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Sample records for acuity improved significantly

  1. Arithmetic Training Does Not Improve Approximate Number System Acuity

    PubMed Central

    Lindskog, Marcus; Winman, Anders; Poom, Leo

    2016-01-01

    The approximate number system (ANS) is thought to support non-symbolic representations of numerical magnitudes in humans. Recently much debate has focused on the causal direction for an observed relation between ANS acuity and arithmetic fluency. Here we investigate if arithmetic training can improve ANS acuity. We show with an experimental training study consisting of six 45-min training sessions that although feedback during arithmetic training improves arithmetic performance substantially, it does not influence ANS acuity. Hence, we find no support for a causal link where symbolic arithmetic training influences ANS acuity. Further, although short-term number memory is likely involved in arithmetic tasks we did not find that short-term memory capacity for numbers, measured by a digit-span test, was effected by arithmetic training. This suggests that the improvement in arithmetic fluency may have occurred independent of short-term memory efficiency, but rather due to long-term memory processes and/or mental calculation strategy development. The theoretical implications of these findings are discussed. PMID:27826270

  2. Improving Visual Acuity of Myopes through Operant Training: The Evaluation of Psychological and Physiological Mechanisms Facilitating Acuity Enhancement

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1988-12-01

    at far distances. High degrees of myopia are often accompanied by damage to the eye’s fundus and, when extreme, cannot be fully compensated by...refractively measured myopia . He attributed the improvement to experience in correct interpretation of a blurred visual image . Gibson (1953) proposed that...acuity is an alterable process. If acuity can be enhanced, it could benefit some of the nearly one billion individuals who have myopia or

  3. Improvement of tactile roughness discrimination acuity correlates with perception of improved hand function in patients after hand surgery.

    PubMed

    Fujimoto, Shuhei; Kon, Noriko

    2016-04-01

    [Purpose] The purpose of this study was to elucidate how well patients' perceptions related to the improvements in their hand function during hospitalization. [Subjects] Sixteen patients who were hospitalized after hand surgery. [Methods] Using the Japanese Society for Surgery of the Hand edition of the Quick-Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand questionnaire; tactile roughness discrimination acuity, motor imagery, motor function, sensory function, and pain of the upper limb were assessed at admission and discharge. Spearman's rank-order correlation coefficients were calculated using the differences in all assessment items at admission and discharge. A multiple regression analysis (stepwise method) was performed to investigate factors that correlated with improvements in Quick-Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand scores. [Results] The improvement of tactile roughness discrimination acuity was significantly associated with patient perception of improved hand function. [Conclusion] The results suggest that an improvement in tactile roughness discrimination acuity was most strongly correlated with patient perception of improved hand function.

  4. Distance stereo acuity improvement in intermittent exotropic patients following strabismus surgery.

    PubMed

    O'Neal, T D; Rosenbaum, A L; Stathacopoulos, R A

    1995-01-01

    To determine whether distance stereo acuity improved following strabismus surgery in patients with intermittent exotropia, we tested 20 patients (5 to 87 years old) preoperatively and postoperatively using the Mentor BVAT II Video acuity tester (Santa Barbara, Calif) and binocular visual system. Acuity improved in 75% as assessed by contour circles and in 45% as assessed by random dot E tests at distance. Our results suggest that surgical realignment of intermittent exotropia restores distance stereo acuity. We conclude that measuring distance stereo acuity offers valuable information in the evaluation of the intermittent exotropic patient.

  5. Believing is seeing: using mindlessness (mindfully) to improve visual acuity.

    PubMed

    Langer, Ellen; Djikic, Maja; Pirson, Michael; Madenci, Arin; Donohue, Rebecca

    2010-05-01

    These experiments show that vision can be improved by manipulating mind-sets. In Study 1, participants were primed with the mind-set that pilots have excellent vision. Vision improved for participants who experientially became pilots (by flying a realistic flight simulator) compared with control participants (who performed the same task in an ostensibly broken flight simulator). Participants in an eye-exercise condition (primed with the mind-set that improvement occurs with practice) and a motivation condition (primed with the mind-set "try and you will succeed") demonstrated visual improvement relative to the control group. In Study 2, participants were primed with the mind-set that athletes have better vision than nonathletes. Controlling for arousal, doing jumping jacks resulted in greater visual acuity than skipping (perceived to be a less athletic activity than jumping jacks). Study 3 took advantage of the mind-set primed by the traditional eye chart: Because letters get progressively smaller on successive lines, people expect that they will be able to read the first few lines only. When participants viewed a reversed chart and a shifted chart, they were able to see letters they could not see before. Thus, mind-set manipulation can counteract physiological limits imposed on vision.

  6. Microperimetric Biofeedback Training Improved Visual Acuity after Successful Macular Hole Surgery

    PubMed Central

    Ueda-Consolvo, Tomoko; Otsuka, Mitsuya; Hayashi, Yumiko; Ishida, Masaaki; Hayashi, Atsushi

    2015-01-01

    Purpose. To evaluate the efficacy of setting a preferred retinal locus relocation target (PRT) and performing Macular Integrity Assessment (MAIA) biofeedback training in patients showing insufficient recovery of best corrected visual acuity (BCVA) despite successful closure of an idiopathic macular hole (MH). Methods. Retrospective interventional case series. Nine eyes of 9 consecutive patients with the decimal BCVA of less than 0.6 at more than 3 months after successful MH surgery were included. A PRT was chosen based on MAIA microperimetry and the patients underwent MAIA biofeedback training. BCVA, reading speed, fixation stability, and 63% bivariate contour ellipse area (BCEA) were evaluated before and after the training. Statistical analysis was carried out using paired Student's t-test. Results. PRT was chosen on the nasal side of the closed MH fovea in 8 patients. After the MAIA training, BCVA improved in all patients. The mean logMAR value of BCVA significantly improved from 0.33 to 0.12 (p = 0.007). Reading speed improved in all patients (p = 0.29), fixation stability improved in 5 patients (p = 0.70), and 63% BCEA improved in 7 patients (p = 0.21), although these improvements were not statistically significant. Conclusion. MAIA biofeedback training improved visual acuity in patients with insufficient recovery of BCVA after successful MH surgery. PMID:26783452

  7. Improvement of tactile roughness discrimination acuity correlates with perception of improved hand function in patients after hand surgery

    PubMed Central

    Fujimoto, Shuhei; Kon, Noriko

    2016-01-01

    [Purpose] The purpose of this study was to elucidate how well patients’ perceptions related to the improvements in their hand function during hospitalization. [Subjects] Sixteen patients who were hospitalized after hand surgery. [Methods] Using the Japanese Society for Surgery of the Hand edition of the Quick-Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand questionnaire; tactile roughness discrimination acuity, motor imagery, motor function, sensory function, and pain of the upper limb were assessed at admission and discharge. Spearman’s rank-order correlation coefficients were calculated using the differences in all assessment items at admission and discharge. A multiple regression analysis (stepwise method) was performed to investigate factors that correlated with improvements in Quick-Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand scores. [Results] The improvement of tactile roughness discrimination acuity was significantly associated with patient perception of improved hand function. [Conclusion] The results suggest that an improvement in tactile roughness discrimination acuity was most strongly correlated with patient perception of improved hand function. PMID:27190473

  8. The level of improvement of visual acuity in high corneal astigmatism with rigid gas permeable contact lenses.

    PubMed

    Opačić, Dalibor; Miljak, Snježana; Ćuruvija-Opačić, Ksenija

    2015-03-01

    The aim of this study was to calculate the level of improvement of visual acuity comparing the best corrected visual acuity (VA) achieved with spectacles with the best corrected VA achieved with rigid gas permeable (RGP) contact lenses in patients with high, simple or compound corneal astigmatism (myopic, hypermetropic and mixed). The investigation of patients included auto-kerato-refractometry, manual keratometry, corneal topography and visual acuity with Snellen chart. The best corrected VA obtained with spectacles was compared with the best corrected VA obtained with RGP contact lenses in 72 patients (116 eyes). All patients showed a significant improvement in visual acuity with RGP lenses from one to seven lines compared to spectacles (p = 0.0001). Level of improvement in VA represented as the number of lines obtained was as follows: 74 percent of patients got two to four lines more in VA with RGP lenses compared to spectacles, and almost 10 percent of patients got five to seven lines. RGP contact lenses provide a significant improvement in VA compared to VA reached with spectacles in patients with high corneal astigmatism. The benefit in VA with RGP lenses is higher as the astigmatism is higher.

  9. Dampening Spontaneous Activity Improves the Light Sensitivity and Spatial Acuity of Optogenetic Retinal Prosthetic Responses

    PubMed Central

    Barrett, John Martin; Hilgen, Gerrit; Sernagor, Evelyne

    2016-01-01

    Retinitis pigmentosa is a progressive retinal dystrophy that causes irreversible visual impairment and blindness. Retinal prostheses currently represent the only clinically available vision-restoring treatment, but the quality of vision returned remains poor. Recently, it has been suggested that the pathological spontaneous hyperactivity present in dystrophic retinas may contribute to the poor quality of vision returned by retinal prosthetics by reducing the signal-to-noise ratio of prosthetic responses. Here, we investigated to what extent blocking this hyperactivity can improve optogenetic retinal prosthetic responses. We recorded activity from channelrhodopsin-expressing retinal ganglion cells in retinal wholemounts in a mouse model of retinitis pigmentosa. Sophisticated stimuli, inspired by those used in clinical visual assessment, were used to assess light sensitivity, contrast sensitivity and spatial acuity of optogenetic responses; in all cases these were improved after blocking spontaneous hyperactivity using meclofenamic acid, a gap junction blocker. Our results suggest that this approach significantly improves the quality of vision returned by retinal prosthetics, paving the way to novel clinical applications. Moreover, the improvements in sensitivity achieved by blocking spontaneous hyperactivity may extend the dynamic range of optogenetic retinal prostheses, allowing them to be used at lower light intensities such as those encountered in everyday life. PMID:27650332

  10. Improvement of visual acuity in diabetic and nondiabetic patients after Nd:YAG laser capsulotomy

    PubMed Central

    Awan, Muhammed Tayyab; Khan, Muhammed Anwar; Al-Khairy, Saba; Malik, Samina

    2013-01-01

    Purpose The aim of the study reported here was to compare the improvement of visual acuity (VA) of diabetic and nondiabetic patients after neodymium-doped yttrium-aluminum-garnet (Nd:YAG) laser capsulotomy. Methods In this prospective cohort study, 50 age- and sex-matched patients, comprising 25 nondiabetics and 25 diabetics (referred to as Group A and B, respectively), with posterior chamber poly(methyl methacrylate) non-foldable intraocular lens implants attending our clinic at Karachi for capsulotomy had pre- and postoperative measures of VA, posterior pole visibility, and grading of posterior capsular opacity as seen on slit-lamp examination. VA was recorded before and after performing standard capsulotomy. Results The postoperative (mean) VA in nondiabetics was 0.25, 0.23, and 0.21 logMAR as compared with 0.25, 0.25, and 0.24 logMAR in diabetics at 1 week, 1 month, and 6 months, respectively. P-values of 0.47, 0.47, and 0.24, respectively, were determined, which were not significant. Preoperative VA improvement was recorded in 92% of diabetics in Group B and 96% of nondiabetics in Group A. Two (8%) diabetic patients developed glaucoma and did not participate in the study further. Conclusion Remarkable improvement in VA was achieved in both Group A and B, but the Group A nondiabetics showed more improvement in best-corrected VA after Nd:YAG laser capsulotomy. PMID:24143068

  11. A double dissociation of the acuity and crowding limits to letter identification, and the promise of improved visual screening.

    PubMed

    Song, Shuang; Levi, Dennis M; Pelli, Denis G

    2014-05-05

    Here, we systematically explore the size and spacing requirements for identifying a letter among other letters. We measure acuity for flanked and unflanked letters, centrally and peripherally, in normals and amblyopes. We find that acuity, overlap masking, and crowding each demand a minimum size or spacing for readable text. Just measuring flanked and unflanked acuity is enough for our proposed model to predict the observer's threshold size and spacing for letters at any eccentricity. We also find that amblyopia in adults retains the character of the childhood condition that caused it. Amblyopia is a developmental neural deficit that can occur as a result of either strabismus or anisometropia in childhood. Peripheral viewing during childhood due to strabismus results in amblyopia that is crowding limited, like peripheral vision. Optical blur of one eye during childhood due to anisometropia without strabismus results in amblyopia that is acuity limited, like blurred vision. Furthermore, we find that the spacing:acuity ratio of flanked and unflanked acuity can distinguish strabismic amblyopia from purely anisometropic amblyopia in nearly perfect agreement with lack of stereopsis. A scatter diagram of threshold spacing versus acuity, one point per patient, for several diagnostic groups, reveals the diagnostic power of flanked acuity testing. These results and two demonstrations indicate that the sensitivity of visual screening tests can be improved by using flankers that are more tightly spaced and letter like. Finally, in concert with Strappini, Pelli, Di Pace, and Martelli (submitted), we jointly report a double dissociation between acuity and crowding. Two clinical conditions-anisometropic amblyopia and apperceptive agnosia-each selectively impair either acuity A or the spacing:acuity ratio S/A, not both. Furthermore, when we specifically estimate crowding, we find a double dissociation between acuity and crowding. Models of human object recognition will need to

  12. A double dissociation of the acuity and crowding limits to letter identification, and the promise of improved visual screening

    PubMed Central

    Song, Shuang; Levi, Dennis M.; Pelli, Denis G.

    2014-01-01

    Here, we systematically explore the size and spacing requirements for identifying a letter among other letters. We measure acuity for flanked and unflanked letters, centrally and peripherally, in normals and amblyopes. We find that acuity, overlap masking, and crowding each demand a minimum size or spacing for readable text. Just measuring flanked and unflanked acuity is enough for our proposed model to predict the observer's threshold size and spacing for letters at any eccentricity. We also find that amblyopia in adults retains the character of the childhood condition that caused it. Amblyopia is a developmental neural deficit that can occur as a result of either strabismus or anisometropia in childhood. Peripheral viewing during childhood due to strabismus results in amblyopia that is crowding limited, like peripheral vision. Optical blur of one eye during childhood due to anisometropia without strabismus results in amblyopia that is acuity limited, like blurred vision. Furthermore, we find that the spacing:acuity ratio of flanked and unflanked acuity can distinguish strabismic amblyopia from purely anisometropic amblyopia in nearly perfect agreement with lack of stereopsis. A scatter diagram of threshold spacing versus acuity, one point per patient, for several diagnostic groups, reveals the diagnostic power of flanked acuity testing. These results and two demonstrations indicate that the sensitivity of visual screening tests can be improved by using flankers that are more tightly spaced and letter like. Finally, in concert with Strappini, Pelli, Di Pace, and Martelli (submitted), we jointly report a double dissociation between acuity and crowding. Two clinical conditions—anisometropic amblyopia and apperceptive agnosia—each selectively impair either acuity A or the spacing:acuity ratio S/A, not both. Furthermore, when we specifically estimate crowding, we find a double dissociation between acuity and crowding. Models of human object recognition will need

  13. Computer order entry systems in the emergency department significantly reduce the time to medication delivery for high acuity patients

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Computerized physician order entry (CPOE) systems are designed to increase safety and improve quality of care; however, their impact on efficiency in the ED has not yet been validated. This study examined the impact of CPOE on process times for medication delivery, laboratory utilization and diagnostic imaging in the early, late and control phases of a regional ED-CPOE implementation. Methods Setting: Three tertiary care hospitals serving a population in excess of 1 million inhabitants that initiated the same CPOE system during the same 3-week time window. Patients were stratified into three groupings: Control, Early CPOE and Late CPOE (n = 200 patients per group/hospital site). Eligible patients consisted of a stratified (40% CTAS 2 and 60% CTAS 3) random sample of all patients seen 30 days preceding CPOE implementation (Control), 30 days immediately after CPOE implementation (Early CPOE) and 5–6 months after CPOE implementation (Late CPOE). Primary outcomes were time to (TT) from physician assignment (MD-sign) up to MD-order completion. An ANOVA and t-test were employed for statistical analysis. Results In comparison with control, TT 1st MD-Ordered Medication decreased in both the Early and Late CPOE groups (102.6 min control, 62.8 Early and 65.7 late, p < 0.001). TT 1st MD-ordered laboratory results increased in both the Early and Late CPOE groups compared to Control (76.4, 85.3 and 73.8 min, respectively, p < 0.001). TT 1st X-Ray also significantly increased in both the Early and Late CPOE groups (80.4, 84.8 min, respectively, compared to 68.1, p < 0.001). Given that CT and ultrasound imaging inherently takes increased time, these imaging studies were not included, and only X-ray was examined. There was no statistical difference found between TT discharge and consult request. Conclusions Regional implementation of CPOE afforded important efficiencies in time to medication delivery for high acuity ED patients. Increased times observed for laboratory

  14. Transcranial direct current stimulation improves visual acuity in amblyopic Long-Evans rats.

    PubMed

    Castaño-Castaño, S; Garcia-Moll, A; Morales-Navas, M; Fernandez, E; Sanchez-Santed, F; Nieto-Escamez, F

    2017-02-15

    Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) has proved to increase brain cortex plasticity and different models of brain damage. In this work, we have analyzed the effects of tDCS in an experimental model of amblyopia using Long-Evans rats. Animals were monocularly deprived between 12 and 75 postnatal days and visual cortex contralateral to the deprived eye was stimulated using anodal tDCS during 8days (20min/day). The effects of tDCS treatment on the visual function were evaluated by using the optomotor reflex of the animals as a measure of visual acuity. Results obtained indicate that monocular occlusion during the critical period lead to a reduction of visual acuity in monocular and binocular conditions. Stimulation with anodal tDCS produced a nearly full recovery in visual acuity of amblyopic animals. However, same stimulation protocol in healthy control animals produced a decrease of binocular visual acuity. These data indicate that tDCS can reverse the effects of monocular deprivation on visual acuity, although it is essential to use this technique in a controlled way due to the possible adverse effects on healthy individuals.

  15. Acquisition of the Cardinal Principle Coincides with Improvement in Approximate Number System Acuity in Preschoolers

    PubMed Central

    Shusterman, Anna; Slusser, Emily; Halberda, Justin; Odic, Darko

    2016-01-01

    Human mathematical abilities comprise both learned, symbolic representations of number and unlearned, non-symbolic evolutionarily primitive cognitive systems for representing quantities. However, the mechanisms by which our symbolic (verbal) number system becomes integrated with the non-symbolic (non-verbal) representations of approximate magnitude (supported by the Approximate Number System, or ANS) are not well understood. To explore this connection, forty-six children participated in a 6-month longitudinal study assessing verbal number knowledge and non-verbal numerical acuity. Cross-sectional analyses revealed a strong relationship between verbal number knowledge and ANS acuity. Longitudinal analyses suggested that increases in ANS acuity were most strongly related to the acquisition of the cardinal principle, but not to other milestones of verbal number acquisition. These findings suggest that experience with culture and language is intimately linked to changes in the properties of a core cognitive system. PMID:27078257

  16. A New Visual Stimulation Program for Improving Visual Acuity in Children with Visual Impairment: A Pilot Study

    PubMed Central

    Tsai, Li-Ting; Hsu, Jung-Lung; Wu, Chien-Te; Chen, Chia-Ching; Su, Yu-Chin

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of visual rehabilitation of a computer-based visual stimulation (VS) program combining checkerboard pattern reversal (passive stimulation) with oddball stimuli (attentional modulation) for improving the visual acuity (VA) of visually impaired (VI) children and children with amblyopia and additional developmental problems. Six children (three females, three males; mean age = 3.9 ± 2.3 years) with impaired VA caused by deficits along the anterior and/or posterior visual pathways were recruited. Participants received eight rounds of VS training (two rounds per week) of at least eight sessions per round. Each session consisted of stimulation with 200 or 300 pattern reversals. Assessments of VA (assessed with the Lea symbol VA test or Teller VA cards), visual evoked potential (VEP), and functional vision (assessed with the Chinese-version Functional Vision Questionnaire, FVQ) were carried out before and after the VS program. Significant gains in VA were found after the VS training [VA = 1.05 logMAR ± 0.80 to 0.61 logMAR ± 0.53, Z = –2.20, asymptotic significance (2-tailed) = 0.028]. No significant changes were observed in the FVQ assessment [92.8 ± 12.6 to 100.8 ±SD = 15.4, Z = –1.46, asymptotic significance (2-tailed) = 0.144]. VEP measurement showed improvement in P100 latency and amplitude or integration of the waveform in two participants. Our results indicate that a computer-based VS program with passive checkerboard stimulation, oddball stimulus design, and interesting auditory feedback could be considered as a potential intervention option to improve the VA of a wide age range of VI children and children with impaired VA combined with other neurological disorders. PMID:27148014

  17. Influence of loupes and age on the near visual acuity of practicing dentists

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eichenberger, Martina; Perrin, Philippe; Neuhaus, Klaus W.; Bringolf, Ueli; Lussi, Adrian

    2011-03-01

    We evaluated the near visual acuity of 40 dentists and its improvement by using different magnification devices. The acuity was tested with miniaturized E-optotype tests on a negatoscope under the following conditions: 1. natural visual acuity, 300 mm; 2. single lens loupe, 2×, 250 mm; 3. Galilean loupe, 2.5×, 380 mm; and 4. Keplerian loupe, 4.3×, 400 mm. In part 1, the influence of the magnification devices was investigated for all dentists. The Keplerian loupe obtained the highest visual acuity (4.64), followed by the Galilean loupe (2.43), the single lens loupe (1.42), and natural visual acuity (1.19). For part 2, the dentists were classified according to their age (=40 years). The younger dentists' group achieved a significantly higher visual acuity with all magnification devices (p<0.001). For part 3, the dentists were grouped according to their natural visual acuity. The group with the higher natural visual acuity achieved significantly higher visual acuity with all magnification devices than did the group of dentists with the lower natural visual acuity (p<0.01). It can be concluded that near visual acuity varies highly between individuals and decreases during the lifetime. Independent of age or natural vision, visual acuity can be significantly improved by using magnification devices.

  18. Learning to Identify Near-Acuity Letters, either with or without Flankers, Results in Improved Letter Size and Spacing Limits in Adults with Amblyopia

    PubMed Central

    Chung, Susana T. L.; Li, Roger W.; Levi, Dennis M.

    2012-01-01

    Amblyopia is a developmental abnormality that results in deficits for a wide range of visual tasks, most notably, the reduced ability to see fine details, the loss in contrast sensitivity especially for small objects and the difficulty in seeing objects in clutter (crowding). The primary goal of this study was to evaluate whether crowding can be ameliorated in adults with amblyopia through perceptual learning using a flanked letter identification task that was designed to reduce crowding, and if so, whether the improvements transfer to untrained visual functions: visual acuity, contrast sensitivity and the size of visual span (the amount of information obtained in one fixation). To evaluate whether the improvements following this training task were specific to training with flankers, we also trained another group of adult observers with amblyopia using a single letter identification task that was designed to improve letter contrast sensitivity, not crowding. Following 10,000 trials of training, both groups of observers showed improvements in the respective training task. The improvements generalized to improved visual acuity, letter contrast sensitivity, size of the visual span, and reduced crowding. The magnitude of the improvement for each of these measurements was similar in the two training groups. Perceptual learning regimens aimed at reducing crowding or improving letter contrast sensitivity are both effective in improving visual acuity, contrast sensitivity for near-acuity objects and reducing the crowding effect, and could be useful as a clinical treatment for amblyopia. PMID:22558234

  19. Reducing Short-Wavelength Blue Light in Dry Eye Patients with Unstable Tear Film Improves Performance on Tests of Visual Acuity

    PubMed Central

    Kaido, Minako

    2016-01-01

    Purpose To investigate whether suppression of blue light can improve visual function in patients with short tear break up time (BUT) dry eye (DE). Methods Twenty-two patients with short BUT DE (10 men, 12 women; mean age, 32.4 ± 6.4 years; age range, 23–43 years) and 18 healthy controls (10 men, 8 women; mean age, 30.1 ± 7.4 years; age range, 20–49 years) underwent functional visual acuity (VA) examinations with and without wearing eyeglasses with 50% blue light blocked lenses. The functional VA parameters were starting VA, functional VA, and visual maintenance ratio. Results The baseline mean values (logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution, logMAR) of functional VA and the visual maintenance ratio were significantly worse in the DE patients than in the controls (P < 0.05), while no significant difference was observed in the baseline starting VA (P > 0.05). The DE patients had significant improvement in mean functional VA and visual maintenance ratio while wearing the glasses (P < 0.05), while there were no significant changes with and without the glasses in the control group (P > 0.05), Conclusions Protecting the eyes from short-wavelength blue light may help to ameliorate visual impairment associated with tear instability in patients with DE. This finding represents a new concept, which is that the blue light exposure might be harmful to visual function in patients with short BUT DE. PMID:27045760

  20. Visual acuity test

    MedlinePlus

    ... this page: //medlineplus.gov/ency/article/003396.htm Visual acuity test To use the sharing features on this page, please enable JavaScript. The visual acuity test is used to determine the smallest ...

  1. The Effect of Zeaxanthin on the Visual Acuity of Zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Saidi, Eric A; Davey, Pinakin Gunvant; Cameron, D Joshua

    2015-01-01

    Oral supplementation of carotenoids such as zeaxanthin or lutein which naturally occur in human retina have been shown to improve vision and prevent progression of damage to advanced AMD in some studies. The zebrafish eye shares many physiological similarities with the human eye and is increasingly being used as model for vision research. We hypothesized that injection of zeaxanthin into the zebrafish eye would improve the visual acuity of the zebrafish over time. Visual acuity, calculated in cycles per degree, was measured in adult zebrafish to establish a consistent baseline using the optokinetic response. Zeaxanthin dissolved into phosphate buffered saline (PBS) or PBS only was injected into the anterior chamber of the right and left eyes of the Zebrafish. Visual acuities were measured at 1 week and 3, 8 and 12 weeks post-injection to compare to baseline values. Repeated measures ANOVA was used to compare visual acuities between fish injected with PBS and zeaxanthin. A significant improvement in visual acuity, 14% better than before the injection (baseline levels), was observed one week after injection with zeaxanthin (p = 0.04). This improvement peaked at more than 30% for some fish a few weeks after the injection and improvement in vision persisted at 3 weeks after injection (p = 0.006). The enhanced visual function was not significantly better than baseline at 8 weeks (p = 0.19) and returned to baseline levels 12 weeks after the initial injection (p = 0.50). Zeaxanthin can improve visual acuity in zebrafish eyes. Further studies are required to develop a better understanding of the role zeaxanthin and other carotenoids play during normal visual function.

  2. [Usefulness of extradural optic canal unroofing and decompression of the optic nerve for improvement of visual acuity in traumatic optic neuropathy].

    PubMed

    Nishida, Sho; Otani, Naoki; Inaka, Yasufumi; Morinaga, Yusuke; Kimura, Shohei; Tomura, Satoshi; Osada, Hideo; Harimoto, Kohzou; Takeuchi, Masaru; Wada, Kojiro; Mori, Kentaro

    2014-11-01

    An 81-year-old man presented with poor visual acuity of the left eye, swelling of the left eyelid, and elevation of the left intraocular pressure after contusion of the left palpebral portion. CT revealed left ocular proptosis and left intraorbital hematoma. Traumatic optic neuropathy was suspected, and emergent optic nerve decompression was performed through extradural anterior clinoidectomy followed by optic canal release. Postoperatively, his left visual acuity was markedly improved and the elevated intraocular pressure decreased. Postoperative CT demonstrated improvement of the left ocular proptosis and decompression of the optic nerve. Emergent optic canal release has been recommended in patients who have suffered visual dysfunction caused by optic canal fracture or intraorbital hematoma. The advantages of extradural anterior clinoidectomy followed by optic canal release include a shorter surgical route and easy identification of the optic nerve, resulting in fewer surgical complications. In addition, this procedure can achieve intraorbital decompression. We recommend extradural anterior clinoidectomy followed by optic canal release as a safe and reliable procedure for optic nerve decompression in patients with traumatic optic neuropathy.

  3. Current smoking is associated with a poor visual acuity improvement after intravitreal ranibizumab therapy in patients with exudative age-related macular degeneration.

    PubMed

    Lee, Sangmoon; Song, Su Jeong; Yu, Hyeong Gon

    2013-05-01

    In this study, the risk factors that may influence visual improvement after intravitreal ranibizumab (IVR) treatment for exudative age-related macular degeneration (AMD) were examined. From 2008 to 2012, 420 patients (448 eyes) with exudative AMD were prospectively registered at Seoul National University Hospital. From this group of patients, 125 eyes were included in this study. All patients were treated with 3 consecutive IVR injections. The visual acuity (VA) was evaluated at baseline and 1 month after the third ranibizumab injection. To evaluate the risk factors associated with VA improvement after IVR, patient demographic data and systemic risk factors were analyzed. Patients were divided into a poor VA improvement group and a good VA improvement group, with reference to the median visual improvement in all eyes. Among 125 eyes, 66 eyes (52.8%) were included in the responder group and 59 eyes (47.2%) in the non-responder group. The median VA improvement after 3 monthly ranibizumab injections was -0.05 logMAR. Multivariate analyses revealed that current smoking (adjusted OR, 7.540; 95% CI, 1.732-32.823) was independently associated with poor VA improvement after IVR treatment for exudative AMD. In conclusion, cigarette smoking is an independent risk factor for lower VA gains with IVR treatment for exudative AMD.

  4. The Impact of Standardized Acuity Assessment and a Fast-Track on Length of Stay in Obstetric Triage: A Quality Improvement Study.

    PubMed

    Smithson, David S; Twohey, Rachel; Watts, Nancy; Gratton, Robert J

    To prospectively assess the impact of a standardized 5-category Obstetrical Triage Acuity Scale (OTAS) and a fast-track for lower-acuity patients on patient flow. Length of stay (LOS) data of women presenting to obstetric triage were abstracted from the electronic medical record prior to (July 1, 2011, to March 30, 2012) and following OTAS implementation (April 1 to December 31, 2012). Following computerized simulation modeling, a fast-track for lower acuity women was implemented (January 1, 2013, to February 28, 2014). Prior to OTAS implementation (8085 visits), the median LOS was 105 (interquartile range [IQR] = 52-178) minutes. Following OTAS implementation (8131 visits), the median LOS decreased to 101 (IQR = 49-175) minutes (P = .04). The LOS did not correlate well with acuity. Simulation modeling predicted that a fast-track for OTAS 4 and 5 patients would reduce the LOS. The LOS for lower-acuity patients in the fast-track decreased to 73 (IQR = 40-140) minutes (P = .005). In addition, the overall LOS (12 576 visits) decreased to 98 (IQR = 47-172) minutes (6.9% reduction; P < .001). Standardized assessment of acuity and a fast-track for lower acuity pregnant women decreased the overall LOS and the LOS of lower-acuity patients.

  5. Fresnel prisms and their effects on visual acuity and binocularity.

    PubMed Central

    Véronneau-Troutman, S

    1978-01-01

    1. The visual acuity with the Fresnel membrane prism is significantly less than that with the conventional prism of the same power for all prism powers from 12 delta through 30 delata at distance and from 15 delta through 30 delta at near. 2. The difference in the visual acuity between base up and base down, and between base in and base out, is not significantly different for either the Fresnel membrane prism or for the conventional prism. 3. For both Fresnel membrane prism and the conventional prism, the visual acuity when looking straight ahead. 4. Using Fresnel membrane prisms of the same power from different lots, the visual acuity varied significantly. The 30 delta prism caused the widest range in visual acuity. 5. When normal subjects are fitted with the higher powers of the Fresnel membrane prism, fusion and stereopsis are disrupted to such an extent that the use of this device to restore or to improve binocular vision in cases with large-angle deviations is seriously questioned. 6. Moreover, the disruption of fusion and stereopsis is abrupt and severe and does not parallel the decrease in visual acuity. The severely reduced ability to maintain fusion may be related to the optical aberrations, which, in turn, may be due to the molding process and the polyvinyl chloride molding material. 7. Through the flexibility of the membrane prism is a definite advantage, because of its proclivity to reduce visual acuity and increase aberrations its prescription for adults often must be limited to only one eye. 8. For the same reasons in the young child with binocular vision problems, the membrane prism presently available should be prescribed over both eyes only in powers less than 20 delta. When the membrane prism is to be used as a partial occluder (over one eye only), any power can be used. 9. The new Fresnel "hard" prism reduces visual acuity minimally and rarely disrupts binocularity, thus increasing the potential for prismotherapy to establish binocularity. This

  6. A single cohort prospective trial of the immediate effects of spinal manipulation on visual acuity

    PubMed Central

    Athaide, Michelle; Rego, Carol; Budgell, Brian

    2016-01-01

    Introduction: There is no high quality evidence on which to judge the generalizability of isolated reports of improvement in vision following manipulation. The current paucity of research results also precludes the thoughtful design of a controlled, prospective clinical study. Hence, the purpose of the current study was to test the feasibility of conducting a clinical trial of the acute effects of spinal manipulation on visual acuity. Methods: New adult patients presenting to a community based chiropractic clinic were recruited into a single cohort prospective trial to determine the immediate effects of cervical spinal manipulation on visual acuity. Results: The experimental protocol was well accepted by patients and caused minimal or no disruption of the clinic routine. By some measures, chiropractic treatment was accompanied by statistically significant improvements in visual acuity. Discussion: The results of this study indicate that it is quite feasible to conduct a prospective, community based clinical study of the acute effects of spinal manipulation on visual acuity. PMID:27069271

  7. Acuity systems dialogue and patient classification system essentials.

    PubMed

    Harper, Kelle; McCully, Crystal

    2007-01-01

    Obtaining resources for quality patient care is a major responsibility of nurse leaders and requires accurate information in the political world of budgeting. Patient classification systems (PCS) assist nurse managers in controlling cost and improving patient care while appropriately using financial resources. This paper communicates acuity systems development, background, flaws, and components while discussing a few tools currently available. It also disseminates the development of a new acuity tool, the Patient Classification System. The PCS tool, developed in a small rural hospital, uses 5 broad concepts: (1) medications, (2) complicated procedures, (3) education, (4) psychosocial issues, and (5) complicated intravenous medications. These concepts embrace a 4-tiered scale that differentiates significant patient characteristics and assists in staffing measures for equality in patient staffing and improving quality of care and performance. Data obtained through use of the PCS can be used by nurse leaders to effectively and objectively lobby for appropriate patient care resources. Two questionnaires distributed to registered nurses on a medical-surgical unit evaluated the nurses' opinion of the 5 concepts and the importance for establishing patient acuity for in-patient care. Interrater reliability among nurses was 87% with the author's acuity tool.

  8. Preschool visual acuity screening tests.

    PubMed Central

    Friendly, D S

    1978-01-01

    The purpose of the study was to evaluate the relative merits of two screening tests used for visual acuity assessment of preschool children. The tests that were compared were the Good-Lite Company versions of the E-Test and of the STYCAR (Screening Test for Young Children and Retardates). The former is the most popular method for evaluating central acuity in young children in this nation; the STYCAR is a relatively new letter-matching-test developed in England, where it is widely employed. The E-Test poses left-right orientation problems which are eliminated by the symmetrical letters H, T, O and V utilized in the Letter-Matching-Test. Both visual acuity tests were administered on two separate occasions by personnel from the Prevention of Blindness Society of Metropolitan Washington to 633 preschool children in Washington, D.C. By random selection, 150 of the children received the E-Test at both sessions, 162 children received the Letter-Matching-Test at both sessions, 160 chilt athe the second session, and 161 children received the Letter-Matching-Test at the first session and the E-Test at the second session. The author medically examined the eyes of 408 of the 633 children without knowledge of which test had been initially administered. Statistical analysis of the data obtained from the study indicated that the Letter-Matching-Test was significantly better in terms of testability rates, group and individual instruction time, and performance time. The E-Test was more reliable in terms of test-retest acuity scores and was also more valid in terms of agreement between pass-fail results obtained at the first screening session and two levels of pass-fail refraction criteria. Images FIGURE 4 FIGURE 5 FIGURE 7 A FIGURE 7 B FIGURE 9 A FIGURE 9 B PMID:754379

  9. Improved Acuity and Dexterity but Unchanged Touch and Pain Thresholds following Repetitive Sensory Stimulation of the Fingers

    PubMed Central

    Kowalewski, Rebecca; Kattenstroth, Jan-Christoph; Kalisch, Tobias; Dinse, Hubert R.

    2012-01-01

    Neuroplasticity underlies the brain's ability to alter perception and behavior through training, practice, or simply exposure to sensory stimulation. Improvement of tactile discrimination has been repeatedly demonstrated after repetitive sensory stimulation (rSS) of the fingers; however, it remains unknown if such protocols also affect hand dexterity or pain thresholds. We therefore stimulated the thumb and index finger of young adults to investigate, besides testing tactile discrimination, the impact of rSS on dexterity, pain, and touch thresholds. We observed an improvement in the pegboard task where subjects used the thumb and index finger only. Accordingly, stimulating 2 fingers simultaneously potentiates the efficacy of rSS. In fact, we observed a higher gain of discrimination performance as compared to a single-finger rSS. In contrast, pain and touch thresholds remained unaffected. Our data suggest that selecting particular fingers modulates the efficacy of rSS, thereby affecting processes controlling sensorimotor integration. PMID:22315693

  10. Visual acuity and test performance.

    PubMed

    Heron, E; Zytkoskee, A

    1981-02-01

    Evaluation of scholastic achievement (American College Testing Service) test scores confirms previous reports that persons with poor visual acuity perform better on these tests than individuals with normal or superior acuity.

  11. Dynamic Visual Acuity: a Functionally Relevant Research Tool

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Peters, Brian T.; Brady, Rachel A.; Miller, Chris A.; Mulavara, Ajitkumar P.; Wood, Scott J.; Cohen, Helen S.; Bloomberg, Jacob J.

    2010-01-01

    Coordinated movements between the eyes and head are required to maintain a stable retinal image during head and body motion. The vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR) plays a significant role in this gaze control system that functions well for most daily activities. However, certain environmental conditions or interruptions in normal VOR function can lead to inadequate ocular compensation, resulting in oscillopsia, or blurred vision. It is therefore possible to use acuity to determine when the environmental conditions, VOR function, or the combination of the two is not conductive for maintaining clear vision. Over several years we have designed and tested several tests of dynamic visual acuity (DVA). Early tests used the difference between standing and walking acuity to assess decrements in the gaze stabilization system after spaceflight. Supporting ground-based studies measured the responses from patients with bilateral vestibular dysfunction and explored the effects of visual target viewing distance and gait cycle events on walking acuity. Results from these studies show that DVA is affected by spaceflight, is degraded in patients with vestibular dysfunction, changes with target distance, and is not consistent across the gait cycle. We have recently expanded our research to include studies in which seated subjects are translated or rotated passively. Preliminary results from this work indicate that gaze stabilization ability may differ between similar active and passive conditions, may change with age, and can be affected by the location of the visual target with respect to the axis of motion. Use of DVA as a diagnostic tool is becoming more popular but the functional nature of the acuity outcome measure also makes it ideal for identifying conditions that could lead to degraded vision. By doing so, steps can be taken to alter the problematic environments to improve the man-machine interface and optimize performance.

  12. Early non-visual experience influences proprioceptive-spatial discrimination acuity in adulthood.

    PubMed

    Fiehler, Katja; Reuschel, Johanna; Rösler, Frank

    2009-02-01

    The present study tested whether non-visual spatial experience affects later acuity of space perception. Congenitally blind adults who differed in the age acquired spatial knowledge via an orientation and mobility (O&M) training and matched sighted controls performed passive arm movements and judged the direction of the sensed movement. Proprioceptive-spatial discrimination acuity was assessed by an adaptive psychophysical procedure in two spatial coding conditions. In the egocentric coding condition, participants judged whether the hand trajectory felt left- or right-tilted in reference to a straight trajectory aligned to the transverse horizontal plane of the body midline axis. In the allocentric coding condition, they indicated whether the hand trajectory felt acute- or obtuse-angled in reference to a right angle. Proprioceptive-spatial acuity of congenitally blind participants significantly covaried with the age they attended an O&M training. The earlier the congenitally blind participants started the O&M training the more accurate was their space perception. Congenitally blind participants who underwent an O&M training after the age of 12 years showed poorer acuity than sighted controls. Congenitally blind participants with an earlier O&M training, however, approached the performance level of the sighted controls. The observed improvement in spatial acuity was more pronounced when judgements were given on the basis of an allocentric than an egocentric frame of reference. These findings suggest that proprioceptive-spatial acuity in adulthood depends on non-visual spatial experience during early development.

  13. The neurology of visual acuity.

    PubMed

    Frisén, L

    1980-09-01

    A series of patients with well defined lesions of various parts of the visual pathways was studied in an attempt to iluminate the neuropathophysiology of visual acuity. Acuity was found to remain normal in all cases with unilateral retrochiasmal lesions, including those of the optic tract. Bilateral retrochiasmal lesions involving the foveal nerve fibres on both sides impaired acuity to the same degree in both eyes. Lateral chiasmal lesions regularly produced impaired acuity in the ipsilateral eye. Midchiasmal lesions commonly led to an impairment of visual acuity in both eyes, usually asymmetrically, and roughly proportionate to the severity of the visual field defect. Compression optic neuropathy was found to reduce acuity in rough proportion to the severity of compression. It was concluded that acuity remains normal as long as either the crossing or the non-crossing neural outflow from the retinal fovea remains intact: acuity fails only when both sets of nerve fibres are compromised. A properly executed acuity test seems to be a powerful tool for detecting such conditions. The lower limit of normal acuity should never be set below 1.0 or 20/20: even this level is clearly subnormal in many subjects.

  14. Grating Visual Acuity Results in the Early Treatment for Retinopathy of Prematurity Study

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Objective To compare grating (resolution) visual acuity at 6 years of age in eyes that received early treatment (ET) for high-risk prethreshold retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) versus eyes that were managed conventionally (CM). Methods In a randomized clinical trial, infants with bilateral, high-risk prethreshold ROP (N=317) had one eye treated early at high-risk prethreshold disease and the other eye managed conventionally, and treated if ROP progressed to threshold severity. For asymmetric cases (N=84), the high-risk prethreshold eye was randomized to either ET or CM. Main Outcome Measures Grating visual acuity measured at 6 years of age by masked testers using Teller acuity cards. Results Monocular grating acuity results were obtained from 317 (86%) of 370 surviving children. Analysis of grating acuity results for all subjects with high-risk prethreshold ROP showed no statistically significant overall benefit for early treatment (18.1% vs 22.8% unfavorable outcome, P=0.08). When the 6-year grating acuity results were analyzed according to a clinical algorithm (high-risk Type 1 and high-risk Type 2 prethreshold ROP), a benefit was seen in Type 1 eyes (16.4% vs 25.2%, P=0.004) that were treated early, but not in Type 2 eyes (21.3% vs 15.9%, P=0.29). Conclusion Early treatment for eyes with Type 1 ROP improved grating acuity outcomes but early treatment for eyes with Type 2 ROP did not. Application to Clinical Medicine Type I eyes should be treated early; however, based on acuity results at age 6 years, Type 2 eyes should be cautiously monitored for progression to Type 1 ROP. Trial Registration NCT00027222 PMID:21746974

  15. Sensorimotor posture control in the blind: superior ankle proprioceptive acuity does not compensate for vision loss.

    PubMed

    Ozdemir, Recep A; Pourmoghaddam, Amir; Paloski, William H

    2013-09-01

    To better understand sensorimotor posture control differences between blind and sighted individuals, we examined the role of ankle joint proprioception and ankle muscle strength on postural control in healthy blind (n=13, 25-58 years) and age- and sex-matched sighted (n=15, 20-65 years) volunteers. We measured ankle joint proprioceptive acuity and isokinetic muscle strength in plantarflexion and dorsiflexion using an isokinetic dynamometer. We also assessed postural control performance during quiet bipedal stance with and without sudden postural perturbations, and during quiet unipedal stance. We found that while our blind subjects exhibited significantly better proprioceptive acuity than our sighted subjects their postural control performance was significantly poorer than that of the sighted group with eyes open, and no different from that of the sighted group with eyes closed suggesting that their superior proprioceptive acuity does not translate to improved balance control.

  16. 38 CFR 4.76 - Visual acuity.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 38 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief 1 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Visual acuity. 4.76... DISABILITIES Disability Ratings The Organs of Special Sense § 4.76 Visual acuity. (a) Examination of visual acuity. Examination of visual acuity must include the central uncorrected and corrected visual acuity...

  17. Eye size and visual acuity influence vestibular anatomy in mammals.

    PubMed

    Kemp, Addison D; Christopher Kirk, E

    2014-04-01

    The semicircular canals of the inner ear detect head rotations and trigger compensatory movements that stabilize gaze and help maintain visual fixation. Mammals with large eyes and high visual acuity require precise gaze stabilization mechanisms because they experience diminished visual functionality at low thresholds of uncompensated motion. Because semicircular canal radius of curvature is a primary determinant of canal sensitivity, species with large canal radii are expected to be capable of more precise gaze stabilization than species with small canal radii. Here, we examine the relationship between mean semicircular canal radius of curvature, eye size, and visual acuity in a large sample of mammals. Our results demonstrate that eye size and visual acuity both explain a significant proportion of the variance in mean canal radius of curvature after statistically controlling for the effects of body mass and phylogeny. These findings suggest that variation in mean semicircular canal radius of curvature among mammals is partly the result of selection for improved gaze stabilization in species with large eyes and acute vision. Our results also provide a possible functional explanation for the small semicircular canal radii of fossorial mammals and plesiadapiforms.

  18. Dot Display Affects Approximate Number System Acuity and Relationships with Mathematical Achievement and Inhibitory Control

    PubMed Central

    Norris, Jade Eloise; Castronovo, Julie

    2016-01-01

    Much research has investigated the relationship between the Approximate Number System (ANS) and mathematical achievement, with continued debate surrounding the existence of such a link. The use of different stimulus displays may account for discrepancies in the findings. Indeed, closer scrutiny of the literature suggests that studies supporting a link between ANS acuity and mathematical achievement in adults have mostly measured the ANS using spatially intermixed displays (e.g. of blue and yellow dots), whereas those failing to replicate a link have primarily used spatially separated dot displays. The current study directly compared ANS acuity when using intermixed or separate dots, investigating how such methodological variation mediated the relationship between ANS acuity and mathematical achievement. ANS acuity was poorer and less reliable when measured with intermixed displays, with performance during both conditions related to inhibitory control. Crucially, mathematical achievement was significantly related to ANS accuracy difference (accuracy on congruent trials minus accuracy on incongruent trials) when measured with intermixed displays, but not with separate displays. The findings indicate that methodological variation affects ANS acuity outcomes, as well as the apparent relationship between the ANS and mathematical achievement. Moreover, the current study highlights the problem of low reliabilities of ANS measures. Further research is required to construct ANS measures with improved reliability, and to understand which processes may be responsible for the increased likelihood of finding a correlation between the ANS and mathematical achievement when using intermixed displays. PMID:27195749

  19. Short-term visual deprivation, tactile acuity, and haptic solid shape discrimination.

    PubMed

    Crabtree, Charles E; Norman, J Farley

    2014-01-01

    Previous psychophysical studies have reported conflicting results concerning the effects of short-term visual deprivation upon tactile acuity. Some studies have found that 45 to 90 minutes of total light deprivation produce significant improvements in participants' tactile acuity as measured with a grating orientation discrimination task. In contrast, a single 2011 study found no such improvement while attempting to replicate these earlier findings. A primary goal of the current experiment was to resolve this discrepancy in the literature by evaluating the effects of a 90-minute period of total light deprivation upon tactile grating orientation discrimination. We also evaluated the potential effect of short-term deprivation upon haptic 3-D shape discrimination using a set of naturally-shaped solid objects. According to previous research, short-term deprivation enhances performance in a tactile 2-D shape discrimination task - perhaps a similar improvement also occurs for haptic 3-D shape discrimination. The results of the current investigation demonstrate that not only does short-term visual deprivation not enhance tactile acuity, it additionally has no effect upon haptic 3-D shape discrimination. While visual deprivation had no effect in our study, there was a significant effect of experience and learning for the grating orientation task - the participants' tactile acuity improved over time, independent of whether they had, or had not, experienced visual deprivation.

  20. Tactile acuity training for patients with chronic low back pain: a pilot randomised controlled trial

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Chronic pain can disrupt the cortical representation of a painful body part. This disruption may play a role in maintaining the individual’s pain. Tactile acuity training has been used to normalise cortical representation and reduce pain in certain pain conditions. However, there is little evidence for the effectiveness of this intervention for chronic low back pain (CLBP). The primary aim of this study was to inform the development of a fully powered randomised controlled trial (RCT) by providing preliminary data on the effect of tactile acuity training on pain and function in individuals with CLBP. The secondary aim was to obtain qualitative feedback about the intervention. Methods In this mixed-methods pilot RCT 15 individuals were randomised to either an intervention (tactile acuity training) or a placebo group (sham tactile acuity training). All participants received 3 sessions of acuity training (intervention or sham) from a physiotherapist and were requested to undertake daily acuity home training facilitated by an informal carer (friend/relative). All participants also received usual care physiotherapy. The primary outcome measures were pain (0-100visual analogue scale (VAS)) and function (Roland Morris Disability Questionnaire (RMDQ)). Participants and their informal carers were invited to a focus group to provide feedback on the intervention. Results The placebo group improved by the greatest magnitude for both outcome measures, but there was no statistically significant difference (Mean difference (95%CI), p-value) between groups for change in pain (25.6 (-0.7 to 51.9), p = 0.056) or function (2.2 (-1.6 to 6.0), p = 0.237). Comparing the number of individuals achieving a minimally clinically significant improvement, the placebo group had better outcomes for pain with all participants achieving ≥30% improvement compared to only a third of the intervention group (6/6 vs. 3/9, p = 0.036). Qualitatively, participants reported that

  1. Photometric Compliance of Tablet Screens and Retro-Illuminated Acuity Charts As Visual Acuity Measurement Devices

    PubMed Central

    Livingstone, I. A. T.; Tarbert, C. M.; Giardini, M. E.; Bastawrous, A.; Middleton, D.; Hamilton, R.

    2016-01-01

    Mobile technology is increasingly used to measure visual acuity. Standards for chart-based acuity tests specify photometric requirements for luminance, optotype contrast and luminance uniformity. Manufacturers provide some photometric data but little is known about tablet performance for visual acuity testing. This study photometrically characterised seven tablet computers (iPad, Apple inc.) and three ETDRS (Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study) visual acuity charts with room lights on and off, and compared findings with visual acuity measurement standards. Tablet screen luminance and contrast were measured using nine points across a black and white checkerboard test screen at five arbitrary brightness levels. ETDRS optotypes and adjacent white background luminance and contrast were measured. All seven tablets (room lights off) exceeded the most stringent requirement for mean luminance (≥ 120 cd/m2) providing the nominal brightness setting was above 50%. All exceeded contrast requirement (Weber ≥ 90%) regardless of brightness setting, and five were marginally below the required luminance uniformity threshold (Lmin/Lmax ≥ 80%). Re-assessing three tablets with room lights on made little difference to mean luminance or contrast, and improved luminance uniformity to exceed the threshold. The three EDTRS charts (room lights off) had adequate mean luminance (≥ 120 cd/m2) and Weber contrast (≥ 90%), but all three charts failed to meet the luminance uniformity standard (Lmin/Lmax ≥ 80%). Two charts were operating beyond manufacturer’s recommended lamp replacement schedule. With room lights on, chart mean luminance and Weber contrast increased, but two charts still had inadequate luminance uniformity. Tablet computers showed less inter-device variability, higher contrast, and better luminance uniformity than charts in both lights-on and lights-off environments, providing brightness setting was >50%. Overall, iPad tablets matched or marginally out

  2. Photometric Compliance of Tablet Screens and Retro-Illuminated Acuity Charts As Visual Acuity Measurement Devices.

    PubMed

    Livingstone, I A T; Tarbert, C M; Giardini, M E; Bastawrous, A; Middleton, D; Hamilton, R

    2016-01-01

    Mobile technology is increasingly used to measure visual acuity. Standards for chart-based acuity tests specify photometric requirements for luminance, optotype contrast and luminance uniformity. Manufacturers provide some photometric data but little is known about tablet performance for visual acuity testing. This study photometrically characterised seven tablet computers (iPad, Apple inc.) and three ETDRS (Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study) visual acuity charts with room lights on and off, and compared findings with visual acuity measurement standards. Tablet screen luminance and contrast were measured using nine points across a black and white checkerboard test screen at five arbitrary brightness levels. ETDRS optotypes and adjacent white background luminance and contrast were measured. All seven tablets (room lights off) exceeded the most stringent requirement for mean luminance (≥ 120 cd/m2) providing the nominal brightness setting was above 50%. All exceeded contrast requirement (Weber ≥ 90%) regardless of brightness setting, and five were marginally below the required luminance uniformity threshold (Lmin/Lmax ≥ 80%). Re-assessing three tablets with room lights on made little difference to mean luminance or contrast, and improved luminance uniformity to exceed the threshold. The three EDTRS charts (room lights off) had adequate mean luminance (≥ 120 cd/m2) and Weber contrast (≥ 90%), but all three charts failed to meet the luminance uniformity standard (Lmin/Lmax ≥ 80%). Two charts were operating beyond manufacturer's recommended lamp replacement schedule. With room lights on, chart mean luminance and Weber contrast increased, but two charts still had inadequate luminance uniformity. Tablet computers showed less inter-device variability, higher contrast, and better luminance uniformity than charts in both lights-on and lights-off environments, providing brightness setting was >50%. Overall, iPad tablets matched or marginally out

  3. The neural correlates of learned motor acuity

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Juemin; Caffo, Brian; Mazzoni, Pietro; Krakauer, John W.

    2014-01-01

    We recently defined a component of motor skill learning as “motor acuity,” quantified as a shift in the speed-accuracy trade-off function for a task. These shifts are primarily driven by reductions in movement variability. To determine the neural correlates of improvement in motor acuity, we devised a motor task compatible with magnetic resonance brain imaging that required subjects to make finely controlled wrist movements under visual guidance. Subjects were imaged on day 1 and day 5 while they performed this task and were trained outside the scanner on intervening days 2, 3, and 4. The potential confound of performance changes between days 1 and 5 was avoided by constraining movement time to a fixed duration. After training, subjects showed a marked increase in success rate and a reduction in trial-by-trial variability for the trained task but not for an untrained control task, without changes in mean trajectory. The decrease in variability for the trained task was associated with increased activation in contralateral primary motor and premotor cortical areas and in ipsilateral cerebellum. A global nonlocalizing multivariate analysis confirmed that learning was associated with increased overall brain activation. We suggest that motor acuity is acquired through increases in the number of neurons recruited in contralateral motor cortical areas and in ipsilateral cerebellum, which could reflect increased signal-to-noise ratio in motor output and improved state estimation for feedback corrections, respectively. PMID:24848466

  4. The development of an obstetric triage acuity tool.

    PubMed

    Paisley, Kathleen S; Wallace, Ruth; DuRant, Patricia G

    2011-01-01

    The purpose of this article is to describe the journey a multicampus hospital system took to improve the obstetric triage process. A review of literature revealed no current comprehensive obstetric acuity tool, and thus our team developed a tool with a patient flow process, revised and updated triage nurse competencies, and then educated the nurses about the new tool and process. Data were collected to assess the functionality of the new process in assigning acuity upon patient arrival, conveying appropriate acuities based on patient complaints, and initiating the medical screening examination, all within prescribed time intervals. Initially data indicated that processes were still not optimal, and re-education was provided for all triage nurses. This improved all data points. The result of this QI project is that our patients are now seen based on their acuity within designated time frames.

  5. Inhaler Reminders Significantly Improve Asthma Patients' Use of Controller Medications

    MedlinePlus

    ... of controller medications Share | Inhaler reminders significantly improve asthma patients’ use of controller medications Published Online: July ... effective in reducing the burden and risk of asthma, but many patients do not use them regularly. ...

  6. Visual Acuity and the Eye.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Beynon, J.

    1985-01-01

    Shows that visual acuity is a function of the structure of the eye and that its limit is set by the structure of the retina, emphasizing the role of lens aberrations and difraction on image quality. Also compares human vision with that of other vertebrates and insects. (JN)

  7. Changes in the clinical measurement of visual acuity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bailey, I. L.; Jackson, A. J.

    2016-11-01

    In 1862, Hermann Snellen introduced his letter chart for the clinical measurement of visual acuity. His chart presented letters,or optotypes, arranged in a progressively diminishing size sequence, and the visual acuity was determined by the smallest letters that could read at a specified distance. Numerous modifications of the design of the optotypes, the progression of size and the chart layout were suggested, and in 1976, Bailey and Lovie published a set of design principles that made the visual task the same at all size levels, so that size become the only significant variable. This required the same number of letters at each size level, fixed spacing ratios and a logarithmic progression of size. This facilitates more precise quantification of visual acuity by giving credit for every letter read correctly, and this gives clinicians tighter confidence limits for determining changes or differences in visual acuity. However, optotype choices, and associated spacing arrangements can have significant effects on visual acuity scores as can viewing conditions and testing protocols. Computer based visual acuity tests are becoming more commonplace, there will be more variety in test charts and procedures which will create some problems for making comparisons between tests.

  8. Gains following perceptual learning are closely linked to the initial visual acuity.

    PubMed

    Yehezkel, Oren; Sterkin, Anna; Lev, Maria; Levi, Dennis M; Polat, Uri

    2016-04-28

    The goal of the present study was to evaluate the dependence of perceptual learning gains on initial visual acuity (VA), in a large sample of subjects with a wide range of VAs. A large sample of normally sighted and presbyopic subjects (N = 119; aged 40 to 63) with a wide range of uncorrected near visual acuities (VA, -0.12 to 0.8 LogMAR), underwent perceptual learning. Training consisted of detecting briefly presented Gabor stimuli under spatial and temporal masking conditions. Consistent with previous findings, perceptual learning induced a significant improvement in near VA and reading speed under conditions of limited exposure duration. Our results show that the improvements in VA and reading speed observed following perceptual learning are closely linked to the initial VA, with only a minor fraction of the observed improvement that may be attributed to the additional sessions performed by those with the worse VA.

  9. Gains following perceptual learning are closely linked to the initial visual acuity

    PubMed Central

    Yehezkel, Oren; Sterkin, Anna; Lev, Maria; Levi, Dennis M.; Polat, Uri

    2016-01-01

    The goal of the present study was to evaluate the dependence of perceptual learning gains on initial visual acuity (VA), in a large sample of subjects with a wide range of VAs. A large sample of normally sighted and presbyopic subjects (N = 119; aged 40 to 63) with a wide range of uncorrected near visual acuities (VA, −0.12 to 0.8 LogMAR), underwent perceptual learning. Training consisted of detecting briefly presented Gabor stimuli under spatial and temporal masking conditions. Consistent with previous findings, perceptual learning induced a significant improvement in near VA and reading speed under conditions of limited exposure duration. Our results show that the improvements in VA and reading speed observed following perceptual learning are closely linked to the initial VA, with only a minor fraction of the observed improvement that may be attributed to the additional sessions performed by those with the worse VA. PMID:27122254

  10. Visual acuity in mammals: effects of eye size and ecology.

    PubMed

    Veilleux, Carrie C; Kirk, E Christopher

    2014-01-01

    Previous comparative research has attributed interspecific variation in eye size among mammals to selection related to visual acuity. Mammalian species have also been hypothesized to differ in visual acuity partly as a result of differences in ecology. While a number of prior studies have explored ecological and phylogenetic effects on eye shape, a broad comparative analysis of the relationships between visual acuity, eye size and ecology in mammals is currently lacking. Here we use phylogenetic comparative methods to explore these relationships in a taxonomically and ecologically diverse sample of 91 mammal species. These data confirm that axial eye length and visual acuity are significantly positively correlated in mammals. This relationship conforms to expectations based on theoretical optics and prior analyses of smaller comparative samples. Our data also demonstrate that higher visual acuity in mammals is associated with: (1) diurnality and (2) predatory habits once the effects of eye size and phylogeny have been statistically controlled. These results suggest that interspecific variation in mammalian visual acuity is the result of a complex interplay between phylogenetic history, visual anatomy and ecology.

  11. Phenomenological model of visual acuity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gómez-Pedrero, José A.; Alonso, José

    2016-12-01

    We propose in this work a model for describing visual acuity (V) as a function of defocus and pupil diameter. Although the model is mainly based on geometrical optics, it also incorporates nongeometrical effects phenomenologically. Compared to similar visual acuity models, the proposed one considers the effect of astigmatism and the variability of best corrected V among individuals; it also takes into account the accommodation and the "tolerance to defocus," the latter through a phenomenological parameter. We have fitted the model to the V data provided in the works of Holladay et al. and Peters, showing the ability of this model to accurately describe the variation of V against blur and pupil diameter. We have also performed a comparison between the proposed model and others previously published in the literature. The model is mainly intended for use in the design of ophthalmic compensations, but it can also be useful in other fields such as visual ergonomics, design of visual tests, and optical instrumentation.

  12. Response Classification Images in Vernier Acuity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ahumada, Albert J., Jr.; Beard, B. L.; Ellis, Stephen R. (Technical Monitor)

    1997-01-01

    Orientation selective and local sign mechanisms have been proposed as the basis for vernier acuity judgments. Linear image features contributing to discrimination can be determined for a two choice task by adding external noise to the images and then averaging the noises separately for the four types of stimulus/response trials. This method is applied to a vernier acuity task with different spatial separations to compare the predictions of the two theories. Three well-practiced observers were presented around 5000 trials of a vernier stimulus consisting of two dark horizontal lines (5 min by 0.3 min) within additive low-contrast white noise. Two spatial separations were tested, abutting and a 10 min horizontal separation. The task was to determine whether the target lines were aligned or vertically offset. The noises were averaged separately for the four stimulus/response trial types (e.g., stimulus = offset, response = aligned). The sum of the two 'not aligned' images was then subtracted from the sum of the 'aligned' images to obtain an overall image. Spatially smoothed images were quantized according to expected variability in the smoothed images to allow estimation of the statistical significance of image features. The response images from the 10 min separation condition are consistent with the local sign theory, having the appearance of two linear operators measuring vertical position with opposite sign. The images from the abutting stimulus have the same appearance with the two operators closer together. The image predicted by an oriented filter model is similar, but has its greatest weight in the abutting region, while the response images fall to nonsignificance there. The response correlation image method, previously demonstrated for letter discrimination, clarifies the features used in vernier acuity.

  13. Recovery of visual acuity following the repair of pseudophakic retinal detachment.

    PubMed Central

    Isernhagen, R D; Wilkinson, C P

    1988-01-01

    Postoperative visual acuities were evaluated in a series of 100 pseudophakic eyes in which rhegmatogenous retinal detachments involved the macula and in which reattachment surgery was successful. Preoperative visual acuity and duration of macular detachment were directly and indirectly related to visual outcome, respectively. Eyes in which extracapsular surgery had been followed by posterior chamber lens implantation had significantly better postoperative visual acuities than cases in which older iris-fixation IOLs were placed following intracapsular procedures. PMID:2979019

  14. Warfarin improves neuropathy in monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance.

    PubMed

    Henry Gomez, Teny; Holkova, Beata; Noreika, Danielle; Del Fabbro, Egidio

    2016-06-17

    We report a case of a 60-year-old man who was referred to a palliative care clinic with monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS)-associated neuropathy, responding to a therapeutic trial of warfarin. Electromyography showed distal symmetric sensory axonal neuropathy. The patient reported having had improvement of his neuropathic symptoms while taking warfarin postoperatively for thromboprophylaxis 1 year prior, and recurrence of his symptoms after the warfarin was discontinued. The patient was rechallenged with a trial of warfarin, targeting an international normalised ratio of 1.5-2.0. His pain scores decreased from 5/10 to 3/10 at 1 month and symptom improvement was maintained through 24 months of follow-up. Warfarin had a remarkable impact on our patient's symptoms and quality of life. The mechanisms mediating the symptomatic benefit with warfarin are unclear; however, a placebo effect is unlikely. Further studies may help guide the use of warfarin for MGUS-associated neuropathy.

  15. Visual acuity in ray-finned fishes correlates with eye size and habitat.

    PubMed

    Caves, Eleanor M; Sutton, Tracey T; Johnsen, Sönke

    2017-02-09

    Visual acuity (the ability to resolve spatial detail) is highly variable across fishes. However, little is known about the evolutionary pressures underlying this variation. We reviewed published literature to create an acuity database for 159 species of ray-finned fishes (Actinopterygii). Within a subset of those species for which we had phylogenetic information and anatomically-measured acuity data (n=81), we examined relationships between acuity and both morphological (eye size and body size) and ecological (light level, water turbidity, habitat spatial complexity, and diet) variables. Acuity was significantly correlated with eye size (p<0.05); a weaker correlation with body size occurred via a correlation between eye and body size (p<0.001). Acuity decreased as light level decreased and turbidity increased; however, these decreases resulted from fishes in dark or murky environments having smaller eyes and bodies than those in bright or clear environments. We also found significantly lower acuity in horizon-dominated habitats than in featureless or complex habitats. Higher acuity in featureless habitats is likely due to species having absolutely larger eyes and bodies in that environment, though eye size relative to body size is not significantly different from that in complex environments. Controlling for relative eye size, we found that species in complex environments have even higher acuity than predicted. We found no relationship between visual acuity and diet. Our results show that eye size is a primary factor underlying variation in fish acuity. We additionally show that habitat type is an important ecological factor that correlates with acuity in certain species.

  16. Dynamic visual acuity using "far" and "near" targets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Peters, Brian T.; Bloomberg, Jacob J.

    2005-01-01

    CONCLUSIONS: DVA may be useful for assessing the functional consequences of an impaired gaze stabilization mechanism or for testing the effectiveness of a rehabilitation paradigm. Because target distance influences the relative contributions of canal and otolith inputs, the ability to measure DVA at near and far viewing distances may also lead to tests that will independently assess canal and otolith function. OBJECTIVE: To present and test a methodology that uses dynamic visual acuity (DVA) to assess the efficacy of compensatory gaze mechanisms during a functionally relevant activity that differentially measures canal and otolith function. MATERIAL AND METHODS: The effect of treadmill walking at a velocity of 1.79 m/s on subjects' visual acuity was assessed at each of two viewing distances. A custom-written threshold determination program was used to display Landolt C optotypes on a laptop computer screen during a "far" (4 m) target condition and on a micro-display for a "near" (50 cm) target condition. The walking acuity scores for each target distance were normalized by subtracting a corresponding acuity measure obtained while standing still on the treadmill belt. RESULTS: As predicted by subjective reports of relative target motion, the decrease in visual acuity was significantly greater (p < 0.00001) for the near compared to the far condition.

  17. Prediction of Visual Acuity from Wavefront Aberrations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Watson, Andrew B. (Inventor); Ahumada, Albert J. (Inventor)

    2013-01-01

    A method for generating a visual acuity metric, based on wavefront aberrations (WFAs), associated with a test subject and representing classes of imperfections, such as defocus, astigmatism, coma and spherical aberrations, of the subject's visual system. The metric allows choices of different image template, can predict acuity for different target probabilities, can incorporate different and possibly subject-specific neural transfer functions, can predict acuity for different subject templates, and incorporates a model of the optotype identification task.

  18. Higher Cognitive Function in Elderly Individuals with Previous Cataract Surgery: Cross-Sectional Association Independent of Visual Acuity in the HEIJO-KYO Cohort.

    PubMed

    Miyata, Kimie; Obayashi, Kenji; Saeki, Keigo; Tone, Nobuhiro; Tanaka, Kunihiko; Nishi, Tomo; Morikawa, Masayuki; Kurumatani, Norio; Ogata, Nahoko

    2016-06-01

    Cataract surgery improves visual acuity and drastically increases the capacity for light reception to the retina. Although previous studies suggested that both light exposure and visual acuity were associated with cognitive function, the relationships between cataract surgery, visual acuity, and cognitive function have not been evaluated in large populations. In this cross-sectional study, we measured cognitive function using the Mini-Mental State Examination and best-corrected visual acuity in pseudophakic (previous cataract surgery) and phakic (no previous cataract surgery) elderly individuals. Of 945 participants (mean age 71.7 years), 166 (17.6%) had pseudophakia and 317 (33.5%) had impaired cognitive function (score ≤26). The pseudophakic group showed significantly better visual acuity than the phakic group (p = 0.003) and lower age-adjusted odds ratio (ORs) for cognitive impairment (OR 0.66; p = 0.038). Consistently, in multivariate logistic regression models, after adjusting for confounding factors, including visual acuity and socioeconomic status, ORs for cognitive impairment were significantly lower in the pseudophakic group than in the phakic group (OR 0.64; 95% confidence interval 0.43-0.96; p = 0.031). This association remained significant in sensitivity analysis, excluding participants with low cognitive score ≤23 (n = 36). In conclusion, in a general elderly population, prevalence of cognitive impairment was significantly lower in pseudophakic individuals independently of visual acuity. The association was also independent of several major causes of cognitive impairment such as aging, gender, obesity, socioeconomic status, hypertension, diabetes, sleep disturbances, depressive symptoms, and physical inactivity.

  19. Ceramic Composite Intermediate Temperature Stress-Rupture Properties Improved Significantly

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Morscher, Gregory N.; Hurst, Janet B.

    2002-01-01

    Silicon carbide (SiC) composites are considered to be potential materials for future aircraft engine parts such as combustor liners. It is envisioned that on the hot side (inner surface) of the combustor liner, composites will have to withstand temperatures in excess of 1200 C for thousands of hours in oxidizing environments. This is a severe condition; however, an equally severe, if not more detrimental, condition exists on the cold side (outer surface) of the combustor liner. Here, the temperatures are expected to be on the order of 800 to 1000 C under high tensile stress because of thermal gradients and attachment of the combustor liner to the engine frame (the hot side will be under compressive stress, a less severe stress-state for ceramics). Since these composites are not oxides, they oxidize. The worst form of oxidation for strength reduction occurs at these intermediate temperatures, where the boron nitride (BN) interphase oxidizes first, which causes the formation of a glass layer that strongly bonds the fibers to the matrix. When the fibers strongly bond to the matrix or to one another, the composite loses toughness and strength and becomes brittle. To increase the intermediate temperature stress-rupture properties, researchers must modify the BN interphase. With the support of the Ultra-Efficient Engine Technology (UEET) Program, significant improvements were made as state-of-the-art SiC/SiC composites were developed during the Enabling Propulsion Materials (EPM) program. Three approaches were found to improve the intermediate-temperature stress-rupture properties: fiber-spreading, high-temperature silicon- (Si) doped boron nitride (BN), and outside-debonding BN.

  20. Vernier acuity through night vision goggles.

    PubMed

    Rabin, J

    1993-08-01

    Night vision goggles (NVG's) are being used increasingly in military and civilian environments. Despite the use of these devices, relatively few tests exist to assess visual performance through NVG's. Hyperacuity tasks may provide a sensitive index of performance through night vision devices. In this study, grating vernier acuity was measured through NVG's. As reported previously, a power law relation was observed between vernier acuity and stimulus contrast. Comparison of vernier acuity with and without NVG's indicated that performance is limited by the contrast transfer of the device. Vernier acuity measurements can be used to assess the quality of vision and quantity of contrast transferred through night vision devices.

  1. The Relationship between OCT-measured Central Retinal Thickness and Visual Acuity in Diabetic Macular Edema

    PubMed Central

    2008-01-01

    Objective To compare optical coherence tomography (OCT)-measured retinal thickness and visual acuity in eyes with diabetic macular edema (DME) both before and after macular laser photocoagulation. Design Cross-sectional and longitudinal study. Participants 210 subjects (251 eyes) with DME enrolled in a randomized clinical trial of laser techniques. Methods Retinal thickness was measured with OCT and visual acuity was measured with the electronic-ETDRS procedure. Main Outcome Measures OCT-measured center point thickness and visual acuity Results The correlation coefficients for visual acuity versus OCT center point thickness were 0.52 at baseline and 0.49, 0.36, and 0.38 at 3.5, 8, and 12 months post-laser photocoagulation. The slope of the best fit line to the baseline data was approximately 4.4 letters (95% C.I.: 3.5, 5.3) better visual acuity for every 100 microns decrease in center point thickness at baseline with no important difference at follow-up visits. Approximately one-third of the variation in visual acuity could be predicted by a linear regression model that incorporated OCT center point thickness, age, hemoglobin A1C, and severity of fluorescein leakage in the center and inner subfields. The correlation between change in visual acuity and change in OCT center point thickening 3.5 months after laser treatment was 0.44 with no important difference at the other follow-up times. A subset of eyes showed paradoxical improvements in visual acuity with increased center point thickening (7–17% at the three time points) or paradoxical worsening of visual acuity with a decrease in center point thickening (18%–26% at the three time points). Conclusions There is modest correlation between OCT-measured center point thickness and visual acuity, and modest correlation of changes in retinal thickening and visual acuity following focal laser treatment for DME. However, a wide range of visual acuity may be observed for a given degree of retinal edema and paradoxical

  2. A Comparison of Patched HOTV Visual Acuity and Photoscreening

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Leman, Rachel; Clausen, Michelle M.; Bates, Janice; Stark, Lee; Arnold, Koni K.; Arnold, Robert W.

    2006-01-01

    Early detection of significant vision problems in children is a high priority for pediatricians and school nurses. Routine vision screening is a necessary part of that detection and has traditionally involved acuity charts. However, photoscreening in which "red eye" is elicited to show whether each eye is focusing may outperform routine acuity…

  3. 38 CFR 4.76 - Visual acuity.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... distance and near vision using Snellen's test type or its equivalent. (b) Evaluation of visual acuity. (1) Evaluate central visual acuity on the basis of corrected distance vision with central fixation, even if a central scotoma is present. However, when the lens required to correct distance vision in the poorer...

  4. 38 CFR 4.76 - Visual acuity.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... distance and near vision using Snellen's test type or its equivalent. (b) Evaluation of visual acuity. (1) Evaluate central visual acuity on the basis of corrected distance vision with central fixation, even if a central scotoma is present. However, when the lens required to correct distance vision in the poorer...

  5. 38 CFR 4.76 - Visual acuity.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... distance and near vision using Snellen's test type or its equivalent. (b) Evaluation of visual acuity. (1) Evaluate central visual acuity on the basis of corrected distance vision with central fixation, even if a central scotoma is present. However, when the lens required to correct distance vision in the poorer...

  6. 38 CFR 4.76 - Visual acuity.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... distance and near vision using Snellen's test type or its equivalent. (b) Evaluation of visual acuity. (1) Evaluate central visual acuity on the basis of corrected distance vision with central fixation, even if a central scotoma is present. However, when the lens required to correct distance vision in the poorer...

  7. Show me the skin! Does seeing the back enhance tactile acuity at the back?

    PubMed

    Catley, Mark J; Tabor, Abby; Miegel, Rohan G; Wand, Benedict M; Spence, Charles; Moseley, G Lorimer

    2014-10-01

    A growing body of literature associates musculoskeletal disorders with cortical reorganisation. One condition in which reorganisation is established and treatments that 'train the brain' are being widely used is chronic back pain. Recent evidence suggests that treatments that involve tactile training are more effective if they incorporate multisensory mechanisms, most obviously vision. With regard to back pain however, we must first determine if tactile function is enhanced by incorporating other modalities. A series of three cross-over experiments were conducted in healthy pain-free subjects to determine whether tactile acuity is enhanced when participants can see the skin of their back during testing. An initial randomised cross-over experiment suggested tactile acuity was significantly enhanced when participants could see their backs (t(25) = -4.226, p < 0.001, r = 0.65). However, a second replication experiment was not corroborative. Both the second (F(3,66) = 1.00, p = 0.398) and third (t(9) = 0.969, p = 0.358) experiments suggested that seeing the back did not significantly affect tactile acuity, confirming that our initial results were likely due to chance. The principle that visual feedback improves tactile acuity at the hand does not apply to the back. These results strongly suggest that attempts to enhance tactile training by incorporating vision will not offer the benefit to treatment of back pain that has been observed for treatment of hand pain.

  8. Final Visual Acuity Results in the Early Treatment for Retinopathy of Prematurity Study

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Objective To compare visual acuity at 6 years of age in eyes that received early treatment for high-risk prethreshold retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) with conventionally-managed eyes. Methods Infants with symmetrical, high-risk prethreshold ROP (N=317) had one eye randomized to earlier treatment at high-risk prethreshold disease and the other eye managed conventionally, treated if ROP progressed to threshold severity. For asymmetric cases (N=84), the high-risk prethreshold eye was randomized to either early treatment or conventional management. Main Outcome Measures ETDRS visual acuity measured at 6 years of age by masked testers. Retinal structure was assessed as a secondary outcome. Results Analysis of all subjects with high-risk prethreshold ROP showed no statistically significant benefit for early treatment (24.6% v. 29.0% unfavorable outcome, P=0.15). Analysis of 6-year visual acuity results according to the Type 1 and 2 clinical algorithm showed a benefit for Type 1 eyes (25.1% v. 32.8%, P=0.02) treated early, but not Type 2 eyes (23.6% v. 19.4%, P=0.37). Early treated eyes showed a significantly better structural outcome compared with conventionally managed eyes (8.9% v. 15.2% unfavorable outcome, P<0.001), with no greater risk of ocular complications. Conclusion Early treatment for Type 1 high-risk prethreshold eyes improved visual acuity outcomes at 6 years of age. Early treatment for Type 2 high-risk prethreshold eyes did not. Application to Clinical Practice Type 1 eyes, not Type 2 eyes should be treated early. These results are particularly important considering that 52 % of Type 2 high-risk prethreshold eyes underwent regression of ROP without requiring treatment. PMID:20385926

  9. Acuity of the Approximate Number System and Preschoolers' Quantitative Development

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    van Marle, Kristy; Chu, Felicia W.; Li, Yaoran; Geary, David C.

    2014-01-01

    The study assessed the relations among acuity of the inherent approximate number system (ANS), performance on measures of symbolic quantitative knowledge, and mathematics achievement for a sample of 138 (64 boys) preschoolers. The Weber fraction (a measure of ANS acuity) and associated task accuracy were significantly correlated with mathematics…

  10. How well do you see what you hear? The acuity of visual-to-auditory sensory substitution

    PubMed Central

    Haigh, Alastair; Brown, David J.; Meijer, Peter; Proulx, Michael J.

    2013-01-01

    Sensory substitution devices (SSDs) aim to compensate for the loss of a sensory modality, typically vision, by converting information from the lost modality into stimuli in a remaining modality. “The vOICe” is a visual-to-auditory SSD which encodes images taken by a camera worn by the user into “soundscapes” such that experienced users can extract information about their surroundings. Here we investigated how much detail was resolvable during the early induction stages by testing the acuity of blindfolded sighted, naïve vOICe users. Initial performance was well above chance. Participants who took the test twice as a form of minimal training showed a marked improvement on the second test. Acuity was slightly but not significantly impaired when participants wore a camera and judged letter orientations “live”. A positive correlation was found between participants' musical training and their acuity. The relationship between auditory expertise via musical training and the lack of a relationship with visual imagery, suggests that early use of a SSD draws primarily on the mechanisms of the sensory modality being used rather than the one being substituted. If vision is lost, audition represents the sensory channel of highest bandwidth of those remaining. The level of acuity found here, and the fact it was achieved with very little experience in sensory substitution by naïve users is promising. PMID:23785345

  11. Visual acuity and patient satisfaction at varied distances and lighting conditions after implantation of an aspheric diffractive multifocal one-piece intraocular lens

    PubMed Central

    Chang, Daniel H

    2016-01-01

    Purpose The aim of the study is to evaluate the visual acuity and patient satisfaction at varied distances under photopic and mesopic lighting conditions in patients bilaterally implanted with aspheric diffractive multifocal one-piece intraocular lenses. Methods In this retrospective–prospective study, 16 patients with a mean age of 66.2±9.2 years (range: 50–81 years) who had undergone bilateral phacoemulsification surgery with implantation of a Tecnis multifocal one-piece intraocular lens (ZMB00) were evaluated. Monocular and binocular uncorrected and distance-corrected visual acuities were measured at distance (20 ft), intermediate (70–80 cm), and near (35–40 cm) under photopic (85 cd/m2) and mesopic (3 cd/m2) lighting conditions and were compared using the paired t-test. All patients also completed a subjective questionnaire. Results At a mean follow-up of 9.5±3.9 months, distance, near, and intermediate visual acuity improved significantly from preoperative acuity. Under photopic and mesopic conditions, 93.8% and 62.5% of patients, respectively, had binocular uncorrected intermediate visual acuity of 20/40 or better, and 62.5% and 31.3% of patients had binocular uncorrected near visual acuity of 20/20 or better. All patients were satisfied with their overall vision without using glasses and/or contact lenses when compared with before surgery. A total of 87.5% of patients reported no glare and 68.8% of patients reported no halos around lights at night. Conclusion Tecnis multifocal one-piece intraocular lenses provide good distance, intermediate, and near visual acuity under photopic as well as mesopic lighting conditions. High levels of spectacle independence with low levels of photic phenomenon were achieved, resulting in excellent patient satisfaction. PMID:27536061

  12. Comparison of three night vision intensification tube technologies on resolution acuity: results from grating and Hoffman ANV-126 tasks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Macuda, Todd; Allison, Robert S.; Thomas, Paul; Truong, Long; Tang, Denis; Craig, Greg; Jennings, Sion

    2005-05-01

    Several methodologies have been used to determine resolution acuity through Night Vision Goggles. The present study compared NVG acuity estimates derived from the Hoffman ANV-126 and a standard psychophysical grating acuity task. For the grating acuity task, observers were required to discriminate between horizontal and vertical gratings according to a method of constant stimuli. Psychometric functions were generated from the performance data, and acuity thresholds were interpolated at a performance level of 70% correct. Acuity estimates were established at three different illumination levels (0.06-5X10-4 lux) for both procedures. These estimates were then converted to an equivalent Snellen value. The data indicate that grating acuity estimates were consistently better (i.e. lower scores) than acuity measures obtained from the Hoffman ANV-126. Furthermore significant differences in estimated acuity were observed using different tube technologies. In keeping with previous acuity investigations, although the Hoffman ANV-126 provides a rapid operational assessment of tube acuity, it is suggested that more rigorous psychophysical procedures such as the grating task described here be used to assess the real behavioural resolution of tube technologies.

  13. Factors Affecting Crowded Acuity: Eccentricity and Contrast

    PubMed Central

    Coates, Daniel R.; Chin, Jeremy M.; Chung, Susana T. L.

    2013-01-01

    Purpose Acuity measurement is a fundamental method to assess visual performance in the clinic. Little is known about how acuity measured in the presence of neighboring letters, as in the case of letter charts, changes with contrast and with non-foveal viewing. This information is crucial for acuity measurement using low-contrast charts and when patients cannot use their fovea. In this study, we evaluated how optotype acuity, with and without flankers, is affected by contrast and eccentricity. Methods Five young adults with normal vision identified the orientation of a Tumbling-E alone or in the presence of four flanking Tumbling-Es. Edge-to-edge letter spacing ranged from 1 to 20 bar widths. Stimuli were presented on a white background for 150 ms with Weber contrast ranging from −2.5% to −99%. Flankers had the same size and contrast as the target. Testings were performed at the fovea, 3, 5 and 10 degrees in the inferior visual field. Results When plotted as a function of letter spacing, acuity remains unaffected by the presence of flankers until the flankers are within the critical spacing, which averages an edge-to-edge spacing of 4.4 bar widths at the fovea, and approximately 16 bar widths at all three eccentricities. Critical spacing decreases with a reduction in contrast. When plotted as a function of contrast, acuity only worsens when the contrast falls below approximately 24% at the fovea and 17% in the periphery, for flanked and unflanked conditions alike. Conclusions The letter spacing on conventional letter charts exceeds the critical spacing for acuity measurement at the fovea, at all contrast levels. Thus these charts are appropriate for assessing foveal acuity. In the periphery, the critical spacing is larger than the letter spacing on conventional charts. Consequently, these charts may underestimate the acuity measured in the periphery due to the effects of crowding. PMID:23770657

  14. Corticosteroid transdermal delivery significantly improves arthritis pain and functional disability.

    PubMed

    Iannitti, Tommaso; McDermott, Michael F; Laurino, Carmen; Malagoli, Andrea; Palmieri, Beniamino

    2017-02-01

    Arthritis is characterized by pain and functional limitation affecting the patients' quality of life. We performed a clinical study to investigate the efficacy of a betamethasone valerate medicated plaster (Betesil) in improving pain and functional disability in patients with arthritis and osteoarthritis. We enrolled 104 patients affected by osteoarthritis (n = 40) or arthritis (n = 64) in different joints. Patients received diclofenac sodium cream (2 g, four times a day) or a 2.25-mg dose of Betesil applied to the painful joint every night before bedtime for 10 days. Pain and functional disability were assessed, by the Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) and Western Ontario McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC) scores. Redness was assessed by clinical inspection, and edema by the "fovea sign" method. C-reactive protein (CRP) was also measured; CRP can be used to cost-effectively monitor the pharmacological treatment efficacy and is increased during the acute-phase response, returning to physiological values after tissue recovery and functional restoration. All measurements were at baseline and at 10-day follow-up. At 10-day follow-up, a greater improvement in VAS and WOMAC pain and WOMAC stiffness and functional limitation scores from baseline was observed in patients treated with Betesil compared with diclofenac (all p < 0.01). At 10-day follow-up, improvement in redness, edema, and CRP levels from baseline was also greater in patients treated with Betesil compared with diclofenac (all p < 0.01). This study demonstrates the safety and efficacy of transdermal delivery of betamethasone valerate in patients affected by arthritis and osteoarthritis.

  15. A significantly improved membrane for vanadium redox flow battery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jia, Chuankun; Liu, Jianguo; Yan, Chuanwei

    A novel sandwich-type sulfonated poly(ether ether ketone) (SPEEK)/tungstophosphoric acid (TPA)/polypropylene (PP) composite membrane for a vanadium redox flow battery (VRB) has been developed with improved properties: the permeability of vanadium ions is greatly reduced and the performance of the VRB cell is greatly increased. The membrane is based on a traditional SPEEK membrane embedded with TPA but PP is used to enhance the membrane for the first time. Although its voltage efficiency (VE) is a little lower than that of a Nafion 212 membrane, it is expected to have good prospects for VRB systems because of its low cost and good performance.

  16. Creating a Middle Grades Environment that Significantly Improves Student Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    L'Esperance, Mark E.; Lenker, Ethan; Bullock, Ann; Lockamy, Becky; Mason, Cathy

    2013-01-01

    This article offers an overview of the framework that Sampson County Public Schools (North Carolina) used to critically reflect on the current state of their middle grades schools. The article also highlights the changes that resulted from the district-wide analysis and the ways in which these changes led to a significant increase in the academic…

  17. Degraded Time-Frequency Acuity to Time-Reversed Notes

    PubMed Central

    Oppenheim, Jacob N.; Isakov, Pavel; Magnasco, Marcelo O.

    2013-01-01

    Time-reversal symmetry breaking is a key feature of many classes of natural sounds, originating in the physics of sound production. While attention has been paid to the response of the auditory system to “natural stimuli,” very few psychophysical tests have been performed. We conduct psychophysical measurements of time-frequency acuity for stylized representations of “natural”-like notes (sharp attack, long decay) and the time-reversed versions of these notes (long attack, sharp decay). Our results demonstrate significantly greater precision, arising from enhanced temporal acuity, for such sounds over their time-reversed versions, without a corresponding decrease in frequency acuity. These data inveigh against models of auditory processing that include tradeoffs between temporal and frequency acuity, at least in the range of notes tested and suggest the existence of statistical priors for notes with a sharp-attack and a long-decay. We are additionally able to calculate a minimal theoretical bound on the sophistication of the nonlinearities in auditory processing. We find that among the best studied classes of nonlinear time-frequency representations, only matching pursuit, spectral derivatives, and reassigned spectrograms are able to satisfy this criterion. PMID:23799012

  18. An improved Hochberg procedure for multiple tests of significance.

    PubMed

    Rom, Dror M

    2013-02-01

    We propose a simple modification of Hochberg's step-up Bonferroni procedure for multiple tests of significance. The proposed procedure is always more powerful than Hochberg's procedure for more than two tests, and is more powerful than Hommel's procedure for three and four tests. A numerical analysis of the new procedure indicates that its Type I error is controlled under independence of the test statistics, at a level equal to or just below the nominal Type I error. Examination of various non-null configurations of hypotheses shows that the modified procedure has a power advantage over Hochberg's procedure which increases in relationship to the number of false hypotheses.

  19. Solifenacin significantly improves all symptoms of overactive bladder syndrome

    PubMed Central

    CHAPPLE, C R; CARDOZO, L; STEERS, W D; GOVIER, F E

    2006-01-01

    Overactive bladder syndrome (OAB) is a chronic condition characterised by urgency, with or without associated urge incontinence. Solifenacin succinate is a once daily, bladder selective antimuscarinic available in two doses (5 and 10 mg). The recommended dose is 5 mg once daily and can be increased to 10 mg once daily if 5 mg is well tolerated. This article presents pooled efficacy and safety data from four large, placebo-controlled, multinational phase III trials of solifenacin succinate with a total enrolment of over 2800 patients. Data from these trials show that solifenacin 5 and 10 mg once daily is significantly more effective than placebo at reducing urgency, incontinence, micturition frequency and nocturia and at increasing volume voided per micturition. Adverse events were mainly mild-to-moderate in all treatment groups. The results of these phase III trials support the use of solifenacin in the treatment of OAB. PMID:16893438

  20. Accuracy of pitch matching significantly improved by live voice model.

    PubMed

    Granot, Roni Y; Israel-Kolatt, Rona; Gilboa, Avi; Kolatt, Tsafrir

    2013-05-01

    Singing is, undoubtedly, the most fundamental expression of our musical capacity, yet an estimated 10-15% of Western population sings "out-of-tune (OOT)." Previous research in children and adults suggests, albeit inconsistently, that imitating a human voice can improve pitch matching. In the present study, we focus on the potentially beneficial effects of the human voice and especially the live human voice. Eighteen participants varying in their singing abilities were required to imitate in singing a set of nine ascending and descending intervals presented to them in five different randomized blocked conditions: live piano, recorded piano, live voice using optimal voice production, recorded voice using optimal voice production, and recorded voice using artificial forced voice production. Pitch and interval matching in singing were much more accurate when participants repeated sung intervals as compared with intervals played to them on the piano. The advantage of the vocal over the piano stimuli was robust and emerged clearly regardless of whether piano tones were played live and in full view or were presented via recording. Live vocal stimuli elicited higher accuracy than recorded vocal stimuli, especially when the recorded vocal stimuli were produced in a forced vocal production. Remarkably, even those who would be considered OOT singers on the basis of their performance when repeating piano tones were able to pitch match live vocal sounds, with deviations well within the range of what is considered accurate singing (M=46.0, standard deviation=39.2 cents). In fact, those participants who were most OOT gained the most from the live voice model. Results are discussed in light of the dual auditory-motor encoding of pitch analogous to that found in speech.

  1. THE RELATION BETWEEN VISUAL ACUITY AND BRIGHTNESS DISCRIMINATION

    PubMed Central

    Hendley, Charles D.

    1948-01-01

    1. Visual acuity depends on the brightness contrast between test object and background; and conversely, brightness discrimination depends on the target size. Both functions vary with the brightness of the background. Measurements with rectangular targets of length-width ratio 2 were made over a range of sizes, contrasts, and brightnesses sufficient to determine the relations among these three variables. The rectangles were from 2' to 50' wide; the contrast fraction, ΔI/I, ranged from 0.01 to 40; the background brightness varied from 0.0001 to 2500 millilamberts. 2. When ΔI/I or visual acuity is plotted as a function of brightness the data do, in general, follow Hecht's equation. The departure from a simple photochemical theory which the larger targets show is probably due to changes in the functional retinal mosaic with changing brightness. 3. In general also, the relation between visual acuity and brightness, at selected contrasts, fits Hecht's derivation. At low contrasts, as the brightness is reduced a point is reached at which the test object becomes invisible at any size. 4. No simple relation emerges from the data relating visual acuity to contrast, at set levels of illumination. Over only a very short range are visual acuity and contrast directly related. At high contrasts, visual acuity reaches a maximum, whereas at low visual acuity, ΔI/I reaches a minimum which cannot be passed regardless of size. 5. The shape of the curves relating ΔI/I to brightness is not significantly altered by changing the exposure time. There is some evidence to show that a 3 second exposure of the target is equivalent to two looks of 0.2 second each. 6. In all these studies the thresholds were determined by a frequency of seeing method, and the data have been considered in terms of a quantum theory of threshold seeing. It was found that a threshold response involves between four and eight independent critical events, which are largely independent of size, brightness, and

  2. Influence of Motion Smear on Visual Acuity in Simulated Infantile Nystagmus

    PubMed Central

    Chung, Susana T. L.; LaFrance, Martin W.; Bedell, Harold E.

    2011-01-01

    Purpose In persons with infantile nystagmus (IN), visual acuity correlates with the duration of the foveation period of the nystagmus waveform, i.e., when the retinal image is on or near the fovea and moves with low velocity. In this study, we asked how acuity is affected by the non-foveating phases of the nystagmus waveform, when the velocity of retinal image motion is substantially higher. Methods Visual acuity was measured in three normal observers for high-contrast, 4-orientation Ts, presented during image motion that simulated either the whole jerk-IN waveform (whole-waveform) or only the foveation periods of the IN waveform (foveation-only). Simulated foveation durations ranged from 20 to 120 ms. For both motion waveforms, we displayed the acuity target for different number of cycles to examine if acuity benefits from multiple presentations of the stimulus. Results As expected, visual acuity improves with longer simulated foveation durations in both the whole-waveform and foveation-only conditions. Acuity is consistently better (by approximately 0.1 logMAR) in the foveation-only than the whole-waveform condition, indicating that the high-velocity image motion during the simulated IN waveform has a detrimental effect. This difference in acuity between the two waveform conditions increases with the number of cycles, apparently because summation occurs across cycles in the foveation-only condition but not in the whole-waveform condition. Conclusions In normal observers, visual acuity in the presence of a simulated nystagmus waveform is limited not only by the duration of the foveation periods, but also by the non-foveating phases of the waveform. However, because persons with IN report little or no motion smear in association with their nystagmus, it remains unclear whether the rapid retinal image motion during the non-foveating phases of the nystagmus waveform generates a similar degradation of visual acuity in IN. PMID:21200353

  3. Stereopsis and positional acuity under dark adaptation.

    PubMed

    Livingstone, M S; Hubel, D H

    1994-03-01

    Though experience tells us we can perceive depth in dim light, it is not so obvious that one of the chief mechanisms for depth perception, stereopsis, is possible under scotopic conditions. The only studies on human stereopsis in the dark adapted state seem to be those of Nagel [(1902) Zeitschrift für Psychologie, 27, 264-266] and Mueller and Lloyd [(1948) Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, U.S.A., 34, 223-227], both of which used real objects or line stereograms. We tested stereopsis using both random-dot and line stereograms and, in agreement with these studies, found that stereopsis is indeed possible in dark adaptation. We also measured stereo acuity and positional acuity (both of which are examples of hyperacuity) and compared these with grating acuity at several levels of light and dark adaptation. At all illumination levels tested, acuities for stereopsis and relative line position were both higher than for grating acuity. As light levels decreased, positional and grating acuity declined in parallel fashion, whereas stereoacuity declined more steeply.

  4. ANS acuity and mathematics ability in preschoolers from low-income homes: contributions of inhibitory control.

    PubMed

    Fuhs, Mary Wagner; McNeil, Nicole M

    2013-01-01

    Recent findings by Libertus, Feigenson, and Halberda (2011) suggest that there is an association between the acuity of young children's approximate number system (ANS) and their mathematics ability before exposure to instruction in formal schooling. The present study examined the generalizability and validity of these findings in a sample of preschoolers from low-income homes. Children attending Head Start (N = 103) completed measures to assess ANS acuity, mathematics ability, receptive vocabulary, and inhibitory control. Results showed only a weak association between ANS acuity and mathematics ability that was reduced to non-significance when controlling for a direct measure of receptive vocabulary. Results also revealed that inhibitory control plays an important role in the relation between ANS acuity and mathematics ability. Specifically, ANS acuity accounted for significant variance in mathematics ability over and above receptive vocabulary, but only for ANS acuity trials in which surface area conflicted with numerosity. Moreover, this association became non-significant when controlling for inhibitory control. These results suggest that early mathematical experiences prior to formal schooling may influence the strength of the association between ANS acuity and mathematics ability and that inhibitory control may drive that association in young children.

  5. Measuring the Influence of Galilean Loupe System on Near Visual Acuity of Dentists under Simulated Clinical Conditions

    PubMed Central

    Urlic, Iris; Verzak, Željko; Vranic, Dubravka Negovetic

    2016-01-01

    Aim The purpose of this study was to compare near visual acuity of dentists without optical aids (VSC) with near visual acuity of those using the Galilean telescope system (VGA2) with magnification of x 2.5, and the distance of 350 mm in simulated clinical conditions. Methods The study included 46 dentists (visual acuity 1.0 without correction). A visual acuity testing was carried out using a miniaturized Snellen visual acuity chart which was placed in the cavity of molar teeth mounted in a phantom head in simulated clinical conditions. Near visual acuity for the vicinity was examined: 1) without correction at a distance of 300-400 mm (VSC); 2) with Galilean loupes with magnification of x2.5, focal length of 350mm. Results The distributions of near visual acuity recorded using VSC and VGA2, 5 systems were compared by the Wilcoxon Signed Rank test. The results obtained by Wilcoxon Signed Rank test pointed to a statistically significant difference in the distribution of recorded visual acuity between the VSC and VGA2 optical systems (W = - 403.5; p <0.001). Conclusion If using the VGA2, 5 systems, higher values of the near visual acuity were recorded and subsequently compared to near visual acuity without magnifying aids (VSC). PMID:27847397

  6. Visual Acuity Assessment in Persons with Dementia. Research Report

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Morse, Alan R.; Teresi, Jeanne; Rosenthal, Bruce; Holmes, Douglas; Yatzkan, Elaine S.

    2004-01-01

    Most studies of vision in persons with Alzheimer's disease either exclude those with advanced dementia or are unable to assess their vision adequately, and therefore, improperly report these persons' visual acuity status. In this study, visual acuity was assessed using the ETDRS Snellen-type acuity chart and Teller Acuity Cards. The Teller Acuity…

  7. Visual acuity with reversed-contrast charts: II. Clinical investigation.

    PubMed

    Westheimer, Gerald; Chu, Patricia; Huang, Wendy; Tran, Thuy; Dister, Robert

    2003-11-01

    Snellen visual acuity was measured in 106 patients ranging in age from 20 to 88 years in routine examinations in the general refraction clinic with two kinds of charts: the standard chart using black letters on a white background and a reversed-contrast display featuring white letters on a black background. The overall ratio of the white-on-black to the black-on-white Snellen fractions was 1.043. A scattergram relating this ratio to patient age revealed that the older the patient, the more the visual acuity was improved by switching to the reversed-contrast chart, with a regression line slope of 0.5 +/- 0.10. Impairment of the eye's optics, in particular by intraocular scatter causing a widening and flattening of the eye's point-spread function, explains these findings and suggests prognostic and therapeutic value of reversing the contrast polarity of displays.

  8. Evaluation of visual acuity with Gen 3 night vision goggles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bradley, Arthur; Kaiser, Mary K.

    1994-01-01

    Using laboratory simulations, visual performance was measured at luminance and night vision imaging system (NVIS) radiance levels typically encountered in the natural nocturnal environment. Comparisons were made between visual performance with unaided vision and that observed with subjects using image intensification. An Amplified Night Vision Imaging System (ANVIS6) binocular image intensifier was used. Light levels available in the experiments (using video display technology and filters) were matched to those of reflecting objects illuminated by representative night-sky conditions (e.g., full moon, starlight). Results show that as expected, the precipitous decline in foveal acuity experienced with decreasing mesopic luminance levels is effectively shifted to much lower light levels by use of an image intensification system. The benefits of intensification are most pronounced foveally, but still observable at 20 deg eccentricity. Binocularity provides a small improvement in visual acuity under both intensified and unintensified conditions.

  9. Nonamblyopic eye visual acuity through Bangerter filters

    PubMed Central

    Rutstein, Robert P.; Foster, Nicole C.; Cotter, Susan A.; Kraker, Raymond T.; Lee, Dave H.; Melia, Michele; Quinn, Graham E.; Tamkins, Susanna M.; Wallace, David K.

    2011-01-01

    Purpose To describe the amount of visual acuity degradation induced by Bangerter filters in the better-seeing eye and to evaluate its stability over time in children with moderate amblyopia. Methods Visual acuity with and without a Bangerter filter was measured in the nonamblyopic eye of 186 children with moderate amblyopia who were then treated with either patching or with the Bangerter filters. A 0.2 filter was used for amblyopia of 20/80 and a 0.3 filter for amblyopia from 20/40 to 20/63. For the 89 children randomized to Bangerter filters, visual acuity was also measured in the nonamblyopic eye with and without the filters at both 6 weeks and 12 weeks after initiating treatment. Results Mean degradation in visual acuity of the nonamblyopic eye at baseline was 5.1 logMAR lines with the 0.2 filter and 4.8 logMAR lines with the 0.3 filter. The degradation with each filter did not always agree with the manufacturer’s specifications. Over time, the amount of degradation with the filters decreased. Conclusions The 0.2 and 0.3 Bangerter filters degrade nonamblyopic eye visual acuity sufficiently in amblyopic children. Because the amount of degradation decreases over time, it is recommended to periodically apply a new filter when using this type of amblyopia treatment. PMID:21419678

  10. Potential acuity meter for predicting visual acuity after Nd:YAG posterior capsulotomy

    SciTech Connect

    Smiddy, W.E.; Radulovic, D.; Yeo, J.H.; Stark, W.J.; Maumenee, A.E.

    1986-03-01

    We studied 30 patients with opacifications of the posterior capsule to determine if the potential acuity meter (PAM) could accurately predict final visual outcome after Nd:YAG discussion. The final visual acuity was within one line of the PAM prediction in 22 of 30 patients (73%), better by two or more lines in seven patients (23%), and worse in one patient (4%) by two lines. Although in thicker capsules the final acuity was occasionally better than the PAM prediction, the rates of false negative and false positive predictions were very low. Mild cystoid macular edema (3 patients), age-related macular degeneration (3 patients), intraocular lens status, and level of initial acuity did not diminish PAM accuracy. The PAM effectively predicts final visual acuity after YAG posterior capsulotomy, when used in a patient, unhurried manner.

  11. The Effect of 3D Visual Simulator on Children’s Visual Acuity - A Pilot Study Comparing Two Different Modalities

    PubMed Central

    Ide, Takeshi; Ishikawa, Mariko; Tsubota, Kazuo; Miyao, Masaru

    2013-01-01

    Purpose : To evaluate the efficacy of two non-surgical interventions of vision improvement in children. Methods : A prospective, randomized, pilot study to compare fogging method and the use of head mounted 3D display. Subjects were children, between 5 to 15 years old, with normal best corrected visual acuity (BCVA) and up to -3D myopia. Subjects played a video game as near point work, and received one of the two methods of treatments. Measurements of uncorrected far visual acuity (UCVA), refraction with autorefractometer, and subjective accommodative amplitude were taken 3 times, at the baseline, after the near work, and after the treatment. Results : Both methods applied after near work, improved UCVA. Head mounted 3D display group showed significant improvement in UCVA and resulted in better UCVA than baseline. Fogging group showed improvement in subjective accommodative amplitude. While 3D display group did not show change in the refraction, fogging group’s myopic refraction showed significant increase indicating the eyes showed myopic change of eyes after near work and treatment. Discussion : Despite our lack of clear knowledge in the mechanisms, both methods improved UCVA after the treatments. The improvement in UCVA was not correlated to measured refraction values. Conclusion : UCVA after near work can be improved by repeating near and distant accommodation by fogging and 3D image viewing, although at the different degrees. Further investigation on mechanisms of improvements and their clinical significance are warranted. PMID:24222810

  12. Lumbar position sense acuity during an electrical shock stressor

    PubMed Central

    Hjortskov, Nis; Hye-Knudsen, Christian; Fallentin, Nils

    2005-01-01

    Background Optimal motor control of the spine depends on proprioceptive input as a prerequisite for co-ordination and the stability of the spine. Muscle spindles are known to play an important role in proprioception. Animal experiments suggest that an increase in sympathetic outflow can depress muscle spindle sensitivity. As the muscle spindle may be influenced by sympathetic modulation, we hypothesized that a state of high sympathetic activity as during mental stress would affect the proprioceptive output from the muscle spindles in the back muscles leading to alterations in proprioception and position sense acuity. The aim was to investigate the effect of mental stress, in this study the response to an electrical shock stressor, on position sense acuity in the rotational axis of the lumbar spine. Methods Passive and active position sense acuity in the rotational plane of the lumbar spine was investigated in the presence and absence of an electrical shock stressor in 14 healthy participants. An electrical shock-threat stressor lasting for approximately 12 minutes was used as imposed stressor to build up a strong anticipatory arousal: The participants were told that they were going to receive 8 painful electrical shocks however the participants never received the shocks. To quantify the level of physiological arousal and the level of sympathetic outflow continuous beat-to-beat changes in heart rate (beats*min-1) and systolic, diastolic and mean arterial blood pressure (mmHg) were measured. To quantify position sense acuity absolute error (AE) expressed in degrees was measured. Two-way analysis of variance with repeated measurements (subjects as random factor and treatments as fixed factors) was used to compare the different treatments. Results Significant increases were observed in systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, and heart rate during the stress sessions indicating elevated sympathetic activity (15, 14 and 10%, respectively). Despite pronounced

  13. Visual acuity and quality of life in dry eye disease: Proceedings of the OCEAN group meeting.

    PubMed

    Benítez-Del-Castillo, José; Labetoulle, Marc; Baudouin, Christophe; Rolando, Maurizio; Akova, Yonca A; Aragona, Pasquale; Geerling, Gerd; Merayo-Lloves, Jesús; Messmer, Elisabeth M; Boboridis, Kostas

    2017-04-01

    Dry eye disease (DED) results in tear film instability and hyperosmolarity, inflammation of the ocular surface and, ultimately, visual disturbance that can significantly impact a patient's quality of life. The effects on visual acuity result in difficulties with driving, reading and computer use and negatively impact psychological health. These effects also extend to the workplace, with a loss of productivity and quality of work causing substantial economic losses. The effects of DED and the impact on vision experienced by patients may not be given sufficient importance by ophthalmologists. Functional visual acuity (FVA) is a measure of visual acuity after sustained eye opening without blinking for at least 10 s and mimics the sustained visual acuity of daily life. Measuring dynamic FVA allows the detection of impaired visual function in patients with DED who may display normal conventional visual acuity. There are currently several tests and methods that can be used to measure dynamic visual function: the SSC-350 FVA measurement system, assessment of best-corrected visual acuity decay using the interblink visual acuity decay test, serial measurements of ocular and corneal higher order aberrations, and measurement of dynamic vision quality using the Optical Quality Analysis System. Although the equipment for these methods may be too large or unaffordable for use in clinical practice, FVA testing is an important assessment for DED.

  14. Effects of Horizontal Acceleration on Human Visual Acuity and Stereopsis

    PubMed Central

    Horng, Chi-Ting; Hsieh, Yih-Shou; Tsai, Ming-Ling; Chang, Wei-Kang; Yang, Tzu-Hung; Yauan, Chien-Han; Wang, Chih-Hung; Kuo, Wu-Hsien; Wu, Yi-Chang

    2015-01-01

    The effect of horizontal acceleration on human visual acuity and stereopsis is demonstrated in this study. Twenty participants (mean age 22.6 years) were enrolled in the experiment. Acceleration from two different directions was performed at the Taiwan High-Speed Rail Laboratory. Gx and Gy (< and >0.1 g) were produced on an accelerating platform where the subjects stood. The visual acuity and stereopsis of the right eye were measured before and during the acceleration. Acceleration <0.1 g in the X- or Y-axis did not affect dynamic vision and stereopsis. Vision decreased (mean from 0.02 logMAR to 0.25 logMAR) and stereopsis declined significantly (mean from 40 s to 60.2 s of arc) when Gx > 0.1 g. Visual acuity worsened (mean from 0.02 logMAR to 0.19 logMAR) and poor stereopsis was noted (mean from 40 s to 50.2 s of arc) when Gy > 0.1 g. The effect of acceleration from the X-axis on the visual system was higher than that from the Y-axis. During acceleration, most subjects complained of ocular strain when reading. To our knowledge, this study is the first to report the exact levels of visual function loss during Gx and Gy. PMID:25607601

  15. Effects of horizontal acceleration on human visual acuity and stereopsis.

    PubMed

    Horng, Chi-Ting; Hsieh, Yih-Shou; Tsai, Ming-Ling; Chang, Wei-Kang; Yang, Tzu-Hung; Yauan, Chien-Han; Wang, Chih-Hung; Kuo, Wu-Hsien; Wu, Yi-Chang

    2015-01-19

    The effect of horizontal acceleration on human visual acuity and stereopsis is demonstrated in this study. Twenty participants (mean age 22.6 years) were enrolled in the experiment. Acceleration from two different directions was performed at the Taiwan High-Speed Rail Laboratory. Gx and Gy (< and >0.1 g) were produced on an accelerating platform where the subjects stood. The visual acuity and stereopsis of the right eye were measured before and during the acceleration. Acceleration <0.1 g in the X- or Y-axis did not affect dynamic vision and stereopsis. Vision decreased (mean from 0.02 logMAR to 0.25 logMAR) and stereopsis declined significantly (mean from 40 s to 60.2 s of arc) when Gx > 0.1 g. Visual acuity worsened (mean from 0.02 logMAR to 0.19 logMAR) and poor stereopsis was noted (mean from 40 s to 50.2 s of arc) when Gy > 0.1 g. The effect of acceleration from the X-axis on the visual system was higher than that from the Y-axis. During acceleration, most subjects complained of ocular strain when reading. To our knowledge, this study is the first to report the exact levels of visual function loss during Gx and Gy.

  16. Plasticity of Binocularity and Visual Acuity Are Differentially Limited by Nogo Receptor

    PubMed Central

    Stephany, Céleste-Élise; Chan, Leanne L.H.; Parivash, Sherveen N.; Dorton, Hilary M.; Piechowicz, Mariel

    2014-01-01

    The closure of developmental critical periods consolidates neural circuitry but also limits recovery from early abnormal sensory experience. Degrading vision by one eye throughout a critical period both perturbs ocular dominance (OD) in primary visual cortex and impairs visual acuity permanently. Yet understanding how binocularity and visual acuity interrelate has proven elusive. Here we demonstrate the plasticity of binocularity and acuity are separable and differentially regulated by the neuronal nogo receptor 1 (NgR1). Mice lacking NgR1 display developmental OD plasticity as adults and their visual acuity spontaneously improves after prolonged monocular deprivation. Restricting deletion of NgR1 to either cortical interneurons or a subclass of parvalbumin (PV)-positive interneurons alters intralaminar synaptic connectivity in visual cortex and prevents closure of the critical period for OD plasticity. However, loss of NgR1 in PV neurons does not rescue deficits in acuity induced by chronic visual deprivation. Thus, NgR1 functions with PV interneurons to limit plasticity of binocularity, but its expression is required more extensively within brain circuitry to limit improvement of visual acuity following chronic deprivation. PMID:25164659

  17. Visual Acuity of Children: United States.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Health Services and Mental Health Administration (DHEW), Bethesda, MD.

    National estimates based on the findings from the Health Examination Survey in 1963 to 1965 of uncorrected monocular and binocular visual-acuity levels of children were studied. A nationwide sample of 7,417 children was selected to represent the approximately 24 million noninstitutionalized American children between ages 6 and 11 years. Testing…

  18. Depressive Styles and Social Acuity: Further Evidence for Distinct Interpersonal Correlates of Dependency and Self-Criticism.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Aube, Jennifer; Whiffen, Valerie E.

    1996-01-01

    Examines whether dependency and self-criticism (personality types linked with depression) are related to social acuity. Uses 90 university students who completed 2 measures of social acuity. Finds that self-critical persons were significantly less accurate on both tasks, even when controlling for depressive symptomatology. Supports previous…

  19. Restoring Visual Acuity in Dynamic Conditions with a Vestibular Implant

    PubMed Central

    Guinand, Nils; Van de Berg, Raymond; Cavuscens, Samuel; Stokroos, Robert; Ranieri, Maurizio; Pelizzone, Marco; Kingma, Herman; Guyot, Jean-Philippe; Pérez Fornos, Angélica

    2016-01-01

    Vestibular implants are devices designed to rehabilitate patients with a bilateral vestibular loss (BVL). These patients lack a properly functioning vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR), which impairs gaze stabilization abilities and results in an abnormal loss of visual acuity (VA) in dynamic situations (i.e., severely limiting the patient's ability to read signs or recognize faces while walking). We previously demonstrated that the VOR can be artificially restored in a group of BVL patients fitted with a prototype vestibular implant. This study was designed to investigate whether these promising results could be translated to a close-to-reality task, significantly improving VA abilities while walking. Six BVL patients previously implanted with a vestibular implant prototype participated in the experiments. VA was determined using Sloan letters displayed on a computer screen, in four conditions: (1) with the patient standing still without moving (static), (2) while the patient was walking on a treadmill at constant speed with the vestibular implant prototype turned off (systemOFF), (3) while the patient was walking on a treadmill at constant speed with the vestibular implant prototype turned on providing coherent motion information (systemONmotion), and (4) a “placebo” condition where the patient was walking on a treadmill at constant speed with the vestibular implant prototype turned on providing reversed motion information (systemONsham). The analysis (one-way repeated measures analysis of variance) revealed a statistically significant effect of the test condition [F(3, 12) = 30.5, p < 0.001]. Significant decreases in VA were observed with the systemOFF condition when compared to the static condition (Tukey post-hoc p < 0.001). When the vestibular implant was turned on, delivering pertinent motion information (systemONmotion) the VA improved to close to normal values. The improvement disappeared in the placebo condition (systemONsham) and VA-values also dropped

  20. Implementing an obstetric triage acuity scale: interrater reliability and patient flow analysis.

    PubMed

    Smithson, David S; Twohey, Rachel; Rice, Tim; Watts, Nancy; Fernandes, Christopher M; Gratton, Robert J

    2013-10-01

    A 5-category Obstetric Triage Acuity Scale (OTAS) was developed with a comprehensive set of obstetrical determinants. The objectives of this study were as follows: (1) to test the interrater reliability of OTAS and (2) to determine the distribution of patient acuity and flow by OTAS level. To test the interrater reliability, 110 triage charts were used to generate vignettes and the consistency of the OTAS level assigned by 8 triage nurses was measured. OTAS performed with substantial (Kappa, 0.61 - 0.77, OTAS 1-4) and near perfect correlation (0.87, OTAS 5). To assess patient flow, the times to primary and secondary health care provider assessments and lengths of stay stratified by acuity were abstracted from the patient management system. Two-thirds of triage visits were low acuity (OTAS 4, 5). There was a decrease in length of stay (median [interquartile range], minutes) as acuity decreased from OTAS 1 (120.0 [156.0] minutes) to OTAS 3 (75.0 [120.8]). The major contributor to length of stay was time to secondary health care provider assessment and this did not change with acuity. The percentage of patients admitted to the antenatal or birthing unit decreased from 80% (OTAS 1) to 12% (OTAS 5). OTAS provides a reliable assessment of acuity and its implementation has allowed for triaging of obstetric patients based on acuity, and a more in-depth assessment of the patient flow. By standardizing assessment, OTAS allows for opportunities to improve performance and make comparisons of patient care and flow across organizations.

  1. Nurse-patient assignment models considering patient acuity metrics and nurses' perceived workload.

    PubMed

    Sir, Mustafa Y; Dundar, Bayram; Barker Steege, Linsey M; Pasupathy, Kalyan S

    2015-06-01

    Patient classification systems (PCSs) are commonly used in nursing units to assess how many nursing care hours are needed to care for patients. These systems then provide staffing and nurse-patient assignment recommendations for a given patient census based on these acuity scores. Our hypothesis is that such systems do not accurately capture workload and we conduct an experiment to test this hypothesis. Specifically, we conducted a survey study to capture nurses' perception of workload in an inpatient unit. Forty five nurses from oncology and surgery units completed the survey and rated the impact of patient acuity indicators on their perceived workload using a six-point Likert scale. These ratings were used to calculate a workload score for an individual nurse given a set of patient acuity indicators. The approach offers optimization models (prescriptive analytics), which use patient acuity indicators from a commercial PCS as well as a survey-based nurse workload score. The models assign patients to nurses in a balanced manner by distributing acuity scores from the PCS and survey-based perceived workload. Numerical results suggest that the proposed nurse-patient assignment models achieve a balanced assignment and lower overall survey-based perceived workload compared to the assignment based solely on acuity scores from the PCS. This results in an improvement of perceived workload that is upwards of five percent.

  2. [The best corrected presenting distance visual acuity in forensic medicine].

    PubMed

    Liu, Rui-Jue

    2011-06-01

    At present the sight impairment evaluation in forensic medicine of China is based on the international classification of disease by WHO in 1973. The main measured indicator is "best corrected visual acuity". It is different from "presenting distance visual acuity" in some situations. In the new blindness and vision loss classification made by WHO in 2003, "presenting distance visual acuity" took the place of the "best corrected visual acuity". In the practice of forensic medicine, "presenting distance visual acuity" can not reflect the real visual acuity duo to the exaggeration or disguise of the wounded. We suggest to use "the best corrected presenting distance visual acuity" instead of "presenting distance visual acuity" in order to avoid the influences of the exaggeration or disguise of the wounded.

  3. Visual Acuity Testing: Feedback Affects Neither Outcome nor Reproducibility, but Leaves Participants Happier

    PubMed Central

    Bach, Michael; Schäfer, Kerstin

    2016-01-01

    Assessment of visual acuity is a well standardized procedure at least for expert opinions and clinical trials. It is often recommended not giving patients feedback on the correctness of their responses. As this viewpoint has not been quantitatively examined so far, we quantitatively assessed possible effects of feedback on visual acuity testing. In 40 normal participants we presented Landolt Cs in 8 orientations using the automated Freiburg Acuity Test (FrACT, acuity threshold was measured with an adaptive staircase procedure. In an ABCDDCBA scheme, trial-by-trial feedback was provided in 2 x 4 conditions: (A) no feedback, (B) acoustic signals indicating correctness, (C)visual indication of correct orientation, and (D) a combination of (B) and (C). After each run the participants judged comfort. Main outcome measures were absolute visual acuity (logMAR), its test-retest agreement (limits of agreement) and participants’ comfort estimates on a 5-step symmetric Likert scale. Feedback influenced acuity outcome significantly (p = 0.02), but with a tiny effect size: 0.02 logMAR poorer acuity for (D) compared to (A), even weaker effects for (B) and (C). Test-retest agreement was high (limits of agreement: ± 1.0 lines) and did not depend on feedback (p>0.5). The comfort ranking clearly differed, by 2 steps on the Likert scale: the condition (A)–no feedback–was on average “slightly uncomfortable”, the other three conditions were “slightly comfortable” (p<0.0001). Feedback affected neither reproducibility nor the acuity outcome to any relevant extent. The participants, however, reported markedly greater comfort with any kind of feedback. We conclude that systematic feedback (as implemented in FrACT) offers nothing but advantages for routine use. PMID:26824693

  4. 21 CFR 886.1150 - Visual acuity chart.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Visual acuity chart. 886.1150 Section 886.1150...) MEDICAL DEVICES OPHTHALMIC DEVICES Diagnostic Devices § 886.1150 Visual acuity chart. (a) Identification. A visual acuity chart is a device that is a chart, such as a Snellen chart with block letters...

  5. Variable acuity remote viewing system flight demonstration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fisher, R. W.

    1983-01-01

    The Variable Acuity Remote Viewing System (VARVS), originally developed under contract to the Navy (ONR) as a laboratory brassboard, was modified for flight demonstration. The VARVS system was originally conceived as a technique which could circumvent the acuity/field of view/bandwidth tradeoffs that exists in remote viewing to provide a nearly eye limited display in both field of view (160 deg) and resolution (2 min arc) while utilizing conventional TV sensing, transmission, and display equipment. The modifications for flight demonstration consisted of modifying the sensor so it could be installed and flow in a Piper PA20 aircraft, equipped for remote control and modifying the display equipment so it could be integrated with the NASA Research RPB (RPRV) remote control cockpit.

  6. Stroboscopic Goggles as a Countermeasure for Dynamic Visual Acuity and Landing Sickness in Crewmembers Returning from Long-Duration Spaceflight

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rosenberg, M. J. F.; Kreutzberg, G. A.; Peters, B. T.; Reschke, M. F.

    2017-01-01

    Long-term exposure to microgravity causes sensorimotor adaptations that result in functional deficits upon returning to a gravitational environment. At landing, the vestibular system and the central nervous system, responsible for coordinating head and eye movements via the vestibulo-occular reflex (VOR), are adapted to microgravity and must re-adapt to the Earth's gravitational environment. This re-adaptation causes decrements in gaze control and dynamic visual acuity, with astronauts reporting oscillopsia and blurred vision. These effects are caused by retinal slip, or the inability to keep an image focused on their retina, which is thought to drive motion sickness symptoms experienced upon landing. Retinal slip can be estimated by dynamic visual acuity (DVA); visual acuity while in motion. Peters et al. (2011) find that DVA is worsened in astronauts by an average of 0.75 eye-chart lines one day after landing. Previously, the use of stroboscopic goggles has shown to be effective in minimizing motion sickness symptoms due to retinal slip (Reschke et al. 2007). In this study, we simulated the decrement in DVA caused by sensorimotor re-adaptation by using minifying lenses and then testing the efficacy of stroboscopic goggles in preventing retinal slip and improving DVA. Dynamic visual acuity is assessed using an oscillating chair developed in the Neuroscience Laboratory at JSC. This chair is motor-driven and oscillates vertically at 2 Hz with a vertical displacement of +/- 2 cm to simulate the vertical translations that occur while walking. As the subject is being oscillated, they are asked to discern the direction of Landolt-C optotypes of varying sizes and record their direction using a gamepad. The visual acuity thresholds are determined using an algorithm that alters the size of the optotype based on the previous responses of the subject using a forced-choice best parameter estimation that is able to rapidly converge on the threshold value. Visual acuity

  7. Macular edema in Asian Indian premature infants with retinopathy of prematurity: Impact on visual acuity and refractive status after 1-year

    PubMed Central

    Vinekar, Anand; Mangalesh, Shwetha; Jayadev, Chaitra; Bauer, Noel; Munusamy, Sivakumar; Kemmanu, Vasudha; Kurian, Mathew; Mahendradas, Padmamalini; Avadhani, Kavitha; Shetty, Bhujang

    2015-01-01

    Purpose: To report the impact of transient, self-resolving, untreated “macular edema” detected on spectral domain optical coherence tomography in Asian Indian premature infants with retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) on visual acuity (VA) and refraction at 1-year of corrected age. Materials and Methods: Visual acuity and refraction of 11 infants with bilateral macular edema (Group A) was compared with gestational age-matched 16 infants with ROP without edema (Group B) and 17 preterms infants without ROP and without edema (Group C) at 3, 6, 9 and 12 months of corrected age using Teller Acuity Cards and cycloplegic retinoscopy. Sub-group analysis of the previously described pattern A and B macular edema was performed. Results: Visual acuity was lower in infants with macular edema compared with the other two control groups throughout the study period, but statistically significant only at 3 months. Visual improvement in these infants was highest between the 3rd and 6th month and plateaued by the end of the 1st year with acuity comparable to the other two groups. The edema cohort was more hyperopic compared to the other two groups between 3 and 12 months of age. Pattern A edema had worse VA compared to pattern B, although not statistically significant. Conclusion: Macular edema, although transient, caused reduced VA as early as 3 months of corrected age in Asian Indian premature infants weighing <2000 g at birth. The higher hyperopia in these infants is possibly due to visual disturbances caused at a critical time of fovealization. We hypothesize a recovery and feedback mechanism based on the principles of active emmetropization to explain our findings. PMID:26139806

  8. Visual Acuity after Cataract Surgery in Patients with Age-Related Macular Degeneration. Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2 Report No. 5

    PubMed Central

    Huynh, Nancy; Nicholson, Benjamin P.; Agrón, Elvira; Clemons, Traci E.; Bressler, Susan B.; Rosenfeld, Philip J.; Chew, Emily Y.

    2014-01-01

    Objective To evaluate visual acuity outcomes after cataract surgery in persons with varying severity of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Design Cohort study. Participants A total of 1232 eyes of 793 participants who underwent cataract surgery during the Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2 (AREDS2), a prospective, multicenter, randomized controlled trial of nutritional supplements for treatment of AMD. Methods Preoperative and postoperative characteristics of participants who underwent cataract extraction during the 5 year trial were analyzed. Both clinical data and standardized red-reflex lens and fundus photographs were obtained at baseline and annually. Photographs were graded by a centralized reading center for cortical and posterior subcapsular lens opacities and for AMD severity. Cataract surgery was documented at annual study visits or by history during the 6 month telephone calls. Analyses were conducted using multivariate repeated-measures regression. Main Outcome Measures Change in best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) after cataract surgery compared with preoperative BCVA. Results Adjusting for age at time of surgery, gender, interval between preoperative and postoperative visits, and type and severity of cataract, the mean changes in visual acuity were as follows: eyes with mild AMD (n=30) gained 11.2 letters (95% confidence interval (CI), 6.9-15.5), eyes with moderate AMD (n=346) gained 11.1 letters (95% CI, 9.1-13.2), eyes with severe AMD (n=462) gained 8.7 letters (95% CI, 6.7-10.7), eyes with non-central geographic atrophy (n=70) gained 8.9 letters (95% CI, 5.8-12.1), and eyes with advanced AMD (central geographic atrophy and/or neovascular) AMD (n=324) gained 6.8 letters (95% CI, 4.9-8.8). The visual acuity gain across all AMD severity groups was statistically significant from pre-operative state (P<0.0001). Conclusions Mean visual acuities improved significantly after cataract surgery across varying degrees of AMD severity. PMID:24613825

  9. Effect of Target Location on Dynamic Visual Acuity During Passive Horizontal Rotation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Appelbaum, Meghan; DeDios, Yiri; Kulecz, Walter; Peters, Brian; Wood, Scott

    2010-01-01

    The vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR) generates eye rotation to compensate for potential retinal slip in the specific plane of head movement. Dynamic visual acuity (DVA) has been utilized as a functional measure of the VOR. The purpose of this study was to examine changes in accuracy and reaction time when performing a DVA task with targets offset from the plane of rotation, e.g. offset vertically during horizontal rotation. Visual acuity was measured in 12 healthy subjects as they moved a hand-held joystick to indicate the orientation of a computer-generated Landolt C "as quickly and accurately as possible." Acuity thresholds were established with optotypes presented centrally on a wall-mounted LCD screen at 1.3 m distance, first without motion (static condition) and then while oscillating at 0.8 Hz (DVA, peak velocity 60 deg/s). The effect of target location was then measured during horizontal rotation with the optotypes randomly presented in one of nine different locations on the screen (offset up to 10 deg). The optotype size (logMar 0, 0.2 or 0.4, corresponding to Snellen range 20/20 to 20/50) and presentation duration (150, 300 and 450 ms) were counter-balanced across five trials, each utilizing horizontal rotation at 0.8 Hz. Dynamic acuity was reduced relative to static acuity in 7 of 12 subjects by one step size. During the random target trials, both accuracy and reaction time improved proportional to optotype size. Accuracy and reaction time also improved between 150 ms and 300 ms presentation durations. The main finding was that both accuracy and reaction time varied as a function of target location, with greater performance decrements when acquiring vertical targets. We conclude that dynamic visual acuity varies with target location, with acuity optimized for targets in the plane of motion. Both reaction time and accuracy are functionally relevant DVA parameters of VOR function.

  10. Determine the effect of neck muscle fatigue on dynamic visual acuity in healthy young adults

    PubMed Central

    Al Saif, Amer A.; Al Senany, Samira

    2015-01-01

    [Purpose] The aim of this study was to determine whether neck muscle fatigue affects dynamic visual acuity in healthy young participants. [Subjects and Methods] This study was a double-blinded, prospective, randomized, controlled trial. Thirty healthy young subjects (ages 21 to 30 years) participated in the study. Participants were randomly divided into an experimental group (n=15) and a control group (n=15). The experimental group performed an exercise designed to induce neck muscle fatigue and the control group preformed non-fatiguing sham exercises. [Results] There were significant differences in mean dynamic visual acuity between the two groups (0.26±0.11 LogMar versus 0.003±0.02 LogMar). Subjects in the experimental group showed a significant decline in their dynamic visual acuity compared with the control group. Dynamic visual acuity strongly correlated with neck muscle fatigue (r = 0.79). No significant differences in joint position error were observed between the two groups and no significant correlations between joint position error and neck muscle fatigue were observed (r = 0.23). [Conclusion] The results of this study suggest that neck muscle fatigue negatively impacts dynamic visual acuity. Although not statistically significant, cervical spine proprioception as measured by the joint position error in the experimental group was diminished after fatigue. PMID:25642087

  11. Determine the effect of neck muscle fatigue on dynamic visual acuity in healthy young adults.

    PubMed

    Al Saif, Amer A; Al Senany, Samira

    2015-01-01

    [Purpose] The aim of this study was to determine whether neck muscle fatigue affects dynamic visual acuity in healthy young participants. [Subjects and Methods] This study was a double-blinded, prospective, randomized, controlled trial. Thirty healthy young subjects (ages 21 to 30 years) participated in the study. Participants were randomly divided into an experimental group (n=15) and a control group (n=15). The experimental group performed an exercise designed to induce neck muscle fatigue and the control group preformed non-fatiguing sham exercises. [Results] There were significant differences in mean dynamic visual acuity between the two groups (0.26±0.11 LogMar versus 0.003±0.02 LogMar). Subjects in the experimental group showed a significant decline in their dynamic visual acuity compared with the control group. Dynamic visual acuity strongly correlated with neck muscle fatigue (r = 0.79). No significant differences in joint position error were observed between the two groups and no significant correlations between joint position error and neck muscle fatigue were observed (r = 0.23). [Conclusion] The results of this study suggest that neck muscle fatigue negatively impacts dynamic visual acuity. Although not statistically significant, cervical spine proprioception as measured by the joint position error in the experimental group was diminished after fatigue.

  12. Influence of intraocular lens subsurface nanoglistenings on functional visual acuity

    PubMed Central

    Miyata, Kazunori; Hayashidera, Takeshi; Iida, Masaharu; Takada, Keita; Minami, Keiichiro; Oshika, Tetsuro

    2017-01-01

    To investigate the influence of intraocular lens subsurface nanoglistenings (SSNGs) on functional visual acuity (FVA), thirty-nine eyes of 29 patients were examined in this study. The SSNG group comprised 19 eyes of 14 patients (75.7± 5.4 years, mean ± standard deviation), and the control group comprised 20 eyes of 15 patients (73.6 ± 6.5 years). The SSNGs were diagnosed on the basis of the typical whitish IOL appearance upon slit-lamp examination and results of densitometry regarding surface light scattering using Scheimpflug images. The FVA measurement system (AS-28; Kowa, Aichi, Japan) was used to examine changes in continuous visual acuity (VA) over time, and visual function parameters such as FVA, visual maintenance ratio (VMR), maximum VA, minimum VA, standard deviation of VA, and number of blinks were assessed. The results were compared between the SSNG and control groups, and correlations of FVA parameters with the intensity of surface light scattering, time after surgery, and age were also evaluated. There were significant differences in VMR (P = 0.035) and standard deviation of VAs (P = 0.031) between the two groups, although no significant differences were found in baseline VA, FVA, maximum VA, minimum VA, and number of blinks. None of the FVA parameters showed any significant correlations with the intensity of surface light scattering, time after surgery, or age. There is a possibility that VA is unstable during a continuous gazing task in patients with SSNGs. PMID:28328997

  13. Development of Proprioceptive Acuity in Typically Developing Children: Normative Data on Forearm Position Sense

    PubMed Central

    Holst-Wolf, Jessica M.; Yeh, I-Ling; Konczak, Jürgen

    2016-01-01

    This study mapped the development of proprioception in healthy, typically developing children by objectively measuring forearm position sense acuity. We assessed position sense acuity in a cross-sectional sample of 308 children (5–17 years old; M/F = 127/181) and a reference group of 26 healthy adults (18–25 years old; M/F = 12/14) using a body-scalable bimanual manipulandum that allowed forearm flexion/extension in the horizontal plane. The non-dominant forearm was passively displaced to one of three target positions. Then participants actively matched the target limb position with their dominant forearm. Each of three positions was matched five times. Position error (PE), calculated as the mean difference between the angular positions of the matching and reference arms, measured position sense bias or systematic error. The respective standard deviation of the differences between the match and reference arm angular positions (SDPdiff) indicated position sense precision or random error. The main results are as follows: First, systematic error, measured by PE, did not change significantly from early childhood to late adolescence (Median PE at 90° target: −2.85° in early childhood; −2.28° in adolescence; and 1.30° in adults). Second, response variability as measured by SDPdiff significantly decreased with age (Median SDPdiff at 90° target: 9.66° in early childhood; 5.30° in late adolescence; and 3.97° in adults). The data of this large cross-sectional sample of children document that proprioceptive development in typically developing children is characterized as an age-related improvement in precision, not as a development or change in bias. In other words, it is the reliability of the perceptual response that improves between early childhood and adulthood. This study provides normative data against which position sense acuity in pediatric patient populations can be compared. The underlying neurophysiological processes that could explain the observed

  14. Development of Proprioceptive Acuity in Typically Developing Children: Normative Data on Forearm Position Sense.

    PubMed

    Holst-Wolf, Jessica M; Yeh, I-Ling; Konczak, Jürgen

    2016-01-01

    This study mapped the development of proprioception in healthy, typically developing children by objectively measuring forearm position sense acuity. We assessed position sense acuity in a cross-sectional sample of 308 children (5-17 years old; M/F = 127/181) and a reference group of 26 healthy adults (18-25 years old; M/F = 12/14) using a body-scalable bimanual manipulandum that allowed forearm flexion/extension in the horizontal plane. The non-dominant forearm was passively displaced to one of three target positions. Then participants actively matched the target limb position with their dominant forearm. Each of three positions was matched five times. Position error (PE), calculated as the mean difference between the angular positions of the matching and reference arms, measured position sense bias or systematic error. The respective standard deviation of the differences between the match and reference arm angular positions (SDPdiff) indicated position sense precision or random error. The main results are as follows: First, systematic error, measured by PE, did not change significantly from early childhood to late adolescence (Median PE at 90° target: -2.85° in early childhood; -2.28° in adolescence; and 1.30° in adults). Second, response variability as measured by SDPdiff significantly decreased with age (Median SDPdiff at 90° target: 9.66° in early childhood; 5.30° in late adolescence; and 3.97° in adults). The data of this large cross-sectional sample of children document that proprioceptive development in typically developing children is characterized as an age-related improvement in precision, not as a development or change in bias. In other words, it is the reliability of the perceptual response that improves between early childhood and adulthood. This study provides normative data against which position sense acuity in pediatric patient populations can be compared. The underlying neurophysiological processes that could explain the observed

  15. Distinct eye movement patterns enhance dynamic visual acuity

    PubMed Central

    Palidis, Dimitrios J.; Wyder-Hodge, Pearson A.; Fooken, Jolande; Spering, Miriam

    2017-01-01

    Dynamic visual acuity (DVA) is the ability to resolve fine spatial detail in dynamic objects during head fixation, or in static objects during head or body rotation. This ability is important for many activities such as ball sports, and a close relation has been shown between DVA and sports expertise. DVA tasks involve eye movements, yet, it is unclear which aspects of eye movements contribute to successful performance. Here we examined the relation between DVA and the kinematics of smooth pursuit and saccadic eye movements in a cohort of 23 varsity baseball players. In a computerized dynamic-object DVA test, observers reported the location of the gap in a small Landolt-C ring moving at various speeds while eye movements were recorded. Smooth pursuit kinematics—eye latency, acceleration, velocity gain, position error—and the direction and amplitude of saccadic eye movements were linked to perceptual performance. Results reveal that distinct eye movement patterns—minimizing eye position error, tracking smoothly, and inhibiting reverse saccades—were related to dynamic visual acuity. The close link between eye movement quality and DVA performance has important implications for the development of perceptual training programs to improve DVA. PMID:28187157

  16. Bevacizumab injection in patients with age-related macular degeneration associated with poor initial visual acuity.

    PubMed

    El Matri, Leila; Bouraoui, Rym; Chebil, Ahmed; Kort, Fedra; Bouladi, Mejda; Limaiem, Rym; Landoulsi, Hana

    2012-01-01

    Purpose. To evaluate functional and anatomic effects of intravitreal bevacizumab in patients with neovascular AMD and initial low visual acuity. Methods. Retrospective case series of 38 eyes with neovascular AMD and initial visual acuity of 20/200 or less, treated with intravitreal bevacizumab injection. Results. Mean followup was 14.1 months ±  7.1 (range: 5 to 24 months). Mean logMAR vision at baseline was 1.38 logMAR ±  0.33, at 6 months was 1.14 logMAR ±  0.37 (P = 0.001) and at 12 months was 1.22 logMar ±  0.33 (P = 0.004). Mean baseline central retinal thickness was 431 μm ±  159.7 at 6 months was 293.43 μm  ±  122.79 (P = 10(-4)) and at 12 months was 293.1 μm  ±  130 (P = 0.004). Visual acuity improved in both patients with or without prior PDT treatment. Conclusions. Intravitreal bevacizumab injection may increase the chance of visual acuity gain in neovascular AMD even in cases with initial low visual acuity.

  17. Visual acuity estimation from simulated images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duncan, William J.

    Simulated images can provide insight into the performance of optical systems, especially those with complicated features. Many modern solutions for presbyopia and cataracts feature sophisticated power geometries or diffractive elements. Some intraocular lenses (IOLs) arrive at multifocality through the use of a diffractive surface and multifocal contact lenses have a radially varying power profile. These type of elements induce simultaneous vision as well as affecting vision much differently than a monofocal ophthalmic appliance. With myriad multifocal ophthalmics available on the market it is difficult to compare or assess performance in ways that effect wearers of such appliances. Here we present software and algorithmic metrics that can be used to qualitatively and quantitatively compare ophthalmic element performance, with specific examples of bifocal intraocular lenses (IOLs) and multifocal contact lenses. We anticipate this study, methods, and results to serve as a starting point for more complex models of vision and visual acuity in a setting where modeling is advantageous. Generating simulated images of real- scene scenarios is useful for patients in assessing vision quality with a certain appliance. Visual acuity estimation can serve as an important tool for manufacturing and design of ophthalmic appliances.

  18. Stream segregation with high spatial acuity

    PubMed Central

    Middlebrooks, John C.; Onsan, Zekiye A.

    2012-01-01

    Spatial hearing is widely regarded as helpful in recognizing a sound amid other competing sounds. It is a matter of debate, however, whether spatial cues contribute to “stream segregation,” which refers to the specific task of assigning multiple interleaved sequences of sounds to their respective sources. The present study employed “rhythmic masking release” as a measure of the spatial acuity of stream segregation. Listeners discriminated between rhythms of noise-burst sequences presented from free-field targets in the presence of interleaved maskers that varied in location. For broadband sounds in the horizontal plane, target-masker separations of ≥8° permitted rhythm discrimination with d′ ≥ 1; in some cases, such thresholds approached listeners’ minimum audible angles. Thresholds were the same for low-frequency sounds but were substantially wider for high-frequency sounds, suggesting that interaural delays provided higher spatial acuity in this task than did interaural level differences. In the vertical midline, performance varied dramatically as a function of noise-burst duration with median thresholds ranging from >30° for 10-ms bursts to 7.1° for 40-ms bursts. A marked dissociation between minimum audible angles and masking release thresholds across the various pass-band and burst-duration conditions suggests that location discrimination and spatial stream segregation are mediated by distinct auditory mechanisms. PMID:23231120

  19. Evaluation of vernier acuity near healed retinal laser lesions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmeisser, Elmar T.

    1997-05-01

    Seven Cynomolgus fasciculata who had graded laser lesions placed in own eye 6 years previously were evaluated for their vernier acuity by electrophysiologic recording techniques. In these experiments, 95 percent contrast vernier acuity targets were presented at high luminance levels to anesthetized primates. Visual evoked potentials were recorded by conventional means form scalp electrodes through hospital grade amplifiers. All animal testing was performed under IACUC approved protocols. The single q-switched pulses form a neodymium-YAG laser had produced lesions of 4 types: no visible change, minimal visible lesions, 'white dot' lesions and 'red dot' lesions in the eye at the time of placement. Single exposures had been made in four locations: 5 degrees superior, inferior and temporal to the fovea, and one foveally. Vernier recording proved somewhat successful in smaller animals with less than contained retinal hemorrhage lesions in the fovea. Initial analyses demonstrated a significant decrease of the pattern response signal/noise in the experimental eye overall, and an apparent relative loss of vernier signal in some lesioned eyes. Animals with the more severe lesions have somewhat degraded small patten responses and no recordable vernier response. Apparent lesser losses produced less effect.

  20. Changes in brain morphology in albinism reflect reduced visual acuity.

    PubMed

    Bridge, Holly; von dem Hagen, Elisabeth A H; Davies, George; Chambers, Claire; Gouws, Andre; Hoffmann, Michael; Morland, Antony B

    2014-07-01

    Albinism, in humans and many animal species, has a major impact on the visual system, leading to reduced acuity, lack of binocular function and nystagmus. In addition to the lack of a foveal pit, there is a disruption to the routing of the nerve fibers crossing at the optic chiasm, resulting in excessive crossing of fibers to the contralateral hemisphere. However, very little is known about the effect of this misrouting on the structure of the post-chiasmatic visual pathway, and the occipital lobes in particular. Whole-brain analyses of cortical thickness in a large cohort of subjects with albinism showed an increase in cortical thickness, relative to control subjects, particularly in posterior V1, corresponding to the foveal representation. Furthermore, mean cortical thickness across entire V1 was significantly greater in these subjects compared to controls and negatively correlated with visual acuity in albinism. Additionally, the group with albinism showed decreased gyrification in the left ventral occipital lobe. While the increase in cortical thickness in V1, also found in congenitally blind subjects, has been interpreted to reflect a lack of pruning, the decreased gyrification in the ventral extrastriate cortex may reflect the reduced input to the foveal regions of the ventral visual stream.

  1. Using the Significant Learning Taxonomy and Active Learning to Improve Accounting Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Killian, Larita J.; Brandon, Christopher D.

    2009-01-01

    Like other members of the academy, accounting professors are challenged to improve student learning. We must help students move beyond the "bean counter" role and develop higher-level skills such as analysis, synthesis, and problem-solving. The Significant Learning Taxonomy was used as a template to improve learning in an introductory accounting…

  2. Out of sight, out of mind? Relations between visual acuity and cognition.

    PubMed

    La Fleur, Claire G; Salthouse, Timothy A

    2014-10-01

    Prior research has established significant relations between measures of sensory ability and cognitive function in adults of different ages, and several explanations for this relation have been proposed. One explanation is that sensory abilities restrict cognitive processing, a second is that cognitive abilities influence assessments of sensory ability, and a third is that both sensory function and cognition are affected by a common, potentially age-based, third factor. These explanations were investigated using mediation and moderation analyses, with near visual acuity as the sensory measure and scores on visual speed tests and auditory memory tests as the cognitive measures. Measures of visual acuity, speed, and memory were obtained from three moderately large samples, two cross-sectional (N = 380, N = 4,779) and one longitudinal (N = 2,258), with participants ranging from 18 to 90 years of age. The visual acuity and cognitive measures had different age trajectories, and the visual acuity-cognition relations were similar in each 5-year age band. The results suggest that the age-related differences and changes in near visual acuity are unlikely to contribute to the age-related differences and changes in speed and memory measures.

  3. Visual acuity in the cathemeral strepsirrhine Eulemur macaco flavifrons.

    PubMed

    Veilleux, Carrie C; Kirk, E Christopher

    2009-04-01

    Studies of visual acuity in primates have shown that diurnal haplorhines have higher acuity (30-75 cycles per degree (c/deg)) than most other mammals. However, relatively little is known about visual acuity in non-haplorhine primates, and published estimates are only available for four strepsirrhine genera (Microcebus, Otolemur, Galago, and Lemur). We present here the first measurements of visual acuity in a cathemeral strepsirrhine species, the blue-eyed black lemur (Eulemur macaco flavifrons). Acuity in two subjects, a 3-year-old male and a 16-year-old female, was assessed behaviorally using a two-alternative forced choice discrimination task. Visual stimuli consisted of high contrast square wave gratings of seven spatial frequencies. Acuity threshold was determined using a 70% correct response criterion. Results indicate a maximum visual acuity of 5.1 c/deg for the female (1718 trials) and 3.8 c/deg for the male (846 trials). These values for E. macaco are slightly lower than those reported for diurnal Lemur catta, and are generally comparable to those reported for nocturnal Microcebus murinus and Otolemur crassicaudatus. To examine ecological sources of variation in primate visual acuity, we also calculated maximum theoretical acuity for Cheirogaleus medius (2.8 c/deg) and Tarsius syrichta (8.9 c/deg) using published data on retinal ganglion cell density and eye morphology. These data suggest that visual acuity in primates may be influenced by activity pattern, diet, and phylogenetic history. In particular, the relatively high acuity of T. syrichta and Galago senegalensis suggests that visual predation may be an important selective factor favoring high visual acuity in primates.

  4. Compared optical performances of multifocal and monofocal intraocular lenses (contrast sensitivity and dynamic visual acuity)

    PubMed Central

    Williamson, W; Poirier, L; Coulon, P; Verin, P

    1994-01-01

    The functional results (contrast sensitivity and dynamic visual acuity) of 19 multifocal (3M design) and 14 all polymethylmethacrylate biconvex monofocal intraocular lenses (IOLs), 6 mm in optical diameter were compared. Best corrected visual acuity was > or = 8/10 (Monoyer chart) Parinaud 2 in all cases. Major differences of functional performance in favour of monofocal IOLs were found outside standard conditions of vision (low contrast and illumination levels). A significant difference in contrast sensitivity was found for each spatial frequency in favour of multifocal IOLs (0.0016 < p < 0.05). Mesopic vision was statistically higher in the monofocal IOL group (p = 0.0015). Moreover, dynamic visual acuity allowed accurate evaluation of the difference in performance between these two models of implant. In view of these results multifocal IOLs should be reserved for patients with normal psychosensitive adaptation; an ocular pathology that could alter contrast sensitivity or mesopic vision is a contraindication for multifocal IOLs. PMID:8199107

  5. Cooperative neural processes involved in stereoscopic acuity.

    PubMed

    Westheimer, G

    1979-08-01

    Results of psychophysical experiments are reported showing that synchrony, appropriate relative placement, and absence of standing disparity are important conditions to be met by members of a target configuration if they are to participate in the cooperative neural processes leading to the best disparity discrimination. Consecutive binocular presentation of the members of a stereo target decreases stereoacuity by a factor of about 10, and a step disparity displacement of a single line target needs to be larger still to be detected as a depth stimulus. A standing disaprity of even one minute of arc at least doubles the disaprity disxrimination threshold. It is postulated that a differencing mechanism operates on the depth signal of individual features; the temporal and spatial optima of target presentation for stereoscopic acuity outline the character of the concerned operations.

  6. Bayesian model of Snellen visual acuity.

    PubMed

    Nestares, Oscar; Navarro, Rafael; Antona, Beatriz

    2003-07-01

    A Bayesian model of Snellen visual acuity (VA) has been developed that, as far as we know, is the first one that includes the three main stages of VA: (1) optical degradations, (2) neural image representation and contrast thresholding, and (3) character recognition. The retinal image of a Snellen test chart is obtained from experimental wave-aberration data. Then a subband image decomposition with a set of visual channels tuned to different spatial frequencies and orientations is applied to the retinal image, as in standard computational models of early cortical image representation. A neural threshold is applied to the contrast responses to include the effect of the neural contrast sensitivity. The resulting image representation is the base of a Bayesian pattern-recognition method robust to the presence of optical aberrations. The model is applied to images containing sets of letter optotypes at different scales, and the number of correct answers is obtained at each scale; the final output is the decimal Snellen VA. The model has no free parameters to adjust. The main input data are the eye's optical aberrations, and standard values are used for all other parameters, including the Stiles-Crawford effect, visual channels, and neural contrast threshold, when no subject specific values are available. When aberrations are large, Snellen VA involving pattern recognition differs from grating acuity, which is based on a simpler detection (or orientation-discrimination) task and hence is basically unaffected by phase distortions introduced by the optical transfer function. A preliminary test of the model in one subject produced close agreement between actual measurements and predicted VA values. Two examples are also included: (1) application of the method to the prediction of the VAin refractive-surgery patients and (2) simulation of the VA attainable by correcting ocular aberrations.

  7. Vestibular, Visual Acuity and Balance Outcomes in Children with Cochlear Implants: A Preliminary Report

    PubMed Central

    Janky, Kristen; Givens, Diane

    2016-01-01

    There is a high incidence of vestibular loss in children with cochlear implants (CCI). However, the relationship between vestibular loss and various outcomes is unknown in children. Objectives 1) determine if age-related changes in peripheral vestibular tests occur; 2) quantify peripheral vestibular function in children with normal hearing (CNH) and CCI; 3) determine if amount of vestibular loss predicts visual acuity and balance performance. Design Eleven CCI and 12 CNH completed the following tests of vestibular function: ocular and cervical vestibular evoked myogenic potential (VEMP) to assess utricle and saccule function, and the video head impulse test (vHIT) to assess semicircular canal function. The relationship between amount of vestibular loss and the following balance and visual acuity outcomes was assessed: dynamic gait index, single leg stance, the sensory organization test, and tests of visual acuity, including dynamic visual acuity and the gaze stabilization test. Results 1) There were no significant age-related changes in peripheral vestibular testing with the exception of the n23 cervical VEMP latency, which was moderately correlated with age; 2) CCI had significantly higher rates of vestibular loss for each test of canal and otolith function; 3) Amount of vestibular loss predicted performance on single leg stance, the dynamic gait index, some conditions of the sensory organization test, and the dynamic visual acuity test. Age was also a contributing factor for predicting the performance of almost all outcomes. Conclusions Preliminarily, children with vestibular loss do not recover naturally to levels of their healthy peers, particularly with activities that utilize vestibular input; they have poorer visual acuity and balance function. PMID:26182202

  8. An Assessment of the Contrast Sensitivity in Patients with Ametropic and Anisometropic Amblyopia in Achieving the Corrected Visual Acuity of 1.0.

    PubMed

    Wang, Guipan; Zhao, Congling; Ding, Qiang; Wang, Ping

    2017-02-07

    Both visual acuity (VA) and contrast sensitivity (CS) are important parameters for measuring visual function. In this research, we investigated the CS of patients with ametropic or anisometropic amblyopia, whose corrected visual acuity (CVA) recovered to 1.0. Fifty-five cases with amblyopia and 22 control cases with a normal visual acuity of 1.0 were enrolled. The CS of the patients whose ametropic amblyopia had recovered to a CVA of 1.0 at 18 cpd spatial frequency was still lower than that of the normal control group under both photopic and scotopic conditions (P = 0.001, 0.025), but there were no significant differences at low- and middle-spatial frequencies. The CS of amblyopic eyes of the patients with anisometropic amblyopia was lower than that of the normal control group at the 18 cpd spatial frequency under photopic conditions (P = 0.005), and at the 6 cpd, 12 cpd, and 18 cpd spatial frequencies under scotopic conditions (P = 0.008, <0.001, 0.004, respectively). The CS between the amblyopic eyes and the sound eyes of patients with anisometropic amblyopia presented significant differences at the 6 cpd, 12 cpd, and 18 cpd spatial frequencies under scotopic conditions (P = 0.025, 0.045, 0.019, respectively). We suggest that amblyopia treatment should involve not only the correction of VA but also the improvement of CS.

  9. An Assessment of the Contrast Sensitivity in Patients with Ametropic and Anisometropic Amblyopia in Achieving the Corrected Visual Acuity of 1.0

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Guipan; Zhao, Congling; Ding, Qiang; Wang, Ping

    2017-01-01

    Both visual acuity (VA) and contrast sensitivity (CS) are important parameters for measuring visual function. In this research, we investigated the CS of patients with ametropic or anisometropic amblyopia, whose corrected visual acuity (CVA) recovered to 1.0. Fifty-five cases with amblyopia and 22 control cases with a normal visual acuity of 1.0 were enrolled. The CS of the patients whose ametropic amblyopia had recovered to a CVA of 1.0 at 18 cpd spatial frequency was still lower than that of the normal control group under both photopic and scotopic conditions (P = 0.001, 0.025), but there were no significant differences at low- and middle-spatial frequencies. The CS of amblyopic eyes of the patients with anisometropic amblyopia was lower than that of the normal control group at the 18 cpd spatial frequency under photopic conditions (P = 0.005), and at the 6 cpd, 12 cpd, and 18 cpd spatial frequencies under scotopic conditions (P = 0.008, <0.001, 0.004, respectively). The CS between the amblyopic eyes and the sound eyes of patients with anisometropic amblyopia presented significant differences at the 6 cpd, 12 cpd, and 18 cpd spatial frequencies under scotopic conditions (P = 0.025, 0.045, 0.019, respectively). We suggest that amblyopia treatment should involve not only the correction of VA but also the improvement of CS. PMID:28169333

  10. Relationship between Optical Coherence Tomography Retinal Parameters and Visual Acuity in Neovascular Age-Related Macular Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Keane, Pearse A.; Liakopoulos, Sandra; Chang, Karen T.; Wang, Mingwu; Dustin, Laurie; Walsh, Alexander C.; Sadda, Srinivas R.

    2008-01-01

    Purpose To investigate the relationship between optical coherence tomography (OCT)-derived measurements of retinal morphology and visual acuity in patients with neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Design Retrospective cross-sectional study. Participants Two hundred sixteen consecutive patients (216 eyes) newly diagnosed with neovascular AMD, who underwent StratusOCT imaging at time of diagnosis. Methods Best-corrected Snellen visual acuity was recorded for each patient. Raw exported StratusOCT images for each patient were analyzed using publicly available custom software entitled “OCTOR”, which allows precise positioning of pre-specified boundaries on individual B-scans. Thickness/volume were calculated for morphologic parameters of interest: neurosensory retina, subretinal fluid (SRF), subretinal tissue (SRT), and pigment epithelial detachment (PED). Main Outcome Measures OCT-derived measurements of retinal morphology and visual acuity. Results An increased total volume of SRT was correlated with decreased visual acuity (r=0.370, P<0.0001). Decreased visual acuity was also modestly correlated with increased thickness of the neurosensory retina at the foveal center point (r=0.245, P=0.0004). No statistically significant association was detected between visual acuity and the total volume of SRF or PED. The association between visual acuity and both the neurosensory retina and the SRT, was stronger for lesions classified as minimally classic or occult on fluorescein angiography. For occult lesions, 20% of the variation in visual acuity could be predicted by a multiple regression model that incorporated age and SRT volume; while, for minimally classic lesions, 62% of the variation in visual acuity could be predicted by a multiple regression model that incorporated age, total neurosensory retinal volume, and total SRT volume. Conclusions The presence of increased SRT thickness/volume on OCT, and to a lesser extent increased neurosensory retinal

  11. The Effect of Movement-Based Training upon the Aural Acuity of Conductors.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hayslett, Dennis

    1996-01-01

    Examines the effect of physical movement on the aural acuity of conducting subjects using the the Seashore Measures of Musical Talents. Reveals that subjects who received movement training showed significantly higher gain scores than those who had not. Proposes the integration of movement-based training into the conducting curriculum. (DSK)

  12. Astronaut Frank Borman performing visual acuity tests in space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1965-01-01

    Astronaut Frank Borman is seen performing visual acuity tests in space. Views include Borman looking at the camera as light shines through the capsule window (63712); Borman is using the visual acuity device and a portable mouth thermometer during his experiment (63713).

  13. Brief Report: Visual Acuity in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Albrecht, Matthew A.; Stuart, Geoffrey W.; Falkmer, Marita; Ordqvist, Anna; Leung, Denise; Foster, Jonathan K.; Falkmer, Torbjorn

    2014-01-01

    Recently, there has been heightened interest in suggestions of enhanced visual acuity in autism spectrum disorders (ASD) which was sparked by evidence that was later accepted to be methodologically flawed. However, a recent study that claimed children with ASD have enhanced visual acuity (Brosnan et al. in "J Autism Dev Disord"…

  14. 49 CFR 242.117 - Vision and hearing acuity.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 49 Transportation 4 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Vision and hearing acuity. 242.117 Section 242.117... Requirements § 242.117 Vision and hearing acuity. (a) Each railroad shall adopt and comply with a program which... person's vision and hearing shall meet or exceed the standards prescribed in this section and Appendix...

  15. 49 CFR 242.117 - Vision and hearing acuity.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... 49 Transportation 4 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false Vision and hearing acuity. 242.117 Section 242.117... Requirements § 242.117 Vision and hearing acuity. (a) Each railroad shall adopt and comply with a program which... person's vision and hearing shall meet or exceed the standards prescribed in this section and Appendix...

  16. 49 CFR 242.117 - Vision and hearing acuity.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... 49 Transportation 4 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Vision and hearing acuity. 242.117 Section 242.117... Requirements § 242.117 Vision and hearing acuity. (a) Each railroad shall adopt and comply with a program which... person's vision and hearing shall meet or exceed the standards prescribed in this section and Appendix...

  17. Characteristics of Fixational Eye Movements in Amblyopia: Limitations on Fixation Stability and Acuity?

    PubMed Central

    Kumar, Girish; Li, Roger W.; Levi, Dennis M.

    2015-01-01

    Persons with amblyopia, especially those with strabismus, are known to exhibit abnormal fixational eye movements. In this paper, we compared six characteristics of fixational eye movements among normal control eyes (n=16), the non-amblyopic fellow eyes and the amblyopic eyes of anisometropic (n=14) and strabismic amblyopes (n=14). These characteristics include the frequency, magnitude of landing errors, amplitude and speed of microsaccades, and the amplitude and speed of slow drifts. Fixational eye movements were recorded using retinal imaging while observers monocularly fixated a 1° cross. Eye position data were recovered using a cross-correlation procedure. We found that in general, the characteristics of fixational eye movements are not significantly different between the fellow eyes of amblyopes and controls, and that the strabismic amblyopic eyes are always different from the other groups. Next, we determined the primary factors that limit fixation stability and visual acuity in amblyopic eyes by examining the relative importance of the different oculomotor characteristics, adding acuity (for fixation stability) or fixation stability (for acuity), and the type of amblyopia, as predictive factors in a multiple linear regression model. We show for the first time that the error magnitude of microsaccades, acuity, amplitude and frequency of microsaccades are primary factors limiting fixation stability; while the error magnitude, fixation stability, amplitude of drifts and amplitude of microsaccades are the primary factors limiting acuity. A mediation analysis showed that the effects of error magnitude and amplitude of microsaccades on acuity could be explained, at least in part, by their effects on fixation stability. PMID:25668775

  18. On using Vernier acuity to assess magnocellular sensitivity.

    PubMed

    Skottun, Bernt C; Skoyles, John R

    2010-03-01

    A recent study [Keri, S., & Benedek, G. (2009). Visual pathway deficit in female fragile x premutation carriers: A potential endophenotype. Brain and Cognition, 69, 291-295] has found Vernier acuity deficiencies together with contrast sensitivity defects consistent with a magnocellular deficit in female fragile x premutation carriers. This may appear to support the notion that Vernier acuity may serve as a test of magnocellular sensitivity. However, Vernier acuity deficiencies have been reported in other conditions (e.g., schizophrenia, amblyopia and cortical visual impairment) where there is little evidence for magnocellular deficits. The observation that Vernier acuity deficiencies can occur without magnocellular deficits indicates that Vernier acuity is not a reliable test of magnocellular sensitivity.

  19. Face context advantage explained by vernier and separation discrimination acuity.

    PubMed

    Vesker, Michael; Wilson, Hugh R

    2012-01-01

    Seeing facial features in the context of a full face is known to provide an advantage for perception. Using an interocular separation perception task we confirmed that seeing eyes within the context of a face improves discrimination in synthetic faces. We also show that this improvement of the face context can be explained using the presence of individual components of the face such as the nose mouth, or head-outline. We demonstrate that improvements due to the presence of the nose, and head-outline can be explained in terms of two-point separation measurements, obeying Weber's law as established in the literature. We also demonstrate that performance improvements due to the presence of the mouth can be explained in terms of Vernier acuity judgments between eye positions and the corners of the mouth. Overall, our study shows that the improvements in perception of facial features due to the face context effect can be traced to well understood basic visual measurements that may play a very general role in perceptual measurements of distance. Deficiencies in these measurements may also play a role in prosopagnosia. Additionally, we show interference of the eyebrows with the face-inversion effect for interocular discrimination.

  20. Comparison of Visual Acuity in Reduced Lumination and Facility of Ocular Accommodation in Table Tennis Champions and Non- Players

    PubMed Central

    Jafarzadehpur, Ebrahim; Yarigholi, Mohammad R.

    2004-01-01

    A table tennis player should fixate at different distances; track the objects with different speed, and in different visual environment. Their visual skills must be well developed for these capabilities. Therefore, visual acuity in reduced lumination and facility of ocular accommodation those are two criteria for visual skills have been compared in table tennis players and normal non-players. Twenty-nine young table tennis champions and 29 normal matched non-players (did not take part in any racket sports game) were evaluated. Basic visual and eye examinations were done for both of them. Normal results in basic examination were fundamental requirement for all the subjects. +/-2.00 sphere lenses for accommodation facility are used. An electrical current regulator changed the output light intensity of a conventional chart projector (Topcon). Light intensity decreased to 10 cd·m-2 and visual acuity tested. In comparison of visual acuity in reduced lumination and facility of ocular accommodation in table tennis champions and non-players there are significant differences (p < 0.001). In the preliminary visual tests there was not any significant different in the two groups but the results in the top level table tennis player was very uniform and in every test and the standard deviation was lesser in tennis player group than non-players. These results show that motor and sensorial functions of expert players are well developed. That is consistent with other researchers. This result was interpreted as reflecting a better perceptual system of experts to the constraints encountered during table tennis and its use in practical settings for evaluating athletes or detecting sport talents. However some visual and perceptual training that usually used in orthoptics can be used for novice table tennis player to improve their abilities. Key Points That the ability of a champion depends on many sensory, motor and perceptual factors. Visual factors such as facility of accommodation

  1. Inhibition of class IIb histone deacetylase significantly improves cloning efficiency in mice.

    PubMed

    Ono, Tetsuo; Li, Chong; Mizutani, Eiji; Terashita, Yukari; Yamagata, Kazuo; Wakayama, Teruhiko

    2010-12-01

    Since the first mouse clone was produced by somatic cell nuclear transfer, the success rate of cloning in mice has been extremely low. Some histone deacetylase inhibitors, such as trichostatin A and scriptaid, have improved the full-term development of mouse clones significantly, but the mechanisms allowing for this are unclear. Here, we found that two other specific inhibitors, suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid and oxamflatin, could also reduce the rate of apoptosis in blastocysts, improve the full-term development of cloned mice, and increase establishment of nuclear transfer-generated embryonic stem cell lines significantly without leading to obvious abnormalities. However, another inhibitor, valproic acid, could not improve cloning efficiency. Suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid, oxamflatin, trichostatin A, and scriptaid are inhibitors for classes I and IIa/b histone deacetylase, whereas valproic acid is an inhibitor for classes I and IIa, suggesting that inhibiting class IIb histone deacetylase is an important step for reprogramming mouse cloning efficiency.

  2. Automatic coronary lumen segmentation with partial volume modeling improves lesions' hemodynamic significance assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Freiman, M.; Lamash, Y.; Gilboa, G.; Nickisch, H.; Prevrhal, S.; Schmitt, H.; Vembar, M.; Goshen, L.

    2016-03-01

    The determination of hemodynamic significance of coronary artery lesions from cardiac computed tomography angiography (CCTA) based on blood flow simulations has the potential to improve CCTA's specificity, thus resulting in improved clinical decision making. Accurate coronary lumen segmentation required for flow simulation is challenging due to several factors. Specifically, the partial-volume effect (PVE) in small-diameter lumina may result in overestimation of the lumen diameter that can lead to an erroneous hemodynamic significance assessment. In this work, we present a coronary artery segmentation algorithm tailored specifically for flow simulations by accounting for the PVE. Our algorithm detects lumen regions that may be subject to the PVE by analyzing the intensity values along the coronary centerline and integrates this information into a machine-learning based graph min-cut segmentation framework to obtain accurate coronary lumen segmentations. We demonstrate the improvement in hemodynamic significance assessment achieved by accounting for the PVE in the automatic segmentation of 91 coronary artery lesions from 85 patients. We compare hemodynamic significance assessments by means of fractional flow reserve (FFR) resulting from simulations on 3D models generated by our segmentation algorithm with and without accounting for the PVE. By accounting for the PVE we improved the area under the ROC curve for detecting hemodynamically significant CAD by 29% (N=91, 0.85 vs. 0.66, p<0.05, Delong's test) with invasive FFR threshold of 0.8 as the reference standard. Our algorithm has the potential to facilitate non-invasive hemodynamic significance assessment of coronary lesions.

  3. Histone deacetylase inhibitor significantly improved the cloning efficiency of porcine somatic cell nuclear transfer embryos.

    PubMed

    Huang, Yongye; Tang, Xiaochun; Xie, Wanhua; Zhou, Yan; Li, Dong; Yao, Chaogang; Zhou, Yang; Zhu, Jianguo; Lai, Liangxue; Ouyang, Hongsheng; Pang, Daxin

    2011-12-01

    Valproic acid (VPA), a histone deacetylase inbibitor, has been shown to generate inducible pluripotent stem (iPS) cells from mouse and human fibroblasts with a significant higher efficiency. Because successful cloning by somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) undergoes a full reprogramming process in which the epigenetic state of a differentiated donor nuclear is converted into an embryonic totipotent state, we speculated that VPA would be useful in promoting cloning efficiency. Therefore, in the present study, we examined whether VPA can promote the developmental competence of SCNT embryos by improving the reprogramming state of donor nucleus. Here we report that 1 mM VPA for 14 to 16 h following activation significantly increased the rate of blastocyst formation of porcine SCNT embryos constructed from Landrace fetal fibroblast cells compared to the control (31.8 vs. 11.4%). However, we found that the acetylation level of Histone H3 lysine 14 and Histone H4 lysine 5 and expression level of Oct4, Sox2, and Klf4 was not significantly changed between VPA-treated and -untreated groups at the blastocyst stage. The SCNT embryos were transferred to 38 surrogates, and the cloning efficiency in the treated group was significantly improved compared with the control group. Taken together, we have demonstrated that VPA can improve both in vitro and in vivo development competence of porcine SCNT embryos.

  4. Developmental trajectory of number acuity reveals a severe impairment in developmental dyscalculia.

    PubMed

    Piazza, Manuela; Facoetti, Andrea; Trussardi, Anna Noemi; Berteletti, Ilaria; Conte, Stefano; Lucangeli, Daniela; Dehaene, Stanislas; Zorzi, Marco

    2010-07-01

    Developmental dyscalculia is a learning disability that affects the acquisition of knowledge about numbers and arithmetic. It is widely assumed that numeracy is rooted on the "number sense", a core ability to grasp numerical quantities that humans share with other animals and deploy spontaneously at birth. To probe the links between number sense and dyscalculia, we used a psychophysical test to measure the Weber fraction for the numerosity of sets of dots, hereafter called number acuity. We show that number acuity improves with age in typically developing children. In dyscalculics, numerical acuity is severely impaired, with 10-year-old dyscalculics scoring at the level of 5-year-old normally developing children. Moreover, the severity of the number acuity impairment predicts the defective performance on tasks involving the manipulation of symbolic numbers. These results establish for the first time a clear association between dyscalculia and impaired "number sense", and they may open up new horizons for the early diagnosis and rehabilitation of mathematical learning deficits.

  5. Impacting patient outcomes through design: acuity adaptable care/universal room design.

    PubMed

    Brown, Katherine Kay; Gallant, Dennis

    2006-01-01

    To succeed in today's challenging healthcare environment, hospitals must examine their impact on customers--patients and families--staff and physicians. By using competitive facility design and incorporating evidence-based concepts such as the acuity adaptable care delivery model and the universal room, the hospital will realize an impact on patient satisfaction that will enhance market share, on physician satisfaction that will foster loyalty, and on staff satisfaction that will decrease turnover. At the same time, clinical outcomes such as a reduction in mortality and complications and efficiencies such as a reduction in length of stay and minimization of hospital costs through the elimination of transfers can be gained. The results achieved are dependent on the principles used in designing the patient room that should focus on maximizing patient safety and improving healing. This article will review key design elements that support the success of an acuity adaptable unit such as the use of a private room with zones dedicated to patients, families, and staff, healing environment, technology, and decentralized nursing stations that support the success of the acuity adaptable unit. Outcomes of institutions currently utilizing the acuity adaptable concept will be reviewed.

  6. Reduction in Dynamic Visual Acuity Reveals Gaze Control Changes Following Spaceflight

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Peters, Brian T.; Brady, Rachel A.; Miller, Chris; Lawrence, Emily L.; Mulavara Ajitkumar P.; Bloomberg, Jacob J.

    2010-01-01

    INTRODUCTION: Exposure to microgravity causes adaptive changes in eye-head coordination that can lead to altered gaze control. This could affect postflight visual acuity during head and body motion. The goal of this study was to characterize changes in dynamic visual acuity after long-duration spaceflight. METHODS: Dynamic Visual Acuity (DVA) data from 14 astro/cosmonauts were collected after long-duration (6 months) spaceflight. The difference in acuity between seated and walking conditions provided a metric of change in the subjects ability to maintain gaze fixation during self-motion. In each condition, a psychophysical threshold detection algorithm was used to display Landolt ring optotypes at a size that was near each subject s acuity threshold. Verbal responses regarding the orientation of the gap were recorded as the optotypes appeared sequentially on a computer display 4 meters away. During the walking trials, subjects walked at 6.4 km/h on a motorized treadmill. RESULTS: A decrement in mean postflight DVA was found, with mean values returning to baseline within 1 week. The population mean showed a consistent improvement in DVA performance, but it was accompanied by high variability. A closer examination of the individual subject s recovery curves revealed that many did not follow a pattern of continuous improvement with each passing day. When adjusted on the basis of previous long-duration flight experience, the population mean shows a "bounce" in the re-adaptation curve. CONCLUSION: Gaze control during self-motion is altered following long-duration spaceflight and changes in postflight DVA performance indicate that vestibular re-adaptation may be more complex than a gradual return to normal.

  7. Visual acuity in the short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica).

    PubMed

    Dooley, J C; Nguyen, H M; Seelke, A M H; Krubitzer, L

    2012-10-25

    Monodelphis domestica (short-tailed opossum) is an emerging animal model for studies of neural development due to the extremely immature state of the nervous system at birth and its subsequent rapid growth to adulthood. Yet little is known about its normal sensory discrimination abilities. In the present investigation, visual acuity was determined in this species using the optokinetic test (OPT), which relies on involuntary head tracking of a moving stimulus and can be easily elicited using a rotating visual stimulus of varying spatial frequencies. Using this methodology, we determined that the acuity of Monodelphis is 0.58 cycles per degree (cpd), which is similar to the acuity of rats using the same methodology, and higher than in mice. However, acuity in the short-tailed opossum is lower than in other marsupials. This is in part due to the methodology used to determine acuity, but may also be due to differences in diel patterns, lifestyle and phylogeny. We demonstrate that for the short-tailed opossum, the OPT is a rapid and reliable method of determining a baseline acuity and can be used to study enhanced acuities due to cortical plasticity.

  8. Visual acuity in the short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica)

    PubMed Central

    Dooley, James C.; Nguyen, Hoang; Seelke, Adele M. H.; Krubitzer, Leah

    2013-01-01

    Monodelphis domestica (short-tailed opossum) is an emerging animal model for studies of neural development due to the extremely immature state of the nervous system at birth and its subsequent rapid growth to adulthood. Yet little is known about its normal sensory discrimination abilities. In the present investigation, visual acuity was determined in this species using the optokinetic test (OPT), which relies on involuntary head tracking of a moving stimulus and can be easily elicited using a rotating visual stimulus of varying spatial frequencies. Using this methodology, we determined that the acuity of Monodelphis is 0.58 cycles per degree (cpd), which is similar to the acuity of rats using the same methodology, and higher than in mice. However, acuity in the short-tailed opossum is lower than in other marsupials. This is in part due to the methodology used to determine acuity, but may also be due to differences in diel patterns, lifestyle and phylogeny. We demonstrate that for the short-tailed opossum, the OPT is a rapid and reliable method of determining a baseline acuity and can be used to study enhanced acuities due to cortical plasticity. PMID:22871523

  9. RETENTION OF HIGH TACTILE ACUITY THROUGHOUT THE LIFESPAN IN BLINDNESS

    PubMed Central

    Legge, Gordon E.; Madison, Cindee; Vaughn, Brenna N.; Cheong, Allen M.Y.; Miller, Joseph C.

    2009-01-01

    Previous studies of tactile acuity on the fingertip using passive touch have demonstrated an age-related decline in spatial resolution for both sighted and blind subjects. We have re-examined this age dependence with two newly designed tactile-acuity charts requiring active exploration of the test symbols. One chart used dot patterns similar to Braille and the other used embossed Landolt rings. Groups of blind Braille readers and sighted subjects, ranging in age from 12 to 85 years, were tested in two experiments. We replicated previous findings for sighted subjects by showing an age related decrease in tactile acuity by nearly 1% per year. Surprisingly, the blind subjects retained high acuity into old age showing no age-related decline. For the blind subjects, tactile acuity did not correlate with braille reading speed, the amount of daily reading, or the age at which braille was learned. We conclude that when measured with active touch, blind subjects retain high tactile acuity into old age, unlike their aging sighted peers. We propose that blind people's use of active touch in daily activities, not specifically Braille reading, results in preservation of tactile acuity across the lifespan. PMID:19064491

  10. Origins of superior dynamic visual acuity in baseball players: superior eye movements or superior image processing.

    PubMed

    Uchida, Yusuke; Kudoh, Daisuke; Murakami, Akira; Honda, Masaaki; Kitazawa, Shigeru

    2012-01-01

    Dynamic visual acuity (DVA) is defined as the ability to discriminate the fine parts of a moving object. DVA is generally better in athletes than in non-athletes, and the better DVA of athletes has been attributed to a better ability to track moving objects. In the present study, we hypothesized that the better DVA of athletes is partly derived from better perception of moving images on the retina through some kind of perceptual learning. To test this hypothesis, we quantitatively measured DVA in baseball players and non-athletes using moving Landolt rings in two conditions. In the first experiment, the participants were allowed to move their eyes (free-eye-movement conditions), whereas in the second they were required to fixate on a fixation target (fixation conditions). The athletes displayed significantly better DVA than the non-athletes in the free-eye-movement conditions. However, there was no significant difference between the groups in the fixation conditions. These results suggest that the better DVA of athletes is primarily due to an improved ability to track moving targets with their eyes, rather than to improved perception of moving images on the retina.

  11. Visual Vestibular Interaction in the Dynamic Visual Acuity Test during Voluntary Head Rotation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lee, Moo Hoon; Durnford, Simon; Crowley, John; Rupert, Angus

    1996-01-01

    Although intact vestibular function is essential in maintaining spatial orientation, no good screening tests of vestibular function are available to the aviation community. High frequency voluntary head rotation was selected as a vestibular stimulus to isolate the vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR) from visual influence. A dynamic visual acuity test that incorporates voluntary head rotation was evaluated as a potential vestibular function screening tool. Twenty-seven normal subjects performed voluntary sinusoidal head rotation at frequencies from 0.7-4.0 Hz under three different visual conditions: visually-enhanced VOR, normal VOR, and visually suppressed VOR. Standardized Baily-Lovie chart letters were presented on a computer monitor in front of the subject, who then was asked to read the letters while rotating his head horizontally. The electro-oculogram and dynamic visual acuity score were recorded and analyzed. There were no significant differences in gain or phase shift among three visual conditions in the frequency range of 2.8 to 4.0 Hz. The dynamic visual acuity score shifted less than 0.3 logMAR at frequencies under 2.0 Hz. The dynamic visual acuity test at frequencies a round 2.0 Hz can be recommended for evaluating vestibular function.

  12. Evaluation of vestibular and dynamic visual acuity in adults with congenital deafness.

    PubMed

    Nakajima, Yukinori; Kaga, Kimitaka; Takekoshi, Hideki; Sakuraba, Keisyoku

    2012-10-01

    This study compared vestibular and dynamic visual acuity in 19 adult athletes with deafness participating in Deaflympics to those of 25 young adults with normal hearing. Balance capability was evaluated using a one-leg standing test with eyes open and stabilometry. Caloric tests and vestibular evoked myogenic potential tests were conducted to test vestibular function. Visual function was evaluated using a dynamic visual acuity test. No significant difference was found between results of the one-leg standing test with eyes open and stabilometry with eyes open. Athletes with deafness performed better than normal hearing young adults with eyes closed. The caloric test indicated hypofunction of the lateral semicircular canal function in 5 of the 19 athletes with deafness. Balance-function tests showed normal results for both groups. The results for athletes with deafness on visual acuity were better than those of controls. Young Deaflympics athletes with deafness can adjust their balance function as well as or better than normal hearing young adults using dynamic visual acuity.

  13. Is acuity enough? Other considerations in clinical investigations of visual prostheses.

    PubMed

    Lepri, Bernard P

    2009-06-01

    Visual impairing eye diseases are the major frontier facing ophthalmic research today in light of our rapidly aging population. The visual skills necessary for improving the quality of daily function and life are inextricably linked to these impairing diseases. Both research and reimbursement programs are emphasizing outcome-based results. Is improvement in visual acuity alone enough to improve the function and quality of life of visually impaired persons? This perspective summarizes the types of effectiveness endpoints for clinical investigations of visual prostheses that go beyond visual acuity. The clinical investigation of visual prostheses should include visual function, functional vision and quality of life measures. Specifically, they encompass contrast sensitivity, orientation and mobility, activities of daily living and quality of life assessments. The perspective focuses on the design of clinical trials for visual prostheses and the methods of determining effectiveness above and beyond visual acuity that will yield outcomes that are measured by improved function in the visual world and quality of life. The visually impaired population is the primary consideration in this presentation with particular emphases on retinitis pigmentosa and age-related macular degeneration. Clinical trials for visual prostheses cannot be isolated from the need for medical rehabilitation in order to obtain measurements of effectiveness that produce outcomes/evidence-based success. This approach will facilitate improvement in daily function and quality of life of patients with diseases that cause chronic vision impairment.

  14. A randomised comparison between an inexpensive, general-purpose headlight and a purpose-built surgical headlight on users' visual acuity and colour vision.

    PubMed

    Street, I; Sayles, M; Nistor, M; McRae, A R

    2014-02-01

    To determine if there are any differences in near visual acuity and colour vision between an inexpensive general-purpose light emitting diode (LED) headlight and a purpose-built surgical LED headlight. A prospective study was conducted sequentially comparing near visual acuity and colour vision, the headlights being tested in random order, in a testing room with a constant minimal amount of background light. The participants were NHS employee volunteers, with self-declared normal (or corrected) vision, working in occupations requiring full literacy. For visual acuity, outcome was measured by recording the smallest font legible when using each headlight when the subject read a near visual acuity test card. For colour vision, the outcome was passing or failing the Ishihara test. There was no statistically significant difference between the general-purpose and the purpose-built headlights in users' near visual acuity or colour vision.

  15. A novel reagent significantly improved assay robustness in imaged capillary isoelectric focusing.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xin; Voronov, Sergey; Mussa, Nesredin; Li, Zhengjian

    2017-03-15

    Imaged Capillary Isoelectric Focusing (icIEF) has been used as primary method for charge variants analysis of therapeutic antibodies and proteins [1], [9]. Proteins tend to precipitate around their pI values during focusing [14], which directly affects the reproducibility of their charge profiles. Protein concentration, focusing time and various supplementing additives are key parameters to minimize the protein precipitation and aggregation. Urea and sucrose are common additives to reduce protein aggregation, solubilize proteins in sample matrix and therefore improve assay repeatability [15]. However some proteins and antibodies are exceptions, we found urea and sucrose are not sufficient for a typical fusion protein (Fusion protein A) in icIEF assay and high variability is observed. We report a novel reagent, formamide, significantly improved reproducibility of protein charge profiles. Our results show formamide is a good supplementary reagent to reduce aggregation and stabilize proteins in isoelectric focusing. We further confirmed the method robustness, linearity, accuracy and precision after introducing the new reagent; extremely tight pI values, significantly improved method precision and sample on-board stability are achieved by formamide. Formamide is also proven to be equally functional to multiple antibodies as urea, which makes it an extra tool in icIEF method development.

  16. A peptide-retrieval strategy enables significant improvement of quantitative performance without compromising confidence of identification.

    PubMed

    Tu, Chengjian; Shen, Shichen; Sheng, Quanhu; Shyr, Yu; Qu, Jun

    2017-01-30

    Reliable quantification of low-abundance proteins in complex proteomes is challenging largely owing to the limited number of spectra/peptides identified. In this study we developed a straightforward method to improve the quantitative accuracy and precision of proteins by strategically retrieving the less confident peptides that were previously filtered out using the standard target-decoy search strategy. The filtered-out MS/MS spectra matched to confidently-identified proteins were recovered, and the peptide-spectrum-match FDR were re-calculated and controlled at a confident level of FDR≤1%, while protein FDR maintained at ~1%. We evaluated the performance of this strategy in both spectral count- and ion current-based methods. >60% increase of total quantified spectra/peptides was respectively achieved for analyzing a spike-in sample set and a public dataset from CPTAC. Incorporating the peptide retrieval strategy significantly improved the quantitative accuracy and precision, especially for low-abundance proteins (e.g. one-hit proteins). Moreover, the capacity of confidently discovering significantly-altered proteins was also enhanced substantially, as demonstrated with two spike-in datasets. In summary, improved quantitative performance was achieved by this peptide recovery strategy without compromising confidence of protein identification, which can be readily implemented in a broad range of quantitative proteomics techniques including label-free or labeling approaches.

  17. Pretreatment of bovine sperm with dithiobutylamine (DTBA) significantly improves embryo development after ICSI

    PubMed Central

    SUTTIROJPATTANA, Tayita; SOMFAI, Tamas; MATOBA, Satoko; NAGAI, Takashi; PARNPAI, Rangsun; GESHI, Masaya

    2016-01-01

    We assessed the effect of pretreating sperm with dithiobutylamine (DTBA) to improve embryo development by intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) in cows. Acridine Orange staining revealed that when applied at different concentrations (2.5, 5, and 10 mM) and exposure times (5 min, 20 min, 1 h, and 2 h), DTBA reduced disulfide bonds in spermatozoa with the highest efficacy at 5 mM for 5 min. DTBA enhanced the percentage of spermatozoa with free protamine thiol groups compared with untreated spermatozoa (control) (P < 0.05); however, this result did not differ from that of dithiothreitol (DTT) treatment. The percentage of live spermatozoa after DTBA treatment was identical to that in the control, but significantly higher than that after DTT treatment (P < 0.05). After ICSI, DTBA treatment tended to improve male pronuclear formation rate (P = 0.071) compared with non-treated sperm injection. Blastocyst formation rate was significantly improved by DTBA treatment compared with that in DTT, control, and sham injection groups (P < 0.05). Blastocyst quality in terms of cell numbers and ploidy was not different among these groups. In conclusion, DTBA increases the efficacy of blastocyst production by ICSI even if DTT treatment does not work. PMID:27523189

  18. PXD101 significantly improves nuclear reprogramming and the in vitro developmental competence of porcine SCNT embryos

    SciTech Connect

    Jin, Jun-Xue; Kang, Jin-Dan; Li, Suo; Jin, Long; Zhu, Hai-Ying; Guo, Qing; Gao, Qing-Shan; Yan, Chang-Guo; Yin, Xi-Jun

    2015-01-02

    Highlights: • First explored that the effects of PXD101 on the development of SCNT embryos in vitro. • 0.5 μM PXD101 treated for 24 h improved the development of porcine SCNT embryos. • Level of AcH3K9 was significantly higher than control group at early stages. - Abstract: In this study, we investigated the effects of the histone deacetylase inhibitor PXD101 (belinostat) on the preimplantation development of porcine somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) embryos and their expression of the epigenetic markers histone H3 acetylated at lysine 9 (AcH3K9). We compared the in vitro developmental competence of SCNT embryos treated with various concentrations of PXD101 for 24 h. Treatment with 0.5 μM PXD101 significantly increased the proportion of SCNT embryos that reached the blastocyst stage, in comparison to the control group (23.3% vs. 11.5%, P < 0.05). We tested the in vitro developmental competence of SCNT embryos treated with 0.5 μM PXD101 for various amounts of times following activation. Treatment for 24 h significantly improved the development of porcine SCNT embryos, with a significantly higher proportion of embryos reaching the blastocyst stage in comparison to the control group (25.7% vs. 10.6%, P < 0.05). PXD101-treated SCNT embryos were transferred into two surrogate sows, one of whom became pregnant and four fetuses developed. PXD101 treatment significantly increased the fluorescence intensity of immunostaining for AcH3K9 in embryos at the pseudo-pronuclear and 2-cell stages. At these stages, the fluorescence intensities of immunostaining for AcH3K9 were significantly higher in PXD101-treated embryos than in control untreated embryos. In conclusion, this study demonstrates that PXD101 can significantly improve the in vitro and in vivo developmental competence of porcine SCNT embryos and can enhance their nuclear reprogramming.

  19. Assessment of imaging with extended depth-of-field by means of the light sword lens in terms of visual acuity scale

    PubMed Central

    Kakarenko, Karol; Ducin, Izabela; Grabowiecki, Krzysztof; Jaroszewicz, Zbigniew; Kolodziejczyk, Andrzej; Mira-Agudelo, Alejandro; Petelczyc, Krzysztof; Składowska, Aleksandra; Sypek, Maciej

    2015-01-01

    We present outcomes of an imaging experiment using the refractive light sword lens (LSL) as a contact lens in an optical system that serves as a simplified model of the presbyopic eye. The results show that the LSL produces significant improvements in visual acuity of the simplified presbyopic eye model over a wide range of defocus. Therefore, this element can be an interesting alternative for the multifocal contact and intraocular lenses currently used in ophthalmology. The second part of the article discusses possible modifications of the LSL profile in order to render it more suitable for fabrication and ophthalmological applications. PMID:26137376

  20. Visual acuity, color vision, and visual search performance at sea.

    PubMed

    Donderi, D C

    1994-03-01

    Visual acuity and color vision were tested during a search and rescue exercise at sea. Fifty-seven watchkeepers searched for orange and yellow life rafts during daylight and for lighted and unlighted life rafts at night with night vision goggles. There were 588 individual watches of one hour each. Measures of wind, waves, and weather were used as covariates. Daytime percentage detection was positively correlated with low-contrast visual acuity and negatively correlated with error scores on Dvorine pseudoisochromatic plates and the Farnsworth color test. Performance was better during the first half-hour of the watch. Efficiency calculations show that color vision selective screening at one standard deviation above the mean would increase daylight search performance by 10% and that one standard deviation visual acuity selection screening would increase performance by 12%. There was no relationship between either acuity or color vision and life raft detection using night vision goggles.

  1. Significant Improvement in Survival after Unrelated Donor Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation in the Recent Era

    PubMed Central

    Majhail, Navneet S; Chitphakdithai, Pintip; Logan, Brent; King, Roberta; Devine, Steven; Rossmann, Susan N; Hale, Gregory; Hartzman, Robert J; Karanes, Chatchada; Laport, Ginna G; Nemecek, Eneida; Snyder, Edward L; Switzer, Galen E; Miller, John; Navarro, Willis; Confer, Dennis L; Levine, John E

    2014-01-01

    Patients and physicians may defer unrelated donor hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) as curative therapy due to mortality risk associated with the procedure. Therefore, it is important for physicians to know the current outcomes data when counseling potential candidates. To provide this information, we evaluated 15,059 unrelated donor HCT recipients between 2000-2009. We compared outcomes before and after 2005 for four cohorts: age <18 years with malignant diseases (N=1,920), 18-59 years with malignant diseases (N=9,575), ≥60 years with malignant diseases (N=2,194), and non-malignant diseases (N=1,370). Three-year overall survival in 2005-2009 was significantly better in all four cohorts (<18 years: 55% vs. 45%, 18-59 years: 42% vs. 35%, ≥60 years: 35% vs. 25%, non-malignant diseases: 69% vs. 60%, P<0.001 for all comparisons). Multivariate analyses in leukemia patients receiving HLA 7-8/8 matched transplants showed significant reduction in overall and non-relapse mortality in the first 1-year after HCT among patients transplanted in 2005-2009; however, risks for relapse did not change over time. Significant survival improvements after unrelated donor HCT have occurred over the recent decade and can be partly explained by better patient selection (e.g., HCT earlier in the disease course and lower disease risk), improved donor selection (e.g., more precise allele-level matched unrelated donors) and changes in transplant practices. PMID:25445638

  2. Baseline Characteristics of the Infant Aphakia Treatment Study Population: Predicting Recognition Acuity at 4.5 Years of Age

    PubMed Central

    Hartmann, E. Eugenie; Lynn, Michael J.; Lambert, Scott R.

    2015-01-01

    Purpose. To identify patient baseline characteristics that predict recognition acuity at 4.5 years of age in the Infant Aphakia Treatment Study, a study of patients with monocular infantile cataracts. Methods. We analyzed baseline characteristics of the 114 infants enrolled in the Infant Aphakia Treatment Study to determine which were most predictive of visual outcome at 4.5 years of age. All infants underwent cataract surgery between 1 and 7 months of age. Monocular acuity was assessed at 4.5 years of age by a traveling examiner using the Amblyopia Treatment Study HOTV protocol. Results. Age at cataract surgery was weakly associated with visual acuity (Spearman rank correlation coefficient = 0.19, P = 0.041) with median visual acuity better among the younger patients (28–48 days: 0.50 logMAR, 49–210 days: 1.10 logMAR, P = 0.046). Patients from families with private insurance had significantly better median visual acuity (0.60 vs. 1.40 logMAR, P = 0.0004). No other baseline characteristic revealed a significant bivariate relationship with visual acuity. A multiple linear regression relating visual acuity to all baseline characteristics demonstrated that only the availability of private insurance was statistically significant, accounting for 12% of the variance. Conclusions. This analysis concurs with previous studies that early surgery is important for good visual outcomes in patients with unilateral infantile cataracts. The fact that only one baseline variable (private insurance) contributed to the multivariate analysis, accounting for 12% of the variance, suggests that predicting visual outcome for these patients is complicated at best, and cannot be estimated from baseline characteristics alone. (ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00212134.) PMID:25503455

  3. Measuring Observers’ Visual Acuity Through Night Vision Goggles

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1998-01-01

    a two-alternative, forced-choice ( 2AFC ) method to determine visual acuity through NVGs as a function of night-time ambient illumination levels. A...computer executed the 2AFC (gap seen up or down), Step Program adapted from Simpson (1989). Based on the observerÕs last response, the program selected...threshold levels, NVG drift, good guessing in the 2AFC method, fatigue, eye strain, sinus headaches and so on. METHOD Psychometric Function of Acuity

  4. Focus adjustment effects on visual acuity and oculomotor balance with aviator night vision displays.

    PubMed

    Kotulak, J C; Morse, S E

    1994-04-01

    Sixteen U.S. Army aviators, who were given training on focus adjustment technique with aviator night vision goggles (NVG), showed an improvement in visual acuity with focus adjustment compared to a fixed infinity focus control. The long-term effect of focus adjustment on vision was not measured; however, adjustment accuracy was found to be generally within acceptable limits based on computer modeling and available physiologic data. Fixed focus eyepieces that are set to a low minus power may partially compensate for instrument myopia, but they may not optimize visual acuity to the extent that adjustable focus eyepieces do. Eyepiece adjustment proficiency with present night vision devices can be improved through training that emphasizes focusing to the least possible minus dioptric power. Future night vision displays can minimize focus misadjustment by providing a tactile zero marking, a limited dioptric adjustment range, and a focusing knob capable of finer adjustment than is available with current NVG's.

  5. Intestinal-borne dermatoses significantly improved by oral application of Escherichia coli Nissle 1917

    PubMed Central

    Manzhalii, Elina; Hornuss, Daniel; Stremmel, Wolfgang

    2016-01-01

    AIM: To evaluate the effect of oral Escherichia coli (E. coli) Nissle application on the outcome of intestinal-borne dermatoses. METHODS: In a randomized, controlled, non-blinded prospective clinical trial 82 patients with intestinal-borne facial dermatoses characterized by an erythematous papular-pustular rash were screened. At the initiation visit 37 patients entered the experimental arm and 20 patients constituted the control arm. All 57 patients were treated with a vegetarian diet and conventional topical therapy of the dermatoses with ointments containing tetracycline, steroids and retinoids. In the experimental arm patients received a one month therapy with oral E. coli Nissle at a maintenance dose of 2 capsules daily. The experimental group was compared to a non-treatment group only receiving the diet and topical therapy. The primary outcome parameter was improvement of the dermatoses, secondary parameters included life quality and adverse events. In addition the immunological reaction profile (IgA, interleucin-8 and interferon-α) was determined. Furthermore the changes of stool consistency and the microbiota composition over the time of intervention were recorded. RESULTS: Eighty-nine percent of the patients with acne, papular-pustular rosacea and seborrhoic dermatitis responded to E. coli Nissle therapy with significant amelioration or complete recovery in contrast to 56% in the control arm (P < 0.01). Accordingly, in the E. coli Nissle treated patients life quality improved significantly (P < 0.01), and adverse events were not recorded. The clinical improvement was associated with a significant increase of IgA levels to normal values in serum as well as suppression of the proinflammatory cytokine IL-8 (P < 0.01 for both parameters). In the E. coli Nissle treated group a shift towards a protective microbiota with predominance of bifidobacteria and lactobacteria (> 107 CFU/g stool) was observed in 79% and 63% of the patients, respectively (P < 0

  6. Visual Acuity, Contrast Sensitivity and Color Vision Three Years After Iodine-125 Brachytherapy for Choroidal and Ciliary Body Melanoma

    PubMed Central

    Tsui, Irena; Beardsley, Robert M; McCannel, Tara A; Oliver, Scott C; Chun, Melissa W; Lee, Steve P; Chow, Phillip E; Agazaryan, Nzhde; Yu, Fei; Straatsma, Bradley R

    2015-01-01

    Purpose : To report visual acuity, contrast sensitivity and color vision prior to, 1 year after, 2 years after and 3 years after iodine-125 brachytherapy for choroidal and ciliary body melanoma (CCM). Design : Prospective interventional case series. Participants : Thirty-seven patients (37 eyes) with CCM. Methods : Patients had best-corrected Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study (ETDRS) visual acuity, Pelli-Robson contrast sensitivity and Hardy-Rand-Rittler color vision measurement; comprehensive ophthalmology examination; optical coherence tomography; and ultrasonography at baseline prior to, 1 year after, 2 years after and 3 years after I-125 brachytherapy. Main Outcome Measures : Visual acuity, contrast sensitivity and color vision prior to, 1 year after, 2 years after and 3 years after brachytherapy. Results : Nineteen (19) men and 18 women with mean age of 58 years (SD 13, range 30-78) prior to, 1 year after, 2 years after and 3 years after brachytherapy had mean best-corrected visual acuity of 77 letters (20/32), 65 letters (20/50), 56 letters (20/80) and 47 letters (20/125); contrast sensitivity of 30, 26, 22 and 19 letters; color vision of 26, 20, 17 and 14 test figures, respectively. Decrease in visual acuity, contrast sensitivity and color vision was statistically significant from baseline at 1 year, 2 years, and 3 years after brachytherapy. Decreased acuity at 3 years was associated with mid-choroid and macula melanoma location, ≥ 4.1 mm melanoma height, radiation maculopathy and radiation optic neuropathy. Conclusion : 1, 2 and 3 years after brachytherapy, eyes with CCM had significantly decreased visual acuity, contrast sensitivity and color vision. PMID:26312123

  7. Foveal visual acuity is worse and shows stronger contour interaction effects for contrast-modulated than luminance-modulated Cs.

    PubMed

    Hairol, Mohd Izzuddin; Formankiewicz, Monika A; Waugh, Sarah J

    2013-05-01

    Contrast-modulated (CM) stimuli are processed by spatial mechanisms that operate at larger spatial scales than those processing luminance-modulated (LM) stimuli and may be more prone to deficits in developing, amblyopic, and aging visual systems. Understanding neural mechanisms of contour interaction or crowding will help in detecting disorders of spatial vision. In this study, contour interaction effects on visual acuity for LM and CM C and bar stimuli are assessed in normal foveal vision. In Experiment 1, visual acuity is measured for all-LM and all-CM stimuli, at ~3.5× above their respective modulation thresholds. In Experiment 2, visual acuity is measured for Cs and bars of different type (LM C with CM bars and vice versa). Visual acuity is degraded for CM compared with LM Cs (0.46 ± 0.04 logMAR vs. 0.18 ± 0.04 logMAR). With nearby bars, CM acuity is degraded further (0.23 ± 0.01 logMAR or ~2 lines on an acuity chart), significantly more than LM acuity (0.11 ± 0.01 logMAR, ~1 line). Contour interaction for CM stimuli extends over greater distances (arcmin) than it does for LM stimuli, but extents are similar with respect to acuities (~3.5× the C gap width). Contour interaction is evident when the Cs and bars are defined differently: it is stronger when an LM C is flanked by CM bars (0.17 ± 0.03 logMAR) than when a CM C is flanked by LM bars (0.08 ± 0.02 logMAR). Our results suggest that contour interaction for foveally viewed acuity stimuli involves feature integration, such that the outputs of receptive fields representing Cs and bars are combined. Contour interaction operates at LM and CM representational stages, it can occur across stage, and it is enhanced at the CM stage. Greater contour interaction for CM Cs and bars could hold value for visual acuity testing and earlier diagnosis of conditions for which crowding is important, such as in amblyopia.

  8. Significant Improvements in the Practice Patterns of Adult Related Donor Care in US Transplantation Centers.

    PubMed

    Anthias, Chloe; Shaw, Bronwen E; Kiefer, Deidre M; Liesveld, Jane L; Yared, Jean; Kamble, Rammurti T; D'Souza, Anita; Hematti, Peiman; Seftel, Matthew D; Norkin, Maxim; DeFilipp, Zachariah; Kasow, Kimberly A; Abidi, Muneer H; Savani, Bipin N; Shah, Nirali N; Anderlini, Paolo; Diaz, Miguel A; Malone, Adriana K; Halter, Joerg P; Lazarus, Hillard M; Logan, Brent R; Switzer, Galen E; Pulsipher, Michael A; Confer, Dennis L; O'Donnell, Paul V

    2016-03-01

    Recent investigations have found a higher incidence of adverse events associated with hematopoietic cell donation in related donors (RDs) who have morbidities that if present in an unrelated donor (UD) would preclude donation. In the UD setting, regulatory standards ensure independent assessment of donors, one of several crucial measures to safeguard donor health and safety. A survey conducted by the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research (CIBMTR) Donor Health and Safety Working Committee in 2007 reported a potential conflict of interest in >70% of US centers, where physicians had simultaneous responsibility for RDs and their recipients. Consequently, several international organizations have endeavored to improve practice through regulations and consensus recommendations. We hypothesized that the changes in the 2012 Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy and the Joint Accreditation Committee-International Society for Cellular Therapy and European Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation standards resulting from the CIBMTR study would have significantly impacted practice. Accordingly, we conducted a follow-up survey of US transplantation centers to assess practice changes since 2007, and to investigate additional areas where RD care was predicted to differ from UD care. A total of 73 centers (53%), performing 79% of RD transplantations in the United States, responded. Significant improvements were observed since the earlier survey; 62% centers now ensure separation of RD and recipient care (P < .0001). This study identifies several areas where RD management does not meet international donor care standards, however. Particular concerns include counseling and assessment of donors before HLA typing, with 61% centers first disclosing donor HLA results to an individual other than the donor, the use of unlicensed mobilization agents, and the absence of long-term donor follow-up. Recommendations for improvement are made.

  9. Significant improvements in the practice patterns of adult related donor care in US transplant centers

    PubMed Central

    MBChB, Chloe Anthias; Shaw, Bronwen E; Kiefer, Deidre M; Liesveld, Jane L; Yared, Jean; Kambl, Rammurti T; D'Souza, Anita; Hematti, Peiman; Seftel, Matthew D; Norkin, Maxim; DeFilipp, Zachariah M; Kasow, Kimberly A; Abidi, Muneer H; Savani, Bipin N; Shah, Nirali N; Anderlini, Paolo; Diaz, Miguel A; Malone, Adriana K; Halter, Joerg P; Lazarus, Hillard M; Logan, Brent R; Switzer, Galen E; Pulsipher, Michael A; Confer, Dennis L; O'Donnell, Paul V

    2016-01-01

    Recent investigations have found a higher incidence of adverse events associated with hematopoietic cell donation in related donors (RDs) who have morbidities that if present in an unrelated donor (UD) would preclude donation. In the UD setting, regulatory standards ensure independent assessment of donors, one of several crucial measures to safeguard donor health and safety. A survey conducted by the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research (CIBMTR) Donor Health and Safety Working Committee in 2007 reported a potential conflict of interest in >70% US centers, where physicians had simultaneous responsibility for RDs and their recipients. Consequently, several international organizations have endeavored to improve practice through regulations and consensus recommendations. We hypothesized that the changes in the 2012 FACT-JACIE Standards, resulting from the CIBMTR study, will have significantly impacted practice. Accordingly, a follow-up survey of US transplant centers was conducted to assess practice changes since 2007, and investigate additional areas where RD care was predicted to differ from UD care. 73 centers (53%), performing 79% of US RD transplants responded. Significant improvements were observed since the earlier survey; 62% centers now ensure separation of RD and recipient care (P<0.0001). However, this study identifies several areas where RD management does not meet international donor care standards. Particular concerns include counseling and assessment of donors before HLA typing, with 61% centers first disclosing donor HLA results to an individual other than the donor, the use of unlicensed mobilization agents, and the absence of long-term donor follow-up. Recommendations for improvement are described. PMID:26597080

  10. Carfilzomib significantly improves the progression-free survival of high-risk patients in multiple myeloma

    PubMed Central

    Fonseca, Rafael; Siegel, David; Dimopoulos, Meletios A.; Špička, Ivan; Masszi, Tamás; Hájek, Roman; Rosiñol, Laura; Goranova-Marinova, Vesselina; Mihaylov, Georgi; Maisnar, Vladimír; Mateos, Maria-Victoria; Wang, Michael; Niesvizky, Ruben; Oriol, Albert; Jakubowiak, Andrzej; Minarik, Jiri; Palumbo, Antonio; Bensinger, William; Kukreti, Vishal; Ben-Yehuda, Dina; Stewart, A. Keith; Obreja, Mihaela; Moreau, Philippe

    2016-01-01

    The presence of certain high-risk cytogenetic abnormalities, such as translocations (4;14) and (14;16) and deletion (17p), are known to have a negative impact on survival in multiple myeloma (MM). The phase 3 study ASPIRE (N = 792) demonstrated that progression-free survival (PFS) was significantly improved with carfilzomib, lenalidomide, and dexamethasone (KRd), compared with lenalidomide and dexamethasone (Rd) in relapsed MM. This preplanned subgroup analysis of ASPIRE was conducted to evaluate KRd vs Rd by baseline cytogenetics according to fluorescence in situ hybridization. Of 417 patients with known cytogenetic risk status, 100 patients (24%) were categorized with high-risk cytogenetics (KRd, n = 48; Rd, n = 52) and 317 (76%) were categorized with standard-risk cytogenetics (KRd, n = 147; Rd, n = 170). For patients with high-risk cytogenetics, treatment with KRd resulted in a median PFS of 23.1 months, a 9-month improvement relative to treatment with Rd. For patients with standard-risk cytogenetics, treatment with KRd led to a 10-month improvement in median PFS vs Rd. The overall response rates for KRd vs Rd were 79.2% vs 59.6% (high-risk cytogenetics) and 91.2% vs 73.5% (standard-risk cytogenetics); approximately fivefold as many patients with high- or standard-risk cytogenetics achieved a complete response or better with KRd vs Rd (29.2% vs 5.8% and 38.1% vs 6.5%, respectively). KRd improved but did not abrogate the poor prognosis associated with high-risk cytogenetics. This regimen had a favorable benefit-risk profile in patients with relapsed MM, irrespective of cytogenetic risk status, and should be considered a standard of care in these patients. This trial was registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT01080391. PMID:27439911

  11. Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy Significantly Improves Acute Gastrointestinal Toxicity in Pancreatic and Ampullary Cancers

    SciTech Connect

    Yovino, Susannah; Poppe, Matthew; Jabbour, Salma; David, Vera; Garofalo, Michael; Pandya, Naimesh; Alexander, Richard; Hanna, Nader; Regine, William F.

    2011-01-01

    Purpose: Among patients with upper abdominal malignancies, intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) can improve dose distributions to critical dose-limiting structures near the target. Whether these improved dose distributions are associated with decreased toxicity when compared with conventional three-dimensional treatment remains a subject of investigation. Methods and Materials: 46 patients with pancreatic/ampullary cancer were treated with concurrent chemoradiation (CRT) using inverse-planned IMRT. All patients received CRT based on 5-fluorouracil in a schema similar to Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) 97-04. Rates of acute gastrointestinal (GI) toxicity for this series of IMRT-treated patients were compared with those from RTOG 97-04, where all patients were treated with three-dimensional conformal techniques. Chi-square analysis was used to determine if there was a statistically different incidence in acute GI toxicity between these two groups of patients. Results: The overall incidence of Grade 3-4 acute GI toxicity was low in patients receiving IMRT-based CRT. When compared with patients who had three-dimensional treatment planning (RTOG 97-04), IMRT significantly reduced the incidence of Grade 3-4 nausea and vomiting (0% vs. 11%, p = 0.024) and diarrhea (3% vs. 18%, p = 0.017). There was no significant difference in the incidence of Grade 3-4 weight loss between the two groups of patients. Conclusions: IMRT is associated with a statistically significant decrease in acute upper and lower GI toxicity among patients treated with CRT for pancreatic/ampullary cancers. Future clinical trials plan to incorporate the use of IMRT, given that it remains a subject of active investigation.

  12. Insects groom their antennae to enhance olfactory acuity

    PubMed Central

    Böröczky, Katalin; Wada-Katsumata, Ayako; Batchelor, Dale; Zhukovskaya, Marianna; Schal, Coby

    2013-01-01

    Grooming, a common behavior in animals, serves the important function of removing foreign materials from body surfaces. When antennal grooming was prevented in the American cockroach, Periplaneta americana, field emission gun scanning electron microscopy images revealed that an unstructured substance accumulated on nongroomed antennae, covering sensillar pores, but not on groomed antennae of the same individuals. Gas chromatography analysis of antennal extracts showed that over a 24-h period nongroomed antennae accumulated three to four times more cuticular hydrocarbons than groomed antennae. Moreover, nongroomed antennae accumulated significantly more environmental contaminants from surfaces (stearic acid) and from air (geranyl acetate) than groomed antennae. We hypothesized that the accumulation of excess native cuticular hydrocarbons on the antennae would impair olfactory reception. Electroantennogram experiments and single-sensillum recordings supported this hypothesis: antennae that were prevented from being groomed were significantly less responsive than groomed antennae to the sex pheromone component periplanone-B, as well as to the general odorants geranyl acetate and hexanol. We therefore conclude that antennal grooming removes excess native cuticular lipids and foreign chemicals that physically and/or chemically interfere with olfaction, and thus maintains the olfactory acuity of the antennae. Similar experimental manipulations of the German cockroach (Blattella germanica), carpenter ant (Camponotus pennsylvanicus), and the housefly (Musca domestica), which use different modes of antennal grooming, support the hypothesis that antennal grooming serves a similar function in a wide range of insect taxa. PMID:23382193

  13. Significant improvement of survival by intrasplenic hepatocyte transplantation in totally hepatectomized rats.

    PubMed

    Vogels, B A; Maas, M A; Bosma, A; Chamuleau, R A

    1996-01-01

    The effect of intrasplenic hepatocyte transplantation (HTX) was studied in an experimental model of acute liver failure in rats with chronic liver atrophy. Rats underwent a portacaval shunt operation on Day -14 to induce liver atrophy, and underwent total hepatectomy on Day 0 as a start of acute liver failure. Intrasplenic hepatocyte or sham transplantation was performed on Day -7,-3, or -1 (n = 4 to 6 per group). During the period following hepatectomy, mean arterial blood pressure was maintained above 80 mm Hg and hypoglycaemia was prevented. Severity of hepatic encephalopathy was assessed by clinical grading and EEG spectral analysis, together with determination of blood ammonia and plasma amino acid concentrations, and "survival" time. Histological examination of the spleen and lungs was performed after sacrifice. Intrasplenic hepatocyte transplantation resulted in a significant improvement in clinical grading in all transplanted groups (p < 0.05), whereas a significant improvement in EEG left index was seen only in the group with transplantation on Day -1 (p < 0.05). In contrast to hepatocyte transplantation 1 day before total hepatectomy, rats with hepatocyte transplantation 3 and 7 days before total hepatectomy showed a significant 3- and 2-fold increase in "survival" time compared to sham transplanted controls: HTX at Day -1: 7.5 +/- 0.3 h vs. 5.9 +/- 0.6 h (p > 0.05), HTX at Day -3: 19.7 +/- 3.7 h vs. 6.5 +/- 0.3 h (p < 0.05), and HTX at Day -7: 13.8 +/- 3.2 h vs. 6.3 +/- 0.3 h (p < 0.05). Furthermore, rats with hepatocyte transplantation on Day -3 and -7 showed significantly lower blood ammonia concentrations after total hepatectomy (p < 0.0001). Histological examination of the spleens after sacrifice showed clusters of hepatocytes in the red pulp. Hepatocytes present in the spleen for 3 and 7 days showed bile accumulation and spots of beginning necrosis. The present data show that in a hard model of complete liver failure in portacaval shunted rats

  14. Liquid human milk fortifier significantly improves docosahexaenoic and arachidonic acid status in preterm infants.

    PubMed

    Berseth, C L; Harris, C L; Wampler, J L; Hoffman, D R; Diersen-Schade, D A

    2014-09-01

    We report the fatty acid composition of mother׳s own human milk from one of the largest US cohorts of lactating mothers of preterm infants. Milk fatty acid data were used as a proxy for intake at enrollment in infants (n=150) who received human milk with a powder human milk fortifier (HMF; Control) or liquid HMF [LHMF; provided additional 12mg docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), 20mg arachidonic acid (ARA)/100mL human milk]. Mothers provided milk samples (n=129) and reported maternal DHA consumption (n=128). Infant blood samples were drawn at study completion (Study Day 28). Human milk and infant PPL fatty acids were analyzed using capillary column gas chromatography. DHA and ARA were within ranges previously published for US term and preterm human milk. Compared to Control HMF (providing no DHA or ARA), human milk fortified with LHMF significantly increased infant PPL DHA and ARA and improved preterm infant DHA and ARA status.

  15. Implementation of a novel emergency surgical unit significantly improves the management of gallstone pancreatitis

    PubMed Central

    Kulendran, M; Liasis, L; Qurashi, K; Sen, M; Gould, S

    2015-01-01

    Introduction Emergency surgery is changing rapidly with a greater workload, early subspecialisation and centralisation of emergency care. We describe the impact of a novel emergency surgical unit (ESU) on the definitive management of patients with gallstone pancreatitis (GSP). Methods A comparative audit was undertaken for all admissions with GSP before and after the introduction of the ESU over a six-month period. The impact on compliance with British Society of Gastroenterology (BSG) guidelines was assessed. Results Thirty-five patients were treated for GSP between December 2013 and May 2014, after the introduction of the ESU. This was twice the nationally reported average for a UK trust over a six-month period. All patients received definitive management for their GSP and 100% of all suitable patients received treatment during the index admission or within two weeks of discharge. This was a significantly greater proportion than that prior to the introduction of the ESU (57%, p=0.0001) as well as the recently reported national average (34%). The mean length of total inpatient stay was reduced significantly after the ESU was introduced from 13.7 ± 4.7 days to 7.8 ± 2.1 days (p=0.03). The mean length of postoperative stay also fell significantly from 6.7 ± 2.6 days to 1.8 ± 0.8 days (p=0.001). Conclusions A dedicated ESU following national recommendations for emergency surgery care by way of using dedicated emergency surgeons and a streamlined protocol for common presentations has been shown by audit of current practice to significantly improve the management of patients presenting to a busy district general hospital with GSP. PMID:26263941

  16. Association between individual differences in non-symbolic number acuity and math performance: a meta-analysis.

    PubMed

    Chen, Qixuan; Li, Jingguang

    2014-05-01

    Many recent studies have examined the association between number acuity, which is the ability to rapidly and non-symbolically estimate the quantity of items appearing in a scene, and symbolic math performance. However, various contradictory results have been reported. To comprehensively evaluate the association between number acuity and symbolic math performance, we conduct a meta-analysis to synthesize the results observed in previous studies. First, a meta-analysis of cross-sectional studies (36 samples, N = 4705) revealed a significant positive correlation between these skills (r = 0.20, 95% CI = [0.14, 0.26]); the association remained after considering other potential moderators (e.g., whether general cognitive abilities were controlled). Moreover, a meta-analysis of longitudinal studies revealed 1) that number acuity may prospectively predict later math performance (r = 0.24, 95% CI = [0.11, 0.37]; 6 samples) and 2) that number acuity is retrospectively correlated to early math performance as well (r = 0.17, 95% CI = [0.07, 0.26]; 5 samples). In summary, these pieces of evidence demonstrate a moderate but statistically significant association between number acuity and math performance. Based on the estimated effect sizes, power analyses were conducted, which suggested that many previous studies were underpowered due to small sample sizes. This may account for the disparity between findings in the literature, at least in part. Finally, the theoretical and practical implications of our meta-analytic findings are presented, and future research questions are discussed.

  17. Significantly improved cyclability of lithium manganese oxide under elevated temperature by an easily oxidized electrolyte additive

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhu, Yunmin; Rong, Haibo; Mai, Shaowei; Luo, Xueyi; Li, Xiaoping; Li, Weishan

    2015-12-01

    Spinel lithium manganese oxide, LiMn2O4, is a promising cathode for lithium ion battery in large-scale applications, because it possesses many advantages compared with currently used layered lithium cobalt oxide (LiCoO2) and olivine phosphate (LiFePO4), including naturally abundant resource, environmental friendliness and high and long work potential plateau. Its poor cyclability under high temperature, however, limits its application. In this work, we report a significant cyclability improvement of LiMn2O4 under elevated temperature by using dimethyl phenylphonite (DMPP) as an electrolyte additive. Charge/discharge tests demonstrate that the application of 0.5 wt.% DMPP yields a capacity retention improvement from 16% to 82% for LiMn2O4 after 200 cycles under 55 °C at 1 C (1C = 148 mAh g-1) between 3 and 4.5 V. Electrochemical and physical characterizations indicate that DMPP is electrochemically oxidized at the potential lower than that for lithium extraction, forming a protective cathode interphase on LiMn2O4, which suppresses the electrolyte decomposition and prevents LiMn2O4 from crystal destruction.

  18. The Sensitivity of Adolescent School-Based Hearing Screens Is Significantly Improved by Adding High Frequencies.

    PubMed

    Sekhar, Deepa L; Zalewski, Thomas R; Beiler, Jessica S; Czarnecki, Beth; Barr, Ashley L; King, Tonya S; Paul, Ian M

    2016-12-01

    High frequency hearing loss (HFHL), often related to hazardous noise, affects one in six U.S. adolescents. Yet, only 20 states include school-based hearing screens for adolescents. Only six states test multiple high frequencies. Study objectives were to (1) compare the sensitivity of state school-based hearing screens for adolescents to gold standard sound-treated booth testing and (2) consider the effect of adding multiple high frequencies and two-step screening on sensitivity/specificity. Of 134 eleventh-grade participants (2013-2014), 43 of the 134 (32%) did not pass sound-treated booth testing, and 27 of the 43 (63%) had HFHL. Sensitivity/specificity of the most common protocol (1,000, 2,000, 4,000 Hz at 20 dB HL) for these hearing losses was 25.6% (95% confidence interval [CI] = [13.5, 41.2]) and 85.7% (95% CI [76.8, 92.2]), respectively. A protocol including 500, 1,000, 2,000, 4,000, 6,000 Hz at 20 dB HL significantly improved sensitivity to 76.7% (95% CI [61.4, 88.2]), p < .001. Two-step screening maintained specificity (84.6%, 95% CI [75.5, 91.3]). Adolescent school-based hearing screen sensitivity improves with high frequencies.

  19. Aerodynamic Improvements of an Empty Timber Truck can Have the Potential of Significantly Reducing Fuel Consumption

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andersson, Magnus; Marashi, Seyedeh Sepideh; Karlsson, Matts

    2012-11-01

    In the present study, aerodynamic drag (AD) has been estimated for an empty and a fully loaded conceptual timber truck (TT) using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD). The increasing fuel prices have challenged heavy duty vehicle (HDV) manufactures to strive for better fuel economy, by e.g. utilizing drag reducing external devices. Despite this knowledge, the TT fleets seem to be left in the dark. Like HDV aerodynamics, similarities can be observed as a large low pressure wake is formed behind the tractor (unloaded) and downstream of the trailer (full load) thus generating AD. As TTs travel half the time without any cargo, focus on drag reduction is important. The full scaled TTs where simulated using the realizable k-epsilon model with grid adaption techniques for mesh independence. Our results indicate that a loaded TT reduces the AD significantly as both wake size and turbulence kinetic energy are lowered. In contrast to HDV the unloaded TTs have a much larger design space available for possible drag reducing devices, e.g. plastic wrapping and/or flaps. This conceptual CFD study has given an indication of the large AD difference between the unloaded and fully loaded TT, showing the potential for significant AD improvements.

  20. Significant improvement in one-dimensional cursor control using Laplacian electroencephalography over electroencephalography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boudria, Yacine; Feltane, Amal; Besio, Walter

    2014-06-01

    Objective. Brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) based on electroencephalography (EEG) have been shown to accurately detect mental activities, but the acquisition of high levels of control require extensive user training. Furthermore, EEG has low signal-to-noise ratio and low spatial resolution. The objective of the present study was to compare the accuracy between two types of BCIs during the first recording session. EEG and tripolar concentric ring electrode (TCRE) EEG (tEEG) brain signals were recorded and used to control one-dimensional cursor movements. Approach. Eight human subjects were asked to imagine either ‘left’ or ‘right’ hand movement during one recording session to control the computer cursor using TCRE and disc electrodes. Main results. The obtained results show a significant improvement in accuracies using TCREs (44%-100%) compared to disc electrodes (30%-86%). Significance. This study developed the first tEEG-based BCI system for real-time one-dimensional cursor movements and showed high accuracies with little training.

  1. Dynamic Visual Acuity and Landing Sickness in Crewmembers Returning from Long-Duration Spaceflight

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rosenberg, M.J.F; Peters, B.T.; Reschke, M. F.

    2016-01-01

    Long-term exposure to microgravity causes sensorimotor adaptations that result in functional deficits upon returning to a gravitational environment. At landing the vestibular system and the central nervous system, responsible for coordinating head and eye movements, are adapted to microgravity and must re-adapt to the gravitational environment. This re-adaptation causes decrements in gaze control and dynamic visual acuity, with astronauts reporting oscillopsia and blurred vision. Dynamic visual acuity (DVA) is assessed using an oscillating chair developed in the Neuroscience Laboratory at JSC. This chair is lightweight and easily portable for quick deployment in the field. The base of the chair is spring-loaded and allows for manual oscillation of the subject. Using a metronome, the chair is vertically oscillated plus or minus 2 cm at 2 Hz by an operator, to simulate walking. While the subject is being oscillated, they are asked to discern the direction of Landolt-C optotypes of varying sizes and record their direction using a gamepad. The visual acuity thresholds are determined using an algorithm that alters the size of the optotype based on the previous response of the subject using a forced-choice best parameter estimation that is able to rapidly converge on the threshold value. Visual acuity thresholds were determined both for static (seated) and dynamic (oscillating) conditions. Dynamic visual acuity is defined as the difference between the dynamic and static conditions. Dynamic visual acuity measures will be taken prior to flight (typically L-180, L-90, and L-60) and up to eight times after landing, including up to 3 times on R plus 0. Follow up measurements will be taken at R plus 1 (approximately 36 hours after landing). Long-duration International Space Station crewmembers will be tested once at the refueling stop in Europe and once again upon return to Johnson Space Center. In addition to DVA, subjective ratings of motion sickness will be recorded

  2. Cyclosporin A significantly improves preeclampsia signs and suppresses inflammation in a rat model.

    PubMed

    Hu, Bihui; Yang, Jinying; Huang, Qian; Bao, Junjie; Brennecke, Shaun Patrick; Liu, Huishu

    2016-05-01

    Preeclampsia is associated with an increased inflammatory response. Immune suppression might be an effective treatment. The aim of this study was to examine whether Cyclosporin A (CsA), an immunosuppressant, improves clinical characteristics of preeclampsia and suppresses inflammation in a lipopolysaccharide (LPS) induced preeclampsia rat model. Pregnant rats were randomly divided into 4 groups: group 1 (PE) rats each received LPS via tail vein on gestational day (GD) 14; group 2 (PE+CsA5) rats were pretreated with LPS (1.0 μg/kg) on GD 14 and were then treated with CsA (5mg/kg, ip) on GDs 16, 17 and 18; group 3 (PE+CsA10) rats were pretreated with LPS (1.0 μg/kg) on GD 14 and were then treated with CsA (10mg/kg, ip) on GDs 16, 17 and 18; group 4 (pregnant control, PC) rats were treated with the vehicle (saline) used for groups 1, 2 and 3. Systolic blood pressure, urinary albumin, biometric parameters and the levels of serum cytokines were measured on day 20. CsA treatment significantly reduced LPS-induced systolic blood pressure and the mean 24-h urinary albumin excretion. Pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-6, IL-17, IFN-γ and TNF-α were increased in the LPS treatment group but were reduced in (LPS+CsA) group (P<0.05). Anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-4 was decreased in the LPS group but was increased in (LPS+CsA) group (P<0.05). Cyclosporine A improved preeclampsia signs and attenuated inflammatory responses in the LPS induced preeclampsia rat model which suggests that immunosuppressant might be an alternative management option for preeclampsia.

  3. Significantly Improving Regional Seismic Amplitude Tomography at Higher Frequencies by Determining S -Wave Bandwidth

    DOE PAGES

    Fisk, Mark D.; Pasyanos, Michael E.

    2016-05-03

    Characterizing regional seismic signals continues to be a difficult problem due to their variability. Calibration of these signals is very important to many aspects of monitoring underground nuclear explosions, including detecting seismic signals, discriminating explosions from earthquakes, and reliably estimating magnitude and yield. Amplitude tomography, which simultaneously inverts for source, propagation, and site effects, is a leading method of calibrating these signals. A major issue in amplitude tomography is the data quality of the input amplitude measurements. Pre-event and prephase signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) tests are typically used but can frequently include bad signals and exclude good signals. The deficiencies ofmore » SNR criteria, which are demonstrated here, lead to large calibration errors. To ameliorate these issues, we introduce a semi-automated approach to assess the bandwidth of a spectrum where it behaves physically. We determine the maximum frequency (denoted as Fmax) where it deviates from this behavior due to inflections at which noise or spurious signals start to bias the spectra away from the expected decay. We compare two amplitude tomography runs using the SNR and new Fmax criteria and show significant improvements to the stability and accuracy of the tomography output for frequency bands higher than 2 Hz by using our assessments of valid S-wave bandwidth. We compare Q estimates, P/S residuals, and some detailed results to explain the improvements. Lastly, for frequency bands higher than 4 Hz, needed for effective P/S discrimination of explosions from earthquakes, the new bandwidth criteria sufficiently fix the instabilities and errors so that the residuals and calibration terms are useful for application.« less

  4. Significant improvements in stability and reproducibility of atomic-scale atomic force microscopy in liquid

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Akrami, S. M. R.; Nakayachi, H.; Watanabe-Nakayama, T.; Asakawa, H.; Fukuma, T.

    2014-11-01

    Recent advancement of dynamic-mode atomic force microscopy (AFM) for liquid-environment applications enabled atomic-scale studies on various interfacial phenomena. However, instabilities and poor reproducibility of the measurements often prevent systematic studies. To solve this problem, we have investigated the effect of various tip treatment methods for atomic-scale imaging and force measurements in liquid. The tested methods include Si coating, Ar plasma, Ar sputtering and UV/O3 cleaning. We found that all the methods provide significant improvements in both the imaging and force measurements in spite of the tip transfer through the air. Among the methods, we found that the Si coating provides the best stability and reproducibility in the measurements. To understand the origin of the fouling resistance of the cleaned tip surface and the difference between the cleaning methods, we have investigated the tip surface properties by x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and contact angle measurements. The results show that the contaminations adsorbed on the tip during the tip transfer through the air should desorb from the surface when it is immersed in aqueous solution due to the enhanced hydrophilicity by the tip treatments. The tip surface prepared by the Si coating is oxidized when it is immersed in aqueous solution. This creates local spots where stable hydration structures are formed. For the other methods, there is no active mechanism to create such local hydration sites. Thus, the hydration structure formed under the tip apex is not necessarily stable. These results reveal the desirable tip properties for atomic-scale AFM measurements in liquid, which should serve as a guideline for further improvements of the tip treatment methods.

  5. Development of a Reading Accessibility Index Using the MNREAD Acuity Chart

    PubMed Central

    Calabrèse, Aurélie; Owsley, Cynthia; McGwin, Gerald; Legge, Gordon E.

    2017-01-01

    IMPORTANCE We define a Reading Accessibility Index for evaluating reading in individuals with normal and low vision. OBJECTIVE To compare the Reading Accessibility Index with data from the Impact of Cataracts on Mobility (ICOM) study. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS This investigation was a secondary data analysis from the ICOM study performed between July 1, 2014, and September 20, 2015, at 12 eye clinics in Alabama from October 1, 1994, through March 31, 1996. Participants were 321 adults with cataract (n = 92), pseudophakia (n = 131), or natural crystalline lenses without cataract (n = 98). MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES The Reading Accessibility Index (hereafter referred to using the abbreviation ACC for the first 3 letters of Accessibility) is defined as an individual’s mean reading speed measured across the 10 largest print sizes on the MNREAD Acuity Chart (Precision Vision) (0.4–1.3 logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution at 40 cm), normalized by 200 words per minute, which was the mean value for a group of 365 normally sighted young adults. The ACC is a single-value measure that captures an individual’s range of accessible print sizes and reading fluency within this range. RESULTS The study cohort comprised 321 participants. Their age range was 55 to 85 years, and 157 (48.9%) were female. The ACCs for the ICOM study participants ranged from 0.19 to 1.33, where 1.00 is the mean value for normally sighted young adults. The ACC for the cataract group (mean [SD], 0.65 [0.18]) was significantly lower than that for the pseudophakia group (mean [SD], 0.77 [0.16]) and the control group (mean [SD], 0.76 [0.19]) (P < .001 for both). The correlation between the ACC and Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study visual acuity (r = −0.22) and Pelli-Robson contrast sensitivity (r = 0.20) was weaker than that with a reading-related measure of instrumental activities of daily living (r = −0.60) (P < .001 for both). CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE The ACC represents

  6. Reduced sampling efficiency causes degraded Vernier hyperacuity with normal aging: Vernier acuity in position noise.

    PubMed

    Li, Roger W; Brown, Brian; Edwards, Marion H; Ngo, Charlie V; Chat, Sandy W; Levi, Dennis M

    2012-01-01

    Vernier acuity, a form of visual hyperacuity, is amongst the most precise forms of spatial vision. Under optimal conditions Vernier thresholds are much finer than the inter-photoreceptor distance. Achievement of such high precision is based substantially on cortical computations, most likely in the primary visual cortex. Using stimuli with added positional noise, we show that Vernier processing is reduced with advancing age across a wide range of noise levels. Using an ideal observer model, we are able to characterize the mechanisms underlying age-related loss, and show that the reduction in Vernier acuity can be mainly attributed to the reduction in efficiency of sampling, with no significant change in the level of internal position noise, or spatial distortion, in the visual system.

  7. Measurement of night vision goggle (NVG) visual acuity with the NVG resolution chart.

    PubMed

    DeVilbiss, C A; Antonio, J C

    1994-09-01

    Night vision goggles (NVG) operations are characterized as stressful with high task loading. Any reduction in goggle or visual performance which goes undetected can have a serious effect on flight safety and operational capability. The NVG Test Lane, with its resolution chart, provides an effective cost-efficient method for aircrew members to quickly evaluate the correct positioning and focusing of their NVG's prior to each mission. This evaluation validated the ability of the NVG resolution chart to produce the same performance results as a more detailed psychophysical procedure. NVG visual acuity was measured for five subjects (four pilots and one non-pilot) with two different night vision goggles. The results supported that there is no statistical difference between the results obtained with the individual target format and the 3 x 3 format. Additionally, the pilots with current NVG experience were able to obtain a significantly better acuity level than were those without current NVG experience.

  8. Flavonol-rich dark cocoa significantly decreases plasma endothelin-1 and improves cognition in urban children.

    PubMed

    Calderón-Garcidueñas, Lilian; Mora-Tiscareño, Antonieta; Franco-Lira, Maricela; Cross, Janet V; Engle, Randall; Aragón-Flores, Mariana; Gómez-Garza, Gilberto; Jewells, Valerie; Medina-Cortina, Humberto; Solorio, Edelmira; Chao, Chih-Kai; Zhu, Hongtu; Mukherjee, Partha S; Ferreira-Azevedo, Lara; Torres-Jardón, Ricardo; D'Angiulli, Amedeo

    2013-01-01

    Air pollution exposures are linked to systemic inflammation, cardiovascular and respiratory morbidity and mortality, neuroinflammation and neuropathology in young urbanites. In particular, most Mexico City Metropolitan Area (MCMA) children exhibit subtle cognitive deficits, and neuropathology studies show 40% of them exhibiting frontal tau hyperphosphorylation and 51% amyloid-β diffuse plaques (compared to 0% in low pollution control children). We assessed whether a short cocoa intervention can be effective in decreasing plasma endothelin 1 (ET-1) and/or inflammatory mediators in MCMA children. Thirty gram of dark cocoa with 680 mg of total flavonols were given daily for 10.11 ± 3.4 days (range 9-24 days) to 18 children (10.55 years, SD = 1.45; 11F/7M). Key metabolite ratios in frontal white matter and in hippocampus pre and during cocoa intervention were quantified by magnetic resonance spectroscopy. ET-1 significantly decreased after cocoa treatment (p = 0.0002). Fifteen children (83%) showed a marginally significant individual improvement in one or both of the applied simple short memory tasks. Endothelial dysfunction is a key feature of exposure to particulate matter (PM) and decreased endothelin-1 bioavailability is likely useful for brain function in the context of air pollution. Our findings suggest that cocoa interventions may be critical for early implementation of neuroprotection of highly exposed urban children. Multi-domain nutraceutical interventions could limit the risk for endothelial dysfunction, cerebral hypoperfusion, neuroinflammation, cognitive deficits, structural volumetric detrimental brain effects, and the early development of the neuropathological hallmarks of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases.

  9. Flavonol-rich dark cocoa significantly decreases plasma endothelin-1 and improves cognition in urban children

    PubMed Central

    Calderón-Garcidueñas, Lilian; Mora-Tiscareño, Antonieta; Franco-Lira, Maricela; Cross, Janet V.; Engle, Randall; Aragón-Flores, Mariana; Gómez-Garza, Gilberto; Jewells, Valerie; Weili, Lin; Medina-Cortina, Humberto; Solorio, Edelmira; Chao, Chih-kai; Zhu, Hongtu; Mukherjee, Partha S.; Ferreira-Azevedo, Lara; Torres-Jardón, Ricardo; D'Angiulli, Amedeo

    2013-01-01

    Air pollution exposures are linked to systemic inflammation, cardiovascular and respiratory morbidity and mortality, neuroinflammation and neuropathology in young urbanites. In particular, most Mexico City Metropolitan Area (MCMA) children exhibit subtle cognitive deficits, and neuropathology studies show 40% of them exhibiting frontal tau hyperphosphorylation and 51% amyloid-β diffuse plaques (compared to 0% in low pollution control children). We assessed whether a short cocoa intervention can be effective in decreasing plasma endothelin 1 (ET-1) and/or inflammatory mediators in MCMA children. Thirty gram of dark cocoa with 680 mg of total flavonols were given daily for 10.11 ± 3.4 days (range 9–24 days) to 18 children (10.55 years, SD = 1.45; 11F/7M). Key metabolite ratios in frontal white matter and in hippocampus pre and during cocoa intervention were quantified by magnetic resonance spectroscopy. ET-1 significantly decreased after cocoa treatment (p = 0.0002). Fifteen children (83%) showed a marginally significant individual improvement in one or both of the applied simple short memory tasks. Endothelial dysfunction is a key feature of exposure to particulate matter (PM) and decreased endothelin-1 bioavailability is likely useful for brain function in the context of air pollution. Our findings suggest that cocoa interventions may be critical for early implementation of neuroprotection of highly exposed urban children. Multi-domain nutraceutical interventions could limit the risk for endothelial dysfunction, cerebral hypoperfusion, neuroinflammation, cognitive deficits, structural volumetric detrimental brain effects, and the early development of the neuropathological hallmarks of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. PMID:23986703

  10. Significantly improving trace thallium removal from surface waters during coagulation enhanced by nanosized manganese dioxide.

    PubMed

    Huangfu, Xiaoliu; Ma, Chengxue; Ma, Jun; He, Qiang; Yang, Chun; Jiang, Jin; Wang, Yaan; Wu, Zhengsong

    2017-02-01

    Thallium (Tl) is an element of high toxicity and significant accumulation in human body. There is an urgent need for the development of appropriate strategies for trace Tl removal in drinking water treatment plants. In this study, the efficiency and mechanism of trace Tl (0.5 μg/L) removal by conventional coagulation enhanced by nanosized manganese dioxide (nMnO2) were explored in simulated water and two representative surface waters (a river water and a reservoir water obtained from Northeast China). Experimental results showed that nMnO2 significantly improve Tl(I) removal from selected waters. The removal efficiency was dramatically higher in the simulated water, demonstrating by less than 0.1 μg/L Tl residual. The enhancement of trace Tl removal in the surface waters decreased to a certain extent. Both adjusting water pH to alkaline condition and preoxidation of Tl(I) to Tl(III) benefit trace Tl removal from surface waters. Data also indicated that competitive cation of Ca(2+) decreased the efficiency of trace Tl removal, resulting from the reduction of Tl adsorption on nMnO2. Humic acid could largely low Tl removal efficiency during nMnO2 enhanced coagulation processes. Trace elemental Tl firstly adsorbed on nMnO2 and then removed accompanying with nMnO2 settling. The information obtained in the present study may provide a potential strategy for drinking water treatment plants threatened by trace Tl.

  11. Change in visual acuity is highly correlated with change in six image quality metrics independent of wavefront error and/or pupil diameter

    PubMed Central

    Ravikumar, Ayeswarya; Sarver, Edwin J.; Applegate, Raymond A.

    2012-01-01

    It is well known that the wavefront error (WFE) of the eye varies from individual to individual with pupil diameter (PD) and age. Numerous studies have been proposed evaluating the relationship between visual acuity and WFE, but all these studies were performed with either a fixed or natural PD. It is still not clear if metrics of image quality correlate well with visual acuity independent of PD. Here we investigate the correlation between the change in visual acuity and the change in 30 image quality metrics for a range of optical quality typically established in normal eyes that varies both with age and PD. Visual acuity was recorded for 4 normal subjects using simulated blurred logMAR acuity charts generated from the point spread functions of different scaled WFEs for 6 different PDs (2–7 mm in 1 mm steps). Six image quality metrics (log neural sharpness, log visual Strehl [spatial domain], log visual Strehl [MTF method], log pupil fraction [tessellated], log pupil fraction [concentric area], and log root mean square of WFE slope) accounted for over 80% of variance in change in acuity across all WFEs and all PDs. Multiple regression analysis did not significantly increase the R2. Simple metrics derived from WFE could potentially act as an objective surrogate to visual acuity without the need for complex models. PMID:22984224

  12. Codon Optimization Significantly Improves the Expression Level of a Keratinase Gene in Pichia pastoris

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Hong; Gao, Jie; He, Jun; Yu, Bing; Zheng, Ping; Huang, Zhiqing; Mao, Xiangbing; Yu, Jie; Han, Guoquan; Chen, Daiwen

    2013-01-01

    The main keratinase (kerA) gene from the Bacillus licheniformis S90 was optimized by two codon optimization strategies and expressed in Pichia pastoris in order to improve the enzyme production compared to the preparations with the native kerA gene. The results showed that the corresponding mutations (synonymous codons) according to the codon bias in Pichia pastoris were successfully introduced into keratinase gene. The highest keratinase activity produced by P. pastoris pPICZαA-kerAwt, pPICZαA-kerAopti1 and pPICZαA-kerAopti2 was 195 U/ml, 324 U/ml and 293 U/ml respectively. In addition, there was no significant difference in biomass concentration, target gene copy numbers and relative mRNA expression levels of every positive strain. The molecular weight of keratinase secreted by recombinant P. pastori was approx. 39 kDa. It was optimally active at pH 7.5 and 50°C. The recombinant keratinase could efficiently degrade both α-keratin (keratin azure) and β-keratin (chicken feather meal). These properties make the P. pastoris pPICZαA-kerAopti1 a suitable candidate for industrial production of keratinases. PMID:23472192

  13. An extended bioreaction database that significantly improves reconstruction and analysis of genome-scale metabolic networks.

    PubMed

    Stelzer, Michael; Sun, Jibin; Kamphans, Tom; Fekete, Sándor P; Zeng, An-Ping

    2011-11-01

    The bioreaction database established by Ma and Zeng (Bioinformatics, 2003, 19, 270-277) for in silico reconstruction of genome-scale metabolic networks has been widely used. Based on more recent information in the reference databases KEGG LIGAND and Brenda, we upgrade the bioreaction database in this work by almost doubling the number of reactions from 3565 to 6851. Over 70% of the reactions have been manually updated/revised in terms of reversibility, reactant pairs, currency metabolites and error correction. For the first time, 41 spontaneous sugar mutarotation reactions are introduced into the biochemical database. The upgrade significantly improves the reconstruction of genome scale metabolic networks. Many gaps or missing biochemical links can be recovered, as exemplified with three model organisms Homo sapiens, Aspergillus niger, and Escherichia coli. The topological parameters of the constructed networks were also largely affected, however, the overall network structure remains scale-free. Furthermore, we consider the problem of computing biologically feasible shortest paths in reconstructed metabolic networks. We show that these paths are hard to compute and present solutions to find such paths in networks of small and medium size.

  14. Mn-doped TiO2 thin films with significantly improved optical and electrical properties

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lu, Liu; Xia, Xiaohong; Luo, J. K.; Shao, G.

    2012-12-01

    TiO2 thin films with various Mn doping contents were fabricated by reactive magnetron sputtering deposition at 550 °C and their structural, optical and electrical properties were characterized. All films were made of densely packed columnar grains with a fibrous texture along the normal direction of the substrate. The as-deposited structure in the pure TiO2 film consisted of anatase grains with the [1 0 1] texture. Mn incorporation stabilized the rutile phase and induced lattice contraction in the [1 0 0] direction. The texture in the Mn-doped films changed from [1 1 0] to [2 0 0] with increasing Mn content. The incorporation of Mn in the TiO2 lattice introduced intermediate bands into its narrowed forbidden gap, leading to remarkable red-shifts in the optical absorption edges, together with significantly improved electrical conductivity of the thin films. Hall measurement showed that the incorporation of Mn-induced p-type conductivity, with hole mobility in heavily doped TiO2 (˜40% Mn) being about an order higher than electron mobility in single-crystal rutile TiO2. Oxygen vacancies, on the other hand, interacted with substitutional Mn atoms to reduce its effect on optical and electrical properties.

  15. Activation of Big Grain1 significantly improves grain size by regulating auxin transport in rice.

    PubMed

    Liu, Linchuan; Tong, Hongning; Xiao, Yunhua; Che, Ronghui; Xu, Fan; Hu, Bin; Liang, Chengzhen; Chu, Jinfang; Li, Jiayang; Chu, Chengcai

    2015-09-01

    Grain size is one of the key factors determining grain yield. However, it remains largely unknown how grain size is regulated by developmental signals. Here, we report the identification and characterization of a dominant mutant big grain1 (Bg1-D) that shows an extra-large grain phenotype from our rice T-DNA insertion population. Overexpression of BG1 leads to significantly increased grain size, and the severe lines exhibit obviously perturbed gravitropism. In addition, the mutant has increased sensitivities to both auxin and N-1-naphthylphthalamic acid, an auxin transport inhibitor, whereas knockdown of BG1 results in decreased sensitivities and smaller grains. Moreover, BG1 is specifically induced by auxin treatment, preferentially expresses in the vascular tissue of culms and young panicles, and encodes a novel membrane-localized protein, strongly suggesting its role in regulating auxin transport. Consistent with this finding, the mutant has increased auxin basipetal transport and altered auxin distribution, whereas the knockdown plants have decreased auxin transport. Manipulation of BG1 in both rice and Arabidopsis can enhance plant biomass, seed weight, and yield. Taking these data together, we identify a novel positive regulator of auxin response and transport in a crop plant and demonstrate its role in regulating grain size, thus illuminating a new strategy to improve plant productivity.

  16. Vision-guided ocular growth in a mutant chicken model with diminished visual acuity

    PubMed Central

    Ritchey, Eric R.; Zelinka, Christopher; Tang, Junhua; Liu, Jun; Code, Kimberly A.; Petersen-Jones, Simon; Fischer, Andy J.

    2012-01-01

    Visual experience is known to guide ocular growth. We tested the hypothesis that vision-guided ocular growth is disrupted in a model system with diminished visual acuity. We examine whether ocular elongation is influenced by form-deprivation (FD) and lens-imposed defocus in the Retinopathy, Globe Enlarged (RGE) chicken. Young RGE chicks have poor visual acuity, without significant retinal pathology, resulting from a mutation in guanine nucleotide-binding protein β3 (GNB3), also known as transducin β3 or Gβ3. The mutation in GNB3 destabilizes the protein and causes a loss of Gβ3 from photoreceptors and ON-bipolar cells. (Ritchey et al. 2010)FD increased ocular elongation in RGE eyes in a manner similar to that seen in wild-type (WT) eyes. By comparison, the excessive ocular elongation that results from hyperopic defocus was increased, whereas myopic defocus failed to significantly decrease ocular elongation in RGE eyes. Brief daily periods of unrestricted vision interrupting FD prevented ocular elongation in RGE chicks in a manner similar to that seen in WT chicks. Glucagonergic amacrine cells differentially expressed the immediate early gene Egr1 in response to growth-guiding stimuli in RGE retinas, but the defocus-dependent up-regulation of Egr1 was lesser in RGE retinas compared to that of WT retinas. We conclude that high visual acuity, and the retinal signaling mediated by Gβ3, is not required for emmetropization and the excessive ocular elongation caused by FD and hyperopic defocus. However, the loss of acuity and Gβ3 from RGE retinas causes enhanced responses to hyperopic defocus and diminished responses to myopic defocus. PMID:22824538

  17. Vision-guided ocular growth in a mutant chicken model with diminished visual acuity.

    PubMed

    Ritchey, Eric R; Zelinka, Christopher; Tang, Junhua; Liu, Jun; Code, Kimberly A; Petersen-Jones, Simon; Fischer, Andy J

    2012-09-01

    Visual experience is known to guide ocular growth. We tested the hypothesis that vision-guided ocular growth is disrupted in a model system with diminished visual acuity. We examine whether ocular elongation is influenced by form-deprivation (FD) and lens-imposed defocus in the Retinopathy, Globe Enlarged (RGE) chicken. Young RGE chicks have poor visual acuity, without significant retinal pathology, resulting from a mutation in guanine nucleotide-binding protein β3 (GNB3), also known as transducin β3 or Gβ3. The mutation in GNB3 destabilizes the protein and causes a loss of Gβ3 from photoreceptors and ON-bipolar cells (Ritchey et al., 2010). FD increased ocular elongation in RGE eyes in a manner similar to that seen in wild-type (WT) eyes. By comparison, the excessive ocular elongation that results from hyperopic defocus was increased, whereas myopic defocus failed to significantly decrease ocular elongation in RGE eyes. Brief daily periods of unrestricted vision interrupting FD prevented ocular elongation in RGE chicks in a manner similar to that seen in WT chicks. Glucagonergic amacrine cells differentially expressed the immediate early gene Egr1 in response to growth-guiding stimuli in RGE retinas, but the defocus-dependent up-regulation of Egr1 was lesser in RGE retinas compared to that of WT retinas. We conclude that high visual acuity, and the retinal signaling mediated by Gβ3, is not required for emmetropization and the excessive ocular elongation caused by FD and hyperopic defocus. However, the loss of acuity and Gβ3 from RGE retinas causes enhanced responses to hyperopic defocus and diminished responses to myopic defocus.

  18. Tactile spatial acuity varies with site and axis in the human upper limb.

    PubMed

    Cody, Frederick W J; Garside, Rebecca A D; Lloyd, Donna; Poliakoff, Ellen

    2008-03-12

    Historically, beginning with Weber's [E.H. Weber, On the sensitivity of the tactile senses, in: H.E. Ross, D.J. Murray (Eds. and Trans.), E.H. Weber on the Tactile Senses, Erlbaum (UK) Taylor & Francis, Hove, 1996 (Original work published in 1834), pp. 21-136] classical studies, regional variations in the accuracy of localisation of tactile stimuli applied to a limb have been recognised. However, important questions remain concerning both the map of localisation resolution and its neuroscientific basis since methodological confounds have militated against an unambiguous, unified interpretation of the diverse findings. To test the hypotheses that localisation precision on the upper limb varies with site (hand, wrist, forearm) and limb axis (transverse, longitudinal), regional differences in locognosic acuity were quantified in psychophysical experiments. Participants identified the perceived direction (e.g. medial or lateral) relative to a central reference locus of brief tactile test stimuli applied to a cruciform array of loci. Acuity was greater in the transverse than longitudinal axis. This effect probably arises from the asymmetry of receptive fields of upper limb first-order sensory units and their higher-order projection neurons. Additionally, acuity was greater on the dorsal surface at the wrist than either the hand or forearm sites, in the longitudinal axis, supporting an enhancement of resolution at joints (anchor points). This effect may contribute to improved proprioceptive guidance of active wrist movements.

  19. Human Time-Frequency Acuity Beats the Fourier Uncertainty Principle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oppenheim, Jacob N.; Magnasco, Marcelo O.

    2013-01-01

    The time-frequency uncertainty principle states that the product of the temporal and frequency extents of a signal cannot be smaller than 1/(4π). We study human ability to simultaneously judge the frequency and the timing of a sound. Our subjects often exceeded the uncertainty limit, sometimes by more than tenfold, mostly through remarkable timing acuity. Our results establish a lower bound for the nonlinearity and complexity of the algorithms employed by our brains in parsing transient sounds, rule out simple “linear filter” models of early auditory processing, and highlight timing acuity as a central feature in auditory object processing.

  20. Human time-frequency acuity beats the Fourier uncertainty principle.

    PubMed

    Oppenheim, Jacob N; Magnasco, Marcelo O

    2013-01-25

    The time-frequency uncertainty principle states that the product of the temporal and frequency extents of a signal cannot be smaller than 1/(4 π). We study human ability to simultaneously judge the frequency and the timing of a sound. Our subjects often exceeded the uncertainty limit, sometimes by more than tenfold, mostly through remarkable timing acuity. Our results establish a lower bound for the nonlinearity and complexity of the algorithms employed by our brains in parsing transient sounds, rule out simple "linear filter" models of early auditory processing, and highlight timing acuity as a central feature in auditory object processing.

  1. A small change in the design of a slit bioaerosol impactor significantly improves its collection characteristics.

    PubMed

    Grinshpun, Sergey A; Adhikari, Atin; Cho, Seung-Hyun; Kim, Ki-Youn; Lee, Taekhee; Reponen, Tiina

    2007-08-01

    While several methods are available for bioaerosol monitoring, impaction remains the most common one, particularly for collecting fungal spores. Earlier studies have shown that the collection efficiency of many conventional single-stage bioaerosol impactors falls below 50% for spores with an aerodynamic diameter between 1.7 and 2.5 microm because their cut-off size is 2.5 microm or greater. The cut-off size reduction is primarily done by substantially increasing the sampling flow rate or decreasing the impaction jet size, W, to a fraction of a millimetre, with both measures often impractical to implement. Some success has recently been reported on the utilization of an ultra-low jet-to-plate distance, S (S/W < 0.1), in circular impactors. This paper describes a laboratory evaluation and some field testing of two single-stage, single-nozzle, slit bioaerosol impactors, Allergenco-D and Air-O-Cell, which feature the same jet dimensions and flow rate but have some design configuration differences that were initially thought to be of low significance. The collection efficiency and the spore deposit characteristics were determined in the laboratory using real-time aerosol spectrometry and different microscopic enumeration methods as the test impactors were challenged with the non-biological polydisperse NaCl aerosol and the aerosolized fungal spores of Cladosporium cladosporioides, Aspergillus versicolor, and Penicillium melinii. The tests showed that a relatively small reduction in the jet-to-plate distance of a single-stage, single-nozzle impactor with a tapered inlet nozzle, combined with adding a straight section of sufficient length, can significantly decrease the cut-off size to the level that is sufficient to efficiently collect spores of all fungal species. Furthermore, it appears that the slit jet design may improve the application of partial spore counting methodologies with respect to those applied to circular deposits. Data from a demonstration field study

  2. Globular protein-coated Paclitaxel nanosuspensions: interaction mechanism, direct cytosolic delivery, and significant improvement in pharmacokinetics.

    PubMed

    Li, Yongji; Wu, Zhannan; He, Wei; Qin, Chao; Yao, Jing; Zhou, Jianping; Yin, Lifang

    2015-05-04

    About 40% of the marketed drugs and 70-90% of new drug candidates are insoluble in water and therefore poorly bioavailable, which significantly compromises their therapeutic effects. A formulation of nanosuspensions achieved by reducing the pure drug particle size down to seb-micron range is one of the most promising approaches to overcome the insolubility. However, the nanosuspension formulations are subject to instability because of nucleation and particle growth. Therefore, a stabilizer is needed to be incorporated into the nanosuspension formulation during the preparation process to suppress the aggregation of drug particles. β-LG, a globular protein, is broken by heat-induced denaturation, and its hydrophobic area is exposed, which allows it to associate with organic particles. PTX, an insoluble drug, is widely used for the clinical treatment of human cancer. However, this drug's clinical application is greatly limited by intrinsic defects including poor solubility, adverse side effects, and poor tumor penetration. In this study, we prepared β-LG-stabilized PTX nanosuspensions (PTX-NS) by coating the protein onto nanoscaled drug particles, investigating the stabilization effect of β-LG on PTX-NS, and evaluating its in vitro and in vivo performance. PTX-NS with a diameter of approximately 200 nm was easily prepared. β-LG produced significantly stabilized effect on PTX-NS via the interaction between the hydrophobic area of the protein and the hydrophobic surface of the drug particles, which resulted in a conformational change of the protein, the loss of both secondary and tertiary structures, and the transition of Trp residues to a less hydrophobic condition. Importantly, unlike other conventional nanoparticles, PTX-NS could directly translocated across the membrane into the cytosol in an energy-independent manner, without entrapment within the endosomal-lysosomal system. Moreover, compared with Taxol, PTX-NS increased AUC and Cmax by 26- and 16-fold

  3. Testing vision testing: quantifying the effect of movement on visual acuity measurement

    PubMed Central

    Tidbury, L P; O'Connor, A R

    2015-01-01

    Purpose Assessment of visual acuity (VA) has been shown to vary between tests, which may be attributable in part to test inaccuracies, such as a change in the distance between the chart and subject. Therefore, the study aim was to quantify changes in chart/patient separation during near and distance VA testing, and to analyse the relationship between VA and movement observed. Methods Volunteer orthoptists and subjects were filmed during near and distance VA testing, with the amount of movement determined from the recording. Controlling for movement using chin rests and chart stands, VA was retested. Actual changes in VA due to a change in subject or chart movement were compared with theoretical predictions. Results Fifty-one subjects (18–73 years) were assessed. Median (interquartile) movements of 0.06 m (0.07) towards and 0.11 m (0.08) away from the chart were measured (maximum 0.17 m towards and 0.24 m away). Significant differences in VA score were measured when movement was restricted, at near and distance (P<0.05). VA score change agreed with predicted values in 67% of the cases, however, reduced test distance during near vision testing resulted in a degradation of VA, opposite to the improvement expected. Conclusion There were significant variations in subject/chart separation during testing, which could have affected VA values. While this movement is associated with a change in VA, additional factors to movement appear to influence the score achieved during near testing. Procedures to minimise variation, by eliminating movement of test chart or subject, will improve VA test accuracy. PMID:25341437

  4. Mapping Soil Properties of Africa at 250 m Resolution: Random Forests Significantly Improve Current Predictions

    PubMed Central

    Hengl, Tomislav; Heuvelink, Gerard B. M.; Kempen, Bas; Leenaars, Johan G. B.; Walsh, Markus G.; Shepherd, Keith D.; Sila, Andrew; MacMillan, Robert A.; Mendes de Jesus, Jorge; Tamene, Lulseged; Tondoh, Jérôme E.

    2015-01-01

    80% of arable land in Africa has low soil fertility and suffers from physical soil problems. Additionally, significant amounts of nutrients are lost every year due to unsustainable soil management practices. This is partially the result of insufficient use of soil management knowledge. To help bridge the soil information gap in Africa, the Africa Soil Information Service (AfSIS) project was established in 2008. Over the period 2008–2014, the AfSIS project compiled two point data sets: the Africa Soil Profiles (legacy) database and the AfSIS Sentinel Site database. These data sets contain over 28 thousand sampling locations and represent the most comprehensive soil sample data sets of the African continent to date. Utilizing these point data sets in combination with a large number of covariates, we have generated a series of spatial predictions of soil properties relevant to the agricultural management—organic carbon, pH, sand, silt and clay fractions, bulk density, cation-exchange capacity, total nitrogen, exchangeable acidity, Al content and exchangeable bases (Ca, K, Mg, Na). We specifically investigate differences between two predictive approaches: random forests and linear regression. Results of 5-fold cross-validation demonstrate that the random forests algorithm consistently outperforms the linear regression algorithm, with average decreases of 15–75% in Root Mean Squared Error (RMSE) across soil properties and depths. Fitting and running random forests models takes an order of magnitude more time and the modelling success is sensitive to artifacts in the input data, but as long as quality-controlled point data are provided, an increase in soil mapping accuracy can be expected. Results also indicate that globally predicted soil classes (USDA Soil Taxonomy, especially Alfisols and Mollisols) help improve continental scale soil property mapping, and are among the most important predictors. This indicates a promising potential for transferring pedological

  5. Using gas modifiers to significantly improve sensitivity and selectivity in a cylindrical FAIMS device.

    PubMed

    Purves, Randy W; Ozog, Allison R; Ambrose, Stephen J; Prasad, Satendra; Belford, Michael; Dunyach, Jean-Jacques

    2014-07-01

    Recent reports describing enhanced performance when using gas additives in a DMS device (planar electrodes) have indicated that comparable benefits are not attainable using FAIMS (cylindrical electrodes), owing to the non-homogeneous electric fields within the analyzer region. In this study, a FAIMS system (having cylindrical electrodes) was modified to allow for controlled delivery of gas additives. An experiment was carried out that illustrates the important distinction between gas modifiers present as unregulated contaminants and modifiers added in a controlled manner. The effect of contamination was simulated by adjusting the ESI needle position to promote incomplete desolvation, thereby permitting ESI solvent vapor into the FAIMS analyzer region, causing signal instability and irreproducible CV values. However, by actively controlling the delivery of the gas modifier, reproducible CV spectra were obtained. The effects of adding different gas modifiers were examined using 15 positive ions having mass-to-charge (m/z) values between 90 and 734. Significant improvements in peak capacity and increases in ion transmission were readily attained by adding acetonitrile vapor, even at trace levels (≤0.1%). Increases in signal intensity were greatest for the low m/z ions; for the six lowest molecular weight species, signal intensities increased by ∼10- to over 100-fold compared with using nitrogen without gas additives, resulting in equivalent or better signal intensities compared with ESI without FAIMS. These results confirm that analytical benefits derived from the addition of gas modifiers reported with a uniform electric field (DMS) also are observed using a non-homogenous electric field (FAIMS) in the analyser region.

  6. Mapping Soil Properties of Africa at 250 m Resolution: Random Forests Significantly Improve Current Predictions.

    PubMed

    Hengl, Tomislav; Heuvelink, Gerard B M; Kempen, Bas; Leenaars, Johan G B; Walsh, Markus G; Shepherd, Keith D; Sila, Andrew; MacMillan, Robert A; Mendes de Jesus, Jorge; Tamene, Lulseged; Tondoh, Jérôme E

    2015-01-01

    80% of arable land in Africa has low soil fertility and suffers from physical soil problems. Additionally, significant amounts of nutrients are lost every year due to unsustainable soil management practices. This is partially the result of insufficient use of soil management knowledge. To help bridge the soil information gap in Africa, the Africa Soil Information Service (AfSIS) project was established in 2008. Over the period 2008-2014, the AfSIS project compiled two point data sets: the Africa Soil Profiles (legacy) database and the AfSIS Sentinel Site database. These data sets contain over 28 thousand sampling locations and represent the most comprehensive soil sample data sets of the African continent to date. Utilizing these point data sets in combination with a large number of covariates, we have generated a series of spatial predictions of soil properties relevant to the agricultural management--organic carbon, pH, sand, silt and clay fractions, bulk density, cation-exchange capacity, total nitrogen, exchangeable acidity, Al content and exchangeable bases (Ca, K, Mg, Na). We specifically investigate differences between two predictive approaches: random forests and linear regression. Results of 5-fold cross-validation demonstrate that the random forests algorithm consistently outperforms the linear regression algorithm, with average decreases of 15-75% in Root Mean Squared Error (RMSE) across soil properties and depths. Fitting and running random forests models takes an order of magnitude more time and the modelling success is sensitive to artifacts in the input data, but as long as quality-controlled point data are provided, an increase in soil mapping accuracy can be expected. Results also indicate that globally predicted soil classes (USDA Soil Taxonomy, especially Alfisols and Mollisols) help improve continental scale soil property mapping, and are among the most important predictors. This indicates a promising potential for transferring pedological

  7. A Smartphone Application Significantly Improved Diabetes Self-Care Activities with High User Satisfaction

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Yu Jin; Byun, Jong Kyu; Park, So Young; Hong, Soo Min; Chin, Sang Ouk; Chon, Suk; Oh, Seungjoon; Woo, Jeong-taek; Kim, Sung Woon; Kim, Young Seol

    2015-01-01

    Background We developed for the first time a smartphone application designed for diabetes self-management in Korea and registered a patent for the relevant algorithm. We also investigated the user satisfaction with the application and the change in diabetes related self-care activities after using the application. Methods We conducted a questionnaire survey on volunteers with diabetes who were using the application. Ninety subjects responded to the questionnaire between June 2012 and March 2013. A modified version of the Summary of Diabetes Self-Care Activities (SDSCA) was used in this study. Results The survey results exhibited a mean subject age of 44.0 years old, and males accounted for 78.9% of the subjects. Fifty percent of the subjects had diabetes for less than 3 years. The majority of respondents experienced positive changes in their clinical course after using the application (83.1%) and were satisfied with the structure and completeness of the application (86.7%). Additionally, the respondents' answers indicated that the application was easy to use (96.7%) and recommendable to others (97.7%) and that they would continue using the application to manage their diabetes (96.7%). After using the Diabetes Notepad application, diabetes related self-care activities assessed by SDSCA displayed statistically significant improvements (P<0.05), except for the number of days of drinking. Conclusion This smartphone-based application can be a useful tool leading to positive changes in diabetes related self-care activities and increase user satisfaction. PMID:26124991

  8. Significant improvement of Serratia marcescens lipase fermentation, by optimizing medium, induction, and oxygen supply.

    PubMed

    Long, Zhang-De; Xu, Jian-He; Pan, Jiang

    2007-08-01

    Production of an extracellular lipase from Serratia marcescens ECU1010, which is an industrially important biocatalyst for the stereospecific synthesis of Diltiazem precursor, was carefully optimized in both shake flasks and a fermenter, using Tween-80 as the enzyme inducer. Dextrin and beef extract combined with ammonium sulfate were indicated to be the best carbon and nitrogen sources, respectively. With the increase of Tween-80 from 0 to 10 g l-1, the lipase production was greatly enhanced from merely 250 U l-1 to a maximum of 3,340 U l-1, giving the highest lipase yield of ca 640 U g-1 dry cell mass (DCW), although the maximum biomass (6.0 g DCW l-1) was achieved at 15 g l-1 of Tween-80. When the medium loading in shake flasks was reduced from 20 to 10% (v / v), the lipase production was significantly enhanced. The increase in shaking speed also resulted in an improvement of the lipase production, although the cell growth was slightly repressed, suggesting that the increase of dissolved oxygen (DO) concentration contributed to the enhancements of lipase yield. When the lipase fermentation was carried out in a 5-l fermenter, the lipase production reached a new maximum of 11,060 U l-1 by simply raising the aeration rate from 0.5 to 1.0 vvm, while keeping the dissolved oxygen above 20% saturation via intermittent adjustment of the agitation speed (> or =400 rpm), in the presence of a relatively low concentration (2 g l-1) of Tween-80 to prevent a potential foaming problem, which is easy to occur in the intensively aerated fermenter.

  9. Significant contribution of realistic vegetation representation to improved simulation and prediction of climate anomalies over land

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alessandri, Andrea; Catalano, Franco; De Felice, Matteo; Doblas-Reyes, Francisco; van den Hurk, Bart; Miller, Paul

    2015-04-01

    The EC-Earth earth system model has been recently developed to include the dynamics of vegetation through the coupling with the LPJ-Guess model. In its original formulation, the coupling between atmosphere and vegetation variability is simply operated by the vegetation Leaf Area Index (LAI), which affects climate by only changing the vegetation physiological resistance to evapotranspiration. This coupling with no implied change of the vegetation fractional coverage has been reported to have a weak effect on the surface climate modeled by EC-Earth (e.g.: also Weiss et al. 2012). The effective sub-grid vegetation fractional coverage can vary seasonally and at interannual time-scales as a function of leaf-canopy growth, phenology and senescence, and therefore affect biophysical parameters such as the surface roughness, albedo and soil field capacity. To adequately represent this effect in EC-Earth, we included an exponential dependence of the vegetation densitiy to the LAI, based on a Lambert-Beer formulation. By comparing historical 20th century simulations and retrospective forecasts performed applying the new effective fractional-coverage parameterization with the respective reference simulations using the original constant vegetation-fraction, we showed an increased effect of vegetation on the EC-Earth surface climate. The analysis shows considerable sensitivity of EC-Earth surface climate at seasonal to interannual time-scales due to the variability of vegetation effective fractional coverage. Particularly large effects are shown over boreal winter middle-to-high latitudes, where the cooling effect of the new parameterization corrects the warm biases of the control simulations over land. For boreal winter, the realistic representation of vegetation variability leads to a significant improvement of the skill in predicting surface climate over land at seasonal time-scales. A potential predictability experiment extended to longer time-scales also indicates the

  10. Using Gas Modifiers to Significantly Improve Sensitivity and Selectivity in a Cylindrical FAIMS Device

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Purves, Randy W.; Ozog, Allison R.; Ambrose, Stephen J.; Prasad, Satendra; Belford, Michael; Dunyach, Jean-Jacques

    2014-07-01

    Recent reports describing enhanced performance when using gas additives in a DMS device (planar electrodes) have indicated that comparable benefits are not attainable using FAIMS (cylindrical electrodes), owing to the non-homogeneous electric fields within the analyzer region. In this study, a FAIMS system (having cylindrical electrodes) was modified to allow for controlled delivery of gas additives. An experiment was carried out that illustrates the important distinction between gas modifiers present as unregulated contaminants and modifiers added in a controlled manner. The effect of contamination was simulated by adjusting the ESI needle position to promote incomplete desolvation, thereby permitting ESI solvent vapor into the FAIMS analyzer region, causing signal instability and irreproducible CV values. However, by actively controlling the delivery of the gas modifier, reproducible CV spectra were obtained. The effects of adding different gas modifiers were examined using 15 positive ions having mass-to-charge ( m/z) values between 90 and 734. Significant improvements in peak capacity and increases in ion transmission were readily attained by adding acetonitrile vapor, even at trace levels (≤0.1%). Increases in signal intensity were greatest for the low m/z ions; for the six lowest molecular weight species, signal intensities increased by ˜10- to over 100-fold compared with using nitrogen without gas additives, resulting in equivalent or better signal intensities compared with ESI without FAIMS. These results confirm that analytical benefits derived from the addition of gas modifiers reported with a uniform electric field (DMS) also are observed using a non-homogenous electric field (FAIMS) in the analyser region.

  11. Incorporating the human gene annotations in different databases significantly improved transcriptomic and genetic analyses.

    PubMed

    Chen, Geng; Wang, Charles; Shi, Leming; Qu, Xiongfei; Chen, Jiwei; Yang, Jianmin; Shi, Caiping; Chen, Long; Zhou, Peiying; Ning, Baitang; Tong, Weida; Shi, Tieliu

    2013-04-01

    Human gene annotation is crucial for conducting transcriptomic and genetic studies; however, the impacts of human gene annotations in diverse databases on related studies have been less evaluated. To enable full use of various human annotation resources and better understand the human transcriptome, here we systematically compare the human annotations present in RefSeq, Ensembl (GENCODE), and AceView on diverse transcriptomic and genetic analyses. We found that the human gene annotations in the three databases are far from complete. Although Ensembl and AceView annotated more genes than RefSeq, more than 15,800 genes from Ensembl (or AceView) are within the intergenic and intronic regions of AceView (or Ensembl) annotation. The human transcriptome annotations in RefSeq, Ensembl, and AceView had distinct effects on short-read mapping, gene and isoform expression profiling, and differential expression calling. Furthermore, our findings indicate that the integrated annotation of these databases can obtain a more complete gene set and significantly enhance those transcriptomic analyses. We also observed that many more known SNPs were located within genes annotated in Ensembl and AceView than in RefSeq. In particular, 1033 of 3041 trait/disease-associated SNPs involved in about 200 human traits/diseases that were previously reported to be in RefSeq intergenic regions could be relocated within Ensembl and AceView genes. Our findings illustrate that a more complete transcriptome generated by incorporating human gene annotations in diverse databases can strikingly improve the overall results of transcriptomic and genetic studies.

  12. Tactile roughness discrimination threshold is unrelated to tactile spatial acuity.

    PubMed

    Libouton, Xavier; Barbier, Olivier; Plaghki, Leon; Thonnard, Jean-Louis

    2010-04-02

    The present study examined the relationship between the tactile roughness discrimination threshold (TRDT) and the tactile spatial resolution threshold (TSRT) at the index fingertip in humans. A new device was built for measuring TRDT, allowing pair-wise presentations of two sets of six different sandpaper grits. The smoothest grits ranged from 18 to 40 microm and the roughest grits ranged from 50 to 195 microm particle size. The reference sandpaper had a 46 microm particle size. A two-alternative forced choice paradigm and a double interlaced adaptive staircase procedure yielding a 75% just noticeable difference (75%jnd) was used according to Zwislocki and Relkin. Contact force and scanning velocity were measured at the fingertip with a built-in sensor. The TSRT was assessed with an extended set of grating domes. Fifty-three male and female subjects, spanning a wide age range participated in this study. The JND75% or TRDT was lower for the smoothest sandpapers (15+/-8.5 microm) compared to the roughest sandpapers (44+/-32.5 microm). TRDT performance was unrelated to age or gender. Additionally, grit size had no effect on the mean forces (normal and tangential) exerted at the fingertip or the mean scan velocities. In contrast, there was a significant degradation of TSRT performance with age. Lastly, there was no significant correlation between TRDT and TRST performance. Results of this study support the theory that the neural mechanisms underlying the perception of tactile roughness discrimination for fine textures differ from those involved in spatial resolution acuity often associated with the SA1 afferents.

  13. Association of Visual Acuity and Cognitive Impairment in Older Individuals: Fujiwara-kyo Eye Study.

    PubMed

    Mine, Masashi; Miyata, Kimie; Morikawa, Masayuki; Nishi, Tomo; Okamoto, Nozomi; Kawasaki, Ryo; Yamashita, Hidetoshi; Kurumatani, Norio; Ogata, Nahoko

    2016-01-01

    Both visual impairment and cognitive impairment are essential factors that determine the quality of life in the aged population. The aim of this study was to determine if a correlation existed between visual acuity and cognitive impairment in an elderly Japanese population. The Fujiwara-kyo Eye Study was a cross-sectional study of individuals aged ≥68 years who lived in Nara Prefecture of Japan. Participants underwent ophthalmological examinations and cognitive function test. A mild visual impairment was defined as having a best corrected visual acuity (BCVA) >0.2 logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution (logMAR) units in the better eye. Cognitive impairment was defined as having a Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) score of ≤23 points. A total to 2818 individuals completed the examinations. The mean age of the participants was 76.3 ± 4.8 years (mean ± standard deviation). The mean BCVA of the better eye was -0.02 ± 0.13 logMAR units and 6.6% subjects were classified as being mildly visually impaired. The mean MMSE score was 27.3 ± 2.3 and 5.7% subjects were classified as being cognitively impaired. The proportion of subjects with cognitive or moderate visual impairment increased with age, and there was a significant correlation between the visual acuity and MMSE score (r = -0.10, p < 0.0001). Subjects with mild visual impairments had 2.4 times higher odds of having cognitive impairment than those without visual impairment (odds ratio 2.4, 95% confidence interval, 1.5-3.8, p < 0.001) after adjusting for age, sex, and length of education. We conclude that it may be important to maintain good visual acuity to reduce the risk of having cognitive impairment.

  14. Pro: benchmarking is the absolute prerequisite for timely and significant business process improvement.

    PubMed

    Hill, Bradford T; Workman, Ronald

    2006-11-28

    Benchmarking in industry has been around for nearly a century, helping companies in nearly every sector imaginable improve their overall performance. Benchmarking's importance in health care, and specifically the clinical laboratory, can be summed up in one simple phrase--"If you cannot measure it, you cannot improve it." Here is why.

  15. Manual aiming in healthy aging: does proprioceptive acuity make the difference?

    PubMed

    Helsen, Werner F; Van Halewyck, Florian; Levin, Oron; Boisgontier, Matthieu P; Lavrysen, Ann; Elliott, Digby

    2016-04-01

    The present study examines whether non-active older adults are more dependent on visual information when executing aiming movements and whether age-related declines in proprioception play a mediating role herein. Young (N = 40) and older adults (N = 38) were divided into physically active and non-active subgroups based on self-reported sports participation levels. In experiment 1, participants executed wrist-aiming movements with and without visual feedback. In experiment 2, passive proprioceptive acuity was assessed using wrist motion detection and position matching tests. Results showed similar aiming accuracy across age groups both with and without visual feedback, but older adults exhibited longer movement times, prolonged homing-in phase, and made more corrective submovements. Passive proprioceptive acuity was significantly affected by physical activity level and age, with participants in the active group scoring better than their non-active peers. However, these declines did not predict performance changes on the aiming task. Taken together, our observations suggest that decline in proprioceptive acuity did not predict performance changes on the aiming task and older adults were able to compensate for their decreased motion and position sense when allowed sufficient time. In line with these observations, we proposed that older adults are able to compensate for their decline in proprioception by increasing their reliance on predictive models.

  16. PERSPECTIVE: Is acuity enough? Other considerations in clinical investigations of visual prostheses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lepri, Bernard P.

    2009-06-01

    Visual impairing eye diseases are the major frontier facing ophthalmic research today in light of our rapidly aging population. The visual skills necessary for improving the quality of daily function and life are inextricably linked to these impairing diseases. Both research and reimbursement programs are emphasizing outcome-based results. Is improvement in visual acuity alone enough to improve the function and quality of life of visually impaired persons? This perspective summarizes the types of effectiveness endpoints for clinical investigations of visual prostheses that go beyond visual acuity. The clinical investigation of visual prostheses should include visual function, functional vision and quality of life measures. Specifically, they encompass contrast sensitivity, orientation and mobility, activities of daily living and quality of life assessments. The perspective focuses on the design of clinical trials for visual prostheses and the methods of determining effectiveness above and beyond visual acuity that will yield outcomes that are measured by improved function in the visual world and quality of life. The visually impaired population is the primary consideration in this presentation with particular emphases on retinitis pigmentosa and age-related macular degeneration. Clinical trials for visual prostheses cannot be isolated from the need for medical rehabilitation in order to obtain measurements of effectiveness that produce outcomes/evidence-based success. This approach will facilitate improvement in daily function and quality of life of patients with diseases that cause chronic vision impairment. The views and opinions are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the US Food and Drug Administration, the US Department of Health and Human Services or the Public Health Service.

  17. Waste Minimization Improvements Achieved Through Six Sigma Analysis Result In Significant Cost Savings

    SciTech Connect

    Mousseau, Jeffrey, D.; Jansen, John, R.; Janke, David, H.; Plowman, Catherine, M.

    2003-02-26

    Improved waste minimization practices at the Department of Energy's (DOE) Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (INEEL) are leading to a 15% reduction in the generation of hazardous and radioactive waste. Bechtel, BWXT Idaho, LLC (BBWI), the prime management and operations contractor at the INEEL, applied the Six Sigma improvement process to the INEEL Waste Minimization Program to review existing processes and define opportunities for improvement. Our Six Sigma analysis team: composed of an executive champion, process owner, a black belt and yellow belt, and technical and business team members used this statistical based process approach to analyze work processes and produced ten recommendations for improvement. Recommendations ranged from waste generator financial accountability for newly generated waste to enhanced employee recognition programs for waste minimization efforts. These improvements have now been implemented to reduce waste generation rates and are producing positive results.

  18. Effects of posterior segment disorders on oscillatory displacement thresholds, and on acuities as measured using the potential acuity meter and laser interferometer.

    PubMed

    Barrett, B T; Davison, P A; Eustace, P E

    1994-04-01

    Oscillatory displacement thresholds (ODTs) were measured in 67 subjects with clear ocular media, but known posterior segment disorders. The ability of these thresholds to assess reduced visual function, as quantified by visual acuity deficits, was compared with that of the Potential Acuity Meter (PAM) and the Rodenstock Retinometer (RR). ODTs were found to be sensitive to acuity deficits which were retinal/neural in origin. Despite the fact that interferometric acuities are, unlike ODTs, a measure of resolution, the RR proved no more accurate in assessing the level of letter acuity which existed than did ODT measurement. As would be expected, the PAM provided for the most accurate means of assessing non-optical visual acuity deficits. However, the PAM proved to be less useful in eyes with: very poor levels of acuity, and certain anomalous conditions. The results have implications for the relative ability of each of the three tests to identify reduced visual function behind cataract.

  19. Comparison of the STYCAR and lighthouse acuity tests.

    PubMed

    Kastenbaum, S M; Kepford, K L; Holmstrom, E T

    1977-07-01

    In a study comparing the Screening Test for Young Children and Retardates (STYCAR) and the New York Lighthouse Flash Card Test, 50 preschool children (median age of 4.4 yr) were evaluated twice with each instrument. Results indicate that the Lighthouse test had higher reliability, better visual acuity scores, lower untestability rates, and shorter testing times than the STYCAR.

  20. Electrophysiological Correlates of Vernier Acuity in Human Visual Cortex.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1984-04-28

    Ia ) VEPs evoked bj vernier offset stimuli couldbe used to estimate 7 LL- psychophysical threshold, b VEP amplitude was affected by interference lines...absolute accuracy. Relative estimate accuracy is judged by the criteria of the estimates being much less than the resolution acuity predicted by anato - mical

  1. Spatial contrast sensitivity and grating acuity of barn owls.

    PubMed

    Harmening, Wolf M; Nikolay, Petra; Orlowski, Julius; Wagner, Hermann

    2009-07-22

    The eyes of barn owls (Tyto alba pratincola) display very little aberrations, and have thus excellent optical quality. In a series of behavioral experiments, we tested whether this presumably beneficial feature is also reflected at a perceptual level in this species. As fundamental indicators for visual performance, the spatial contrast sensitivity function (CSF) and grating acuity were measured in two barn owls with psychophysical techniques. Stimulus luminance was 2.7 cd/m(2). The CSF found here renders the typical band-limited, inverted U-shaped function, with a low maximum contrast sensitivity of 8-19 at a spatial frequency of 1 cyc/deg. Grating acuity was estimated from the CSF high frequency cut-off and yielded 3.0-3.7 cyc/deg. In a second experiment, in which contrast was held constant and spatial frequency was varied, grating acuity was measured directly (2.6-4.0 cyc/deg). These results put barn owls at the very low end of the visual acuity spectrum of birds, and demonstrate that visual resolution and sensitivity cannot be predicted by optical considerations alone.

  2. On Using Vernier Acuity to Assess Magnocellular Sensitivity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Skottun, Bernt C.; Skoyles, John R.

    2010-01-01

    A recent study [Keri, S., & Benedek, G. (2009). Visual pathway deficit in female fragile x premutation carriers: A potential endophenotype. "Brain and Cognition", 69, 291-295] has found Vernier acuity deficiencies together with contrast sensitivity defects consistent with a magnocellular deficit in female fragile x premutation carriers. This may…

  3. Readers' Trust, Socio-Demographic, and Acuity Influences in Citizen Journalism Credibility for Disrupted Online Newspapers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wester, Aaron Micah

    2013-01-01

    The purpose of this quantitative research study was to evaluate and determine if significant associations and linear correlations exist between reader socio-demographics, levels of trust and affinity in online citizen writer news story article content, brand loyalty, and acuity in newspaper organizations transitioning from print to online in a…

  4. Osteological evidence for the evolution of activity pattern and visual acuity in primates.

    PubMed

    Kay, R F; Kirk, E C

    2000-10-01

    Examination of orbit size and optic foramen size in living primates reveals two adaptive phenomena. First, as noted by many authors, orbit size is strongly correlated with activity pattern. Comparisons of large samples of extant primates consistently reveal that nocturnal species exhibit proportionately larger orbits than diurnal species. Furthermore, nocturnal haplorhines (Tarsius and Aotus) have considerably larger orbits than similar-sized nocturnal strepsirrhines. Orbital hypertrophy in Tarsius and Aotus accommodates the enormously enlarged eyes of these taxa. This extreme ocular hypertrophy seen in extant nocturnal haplorhines is an adaptation for both enhanced visual acuity and sensitivity in conditions of low light intensity. Second, the relative size of the optic foramen is highly correlated with the degree of retinal summation and inferred visual acuity. Diurnal haplorhines exhibit proportionately larger optic foramina, less central retinal summation, and much higher visual acuity than do all other primates. Diurnal strepsirrhines exhibit a more subtle but significant parallel enlargement of the optic foramen and a decrease in retinal summation relative to the condition seen in nocturnal primates. These twin osteological variables of orbit size and optic foramen size may be used to draw inferences regarding the activity pattern, retinal anatomy, and visual acuity of fossil primates. Our measurements demonstrate that the omomyiforms Microchoerus, Necrolemur, Shoshonius, and Tetonius, adapiform Pronycticebus, and the possible lorisiform Plesiopithecus were likely nocturnal on the basis of orbit diameter. The adapiforms Leptadapis, Adapis, and Notharctus, the phylogenetically enigmatic Rooneyia, the early anthropoids Proteopithecus, Catopithecus, and Aegyptopithecus, and early platyrrhine Dolichocebus were likely diurnal. The activity pattern of the platyrrhine Tremacebus is obscure. Plesiopithecus, Pronycticebus, Microchoerus, and Necrolemur probably had

  5. Neonatal diagnosis of severe combined immunodeficiency leads to significantly improved survival outcome: the case for newborn screening.

    PubMed

    Brown, Lucinda; Xu-Bayford, Jinhua; Allwood, Zoe; Slatter, Mary; Cant, Andrew; Davies, E Graham; Veys, Paul; Gennery, Andrew R; Gaspar, H Bobby

    2011-03-17

    Severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) carries a poor prognosis without definitive treatment by hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. The outcome for transplantation varies and is dependent on donor status and the condition of the child at the time of transplantation. Diagnosis at birth may allow for better protection of SCID babies from infection and improve transplantation outcome. In this comparative study conducted at the 2 designated SCID transplantation centers in the United Kingdom, we show that SCID babies diagnosed at birth because of a positive family history have a significantly improved outcome compared with the first presenting family member. The overall improved survival of more than 90% is related to a reduced rate of infection and significantly improved transplantation outcome irrespective of donor choice, conditioning regimen used, and underlying genetic diagnosis. Neonatal screening for SCID would significantly improve the outcome in this otherwise potentially devastating condition.

  6. THE VISUAL ACUITY AND INTENSITY DISCRIMINATION OF DROSOPHILA

    PubMed Central

    Hecht, Selig; Wald, George

    1934-01-01

    Drosophila possesses an inherited reflex response to a moving visual pattern which can be used to measure its capacity for intensity discrimination and its visual acuity at different illuminations. It is found that these two properties of vision run approximately parallel courses as functions of the prevailing intensity. Visual acuity varies with the logarithm of the intensity in much the same sigmoid way as in man, the bee, and the fiddler crab. The resolving power is very poor at low illuminations and increases at high illuminations. The maximum visual acuity is 0.0018, which is 1/1000 of the maximum of the human eye and 1/10 that of the bee. The intensity discrimination of Drosophila is also extremely poor, even at its best. At low illuminations for two intensities to be recognized as different, the higher must be nearly 100 times the lower. This ratio decreases as the intensity increases, and reaches a minimum of 2.5 which is maintained at the highest intensities. The minimum value of ΔI/I for Drosophila is 1.5, which is to be compared with 0.25 for the bee and 0.006 for man. An explanation of the variation of visual acuity with illumination is given in terms of the variation in number of elements functional in the retinal mosaic at different intensities, this being dependent on the general statistical distribution of thresholds in the ommatidial population. Visual acuity is thus determined by the integral form of this distribution and corresponds to the total number of elements functional. The idea that intensity discrimination is determined by the differential form of this distribution—that is, that it depends on the rate of entrance of functional elements with intensity—is shown to be untenable in the light of the correspondence of the two visual functions. It is suggested that, like visual acuity, intensity discrimination may also have to be considered as a function of the total number of elements active at a given intensity. PMID:19872798

  7. The effect of zinc deficiency on salt taste acuity, preference, and dietary sodium intake in hemodialysis patients.

    PubMed

    Kim, So Mi; Kim, Miyeon; Lee, Eun Kyoung; Kim, Soon Bae; Chang, Jai Won; Kim, Hyun Woo

    2016-07-01

    Introduction High sodium intake is the main cause of fluid overload in hemodialysis (HD) patients, leading to increased cardiovascular mortality. High sodium intake is known to be associated with low salt taste acuity and/or high preference. As the zinc status could influence taste acuity, we analyzed the effect of zinc deficiency on salt taste acuity, preference, and dietary sodium intake in HD patients. Methods A total of 77 HD patients was enrolled in this cross-sectional study. Zinc deficiency was defined as serum zinc level with below 70 µg/mL. The patients were divided into two groups based on serum zinc level. Salt taste acuity and preference were determined by a sensory test using varying concentrations of NaCl solution, and dietary sodium intake was estimated using 3-day dietary recall surveys. Findings The mean salt recognition threshold and salt taste preference were significantly higher in the zinc deficient group than in the non-zinc deficient group. And there was significant positive correlation between salt taste preference and dietary sodium intake in zinc deficient group (r = 0.43, P = 0.002). Although, the dietary sodium intake showed a high tendency with no significance (P = 0.052), interdialytic weight gain was significantly higher in the zinc deficient group than in the non-zinc deficient group (2.68 ± 1.02 kg vs. 3.18 ± 1.02 kg; P = 0.047). Discussion Zinc deficiency may be related to low salt taste acuity and high salt preference, leading to high dietary sodium intake in HD patients.

  8. AERONET Version 3 Release: Providing Significant Improvements for Multi-Decadal Global Aerosol Database and Near Real-Time Validation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Holben, Brent; Slutsker, Ilya; Giles, David; Eck, Thomas; Smirnov, Alexander; Sinyuk, Aliaksandr; Schafer, Joel; Sorokin, Mikhail; Rodriguez, Jon; Kraft, Jason; Scully, Amy

    2016-01-01

    Aerosols are highly variable in space, time and properties. Global assessment from satellite platforms and model predictions rely on validation from AERONET, a highly accurate ground-based network. Ver. 3 represents a significant improvement in accuracy and quality.

  9. A significant improvement of luminance vs current density efficiency of a BioLED

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grykien, Remigiusz; Luszczynska, Beata; Glowacki, Ireneusz; Ulanski, Jacek; Kajzar, Francois; Zgarian, Roxana; Rau, Ileana

    2014-04-01

    We report on fabrication and characterization of an organic light emitting diode by incorporating a pure DNA as electron blocking layer. As emission layer a thin film of phosphorescent Ir(ppy)3 luminophore, embedded in the poly(N-vinylcarbazole) (PVK)/2-(4-tert-butylphenyl)-5-(4-biphenylyl)-1,3,4-oxadiazole (PBD) is used. The BioLED shows a good stability and its luminance efficiency vs current density is improved by ca 40% in comparison with the case without EBL.

  10. The Use (and Misuse) of Statistical Significance Testing: Some Recommendations for Improved Editorial Policy and Practice.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thompson, Bruce

    This paper evaluates the logic underlying various criticisms of statistical significance testing and makes specific recommendations for scientific and editorial practice that might better increase the knowledge base. Reliance on the traditional hypothesis testing model has led to a major bias against nonsignificant results and to misinterpretation…

  11. Significant Advancements in Technology to Improve Instruction for All Students: Including Those with Disabilities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Meyen, Edward

    2015-01-01

    Sharing thoughts on what represents significant advancements involving the education of persons for whom typical instruction is not effective seems simple enough. You think about the work you are engaged in and reflect on how you came to do what you are doing. If you have a record of being persistent in your work, then that becomes the context for…

  12. Targeted agri-environment schemes significantly improve the population size of common farmland bumblebee species.

    PubMed

    Wood, Thomas J; Holland, John M; Hughes, William O H; Goulson, Dave

    2015-04-01

    Changes in agricultural practice across Europe and North America have been associated with range contractions and local extinction of bumblebees (Bombus spp.). A number of agri-environment schemes have been implemented to halt and reverse these declines, predominantly revolving around the provision of additional forage plants. Although it has been demonstrated that these schemes can attract substantial numbers of foraging bumblebees, it remains unclear to what extent they actually increase bumblebee populations. We used standardized transect walks and molecular techniques to compare the size of bumblebee populations between Higher Level Stewardship (HLS) farms implementing pollinator-friendly schemes and Entry Level Stewardship (ELS) control farms. Bumblebee abundance on the transect walks was significantly higher on HLS farms than ELS farms. Molecular analysis suggested maximum foraging ranges of 566 m for Bombus hortorum, 714 m for B. lapidarius, 363 m for B. pascuorum and 799 m for B. terrestris. Substantial differences in maximum foraging range were found within bumblebee species between farm types. Accounting for foraging range differences, B. hortorum (47 vs 13 nests/km(2) ) and B. lapidarius (45 vs 22 nests/km(2) ) were found to nest at significantly greater densities on HLS farms than ELS farms. There were no significant differences between farm type for B. terrestris (88 vs 38 nests/km(2) ) and B. pascuorum (32 vs 39 nests/km(2) ). Across all bumblebee species, HLS management had a significantly positive effect on bumblebee nest density. These results show that targeted agri-environment schemes that increase the availability of suitable forage can significantly increase the size of wild bumblebee populations.

  13. Nitrite addition to acidified sludge significantly improves digestibility, toxic metal removal, dewaterability and pathogen reduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Du, Fangzhou; Keller, Jürg; Yuan, Zhiguo; Batstone, Damien J.; Freguia, Stefano; Pikaar, Ilje

    2016-12-01

    Sludge management is a major issue for water utilities globally. Poor digestibility and dewaterability are the main factors determining the cost for sludge management, whereas pathogen and toxic metal concentrations limit beneficial reuse. In this study, the effects of low level nitrite addition to acidified sludge to simultaneously enhance digestibility, toxic metal removal, dewaterability and pathogen reduction were investigated. Waste activated sludge (WAS) from a full-scale waste water treatment plant was treated at pH 2 with 10 mg NO2‑-N/L for 5 h. Biochemical methane potential tests showed an increase in the methane production of 28%, corresponding to an improvement from 247 ± 8 L CH4/kg VS to 317 ± 1 L CH4/kg VS. The enhanced removal of toxic metals further increased the methane production by another 18% to 360 ± 6 L CH4/kg VS (a total increase of 46%). The solids content of dewatered sludge increased from 14.6 ± 1.4% in the control to 18.2 ± 0.8%. A 4-log reduction for both total coliforms and E. coli was achieved. Overall, this study highlights the potential of acidification with low level nitrite addition as an effective and simple method achieving multiple improvements in terms of sludge management.

  14. Nitrite addition to acidified sludge significantly improves digestibility, toxic metal removal, dewaterability and pathogen reduction

    PubMed Central

    Du, Fangzhou; Keller, Jürg; Yuan, Zhiguo; Batstone, Damien J.; Freguia, Stefano; Pikaar, Ilje

    2016-01-01

    Sludge management is a major issue for water utilities globally. Poor digestibility and dewaterability are the main factors determining the cost for sludge management, whereas pathogen and toxic metal concentrations limit beneficial reuse. In this study, the effects of low level nitrite addition to acidified sludge to simultaneously enhance digestibility, toxic metal removal, dewaterability and pathogen reduction were investigated. Waste activated sludge (WAS) from a full-scale waste water treatment plant was treated at pH 2 with 10 mg NO2−-N/L for 5 h. Biochemical methane potential tests showed an increase in the methane production of 28%, corresponding to an improvement from 247 ± 8 L CH4/kg VS to 317 ± 1 L CH4/kg VS. The enhanced removal of toxic metals further increased the methane production by another 18% to 360 ± 6 L CH4/kg VS (a total increase of 46%). The solids content of dewatered sludge increased from 14.6 ± 1.4% in the control to 18.2 ± 0.8%. A 4-log reduction for both total coliforms and E. coli was achieved. Overall, this study highlights the potential of acidification with low level nitrite addition as an effective and simple method achieving multiple improvements in terms of sludge management. PMID:28004811

  15. Significant improvement of mouse cloning technique by treatment with trichostatin A after somatic nuclear transfer

    SciTech Connect

    Kishigami, Satoshi . E-mail: kishigami@cdb.riken.jp; Mizutani, Eiji; Ohta, Hiroshi; Hikichi, Takafusa; Thuan, Nguyen Van; Wakayama, Sayaka; Bui, Hong-Thuy; Wakayama, Teruhiko

    2006-02-03

    The low success rate of animal cloning by somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) is believed to be associated with epigenetic errors including abnormal DNA hypermethylation. Recently, we elucidated by using round spermatids that, after nuclear transfer, treatment of zygotes with trichostatin A (TSA), an inhibitor of histone deacetylase, can remarkably reduce abnormal DNA hypermethylation depending on the origins of transferred nuclei and their genomic regions [S. Kishigami, N. Van Thuan, T. Hikichi, H. Ohta, S. Wakayama. E. Mizutani, T. Wakayama, Epigenetic abnormalities of the mouse paternal zygotic genome associated with microinsemination of round spermatids, Dev. Biol. (2005) in press]. Here, we found that 5-50 nM TSA-treatment for 10 h following oocyte activation resulted in more efficient in vitro development of somatic cloned embryos to the blastocyst stage from 2- to 5-fold depending on the donor cells including tail tip cells, spleen cells, neural stem cells, and cumulus cells. This TSA-treatment also led to more than 5-fold increase in success rate of mouse cloning from cumulus cells without obvious abnormality but failed to improve ES cloning success. Further, we succeeded in establishment of nuclear transfer-embryonic stem (NT-ES) cells from TSA-treated cloned blastocyst at a rate three times higher than those from untreated cloned blastocysts. Thus, our data indicate that TSA-treatment after SCNT in mice can dramatically improve the practical application of current cloning techniques.

  16. The community-based Health Extension Program significantly improved contraceptive utilization in West Gojjam Zone, Ethiopia

    PubMed Central

    Yitayal, Mezgebu; Berhane, Yemane; Worku, Alemayehu; Kebede, Yigzaw

    2014-01-01

    Background Ethiopia has implemented a nationwide primary health program at grassroots level (known as the Health Extension Program) since 2003 to increase public access to basic health services. This study was conducted to assess whether households that fully implemented the Health Extension Program have improved current contraceptive use. Methods A cross-sectional community-based survey was conducted to collect data from 1,320 mothers using a structured questionnaire. A multivariate logistic regression was used to identify the predictors of current contraceptive utilization. A propensity score analysis was used to determine the contribution of the Health Extension Program “model households” on current contraceptive utilization. Result Mothers from households which fully benefited from the Health Extension Program (“model households”) were 3.97 (adjusted odds ratio, 3.97; 95% confidence interval, 3.01–5.23) times more likely to use contraceptives compared with mothers from non-model households. Model household status contributed to 29.3% (t=7.08) of the increase in current contraceptive utilization. Conclusion The Health Extension Program when implemented fully could help to increase the utilization of contraceptives in the rural community and improve family planning. PMID:24868165

  17. Melatonin significantly improves the developmental competence of bovine somatic cell nuclear transfer embryos.

    PubMed

    Su, Jianmin; Wang, Yongsheng; Xing, Xupeng; Zhang, Lei; Sun, Hongzheng; Zhang, Yong

    2015-11-01

    Somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) is a promising technology, but its application is hampered by its low efficiency. Hence, the majority of SCNT embryos fail to develop to term. In this study, the antioxidant melatonin reduced apoptosis and reactive oxygen species (ROS) in bovine SCNT embryos. It also increased cell number, inner cell mass (ICM) cell numbers, and the ratio of ICM to total cells while improving the development of bovine SCNT embryos in vitro and in vivo. Gene expression analysis showed that melatonin suppressed the expression of the pro-apoptotic genes p53 and Bax and stimulated the expression of the antioxidant genes SOD1 and Gpx4, the anti-apoptotic gene BCL2L1, and the pluripotency-related gene SOX2 in SCNT blastocysts. We also analyzed the epigenetic modifications in bovine in vitro fertilization, melatonin-treated, and untreated SCNT embryos. The global H3K9ac levels of melatonin-treated SCNT embryos at the four-cell stage were higher than those of the untreated SCNT embryos. We conclude that exogenous melatonin affects the expression of genes related to apoptosis, antioxidant function, and development. Moreover, melatonin reduced apoptosis and ROS in bovine SCNT embryos and enhanced blastocyst quality, thereby ultimately improving bovine cloning efficiency.

  18. Assessment of Visual Acuity in Relation to Central Nervous System Activation in Children with Mental Retardation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jacobsen, Karl; Grottland, Havar; Flaten, Magne Arve

    2001-01-01

    Assessment of visual acuity, using Teller Acuity Cards, was combined with observations of behavioral state to indicate central nervous system activation in 24 individuals with mental retardation. Results indicate that forced-choice preferential-looking technique can be used to test visual acuity in this population unless the participant is drowsy.…

  19. Ultrafine spatial acuity of blind expert human echolocators

    PubMed Central

    Puri, Amrita; Whitney, David

    2013-01-01

    Echolocating organisms represent their external environment using reflected auditory information from emitted vocalizations. This ability, long known in various non-human species, has also been documented in some blind humans as an aid to navigation, as well as object detection and coarse localization. Surprisingly, our understanding of the basic acuity attainable by practitioners—the most fundamental underpinning of echoic spatial perception—remains crude. We found that experts were able to discriminate horizontal offsets of stimuli as small as ~1.2° auditory angle in the frontomedial plane, a resolution approaching the maximum measured precision of human spatial hearing and comparable to that found in bats performing similar tasks. Furthermore, we found a strong correlation between echolocation acuity and age of blindness onset. This first measure of functional spatial resolution in a population of expert echolocators demonstrates precision comparable to that found in the visual periphery of sighted individuals. PMID:22101568

  20. Hypoxic-Preconditioned Bone Marrow Stem Cell Medium Significantly Improves Outcome After Retinal Ischemia in Rats

    PubMed Central

    Roth, Steven; Dreixler, John C.; Mathew, Biji; Balyasnikova, Irina; Mann, Jacob R.; Boddapati, Venkat; Xue, Lai; Lesniak, Maciej S.

    2016-01-01

    Purpose We have previously demonstrated the protective effect of bone marrow stem cell (BMSC)-conditioned medium in retinal ischemic injury. We hypothesized here that hypoxic preconditioning of stem cells significantly enhances the neuroprotective effect of the conditioned medium and thereby augments the protective effect in ischemic retina. Methods Rats were subjected to retinal ischemia by increasing intraocular pressure to 130 to 135 mm Hg for 55 minutes. Hypoxic-preconditioned, hypoxic unconditioned, or normoxic medium was injected into the vitreous 24 hours after ischemia ended. Recovery was assessed 7 days after injections by comparing electroretinography measurements, histologic examination, and apoptosis (TUNEL, terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase–mediated dUTP nick end labeling assay). To compare proteins secreted into the medium in the groups and the effect of hypoxic exposure, we used rat cytokine arrays. Results Eyes injected with hypoxic BMSC–conditioned medium 24 hours after ischemia demonstrated significantly enhanced return of retinal function, decreased retinal ganglion cell layer loss, and attenuated apoptosis compared to those administered normoxic or hypoxic unconditioned medium. Hypoxic-preconditioned medium had 21 significantly increased protein levels compared to normoxic medium. Conclusions The medium from hypoxic-preconditioned BMSCs robustly restored retinal function and prevented cell loss after ischemia when injected 24 hours after ischemia. The protective effect was even more pronounced than in our previous studies of normoxic conditioned medium. Prosurvival signals triggered by the secretome may play a role in this neuroprotective effect. PMID:27367588

  1. Possible breakthrough: Significant improvement of signal to noise ratio by stochastic resonance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kiss, L. B.

    1996-06-01

    The simplest stochastic resonator is used, a level crossing detector (LCD), to investigate key properties of stochastic resonance (SR). It is pointed out that successful signal processing and biological applications of SR require to work in the large signal limit (nonlinear transfer limit) which requires a completely new approach: wide band input signal and a new, generalised definition of output noise. The new way of approach is illustrated by a new arrangement. The arrangement employs a special LCD, white input noise and a special, large, subthreshold wide band signal. First time in the history of SR (for a wide band input noise), the signal to noise ratio becomes much higher at the output of a stochastic resonator than at its input. In that way, SR is proven to have a potential to improve signal transfer. Note, that the new arrangement seems to have resemblance to neurone models, therefore, it has a potential also for biological applications.

  2. Heterogeneity of failure of visual acuity in Graves' disease.

    PubMed Central

    Sachdev, Y.; Chatterji, J. C.; Sharma, R. C.

    1979-01-01

    The eye manifestations of Graves' disease are usually mild and self-limiting. Occasionally they follow a progressive course leading to visual loss and total blindness. The ocular manifestations bear no relationship to the metabolic state and may appear before, during or after onset of thyrotoxicosis. Characteristically they become evident at about the time of onset of hypermetabolism. Various factors responsible for the failure of visual acuity are discussed with case illustrations. PMID:314108

  3. The Two Sides of Sensory–Cognitive Interactions: Effects of Age, Hearing Acuity, and Working Memory Span on Sentence Comprehension

    PubMed Central

    DeCaro, Renee; Peelle, Jonathan E.; Grossman, Murray; Wingfield, Arthur

    2016-01-01

    Reduced hearing acuity is among the most prevalent of chronic medical conditions among older adults. An experiment is reported in which comprehension of spoken sentences was tested for older adults with good hearing acuity or with a mild-to-moderate hearing loss, and young adults with age-normal hearing. Comprehension was measured by participants’ ability to determine the agent of an action in sentences that expressed this relation with a syntactically less complex subject-relative construction or a syntactically more complex object-relative construction. Agency determination was further challenged by inserting a prepositional phrase into sentences between the person performing an action and the action being performed. As a control, prepositional phrases of equivalent length were also inserted into sentences in a non-disruptive position. Effects on sentence comprehension of age, hearing acuity, prepositional phrase placement and sound level of stimulus presentations appeared only for comprehension of sentences with the more syntactically complex object-relative structures. Working memory as tested by reading span scores accounted for a significant amount of the variance in comprehension accuracy. Once working memory capacity and hearing acuity were taken into account, chronological age among the older adults contributed no further variance to comprehension accuracy. Results are discussed in terms of the positive and negative effects of sensory–cognitive interactions in comprehension of spoken sentences and lend support to a framework in which domain-general executive resources, notably verbal working memory, play a role in both linguistic and perceptual processing. PMID:26973557

  4. Visual Function after Primary Posterior Chamber Intraocular Lens Implantation in Pediatric Unilateral Cataract: Stereopsis and Visual Acuity

    PubMed Central

    Park, Jung Hyun; Kim, Jeong Hun; Kim, Seong Joon; Choung, Ho Kyung

    2007-01-01

    Purpose To investigate the association between binocular function and vision after cataract removal and primary posterior chamber intraocular lens (PC-IOL) implantation in children with unilateral cataract and to identify visual function differences according cataract type. Methods Clinical records of 2- to 6-year-old patients with unilateral cataract removal and primary PC-IOL implantation were reviewed retrospectively. Visual acuity and ocular alignment were measured. Sensory fusion was assessed with the Worth 4-dot test, and stereoacuity with the Titmus stereo test. Cataracts were classified according to cause, lens opacity location, age at onset, and presence of strabismus. Clinical characteristics of patients who obtained good visual function were identified. Results Forty-seven patients were included. Among 22 (46.8%) with good vision (20/40 or better), only 6 (27.3%) achieved good binocular function (the presence of fusion and 100 seconds of arc or better of stereoacuity). Visual acuity was better in eyes with good binocular function (p=0.002). No other variables were significant for achieving good binocular function. Conclusions The removal of unilateral cataract in a visually immature child can result in a combination of good visual acuity and binocular function. Good binocular function is closely related to good visual acuity. PMID:18063882

  5. Possible breakthrough: Significant improvement of signal to noise ratio by stochastic resonance

    SciTech Connect

    Kiss, L.B.

    1996-06-01

    The {ital simplest} {ital stochastic} {ital resonator} {ital is} {ital used}, {ital a} {ital level} {ital crossing} {ital detector} (LCD), to investigate key properties of stochastic resonance (SR). It is pointed out that successful signal processing and biological applications of SR require to work in the {ital large} {ital signal} {ital limit} (nonlinear transfer limit) which requires a completely new approach: {ital wide} {ital band} {ital input} {ital signal} and a {ital new}, {ital generalised} {ital definition} {ital of} {ital output} {ital noise}. The new way of approach is illustrated by a new arrangement. The arrangement employs a special LCD, white input noise and a special, large, subthreshold wide band signal. {ital First} {ital time} {ital in} {ital the} {ital history} {ital of} {ital SR} (for a wide band input noise), the {ital signal} {ital to} {ital noise} {ital ratio} {ital becomes} {ital much} {ital higher} {ital at} {ital the} {ital output} of a stochastic resonator than {ital at} {ital its} {ital input}. In that way, SR is proven to have a potential to improve signal transfer. Note, that the new arrangement seems to have resemblance to {ital neurone} {ital models}, therefore, it has a potential also for biological applications. {copyright} {ital 1996 American Institute of Physics.}

  6. Significant improvement in Mn2O3 transition metal oxide electrical conductivity via high pressure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hong, Fang; Yue, Binbin; Hirao, Naohisa; Liu, Zhenxian; Chen, Bin

    2017-03-01

    Highly efficient energy storage is in high demand for next-generation clean energy applications. As a promising energy storage material, the application of Mn2O3 is limited due to its poor electrical conductivity. Here, high-pressure techniques enhanced the electrical conductivity of Mn2O3 significantly. In situ synchrotron micro X-Ray diffraction, Raman spectroscopy and resistivity measurement revealed that resistivity decreased with pressure and dramatically dropped near the phase transition. At the highest pressure, resistivity reduced by five orders of magnitude and the sample showed metal-like behavior. More importantly, resistivity remained much lower than its original value, even when the pressure was fully released. This work provides a new method to enhance the electronic properties of Mn2O3 using high-pressure treatment, benefiting its applications in energy-related fields.

  7. Significant improvement in Mn2O3 transition metal oxide electrical conductivity via high pressure

    PubMed Central

    Hong, Fang; Yue, Binbin; Hirao, Naohisa; Liu, Zhenxian; Chen, Bin

    2017-01-01

    Highly efficient energy storage is in high demand for next-generation clean energy applications. As a promising energy storage material, the application of Mn2O3 is limited due to its poor electrical conductivity. Here, high-pressure techniques enhanced the electrical conductivity of Mn2O3 significantly. In situ synchrotron micro X-Ray diffraction, Raman spectroscopy and resistivity measurement revealed that resistivity decreased with pressure and dramatically dropped near the phase transition. At the highest pressure, resistivity reduced by five orders of magnitude and the sample showed metal-like behavior. More importantly, resistivity remained much lower than its original value, even when the pressure was fully released. This work provides a new method to enhance the electronic properties of Mn2O3 using high-pressure treatment, benefiting its applications in energy-related fields. PMID:28276479

  8. Significant improvement in Mn2O3 transition metal oxide electrical conductivity via high pressure.

    PubMed

    Hong, Fang; Yue, Binbin; Hirao, Naohisa; Liu, Zhenxian; Chen, Bin

    2017-03-09

    Highly efficient energy storage is in high demand for next-generation clean energy applications. As a promising energy storage material, the application of Mn2O3 is limited due to its poor electrical conductivity. Here, high-pressure techniques enhanced the electrical conductivity of Mn2O3 significantly. In situ synchrotron micro X-Ray diffraction, Raman spectroscopy and resistivity measurement revealed that resistivity decreased with pressure and dramatically dropped near the phase transition. At the highest pressure, resistivity reduced by five orders of magnitude and the sample showed metal-like behavior. More importantly, resistivity remained much lower than its original value, even when the pressure was fully released. This work provides a new method to enhance the electronic properties of Mn2O3 using high-pressure treatment, benefiting its applications in energy-related fields.

  9. Significant improvement of pig cloning efficiency by treatment with LBH589 after somatic cell nuclear transfer.

    PubMed

    Jin, Jun-Xue; Li, Suo; Gao, Qing-Shan; Hong, Yu; Jin, Long; Zhu, Hai-Ying; Yan, Chang-Guo; Kang, Jin-Dan; Yin, Xi-Jun

    2013-10-01

    The low success rate of animal cloning by somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) associates with epigenetic aberrancy, including the abnormal acetylation of histones. Altering the epigenetic status by histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACi) enhances the developmental potential of SCNT embryos. In the current study, we examined the effects of LBH589 (panobinostat), a novel broad-spectrum HDACi, on the nuclear reprogramming and development of pig SCNT embryos in vitro. In experiment 1, we compared the in vitro developmental competence of nuclear transfer embryos treated with different concentrations of LBH589. Embryos treated with 50 nM LBH589 for 24 hours showed a significant increase in the rate of blastocyst formation compared with the control or embryos treated with 5 or 500 nM LBH589 (32.4% vs. 11.8%, 12.1%, and 10.0%, respectively, P < 0.05). In experiment 2, we examined the in vitro developmental competence of nuclear transfer embryos treated with 50 nM LBH589 for various intervals after activation and 6-dimethylaminopurine. Embryos treated for 24 hours had higher rates of blastocyst formation than the other groups. In experiment 3, when the acetylation of H4K12 was examined in SCNT embryos treated for 6 hours with 50 nM LBH589 by immunohistochemistry, the staining intensities of these proteins in LBH589-treated SCNT embryos were significantly higher than in the control. In experiment 4, LBH589-treated nuclear transfer and control embryos were transferred into surrogate mothers, resulting in three (100%) and two (66.7%) pregnancies, respectively. In conclusion, LBH589 enhances the nuclear reprogramming and developmental potential of SCNT embryos by altering the epigenetic status and expression, and increasing blastocyst quality.

  10. [Significant improved anthocyanins biosynthesis in suspension cultures of Vitis vinifera by process intensification].

    PubMed

    Qu, Jun-Ge; Yu, Xing-Ju; Zhang, Wei; Jin, Mei-Fang

    2006-03-01

    The low-production is a ubiquitous problem and has prevented the commercialization of secondary metabolite production in plant cell culture. In order to examine the effective approaches to improvement of secondary metabolite production in plant cell culture, the investigation of anthocyanins accumulation in suspension cultures of Vitis vinifera, as a model system, had been initiated in our laboratory. In this present research, various elicitors and the precursor of phenylalanine were used in combination to enhance the anthocyanins production in suspension cultures of Vitis vinifera. And an integrated process with the combination of elicitation, precursor feeding and light irradiation was reported for rational bioprocess design. Among the combination treatment of phenylalanine feeding and several elicitors (methyl-beta-cyclodextrin, dextran T-40, methyl jasmonate, extracts of Aspergillus niger and Fusarium orthoceras), the combination with methyl jasmonate gave the highest anthocyanins production in suspension cultures of Vitis vinifera. When compared to the controls, the anthocyanins content (CV/g, FCW) and production (CV/L) increased by 2.7-fold and 3.4-fold, respectively. The optimum time for the addition of phenylalanine and methyl jasmonate was 4 days after inoculation. Two cell lines with different anthocyanins-producing capacity responded differently to the optimum combination treatment of 30 micromol/L phenylalanine feeding, 218 micromol/L methyl jasmonate elicitation and 3000 to approximately 4000 1x light illumination. The high-and low-anthocyanins-producing cell lines of VV05 and VV06 produced the maximum of 2975 and 4090 CV/L of anthocyanins that were 2.5- and 5.2-fold of the controls, respectively.

  11. Bayesian Species Identification under the Multispecies Coalescent Provides Significant Improvements to DNA Barcoding Analyses.

    PubMed

    Yang, Ziheng; Rannala, Bruce

    2017-03-09

    DNA barcoding methods use a single locus (usually the mitochondrial COI gene) to assign unidentified specimens to known species in a library based on a genetic distance threshold that distinguishes between-species divergence from within-species diversity. Recently developed species delimitation methods based on the multispecies coalescent (MSC) model offer an alternative approach to individual assignment using either single-locus or multi-loci sequence data. Here we use simulations to demonstrate three features of an MSC method implemented in the program bpp. First, we show that with one locus, MSC can accurately assign individuals to species without the need for arbitrarily determined distance thresholds (as required for barcoding methods). We provide an example in which no single threshold or barcoding gap exists that can be used to assign all specimens without incurring high error rates. Second, we show that bpp can identify cryptic species that may be mis-identified as a single species within the library, potentially improving the accuracy of barcoding libraries. Third, we show that taxon rarity does not present any particular problems for species assignments using bpp, and that accurate assignments can be achieved even when only one or a few loci are available. Thus, concerns that have been raised that MSC methods may have problems analyzing rare taxa (singletons) are unfounded. Currently barcoding methods enjoy a huge computational advantage over MSC methods and may be the only approach feasible for massively large datasets, but MSC methods may offer a more stringent test for species that are tentatively assigned by barcoding. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  12. A comparison of visual acuity, predictability, and visual function outcomes after intracorneal ring segments and laser in situ keratomileusis.

    PubMed Central

    Suiter, B G; Twa, M D; Ruckhofer, J; Schanzlin, D J

    2000-01-01

    PURPOSE: To compare correction of low myopia by intrastromal corneal ring segments (ICRS) and by laser in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) with respect to early visual recovery and refractive outcomes. METHODS: Eighty-two eyes implanted with ICRS in a phase III study for US Food and Drug Administration review were matched with 133 eyes treated with LASIK by criteria of age (> 18 years, < 65 years), preoperative myopia (-1.00 to -3.50 diopters [D]), astigmatism (< or = 1.00 D), single treatment, and attempted full correction. Examinations were performed preoperatively and postoperatively at days 1 and 7 and months 1 and 3. Visual acuity and manifest refraction data were collected retrospectively. Visual function scores were assigned, and summarized results were compared. RESULTS: Uncorrected visual acuity was 20/20 or better at day 1 in 24% of eyes (20/82) after ICRS and in 55% of eyes (73/133) after LASIK, and at month 3 in 75% of eyes (58/77) after ICRS and in 67% of eyes (84/126) after LASIK. Spherical equivalent refraction at month 3 was within +/- 1.00 D of intended correction in 99% of eyes (76/77) after ICRS and in 96% of eyes (121/126) after LASIK. Excellent visual function scores were noted at month 3 in 90% of eyes (69/77) after ICRS and in 78% of eyes (98/126) after LASIK. CONCLUSION: Patients treated with LASIK showed better uncorrected visual acuity immediately following surgery; however, beyond 1 month, patients treated with ICRS achieved better uncorrected visual acuity that continued to improve with time. Visual function scores indicate that ICRS eyes see at higher levels of uncorrected visual acuity than LASIK eyes do with the same refractive error. The ICRS and LASIK were comparable in the correction of mild myopia. PMID:11190040

  13. The Strasbourg Large Refractor and Dome: Significant Improvements and Failed Attempts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heck, Andre

    2009-01-01

    Founded by the German Empire in the late 19th century, Strasbourg Astronomical Observatory featured several novelties from the start. According to Mueller (1978), the separation of observing buildings from the study area and from the astronomers' residence was a revolution in observatory construction. The instruments were, as much as possible, isolated from the vibrations of the buildings themselves. "Gas flames" and water were used to reduce temperature effects. Thus the Large Dome (ca 11m diameter), housing the Large Refractor (ca 49cm, then the largest in Germany) and covered by zinc over wood, could be cooled down by water running from the top. Reports (including by the French who took over the observatory after World War I) are however somehow nonexistent on the effective usage and actual efficiency of such a system (which must have generated locally a significant amount of humidity). The paper will detail these technical attempts as well as the specificities of the instruments installed in that new observatory intended as a showcase of German astronomy.

  14. Contrast-sensitivity loss in a group of former microelectronics workers with normal visual acuity.

    PubMed

    Frenette, B; Mergler, D; Bowler, R

    1991-07-01

    The measurement of contrast sensitivity at varying grating frequencies is used increasingly to study visual and neural disorders. It provides more information than conventional acuity measures. Refractive errors initially affect high spatial frequencies, whereas lower spatial frequencies are affected only when these errors are pronounced. Neurophysiological alterations are reflected by depressed sensitivity to coarse gratings. Visual dysfunction has been associated with workplace exposures to a wide range of organic solvents. In microelectronics assembly where large quantities of organic solvents are used in many aspects of the work processes, visual deficits have been observed. The objective of the present study was to compare contrast sensitivity among former microelectronics assembly workers, with normal far and near visual acuity, and a reference group from the same region, with similar acuity. No significant differences were observed between scores at the two ends of the contrast sensitivity curves; however, at the intermediate spatial frequencies, the former microelectronics workers' scores were significantly lower (Student's t-test; p less than 0.05). For the microelectronics workers, no relation was observed between age and contrast sensitivity at any spatial frequency, whereas for the reference group, contrast sensitivity scores were progressively lower with age at spatial frequencies greater than or equal to 6.0 cpd (r2 = 0.15 at 6 cpd to r2 = 0.45 at 18.0 cpd), suggesting that for the former there is some form of interference with the expected contrast sensitivity loss with age. Lower contrast sensitivity scores in intermediate spatial frequencies, observed among the former microelectronics workers, possibly reflect neural alterations, which may have resulted from exposure to neurotoxic substances. These findings suggest the need for further studies on visual functions in microelectronics workers.

  15. Seeing Steps and Ramps with Simulated Low Acuity: Impact of Texture and Locomotion

    PubMed Central

    Bochsler, Tiana M.; Legge, Gordon E.; Kallie, Christopher S.; Gage, Rachel

    2012-01-01

    Purpose Detecting and recognizing steps and ramps is an important component of the visual accessibility of public spaces for people with impaired vision. The present study, which is part of a larger program of research on visual accessibility, investigated the impact of two factors that may facilitate the recognition of steps and ramps during low-acuity viewing. Visual texture on the ground plane is an environmental factor that improves judgments of surface distance and slant. Locomotion (walking) is common during observations of a layout, and may generate visual motion cues that enhance the recognition of steps and ramps. Methods In two experiments, normally sighted subjects viewed the targets monocularly through blur goggles that reduced acuity to either approx. 20/150 Snellen (mild blur) or 20/880 (severe blur). The subjects judged whether a step, ramp or neither was present ahead on a sidewalk. In the texture experiment, subjects viewed steps and ramps on a surface with a coarse black-and-white checkerboard pattern. In the locomotion experiment, subjects walked along the sidewalk toward the target before making judgments. Results Surprisingly, performance was lower with the textured surface than with a uniform surface, perhaps because the texture masked visual cues necessary for target recognition. Subjects performed better in walking trials than in stationary trials, possibly because they were able to take advantage of visual cues that were only present during motion. Conclusions We conclude that under conditions of simulated low acuity, large, high-contrast texture elements can hinder the recognition of steps and ramps while locomotion enhances recognition. PMID:22863792

  16. Significant improvements to the GBT surface accuracy via high-resolution radio holography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hunter, Todd R.; Schwab, Fred R.; White, Steve D.; Ford, John M.; Ghigo, Frank D.; Maddalena, Ron J.; Mason, Brian S.; Nelson, J. D.; Ray, Jason; Simon, Bob

    2010-01-01

    The 100-m diameter Green Bank Telescope (GBT) was built with an active surface of 2209 actuators in order to achieve and maintain an accurate paraboloidal shape. The actuator home positions were set originally via photogrammetry performed 10 years ago, which resulted in a surface accuracy of about 400 microns rms. In order to improve this performance, in late Fall 2008 we installed a Ku-band holography system on the telescope, composed of two external-reference low-noise block converters attached to linearly-polarized feeds, and followed by down conversion stages, anti-aliasing filters, and a digital correlator. The primary receiver illuminates the subreflector from the standard Gregorian focus while the reference receiver is coupled to an upward-looking 30cm diameter feed located at the tip of the vertical feed arm (above the subreflector). The system is tunable over the typical geostationary satellite downlink frequency band (11.7-12.2 GHz) and the correlated bandwidth is 10 kHz. We performed a spectral survey of a few dozen satellites visible from Green Bank, and identified a number of strong and stable continuous wave beacons near 11.700 GHz suitable for holographic mapping. The typical phase stability of the system is 2 degrees rms in 36 millisecond integrations, and is mostly limited by atmosphere. We began the holography campaign in January 2009. Maps are made with on-the-fly raster scanning over a 2 degree region with 1400 points in the scan direction and 201 points in the perpendicular direction, requiring approximately 3 hours. Surface features as small as 0.5m are visible, compared to the typical panel size of 2m by 2.5m. A number of large features coincident with specific actuators were identified, and traced to electrical problems either with the actuator motors, position sensors or cabling. These problems were repaired during the following months as the campaign continued through several iterations of holography mapping, surface adjustments, and

  17. Night vision goggle (NVG) visual acuity under ideal conditions with various adjustment procedures.

    PubMed

    DeVilbiss, C A; Antonio, J C; Fiedler, G M

    1994-08-01

    Night operations involve diverse mission areas and require an increased reliance on the use of night vision devices, such as night vision goggles (NVG's). Any reduction in goggle or visual performance which goes undetected can have a serious effect on flight safety and operational capability. Under controlled lighting conditions, a crewmember should be able to obtain the best possible goggle performance, and to determine if the goggle is functioning properly. These data represent a sample of 218 current USAF aircrew members representing all crew positions in both rotary and fixed-wing aircraft. Three measurements of goggle performance, expressed as NVG visual acuity, were obtained. The first measure, obtained after crewmembers adjusted the goggles with their usual adjustment methods, showed that they routinely obtain less than optimal acuity levels; i.e., averaging between 20/50 and 20/55. The second measure, taken when the NVG Resolution Chart was provided to augment their "usual" method of adjustment, showed improved performance; i.e., averaging 20/45. The third measure, taken following participation in an NVG Adjustment Procedures class, showed the greatest improvement, averaging between 20/35 and 20/40. In summary, it is reasonable to conclude that aircrew members who are able to obtain the best possible performance for their NVG's under controlled preflight conditions will obtain the best possible goggle performance under the widely varying flight conditions.

  18. Improving Significant Wave Height detection for Coastal Satellite Altimetry: validation in the German Bight.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Passaro, Marcello; Benveniste, Jérôme; Cipollini, Paolo; Fenoglio-Marc, Luciana

    For more than two decades, it has been possible to map the Significant Wave Height (SWH) globally through Satellite Altimetry. SWH estimation is possible because the shape of an altimetric waveform, which usually presents a sharp leading edge and a slowly decaying trailing edge, depends on the sea state: in particular, the higher the sea state, the longer the rising time of the leading edge. The algorithm for SWH also depends on the width of the point target response (PTR) function, which is usually approximated by a constant value that contributes to the rising time. Particularly challenging for SWH detection are coastal data and low sea states. The first are usually flagged as unreliable due to land and calm water interference in the altimeter footprint; the second are characterized by an extremely sharp leading edge that is consequently poorly sampled in the digitalized waveform. ALES, a new algorithm for reprocessing altimetric waveforms, has recently been validated for sea surface height estimation (Passaro et al. 2014). The aim of this work is to check its validity also for SWH estimation in a particularly challenging area. The German Bight region presents both low sea state and coastal issues and is particularly suitable for validation, thanks to the extended network of buoys of the Bundesamt für Seeschifffahrt und Hydrographie (BSH). In-situ data include open sea, off-shore and coastal sea conditions, respectively at the Helgoland, lighthouse Alte Weser and Westerland locations. Reprocessed data from Envisat, Jason-1 and Jason-2 tracks are validated against those three buoys. The in-situ validation is applied both at the nearest point and at points along-track. The skill metrics is based on bias, standard deviation, slope of regression line, scatter index, number of cycles with correlation larger than 90%. The same metrics is applied to the altimeter data obtained by standard processing and the validation results are compared. Data are evaluated at high

  19. Influence of adaptive-optics ocular aberration correction on visual acuity at different luminances and contrast polarities.

    PubMed

    Marcos, Susana; Sawides, Lucie; Gambra, Enrique; Dorronsoro, Carlos

    2008-10-06

    We evaluated the visual benefit of correcting astigmatism and high-order aberrations with adaptive optics (AO) on visual acuity (VA) measured at 7 different luminances (ranging from 0.8 to 50 cd/m(2)) and two contrast polarities (black letters on white background, BoW, and white letters on black background, WoB) on 7 subjects. For the BoW condition, VA increased with background luminance in both natural and AO-corrected conditions, and there was a benefit of AO correction at all luminances (by a factor of 1.29 on average across luminances). For WoB VA increased with foreground luminance but decreased for the highest luminances. In this reversed polarity condition AO correction increased VA by a factor of 1.13 on average and did not produce a visual benefit at high luminances. The improvement of VA (averaged across conditions) was significantly correlated (p = 0.04) with the amount of corrected aberrations (in terms of Strehl ratio). The improved performance with WoB targets with respect to BoW targets is decreased when correcting aberrations, suggesting a role of ocular aberrations in the differences in visual performance between contrast polarities.

  20. Impact of visual acuity on developing literacy at age 4–5 years: a cohort-nested cross-sectional study

    PubMed Central

    Bruce, Alison; Fairley, Lesley; Chambers, Bette; Wright, John; Sheldon, Trevor A

    2016-01-01

    Objectives To estimate the prevalence of poor vision in children aged 4–5 years and determine the impact of visual acuity on literacy. Design Cross-sectional study linking clinical, epidemiological and education data. Setting Schools located in the city of Bradford, UK. Participants Prevalence was determined for 11 186 children participating in the Bradford school vision screening programme. Data linkage was undertaken for 5836 Born in Bradford (BiB) birth cohort study children participating both in the Bradford vision screening programme and the BiB Starting Schools Programme. 2025 children had complete data and were included in the multivariable analyses. Main outcome measures Visual acuity was measured using a logMAR Crowded Test (higher scores=poorer visual acuity). Literacy measured by Woodcock Reading Mastery Tests-Revised (WRMT-R) subtest: letter identification (standardised). Results The mean (SD) presenting visual acuity was 0.14 (0.09) logMAR (range 0.0–1.0). 9% of children had a presenting visual acuity worse than 0.2logMAR (failed vision screening), 4% worse than 0.3logMAR (poor visual acuity) and 2% worse than 0.4logMAR (visually impaired). Unadjusted analysis showed that the literacy score was associated with presenting visual acuity, reducing by 2.4 points for every 1 line (0.10logMAR) reduction in vision (95% CI −3.0 to −1.9). The association of presenting visual acuity with the literacy score remained significant after adjustment for demographic and socioeconomic factors reducing by 1.7 points (95% CI −2.2 to −1.1) for every 1 line reduction in vision. Conclusions Prevalence of decreased visual acuity was high compared with other population-based studies. Decreased visual acuity at school entry is associated with reduced literacy. This may have important implications for the children's future educational, health and social outcomes. PMID:26883240

  1. Increased Macular Pigment Optical Density and Visual Acuity following Consumption of a Buttermilk Drink Containing Lutein-Enriched Egg Yolks: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial

    PubMed Central

    van der Made, Sanne M.; Kelly, Elton R.; Kijlstra, Aize; Plat, Jogchum

    2016-01-01

    Purpose. To study the effect of 1-year daily consumption of a dairy drink containing lutein-enriched egg yolks on macular pigment optical density (MPOD) and visual function parameters in elderly subjects with ocular drusen and/or retinal pigment abnormalities. Methods. One hundred and one subjects were recruited to participate in this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled parallel intervention trial. Statistical analyses were performed with 46 subjects in the lutein group and 43 in the control group. MPOD, best corrected visual acuity (BCVA, logMAR), and dark adaptation were measured at the start of the study, after 6 months and after 12 months. Plasma lutein and zeaxanthin concentrations were assessed at baseline and at the end of the study. Results. In the lutein group, plasma lutein concentrations increased significantly from 205 ng/mL at baseline to 399 ng/mL after twelve months of intervention. MPOD increased significantly from 0.45 to 0.52 and BCVA improved significantly from −0.04 to −0.09 LogMar. Differences in rod dark adaptation rate between both groups were not significant. Conclusion. Daily consumption of a dairy drink containing lutein-enriched egg yolks for one year improves visual acuity, MPOD, and plasma lutein concentration in elderly subjects with drusen and/or retinal pigment epithelial abnormalities. PMID:27064326

  2. Visual Acuity, Retinal Sensitivity, and Macular Thickness Changes in Diabetic Patients without Diabetic Retinopathy after Cataract Surgery.

    PubMed

    Stunf Pukl, Spela; Vidović Valentinčič, Nataša; Urbančič, Mojca; Irman Grčar, Irena; Grčar, Rok; Pfeifer, Vladimir; Globočnik Petrovič, Mojca

    2017-01-01

    Aim. Functional and morphological macular study after cataract surgery in a group of diabetics without diabetic retinopathy compared to nondiabetics to evaluate the effect of surgical oxidative stress on diabetic retina. Methods. Prospective, comparative study. Preoperative eye exam, best corrected visual acuity (BCVA) measured by ETDRS letters, and optical coherence tomography (OCT) were followed by standard cataract surgery. The follow-up visits at 1, 3, and 6 months postoperatively included BCVA, OCT, and microperimetry, to analyze changes within and between the groups. Results. The BCVA improved significantly in diabetics and controls: 64.2 to 81.0 and 61.9 to 82.1 ETDRS at 6 months, respectively. The central macula at OCT significantly thickened in both groups, while the central 5 fields, corresponding to the microperimetry area, subclinically thickened from 284.20 to 291.18 μm at 6 months only in diabetics (p = 0.026). A matching slight decrease in the microperimetry sensitivity from 1 to 6 months was found also only in diabetics, with mean average difference -0.75 dB (p = 0.04). Conclusion. Underlying diabetes does not influence the surgical outcome in diabetics without diabetic retinopathy. However, slight thickening of wider macula and corresponding decrease in retinal sensitivity observed in diabetics 6 months postoperatively might influence visual function on long term.

  3. Visual Acuity, Retinal Sensitivity, and Macular Thickness Changes in Diabetic Patients without Diabetic Retinopathy after Cataract Surgery

    PubMed Central

    Irman Grčar, Irena; Grčar, Rok; Pfeifer, Vladimir

    2017-01-01

    Aim. Functional and morphological macular study after cataract surgery in a group of diabetics without diabetic retinopathy compared to nondiabetics to evaluate the effect of surgical oxidative stress on diabetic retina. Methods. Prospective, comparative study. Preoperative eye exam, best corrected visual acuity (BCVA) measured by ETDRS letters, and optical coherence tomography (OCT) were followed by standard cataract surgery. The follow-up visits at 1, 3, and 6 months postoperatively included BCVA, OCT, and microperimetry, to analyze changes within and between the groups. Results. The BCVA improved significantly in diabetics and controls: 64.2 to 81.0 and 61.9 to 82.1 ETDRS at 6 months, respectively. The central macula at OCT significantly thickened in both groups, while the central 5 fields, corresponding to the microperimetry area, subclinically thickened from 284.20 to 291.18 μm at 6 months only in diabetics (p = 0.026). A matching slight decrease in the microperimetry sensitivity from 1 to 6 months was found also only in diabetics, with mean average difference −0.75 dB (p = 0.04). Conclusion. Underlying diabetes does not influence the surgical outcome in diabetics without diabetic retinopathy. However, slight thickening of wider macula and corresponding decrease in retinal sensitivity observed in diabetics 6 months postoperatively might influence visual function on long term. PMID:28243608

  4. Contour interaction for foveal acuity targets at different luminances.

    PubMed

    Bedell, Harold E; Siderov, John; Waugh, Sarah J; Zemanová, Romana; Pluháček, František; Musilová, Lenka

    2013-08-30

    Single-letter visual acuity is impaired by nearby flanking stimuli, a phenomenon known as contour interaction. We showed previously that when foveal acuity is degraded by a reduction of letter contrast, both the magnitude and angular spatial extent of foveal contour interaction remain unchanged. In this study, we asked whether contour interaction also remains unchanged when foveal visual acuity is degraded by a reduction of the target's background luminance. Percent correct letter identification was measured for isolated, near-threshold black Sloan letters and for letters surrounded by 4 flanking bars in 10 normal observers, 5 at Anglia Ruskin University, UK (ARU) and 5 at Palacky University, Czech Republic (PU). A stepwise reduction in the background luminance over 3 log units resulted in an approximately threefold increase in the near-threshold letter size. At each background luminance, black flanking bars with a width equal to 1 letter stroke were presented at separations between approximately 0.45 and 4.5 min arc (ARU) or 0.32 and 3.2 min arc (PU). The results indicate that the angular extent of contour interaction remains unchanged at approximately 4 min arc at all background luminances. On the other hand, the magnitude of contour interaction decreases systematically as luminance is reduced, from approximately a 50% reduction to a 30% reduction in percent correct. The constant angular extent and decreasing magnitude of contour interaction with a reduction of background luminance suggest foveal contour interaction is mediated by luminance-dependent lateral inhibition within a fixed angular region.

  5. Tactile spatial acuity is reduced by skin stretch at the human wrist.

    PubMed

    Cody, Frederick W J; Idrees, Raheel; Spilioti, Diamantina X; Poliakoff, Ellen

    2010-10-22

    The skin is an elastic organ that is continuously distorted as our limbs move. The hypothesis that the precision of human tactile localisation is reduced when the skin is stretched, with concurrent expansion of receptive fields (RFs) was tested. Locognosic acuity over the dorsal wrist area was quantified during application of background stretch by (a) Wrist-Bend (skin stretch combined with non-cutaneous proprioceptor activation) and (b) Skin-Pull (skin stretch alone). Participants identified the perceived direction (distal or proximal) of brief test stimuli, applied along a 7-point linear array, relative to a central reference locus. Performance was significantly reduced during the large amplitude compared to the small amplitude of tonic skin stretch, but there was no effect of stretch mode (Wrist-Bend, Skin-Pull), nor was the effect of stretch amplitude modulated by the mode of stretch. Locognosic acuity was poorer than baseline accuracy for the large amplitude skin stretches, for both application modes, but did not differ significantly from baseline for either of the small amplitude stretches. We interpret these observations as corroborating the long-held assumption that tactile localisation is primarily dependent upon the RF dimensions, and associated innervation densities, of regional touch units. The finding that performance was reduced to a similar extent under Skin-Pull and Wrist-Bend conditions suggests that non-cutaneous proprioceptors had rather little tonic modulatory effect.

  6. Natalizumab Significantly Improves Cognitive Impairment over Three Years in MS: Pattern of Disability Progression and Preliminary MRI Findings

    PubMed Central

    Mattioli, Flavia; Stampatori, Chiara; Bellomi, Fabio; Scarpazza, Cristina; Capra, Ruggero

    2015-01-01

    Previous studies reported that Multiple Sclerosis (MS) patients treated with natalizumab for one or two years exhibit a significant reduction in relapse rate and in cognitive impairment, but the long term effects on cognitive performance are unknown. This study aimed to evaluate the effects of natalizumab on cognitive impairment in a cohort of 24 consecutive patients with relapsing remitting MS treated for 3 years. The neuropsychological tests, as well as relapse number and EDSS, were assessed at baseline and yearly for three years. The impact on cortical atrophy was also considered in a subgroup of them, and are thus to be considered as preliminary. Results showed a significant reduction in the number of impaired neuropsychological tests after three years, a significant decrease in annualized relapse rate at each time points compared to baseline and a stable EDSS. In the neuropsychological assessment, a significant improvement in memory, attention and executive function test scores was detected. Preliminary MRI data show that, while GM volume did not change at 3 years, a significantly greater parahippocampal and prefrontal gray matter density was noticed, the former correlating with neuropsychological improvement in a memory test. This study showed that therapy with Natalizumab is helpful in improving cognitive performance, and is likely to have a protective role on grey matter, over a three years follow-up. PMID:26148120

  7. Visual acuity of the honey bee retina and the limits for feature detection

    PubMed Central

    Rigosi, Elisa; Wiederman, Steven D.; O’Carroll, David C.

    2017-01-01

    Visual abilities of the honey bee have been studied for more than 100 years, recently revealing unexpectedly sophisticated cognitive skills rivalling those of vertebrates. However, the physiological limits of the honey bee eye have been largely unaddressed and only studied in an unnatural, dark state. Using a bright display and intracellular recordings, we here systematically investigated the angular sensitivity across the light adapted eye of honey bee foragers. Angular sensitivity is a measure of photoreceptor receptive field size and thus small values indicate higher visual acuity. Our recordings reveal a fronto-ventral acute zone in which angular sensitivity falls below 1.9°, some 30% smaller than previously reported. By measuring receptor noise and responses to moving dark objects, we also obtained direct measures of the smallest features detectable by the retina. In the frontal eye, single photoreceptors respond to objects as small as 0.6° × 0.6°, with >99% reliability. This indicates that honey bee foragers possess significantly better resolution than previously reported or estimated behaviourally, and commonly assumed in modelling of bee acuity. PMID:28383025

  8. Taste acuity, plasma zinc levels, and weight loss during radiotherapy: a study of relationships

    SciTech Connect

    Bolze, M.S.; Fosmire, G.J.; Stryker, J.A.; Chung, C.K.; Flipse, B.G.

    1982-07-01

    Thirty-five patients who were to undergo radiotherapy and 13 normal subjects were evaluated with taste questionnaires, taste acuity tests, and plasma zinc analyses. The studies were repeated on the patients in the fifth week of radiotherapy. The mean taste thresholds for NaCl (salt), sucrose (sweet), HCl (sour), and urea (bitter) were elevated and the plasma zinc levels were lower (77.2 +/- 11.8 vs. 94.6 +/- 30.1 g/100 ml, p = 0.055) for the patients than for the controls. However, there was not a significant correlation between the taste thresholds and plasma zinc levels at any time. The mean weight loss experienced by the 14 patients who reported subjective taste alteration in the fifth week was 3.1 kg versus 0.1 kg (p = 0.005) for those who did not report taste alteration. The data suggest that alterations in taste acuity, but not plasma zinc levels, are associated with weight loss during radiotherapy.

  9. Taste acuity, plasma zinc levels, and weight loss during radiotherapy: a study of relationships

    SciTech Connect

    Bolze, M.S.; Fosmire, G.J.; Stryker, J.A.; Chung, C.K.; Flipse, B.G.

    1982-07-01

    Thirty-five patients who were to undergo radiotherapy and 13 normal subjects were evaluated with taste questionnaires, taste acuity tests, and plasma zinc analyses. The studies were repeated on the patients in the fifth week of radiotherapy. The mean taste thresholds for NaCl (salt), sucrose (sweet), HCl (sour), and urea (bitter) were elevated and the plasma zinc levels were lower (77.2 +/- 11.8 vs. 94.6 +/- 30.1 g/100 ml, p . 0.055) for the patients than for the controls. However, there was not a significant correlation between the taste thresholds and plasma zinc levels at any time. The mean weight loss experienced by the 14 patients who reported subjective taste alteration in the fifth week was 3.1 kg versus 0.1 kg (p . 0.005) for those who did not report taste alteration. The data suggest that alterations in taste acuity, but not plasma zinc levels, are associated with weight loss during radiotherapy.

  10. Comparison of distance and near visual acuity in patients with vision loss due to cataract.

    PubMed

    Mercado, Carmel L; Doroslovački, Pavle; Wang, Jiangxia; Siddiqui, Aazim A; Kolker, Andrew F; Kolker, Richard J

    2017-02-01

    The purpose of this study was to assess whether there is a disparity in distance and near best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) in cataract eyes. 102 patients with cataract (N = 121 eyes) were seen in clinic between January and November 2013 at the Wilmer Eye Institute Comprehensive Eye Service. An age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) group (N = 27 eyes) was also identified for comparison. Distance and near BCVA were measured as part of the standard ophthalmic evaluation. Snellen measurements were converted to their LogMAR equivalents for statistical analysis. Near was better than distance BCVA with mean difference of 1.38 lines (P < 0.001) in the cataract eyes. This disparity was not seen in the ARMD eyes. Near-distance BCVA disparity is a statistically significant finding seen with cataracts. This may have further implications in patients with both cataract and ARMD as the presence of disparity may suggest a cataract etiology playing a greater role in vision loss. This comparison may be useful for surgical prognostication and as a quick triage tool in conjunction with, or in place of, a potential acuity meter and dilated near-pinhole test.

  11. Impact on stereo-acuity of two presbyopia correction approaches: monovision and small aperture inlay.

    PubMed

    Fernández, Enrique J; Schwarz, Christina; Prieto, Pedro M; Manzanera, Silvestre; Artal, Pablo

    2013-06-01

    Some of the different currently applied approaches that correct presbyopia may reduce stereovision. In this work, stereo-acuity was measured for two methods: (1) monovision and (2) small aperture inlay in one eye. When performing the experiment, a prototype of a binocular adaptive optics vision analyzer was employed. The system allowed simultaneous measurement and manipulation of the optics in both eyes of a subject. The apparatus incorporated two programmable spatial light modulators: one phase-only device using liquid crystal on silicon technology for wavefront manipulation and one intensity modulator for controlling the exit pupils. The prototype was also equipped with a stimulus generator for creating retinal disparity based on two micro-displays. The three-needle test was programmed for characterizing stereo-acuity. Subjects underwent a two-alternative forced-choice test. The following cases were tested for the stimulus placed at distance: (a) natural vision; (b) 1.5 D monovision; (c) 0.75 D monovision; (d) natural vision and small pupil; (e) 0.75 D monovision and small pupil. In all cases the standard pupil diameter was 4 mm and the small pupil diameter was 1.6 mm. The use of a small aperture significantly reduced the negative impact of monovision on stereopsis. The results of the experiment suggest that combining micro-monovision with a small aperture, which is currently being implemented as a corneal inlay, can yield values of stereoacuity close to those attained under normal binocular vision.

  12. Impact on stereo-acuity of two presbyopia correction approaches: monovision and small aperture inlay

    PubMed Central

    Fernández, Enrique J.; Schwarz, Christina; Prieto, Pedro M.; Manzanera, Silvestre; Artal, Pablo

    2013-01-01

    Some of the different currently applied approaches that correct presbyopia may reduce stereovision. In this work, stereo-acuity was measured for two methods: (1) monovision and (2) small aperture inlay in one eye. When performing the experiment, a prototype of a binocular adaptive optics vision analyzer was employed. The system allowed simultaneous measurement and manipulation of the optics in both eyes of a subject. The apparatus incorporated two programmable spatial light modulators: one phase-only device using liquid crystal on silicon technology for wavefront manipulation and one intensity modulator for controlling the exit pupils. The prototype was also equipped with a stimulus generator for creating retinal disparity based on two micro-displays. The three-needle test was programmed for characterizing stereo-acuity. Subjects underwent a two-alternative forced-choice test. The following cases were tested for the stimulus placed at distance: (a) natural vision; (b) 1.5 D monovision; (c) 0.75 D monovision; (d) natural vision and small pupil; (e) 0.75 D monovision and small pupil. In all cases the standard pupil diameter was 4 mm and the small pupil diameter was 1.6 mm. The use of a small aperture significantly reduced the negative impact of monovision on stereopsis. The results of the experiment suggest that combining micro-monovision with a small aperture, which is currently being implemented as a corneal inlay, can yield values of stereoacuity close to those attained under normal binocular vision. PMID:23761846

  13. Regulated expression of an isopentenyltransferase gene (IPT) in peanut significantly improves drought tolerance and increases yield under field conditions.

    PubMed

    Qin, Hua; Gu, Qiang; Zhang, Junling; Sun, Li; Kuppu, Sundaram; Zhang, Yizheng; Burow, Mark; Payton, Paxton; Blumwald, Eduardo; Zhang, Hong

    2011-11-01

    Isopentenyltransferase (IPT) is a critical enzyme in the cytokinin biosynthetic pathway. The expression of IPT under the control of a maturation- and stress-induced promoter was shown to delay stress-induced plant senescence that resulted in an enhanced drought tolerance in both monocot and dicot plants. This report extends the earlier findings in tobacco and rice to peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.), an important oil crop and protein source. Regulated expression of IPT in peanut significantly improved drought tolerance in both laboratory and field conditions. Transgenic peanut plants maintained higher photosynthetic rates, higher stomatal conductance and higher transpiration than wild-type control plants under reduced irrigation conditions. More importantly, transgenic peanut plants produced significantly higher yields than wild-type control plants in the field, indicating a great potential for the development of crops with improved performance and yield in water-limited areas of the world.

  14. Visual acuity in an opportunistic raptor, the chimango caracara (Milvago chimango).

    PubMed

    Potier, Simon; Bonadonna, Francesco; Kelber, Almut; Duriez, Olivier

    2016-04-01

    Raptors are always considered to have an extraordinary resolving power of their eyes (high visual acuity). Nevertheless, raptors differ in their diet and foraging tactics, which could lead to large differences in visual acuity. The visual acuity of an opportunist bird of prey, the Chimango caracara (Mivalgo chimango) was estimated by operant conditioning. Three birds were trained to discriminate two stimuli, a positive grey uniform pattern and a negative grating pattern stimulus. The visual acuity range from 15.08 to 39.83 cycles/degrees. When compared to other birds, they have a higher visual acuity than non-raptorial birds, but they have the lowest visual acuity found in bird of prey so far. We discuss this result in the context of the ecology of the bird, with special focus on it is foraging tactic.

  15. The relationship between perifoveal achromatic, L- and M-cone acuity and retinal structure as assessed with multimodal high resolution imaging.

    PubMed

    Baraas, Rigmor C; Gjelle, Jon V B; Finstad, Elisabeth Bratlie; Jacobsen, Siri Bjørnetun; Gilson, Stuart J

    2016-07-02

    The relationships between perifoveal measures of achromatic-, L- and M-cone acuity and retinal structure were investigated in healthy young males. Thirty-two males, aged 20-39years, with normal foveal logMAR letter acuity and no observed ocular abnormalities participated in the study. Achromatic and isolated L- and M-cone spatial acuity was measured in the dominant eye with a Sloan E letter of 90% achromatic decrement contrast or 23% increment cone contrast, respectively. Separately, the central part of the same eye was imaged with high-resolution spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) and adaptive optics ophthalmoscopy (AOO). Thickness measures and cone density in the fovea and parafoveal region were not correlated with perifoveal structural measures. A significant correlation was observed between thicker retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) complex, higher cone density and better L-cone logMAR at 5deg eccentricity, but not for achromatic or M-cone logMAR. The results imply that single letter perifoveal L-cone acuity, rather than achromatic acuity, may provide a useful measure for assessing the structure-function relationship and detecting early changes in the perifoveal cone mosaic.

  16. Validation of the Total Visual Acuity Extraction Algorithm (TOVA) for Automated Extraction of Visual Acuity Data From Free Text, Unstructured Clinical Records

    PubMed Central

    Baughman, Douglas M.; Su, Grace L.; Tsui, Irena; Lee, Cecilia S.; Lee, Aaron Y.

    2017-01-01

    Purpose With increasing volumes of electronic health record data, algorithm-driven extraction may aid manual extraction. Visual acuity often is extracted manually in vision research. The total visual acuity extraction algorithm (TOVA) is presented and validated for automated extraction of visual acuity from free text, unstructured clinical notes. Methods Consecutive inpatient ophthalmology notes over an 8-year period from the University of Washington healthcare system in Seattle, WA were used for validation of TOVA. The total visual acuity extraction algorithm applied natural language processing to recognize Snellen visual acuity in free text notes and assign laterality. The best corrected measurement was determined for each eye and converted to logMAR. The algorithm was validated against manual extraction of a subset of notes. Results A total of 6266 clinical records were obtained giving 12,452 data points. In a subset of 644 validated notes, comparison of manually extracted data versus TOVA output showed 95% concordance. Interrater reliability testing gave κ statistics of 0.94 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.89–0.99), 0.96 (95% CI, 0.94–0.98), 0.95 (95% CI, 0.92–0.98), and 0.94 (95% CI, 0.90–0.98) for acuity numerators, denominators, adjustments, and signs, respectively. Pearson correlation coefficient was 0.983. Linear regression showed an R2 of 0.966 (P < 0.0001). Conclusions The total visual acuity extraction algorithm is a novel tool for extraction of visual acuity from free text, unstructured clinical notes and provides an open source method of data extraction. Translational Relevance Automated visual acuity extraction through natural language processing can be a valuable tool for data extraction from free text ophthalmology notes. PMID:28299240

  17. High and Low Contrast Visual Acuity Are Not Affected in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Moss, Heather E; Samelson, Monica; Mohan, Girish; Jiang, Qin Li

    2016-01-01

    The afferent visual system may be affected by neuro-degeneration in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) based on observations of visual function impairment and retinal inclusions on histopathology in ALS patients. To test the hypothesis that visual acuity is impaired in ALS, we compared three measures of visual acuity in ALS patients (n = 25) attending a multidisciplinary ALS clinic and age matched control subjects (n = 25). Bilateral monocular and binocular visual acuities were assessed using high contrast (black letters on white background) and low contrast (2.5%, 1.25% grey letters on white background) visual acuity charts under controlled lighting conditions following refraction. Binocular summation was calculated as the difference between binocular and best monocular acuity scores. There were no associations between binocular or monocular high contrast visual acuity or low contrast visual acuity and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis diagnosis (generalized estimating equation models accounting for age). Binocular summation was similar in both amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and control subjects. There was a small magnitude association between increased duration of ALS symptoms and reduced 1.25% low contrast visual acuity. This study does not confirm prior observations of impaired visual acuity in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and does not support this particular measure of visual function for use in broad scale assessment of visual pathway involvement in ALS patients.

  18. High and Low Contrast Visual Acuity Are Not Affected in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Samelson, Monica; Mohan, Girish; Jiang, Qin Li

    2016-01-01

    The afferent visual system may be affected by neuro-degeneration in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) based on observations of visual function impairment and retinal inclusions on histopathology in ALS patients. To test the hypothesis that visual acuity is impaired in ALS, we compared three measures of visual acuity in ALS patients (n = 25) attending a multidisciplinary ALS clinic and age matched control subjects (n = 25). Bilateral monocular and binocular visual acuities were assessed using high contrast (black letters on white background) and low contrast (2.5%, 1.25% grey letters on white background) visual acuity charts under controlled lighting conditions following refraction. Binocular summation was calculated as the difference between binocular and best monocular acuity scores. There were no associations between binocular or monocular high contrast visual acuity or low contrast visual acuity and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis diagnosis (generalized estimating equation models accounting for age). Binocular summation was similar in both amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and control subjects. There was a small magnitude association between increased duration of ALS symptoms and reduced 1.25% low contrast visual acuity. This study does not confirm prior observations of impaired visual acuity in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and does not support this particular measure of visual function for use in broad scale assessment of visual pathway involvement in ALS patients. PMID:28033389

  19. Spatial visual acuity of the eagle Aquila audax: a behavioural, optical and anatomical investigation.

    PubMed

    Reymond, L

    1985-01-01

    Behavioural acuity of the wedge-tailed eagle was determined across a range of luminance. Maximum acuity is between 132 and 143 c/deg and with decreasing luminance acuity declines sharply. The maximum anatomical resolving power of the eagle's deep fovea was calculated as 140 c/deg. This calculation was based upon ophthalmoscopic measurement of posterior nodal distance and estimates of photoreceptor spacings made from fixed foveal tissue and corrected for shrinkage. Maximum behavioural acuity and anatomical resolving power correspond closely and approach the highest frequency (157 c/deg) transmitted by the minimum pupil diameter of the eye. These findings are discussed with reference to current theories of visual functioning.

  20. Continuous Flow Left Ventricular Assist Device Implant Significantly Improves Pulmonary Hypertension, Right Ventricular Contractility, and Tricuspid Valve Competence

    PubMed Central

    Atluri, Pavan; Fairman, Alexander S.; MacArthur, John W.; Goldstone, Andrew B.; Cohen, Jeffrey E.; Howard, Jessica L.; Zalewski, Christyna M.; Shudo, Yasuhiro; Woo, Y. Joseph

    2014-01-01

    Background Continuous flow left ventricular assist devices (CF LVAD) are being implanted with increasing frequency for end-stage heart failure. At the time of LVAD implant, a large proportion of patients have pulmonary hypertension, right ventricular (RV) dysfunction, and tricuspid regurgitation (TR). RV dysfunction and TR can exacerbate renal dysfunction, hepatic dysfunction, coagulopathy, edema, and even prohibit isolated LVAD implant. Repairing TR mandates increased cardiopulmonary bypass time and bicaval cannulation, which should be reserved for the time of orthotopic heart transplantation. We hypothesized that CF LVAD implant would improve pulmonary artery pressures, enhance RV function, and minimize TR, obviating need for surgical tricuspid repair. Methods One hundred fourteen continuous flow LVADs implanted from 2005 through 2011 at a single center, with medical management of functional TR, were retrospectively analyzed. Pulmonary artery pressures were measured immediately prior to and following LVAD implant. RV function and TR were graded according to standard echocardiographic criteria, prior to, immediately following, and long-term following LVAD. Results There was a significant improvement in post-VAD mean pulmonary arterial pressures (26.6 ± 4.9 vs. 30.2 ± 7.4 mmHg, p = 0.008) with equivalent loading pressures (CVP = 12.0 ± 4.0 vs. 12.1 ± 5.1 p = NS). RV function significantly improved, as noted by right ventricular stroke work index (7.04 ± 2.60 vs. 6.05 ± 2.54, p = 0.02). There was an immediate improvement in TR grade and RV function following LVAD implant, which was sustained long term. Conclusion Continuous flow LVAD implant improves pulmonary hypertension, RV function, and tricuspid regurgitation. TR may be managed nonoperatively during CF LVAD implant. PMID:24118109

  1. Dynamic Visual Acuity While Walking in Normals and Labyrinthine-Deficient Patients

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hillman, Edward J.; Bloomberg, Jacob J.; McDonald, P. Vernon; Cohen, Helen S.

    1996-01-01

    We describe a new, objective, easily administered test of dynamic visual acuity (DVA) while walking. Ten normal subjects and five patients with histories of severe bilateral vestibular dysfunctions participated in this study. Subjects viewed a visual display of numerals of different font sizes presented on a laptop computer while they stood still and while they walked on a motorized treadmill. Treadmill speed was adapted for 4 of 5 patients. Subjects were asked to identify the numerals as they appeared on the computer screen. Test results were reasonably repeatable in normals. The percent correct responses at each font size dropped slightly while walking in normals and dropped significantly more in patients. Patients performed significantly worse than normals while standing still and while walking. This task may be useful for evaluating post-flight astronauts and vestibularly impaired patients.

  2. Impaired acuity of the approximate number system underlies mathematical learning disability (dyscalculia).

    PubMed

    Mazzocco, Michèle M M; Feigenson, Lisa; Halberda, Justin

    2011-01-01

    Many children have significant mathematical learning disabilities (MLD, or dyscalculia) despite adequate schooling. The current study hypothesizes that MLD partly results from a deficiency in the Approximate Number System (ANS) that supports nonverbal numerical representations across species and throughout development. In this study of 71 ninth graders, it is shown that students with MLD have significantly poorer ANS precision than students in all other mathematics achievement groups (low, typically, and high achieving), as measured by psychophysical assessments of ANS acuity (w) and of the mappings between ANS representations and number words (cv). This relation persists even when controlling for domain-general abilities. Furthermore, this ANS precision does not differentiate low-achieving from typically achieving students, suggesting an ANS deficit that is specific to MLD.

  3. Comparability of ophthalmic diagnoses by clinical and Reading Center examiners in the Visual Acuity Impairment Survey Pilot Study.

    PubMed

    Sperduto, R D; Hiller, R; Podgor, M J; Palmberg, P; Ferris, F L; Wentworth, D

    1986-12-01

    Technologic advances in ophthalmic equipment offer the possibility of replacing direct clinical examinations with Reading Center evaluations of data recorded in epidemiologic studies. Clinical and Reading Center examiners made independent ophthalmic diagnoses of 133 right and 132 left eyes of 138 adults in the Visual Acuity Impairment Survey Pilot Study, carried out in three US cities, Boston, Detroit, and Minneapolis, in August 1981-December 1982. The Reading Center diagnosed eye conditions using only photographic and visual field data collected at the time of the clinical examination. In the comparisons of clinical and Reading Center evaluations reported here, only eyes judged by the examiners to have pathology severe enough to reduce visual acuity to 6/9 or worse were classified as having pathology. (No visual acuity criterion was required for the diagnosis of glaucoma or diabetic retinopathy.) There was agreement in diagnostic assessments between clinical and Reading Center examiners in about 80% of eyes. The kappa statistic, which adjusts for chance agreement, was in the fair to good range: 0.60 for 133 right eyes and 0.62 for 132 left eyes. When the Reading Center examiners were provided with additional information on medical history, refractive error and best corrected visual acuity, the agreement between clinical and Reading Center assessments among the subset of eyes with 6/9 or worse vision again was in the fair to good range, with kappas of 0.61 for 45 right eyes and 0.68 for 48 left eyes. Inter-observer agreement between Reading Center examiners in diagnosing pathology was in the good to excellent range. Use of Reading Centers in future epidemiologic studies should be considered, but elimination of the clinical examinations is not recommended until modifications in the protocol described here have been made and shown to improve levels of agreement between clinical and Reading Center examiners.

  4. Sensitivity of The Dynamic Visual Acuity Test To Sensorimotor Change

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cohen, Helen; Bloomberg, Jacob; Elizalde, Elizabeth; Fregia, Melody

    1999-01-01

    Post-flight astronauts, acutely post-vestibular nerve section patients, and patients with severe chronic bilateral vestibular deficits have oscillopsia caused by reduced vestibulocular reflex gains and decreased postural stability. Therefore, as previous work has shown, a test of dynamic visual acuity (DVA), in which the subject must read numbers from a computer screen while standing still or walking in place provides a composite measure of sensorimotor integration. This measure may be useful for determining the level of recovery, post-flight, post-operatively, or after vestibular rehabilitation. To determine the sensitivity of DVA to change in impaired populations we have tested patients with acoustic neuromas before and during the first post-operative week after resection of the tumors, and with bilaterally labyrinthine deficient subjects before and after six weeks of balance rehabilitation therapy.

  5. Recovery of stereo acuity in adults with amblyopia

    PubMed Central

    Astle, Andrew T; McGraw, Paul V; Webb, Ben S

    2011-01-01

    Disruption of visual input to one eye during early development leads to marked functional impairments of vision, commonly referred to as amblyopia. A major consequence of amblyopia is the inability to encode binocular disparity information leading to impaired depth perception or stereo acuity. If amblyopia is treated early in life (before 4 years of age), then recovery of normal stereoscopic function is possible. Treatment is rarely undertaken later in life (adulthood) because declining levels of neural plasticity are thought to limit the effectiveness of standard treatments. Here, the authors show that a learning-based therapy, designed to exploit experience-dependent plastic mechanisms, can be used to recover stereoscopic visual function in adults with amblyopia. These cases challenge the long-held dogma that the critical period for visual development and the window for treating amblyopia are one and the same. PMID:22707543

  6. Collective enhancement of numerical acuity by meritocratic leadership in fish.

    PubMed

    Bisazza, Angelo; Butterworth, Brian; Piffer, Laura; Bahrami, Bahador; Miletto Petrazzini, Maria Elena; Agrillo, Christian

    2014-04-02

    It has been known for more than a century that interacting people can generally achieve more accurate decisions than single individuals. Here we show that interacting guppy fish (Poecilia reticulata) achieve a superior level of numerosity discrimination well beyond the average ability of the isolated individual fish. This enhancement of numerical acuity was observed in dyadic interactions when (Experiment 1) the dyad chose which larger shoal of guppies to join and when (Experiment 2) the dyad chose the higher or the lower numerosity among two decision options after having learned the task individually. Dyadic accuracy and that of the more competent member of each dyad matched closely, supporting the hypothesis that meritocratic leadership arises spontaneously between dyadically interacting fish, rather than the 'many wrongs' principle that has been used to explain group superiority in many species.

  7. Photovoltaic restoration of sight with high visual acuity.

    PubMed

    Lorach, Henri; Goetz, Georges; Smith, Richard; Lei, Xin; Mandel, Yossi; Kamins, Theodore; Mathieson, Keith; Huie, Philip; Harris, James; Sher, Alexander; Palanker, Daniel

    2015-05-01

    Patients with retinal degeneration lose sight due to the gradual demise of photoreceptors. Electrical stimulation of surviving retinal neurons provides an alternative route for the delivery of visual information. We demonstrate that subretinal implants with 70-μm-wide photovoltaic pixels provide highly localized stimulation of retinal neurons in rats. The electrical receptive fields recorded in retinal ganglion cells were similar in size to the natural visual receptive fields. Similarly to normal vision, the retinal response to prosthetic stimulation exhibited flicker fusion at high frequencies, adaptation to static images and nonlinear spatial summation. In rats with retinal degeneration, these photovoltaic arrays elicited retinal responses with a spatial resolution of 64 ± 11 μm, corresponding to half of the normal visual acuity in healthy rats. The ease of implantation of these wireless and modular arrays, combined with their high resolution, opens the door to the functional restoration of sight in patients blinded by retinal degeneration.

  8. Photovoltaic restoration of sight with high visual acuity

    PubMed Central

    Lorach, Henri; Goetz, Georges; Smith, Richard; Lei, Xin; Mandel, Yossi; Kamins, Theodore; Mathieson, Keith; Huie, Philip; Harris, James; Sher, Alexander; Palanker, Daniel

    2015-01-01

    Patients with retinal degeneration lose sight due to gradual demise of photoreceptors. Electrical stimulation of the surviving retinal neurons provides an alternative route for delivery of visual information. We demonstrate that subretinal arrays with 70 μm photovoltaic pixels provide highly localized stimulation, with electrical and visual receptive fields of comparable sizes in rat retinal ganglion cells. Similarly to normal vision, retinal response to prosthetic stimulation exhibits flicker fusion at high frequencies, adaptation to static images and non-linear spatial summation. In rats with retinal degeneration, these photovoltaic arrays provide spatial resolution of 64 ± 11 μm, corresponding to half of the normal visual acuity in pigmented rats. Ease of implantation of these wireless and modular arrays, combined with their high resolution opens the door to functional restoration of sight. PMID:25915832

  9. Predicting visual acuity from the structure of visual cortex

    PubMed Central

    Srinivasan, Shyam; Carlo, C. Nikoosh; Stevens, Charles F.

    2015-01-01

    Three decades ago, Rockel et al. proposed that neuronal surface densities (number of neurons under a square millimeter of surface) of primary visual cortices (V1s) in primates is 2.5 times higher than the neuronal density of V1s in nonprimates or many other cortical regions in primates and nonprimates. This claim has remained controversial and much debated. We replicated the study of Rockel et al. with attention to modern stereological precepts and show that indeed primate V1 is 2.5 times denser (number of neurons per square millimeter) than many other cortical regions and nonprimate V1s; we also show that V2 is 1.7 times as dense. As primate V1s are denser, they have more neurons and thus more pinwheels than similar-sized nonprimate V1s, which explains why primates have better visual acuity. PMID:26056277

  10. Significant improvement of GaN crystal quality with ex-situ sputtered AlN nucleation layers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Shuo-Wei; Yang, Young; Wen, Wei-Chih; Li, Heng; Lu, Tien-Chang

    2016-03-01

    Ex-situ sputtered AlN nucleation layer has been demonstrated effective to significantly improve crystal quality and electrical properties of GaN epitaxy layers for GaN based Light-emitting diodes (LEDs). In this report, we have successfully reduced X-ray (102) FWHM from 240 to 110 arcsec, and (002) FWHM from 230 to 101 arcsec. In addition, reverse-bias voltage (Vr) increased around 20% with the sputtered AlN nucleation layer. Furthermore, output power of LEDs grown on sputtered AlN nucleation layer can be improved around 4.0% compared with LEDs which is with conventional GaN nucleation layer on pattern sapphire substrate (PSS).

  11. A small electron donor in cobalt complex electrolyte significantly improves efficiency in dye-sensitized solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hao, Yan; Yang, Wenxing; Zhang, Lei; Jiang, Roger; Mijangos, Edgar; Saygili, Yasemin; Hammarström, Leif; Hagfeldt, Anders; Boschloo, Gerrit

    2016-12-01

    Photoelectrochemical approach to solar energy conversion demands a kinetic optimization of various light-induced electron transfer processes. Of great importance are the redox mediator systems accomplishing the electron transfer processes at the semiconductor/electrolyte interface, therefore affecting profoundly the performance of various photoelectrochemical cells. Here, we develop a strategy--by addition of a small organic electron donor, tris(4-methoxyphenyl)amine, into state-of-art cobalt tris(bipyridine) redox electrolyte--to significantly improve the efficiency of dye-sensitized solar cells. The developed solar cells exhibit efficiency of 11.7 and 10.5%, at 0.46 and one-sun illumination, respectively, corresponding to a 26% efficiency improvement compared with the standard electrolyte. Preliminary stability tests showed the solar cell retained 90% of its initial efficiency after 250 h continuous one-sun light soaking. Detailed mechanistic studies reveal the crucial role of the electron transfer cascade processes within the new redox system.

  12. A comparison of vernier acuity for narrowband and broadband stimuli.

    PubMed

    Barrett, Brendan T; Whitaker, David

    2004-01-01

    This study investigates the influence of contrast and exposure duration on vernier acuity thresholds for abutting and separated narrowband stimuli, and asks whether these data can predict broadband vernier performance. Vernier thresholds were determined for sinusoidal grating stimuli at two spatial frequencies (1 and 8 c/deg) across a range of contrasts (0.05-0.8) and exposure durations (35-2100 ms). Performance was assessed for the abutting configuration, and when a gap equivalent to 0.5 to 1.5 times the spatial period of the grating was introduced between the upper and lower halves of the grating. Vernier thresholds were also determined for a square-wave stimulus as a function of contrast (0.06 to 0.78). Exposure duration was fixed at 2100 ms. In addition, thresholds were determined at the appropriate contrast levels for the fundamental frequency (1.8 c/deg) of the square-wave, and for a number of the harmonics (3F, 5F, 7F, 9F). Our results provide support for filter models of vernier acuity by showing that vernier performance for abutting and closely-separated broadband stimuli represents the envelope of vernier sensitivity of those spatial frequency mechanisms that are activated by the broadband stimulus. In the case of high frequency grating stimuli presented for long exposure durations, vernier performance can be invariant across much of the contrast range. Despite this, however, contrast independence is not exhibited for abutting broadband stimuli because, within the broadband stimuli, the contrast of the higher harmonic components never reaches a level to reveal this plateau.

  13. Amblyopia and visual acuity in children with Down's syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Tsiaras, W.; Pueschel, S.; Keller, C.; Curran, R.; Giesswein, S.

    1999-01-01

    BACKGROUND/AIMS—Amblyopia in people with Down's syndrome has not been well investigated. This study was designed to determine the prevalence and associated conditions of amblyopia in a group of home reared children with Down's syndrome.
METHODS—All children in the study group underwent an evaluation of visual acuity. In addition, previous ophthalmological records were reviewed, and a subgroup of children was examined. For the purposes of this study, amblyopia was defined quantitatively as a difference of two Snellen acuity lines between eyes or if unilateral central steady maintained (CSM) vision and a clear fixation preference was observed. A high refractive error was defined as a spherical equivalent more than 3 dioptres and astigmatism more than 1.75 dioptres. Anisometropia was defined as a difference of at least 1.5 dioptres of sphere and/or 1.0 dioptre of cylinder between eyes. 68 children with Down's syndrome between the ages of 5 and 19 years were enrolled in the final study group.
RESULTS—Amblyopia was observed in 15 (22%) of 68 patients. An additional 16 (24%) patients had bilateral vision less than 20/50. Strabismus, high refractive errors, and anisometropia were the conditions most commonly associated with decreased vision and amblyopia
CONCLUSION—This study suggests that the prevalence of amblyopia is higher than previously reported. Fully 46% of these children with Down's syndrome had evidence of substantial visual deficits. These patients may be at higher risk for visual impairment and should be carefully examined for ophthalmological problems.

 PMID:10502568

  14. Long-term treatment with naproxcinod significantly improves skeletal and cardiac disease phenotype in the mdx mouse model of dystrophy.

    PubMed

    Uaesoontrachoon, Kitipong; Quinn, James L; Tatem, Kathleen S; Van Der Meulen, Jack H; Yu, Qing; Phadke, Aditi; Miller, Brittany K; Gordish-Dressman, Heather; Ongini, Ennio; Miglietta, Daniela; Nagaraju, Kanneboyina

    2014-06-15

    In Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) patients and the mouse model of DMD, mdx, dystrophin deficiency causes a decrease and mislocalization of muscle-specific neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOSμ), leading to functional impairments. Previous studies have shown that nitric oxide (NO) donation associated with anti-inflammatory action has beneficial effects in dystrophic mouse models. In this study, we have systematically investigated the effects of naproxcinod, an NO-donating naproxen derivative, on the skeletal and cardiac disease phenotype in mdx mice. Four-week-old mdx and C57BL/10 mice were treated with four different concentrations (0, 10, 21 and 41 mg/kg) of naproxcinod and 0.9 mg/kg of prednisolone in their food for 9 months. All mice were subjected to twice-weekly treadmill sessions, and functional and behavioral parameters were measured at 3, 6 and 9 months of treatment. In addition, we evaluated in vitro force contraction, optical imaging of inflammation, echocardiography and blood pressure (BP) at the 9-month endpoint prior to sacrifice. We found that naproxcinod treatment at 21 mg/kg resulted in significant improvement in hindlimb grip strength and a 30% decrease in inflammation in the fore- and hindlimbs of mdx mice. Furthermore, we found significant improvement in heart function, as evidenced by improved fraction shortening, ejection fraction and systolic BP. In addition, the long-term detrimental effects of prednisolone typically seen in mdx skeletal and heart function were not observed at the effective dose of naproxcinod. In conclusion, our results indicate that naproxcinod has significant potential as a safe therapeutic option for the treatment of muscular dystrophies.

  15. Measuring acuity of the approximate number system reliably and validly: the evaluation of an adaptive test procedure

    PubMed Central

    Lindskog, Marcus; Winman, Anders; Juslin, Peter; Poom, Leo

    2013-01-01

    Two studies investigated the reliability and predictive validity of commonly used measures and models of Approximate Number System acuity (ANS). Study 1 investigated reliability by both an empirical approach and a simulation of maximum obtainable reliability under ideal conditions. Results showed that common measures of the Weber fraction (w) are reliable only when using a substantial number of trials, even under ideal conditions. Study 2 compared different purported measures of ANS acuity as for convergent and predictive validity in a within-subjects design and evaluated an adaptive test using the ZEST algorithm. Results showed that the adaptive measure can reduce the number of trials needed to reach acceptable reliability. Only direct tests with non-symbolic numerosity discriminations of stimuli presented simultaneously were related to arithmetic fluency. This correlation remained when controlling for general cognitive ability and perceptual speed. Further, the purported indirect measure of ANS acuity in terms of the Numeric Distance Effect (NDE) was not reliable and showed no sign of predictive validity. The non-symbolic NDE for reaction time was significantly related to direct w estimates in a direction contrary to the expected. Easier stimuli were found to be more reliable, but only harder (7:8 ratio) stimuli contributed to predictive validity. PMID:23964256

  16. The role of ANS acuity and numeracy for the calibration and the coherence of subjective probability judgments

    PubMed Central

    Winman, Anders; Juslin, Peter; Lindskog, Marcus; Nilsson, Håkan; Kerimi, Neda

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of the study was to investigate how numeracy and acuity of the approximate number system (ANS) relate to the calibration and coherence of probability judgments. Based on the literature on number cognition, a first hypothesis was that those with lower numeracy would maintain a less linear use of the probability scale, contributing to overconfidence and nonlinear calibration curves. A second hypothesis was that also poorer acuity of the ANS would be associated with overconfidence and non-linearity. A third hypothesis, in line with dual-systems theory (e.g., Kahneman and Frederick, 2002) was that people higher in numeracy should have better access to the normative probability rules, allowing them to decrease the rate of conjunction fallacies. Data from 213 participants sampled from the Swedish population showed that: (i) in line with the first hypothesis, overconfidence and the linearity of the calibration curves were related to numeracy, where people higher in numeracy were well calibrated with zero overconfidence. (ii) ANS was not associated with overconfidence and non-linearity, disconfirming the second hypothesis. (iii) The rate of conjunction fallacies was slightly, but to a statistically significant degree decreased by numeracy, but still high at all numeracy levels. An unexpected finding was that participants with better ANS acuity gave more realistic estimates of their performance relative to others. PMID:25140163

  17. Quantitative Analysis of the Effects of a Bangerter Filter on Gross Stereopsis in Experimental Models of Reduced Visual Acuity.

    PubMed

    Miyata, Manabu; Nakahara, Ryuichi; Hamasaki, Ichiro; Hasebe, Satoshi; Furuse, Takashi; Ohtsuki, Hiroshi

    2016-10-01

    Although a 0.3 Bangerter filter, which reduces visual acuity, is frequently used for treating moderate amblyopia, the effects on gross stereopsis are not well known. This study quantitatively evaluated whether gross stereopsis is degraded by a Bangerter filter. Seven healthy subjects (median age: 29 years) participated in this psychophysical study. Targets with crossed disparities of 1°, 2°, 3°, 4°, and 5° were randomly presented on a three-dimensional television display. The subjects indicated the point at which the targets popped out from the television screen (matching method). The distance from the screen to the point was defined as the degree of stereopsis. This experiment was performed with and without a 0.3 Bangerter filter. The corrected monocular visual acuities were decreased to about 20/63 by the filter in all subjects. No significant difference was observed for any of the disparities (1°-5°), between the degree of stereopsis visualized with and without filters for either the dominant or the non-dominant eye. The degree of stereopsis was not degraded by the reduced visual acuity induced by the use of 0.3 Bangerter filters. In this regard, the use of 0.3 Bangerter filters may be considered safer than occlusion eye patches for the patients with normal binocular vision.

  18. Significant improvements in InGaN/GaN nano-photoelectrodes for hydrogen generation by structure and polarization optimization.

    PubMed

    Tao, Tao; Zhi, Ting; Liu, Bin; Li, Mingxue; Zhuang, Zhe; Dai, Jiangping; Li, Yi; Jiang, Fulong; Luo, Wenjun; Xie, Zili; Chen, Dunjun; Chen, Peng; Li, Zhaosheng; Zou, Zhigang; Zhang, Rong; Zheng, Youdou

    2016-02-08

    The photoelectrodes based on III-nitride semiconductors with high energy conversion efficiency especially for those self-driven ones are greatly desirable for hydrogen generation. In this study, highly ordered InGaN/GaN multiple-quantum-well nanorod-based photoelectrodes have been fabricated by a soft UV-curing nano-imprint lithography and a top-down etching technique, which improve the incident photon conversion efficiency (IPCE) from 16% (planar structure) to 42% (@ wavelength = 400 nm). More significantly, the turn-on voltage is reduced low to -0.6 V, which indicates the possibility of achieving self-driven. Furthermore, SiO2/Si3N4 dielectric distributed Bragg reflectors are employed to further improve the IPCE up to 60%. And the photocurrent (@ 1.1 V) is enhanced from 0.37 mA/cm(2) (original planar structure) to 1.5 mA/cm(2). These improvements may accelerate the possible applications for hydrogen generation with high energy-efficiency.

  19. Significant improvements in InGaN/GaN nano-photoelectrodes for hydrogen generation by structure and polarization optimization

    PubMed Central

    Tao, Tao; Zhi, Ting; Liu, Bin; Li, Mingxue; Zhuang, Zhe; Dai, Jiangping; Li, Yi; Jiang, Fulong; Luo, Wenjun; Xie, Zili; Chen, Dunjun; Chen, Peng; Li, Zhaosheng; Zou, Zhigang; Zhang, Rong; Zheng, Youdou

    2016-01-01

    The photoelectrodes based on III-nitride semiconductors with high energy conversion efficiency especially for those self-driven ones are greatly desirable for hydrogen generation. In this study, highly ordered InGaN/GaN multiple-quantum-well nanorod-based photoelectrodes have been fabricated by a soft UV-curing nano-imprint lithography and a top-down etching technique, which improve the incident photon conversion efficiency (IPCE) from 16% (planar structure) to 42% (@ wavelength = 400 nm). More significantly, the turn-on voltage is reduced low to −0.6 V, which indicates the possibility of achieving self-driven. Furthermore, SiO2/Si3N4 dielectric distributed Bragg reflectors are employed to further improve the IPCE up to 60%. And the photocurrent (@ 1.1 V) is enhanced from 0.37 mA/cm2 (original planar structure) to 1.5 mA/cm2. These improvements may accelerate the possible applications for hydrogen generation with high energy-efficiency. PMID:26853933

  20. Finding of no significant impact. Proposed fish passage improvements at Three Mile Falls Diverson Dam, Umatilla River, Oregon

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1986-05-01

    The proposed action would improve both upstream and downstream passage by providing a new right bank ladder on Three Mile Falls Diversion Dam, modifying the existing left bank ladder, and installing rotary drum fish screens and related structures on the adjacent West Extension Irrigation District (WEID) Canal. Four other alternatives are considered in the environmental assessment (EA): a concrete apron plus a left bank ladder; a cap on the crest of the dam plus a left bank ladder; dam removal; and no action. The proposed fish passage improvements would have effects on the anadromous and resident fish populations which, viewed in the context of the Umatilla River basin, would be beneficial. Resident fish would receive incidental benefits from reduced mortalities at the diversion structures. However, given the regional context, as specified in the Northwest Power Planning Council's Fish and Wildlife Program, in which the proposed passage improvements would be implemented and the large increase in anadromous fish production necessary to restore historical population levels, the proposed actions are not considered to have significant environmental impacts.

  1. Significantly improved piezoelectric thermal stability of cellular polypropylene films by high pressure fluorination and post-treatments

    SciTech Connect

    An Zhenlian; Mao Mingjun; Cang Jun; Zhang Yewen; Zheng Feihu

    2012-01-15

    Cellular polypropylene (PP) films were fluorinated under a high pressure of 13 bar of the F{sub 2}/N{sub 2} mixture and were post-treated by nitrous oxide and isothermal crystallization. The fluorinated and post-treated PP films after being expanded and corona charged exhibit a significantly improved piezoelectric thermal stability. After annealing at 70 deg. C for 151 h or at 90 deg. C for 224 h, the piezoelectric d{sub 33} value of the fluorinated and post-treated piezoelectric sample still retains 58% or 45% of its initial d{sub 33} value, while the corresponding value of the virgin piezoelectric sample has decreased to 29% or 15% of the initial value. Chemical composition analysis of the cross section of the fluorinated and post-treated film by energy-dispersive x-ray spectroscopy indicates that the internal layers have been fluorinated, in spite of a lower degree of fluorination compared with the fluorinated surface layer. Short-circuit and open-circuit TSD current measurements reveal that the fluorinated internal layers, like the fluorinated surface layer, also have very deep charge traps, although there probably is a difference in density of the deep traps between them. The deeply trapped charge on the internal layers of the fluorinated and post-treated piezoelectric sample is responsible for its significantly improved piezoelectric thermal stability.

  2. Improving Growth and Productivity of Oleiferous Brassicas under Changing Environment: Significance of Nitrogen and Sulphur Nutrition, and Underlying Mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Anjum, Naser A.; Gill, Sarvajeet S.; Umar, Shahid; Ahmad, Iqbal; Duarte, Armando C.; Pereira, Eduarda

    2012-01-01

    Mineral nutrients are the integral part of the agricultural systems. Among important plant nutrients, nitrogen (N) and sulphur (S) are known essential elements for growth, development, and various physiological functions in plants. Oleiferous brassicas (rapeseed and mustard) require higher amounts of S in addition to N for optimum growth and yield. Therefore, balancing S-N fertilization, optimization of nutrient replenishment, minimization of nutrient losses to the environment, and the concept of coordination in action between S and N could be a significant strategy for improvement of growth and productivity of oleiferous brassicas. Additionally, positive interaction between S and N has been reported to be beneficial for various aspects of oilseed brassicas. The current paper updates readers on the significance of N and S for the improvement of plant growth, development, and productivity in detail. In addition, S-N nutrition-mediated control of major plant antioxidant defense system components involved in the removal and/or metabolism of stress-induced/generated reactive oxygen species in plants (hence, the control of plant growth, development, and productivity) has been overviewed. PMID:22629181

  3. Annonaceous acetogenins (ACGs) nanosuspensions based on a self-assembly stabilizer and the significantly improved anti-tumor efficacy.

    PubMed

    Hong, Jingyi; Li, Yanhong; Xiao, Yao; Li, Yijing; Guo, Yifei; Kuang, Haixue; Wang, Xiangtao

    2016-09-01

    Annonaceous acetogenins (ACGs) have exhibited antitumor activity against various cancers. However, these substances' poor solubility has limited clinical applications. In this study, hydroxypropyl-beta-cyclodextrin (HP-β-CD) and soybean lecithin (SPC) were self-assembled into an amphiphilic complex. ACGs nanosuspensions (ACGs-NSps) were prepared with a mean particle size of 144.4nm, a zeta potential of -22.9mV and a high drug payload of 46.17% using this complex as stabilizer. The ACGs-NSps demonstrated sustained release in vitro and good stability in plasma as well as simulated gastrointestinal fluid, and met the demand of both intravenous injection and oral administration. The ACGs-NSps demonstrated significantly increased cytotoxicity against Hela and HepG2 cancer cell lines compared to ACGs in solution (in vitro cytotoxicity assay). An in vivo study with H22-tumor bearing mice demonstrated that nanosuspensions significantly improved ACGs' antitumor activity. When orally administered, ACGs-NSps achieved a similar tumor inhibition rate at 1/10th the dose of ACGs in an oil solution (47.94% vs. 49.74%, p>0.05). Improved therapeutic efficacy was further achieved when the ACGs-NSps were intravenously injected into mice (70.31%). With the help of nanosuspension technology, ACGs may be an effective antitumor drug for clinic use.

  4. Methylphenidate significantly improves driving performance of adults with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder: a randomized crossover trial.

    PubMed

    Verster, Joris C; Bekker, Evelijne M; de Roos, Marlise; Minova, Anita; Eijken, Erik J E; Kooij, J J Sandra; Buitelaar, Jan K; Kenemans, J Leon; Verbaten, Marinus N; Olivier, Berend; Volkerts, Edmund R

    2008-05-01

    Although patients with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have reported improved driving performance on methylphenidate, limited evidence exists to support an effect of treatment on driving performance and some regions prohibit driving on methylphenidate. A randomized, crossover trial examining the effects of methylphenidate versus placebo on highway driving in 18 adults with ADHD was carried out. After three days of no treatment, patients received either their usual methylphenidate dose (mean: 14.7 mg; range: 10-30 mg) or placebo and then the opposite treatment after a six to seven days washout period. Patients performed a 100 km driving test during normal traffic, 1.5 h after treatment administration. Standard deviation of lateral position (SDLP), the weaving of the car, was the primary outcome measure. Secondary outcome measurements included the standard deviation of speed and patient reports of driving performance. Driving performance was significantly better in the methylphenidate than in the placebo condition, as reflected by the SDLP difference (2.3 cm, 95% CI = 0.8-3.8, P = 0.004). Variation in speed was similar on treatment and on placebo (-0.05 km/h, 95% CI = -0.4 to 0.2, P = 0.70). Among adults with ADHD, with a history of a positive clinical response to methylphenidate, methylphenidate significantly improves driving performance.

  5. RH-01THE SIGNIFICANCE OF ACUTE INPATIENT REHABILITATION FOR GLIOMA PATIENTS: IMPROVING THE PHYSICAL FUNCTION, QUALITY OF LIFE AND SURVIVAL

    PubMed Central

    Beverly Fu, D.; Bota, Daniela A.

    2014-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: To assess the effects of inpatient acute rehabilitation on overall function, quality of life and overall survival for glioma patients. DESIGN: A retrospective study of glioma patients treated at UCI Neuro-Oncology Program. PARTICIPANTS: We have identified 12 patients with glioma diagnosis who underwent inpatient acute rehabilitation program using our IRB approved neuro-oncology database. OUTCOME ASSESSMENT TOOLS: Functional status based upon Karnofsky performance scale (KPS), quality of life as assessed by Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy Brain (FACT-Br) and overall survival. RESULTS: We identified on our study 3 patients with glioblastoma, 7 patients with anaplastic gliomas, and 2 patients with low grade gliomas. All of them had radiation and chemotherapy, except 2 patients with low grade gliomas who had radiation treatment only. The age range is from 26 to 77 and the mean age is 49-year-old. All the patients who underwent the acute inpatient rehabilitation program at our institution, not only improved their KPS scale significantly, but also enhanced their social and emotional well-being. The median KPS improvement is 30 points from a 3-6 weeks stay. Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy Brain (FACT-Br) is obtained from 4 patients at this time (further information will be presented at SNO conference). The mean FACT-Br TOI is 60.8, and the total FACT0Br Score is 119.6. Survival data are still collected. CONCLUSIONS: The patients who underwent acute inpatient rehabilitation program, showed significant improvements in their functional status and quality of life. The observation from this pilot study warrants further research and demonstrates the acute inpatient rehabilitation may be beneficial to glioma patients with good physical functions and tolerance for 3 hours a day of physical, occupation and speech therapies.

  6. Absolute Pitch—Functional Evidence of Speech-Relevant Auditory Acuity

    PubMed Central

    Oechslin, Mathias S.; Meyer, Martin

    2010-01-01

    Absolute pitch (AP) has been shown to be associated with morphological changes and neurophysiological adaptations in the planum temporale, a cortical area involved in higher-order auditory and speech perception processes. The direct link between speech processing and AP has hitherto not been addressed. We provide first evidence that AP compared with relative pitch (RP) ability is associated with significantly different hemodynamic responses to complex speech sounds. By systematically varying the lexical and/or prosodic information of speech stimuli, we demonstrated consistent activation differences in AP musicians compared with RP musicians and nonmusicians. These differences relate to stronger activations in the posterior part of the middle temporal gyrus and weaker activations in the anterior mid-part of the superior temporal gyrus. Furthermore, this pattern is considerably modulated by the auditory acuity of AP. Our results suggest that the neural underpinnings of pitch processing expertise exercise a strong influence on propositional speech perception (sentence meaning). PMID:19592570

  7. Vernier Acuity and the Magnocellular System Revisited: Response to Skottun and Skoyles

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Keri, Szabolcs; Benedek, Gyorgy

    2010-01-01

    Skottun and Skoyles (2009) recently presented a comment on Vernier acuity and magnocellular dysfunctions in fragile X premutation carriers (Keri & Benedek, 2009). The authors concluded that our finding that the magnocellular deficit, as revealed by luminance-contrast sensitivity measurements, is associated with impaired Vernier acuity for…

  8. Age Differences in the Relationship between Visual Movement Imagery and Performance on Kinesthetic Acuity Tests.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Livesey, David J.

    2002-01-01

    Investigated the relationship between Vividness of Movement Imagery Questionnaire scores and kinesthetic acuity--the sense of body position and movement--among 10- and 14-year-olds. Found that in the older group, those with high levels of visual movement imagery performed better on measures of kinesthetic acuity; no such effect was found for…

  9. Visual Acuity of Radiologists: The Important but Forgotten Component of the Radiological Process.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Good, Barbara C.

    This paper reports on a study of visual acuity among radiologists. Twenty-eight radiologists had their visual acuity tested by an optometrist. One week later, 70 medical school faculty radiologists were asked to respond to a printed questionnaire that elicited information about: (1) the date of the respondent's immediately previous examination;…

  10. Comparison of Dynamic Visual Acuity between Water Polo Players and Sedentary Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Quevedo-Junyent, Lluisa; Aznar-Casanova, Jose Antonio; Merindano-Encina, Dolores; Cardona, Genis; Sole-Forto, Joan

    2011-01-01

    In this study, we examined differences in dynamic visual acuity between elite and subelite water polo players and sedentary students. To measure dynamic visual acuity binocularly, we asked participants to indicate the orientation of a broken ring, similar to the Landolt C, which increased in size as it moved across a computer screen. Two different…

  11. Burn Patient Acuity Demographics, Scar Contractures and Rehabilitation Treatment Time Related to Patient Outcomes (ACT)

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-10-01

    Patient Acuity Demographics, Scar Contractures and Rehabilitation Treatment Time Related to Patient Outcomes (ACT) Mr. Reginald Richard American Burn...and Rehabilitation Treatment Time Related to Patient Outcomes, conveniently referred to as the ACT representing Acuity, Contractures and Time, is...wound leading to scar contracture begins almost immediately after the burning process stops. Rehabilitation treatment delivered prior to beginning

  12. 49 CFR 240.121 - Criteria for vision and hearing acuity data.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 49 Transportation 4 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Criteria for vision and hearing acuity data. 240... ENGINEERS Component Elements of the Certification Process § 240.121 Criteria for vision and hearing acuity... paragraph (e) of this section, a person's vision and hearing shall meet or exceed the standards...

  13. 49 CFR 240.121 - Criteria for vision and hearing acuity data.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... 49 Transportation 4 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Criteria for vision and hearing acuity data. 240... ENGINEERS Component Elements of the Certification Process § 240.121 Criteria for vision and hearing acuity... paragraph (e) of this section, a person's vision and hearing shall meet or exceed the standards...

  14. 49 CFR 240.121 - Criteria for vision and hearing acuity data.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 49 Transportation 4 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Criteria for vision and hearing acuity data. 240... ENGINEERS Component Elements of the Certification Process § 240.121 Criteria for vision and hearing acuity... paragraph (e) of this section, a person's vision and hearing shall meet or exceed the standards...

  15. 49 CFR 240.207 - Procedures for making the determination on vision and hearing acuity.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... 49 Transportation 4 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false Procedures for making the determination on vision and hearing acuity. 240.207 Section 240.207 Transportation Other Regulations Relating to... making the determination on vision and hearing acuity. (a) Each railroad, prior to initially...

  16. 49 CFR 240.121 - Criteria for vision and hearing acuity data.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... 49 Transportation 4 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false Criteria for vision and hearing acuity data. 240... ENGINEERS Component Elements of the Certification Process § 240.121 Criteria for vision and hearing acuity... paragraph (e) of this section, a person's vision and hearing shall meet or exceed the standards...

  17. 49 CFR 240.207 - Procedures for making the determination on vision and hearing acuity.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... 49 Transportation 4 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Procedures for making the determination on vision and hearing acuity. 240.207 Section 240.207 Transportation Other Regulations Relating to... making the determination on vision and hearing acuity. (a) Each railroad, prior to initially...

  18. 49 CFR 240.207 - Procedures for making the determination on vision and hearing acuity.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 49 Transportation 4 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Procedures for making the determination on vision and hearing acuity. 240.207 Section 240.207 Transportation Other Regulations Relating to... making the determination on vision and hearing acuity. (a) Each railroad, prior to initially...

  19. 49 CFR 240.121 - Criteria for vision and hearing acuity data.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 49 Transportation 4 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Criteria for vision and hearing acuity data. 240... ENGINEERS Component Elements of the Certification Process § 240.121 Criteria for vision and hearing acuity... paragraph (e) of this section, a person's vision and hearing shall meet or exceed the standards...

  20. 49 CFR 240.207 - Procedures for making the determination on vision and hearing acuity.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 49 Transportation 4 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Procedures for making the determination on vision and hearing acuity. 240.207 Section 240.207 Transportation Other Regulations Relating to... making the determination on vision and hearing acuity. (a) Each railroad, prior to initially...

  1. 49 CFR 240.207 - Procedures for making the determination on vision and hearing acuity.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 49 Transportation 4 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Procedures for making the determination on vision and hearing acuity. 240.207 Section 240.207 Transportation Other Regulations Relating to... making the determination on vision and hearing acuity. (a) Each railroad, prior to initially...

  2. In situ earthworm breeding in orchards significantly improves the growth, quality and yield of papaya (Carica papaya L.)

    PubMed Central

    Xiang, Huimin; Guo, Lei; Zhao, Benliang

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this study was to compare the effects of four fertilizer applications—control (C), chemical fertilizer (F), compost (O), and in situ earthworm breeding (E)—on the growth, quality and yield of papaya (Carica papaya L.). In this study, 5 g plant−1 urea (CH4N2O, %N = 46.3%) and 100 g plant−1 microelement fertilizer was applied to each treatment. The fertilizer applications of these four treatments are different from each other. The results showed that the E treatment had the highest growth parameters over the whole growth period. At 127 days after transplantation, the order of plant heights from greatest to smallest was E > F > O > C, and the stem diameters were E > F > O > C, with significant differences between all treatments. Soluble-solid, sugar, vitamin C, and protein content significantly increased in the E treatment. In addition, the total acid and the electrical conductivity of the fruit significantly decreased in the E treatment. Fruit firmness clearly increased in the O treatment, and decreased in the F treatment. The fresh individual fruit weights, fruit numbers, and total yields were greatly improved in the F and E treatments, and the total yield of the E treatment was higher than that in the F treatment. In conclusion, the in situ earthworm breeding treatment performed better than conventional compost and chemical fertilizer treatments. Furthermore, in situ earthworm breeding may be a potential organic fertilizer application in orchards because it not only improves the fruit quality and yield but also reduces the amount of organic wastes from agriculture as a result of the activities of earthworms. PMID:27994969

  3. The Use of Dynamic Visual Acuity as a Functional Test of Gaze Stabilization Following Space Flight

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Peters, B. T.; Mulavara, A. P.; Brady, R.; Miller, C. A.; Richards, J. T.; Warren, L. E.; Cohen, H. S.; Bloomberg, J. J.

    2006-01-01

    After prolonged exposure to a given gravitational environment the transition to another is accompanied by adaptations in the sensorimotor subsystems, including the vestibular system. Variation in the adaptation time course of these subsystems, and the functional redundancies that exist between them make it difficult to accurately assess the functional capacity and physical limitations of astro/cosmonauts using tests on individual subsystems. While isolated tests of subsystem performance may be the only means to address where interventions are required, direct measures of performance may be more suitable for assessing the operational consequences of incomplete adaptation to changes in the gravitational environment. A test of dynamic visual acuity (DVA) is currently being used in the JSC Neurosciences Laboratory as part of a series of measures to assess the efficacy of a countermeasure to mitigate postflight locomotor dysfunction. In the current protocol, subjects visual acuity is determined using Landolt ring optotypes presented sequentially on a computer display. Visual acuity assessments are made both while standing and while walking at 1.8 m/s on a motorized treadmill. The use of a psychophysical threshold detection algorithm reduces the required number of optotype presentations and the results can be presented immediately after the test. The difference between the walking and standing acuity measures provides a metric of the change in the subject s ability to maintain gaze fixation on the visual target while walking. This functional consequence is observable regardless of the underlying subsystem most responsible for the change. Data from 15 cosmo/astronauts have been collected following long-duration (approx. 6 months) stays in space using a visual target viewing distance of 4.0 meters. An investigation of the group mean shows a change in DVA soon after the flight that asymptotes back to baseline approximately one week following their return to earth. The

  4. Night vision in barn owls: visual acuity and contrast sensitivity under dark adaptation.

    PubMed

    Orlowski, Julius; Harmening, Wolf; Wagner, Hermann

    2012-12-06

    Barn owls are effective nocturnal predators. We tested their visual performance at low light levels and determined visual acuity and contrast sensitivity of three barn owls by their behavior at stimulus luminances ranging from photopic to fully scotopic levels (23.5 to 1.5 × 10⁻⁶). Contrast sensitivity and visual acuity decreased only slightly from photopic to scotopic conditions. Peak grating acuity was at mesopic (4 × 10⁻² cd/m²) conditions. Barn owls retained a quarter of their maximal acuity when luminance decreased by 5.5 log units. We argue that the visual system of barn owls is designed to yield as much visual acuity under low light conditions as possible, thereby sacrificing resolution at photopic conditions.

  5. Proximal versus distal cue utilization in spatial navigation: the role of visual acuity?

    PubMed

    Carman, Heidi M; Mactutus, Charles F

    2002-09-01

    Proximal versus distal cue use in the Morris water maze is a widely accepted strategy for the dissociation of various problems affecting spatial navigation in rats such as aging, head trauma, lesions, and pharmacological or hormonal agents. Of the limited number of ontogenetic rat studies conducted, the majority have approached the problem of preweanling spatial navigation through a similar proximal-distal dissociation. An implicit assumption among all of these studies has been that the animal's visual system is sufficient to permit robust spatial navigation. We challenged this assumption and have addressed the role of visual acuity in spatial navigation in the preweanling Fischer 344-N rat by training animals to locate a visible (proximal) or hidden (distal) platform using double or null extramaze cues within the testing environment. All pups demonstrated improved performance across training, but animals presented with a visible platform, regardless of extramaze cues, simultaneously reached asymptotic performance levels; animals presented with a hidden platform, dependent upon location of extramaze cues, differentially reached asymptotic performance levels. Probe trial performance, defined by quadrant time and platform crossings, revealed that distal-double-cue pups demonstrated spatial navigational ability superior to that of the remaining groups. These results suggest that a pup's ability to spatially navigate a hidden platform is dependent on not only its response repertoire and task parameters, but also its visual acuity, as determined by the extramaze cue location within the testing environment. The standard hidden versus visible platform dissociation may not be a satisfactory strategy for the control of potential sensory deficits.

  6. Slanted joint axes of the stick insect antenna: an adaptation to tactile acuity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mujagic, Samir; Krause, André F.; Dürr, Volker

    2007-04-01

    Like many flightless, obligatory walking insects, the stick insect Carausius morosus makes intensive use of active antennal movements for tactile near range exploration and orientation. The antennal joints of C. morosus have a peculiar oblique and non-orthogonal joint axis arrangement. Moreover, this arrangement is known to differ from that in crickets (Ensifera), locusts (Caelifera) and cockroaches (Blattodea), all of which have an orthogonal joint axis arrangement. Our hypothesis was that the situation found in C. morosus represents an important evolutionary trait of the order of stick and leaf insects (Phasmatodea). If this was true, it should be common to other species of the Phasmatodea. The objective of this comparative study was to resolve this question. We have measured the joint axis orientation of the head scape and scape pedicel joints along with other parameters that affect the tactile efficiency of the antenna. The obtained result was a complete kinematic description of the antenna. This was used to determine the size and location of kinematic out-of-reach zones, which are indicators of tactile acuity. We show that the oblique and non-orthogonal arrangement is common to eight species from six sub-families indicating that it is a synapomorphic character of the Euphasmatodea. This character can improve tactile acuity compared to the situation in crickets, locusts and cockroaches. Finally, because molecular data of a recent study indicate that the Phasmatodea may have evolved as flightless, obligatory walkers, we argue that the antennal joint axis arrangement of the Euphasmatodea reflects an evolutionary adaptation to tactile near range exploration during terrestrial locomotion.

  7. The Eye Phone Study: reliability and accuracy of assessing Snellen visual acuity using smartphone technology

    PubMed Central

    Perera, C; Chakrabarti, R; Islam, F M A; Crowston, J

    2015-01-01

    Purpose Smartphone-based Snellen visual acuity charts has become popularized; however, their accuracy has not been established. This study aimed to evaluate the equivalence of a smartphone-based visual acuity chart with a standard 6-m Snellen visual acuity (6SVA) chart. Methods First, a review of available Snellen chart applications on iPhone was performed to determine the most accurate application based on optotype size. Subsequently, a prospective comparative study was performed by measuring conventional 6SVA and then iPhone visual acuity using the ‘Snellen' application on an Apple iPhone 4. Results Eleven applications were identified, with accuracy of optotype size ranging from 4.4–39.9%. Eighty-eight patients from general medical and surgical wards in a tertiary hospital took part in the second part of the study. The mean difference in logMAR visual acuity between the two charts was 0.02 logMAR (95% limit of agreement −0.332, 0.372 logMAR). The largest mean difference in logMAR acuity was noted in the subgroup of patients with 6SVA worse than 6/18 (n=5), who had a mean difference of two Snellen visual acuity lines between the charts (0.276 logMAR). Conclusion We did not identify a Snellen visual acuity app at the time of study, which could predict a patients standard Snellen visual acuity within one line. There was considerable variability in the optotype accuracy of apps. Further validation is required for assessment of acuity in patients with severe vision impairment. PMID:25931170

  8. Significant Improvement of Thermal Stability for CeZrPrNd Oxides Simply by Supercritical CO2 Drying

    PubMed Central

    Fan, Yunzhao; Wang, Zizi; Xin, Ying; Li, Qian; Zhang, Zhaoliang; Wang, Yingxia

    2014-01-01

    Pr and Nd co-doped Ce-Zr oxide solid solutions (CZPN) were prepared using co-precipitation and microemulsion methods. It is found that only using supercritical CO2 drying can result in a significant improvement of specific surface area and oxygen storage capacity at lower temperatures for CZPN after aging at 1000°C for 12 h in comparison with those using conventional air drying and even supercritical ethanol drying. Furthermore, the cubic structure was obtained in spite of the fact that the atomic ratio of Ce/(Ce+Zr+Pr+Nd) is as low as 29%. The high thermal stability can be attributed to the loosely aggregated morphology and the resultant Ce enrichment on the nanoparticle surface, which are caused by supercritical CO2 drying due to the elimination of surface tension effects on the gas-liquid interface. PMID:24516618

  9. Significant improvement of thermal stability for CeZrPrNd oxides simply by supercritical CO(2) drying.

    PubMed

    Fan, Yunzhao; Wang, Zizi; Xin, Ying; Li, Qian; Zhang, Zhaoliang; Wang, Yingxia

    2014-01-01

    Pr and Nd co-doped Ce-Zr oxide solid solutions (CZPN) were prepared using co-precipitation and microemulsion methods. It is found that only using supercritical CO(2) drying can result in a significant improvement of specific surface area and oxygen storage capacity at lower temperatures for CZPN after aging at 1000°C for 12 h in comparison with those using conventional air drying and even supercritical ethanol drying. Furthermore, the cubic structure was obtained in spite of the fact that the atomic ratio of Ce/(Ce+Zr+Pr+Nd) is as low as 29%. The high thermal stability can be attributed to the loosely aggregated morphology and the resultant Ce enrichment on the nanoparticle surface, which are caused by supercritical CO(2) drying due to the elimination of surface tension effects on the gas-liquid interface.

  10. Significant improvement in dopant emission and lifetime in water soluble Cu:ZnSe/ZnS nanocrystals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saikia, K.; Deb, P.; Mondal, B.; Kalita, E.

    2014-03-01

    We report here the enhanced dopant emission in Cu:ZnSe/ZnS core-shell nanocrystals (NCs) through an aqueous route in ambient conditions. A three-fold quantum enhancement in luminescence has been achieved by developing a ZnS inert shell as compared to the pristine doped NCs. The internal doping of Cu after shell growth, signifying localization of Cu2+ t2 energy states in the deep band gap, has shown a significant improvement in dopant excited state lifetime. The long lifetime related to Cu dopant emission is the longest lifetime ever reported for copper doped zinc based NCs developed through an aqueous route. The good colloidal as well as the luminescence stability of these highly efficient doped NCs mean they have great potential for use in biomedical imaging applications.

  11. Codon Optimization Significantly Improves the Expression Level of α -Amylase Gene from Bacillus licheniformis in Pichia pastoris.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jian-Rong; Li, Yang-Yuan; Liu, Dan-Ni; Liu, Jing-Shan; Li, Peng; Chen, Li-Zhi; Xu, Shu-De

    2015-01-01

    α-Amylase as an important industrial enzyme has been widely used in starch processing, detergent, and paper industries. To improve expression efficiency of recombinant α-amylase from Bacillus licheniformis (B. licheniformis), the α-amylase gene from B. licheniformis was optimized according to the codon usage of Pichia pastoris (P. pastoris) and expressed in P. pastoris. Totally, the codons encoding 305 amino acids were optimized in which a total of 328 nucleotides were changed and the G+C content was increased from 47.6 to 49.2%. The recombinants were cultured in 96-deep-well microplates and screened by a new plate assay method. Compared with the wild-type gene, the optimized gene is expressed at a significantly higher level in P. pastoris after methanol induction for 168 h in 5- and 50-L bioreactor with the maximum activity of 8100 and 11000 U/mL, which was 2.31- and 2.62-fold higher than that by wild-type gene. The improved expression level makes the enzyme a good candidate for α-amylase production in industrial use.

  12. A small electron donor in cobalt complex electrolyte significantly improves efficiency in dye-sensitized solar cells.

    PubMed

    Hao, Yan; Yang, Wenxing; Zhang, Lei; Jiang, Roger; Mijangos, Edgar; Saygili, Yasemin; Hammarström, Leif; Hagfeldt, Anders; Boschloo, Gerrit

    2016-12-21

    Photoelectrochemical approach to solar energy conversion demands a kinetic optimization of various light-induced electron transfer processes. Of great importance are the redox mediator systems accomplishing the electron transfer processes at the semiconductor/electrolyte interface, therefore affecting profoundly the performance of various photoelectrochemical cells. Here, we develop a strategy-by addition of a small organic electron donor, tris(4-methoxyphenyl)amine, into state-of-art cobalt tris(bipyridine) redox electrolyte-to significantly improve the efficiency of dye-sensitized solar cells. The developed solar cells exhibit efficiency of 11.7 and 10.5%, at 0.46 and one-sun illumination, respectively, corresponding to a 26% efficiency improvement compared with the standard electrolyte. Preliminary stability tests showed the solar cell retained 90% of its initial efficiency after 250 h continuous one-sun light soaking. Detailed mechanistic studies reveal the crucial role of the electron transfer cascade processes within the new redox system.

  13. Zero Valent Iron Significantly Enhances Methane Production from Waste Activated Sludge by Improving Biochemical Methane Potential Rather Than Hydrolysis Rate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Yiwen; Wang, Qilin; Zhang, Yaobin; Ni, Bing-Jie

    2015-02-01

    Anaerobic digestion has been widely applied for waste activated sludge (WAS) treatment. However, methane production from anaerobic digestion of WAS is usually limited by the slow hydrolysis rate and/or poor biochemical methane potential of WAS. This work systematically studied the effects of three different types of zero valent iron (i.e., iron powder, clean scrap and rusty scrap) on methane production from WAS in anaerobic digestion, by using both experimental and mathematical approaches. The results demonstrated that both the clean and the rusty iron scrap were more effective than the iron powder for improving methane production from WAS. Model-based analysis showed that ZVI addition significantly enhanced methane production from WAS through improving the biochemical methane potential of WAS rather than its hydrolysis rate. Economic analysis indicated that the ZVI-based technology for enhancing methane production from WAS is economically attractive, particularly considering that iron scrap can be freely acquired from industrial waste. Based on these results, the ZVI-based anaerobic digestion process of this work could be easily integrated with the conventional chemical phosphorus removal process in wastewater treatment plant to form a cost-effective and environment-friendly approach, enabling maximum resource recovery/reuse while achieving enhanced methane production in wastewater treatment system.

  14. Zero Valent Iron Significantly Enhances Methane Production from Waste Activated Sludge by Improving Biochemical Methane Potential Rather Than Hydrolysis Rate

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Yiwen; Wang, Qilin; Zhang, Yaobin; Ni, Bing-Jie

    2015-01-01

    Anaerobic digestion has been widely applied for waste activated sludge (WAS) treatment. However, methane production from anaerobic digestion of WAS is usually limited by the slow hydrolysis rate and/or poor biochemical methane potential of WAS. This work systematically studied the effects of three different types of zero valent iron (i.e., iron powder, clean scrap and rusty scrap) on methane production from WAS in anaerobic digestion, by using both experimental and mathematical approaches. The results demonstrated that both the clean and the rusty iron scrap were more effective than the iron powder for improving methane production from WAS. Model-based analysis showed that ZVI addition significantly enhanced methane production from WAS through improving the biochemical methane potential of WAS rather than its hydrolysis rate. Economic analysis indicated that the ZVI-based technology for enhancing methane production from WAS is economically attractive, particularly considering that iron scrap can be freely acquired from industrial waste. Based on these results, the ZVI-based anaerobic digestion process of this work could be easily integrated with the conventional chemical phosphorus removal process in wastewater treatment plant to form a cost-effective and environment-friendly approach, enabling maximum resource recovery/reuse while achieving enhanced methane production in wastewater treatment system. PMID:25652244

  15. A small electron donor in cobalt complex electrolyte significantly improves efficiency in dye-sensitized solar cells

    PubMed Central

    Hao, Yan; Yang, Wenxing; Zhang, Lei; Jiang, Roger; Mijangos, Edgar; Saygili, Yasemin; Hammarström, Leif; Hagfeldt, Anders; Boschloo, Gerrit

    2016-01-01

    Photoelectrochemical approach to solar energy conversion demands a kinetic optimization of various light-induced electron transfer processes. Of great importance are the redox mediator systems accomplishing the electron transfer processes at the semiconductor/electrolyte interface, therefore affecting profoundly the performance of various photoelectrochemical cells. Here, we develop a strategy—by addition of a small organic electron donor, tris(4-methoxyphenyl)amine, into state-of-art cobalt tris(bipyridine) redox electrolyte—to significantly improve the efficiency of dye-sensitized solar cells. The developed solar cells exhibit efficiency of 11.7 and 10.5%, at 0.46 and one-sun illumination, respectively, corresponding to a 26% efficiency improvement compared with the standard electrolyte. Preliminary stability tests showed the solar cell retained 90% of its initial efficiency after 250 h continuous one-sun light soaking. Detailed mechanistic studies reveal the crucial role of the electron transfer cascade processes within the new redox system. PMID:28000672

  16. Modifications to the AOAC use-dilution test for quaternary ammonium compound-based disinfectants that significantly improve method reliability.

    PubMed

    Arlea, Crystal; King, Sharon; Bennie, Barbara; Kemp, Kere; Mertz, Erin; Staub, Richard

    2008-01-01

    The AOAC use-dilution test (UDT) for bactericidal disinfectant efficacy (Method 964.02) has often been criticized for its extreme variability in test results, particularly for quaternary ammonium compound (QAC)-based disinfectants against Pseudomonas aeruginosa. While efforts are under way to develop a new and better test method for hospital disinfectant products that is globally acceptable, U.S. manufacturers and formulators of QAC products must continue in the interim to measure their product performance against the current UDT method. Therefore, continued variability in the UDT places an unnecessary and unfair burden on U.S. QAC product manufacturers to ensure that their products perform against an, at best, unreliable test method. This article reports on evaluations that were conducted to attempt to identify key sources of UDT method variability and to find ways to mitigate their impact on test outcomes for the method. The results of testing across 4 laboratories, involving over 6015 carriers, determined that operator error was a key factor in test variability. This variability was found to be significantly minimized by the inclusion of a simple culture dilution step. The findings from this study suggest possible refinements to the current AOAC UDT method that would serve to improve the overall ruggedness and reliability of the method and to optimize recovery of cells from the carrier surface, thereby further improving the accuracy and reproducibility of counts and test outcomes until such time as a replacement method is implemented.

  17. Significant sensitivity improvement of alternating current driven-liquid discharge by using formic acid medium for optical determination of elements.

    PubMed

    Xiao, Qing; Zhu, Zhenli; Zheng, Hongtao; He, Haiyang; Huang, Chunying; Hu, Shenghong

    2013-03-15

    A method has been developed to improve the performance of alternating-current electrolyte atmospheric liquid discharge (ac-EALD) optical emission spectrometry for the determination of elements. Significant enhancement of emission intensity was achieved by adding organic substance into the nitric acid electrolyte solutions. Under the optimized conditions, 3% (v/v) formic acid in nitric acid (pH 1.0) produced 13 times enhancement for Ag and 7% (v/v) formic acid resulted in 17 times enhancement for Cd. The emission of Pb was even enhanced 78 times in the presence of 3% formic acid. In addition, the signal stability was also improved compared with that in the absence of organic substances. Repeatability was 0.8% for 0.1 mg L(-1) Ag, 0.7% for 0.2 mg L(-1) Cd and 2.6% for 1 mg L(-1) Pb standard solutions (n=5). The limits of detection of Ag, Cd and Pb were 1, 17 and 45 μg L(-1), respectively. The accuracy of the method was demonstrated by determination of elements in simulated natural water samples (GBW(E)080402 and GBW(E)080399).

  18. Zero valent iron significantly enhances methane production from waste activated sludge by improving biochemical methane potential rather than hydrolysis rate.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yiwen; Wang, Qilin; Zhang, Yaobin; Ni, Bing-Jie

    2015-02-05

    Anaerobic digestion has been widely applied for waste activated sludge (WAS) treatment. However, methane production from anaerobic digestion of WAS is usually limited by the slow hydrolysis rate and/or poor biochemical methane potential of WAS. This work systematically studied the effects of three different types of zero valent iron (i.e., iron powder, clean scrap and rusty scrap) on methane production from WAS in anaerobic digestion, by using both experimental and mathematical approaches. The results demonstrated that both the clean and the rusty iron scrap were more effective than the iron powder for improving methane production from WAS. Model-based analysis showed that ZVI addition significantly enhanced methane production from WAS through improving the biochemical methane potential of WAS rather than its hydrolysis rate. Economic analysis indicated that the ZVI-based technology for enhancing methane production from WAS is economically attractive, particularly considering that iron scrap can be freely acquired from industrial waste. Based on these results, the ZVI-based anaerobic digestion process of this work could be easily integrated with the conventional chemical phosphorus removal process in wastewater treatment plant to form a cost-effective and environment-friendly approach, enabling maximum resource recovery/reuse while achieving enhanced methane production in wastewater treatment system.

  19. The crystallization of apo-form UMP kinase from Xanthomonas campestris is significantly improved in a strong magnetic field

    SciTech Connect

    Tu, Jhe-Le; Chin, Ko-Hsin; Wang, Andrew H.-J.; Chou, Shan-Ho

    2007-05-01

    A bacterial UMP kinase from the plant pathogen X. campestris pathovar campestris has been overexpressed in E. coli, purified and crystallized in a strong magnetic field. The crystals diffracted to 2.35 Å. Bacterial UMP kinases (UMPKs) are crucial enzymes that are responsible for microbial UTP biosynthesis. Interestingly, eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells use different enzymes for UMP-phosphorylation reactions. Prokaryotic UMPKs are thus believed to be potential targets for antimicrobial drug development. Here, the cloning, expression and crystallization of SeMet-substituted XC1936, a bacterial UMPK from Xanthomonas campestris pathovar campestris, are reported. The crystallization of the apo-form UMPK was found to be significantly improved in a strong magnetic field; the crystals diffracted to a resolution of 2.35 Å, a dramatic improvement over the original value of 3.6 Å. Preliminary structural analyses of apo-form XC1936 using crystals grown in a strong magnetic field clearly reveal well defined loop regions involved in substrate-analogue binding that were previously not visible. Crystallization in a strong magnetic field thus was found to be indispensable in determining the flexible region of the XC1936 UMPK structure.

  20. Comparison of catheterization laboratory initiated abciximab and eptifibatide during percutaneous coronary intervention in acute coronary syndromes (an ACUITY substudy).

    PubMed

    Kirtane, Ajay J; Parise, Helen; Mehran, Roxana; Moses, Jeffrey W; Fahy, Martin; Bertrand, Michel E; Ohman, E Magnus; White, Harvey D; Feit, Frederick; Colombo, Antonio; McLaurin, Brent T; Cox, David A; Ware, James H; Pocock, Stuart J; Lansky, Alexandra J; Stone, Gregg W

    2010-07-15

    Abciximab and eptifibatide have been shown to reduce ischemic complications compared with heparin alone in patients with acute coronary syndromes who undergo percutaneous coronary intervention. Whether 1 agent is safer and/or more effective has not been prospectively examined. The aim of this study was to assess the outcomes related to downstream glycoprotein IIb/IIIa inhibitor treatment selection during percutaneous coronary intervention in 2,211 patients with moderate and high-risk acute coronary syndromes in the prospective multicenter Acute Catheterization and Urgent Intervention Triage Strategy (ACUITY) trial. The protocol permitted operator selection of abciximab (n = 835) or eptifibatide (n = 1,376) for routine use in the trial. Multivariate and propensity-based adjustments were used to assess the independent association of glycoprotein IIb/IIIa inhibitor treatment selection with prespecified study end points. Compared to patients receiving eptifibatide, those administered abciximab were older, more likely to be enrolled outside of North America, more frequently had biomarker elevations and ST-segment deviation, but had fewer baseline cardiac risk factors and previous revascularization procedures. After multivariate propensity-based adjustment, abciximab was independently associated with significantly fewer net clinical adverse events (odds ratio 0.61, 95% confidence interval 0.42 to 0.90, p = 0.01), mediated by composite ischemia (odds ratio 0.61, 95% confidence interval 0.38 to 0.98, p = 0.04) and major bleeding (odds ratio 0.58, 95% confidence interval 0.34 to 1.00, p = 0.051). In conclusion, in this prespecified but nonrandomized comparison in patients with acute coronary syndromes who underwent percutaneous coronary intervention with catheterization laboratory initiation of glycoprotein IIb/IIIa inhibitors, the use of abciximab rather than eptifibatide was associated with improved clinical outcomes at 30 days. These findings should be viewed as

  1. Significant survival improvement of patients with recurrent breast cancer in the periods 2001-2008 vs. 1992-2000

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background It is unclear whether individualized treatments based on biological factors have improved the prognosis of recurrent breast cancer. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the survival improvement of patients with recurrent breast cancer after the introduction of third generation aromatase inhibitors (AIs) and trastuzumab. Methods A total of 407 patients who received first diagnosis of recurrent breast cancer and treatment at National Kyushu Cancer Center between 1992 and 2008 were retrospectively evaluated. As AIs and trastuzumab were approved for clinical use in Japan in 2001, the patients were divided into two time cohorts depending on whether the cancer recurred before or after 2001. Cohort A: 170 patients who were diagnosed between 1992 and 2000. Cohort B: 237 patients who were diagnosed between 2001 and 2008. Tumor characteristics, treatments, and outcome were compared. Results Fourteen percent of cohort A and 76% of cohort B received AIs and/or trastuzumab (P < 0.001). The median overall survival (OS) times after breast cancer recurrence were 1.7 years and 4.2 years for these respective cohorts (P < 0.001). Both the time period and treatment of AIs and/or trastuzumab for recurrent disease were significant prognostic factors in multivariate analysis (cohort B vs. cohort A: HR = 0.70, P = 0.01; AIs and/or trastuzumab for recurrent disease: yes vs. no: HR = 0.46, P < 0.001). When patients were categorized into 4 subgroups by the expression of hormone receptor (HR) and HER-2 status, the median OS times of the HR-positive/HER-2-negative, HR-positive/HER-2-positive, HR-negative/HER-2-positive, and HR-negative/HER-2-negative subtypes were 2.2, 2.4, 1.6, and 1.0 years in cohort A and 4.5, 5.1, 5.0, and 1.4 years in cohort B. Conclusions The prognosis of patients with recurrent breast cancer was improved over time following the introduction of AIs and trastuzumab and the survival improvement was apparent in HR- and/or HER-2-positive tumors. PMID:21453503

  2. Pain sensitivity and tactile spatial acuity are altered in healthy musicians as in chronic pain patients

    PubMed Central

    Zamorano, Anna M.; Riquelme, Inmaculada; Kleber, Boris; Altenmüller, Eckart; Hatem, Samar M.; Montoya, Pedro

    2015-01-01

    Extensive training of repetitive and highly skilled movements, as it occurs in professional classical musicians, may lead to changes in tactile sensitivity and corresponding cortical reorganization of somatosensory cortices. It is also known that professional musicians frequently experience musculoskeletal pain and pain-related symptoms during their careers. The present study aimed at understanding the complex interaction between chronic pain and music training with respect to somatosensory processing. For this purpose, tactile thresholds (mechanical detection, grating orientation, two-point discrimination) and subjective ratings to thermal and pressure pain stimuli were assessed in 17 professional musicians with chronic pain, 30 pain-free musicians, 20 non-musicians with chronic pain, and 18 pain-free non-musicians. We found that pain-free musicians displayed greater touch sensitivity (i.e., lower mechanical detection thresholds), lower tactile spatial acuity (i.e., higher grating orientation thresholds) and increased pain sensitivity to pressure and heat compared to pain-free non-musicians. Moreover, we also found that musicians and non-musicians with chronic pain presented lower tactile spatial acuity and increased pain sensitivity to pressure and heat compared to pain-free non-musicians. The significant increment of pain sensitivity together with decreased spatial discrimination in pain-free musicians and the similarity of results found in chronic pain patients, suggests that the extensive training of repetitive and highly skilled movements in classical musicians could be considered as a risk factor for developing chronic pain, probably due to use-dependent plastic changes elicited in somatosensory pathways. PMID:25610384

  3. Compensatory responses to age-related decline in odor quality acuity: cholinergic neuromodulation and olfactory enrichment.

    PubMed

    Mandairon, Nathalie; Peace, Shane T; Boudadi, Karim; Boxhorn, Christine E; Narla, Venkata Anupama; Suffis, Sara D; Cleland, Thomas A

    2011-12-01

    The perceptual differentiation of odors can be measured behaviorally using generalization gradients. The steepness of these gradients defines a form of olfactory acuity for odor quality that depends on neural circuitry within the olfactory bulb and is regulated by cholinergic activity therein as well as by associative learning. Using this system as a reduced model for age-related cognitive decline, we show that aged mice, while maintaining almost the same baseline behavioral performance as younger mice, are insensitive to the effects of acutely elevated acetylcholine, which sharpens generalization gradients in young adult mice. Moreover, older mice exhibit evidence of chronically elevated acetylcholine levels in the olfactory bulb, suggesting that their insensitivity to further elevated levels of acetylcholine may arise because the maximum capacity of the system to respond to acetylcholine has already been reached. We propose a model in which an underlying, age-related, progressive deficit is mitigated by a compensatory cholinergic feedback loop that acts to retard the behavioral effects of what would otherwise be a substantial age-related decline in olfactory plasticity. We also treated mice with 10-day regimens of olfactory environmental enrichment and/or repeated systemic injections of the acetylcholinesterase inhibitor physostigmine. Each treatment alone sharpened odor quality acuity, but administering both treatments together had no greater effect than either alone. Age was not a significant main effect in this study, suggesting that some capacity for acetylcholine-dependent plasticity is still present in aged mice despite their sharply reduced ability to respond to acute increases in acetylcholine levels. These results suggest a dynamical framework for understanding age-related decline in neural circuit processing in which the direct effects of aging can be mitigated, at least temporarily, by systemic compensatory responses. In particular, a decline in

  4. Complete Au@ZnO core-shell nanoparticles with enhanced plasmonic absorption enabling significantly improved photocatalysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, Yiqiang; Sun, Yugang; Zhang, Tao; Chen, Guozhu; Zhang, Fengshou; Liu, Dilong; Cai, Weiping; Li, Yue; Yang, Xianfeng; Li, Cuncheng

    2016-05-01

    Nanostructured ZnO exhibits high chemical stability and unique optical properties, representing a promising candidate among photocatalysts in the field of environmental remediation and solar energy conversion. However, ZnO only absorbs the UV light, which accounts for less than 5% of total solar irradiation, significantly limiting its applications. In this article, we report a facile and efficient approach to overcome the poor wettability between ZnO and Au by carefully modulating the surface charge density on Au nanoparticles (NPs), enabling rapid synthesis of Au@ZnO core-shell NPs at room temperature. The resulting Au@ZnO core-shell NPs exhibit a significantly enhanced plasmonic absorption in the visible range due to the Au NP cores. They also show a significantly improved photocatalytic performance in comparison with their single-component counterparts, i.e., the Au NPs and ZnO NPs. Moreover, the high catalytic activity of the as-synthesized Au@ZnO core-shell NPs can be maintained even after many cycles of photocatalytic reaction. Our results shed light on the fact that the Au@ZnO core-shell NPs represent a promising class of candidates for applications in plasmonics, surface-enhanced spectroscopy, light harvest devices, solar energy conversion, and degradation of organic pollutants.Nanostructured ZnO exhibits high chemical stability and unique optical properties, representing a promising candidate among photocatalysts in the field of environmental remediation and solar energy conversion. However, ZnO only absorbs the UV light, which accounts for less than 5% of total solar irradiation, significantly limiting its applications. In this article, we report a facile and efficient approach to overcome the poor wettability between ZnO and Au by carefully modulating the surface charge density on Au nanoparticles (NPs), enabling rapid synthesis of Au@ZnO core-shell NPs at room temperature. The resulting Au@ZnO core-shell NPs exhibit a significantly enhanced plasmonic

  5. Malingering or simulation in ophthalmology-visual acuity

    PubMed Central

    Incesu, Ali Ihsan; Sobacı, Güngör

    2011-01-01

    Simulation can be defined as malingering, or sometimes functional visual loss (FVL). It manifests as either simulating an ophthalmic disease (positive simulation), or denial of ophthalmic disease (negative simulation). Conscious behavior and compensation or indemnity claims are prominent features of simulation. Since some authors suggest that this is a manifestation of underlying psychopathology, even conversion is included in this context. In today's world, every ophthalmologist can face with simulation of ophthalmic disease or disorder. In case of simulation suspect, the physician's responsibility is to prove the simulation considering the disease/disorder first, and simulation as an exclusion. In simulation examinations, the physician should be firm and smart to select appropriate test(s) to convince not only the subject, but also the judge in case of indemnity or compensation trials. Almost all ophthalmic sensory and motor functions including visual acuity, visual field, color vision and night vision can be the subject of simulation. Examiner must be skillful in selecting the most appropriate test. Apart from those in the literature, we included all kinds of simulation in ophthalmology. In addition, simulation examination techniques, such as, use of OCT (optical coherence tomography), frequency doubling perimetry (FDP), and modified polarization tests were also included. In this review, we made a thorough literature search, and added our experiences to give the readers up-to-date information on malingering or simulation in ophthalmology. PMID:22553721

  6. Objective evaluation of the visual acuity in human eyes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rosales, M. A.; López-Olazagasti, E.; Ramírez-Zavaleta, G.; Varillas, G.; Tepichín, E.

    2009-08-01

    Traditionally, the quality of the human vision is evaluated by a subjective test in which the examiner asks the patient to read a series of characters of different sizes, located at a certain distance of the patient. Typically, we need to ensure a subtended angle of vision of 5 minutes, which implies an object of 8.8 mm high located at 6 meters (normal or 20/20 visual acuity). These characters constitute what is known as the Snellen chart, universally used to evaluate the spatial resolution of the human eyes. The mentioned process of identification of characters is carried out by means of the eye - brain system, giving an evaluation of the subjective visual performance. In this work we consider the eye as an isolated image-forming system, and show that it is possible to isolate the function of the eye from that of the brain in this process. By knowing the impulse response of the eye´s system we can obtain, in advance, the image of the Snellen chart simultaneously. From this information, we obtain the objective performance of the eye as the optical system under test. This type of results might help to detect anomalous situations of the human vision, like the so called "cerebral myopia".

  7. Cognitive aging and hearing acuity: modeling spoken language comprehension

    PubMed Central

    Wingfield, Arthur; Amichetti, Nicole M.; Lash, Amanda

    2015-01-01

    The comprehension of spoken language has been characterized by a number of “local” theories that have focused on specific aspects of the task: models of word recognition, models of selective attention, accounts of thematic role assignment at the sentence level, and so forth. The ease of language understanding (ELU) model (Rönnberg et al., 2013) stands as one of the few attempts to offer a fully encompassing framework for language understanding. In this paper we discuss interactions between perceptual, linguistic, and cognitive factors in spoken language understanding. Central to our presentation is an examination of aspects of the ELU model that apply especially to spoken language comprehension in adult aging, where speed of processing, working memory capacity, and hearing acuity are often compromised. We discuss, in relation to the ELU model, conceptions of working memory and its capacity limitations, the use of linguistic context to aid in speech recognition and the importance of inhibitory control, and language comprehension at the sentence level. Throughout this paper we offer a constructive look at the ELU model; where it is strong and where there are gaps to be filled. PMID:26124724

  8. Combat-Related Intradural Gunshot Wound to the Thoracic Spine: Significant Improvement and Neurologic Recovery Following Bullet Removal

    PubMed Central

    Louwes, Thijs M; Ward, William H; Lee, Kendall H

    2015-01-01

    The vast majority of combat-related penetrating spinal injuries from gunshot wounds result in severe or complete neurological deficit. Treatment is based on neurological status, the presence of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) fistulas, and local effects of any retained fragment(s). We present a case of a 46-year-old male who sustained a spinal gunshot injury from a 7.62-mm AK-47 round that became lodged within the subarachnoid space at T9-T10. He immediately suffered complete motor and sensory loss. By 24-48 hours post-injury, he had recovered lower extremity motor function fully but continued to have severe sensory loss (posterior cord syndrome). On post-injury day 2, he was evacuated from the combat theater and underwent a T9 laminectomy, extraction of the bullet, and dural laceration repair. At surgery, the traumatic durotomy was widened and the bullet, which was laying on the dorsal surface of the spinal cord, was removed. The dura was closed in a water-tight fashion and fibrin glue was applied. Postoperatively, the patient made a significant but incomplete neurological recovery. His stocking-pattern numbness and sub-umbilical searing dysthesia improved. The spinal canal was clear of the foreign body and he had no persistent CSF leak. Postoperative magnetic resonance imaging of the spine revealed contusion of the spinal cord at the T9 level. Early removal of an intra-canicular bullet in the setting of an incomplete spinal cord injury can lead to significant neurological recovery following even high-velocity and/or high-caliber gunshot wounds. However, this case does not speak to, and prior experience does not demonstrate, significant neurological benefit in the setting of a complete injury. PMID:25705346

  9. Combat-related intradural gunshot wound to the thoracic spine: significant improvement and neurologic recovery following bullet removal.

    PubMed

    Louwes, Thijs M; Ward, William H; Lee, Kendall H; Freedman, Brett A

    2015-02-01

    The vast majority of combat-related penetrating spinal injuries from gunshot wounds result in severe or complete neurological deficit. Treatment is based on neurological status, the presence of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) fistulas, and local effects of any retained fragment(s). We present a case of a 46-year-old male who sustained a spinal gunshot injury from a 7.62-mm AK-47 round that became lodged within the subarachnoid space at T9-T10. He immediately suffered complete motor and sensory loss. By 24-48 hours post-injury, he had recovered lower extremity motor function fully but continued to have severe sensory loss (posterior cord syndrome). On post-injury day 2, he was evacuated from the combat theater and underwent a T9 laminectomy, extraction of the bullet, and dural laceration repair. At surgery, the traumatic durotomy was widened and the bullet, which was laying on the dorsal surface of the spinal cord, was removed. The dura was closed in a water-tight fashion and fibrin glue was applied. Postoperatively, the patient made a significant but incomplete neurological recovery. His stocking-pattern numbness and sub-umbilical searing dysthesia improved. The spinal canal was clear of the foreign body and he had no persistent CSF leak. Postoperative magnetic resonance imaging of the spine revealed contusion of the spinal cord at the T9 level. Early removal of an intra-canicular bullet in the setting of an incomplete spinal cord injury can lead to significant neurological recovery following even high-velocity and/or high-caliber gunshot wounds. However, this case does not speak to, and prior experience does not demonstrate, significant neurological benefit in the setting of a complete injury.

  10. Stroboscopic Goggles as a Countermeasure for Dynamic Visual Acuity and Landing Sickness After Long-Duration Spaceflight

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rosenberg, M. J. F.; Kreutzberg, G. A.; Peters, B. T.; Reschke, M. F.

    2017-01-01

    Gravity transitions cause changes in the vestibulo-occular reflex (VOR), which manifests as poor gaze control, a decrement in dynamic visual acuity (the ability to maintain gaze while in motion), both of which are caused by retinal slip. Retinal slip, the inability to keep an image focused on the retina, can drive or worsen sensory conflict, resulting in motion sickness (MS). Currently 100% of returning crewmembers report MS symptoms, which might affect their ability to perform mission critical tasks immediately after landing. Reschke et al. (2007) demonstrate that stroboscopic vision goggles improve motion sickness onset and symptom severity in motion sickness driven by retinal slip.

  11. Significantly Improving Regional Seismic Amplitude Tomography at Higher Frequencies by Determining S -Wave Bandwidth

    SciTech Connect

    Fisk, Mark D.; Pasyanos, Michael E.

    2016-05-03

    Characterizing regional seismic signals continues to be a difficult problem due to their variability. Calibration of these signals is very important to many aspects of monitoring underground nuclear explosions, including detecting seismic signals, discriminating explosions from earthquakes, and reliably estimating magnitude and yield. Amplitude tomography, which simultaneously inverts for source, propagation, and site effects, is a leading method of calibrating these signals. A major issue in amplitude tomography is the data quality of the input amplitude measurements. Pre-event and prephase signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) tests are typically used but can frequently include bad signals and exclude good signals. The deficiencies of SNR criteria, which are demonstrated here, lead to large calibration errors. To ameliorate these issues, we introduce a semi-automated approach to assess the bandwidth of a spectrum where it behaves physically. We determine the maximum frequency (denoted as Fmax) where it deviates from this behavior due to inflections at which noise or spurious signals start to bias the spectra away from the expected decay. We compare two amplitude tomography runs using the SNR and new Fmax criteria and show significant improvements to the stability and accuracy of the tomography output for frequency bands higher than 2 Hz by using our assessments of valid S-wave bandwidth. We compare Q estimates, P/S residuals, and some detailed results to explain the improvements. Lastly, for frequency bands higher than 4 Hz, needed for effective P/S discrimination of explosions from earthquakes, the new bandwidth criteria sufficiently fix the instabilities and errors so that the residuals and calibration terms are useful for application.

  12. The relationship between visual acuity and functioning and well-being among diabetics.

    PubMed

    Lee, P P; Whitcup, S M; Hays, R D; Spritzer, K; Javitt, J

    1995-08-01

    Given the enormous recent interest in functional capabilities related to vision, the goal of this study was to examine the relationship of standard clinical measures of vision (e.g. Snellen acuity) to functioning and well-being. The association between Snellen visual acuity, Amsler grid distortion and presence of diabetic retinopathy with self-reported functioning and well-being (SF-36) were examined in a sample of 327 diabetics from the Medical Outcomes Study (MOS). There was little or no correlation between Snellen visual acuity, Amsler grid distortion or diabetic retinopathy and functioning and well-being (i.e. SF-36 scales). Maximum product-moment correlation was 0.15 with worst eye visual acuity, 0.13 with best eye visual acuity, 0.08 with presence of retinopathy, and 0.10 with Amsler grid distortion. Analysis of variance revealed that visual acuity (both best and worst eye) was statistically related only to the physical function scale; no other exam measure was related to any other SF-36 scale score. Snellen visual acuity, Amsler distortion and diabetic retinopathy correlate weakly with patient self-reported functioning and well-being. Thus, the information provided by functioning and well-being measures is complementary to that of standard clinical measures of visual ability.

  13. Neural correlate of vernier acuity tasks assessed by functional MRI (FMRI).

    PubMed

    Sheth, Kevin N; Walker, B Michael; Modestino, Edward J; Miki, Atsushi; Terhune, Kyla P; Francis, Ellie L; Haselgrove, John C; Liu, Grant T

    2007-01-01

    Vernier acuity refers to the ability to discern a small offset within a line. However, while Vernier acuity has been extensively studied psychophysically, its neural correlates are uncertain. Based upon previous psychophysical and electrophysiologic data, we hypothesized that extrastriate areas of the brain would be involved in Vernier acuity tasks, so we designed event-related functional MRI (fMRI) paradigms to identify cortical regions of the brain involved in this behavior. Normal subjects identified suprathreshold and subthreshold Vernier offsets. The results suggest a cortical network including frontal, parietal, occipital, and cerebellar regions subserves the observation, processing, interpretation, and acknowledgment of briefly presented Vernier offsets.

  14. Visual acuity loss and OCT changes as initial signs of leukaemia

    PubMed Central

    Ortiz, Jose M; Ruiz-Moreno, Jose M; Pozo-Martos, Paola; Montero, Javier A

    2010-01-01

    AIM To report two cases where decreased visual acuity was the first symptom of leukaemia and optical coherence tomography (OCT) allowed identification and localization of the retinal lesions. METHODS Retrospective, interventional, case reports. RESULTS One case of lymphoblastic acute leukaemia and chronic lymphoid leukaemia were diagnosed following decreased visual acuity. OCT showed macular serous detachment in the first case. The second case presented hypo fluorescent retinal infiltrates which appeared as hyper reflective lesions by OCT. Retinal changes disappeared and visual acuity was recovered following complete remission of the neoplasm. CONCLUSION OCT is a valuable, non invasive diagnostic tool permitting detection, localization and follow-up of ocular dissemination of neoplasms. PMID:22553573

  15. First significant image improvement from a sodium-layer laser guide star adaptive optics system at Lick Observatory

    SciTech Connect

    Olivier, S.S.; Max, C.E.; Friedman, H.W.; An, J.; Avicola, K.; Beeman, B.V.; Bissinger, H.D.; Brase, J.M.; Erbert, G.V.; Gavel, D.T.; Kanz, K.; Macintosh, B.; Neeb, K.P.; Waltjen, K.E.

    1997-07-14

    Atmospheric turbulence severely limits the resolution of ground-based telescopes. Adaptive optics can correct for the aberrations caused by the atmosphere, but requires a bright wavefront reference source in close angular proximity to the object being imaged. Since natural reference stars of the necessary brightness are relatively rare, methods of generating artificial reference beacons have been under active investigation for more than a decade. In this paper, we report the first significant image improvement achieved using a sodium-layer laser guide star as a wavefront reference for a high- order adaptive optics system. An artificial beacon was created by resonant scattering from atomic sodium in the mesosphere, at an altitude of 95 km. Using this laser guide star, an adaptive optics system on the 3 m Shane Telescope at Lick Observatory produced a factor of 2.4 increase in peak intensity and a factor of 2 decrease in full width at half maximum of a stellar image, compared with image motion compensation alone. The Strehl ratio when using the laser guide star as the reference was 65% of that obtained with a natural guide star, and the image full widths at half maximum were identical, 0.3 arc sec, using either the laser or the natural guide star. This sodium-layer laser guide star technique holds great promise for the world`s largest telescopes. 24 refs., 4 figs., 1 tab.

  16. Dimethyl Fumarate Therapy Significantly Improves the Responsiveness of T Cells in Multiple Sclerosis Patients for Immunoregulation by Regulatory T Cells

    PubMed Central

    Schlöder, Janine; Berges, Carsten; Luessi, Felix; Jonuleit, Helmut

    2017-01-01

    Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic autoimmune disease caused by an insufficient suppression of autoreactive T lymphocytes. One reason for the lack of immunological control is the reduced responsiveness of T effector cells (Teff) for the suppressive properties of regulatory T cells (Treg), a process termed Treg resistance. Here we investigated whether the disease-modifying therapy of relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) with dimethyl fumarate (DMF) influences the sensitivity of T cells in the peripheral blood of patients towards Treg-mediated suppression. We demonstrated that DMF restores responsiveness of Teff to the suppressive function of Treg in vitro, presumably by down-regulation of interleukin-6R (IL-6R) expression on T cells. Transfer of human immune cells into immunodeficient mice resulted in a lethal graft-versus-host reaction triggered by human CD4+ Teff. This systemic inflammation can be prevented by activated Treg after transfer of immune cells from DMF-treated MS patients, but not after injection of Treg-resistant Teff from therapy-naïve MS patients. Furthermore, after DMF therapy, proliferation and expansion of T cells and the immigration into the spleen of the animals is reduced and modulated by activated Treg. In summary, our data reveals that DMF therapy significantly improves the responsiveness of Teff in MS patients to immunoregulation. PMID:28134847

  17. An ensemble strategy that significantly improves de novo assembly of microbial genomes from metagenomic next-generation sequencing data

    PubMed Central

    Deng, Xutao; Naccache, Samia N.; Ng, Terry; Federman, Scot; Li, Linlin; Chiu, Charles Y.; Delwart, Eric L.

    2015-01-01

    Next-generation sequencing (NGS) approaches rapidly produce millions to billions of short reads, which allow pathogen detection and discovery in human clinical, animal and environmental samples. A major limitation of sequence homology-based identification for highly divergent microorganisms is the short length of reads generated by most highly parallel sequencing technologies. Short reads require a high level of sequence similarities to annotated genes to confidently predict gene function or homology. Such recognition of highly divergent homologues can be improved by reference-free (de novo) assembly of short overlapping sequence reads into larger contigs. We describe an ensemble strategy that integrates the sequential use of various de Bruijn graph and overlap-layout-consensus assemblers with a novel partitioned sub-assembly approach. We also proposed new quality metrics that are suitable for evaluating metagenome de novo assembly. We demonstrate that this new ensemble strategy tested using in silico spike-in, clinical and environmental NGS datasets achieved significantly better contigs than current approaches. PMID:25586223

  18. Proposal of an improved histological sub-typing system for lung adenocarcinoma – significant prognostic values for stage I disease

    PubMed Central

    Okudela, Koji; Woo, Tetsukan; Mitsui, Hideaki; Yazawa, Takuya; Shimoyamada, Hiroaki; Tajiri, Michihiko; Ogawa, Nobuo; Masuda, Munetaka; Kitamura, Hitoshi

    2010-01-01

    We have established a concise sub-typing system suitable for predicting the postoperative outcome in cases of stage I lung adenocarcinoma (ADC), using morphometric profiling. The association between postoperative disease recurrence and a variety of morphological features including histological architecture, cell type, cytoplasmic color/internal structure, nuclear shape/size, chromatin pattern, and nucleoli count/remarkableness, was analyzed. Histological architecture had the most prognostic value and could be subdivided into low-grade (bronchioloalveolar, papillary and tubular: “tubular” in this paper is defined as a tubular or glandular structure lined with single-layered neoplastic cells) and high-grade (acinar and solid: “acinar” is defined as a tubular or glandular structure lined with poly-layered neoplastic cells or as a fused glandular structure such as the cribriform pattern) components. The subgroups separated based on a cut-off value, 71.5% of the high-grade component comprised by a tumor, which was calculated according to a relative operating characteristic curve, exhibited a significant difference in disease recurrence [estimated 5-year disease-free survival rate, 95.3% in the low-grade group versus 66.7% in the high-grade group, hazard ratio 7.35, Log-rank test p = 0.002]. The sub-grouping system is concise and suitable for practical use. It will improve the histological classification of ADC. PMID:20490327

  19. Significant improvement of thermal stability of glucose 1-dehydrogenase by introducing disulfide bonds at the tetramer interface.

    PubMed

    Ding, Haitao; Gao, Fen; Liu, Danfeng; Li, Zeli; Xu, Xiaohong; Wu, Min; Zhao, Yuhua

    2013-12-10

    Rational design was applied to glucose 1-dehydrogenase (LsGDH) from Lysinibacillus sphaericus G10 to improve its thermal stability by introduction of disulfide bridges between subunits. One out of the eleven mutants, designated as DS255, displayed significantly enhanced thermal stability with considerable soluble expression and high specific activity. It was extremely stable at pH ranging from 4.5 to 10.5, as it retained nearly 100% activity after incubating at different buffers for 1h. Mutant DS255 also exhibited high thermostability, having a half-life of 9900min at 50°C, which was 1868-fold as that of its wild type. Moreover, both of the increased free energy of denaturation and decreased entropy of denaturation of DS255 suggested that the enzyme structure was stabilized by the engineered disulfide bonds. On account of its robust stability, mutant DS255 would be a competitive candidate in practical applications of chiral chemicals synthesis, biofuel cells and glucose biosensors.

  20. Proposed fish passage improvements at Three Mile Falls Diversion Dam, Umatilla River, Oregon: Finding of no significant impact

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1986-05-01

    The Bureau of Reclamation proposes to administer the construction of fish passage and protective facilities at Three Mile Falls Diversion Dam on the Umatilla River in Oregon to increase the numbers of anadromous fish. The Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) proposes to provide funding for the project. These agencies' actions would implement section 904(d) of the Northwest Power Planning Council's Columbia River Basin Fish and Wildlife Program which addresses the provision of offsite enhancement to compensate for fish and wildlife losses caused by hydroelectric project development and operations throughout the Columbia River Basin. This Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) is the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) decision document for both agencies. The proposed action would improve both upstream and downstream passage by providing a new right bank ladder on Three Mile Falls Diversion Dam, modifying the existing left bank ladder, and installing rotary drum fish screens and related structures on the adjacent West Extension Irrigation District (WEID) Canal. Four other alternatives are considered in the environmental assessment (EA): a concrete apron plus a left bank ladder; a cap on the crest of the dam plus a left bank ladder; dam removal; and no action. 5 figs., 6 tabs.

  1. Novel ventilation design of combining spacer and mesh structure in sports T-shirt significantly improves thermal comfort.

    PubMed

    Sun, Chao; Au, Joe Sau-chuen; Fan, Jintu; Zheng, Rong

    2015-05-01

    This paper reports on novel ventilation design in sports T-shirt, which combines spacer and mesh structure, and experimental evidence on the advantages of design in improving thermal comfort. Evaporative resistance (Re) and thermal insulation (Rc) of T-shirts were measured using a sweating thermal manikin under three different air velocities. Moisture permeability index (i(m)) was calculated to compare the different designed T-shirts. The T-shirts of new and conventional designs were also compared by wearer trials, which were comprised of 30 min treadmill running followed by 10 min rest. Skin temperature, skin relative humidity, heart rate, oxygen inhalation and energy expenditure were monitored, and subjective sensations were asked. Results demonstrated that novel T-shirt has 11.1% significant lower im than control sample under windy condition. The novel T-shirt contributes to reduce the variation of skin temperature and relative humidity up to 37% and 32%, as well as decrease 3.3% energy consumption during exercise.

  2. Higher-order aberrations and best-corrected visual acuity in Native American children with a high prevalence of astigmatism

    PubMed Central

    Miller, Joseph M.; Harvey, Erin M.; Schwiegerling, Jim

    2016-01-01

    Purpose To determine whether higher-order aberrations (HOAs) in children from a highly astigmatic population differ from population norms and whether HOAs are associated with astigmatism and reduced best-corrected visual acuity. Methods Subjects were 218 Tohono O’odham Native American children 5–9 years of age. Noncycloplegic HOA measurements were obtained with a handheld Shack-Hartmann sensor (SHS). Signed (z06s to z14s) and unsigned (z06u to z14u) wavefront aberration Zernike coefficients Z(3,−3) to Z(4,4) were rescaled for a 4 mm diameter pupil and compared to adult population norms. Cycloplegic refraction and best-corrected logMAR letter visual acuity (BCVA) were also measured. Regression analyses assessed the contribution of astigmatism (J0) and HOAs to BCVA. Results The mean root-mean-square (RMS) HOA of 0.191 ± 0.072 μm was significantly greater than population norms (0.100 ± 0.044 μm. All unsigned HOA coefficients (z06u to z14u) and all signed coefficients except z09s, z10s, and z11s were significantly larger than population norms. Decreased BCVA was associated with astigmatism (J0) and spherical aberration (z12u) but not RMS coma, with the effect of J0 about 4 times as great as z12u. Conclusions Tohono O’odham children show elevated HOAs compared to population norms. Astigmatism and unsigned spherical aberration are associated with decreased acuity, but the effects of spherical aberration are minimal and not clinically significant. PMID:26239206

  3. Significant Improvement of Puncture Accuracy and Fluoroscopy Reduction in Percutaneous Transforaminal Endoscopic Discectomy With Novel Lumbar Location System

    PubMed Central

    Fan, Guoxin; Guan, Xiaofei; Zhang, Hailong; Wu, Xinbo; Gu, Xin; Gu, Guangfei; Fan, Yunshan; He, Shisheng

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Prospective nonrandomized control study. The study aimed to investigate the implication of the HE's Lumbar LOcation (HELLO) system in improving the puncture accuracy and reducing fluoroscopy in percutaneous transforaminal endoscopic discectomy (PTED). Percutaneous transforaminal endoscopic discectomy is one of the most popular minimally invasive spine surgeries that heavily depend on repeated fluoroscopy. Increased fluoroscopy will induce higher radiation exposure to surgeons and patients. Accurate puncture in PTED can be achieved by accurate preoperative location and definite trajectory. The HELLO system mainly consists of self-made surface locator and puncture-assisted device. The surface locator was used to identify the exact puncture target and the puncture-assisted device was used to optimize the puncture trajectory. Patients who had single L4/5 or L5/S1 lumbar intervertebral disc herniation and underwent PTED were included the study. Patients receiving the HELLO system were assigned in Group A, and those taking conventional method were assigned in Group B. Study primary endpoint was puncture times and fluoroscopic time, and the secondary endpoint was location time and operation time. A total of 62 patients who received PTED were included in this study. The average age was 45.35 ± 8.70 years in Group A and 46.61 ± 7.84 years in Group B (P = 0.552). There were no significant differences in gender, body mass index, conservative time, and surgical segment between the 2 groups (P > 0.05). The puncture time(s) were 1.19 ± 0.48 in Group A and 6.03 ± 1.87 in Group B (P < 0.001). The fluoroscopic times were 14.03 ± 2.54 in Group A and 25.19 ± 4.28 in Group B (P < 0.001). The preoperative location time was 4.67 ± 1.41 minutes in Group A and 6.98 ± 0.94 minutes in Group B (P < 0.001). The operation time was 79.42 ± 10.15 minutes in Group A and 89.65 ± 14.06 minutes in Group B (P

  4. Determinants of visual acuity outcomes in eyes with neovascular AMD treated with anti-VEGF agents: an instrumental variable analysis of the AURA study.

    PubMed

    Holz, F G; Tadayoni, R; Beatty, S; Berger, A R; Cereda, M G; Hykin, P; Staurenghi, G; Wittrup-Jensen, K; Nilsson, J; Kim, K; Sivaprasad, S

    2016-08-01

    PurposeTo identify the strongest variable(s) linked with the number of ranibizumab injections and outcomes in AURA, and to identify ways to improve outcomes using this association.MethodsAURA was a large observational study that monitored visual acuity over a 2-year period in patients with neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD) who received ranibizumab injections. Baseline characteristics, resource use, and outcomes were analyzed using an instrumental variable approach and regression analysis.ResultsData were analyzed from 2227 patients enrolled in AURA. Optical coherence tomography (OCT) and ophthalmoscopy were the most common diagnostic tests used, and this combination was the strongest instrumental variable. Use of OCT and ophthalmoscopy affected the number of injections given and resulted in an increase in visual acuity gains from baseline of 17.6 letters in year 1 and 2.5 letters in year 2. Regression models using the instrumental variable (OCT and ophthalmoscopy combined) showed that ≥5.1 (95% CI: 3.3-11.4) ranibizumab injections were needed to maintain visual acuity from baseline to year 1 and ≥8.3 (95% CI: 5.3-18.8) injections were needed to maintain visual acuity from year 1 to year 2. To gain ≥15 letters, ≥7.9 (95% CI: 5.1-17.5) ranibizumab injections would be needed in year 1 and ≥16.1 (95% CI: 10.3-36.4) injections would be needed over 2 years.ConclusionsThese findings highlight the role that regular monitoring plays in guiding neovascular AMD therapy and they showed that the number of ranibizumab injections needed to maintain visual acuity is higher than that administered in AURA.

  5. Novel one-stop multidisciplinary follow-up clinic significantly improves cancer risk management in BRCA1/2 carriers.

    PubMed

    Pichert, G; Jacobs, C; Jacobs, I; Menon, U; Manchanda, R; Johnson, M; Hamed, H; Firth, C; Evison, M; Tutt, A; de Silva, L; Langman, C; Izatt, L

    2010-09-01

    The purpose of this study is to measure the impact of a multidisciplinary one-stop follow-up clinic (MDOSC) on breast and ovarian surveillance, risk reducing surgery and enrolment in clinical trials in BRCA1/2 carriers. All BRCA1/2 carriers in our region were invited and chose which specialists to see in our MDOSC offering best practice using clinical protocols based on national guidelines and published data. Uptake was evaluated over 24 months recording numbers of individuals undergoing breast and ovarian surveillance, risk reducing surgery, newly diagnosed cancers, their method of detection and participation in clinical trials. 172 (60%) of invited BRCA1/2 carriers chose to attend the MDOSC. Breast surveillance was initiated in 88% and screening frequency altered in 14% of women to comply with national guidelines. Risk reducing salpingo-oophorectomy was chosen by 47% of women and an additional 39% were considering it. The rate of failure to remove fallopian tubes fell from 15 to 3% of procedures (P < 0.01) and peritoneal washings and serial sectioning of tubes and ovaries rose from 25% and 14% before, to 67% (P < 0.001) and 63% (P < 0.001) procedures, respectively, after initiation of our MDOSC. 24% of women considered and 18% decided to undergo risk reducing mastectomy during the follow-up period. Participation in clinical trials increased significantly from 51 to 229 enrolments (P < 0.001). Our novel MDOSC designed to devise an individually tailored cancer risk management strategy had a high uptake amongst our BRCA1/2 carriers. Attendance resulted in improved breast and ovarian cancer risk management.

  6. Three dimensional electrospun PCL/PLA blend nanofibrous scaffolds with significantly improved stem cells osteogenic differentiation and cranial bone formation.

    PubMed

    Yao, Qingqing; Cosme, Jaqueline G L; Xu, Tao; Miszuk, Jacob M; Picciani, Paulo H S; Fong, Hao; Sun, Hongli

    2017-01-01

    Nanofibrous scaffolds that are morphologically/structurally similar to natural ECM are highly interested for tissue engineering; however, the electrospinning technique has the difficulty in directly producing clinically relevant 3D nanofibrous scaffolds with desired structural properties. To address this challenge, we have developed an innovative technique of thermally induced nanofiber self-agglomeration (TISA) recently. The aim of this work was to prepare (via the TISA technique) and evaluate 3D electrospun PCL/PLA blend (mass ratio: 4/1) nanofibrous scaffolds having high porosity of ∼95.8% as well as interconnected and hierarchically structured pores with sizes from sub-micrometers to ∼300 μm for bone tissue engineering. The hypothesis was that the incorporation of PLA (with higher mechanical stiffness/modulus and bioactivity) into PCL nanofibers would significantly improve human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) osteogenic differentiation in vitro and bone formation in vivo. Compared to neat PCL-3D scaffolds, PCL/PLA-3D blend scaffolds had higher mechanical properties and in vitro bioactivity; as a result, they not only enhanced the cell viability of hMSCs but also promoted the osteogenic differentiation. Furthermore, our in vivo studies revealed that PCL/PLA-3D scaffolds considerably facilitated new bone formation in a critical-sized cranial bone defect mouse model. In summary, both in vitro and in vivo results indicated that novel 3D electrospun PCL/PLA blend nanofibrous scaffolds would be strongly favorable/desired for hMSCs osteogenic differentiation and cranial bone formation.

  7. Night vision goggle visual acuity assessment: results of an interagency test

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Task, H. Lee

    2001-08-01

    There are several parameters that are used to characterize the quality of a night vision goggle (NVG) such as resolution, gain, field-of-view, visual acuity, etc. One of the primary parameters is visual acuity or resolution of the NVG. These two terms are often used interchangeably primarily because of the measurement methods employed. The objectives of this paper are to present: (1) an argument as to why NVG visual acuity and resolution should be considered as distinctly different parameters, (2) descriptions of different methods of measuring visual acuity and resolution, and (3) the results of a blind test by several agencies to measure the resolution of the same two NVGs (four oculars).

  8. Understanding Teacher Effectiveness: Significant State Data Capacity Is Required to Measure and Improve Teacher Effectiveness. Data for Action 2012

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Data Quality Campaign, 2012

    2012-01-01

    States are increasingly focused on understanding and improving teacher effectiveness. There are several funding opportunities that incentivize states to use data to inform measurements of teacher effectiveness. Local, state, and federal efforts support using data to improve teacher preparation programs. Preparation programs seek "access to data…

  9. Longitudinal comparison of visual acuity as measured by the ETDRS chart and by the potential acuity meter in eyes with macular edema, and its relationship with retinal thickness and sensitivity

    PubMed Central

    Hatef, E; Hanout, M; Moradi, A; Colantuoni, E; Bittencourt, M; Liu, H; Sepah, Y J; Ibrahim, M; Do, D V; Guyton, D L; Nguyen, Q D

    2014-01-01

    Purpose To evaluate the relationship between visual acuity as measured by the Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study (ETDRS) chart and by the potential acuity meter (PAM) with retinal thickness and sensitivity measured by a combined microperimetry/optical coherence tomography system (OCT). Methods Forty-four patients with macular edema (ME) were included in a prospective observational study. Visual acuity (VA) was assessed using the ETDRS chart (with best correction) as well as by the PAM. Retinal thickness and sensitivity was measured by an automatic fundus perimetry/tomography system. Results Best-corrected VA using the ETDRS chart ranged from 20/20 to 20/400 (median: 20/50). VA measured by the PAM without correction ranged from 20/20 to 20/400 (median: 20/40). The mean retinal thickness was 369.57 μm (s.d.: 140.28 μm) on spectral domain-OCT and the mean retinal sensitivity was 8.12 decibels (dB) (s.d.: 5.78 dB). The mean LogMAR value using the ETDRS chart was 0.43, whereas it was 0.38 using the PAM (P-value: 0.009). Conclusions VA values measured by the PAM were statistically significantly better than those measured by the ETDRS chart in eyes with ME secondary to various retinal vascular and uveitic diseases. VA measured by the PAM may be a more sensitive predictor of macular function than that obtained by ETDRS testing in eyes with ME. PMID:25104744

  10. The Effect of Signal-to-Noise Ratio on Visual Acuity Through Night Vision Goggles

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1991-02-01

    subjects in visuLal acuity performance with NVGs, it was concluded that further research should be conducted to examine the correlation between visual...the image intensifier tuho. Tile image intensifier tube is basically a light amplifier that is sensitive over tho spectral region of about 600nm to... excellent means of getting a sensitive measure of visual acuity. 2 Method 2.1 Subje;cts Twelve male volunteers participated in this study. ’he subjects

  11. Prolonged Perceptual Learning of Positional Acuity in Adult Amblyopia

    PubMed Central

    Li, Roger W; Klein, Stanley A; Levi, Dennis M

    2009-01-01

    Amblyopia is a developmental abnormality that results in physiological alterations in the visual cortex and impairs form vision. It is often successfully treated by patching the sound eye in infants and young children, but is generally considered to be untreatable in adults. However, a number of recent studies suggest that repetitive practice of a visual task using the amblyopic eye results in improved performance in both children and adults with amblyopia. These perceptual learning studies have used relatively brief periods of practice; however, clinical studies have shown that the time-constant for successful patching is long. The time-constant for perceptual learning in amblyopia is still unknown. Here we show that the time-constant for perceptual learning depends on the degree of amblyopia. Severe amblyopia requires more than 50 hours (≈35,000 trials) to reach plateau, yielding as much as a five-fold improvement in performance at a rate of ≈1.5% per hour. There is significant transfer of learning from the amblyopic to the dominant eye, suggesting that the learning reflects alterations in higher decision stages of processing. Using a reverse correlation technique, we document, for the first time, a dynamic retuning of the amblyopic perceptual decision template and a substantial reduction in internal spatial distortion. These results show that the mature amblyopic brain is surprisingly malleable, and point to more intensive treatment methods for amblyopia. PMID:19109504

  12. Interocular Shift of Visual Attention Enhances Stereopsis and Visual Acuities of Anisometropic Amblyopes beyond the Critical Period of Visual Development: A Novel Approach

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Liwen; Sun, Xinghuai; Liu, Shuai; Liu, Rui; Mansouri, Behzad; Wong, Vicky wing lai; Wen, Wen; Liu, Hong; Wang, Ai-Hou

    2014-01-01

    Aims. Increasing evidence shows that imbalanced suppressive drive prior to binocular combination may be the key factor in amblyopia. We described a novel binocular approach, interocular shift of visual attention (ISVA), for treatment of amblyopia in adult patients. Methods. Visual stimuli were presented anaglyphically on a computer screen. A square target resembling Landolt C had 2 openings, one in red and one in cyan color. Through blue-red goggles, each eye could only see one of the two openings. The patient was required to report the location of the opening presented to the amblyopic eye. It started at an opening size of 800 sec of arc, went up and down in 160 sec of arc step, and stopped when reaching the 5th reversals. Ten patients with anisometropic amblyopia older than age 14 (average age: 26.7) were recruited and received ISVA treatment for 6 weeks, with 2 training sessions per day. Results. Both Titmus stereopsis (z = −2.809, P = 0.005) and Random-dot stereopsis (z = −2.317, P = 0.018) were significantly improved. Average improvement in best corrected visual acuity (BCVA) was 0.74 line (t = 5.842, P < 0.001). Conclusions. The ISVA treatment may be effective in treating amblyopia and restoring stereoscopic function. PMID:25580280

  13. Correlation analysis of proprioceptive acuity in ipsilateral position-matching and velocity-discrimination.

    PubMed

    Djupsjöbacka, Mats; Domkin, Dmitry

    2005-01-01

    In order to plan and control movements the central nervous system (CNS) needs to continuously keep track of the state of the musculoskeletal system. Therefore the CNS constantly uses sensory input from mechanoreceptors in muscles, joints and skin to update information about body configuration on different levels of the CNS. On the conscious level, such representations constitute proprioception. Different tests for assessment of proprioceptive acuity have been described. However, it is unclear if the proprioceptive acuity measurements in these tests correlate within subjects. By using both uni- and multivariate analysis we compared proprioceptive acuity in different variants of ipsilateral active and passive limb position-matching and ipsilateral passive limb movement velocity-discrimination in a group of healthy subjects. The analysis of the position-matching data revealed a higher acuity of matching for active movements in comparison to passive ones. The acuity of matching was negatively correlated to movement extent. There was a lack of correlation between proprioceptive acuity measurements in position-matching and velocity-discrimination.

  14. Effects of molting on the visual acuity of the blue crab, Callinectes sapidus.

    PubMed

    Baldwin, Jamie; Johnsen, Sönke

    2011-09-15

    In crustaceans with compound eyes, the corneal lens of each facet is part of the exoskeleton and thus shed during molting. Here we used an optomotor assay to evaluate the impact of molting on visual acuity (as measured by the minimum resolvable angle, α(min)) in the female blue crab, Callinectes sapidus. We found that visual acuity decreases substantially in the days prior to molting and is gradually recovered after molting. Four days prior to molting, α(min) was 1.8 deg (N=5), a value approximating the best possible acuity in this species. In the 24 h before ecdysis occurred, α(min) increased to 15.0 deg (N=12), corresponding to an eightfold drop in visual acuity. Within 6 days after molting, α(min) returned to the pre-molting value. Micrographs of C. sapidus eyes showed that a gap between the corneal lens and the crystalline cone first appeared approximately 5 days prior to shedding and increased in width as the process progressed. This separation was likely responsible for the loss of visual acuity observed in behavioral tests. In blue crabs, mating is limited to the period of the female's pubertal molt, and a reduction in acuity during this time may have an effect on the sensory cues used in female mate choice. The results described here may be broadly applicable to all arthropods that molt and have particular importance for crustaceans that molt multiple times in their lifetime or have mating cycles that are paired with molting.

  15. Outcomes of visual acuity in carbon ion radiotherapy: Analysis of dose-volume histograms and prognostic factors

    SciTech Connect

    Hasegawa, Azusa . E-mail: azusa@nirs.go.jp; Mizoe, Jun-etsu; Mizota, Atsushi; Tsujii, Hirohiko

    2006-02-01

    Purpose: To analyze the tolerance dose for retention of visual acuity in patients with head-and-neck tumors treated with carbon ion radiotherapy. Methods and Materials: From June 1994 to March 2000, 163 patients with tumors in the head and neck or skull base region were treated with carbon ion radiotherapy. Analysis was performed on 54 optic nerves (ONs) corresponding to 30 patients whose ONs had been included in the irradiated volume. These patients showed no evidence of visual impairment due to other factors and had a follow-up period of >4 years. All patients had been informed of the possibility of visual impairment before treatment. We evaluated the dose-complication probability and the prognostic factors for the retention of visual acuity in carbon ion radiotherapy, using dose-volume histograms and multivariate analysis. Results: The median age of 30 patients (14 men, 16 women) was 57.2 years. Median prescribed total dose was 56.0 gray equivalents (GyE) at 3.0-4.0 GyE per fraction per day (range, 48-64 GyE; 16-18 fractions; 4-6 weeks). Of 54 ONs that were analyzed, 35 had been irradiated with <57 GyE (maximum dose [D{sub max}]) resulting in no visual loss. Conversely, 11 of the 19 ONs (58%) irradiated with >57 GyE (D{sub max}) suffered a decrease of visual acuity. In all of these cases, the ONs had been involved in the tumor before carbon ion radiotherapy. In the multivariate analysis, a dose of 20% of the volume of the ON (D{sub 2}) was significantly associated with visual loss. Conclusions: The occurrence of visual loss seems to be correlated with a delivery of >60 GyE to 20% of the volume of the ON.

  16. The Correlation of Age and Postoperative Visual Acuity for Age-Related Cataract

    PubMed Central

    Li, Xiaochun; Cao, Xiaoguang; Hou, Xianru; Bao, Yongzhen

    2016-01-01

    Purpose. Clinically, what is the best time for age-related cataract (ARC) patients to receive surgeries and get the most benefits is important. We explored the relationship between age and presenting postoperative visual acuity (POVA) in patients from rural China. Methods. Three Lifeline Express Hospital Eye-Train missions of Peking University People's Hospital were chosen. At the first day after surgery, 3452 ARC eyes with the presenting POVA ≥ 6/60 were enrolled. The relationship between age and POVA was analyzed statistically. Results. In these three missions, there were more female patients than males; the ratio of females to males was 1.71. The average age of females was older than males. Overall, the percentages of patients with good visual outcomes (≥6/18) were significantly decreased with aging. Different regions had variations, but the trends were the same. There was weak linear correlation between age and POVA. The correlations of females were stronger than males in Yuncheng and Sanmenxia and weaker than males in Zhoukou. Conclusion. The good visual outcomes of presenting POVA were significantly decreased with aging and there were weak linear correlations between age and POVA in rural China. The linear correlation might be influenced by the difference of gender and region. PMID:26881225

  17. Individual Differences in Scotopic Visual Acuity and Contrast Sensitivity: Genetic and Non-Genetic Influences

    PubMed Central

    Bartholomew, Alex J.; Lad, Eleonora M.; Cao, Dingcai; Bach, Michael; Cirulli, Elizabeth T.

    2016-01-01

    Despite the large amount of variation found in the night (scotopic) vision capabilities of healthy volunteers, little effort has been made to characterize this variation and factors, genetic and non-genetic, that influence it. In the largest population of healthy observers measured for scotopic visual acuity (VA) and contrast sensitivity (CS) to date, we quantified the effect of a range of variables on visual performance. We found that young volunteers with excellent photopic vision exhibit great variation in their scotopic VA and CS, and this variation is reliable from one testing session to the next. We additionally identified that factors such as Circadian preference, iris color, astigmatism, depression, sex and education have no significant impact on scotopic visual function. We confirmed previous work showing that the amount of time spent on the vision test influences performance and that laser eye surgery results in worse scotopic vision. We also showed a significant effect of intelligence and photopic visual performance on scotopic VA and CS, but all of these variables collectively explain <30% of the variation in scotopic vision. The wide variation seen in young healthy volunteers with excellent photopic vision, the high test-retest agreement, and the vast majority of the variation in scotopic vision remaining unexplained by obvious non-genetic factors suggests a strong genetic component. Our preliminary genome-wide association study (GWAS) of 106 participants ruled out any common genetic variants of very large effect and paves the way for future, larger genetic studies of scotopic vision. PMID:26886100

  18. Early Quick Acuity Score Provides More Complete Data on Emergency Department Walkouts

    PubMed Central

    Lovett, Paris B.; Kahn, J. Akiva; Greene, Stuart E.; Bloch, Matthew A.; Brandt, Daniel R.; Minckler, Michael R.

    2014-01-01

    Introduction Many prior studies have compared the acuity of Emergency Department (ED) patients who have Left Without Being Seen (LWBS) against non-LWBS patients. A weakness in these studies is that patients may walk out prior to the assignment of a triage score, biasing comparisons. We report an operational change whereby acuity was assessed immediately upon patient arrival. We hypothesized more patients would receive acuity scores with EQAS. We also sought to compare LWBS and non-LWBS patient characteristics with reduced bias. Methods Setting: urban, academic medical center. Retrospective cohort study, electronic chart review, collecting data on all ED patients presenting between 4/1/2010 and 10/31/2011 (“Traditional Acuity Score” period, TAS) and from 11/1/2011 to 3/31/2012 (“Early Quick Acuity Score” period, EQAS). We recorded disposition (LWBS versus non-LWBS), acuity and demographics. For each subject during the EQAS period, we calculated how many prior ED visits and how many prior walkouts the subject had had during the TAS period. Results Acuity was recorded in 92,275 of 94,526 patients (97.6%) for TAS period, and 25,577 of 25,760 patients (99.3%) for EQAS period, a difference of 1.7% (1.5%, 1.8%). LWBS patients had acuity scores recorded in 5,180 of 7,040 cases (73.6%) during TAS period, compared with 897 of 1,010 cases (88.8%) during the EQAS period, a difference of 15.2% (14.8%, 15.7%). LWBS were more likely than non-LWBS to be male, were younger and had lower acuity scores. LWBS averaged 5.3 prior ED visits compared with 2.8 by non-LWBS, a difference of 2.5 (1.5, 3.5). LWBS averaged 1.3 prior ED walkouts compared with 0.2 among non-LWBS, a difference of 1.1 (0.8, 1.3). Conclusions EQAS resulted in a higher proportion of patients receiving acuity scores, particularly among LWBS. This offers more complete data when comparing LWBS and non-LWBS patient characteristics. The comparison reinforced findings from prior studies. PMID:24465699

  19. Comparison of energy expenditure during the Y-balance test in older adults with different visual acuities

    PubMed Central

    Shin, Sun-Shil; An, Duk-Hyun

    2015-01-01

    [Purpose] This study compared the energy expenditure during the Y-balance test (YBT) between elderly women with good binocular visual acuity (BVA) and those with poor BVA. [Subjects] Twenty-one elderly women who could walk independently were recruited from a community dwelling. Eleven participants had a BVA equal to or less than 0.4 logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution (logMAR), and the other 10 participants had a BVA equal to or better than 0.3 logMAR. [Methods] The participants had an accelerometer attached over the L3 spinous process for measurement of energy expenditure and performed the YBT in the anterior, posteromedial, and posterolateral directions. [Results] The normalized reach distance in the good BVA group during the YBT in three directions and composite reach distance were significantly longer compared with the values in the poor BVA group. The energy expenditure in the good BVA group during the YBT in the three directions was significantly reduced compared with the values in the poor BVA group. [Conclusion] We suggest that visual acuity in the elderly influences dynamic balance and energy expenditure. Elderly subjects with poor BVA showed poor dynamic balance control and an inefficient biomechanical cost strategy compared to subjects with good BVA. PMID:25931711

  20. Significant Improvement in Sleep in People with Intellectual Disabilities Living in Residential Settings by Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hylkema, T.; Vlaskamp, C.

    2009-01-01

    Background: Although about 15 to 50 percent of people with intellectual disabilities (ID) living in residential settings suffer from sleep problems, scant attention is paid to these problems. Most available studies focus on pharmaceutical solutions. In this study we focus on improving sleep in people with intellectual disabilities living in…

  1. Presbyopia: a pilot investigation of the barriers and benefits of near visual acuity correction among a rural Filipino population

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Presbyopia is the age-related decline in accommodation that diminishes the ability of the eye to focus on near objects. Presbyopia is common and easy to correct; however, many communities lack access to basic eye care. The purpose of this project was to assess the burden of uncorrected presbyopia in a rural Filipino population and to pilot an intervention aimed at increasing access to reading glasses in the community. Methods Individuals above the age of 40 who presented to a health outreach in the Philippines were invited to undergo a near vision exam to detect the presence of functional presbyopia and be fitted with ready-made, single-vision glasses. The change in stereoacuity was used as a surrogate measure of functional improvement after near vision correction. A questionnaire was administered to assess this population’s perceived barriers and benefits to correcting near vision. Results The average age of the participants was 57 ± 11 years, with 87.6% of participants having an uncorrected near visual acuity of <20/50. Reading glasses improved near vision to 20/40 or better in 77.7% of participants having near-vision impairment (uncorrected near visual acuity of <20/40). Over 75% of participants also showed improvement in stereoacuity. Cost, rather than availability, was perceived to be the greater barrier to the procurement of glasses, and 84% of participants reported that the glasses dispensed would greatly improve their ability to earn a living. Conclusions Dispensing ready-made, single-vision glasses is a simple and cost-effective intervention to improve near vision and enhance depth perception. A greater understanding of the barriers and benefits to correcting near vision will inform the design and execution of a sustainable program to correct presbyopia in developing countries. PMID:24467667

  2. Closed surfaces of constant visual acuity in symmetric dioptric power space.

    PubMed

    Rubin, A; Harris, W F

    2001-10-01

    This paper demonstrates a multivariate approach to understanding the complicated relations of visual acuity to refractive state or ametropia. Other approaches, as previously used, included graphical representations of lines or profiles of iso-oxyopia (Peters, 1961). But one limitation of Peters' method is that cylinder axis was ignored. However, here the relationship between visual acuity and refractive power will be represented by estimated closed surfaces of constant visual acuity in symmetric dioptric power space. At or near the common center (of several closed surfaces, for example) is the refractive compensation. Coming outwards from such a center, the visual acuity drops in all directions in the space. The primary purpose of this paper was to present estimated closed surfaces of constant visual acuity for several eyes. Various procedures were performed on several subjects including measurement of iris aperture diameter, subjective refraction, and autorefraction. Thereafter, an automated phoropter and either Jackson cross-cylinders or spheres were used to influence dioptric blur or defocus in the subjects. The visual stimulus was a computer-generated nondirectional or meridionally independent letter O. Ovoidal surfaces fit the measurements obtained (with Jackson cross-cylinders and spheres) better than ellipsoidal surfaces. The cross-section, in symmetric dioptric power space, at powers with the same nearest equivalent sphere as the refractive compensation is elliptical in many cases and reflects a dependence of visual acuity on cylinder axis. The surfaces differ when powers are changed so that one is moving away from (decompensation surfaces) or toward (accompensation surfaces) the refractive compensation. The multivariate and graphical methods used in this paper probably have implications for the direction of future research in a number of areas involving measures of vision function such as autorefraction, retinoscopy, subjective refraction, and visual

  3. Visual acuity performance of several observers using the triangle orientation discrimination methodology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mündel, Julia; Geisel, Bärbel; Braesicke, Katrin; Bürsing, Helge

    2016-10-01

    The Triangle Orientation Discrimination (TOD) is one of several methods to characterize electro-optical system performance. It is conducted by presenting an equilateral triangle pointing either up, down, right or left, to an observer who is forced to judge the direction. Based from the probability on the correctness of the answers in dependence of the size of the triangle, the quality of the system can be assessed. In order to gain experience with this method it was applied here to test Fraunhofer IOSBs new equipment for perception experiments. An experiment with four observers, ten contrast levels and six triangle sizes was conducted. Its results were analysed for observer performance versus time, illumination conditions and variations in the TOD-curve. Furthermore, different approaches on analysing the data were compared. The outcome showed the observers performance variation on different days to be statistically insignificant. In addition, the illumination conditions had no statistically significant influence on the result. Interestingly a larger difference was found between the observers. Although they had normal or corrected to normal eyesight, different visual acuity is the only explanation for the differences. This leads to the necessity to check observers of perception experiments more closely. The different approaches to curve fitting also gave variations, which would result in different ranges when applied in camera assessment. Here a standardization seems necessary when the method is applied in analytical models for imaging systems.

  4. Aircrew visual acuity viewing with different night vision goggle eyepiece diopter settings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Angel, Share-Dawn P.; Baldwin, J. Bruce

    2004-09-01

    The AN/AVS-9 night vision goggle (NVG) has an eyepiece lens that can be adjusted from +2 to -6 diopters (D). We have shown previously1,2,3 that on average NVG users tend to select about -1D, with a range of +0.5D to -4D3. This study was designed to evaluate NVG visual acuity (NVG VA) and subjective ratings for a range of diopter settings including user-selected and three fixed settings of -0.25D, -1D and -2D. Twenty-one experienced USAF Special Operations aircrew members, including 15 pilots, served as subjects. The median user-selected setting was -1.25D and ranged from +0.5D to -3.5D. Only 2 of the 21 subjects had user-selected NVG VA significantly better than a fixed setting of -1D. Of those two, one was not wearing prescribed glasses and the other was 49 years old, presbyopic, and could not focus through the -1D lenses. Subjective ratings and NVG VA indicated that most people could fly with a fixed setting of -1D for each eye, although two individuals needed different diopter settings for the right and left eyes. The new Panoramic NVG (PNVG) has a fixed eyepiece focus of -1D. Results suggest the PNVG should have a limited set of accessory lenses available.

  5. The strong connection between sensory and cognitive performance in old age: not due to sensory acuity reductions operating during cognitive assessment.

    PubMed

    Lindenberger, U; Scherer, H; Baltes, P B

    2001-06-01

    Cognitive aging research has documented a strong increase in the covariation between sensory and cognitive functioning with advancing age. In part, this finding may reflect sensory acuity reductions operating during cognitive assessment. To examine this possibility, the authors administered cognitive tasks used in prior studies (e.g., Lindenberger & Baltes, 1994) to middle-aged adults under age-simulation conditions of reduced visual acuity, auditory acuity, or both. Visual acuity was lowered through partial occlusion filters, and auditory acuity through headphone-shaped noise protectors. Acuity manipulations reduced visual acuity and auditory acuity in the speech range to values reaching or approximating old-age acuity levels, respectively, but did not lower cognitive performance relative to control conditions. Results speak against assessment-related sensory acuity accounts of the age-related increase in the connection between sensory and cognitive functioning and underscore the need to explore alternative explanations, including a focus on general aspects of brain aging.

  6. Military Personnel: DOD Needs to Establish a Strategy and Improve Transparency over Reserve and National Guard Compensation to Manage Significant Growth in Cost

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-06-01

    Comments and Our Evaluation 37 Appendix I Updated Active Duty Compensation Costs 40 Appendix II Scope and Methodology 43 Appendix III Pay and...Integrated Military Human Resources System, to consolidate their personnel and pay systems. This consolidation may improve transparency by...Establish a Strategy and Improve Transparency over Reserve and National Guard Compensation to Manage Significant Growth in Cost June 2007

  7. Decreased visual acuity resulting from glistening and sub-surface nano-glistening formation in intraocular lenses: A retrospective analysis of 5 cases

    PubMed Central

    Matsushima, Hiroyuki; Nagata, Mayumi; Katsuki, Yoko; Ota, Ichiro; Miyake, Kensaku; Beiko, George H.H.; Grzybowski, Andrzej

    2015-01-01

    Background To report on five patients with decreased visual acuity due to glistening and severe sub-surface nano-glistening (SSNG) formation within their intraocular lenses (IOLs). Design Case reports and analysis of extracted IOLs. Participants and samples We report improved visual acuity when IOLs with severe glistening and SSNG were exchanged for clear IOLs in five patients. Methods Case reports. Main outcome measures The main outcome measure was visual acuity. The secondary outcome measure was light transmission. Explanted IOLs were subjected to investigation. Pre- and postoperative slit lamp images of the anterior eye and microscopic images of the extracted IOLs were taken and compared. Light transmission of the IOL was measured using a double beam type spectrophotometer. An integrated value of the percentage light transmittance in the visible light spectrum was calculated. Results We report on five patients whose visual acuity improved when IOLs were exchanged because of severe glistening and SSNG. All of the affected IOLs were MA60BM (Alcon, Forth Wroth Texas, USA) and the original implantation had occurred over a range of 6–15 years prior to the IOL exchange. Light transmission was decreased in all affected lenses compared to a similar control IOL. Conclusions Although only a few reports of cases in which glistening and SSNG have progressed to the level of decreased visual function have been published, the likelihood is that this phenomena will increase as the severity and incidence of these inclusions have been shown to increase with time. Appropriate evaluations of visual function in such patients are needed and consideration should be given to IOL exchange in symptomatic patients. PMID:26586975

  8. Intraocular pressure, retinal vascular, and visual acuity changes during 48 hours of 10-deg head-down tilt

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mader, Thomas H.; Taylor, Gerald R.; Hunter, Norwood; Caputo, Michael; Meehan, Richard T.

    1990-01-01

    Intraocular pressures, retinal vascular diameters, and visual acuities of nine men, were repeatedly measured while the subjects were tilted 10 deg head-down for 48 h and while they were seated before (baseline), and after the tilt. An immediate increase in intraocular pressure, measured by pneumatonometer was recorded when subjects assumed the head-down position, and diurnal variations in intraocular pressures were observed for the 48 h. The initial and final head-down intraocular pressures were not significantly different. However, when subjects resumed the sitting position, intraocular pressures fell below the initial sitting values. Computer image analysis of the retinal vasculature detected a 6 percent and 2 percent reduction in the caliber of arteries and veins, respectively, as compared with sitting baseline values. No changes in visual acuity were documented during the 48 h of head-down tilt. The data suggest that the choroidal blood reservoir increases in volume over 48 h at continuous head-down position with a compensatory decrease in aqueous volume. These findings may explain intraocular pressure changes noted in astronauts during previous space missions and in studies associated with change in body position.

  9. Quantification of the outer retinal layers: correlation to visual acuity in healthy subjects and patients with central serous chorioretinopathy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sander, Birgit; Christensen, Ulrik; Larsen, Michael; Jørgensen, Thomas M.

    2007-07-01

    Purpose: Quantification of outer retinal layers in humans. Method: 11 eyes in healthy subjects and 3 eyes in patients after resolution of central serous chorioretinopathy (CSCR). Multiple line scans were obtained using OCT Stratus and scans were registered and averaged to enhance contrast. The distance from the inner-outer segment junction to the posterior part of the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE-OS complex) was calculated. In addition, the reflectance of the outer photoreceptor layer in the foveal center was compared to that peripheral to the fovea. Results: Mean thickness of the RPE-OS complex in healthy subjects was 77.3 μm, in CSCR 52.9 μm. The thickness of the RPE-OS complex was significantly correlated to visual acuity (r=0.95, p<0.01). The ratio of reflectance (fovea/parafovea) was 1.06 in healthy subjects, 1.18 in CSCR eyes. Conclusion: The RPE-OS complex thickness was markedly reduced in eyes after resolution of CSCR and highly correlated to the visual acuity, the correlation to total foveal thickness was less. An increased backscatter was seen in CSCR, probably due to photoreceptor disorganization and atrophy.

  10. Robot-Aided Mapping of Wrist Proprioceptive Acuity across a 3D Workspace

    PubMed Central

    Marini, Francesca; Squeri, Valentina; Morasso, Pietro; Konczak, Jürgen; Masia, Lorenzo

    2016-01-01

    Proprioceptive signals from peripheral mechanoreceptors form the basis for bodily perception and are known to be essential for motor control. However we still have an incomplete understanding of how proprioception differs between joints, whether it differs among the various degrees-of-freedom (DoFs) within a particular joint, and how such differences affect motor control and learning. We here introduce a robot-aided method to objectively measure proprioceptive function: specifically, we systematically mapped wrist proprioceptive acuity across the three DoFs of the wrist/hand complex with the aim to characterize the wrist position sense. Thirty healthy young adults performed an ipsilateral active joint position matching task with their dominant wrist using a haptic robotic exoskeleton. Our results indicate that the active wrist position sense acuity is anisotropic across the joint, with the abduction/adduction DoF having the highest acuity (the error of acuity for flexion/extension is 4.64 ± 0.24°; abduction/adduction: 3.68 ± 0.32°; supination/pronation: 5.15 ± 0.37°) and they also revealed that proprioceptive acuity decreases for smaller joint displacements. We believe this knowledge is imperative in a clinical scenario when assessing proprioceptive deficits and for understanding how such sensory deficits relate to observable motor impairments. PMID:27536882

  11. A comparison of the effects of ageing upon vernier and bisection acuity.

    PubMed

    Garcia-Suarez, Luis; Barrett, Brendan T; Pacey, Ian

    2004-05-01

    While most positional acuity tasks exhibit an age-related decline in performance, the effect of ageing upon vernier acuity continues to be the subject of some debate. In the present study we employed a stimulus design that enabled the simultaneous determination of bisection and vernier acuities in 36 subjects, aged between 22 and 84 years. This approach provided a means for directly testing the hypothesis that ageing affects bisection acuity but not vernier acuity by ensuring that differences in stimulus configuration and in the subject's task were kept to an absolute minimum. Optimum thresholds increased as a function of age for both bisection and vernier tasks. Inter-subject threshold variability also increased with age. Issues surrounding the comparison of absolute vernier thresholds across different studies are discussed and two important methodological factors are identified: the precise statistical method used to estimate thresholds, and the magnitude, in angular terms, of the smallest spatial offset of the elements of the vernier stimulus which can be displayed. Comparison with previously published data indicates that the discrepancy between this study and most previous investigations with respect to the effect of age upon vernier performance can be at least partly accounted for by differences in the minimum displayable vernier offset. Vernier thresholds do increase with age. The increased variability of vernier thresholds in older subjects would appear to limit the diagnostic value of the test as a means of enabling normal ageing to be distinguished from visual loss due to pathology of the eye or visual system.

  12. Relation between Approximate Number System Acuity and Mathematical Achievement: The Influence of Fluency

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Li; Sun, Yuhua; Zhou, Xinlin

    2016-01-01

    Previous studies have observed inconsistent relations between the acuity of the Approximate Number System (ANS) and mathematical achievement. In this paper, we hypothesize that the relation between ANS acuity and mathematical achievement is influenced by fluency; that is, the mathematical achievement test covering a greater expanse of mathematical fluency may better reflect the relation between ANS acuity and mathematics skills. We explored three types of mathematical achievement tests utilized in this study: Subtraction, graded, and semester-final examination. The subtraction test was designed to measure the mathematical fluency. The graded test was more fluency-based than the semester-final examination, but both involved the same mathematical knowledge from the class curriculum. A total of 219 fifth graders from primary schools were asked to perform all three tests, then given a numerosity comparison task, a visual form perception task (figure matching), and a series of other tasks to assess general cognitive processes (mental rotation, non-verbal matrix reasoning, and choice reaction time). The findings were consistent with our expectations. The relation between ANS acuity and mathematical achievement was particularly clearly reflected in the participants’ performance on the visual form perception task, which supports the domain-general explanations for the underlying mechanisms of the relation between ANS acuity and math achievement. PMID:28066291

  13. Relation between Approximate Number System Acuity and Mathematical Achievement: The Influence of Fluency.

    PubMed

    Wang, Li; Sun, Yuhua; Zhou, Xinlin

    2016-01-01

    Previous studies have observed inconsistent relations between the acuity of the Approximate Number System (ANS) and mathematical achievement. In this paper, we hypothesize that the relation between ANS acuity and mathematical achievement is influenced by fluency; that is, the mathematical achievement test covering a greater expanse of mathematical fluency may better reflect the relation between ANS acuity and mathematics skills. We explored three types of mathematical achievement tests utilized in this study: Subtraction, graded, and semester-final examination. The subtraction test was designed to measure the mathematical fluency. The graded test was more fluency-based than the semester-final examination, but both involved the same mathematical knowledge from the class curriculum. A total of 219 fifth graders from primary schools were asked to perform all three tests, then given a numerosity comparison task, a visual form perception task (figure matching), and a series of other tasks to assess general cognitive processes (mental rotation, non-verbal matrix reasoning, and choice reaction time). The findings were consistent with our expectations. The relation between ANS acuity and mathematical achievement was particularly clearly reflected in the participants' performance on the visual form perception task, which supports the domain-general explanations for the underlying mechanisms of the relation between ANS acuity and math achievement.

  14. Quantitative assessment of visual acuity in projective head-mounted displays

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fidopiastis, Cali M.; Meyer, Catherine; Fuhrman, Christopher A.; Rolland, Jannick P.

    2003-09-01

    One issue of head mounted display design relates to the tradeoff between field of view (FOV) and resolution, which can lead to reduced visual acuity (VA). Essentially, an increase in FOV causes a decrease in visual acuity, for a given LCD display that has a fixed number of pixels. The effects of enhanced brightness on VA using two different types of retro-reflective material (cubed or beaded) were tested using a 52 deg. FOV projective helmet mounted display with VGA resolution. Three lighting conditions were also tested. Based on the display size, resolution, and FOV, we estimated a maximum visual acuity of 4.1 minutes of arc. In a counter-balanced between measures design, subjects' psychometric acuity functions were determined using a computer-generated 4AFC Landolt C test presented stereoscopically and probit analysis. The results confirmed that the maximum visual acuity possible within the setup was 4.1 arc minutes, the limit imposed by the microdisplay, and not the retroreflective material.

  15. Development of an activity-directed selection system enabled significant improvement of the carboxylation efficiency of Rubisco.

    PubMed

    Cai, Zhen; Liu, Guoxia; Zhang, Junli; Li, Yin

    2014-07-01

    Photosynthetic CO(2) fixation is the ultimate source of organic carbon on earth and thus is essential for crop production and carbon sequestration. Ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (Rubisco) catalyzes the first step of photosynthetic CO(2) fixation. However, the extreme low carboxylation efficiency of Rubisco makes it the most attractive target for improving photosynthetic efficiency. Extensive studies have focused on re-engineering a more efficient enzyme, but the effort has been impeded by the limited understanding of its structure-function relationships and the lack of an efficient selection system towards its activity. To address the unsuccessful molecular engineering of Rubisco, we developed an Escherichia coli-based activity-directed selection system which links the growth of host cell solely to the Rubisco activity therein. A Synechococcus sp. PCC7002 Rubisco mutant with E49V and D82G substitutions in the small subunit was selected from a total of 15,000 mutants by one round of evolution. This mutant showed an 85% increase in specific carboxylation activity and a 45% improvement in catalytic efficiency towards CO(2). The small-subunit E49V mutation was speculated to influence holoenzyme catalysis through interaction with the large-subunit Q225. This interaction is conserved among various Rubisco from higher plants and Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Knowledge of these might provide clues for engineering Rubisco from higher plants, with the potential of increasing the crop yield.

  16. Disease-specific survival for patients with multiple myeloma: significant improvements over time in all age groups.

    PubMed

    Libby, Edward; Garcia, David; Quintana, Dulcinea; Fekrazad, M Houman; Bauman, Julie; Ebaid, Ala; Hromas, Robert; Rabinowitz, Ian; Wiggins, Charles

    2014-12-01

    This study analyzed the survival of patients with multiple myeloma. Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) databases were queried to calculate myeloma cause-specific survival curves by the Kaplan and Meier product-limit method. The Cox proportional hazards model was used to assess univariate and multivariate predictors of myeloma cause-specific survival. The outcome of interest was death due to myeloma. Results from a Cox proportional hazards model restricted to age and time period at diagnosis demonstrated that the magnitude of improvement in survival by time period varied by age at diagnosis. Among patients under 60 years at diagnosis, hazard ratios for myeloma cause-specific death decreased by more 50% from the first interval of observation to the last. Hazard ratios decreased during the study period by 39% among patients 60-69 years of age and by 27% among patients who were 70 years of age and older. Survival is improving in patients with myeloma of all ages.

  17. Defect criticality index (DCI): a new methodology to significantly improve DOI sampling rate in a 45nm production environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sato, Yoshiyuki; Yamada, Yasuyuki; Kaga, Yasuhiro; Yamazaki, Yuuichiro; Aoki, Masami; Tsui, David; Young, Chris; Chang, Ellis

    2008-03-01

    Increasing inspection sensitivity may be necessary for capturing the smaller defects of interest (DOI) dictated by reduced minimum design features. Unfortunately, higher inspection sensitivity can result in a greater percentage of non-DOI or nuisance defect types during inline monitoring in a mass production environment. Due to the time and effort required, review sampling is usually limited to 50 to 100 defects per wafer. Determining how to select and identify critical defect types under very low sampling rate conditions, so that more yield-relevant defect Paretos can be created after SEM review, has become very important. By associating GDS clip (design layout) information with every defect, and including defect attributes such as size and brightness, a new methodology called Defect Criticality Index (DCI) has demonstrated improved DOI sampling rates.

  18. The role of numeracy and approximate number system acuity in predicting value and probability distortion.

    PubMed

    Patalano, Andrea L; Saltiel, Jason R; Machlin, Laura; Barth, Hilary

    2015-12-01

    It is well documented that individuals distort outcome values and probabilities when making choices from descriptions, and there is evidence of systematic individual differences in distortion. In the present study, we investigated the relationship between individual differences in such distortions and two measures of numerical competence, numeracy and approximate number system (ANS) acuity. Participants indicated certainty equivalents for a series of simple monetary gambles, and data were used to estimate individual-level value and probability distortion, using a cumulative prospect theory framework. We found moderately strong negative correlations between numeracy and value and probability distortion, but only weak and non-statistically reliable correlations between ANS acuity and distortions. We conclude that low numeracy contributes to number distortion in decision making, but that approximate number system acuity might not underlie this relationship.

  19. A study to determine whether targeted education significantly improves the perception of human torture in medical students in India.

    PubMed

    Husain, Munawwar; Ghaffar, Usama B; Usmani, Jawed Ahmad; Rivzi, Shameem Jahan

    2010-08-01

    This study was undertaken to find out the knowledge of torture in MBBS students. A fair comparison was done by selecting two groups of medical students; one, to whom torture was not taught ie, pretaught group (PrTG, n = 125), and second, to whom torture was taught in classroom ie, post-taught group (PoTG, n = 110) in more than one sessions. The topic on torture was taught under many headings maximising the effort to cover as much as possible; namely, definition, geographical distribution, types of torture (physical, psychological and sexual), post-torture sequelae, sociopolitical environment prevailing in the country, doctors' involvement in torture, rehabilitation of torture victims and the UNO's role in containment of torture. In all a questionnaire was designed having MCQ types on these aspects. It was found that significant level of difference in perception and knowledge about torture existed amongst the groups, and this was further accentuated in medical and non-medical intratopics. 'P' value of each question was computed separately. It was found that the study was statistically significant and reestablished the need of fortifying the gossameric firmament of education specific to torture.

  20. Icariin combined with human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells significantly improve the impaired kidney function in chronic renal failure.

    PubMed

    Li, Wen; Wang, Li; Chu, Xiaoqian; Cui, Huantian; Bian, Yuhong

    2017-04-01

    At present, the main therapy for chronic renal failure (CRF) is dialysis and renal transplantation, but neither obtains satisfactory results. Human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells (huMSCs) are isolated from the fetal umbilical cord which has a high self-renewal and multi-directional differentiation potential. Icariin (ICA), a kidney-tonifying Chinese Medicine can enhance the multipotency of huMSCs. Therefore, this work seeks to employ the use of ICA-treated huMSCs for the treatment of chronic renal failure. Blood urea nitrogen and creatinine (Cr) analyses showed amelioration of functional parameters in ICA-treated huMSCs for the treatment of CRF rats at 3, 7, and 14 days after transplantation. ICA-treated huMSCs can obviously increase the number of cells in injured renal tissues at 3, 7, and 14 days after transplantation by optical molecular imaging system. Hematoxylin-eosin staining demonstrated that ICA-treated huMSCs reduced the levels of fibrosis in CRF rats at 14 days after transplantation. Superoxide dismutase and Malondialdehyde analyses showed that ICA-treated huMSCs reduced the oxidative damage in CRF rats. Moreover, transplantation with ICA-treated huMSCs decreased inflammatory responses, promoted the expression of growth factors, and protected injured renal tissues. Taken together, our findings suggest that ICA-treated huMSCs could improve the kidney function in CRF rats.

  1. Improving winter leaf area index estimation in coniferous forests and its significance in estimating the land surface albedo

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Rong; Chen, Jing M.; Pavlic, Goran; Arain, Altaf

    2016-09-01

    Winter leaf area index (LAI) of evergreen coniferous forests exerts strong control on the interception of snow, snowmelt and energy balance. Simulation of winter LAI and associated winter processes in land surface models is challenging. Retrieving winter LAI from remote sensing data is difficult due to cloud contamination, poor illumination, lower solar elevation and higher radiation reflection by snow background. Underestimated winter LAI in evergreen coniferous forests is one of the major issues limiting the application of current remote sensing LAI products. It has not been fully addressed in past studies in the literature. In this study, we used needle lifespan to correct winter LAI in a remote sensing product developed by the University of Toronto. For the validation purpose, the corrected winter LAI was then used to calculate land surface albedo at five FLUXNET coniferous forests in Canada. The RMSE and bias values for estimated albedo were 0.05 and 0.011, respectively, for all sites. The albedo map over coniferous forests across Canada produced with corrected winter LAI showed much better agreement with the GLASS (Global LAnd Surface Satellites) albedo product than the one produced with uncorrected winter LAI. The results revealed that the corrected winter LAI yielded much greater accuracy in simulating land surface albedo, making the new LAI product an improvement over the original one. Our study will help to increase the usability of remote sensing LAI products in land surface energy budget modeling.

  2. The effects of time, luminance, and high contrast targets: revisiting grating acuity in the domestic cat.

    PubMed

    Clark, Daria L; Clark, Robert A

    2013-11-01

    Based on optical clarity and retinal cone density, the cat has a potential acuity of 20-30 cycles per degree (cpd), yet most behavioral studies estimate feline acuity between 3 and 9 cpd. Those studies, however, were limited by restrictive experimental conditions that may have inadvertently lowered the estimated grating acuity. Two domestic cats previously trained on a two-choice visual discrimination task were retrained on a grating detection/discrimination task with unlimited time, high luminance, high contrast targets, and adequate space to prevent poor accommodation from affecting the results. Initially, vertical gratings of increasing cpd were tested until failure. Then, horizontal gratings of increasing cpd were tested until failure. Finally, the finest horizontal grating resolved was confirmed with a third test requiring 24 correct out of 36 consecutive trials, yielding a binomial probability less than 0.02 of non-random occurrence. M1, a 7-year-old male gray tabby with +2.00 OU refraction, tested for a grating detection acuity of 15 cpd for both vertical and horizontal gratings (binomial probability = 0.009). F1, a 2-year-old female gray tabby with +0.25 OU refraction, tested for a grating orientation discrimination acuity of 20 cpd for both vertical and horizontal gratings (binomial probability = 0.004). These results demonstrate that a young cat with good focus is capable of discriminating 20 cpd, in close agreement with the physiologic maximum. Uncorrected focusing errors appear to degrade visual performance. Optimum experimental conditions resulted in better grating acuity measurements than previously reported, emphasizing the importance of environmental factors in feline behavioral testing.

  3. Dimension Reduction via Unsupervised Learning Yields Significant Computational Improvements for Support Vector Machine Based Protein Family Classification.

    SciTech Connect

    Webb-Robertson, Bobbie-Jo M.; Matzke, Melissa M.; Oehmen, Christopher S.

    2009-02-26

    Reducing the dimension of vectors used in training support vector machines (SVMs) results in a proportional speedup in training time. For large-scale problems this can make the difference between tractable and intractable training tasks. However, it is critical that classifiers trained on reduced datasets perform as reliably as their counterparts trained on high-dimensional data. We assessed principal component analysis (PCA) and sequential project pursuit (SPP) as dimension reduction strategies in the biology application of classifying proteins into well-defined functional ‘families’ (SVM-based protein family classification) by their impact on run-time, sensitivity and selectivity. Homology vectors of 4352 elements were reduced to approximately 2% of the original data size without significantly affecting accuracy using PCA and SPP, while leading to approximately a 28-fold speedup in run-time.

  4. Immunomagnetic separation significantly improves the sensitivity of polymerase chain reaction in detecting Giardia duodenalis and Cryptosporidium spp. in dairy cattle.

    PubMed

    Coklin, Tatjana; Farber, Jeffrey M; Parrington, Lorna J; Bin Kingombe, Cesar I; Ross, William H; Dixon, Brent R

    2011-03-01

    The effectiveness of molecular methods for the detection of species of Giardia and Cryptosporidium in fecal samples is often reduced by low or intermittent cyst and oocyst shedding, and/or the presence of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) inhibitors. The present study investigates the use of immunomagnetic separation (IMS) as an additional concentration step before PCR in the detection of these common protozoan parasites in dairy cattle. The IMS-PCR assays were optimized for amplifying fragments of the 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA), β-giardin, and glutamate dehydrogenase (GDH) genes of Giardia duodenalis, as well as fragments of the 18S rRNA, heat shock protein (HSP)-70, and Cryptosporidium oocyst wall protein (COWP) genes of Cryptosporidium spp. In all cases, IMS-PCR was more sensitive than PCR alone. A significantly greater number of Giardia-positive samples were identified using IMS-PCR of the 16S rRNA gene (P < 0.01) and of the GDH gene (P < 0.01), as compared with PCR without any additional concentration step. In the case of Cryptosporidium, IMS-PCR of the COWP gene (P  =  0.02) resulted in a significantly greater number of positives than did PCR without the IMS concentration step. The greatest number of positives, however, was obtained using IMS-PCR to amplify a portion of the 16S rRNA gene of Giardia and a portion of the HSP-70 gene of Cryptosporidium. A further comparison of the optimized IMS-PCR assays to immunofluorescence microscopy suggested that the IMS-PCR assays were considerably more sensitive than microscopy was in the detection of Giardia cysts and Cryptosporidium oocysts in fecal samples.

  5. Concave Pit-Containing Scaffold Surfaces Improve Stem Cell-Derived Osteoblast Performance and Lead to Significant Bone Tissue Formation

    PubMed Central

    Cusella-De Angelis, Maria Gabriella; Laino, Gregorio; Piattelli, Adriano; Pacifici, Maurizio; De Rosa, Alfredo; Papaccio, Gianpaolo

    2007-01-01

    Background Scaffold surface features are thought to be important regulators of stem cell performance and endurance in tissue engineering applications, but details about these fundamental aspects of stem cell biology remain largely unclear. Methodology and Findings In the present study, smooth clinical-grade lactide-coglyolic acid 85:15 (PLGA) scaffolds were carved as membranes and treated with NMP (N-metil-pyrrolidone) to create controlled subtractive pits or microcavities. Scanning electron and confocal microscopy revealed that the NMP-treated membranes contained: (i) large microcavities of 80–120 µm in diameter and 40–100 µm in depth, which we termed primary; and (ii) smaller microcavities of 10–20 µm in diameter and 3–10 µm in depth located within the primary cavities, which we termed secondary. We asked whether a microcavity-rich scaffold had distinct bone-forming capabilities compared to a smooth one. To do so, mesenchymal stem cells derived from human dental pulp were seeded onto the two types of scaffold and monitored over time for cytoarchitectural characteristics, differentiation status and production of important factors, including bone morphogenetic protein-2 (BMP-2) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). We found that the microcavity-rich scaffold enhanced cell adhesion: the cells created intimate contact with secondary microcavities and were polarized. These cytological responses were not seen with the smooth-surface scaffold. Moreover, cells on the microcavity-rich scaffold released larger amounts of BMP-2 and VEGF into the culture medium and expressed higher alkaline phosphatase activity. When this type of scaffold was transplanted into rats, superior bone formation was elicited compared to cells seeded on the smooth scaffold. Conclusion In conclusion, surface microcavities appear to support a more vigorous osteogenic response of stem cells and should be used in the design of therapeutic substrates to improve bone repair and

  6. 'In-Format' screening of a novel bispecific antibody format reveals significant potency improvements relative to unformatted molecules.

    PubMed

    Scott, Martin J; Lee, Jennifer A; Wake, Matthew S; Batt, Kelly V; Wattam, Trevor A; Hiles, Ian D; Batuwangala, Thil D; Ashman, Claire I; Steward, Michael

    2017-01-01

    Bispecific antibodies (BsAbs) are emerging as an important class of biopharmaceutical. The majority of BsAbs are created from conventional antibodies or fragments engineered into more complex configurations. A recurring challenge in their development, however, is the identification of components that are optimised for inclusion in the final format in order to deliver both efficacy and robust biophysical properties. Using a modular BsAb format, the mAb-dAb, we assessed whether an 'in-format' screening approach, designed to select format-compatible domain antibodies, could expedite lead discovery. Human nerve growth factor (NGF) was selected as an antigen to validate the approach; domain antibody (dAb) libraries were screened, panels of binders identified, and binding affinities and potencies compared for selected dAbs and corresponding mAb-dAbs. A number of dAbs that exhibited high potency (IC50) when assessed in-format were identified. In contrast, the corresponding dAb monomers had ∼1000-fold lower potency than the formatted dAbs; such dAb monomers would therefore have been omitted from further characterization. Subsequent stoichiometric analyses of mAb-dAbs bound to NGF, or an additional target antigen (vascular endothelial growth factor), suggested different target binding modes; this indicates that the observed potency improvements cannot be attributed simply to an avidity effect offered by the mAb-dAb format. We conclude that, for certain antigens, screening naïve selection outputs directly in-format enables the identification of a subset of format-compatible dAbs, and that this offers substantial benefits in terms of molecular properties and development time.

  7. Significantly improved dehydrogenation of ball-milled MgH2 doped with CoFe2O4 nanoparticles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shan, Jiawei; Li, Ping; Wan, Qi; Zhai, Fuqiang; Zhang, Jun; Li, Ziliang; Liu, Zhaojiang; Volinsky, Alex A.; Qu, Xuanhui

    2014-12-01

    CoFe2O4 nanoparticles are added to magnesium hydride (MgH2) by high-energy ball milling in order to improve its hydriding properties. The hydrogen storage properties and catalytic mechanism are investigated by pressure-composition-temperature (PCT), differential thermal analysis (DTA), X-ray diffraction (XRD), field-emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The nonisothermal desorption results show that the onset desorption temperature of the MgH2 + 7 mol% CoFe2O4 is 160 °C, which is 200 °C lower than of the as-received MgH2. The dehydrogenation process of the MgH2 doped with the CoFe2O4 nanoparticles includes two steps. DTA curves and XRD patterns reveal that a chemical reaction happens between MgH2 and CoFe2O4, forming the final products of the ternary combination, corresponding to Co3Fe7, MgO and Co. The onset desorption temperature of the ball-milled MgH2 doped with Co3Fe7, MgO and Co is about 260 °C, approximately 100 °C lower than the un-doped MgH2, demonstrating that the ternary combination (Co3Fe7, MgO, and Co) also has a great catalytic effect on the MgH2 hydrogen storage properties. It is also confirmed that the various methods of adding the ternary combination have different effects on the MgH2 hydriding-dehydriding process.

  8. Posterior staphyloma in oculocutaneous albinism: another possible cause of reduced visual acuity.

    PubMed

    Lee, Susan; Schimmenti, Lisa A; King, Richard A; Brilliant, Murray; Anderson, Jennifer L; Schoonveld, Cheri; Summers, C Gail

    2015-12-01

    Posterior staphyloma is typically associated with myopic degeneration and has not been recognized as a cause of reduced visual acuity in albinism. We report 3 cases of posterior staphyloma, each with oculocutaneous albinism (OCA) defined by phenotype and genotype. Two cases are biological sisters with OCA type 2; one was myopic and the other was hyperopic. The third case involves a man with OCA associated with Hermansky-Pudlak syndrome (HPS-5). Staphyloma may be another cause of reduced visual acuity in albinism, particularly with increasing age. It may occur in association with myopia or hyperopia.

  9. Tactile perception in blind Braille readers: a psychophysical study of acuity and hyperacuity using gratings and dot patterns.

    PubMed

    Grant, A C; Thiagarajah, M C; Sathian, K

    2000-02-01

    It is not clear whether the blind are generally superior to the sighted on measures of tactile sensitivity or whether they excel only on certain tests owing to the specifics of their tactile experience. We compared the discrimination performance of blind Braille readers and age-matched sighted subjects on three tactile tasks using precisely specified stimuli. Initially, the blind significantly outperformed the sighted at a hyperacuity task using Braille-like dot patterns, although, with practice, both groups performed equally well. On two other tasks, hyperacute discrimination of gratings that differed in ridge width and spatial-acuity-dependent discrimination of grating orientation, the performance of the blind did not differ significantly from that of sighted subjects. These results probably reflect the specificity of perceptual learning due to Braille-reading experience.

  10. The use of predictive lithostratigraphy to significantly improve the ability to forecast reservoir and source rocks? Final CRADA report.

    SciTech Connect

    Doctor, R. D.; Moore, T. L.; Energy Systems

    2010-06-29

    The purpose of this CRADA, which ended in 2003, was to make reservoir and source rock distribution significantly more predictable by quantifying the fundamental controls on stratigraphic heterogeneity. To do this, the relationships among insolation, climate, sediment supply, glacioeustasy, and reservoir and source rock occurrence were investigated in detail. Work current at the inception of the CRADA had uncovered previously unrecognized associations among these processes and properties that produce a phenomenon that, when properly analyzed, will make lithostratigraphic variability (including texture, porosity, and permeability) substantially more understandable. Computer climate simulations of selected time periods, compared with the global distribution of paleoclimatic indicators, documented spatial and temporal climate changes as a function of insolation and provided quantitative changes in runoff, lake level, and glacioeustasy. The effect of elevation and climate on sediment yield was assessed numerically by analyzing digital terrain and climate data. The phase relationships of climate, yield, and glacioeustatic cycles from the Gulf of Mexico and/or other sedimentary basins were assessed by using lacunarity, a statistical technique.

  11. Significant improvement in photoluminescence of ZnSe(S) alloyed quantum dots prepared in high pH solution.

    PubMed

    Zan, Feng; Ren, Jicun

    2010-01-01

    In this paper, we described a simple approach for aqueous synthesis of highly luminescent ZnSe(S) alloyed quantum dots (QDs) in the presence of 3-mercaptopropionic acid as stabilizers using zinc chloride and NaHSe as precursors. The synthesis conditions were systematically investigated. We observed that the pH value of the Zn precursor solution had significant influence on the optical properties and the structure of the as-prepared ZnSe(S) QDs. The optimal pH value and molar ratio of Zn(2+) to HSe(-) were 12.0 and 25 : 1 respectively. Under the optimal conditions, we prepared highly photoluminescent ZnSe(S) QDs at up to 31% quantum yield (compared with Rhodamine 6G). The characterization of HRTEM and XRD showed that the ZnSe(S) QDs had good monodispersity and nice crystal structure. The fluorescence life time spectra demonstrated that ZnSe(S) QDs had a long lifetime in contrast to fluorescent dyes. Compared with the currently used organometallic approach, our method was 'green', the reaction condition was mild and the as-prepared ZnSe(S) QDs were water-soluble. More importantly, our method was low cost, and was very suitable for large-scale synthesis of highly luminescent ZnSe(S) QDs for the future applications.

  12. Appropriate Fe (II) Addition Significantly Enhances Anaerobic Ammonium Oxidation (Anammox) Activity through Improving the Bacterial Growth Rate

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Yiwen; Ni, Bing-Jie

    2015-01-01

    The application of anaerobic ammonium oxidation (Anammox) process is often limited by the slow growth rate of Anammox bacteria. As the essential substrate element that required for culturing Anammox sludge, Fe (II) is expected to affect Anammox bacterial growth. This work systematically studied the effects of Fe (II) addition on Anammox activity based on the kinetic analysis of specific growth rate using data from batch tests with an enriched Anammox sludge at different dosing levels. Results clearly demonstrated that appropriate Fe (II) dosing (i.e., 0.09 mM) significantly enhanced the specific Anammox growth rate up to 0.172 d−1 compared to 0.118 d−1 at regular Fe (II) level (0.03 mM). The relationship between Fe (II) concentration and specific Anammox growth rate was found to be well described by typical substrate inhibition kinetics, which was integrated into currently well-established Anammox model to describe the enhanced Anammox growth with Fe (II) addition. The validity of the integrated Anammox model was verified using long-term experimental data from three independent Anammox reactors with different Fe (II) dosing levels. This Fe (II)-based approach could be potentially implemented to enhance the process rate for possible mainstream application of Anammox technology, in order for an energy autarchic wastewater treatment. PMID:25644239

  13. Post-exposure Treatment with Anti-rabies VHH and Vaccine Significantly Improves Protection of Mice from Lethal Rabies Infection

    PubMed Central

    Terryn, Sanne; Francart, Aurélie; Rommelaere, Heidi; Stortelers, Catelijne; Van Gucht, Steven

    2016-01-01

    Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) against rabies infection consists of a combination of passive immunisation with plasma-derived human or equine immune globulins and active immunisation with vaccine delivered shortly after exposure. Since anti-rabies immune globulins are expensive and scarce, there is a need for cheaper alternatives that can be produced more consistently. Previously, we generated potent virus-neutralising VHH, also called Nanobodies, against the rabies glycoprotein that are effectively preventing lethal disease in an in vivo mouse model. The VHH domain is the smallest antigen-binding functional fragment of camelid heavy chain-only antibodies that can be manufactured in microbial expression systems. In the current study we evaluated the efficacy of half-life extended anti-rabies VHH in combination with vaccine for PEP in an intranasal rabies infection model in mice. The PEP combination therapy of systemic anti-rabies VHH and intramuscular vaccine significantly delayed the onset of disease compared to treatment with anti-rabies VHH alone, prolonged median survival time (35 versus 14 days) and decreased mortality (60% versus 19% survival rate), when treated 24 hours after rabies virus challenge. Vaccine alone was unable to rescue mice from lethal disease. As reported also for immune globulins, some interference of anti-rabies VHH with the antigenicity of the vaccine was observed, but this did not impede the synergistic effect. Post exposure treatment with vaccine and human anti-rabies immune globulins was unable to protect mice from lethal challenge. Anti-rabies VHH and vaccine act synergistically to protect mice after rabies virus exposure, which further validates the possible use of anti-rabies VHH for rabies PEP. PMID:27483431

  14. Both CD133(+) cells and monocytes provide significant improvement for hindlimb ischemia, although they do not transdifferentiate into endothelial cells.

    PubMed

    Sanchez-Guijo, Fermin M; Oterino, Enrique; Barbado, Maria-Victoria; Carrancio, Soraya; Lopez-Holgado, Natalia; Muntion, Sandra; Hernandez-Campo, Pilar; Sanchez-Abarca, Luis-Ignacio; Perez-Simon, Jose A; San Miguel, Jesús F; Briñon, Jesús G; del Cañizo, Maria-Consuelo

    2010-01-01

    To address a number of questions regarding the experimental use of bone marrow (BM) stem cells in hindlimb ischemia, including which is the best cell type (e.g., purified hematopoietic stem cell or monocytes), the best route of delivery [intramuscular (IM) or intravenous (IV)], and the mechanism of action (transdifferentiation or paracrine effects), we have compared the neovascularization capacities of CD133(+) stem cells and monocytes (CD11b(+)) from the BM of Tie2-GFP mice either via IV or IM in a murine severe hindlimb ischemia model. To test the effect of cytokine administration, an extra group received BM conditioned medium. Peripheral blood flow as well as capillary density and GPF-positivity detection in ischemic muscles was evaluated 7, 14, and 21 days postinjection. In addition, CD133(+) and CD11b(+) cells from transgenic animals were cultured in vitro with angiogenic media for 7, 14, and 21 days to assess GFP expression. In all four cell-treated groups, blood flow and capillary density significantly recovered compared with the mice that received no cells or conditioned medium. There were no differences with respect to cell types or administration routes, with the exception of a faster flow recovery in the CD133(+)-treated cell group. We did not find GFP(+) cells in the ischemic muscles and there was no GFP expression after in vitro proangiogenic culture. Our study shows that both purified CD133(+) stem cells and myeloid mononuclear cells, either IM or IV administered, have similar neoangiogenic ability. Nevertheless, transdifferentiation into endothelial cells is not the mechanism responsible for their beneficial effect.

  15. Constitutive overexpression of the TaNF-YB4 gene in transgenic wheat significantly improves grain yield.

    PubMed

    Yadav, Dinesh; Shavrukov, Yuri; Bazanova, Natalia; Chirkova, Larissa; Borisjuk, Nikolai; Kovalchuk, Nataliya; Ismagul, Ainur; Parent, Boris; Langridge, Peter; Hrmova, Maria; Lopato, Sergiy

    2015-11-01

    Heterotrimeric nuclear factors Y (NF-Ys) are involved in regulation of various vital functions in all eukaryotic organisms. Although a number of NF-Y subunits have been characterized in model plants, only a few have been functionally evaluated in crops. In this work, a number of genes encoding NF-YB and NF-YC subunits were isolated from drought-tolerant wheat (Triticum aestivum L. cv. RAC875), and the impact of the overexpression of TaNF-YB4 in the Australian wheat cultivar Gladius was investigated. TaNF-YB4 was isolated as a result of two consecutive yeast two-hybrid (Y2H) screens, where ZmNF-YB2a was used as a starting bait. A new NF-YC subunit, designated TaNF-YC15, was isolated in the first Y2H screen and used as bait in a second screen, which identified two wheat NF-YB subunits, TaNF-YB2 and TaNF-YB4. Three-dimensional modelling of a TaNF-YB2/TaNF-YC15 dimer revealed structural determinants that may underlie interaction selectivity. The TaNF-YB4 gene was placed under the control of the strong constitutive polyubiquitin promoter from maize and introduced into wheat by biolistic bombardment. The growth and yield components of several independent transgenic lines with up-regulated levels of TaNF-YB4 were evaluated under well-watered conditions (T1-T3 generations) and under mild drought (T2 generation). Analysis of T2 plants was performed in large deep containers in conditions close to field trials. Under optimal watering conditions, transgenic wheat plants produced significantly more spikes but other yield components did not change. This resulted in a 20-30% increased grain yield compared with untransformed control plants. Under water-limited conditions transgenic lines maintained parity in yield performance.

  16. Importance of Central Retinal Sensitivity for Prediction of Visual Acuity after Intravitreal Bevacizumb in Eyes with Macular Edema Associated with Branch Retinal Vein Occlusion

    PubMed Central

    Sugimoto, Masahiko; Ichio, Atsushi; Kondo, Mineo

    2016-01-01

    Objective To determine whether the baseline retinal sensitivity can predict the best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) at 1 month after intravitreal bevacizumab (IVB) in eyes with macular edema (ME) associated with a branch retinal vein occlusion (BRVO). Subjects and Methods We evaluated 16 eyes of 16 patients who had ME associated with a BRVO. The mean ± standard deviation age was 69.1 ± 8.9 years, and all had a single IVB injection. The BCVA, central macular thickness (CMT), integrity of the ellipsoid zone (EZ) of the photoreceptors, and retinal sensitivity were determined before (baseline) and at 1 day, 1 week, and 1 month following the IVB. The average threshold retinal sensitivity (AT) within the central 10° was determined by Macular Integrity Assessment. The correlations between the BCVA at 1 month and the CMT, integrity of the EZ, and AT at each visit were determined. Results One month after IVB, the BCVA improved significantly from 0.56 ± 0.27 logMAR units to 0.32 ± 0.28 logMAR units, and the CMT from 611.4 ± 209.3 μm to 258.7 ± 64.0 μm (P <0.05). The AT improved significantly from 17.9 ± 5.3 dB to 21.2 ± 5.0 dB (P <0.05). At 1 day after the treatment, both the integrity of the EZ (r = 0.59) and the retinal sensitivity (r = 0.76) were moderately correlated with the BCVA at 1 month. Conclusion These results indicate that both the integrity of the EZ and the AT at 1 day after the IVB can predict the BCVA after treatment for ME associated with BRVO. There is a possibility that these parameters will predict the effectiveness of IVB for each case. PMID:26885822

  17. Insurance Status is Associated with Acuity of Presentation and Outcomes for Thoracic Aortic Operations

    PubMed Central

    Andersen, Nicholas D.; Brennan, J. Matthew; Zhao, Yue; Williams, Judson B.; Williams, Matthew L.; Smith, Peter K.; Scarborough, John E.; Hughes, G. Chad

    2014-01-01

    Background Non-elective procedure status is the greatest risk factor for postoperative morbidity and mortality in patients undergoing thoracic aortic operations. We hypothesized that uninsured patients were more likely to require non-elective thoracic aortic operation due to decreased access to preventative care and elective surgical services. Methods and Results An observational study of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons Database identified 51,282 patients who underwent thoracic aortic surgery between 2007–2011 at 940 North American centers. Patients were stratified by insurance status (private insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, other insurance, or uninsured) as well as age < 65 years or age ≥ 65 years to account for differences in Medicare eligibility. The need for non-elective thoracic aortic operation was highest for uninsured patients (71.7%) and lowest for privately insured patients (36.6%). The adjusted risks of non-elective operation were increased for uninsured patients (adjusted risk ratio [ARR], 1.77; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.70–1.83 for age < 65 years; ARR, 1.46; 95% CI, 1.29–1.62 for age ≥ 65 years) as well as Medicaid patients age < 65 years (ARR, 1.18; 95% CI, 1.10–1.26) when compared to patients with private insurance. The adjusted odds of major morbidity and/or mortality were further increased for all patients age < 65 years without private insurance (ARRs between 1.13 and 1.27). Conclusions Insurance status was associated with acuity of presentation and major morbidity and mortality for thoracic aortic operations. Efforts to reduce insurance-based disparities in the care of patients with thoracic aortic disease appear warranted and may reduce the incidence of aortic emergencies and improve outcomes after thoracic aortic surgery. PMID:24714600

  18. A novel computer software for the evaluation of dynamic visual acuity

    PubMed Central

    Quevedo, Lluïsa; Aznar-Casanova, José Antonio; Merindano-Encina, Dolores; Cardona, Genís; Solé-Fortó, Joan

    2012-01-01

    Purpose Dynamic visual acuity (DVA) is defined as the ability to discriminate fine details in a moving target. Albeit a growing interest in DVA, there is a lack of standardized, validated instrumentation and procedures for the assessment of this visual function parameter. The aim of the present study was to analyze qualitative construct validity and test–retest reliability of a novel, computer-assisted instrument (DinVA 3.0) for the measurement of DVA. Methods Two different experiments are presented, involving the participation of 33 subjects. The first experiment aimed at testing qualitative construct validity of the DinVA 3.0 by comparing the outcome of a series of trials consisting in different speeds, contrasts and trajectories of the target stimuli with those reported in the literature. The second experiment assessed test–retest reliability by repeating a series of trials at three different time intervals, at maximum target stimuli contrast and either high or low speed configurations. Results The results of the first experiment gave support to the qualitative construct validity of DinVA 3.0, as the DVA scores were found to be modulated by the speed of the moving target (high speeds yielded lower DVA), contrast (high contrast resulted in better DVA) and trajectory (DVA was better at horizontal rather than oblique trajectories). Test–retest reliability was found to be good, with a small insignificant trend towards improvement with learning. Conclusion The DinVA 3.0 proved to be a valid and reliable instrument for the assessment of DVA and may be considered a promising tool for both clinicians and researchers.

  19. Sound Localization Acuity in Very Young Infants: An Observer-Based Testing Procedure.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Morrongiello, Barbara A.; And Others

    1990-01-01

    Infants of 8-28 weeks were tested to determine the smallest sound shift off midline and along the horizontal axis that the infants could reliably discriminate. Results indicated localization acuity increased with age. Video records revealed numerous auditory orienting behaviors with methodological implications. (RH)

  20. Perceptual limit to display resolution of images as per visual acuity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Masaoka, Kenichiro; Niida, Takahiro; Murakami, Miya; Suzuki, Kenji; Sugawara, Masayuki; Nojiri, Yuji

    2008-02-01

    Achieving ultimate visual realness of natural images on a display requires high resolution, so that artifacts due to finite image resolution are undetectable. An image resolution of 30 cycles/degree (cpd) or one pixel/arc-minute is often used as the criterion for viewing conditions when assessing displayed image quality. It is reasoned that if the pixel size is smaller than the separable angle of normal vision (20/20), the pixel structure is invisible and doesn't negatively affect image quality. However, it is not clear whether 30 cpd resolution is adequate to prevent seeing artifacts, especially for observers with better than 20/20 vision. We conducted experiments to find the threshold resolution of natural images and its dependence on visual acuity. Three objects were used; each object was presented 60 times at 5 resolutions (19.5, 26, 39, 52, or 78 cpd) next to the same image at a resolution of 156 cpd. Forty-five observers with visual acuity of 20/20 or better were asked to make a forced-choice distinction between the image pair in regard to resolution. Each observer indicated which image of the pair appeared at a higher resolution. The results show that the mean resolution for 75% correct responses for each of the visual acuity groups increased from more than 30 cpd as visual acuity increased and reached a plateau at 40-50 cpd at -0.3 logMAR.

  1. Acuities for textures and gratings in kittens assessed by preferential looking.

    PubMed

    Wilkinson, F

    1995-06-01

    A forced-choice preferential looking paradigm, similar to that developed for human infants, was used to assess visual thresholds in kittens between 21 and 45 days of age. In agreement with the earlier work of Sireteanu [19,30], the technique was found to be successful for grating acuity measurement. Acuity for square wave gratings (vs. matched greys) increased from 0.12 cycles/degrees at 21 days to 1.6 cycles/degrees at 40 days of age. Comparable results were obtained at three viewing distances: 20, 40, and 60 cm, indicating that accommodation is not a limiting factor in spatial resolution over this range of distances. Kittens also showed preferences for texture arrays with strong oriented components and 'texture acuities' were found to be comparable to acuity for square wave gratings. A consistent orientation anisotropy favouring horizontal line elements was seen in very young kittens but disappeared by 5 weeks of age. Preferences for texture arrays composed of dots were much weaker and thresholds could not be determined in all cases. The results are discussed in the context of the Banks and Ginsberg [2] model of infant preferences.

  2. Teachers' Knowledge of the Relationship of Auditory Acuity and Hearing Impairment to Reading.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Marshall, Evelyn Myrtle

    Teacher's knowledge of the relationship of auditory acuity and hearing impairment to reading was evaluated with 60 teachers and specialists (regular classroom primary and upper elementary teachers, reading teachers, teachers of the learning disabled, teachers of the hearing impaired, and speech and language pathologists). Ss were administered a…

  3. A Close Eye on the Eagle-Eyed Visual Acuity Hypothesis of Autism

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bolte, Sven; Schlitt, Sabine; Gapp, Volker; Hainz, Daniela; Schirman, Shella; Poustka, Fritz; Weber, Bernhard; Freitag, Christine; Ciaramidaro, Angela; Walter, Henrik

    2012-01-01

    Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) have been associated with sensory hypersensitivity. A recent study reported visual acuity (VA) in ASD in the region reported for birds of prey. The validity of the results was subsequently doubted. This study examined VA in 34 individuals with ASD, 16 with schizophrenia (SCH), and 26 typically developing (TYP).…

  4. The Effects of Drift and Displacement Motion on Dynamic Visual Acuity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Aznar-Casanova, J. Antonio; Quevedo, Lluisa; Sinnett, Scott

    2005-01-01

    Dynamic Visual Acuity (DVA) can be measured from two types of equivalently considered movement referred to as drifting-motion and displacement-motion. Displacement motion can be best described as the horizontal displacement of a stimulus, thus implying pursuit eye movements, and involves moving the stimulus from the fixation point of gaze towards…

  5. Burn Patient Acuity Demographics, Scar Contractures, and Rehabilitation Treatment Time Related to Patient Outcomes (ACT)

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-10-01

    Scar Contractures, and Rehabilitation Treatment Time Related to Patient Outcomes, conveniently referred to as the ACT for representing Acuity...acute and intermediate phases of burn rehabilitation through the collection of daily treatment information for analysis. In particular, the ACT is...primarily interested in investigating the influence that time spent receiving rehabilitation treatments has on patient outcomes as a reflection of

  6. Binocular Visual Acuity of Children: Demographic and Socioeconomic Characteristics - United States.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National Center for Health Statistics (DHEW/PHS), Hyattsville, MD.

    Reported were estimates of the uncorrected binocular visual acuity levels of distance and near for children aged 6 to 11 years in the noninstitutional population of the United States in relation to their demographic and socioeconomic background. A sample of 7,119 children participated in the Health Examination Survey program of 1963-65. Findings…

  7. Binocular Coordination, Acuity, and Locomotion: Interacting with Objects in the Environment.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Knowlton, Marie; Lee, Inkyung

    1995-01-01

    This article addresses issues of orientation and mobility for students with visual impairments, including the perception of motion, visual mechanisms of binocular coordination, perception of impending collision, and body movement to avoid collision. Emphasis is on the role of binocular coordination ability and acuity. These concepts were evaluated…

  8. Advancing medical-surgical nursing practice: improving management of the changing patient condition.

    PubMed

    Monroe, Heidi; Plylar, Peggy; Krugman, Mary

    2014-01-01

    Higher patient acuities and more novice nurses on medical-surgical units have Educators focused on achieving positive outcomes with changes in patient condition. An educational program was developed to enhance nurses' knowledge, skill, and confidence in assessing hemodynamics, recognizing early signs of instability, and administering vasoactive medications. The program was successful with significant knowledge improvement as well as an increased use of the Medical Emergency Team while maintaining a low number of code calls.

  9. Significantly improved luminescence properties of nitrogen-polar (0001̅) InGaN multiple quantum wells grown by pulsed metalorganic chemical vapor deposition.

    PubMed

    Song, Jie; Chang, Shih-Pang; Zhang, Cheng; Hsu, Ta-Cheng; Han, Jung

    2015-01-14

    We have demonstrated nitrogen-polar (0001̅) (N-polar) InGaN multiple quantum wells (MQWs) with significantly improved luminescence properties prepared by pulsed metalorganic chemical vapor deposition. During the growth of InGaN quantum wells, Ga and N sources are alternately injected into the reactor to alter the surface stoichiometry. The influence of flow duration in pulsed growth mode on the luminescence properties has been studied. We find that use of pulsed-mode creates a high density of hexagonal mounds with an increased InGaN growth rate and enhanced In composition around screw-type dislocations, resulting in remarkably improved luminescence properties. The mechanism of enhanced luminescence caused by the hexagonal mounds is discussed. Luminescence properties of N-polar InGaN MQWs grown with short pulse durations have been significantly improved in comparison with a sample grown by a conventional continuous growth method.

  10. A Systematic Investigation of Accuracy and Response Time Based Measures Used to Index ANS Acuity

    PubMed Central

    Dietrich, Julia Felicitas; Huber, Stefan; Klein, Elise; Willmes, Klaus; Pixner, Silvia; Moeller, Korbinian

    2016-01-01

    The approximate number system (ANS) was proposed to be a building block for later mathematical abilities. Several measures have been used interchangeably to assess ANS acuity. Some of these measures were based on accuracy data, whereas others relied on response time (RT) data or combined accuracy and RT data. Previous studies challenged the view that all these measures can be used interchangeably, because low correlations between some of the measures had been observed. These low correlations might be due to poor reliability of some of the measures, since the majority of these measures are mathematically related. Here we systematically investigated the relationship between common ANS measures while avoiding the potential confound of poor reliability. Our first experiment revealed high correlations between all accuracy based measures supporting the assumption that all of them can be used interchangeably. In contrast, not all RT based measures were highly correlated. Additionally, our results revealed a speed-accuracy trade-off. Thus, accuracy and RT based measures provided conflicting conclusions regarding ANS acuity. Therefore, we investigated in two further experiments which type of measure (accuracy or RT) is more informative about the underlying ANS acuity, depending on participants’ preferences for accuracy or speed. To this end, we manipulated participants’ preferences for accuracy or speed both explicitly using different task instructions and implicitly varying presentation duration. Accuracy based measures were more informative about the underlying ANS acuity than RT based measures. Moreover, the influence of the underlying representations on accuracy data was more pronounced when participants preferred accuracy over speed after the accuracy instruction as well as for long or unlimited presentation durations. Implications regarding the diffusion model as a theoretical framework of dot comparison as well as regarding the relationship between ANS acuity and

  11. Ankle proprioceptive acuity is associated with objective as well as self-report measures of balance, mobility, and physical function.

    PubMed

    Deshpande, Nandini; Simonsick, Eleanor; Metter, E Jeffrey; Ko, Seunguk; Ferrucci, Luigi; Studenski, Stephanie

    2016-06-01

    Ankle proprioceptive information is integrated by the central nervous system to generate and modulate muscle contractions for maintaining standing balance. This study evaluated the association of ankle joint proprioception with objective and self-report measures of balance, mobility, and physical function across the adult life span. Seven hundred and ninety participants (age range 24-97 years, 362 women) who completed ankle proprioception assessment between 2010 and 2014 were included in the present study from the population-based cohort of the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging (BLSA), USA. Outcome measures included ankle joint proprioception measured as threshold for perception of passive movement (TPPM); single leg stance time; perceived difficulty for standing balance; usual, fastest, and narrow-path gait speed; walking index; short physical performance battery score; and self-reported activity restriction due to fear of falling. Descriptive variables included age, sex, body mass index, education, strength, and cognition. Analyses of covariance (ANCOVA) in general linear model (GLM) or multinomial logistic regression analyses were performed, as appropriate, to test the hypothesis that balance, mobility, and physical function were significantly different according to TPPM quintiles even after adjusting for relevant covariates. Those with TPPM >2.2° consistently demonstrated poor balance, mobility, and physical function. However, with increase in challenge (single leg stance, fastest walking speed, and SPPB), TPPM >1.4° was associated with significantly worse performance. In conclusion, ankle proprioceptive acuity has an overall graded relationship with objective and self-report measures of balance, mobility, and physical function. However, the cutoff proprioceptive acuity associated with substantial decline or inability to perform could depend on the challenge induced.

  12. Foveal photoreceptor explanation of short-term visual acuity recovery associated with laser-induced foveal damage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Langus, Amir; Zwick, Harry; Stuck, Bruce E.; Belkin, Michael

    2003-06-01

    Both human laser accident cases and non-human primate behavioral studies demonstrate the possibility of full visual acuity recovery following foveal laser injury. Current explanations of such recovery require suppositions of complex retinal reorganization dynamics or neural reorganization at higher order visual brain systems. However, recent investigation based on data of retinal photoreceptor and ganglion cell topography and connectivity, suggest that the amount of static inherent plasticity, already exists at the retinal level, may also explain visual acuity recovery in the presence of laser-induced foveal damage. Modeling the off-axis visual acuity while utilizing this data, produces a more gradual fall-off in visual acuity, and supports the notion that visual acuity recovery may reside in the topographical organization of the cones. Moreover, considering the filling-in phenomena, which can conceal the presence of retinal damage from being recognized, together with eye movements, could nullify scotoma, as long as the retinal damage is not too extensive.

  13. Visual acuity measured with luminance-modulated and contrast-modulated noise letter stimuli in young adults and adults above 50 years old

    PubMed Central

    Woi, Pui Juan; Kaur, Sharanjeet; Waugh, Sarah J.; Hairol, Mohd Izzuddin

    2016-01-01

    The human visual system is sensitive in detecting objects that have different luminance level from their background, known as first-order or luminance-modulated (LM) stimuli. We are also able to detect objects that have the same mean luminance as their background, only differing in contrast (or other attributes). Such objects are known as second-order or contrast-modulated (CM), stimuli. CM stimuli are thought to be processed in higher visual areas compared to LM stimuli, and may be more susceptible to ageing. We compared visual acuities (VA) of five healthy older adults (54.0±1.83 years old) and five healthy younger adults (25.4±1.29 years old) with LM and CM letters under monocular and binocular viewing. For monocular viewing, age had no effect on VA [F(1, 8)= 2.50, p> 0.05]. However, there was a significant main effect of age on VA under binocular viewing [F(1, 8)= 5.67, p< 0.05].  Binocular VA with CM letters in younger adults was approximately two lines better than that in older adults. For LM, binocular summation ratios were similar for older (1.16±0.21) and younger (1.15±0.06) adults. For CM, younger adults had higher binocular summation ratio (1.39±0.08) compared to older adults (1.12±0.09). Binocular viewing improved VA with LM letters for both groups similarly. However, in older adults, binocular viewing did not improve VA with CM letters as much as in younger adults. This could reflect a decline of higher visual areas due to ageing process, most likely higher than V1, which may be missed if measured with luminance-based stimuli alone. PMID:28184281

  14. Visual acuity measured with luminance-modulated and contrast-modulated noise letter stimuli in young adults and adults above 50 years old.

    PubMed

    Woi, Pui Juan; Kaur, Sharanjeet; Waugh, Sarah J; Hairol, Mohd Izzuddin

    2016-01-01

    The human visual system is sensitive in detecting objects that have different luminance level from their background, known as first-order or luminance-modulated (LM) stimuli. We are also able to detect objects that have the same mean luminance as their background, only differing in contrast (or other attributes). Such objects are known as second-order or contrast-modulated (CM), stimuli. CM stimuli are thought to be processed in higher visual areas compared to LM stimuli, and may be more susceptible to ageing. We compared visual acuities (VA) of five healthy older adults (54.0±1.83 years old) and five healthy younger adults (25.4±1.29 years old) with LM and CM letters under monocular and binocular viewing. For monocular viewing, age had no effect on VA [F(1, 8)= 2.50, p> 0.05]. However, there was a significant main effect of age on VA under binocular viewing [F(1, 8)= 5.67, p< 0.05].  Binocular VA with CM letters in younger adults was approximately two lines better than that in older adults. For LM, binocular summation ratios were similar for older (1.16±0.21) and younger (1.15±0.06) adults. For CM, younger adults had higher binocular summation ratio (1.39±0.08) compared to older adults (1.12±0.09). Binocular viewing improved VA with LM letters for both groups similarly. However, in older adults, binocular viewing did not improve VA with CM letters as much as in younger adults. This could reflect a decline of higher visual areas due to ageing process, most likely higher than V1, which may be missed if measured with luminance-based stimuli alone.

  15. Bidirectional plasticity of cortical pattern recognition and behavioral sensory acuity

    PubMed Central

    Chapuis, Julie; Wilson, Donald A.

    2011-01-01

    Learning to adapt to a complex and fluctuating environment requires the ability to adjust neural representations of sensory stimuli. Through pattern completion processes, cortical networks can reconstruct familiar patterns from degraded input patterns, while pattern separation processes allow discrimination of even highly overlapping inputs. Here we show that the balance between pattern separation and completion is experience-dependent. Rats given extensive training with overlapping complex odorant mixtures show improved behavioral discrimination ability and enhanced cortical ensemble pattern separation. In contrast, behavioral training to disregard normally detectable differences between overlapping mixtures results in impaired cortical ensemble pattern separation (enhanced pattern completion) and impaired discrimination. This bidirectional effect was not found in the olfactory bulb, and may be due to plasticity within olfactory cortex itself. Thus pattern recognition, and the balance between pattern separation and completion, is highly malleable based on task demands and occurs in concert with changes in perceptual performance. PMID:22101640

  16. Atomic Layer Deposition Al2O3 Coatings Significantly Improve Thermal, Chemical, and Mechanical Stability of Anodic TiO2 Nanotube Layers

    PubMed Central

    2017-01-01

    We report on a very significant enhancement of the thermal, chemical, and mechanical stability of self-organized TiO2 nanotubes layers, provided by thin Al2O3 coatings of different thicknesses prepared by atomic layer deposition (ALD). TiO2 nanotube layers coated with Al2O3 coatings exhibit significantly improved thermal stability as illustrated by the preservation of the nanotubular structure upon annealing treatment at high temperatures (870 °C). In addition, a high anatase content is preserved in the nanotube layers against expectation of the total rutile conversion at such a high temperature. Hardness of the resulting nanotube layers is investigated by nanoindentation measurements and shows strongly improved values compared to uncoated counterparts. Finally, it is demonstrated that Al2O3 coatings guarantee unprecedented chemical stability of TiO2 nanotube layers in harsh environments of concentrated H3PO4 solutions. PMID:28291942

  17. Optimization of Deep Drilling Performance - Development and Benchmark Testing of Advanced Diamond Product Drill Bits & HP/HT Fluids to Significantly Improve Rates of Penetration

    SciTech Connect

    Alan Black; Arnis Judzis

    2005-09-30

    This document details the progress to date on the OPTIMIZATION OF DEEP DRILLING PERFORMANCE--DEVELOPMENT AND BENCHMARK TESTING OF ADVANCED DIAMOND PRODUCT DRILL BITS AND HP/HT FLUIDS TO SIGNIFICANTLY IMPROVE RATES OF PENETRATION contract for the year starting October 2004 through September 2005. The industry cost shared program aims to benchmark drilling rates of penetration in selected simulated deep formations and to significantly improve ROP through a team development of aggressive diamond product drill bit--fluid system technologies. Overall the objectives are as follows: Phase 1--Benchmark ''best in class'' diamond and other product drilling bits and fluids and develop concepts for a next level of deep drilling performance; Phase 2--Develop advanced smart bit-fluid prototypes and test at large scale; and Phase 3--Field trial smart bit--fluid concepts, modify as necessary and commercialize products. As of report date, TerraTek has concluded all Phase 1 testing and is planning Phase 2 development.

  18. Atomic Layer Deposition Al2O3 Coatings Significantly Improve Thermal, Chemical, and Mechanical Stability of Anodic TiO2 Nanotube Layers.

    PubMed

    Zazpe, Raul; Prikryl, Jan; Gärtnerova, Viera; Nechvilova, Katerina; Benes, Ludvik; Strizik, Lukas; Jäger, Ales; Bosund, Markus; Sopha, Hanna; Macak, Jan M

    2017-04-04

    We report on a very significant enhancement of the thermal, chemical, and mechanical stability of self-organized TiO2 nanotubes layers, provided by thin Al2O3 coatings of different thicknesses prepared by atomic layer deposition (ALD). TiO2 nanotube layers coated with Al2O3 coatings exhibit significantly improved thermal stability as illustrated by the preservation of the nanotubular structure upon annealing treatment at high temperatures (870 °C). In addition, a high anatase content is preserved in the nanotube layers against expectation of the total rutile conversion at such a high temperature. Hardness of the resulting nanotube layers is investigated by nanoindentation measurements and shows strongly improved values compared to uncoated counterparts. Finally, it is demonstrated that Al2O3 coatings guarantee unprecedented chemical stability of TiO2 nanotube layers in harsh environments of concentrated H3PO4 solutions.

  19. Neodymium yttrium-aluminium-garnet laser resection significantly improves quality of life in patients with malignant central airway obstruction due to lung cancer.

    PubMed

    Zaric, B; Kovacevic, T; Stojsic, V; Sarcev, T; Kocic, M; Urosevic, M; Kalem, D; Perin, B

    2015-07-01

    Neodymium yttrium-aluminium-garnet (Nd : YAG) laser resection is one of the mostly used interventional pulmonology techniques for urgent desobstruction of malignant central airway obstruction (CAO). The major aim of this trial was to evaluate potential influence of Nd : YAG laser resection on overall quality of life (QoL) in patients with central lung cancer. Patients with malignant CAO scheduled for Nd : YAG laser resection were prospectively recruited in the trial. All patients were given European Organization for Research and Treatment, Quality of Life questionnaire (EORTC QLQ-30 v.3) before the procedure and approximately 2 weeks after the treatment. There were 37 male and 10 female patients, average age 54 ± 10 years. Most common tumour type was adenocarcinoma diagnosed in 51% of patients. Majority of patients were diagnosed in stage IIIB (53.2%) and stage IV (25.5%). Most common Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status was 1 (72.3%). Nd : YAG laser resection significantly improved (P<0.0001) QoL and overall health according to EORTC QLQ-30. However, in some of the questions dealing with nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, constipation, family life, social activities and financial situation, we did not observe statistically significant improvement. Nd : YAG laser resection of malignant CAO significantly improves QoL and overall health in patients with lung cancer.

  20. Co-overexpressing a Plasma Membrane and a Vacuolar Membrane Sodium/Proton Antiporter Significantly Improves Salt Tolerance in Transgenic Arabidopsis Plants

    PubMed Central

    Pehlivan, Necla; Sun, Li; Jarrett, Philip; Yang, Xiaojie; Mishra, Neelam; Chen, Lin; Kadioglu, Asim; Shen, Guoxin; Zhang, Hong

    2016-01-01

    The Arabidopsis gene AtNHX1 encodes a vacuolar membrane-bound sodium/proton (Na+/H+) antiporter that transports Na+ into the vacuole and exports H+ into the cytoplasm. The Arabidopsis gene SOS1 encodes a plasma membrane-bound Na+/H+ antiporter that exports Na+ to the extracellular space and imports H+ into the plant cell. Plants rely on these enzymes either to keep Na+ out of the cell or to sequester Na+ into vacuoles to avoid the toxic level of Na+ in the cytoplasm. Overexpression of AtNHX1 or SOS1 could improve salt tolerance in transgenic plants, but the improved salt tolerance is limited. NaCl at concentration >200 mM would kill AtNHX1-overexpressing or SOS1-overexpressing plants. Here it is shown that co-overexpressing AtNHX1 and SOS1 could further improve salt tolerance in transgenic Arabidopsis plants, making transgenic Arabidopsis able to tolerate up to 250 mM NaCl treatment. Furthermore, co-overexpression of AtNHX1 and SOS1 could significantly reduce yield loss caused by the combined stresses of heat and salt, confirming the hypothesis that stacked overexpression of two genes could substantially improve tolerance against multiple stresses. This research serves as a proof of concept for improving salt tolerance in other plants including crops. PMID:26985021

  1. Co-overexpressing a Plasma Membrane and a Vacuolar Membrane Sodium/Proton Antiporter Significantly Improves Salt Tolerance in Transgenic Arabidopsis Plants.

    PubMed

    Pehlivan, Necla; Sun, Li; Jarrett, Philip; Yang, Xiaojie; Mishra, Neelam; Chen, Lin; Kadioglu, Asim; Shen, Guoxin; Zhang, Hong

    2016-05-01

    The Arabidopsis gene AtNHX1 encodes a vacuolar membrane-bound sodium/proton (Na(+)/H(+)) antiporter that transports Na(+) into the vacuole and exports H(+) into the cytoplasm. The Arabidopsis gene SOS1 encodes a plasma membrane-bound Na(+)/H(+) antiporter that exports Na(+) to the extracellular space and imports H(+) into the plant cell. Plants rely on these enzymes either to keep Na(+) out of the cell or to sequester Na(+) into vacuoles to avoid the toxic level of Na(+) in the cytoplasm. Overexpression of AtNHX1 or SOS1 could improve salt tolerance in transgenic plants, but the improved salt tolerance is limited. NaCl at concentration >200 mM would kill AtNHX1-overexpressing or SOS1-overexpressing plants. Here it is shown that co-overexpressing AtNHX1 and SOS1 could further improve salt tolerance in transgenic Arabidopsis plants, making transgenic Arabidopsis able to tolerate up to 250 mM NaCl treatment. Furthermore, co-overexpression of AtNHX1 and SOS1 could significantly reduce yield loss caused by the combined stresses of heat and salt, confirming the hypothesis that stacked overexpression of two genes could substantially improve tolerance against multiple stresses. This research serves as a proof of concept for improving salt tolerance in other plants including crops.

  2. Changes in smell acuity induced by radiation exposure of the olfactory mucosa

    SciTech Connect

    Ophir, D.; Guterman, A.; Gross-Isseroff, R.

    1988-08-01

    The effects of ionizing radiation on smell acuity were assessed in 12 patients in whom the olfactory mucosa was exposed to radiation in the course of treatment for nasopharyngeal carcinoma or pituitary adenoma. Olfactory detection thresholds for two odorants (amyl acetate and eugenol) were determined before the start of radiation therapy, within a week of termination of therapy, and 1, 3, and 6 months later. The results show clearly that smell acuity is profoundly affected by therapeutic irradiation. Thresholds had increased in all 12 patients by the end of treatment and were still high one month later. Varying degrees of recovery were noted in most patients three to six months after cessation of treatment. The fate of the sense of smell deserves more attention when considering the disability caused by irradiation to certain head and neck tumors.

  3. Antihistamines and visual function: studies on dynamic acuity and the pupillary response to light.

    PubMed Central

    Nicholson, A N; Smith, P A; Spencer, M B

    1982-01-01

    1 Effects of three antihistamines, triprolidine (10 mg) in a sustained release form, astemizole (10 mg) and terfenadine (60 mg), have been studied on dynamic visual acuity and on the response of the pupil to light, together with critical flicker fusion, digit symbol substitution and cancellation, and subjective assessment of mood. The study was double-blind and effects were observed from 0.5-4.0 h after ingestion. 2 Triprolidine impaired dynamic acuity and reduced the threshold for subjective fusion of a flickering light, but there were no changes with astemizole or terfenadine. The diameter of the pupil and its response to light were not changed by the drugs. 3 Performance on digit symbol substitution and cancellation was not altered by the drugs. 4 Astemizole and terfenadine are promising antihistamines for those involved in skilled activity. PMID:6128019

  4. Modulation transfer function as a predictor of visual acuity using a night vision device

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fullenkamp, S. C.; Trissell, T. L.; Aleva, D. L.; Dixon, S.; Task, H. L.

    2005-05-01

    Night Vision Goggles (NVGs) are being used increasingly by the military and law enforcement agencies for night operations. One critical issue in assessing the utility of an NVG is its resolving power or capability to make fine detail distinguishable. The resolution of Night Vision Goggles is typically assessed by measuring the visual acuity of an operator looking through the goggles. These methods can be time consuming. Further, inconsistencies associated with visual observations and judgement add to the variance associated with these measurements. NVG Modulation Transfer Function (MTF) was explored as a possible means of characterizing NVG image quality independent of a human observer. MTF maps the potential contrast output of the NVGs as a function of spatial frequency. The results of this MTF measurement were compared with a commonly used method of visual acuity assessment.

  5. Psychophysical Test of Contrast Acuity to Aid Operational Effectiveness of Aircrew Laser Eye Protection (LEP)

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2005-08-01

    Hoffman, 1997; Bach , 2003). Due to the physical constraints of the CRT and LCD displays, it is to be expected that acuity for the cardinal...36.074 39.10 0.94 996 39 ND40AR 38.605 0.322 0.327 0.351 36.621 40.60 0.43 996 40 ND50BL 50% 48.533 0.324 0.328 0.349 45.570 50.70 0.11 99.8 49 ND50BR...Directorate and the extraordinary technical support of AFRL/HEDO. 38 References Bach , M. (2002). The Freiburg visual acuity test: measurement of the

  6. Retail Clinic Visits For Low-Acuity Conditions Increase Utilization And Spending.

    PubMed

    Ashwood, J Scott; Gaynor, Martin; Setodji, Claude M; Reid, Rachel O; Weber, Ellerie; Mehrotra, Ateev

    2016-03-01

    Retail clinics have been viewed by policy makers and insurers as a mechanism to decrease health care spending, by substituting less expensive clinic visits for more expensive emergency department or physician office visits. However, retail clinics may actually increase spending if they drive new health care utilization. To assess whether retail clinic visits represent new utilization or a substitute for more expensive care, we used insurance claims data from Aetna for the period 2010-12 to track utilization and spending for eleven low-acuity conditions. We found that 58 percent of retail clinic visits for low-acuity conditions represented new utilization and that retail clinic use was associated with a modest increase in spending, of $14 per person per year. These findings do not support the idea that retail clinics decrease health care spending.

  7. Microactuator production via high aspect ratio, high edge acuity metal fabrication technology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Guckel, H.; Christenson, T. R.

    1993-01-01

    LIGA is a procession sequence which uses x-ray lithography on photoresist layers of several hundred micrometers to produce very high edge acuity photopolymer molds. These plastic molds can be converted to metal molds via electroplating of many different metals and alloys. The end results are high edge acuity metal parts with large structural heights. The LIGA process as originally described by W. Ehrfeld can be extended by adding a surface micromachining phase to produce precision metal parts which can be assembled to form three-dimensional micromechanisms. This process, SLIGA, has been used to fabricate a dynamometer on a chip. The instrument has been fully implemented and will be applied to tribology issues, speed-torque characterization of planar magnetic micromotors and a new family of sensors.

  8. Evaluation of the degree of turbidity of cataract lens and its correlation with retinal visual acuity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Akchurin, Garif G.; Bakutkin, Valery V.; Zimnyakov, Dmitry A.; Radchenko, Elena Y.; Tuchin, Valery V.; Akchurin, Alexander G.

    1999-06-01

    Experimental in vitro studies of speckle-modulated laser field arising after transmission through different type of human cataractous lenses are presented. Computer analysis of digital imaging has allowed to determinate the degree of destruction of spatial coherence scattered laser beam and the angle of resolution of the retina using Retinal Analyzer of Vision (AROL-1) in diagnosis of cataract. Measurement of retinal visual acuity (RVA) in 135 patient with different types of cataract (senile, complicated, posterior capsular) before and after cataract extraction and also in vitro measurement of RVA with extracted cataractal lenses has shown that laser retinometer can be used for evaluating visual acuity within 0.3 - 1, practically for all types of cataracts.

  9. Theoretical and applied aspects of night vision goggle resolution and visual acuity assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Task, H. Lee; Pinkus, Alan R.

    2007-04-01

    The image quality of night vision goggles is often expressed in terms of visual acuity, resolution or modulation transfer function. The primary reason for providing a measure of image quality is the underlying assumption that the image quality metric correlates with the level of visual performance that one could expect when using the device, for example, target detection or target recognition performance. This paper provides a theoretical analysis of the relationships between these three image quality metrics: visual acuity, resolution and modulation transfer function. Results from laboratory and field studies were used to relate these metrics to visual performance. These results can also be applied to non-image intensifier based imaging systems such as a helmet-mounted display coupled to an imaging sensor.

  10. The Potential Importance of Detection of Neovascular Age-Related Macular Degeneration When Visual Acuity Is Relatively Good.

    PubMed

    Ho, Allen C; Albini, Thomas A; Brown, David M; Boyer, David S; Regillo, Carl D; Heier, Jeffrey S

    2017-03-01

    The advent of anti-vascular endothelial growth factor treatment has changed the prognosis for patients with neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nvAMD). The ability to stabilize or improve vision with these treatments is a major step in enabling patients to continue to function at the highest possible level. Many studies have demonstrated that the better the visual acuity (VA) is at the time of treatment initiation, the higher the likelihood that VA will be better during at least the following 2 years; as such, detection of nvAMD when VA is relatively good is important. Data on the VA of patients with intermediate AMD and VA at the time of nvAMD diagnosis suggest that patients are typically losing an average of 3 to 5 lines of vision and possibly more between the time that intermediate AMD progresses to nvAMD and the diagnosis of nvAMD is made. The average patient may have nvAMD for 6 to 12 months before diagnosis and treatment initiation. Current efforts in management of nvAMD are primarily aimed at optimizing anti-vascular endothelial growth factor treatments that have the potential to improve VA outcomes by a magnitude of letters. Additional tools or other efforts to identify patients with nvAMD before substantial vision loss has occurred may reduce the amount of visual loss sustained with anti-vascular endothelial growth factor therapy, and have the potential to improve VA outcomes substantially.

  11. Significant immediate and long-term improvement in quality of life and disease coping in patients with vitiligo after group climatotherapy at the Dead Sea.

    PubMed

    Krüger, Christian; Smythe, Jim W; Spencer, Jennifer D; Hasse, Sybille; Panske, Angela; Chiuchiarelli, Giorgia; Schallreuter, Karin U

    2011-03-01

    Quality of life in patients with vitiligo is impaired. This study explored the immediate effect of 20 days of climatotherapy at the Dead Sea on quality of life, coping with the disease, general well-being and individual stress levels in a group of 71 patients with vitiligo and 42 matched controls. The long-term effect was assessed after 12 months in 33/71 patients and 12/42 controls. Study instruments were Dermatology Life Quality Index, Beck Depression Inventory and the Adjustment to Chronic Skin Disorders Questionnaire. Stress measurements were based on cortisol and β-endorphin concentrations in saliva samples. Quality of life was significantly improved at day 20 at the Dead Sea compared with day 1, and this was still significant after 12 months. Moreover, social anxiety/avoidance, anxious-depressive mood and helplessness as measured by the Adjustment to Chronic Skin Disorders Questionnaire were significantly reduced. There was no difference in levels of cortisol and β-endorphin between patients and controls, indicating that stress per se is not a significant contributor in vitiligo. In conclusion, therapy in patient groups offers an effective tool for long-lasting improvement in quality of life and patients' well-being.

  12. Predicting individual contrast sensitivity functions from acuity and letter contrast sensitivity measurements

    PubMed Central

    Thurman, Steven M.; Davey, Pinakin Gunvant; McCray, Kaydee Lynn; Paronian, Violeta; Seitz, Aaron R.

    2016-01-01

    Contrast sensitivity (CS) is widely used as a measure of visual function in both basic research and clinical evaluation. There is conflicting evidence on the extent to which measuring the full contrast sensitivity function (CSF) offers more functionally relevant information than a single measurement from an optotype CS test, such as the Pelli–Robson chart. Here we examine the relationship between functional CSF parameters and other measures of visual function, and establish a framework for predicting individual CSFs with effectively a zero-parameter model that shifts a standard-shaped template CSF horizontally and vertically according to independent measurements of high contrast acuity and letter CS, respectively. This method was evaluated for three different CSF tests: a chart test (CSV-1000), a computerized sine-wave test (M&S Sine Test), and a recently developed adaptive test (quick CSF). Subjects were 43 individuals with healthy vision or impairment too mild to be considered low vision (acuity range of −0.3 to 0.34 logMAR). While each test demands a slightly different normative template, results show that individual subject CSFs can be predicted with roughly the same precision as test–retest repeatability, confirming that individuals predominantly differ in terms of peak CS and peak spatial frequency. In fact, these parameters were sufficiently related to empirical measurements of acuity and letter CS to permit accurate estimation of the entire CSF of any individual with a deterministic model (zero free parameters). These results demonstrate that in many cases, measuring the full CSF may provide little additional information beyond letter acuity and contrast sensitivity. PMID:28006065

  13. Reproducibility of Nigh Vision Goggle Visual Acuity Measurements Using Landolt C’s

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1999-12-08

    Task, 1979), Snellen Acuity (Bailey & Lovie, 1979; Wiley, 1989; Miller, Provines, Block & Tredici, 1984), square-wave targets (Task & Genco , 1986...the observer focused the corresponding objective lens by viewing the 3 x 3A, NVG high- contrast square-wave resolution chart (Task & Genco , 1986...for television displays. Technical Report No. AMRL-TR-79-7. NTIS: Alexandria VA. Task, H. L. and Genco , L. V. (1986). Contrast sensitivity function

  14. Photovoltaic restoration of sight with high visual acuity in rats with retinal degeneration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Palanker, D.; Goetz, G.; Lorach, H.; Mandel, Y.; Smith, R.; Boinagrov, D.; Lei, X.; Kamins, T.; Harris, J.; Mathieson, K.; Sher, A.

    2015-03-01

    Patients with retinal degeneration lose sight due to gradual demise of photoreceptors. Electrical stimulation of the surviving retinal neurons provides an alternative route for delivery of visual information. Subretinal photovoltaic arrays with 70μm pixels were used to convert pulsed near-IR light (880-915nm) into pulsed current to stimulate the nearby inner retinal neurons. Network-mediated responses of the retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) could be modulated by pulse width (1-20ms) and peak irradiance (0.5-10 mW/mm2). Similarly to normal vision, retinal response to prosthetic stimulation exhibited flicker fusion at high frequencies, adaptation to static images, and non-linear spatial summation. Spatial resolution was assessed in-vitro and in-vivo using alternating gratings with variable stripe width, projected with rapidly pulsed illumination (20-40Hz). In-vitro, average size of the electrical receptive fields in normal retina was 248+/-59μm - similar to their visible light RF size: 249+/-44μm. RGCs responded to grating stripes down to 67μm using photovoltaic stimulation in degenerate rat retina, and 28μm with visible light in normal retina. In-vivo, visual acuity in normally-sighted controls was 29+/-5μm/stripe, vs. 63+/-4μm/stripe in rats with subretinal photovoltaic arrays, corresponding to 20/250 acuity in human eye. With the enhanced acuity provided by eye movements and perceptual learning in human patients, visual acuity might exceed the 20/200 threshold of legal blindness. Ease of implantation and tiling of these wireless arrays to cover a large visual field, combined with their high resolution opens the door to highly functional restoration of sight.

  15. Key drivers of visual acuity gains in neovascular age-related macular degeneration in real life: findings from the AURA study

    PubMed Central

    Holz, Frank G; Tadayoni, Ramin; Beatty, Stephen; Berger, Alan; Cereda, Matteo Giuseppe; Hykin, Philip; Staurenghi, Giovanni; Wittrup-Jensen, Kim; Altemark, Andreas; Nilsson, Jonas; Kim, Kun; Sivaprasad, Sobha

    2016-01-01

    Background/aims To identify predictive markers for the outcomes of anti-vascular endothelial growth factor therapy for neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nAMD). Methods AURA was a retrospective, observational, multicentre study that monitored the 2-year outcomes following intravitreal ranibizumab treatment in patients with nAMD. Using stepwise regression analysis, we evaluated the association between visual acuity outcomes, baseline characteristics and resource utilisation in order to determine which variables are significantly linked to outcomes in AURA. We also examined the relationship between visual acuity outcomes and number of injections received. Results Analyses were performed using data from year 1 (n=1695) and year 2 completers (n=1184). Logistic analysis showed that baseline visual acuity score, age at start of therapy, number of ophthalmoscopies and optical coherence tomography (OCT) (combined) and number of injections (ranibizumab) were significant (p<0.05) prognostic factors for vision maintenance (loss <15 letters) or vision gain (≥15 letters). Patients who received >7 injections (in 1 year) or >14 injections (over 2 years) gained more letters and demonstrated greater vision maintenance (loss of <15 letters) than patients who received fewer injections. There was a significant (p<0.05) association between number of injections and national reimbursement schemes and OCT. Conclusions A number of factors that are predictive of treatment outcomes in a real-life setting were identified. Notably, the decline of treatment benefits may be linked to number of injections and a failure to visit clinicians and receive OCT as required. These findings may be helpful in guiding ophthalmologist treatment decisions under limited time and financial constraints. Trial registration number NCT01447043. PMID:27030279

  16. [Correctly evaluate the role of visual acuity in age-related macular degeneration treatment].

    PubMed

    Zhang, Feng

    2012-02-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of irreversible visual loss in aged population. As the aging of population, the prevalence of AMD increases gradually. Anti-VEGF medication intravitreal injection, which can obtain good therapeutic efficiency and is relatively safe, becomes the main therapy for neovascular AMD. However, high-frequency repeated treatment increases the intravitreal injections risk, as well as the costs. In clinical practice, to pursue the best-corrected visual acuity, high-frequency repeated injections are implemented and inflict psychological pressure and economic burden on patients. The author believes that to pursue the best corrected visual acuity is the ultimate aim but not the only one for every ophthalmologist and patient. The activity of lesions should be overall evaluated with fundus imaging technologies. Being people-oriented is the principle in clinical medicine. A treatment plan is made according to the patients' sickness and economy and to coordinate the relation between the best corrected visual acuity and the numbers of treatment. Based on the stabilized lesion, patient should be benefited at the lowest risk and cost with the best effect.

  17. Normal Visual Acuity and Electrophysiological Contrast Gain in Adults with High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder

    PubMed Central

    Tebartz van Elst, Ludger; Bach, Michael; Blessing, Julia; Riedel, Andreas; Bubl, Emanuel

    2015-01-01

    A common neurodevelopmental disorder, autism spectrum disorder (ASD), is defined by specific patterns in social perception, social competence, communication, highly circumscribed interests, and a strong subjective need for behavioral routines. Furthermore, distinctive features of visual perception, such as markedly reduced eye contact and a tendency to focus more on small, visual items than on holistic perception, have long been recognized as typical ASD characteristics. Recent debate in the scientific community discusses whether the physiology of low-level visual perception might explain such higher visual abnormalities. While reports of this enhanced, “eagle-like” visual acuity contained methodological errors and could not be substantiated, several authors have reported alterations in even earlier stages of visual processing, such as contrast perception and motion perception at the occipital cortex level. Therefore, in this project, we have investigated the electrophysiology of very early visual processing by analyzing the pattern electroretinogram-based contrast gain, the background noise amplitude, and the psychophysical visual acuities of participants with high-functioning ASD and controls with equal education. Based on earlier findings, we hypothesized that alterations in early vision would be present in ASD participants. This study included 33 individuals with ASD (11 female) and 33 control individuals (12 female). The groups were matched in terms of age, gender, and education level. We found no evidence of altered electrophysiological retinal contrast processing or psychophysical measured visual acuities. There appears to be no evidence for abnormalities in retinal visual processing in ASD patients, at least with respect to contrast detection. PMID:26379525

  18. Acuity-independent effects of visual deprivation on human visual cortex.

    PubMed

    Hou, Chuan; Pettet, Mark W; Norcia, Anthony M

    2014-07-29

    Visual development depends on sensory input during an early developmental critical period. Deviation of the pointing direction of the two eyes (strabismus) or chronic optical blur (anisometropia) separately and together can disrupt the formation of normal binocular interactions and the development of spatial processing, leading to a loss of stereopsis and visual acuity known as amblyopia. To shed new light on how these two different forms of visual deprivation affect the development of visual cortex, we used event-related potentials (ERPs) to study the temporal evolution of visual responses in patients who had experienced either strabismus or anisometropia early in life. To make a specific statement about the locus of deprivation effects, we took advantage of a stimulation paradigm in which we could measure deprivation effects that arise either before or after a configuration-specific response to illusory contours (ICs). Extraction of ICs is known to first occur in extrastriate visual areas. Our ERP measurements indicate that deprivation via strabismus affects both the early part of the evoked response that occurs before ICs are formed as well as the later IC-selective response. Importantly, these effects are found in the normal-acuity nonamblyopic eyes of strabismic amblyopes and in both eyes of strabismic patients without amblyopia. The nonamblyopic eyes of anisometropic amblyopes, by contrast, are normal. Our results indicate that beyond the well-known effects of strabismus on the development of normal binocularity, it also affects the early stages of monocular feature processing in an acuity-independent fashion.

  19. Preschool acuity of the approximate number system correlates with school math ability.

    PubMed

    Libertus, Melissa E; Feigenson, Lisa; Halberda, Justin

    2011-11-01

    Previous research shows a correlation between individual differences in people's school math abilities and the accuracy with which they rapidly and nonverbally approximate how many items are in a scene. This finding is surprising because the Approximate Number System (ANS) underlying numerical estimation is shared with infants and with non-human animals who never acquire formal mathematics. However, it remains unclear whether the link between individual differences in math ability and the ANS depends on formal mathematics instruction. Earlier studies demonstrating this link tested participants only after they had received many years of mathematics education, or assessed participants' ANS acuity using tasks that required additional symbolic or arithmetic processing similar to that required in standardized math tests. To ask whether the ANS and math ability are linked early in life, we measured the ANS acuity of 200 3- to 5-year-old children using a task that did not also require symbol use or arithmetic calculation. We also measured children's math ability and vocabulary size prior to the onset of formal math instruction. We found that children's ANS acuity correlated with their math ability, even when age and verbal skills were controlled for. These findings provide evidence for a relationship between the primitive sense of number and math ability starting early in life.

  20. Development and Initial Psychometric Evaluation of the Post-Acute Acuity Rating for Children

    PubMed Central

    O'Brien, Jane E.; Dumas, Helene M.

    2015-01-01

    The Post-Acute Acuity Rating for Children (PAARC) is the first known acuity rating intended to reflect medical severity based on age, reason for admission, diagnoses, dependence in activities of daily living, and technology reliance for children admitted to post-acute care rehabilitation hospitals. Content validity was tested using an expert panel scoring the Content Validity Index (CVI). Concurrent validity was examined using clinician's opinion of acuity at admission, the Complexity Index, and All Patient Refined Diagnosis Related Group (APR-DRG) codes. Predictive validity was examined with acute care readmission within 30 days. Interrater reliability was assessed using admission histories from closed cases. Content validity was established and concurrent validity was moderate to high with clinician opinion (rho = .76, p < .001), the Complexity Index (rho = .76, p < .001), and APR-DRGs (rho = .349, p = .001). Predictive validity was moderate (rho = .504, p = .005) and returns to acute care within 30 days. Interrater reliability was excellent (ICC = 0.97; 95% CI = 0.92–0.90, p < .001). Experts agreed that the PAARC's content is relevant, simple, and representative of the population. The PAARC measured well against indicators of medical complexity for pediatric outpatient care and medical record coding and was reliable between raters. This work supports proceeding with additional development and validity testing of the PAARC. PMID:26609433

  1. Optical coherence tomography angiography in eyes with good visual acuity recovery after treatment for optic neuritis

    PubMed Central

    Higashiyama, Tomoaki; Nishida, Yasuhiro; Ohji, Masahito

    2017-01-01

    Objective To evaluate the retinal perfusion using optical coherence tomography (OCT) angiography in eyes with good visual acuity recovery after treatment for optic neuritis (ON). Methods Seven eyes of seven patients with good visual acuity recovery after treatment for monocular ON and seven eyes of each fellow eye used as controls were studied. Retinal perfusion around the disc and at the macula was evaluated using OCT angiography. The retinal nerve fiber layer thickness was measured around the disc. The ganglion cell layer complex thickness or the ganglion cell layer plus the inner plexiform layer thickness were measured at the macula. Results The retinal perfusions in all eyes with ON decreased around the disc and at the macula compared with those of the fellow eyes, as shown by OCT angiography (disc, P = 0.003; macula, P = 0.001). The retinal thicknesses in all eyes with ON also decreased around the disc and at the macula compared with those of the fellow eyes (disc, P < 0.001; macula, P = 0.003). Conclusions Optic neuritis may cause not only retinal structural damage but also decreased retinal perfusion, even after the visual acuity recovered well after treatment. PMID:28192497

  2. Significant improvement of olfactory performance in sleep apnea patients after three months of nasal CPAP therapy – Observational study and randomized trial

    PubMed Central

    Boerner, Bettina; Tini, Gabrielo M.; Fachinger, Patrick; Graber, Sereina M.; Irani, Sarosh

    2017-01-01

    Objectives The olfactory function highly impacts quality of life (QoL). Continuous positive airway pressure is an effective treatment for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and is often applied by nasal masks (nCPAP). The influence of nCPAP on the olfactory performance of OSA patients is unknown. The aim of this study was to assess the sense of smell before initiation of nCPAP and after three months treatment, in moderate and severe OSA patients. Methods The sense of smell was assessed in 35 patients suffering from daytime sleepiness and moderate to severe OSA (apnea/hypopnea index ≥ 15/h), with the aid of a validated test battery (Sniffin’ Sticks) before initiation of nCPAP therapy and after three months of treatment. Additionally, adherent subjects were included in a double-blind randomized three weeks CPAP-withdrawal trial (sub-therapeutic CPAP pressure). Results Twenty five of the 35 patients used the nCPAP therapy for more than four hours per night, and for more than 70% of nights (adherent group). The olfactory performance of these patients improved significantly (p = 0.007) after three months of nCPAP therapy. When considering the entire group of patients, olfaction also improved significantly (p = 0.001). In the randomized phase the sense of smell of six patients deteriorated under sub-therapeutic CPAP pressure (p = 0.046) whereas five patients in the maintenance CPAP group showed no significant difference (p = 0.501). Conclusions Olfactory performance improved significantly after three months of nCPAP therapy in patients suffering from moderate and severe OSA. It seems that this effect of nCPAP is reversible under sub-therapeutic CPAP pressure. Trial registration ISRCTN11128866 PMID:28158212

  3. A pattern- and optics-independent compact model of Mask3D under off-axis illumination with significant efficiency and accuracy improvements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Hongbo; Yan, Qiliang; Wei, David; Croffie, Ebo

    2015-03-01

    As the critical dimension keeps shrinking, mask topography effect (Mask3D) becomes considerable to impact the lithography modeling accuracy and the quality of full-chip OPC. Among many challenges in Mask3D modeling, it is critical and particularly demanding to treat off-axis illumination (OAI) properly. In this paper, we present a novel Mask3D model that is completely test pattern- and optics- independent. Such model property enables greatly improved performance in terms of accuracy and consistency on various pattern types (1D/2D) and through a wide range of focus conditions, while no runtime overhead is incurred. The novel model and formulation will be able to save significant modeling time and greatly improve the model reliability, predictability and ease of use. Experimental results validate the claims and demonstrate the superiority to the current state-of-the-art Mask3D modeling method. This is a new generation Mask3D modeling process.

  4. Significantly improved long-cycle stability in high-rate Li-S batteries enabled by coaxial graphene wrapping over sulfur-coated carbon nanofibers.

    PubMed

    Lu, Songtao; Cheng, Yingwen; Wu, Xiaohong; Liu, Jie

    2013-06-12

    Long-term instability of Li-S batteries is one of their major disadvantages compare to other secondary batteries. The reasons for the instability include dissolution of polysulfide intermediates and mechanical instability of the electrode film caused by volume changes during charging/discharging cycles. In this paper, we report a novel graphene-sulfur-carbon nanofibers (G-S-CNFs) multilayer and coaxial nanocomposite for the cathode of Li-S batteries with increased capacity and significantly improved long-cycle stability. Electrodes made with such nanocomposites were able to deliver a reversible capacity of 694 mA h g(-1) at 0.1C and 313 mA h g(-1) at 2C, which are both substantially higher than electrodes assembled without graphene wrapping. More importantly, the long-cycle stability was significantly improved by graphene wrapping. The cathode made with G-S-CNFs with a initial capacity of 745 mA h g(-1) was able to maintain ~273 mA h g(-1) even after 1500 charge-discharge cycles at a high rate of 1C, representing an extremely low decay rate (0.043% per cycle after 1500 cycles). In contrast, the capacity of an electrode assembled without graphene wrapping decayed dramatically with a 10 times high rate (~0.40% per cycle after 200 cycles). These results demonstrate that the coaxial nanocomposites are of great potential as the cathode for high-rate rechargeable Li-S batteries. Such improved rate capability and cycle stability could be attributed to the unique coaxial architecture of the nanocomposite, in which the contributions from graphene and CNFs enable electrodes with improved electrical conductivity, better ability to trap soluble the polysulfides intermediate and accommodate volume expansion/shrinkage of sulfur during repeated charge/discharge cycles.

  5. Evaluation of a Public Child Eye Health Tertiary Facility for Pediatric Cataract in Southern Nigeria I: Visual Acuity Outcome

    PubMed Central

    Duke, Roseline E.; Adio, Adedayo; Oparah, Sidney K.; Odey, Friday; Eyo, Okon A.

    2016-01-01

    Purpose: A retrospective study of the outcome of congenital and developmental cataract surgery was conducted in a public child eye health tertiary facility in children <16 years of age in Southern Nigeria, as part of an evaluation. Materials and Method: Manual Small Incision Cataract Surgery with or without anterior vitrectomy was performed. The outcome measures were visual acuity (VA) and change (gain) in visual acuity. The age of the child at onset, duration of delay in presentation, ocular co-morbidity, non ocular co-morbidity, gender, and pre operative visual acuity were matched with postoperative visual acuity. A total of 66 children were studied for a period of six weeks following surgery. Results: Forty eight (72.7%) children had bilateral congenital cataracts and 18 (27.3%) children had bilateral developmental cataracts. There were 38(57.6%) males and 28 (42.4%) females in the study. Thirty Five (53%) children had good visual outcome (normal vision range 6/6/ -6/18) post-operatively. The number of children with blindness (vision <3/60) decreased from 61 (92.4%) pre-operatively to 4 (6.1%) post-operatively. Post operative complication occurred in 6.8% of cases six week after surgery. Delayed presentation had an inverse relationship with change (gain) in visual acuity (r = - 0.342; p-value = 0.005). Pre-operative visual acuity had a positive relationship with post operative change (gain) in visual acuity (r = 0.618; p-value = 0.000). Conclusion: Predictors of change in visual acuity in our study were; delayed presentation and pre-operative VA. Cataract surgery in children showed clinical benefit. PMID:27347247

  6. An Industry/DOE Program to Develop and Benchmark Advanced Diamond Product Drill Bits and HP/HT Drilling Fluids to Significantly Improve Rates of Penetration

    SciTech Connect

    TerraTek

    2007-06-30

    A deep drilling research program titled 'An Industry/DOE Program to Develop and Benchmark Advanced Diamond Product Drill Bits and HP/HT Drilling Fluids to Significantly Improve Rates of Penetration' was conducted at TerraTek's Drilling and Completions Laboratory. Drilling tests were run to simulate deep drilling by using high bore pressures and high confining and overburden stresses. The purpose of this testing was to gain insight into practices that would improve rates of penetration and mechanical specific energy while drilling under high pressure conditions. Thirty-seven test series were run utilizing a variety of drilling parameters which allowed analysis of the performance of drill bits and drilling fluids. Five different drill bit types or styles were tested: four-bladed polycrystalline diamond compact (PDC), 7-bladed PDC in regular and long profile, roller-cone, and impregnated. There were three different rock types used to simulate deep formations: Mancos shale, Carthage marble, and Crab Orchard sandstone. The testing also analyzed various drilling fluids and the extent to which they improved drilling. The PDC drill bits provided the best performance overall. The impregnated and tungsten carbide insert roller-cone drill bits performed poorly under the conditions chosen. The cesium formate drilling fluid outperformed all other drilling muds when drilling in the Carthage marble and Mancos shale with PDC drill bits. The oil base drilling fluid with manganese tetroxide weighting material provided the best performance when drilling the Crab Orchard sandstone.

  7. The synthesis of lamellar nano MgB2 grains with nanoimpurities, flux pinning centers and their significantly improved critical current density.

    PubMed

    Ma, Zongqing; Liu, Yongchang; Cai, Qi

    2012-03-21

    MgB(2) superconductors with unique microstructures were rapidly fabricated at low temperatures, and exhibited significantly improved critical current density (J(c)). According to the microstructure observations, the prepared samples consisted of lamellar nano MgB(2) grains with many embedded nanoimpurities (about 10 nm). The formation of these lamellar nano MgB(2) grains is associated with the presence of a local Mg-Cu liquid at sintering temperatures as low as 575 °C. The ball milling treatment of the original powders also plays a positive role in the growth of lamellar grains. Based on an analysis of the relationship between resistivity and temperature, the lamellar nano MgB(2) grains in the prepared sample possess better grain connectivity than the typical morphology of MgB(2) samples prepared by traditional high-temperature sintering. Furthermore, the presence of many nano MgB(2) grain boundaries and nano impurities in the prepared sample can obviously increase the flux pinning centers in accordance with the analysis of flux pinning behavior. Both factors mentioned above contribute to the significant improvement in J(c) from low field to relative high field. The method developed in the present work is an effective and low-cost way to further enhance J(c) in MgB(2) superconductors across a wide range of applied magnetic fields without using expensive nanometer-sized dopants.

  8. Myopia prevention, near work, and visual acuity of college students: integrating the theory of planned behavior and self-determination theory.

    PubMed

    Chan, Derwin King-Chung; Fung, Ying-Ki; Xing, Suxuan; Hagger, Martin S

    2014-06-01

    There has been little research examining the psychological antecedents of safety-oriented behavior aimed at reducing myopia risk. This study utilizes self-determination theory (SDT) and the theory of planned behavior (TPB) to understand the role of motivational and social-cognitive factors on individuals' near-work behavior. Adopting a prospective design, undergraduate students (n = 107) completed an initial questionnaire based on SDT in week 1, a second questionnaire containing measures of TPB variables in week 2, and objective measures of reading distance and visual acuity in week 6. The data were analyzed by variance-based structural equation modeling. The results showed that perceived autonomy support and autonomous motivation from SDT significantly predicted attitude, subjective norm, and perceived behavioral control from the TPB. These social-cognitive factors were significantly associated with intention and intention significantly predicted reading distance. The relationships in the model held when controlling for visual acuity. In conclusion, the integrated model of SDT and the TPB may help explain myopia-preventive behaviors.

  9. Successful Application of a Canadian Mental Health Curriculum Resource by Usual Classroom Teachers in Significantly and Sustainably Improving Student Mental Health Literacy

    PubMed Central

    Kutcher, Stan; Wei, Yifeng; Morgan, Catherine

    2015-01-01

    Objective: To investigate whether the significant and substantive findings from a previous study of youth mental health literacy (MHL) could be replicated using the same methods in another population. Method: We examined the impact of a curriculum resource, the Mental Health and High School Curriculum Guide (The Guide), taught by usual classroom teachers on students’ knowledge and attitudes related to mental health and mental illness in Canadian secondary schools. Survey data were collected before, immediately after, and 2 months after implementation of The Guide by teachers in usual classroom teaching. We conducted paired-sample t tests and calculated the Cohen d value to determine outcomes and impact of the curriculum resource application. Results: One hundred fourteen students were matched for analysis of knowledge data and 112 students were matched for analysis of attitude data at pre-intervention, post-intervention, and 2-month follow-up time periods. Following classroom exposure to the curriculum resource, students’ knowledge scores increased significantly and substantively, compared with baseline (P < 0.001, d = 1.11), and this was maintained at 2-month follow-up (P < 0.001, d = 0.91). Similar findings for attitude improvement were found (P < 0.001, d = 0.66), and this improvement was maintained at 2-month follow-up (P < 0.001, d = 0.52). Conclusions: These findings corroborate those from a previous study conducted in a different location. Taken together these results suggest a simple but effective approach to improving MHL in young people by embedding a classroom resource, delivered by usual classroom teachers in usual school settings. PMID:26720827

  10. Back pain improvement after decompression without fusion or stabilization in patients with lumbar spinal stenosis and clinically significant preoperative back pain.

    PubMed

    Crawford, Charles H; Glassman, Steven D; Mummaneni, Praveen V; Knightly, John J; Asher, Anthony L

    2016-11-01

    OBJECTIVE The relief of leg symptoms by surgical decompression for lumbar stenosis is well supported by the literature. Less is known about the effect on back pain. Some surgeons believe that the relief of back pain should not be an expected outcome of decompression and that substantial back pain may be a contraindication to decompression only; therefore, stabilization may be recommended for patients with substantial preoperative back pain even in the absence of well-accepted indications for stabilization such as spondylolisthesis, scoliosis, or sagittal malalignment. The purpose of this study is to determine if patients with lumbar stenosis and substantial back pain-in the absence of spondylolisthesis, scoliosis, or sagittal malalignment-can obtain significant improvement after decompression without fusion or stabilization. METHODS Analysis of the National Neurosurgery Quality and Outcomes Database (N(2)QOD) identified 726 patients with lumbar stenosis (without spondylolisthesis or scoliosis) and a baseline back pain score ≥ 5 of 10 who underwent surgical decompression only. No patient was reported to have significant spondylolisthesis, scoliosis, or sagittal malalignment. Standard demographic and surgical variables were collected, as well as patient outcomes including back and leg pain scores, Oswestry Disability Index (ODI), and EuroQoL 5D (EQ-5D) at baseline and 3 and 12 months postoperatively. RESULTS The mean age of the cohort was 65.6 years, and 407 (56%) patients were male. The mean body mass index was 30.2 kg/m(2), and 40% of patients had 2-level decompression, 29% had 3-level decompression, 24% had 1-level decompression, and 6% had 4-level decompression. The mean estimated blood loss was 130 ml. The mean operative time was 100.85 minutes. The vast majority of discharges (88%) were routine home discharges. At 3 and 12 months postoperatively, there were significant improvements from baseline for back pain (7.62 to 3.19 to 3.66), leg pain (7.23 to 2.85 to

  11. Decline of tactile acuity in aging: a study of body site, blood flow, and lifetime habits of smoking and physical activity.

    PubMed

    Stevens, Joseph C; Alvarez-Reeves, Marty; Dipietro, Loretta; Mack, Gary W; Green, Barry G

    2003-01-01

    Tactile acuity of 60 older subjects (> or = 65 years) and 19 younger subjects (18-28 years) was assessed by two-point gap thresholds at the upper and lower surfaces of the forefinger, at the upper and lower surfaces of the feet, and at the volar surface of the forearm. The older subjects were assigned to one of four groups of 15 subjects each, depending on reported lifetime habits of physical activity and smoking: (1) active smokers, (2) active nonsmokers, (3) inactive smokers, and (4) inactive nonsmokers. Peripheral blood flow was assessed at the forefinger, foot, and forearm by means of laser-Doppler imaging and skin temperature recordings, under resting conditions and during and after a 5-min exposure to mild cooling (28 degrees C). Consistent with previous studies, tactile acuity thresholds in the foot and finger averaged about 80% higher in the older subjects than in the younger subjects, but only about 22% higher in the forearm. Although the upper surface of the fingertip was more sensitive than the lower surface in both younger and older subjects, the age-related decline in tactile acuity was nearly identical on both sides of the finger and foot. The latter finding refutes the hypothesis that the larger effect of aging in the extremities results from greater physical wear and tear on the contact surfaces of the hands and feet. Self-reported lifetime histories of physical activity and smoking were not significantly associated with measures of cutaneous blood flow or tactile thresholds. Possible reasons for this lack of association are discussed, including the inherent limitations of testing only healthy older subjects, and the concept of "successful aging".

  12. Spirulina Supplements Improved the Nutritional Status of Undernourished Children Quickly and Significantly: Experience from Kisantu, the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

    PubMed

    Matondo, Féfé Khuabi; Takaisi, Kikuni; Nkuadiolandu, Adolphine Bedi; Kazadi Lukusa, Aimé; Aloni, Michel Ntetani

    2016-01-01

    Aim. Despite high levels of malnutrition, there is still very little information on the nutritional benefits of Spirulina, a natural alga that provides essential amino acids, rare essential lipids, and numerous minerals and vitamins, to undernourished children in the world. Methods. We carried out a prospective study of 50 children aged between six and 60 months. The intervention group consisted of 16 children who received 10 g of Spirulina daily, as well as the local diet administered by the nutritional centre, and the control group of 34 children who just received the local diet. Both groups of children were assessed on day zero, day 15, and day 30. Results. After treatment, the weight-for-age Z scores and weight-for-height Z scores increased significantly in the intervention group. At day 15, there was a statistically significant difference between the mean corpuscular volume, total proteins, and albumin (p < 0.05) in both groups, in favour of the intervention group, and at day 30, this difference extended to all of the studied parameters (p < 0.05). Conclusion. This study found that the nutritional status of undernourished children who received Spirulina supplements as well as the local diet administered by the nutritional centre improved quickly and significantly.

  13. Novel sulfated glucomannan-barium-alginate microcapsules in islet transplantation: significantly decreased the secretion of monocyte chemotactic protein 1 and improved the activity of islet in rats.

    PubMed

    Chen, X; Zhang, L; Qi, Z; Guo, B; Zhong, L; Shen, B; Yan, Z; Zhang, J

    2009-12-01

    The sulfated glucomannan can be used to filter the heparin-binding properties of cytokines. In this study, novel sulfated glucomannan-barium-alginate (SGA) microcapsules were prepared to encapsulate islets with barium-alginate (ABa) and calcium alginate-poly-l-lysine (APA) microcapsules as controls. SD rat islets were purified as donor cells to Lewis rats that had been treated with streptozotocin. Intraperitoneal transplantation was performed with about 3000 islet equivalent (IEQ) rat. At week three after transplantation, the concentrations of monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1), interleukin (IL)-1 beta, interferon (IFN)-gamma, and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha in intraperitoneal fluid were determined using ELISA. At week 8, the islet cell mass in the abdominal microcapsules was excised to test insulin release. The EB-FDA fluorescence staining method was used to observe the functional activity of the islet cells. Compared with ABa and APA microcapsules, SGA microcapsules showed significantly decreased MCP-1 secretion by beta-cells. Also, the concentrations of cytokines IL-1beta, IFN-gamma, and TNF-alpha were decreased significantly. The activity of the transplanted islets was significantly improved in SGA microcapsules, which shielded against cytokines better than ABa or APA microcapsules and may serve as novel method.

  14. Spirulina Supplements Improved the Nutritional Status of Undernourished Children Quickly and Significantly: Experience from Kisantu, the Democratic Republic of the Congo

    PubMed Central

    Takaisi, Kikuni; Nkuadiolandu, Adolphine Bedi; Kazadi Lukusa, Aimé; Aloni, Michel Ntetani

    2016-01-01

    Aim. Despite high levels of malnutrition, there is still very little information on the nutritional benefits of Spirulina, a natural alga that provides essential amino acids, rare essential lipids, and numerous minerals and vitamins, to undernourished children in the world. Methods. We carried out a prospective study of 50 children aged between six and 60 months. The intervention group consisted of 16 children who received 10 g of Spirulina daily, as well as the local diet administered by the nutritional centre, and the control group of 34 children who just received the local diet. Both groups of children were assessed on day zero, day 15, and day 30. Results. After treatment, the weight-for-age Z scores and weight-for-height Z scores increased significantly in the intervention group. At day 15, there was a statistically significant difference between the mean corpuscular volume, total proteins, and albumin (p < 0.05) in both groups, in favour of the intervention group, and at day 30, this difference extended to all of the studied parameters (p < 0.05). Conclusion. This study found that the nutritional status of undernourished children who received Spirulina supplements as well as the local diet administered by the nutritional centre improved quickly and significantly. PMID:27777589

  15. OPTIMIZATION OF DEEP DRILLING PERFORMANCE--DEVELOPMENT AND BENCHMARK TESTING OF ADVANCED DIAMOND PRODUCT DRILL BITS & HP/HT FLUIDS TO SIGNIFICANTLY IMPROVE RATES OF PENETRATION

    SciTech Connect

    Alan Black; Arnis Judzis

    2004-10-01

    The industry cost shared program aims to benchmark drilling rates of penetration in selected simulated deep formations and to significantly improve ROP through a team development of aggressive diamond product drill bit--fluid system technologies. Overall the objectives are as follows: Phase 1--Benchmark ''best in class'' diamond and other product drilling bits and fluids and develop concepts for a next level of deep drilling performance; Phase 2--Develop advanced smart bit-fluid prototypes and test at large scale; and Phase 3--Field trial smart bit-fluid concepts, modify as necessary and commercialize products. As of report date, TerraTek has concluded all major preparations for the high pressure drilling campaign. Baker Hughes encountered difficulties in providing additional pumping capacity before TerraTek's scheduled relocation to another facility, thus the program was delayed further to accommodate the full testing program.

  16. Intrarectal Amifostine During External Beam Radiation Therapy for Prostate Cancer Produces Significant Improvements in Quality of Life Measured by EPIC Score

    SciTech Connect

    Simone, Nicole L.; Menard, Cynthia; Soule, Benjamin P.; Albert, Paul S.; Guion, Peter; Smith, Sharon; Godette, Denise; Crouse, Nancy S.; Sciuto, Linda C.; Cooley-Zgela, Theresa; Camphausen, Kevin; Coleman, C. Norman; Singh, Anurag K. E-mail: singan@mail.nih.gov

    2008-01-01

    Purpose: To test whether intrarectal amifostine limits symptoms of radiation proctitis, measured by using the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) gastrointestinal (GI) toxicity score and the Expanded Prostate Cancer Index Composite (EPIC) score. Methods and Materials: Patients with localized prostate cancer received amifostine as a rectal suspension 30-45 minutes before daily three-dimensional conformal radiation therapy. The first 18 patients received 1 g of amifostine, and the next 12 patients received 2 g. Toxicity was assessed at baseline, during treatment, and at follow-up visits by using RTOG grading and the EPIC Quality of Life (QoL) 50-item questionnaire. The Bowel Function subset of the bowel domain (EPIC-BF), which targets symptom severity, and the Bowel Bother subset of the bowel domain (EPIC-BB), which assesses QoL, were evaluated and compared with the RTOG GI toxicity score. Results: Median follow-up was 30 months (range, 18-36 months). Overall, EPIC-BF and EPIC-BB scores both tracked closely with the RTOG GI toxicity score. Seven weeks after the start of radiation therapy, the incidence of RTOG Grade 2 toxicity was 33% in the 1-g group (6/18 patients) compared with 0% (0/12 patients) in the 2-g group and trended toward statistical significance (p = 0.06). A significant difference between amifostine groups was observed using the EPIC-BF score at 7 weeks (p = 0.04). A difference in EPIC-BB scores between dose groups was evident at 7 weeks (p = 0.07) and was significant at 12 months (p = 0.04). Conclusions: Higher doses of amifostine produced significant improvements in acute and late bowel QoL (up to 1 year after therapy), measured using the EPIC score.

  17. Measurement of Vibration Detection Threshold and Tactile Spatial Acuity in Human Subjects.

    PubMed

    Moshourab, Rabih; Frenzel, Henning; Lechner, Stefan; Haseleu, Julia; Bégay, Valérie; Omerbašić, Damir; Lewin, Gary R

    2016-09-01

    Tests that allow the precise determination of psychophysical thresholds for vibration and grating orientation provide valuable information about mechanosensory function that are relevant for clinical diagnosis as well as for basic research. Here, we describe two psychophysical tests designed to determine the vibration detection threshold (automated system) and tactile spatial acuity (handheld device). Both procedures implement a two-interval forced-choice and a transformed-rule up and down experimental paradigm. These tests have been used to obtain mechanosensory profiles for individuals from distinct human cohorts such as twins or people with sensorineural deafness.

  18. Steam cooking significantly improves in vitro bile acid binding of collard greens, kale, mustard greens, broccoli, green bell pepper, and cabbage.

    PubMed

    Kahlon, Talwinder Singh; Chiu, Mei-Chen M; Chapman, Mary H

    2008-06-01

    Bile acid binding capacity has been related to the cholesterol-lowering potential of foods and food fractions. Lowered recirculation of bile acids results in utilization of cholesterol to synthesize bile acid and reduced fat absorption. Secondary bile acids have been associated with increased risk of cancer. Bile acid binding potential has been related to lowering the risk of heart disease and that of cancer. Previously, we have reported bile acid binding by several uncooked vegetables. However, most vegetables are consumed after cooking. How cooking would influence in vitro bile acid binding of various vegetables was investigated using a mixture of bile acids secreted in human bile under physiological conditions. Eight replicate incubations were conducted for each treatment simulating gastric and intestinal