switch costs in the absence of task-sets in human participants and in computational models, in that they are likely due to instrumental learning and the establishment of an equivalence between cues signaling the same task. (PsycINFO Database Record PMID:27054382

  15. Changes in the brain intrinsic organization in both on-task state and post-task resting state.

    PubMed

    Wang, Zhijiang; Liu, Jiming; Zhong, Ning; Qin, Yulin; Zhou, Haiyan; Li, Kuncheng

    2012-08-01

    The dynamic and robust characteristics of intrinsic functional connectivity of coherent spontaneous activity are critical for the brain functional stability and flexibility. Studies have demonstrated modulation of intrinsic connectivity within local spatial patterns during or after task performance, such as the default mode network (DMN) and task-specific networks. Moreover, recent studies have compared the global spatial pattern in different tasks or over time. However, it is still unclear how the large-scale intrinsic connectivity varies during and after a task. To better understand this issue, we conducted a functional MRI experiment over three sequential periods: an active semantic-matching task period and two rest periods, before and after the task respectively (namely, on-task state and pre-/post-task resting states), to detect task-driven effect on the dynamic large-scale intrinsic organization in both on-task state and post-task resting state. Three hierarchical levels were investigated, including (a) the whole brain small-world topology, (b) the whole pairwise functional connectivity patterns both within the DMN and between the DMN and other regions (i.e., the global/full DMN topography), and (c) the DMN nodal graph properties. The major findings are: (1) The large-scale small-world configuration of brain functional organization is robust, regardless of the behavioral state changing, while it varies adaptively with significantly higher local efficiency and lower global efficiency during the on-task state (P<0.05, Monte-Carlo corrected); (2) The DMN may be essentially engaged during both task and post-task processes with adaptively varied spatial patterns and nodal graph properties. The present study provides further insights into the robustness and plasticity of the brain intrinsic organization over states, which may be the basis of memory and learning in the brain. PMID:22569542

  16. Effects of a genome-wide supported psychosis risk variant on neural activation during a theory-of-mind task.

    PubMed

    Walter, H; Schnell, K; Erk, S; Arnold, C; Kirsch, P; Esslinger, C; Mier, D; Schmitgen, M M; Rietschel, M; Witt, S H; Nöthen, M M; Cichon, S; Meyer-Lindenberg, A

    2011-04-01

    Schizophrenia is associated with marked deficits in theory of mind (ToM), a higher-order form of social cognition representing the thoughts, emotions and intentions of others. Altered brain activation in the medial prefrontal cortex and temporo-parietal cortex during ToM tasks has been found in patients with schizophrenia, but the relevance of these neuroimaging findings for the heritable risk for schizophrenia is unclear. We tested the hypothesis that activation of the ToM network is altered in healthy risk allele carriers of the single-nucleotide polymorphism rs1344706 in the gene ZNF804A, a recently discovered risk variant for psychosis with genome-wide support. In all, 109 healthy volunteers of both sexes in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium for rs1344706 were investigated with functional magnetic resonance imaging during a ToM task. As hypothesised, risk carriers exhibited a significant (P<0.05 false discovery rate, corrected for multiple comparisons) risk allele dose effect on neural activity in the medial prefrontal cortex and left temporo-parietal cortex. Moreover, the same effect was found in the left inferior parietal cortex and left inferior frontal cortex, which are part of the human analogue of the mirror neuron system. In addition, in an exploratory analysis (P<0.001 uncorrected), we found evidence for aberrant functional connectivity between the frontal and temporo-parietal regions in risk allele carriers. To conclude, we show that a dysfunction of the ToM network is associated with a genome-wide supported genetic risk variant for schizophrenia and has promise as an intermediate phenotype that can be mined for the development of biological interventions targeted to social dysfunction in psychiatry. PMID:20231838

  17. Neuroimaging explanations of age-related differences in task performance

    PubMed Central

    Steffener, Jason; Barulli, Daniel; Habeck, Christian; Stern, Yaakov

    2014-01-01

    Advancing age affects both cognitive performance and functional brain activity and interpretation of these effects has led to a variety of conceptual research models without always explicitly linking the two effects. However, to best understand the multifaceted effects of advancing age, age differences in functional brain activity need to be explicitly tied to the cognitive task performance. This work hypothesized that age-related differences in task performance are partially explained by age-related differences in functional brain activity and formally tested these causal relationships. Functional MRI data was from groups of young and old adults engaged in an executive task-switching experiment. Analyses were voxel-wise testing of moderated-mediation and simple mediation statistical path models to determine whether age group, brain activity and their interaction explained task performance in regions demonstrating an effect of age group. Results identified brain regions whose age-related differences in functional brain activity significantly explained age-related differences in task performance. In all identified locations, significant moderated-mediation relationships resulted from increasing brain activity predicting worse (slower) task performance in older but not younger adults. Findings suggest that advancing age links task performance to the level of brain activity. The overall message of this work is that in order to understand the role of functional brain activity on cognitive performance, analysis methods should respect theoretical relationships. Namely, that age affects brain activity and brain activity is related to task performance. PMID:24672481

  18. An informal analysis of flight control tasks

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Andersen, George J.

    1991-01-01

    Issues important in rotorcraft flight control are discussed. A perceptual description is suggested of what is believed to be the major issues in flight control. When the task is considered of a pilot controlling a helicopter in flight, the task is decomposed in several subtasks. These subtasks include: (1) the control of altitude, (2) the control of speed, (3) the control of heading, (4) the control of orientation, (5) the control of flight over obstacles, and (6) the control of flight to specified positions in the world. The first four subtasks can be considered to be primary control tasks as they are not dependent on any other subtasks. However, the latter two subtasks can be considered hierarchical tasks as they are dependent on other subtasks. For example, the task of flight control over obstacles can be decomposed as a task requiring the control of speed, altitude, and heading. Thus, incorrect control of altitude should result in poor control of flight over an obstacle.

  19. Task-level control for autonomous robots

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Simmons, Reid

    1994-01-01

    Task-level control refers to the integration and coordination of planning, perception, and real-time control to achieve given high-level goals. Autonomous mobile robots need task-level control to effectively achieve complex tasks in uncertain, dynamic environments. This paper describes the Task Control Architecture (TCA), an implemented system that provides commonly needed constructs for task-level control. Facilities provided by TCA include distributed communication, task decomposition and sequencing, resource management, monitoring and exception handling. TCA supports a design methodology in which robot systems are developed incrementally, starting first with deliberative plans that work in nominal situations, and then layering them with reactive behaviors that monitor plan execution and handle exceptions. To further support this approach, design and analysis tools are under development to provide ways of graphically viewing the system and validating its behavior.

  20. Task 7: ADPAC User's Manual

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hall, E. J.; Topp, D. A.; Delaney, R. A.

    1996-01-01

    The overall objective of this study was to develop a 3-D numerical analysis for compressor casing treatment flowfields. The current version of the computer code resulting from this study is referred to as ADPAC (Advanced Ducted Propfan Analysis Codes-Version 7). This report is intended to serve as a computer program user's manual for the ADPAC code developed under Tasks 6 and 7 of the NASA Contract. The ADPAC program is based on a flexible multiple- block grid discretization scheme permitting coupled 2-D/3-D mesh block solutions with application to a wide variety of geometries. Aerodynamic calculations are based on a four-stage Runge-Kutta time-marching finite volume solution technique with added numerical dissipation. Steady flow predictions are accelerated by a multigrid procedure. An iterative implicit algorithm is available for rapid time-dependent flow calculations, and an advanced two equation turbulence model is incorporated to predict complex turbulent flows. The consolidated code generated during this study is capable of executing in either a serial or parallel computing mode from a single source code. Numerous examples are given in the form of test cases to demonstrate the utility of this approach for predicting the aerodynamics of modem turbomachinery configurations.