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Sample records for auditory spatial learning

  1. Visual influences on auditory spatial learning

    PubMed Central

    King, Andrew J.

    2008-01-01

    The visual and auditory systems frequently work together to facilitate the identification and localization of objects and events in the external world. Experience plays a critical role in establishing and maintaining congruent visual–auditory associations, so that the different sensory cues associated with targets that can be both seen and heard are synthesized appropriately. For stimulus location, visual information is normally more accurate and reliable and provides a reference for calibrating the perception of auditory space. During development, vision plays a key role in aligning neural representations of space in the brain, as revealed by the dramatic changes produced in auditory responses when visual inputs are altered, and is used throughout life to resolve short-term spatial conflicts between these modalities. However, accurate, and even supra-normal, auditory localization abilities can be achieved in the absence of vision, and the capacity of the mature brain to relearn to localize sound in the presence of substantially altered auditory spatial cues does not require visuomotor feedback. Thus, while vision is normally used to coordinate information across the senses, the neural circuits responsible for spatial hearing can be recalibrated in a vision-independent fashion. Nevertheless, early multisensory experience appears to be crucial for the emergence of an ability to match signals from different sensory modalities and therefore for the outcome of audiovisual-based rehabilitation of deaf patients in whom hearing has been restored by cochlear implantation. PMID:18986967

  2. Auditory Spatial Layout

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wightman, Frederic L.; Jenison, Rick

    1995-01-01

    All auditory sensory information is packaged in a pair of acoustical pressure waveforms, one at each ear. While there is obvious structure in these waveforms, that structure (temporal and spectral patterns) bears no simple relationship to the structure of the environmental objects that produced them. The properties of auditory objects and their layout in space must be derived completely from higher level processing of the peripheral input. This chapter begins with a discussion of the peculiarities of acoustical stimuli and how they are received by the human auditory system. A distinction is made between the ambient sound field and the effective stimulus to differentiate the perceptual distinctions among various simple classes of sound sources (ambient field) from the known perceptual consequences of the linear transformations of the sound wave from source to receiver (effective stimulus). Next, the definition of an auditory object is dealt with, specifically the question of how the various components of a sound stream become segregated into distinct auditory objects. The remainder of the chapter focuses on issues related to the spatial layout of auditory objects, both stationary and moving.

  3. Incidental Auditory Category Learning

    PubMed Central

    Gabay, Yafit; Dick, Frederic K.; Zevin, Jason D.; Holt, Lori L.

    2015-01-01

    Very little is known about how auditory categories are learned incidentally, without instructions to search for category-diagnostic dimensions, overt category decisions, or experimenter-provided feedback. This is an important gap because learning in the natural environment does not arise from explicit feedback and there is evidence that the learning systems engaged by traditional tasks are distinct from those recruited by incidental category learning. We examined incidental auditory category learning with a novel paradigm, the Systematic Multimodal Associations Reaction Time (SMART) task, in which participants rapidly detect and report the appearance of a visual target in one of four possible screen locations. Although the overt task is rapid visual detection, a brief sequence of sounds precedes each visual target. These sounds are drawn from one of four distinct sound categories that predict the location of the upcoming visual target. These many-to-one auditory-to-visuomotor correspondences support incidental auditory category learning. Participants incidentally learn categories of complex acoustic exemplars and generalize this learning to novel exemplars and tasks. Further, learning is facilitated when category exemplar variability is more tightly coupled to the visuomotor associations than when the same stimulus variability is experienced across trials. We relate these findings to phonetic category learning. PMID:26010588

  4. Auditory spatial processing in Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Golden, Hannah L; Nicholas, Jennifer M; Yong, Keir X X; Downey, Laura E; Schott, Jonathan M; Mummery, Catherine J; Crutch, Sebastian J; Warren, Jason D

    2015-01-01

    The location and motion of sounds in space are important cues for encoding the auditory world. Spatial processing is a core component of auditory scene analysis, a cognitively demanding function that is vulnerable in Alzheimer's disease. Here we designed a novel neuropsychological battery based on a virtual space paradigm to assess auditory spatial processing in patient cohorts with clinically typical Alzheimer's disease (n = 20) and its major variant syndrome, posterior cortical atrophy (n = 12) in relation to healthy older controls (n = 26). We assessed three dimensions of auditory spatial function: externalized versus non-externalized sound discrimination, moving versus stationary sound discrimination and stationary auditory spatial position discrimination, together with non-spatial auditory and visual spatial control tasks. Neuroanatomical correlates of auditory spatial processing were assessed using voxel-based morphometry. Relative to healthy older controls, both patient groups exhibited impairments in detection of auditory motion, and stationary sound position discrimination. The posterior cortical atrophy group showed greater impairment for auditory motion processing and the processing of a non-spatial control complex auditory property (timbre) than the typical Alzheimer's disease group. Voxel-based morphometry in the patient cohort revealed grey matter correlates of auditory motion detection and spatial position discrimination in right inferior parietal cortex and precuneus, respectively. These findings delineate auditory spatial processing deficits in typical and posterior Alzheimer's disease phenotypes that are related to posterior cortical regions involved in both syndromic variants and modulated by the syndromic profile of brain degeneration. Auditory spatial deficits contribute to impaired spatial awareness in Alzheimer's disease and may constitute a novel perceptual model for probing brain network disintegration across the Alzheimer's disease

  5. Spatial auditory processing in pinnipeds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holt, Marla M.

    Given the biological importance of sound for a variety of activities, pinnipeds must be able to obtain spatial information about their surroundings thorough acoustic input in the absence of other sensory cues. The three chapters of this dissertation address spatial auditory processing capabilities of pinnipeds in air given that these amphibious animals use acoustic signals for reproduction and survival on land. Two chapters are comparative lab-based studies that utilized psychophysical approaches conducted in an acoustic chamber. Chapter 1 addressed the frequency-dependent sound localization abilities at azimuth of three pinniped species (the harbor seal, Phoca vitulina, the California sea lion, Zalophus californianus, and the northern elephant seal, Mirounga angustirostris). While performances of the sea lion and harbor seal were consistent with the duplex theory of sound localization, the elephant seal, a low-frequency hearing specialist, showed a decreased ability to localize the highest frequencies tested. In Chapter 2 spatial release from masking (SRM), which occurs when a signal and masker are spatially separated resulting in improvement in signal detectability relative to conditions in which they are co-located, was determined in a harbor seal and sea lion. Absolute and masked thresholds were measured at three frequencies and azimuths to determine the detection advantages afforded by this type of spatial auditory processing. Results showed that hearing sensitivity was enhanced by up to 19 and 12 dB in the harbor seal and sea lion, respectively, when the signal and masker were spatially separated. Chapter 3 was a field-based study that quantified both sender and receiver variables of the directional properties of male northern elephant seal calls produce within communication system that serves to delineate dominance status. This included measuring call directivity patterns, observing male-male vocally-mediated interactions, and an acoustic playback study

  6. The Perceptual Determinants of Repetition Learning in Auditory Space

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Parmentier, Fabrice B. R.; Maybery, Murray T.; Huitson, Matthew; Jones, Dylan M.

    2008-01-01

    The present study includes seven experiments examining the effect of repetition learning (Hebb effect) on auditory spatial serial recall. Participants were asked to remember sequences of spatial locations marked by auditory stimuli, where one sequence was repeated across trials. Consistent with the proposition that the spatial scattering of…

  7. Auditory spatial processing in the human cortex.

    PubMed

    Salminen, Nelli H; Tiitinen, Hannu; May, Patrick J C

    2012-12-01

    The auditory system codes spatial locations in a way that deviates from the spatial representations found in other modalities. This difference is especially striking in the cortex, where neurons form topographical maps of visual and tactile space but where auditory space is represented through a population rate code. In this hemifield code, sound source location is represented in the activity of two widely tuned opponent populations, one tuned to the right and the other to the left side of auditory space. Scientists are only beginning to uncover how this coding strategy adapts to various spatial processing demands. This review presents the current understanding of auditory spatial processing in the cortex. To this end, the authors consider how various implementations of the hemifield code may exist within the auditory cortex and how these may be modulated by the stimulation and task context. As a result, a coherent set of neural strategies for auditory spatial processing emerges.

  8. Tactile feedback improves auditory spatial localization.

    PubMed

    Gori, Monica; Vercillo, Tiziana; Sandini, Giulio; Burr, David

    2014-01-01

    Our recent studies suggest that congenitally blind adults have severely impaired thresholds in an auditory spatial bisection task, pointing to the importance of vision in constructing complex auditory spatial maps (Gori et al., 2014). To explore strategies that may improve the auditory spatial sense in visually impaired people, we investigated the impact of tactile feedback on spatial auditory localization in 48 blindfolded sighted subjects. We measured auditory spatial bisection thresholds before and after training, either with tactile feedback, verbal feedback, or no feedback. Audio thresholds were first measured with a spatial bisection task: subjects judged whether the second sound of a three sound sequence was spatially closer to the first or the third sound. The tactile feedback group underwent two audio-tactile feedback sessions of 100 trials, where each auditory trial was followed by the same spatial sequence played on the subject's forearm; auditory spatial bisection thresholds were evaluated after each session. In the verbal feedback condition, the positions of the sounds were verbally reported to the subject after each feedback trial. The no feedback group did the same sequence of trials, with no feedback. Performance improved significantly only after audio-tactile feedback. The results suggest that direct tactile feedback interacts with the auditory spatial localization system, possibly by a process of cross-sensory recalibration. Control tests with the subject rotated suggested that this effect occurs only when the tactile and acoustic sequences are spatially congruent. Our results suggest that the tactile system can be used to recalibrate the auditory sense of space. These results encourage the possibility of designing rehabilitation programs to help blind persons establish a robust auditory sense of space, through training with the tactile modality.

  9. Auditory Spatial Perception without Vision

    PubMed Central

    Voss, Patrice

    2016-01-01

    Valuable insights into the role played by visual experience in shaping spatial representations can be gained by studying the effects of visual deprivation on the remaining sensory modalities. For instance, it has long been debated how spatial hearing evolves in the absence of visual input. While several anecdotal accounts tend to associate complete blindness with exceptional hearing abilities, experimental evidence supporting such claims is, however, matched by nearly equal amounts of evidence documenting spatial hearing deficits. The purpose of this review is to summarize the key findings which support either enhancements or deficits in spatial hearing observed following visual loss and to provide a conceptual framework that isolates the specific conditions under which they occur. Available evidence will be examined in terms of spatial dimensions (horizontal, vertical, and depth perception) and in terms of frames of reference (egocentric and allocentric). Evidence suggests that while early blind individuals show superior spatial hearing in the horizontal plane, they also show significant deficits in the vertical plane. Potential explanations underlying these contrasting findings will be discussed. Early blind individuals also show spatial hearing impairments when performing tasks that require the use of an allocentric frame of reference. Results obtained with late-onset blind individuals suggest that early visual experience plays a key role in the development of both spatial hearing enhancements and deficits. PMID:28066286

  10. Auditory Spatial Receptive Fields Created by Multiplication

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peña, José Luis; Konishi, Masakazu

    2001-04-01

    Examples of multiplication by neurons or neural circuits are scarce, although many computational models use this basic operation. The owl's auditory system computes interaural time (ITD) and level (ILD) differences to create a two-dimensional map of auditory space. Space-specific neurons are selective for combinations of ITD and ILD, which define, respectively, the horizontal and vertical dimensions of their receptive fields. A multiplication of separate postsynaptic potentials tuned to ITD and ILD, rather than an addition, can account for the subthreshold responses of these neurons to ITD-ILD pairs. Other nonlinear processes improve the spatial tuning of the spike output and reduce the fit to the multiplicative model.

  11. Auditory spatial attention representations in the human cerebral cortex.

    PubMed

    Kong, Lingqiang; Michalka, Samantha W; Rosen, Maya L; Sheremata, Summer L; Swisher, Jascha D; Shinn-Cunningham, Barbara G; Somers, David C

    2014-03-01

    Auditory spatial attention serves important functions in auditory source separation and selection. Although auditory spatial attention mechanisms have been generally investigated, the neural substrates encoding spatial information acted on by attention have not been identified in the human neocortex. We performed functional magnetic resonance imaging experiments to identify cortical regions that support auditory spatial attention and to test 2 hypotheses regarding the coding of auditory spatial attention: 1) auditory spatial attention might recruit the visuospatial maps of the intraparietal sulcus (IPS) to create multimodal spatial attention maps; 2) auditory spatial information might be encoded without explicit cortical maps. We mapped visuotopic IPS regions in individual subjects and measured auditory spatial attention effects within these regions of interest. Contrary to the multimodal map hypothesis, we observed that auditory spatial attentional modulations spared the visuotopic maps of IPS; the parietal regions activated by auditory attention lacked map structure. However, multivoxel pattern analysis revealed that the superior temporal gyrus and the supramarginal gyrus contained significant information about the direction of spatial attention. These findings support the hypothesis that auditory spatial information is coded without a cortical map representation. Our findings suggest that audiospatial and visuospatial attention utilize distinctly different spatial coding schemes.

  12. Auditory Spatial Recalibration in Congenital Blind Individuals

    PubMed Central

    Finocchietti, Sara; Cappagli, Giulia; Gori, Monica

    2017-01-01

    Blind individuals show impairments for auditory spatial skills that require complex spatial representation of the environment. We suggest that this is partially due to the egocentric frame of reference used by blind individuals. Here we investigate the possibility of reducing the mentioned auditory spatial impairments with an audio-motor training. Our hypothesis is that the association between a motor command and the corresponding movement's sensory feedback can provide an allocentric frame of reference and consequently help blind individuals in understanding complex spatial relationships. Subjects were required to localize the end point of a moving sound before and after either 2-min of audio-motor training or a complete rest. During the training, subjects were asked to move their hand, and consequently the sound source, to freely explore the space around the setup and the body. Both congenital blind (N = 20) and blindfolded healthy controls (N = 28) participated in the study. Results suggest that the audio-motor training was effective in improving space perception of blind individuals. The improvement was not observed in those subjects that did not perform the training. This study demonstrates that it is possible to recalibrate the auditory spatial representation in congenital blind individuals with a short audio-motor training and provides new insights for rehabilitation protocols in blind people. PMID:28261053

  13. The plastic ear and perceptual relearning in auditory spatial perception

    PubMed Central

    Carlile, Simon

    2014-01-01

    The auditory system of adult listeners has been shown to accommodate to altered spectral cues to sound location which presumably provides the basis for recalibration to changes in the shape of the ear over a life time. Here we review the role of auditory and non-auditory inputs to the perception of sound location and consider a range of recent experiments looking at the role of non-auditory inputs in the process of accommodation to these altered spectral cues. A number of studies have used small ear molds to modify the spectral cues that result in significant degradation in localization performance. Following chronic exposure (10–60 days) performance recovers to some extent and recent work has demonstrated that this occurs for both audio-visual and audio-only regions of space. This begs the questions as to the teacher signal for this remarkable functional plasticity in the adult nervous system. Following a brief review of influence of the motor state in auditory localization, we consider the potential role of auditory-motor learning in the perceptual recalibration of the spectral cues. Several recent studies have considered how multi-modal and sensory-motor feedback might influence accommodation to altered spectral cues produced by ear molds or through virtual auditory space stimulation using non-individualized spectral cues. The work with ear molds demonstrates that a relatively short period of training involving audio-motor feedback (5–10 days) significantly improved both the rate and extent of accommodation to altered spectral cues. This has significant implications not only for the mechanisms by which this complex sensory information is encoded to provide spatial cues but also for adaptive training to altered auditory inputs. The review concludes by considering the implications for rehabilitative training with hearing aids and cochlear prosthesis. PMID:25147497

  14. Auditory agnosia and auditory spatial deficits following left hemispheric lesions: evidence for distinct processing pathways.

    PubMed

    Clarke, S; Bellmann, A; Meuli, R A; Assal, G; Steck, A J

    2000-01-01

    Auditory recognition and auditory spatial functions were studied in four patients with circumscribed left hemispheric lesions. Patient FD was severely deficient in recognition of environmental sounds but normal in auditory localisation and auditory motion perception. The lesion included the left superior, middle and inferior temporal gyri and lateral auditory areas (as identified in previous anatomical studies), but spared Heschl's gyrus, the acoustic radiation and the thalamus. Patient SD had the same profile as FD, with deficient recognition of environmental sounds but normal auditory localisation and motion perception. The lesion comprised the postero-inferior part of the frontal convexity and the anterior third of the temporal lobe; data from non-human primates indicate that the latter are interconnected with lateral auditory areas. Patient MA was deficient in recognition of environmental sounds, auditory localisation and auditory motion perception, confirming that auditory spatial functions can be disturbed by left unilateral damage; the lesion involved the supratemporal region as well as the temporal, postero-inferior frontal and antero-inferior parietal convexities. Patient CZ was severely deficient in auditory motion perception and partially deficient in auditory localisation, but normal in recognition of environmental sounds; the lesion involved large parts of the parieto-frontal convexity and the supratemporal region. We propose that auditory information is processed in the human auditory cortex along two distinct pathways, one lateral devoted to auditory recognition and one medial and posterior devoted to auditory spatial functions.

  15. Spatial Stream Segregation by Auditory Cortical Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Bremen, Peter

    2013-01-01

    In a complex auditory scene, a “cocktail party” for example, listeners can disentangle multiple competing sequences of sounds. A recent psychophysical study in our laboratory demonstrated a robust spatial component of stream segregation showing ∼8° acuity. Here, we recorded single- and multiple-neuron responses from the primary auditory cortex of anesthetized cats while presenting interleaved sound sequences that human listeners would experience as segregated streams. Sequences of broadband sounds alternated between pairs of locations. Neurons synchronized preferentially to sounds from one or the other location, thereby segregating competing sound sequences. Neurons favoring one source location or the other tended to aggregate within the cortex, suggestive of modular organization. The spatial acuity of stream segregation was as narrow as ∼10°, markedly sharper than the broad spatial tuning for single sources that is well known in the literature. Spatial sensitivity was sharpest among neurons having high characteristic frequencies. Neural stream segregation was predicted well by a parameter-free model that incorporated single-source spatial sensitivity and a measured forward-suppression term. We found that the forward suppression was not due to post discharge adaptation in the cortex and, therefore, must have arisen in the subcortical pathway or at the level of thalamocortical synapses. A linear-classifier analysis of single-neuron responses to rhythmic stimuli like those used in our psychophysical study yielded thresholds overlapping those of human listeners. Overall, the results indicate that the ascending auditory system does the work of segregating auditory streams, bringing them to discrete modules in the cortex for selection by top-down processes. PMID:23825404

  16. Impairment of auditory spatial localization in congenitally blind human subjects.

    PubMed

    Gori, Monica; Sandini, Giulio; Martinoli, Cristina; Burr, David C

    2014-01-01

    Several studies have demonstrated enhanced auditory processing in the blind, suggesting that they compensate their visual impairment in part with greater sensitivity of the other senses. However, several physiological studies show that early visual deprivation can impact negatively on auditory spatial localization. Here we report for the first time severely impaired auditory localization in the congenitally blind: thresholds for spatially bisecting three consecutive, spatially-distributed sound sources were seriously compromised, on average 4.2-fold typical thresholds, and half performing at random. In agreement with previous studies, these subjects showed no deficits on simpler auditory spatial tasks or with auditory temporal bisection, suggesting that the encoding of Euclidean auditory relationships is specifically compromised in the congenitally blind. It points to the importance of visual experience in the construction and calibration of auditory spatial maps, with implications for rehabilitation strategies for the congenitally blind.

  17. Multichannel spatial auditory display for speech communications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Begault, D. R.; Erbe, T.; Wenzel, E. M. (Principal Investigator)

    1994-01-01

    A spatial auditory display for multiple speech communications was developed at NASA/Ames Research Center. Input is spatialized by the use of simplified head-related transfer functions, adapted for FIR filtering on Motorola 56001 digital signal processors. Hardware and firmware design implementations are overviewed for the initial prototype developed for NASA-Kennedy Space Center. An adaptive staircase method was used to determine intelligibility levels of four-letter call signs used by launch personnel at NASA against diotic speech babble. Spatial positions at 30 degrees azimuth increments were evaluated. The results from eight subjects showed a maximum intelligibility improvement of about 6-7 dB when the signal was spatialized to 60 or 90 degrees azimuth positions.

  18. Auditory spatial processing in Alzheimer’s disease

    PubMed Central

    Golden, Hannah L.; Nicholas, Jennifer M.; Yong, Keir X. X.; Downey, Laura E.; Schott, Jonathan M.; Mummery, Catherine J.; Crutch, Sebastian J.

    2015-01-01

    The location and motion of sounds in space are important cues for encoding the auditory world. Spatial processing is a core component of auditory scene analysis, a cognitively demanding function that is vulnerable in Alzheimer’s disease. Here we designed a novel neuropsychological battery based on a virtual space paradigm to assess auditory spatial processing in patient cohorts with clinically typical Alzheimer’s disease (n = 20) and its major variant syndrome, posterior cortical atrophy (n = 12) in relation to healthy older controls (n = 26). We assessed three dimensions of auditory spatial function: externalized versus non-externalized sound discrimination, moving versus stationary sound discrimination and stationary auditory spatial position discrimination, together with non-spatial auditory and visual spatial control tasks. Neuroanatomical correlates of auditory spatial processing were assessed using voxel-based morphometry. Relative to healthy older controls, both patient groups exhibited impairments in detection of auditory motion, and stationary sound position discrimination. The posterior cortical atrophy group showed greater impairment for auditory motion processing and the processing of a non-spatial control complex auditory property (timbre) than the typical Alzheimer’s disease group. Voxel-based morphometry in the patient cohort revealed grey matter correlates of auditory motion detection and spatial position discrimination in right inferior parietal cortex and precuneus, respectively. These findings delineate auditory spatial processing deficits in typical and posterior Alzheimer’s disease phenotypes that are related to posterior cortical regions involved in both syndromic variants and modulated by the syndromic profile of brain degeneration. Auditory spatial deficits contribute to impaired spatial awareness in Alzheimer’s disease and may constitute a novel perceptual model for probing brain network disintegration across the Alzheimer

  19. Sonic morphology: Aesthetic dimensional auditory spatial awareness

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Whitehouse, Martha M.

    The sound and ceramic sculpture installation, " Skirting the Edge: Experiences in Sound & Form," is an integration of art and science demonstrating the concept of sonic morphology. "Sonic morphology" is herein defined as aesthetic three-dimensional auditory spatial awareness. The exhibition explicates my empirical phenomenal observations that sound has a three-dimensional form. Composed of ceramic sculptures that allude to different social and physical situations, coupled with sound compositions that enhance and create a three-dimensional auditory and visual aesthetic experience (see accompanying DVD), the exhibition supports the research question, "What is the relationship between sound and form?" Precisely how people aurally experience three-dimensional space involves an integration of spatial properties, auditory perception, individual history, and cultural mores. People also utilize environmental sound events as a guide in social situations and in remembering their personal history, as well as a guide in moving through space. Aesthetically, sound affects the fascination, meaning, and attention one has within a particular space. Sonic morphology brings art forms such as a movie, video, sound composition, and musical performance into the cognitive scope by generating meaning from the link between the visual and auditory senses. This research examined sonic morphology as an extension of musique concrete, sound as object, originating in Pierre Schaeffer's work in the 1940s. Pointing, as John Cage did, to the corporeal three-dimensional experience of "all sound," I composed works that took their total form only through the perceiver-participant's participation in the exhibition. While contemporary artist Alvin Lucier creates artworks that draw attention to making sound visible, "Skirting the Edge" engages the perceiver-participant visually and aurally, leading to recognition of sonic morphology.

  20. Auditory Learning. Dimensions in Early Learning Series.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zigmond, Naomi K.; Cicci, Regina

    The monograph discusses the psycho-physiological operations for processing of auditory information, the structure and function of the ear, the development of auditory processes from fetal responses through discrimination, language comprehension, auditory memory, and auditory processes related to written language. Disorders of auditory learning…

  1. Auditory spatial attention using interaural time differences.

    PubMed

    Sach, A J; Hill, N I; Bailey, P J

    2000-04-01

    Previous probe-signal studies of auditory spatial attention have shown faster responses to sounds at an expected versus an unexpected location, making no distinction between the use of interaural time difference (ITD) cues and interaural-level difference cues. In 5 experiments, performance on a same-different spatial discrimination task was used in place of the reaction time metric, and sounds, presented over headphones, were lateralized only by an ITD. In all experiments, performance was better for signals lateralized on the expected side of the head, supporting the conclusion that ITDs can be used as a basis for covert orienting. The performance advantage generalized to all sounds within the spatial focus and was not dissipated by a trial-by-trial rove in frequency or by a rove in spectral profile. Successful use by the listeners of a cross-modal, centrally positioned visual cue provided evidence for top-down attentional control.

  2. Perceptual learning in the developing auditory cortex.

    PubMed

    Bao, Shaowen

    2015-03-01

    A hallmark of the developing auditory cortex is the heightened plasticity in the critical period, during which acoustic inputs can indelibly alter cortical function. However, not all sounds in the natural acoustic environment are ethologically relevant. How does the auditory system resolve relevant sounds from the acoustic environment in such an early developmental stage when most associative learning mechanisms are not yet fully functional? What can the auditory system learn from one of the most important classes of sounds, animal vocalizations? How does naturalistic acoustic experience shape cortical sound representation and perception? To answer these questions, we need to consider an unusual strategy, statistical learning, where what the system needs to learn is embedded in the sensory input. Here, I will review recent findings on how certain statistical structures of natural animal vocalizations shape auditory cortical acoustic representations, and how cortical plasticity may underlie learned categorical sound perception. These results will be discussed in the context of human speech perception.

  3. The auditory brainstem is a barometer of rapid auditory learning.

    PubMed

    Skoe, E; Krizman, J; Spitzer, E; Kraus, N

    2013-07-23

    To capture patterns in the environment, neurons in the auditory brainstem rapidly alter their firing based on the statistical properties of the soundscape. How this neural sensitivity relates to behavior is unclear. We tackled this question by combining neural and behavioral measures of statistical learning, a general-purpose learning mechanism governing many complex behaviors including language acquisition. We recorded complex auditory brainstem responses (cABRs) while human adults implicitly learned to segment patterns embedded in an uninterrupted sound sequence based on their statistical characteristics. The brainstem's sensitivity to statistical structure was measured as the change in the cABR between a patterned and a pseudo-randomized sequence composed from the same set of sounds but differing in their sound-to-sound probabilities. Using this methodology, we provide the first demonstration that behavioral-indices of rapid learning relate to individual differences in brainstem physiology. We found that neural sensitivity to statistical structure manifested along a continuum, from adaptation to enhancement, where cABR enhancement (patterned>pseudo-random) tracked with greater rapid statistical learning than adaptation. Short- and long-term auditory experiences (days to years) are known to promote brainstem plasticity and here we provide a conceptual advance by showing that the brainstem is also integral to rapid learning occurring over minutes.

  4. Auditory spatial localization: Developmental delay in children with visual impairments.

    PubMed

    Cappagli, Giulia; Gori, Monica

    2016-01-01

    For individuals with visual impairments, auditory spatial localization is one of the most important features to navigate in the environment. Many works suggest that blind adults show similar or even enhanced performance for localization of auditory cues compared to sighted adults (Collignon, Voss, Lassonde, & Lepore, 2009). To date, the investigation of auditory spatial localization in children with visual impairments has provided contrasting results. Here we report, for the first time, that contrary to visually impaired adults, children with low vision or total blindness show a significant impairment in the localization of static sounds. These results suggest that simple auditory spatial tasks are compromised in children, and that this capacity recovers over time.

  5. Auditory and visual spatial impression: Recent studies of three auditoria

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nguyen, Andy; Cabrera, Densil

    2004-10-01

    Auditory spatial impression is widely studied for its contribution to auditorium acoustical quality. By contrast, visual spatial impression in auditoria has received relatively little attention in formal studies. This paper reports results from a series of experiments investigating the auditory and visual spatial impression of concert auditoria. For auditory stimuli, a fragment of an anechoic recording of orchestral music was convolved with calibrated binaural impulse responses, which had been made with the dummy head microphone at a wide range of positions in three auditoria and the sound source on the stage. For visual stimuli, greyscale photographs were used, taken at the same positions in the three auditoria, with a visual target on the stage. Subjective experiments were conducted with auditory stimuli alone, visual stimuli alone, and visual and auditory stimuli combined. In these experiments, subjects rated apparent source width, listener envelopment, intimacy and source distance (auditory stimuli), and spaciousness, envelopment, stage dominance, intimacy and target distance (visual stimuli). Results show target distance to be of primary importance in auditory and visual spatial impression-thereby providing a basis for covariance between some attributes of auditory and visual spatial impression. Nevertheless, some attributes of spatial impression diverge between the senses.

  6. Negative emotion provides cues for orienting auditory spatial attention

    PubMed Central

    Asutay, Erkin; Västfjäll, Daniel

    2015-01-01

    The auditory stimuli provide information about the objects and events around us. They can also carry biologically significant emotional information (such as unseen dangers and conspecific vocalizations), which provides cues for allocation of attention and mental resources. Here, we investigated whether task-irrelevant auditory emotional information can provide cues for orientation of auditory spatial attention. We employed a covert spatial orienting task: the dot-probe task. In each trial, two task-irrelevant auditory cues were simultaneously presented at two separate locations (left–right or front–back). Environmental sounds were selected to form emotional vs. neutral, emotional vs. emotional, and neutral vs. neutral cue pairs. The participants’ task was to detect the location of an acoustic target that was presented immediately after the task-irrelevant auditory cues. The target was presented at the same location as one of the auditory cues. The results indicated that participants were significantly faster to locate the target when it replaced the negative cue compared to when it replaced the neutral cue. The positive cues did not produce a clear attentional bias. Further, same valence pairs (emotional–emotional or neutral–neutral) did not modulate reaction times due to a lack of spatial attention capture by one cue in the pair. Taken together, the results indicate that negative affect can provide cues for the orientation of spatial attention in the auditory domain. PMID:26029149

  7. From ear to body: the auditory-motor loop in spatial cognition

    PubMed Central

    Viaud-Delmon, Isabelle; Warusfel, Olivier

    2014-01-01

    Spatial memory is mainly studied through the visual sensory modality: navigation tasks in humans rarely integrate dynamic and spatial auditory information. In order to study how a spatial scene can be memorized on the basis of auditory and idiothetic cues only, we constructed an auditory equivalent of the Morris water maze, a task widely used to assess spatial learning and memory in rodents. Participants were equipped with wireless headphones, which delivered a soundscape updated in real time according to their movements in 3D space. A wireless tracking system (video infrared with passive markers) was used to send the coordinates of the subject's head to the sound rendering system. The rendering system used advanced HRTF-based synthesis of directional cues and room acoustic simulation for the auralization of a realistic acoustic environment. Participants were guided blindfolded in an experimental room. Their task was to explore a delimitated area in order to find a hidden auditory target, i.e., a sound that was only triggered when walking on a precise location of the area. The position of this target could be coded in relationship to auditory landmarks constantly rendered during the exploration of the area. The task was composed of a practice trial, 6 acquisition trials during which they had to memorize the localization of the target, and 4 test trials in which some aspects of the auditory scene were modified. The task ended with a probe trial in which the auditory target was removed. The configuration of searching paths allowed observing how auditory information was coded to memorize the position of the target. They suggested that space can be efficiently coded without visual information in normal sighted subjects. In conclusion, space representation can be based on sensorimotor and auditory cues only, providing another argument in favor of the hypothesis that the brain has access to a modality-invariant representation of external space. PMID:25249933

  8. Spatial processing in the auditory cortex of the macaque monkey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Recanzone, Gregg H.

    2000-10-01

    The patterns of cortico-cortical and cortico-thalamic connections of auditory cortical areas in the rhesus monkey have led to the hypothesis that acoustic information is processed in series and in parallel in the primate auditory cortex. Recent physiological experiments in the behaving monkey indicate that the response properties of neurons in different cortical areas are both functionally distinct from each other, which is indicative of parallel processing, and functionally similar to each other, which is indicative of serial processing. Thus, auditory cortical processing may be similar to the serial and parallel "what" and "where" processing by the primate visual cortex. If "where" information is serially processed in the primate auditory cortex, neurons in cortical areas along this pathway should have progressively better spatial tuning properties. This prediction is supported by recent experiments that have shown that neurons in the caudomedial field have better spatial tuning properties than neurons in the primary auditory cortex. Neurons in the caudomedial field are also better than primary auditory cortex neurons at predicting the sound localization ability across different stimulus frequencies and bandwidths in both azimuth and elevation. These data support the hypothesis that the primate auditory cortex processes acoustic information in a serial and parallel manner and suggest that this may be a general cortical mechanism for sensory perception.

  9. Auditory Discrimination Learning: Role of Working Memory

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Yu-Xuan; Moore, David R.; Guiraud, Jeanne; Molloy, Katharine; Yan, Ting-Ting; Amitay, Sygal

    2016-01-01

    Perceptual training is generally assumed to improve perception by modifying the encoding or decoding of sensory information. However, this assumption is incompatible with recent demonstrations that transfer of learning can be enhanced by across-trial variation of training stimuli or task. Here we present three lines of evidence from healthy adults in support of the idea that the enhanced transfer of auditory discrimination learning is mediated by working memory (WM). First, the ability to discriminate small differences in tone frequency or duration was correlated with WM measured with a tone n-back task. Second, training frequency discrimination around a variable frequency transferred to and from WM learning, but training around a fixed frequency did not. The transfer of learning in both directions was correlated with a reduction of the influence of stimulus variation in the discrimination task, linking WM and its improvement to across-trial stimulus interaction in auditory discrimination. Third, while WM training transferred broadly to other WM and auditory discrimination tasks, variable-frequency training on duration discrimination did not improve WM, indicating that stimulus variation challenges and trains WM only if the task demands stimulus updating in the varied dimension. The results provide empirical evidence as well as a theoretic framework for interactions between cognitive and sensory plasticity during perceptual experience. PMID:26799068

  10. Call sign intelligibility improvement using a spatial auditory display

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Begault, Durand R.

    1993-01-01

    A spatial auditory display was used to convolve speech stimuli, consisting of 130 different call signs used in the communications protocol of NASA's John F. Kennedy Space Center, to different virtual auditory positions. An adaptive staircase method was used to determine intelligibility levels of the signal against diotic speech babble, with spatial positions at 30 deg azimuth increments. Non-individualized, minimum-phase approximations of head-related transfer functions were used. The results showed a maximal intelligibility improvement of about 6 dB when the signal was spatialized to 60 deg or 90 deg azimuth positions.

  11. Call sign intelligibility improvement using a spatial auditory display

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Begault, Durand R.

    1993-04-01

    A spatial auditory display was used to convolve speech stimuli, consisting of 130 different call signs used in the communications protocol of NASA's John F. Kennedy Space Center, to different virtual auditory positions. An adaptive staircase method was used to determine intelligibility levels of the signal against diotic speech babble, with spatial positions at 30 deg azimuth increments. Non-individualized, minimum-phase approximations of head-related transfer functions were used. The results showed a maximal intelligibility improvement of about 6 dB when the signal was spatialized to 60 deg or 90 deg azimuth positions.

  12. The role of auditory feedback in vocal learning and maintenance

    PubMed Central

    Tschida, Katherine; Mooney, Richard

    2011-01-01

    Auditory experience is critical for the acquisition and maintenance of learned vocalizations in both humans and songbirds. Despite the central role of auditory feedback in vocal learning and maintenance, where and how auditory feedback affects neural circuits important to vocal control remain poorly understood. Recent studies of singing birds have uncovered neural mechanisms by which feedback perturbations affect vocal plasticity and also have identified feedback-sensitive neurons at or near sites of auditory and vocal motor interaction. Additionally, recent studies in marmosets have underscored that even in the absence of vocal learning, vocalization remains flexible in the face of changing acoustical environments, pointing to rapid interactions between auditory and vocal motor systems. Finally, recent studies show that a juvenile songbird’s initial auditory experience of a song model has long-lasting effects on sensorimotor neurons important to vocalization, shedding light on how auditory memories and feedback interact to guide vocal learning. PMID:22137567

  13. Call sign intelligibility improvement using a spatial auditory display

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Begault, Durand R.

    1994-01-01

    A spatial auditory display was designed for separating the multiple communication channels usually heard over one ear to different virtual auditory positions. The single 19 foot rack mount device utilizes digital filtering algorithms to separate up to four communication channels. The filters use four different binaural transfer functions, synthesized from actual outer ear measurements, to impose localization cues on the incoming sound. Hardware design features include 'fail-safe' operation in the case of power loss, and microphone/headset interfaces to the mobile launch communication system in use at KSC. An experiment designed to verify the intelligibility advantage of the display used 130 different call signs taken from the communications protocol used at NASA KSC. A 6 to 7 dB intelligibility advantage was found when multiple channels were spatially displayed, compared to monaural listening. The findings suggest that the use of a spatial auditory display could enhance both occupational and operational safety and efficiency of NASA operations.

  14. Attention Modulates the Auditory Cortical Processing of Spatial and Category Cues in Naturalistic Auditory Scenes.

    PubMed

    Renvall, Hanna; Staeren, Noël; Barz, Claudia S; Ley, Anke; Formisano, Elia

    2016-01-01

    This combined fMRI and MEG study investigated brain activations during listening and attending to natural auditory scenes. We first recorded, using in-ear microphones, vocal non-speech sounds, and environmental sounds that were mixed to construct auditory scenes containing two concurrent sound streams. During the brain measurements, subjects attended to one of the streams while spatial acoustic information of the scene was either preserved (stereophonic sounds) or removed (monophonic sounds). Compared to monophonic sounds, stereophonic sounds evoked larger blood-oxygenation-level-dependent (BOLD) fMRI responses in the bilateral posterior superior temporal areas, independent of which stimulus attribute the subject was attending to. This finding is consistent with the functional role of these regions in the (automatic) processing of auditory spatial cues. Additionally, significant differences in the cortical activation patterns depending on the target of attention were observed. Bilateral planum temporale and inferior frontal gyrus were preferentially activated when attending to stereophonic environmental sounds, whereas when subjects attended to stereophonic voice sounds, the BOLD responses were larger at the bilateral middle superior temporal gyrus and sulcus, previously reported to show voice sensitivity. In contrast, the time-resolved MEG responses were stronger for mono- than stereophonic sounds in the bilateral auditory cortices at ~360 ms after the stimulus onset when attending to the voice excerpts within the combined sounds. The observed effects suggest that during the segregation of auditory objects from the auditory background, spatial sound cues together with other relevant temporal and spectral cues are processed in an attention-dependent manner at the cortical locations generally involved in sound recognition. More synchronous neuronal activation during monophonic than stereophonic sound processing, as well as (local) neuronal inhibitory mechanisms in

  15. Attention Modulates the Auditory Cortical Processing of Spatial and Category Cues in Naturalistic Auditory Scenes

    PubMed Central

    Renvall, Hanna; Staeren, Noël; Barz, Claudia S.; Ley, Anke; Formisano, Elia

    2016-01-01

    This combined fMRI and MEG study investigated brain activations during listening and attending to natural auditory scenes. We first recorded, using in-ear microphones, vocal non-speech sounds, and environmental sounds that were mixed to construct auditory scenes containing two concurrent sound streams. During the brain measurements, subjects attended to one of the streams while spatial acoustic information of the scene was either preserved (stereophonic sounds) or removed (monophonic sounds). Compared to monophonic sounds, stereophonic sounds evoked larger blood-oxygenation-level-dependent (BOLD) fMRI responses in the bilateral posterior superior temporal areas, independent of which stimulus attribute the subject was attending to. This finding is consistent with the functional role of these regions in the (automatic) processing of auditory spatial cues. Additionally, significant differences in the cortical activation patterns depending on the target of attention were observed. Bilateral planum temporale and inferior frontal gyrus were preferentially activated when attending to stereophonic environmental sounds, whereas when subjects attended to stereophonic voice sounds, the BOLD responses were larger at the bilateral middle superior temporal gyrus and sulcus, previously reported to show voice sensitivity. In contrast, the time-resolved MEG responses were stronger for mono- than stereophonic sounds in the bilateral auditory cortices at ~360 ms after the stimulus onset when attending to the voice excerpts within the combined sounds. The observed effects suggest that during the segregation of auditory objects from the auditory background, spatial sound cues together with other relevant temporal and spectral cues are processed in an attention-dependent manner at the cortical locations generally involved in sound recognition. More synchronous neuronal activation during monophonic than stereophonic sound processing, as well as (local) neuronal inhibitory mechanisms in

  16. Development of auditory localization accuracy and auditory spatial discrimination in children and adolescents.

    PubMed

    Kühnle, S; Ludwig, A A; Meuret, S; Küttner, C; Witte, C; Scholbach, J; Fuchs, M; Rübsamen, R

    2013-01-01

    The present study investigated the development of two parameters of spatial acoustic perception in children and adolescents with normal hearing, aged 6-18 years. Auditory localization accuracy was quantified by means of a sound source identification task and auditory spatial discrimination acuity by measuring minimum audible angles (MAA). Both low- and high-frequency noise bursts were employed in the tests, thereby separately addressing auditory processing based on interaural time and intensity differences. Setup consisted of 47 loudspeakers mounted in the frontal azimuthal hemifield, ranging from 90° left to 90° right (-90°, +90°). Target signals were presented from 8 loudspeaker positions in the left and right hemifields (±4°, ±30°, ±60° and ±90°). Localization accuracy and spatial discrimination acuity showed different developmental courses. Localization accuracy remained stable from the age of 6 onwards. In contrast, MAA thresholds and interindividual variability of spatial discrimination decreased significantly with increasing age. Across all age groups, localization was most accurate and MAA thresholds were lower for frontal than for lateral sound sources, and for low-frequency compared to high-frequency noise bursts. The study also shows better performance in spatial hearing based on interaural time differences rather than on intensity differences throughout development. These findings confirm that specific aspects of central auditory processing show continuous development during childhood up to adolescence.

  17. Use of auditory learning to manage listening problems in children

    PubMed Central

    Moore, David R.; Halliday, Lorna F.; Amitay, Sygal

    2008-01-01

    This paper reviews recent studies that have used adaptive auditory training to address communication problems experienced by some children in their everyday life. It considers the auditory contribution to developmental listening and language problems and the underlying principles of auditory learning that may drive further refinement of auditory learning applications. Following strong claims that language and listening skills in children could be improved by auditory learning, researchers have debated what aspect of training contributed to the improvement and even whether the claimed improvements reflect primarily a retest effect on the skill measures. Key to understanding this research have been more circumscribed studies of the transfer of learning and the use of multiple control groups to examine auditory and non-auditory contributions to the learning. Significant auditory learning can occur during relatively brief periods of training. As children mature, their ability to train improves, but the relation between the duration of training, amount of learning and benefit remains unclear. Individual differences in initial performance and amount of subsequent learning advocate tailoring training to individual learners. The mechanisms of learning remain obscure, especially in children, but it appears that the development of cognitive skills is of at least equal importance to the refinement of sensory processing. Promotion of retention and transfer of learning are major goals for further research. PMID:18986969

  18. Integrated processing of spatial cues in human auditory cortex.

    PubMed

    Salminen, Nelli H; Takanen, Marko; Santala, Olli; Lamminsalo, Jarkko; Altoè, Alessandro; Pulkki, Ville

    2015-09-01

    Human sound source localization relies on acoustical cues, most importantly, the interaural differences in time and level (ITD and ILD). For reaching a unified representation of auditory space the auditory nervous system needs to combine the information provided by these two cues. In search for such a unified representation, we conducted a magnetoencephalography (MEG) experiment that took advantage of the location-specific adaptation of the auditory cortical N1 response. In general, the attenuation caused by a preceding adaptor sound to the response elicited by a probe depends on their spatial arrangement: if the two sounds coincide, adaptation is stronger than when the locations differ. Here, we presented adaptor-probe pairs that contained different localization cues, for instance, adaptors with ITD and probes with ILD. We found that the adaptation of the N1 amplitude was location-specific across localization cues. This result can be explained by the existence of auditory cortical neurons that are sensitive to sound source location independent on which cue, ITD or ILD, provides the location information. Such neurons would form a cue-independent, unified representation of auditory space in human auditory cortex.

  19. Sensorimotor Learning Enhances Expectations During Auditory Perception.

    PubMed

    Mathias, Brian; Palmer, Caroline; Perrin, Fabien; Tillmann, Barbara

    2015-08-01

    Sounds that have been produced with one's own motor system tend to be remembered better than sounds that have only been perceived, suggesting a role of motor information in memory for auditory stimuli. To address potential contributions of the motor network to the recognition of previously produced sounds, we used event-related potential, electric current density, and behavioral measures to investigate memory for produced and perceived melodies. Musicians performed or listened to novel melodies, and then heard the melodies either in their original version or with single pitch alterations. Production learning enhanced subsequent recognition accuracy and increased amplitudes of N200, P300, and N400 responses to pitch alterations. Premotor and supplementary motor regions showed greater current density during the initial detection of alterations in previously produced melodies than in previously perceived melodies, associated with the N200. Primary motor cortex was more strongly engaged by alterations in previously produced melodies within the P300 and N400 timeframes. Motor memory traces may therefore interface with auditory pitch percepts in premotor regions as early as 200 ms following perceived pitch onsets. Outcomes suggest that auditory-motor interactions contribute to memory benefits conferred by production experience, and support a role of motor prediction mechanisms in the production effect.

  20. Head-centred meridian effect on auditory spatial attention orienting.

    PubMed

    Ferlazzo, Fabio; Couyoumdjian, Messandro; Padovani, Tullia; Belardinelli, Marta Olivetti

    2002-07-01

    Six experiments examined the issue of whether one single system or separate systems underlie visual and auditory orienting of spatial attention. When auditory targets were used, reaction times were slower on trials in which cued and target locations were at opposite sides of the vertical head-centred meridian than on trials in which cued and target locations were at opposite sides of the vertical visual meridian or were not separated by any meridian. The head-centred meridian effect for auditory stimuli was apparent when targets were cued by either visual (Experiments 2, 3, and 6) or auditory cues (Experiment 5). Also, the head-centred meridian effect was found when targets were delivered either through headphones (Experiments 2, 3, and 5) or external loud-speakers (Experiment 6). Conversely, participants showed a visual meridian effect when they were required to respond to visual targets (Experiment 4). These results strongly suggest that auditory and visual spatial attention systems are indeed separate, as far as endogenous orienting is concerned.

  1. Emergence of Spatial Stream Segregation in the Ascending Auditory Pathway

    PubMed Central

    Yao, Justin D.; Bremen, Peter

    2015-01-01

    Stream segregation enables a listener to disentangle multiple competing sequences of sounds. A recent study from our laboratory demonstrated that cortical neurons in anesthetized cats exhibit spatial stream segregation (SSS) by synchronizing preferentially to one of two sequences of noise bursts that alternate between two source locations. Here, we examine the emergence of SSS along the ascending auditory pathway. Extracellular recordings were made in anesthetized rats from the inferior colliculus (IC), the nucleus of the brachium of the IC (BIN), the medial geniculate body (MGB), and the primary auditory cortex (A1). Stimuli consisted of interleaved sequences of broadband noise bursts that alternated between two source locations. At stimulus presentation rates of 5 and 10 bursts per second, at which human listeners report robust SSS, neural SSS is weak in the central nucleus of the IC (ICC), it appears in the nucleus of the brachium of the IC (BIN) and in approximately two-thirds of neurons in the ventral MGB (MGBv), and is prominent throughout A1. The enhancement of SSS at the cortical level reflects both increased spatial sensitivity and increased forward suppression. We demonstrate that forward suppression in A1 does not result from synaptic inhibition at the cortical level. Instead, forward suppression might reflect synaptic depression in the thalamocortical projection. Together, our findings indicate that auditory streams are increasingly segregated along the ascending auditory pathway as distinct mutually synchronized neural populations. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Listeners are capable of disentangling multiple competing sequences of sounds that originate from distinct sources. This stream segregation is aided by differences in spatial location between the sources. A possible substrate of spatial stream segregation (SSS) has been described in the auditory cortex, but the mechanisms leading to those cortical responses are unknown. Here, we investigated SSS in

  2. Influence of auditory modeling on learning a swimming skill.

    PubMed

    Wang, Lin; Hart, Melanie A

    2005-06-01

    Auditory modeling has been an effective method of learning a new skill in laboratory settings; however, research examining the effectiveness of auditory modeling in a real world task is limited. Thus, the purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness of auditory modeling on the learning of a swimming skill, specifically the butterfly stroke. Participants were 37 male college students enrolled in two swimming classes. The classes were randomly assigned as the control group, i.e., the standard swimming curriculum for the butterfly stroke including demonstration, verbal instructions, and practice, and the auditory modeling group, i.e., standard swimming curriculum for the butterfly stroke plus auditory modeling. Quantitative and qualitative analyses indicate that auditory modeling is an effective method for enhancing the learning of this real world motor skill.

  3. Auditory Highlighting as a Strategy for Improving Listening Comprehension. Auditory Learning Monograph Series 2.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fleming, James W.

    Fifty-eight students (in grades 5 and 6) of average or near-average intelligence (who were reading 2 or more years below their normal expected level and who learned best through the auditory modality) took part in a study to evaluate the following areas: the effectiveness of two auditory highlighting procedures for increasing listening…

  4. Spatial organization of tettigoniid auditory receptors: insights from neuronal tracing.

    PubMed

    Strauß, Johannes; Lehmann, Gerlind U C; Lehmann, Arne W; Lakes-Harlan, Reinhard

    2012-11-01

    The auditory sense organ of Tettigoniidae (Insecta, Orthoptera) is located in the foreleg tibia and consists of scolopidial sensilla which form a row termed crista acustica. The crista acustica is associated with the tympana and the auditory trachea. This ear is a highly ordered, tonotopic sensory system. As the neuroanatomy of the crista acustica has been documented for several species, the most distal somata and dendrites of receptor neurons have occasionally been described as forming an alternating or double row. We investigate the spatial arrangement of receptor cell bodies and dendrites by retrograde tracing with cobalt chloride solution. In six tettigoniid species studied, distal receptor neurons are consistently arranged in double-rows of somata rather than a linear sequence. This arrangement of neurons is shown to affect 30-50% of the overall auditory receptors. No strict correlation of somata positions between the anterio-posterior and dorso-ventral axis was evident within the distal crista acustica. Dendrites of distal receptors occasionally also occur in a double row or are even massed without clear order. Thus, a substantial part of auditory receptors can deviate from a strictly straight organization into a more complex morphology. The linear organization of dendrites is not a morphological criterion that allows hearing organs to be distinguished from nonhearing sense organs serially homologous to ears in all species. Both the crowded arrangement of receptor somata and dendrites may result from functional constraints relating to frequency discrimination, or from developmental constraints of auditory morphogenesis in postembryonic development.

  5. Spatial Hearing with Incongruent Visual or Auditory Room Cues.

    PubMed

    Gil-Carvajal, Juan C; Cubick, Jens; Santurette, Sébastien; Dau, Torsten

    2016-11-17

    In day-to-day life, humans usually perceive the location of sound sources as outside their heads. This externalized auditory spatial perception can be reproduced through headphones by recreating the sound pressure generated by the source at the listener's eardrums. This requires the acoustical features of the recording environment and listener's anatomy to be recorded at the listener's ear canals. Although the resulting auditory images can be indistinguishable from real-world sources, their externalization may be less robust when the playback and recording environments differ. Here we tested whether a mismatch between playback and recording room reduces perceived distance, azimuthal direction, and compactness of the auditory image, and whether this is mostly due to incongruent auditory cues or to expectations generated from the visual impression of the room. Perceived distance ratings decreased significantly when collected in a more reverberant environment than the recording room, whereas azimuthal direction and compactness remained room independent. Moreover, modifying visual room-related cues had no effect on these three attributes, while incongruent auditory room-related cues between the recording and playback room did affect distance perception. Consequently, the external perception of virtual sounds depends on the degree of congruency between the acoustical features of the environment and the stimuli.

  6. Spatial Hearing with Incongruent Visual or Auditory Room Cues

    PubMed Central

    Gil-Carvajal, Juan C.; Cubick, Jens; Santurette, Sébastien; Dau, Torsten

    2016-01-01

    In day-to-day life, humans usually perceive the location of sound sources as outside their heads. This externalized auditory spatial perception can be reproduced through headphones by recreating the sound pressure generated by the source at the listener’s eardrums. This requires the acoustical features of the recording environment and listener’s anatomy to be recorded at the listener’s ear canals. Although the resulting auditory images can be indistinguishable from real-world sources, their externalization may be less robust when the playback and recording environments differ. Here we tested whether a mismatch between playback and recording room reduces perceived distance, azimuthal direction, and compactness of the auditory image, and whether this is mostly due to incongruent auditory cues or to expectations generated from the visual impression of the room. Perceived distance ratings decreased significantly when collected in a more reverberant environment than the recording room, whereas azimuthal direction and compactness remained room independent. Moreover, modifying visual room-related cues had no effect on these three attributes, while incongruent auditory room-related cues between the recording and playback room did affect distance perception. Consequently, the external perception of virtual sounds depends on the degree of congruency between the acoustical features of the environment and the stimuli. PMID:27853290

  7. Spatial Hearing with Incongruent Visual or Auditory Room Cues

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gil-Carvajal, Juan C.; Cubick, Jens; Santurette, Sébastien; Dau, Torsten

    2016-11-01

    In day-to-day life, humans usually perceive the location of sound sources as outside their heads. This externalized auditory spatial perception can be reproduced through headphones by recreating the sound pressure generated by the source at the listener’s eardrums. This requires the acoustical features of the recording environment and listener’s anatomy to be recorded at the listener’s ear canals. Although the resulting auditory images can be indistinguishable from real-world sources, their externalization may be less robust when the playback and recording environments differ. Here we tested whether a mismatch between playback and recording room reduces perceived distance, azimuthal direction, and compactness of the auditory image, and whether this is mostly due to incongruent auditory cues or to expectations generated from the visual impression of the room. Perceived distance ratings decreased significantly when collected in a more reverberant environment than the recording room, whereas azimuthal direction and compactness remained room independent. Moreover, modifying visual room-related cues had no effect on these three attributes, while incongruent auditory room-related cues between the recording and playback room did affect distance perception. Consequently, the external perception of virtual sounds depends on the degree of congruency between the acoustical features of the environment and the stimuli.

  8. Hand proximity facilitates spatial discrimination of auditory tones

    PubMed Central

    Tseng, Philip; Yu, Jiaxin; Tzeng, Ovid J. L.; Hung, Daisy L.; Juan, Chi-Hung

    2014-01-01

    The effect of hand proximity on vision and visual attention has been well documented. In this study we tested whether such effect(s) would also be present in the auditory modality. With hands placed either near or away from the audio sources, participants performed an auditory-spatial discrimination (Experiment 1: left or right side), pitch discrimination (Experiment 2: high, med, or low tone), and spatial-plus-pitch (Experiment 3: left or right; high, med, or low) discrimination task. In Experiment 1, when hands were away from the audio source, participants consistently responded faster with their right hand regardless of stimulus location. This right hand advantage, however, disappeared in the hands-near condition because of a significant improvement in left hand's reaction time (RT). No effect of hand proximity was found in Experiments 2 or 3, where a choice RT task requiring pitch discrimination was used. Together, these results that the perceptual and attentional effect of hand proximity is not limited to one specific modality, but applicable to the entire “space” near the hands, including stimuli of different modality (at least visual and auditory) within that space. While these findings provide evidence from auditory attention that supports the multimodal account originally raised by Reed et al. (2006), we also discuss the possibility of a dual mechanism hypothesis to reconcile findings from the multimodal and magno/parvocellular account. PMID:24966839

  9. Auditory feedback in error-based learning of motor regularity.

    PubMed

    van Vugt, Floris T; Tillmann, Barbara

    2015-05-05

    Music and speech are skills that require high temporal precision of motor output. A key question is how humans achieve this timing precision given the poor temporal resolution of somatosensory feedback, which is classically considered to drive motor learning. We hypothesise that auditory feedback critically contributes to learn timing, and that, similarly to visuo-spatial learning models, learning proceeds by correcting a proportion of perceived timing errors. Thirty-six participants learned to tap a sequence regularly in time. For participants in the synchronous-sound group, a tone was presented simultaneously with every keystroke. For the jittered-sound group, the tone was presented after a random delay of 10-190 ms following the keystroke, thus degrading the temporal information that the sound provided about the movement. For the mute group, no keystroke-triggered sound was presented. In line with the model predictions, participants in the synchronous-sound group were able to improve tapping regularity, whereas the jittered-sound and mute group were not. The improved tapping regularity of the synchronous-sound group also transferred to a novel sequence and was maintained when sound was subsequently removed. The present findings provide evidence that humans engage in auditory feedback error-based learning to improve movement quality (here reduce variability in sequence tapping). We thus elucidate the mechanism by which high temporal precision of movement can be achieved through sound in a way that may not be possible with less temporally precise somatosensory modalities. Furthermore, the finding that sound-supported learning generalises to novel sequences suggests potential rehabilitation applications.

  10. Spatial auditory attention is modulated by tactile priming.

    PubMed

    Menning, Hans; Ackermann, Hermann; Hertrich, Ingo; Mathiak, Klaus

    2005-07-01

    Previous studies have shown that cross-modal processing affects perception at a variety of neuronal levels. In this study, event-related brain responses were recorded via whole-head magnetoencephalography (MEG). Spatial auditory attention was directed via tactile pre-cues (primes) to one of four locations in the peripersonal space (left and right hand versus face). Auditory stimuli were white noise bursts, convoluted with head-related transfer functions, which ensured spatial perception of the four locations. Tactile primes (200-300 ms prior to acoustic onset) were applied randomly to one of these locations. Attentional load was controlled by three different visual distraction tasks. The auditory P50m (about 50 ms after stimulus onset) showed a significant "proximity" effect (larger responses to face stimulation as well as a "contralaterality" effect between side of stimulation and hemisphere). The tactile primes essentially reduced both the P50m and N100m components. However, facial tactile pre-stimulation yielded an enhanced ipsilateral N100m. These results show that earlier responses are mainly governed by exogenous stimulus properties whereas cross-sensory interaction is spatially selective at a later (endogenous) processing stage.

  11. Neural circuits underlying adaptation and learning in the perception of auditory space

    PubMed Central

    King, Andrew J.; Dahmen, Johannes C.; Keating, Peter; Leach, Nicholas D.; Nodal, Fernando R.; Bajo, Victoria M.

    2011-01-01

    Sound localization mechanisms are particularly plastic during development, when the monaural and binaural acoustic cues that form the basis for spatial hearing change in value as the body grows. Recent studies have shown that the mature brain retains a surprising capacity to relearn to localize sound in the presence of substantially altered auditory spatial cues. In addition to the long-lasting changes that result from learning, behavioral and electrophysiological studies have demonstrated that auditory spatial processing can undergo rapid adjustments in response to changes in the statistics of recent stimulation, which help to maintain sensitivity over the range where most stimulus values occur. Through a combination of recording studies and methods for selectively manipulating the activity of specific neuronal populations, progress is now being made in identifying the cortical and subcortical circuits in the brain that are responsible for the dynamic coding of auditory spatial information. PMID:21414354

  12. The effect of real-time auditory feedback on learning new characters.

    PubMed

    Danna, Jérémy; Fontaine, Maureen; Paz-Villagrán, Vietminh; Gondre, Charles; Thoret, Etienne; Aramaki, Mitsuko; Kronland-Martinet, Richard; Ystad, Sølvi; Velay, Jean-Luc

    2015-10-01

    The present study investigated the effect of handwriting sonification on graphomotor learning. Thirty-two adults, distributed in two groups, learned four new characters with their non-dominant hand. The experimental design included a pre-test, a training session, and two post-tests, one just after the training sessions and another 24h later. Two characters were learned with and two without real-time auditory feedback (FB). The first group first learned the two non-sonified characters and then the two sonified characters whereas the reverse order was adopted for the second group. Results revealed that auditory FB improved the speed and fluency of handwriting movements but reduced, in the short-term only, the spatial accuracy of the trace. Transforming kinematic variables into sounds allows the writer to perceive his/her movement in addition to the written trace and this might facilitate handwriting learning. However, there were no differential effects of auditory FB, neither long-term nor short-term for the subjects who first learned the characters with auditory FB. We hypothesize that the positive effect on the handwriting kinematics was transferred to characters learned without FB. This transfer effect of the auditory FB is discussed in light of the Theory of Event Coding.

  13. Human Central Auditory Plasticity Associated with Tone Sequence Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gottselig, Julie Marie; Brandeis, Daniel; Hofer-Tinguely, Gilberte; Borbely, Alexander A.; Achermann, Peter

    2004-01-01

    We investigated learning-related changes in amplitude, scalp topography, and source localization of the mismatch negativity (MMN), a neurophysiological response correlated with auditory discrimination ability. Participants (n = 32) underwent two EEG recordings while they watched silent films and ignored auditory stimuli. Stimuli were a standard…

  14. Auditory cortex involvement in emotional learning and memory.

    PubMed

    Grosso, A; Cambiaghi, M; Concina, G; Sacco, T; Sacchetti, B

    2015-07-23

    Emotional memories represent the core of human and animal life and drive future choices and behaviors. Early research involving brain lesion studies in animals lead to the idea that the auditory cortex participates in emotional learning by processing the sensory features of auditory stimuli paired with emotional consequences and by transmitting this information to the amygdala. Nevertheless, electrophysiological and imaging studies revealed that, following emotional experiences, the auditory cortex undergoes learning-induced changes that are highly specific, associative and long lasting. These studies suggested that the role played by the auditory cortex goes beyond stimulus elaboration and transmission. Here, we discuss three major perspectives created by these data. In particular, we analyze the possible roles of the auditory cortex in emotional learning, we examine the recruitment of the auditory cortex during early and late memory trace encoding, and finally we consider the functional interplay between the auditory cortex and subcortical nuclei, such as the amygdala, that process affective information. We conclude that, starting from the early phase of memory encoding, the auditory cortex has a more prominent role in emotional learning, through its connections with subcortical nuclei, than is typically acknowledged.

  15. Auditory Processing Learning Disability, Suicidal Ideation, and Transformational Faith

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bailey, Frank S.; Yocum, Russell G.

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this personal experience as a narrative investigation is to describe how an auditory processing learning disability exacerbated--and how spirituality and religiosity relieved--suicidal ideation, through the lived experiences of an individual born and raised in the United States. The study addresses: (a) how an auditory processing…

  16. Auditory-perceptual learning improves speech motor adaptation in children.

    PubMed

    Shiller, Douglas M; Rochon, Marie-Lyne

    2014-08-01

    Auditory feedback plays an important role in children's speech development by providing the child with information about speech outcomes that is used to learn and fine-tune speech motor plans. The use of auditory feedback in speech motor learning has been extensively studied in adults by examining oral motor responses to manipulations of auditory feedback during speech production. Children are also capable of adapting speech motor patterns to perceived changes in auditory feedback; however, it is not known whether their capacity for motor learning is limited by immature auditory-perceptual abilities. Here, the link between speech perceptual ability and the capacity for motor learning was explored in two groups of 5- to 7-year-old children who underwent a period of auditory perceptual training followed by tests of speech motor adaptation to altered auditory feedback. One group received perceptual training on a speech acoustic property relevant to the motor task while a control group received perceptual training on an irrelevant speech contrast. Learned perceptual improvements led to an enhancement in speech motor adaptation (proportional to the perceptual change) only for the experimental group. The results indicate that children's ability to perceive relevant speech acoustic properties has a direct influence on their capacity for sensory-based speech motor adaptation.

  17. Quadri-stability of a spatially ambiguous auditory illusion

    PubMed Central

    Bainbridge, Constance M.; Bainbridge, Wilma A.; Oliva, Aude

    2014-01-01

    In addition to vision, audition plays an important role in sound localization in our world. One way we estimate the motion of an auditory object moving towards or away from us is from changes in volume intensity. However, the human auditory system has unequally distributed spatial resolution, including difficulty distinguishing sounds in front vs. behind the listener. Here, we introduce a novel quadri-stable illusion, the Transverse-and-Bounce Auditory Illusion, which combines front-back confusion with changes in volume levels of a nonspatial sound to create ambiguous percepts of an object approaching and withdrawing from the listener. The sound can be perceived as traveling transversely from front to back or back to front, or “bouncing” to remain exclusively in front of or behind the observer. Here we demonstrate how human listeners experience this illusory phenomenon by comparing ambiguous and unambiguous stimuli for each of the four possible motion percepts. When asked to rate their confidence in perceiving each sound’s motion, participants reported equal confidence for the illusory and unambiguous stimuli. Participants perceived all four illusory motion percepts, and could not distinguish the illusion from the unambiguous stimuli. These results show that this illusion is effectively quadri-stable. In a second experiment, the illusory stimulus was looped continuously in headphones while participants identified its perceived path of motion to test properties of perceptual switching, locking, and biases. Participants were biased towards perceiving transverse compared to bouncing paths, and they became perceptually locked into alternating between front-to-back and back-to-front percepts, perhaps reflecting how auditory objects commonly move in the real world. This multi-stable auditory illusion opens opportunities for studying the perceptual, cognitive, and neural representation of objects in motion, as well as exploring multimodal perceptual awareness. PMID

  18. Multi-channel spatial auditory display for speech communications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Begault, Durand; Erbe, Tom

    1993-01-01

    A spatial auditory display for multiple speech communications was developed at NASA-Ames Research Center. Input is spatialized by use of simplified head-related transfer functions, adapted for FIR filtering on Motorola 56001 digital signal processors. Hardware and firmware design implementations are overviewed for the initial prototype developed for NASA-Kennedy Space Center. An adaptive staircase method was used to determine intelligibility levels of four letter call signs used by launch personnel at NASA, against diotic speech babble. Spatial positions at 30 deg azimuth increments were evaluated. The results from eight subjects showed a maximal intelligibility improvement of about 6 to 7 dB when the signal was spatialized to 60 deg or 90 deg azimuth positions.

  19. Effects of sex and age on auditory spatial scene analysis.

    PubMed

    Lewald, Jörg; Hausmann, Markus

    2013-05-01

    Recently, it has been demonstrated that men outperform women in spatial analysis of complex auditory scenes (Zündorf et al., 2011). The present study investigated the relation between the effects of ageing and sex on the spatial segregation of concurrent sounds in younger and middle-aged adults. The experimental design allowed simultaneous presentation of target and distractor sound sources at different locations. The resulting spatial "pulling" effect (that is, the bias of target localization toward that of the distractor) was used as a measure of performance. The pulling effect was stronger in middle-aged than younger subjects, and female than male subjects. This indicates lower performance of the middle-aged women in the sensory and attentional mechanisms extracting spatial information about the acoustic event of interest from the auditory scene than both younger and male subjects. Moreover, age-specific differences were most prominent for conditions with targets in right hemispace and distractors in left hemispace, suggesting bilateral asymmetries underlying the effect of ageing.

  20. Level dependence of spatial processing in the primate auditory cortex

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Xiaoqin

    2012-01-01

    Sound localization in both humans and monkeys is tolerant to changes in sound levels. The underlying neural mechanism, however, is not well understood. This study reports the level dependence of individual neurons' spatial receptive fields (SRFs) in the primary auditory cortex (A1) and the adjacent caudal field in awake marmoset monkeys. We found that most neurons' excitatory SRF components were spatially confined in response to broadband noise stimuli delivered from the upper frontal sound field. Approximately half the recorded neurons exhibited little change in spatial tuning width over a ∼20-dB change in sound level, whereas the remaining neurons showed either expansion or contraction in their tuning widths. Increased sound levels did not alter the percent distribution of tuning width for neurons collected in either cortical field. The population-averaged responses remained tuned between 30- and 80-dB sound pressure levels for neuronal groups preferring contralateral, midline, and ipsilateral locations. We further investigated the spatial extent and level dependence of the suppressive component of SRFs using a pair of sequentially presented stimuli. Forward suppression was observed when the stimuli were delivered from “far” locations, distant to the excitatory center of an SRF. In contrast to spatially confined excitation, the strength of suppression typically increased with stimulus level at both the excitatory center and far regions of an SRF. These findings indicate that although the spatial tuning of individual neurons varied with stimulus levels, their ensemble responses were level tolerant. Widespread spatial suppression may play an important role in limiting the sizes of SRFs at high sound levels in the auditory cortex. PMID:22592309

  1. Analysis of auditory spatial receptive fields: An application of virtual auditory space technology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Takahashi, Terry T.; Keller, Clifford H.; Euston, David R.; Spezio, Michael L.

    2002-05-01

    Virtual auditory space technology, typically used to simulate acoustical environments, also allows one to vary one sound localization cue independently of others. VAST was used to determine the contributions of interaural time and level differences (ITD, ILD) to the spatial receptive fields (RFs) of neurons in the owl's midbrain. The presentation of noise filtered so that only ITD varied evoked a response along a vertical strip of virtual space, called the ITD-alone RF. Conversely, when ITD was fixed at the cell's optimum and the ILD spectrum of each location was presented, the cell responded along a horizontal strip, called the ILD-alone RF. The spatial RF was at the intersection of the ITD and ILD-alone RFs. The cell's ILD tuning across frequency, combined with individualized head-related transfer functions, was transformed into an ILD-alone RF that predicted half the variance in the measured one. This discrepancy was due partly to the poor response of the neurons to tones, and a new method of inferring frequency-specific ILD tuning from responses to noise explained about 75% of the variance. By understanding how spatial RFs are constructed, it is possible to infer the neural image of complex auditory scenes containing multiple sources and echoes. [Work supported by NIDCD.

  2. Auditory Discrimination of Normal and Learning Disabled Children: A Comparison of Their Performance on the Goldman-Fristoe-Woodcock Test of Auditory Discrimination and Wepman Auditory Discrimination Test.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Houck, Cherry K.; And Others

    Examined was the performance of 18 normal and 20 learning disabled (LD) 8- to 9-year-old children on two competitive measures of auditory discrimination. Ss were administered the Wepman Auditory Discrimination Test (1974) and the Goldman, Fristoe, Woodcock Test of Auditory Discrimination (1970). Results suggested that little correlation exists…

  3. Longitudinal auditory learning facilitates auditory cognition as revealed by microstate analysis.

    PubMed

    Giroud, Nathalie; Lemke, Ulrike; Reich, Philip; Matthes, Katarina L; Meyer, Martin

    2017-02-01

    The current study investigates cognitive processes as reflected in late auditory-evoked potentials as a function of longitudinal auditory learning. A normal hearing adult sample (n=15) performed an active oddball task at three consecutive time points (TPs) arranged at two week intervals, and during which EEG was recorded. The stimuli comprised of syllables consisting of a natural fricative (/sh/,/s/,/f/) embedded between two /a/ sounds, as well as morphed transitions of the two syllables that served as deviants. Perceptual and cognitive modulations as reflected in the onset and the mean global field power (GFP) of N2b- and P3b-related microstates across four weeks were investigated. We found that the onset of P3b-like microstates, but not N2b-like microstates decreased across TPs, more strongly for difficult deviants leading to similar onsets for difficult and easy stimuli after repeated exposure. The mean GFP of all N2b-like and P3b-like microstates increased more in spectrally strong deviants compared to weak deviants, leading to a distinctive activation for each stimulus after learning. Our results indicate that longitudinal training of auditory-related cognitive mechanisms such as stimulus categorization, attention and memory updating processes are an indispensable part of successful auditory learning. This suggests that future studies should focus on the potential benefits of cognitive processes in auditory training.

  4. Sensory Substitution: The Spatial Updating of Auditory Scenes “Mimics” the Spatial Updating of Visual Scenes

    PubMed Central

    Pasqualotto, Achille; Esenkaya, Tayfun

    2016-01-01

    Visual-to-auditory sensory substitution is used to convey visual information through audition, and it was initially created to compensate for blindness; it consists of software converting the visual images captured by a video-camera into the equivalent auditory images, or “soundscapes”. Here, it was used by blindfolded sighted participants to learn the spatial position of simple shapes depicted in images arranged on the floor. Very few studies have used sensory substitution to investigate spatial representation, while it has been widely used to investigate object recognition. Additionally, with sensory substitution we could study the performance of participants actively exploring the environment through audition, rather than passively localizing sound sources. Blindfolded participants egocentrically learnt the position of six images by using sensory substitution and then a judgment of relative direction task (JRD) was used to determine how this scene was represented. This task consists of imagining being in a given location, oriented in a given direction, and pointing towards the required image. Before performing the JRD task, participants explored a map that provided allocentric information about the scene. Although spatial exploration was egocentric, surprisingly we found that performance in the JRD task was better for allocentric perspectives. This suggests that the egocentric representation of the scene was updated. This result is in line with previous studies using visual and somatosensory scenes, thus supporting the notion that different sensory modalities produce equivalent spatial representation(s). Moreover, our results have practical implications to improve training methods with sensory substitution devices (SSD). PMID:27148000

  5. Detection of Auditory Signals in Quiet and Noisy Backgrounds while Performing a Visuo-spatial Task

    PubMed Central

    Rawool, Vishakha W.

    2016-01-01

    Context: The ability to detect important auditory signals while performing visual tasks may be further compounded by background chatter. Thus, it is important to know how task performance may interact with background chatter to hinder signal detection. Aim: To examine any interactive effects of speech spectrum noise and task performance on the ability to detect signals. Settings and Design: The setting was a sound-treated booth. A repeated measures design was used. Materials and Methods: Auditory thresholds of 20 normal adults were determined at 0.5, 1, 2 and 4 kHz in the following conditions presented in a random order: (1) quiet with attention; (2) quiet with a visuo-spatial task or puzzle (distraction); (3) noise with attention and (4) noise with task. Statistical Analysis: Multivariate analyses of variance (MANOVA) with three repeated factors (quiet versus noise, visuo-spatial task versus no task, signal frequency). Results: MANOVA revealed significant main effects for noise and signal frequency and significant noise–frequency and task–frequency interactions. Distraction caused by performing the task worsened the thresholds for tones presented at the beginning of the experiment and had no effect on tones presented in the middle. At the end of the experiment, thresholds (4 kHz) were better while performing the task than those obtained without performing the task. These effects were similar across the quiet and noise conditions. Conclusion: Detection of auditory signals is difficult at the beginning of a distracting visuo-spatial task but over time, task learning and auditory training effects can nullify the effect of distraction and may improve detection of high frequency sounds. PMID:27991458

  6. The Auditory Verbal Learning Test (Rey AVLT): An Arabic Version

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sharoni, Varda; Natur, Nazeh

    2014-01-01

    The goals of this study were to adapt the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test (AVLT) into Arabic, to compare recall functioning among age groups (6:0 to 17:11), and to compare gender differences on various memory dimensions (immediate and delayed recall, learning rate, recognition, proactive interferences, and retroactive interferences). This…

  7. Influence of Syllable Structure on L2 Auditory Word Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hamada, Megumi; Goya, Hideki

    2015-01-01

    This study investigated the role of syllable structure in L2 auditory word learning. Based on research on cross-linguistic variation of speech perception and lexical memory, it was hypothesized that Japanese L1 learners of English would learn English words with an open-syllable structure without consonant clusters better than words with a…

  8. Processing of spatial sounds in human auditory cortex during visual, discrimination and 2-back tasks

    PubMed Central

    Rinne, Teemu; Ala-Salomäki, Heidi; Stecker, G. Christopher; Pätynen, Jukka; Lokki, Tapio

    2014-01-01

    Previous imaging studies on the brain mechanisms of spatial hearing have mainly focused on sounds varying in the horizontal plane. In this study, we compared activations in human auditory cortex (AC) and adjacent inferior parietal lobule (IPL) to sounds varying in horizontal location, distance, or space (i.e., different rooms). In order to investigate both stimulus-dependent and task-dependent activations, these sounds were presented during visual discrimination, auditory discrimination, and auditory 2-back memory tasks. Consistent with previous studies, activations in AC were modulated by the auditory tasks. During both auditory and visual tasks, activations in AC were stronger to sounds varying in horizontal location than along other feature dimensions. However, in IPL, this enhancement was detected only during auditory tasks. Based on these results, we argue that IPL is not primarily involved in stimulus-level spatial analysis but that it may represent such information for more general processing when relevant to an active auditory task. PMID:25120423

  9. Interdependence of spatial and temporal coding in the auditory midbrain.

    PubMed

    Koch, U; Grothe, B

    2000-04-01

    To date, most physiological studies that investigated binaural auditory processing have addressed the topic rather exclusively in the context of sound localization. However, there is strong psychophysical evidence that binaural processing serves more than only sound localization. This raises the question of how binaural processing of spatial cues interacts with cues important for feature detection. The temporal structure of a sound is one such feature important for sound recognition. As a first approach, we investigated the influence of binaural cues on temporal processing in the mammalian auditory system. Here, we present evidence that binaural cues, namely interaural intensity differences (IIDs), have profound effects on filter properties for stimulus periodicity of auditory midbrain neurons in the echolocating big brown bat, Eptesicus fuscus. Our data indicate that these effects are partially due to changes in strength and timing of binaural inhibitory inputs. We measured filter characteristics for the periodicity (modulation frequency) of sinusoidally frequency modulated sounds (SFM) under different binaural conditions. As criteria, we used 50% filter cutoff frequencies of modulation transfer functions based on discharge rate as well as synchronicity of discharge to the sound envelope. The binaural conditions were contralateral stimulation only, equal stimulation at both ears (IID = 0 dB), and more intense at the ipsilateral ear (IID = -20, -30 dB). In 32% of neurons, the range of modulation frequencies the neurons responded to changed considerably comparing monaural and binaural (IID =0) stimulation. Moreover, in approximately 50% of neurons the range of modulation frequencies was narrower when the ipsilateral ear was favored (IID = -20) compared with equal stimulation at both ears (IID = 0). In approximately 10% of the neurons synchronization differed when comparing different binaural cues. Blockade of the GABAergic or glycinergic inputs to the cells recorded

  10. Late Maturation of Auditory Perceptual Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Huyck, Julia Jones; Wright, Beverly A.

    2011-01-01

    Adults can improve their performance on many perceptual tasks with training, but when does the response to training become mature? To investigate this question, we trained 11-year-olds, 14-year-olds and adults on a basic auditory task (temporal-interval discrimination) using a multiple-session training regimen known to be effective for adults. The…

  11. AUDITORY DISCRIMINATION AND LEARNING--SOCIAL FACTORS.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    DEUTSCH, CYNTHIA P.

    EVIDENCE SUGGESTS READING ABILITY IS RELATED TO OTHER COMMUNICATION SKILLS SUCH AS LISTENING AND SPEAKING. DISTRUPTION IN THE PROCESS OF RECEIVING, ANALYZING, AND UTILIZING AUDITORY STIMULI MAY HAVE DELETERIOUS EFFECTS UPON A CHILD'S DEVELOPMENT OF READING SKILLS, ESPECIALLY IF THIS DISRUPTION OCCURS IN PRESCHOOL CHILDREN. THOSE GROWING UP IN…

  12. Task-dependent activations of human auditory cortex during spatial discrimination and spatial memory tasks.

    PubMed

    Rinne, Teemu; Koistinen, Sonja; Talja, Suvi; Wikman, Patrik; Salonen, Oili

    2012-02-15

    In the present study, we applied high-resolution functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) of the human auditory cortex (AC) and adjacent areas to compare activations during spatial discrimination and spatial n-back memory tasks that were varied parametrically in difficulty. We found that activations in the anterior superior temporal gyrus (STG) were stronger during spatial discrimination than during spatial memory, while spatial memory was associated with stronger activations in the inferior parietal lobule (IPL). We also found that wide AC areas were strongly deactivated during the spatial memory tasks. The present AC activation patterns associated with spatial discrimination and spatial memory tasks were highly similar to those obtained in our previous study comparing AC activations during pitch discrimination and pitch memory (Rinne et al., 2009). Together our previous and present results indicate that discrimination and memory tasks activate anterior and posterior AC areas differently and that this anterior-posterior division is present both when these tasks are performed on spatially invariant (pitch discrimination vs. memory) or spatially varying (spatial discrimination vs. memory) sounds. These results also further strengthen the view that activations of human AC cannot be explained only by stimulus-level parameters (e.g., spatial vs. nonspatial stimuli) but that the activations observed with fMRI are strongly dependent on the characteristics of the behavioral task. Thus, our results suggest that in order to understand the functional structure of AC a more systematic investigation of task-related factors affecting AC activations is needed.

  13. Auditory-Visual Speech Integration by Adults with and without Language-Learning Disabilities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Norrix, Linda W.; Plante, Elena; Vance, Rebecca

    2006-01-01

    Auditory and auditory-visual (AV) speech perception skills were examined in adults with and without language-learning disabilities (LLD). The AV stimuli consisted of congruent consonant-vowel syllables (auditory and visual syllables matched in terms of syllable being produced) and incongruent McGurk syllables (auditory syllable differed from…

  14. Switching auditory attention using spatial and non-spatial features recruits different cortical networks.

    PubMed

    Larson, Eric; Lee, Adrian K C

    2014-01-01

    Switching attention between different stimuli of interest based on particular task demands is important in many everyday settings. In audition in particular, switching attention between different speakers of interest that are talking concurrently is often necessary for effective communication. Recently, it has been shown by multiple studies that auditory selective attention suppresses the representation of unwanted streams in auditory cortical areas in favor of the target stream of interest. However, the neural processing that guides this selective attention process is not well understood. Here we investigated the cortical mechanisms involved in switching attention based on two different types of auditory features. By combining magneto- and electro-encephalography (M-EEG) with an anatomical MRI constraint, we examined the cortical dynamics involved in switching auditory attention based on either spatial or pitch features. We designed a paradigm where listeners were cued in the beginning of each trial to switch or maintain attention halfway through the presentation of concurrent target and masker streams. By allowing listeners time to switch during a gap in the continuous target and masker stimuli, we were able to isolate the mechanisms involved in endogenous, top-down attention switching. Our results show a double dissociation between the involvement of right temporoparietal junction (RTPJ) and the left inferior parietal supramarginal part (LIPSP) in tasks requiring listeners to switch attention based on space and pitch features, respectively, suggesting that switching attention based on these features involves at least partially separate processes or behavioral strategies.

  15. Auditory Feedback and Writing: Learning Disabled and Nondisabled Students.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Espin, Christine A.; Sindelar, Paul T.

    1988-01-01

    Ninety students in grades six to eight listened to or read written passages and then identified and corrected grammar and syntax errors. Students listening and receiving auditory feedback located more errors than those reading. Learning-disabled students and students matched on reading level identified fewer errors than did students matched on…

  16. Lack of Generalization of Auditory Learning in Typically Developing Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Halliday, Lorna F.; Taylor, Jenny L.; Millward, Kerri E.; Moore, David R.

    2012-01-01

    Purpose: To understand the components of auditory learning in typically developing children by assessing generalization across stimuli, across modalities (i.e., hearing, vision), and to higher level language tasks. Method: Eighty-six 8- to 10-year-old typically developing children were quasi-randomly assigned to 4 groups. Three of the groups…

  17. Rapid cortical dynamics associated with auditory spatial attention gradients

    PubMed Central

    Mock, Jeffrey R.; Seay, Michael J.; Charney, Danielle R.; Holmes, John L.; Golob, Edward J.

    2015-01-01

    Behavioral and EEG studies suggest spatial attention is allocated as a gradient in which processing benefits decrease away from an attended location. Yet the spatiotemporal dynamics of cortical processes that contribute to attentional gradients are unclear. We measured EEG while participants (n = 35) performed an auditory spatial attention task that required a button press to sounds at one target location on either the left or right. Distractor sounds were randomly presented at four non-target locations evenly spaced up to 180° from the target location. Attentional gradients were quantified by regressing ERP amplitudes elicited by distractors against their spatial location relative to the target. Independent component analysis was applied to each subject's scalp channel data, allowing isolation of distinct cortical sources. Results from scalp ERPs showed a tri-phasic response with gradient slope peaks at ~300 ms (frontal, positive), ~430 ms (posterior, negative), and a plateau starting at ~550 ms (frontal, positive). Corresponding to the first slope peak, a positive gradient was found within a central component when attending to both target locations and for two lateral frontal components when contralateral to the target location. Similarly, a central posterior component had a negative gradient that corresponded to the second slope peak regardless of target location. A right posterior component had both an ipsilateral followed by a contralateral gradient. Lateral posterior clusters also had decreases in α and β oscillatory power with a negative slope and contralateral tuning. Only the left posterior component (120–200 ms) corresponded to absolute sound location. The findings indicate a rapid, temporally-organized sequence of gradients thought to reflect interplay between frontal and parietal regions. We conclude these gradients support a target-based saliency map exhibiting aspects of both right-hemisphere dominance and opponent process models. PMID:26082679

  18. Rapid cortical dynamics associated with auditory spatial attention gradients.

    PubMed

    Mock, Jeffrey R; Seay, Michael J; Charney, Danielle R; Holmes, John L; Golob, Edward J

    2015-01-01

    Behavioral and EEG studies suggest spatial attention is allocated as a gradient in which processing benefits decrease away from an attended location. Yet the spatiotemporal dynamics of cortical processes that contribute to attentional gradients are unclear. We measured EEG while participants (n = 35) performed an auditory spatial attention task that required a button press to sounds at one target location on either the left or right. Distractor sounds were randomly presented at four non-target locations evenly spaced up to 180° from the target location. Attentional gradients were quantified by regressing ERP amplitudes elicited by distractors against their spatial location relative to the target. Independent component analysis was applied to each subject's scalp channel data, allowing isolation of distinct cortical sources. Results from scalp ERPs showed a tri-phasic response with gradient slope peaks at ~300 ms (frontal, positive), ~430 ms (posterior, negative), and a plateau starting at ~550 ms (frontal, positive). Corresponding to the first slope peak, a positive gradient was found within a central component when attending to both target locations and for two lateral frontal components when contralateral to the target location. Similarly, a central posterior component had a negative gradient that corresponded to the second slope peak regardless of target location. A right posterior component had both an ipsilateral followed by a contralateral gradient. Lateral posterior clusters also had decreases in α and β oscillatory power with a negative slope and contralateral tuning. Only the left posterior component (120-200 ms) corresponded to absolute sound location. The findings indicate a rapid, temporally-organized sequence of gradients thought to reflect interplay between frontal and parietal regions. We conclude these gradients support a target-based saliency map exhibiting aspects of both right-hemisphere dominance and opponent process models.

  19. Neurofeedback in Learning Disabled Children: Visual versus Auditory Reinforcement.

    PubMed

    Fernández, Thalía; Bosch-Bayard, Jorge; Harmony, Thalía; Caballero, María I; Díaz-Comas, Lourdes; Galán, Lídice; Ricardo-Garcell, Josefina; Aubert, Eduardo; Otero-Ojeda, Gloria

    2016-03-01

    Children with learning disabilities (LD) frequently have an EEG characterized by an excess of theta and a deficit of alpha activities. NFB using an auditory stimulus as reinforcer has proven to be a useful tool to treat LD children by positively reinforcing decreases of the theta/alpha ratio. The aim of the present study was to optimize the NFB procedure by comparing the efficacy of visual (with eyes open) versus auditory (with eyes closed) reinforcers. Twenty LD children with an abnormally high theta/alpha ratio were randomly assigned to the Auditory or the Visual group, where a 500 Hz tone or a visual stimulus (a white square), respectively, was used as a positive reinforcer when the value of the theta/alpha ratio was reduced. Both groups had signs consistent with EEG maturation, but only the Auditory Group showed behavioral/cognitive improvements. In conclusion, the auditory reinforcer was more efficacious in reducing the theta/alpha ratio, and it improved the cognitive abilities more than the visual reinforcer.

  20. Efficacy of the LiSN & Learn auditory training software: randomized blinded controlled study

    PubMed Central

    Cameron, Sharon; Glyde, Helen; Dillon, Harvey

    2012-01-01

    Children with a spatial processing disorder (SPD) require a more favorable signal-to-noise ratio in the classroom because they have difficulty perceiving sound source location cues. Previous research has shown that a novel training program - LiSN & Learn - employing spatialized sound, overcomes this deficit. Here we investigate whether improvements in spatial processing ability are specific to the LiSN & Learn training program. Participants were ten children (aged between 6;0 [years;months] and 9;9) with normal peripheral hearing who were diagnosed as having SPD using the Listening in Spatialized Noise - Sentences test (LiSN-S). In a blinded controlled study, the participants were randomly allocated to train with either the LiSN & Learn or another auditory training program - Earobics - for approximately 15 min per day for twelve weeks. There was a significant improvement post-training on the conditions of the LiSN-S that evaluate spatial processing ability for the LiSN & Learn group (P=0.03 to 0.0008, η2=0.75 to 0.95, n=5), but not for the Earobics group (P=0.5 to 0.7, η2=0.1 to 0.04, n=5). Results from questionnaires completed by the participants and their parents and teachers revealed improvements in real-world listening performance post-training were greater in the LiSN & Learn group than the Earobics group. LiSN & Learn training improved binaural processing ability in children with SPD, enhancing their ability to understand speech in noise. Exposure to non-spatialized auditory training does not produce similar outcomes, emphasizing the importance of deficit-specific remediation. PMID:26557330

  1. Selective Increase of Auditory Cortico-Striatal Coherence during Auditory-Cued Go/NoGo Discrimination Learning

    PubMed Central

    Schulz, Andreas L.; Woldeit, Marie L.; Gonçalves, Ana I.; Saldeitis, Katja; Ohl, Frank W.

    2016-01-01

    Goal directed behavior and associated learning processes are tightly linked to neuronal activity in the ventral striatum. Mechanisms that integrate task relevant sensory information into striatal processing during decision making and learning are implicitly assumed in current reinforcement models, yet they are still weakly understood. To identify the functional activation of cortico-striatal subpopulations of connections during auditory discrimination learning, we trained Mongolian gerbils in a two-way active avoidance task in a shuttlebox to discriminate between falling and rising frequency modulated tones with identical spectral properties. We assessed functional coupling by analyzing the field-field coherence between the auditory cortex and the ventral striatum of animals performing the task. During the course of training, we observed a selective increase of functional coupling during Go-stimulus presentations. These results suggest that the auditory cortex functionally interacts with the ventral striatum during auditory learning and that the strengthening of these functional connections is selectively goal-directed. PMID:26793085

  2. Feedback delays eliminate auditory-motor learning in speech production.

    PubMed

    Max, Ludo; Maffett, Derek G

    2015-03-30

    Neurologically healthy individuals use sensory feedback to alter future movements by updating internal models of the effector system and environment. For example, when visual feedback about limb movements or auditory feedback about speech movements is experimentally perturbed, the planning of subsequent movements is adjusted - i.e., sensorimotor adaptation occurs. A separate line of studies has demonstrated that experimentally delaying the sensory consequences of limb movements causes the sensory input to be attributed to external sources rather than to one's own actions. Yet similar feedback delays have remarkably little effect on visuo-motor adaptation (although the rate of learning varies, the amount of adaptation is only moderately affected with delays of 100-200ms, and adaptation still occurs even with a delay as long as 5000ms). Thus, limb motor learning remains largely intact even in conditions where error assignment favors external factors. Here, we show a fundamentally different result for sensorimotor control of speech articulation: auditory-motor adaptation to formant-shifted feedback is completely eliminated with delays of 100ms or more. Thus, for speech motor learning, real-time auditory feedback is critical. This novel finding informs theoretical models of human motor control in general and speech motor control in particular, and it has direct implications for the application of motor learning principles in the habilitation and rehabilitation of individuals with various sensorimotor speech disorders.

  3. Motivation and Intelligence Drive Auditory Perceptual Learning

    PubMed Central

    Amitay, Sygal; Halliday, Lorna; Taylor, Jenny; Sohoglu, Ediz; Moore, David R.

    2010-01-01

    Background Although feedback on performance is generally thought to promote perceptual learning, the role and necessity of feedback remain unclear. We investigated the effect of providing varying amounts of positive feedback while listeners attempted to discriminate between three identical tones on learning frequency discrimination. Methodology/Principal Findings Using this novel procedure, the feedback was meaningless and random in relation to the listeners' responses, but the amount of feedback provided (or lack thereof) affected learning. We found that a group of listeners who received positive feedback on 10% of the trials improved their performance on the task (learned), while other groups provided either with excess (90%) or with no feedback did not learn. Superimposed on these group data, however, individual listeners showed other systematic changes of performance. In particular, those with lower non-verbal IQ who trained in the no feedback condition performed more poorly after training. Conclusions/Significance This pattern of results cannot be accounted for by learning models that ascribe an external teacher role to feedback. We suggest, instead, that feedback is used to monitor performance on the task in relation to its perceived difficulty, and that listeners who learn without the benefit of feedback are adept at self-monitoring of performance, a trait that also supports better performance on non-verbal IQ tests. These results show that ‘perceptual’ learning is strongly influenced by top-down processes of motivation and intelligence. PMID:20352121

  4. Motor-related signals in the auditory system for listening and learning.

    PubMed

    Schneider, David M; Mooney, Richard

    2015-08-01

    In the auditory system, corollary discharge signals are theorized to facilitate normal hearing and the learning of acoustic behaviors, including speech and music. Despite clear evidence of corollary discharge signals in the auditory cortex and their presumed importance for hearing and auditory-guided motor learning, the circuitry and function of corollary discharge signals in the auditory cortex are not well described. In this review, we focus on recent developments in the mouse and songbird that provide insights into the circuitry that transmits corollary discharge signals to the auditory system and the function of these signals in the context of hearing and vocal learning.

  5. Spatial deployment of attention within and across hemifields in an auditory task.

    PubMed

    Rorden, C; Driver, J

    2001-04-01

    Research on visual attention has demonstrated that covert attention can be focused on particular locations within one hemifield, but that a specific "meridian" cost may also be found for shifting attention between hemifields. These issues have received less consideration for audition, even though reliable behavioral measures for the effects of spatial attention on hearing are now available. We examined the spatial distribution of covert attention in an auditory task following spatially non-predictive peripheral auditory cues (which should induce exogenous attention shifts), or following symbolic central cues that predicted the likely location for the auditory target (to induce endogenous attention shifts). In both cases, we found that attention can be focused not only on one hemifield versus another, but also within one hemifield in an auditory task. However, there was no unequivocal evidence for a meridian effect in audition.

  6. Spatial versus object feature processing in human auditory cortex: a magnetoencephalographic study.

    PubMed

    Herrmann, Christoph S; Senkowski, Daniel; Maess, Burkhard; Friederici, Angela D

    2002-12-06

    The human visual system is divided into two pathways specialized for the processing of either objects or spatial locations. Neuroanatomical studies in monkeys have suggested that a similar specialization may also divide auditory cortex into two such pathways. We used the identical stimulus material in two experimental sessions in which subjects had to either identify auditory objects or their location. Magnetoencephalograms were recorded and M100 dipoles were fitted into individual brain models. In the right hemisphere, the processing of auditory spatial information lead to more lateral activations within the temporal plane while object identification lead to more medial activations. These findings suggest that the human auditory system processes object features and spatial features in distinct areas.

  7. Auditory middle latency response in children with learning difficulties

    PubMed Central

    Frizzo, Ana Claudia Figueiredo; Issac, Myriam Lima; Pontes-Fernandes, Angela Cristina; Menezes, Pedro de Lemos; Funayama, Carolina Araújo Rodrigues

    2012-01-01

    Summary Introduction: This is an objective laboratory assessment of the central auditory systems of children with learning disabilities. Aim: To examine and determine the properties of the components of the Auditory Middle Latency Response in a sample of children with learning disabilities. Methods: This was a prospective, cross-sectional cohort study with quantitative, descriptive, and exploratory outcomes. We included 50 children aged 8–13 years of both genders with and without learning disorders. Those with disorders of known organic, environmental, or genetic causes were excluded. Results and Conclusions: The Na, Pa, and Nb waves were identified in all subjects. The ranges of the latency component values were as follows: Na = 9.8–32.3 ms, Pa = 19.0–51.4 ms, Nb = 30.0–64.3 ms (learning disorders group) and Na = 13.2–29.6 ms, Pa = 21.8–42.8 ms, Nb = 28.4–65.8 ms (healthy group). The values of the Na-Pa amplitude ranged from 0.3 to 6.8 ìV (learning disorders group) or 0.2–3.6 ìV (learning disorders group). Upon analysis, the functional characteristics of the groups were distinct: the left hemisphere Nb latency was longer in the study group than in the control group. Peculiarities of the electrophysiological measures were observed in the children with learning disorders. This study has provided information on the Auditory Middle Latency Response and can serve as a reference for other clinical and experimental studies in children with these disorders. PMID:25991954

  8. Auditory working memory predicts individual differences in absolute pitch learning.

    PubMed

    Van Hedger, Stephen C; Heald, Shannon L M; Koch, Rachelle; Nusbaum, Howard C

    2015-07-01

    Absolute pitch (AP) is typically defined as the ability to label an isolated tone as a musical note in the absence of a reference tone. At first glance the acquisition of AP note categories seems like a perceptual learning task, since individuals must assign a category label to a stimulus based on a single perceptual dimension (pitch) while ignoring other perceptual dimensions (e.g., loudness, octave, instrument). AP, however, is rarely discussed in terms of domain-general perceptual learning mechanisms. This is because AP is typically assumed to depend on a critical period of development, in which early exposure to pitches and musical labels is thought to be necessary for the development of AP precluding the possibility of adult acquisition of AP. Despite this view of AP, several previous studies have found evidence that absolute pitch category learning is, to an extent, trainable in a post-critical period adult population, even if the performance typically achieved by this population is below the performance of a "true" AP possessor. The current studies attempt to understand the individual differences in learning to categorize notes using absolute pitch cues by testing a specific prediction regarding cognitive capacity related to categorization - to what extent does an individual's general auditory working memory capacity (WMC) predict the success of absolute pitch category acquisition. Since WMC has been shown to predict performance on a wide variety of other perceptual and category learning tasks, we predict that individuals with higher WMC should be better at learning absolute pitch note categories than individuals with lower WMC. Across two studies, we demonstrate that auditory WMC predicts the efficacy of learning absolute pitch note categories. These results suggest that a higher general auditory WMC might underlie the formation of absolute pitch categories for post-critical period adults. Implications for understanding the mechanisms that underlie the

  9. Spatial Language Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fu, Zhengling

    2016-01-01

    Spatial language constitutes part of the basic fabric of language. Although languages may have the same number of terms to cover a set of spatial relations, they do not always do so in the same way. Spatial languages differ across languages quite radically, thus providing a real semantic challenge for second language learners. The essay first…

  10. Spatial representations of temporal and spectral sound cues in human auditory cortex.

    PubMed

    Herdener, Marcus; Esposito, Fabrizio; Scheffler, Klaus; Schneider, Peter; Logothetis, Nikos K; Uludag, Kamil; Kayser, Christoph

    2013-01-01

    Natural and behaviorally relevant sounds are characterized by temporal modulations of their waveforms, which carry important cues for sound segmentation and communication. Still, there is little consensus as to how this temporal information is represented in auditory cortex. Here, by using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) optimized for studying the auditory system, we report the existence of a topographically ordered spatial representation of temporal sound modulation rates in human auditory cortex. We found a topographically organized sensitivity within auditory cortex to sounds with varying modulation rates, with enhanced responses to lower modulation rates (2 and 4 Hz) on lateral parts of Heschl's gyrus (HG) and faster modulation rates (16 and 32 Hz) on medial HG. The representation of temporal modulation rates was distinct from the representation of sound frequencies (tonotopy) that was orientated roughly orthogonal. Moreover, the combination of probabilistic anatomical maps with a previously proposed functional delineation of auditory fields revealed that the distinct maps of temporal and spectral sound features both prevail within two presumed primary auditory fields hA1 and hR. Our results reveal a topographically ordered representation of temporal sound cues in human primary auditory cortex that is complementary to maps of spectral cues. They thereby enhance our understanding of the functional parcellation and organization of auditory cortical processing.

  11. Auditory spatial representations of the world are compressed in blind humans.

    PubMed

    Kolarik, Andrew J; Pardhan, Shahina; Cirstea, Silvia; Moore, Brian C J

    2017-02-01

    Compared to sighted listeners, blind listeners often display enhanced auditory spatial abilities such as localization in azimuth. However, less is known about whether blind humans can accurately judge distance in extrapersonal space using auditory cues alone. Using virtualization techniques, we show that auditory spatial representations of the world beyond the peripersonal space of blind listeners are compressed compared to those for normally sighted controls. Blind participants overestimated the distance to nearby sources and underestimated the distance to remote sound sources, in both reverberant and anechoic environments, and for speech, music, and noise signals. Functions relating judged and actual virtual distance were well fitted by compressive power functions, indicating that the absence of visual information regarding the distance of sound sources may prevent accurate calibration of the distance information provided by auditory signals.

  12. Learning Anatomy Enhances Spatial Ability

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vorstenbosch, Marc A. T. M.; Klaassen, Tim P. F. M.; Donders, A. R. T.; Kooloos, Jan G. M.; Bolhuis, Sanneke M.; Laan, Roland F. J. M.

    2013-01-01

    Spatial ability is an important factor in learning anatomy. Students with high scores on a mental rotation test (MRT) systematically score higher on anatomy examinations. This study aims to investigate if learning anatomy also oppositely improves the MRT-score. Five hundred first year students of medicine ("n" = 242, intervention) and…

  13. Foxp2 mutations impair auditory-motor association learning.

    PubMed

    Kurt, Simone; Fisher, Simon E; Ehret, Günter

    2012-01-01

    Heterozygous mutations of the human FOXP2 transcription factor gene cause the best-described examples of monogenic speech and language disorders. Acquisition of proficient spoken language involves auditory-guided vocal learning, a specialized form of sensory-motor association learning. The impact of etiological Foxp2 mutations on learning of auditory-motor associations in mammals has not been determined yet. Here, we directly assess this type of learning using a newly developed conditioned avoidance paradigm in a shuttle-box for mice. We show striking deficits in mice heterozygous for either of two different Foxp2 mutations previously implicated in human speech disorders. Both mutations cause delays in acquiring new motor skills. The magnitude of impairments in association learning, however, depends on the nature of the mutation. Mice with a missense mutation in the DNA-binding domain are able to learn, but at a much slower rate than wild type animals, while mice carrying an early nonsense mutation learn very little. These results are consistent with expression of Foxp2 in distributed circuits of the cortex, striatum and cerebellum that are known to play key roles in acquisition of motor skills and sensory-motor association learning, and suggest differing in vivo effects for distinct variants of the Foxp2 protein. Given the importance of such networks for the acquisition of human spoken language, and the fact that similar mutations in human FOXP2 cause problems with speech development, this work opens up a new perspective on the use of mouse models for understanding pathways underlying speech and language disorders.

  14. Different Verbal Learning Strategies in Autism Spectrum Disorder: Evidence from the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bowler, Dermot M.; Limoges, Elyse; Mottron, Laurent

    2009-01-01

    The Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test, which requires the free recall of the same list of 15 unrelated words over 5 trials, was administered to 21 high-functioning adolescents and adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and 21 matched typical individuals. The groups showed similar overall levels of free recall, rates of learning over trials and…

  15. Visual and Auditory Learning Processes in Normal Children and Children with Specific Learning Disabilities. Final Report.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McGrady, Harold J.; Olson, Don A.

    To describe and compare the psychosensory functioning of normal children and children with specific learning disabilities, 62 learning disabled and 68 normal children were studied. Each child was given a battery of thirteen subtests on an automated psychosensory system representing various combinations of auditory and visual intra- and…

  16. Auditory Processing, Plasticity, and Learning in the Barn Owl

    PubMed Central

    Peña, José L.; DeBello, William M.

    2011-01-01

    The human brain has accumulated many useful building blocks over its evolutionary history, and the best knowledge of these has often derived from experiments performed in animal species that display finely honed abilities. In this article we review a model system at the forefront of investigation into the neural bases of information processing, plasticity, and learning: the barn owl auditory localization pathway. In addition to the broadly applicable principles gleaned from three decades of work in this system, there are good reasons to believe that continued exploration of the owl brain will be invaluable for further advances in understanding of how neuronal networks give rise to behavior. PMID:21131711

  17. Spatial Attention Evokes Similar Activation Patterns for Visual and Auditory Stimuli

    PubMed Central

    Smith, David V.; Davis, Ben; Niu, Kathy; Healy, Eric W.; Bonilha, Leonardo; Fridriksson, Julius; Morgan, Paul S.; Rorden, Chris

    2010-01-01

    Neuroimaging studies suggest that a fronto-parietal network is activated when we expect visual information to appear at a specific spatial location. Here we examined whether a similar network is involved for auditory stimuli. We used sparse fMRI to infer brain activation while participants performed analogous visual and auditory tasks. On some trials, participants were asked to discriminate the elevation of a peripheral target. On other trials, participants made a nonspatial judgment. We contrasted trials where the participants expected a peripheral spatial target to those where they were cued to expect a central target. Crucially, our statistical analyses were based on trials where stimuli were anticipated but not presented, allowing us to directly infer perceptual orienting independent of perceptual processing. This is the first neuroimaging study to use an orthogonal-cuing paradigm (with cues predicting azimuth and responses involving elevation discrimination). This aspect of our paradigm is important, as behavioral cueing effects in audition are classically only observed when participants are asked to make spatial judgments. We observed similar fronto-parietal activation for both vision and audition. In a second experiment that controlled for stimulus properties and task difficulty, participants made spatial and temporal discriminations about musical instruments. We found that the pattern of brain activation for spatial selection of auditory stimuli was remarkably similar to what we found in our first experiment. Collectively, these results suggest that the neural mechanisms supporting spatial attention are largely similar across both visual and auditory modalities. PMID:19400684

  18. Integration of Auditory and Visual Spatial Information During Early Infancy.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lyons-Ruth, Karlen

    An experiment was performed to show that infants perceive auditory and visual stimuli within a common space and that they perceive the sound as an attribute of the visual object. Subjects were 22 infants aged 3 to 5 months. Each infant was presented with a toy that moved in a small arc from side to side of a small window at the rate of one arc per…

  19. Assessment of auditory spatial awareness in complex listening environments.

    PubMed

    Brungart, Douglas S; Cohen, Julie; Cord, Mary; Zion, Danielle; Kalluri, Sridhar

    2014-10-01

    In the real world, listeners often need to track multiple simultaneous sources in order to maintain awareness of the relevant sounds in their environments. Thus, there is reason to believe that simple single source sound localization tasks may not accurately capture the impact that a listening device such as a hearing aid might have on a listener's level of auditory awareness. In this experiment, 10 normal hearing listeners and 20 hearing impaired listeners were tested in a task that required them to identify and localize sound sources in three different listening tasks of increasing complexity: a single-source localization task, where listeners identified and localized a single sound source presented in isolation; an added source task, where listeners identified and localized a source that was added to an existing auditory scene, and a remove source task, where listeners identified and localized a source that was removed from an existing auditory scene. Hearing impaired listeners completed these tasks with and without the use of their previously fit hearing aids. As expected, the results show that performance decreased both with increasing task complexity and with the number of competing sound sources in the acoustic scene. The results also show that the added source task was as sensitive to differences in performance across listening conditions as the standard localization task, but that it correlated with a different pattern of subjective and objective performance measures across listeners. This result suggests that a measure of complex auditory situation awareness such as the one tested here may be a useful tool for evaluating differences in performance across different types of listening devices, such as hearing aids or hearing protection devices.

  20. Auditory Discrimination as a Condition for E-Learning Based Speech Therapy: A Proposal for an Auditory Discrimination Test (ADT) for Adult Dysarthric Speakers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Beijer, L. J.; Rietveld, A. C. M.; van Stiphout, A. J. L.

    2011-01-01

    Background: Web based speech training for dysarthric speakers, such as E-learning based Speech Therapy (EST), puts considerable demands on auditory discrimination abilities. Aims: To discuss the development and the evaluation of an auditory discrimination test (ADT) for the assessment of auditory speech discrimination skills in Dutch adult…

  1. Longitudinal Changes in Auditory Discrimination in Normal Children and Children with Language-Learning Problems.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Elliott, Lois L.; Hammer, Michael A.

    1988-01-01

    Using a set of fine-grained auditory discrimination tasks, 21 children with language-learning problems were compared with 21 normal children, aged six-nine. Across three years, children with language-learning problems showed poorer auditory discrimination for temporally based acoustic differences, poorer receptive vocabulary and language…

  2. Comparison of Auditory Language Comprehension Skills in Learning-Disabled and Academically Achieving Adolescents.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Riedlinger-Ryan, Kathryn J.; Shewan, Cynthia M.

    1984-01-01

    Thirty academically achieving and 30 learning-disabled adolescents were examined on a battery of auditory language comprehension tests. Results indicated that 73 percent of the learning-disabled group scored lower than all of the control Ss on one or more of these tests. The importance of identifying auditory comprehension defects in the…

  3. [Development of auditory-visual spatial integration using saccadic response time as the index].

    PubMed

    Kato, Masaharu; Konishi, Kaoru; Kurosawa, Makiko; Konishi, Yukuo

    2006-05-01

    We measured saccadic response time (SRT) to investigate developmental changes related to spatially aligned or misaligned auditory and visual stimuli responses. We exposed 4-, 5-, and 11-month-old infants to ipsilateral or contralateral auditory-visual stimuli and monitored their eye movements using an electro-oculographic (EOG) system. The SRT analyses revealed four main results. First, saccades were triggered by visual stimuli but not always triggered by auditory stimuli. Second, SRTs became shorter as the children grew older. Third, SRTs for the ipsilateral and visual-only conditions were the same in all infants. Fourth, SRTs for the contralateral condition were longer than for the ipsilateral and visual-only conditions in 11-month-old infants but were the same for all three conditions in 4- and 5-month-old infants. These findings suggest that infants acquire the function of auditory-visual spatial integration underlying saccadic eye movement between the ages of 5 and 11 months. The dependency of SRTs on the spatial configuration of auditory and visual stimuli can be explained by cortical control of the superior colliculus. Our finding of no differences in SRTs between the ipsilateral and visual-only conditions suggests that there are multiple pathways for controlling the superior colliculus and that these pathways have different developmental time courses.

  4. Interface Design Implications for Recalling the Spatial Configuration of Virtual Auditory Environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McMullen, Kyla A.

    Although the concept of virtual spatial audio has existed for almost twenty-five years, only in the past fifteen years has modern computing technology enabled the real-time processing needed to deliver high-precision spatial audio. Furthermore, the concept of virtually walking through an auditory environment did not exist. The applications of such an interface have numerous potential uses. Spatial audio has the potential to be used in various manners ranging from enhancing sounds delivered in virtual gaming worlds to conveying spatial locations in real-time emergency response systems. To incorporate this technology in real-world systems, various concerns should be addressed. First, to widely incorporate spatial audio into real-world systems, head-related transfer functions (HRTFs) must be inexpensively created for each user. The present study further investigated an HRTF subjective selection procedure previously developed within our research group. Users discriminated auditory cues to subjectively select their preferred HRTF from a publicly available database. Next, the issue of training to find virtual sources was addressed. Listeners participated in a localization training experiment using their selected HRTFs. The training procedure was created from the characterization of successful search strategies in prior auditory search experiments. Search accuracy significantly improved after listeners performed the training procedure. Next, in the investigation of auditory spatial memory, listeners completed three search and recall tasks with differing recall methods. Recall accuracy significantly decreased in tasks that required the storage of sound source configurations in memory. To assess the impacts of practical scenarios, the present work assessed the performance effects of: signal uncertainty, visual augmentation, and different attenuation modeling. Fortunately, source uncertainty did not affect listeners' ability to recall or identify sound sources. The present

  5. Czech version of Rey Auditory Verbal Learning test: normative data.

    PubMed

    Bezdicek, Ondrej; Stepankova, Hana; Moták, Ladislav; Axelrod, Bradley N; Woodard, John L; Preiss, Marek; Nikolai, Tomáš; Růžička, Evžen; Poreh, Amir

    2014-01-01

    The present study provides normative data stratified by age for the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning test Czech version (RAVLT) derived from a sample of 306 cognitively normal subjects (20-85 years). Participants met strict inclusion criteria (absence of any active or past neurological or psychiatric disorder) and performed within normal limits on other neuropsychological measures. Our analyses revealed significant relationships between most RAVLT indices and age and education. Normative data are provided not only for basic RAVLT scores, but for the first time also for a variety of derived (gained/lost access, primacy/recency effect) and error scores. The study confirmed a logarithmic character of the learning slope and is consistent with other studies. It enables the clinician to evaluate more precisely subject's RAVLT memory performance on a vast number of indices and can be viewed as a concrete example of Quantified Process Approach to neuropsychological assessment.

  6. Relative Contributions of Visual and Auditory Spatial Representations to Tactile Localization

    PubMed Central

    Noel, Jean-Paul; Wallace, Mark

    2016-01-01

    Spatial localization of touch is critically dependent upon coordinate transformation between different reference frames, which must ultimately allow for alignment between somatotopic and external representations of space. Although prior work has shown an important role for cues such as body posture in influencing the spatial localization of touch, the relative contributions of the different sensory systems to this process are unknown. In the current study, we had participants perform a tactile temporal order judgment (TOJ) under different body postures and conditions of sensory deprivation. Specifically, participants performed non-speeded judgments about the order of two tactile stimuli presented in rapid succession on their ankles during conditions in which their legs were either uncrossed or crossed (and thus bringing somatotopic and external reference frames into conflict). These judgments were made in the absence of 1) visual, 2) auditory, or 3) combined audio-visual spatial information by blindfolding and/or placing participants in an anechoic chamber. As expected, results revealed that tactile temporal acuity was poorer under crossed than uncrossed leg postures. Intriguingly, results also revealed that auditory and audio-visual deprivation exacerbated the difference in tactile temporal acuity between uncrossed to crossed leg postures, an effect not seen for visual-only deprivation. Furthermore, the effects under combined audio-visual deprivation were greater than those seen for auditory deprivation. Collectively, these results indicate that mechanisms governing the alignment between somatotopic and external reference frames extend beyond those imposed by body posture to include spatial features conveyed by the auditory and visual modalities – with a heavier weighting of auditory than visual spatial information. Thus, sensory modalities conveying exteroceptive spatial information contribute to judgments regarding the localization of touch. PMID:26768124

  7. Differential Effects of Music and Video Gaming During Breaks on Auditory and Visual Learning.

    PubMed

    Liu, Shuyan; Kuschpel, Maxim S; Schad, Daniel J; Heinz, Andreas; Rapp, Michael A

    2015-11-01

    The interruption of learning processes by breaks filled with diverse activities is common in everyday life. This study investigated the effects of active computer gaming and passive relaxation (rest and music) breaks on auditory versus visual memory performance. Young adults were exposed to breaks involving (a) open eyes resting, (b) listening to music, and (c) playing a video game, immediately after memorizing auditory versus visual stimuli. To assess learning performance, words were recalled directly after the break (an 8:30 minute delay) and were recalled and recognized again after 7 days. Based on linear mixed-effects modeling, it was found that playing the Angry Birds video game during a short learning break impaired long-term retrieval in auditory learning but enhanced long-term retrieval in visual learning compared with the music and rest conditions. These differential effects of video games on visual versus auditory learning suggest specific interference of common break activities on learning.

  8. The Use of Spatialized Speech in Auditory Interfaces for Computer Users Who Are Visually Impaired

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sodnik, Jaka; Jakus, Grega; Tomazic, Saso

    2012-01-01

    Introduction: This article reports on a study that explored the benefits and drawbacks of using spatially positioned synthesized speech in auditory interfaces for computer users who are visually impaired (that is, are blind or have low vision). The study was a practical application of such systems--an enhanced word processing application compared…

  9. Learning-dependent plasticity in human auditory cortex during appetitive operant conditioning.

    PubMed

    Puschmann, Sebastian; Brechmann, André; Thiel, Christiane M

    2013-11-01

    Animal experiments provide evidence that learning to associate an auditory stimulus with a reward causes representational changes in auditory cortex. However, most studies did not investigate the temporal formation of learning-dependent plasticity during the task but rather compared auditory cortex receptive fields before and after conditioning. We here present a functional magnetic resonance imaging study on learning-related plasticity in the human auditory cortex during operant appetitive conditioning. Participants had to learn to associate a specific category of frequency-modulated tones with a reward. Only participants who learned this association developed learning-dependent plasticity in left auditory cortex over the course of the experiment. No differential responses to reward predicting and nonreward predicting tones were found in auditory cortex in nonlearners. In addition, learners showed similar learning-induced differential responses to reward-predicting and nonreward-predicting tones in the ventral tegmental area and the nucleus accumbens, two core regions of the dopaminergic neurotransmitter system. This may indicate a dopaminergic influence on the formation of learning-dependent plasticity in auditory cortex, as it has been suggested by previous animal studies.

  10. Spatial and Temporal Relationships of Electrocorticographic Alpha and Gamma Activity During Auditory Processing

    PubMed Central

    Potes, Cristhian; Brunner, Peter; Gunduz, Aysegul; Knight, Robert T.; Schalk, Gerwin

    2014-01-01

    Neuroimaging approaches have implicated multiple brain sites in musical perception, including the posterior part of the superior temporal gyrus and adjacent perisylvian areas. However, the detailed spatial and temporal relationship of neural signals that support auditory processing is largely unknown. In this study, we applied a novel inter-subject analysis approach to electrophysiological signals recorded from the surface of the brain (electrocorticography (ECoG)) in ten human subjects. This approach allowed us to reliably identify those ECoG features that were related to the processing of a complex auditory stimulus (i.e., continuous piece of music) and to investigate their spatial, temporal, and causal relationships. Our results identified stimulus-related modulations in the alpha (8-12 Hz) and high gamma (70-110 Hz) bands at neuroanatomical locations implicated in auditory processing. Specifically, we identified stimulus-related ECoG modulations in the alpha band in areas adjacent to primary auditory cortex, which are known to receive afferent auditory projections from the thalamus (80 of a total of 15107 tested sites). In contrast, we identified stimulus-related ECoG modulations in the high gamma band not only in areas close to primary auditory cortex but also in other perisylvian areas known to be involved in higher-order auditory processing, and in superior premotor cortex (412/15107 sites). Across all implicated areas, modulations in the high gamma band preceded those in the alpha band by 280 ms, and activity in the high gamma band causally predicted alpha activity, but not vice versa (Granger causality, p < 1e–8). Additionally, detailed analyses using Granger causality identified causal relationships of high gamma activity between distinct locations in early auditory pathways within superior temporal gyrus (STG) and posterior STG, between posterior STG and inferior frontal cortex, and between STG and premotor cortex. Evidence suggests that these

  11. Auditory experience-dependent cortical circuit shaping for memory formation in bird song learning

    PubMed Central

    Yanagihara, Shin; Yazaki-Sugiyama, Yoko

    2016-01-01

    As in human speech acquisition, songbird vocal learning depends on early auditory experience. During development, juvenile songbirds listen to and form auditory memories of adult tutor songs, which they use to shape their own vocalizations in later sensorimotor learning. The higher-level auditory cortex, called the caudomedial nidopallium (NCM), is a potential storage site for tutor song memory, but no direct electrophysiological evidence of tutor song memory has been found. Here, we identify the neuronal substrate for tutor song memory by recording single-neuron activity in the NCM of behaving juvenile zebra finches. After tutor song experience, a small subset of NCM neurons exhibit highly selective auditory responses to the tutor song. Moreover, blockade of GABAergic inhibition, and sleep decrease their selectivity. Taken together, these results suggest that experience-dependent recruitment of GABA-mediated inhibition shapes auditory cortical circuits, leading to sparse representation of tutor song memory in auditory cortical neurons. PMID:27327620

  12. Changes in Auditory Frequency Guide Visual-Spatial Attention

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mossbridge, Julia A.; Grabowecky, Marcia; Suzuki, Satoru

    2011-01-01

    How do the characteristics of sounds influence the allocation of visual-spatial attention? Natural sounds typically change in frequency. Here we demonstrate that the direction of frequency change guides visual-spatial attention more strongly than the average or ending frequency, and provide evidence suggesting that this cross-modal effect may be…

  13. Musicians’ Online Performance during Auditory and Visual Statistical Learning Tasks

    PubMed Central

    Mandikal Vasuki, Pragati R.; Sharma, Mridula; Ibrahim, Ronny K.; Arciuli, Joanne

    2017-01-01

    Musicians’ brains are considered to be a functional model of neuroplasticity due to the structural and functional changes associated with long-term musical training. In this study, we examined implicit extraction of statistical regularities from a continuous stream of stimuli—statistical learning (SL). We investigated whether long-term musical training is associated with better extraction of statistical cues in an auditory SL (aSL) task and a visual SL (vSL) task—both using the embedded triplet paradigm. Online measures, characterized by event related potentials (ERPs), were recorded during a familiarization phase while participants were exposed to a continuous stream of individually presented pure tones in the aSL task or individually presented cartoon figures in the vSL task. Unbeknown to participants, the stream was composed of triplets. Musicians showed advantages when compared to non-musicians in the online measure (early N1 and N400 triplet onset effects) during the aSL task. However, there were no differences between musicians and non-musicians for the vSL task. Results from the current study show that musical training is associated with enhancements in extraction of statistical cues only in the auditory domain. PMID:28352223

  14. Cross-modal activation of auditory regions during visuo-spatial working memory in early deafness.

    PubMed

    Ding, Hao; Qin, Wen; Liang, Meng; Ming, Dong; Wan, Baikun; Li, Qiang; Yu, Chunshui

    2015-09-01

    Early deafness can reshape deprived auditory regions to enable the processing of signals from the remaining intact sensory modalities. Cross-modal activation has been observed in auditory regions during non-auditory tasks in early deaf subjects. In hearing subjects, visual working memory can evoke activation of the visual cortex, which further contributes to behavioural performance. In early deaf subjects, however, whether and how auditory regions participate in visual working memory remains unclear. We hypothesized that auditory regions may be involved in visual working memory processing and activation of auditory regions may contribute to the superior behavioural performance of early deaf subjects. In this study, 41 early deaf subjects (22 females and 19 males, age range: 20-26 years, age of onset of deafness < 2 years) and 40 age- and gender-matched hearing controls underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging during a visuo-spatial delayed recognition task that consisted of encoding, maintenance and recognition stages. The early deaf subjects exhibited faster reaction times on the spatial working memory task than did the hearing controls. Compared with hearing controls, deaf subjects exhibited increased activation in the superior temporal gyrus bilaterally during the recognition stage. This increased activation amplitude predicted faster and more accurate working memory performance in deaf subjects. Deaf subjects also had increased activation in the superior temporal gyrus bilaterally during the maintenance stage and in the right superior temporal gyrus during the encoding stage. These increased activation amplitude also predicted faster reaction times on the spatial working memory task in deaf subjects. These findings suggest that cross-modal plasticity occurs in auditory association areas in early deaf subjects. These areas are involved in visuo-spatial working memory. Furthermore, amplitudes of cross-modal activation during the maintenance stage were

  15. Auditory artificial grammar learning in macaque and marmoset monkeys.

    PubMed

    Wilson, Benjamin; Slater, Heather; Kikuchi, Yukiko; Milne, Alice E; Marslen-Wilson, William D; Smith, Kenny; Petkov, Christopher I

    2013-11-27

    Artificial grammars (AG) are designed to emulate aspects of the structure of language, and AG learning (AGL) paradigms can be used to study the extent of nonhuman animals' structure-learning capabilities. However, different AG structures have been used with nonhuman animals and are difficult to compare across studies and species. We developed a simple quantitative parameter space, which we used to summarize previous nonhuman animal AGL results. This was used to highlight an under-studied AG with a forward-branching structure, designed to model certain aspects of the nondeterministic nature of word transitions in natural language and animal song. We tested whether two monkey species could learn aspects of this auditory AG. After habituating the monkeys to the AG, analysis of video recordings showed that common marmosets (New World monkeys) differentiated between well formed, correct testing sequences and those violating the AG structure based primarily on simple learning strategies. By comparison, Rhesus macaques (Old World monkeys) showed evidence for deeper levels of AGL. A novel eye-tracking approach confirmed this result in the macaques and demonstrated evidence for more complex AGL. This study provides evidence for a previously unknown level of AGL complexity in Old World monkeys that seems less evident in New World monkeys, which are more distant evolutionary relatives to humans. The findings allow for the development of both marmosets and macaques as neurobiological model systems to study different aspects of AGL at the neuronal level.

  16. Selective attention modulates human auditory brainstem responses: relative contributions of frequency and spatial cues.

    PubMed

    Lehmann, Alexandre; Schönwiesner, Marc

    2014-01-01

    Selective attention is the mechanism that allows focusing one's attention on a particular stimulus while filtering out a range of other stimuli, for instance, on a single conversation in a noisy room. Attending to one sound source rather than another changes activity in the human auditory cortex, but it is unclear whether attention to different acoustic features, such as voice pitch and speaker location, modulates subcortical activity. Studies using a dichotic listening paradigm indicated that auditory brainstem processing may be modulated by the direction of attention. We investigated whether endogenous selective attention to one of two speech signals affects amplitude and phase locking in auditory brainstem responses when the signals were either discriminable by frequency content alone, or by frequency content and spatial location. Frequency-following responses to the speech sounds were significantly modulated in both conditions. The modulation was specific to the task-relevant frequency band. The effect was stronger when both frequency and spatial information were available. Patterns of response were variable between participants, and were correlated with psychophysical discriminability of the stimuli, suggesting that the modulation was biologically relevant. Our results demonstrate that auditory brainstem responses are susceptible to efferent modulation related to behavioral goals. Furthermore they suggest that mechanisms of selective attention actively shape activity at early subcortical processing stages according to task relevance and based on frequency and spatial cues.

  17. An exploration of spatial auditory BCI paradigms with different sounds: music notes versus beeps.

    PubMed

    Huang, Minqiang; Daly, Ian; Jin, Jing; Zhang, Yu; Wang, Xingyu; Cichocki, Andrzej

    2016-06-01

    Visual brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) are not suitable for people who cannot reliably maintain their eye gaze. Considering that this group usually maintains audition, an auditory based BCI may be a good choice for them. In this paper, we explore two auditory patterns: (1) a pattern utilizing symmetrical spatial cues with multiple frequency beeps [called the high low medium (HLM) pattern], and (2) a pattern utilizing non-symmetrical spatial cues with six tones derived from the diatonic scale [called the diatonic scale (DS) pattern]. These two patterns are compared to each other in terms of accuracy to determine which auditory pattern is better. The HLM pattern uses three different frequency beeps and has a symmetrical spatial distribution. The DS pattern uses six spoken stimuli, which are six notes solmizated as "do", "re", "mi", "fa", "sol" and "la", and derived from the diatonic scale. These six sounds are distributed to six, spatially distributed, speakers. Thus, we compare a BCI paradigm using beeps with another BCI paradigm using tones on the diatonic scale, when the stimuli are spatially distributed. Although no significant differences are found between the ERPs, the HLM pattern performs better than the DS pattern: the online accuracy achieved with the HLM pattern is significantly higher than that achieved with the DS pattern (p = 0.0028).

  18. Auditory Model: Effects on Learning under Blocked and Random Practice Schedules

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Han, Dong-Wook; Shea, Charles H.

    2008-01-01

    An experiment was conducted to determine the impact of an auditory model on blocked, random, and mixed practice schedules of three five-segment timing sequences (relative time constant). We were interested in whether or not the auditory model differentially affected the learning of relative and absolute timing under blocked and random practice.…

  19. Unraveling the Biology of Auditory Learning: A Cognitive-Sensorimotor-Reward Framework.

    PubMed

    Kraus, Nina; White-Schwoch, Travis

    2015-11-01

    The auditory system is stunning in its capacity for change: a single neuron can modulate its tuning in minutes. Here we articulate a conceptual framework to understand the biology of auditory learning where an animal must engage cognitive, sensorimotor, and reward systems to spark neural remodeling. Central to our framework is a consideration of the auditory system as an integrated whole that interacts with other circuits to guide and refine life in sound. Despite our emphasis on the auditory system, these principles may apply across the nervous system. Understanding neuroplastic changes in both normal and impaired sensory systems guides strategies to improve everyday communication.

  20. Spatial learning while navigating with severely degraded viewing: The role of attention and mobility monitoring.

    PubMed

    Rand, Kristina M; Creem-Regehr, Sarah H; Thompson, William B

    2015-06-01

    The ability to navigate without getting lost is an important aspect of quality of life. In 5 studies, we evaluated how spatial learning is affected by the increased demands of keeping oneself safe while walking with degraded vision (mobility monitoring). We proposed that safe low vision mobility requires attentional resources, providing competition for those needed to learn a new environment. In Experiments 1 and 2, participants navigated along paths in a real-world indoor environment with simulated degraded vision or normal vision. Memory for object locations seen along the paths was better with normal compared with degraded vision. With degraded vision, memory was better when participants were guided by an experimenter (low monitoring demands) versus unguided (high monitoring demands). In Experiments 3 and 4, participants walked while performing an auditory task. Auditory task performance was superior with normal compared with degraded vision. With degraded vision, auditory task performance was better when guided compared with unguided. In Experiment 5, participants performed both the spatial learning and auditory tasks under degraded vision. Results showed that attention mediates the relationship between mobility-monitoring demands and spatial learning. These studies suggest that more attention is required and spatial learning is impaired when navigating with degraded viewing.

  1. Spatial learning while navigating with severely degraded viewing: The role of attention and mobility monitoring

    PubMed Central

    Rand, Kristina M.; Creem-Regehr, Sarah H.; Thompson, William B.

    2015-01-01

    The ability to navigate without getting lost is an important aspect of quality of life. In five studies, we evaluated how spatial learning is affected by the increased demands of keeping oneself safe while walking with degraded vision (mobility monitoring). We proposed that safe low-vision mobility requires attentional resources, providing competition for those needed to learn a new environment. In Experiments 1 and 2 participants navigated along paths in a real-world indoor environment with simulated degraded vision or normal vision. Memory for object locations seen along the paths was better with normal compared to degraded vision. With degraded vision, memory was better when participants were guided by an experimenter (low monitoring demands) versus unguided (high monitoring demands). In Experiments 3 and 4, participants walked while performing an auditory task. Auditory task performance was superior with normal compared to degraded vision. With degraded vision, auditory task performance was better when guided compared to unguided. In Experiment 5, participants performed both the spatial learning and auditory tasks under degraded vision. Results showed that attention mediates the relationship between mobility-monitoring demands and spatial learning. These studies suggest that more attention is required and spatial learning is impaired when navigating with degraded viewing. PMID:25706766

  2. Behavioral semantics of learning and crossmodal processing in auditory cortex: the semantic processor concept.

    PubMed

    Scheich, Henning; Brechmann, André; Brosch, Michael; Budinger, Eike; Ohl, Frank W; Selezneva, Elena; Stark, Holger; Tischmeyer, Wolfgang; Wetzel, Wolfram

    2011-01-01

    Two phenomena of auditory cortex activity have recently attracted attention, namely that the primary field can show different types of learning-related changes of sound representation and that during learning even this early auditory cortex is under strong multimodal influence. Based on neuronal recordings in animal auditory cortex during instrumental tasks, in this review we put forward the hypothesis that these two phenomena serve to derive the task-specific meaning of sounds by associative learning. To understand the implications of this tenet, it is helpful to realize how a behavioral meaning is usually derived for novel environmental sounds. For this purpose, associations with other sensory, e.g. visual, information are mandatory to develop a connection between a sound and its behaviorally relevant cause and/or the context of sound occurrence. This makes it plausible that in instrumental tasks various non-auditory sensory and procedural contingencies of sound generation become co-represented by neuronal firing in auditory cortex. Information related to reward or to avoidance of discomfort during task learning, that is essentially non-auditory, is also co-represented. The reinforcement influence points to the dopaminergic internal reward system, the local role of which for memory consolidation in auditory cortex is well-established. Thus, during a trial of task performance, the neuronal responses to the sounds are embedded in a sequence of representations of such non-auditory information. The embedded auditory responses show task-related modulations of auditory responses falling into types that correspond to three basic logical classifications that may be performed with a perceptual item, i.e. from simple detection to discrimination, and categorization. This hierarchy of classifications determine the semantic "same-different" relationships among sounds. Different cognitive classifications appear to be a consequence of learning task and lead to a recruitment of

  3. Spatial auditory regularity encoding and prediction: Human middle-latency and long-latency auditory evoked potentials.

    PubMed

    Cornella, M; Bendixen, A; Grimm, S; Leung, S; Schröger, E; Escera, C

    2015-11-11

    By encoding acoustic regularities present in the environment, the human brain can generate predictions of what is likely to occur next. Recent studies suggest that deviations from encoded regularities are detected within 10-50ms after stimulus onset, as indicated by electrophysiological effects in the middle latency response (MLR) range. This is upstream of previously known long-latency (LLR) signatures of deviance detection such as the mismatch negativity (MMN) component. In the present study, we created predictable and unpredictable contexts to investigate MLR and LLR signatures of the encoding of spatial auditory regularities and the generation of predictions from these regularities. Chirps were monaurally delivered in an either regular (predictable: left-right-left-right) or a random (unpredictable left/right alternation or repetition) manner. Occasional stimulus omissions occurred in both types of sequences. Results showed that the Na component (peaking at 34ms after stimulus onset) was attenuated for regular relative to random chirps, albeit no differences were observed for stimulus omission responses in the same latency range. In the LLR range, larger chirp-and omission-evoked responses were elicited for the regular than for the random condition, and predictability effects were more prominent over the right hemisphere. We discuss our findings in the framework of a hierarchical organization of spatial regularity encoding. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled SI: Prediction and Attention.

  4. Effect of GIS Learning on Spatial Thinking

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lee, Jongwon; Bednarz, Robert

    2009-01-01

    A spatial-skills test is used to examine the effect of GIS learning on the spatial thinking ability of college students. Eighty students at a large state university completed pre- and post- spatial-skills tests administered during the 2003 fall semester. Analysis of changes in the students' test scores revealed that GIS learning helped students…

  5. Neural Correlates of Auditory Processing, Learning and Memory Formation in Songbirds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pinaud, R.; Terleph, T. A.; Wynne, R. D.; Tremere, L. A.

    Songbirds have emerged as powerful experimental models for the study of auditory processing of complex natural communication signals. Intact hearing is necessary for several behaviors in developing and adult animals including vocal learning, territorial defense, mate selection and individual recognition. These behaviors are thought to require the processing, discrimination and memorization of songs. Although much is known about the brain circuits that participate in sensorimotor (auditory-vocal) integration, especially the ``song-control" system, less is known about the anatomical and functional organization of central auditory pathways. Here we discuss findings associated with a telencephalic auditory area known as the caudomedial nidopallium (NCM). NCM has attracted significant interest as it exhibits functional properties that may support higher order auditory functions such as stimulus discrimination and the formation of auditory memories. NCM neurons are vigorously dr iven by auditory stimuli. Interestingly, these responses are selective to conspecific, relative to heterospecific songs and artificial stimuli. In addition, forms of experience-dependent plasticity occur in NCM and are song-specific. Finally, recent experiments employing high-throughput quantitative proteomics suggest that complex protein regulatory pathways are engaged in NCM as a result of auditory experience. These molecular cascades are likely central to experience-associated plasticity of NCM circuitry and may be part of a network of calcium-driven molecular events that support the formation of auditory memory traces.

  6. Effects of chronic stress on the auditory system and fear learning: an evolutionary approach.

    PubMed

    Dagnino-Subiabre, Alexies

    2013-01-01

    Stress is a complex biological reaction common to all living organisms that allows them to adapt to their environments. Chronic stress alters the dendritic architecture and function of the limbic brain areas that affect memory, learning, and emotional processing. This review summarizes our research about chronic stress effects on the auditory system, providing the details of how we developed the main hypotheses that currently guide our research. The aims of our studies are to (1) determine how chronic stress impairs the dendritic morphology of the main nuclei of the rat auditory system, the inferior colliculus (auditory mesencephalon), the medial geniculate nucleus (auditory thalamus), and the primary auditory cortex; (2) correlate the anatomic alterations with the impairments of auditory fear learning; and (3) investigate how the stress-induced alterations in the rat limbic system may spread to nonlimbic areas, affecting specific sensory system, such as the auditory and olfactory systems, and complex cognitive functions, such as auditory attention. Finally, this article gives a new evolutionary approach to understanding the neurobiology of stress and the stress-related disorders.

  7. Modulation of human auditory spatial scene analysis by transcranial direct current stimulation.

    PubMed

    Lewald, Jörg

    2016-04-01

    Localizing and selectively attending to the source of a sound of interest in a complex auditory environment is an important capacity of the human auditory system. The underlying neural mechanisms have, however, still not been clarified in detail. This issue was addressed by using bilateral bipolar-balanced transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) in combination with a task demanding free-field sound localization in the presence of multiple sound sources, thus providing a realistic simulation of the so-called "cocktail-party" situation. With left-anode/right-cathode, but not with right-anode/left-cathode, montage of bilateral electrodes, tDCS over superior temporal gyrus, including planum temporale and auditory cortices, was found to improve the accuracy of target localization in left hemispace. No effects were found for tDCS over inferior parietal lobule or with off-target active stimulation over somatosensory-motor cortex that was used to control for non-specific effects. Also, the absolute error in localization remained unaffected by tDCS, thus suggesting that general response precision was not modulated by brain polarization. This finding can be explained in the framework of a model assuming that brain polarization modulated the suppression of irrelevant sound sources, thus resulting in more effective spatial separation of the target from the interfering sound in the complex auditory scene.

  8. The role of age and executive function in auditory category learning.

    PubMed

    Reetzke, Rachel; Maddox, W Todd; Chandrasekaran, Bharath

    2016-02-01

    Auditory categorization is a natural and adaptive process that allows for the organization of high-dimensional, continuous acoustic information into discrete representations. Studies in the visual domain have identified a rule-based learning system that learns and reasons via a hypothesis-testing process that requires working memory and executive attention. The rule-based learning system in vision shows a protracted development, reflecting the influence of maturing prefrontal function on visual categorization. The aim of the current study was twofold: (a) to examine the developmental trajectory of rule-based auditory category learning from childhood through adolescence and into early adulthood and (b) to examine the extent to which individual differences in rule-based category learning relate to individual differences in executive function. A sample of 60 participants with normal hearing-20 children (age range=7-12years), 21 adolescents (age range=13-19years), and 19 young adults (age range=20-23years)-learned to categorize novel dynamic "ripple" sounds using trial-by-trial feedback. The spectrotemporally modulated ripple sounds are considered the auditory equivalent of the well-studied "Gabor" patches in the visual domain. Results reveal that auditory categorization accuracy improved with age, with young adults outperforming children and adolescents. Computational modeling analyses indicated that the use of the task-optimal strategy (i.e., a conjunctive rule-based learning strategy) improved with age. Notably, individual differences in executive flexibility significantly predicted auditory category learning success. The current findings demonstrate a protracted development of rule-based auditory categorization. The results further suggest that executive flexibility coupled with perceptual processes play important roles in successful rule-based auditory category learning.

  9. The Role of Age and Executive Function in Auditory Category Learning

    PubMed Central

    Reetzke, Rachel; Maddox, W. Todd; Chandrasekaran, Bharath

    2015-01-01

    Auditory categorization is a natural and adaptive process that allows for the organization of high-dimensional, continuous acoustic information into discrete representations. Studies in the visual domain have identified a rule-based learning system that learns and reasons via a hypothesis-testing process that requires working memory and executive attention. The rule-based learning system in vision shows a protracted development, reflecting the influence of maturing prefrontal function on visual categorization. The aim of the current study is two-fold: (a) to examine the developmental trajectory of rule-based auditory category learning from childhood through adolescence, into early adulthood; and (b) to examine the extent to which individual differences in rule-based category learning relate to individual differences in executive function. Sixty participants with normal hearing, 20 children (age range, 7–12), 21 adolescents (age range, 13–19), and 19 young adults (age range, 20–23), learned to categorize novel dynamic ripple sounds using trial-by-trial feedback. The spectrotemporally modulated ripple sounds are considered the auditory equivalent of the well-studied Gabor patches in the visual domain. Results revealed that auditory categorization accuracy improved with age, with young adults outperforming children and adolescents. Computational modeling analyses indicated that the use of the task-optimal strategy (i.e. a conjunctive rule-based learning strategy) improved with age. Notably, individual differences in executive flexibility significantly predicted auditory category learning success. The current findings demonstrate a protracted development of rule-based auditory categorization. The results further suggest that executive flexibility coupled with perceptual processes play important roles in successful rule-based auditory category learning. PMID:26491987

  10. Context-Specific Reweighting of Auditory Spatial Cues following Altered Experience during Development

    PubMed Central

    Keating, Peter; Dahmen, Johannes C.; King, Andrew J.

    2013-01-01

    Summary Background Neural systems must weight and integrate different sensory cues in order to make decisions. However, environmental conditions often change over time, altering the reliability of different cues and therefore the optimal way for combining them. To explore how cue integration develops in dynamic environments, we examined the effects on auditory spatial processing of rearing ferrets with localization cues that were modified via a unilateral earplug, interspersed with brief periods of normal hearing. Results In contrast with control animals, which rely primarily on timing and intensity differences between their two ears to localize sound sources, the juvenile-plugged ferrets developed the ability to localize sounds accurately by relying more on the unchanged spectral localization cues provided by the single normal ear. This adaptive process was paralleled by changes in neuronal responses in the primary auditory cortex, which became relatively more sensitive to these monaural spatial cues. Our behavioral and physiological data demonstrated, however, that the reweighting of different spatial cues disappeared as soon as normal hearing was experienced, showing for the first time that this type of plasticity can be context specific. Conclusions These results show that developmental changes can be selectively expressed in response to specific acoustic conditions. In this way, the auditory system can develop and simultaneously maintain two distinct models of auditory space and switch between these models depending on the prevailing sensory context. This ability is likely to be critical for maintaining accurate perception in dynamic environments and may point toward novel therapeutic strategies for individuals who experience sensory deficits during development. PMID:23810532

  11. Auditory model: effects on learning under blocked and random practice schedules.

    PubMed

    Han, Dong-Wook; Shea, Charles H

    2008-12-01

    An experiment was conducted to determine the impact of an auditory model on blocked, random, and mixed practice schedules of three five-segment timing sequences (relative time constant). We were interested in whether or not the auditory model differentially affected the learning of relative and absolute timing under blocked and random practice. Participants (N = 80) were randomly assigned to one of eight practice conditions, which differed in practice schedule (blocked-blocked, blocked-random, random-blocked, random-random) and auditory model (no model, model). The results indicated that the auditory model enhanced relative timing performance on the delayed retention test regardless of the practice schedule, but it did not influence the learning of absolute timing. Blocked-blocked and blocked-random practice conditions resulted in enhanced relative timing retention performance relative to random-blocked and random-random practice schedules. Random-random and blocked-random practice schedules resulted in better absolute timing than blocked-blocked or random-blocked practice, regardless of the presence or absence of an auditory model during acquisition. Thus, considering both relative and absolute timing, the blocked-random practice condition resulted in overall learning superior to the other practice schedules. The results also suggest that an auditory model produces an added effect on learning relative timing regardless of the practice schedule, but it does not influence the learning of absolute timing.

  12. Investigating Verbal and Visual Auditory Learning After Conformal Radiation Therapy for Childhood Ependymoma

    SciTech Connect

    Di Pinto, Marcos; Conklin, Heather M.; Li Chenghong; Xiong Xiaoping; Merchant, Thomas E.

    2010-07-15

    Purpose: The primary objective of this study was to determine whether children with localized ependymoma experience a decline in verbal or visual-auditory learning after conformal radiation therapy (CRT). The secondary objective was to investigate the impact of age and select clinical factors on learning before and after treatment. Methods and Materials: Learning in a sample of 71 patients with localized ependymoma was assessed with the California Verbal Learning Test (CVLT-C) and the Visual-Auditory Learning Test (VAL). Learning measures were administered before CRT, at 6 months, and then yearly for a total of 5 years. Results: There was no significant decline on measures of verbal or visual-auditory learning after CRT; however, younger age, more surgeries, and cerebrospinal fluid shunting did predict lower scores at baseline. There were significant longitudinal effects (improved learning scores after treatment) among older children on the CVLT-C and children that did not receive pre-CRT chemotherapy on the VAL. Conclusion: There was no evidence of global decline in learning after CRT in children with localized ependymoma. Several important implications from the findings include the following: (1) identification of and differentiation among variables with transient vs. long-term effects on learning, (2) demonstration that children treated with chemotherapy before CRT had greater risk of adverse visual-auditory learning performance, and (3) establishment of baseline and serial assessment as critical in ascertaining necessary sensitivity and specificity for the detection of modest effects.

  13. Auditory Discrimination and Identification in Foreign Language Learning.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Weiss, Louis

    The main purpose of this study was to investigate the validity of the assumption that auditory discrimination and pronunciation in a foreign language are closely related. If the assumption were to be well-founded, then it might be possible for foreign language students with high auditory discrimination ability to work alone in the language…

  14. Weighting of spatial and spectro-temporal cues for auditory scene analysis by human listeners.

    PubMed

    Bremen, Peter; Middlebrooks, John C

    2013-01-01

    The auditory system creates a neuronal representation of the acoustic world based on spectral and temporal cues present at the listener's ears, including cues that potentially signal the locations of sounds. Discrimination of concurrent sounds from multiple sources is especially challenging. The current study is part of an effort to better understand the neuronal mechanisms governing this process, which has been termed "auditory scene analysis". In particular, we are interested in spatial release from masking by which spatial cues can segregate signals from other competing sounds, thereby overcoming the tendency of overlapping spectra and/or common temporal envelopes to fuse signals with maskers. We studied detection of pulsed tones in free-field conditions in the presence of concurrent multi-tone non-speech maskers. In "energetic" masking conditions, in which the frequencies of maskers fell within the ± 1/3-octave band containing the signal, spatial release from masking at low frequencies (~600 Hz) was found to be about 10 dB. In contrast, negligible spatial release from energetic masking was seen at high frequencies (~4000 Hz). We observed robust spatial release from masking in broadband "informational" masking conditions, in which listeners could confuse signal with masker even though there was no spectral overlap. Substantial spatial release was observed in conditions in which the onsets of the signal and all masker components were synchronized, and spatial release was even greater under asynchronous conditions. Spatial cues limited to high frequencies (>1500 Hz), which could have included interaural level differences and the better-ear effect, produced only limited improvement in signal detection. Substantially greater improvement was seen for low-frequency sounds, for which interaural time differences are the dominant spatial cue.

  15. Time-window-of-integration (TWIN) model for saccadic reaction time: effect of auditory masker level on visual-auditory spatial interaction in elevation.

    PubMed

    Colonius, Hans; Diederich, Adele; Steenken, Rike

    2009-05-01

    Saccadic reaction time (SRT) to a visual target tends to be shorter when auditory stimuli are presented in close temporal and spatial proximity, even when subjects are instructed to ignore the auditory non-target (focused attention paradigm). Previous studies using pairs of visual and auditory stimuli differing in both azimuth and vertical position suggest that the amount of SRT facilitation decreases not with the physical but with the perceivable distance between visual target and auditory non-target. Steenken et al. (Brain Res 1220:150-156, 2008) presented an additional white-noise masker background of three seconds duration. Increasing the masker level had a diametrical effect on SRTs in spatially coincident versus disparate stimulus configurations: saccadic responses to coincident visual-auditory stimuli are slowed down, whereas saccadic responses to disparate stimuli are speeded up. Here we show that the time-window-of-integration model accounts for this observation by variation of a perceivable-distance parameter in the second stage of the model whose value does not depend on stimulus onset asynchrony between target and non-target.

  16. A blueprint for vocal learning: auditory predispositions from brains to genomes

    PubMed Central

    Wheatcroft, David; Qvarnström, Anna

    2015-01-01

    Memorizing and producing complex strings of sound are requirements for spoken human language. We share these behaviours with likely more than 4000 species of songbirds, making birds our primary model for studying the cognitive basis of vocal learning and, more generally, an important model for how memories are encoded in the brain. In songbirds, as in humans, the sounds that a juvenile learns later in life depend on auditory memories formed early in development. Experiments on a wide variety of songbird species suggest that the formation and lability of these auditory memories, in turn, depend on auditory predispositions that stimulate learning when a juvenile hears relevant, species-typical sounds. We review evidence that variation in key features of these auditory predispositions are determined by variation in genes underlying the development of the auditory system. We argue that increased investigation of the neuronal basis of auditory predispositions expressed early in life in combination with modern comparative genomic approaches may provide insights into the evolution of vocal learning. PMID:26246333

  17. Learning of new sound categories shapes neural response patterns in human auditory cortex.

    PubMed

    Ley, Anke; Vroomen, Jean; Hausfeld, Lars; Valente, Giancarlo; De Weerd, Peter; Formisano, Elia

    2012-09-19

    The formation of new sound categories is fundamental to everyday goal-directed behavior. Categorization requires the abstraction of discrete classes from continuous physical features as required by context and task. Electrophysiology in animals has shown that learning to categorize novel sounds alters their spatiotemporal neural representation at the level of early auditory cortex. However, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies so far did not yield insight into the effects of category learning on sound representations in human auditory cortex. This may be due to the use of overlearned speech-like categories and fMRI subtraction paradigms, leading to insufficient sensitivity to distinguish the responses to learning-induced, novel sound categories. Here, we used fMRI pattern analysis to investigate changes in human auditory cortical response patterns induced by category learning. We created complex novel sound categories and analyzed distributed activation patterns during passive listening to a sound continuum before and after category learning. We show that only after training, sound categories could be successfully decoded from early auditory areas and that learning-induced pattern changes were specific to the category-distinctive sound feature (i.e., pitch). Notably, the similarity between fMRI response patterns for the sound continuum mirrored the sigmoid shape of the behavioral category identification function. Our results indicate that perceptual representations of novel sound categories emerge from neural changes at early levels of the human auditory processing hierarchy.

  18. Experience-dependent learning of auditory temporal resolution: evidence from Carnatic-trained musicians.

    PubMed

    Mishra, Srikanta K; Panda, Manasa R

    2014-01-22

    Musical training and experience greatly enhance the cortical and subcortical processing of sounds, which may translate to superior auditory perceptual acuity. Auditory temporal resolution is a fundamental perceptual aspect that is critical for speech understanding in noise in listeners with normal hearing, auditory disorders, cochlear implants, and language disorders, yet very few studies have focused on music-induced learning of temporal resolution. This report demonstrates that Carnatic musical training and experience have a significant impact on temporal resolution assayed by gap detection thresholds. This experience-dependent learning in Carnatic-trained musicians exhibits the universal aspects of human perception and plasticity. The present work adds the perceptual component to a growing body of neurophysiological and imaging studies that suggest plasticity of the peripheral auditory system at the level of the brainstem. The present work may be intriguing to researchers and clinicians alike interested in devising cross-cultural training regimens to alleviate listening-in-noise difficulties.

  19. Emerging Auditory Systems: Implications for Instructing Handicapped Children. Auditory Learning Monograph Series 7.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Anderson, William A.

    Four auditory delivery systems and their implications for instructing handicapped children are discussed. Outlined are six potential benefits of applying technologies to education, such as making education more productive. Pointed out are potential uses of sub-channel radio (such as programming for the blind), of broadband communication (such as…

  20. Interference between postural control and spatial vs. non-spatial auditory reaction time tasks in older adults.

    PubMed

    Fuhrman, Susan I; Redfern, Mark S; Jennings, J Richard; Furman, Joseph M

    2015-01-01

    This study investigated whether spatial aspects of an information processing task influence dual-task interference. Two groups (Older/Young) of healthy adults participated in dual-task experiments. Two auditory information processing tasks included a frequency discrimination choice reaction time task (non-spatial task) and a lateralization choice reaction time task (spatial task). Postural tasks included combinations of standing with eyes open or eyes closed on either a fixed floor or a sway-referenced floor. Reaction times and postural sway via center of pressure were recorded. Baseline measures of reaction time and sway were subtracted from the corresponding dual-task results to calculate reaction time task costs and postural task costs. Reaction time task cost increased with eye closure (p = 0.01), sway-referenced flooring (p < 0.0001), and the spatial task (p = 0.04). Additionally, a significant (p = 0.05) task x vision x age interaction indicated that older subjects had a significant vision X task interaction whereas young subjects did not. However, when analyzed by age group, the young group showed minimal differences in interference for the spatial and non-spatial tasks with eyes open, but showed increased interference on the spatial relative to non-spatial task with eyes closed. On the contrary, older subjects demonstrated increased interference on the spatial relative to the non-spatial task with eyes open, but not with eyes closed. These findings suggest that visual-spatial interference may occur in older subjects when vision is used to maintain posture.

  1. Testing the shared spatial representation of magnitude of auditory and visual intensity.

    PubMed

    Fairhurst, Merle T; Deroy, Ophelia

    2017-03-01

    The largely automatic mapping observed between space and sensory magnitudes suggests representation by a single system across domains. Using stimulus response compatibility tasks, the study confirms that a relative, auditory magnitude such as loudness shows a spatial compatibility effect similar to those evidenced for visual sensory domains but only with comparison tasks and for vertically oriented responses. No effect is seen when participants track changes in amplitude or when responses are oriented vertically. In a bimodal context, the study tested whether the spatial mapping of magnitude in 1 sensory modality (loudness) interacts with the spatial representation of magnitude in another sense (luminance). Observed interactions across modalities suggest overlap of magnitude representation across distinct sensory domains, whereas the absence of an effect for dynamic changes in loudness suggests that it is useful for decisions to act on 1 of several objects rather than for tracking magnitude changes in 1 object. (PsycINFO Database Record

  2. A Latent Consolidation Phase in Auditory Identification Learning: Time in the Awake State Is Sufficient

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Roth, Daphne Ari-Even; Kishon-Rabin, Liat; Hildesheimer, Minka; Karni, Avi

    2005-01-01

    Large gains in performance, evolving hours after practice has terminated, were reported in a number of visual and some motor learning tasks, as well as recently in an auditory nonverbal discrimination task. It was proposed that these gains reflect a latent phase of experience-triggered memory consolidation in human skill learning. It is not clear,…

  3. Learning strategy trumps motivational level in determining learning-induced auditory cortical plasticity.

    PubMed

    Bieszczad, Kasia M; Weinberger, Norman M

    2010-02-01

    Associative memory for auditory-cued events involves specific plasticity in the primary auditory cortex (A1) that facilitates responses to tones which gain behavioral significance, by modifying representational parameters of sensory coding. Learning strategy, rather than the amount or content of learning, can determine this learning-induced cortical (high order) associative representational plasticity (HARP). Thus, tone-contingent learning with signaled errors can be accomplished either by (1) responding only during tone duration ("tone-duration" strategy, T-Dur), or (2) responding from tone onset until receiving an error signal for responses made immediately after tone offset ("tone-onset-to-error", TOTE). While rats using both strategies achieve the same high level of performance, only those using the TOTE strategy develop HARP, viz., frequency-specific decreased threshold (increased sensitivity) and decreased bandwidth (increased selectivity) (Berlau & Weinberger, 2008). The present study challenged the generality of learning strategy by determining if high motivation dominates in the formation of HARP. Two groups of adult male rats were trained to bar-press during a 5.0kHz (10s, 70dB) tone for a water reward under either high (HiMot) or moderate (ModMot) levels of motivation. The HiMot group achieved a higher level of correct performance. However, terminal mapping of A1 showed that only the ModMot group developed HARP, i.e., increased sensitivity and selectivity in the signal-frequency band. Behavioral analysis revealed that the ModMot group used the TOTE strategy while HiMot subjects used the T-Dur strategy. Thus, type of learning strategy, not level of learning or motivation, is dominant for the formation of cortical plasticity.

  4. Dissociable Memory- and Response-Related Activity in Parietal Cortex During Auditory Spatial Working Memory

    PubMed Central

    Alain, Claude; Shen, Dawei; Yu, He; Grady, Cheryl

    2010-01-01

    Attending and responding to sound location generates increased activity in parietal cortex which may index auditory spatial working memory and/or goal-directed action. Here, we used an n-back task (Experiment 1) and an adaptation paradigm (Experiment 2) to distinguish memory-related activity from that associated with goal-directed action. In Experiment 1, participants indicated, in separate blocks of trials, whether the incoming stimulus was presented at the same location as in the previous trial (1-back) or two trials ago (2-back). Prior to a block of trials, participants were told to use their left or right index finger. Accuracy and reaction times were worse for the 2-back than for the 1-back condition. The analysis of functional magnetic resonance imaging data revealed greater sustained task-related activity in the inferior parietal lobule (IPL) and superior frontal sulcus during 2-back than 1-back after accounting for response-related activity elicited by the targets. Target detection and response execution were also associated with enhanced activity in the IPL bilaterally, though the activation was anterior to that associated with sustained task-related activity. In Experiment 2, we used an event-related design in which participants listened (no response required) to trials that comprised four sounds presented either at the same location or at four different locations. We found larger IPL activation for changes in sound location than for sounds presented at the same location. The IPL activation overlapped with that observed during the auditory spatial working memory task. Together, these results provide converging evidence supporting the role of parietal cortex in auditory spatial working memory which can be dissociated from response selection and execution. PMID:21833258

  5. How does experience modulate auditory spatial processing in individuals with blindness?

    PubMed

    Tao, Qian; Chan, Chetwyn C H; Luo, Yue-jia; Li, Jian-jun; Ting, Kin-hung; Wang, Jun; Lee, Tatia M C

    2015-05-01

    Comparing early- and late-onset blindness in individuals offers a unique model for studying the influence of visual experience on neural processing. This study investigated how prior visual experience would modulate auditory spatial processing among blind individuals. BOLD responses of early- and late-onset blind participants were captured while performing a sound localization task. The task required participants to listen to novel "Bat-ears" sounds, analyze the spatial information embedded in the sounds, and specify out of 15 locations where the sound would have been emitted. In addition to sound localization, participants were assessed on visuospatial working memory and general intellectual abilities. The results revealed common increases in BOLD responses in the middle occipital gyrus, superior frontal gyrus, precuneus, and precentral gyrus during sound localization for both groups. Between-group dissociations, however, were found in the right middle occipital gyrus and left superior frontal gyrus. The BOLD responses in the left superior frontal gyrus were significantly correlated with accuracy on sound localization and visuospatial working memory abilities among the late-onset blind participants. In contrast, the accuracy on sound localization only correlated with BOLD responses in the right middle occipital gyrus among the early-onset counterpart. The findings support the notion that early-onset blind individuals rely more on the occipital areas as a result of cross-modal plasticity for auditory spatial processing, while late-onset blind individuals rely more on the prefrontal areas which subserve visuospatial working memory.

  6. Unilateral Auditory Cortex Lesions Impair or Improve Discrimination Learning of Amplitude Modulated Sounds, Depending on Lesion Side

    PubMed Central

    Schulze, Holger; Deutscher, Anke; Tziridis, Konstantin; Scheich, Henning

    2014-01-01

    A fundamental principle of brain organization is bilateral symmetry of structures and functions. For spatial sensory and motor information processing, this organization is generally plausible subserving orientation and coordination of a bilaterally symmetric body. However, breaking of the symmetry principle is often seen for functions that depend on convergent information processing and lateralized output control, e.g. left hemispheric dominance for the linguistic speech system. Conversely, a subtle splitting of functions into hemispheres may occur if peripheral information from symmetric sense organs is partly redundant, e.g. auditory pattern recognition, and therefore allows central conceptualizations of complex stimuli from different feature viewpoints, as demonstrated e.g. for hemispheric analysis of frequency modulations in auditory cortex (AC) of mammals including humans. Here we demonstrate that discrimination learning of rapidly but not of slowly amplitude modulated tones is non-uniformly distributed across both hemispheres: While unilateral ablation of left AC in gerbils leads to impairment of normal discrimination learning of rapid amplitude modulations, right side ablations lead to improvement over normal learning. These results point to a rivalry interaction between both ACs in the intact brain where the right side competes with and weakens learning capability maximally attainable by the dominant left side alone. PMID:24466338

  7. Spatial organization of excitatory synaptic inputs to layer 4 neurons in mouse primary auditory cortex

    PubMed Central

    Kratz, Megan B.; Manis, Paul B.

    2015-01-01

    Layer 4 (L4) of primary auditory cortex (A1) receives a tonotopically organized projection from the medial geniculate nucleus of the thalamus. However, individual neurons in A1 respond to a wider range of sound frequencies than would be predicted by their thalamic input, which suggests the existence of cross-frequency intracortical networks. We used laser scanning photostimulation and uncaging of glutamate in brain slices of mouse A1 to characterize the spatial organization of intracortical inputs to L4 neurons. Slices were prepared to include the entire tonotopic extent of A1. We find that L4 neurons receive local vertically organized (columnar) excitation from layers 2 through 6 (L6) and horizontally organized excitation primarily from L4 and L6 neurons in regions centered ~300–500 μm caudal and/or rostral to the cell. Excitatory horizontal synaptic connections from layers 2 and 3 were sparse. The origins of horizontal projections from L4 and L6 correspond to regions in the tonotopic map that are approximately an octave away from the target cell location. Such spatially organized lateral connections may contribute to the detection and processing of auditory objects with specific spectral structures. PMID:25972787

  8. Localized brain activation related to the strength of auditory learning in a parrot.

    PubMed

    Eda-Fujiwara, Hiroko; Imagawa, Takuya; Matsushita, Masanori; Matsuda, Yasushi; Takeuchi, Hiro-Aki; Satoh, Ryohei; Watanabe, Aiko; Zandbergen, Matthijs A; Manabe, Kazuchika; Kawashima, Takashi; Bolhuis, Johan J

    2012-01-01

    Parrots and songbirds learn their vocalizations from a conspecific tutor, much like human infants acquire spoken language. Parrots can learn human words and it has been suggested that they can use them to communicate with humans. The caudomedial pallium in the parrot brain is homologous with that of songbirds, and analogous to the human auditory association cortex, involved in speech processing. Here we investigated neuronal activation, measured as expression of the protein product of the immediate early gene ZENK, in relation to auditory learning in the budgerigar (Melopsittacus undulatus), a parrot. Budgerigar males successfully learned to discriminate two Japanese words spoken by another male conspecific. Re-exposure to the two discriminanda led to increased neuronal activation in the caudomedial pallium, but not in the hippocampus, compared to untrained birds that were exposed to the same words, or were not exposed to words. Neuronal activation in the caudomedial pallium of the experimental birds was correlated significantly and positively with the percentage of correct responses in the discrimination task. These results suggest that in a parrot, the caudomedial pallium is involved in auditory learning. Thus, in parrots, songbirds and humans, analogous brain regions may contain the neural substrate for auditory learning and memory.

  9. Utilising reinforcement learning to develop strategies for driving auditory neural implants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Geoffrey W.; Zambetta, Fabio; Li, Xiaodong; Paolini, Antonio G.

    2016-08-01

    Objective. In this paper we propose a novel application of reinforcement learning to the area of auditory neural stimulation. We aim to develop a simulation environment which is based off real neurological responses to auditory and electrical stimulation in the cochlear nucleus (CN) and inferior colliculus (IC) of an animal model. Using this simulator we implement closed loop reinforcement learning algorithms to determine which methods are most effective at learning effective acoustic neural stimulation strategies. Approach. By recording a comprehensive set of acoustic frequency presentations and neural responses from a set of animals we created a large database of neural responses to acoustic stimulation. Extensive electrical stimulation in the CN and the recording of neural responses in the IC provides a mapping of how the auditory system responds to electrical stimuli. The combined dataset is used as the foundation for the simulator, which is used to implement and test learning algorithms. Main results. Reinforcement learning, utilising a modified n-Armed Bandit solution, is implemented to demonstrate the model’s function. We show the ability to effectively learn stimulation patterns which mimic the cochlea’s ability to covert acoustic frequencies to neural activity. Time taken to learn effective replication using neural stimulation takes less than 20 min under continuous testing. Significance. These results show the utility of reinforcement learning in the field of neural stimulation. These results can be coupled with existing sound processing technologies to develop new auditory prosthetics that are adaptable to the recipients current auditory pathway. The same process can theoretically be abstracted to other sensory and motor systems to develop similar electrical replication of neural signals.

  10. The influence of acoustic reflections from diffusive architectural surfaces on spatial auditory perception

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robinson, Philip W.

    This thesis addresses the effect of reflections from diffusive architectural surfaces on the perception of echoes and on auditory spatial resolution. Diffusive architectural surfaces play an important role in performance venue design for architectural expression and proper sound distribution. Extensive research has been devoted to the prediction and measurement of the spatial dispersion. However, previous psychoacoustic research on perception of reflections and the precedence effect has focused on specular reflections. This study compares the echo threshold of specular reflections, against those for reflections from realistic architectural surfaces, and against synthesized reflections that isolate individual qualities of reflections from diffusive surfaces, namely temporal dispersion and spectral coloration. In particular, the activation of the precedence effect, as indicated by the echo threshold is measured. Perceptual tests are conducted with direct sound, and simulated or measured reflections with varying temporal dispersion. The threshold for reflections from diffusive architectural surfaces is found to be comparable to that of a specular re ection of similar energy rather than similar amplitude. This is surprising because the amplitude of the dispersed re ection is highly attenuated, and onset cues are reduced. This effect indicates that the auditory system is integrating re ection response energy dispersed over many milliseconds into a single stream. Studies on the effect of a single diffuse reflection are then extended to a full architectural enclosure with various surface properties. This research utilizes auralizations from measured and simulated performance venues to investigate spatial discrimination of multiple acoustic sources in rooms. It is found that discriminating the lateral arrangement of two sources is possible at narrower separation angles when reflections come from at rather than diffusive surfaces. Additionally, subjective impressions are

  11. Oscillatory alpha modulations in right auditory regions reflect the validity of acoustic cues in an auditory spatial attention task.

    PubMed

    Weisz, Nathan; Müller, Nadia; Jatzev, Sabine; Bertrand, Olivier

    2014-10-01

    Anticipation of targets in the left or right hemifield leads to alpha modulations in posterior brain areas. Recently using magnetoencephalography, we showed increased right auditory alpha activity when attention was cued ipsilaterally. Here, we investigated the issue how cue validity itself influences oscillatory alpha activity. Acoustic cues were presented either to the right or left ear, followed by a compound dichotically presented target plus distractor. The preceding cue was either informative (75% validity) or uninformative (50%) about the location of the upcoming target. Cue validity × side-related alpha modulations were identified in pre- and posttarget periods in a right lateralized network, comprising auditory and nonauditory regions. This replicates and extends our previous finding of the right hemispheric dominance of auditory attentional modulations. Importantly, effective connectivity analysis showed that, in the pretarget period, this effect is accompanied by a pronounced and time-varying connectivity pattern of the right auditory cortex to the right intraparietal sulcus (IPS), with influence of IPS on superior temporal gyrus dominating at earlier intervals of the cue-target period. Our study underlines the assumption that alpha oscillations may play a similar functional role in auditory cortical regions as reported in other sensory modalities and suggests that these effects may be mediated via IPS.

  12. Modulation of Auditory Spatial Attention by Angry Prosody: An fMRI Auditory Dot-Probe Study.

    PubMed

    Ceravolo, Leonardo; Frühholz, Sascha; Grandjean, Didier

    2016-01-01

    Emotional stimuli have been shown to modulate attentional orienting through signals sent by subcortical brain regions that modulate visual perception at early stages of processing. Fewer studies, however, have investigated a similar effect of emotional stimuli on attentional orienting in the auditory domain together with an investigation of brain regions underlying such attentional modulation, which is the general aim of the present study. Therefore, we used an original auditory dot-probe paradigm involving simultaneously presented neutral and angry non-speech vocal utterances lateralized to either the left or the right auditory space, immediately followed by a short and lateralized single sine wave tone presented in the same (valid trial) or in the opposite space as the preceding angry voice (invalid trial). Behavioral results showed an expected facilitation effect for target detection during valid trials while functional data showed greater activation in the middle and posterior superior temporal sulci (STS) and in the medial frontal cortex for valid vs. invalid trials. The use of reaction time facilitation [absolute value of the Z-score of valid-(invalid+neutral)] as a group covariate extended enhanced activity in the amygdalae, auditory thalamus, and visual cortex. Taken together, our results suggest the involvement of a large and distributed network of regions among which the STS, thalamus, and amygdala are crucial for the decoding of angry prosody, as well as for orienting and maintaining attention within an auditory space that was previously primed by a vocal emotional event.

  13. Modulation of Auditory Spatial Attention by Angry Prosody: An fMRI Auditory Dot-Probe Study

    PubMed Central

    Ceravolo, Leonardo; Frühholz, Sascha; Grandjean, Didier

    2016-01-01

    Emotional stimuli have been shown to modulate attentional orienting through signals sent by subcortical brain regions that modulate visual perception at early stages of processing. Fewer studies, however, have investigated a similar effect of emotional stimuli on attentional orienting in the auditory domain together with an investigation of brain regions underlying such attentional modulation, which is the general aim of the present study. Therefore, we used an original auditory dot-probe paradigm involving simultaneously presented neutral and angry non-speech vocal utterances lateralized to either the left or the right auditory space, immediately followed by a short and lateralized single sine wave tone presented in the same (valid trial) or in the opposite space as the preceding angry voice (invalid trial). Behavioral results showed an expected facilitation effect for target detection during valid trials while functional data showed greater activation in the middle and posterior superior temporal sulci (STS) and in the medial frontal cortex for valid vs. invalid trials. The use of reaction time facilitation [absolute value of the Z-score of valid-(invalid+neutral)] as a group covariate extended enhanced activity in the amygdalae, auditory thalamus, and visual cortex. Taken together, our results suggest the involvement of a large and distributed network of regions among which the STS, thalamus, and amygdala are crucial for the decoding of angry prosody, as well as for orienting and maintaining attention within an auditory space that was previously primed by a vocal emotional event. PMID:27242420

  14. Stimulus control and auditory discrimination learning sets in the bottlenose dolphin1

    PubMed Central

    Herman, Louis M.; Arbeit, William R.

    1973-01-01

    The learning efficiency of an Atlantic bottlenose dolphin was evaluated using auditory discrimination learning-set tasks. Efficiency, as measured by the probability of a correct response on Trial 2 of a new discrete-trial, two-choice auditory discrimination problem, reached levels comparable to those attained by advanced species of nonhuman primates. Runs of errorless problems in some cases rivaled those reported for individual rhesus monkeys in visual discrimination learning-set tasks. This level of stimulus control of responses to new auditory discriminanda was attained through (a) the development of a sequential within-trial method for presentation of a pair of auditory discriminanda; (b) the extensive use of fading methods to train initial discriminations, followed by the fadeout of the use of fading; (c) the development of listening behavior through control of the animal's responses during projection of the auditory discriminanda; and (d) the use of highly discriminable auditory stimuli, by applying results of a parametric evaluation of discriminability of selected acoustic variables. Learning efficiency was tested using a cueing method on Trial 1 of each new discrimination, to allow the animal to identify the positive stimulus before its response. Efficiency was also tested with the more common blind baiting method, in which the Trial 1 response was reinforced on only a random half of the problems. Efficiency was high for both methods. The overall results were generally in keeping with exceptations of learning capacity based on the large size and high degree of cortical complexity of the brain of the bottlenose dolphin. PMID:16811670

  15. Sustained Cortical and Subcortical Measures of Auditory and Visual Plasticity following Short-Term Perceptual Learning

    PubMed Central

    Katyal, Sucharit; Engel, Stephen A.; Oxenham, Andrew J.

    2017-01-01

    Short-term training can lead to improvements in behavioral discrimination of auditory and visual stimuli, as well as enhanced EEG responses to those stimuli. In the auditory domain, fluency with tonal languages and musical training has been associated with long-term cortical and subcortical plasticity, but less is known about the effects of shorter-term training. This study combined electroencephalography (EEG) and behavioral measures to investigate short-term learning and neural plasticity in both auditory and visual domains. Forty adult participants were divided into four groups. Three groups trained on one of three tasks, involving discrimination of auditory fundamental frequency (F0), auditory amplitude modulation rate (AM), or visual orientation (VIS). The fourth (control) group received no training. Pre- and post-training tests, as well as retention tests 30 days after training, involved behavioral discrimination thresholds, steady-state visually evoked potentials (SSVEP) to the flicker frequencies of visual stimuli, and auditory envelope-following responses simultaneously evoked and measured in response to rapid stimulus F0 (EFR), thought to reflect subcortical generators, and slow amplitude modulation (ASSR), thought to reflect cortical generators. Enhancement of the ASSR was observed in both auditory-trained groups, not specific to the AM-trained group, whereas enhancement of the SSVEP was found only in the visually-trained group. No evidence was found for changes in the EFR. The results suggest that some aspects of neural plasticity can develop rapidly and may generalize across tasks but not across modalities. Behaviorally, the pattern of learning was complex, with significant cross-task and cross-modal learning effects. PMID:28107359

  16. Sustained Cortical and Subcortical Measures of Auditory and Visual Plasticity following Short-Term Perceptual Learning.

    PubMed

    Lau, Bonnie K; Ruggles, Dorea R; Katyal, Sucharit; Engel, Stephen A; Oxenham, Andrew J

    2017-01-01

    Short-term training can lead to improvements in behavioral discrimination of auditory and visual stimuli, as well as enhanced EEG responses to those stimuli. In the auditory domain, fluency with tonal languages and musical training has been associated with long-term cortical and subcortical plasticity, but less is known about the effects of shorter-term training. This study combined electroencephalography (EEG) and behavioral measures to investigate short-term learning and neural plasticity in both auditory and visual domains. Forty adult participants were divided into four groups. Three groups trained on one of three tasks, involving discrimination of auditory fundamental frequency (F0), auditory amplitude modulation rate (AM), or visual orientation (VIS). The fourth (control) group received no training. Pre- and post-training tests, as well as retention tests 30 days after training, involved behavioral discrimination thresholds, steady-state visually evoked potentials (SSVEP) to the flicker frequencies of visual stimuli, and auditory envelope-following responses simultaneously evoked and measured in response to rapid stimulus F0 (EFR), thought to reflect subcortical generators, and slow amplitude modulation (ASSR), thought to reflect cortical generators. Enhancement of the ASSR was observed in both auditory-trained groups, not specific to the AM-trained group, whereas enhancement of the SSVEP was found only in the visually-trained group. No evidence was found for changes in the EFR. The results suggest that some aspects of neural plasticity can develop rapidly and may generalize across tasks but not across modalities. Behaviorally, the pattern of learning was complex, with significant cross-task and cross-modal learning effects.

  17. Auditory attention strategy depends on target linguistic properties and spatial configurationa)

    PubMed Central

    McCloy, Daniel R.; Lee, Adrian K. C.

    2015-01-01

    Whether crossing a busy intersection or attending a large dinner party, listeners sometimes need to attend to multiple spatially distributed sound sources or streams concurrently. How they achieve this is not clear—some studies suggest that listeners cannot truly simultaneously attend to separate streams, but instead combine attention switching with short-term memory to achieve something resembling divided attention. This paper presents two oddball detection experiments designed to investigate whether directing attention to phonetic versus semantic properties of the attended speech impacts listeners' ability to divide their auditory attention across spatial locations. Each experiment uses four spatially distinct streams of monosyllabic words, variation in cue type (providing phonetic or semantic information), and requiring attention to one or two locations. A rapid button-press response paradigm is employed to minimize the role of short-term memory in performing the task. Results show that differences in the spatial configuration of attended and unattended streams interact with linguistic properties of the speech streams to impact performance. Additionally, listeners may leverage phonetic information to make oddball detection judgments even when oddballs are semantically defined. Both of these effects appear to be mediated by the overall complexity of the acoustic scene. PMID:26233011

  18. The Effect of Auditory Integration Training on the Working Memory of Adults with Different Learning Preferences

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ryan, Tamara E.

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of auditory integration training (AIT) on a component of the executive function of working memory; specifically, to determine if learning preferences might have an interaction with AIT to increase the outcome for some learners. The question asked by this quantitative pretest posttest design is…

  19. Relationship Patterns between Central Auditory Processing Disorders and Language Disorders, Learning Disabilities, and Sensory Integration Dysfunction.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kruger, Retha J.; Kruger, Johann J.; Hugo, Rene; Campbell, Nicole G.

    2001-01-01

    A multimodal assessment of 19 children (ages 4-9) with learning disabilities was used to identify problem areas. The majority presented with deficits involving both visual and auditory modalities, as well as problems with motor abilities and concentration skills. Subgroups of problem areas were found to occur together. (Contains references.)…

  20. Learning Auditory Discrimination with Computer-Assisted Instruction: A Comparison of Two Different Performance Objectives.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Steinhaus, Kurt A.

    A 12-week study of two groups of 14 college freshmen music majors was conducted to determine which group demonstrated greater achievement in learning auditory discrimination using computer-assisted instruction (CAI). The method employed was a pre-/post-test experimental design using subjects randomly assigned to a control group or an experimental…

  1. Auditory Training for Experienced and Inexperienced Second-Language Learners: Native French Speakers Learning English Vowels

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Iverson, Paul; Pinet, Melanie; Evans, Bronwen G.

    2012-01-01

    This study examined whether high-variability auditory training on natural speech can benefit experienced second-language English speakers who already are exposed to natural variability in their daily use of English. The subjects were native French speakers who had learned English in school; experienced listeners were tested in England and the less…

  2. Auditory Middle Latency Response and Phonological Awareness in Students with Learning Disabilities

    PubMed Central

    Romero, Ana Carla Leite; Funayama, Carolina Araújo Rodrigues; Capellini, Simone Aparecida; Frizzo, Ana Claudia Figueiredo

    2015-01-01

    Introduction Behavioral tests of auditory processing have been applied in schools and highlight the association between phonological awareness abilities and auditory processing, confirming that low performance on phonological awareness tests may be due to low performance on auditory processing tests. Objective To characterize the auditory middle latency response and the phonological awareness tests and to investigate correlations between responses in a group of children with learning disorders. Methods The study included 25 students with learning disabilities. Phonological awareness and auditory middle latency response were tested with electrodes placed on the left and right hemispheres. The correlation between the measurements was performed using the Spearman rank correlation coefficient. Results There is some correlation between the tests, especially between the Pa component and syllabic awareness, where moderate negative correlation is observed. Conclusion In this study, when phonological awareness subtests were performed, specifically phonemic awareness, the students showed a low score for the age group, although for the objective examination, prolonged Pa latency in the contralateral via was observed. Negative weak to moderate correlation for Pa wave latency was observed, as was positive weak correlation for Na-Pa amplitude. PMID:26491479

  3. Spatial Learning and Computer Simulations in Science

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lindgren, Robb; Schwartz, Daniel L.

    2009-01-01

    Interactive simulations are entering mainstream science education. Their effects on cognition and learning are often framed by the legacy of information processing, which emphasized amodal problem solving and conceptual organization. In contrast, this paper reviews simulations from the vantage of research on perception and spatial learning,…

  4. An electrophysiological correlate of conflict processing in an auditory spatial Stroop task: the effect of individual differences in navigational style.

    PubMed

    Buzzell, George A; Roberts, Daniel M; Baldwin, Carryl L; McDonald, Craig G

    2013-11-01

    Recent work has identified an event-related potential (ERP) component, the incongruency negativity (N(inc)), which is sensitive to auditory Stroop conflict processing. Here, we investigated how this index of conflict processing is influenced by individual differences in cognitive style. There is evidence that individuals differ in the strategy they use to navigate through the environment; some use a predominantly verbal-egocentric strategy while others rely more heavily on a spatial-allocentric strategy. In addition, navigational strategy, assessed by a way-finding questionnaire, is predictive of performance on an auditory spatial Stroop task, in which either the semantic or spatial dimension of stimuli must be ignored. To explore the influence of individual differences in navigational style on conflict processing, participants took part in an auditory spatial Stroop task while the electroencephalogram (EEG) was recorded. Whereas behavioral performance only showed a main effect of congruency, we observed the predicted three-way interaction between congruency, task type and navigational style with respect to our physiological measure of Stroop conflict. Specifically, congruency-dependent modulation of the N(inc) was observed only when participants performed their non-dominant task (e.g., verbal navigators attempting to ignore semantic information). These results confirm that the N(inc) reliably indexes auditory Stroop conflict and extend previous results by demonstrating that the N(inc) is predictably modulated by individual differences in cognitive style.

  5. Potential for using visual, auditory, and olfactory cues to manage foraging behaviour and spatial distribution of rangeland livestock

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This paper reviews the literature and reports on the current state of knowledge regarding the potential for managers to use visual (VC), auditory (AC), and olfactory (OC) cues to manage foraging behavior and spatial distribution of rangeland livestock. We present evidence that free-ranging livestock...

  6. The impact of variation in low-frequency interaural cross correlation on auditory spatial imagery in stereophonic loudspeaker reproduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martens, William

    2005-04-01

    Several attributes of auditory spatial imagery associated with stereophonic sound reproduction are strongly modulated by variation in interaural cross correlation (IACC) within low frequency bands. Nonetheless, a standard practice in bass management for two-channel and multichannel loudspeaker reproduction is to mix low-frequency musical content to a single channel for reproduction via a single driver (e.g., a subwoofer). This paper reviews the results of psychoacoustic studies which support the conclusion that reproduction via multiple drivers of decorrelated low-frequency signals significantly affects such important spatial attributes as auditory source width (ASW), auditory source distance (ASD), and listener envelopment (LEV). A variety of methods have been employed in these tests, including forced choice discrimination and identification, and direct ratings of both global dissimilarity and distinct attributes. Contrary to assumptions that underlie industrial standards established in 1994 by ITU-R. Recommendation BS.775-1, these findings imply that substantial stereophonic spatial information exists within audio signals at frequencies below the 80 to 120 Hz range of prescribed subwoofer cutoff frequencies, and that loudspeaker reproduction of decorrelated signals at frequencies as low as 50 Hz can have an impact upon auditory spatial imagery. [Work supported by VRQ.

  7. Dynamic stimulation evokes spatially focused receptive fields in bat auditory cortex.

    PubMed

    Hoffmann, Susanne; Schuller, Gerd; Firzlaff, Uwe

    2010-01-01

    Bats can orient and hunt for prey in complete darkness using echolocation. Due to the pulse-like character of call emission they receive a stroboscopic view of their environment. During target approach, bats adjust their emitted echolocation calls to the specific requirements of the dynamically changing environmental and behavioral context. In addition to changes of the spectro-temporal call features, the spatial focusing of the beam of the sonar emissions onto the target is a conspicuous feature during target tracking. The neural processes underlying the complex sensory-motor interactions during target tracking are not well understood. In this study, we used a two-tone-pulse paradigm with 81 combinations of inter-aural intensity differences and six inter-pulse intervals in a passive hearing task to tackle the question of how transient changes in the azimuthal position of successive sounds are encoded by neurons in the auditory cortex of the bat Phyllostomus discolor. In a population of cortical neurons (11%, 24 of 217), spatial receptive fields were focused to a small region of frontal azimuthal positions during dynamic stimulation with tone-pulse pairs at short inter-pulse intervals. The response of these neurons might be important for the behaviorally observed locking of the sonar beam onto a selected target during the later stages of target tracking. Most interestingly, the majority of these neurons (88%, 21 of 24) were located in the posterior dorsal part of the auditory cortex. This cortical subfield might thus be specifically involved in the analysis of dynamic acoustic scenes.

  8. Computer-Based Auditory Training (CBAT): Benefits for Children with Language- and Reading-Related Learning Difficulties

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Loo, Jenny Hooi Yin; Bamiou, Doris-Eva; Campbell, Nicci; Luxon, Linda M.

    2010-01-01

    This article reviews the evidence for computer-based auditory training (CBAT) in children with language, reading, and related learning difficulties, and evaluates the extent it can benefit children with auditory processing disorder (APD). Searches were confined to studies published between 2000 and 2008, and they are rated according to the level…

  9. Temporal Dynamics in Auditory Perceptual Learning: Impact of Sequencing and Incidental Learning

    PubMed Central

    Church, Barbara A.; Mercado, Eduardo; Wisniewski, Matthew G.; Liu, Estella H.

    2013-01-01

    Training can improve perceptual sensitivities. We examined whether the temporal dynamics and incidental versus intentional nature of training are important. Within the context of a birdsong rate discrimination task, we examined whether the sequencing of pre-testing exposure to the stimuli mattered. Easy-to-hard (progressive) sequencing of stimuli during pre-exposure led to more accurate performance with the critical difficult contrast and greater generalization to new contrasts in the task, compared to equally variable training in either a random or anti-progressive order. This greater accuracy was also evident when participants experienced the progressively-sequenced stimuli in a different incidental learning task that did not involve direct auditory training. The results clearly show the importance of temporal dynamics (sequencing) in learning, and that the progressive training advantages cannot be fully explained by direct associations between stimulus features and the corresponding responses. The current findings are consistent with a hierarchical account of perceptual learning among other possibilities, but not with explanations that focus on stimulus variability. PMID:22642235

  10. Anatomical substrates of visual and auditory miniature second-language learning.

    PubMed

    Newman-Norlund, Roger D; Frey, Scott H; Petitto, Laura-Ann; Grafton, Scott T

    2006-12-01

    Longitudinal changes in brain activity during second language (L2) acquisition of a miniature finite-state grammar, named Wernickese, were identified with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Participants learned either a visual sign language form or an auditory-verbal form to equivalent proficiency levels. Brain activity during sentence comprehension while hearing/viewing stimuli was assessed at low, medium, and high levels of proficiency in three separate fMRI sessions. Activation in the left inferior frontal gyrus (Broca's area) correlated positively with improving L2 proficiency, whereas activity in the right-hemisphere (RH) homologue was negatively correlated for both auditory and visual forms of the language. Activity in sequence learning areas including the premotor cortex and putamen also correlated with L2 proficiency. Modality-specific differences in the blood oxygenation level-dependent signal accompanying L2 acquisition were localized to the planum temporale (PT). Participants learning the auditory form exhibited decreasing reliance on bilateral PT sites across sessions. In the visual form, bilateral PT sites increased in activity between Session 1 and Session 2, then decreased in left PT activity from Session 2 to Session 3. Comparison of L2 laterality (as compared to L1 laterality) in auditory and visual groups failed to demonstrate greater RH lateralization for the visual versus auditory L2. These data establish a common role for Broca's area in language acquisition irrespective of the perceptual form of the language and suggest that L2s are processed similar to first languages even when learned after the "critical period." The right frontal cortex was not preferentially recruited by visual language after accounting for phonetic/structural complexity and performance.

  11. Role of cortical neurodynamics for understanding the neural basis of motivated behavior - lessons from auditory category learning.

    PubMed

    Ohl, Frank W

    2015-04-01

    Rhythmic activity appears in the auditory cortex in both microscopic and macroscopic observables and is modulated by both bottom-up and top-down processes. How this activity serves both types of processes is largely unknown. Here we review studies that have recently improved our understanding of potential functional roles of large-scale global dynamic activity patterns in auditory cortex. The experimental paradigm of auditory category learning allowed critical testing of the hypothesis that global auditory cortical activity states are associated with endogenous cognitive states mediating the meaning associated with an acoustic stimulus rather than with activity states that merely represent the stimulus for further processing.

  12. Mapping phonological information from auditory to written modality during foreign vocabulary learning.

    PubMed

    Kaushanskaya, Margarita; Marian, Viorica

    2008-12-01

    Learning to read in a foreign language often entails recognizing the printed form of words learned by sound. In the current study, the ability to map novel phonological information from the auditory modality onto the written modality was examined at different levels of overlap between the native language and an artificially constructed foreign language. In this study, monolingual English-speaking adults learned novel foreign words in the auditory modality. Recognition testing was first conducted in the auditory modality and then in the written modality. Participants who learned foreign words that matched English phonology showed similar accuracy rates when tested in either modality. Participants who learned foreign words that mismatched English phonology showed decreased recognition accuracy when tested in the written modality. Results indicate that cross-linguistic matching in phonology facilitated mapping of phonological information to the written modality. In addition, at different levels of cross-linguistic overlap, specific cognitive skills were found to correlate with the ability to map phonological information across modalities. This finding suggests that the cognitive skills required for acquisition of a foreign language may vary depending upon degree of cross-linguistic similarity.

  13. Spatial learning and goldfish telencephalon NMDA receptors.

    PubMed

    Gómez, Yolanda; Vargas, Juan Pedro; Portavella, Manuel; López, Juan Carlos

    2006-05-01

    Recent results have demonstrated that the mammalian hippocampus and the dorso-lateral telencephalon of ray-finned fishes share functional similarities in relation to spatial memory systems. In the present study, we investigated whether the physiological mechanisms of this hippocampus-dependent spatial memory system were also similar in mammals and ray-finned fishes, and therefore possibly conserved through evolution in vertebrates. In Experiment 1, we studied the effects of the intracranial administration of the noncompetitive NMDA receptor antagonist MK-801 during the acquisition of a spatial task. The results indicated dose-dependent drug-induced impairment of spatial memory. Experiment 2 evaluated if the MK-801 produced disruption of retrieval of a learned spatial response. Data showed that the administration of MK-801 did not impair the retrieval of the information previously stored. The last experiment analyzed the involvement of the telencephalic NMDA receptors in a spatial and in a cue task. Results showed a clear impairment in spatial learning but not in cue learning when NMDA receptors were blocked. As a whole, these results indicate that physiological mechanisms of this hippocampus-dependent system could be a general feature in vertebrate, and therefore phylogenetically conserved.

  14. Early continuous white noise exposure alters auditory spatial sensitivity and expression of GAD65 and GABAA receptor subunits in rat auditory cortex.

    PubMed

    Xu, Jinghong; Yu, Liping; Cai, Rui; Zhang, Jiping; Sun, Xinde

    2010-04-01

    Sensory experiences have important roles in the functional development of the mammalian auditory cortex. Here, we show how early continuous noise rearing influences spatial sensitivity in the rat primary auditory cortex (A1) and its underlying mechanisms. By rearing infant rat pups under conditions of continuous, moderate level white noise, we found that noise rearing markedly attenuated the spatial sensitivity of A1 neurons. Compared with rats reared under normal conditions, spike counts of A1 neurons were more poorly modulated by changes in stimulus location, and their preferred locations were distributed over a larger area. We further show that early continuous noise rearing induced significant decreases in glutamic acid decarboxylase 65 and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)(A) receptor alpha1 subunit expression, and an increase in GABA(A) receptor alpha3 expression, which indicates a returned to the juvenile form of GABA(A) receptor, with no effect on the expression of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors. These observations indicate that noise rearing has powerful adverse effects on the maturation of cortical GABAergic inhibition, which might be responsible for the reduced spatial sensitivity.

  15. Extreme Learning Machines for spatial environmental data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leuenberger, Michael; Kanevski, Mikhail

    2015-12-01

    The use of machine learning algorithms has increased in a wide variety of domains (from finance to biocomputing and astronomy), and nowadays has a significant impact on the geoscience community. In most real cases geoscience data modelling problems are multivariate, high dimensional, variable at several spatial scales, and are generated by non-linear processes. For such complex data, the spatial prediction of continuous (or categorical) variables is a challenging task. The aim of this paper is to investigate the potential of the recently developed Extreme Learning Machine (ELM) for environmental data analysis, modelling and spatial prediction purposes. An important contribution of this study deals with an application of a generic self-consistent methodology for environmental data driven modelling based on Extreme Learning Machine. Both real and simulated data are used to demonstrate applicability of ELM at different stages of the study to understand and justify the results.

  16. Physical exercise, neuroplasticity, spatial learning and memory.

    PubMed

    Cassilhas, Ricardo C; Tufik, Sergio; de Mello, Marco Túlio

    2016-03-01

    There has long been discussion regarding the positive effects of physical exercise on brain activity. However, physical exercise has only recently begun to receive the attention of the scientific community, with major interest in its effects on the cognitive functions, spatial learning and memory, as a non-drug method of maintaining brain health and treating neurodegenerative and/or psychiatric conditions. In humans, several studies have shown the beneficial effects of aerobic and resistance exercises in adult and geriatric populations. More recently, studies employing animal models have attempted to elucidate the mechanisms underlying neuroplasticity related to physical exercise-induced spatial learning and memory improvement, even under neurodegenerative conditions. In an attempt to clarify these issues, the present review aims to discuss the role of physical exercise in the improvement of spatial learning and memory and the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in neuroplasticity.

  17. Differential signaling to subplate neurons by spatially specific silent synapses in developing auditory cortex.

    PubMed

    Meng, Xiangying; Kao, Joseph P Y; Kanold, Patrick O

    2014-06-25

    Subplate neurons (SPNs) form one of the earliest maturing circuits in the cerebral cortex and are crucial to cortical development. In addition to thalamic inputs, subsets of SPNs receive excitatory AMPAR-mediated inputs from the developing cortical plate in the second postnatal week. Functionally silent (non-AMPAR-mediated) excitatory synapses exist in several systems during development, and the existence of such inputs can precede the appearance of AMPAR-mediated synapses. Because SPNs receive inputs from presynaptic cells in different cortical layers, we investigated whether AMPAR-mediated and silent synapses might originate in different layers. We used laser-scanning photostimulation in acute thalamocortical slices of mouse auditory cortex during the first 2 postnatal weeks to study the spatial origin of silent synapses onto SPNs. We find that silent synapses from the cortical plate are present on SPNs and that they originate from different cortical locations than functional (AMPAR-mediated) synapses. Moreover, we find that SPNs can be categorized based on the spatial pattern of silent and AMPAR-mediated connections. Because SPNs can be activated at young ages by thalamic inputs, distinct populations of cortical neurons at young ages have the ability to signal to SPNs depending on the activation state of SPNs. Because during development intracortical circuits are spontaneously active, our results suggest that SPNs might integrate ascending input from the thalamus with spontaneously generated cortical activity patterns. Together, our results suggest that SPNs are an integral part of the developing intracortical circuitry and thereby can sculpt thalamocortical connections.

  18. Spatial profile of excitatory and inhibitory synaptic connectivity in mouse primary auditory cortex

    PubMed Central

    Levy, Robert B.; Reyes, Alex D.

    2012-01-01

    The role of local cortical activity in shaping neuronal responses is controversial. Among other questions, it is unknown how the diverse response patterns reported in vivo - lateral inhibition in some cases, approximately balanced excitation and inhibition (co-tuning) in others - compare to the local spread of synaptic connectivity. Excitatory and inhibitory activity might cancel each other out, or, if one outweighs the other, receptive field (RF) properties might be substantially affected. As a step toward addressing this question, we used multiple intracellular recording in mouse primary auditory cortical slices to map synaptic connectivity among excitatory pyramidal (P) cells and the two broad classes of inhibitory cells, fast-spiking (FS) and non-FS cells in the principal input layer. Connection probability was distance-dependent; the spread of connectivity, parameterized by Gaussian fits to the data, was comparable for all cell types, ranging from 85 to 114 μm. With brief stimulus trains, unitary synapses formed by FS interneurons were stronger than other classes of synapses; synapse strength did not correlate with distance between cells. The physiological data were qualitatively consistent with predictions derived from anatomical reconstruction. We also analyzed the truncation of neuronal processes due to slicing; overall connectivity was reduced but the spatial pattern was unaffected. The comparable spatial patterns of connectivity and relatively strong excitatory-inhibitory interconnectivity are consistent with a theoretical model where either lateral inhibition or co-tuning can predominate, depending on the structure of the input. PMID:22514322

  19. ERP Indications for Sustained and Transient Auditory Spatial Attention with Different Lateralization Cues

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Widmann, Andreas; Schröger, Erich

    The presented study was designed to investigate ERP effects of auditory spatial attention in sustained attention condition (where the to-be-attended location is defined in a blockwise manner) and in a transient attention condition (where the to-be-attended location is defined in a trial-by-trial manner). Lateralization in the azimuth plane was manipulated (a) via monaural presentation of l- and right-ear sounds, (b) via interaural intensity differences, (c) via interaural time differences, (d) via an artificial-head recording, and (e) via free-field stimulation. Ten participants were delivered with frequent Nogo- and infrequent Go-Stimuli. In one half of the experiment participants were instructed to press a button if they detected a Go-stimulus at a predefined side (sustained attention), in the other half they were required to detect Go-stimuli following an arrow-cue at the cued side (transient attention). Results revealed negative differences (Nd) between ERPs elicited by to-be-attended and to-be-ignored sounds in all conditions. These Nd-effects were larger for the sustained than for the transient attention condition indicating that attentional selection according to spatial criteria is improved when subjects can focus to one and the same location for a series of stimuli.

  20. Statistical learning of recurring sound patterns encodes auditory objects in songbird forebrain.

    PubMed

    Lu, Kai; Vicario, David S

    2014-10-07

    Auditory neurophysiology has demonstrated how basic acoustic features are mapped in the brain, but it is still not clear how multiple sound components are integrated over time and recognized as an object. We investigated the role of statistical learning in encoding the sequential features of complex sounds by recording neuronal responses bilaterally in the auditory forebrain of awake songbirds that were passively exposed to long sound streams. These streams contained sequential regularities, and were similar to streams used in human infants to demonstrate statistical learning for speech sounds. For stimulus patterns with contiguous transitions and with nonadjacent elements, single and multiunit responses reflected neuronal discrimination of the familiar patterns from novel patterns. In addition, discrimination of nonadjacent patterns was stronger in the right hemisphere than in the left, and may reflect an effect of top-down modulation that is lateralized. Responses to recurring patterns showed stimulus-specific adaptation, a sparsening of neural activity that may contribute to encoding invariants in the sound stream and that appears to increase coding efficiency for the familiar stimuli across the population of neurons recorded. As auditory information about the world must be received serially over time, recognition of complex auditory objects may depend on this type of mnemonic process to create and differentiate representations of recently heard sounds.

  1. Test performance and classification statistics for the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test in selected clinical samples.

    PubMed

    Schoenberg, Mike R; Dawson, Kyra A; Duff, Kevin; Patton, Doyle; Scott, James G; Adams, Russell L

    2006-10-01

    The Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test [RAVLT; Rey, A. (1941). L'examen psychologique dans les cas d'encéphalopathie traumatique. Archives de Psychologie, 28, 21] is a commonly used neuropsychological measure that assesses verbal learning and memory. Normative data have been compiled [Schmidt, M. (1996). Rey Auditory and Verbal Learning Test: A handbook. Los Angeles, CA: Western Psychological Services]. When assessing an individual suspected of neurological dysfunction, useful comparisons include the extent that the patient deviates from healthy peers and also how closely the subject's performance matches those with known brain injury. This study provides the means and S.D.'s of 392 individuals with documented neurological dysfunction [closed head TBI (n=68), neoplasms (n=57), stroke (n=47), Dementia of the Alzheimer's type (n=158), and presurgical epilepsy left seizure focus (n=28), presurgical epilepsy right seizure focus (n=34)] and 122 patients with no known neurological dysfunction and psychiatric complaints. Patients were stratified into three age groups, 16-35, 36-59, and 60-88. Data were provided for trials I-V, List B, immediate recall, 30-min delayed recall, and recognition. Classification characteristics of the RAVLT using [Schmidt, M. (1996). Rey Auditory and Verbal Learning Test: A handbook. Los Angeles, CA: Western Psychological Services] meta-norms found the RAVLT to best distinguish patients suspected of Alzheimer's disease from the psychiatric comparison group.

  2. Generalization of Auditory Sensory and Cognitive Learning in Typically Developing Children

    PubMed Central

    Murphy, Cristina F. B.; Moore, David R.; Schochat, Eliane

    2015-01-01

    Despite the well-established involvement of both sensory (“bottom-up”) and cognitive (“top-down”) processes in literacy, the extent to which auditory or cognitive (memory or attention) learning transfers to phonological and reading skills remains unclear. Most research has demonstrated learning of the trained task or even learning transfer to a closely related task. However, few studies have reported “far-transfer” to a different domain, such as the improvement of phonological and reading skills following auditory or cognitive training. This study assessed the effectiveness of auditory, memory or attention training on far-transfer measures involving phonological and reading skills in typically developing children. Mid-transfer was also assessed through untrained auditory, attention and memory tasks. Sixty 5- to 8-year-old children with normal hearing were quasi-randomly assigned to one of five training groups: attention group (AG), memory group (MG), auditory sensory group (SG), placebo group (PG; drawing, painting), and a control, untrained group (CG). Compliance, mid-transfer and far-transfer measures were evaluated before and after training. All trained groups received 12 x 45-min training sessions over 12 weeks. The CG did not receive any intervention. All trained groups, especially older children, exhibited significant learning of the trained task. On pre- to post-training measures (test-retest), most groups exhibited improvements on most tasks. There was significant mid-transfer for a visual digit span task, with highest span in the MG, relative to other groups. These results show that both sensory and cognitive (memory or attention) training can lead to learning in the trained task and to mid-transfer learning on a task (visual digit span) within the same domain as the trained tasks. However, learning did not transfer to measures of language (reading and phonological awareness), as the PG and CG improved as much as the other trained groups

  3. The Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test: normative data developed for the Venezuelan population.

    PubMed

    Ferreira Correia, Aline; Campagna Osorio, Ilva

    2014-03-01

    The Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test (RAVLT) is a neuropsychological tool widely used to assess functions such as attention, memory, and learning ability in the auditory-verbal domain. Norms for the test have been developed in many different languages and they show different relationships with demographic variables. The main objective of this research was to develop specific norms for the Venezuelan population, with particular focus on the influences of age, education, gender, and socioeconomic status. A Spanish version of the test was administered to a quota sample of 629 healthy adults. Pearson's correlation analysis (p < .001) showed a significant association between RAVLT performance and age (r = -.401), education (r = .386), and socioeconomic status (r = -.196), but not between RAVLT performance and gender (r = -.054). Due to the strength of the correlations, only age and education were considered in the development of final norms.

  4. Feedback valence affects auditory perceptual learning independently of feedback probability.

    PubMed

    Amitay, Sygal; Moore, David R; Molloy, Katharine; Halliday, Lorna F

    2015-01-01

    Previous studies have suggested that negative feedback is more effective in driving learning than positive feedback. We investigated the effect on learning of providing varying amounts of negative and positive feedback while listeners attempted to discriminate between three identical tones; an impossible task that nevertheless produces robust learning. Four feedback conditions were compared during training: 90% positive feedback or 10% negative feedback informed the participants that they were doing equally well, while 10% positive or 90% negative feedback informed them they were doing equally badly. In all conditions the feedback was random in relation to the listeners' responses (because the task was to discriminate three identical tones), yet both the valence (negative vs. positive) and the probability of feedback (10% vs. 90%) affected learning. Feedback that informed listeners they were doing badly resulted in better post-training performance than feedback that informed them they were doing well, independent of valence. In addition, positive feedback during training resulted in better post-training performance than negative feedback, but only positive feedback indicating listeners were doing badly on the task resulted in learning. As we have previously speculated, feedback that better reflected the difficulty of the task was more effective in driving learning than feedback that suggested performance was better than it should have been given perceived task difficulty. But contrary to expectations, positive feedback was more effective than negative feedback in driving learning. Feedback thus had two separable effects on learning: feedback valence affected motivation on a subjectively difficult task, and learning occurred only when feedback probability reflected the subjective difficulty. To optimize learning, training programs need to take into consideration both feedback valence and probability.

  5. Developmental stress impairs performance on an association task in male and female songbirds, but impairs auditory learning in females only.

    PubMed

    Farrell, Tara M; Morgan, Amanda; MacDougall-Shackleton, Scott A

    2016-01-01

    In songbirds, early-life environments critically shape song development. Many studies have demonstrated that developmental stress impairs song learning and the development of song-control regions of the brain in males. However, song has evolved through signaller-receiver networks and the effect stress has on the ability to receive auditory signals is equally important, especially for females who use song as an indicator of mate quality. Female song preferences have been the metric used to evaluate how developmental stress affects auditory learning, but preferences are shaped by many non-cognitive factors and preclude the evaluation of auditory learning abilities in males. To determine whether developmental stress specifically affects auditory learning in both sexes, we subjected juvenile European starlings, Sturnus vulgaris, to either an ad libitum or an unpredictable food supply treatment from 35 to 115 days of age. In adulthood, we assessed learning of both auditory and visual discrimination tasks. Females reared in the experimental group were slower than females in the control group to acquire a relative frequency auditory task, and slower than their male counterparts to acquire an absolute frequency auditory task. There was no difference in auditory performance between treatment groups for males. However, on the colour association task, birds from the experimental group committed more errors per trial than control birds. There was no correlation in performance across the cognitive tasks. Developmental stress did not affect all cognitive processes equally across the sexes. Our results suggest that the male auditory system may be more robust to developmental stress than that of females.

  6. High Resolution Quantitative Synaptic Proteome Profiling of Mouse Brain Regions After Auditory Discrimination Learning

    PubMed Central

    Kolodziej, Angela; Smalla, Karl-Heinz; Richter, Sandra; Engler, Alexander; Pielot, Rainer; Dieterich, Daniela C.; Tischmeyer, Wolfgang; Naumann, Michael; Kähne, Thilo

    2016-01-01

    The molecular synaptic mechanisms underlying auditory learning and memory remain largely unknown. Here, the workflow of a proteomic study on auditory discrimination learning in mice is described. In this learning paradigm, mice are trained in a shuttle box Go/NoGo-task to discriminate between rising and falling frequency-modulated tones in order to avoid a mild electric foot-shock. The protocol involves the enrichment of synaptosomes from four brain areas, namely the auditory cortex, frontal cortex, hippocampus, and striatum, at different stages of training. Synaptic protein expression patterns obtained from trained mice are compared to naïve controls using a proteomic approach. To achieve sufficient analytical depth, samples are fractionated in three different ways prior to mass spectrometry, namely 1D SDS-PAGE/in-gel digestion, in-solution digestion and phospho-peptide enrichment. High-resolution proteomic analysis on a mass spectrometer and label-free quantification are used to examine synaptic protein profiles in phospho-peptide-depleted and phospho-peptide-enriched fractions of synaptosomal protein samples. A commercial software package is utilized to reveal proteins and phospho-peptides with significantly regulated relative synaptic abundance levels (trained/naïve controls). Common and differential regulation modes for the synaptic proteome in the investigated brain regions of mice after training were observed. Subsequently, meta-analyses utilizing several databases are employed to identify underlying cellular functions and biological pathways. PMID:28060347

  7. High Resolution Quantitative Synaptic Proteome Profiling of Mouse Brain Regions After Auditory Discrimination Learning.

    PubMed

    Kolodziej, Angela; Smalla, Karl-Heinz; Richter, Sandra; Engler, Alexander; Pielot, Rainer; Dieterich, Daniela C; Tischmeyer, Wolfgang; Naumann, Michael; Kähne, Thilo

    2016-12-15

    The molecular synaptic mechanisms underlying auditory learning and memory remain largely unknown. Here, the workflow of a proteomic study on auditory discrimination learning in mice is described. In this learning paradigm, mice are trained in a shuttle box Go/NoGo-task to discriminate between rising and falling frequency-modulated tones in order to avoid a mild electric foot-shock. The protocol involves the enrichment of synaptosomes from four brain areas, namely the auditory cortex, frontal cortex, hippocampus, and striatum, at different stages of training. Synaptic protein expression patterns obtained from trained mice are compared to naïve controls using a proteomic approach. To achieve sufficient analytical depth, samples are fractionated in three different ways prior to mass spectrometry, namely 1D SDS-PAGE/in-gel digestion, in-solution digestion and phospho-peptide enrichment. High-resolution proteomic analysis on a mass spectrometer and label-free quantification are used to examine synaptic protein profiles in phospho-peptide-depleted and phospho-peptide-enriched fractions of synaptosomal protein samples. A commercial software package is utilized to reveal proteins and phospho-peptides with significantly regulated relative synaptic abundance levels (trained/naïve controls). Common and differential regulation modes for the synaptic proteome in the investigated brain regions of mice after training were observed. Subsequently, meta-analyses utilizing several databases are employed to identify underlying cellular functions and biological pathways.

  8. Effects of spatial response coding on distractor processing: evidence from auditory spatial negative priming tasks with keypress, joystick, and head movement responses.

    PubMed

    Möller, Malte; Mayr, Susanne; Buchner, Axel

    2015-01-01

    Prior studies of spatial negative priming indicate that distractor-assigned keypress responses are inhibited as part of visual, but not auditory, processing. However, recent evidence suggests that static keypress responses are not directly activated by spatially presented sounds and, therefore, might not call for an inhibitory process. In order to investigate the role of response inhibition in auditory processing, we used spatially directed responses that have been shown to result in direct response activation to irrelevant sounds. Participants localized a target sound by performing manual joystick responses (Experiment 1) or head movements (Experiment 2B) while ignoring a concurrent distractor sound. Relations between prime distractor and probe target were systematically manipulated (repeated vs. changed) with respect to identity and location. Experiment 2A investigated the influence of distractor sounds on spatial parameters of head movements toward target locations and showed that distractor-assigned responses are immediately inhibited to prevent false responding in the ongoing trial. Interestingly, performance in Experiments 1 and 2B was not generally impaired when the probe target appeared at the location of the former prime distractor and required a previously withheld and presumably inhibited response. Instead, performance was impaired only when prime distractor and probe target mismatched in terms of location or identity, which fully conforms to the feature-mismatching hypothesis. Together, the results suggest that response inhibition operates in auditory processing when response activation is provided but is presumably too short-lived to affect responding on the subsequent trial.

  9. Auditory evoked potential: a proposal for further evaluation in children with learning disabilities.

    PubMed

    Frizzo, Ana C F

    2015-01-01

    The information presented in this paper demonstrates the author's experience in previews cross-sectional studies conducted in Brazil, in comparison with the current literature. Over the last 10 years, auditory evoked potential (AEP) has been used in children with learning disabilities. This method is critical to analyze the quality of the processing in time and indicates the specific neural demands and circuits of the sensorial and cognitive process in this clinical population. Some studies with children with dyslexia and learning disabilities were shown here to illustrate the use of AEP in this population.

  10. The modified Location Learning Test: norms for the assessment of spatial memory function in neuropsychological patients.

    PubMed

    Kessels, Roy P C; Nys, Gudrun M S; Brands, Augustina M A; van den Berg, Esther; Van Zandvoort, Martine J E

    2006-12-01

    This study examines the applicability of the modified Location Learning Test (mLLT) as a test of spatial memory in neuropsychological patients. Three groups of participants were examined: stroke patients, patients with diabetes mellitus and healthy participants (N=411). Three error measures were computed, the Total Score (index of overall performance), the Learning Index (the learning curve over subsequent trials) and the Delayed Recall Score, measuring decay over time. The Learning Index was the most sensitive measure, showing differences between the three groups as well as lateralization effects within the stroke group. Also, the mLLT correlated significantly with the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test, as well as with age and education level. Regression-based normative data were computed based on the healthy participants. In all, the mLLT appears to be a sensitive and valid test for the detection of object-location memory impairments in clinical groups.

  11. Learning Disabilities and the Auditory and Visual Matching Computer Program

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tormanen, Minna R. K.; Takala, Marjatta; Sajaniemi, Nina

    2008-01-01

    This study examined whether audiovisual computer training without linguistic material had a remedial effect on different learning disabilities, like dyslexia and ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder). This study applied a pre-test-intervention-post-test design with students (N = 62) between the ages of 7 and 19. The computer training lasted eight weeks…

  12. Dorsal Hippocampus Function in Learning and Expressing a Spatial Discrimination

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    White, Norman M.; Gaskin, Stephane

    2006-01-01

    Learning to discriminate between spatial locations defined by two adjacent arms of a radial maze in the conditioned cue preference paradigm requires two kinds of information: latent spatial learning when the rats explore the maze with no food available, and learning about food availability in two spatial locations when the rats are then confined…

  13. Auditory inspired machine learning techniques can improve speech intelligibility and quality for hearing-impaired listeners.

    PubMed

    Monaghan, Jessica J M; Goehring, Tobias; Yang, Xin; Bolner, Federico; Wang, Shangqiguo; Wright, Matthew C M; Bleeck, Stefan

    2017-03-01

    Machine-learning based approaches to speech enhancement have recently shown great promise for improving speech intelligibility for hearing-impaired listeners. Here, the performance of three machine-learning algorithms and one classical algorithm, Wiener filtering, was compared. Two algorithms based on neural networks were examined, one using a previously reported feature set and one using a feature set derived from an auditory model. The third machine-learning approach was a dictionary-based sparse-coding algorithm. Speech intelligibility and quality scores were obtained for participants with mild-to-moderate hearing impairments listening to sentences in speech-shaped noise and multi-talker babble following processing with the algorithms. Intelligibility and quality scores were significantly improved by each of the three machine-learning approaches, but not by the classical approach. The largest improvements for both speech intelligibility and quality were found by implementing a neural network using the feature set based on auditory modeling. Furthermore, neural network based techniques appeared more promising than dictionary-based, sparse coding in terms of performance and ease of implementation.

  14. Brain dynamics that correlate with effects of learning on auditory distance perception.

    PubMed

    Wisniewski, Matthew G; Mercado, Eduardo; Church, Barbara A; Gramann, Klaus; Makeig, Scott

    2014-01-01

    Accuracy in auditory distance perception can improve with practice and varies for sounds differing in familiarity. Here, listeners were trained to judge the distances of English, Bengali, and backwards speech sources pre-recorded at near (2-m) and far (30-m) distances. Listeners' accuracy was tested before and after training. Improvements from pre-test to post-test were greater for forward speech, demonstrating a learning advantage for forward speech sounds. Independent component (IC) processes identified in electroencephalographic (EEG) data collected during pre- and post-testing revealed three clusters of ICs across subjects with stimulus-locked spectral perturbations related to learning and accuracy. One cluster exhibited a transient stimulus-locked increase in 4-8 Hz power (theta event-related synchronization; ERS) that was smaller after training and largest for backwards speech. For a left temporal cluster, 8-12 Hz decreases in power (alpha event-related desynchronization; ERD) were greatest for English speech and less prominent after training. In contrast, a cluster of IC processes centered at or near anterior portions of the medial frontal cortex showed learning-related enhancement of sustained increases in 10-16 Hz power (upper-alpha/low-beta ERS). The degree of this enhancement was positively correlated with the degree of behavioral improvements. Results suggest that neural dynamics in non-auditory cortical areas support distance judgments. Further, frontal cortical networks associated with attentional and/or working memory processes appear to play a role in perceptual learning for source distance.

  15. At the interface of the auditory and vocal motor systems: NIf and its role in vocal processing, production and learning.

    PubMed

    Lewandowski, Brian; Vyssotski, Alexei; Hahnloser, Richard H R; Schmidt, Marc

    2013-06-01

    Communication between auditory and vocal motor nuclei is essential for vocal learning. In songbirds, the nucleus interfacialis of the nidopallium (NIf) is part of a sensorimotor loop, along with auditory nucleus avalanche (Av) and song system nucleus HVC, that links the auditory and song systems. Most of the auditory information comes through this sensorimotor loop, with the projection from NIf to HVC representing the largest single source of auditory information to the song system. In addition to providing the majority of HVC's auditory input, NIf is also the primary driver of spontaneous activity and premotor-like bursting during sleep in HVC. Like HVC and RA, two nuclei critical for song learning and production, NIf exhibits behavioral-state dependent auditory responses and strong motor bursts that precede song output. NIf also exhibits extended periods of fast gamma oscillations following vocal production. Based on the converging evidence from studies of physiology and functional connectivity it would be reasonable to expect NIf to play an important role in the learning, maintenance, and production of song. Surprisingly, however, lesions of NIf in adult zebra finches have no effect on song production or maintenance. Only the plastic song produced by juvenile zebra finches during the sensorimotor phase of song learning is affected by NIf lesions. In this review, we carefully examine what is known about NIf at the anatomical, physiological, and behavioral levels. We reexamine conclusions drawn from previous studies in the light of our current understanding of the song system, and establish what can be said with certainty about NIf's involvement in song learning, maintenance, and production. Finally, we review recent theories of song learning integrating possible roles for NIf within these frameworks and suggest possible parallels between NIf and sensorimotor areas that form part of the neural circuitry for speech processing in humans.

  16. Does Size Really Matter? The Role of Tonotopic Map Area Dynamics for Sound Learning in Mouse Auditory Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Brünner, Hans Sperup

    2017-01-01

    Abstract This commentary centers on the novel findings by Shepard et al. (2016) published in eNeuro. The authors interrogated tonotopic map dynamics in auditory cortex (ACtx) by employing a natural sound-learning paradigm, where mothers learn the importance of pup ultrasonic vocalizations (USVs), allowing Shepard et al. to probe the role of map area expansion for auditory learning. They demonstrate that auditory learning in this paradigm does not rely on map expansion but is facilitated by increased inhibition of neurons tuned to low-frequency sounds. Here, we discuss the findings in light of the emerging enthusiasm for cortical inhibitory interneurons for circuit function and hypothesize how a particular interneuron type might be causally involved for the intriguing results obtained by Shepard et al. PMID:28197554

  17. Does Size Really Matter? The Role of Tonotopic Map Area Dynamics for Sound Learning in Mouse Auditory Cortex.

    PubMed

    Brünner, Hans Sperup; Rasmussen, Rune

    2017-01-01

    This commentary centers on the novel findings by Shepard et al. (2016) published in eNeuro. The authors interrogated tonotopic map dynamics in auditory cortex (ACtx) by employing a natural sound-learning paradigm, where mothers learn the importance of pup ultrasonic vocalizations (USVs), allowing Shepard et al. to probe the role of map area expansion for auditory learning. They demonstrate that auditory learning in this paradigm does not rely on map expansion but is facilitated by increased inhibition of neurons tuned to low-frequency sounds. Here, we discuss the findings in light of the emerging enthusiasm for cortical inhibitory interneurons for circuit function and hypothesize how a particular interneuron type might be causally involved for the intriguing results obtained by Shepard et al.

  18. Sound Sequence Discrimination Learning Motivated by Reward Requires Dopaminergic D2 Receptor Activation in the Rat Auditory Cortex

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kudoh, Masaharu; Shibuki, Katsuei

    2006-01-01

    We have previously reported that sound sequence discrimination learning requires cholinergic inputs to the auditory cortex (AC) in rats. In that study, reward was used for motivating discrimination behavior in rats. Therefore, dopaminergic inputs mediating reward signals may have an important role in the learning. We tested the possibility in the…

  19. Attention Cueing and Activity Equally Reduce False Alarm Rate in Visual-Auditory Associative Learning through Improving Memory

    PubMed Central

    Haghgoo, Hojjat Allah; Azizi, Solmaz; Nili Ahmadabadi, Majid

    2016-01-01

    In our daily life, we continually exploit already learned multisensory associations and form new ones when facing novel situations. Improving our associative learning results in higher cognitive capabilities. We experimentally and computationally studied the learning performance of healthy subjects in a visual-auditory sensory associative learning task across active learning, attention cueing learning, and passive learning modes. According to our results, the learning mode had no significant effect on learning association of congruent pairs. In addition, subjects’ performance in learning congruent samples was not correlated with their vigilance score. Nevertheless, vigilance score was significantly correlated with the learning performance of the non-congruent pairs. Moreover, in the last block of the passive learning mode, subjects significantly made more mistakes in taking non-congruent pairs as associated and consciously reported lower confidence. These results indicate that attention and activity equally enhanced visual-auditory associative learning for non-congruent pairs, while false alarm rate in the passive learning mode did not decrease after the second block. We investigated the cause of higher false alarm rate in the passive learning mode by using a computational model, composed of a reinforcement learning module and a memory-decay module. The results suggest that the higher rate of memory decay is the source of making more mistakes and reporting lower confidence in non-congruent pairs in the passive learning mode. PMID:27314235

  20. Enhanced cognitive flexibility in reversal learning induced by removal of the extracellular matrix in auditory cortex.

    PubMed

    Happel, Max F K; Niekisch, Hartmut; Castiblanco Rivera, Laura L; Ohl, Frank W; Deliano, Matthias; Frischknecht, Renato

    2014-02-18

    During brain maturation, the occurrence of the extracellular matrix (ECM) terminates juvenile plasticity by mediating structural stability. Interestingly, enzymatic removal of the ECM restores juvenile forms of plasticity, as for instance demonstrated by topographical reconnectivity in sensory pathways. However, to which degree the mature ECM is a compromise between stability and flexibility in the adult brain impacting synaptic plasticity as a fundamental basis for learning, lifelong memory formation, and higher cognitive functions is largely unknown. In this study, we removed the ECM in the auditory cortex of adult Mongolian gerbils during specific phases of cortex-dependent auditory relearning, which was induced by the contingency reversal of a frequency-modulated tone discrimination, a task requiring high behavioral flexibility. We found that ECM removal promoted a significant increase in relearning performance, without erasing already established-that is, learned-capacities when continuing discrimination training. The cognitive flexibility required for reversal learning of previously acquired behavioral habits, commonly understood to mainly rely on frontostriatal circuits, was enhanced by promoting synaptic plasticity via ECM removal within the sensory cortex. Our findings further suggest experimental modulation of the cortical ECM as a tool to open short-term windows of enhanced activity-dependent reorganization allowing for guided neuroplasticity.

  1. Synaptic proteome changes in mouse brain regions upon auditory discrimination learning.

    PubMed

    Kähne, Thilo; Kolodziej, Angela; Smalla, Karl-Heinz; Eisenschmidt, Elke; Haus, Utz-Uwe; Weismantel, Robert; Kropf, Siegfried; Wetzel, Wolfram; Ohl, Frank W; Tischmeyer, Wolfgang; Naumann, Michael; Gundelfinger, Eckart D

    2012-08-01

    Changes in synaptic efficacy underlying learning and memory processes are assumed to be associated with alterations of the protein composition of synapses. Here, we performed a quantitative proteomic screen to monitor changes in the synaptic proteome of four brain areas (auditory cortex, frontal cortex, hippocampus striatum) during auditory learning. Mice were trained in a shuttle box GO/NO-GO paradigm to discriminate between rising and falling frequency modulated tones to avoid mild electric foot shock. Control-treated mice received corresponding numbers of either the tones or the foot shocks. Six hours and 24 h later, the composition of a fraction enriched in synaptic cytomatrix-associated proteins was compared to that obtained from naïve mice by quantitative mass spectrometry. In the synaptic protein fraction obtained from trained mice, the average percentage (±SEM) of downregulated proteins (59.9 ± 0.5%) exceeded that of upregulated proteins (23.5 ± 0.8%) in the brain regions studied. This effect was significantly smaller in foot shock (42.7 ± 0.6% down, 40.7 ± 1.0% up) and tone controls (43.9 ± 1.0% down, 39.7 ± 0.9% up). These data suggest that learning processes initially induce removal and/or degradation of proteins from presynaptic and postsynaptic cytoskeletal matrices before these structures can acquire a new, postlearning organisation. In silico analysis points to a general role of insulin-like signalling in this process.

  2. Human brainstem plasticity: the interaction of stimulus probability and auditory learning.

    PubMed

    Skoe, Erika; Chandrasekaran, Bharath; Spitzer, Emily R; Wong, Patrick C M; Kraus, Nina

    2014-03-01

    Two forms of brainstem plasticity are known to occur: an immediate stimulus probability-based and learning-dependent plasticity. Whether these kinds of plasticity interact is unknown. We examined this question in a training experiment involving three phases: (1) an initial baseline measurement, (2) a 9-session training paradigm, and (3) a retest measurement. At the outset of the experiment, auditory brainstem responses (ABR) were recorded to two unfamiliar pitch patterns presented in an oddball paradigm. Then half the participants underwent sound-to-meaning training where they learned to match these pitch patterns to novel words, with the remaining participants serving as controls who received no auditory training. Nine days after the baseline measurement, the pitch patterns were re-presented to all participants using the same oddball paradigm. Analysis of the baseline recordings revealed an effect of probability: when a sound was presented infrequently, the pitch contour was represented less accurately in the ABR than when it was presented frequently. After training, pitch tracking was more accurate for infrequent sounds, particularly for the pitch pattern that was encoded more poorly pre-training. However, the control group was stable over the same interval. Our results provide evidence that probability-based and learning-dependent plasticity interact in the brainstem.

  3. Auditory processing disorder in patients with language-learning impairment and correlation with malformation of cortical development.

    PubMed

    Boscariol, Mirela; Guimarães, Catarina Abraão; Hage, Simone R de Vasconcellos; Garcia, Vera Lucia; Schmutzler, Kátia M R; Cendes, Fernando; Guerreiro, Marilisa Mantovani

    2011-11-01

    Malformations of cortical development have been described in children and families with language-learning impairment. The objective of this study was to assess the auditory processing information in children with language-learning impairment in the presence or absence of a malformation of cortical development in the auditory processing areas. We selected 32 children (19 males), aged eight to 15 years, divided into three groups: Group I comprised 11 children with language-learning impairment and bilateral perisylvian polymicrogyria, Group II comprised 10 children with language-learning impairment and normal MRI, and Group III comprised 11 normal children. Behavioral auditory tests, such as the Random Gap Detection Test and Digits Dichotic Test were performed. Statistical analysis was performed using the Kruskal-Wallis test and Mann-Whitney test, with a level of significance of 0.05. The results revealed a statistically significant difference among the groups. Our data showed abnormalities in auditory processing of children in Groups I and II when compared with the control group, with children in Group I being more affected than children in Group II. Our data showed that the presence of a cortical malformation correlates with a worse performance in some tasks of auditory processing function.

  4. Implicitly learned suppression of irrelevant spatial locations.

    PubMed

    Leber, Andrew B; Gwinn, Rachael E; Hong, Yoolim; O'Toole, Ryan J

    2016-12-01

    How do we ignore a salient, irrelevant stimulus whose location is predictable? A variety of studies using instructional manipulations have shown that participants possess the capacity to exert location-based suppression. However, for the visual search challenges we face in daily life, we are not often provided explicit instructions and are unlikely to consciously deliberate on what our best strategy might be. Instead, we might rely on our past experience-in the form of implicit learning-to exert strategic control. In this paper, we tested whether implicit learning could drive spatial suppression. In Experiment 1, participants searched displays in which one location contained a target, while another contained a salient distractor. An arrow cue pointed to the target location with 70 % validity. Also, unbeknownst to the participants, the same arrow cue predicted the distractor location with 70 % validity. Results showed facilitated RTs to the predicted target location, confirming target enhancement. Critically, distractor interference was reduced at the predicted distractor location, revealing that participants used spatial suppression. Further, we found that participants had no explicit knowledge of the cue-distractor contingencies, confirming that the learning was implicit. In Experiment 2, to seek further evidence for suppression, we modified the task to include occasional masked probes following the arrow cue; we found worse probe identification accuracy at the predicted distractor location than control locations, providing converging evidence that observers spatially suppressed the predicted distractor locations. These results reveal an ecologically desirable mechanism of suppression, which functions without the need for conscious knowledge or externally guided instructions.

  5. Physical fitness modulates incidental but not intentional statistical learning of simultaneous auditory sequences during concurrent physical exercise.

    PubMed

    Daikoku, Tatsuya; Takahashi, Yuji; Futagami, Hiroko; Tarumoto, Nagayoshi; Yasuda, Hideki

    2017-02-01

    In real-world auditory environments, humans are exposed to overlapping auditory information such as those made by human voices and musical instruments even during routine physical activities such as walking and cycling. The present study investigated how concurrent physical exercise affects performance of incidental and intentional learning of overlapping auditory streams, and whether physical fitness modulates the performances of learning. Participants were grouped with 11 participants with lower and higher fitness each, based on their Vo2max value. They were presented simultaneous auditory sequences with a distinct statistical regularity each other (i.e. statistical learning), while they were pedaling on the bike and seating on a bike at rest. In experiment 1, they were instructed to attend to one of the two sequences and ignore to the other sequence. In experiment 2, they were instructed to attend to both of the two sequences. After exposure to the sequences, learning effects were evaluated by familiarity test. In the experiment 1, performance of statistical learning of ignored sequences during concurrent pedaling could be higher in the participants with high than low physical fitness, whereas in attended sequence, there was no significant difference in performance of statistical learning between high than low physical fitness. Furthermore, there was no significant effect of physical fitness on learning while resting. In the experiment 2, the both participants with high and low physical fitness could perform intentional statistical learning of two simultaneous sequences in the both exercise and rest sessions. The improvement in physical fitness might facilitate incidental but not intentional statistical learning of simultaneous auditory sequences during concurrent physical exercise.

  6. Neural Changes Associated with Nonspeech Auditory Category Learning Parallel Those of Speech Category Acquisition

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Ran; Holt, Lori L.

    2010-01-01

    Native language experience plays a critical role in shaping speech categorization, but the exact mechanisms by which it does so are not well understood. Investigating category learning of nonspeech sounds with which listeners have no prior experience allows their experience to be systematically controlled in a way that is impossible to achieve by studying natural speech acquisition, and it provides a means of probing the boundaries and constraints that general auditory perception and cognition bring to the task of speech category learning. In this study, we used a multimodal, video-game-based implicit learning paradigm to train participants to categorize acoustically complex, nonlinguistic sounds. Mismatch negativity responses to the nonspeech stimuli were collected before and after training to investigate the degree to which neural changes supporting the learning of these nonspeech categories parallel those typically observed for speech category acquisition. Results indicate that changes in mismatch negativity resulting from the nonspeech category learning closely resemble patterns of change typically observed during speech category learning. This suggests that the often-observed “specialized” neural responses to speech sounds may result, at least in part, from the expertise we develop with speech categories through experience rathr than from properties unique to speech (e.g., linguistic or vocal tract gestural information). Furthermore, particular characteristics of the training paradigm may inform our understanding of mechanisms that support natural speech acquisition. PMID:19929331

  7. Objective detection of the central auditory processing disorder: a new machine learning approach.

    PubMed

    Strauss, Daniel J; Delb, Wolfgang; Plinkert, Peter K

    2004-07-01

    The objective detection of binaural interaction is of diagnostic interest for the evaluation of the central auditory processing disorder (CAPD). The beta-wave of the binaural interaction component in auditory brainstem responses has been suggested as an objective measure of binaural interaction and has been shown to be of diagnostic value in the CAPD diagnosis. However, a reliable and automated detection of the beta-wave capable of clinical use still remains a challenge. We propose a new machine learning approach to the detection of the CAPD that is based on adapted tight frame decompositions which are tailored for support vector machines with radial kernels. Using shift-invariant scale and morphological features of the binaurally evoked brainstem potentials, our approach provides at least comparable results to the beta-wave detection in view of the discrimination of subjects being at risk for CAPD and subjects being not at risk for CAPD. Furthermore, as no information from the monaurally evoked potentials is necessary, the measurement cost is reduced by two-thirds compared to the computation of the binaural interaction component. We conclude that a machine learning approach in the form of a hybrid tight frame-support vector classification is effective in the objective detection of the CAPD.

  8. Auditory Same/Different Concept Learning and Generalization in Black-Capped Chickadees (Poecile atricapillus)

    PubMed Central

    Hoeschele, Marisa; Cook, Robert G.; Guillette, Lauren M.; Hahn, Allison H.; Sturdy, Christopher B.

    2012-01-01

    Abstract concept learning was thought to be uniquely human, but has since been observed in many other species. Discriminating same from different is one abstract relation that has been studied frequently. In the current experiment, using operant conditioning, we tested whether black-capped chickadees (Poecile atricapillus) could discriminate sets of auditory stimuli based on whether all the sounds within a sequence were the same or different from one another. The chickadees were successful at solving this same/different relational task, and transferred their learning to same/different sequences involving novel combinations of training notes and novel notes within the range of pitches experienced during training. The chickadees showed limited transfer to pitches that was not used in training, suggesting that the processing of absolute pitch may constrain their relational performance. Our results indicate, for the first time, that black-capped chickadees readily form relational auditory same and different categories, adding to the list of perceptual, behavioural, and cognitive abilities that make this species an important comparative model for human language and cognition. PMID:23077660

  9. The Application of an Animal Auditory Training Method as an Interchangeable Auditory Processing Learning Method for Children with Autism

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Adams, Deborah L.

    2012-01-01

    While the prevalence of autism continues to increase, there is a growing need for techniques that facilitate teaching this challenging population. The use of visual systems and prompting has been prevalent as well as effective; however, the use of auditory systems has been lacking in investigation. Ten children between the chronological ages of 4…

  10. Testing the Role of Dorsal Premotor Cortex in Auditory-Motor Association Learning Using Transcranical Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)

    PubMed Central

    Lega, Carlotta; Stephan, Marianne A.; Zatorre, Robert J.; Penhune, Virginia

    2016-01-01

    Interactions between the auditory and the motor systems are critical in music as well as in other domains, such as speech. The premotor cortex, specifically the dorsal premotor cortex (dPMC), seems to play a key role in auditory-motor integration, and in mapping the association between a sound and the movement used to produce it. In the present studies we tested the causal role of the dPMC in learning and applying auditory-motor associations using 1 Hz repetitive Transcranical Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS). In this paradigm, non-musicians learn a set of auditory-motor associations through melody training in two contexts: first when the sound to key-press mapping was in a conventional sequential order (low to high tones mapped onto keys from left to right), and then when it was in a novel scrambled order. Participant’s ability to match the four pitches to four computer keys was tested before and after the training. In both experiments, the group that received 1 Hz rTMS over the dPMC showed no significant improvement on the pitch-matching task following training, whereas the control group (who received rTMS to visual cortex) did. Moreover, in Experiment 2 where the pitch-key mapping was novel, rTMS over the dPMC also interfered with learning. These findings suggest that rTMS over dPMC disturbs the formation of auditory-motor associations, especially when the association is novel and must be learned rather explicitly. The present results contribute to a better understanding of the role of dPMC in auditory-motor integration, suggesting a critical role of dPMC in learning the link between an action and its associated sound. PMID:27684369

  11. Mismatch Negativity is a Sensitive and Predictive Biomarker of Perceptual Learning During Auditory Cognitive Training in Schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Perez, Veronica B; Tarasenko, Melissa; Miyakoshi, Makoto; Pianka, Sean T; Makeig, Scott D; Braff, David L; Swerdlow, Neal R; Light, Gregory A

    2017-03-22

    Computerized cognitive training is gaining empirical support for use in the treatment of schizophrenia (SZ). Although cognitive training is efficacious for SZ at a group level when delivered in sufficiently intensive doses (eg, 30-50 h), there is variability in individual patient response. The identification of biomarkers sensitive to the neural systems engaged by cognitive training interventions early in the course of treatment could facilitate personalized assignment to treatment. This proof-of-concept study was conducted to determine whether mismatch negativity (MMN), an event-related potential index of auditory sensory discrimination associated with cognitive and psychosocial functioning, would predict gains in auditory perceptual learning and exhibit malleability after initial exposure to the early stages of auditory cognitive training in SZ. MMN was assessed in N=28 SZ patients immediately before and after completing 1 h of a speeded time-order judgment task of two successive frequency-modulated sweeps (Posit Science 'Sound Sweeps' exercise). All SZ patients exhibited the expected improvements in auditory perceptual learning over the 1 h training period (p<0.001), consistent with previous results. Larger MMN amplitudes recorded both before and after the training exercises were associated with greater gains in auditory perceptual learning (r=-0.5 and r=-0.67, respectively, p's<0.01). Significant pretraining vs posttraining MMN amplitude reduction was also observed (p<0.02). MMN is a sensitive index of the neural systems engaged in a single session of auditory cognitive training in SZ. These findings encourage future trials of MMN as a biomarker for individual assignment, prediction, and/or monitoring of patient response to procognitive interventions, including auditory cognitive training in SZ.Neuropsychopharmacology advance online publication, 22 March 2017; doi:10.1038/npp.2017.25.

  12. Brain dynamics that correlate with effects of learning on auditory distance perception

    PubMed Central

    Wisniewski, Matthew G.; Mercado, Eduardo; Church, Barbara A.; Gramann, Klaus; Makeig, Scott

    2014-01-01

    Accuracy in auditory distance perception can improve with practice and varies for sounds differing in familiarity. Here, listeners were trained to judge the distances of English, Bengali, and backwards speech sources pre-recorded at near (2-m) and far (30-m) distances. Listeners' accuracy was tested before and after training. Improvements from pre-test to post-test were greater for forward speech, demonstrating a learning advantage for forward speech sounds. Independent component (IC) processes identified in electroencephalographic (EEG) data collected during pre- and post-testing revealed three clusters of ICs across subjects with stimulus-locked spectral perturbations related to learning and accuracy. One cluster exhibited a transient stimulus-locked increase in 4–8 Hz power (theta event-related synchronization; ERS) that was smaller after training and largest for backwards speech. For a left temporal cluster, 8–12 Hz decreases in power (alpha event-related desynchronization; ERD) were greatest for English speech and less prominent after training. In contrast, a cluster of IC processes centered at or near anterior portions of the medial frontal cortex showed learning-related enhancement of sustained increases in 10–16 Hz power (upper-alpha/low-beta ERS). The degree of this enhancement was positively correlated with the degree of behavioral improvements. Results suggest that neural dynamics in non-auditory cortical areas support distance judgments. Further, frontal cortical networks associated with attentional and/or working memory processes appear to play a role in perceptual learning for source distance. PMID:25538550

  13. Assessing Spatial Learning and Memory in Rodents

    PubMed Central

    Vorhees, Charles V.; Williams, Michael T.

    2014-01-01

    Maneuvering safely through the environment is central to survival of almost all species. The ability to do this depends on learning and remembering locations. This capacity is encoded in the brain by two systems: one using cues outside the organism (distal cues), allocentric navigation, and one using self-movement, internal cues and nearby proximal cues, egocentric navigation. Allocentric navigation involves the hippocampus, entorhinal cortex, and surrounding structures; in humans this system encodes allocentric, semantic, and episodic memory. This form of memory is assessed in laboratory animals in many ways, but the dominant form of assessment is the Morris water maze (MWM). Egocentric navigation involves the dorsal striatum and connected structures; in humans this system encodes routes and integrated paths and, when overlearned, becomes procedural memory. In this article, several allocentric assessment methods for rodents are reviewed and compared with the MWM. MWM advantages (little training required, no food deprivation, ease of testing, rapid and reliable learning, insensitivity to differences in body weight and appetite, absence of nonperformers, control methods for proximal cue learning, and performance effects) and disadvantages (concern about stress, perhaps not as sensitive for working memory) are discussed. Evidence-based design improvements and testing methods are reviewed for both rats and mice. Experimental factors that apply generally to spatial navigation and to MWM specifically are considered. It is concluded that, on balance, the MWM has more advantages than disadvantages and compares favorably with other allocentric navigation tasks. PMID:25225309

  14. Beta phase synchronization in the frontal-temporal-cerebellar network during auditory-to-motor rhythm learning

    PubMed Central

    Edagawa, Kouki; Kawasaki, Masahiro

    2017-01-01

    Rhythm is an essential element of dancing and music. To investigate the neural mechanisms underlying how rhythm is learned, we recorded electroencephalographic (EEG) data during a rhythm-reproducing task that asked participants to memorize an auditory stimulus and reproduce it via tapping. Based on the behavioral results, we divided the participants into Learning and No-learning groups. EEG analysis showed that error-related negativity (ERN) in the Learning group was larger than in the No-learning group. Time-frequency analysis of the EEG data showed that the beta power in right and left temporal area at the late learning stage was smaller than at the early learning stage in the Learning group. Additionally, the beta power in the temporal and cerebellar areas in the Learning group when learning to reproduce the rhythm were larger than in the No Learning group. Moreover, phase synchronization between frontal and temporal regions and between temporal and cerebellar regions at late stages of learning were larger than at early stages. These results indicate that the frontal-temporal-cerebellar beta neural circuits might be related to auditory-motor rhythm learning. PMID:28225010

  15. Preconditioning of Spatial and Auditory Cues: Roles of the Hippocampus, Frontal Cortex, and Cue-Directed Attention

    PubMed Central

    Talk, Andrew C.; Grasby, Katrina L.; Rawson, Tim; Ebejer, Jane L.

    2016-01-01

    Loss of function of the hippocampus or frontal cortex is associated with reduced performance on memory tasks, in which subjects are incidentally exposed to cues at specific places in the environment and are subsequently asked to recollect the location at which the cue was experienced. Here, we examined the roles of the rodent hippocampus and frontal cortex in cue-directed attention during encoding of memory for the location of a single incidentally experienced cue. During a spatial sensory preconditioning task, rats explored an elevated platform while an auditory cue was incidentally presented at one corner. The opposite corner acted as an unpaired control location. The rats demonstrated recollection of location by avoiding the paired corner after the auditory cue was in turn paired with shock. Damage to either the dorsal hippocampus or the frontal cortex impaired this memory ability. However, we also found that hippocampal lesions enhanced attention directed towards the cue during the encoding phase, while frontal cortical lesions reduced cue-directed attention. These results suggest that the deficit in spatial sensory preconditioning caused by frontal cortical damage may be mediated by inattention to the location of cues during the latent encoding phase, while deficits following hippocampal damage must be related to other mechanisms such as generation of neural plasticity. PMID:27999366

  16. Contrast Enhancement without Transient Map Expansion for Species-Specific Vocalizations in Core Auditory Cortex during Learning

    PubMed Central

    Shepard, Kathryn N.; Chong, Kelly K.

    2016-01-01

    Tonotopic map plasticity in the adult auditory cortex (AC) is a well established and oft-cited measure of auditory associative learning in classical conditioning paradigms. However, its necessity as an enduring memory trace has been debated, especially given a recent finding that the areal expansion of core AC tuned to a newly relevant frequency range may arise only transiently to support auditory learning. This has been reinforced by an ethological paradigm showing that map expansion is not observed for ultrasonic vocalizations (USVs) or for ultrasound frequencies in postweaning dams for whom USVs emitted by pups acquire behavioral relevance. However, whether transient expansion occurs during maternal experience is not known, and could help to reveal the generality of cortical map expansion as a correlate for auditory learning. We thus mapped the auditory cortices of maternal mice at postnatal time points surrounding the peak in pup USV emission, but found no evidence of frequency map expansion for the behaviorally relevant high ultrasound range in AC. Instead, regions tuned to low frequencies outside of the ultrasound range show progressively greater suppression of activity in response to the playback of ultrasounds or pup USVs for maternally experienced animals assessed at their pups’ postnatal day 9 (P9) to P10, or postweaning. This provides new evidence for a lateral-band suppression mechanism elicited by behaviorally meaningful USVs, likely enhancing their population-level signal-to-noise ratio. These results demonstrate that tonotopic map enlargement has limits as a construct for conceptualizing how experience leaves neural memory traces within sensory cortex in the context of ethological auditory learning. PMID:27957529

  17. Auditory attention in childhood and adolescence: An event-related potential study of spatial selective attention to one of two simultaneous stories.

    PubMed

    Karns, Christina M; Isbell, Elif; Giuliano, Ryan J; Neville, Helen J

    2015-06-01

    Auditory selective attention is a critical skill for goal-directed behavior, especially where noisy distractions may impede focusing attention. To better understand the developmental trajectory of auditory spatial selective attention in an acoustically complex environment, in the current study we measured auditory event-related potentials (ERPs) across five age groups: 3-5 years; 10 years; 13 years; 16 years; and young adults. Using a naturalistic dichotic listening paradigm, we characterized the ERP morphology for nonlinguistic and linguistic auditory probes embedded in attended and unattended stories. We documented robust maturational changes in auditory evoked potentials that were specific to the types of probes. Furthermore, we found a remarkable interplay between age and attention-modulation of auditory evoked potentials in terms of morphology and latency from the early years of childhood through young adulthood. The results are consistent with the view that attention can operate across age groups by modulating the amplitude of maturing auditory early-latency evoked potentials or by invoking later endogenous attention processes. Development of these processes is not uniform for probes with different acoustic properties within our acoustically dense speech-based dichotic listening task. In light of the developmental differences we demonstrate, researchers conducting future attention studies of children and adolescents should be wary of combining analyses across diverse ages.

  18. Auditory attention in childhood and adolescence: An event-related potential study of spatial selective attention to one of two simultaneous stories

    PubMed Central

    Karns, Christina M.; Isbell, Elif; Giuliano, Ryan J.; Neville, Helen J.

    2015-01-01

    Auditory selective attention is a critical skill for goal-directed behavior, especially where noisy distractions may impede focusing attention. To better understand the developmental trajectory of auditory spatial selective attention in an acoustically complex environment, in the current study we measured auditory event-related potentials (ERPs) in human children across five age groups: 3–5 years; 10 years; 13 years; 16 years; and young adults using a naturalistic dichotic listening paradigm, characterizing the ERP morphology for nonlinguistic and linguistic auditory probes embedded in attended and unattended stories. We documented robust maturational changes in auditory evoked potentials that were specific to the types of probes. Furthermore, we found a remarkable interplay between age and attention-modulation of auditory evoked potentials in terms of morphology and latency from the early years of childhood through young adulthood. The results are consistent with the view that attention can operate across age groups by modulating the amplitude of maturing auditory early-latency evoked potentials or by invoking later endogenous attention processes. Development of these processes is not uniform for probes with different acoustic properties within our acoustically dense speech-based dichotic listening task. In light of the developmental differences we demonstrate, researchers conducting future attention studies of children and adolescents should be wary of combining analyses across diverse ages. PMID:26002721

  19. Spatial short-term memory in children with nonverbal learning disabilities: impairment in encoding spatial configuration.

    PubMed

    Narimoto, Tadamasa; Matsuura, Naomi; Takezawa, Tomohiro; Mitsuhashi, Yoshinori; Hiratani, Michio

    2013-01-01

    The authors investigated whether impaired spatial short-term memory exhibited by children with nonverbal learning disabilities is due to a problem in the encoding process. Children with or without nonverbal learning disabilities performed a simple spatial test that required them to remember 3, 5, or 7 spatial items presented simultaneously in random positions (i.e., spatial configuration) and to decide if a target item was changed or all items including the target were in the same position. The results showed that, even when the spatial positions in the encoding and probe phases were similar, the mean proportion correct of children with nonverbal learning disabilities was 0.58 while that of children without nonverbal learning disabilities was 0.84. The authors argue with the results that children with nonverbal learning disabilities have difficulty encoding relational information between spatial items, and that this difficulty is responsible for their impaired spatial short-term memory.

  20. Selective importance of the rat anterior thalamic nuclei for configural learning involving distal spatial cues.

    PubMed

    Dumont, Julie R; Amin, Eman; Aggleton, John P

    2014-01-01

    To test potential parallels between hippocampal and anterior thalamic function, rats with anterior thalamic lesions were trained on a series of biconditional learning tasks. The anterior thalamic lesions did not disrupt learning two biconditional associations in operant chambers where a specific auditory stimulus (tone or click) had a differential outcome depending on whether it was paired with a particular visual context (spot or checkered wall-paper) or a particular thermal context (warm or cool). Likewise, rats with anterior thalamic lesions successfully learnt a biconditional task when they were reinforced for digging in one of two distinct cups (containing either beads or shredded paper), depending on the particular appearance of the local context on which the cup was placed (one of two textured floors). In contrast, the same rats were severely impaired at learning the biconditional rule to select a specific cup when in a particular location within the test room. Place learning was then tested with a series of go/no-go discriminations. Rats with anterior thalamic nuclei lesions could learn to discriminate between two locations when they were approached from a constant direction. They could not, however, use this acquired location information to solve a subsequent spatial biconditional task where those same places dictated the correct choice of digging cup. Anterior thalamic lesions produced a selective, but severe, biconditional learning deficit when the task incorporated distal spatial cues. This deficit mirrors that seen in rats with hippocampal lesions, so extending potential interdependencies between the two sites.

  1. Selective importance of the rat anterior thalamic nuclei for configural learning involving distal spatial cues

    PubMed Central

    Dumont, Julie R; Amin, Eman; Aggleton, John P

    2013-01-01

    To test potential parallels between hippocampal and anterior thalamic function, rats with anterior thalamic lesions were trained on a series of biconditional learning tasks. The anterior thalamic lesions did not disrupt learning two biconditional associations in operant chambers where a specific auditory stimulus (tone or click) had a differential outcome depending on whether it was paired with a particular visual context (spot or checkered wall-paper) or a particular thermal context (warm or cool). Likewise, rats with anterior thalamic lesions successfully learnt a biconditional task when they were reinforced for digging in one of two distinct cups (containing either beads or shredded paper), depending on the particular appearance of the local context on which the cup was placed (one of two textured floors). In contrast, the same rats were severely impaired at learning the biconditional rule to select a specific cup when in a particular location within the test room. Place learning was then tested with a series of go/no-go discriminations. Rats with anterior thalamic nuclei lesions could learn to discriminate between two locations when they were approached from a constant direction. They could not, however, use this acquired location information to solve a subsequent spatial biconditional task where those same places dictated the correct choice of digging cup. Anterior thalamic lesions produced a selective, but severe, biconditional learning deficit when the task incorporated distal spatial cues. This deficit mirrors that seen in rats with hippocampal lesions, so extending potential interdependencies between the two sites. PMID:24215178

  2. Spatially Distributed Instructions Improve Learning Outcomes and Efficiency

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jang, Jooyoung; Schunn, Christian D.; Nokes, Timothy J.

    2011-01-01

    Learning requires applying limited working memory and attentional resources to intrinsic, germane, and extraneous aspects of the learning task. To reduce the especially undesirable extraneous load aspects of learning environments, cognitive load theorists suggest that spatially integrated learning materials should be used instead of spatially…

  3. Use of the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test in Differentiating Normal Aging from Alzheimer's and Parkinson's Dementia.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tierney, Mary C.; And Others

    1994-01-01

    Thirty-eight elderly control subjects performed better than did 18 patients with moderate Alzheimer's disease (AD), 33 with severe AD, and 12 with Parkinson's dementia on all measures of the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test. Results indicate that the test is useful in distinguishing AD from Parkinson's dementia. (SLD)

  4. EXEL; Experience for Children in Learning. Parent-Directed Activities to Develop: Oral Expression, Visual Discrimination, Auditory Discrimination, Motor Coordination.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Behrmann, Polly; Millman, Joan

    The activities collected in this handbook are planned for parents to use with their children in a learning experience. They can also be used in the classroom. Sections contain games designed to develop visual discrimination, auditory discrimination, motor coordination and oral expression. An objective is given for each game, and directions for…

  5. Hippocampal long-term depression is facilitated by the acquisition and updating of memory of spatial auditory content and requires mGlu5 activation.

    PubMed

    Dietz, Birte; Manahan-Vaughan, Denise

    2017-03-15

    Long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD) are key cellular processes that support memory formation. Whereas increases of synaptic strength by means of LTP may support the creation of a spatial memory 'engram', LTD appears to play an important role in refining and optimising experience-dependent encoding. A differentiation in the role of hippocampal subfields is apparent. For example, LTD in the dentate gyrus (DG) is enabled by novel learning about large visuospatial features, whereas in area CA1, it is enabled by learning about discrete aspects of spatial content, whereby, both discrete visuospatial and olfactospatial cues trigger LTD in CA1. Here, we explored to what extent local audiospatial cues facilitate information encoding in the form of LTD in these subfields. Coupling of low frequency afferent stimulation (LFS) with discretely localised, novel auditory tones in the sonic hearing, or ultrasonic range, facilitated short-term depression (STD) into LTD (>24 h) in CA1, but not DG. Re-exposure to the now familiar audiospatial configuration ca. 1 week later failed to enhance STD. Reconfiguration of the same audiospatial cues resulted anew in LTD when ultrasound, but not non-ultrasound cues were used. LTD facilitation that was triggered by novel exposure to spatially arranged tones, or to spatial reconfiguration of the same tones were both prevented by an antagonism of the metabotropic glutamate receptor, mGlu5. These data indicate that, if behaviourally salient enough, the hippocampus can use audiospatial cues to facilitate LTD that contributes to the encoding and updating of spatial representations. Effects are subfield-specific, and require mGlu5 activation, as is the case for visuospatial information processing. These data reinforce the likelihood that LTD supports the encoding of spatial features, and that this occurs in a qualitative and subfield-specific manner. They also support that mGlu5 is essential for synaptic encoding of spatial

  6. The effects of distraction and a brief intervention on auditory and visual-spatial working memory in college students with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

    PubMed

    Lineweaver, Tara T; Kercood, Suneeta; O'Keeffe, Nicole B; O'Brien, Kathleen M; Massey, Eric J; Campbell, Samantha J; Pierce, Jenna N

    2012-01-01

    Two studies addressed how young adult college students with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) (n = 44) compare to their nonaffected peers (n = 42) on tests of auditory and visual-spatial working memory (WM), are vulnerable to auditory and visual distractions, and are affected by a simple intervention. Students with ADHD demonstrated worse auditory WM than did controls. A near significant trend indicated that auditory distractions interfered with the visual WM of both groups and that, whereas controls were also vulnerable to visual distractions, visual distractions improved visual WM in the ADHD group. The intervention was ineffective. Limited correlations emerged between self-reported ADHD symptoms and objective test performances; students with ADHD who perceived themselves as more symptomatic often had better WM and were less vulnerable to distractions than their ADHD peers.

  7. Auditory Spatial Perception: Auditory Localization

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-05-01

    circumference represent the individual judgments of direction. ..............................................48 Figure 14. Comparison of circular and linear...axial (transversal) plane is the main horizontal plane of symmetry of the human body, passing through the waist . In the head- centered frame of...distribution is a probability distribution whose total probability is confined within the circumference of a circle (Rao Jammalamadaka and SenGupta

  8. Auditory Spatial Perception: Auditory Localization

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-05-01

    Teas , D. C.; Jeffress, L. A. Localization of High Frequency Tones. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 1957, 29, 988–991. Feinstein, S...Neurophysiology 2001, 86, 2647–2666. Itoh, M.; Adel, B. von; Kelly, J. B. Sound Localization after Transection of the Commissure of Probst in the Albino Rat...Neurology 1957, 7, 655–663. Sandel, T. T.; Teas , D. C.; Feddersen, W. E.; Jeffress, L. A. Localization of Sound From Single and Paired Sources. Journal

  9. Prior experience with negative spectral correlations promotes information integration during auditory category learning.

    PubMed

    Scharinger, Mathias; Henry, Molly J; Obleser, Jonas

    2013-07-01

    Complex sounds vary along a number of acoustic dimensions. These dimensions may exhibit correlations that are familiar to listeners due to their frequent occurrence in natural sounds-namely, speech. However, the precise mechanisms that enable the integration of these dimensions are not well understood. In this study, we examined the categorization of novel auditory stimuli that differed in the correlations of their acoustic dimensions, using decision bound theory. Decision bound theory assumes that stimuli are categorized on the basis of either a single dimension (rule based) or the combination of more than one dimension (information integration) and provides tools for assessing successful integration across multiple acoustic dimensions. In two experiments, we manipulated the stimulus distributions such that in Experiment 1, optimal categorization could be accomplished by either a rule-based or an information integration strategy, while in Experiment 2, optimal categorization was possible only by using an information integration strategy. In both experiments, the pattern of results demonstrated that unidimensional strategies were strongly preferred. Listeners focused on the acoustic dimension most closely related to pitch, suggesting that pitch-based categorization was given preference over timbre-based categorization. Importantly, in Experiment 2, listeners also relied on a two-dimensional information integration strategy, if there was immediate feedback. Furthermore, this strategy was used more often for distributions defined by a negative spectral correlation between stimulus dimensions, as compared with distributions with a positive correlation. These results suggest that prior experience with such correlations might shape short-term auditory category learning.

  10. Reduced Sensory Oscillatory Activity during Rapid Auditory Processing as a Correlate of Language-Learning Impairment

    PubMed Central

    Heim, Sabine; Friedman, Jennifer Thomas; Keil, Andreas; Benasich, April A.

    2010-01-01

    Successful language acquisition has been hypothesized to involve the ability to integrate rapidly presented, brief acoustic cues in sensory cortex. A body of work has suggested that this ability is compromised in language-learning impairment (LLI). The present research aimed to examine sensory integration during rapid auditory processing by means of electrophysiological measures of oscillatory brain activity using data from a larger longitudinal study. Twenty-nine children with LLI and control participants with typical language development (n=18) listened to tone doublets presented at a temporal interval that is essential for accurate speech processing (70-ms interstimulus interval). The children performed a deviant (pitch change of second tone) detection task, or listened passively. The electroencephalogram was recorded from 64 electrodes. Data were source-projected to the auditory cortices and submitted to wavelet analysis, resulting in time-frequency representations of electrocortical activity. Results show significantly reduced amplitude and phase-locking of early (45–75 ms) oscillations in the gamma-band range (29–52 Hz), specifically in the LLI group, for the second stimulus of the tone doublet. This suggests altered temporal organization of sensory oscillatory activity in LLI when processing rapid sequences. PMID:21822356

  11. Learning to modulate sensorimotor rhythms with stereo auditory feedback for a brain-computer interface.

    PubMed

    McCreadie, Karl A; Coyle, Damien H; Prasad, Girijesh

    2012-01-01

    Motor imagery can be used to modulate sensorimotor rhythms (SMR) enabling detection of voltage fluctuations on the surface of the scalp using electroencephalographic (EEG) electrodes. Feedback is essential in learning how to intentionally modulate SMR in non-muscular communication using a brain-computer interface (BCI). A BCI that is not reliant upon the visual modality for feedback is an attractive means of communication for the blind and the vision impaired and to release the visual channel for other purposes during BCI usage. The aim of this study is to demonstrate the feasibility of replacing the traditional visual feedback modality with stereo auditory feedback. Twenty participants split into equal groups took part in ten BCI sessions involving motor imagery. The visual feedback group performed best using two performance measures but did not show improvement over time whilst the auditory group improved as the study progressed. Multiple loudspeaker presentation of audio allows the listener to intuitively assign each of two classes to the corresponding lateral position in a free-field listening environment.

  12. Auditory Learning Using a Portable Real-Time Vocoder: Preliminary Findings

    PubMed Central

    Pisoni, David B.

    2015-01-01

    Purpose Although traditional study of auditory training has been in controlled laboratory settings, interest has been increasing in more interactive options. The authors examine whether such interactive training can result in short-term perceptual learning, and the range of perceptual skills it impacts. Method Experiments 1 (N = 37) and 2 (N = 21) used pre- and posttest measures of speech and nonspeech recognition to find evidence of learning (within subject) and to compare the effects of 3 kinds of training (between subject) on the perceptual abilities of adults with normal hearing listening to simulations of cochlear implant processing. Subjects were given interactive, standard lab-based, or control training experience for 1 hr between the pre- and posttest tasks (unique sets across Experiments 1 & 2). Results Subjects receiving interactive training showed significant learning on sentence recognition in quiet task (Experiment 1), outperforming controls but not lab-trained subjects following training. Training groups did not differ significantly on any other task, even those directly involved in the interactive training experience. Conclusions Interactive training has the potential to produce learning in 1 domain (sentence recognition in quiet), but the particulars of the present training method (short duration, high complexity) may have limited benefits to this single criterion task. PMID:25674884

  13. Auditory Magnetoencephalographic Frequency-Tagged Responses Mirror the Ongoing Segmentation Processes Underlying Statistical Learning.

    PubMed

    Farthouat, Juliane; Franco, Ana; Mary, Alison; Delpouve, Julie; Wens, Vincent; Op de Beeck, Marc; De Tiège, Xavier; Peigneux, Philippe

    2017-03-01

    Humans are highly sensitive to statistical regularities in their environment. This phenomenon, usually referred as statistical learning, is most often assessed using post-learning behavioural measures that are limited by a lack of sensibility and do not monitor the temporal dynamics of learning. In the present study, we used magnetoencephalographic frequency-tagged responses to investigate the neural sources and temporal development of the ongoing brain activity that supports the detection of regularities embedded in auditory streams. Participants passively listened to statistical streams in which tones were grouped as triplets, and to random streams in which tones were randomly presented. Results show that during exposure to statistical (vs. random) streams, tritone frequency-related responses reflecting the learning of regularities embedded in the stream increased in the left supplementary motor area and left posterior superior temporal sulcus (pSTS), whereas tone frequency-related responses decreased in the right angular gyrus and right pSTS. Tritone frequency-related responses rapidly developed to reach significance after 3 min of exposure. These results suggest that the incidental extraction of novel regularities is subtended by a gradual shift from rhythmic activity reflecting individual tone succession toward rhythmic activity synchronised with triplet presentation, and that these rhythmic processes are subtended by distinct neural sources.

  14. Proteome rearrangements after auditory learning: high-resolution profiling of synapse-enriched protein fractions from mouse brain.

    PubMed

    Kähne, Thilo; Richter, Sandra; Kolodziej, Angela; Smalla, Karl-Heinz; Pielot, Rainer; Engler, Alexander; Ohl, Frank W; Dieterich, Daniela C; Seidenbecher, Constanze; Tischmeyer, Wolfgang; Naumann, Michael; Gundelfinger, Eckart D

    2016-07-01

    Learning and memory processes are accompanied by rearrangements of synaptic protein networks. While various studies have demonstrated the regulation of individual synaptic proteins during these processes, much less is known about the complex regulation of synaptic proteomes. Recently, we reported that auditory discrimination learning in mice is associated with a relative down-regulation of proteins involved in the structural organization of synapses in various brain regions. Aiming at the identification of biological processes and signaling pathways involved in auditory memory formation, here, a label-free quantification approach was utilized to identify regulated synaptic junctional proteins and phosphoproteins in the auditory cortex, frontal cortex, hippocampus, and striatum of mice 24 h after the learning experiment. Twenty proteins, including postsynaptic scaffolds, actin-remodeling proteins, and RNA-binding proteins, were regulated in at least three brain regions pointing to common, cross-regional mechanisms. Most of the detected synaptic proteome changes were, however, restricted to individual brain regions. For example, several members of the Septin family of cytoskeletal proteins were up-regulated only in the hippocampus, while Septin-9 was down-regulated in the hippocampus, the frontal cortex, and the striatum. Meta analyses utilizing several databases were employed to identify underlying cellular functions and biological pathways. Data are available via ProteomeExchange with identifier PXD003089. How does the protein composition of synapses change in different brain areas upon auditory learning? We unravel discrete proteome changes in mouse auditory cortex, frontal cortex, hippocampus, and striatum functionally implicated in the learning process. We identify not only common but also area-specific biological pathways and cellular processes modulated 24 h after training, indicating individual contributions of the regions to memory processing.

  15. Learning to match auditory and visual speech cues: social influences on acquisition of phonological categories.

    PubMed

    Altvater-Mackensen, Nicole; Grossmann, Tobias

    2015-01-01

    Infants' language exposure largely involves face-to-face interactions providing acoustic and visual speech cues but also social cues that might foster language learning. Yet, both audiovisual speech information and social information have so far received little attention in research on infants' early language development. Using a preferential looking paradigm, 44 German 6-month olds' ability to detect mismatches between concurrently presented auditory and visual native vowels was tested. Outcomes were related to mothers' speech style and interactive behavior assessed during free play with their infant, and to infant-specific factors assessed through a questionnaire. Results show that mothers' and infants' social behavior modulated infants' preference for matching audiovisual speech. Moreover, infants' audiovisual speech perception correlated with later vocabulary size, suggesting a lasting effect on language development.

  16. Base-rate data and norms for the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Embedded Performance Validity Indicator.

    PubMed

    Poreh, Amir; Tolfo, Sarah; Krivenko, Anna; Teaford, Max

    2016-08-25

    The present study examines the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test (RAVLT) Embedded Performance Validity Indicator (EPVI) for detecting performance validity. This retrospective study analyzes the performance of four groups of 879 participants comprised of 464 clinically referred patients with suspected dementia, 91 forensic patients identified as not exhibiting adequate effort on other measures of response bias, 25 patients with well documented TBI, and a random sample of 198 adults collected in the Gulf State of Oman. The EPVI was also put to the test using normative data collected from the literature. Using sensitivity and specificity analyses, the results indicate moderate to high sensitivity yet low specificity. In conclusion, the study shows that the EPVI is a reasonably good indicator for inadequate effort on the RAVLT but those who fail this measure might not necessarily be exhibiting adequate effort. The limitations and benefits of utilizing the EPVI in clinical practice are discussed.

  17. Auditory Perceptual Learning in Adults with and without Age-Related Hearing Loss

    PubMed Central

    Karawani, Hanin; Bitan, Tali; Attias, Joseph; Banai, Karen

    2016-01-01

    Introduction : Speech recognition in adverse listening conditions becomes more difficult as we age, particularly for individuals with age-related hearing loss (ARHL). Whether these difficulties can be eased with training remains debated, because it is not clear whether the outcomes are sufficiently general to be of use outside of the training context. The aim of the current study was to compare training-induced learning and generalization between normal-hearing older adults and those with ARHL. Methods : Fifty-six listeners (60–72 y/o), 35 participants with ARHL, and 21 normal hearing adults participated in the study. The study design was a cross over design with three groups (immediate-training, delayed-training, and no-training group). Trained participants received 13 sessions of home-based auditory training over the course of 4 weeks. Three adverse listening conditions were targeted: (1) Speech-in-noise, (2) time compressed speech, and (3) competing speakers, and the outcomes of training were compared between normal and ARHL groups. Pre- and post-test sessions were completed by all participants. Outcome measures included tests on all of the trained conditions as well as on a series of untrained conditions designed to assess the transfer of learning to other speech and non-speech conditions. Results : Significant improvements on all trained conditions were observed in both ARHL and normal-hearing groups over the course of training. Normal hearing participants learned more than participants with ARHL in the speech-in-noise condition, but showed similar patterns of learning in the other conditions. Greater pre- to post-test changes were observed in trained than in untrained listeners on all trained conditions. In addition, the ability of trained listeners from the ARHL group to discriminate minimally different pseudowords in noise also improved with training. Conclusions : ARHL did not preclude auditory perceptual learning but there was little generalization to

  18. Jumpstarting auditory learning in children with cochlear implants through music experiences.

    PubMed

    Barton, Christine; Robbins, Amy McConkey

    2015-09-01

    Musical experiences are a valuable part of the lives of children with cochlear implants (CIs). In addition to the pleasure, relationships and emotional outlet provided by music, it serves to enhance or 'jumpstart' other auditory and cognitive skills that are critical for development and learning throughout the lifespan. Musicians have been shown to be 'better listeners' than non-musicians with regard to how they perceive and process sound. A heuristic model of music therapy is reviewed, including six modulating factors that may account for the auditory advantages demonstrated by those who participate in music therapy. The integral approach to music therapy is described along with the hybrid approach to pediatric language intervention. These approaches share the characteristics of placing high value on ecologically valid therapy experiences, i.e., engaging in 'real' music and 'real' communication. Music and language intervention techniques used by the authors are presented. It has been documented that children with CIs consistently have lower music perception scores than do their peers with normal hearing (NH). On the one hand, this finding matters a great deal because it provides parameters for setting reasonable expectations and highlights the work still required to improve signal processing with the devices so that they more accurately transmit music to CI listeners. On the other hand, the finding might not matter much if we assume that music, even in its less-than-optimal state, functions for CI children, as for NH children, as a developmental jumpstarter, a language-learning tool, a cognitive enricher, a motivator, and an attention enhancer.

  19. Guidance of Spatial Attention by Incidental Learning and Endogenous Cuing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jiang, Yuhong V.; Swallow, Khena M.; Rosenbaum, Gail M.

    2013-01-01

    Our visual system is highly sensitive to regularities in the environment. Locations that were important in one's previous experience are often prioritized during search, even though observers may not be aware of the learning. In this study we characterized the guidance of spatial attention by incidental learning of a target's spatial probability,…

  20. Sensory Processing of Backward-Masking Signals in Children with Language-Learning Impairment as Assessed with the Auditory Brainstem Response.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Marler, Jeffrey A.; Champlin, Craig A.

    2005-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine the possible contribution of sensory mechanisms to an auditory processing deficit shown by some children with language-learning impairment (LLI). Auditory brainstem responses (ABRs) were measured from 2 groups of school-aged (8-10 years) children. One group consisted of 10 children with LLI, and the other…

  1. Blocking c-Fos Expression Reveals the Role of Auditory Cortex Plasticity in Sound Frequency Discrimination Learning.

    PubMed

    de Hoz, Livia; Gierej, Dorota; Lioudyno, Victoria; Jaworski, Jacek; Blazejczyk, Magda; Cruces-Solís, Hugo; Beroun, Anna; Lebitko, Tomasz; Nikolaev, Tomasz; Knapska, Ewelina; Nelken, Israel; Kaczmarek, Leszek

    2017-03-17

    The behavioral changes that comprise operant learning are associated with plasticity in early sensory cortices as well as with modulation of gene expression, but the connection between the behavioral, electrophysiological, and molecular changes is only partially understood. We specifically manipulated c-Fos expression, a hallmark of learning-induced synaptic plasticity, in auditory cortex of adult mice using a novel approach based on RNA interference. Locally blocking c-Fos expression caused a specific behavioral deficit in a sound discrimination task, in parallel with decreased cortical experience-dependent plasticity, without affecting baseline excitability or basic auditory processing. Thus, c-Fos-dependent experience-dependent cortical plasticity is necessary for frequency discrimination in an operant behavioral task. Our results connect behavioral, molecular and physiological changes and demonstrate a role of c-Fos in experience-dependent plasticity and learning.

  2. Age-dependent impairment of auditory processing under spatially focused and divided attention: an electrophysiological study.

    PubMed

    Wild-Wall, Nele; Falkenstein, Michael

    2010-01-01

    By using event-related potentials (ERPs) the present study examines if age-related differences in preparation and processing especially emerge during divided attention. Binaurally presented auditory cues called for focused (valid and invalid) or divided attention to one or both ears. Responses were required to subsequent monaurally presented valid targets (vowels), but had to be suppressed to non-target vowels or invalidly cued vowels. Middle-aged participants were more impaired under divided attention than young ones, likely due to an age-related decline in preparatory attention following cues as was reflected in a decreased CNV. Under divided attention, target processing was increased in the middle-aged, likely reflecting compensatory effort to fulfill task requirements in the difficult condition. Additionally, middle-aged participants processed invalidly cued stimuli more intensely as was reflected by stimulus ERPs. The results suggest an age-related impairment in attentional preparation after auditory cues especially under divided attention and latent difficulties to suppress irrelevant information.

  3. Oscillatory alpha-band mechanisms and the deployment of spatial attention to anticipated auditory and visual target locations: Supramodal or sensory-specific control mechanisms?

    PubMed Central

    Banerjee, Snigdha; Snyder, Adam C.; Molholm, Sophie; Foxe, John J.

    2011-01-01

    Oscillatory alpha-band activity (8–15 Hz) over parieto-occipital cortex in humans plays an important role in suppression of processing for inputs at to-be-ignored regions of space, with increased alpha-band power observed over cortex contralateral to locations expected to contain distractors. It is unclear if similar processes operate during deployment of spatial attention in other sensory modalities. Evidence from lesion patients suggests that parietal regions house supramodal representations of space. The parietal lobes are prominent generators of alpha-oscillations; raising the possibility that alpha is a neural signature of supramodal spatial attention. Further, when spatial attention is deployed within vision, processing of task-irrelevant auditory inputs at attended locations is also enhanced, pointing to automatic links between spatial deployments across senses. Here, we asked whether lateralized alpha-band activity is also evident in a purely auditory spatial-cueing task, and whether it had the same underlying generator configuration as in a purely visuo-spatial task. If common to both sensory-systems, this would provide strong support for “supramodal” attention theory. Alternately, alpha-band differences between auditory and visual tasks would support a sensory-specific account. Lateralized shifts in alpha-band activity were indeed observed during a purely auditory-spatial task. Crucially, there were clear differences in scalp topographies of this alpha-activity depending on the sensory system within which spatial attention was deployed. Findings suggest that parietally-generated alpha-band mechanisms are central to attentional deployments across modalities but that they are invoked in a sensory-specific manner. The data support an interactivity account, whereby a supramodal system interacts with sensory-specific control systems during deployment of spatial attention. PMID:21734284

  4. Development of Critical Spatial Thinking through GIS Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kim, Minsung; Bednarz, Robert

    2013-01-01

    This study developed an interview-based critical spatial thinking oral test and used the test to investigate the effects of Geographic Information System (GIS) learning on three components of critical spatial thinking: evaluating data reliability, exercising spatial reasoning, and assessing problem-solving validity. Thirty-two students at a large…

  5. Think3d!: Improving mathematics learning through embodied spatial training.

    PubMed

    Burte, Heather; Gardony, Aaron L; Hutton, Allyson; Taylor, Holly A

    2017-01-01

    Spatial thinking skills positively relate to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) outcomes, but spatial training is largely absent in elementary school. Elementary school is a time when children develop foundational cognitive skills that will support STEM learning throughout their education. Spatial thinking should be considered a foundational cognitive skill. The present research examined the impact of an embodied spatial training program on elementary students' spatial and mathematical thinking. Students in rural elementary schools completed spatial and math assessments prior to and after participating in an origami and pop-up paper engineering-based program, called Think3d!. Think3d! uses embodied tasks, such as folding and cutting paper, to train two-dimensional to three-dimensional spatial thinking. Analyses explored spatial thinking gains, mathematics gains - specifically for problem types expected to show gains from spatial training - and factors predicting mathematics gains. Results showed spatial thinking gains in two assessments. Using a math categorization to target problems more and less likely to be impacted by spatial training, we found that all students improved on real-world math problems and older students improved on visual and spatial math problems. Further, the results are suggestive of developmental time points for implementing embodied spatial training related to applying spatial thinking to math. Finally, the spatial thinking assessment that was most highly related to training activities also predicted math performance gains. Future research should explore developmental issues related to how embodied spatial training might support STEM learning and outcomes.

  6. Neural sensitivity to statistical regularities as a fundamental biological process that underlies auditory learning: the role of musical practice.

    PubMed

    François, Clément; Schön, Daniele

    2014-02-01

    There is increasing evidence that humans and other nonhuman mammals are sensitive to the statistical structure of auditory input. Indeed, neural sensitivity to statistical regularities seems to be a fundamental biological property underlying auditory learning. In the case of speech, statistical regularities play a crucial role in the acquisition of several linguistic features, from phonotactic to more complex rules such as morphosyntactic rules. Interestingly, a similar sensitivity has been shown with non-speech streams: sequences of sounds changing in frequency or timbre can be segmented on the sole basis of conditional probabilities between adjacent sounds. We recently ran a set of cross-sectional and longitudinal experiments showing that merging music and speech information in song facilitates stream segmentation and, further, that musical practice enhances sensitivity to statistical regularities in speech at both neural and behavioral levels. Based on recent findings showing the involvement of a fronto-temporal network in speech segmentation, we defend the idea that enhanced auditory learning observed in musicians originates via at least three distinct pathways: enhanced low-level auditory processing, enhanced phono-articulatory mapping via the left Inferior Frontal Gyrus and Pre-Motor cortex and increased functional connectivity within the audio-motor network. Finally, we discuss how these data predict a beneficial use of music for optimizing speech acquisition in both normal and impaired populations.

  7. Neural responses in songbird forebrain reflect learning rates, acquired salience, and stimulus novelty after auditory discrimination training.

    PubMed

    Bell, Brittany A; Phan, Mimi L; Vicario, David S

    2015-03-01

    How do social interactions form and modulate the neural representations of specific complex signals? This question can be addressed in the songbird auditory system. Like humans, songbirds learn to vocalize by imitating tutors heard during development. These learned vocalizations are important in reproductive and social interactions and in individual recognition. As a model for the social reinforcement of particular songs, male zebra finches were trained to peck for a food reward in response to one song stimulus (GO) and to withhold responding for another (NoGO). After performance reached criterion, single and multiunit neural responses to both trained and novel stimuli were obtained from multiple electrodes inserted bilaterally into two songbird auditory processing areas [caudomedial mesopallium (CMM) and caudomedial nidopallium (NCM)] of awake, restrained birds. Neurons in these areas undergo stimulus-specific adaptation to repeated song stimuli, and responses to familiar stimuli adapt more slowly than to novel stimuli. The results show that auditory responses differed in NCM and CMM for trained (GO and NoGO) stimuli vs. novel song stimuli. When subjects were grouped by the number of training days required to reach criterion, fast learners showed larger neural responses and faster stimulus-specific adaptation to all stimuli than slow learners in both areas. Furthermore, responses in NCM of fast learners were more strongly left-lateralized than in slow learners. Thus auditory responses in these sensory areas not only encode stimulus familiarity, but also reflect behavioral reinforcement in our paradigm, and can potentially be modulated by social interactions.

  8. Discrimination of time intervals presented in sequences: spatial effects with multiple auditory sources.

    PubMed

    Grondin, Simon; Plourde, Marilyn

    2007-10-01

    This article discusses two experiments on the discrimination of time intervals presented in sequences marked by brief auditory signals. Participants had to indicate whether the last interval in a series of three intervals marked by four auditory signals was shorter or longer than the previous intervals. Three base durations were under investigation: 75, 150, and 225 ms. In Experiment 1, sounds were presented through headphones, from a single-speaker in front of the participants or by four equally spaced speakers. In all three presentation modes, the highest different threshold was obtained in the lower base duration condition (75 ms), thus indicating an impairment of temporal processing when sounds are presented too rapidly. The results also indicate the presence, in each presentation mode, of a 'time-shrinking effect' (i.e., with the last interval being perceived as briefer than the preceding ones) at 75 ms, but not at 225 ms. Lastly, using different sound sources to mark time did not significantly impair discrimination. In Experiment 2, three signals were presented from the same source, and the last signal was presented at one of two locations, either close or far. The perceived duration was not influenced by the location of the fourth signal when the participant knew before each trial where the sounds would be delivered. However, when the participant was uncertain as to its location, more space between markers resulted in longer perceived duration, a finding that applies only at 150 and 225 ms. Moreover, the perceived duration was affected by the direction of the sequences (left-right vs. right-left).

  9. Auditory learning through active engagement with sound: biological impact of community music lessons in at-risk children

    PubMed Central

    Kraus, Nina; Slater, Jessica; Thompson, Elaine C.; Hornickel, Jane; Strait, Dana L.; Nicol, Trent; White-Schwoch, Travis

    2014-01-01

    The young nervous system is primed for sensory learning, facilitating the acquisition of language and communication skills. Social and linguistic impoverishment can limit these learning opportunities, eventually leading to language-related challenges such as poor reading. Music training offers a promising auditory learning strategy by directing attention to meaningful acoustic elements of the soundscape. In light of evidence that music training improves auditory skills and their neural substrates, there are increasing efforts to enact community-based programs to provide music instruction to at-risk children. Harmony Project is a community foundation that has provided free music instruction to over 1000 children from Los Angeles gang-reduction zones over the past decade. We conducted an independent evaluation of biological effects of participating in Harmony Project by following a cohort of children for 1 year. Here we focus on a comparison between students who actively engaged with sound through instrumental music training vs. students who took music appreciation classes. All children began with an introductory music appreciation class, but midway through the year half of the children transitioned to the instrumental training. After the year of training, the children who actively engaged with sound through instrumental music training had faster and more robust neural processing of speech than the children who stayed in the music appreciation class, observed in neural responses to a speech sound /d/. The neurophysiological measures found to be enhanced in the instrumentally-trained children have been previously linked to reading ability, suggesting a gain in neural processes important for literacy stemming from active auditory learning. Despite intrinsic constraints on our study imposed by a community setting, these findings speak to the potential of active engagement with sound (i.e., music-making) to engender experience-dependent neuroplasticity and may inform the

  10. Auditory learning through active engagement with sound: biological impact of community music lessons in at-risk children.

    PubMed

    Kraus, Nina; Slater, Jessica; Thompson, Elaine C; Hornickel, Jane; Strait, Dana L; Nicol, Trent; White-Schwoch, Travis

    2014-01-01

    The young nervous system is primed for sensory learning, facilitating the acquisition of language and communication skills. Social and linguistic impoverishment can limit these learning opportunities, eventually leading to language-related challenges such as poor reading. Music training offers a promising auditory learning strategy by directing attention to meaningful acoustic elements of the soundscape. In light of evidence that music training improves auditory skills and their neural substrates, there are increasing efforts to enact community-based programs to provide music instruction to at-risk children. Harmony Project is a community foundation that has provided free music instruction to over 1000 children from Los Angeles gang-reduction zones over the past decade. We conducted an independent evaluation of biological effects of participating in Harmony Project by following a cohort of children for 1 year. Here we focus on a comparison between students who actively engaged with sound through instrumental music training vs. students who took music appreciation classes. All children began with an introductory music appreciation class, but midway through the year half of the children transitioned to the instrumental training. After the year of training, the children who actively engaged with sound through instrumental music training had faster and more robust neural processing of speech than the children who stayed in the music appreciation class, observed in neural responses to a speech sound /d/. The neurophysiological measures found to be enhanced in the instrumentally-trained children have been previously linked to reading ability, suggesting a gain in neural processes important for literacy stemming from active auditory learning. Despite intrinsic constraints on our study imposed by a community setting, these findings speak to the potential of active engagement with sound (i.e., music-making) to engender experience-dependent neuroplasticity and may inform the

  11. The Effects of Restricted Peripheral Field-of-View on Spatial Learning while Navigating

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Recent work with simulated reductions in visual acuity and contrast sensitivity has found decrements in survey spatial learning as well as increased attentional demands when navigating, compared to performance with normal vision. Given these findings, and previous work showing that peripheral field loss has been associated with impaired mobility and spatial memory for room-sized spaces, we investigated the role of peripheral vision during navigation using a large-scale spatial learning paradigm. First, we aimed to establish the magnitude of spatial memory errors at different levels of field restriction. Second, we tested the hypothesis that navigation under these different levels of restriction would use additional attentional resources. Normally sighted participants walked on novel real-world paths wearing goggles that restricted the field-of-view (FOV) to severe (15°, 10°, 4°, or 0°) or mild angles (60°) and then pointed to remembered target locations using a verbal reporting measure. They completed a concurrent auditory reaction time task throughout each path to measure cognitive load. Only the most severe restrictions (4° and blindfolded) showed impairment in pointing error compared to the mild restriction (within-subjects). The 10° and 4° conditions also showed an increase in reaction time on the secondary attention task, suggesting that navigating with these extreme peripheral field restrictions demands the use of limited cognitive resources. This comparison of different levels of field restriction suggests that although peripheral field loss requires the actor to use more attentional resources while navigating starting at a less extreme level (10°), spatial memory is not negatively affected until the restriction is very severe (4°). These results have implications for understanding of the mechanisms underlying spatial learning during navigation and the approaches that may be taken to develop assistance for navigation with visual impairment. PMID

  12. On the Auditory-Proprioception Substitution Hypothesis: Movement Sonification in Two Deafferented Subjects Learning to Write New Characters.

    PubMed

    Danna, Jérémy; Velay, Jean-Luc

    2017-01-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the compensatory effects of real-time auditory feedback on two proprioceptively deafferented subjects. The real-time auditory feedback was based on a movement sonification approach, consisting of translating some movement variables into synthetic sounds to make them audible. The two deafferented subjects and 16 age-matched control participants were asked to learn four new characters. The characters were learned under two different conditions, one without sonification and one with sonification, respecting a within-subject protocol. The results revealed that characters learned with sonification were reproduced more quickly and more fluently than characters learned without and that the effects of sonification were larger in deafferented than in control subjects. Secondly, whereas control subjects were able to learn the characters without sounds the deafferented subjects were able to learn them only when they were trained with sonification. Thirdly, although the improvement was still present in controls, the performance of deafferented subjects came back to the pre-test level 2 h after the training with sounds. Finally, the two deafferented subjects performed differently from each other, highlighting the importance of studying at least two subjects to better understand the loss of proprioception and its impact on motor control and learning. To conclude, movement sonification may compensate for a lack of proprioception, supporting the auditory-proprioception substitution hypothesis. However, sonification would act as a "sensory prosthesis" helping deafferented subjects to better feel their movements, without permanently modifying their motor performance once the prosthesis is removed. Potential clinical applications for motor rehabilitation are numerous: people with a limb prosthesis, with a stroke, or with some peripheral nerve injury may potentially be interested.

  13. On the Auditory-Proprioception Substitution Hypothesis: Movement Sonification in Two Deafferented Subjects Learning to Write New Characters

    PubMed Central

    Danna, Jérémy; Velay, Jean-Luc

    2017-01-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the compensatory effects of real-time auditory feedback on two proprioceptively deafferented subjects. The real-time auditory feedback was based on a movement sonification approach, consisting of translating some movement variables into synthetic sounds to make them audible. The two deafferented subjects and 16 age-matched control participants were asked to learn four new characters. The characters were learned under two different conditions, one without sonification and one with sonification, respecting a within-subject protocol. The results revealed that characters learned with sonification were reproduced more quickly and more fluently than characters learned without and that the effects of sonification were larger in deafferented than in control subjects. Secondly, whereas control subjects were able to learn the characters without sounds the deafferented subjects were able to learn them only when they were trained with sonification. Thirdly, although the improvement was still present in controls, the performance of deafferented subjects came back to the pre-test level 2 h after the training with sounds. Finally, the two deafferented subjects performed differently from each other, highlighting the importance of studying at least two subjects to better understand the loss of proprioception and its impact on motor control and learning. To conclude, movement sonification may compensate for a lack of proprioception, supporting the auditory-proprioception substitution hypothesis. However, sonification would act as a “sensory prosthesis” helping deafferented subjects to better feel their movements, without permanently modifying their motor performance once the prosthesis is removed. Potential clinical applications for motor rehabilitation are numerous: people with a limb prosthesis, with a stroke, or with some peripheral nerve injury may potentially be interested. PMID:28386211

  14. Rey's Auditory Verbal Learning Test scores can be predicted from whole brain MRI in Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Moradi, Elaheh; Hallikainen, Ilona; Hänninen, Tuomo; Tohka, Jussi

    2017-01-01

    Rey's Auditory Verbal Learning Test (RAVLT) is a powerful neuropsychological tool for testing episodic memory, which is widely used for the cognitive assessment in dementia and pre-dementia conditions. Several studies have shown that an impairment in RAVLT scores reflect well the underlying pathology caused by Alzheimer's disease (AD), thus making RAVLT an effective early marker to detect AD in persons with memory complaints. We investigated the association between RAVLT scores (RAVLT Immediate and RAVLT Percent Forgetting) and the structural brain atrophy caused by AD. The aim was to comprehensively study to what extent the RAVLT scores are predictable based on structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data using machine learning approaches as well as to find the most important brain regions for the estimation of RAVLT scores. For this, we built a predictive model to estimate RAVLT scores from gray matter density via elastic net penalized linear regression model. The proposed approach provided highly significant cross-validated correlation between the estimated and observed RAVLT Immediate (R = 0.50) and RAVLT Percent Forgetting (R = 0.43) in a dataset consisting of 806 AD, mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or healthy subjects. In addition, the selected machine learning method provided more accurate estimates of RAVLT scores than the relevance vector regression used earlier for the estimation of RAVLT based on MRI data. The top predictors were medial temporal lobe structures and amygdala for the estimation of RAVLT Immediate and angular gyrus, hippocampus and amygdala for the estimation of RAVLT Percent Forgetting. Further, the conversion of MCI subjects to AD in 3-years could be predicted based on either observed or estimated RAVLT scores with an accuracy comparable to MRI-based biomarkers.

  15. Repeated acquisition and performance chamber for mice: a paradigm for assessment of spatial learning and memory.

    PubMed

    Brooks, A I; Cory-Slechta, D A; Murg, S L; Federoff, H J

    2000-11-01

    Molecular genetic manipulation of the mouse offers the possibility of elucidating the function of individual gene products in neural systems underlying learning and memory. Many extant learning paradigms for mice rely on negative reinforcement, involve simple problems that are relatively rapidly acquired and thus preclude time-course assessment, and may impose the need to undertake additional experiments to determine the extent to which noncognitive behaviors influence the measures of learning. To overcome such limitations, a multiple schedule of repeated acquisition and performance was behaviorally engineered to assess learning vs rote performance within-behavioral test session and within-subject utilizing an apparatus modified from the rat (the repeated acquisition and performance chamber; RAPC). The multiple schedule required mice to learn a new sequence of door openings leading to saccharin availability in the learning component during each session, while the sequence of door openings for the performance component remained constant across sessions. The learning and performance components alternated over the course of each test session, with different auditory stimuli signaling which component was currently in effect. To validate this paradigm, learning vs performance was evaluated in two inbred strains of mice: C57BL/6J and 129/SvJ. The hippocampal dependence of this measure was examined in lesioned C57BL/6J mice. Both strains exhibited longer latencies and higher errors in the learning compared to the performance component and evidenced declines in both measures across the trials of each session, consistent with an acquisition phenomenon. These same measures showed little or no evidence of change in the performance component. Whereas three trials per session were utilized with C57BL/65 mice in each component, behavior of 129/SvJ mice could only be sustained for two trials per component per session, demonstrating differences in testing capabilities between

  16. Robotic and Virtual Reality BCIs Using Spatial Tactile and Auditory Oddball Paradigms

    PubMed Central

    Rutkowski, Tomasz M.

    2016-01-01

    The paper reviews nine robotic and virtual reality (VR) brain–computer interface (BCI) projects developed by the author, in collaboration with his graduate students, within the BCI–lab research group during its association with University of Tsukuba, Japan. The nine novel approaches are discussed in applications to direct brain-robot and brain-virtual-reality-agent control interfaces using tactile and auditory BCI technologies. The BCI user intentions are decoded from the brainwaves in realtime using a non-invasive electroencephalography (EEG) and they are translated to a symbiotic robot or virtual reality agent thought-based only control. A communication protocol between the BCI output and the robot or the virtual environment is realized in a symbiotic communication scenario using an user datagram protocol (UDP), which constitutes an internet of things (IoT) control scenario. Results obtained from healthy users reproducing simple brain-robot and brain-virtual-agent control tasks in online experiments support the research goal of a possibility to interact with robotic devices and virtual reality agents using symbiotic thought-based BCI technologies. An offline BCI classification accuracy boosting method, using a previously proposed information geometry derived approach, is also discussed in order to further support the reviewed robotic and virtual reality thought-based control paradigms. PMID:27999538

  17. Robotic and Virtual Reality BCIs Using Spatial Tactile and Auditory Oddball Paradigms.

    PubMed

    Rutkowski, Tomasz M

    2016-01-01

    The paper reviews nine robotic and virtual reality (VR) brain-computer interface (BCI) projects developed by the author, in collaboration with his graduate students, within the BCI-lab research group during its association with University of Tsukuba, Japan. The nine novel approaches are discussed in applications to direct brain-robot and brain-virtual-reality-agent control interfaces using tactile and auditory BCI technologies. The BCI user intentions are decoded from the brainwaves in realtime using a non-invasive electroencephalography (EEG) and they are translated to a symbiotic robot or virtual reality agent thought-based only control. A communication protocol between the BCI output and the robot or the virtual environment is realized in a symbiotic communication scenario using an user datagram protocol (UDP), which constitutes an internet of things (IoT) control scenario. Results obtained from healthy users reproducing simple brain-robot and brain-virtual-agent control tasks in online experiments support the research goal of a possibility to interact with robotic devices and virtual reality agents using symbiotic thought-based BCI technologies. An offline BCI classification accuracy boosting method, using a previously proposed information geometry derived approach, is also discussed in order to further support the reviewed robotic and virtual reality thought-based control paradigms.

  18. Auditory map plasticity: Diversity in causes and consequences

    PubMed Central

    Schreiner, Christoph E.; Polley, Daniel B.

    2014-01-01

    Auditory cortical maps have been a long-standing focus of studies that assess the expression, mechanisms, and consequences of sensory plasticity. Here we discuss recent progress in understanding how auditory experience transforms spatially organized sound representations at higher levels of the central auditory pathways. New insights into the mechanisms underlying map changes have been achieved and more refined interpretations of various map plasticity effects and their consequences in terms of behavioral corollaries and learning as well as other cognitive aspects have been offered. The systematic organizational principles of cortical sound processing remains a key-aspect in studying and interpreting the role of plasticity in hearing. PMID:24492090

  19. Associative learning shapes the neural code for stimulus magnitude in primary auditory cortex.

    PubMed

    Polley, Daniel B; Heiser, Marc A; Blake, David T; Schreiner, Christoph E; Merzenich, Michael M

    2004-11-16

    Since the dawn of experimental psychology, researchers have sought an understanding of the fundamental relationship between the amplitude of sensory stimuli and the magnitudes of their perceptual representations. Contemporary theories support the view that magnitude is encoded by a linear increase in firing rate established in the primary afferent pathways. In the present study, we have investigated sound intensity coding in the rat primary auditory cortex (AI) and describe its plasticity by following paired stimulus reinforcement and instrumental conditioning paradigms. In trained animals, population-response strengths in AI became more strongly nonlinear with increasing stimulus intensity. Individual AI responses became selective to more restricted ranges of sound intensities and, as a population, represented a broader range of preferred sound levels. These experiments demonstrate that the representation of stimulus magnitude can be powerfully reshaped by associative learning processes and suggest that the code for sound intensity within AI can be derived from intensity-tuned neurons that change, rather than simply increase, their firing rates in proportion to increases in sound intensity.

  20. Spatial Ability Learning through Educational Robotics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Julià, Carme; Antolí, Juan Òscar

    2016-01-01

    Several authors insist on the importance of students' acquisition of spatial abilities and visualization in order to have academic success in areas such as science, technology or engineering. This paper proposes to discuss and analyse the use of educational robotics to develop spatial abilities in 12 year old students. First of all, a course to…

  1. Learning To Make Music Enhances Spatial Reasoning.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hetland, Lois

    2000-01-01

    Examines whether active instruction in music enhances preschool and elementary school student performance on spatial tasks. Reports that music enhances the spatial-temporal performance of children during and up to two years following the instruction and that the effect is moderate and consistent. Includes references. (CMK)

  2. The role of spatial abilities and age in performance in an auditory computer navigation task.

    PubMed

    Pak, Richard; Czaja, Sara J; Sharit, Joseph; Rogers, Wendy A; Fisk, Arthur D

    2006-01-01

    Age-related differences in spatial ability have been suggested as a mediator of age-related differences in computer-based task performance. However, the vast majority of tasks studied have primarily used a visual display (e.g., graphical user interfaces). In the current study, the relationship between spatial ability and performance in a non-visual computer-based navigation task was examined in a sample of 196 participants ranging in age from 18 to 91. Participants called into a simulated interactive voice response system and carried out a variety of transactions. They also completed measures of attention, working memory, and spatial abilities. The results showed that age-related differences in spatial ability predicted a significant amount of variance in performance in the non-visual computer task, even after controlling for other abilities. Understanding the abilities that influence performance with technology may provide insight into the source of age-related performance differences in the successful use of technology.

  3. The role of spatial abilities and age in performance in an auditory computer navigation task

    PubMed Central

    Pak, Richard; Czaja, Sara J.; Sharit, Joseph; Rogers, Wendy A.; Fisk, Arthur D.

    2008-01-01

    Age-related differences in spatial ability have been suggested as a mediator of age-related differences in computer-based task performance. However, the vast majority of tasks studied have primarily used a visual display (e.g., graphical user interfaces). In the current study, the relationship between spatial ability and performance in a non-visual computer-based navigation task was examined in a sample of 196 participants ranging in age from 18 to 91. Participants called into a simulated interactive voice response system and carried out a variety of transactions. They also completed measures of attention, working memory, and spatial abilities. The results showed that age-related differences in spatial ability predicted a significant amount of variance in performance in the non-visual computer task, even after controlling for other abilities. Understanding the abilities that influence performance with technology may provide insight into the source of age-related performance differences in the successful use of technology. PMID:18997876

  4. Rectangular Array Model Supporting Students' Spatial Structuring in Learning Multiplication

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shanty, Nenden Octavarulia; Wijaya, Surya

    2012-01-01

    We examine how rectangular array model can support students' spatial structuring in learning multiplication. To begin, we define what we mean by spatial structuring as the mental operation of constructing an organization or form for an object or set of objects. For that reason, the eggs problem was chosen as the starting point in which the…

  5. Costs of switching auditory spatial attention in following conversational turn-taking

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Gaven; Carlile, Simon

    2015-01-01

    Following a multi-talker conversation relies on the ability to rapidly and efficiently shift the focus of spatial attention from one talker to another. The current study investigated the listening costs associated with shifts in spatial attention during conversational turn-taking in 16 normally-hearing listeners using a novel sentence recall task. Three pairs of syntactically fixed but semantically unpredictable matrix sentences, recorded from a single male talker, were presented concurrently through an array of three loudspeakers (directly ahead and +/−30° azimuth). Subjects attended to one spatial location, cued by a tone, and followed the target conversation from one sentence to the next using the call-sign at the beginning of each sentence. Subjects were required to report the last three words of each sentence (speech recall task) or answer multiple choice questions related to the target material (speech comprehension task). The reading span test, attention network test, and trail making test were also administered to assess working memory, attentional control, and executive function. There was a 10.7 ± 1.3% decrease in word recall, a pronounced primacy effect, and a rise in masker confusion errors and word omissions when the target switched location between sentences. Switching costs were independent of the location, direction, and angular size of the spatial shift but did appear to be load dependent and only significant for complex questions requiring multiple cognitive operations. Reading span scores were positively correlated with total words recalled, and negatively correlated with switching costs and word omissions. Task switching speed (Trail-B time) was also significantly correlated with recall accuracy. Overall, this study highlights (i) the listening costs associated with shifts in spatial attention and (ii) the important role of working memory in maintaining goal relevant information and extracting meaning from dynamic multi-talker conversations

  6. Contributions of Spatial Working Memory to Visuomotor Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Anguera, Joaquin A.; Reuter-Lorenz, Patricia A.; Willingham, Daniel T.; Seidler, Rachael D.

    2010-01-01

    Previous studies of motor learning have described the importance of cognitive processes during the early stages of learning; however, the precise nature of these processes and their neural correlates remains unclear. The present study investigated whether spatial working memory (SWM) contributes to visuomotor adaptation depending on the stage of…

  7. Exploring Visuospatial Thinking in Learning about Mineralogy: Spatial Orientation Ability and Spatial Visualization Ability

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ozdemir, Gokhan

    2010-01-01

    This mixed-method research attempted to clarify the role of visuospatial abilities in learning about mineralogy. Various sources of data--including quantitative pre- and postmeasures of spatial visualization and spatial orientation tests and achievement scores on six measures and qualitative unstructured observations, interviews, and field trip…

  8. Extending and Applying the EPIC Architecture for Human Cognition and Performance: Auditory and Spatial Components

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2016-03-01

    Computer Science Department, University of Michigan, 3641 Beyster Building, 2260 Hayward Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2121 , kieras@umich.edu. Approved for...Approved for Publ ic Re lease; Distribution Unl imited· 13. ABSTRACT (Maximum 200 Words) This is the final report for a project that was in a series of...exploring improvements to the stream tracking mechanism. Goal12. We extended the model to situations in which the speakers are spatially separated

  9. Learning impaired children exhibit timing deficits and training-related improvements in auditory cortical responses to speech in noise.

    PubMed

    Warrier, Catherine M; Johnson, Krista L; Hayes, Erin A; Nicol, Trent; Kraus, Nina

    2004-08-01

    The physiological mechanisms that contribute to abnormal encoding of speech in children with learning problems are yet to be well understood. Furthermore, speech perception problems appear to be particularly exacerbated by background noise in this population. This study compared speech-evoked cortical responses recorded in a noisy background to those recorded in quiet in normal children (NL) and children with learning problems (LP). Timing differences between responses recorded in quiet and in background noise were assessed by cross-correlating the responses with each other. Overall response magnitude was measured with root-mean-square (RMS) amplitude. Cross-correlation scores indicated that 23% of LP children exhibited cortical neural timing abnormalities such that their neurophysiological representation of speech sounds became distorted in the presence of background noise. The latency of the N2 response in noise was isolated as being the root of this distortion. RMS amplitudes in these children did not differ from NL children, indicating that this result was not due to a difference in response magnitude. LP children who participated in a commercial auditory training program and exhibited improved cortical timing also showed improvements in phonological perception. Consequently, auditory pathway timing deficits can be objectively observed in LP children, and auditory training can diminish these deficits.

  10. Spatial parameters at the basis of social transfer of learning.

    PubMed

    Lugli, Luisa; Iani, Cristina; Milanese, Nadia; Sebanz, Natalie; Rubichi, Sandro

    2015-06-01

    Recent research indicates that practicing on a joint spatial compatibility task with an incompatible stimulus-response mapping affects subsequent joint Simon task performance, eliminating the social Simon effect. It has been well established that in individual contexts, for transfer of learning to occur, participants need to practice an incompatible association between stimulus and response positions. The mechanisms underlying transfer of learning in joint task performance are, however, less well understood. The present study was aimed at assessing the relative contribution of 3 different spatial relations characterizing the joint practice context: stimulus-response, stimulus-participant, and participant-response relations. In 3 experiments, the authors manipulated the stimulus-response, stimulus-participant, and response-participant associations. We found that learning from the practice task did not transfer to the subsequent task when during practice stimulus-response associations were spatially incompatible and stimulus-participant associations were compatible (Experiment 1). However, a transfer of learning was evident when stimulus-participant associations were spatially incompatible. This occurred both when response-participant associations were incompatible (Experiment 2) and when they were compatible (Experiment 3). These results seem to support an agent corepresentation account of correspondence effects emerging in joint settings since they suggest that, in social contexts, critical to obtain transfer-of-learning effects is the spatial relation between stimulus and participant positions while the spatial relation between stimulus and response positions is irrelevant.

  11. Extending and Applying the EPIC Architecture for Human Cognition and Performance: Auditory and Spatial Components

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-03-20

    differences are receded into semitone differences. After considering a statistical approach popular in machine learning, we decided to first...speakers apart within gender. Development of a "smarter" stream tracking algorithm is part of the proposed work. 14 i on MM oluo ton» i»"» 0 WO ...less synchronized than the color words, both of which would make the digits easier to recognize than the colors. In addition, note that digit

  12. Altering spatial priority maps via reward-based learning.

    PubMed

    Chelazzi, Leonardo; Eštočinová, Jana; Calletti, Riccardo; Lo Gerfo, Emanuele; Sani, Ilaria; Della Libera, Chiara; Santandrea, Elisa

    2014-06-18

    Spatial priority maps are real-time representations of the behavioral salience of locations in the visual field, resulting from the combined influence of stimulus driven activity and top-down signals related to the current goals of the individual. They arbitrate which of a number of (potential) targets in the visual scene will win the competition for attentional resources. As a result, deployment of visual attention to a specific spatial location is determined by the current peak of activation (corresponding to the highest behavioral salience) across the map. Here we report a behavioral study performed on healthy human volunteers, where we demonstrate that spatial priority maps can be shaped via reward-based learning, reflecting long-lasting alterations (biases) in the behavioral salience of specific spatial locations. These biases exert an especially strong influence on performance under conditions where multiple potential targets compete for selection, conferring competitive advantage to targets presented in spatial locations associated with greater reward during learning relative to targets presented in locations associated with lesser reward. Such acquired biases of spatial attention are persistent, are nonstrategic in nature, and generalize across stimuli and task contexts. These results suggest that reward-based attentional learning can induce plastic changes in spatial priority maps, endowing these representations with the "intelligent" capacity to learn from experience.

  13. Influence of auditory spatial attention on cross-modal semantic priming effect: evidence from N400 effect.

    PubMed

    Wang, Hongyan; Zhang, Gaoyan; Liu, Baolin

    2017-01-01

    Semantic priming is an important research topic in the field of cognitive neuroscience. Previous studies have shown that the uni-modal semantic priming effect can be modulated by attention. However, the influence of attention on cross-modal semantic priming is unclear. To investigate this issue, the present study combined a cross-modal semantic priming paradigm with an auditory spatial attention paradigm, presenting the visual pictures as the prime stimuli and the semantically related or unrelated sounds as the target stimuli. Event-related potentials results showed that when the target sound was attended to, the N400 effect was evoked. The N400 effect was also observed when the target sound was not attended to, demonstrating that the cross-modal semantic priming effect persists even though the target stimulus is not focused on. Further analyses revealed that the N400 effect evoked by the unattended sound was significantly lower than the effect evoked by the attended sound. This contrast provides new evidence that the cross-modal semantic priming effect can be modulated by attention.

  14. The Use of Music and Other Forms of Organized Sound as a Therapeutic Intervention for Students with Auditory Processing Disorder: Providing the Best Auditory Experience for Children with Learning Differences

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Faronii-Butler, Kishasha O.

    2013-01-01

    This auto-ethnographical inquiry used vignettes and interviews to examine the therapeutic use of music and other forms of organized sound in the learning environment of individuals with Central Auditory Processing Disorders. It is an investigation of the traditions of healing with sound vibrations, from its earliest cultural roots in shamanism and…

  15. The Role of Right Inferior Parietal Cortex in Auditory Spatial Attention: A Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Study

    PubMed Central

    Karhson, Debra S.; Mock, Jeffrey R.; Golob, Edward J.

    2015-01-01

    Behavioral studies support the concept of an auditory spatial attention gradient by demonstrating that attentional benefits progressively diminish as distance increases from an attended location. Damage to the right inferior parietal cortex can induce a rightward attention bias, which implicates this region in the construction of attention gradients. This study used event-related potentials (ERPs) to define attention-related gradients before and after repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) to the right inferior parietal cortex. Subjects (n = 16) listened to noise bursts at five azimuth locations (left to right: -90°, -45°, 0° midline, +45°, +90°) and responded to stimuli at one target location (-90°, +90°, separate blocks). ERPs as a function of non-target location were examined before (baseline) and after 0.9 Hz rTMS. Results showed that ERP attention gradients were observed in three time windows (frontal 230–340, parietal 400–460, frontal 550–750 ms). Significant transient rTMS effects were seen in the first and third windows. The first window had a voltage decrease at the farthest location when attending to either the left or right side. The third window had on overall increase in positivity, but only when attending to the left side. These findings suggest that rTMS induced a small contraction in spatial attention gradients within the first time window. The asymmetric effect of attended location on gradients in the third time window may relate to neglect of the left hemispace after right parietal injury. Together, these results highlight the role of the right inferior parietal cortex in modulating frontal lobe attention network activity. PMID:26636333

  16. Modified Navigation Instructions for Spatial Navigation Assistance Systems Lead to Incidental Spatial Learning

    PubMed Central

    Gramann, Klaus; Hoepner, Paul; Karrer-Gauss, Katja

    2017-01-01

    Spatial cognitive skills deteriorate with the increasing use of automated GPS navigation and a general decrease in the ability to orient in space might have further impact on independence, autonomy, and quality of life. In the present study we investigate whether modified navigation instructions support incidental spatial knowledge acquisition. A virtual driving environment was used to examine the impact of modified navigation instructions on spatial learning while using a GPS navigation assistance system. Participants navigated through a simulated urban and suburban environment, using navigation support to reach their destination. Driving performance as well as spatial learning was thereby assessed. Three navigation instruction conditions were tested: (i) a control group that was provided with classical navigation instructions at decision points, and two other groups that received navigation instructions at decision points including either (ii) additional irrelevant information about landmarks or (iii) additional personally relevant information (i.e., individual preferences regarding food, hobbies, etc.), associated with landmarks. Driving performance revealed no differences between navigation instructions. Significant improvements were observed in both modified navigation instruction conditions on three different measures of spatial learning and memory: subsequent navigation of the initial route without navigation assistance, landmark recognition, and sketch map drawing. Future navigation assistance systems could incorporate modified instructions to promote incidental spatial learning and to foster more general spatial cognitive abilities. Such systems might extend mobility across the lifespan. PMID:28243219

  17. Modified Navigation Instructions for Spatial Navigation Assistance Systems Lead to Incidental Spatial Learning.

    PubMed

    Gramann, Klaus; Hoepner, Paul; Karrer-Gauss, Katja

    2017-01-01

    Spatial cognitive skills deteriorate with the increasing use of automated GPS navigation and a general decrease in the ability to orient in space might have further impact on independence, autonomy, and quality of life. In the present study we investigate whether modified navigation instructions support incidental spatial knowledge acquisition. A virtual driving environment was used to examine the impact of modified navigation instructions on spatial learning while using a GPS navigation assistance system. Participants navigated through a simulated urban and suburban environment, using navigation support to reach their destination. Driving performance as well as spatial learning was thereby assessed. Three navigation instruction conditions were tested: (i) a control group that was provided with classical navigation instructions at decision points, and two other groups that received navigation instructions at decision points including either (ii) additional irrelevant information about landmarks or (iii) additional personally relevant information (i.e., individual preferences regarding food, hobbies, etc.), associated with landmarks. Driving performance revealed no differences between navigation instructions. Significant improvements were observed in both modified navigation instruction conditions on three different measures of spatial learning and memory: subsequent navigation of the initial route without navigation assistance, landmark recognition, and sketch map drawing. Future navigation assistance systems could incorporate modified instructions to promote incidental spatial learning and to foster more general spatial cognitive abilities. Such systems might extend mobility across the lifespan.

  18. Culturally inconsistent spatial structure reduces learning.

    PubMed

    McCrink, Koleen; Shaki, Samuel

    2016-09-01

    Human adults tend to use a spatial continuum to organize any information they consider to be well-ordered, with a sense of initial and final position. The directionality of this spatial mapping is mediated by the culture of the subject, largely as a function of the prevailing reading and writing habits (for example, from left-to-right for English speakers or right-to-left for Hebrew speakers). In the current study, we tasked American and Israeli subjects with encoding and recalling a set of arbitrary pairings, consisting of frequently ordered stimuli (letters with shapes: Experiment 1) or infrequently ordered stimuli (color terms with shapes: Experiment 2), that were serially presented in a left-to-right, right-to-left, or central-only manner. The subjects were better at recalling information that contained ordinal stimuli if the spatial flow of presentation during encoding matched the dominant directionality of the subjects' culture, compared to information encoded in the non-dominant direction. This phenomenon did not extend to infrequently ordered stimuli (e.g., color terms). These findings suggest that adults implicitly harness spatial organization to support memory, and this harnessing process is culturally mediated in tandem with our spatial biases.

  19. Divided multimodal attention sensory trace and context coding strategies in spatially congruent auditory and visual presentation.

    PubMed

    Kristjánsson, Tómas; Thorvaldsson, Tómas Páll; Kristjánsson, Arni

    2014-01-01

    Previous research involving both unimodal and multimodal studies suggests that single-response change detection is a capacity-free process while a discriminatory up or down identification is capacity-limited. The trace/context model assumes that this reflects different memory strategies rather than inherent differences between identification and detection. To perform such tasks, one of two strategies is used, a sensory trace or a context coding strategy, and if one is blocked, people will automatically use the other. A drawback to most preceding studies is that stimuli are presented at separate locations, creating the possibility of a spatial confound, which invites alternative interpretations of the results. We describe a series of experiments, investigating divided multimodal attention, without the spatial confound. The results challenge the trace/context model. Our critical experiment involved a gap before a change in volume and brightness, which according to the trace/context model blocks the sensory trace strategy, simultaneously with a roaming pedestal, which should block the context coding strategy. The results clearly show that people can use strategies other than sensory trace and context coding in the tasks and conditions of these experiments, necessitating changes to the trace/context model.

  20. Experimental evidence for spatial learning on octopuses (octopus bimaculoides).

    PubMed

    Boal, J G; Dunham, A W; Williams, K T; Hanlon, R T

    2000-09-01

    Octopuses forage far from temporary home dens to which they return for shelter. Spatial tasks may assess learning. Octopuses (Octopus bimaculoides) were placed in a novel arena, and their movements were tracked for 72 hr. Movements around the arena decreased across time, consistent with exploratory learning. Next, octopuses were given 23 hr to move around an arena; after a 24-hr delay, their memory of a burrow location was tested. Most remembered the location of the open burrow, demonstrating learning in 1 day. Finally, octopuses were trained to locate a single open escape burrow among 6 possible locations. Retention was tested after a week and was immediately followed by reversal training (location rotated 180 degrees ). Octopuses learned the original location of the burrow, remembering it for a week. Path lengths increased significantly after reversal, gradually improving and showing relearning. Octopuses show exploratory behavior, learning, and retention of spatial information.

  1. Learning English vowels with different first-language vowel systems II: Auditory training for native Spanish and German speakers.

    PubMed

    Iverson, Paul; Evans, Bronwen G

    2009-08-01

    This study investigated whether individuals with small and large native-language (L1) vowel inventories learn second-language (L2) vowel systems differently, in order to better understand how L1 categories interfere with new vowel learning. Listener groups whose L1 was Spanish (5 vowels) or German (18 vowels) were given five sessions of high-variability auditory training for English vowels, after having been matched to assess their pre-test English vowel identification accuracy. Listeners were tested before and after training in terms of their identification accuracy for English vowels, the assimilation of these vowels into their L1 vowel categories, and their best exemplars for English (i.e., perceptual vowel space map). The results demonstrated that Germans improved more than Spanish speakers, despite the Germans' more crowded L1 vowel space. A subsequent experiment demonstrated that Spanish listeners were able to improve as much as the German group after an additional ten sessions of training, and that both groups were able to retain this learning. The findings suggest that a larger vowel category inventory may facilitate new learning, and support a hypothesis that auditory training improves identification by making the application of existing categories to L2 phonemes more automatic and efficient.

  2. Mice with Deficient BK Channel Function Show Impaired Prepulse Inhibition and Spatial Learning, but Normal Working and Spatial Reference Memory

    PubMed Central

    Azzopardi, Erin; Ruettiger, Lukas; Ruth, Peter; Schmid, Susanne

    2013-01-01

    Genetic variations in the large-conductance, voltage- and calcium activated potassium channels (BK channels) have been recently implicated in mental retardation, autism and schizophrenia which all come along with severe cognitive impairments. In the present study we investigate the effects of functional BK channel deletion on cognition using a genetic mouse model with a knock-out of the gene for the pore forming α-subunit of the channel. We tested the F1 generation of a hybrid SV129/C57BL6 mouse line in which the slo1 gene was deleted in both parent strains. We first evaluated hearing and motor function to establish the suitability of this model for cognitive testing. Auditory brain stem responses to click stimuli showed no threshold differences between knockout mice and their wild-type littermates. Despite of muscular tremor, reduced grip force, and impaired gait, knockout mice exhibited normal locomotion. These findings allowed for testing of sensorimotor gating using the acoustic startle reflex, as well as of working memory, spatial learning and memory in the Y-maze and the Morris water maze, respectively. Prepulse inhibition on the first day of testing was normal, but the knockout mice did not improve over the days of testing as their wild-type littermates did. Spontaneous alternation in the y-maze was normal as well, suggesting that the BK channel knock-out does not impair working memory. In the Morris water maze knock-out mice showed significantly slower acquisition of the task, but normal memory once the task was learned. Thus, we propose a crucial role of the BK channels in learning, but not in memory storage or recollection. PMID:24303038

  3. Engineering genders: A spatial analysis of engineering, gender, and learning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weidler-Lewis, Joanna R.

    This three article dissertation is an investigation into the ontology of learning insofar as learning is a process of becoming. In each article I explore the general questions of who is learning, in what ways, and with what consequences. The context for this research is undergraduate engineering education with particular attention to the construction of gender in this context. The first article is an examination of the organization of freshman engineering design. The second article draws on Lefebvre's spatial triad as both a theory and method for studying learning. The third article is an interview study of LGBTQA students creating their futures as engineers.

  4. Discrimination of schizophrenia auditory hallucinators by machine learning of resting-state functional MRI.

    PubMed

    Chyzhyk, Darya; Graña, Manuel; Öngür, Döst; Shinn, Ann K

    2015-05-01

    Auditory hallucinations (AH) are a symptom that is most often associated with schizophrenia, but patients with other neuropsychiatric conditions, and even a small percentage of healthy individuals, may also experience AH. Elucidating the neural mechanisms underlying AH in schizophrenia may offer insight into the pathophysiology associated with AH more broadly across multiple neuropsychiatric disease conditions. In this paper, we address the problem of classifying schizophrenia patients with and without a history of AH, and healthy control (HC) subjects. To this end, we performed feature extraction from resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rsfMRI) data and applied machine learning classifiers, testing two kinds of neuroimaging features: (a) functional connectivity (FC) measures computed by lattice auto-associative memories (LAAM), and (b) local activity (LA) measures, including regional homogeneity (ReHo) and fractional amplitude of low frequency fluctuations (fALFF). We show that it is possible to perform classification within each pair of subject groups with high accuracy. Discrimination between patients with and without lifetime AH was highest, while discrimination between schizophrenia patients and HC participants was worst, suggesting that classification according to the symptom dimension of AH may be more valid than discrimination on the basis of traditional diagnostic categories. FC measures seeded in right Heschl's gyrus (RHG) consistently showed stronger discriminative power than those seeded in left Heschl's gyrus (LHG), a finding that appears to support AH models focusing on right hemisphere abnormalities. The cortical brain localizations derived from the features with strong classification performance are consistent with proposed AH models, and include left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG), parahippocampal gyri, the cingulate cortex, as well as several temporal and prefrontal cortical brain regions. Overall, the observed findings suggest that

  5. Metabolic correlates of Rey auditory verbal learning test in elderly subjects with memory complaints.

    PubMed

    Brugnolo, Andrea; Morbelli, Silvia; Arnaldi, Dario; De Carli, Fabrizio; Accardo, Jennifer; Bossert, Irene; Dessi, Barbara; Famà, Francesco; Ferrara, Michela; Girtler, Nicola; Picco, Agnese; Rodriguez, Guido; Sambuceti, Gianmario; Nobili, Flavio

    2014-01-01

    We evaluated the brain metabolic correlates of main indexes of a widely used word list learning test, the Rey Auditory Verbal Memory Test (RAVLT), in a group of elderly subjects with memory complaints. Fifty-four subjects (age: 72.02 ± 7.45; Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) score: 28.9 ± 1.24) presenting at a memory clinic complaining of memory deficit, but not demented, and thirty controls (age: 71.87 ± 7.08; MMSE score: 29.1 ± 1.1) were included. Subjects with memory complaints included both patients with (amnestic mild cognitive impairment, aMCI) and without (subjective memory complaints, SMC) impairment on memory tests. All subjects underwent 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET), analyzed with statistical parametric. Patients with aMCI but not those with SMC showed the expected posterior cingulate-precuneus and parietal hypometabolism as compared to controls. Correlation was determined for between four indexes of the RAVLT and brain metabolism. The results show a significant correlation between the delayed recall score and metabolism in posterior cingulate gyrus of both hemispheres and in left precuneus, as well as between a score of long-term percent retention and metabolism in left posterior cingulate gyrus, precuneus, and orbitofrontal areas. These correlations survived correction for age, education, and MMSE score. No correlation was found between immediate or total recall scores and glucose metabolism. These data show the relevant role of posterior cingulate-precuneus and orbitofrontal cortices in retention and retrieval of de-contextualized verbal memory material in a group of elderly subjects with memory complaints and shed light on the topography of synaptic dysfunction in these subjects, overlapping that found in the earliest stages of Alzheimer-type neurodegeneration.

  6. Landscapes, Spatial Justice and Learning Communities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Armstrong, Felicity

    2012-01-01

    This paper draws on a study of a community-based adult education initiative, "Cumbria Credits," which took place during the period of serious economic decline which hit sections of the farming and the wider community in Cumbria during 2001. It draws on the principles underpinning Edward Soja's notion of "spatial justice" to explore transformations…

  7. Visual and Spatial Modes in Science Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ramadas, Jayashree

    2009-01-01

    This paper surveys some major trends from research on visual and spatial thinking coming from cognitive science, developmental psychology, science literacy, and science studies. It explores the role of visualisation in creativity, in building mental models, and in the communication of scientific ideas, in order to place these findings in the…

  8. Use of media technology to enhance the learning of student nurses in regards to auditory hallucinations.

    PubMed

    Mawson, Kerry

    2014-04-01

    The aim of this study was to determine if simulation aided by media technology contributes towards an increase in knowledge, empathy, and a change in attitudes in regards to auditory hallucinations for nursing students. A convenience sample of 60 second-year undergraduate nursing students from an Australian university was invited to be part of the study. A pre-post-test design was used, with data analysed using a paired samples t-test to identify pre- and post-changes on nursing students' scores on knowledge of auditory hallucinations. Nine of the 11 questions reported statistically-significant results. The remaining two questions highlighted knowledge embedded within the curriculum, with therapeutic communication being the core work of mental health nursing. The implications for practice are that simulation aided by media technology increases the knowledge of students in regards to auditory hallucinations.

  9. Spectral and spatial tuning of onset and offset response functions in auditory cortical fields A1 and CL of rhesus macaques.

    PubMed

    Ramamurthy, Deepa L; Recanzone, Gregg H

    2016-12-07

    The mammalian auditory cortex is necessary for spectral and spatial processing of acoustic stimuli. Most physiological studies of single neurons in the auditory cortex have focused on the onset and sustained portions of evoked responses, but there have been far fewer studies on the relationship between onset and offset responses. In the current study, we compared spectral and spatial tuning of onset and offset responses of neurons in primary auditory cortex (A1) and the caudolateral (CL) belt area of awake macaque monkeys. Several different metrics were used to determine the relationship between onset and offset response profiles in both frequency and space domains. In the frequency domain, a substantial proportion of neurons in A1 and CL displayed highly dissimilar best stimuli for onset- and offset-evoked responses, though even for these neurons, there was usually a large overlap in the range of frequencies that elicited onset and offset responses and distributions of tuning overlap metrics were mostly unimodal. In the spatial domain, the vast majority of neurons displayed very similar best locations for onset- and offset-evoked responses, along with unimodal distributions of all tuning overlap metrics considered. Finally, for both spectral and spatial tuning, a slightly larger fraction of neurons in A1 displayed non-overlapping onset and offset response profiles, relative to CL, which supports hierarchical differences in the processing of sounds in the two areas. However, these differences are small compared to differences in proportions of simple cells (low overlap) and complex cells (high overlap) in primary and secondary visual areas.

  10. Spatial reversal learning is robust to total sleep deprivation.

    PubMed

    Leenaars, Cathalijn H C; Joosten, Ruud N J M A; Kramer, Michiel; Post, Ger; Eggels, Leslie; Wuite, Mark; Dematteis, Maurice; Feenstra, Matthijs G P; Van Someren, Eus J W

    2012-04-21

    Sleep deprivation affects cognitive functions that depend on the prefrontal cortex (PFC) such as cognitive flexibility, and the consolidation of newly learned information. The identification of cognitive processes that are either robustly sensitive or robustly insensitive to the same experimental sleep deprivation procedure, will allow us to better focus on the specific effects of sleep on cognition, and increase understanding of the mechanisms involved. In the present study we investigate whether sleep deprivation differentially affects the two separate cognitive processes of acquisition and consolidation of a spatial reversal task. After training on a spatial discrimination between two levers in a Skinner box, male Wistar rats were exposed to a reversal of the previously learned stimulus-response contingency. We first evaluated the effect of sleep deprivation on the acquisition of reversal learning. Performance on reversal learning after 12h of sleep deprivation (n=12) was compared to performance after control conditions (n=12). The second experiment evaluated the effect of sleep deprivation on the consolidation of reversal learning; the first session of reversal learning was followed by 3h of nap prevention (n=8) or undisturbed control conditions (n=8). The experiments had sufficient statistical power (0.90 and 0.81, respectively) to detect differences with medium effect sizes. Neither the acquisition, nor the consolidation, of reversal learning was affected by acute sleep deprivation. Together with previous findings, these results help to further delineate the role of sleep in cognitive processing.

  11. Emotional Multiagent Reinforcement Learning in Spatial Social Dilemmas.

    PubMed

    Yu, Chao; Zhang, Minjie; Ren, Fenghui; Tan, Guozhen

    2015-12-01

    Social dilemmas have attracted extensive interest in the research of multiagent systems in order to study the emergence of cooperative behaviors among selfish agents. Understanding how agents can achieve cooperation in social dilemmas through learning from local experience is a critical problem that has motivated researchers for decades. This paper investigates the possibility of exploiting emotions in agent learning in order to facilitate the emergence of cooperation in social dilemmas. In particular, the spatial version of social dilemmas is considered to study the impact of local interactions on the emergence of cooperation in the whole system. A double-layered emotional multiagent reinforcement learning framework is proposed to endow agents with internal cognitive and emotional capabilities that can drive these agents to learn cooperative behaviors. Experimental results reveal that various network topologies and agent heterogeneities have significant impacts on agent learning behaviors in the proposed framework, and under certain circumstances, high levels of cooperation can be achieved among the agents.

  12. Cartographical Imaginations: Spatiality, Adult Education and Lifelong Learning.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Edwards, Richard; Cervero, Ron; Clarke, Julia; Morgan-Klein, Brenda; Usher, Robin; Wilson, Arthur

    Recent empirical and theoretical literature in cultural geography, feminist and postcolonial philosophy, cultural studies, and political economy, was explored in an examination of the significance of spatiality to the changes taking place in the policy, practice, and study of adult education and lifelong learning. The following were among the key…

  13. Learning Anatomy: Do New Computer Models Improve Spatial Understanding?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Garg, Amit; Norman, Geoff; Spero, Lawrence; Taylor, Ian

    1999-01-01

    Assesses desktop-computer models that rotate in virtual three-dimensional space. Compares spatial learning with a computer carpal-bone model horizontally rotating at 10-degree views with the same model rotating at 90-degree views. (Author/CCM)

  14. Learning in Authentic Contexts: Projects Integrating Spatial Technologies and Fieldwork

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Huang, Kuo-Hung

    2011-01-01

    In recent years, professional practice has been an issue of concern in higher education. The purpose of this study is to design students' projects to facilitate collaborative learning in authentic contexts. Ten students majoring in Management Information Systems conducted fieldwork with spatial technologies to collect data and provided information…

  15. Visual Spatial Skill: A Consequence of Learning to Read?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McBride-Chang, Catherine; Zhou, Yanling; Cho, Jeung-Ryeul; Aram, Dorit; Levin, Iris; Tolchinsky, Liliana

    2011-01-01

    Does learning to read influence one's visual skill? In Study 1, kindergartners from Hong Kong, Korea, Israel, and Spain were tested on word reading and a task of visual spatial skill. Chinese and Korean kindergartners significantly outperformed Israeli and Spanish readers on the visual task. Moreover, in all cultures except Korea, good readers…

  16. Computer-based auditory training (CBAT): benefits for children with language- and reading-related learning difficulties.

    PubMed

    Loo, Jenny Hooi Yin; Bamiou, Doris-Eva; Campbell, Nicci; Luxon, Linda M

    2010-08-01

    This article reviews the evidence for computer-based auditory training (CBAT) in children with language, reading, and related learning difficulties, and evaluates the extent it can benefit children with auditory processing disorder (APD). Searches were confined to studies published between 2000 and 2008, and they are rated according to the level of evidence hierarchy proposed by the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA) in 2004. We identified 16 studies of two commercially available CBAT programs (13 studies of Fast ForWord (FFW) and three studies of Earobics) and five further outcome studies of other non-speech and simple speech sounds training, available for children with language, learning, and reading difficulties. The results suggest that, apart from the phonological awareness skills, the FFW and Earobics programs seem to have little effect on the language, spelling, and reading skills of children. Non-speech and simple speech sounds training may be effective in improving children's reading skills, but only if it is delivered by an audio-visual method. There is some initial evidence to suggest that CBAT may be of benefit for children with APD. Further research is necessary, however, to substantiate these preliminary findings.

  17. Genetic mapping of variation in spatial learning in the mouse.

    PubMed

    Steinberger, Daniela; Reynolds, David S; Ferris, Pushpindar; Lincoln, Rachael; Datta, Susmita; Stanley, Joanna; Paterson, Andrea; Dawson, Gerard R; Flint, Jonathan

    2003-03-15

    Inbred strains of mice are known to differ in their performance in the Morris water maze task, a test of spatial discrimination and place navigation in rodents, but the genetic basis of individual variation in spatial learning is unknown. We have mapped genetic effects that contribute to the difference between two strains, DBA/2 and C57BL6/J, using an F2 intercross and methods to detect quantitative trait loci (QTL). We found two QTL, one on chromosome 4 and one on chromosome 12, that influence behavior in the probe trial of the water maze (genome-wide significance p = 0.017 and 0.015, respectively). By including tests of avoidance conditioning and behavior in a novel environment, we show that the QTL on chromosomes 4 and 12 specifically influence variation in spatial learning. QTL that influence differences in fearful behavior (on chromosomes 1, 3, 7, 15, and 19) operate while mice are trained in the water maze apparatus.

  18. Spatial learning in the restrained American cockroach Periplaneta americana.

    PubMed

    Kwon, Hyung-Wook; Lent, David D; Strausfeld, Nicholas J

    2004-01-01

    Spatial learning abilities were tested in restrained cockroaches by observing antennal projection responses towards the positions of a learned visual cue perceived monocularly by one eye in the context of a second stimulus provided to the contralateral eye. Memory of the position of the conditioning stimulus relative to the contralateral reference stimulus was tested by altering the relative positions of the two stimuli. Memory of the conditioning stimulus is retained if the angle between the conditioning stimulus and the contralateral reference stimulus is maintained. The results suggest that during learning the insect recognizes spatial relationships between the conditioning stimulus and the contralateral reference stimulus. Possible mechanisms, such as retinotopic matching versus angular matching, are discussed.

  19. The Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test forced-choice recognition task: Base-rate data and norms.

    PubMed

    Poreh, Amir; Bezdicek, Ondrej; Korobkova, Irina; Levin, Jennifer B; Dines, Philipp

    2016-01-01

    The present study describes a novel Forced-Choice Response (FCR) index for detecting poor effort on the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test (RAVLT). This retrospective study analyzes the performance of 4 groups on the new index: clinically referred patients with suspected dementia, forensic patients identified as not exhibiting adequate effort on other measures of response bias, students who simulated poor effort, and a large normative sample collected in the Gulf State of Oman. Using sensitivity and specificity analyses, the study shows that much like the California Verbal Learning Test-Second Edition FCR index, the RAVLT FCR index misses a proportion of individuals with inadequate effort (low sensitivity), but those who fail this measure are highly likely to be exhibiting poor effort (high specificity). The limitations and benefits of utilizing the RAVLT FCR index in clinical practice are discussed.

  20. Retrosplenial Cortex Is Required for the Retrieval of Remote Memory for Auditory Cues

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Todd, Travis P.; Mehlman, Max L.; Keene, Christopher S.; DeAngeli, Nicole E.; Bucci, David J.

    2016-01-01

    The retrosplenial cortex (RSC) has a well-established role in contextual and spatial learning and memory, consistent with its known connectivity with visuo-spatial association areas. In contrast, RSC appears to have little involvement with delay fear conditioning to an auditory cue. However, all previous studies have examined the contribution of…

  1. Effects of Lips and Hands on Auditory Learning of Second-Language Speech Sounds

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hirata, Yukari; Kelly, Spencer D.

    2010-01-01

    Purpose: Previous research has found that auditory training helps native English speakers to perceive phonemic vowel length contrasts in Japanese, but their performance did not reach native levels after training. Given that multimodal information, such as lip movement and hand gesture, influences many aspects of native language processing, the…

  2. Learning outdoors: male lizards show flexible spatial learning under semi-natural conditions.

    PubMed

    Noble, Daniel W A; Carazo, Pau; Whiting, Martin J

    2012-12-23

    Spatial cognition is predicted to be a fundamental component of fitness in many lizard species, and yet some studies suggest that it is relatively slow and inflexible. However, such claims are based on work conducted using experimental designs or in artificial contexts that may underestimate their cognitive abilities. We used a biologically realistic experimental procedure (using simulated predatory attacks) to study spatial learning and its flexibility in the lizard Eulamprus quoyii in semi-natural outdoor enclosures under similar conditions to those experienced by lizards in the wild. To evaluate the flexibility of spatial learning, we conducted a reversal spatial-learning task in which positive and negative reinforcements of learnt spatial stimuli were switched. Nineteen (32%) male lizards learnt both tasks within 10 days (spatial task mean: 8.16 ± 0.69 (s.e.) and reversal spatial task mean: 10.74 ± 0.98 (s.e.) trials). We demonstrate that E. quoyii are capable of flexible spatial learning and suggest that future studies focus on a range of lizard species which differ in phylogeny and/or ecology, using biologically relevant cognitive tasks, in an effort to bridge the cognitive divide between ecto- and endotherms.

  3. Under the hood of statistical learning: A statistical MMN reflects the magnitude of transitional probabilities in auditory sequences

    PubMed Central

    Koelsch, Stefan; Busch, Tobias; Jentschke, Sebastian; Rohrmeier, Martin

    2016-01-01

    Within the framework of statistical learning, many behavioural studies investigated the processing of unpredicted events. However, surprisingly few neurophysiological studies are available on this topic, and no statistical learning experiment has investigated electroencephalographic (EEG) correlates of processing events with different transition probabilities. We carried out an EEG study with a novel variant of the established statistical learning paradigm. Timbres were presented in isochronous sequences of triplets. The first two sounds of all triplets were equiprobable, while the third sound occurred with either low (10%), intermediate (30%), or high (60%) probability. Thus, the occurrence probability of the third item of each triplet (given the first two items) was varied. Compared to high-probability triplet endings, endings with low and intermediate probability elicited an early anterior negativity that had an onset around 100 ms and was maximal at around 180 ms. This effect was larger for events with low than for events with intermediate probability. Our results reveal that, when predictions are based on statistical learning, events that do not match a prediction evoke an early anterior negativity, with the amplitude of this mismatch response being inversely related to the probability of such events. Thus, we report a statistical mismatch negativity (sMMN) that reflects statistical learning of transitional probability distributions that go beyond auditory sensory memory capabilities. PMID:26830652

  4. Direct current induced short-term modulation of the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex while learning auditory presented nouns

    PubMed Central

    Elmer, Stefan; Burkard, Marcel; Renz, Basil; Meyer, Martin; Jancke, Lutz

    2009-01-01

    Background Little is known about the contribution of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) to the exploration of memory functions. The aim of the present study was to examine the behavioural effects of right or left-hemisphere frontal direct current delivery while committing to memory auditory presented nouns on short-term learning and subsequent long-term retrieval. Methods Twenty subjects, divided into two groups, performed an episodic verbal memory task during anodal, cathodal and sham current application on the right or left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). Results Our results imply that only cathodal tDCS elicits behavioural effects on verbal memory performance. In particular, left-sided application of cathodal tDCS impaired short-term verbal learning when compared to the baseline. We did not observe tDCS effects on long-term retrieval. Conclusion Our results imply that the left DLPFC is a crucial area involved in short-term verbal learning mechanisms. However, we found further support that direct current delivery with an intensity of 1.5 mA to the DLPFC during short-term learning does not disrupt longer lasting consolidation processes that are mainly known to be related to mesial temporal lobe areas. In the present study, we have shown that the tDCS technique has the potential to modulate short-term verbal learning mechanism. PMID:19604352

  5. Under the hood of statistical learning: A statistical MMN reflects the magnitude of transitional probabilities in auditory sequences.

    PubMed

    Koelsch, Stefan; Busch, Tobias; Jentschke, Sebastian; Rohrmeier, Martin

    2016-02-02

    Within the framework of statistical learning, many behavioural studies investigated the processing of unpredicted events. However, surprisingly few neurophysiological studies are available on this topic, and no statistical learning experiment has investigated electroencephalographic (EEG) correlates of processing events with different transition probabilities. We carried out an EEG study with a novel variant of the established statistical learning paradigm. Timbres were presented in isochronous sequences of triplets. The first two sounds of all triplets were equiprobable, while the third sound occurred with either low (10%), intermediate (30%), or high (60%) probability. Thus, the occurrence probability of the third item of each triplet (given the first two items) was varied. Compared to high-probability triplet endings, endings with low and intermediate probability elicited an early anterior negativity that had an onset around 100 ms and was maximal at around 180 ms. This effect was larger for events with low than for events with intermediate probability. Our results reveal that, when predictions are based on statistical learning, events that do not match a prediction evoke an early anterior negativity, with the amplitude of this mismatch response being inversely related to the probability of such events. Thus, we report a statistical mismatch negativity (sMMN) that reflects statistical learning of transitional probability distributions that go beyond auditory sensory memory capabilities.

  6. Sharp wave ripples during learning stabilize the hippocampal spatial map.

    PubMed

    Roux, Lisa; Hu, Bo; Eichler, Ronny; Stark, Eran; Buzsáki, György

    2017-04-10

    Cognitive representation of the environment requires a stable hippocampal map, but the mechanisms maintaining a given map are unknown. Because sharp wave-ripples (SPW-R) orchestrate both retrospective and prospective spatial information, we hypothesized that disrupting neuronal activity during SPW-Rs affects spatial representation. Mice learned new sets of three goal locations daily in a multiwell maze. We used closed-loop SPW-R detection at goal locations to trigger optogenetic silencing of a subset of CA1 pyramidal neurons. Control place cells (nonsilenced or silenced outside SPW-Rs) largely maintained the location of their place fields after learning and showed increased spatial information content. In contrast, the place fields of SPW-R-silenced place cells remapped, and their spatial information remained unaltered. SPW-R silencing did not impact the firing rates or proportions of place cells. These results suggest that interference with SPW-R-associated activity during learning prevents stabilization and refinement of hippocampal maps.

  7. Daily running promotes spatial learning and memory in rats.

    PubMed

    Alaei, Hojjatallah; Moloudi, Rohallah; Sarkaki, Ali Reza; Azizi-Malekabadi, Hamid; Hanninen, Osmo

    2007-01-01

    Previous studies have shown that physical activity improves learning and memory. Present study was performed to determine the effects of acute, chronic and continuous exercise with different periods on spatial learning and memory recorded as the latency and length of swim path in the Morris water maze testing in subsequent 8 days. Four rat groups were included as follows: 1- Group C (controls which did not exercise). 2- Group A (30 days treadmill running before and 8 days during the Morris water maze testing period). 3- Group B (30 days exercise before the Morris water maze testing period only) and 4- Group D (8 days exercise only during the Morris water maze testing period). The results showed that chronic (30 days) and continuous (during 8 days of Morris water maze testing days) treadmill training produced a significant enhancement in spatial learning and memory which was indicated by decreases in path length and latency to reach the platform in the Morris water maze test (p < 0.05). The benefits in these tests were lost in three days, if the daily running session was abandoned. In group D with acute treadmill running (8 days exercise only) the difference between the Group A disappeared in one week and benefit seemed to be obtained in comparison with the controls without running program. In conclusion the chronic and daily running exercises promoted learning and memory in Morris water maze, but the benefits were lost in few days without daily running sessions in adult rats. Key pointsDaily running influence on spatial memory.The velocity of learning can be influenced by running activity.Path length is important parameter for measuring the speed of learning.

  8. Visual spatial skill: a consequence of learning to read?

    PubMed

    McBride-Chang, Catherine; Zhou, Yanling; Cho, Jeung-Ryeul; Aram, Dorit; Levin, Iris; Tolchinsky, Liliana

    2011-06-01

    Does learning to read influence one's visual skill? In Study 1, kindergartners from Hong Kong, Korea, Israel, and Spain were tested on word reading and a task of visual spatial skill. Chinese and Korean kindergartners significantly outperformed Israeli and Spanish readers on the visual task. Moreover, in all cultures except Korea, good readers scored significantly higher on the visual task than did less good readers. In Study 2, we followed 215 Hong Kong Chinese kindergartners across 1year, with word reading and visual skills tested twice. In this study, word reading at Time 1 by itself predicted 13% of unique variance in visual skill at Time 2. Together, these results underscore the potential importance of the process of learning to read for shaping one's visual spatial skill development.

  9. Women match men when learning a spatial skill.

    PubMed

    Spence, Ian; Yu, Jingjie Jessica; Feng, Jing; Marshman, Jeff

    2009-07-01

    Meta-analytic studies have concluded that although training improves spatial cognition in both sexes, the male advantage generally persists. However, because some studies run counter to this pattern, a closer examination of the anomaly is warranted. The authors investigated the acquisition of a basic skill (spatial selective attention) using a matched-pair two-wave longitudinal design. Participants were screened with the use of an attentional visual field task, with the objective of selecting and matching 10 male-female pairs, over a wide range (30% to 57% correct). Subsequently, 20 participants 17-23 years of age (selected from 43 screened) were trained for 10 hr (distributed over several sessions) by playing a first-person shooter video game. This genre is known to be highly effective in enhancing spatial skills. All 20 participants improved, with matched members of the male-female pairs achieving very similar gains, independent of starting level. This is consistent with the hypothesis that the learning trajectory of women is not inferior to that of men when acquiring a basic spatial skill. Training methods that develop basic spatial skills may be essential to achieve gender parity in both basic and complex spatial tasks.

  10. Spatial learning transiently disturbed by intraventricular administration of ouabain.

    PubMed

    Zhan, Hua; Tada, Tsuyoshi; Nakazato, Fumi; Tanaka, Yuichiro; Hongo, Kazuhiro

    2004-01-01

    The presence of sodium-potassium-adenosine triphosphatase (Na+,K+-ATPase) on the surface of arachnoid cells indicates that active transport of electrolytes and water occurs there. Previously, we accidentally found that intraventricular administration of TGF-beta1 impaired rat spatial learning. Levels of Na+,K+ -ATPase were decreased in arachnoid cells with fibrosis. To characterize the role of the Na+,K+ -ATPase, Wistar rats were intraventricularly administered a total of 200 microl of ouabain, at concentrations of 10(-5), 10(-4) and 10(-3) M, for one week with an osmotic pump, and were examined with a Morris water maze. Latency for reaching the platform did not significantly differ between ouabain-administered rats and controls. Spatial learning was impaired in a dose-dependent manner. Na+,K+ -ATPase activity of arachnoid cells ceased during ouabain administration, and recovered completely three weeks after the end of ouabain administration. The present results suggest that the Na+,K+ -ATPase on the surface of arachnoid cells contributes to maintenance of rat spatial learning.

  11. Nucleus incertus inactivation impairs spatial learning and memory in rats.

    PubMed

    Nategh, Mohsen; Nikseresht, Sara; Khodagholi, Fariba; Motamedi, Fereshteh

    2015-02-01

    Nucleus incertus (NI) is a pontine nucleus which releases mainly GABA and relaxin-3 in rats. Its suggested functions include response to stress, arousal, and modulation of hippocampal theta rhythm. Since the role of NI in learning and memory has not been well characterized, therefore the involvement of this nucleus in spatial learning and memory and the aftermath hippocampal levels of c-fos and pCREB were evaluated. NI was targeted by implanting cannula in male rats. For reference memory, NI was inactivated by lidocaine (0.4 μl, 4%) at three stages of acquisition, consolidation and retrieval in Morris water maze paradigm. For working memory, NI was inactivated in acquisition and retrieval phases. Injection of lidocaine prior to the first training session of reference memory significantly increased the distance moved, suggesting that inactivation of NI delays acquisition in this spatial task. Inactivation also interfered with the retrieval phase of spatial reference memory, as the time in target quadrant for lidocaine group was less, and the escape latency was higher compared to the control group. However, no difference was observed in the consolidation phase. In the working memory task, with inter-trial intervals of 75 min, the escape latency was higher when NI was inactivated in the retrieval phase. In addition, c-fos and pCREB/CREB levels decreased in NI-inhibited rats. This study suggests that nucleus incertus might participate in acquisition of spatial reference, and retrieval of both spatial reference and working memory. Further studies should investigate possible roles of NI in the hippocampal plasticity.

  12. Hippocampal lesion prevents spatial relational learning in adult macaque monkeys.

    PubMed

    Lavenex, Pamela Banta; Amaral, David G; Lavenex, Pierre

    2006-04-26

    The role of the hippocampus in spatial learning and memory has been extensively studied in rodents. Comparable studies in nonhuman primates, however, are few, and findings are often contradictory. This may be attributable to the failure to distinguish between allocentric and egocentric spatial representations in experimental designs. For this experiment, six adult monkeys received bilateral hippocampal ibotenic acid lesions, and six control subjects underwent sham surgery. Freely moving monkeys then foraged for food located in two arrays of three distinct locations among 18 locations distributed in an open-field arena. Multiple goals and four pseudorandomly chosen entrance points precluded the monkeys' ability to rely on an egocentric strategy to identify food locations. Monkeys were tested in two conditions. First, local visual cues marked the food locations. Second, no local cues marked the food locations, so that monkeys had to rely on an allocentric (spatial relational) representation of the environment to discriminate these locations. Both hippocampal-lesioned and control monkeys discriminated the food locations in the presence of local cues. However, in the absence of local cues, control subjects discriminated the food locations, whereas hippocampal-lesioned monkeys were unable to do so. Interestingly, histological analysis of the brain of one control monkey whose behavior was identical to that of the experimentally lesioned animals revealed a bilateral ischemic lesion restricted to the hippocampus. These findings demonstrate that the adult monkey hippocampal formation is critical for the establishment or use of allocentric spatial representations and that selective damage of the hippocampus prevents spatial relational learning in adult nonhuman primates.

  13. More Feedback Is Better than Less: Learning a Novel Upper Limb Joint Coordination Pattern with Augmented Auditory Feedback

    PubMed Central

    Fujii, Shinya; Lulic, Tea; Chen, Joyce L.

    2016-01-01

    Motor learning is a process whereby the acquisition of new skills occurs with practice, and can be influenced by the provision of feedback. An important question is what frequency of feedback facilitates motor learning. The guidance hypothesis assumes that the provision of less augmented feedback is better than more because a learner can use his/her own inherent feedback. However, it is unclear whether this hypothesis holds true for all types of augmented feedback, including for example sonified information about performance. Thus, we aimed to test what frequency of augmented sonified feedback facilitates the motor learning of a novel joint coordination pattern. Twenty healthy volunteers first reached to a target with their arm (baseline phase). We manipulated this baseline kinematic data for each individual to create a novel target joint coordination pattern. Participants then practiced to learn the novel target joint coordination pattern, receiving either feedback on every trial i.e., 100% feedback (n = 10), or every other trial, i.e., 50% feedback (n = 10; acquisition phase). We created a sonification system to provide the feedback. This feedback was a pure tone that varied in intensity in proportion to the error of the performed joint coordination relative to the target pattern. Thus, the auditory feedback contained information about performance in real-time (i.e., “concurrent, knowledge of performance feedback”). Participants performed the novel joint coordination pattern with no-feedback immediately after the acquisition phase (immediate retention phase), and on the next day (delayed retention phase). The root-mean squared error (RMSE) and variable error (VE) of joint coordination were significantly reduced during the acquisition phase in both 100 and 50% feedback groups. There was no significant difference in VE between the groups at immediate and delayed retention phases. However, at both these retention phases, the 100% feedback group showed

  14. More Feedback Is Better than Less: Learning a Novel Upper Limb Joint Coordination Pattern with Augmented Auditory Feedback.

    PubMed

    Fujii, Shinya; Lulic, Tea; Chen, Joyce L

    2016-01-01

    Motor learning is a process whereby the acquisition of new skills occurs with practice, and can be influenced by the provision of feedback. An important question is what frequency of feedback facilitates motor learning. The guidance hypothesis assumes that the provision of less augmented feedback is better than more because a learner can use his/her own inherent feedback. However, it is unclear whether this hypothesis holds true for all types of augmented feedback, including for example sonified information about performance. Thus, we aimed to test what frequency of augmented sonified feedback facilitates the motor learning of a novel joint coordination pattern. Twenty healthy volunteers first reached to a target with their arm (baseline phase). We manipulated this baseline kinematic data for each individual to create a novel target joint coordination pattern. Participants then practiced to learn the novel target joint coordination pattern, receiving either feedback on every trial i.e., 100% feedback (n = 10), or every other trial, i.e., 50% feedback (n = 10; acquisition phase). We created a sonification system to provide the feedback. This feedback was a pure tone that varied in intensity in proportion to the error of the performed joint coordination relative to the target pattern. Thus, the auditory feedback contained information about performance in real-time (i.e., "concurrent, knowledge of performance feedback"). Participants performed the novel joint coordination pattern with no-feedback immediately after the acquisition phase (immediate retention phase), and on the next day (delayed retention phase). The root-mean squared error (RMSE) and variable error (VE) of joint coordination were significantly reduced during the acquisition phase in both 100 and 50% feedback groups. There was no significant difference in VE between the groups at immediate and delayed retention phases. However, at both these retention phases, the 100% feedback group showed significantly

  15. Word Learning in Deaf Children with Cochlear Implants: Effects of Early Auditory Experience

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Houston, Derek M.; Stewart, Jessica; Moberly, Aaron; Hollich, George; Miyamoto, Richard T.

    2012-01-01

    Word-learning skills were tested in normal-hearing 12- to 40-month-olds and in deaf 22- to 40-month-olds 12 to 18 months after cochlear implantation. Using the Intermodal Preferential Looking Paradigm (IPLP), children were tested for their ability to learn two novel-word/novel-object pairings. Normal-hearing children demonstrated learning on this…

  16. Individual Differences in Learning and Remembering Music: Auditory versus Visual Presentation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Korenman, Lisa M.; Peynircioglu, Zebra F.

    2007-01-01

    We examined the effects of presentation modality and learning style preference on people's ability to learn and remember unfamiliar melodies and sentences. In Experiment 1, we gauged musicians' and nonmusicians' learning efficiency for meaningful and less meaningful melodies as well as sentences when presented visually or auditorily. In Experiment…

  17. Topological Schemas of Cognitive Maps and Spatial Learning

    PubMed Central

    Babichev, Andrey; Cheng, Sen; Dabaghian, Yuri A.

    2016-01-01

    Spatial navigation in mammals is based on building a mental representation of their environment—a cognitive map. However, both the nature of this cognitive map and its underpinning in neural structures and activity remains vague. A key difficulty is that these maps are collective, emergent phenomena that cannot be reduced to a simple combination of inputs provided by individual neurons. In this paper we suggest computational frameworks for integrating the spiking signals of individual cells into a spatial map, which we call schemas. We provide examples of four schemas defined by different types of topological relations that may be neurophysiologically encoded in the brain and demonstrate that each schema provides its own large-scale characteristics of the environment—the schema integrals. Moreover, we find that, in all cases, these integrals are learned at a rate which is faster than the rate of complete training of neural networks. Thus, the proposed schema framework differentiates between the cognitive aspect of spatial learning and the physiological aspect at the neural network level. PMID:27014045

  18. Early handling effect on female rat spatial and non-spatial learning and memory.

    PubMed

    Plescia, Fulvio; Marino, Rosa A M; Navarra, Michele; Gambino, Giuditta; Brancato, Anna; Sardo, Pierangelo; Cannizzaro, Carla

    2014-03-01

    This study aims at providing an insight into early handling procedures on learning and memory performance in adult female rats. Early handling procedures were started on post-natal day 2 until 21, and consisted in 15 min, daily separations of the dams from their litters. Assessment of declarative memory was carried out in the novel-object recognition task; spatial learning, reference- and working memory were evaluated in the Morris water maze (MWM). Our results indicate that early handling induced an enhancement in: (1) declarative memory, in the object recognition task, both at 1h and 24h intervals; (2) reference memory in the probe test and working memory and behavioral flexibility in the "single-trial and four-trial place learning paradigm" of the MWM. Short-term separation by increasing maternal care causes a dampening in HPA axis response in the pups. A modulated activation of the stress response may help to protect brain structures, involved in cognitive function. In conclusion, this study shows the long-term effects of a brief maternal separation in enhancing object recognition-, spatial reference- and working memory in female rats, remarking the impact of early environmental experiences and the consequent maternal care on the behavioral adaptive mechanisms in adulthood.

  19. Optical perceptron learning for binary classification with spatial light rebroadcasters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McAulay, Alastair D.; Wang, Junqing; Xu, Xin

    1993-03-01

    Binary classification of an object in a two-dimensional image is considered. A spatial light rebroadcaster is shown to be advantageous for learning in this case because it can store the weights and permit upward and downward adjustments. Two learning algorithms, based on the perceptron, are considered. A modification of the perceptron algorithm is developed so that only positive weights are needed. This is convenient because light intensity is positive only. The modified algorithm is shown to converge in a finite number of steps for positive linear separable classes. Optical experiments show the classification of four characters in two groups, in which alternative groupings are used to show robustness. In the second group of experiments the complements of the two-dimensional characters are used, and the convergence is equally fast. Adding the results from the original and complementary patterns provides a discrimination superior to that obtained using either on its own.

  20. Allocentric spatial learning and memory deficits in Down syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Lavenex, Pamela Banta; Bostelmann, Mathilde; Brandner, Catherine; Costanzo, Floriana; Fragnière, Emilie; Klencklen, Giuliana; Lavenex, Pierre; Menghini, Deny; Vicari, Stefano

    2015-01-01

    Studies have shown that persons with Down syndrome (DS) exhibit relatively poor language capacities, and impaired verbal and visuoperceptual memory, whereas their visuospatial memory capacities appear comparatively spared. Individuals with DS recall better where an object was previously seen than what object was previously seen. However, most of the evidence concerning preserved visuospatial memory comes from tabletop or computerized experiments which are biased toward testing egocentric (viewpoint-dependent) spatial representations. Accordingly, allocentric (viewpoint-independent) spatial learning and memory capacities may not be necessary to perform these tasks. Thus, in order to more fully characterize the spatial capacities of individuals with DS, allocentric processes underlying real-world navigation must also be investigated. We tested 20 participants with DS and 16 mental age-matched, typically developing (TD) children in a real-world, allocentric spatial (AS) memory task. During local cue (LC) trials, participants had to locate three rewards marked by local color cues, among 12 locations distributed in a 4 m × 4 m arena. During AS trials, participants had to locate the same three rewards, in absence of LCs, based on their relations to distal environmental cues. All TD participants chose rewarded locations in LC and AS trials at above chance level. In contrast, although all but one of the participants with DS exhibited a preference for the rewarded locations in LC trials, only 50% of participants with DS chose the rewarded locations at above chance level in AS trials. As a group, participants with DS performed worse than TD children on all measures of task performance. These findings demonstrate that individuals with DS are impaired at using an AS representation to learn and remember discrete locations in a controlled environment, suggesting persistent and pervasive deficits in hippocampus-dependent memory in DS. PMID:25762946

  1. Auditory agnosia.

    PubMed

    Slevc, L Robert; Shell, Alison R

    2015-01-01

    Auditory agnosia refers to impairments in sound perception and identification despite intact hearing, cognitive functioning, and language abilities (reading, writing, and speaking). Auditory agnosia can be general, affecting all types of sound perception, or can be (relatively) specific to a particular domain. Verbal auditory agnosia (also known as (pure) word deafness) refers to deficits specific to speech processing, environmental sound agnosia refers to difficulties confined to non-speech environmental sounds, and amusia refers to deficits confined to music. These deficits can be apperceptive, affecting basic perceptual processes, or associative, affecting the relation of a perceived auditory object to its meaning. This chapter discusses what is known about the behavioral symptoms and lesion correlates of these different types of auditory agnosia (focusing especially on verbal auditory agnosia), evidence for the role of a rapid temporal processing deficit in some aspects of auditory agnosia, and the few attempts to treat the perceptual deficits associated with auditory agnosia. A clear picture of auditory agnosia has been slow to emerge, hampered by the considerable heterogeneity in behavioral deficits, associated brain damage, and variable assessments across cases. Despite this lack of clarity, these striking deficits in complex sound processing continue to inform our understanding of auditory perception and cognition.

  2. Active and Passive Spatial Learning in Human Navigation: Acquisition of Graph Knowledge

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chrastil, Elizabeth R.; Warren, William H.

    2015-01-01

    It is known that active exploration of a new environment leads to better spatial learning than does passive visual exposure. We ask whether specific components of active learning differentially contribute to particular forms of spatial knowledge--the "exploration-specific learning hypothesis". Previously, we found that idiothetic…

  3. Auditory-Perceptual Learning in Educable Mentally Retarded Children. Research Report No. 747.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Damianopoulos, Ernest

    This study investigated whether or not Sights and Sounds, a filmstrip-record series originally designed for speech-hearing handicapped children, could produce perceptual discrimination learning of familiar sounds in primary level educable mentally retarded (EMR) children and whether EMR children were susceptible to perceptual learning via…

  4. Piglets Learn to Use Combined Human-Given Visual and Auditory Signals to Find a Hidden Reward in an Object Choice Task

    PubMed Central

    Bensoussan, Sandy; Cornil, Maude; Meunier-Salaün, Marie-Christine; Tallet, Céline

    2016-01-01

    Although animals rarely use only one sense to communicate, few studies have investigated the use of combinations of different signals between animals and humans. This study assessed for the first time the spontaneous reactions of piglets to human pointing gestures and voice in an object-choice task with a reward. Piglets (Sus scrofa domestica) mainly use auditory signals–individually or in combination with other signals—to communicate with their conspecifics. Their wide hearing range (42 Hz to 40.5 kHz) fits the range of human vocalisations (40 Hz to 1.5 kHz), which may induce sensitivity to the human voice. However, only their ability to use visual signals from humans, especially pointing gestures, has been assessed to date. The current study investigated the effects of signal type (visual, auditory and combined visual and auditory) and piglet experience on the piglets’ ability to locate a hidden food reward over successive tests. Piglets did not find the hidden reward at first presentation, regardless of the signal type given. However, they subsequently learned to use a combination of auditory and visual signals (human voice and static or dynamic pointing gestures) to successfully locate the reward in later tests. This learning process may result either from repeated presentations of the combination of static gestures and auditory signals over successive tests, or from transitioning from static to dynamic pointing gestures, again over successive tests. Furthermore, piglets increased their chance of locating the reward either if they did not go straight to a bowl after entering the test area or if they stared at the experimenter before visiting it. Piglets were not able to use the voice direction alone, indicating that a combination of signals (pointing and voice direction) is necessary. Improving our communication with animals requires adapting to their individual sensitivity to human-given signals. PMID:27792731

  5. Learning from Heterogeneous Data Sources: An Application in Spatial Proteomics.

    PubMed

    Breckels, Lisa M; Holden, Sean B; Wojnar, David; Mulvey, Claire M; Christoforou, Andy; Groen, Arnoud; Trotter, Matthew W B; Kohlbacher, Oliver; Lilley, Kathryn S; Gatto, Laurent

    2016-05-01

    Sub-cellular localisation of proteins is an essential post-translational regulatory mechanism that can be assayed using high-throughput mass spectrometry (MS). These MS-based spatial proteomics experiments enable us to pinpoint the sub-cellular distribution of thousands of proteins in a specific system under controlled conditions. Recent advances in high-throughput MS methods have yielded a plethora of experimental spatial proteomics data for the cell biology community. Yet, there are many third-party data sources, such as immunofluorescence microscopy or protein annotations and sequences, which represent a rich and vast source of complementary information. We present a unique transfer learning classification framework that utilises a nearest-neighbour or support vector machine system, to integrate heterogeneous data sources to considerably improve on the quantity and quality of sub-cellular protein assignment. We demonstrate the utility of our algorithms through evaluation of five experimental datasets, from four different species in conjunction with four different auxiliary data sources to classify proteins to tens of sub-cellular compartments with high generalisation accuracy. We further apply the method to an experiment on pluripotent mouse embryonic stem cells to classify a set of previously unknown proteins, and validate our findings against a recent high resolution map of the mouse stem cell proteome. The methodology is distributed as part of the open-source Bioconductor pRoloc suite for spatial proteomics data analysis.

  6. Learning from Heterogeneous Data Sources: An Application in Spatial Proteomics

    PubMed Central

    Breckels, Lisa M.; Holden, Sean B.; Wojnar, David; Mulvey, Claire M.; Christoforou, Andy; Groen, Arnoud; Trotter, Matthew W. B.; Kohlbacher, Oliver; Lilley, Kathryn S.; Gatto, Laurent

    2016-01-01

    Sub-cellular localisation of proteins is an essential post-translational regulatory mechanism that can be assayed using high-throughput mass spectrometry (MS). These MS-based spatial proteomics experiments enable us to pinpoint the sub-cellular distribution of thousands of proteins in a specific system under controlled conditions. Recent advances in high-throughput MS methods have yielded a plethora of experimental spatial proteomics data for the cell biology community. Yet, there are many third-party data sources, such as immunofluorescence microscopy or protein annotations and sequences, which represent a rich and vast source of complementary information. We present a unique transfer learning classification framework that utilises a nearest-neighbour or support vector machine system, to integrate heterogeneous data sources to considerably improve on the quantity and quality of sub-cellular protein assignment. We demonstrate the utility of our algorithms through evaluation of five experimental datasets, from four different species in conjunction with four different auxiliary data sources to classify proteins to tens of sub-cellular compartments with high generalisation accuracy. We further apply the method to an experiment on pluripotent mouse embryonic stem cells to classify a set of previously unknown proteins, and validate our findings against a recent high resolution map of the mouse stem cell proteome. The methodology is distributed as part of the open-source Bioconductor pRoloc suite for spatial proteomics data analysis. PMID:27175778

  7. Comparison of the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test (RAVLT) and Digit Test among Typically Achieving and Gifted Students

    PubMed Central

    KHOSRAVI FARD, Elham; L. KEELOR, Jennifer; Akbarzadeh BAGHEBAN, Alireza; W. KEITH, Robert

    2016-01-01

    Objective In this study, different kinds of memory were evaluated using Rey Auditory Verbal Learning (RAVLT) test and were compared between two groups of typical and gifted students using Digit Span test. Finally, we determined if working memory interfered with scores in different Rey stages or not. Material & Methods This study was conducted in Tehran City, Iran in 2013. Scores on RAVLT were compared with WISC- R digit span results in a sample of 148 male students aged 12-14 yr old divided into two groups including 75 students in typical school (IQ ranging between 90 and 110) and 73 gifted students (IQs ranging between 110 and 130). Results Gifted students obtained higher scores than typical students in both Forward Digit Span (FDS) and Backward Digit Span (BDS) and all 9 stages of RAVLT comparing with typical students (P<0.001). There was no significant difference between different ages (P> 0.05). The 14 yr old students in both groups had the highest score. There was a high correlation between FDS and the first stage of RAVLT as well as high correlation between BDS and seventh stage of RAVLT. Conclusion Intelligence has effect on better score of memory and gifted subjects had better scores in memory tests, although the intelligence effect in learning was quantitative rather than qualitative. RAVLT is a comprehensive test, which evaluates short-term memory, working memory and long-term memory and besides Digit span test provides precious information about memory and learning of subjects in order to program different student’s educational schedules. PMID:27247581

  8. Hippocampal Insulin Resistance Impairs Spatial Learning and Synaptic Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Piroli, Gerardo G.; Lawrence, Robert C.; Wrighten, Shayna A.; Green, Adrienne J.; Wilson, Steven P.; Sakai, Randall R.; Kelly, Sandra J.; Wilson, Marlene A.; Mott, David D.; Reagan, Lawrence P.

    2015-01-01

    Insulin receptors (IRs) are expressed in discrete neuronal populations in the central nervous system, including the hippocampus. To elucidate the functional role of hippocampal IRs independent of metabolic function, we generated a model of hippocampal-specific insulin resistance using a lentiviral vector expressing an IR antisense sequence (LV-IRAS). LV-IRAS effectively downregulates IR expression in the rat hippocampus without affecting body weight, adiposity, or peripheral glucose homeostasis. Nevertheless, hippocampal neuroplasticity was impaired in LV-IRAS–treated rats. High-frequency stimulation, which evoked robust long-term potentiation (LTP) in brain slices from LV control rats, failed to evoke LTP in LV-IRAS–treated rats. GluN2B subunit levels, as well as the basal level of phosphorylation of GluA1, were reduced in the hippocampus of LV-IRAS rats. Moreover, these deficits in synaptic transmission were associated with impairments in spatial learning. We suggest that alterations in the expression and phosphorylation of glutamate receptor subunits underlie the alterations in LTP and that these changes are responsible for the impairment in hippocampal-dependent learning. Importantly, these learning deficits are strikingly similar to the impairments in complex task performance observed in patients with diabetes, which strengthens the hypothesis that hippocampal insulin resistance is a key mediator of cognitive deficits independent of glycemic control. PMID:26216852

  9. Contributions of Sensory Coding and Attentional Control to Individual Differences in Performance in Spatial Auditory Selective Attention Tasks

    PubMed Central

    Dai, Lengshi; Shinn-Cunningham, Barbara G.

    2016-01-01

    Listeners with normal hearing thresholds (NHTs) differ in their ability to steer attention to whatever sound source is important. This ability depends on top-down executive control, which modulates the sensory representation of sound in the cortex. Yet, this sensory representation also depends on the coding fidelity of the peripheral auditory system. Both of these factors may thus contribute to the individual differences in performance. We designed a selective auditory attention paradigm in which we could simultaneously measure envelope following responses (EFRs, reflecting peripheral coding), onset event-related potentials (ERPs) from the scalp (reflecting cortical responses to sound) and behavioral scores. We performed two experiments that varied stimulus conditions to alter the degree to which performance might be limited due to fine stimulus details vs. due to control of attentional focus. Consistent with past work, in both experiments we find that attention strongly modulates cortical ERPs. Importantly, in Experiment I, where coding fidelity limits the task, individual behavioral performance correlates with subcortical coding strength (derived by computing how the EFR is degraded for fully masked tones compared to partially masked tones); however, in this experiment, the effects of attention on cortical ERPs were unrelated to individual subject performance. In contrast, in Experiment II, where sensory cues for segregation are robust (and thus less of a limiting factor on task performance), inter-subject behavioral differences correlate with subcortical coding strength. In addition, after factoring out the influence of subcortical coding strength, behavioral differences are also correlated with the strength of attentional modulation of ERPs. These results support the hypothesis that behavioral abilities amongst listeners with NHTs can arise due to both subcortical coding differences and differences in attentional control, depending on stimulus characteristics

  10. Brief Periods of Auditory Perceptual Training Can Determine the Sensory Targets of Speech Motor Learning

    PubMed Central

    Lametti, Daniel R.; Krol, Sonia A.; Shiller, Douglas M.; Ostry, David J.

    2014-01-01

    The perception of speech is notably malleable in adults, yet alterations in perception seem to have little impact on speech production. We hypothesized that speech perceptual training might immediately influence speech motor learning. To test this, we paired a speech perceptual training task with a speech motor learning task. Subjects performed a series of perceptual tests designed to measure and then manipulate the perceptual distinction between the words “head” and “had”. Subjects then produced “head” with the sound of the vowel altered in real-time so that they heard themselves through headphones producing a word that sounded more like “had”. In support of our hypothesis, the amount of motor learning in response to the voice alterations depended on the perceptual boundary acquired through perceptual training. The studies show that plasticity in adult speech perception can have immediate consequences for speech production in the context of speech learning. PMID:24815610

  11. Effects of immediate feedback on learning auditory perceptual voice quality evaluation.

    PubMed

    Chan, Karen M K; Li, Margaret; Law, Tze Ying; Yiu, Edwin M L

    2012-08-01

    The study investigated the effect of immediate feedback in training listeners to perceive subtle differences in voice quality, a perceptual skill that is important for speech-language pathologists. Sixty naive listeners were randomly assigned to a feedback group (Group F), a no feedback group (Group NF), and a no training group acting as a control group (Group C). The task was to evaluate the severity of a perceptual voice quality (breathiness) by using a reference-matching paradigm. All participants took part in three rating sessions (pre-training, 2 days after training and 1 week after training). Group F and Group NF participated in a training session immediately after the first rating session, where Group F practiced with immediate feedback given and Group NF practice with no immediate feedback given. The results showed that Group F and Group NF had significant improvement after training, but Group F did not retain the improvement in the third rating session. The use of a reference-matching training paradigm without giving frequent immediate feedback is suggested for auditory-perceptual voice evaluation training. The most effective frequency of immediate feedback is yet to be determined.

  12. The combination of appetitive and aversive reinforcers and the nature of their interaction during auditory learning.

    PubMed

    Ilango, A; Wetzel, W; Scheich, H; Ohl, F W

    2010-03-31

    Learned changes in behavior can be elicited by either appetitive or aversive reinforcers. It is, however, not clear whether the two types of motivation, (approaching appetitive stimuli and avoiding aversive stimuli) drive learning in the same or different ways, nor is their interaction understood in situations where the two types are combined in a single experiment. To investigate this question we have developed a novel learning paradigm for Mongolian gerbils, which not only allows rewards and punishments to be presented in isolation or in combination with each other, but also can use these opposite reinforcers to drive the same learned behavior. Specifically, we studied learning of tone-conditioned hurdle crossing in a shuttle box driven by either an appetitive reinforcer (brain stimulation reward) or an aversive reinforcer (electrical footshock), or by a combination of both. Combination of the two reinforcers potentiated speed of acquisition, led to maximum possible performance, and delayed extinction as compared to either reinforcer alone. Additional experiments, using partial reinforcement protocols and experiments in which one of the reinforcers was omitted after the animals had been previously trained with the combination of both reinforcers, indicated that appetitive and aversive reinforcers operated together but acted in different ways: in this particular experimental context, punishment appeared to be more effective for initial acquisition and reward more effective to maintain a high level of conditioned responses (CRs). The results imply that learning mechanisms in problem solving were maximally effective when the initial punishment of mistakes was combined with the subsequent rewarding of correct performance.

  13. Schema vs. primitive perceptual grouping: the relative weighting of sequential vs. spatial cues during an auditory grouping task in frogs.

    PubMed

    Farris, Hamilton E; Ryan, Michael J

    2017-02-15

    Perceptually, grouping sounds based on their sources is critical for communication. This is especially true in túngara frog breeding aggregations, where multiple males produce overlapping calls that consist of an FM 'whine' followed by harmonic bursts called 'chucks'. Phonotactic females use at least two cues to group whines and chucks: whine-chuck spatial separation and sequence. Spatial separation is a primitive cue, whereas sequence is schema-based, as chuck production is morphologically constrained to follow whines, meaning that males cannot produce the components simultaneously. When one cue is available, females perceptually group whines and chucks using relative comparisons: components with the smallest spatial separation or those closest to the natural sequence are more likely grouped. By simultaneously varying the temporal sequence and spatial separation of a single whine and two chucks, this study measured between-cue perceptual weighting during a specific grouping task. Results show that whine-chuck spatial separation is a stronger grouping cue than temporal sequence, as grouping is more likely for stimuli with smaller spatial separation and non-natural sequence than those with larger spatial separation and natural sequence. Compared to the schema-based whine-chuck sequence, we propose that spatial cues have less variance, potentially explaining their preferred use when grouping during directional behavioral responses.

  14. Spatial Abilities at Different Scales: Individual Differences in Aptitude-Test Performance and Spatial-Layout Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hegarty, Mary; Montello, Daniel R.; Richardson, Anthony E.; Ishikawa, Toru; Lovelace, Kristin

    2006-01-01

    Most psychometric tests of spatial ability are paper-and-pencil tasks at the ''figural'' scale of space, in that they involve inspecting, imagining or mentally transforming small shapes or manipulable objects. Environmental spatial tasks, such as wayfinding or learning the layout of a building or city, are carried out in larger spaces that…

  15. Teachers' Spatial Anxiety Relates to 1st-and 2nd-Graders' Spatial Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gunderson, Elizabeth A.; Ramirez, Gerardo; Beilock, Sian L.; Levine, Susan C.

    2013-01-01

    Teachers' anxiety about an academic domain, such as math, can impact students' learning in that domain. We asked whether this relation held in the domain of spatial skill, given the importance of spatial skill for success in math and science and its malleability at a young age. We measured 1st-and 2nd-grade teachers' spatial anxiety…

  16. Learning multisensory representations for auditory-visual transfer of sequence category knowledge: a probabilistic language of thought approach.

    PubMed

    Yildirim, Ilker; Jacobs, Robert A

    2015-06-01

    If a person is trained to recognize or categorize objects or events using one sensory modality, the person can often recognize or categorize those same (or similar) objects and events via a novel modality. This phenomenon is an instance of cross-modal transfer of knowledge. Here, we study the Multisensory Hypothesis which states that people extract the intrinsic, modality-independent properties of objects and events, and represent these properties in multisensory representations. These representations underlie cross-modal transfer of knowledge. We conducted an experiment evaluating whether people transfer sequence category knowledge across auditory and visual domains. Our experimental data clearly indicate that we do. We also developed a computational model accounting for our experimental results. Consistent with the probabilistic language of thought approach to cognitive modeling, our model formalizes multisensory representations as symbolic "computer programs" and uses Bayesian inference to learn these representations. Because the model demonstrates how the acquisition and use of amodal, multisensory representations can underlie cross-modal transfer of knowledge, and because the model accounts for subjects' experimental performances, our work lends credence to the Multisensory Hypothesis. Overall, our work suggests that people automatically extract and represent objects' and events' intrinsic properties, and use these properties to process and understand the same (and similar) objects and events when they are perceived through novel sensory modalities.

  17. Age and education adjusted normative data and discriminative validity for Rey's Auditory Verbal Learning Test in the elderly Greek population.

    PubMed

    Messinis, Lambros; Nasios, Grigorios; Mougias, Antonios; Politis, Antonis; Zampakis, Petros; Tsiamaki, Eirini; Malefaki, Sonia; Gourzis, Phillipos; Papathanasopoulos, Panagiotis

    2016-01-01

    Rey's Auditory Verbal Learning Test (RAVLT) is a widely used neuropsychological test to assess episodic memory. In the present study we sought to establish normative and discriminative validity data for the RAVLT in the elderly population using previously adapted learning lists for the Greek adult population. We administered the test to 258 cognitively healthy elderly participants, aged 60-89 years, and two patient groups (192 with amnestic mild cognitive impairment, aMCI, and 65 with Alzheimer's disease, AD). From the statistical analyses, we found that age and education contributed significantly to most trials of the RAVLT, whereas the influence of gender was not significant. Younger elderly participants with higher education outperformed the older elderly with lower education levels. Moreover, both clinical groups performed significantly worse on most RAVLT trials and composite measures than matched cognitively healthy controls. Furthermore, the AD group performed more poorly than the aMCI group on most RAVLT variables. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis was used to examine the utility of the RAVLT trials to discriminate cognitively healthy controls from aMCI and AD patients. Area under the curve (AUC), an index of effect size, showed that most of the RAVLT measures (individual and composite) included in this study adequately differentiated between the performance of healthy elders and aMCI/AD patients. We also provide cutoff scores in discriminating cognitively healthy controls from aMCI and AD patients, based on the sensitivity and specificity of the prescribed scores. Moreover, we present age- and education-specific normative data for individual and composite scores for the Greek adapted RAVLT in elderly subjects aged between 60 and 89 years for use in clinical and research settings.

  18. Auditory Imagination.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Croft, Martyn

    Auditory imagination is used in this paper to describe a number of issues and activities related to sound and having to do with listening, thinking, recalling, imagining, reshaping, creating, and uttering sounds and words. Examples of auditory imagination in religious and literary works are cited that indicate a belief in an imagined, expected, or…

  19. Learning to Match Auditory and Visual Speech Cues: Social Influences on Acquisition of Phonological Categories

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Altvater-Mackensen, Nicole; Grossmann, Tobias

    2015-01-01

    Infants' language exposure largely involves face-to-face interactions providing acoustic and visual speech cues but also social cues that might foster language learning. Yet, both audiovisual speech information and social information have so far received little attention in research on infants' early language development. Using a preferential…

  20. Repetition Learning in the Immediate Serial Recall of Visual and Auditory Materials

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Page, Mike P. A.; Cumming, Nick; Norris, Dennis; Hitch, Graham J.; McNeil, Alan M.

    2006-01-01

    In 5 experiments, a Hebb repetition effect, that is, improved immediate serial recall of an (unannounced) repeating list, was demonstrated in the immediate serial recall of visual materials, even when use of phonological short-term memory was blocked by concurrent articulation. The learning of a repeatedly presented letter list in one modality…

  1. Sleep after spatial learning promotes covert reorganization of brain activity.

    PubMed

    Orban, Pierre; Rauchs, Géraldine; Balteau, Evelyne; Degueldre, Christian; Luxen, André; Maquet, Pierre; Peigneux, Philippe

    2006-05-02

    Sleep promotes the integration of recently acquired spatial memories into cerebral networks for the long term. In this study, we examined how sleep deprivation hinders this consolidation process. Using functional MRI, we mapped regional cerebral activity during place-finding navigation in a virtual town, immediately after learning and 3 days later, in subjects either allowed regular sleep (RS) or totally sleep-deprived (TSD) on the first posttraining night. At immediate and delayed retrieval, place-finding navigation elicited increased brain activity in an extended hippocampo-neocortical network in both RS and TSD subjects. Behavioral performance was equivalent between groups. However, striatal navigation-related activity increased more at delayed retrieval in RS than in TSD subjects. Furthermore, correlations between striatal response and behavioral performance, as well as functional connectivity between the striatum and the hippocampus, were modulated by posttraining sleep. These data suggest that brain activity is restructured during sleep in such a way that navigation in the virtual environment, initially related to a hippocampus-dependent spatial strategy, becomes progressively contingent in part on a response-based strategy mediated by the striatum. Both neural strategies eventually relate to equivalent performance levels, indicating that covert reorganization of brain patterns underlying navigation after sleep is not necessarily accompanied by overt changes in behavior.

  2. Differential effects of aging on spatial learning through exploratory navigation and map reading

    PubMed Central

    Yamamoto, Naohide; DeGirolamo, Gregory J.

    2012-01-01

    It has been shown that abilities in spatial learning and memory are adversely affected by aging. The present study was conducted to investigate whether increasing age has equal consequences for all types of spatial learning or impacts certain types of spatial learning selectively. Specifically, two major types of spatial learning, exploratory navigation and map reading, were contrasted. By combining a neuroimaging finding that the medial temporal lobe (MTL) is especially important for exploratory navigation and a neurological finding that the MTL is susceptible to age-related atrophy, it was hypothesized that spatial learning through exploratory navigation would exhibit a greater decline in later life than spatial learning through map reading. In an experiment, young and senior participants learned locations of landmarks in virtual environments either by navigating in them in the first-person perspective or by seeing aerial views of the environments. Results showed that senior participants acquired less accurate memories of the layouts of landmarks than young participants when they navigated in the environments, but the two groups did not differ in spatial learning performance when they viewed the environments from the aerial perspective. These results suggest that spatial learning through exploratory navigation is particularly vulnerable to adverse effects of aging, whereas elderly adults may be able to maintain their map reading skills relatively well. PMID:22701423

  3. Place field repetition and spatial learning in a multicompartment environment.

    PubMed

    Grieves, Roddy M; Jenkins, Bryan W; Harland, Bruce C; Wood, Emma R; Dudchenko, Paul A

    2016-01-01

    Recent studies have shown that place cells in the hippocampus possess firing fields that repeat in physically similar, parallel environments. These results imply that it should be difficult for animals to distinguish parallel environments at a behavioral level. To test this, we trained rats on a novel odor-location task in an environment with four parallel compartments which had previously been shown to yield place field repetition. A second group of animals was trained on the same task, but with the compartments arranged in different directions, an arrangement we hypothesised would yield less place field repetition. Learning of the odor-location task in the parallel compartments was significantly impaired relative to learning in the radially arranged compartments. Fewer animals acquired the full discrimination in the parallel compartments compared to those trained in the radial compartments, and the former also required many more sessions to reach criterion compared to the latter. To confirm that the arrangement of compartments yielded differences in place cell repetition, in a separate group of animals we recorded from CA1 place cells in both environments. We found that CA1 place cells exhibited repeated fields across four parallel local compartments, but did not do so when the same compartments were arranged radially. To confirm that the differences in place field repetition across the parallel and radial compartments depended on their angular arrangement, and not incidental differences in access to an extra-maze visual landmark, we repeated the recordings in a second set of rats in the absence of the orientation landmark. We found, once again, that place fields showed repetition in parallel compartments, and did not do so in radially arranged compartments. Thus place field repetition, or lack thereof, in these compartments was not dependent on extra-maze cues. Together, these results imply that place field repetition constrains spatial learning.

  4. Situated student learning and spatial informational analysis for environmental problems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Olsen, Timothy Paul

    Ninth and tenth grade high school Biology student research teams used spatial information analysis tools to site a prairie restoration plot on a 55 acre campus during a four-week environment unit. Students made use of innovative technological practices by applying geographic information systems (GIS) approaches to solving environmental and land use problems. Student learning was facilitated by starting with the students' initial conceptions of computing, local landscape and biological environment, and then by guiding them through a problem-based science project process. The project curriculum was framed by the perspective of legitimate peripheral participation (Lave & Wenger, 1991) where students were provided with learning opportunities designed to allow them to act like GIS practitioners. Sociocultural lenses for learning were employed to create accounts of human mental processes that recognize the essential relationship between these processes and their cultural, historical, and institutional settings (Jacob, 1997; Wertsch, 1991). This research investigated how student groups' meaning-making actions were mediated by GIS tools on the periphery of a scientific community of practice. Research observations focused on supporting interpretations of learners' socially constructed actions and the iterative building of assertions from multiple sources. These included the artifacts students produced, the tools they used, the cultural contexts that constrained their activity, and how people begin to adopt ways of speaking (speech genres) of the referent community to negotiate meanings and roles. Students gathered field observations and interpreted attributes of landscape entities from the GIS data to advocate for an environmental decision. However, even while gaining proficiencies with GIS tools, most students did not begin to appropriate roles from the GIS community of practice. Students continued to negotiate their project actions simply as school exercises motivated by

  5. A reinforcement learning approach to model interactions between landmarks and geometric cues during spatial learning.

    PubMed

    Sheynikhovich, Denis; Arleo, Angelo

    2010-12-13

    In contrast to predictions derived from the associative learning theory, a number of behavioral studies suggested the absence of competition between geometric cues and landmarks in some experimental paradigms. In parallel to these studies, neurobiological experiments suggested the existence of separate independent memory systems which may not always interact according to classic associative principles. In this paper we attempt to combine these two lines of research by proposing a model of spatial learning that is based on the theory of multiple memory systems. In our model, a place-based locale strategy uses activities of modeled hippocampal place cells to drive navigation to a hidden goal, while a stimulus-response taxon strategy, presumably mediated by the dorso-lateral striatum, learns landmark-approaching behavior. A strategy selection network, proposed to reside in the prefrontal cortex, implements a simple reinforcement learning rule to switch behavioral strategies. The model is used to reproduce the results of a behavioral experiment in which an interaction between a landmark and geometric cues was studied. We show that this model, built on the basis of neurobiological data, can explain the lack of competition between the landmark and geometry, potentiation of geometry learning by the landmark, and blocking. Namely, we propose that the geometry potentiation is a consequence of cooperation between memory systems during learning, while blocking is due to competition between the memory systems during action selection.

  6. Learning-facilitated synaptic plasticity occurs in the intermediate hippocampus in association with spatial learning

    PubMed Central

    Kenney, Jana; Manahan-Vaughan, Denise

    2013-01-01

    The dorsoventral axis of the hippocampus is differentiated into dorsal, intermediate, and ventral parts. Whereas the dorsal part is believed to specialize in processing spatial information, the ventral may be equipped to process non-spatial information. The precise role of the intermediate hippocampus is unclear, although recent data suggests it is functionally distinct, at least from the dorsal hippocampus. Learning-facilitated synaptic plasticity describes the ability of hippocampal synapses to respond with robust synaptic plasticity (>24 h) when a spatial learning event is coupled with afferent stimulation that would normally not lead to a lasting plasticity response: in the dorsal hippocampus novel space facilitates robust expression of long-term potentiation (LTP), whereas novel spatial content facilitates long-term depression (LTD). We explored whether the intermediate hippocampus engages in this kind of synaptic plasticity in response to novel spatial experience. In freely moving rats, high-frequency stimulation at 200 Hz (3 bursts of 15 stimuli) elicited synaptic potentiation that lasted for at least 4 h. Coupling of this stimulation with the exploration of a novel holeboard resulted in LTP that lasted for over 24 h. Low frequency afferent stimulation (1 Hz, 900 pulses) resulted in short-term depression (STD) that was significantly enhanced and prolonged by exposure to a novel large orientational (landmark) cues, however LTD was not enabled. Exposure to a holeboard that included novel objects in the holeboard holes elicited a transient enhancement of STD of the population spike (PS) but not field EPSP, and also failed to facilitate the expression of LTD. Our data suggest that the intermediate dentate gyrus engages in processing of spatial information, but is functionally distinct to the dorsal dentate gyrus. This may in turn reflect their assumed different roles in synaptic information processing and memory formation. PMID:24194716

  7. Active and Passive Spatial Learning in Human Navigation: Acquisition of Survey Knowledge

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chrastil, Elizabeth R.; Warren, William H.

    2013-01-01

    It seems intuitively obvious that active exploration of a new environment would lead to better spatial learning than would passive visual exposure. It is unclear, however, which components of active learning contribute to spatial knowledge, and previous literature is decidedly mixed. This experiment tests the contributions of 4 components to…

  8. A Cognitive Component Analysis Approach for Developing Game-Based Spatial Learning Tools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hung, Pi-Hsia; Hwang, Gwo-Jen; Lee, Yueh-Hsun; Su, I-Hsiang

    2012-01-01

    Spatial ability has been recognized as one of the most important factors affecting the mathematical performance of students. Previous studies on spatial learning have mainly focused on developing strategies to shorten the problem-solving time of learners for very specific learning tasks. Such an approach usually has limited effects on improving…

  9. ERP Evidence of Early Cross-Modal Links between Auditory Selective Attention and Visuo-Spatial Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bomba, Marie D.; Singhal, Anthony

    2010-01-01

    Previous dual-task research pairing complex visual tasks involving non-spatial cognitive processes during dichotic listening have shown effects on the late component (Ndl) of the negative difference selective attention waveform but no effects on the early (Nde) response suggesting that the Ndl, but not the Nde, is affected by non-spatial…

  10. Differential recruitment of brain networks following route and cartographic map learning of spatial environments.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Hui; Copara, Milagros; Ekstrom, Arne D

    2012-01-01

    An extensive neuroimaging literature has helped characterize the brain regions involved in navigating a spatial environment. Far less is known, however, about the brain networks involved when learning a spatial layout from a cartographic map. To compare the two means of acquiring a spatial representation, participants learned spatial environments either by directly navigating them or learning them from an aerial-view map. While undergoing functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), participants then performed two different tasks to assess knowledge of the spatial environment: a scene and orientation dependent perceptual (SOP) pointing task and a judgment of relative direction (JRD) of landmarks pointing task. We found three brain regions showing significant effects of route vs. map learning during the two tasks. Parahippocampal and retrosplenial cortex showed greater activation following route compared to map learning during the JRD but not SOP task while inferior frontal gyrus showed greater activation following map compared to route learning during the SOP but not JRD task. We interpret our results to suggest that parahippocampal and retrosplenial cortex were involved in translating scene and orientation dependent coordinate information acquired during route learning to a landmark-referenced representation while inferior frontal gyrus played a role in converting primarily landmark-referenced coordinates acquired during map learning to a scene and orientation dependent coordinate system. Together, our results provide novel insight into the different brain networks underlying spatial representations formed during navigation vs. cartographic map learning and provide additional constraints on theoretical models of the neural basis of human spatial representation.

  11. Acquisition versus Consolidation of Auditory Perceptual Learning Using Mixed-Training Regimens

    PubMed Central

    Maidment, David W.; Kang, HiJee; Gill, Emma C.; Amitay, Sygal

    2015-01-01

    Learning is considered to consist of two distinct phases–acquisition and consolidation. Acquisition can be disrupted when short periods of training on more than one task are interleaved, whereas consolidation can be disrupted when a second task is trained after the first has been initiated. Here we investigated the conditions governing the disruption to acquisition and consolidation during mixed-training regimens in which primary and secondary amplitude modulation tasks were either interleaved or presented consecutively. The secondary task differed from the primary task in either task-irrelevant (carrier frequency) or task-relevant (modulation rate) stimulus features while requiring the same perceptual judgment (amplitude modulation depth discrimination), or shared both irrelevant and relevant features but required a different judgment (amplitude modulation rate discrimination). Based on previous literature we predicted that acquisition would be disrupted by varying the task-relevant stimulus feature during training (stimulus interference), and that consolidation would be disrupted by varying the perceptual judgment required (task interference). We found that varying the task-relevant or -irrelevant stimulus features failed to disrupt acquisition but did disrupt consolidation, whereas mixing two tasks requiring a different perceptual judgment but sharing the same stimulus features disrupted both acquisition and consolidation. Thus, a distinction between acquisition and consolidation phases of perceptual learning cannot simply be attributed to (task-relevant) stimulus versus task interference. We propose instead that disruption occurs during acquisition when mixing two tasks requiring a perceptual judgment based on different cues, whereas consolidation is always disrupted regardless of whether different stimulus features or tasks are mixed. The current study not only provides a novel insight into the underlying mechanisms of perceptual learning, but also has

  12. Working memory involvement in spatial text processing: what advantages are gained from extended learning and visuo-spatial strategies?

    PubMed

    Meneghetti, Chiara; De Beni, Rossana; Gyselinck, Valérie; Pazzaglia, Francesca

    2011-08-01

    The study investigates the relationships between working memory (WM), amount of learning, and strategies used in spatial description. WM involvement and strategies reported were assumed to change, depending on whether the text learning was extensive or limited. Two experiments were carried out using dual-task paradigm: participants listened to spatial text three times and concurrently one group performed a spatial concurrent task, one group a verbal task (to measure WM involvement), and one group no secondary task. In Experiment 1, participants listened three consecutive times then performed recall tasks (one verbal - verification test; one spatial - graphical representation). In Experiment 2, recall tasks were performed after first and third listening. The strategies used were ascertained through a questionnaire. Results showed that the verification test was impaired by the verbal concurrent task after listening three times (Experiment 1) and after first listening (Experiment 2). The graphical representation performance was impaired by verbal and spatial concurrent tasks, detected only after listening three times, not after a single time (Experiments 1 and 2). The strategies most used were visuo-spatial; their relationship with WM changes as a function of number of times of listening. Overall, the results showed that extensive learning allows construction of a spatial mental representation that is modulated by WM and strategies.

  13. The Encoding of Auditory Objects in Auditory Cortex: Insights from Magnetoencephalography

    PubMed Central

    Simon, Jonathan Z.

    2014-01-01

    Auditory objects, like their visual counterparts, are perceptually defined constructs, but nevertheless must arise from underlying neural circuitry. Using magnetoencephalography (MEG) recordings of the neural responses of human subjects listening to complex auditory scenes, we review studies that demonstrate that auditory objects are indeed neurally represented in auditory cortex. The studies use neural responses obtained from different experiments in which subjects selectively listen to one of two competing auditory streams embedded in a variety of auditory scenes. The auditory streams overlap spatially and often spectrally. In particular, the studies demonstrate that selective attentional gain does not act globally on the entire auditory scene, but rather acts differentially on the separate auditory streams. This stream-based attentional gain is then used as a tool to individually analyze the different neural representations of the competing auditory streams. The neural representation of the attended stream, located in posterior auditory cortex, dominates the neural responses. Critically, when the intensities of the attended and background streams are separately varied over a wide intensity range, the neural representation of the attended speech adapts only to the intensity of that speaker, irrespective of the intensity of the background speaker. This demonstrates object-level intensity gain control in addition to the above object-level selective attentional gain. Overall, these results indicate that concurrently streaming auditory objects, even if spectrally overlapping and not resolvable at the auditory periphery, are individually neurally encoded in auditory cortex, as separate objects. PMID:24841996

  14. Auditory neglect and related disorders.

    PubMed

    Gutschalk, Alexander; Dykstra, Andrew

    2015-01-01

    Neglect is a neurologic disorder, typically associated with lesions of the right hemisphere, in which patients are biased towards their ipsilesional - usually right - side of space while awareness for their contralesional - usually left - side is reduced or absent. Neglect is a multimodal disorder that often includes deficits in the auditory domain. Classically, auditory extinction, in which left-sided sounds that are correctly perceived in isolation are not detected in the presence of synchronous right-sided stimulation, has been considered the primary sign of auditory neglect. However, auditory extinction can also be observed after unilateral auditory cortex lesions and is thus not specific for neglect. Recent research has shown that patients with neglect are also impaired in maintaining sustained attention, on both sides, a fact that is reflected by an impairment of auditory target detection in continuous stimulation conditions. Perhaps the most impressive auditory symptom in full-blown neglect is alloacusis, in which patients mislocalize left-sided sound sources to their right, although even patients with less severe neglect still often show disturbance of auditory spatial perception, most commonly a lateralization bias towards the right. We discuss how these various disorders may be explained by a single model of neglect and review emerging interventions for patient rehabilitation.

  15. Spatial Visualization Learning in Engineering: Traditional Methods vs. a Web-Based Tool

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pedrosa, Carlos Melgosa; Barbero, Basilio Ramos; Miguel, Arturo Román

    2014-01-01

    This study compares an interactive learning manager for graphic engineering to develop spatial vision (ILMAGE_SV) to traditional methods. ILMAGE_SV is an asynchronous web-based learning tool that allows the manipulation of objects with a 3D viewer, self-evaluation, and continuous assessment. In addition, student learning may be monitored, which…

  16. Mobile Devices and Spatial Enactments of Learning: iPads in Lower Secondary Schools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Meyer, Bente

    2016-01-01

    Based on ethnographic studies of students' learning, this paper investigates how new spatial enactments of learning that include mobile technologies engage students in specific ways that enable them to learn. Data used in the paper have been collected in three lower secondary schools (7-9th form, ages 13-15) where students and teachers have been…

  17. Using Mobile Devices to Enhance the Interactive Learning for Spatial Geometry

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chang, Kuo-En; Wu, Lin-Jung; Lai, Shing-Chuang; Sung, Yao-Ting

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this research is to develop a hands-on spatial geometry learning system to facilitate the learning of geometry. The development of this system was based on Duval's four critical elements of geometric learning: perceptual apprehension, sequential apprehension, operative apprehension, and discursive apprehension. The system offers…

  18. Auditory neglect.

    PubMed Central

    De Renzi, E; Gentilini, M; Barbieri, C

    1989-01-01

    Auditory neglect was investigated in normal controls and in patients with a recent unilateral hemispheric lesion, by requiring them to detect the interruptions that occurred in one ear in a sound delivered through earphones either mono-aurally or binaurally. Control patients accurately detected interruptions. One left brain damaged (LBD) patient missed only once in the ipsilateral ear while seven of the 30 right brain damaged (RBD) patients missed more than one signal in the monoaural test and nine patients did the same in the binaural test. Omissions were always more marked in the left ear and in the binaural test with a significant ear by test interaction. The lesion of these patients was in the parietal lobe (five patients) and the thalamus (four patients). The relation of auditory neglect to auditory extinction was investigated and found to be equivocal, in that there were seven RBD patients who showed extinction, but not neglect and, more importantly, two patients who exhibited the opposite pattern, thus challenging the view that extinction is a minor form of neglect. Also visual and auditory neglect were not consistently correlated, the former being present in nine RBD patients without auditory neglect and the latter in two RBD patients without visual neglect. The finding that in some RBD patients with auditory neglect omissions also occurred, though with less frequency, in the right ear, points to a right hemisphere participation in the deployment of attention not only to the contralateral, but also to the ipsilateral space. PMID:2732732

  19. The anterior claustrum and spatial reversal learning in rats.

    PubMed

    Grasby, Katrina; Talk, Andrew

    2013-03-07

    The claustrum is a small structure of poorly understood function situated subcortically in the basal forebrain. The fact that it is extensively and reciprocally connected with the cerebral cortex has led to suggestions that it is involved in coordination of cortical activity. In this study, we created excitotoxic lesions to the anterior claustrum of rats and tested performance on three tasks that involve neural processing in one or more frontal and limbic cortical structures. We tested reversal learning and spatial working memory in a water maze and tested latent inhibition using conditioned taste aversion. Lesioned rats were not impaired at acquiring the initial location of the platform in a water maze, but were impaired at acquiring a switched location in the reversal phase. The lesioned rats also exhibited an increased rate of perseverance errors compared to control rats during reversal. Lesioned rats were not impaired in the working memory task or latent inhibition. These results indicate that cell loss in the claustrum may lead to deficits in behavioral flexibility, and are consistent with theories of claustral function that suggest it may help coordinate information necessary for at least some cortical-dependent tasks.

  20. Taurine effects on emotional learning and memory in aged mice: neurochemical alterations and differentiation in auditory cued fear and context conditioning.

    PubMed

    Neuwirth, Lorenz S; Volpe, Nicholas P; El Idrissi, Abdeslem

    2013-01-01

    Previously we have shown FVB/NJ mice given taurine acutely (i.e. 43 mg/kg/s.c. [aTau]) is anxiolytic, whereas chronically (0.05% w/v for >4 weeks [cTau]) produces anxiogenic phenotypes under select aversive behavioral experiments, but negated emotional contributions to acquisition learning and retention. Hyperexcitability induced in c-Tau mice is further exacerbated under stressful conditions compromising discrimination between cognitive vs. emotional learning. In the present study, we investigated differences between a-Tau and c-Tau mice using the auditory cued tone (ACTC) and context conditioning (CC) tests. Consistent with previous results, a-Tau mice exhibit less fear and increased inhibition, whereas c-Tau mice exhibit increased fear and decreased inhibition to ACTC and CC. Once fear conditioned, taurine mice become hypersensitive to novel environments and ACTC. Taurine brain levels are noted to increase in response to stressors as a neuroprotective mechanism against hyperexcitability. We suggest that c-Tau mice have increased accumulation of cysteamine (Cyst) and depleted somatostatin (SS) expression resulting in fear disregulation through GABAergic projection neurons in the limbic system, which are not seen in a-Tau mice. Our findings suggest that taurine causes not only varied phenotypic profiles of emotional fear learning, but are further complicated by the inability to associate cues with aversive stimuli due to potential auditory sensory overloading.

  1. Age- and gender-adjusted normative data for the German version of Rey's Auditory Verbal Learning Test from healthy subjects aged between 50 and 70 years.

    PubMed

    Speer, Paula; Wersching, Heike; Bruchmann, Sabine; Bracht, Dorothea; Stehling, Christoph; Thielsch, Meinald; Knecht, Stefan; Lohmann, Hubertus

    2014-01-01

    Rey's Auditory Verbal Learning Test (AVLT) is widely used to evaluate dysfunctional episodic memory. The current study aimed to provide extended age- and gender-specific norms for the German AVLT for individuals older than 50 years. In 690 subjects, a comprehensive medical examination including a structural 3.0-tesla magnetic resonance imaging scan was administered, as well as extensive neuropsychological tests. After controlling for exclusion criteria, 407 subjects were included in the analysis. AVLT performance decreased with age, and women outperformed men. We present age- and gender-specific normative data for the German AVLT from subjects aged between 50 and 70 years.

  2. Auditory perception of objects by blind persons, using a bioacoustic high resolution air sonar.

    PubMed

    Kay, L

    2000-06-01

    A high-resolution octave band air sonar for spatial sensing and object imaging by blind persons is described. The system has wide-angle overlapping peripheral fields of view with a narrow central field superposed. It is noninvasively coupled to the auditory system for neural processing and spatial imaging. Blind persons learn to comprehend the auditory cortical multiple-object image that is created. The real-time synchronous relationship between hearing a change in the sensor sounds and the sensed motor actions causing the change seems to aid the learning process. Computer based testing of the sensor system is described so as to relate the physical system performance with the time-varying human auditory perception. This is so that the basic psychometric experiments studying the sensor bio-acoustic spatial resolution, resulting from the superposition of two wide-angle peripheral fields with one central narrow field, may be better understood. These tests confirm that the auditory ability of subjects to resolve close objects using the combined fields is significantly improved relative to using the peripheral fields alone. These measurements are supported by blind children learning to use the sensor system.

  3. Stills, Not Full Motion, for Interactive Spatial Training: American, Turkish and Taiwanese Female Pre-Service Teachers Learn Spatial Visualization

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Smith, Glenn Gordon; Gerretson, Helen; Olkun, Sinan; Yuan, Yuan; Dogbey, James; Erdem, Aliye

    2009-01-01

    This study investigated how female elementary education pre-service teachers in the United States, Turkey and Taiwan learned spatial skills from structured activities involving discrete, as opposed to continuous, transformations in interactive computer programs, and how these activities transferred to non-related standardized tests of spatial…

  4. How spatial abilities and dynamic visualizations interplay when learning functional anatomy with 3D anatomical models.

    PubMed

    Berney, Sandra; Bétrancourt, Mireille; Molinari, Gaëlle; Hoyek, Nady

    2015-01-01

    The emergence of dynamic visualizations of three-dimensional (3D) models in anatomy curricula may be an adequate solution for spatial difficulties encountered with traditional static learning, as they provide direct visualization of change throughout the viewpoints. However, little research has explored the interplay between learning material presentation formats, spatial abilities, and anatomical tasks. First, to understand the cognitive challenges a novice learner would be faced with when first exposed to 3D anatomical content, a six-step cognitive task analysis was developed. Following this, an experimental study was conducted to explore how presentation formats (dynamic vs. static visualizations) support learning of functional anatomy, and affect subsequent anatomical tasks derived from the cognitive task analysis. A second aim was to investigate the interplay between spatial abilities (spatial visualization and spatial relation) and presentation formats when the functional anatomy of a 3D scapula and the associated shoulder flexion movement are learned. Findings showed no main effect of the presentation formats on performances, but revealed the predictive influence of spatial visualization and spatial relation abilities on performance. However, an interesting interaction between presentation formats and spatial relation ability for a specific anatomical task was found. This result highlighted the influence of presentation formats when spatial abilities are involved as well as the differentiated influence of spatial abilities on anatomical tasks.

  5. Audiovisual spoken word training can promote or impede auditory-only perceptual learning: prelingually deafened adults with late-acquired cochlear implants versus normal hearing adults

    PubMed Central

    Bernstein, Lynne E.; Eberhardt, Silvio P.; Auer, Edward T.

    2014-01-01

    Training with audiovisual (AV) speech has been shown to promote auditory perceptual learning of vocoded acoustic speech by adults with normal hearing. In Experiment 1, we investigated whether AV speech promotes auditory-only (AO) perceptual learning in prelingually deafened adults with late-acquired cochlear implants. Participants were assigned to learn associations between spoken disyllabic C(=consonant)V(=vowel)CVC non-sense words and non-sense pictures (fribbles), under AV and then AO (AV-AO; or counter-balanced AO then AV, AO-AV, during Periods 1 then 2) training conditions. After training on each list of paired-associates (PA), testing was carried out AO. Across all training, AO PA test scores improved (7.2 percentage points) as did identification of consonants in new untrained CVCVC stimuli (3.5 percentage points). However, there was evidence that AV training impeded immediate AO perceptual learning: During Period-1, training scores across AV and AO conditions were not different, but AO test scores were dramatically lower in the AV-trained participants. During Period-2 AO training, the AV-AO participants obtained significantly higher AO test scores, demonstrating their ability to learn the auditory speech. Across both orders of training, whenever training was AV, AO test scores were significantly lower than training scores. Experiment 2 repeated the procedures with vocoded speech and 43 normal-hearing adults. Following AV training, their AO test scores were as high as or higher than following AO training. Also, their CVCVC identification scores patterned differently than those of the cochlear implant users. In Experiment 1, initial consonants were most accurate, and in Experiment 2, medial consonants were most accurate. We suggest that our results are consistent with a multisensory reverse hierarchy theory, which predicts that, whenever possible, perceivers carry out perceptual tasks immediately based on the experience and biases they bring to the task. We

  6. Correlation between cognitive impairment and the Rey auditory-verbal learning test in a population with Alzheimer disease.

    PubMed

    Barzotti, T; Gargiulo, A; Marotta, M G; Tedeschi, G; Zannino, G; Guglielmi, S; Dell'Armi, A; Ettorre, E; Marigliano, V

    2004-01-01

    Patients affected by Alzheimer disease (AD) need an accurate diagnosis, to the extent allowing us to find the best therapy or polytherapy, in order to take under control their cognitive impairment. In our Alzheimer Evaluation Units (from the Italian name abbreviated: UVA), the patients undergo a multidimensional evaluation, which can address us towards a proper diagnosis and of other weakening, or even dementia-related diseases. The patients are also subject to neuropsychometric and neuropsychological evaluations, allowing a more focused analysis on cognitive impairments. Among the tests, we use the Rey auditory-verbal learning test (RAVLT), evaluating the patient's verbal memory. A list of 15 words is read to each patient. N the first part of the test, the clinician repeats 5 times such a list. the patient is hen asked, at the end of every repetition, to tell all words he/she remembers. This part is useful to evaluate the immediate recall (IR) ability. The score, i.e., the total number of recalled words, ranges from 0 to 75. After 15 minutes, the delayed recall (DR) ability is evaluated: the patient is newly asked to repeat as many words as he can recall from the list. The score for this part ranges from 0 to 15 minutes. The score is corrected of rage and education, with a cut-off of 28.5 for IR and 4.7 for DR. We made a survey with the purpose of deciding if there was a correlation between cognitive impairment and verbal memory lack, whose deficiency appears earlier in AD. To this aim, we selected several patients with AD, diagnosed during the period between September 2002 and February 2003. We only considered those patients whose AD was not associated with other weakening diseases, and whose clinical dementia rating scale (CDR) score was between 0.5-2.0. A sample of 35 individuals (11 men and 24 women) could be obtained. A meaningful correlation was observed between CDR and IR (r = -0.725, p < 0.01), as well as between CDR and DR (r = -0.470; p < 0.05). Such a

  7. Engineering Genders: A Spatial Analysis of Engineering, Gender, and Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Weidler-Lewis, Joanna R.

    2016-01-01

    This three article dissertation is an investigation into the ontology of learning insofar as learning is a process of becoming. In each article I explore the general questions of who is learning, in what ways, and with what consequences. The context for this research is undergraduate engineering education with particular attention to the…

  8. Interaction between Locale and Taxon Strategies in Human Spatial Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Redhead, Edward S.; Hamilton, Derek A.

    2007-01-01

    Three computer-based experiments which tested human participants in a non-immersive virtual watermaze task sought to determine factors which dictate whether the presence of a visual platform disrupts locale learning and taxon learning. In Experiment 1, the visible platform disrupted locale but not taxon learning based on viewpoint-independent and…

  9. Spatial tuning and brain state account for dorsal hippocampal CA1 activity in a non-spatial learning task

    PubMed Central

    Shan, Kevin Q; Lubenov, Evgueniy V; Papadopoulou, Maria; Siapas, Athanassios G

    2016-01-01

    The hippocampus is a brain area crucial for episodic memory in humans. In contrast, studies in rodents have highlighted its role in spatial learning, supported by the discovery of place cells. Efforts to reconcile these views have found neurons in the rodent hippocampus that respond to non-spatial events but have not unequivocally dissociated the spatial and non-spatial influences on these cells. To disentangle these influences, we trained freely moving rats in trace eyeblink conditioning, a hippocampally dependent task in which the animal learns to blink in response to a tone. We show that dorsal CA1 pyramidal neurons are all place cells, and do not respond to the tone when the animal is moving. When the animal is inactive, the apparent tone-evoked responses reflect an arousal-mediated resumption of place-specific firing. These results suggest that one of the main output stages of the hippocampus transmits only spatial information, even in this non-spatial task. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.14321.001 PMID:27487561

  10. Modelling auditory attention.

    PubMed

    Kaya, Emine Merve; Elhilali, Mounya

    2017-02-19

    Sounds in everyday life seldom appear in isolation. Both humans and machines are constantly flooded with a cacophony of sounds that need to be sorted through and scoured for relevant information-a phenomenon referred to as the 'cocktail party problem'. A key component in parsing acoustic scenes is the role of attention, which mediates perception and behaviour by focusing both sensory and cognitive resources on pertinent information in the stimulus space. The current article provides a review of modelling studies of auditory attention. The review highlights how the term attention refers to a multitude of behavioural and cognitive processes that can shape sensory processing. Attention can be modulated by 'bottom-up' sensory-driven factors, as well as 'top-down' task-specific goals, expectations and learned schemas. Essentially, it acts as a selection process or processes that focus both sensory and cognitive resources on the most relevant events in the soundscape; with relevance being dictated by the stimulus itself (e.g. a loud explosion) or by a task at hand (e.g. listen to announcements in a busy airport). Recent computational models of auditory attention provide key insights into its role in facilitating perception in cluttered auditory scenes.This article is part of the themed issue 'Auditory and visual scene analysis'.

  11. Modelling auditory attention

    PubMed Central

    Kaya, Emine Merve

    2017-01-01

    Sounds in everyday life seldom appear in isolation. Both humans and machines are constantly flooded with a cacophony of sounds that need to be sorted through and scoured for relevant information—a phenomenon referred to as the ‘cocktail party problem’. A key component in parsing acoustic scenes is the role of attention, which mediates perception and behaviour by focusing both sensory and cognitive resources on pertinent information in the stimulus space. The current article provides a review of modelling studies of auditory attention. The review highlights how the term attention refers to a multitude of behavioural and cognitive processes that can shape sensory processing. Attention can be modulated by ‘bottom-up’ sensory-driven factors, as well as ‘top-down’ task-specific goals, expectations and learned schemas. Essentially, it acts as a selection process or processes that focus both sensory and cognitive resources on the most relevant events in the soundscape; with relevance being dictated by the stimulus itself (e.g. a loud explosion) or by a task at hand (e.g. listen to announcements in a busy airport). Recent computational models of auditory attention provide key insights into its role in facilitating perception in cluttered auditory scenes. This article is part of the themed issue ‘Auditory and visual scene analysis’. PMID:28044012

  12. Action-perception coupling in pianists: learned mappings or spatial musical association of response codes (SMARC) effect?

    PubMed

    Stewart, Lauren; Verdonschot, Rinus G; Nasralla, Patrick; Lanipekun, Jennifer

    2013-01-01

    The principle of common coding suggests that a joint representation is formed when actions are repeatedly paired with a specific perceptual event. Musicians are occupationally specialized with regard to the coupling between actions and their auditory effects. In the present study, we employed a novel paradigm to demonstrate automatic action-effect associations in pianists. Pianists and nonmusicians pressed keys according to aurally presented number sequences. Numbers were presented at pitches that were neutral, congruent, or incongruent with respect to pitches that would normally be produced by such actions. Response time differences were seen between congruent and incongruent sequences in pianists alone. A second experiment was conducted to determine whether these effects could be attributed to the existence of previously documented spatial/pitch compatibility effects. In a "stretched" version of the task, the pitch distance over which the numbers were presented was enlarged to a range that could not be produced by the hand span used in Experiment 1. The finding of a larger response time difference between congruent and incongruent trials in the original, standard, version compared with the stretched version, in pianists, but not in nonmusicians, indicates that the effects obtained are, at least partially, attributable to learned action effects.

  13. Learning Styles.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Missouri Univ., Columbia. Coll. of Education.

    Information is provided regarding major learning styles and other factors important to student learning. Several typically asked questions are presented regarding different learning styles (visual, auditory, tactile and kinesthetic, and multisensory learning), associated considerations, determining individuals' learning styles, and appropriate…

  14. Auditory system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ades, H. W.

    1973-01-01

    The physical correlations of hearing, i.e. the acoustic stimuli, are reported. The auditory system, consisting of external ear, middle ear, inner ear, organ of Corti, basilar membrane, hair cells, inner hair cells, outer hair cells, innervation of hair cells, and transducer mechanisms, is discussed. Both conductive and sensorineural hearing losses are also examined.

  15. The Joint Role of Spatial Ability and Imagery Strategy in Sustaining the Learning of Spatial Descriptions under Spatial Interference

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Meneghetti, Chiara; De Beni, Rossana; Gyselinck, Valerie; Pazzaglia, Francesca

    2013-01-01

    The present study investigates the joint role of spatial ability, imagery strategy and visuospatial working memory (VSWM) in spatial text processing. A set of 180 participants, half of them trained on the use of imagery strategy (training vs no-training groups), was further divided according to participants' high or low mental rotation ability…

  16. Women Match Men when Learning a Spatial Skill

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Spence, Ian; Yu, Jingjie Jessica; Feng, Jing; Marshman, Jeff

    2009-01-01

    Meta-analytic studies have concluded that although training improves spatial cognition in both sexes, the male advantage generally persists. However, because some studies run counter to this pattern, a closer examination of the anomaly is warranted. The authors investigated the acquisition of a basic skill (spatial selective attention) using a…

  17. Improving Social Interactions in Virtual Learning Environments: Guidance on Spatial Factors for Online Teachers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hernandez-Serrano, Maria Jose; Gonzales-Sanchez, Margarita

    2011-01-01

    This paper reports on a project in which students' interactions with learning environments are investigated from the perspective of the spatial factors. Our research examines a significant dimension generated under the interrelationship between the subject and the virtual space, by establishing that spatial dimensions may determine the level of…

  18. Probing the Relationship between Process of Spatial Problems Solving and Science Learning: An Eye Tracking Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chen, Yi-Chun; Yang, Fang-Ying

    2014-01-01

    There were two purposes in the study. One was to explore the cognitive activities during spatial problem solving and the other to probe the relationship between spatial ability and science concept learning. Twenty university students participated in the study. The Purdue Visualization of Rotations Test (PVRT) was used to assess the spatial…

  19. Learning to Think Spatially: What Do Students "See" in Numeracy Test Items?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Diezmann, Carmel M.; Lowrie, Tom

    2012-01-01

    Learning to think spatially in mathematics involves developing proficiency with graphics. This paper reports on 2 investigations of spatial thinking and graphics. The first investigation explored the importance of graphics as 1 of 3 communication systems (i.e. text, symbols, graphics) used to provide information in numeracy test items. The results…

  20. Age Differences in Recall and Information Processing in Verbal and Spatial Learning.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mungas, Dan; And Others

    1991-01-01

    Three age groups of 24 people each completed verbal word list tasks and spatial learning tasks 5 times each. Significant age differences were found for total recall and type of task. Younger subjects showed increased levels of clustering--organizing information according to semantic or spatial clusters. Age was not related to temporal order of…

  1. Rhesus Monkeys (Macaca Mulatta) Maintain Learning Set Despite Second-Order Stimulus-Response Spatial Discontiguity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Beran, Michael J.; Washburn, David A.; Rumbaugh, Duane M.

    2007-01-01

    In many discrimination-learning tests, spatial separation between stimuli and response loci disrupts performance in rhesus macaques. However, monkeys are unaffected by such stimulus-response spatial discontiguity when responses occur through joystick-based computerized movement of a cursor. To examine this discrepancy, five monkeys were tested on…

  2. Spatial Abilities in an Elective Course of Applied Anatomy after a Problem-Based Learning Curriculum

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Langlois, Jean; Wells, George A.; Lecourtois, Marc; Bergeron, Germain; Yetisir, Elizabeth; Martin, Marcel

    2009-01-01

    A concern on the level of anatomy knowledge reached after a problem-based learning curriculum has been documented in the literature. Spatial anatomy, arguably the highest level in anatomy knowledge, has been related to spatial abilities. Our first objective was to test the hypothesis that residents are interested in a course of applied anatomy…

  3. Representation of Survey and Route Spatial Descriptions in Children with Nonverbal (Visuospatial) Learning Disabilities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mammarella, Irene C.; Meneghetti, Chiara; Pazzaglia, Francesca; Gitti, Filippo; Gomez, Claudia; Cornoldi, Cesare

    2009-01-01

    This study aims to investigate the types of difficulty encountered by children with nonverbal (visuospatial) learning disabilities (NLD) during the processing of spatial information derived from descriptions. Two spatial descriptions--one in survey, one in route perspective--and one nonspatial description were orally presented to children aged…

  4. Spatial Ability: Its Influence on Learning with Visualizations--A Meta-Analytic Review

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hoffler, Tim N.

    2010-01-01

    This meta-analytical review focuses on the role of spatial ability when learning with pictorial visualizations. By means of selective theoretical review and meta-analysis (the latter regarding 27 different experiments from 19 studies), several sub-factors of spatial ability are considered as well as dynamic and non-dynamic, interactive and…

  5. Comparison of Visual-Spatial Performance Strategy Training in Children with Turner Syndrome and Learning Disabilities.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Williams, Janet K.; And Others

    1992-01-01

    Thirteen females with Turner syndrome, 13 females with nonverbal learning disabilities, and 14 males with nonverbal learning disabilities, ages 7-14, were taught via a cognitive behavioral modification approach to verbally mediate a spatial matching task. All three groups showed significant task improvement after the training, with no significant…

  6. How Spatial Abilities and Dynamic Visualizations Interplay When Learning Functional Anatomy with 3D Anatomical Models

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Berney, Sandra; Bétrancourt, Mireille; Molinari, Gaëlle; Hoyek, Nady

    2015-01-01

    The emergence of dynamic visualizations of three-dimensional (3D) models in anatomy curricula may be an adequate solution for spatial difficulties encountered with traditional static learning, as they provide direct visualization of change throughout the viewpoints. However, little research has explored the interplay between learning material…

  7. Disruption of estrogen receptor β gene impairs spatial learning in female mice

    PubMed Central

    Rissman, Emilie F.; Heck, Amy L.; Leonard, Julie E.; Shupnik, Margaret A.; Gustafsson, Jan-Åke

    2002-01-01

    Here we provide the first evidence, to our knowledge, that estradiol (E2) affects learning and memory via the newly discovered estrogen receptor β (ERβ). In this study, ERβ knockout (ERβKO) and wild-type littermates were tested for spatial learning in the Morris water maze after ovariectomy, appropriate control treatment, or one of two physiological doses of E2. Regardless of treatment, all wild-type females displayed significant learning. However, ERβKOs given the low dose of E2 were delayed in learning acquisition, and ERβKOs administered the higher dose of E2 failed to learn the task. These data show that ERβ is required for optimal spatial learning and may have implications for hormone replacement therapy in women. PMID:11891272

  8. Primary Auditory Cortex Regulates Threat Memory Specificity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wigestrand, Mattis B.; Schiff, Hillary C.; Fyhn, Marianne; LeDoux, Joseph E.; Sears, Robert M.

    2017-01-01

    Distinguishing threatening from nonthreatening stimuli is essential for survival and stimulus generalization is a hallmark of anxiety disorders. While auditory threat learning produces long-lasting plasticity in primary auditory cortex (Au1), it is not clear whether such Au1 plasticity regulates memory specificity or generalization. We used…

  9. Acquiring New Spatial Intuitions: Learning to Reason about Rotations

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pani, John R.; Chariker, Julia H.; Dawson, Thomas E.; Johnson, Nathan

    2005-01-01

    There are certain simple rotations of objects that most people cannot reason about accurately. Reliable gaps in the understanding of a fundamental physical domain raise the question of how learning to reason in that domain might proceed. Using virtual reality techniques, this project investigated the nature of learning to reason across the domain…

  10. A critical review of chronic stress effects on spatial learning and memory.

    PubMed

    Conrad, Cheryl D

    2010-06-30

    The purpose of this review is to evaluate the effects of chronic stress on hippocampal-dependent function, based primarily upon studies using young, adult male rodents and spatial navigation tasks. Despite this restriction, variability amongst the findings was evident and how or even whether chronic stress influenced spatial ability depended upon the type of task, the dependent variable measured and how the task was implemented, the type and duration of the stressors, housing conditions of the animals that include accessibility to food and cage mates, and duration from the end of the stress to the start of behavioral assessment. Nonetheless, patterns emerged as follows: For spatial memory, chronic stress impairs spatial reference memory and has transient effects on spatial working memory. For spatial learning, however, chronic stress effects appear to be task-specific: chronic stress impairs spatial learning on appetitively motivated tasks, such as the radial arm maze or holeboard, tasks that evoke relatively mild to low arousal components from fear. But under testing conditions that evoke moderate to strong arousal components from fear, such as during radial arm water maze testing, chronic stress appears to have minimal impairing effects or may even facilitate spatial learning. Chronic stress clearly impacts nearly every brain region and thus, how chronic stress alters hippocampal spatial ability likely depends upon the engagement of other brain structures during behavioral training and testing.

  11. The Effects of Training in Discrimination of Pitches on the Ability to Discriminate Speech Sounds in Primary Age Children Classified as Learning Disabled in the Area of Auditory Discrimination.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baxley, Barbara L.

    The paper reports on a study in which 64 students (6-9 years old) identified as learning disabled in the area of auditory discrimination were trained to discriminate musical pitches in order to assess effects on speech discrimination. A detailed review of the literature is presented regarding the use of music in remediation, the definition of…

  12. Modulation of spatial attention by goals, statistical learning, and monetary reward

    PubMed Central

    Sha, Li Z.; Remington, Roger W.

    2015-01-01

    This study documented the relative strength of task goals, visual statistical learning, and monetary reward in guiding spatial attention. Using a difficult T-among-L search task, we cued spatial attention to one visual quadrant by (i) instructing people to prioritize it (goal-driven attention), (ii) placing the target frequently there (location probability learning), or (iii) associating that quadrant with greater monetary gain (reward-based attention). Results showed that successful goal-driven attention exerted the strongest influence on search RT. Incidental location probability learning yielded a smaller though still robust effect. Incidental reward learning produced negligible guidance for spatial attention. The 95 % confidence intervals of the three effects were largely nonoverlapping. To understand these results, we simulated the role of location repetition priming in probability cuing and reward learning. Repetition priming underestimated the strength of location probability cuing, suggesting that probability cuing involved long-term statistical learning of how to shift attention. Repetition priming provided a reasonable account for the negligible effect of reward on spatial attention. We propose a multiple-systems view of spatial attention that includes task goals, search habit, and priming as primary drivers of top-down attention. PMID:26105657

  13. Modulation of spatial attention by goals, statistical learning, and monetary reward.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Yuhong V; Sha, Li Z; Remington, Roger W

    2015-10-01

    This study documented the relative strength of task goals, visual statistical learning, and monetary reward in guiding spatial attention. Using a difficult T-among-L search task, we cued spatial attention to one visual quadrant by (i) instructing people to prioritize it (goal-driven attention), (ii) placing the target frequently there (location probability learning), or (iii) associating that quadrant with greater monetary gain (reward-based attention). Results showed that successful goal-driven attention exerted the strongest influence on search RT. Incidental location probability learning yielded a smaller though still robust effect. Incidental reward learning produced negligible guidance for spatial attention. The 95 % confidence intervals of the three effects were largely nonoverlapping. To understand these results, we simulated the role of location repetition priming in probability cuing and reward learning. Repetition priming underestimated the strength of location probability cuing, suggesting that probability cuing involved long-term statistical learning of how to shift attention. Repetition priming provided a reasonable account for the negligible effect of reward on spatial attention. We propose a multiple-systems view of spatial attention that includes task goals, search habit, and priming as primary drivers of top-down attention.

  14. Near or far: The effect of spatial distance and vocabulary knowledge on word learning.

    PubMed

    Axelsson, Emma L; Perry, Lynn K; Scott, Emilly J; Horst, Jessica S

    2016-01-01

    The current study investigated the role of spatial distance in word learning. Two-year-old children saw three novel objects named while the objects were either in close proximity to each other or spatially separated. Children were then tested on their retention for the name-object associations. Keeping the objects spatially separated from each other during naming was associated with increased retention for children with larger vocabularies. Children with a lower vocabulary size demonstrated better retention if they saw objects in close proximity to each other during naming. This demonstrates that keeping a clear view of objects during naming improves word learning for children who have already learned many words, but keeping objects within close proximal range is better for children at earlier stages of vocabulary acquisition. The effect of distance is therefore not equal across varying vocabulary sizes. The influences of visual crowding, cognitive load, and vocabulary size on word learning are discussed.

  15. Early gamma oscillations during rapid auditory processing in children with a language-learning impairment: Changes in neural mass activity after training

    PubMed Central

    Heim, Sabine; Keil, Andreas; Choudhury, Naseem; Friedman, Jennifer Thomas; Benasich, April A.

    2013-01-01

    Children with language-learning impairment (LLI) have consistently shown difficulty with tasks requiring precise, rapid auditory processing. Remediation based on neural plasticity assumes that the temporal precision of neural coding can be improved by intensive training protocols. Here, we examined the extent to which early oscillatory responses in auditory cortex change after audio-visual training, using combined source modeling and time-frequency analysis of the human electroencephalogram (EEG). Twenty-one elementary school students diagnosed with LLI underwent the intervention for an average of 32 days. Pre- and post-training assessments included standardized language/literacy tests and EEG recordings in response to fast-rate tone doublets. Twelve children with typical language development were also tested twice, with no intervention given. Behaviorally, improvements on measures of language were observed in the LLI group following completion of training. During the first EEG assessment, we found reduced amplitude and phase-locking of early (45–75 ms) oscillations in the gamma-band range (29–52 Hz), specifically in the LLI group, for the second stimulus of the tone doublet. Amplitude reduction for the second tone was no longer evident for the LLI children post-intervention, although these children still exhibited attenuated phase-locking. Our findings suggest that specific aspects of inefficient sensory cortical processing in LLI are ameliorated after training. PMID:23352997

  16. Modulation of spatial and stimulus-response learning strategies by exogenous cortisol in healthy young women.

    PubMed

    Schwabe, Lars; Oitzl, Melly S; Richter, Steffen; Schächinger, Hartmut

    2009-04-01

    Glucocorticoids (GCs) are known to influence learning and memory processes. While most studies focus on the effects of GCs on the performance within a single memory system, we asked whether GCs modulate also the transition between hippocampus-dependent spatial and caudate nucleus-dependent stimulus-response memory systems. Eighty-four young healthy women received a placebo, 5 or 30 mg hydrocortisone orally. One hour later, participants were asked to locate a win-card in a 3D model of a room. The card could be located via two strategies: spatial (multiple distal cues) and stimulus-response (a single proximal cue). Relocation of the proximal cue after 12 trials revealed the strategy, number of trials to learning criterion the performance. As expected, more trials were needed to acquire the task with hydrocortisone. Remarkably, hydrocortisone switched the use of learning strategies towards more spatial learning (dose-dependently: placebo 4% < 5 mg 21%< 30 mg 32%), independent of autonomic and subjective arousal. The learning curves of spatial and stimulus-response learners were comparable. Our results demonstrate that exogenous GCs prior to learning affect the performance within a memory system and also coordinate the use of multiple memory systems. Taking into account this dual action of GCs will contribute to a better understanding of stress (hormone) effects on learning and memory.

  17. Retrosplenial cortex lesions impair water maze strategies learning or spatial place learning depending on prior experience of the rat.

    PubMed

    Cain, Donald P; Humpartzoomian, Richard; Boon, Francis

    2006-06-30

    There has been debate whether lesions strictly limited to retrosplenial (RS) cortex impair spatial navigation, and how robust and reliable any such impairment is. The present study used a detailed behavioral analysis with naive or strategies-pretrained rats given RS lesions and trained in a water maze (WM). Naive RS lesioned rats failed to acquire the required WM strategies throughout training. Strategies-pretrained RS lesioned rats were specifically impaired in spatial place memory without a WM strategies impairment. Additional training overcame the spatial memory impairment. Thus the behavioral consequences of the lesion depend on the specific previous experience of the animal. The use of appropriate training and testing techniques has revealed experience-dependant dissociable impairments in WM strategies learning and in spatial memory, indicating that RS cortex is involved in both forms of learning.

  18. Auditory nerve spatial encoding of high-frequency pure tones: population response profiles derived from d' measure associated with nearby places along the cochlea.

    PubMed

    Kim, D O; Parham, K

    1991-03-01

    We examined a measure of discriminability in auditory nerve (AN) population responses that may underlie behavioral frequency discrimination of high-frequency pure tones in the cat. Population responses of high- (greater than = 15 spikes/s) and low- (less than 15 spikes/s) spontaneous rate (SR) AN fibers in unanesthetized decerebrate cats to 5 kHz pure tones were measured in the form of mean, mu, and standard deviation, sigma, of spike counts for 0.2 s tone bursts. The AN responses were analyzed in terms of a d'e(x, delta x) associated with adjoining cochlear places as defined in the manner of signal detection theory. We also examined sigma d'e(x, delta x), a spatial summation of the discriminability measure. The major findings are: (1) the d'e(x, delta x) function conveys information about 5 kHz pure tone frequency over a region of +/- 0.5 to 1.0 octave, or +/- 1.67 to 3.33 mm, around the characteristic place (CP), with the region being narrower at lower stimulus levels; (2) at 30 dB SPL, the integrated d'e(x, delta x) discriminability scores are similar for the apical and basal regions surrounding the CP whereas, at 70 dB SPL, the scores are higher for the apical region than for the basal region; and (3) at 50 and 70 dB SPL, the integrated d'e(x, delta x) discriminability scores of low-SR fibers were higher than those of high-SR fibers although, at 30 dB SPL, the latter were higher than the former. By using the cat cochlear frequency-place relationship and the inner hair cell (IHC) spacing, we interpret that the cat's frequency difference limen, delta f/f = 0.0088 at 4 kHz [Elliott et al., 1960, J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 32, 380-384], corresponds to a shift of cochlear excitation profile by 4.5 IHCs. From the present analysis of AN responses, we conclude that, for high-frequency pure tones, the d'e(x, delta x) code, an example of rate-place code, of frequency provides sufficient information to support the cat's behavioral frequency discrimination.

  19. Evolution of learning strategies in temporally and spatially variable environments: a review of theory.

    PubMed

    Aoki, Kenichi; Feldman, Marcus W

    2014-02-01

    The theoretical literature from 1985 to the present on the evolution of learning strategies in variable environments is reviewed, with the focus on deterministic dynamical models that are amenable to local stability analysis, and on deterministic models yielding evolutionarily stable strategies. Individual learning, unbiased and biased social learning, mixed learning, and learning schedules are considered. A rapidly changing environment or frequent migration in a spatially heterogeneous environment favors individual learning over unbiased social learning. However, results are not so straightforward in the context of learning schedules or when biases in social learning are introduced. The three major methods of modeling temporal environmental change--coevolutionary, two-timescale, and information decay--are compared and shown to sometimes yield contradictory results. The so-called Rogers' paradox is inherent in the two-timescale method as originally applied to the evolution of pure strategies, but is often eliminated when the other methods are used. Moreover, Rogers' paradox is not observed for the mixed learning strategies and learning schedules that we review. We believe that further theoretical work is necessary on learning schedules and biased social learning, based on models that are logically consistent and empirically pertinent.

  20. Evolution of learning strategies in temporally and spatially variable environments: A review of theory.

    PubMed

    Aoki, Kenichi; Feldman, Marcus W

    2013-09-23

    The theoretical literature from 1985 to the present on the evolution of learning strategies in variable environments is reviewed, with the focus on deterministic dynamical models that are amenable to local stability analysis, and on deterministic models yielding evolutionarily stable strategies. Individual learning, unbiased and biased social learning, mixed learning, and learning schedules are considered. A rapidly changing environment or frequent migration in a spatially heterogeneous environment favors individual learning over unbiased social learning. However, results are not so straightforward in the context of learning schedules or when biases in social learning are introduced. The three major methods of modeling temporal environmental change-coevolutionary, two-timescale, and information decay-are compared and shown to sometimes yield contradictory results. The so-called Rogers' paradox is inherent in the two-timescale method as originally applied to the evolution of pure strategies, but is often eliminated when the other methods are used. Moreover, Rogers' paradox is not observed for the mixed learning strategies and learning schedules that we review. We believe that further theoretical work is necessary on learning schedules and biased social learning, based on models that are logically consistent and empirically pertinent.

  1. Acute pentobarbital treatment impairs spatial learning and memory and hippocampal long-term potentiation in rats.

    PubMed

    Wang, Wei; Tan, Tao; Tu, Man; He, Wenting; Dong, Zhifang; Han, Huili

    2015-10-01

    Reports of the effects of pentobarbital on learning and memory are contradictory. Some studies have not shown any interference with learning and memory, whereas others have shown that pentobarbital impairs memory and that these impairments can last for long periods. However, it is unclear whether acute local microinjections of pentobarbital affect learning and memory, and if so, the potential mechanisms are also unclear. Here, we reported that the intra-hippocampal infusion of pentobarbital (8.0mM, 1μl per side) significantly impaired hippocampus-dependent spatial learning and memory retrieval. Moreover, in vitro electrophysiological recordings revealed that these behavioral changes were accompanied by impaired hippocampal CA1 long-term potentiation (LTP) and suppressed neuronal excitability as reflected by a decrease in the number of action potentials (APs). These results suggest that acute pentobarbital application causes spatial learning and memory deficits that might be attributable to the suppression of synaptic plasticity and neuronal excitability.

  2. Medial Auditory Thalamus Is Necessary for Acquisition and Retention of Eyeblink Conditioning to Cochlear Nucleus Stimulation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Halverson, Hunter E.; Poremba, Amy; Freeman, John H.

    2015-01-01

    Associative learning tasks commonly involve an auditory stimulus, which must be projected through the auditory system to the sites of memory induction for learning to occur. The cochlear nucleus (CN) projection to the pontine nuclei has been posited as the necessary auditory pathway for cerebellar learning, including eyeblink conditioning.…

  3. Interprofessional learning at work: what spatial theory can tell us about workplace learning in an acute care ward.

    PubMed

    Gregory, Linda Rosemary; Hopwood, Nick; Boud, David

    2014-05-01

    It is widely recognized that every workplace potentially provides a rich source of learning. Studies focusing on health care contexts have shown that social interaction within and between professions is crucial in enabling professionals to learn through work, address problems and cope with challenges of clinical practice. While hospital environments are beginning to be understood in spatial terms, the links between space and interprofessional learning at work have not been explored. This paper draws on Lefebvre's tri-partite theoretical framework of perceived, conceived and lived space to enrich understandings of interprofessional learning on an acute care ward in an Australian teaching hospital. Qualitative analysis was undertaken using data from observations of Registered Nurses at work and semi-structured interviews linked to observed events. The paper focuses on a ward round, the medical workroom and the Registrar's room, comparing and contrasting the intended (conceived), practiced (perceived) and pedagogically experienced (lived) spatial dimensions. The paper concludes that spatial theory has much to offer understandings of interprofessional learning in work, and the features of work environments and daily practices that produce spaces that enable or constrain learning.

  4. Dynamic microglial modulation of spatial learning and social behavior.

    PubMed

    Torres, Luisa; Danver, Joan; Ji, Kyungmin; Miyauchi, Jeremy T; Chen, Danling; Anderson, Maria E; West, Brian L; Robinson, John K; Tsirka, Stella E

    2016-07-01

    Microglia are active players in inflammation, but also have important supporting roles in CNS maintenance and function, including modulation of neuronal activity. We previously observed an increase in the frequency of excitatory postsynaptic current in organotypic brain slices after depletion of microglia using clodronate. Here, we describe that local hippocampal depletion of microglia by clodronate alters performance in tests of spatial memory and sociability. Global depletion of microglia by high-dose oral administration of a Csf1R inhibitor transiently altered spatial memory but produced no change in sociability behavior. Microglia depletion and behavior effects were both reversible, consistent with a dynamic role for microglia in the regulation of such behaviors.

  5. The non-credible score of the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test: is it better at predicting non-credible neuropsychological test performance than the RAVLT recognition score?

    PubMed

    Whitney, Kriscinda A; Davis, Jeremy J

    2015-03-01

    The ability of both the non-credible score of the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test (RAVLT NC) and the recognition score of the RAVLT (RAVLT Recog) to predict credible versus non-credible neuropsychological test performance was examined. Credible versus non-credible group membership was determined according to diagnostic criteria with consideration of performance on two stand-alone performance validity tests. Findings from this retrospective data analysis of outpatients seen for neuropsychological testing within a Veterans Affairs Medical Center (N = 175) showed that RAVLT Recog demonstrated better classification accuracy than RAVLT NC in predicting credible versus non-credible neuropsychological test performance. Specifically, an RAVLT Recog cutoff of ≤9 resulted in reasonable sensitivity (48%) and acceptable specificity (91%) in predicting non-credible neuropsychological test performance. Implications for clinical practice are discussed. Note: The views contained here within are those of the authors and not representative of the institutions with which they are associated.

  6. Spatial learning of the water maze: progression of brain circuits mapped with cytochrome oxidase histochemistry.

    PubMed

    Conejo, N M; González-Pardo, H; Gonzalez-Lima, F; Arias, J L

    2010-03-01

    The progression of brain circuits involved in spatial learning tasks is still a matter of debate. In addition, the participation of individual regions at different stages of spatial learning remains a controversial issue. In order to address these questions, we used quantitative cytochrome oxidase histochemistry as a metabolic brain mapping method applied to rats (Rattus norvegicus) trained in a water maze for 1, 3 or 5 days of training. Sustained changes throughout training were found in the lateral septal nucleus and anteroventral thalamic nucleus. As compared to naïve or habituation groups, rats with 1 day of training in the spatial learning task showed involvement of the lateral mammillary nucleus, basolateral amygdala and anterodorsal thalamic nucleus. By 5 days of training, there were mean changes in the hippocampal CA3 field and the prefrontal cortex. The regions involved and their pattern of network interactions changed progressively over days of training. At 1-day there was an open serial network of pairwise correlations. At 3-days there was a more closed reciprocal network of intercorrelations. At 5-days there were three separate parallel networks. In addition, brain-behavior correlations showed that CA1 and CA3 hippocampal fields together with the parietal cortex are related to the mastery of the spatial learning task. The present study extends previous findings on the progressive contribution of neural networks to spatial learning.

  7. Hippocampus-dependent place learning enables spatial flexibility in C57BL6/N mice.

    PubMed

    Kleinknecht, Karl R; Bedenk, Benedikt T; Kaltwasser, Sebastian F; Grünecker, Barbara; Yen, Yi-Chun; Czisch, Michael; Wotjak, Carsten T

    2012-01-01

    Spatial navigation is a fundamental capability necessary in everyday life to locate food, social partners, and shelter. It results from two very different strategies: (1) place learning which enables for flexible way finding and (2) response learning that leads to a more rigid "route following." Despite the importance of knockout techniques that are only available in mice, little is known about mice' flexibility in spatial navigation tasks. Here we demonstrate for C57BL6/N mice in a water-cross maze (WCM) that only place learning enables spatial flexibility and relearning of a platform position, whereas response learning does not. This capability depends on an intact hippocampal formation, since hippocampus lesions by ibotenic acid (IA) disrupted relearning. In vivo manganese-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging revealed a volume loss of ≥60% of the hippocampus as a critical threshold for relearning impairments. In particular the changes in the left ventral hippocampus were indicative of relearning deficits. In summary, our findings establish the importance of hippocampus-dependent place learning for spatial flexibility and provide a first systematic analysis on spatial flexibility in mice.

  8. Hyperspectral Imagery Super-Resolution by Compressive Sensing Inspired Dictionary Learning and Spatial-Spectral Regularization

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Wei; Xiao, Liang; Liu, Hongyi; Wei, Zhihui

    2015-01-01

    Due to the instrumental and imaging optics limitations, it is difficult to acquire high spatial resolution hyperspectral imagery (HSI). Super-resolution (SR) imagery aims at inferring high quality images of a given scene from degraded versions of the same scene. This paper proposes a novel hyperspectral imagery super-resolution (HSI-SR) method via dictionary learning and spatial-spectral regularization. The main contributions of this paper are twofold. First, inspired by the compressive sensing (CS) framework, for learning the high resolution dictionary, we encourage stronger sparsity on image patches and promote smaller coherence between the learned dictionary and sensing matrix. Thus, a sparsity and incoherence restricted dictionary learning method is proposed to achieve higher efficiency sparse representation. Second, a variational regularization model combing a spatial sparsity regularization term and a new local spectral similarity preserving term is proposed to integrate the spectral and spatial-contextual information of the HSI. Experimental results show that the proposed method can effectively recover spatial information and better preserve spectral information. The high spatial resolution HSI reconstructed by the proposed method outperforms reconstructed results by other well-known methods in terms of both objective measurements and visual evaluation. PMID:25608212

  9. The Effect of Spatial Working Memory Deterioration on Strategic Visuomotor Learning across Aging

    PubMed Central

    Uresti-Cabrera, Luis A.; Diaz, Rosalinda; Vaca-Palomares, Israel; Fernandez-Ruiz, Juan

    2015-01-01

    Objective. To evaluate the effect of age-related cognitive changes in a visuomotor learning task that depends on strategic control and contrast it with the effect in a task principally depending on visuomotor recalibration. Methods. Participants performed a ball throwing task while donning either a reversing dove prism or a displacement wedge prism, which mainly depend on strategic control or visuomotor recalibration, respectively. Visuomotor performance was then analysed in relation to rule acquisition and reversal, recognition memory, visual memory, spatial planning, and spatial working memory with tasks from the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB). Results. The results confirmed previous works showing a detrimental effect of age on visuomotor learning. The analyses of the cognitive changes observed across age showed that both strategic control and visuomotor recalibration had significant negative correlations only with the number of errors in the spatial working memory task. However, when the effect of aging was controlled, the only significant correlation remaining was between the reversal adaptation magnitude and spatial working memory. Discussion. These results suggest that spatial working memory decline across aging could contribute to age-dependent deterioration in both visuomotor learning processes. However, spatial working memory integrity seems to affect strategic learning decline even after controlling for aging. PMID:26290623

  10. Understanding the Correlations Among Undergraduates’ Spatial Reasoning Skills and Their Ability to Learn Astronomy Concepts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heyer, Inge

    2012-01-01

    We tacitly assume that astronomy is a conceptual domain deeply entrenched in three dimensions and that learners need to utilize spatial thinking to develop understanding of the field. In particular, cognitive science generally views students’ spatial thinking abilities as something that can be enhanced through purposeful instruction, whereas aptitude and ability to learn complex ideas might be immutable. Yet, precise investigations into the underlying relationship between students’ spatial reasoning ability and their ability to learn astronomy content in college science classes are beginning to reveal insight into how students cognitively engage in learning astronomy. In support, researchers at the CAPER Center for Astronomy and Physics Education Research conducted a first-steps correlational study of 148 non-science majoring undergraduate students. Using a single group, multiple-measures, longitudinal study design, students’ cognition was measured for pretest and posttest gains in astronomy understanding using established assessment tools, including the Test Of Astronomy STandards (TOAST) over the duration of instruction. In the middle of the semester they were tested for spatial reasoning ability using a subset of reliable spatial thinking assessment tools from the Spatial Intelligence and Learning Center (SILC). Results suggest some instructional techniques can be predicted as successful a priori while others are as yet unresolved. This work was supported, in part, by the Wyoming Excellence in Higher Education Endowment.

  11. Sleep Enhances a Spatially Mediated Generalization of Learned Values

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Javadi, Amir-Homayoun; Tolat, Anisha; Spiers, Hugo J.

    2015-01-01

    Sleep is thought to play an important role in memory consolidation. Here we tested whether sleep alters the subjective value associated with objects located in spatial clusters that were navigated to in a large-scale virtual town. We found that sleep enhances a generalization of the value of high-value objects to the value of locally clustered…

  12. Women and Spatial Change: Learning Resources for Social Science Courses.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rengert, Arlene C., Ed.; Monk, Janice J., Ed.

    Six units focusing on the effects of spatial change on women are designed to supplement college introductory courses in geography and the social sciences. Unit 1, Woman and Agricultural Landscapes, focuses on how women contributed to landscape change in prehistory, women's impact on the environment, and the hypothesis that women developed…

  13. Relationship between Spatial Abilities, Mental Rotation and Functional Anatomy Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Guillot, Aymeric; Champely, Stephane; Batier, Christophe; Thiriet, Patrice; Collet, Christian

    2007-01-01

    This study investigated the relationship between visuo-spatial representation, mental rotation (MR) and functional anatomy examination results. A total of 184 students completed the Group Embedded Figures Test (GEFT), Mental Rotation Test (MRT) and Gordon Test of Visual Imagery Control. The time spent on personal assignment was also considered.…

  14. Sex and boldness explain individual differences in spatial learning in a lizard

    PubMed Central

    Carazo, Pau; Noble, Daniel W. A.; Chandrasoma, Dani; Whiting, Martin J.

    2014-01-01

    Understanding individual differences in cognitive performance is a major challenge to animal behaviour and cognition studies. We used the Eastern water skink (Eulamprus quoyii) to examine associations between exploration, boldness and individual variability in spatial learning, a dimension of lizard cognition with important bearing on fitness. We show that males perform better than females in a biologically relevant spatial learning task. This is the first evidence for sex differences in learning in a reptile, and we argue that it is probably owing to sex-specific selective pressures that may be widespread in lizards. Across the sexes, we found a clear association between boldness after a simulated predatory attack and the probability of learning the spatial task. In contrast to previous studies, we found a nonlinear association between boldness and learning: both ‘bold’ and ‘shy’ behavioural types were more successful learners than intermediate males. Our results do not fit with recent predictions suggesting that individual differences in learning may be linked with behavioural types via high–low-risk/reward trade-offs. We suggest the possibility that differences in spatial cognitive performance may arise in lizards as a consequence of the distinct environmental variability and complexity experienced by individuals as a result of their sex and social tactics. PMID:24619443

  15. Using the Morris water maze to assess spatial learning and memory in weanling mice.

    PubMed

    Barnhart, Christopher D; Yang, Dongren; Lein, Pamela J

    2015-01-01

    Mouse models have been indispensable for elucidating normal and pathological processes that influence learning and memory. A widely used method for assessing these cognitive processes in mice is the Morris water maze, a classic test for examining spatial learning and memory. However, Morris water maze studies with mice have principally been performed using adult animals, which preclude studies of critical neurodevelopmental periods when the cellular and molecular substrates of learning and memory are formed. While weanling rats have been successfully trained in the Morris water maze, there have been few attempts to test weanling mice in this behavioral paradigm even though mice offer significant experimental advantages because of the availability of many genetically modified strains. Here, we present experimental evidence that weanling mice can be trained in the Morris water maze beginning on postnatal day 24. Maze-trained weanling mice exhibit significant improvements in spatial learning over the training period and results of the probe trial indicate the development of spatial memory. There were no sex differences in the animals' performance in these tasks. In addition, molecular biomarkers of synaptic plasticity are upregulated in maze-trained mice at the transcript level. These findings demonstrate that the Morris water maze can be used to assess spatial learning and memory in weanling mice, providing a potentially powerful experimental approach for examining the influence of genes, environmental factors and their interactions on the development of learning and memory.

  16. Hippocampal 5-HT1A Receptor and Spatial Learning and Memory

    PubMed Central

    Glikmann-Johnston, Yifat; Saling, Michael M.; Reutens, David C.; Stout, Julie C.

    2015-01-01

    Spatial cognition is fundamental for survival in the topographically complex environments inhabited by humans and other animals. The hippocampus, which has a central role in spatial cognition, is characterized by high concentration of serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine; 5-HT) receptor binding sites, particularly of the 1A receptor (5-HT1A) subtype. This review highlights converging evidence for the role of hippocampal 5-HT1A receptors in spatial learning and memory. We consider studies showing that activation or blockade of the 5-HT1A receptors using agonists or antagonists, respectively, lead to changes in spatial learning and memory. For example, pharmacological manipulation to induce 5-HT release, or to block 5-HT uptake, have indicated that increased extracellular 5-HT concentrations maintain or improve memory performance. In contrast, reduced levels of 5-HT have been shown to impair spatial memory. Furthermore, the lack of 5-HT1A receptor subtype in single gene knockout mice is specifically associated with spatial memory impairments. These findings, along with evidence from recent cognitive imaging studies using positron emission tomography (PET) with 5-HT1A receptor ligands, and studies of individual genetic variance in 5-HT1A receptor availability, strongly suggests that 5-HT, mediated by the 5-HT1A receptor subtype, plays a key role in spatial learning and memory. PMID:26696889

  17. LAMP: 100+ Systematic Exercise Lessons for Developing Linguistic Auditory Memory Patterns in Beginning Readers.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Valett, Robert E.

    Research findings on auditory sequencing and auditory blending and fusion, auditory-visual integration, and language patterns are presented in support of the Linguistic Auditory Memory Patterns (LAMP) program. LAMP consists of 100 developmental lessons for young students with learning disabilities or language problems. The lessons are included in…

  18. Selective enhancement of spatial learning under chronic psychosocial stress.

    PubMed

    Bartolomucci, Alessandro; de Biurrun, Gabriel; Czéh, Boldizsár; van Kampen, Marja; Fuchs, Eberhard

    2002-06-01

    The hippocampus has long been proved to be implicated in several learning and memory processes. Being integrated into the limbic-hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis, the hippocampus also plays an active role in the regulation of the stress response. Long lasting elevated levels of glucocorticoids resulting from a prolonged stress exposure affect hippocampal functions and structure, inducing learning and memory alterations and suppressing cell proliferation in the adult dentate gyrus. Here, adult male tree shrews (Tupaia belangeri) exposed to chronic psychosocial stress were tested repeatedly on a holeboard apparatus using two different learning tasks devised to evaluate hippocampal-dependent and hippocampal-independent cognitive function. We show that chronic stress enhanced learning in animals performing the hippocampal-dependent task, whereas no stress-induced effect was found in the hippocampal-independent task. Additionally, after five weeks of stress, cell proliferation was reduced in the hippocampal dentate gyrus. These results indicate that specific memory processes not only may remain intact, but indeed are facilitated by chronic stress, despite elevated cortisol levels and suppressed hippocampal cell proliferation.

  19. Spatial Learning Deficits in Adult Children of Alcoholic Parents.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schandler, Steven L.; And Others

    1991-01-01

    Investigated whether visuospatial deficits displayed by chronic alcoholics are present in persons at risk for alcoholism. Compared 17 social drinkers who were children of alcoholics and 17 who had no family alcoholism history. Visuospatial learning of children of alcoholics was significantly poorer than that of subjects with no family alcoholism…

  20. Spatial Context Learning Survives Interference from Working Memory Load

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vickery, Timothy J.; Sussman, Rachel S.; Jiang, Yuhong V.

    2010-01-01

    The human visual system is constantly confronted with an overwhelming amount of information, only a subset of which can be processed in complete detail. Attention and implicit learning are two important mechanisms that optimize vision. This study addressed the relationship between these two mechanisms. Specifically we asked, Is implicit learning…

  1. Location-Aware Mobile Learning of Spatial Algorithms

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Karavirta, Ville

    2013-01-01

    Learning an algorithm--a systematic sequence of operations for solving a problem with given input--is often difficult for students due to the abstract nature of the algorithms and the data they process. To help students understand the behavior of algorithms, a subfield in computing education research has focused on algorithm…

  2. Familiarity with Speech Affects Cortical Processing of Auditory Distance Cues and Increases Acuity

    PubMed Central

    Wisniewski, Matthew G.; Mercado, Eduardo; Gramann, Klaus; Makeig, Scott

    2012-01-01

    Several acoustic cues contribute to auditory distance estimation. Nonacoustic cues, including familiarity, may also play a role. We tested participants’ ability to distinguish the distances of acoustically similar sounds that differed in familiarity. Participants were better able to judge the distances of familiar sounds. Electroencephalographic (EEG) recordings collected while participants performed this auditory distance judgment task revealed that several cortical regions responded in different ways depending on sound familiarity. Surprisingly, these differences were observed in auditory cortical regions as well as other cortical regions distributed throughout both hemispheres. These data suggest that learning about subtle, distance-dependent variations in complex speech sounds involves processing in a broad cortical network that contributes both to speech recognition and to how spatial information is extracted from speech. PMID:22911734

  3. [An improved N-FINDR endmember extraction algorithm based on manifold learning and spatial information].

    PubMed

    Tang, Xiao-yan; Gao, Kun; Ni, Guo-qiang; Zhu, Zhen-yu; Cheng, Hao-bo

    2013-09-01

    An improved N-FINDR endmember extraction algorithm by combining manifold learning and spatial information is presented under nonlinear mixing assumptions. Firstly, adaptive local tangent space alignment is adapted to seek potential intrinsic low-dimensional structures of hyperspectral high-diemensional data and reduce original data into a low-dimensional space. Secondly, spatial preprocessing is used by enhancing each pixel vector in spatially homogeneous areas, according to the continuity of spatial distribution of the materials. Finally, endmembers are extracted by looking for the largest simplex volume. The proposed method can increase the precision of endmember extraction by solving the nonlinearity of hyperspectral data and taking advantage of spatial information. Experimental results on simulated and real hyperspectral data demonstrate that the proposed approach outperformed the geodesic simplex volume maximization (GSVM), vertex component analysis (VCA) and spatial preprocessing N-FINDR method (SPPNFINDR).

  4. Spatial Visualization Tasks to Support Students' Spatial Structuring in Learning Volume Measurement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Revina, Shintia; Zulkardi; Darmawijoyo; van Galen, Frans

    2011-01-01

    Many prior researches found that most of students in grade five tended to have difficulty in fully grasping the concept of volume measurement because they have to build their competence in spatial structuring. The unit of volume "packing" measurement must be integrated and coordinated in three-dimension. On the other hand, it is revealed…

  5. Differential activation of hippocampus and amygdala following spatial learning under stress.

    PubMed

    Akirav, I; Sandi, C; Richter-Levin, G

    2001-08-01

    We examined the activation of memory-related processes in the hippocampus and the amygdala following spatial learning under stress, in the rat. Animals were trained in a water maze in a massed spatial task under two stress conditions (cold and warm water). In the dorsal CA1, training was accompanied by increased phosphorylation of ERK2 only in animals that have acquired the task (irrespective of whether they were trained in cold or warm water). In the amygdala, significant activation of ERK2 was found only in animals that learned the task well under high levels of stress. Hence, the results suggest that the amygdala and the hippocampus are differentially activated following spatial learning, depending on the level of stress involved.

  6. Sleep enhances a spatially mediated generalization of learned values

    PubMed Central

    Tolat, Anisha; Spiers, Hugo J.

    2015-01-01

    Sleep is thought to play an important role in memory consolidation. Here we tested whether sleep alters the subjective value associated with objects located in spatial clusters that were navigated to in a large-scale virtual town. We found that sleep enhances a generalization of the value of high-value objects to the value of locally clustered objects, resulting in an impaired memory for the value of high-valued objects. Our results are consistent with (a) spatial context helping to bind items together in long-term memory and serve as a basis for generalizing across memories and (b) sleep mediating memory effects on salient/reward-related items. PMID:26373834

  7. Spatial and Temporal knowledge representation techniques for traditional machine learning classifiers applied to remote sensing data.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cervone, G.; Kafatos, M.

    2005-12-01

    Formulating general hypotheses from limited observations is one of the fundamental principles of scientific discovery. The data mining approach consists, among others, in generating new knowledge analyzing massive amounts of data and using background knowledge. Knowledge representation is one of the fundamental topics of data mining, because the representation language dictates which algorithms to use, as well as the effective usefulness of the learned hypotheses. Programs that use richer representation languages have the advantage of generating hypotheses that are compact and easy to understand, and the disadvantage of being more complex, slower and ususally with more control parameters. On the other hand, programs that use simpler representaiton languages overcome these shortcomings, but fail to generate hypotheses that can be easily interpreted and used for problem solving and decision making. Symbolic machine learning methods, such as decision rule classifiers, use a complex representation language which can be used to describe difficult concepts, and allow to cope with spatial and temporal data, such as remote sensing data. Because data are usually collected as a sequence of observations over time and in specific locations, very often it is necessary to find relations not only in the data per se, but also in the temporal and spatial distribution of the observations. Due to the increasingly large amount of spatial and temporal data collected and analyzed in several fields such as remote sensing, geographical information systems (GIS), bioinformatics, medicine, bank transactions, etc, spatial and temporal knowledge representaion has become a problem of crucial importance. Present research investigates methods to use existing symbolic machine learning classifiers with temporal and spatial data. The data are converted in a representation language which is suitable to learn spatial and temporal relationship without modifying the existing algorithms. Results from

  8. Spatial cues more salient than color cues in cotton-top tamarins (Saguinus oedipus) reversal learning.

    PubMed

    Gaudio, Jennifer L; Snowdon, Charles T

    2008-11-01

    Animals living in stable home ranges have many potential cues to locate food. Spatial and color cues are important for wild Callitrichids (marmosets and tamarins). Field studies have assigned the highest priority to distal spatial cues for determining the location of food resources with color cues serving as a secondary cue to assess relative ripeness, once a food source is located. We tested two hypotheses with captive cotton-top tamarins: (a) Tamarins will demonstrate higher rates of initial learning when rewarded for attending to spatial cues versus color cues. (b) Tamarins will show higher rates of correct responses when transferred from color cues to spatial cues than from spatial cues to color cues. The results supported both hypotheses. Tamarins rewarded based on spatial location made significantly more correct choices and fewer errors than tamarins rewarded based on color cues during initial learning. Furthermore, tamarins trained on color cues showed significantly increased correct responses and decreased errors when cues were reversed to reward spatial cues. Subsequent reversal to color cues induced a regression in performance. For tamarins spatial cues appear more salient than color cues in a foraging task.

  9. Learning the spatial features of a locomotor task is slowed after stroke

    PubMed Central

    Tyrell, Christine M.; Helm, Erin

    2014-01-01

    The capacity for humans to learn a new walking pattern has been explored with a split-belt treadmill during single sessions of adaptation, but the split-belt treadmill can also be used to study longer-term motor learning. Although the literature provides some information about motor learning after stroke, existing studies have primarily involved the upper extremity and the results are mixed. The purpose of this study was to characterize learning of a novel locomotor task in stroke survivors. We hypothesized that the presence of neurological dysfunction from stroke would result in slower learning of a locomotor task and decreased retention of what was learned and that these deficits would be related to level of sensorimotor impairment. Sixteen participants with stroke and sixteen neurologically intact participants walked on a split-belt treadmill for 15 min on 5 consecutive days and during a retention test. Step length and limb phase were measured to capture learning of the spatial and temporal aspects of walking. Learning the spatial pattern of split-belt treadmill walking was slowed after stroke compared with neurologically intact subjects, whereas there were no differences between these two groups in learning the temporal pattern. During the retention test, poststroke participants demonstrated equal retention of the split-belt treadmill walking pattern compared with those who were neurologically intact. The results suggest that although stroke survivors are slower to learn a new spatial pattern of gait, if given sufficient time they are able to do so to the same extent as those who are neurologically intact. PMID:24790172

  10. Gait disorder as a predictor of spatial learning and memory impairment in aged mice

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Qing M.; Meng, Zhaoxiang; Yin, Zhenglu

    2017-01-01

    Objective To investigate whether gait dysfunction is a predictor of severe spatial learning and memory impairment in aged mice. Methods A total of 100 12-month-old male mice that had no obvious abnormal motor ability and whose Morris water maze performances were not significantly different from those of two-month-old male mice were selected for the study. The selected aged mice were then divided into abnormal or normal gait groups according to the results from the quantitative gait assessment. Gaits of aged mice were defined as abnormal when the values of quantitative gait parameters were two standard deviations (SD) lower or higher than those of 2-month-old male mice. Gait parameters included stride length, variability of stride length, base of support, cadence, and average speed. After nine months, mice exhibiting severe spatial learning and memory impairment were separated from mice with mild or no cognitive dysfunction. The rate of severe spatial learning and memory impairment in the abnormal and normal gait groups was tested by a chi-square test and the correlation between gait dysfunction and decline in cognitive function was tested using a diagnostic test. Results The 12-month-old aged mice were divided into a normal gait group (n = 75) and an abnormal gait group (n = 25). Nine months later, three mice in the normal gait group and two mice in the abnormal gait group had died. The remaining mice were subjected to the Morris water maze again, and 17 out of 23 mice in the abnormal gait group had developed severe spatial learning and memory impairment, including six with stride length deficits, 15 with coefficient of variation (CV) in stride length, two with base of support (BOS) deficits, five with cadence dysfunction, and six with average speed deficits. In contrast, only 15 out of 72 mice in the normal gait group developed severe spatial learning and memory impairment. The rate of severe spatial learning and memory impairment was significantly higher in

  11. Spatial working memory and arithmetic deficits in children with nonverbal learning difficulties.

    PubMed

    Mammarella, Irene Cristina; Lucangeli, Daniela; Cornoldi, Cesare

    2010-01-01

    Visuospatial working memory and its involvement in arithmetic were examined in two groups of 7- to 11-year-olds: one comprising children described by teachers as displaying symptoms of nonverbal learning difficulties (N = 21), the other a control group without learning disabilities (N = 21). The two groups were matched for verbal abilities, age, gender, and sociocultural level. The children were presented with a visuospatial working memory battery of recognition tests involving visual, spatial-sequential and spatial-simultaneous processes, and two arithmetic tasks (number ordering and written calculations). The two groups were found to differ on some spatial tasks but not in the visual working memory tasks. On the arithmetic tasks, the children with nonverbal learning difficulties made more errors than controls in calculation and were slower in number ordering. A discriminant function analysis confirmed the crucial role of spatial-sequential working memory in distinguishing between the two groups. Results are discussed with reference to spatial working memory and arithmetic difficulties in nonverbal learning disabilities. Implications for the relationship between visuospatial working memory and arithmetic are also considered.

  12. Loss of spatial learning in a patient with topographical disorientation in new environments

    PubMed Central

    Turriziani, P; Carlesimo, G; Perri, R; Tomaiuolo, F; Caltagirone, C

    2003-01-01

    The case is described of a patient who, following cerebral hypoxia, developed severe difficulty in orienting himself in new environments in the context of a mild global amnesic syndrome. Some episodes he related suggested that his main difficulty was remembering the spatial/directional value of landmarks he recognised. A neuroradiological examination documented severe bilateral atrophy of the hippocampi associated with atrophic changes in the cerebral hemispheres, most marked in the dorsal regions. Neuropsychological and experimental evaluation showed a severe deficit of spatial learning with substantially preserved ability to learn verbal and visual-object information. He was also virtually unable to learn a route in a maze task based exclusively on spatial data, but the availability of visual cues substantially improved his learning. Finally, he performed within normal limits on various tests investigating knowledge acquired premorbidly regarding famous buildings, routes in the town he had been living in since childhood, and geography. Topographical disorientation may be subtended by a specific difficulty in storing the spatial/directional value of visual landmarks in novel environments. The hippocampus appears to be involved in the acquisition of new topographical spatial knowledge. PMID:12486268

  13. Telencephalic neurocircuitry and synaptic plasticity in rodent spatial learning and memory.

    PubMed

    Pooters, Tine; Van der Jeugd, Ann; Callaerts-Vegh, Zsuzsanna; D'Hooge, Rudi

    2015-09-24

    Spatial learning and memory in rodents represent close equivalents of human episodic declarative memory, which is especially sensitive to cerebral aging, neurodegeneration, and various neuropsychiatric disorders. Many tests and protocols are available for use in laboratory rodents, but Morris water maze and radial-arm maze remain the most widely used as well as the most valid and reliable spatial tests. Telencephalic neurocircuitry that plays functional roles in spatial learning and memory includes hippocampus, dorsal striatum and medial prefrontal cortex. Prefrontal-hippocampal circuitry comprises the major associative system in the rodent brain, and is critical for navigation in physical space, whereas interconnections between prefrontal cortex and dorsal striatum are probably more important for motivational or goal-directed aspects of spatial learning. Two major forms of synaptic plasticity, namely long-term potentiation, a lasting increase in synaptic strength between simultaneously activated neurons, and long-term depression, a decrease in synaptic strength, have been found to occur in hippocampus, dorsal striatum and medial prefrontal cortex. These and other phenomena of synaptic plasticity are probably crucial for the involvement of telencephalic neurocircuitry in spatial learning and memory. They also seem to play a role in the pathophysiology of two brain pathologies with episodic declarative memory impairments as core symptoms, namely Alzheimer's disease and schizophrenia. Further research emphasis on rodent telencephalic neurocircuitry could be relevant to more valid and reliable preclinical research on these most devastating brain disorders. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled SI: Brain and Memory.

  14. Interleukin-1beta induces anorexia but not spatial learning and memory deficits in the rat.

    PubMed

    Thomson, Lisa M; Sutherland, Robert J

    2006-06-30

    Sickness behaviors are a set of adaptive responses to infection that include lethargy, anorexia, and, of direct relevance to this work, learning and memory impairments. The proinflammatory cytokine, interleukin-1 beta (IL-1beta) has been proposed as the primary peripheral mediator of these sickness behaviors, though few studies have investigated the effects of peripheral IL-1beta on learning and memory. We used three different versions of the Morris water task (Morris water task), a spatial learning and memory task, to separately assess the effects of peripheral IL-1beta on acquisition, consolidation, and retention of spatial location information. Using a dose that induced anorexia, assessed as a significant reduction in body weight, we observed no performance impairments in the IL-1beta-treated rats across the different versions of the task, suggesting that peripheral IL-1beta alone is insufficient to induce spatial learning and memory impairments in the rat. The observed dissociation of anorexia and cognitive dysfunction suggests that, either spatial learning and memory are not principal components of the sickness response, or cognitive dysfunction requires different or additional peripheral mediator(s).

  15. Can zebrafish learn spatial tasks? An empirical analysis of place and single CS-US associative learning.

    PubMed

    Karnik, Indraneel; Gerlai, Robert

    2012-08-01

    The zebrafish may be an ideal tool with which genes underlying learning and memory can be identified and functionally investigated. From a translational viewpoint, relational learning and episodic memory are particularly important as their impairment is the hallmark of prevalent human neurodegenerative diseases. Recent reports suggest that zebrafish are capable of solving complex relational-type associative learning tasks, namely spatial learning tasks. However, it is not known whether good performance in these tasks was truly based upon relational learning or upon a single CS-US association. Here we study whether zebrafish can find a rewarding stimulus (sight of conspecifics) based upon a single associative cue or/and upon the location of the reward using a method conceptually similar to 'context and cue dependent fear conditioning' employed with rodents. Our results confirm that zebrafish can form an association between a salient visual cue and the rewarding stimulus and at the same time they can also learn where the reward is presented. Although our results do not prove that zebrafish form a dynamic spatial map of their surroundings and use this map to locate their reward, they do show that these fish perform similarly to rodents whose hippocampal function is unimpaired. These results further strengthen the notion that complex cognitive abilities exist in the zebrafish and thus they may be analyzed using the excellent genetic tool set developed for this simple vertebrate.

  16. Can zebrafish learn spatial tasks? An empirical analysis of place and single CS-US associative learning

    PubMed Central

    Karnik, Indraneel; Gerlai, Robert

    2012-01-01

    The zebrafish may be an ideal tool with which genes underlying learning and memory can be identified and functionally investigated. From a translational viewpoint, relational learning and episodic memory are particularly important as their impairment is the hallmark of prevalent human neurodegenerative diseases. Recent reports suggest that zebrafish are capable of solving complex relational-type associative learning tasks, namely spatial learning tasks. However, it is not known whether good performance in these tasks was truly based upon relational learning or upon a single CS-US association. Here we study whether zebrafish can find a rewarding stimulus (sight of conspecifics) based upon a single associative cue or/and upon the location of the reward using a method conceptually similar to ‘context and cue dependent fear conditioning’ employed with rodents. Our results confirm that zebrafish can form an association between a salient visual cue and the rewarding stimulus and at the same time they can also learn where the reward is presented. Although our results do not prove that zebrafish form a dynamic spatial map of their surroundings and use this map to locate their reward, they do show that these fish perform similarly to rodents whose hippocampal function is unimpaired. These results further strengthen the notion that complex cognitive abilities exist in the zebrafish and thus they may be analyzed using the excellent genetic tool set developed for this simple vertebrate. PMID:22633962

  17. The selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, escitalopram, enhances inhibition of prepotent responding and spatial reversal learning.

    PubMed

    Brown, Holden D; Amodeo, Dionisio A; Sweeney, John A; Ragozzino, Michael E

    2012-11-01

    Previous findings indicate treatment with a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) facilitates behavioral flexibility when conditions require inhibition of a learned response pattern. The present experiment investigated whether acute treatment with the SSRI, escitalopram, affects behavioral flexibility when conditions require inhibition of a naturally biased response pattern (elevated conflict test) and/or reversal of a learned response pattern (spatial reversal learning). An additional experiment was carried out to determine whether escitalopram, at doses that affected behavioral flexibility, also reduced anxiety as tested in the elevated plus-maze. In each experiment, Long-Evans rats received an intraperitoneal injection of either saline or escitalopram (0.03, 0.3 or 1.0 mg/kg) 30 min prior to behavioral testing. Escitalopram, at all doses tested, enhanced acquisition in the elevated conflict test, but did not affect performance in the elevated plus-maze. Escitalopram (0.3 and 1.0 mg/kg) did not alter acquisition of the spatial discrimination, but facilitated reversal learning. In the elevated conflict and spatial reversal learning test, escitalopram enhanced the ability to maintain the relevant strategy after being initially selected. The present findings suggest that enhancing serotonin transmission with an SSRI facilitates inhibitory processes when conditions require a shift away from either a naturally biased response pattern or a learned choice pattern.

  18. Quantitative proteomics of auditory fear conditioning.

    PubMed

    Hong, Ingie; Kang, Taewook; Yun, Ki Na; Yoo, YongCheol; Park, Sungmo; Kim, Jihye; An, Bobae; Song, Sukwoon; Lee, Sukwon; Kim, Jeongyeon; Song, Beomjong; Kwon, Kyung-Hoon; Kim, Jin Young; Park, Young Mok; Choi, Sukwoo

    2013-04-26

    Auditory fear conditioning is a well-characterized rodent learning model where a neutral auditory cue is paired with an aversive outcome to induce associative fear memory. The storage of long-term auditory fear memory requires long-term potentiation (LTP) in the lateral amygdala and de novo protein synthesis. Although many studies focused on individual proteins have shown their contribution to LTP and fear conditioning, non-biased genome-wide studies have only recently been possible with microarrays, which nevertheless fall short of measuring changes at the level of proteins. Here we employed quantitative proteomics to examine the expression of hundreds of proteins in the lateral amygdala in response to auditory fear conditioning. We found that various proteins previously implicated in LTP, learning and axon/dendrite growth were regulated by fear conditioning. A substantial number of proteins that were regulated by fear conditioning have not yet been studied specifically in learning or synaptic plasticity.

  19. Auditory-vocal mirroring in songbirds.

    PubMed

    Mooney, Richard

    2014-01-01

    Mirror neurons are theorized to serve as a neural substrate for spoken language in humans, but the existence and functions of auditory-vocal mirror neurons in the human brain remain largely matters of speculation. Songbirds resemble humans in their capacity for vocal learning and depend on their learned songs to facilitate courtship and individual recognition. Recent neurophysiological studies have detected putative auditory-vocal mirror neurons in a sensorimotor region of the songbird's brain that plays an important role in expressive and receptive aspects of vocal communication. This review discusses the auditory and motor-related properties of these cells, considers their potential role on song learning and communication in relation to classical studies of birdsong, and points to the circuit and developmental mechanisms that may give rise to auditory-vocal mirroring in the songbird's brain.

  20. Perceptual Load Influences Auditory Space Perception in the Ventriloquist Aftereffect

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Eramudugolla, Ranmalee; Kamke, Marc. R.; Soto-Faraco, Salvador; Mattingley, Jason B.

    2011-01-01

    A period of exposure to trains of simultaneous but spatially offset auditory and visual stimuli can induce a temporary shift in the perception of sound location. This phenomenon, known as the "ventriloquist aftereffect", reflects a realignment of auditory and visual spatial representations such that they approach perceptual alignment despite their…

  1. Acquisition of knowledge about spatial location: assessing the generality of the mechanism of learning.

    PubMed

    Chamizo, V D

    2003-02-01

    A selection of studies in the last 20 years is reviewed. These studies show basic Pavlovian phenomena in the spatial domain (like blocking, overshadowing, latent inhibition, and perceptual learning) with nonhuman subjects, specifically with rats, both in the radial maze and in the circular pool. The generality of these phenomena with respect to other species and to other spatial preparations is also discussed. The conclusion is that the mechanism responsible for the acquisition of knowledge about spatial location seems to be associative in nature.

  2. Adaptive information processing in auditory cortex. Annual report, 1 June 1987-31 May 1988

    SciTech Connect

    Weinberger, N.M.

    1988-05-31

    The fact that learning induces frequency-specific modification of receptive fields in auditory cortex implies that the functional organization of auditory (and perhaps other sensory) cortex comprises an adaptively-constituted information base. This project initiates the first systematic investigation of adaptive information processing in cerebral cortex. A major goal is to determine the circumstances under which adaptive information processing is induced by experience. This project also addresses central hypotheses about rules that govern adaptive information processing, at three levels of spatial scale: (a) parallel processing in different auditory fields: (b) modular processing in different cortical lamina within fields; (c) local processing in different neurons within the same locus within lamina. The author emphasized determining the learning circumstances under which adaptive information processing is invoked by the brain. Current studies reveal that the frequency receptive fields of neurons in the auditory cortex, and the physiologically plastic magnocellular medial geniculate nucleus, develop frequency-specific modification such that maximal shifts in tuning are at or adjacent to the signal frequency. Further, this adaptive re-tuning of neurons develops rapidly during habituation, classical conditioning, and instrumental avoidance conditioning. The generality of re-tuning has established that AIP during learning represents a general brain strategy for the acquisition and subsequent processing of information.

  3. The effect of arsenite on spatial learning: Involvement of autophagy and apoptosis.

    PubMed

    BonakdarYazdi, Behnoosh; Khodagholi, Fariba; Shaerzadeh, Fatemeh; Sharifzadeh, Azadeh; Ahmadi, Ramesh; Sanati, Mehdi; Mehdizadeh, Hajar; Payandehmehr, Borna; Vali, Leila; Jahromi, Mehrnoush Moghaddasi; Taghizadeh, Ghorban; Sharifzadeh, Mohammad

    2017-02-05

    Spatial learning plays a major role in one's information recording. Arsenic is one of ubiquitous environmental toxins with known neurological effects. However, studies investigating the effects of arsenic on spatial learning and related mechanisms are limited. This study was planned toexaminethe effects of bilateral intra-hippocampal infusion of different concentrations of sodium arsenite (5, 10 and 100nM, 5µl/side) on spatial learning in Wistar rats. Moreover, we evaluated levels of LC3-II, Atg7 and Atg12 as reliable biomarkers of autophagy and caspase-3 and Bax/Bcl-2 ratio as indicators of apoptosis in the hippocampus. Interestingly, low concentrations of sodium arsenite (5 and 10nM) significantly increased spatial acquisition but pre-training administration of sodium arsenite100nM did not significantly alter spatial learning. LC3-II levels were significantly increased in groups treated with sodium arsenite 5 and 10nM and decreased in the group receiving arsenite 100nM compared to the control group. Atg7 and Atg12 levels were obviously higher in all groups treated with sodium arsenite compared to control. However, caspase-3 cleavage and Bax/Bcl-2 ratio were notably greater in 100nM, and lesser in 5nM arsenite group in comparison with control animals. The results of this study showed that the low concentrations of sodium arsenite could facilitate spatial learning. This facilitation could be attributed to neuronal autophagy induced by low concentrations of sodium arsenite. These findings may help to clarify the regulatory pathways for apoptosis and autophagy balance due to sodium arsenite.

  4. A consistent but non-coincident visual pattern facilitates the learning of spatial relations among locations.

    PubMed

    Katz, Scott S; Brown, Michael F; Sturz, Bradley R

    2014-02-01

    Human participants searched in a dynamic three-dimensional computer-generated virtual-environment open-field search task for four hidden goal locations arranged in a diamond configuration located in a 5 × 5 matrix of raised bins. Participants were randomly assigned to one of two groups: visual pattern or visual random. All participants experienced 30 trials in which four goal locations maintained the same spatial relations to each other (i.e., a diamond pattern), but this diamond pattern moved to random locations within the 5 × 5 matrix from trial to trial. For participants in the visual pattern group, four locations were marked in a distinct color and arranged in a diamond pattern that moved to a random location independent of the hidden spatial pattern from trial to trial throughout the experimental session. For participants in the visual random group, four random locations were marked with a distinct color and moved to random locations independent from the hidden spatial pattern from trial to trial throughout the experimental session. As a result, the visual cues for the visual pattern group were consistent but not coincident with the hidden spatial pattern, whereas the visual cues for the visual random group were neither consistent nor coincident with the hidden spatial pattern. Results indicated that participants in both groups learned the spatial configuration of goal locations and that the presence of consistent but noncoincident visual cues facilitated the learning of spatial relations among locations.

  5. Effects of testosterone on spatial learning and memory in adult male rats

    PubMed Central

    Spritzer, Mark D.; Daviau, Emily D.; Coneeny, Meagan K.; Engelman, Shannon M.; Prince, W. Tyler; Rodriguez-Wisdom, Karlye N.

    2011-01-01

    A male advantage over females for spatial tasks has been well documented in both humans and rodents, but it remains unclear how the activational effects of testosterone influence spatial ability in males. In a series of experiments, we tested how injections of testosterone influenced the spatial working and reference memory of castrated male rats. In the eight-arm radial maze, testosterone injections (0.500 mg/rat) reduced the number of working memory errors during the early blocks of testing but had no effect on the number of reference memory errors relative to the castrated control group. In a reference memory version of the Morris water maze, injections of a wide range of testosterone doses (0.0625-1.000 mg/rat) reduced path lengths to the hidden platform, indicative of improved spatial learning. This improved learning was independent of testosterone dose, with all treatment groups showing better performance than the castrated control males. Furthermore, this effect was only observed when rats were given testosterone injections starting seven days prior to water maze testing and not when injections were given only on the testing days. We also observed that certain doses of testosterone (0.250 and 1.000 mg/rat) increased perseverative behavior in a reversal-learning task. Finally, testosterone did not have a clear effect on spatial working memory in the Morris water maze, although intermediate doses seemed to optimize performance. Overall, the results indicate that testosterone can have positive activational effects on spatial learning and memory, but the duration of testosterone replacement and the nature of the spatial task modify these effects. PMID:21295035

  6. Early experience and domestication affect auditory discrimination learning, open field behaviour and brain size in wild Mongolian gerbils and domesticated laboratory gerbils (Meriones unguiculatus forma domestica).

    PubMed

    Stuermer, Ingo W; Wetzel, Wolfram

    2006-10-02

    The influence of early experience and strain differences on auditory discrimination learning, open field behaviour and brain size was investigated in wild-type Mongolian gerbils (strain Ugoe:MU95) raised in the wild (wild F-0) or in the laboratory (wild F-1) and in domesticated Laboratory Gerbils (LAB). Adult males were conditioned for 10 days in a shuttle box go/no-go paradigm to discriminate two frequency-modulated tones. Significant learning was established within 5 days in wild F-0 and within 3 days in wild F-1 and LAB. Spontaneous jumps in the shuttle box (inter-trial crossings) were frequently seen in wild F-0 and F-1, but rarely in LAB. All groups exhibited nearly the same ability to remember after 2 weeks without training. In the open field test applied on 5 consecutive days, no differences in locomotion patterns and inner field preferences were found. Rearing frequency decreased over 5 days in wild gerbils. Running distances (4-6m/min) were similar in wild F-0 and LAB, but higher in wild F-1. The ratio of brain size to body weight did not differ between wild F-0 and F-1, but was 17.1% lower in LAB. Correspondingly high brain weights in wild F-1 and F-0 support our domestication hypothesis and negate any serious effect of early experience or captivity on brain size in Mongolian gerbils. In contrast, wild F-1 raised in the laboratory show a rapid improvement in learning performance, indicating that early experience rather that genetic differences between strains affect shuttle box discrimination learning in gerbils.

  7. Adaptive social learning strategies in temporally and spatially varying environments : how temporal vs. spatial variation, number of cultural traits, and costs of learning influence the evolution of conformist-biased transmission, payoff-biased transmission, and individual learning.

    PubMed

    Nakahashi, Wataru; Wakano, Joe Yuichiro; Henrich, Joseph

    2012-12-01

    Long before the origins of agriculture human ancestors had expanded across the globe into an immense variety of environments, from Australian deserts to Siberian tundra. Survival in these environments did not principally depend on genetic adaptations, but instead on evolved learning strategies that permitted the assembly of locally adaptive behavioral repertoires. To develop hypotheses about these learning strategies, we have modeled the evolution of learning strategies to assess what conditions and constraints favor which kinds of strategies. To build on prior work, we focus on clarifying how spatial variability, temporal variability, and the number of cultural traits influence the evolution of four types of strategies: (1) individual learning, (2) unbiased social learning, (3) payoff-biased social learning, and (4) conformist transmission. Using a combination of analytic and simulation methods, we show that spatial-but not temporal-variation strongly favors the emergence of conformist transmission. This effect intensifies when migration rates are relatively high and individual learning is costly. We also show that increasing the number of cultural traits above two favors the evolution of conformist transmission, which suggests that the assumption of only two traits in many models has been conservative. We close by discussing how (1) spatial variability represents only one way of introducing the low-level, nonadaptive phenotypic trait variation that so favors conformist transmission, the other obvious way being learning errors, and (2) our findings apply to the evolution of conformist transmission in social interactions. Throughout we emphasize how our models generate empirical predictions suitable for laboratory testing.

  8. A Transgenic Model for Learning Defects: Role of NF1 in Drosophila Visual-Spatial Learning

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2008-12-01

    mutants, and can be rescued by reducing Ras activity either genetically or pharmacologically. Conversely, olfactory learning defects observed in Nf1...which is distinct from the Mushroom Body region that is essential for olfactory learning. We hypothesize that visual learning defects in Nf1 mutant...also assayed olfactory learning acuity in Nf1 mutant flies that have been fed drugs that reduce Ras activity, or affect downstream targets of Ras/NF1

  9. Enhancement of spatial learning by predator odor in mice: involvement of amygdala and hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Galliot, Emmanuel; Levaillant, Maryline; Beard, Elidie; Millot, Jean-Louis; Pourié, Gregory

    2010-02-01

    Olfaction has particular links with learning and memory compared with other sensory cues, due to the interrelations between their neural circuitry. The present study deals with the effects of a putative stressor (i.e. a predator odor) on visuo-spatial learning in mice. Firstly, the results show that a predator odor spread during the Morris water maze task led to learning enhancement. In addition, a stereotaxic approach was used to investigate the involvement of the amygdala in this hippocampus-dependent type of learning. Thus, the performance of mice in visuo-spatial learning under predator odor conditions was dramatically reduced by an ibotenate bilateral amygdala lesion. The involvement of the amygdala was confirmed by a reduced expression of c-fos in the CA1 hippocampus of amygdala-lesioned mice at the end of the learning procedure. Mild exposure to a predator odor during hippocampus-dependent learning therefore leads to an enhancement of performance through the co-activation of the amygdala, probably by a stress mediated mechanism.

  10. Seizures in early life suppress hippocampal dendrite growth while impairing spatial learning.

    PubMed

    Nishimura, Masataka; Gu, Xue; Swann, John W

    2011-11-01

    Impaired learning and memory are common in epilepsy syndromes of childhood. Clinical investigations suggest that the developing brain may be particularly vulnerable to the effects of intractable seizure disorders. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies have demonstrated reduced volumes in brain regions involved in learning and memory. The earlier the onset of an epilepsy the larger the effects seem to be on both brain anatomy and cognition. Thus, childhood epilepsy has been proposed to interfere in some unknown way with brain development. Experiments reported here explore these ideas by examining the effects of seizures in infant mice on learning and memory and on the growth of CA1 hippocampal pyramidal cell dendrites. Fifteen brief seizures were induced by flurothyl between postnatal days 7 and 11 in mice that express green fluorescent protein (GFP) in hippocampal pyramidal cells. One to 44days later, dendritic arbors were reconstructed to measure growth. Spatial learning and memory were also assessed in a water maze. Our results show that recurrent seizures produced marked deficits in learning and memory. Seizures also dramatically slowed the growth of basilar dendrites while neurons in littermate control mice continued to add new dendritic branches and lengthen existing branches. When experiments were performed in older mice, seizures had no measureable effects on either dendrite arbor complexity or spatial learning and memory. Our results suggest that the recurring seizures of intractable childhood epilepsy contribute to associated learning and memory deficits by suppressing dendrite growth.

  11. Failure to learn a new spatial format in children with developmental dyslexia

    PubMed Central

    Pontillo, Maria; De Luca, Maria; Ellis, Andrew W.; Marinelli, Chiara Valeria; Spinelli, Donatella; Zoccolotti, Pierluigi

    2014-01-01

    A general problem in studying children with developmental dyslexia is how to separate inefficiency in learning on the one hand from exposure to written texts on the other. To evaluate dyslexic children's learning abilities with graphemic materials, we tested their improvement in a condition that minimized previous experience with words (i.e., “novel words”) and with the standard, horizontal spatial letter array (i.e., a non-canonical “zigzag” format). We selected five pairs of children with dyslexia and (younger) typically developing readers matched for reading speed and accuracy in these specific conditions. Reading performance on novel words in the zigzag format was measured in 23 sessions; learning curves were fitted by power functions. Similar to typically developing readers, children with dyslexia improved their reading of novel words presented in the new format; however, their rate of learning was slower than that of typically developing readers. Furthermore, their learning to read in the new format did not generalize to novel untrained items, whereas significant generalization was present in typically developing readers. As the failure to generalize learning of the spatial format could not be attributed to reduced experience, it indicates a genuine disability and points to impaired perceptual learning as a factor in developmental dyslexia. PMID:24785494

  12. Chlorpheniramine impairs spatial choice learning in telencephalon-ablated fish.

    PubMed

    Romaguera, Fernanda; Mattioli, Rosana

    2008-01-01

    This work investigated the effect of the H1 receptor blockade in the forebrain of ablated Carassius auratus in a simple stimulus-response learning task using a T-maze test with positive reinforcement. The goldfish were submitted to surgery for removal of both telencephalic lobes five days before beginning the experiment. A T-shaped glass aquarium was employed, with two feeders located at the extremities of the long arm. One of the two feeders was blocked. The experimental trials were performed in nine consecutive days. Each fish was individually placed in the short arm and confined there for thirty seconds, then it was allowed to swim through the aquarium to search for food for ten minutes (maximum period). Time to find food was analysed in seconds. Animals were injected intraperitoneally with chlorpheniramine (CPA) at 16 mg/kg of body weight or saline after every trial, ten minutes after being placed back in the home aquarium. The results show that all the training latencies of the A-SAL group were higher than the latencies of the S-SAL group. The S-SAL group had decreased latencies from the second trial on, while the S-CPA group showed decreased latencies after the fourth trial. The A-SAL group showed reduced latencies after the fifth trial, but the A-CPA group maintained the latencies throughout the experiment. This suggests that CPA impairs the consolidation of learning both on telencephalon ablated animals and in sham-operated ones through its action on mesencephalic structures of the brain and/or on the cerebellum in teleost fish.

  13. User Control and Task Authenticity for Spatial Learning in 3D Environments

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dalgarno, Barney; Harper, Barry

    2004-01-01

    This paper describes two empirical studies which investigated the importance for spatial learning of view control and object manipulation within 3D environments. A 3D virtual chemistry laboratory was used as the research instrument. Subjects, who were university undergraduate students (34 in the first study and 80 in the second study), undertook…

  14. THE EFFECT OF SELECTED SPATIAL DESIGN FACTORS IN EDUCATIONAL DISPLAYS ON LEARNING AND RETENTION.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    ROCKETT, AGNES M.; SAUL, EZRA V.

    CRITERIA WERE DEVELOPED FOR THE DESIGN OF LABELS IN VERBAL-PICTORIAL EDUCATIONAL DISPLAYS. THE INFLUENCE OF SPATIAL DISTRIBUTION OF LABELS ON EASE OF LEARNING AND DEGREE OF RETENTION WAS INVESTIGATED. THIRTY ANATOMICAL PARTS OF THE HUMAN DIGESTIVE TRACT WERE LABELED ON 10 CHARTS SHOWING THE SAME DIAGRAM OF THE HUMAN BODY, BUT WITH DIFFERENT…

  15. Who Benefits from Learning with 3D Models?: The Case of Spatial Ability

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Huk, T.

    2006-01-01

    Empirical studies that focus on the impact of three-dimensional (3D) visualizations on learning are to date rare and inconsistent. According to the ability-as-enhancer hypothesis, high spatial ability learners should benefit particularly as they have enough cognitive capacity left for mental model construction. In contrast, the…

  16. Semantic Features, Perceptual Expectations, and Frequency as Factors in the Learning of Polar Spatial Adjective Concepts.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dunckley, Candida J. Lutes; Radtke, Robert C.

    Two semantic theories of word learning, a perceptual complexity hypothesis (H. Clark, 1970) and a quantitative complexity hypothesis (E. Clark, 1972) were tested by teaching 24 preschoolers and 16 college students CVC labels for five polar spatial adjective concepts having single word representations in English, and for three having no direct…

  17. Variable impact of chronic stress on spatial learning and memory in BXD mice.

    PubMed

    Shea, Chloe J A; Carhuatanta, Kimberly A K; Wagner, Jessica; Bechmann, Naomi; Moore, Raquel; Herman, James P; Jankord, Ryan

    2015-10-15

    The effects of chronic stress on learning are highly variable across individuals. This variability stems from gene-environment interactions. However, the mechanisms by which stress affects genetic predictors of learning are unclear. Thus, we aim to determine whether the genetic pathways that predict spatial memory performance are altered by previous exposure to chronic stress. Sixty-two BXD recombinant inbred strains of mice, as well as parent strains C57BL/6J and DBA/2J, were randomly assigned as behavioral control or to a chronic variable stress paradigm and then underwent behavioral testing to assess spatial memory and learning performance using the Morris water maze. Quantitative trait loci (QTL) mapping was completed for average escape latency times for both control and stress animals. Loci on chromosomes 5 and 10 were found in both control and stress environmental populations; eight additional loci were found to be unique to either the control or stress environment. In sum, results indicate that certain genetic loci predict spatial memory performance regardless of prior stress exposure, while exposure to stress also reveals unique genetic predictors of training during the memory task. Thus, we find that genetic predictors contributing to spatial learning and memory are susceptible to the presence of chronic stress.

  18. Increasing Content-Area Learning: A Comparison of Mnemonic and Visual-Spatial Direct Instruction.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Scruggs, Thomas E.; And Others

    In two experiments, learning disabled (LD) students were taught attributes of North American minerals via mnemonic instruction, free study, or a visual-spatial display condition similar to that proposed by Engelmann and Carnine (1982). In the first experiement, 36 junior high school-age LD students were taught specific attribute values (hardness =…

  19. Incidental Learning of Links during Navigation: The Role of Visuo-Spatial Capacity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rouet, Jean-Francois; Voros, Zsofia; Pleh, Csaba

    2012-01-01

    We investigated the impact of readers' visuo-spatial (VS) capacity on their incidental learning of page links during the exploration of simple hierarchical hypertextual documents. Forty-three university students were asked to explore a series of hypertexts for a limited period of time. Then the participants were asked to recall the layout and the…

  20. Learning to Think Spatially: GIS as a Support System in the K-12 Curriculum

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National Academies Press, 2006

    2006-01-01

    Spatial thinking is a cognitive skill that can be used in everyday life, the workplace, and science to structure problems, find answers, and express solutions using the properties of space. It can be learned and taught formally to students using appropriately designed tools, technologies, and curricula. This report explains the nature and…

  1. Neurobiological and Endocrine Correlates of Individual Differences in Spatial Learning Ability

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sandi, Carmen; Cordero, M. Isabel; Merino, Jose J.; Kruyt, Nyika D.; Regan, Ciaran M.; Murphy, Keith J.

    2004-01-01

    The polysialylated neural cell adhesion molecule (PSA-NCAM) has been implicated in activity-dependent synaptic remodeling and memory formation. Here, we questioned whether training-induced modulation of PSA-NCAM expression might be related to individual differences in spatial learning abilities. At 12 h posttraining, immunohistochemical analyses…

  2. Blocking of Spatial Learning between Enclosure Geometry and a Local Landmark

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wilson, Paul N.; Alexander, Tim

    2008-01-01

    In a virtual environment, blocking of spatial learning to locate an invisible target was found reciprocally between a distinctively shaped enclosure and a local landmark within its walls. The blocking effect was significantly stronger when the shape of the enclosure rather than the landmark served as the blocking cue. However, the extent to which…

  3. Does Spatial Ability Help the Learning of Anatomy in a Biomedical Science Course?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sweeney, Kevin; Hayes, Jennifer A.; Chiavaroli, Neville

    2014-01-01

    A three-dimensional appreciation of the human body is the cornerstone of clinical anatomy. Spatial ability has previously been found to be associated with students' ability to learn anatomy and their examination performance. The teaching of anatomy has been the subject of major change over the last two decades with the reduction in time spent…

  4. The Effects of Spatial Configuration on Preschoolers' Attention Strategies, Selective Attention, and Incidental Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Blumberg, Fran C.; Torenberg, Meira

    2005-01-01

    This study investigated the effects of spatial arrangement on preschool children's selective attention and incidental learning. Three- and four-year old children were shown a multi-coloured box designated as a "special place" containing miniature chairs and models of animals. One category of objects were designated as relevant and one as…

  5. Learning the Visualisation of Three-Dimensional Spatial Relationships in Diagrams at Different Ages in Bahrain.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Seddon, G. M.; Shubber, K. E.

    1985-01-01

    Evaluated effectiveness of six instructional programs (each dealing with a different aspect of a spatial task related to diagrams of three-dimensional structures) with Bahraini students (ages 13- to 17-years-old). All brought about a significant degree of learning over all age groups. Implications of these and other findings are discussed.…

  6. Showercap Mindmap: A Spatial Activity for Learning Physiology Terminology and Location

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vanags, Thea; Budimlic, Mira; Herbert, Elissa; Montgomery, Melena M.; Vickers, Tracy

    2012-01-01

    Students struggle with the volume and complexity of physiology terminology. We compared first-year undergraduate psychology students' learning of physiological terms using two teaching methods: one verbal (control group; n = 16) and one spatial and multisensory (experimental group; n = 19). The experimental group used clear plastic shower caps to…

  7. A Computer-Based Spatial Learning Strategy Approach That Improves Reading Comprehension and Writing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ponce, Hector R.; Mayer, Richard E.; Lopez, Mario J.

    2013-01-01

    This article explores the effectiveness of a computer-based spatial learning strategy approach for improving reading comprehension and writing. In reading comprehension, students received scaffolded practice in translating passages into graphic organizers. In writing, students received scaffolded practice in planning to write by filling in graphic…

  8. Fractal dimensions: A new paradigm to assess spatial memory and learning using Morris water maze.

    PubMed

    Singh, Surjeet; Kaur, Harpreet; Sandhir, Rajat

    2016-02-15

    Morris water maze has been widely used for analysis of cognitive functions and relies on the time taken by animal to find the platform i.e. escape latency as a parameter to quantify spatial memory and learning. However, escape latency is confounded by swimming speed which is not necessarily a cognitive factor. Rather, path length may be a more appropriate and reliable parameter to assess spatial learning. This paper presents fractal dimension as a new paradigm to assess spatial memory and learning in animals. Male wistar rats were administrated with pentylenetetrazole and scopolamine to induce chronic epilepsy and dementia respectively. Fractal dimension of the random path followed by the animals on Morris water maze was analyzed and statistically compared among different experimental groups; the results suggest that fractal dimension is more reliable and accurate parameter to assess cognitive deficits compared to escape latency. Thus, the present study suggests that fractal dimensions could be used as an independent parameter to assess spatial memory and learning in animals using Morris water maze.

  9. Fluoxetine Restores Spatial Learning but Not Accelerated Forgetting in Mesial Temporal Lobe Epilepsy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barkas, Lisa; Redhead, Edward; Taylor, Matthew; Shtaya, Anan; Hamilton, Derek A.; Gray, William P.

    2012-01-01

    Learning and memory dysfunction is the most common neuropsychological effect of mesial temporal lobe epilepsy, and because the underlying neurobiology is poorly understood, there are no pharmacological strategies to help restore memory function in these patients. We have demonstrated impairments in the acquisition of an allocentric spatial task,…

  10. Knockdown of Nurr1 in the Rat Hippocampus: Implications to Spatial Discrimination Learning and Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Colon-Cesario, Wanda I.; Martinez-Montemayor, Michelle M.; Morales, Sohaira; Felix, Jahaira; Cruz, Juan; Adorno, Monique; Pereira, Lixmar; Colon, Nydia; Maldonado-Vlaar, Carmen S.; Pena de Ortiz, Sandra

    2006-01-01

    Nurr1 expression is up-regulated in the brain following associative learning experiences, but its relevance to cognitive processes remains unclear. In these studies, rats initially received bilateral hippocampal infusions of control or antisense oligodeoxynucleotides (ODNs) 1 hour prior to training in a holeboard spatial discrimination task. Such…

  11. Spatial Visualization as Mediating between Mathematics Learning Strategy and Mathematics Achievement among 8th Grade Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rabab'h, Belal; Veloo, Arsaythamby

    2015-01-01

    Jordanian 8th grade students revealed low achievement in mathematics through four periods (1999, 2003, 2007 & 2011) of Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS). This study aimed to determine whether spatial visualization mediates the affect of Mathematics Learning Strategies (MLS) factors namely mathematics attitude,…

  12. Speech perception as complex auditory categorization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holt, Lori L.

    2002-05-01

    Despite a long and rich history of categorization research in cognitive psychology, very little work has addressed the issue of complex auditory category formation. This is especially unfortunate because the general underlying cognitive and perceptual mechanisms that guide auditory category formation are of great importance to understanding speech perception. I will discuss a new methodological approach to examining complex auditory category formation that specifically addresses issues relevant to speech perception. This approach utilizes novel nonspeech sound stimuli to gain full experimental control over listeners' history of experience. As such, the course of learning is readily measurable. Results from this methodology indicate that the structure and formation of auditory categories are a function of the statistical input distributions of sound that listeners hear, aspects of the operating characteristics of the auditory system, and characteristics of the perceptual categorization system. These results have important implications for phonetic acquisition and speech perception.

  13. The role of early auditory development in attachment and communication.

    PubMed

    Moon, Christine

    2011-12-01

    Auditory perception and learning take place during the third trimester of gestation. Fetuses and newborns who lack typical auditory experience can go on to develop typical socioemotional attachment and language, given a supportive environment. For hospitalized preterm infants in developmentally sensitive neonatal intensive care units, detrimental effects of deviant early auditory experience may be remediated by later experience, but much is unknown about the causes of language deficits of prematurity. Prenatal auditory stimulation programs that incorporate audio speakers against the maternal belly should be discouraged because of possible overstimulation effects on the developing auditory system and sleep/wake state organization.

  14. Learning Novel Phonological Representations in Developmental Dyslexia: Associations with Basic Auditory Processing of Rise Time and Phonological Awareness

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thomson, Jennifer M.; Goswami, Usha

    2010-01-01

    Across languages, children with developmental dyslexia are known to have impaired lexical phonological representations. Here, we explore associations between learning new phonological representations, phonological awareness, and sensitivity to amplitude envelope onsets (rise time). We show that individual differences in learning novel phonological…

  15. Spatially-varying metric learning for diffeomorphic image registration: a variational framework.

    PubMed

    Vialard, François-Xavier; Risser, Laurent

    2014-01-01

    This paper introduces a variational strategy to learn spatially-varying metrics on large groups of images, in the Large Deformation Diffeomorphic Metric Mapping (LDDMM) framework. Spatially-varying metrics we learn not only favor local deformations but also correlated deformations in different image regions and in different directions. In addition, metric parameters can be efficiently estimated using a gradient descent method. We first describe the general strategy and then show how to use it on 3D medical images with reasonable computational ressources. Our method is assessed on the 3D brain images of the LPBA40 dataset. Results are compared with ANTS-SyN and LDDMM with spatially-homogeneous metrics.

  16. Spatial water maze learning using celestial cues by the meadow vole, Microtus pennsylvanicus.

    PubMed

    Kavaliers, M; Galea, L A

    1994-03-31

    The Morris water maze is widely used to evaluate to evaluate the spatial learning ability of rodents under laboratory settings. The present study demonstrates that reproductive male meadow voles, Microtus pennsylvanicus, are able to acquire and retain a spatial water maze task using celestial cues. Voles were able to acquire a modified outdoor Morris water maze task over 4 trials per day, whereby they had to learn and remember the location of a submerged hidden platform, using the position of the sun and associated celestial cues. Their proficiency on this task was related to the availability of the celestial cues, with voles displaying significantly poorer spatial navigation on overcast than clear days and when the testing time (and position of the sun and associated celestial cues) was shifted from morning to afternoon. These findings with meadow voles support the ecological relevance of the water maze task.

  17. Representation of survey and route spatial descriptions in children with nonverbal (visuospatial) learning disabilities.

    PubMed

    Mammarella, Irene C; Meneghetti, Chiara; Pazzaglia, Francesca; Gitti, Filippo; Gomez, Claudia; Cornoldi, Cesare

    2009-11-01

    This study aims to investigate the types of difficulty encountered by children with nonverbal (visuospatial) learning disabilities (NLD) during the processing of spatial information derived from descriptions. Two spatial descriptions--one in survey, one in route perspective--and one nonspatial description were orally presented to children aged 9-12 divided in three groups: (i) with NLD (N=12), (ii) with reading disability (RD) (N=11), and (iii) without learning disabilities who served as controls (N=16). Children performed two tasks: sentence verification and location. In the verification task, NLD performed worse in survey text than control and RD groups. Moreover, in the location task NLD were worse than controls in both survey and route descriptions, but significantly poorer than the RD group only in the survey description. The results are discussed considering their implications in understanding the neuropsychological profile of NLD and the processes involved by different types of spatial descriptions.

  18. Treadmill exercise enhances spatial learning ability through suppressing hippocampal apoptosis in Huntington's disease rats.

    PubMed

    Ji, Eun-Sang; Kim, You-Mi; Shin, Mal-Soon; Kim, Chang-Ju; Lee, Kwang-Sik; Kim, Kijeong; Ha, Jonglin; Chung, Yong-Rak

    2015-06-01

    Huntington's disease is a chronic neurodegenerative disorder inherited in an autosomal dominant fashion, and characterized as involuntary movement. Quinolinic acid has been used to produce an animal model of Huntington's disease. In the present study, the effect of treadmill exercise on spatial-learning ability and motor coordination focusing on the apoptosis in the hippocampus was investigated using quinolinic acid-induced Huntington's disease rats. Huntington's disease was induced by unilateral intrastriatal injection of quinolinic acid (2 μL of 100 nmol) using stereotaxic instrument. The rats in the treadmill exercise groups were subjected to run on a treadmill for 30 min once a day during 14 days. Spatial learning ability and motor coordination were determined by radial 8-arm maze test and rota-rod test. Immunohistochemistry for caspase-3 and western blot for Bax and Bcl-2 were also conducted for the detection of apoptosis. In the present results, spatial learning ability and motor coordination were deteriorated by intrastriatal injection of quinolinic acid. In contrast, treadmill exercise exerted ameliorating effect on quinolinic acid-induced deterioration of spatial learning ability and motor coordination. Bcl-2 expression in the hippocampus was de-creased and expressions of casepase-3 and Bax in the hippocampus were increased in the quinolinic acid-induced Huntington's disease rats. Treadmill exercise increased Bcl-2 expression and decreased expressions of casepase-3 and Bax in the Huntington's disease rats. The present results showed that treadmill exercise might ameliorate quinolinic acid-induced loss of spatial learning ability and motor coordination by suppressing apoptosis in the hippocampus.

  19. Sleep directly following learning benefits consolidation of spatial associative memory.

    PubMed

    Talamini, Lucia M; Nieuwenhuis, Ingrid L C; Takashima, Atsuko; Jensen, Ole

    2008-04-01

    The last decade has brought forth convincing evidence for a role of sleep in non-declarative memory. A similar function of sleep in episodic memory is supported by various correlational studies, but direct evidence is limited. Here we show that cued recall of face-location associations is significantly higher following a 12-h retention interval containing sleep than following an equally long period of waking. Furthermore, retention is significantly higher over a 24-h sleep-wake interval than over an equally long wake-sleep interval. This difference occurs because retention during sleep was significantly better when sleep followed learning directly, rather than after a day of waking. These data demonstrate a beneficial effect of sleep on memory that cannot be explained solely as a consequence of reduced interference. Rather, our findings suggest a competitive consolidation process, in which the fate of a memory depends, at least in part, on its relative stability at sleep onset: Strong memories tend to be preserved, while weaker memories erode still further. An important aspect of memory consolidation may thus result from the removal of irrelevant memory "debris."

  20. Exposure to radiation accelerates normal brain aging and produces deficits in spatial learning and memory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shukitt-Hale, B.; Casadesus, G.; Carey, A.; Rabin, B. M.; Joseph, J. A.

    Previous studies have shown that radiation exposure, particularly to particles of high energy and charge (HZE particles), produces deficits in spatial learning and memory. These adverse behavioral effects are similar to those seen in aged animals. It is possible that these shared effects may be produced by the same mechanism; oxidative stress damage to the central nervous system caused by an increased release of reactive oxygen species is likely responsible for the deficits seen in aging and following irradiation. Both aged and irradiated rats display cognitive impairment in tests of spatial learning and memory such as the Morris water maze and the radial arm maze. These rats have decrements in the ability to build spatial representations of the environment and they utilize non-spatial strategies to solve tasks. Furthermore, they show a lack of spatial preference, due to a decline in the ability to process or retain place (position of a goal with reference to a "map" provided by the configuration of numerous cues in the environment) information. These declines in spatial memory occur in measures dependent on both reference and working memory, and in the flexibility to reset mental images. These results show that irradiation with high-energy particles produces age-like decrements in cognitive behavior that may impair the ability of astronauts to perform critical tasks during long-term space travel beyond the magnetosphere. Supported by NASA Grants NAG9-1190 and NAG9-1529

  1. Acute stress differentially affects spatial configuration learning in high and low cortisol-responding healthy adults

    PubMed Central

    Meyer, Thomas; Smeets, Tom; Giesbrecht, Timo; Quaedflieg, Conny W. E. M.; Merckelbach, Harald

    2013-01-01

    Background Stress and stress hormones modulate memory formation in various ways that are relevant to our understanding of stress-related psychopathology, such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Particular relevance is attributed to efficient memory formation sustained by the hippocampus and parahippocampus. This process is thought to reduce the occurrence of intrusions and flashbacks following trauma, but may be negatively affected by acute stress. Moreover, recent evidence suggests that the efficiency of visuo-spatial processing and learning based on the hippocampal area is related to PTSD symptoms. Objective The current study investigated the effect of acute stress on spatial configuration learning using a spatial contextual cueing task (SCCT) known to heavily rely on structures in the parahippocampus. Method Acute stress was induced by subjecting participants (N = 34) to the Maastricht Acute Stress Test (MAST). Following a counterbalanced within-subject approach, the effects of stress and the ensuing hormonal (i.e., cortisol) activity on subsequent SCCT performance were compared to SCCT performance following a no-stress control condition. Results Acute stress did not impact SCCT learning overall, but opposing effects emerged for high versus low cortisol responders to the MAST. Learning scores following stress were reduced in low cortisol responders, while high cortisol-responding participants showed improved learning. Conclusions The effects of stress on spatial configuration learning were moderated by the magnitude of endogenous cortisol secretion. These findings suggest a possible mechanism by which cortisol responses serve an adaptive function during stress and trauma, and this may prove to be a promising route for future research in this area. PMID:23671762

  2. Severity of spatial learning impairment in aging: Development of a learning index for performance in the Morris water maze.

    PubMed

    Gallagher, Michela; Burwell, Rebecca; Burchinal, Margaret

    2015-08-01

    The Morris water maze task was originally designed to assess the rat's ability to learn to navigate to a specific location in a relatively large spatial environment. This article describes new measures that provide information about the spatial distribution of the rat's search during both training and probe trial performance. The basic new measure optimizes the use of computer tracking to identify the rat's position with respect to the target location. This proximity measure was found to be highly sensitive to age-related impairment in an assessment of young and aged male Long-Evans rats. Also described is the development of a learning index that provides a continuous, graded measure of the severity of age-related impairment in the task. An index of this type should be useful in correlational analyses with other neurobiological or behavioral measures for the study of individual differences in functional/biological decline in aging.

  3. The spatial learning and memory performance in methamphetamine–sensitized and withdrawn rats

    PubMed Central

    Bigdeli, Imanollah; Asia, Masomeh Nikfarjam- Haft; Miladi-Gorji, Hossein; Fadaei, Atefeh

    2015-01-01

    Objective(s): There is controversial evidence about the effect of methamphetamine (METH) on spatial memory. We tested the time- dependent effects of METH on spatial short-term (working) and long-term (reference) memory in METH –sensitized and withdrawn rats in the Morris water maze. Materials and Methods: Rats were sensitized to METH (2 mg/kg, daily/5 days, SC). Rats were trained in water maze (4 trials/day/for 5 days). Probe test was performed 24 hr after training. Two days after probe test, working memory training (2 trials/day/for 5 days) was conducted. Acquisition–retention interval was 75 min. The treatment was continued per day 30 and 120 min before the test. Two groups of METH –sensitized rats were trained in reference memory after a longer period of withdrawal (30 days). Results: Sensitized rats exhibited significantly longer escape latencies on the training, spent significantly less time in the target zone (all, P<0.05), and their working memory impaired 30 min after injection. While, METH has no effect on the spatial learning process 120 min after injection, and rats spent significantly less time in the target zone (P<0.05), as well it has no effect on working memory. Also, impairment of reference memory persisted after prolonged abstinence. Conclusion: Our findings indicated that METH impaired spatial learning and memory 30 min after injection, but spared spatial learning, either acquisition or retention of spatial working, but partially impaired retention of spatial reference memory following 120 min after injection in sensitized rats, which persisted even after prolonged abstinence. PMID:25945235

  4. Bilateral cochlear implants in children: Effects of auditory experience and deprivation on auditory perception.

    PubMed

    Litovsky, Ruth Y; Gordon, Karen

    2016-08-01

    Spatial hearing skills are essential for children as they grow, learn and play. These skills provide critical cues for determining the locations of sources in the environment, and enable segregation of important sounds, such as speech, from background maskers or interferers. Spatial hearing depends on availability of monaural cues and binaural cues. The latter result from integration of inputs arriving at the two ears from sounds that vary in location. The binaural system has exquisite mechanisms for capturing differences between the ears in both time of arrival and intensity. The major cues that are thus referred to as being vital for binaural hearing are: interaural differences in time (ITDs) and interaural differences in levels (ILDs). In children with normal hearing (NH), spatial hearing abilities are fairly well developed by age 4-5 years. In contrast, most children who are deaf and hear through cochlear implants (CIs) do not have an opportunity to experience normal, binaural acoustic hearing early in life. These children may function by having to utilize auditory cues that are degraded with regard to numerous stimulus features. In recent years there has been a notable increase in the number of children receiving bilateral CIs, and evidence suggests that while having two CIs helps them function better than when listening through a single CI, these children generally perform worse than their NH peers. This paper reviews some of the recent work on bilaterally implanted children. The focus is on measures of spatial hearing, including sound localization, release from masking for speech understanding in noise and binaural sensitivity using research processors. Data from behavioral and electrophysiological studies are included, with a focus on the recent work of the authors and their collaborators. The effects of auditory plasticity and deprivation on the emergence of binaural and spatial hearing are discussed along with evidence for reorganized processing from both

  5. Sex differences in neurogenesis and activation of new neurons in response to spatial learning and memory.

    PubMed

    Chow, Carmen; Epp, Jonathan R; Lieblich, Stephanie E; Barha, Cindy K; Galea, Liisa A M

    2013-08-01

    Adult hippocampal neurogenesis is often associated with hippocampus-dependent learning and memory. Throughout a new neuron's development, it is differentially sensitive to factors that can influence its survival and functionality. Previous research shows that spatial training that occurred 6-10 days after an injection of the DNA synthesis marker, bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU), increased cell survival in male rats. Because sex differences in spatial cognition and hippocampal neurogenesis have been reported, it is unclear whether spatial training would influence hippocampal neurogenesis in the same way in males and females. Therefore, this study examined sex differences in hippocampal neurogenesis following training in a spatial task. Male and female rats were trained in the spatial or cued version of the Morris water maze 6-10 days after one injection of BrdU (200mg/kg). Twenty days following BrdU injection, all animals were given a probe trial and perfused. Males performed better in the spatial, but not cue, task than females. Spatial training increased BrdU-labeled cells relative to cue training only in males, but both males and females showed greater activation of new cells (BrdU co-labeled with immediate early gene product zif268) after spatial training compared to cue training. Furthermore, performance during spatial training was positively correlated with cell activation in females but not males. This study shows that while spatial training differentially regulates hippocampal neurogenesis in males and females, the activity of new neurons in response to spatial memory retrieval is similar. These findings highlight the importance of sex on neural plasticity and cognition.

  6. Search strategy selection in the Morris water maze indicates allocentric map formation during learning that underpins spatial memory formation.

    PubMed

    Rogers, Jake; Churilov, Leonid; Hannan, Anthony J; Renoir, Thibault

    2017-03-01

    Using a Matlab classification algorithm, we demonstrate that a highly salient distal cue array is required for significantly increased likelihoods of spatial search strategy selection during Morris water maze spatial learning. We hypothesized that increased spatial search strategy selection during spatial learning would be the key measure demonstrating the formation of an allocentric map to the escape location. Spatial memory, as indicated by quadrant preference for the area of the pool formally containing the hidden platform, was assessed as the main measure that this allocentric map had formed during spatial learning. Our C57BL/6J wild-type (WT) mice exhibit quadrant preference in the highly salient cue paradigm but not the low, corresponding with a 120% increase in the odds of a spatial search strategy selection during learning. In contrast, quadrant preference remains absent in serotonin 1A receptor (5-HT1AR) knockout (KO) mice, who exhibit impaired search strategy selection during spatial learning. Additionally, we also aimed to assess the impact of the quality of the distal cue array on the spatial learning curves of both latency to platform and path length using mixed-effect regression models and found no significant associations or interactions. In contrast, we demonstrated that the spatial learning curve for search strategy selection was absent during training in the low saliency paradigm. Therefore, we propose that allocentric search strategy selection during spatial learning is the learning parameter in mice that robustly indicates the formation of a cognitive map for the escape goal location. These results also suggest that both latency to platform and path length spatial learning curves do not discriminate between allocentric and egocentric spatial learning and do not reliably predict spatial memory formation. We also show that spatial memory, as indicated by the absolute time in the quadrant formerly containing the hidden platform alone (without

  7. Learning new movement patterns: a study on good and poor writers comparing learning conditions emphasizing spatial, timing or abstract characteristics.

    PubMed

    Overvelde, Anneloes; Hulstijn, Wouter

    2011-08-01

    In the earliest stages of motor-skill learning cognitive, visuo-spatial and dynamic processes play an important role. Which of these should be addressed first when children need to learn a new complex movement sequence? This study compares three learning methods in a within-subject design by having 18 good and 18 poor 8-year-old writers master unfamiliar, letter-like patterns by (1) tracing a trajectory on a screen, (2) tracking a moving target (pursuit), and (3) performing the pattern using written explicit instructions. Following each 10-trial learning phase, the children completed a short test phase. Besides errors and kinematic data, Dynamic Time Warping (DTW) was used to calculate the deviation for each pattern from the ideal shape (DTW-distance). As predicted, the number of errors and DTW-distance were very low during the learning phase of the tracing and pursuit conditions and higher in the explicit condition. Conversely, in the test phase, tracing yielded the highest DTW-distance and the explicit condition the lowest DTW-distance and error percentages. The results were remarkably similar for the good and poor writers. The poor learning results of the tracing condition and the good results of the explicit condition have important implications for the teaching of handwriting and remedial therapy.

  8. Spatial learning and memory retention in the grey bamboo shark (Chiloscyllium griseum).

    PubMed

    Schluessel, Vera; Bleckmann, Horst

    2012-12-01

    Like other vertebrates, fish can learn to solve a wide variety of tasks; however, many of their cognitive abilities, particularly in cartilaginous fishes, still remain unknown. This study investigated memory retention capabilities of spatial learning tasks in the grey bamboo shark (Chiloscyllium griseum, n=8) after behavioural training in a two-choice experiment (T-maze). Sharks learned to obtain food at a goal location, either by performing a specific turn response or by using a variety of external landmarks for guidance. Following successful training, sharks were subjected to several training breaks ranging from one to six weeks, after which they were tested again for memory retention capabilities. Sharks successfully mastered the spatial tasks after 5-21 sessions and retained this knowledge in the absence of reinforcement for a period of up to six weeks. This is the first study to show that sharks, like stingrays and other vertebrates, can solve spatial tasks and retain spatial knowledge for an extended period of time, possibly aiding them in activities such as food retrieval, predator avoidance, mate choice and habitat selection.

  9. Showercap Mindmap: a spatial activity for learning physiology terminology and location.

    PubMed

    Vanags, Thea; Budimlic, Mira; Herbert, Elissa; Montgomery, Melena M; Vickers, Tracy

    2012-06-01

    Students struggle with the volume and complexity of physiology terminology. We compared first-year undergraduate psychology students' learning of physiological terms using two teaching methods: one verbal (control group; n = 16) and one spatial and multisensory (experimental group; n = 19). The experimental group used clear plastic shower caps to mark brain regions and affix labels to another participant's head. The control group learned the material verbally through a game. When tested verbally, both the control and experimental groups recalled more of the 10 terms immediately after the activity (+106% and +83%, respectively) and 2 wk later (+53% and +31%, respectively) than at the pretest (P < 0.0005). When participants' knowledge was tested spatially (labeling a brain diagram), the experimental group recalled more terms at the posttest (+76%) and followup (+73%) than at the pretest (P < 0.0005), but the control group who showed no improvement at either time point (+12% and +14%, respectively). These findings support the notion that spatial and multisensory learning produces improved spatial recall over time while also supporting the notion of transfer-appropriate processing.

  10. SVR learning-based spatiotemporal fuzzy logic controller for nonlinear spatially distributed dynamic systems.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xian-Xia; Jiang, Ye; Li, Han-Xiong; Li, Shao-Yuan

    2013-10-01

    A data-driven 3-D fuzzy-logic controller (3-D FLC) design methodology based on support vector regression (SVR) learning is developed for nonlinear spatially distributed dynamic systems. Initially, the spatial information expression and processing as well as the fuzzy linguistic expression and rule inference of a 3-D FLC are integrated into spatial fuzzy basis functions (SFBFs), and then the 3-D FLC can be depicted by a three-layer network structure. By relating SFBFs of the 3-D FLC directly to spatial kernel functions of an SVR, an equivalence relationship of the 3-D FLC and the SVR is established, which means that the 3-D FLC can be designed with the help of the SVR learning. Subsequently, for an easy implementation, a systematic SVR learning-based 3-D FLC design scheme is formulated. In addition, the universal approximation capability of the proposed 3-D FLC is presented. Finally, the control of a nonlinear catalytic packed-bed reactor is considered as an application to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed 3-D FLC.

  11. Systems genetic analysis of hippocampal neuroanatomy and spatial learning in mice

    PubMed Central

    Delprato, Anna; Bonheur, Brice; Algéo, Marie-Paule; Rosay, Philippe; Lu, Lu; Williams, Robert W.

    2016-01-01

    Variation in hippocampal neuroanatomy correlates well with spatial learning ability in mice. Here we have studied both hippocampal neuroanatomy and behavior in 53 isogenic BXD recombinant strains derived from C57BL/6J and DBA/2J parents. A combination of experimental, neuroinformatic, and systems genetics methods were used to test the genetic bases of variation and covariation among traits. Data were collected on seven hippocampal subregions in CA3 and CA4 after testing spatial memory in an 8-arm radial maze task. Quantitative trait loci (QTLs) were identified for hippocampal structure, including the areas of the intra- and infrapyramidal mossy fibers, stratum radiatum, and stratum pyramidale, and for a spatial learning parameter, error rate. We identified multiple loci and gene variants linked to either structural differences or behavior. Gpc4 and Tenm2 are strong candidate genes that may modulate intra- and infrapyramidal mossy fiber areas. Analysis of gene-expression networks and trait correlations highlight several processes influencing morphometrical variation and spatial learning. PMID:26449520