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Sample records for change assessment task

  1. A Cognition Analysis of QUASAR's Mathematics Performance Assessment Tasks and Their Sensitivity to Measuring Changes in Middle School Students' Thinking and Reasoning.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cai, Jinfa, And Others

    1996-01-01

    Presents a conceptual framework for analyzing students' mathematical understanding, reasoning, problem solving, and communication. Analyses of student responses indicated that the tasks appear to measure the complex thinking and reasoning processes that they were designed to assess. Concludes that the QUASAR assessment tasks can capture changes in…

  2. Assessment of language dominance by event-related oscillatory changes in an auditory language task: magnetoencephalography study.

    PubMed

    Lee, Seo-Young; Kim, June Sic; Chung, Chun Kee; Lee, Sang Kun; Kim, Won Sup

    2010-08-01

    The authors investigated the oscillatory changes induced by auditory language task to assess hemispheric dominance of language. Magnetoencephalography studies were conducted during word listening in 6 normal right-handed volunteers and 13 epilepsy patients who underwent Wada test. We carried out a time-frequency analysis of event-related desynchronization (ERD)/event-related synchronization (ERS) and intertrial coherence. We localized ERD/ERS on each subject's magnetic resonance images using beamformer. We compared ERD/ERS values between the left and right side of regions of interest in inferior frontal and superior temporal areas. We assessed the target frequency range that correlated best with the Wada test results. In all normal subjects, gamma ERD was lateralized to the left side in both the inferior frontal and superior temporal areas. In epilepsy patients, the concordance rate of gamma ERD and the Wada test results was 76.9% for the inferior frontal area and 69.2% for the superior temporal area. Gamma ERD can be considered as an indicator of language function, although it was not sufficient to replace the Wada test in the evaluation of epilepsy patients. The gamma ERD value of the inferior frontal area was more reliable for the assessment of language dominance compared with that obtained in the superior temporal area. PMID:20634707

  3. A Population of Assessment Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Daro, Phil; Burkhardt, Hugh

    2012-01-01

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

  4. Disentangling Dimensions in the Dimensional Change Card-Sorting Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kloo, Daniela; Perner, Josef

    2005-01-01

    The dimensional change card-sorting task (DCCS task) is frequently used to assess young children's executive abilities. However, the source of children's difficulty with this task is still under debate. In the standard DCCS task, children have to sort, for example, test cards with a red cherry or a blue banana into two boxes marked with target…

  5. Long-Term Climate Change Assessment Task for the Hanford Site Permanent Isolation Barrier Development Program: Status through FY 1992

    SciTech Connect

    Petersen, K.L.; Chatters, J.C.

    1993-07-01

    The Hanford Site Permanent Isolation Barrier Development Program (Barrier Development Program) was organized (Adams and Wing 1986) to develop the technology needed to provide an in-place disposal capability for the US Department of Energy at the Hanford Site in southeastern Washington. The goals of the Barrier Development Program are to provide defensible evidence that final barrier design(s) will adequately control water infiltration, plant and animal intrusion, and wind and water erosion for a minimum of 1,000 years; to isolate wastes from the accessible environment; and to use markers to warn inadvertent human intruders. Evidence for barrier performance will be obtained by conducting laboratory experiments, field tests, computer modeling, and other studies that establish confidence in the barrier`s ability to meet its 1,000-year design life. The performance and stability of natural barrier analogs that have existed for several millennia and the reconstruction of climate changes during the past 10,000 to 125,000 years also will provide insight into bounding conditions of possible future changes and increase confidence in the barriers design. In the following discussion the term {open_quotes}long-term{close_quotes} references periods of time up to 1000`s of years, distinguishing it from {open_quotes}short-term{close_quotes} weather patterns covering a decade or less. Specific activities focus on planning and conducting a series of studies and tests required to confirm key aspects of the barrier design. The effort is a collaborative one between scientists and engineers from Westinghouse Hanford Company (Westinghouse Hanford) and Pacific Northwest Laboratory (PNL) to design barriers to limit movement of radionuclides and other contaminants to the accessible environment for at least 1,000 years. These activities have been divided into 14 groups of tasks that aid in the complete development of protective barrier and warning marker system.

  6. Assessment for Learning Tasks and the Peer Assessment Process

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lauf, Lorraine; Dole, Shelley

    2010-01-01

    A program of Assessment for Learning (AfL) was implemented with 107 Year 12 students as part of their preparation for a major external test. Students completed extended mathematics tasks and selected student responses were used for peer assessment purposes. This paper reports on two of the AfL elements, namely task selection and peer assessment as…

  7. Illinois task force on global climate change

    SciTech Connect

    Griffin, B.S.

    1996-12-31

    The purpose of this report is to document progress in the areas of national policy development, emissions reduction, research and education, and adaptation, and to identify specific actions that will be undertaken to implement the Illinois state action plan. The task force has been tracking national and international climate change policy, and helping shape national policy agenda. Identification and implementation of cost-effective mitigation measures has been performed for emissions reduction. In the area of research and education, the task force is developing the capacity to measure climate change indicators, maintaining and enhancing Illinois relevant research, and strengthening climate change education. Activities relevant to adaptation to new policy include strengthening water laws and planning for adaptation. 6 figs., 4 tabs.

  8. Task variation versus task repetition for people with profound developmental disabilities: an assessment of preferences.

    PubMed

    Lancioni, G E; O'Reilly, M F; Campodonico, F; Mantini, M

    1998-01-01

    An assessment of preferences between task variation and task repetition with four adults with profound developmental disabilities was implemented. After participants were exposed to both task variation and task repetition conditions, they were allowed to choose between them. Results showed that all participants had strong preferences; three preferred task variation and one task repetition. Aspects of the assessment and use of assessment data for planning daily work conditions were discussed.

  9. Learning effects in the lane change task (LCT)--realistic secondary tasks and transfer of learning.

    PubMed

    Petzoldt, Tibor; Brüggemann, Stephanie; Krems, Josef F

    2014-05-01

    Driver distraction is a factor that is heavily involved in traffic crashes. With in-vehicle devices like navigation systems or mobile phones on the rise, the assessment of their potential to distract the driver has become a pressing issue. Several easy-to-use methods have been developed in recent years to allow for such an assessment in the early stages of product development. One of these methods is the lane change task (LCT), a simple driving simulation in which the driver has to change lanes as indicated by different signs along the road. Although the LCT is an ISO sanctioned procedure, there are still open questions. One issue are learning effects which have been found in previous studies and which have the potential to compromise the comparability of test results. In this paper, we present results on two experiments that further explored the effect of previous experience on LCT and secondary task performance. The results confirm that learning effects occur when combining the LCT with a realistic secondary task. Also, we found evidence for the transfer of learning from one secondary task to another to some degree, provided that the two tasks are sufficiently similar.

  10. Assessing Visuospatial Abilities in Healthy Aging: A Novel Visuomotor Task

    PubMed Central

    de Bruin, Natalie; Bryant, Devon C.; MacLean, Jessica N.; Gonzalez, Claudia L. R.

    2016-01-01

    This study examined the efficacy of a novel reaching-and-grasping task in determining visuospatial abilities across adulthood. The task required male and female young (18–25 years) and older adults (60–82 years) to replicate a series of complex models by locating and retrieving the appropriate building blocks from an array. The task allows visuospatial complexity to be manipulated independently from the visuomotor demands. Mental rotation and spatial visualization abilities were assessed. The results showed that the time taken to complete the tasks increased with increased mental rotation complexity. Patterns of hand use were also influenced by the complexity of the models being constructed with right hand use being greater for the less complex models. In addition, although older adults consistently performed the visuomotor tasks slower than the younger adults, their performance was comparable when expressed as the percent change in task demands. This is suggestive that spatial abilities are preserved in older adults. Given the ecologically validity, the described task is an excellent candidate for investigating: (1) developmental; (2) sex-based; and (3) pathology-based differences in spatial abilities in the visuomotor domain. PMID:26869918

  11. The Impact of Assessment Tasks on Subsequent Examination Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Van Gaal, Frank; De Ridder, Annemieke

    2013-01-01

    In this article, the impact of assessment tasks on examination result (measured by examination grades) is investigated. Although many describe the advantages of electronic assessment tasks, few studies have been undertaken which compare a traditional approach using a classical examination with a new approach using assessment tasks. The main…

  12. Assessing the Cost of Task Switching with a Three-Task Paradigm

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Remington, Roger W.; Ruthruff, Eric; Johnston, James C.; Connors, Mary M. (Technical Monitor)

    1998-01-01

    To study task switching when subjects need not inhibit inappropriate responses, we examine tasks with non-overlapping stimulus sets (e.g. color patches and uncolored letters). A new three-task paradigm permits the dissociation of several otherwise confounded variables. We find that performance declines monotonically with increasing time since last performance of a task. Adjusting for the effects of this factor permits a fresh assessment of the relationship between task expectancy and recency (Ruthruff, Remington & Johnston, 1996).

  13. Disentangling dimensions in the dimensional change card-sorting task.

    PubMed

    Kloo, Daniela; Perner, Josef

    2005-01-01

    The dimensional change card-sorting task (DCCS task) is frequently used to assess young children's executive abilities. However, the source of children's difficulty with this task is still under debate. In the standard DCCS task, children have to sort, for example, test cards with a red cherry or a blue banana into two boxes marked with target cards showing a blue cherry and a red banana. Typically, 3-year-olds have severe problems switching from sorting by one dimension (e.g. color) to sorting by the other dimension (e.g. shape). Three experiments with 3- to 4-year-olds showed that separating the two dimensions as properties of a single object, and having them characterize two different objects (e.g. by displaying an outline of a cherry next to a red filled circle on the card) improves performance considerably. Results are discussed in relation to a number of alternative explanations for 3-year-olds' difficulty with the DCCS task.

  14. Disentangling dimensions in the dimensional change card-sorting task.

    PubMed

    Kloo, Daniela; Perner, Josef

    2005-01-01

    The dimensional change card-sorting task (DCCS task) is frequently used to assess young children's executive abilities. However, the source of children's difficulty with this task is still under debate. In the standard DCCS task, children have to sort, for example, test cards with a red cherry or a blue banana into two boxes marked with target cards showing a blue cherry and a red banana. Typically, 3-year-olds have severe problems switching from sorting by one dimension (e.g. color) to sorting by the other dimension (e.g. shape). Three experiments with 3- to 4-year-olds showed that separating the two dimensions as properties of a single object, and having them characterize two different objects (e.g. by displaying an outline of a cherry next to a red filled circle on the card) improves performance considerably. Results are discussed in relation to a number of alternative explanations for 3-year-olds' difficulty with the DCCS task. PMID:15647066

  15. A Cohort-Driven Assessment Task for Scientific Report Writing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chuck, Jo-Anne; Young, Lauren

    2004-01-01

    A formative assessment task was developed to improve the scientific report writing skills of university students. Students undertaking this task typically possessed varying levels of scientific literacy and were drawn from a cohort of mixed abilities. The assessment task involved the construction of a scientific report that included feedback from…

  16. Performance assessment task team progress report

    SciTech Connect

    Wood, D.E.; Curl, R.U.; Armstrong, D.R.; Cook, J.R.; Dolenc, M.R.; Kocher, D.C.; Owens, K.W.; Regnier, E.P.; Roles, G.W.; Seitz, R.R.

    1994-05-01

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Headquarters EM-35, established a Performance Assessment Task Team (referred to as the Team) to integrate the activities of the sites that are preparing performance assessments (PAs) for disposal of new low-level waste, as required by Chapter III of DOE Order 5820.2A, {open_quotes}Low-Level Waste Management{close_quotes}. The intent of the Team is to achieve a degree of consistency among these PAs as the analyses proceed at the disposal sites. The Team`s purpose is to recommend policy and guidance to the DOE on issues that impact the PAs, including release scenarios and parameters, so that the approaches are as consistent as possible across the DOE complex. The Team has identified issues requiring attention and developed discussion papers for those issues. Some issues have been completed, and the recommendations are provided in this document. Other issues are still being discussed, and the status summaries are provided in this document. A major initiative was to establish a subteam to develop a set of test scenarios and parameters for benchmarking codes in use at the various sites. The activities of the Team are reported here through December 1993.

  17. When Mathematics and Statistics Collide in Assessment Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bargagliotti, Anna; Groth, Randall

    2016-01-01

    Because the disciplines of mathematics and statistics are naturally intertwined, designing assessment questions that disentangle mathematical and statistical reasoning can be challenging. We explore the writing statistics assessment tasks that take into consideration potential mathematical reasoning they may inadvertently activate.

  18. Learning from Student Experiences for Online Assessment Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Qayyum, M. Asim; Smith, David

    2015-01-01

    Introduction: Use of the Internet for open Web searches is common among university students in academic learning tasks. The tools used by students to find relevant information for online assessment tasks were investigated and their information seeking behaviour was documented to explore the impact on assessment design. Method: A mixed methods…

  19. Human Health Effects, Task Force Assessment, Preliminary Report.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Aronow, Wilbert S.; And Others

    Presented in this preliminary report is one of seven assessments conducted by a special task force of Project Clean Air, the Human Health Effects Task Force. The reports summarize assessments of the state of knowledge on various air pollution problems, particularly in California, and make tentative recommendations as to what the University of…

  20. Alberta North Needs Assessment Task Force. Interim Report Number One.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dumont, F. J.

    Contracted for 18 months and employing local people, the Alberta North Needs Assessment (ANNA) Task Force assessed the educational, social and cultural needs of North Albertans, and translated these needs into potential programs integrated, where desirable, with other government and local programs. The Task Force examined the community, client,…

  1. Using Tasks to Assess Spanish Language Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Herrera Mosquera, Leonardo

    2012-01-01

    The methodology of Task-based teaching (TBT) has been positively regarded by many researchers and language teachers around the world. Yet, this language teaching methodology has been mainly implemented in English as a second language (ESL) classrooms and in English for specific purpose (ESP) courses; and more specifically with advanced-level…

  2. Managing Change in Universities: A Sisyphean Task?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brown, Sally

    2012-01-01

    Implementing change in higher education is complex and challenging and its results are difficult to measure. This article will argue that university senior management can make change happen but it is rarely straightforward and never easy. It reviews the ways in which leaders aiming to enhance practice can implement enhancement activities,…

  3. How Task Features Impact Evidence from Assessments Embedded in Simulations and Games

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Almond, Russell G.; Kim, Yoon Jeon; Velasquez, Gertrudes; Shute, Valerie J.

    2014-01-01

    One of the key ideas of evidence-centered assessment design (ECD) is that task features can be deliberately manipulated to change the psychometric properties of items. ECD identifies a number of roles that task-feature variables can play, including determining the focus of evidence, guiding form creation, determining item difficulty and…

  4. State Writing Assessment: Inclusion of Motivational Factors in Writing Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Olinghouse, Natalie G.; Zheng, Jinjie; Morlock, Larissa

    2012-01-01

    This study evaluated large-scale state writing assessments for the inclusion of motivational characteristics in the writing task and written prompt. We identified 6 motivational variables from the authentic activity literature: time allocation, audience specification, audience intimacy, definition of task, allowance for multiple perspectives, and…

  5. Evaluating Multiple Perspectives: Approaching the Synthesis Task through Assessing Credibility

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lafferty, Karen Elizabeth; Summers, Amy; Tanaka, Stephanie; Cavanagh, Jeanne

    2016-01-01

    Introduction of the Common Core State Standards and assessments like the synthesis performance task pose new challenges for secondary English teachers. As students of all ability levels engage with complex text and in tasks that target higher level cognitive skills, teachers need strategies to support their understanding. This article describes…

  6. Assessing Changes in High School Students' Conceptual Understanding through Concept Maps before and after the Computer-Based Predict-Observe-Explain (CB-POE) Tasks on Acid-Base Chemistry at the Secondary Level

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yaman, Fatma; Ayas, Alipasa

    2015-01-01

    Although concept maps have been used as alternative assessment methods in education, there has been an ongoing debate on how to evaluate students' concept maps. This study discusses how to evaluate students' concept maps as an assessment tool before and after 15 computer-based Predict-Observe-Explain (CB-POE) tasks related to acid-base chemistry.…

  7. Postural responses to changing task conditions.

    PubMed

    Hansen, P D; Woollacott, M H; Debu, B

    1988-01-01

    The experimental goal was to investigate discrepancies in the literature concerning postural adaptation and to determine if the prior presentation of horizontal perturbations affected the amplitude of responses to rotational perturbations. Surface EMG recordings from lower leg muscles (gastrocnemius (GAS) and tibialis anterior (TA)) were recorded in twelve subjects, and the amplitudes of the responses were statistically analyzed. We did not find differences between the responses to rotational perturbations which preceded or followed horizontal perturbations. This finding did not support the hypothesis that differences in the order of presentation of the different types of perturbations accounted for the discrepancies in the literature. Furthermore, our design did not show the progressive elimination of the GAS response within three to five sequential trials. Instead, we found a slow but significant response amplitude reduction over ten trials without yielding a permanent disappearance of the response. When analyzing the GAS responses to the rotational perturbations only, we found two components that contributed to the response reduction: 1) an initial reduction between trials one and subsequent trials, which could be due to habituation of a startle-like response; and 2) a second reduction which was more gradual. Our results also showed an immediate change in the response amplitude on the first trial, when the type of perturbation was changed. This is inconsistent with the view that ankle musculature stretch and joint movement are the primary inputs driving the postural responses. Since small ankle dorsiflexing rotations produced by the platform translations caused large GAS responses while large ankle dorsiflexing rotations produced by direct platform rotations caused small GAS responses, this suggests that multiple sensory inputs contribute to the responses. We propose that an initial compensation to a new perturbation type occurs within the first trial by the

  8. Changes in oxygen sensitivity of TASK in carotid body glomus cells during early postnatal development

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Donghee; Papreck, Justin R.; Kim, Insook; Donnelly, David F.; Carroll, John L.

    2011-01-01

    A post-natal increase in carotid body (CB) hypoxia responsiveness occurs at the level of carotid sinus nerve activity, intracellular calcium, cell membrane depolarization and hypoxic inhibition of O2-sensitive background K+ conductance. TASK-1, TASK-1/3 and TASK-3 are functionally expressed in CB glomus cells, with TASK-1/3 providing the major part of the O2-sensitive TASK-like background K+ conductance. Here we report the effects of graded hypoxia on TASK-like channel activity in CB glomus cells from rats aged 0-1, 6-7 and 16-18 days; the time frame of postnatal CB functional maturation. TASK was active in nearly all cell-attached patches and TASK activity during normoxia did not differ across ages. Hypoxia produced a progressive decrease in channel opening frequency with graded decreases in O2 level and also produced glomus cell depolarization, as assessed by the shift in reversal potential of TASK single channel current. Hypoxic inhibition of TASK activity was least at P0-P1 and increased with age mainly between 6-7 and 16-18 days. The O2-sensitive TASK activity was significantly greater in glomus cells from P16-P18 when compared to cells from P0-P1 day old rats. These results support the hypothesis that postnatal carotid body functional maturation is due, at least in part, to changes in the sensitivity of TASK to the hypoxic signals generated in glomus cells. PMID:21530688

  9. Assessing Literary Reasoning: Text and Task Complexities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lee, Carol D.; Goldman, Susan R.

    2015-01-01

    This article addresses 3 broad challenges of assessment in reading comprehension: (a) explicitly articulating the knowledge and skills students need to recognize and be able to use in comprehending complex texts; (b) understanding how knowledge and skills progress and successively deepen and develop over repeated opportunities to engage in tasks…

  10. Functional Task Test: 2. Spaceflight-Induced Cardiovascular Change and Recovery During NASA's Functional Task Test

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Phillips, Tiffany; Arzeno, Natalia M.; Stenger, Michael; Lee, Stuart M. C.; Bloomberg, Jacob J.; Platts, Steven H.

    2011-01-01

    The overall objective of the functional task test (FTT) is to correlate spaceflight-induced physiological adaptations with changes in performance of high priority exploration mission-critical tasks. This presentation will focus on the recovery from fall/stand test (RFST), which measures the cardiovascular response to the transition from the prone posture (simulated fall) to standing in normal gravity, as well as heart rate (HR) during 11 functional tasks. As such, this test describes some aspects of spaceflight-induced cardiovascular deconditioning and the course of recovery in Space Shuttle and International Space Station (ISS) astronauts. The sensorimotor and neuromuscular components of the FTT are described in two separate abstracts: Functional Task Test 1 and 3.

  11. Changes in Relevance Criteria and Problem Stages in Task Performance.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vakkari, Pertti; Hakala, Nanna

    2000-01-01

    This study of students at the University of Tampere (Finland) analyzes how changes in relevance criteria are related to changes in problem stages during the task performance process in information retrieval. Provides a conceptual framework, including Kuhlthau's information search process model and prior knowledge; and compares bibliographic…

  12. Design and Analysis in Task-Based Language Assessment.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mislevy, Robert J.; Steinberg, Linda S.; Almond, Russell G.

    2002-01-01

    Introduces a framework for systematizing the design of language performance assessments and explicating the role of tasks within them. Their design outlines fundamental components that must be rationalized and operationalized in order for performance assessment to produce coherent evidence of examinees' abilities. (Author/VWL)

  13. Validating the Student Developmental Task and Lifestyle Assessment: A Longitudinal Study.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wachs, Peter M.; Cooper, Diane L.

    2002-01-01

    Study assessed the effectiveness of the Student Developmental Task and Lifestyle Assessment (SDTLA) in measuring psychosocial changes from the freshman year through the senior year using longitudinal research design. Results provide evidence of validity for the SDTLA and demonstrate that as a measurement tool, the SDTLA is sensitive to changes…

  14. Preliminary results of mental workload and task engagement assessment using electroencephalogram in a space suit.

    PubMed

    Rabbi, Ahmed F; Zony, Abongwa N; de Leon, Pablo; Fazel-Rezai, Reza

    2012-01-01

    In this paper, we present preliminary results of subject's mental workload and task engagement assessment in an experimental space suit. We have quantified the mental workload and task engagement based on changes in electroencephalogram (EEG). EEG signals were collected from subjects scalp using a commercial wireless EEG device in two experimental conditions - when subjects did not wear space suit (control condition) and when subjects wore space suit. Brain state changes were estimated and compared with the direct responses for different tasks and different conditions. We found that the spacesuit experiment introduced a greater mental workload where subject's stress levels were higher than control experiment.

  15. Estimating endogenous changes in task performance from EEG

    PubMed Central

    Touryan, Jon; Apker, Gregory; Lance, Brent J.; Kerick, Scott E.; Ries, Anthony J.; McDowell, Kaleb

    2014-01-01

    Brain wave activity is known to correlate with decrements in behavioral performance as individuals enter states of fatigue, boredom, or low alertness.Many BCI technologies are adversely affected by these changes in user state, limiting their application and constraining their use to relatively short temporal epochs where behavioral performance is likely to be stable. Incorporating a passive BCI that detects when the user is performing poorly at a primary task, and adapts accordingly may prove to increase overall user performance. Here, we explore the potential for extending an established method to generate continuous estimates of behavioral performance from ongoing neural activity; evaluating the extended method by applying it to the original task domain, simulated driving; and generalizing the method by applying it to a BCI-relevant perceptual discrimination task. Specifically, we used EEG log power spectra and sequential forward floating selection (SFFS) to estimate endogenous changes in behavior in both a simulated driving task and a perceptual discrimination task. For the driving task the average correlation coefficient between the actual and estimated lane deviation was 0.37 ± 0.22 (μ ± σ). For the perceptual discrimination task we generated estimates of accuracy, reaction time, and button press duration for each participant. The correlation coefficients between the actual and estimated behavior were similar for these three metrics (accuracy = 0.25 ± 0.37, reaction time = 0.33 ± 0.23, button press duration = 0.36 ± 0.30). These findings illustrate the potential for modeling time-on-task decrements in performance from concurrent measures of neural activity. PMID:24994968

  16. Developmental Changes in Switching between Mental Task Sets: The Influence of Verbal Labeling in Childhood

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Karbach, Julia; Kray, Jutta

    2007-01-01

    Age-related changes in the use of verbal processes for the efficient switching between tasks were investigated in 5-year-old children (N = 32, M age = 5.9 years) and 9-year-old children (N = 32, M age = 9.4 years). Task switching was assessed by means of a cued switching paradigm to examine two switching components: (a) to maintain and select and…

  17. Developmental changes in using verbal self-cueing in task-switching situations: the impact of task practice and task-sequencing demands.

    PubMed

    Kray, Jutta; Gaspard, Hanna; Karbach, Julia; Blaye, Agnès

    2013-01-01

    In this study we examined whether developmental changes in using verbal self-cueing for task-goal maintenance are dependent on the amount of task practice and task-sequencing demands. To measure task-goal maintenance we applied a switching paradigm in which children either performed only task A or B in single-task blocks or switched between them on every second trial in mixed-task blocks. Task-goal maintenance was determined by comparing the performance between both blocks (mixing costs). The influence of verbal self-cueing was measured by instructing children to either name the next task aloud or not to verbalize during task preparation. Task-sequencing demands were varied between groups whereas one group received spatial task cues to support keeping track of the task sequence, while the other group did not. We also varied by the amount of prior practice in task switching while one group of participants practiced task switching first, before performing the task naming in addition, and the other group did it vice versa. Results of our study investigating younger (8-10 years) and older children (11-13 years) revealed no age differences in beneficial effects of verbal self-cueing. In line with previous findings, children showed reduced mixing costs under task-naming instructions and under conditions of low task-sequence demands (with the presence of spatial task cues). Our results also indicated that these benefits were only obtained for those groups of children that first received practice in task switching alone with no additional verbalization instruction. These findings suggest that internal task-cueing strategies can be efficiently used in children but only if they received prior practice in the underlying task so that demands on keeping and coordinating various instructions are reduced. Moreover, children benefitted from spatial task cues for better task-goal maintenance only if no verbal task-cueing strategy was introduced first. PMID:24381566

  18. Crafting a Balanced System of Assessment in Wisconsin. Recommendations of the Next Generation Assessment Task Force

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, 2009

    2009-01-01

    The Next Generation Assessment Task Force was convened to formulate Wisconsin's path forward. Task force members listened to leaders from business and technology sectors as well as leaders from PK-12 and higher education. This summary shares the process, definitions, assumptions, and recommendations of the task force. This paper aims to use these…

  19. Assessment and Intervention for Academic Task Attack Strategy Competencies

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Busse, R. T.; Lee, Charlene

    2015-01-01

    Many students who underachieve in schools may not be learning as effectively as they could. Direct assessments such as the Academic Competence Evaluation Scales (ACES), School Motivation and Learning Strategies Inventory (SMALSI), and the Academic Task Attack Checklist System (ATACS) can be used to evaluate students' knowledge and use of…

  20. Teachers' Voices on Integrating MCAG into Reading Assessment Tasks.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Guterman, Eva; Boxall, Waltraud

    2002-01-01

    Attempts to address, on behalf of the teacher of reading, some pedagogically significant aspects of metacognition. Tests the effect of using Metacognitive Awareness Guidance (MCAG) in reading assessment tasks given to nine-year-old Israeli pupils. Notes teachers' reactions related to four aspects: use of self-talk, use of metacognitive learning…

  1. "A Priori" Assessment of Language Learning Tasks by Practitioners

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Westhoff, Gerard J.

    2009-01-01

    Teachers' competence to estimate the effectiveness of learning materials is important and often neglected in programmes for teacher education. In this lecture I will try to explore the possibilities of designing scaffolding instruments for a "priori" assessment of language learning tasks, based on insights from SLA and cognitive psychology, more…

  2. Assessing Integrated Writing Tasks for Academic Purposes: Promises and Perils

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cumming, Alister

    2013-01-01

    The five studies presented in this special issue offer unique evidence, analyses, and theoretical rationales for assessment tasks that involve writing in reference to information from source material with substantial content. I review the five studies in respect to five "promises" and five "perils," concluding that, collectively, the promises were…

  3. Assessing Executive Functions in Preschoolers Using Shape School Task

    PubMed Central

    Nieto, Marta; Ros, Laura; Medina, Gloria; Ricarte, Jorge J.; Latorre, José M.

    2016-01-01

    Over the last two decades, there has been a growing interest in the study of the development of executive functions (EF) in preschool children due to their relationship with different cognitive, psychological, social and academic domains. Early detection of individual differences in executive functioning can have major implications for basic and applied research. Consequently, there is a key need for assessment tools adapted to preschool skills: Shape School has been shown to be a suitable task for this purpose. Our study uses Shape School as the main task to analyze development of inhibition, task-switching and working memory in a sample of 304 preschoolers (age range 3.25–6.50 years). Additionally, we include cognitive tasks for the evaluation of verbal variables (vocabulary, word reasoning and short-term memory) and performance variables (picture completion and symbol search), so as to analyze their relationship with EFs. Our results show age-associated improvements in EFs and the cognitive variables assessed. Furthermore, correlation analyses reveal positive relationships between EFs and the other cognitive variables. More specifically, using structural equation modeling and including age direct and indirect effects, our results suggest that EFs explain to a greater extent performance on verbal and performance tasks. These findings provide further information to support research that considers preschool age to be a crucial period for the development of EFs and their relationship with other cognitive processes. PMID:27729896

  4. Incorporating detection tasks into the assessment of CT image quality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scalzetti, E. M.; Huda, W.; Ogden, K. M.; Khan, M.; Roskopf, M. L.; Ogden, D.

    2006-03-01

    The purpose of this study was to compare traditional and task dependent assessments of CT image quality. Chest CT examinations were obtained with a standard protocol for subjects participating in a lung cancer-screening project. Images were selected for patients whose weight ranged from 45 kg to 159 kg. Six ABR certified radiologists subjectively ranked these images using a traditional six-point ranking scheme that ranged from 1 (inadequate) to 6 (excellent). Three subtle diagnostic tasks were identified: (1) a lung section containing a sub-centimeter nodule of ground-glass opacity in an upper lung (2) a mediastinal section with a lymph node of soft tissue density in the mediastinum; (3) a liver section with a rounded low attenuation lesion in the liver periphery. Each observer was asked to estimate the probability of detecting each type of lesion in the appropriate CT section using a six-point scale ranging from 1 (< 10%) to 6 (> 90%). Traditional and task dependent measures of image quality were plotted as a function of patient weight. For the lung section, task dependent evaluations were very similar to those obtained using the traditional scoring scheme, but with larger inter-observer differences. Task dependent evaluations for the mediastinal section showed no obvious trend with subject weight, whereas there the traditional score decreased from ~4.9 for smaller subjects to ~3.3 for the larger subjects. Task dependent evaluations for the liver section showed a decreasing trend from ~4.1 for the smaller subjects to ~1.9 for the larger subjects, whereas the traditional evaluation had a markedly narrower range of scores. A task-dependent method of assessing CT image quality can be implemented with relative ease, and is likely to be more meaningful in the clinical setting.

  5. Automatic Shifts of Attention in the Dimensional Change Card Sort Task: Subtle Changes in Task Materials Lead to Flexible Switching

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fisher, Anna V.

    2011-01-01

    Two experiments tested a hypothesis that reducing demands on executive control in a Dimensional Change Card Sort task will lead to improved performance in 3-year-olds. In Experiment 1, the shape dimension was represented by two dissimilar values ("stars" and "flowers"), and the color dimension was represented by two similar values ("red" and…

  6. Neural changes in control implementation of a continuous task.

    PubMed

    Lungu, Ovidiu V; Binenstock, Meagan M; Pline, Megan A; Yeaton, Jennifer R; Carey, James R

    2007-03-14

    It is commonly agreed that control implementation, being a resource-consuming endeavor, is not exerted continuously or in simple tasks. However, most research in the field was done using tasks that varied the need for control on a trial-by-trial basis (e.g., Stroop, flanker) in a discrete manner. In this case, the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) was found to monitor the need for control, whereas regions in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) were found to be involved in control implementation. Whether or not the same control mechanism would be used in continuous tasks was an open question. In our study, we found that in a continuous task, the same neural substrate subserves control monitoring (ACC) but that the neural substrate of control implementation changes over time. Early in the task, regions in the PFC were involved in control implementation, whereas later the control was taken over by subcortical structures, specifically the caudate. Our results suggest that humans possess a flexible control mechanism, with a specific structure dedicated to monitoring the need for control and with multiple structures involved in control implementation.

  7. Onset of Dyskinesia and Changes in Postural Task Performance during the Course of Neuroleptic Withdrawal.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Newell, Karl M.; Ko, Young G.; Sprague, Robert L.; Mahorney, Steven L.; Bodfish, James W.

    2002-01-01

    The effect of neuroleptic withdrawal on postural task performance of 20 adults with mental retardation was examined. Assessments were conducted at baseline and monthly intervals, extending to one year following complete medication withdrawal, when significant changes in amount of postural motion and sequential pattern of postural movement…

  8. Tactical expertise assessment in youth football using representative tasks.

    PubMed

    Serra-Olivares, Jaime; Clemente, Filipe Manuel; González-Víllora, Sixto

    2016-01-01

    Specific football drills improve the development of technical/tactical and physical variables in players. Based on this principle, in recent years it has been possible to observe in daily training a growing volume of small-sided and conditioned games. These games are smaller and modified forms of formal games that augment players' perception of specific tactics. Despite this approach, the assessment of players' knowledge and tactical execution has not been well documented, due mainly to the difficulty in measuring tactical behavior. For that reason, this study aims to provide a narrative review about the tactical assessment of football training by using representative tasks to measure the tactical expertise of youth football players during small-sided and conditioned games. This study gives an overview of the ecological approach to training and the principles used for representative task design, providing relevant contribution and direction for future research into the assessment of tactical expertise in youth football. PMID:27547675

  9. Tactical expertise assessment in youth football using representative tasks.

    PubMed

    Serra-Olivares, Jaime; Clemente, Filipe Manuel; González-Víllora, Sixto

    2016-01-01

    Specific football drills improve the development of technical/tactical and physical variables in players. Based on this principle, in recent years it has been possible to observe in daily training a growing volume of small-sided and conditioned games. These games are smaller and modified forms of formal games that augment players' perception of specific tactics. Despite this approach, the assessment of players' knowledge and tactical execution has not been well documented, due mainly to the difficulty in measuring tactical behavior. For that reason, this study aims to provide a narrative review about the tactical assessment of football training by using representative tasks to measure the tactical expertise of youth football players during small-sided and conditioned games. This study gives an overview of the ecological approach to training and the principles used for representative task design, providing relevant contribution and direction for future research into the assessment of tactical expertise in youth football.

  10. Change in hippocampal theta activity with transfer from simple discrimination tasks to a simultaneous feature-negative task

    PubMed Central

    Sakimoto, Yuya; Sakata, Shogo

    2014-01-01

    It was showed that solving a simple discrimination task (A+, B−) and a simultaneous feature-negative (FN) task (A+, AB−) used the hippocampal-independent strategy. Recently, we showed that the number of sessions required for a rat to completely learn a task differed between the FN and simple discrimination tasks, and there was a difference in hippocampal theta activity between these tasks. These results suggested that solving the FN task relied on a different strategy than the simple discrimination task. In this study, we provided supportive evidence that solving the FN and simple discrimination tasks involved different strategies by examining changes in performance and hippocampal theta activity in the FN task after transfer from the simple discrimination task (A+, B− → A+, AB−). The results of this study showed that performance on the FN task was impaired and there was a difference in hippocampal theta activity between the simple discrimination task and FN task. Thus, we concluded that solving the FN task uses a different strategy than the simple discrimination task. PMID:24917797

  11. Sleep Changes in Adolescents Following Procedural Task Training

    PubMed Central

    Nader, Rebecca S.; Murkar, Anthony L.; Smith, Carlyle T.

    2016-01-01

    Recent research has suggested that some of the inter-individual variation in sleep spindle activity is due to innate learning ability. Sleep spindles have also been observed to vary following learning in both young and older adults. We examined the effect of procedural task acquisition on sleep stages and on sleep spindles in an adolescent sample. Participants were 32 adolescents (17 females) between the ages of 12 and 19 years. Spindle activity was examined in three different frequency ranges: 11.00–13.50 Hz (slow), 13.51–16.00 Hz (fast), and 16.01–18.50 Hz (superfast). No changes in spindle density were observed after successful learning of the pursuit rotor task. This result was in contrast to a number of studies reporting spindle density increases following successful learning. In the present study, participants who successfully learned the task showed no changes in their sleep stage proportions, but participants who were not successful showed a decrease in the proportion of stage 2 and increases in both SWS and REM sleep. We suggest that these changes in the sleep stages are consistent with the two stage model of sleep and memory proposed by Smith et al. (2004a). PMID:27766089

  12. Assessment of Subtraction Scene Understanding Using a Story-Generation Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kinda, Shigehiro

    2010-01-01

    The present study used a new assessment technique, the story-generation task, to examine students' understanding of subtraction scenes. The students from four grade levels (110 first-, 107 third-, 110 fourth- and 119 sixth-graders) generated stories under the constraints provided by a picture (representing Change, Combine or Compare scene) and a…

  13. The Stoplight Task: A Procedure for Assessing Risk Taking in Humans

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reilly, Mark P.; Greenwald, Mark K.; Johanson, Chris-Ellyn

    2006-01-01

    The Stoplight Task, a procedure involving a computer analog of a stoplight, was evaluated for assessing risk taking in humans. Seventeen participants earned points later exchangeable for money by completing a response requirement before the red light appeared on a simulated traffic light. The green light signaled to start responding; it changed to…

  14. Pilot task-based assessment of noise levels among firefighters

    PubMed Central

    Neitzel, RL; Hong, O; Quinlan, P; Hulea, R

    2012-01-01

    PURPOSE Over one million American firefighters are routinely exposed to various occupational hazards agents. While efforts have been made to identify and reduce some causes of injuries and illnesses among firefighters, relatively little has been done to evaluate and understand occupational noise exposures in this group. The purpose of this pilot study was to apply a task-based noise exposure assessment methodology to firefighting operations to evaluate potential noise exposure sources, and to use collected task-based noise levels to create noise exposure estimates for evaluation of risk of noise-induced hearing loss by comparison to the 8-hr and 24-hr recommended exposure limits (RELs) for noise of 85 and 80.3 dBA, respectively. METHODS Task-based noise exposures (n=100 measurements) were measured in three different fire departments (a rural department in Southeast Michigan and suburban and urban departments in Northern California). These levels were then combined with time-at-task information collected from firefighters to estimate 8-hr noise exposures for the rural and suburban fire departments (n=6 estimates for each department). Data from 24-hr dosimetry measurements and crude self-reported activity categories from the urban fire department (n=4 measurements) were used to create 24-hr exposure estimates to evaluate the bias associated with the task-based estimates. RESULTS Task-based noise levels were found to range from 82–109 dBA, with the highest levels resulting from use of saws and pneumatic chisels. Some short (e.g., 30 min) sequences of common tasks were found to result in nearly an entire allowable daily exposure. The majority of estimated 8-hr and 24-hr exposures exceeded the relevant recommended exposure limit. Predicted 24-hr exposures showed substantial imprecision in some cases, suggesting the need for increased task specificity. CONCLUSIONS The results indicate potential for overexposure to noise from a variety of firefighting tasks and

  15. Global Change Assessment Model (GCAM)

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Global Change Assessment Model (GCAM) is an integrated assessment model that links the world's energy, agriculture and land use systems with a climate model. The model is designed to assess various climate change policies and technology strategies for the globe over long tim...

  16. Optimal compensation for changes in task-relevant movement variability.

    PubMed

    Trommershäuser, Julia; Gepshtein, Sergei; Maloney, Laurence T; Landy, Michael S; Banks, Martin S

    2005-08-01

    Effective movement planning should take into account the consequences of possible errors in executing a planned movement. These errors can result from either sensory uncertainty or variability in movement planning and production. We examined the ability of humans to compensate for variability in sensory estimation and movement production under conditions in which variability is increased artificially by the experimenter. Subjects rapidly pointed at a target region that had an adjacent penalty region. Target and penalty hits yielded monetary rewards and losses. We manipulated the task-relevant variability by perturbing visual feedback of finger position during the movement. The feedback was shifted in a random direction with a random amplitude in each trial, causing an increase in the task-relevant variability. Subjects were unable to counteract this form of perturbation. Rewards and penalties were based on the perturbed, visually specified finger position. Subjects rapidly acquired an estimate of their new variability in <120 trials and adjusted their aim points accordingly. We compared subjects' performance to the performance of an optimal movement planner maximizing expected gain. Their performance was consistent with that expected from an optimal movement planner that perfectly compensated for externally imposed changes in task-relevant variability. When exposed to novel stimulus configurations, aim points shifted in the first trial without showing any detectable trend across trials. These results indicate that subjects are capable of changing their pointing strategy in the presence of externally imposed noise. Furthermore, they manage to update their estimate of task-relevant variability and to transfer this estimate to novel stimulus configurations.

  17. Subjective video quality assessment methods for recognition tasks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ford, Carolyn G.; McFarland, Mark A.; Stange, Irena W.

    2009-02-01

    To develop accurate objective measurements (models) for video quality assessment, subjective data is traditionally collected via human subject testing. The ITU has a series of Recommendations that address methodology for performing subjective tests in a rigorous manner. These methods are targeted at the entertainment application of video. However, video is often used for many applications outside of the entertainment sector, and generally this class of video is used to perform a specific task. Examples of these applications include security, public safety, remote command and control, and sign language. For these applications, video is used to recognize objects, people or events. The existing methods, developed to assess a person's perceptual opinion of quality, are not appropriate for task-based video. The Institute for Telecommunication Sciences, under a program from the Department of Homeland Security and the National Institute for Standards and Technology's Office of Law Enforcement, has developed a subjective test method to determine a person's ability to perform recognition tasks using video, thereby rating the quality according to the usefulness of the video quality within its application. This new method is presented, along with a discussion of two examples of subjective tests using this method.

  18. Assessment Training Effects on Student Assessment Skills and Task Performance in a Technology-Facilitated Peer Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Liu, Xiongyi; Li, Lan

    2014-01-01

    This study examines the impact of an assessment training module on student assessment skills and task performance in a technology-facilitated peer assessment. Seventy-eight undergraduate students participated in the study. The participants completed an assessment training exercise, prior to engaging in peer-assessment activities. During the…

  19. Trunk muscle coactivation is tuned to changes in task dynamics to improve responsiveness in a seated balance task.

    PubMed

    Oomen, Nathalie M C W; Reeves, N Peter; Priess, M Cody; van Dieën, Jaap H

    2015-10-01

    When balancing, instability can occur when the object being balanced moves at a rate that is beyond the abilities of human motor control. This illustrates that responsiveness of motor control is limited and can be investigated by changing the dynamics of the task. In this study, the responsiveness of trunk motor control was investigated by changing the seat stiffness of an unstable seat. At decreasing levels of seat stiffness the probability of successfully balancing on the seat, speed of the seat, speed of the trunk relative to the seat (trunk-seat) and muscle activation of five trunk muscles were assessed. Also, across the different stiffness levels, the relation between trunk muscle activation and seat speed was determined. As hypothesized, with decreasing seat stiffness the probability of success decreased, seat speed and trunk-seat speed increased, and both agonist and antagonist activation increased. This shows that limits in the responsiveness of trunk motor control were reached during seated balancing. Furthermore, in line with our hypothesis, a positive relation was found between trunk muscle activation and seat speed. It appears that the central nervous system regulates trunk stiffness (via muscle coactivation) in relation to the dynamics of the task, possibly to maintain adequate responsiveness.

  20. EEG oscillations reflect task effects for the change detection in vocal emotion.

    PubMed

    Chen, Xuhai; Pan, Zhihui; Wang, Ping; Zhang, Lijie; Yuan, Jiajin

    2015-06-01

    How task focus affects recognition of change in vocal emotion remains in debate. In this study, we investigated the role of task focus for change detection in emotional prosody by measuring changes in event-related electroencephalogram (EEG) power. EEG was recorded for prosodies with and without emotion change while subjects performed emotion change detection task (explicit) and visual probe detection task (implicit). We found that vocal emotion change induced theta event-related synchronization during 100-600 ms regardless of task focus. More importantly, vocal emotion change induced significant beta event-related desynchronization during 400-750 ms under explicit instead of implicit task condition. These findings suggest that the detection of emotional changes is independent of task focus, while the task focus effect in neural processing of vocal emotion change is specific to the integration of emotional deviations.

  1. Selected Component Failure Rate Values from Fusion Safety Assessment Tasks

    SciTech Connect

    Cadwallader, Lee Charles

    1998-09-01

    This report is a compilation of component failure rate and repair rate values that can be used in magnetic fusion safety assessment tasks. Several safety systems are examined, such as gas cleanup systems and plasma shutdown systems. Vacuum system component reliability values, including large vacuum chambers, have been reviewed. Values for water cooling system components have also been reported here. The report concludes with the examination of some equipment important to personnel safety, atmospheres, combustible gases, and airborne releases of radioactivity. These data should be useful to system designers to calculate scoping values for the availability and repair intervals for their systems, and for probabilistic safety or risk analysts to assess fusion systems for safety of the public and the workers.

  2. Selected component failure rate values from fusion safety assessment tasks

    SciTech Connect

    Cadwallader, L.C.

    1998-09-01

    This report is a compilation of component failure rate and repair rate values that can be used in magnetic fusion safety assessment tasks. Several safety systems are examined, such as gas cleanup systems and plasma shutdown systems. Vacuum system component reliability values, including large vacuum chambers, have been reviewed. Values for water cooling system components have also been reported here. The report concludes with the examination of some equipment important to personnel safety, atmospheres, combustible gases, and airborne releases of radioactivity. These data should be useful to system designers to calculate scoping values for the availability and repair intervals for their systems, and for probabilistic safety or risk analysts to assess fusion systems for safety of the public and the workers.

  3. Co-Constructional Task Analysis: Moving beyond Adult-Based Models to Assess Young Children's Task Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lee, Scott Weng Fai

    2013-01-01

    The assessment of young children's thinking competence in task performances has typically followed the novice-to-expert regimen involving models of strategies that adults use when engaged in cognitive tasks such as problem-solving and decision-making. Socio-constructivists argue for a balanced pedagogical approach between the adult and child…

  4. Changes in the brain intrinsic organization in both on-task state and post-task resting state.

    PubMed

    Wang, Zhijiang; Liu, Jiming; Zhong, Ning; Qin, Yulin; Zhou, Haiyan; Li, Kuncheng

    2012-08-01

    The dynamic and robust characteristics of intrinsic functional connectivity of coherent spontaneous activity are critical for the brain functional stability and flexibility. Studies have demonstrated modulation of intrinsic connectivity within local spatial patterns during or after task performance, such as the default mode network (DMN) and task-specific networks. Moreover, recent studies have compared the global spatial pattern in different tasks or over time. However, it is still unclear how the large-scale intrinsic connectivity varies during and after a task. To better understand this issue, we conducted a functional MRI experiment over three sequential periods: an active semantic-matching task period and two rest periods, before and after the task respectively (namely, on-task state and pre-/post-task resting states), to detect task-driven effect on the dynamic large-scale intrinsic organization in both on-task state and post-task resting state. Three hierarchical levels were investigated, including (a) the whole brain small-world topology, (b) the whole pairwise functional connectivity patterns both within the DMN and between the DMN and other regions (i.e., the global/full DMN topography), and (c) the DMN nodal graph properties. The major findings are: (1) The large-scale small-world configuration of brain functional organization is robust, regardless of the behavioral state changing, while it varies adaptively with significantly higher local efficiency and lower global efficiency during the on-task state (P<0.05, Monte-Carlo corrected); (2) The DMN may be essentially engaged during both task and post-task processes with adaptively varied spatial patterns and nodal graph properties. The present study provides further insights into the robustness and plasticity of the brain intrinsic organization over states, which may be the basis of memory and learning in the brain. PMID:22569542

  5. Assessing the role of memory in preschoolers' performance on episodic foresight tasks.

    PubMed

    Atance, Cristina M; Sommerville, Jessica A

    2014-01-01

    A total of 48 preschoolers (ages 3, 4, and 5) received four tasks modelled after prior work designed to assess the development of "episodic foresight". For each task, children encountered a problem in one room and, after a brief delay, were given the opportunity in a second room to select an item to solve the problem. Importantly, after selecting an item, children were queried about their memory for the problem. Age-related changes were found both in children's ability to select the correct item and their ability to remember the problem. However, when we controlled for children's memory for the problem, there were no longer significant age-related changes on the item choice measure. These findings suggest that age-related changes in children's performance on these tasks are driven by improvements in children's memory versus improvements in children's future-oriented thinking or "foresight" per se. Our results have important implications for how best to structure tasks to measure children's episodic foresight, and also for the relative role of memory in this task and in episodic foresight more broadly.

  6. A change of task prolongs early processes: evidence from ERPs in lexical tasks.

    PubMed

    Elchlepp, Heike; Lavric, Aureliu; Monsell, Stephen

    2015-04-01

    Switching tasks costs time. Allowing time to prepare reduces the cost, but usually leaves an irreducible "residual cost." Most accounts of this residual cost locate it within the response-selection stage of processing. To determine which processing stage is affected, we measured event-related potentials (ERPs) as participants performed a reading task or a perceptual judgment task, and examined the effect of a task switch on early markers of lexical processing. A task cue preceding a string of blue and red letters instructed the participant either to read the letter string (for a semantic classification in Experiment 1, and a lexical decision in Experiment 2) or to judge the symmetry of its color pattern. In Experiment 1, having to switch to the reading task delayed the evolution of the effect of word frequency on the reading task ERP by a substantial fraction of the effect on reaction time (RT). In Experiment 2, a task switch delayed the onset of the effect of lexical status on the ERP by about the same extent that it prolonged the RT. These effects indicate an early locus of (most of) the residual switch cost: We propose that this reflects a form of task-related attentional inertia. Other findings have implications for the automaticity of lexical access: Effects of frequency, lexicality, and orthographic familiarity on ERPs in the symmetry task indicated involuntary, but attenuated, orthographic and lexical processing even when attention was focused on a nonlexical property. PMID:25844623

  7. A change of task prolongs early processes: evidence from ERPs in lexical tasks.

    PubMed

    Elchlepp, Heike; Lavric, Aureliu; Monsell, Stephen

    2015-04-01

    Switching tasks costs time. Allowing time to prepare reduces the cost, but usually leaves an irreducible "residual cost." Most accounts of this residual cost locate it within the response-selection stage of processing. To determine which processing stage is affected, we measured event-related potentials (ERPs) as participants performed a reading task or a perceptual judgment task, and examined the effect of a task switch on early markers of lexical processing. A task cue preceding a string of blue and red letters instructed the participant either to read the letter string (for a semantic classification in Experiment 1, and a lexical decision in Experiment 2) or to judge the symmetry of its color pattern. In Experiment 1, having to switch to the reading task delayed the evolution of the effect of word frequency on the reading task ERP by a substantial fraction of the effect on reaction time (RT). In Experiment 2, a task switch delayed the onset of the effect of lexical status on the ERP by about the same extent that it prolonged the RT. These effects indicate an early locus of (most of) the residual switch cost: We propose that this reflects a form of task-related attentional inertia. Other findings have implications for the automaticity of lexical access: Effects of frequency, lexicality, and orthographic familiarity on ERPs in the symmetry task indicated involuntary, but attenuated, orthographic and lexical processing even when attention was focused on a nonlexical property.

  8. Creating a New Model for Mainstreaming Climate Change Adaptation for Critical Infrastructure: The New York City Climate Change Adaptation Task Force and the NYC Panel on Climate Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rosenzweig, C.; Solecki, W. D.; Freed, A. M.

    2008-12-01

    The New York City Climate Change Adaptation Task Force, launched in August 2008, aims to secure the city's critical infrastructure against rising seas, higher temperatures and fluctuating water supplies projected to result from climate change. The Climate Change Adaptation Task Force is part of PlaNYC, the city's long- term sustainability plan, and is composed of over 30 city and state agencies, public authorities and companies that operate the region's roads, bridges, tunnels, mass transit, and water, sewer, energy and telecommunications systems - all with critical infrastructure identified as vulnerable. It is one of the most comprehensive adaptation efforts yet launched by an urban region. To guide the effort, Mayor Michael Bloomberg has formed the New York City Panel on Climate Change (NPCC), modeled on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Experts on the panel include climatologists, sea-level rise specialists, adaptation experts, and engineers, as well as representatives from the insurance and legal sectors. The NPCC is developing planning tools for use by the Task Force members that provide information about climate risks, adaptation and risk assessment, prioritization frameworks, and climate protection levels. The advisory panel is supplying climate change projections, helping to identify at- risk infrastructure, and assisting the Task Force in developing adaptation strategies and guidelines for design of new structures. The NPCC will also publish an assessment report in 2009 that will serve as the foundation for climate change adaptation in the New York City region, similar to the IPCC reports. Issues that the Climate Change Adaptation Task Force and the NPCC are addressing include decision- making under climate change uncertainty, effective ways for expert knowledge to be incorporated into public actions, and strategies for maintaining consistent and effective attention to long-term climate change even as municipal governments cycle

  9. Supporting Change in Classroom Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sato, Mistilina; Atkin, J. Myron

    2007-01-01

    Formative assessment has been receiving increasing attention in education. But from a classroom teacher's perspective, changing assessment practices is not always an easy, straightforward process. This article describes the experiences of five middle schools science teachers who met together weekly to exchange ideas about integrating formative…

  10. Congress Assesses Climate Change Paleodata

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bierly, Eugene W.

    2006-08-01

    The `hockey stick' graph of surfacetemperature change overthe past millennium and implicationsfor climate change assessments wasthe subject of two hearings held by the U.S.House of Representatives Energy and CommerceSubcommittee on Oversight andInvestigations, on 19 and 27 July. These hearingsmarked only the second time that thecommittee has discussed climate issuessince George W. Bush became president.

  11. Electroencephalographic Coherence and Learning: Distinct Patterns of Change during Word Learning and Figure Learning Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Collins, Peter; Hogan, Michael; Kilmartin, Liam; Keane, Michael; Kaiser, Jochen; Fischer, Kurt

    2010-01-01

    One likely mechanism in learning new skills is change in synchronous connections between distributed neural networks, which can be measured by coherence analysis of electroencephalographic patterns. This study examined coherence changes during the learning of two tasks, a word association task and a figure association task. Although learning…

  12. Task-based assessment and optimization of digital breast tomosynthesis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Young, Stefano

    Digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) is a new technology for breast cancer screening that promises to complement mammography or supersede it to become the standard for breast imaging. DBT involves taking multiple images in order to synthesize a new image that represents a slice through the breast volume---hence the term tomosynthesis. The primary advantage of this paradigm is that it can reduce the amount of overlapping anatomy in the data, leading to improved visualization of potentially-cancerous findings. The difficulty in DBT is quantifying the advantages of the technology and determining the optimal conditions for its clinical use. This dissertation describes a virtual trial framework for assessing and optimizing DBT technology for the specific task of detecting small, low-contrast masses in the breast. It addresses each component of the imaging chain to some degree, from the patients/phantoms to the imaging hardware to the model observers used to measure signal detectability. The main focus, however, is on quantifying tradeoffs between three key parameters that affect image quality: (1) scan angle, (2) number of projections, and (3) exposure. We show that in low-density breast phantoms, detectability generally increases with both scan angle and number of projections in the anatomical-variability-limited (high-exposure) regime. We also investigate how breast density affects the optimal DBT scan parameters. We show task-specific results that support using an adaptive paradigm in DBT, where the imaging system reconfigures itself in response to information about the patient's breast density. The virtual framework described in this dissertation provides a platform for further investigations of image quality in 3D breast imaging.

  13. The odour span task: a novel paradigm for assessing working memory in mice.

    PubMed

    Young, Jared W; Kerr, Lorraine E; Kelly, John S; Marston, Hugh M; Spratt, Christopher; Finlayson, Keith; Sharkey, John

    2007-02-01

    Impoverished odour recognition and memory are amongst the earliest symptoms observed in mild cognitive impairment, Alzheimer's disease and schizophrenia, and have been advocated as early disease bio-markers. Although transgenic animals modelling disease pathologies continually emerge, there remains a paucity of tasks to examine olfactory working memory in mice. The present studies describe a mouse odour span task, which assesses the ability to remember increasing numbers of odours. Since caspase-3 is highly expressed throughout the olfactory system, we postulated that mice over-expressing this apoptogenic protein would exhibit impaired performance in the odour span task. Mice over-expressing human caspase-3 (Tg) exhibited age-independent deficits in olfactory working memory (6-18 months) compared with wild-type littermates, requiring longer for task acquisition and exhibiting impaired asymptotic performance, with reduced span lengths, lower accuracy and increased error rates. These impairments appeared to be selective for working memory, as Tg mice had no deficits in odour discriminatory ability or in locomotor measures. Importantly, nicotine, which improves working memory span in man, reversed the deficits exhibited by Tg mice. In conclusion, the mouse odour span task can detect subtle changes in olfactory working memory induced by genetic manipulation and drug administration and therefore should be applied to animal models of neurological disease.

  14. Spaceflight-Induced Cardiovascular Changes and Recovery During NASA's Functional Task Test

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Arzeno, N. M.; Stenger, M. B.; Bloomberg, J. J.; Platts, S. H.

    2010-01-01

    Microgravity-induced physiological changes could impair a crewmember s performance upon return to a gravity environment. The Functional Task Test (FTT) is designed to correlate these physiological changes to performance in mission-critical tasks. The Recovery from Fall/Stand Test (RFST) simulates one such task, measuring the ability to recover from a prone position and the cardiovascular response to orthostasis. The purpose of this study was to evaluate spaceflight-induced cardiovascular changes during the FTT. METHODS: Five astronauts participated in the FTT before 10-15 day missions, on landing day (R+0), and one (R+1), six (R+6) and thirty (R+30) days after landing. The RFST consisted of a 2-minute prone rest followed by a 3-minute stand during which heart rate (HR, Holter) and continuous blood pressure (BP, Finometer) were measured. Spectral heart rate variability (HRV) was calculated during the RFST to approximate autonomic function. Statistical analysis was performed with two-factor repeated measures ANOVA. RESULTS: During RFST, HR was higher on R+0 than preflight (p<0.004). This increase in HR persisted on R+1 and R+6 during the stand portion of RFST (p<0.026). BP was well-regulated on all test days. Parasympathetic activity was diminished on R+0 (p=0.035). Sympathovagal balance tended to be affected by spaceflight (main effect, p=0.072), appearing to be slightly elevated during postflight RFST except on R+30. Additionally, analysis of HR during the functional tasks yielded a higher HR on R+0 than preflight during 8 of 11 tasks analyzed, where all tasks had HR return to preflight values by R+30 (p<0.05). CONCLUSION: Spaceflight causes an increase in HR, decrease in parasympathetic activity, and increase in sympathovagal balance, which we confirmed during RFST. These spaceflight-induced changes seen in the RFST, along with the increased postflight HR in most functional tasks, can be used to assess functional performance after short-duration spaceflight.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  16. Changing students' attitudes towards risky motor tasks: an application of the IZOF model.

    PubMed

    Robazza, Claudio; Bortoli, Laura

    2005-10-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of an intervention programme in the physical education setting designed to change attitudes and emotions triggered by potentially risky motor tasks. The individual zones of optimal functioning (IZOF) model was used as a theoretical framework for the study. Italian male and female high school students (N = 84) took part in a 12 lesson intervention and in test-retest sessions. The assessment was conducted using the Motor Activity Anxiety Test to measure the students' approach-avoidance attitudes in the face of physical education tasks purported to engender strong emotional reactions. An idiosyncratic emotional profile was also implemented using a list of pleasant/unpleasant emotional adjectives. Two experimental groups were involved in the learning and performing of several potentially risky, highly emotion-arousing tasks, while two control groups were engaged in low-risk team sports. According to the hypothesis of the study, the programme was effective in decreasing the students' avoidance tendencies towards thrilling tasks and in increasing optimal-pleasant emotions. Our findings also demonstrated the feasibility and utility of applying the IZOF model to the context of physical education. PMID:16194984

  17. A Framework for Determining the Authenticity of Assessment Tasks: Applied to an Example in Law

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Burton, Kelley

    2011-01-01

    Authentic assessment tasks enhance engagement, retention and the aspirations of students. This paper explores the discipline-generic features of authentic assessment, which reflect what students need to achieve in the real world. Some assessment tasks are more authentic than others and this paper designs a proposed framework supported by the…

  18. Early auditory change detection implicitly facilitated by ignored concurrent visual change during a Braille reading task.

    PubMed

    Aoyama, Atsushi; Haruyama, Tomohiro; Kuriki, Shinya

    2013-09-01

    Unconscious monitoring of multimodal stimulus changes enables humans to effectively sense the external environment. Such automatic change detection is thought to be reflected in auditory and visual mismatch negativity (MMN) and mismatch negativity fields (MMFs). These are event-related potentials and magnetic fields, respectively, evoked by deviant stimuli within a sequence of standard stimuli, and both are typically studied during irrelevant visual tasks that cause the stimuli to be ignored. Due to the sensitivity of MMN/MMF to potential effects of explicit attention to vision, however, it is unclear whether multisensory co-occurring changes can purely facilitate early sensory change detection reciprocally across modalities. We adopted a tactile task involving the reading of Braille patterns as a neutral ignore condition, while measuring magnetoencephalographic responses to concurrent audiovisual stimuli that were infrequently deviated either in auditory, visual, or audiovisual dimensions; 1000-Hz standard tones were switched to 1050-Hz deviant tones and/or two-by-two standard check patterns displayed on both sides of visual fields were switched to deviant reversed patterns. The check patterns were set to be faint enough so that the reversals could be easily ignored even during Braille reading. While visual MMFs were virtually undetectable even for visual and audiovisual deviants, significant auditory MMFs were observed for auditory and audiovisual deviants, originating from bilateral supratemporal auditory areas. Notably, auditory MMFs were significantly enhanced for audiovisual deviants from about 100 ms post-stimulus, as compared with the summation responses for auditory and visual deviants or for each of the unisensory deviants recorded in separate sessions. Evidenced by high tactile task performance with unawareness of visual changes, we conclude that Braille reading can successfully suppress explicit attention and that simultaneous multisensory changes can

  19. An Assessment of Caribbean Integrated Science Textbooks' Practical Tasks.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Soyibo, Kola

    1998-01-01

    Analyzes the structure and skill level of the tasks in the practical activities prescribed in eight process-oriented integrated science textbooks for Caribbean students in grades seven through nine. Results indicate that most of the tasks are structured and deductive in approach. Contains 42 references. (DDR)

  20. Use of Task-Value Instructional Inductions for Facilitating Engagement and Conceptual Change

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johnson, Marcus Lee; Sinatra, Gale M.

    2013-01-01

    This study explored the relationship between task values, engagement, and conceptual change. One hundred and sixty-six under graduate students were randomly assigned to one of three task value instructional inductions (utility, attainment, and control) to determine whether induced task values would result in different degrees of engagement and…

  1. Place-Value: Problem-Solving and Written Assessment Using Digit-Correspondence Tasks.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ross, Sharon; Sunflower, Elisa

    The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of researcher-developed lessons on students' understanding of two- and three-digit numeration. Digit-correspondence tasks, often used for individual interview assessment of place value understanding, were adapted to be used as problem-solving tasks. The tasks were presented to three classes,…

  2. Why Do Students Choose Not to Follow All Instructions When Completing Assessment Tasks?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fleet, Wendy

    2013-01-01

    As academics we often assume that allocating marks to a task will influence student decision-making when it comes to completing that task. Marks are used by lecturers to indicate the relative importance of each of the criteria used for marking the assessment task and we expect the student to respond to the marks' allocation. This Postcard suggests…

  3. Theory of Mind in Williams Syndrome Assessed Using a Nonverbal Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Porter, Melanie A.; Coltheart, Max; Langdon, Robyn

    2008-01-01

    This study examined Theory of Mind in Williams syndrome (WS) and in normal chronological age-matched and mental age-matched control groups, using a picture sequencing task. This task assesses understanding of pretence, intention and false belief, while controlling for social-script knowledge and physical cause-and-effect reasoning. The task was…

  4. Assessing and Increasing Staff Preference for Job Tasks Using Concurrent-Chains Schedules and Probabilistic Outcomes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reed, Derek D.; DiGennaro Reed, Florence D.; Campisano, Natalie; Lacourse, Kristen; Azulay, Richard L.

    2012-01-01

    The assessment and improvement of staff members' subjective valuation of nonpreferred work tasks may be one way to increase the quality of staff members' work life. The Task Enjoyment Motivation Protocol (Green, Reid, Passante, & Canipe, 2008) provides a process for supervisors to identify the aversive qualities of nonpreferred job tasks. Through…

  5. The Time on Task Effect in Reading and Problem Solving Is Moderated by Task Difficulty and Skill: Insights from a Computer-Based Large-Scale Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Goldhammer, Frank; Naumann, Johannes; Stelter, Annette; Tóth, Krisztina; Rölke, Heiko; Klieme, Eckhard

    2014-01-01

    Computer-based assessment can provide new insights into behavioral processes of task completion that cannot be uncovered by paper-based instruments. Time presents a major characteristic of the task completion process. Psychologically, time on task has 2 different interpretations, suggesting opposing associations with task outcome: Spending more…

  6. Modeling the Psychometric Properties of Complex Performance Assessment Tasks Using Confirmatory Factor Analysis: A Multistage Model for Calibrating Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kahraman, Nilufer; De Champlain, Andre; Raymond, Mark

    2012-01-01

    Item-level information, such as difficulty and discrimination are invaluable to the test assembly, equating, and scoring practices. Estimating these parameters within the context of large-scale performance assessments is often hindered by the use of unbalanced designs for assigning examinees to tasks and raters because such designs result in very…

  7. Assessment Engineering Task Model Maps, Task Models and Templates as a New Way to Develop and Implement Test Specifications

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Luecht, Richard M.

    2013-01-01

    Assessment engineering is a new way to design and implement scalable, sustainable and ideally lower-cost solutions to the complexities of designing and developing tests. It represents a merger of sorts between cognitive task modeling and engineering design principles--a merger that requires some new thinking about the nature of score scales, item…

  8. Assessment of Spatial Navigation and Docking Performance During Simulated Rover Tasks

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wood, S. J.; Dean, S. L.; De Dios, Y. E.; Moore, S. T.

    2010-01-01

    INTRODUCTION: Following long-duration exploration transits, pressurized rovers will enhance surface mobility to explore multiple sites across Mars and other planetary bodies. Multiple rovers with docking capabilities are envisioned to expand the range of exploration. However, adaptive changes in sensorimotor and cognitive function may impair the crew s ability to safely navigate and perform docking tasks shortly after transition to the new gravitoinertial environment. The primary goal of this investigation is to quantify post-flight decrements in spatial navigation and docking performance during a rover simulation. METHODS: Eight crewmembers returning from the International Space Station will be tested on a motion simulator during four pre-flight and three post-flight sessions over the first 8 days following landing. The rover simulation consists of a serial presentation of discrete tasks to be completed within a scheduled 10 min block. The tasks are based on navigating around a Martian outpost spread over a 970 sq m terrain. Each task is subdivided into three components to be performed as quickly and accurately as possible: (1) Perspective taking: Subjects use a joystick to indicate direction of target after presentation of a map detailing current orientation and location of the rover with the task to be performed. (2) Navigation: Subjects drive the rover to the desired location while avoiding obstacles. (3) Docking: Fine positioning of the rover is required to dock with another object or align a camera view. Overall operator proficiency will be based on how many tasks the crewmember can complete during the 10 min time block. EXPECTED RESULTS: Functionally relevant testing early post-flight will develop evidence regarding the limitations to early surface operations and what countermeasures are needed. This approach can be easily adapted to a wide variety of simulated vehicle designs to provide sensorimotor assessments for other operational and civilian populations.

  9. Change detection methods for distinction task of stochastic textures based on nonparametric method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sultanov, Albert K.

    2016-03-01

    The following article describes use of nonparametric method. This method is to be used to find multivariate change of random processes for image processing. It is aimed to find the borders of irregular phenomena in front of terrain. The current task of finding change and evaluation of a change point in consequent setting proposes test statistics based on value of sampling characteristic functions. The relevant criterion in a wide range of alternatives has a predetermined assessment of the asymptotic significance level. Current work also proposes an algorithm of texture segmentation for two-dimensional case. This algorithm is given as a consequence of processing operations in columns and rows of test statistics values, obtained during scanning of images. The test results are quoted.

  10. Photomontage: A New Task to Change Speaking into Talking Classrooms

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hassaskhah, Jaleh; Asli, Shohreh Rahimizadeh

    2015-01-01

    This study introduces photomontage as a task to facilitate talking in English as a Foreign Language classrooms. Thirty-three undergraduate English major students studying at the University of Guilan were assigned to design a composite photographic image by combining images from separate photographic sources, and use it as the stimulus to initiate…

  11. Voice command and the change of mental representation during task performance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amalberti, R.; Batejat, D.; Menu, J.-P.

    1987-02-01

    A two task experiment was performed to assess the distribution of mental resources and the competition between mental and speaking resources during task performance. The experiment was designed so that a primary surveillance/detection task was performed along with a secondary task involving the input of flight related information by either keyboard or voice command. Detection time was measured for the primary task and accuracy was determined for both the primary and secondary tasks. Quantitative results show that the use of voice command favors the performance of the primary surveillance task, but, for the secondary task, the voice input was less accurate than the manual keyboard input. Qualitative results with regard to pilot visual comportment and vocal errors are also discussed.

  12. Assessment of global aridity change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Asadi Zarch, Mohammad Amin; Sivakumar, Bellie; Sharma, Ashish

    2015-01-01

    The growing demand for water and the anticipated impacts of climate change necessitate a more reliable assessment of water availability for proper planning and management. Adequate understanding of the past changes in water resources availability can offer crucial information about potential changes in the future. Aridity is a reliable representation of potential water availability, especially at large scales. The present study investigates the changes in global aridity since 1960. The study considers the UNESCO aridity index, with aridity being represented as a function of its two key drivers: precipitation (P) and potential evapotranspiration (PET). First, published literature on changes in trends of P, PET, and aridity across the world is surveyed. This is followed by the analysis of trends in the aridity observations over the period 1960-2009. The nonparametric Mann-Kendall test is performed for trend analysis and outcomes investigated for the presence of clusters of trend across different grid cells the analysis is conducted over. The results suggest that arid zones are becoming slightly more humid and vice versa. They also indicate that the trend in aridity changed, or even reversed, around 1980 in most parts of the world. We speculate that the reason for this was the dramatic change (rise) in global temperature around 1980 as per both published literature and the present analysis, which, in turn, caused similar trends for global PET. We also call for additional research to verify, and possibly confirm, the present results.

  13. Crop Identification Technolgy Assessment for Remote Sensing (CITARS). Volume 1: Task design plan

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hall, F. G.; Bizzell, R. M.

    1975-01-01

    A plan for quantifying the crop identification performances resulting from the remote identification of corn, soybeans, and wheat is described. Steps for the conversion of multispectral data tapes to classification results are specified. The crop identification performances resulting from the use of several basic types of automatic data processing techniques are compared and examined for significant differences. The techniques are evaluated also for changes in geographic location, time of the year, management practices, and other physical factors. The results of the Crop Identification Technology Assessment for Remote Sensing task will be applied extensively in the Large Area Crop Inventory Experiment.

  14. Student performance on argumentation task in the Swedish National Assessment in science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jönsson, Anders

    2016-07-01

    The aim of this study is to investigate the influence of content knowledge on students' socio-scientific argumentation in the Swedish National Assessment in biology, chemistry and physics for 12-year-olds. In Sweden, the assessment of socio-scientific argumentation has been a major part of the National Assessment during three consecutive years and this study utilizes data on student performance to investigate (a) the relationship between tasks primarily addressing argumentation and tasks addressing primarily content knowledge as well as (b) students' performance on argumentation tasks, which differ in relation to content, subject, aspect of argumentation and assessment criteria. Findings suggest a strong and positive relationship between content knowledge and students' performance on argumentation tasks. The analysis also provides some hypotheses about the task difficulty of argumentation tasks that may be pursued in future investigations.

  15. The assessment of risky decision making: a factor analysis of performance on the Iowa Gambling Task, Balloon Analogue Risk Task, and Columbia Card Task.

    PubMed

    Buelow, Melissa T; Blaine, Amber L

    2015-09-01

    Researchers and clinicians frequently use behavioral measures to assess decision making. The most common task that is marketed to clinicians is the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT), thought to assess risky decision making. How does performance on the IGT relate to performance on other common measures of decision making? The present study sought to examine relationships between the IGT, the Balloon Analogue Risk Task (BART), and the Columbia Card Task (CCT). Participants were 390 undergraduate students who completed the IGT, BART, and either the "hot" or "cold" CCT. Principal components factor analysis on the IGT, BART, and CCT-cold (n = 112) indicated that the IGT measures a different component of decision making than the BART, and the CCT-cold weakly correlated with early IGT trials. Results of the exploratory factor analysis on the IGT, BART, and CCT-hot (n = 108) revealed a similar picture: the IGT and BART assessed different types of decision making, and the BART and CCT-hot were weakly correlated. A confirmatory factor analysis (n = 170) indicated that a 3-factor model without the CCT-cold (Factor 1: later IGT trials; Factor 2: BART; and Factor 3: early IGT trials) was a better fitting model than one that included the CCT-cold and early IGT trials on the same factor. Collectively, the present results suggest that the IGT, BART, and CCT all measure unique, nonoverlapping decision making processes. Further research is needed to more fully understand the neuropsychological construct of decision making. PMID:25580611

  16. Interactive Computer Based Assessment Tasks: How Problem-Solving Process Data Can Inform Instruction

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zoanetti, Nathan

    2010-01-01

    This article presents key steps in the design and analysis of a computer based problem-solving assessment featuring interactive tasks. The purpose of the assessment is to support targeted instruction for students by diagnosing strengths and weaknesses at different stages of problem-solving. The first focus of this article is the task piloting…

  17. The Differential Effects of Task Complexity on Domain-Specific and Peer Assessment Skills

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    van Zundert, Marjo J.; Sluijsmans, Dominique M. A.; Konings, Karen D.; van Merrienboer, Jeroen J. G.

    2012-01-01

    In this study the relationship between domain-specific skills and peer assessment skills as a function of task complexity is investigated. We hypothesised that peer assessment skills were superposed on domain-specific skills and will therefore suffer more when higher cognitive load is induced by increased task complexity. In a mixed factorial…

  18. What Can You Learn in Three Minutes? Critical Reflection on an Assessment Task that Embeds Technology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brown, Natalie Ruth

    2009-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to critically examine an assessment task, undertaken by pre-service science teachers, that integrates the use of technology (in this case digital video-recorders and video-editing software) whilst scaffolding skill development. The embedding of technology into the assessment task is purposeful, aiming to…

  19. A Model of Formative Task-Based Language Assessment for Chinese as a Foreign Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ke, Chuanren

    2006-01-01

    This article presents a model of formative task-based language assessment implemented in the Chinese language program at the University of Iowa. The model was conceptualized from both empirical evidence, namely previous research done by other team members and me, and assessment theory, namely task-based learning and testing. Our formative…

  20. Creating Opportunities for Students to Show What They Know: The Role of Scaffolding in Assessment Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kang, Hosun; Thompson, Jessica; Windschitl, Mark

    2014-01-01

    This study examines the ways in which teachers provide students with written scaffolds in assessment tasks and the impact of these on students' abilities to demonstrate a core disciplinary proficiency--constructing evidence-based explanations. Data include 76 assessment tasks designed by 33 science teachers and 707 samples of student work. We…

  1. The relations of daily task accomplishment satisfaction with changes in affect: a multilevel study in nurses.

    PubMed

    Gabriel, Allison S; Diefendorff, James M; Erickson, Rebecca J

    2011-09-01

    Focusing on a sample of nurses, this investigation examined the relationships of daily task accomplishment satisfaction (for direct and indirect care tasks) with changes in positive and negative affect from preshift to postshift. Not accomplishing tasks to one's satisfaction was conceptualized as a daily workplace stressor that should increase daily negative affect and decrease daily positive affect from preshift to postshift. Further, because of the greater centrality of direct care nursing tasks to nursing work role identities (relative to indirect care tasks), we expected that task accomplishment satisfaction (or lack thereof) for these tasks would have stronger effects on changes in affect than would task accomplishment satisfaction for indirect care tasks. We also examined 2 person-level resources, collegial nurse-physician relations and psychological resilience, as moderators of the relationships among these daily variables, with the expectation that these resources would buffer the harmful effects of low task accomplishment satisfaction on nurse affect. Results supported almost all of the proposed effects, though the cross-level interactions were observed only for the effects of indirect care task accomplishment satisfaction on affect and not for direct care task accomplishment satisfaction on affect. PMID:21639600

  2. Applications of integrated human error identification techniques on the chemical cylinder change task.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Ching-Min; Hwang, Sheue-Ling

    2015-03-01

    This paper outlines the human error identification (HEI) techniques that currently exist to assess latent human errors. Many formal error identification techniques have existed for years, but few have been validated to cover latent human error analysis in different domains. This study considers many possible error modes and influential factors, including external error modes, internal error modes, psychological error mechanisms, and performance shaping factors, and integrates several execution procedures and frameworks of HEI techniques. The case study in this research was the operational process of changing chemical cylinders in a factory. In addition, the integrated HEI method was used to assess the operational processes and the system's reliability. It was concluded that the integrated method is a valuable aid to develop much safer operational processes and can be used to predict human error rates on critical tasks in the plant.

  3. Changes in the theta band coherence during motor task after hand immobilization.

    PubMed

    Brauns, Igor; Teixeira, Silmar; Velasques, Bruna; Bittencourt, Juliana; Machado, Sergio; Cagy, Mauricio; Gongora, Mariana; Bastos, Victor Hugo; Machado, Dionis; Sandoval-Carrillo, Ada; Salas-Pacheco, Jose; Piedade, Roberto; Ribeiro, Pedro; Arias-Carrión, Oscar

    2014-01-01

    Many different factors can temporarily or permanently impair movement and impairs cortical organization, e.g. hand immobilization. Such changes have been widely studied using electroencephalography. Within this context, we have investigated the immobilization effects through the theta band coherence analysis, in order to find out whether the immobilization period causes any changes in the inter and intra-hemispheric coherence within the cerebral cortex, as well as to observe whether the theta band provides any information about the neural mechanisms involved during the motor act. We analyzed the cortical changes that occurred after 48 hours of hand immobilization. The theta band coherence was study through electroencephalography in 30 healthy subjects, divided into two groups (control and experimental). Within both groups, the subjects executed a task involving flexion and extension of the index finger, before and after 48 hours. The experimental group, however, was actually submitted to hand immobilization. We were able to observe an increase in the coupling within the experimental group in the frontal, parietal and temporal regions, and a decrease in the motor area. In order to execute manual tasks after some time of movement restriction, greater coherence is present in areas related to attention, movement preparation and sensorimotor integration processes. These results may contribute to a detailed assessment of involved neurophysiological mechanism in motor act execution. PMID:25838843

  4. A functional tracking task to assess frontal plane motor control in post stroke gait.

    PubMed

    Reissman, Megan E; Dhaher, Yasin Y

    2015-07-16

    The ability to execute appropriate medio-lateral foot placements during gait is thought to require active frontal plane control and to be critical in maintaining upright posture during gait. The aggregate frontal plane metrics of step width and step width variability have been assessed for post-stroke populations, but only under normal walking conditions. However, in the case of stroke, limb specific differences in sensory-motor control are likely. Thus, an investigation of limb specific motor control characteristics under tracking task conditions is needed to appropriately characterize frontal plane sensory-motor control post-stroke. Chronic stroke subjects (n=15) and age matched control subjects (n=10) tracked static, bilateral foot placement targets at self-selected walking speeds and completed a free walking trial. Variability and error of tracking performance were analyzed for step width and foot placement. Stroke subjects demonstrated reduced ability to control step width variability and foot placement variability, compared to control subjects. Step width variability and affected limb foot placement variability were sensitive to task complexity, increasing significantly in response to a decrease in step width target size. These results show that stroke mediated changes in the sensory-motor integration processes are manifested as inter-limb differences in frontal plane motor variability during a gait tracking task, with an additional sensitivity to task complexity. Additionally, the proposed step width tracking paradigm presents a clinically reproducible motor control metric that can be used for diagnostic assessment or as a potential outcome for a gait training regimen. PMID:26037229

  5. Metabolic Assessment of Suited Mobility Using Functional Tasks

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Norcross, J. R.; McFarland, S. M.; Ploutz-Snyder, Robert

    2016-01-01

    Existing methods for evaluating extravehicular activity (EVA) suit mobility have typically focused on isolated joint range of motion or torque, but these techniques have little to do with how well a crewmember functionally performs in an EVA suit. To evaluate suited mobility at the system level through measuring metabolic cost (MC) of functional tasks.

  6. Assessing urban climate change resilience

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Voskaki, Asimina

    2016-04-01

    Recent extreme weather events demonstrate that many urban environments are vulnerable to climate change impacts and as a consequence designing systems for future climate seems to be an important parameter in sustainable urban planning. The focus of this research is the development of a theoretical framework to assess climate change resilience in urban environments. The methodological approach used encompasses literature review, detailed analysis, and combination of data, and the development of a series of evaluation criteria, which are further analyzed into a list of measures. The choice of the specific measures is based upon various environmental, urban planning parameters, social, economic and institutional features taking into consideration key vulnerabilities and risk associated with climate change. The selected criteria are further prioritized to incorporate into the evaluation framework the level of importance of different issues towards a climate change resilient city. The framework could support decision making as regards the ability of an urban system to adapt. In addition it gives information on the level of adaptation, outlining barriers to sustainable urban planning and pointing out drivers for action and reaction.

  7. Personality and attention: Levels of neuroticism and extraversion can predict attentional performance during a change detection task.

    PubMed

    Hahn, Sowon; Buttaccio, Daniel R; Hahn, Jungwon; Lee, Taehun

    2015-01-01

    The present study demonstrates that levels of extraversion and neuroticism can predict attentional performance during a change detection task. After completing a change detection task built on the flicker paradigm, participants were assessed for personality traits using the Revised Eysenck Personality Questionnaire (EPQ-R). Multiple regression analyses revealed that higher levels of extraversion predict increased change detection accuracies, while higher levels of neuroticism predict decreased change detection accuracies. In addition, neurotic individuals exhibited decreased sensitivity A' and increased fixation dwell times. Hierarchical regression analyses further revealed that eye movement measures mediate the relationship between neuroticism and change detection accuracies. Based on the current results, we propose that neuroticism is associated with decreased attentional control over the visual field, presumably due to decreased attentional disengagement. Extraversion can predict increased attentional performance, but the effect is smaller than the relationship between neuroticism and attention.

  8. Proactive interference does not meaningfully distort visual working memory capacity estimates in the canonical change detection task.

    PubMed

    Lin, Po-Han; Luck, Steven J

    2012-01-01

    The change detection task has become a standard method for estimating the storage capacity of visual working memory. Most researchers assume that this task isolates the properties of an active short-term storage system that can be dissociated from long-term memory systems. However, long-term memory storage may influence performance on this task. In particular, memory traces from previous trials may create proactive interference that sometimes leads to errors, thereby reducing estimated capacity. Consequently, the capacity of visual working memory may be higher than is usually thought, and correlations between capacity and other measures of cognition may reflect individual differences in proactive interference rather than individual differences in the capacity of the short-term storage system. Indeed, previous research has shown that change detection performance can be influenced by proactive interference under some conditions. The purpose of the present study was to determine whether the canonical version of the change detection task - in which the to-be-remembered information consists of simple, briefly presented features - is influenced by proactive interference. Two experiments were conducted using methods that ordinarily produce substantial evidence of proactive interference, but no proactive interference was observed. Thus, the canonical version of the change detection task can be used to assess visual working memory capacity with no meaningful influence of proactive interference.

  9. People have the power: priority of socially relevant stimuli in a change detection task.

    PubMed

    Bracco, Fabrizio; Chiorri, Carlo

    2009-02-01

    Change detection performance is influenced by a number of factors, among which is the informativeness of targets. It has not been clarified, yet, whether the highly informative regions have a processing priority as a result of resource deployment from other tasks or whether it results from a better resource management. In this paper, we adopted a change detection paradigm in which thirty participants were randomly assigned to two groups: single (change detection task) and dual task [change detection and a simplified version of the Paced Auditory Serial Oppository Task (PASOT, Gow and Deary in J Clin Exp Neuropsychol 26:723-736, 2004), which implies a verbal effort]. Stimulus informativeness was defined as social relevance, that is, changing targets were people (high relevance) versus objects (low relevance), all other aspects (i.e., salience and position in the scene) kept constant. As hypothesized, data analyses showed a significant main effect of social relevance and task condition, i.e., better change detection performance and lower change detection times for people versus objects and for single than for dual task condition. Interestingly, the PASOT accuracy remained stable across the person versus object trials, thus implying that the better performance with socially relevant targets could not be explained by a resources withdrawal from the secondary task.

  10. A Box Lift and Place Assessment is Related to Performance of Several Military Manual Handling Tasks.

    PubMed

    Carstairs, Greg L; Ham, Daniel J; Savage, Robert J; Best, Stuart A; Beck, Benjamin; Doyle, Timothy L A

    2016-03-01

    Soldiers undergo regular physical testing to assess their functional capacity. However, current physical tests, such as push-ups, sit-ups, and pull-ups, do not necessarily assess job-specific physical capability. This article assesses the utility of generic predictive tests and a task-related predictive test in predicting performance against four job-critical military manual handling tasks. The box lift and place test was found to be the superior predictor in performance of four job tasks; a pack lift and place (R(2) = 0.76), artillery gunner loading simulation (R(2) = 0.36), bombing up an M1 tank simulation, (R(2) = 0.47) and a bridge building simulation (R(2) = 0.63). Pull-ups and push-ups were poor predictors of performance in the majority of job tasks. Although the box lift and place had a larger correlation with the artillery gunner loading task than the generic assessment, it only accounted for 36% of the variance, indicating that a task simulation may be more appropriate to assess soldiers' capacity to perform this job task. These results support the use of a box lift and place rather than generic fitness tests for the evaluation of military manual handling tasks.

  11. Changes in Self-Efficacy and Task Value in Online Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lee, Cheng-Yuan

    2015-01-01

    This study was designed to investigate whether course content self-efficacy, online technologies self-efficacy, and task value change over the course of a semester. Sixty-nine participating students from four classes provided data through two instruments: (1) the self-efficacy instrument and (2) the task value instrument. Students' self-efficacy…

  12. The Dynamics of Development on the Dimensional Change Card Sorting Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    van Bers, Bianca M. C. W.; Visser, Ingmar; van Schijndel, Tessa J. P.; Mandell, Dorothy J.; Raijmakers, Maartje E. J.

    2011-01-01

    A widely used paradigm to study cognitive flexibility in preschoolers is the Dimensional Change Card Sorting (DCCS) task. The developmental dynamics of DCCS performance was studied in a cross-sectional design (N = 93, 3 to 5 years of age) using a computerized version of the standard DCCS task. A model-based analysis of the data showed that…

  13. A task-based approach to assessing lead exposure among iron workers engaged in bridge rehabilitation.

    PubMed

    Goldberg, M; Levin, S M; Doucette, J T; Griffin, G

    1997-03-01

    The assessment of worker exposures to airborne contaminants in the dynamic environment present at most construction sites poses considerable challenges to the industrial hygienist. In this study, we applied a task-based approach to the assessment of lead exposure among structural steel iron workers engaged in a large, complex bridge rehabilitation project. We evaluated the usefulness of task-based exposure data for the development of worker protection programs. Task-specific and multitask samples were collected, and operation-specific and 8-hr time-weighted averages were calculated. The task-specific data showed significant differences in exposure levels among different tasks. Arithmetic mean exposures varied from 1,357 micrograms/m3 lead for torch cutting and 989 micrograms/m3 for scaling to 31 micrograms/m3 for reaming and 4 micrograms/m3 for drilling. Our task-specific data were compared with the task-based exposure levels presented by OSHA in its Lead Exposure in Construction-Interim Final Rule (29 CFR 1926). There was good general agreement between our results and OSHA's reported data. Task-based data were very useful in exposure assessment and much more precise than full-shift and operation-based measurements in guiding strategies for worker protection. These findings suggest that task-based data should routinely be collected in evaluating exposure to lead and perhaps other toxic substances in construction work.

  14. Questionnaire assessment of estimated radiation effects upon military task performance

    SciTech Connect

    Glickman, A.S.; Winne, P.S.; Morgan, B.B. Jr.; Moe, R.B.

    1984-04-01

    One hundred twenty-five supervisors in four types of U.S. Army combat systems estimated the degree of degradation of military tasks for 30 descriptive symptom complexes associated with various radiation exposures. Results indicated that (a) the relative order of symptom effects were highly consistent across positions and the types of systems, (b) performances were expected to be deleteriously affected under most illness conditions, even mild ones, but incapacitation was not anticipated until illness conditions became quite severe, and (c) the most important factors in estimating performances were fluid loss and fatigability/weakness.

  15. Motivation, intentionality, and mind wandering: Implications for assessments of task-unrelated thought.

    PubMed

    Seli, Paul; Cheyne, James Allan; Xu, Mengran; Purdon, Christine; Smilek, Daniel

    2015-09-01

    Researchers of mind wandering frequently assume that (a) participants are motivated to do well on the tasks they are given, and (b) task-unrelated thoughts (TUTs) that occur during task performance reflect unintentional, unwanted thoughts that occur despite participants' best intentions to maintain task-focus. Given the relatively boring and tedious nature of most mind-wandering tasks, however, there is the possibility that some participants have little motivation to do well on such tasks, and that this lack of motivation might in turn result in increases specifically in intentional TUTs. In the present study, we explored these possibilities, finding that individuals reporting lower motivation to perform well on a sustained-attention task reported more intentional relative to unintentional TUTs compared with individuals reporting higher motivation. Interestingly, our results indicate that the extent to which participants engage in intentional versus unintentional TUTs does not differentially relate to performance: both types of off-task thought were found to be equally associated with performance decrements. Participants with low levels of task-motivation also engaged in more overall TUTs, however, and this increase in TUTs was associated with greater performance decrements. We discuss these findings in the context of the literature on mind wandering, highlighting the importance of assessing the intentionality of TUTs and motivation to perform well on tasks assessing mind wandering.

  16. Constructing Tasks for Direct Writing Assessment: A Frontier Revisited.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brand, Alice G.

    Since the 1980s, composition studies have considered the steps to be taken before assessment: designing the test essay question. While large-scale assessment has little control over writing variables (such as students' learning styles, their reading ability, and their interpretation of the topic), the content or the topic of the writing prompt and…

  17. Great Performances: Creating Classroom-Based Assessment Tasks. Second Edition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shoemaker, Betty; Lewin, Larry

    2011-01-01

    Get an in-depth understanding of how to create fun, engaging, and challenging performance assessments that require students to elaborate on content and demonstrate mastery of skills. This update of an ASCD (Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development) classic includes new scoring methods, reading assessments, and insights on navigating…

  18. Investigating Assessment Bias for Constructed Response Explanation Tasks: Implications for Evaluating Performance Expectations for Scientific Practice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Federer, Meghan Rector

    frequently incorporate multivalent concepts into explanations of change, resulting in explanatory practices that were scientifically non-normative. However, use of follow-up question approaches was found to resolve this source of bias and thereby increase the validity of inferences about student understanding. The second study focused on issues of item and instrument structure, specifically item feature effects and item position effects, which have been shown to influence measures of student performance across assessment tasks. Results indicated that, along the instrument item sequence, items with similar surface features produced greater sequencing effects than sequences of items with dissimilar surface features. This bias could be addressed by use of a counterbalanced design (i.e., Latin Square) at the population level of analysis. Explanation scores were also highly correlated with student verbosity, despite verbosity being an intrinsically trivial aspect of explanation quality. Attempting to standardize student response length was one proposed solution to the verbosity bias. The third study explored gender differences in students' performance on constructed-response explanation tasks using impact (i.e., mean raw scores) and differential item function (i.e., item difficulties) patterns. While prior research in science education has suggested that females tend to perform better on constructed-response items, the results of this study revealed no overall differences in gender achievement. However, evaluation of specific item features patterns suggested that female respondents have a slight advantage on unfamiliar explanation tasks. That is, male students tended to incorporate fewer scientifically normative concepts (i.e., key concepts) than females for unfamiliar taxa. Conversely, females tended to incorporate more scientifically non-normative ideas (i.e., naive ideas) than males for familiar taxa. Together these results indicate that gender achievement differences for this

  19. A 10-Year Assessment of Information and Communication Technology Tasks Required in Undergraduate Agriculture Courses

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Edgar, Leslie D.; Johnson, Donald M.; Cox, Casandra

    2012-01-01

    This study sought to assess required information and communication technology (ICT) tasks in selected undergraduate agriculture courses in a land-grant university during a 10-year period. Selected agriculture faculty members in the fall 1999 (n = 63), 2004 (n = 55), and 2009 (n = 64) semesters were surveyed to determine the ICT tasks they required…

  20. Development and Validation of an Admission Test Designed to Assess Samples of Performance on Academic Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tanilon, Jenny; Segers, Mien; Vedder, Paul; Tillema, Harm

    2009-01-01

    This study illustrates the development and validation of an admission test, labeled as Performance Samples on Academic Tasks in Educational Sciences (PSAT-Ed), designed to assess samples of performance on academic tasks characteristic of those that would eventually be encountered by examinees in an Educational Sciences program. The test was based…

  1. Examining the Generalizability of Direct Writing Assessment Tasks. CSE Technical Report 718

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chen, Eva; Niemi, David; Wang, Jia; Wang, Haiwen; Mirocha, Jim

    2007-01-01

    This study investigated the level of generalizability across a few high quality assessment tasks and the validity of measuring student writing ability using a limited number of essay tasks. More specifically, the research team explored how well writing prompts could measure student general writing ability and if student performance from one…

  2. Assessing Abuse Risk beyond Self-Report: Analog Task of Acceptability of Parent-Child Aggression

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rodriguez, Christina M.; Russa, Mary Bower; Harmon, Nancy

    2011-01-01

    Objectives: The present investigation reports on the development and initial validation of a new analog task, the Parent-Child Aggression Acceptability Movie Task (P-CAAM), intended to assess respondents' acceptance of parent-child aggression, including both physical discipline and physical abuse. Methods: Two independent samples were utilized to…

  3. Changes in Practice Schedule and Functional Task Difficulty: a Study Using the Probe Reaction Time Technique

    PubMed Central

    Akizuki, Kazunori; Ohashi, Yukari

    2013-01-01

    [Purpose] Motor learning is accelerated most by optimized task difficulty. When task difficulty is optimized, the amount of information required to complete the task matches the learner's information processing abilities. The practice schedule is one of the factors which changes the amount of task information. We investigated the influence of changes in practice schedule on the amount of task information using the probe reaction time technique. [Methods] Fourteen young male subjects were randomly assigned to a blocked or random practice group. They were required to perform two tasks simultaneously. The primary task consisted of treadmill walking with specific step lengths, and the secondary task consisted of a probe reaction time task. [Results] The blocked practice group was superior to the random practice group in performance during the acquisition phase. In contrast, the random practice group was superior to the blocked practice group in performance during the retention phase. Furthermore, the random practice group had a longer reaction time than the blocked practice group. [Conclusion] From the standpoint of the challenge point framework, motor learning may be accelerated by random practice because random practice probably elicits greater attentional demand than blocked practice. PMID:24259863

  4. Assessment at North Carolina State University: Adapting to Change in the Workplace

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bresciani, Marilee J.; Griffiths, Jane H.; Rust, Jon P.

    2009-01-01

    Effectively introducing change in job responsibilities, particularly when dealing with tenured faculty, can be challenging. More often, additions or changes to work tasks, such as integrating assessment procedures into existing work tasks, requires employees to apply new and/or more complex knowledge, skill, and ability. When compared to…

  5. A methodology to assess performance of human-robotic systems in achievement of collective tasks

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Howard, Ayanna M.

    2005-01-01

    In this paper, we present a methodology to assess system performance of human-robotic systems in achievement of collective tasks such as habitat construction, geological sampling, and space exploration.

  6. Performance assessment in complex individual and team tasks

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Eddy, Douglas R.

    1992-01-01

    Described here is an eclectic, performance based approach to assessing cognitive performance from multiple perspectives. The experience gained from assessing the effects of antihistamines and scenario difficulty on C (exp 2) decision making performance in Airborne Warning and Control Systems (AWACS) weapons director (WD) teams can serve as a model for realistic simulations in space operations. Emphasis is placed on the flexibility of measurement, hierarchical organization of measurement levels, data collection from multiple perspectives, and the difficulty of managing large amounts of data.

  7. The role of audience participation and task relevance on change detection during a card trick.

    PubMed

    Smith, Tim J

    2015-01-01

    Magicians utilize many techniques for misdirecting audience attention away from the secret sleight of a trick. One technique is to ask an audience member to participate in a trick either physically by asking them to choose a card or cognitively by having them keep track of a card. While such audience participation is an established part of most magic the cognitive mechanisms by which it operates are unknown. Failure to detect changes to objects while passively viewing magic tricks has been shown to be conditional on the changing feature being irrelevant to the current task. How change blindness operates during interactive tasks is unclear but preliminary evidence suggests that relevance of the changing feature may also play a role (Triesch et al., 2003). The present study created a simple on-line card trick inspired by Triesch et al.'s (2003) that allowed playing cards to be instantaneously replaced without distraction or occlusion as participants were either actively sorting the cards (Doing condition) or watching another person perform the task (Watching conditions). Participants were given one of three sets of instructions. The relevance of the card color to the task increased across the three instructions. During half of the trials a card changed color (but retained its number) as it was moving to the stack. Participants were instructed to immediately report such changes. Analysis of the probability of reporting a change revealed that actively performing the sorting task led to more missed changes than passively watching the same task but only when the changing feature was irrelevant to the sorting task. If the feature was relevant during either the pick-up or put-down action change detection was as good as during the watching block. These results confirm the ability of audience participation to create subtle dynamics of attention and perception during a magic trick and hide otherwise striking changes at the center of attention.

  8. The role of audience participation and task relevance on change detection during a card trick

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Tim J.

    2015-01-01

    Magicians utilize many techniques for misdirecting audience attention away from the secret sleight of a trick. One technique is to ask an audience member to participate in a trick either physically by asking them to choose a card or cognitively by having them keep track of a card. While such audience participation is an established part of most magic the cognitive mechanisms by which it operates are unknown. Failure to detect changes to objects while passively viewing magic tricks has been shown to be conditional on the changing feature being irrelevant to the current task. How change blindness operates during interactive tasks is unclear but preliminary evidence suggests that relevance of the changing feature may also play a role (Triesch et al., 2003). The present study created a simple on-line card trick inspired by Triesch et al.’s (2003) that allowed playing cards to be instantaneously replaced without distraction or occlusion as participants were either actively sorting the cards (Doing condition) or watching another person perform the task (Watching conditions). Participants were given one of three sets of instructions. The relevance of the card color to the task increased across the three instructions. During half of the trials a card changed color (but retained its number) as it was moving to the stack. Participants were instructed to immediately report such changes. Analysis of the probability of reporting a change revealed that actively performing the sorting task led to more missed changes than passively watching the same task but only when the changing feature was irrelevant to the sorting task. If the feature was relevant during either the pick-up or put-down action change detection was as good as during the watching block. These results confirm the ability of audience participation to create subtle dynamics of attention and perception during a magic trick and hide otherwise striking changes at the center of attention. PMID:25698986

  9. The role of audience participation and task relevance on change detection during a card trick.

    PubMed

    Smith, Tim J

    2015-01-01

    Magicians utilize many techniques for misdirecting audience attention away from the secret sleight of a trick. One technique is to ask an audience member to participate in a trick either physically by asking them to choose a card or cognitively by having them keep track of a card. While such audience participation is an established part of most magic the cognitive mechanisms by which it operates are unknown. Failure to detect changes to objects while passively viewing magic tricks has been shown to be conditional on the changing feature being irrelevant to the current task. How change blindness operates during interactive tasks is unclear but preliminary evidence suggests that relevance of the changing feature may also play a role (Triesch et al., 2003). The present study created a simple on-line card trick inspired by Triesch et al.'s (2003) that allowed playing cards to be instantaneously replaced without distraction or occlusion as participants were either actively sorting the cards (Doing condition) or watching another person perform the task (Watching conditions). Participants were given one of three sets of instructions. The relevance of the card color to the task increased across the three instructions. During half of the trials a card changed color (but retained its number) as it was moving to the stack. Participants were instructed to immediately report such changes. Analysis of the probability of reporting a change revealed that actively performing the sorting task led to more missed changes than passively watching the same task but only when the changing feature was irrelevant to the sorting task. If the feature was relevant during either the pick-up or put-down action change detection was as good as during the watching block. These results confirm the ability of audience participation to create subtle dynamics of attention and perception during a magic trick and hide otherwise striking changes at the center of attention. PMID:25698986

  10. The planetary water drama: Dual task of feeding humanity and curbing climate change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rockström, J.; Falkenmark, M.; Lannerstad, M.; Karlberg, L.

    2012-08-01

    This paper analyses the potential conflict between resilience of the Earth system and global freshwater requirements for the dual task of carbon sequestration to reduce CO2 in the atmosphere, and food production to feed humanity by 2050. It makes an attempt to assess the order of magnitude of the increased consumptive water use involved and analyses the implications as seen from two parallel perspectives; the global perspective of human development within a “safe operating space” with regard to the definition of the Planetary Boundary for freshwater; and the social-ecological implications at the regional river basin scale in terms of sharpening water shortages and threats to aquatic ecosystems. The paper shows that the consumptive water use involved in the dual task would both transgress the proposed planetary boundary range for global consumptive freshwater use and would further exacerbate already severe river depletion, causing societal problems related to water shortage and water allocation. Thus, strategies to rely on sequestration of CO2 as a mitigation strategy must recognize the high freshwater costs involved, implying that the key climate mitigation strategy must be to reduce emissions. The paper finally highlights the need to analyze both water and carbon tradeoffs from anticipated large scale biofuel production climate change mitigation strategy, to reveal gains and impact of this in contrast to carbon sequestration strategies.

  11. A novel task assessing intention and emotion attribution: Italian standardization and normative data of the Story-based Empathy Task.

    PubMed

    Dodich, Alessandra; Cerami, Chiara; Canessa, Nicola; Crespi, Chiara; Iannaccone, Sandro; Marcone, Alessandra; Realmuto, Sabrina; Lettieri, Giada; Perani, Daniela; Cappa, Stefano F

    2015-10-01

    Theory of Mind (ToM), the process by which an individual imputes mental states to himself and others, is presently considered as a multidimensional cognitive domain, with two main facets (i.e., cognitive and affective ToM) accounting, respectively, for the ability to understand others' intention (intention attribution-IA) and emotions (emotion attribution-EA). Despite the large amount of literature investigating the behavioural and neural bases of mentalizing abilities in neurological conditions, there is still a lack of validated neuropsychological tools specifically designed to assess such skills. Here, we report the normative data of the Story-Based Empathy Task (SET), a non-verbal test developed for the assessment of intention and emotion attribution in the neurodegenerative conditions characterized by the impairment of social-emotional abilities. It is an easy-to-administer task including 18 stimuli, sub-grouped into two experimental conditions assessing, respectively, the ability to infer others' intentions (SET-IA) and emotions (SET-EA), compared to a control condition of causal inference (SET-CI). Normative data were collected in 136 Italian subjects pooled across subgroups homogenous for age (range 20-79 years), sex, and education (at least 5 years). The results show a detrimental effect of age and a beneficial effect of education on both the global score and each subscale, for which we provide correction grids. This new task could be a useful tool to investigate both affective and cognitive aspects of ToM in the course of disorders of socio-emotional behaviour, such as the fronto-temporal dementia spectrum. PMID:26072203

  12. A novel task assessing intention and emotion attribution: Italian standardization and normative data of the Story-based Empathy Task.

    PubMed

    Dodich, Alessandra; Cerami, Chiara; Canessa, Nicola; Crespi, Chiara; Iannaccone, Sandro; Marcone, Alessandra; Realmuto, Sabrina; Lettieri, Giada; Perani, Daniela; Cappa, Stefano F

    2015-10-01

    Theory of Mind (ToM), the process by which an individual imputes mental states to himself and others, is presently considered as a multidimensional cognitive domain, with two main facets (i.e., cognitive and affective ToM) accounting, respectively, for the ability to understand others' intention (intention attribution-IA) and emotions (emotion attribution-EA). Despite the large amount of literature investigating the behavioural and neural bases of mentalizing abilities in neurological conditions, there is still a lack of validated neuropsychological tools specifically designed to assess such skills. Here, we report the normative data of the Story-Based Empathy Task (SET), a non-verbal test developed for the assessment of intention and emotion attribution in the neurodegenerative conditions characterized by the impairment of social-emotional abilities. It is an easy-to-administer task including 18 stimuli, sub-grouped into two experimental conditions assessing, respectively, the ability to infer others' intentions (SET-IA) and emotions (SET-EA), compared to a control condition of causal inference (SET-CI). Normative data were collected in 136 Italian subjects pooled across subgroups homogenous for age (range 20-79 years), sex, and education (at least 5 years). The results show a detrimental effect of age and a beneficial effect of education on both the global score and each subscale, for which we provide correction grids. This new task could be a useful tool to investigate both affective and cognitive aspects of ToM in the course of disorders of socio-emotional behaviour, such as the fronto-temporal dementia spectrum.

  13. Principal component analysis of the memory load effect in a change detection task.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Li; Thomas, Robin D

    2015-05-01

    Previous research using the change detection task has found little or no relationship between P3 amplitude and working memory load. This contrasts with findings from other paradigms that indicate a decrease in P3 amplitude with increases in working memory load. We adopted a principal component analysis strategy to resolve this discrepancy. After ERPs were decomposed, the P3 component decreased in amplitude when the memory load increased. Its amplitude was also associated with individuals' working memory capacity. In conclusion, P3 plays a critical role in change detection task as it does in other working memory tasks.

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-01-01

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

  15. Age-related changes in postural control to the demands of a precision task.

    PubMed

    Yeh, Ting-Ting; Cinelli, Michael E; Lyons, James L; Lee, Timothy D

    2015-12-01

    Optimal sensorimotor integration is needed to maintain the precision of a visuomotor postural task. Furthermore, cognitive resources have been suggested to be involved in maintaining balance, especially in older adults. This study investigated how older and younger adults differed in employing sensorimotor strategies in a dual-task situation. Older (age 65-84 years) and younger adults (age 19-30 years) performed a visually-based, postural tracking task in different body orientations (from 0° to 45°), which necessitated slightly different task goals. On some trials, participants performed a concurrent silent arithmetic task with the visuomotor tracking task. The results demonstrated that sensorimotor control declined with age. Older adults showed greater medial-lateral center of pressure variability compared to younger adults in the precision task. Younger adults displayed a trend to decrease anterior-posterior variability, but older adults exhibited an opposite trend when the body orientation changed from 0° to 45°. The addition of a dual-task situation decreased overall postural variability in both age groups. Age-related changes in postural control may degrade the flexible coordination of the sensory feedback and motor execution. This study suggested that medial-lateral stability may be more sensitive to this age-related decline and may be closely associated with postural instability and falls.

  16. The Functional Task Test (FTT): An Interdisciplinary Testing Protocol to Investigate the Factors Underlying Changes in Astronaut Functional Performance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bloomberg, J. J.; Lawrence, E. L.; Arzeno, N. M.; Buxton, R. E.; Feiveson, A. H.; Kofman, I. S.; Lee, S. M. C.; Mulavara, A. P.; Peters, B. T.; Platts. S. H.; Ploutz-Snyder, L. L.; Reschke, M. F.; Ryder, J. W.; Spiering, B. A.; Stenger, M. B.; Taylor, L. C.; Wood, S. J.

    2011-01-01

    Exposure to space flight causes adaptations in multiple physiological systems including changes in sensorimotor, cardiovascular, and neuromuscular systems. These changes may affect a crewmember s ability to perform critical mission tasks immediately after landing on a planetary surface. The overall goal of this project is to determine the effects of space flight on functional tests that are representative of high priority exploration mission tasks and to identify the key underlying physiological factors that contribute to decrements in performance. To achieve this goal we developed an interdisciplinary testing protocol (Functional Task Test, FTT) that evaluates both astronaut functional performance and related physiological changes. Functional tests include ladder climbing, hatch opening, jump down, manual manipulation of objects and tool use, seat egress and obstacle avoidance, recovery from a fall and object translation tasks. Physiological measures include assessments of postural and gait control, dynamic visual acuity, fine motor control, plasma volume, orthostatic intolerance, upper- and lower-body muscle strength, power, endurance, control, and neuromuscular drive. Crewmembers perform this integrated test protocol before and after short (Shuttle) and long-duration (ISS) space flight. Data are collected on two sessions before flight, on landing day (Shuttle only) and 1, 6 and 30 days after landing. Preliminary results from both Shuttle and ISS crewmembers indicate decrement in performance of the functional tasks after both short and long-duration space flight. On-going data collection continues to improve the statistical power required to map changes in functional task performance to alterations in physiological systems. The information obtained from this study will be used to design and implement countermeasures that specifically target the physiological systems most responsible for the altered functional performance associated with space flight.

  17. Practical Methodology of Cognitive Tasks Within a Navigational Assessment

    PubMed Central

    Robillard, Manon; Mayer-Crittenden, Chantal; Roy-Charland, Annie; Minor-Corriveau, Michèle; Bélanger, Roxanne

    2015-01-01

    This paper describes an approach for measuring navigation accuracy relative to cognitive skills. The methodology behind the assessment will thus be clearly outlined in a step-by-step manner. Navigational skills are important when trying to find symbols within a speech-generating device (SGD) that has a dynamic screen and taxonomical organization. The following skills have been found to impact children’s ability to find symbols when navigating within the levels of an SGD: sustained attention, categorization, cognitive flexibility, and fluid reasoning1,2. According to past studies, working memory was not correlated with navigation1,2. The materials needed for this method include a computerized tablet, an augmentative and alternative communication application, a booklet of symbols, and the Leiter International Performance Scale-Revised (Leiter-R)3. This method has been used in two previous studies. Robillard, Mayer-Crittenden, Roy-Charland, Minor-Corriveau and Bélanger1 assessed typically developing children, while Rondeau, Robillard and Roy-Charland2 assessed children and adolescents with a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder. The direct observation of this method will facilitate the replication of this study for researchers. It will also help clinicians that work with children who have complex communication needs to determine the children’s ability to navigate an SGD with taxonomical categorization. PMID:26065431

  18. Motor learning of cue-dependent pull-force changes during an isometric precision grip task.

    PubMed

    Schmid, Barbara C; Meindl, Tobias; Timmann, Dagmar; Kolb, Florian P; Kutz, Dieter F

    2015-02-01

    The "raspberry task" represents a precision grip task that requires continuous adjustment of grip and pull forces. During this task subjects grip a specialized grip rod and have to increase the pull force linearly while the rod is locked. The aim of this study was to determine whether an associated, initially neutral cue is able to evoke pull-force changes in the raspberry task. A standard delay paradigm was used to study cued pull-force changes during an ongoing movement resulting in unloading. Pull force and EMG activity of hand and arm muscles were recorded from 13 healthy, young subjects. The cue was associated with a complex change in motor behavior. In this task, cued force changes take place more rapidly than in protective reflex systems (in median after the second presentation of the cueing stimulus). A cued force change was detectable in two-thirds of paired trials. Although the force change is produced by a decrease of the EMG activity in several grip- and pull-force-producing muscles, the most significant effect in the majority of the subjects was an increase of the activity of the flexor carpi ulnaris muscle which antagonises corresponding pull-force-producing muscles. Cued force changes require adequately and precisely controlled activation of the muscle groups involved in the movement.

  19. Frequency domain mediolateral balance assessment using a center of pressure tracking task.

    PubMed

    Cofré Lizama, L Eduardo; Pijnappels, Mirjam; Reeves, N Peter; Verschueren, Sabine M P; van Dieën, Jaap H

    2013-11-15

    Since impaired mediolateral balance can increase fall risk, especially in the elderly, its quantification and training might be a powerful preventive tool. We propose a visual tracking task (VTT) with increasing frequencies (.3-2.0Hz) and with center of pressure as visual feedback as an assessment method. This mediolateral balance assessment (MELBA) consists of two tasks, tracking a predictable target signal to determine physical capacity and tracking an unpredictable target signal to determine sensorimotor integration limitations. Within and between sessions learning effects and reliability in balance performance descriptors in both tasks were studied in 20 young adults. Balance performance was expressed as the phase-shift (PS) and gain (G) between the target and CoP in the frequency domain and cut-off frequencies at which the performance dropped. Results showed significant differences between the MELBA tasks in PS and G indicating a lower delay and higher accuracy in tracking the predictable target. Significant within and between sessions learning effects for the same measures were found only for the unpredictable task. Reliability of the cut-off frequencies at which PS and G performance declined and the average values within cut-off frequencies was fair to good (ICC .46-.66) for the unpredictable task and fair to excellent for the predictable task (ICC .68-.87). In conclusion, MELBA can reliably quantify balance performance using a predictable VTT. Additionally, the unpredictable tasks can give insight into the visuomotor integration mechanisms controlling balance and highlights MELBA's potential as a training tool.

  20. Patterns of Resistance in Managing Assessment Change

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Deneen, Christopher; Boud, David

    2014-01-01

    Achieving change in assessment practices in higher education is difficult. One of the reasons for this is resistance among those responsible for teaching and assessing. This paper seeks to explore this resistance through an analysis of staff dialogue during a major attempt to change the assessment practices at one institution. An institution-wide…

  1. Using the Hand Laterality Judgement Task to Assess Motor Imagery: A Study of Practice Effects in Repeated Measurements

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Boonstra, Anne M.; de Vries, Sjoerd J.; Veenstra, Evelien; Tepper, Marga; Feenstra, Wya; Otten, Egbert

    2012-01-01

    The aim of this study was to determine whether there is a practice effect on the Hand Laterality Judgement Task (HLJT). The HLJT task is a mental rotation task that can be used to assess motor imagery ability in stroke patients. Thirty-three healthy individuals performed the HLJT and two control tasks twice at a 3-week interval. Differences in the…

  2. Effective Assessment and Institutional Change.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cote, Christine Brooks; Jordan, Marianne

    2002-01-01

    Describes how assessment is tied tightly to program development at Bowdoin College, with assessment criteria set up during the process of faculty members' seeking funding for research or curriculum innovation. Uses the example of innovations in an introductory biology course to illustrate the process. (EV)

  3. Further Thoughts on "How Task Features Impact Evidence from Assessments Embedded in Simulations and Games"

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Oliveri, María Elena; Khan, Saad

    2014-01-01

    María Oliveri, and Saad Khan write that the article: "How Task Features Impact Evidence from Assessments Embedded in Simulations and Games" provided helpful illustrations regarding the implementation of evidence-centered assessment design (Mislevy & Haertel, 2006; Mislevy, Steinberg, & Almond, 1999) with games and simulations.…

  4. Teacher Analysis of Student Knowledge (TASK): A Measure of Learning Trajectory-Oriented Formative Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Supovitz, Jonathan; Ebby, Caroline B.; Sirinides, Philip

    2013-01-01

    This interactive electronic report provides an overview of an innovative new instrument developed by researchers at the Consortium for Policy Research in Education (CPRE) to authentically measure teachers' formative assessment practices in mathematics. The Teacher Analysis of Student Knowledge, or TASK, instrument assesses mathematics…

  5. The Development and Implementation of Task-Based Writing Performance Assessment for Japanese Learners of English

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sugita, Yoshihito

    2009-01-01

    The main purpose of this research is 1) to establish a framework for the test development and the constructs of writing performance test, 2) to implement a developed writing performance assessment, and 3) to examine the degree of reliability and validity of the assessment tasks and rating scales. Construct-based processing approach to testing…

  6. Design and Analysis in Task-Based Language Assessment. CSE Technical Report.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mislevy, Robert J.; Steinberg, Linda S.; Almond, Russell G.

    Task-based language assessment (TBLA) grows from the observation that mastering the grammar and lexicon of a language is not sufficient for using a language to achieve ends in social situations. In TBLA, language use is observed in settings that are more realistic and complex than in discrete skills assessment and that typically require the…

  7. Canonical Correlational Models of Students' Perceptions of Assessment Tasks, Motivational Orientations, and Learning Strategies

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alkharusi, Hussain

    2013-01-01

    The present study aims at deriving correlational models of students' perceptions of assessment tasks, motivational orientations, and learning strategies using canonical analyses. Data were collected from 198 Omani tenth grade students. Results showed that high degrees of authenticity and transparency in assessment were associated with positive…

  8. Assessing Affect after Mathematical Problem Solving Tasks: Validating the Chamberlin Affective Instrument for Mathematical Problem Solving

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chamberlin, Scott A.; Powers, Robert A.

    2013-01-01

    The focus of the article is the validation of an instrument to assess gifted students' affect after mathematical problem solving tasks. Participants were 225 students identified by their district as gifted in grades four to six. The Chamberlin Affective Instrument for Mathematical Problem Solving was used to assess feelings, emotions, and…

  9. Evaluating Tasks for Performance-Based Assessments: Advice for Music Teachers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Scott, Sheila

    2004-01-01

    Performance-based assessments allow teachers to systematically observe skills used or demonstrated by students when they create a product, construct a response, or make a presentation (McMillan 2001). These assessments are grounded in performance-based tasks that elicit students' responses in relation to the outcomes of instruction. The criteria…

  10. Assessment of risk-taking and impulsive behaviors: A comparison between three tasks.

    PubMed

    Xu, Sihua; Korczykowski, Marc; Zhu, Senhua; Rao, Hengyi

    2013-01-01

    The balloon analogue risk task (BART), the delay discounting task (DDT), and the Iowa gambling task (IGT) are increasingly used for the assessment of risk-taking and impulsive behaviors. This study examined the reliability of and relationships between these three tasks in healthy Chinese subjects. The BART and DDT showed moderate to high test-retest reliability across three test sessions. However, the IGT showed low reliability for the first two sessions but high reliability for the last two sessions. Between tasks, only the BART and IGT showed significant correlations at the last two sessions, while no other correlations were found. These findings support the view that impulsivity is a complex construct with no single personality trait underlying the disposition for impulsive behaviors. PMID:23997401

  11. Increasing the on-task homework behavior of youth with behavior disorders using functional behavioral assessment.

    PubMed

    Hawkins, Renee O; Axelrod, Michael I

    2008-11-01

    Research has shown a positive correlation between time spent on homework and learning. However, students often engage in off-task behaviors to escape the demands of homework. Youth with emotional or behavioral disorders (EBD) are especially likely to engage in off-task behaviors. Effective interventions to increase on-task behavior during homework are needed to increase students' academic success. Functional behavioral assessment (FBA) procedures may be helpful for intervention planning; however, there has been limited research on use of FBA with youth with EBD experiencing poor academic performance or task completion problems. In the current study, FBA methods were used to identify the contingencies maintaining the off-task behavior of four youth with behavior problems. Effects of interventions based on functional hypotheses were compared to the effects of interventions not linked to such hypotheses. Discussion focuses on utility of FBA procedures for developing and implementing effective interventions for youth with EBD.

  12. Development of a Consumer Task List and Assessment of Task Importance and Standards for Consumer Education Curricula.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mayer, Kenneth R.

    1979-01-01

    By comparing the perspectives of consumer education teachers and selected consumers on task importance and minimum task standards for high school graduates, the relative importance of task performance and task standards was ascertained. The results were recommended to be used in the development and refinement of consumer education programs. (JH)

  13. The California Teaching Performance Assessment Task for Assessing Student Learning: What Do Teacher Education Candidates Really Learn?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Verdi, Michael P.; Riggs, Matt L.; Riggs, Iris M.

    2012-01-01

    A group of 87 teacher certification candidates in a program at a large university in Southern California took the California Teaching Performance Assessment task for assessing learners in 2004-2005. These candidates' tests were analyzed with qualitative research methods and their scores calculated with quantitative methods. Subsequently, three…

  14. New Congressional Climate Change Task Force Calls on President to Use Administrative Authority

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Showstack, Randy

    2013-02-01

    Spurred by U.S. congressional inaction on climate change and by President Barack Obama's comments on the topic in his 21 January inaugural address, several Democratic members of Congress announced at a Capitol Hill briefing the formation of a bicameral task force on climate change. In addition, they have called on the president to use his administrative authority to deal with the issue.

  15. Job level risk assessment using task level strain index scores: a pilot study.

    PubMed

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

    2005-01-01

    This paper explores 2 methods of modifying the Strain Index (SI) to assess the ergonomic risk of multi-task jobs. Twenty-eight automotive jobs (15 cases and 13 controls) were studied. The first method is based on the maximum task SI score, and the second method is modeled on the NIOSH Composite Lifting Index (CLI) algorithm, named cumulative assessment of risk to the distal upper extremity (CARD). Significant odds ratios of 11 (CI 1.7-69) and 24 (CI 2.4-240) were obtained using the modified maximum task and CARD, respectively. This indicates that modification of the SI may be useful in determining the risk of distal upper extremity injury associated with a multi-task job. PMID:15938764

  16. MnemoCity Task: Assessment of Childrens Spatial Memory Using Stereoscopy and Virtual Environments

    PubMed Central

    Rodríguez-Andrés, David; Méndez-López, Magdalena; Pérez-Hernández, Elena; Lluch, Javier

    2016-01-01

    This paper presents the MnemoCity task, which is a 3D application that introduces the user into a totally 3D virtual environment to evaluate spatial short-term memory. A study has been carried out to validate the MnemoCity task for the assessment of spatial short-term memory in children, by comparing the children’s performance in the developed task with current approaches. A total of 160 children participated in the study. The task incorporates two types of interaction: one based on standard interaction and another one based on natural interaction involving physical movement by the user. There were no statistically significant differences in the results of the task using the two types of interaction. Furthermore, statistically significant differences were not found in relation to gender. The correlations between scores were obtained using the MnemoCity task and a traditional procedure for assessing spatial short-term memory. Those results revealed that the type of interaction used did not affect the performance of children in the MnemoCity task. PMID:27579715

  17. MnemoCity Task: Assessment of Childrens Spatial Memory Using Stereoscopy and Virtual Environments.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Andrés, David; Juan, M-Carmen; Méndez-López, Magdalena; Pérez-Hernández, Elena; Lluch, Javier

    2016-01-01

    This paper presents the MnemoCity task, which is a 3D application that introduces the user into a totally 3D virtual environment to evaluate spatial short-term memory. A study has been carried out to validate the MnemoCity task for the assessment of spatial short-term memory in children, by comparing the children's performance in the developed task with current approaches. A total of 160 children participated in the study. The task incorporates two types of interaction: one based on standard interaction and another one based on natural interaction involving physical movement by the user. There were no statistically significant differences in the results of the task using the two types of interaction. Furthermore, statistically significant differences were not found in relation to gender. The correlations between scores were obtained using the MnemoCity task and a traditional procedure for assessing spatial short-term memory. Those results revealed that the type of interaction used did not affect the performance of children in the MnemoCity task.

  18. MnemoCity Task: Assessment of Childrens Spatial Memory Using Stereoscopy and Virtual Environments.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Andrés, David; Juan, M-Carmen; Méndez-López, Magdalena; Pérez-Hernández, Elena; Lluch, Javier

    2016-01-01

    This paper presents the MnemoCity task, which is a 3D application that introduces the user into a totally 3D virtual environment to evaluate spatial short-term memory. A study has been carried out to validate the MnemoCity task for the assessment of spatial short-term memory in children, by comparing the children's performance in the developed task with current approaches. A total of 160 children participated in the study. The task incorporates two types of interaction: one based on standard interaction and another one based on natural interaction involving physical movement by the user. There were no statistically significant differences in the results of the task using the two types of interaction. Furthermore, statistically significant differences were not found in relation to gender. The correlations between scores were obtained using the MnemoCity task and a traditional procedure for assessing spatial short-term memory. Those results revealed that the type of interaction used did not affect the performance of children in the MnemoCity task. PMID:27579715

  19. Modular organization across changing task demands in healthy and poststroke gait.

    PubMed

    Routson, Rebecca L; Kautz, Steven A; Neptune, Richard R

    2014-06-01

    Our goal was to link impaired module patterns to mobility task performance in persons poststroke. Kinematic, kinetic, and electromyography (EMG) data were collected from 27 poststroke subjects and from 17 healthy control subjects. Each subject walked on a treadmill at their self-selected walking speed in addition to a randomized block design of four steady-state mobility capability tasks: walking at maximum speed, and walking at self-selected speed with maximum cadence, maximum step length, and maximum step height. The number of modules required to account for >90% of the variability accounted for the EMG patterns of each muscle was found using nonnegative matrix factorization. Module compositions of each module during each task were compared to the average module in self-selected walking using Pearson's correlations. Additionally, to compare module timing, the percentage of integrated module activation timing within six regions of the gait cycle was calculated. Statistical analyses were used to compare the correlations and integrated timing across tasks. Mobility performance measures of task capability were speed change, cadence change, step length change, and step height change. We found that although some poststroke subjects had a smaller number of modules than healthy subjects, the same underlying modules (number and composition) in each subject (both healthy and poststroke) that contribute to steady-state walking also contribute to specific mobility capability tasks. In healthy subjects, we found that module timing, but not composition, changes when functional task demands are altered during walking. However, this adaptability in module timing, in addition to mobility capability, is limited in poststroke subjects.

  20. Short Term Auditory Pacing Changes Dual Motor Task Coordination in Children with and without Dyslexia

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Getchell, Nancy; Mackenzie, Samuel J.; Marmon, Adam R.

    2010-01-01

    This study examined the effect of short-term auditory pacing practice on dual motor task performance in children with and without dyslexia. Groups included dyslexic with Movement Assessment Battery for Children (MABC) scores greater than 15th percentile (D_HIGH, n = 18; mean age 9.89 [plus or minus] 2.0 years), dyslexic with MABC [less than or…

  1. APPROACH TO INDUSTRIAL TRAINING, AN ASSESSMENT OF THE MAIN TASKS FACING INDUSTRIAL TRAINING BOARDS--A STATEMENT BY THE CENTRAL TRAINING COUNCIL. MEMORANDUM NUMBER 5.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ministry of Labour, London (England).

    THE INDUSTRIAL TRAINING BOARDS' MAIN TASKS UNDER THE INDUSTRIAL TRAINING ACT ARE TO (1) ASSESS THE MANPOWER AND TRAINING REQUIREMENTS OF EACH INDUSTRY (BASED ON FORECASTS OF GROWTH OR CONTRACTION OF INDUSTRY, TECHNICAL, DEMOGRAPHIC, AND EDUCATIONAL CHANGE, AND CHANGES IN THE LEVEL AND DIRECTION OF DEMAND FOR GOODS AND SERVICES), (2) DRAW UP…

  2. Underground Test Area Subproject Phase I Data Analysis Task. Volume VIII - Risk Assessment Documentation Package

    SciTech Connect

    1996-12-01

    Volume VIII of the documentation for the Phase I Data Analysis Task performed in support of the current Regional Flow Model, Transport Model, and Risk Assessment for the Nevada Test Site Underground Test Area Subproject contains the risk assessment documentation. Because of the size and complexity of the model area, a considerable quantity of data was collected and analyzed in support of the modeling efforts. The data analysis task was consequently broken into eight subtasks, and descriptions of each subtask's activities are contained in one of the eight volumes that comprise the Phase I Data Analysis Documentation.

  3. [Changes in autonomic function and EEG power during mental arithmetic task and their mutual relationship].

    PubMed

    Hamada, Toshihiko; Murata, Tetsuhito; Takahashi, Tetsuya; Ohtake, Yuka; Saitoh, Minoru; Kimura, Hideki; Wada, Yuji; Yoshida, Haruyoshi

    2006-04-01

    Meditation is a specific consciousness state in which deep relaxation and increased internalized attention coexist. Autonomic nervous activity during meditation was reported to be characterized by decreased sympathetic activity and increased parasympathetic activity. And concerning EEG power, slow alpha power and fast theta power increased during meditation. On the other hand, mental arithmetic (MA) tasks have been reported to induce an increase in blood pressure and heart rate with enhanced sympathetic activity. However, changes in autonomic nervous activity and EEG power during MA tasks and their mutual relationship have not been adequately studied. In the present study, we quantitatively analyzed the changes in autonomic nervous activity using heart rate variability (HRV) and EEG power during MA task in 30 healthy volunteers. MA task induced significant increases in normalized LF, LF/HF ratio (as a sympathetic index), and a decrease in normalized HF (as a parasympathetic index). On the other hand, significant decrease in EEG power (slow theta: 4-6 Hz and fast alpha: 10-13 Hz in the posterior region and fast theta: 6-8 Hz and slow alpha: 8-10 Hz in all the regions) were induced by MA task. Further evaluation of these changes showed a negative correlation between the change rates (with the control resting condition as the baseline) in fast alpha power and that in LF/HF. These results suggest that specific correlated relationships exist between the change in autonomic nervous activity and EEG power depending on the difference in mental task (i.e., meditation or MA).

  4. Risk assessment of maintenance operations: the analysis of performing task and accident mechanism.

    PubMed

    Carrillo-Castrillo, Jesús A; Rubio-Romero, Juan Carlos; Guadix, Jose; Onieva, Luis

    2015-01-01

    Maintenance operations cover a great number of occupations. Most small and medium-sized enterprises lack the appropriate information to conduct risk assessments of maintenance operations. The objective of this research is to provide a method based on the concepts of task and accident mechanisms for an initial risk assessment by taking into consideration the prevalence and severity of the maintenance accidents reported. Data were gathered from 11,190 reported accidents in maintenance operations in the manufacturing sector of Andalusia from 2003 to 2012. By using a semi-quantitative methodology, likelihood and severity were evaluated based on the actual distribution of accident mechanisms in each of the tasks. Accident mechanisms and tasks were identified by using those variables included in the European Statistics of Accidents at Work methodology. As main results, the estimated risk of the most frequent accident mechanisms identified for each of the analysed tasks is low and the only accident mechanisms with medium risk are accidents when lifting or pushing with physical stress on the musculoskeletal system in tasks involving carrying, and impacts against objects after slipping or stumbling for tasks involving movements. The prioritisation of public preventive actions for the accident mechanisms with a higher estimated risk is highly recommended.

  5. Graph-Theoretical Study of Functional Changes Associated with the Iowa Gambling Task.

    PubMed

    Bolt, Taylor; Laurienti, Paul J; Lyday, Robert; Morgan, Ashley; Dagenbach, Dale

    2016-01-01

    The primary aim of this study was to examine changes in functional brain network organization from rest to the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT) using a graph-theoretical approach. Although many functional neuroimaging studies have examined task-based activations in complex-decision making tasks, changes in functional network organization during this task remain unexplored. This study used a repeated-measures approach to examine changes in functional network organization across multiple sessions of resting-state and IGT scans. The results revealed that global network organization shifted from a local, clustered organization at rest to a more global, integrated organization during the IGT. In addition, network organization was stable across sessions of rest and the IGT. Regional analyses of the Default Mode Network (DMN) and Fronto-Parietal Network (FPN) revealed differential patterns of change in regional network organization from rest to the IGT. The results of this study reveal that global and regional network organization is significantly modulated across states and fairly stable over time, and that network changes in the FPN are particularly important in the decision-making processes necessary for successful IGT performance.

  6. Graph-Theoretical Study of Functional Changes Associated with the Iowa Gambling Task

    PubMed Central

    Bolt, Taylor; Laurienti, Paul J.; Lyday, Robert; Morgan, Ashley; Dagenbach, Dale

    2016-01-01

    The primary aim of this study was to examine changes in functional brain network organization from rest to the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT) using a graph-theoretical approach. Although many functional neuroimaging studies have examined task-based activations in complex-decision making tasks, changes in functional network organization during this task remain unexplored. This study used a repeated-measures approach to examine changes in functional network organization across multiple sessions of resting-state and IGT scans. The results revealed that global network organization shifted from a local, clustered organization at rest to a more global, integrated organization during the IGT. In addition, network organization was stable across sessions of rest and the IGT. Regional analyses of the Default Mode Network (DMN) and Fronto-Parietal Network (FPN) revealed differential patterns of change in regional network organization from rest to the IGT. The results of this study reveal that global and regional network organization is significantly modulated across states and fairly stable over time, and that network changes in the FPN are particularly important in the decision-making processes necessary for successful IGT performance. PMID:27445754

  7. Graph-Theoretical Study of Functional Changes Associated with the Iowa Gambling Task.

    PubMed

    Bolt, Taylor; Laurienti, Paul J; Lyday, Robert; Morgan, Ashley; Dagenbach, Dale

    2016-01-01

    The primary aim of this study was to examine changes in functional brain network organization from rest to the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT) using a graph-theoretical approach. Although many functional neuroimaging studies have examined task-based activations in complex-decision making tasks, changes in functional network organization during this task remain unexplored. This study used a repeated-measures approach to examine changes in functional network organization across multiple sessions of resting-state and IGT scans. The results revealed that global network organization shifted from a local, clustered organization at rest to a more global, integrated organization during the IGT. In addition, network organization was stable across sessions of rest and the IGT. Regional analyses of the Default Mode Network (DMN) and Fronto-Parietal Network (FPN) revealed differential patterns of change in regional network organization from rest to the IGT. The results of this study reveal that global and regional network organization is significantly modulated across states and fairly stable over time, and that network changes in the FPN are particularly important in the decision-making processes necessary for successful IGT performance. PMID:27445754

  8. Analytic and subjective assessments of operator workload imposed by communications tasks in transport aircraft

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Eckel, J. S.; Crabtree, M. S.

    1984-01-01

    Analytical and subjective techniques that are sensitive to the information transmission and processing requirements of individual communications-related tasks are used to assess workload imposed on the aircrew by A-10 communications requirements for civilian transport category aircraft. Communications-related tasks are defined to consist of the verbal exchanges between crews and controllers. Three workload estimating techniques are proposed. The first, an information theoretic analysis, is used to calculate bit values for perceptual, manual, and verbal demands in each communication task. The second, a paired-comparisons technique, obtains subjective estimates of the information processing and memory requirements for specific messages. By combining the results of the first two techniques, a hybrid analytical scale is created. The third, a subjective rank ordering of sequences of communications tasks, provides an overall scaling of communications workload. Recommendations for future research include an examination of communications-induced workload among the air crew and the development of simulation scenarios.

  9. The spinning task: a new protocol to easily assess motor coordination and resistance in zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Blazina, Ana R; Vianna, Mônica R; Lara, Diogo R

    2013-12-01

    The increasing use of adult zebrafish in behavioral studies has created the need for new and improved protocols. Our investigation sought to evaluate the swimming behavior of zebrafish against a water current using the newly developed Spinning Task. Zebrafish were individually placed in a beaker containing a spinning magnetic stirrer and their latency to be swept into the whirlpool was recorded. We characterized that larger fish (>4 cm) and lower rpm decreased the swimming time in the Spinning Task. There was also a dose-related reduction in swimming after acute treatment with haloperidol, valproic acid, clonazepam, and ethanol, which alter coordination. Importantly, at doses that reduced swimming time in the Spinning Task, these drugs influenced absolute turn angle (ethanol increased and the other drugs decreased), but had no effect of distance travelled in a regular water tank. These results suggest that the Spinning Task is a useful protocol to add information to the assessment of zebrafish motor behavior. PMID:24044654

  10. Assessing the Effects of Momentary Priming on Memory Retention During an Interference Task

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schutte, Paul C.

    2007-01-01

    A memory aid, that used brief (33ms) presentations of previously learned information (target words), was assessed on its ability to reinforce memory for target words while the subject was performing an interference task. The interference task required subjects to learn new words and thus interfered with their memory of the target words. The brief presentation (momentary memory priming) was hypothesized to refresh the subjects memory of the target words. 143 subjects, in a within subject design, were given a 33ms presentation of the target memory words during the interference task in a treatment condition and a blank 33ms presentation in the control condition. The primary dependent measure, memory loss over the interference trial, was not significantly different between the two conditions. The memory prime did not appear to hinder the subjects performance on the interference task. This paper describes the experiment and the results along with suggestions for future research.

  11. The inter-rater reliability of Strain Index and OCRA Checklist task assessments in cheese processing.

    PubMed

    Paulsen, Robert; Gallu, Tommaso; Gilkey, David; Reiser, Raoul; Murgia, Lelia; Rosecrance, John

    2015-11-01

    The purpose of this study was to characterize the inter-rater reliability of two physical exposure assessment methods of the upper extremity, the Strain Index (SI) and Occupational Repetitive Actions (OCRA) Checklist. These methods are commonly used in occupational health studies and by occupational health practitioners. Seven raters used the SI and OCRA Checklist to assess task-level physical exposures to the upper extremity of workers performing 21 cheese manufacturing tasks. Inter-rater reliability was characterized using a single-measure, agreement-based intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC). Inter-rater reliability of SI assessments was moderate to good (ICC = 0.59, 95% CI: 0.45-0.73), a similar finding to prior studies. Inter-rater reliability of OCRA Checklist assessments was excellent (ICC = 0.80, 95% CI: 0.70-0.89). Task complexity had a small, but non-significant, effect on inter-rater reliability SI and OCRA Checklist scores. Both the SI and OCRA Checklist assessments possess adequate inter-rater reliability for the purposes of occupational health research and practice. The OCRA Checklist inter-rater reliability scores were among the highest reported in the literature for semi-quantitative physical exposure assessment tools of the upper extremity. The OCRA Checklist however, required more training time and time to conduct the risk assessments compared to the SI. PMID:26154218

  12. The inter-rater reliability of Strain Index and OCRA Checklist task assessments in cheese processing.

    PubMed

    Paulsen, Robert; Gallu, Tommaso; Gilkey, David; Reiser, Raoul; Murgia, Lelia; Rosecrance, John

    2015-11-01

    The purpose of this study was to characterize the inter-rater reliability of two physical exposure assessment methods of the upper extremity, the Strain Index (SI) and Occupational Repetitive Actions (OCRA) Checklist. These methods are commonly used in occupational health studies and by occupational health practitioners. Seven raters used the SI and OCRA Checklist to assess task-level physical exposures to the upper extremity of workers performing 21 cheese manufacturing tasks. Inter-rater reliability was characterized using a single-measure, agreement-based intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC). Inter-rater reliability of SI assessments was moderate to good (ICC = 0.59, 95% CI: 0.45-0.73), a similar finding to prior studies. Inter-rater reliability of OCRA Checklist assessments was excellent (ICC = 0.80, 95% CI: 0.70-0.89). Task complexity had a small, but non-significant, effect on inter-rater reliability SI and OCRA Checklist scores. Both the SI and OCRA Checklist assessments possess adequate inter-rater reliability for the purposes of occupational health research and practice. The OCRA Checklist inter-rater reliability scores were among the highest reported in the literature for semi-quantitative physical exposure assessment tools of the upper extremity. The OCRA Checklist however, required more training time and time to conduct the risk assessments compared to the SI.

  13. A multiple-stimulus-without-replacement assessment for sexual partners: Purchase task validation.

    PubMed

    Jarmolowicz, David P; Lemley, Shea M; Mateos, Ananya; Sofis, Michael J

    2016-09-01

    The current study developed and tested a multiple-stimulus-without-replacement (MSWO) assessment for potential sexual partners for use in research on human immunodeficiency virus. College students (N = 41) first completed an MSWO assessment and then completed a hypothetical purchase task for encounters with partners identified by the MSWO as high, median, and low preference. Overall, hypothetical purchase task responding was consistent with that from the MSWO, in that the highest valuation was observed for the high-preference partner and the lowest for the low-preference partner. Potentially interesting individual differences in purchase task responding, however, were obtained; some subjects showed differentiated responding among the 3 preference levels (n = 15), whereas others similarly valued high- and median-preference partners (n = 5), and others similarly valued low- and median-preference partners (n = 18).

  14. Emotion has no impact on attention in a change detection flicker task.

    PubMed

    Bendall, Robert C A; Thompson, Catherine

    2015-01-01

    Past research provides conflicting findings regarding the influence of emotion on visual attention. Early studies suggested a broadening of attentional resources in relation to positive mood. However, more recent evidence indicates that positive emotions may not have a beneficial impact on attention, and that the relationship between emotion and attention may be mitigated by factors such as task demand or stimulus valence. The current study explored the effect of emotion on attention using the change detection flicker paradigm. Participants were induced into positive, neutral, and negative mood states and then completed a change detection task. A series of neutral scenes were presented and participants had to identify the location of a disappearing item in each scene. The change was made to the center or the periphery of each scene and it was predicted that peripheral changes would be detected quicker in the positive mood condition and slower in the negative mood condition, compared to the neutral condition. In contrast to previous findings emotion had no influence on attention and whilst central changes were detected faster than peripheral changes, change blindness was not affected by mood. The findings suggest that the relationship between emotion and visual attention is influenced by the characteristics of a task, and any beneficial impact of positive emotion may be related to processing style rather than a "broadening" of attentional resources.

  15. Emotion has no impact on attention in a change detection flicker task

    PubMed Central

    Bendall, Robert C. A.; Thompson, Catherine

    2015-01-01

    Past research provides conflicting findings regarding the influence of emotion on visual attention. Early studies suggested a broadening of attentional resources in relation to positive mood. However, more recent evidence indicates that positive emotions may not have a beneficial impact on attention, and that the relationship between emotion and attention may be mitigated by factors such as task demand or stimulus valence. The current study explored the effect of emotion on attention using the change detection flicker paradigm. Participants were induced into positive, neutral, and negative mood states and then completed a change detection task. A series of neutral scenes were presented and participants had to identify the location of a disappearing item in each scene. The change was made to the center or the periphery of each scene and it was predicted that peripheral changes would be detected quicker in the positive mood condition and slower in the negative mood condition, compared to the neutral condition. In contrast to previous findings emotion had no influence on attention and whilst central changes were detected faster than peripheral changes, change blindness was not affected by mood. The findings suggest that the relationship between emotion and visual attention is influenced by the characteristics of a task, and any beneficial impact of positive emotion may be related to processing style rather than a “broadening” of attentional resources. PMID:26539141

  16. Relations as Rules: The Role of Attention in the Dimensional Change Card Sort Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Honomichl, Ryan D.; Chen, Zhe

    2011-01-01

    Preschoolers are typically unable to switch sorting rules during the Dimensional Change Card Sort task. One explanation for this phenomenon is attentional inflexibility (Kirkham, Cruess, & Diamond, 2003). In 4 experiments with 3- to 4-year-olds, we tested this hypothesis by examining the influence of dimensional salience on switching performance.…

  17. The Effect of Labeling on Preschool Children's Performance in the Dimensional Change Card Sort Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Muller, Ulrich; Zelazo, Philip D.; Lurye, Leah E.; Liebermann, Dana P.

    2008-01-01

    Previous research suggests that experimenter-induced labeling of test cards improves preschoolers' performance on the Dimensional Change Card Sort Task (DCCS), a measure of flexible rule use. Three experiments attempted to further clarify how labeling aids performance on the DCCS. Experiment 1 examined the nature of the labeling effect but failed…

  18. Two Types of Perseveration in the Dimension Change Card Sort Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hanania, Rima

    2010-01-01

    In the Dimension Change Card Sort (DCCS) task, 3-year-olds can sort cards well by one dimension but have difficulty in switching to sort the same cards by another dimension when asked; that is, they perseverate on the first relevant information. What is the information that children perseverate on? Using a new version of the DCCS, the experiments…

  19. The Task, Relationship, and Change Behaviors of Successful Title I Elementary Principals in California

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bray, Beth Anne

    2012-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this study was to identify and describe how successful Title I elementary school principals in California prioritize by importance to school success, the 12 literature-based task, relationship, and change dimensions of principal behaviors and which strategies or methods did successful Title I elementary school principals…

  20. Attention as a Cueing Function during Kindergarten Children's Dimensional Change Task Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Coldren, Jeffrey T.; Colombo, John

    2009-01-01

    The purpose of this experiment is to test whether shift flexibility in kindergarten children is a joint function of rule-usage and inhibition of attention. Sixty-six children were given either a distraction or facilitation condition in a computerized version of the dimensional change card sort task. In the distraction condition, the background of…

  1. Sequential Analyses of Therapist-Client Interaction during Change Events: A Task-Focused Approach.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wiseman, Hadas; Rice, Laura N.

    1989-01-01

    Used task-focused approach employing sequential analyses as deductive techniques for studying therapist-client interactions in context of clinical microtheories of change events. Results indicated that therapist productive voice facilitated shift from poor to productive client voice and from low to intermediate experiencing and that therapist…

  2. Enhancing the Executive Functions of 3-Year-Olds in the Dimensional Change Card Sort Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Perone, Sammy; Molitor, Stephen J.; Buss, Aaron T.; Spencer, John P.; Samuelson, Larissa K.

    2015-01-01

    Executive functions enable flexible thinking, something young children are notoriously bad at. For instance, in the dimensional change card sort (DCCS) task, 3-year-olds can sort cards by one dimension (shape), but continue to sort by this dimension when asked to switch (to color). This study tests a prediction of a dynamic neural field model that…

  3. Implementing the Science Assessment Standards: Developing and validating a set of laboratory assessment tasks in high school biology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saha, Gouranga Chandra

    Very often a number of factors, especially time, space and money, deter many science educators from using inquiry-based, hands-on, laboratory practical tasks as alternative assessment instruments in science. A shortage of valid inquiry-based laboratory tasks for high school biology has been cited. Driven by this need, this study addressed the following three research questions: (1) How can laboratory-based performance tasks be designed and developed that are doable by students for whom they are designed/written? (2) Do student responses to the laboratory-based performance tasks validly represent at least some of the intended process skills that new biology learning goals want students to acquire? (3) Are the laboratory-based performance tasks psychometrically consistent as individual tasks and as a set? To answer these questions, three tasks were used from the six biology tasks initially designed and developed by an iterative process of trial testing. Analyses of data from 224 students showed that performance-based laboratory tasks that are doable by all students require careful and iterative process of development. Although the students demonstrated more skill in performing than planning and reasoning, their performances at the item level were very poor for some items. Possible reasons for the poor performances have been discussed and suggestions on how to remediate the deficiencies have been made. Empirical evidences for validity and reliability of the instrument have been presented both from the classical and the modern validity criteria point of view. Limitations of the study have been identified. Finally implications of the study and directions for further research have been discussed.

  4. Complexity Measures, Task Type, and Analytic Evaluations of Speaking Proficiency in a School-Based Assessment Context

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gan, Zhengdong

    2012-01-01

    This study, which is part of a large-scale study of using objective measures to validate assessment rating scales and assessment tasks in a high-profile school-based assessment initiative in Hong Kong, examined how grammatical complexity measures relate to task type and analytic evaluations of students' speaking proficiency in a classroom-based…

  5. Lecturer and First Year Student (Mis)understandings of Assessment Task Verbs: "Mind the Gap"

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Williams, Kevin

    2005-01-01

    This paper examines the way in which a cohort of first year Chemistry students interpreted commonly used assessment task verbs and compared these responses with their lecturers' usage of these terms. The results of the research suggest that the gap between the understandings held by students new to university, and those held by lecturers, is of…

  6. Assessment of Working Memory Capacity in Preschool Children Using the Missing Scan Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Roman, Adrienne S.; Pisoni, David B.; Kronenberger, William G.

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate the feasibility and validity of a modified version of Buschke's missing scan methodology, the Missing Scan Task (MST), to assess working memory capacity (WMC) and cognitive control processes in preschool children 3-6?years in age. Forty typically developing monolingual English-speaking children…

  7. Assessing Young Children's Number Magnitude Representation: A Comparison between Novel and Conventional Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reid, Erin E.; Baroody, Arthur J.; Purpura, David J.

    2015-01-01

    Previously, researchers have relied on asking young children to plot a given number on a 0-to-10 number line to assess their mental representation of numbers 1 to 9. However, such a ("conventional") number-to-position (N-P) task may underestimate the accuracy of young children's magnitude estimates and misrepresent the nature of their…

  8. Teaching and Assessing Science Process Skills in Physics: The "Bubbles" Task.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Solano-Flores, Guillermo

    2000-01-01

    Describes a bubble activity related to the concepts of force and motion. Uses soap solutions for the task and evaluates students according to their performance in the problem solving process and garnering investigation results, which are conceptually based. Promotes and assesses science process skills. (Contains 20 references.) (YDS)

  9. Samples of Students' Responses from the Grade 9 Science Performance-Based Assessment Tasks, June 1993.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alberta Dept. of Education, Edmonton. Student Evaluation Branch.

    The purpose of this document is to provide teachers, administrators, students, and parents with samples of students' performances that exemplify standards in relation to the 1993 Grade 9 Science Performance-Based Assessment Tasks for the province of Alberta, Canada. A sample of 698 randomly selected students from 31 schools did the…

  10. Evaluating Written, Audio and Video Feedback in Higher Education Summative Assessment Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McCarthy, Josh

    2015-01-01

    This paper evaluates various feedback models utilised for summative assessment tasks for tertiary digital media students at the University of South Australia in Australia. The aim of this research project was to establish the advantages and disadvantages of each technique, and to determine which model provided students with more insight into their…

  11. Construct Validity of Scores on a Developmental Assessment with Mathematical Patterns Tasks.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Banerji, Madhabi; Ferron, John

    1998-01-01

    Three analytic approaches were used in a framework of classical test theory to examine the construct validity of a mathematics assessment of 16 constructed response items. Results from 280 elementary school students across four age groups suggest a developmental structure of tasks and subdomains that was generally consistent with the test's…

  12. Automatic Assessment of Complex Task Performance in Games and Simulations. CRESST Report 775

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Iseli, Markus R.; Koenig, Alan D.; Lee, John J.; Wainess, Richard

    2010-01-01

    Assessment of complex task performance is crucial to evaluating personnel in critical job functions such as Navy damage control operations aboard ships. Games and simulations can be instrumental in this process, as they can present a broad range of complex scenarios without involving harm to people or property. However, "automatic" performance…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Silver, Harvey; Moirao, Daniel; Jackson, Joyce

    2011-01-01

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

  14. Assessing Wellness in College Students: A Validation of the Salubrious Lifestyle Scale of the Student Developmental Task and Lifestyle Assessment.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bates, Jeffrey M.; Cooper, Diane L.; Wachs, Peter M.

    2001-01-01

    Study is a validation of the two proposed subscales for the Salubrious Lifestyle (SL) Scale of the Student Developmental Task and Lifestyle Assessment (SDTLA). The two subscales, Drug/Alcohol and Exercise/Nutrition, were determined from factor analysis of the original SL scale of the SDTLA. Findings support validation of both subscales. (Contains…

  15. Validation of a novel cognitive bias task based on difference in quantity of reinforcement for assessing environmental enrichment.

    PubMed

    Keen, Heidi A; Nelson, O Lynne; Robbins, Charles T; Evans, Marc; Shepherdson, David J; Newberry, Ruth C

    2014-05-01

    Cognitive bias tasks purport to assess affective states via responses to ambiguous stimuli. We hypothesized that a novel cognitive bias task based on positive reinforcement using quantity differences would detect changes in affect in captive grizzly bears (Ursus arctos horribilis). We trained bears (n = 8) to respond differently (nose or paw touch) to two stimuli (light or dark gray cue cards), with responses counterbalanced across bears. The two cues signaled a small or large food reward, respectively. Responses to ambiguous probe stimuli (i.e., shades of gray) intermediate to the trained stimuli were classified as either 'optimistic,' appropriate for the larger reward, or 'pessimistic,' appropriate for the smaller reward. In Experiment 1, we explored the contrast in reward size necessary to detect a change in response across probe stimuli (large reward, 3 or 6 apple slices: small reward, 1 slice). We observed a change in response across probe stimuli, with no difference in response between reward-value groups, indicating that a contrast of 3:1 apple slices was sufficient to affect responses. In Experiment 2, we investigated cognitive bias after 2.1 h of exposure to enrichment items varying in attractiveness. Results were unaffected by enrichment type or time spent interacting with enrichments, indicating that the task failed to demonstrate criterion validity for comparing mood following exposure to different enrichment items. However, greater time spent pacing prior to testing was associated with 'optimistic' judgments. The data provide some support for use of cognitive bias tasks based on quantity differences in animal welfare assessments involving captive wildlife.

  16. Validation of a novel cognitive bias task based on difference in quantity of reinforcement for assessing environmental enrichment.

    PubMed

    Keen, Heidi A; Nelson, O Lynne; Robbins, Charles T; Evans, Marc; Shepherdson, David J; Newberry, Ruth C

    2014-05-01

    Cognitive bias tasks purport to assess affective states via responses to ambiguous stimuli. We hypothesized that a novel cognitive bias task based on positive reinforcement using quantity differences would detect changes in affect in captive grizzly bears (Ursus arctos horribilis). We trained bears (n = 8) to respond differently (nose or paw touch) to two stimuli (light or dark gray cue cards), with responses counterbalanced across bears. The two cues signaled a small or large food reward, respectively. Responses to ambiguous probe stimuli (i.e., shades of gray) intermediate to the trained stimuli were classified as either 'optimistic,' appropriate for the larger reward, or 'pessimistic,' appropriate for the smaller reward. In Experiment 1, we explored the contrast in reward size necessary to detect a change in response across probe stimuli (large reward, 3 or 6 apple slices: small reward, 1 slice). We observed a change in response across probe stimuli, with no difference in response between reward-value groups, indicating that a contrast of 3:1 apple slices was sufficient to affect responses. In Experiment 2, we investigated cognitive bias after 2.1 h of exposure to enrichment items varying in attractiveness. Results were unaffected by enrichment type or time spent interacting with enrichments, indicating that the task failed to demonstrate criterion validity for comparing mood following exposure to different enrichment items. However, greater time spent pacing prior to testing was associated with 'optimistic' judgments. The data provide some support for use of cognitive bias tasks based on quantity differences in animal welfare assessments involving captive wildlife. PMID:24045850

  17. Climate Change, Permafrost and Infrastructure: Task Force Report of the U.S. Arctic Research Commission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brigham, L. W.; Nelson, F. E.

    2003-12-01

    During 2002 the U.S. Arctic Research Commission chartered a task force on climate change, permafrost and infrastructure impacts. The task force was asked to identify key issues and research needs to foster a greater understanding of global change impacts on permafrost in the Arctic and their importance to natural and human systems. Permafrost was found to play three key roles in the context of climatic change: as a record keeper by functioning as a temperature archive; as a translator of climate change through subsidence and related impacts; and, as a facilitator of further change through its impacts on the global carbon cycle. Evidence of widespread warming of permafrost and observations of thawing have serious implications for Alaska's transportation network, for the trans-Alaska pipeline, and for nearly 100,000 Alaskans living in areas of permafrost. These impacts resulting from changing permafrost must be met by a timely, well-informed, and coordinated response by a host of federal and state organizations. Key task force findings include: requirements for a dedicated U.S. federal permafrost research program; data management needs; baseline permafrost mapping in Alaska; basic permafrost research focusing on process studies and modeling; and, applied permafrost research on design criteria and contaminants in permafrost environments. This report to the Commissioners makes specific recommendations to seven federal agencies, the State of Alaska, and the National Research Council. These recommendations will be incorporated in future Arctic research planning documents of the U.S. Arctic Research Commission.

  18. Reliabilities of mental rotation tasks: limits to the assessment of individual differences.

    PubMed

    Hirschfeld, Gerrit; Thielsch, Meinald T; Zernikow, Boris

    2013-01-01

    Mental rotation tasks with objects and body parts as targets are widely used in cognitive neuropsychology. Even though these tasks are well established to study between-groups differences, the reliability on an individual level is largely unknown. We present a systematic study on the internal consistency and test-retest reliability of individual differences in mental rotation tasks comparing different target types and orders of presentations. In total n = 99 participants (n = 63 for the retest) completed the mental rotation tasks with hands, feet, faces, and cars as targets. Different target types were presented in either randomly mixed blocks or blocks of homogeneous targets. Across all target types, the consistency (split-half reliability) and stability (test-retest reliabilities) were good or acceptable both for intercepts and slopes. At the level of individual targets, only intercepts showed acceptable reliabilities. Blocked presentations resulted in significantly faster and numerically more consistent and stable responses. Mental rotation tasks-especially in blocked variants-can be used to reliably assess individual differences in global processing speed. However, the assessment of the theoretically important slope parameter for individual targets requires further adaptations to mental rotation tests. PMID:24195068

  19. Integration of classroom science performance assessment tasks by participants of the Wisconsin Performance Assessment Development Project (WPADP)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tonnis, Dorothy Ann

    The goals of this interpretive study were to examine selected Wisconsin science teachers' perceptions of teaching and learning science, to describe the scope of classroom performance assessment practices, and to gain an understanding of teachers' personal and professional experiences that influenced their belief systems of teaching, learning and assessment. The study was designed to answer the research questions: (1) How does the integration of performance assessment relate to the teachers' views of teaching and learning? (2) How are the selected teachers integrating performance assessment in their teaching? (3) What past personal and professional experiences have influenced teachers' attitudes and beliefs related to their classroom performance assessment practices? Purposeful sampling was used to select seven Wisconsin elementary, middle and high school science teachers who participated in the WPADP initiative from 1993-1995. Data collection methods included a Teaching Practices Inventory (TPI), semi-structured interviews, teacher developed portfolios, portfolio conferences, and classroom observations. Four themes and multiple categories emerged through data analysis to answer the research questions and to describe the results. Several conclusions were drawn from this research. First, science teachers who appeared to effectively integrate performance assessment, demonstrated transformational thinking in their attitudes and beliefs about teaching and learning science. In addition, these teachers viewed assessment and instructional practices as interdependent. Third, transformational teachers generally used well defined criteria to judge student work and made it public to the students. Transformational teachers provided students with real-world performance assessment tasks that were also learning events. Furthermore, student task responses informed the transformational teachers about effectiveness of instruction, students' complex thinking skills, quality of

  20. Qualitative attentional changes with age in doing two tasks at once.

    PubMed

    Maquestiaux, François

    2016-02-01

    Does practice reduce, or even eliminate, aging effects on the attentional limitations responsible for dual-task interference? The studies reviewed in this article show that age differences reliably persist after extensive practice. Strikingly, dual-task interference remains larger among older adults even in training conditions that allow them to achieve single-task performance as fast as younger adults. These findings demonstrate that age deficits in attentional functioning are robust. Advancing age also can be accompanied by improvements in cognitive functioning, such as in the ability to access the lexicon without attention (i.e., automatically), due to lifelong experience with word reading. Future research needs to establish whether age deficits in central attention are due to structural changes that are irreversible or reversible to some extent. PMID:26106060

  1. Transfer to changed serial position in a task of tracking a sequence of light stimuli.

    PubMed

    Inui, N

    1996-06-01

    This study examined transfer when different serial positions are changed in a task of tracking a sequence of light stimuli. Thirty subjects were divided into three groups, and all tracked a serial pattern of six movements for 20 acquisition trials. Then, on 20 more transfer trials, the last two movements were reversed for Group I, the second two movements reversed for Group II, and the first two movements reversed for the Group III. Performance during the transfer trials improved over performance during the acquisition trials for Groups I and II but not Group III. Thus, there appeared to be positive transfer when the last and middle parts of the serial pattern were changed. However, there was no positive transfer when the first part of the serial pattern was changed. This indicated a contextual interference effect dependent upon serial position in the performance of a serial tracking task.

  2. Change magnitude does not guide attention in an object change detection task.

    PubMed

    Favelle, Simone K; Palmisano, Stephen

    2015-01-01

    Investigations of change detection consistently reveal an effect of change magnitude: changes involving more object parts are detected more easily than those involving fewer parts. Whether large changes improve detection by providing stronger preattentive signals to the change location is subject to debate. We report a cued object change detection experiment that tested this hypothesis while controlling for stimulus familiarity, semantic knowledge, and change type (addition versus deletion). We found strong magnitude effects regardless of whether trials were validly or invalidly cued. The size of the cueing effects, which were exhibited for all the change magnitudes examined, did not decrease with the number of parts changing. These findings provide little support for a preattentive guidance hypothesis and instead support the thesis that change detection requires attention.

  3. Comparative study of upper limb load assessment and occurrence of musculoskeletal disorders at repetitive task workstations.

    PubMed

    Roman-Liu, Danuta; Bugajska, Joanna; Tokarski, Tomasz

    2014-01-01

    This study explored the relationship between subjectively assessed complaints of pain in the arm, forearm and hand, and musculoskeletal load caused by repetitive tasks. Workers (n=942) were divided into 22 subgroups, according to the type of their workstations. They answered questions on perceived musculoskeletal pain of upper limbs. Basic and aggregate indices from a questionnaire on the prevalence, intensity and frequency of pain were compared with an upper limb load indicator (repetitive task index, RTI) calculated with the recently developed Upper Limb Risk Assessment (ULRA). There was relatively strong correlation of RTI and general intensity and frequency of pain in the arm, and general intensity and frequency of pain in the arm and forearm or prevalence of pain in the arm. Frequency and intensity of pain in the arm were weakly correlated. An aggregate indicator of evaluation of MSDs, which was calculated on the basis of the prevalence, intensity and frequency of pain, was to a higher degree associated with the musculoskeletal load of a task than basic evaluative parameters. Thus, such an aggregate indicator can be an alternative in comparing subjectively assessed MSDs with task-related musculoskeletal load and in establishing limit levels for that load. PMID:24975106

  4. Automated Cognitive Health Assessment Using Smart Home Monitoring of Complex Tasks

    PubMed Central

    Dawadi, Prafulla N.; Cook, Diane J.; Schmitter-Edgecombe, Maureen

    2014-01-01

    One of the many services that intelligent systems can provide is the automated assessment of resident well-being. We hypothesize that the functional health of individuals, or ability of individuals to perform activities independently without assistance, can be estimated by tracking their activities using smart home technologies. In this paper, we introduce a machine learning-based method for assessing activity quality in smart homes. To validate our approach we quantify activity quality for 179 volunteer participants who performed a complex, interweaved set of activities in our smart home apartment. We observed a statistically significant correlation (r=0.79) between automated assessment of task quality and direct observation scores. Using machine learning techniques to predict the cognitive health of the participants based on task quality is accomplished with an AUC value of 0.64. We believe that this capability is an important step in understanding everyday functional health of individuals in their home environments. PMID:25530925

  5. Age-related changes in learning across early childhood: a new imitation task.

    PubMed

    Dickerson, Kelly; Gerhardstein, Peter; Zack, Elizabeth; Barr, Rachel

    2013-11-01

    Imitation plays a critical role in social and cognitive development, but the social learning mechanisms contributing to the development of imitation are not well understood. We developed a new imitation task designed to examine social learning mechanisms across the early childhood period. The new task involves assembly of abstract-shaped puzzle pieces in an arbitrary sequence on a magnet board. Additionally, we introduce a new scoring system that extends traditional goal-directed imitation scoring to include measures of both children's success at copying gestures (sliding the puzzle pieces) and goals (connecting the puzzle pieces). In Experiment 1, we demonstrated an age-invariant baseline from 1.5 to 3.5 years of age, accompanied by age-related changes in success at copying goals and gestures from a live demonstrator. In Experiment 2, we applied our new task to learning following a video demonstration. Imitation performance in the video demonstration group lagged behind that of the live demonstration group, showing a protracted video deficit effect. Across both experiments, children were more likely to copy gestures at earlier ages, suggesting mimicry, and only later copy both goals and gestures, suggesting imitation. Taken together, the findings suggest that different social learning strategies may predominate in imitation learning dependent upon the degree of object affordance, task novelty, and task complexity. PMID:22786801

  6. Planning, Implementing, and Assessing an Authentic Performance Task in Middle Grades Classrooms

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barnes, Nicole C.; Urbankowski, Daniel

    2014-01-01

    As young adolescents, middle grades students experience a wide variety of changes related to their cognitive capabilities, social and emotional well-being, and use of self-regulation strategies. Authentic performance tasks challenge students to apply their knowledge and skills to realistic problems to create products or performances--consistent…

  7. Are divided attention tasks useful in the assessment and management of sport-related concussion?

    PubMed

    Register-Mihalik, Johna K; Littleton, Ashley C; Guskiewicz, Kevin M

    2013-12-01

    This article is a systematic review of the literature on divided attention assessment inclusive of a cognitive and motor task (balance or gait) for use in concussion management. The systematic review drew from published papers listed in PubMed, MEDLINE, EMBASE and CINAHL databases. The search identified 19 empirical research papers meeting the inclusion criteria. Study results were considered for the psychometric properties of the paradigms, the influence of divided attention on measures of cognition and postural control and the comparison of divided attention task outcomes between individuals with concussion and healthy controls (all samples were age 17 years or older). The review highlights that the reliability of the tasks under a divided attention paradigm presented ranges from low to high (ICC: 0.1-0.9); however, only 3/19 articles included psychometric information. Response times are greater, gait strategies are less efficient, and postural control deficits are greater in concussed participants compared with healthy controls both immediately and for some period following concussive injury, specifically under divided attention conditions. Dual task assessments in some cases were more reliable than single task assessments and may be better able to detect lingering effects following concussion. Few of the studies have been replicated and applied across various age groups. A key limitation of these studies is that many include laboratory and time-intensive measures. Future research is needed to refine a time and cost efficient divided attention assessment paradigm, and more work is needed in younger (pre-teens) populations where the application may be of greatest utility.

  8. Lost in the move? Secondary task performance impairs tactile change detection on the body.

    PubMed

    Gallace, Alberto; Zeeden, Sophia; Röder, Brigitte; Spence, Charles

    2010-03-01

    Change blindness, the surprising inability of people to detect significant changes between consecutively-presented visual displays, has recently been shown to affect tactile perception as well. Visual change blindness has been observed during saccades and eye blinks, conditions under which people's awareness of visual information is temporarily suppressed. In the present study, we demonstrate change blindness for suprathreshold tactile stimuli resulting from the execution of a secondary task requiring bodily movement. In Experiment 1, the ability of participants to detect changes between two sequentially-presented vibrotactile patterns delivered on their arms and legs was compared while they performed a secondary task consisting of either the execution of a movement with the right arm toward a visual target or the verbal identification of the target side. The results demonstrated that a motor response gave rise to the largest drop in perceptual sensitivity (as measured by changes in d') in detecting changes to the tactile display. In Experiment 2, we replicated these results under conditions in which the participants had to detect tactile changes while turning a steering wheel instead. These findings are discussed in terms of the role played by bodily movements, sensory suppression, and higher order information processing in modulating people's awareness of tactile information across the body surface. PMID:19647451

  9. Utilization Assessment of Target Electrification Vehicles at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island: Task 3

    SciTech Connect

    Schey, Steve

    2015-05-01

    Several U.S. Department of Defense based studies have been conducted to identify potential U.S. Department of Defense transportation systems that are strong candidates for introduction or expansion of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs). Task 2 involved identifying daily operational characteristics of select vehicles and initiating data logging of vehicle movements in order to characterize the vehicle’s mission. Individual observations of these selected vehicles provide the basis for recommendations related to PEV adoption and whether a battery electric vehicle or plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (collectively referred to as PEVs) can fulfill the mission requirements and provide observations related to placement of PEV charging infrastructure. This report provides the results of the data analysis and observations related to replacement of current vehicles with PEVs. This fulfills part of the Task 3 requirements. Task 3 also includes an assessment of the charging infrastructure required to support this replacement, which is the subject of a separate report.

  10. Assessment of Fleet Inventory for Naval Air Station Whidbey Island. Task 1

    SciTech Connect

    Schey, Stephen; Francfort, Jim

    2015-06-01

    Task 1includes a survey of the inventory of non-tactical fleet vehicles at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island (NASWI) to characterize the fleet. This information and characterization are used to select vehicles for monitoring that takes place during Task 2. This monitoring involves data logging of vehicle operation in order to identify the vehicle’s mission and travel requirements. Individual observations of these selected vehicles provide the basis for recommendations related to PEV adoption. It also identifies whether a battery electric vehicle or plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (collectively referred to as PEVs) can fulfill the mission requirements and provide observations related to placement of PEV charging infrastructure. This report provides the results of the assessments and observations of the current non-tactical fleet, fulfilling the Task 1 requirements.

  11. Prefrontal Single-Neuron Responses after Changes in Task Contingencies during Trace Eyeblink Conditioning in Rabbits

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Abstract A number of studies indicate that the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) plays a role in mediating the expression of behavioral responses during tasks that require flexible changes in behavior. During trace eyeblink conditioning, evidence suggests that the mPFC provides the cerebellum with a persistent input to bridge the temporal gap between conditioned and unconditioned stimuli. Therefore, the mPFC is in a position to directly mediate the expression of trace conditioned responses. However, it is unknown whether persistent neural responses are associated with the flexible expression of behavior when task contingencies are changed during trace eyeblink conditioning. To investigate this, single-unit activity was recorded in the mPFC of rabbits during extinction and reacquisition of trace eyeblink conditioning, and during training to a different conditional stimulus. Persistent responses remained unchanged after full extinction, and also did not change during reacquisition training. During training to a different tone, however, the generalization of persistent responses to the new stimulus was associated with an animal’s performance—when persistent responses generalized to the new tone, performance was high (>50% response rate). When persistent responses decreased to baseline rates, performance was poor (<50% response rate). The data suggest that persistent mPFC responses do not appear to mediate flexible changes in the expression of the original learning, but do appear to play a role in the generalization of that learning when the task is modified. PMID:27517083

  12. Prefrontal Single-Neuron Responses after Changes in Task Contingencies during Trace Eyeblink Conditioning in Rabbits.

    PubMed

    Siegel, Jennifer J

    2016-01-01

    A number of studies indicate that the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) plays a role in mediating the expression of behavioral responses during tasks that require flexible changes in behavior. During trace eyeblink conditioning, evidence suggests that the mPFC provides the cerebellum with a persistent input to bridge the temporal gap between conditioned and unconditioned stimuli. Therefore, the mPFC is in a position to directly mediate the expression of trace conditioned responses. However, it is unknown whether persistent neural responses are associated with the flexible expression of behavior when task contingencies are changed during trace eyeblink conditioning. To investigate this, single-unit activity was recorded in the mPFC of rabbits during extinction and reacquisition of trace eyeblink conditioning, and during training to a different conditional stimulus. Persistent responses remained unchanged after full extinction, and also did not change during reacquisition training. During training to a different tone, however, the generalization of persistent responses to the new stimulus was associated with an animal's performance-when persistent responses generalized to the new tone, performance was high (>50% response rate). When persistent responses decreased to baseline rates, performance was poor (<50% response rate). The data suggest that persistent mPFC responses do not appear to mediate flexible changes in the expression of the original learning, but do appear to play a role in the generalization of that learning when the task is modified. PMID:27517083

  13. Lifestyle Assessment: Helping Patients Change Health Behaviors

    PubMed Central

    Ciliska, Donna; Wilson, Douglas M. C.

    1984-01-01

    This article is the second in a series of six on lifestyle assessment and behavior change. The first article presented an assessment tool called FANTASTIC, which has been tested for reliability and is currently in wide use. After assessment, family physicians must help patients decide to change—and give them guidance on how to change—unhealthy behaviors. This article explains how the family physician can use educational, behavioral and relaxation strategies to increase patients' motivation, maintain their commitment and teach them the skills needed to effect changes in health behavior.

  14. Age-related Multiscale Changes in Brain Signal Variability in Pre-task versus Post-task Resting-state EEG.

    PubMed

    Wang, Hongye; McIntosh, Anthony R; Kovacevic, Natasa; Karachalios, Maria; Protzner, Andrea B

    2016-07-01

    Recent empirical work suggests that, during healthy aging, the variability of network dynamics changes during task performance. Such variability appears to reflect the spontaneous formation and dissolution of different functional networks. We sought to extend these observations into resting-state dynamics. We recorded EEG in young, middle-aged, and older adults during a "rest-task-rest" design and investigated if aging modifies the interaction between resting-state activity and external stimulus-induced activity. Using multiscale entropy as our measure of variability, we found that, with increasing age, resting-state dynamics shifts from distributed to more local neural processing, especially at posterior sources. In the young group, resting-state dynamics also changed from pre- to post-task, where fine-scale entropy increased in task-positive regions and coarse-scale entropy increased in the posterior cingulate, a key region associated with the default mode network. Lastly, pre- and post-task resting-state dynamics were linked to performance on the intervening task for all age groups, but this relationship became weaker with increasing age. Our results suggest that age-related changes in resting-state dynamics occur across different spatial and temporal scales and have consequences for information processing capacity. PMID:26942319

  15. Analysis of the psychometric properties of two different concept-map assessment tasks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Plummer, Kenneth James

    The ability to make sense of a wide array of stimuli presupposes the human tendency to organize information in a meaningful way. Efforts to assess the degree to which students organize information meaningfully have been hampered by several factors including the idiosyncratic way in which individuals represent their knowledge either with words or visually. Concept maps have been used as tools by researchers and educators alike to assist students in understanding the conceptual interrelationships within a subject domain. One concept-map assessment in particular known as the construct-a-map task has shown great promise in facilitating reliable and valid inferences from student concept-map ratings. With all of its promise, however, the construct-a-map task is burdened with several rating difficulties. One challenge in particular is that no published rubric has been developed that accounts for the degree to which individual propositions are important to an understanding of the overall topic or theme of the map. This study represents an attempt to examine the psychometric properties of two construct-a-map tasks designed to overcome in part this rating difficulty. The reliability of the concept-map ratings was calculated using a person-by-rater-by-occasion fully crossed design. This design made it possible to use generalizability theory to identify and estimate the variance in the ratings contributed by the three factors mentioned, the interaction effects, and unexplained error. The criterion validity of the concept-map ratings was examined by computing Pearson correlations between concept-map and essay ratings and concept-map and interview transcript ratings. The generalizability coefficients for student mean ratings were moderate to very high: .73 and .94 for the first concept-mapping task and .74 and .87 for the second concept-mapping task. A relatively large percentage of the rating variability was contributed by the object of measurement. Both tasks correlated highly

  16. Task-oriented quality assessment and adaptation in real-time mission critical video streaming applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nightingale, James; Wang, Qi; Grecos, Christos

    2015-02-01

    In recent years video traffic has become the dominant application on the Internet with global year-on-year increases in video-oriented consumer services. Driven by improved bandwidth in both mobile and fixed networks, steadily reducing hardware costs and the development of new technologies, many existing and new classes of commercial and industrial video applications are now being upgraded or emerging. Some of the use cases for these applications include areas such as public and private security monitoring for loss prevention or intruder detection, industrial process monitoring and critical infrastructure monitoring. The use of video is becoming commonplace in defence, security, commercial, industrial, educational and health contexts. Towards optimal performances, the design or optimisation in each of these applications should be context aware and task oriented with the characteristics of the video stream (frame rate, spatial resolution, bandwidth etc.) chosen to match the use case requirements. For example, in the security domain, a task-oriented consideration may be that higher resolution video would be required to identify an intruder than to simply detect his presence. Whilst in the same case, contextual factors such as the requirement to transmit over a resource-limited wireless link, may impose constraints on the selection of optimum task-oriented parameters. This paper presents a novel, conceptually simple and easily implemented method of assessing video quality relative to its suitability for a particular task and dynamically adapting videos streams during transmission to ensure that the task can be successfully completed. Firstly we defined two principle classes of tasks: recognition tasks and event detection tasks. These task classes are further subdivided into a set of task-related profiles, each of which is associated with a set of taskoriented attributes (minimum spatial resolution, minimum frame rate etc.). For example, in the detection class

  17. Assessing dynamics, spatial scale, and uncertainty in task-related brain network analyses.

    PubMed

    Stephen, Emily P; Lepage, Kyle Q; Eden, Uri T; Brunner, Peter; Schalk, Gerwin; Brumberg, Jonathan S; Guenther, Frank H; Kramer, Mark A

    2014-01-01

    The brain is a complex network of interconnected elements, whose interactions evolve dynamically in time to cooperatively perform specific functions. A common technique to probe these interactions involves multi-sensor recordings of brain activity during a repeated task. Many techniques exist to characterize the resulting task-related activity, including establishing functional networks, which represent the statistical associations between brain areas. Although functional network inference is commonly employed to analyze neural time series data, techniques to assess the uncertainty-both in the functional network edges and the corresponding aggregate measures of network topology-are lacking. To address this, we describe a statistically principled approach for computing uncertainty in functional networks and aggregate network measures in task-related data. The approach is based on a resampling procedure that utilizes the trial structure common in experimental recordings. We show in simulations that this approach successfully identifies functional networks and associated measures of confidence emergent during a task in a variety of scenarios, including dynamically evolving networks. In addition, we describe a principled technique for establishing functional networks based on predetermined regions of interest using canonical correlation. Doing so provides additional robustness to the functional network inference. Finally, we illustrate the use of these methods on example invasive brain voltage recordings collected during an overt speech task. The general strategy described here-appropriate for static and dynamic network inference and different statistical measures of coupling-permits the evaluation of confidence in network measures in a variety of settings common to neuroscience. PMID:24678295

  18. TBDQ: A Pragmatic Task-Based Method to Data Quality Assessment and Improvement.

    PubMed

    Vaziri, Reza; Mohsenzadeh, Mehran; Habibi, Jafar

    2016-01-01

    Organizations are increasingly accepting data quality (DQ) as a major key to their success. In order to assess and improve DQ, methods have been devised. Many of these methods attempt to raise DQ by directly manipulating low quality data. Such methods operate reactively and are suitable for organizations with highly developed integrated systems. However, there is a lack of a proactive DQ method for businesses with weak IT infrastructure where data quality is largely affected by tasks that are performed by human agents. This study aims to develop and evaluate a new method for structured data, which is simple and practical so that it can easily be applied to real world situations. The new method detects the potentially risky tasks within a process, and adds new improving tasks to counter them. To achieve continuous improvement, an award system is also developed to help with the better selection of the proposed improving tasks. The task-based DQ method (TBDQ) is most appropriate for small and medium organizations, and simplicity in implementation is one of its most prominent features. TBDQ is case studied in an international trade company. The case study shows that TBDQ is effective in selecting optimal activities for DQ improvement in terms of cost and improvement. PMID:27192547

  19. TBDQ: A Pragmatic Task-Based Method to Data Quality Assessment and Improvement

    PubMed Central

    Vaziri, Reza; Mohsenzadeh, Mehran; Habibi, Jafar

    2016-01-01

    Organizations are increasingly accepting data quality (DQ) as a major key to their success. In order to assess and improve DQ, methods have been devised. Many of these methods attempt to raise DQ by directly manipulating low quality data. Such methods operate reactively and are suitable for organizations with highly developed integrated systems. However, there is a lack of a proactive DQ method for businesses with weak IT infrastructure where data quality is largely affected by tasks that are performed by human agents. This study aims to develop and evaluate a new method for structured data, which is simple and practical so that it can easily be applied to real world situations. The new method detects the potentially risky tasks within a process, and adds new improving tasks to counter them. To achieve continuous improvement, an award system is also developed to help with the better selection of the proposed improving tasks. The task-based DQ method (TBDQ) is most appropriate for small and medium organizations, and simplicity in implementation is one of its most prominent features. TBDQ is case studied in an international trade company. The case study shows that TBDQ is effective in selecting optimal activities for DQ improvement in terms of cost and improvement. PMID:27192547

  20. Assessing dynamics, spatial scale, and uncertainty in task-related brain network analyses

    PubMed Central

    Stephen, Emily P.; Lepage, Kyle Q.; Eden, Uri T.; Brunner, Peter; Schalk, Gerwin; Brumberg, Jonathan S.; Guenther, Frank H.; Kramer, Mark A.

    2014-01-01

    The brain is a complex network of interconnected elements, whose interactions evolve dynamically in time to cooperatively perform specific functions. A common technique to probe these interactions involves multi-sensor recordings of brain activity during a repeated task. Many techniques exist to characterize the resulting task-related activity, including establishing functional networks, which represent the statistical associations between brain areas. Although functional network inference is commonly employed to analyze neural time series data, techniques to assess the uncertainty—both in the functional network edges and the corresponding aggregate measures of network topology—are lacking. To address this, we describe a statistically principled approach for computing uncertainty in functional networks and aggregate network measures in task-related data. The approach is based on a resampling procedure that utilizes the trial structure common in experimental recordings. We show in simulations that this approach successfully identifies functional networks and associated measures of confidence emergent during a task in a variety of scenarios, including dynamically evolving networks. In addition, we describe a principled technique for establishing functional networks based on predetermined regions of interest using canonical correlation. Doing so provides additional robustness to the functional network inference. Finally, we illustrate the use of these methods on example invasive brain voltage recordings collected during an overt speech task. The general strategy described here—appropriate for static and dynamic network inference and different statistical measures of coupling—permits the evaluation of confidence in network measures in a variety of settings common to neuroscience. PMID:24678295

  1. Waste isolation safety assessment program. Task 4. Third contractor information meeting

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1980-06-01

    The Contractor Information Meeting (October 14 to 17, 1979) was part of the FY-1979 effort of Task 4 of the Waste Isolation Safety Assessment Program (WISAP): Sorption/Desorption Analysis. The objectives of this task are to: evaluate sorption/desorption measurement methods and develop a standardized measurement procedure; produce a generic data bank of nuclide-geologic interactions using a wide variety of geologic media and groundwaters; perform statistical analysis and synthesis of these data; perform validation studies to compare short-term laboratory studies to long-term in situ behavior; develop a fundamental understanding of sorption/desorption processes; produce x-ray and gamma-emitting isotopes suitable for the study of actinides at tracer concentrations; disseminate resulting information to the international technical community; and provide input data support for repository safety assessment. Conference participants included those subcontracted to WISAP Task 4, representatives and independent subcontractors to the Office of Nuclear Waste Isolation, representatives from other waste disposal programs, and experts in the area of waste/geologic media interaction. Since the meeting, WISAP has been divided into two programs: Assessment of Effectiveness of Geologic Isolation Systems (AEGIS) (modeling efforts) and Waste/Rock Interactions Technology (WRIT) (experimental work). The WRIT program encompasses the work conducted under Task 4. This report contains the information presented at the Task 4, Third Contractor Information Meeting. Technical Reports from the subcontractors, as well as Pacific Northwest Laboratory (PNL), are provided along with transcripts of the question-and-answer sessions. The agenda and abstracts of the presentations are also included. Appendix A is a list of the participants. Appendix B gives an overview of the WRIT program and details the WRIT work breakdown structure for 1980.

  2. Connecting Lines of Research on Task Model Variables, Automatic Item Generation, and Learning Progressions in Game-Based Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Graf, Edith Aurora

    2014-01-01

    In "How Task Features Impact Evidence from Assessments Embedded in Simulations and Games," Almond, Kim, Velasquez, and Shute have prepared a thought-provoking piece contrasting the roles of task model variables in a traditional assessment of mathematics word problems to their roles in "Newton's Playground," a game designed…

  3. Mapping the spatiotemporal dynamics of processing task-relevant and task-irrelevant sound feature changes using concurrent EEG-fMRI.

    PubMed

    Puschmann, Sebastian; Huster, René J; Thiel, Christiane M

    2016-10-01

    The cortical processing of changes in auditory input involves auditory sensory regions as well as different frontoparietal brain networks. The spatiotemporal dynamics of the activation spread across these networks has, however, not been investigated in detail so far. We here approached this issue using concurrent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and electroencephalography (EEG), providing us with simultaneous information on both the spatial and temporal patterns of change-related activity. We applied an auditory stimulus categorization task with switching categorization rules, allowing to analyze change-related responses as a function of the changing sound feature (pitch or duration) and the task relevance of the change. Our data show the successive progression of change-related activity from regions involved in early change detection to the ventral and dorsal attention networks, and finally the central executive network. While early change detection was found to recruit feature-specific networks involving auditory sensory but also frontal and parietal brain regions, the later spread of activity across the frontoparietal attention and executive networks was largely independent of the changing sound feature, suggesting the existence of a general feature-independent processing pathway of change-related information. Task relevance did not modulate early auditory sensory processing, but was mainly found to affect processing in frontal brain regions. Hum Brain Mapp 37:3400-3416, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  4. Mapping the spatiotemporal dynamics of processing task-relevant and task-irrelevant sound feature changes using concurrent EEG-fMRI.

    PubMed

    Puschmann, Sebastian; Huster, René J; Thiel, Christiane M

    2016-10-01

    The cortical processing of changes in auditory input involves auditory sensory regions as well as different frontoparietal brain networks. The spatiotemporal dynamics of the activation spread across these networks has, however, not been investigated in detail so far. We here approached this issue using concurrent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and electroencephalography (EEG), providing us with simultaneous information on both the spatial and temporal patterns of change-related activity. We applied an auditory stimulus categorization task with switching categorization rules, allowing to analyze change-related responses as a function of the changing sound feature (pitch or duration) and the task relevance of the change. Our data show the successive progression of change-related activity from regions involved in early change detection to the ventral and dorsal attention networks, and finally the central executive network. While early change detection was found to recruit feature-specific networks involving auditory sensory but also frontal and parietal brain regions, the later spread of activity across the frontoparietal attention and executive networks was largely independent of the changing sound feature, suggesting the existence of a general feature-independent processing pathway of change-related information. Task relevance did not modulate early auditory sensory processing, but was mainly found to affect processing in frontal brain regions. Hum Brain Mapp 37:3400-3416, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:27280466

  5. Major Changes in a Rhythmic Ball-Bouncing Task Occur at Age 7 Years

    PubMed Central

    Bazile, Christophe; Siegler, Isabelle A.; Benguigui, Nicolas

    2013-01-01

    The aim of the study was to investigate the development of a rhythmical skill of children aged from 5 to 12 years old. Five age groups (5–6, 7–8, 9–10, 11–12, and young adults) performed a virtual ball bouncing task (16 forty-second long test trials). Task performances, racket oscillation, ball-racket impacts as well as the ball-racket coupling were analysed. The results showed a change in both performance and behaviour at the age of 7 years old. Before this age, children exhibited restricted perceptual-motor coordination with a high frequency of racket oscillation and a poor level of performance. After the age of 7, cycle-to-cycle adaptive coordination based on visual information was progressively acquired leading to increasing performance levels with age. Overall these results revealed a rapid change in capability to perform the ball bouncing task across age with a late emergence of the required coordination and significant change in the coordination at the age of 7. PMID:24098332

  6. Object representations in visual working memory change according to the task context.

    PubMed

    Balaban, Halely; Luria, Roy

    2016-08-01

    This study investigated whether an item's representation in visual working memory (VWM) can be updated according to changes in the global task context. We used a modified change detection paradigm, in which the items moved before the retention interval. In all of the experiments, we presented identical color-color conjunction items that were arranged to provide a common fate Gestalt grouping cue during their movement. Task context was manipulated by adding a condition highlighting either the integrated interpretation of the conjunction items or their individuated interpretation. We monitored the contralateral delay activity (CDA) as an online marker of VWM. Experiment 1 employed only a minimal global context; the conjunction items were integrated during their movement, but then were partially individuated, at a late stage of the retention interval. The same conjunction items were perfectly integrated in an integration context (Experiment 2). An individuation context successfully produced strong individuation, already during the movement, overriding Gestalt grouping cues (Experiment 3). In Experiment 4, a short priming of the individuation context managed to individuate the conjunction items immediately after the Gestalt cue was no longer available. Thus, the representations of identical items changed according to the task context, suggesting that VWM interprets incoming input according to global factors which can override perceptual cues.

  7. Object representations in visual working memory change according to the task context.

    PubMed

    Balaban, Halely; Luria, Roy

    2016-08-01

    This study investigated whether an item's representation in visual working memory (VWM) can be updated according to changes in the global task context. We used a modified change detection paradigm, in which the items moved before the retention interval. In all of the experiments, we presented identical color-color conjunction items that were arranged to provide a common fate Gestalt grouping cue during their movement. Task context was manipulated by adding a condition highlighting either the integrated interpretation of the conjunction items or their individuated interpretation. We monitored the contralateral delay activity (CDA) as an online marker of VWM. Experiment 1 employed only a minimal global context; the conjunction items were integrated during their movement, but then were partially individuated, at a late stage of the retention interval. The same conjunction items were perfectly integrated in an integration context (Experiment 2). An individuation context successfully produced strong individuation, already during the movement, overriding Gestalt grouping cues (Experiment 3). In Experiment 4, a short priming of the individuation context managed to individuate the conjunction items immediately after the Gestalt cue was no longer available. Thus, the representations of identical items changed according to the task context, suggesting that VWM interprets incoming input according to global factors which can override perceptual cues. PMID:27160997

  8. Assessing reservoir operations risk under climate change

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brekke, L.D.; Maurer, E.P.; Anderson, J.D.; Dettinger, M.D.; Townsley, E.S.; Harrison, A.; Pruitt, T.

    2009-01-01

    Risk-based planning offers a robust way to identify strategies that permit adaptive water resources management under climate change. This paper presents a flexible methodology for conducting climate change risk assessments involving reservoir operations. Decision makers can apply this methodology to their systems by selecting future periods and risk metrics relevant to their planning questions and by collectively evaluating system impacts relative to an ensemble of climate projection scenarios (weighted or not). This paper shows multiple applications of this methodology in a case study involving California's Central Valley Project and State Water Project systems. Multiple applications were conducted to show how choices made in conducting the risk assessment, choices known as analytical design decisions, can affect assessed risk. Specifically, risk was reanalyzed for every choice combination of two design decisions: (1) whether to assume climate change will influence flood-control constraints on water supply operations (and how), and (2) whether to weight climate change scenarios (and how). Results show that assessed risk would motivate different planning pathways depending on decision-maker attitudes toward risk (e.g., risk neutral versus risk averse). Results also show that assessed risk at a given risk attitude is sensitive to the analytical design choices listed above, with the choice of whether to adjust flood-control rules under climate change having considerably more influence than the choice on whether to weight climate scenarios. Copyright 2009 by the American Geophysical Union.

  9. Changes in Interest and Affect during a Difficult Reading Task: Relationships with Perceived Difficulty and Reading Fluency

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fulmer, Sara M.; Tulis, Maria

    2013-01-01

    This study investigated changes in middle school students' interest and affect during a moderately difficult reading task. The aim was to explore how changes in interest (topic and situational) and affect were related to students' reading fluency throughout the task and perceived difficulty. Interest and affect were recorded at four time points:…

  10. Coal-fueled high-speed diesel engine development: Task 2, Market assessment and economic analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1991-12-01

    Based on the preliminary coal engine design developed, this task was conducted to identify the best opportunity(s) to enter the market with the future coal-fueled, high-speed diesel engine. The results of this market and economic feasibility assessment will be used to determine what specific heavy duty engine application(s) are most attractive for coal fuel, and also define basic economic targets for the engine to be competitive.

  11. Changes in absolute theta power in bipolar patients during a saccadic attention task.

    PubMed

    Cartier, Consuelo; Diniz, Claudia; Di Girogio, Luiza; Bittencourt, Juliana; Gongora, Mariana; Ken Tanaka, Guaraci; Teixeira, Silmar; Basile, Luis F; Novis, Fernanda; Angélica Silveira, Luciana; da Silva, Rafael de Assis; Cagy, Mauricio; Cheniaux, Elie; Ribeiro, Pedro; Velasques, Bruna

    2015-08-30

    The present study analyzed absolute theta power (ATP) in brain areas involved with attention in the three phase of BD while the patients performing a saccadic attention task. We hypothesized that patients in depression and mania states show a higher ATP compared to euthymic patients, since a higher ATP is indicative of attention deficit. We analyzed the frontal (F7, F3, Fz, F4 and F8) and central (C3, Cz and C4) areas. Thirty bipolar patients were enrolled in this study. The subjects performed a saccadic attention task while their brain activity pattern was recorded using quantitative electroencephalography (20 channels). Our results showed a main effect for group over C3, C4, Cz, F7, F4, F8 electrodes, and a main effect for moment over Cz, F7, F8 electrodes. These results indicate that both task and groups produce changes in theta activity in distinct cortical areas that participate in the organization of attention. Our results therefore demonstrate that, although it is well established in the literature that theta has a relevant role in the attention process, it is necessary to deepen the investigations to better understand the specifics of theta during visual processing tasks that have a demand for attention.

  12. Brain functional network changes following Prelimbic area inactivation in a spatial memory extinction task.

    PubMed

    Méndez-Couz, Marta; Conejo, Nélida M; Vallejo, Guillermo; Arias, Jorge L

    2015-01-01

    Several studies suggest a prefrontal cortex involvement during the acquisition and consolidation of spatial memory, suggesting an active modulating role at late stages of acquisition processes. Recently, we have reported that the prelimbic and infralimbic areas of the prefrontal cortex, among other structures, are also specifically involved in the late phases of spatial memory extinction. This study aimed to evaluate whether the inactivation of the prelimbic area of the prefrontal cortex impaired spatial memory extinction. For this purpose, male Wistar rats were implanted bilaterally with cannulae into the prelimbic region of the prefrontal cortex. Animals were trained during 5 consecutive days in a hidden platform task and tested for reference spatial memory immediately after the last training session. One day after completing the training task, bilateral infusion of the GABAA receptor agonist Muscimol was performed before the extinction protocol was carried out. Additionally, cytochrome c oxidase histochemistry was applied to map the metabolic brain activity related to the spatial memory extinction under prelimbic cortex inactivation. Results show that animals acquired the reference memory task in the water maze, and the extinction task was successfully completed without significant impairment. However, analysis of the functional brain networks involved by cytochrome oxidase activity interregional correlations showed changes in brain networks between the group treated with Muscimol as compared to the saline-treated group, supporting the involvement of the mammillary bodies at a the late stage in the memory extinction process.

  13. Brain functional network changes following Prelimbic area inactivation in a spatial memory extinction task.

    PubMed

    Méndez-Couz, Marta; Conejo, Nélida M; Vallejo, Guillermo; Arias, Jorge L

    2015-01-01

    Several studies suggest a prefrontal cortex involvement during the acquisition and consolidation of spatial memory, suggesting an active modulating role at late stages of acquisition processes. Recently, we have reported that the prelimbic and infralimbic areas of the prefrontal cortex, among other structures, are also specifically involved in the late phases of spatial memory extinction. This study aimed to evaluate whether the inactivation of the prelimbic area of the prefrontal cortex impaired spatial memory extinction. For this purpose, male Wistar rats were implanted bilaterally with cannulae into the prelimbic region of the prefrontal cortex. Animals were trained during 5 consecutive days in a hidden platform task and tested for reference spatial memory immediately after the last training session. One day after completing the training task, bilateral infusion of the GABAA receptor agonist Muscimol was performed before the extinction protocol was carried out. Additionally, cytochrome c oxidase histochemistry was applied to map the metabolic brain activity related to the spatial memory extinction under prelimbic cortex inactivation. Results show that animals acquired the reference memory task in the water maze, and the extinction task was successfully completed without significant impairment. However, analysis of the functional brain networks involved by cytochrome oxidase activity interregional correlations showed changes in brain networks between the group treated with Muscimol as compared to the saline-treated group, supporting the involvement of the mammillary bodies at a the late stage in the memory extinction process. PMID:25813749

  14. No evidence for feature binding by pigeons in a change detection task.

    PubMed

    Lazareva, Olga F; Wasserman, Edward A

    2016-02-01

    We trained pigeons to respond to one key when two consecutive displays were the same as one another (no-change trial) and to respond to another key when the two displays were different from one another (change trial; change detection task). Change-trial displays were distinguished by a change in all three features (color, orientation, and location) of all four items presented in the display. Pigeons learned this change-no change discrimination to high levels of accuracy. In Experiments 1 and 2, we compared replace trials in which one or two features were replaced by novel features to switch trials in which the features were exchanged among the objects. Pigeons reported both replace and switch trials as "no-change" trials. In contrast, adult humans in Experiment 3 reported both types of trials as "change" trials and showed robust evidence for feature binding. In Experiment 4, we manipulated the total number of objects in the display and the number of objects that underwent change. Unlike people, pigeons showed strong control by the number of feature changes in the second display; pigeons' failure to exhibit feature binding may therefore be attributed to their failure to attend to items in the displays as integral objects.

  15. Using Fiction to Assess Mental State Understanding: A New Task for Assessing Theory of Mind in Adults

    PubMed Central

    Dodell-Feder, David; Lincoln, Sarah Hope; Coulson, Joseph P.; Hooker, Christine I.

    2013-01-01

    Social functioning depends on the ability to attribute and reason about the mental states of others – an ability known as theory of mind (ToM). Research in this field is limited by the use of tasks in which ceiling effects are ubiquitous, rendering them insensitive to individual differences in ToM ability and instances of subtle ToM impairment. Here, we present data from a new ToM task – the Short Story Task (SST) - intended to improve upon many aspects of existing ToM measures. More specifically, the SST was designed to: (a) assess the full range of individual differences in ToM ability without suffering from ceiling effects; (b) incorporate a range of mental states of differing complexity, including epistemic states, affective states, and intentions to be inferred from a first- and second-order level; (c) use ToM stimuli representative of real-world social interactions; (d) require participants to utilize social context when making mental state inferences; (e) exhibit adequate psychometric properties; and (f) be quick and easy to administer and score. In the task, participants read a short story and were asked questions that assessed explicit mental state reasoning, spontaneous mental state inference, and comprehension of the non-mental aspects of the story. Responses were scored according to a rubric that assigned greater points for accurate mental state attributions that included multiple characters’ mental states. Results demonstrate that the SST is sensitive to variation in ToM ability, can be accurately scored by multiple raters, and exhibits concurrent validity with other social cognitive tasks. The results support the effectiveness of this new measure of ToM in the study of social cognition. The findings are also consistent with studies demonstrating significant relationships among narrative transportation, ToM, and the reading of fiction. Together, the data indicate that reading fiction may be an avenue for improving ToM ability. PMID:24244736

  16. Vigilance Task-Related Change in Brain Functional Connectivity as Revealed by Wavelet Phase Coherence Analysis of Near-Infrared Spectroscopy Signals

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Wei; Wang, Bitian; Bu, Lingguo; Xu, Liwei; Li, Zengyong; Fan, Yubo

    2016-01-01

    This study aims to assess the vigilance task-related change in connectivity in healthy adults using wavelet phase coherence (WPCO) analysis of near-infrared spectroscopy signals (NIRS). NIRS is a non-invasive neuroimaging technique for assessing brain activity. Continuous recordings of the NIRS signals were obtained from the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and sensorimotor cortical areas of 20 young healthy adults (24.9 ± 3.3 years) during a 10-min resting state and a 20-min vigilance task state. The vigilance task was used to simulate driving mental load by judging three random numbers (i.e., whether odd numbers). The task was divided into two sessions: the first 10 min (Task t1) and the second 10 min (Task t2). The WPCO of six channel pairs were calculated in five frequency intervals: 0.6–2 Hz (I), 0.145–0.6 Hz (II), 0.052–0.145 Hz (III), 0.021–0.052 Hz (IV), and 0.0095–0.021 Hz (V). The significant WPCO formed global connectivity (GC) maps in intervals I and II and functional connectivity (FC) maps in intervals III to V. Results show that the GC levels in interval I and FC levels in interval III were significantly lower in the Task t2 than in the resting state (p < 0.05), particularly between the left PFC and bilateral sensorimotor regions. Also, the reaction time (RT) shows an increase in Task t2 compared with that in Task t1. However, no significant difference in WPCO was found between Task t1 and resting state. The results showed that the change in FC at the range of 0.6–2 Hz was not attributed to the vigilance task per se, but the interaction effect of vigilance task and time factors. The findings suggest that the decreased attention level might be partly attributed to the reduced GC levels between the left prefrontal region and sensorimotor area. The present results provide a new insight into the vigilance task-related brain activity. PMID:27547182

  17. Vigilance Task-Related Change in Brain Functional Connectivity as Revealed by Wavelet Phase Coherence Analysis of Near-Infrared Spectroscopy Signals.

    PubMed

    Wang, Wei; Wang, Bitian; Bu, Lingguo; Xu, Liwei; Li, Zengyong; Fan, Yubo

    2016-01-01

    This study aims to assess the vigilance task-related change in connectivity in healthy adults using wavelet phase coherence (WPCO) analysis of near-infrared spectroscopy signals (NIRS). NIRS is a non-invasive neuroimaging technique for assessing brain activity. Continuous recordings of the NIRS signals were obtained from the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and sensorimotor cortical areas of 20 young healthy adults (24.9 ± 3.3 years) during a 10-min resting state and a 20-min vigilance task state. The vigilance task was used to simulate driving mental load by judging three random numbers (i.e., whether odd numbers). The task was divided into two sessions: the first 10 min (Task t1) and the second 10 min (Task t2). The WPCO of six channel pairs were calculated in five frequency intervals: 0.6-2 Hz (I), 0.145-0.6 Hz (II), 0.052-0.145 Hz (III), 0.021-0.052 Hz (IV), and 0.0095-0.021 Hz (V). The significant WPCO formed global connectivity (GC) maps in intervals I and II and functional connectivity (FC) maps in intervals III to V. Results show that the GC levels in interval I and FC levels in interval III were significantly lower in the Task t2 than in the resting state (p < 0.05), particularly between the left PFC and bilateral sensorimotor regions. Also, the reaction time (RT) shows an increase in Task t2 compared with that in Task t1. However, no significant difference in WPCO was found between Task t1 and resting state. The results showed that the change in FC at the range of 0.6-2 Hz was not attributed to the vigilance task per se, but the interaction effect of vigilance task and time factors. The findings suggest that the decreased attention level might be partly attributed to the reduced GC levels between the left prefrontal region and sensorimotor area. The present results provide a new insight into the vigilance task-related brain activity. PMID:27547182

  18. Examining Gender Differences in Written Assessment Tasks in Biology: A Case Study of Evolutionary Explanations.

    PubMed

    Federer, Meghan Rector; Nehm, Ross H; Pearl, Dennis K

    2016-01-01

    Understanding sources of performance bias in science assessment provides important insights into whether science curricula and/or assessments are valid representations of student abilities. Research investigating assessment bias due to factors such as instrument structure, participant characteristics, and item types are well documented across a variety of disciplines. However, the relationships among these factors are unclear for tasks evaluating understanding through performance on scientific practices, such as explanation. Using item-response theory (Rasch analysis), we evaluated differences in performance by gender on a constructed-response (CR) assessment about natural selection (ACORNS). Three isomorphic item strands of the instrument were administered to a sample of undergraduate biology majors and nonmajors (Group 1: n = 662 [female = 51.6%]; G2: n = 184 [female = 55.9%]; G3: n = 642 [female = 55.1%]). Overall, our results identify relationships between item features and performance by gender; however, the effect is small in the majority of cases, suggesting that males and females tend to incorporate similar concepts into their CR explanations. These results highlight the importance of examining gender effects on performance in written assessment tasks in biology.

  19. Examining Gender Differences in Written Assessment Tasks in Biology: A Case Study of Evolutionary Explanations

    PubMed Central

    Federer, Meghan Rector; Nehm, Ross H.; Pearl, Dennis K.

    2016-01-01

    Understanding sources of performance bias in science assessment provides important insights into whether science curricula and/or assessments are valid representations of student abilities. Research investigating assessment bias due to factors such as instrument structure, participant characteristics, and item types are well documented across a variety of disciplines. However, the relationships among these factors are unclear for tasks evaluating understanding through performance on scientific practices, such as explanation. Using item-response theory (Rasch analysis), we evaluated differences in performance by gender on a constructed-response (CR) assessment about natural selection (ACORNS). Three isomorphic item strands of the instrument were administered to a sample of undergraduate biology majors and nonmajors (Group 1: n = 662 [female = 51.6%]; G2: n = 184 [female = 55.9%]; G3: n = 642 [female = 55.1%]). Overall, our results identify relationships between item features and performance by gender; however, the effect is small in the majority of cases, suggesting that males and females tend to incorporate similar concepts into their CR explanations. These results highlight the importance of examining gender effects on performance in written assessment tasks in biology. PMID:26865642

  20. Contribution of the Cerebellum in Cue-Dependent Force Changes During an Isometric Precision Grip Task.

    PubMed

    Kutz, Dieter F; Schmid, Barbara C; Meindl, Tobias; Timmann, Dagmar; Kolb, Florian P

    2016-08-01

    The "raspberry task" represents a precision grip task that requires continuous adjustment of grip forces and pull forces. During this task, subjects use a specialised grip rod and have to increase the pull force linearly while the rod is locked. The positions of the fingers are unrestrained and freely selectable. From the finger positions and the geometry of the grip rod, a physical lever was derived which is a comprehensive measurement of the subject's grip behaviour. In this study, the involvement of the cerebellum in establishing cued force changes (CFC) was examined. The auditory stimulus was associated with a motor behaviour that has to be readjusted during an ongoing movement that already started. Moreover, cerebellar involvement on grip behaviour was examined. The results show that patients presenting with degenerating cerebellar disease (CBL) were able to elicit CFC and were additionally able to optimise grip behaviour by minimising the lever. Comparison of the results of CBL with a control group of healthy subjects showed, however, that the CFC incidence was significantly lower and the reduction of the lever was less in CBL. Hence, the cerebellum is involved not only in the classical conditioning of reflexes but also in the association of sensory stimuli with complex changes in motor behaviour. Furthermore, the cerebellum is involved in the optimisation of grip behaviour during ongoing movements. Recent studies lead to the assumption that the cerebello-reticulo-spinal pathway might be important for the reduced optimisation of grip behaviour in CBL.

  1. Toxicity assessment for RMA target contaminants. Volume 1. Endangerment assessment RMA, task 35. Final draft report

    SciTech Connect

    1987-06-01

    This report is detailed discussion of the evaluations performed to develop the toxicity assessment for RMA contaminants in soil. The objectives of the toxicity assessment are to determine the nature and extent of health and environmental hazards associated with exposure to contaminants present at the site and identify a quantitative index of toxicity for each target contaminant, referred to in this assessment as DT. The toxicity assessment for the RMA target contaminants has been performed consistent with published EPA guidelines and addresses only human health hazards associated with contaminants in soil. Each toxicity profile is composed of seven sections: 1. summary; 2. chemical and physical properties; and 3. transport and rate.

  2. Temporal Distinctiveness in Task Switching: Assessing the Mixture-Distribution Assumption

    PubMed Central

    Grange, James A.

    2016-01-01

    In task switching, increasing the response–cue interval has been shown to reduce the switch cost. This has been attributed to a time-based decay process influencing the activation of memory representations of tasks (task-sets). Recently, an alternative account based on interference rather than decay has been successfully applied to this data (Horoufchin et al., 2011a). In this account, variation of the RCI is thought to influence the temporal distinctiveness (TD) of episodic traces in memory, thus affecting their retrieval probability. This can affect performance as retrieval probability influences response time: If retrieval succeeds, responding is fast due to positive priming; if retrieval fails, responding is slow, due to having to perform the task via a slow algorithmic process. This account—and a recent formal model (Grange and Cross, 2015)—makes the strong prediction that all RTs are a mixture of one of two processes: a fast process when retrieval succeeds, and a slow process when retrieval fails. The present paper assesses the evidence for this mixture-distribution assumption in TD data. In a first section, statistical evidence for mixture-distributions is found using the fixed-point property test. In a second section, a mathematical process model with mixture-distributions at its core is fitted to the response time distribution data. Both approaches provide good evidence in support of the mixture-distribution assumption, and thus support temporal distinctiveness accounts of the data. PMID:26941697

  3. Climate change and coastal vulnerability assessment: Scenarios for integrated assessment

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nicholls, R.J.; Wong, P.P.; Burkett, V.; Woodroffe, C.D.; Hay, J.

    2008-01-01

    Coastal vulnerability assessments still focus mainly on sea-level rise, with less attention paid to other dimensions of climate change. The influence of non-climatic environmental change or socio-economic change is even less considered, and is often completely ignored. Given that the profound coastal changes of the twentieth century are likely to continue through the twenty-first century, this is a major omission, which may overstate the importance of climate change, and may also miss significant interactions of climate change with other non-climate drivers. To better support climate and coastal management policy development, more integrated assessments of climatic change in coastal areas are required, including the significant non-climatic changes. This paper explores the development of relevant climate and non-climate drivers, with an emphasis on the non-climate drivers. While these issues are applicable within any scenario framework, our ideas are illustrated using the widely used SRES scenarios, with both impacts and adaptation being considered. Importantly, scenario development is a process, and the assumptions that are made about future conditions concerning the coast need to be explicit, transparent and open to scientific debate concerning their realism and likelihood. These issues are generic across other sectors. ?? Integrated Research System for Sustainability Science and Springer 2008.

  4. Performance of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders on the Dimension-Change Card Sort Task

    PubMed Central

    Radonovich, Krestin J.; Turner-Brown, Lauren M.; Lam, Kristen S. L.; Holtzclaw, Tia N.; Bodfish, James W.

    2013-01-01

    Restricted and repetitive behaviors in autism spectrum disorders have been conceptualized to reflect impaired executive functions. In the present study, we investigated the performance of 6–17-year-old children with and without an autism spectrum disorder on a dimension-change card sort task that explicitly indicated sorting rules on every trial. Diagnostic groups did not differ in speed of responses after the first rule switch or in speed or accuracy on blocks with mixed versus single sort rules. However, performance of the ASD group was significantly slower and less accurate overall than the typically-developing group. Furthermore, within the ASD group, poorer DCCS task performance did not predict more severe autism symptoms. Implications for the executive dysfunction theory of autism are discussed. PMID:19890707

  5. Visual Scanning Patterns during the Dimensional Change Card Sorting Task in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

    PubMed Central

    Yi, Li; Liu, Yubing; Li, Yunyi; Fan, Yuebo; Huang, Dan; Gao, Dingguo

    2012-01-01

    Impaired cognitive flexibility in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has been reported in previous literature. The present study explored ASD children's visual scanning patterns during the Dimensional Change Card Sorting (DCCS) task using eye-tracking technique. ASD and typical developing (TD) children completed the standardized DCCS procedure on the computer while their eye movements were tracked. Behavioral results confirmed previous findings on ASD children's deficits in executive function. ASD children's visual scanning patterns also showed some specific underlying processes in the DCCS task compared to TD children. For example, ASD children looked shorter at the correct card in the postswitch phase and spent longer time at blank areas than TD children did. ASD children did not show a bias to the color dimension as TD children did. The correlations between the behavioral performance and eye moments were also discussed. PMID:23050145

  6. Enhancing the executive functions of 3-year-olds in the dimensional change card sort task

    PubMed Central

    Perone, Sammy; Molitor, Stephen; Buss, Aaron T.; Spencer, John P.; Samuelson, Larissa K.

    2015-01-01

    Executive functions (EFs) enable flexible thinking, something young children are notoriously bad at. For instance, in the dimensional change card sort (DCCS) task, 3-year-olds can sort cards by one dimension (shape), but continue to sort by this dimension when asked to switch (to color). This study tests a prediction of a Dynamic Neural Field (DNF) model that prior experience with the post-switch dimension can enhance 3-year-old’s performance in the DCCS task. In Experiment 1A, a matching game was used to pre-expose 3-year-olds (n=36) to color. This facilitated switching from sorting by shape to color. In Experiment 1B, 3-year-olds (n=18) were pre-exposed to shape. This did not facilitate switching from sorting by color to shape. The DNF model was used to provide a mechanistic explanation for this asymmetry. PMID:25441395

  7. Assessment of the adiabatic transformability hypothesis in a ball-bouncing task. mbrodel@freewwweb.com.

    PubMed

    Broderick, M P; Pavis, B; Newell, K M

    2000-05-01

    The adiabatic transformability hypothesis for non-conservative, non-rate-limited biological systems put forward by Kugler and Turvey [Kugler PN, Turvey MT (1987) Information, natural law, and the self-assembly of rhythmic movements, Erlbaum, Hillsdale, NJ] is evaluated in a ball-bouncing task as a function of skill level. We hypothesized that, when a basketball player increases or decreases the frequency of his limb motion in a vertical ball-bouncing task, the transformation should be characterized as adiabatic. Confirmation of this hypothesis would lend support to the body of knowledge that suggests that physical-biological laws guide the behavior of people engaged in motor tasks, including their acquisition of skill. We videotaped and analyzed four participants - two intermediates and two experts - bouncing a ball from various heights, and measured the energy and kinematic relations of the ball and the participants' body segments. The task presents a challenge to certain predictions of the adiabatic hypothesis in evaluating changes in movement velocity (v) or frequency (f), and energy as adiabatic transformations. Among these are the constant relation between kinetic energy (Ek) per cycle and v, constancy of energy dissipated per cycle (Et) over changes in v and Ek, the ratio of Ek to Et per cycle (the "Q" values), and the relation of amplitude to v. From our observations, which are examined in regard to the insights of Kugler and Turvey about the relation of Ehrenfest's adiabatic theorem to biological systems, we confirm the basic adiabatic character of the task in analyzing both the ball alone and the relations of various body segments. In the segmental frame of reference, we found evidence of differences in energy-kinematic relations in the Q values between skill levels.

  8. Aggressive behavior and change in salivary testosterone concentrations predict willingness to engage in a competitive task.

    PubMed

    Carré, Justin M; McCormick, Cheryl M

    2008-08-01

    The current study investigated relationships among aggressive behavior, change in salivary testosterone concentrations, and willingness to engage in a competitive task. Thirty-eight male participants provided saliva samples before and after performing the Point Subtraction Aggression Paradigm (a laboratory measure that provides opportunity for aggressive and defensive behavior while working for reward; all three involve pressing specific response keys). Baseline testosterone concentrations were not associated with aggressive responding. However, aggressive responding (but not point reward or point protection responding) predicted the pre- to post-PSAP change in testosterone: Those with the highest aggressive responding had the largest percent increase in testosterone concentrations. Together, aggressive responding and change in testosterone predicted willingness to compete following the PSAP. Controlling for aggression, men who showed a rise in testosterone were more likely to choose to compete again (p=0.03) and controlling for testosterone change, men who showed the highest level of aggressive responding were more likely to choose the non-competitive task (p=0.02). These results indicate that situation-specific aggressive behavior and testosterone responsiveness are functionally relevant predictors of future social behavior.

  9. The Academic Diligence Task (ADT): Assessing Individual Differences in Effort on Tedious but Important Schoolwork.

    PubMed

    Galla, Brian M; Plummer, Benjamin D; White, Rachel E; Meketon, David; D'Mello, Sidney K; Duckworth, Angela L

    2014-10-01

    The current study reports on the development and validation of the Academic Diligence Task (ADT), designed to assess the tendency to expend effort on academic tasks which are tedious in the moment but valued in the long-term. In this novel online task, students allocate their time between solving simple math problems (framed as beneficial for problem solving skills) and, alternatively, playing Tetris or watching entertaining videos. Using a large sample of high school seniors (N = 921), the ADT demonstrated convergent validity with self-report ratings of Big Five conscientiousness and its facets, self-control and grit, as well as discriminant validity from theoretically unrelated constructs, such as Big Five extraversion, openness, and emotional stability, test anxiety, life satisfaction, and positive and negative affect. The ADT also demonstrated incremental predictive validity for objectively measured GPA, standardized math and reading achievement test scores, high school graduation, and college enrollment, over and beyond demographics and intelligence. Collectively, findings suggest the feasibility of online behavioral measures to assess noncognitive individual differences that predict academic outcomes.

  10. A customisable framework for the assessment of therapies in the solution of therapy decision tasks.

    PubMed

    Manjarrés Riesco, A; Martínez Tomás, R; Mira Mira, J

    2000-01-01

    In current medical research, a growing interest can be observed in the definition of a global therapy-evaluation framework which integrates considerations such as patients preferences and quality-of-life results. In this article, we propose the use of the research results in this domain as a source of knowledge in the design of support systems for therapy decision analysis, in particular with a view to application in oncology. We discuss the incorporation of these considerations in the definition of the therapy-assessment methods involved in the solution of a generic therapy decision task, described in the context of AI software development methodologies such as CommonKADS. The goal of the therapy decision task is to identify the ideal therapy, for a given patient, in accordance with a set of objectives of a diverse nature. The assessment methods applied are based either on data obtained from statistics or on the specific idiosyncrasies of each patient, as identified from their responses to a suite of psychological tests. In the analysis of the therapy decision task we emphasise the importance, from a methodological perspective, of using a rigorous approach to the modelling of domain ontologies and domain-specific data. To this aim we make extensive use of the semi-formal object oriented analysis notation UML to describe the domain level.

  11. The Academic Diligence Task (ADT): Assessing Individual Differences in Effort on Tedious but Important Schoolwork

    PubMed Central

    Galla, Brian M.; Plummer, Benjamin D.; White, Rachel E.; Meketon, David; D’Mello, Sidney K.; Duckworth, Angela L.

    2014-01-01

    The current study reports on the development and validation of the Academic Diligence Task (ADT), designed to assess the tendency to expend effort on academic tasks which are tedious in the moment but valued in the long-term. In this novel online task, students allocate their time between solving simple math problems (framed as beneficial for problem solving skills) and, alternatively, playing Tetris or watching entertaining videos. Using a large sample of high school seniors (N = 921), the ADT demonstrated convergent validity with self-report ratings of Big Five conscientiousness and its facets, self-control and grit, as well as discriminant validity from theoretically unrelated constructs, such as Big Five extraversion, openness, and emotional stability, test anxiety, life satisfaction, and positive and negative affect. The ADT also demonstrated incremental predictive validity for objectively measured GPA, standardized math and reading achievement test scores, high school graduation, and college enrollment, over and beyond demographics and intelligence. Collectively, findings suggest the feasibility of online behavioral measures to assess noncognitive individual differences that predict academic outcomes. PMID:25258470

  12. Exploring General Versus Task-Specific Assessments of Metacognition in University Chemistry Students: A Multitrait-Multimethod Analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Chia-Yu

    2015-08-01

    The purpose of this study was to use multiple assessments to investigate the general versus task-specific characteristics of metacognition in dissimilar chemistry topics. This mixed-method approach investigated the nature of undergraduate general chemistry students' metacognition using four assessments: a self-report questionnaire, assessment of concurrent metacognitive skills, confidence judgment, and calibration accuracy. Data were analyzed using a multitrait-multimethod correlation matrix, supplemented with regression analyses, and qualitative interpretation. Significant correlations among task performance, calibration accuracy, and concurrent metacognition within a task suggest a converging relationship. Confidence judgment, however, was not associated with task performance or the other metacognitive measurements. The results partially support hypotheses of both general and task-specific metacognition. However, general and task-specific properties of metacognition were detected using different assessments. Case studies were constructed for two participants to illustrate how concurrent metacognition varied within different task demands. Considerations of how each assessment may appropriate different metacognitive constructs and the importance of the alignment of analytical constructs when using multiple assessments are discussed. These results may help lead to improvements in metacognition assessment and may provide insights into designs of effective metacognitive instruction.

  13. Assessing Knowledge Change in Computer Science

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nash, Jane Gradwohl; Bravaco, Ralph J.; Simonson, Shai

    2006-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to assess structural knowledge change across a two-week workshop designed to provide high-school teachers with training in Java and Object Oriented Programming. Both before and after the workshop, teachers assigned relatedness ratings to pairs of key concepts regarding Java and Object Oriented Programming. Their…

  14. Key tasks in healthcare marketing: assessing importance and current level of knowledge.

    PubMed

    Kennett, Pamela A; Henson, Steve W; Crow, Stephen M; Hartman, Sandra J

    2005-01-01

    When examining the healthcare industry, the need for continuing education in internal functions (i.e., HR management) has been documented. However, equally important to success in the healthcare industry are external functions such as marketing. In an expansion of research on internally focused functions, we report findings from an exploratory study designed to examine the perceptions of executives about managerial skill needs in the externally focused area of marketing. Specifically, we examine eight key tasks in marketing and ask executives to rate the level of knowledge required for each and then to assess current, or actual, levels of knowledge in the field. Findings suggest that pricing strategy, product strategy, and segmentation and targeting were the tasks that require the most knowledge for healthcare marketers, and that they do, in fact, perceive various gaps in all of the areas examined. Implications and suggestions for future research are provided.

  15. Toxicity assessment for RMA target contaminants. Volume 2. Endangerment assessment, RMA, task 35. Final draft report

    SciTech Connect

    1987-06-01

    This report is a detailed discussion of the evaluations performed to develop the toxicity assessment for RMA contaminants in soil. The objectives of the toxicity assessment are to: (1) determine the nature and extent of health and environmental hazards associated with exposure to contaminants present at the site and (2) identify a quantitative index of toxicity for each target contaminant, referred to in this assessment as DT. The toxicity assessment for the RMA target contaminants has been performed consistent with published EPA guidelines and addresses only human health hazards associated with contaminants in soil. Each toxicity profile is composed of seven sections: (1) summary; (2) chemical and physical properties; and (3) transport and fate.

  16. The 2008 California climate change assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Franco, G.

    2008-12-01

    In 2005, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed Executive Order S-03-05, which laid the foundation for California's ambitious greenhouse gas mitigation reduction efforts. The 2020 goal is now codified in state law requiring bringing 2020 emissions to the 1990 levels. The Executive Order also mandates the preparation of biennial updates on the latest climate change science, potential impacts, and assessment of the state's efforts to manage its climate change risks through various adaptation options. In 2006, the first of these mandated scientific assessments (The Governor's Scenarios Report) was released. Based on new scientific studies conducted in the interim, the next assessment, the '2008 Governor's Scenarios Report' is currently in preparation. It has three principal goals: (1) to improve the assessment of climate changes for California and associated impacts on key physical and biological indicators; (2) to begin to translate these physical and biological impacts into sectoral economic impacts; and (3) to begin to develop and evaluate strategies for key sectors or regions for adapting to climate changes already underway. Contributors to this session will present some of this new research to the scientific community. Among the most exciting new insights are impacts assessments for the all-important water and agricultural sectors, coastal areas, public health and related air quality and environmental justice issues, the forestry and energy sectors. This presentation will give an overview of the overall effort which will result in about 35 scientific papers from different research institutions in California. All of the studies are interlinked in such a way as to produce a consistent overall assessment.

  17. Consideration of environmental change in performance assessments.

    PubMed

    Pinedo, P; Thorne, M; Egan, M; Calvez, M; Kautsky, U

    2005-01-01

    Depending on the particular circumstances in which a post-closure performance assessment of a radioactive waste repository is made, it may be appropriate to follow simple or more complex approaches in characterising the biosphere. Several different Example Reference Biospheres were explored in BIOMASS Theme 1 to address a range of issues that arise. Here, consideration is given to Example Reference Biospheres relevant to representing the implications of changes that may occur within the biosphere system during the period over which releases of radionuclides from a disposal facility might take place. Mechanisms of change considered include those extrinsic and intrinsic to the system of interest. An overall methodology for incorporating environmental change into assessments is proposed. This includes screening of primary mechanisms of change; identification of possible time sequences of change; development of a coherent description of the regional landscape response for each time sequence; integration of source term and geosphere-biosphere interface information; identification and description of one or more time series of assessment biospheres; and evaluation of the advantages and disadvantages of simulating the effects of sequences of biosphere systems and the transitions between them, or of defining a set of biosphere systems to be represented individually in a non-sequential analysis. The usefulness of the methodology is explored in two site-specific examples and one generic example. PMID:16198459

  18. Auditory tasks for assessment of sensory function and affective prosody in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Petkova, Eva; Lu, Feihan; Kantrowitz, Joshua; Sanchez, Jamie L; Lehrfeld, Jonathan; Scaramello, Nayla; Silipo, Gail; DiCostanza, Joanna; Ross, Marina; Su, Zhe; Javitt, Daniel C; Butler, Pamela D

    2014-11-01

    Schizophrenia patients exhibit impairments in auditory-based social cognition, indicated by deficits in detection of prosody, such as affective prosody and basic pitch perception. However, little is known about the psychometric properties of behavioral tests used to assess these functions. The goal of this paper is to characterize the properties of prosody and pitch perception tasks and to investigate whether they can be shortened. The pitch perception test evaluated is a tone-matching task developed by Javitt and colleagues (J-TMT). The prosody test evaluated is the auditory emotion recognition task developed by Juslin and Laukka (JL-AER). The sample includes 124 schizophrenia patients (SZ) and 131 healthy controls (HC). Properties, including facility and discrimination, of each item were assessed. Effects of item characteristics (e.g., emotion) were also evaluated. Shortened versions of the tests are proposed based on facility, discrimination, and/or ability of item characteristics to discriminate between patients and controls. Test-retest reliability is high for patients and controls for both the original and short forms of the J-TMT and JL-AER. Thus, the original as well as short forms of the J-TMT and JL-AER are suggested for inclusion in clinical trials of social cognitive and perceptual treatments. The development of short forms further increases the utility of these auditory tasks in clinical trials and clinical practice. The large SZ vs. HC differences reported here also highlight the profound nature of auditory deficits and a need for remediation. PMID:25214372

  19. Auditory Tasks for Assessment of Sensory Function and Affective Prosody in Schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Petkova, Eva; Lu, Feihan; Kantrowitz, Joshua; Sanchez, Jamie L.; Lehrfeld, Jonathan; Scaramello, Nayla; Silipo, Gail; DiCostanza, Joanna; Ross, Marina; Su, Zhe; Javitt, Daniel C.; Butler, Pamela D.

    2015-01-01

    Schizophrenia patients exhibit impairments in auditory-based social cognition, indicated by deficits in detection of prosody, such as affective prosody and basic pitch perception. However, little is known about the psychometric properties of behavioral tests used to assess these functions. The goal of this paper is to characterize the properties of prosody and pitch perception tasks and to investigate whether they can be shortened. The pitch perception test evaluated is a tone-matching task developed by Javitt and colleagues (J-TMT). The prosody test evaluated is the auditory emotion recognition task developed by Juslin and Laukka (JL-AER). The sample includes 124 schizophrenia patients (SZ) and 131 healthy controls (HC). Properties, including facility and discrimination, of each item were assessed. Effects of item characteristics (e.g., emotion) were also evaluated. Shortened versions of the tests are proposed based on facility, discrimination, and/or ability of item characteristics to discriminate between patients and controls. Test-retest reliability is high for patients and controls for both the original and short forms of the J-TMT and JL-AER. Thus, the original as well as short forms of the J-TMT and JL-AER are suggested for inclusion in clinical trials of social cognitive and perceptual treatments. The development of short forms further increases the utility of these auditory tasks in clinical trials and clinical practice. The large SZ vs. HC differences reported here also highlight the profound nature of auditory deficits and a need for remediation. PMID:25214372

  20. Upper-Extremity Dual-Task Function: An Innovative Method to Assess Cognitive Impairment in Older Adults

    PubMed Central

    Toosizadeh, Nima; Najafi, Bijan; Reiman, Eric M.; Mager, Reine M.; Veldhuizen, Jaimeson K.; O’Connor, Kathy; Zamrini, Edward; Mohler, Jane

    2016-01-01

    Background: Difficulties in orchestrating simultaneous tasks (i.e., dual-tasking) have been associated with cognitive impairments in older adults. Gait tests have been commonly used as the motor task component for dual-task assessments; however, many older adults have mobility impairments or there is a lack of space in busy clinical settings. We assessed an upper-extremity function (UEF) test as an alternative motor task to study the dual-task motor performance in older adults. Methods: Older adults (≥65 years) were recruited, and cognitive ability was measured using the Montreal cognitive assessment (MoCA). Participants performed repetitive elbow flexion with their maximum pace, once single-task, and once while counting backward by one (dual-task). Single- and dual-task gait tests were also performed with normal speed. Three-dimensional kinematics was measured both from upper-extremity and lower-extremity using wearable sensors to determine UEF and gait parameters. Parameters were compared between the cognitively impaired and healthy groups using analysis of variance tests, while controlling for age, gender, and body mass index (BMI). Correlations between UEF and gait parameters for dual-task and dual-task cost were assessed using linear regression models. Results: Sixty-seven older adults were recruited (age = 83 ± 10 years). Based on MoCA, 10 (15%) were cognitively impaired. While no significant differences were observed in the single-task condition, within the dual-task condition, the cognitively impaired group showed significantly less arm flexion speed (62%, d = 1.51, p = 0.02) and range of motion (27%, d = 0.93, p = 0.04), and higher speed variability (88%, d = 1.82, p < 0.0001) compared to the cognitively intact group, when adjusted with age, gender, and BMI. Significant correlations were observed between UEF speed parameters and gait stride velocity for dual-task condition (r = 0.55, p < 0.0001) and dual-task cost (r = 0.28, p = 0.03). Conclusion: We

  1. Dual-task related gait changes after CSF tapping: a new way to identify idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Gait disturbances found in patients with idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus (iNPH) are unspecific to the diagnosis and commonly occur in neurodegenerative or vascular conditions (iNPH-like conditions). This current retrospective pre-post intervention study aims to determine whether changes in quantitative gait parameters during dual task condition differed between iNPH and iNPH-like conditions before and after cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) tapping. Methods 49 patients assessed before and after CSF tapping were included in this study (27 with iNPH and 22 with iNPH-like conditions). Gait analysis during single and dual task conditions (walking and backward counting) was performed before and after a CSF spinal tap of 40 ml. Gait parameters were compared between iNPH and iNPH-like conditions patients. Logistic regressions were used to examine the association between iNPH and gait parameters. Results Improvements of step width (−9.03 (20.75)% for iNPH group; +0.28 (21.76)% for iNPH-like conditions group), stride length (+7.82 (20.71)% for iNPH group; -0.62 (19.22)% for iNPH-like conditions group), walking speed (+12.20 (29.79)% for iNPH group; +2.38 (32.50)% for iNPH-like conditions group) and stance duration (−1.23 (4.03)% for iNPH group; +0.49 (5.12)% for iNPH-like conditions group) during dual task, after CSF spinal tapping, were significant in patients with iNPH compared to patients with iNPH-like conditions. No between group difference was observed for the single walking task evaluation. The multiple logistic regression revealed that among these four gait parameters, only the improvement in step width was associated with the diagnosis of iNPH. Conclusion Dual-task related changes in spatio-temporal gait parameters before and after CSF tapping might be a novel and discriminative method of identifying iNPH patients from other similar conditions. PMID:24359487

  2. Attentional Effects on Phenomenological Appearance: How They Change with Task Instructions and Measurement Methods.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Britt

    2016-01-01

    It has been reported that exogenous cues accentuate contrast appearance. The empirical finding is controversial because non-veridical perception challenges the idea that attention prioritizes processing resources to make perception better, and because philosophers have used the finding to challenge representational accounts of mental experience. The present experiments confirm that when evaluated with comparison paradigms exogenous cues increase the apparent contrast. In addition, contrast appearance was also changed by simply changing the purpose of a secondary task. When comparison and discrimination reports were combined in a single experiment there was a behavioral disassociation: contrast enhanced for comparison responses, but did not change for discrimination judgments, even when participants made both types of judgment for a single stimulus. That a single object can have multiple simultaneous appearances leads inescapably to the conclusion that our unitary mental experience is illusory. PMID:27022928

  3. Attentional Effects on Phenomenological Appearance: How They Change with Task Instructions and Measurement Methods.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Britt

    2016-01-01

    It has been reported that exogenous cues accentuate contrast appearance. The empirical finding is controversial because non-veridical perception challenges the idea that attention prioritizes processing resources to make perception better, and because philosophers have used the finding to challenge representational accounts of mental experience. The present experiments confirm that when evaluated with comparison paradigms exogenous cues increase the apparent contrast. In addition, contrast appearance was also changed by simply changing the purpose of a secondary task. When comparison and discrimination reports were combined in a single experiment there was a behavioral disassociation: contrast enhanced for comparison responses, but did not change for discrimination judgments, even when participants made both types of judgment for a single stimulus. That a single object can have multiple simultaneous appearances leads inescapably to the conclusion that our unitary mental experience is illusory.

  4. Apolipoprotein E Genotype Linked to Spatial Gait Characteristics: Predictors of Cognitive Dual Task Gait Change

    PubMed Central

    MacAulay, Rebecca K.; Allaire, Ted; Brouillette, Robert; Foil, Heather; Bruce-Keller, Annadora J.; Keller, Jeffrey N.

    2016-01-01

    Background Developing measures to detect preclinical Alzheimer’s Disease is vital, as prodromal stage interventions may prove more efficacious in altering the disease’s trajectory. Gait changes may serve as a useful clinical heuristic that precedes cognitive decline. This study provides the first systematic investigation of gait characteristics relationship with relevant demographic, physical, genetic (Apolipoprotein E genotype), and health risk factors in non-demented older adults during a cognitive-load dual task walking condition. Methods The GAITRite system provided objective measurement of gait characteristics in APOE-e4 “carriers” (n = 75) and “non-carriers” (n = 224). Analyses examined stride length and step time gait characteristics during simple and dual-task (spelling five-letter words backwards) conditions in relation to demographic, physical, genetic, and health risk factors. Results Slower step time and shorter stride length associated with older age, greater health risk, and worse physical performance (ps < .05). Men and women differed in height, gait characteristics, health risk factors and global cognition (ps < .05). APOE-e4 associated with a higher likelihood of hypercholesterolemia and overall illness index scores (ps < .05). No genotype-sex interactions on gait were found. APOE-e4 was linked to shorter stride length and greater dual-task related disturbances in stride length. Conclusions Stride length has been linked to heightened fall risk, attention decrements and structural brain changes in older adults. Our results indicate that stride length is a useful behavioral marker of cognitive change that is associated with genetic risk for AD. Sex disparities in motor decline may be a function of health risk factors. PMID:27486898

  5. Exposure to Repetitive Tasks Induces Motor Changes Related to Skill Acquisition and Inflammation in Rats

    PubMed Central

    Kietrys, David M.; Barr, Ann E; Barbe, Mary F

    2013-01-01

    This study elucidates exposure-response relationships between repetitive tasks, inflammation and motor changes with work-related musculoskeletal disorders. Using a rat model of reaching and handle-pulling, we examined effects of performing a high repetition low force (HRLF), low repetition high force (LRHF), or high repetition high force (HRHF) task (2 h/day, 3 days/wk, 12 wks) on reach rate and force, percent success, duration of participation and grip strength. Reach rate and reach force improved with HRLF, and percent success increased in all groups in week 9, and HRLF and HRHF in week 12, indicative of skill acquisition. Duration and grip strength showed force-dependent declines with task performance. A subset of HRHF rats received ibuprofen in weeks 5–12. Ibuprofen significantly improved reach rate, reach force and duration in treated rats, indicative of an inflammatory influence on reach performance. Ibuprofen improved percent successful reaches in week 9, although this increase was not sustained. However, declines in grip strength, a nocifensive behavior, were not prevented by ibuprofen. Examination of cervical spinal cords of untreated and ibuprofen treated HRHF rats showed increased IL-1beta, an inflammatory cytokine, in neurons. These findings suggest that only a preventive intervention could have addressed all motor declines. PMID:22087754

  6. How sequential changes in reward magnitude modulate cognitive flexibility: Evidence from voluntary task switching.

    PubMed

    Fröber, Kerstin; Dreisbach, Gesine

    2016-02-01

    There is much evidence that the prospect of reward modulates cognitive control in terms of more stable behavior. Increases in expected reward magnitude, however, have been suggested to increase flexible behavior as evidenced by reduced switch costs. In a series of experiments, the authors provide evidence that this increased cognitive flexibility following increases in reward magnitude also promotes deliberate task switching. A modified task switching paradigm with forced- and free-choice trials and varying reward prospects was used. In Experiments 1-3 the prospect of a reward increase as compared to unchanged high reward increased voluntary switching rate (VSR). Experiment 4 showed that the prospect of a reward decrease did not alter VSR as compared to unchanged low reward. Experiment 5 used a standard voluntary task switching procedure and confirmed VSR effects found in Experiments 1-4. These findings are strong evidence for a mechanism that biases the cognitive system either toward stability or flexibility depending on changing reward expectation. Results are discussed within the framework of the adaptive gain theory. PMID:26237619

  7. Changes in microcirculation of the trapezius muscle during a prolonged computer task.

    PubMed

    Cagnie, B; Dhooge, F; Van Akeleyen, J; Cools, A; Cambier, D; Danneels, L

    2012-09-01

    The aim of this study is to investigate if there is a change in oxygen saturation and blood flow in the different parts of the trapezius muscle in office workers with and without trapezius myalgia during a standardized computer task. Twenty right-handed office workers participated; ten were recruited based on pain in the trapezius and ten as matching controls. Subjects performed a combination of typing and mousing tasks for 60 min at a standardized workstation. Muscle tissue oxygenation and blood flow data were collected from the upper trapezius (UT), the middle trapezius (MT) and the lower trapezius (LT), both on the left and right side at seven moments (at baseline and every tenth minute during the 1-h typing task) by use of the oxygen to see device. In all three parts of the trapezius muscle, the oxygen saturation and blood flow decreased significantly over time in a similar pattern (p < 0.001). Oxygenation of the left and right UT was significantly higher compared to the other muscle parts (p < 0.001). Oxygen saturation for the MT was significantly lower in the cases compared to the control group (p = 0.027). Blood flow of the UT on the right side was significantly lower than the blood flow on the left side (p = 0.026). The main finding of this study was that 1 h of combined workstation tasks resulted in decreased oxygen saturation and blood flow in all three parts of the trapezius muscle. Future research should focus on the influence of intervention strategies on these parameters.

  8. 75 FR 34438 - Defense Science Board Task Force on Trends and Implications of Climate Change for National and...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-06-17

    ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary Defense Science Board Task Force on Trends and Implications of Climate Change for... committee meetings. SUMMARY: The Defense Science Board Task Force on Trends and Implications of...

  9. Relations Among the Structure of Learning Tasks, Achievement, and Changes in Self-Efficacy in Secondary Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lodewyk, Ken R.; Winne, Philip H.

    2005-01-01

    Although much has been discovered about relations between self-efficacy and academic achievement, questions remain about links between achievement, the structure of learning tasks, and changes in students' self-efficacy as students engage with a single, complex authentic task. Students' self-efficacy for learning (SEL) and for performance (SEP)…

  10. Inter-rater reliability of cyclic and non-cyclic task assessment using the hand activity level in appliance manufacturing

    PubMed Central

    Paulsen, Robert; Schwatka, Natalie; Gober, Jennifer; Gilkey, David; Anton, Dan; Gerr, Fred; Rosecrance, John

    2015-01-01

    This study evaluated the inter-rater reliability of the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH®) hand activity level (HAL), an observational ergonomic assessment method used to estimate physical exposure to repetitive exertions during task performance. Video recordings of 858 cyclic and non-cyclic appliance manufacturing tasks were assessed by sixteen pairs of raters using the HAL visual-analog scale. A weighted Pearson Product Moment-Correlation Coefficient was used to evaluate the agreement between the HAL scores recorded by each rater pair, and the mean weighted correlation coefficients for cyclic and non-cyclic tasks were calculated. Results indicated that the HAL is a reliable exposure assessment method for cyclic (r̄-barw = 0.69) and non-cyclic work tasks (r̄-barw = 0.68). When the two reliability scores were compared using a two-sample Student's t-test, no significant difference in reliability (p = 0.63) between these work task categories was found. This study demonstrated that the HAL may be a useful measure of exposure to repetitive exertions during cyclic and non-cyclic tasks. Relevance to industry Exposure to hazardous levels of repetitive action during non-cyclic task completion has traditionally been difficult to assess using simple observational techniques. The present study suggests that ergonomists could use the HAL to reliably and easily evaluate exposures associated with some non-cyclic work tasks. PMID:26120222

  11. Too much reinforcement, too little behavior: assessing task interspersal procedures in conjunction with different reinforcement schedules with autistic children.

    PubMed Central

    Charlop, M H; Kurtz, P F; Milstein, J P

    1992-01-01

    Task interspersal procedures have been quite effective in increasing autistic children's motivation to learn. These procedures have typically demonstrated that the inclusion of reinforced maintenance tasks (previously learned tasks) increases responding to new acquisition tasks because more reinforcers, in general, are available. However, studies have not specifically addressed the effects of various schedules of reinforcement, used in conjunction with task interspersal procedures, upon response acquisition. In the present study, a multiple baseline design across subjects was used to assess different reinforcement schedules. Five autistic children participated in learning sessions, during which trials of an acquisition task were interspersed with trials of three maintenance tasks. Correct responses to acquisition tasks were continuously reinforced throughout all conditions, while the reinforcement schedule for competent performance of maintenance tasks differed systematically. Results indicated that all children learned the new tasks when food reinforcers were presented only for acquisition tasks. Results are discussed in terms of behavioral contrast and improving the effectiveness of motivation-enhancing procedures for autistic children. PMID:1478903

  12. Too much reinforcement, too little behavior: assessing task interspersal procedures in conjunction with different reinforcement schedules with autistic children.

    PubMed

    Charlop, M H; Kurtz, P F; Milstein, J P

    1992-01-01

    Task interspersal procedures have been quite effective in increasing autistic children's motivation to learn. These procedures have typically demonstrated that the inclusion of reinforced maintenance tasks (previously learned tasks) increases responding to new acquisition tasks because more reinforcers, in general, are available. However, studies have not specifically addressed the effects of various schedules of reinforcement, used in conjunction with task interspersal procedures, upon response acquisition. In the present study, a multiple baseline design across subjects was used to assess different reinforcement schedules. Five autistic children participated in learning sessions, during which trials of an acquisition task were interspersed with trials of three maintenance tasks. Correct responses to acquisition tasks were continuously reinforced throughout all conditions, while the reinforcement schedule for competent performance of maintenance tasks differed systematically. Results indicated that all children learned the new tasks when food reinforcers were presented only for acquisition tasks. Results are discussed in terms of behavioral contrast and improving the effectiveness of motivation-enhancing procedures for autistic children.

  13. Changing societies and four tasks of schooling: Challenges for strongly differentiated educational systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van de Werfhorst, Herman G.

    2014-05-01

    Changing labour markets, increased calls for selection and excellence, and increased diversity and individualisation have repercussions on how educational systems can prepare youth for work, optimise knowledge production, achieve equality of opportunity, and socialise students into active civic engagement. This paper discusses four central tasks of schooling and examines to what extent societal developments challenge education policy to deliver on the tasks at hand. Particular attention is given to the challenges Europe's strongly diversified educational systems are currently facing. Both the Netherlands and Germany, for example, have been offering vocationally-oriented pathways alongside traditional academic higher education for some time. But today's ongoing changes in job descriptions, mainly due to ever-accelerating technological developments, are causing a risk of skills obsolescence which can only be avoided by continuous upskilling and/or reskilling of a sufficiently flexible workforce. Overcoming differences of intelligence as well as differences of diverse socioeconomic, ethnic and linguistic backgrounds by way of education is another challenge, as is fostering "soft" skills and political awareness. This paper investigates the effectiveness of current education systems in preparing citizens for a functioning modern society.

  14. Predicting the language proficiency of Chinese student pilots within American airspace: Single-task versus dual-task English-language assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Noble, Clifford Elliott, II

    2002-09-01

    The problem. The purpose of this study was to investigate the ability of three single-task instruments---(a) the Test of English as a Foreign Language, (b) the Aviation Test of Spoken English, and (c) the Single Manual-Tracking Test---and three dual-task instruments---(a) the Concurrent Manual-Tracking and Communication Test, (b) the Certified Flight Instructor's Test, and (c) the Simulation-Based English Test---to predict the language performance of 10 Chinese student pilots speaking English as a second language when operating single-engine and multiengine aircraft within American airspace. Method. This research implemented a correlational design to investigate the ability of the six described instruments to predict the mean score of the criterion evaluation, which was the Examiner's Test. This test assessed the oral communication skill of student pilots on the flight portion of the terminal checkride in the Piper Cadet, Piper Seminole, and Beechcraft King Air airplanes. Results. Data from the Single Manual-Tracking Test, as well as the Concurrent Manual-Tracking and Communication Test, were discarded due to performance ceiling effects. Hypothesis 1, which stated that the average correlation between the mean scores of the dual-task evaluations and that of the Examiner's Test would predict the mean score of the criterion evaluation with a greater degree of accuracy than that of single-task evaluations, was not supported. Hypothesis 2, which stated that the correlation between the mean scores of the participants on the Simulation-Based English Test and the Examiner's Test would predict the mean score of the criterion evaluation with a greater degree of accuracy than that of all single- and dual-task evaluations, was also not supported. The findings suggest that single- and dual-task assessments administered after initial flight training are equivalent predictors of language performance when piloting single-engine and multiengine aircraft.

  15. Exploring General versus Task-Specific Assessments of Metacognition in University Chemistry Students: A Multitrait-Multimethod Analysis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wang, Chia-Yu

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to use multiple assessments to investigate the general versus task-specific characteristics of metacognition in dissimilar chemistry topics. This mixed-method approach investigated the nature of undergraduate general chemistry students' metacognition using four assessments: a self-report questionnaire, assessment of…

  16. Changes in task self-efficacy and emotion across competitive performances in golf.

    PubMed

    Boardley, Ian D; Jackson, Ben; Simmons, Alexander

    2015-08-01

    This research aimed to investigate (a) the effect of golfers' perceptions of coach motivation efficacy on golfers' precompetition task self-efficacy, (b) the effect of performance on pre-to-postround changes in self-efficacy, (c) the effect of pre-to-postround changes in self-efficacy on pre-to-postround changes in affect and emotion, and (d) whether any effects of performance on pre-to-postcompetition changes in affect and emotion were mediated by pre-to-postcompetition changes in self-efficacy. In Study 1, a scale measuring golf self-efficacy was developed and validated using data from 197 golfers. In Study 2, 200 golfers completed this measure alongside measures of coach motivation efficacy, and positive and negative affect before a golf competition; all measures (except coach motivation efficacy) were again completed following the competition. Structural equation modeling showed that coach motivation efficacy positively predicted precompetition self-efficacy, performance positively predicted pre-to-postcompetition changes in self-efficacy, which had positive and negative effects, respectively, on pre-to-postcompetition changes in positive and negative affect; mediation analyses demonstrated that pre-to-postcompetition changes in self-efficacy mediated effects of performance on pre-to-postcompetition changes in positive and negative affect. In Study 3, the Study-2 procedures were replicated with a separate sample of 212 golfers, except measures of excitement, concentration disruption, somatic anxiety, and worry replaced those for positive and negative affect. Structural analyses showed the findings from Study 2 were largely replicated when specific emotions were investigated in place of general indices of affect. This investigation makes novel contributions regarding the potential importance of perceptions of coach efficacy for golfers' own efficacy beliefs, and the role personal efficacy beliefs may play in facilitating the effects of performance on affective

  17. Changes in task self-efficacy and emotion across competitive performances in golf.

    PubMed

    Boardley, Ian D; Jackson, Ben; Simmons, Alexander

    2015-08-01

    This research aimed to investigate (a) the effect of golfers' perceptions of coach motivation efficacy on golfers' precompetition task self-efficacy, (b) the effect of performance on pre-to-postround changes in self-efficacy, (c) the effect of pre-to-postround changes in self-efficacy on pre-to-postround changes in affect and emotion, and (d) whether any effects of performance on pre-to-postcompetition changes in affect and emotion were mediated by pre-to-postcompetition changes in self-efficacy. In Study 1, a scale measuring golf self-efficacy was developed and validated using data from 197 golfers. In Study 2, 200 golfers completed this measure alongside measures of coach motivation efficacy, and positive and negative affect before a golf competition; all measures (except coach motivation efficacy) were again completed following the competition. Structural equation modeling showed that coach motivation efficacy positively predicted precompetition self-efficacy, performance positively predicted pre-to-postcompetition changes in self-efficacy, which had positive and negative effects, respectively, on pre-to-postcompetition changes in positive and negative affect; mediation analyses demonstrated that pre-to-postcompetition changes in self-efficacy mediated effects of performance on pre-to-postcompetition changes in positive and negative affect. In Study 3, the Study-2 procedures were replicated with a separate sample of 212 golfers, except measures of excitement, concentration disruption, somatic anxiety, and worry replaced those for positive and negative affect. Structural analyses showed the findings from Study 2 were largely replicated when specific emotions were investigated in place of general indices of affect. This investigation makes novel contributions regarding the potential importance of perceptions of coach efficacy for golfers' own efficacy beliefs, and the role personal efficacy beliefs may play in facilitating the effects of performance on affective

  18. Waste Area Grouping 2 Remedial Investigation Phase 1 Seep Task data report: Contaminant source area assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Hicks, D.S.

    1996-03-01

    This report presents the findings of the Waste Area Grouping (WAG) 2, Phase 1 Remedial Investigation (RI) Seep Task efforts during 1993 and 1994 at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). The results presented here follow results form the first year of sampling, 1992, which are contained in the Phase 1 RI report for WAG 2 (DOE 1995a). The WAG 2 Seep Task efforts focused on contaminants in seeps, tributaries, and main streams within the White Oak Creek (WOC) watershed. This report is designed primarily as a reference for contaminants and a resource for guiding remedial decisions. Additional in-depth assessments of the Seep Task data may provide clearer understandings of contaminant transport from the different source areas in the WOC watershed. WAG 2 consists of WOC and its tributaries downstream of the ORNL main plant area, White Oak Lake, the White Oak Creek Embayment of the Clinch River, and the associated flood plains and subsurface environment. The WOC watershed encompasses ORNL and associated WAGs. WAG 2 acts as an integrator for contaminant releases from the contaminated sites at ORNL and as the conduit transporting contaminants to the Clinch River. The main objectives of the Seep Task were to identify and characterize seeps, tributaries and source areas that are responsible for the contaminant releases to the main streams in WAG 2 and to quantify their input to the total contaminant release from the watershed at White Oak Dam (WOD). Efforts focused on {sup 90}Sr, {sup 3}H, and {sup 137}Cs because these contaminants pose the greatest potential human health risk from water ingestion at WOD. Bimonthly sampling was conducted throughout the WOC watershed beginning in March 1993 and ending in August 1994. Samples were also collected for metals, anions, alkalinity, organics, and other radionuclides.

  19. Utilization Assessment of Target Electrification Vehicles at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. Task 3

    SciTech Connect

    Schey, Stephen; Francfort, Jim

    2015-11-01

    Battelle Energy Alliance, LLC, managing and operating contractor for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory, is the lead laboratory for U.S. Department of Energy Advanced Vehicle Testing. Battelle Energy Alliance, LLC contracted with Intertek Testing Services, North America (Intertek) to conduct several U.S. Department of Defense base studies to identify potential U.S. Department of Defense transportation systems that are strong candidates for introduction or expansion of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs). Task 1 consisted of a survey of the non-tactical fleet of vehicles at MCBCL to begin the review of vehicle mission assignments and types of vehicles in service. Task 2 involved identifying daily operational characteristics of select vehicles and initiating data logging of vehicle movements in order to characterize the vehicle’s mission. Individual observations of these selected vehicles provide the basis for recommendations related to PEV adoption and whether a battery electric vehicle or plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (collectively referred to as PEVs) can fulfill the mission requirements and provide observations related to placement of PEV charging infrastructure. This report provides the results of the data analysis and observations related to replacement of current vehicles with PEVs. This fulfills part of the Task 3 requirements. Task 3 also includes an assessment of the charging infrastructure required to support this replacement, which is the subject of a separate report. Intertek acknowledges the support of Idaho National Laboratory, Marine Corps headquarters, and Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune Fleet management and personnel for participation in this study. Intertek is pleased to provide this report and is encouraged by enthusiasm and support from MCBCL personnel.

  20. Short- and long-term changes in anterior cingulate activation during resolution of task-set competition.

    PubMed

    Woodward, Todd S; Ruff, Christian C; Ngan, Elton T C

    2006-01-12

    Alternating between task sets involves detection that the current task set is unfavorable, initiation of a change in set, and application of the new task set while fine-tuning to optimally adjust to the demands of the environment. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies of cognitive flexibility consistently report activation of the anterior cingulate cortex and/or adjacent pre-supplementary motor regions (ACC/pre-SMA, medial Brodmann's areas 24/32/6), suggesting that these cortical regions are involved in switching task set. In the current study, our objective was to probe whether ACC/pre-SMA activation would decrease for a number of trials following a switch in task set, implying longer-term involvement in fine-tuning adjustments. By measuring activation when switching between word reading and color naming in response to Stroop stimuli, ACC/pre-SMA activation was observed when actively countering the influence of the irrelevant task set, and this activation decreased as a function of the number of trials since a task switch. Basal ganglia and thalamic regions also displayed a decreased response over successive trials after task switches. These findings suggest that the ACC/pre-SMA are not only involved in generating a new course of action, but are also involved (along with subcortical regions) in fine-tuning operations that resolve competition between task sets over subsequent repetitions of the same task. PMID:16376861

  1. Assessing the Assessment Methods: Climate Change and Hydrologic Impacts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brekke, L. D.; Clark, M. P.; Gutmann, E. D.; Mizukami, N.; Mendoza, P. A.; Rasmussen, R.; Ikeda, K.; Pruitt, T.; Arnold, J. R.; Rajagopalan, B.

    2014-12-01

    The Bureau of Reclamation, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and other water management agencies have an interest in developing reliable, science-based methods for incorporating climate change information into longer-term water resources planning. Such assessments must quantify projections of future climate and hydrology, typically relying on some form of spatial downscaling and bias correction to produce watershed-scale weather information that subsequently drives hydrology and other water resource management analyses (e.g., water demands, water quality, and environmental habitat). Water agencies continue to face challenging method decisions in these endeavors: (1) which downscaling method should be applied and at what resolution; (2) what observational dataset should be used to drive downscaling and hydrologic analysis; (3) what hydrologic model(s) should be used and how should these models be configured and calibrated? There is a critical need to understand the ramification of these method decisions, as they affect the signal and uncertainties produced by climate change assessments and, thus, adaptation planning. This presentation summarizes results from a three-year effort to identify strengths and weaknesses of widely applied methods for downscaling climate projections and assessing hydrologic conditions. Methods were evaluated from two perspectives: historical fidelity, and tendency to modulate a global climate model's climate change signal. On downscaling, four methods were applied at multiple resolutions: statistically using Bias Correction Spatial Disaggregation, Bias Correction Constructed Analogs, and Asynchronous Regression; dynamically using the Weather Research and Forecasting model. Downscaling results were then used to drive hydrologic analyses over the contiguous U.S. using multiple models (VIC, CLM, PRMS), with added focus placed on case study basins within the Colorado Headwaters. The presentation will identify which types of climate changes are

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, Yuan; Zhu, Ye; Jiang, Tianzi

    2007-05-01

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

  3. Integrated Climate Change Impacts Assessment in California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cayan, D. R.; Franco, G.; Meyer, R.; Anderson, M.; Bromirski, P. D.

    2014-12-01

    This paper summarizes lessons learned from an ongoing series of climate change assessments for California, conducted by the scientific community and State and local agencies. A series of three Assessments have considered vulnerability and adaptation issues for both managed and natural systems. California's vulnerability is many faceted, arising because of an exceptionally drought prone climate, open coast and large estuary exposure to sea level rise, sensitive ecosystems and complex human footprint and economy. Key elements of the assessments have been a common set of climate and sea-level rise scenarios, based upon IPCC GCM simulations. Regionalized and localized output from GCM projections was provided to research teams investigating water supply, agriculture, coastal resources, ecosystem services, forestry, public health, and energy demand and hydropower generation. The assessment results are helping to investigate the broad range of uncertainty that is inherent in climate projections, and users are becoming better equipped to process an envelope of potential climate and impacts. Some projections suggest that without changes in California's present fresh-water delivery system, serious water shortages would take place, but that technical solutions are possible. Under a warmer climate, wildfire vulnerability is heightened markedly in some areas--estimated increases in burned area by the end of the 21st Century exceed 100% of the historical area burned in much of the forested areas of Northern California Along California coast and estuaries, projected rise in mean sea level will accelerate flooding occurrences, prompting the need for better education and preparedness. Many policymakers and agency personnel in California are factoring in results from the assessments and recognize the need for a sustained assessment process. An ongoing challenge, of course, is to achieve more engagement with a broader community of decision makers, and notably with the private sector.

  4. Effects of task and image properties on visual-attention deployment in image-quality assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alers, Hani; Redi, Judith; Liu, Hantao; Heynderickx, Ingrid

    2015-03-01

    It is important to understand how humans view images and how their behavior is affected by changes in the properties of the viewed images and the task they are given, particularly the task of scoring the image quality (IQ). This is a complex behavior that holds great importance for the field of image-quality research. This work builds upon 4 years of research work spanning three databases studying image-viewing behavior. Using eye-tracking equipment, it was possible to collect information on human viewing behavior of different kinds of stimuli and under different experimental settings. This work performs a cross-analysis on the results from all these databases using state-of-the-art similarity measures. The results strongly show that asking the viewers to score the IQ significantly changes their viewing behavior. Also muting the color saturation seems to affect the saliency of the images. However, a change in IQ was not consistently found to modify visual attention deployment, neither under free looking nor during scoring. These results are helpful in gaining a better understanding of image viewing behavior under different conditions. They also have important implications on work that collects subjective image-quality scores from human observers.

  5. Report of the Cost Assessment and Validation Task Force on the International Space Station

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    The Cost Assessment and Validation (CAV) Task Force was established for independent review and assessment of cost, schedule and partnership performance on the International Space Station (ISS) Program. The CAV Task Force has made the following key findings: The International Space Station Program has made notable and reasonable progress over the past four years in defining and executing a very challenging and technically complex effort. The Program size, complexity, and ambitious schedule goals were beyond that which could be reasonably achieved within the $2.1 billion annual cap or $17.4 billion total cap. A number of critical risk elements are likely to have an adverse impact on the International Space Station cost and schedule. The schedule uncertainty associated with Russian implementation of joint Partnership agreements is the major threat to the ISS Program. The Fiscal Year (FY) 1999 budget submission to Congress is not adequate to execute the baseline ISS Program, cover normal program growth, and address the known critical risks. Additional annual funding of between $130 million and $250 million will be required. Completion of ISS assembly is likely to be delayed from one to three years beyond December 2003.

  6. Cost Assessment and Validation Task Force on the International Space Station

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    The Cost Assessment and Validation (CAV) Task Force was established for independent review and assessment of cost, schedule and partnership performance on the International Space Station (ISS) Program. The CAV Task Force has made the following key findings: The International Space Station Program has made notable and reasonable progress over the past four years in defining and executing a very challenging and technically complex effort; The Program, size, complexity, and ambitious schedule goals were beyond that which could be reasonably achieved within the $2.1 billion annual cap or $17.4 billion total cap; A number of critical risk elements are likely to have an adverse impact on the International Space Station cost and schedule; The schedule uncertainty associated with Russian implementation of joint Partnership agreements is the major threat to the ISS Program; The Fiscal Year (FY) 1999 budget submission to Congress is not adequate to execute the baseline ISS Program, cover normal program, growth, and address the known critical risks. Additional annual funding of between $130 million and $250 million will be required; and Completion of ISS assembly is likely to be delayed from, one to three years beyond December 2003.

  7. Exercise-mode-related changes in task-switching performance in the elderly

    PubMed Central

    Tsai, Chia-Liang; Wang, Wen-Liang

    2015-01-01

    The objective of the current study was to explore the relationships between exercise modes and executive functions in the elderly. Twenty-one elderly individuals in the open-skill group, 22 in the closed-skill group, and 21 in the sedentary-behavior (control) group were recruited in the current study, and performed a task-switching paradigm during which the switches occurred unpredictably and infrequently, while the behavioral and electrophysiological performances were assessed simultaneously. The results indicated that although there were no group differences in accuracy rates, the two exercise groups exhibited shorter reaction times (RTs), and larger P2 and P3 amplitudes across all conditions compared to the control group. In addition, the exercise-mode differences revealed a relatively smaller specific cost, and faster motor RTs and larger P3 amplitudes, in the switch condition for the open-skill group in comparison with the closed-skill and control groups. These findings suggest that regularly participating in physical exercise can enhance behavioral and electrophysiological performance with regard to executive control in the elderly, and provide further evidence for the beneficial effects of open-skill exercise on the task-switching paradigm. PMID:25798097

  8. A health impact assessment framework for assessing vulnerability and adaptation planning for climate change.

    PubMed

    Brown, Helen; Spickett, Jeffery; Katscherian, Dianne

    2014-12-12

    This paper presents a detailed description of an approach designed to investigate the application of the Health Impact Assessment (HIA) framework to assess the potential health impacts of climate change. A HIA framework has been combined with key climate change terminology and concepts. The fundamental premise of this framework is an understanding of the interactions between people, the environment and climate. The diversity and complexity of these interactions can hinder much needed action on the critical health issue of climate change. The objectives of the framework are to improve the methodology for understanding and assessing the risks associated with potential health impacts of climate change, and to provide decision-makers with information that can facilitate the development of effective adaptation plans. While the process presented here provides guidance with respect to this task it is not intended to be prescriptive. As such, aspects of the process can be amended to suit the scope and available resources of each project. A series of working tables has been developed to assist in the collation of evidence throughout the process. The framework has been tested in a number of locations including Western Australia, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Nauru.

  9. A Health Impact Assessment Framework for Assessing Vulnerability and Adaptation Planning for Climate Change

    PubMed Central

    Brown, Helen; Spickett, Jeffery; Katscherian, Dianne

    2014-01-01

    This paper presents a detailed description of an approach designed to investigate the application of the Health Impact Assessment (HIA) framework to assess the potential health impacts of climate change. A HIA framework has been combined with key climate change terminology and concepts. The fundamental premise of this framework is an understanding of the interactions between people, the environment and climate. The diversity and complexity of these interactions can hinder much needed action on the critical health issue of climate change. The objectives of the framework are to improve the methodology for understanding and assessing the risks associated with potential health impacts of climate change, and to provide decision-makers with information that can facilitate the development of effective adaptation plans. While the process presented here provides guidance with respect to this task it is not intended to be prescriptive. As such, aspects of the process can be amended to suit the scope and available resources of each project. A series of working tables has been developed to assist in the collation of evidence throughout the process. The framework has been tested in a number of locations including Western Australia, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Nauru. PMID:25514146

  10. Monitoring transcranial direct current stimulation induced changes in cortical excitability during the serial reaction time task.

    PubMed

    Ambrus, Géza Gergely; Chaieb, Leila; Stilling, Roman; Rothkegel, Holger; Antal, Andrea; Paulus, Walter

    2016-03-11

    The measurement of the motor evoked potential (MEP) amplitudes using single pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a common method to observe changes in motor cortical excitability. The level of cortical excitability has been shown to change during motor learning. Conversely, motor learning can be improved by using anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS). In the present study, we aimed to monitor cortical excitability changes during an implicit motor learning paradigm, a version of the serial reaction time task (SRTT). Responses from the first dorsal interosseous (FDI) and forearm flexor (FLEX) muscles were recorded before, during and after the performance of the SRTT. Online measurements were combined with anodal, cathodal or sham tDCS for the duration of the SRTT. Negative correlations between the amplitude of online FDI MEPs and SRTT reaction times (RTs) were observed across the learning blocks in the cathodal condition (higher average MEP amplitudes associated with lower RTs) but no significant differences in the anodal and sham conditions. tDCS did not have an impact on SRTT performance, as would be predicted based on previous studies. The offline before-after SRTT MEP amplitudes showed an increase after anodal and a tendency to decrease after cathodal stimulation, but these changes were not significant. The combination of different interventions during tDCS might result in reduced efficacy of the stimulation that in future studies need further attention.

  11. Handedness change after dominant side amputation: Evaluation from a hand laterality judgment task.

    PubMed

    Xiaoli Guo; Yuanyuan Lyu; Bekrater-Bodmann, Robin; Flor, Herta; Shanbao Tong

    2015-08-01

    Amputation of the dominant hand forces patients to use their non-dominant hand exclusively. Whether this chronic forced use of the non-dominant hand would affect the handedness preference remains an open question. In this study, the handedness preference in amputees was evaluated using a hand laterality judgment task by comparing recognition speeds of their lost hand and remaining hand. A handedness index was defined as lateralization between response times to the left hand and the right hand. Healthy controls responded faster to the pictures of dominant hand than that of non-dominant hand, while amputees did not show this handedness advantage. The handedness index was significantly correlated to the response time, accuracy, amputation age and the time post amputation. Amputees with poorer performance experienced severer handedness change and new amputees were more likely to suffer handedness change. Our results suggest that handedness is changed after dominant side amputation and the handedness change might not be induced by chronic use of the intact hand. PMID:26738149

  12. Parametric assessment of climate change impacts of automotive material substitution.

    PubMed

    Geyer, Roland

    2008-09-15

    Quantifying the net climate change impact of automotive material substitution is not a trivial task. It requires the assessment of the mass reduction potential of automotive materials, the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from their production and recycling, and their impact on GHG emissions from vehicle use. The model presented in this paper is based on life cycle assessment (LCA) and completely parameterized, i.e., its computational structure is separated from the required input data, which is not traditionally done in LCAs. The parameterization increases scientific rigor and transparency of the assessment methodology, facilitates sensitivity and uncertainty analysis of the results, and also makes it possible to compare different studies and explain their disparities. The state of the art of the modeling methodology is reviewed and advanced. Assessment of the GHG emission impacts of material recycling through consequential system expansion shows that our understanding of this issue is still incomplete. This is a critical knowledge gap since a case study shows thatfor materials such as aluminum, the GHG emission impacts of material production and recycling are both of the same size as the use phase savings from vehicle mass reduction.

  13. Parametric assessment of climate change impacts of automotive material substitution.

    PubMed

    Geyer, Roland

    2008-09-15

    Quantifying the net climate change impact of automotive material substitution is not a trivial task. It requires the assessment of the mass reduction potential of automotive materials, the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from their production and recycling, and their impact on GHG emissions from vehicle use. The model presented in this paper is based on life cycle assessment (LCA) and completely parameterized, i.e., its computational structure is separated from the required input data, which is not traditionally done in LCAs. The parameterization increases scientific rigor and transparency of the assessment methodology, facilitates sensitivity and uncertainty analysis of the results, and also makes it possible to compare different studies and explain their disparities. The state of the art of the modeling methodology is reviewed and advanced. Assessment of the GHG emission impacts of material recycling through consequential system expansion shows that our understanding of this issue is still incomplete. This is a critical knowledge gap since a case study shows thatfor materials such as aluminum, the GHG emission impacts of material production and recycling are both of the same size as the use phase savings from vehicle mass reduction. PMID:18853818

  14. An automated maze task for assessing hippocampus-sensitive memory in mice.

    PubMed

    Pioli, Elsa Y; Gaskill, Brianna N; Gilmour, Gary; Tricklebank, Mark D; Dix, Sophie L; Bannerman, David; Garner, Joseph P

    2014-03-15

    Memory deficits associated with hippocampal dysfunction are a key feature of a number of neurodegenerative and psychiatric disorders. The discrete-trial rewarded alternation T-maze task is highly sensitive to hippocampal dysfunction. Normal mice have spontaneously high levels of alternation, whereas hippocampal-lesioned mice are dramatically impaired. However, this is a hand-run task and handling has been shown to impact crucially on behavioural responses, as well as being labour-intensive and therefore unsuitable for high-throughput studies. To overcome this, a fully automated maze was designed. The maze was attached to the mouse's home cage and the subject earned all of its food by running through the maze. In this study the hippocampal dependence of rewarded alternation in the automated maze was assessed. Bilateral hippocampal-lesioned mice were assessed in the standard, hand-run, discrete-trial rewarded alternation paradigm and in the automated paradigm, according to a cross-over design. A similarly robust lesion effect on alternation performance was found in both mazes, confirming the sensitivity of the automated maze to hippocampal lesions. Moreover, the performance of the animals in the automated maze was not affected by their handling history whereas performance in the hand-run maze was affected by prior testing history. By having more stable performance and by decreasing human contact the automated maze may offer opportunities to reduce extraneous experimental variation and therefore increase the reproducibility within and/or between laboratories. Furthermore, automation potentially allows for greater experimental throughput and hence suitability for use in assessment of cognitive function in drug discovery.

  15. An automated maze task for assessing hippocampus-sensitive memory in mice☆

    PubMed Central

    Pioli, Elsa Y.; Gaskill, Brianna N.; Gilmour, Gary; Tricklebank, Mark D.; Dix, Sophie L.; Bannerman, David; Garner, Joseph P.

    2014-01-01

    Memory deficits associated with hippocampal dysfunction are a key feature of a number of neurodegenerative and psychiatric disorders. The discrete-trial rewarded alternation T-maze task is highly sensitive to hippocampal dysfunction. Normal mice have spontaneously high levels of alternation, whereas hippocampal-lesioned mice are dramatically impaired. However, this is a hand-run task and handling has been shown to impact crucially on behavioural responses, as well as being labour-intensive and therefore unsuitable for high-throughput studies. To overcome this, a fully automated maze was designed. The maze was attached to the mouse's home cage and the subject earned all of its food by running through the maze. In this study the hippocampal dependence of rewarded alternation in the automated maze was assessed. Bilateral hippocampal-lesioned mice were assessed in the standard, hand-run, discrete-trial rewarded alternation paradigm and in the automated paradigm, according to a cross-over design. A similarly robust lesion effect on alternation performance was found in both mazes, confirming the sensitivity of the automated maze to hippocampal lesions. Moreover, the performance of the animals in the automated maze was not affected by their handling history whereas performance in the hand-run maze was affected by prior testing history. By having more stable performance and by decreasing human contact the automated maze may offer opportunities to reduce extraneous experimental variation and therefore increase the reproducibility within and/or between laboratories. Furthermore, automation potentially allows for greater experimental throughput and hence suitability for use in assessment of cognitive function in drug discovery. PMID:24333574

  16. The Infant Orienting With Attention task: Assessing the neural basis of spatial attention in infancy

    PubMed Central

    Ross-Sheehy, Shannon; Schneegans, Sebastian; Spencer, John P.

    2015-01-01

    Infant visual attention develops rapidly over the first year of life, significantly altering the way infants respond to peripheral visual events. Here we present data from 5-, 7- and 10-month-old infants using the Infant Orienting With Attention (IOWA) task, designed to capture developmental changes in visual spatial attention and saccade planning. Results indicate rapid development of spatial attention and visual response competition between 5 and 10 months. We use a dynamic neural field (DNF) model to link behavioral findings to neural population activity, providing a possible mechanistic explanation for observed developmental changes. Together, the behavioral and model simulation results provide new insights into the specific mechanisms that underlie spatial cueing effects, visual competition, and visual interference in infancy. PMID:26273232

  17. Motivation, Intentionality, and Mind Wandering: Implications for Assessments of Task-Unrelated Thought

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Seli, Paul; Cheyne, James Allan; Xu, Mengran; Purdon, Christine; Smilek, Daniel

    2015-01-01

    Researchers of mind wandering frequently assume that (a) participants are motivated to do well on the tasks they are given, and (b) task-unrelated thoughts (TUTs) that occur during task performance reflect unintentional, unwanted thoughts that occur despite participants' best intentions to maintain task-focus. Given the relatively boring and…

  18. Engineering Task Plan for the Integrity Assessment Examination of Double Contained Receiver Tanks (DCRT) Catch Tanks and Ancillary facilities

    SciTech Connect

    BECKER, D.L.

    2000-05-23

    This Engineering Task Plan (ETP) presents the integrity assessment examination of three DCRTs, seven catch tanks, and two ancillary facilities located in the 200 East and West Areas of the Hanford Site. The integrity assessment examinations, as described in this ETP, will provide the necessary information to enable the independently qualified registered professional engineer (IQRPE) to assess the condition and integrity of these facilities. The plan is consistent with the Double-Shell Tank Waste Transfer Facilities Integrity Assessment Plan.

  19. Use of a Tracing Task to Assess Visuomotor Performance: Effects of Age, Sex, and Handedness

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background. Visuomotor abnormalities are common in aging and age-related disease, yet difficult to quantify. This study investigated the effects of healthy aging, sex, and handedness on the performance of a tracing task. Participants (n = 150, aged 21–95 years, 75 females) used a stylus to follow a moving target around a circle on a tablet computer with their dominant and nondominant hands. Participants also performed the Trail Making Test (a measure of executive function). Methods. Deviations from the circular path were computed to derive an “error” time series. For each time series, absolute mean, variance, and complexity index (a proposed measure of system functionality and adaptability) were calculated. Using the moving target and stylus coordinates, the percentage of task time within the target region and the cumulative micropause duration (a measure of motion continuity) were computed. Results. All measures showed significant effects of aging (p < .0005). Post hoc age group comparisons showed that with increasing age, the absolute mean and variance of the error increased, complexity index decreased, percentage of time within the target region decreased, and cumulative micropause duration increased. Only complexity index showed a significant difference between dominant versus nondominant hands within each age group (p < .0005). All measures showed relationships to the Trail Making Test (p < .05). Conclusions. Measures derived from a tracing task identified performance differences in healthy individuals as a function of age, sex, and handedness. Studies in populations with specific neuromotor syndromes are warranted to test the utility of measures based on the dynamics of tracking a target as a clinical assessment tool. PMID:23388876

  20. Final report: Task 4a.2 20% wind scenario assessment of electric grid operational features

    SciTech Connect

    Toole, Gasper L.

    2009-01-01

    Wind integration modeling in electricity generation capacity expansion models is important in that these models are often used to inform political or managerial decisions. Poor representation of wind technology leads to under-estimation of wind's contribution to future energy scenarios which may hamper growth of the industry. The NREL's Wind Energy Deployment System (WinDS) model provides the most detailed representation of geographically disperse renewable resources and the optimization of transmission expansion to access these resources. Because WinDS was selected as the primary modeling tool for the 20% Wind Energy by 2030 study, it is the ideal tool for supplemental studies of the transmission expansion results. However, as the wind industry grows and knowledge related to the wind resource and integration of wind energy into the electric system develops, the WinDS model must be continually improved through additional data and innovative algorithms to capture the primary effects of variable wind generation. The detailed representation of wind technology in the WinDS model can be used to provide improvements to the simplified representation of wind technology in other capacity expansion models. This task did not employ the WinDS model, but builds from it and its results. Task 4a.2 provides an assessment of the electric grid operational features of the 20% Wind scenario and was conducted using power flow models accepted by the utility industry. Tasks 2 provides information regarding the physical flow of electricity on the electric grid which is a critical aspect of infrastructure expansion scenarios. Expanding transmission infrastructure to access remote wind resource in a physically realizable way is essential to achieving 20% wind energy by 2030.

  1. Changes across the psychometric function following perceptual learning of an RSVP reading task.

    PubMed

    Coates, Daniel R; Chung, Susana T L

    2014-01-01

    Several recent studies have shown that perceptual learning can result in improvements in reading speed for people with macular disease (e.g., Chung, 2011; Tarita-Nistor et al., 2014). The improvements were reported as an increase in reading speed defined by specific criteria; however, little is known about how other properties of the reading performance or the participants' perceptual responses change as a consequence of learning. In this paper, we performed detailed analyses of data following perceptual learning using an RSVP (rapid serial visual presentation) reading task, looking beyond the change in reading speed defined by the threshold at a given accuracy on a psychometric function relating response accuracy with word exposure duration. Specifically, we explored the statistical characteristics of the response data to address two specific questions: was there a change in the slope of the psychometric function and did the improvements in performance occur consistently across different word exposure durations? Our results show that there is a general steepening of the slope of the psychometric function, leading to non-uniform improvements across stimulus levels.

  2. Task Switching and Shifting between Stopping and Going: Developmental Change in between-Trial Control Adjustments

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Huizing, Mariette; van der Molen, Maurits W.

    2011-01-01

    This study set out to investigate developmental differences in the ability to switch between choice tasks and to shift between Go/NoGo and choice tasks. Three age groups (7-year-olds, 11-year-olds, and young adults) were asked to consider the shape or color of a bivalued target stimulus. The participants performed a switch task in which a cue…

  3. Curriculum mapping within an Australian master of chiropractic program: Congruence between published evidence for chiropractic and student assessment tasks

    PubMed Central

    Gorrell, Lindsay; Beirman, Robyn L.; Vemulpad, Subramanyam R.

    2015-01-01

    Objective This study sought to determine congruence between student assessment tasks within the master of chiropractic curriculum at Macquarie University and 2 separate but related domains: (1) disorders commonly presenting to chiropractors and (2) musculoskeletal conditions for which there is published evidence that chiropractic treatment is effective. Methods A literature review was undertaken to determine which musculoskeletal disorders commonly present to chiropractors and the conditions for which there is published evidence that chiropractic treatment is effective. These 2 domains were then mapped to the assessment tasks within the curriculum and analyzed. The proportion of time allocated to theory versus skill acquisition was also determined. Results Assessment tasks within the curriculum specifically focus on low back pain, neck pain, lower extremity pain, thoracic pain, and adhesive capsulitis. This curriculum mapping demonstrates congruence between the student assessment tasks and published evidence for chiropractic. The assessments also contain an appropriate balance between theory and skills acquisition. Conclusion There is congruence between the assessment tasks within the curriculum and the 2 domains against which it was mapped. Thus, completion of the curriculum provides training relevant to conditions that commonly present to chiropractors and musculoskeletal conditions for which chiropractic treatment is effective. PMID:25162981

  4. Neuropsychological Assessment of a New Computerized Cognitive Task that Was Developed to Train Several Cognitive Functions Simultaneously

    PubMed Central

    Ichihara-Takeda, Satoe; Takeda, Kazuyoshi; Ikeda, Nozomu; Matsuyama, Kiyoji; Funahashi, Shintaro

    2016-01-01

    Recent studies have indicated that computerized cognitive training is effective as therapy for reducing the cognitive decline with aging and the dysfunction associated with neuropsychiatric illness. Although cognitive trainings that targets a specific function and multi-domain cognitive training have both been shown to have significant effects, we need one simple behavioral training paradigm to improve multiple domains of cognitive functions easily and simultaneously. We had developed a new computerized task that seeks to engage the cognitive functions of planning, mental calculation, and divergent thinking based on a working memory task in a single task. The purpose of this study was to assess the cognitive features of our new task by comparing the scores of seven known neuropsychological batteries in healthy elderly subjects. The relationships between performance in our task and the scores obtained by the neuropsychological batteries were examined. The percentage of correct performance on our task was correlated with the scores on the category fluency test, the digit span backward task, and the Trail making test B. Stepwise multiple regression analyses revealed that the scores on the category fluency test and the Trail making test B showed significant positive correlations with the percentage of correct performance on our task. Although the present study did not show high correlations between the percentage of correct performance on our task and working memory functions as a primary target, we observed mid-level correlations between the percentage of correct performance on our task and functions for divided attention and word fluency. Our new task requires not only working memory, but also attention and divergent thinking. Thus, this task might be a useful tool for training multiple cognitive functions simultaneously. PMID:27148110

  5. Neuropsychological Assessment of a New Computerized Cognitive Task that Was Developed to Train Several Cognitive Functions Simultaneously.

    PubMed

    Ichihara-Takeda, Satoe; Takeda, Kazuyoshi; Ikeda, Nozomu; Matsuyama, Kiyoji; Funahashi, Shintaro

    2016-01-01

    Recent studies have indicated that computerized cognitive training is effective as therapy for reducing the cognitive decline with aging and the dysfunction associated with neuropsychiatric illness. Although cognitive trainings that targets a specific function and multi-domain cognitive training have both been shown to have significant effects, we need one simple behavioral training paradigm to improve multiple domains of cognitive functions easily and simultaneously. We had developed a new computerized task that seeks to engage the cognitive functions of planning, mental calculation, and divergent thinking based on a working memory task in a single task. The purpose of this study was to assess the cognitive features of our new task by comparing the scores of seven known neuropsychological batteries in healthy elderly subjects. The relationships between performance in our task and the scores obtained by the neuropsychological batteries were examined. The percentage of correct performance on our task was correlated with the scores on the category fluency test, the digit span backward task, and the Trail making test B. Stepwise multiple regression analyses revealed that the scores on the category fluency test and the Trail making test B showed significant positive correlations with the percentage of correct performance on our task. Although the present study did not show high correlations between the percentage of correct performance on our task and working memory functions as a primary target, we observed mid-level correlations between the percentage of correct performance on our task and functions for divided attention and word fluency. Our new task requires not only working memory, but also attention and divergent thinking. Thus, this task might be a useful tool for training multiple cognitive functions simultaneously. PMID:27148110

  6. Optical measures of changes in cerebral vascular tone during voluntary breath holding and a Sternberg memory task.

    PubMed

    Tan, Chin Hong; Low, Kathy A; Schneider-Garces, Nils; Zimmerman, Benjamin; Fletcher, Mark A; Maclin, Edward L; Chiarelli, Antonio M; Gratton, Gabriele; Fabiani, Monica

    2016-07-01

    The human cerebral vasculature responds to changes in blood pressure and demands for oxygenation via cerebral autoregulation. Changes in cerebrovascular tone (vasoconstriction and vasodilation) also mediate the changes in blood flow measured by the BOLD fMRI signal. This cerebrovascular reactivity is known to vary with age. In two experiments, we demonstrate that cerebral pulse parameters measured using optical imaging can quantify changes in cerebral vascular tone, both globally and locally. In experiment 1, 51 older adults (age range=55-87) performed a voluntary breath-holding task while cerebral pulse amplitude measures were taken. We found significant pulse amplitude variations across breath-holding periods, indicating vasodilation during, and vasoconstriction after breath holding. The breath-holding index (BHI), a measure of cerebrovascular reactivity (CVR) was derived and found to correlate with age. BHI was also correlated with performance in the Modified Mini-Mental Status Examination, even after controlling for age and education. In experiment 2, the same participants performed a Sternberg task, and changes in regional pulse amplitude between high (set-size 6) and low (set-size 2) task loads were compared. Only task-related areas in the fronto-parietal network (FPN) showed significant reduction in pulse amplitude, indicating vasodilation. Non-task-related areas such as the somatosensory and auditory cortices did not show such reductions. Taken together, these experiments suggest that optical pulse parameters can index changes in brain vascular tone both globally and locally, using both physiological and cognitive load manipulations.

  7. Commentary on "How Task Features Impact Evidence from Assessments Embedded in Simulations and Games" by Almond et al.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Timms, Mike

    2014-01-01

    In his commentary on "How Task Features Impact Evidence from Assessments Embedded in Simulations and Games" by Almond et al., Mike Timms writes that his own research has involved the use of embedded assessments using simulations in interactive learning environments, and the Evidence Centered Design (ECD) approach has provided a solid…

  8. Developing an ICT-Literacy Task-Based Assessment Instrument: The Findings on the Final Testing Phase

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mat-jizat, Jessnor Elmy

    2013-01-01

    This paper reports the findings of a study which seeks to identify the information and communications technology (ICT) literacy levels of trainee teachers, by investigating their ICT proficiency using a task-bask assessment instrument. The Delphi technique was used as a primary validation method for the new assessment tool and the ICT literacy…

  9. The Role of Time on Task in Computer-Based Low-Stakes Assessment of Cross-Curricular Skills

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kupiainen, Sirkku; Vainikainen, Mari-Pauliina; Marjanen, Jukka; Hautamäki, Jarkko

    2014-01-01

    The role of time on task (TOT) for students' attainment in a low-stakes assessment of cross-curricular skills was examined using the log data collected in the computer-based assessment (CBA). Two structural equation models were compared: Model 1, in which students' test scores were explained by grade point average (GPA) together with mastery and…

  10. Using the Threat Probability Task to Assess Anxiety and Fear During Uncertain and Certain Threat

    PubMed Central

    Korhumel, Rachel A.; Curtin, John J.

    2014-01-01

    Fear of certain threat and anxiety about uncertain threat are distinct emotions with unique behavioral, cognitive-attentional, and neuroanatomical components. Both anxiety and fear can be studied in the laboratory by measuring the potentiation of the startle reflex. The startle reflex is a defensive reflex that is potentiated when an organism is threatened and the need for defense is high. The startle reflex is assessed via electromyography (EMG) in the orbicularis oculi muscle elicited by brief, intense, bursts of acoustic white noise (i.e., “startle probes”). Startle potentiation is calculated as the increase in startle response magnitude during presentation of sets of visual threat cues that signal delivery of mild electric shock relative to sets of matched cues that signal the absence of shock (no-threat cues). In the Threat Probability Task, fear is measured via startle potentiation to high probability (100% cue-contingent shock; certain) threat cues whereas anxiety is measured via startle potentiation to low probability (20% cue-contingent shock; uncertain) threat cues. Measurement of startle potentiation during the Threat Probability Task provides an objective and easily implemented alternative to assessment of negative affect via self-report or other methods (e.g., neuroimaging) that may be inappropriate or impractical for some researchers. Startle potentiation has been studied rigorously in both animals (e.g., rodents, non-human primates) and humans which facilitates animal-to-human translational research. Startle potentiation during certain and uncertain threat provides an objective measure of negative affective and distinct emotional states (fear, anxiety) to use in research on psychopathology, substance use/abuse and broadly in affective science. As such, it has been used extensively by clinical scientists interested in psychopathology etiology and by affective scientists interested in individual differences in emotion. PMID:25285398

  11. Do pursuit movement tasks lead to differential changes in early somatosensory evoked potentials related to motor learning compared with typing tasks?

    PubMed

    Andrew, Danielle; Yielder, Paul; Murphy, Bernadette

    2015-02-15

    Central nervous system (CNS) plasticity is essential for development; however, recent research has demonstrated its role in pathology, particularly following overuse and repetition. Previous studies investigating changes in sensorimotor integration (SMI) have used relatively simple paradigms resulting in minimal changes in neural activity, as determined through the use of somatosensory evoked potentials (SEPs). This study sought to utilize complex tasks and compare separate motor paradigms to determine which one best facilitates long-term learning. Spinal, brainstem, and cortical SEPs were recorded following median nerve stimulation at the wrist pre- and postinterventions. Eighteen participants performed the same paradigms, a control condition of 10 min of mental recitation and two interventions, one consisting of 10 min of tracing and the other 10 min of repetitive typing. Significant increases in the N13, N20, P25, and N30 SEP peaks were seen for both interventions. A significant decrease in the N24 SEP peak was observed for both interventions. Significant improvements in accuracy were seen for both interventions postacquisition but only for tracing during retention. The changes seen following motor learning were congruent with those associated with long-term learning, which was also reflected by significant increases in accuracy during retention. Tracing or the pursuit movement paradigm was shown to be a more effective learning tool. The identification of a task that is sufficiently novel and complex, leading to robust changes in SEP peaks, indicates a task that can be utilized in future work to study clinical populations and the effect of experimental interventions on SMI.

  12. 75 FR 43944 - Defense Science Board; Task Force on Trends and Implications of Climate Change for National and...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-07-27

    ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office ] DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary Defense Science Board; Task Force on Trends and Implications of Climate Change... Climate Change for National and International Security will meet in closed session August 18-19,...

  13. Robotic guidance induces long-lasting changes in the movement pattern of a novel sport-specific motor task.

    PubMed

    Kümmel, Jakob; Kramer, Andreas; Gruber, Markus

    2014-12-01

    Facilitating the learning or relearning of motor tasks is one of the main goals of coaches, teachers and therapists. One promising way to achieve this goal is guiding the learner through the correct movement trajectory with the help of a robotic device. The aim of this study was to investigate if haptic guidance can induce long-lasting changes in the movement pattern of a complex sport-specific motor task. For this purpose, 31 subjects were assigned to one of three groups: EA (early angle, n=10), LA (late angle, n=11) and CON (control, n=10). EA and LA successfully completed five training sessions, which consisted of 50 robot-guided golf swings and 10 free swings each, whereas CON had no training. The EA group was guided through the movement with the wrist being bent early during backswing, whereas in the LA group it was bent late. The participants of EA and LA were not told about this difference in the movement patterns. To assess if the robot-guided training was successful in shaping the movement pattern, the timing of the wrist bending during the backswing in free swings was measured before (PRE), one day after (POST), and 7 days after (FUP) the five training sessions. The ANOVA (time×group×angle) showed that during POST and FUP, the participants of the EA group bent their wrist significantly earlier during the backswing than the other groups. Post-hoc analyses revealed that this interaction effect was mainly due to the differences in the wrist angle progression during the first 5° of the backswing. The robot-guided training was successful in shaping the movement pattern, and these changes persisted even after 7 days without further practice. This might have implications for the learning of complex motor tasks in general, as haptic guidance might quickly provide the beginner with an internal model of the correct movement pattern without having to direct the learner's attention towards the key points of the correct movement pattern. PMID:25238621

  14. Changes in attention to an emotional task after sleep deprivation: neurophysiological and behavioral findings.

    PubMed

    Alfarra, Ramey; Fins, Ana I; Chayo, Isaac; Tartar, Jaime L

    2015-01-01

    While sleep loss is shown to have widespread effects on cognitive processes, little is known about the impact of sleep loss on emotion processes. In order to expand on previous behavioral and physiological findings on how sleep loss influences emotion processing, we administered positive, negative, and neutral affective visual stimuli to individuals after one night of sleep deprivation while simultaneously acquiring EEG event related potential (ERP) data and recording affective behavioral responses. We compared these responses to a baseline testing session. We specifically looked at the late positive potential (LPP) component of the visual ERP as an established sensitive measure of attention to emotionally-charged visual stimuli. Our results show that after sleep deprivation, the LPP no longer discriminates between emotional and non-emotional pictures; after sleep deprivation the LPP amplitude was of similar amplitude for neutral, positive, and negative pictures. This effect was driven by an increase in the LPP to neutral pictures. Our behavioral measures show that, relative to baseline testing, emotional pictures are rated as less emotional following sleep deprivation with a concomitant reduction in emotional picture-induced anxiety. We did not observe any change in cortisol concentrations after sleep deprivation before or after emotional picture exposure, suggesting that the observed changes in emotion processing are independent of potential stress effects of sleep deprivation. Combined, our findings suggest that sleep loss interferes with proper allocation of attention resources during an emotional task.

  15. Assessing urban adaptive capacity to climate change.

    PubMed

    Araya-Muñoz, Dahyann; Metzger, Marc J; Stuart, Neil; Wilson, A Meriwether W; Alvarez, Luis

    2016-12-01

    Despite the growing number of studies focusing on urban vulnerability to climate change, adaptive capacity, which is a key component of the IPCC definition of vulnerability, is rarely assessed quantitatively. We examine the capacity of adaptation in the Concepción Metropolitan Area, Chile. A flexible methodology based on spatial fuzzy modelling was developed to standardise and aggregate, through a stepwise approach, seventeen indicators derived from widely available census statistical data into an adaptive capacity index. The results indicate that all the municipalities in the CMA increased their level of adaptive capacity between 1992 and 2002. However, the relative differences between municipalities did not change significantly over the studied timeframe. Fuzzy overlay allowed us to standardise and to effectively aggregate indicators with differing ranges and granularities of attribute values into an overall index. It also provided a conceptually sound and reproducible means of exploring the interplay of many indicators that individually influence adaptive capacity. Furthermore, it captured the complex, aggregated and continued nature of the adaptive capacity, favouring to deal with gaps of data and knowledge associated with the concept of adaptive capacity. The resulting maps can help identify municipalities where adaptive capacity is weak and identify which components of adaptive capacity need strengthening. Identification of these capacity conditions can stimulate dialogue amongst policymakers and stakeholders regarding how to manage urban areas and how to prioritise resources for urban development in ways that can also improve adaptive capacity and thus reduce vulnerability to climate change. PMID:27604755

  16. Assessing urban adaptive capacity to climate change.

    PubMed

    Araya-Muñoz, Dahyann; Metzger, Marc J; Stuart, Neil; Wilson, A Meriwether W; Alvarez, Luis

    2016-12-01

    Despite the growing number of studies focusing on urban vulnerability to climate change, adaptive capacity, which is a key component of the IPCC definition of vulnerability, is rarely assessed quantitatively. We examine the capacity of adaptation in the Concepción Metropolitan Area, Chile. A flexible methodology based on spatial fuzzy modelling was developed to standardise and aggregate, through a stepwise approach, seventeen indicators derived from widely available census statistical data into an adaptive capacity index. The results indicate that all the municipalities in the CMA increased their level of adaptive capacity between 1992 and 2002. However, the relative differences between municipalities did not change significantly over the studied timeframe. Fuzzy overlay allowed us to standardise and to effectively aggregate indicators with differing ranges and granularities of attribute values into an overall index. It also provided a conceptually sound and reproducible means of exploring the interplay of many indicators that individually influence adaptive capacity. Furthermore, it captured the complex, aggregated and continued nature of the adaptive capacity, favouring to deal with gaps of data and knowledge associated with the concept of adaptive capacity. The resulting maps can help identify municipalities where adaptive capacity is weak and identify which components of adaptive capacity need strengthening. Identification of these capacity conditions can stimulate dialogue amongst policymakers and stakeholders regarding how to manage urban areas and how to prioritise resources for urban development in ways that can also improve adaptive capacity and thus reduce vulnerability to climate change.

  17. Characterization of multi-joint upper limb movements in a single task to assess bradykinesia.

    PubMed

    Delrobaei, Mehdi; Tran, Stephanie; Gilmore, Greydon; McIsaac, Kenneth; Jog, Mandar

    2016-09-15

    Bradykinesia is a disabling symptom of Parkinson's disease (PD) which presents with slowness of movement. Visual assessment using clinical rating scales is currently the gold standard to assess bradykinesia. Such assessments require multiple separate movements, are subjective, and rely on the ability of the rater to determine frequency and amplitude features of excursion of multiple joints simultaneously. The current study introduces the use of wearable inertial measurement units (IMUs) to characterize full-arm repetitive movements and provide a new index score for bradykinesia severity (BKI) in the upper limbs. The BKI provides an approach to measuring bradykinesia reliably and objectively. Importantly, this index is needed to demonstrate separability between healthy individuals and PD participants, and also between bradykinetic and non-bradykinetic PD participants. Thirteen PD participants and ten age-matched healthy control participants were studied. Using a single upper limb task that activated multiple joints and recordings from angular displacements from all joints, features relevant to demonstrating bradykinesia were extracted and systematically combined to create the total BKI. A strong correlation coefficient was obtained comparing BKI to upper limb UPDRS bradykinesia scores (rs=-0.626, p=0.001). The BKI successfully identified differences between control and PD participants (p=0.018). The BKI was also sensitive enough to identify differences within the PD population, separating PD participants with and without bradykinesia (p<0.001). This study demonstrates the feasibility of using IMU-based motion capture systems and employing the new BKI for quantitative assessment of bradykinesia. This approach when generalized to lower extremity and truncal movements would be able to provide an objective and reproducible whole body bradykinesia index. PMID:27538660

  18. Bringing Reading-to-Write and Writing-Only Assessment Tasks Together: A Generalizability Analysis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gebril, Atta

    2010-01-01

    Integrated tasks are currently employed in a number of L2 exams since they are perceived as an addition to the writing-only task type. Given this trend, the current study investigates composite score generalizability of both reading-to-write and writing-only tasks. For this purpose, a multivariate generalizability analysis is used to investigate…

  19. Young Foreign Language Learners' Interactions during Task-Based Paired Assessments

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Butler, Yuko Goto; Zeng, Wei

    2014-01-01

    Despite the popularity of task-based language teaching (TBLT) in foreign language (FL) education at elementary school, it remains unclear how young learners' FL abilities can best be evaluated with tasks. The present study seeks to understand developmental differences in interactions among elementary-school students during task-based language…

  20. 78 FR 14912 - International Aviation Safety Assessment (IASA) Program Change

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-03-08

    ... Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 129 International Aviation Safety Assessment (IASA) Program Change AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Policy statement. SUMMARY: This statement describes a policy change to the FAA's International Aviation Safety Assessment (IASA)...

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

    PubMed Central

    Scharoun, Sara M.; Bryden, Pamela J.

    2016-01-01

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

  2. Assessment of disease-related cognitive impairments using the novel object recognition (NOR) task in rodents.

    PubMed

    Grayson, Ben; Leger, Marianne; Piercy, Chloe; Adamson, Lisa; Harte, Michael; Neill, Joanna C

    2015-05-15

    The novel object recognition test (NOR) test is a two trial cognitive paradigm that assesses recognition memory. Recognition memory is disturbed in a range of human disorders and NOR is widely used in rodents for investigating deficits in a variety of animal models of human conditions where cognition is impaired. It possesses several advantages over more complex tasks that involve lengthy training procedures and/or food or water deprivation. It is quick to administer, non-rewarded, provides data quickly, cost effective and most importantly, ethologically relevant as it relies on the animal's natural preference for novelty. A PubMed search revealed over 900 publications in rats and mice using this task over the past 3 years with 34 reviews in the past 10 years, demonstrating its increasing popularity with neuroscientists. Although it is widely used in many disparate areas of research, no articles have systematically examined this to date, which is the subject of our review. We reveal that NOR may be used to study recognition memory deficits that occur in Alzheimer's disease and schizophrenia, where research is extensive, in Parkinson's disease and Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) where we observed markedly reduced numbers of publications. In addition, we review the use of NOR to study cognitive deficits induced by traumatic brain injury and cancer chemotherapy, not disorders per se, but situations in which cognitive deficits dramatically reduce the quality of life for those affected, see Fig. 1 for a summary. Our review reveals that, in all these animal models, the NOR test is extremely useful for identification of the cognitive deficits observed, their neural basis, and for testing the efficacy of novel therapeutic agents. Our conclusion is that NOR is of considerable value for cognitive researchers of all disciplines and we anticipate that its use will continue to increase due to its versatility and several other advantages, as detailed in this review.

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

    PubMed

    Scharoun, Sara M; Bryden, Pamela J

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Scharoun, Sara M.; Bryden, Pamela J.

    2016-01-01

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

  5. Mental task-induced strain and its after-effect assessed through variations in plasma cortisol levels.

    PubMed

    Wittersheim, G; Brandenberger, G; Follenius, M

    1985-09-01

    Plasma cortisol levels were measured in 20 healthy men while they carried out mental tasks in intermittent noise. Half the subjects performed a serial short-term memory task and, later on, a multiple-choice task, whereas the other half performed only the multiple-choice task. The aim of the experiment was to determine whether enhanced cortisol release, due to a centrally mediated arousal reaction, depressed the cortisol level when the subjects had to cope with a new task situation. In a previous study, such a regulatory after-effect was revealed in the midday meal-related cortisol peak, but not in a subsequent exercise-induced cortisol peak, although cortisol release in both cases could be related to metabolic changes. The results showed that the second mental task still induced a pronounced rise in cortisol levels. No changes in task performances were found. It is concluded that different regulatory mechanisms are involved in adrenocortical secretion, depending on the origin of the stimulation, and that cortisol responses are closely related to individual coping abilities and strategies.

  6. Different assessment tasks produce different estimates of handedness stability during the eight to 14 month age period.

    PubMed

    Campbell, Julie M; Marcinowski, Emily C; Latta, Jonathan; Michel, George F

    2015-05-01

    Using 150 infants (57% males), two common tasks for assessing infant hand-use preferences for acquiring objects were compared for their ability to detect stable preferences during the age period of eight to 14 months. One task assesses the preference using nine presentations of objects; the other uses 32 presentations. Monthly classifications of hand preference for each task were determined by either a commonly used a decision criterion in which one hand is used 50% more often than the other or a criterion based on proportion of hand-use difference that exceeds a conventional alpha probability of 0.05. The seven monthly assessments provided by the two tasks also were examined for latent classes in their developmental trajectories. The two tasks were significantly different for both their identification of latent classes and their monthly classification of the infant's hand-use preference. The 32 presentations yielded three developmental trajectories (45% right preferring, 5% left preferring, and 50% no clear preference) whereas the nine presentations revealed only two trajectories (70% right, 30% no preference). The nine presentations task, with the 50% proportion decision criterion, was very generous in classifying right and left-preferring infants at each month but produced greater fluctuations across months compared to the 32 presentation task with an alpha decision criterion. Both tasks revealed that a large proportion of infants are still developing a hand-use preference during this age period. Recommendations are made for examining the development of hand-use preferences and their relation to the development of other neuropsychological functions. PMID:25769115

  7. Assessing the impacts of climate change on natural resource systems

    SciTech Connect

    Frederick, K.D.; Rosenberg, N.J.

    1994-11-30

    This volume is a collection of papers addressing the theme of potential impacts of climatic change. Papers are entitled Integrated Assessments of the Impacts of Climatic Change on Natural Resources: An Introductory Editorial; Framework for Integrated Assessments of Global Warming Impacts; Modeling Land Use and Cover as Part of Global Environmental Change; Assessing Impacts of Climatic Change on Forests: The State of Biological Modeling; Integrating Climatic Change and Forests: Economic and Ecological Assessments; Environmental Change in Grasslands: Assessment using Models; Assessing the Socio-economic Impacts of Climatic Change on Grazinglands; Modeling the Effects of Climatic Change on Water Resources- A Review; Assessing the Socioeconomic Consequences of Climate Change on Water Resources; and Conclusions, Remaining Issues, and Next Steps.

  8. Assessing impulsivity changes in Alzheimer disease.

    PubMed

    Rochat, Lucien; Delbeuck, Xavier; Billieux, Joël; d'Acremont, Mathieu; Van der Linden, Anne-Claude Juillerat; Van der Linden, Martial

    2008-01-01

    Impulsive behaviors are common in brain-damaged patients including those with neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer disease (AD). The objective of this study was to develop and validate a short version of the UPPS Impulsive Behavior Scale assessing changes on 4 different dimensions of impulsivity, namely urgency, (lack of) premeditation, (lack of) perseverance, and sensation seeking, arising in the course of a neurodegenerative disease. To this end, caregivers of 83 probable AD patients completed a short questionnaire adapted from the UPPS Impulsive Behavior Scale. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses of the data were performed and revealed that a model with 4 distinct but related latent variables corresponding to 4 different dimensions of impulsivity fit the data best. Furthermore, the results showed that lack of perseverance, followed by lack of premeditation and urgency, increased after the onset of the disease, whereas sensation seeking decreased. Overall, the multifaceted nature of impulsivity was confirmed in a sample of AD patients, whose caregivers reported significant changes regarding each facet of impulsivity. Consequently, the short version of the UPPS Impulsive Behavior Scale opens up interesting prospects for a better comprehension of behavioral symptoms of dementia. PMID:18580596

  9. Assessment of Bone Microstructural Changes by NMR

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ni, Qingwen; Wang, Xiaodu

    2008-03-01

    Previous studies have shown that age related increases in bone porosity without significant changes in bone mineral density (BMD) (without bone microstructural information) result in a decrease in bone strength. Bone fracture toughness is also significantly correlated to changes in porosity, microarchitecture, collagen integrity, microdamage, and water distribution, all of which are measures of bone quality. Unfortunately, current technology does not allow the non-destructive and non-invasive detection of bone water distribution or other measures of bone quality including microporosity. On the other hand, Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) proton spin-spin (T2) relaxation time measurements and computational analytical method have been used to determine microstructural characteristics of various types of fluid filled porous materials. The study in here is to demonstrate that non-destructive and non-invasive NMR proton spin-spin (T2) relaxation techniques has been developed and applied to quantify the porosity, pore size distribution and water distribution in human cortical bone. This new bone microstructural information can then be used as descriptions of bone quality and, along or in combination with existing method (BMD) to more accurately assess bone fracture risk, and the results could help doctors and researchers to detect osteoporosis and other conditions related to weak bones in persons.

  10. The changing nature of life cycle assessment

    PubMed Central

    McManus, Marcelle C.; Taylor, Caroline M.

    2015-01-01

    LCA has evolved from its origins in energy analysis in the 1960s and 70s into a wide ranging tool used to determine impacts of products or systems over several environmental and resource issues. The approach has become more prevalent in research, industry and policy. Its use continues to expand as it seeks to encompass impacts as diverse as resource accounting and social well being. Carbon policy for bioenergy has driven many of these changes. Enabling assessment of complex issues over a life cycle basis is beneficial, but the process is sometimes difficult. LCA's use in framing is increasingly complex and more uncertain, and in some cases, irreconcilable. The charged environment surrounding biofuels and bioenergy exacerbates all of these. Reaching its full potential to help guide difficult policy discussions and emerging research involves successfully managing LCA's transition from attributional to consequential and from retrospective to prospective. This paper examines LCA's on-going evolution and its use within bioenergy deployment. The management of methodological growth in the context of the unique challenges associated with bioenergy and biofuels is explored. Changes seen in bioenergy LCA will bleed into other LCA arenas, especially where it is important that a sustainable solution is chosen. PMID:26664146

  11. The hemodynamic changes in the human prefrontal cortex during the Flanker and Simon tasks: a fNIRS study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yuan, Zhen; Lin, Xiaohong

    2016-03-01

    Functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) is a low-cost, portable and noninvasive functional neuroimaging technique by measuring the change in the concentrations of oxyhemoglobin (HbO) and deoxyhemoglobin (HbR). The aim of present study is to reveal the different brain activity pattern of adult subjects during the completion of flanker and Simon tasks underlying the congruent and incongruent test conditions so as to identify the basic neural mechanism of inhibitory control in executive function. In the study, we utilized fNIRS to explore the hemodynamic changes in the prefrontal cortex and our imaging results suggested that there were notable differences for the hemodynamic responses between the flank and Simon task. A striking difference is that for the flank task, the increase in the HbO concentration during incongruent trials was larger than that during congruent trials for the channels across middle frontal cortex while for the Simon task, the hemodynamic response was stronger for the congruent condition compared to that from the incongruent one. Interestingly, the hemodynamic response exhibited similar task-related activation in the superior frontal cortex for both the congruent and incongruent conditions. Further, independent component analysis showed that different brain activation patterns were identified to accomplish different inhibitory control tasks underlying the congruent and incongruent conditions.

  12. Determining training needs from supervisors` assessment of staff proficiency in tasks and skills

    SciTech Connect

    Young, C.; Hensley, J.; Lehr, J.

    1995-06-01

    To provide the basis for establishing training opportunities, this project investigated supervisors` views of three components of staff activities. The project established the tasks that staff perform, identified staffs level of effectiveness in performing these tasks, and investigated staffs level of proficiency in performing the skills underlying these tasks. Training opportunities were then determined in those areas where knowledge and skins could be improved for staff to perform their tasks more effectively. Staff currently perform their tasks sufficiently well. Furthermore, supervisors indicated that for the most part staff do perform the tasks they should perform. In carrying out these tasks, staff use primarily critical thinking, problem solving, and communication skills rather than discipline-specific skills. Although staff generally have working knowledge of most of these skills, additional training in critical thinking and problem solving, program and project management techniques, and communications is appropriate to further improve the organizations effectiveness.

  13. Comparison of ergonomic risk assessment outputs from Rapid Upper Limb Assessment and the Strain Index for tasks in automotive assembly plants.

    PubMed

    Drinkaus, Phillip; Sesek, Richard; Bloswick, Donald; Bernard, Tom; Walton, Bob; Joseph, Brad; Reeve, Gordon; Counts, Joyce Hall

    2003-01-01

    This paper compares the ergonomic risk assessment of a task for the upper extremities as determined by Rapid Upper Extremity Assessment (RULA) and the Strain Index (SI). The ergonomic risk to the upper extremities of 244 automotive assembly plant tasks were evaluated using RULA and SI. The outcomes of each tool were compared for each task. Results from this study provide practical insight into the methods used in each tool. This study compared only the ergonomic risk outputs from each tool; it does not pursue the question of which tool best predicts injury. The kappa score was 0.11, indicating little agreement between the outputs of the two tools. This is supported by the lack of monotonicity with a gamma score of 0.1. These results indicate that the risk assessment outcome of these two ergonomic assessment tools for the upper extremities do not agree.

  14. Resistance to change and resurgence in humans engaging in a computer task.

    PubMed

    Kuroda, Toshikazu; Cançado, Carlos R X; Podlesnik, Christopher A

    2016-04-01

    The relation between persistence, as measured by resistance to change, and resurgence has been examined with nonhuman animals but not systematically with humans. The present study examined persistence and resurgence with undergraduate students engaging in a computer task for points exchangeable for money. In Phase 1, a target response was maintained on a multiple variable-interval (VI) 15-s (Rich) VI 60-s (Lean) schedule of reinforcement. In Phase 2, the target response was extinguished while an alternative response was reinforced at equal rates in both schedule components. In Phase 3, the target and the alternative responses were extinguished. In an additional test of persistence (Phase 4), target responding was reestablished as in Phase 1 and then disrupted by access to videos in both schedule components. In Phases 2 and 4, target responding was more persistent in the Rich than in the Lean component. Also, resurgence generally was greater in the Rich than in the Lean component in Phase 3. The present findings with humans extend the generality of those obtained with nonhuman animals showing that higher reinforcement rates produce both greater persistence and resurgence, and suggest that common processes underlie response persistence and relapse. PMID:26836390

  15. Resistance to change and resurgence in humans engaging in a computer task.

    PubMed

    Kuroda, Toshikazu; Cançado, Carlos R X; Podlesnik, Christopher A

    2016-04-01

    The relation between persistence, as measured by resistance to change, and resurgence has been examined with nonhuman animals but not systematically with humans. The present study examined persistence and resurgence with undergraduate students engaging in a computer task for points exchangeable for money. In Phase 1, a target response was maintained on a multiple variable-interval (VI) 15-s (Rich) VI 60-s (Lean) schedule of reinforcement. In Phase 2, the target response was extinguished while an alternative response was reinforced at equal rates in both schedule components. In Phase 3, the target and the alternative responses were extinguished. In an additional test of persistence (Phase 4), target responding was reestablished as in Phase 1 and then disrupted by access to videos in both schedule components. In Phases 2 and 4, target responding was more persistent in the Rich than in the Lean component. Also, resurgence generally was greater in the Rich than in the Lean component in Phase 3. The present findings with humans extend the generality of those obtained with nonhuman animals showing that higher reinforcement rates produce both greater persistence and resurgence, and suggest that common processes underlie response persistence and relapse.

  16. A Formula for Change: The Report of the Task Force on Minorities in Public Broadcasting.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Washington, DC.

    The results of research conducted by the 1977 Task Force on Minorities in Public Broadcasting are reported in this document. The task force, consisting of a group of 28 individuals of various ethnic backgrounds, was assembled by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to determine the success of public broadcasting in meeting the informational and…

  17. Voice and Fluency Changes as a Function of Speech Task and Deep Brain Stimulation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Van Lancker Sidtis, Diana; Rogers, Tiffany; Godier, Violette; Tagliati, Michele; Sidtis, John J.

    2010-01-01

    Purpose: Speaking, which naturally occurs in different modes or "tasks" such as conversation and repetition, relies on intact basal ganglia nuclei. Recent studies suggest that voice and fluency parameters are differentially affected by speech task. In this study, the authors examine the effects of subcortical functionality on voice and fluency,…

  18. The long-term climate change task of the Hanford permanent isolation barrier development program

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1994-08-01

    The Hanford Site Permanent Isolation Barrier Development Program is developing an in-place disposal capability for low-level nuclear waste for the US Department of Energy at the Hanford Site in southeastern Washington State. Layered earthen and engineered barriers are being developed that will function in what is currently a semiarid environment (mean annual precipitation and temperature of 16 cm and 11.8{degrees}C, respectively) for at least 1,000 yr by limiting the infiltration of water through the waste. The Long-Term Climate Change Task has specific goals of (1) obtaining defensible probabilistic projections of the long-term climate variability in the Hanford Site region at many different time scales into the future; (2) developing several test-case climate scenarios that bracket the range of potential future climate, including both greenhouse warming and cycling into another ice age; and (3) using the climate scenarios both to test and to model protective barrier performance. Results from the Carp Lake Pollen Coring Project indicate that for the last approximately 100,000 yr the Columbia River Basin`s long-term range of mean annual precipitation ranged from 25%--50% below to 28% above modern levels, while temperature has ranged from 7{degrees}C--10{degrees}C below to 2{degrees}C above modern levels. This long record provides confidence that such a range should bracket potential natural climate change even if the earth cycles back into another Ice Age in the next few millennia.

  19. Age-related changes in optimality and motor variability: an example of multifinger redundant tasks

    PubMed Central

    Park, Jaebum; Sun, Yao; Zatsiorsky, Vladimir M.

    2011-01-01

    We used two methods, analytical inverse optimization (ANIO) and uncontrolled manifold (UCM) analysis of synergies, to explore age-related changes in finger coordination during accurate force and moment of force production tasks. The two methods address two aspects of the control of redundant systems: Finding an optimal solution (an optimal sharing pattern) and using variable solutions across trials (covarying finger forces) that are equally able to solve the task. Young and elderly subjects produced accurate combinations of total force and moment by pressing with the four fingers of the dominant hand on individual force sensors. In session-1, single trials covered a broad range of force–moment combinations. Principal component (PC) analysis showed that the first two PCs explained about 90% and 75% of finger force variance for the young and elderly groups, respectively. The magnitudes of the loading coefficients in the PCs suggested that the young subjects used mechanical advantage to produce moment while elderly subjects did not (confirmed by analysis of moments produced by individual digits). A co-contraction index was computed reflecting the magnitude of moment produced by fingers acting against the required direction of the total moment. This index was significantly higher in the young group. The ANIO approach yielded a quadratic cost function with linear terms. In the elderly group, the contribution of the forces produced by the middle and ring fingers to the cost function value was much smaller than in the young group. The angle between the plane of experimental observations and the plane of optimal solutions (D-angle), was very small (about 1.5°) in the young group and significantly larger (about 5°) in the elderly group. In session-2, four force–moment combinations were used with multiple trials at each. Covariation among finger forces (multifinger synergies) stabilizing total force, total moment, and both was seen in both groups with larger synergy

  20. Changes in Event-Related Desynchronization and Synchronization during the Auditory Oddball Task in Schizophrenia Patients

    PubMed Central

    Fujimoto, Toshiro; Okumura, Eiichi; Takeuchi, Kouzou; Kodabashi, Atsushi; Tanaka, Hiroaki; Otsubo, Toshiaki; Nakamura, Katsumi; Sekine, Masaki; Kamiya, Shinichiro; Higashi, Yuji; Tsuji, Miwa; Shimooki, Susumu; Tamura, Toshiyo

    2012-01-01

    Objective: We studied differences in the spatiotemporal dynamics of cortical oscillation across brain regions of patients with schizophrenia and normal subjects during the auditory oddball task using magnetoencephalography (MEG) and electroencephalography (EEG). Methods: Ten right-handed male schizophrenia patients were studied. We used a newly developed adaptive spatial filtering algorithm optimized for robust source time-frequency reconstruction of MEG and EEG data, and obtained consecutive images in functional maps of event-related desynchronization (ERD) and synchronization (ERS) in theta, lower alpha (8–10 Hz), upper alpha (10–13 Hz), and beta bands. Results: Beta ERD power at 750–1000 ms in patients was significantly increased in large right upper temporal and parietal regions and small upper portions of bilateral dorsal frontal and dorsal-medial parietal regions. Theta ERS power in schizophrenic patients during the oddball task was significantly increased in the left temporal pole at 250–500 ms, and was significantly increased in dorsal, medial frontal, and anterior portions of the anterior cingulate cortex in both hemispheres, and the left portion of lateral temporal regions at 500–750 ms, compared to the control group (family-wise error correction p<0.05). Lower alpha ERS power was significantly decreased in the right occipital region at 500–750 ms and in the right midline parietal and bilateral occipital regions at 750–1000 ms. Upper alpha ERS power was significantly decreased in right midline parietal and left occipital regions at 750–1000 ms. Conclusions: ERD/ERS changes were noted in the left temporal pole and midline frontal and anterior cingulate cortex in theta ERS, occipital lobe in alpha ERS, and right temporal-frontal-parietal, midline frontal, and anterior cingulate cortex in beta ERD. These findings may reflect disturbances in interaction among active large neuronal groups and their communication with each other that may be

  1. Age-related changes in optimality and motor variability: an example of multifinger redundant tasks.

    PubMed

    Park, Jaebum; Sun, Yao; Zatsiorsky, Vladimir M; Latash, Mark L

    2011-07-01

    We used two methods, analytical inverse optimization (ANIO) and uncontrolled manifold (UCM) analysis of synergies, to explore age-related changes in finger coordination during accurate force and moment of force production tasks. The two methods address two aspects of the control of redundant systems: Finding an optimal solution (an optimal sharing pattern) and using variable solutions across trials (covarying finger forces) that are equally able to solve the task. Young and elderly subjects produced accurate combinations of total force and moment by pressing with the four fingers of the dominant hand on individual force sensors. In session-1, single trials covered a broad range of force-moment combinations. Principal component (PC) analysis showed that the first two PCs explained about 90% and 75% of finger force variance for the young and elderly groups, respectively. The magnitudes of the loading coefficients in the PCs suggested that the young subjects used mechanical advantage to produce moment while elderly subjects did not (confirmed by analysis of moments produced by individual digits). A co-contraction index was computed reflecting the magnitude of moment produced by fingers acting against the required direction of the total moment. This index was significantly higher in the young group. The ANIO approach yielded a quadratic cost function with linear terms. In the elderly group, the contribution of the forces produced by the middle and ring fingers to the cost function value was much smaller than in the young group. The angle between the plane of experimental observations and the plane of optimal solutions (D-angle), was very small (about 1.5°) in the young group and significantly larger (about 5°) in the elderly group. In session-2, four force-moment combinations were used with multiple trials at each. Covariation among finger forces (multifinger synergies) stabilizing total force, total moment, and both was seen in both groups with larger synergy

  2. Video-task assessment of learning and memory in Macaques (Macaca mulatta) - Effects of stimulus movement on performance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Washburn, David A.; Hopkins, William D.; Rumbaugh, Duane M.

    1989-01-01

    Effects of stimulus movement on learning, transfer, matching, and short-term memory performance were assessed with 2 monkeys using a video-task paradigm in which the animals responded to computer-generated images by manipulating a joystick. Performance on tests of learning set, transfer index, matching to sample, and delayed matching to sample in the video-task paradigm was comparable to that obtained in previous investigations using the Wisconsin General Testing Apparatus. Additionally, learning, transfer, and matching were reliably and significantly better when the stimuli or discriminanda moved than when the stimuli were stationary. External manipulations such as stimulus movement may increase attention to the demands of a task, which in turn should increase the efficiency of learning. These findings have implications for the investigation of learning in other populations, as well as for the application of the video-task paradigm to comparative study.

  3. Functional MRI approach for assessing hemispheric predominance of regions activated by a phonological and a semantic task.

    PubMed

    Cousin, Emilie; Peyrin, Carole; Pichat, Cédric; Lamalle, Laurent; Le Bas, Jean-François; Baciu, Monica

    2007-08-01

    This fMRI study performed in healthy subjects aimed at using a statistical approach in order to determine significant functional differences between hemispheres and to assess specialized regions activated during a phonological and during a semantic task. This approach ("flip" method and subsequent statistical analyses of the parameter estimates extracted from regions of interest) allows identifying: (a) hemispheric specialized regions for each language task [semantic (living categorization) and phonological (rhyme detection)] and (b) condition-specific regions with respect to paradigm conditions (task and control). Our results showed that the rhyme-specific task regions were the inferior frontal (sub-region of BA 44, 45) and left inferior parietal (BA 40, 39) lobules. Furthermore, within the inferior parietal lobule, the angular gyrus was specific to target (rhyming) items (related to successfully grapho-phonemic processing). The categorization-specific task regions were the left inferior frontal (sub-region of BA 44, 45) and superior temporal (BA 22) cortices. Furthermore, the superior temporal gyrus was related to non-target (non-living) items (correlated to task difficulty). The relatively new approach used in this study has the advantage of providing: (a) statistical significance of the hemispheric specialized regions for a given language task and (b) supplementary information in terms of paradigm condition-specificity of the activated regions. The results (standard hemispheric specialized regions for a semantic and for a phonological task) obtained in healthy subjects may constitute a basement for mapping language and assessing hemispheric predominance in epileptic patients before surgery and avoiding post-surgical impairments of language. PMID:17339089

  4. Assessing Helping and Hurting Behaviors Through the Tangram Help/Hurt Task.

    PubMed

    Saleem, Muniba; Anderson, Craig A; Barlett, Christopher P

    2015-10-01

    Across six studies, we validated a new measure of helpful and hurtful behaviors, the Tangram Help/Hurt Task. Studies 1 to 3 provided cross-sectional correlational convergent and discriminant validity evidence for the Tangram Task using college-based and adult online samples. Study 4 revealed that previously validated empathy primes increase helpful behaviors on the Tangram Task. Studies 5 and 6 revealed that previously validated provocation manipulations increase hurtful behaviors on the Tangram Task. The effects of various experimental manipulations on the Tangram Task were similar to or larger than on other established indices of helpful and hurtful behaviors. In addition, motivation items in all studies indicate that tangram choices are indeed associated with the intent of helping and hurting. We discuss the advantages and limitations of the Tangram Help/Hurt Task relative to established measures of helpful and hurtful behaviors. PMID:26199219

  5. The Development and Testing of Laboratory Performance Tasks for the Assessment of Achievement in High School Physics.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boorman, Joan Marie

    The quest to stem "the rising tide of mediocrity" described in A Nation at Risk has prompted a myriad of changes in secondary science instruction. Appropriate assessments of these changes in curriculum are crucial to a meaningful evaluation of their effectiveness. Because the nature of many of the improvements has been to engage students in higher order thinking skills, simple paper and pencil tests are often inconclusive evaluation measures. Research has shown a more definitive assessment of a student's ability to apply higher order thinking skills is possible with tests of performance in problem-solving tasks in a science laboratory. The Physics Laboratory Skills Test (PLST) was developed as a prototype assessment instrument for evaluation of student ability to perform a range of process skills in the high school physics laboratory setting. The PLST included seven different items based on topics presented in a typical high school physics course. Each item constituted a separate laboratory performance test and was completed by individual students in a 40 minute class period. A sample of 219 physics students from rural, urban, public, and private schools in NY and PA were tested with the PLST in May 1990. Results of this study show that the PLST has usability, validity, and reliability as an assessment of basic skills (measuring and reporting) and higher order skills (planning and analysis). Participating teachers determined the PLST to be an appropriate and useful tool in evaluating individual student abilities. Content validity was established via evaluation by 'expert' high school physics teachers. The Pearson Correlation Coefficient was used to verify construct validity (r =.49) and inter-rater reliability (r =.81). The Cronbach Coefficient Alpha, which was used to determine internal consistency of each item, yielded strong positive results for the PLST. The outcomes of this study will be of particular interest to curriculum developers and classroom teachers

  6. Making Decisions under Ambiguity: Judgment Bias Tasks for Assessing Emotional State in Animals.

    PubMed

    Roelofs, Sanne; Boleij, Hetty; Nordquist, Rebecca E; van der Staay, Franz Josef

    2016-01-01

    Judgment bias tasks (JBTs) are considered as a family of promising tools in the assessment of emotional states of animals. JBTs provide a cognitive measure of optimism and/or pessimism by recording behavioral responses to ambiguous stimuli. For instance, a negative emotional state is expected to produce a negative or pessimistic judgment of an ambiguous stimulus, whereas a positive emotional state produces a positive or optimistic judgment of the same ambiguous stimulus. Measuring an animal's emotional state or mood is relevant in both animal welfare research and biomedical research. This is reflected in the increasing use of JBTs in both research areas. We discuss the different implementations of JBTs with animals, with a focus on their potential as an accurate measure of emotional state. JBTs have been successfully applied to a very broad range of species, using many different types of testing equipment and experimental protocols. However, further validation of this test is deemed necessary. For example, the often extensive training period required for successful judgment bias testing remains a possible factor confounding results. Also, the issue of ambiguous stimuli losing their ambiguity with repeated testing requires additional attention. Possible improvements are suggested to further develop the JBTs in both animal welfare and biomedical research. PMID:27375454

  7. Global Assessment of Hydrogen Technologies - Task 1 Report Technology Evaluation of Hydrogen Light Duty Vehicles

    SciTech Connect

    Fouad, Fouad H.; Peters, Robert W.; Sisiopiku, Virginia P.; Sullivan Andrew J.; Rousseau, Aymeric

    2007-12-01

    This task analyzes the candidate hydrogen-fueled vehicles for near-term use in the Southeastern U.S. The purpose of this work is to assess their potential in terms of efficiency and performance. This report compares conventional, hybrid electric vehicles (HEV) with gasoline and hydrogen-fueled internal combustion engines (ICEs) as well as fuel cell and fuel cell hybrids from a technology as well as fuel economy point of view. All the vehicles have been simulated using the Powertrain System Analysis Toolkit (PSAT). First, some background information is provided on recent American automotive market trends and consequences. Moreover, available options are presented for introducing cleaner and more economical vehicles in the market in the future. In this study, analysis of various candidate hydrogen-fueled vehicles is performed using PSAT and, thus, a brief description of PSAT features and capabilities are provided. Detailed information on the simulation analysis performed is also offered, including methodology assumptions, fuel economic results, and conclusions from the findings.

  8. Making Decisions under Ambiguity: Judgment Bias Tasks for Assessing Emotional State in Animals

    PubMed Central

    Roelofs, Sanne; Boleij, Hetty; Nordquist, Rebecca E.; van der Staay, Franz Josef

    2016-01-01

    Judgment bias tasks (JBTs) are considered as a family of promising tools in the assessment of emotional states of animals. JBTs provide a cognitive measure of optimism and/or pessimism by recording behavioral responses to ambiguous stimuli. For instance, a negative emotional state is expected to produce a negative or pessimistic judgment of an ambiguous stimulus, whereas a positive emotional state produces a positive or optimistic judgment of the same ambiguous stimulus. Measuring an animal’s emotional state or mood is relevant in both animal welfare research and biomedical research. This is reflected in the increasing use of JBTs in both research areas. We discuss the different implementations of JBTs with animals, with a focus on their potential as an accurate measure of emotional state. JBTs have been successfully applied to a very broad range of species, using many different types of testing equipment and experimental protocols. However, further validation of this test is deemed necessary. For example, the often extensive training period required for successful judgment bias testing remains a possible factor confounding results. Also, the issue of ambiguous stimuli losing their ambiguity with repeated testing requires additional attention. Possible improvements are suggested to further develop the JBTs in both animal welfare and biomedical research. PMID:27375454

  9. Assessment of workload using NASA Task Load Index in perianesthesia nursing.

    PubMed

    Young, Gloria; Zavelina, Lyubov; Hooper, Vallire

    2008-04-01

    According to the Institute of Medicine (IOM), as many as 44,000 to 98,000 people in the United States die in hospitals every year due to medical errors. Multiple physiological and psychological factors can impact the health care provider's attention span, making medical errors more likely. Some of these factors include increased workload, fatigue, cognitive overload, ineffective interpersonal communications, and faulty information processing. Postanesthesia nurses, responsible for providing care to unstable patients emerging from anesthesia with multiple life-threatening conditions, must make critical decisions on a minute-by-minute basis. The current ASPAN Patient Classification/Recommended Staffing Guidelines does not adequately take into account varying care requirements among the patients. If a tool could be found that effectively evaluated staff's workload, ongoing assessment would be enhanced and resources better used. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration-Task Load Index (NASA-TLX), a multifaceted tool for evaluating perceptual (subjective) workload, has seen extensive applications and is widely regarded as the strongest tool available for reporting perceptions of workload. This article will survey various uses of the NASA-TLX and consider the potential uses for this tool in perianesthesia nursing.

  10. Advances in Methods for Assessing Longitudinal Change

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Grimm, Kevin J.; Mazza, Gina L.; Mazzocco, Michèle M. M.

    2016-01-01

    Educational research aims to understand how and why students change over time. With its emphasis on within-person change, latent change score models provide educational researchers with a more general and flexible framework for testing nuanced hypotheses regarding within-person change and between-person differences in within-person change. Models…

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-03-01

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

  12. The Challenge: Latinos in a Changing California. The Report of the University of California SCR 43 Task Force.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    California Univ., Riverside. Consortium on Mexico and the United States.

    This document presents a report from a task force composed of scholars, professionals, and community leaders to the State of California and the University of California (UC) addressing issues affecting Latinos in California. The following major recommendations are discussed: (1) continuing research must be undertaken concerning dynamic changes and…

  13. Two-dimensional static manipulation tasks: does force coordination depend on change of the tangential force direction?

    PubMed

    Uygur, Mehmet; Jin, Xin; Knezevic, Olivera; Jaric, Slobodan

    2012-10-01

    Coordination of the grip force (GF) with a tangential force (TF, often referred to as load force) exerted along a certain line in space (i.e., one-dimensional tasks) during object manipulation has proved both to be high and based on feed-forward neural control mechanisms. However, GF-TF coordination deteriorates when the TF of one-dimensional task consecutively switches its direction (bidirectional task). In the present study, we aimed to explore GF-TF coordination in the generally neglected multi-dimensional manipulations. We hypothesized that the coordination would depend on the number of unidirectional and bidirectional orthogonal components of a two-dimensional TF exertion. Fourteen subjects traced various circular TF patterns and their orthogonal diameters shown on a computer screen by exerting a static TF. As expected, the unidirectional tasks revealed higher GF-TF coordination than the bidirectional ones (e.g., higher GF-TF correlations and GF gains, and lower GF/TF ratio). Regarding the circular tasks, most of the data were in line with the hypothesis revealing higher coordination associated with higher number of unidirectional components. Of particular importance could be that the circular tasks also revealed prominent time lags of GF with respect to TF, suggesting involvement of feedback mechanisms. We conclude that the force coordination in bidirectional static manipulations could be affected by changes in TF direction along either of its orthogonal components. The time lags observed from the circular tasks could be a consequence of the activity of sensory afferents, rather than of the visual feedback provided or the task complexity.

  14. Unpacking High and Low Efficacy Teachers' Task Analysis and Competence Assessment in Teaching Low-Achieving Students in Secondary Schools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wang, Li-Yi; Jen-Yi, Li; Tan, Liang-See; Tan, Irene; Lim, Xue-Fang; Wu, Bing Sheng

    2016-01-01

    This study adopted a pragmatic qualitative research design to unpack high and low efficacy teachers' task analysis and competence assessment in the context of teaching low-achieving students. Nine secondary school English and Science teachers were recruited and interviewed. Results of thematic analysis show that helping students perform well in…

  15. The Video Viewing Task: A Source of Information for Assessing and Addressing Teacher Understanding of Text-Based Discussion

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kucan, Linda; Palincsar, Annemarie Sullivan; Khasnabis, Debi; Chang, Ching-I.

    2009-01-01

    This paper reports on the Video Viewing Task (VVT), an assessment designed to measure teachers' developing understanding of two reading comprehension instruction approaches: Reciprocal Teaching (Palincsar, A. S. & Brown, A. L. (1984). Reciprocal teaching of comprehension-fostering and comprehension-monitoring activities. "Cognition and…

  16. Factors That May Explain Differences between Home and Clinic Meal Preparation Task Assessments in Frail Older Adults

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Provencher, Veronique; Demers, Louise; Gelinas, Isabelle

    2012-01-01

    Meal preparation assessments conducted in clinical environments (such as rehabilitation settings) might not reflect frail patients' performance at home. In addition, factors that may explain differences in performance between settings remain unknown. The aim of this study was to compare home and clinic performance on meal preparation tasks in…

  17. Developing PISA-"Like" Mathematics Task with Indonesia Natural and Cultural Heritage as Context to Assess Students Mathematical Literacy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Oktiningrum, Wuli; Zulkardi; Hartono, Yusuf

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this research is produce a set of PISA-like mathematics task with Indonesia natural and cultural heritage as context which are valid, practical, to assess students' mathematics literacy. This is design research using type of development research with formative evaluation. A total of 20 students of SMP Negeri 1 Palembang. Beside, 10…

  18. A New Tool for Assessing Context Conditioning Induced by US-Unpredictability in Humans: The Martians Task Restyled

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Meulders, Ann; Vervliet, Bram; Vansteenwegen, Debora; Hermans, Dirk; Baeyens, Frank

    2011-01-01

    Unpredictability of an unconditioned stimulus (US) typically produces context conditioning in animals and humans. We modified the Martians task--a computer game measuring learning of Pavlovian associations through conditioned suppression--for assessing context conditioning in humans. One between-subjects and one within-subjects study are reported.…

  19. An Automated Version of the BAT Syntactic Comprehension Task for Assessing Auditory L2 Proficiency in Healthy Adults

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Achim, Andre; Marquis, Alexandra

    2011-01-01

    Studies of bilingualism sometimes require healthy subjects to be assessed for proficiency at auditory sentence processing in their second language (L2). The Syntactic Comprehension task of the Bilingual Aphasia Test could satisfy this need. For ease and uniformity of application, we automated its English (Paradis, M., Libben, G., and Hummel, K.…

  20. Basic emotion processing and the adolescent brain: Task demands, analytic approaches, and trajectories of changes.

    PubMed

    Del Piero, Larissa B; Saxbe, Darby E; Margolin, Gayla

    2016-06-01

    Early neuroimaging studies suggested that adolescents show initial development in brain regions linked with emotional reactivity, but slower development in brain structures linked with emotion regulation. However, the increased sophistication of adolescent brain research has made this picture more complex. This review examines functional neuroimaging studies that test for differences in basic emotion processing (reactivity and regulation) between adolescents and either children or adults. We delineated different emotional processing demands across the experimental paradigms in the reviewed studies to synthesize the diverse results. The methods for assessing change (i.e., analytical approach) and cohort characteristics (e.g., age range) were also explored as potential factors influencing study results. Few unifying dimensions were found to successfully distill the results of the reviewed studies. However, this review highlights the potential impact of subtle methodological and analytic differences between studies, need for standardized and theory-driven experimental paradigms, and necessity of analytic approaches that are can adequately test the trajectories of developmental change that have recently been proposed. Recommendations for future research highlight connectivity analyses and non-linear developmental trajectories, which appear to be promising approaches for measuring change across adolescence. Recommendations are made for evaluating gender and biological markers of development beyond chronological age. PMID:27038840

  1. Performance of the Towers of Hanoi task and cortical electroencephalographic power changes associated with infancy, adolescence, and early adulthood.

    PubMed

    Guevara, Miguel Ángel; Hernández González, Marisela; Rizo Martínez, Lucía Ester; Robles Aguirre, Francisco Abelardo

    2013-11-01

    The executive functions, which depend on the adequate maturation and functioning of the prefrontal cortex and its connection to posterior zones, follow a process of development as age increases. This work studied changes in the absolute power (AP) of EEG activity recorded in the prefrontal and parietal areas during the performance of the Tower of Hanoi task in children, adolescents, and young adults. Three groups of healthy male subjects such as G1, 11-13; G2, 18-20; and G3, 26-30, years of age were recorded at the F3, F4, P3, and P4 derivations under two conditions: basal and performance of the Towers of Hanoi task. The majority of subjects in G1 failed to complete the task in the allotted time (7 min), while those in G2 and G3 were able to resolve the task quickly and efficiently. During the Towers of Hanoi task, G1 showed an increase of AP in the delta band only in the frontal areas, with a decrease in the alpha1 and alpha2 sub-bands only at the parietal derivations, while G2 and G3 were characterized by an increase of AP in the delta band and a decreased AP in the alpha1 and alpha2 sub-bands in all derivations. These data demonstrate that during the performance of the Towers of Hanoi task, the prefrontal and parietal areas show a characteristic EEG pattern in relation to age. It is probable that the AP patterns obtained in G2 and G3 are associated with the functional changes at cortical levels that adolescents and early adults require to achieve an adequate and fast performance of the Towers of Hanoi task. PMID:24013790

  2. Sometimes slower is better: slow-exploring birds are more sensitive to changes in a vocal discrimination task.

    PubMed

    Guillette, Lauren M; Reddon, Adam R; Hoeschele, Marisa; Sturdy, Christopher B

    2011-03-01

    Animal personality, defined as consistent individual differences across context and time, has attracted much recent research interest in the study of animal behaviour. More recently, this field has begun to examine how such variation arose and is maintained within populations. The habitat-dependent selection hypothesis, which posits that animals with differing personality types may fare better (i.e. have a fitness advantage) in different habitats, suggests one possible mechanism. In the current experiment, we tested whether slow- and fast-exploring black-capped chickadees (Poecile atricapillus), determined by performance in a novel environment exploration task, perform differentially when the demands of an acoustic operant discrimination (cognitive) task were altered following successful task acquisition. We found that slow-exploring birds learn to reverse previously learned natural category rules more quickly than faster exploring conspecifics. In accordance with the habitat-dependent selection hypothesis, and previous work with great tits (Parus major), a close relative of the black-capped chickadee, our results suggest that fast-exploring birds may perform better in stable, predictable environments where forming a routine is advantageous, while slow-exploring birds are favoured in unstable, unpredictable environments, where task demands often change. Our results also support a hypothesis derived from previous work with great tits; slow-exploring birds may be generally more flexible (i.e. able to modify their behaviour in accordance with changes in environmental stimuli) in some learning tasks. PMID:20843853

  3. Postural Change Effects on Infants' AB Task Performance: Visual, Postural, or Spatial?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lew, Adina R.; Hopkins, Brian; Owen, Laura H.; Green, Michael

    2007-01-01

    Smith and colleagues (Smith, L. B., Thelen, E., Titzer, R., & McLin, D. (1999). Knowing in the context of acting: The task dynamics of the A-not-B error. "Psychological Review, 106," 235-260) demonstrated that 10-month-olds succeed on a Piagetian AB search task if they are moved from a sitting position to a standing position between A and B…

  4. Dual task-related gait changes in patients with mild cognitive impairment

    PubMed Central

    Nascimbeni, Alberto; Caruso, Shiva; Salatino, Adriana; Carenza, Marinella; Rigano, Marta; Raviolo, Andrea; Ricci, Raffaella

    2015-01-01

    Summary Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) entails a high risk of developing Alzheimer’s dementia. In MCI patients gait impairment, which increases the risk of falls and institutionalization, is an early motor sign. A dual-task (DT) paradigm might improve the observation of this phenomenon. The aim of this study was to investigate motor-cognitive interference in a sample of MCI patients and a group of matched healthy controls submitted to DT conditions. To this end, three different cognitive tasks were used: counting backwards, short story recall and a phonemic fluency task. Overall, the patients, compared with the healthy participants, performed worse on the cognitive tasks and showed some degree of gait impairment. In the DT conditions, both groups showed significant gait disruption independently of the concomitant cognitive task. As regards cognitive performance, counting backwards worsened during dual tasking, while short story recall improved in both groups. Overall, our results suggest that the use of a DT paradigm does not improve the early detection of MCI. Our findings of enhanced story recall during walking might have interesting implications for rehabilitation of memory function. PMID:26214028

  5. Assessing Relational Complexity in Hierarchical Reasoning: A Dual-Task Approach.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Foley, Elizabeth J.; Berch, Daniel B.

    This study used the "double easy-to-hard" paradigm to examine the hypothesis that the class inclusion (CI) task should be equivalent in relational complexity to the transitive inference (TI) problem. Participating in the study were 64 girls and 50 boys, with a mean age of 8 years, 6 months. Stimuli for easy versions of the tasks were displayed…

  6. Assessing Measurement Invariance for Spanish Sentence Repetition and Morphology Elicitation Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kapantzoglou, Maria; Thompson, Marilyn S.; Gray, Shelley; Restrepo, M. Adelaida

    2016-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this study was to evaluate evidence supporting the construct validity of two grammatical tasks (sentence repetition, morphology elicitation) included in the Spanish Screener for Language Impairment in Children (Restrepo, Gorin, & Gray, 2013). We evaluated if the tasks measured the targeted grammatical skills in the same…

  7. Linking Basic Skills to Entry-Level Retail Salesperson Tasks. Instructional Resources. Assessments.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Anderson, Colette; Peterson, Louise

    This project first identified the duties and tasks required of an entry-level retail salesperson, using the DACUM (Developing a Curriculum) occupational analysis process. In this process, a panel of local managers and expert workers determine the essential duties and tasks of their occupation. Next, the panel identified the specific basic skills…

  8. Linking Basic Skills to Entry-Level Auto Mechanic & Auto Body Worker Tasks. Instructional Resources. Assessments.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Benavidez, Charlotte; Miyatake, George

    This project first identified the duties and tasks required of an entry-level auto mechanic (AM) and an auto body worker (ABW), using a modified DACUM (Developing a Curriculum) occupational analysis process. In this process, a panel of local, expert workers determined the essential duties and tasks of their occupations. Next, the panel identified…

  9. Student Assessment System. Student Performance Record. Task Detailing. Cosmetology. Georgia Vocational Education Program Articulation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Georgia Univ., Athens. Div. of Vocational Education.

    This booklet lists tasks and functions the cosmetology student should be able to do upon entering an employment situation or a postsecondary school. (Listings are also available for the areas of allied health occupations/practical nursing and transportation/automotive mechanics.) Tasks are coded to correspond to those on the Student Performance…

  10. A new modified listening span task to enhance validity of working memory assessment for people with and without aphasia

    PubMed Central

    Ivanova, Maria V.; Hallowell, Brooke

    2014-01-01

    Deficits in working memory (WM) are an important subset of cognitive processing deficits associated with aphasia. However, there are serious limitations to research on WM in aphasia largely due to the lack of an established valid measure of WM impairment for this population. The aim of the current study was to address shortcomings of previous measures by developing and empirically evaluating a novel WM task with a sentence-picture matching processing component designed to circumvent confounds inherent in existing measures of WM in aphasia. The novel WM task was presented to persons with (n = 27) and without (n = 33) aphasia. Results demonstrated high concurrent validity of a novel WM task. Individuals with aphasia performed significantly worse on all conditions of the WM task compared to individuals without aphasia. Different patterns of performance across conditions were observed for the two groups. Additionally, WM capacity was significantly related to auditory comprehension abilities in individuals with mild aphasia but not those with moderate aphasia. Strengths of the novel WM task are that it allows for differential control for length versus complexity of verbal stimuli and indexing of the relative influence of each, minimizes metalinguistic requirements, enables control for complexity of processing components, allows participants to respond with simple gestures or verbally, and eliminates reading requirements. Results support the feasibility and validity of using a novel task to assess WM in individuals with and without aphasia. PMID:24986153

  11. Task complexity and location specific changes of cortical thickness in executive and salience networks after working memory training

    PubMed Central

    Metzler-Baddeley, Claudia; Caeyenberghs, Karen; Foley, Sonya; Jones, Derek K.

    2016-01-01

    Novel activities and experiences shape the brain's structure and organisation and, hence, our behaviour. However, evidence from structural plasticity studies remains mixed and the neural correlates of learning and practice are still poorly understood. We conducted a robustly designed study into grey matter plasticity following 2 months of working memory training. We generated a priori hypotheses regarding the location of plastic effects across three cognitive control networks (executive, anterior salience and basal ganglia networks), and compared the effects of adaptive training (n = 20) with a well-matched active control group (n = 20) which differed in training complexity and included extensive cognitive assessment before and after the training. Adaptive training relative to control activities resulted in a complex pattern of subtle and localised structural changes: Training was associated with increases in cortical thickness in right-lateralised executive regions, notably the right caudal middle frontal cortex, as well as increases in the volume of the left pallidum. In addition the training group showed reductions of thickness in the right insula, which were correlated with training-induced improvements in backward digit span performance. Unexpectedly, control activities were associated with reductions in thickness in the right pars triangularis. These results suggest that the direction of activity-induced plastic changes depend on the level of training complexity as well as brain location. These observations are consistent with the view that the brain responds dynamically to environmental demands by focusing resources on task relevant networks and eliminating irrelevant processing for the purpose of energy reduction. PMID:26806288

  12. Accuracy of task recall for epidemiological exposure assessment to construction noise

    PubMed Central

    Reeb-Whitaker, C; Seixas, N; Sheppard, L; Neitzel, R

    2004-01-01

    Aims: To validate the accuracy of construction worker recall of task and environment based information; and to evaluate the effect of task recall on estimates of noise exposure. Methods: A cohort of 25 construction workers recorded tasks daily and had dosimetry measurements weekly for six weeks. Worker recall of tasks reported on the daily activity cards was validated with research observations and compared directly to task recall at a six month interview. Results: The mean LEQ noise exposure level (dBA) from dosimeter measurements was 89.9 (n = 61) and 83.3 (n = 47) for carpenters and electricians, respectively. The percentage time at tasks reported during the interview was compared to that calculated from daily activity cards; only 2/22 tasks were different at the nominal 5% significance level. The accuracy, based on bias and precision, of percentage time reported for tasks from the interview was 53–100% (median 91%). For carpenters, the difference in noise estimates derived from activity cards (mean 91.9 dBA) was not different from those derived from the questionnaire (mean 91.7 dBA). This trend held for electricians as well. For all subjects, noise estimates derived from the activity card and the questionnaire were strongly correlated with dosimetry measurements. The average difference between the noise estimate derived from the questionnaire and dosimetry measurements was 2.0 dBA, and was independent of the actual exposure level. Conclusions: Six months after tasks were performed, construction workers were able to accurately recall the percentage time they spent at various tasks. Estimates of noise exposure based on long term recall (questionnaire) were no different from estimates derived from daily activity cards and were strongly correlated with dosimetry measurements, overestimating the level on average by 2.0 dBA. PMID:14739379

  13. Explicit and implicit tasks for assessing hedonic-versus nutrition-based attitudes towards food in French children.

    PubMed

    Monnery-Patris, Sandrine; Marty, Lucile; Bayer, Frédéric; Nicklaus, Sophie; Chambaron, Stéphanie

    2016-01-01

    Attitudes are important precursors of behaviours. This study aims to compare the food attitudes (i.e., hedonic- and nutrition-based) of children using both an implicit pairing task and an explicit forced-choice categorization task suitable for the cognitive abilities of 5- to 11-year-olds. A dominance of hedonically driven attitudes was expected for all ages in the pairing task, designed to elicit affective and spontaneous answers, whereas a progressive emergence of nutrition-based attitudes was expected in the categorization task, designed to involve deliberate analyses of the costs/benefits of foods. An additional exploratory goal was to evaluate differences in the attitudes of normal and overweight children in both tasks. Children from 3 school levels (n = 194; mean age = 8.03 years) were individually tested on computers in their schools. They performed a pairing task in which the tendencies to associate foods with nutritional vs. culinary contexts were assessed. Next, they were asked to categorize each food into one of the following four categories: "yummy", "yucky" (i.e., hedonic categories), "makes you strong", or"makes you fat" (i.e., nutritional categories). The hedonic/culinary pairs were very frequently selected (81% on average), and this frequency significantly increased through school levels. In contrast, in the categorization task, a significant increase in nutrition-driven categorizations with school level was observed. Additional analyses revealed no differences in the food attitudes between the normal and overweight children in the pairing task, and a tendency towards lower hedonic categorizations among the overweight children. Culinary associations can reflect cultural learning in the French context where food pleasure is dominant. In contrast, the progressive emergence of cognitively driven attitudes with age may reflect the cognitive development of children who are more reasonable and influenced by social norms.

  14. Explicit and implicit tasks for assessing hedonic-versus nutrition-based attitudes towards food in French children.

    PubMed

    Monnery-Patris, Sandrine; Marty, Lucile; Bayer, Frédéric; Nicklaus, Sophie; Chambaron, Stéphanie

    2016-01-01

    Attitudes are important precursors of behaviours. This study aims to compare the food attitudes (i.e., hedonic- and nutrition-based) of children using both an implicit pairing task and an explicit forced-choice categorization task suitable for the cognitive abilities of 5- to 11-year-olds. A dominance of hedonically driven attitudes was expected for all ages in the pairing task, designed to elicit affective and spontaneous answers, whereas a progressive emergence of nutrition-based attitudes was expected in the categorization task, designed to involve deliberate analyses of the costs/benefits of foods. An additional exploratory goal was to evaluate differences in the attitudes of normal and overweight children in both tasks. Children from 3 school levels (n = 194; mean age = 8.03 years) were individually tested on computers in their schools. They performed a pairing task in which the tendencies to associate foods with nutritional vs. culinary contexts were assessed. Next, they were asked to categorize each food into one of the following four categories: "yummy", "yucky" (i.e., hedonic categories), "makes you strong", or"makes you fat" (i.e., nutritional categories). The hedonic/culinary pairs were very frequently selected (81% on average), and this frequency significantly increased through school levels. In contrast, in the categorization task, a significant increase in nutrition-driven categorizations with school level was observed. Additional analyses revealed no differences in the food attitudes between the normal and overweight children in the pairing task, and a tendency towards lower hedonic categorizations among the overweight children. Culinary associations can reflect cultural learning in the French context where food pleasure is dominant. In contrast, the progressive emergence of cognitively driven attitudes with age may reflect the cognitive development of children who are more reasonable and influenced by social norms. PMID:26522508

  15. Feature binding in visual short-term memory is unaffected by task-irrelevant changes of location, shape, and color.

    PubMed

    Logie, Robert H; Brockmole, James R; Jaswal, Snehlata

    2011-01-01

    Three experiments used a change detection paradigm across a range of study-test intervals to address the respective contributions of location, shape, and color to the formation of bindings of features in sensory memory and visual short-term memory (VSTM). In Experiment 1, location was designated task irrelevant and was randomized between study and test displays. The task was to detect changes in the bindings between shape and color. In Experiments 2 and 3, shape and color, respectively, were task irrelevant and randomized, with bindings tested between location and color (Experiment 2) and location and shape (Experiment 3). At shorter study-test intervals, randomizing location was most disruptive, followed by shape and then color. At longer intervals, randomizing any task-irrelevant feature had no impact on change detection for bindings between features, and location had no special role. Results suggest that location is crucial for initial perceptual binding but loses that special status once representations are formed in VSTM, which operates according to different principles, than do visual attention and perception.

  16. Sex-dependent effects on tasks assessing reinforcement learning and interference inhibition

    PubMed Central

    Evans, Kelly L.; Hampson, Elizabeth

    2015-01-01

    Increasing evidence suggests that the prefrontal cortex (PFC) is influenced by sex steroids and that some cognitive functions dependent on the PFC may be sexually differentiated in humans. Past work has identified a male advantage on certain complex reinforcement learning tasks, but it is unclear which latent task components are important to elicit the sex difference. The objective of the current study was to investigate whether there are sex differences on measures of response inhibition and valenced feedback processing, elements that are shared by previously studied reinforcement learning tasks. Healthy young adults (90 males, 86 females) matched in general intelligence completed the Probabilistic Selection Task (PST), a Simon task, and the Stop-Signal task. On the PST, females were more accurate than males in learning from positive (but not negative) feedback. On the Simon task, males were faster than females, especially in the face of incongruent stimuli. No sex difference was observed in Stop-Signal reaction time. The current findings provide preliminary support for a sex difference in the processing of valenced feedback and in interference inhibition. PMID:26257691

  17. Sex-dependent effects on tasks assessing reinforcement learning and interference inhibition.

    PubMed

    Evans, Kelly L; Hampson, Elizabeth

    2015-01-01

    Increasing evidence suggests that the prefrontal cortex (PFC) is influenced by sex steroids and that some cognitive functions dependent on the PFC may be sexually differentiated in humans. Past work has identified a male advantage on certain complex reinforcement learning tasks, but it is unclear which latent task components are important to elicit the sex difference. The objective of the current study was to investigate whether there are sex differences on measures of response inhibition and valenced feedback processing, elements that are shared by previously studied reinforcement learning tasks. Healthy young adults (90 males, 86 females) matched in general intelligence completed the Probabilistic Selection Task (PST), a Simon task, and the Stop-Signal task. On the PST, females were more accurate than males in learning from positive (but not negative) feedback. On the Simon task, males were faster than females, especially in the face of incongruent stimuli. No sex difference was observed in Stop-Signal reaction time. The current findings provide preliminary support for a sex difference in the processing of valenced feedback and in interference inhibition.

  18. Assessing task importance and anxiety in medical school: an instrument development and initial validation study.

    PubMed

    Phillips, Henry L; Dong, Ting; Durning, Steven J; Artino, Anthony R

    2015-04-01

    Recent research in medical education suggests that students' motivational beliefs, such as their beliefs about the importance of a task, and their emotions are meaningful predictors of learning and performance. The primary purpose of this study was to develop a self-report measure of "task importance" and "anxiety" in relation to several medical education competencies and to collect validity evidence for the new measures. The secondary purpose was to evaluate differences in these measures by year of medical school. Exploratory factor analysis of scores from 368 medical school students suggested two task importance factors and three anxiety factors. The task importance and anxiety subscales were weakly related to each other and exhibited consistently negative and positive correlations, respectively, with three self-efficacy subscales. The task importance subscales were positively related to "metacognition," whereas "interpersonal skills anxiety" and "health knowledge anxiety" were positively related to "procrastination." All three anxiety factors were positively related to "avoidance of help seeking," whereas "interpersonal skills and professionalism importance" was negatively related to help avoidance behaviors. Finally, comparisons across the 4 years of medical school indicated that some aspects of task importance and anxiety varied significantly. Overall, findings from this study provide validity evidence for the psychometric quality of these scales, which capture task importance and anxiety in medical students. Limitations and implications for medical education research are discussed. PMID:25850124

  19. Sex-dependent effects on tasks assessing reinforcement learning and interference inhibition.

    PubMed

    Evans, Kelly L; Hampson, Elizabeth

    2015-01-01

    Increasing evidence suggests that the prefrontal cortex (PFC) is influenced by sex steroids and that some cognitive functions dependent on the PFC may be sexually differentiated in humans. Past work has identified a male advantage on certain complex reinforcement learning tasks, but it is unclear which latent task components are important to elicit the sex difference. The objective of the current study was to investigate whether there are sex differences on measures of response inhibition and valenced feedback processing, elements that are shared by previously studied reinforcement learning tasks. Healthy young adults (90 males, 86 females) matched in general intelligence completed the Probabilistic Selection Task (PST), a Simon task, and the Stop-Signal task. On the PST, females were more accurate than males in learning from positive (but not negative) feedback. On the Simon task, males were faster than females, especially in the face of incongruent stimuli. No sex difference was observed in Stop-Signal reaction time. The current findings provide preliminary support for a sex difference in the processing of valenced feedback and in interference inhibition. PMID:26257691

  20. Dual task-related gait changes in patients with mild cognitive impairment.

    PubMed

    Nascimbeni, Alberto; Caruso, Shiva; Salatino, Adriana; Carenza, Marinella; Rigano, Marta; Raviolo, Andrea; Ricci, Raffaella

    2015-01-01

    Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) entails a high risk of developing Alzheimer's dementia. In MCI patients gait impairment, which increases the risk of falls and institutionalization, is an early motor sign. A dualtask (DT) paradigm might improve the observation of this phenomenon. The aim of this study was to investigate motor-cognitive interference in a sample of MCI patients and a group of matched healthy controls submitted to DT conditions. To this end, three different cognitive tasks were used: counting backwards, short story recall and a phonemic fluency task. Overall, the patients, compared with the healthy participants, performed worse on the cognitive tasks and showed some degree of gait impairment. In the DT conditions, both groups showed significant gait disruption independently of the concomitant cognitive task. As regards cognitive performance, counting backwards worsened during dual tasking, while short story recall improved in both groups. Overall, our results suggest that the use of a DT paradigm does not improve the early detection of MCI. Our findings of enhanced story recall during walking might have interesting implications for rehabilitation of memory function. PMID:26214028

  1. Advanced power assessment for Czech lignite. Task 3.6, Volume 1

    SciTech Connect

    Sondreal, E.A.; Mann, M.D.; Weber, G.W.; Young, B.C.

    1995-12-01

    The US has invested heavily in research, development, and demonstration of efficient and environmentally acceptable technologies for the use of coal. The US has the opportunity to use its leadership position to market a range of advanced coal-based technologies internationally. For example, coal mining output in the Czech Republic has been decreasing. This decrease in demand can be attributed mainly to the changing structure of the Czech economy and to environmental constraints. The continued production of energy from indigenous brown coals is a major concern for the Czech Republic. The strong desire to continue to use this resource is a challenge. The Energy and Environmental Research Center undertook two major efforts recently. One effort involved an assessment of opportunities for commercialization of US coal technologies in the Czech Republic. This report is the result of that effort. The technology assessment focused on the utilization of Czech brown coals. These coals are high in ash and sulfur, and the information presented in this report focuses on the utilization of these brown coals in an economically and environmentally friendly manner. Sections 3--5 present options for utilizing the as-mined coal, while Sections 6 and 7 present options for upgrading and generating alternative uses for the lignite. Contents include Czech Republic national energy perspectives; powering; emissions control; advanced power generation systems; assessment of lignite-upgrading technologies; and alternative markets for lignite.

  2. Pre-assessment exposure to schedule-correlated stimuli affects choice responding for tasks.

    PubMed

    Kelley, Michael E; Shamlian, Kenneth; Lomas, Joanna E; Pabico, Robert S

    2011-01-01

    Establishing compliance with academic and daily-living-skills instructions is important for shaping and maintaining behavior. In the current study, we exposed two participants to two stimulus conditions that were correlated with different consequences (more work vs. reinforcement) subsequent to a baseline in which responding was undifferentiated. Exposure to the differential consequences produced greater cooperation with the instruction to "pick one" task and response allocation towards the stimulus that was correlated with reinforcement as a consequence for task completion. These results suggest that clarifying the consequences of choice making may facilitate cooperation with task instructions.

  3. Changing Assessment--Towards a New Assessment Paradigm Using ICT

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Redecker, Christine; Johannessen, Oystein

    2013-01-01

    This article discusses how Information and Communication Technologies can support 21st century assessment strategies and what needs to be done to ensure that technological advances support and foster pedagogical innovation. Based on an extensive review of the literature, it provides an overview of current ICT-enabled assessment practices, with a…

  4. Human brain functional network changes associated with enhanced and impaired attentional task performance.

    PubMed

    Giessing, Carsten; Thiel, Christiane M; Alexander-Bloch, Aaron F; Patel, Ameera X; Bullmore, Edward T

    2013-04-01

    How is the cognitive performance of the human brain related to its topological and spatial organization as a complex network embedded in anatomical space? To address this question, we used nicotine replacement and duration of attentionally demanding task performance (time-on-task), as experimental factors expected, respectively, to enhance and impair cognitive function. We measured resting-state fMRI data, performance and brain activation on a go/no-go task demanding sustained attention, and subjective fatigue in n = 18 healthy, briefly abstinent, cigarette smokers scanned repeatedly in a placebo-controlled, crossover design. We tested the main effects of drug (placebo vs Nicorette gum) and time-on-task on behavioral performance and brain functional network metrics measured in binary graphs of 477 regional nodes (efficiency, measure of integrative topology; clustering, a measure of segregated topology; and the Euclidean physical distance between connected nodes, a proxy marker of wiring cost). Nicotine enhanced attentional task performance behaviorally and increased efficiency, decreased clustering, and increased connection distance of brain networks. Greater behavioral benefits of nicotine were correlated with stronger drug effects on integrative and distributed network configuration and with greater frequency of cigarette smoking. Greater time-on-task had opposite effects: it impaired attentional accuracy, decreased efficiency, increased clustering, and decreased connection distance of networks. These results are consistent with hypothetical predictions that superior cognitive performance should be supported by more efficient, integrated (high capacity) brain network topology at greater connection distance (high cost). They also demonstrate that brain network analysis can provide novel and theoretically principled pharmacodynamic biomarkers of pro-cognitive drug effects in humans. PMID:23554472

  5. The Changing Nature of Educational Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bennett, Randy Elliot

    2015-01-01

    On the surface, this chapter concerns the evolution of educational assessment from a paper-based technology to an electronic one. On a deeper level, that evolution is more substantive. In the first section of this chapter, those stages are briefly described and used to place the new generation of assessments being created by the two comprehensive…

  6. Program Assessment: Processes, Propagation, and Culture Change

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stitt-Bergh, Monica; Hilgers, Thomas

    2009-01-01

    The authors describe their experiences assessing writing-across-the-curriculum and general education programs, paying particular attention to processes and their consequences. At the University of Hawai'i at Manoa (UHM), a relatively large research-extensive university, general education assessment activities have been designed around two goals:…

  7. USGS science for the Nation's changing coasts; shoreline change assessment

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Thieler, E. Robert; Hapke, Cheryl J.

    2011-01-01

    The coastline of the United States features some of the most popular tourist and recreational destinations in the world and is the site of intense residential, commercial, and industrial development. The coastal zone also has extensive and pristine natural areas, with diverse ecosystems providing essential habitat and resources that support wildlife, fish, and human use. Coastal erosion is a widespread process along most open-ocean shores of the United States that affects both developed and natural coastlines. As the coast changes, there are a wide range of ways that change can affect coastal communities, habitats, and the physical characteristics of the coast?including beach erosion, shoreline retreat, land loss, and damage to infrastructure. Global climate change will likely increase the rate of coastal change. A recent study of the U.S. Mid-Atlantic coast, for example, found that it is virtually certain that sandy beaches will erode faster in the future as sea level rises because of climate change. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is responsible for conducting research on coastal change hazards, understanding the processes that cause coastal change, and developing models to predict future change. To understand and adapt to shoreline change, accurate information regarding the past and present configurations of the shoreline is essential. A comprehensive, nationally consistent analysis of shoreline movement is needed. To meet this national need, the USGS is conducting an analysis of historical shoreline changes along open-ocean coasts of the conterminous United States and parts of Alaska and Hawaii, as well as the coasts of the Great Lakes.

  8. Reduced writing and reading speed and age-related changes in verbal fluency tasks.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Aranda, Claudia

    2003-05-01

    The present study examined the influence of age-related decline in psychomotor speed on verbal fluency tasks. Reading speed, handwriting speed, written fluency, oral fluency, vocabulary, and years of formal education were measured in a sample of healthy volunteers (N=101) ranging in age from 20 to 88 years. Multiple regression analyses revealed that reading and handwriting speed strongly predicted verbal fluency performance. These measures, together with vocabulary skills and mental status, were significant predictors of performance on the fluency tasks. Present results suggest that decrement in verbal fluency performance in the aged may, at least partially, be due to reduced psychomotor speed rather than to decline in linguistic or cognitive functions.

  9. Assessing Statistical Model Assumptions under Climate Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Varotsos, Konstantinos V.; Giannakopoulos, Christos; Tombrou, Maria

    2016-04-01

    The majority of the studies assesses climate change impacts on air-quality using chemical transport models coupled to climate ones in an off-line mode, for various horizontal resolutions and different present and future time slices. A complementary approach is based on present-day empirical relations between air-pollutants and various meteorological variables which are then extrapolated to the future. However, the extrapolation relies on various assumptions such as that these relationships will retain their main characteristics in the future. In this study we focus on the ozone-temperature relationship. It is well known that among a number of meteorological variables, temperature is found to exhibit the highest correlation with ozone concentrations. This has led, in the past years, to the development and application of statistical models with which the potential impact of increasing future temperatures on various ozone statistical targets was examined. To examine whether the ozone-temperature relationship retains its main characteristics under warmer temperatures we analyze the relationship during the heatwaves events of 2003 and 2006 in Europe. More specifically, we use available gridded daily maximum temperatures (E-OBS) and hourly ozone observations from different non-urban stations (EMEP) within the areas that were impacted from the two heatwave events. In addition, we compare the temperature distributions of the two events with temperatures from two different future time periods 2021-2050 and 2071-2100 from a number of regional climate models developed under the framework of the Cordex initiative (http://www.cordex.org) with a horizontal resolution of 12 x 12km, based on different IPCC RCPs emissions scenarios. A statistical analysis is performed on the ozone-temperature relationship for each station and for the two aforementioned years which are then compared against the ozone-temperature relationships obtained from the rest of the available dataseries. The

  10. Electric Vehicle Preparedness Task 3: Detailed Assessment of Target Electrification Vehicles at Joint Base Lewis McChord Utilization

    SciTech Connect

    Stephen Schey; Jim Francfort

    2014-08-01

    Task 2 involved identifying daily operational characteristics of select vehicles and initiating data logging of vehicle movements in order to characterize the vehicle’s mission. Individual observations of these selected vehicles provide the basis for recommendations related to PEV adoption and whether a battery electric vehicle (BEV) or plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) (collectively PEVs) can fulfill the mission requirements and provides observations related to placement of PEV charging infrastructure. This report provides the results of the data analysis and observations related to the replacement of current vehicles with PEVs. This fulfills part of the Task 3 requirements. Task 3 also includes an assessment of charging infrastructure required to support this replacement. That is the subject of a separate report.

  11. Assessment of Charging Infrastructure for Plug-in Electric Vehicles at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island: Task 3

    SciTech Connect

    Schey, Steve; Francfort, Jim

    2015-07-01

    Several U.S. Department of Defense base studies have been conducted to identify potential U.S. Department of Defense transportation systems that are strong candidates for introduction or expansion of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs). Task 1 consisted of a survey of the non-tactical fleet of vehicles at NASWI to begin the review of vehicle mission assignments and types of vehicles in service. Task 2 selected vehicles for further monitoring and involved identifying daily operational characteristics of these select vehicles. Data logging of vehicle movements was initiated in order to characterize the vehicle’s mission. The Task 3 Vehicle Utilization report provided the results of the data analysis and observations related to the replacement of current vehicles with PEVs. This report provides an assessment of charging infrastructure required to support the suggested PEV replacements.

  12. Critical Thinking Assessment: Measuring a Moving Target. Report & Recommendations of the South Carolina Higher Education Assessment Network Critical Thinking Task Force.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cook, Patricia; Johnson, Reid; Moore, Phil; Myers, Phyllis; Pauly, Susan; Pendarvis, Faye; Prus, Joe; Ulmer-Sottong, Lovely

    This report is part of South Carolina's effort to move toward "100 percent performance funding" for the state's public colleges and universities and results from a task force's investigation of ways to assess critical thinking. The following eight major findings are reported: (1) policy makers must determine priorities; (2) critical thinking lacks…

  13. Interference Control in a New Rule Use Task: Age-Related Changes, Labeling, and Attention

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mller, Ulrich; Zelazo, Philip David; Hood, Suzanne; Leone, Tullia; Rohrer, Lisa

    2004-01-01

    Three experiments examined 3- to 6-year-olds' interference control using a task in which children saw 2 corresponding sets of colored cards, a large set in front of them and a small set behind them. A colored candy (Smartie) was placed on a large card with mismatching color, and children could win the Smartie by selecting the small card that…

  14. Changes over 12 months in eye glances during secondary task engagement among novice drivers.

    PubMed

    O'Brien, Fearghal; Klauer, Sheila G; Ehsani, Johnathon; Simons-Morton, Bruce G

    2016-08-01

    During their first year of driving, crash rates among novice drivers are very high but decline rapidly. However, it is not clear what skills or knowledge they are acquiring in this period. Secondary task engagement while driving is a contributing factor to many traffic collisions and some of the elevated crash risk among novices could be explained by greater prevalence or longer periods of eyes off the road while engaging in these non-driving tasks. The current study looked at the eye glances of novice teen drivers engaging in secondary tasks on a test track at 0 and 12 months of licensure and compared their performance with their parents. Novices improved from 0 to 12 months on their longest single glance off the forward roadway and total percentage of time for eyes off the forward roadway, but parents remained stable. Compared with their parents, the longest single glance off the forward roadway was longer for novices at 0 months, but by 12 months there was no difference between the groups. However, for total percentage of time for eyes off the forward roadway, novices performed the same as their parents at 0 months and actually had shorter times at 12 months. These findings could reflect the combined development of driving skills over 12 months and the relative experience that modern teenagers have with portable electronic devices. The results suggest that novice drivers are particularly poor at engaging with secondary tasks while driving. PMID:27177392

  15. Age-Related Changes in Antisaccade Task Performance: Inhibitory Control or Working-Memory Engagement?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Eenshuistra, R.M.; Ridderinkhof, K.R.; Molen, M.W.v.d.

    2004-01-01

    In antisaccade tasks, subjects are required to generate a saccade in the direction opposite to the location of a sudden-onset target stimulus. Compared to young adults, older adults tend to make more reflex-like eye movements towards the target, and/or show longer saccadic onset latencies on correct direct antisaccades. To better understand the…

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-16

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

  17. Changes in Primary Process Expression in Hospitalized Schizophrenics Treated with Phenothiazines: Two Projective Tasks Compared

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ebert, John N.; And Others

    1977-01-01

    This study investigated the hypothesis that primary process expression on Gottshalk's Five Minute Verbalization Task would be more representative of clinical status in schizophrenia than primary process expression on the Rorschach. Subjects were 21 males and 15 females, ages 19-41 years, newly admitted to the hospital and treated with…

  18. Effects of Task Instruction and Personal Epistemology on the Understanding of Multiple Texts about Climate Change

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Braten, Ivar; Stromso, Helge I.

    2010-01-01

    In present-day knowledge societies, readers cannot understand complex issues without constructing meaning across multiple information sources. To what extent they are able to do so may depend on both characteristics of reading tasks and characteristics of readers themselves. In this study, 184 undergraduates read multiple texts about the complex…

  19. Changes over 12 months in eye glances during secondary task engagement among novice drivers.

    PubMed

    O'Brien, Fearghal; Klauer, Sheila G; Ehsani, Johnathon; Simons-Morton, Bruce G

    2016-08-01

    During their first year of driving, crash rates among novice drivers are very high but decline rapidly. However, it is not clear what skills or knowledge they are acquiring in this period. Secondary task engagement while driving is a contributing factor to many traffic collisions and some of the elevated crash risk among novices could be explained by greater prevalence or longer periods of eyes off the road while engaging in these non-driving tasks. The current study looked at the eye glances of novice teen drivers engaging in secondary tasks on a test track at 0 and 12 months of licensure and compared their performance with their parents. Novices improved from 0 to 12 months on their longest single glance off the forward roadway and total percentage of time for eyes off the forward roadway, but parents remained stable. Compared with their parents, the longest single glance off the forward roadway was longer for novices at 0 months, but by 12 months there was no difference between the groups. However, for total percentage of time for eyes off the forward roadway, novices performed the same as their parents at 0 months and actually had shorter times at 12 months. These findings could reflect the combined development of driving skills over 12 months and the relative experience that modern teenagers have with portable electronic devices. The results suggest that novice drivers are particularly poor at engaging with secondary tasks while driving.

  20. Changes in predictive motor control in drop-jumps based on uncertainties in task execution.

    PubMed

    Leukel, Christian; Taube, Wolfgang; Lorch, Michael; Gollhofer, Albert

    2012-02-01

    Drop-jumps are controlled by predictive and reactive motor strategies which differ with respect to the utilization of sensory feedback. With reaction, sensory feedback is integrated while performing the task. With prediction, sensory information may be used prior to movement onset. Certainty about upcoming events is important for prediction. The present study aimed at investigating how uncertainties in the task execution affect predictive motor control in drop-jumps. Ten healthy subjects (22±1 years, M±SD) participated. The subjects performed either (i) drop-jumps by knowing that they might had to switch to a landing movement upon an auditory cue, which was sometimes elicited prior to touch-down (uncertainty). In (ii), subjects performed drop-jumps by knowing that there would be no auditory cue and consequently no switch of the movement (certainty). The m. soleus EMG prior to touch-down was higher when subjects knew there would be no auditory cue compared to when subjects performed the same task but switching from drop-jump to landing was possible (uncertainty). The EMG was reversed in the late concentric phase, meaning that it was higher in the high uncertainty task. The results of the present study showed that the muscular activity was predictively adjusted according to uncertainties in task execution. It is argued that tendomuscular stiffness was the variable responsible for the adjustment of muscular activity. The required tendomuscular stiffness was higher in drop-jumps than in landings. Consequently, when it was not certain whether to jump or to land, muscular activity and therefore tendomuscular stiffness was reduced. PMID:21757248

  1. Reclamation of automotive batteries: Assessment of health impacts and recycling technology. Task 1: Assessment of recycling technology. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Unnasch, S.; Montano, M.; Franklin, P.; Nowell, G.; Martin, C.

    1995-03-01

    Approximately ten different candidate EV battery technologies were examined based on their performance and recyclability, and were ranked based on these examinations. The batteries evaluated were lead-acid (all types), nickel-cadmium, nickel-iron, nickel-metal hydride, sodium-sulfur, sodium-nickel chloride, lithium-iron disulfide, lithium-ion, lithium polymer, and zinc (zinc-air and zinc-bromine). Locations of present recycling facilities were identified. Markets for recycled products were assessed: the value of recycled materials were found too unstable to fully support recycling efforts. All these batteries exhibit the characteristic of hazardous waste in California, and are therefore subject to strict regulations (finalization of the new EPA Universal Waste Rule could change this).

  2. An Investigation of Saudi English-Major Learners' Perceptions of Formative Assessment Tasks and Their Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Umer, Muhammad; Omer, Abdul Majeed Attayib

    2015-01-01

    The effect of standardised and summative assessment on teaching and learning has been explored in various settings. Formative assessment or classroom assessment, however, has not captured considerable attention of washback researchers. The prime goal of the inclusion of formative assessment in the assessment regime of a curriculum is to allow…

  3. Load-dependent brain activation assessed by time-domain functional near-infrared spectroscopy during a working memory task with graded levels of difficulty.

    PubMed

    Molteni, Erika; Contini, Davide; Caffini, Matteo; Baselli, Giuseppe; Spinelli, Lorenzo; Cubeddu, Rinaldo; Cerutti, Sergio; Bianchi, Anna Maria; Torricelli, Alessandro

    2012-05-01

    We evaluated frontal brain activation during a mixed attentional/working memory task with graded levels of difficulty in a group of 19 healthy subjects, by means of time-domain functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). Brain activation was assessed, and load-related oxy- and deoxy-hemoglobin changes were studied. Generalized linear model (GLM) was applied to the data to explore the metabolic processes occurring during the mental effort and, possibly, their involvement in short-term memorization. GLM was applied to the data twice: for modeling the task as a whole and for specifically investigating brain activation at each cognitive load. This twofold employment of GLM allowed (1) the extraction and isolation of different information from the same signals, obtained through the modeling of different cognitive categories (sustained attention and working memory), and (2) the evaluation of model fitness, by inspection and comparison of residuals (i.e., unmodeled part of the signal) obtained in the two different cases. Results attest to the presence of a persistent attentional-related metabolic activity, superimposed to a task-related mnemonic contribution. Some hemispherical differences have also been highlighted frontally: deoxy-hemoglobin changes manifested a strong right lateralization, whereas modifications in oxy- and total hemoglobin showed a medial localization. The present work successfully explored the capability of fNIRS to detect the two neurophysiological categories under investigation and distinguish their activation patterns.

  4. Load-dependent brain activation assessed by time-domain functional near-infrared spectroscopy during a working memory task with graded levels of difficulty

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Molteni, Erika; Contini, Davide; Caffini, Matteo; Baselli, Giuseppe; Spinelli, Lorenzo; Cubeddu, Rinaldo; Cerutti, Sergio; Bianchi, Anna Maria; Torricelli, Alessandro

    2012-05-01

    We evaluated frontal brain activation during a mixed attentional/working memory task with graded levels of difficulty in a group of 19 healthy subjects, by means of time-domain functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). Brain activation was assessed, and load-related oxy- and deoxy-hemoglobin changes were studied. Generalized linear model (GLM) was applied to the data to explore the metabolic processes occurring during the mental effort and, possibly, their involvement in short-term memorization. GLM was applied to the data twice: for modeling the task as a whole and for specifically investigating brain activation at each cognitive load. This twofold employment of GLM allowed (1) the extraction and isolation of different information from the same signals, obtained through the modeling of different cognitive categories (sustained attention and working memory), and (2) the evaluation of model fitness, by inspection and comparison of residuals (i.e., unmodeled part of the signal) obtained in the two different cases. Results attest to the presence of a persistent attentional-related metabolic activity, superimposed to a task-related mnemonic contribution. Some hemispherical differences have also been highlighted frontally: deoxy-hemoglobin changes manifested a strong right lateralization, whereas modifications in oxy- and total hemoglobin showed a medial localization. The present work successfully explored the capability of fNIRS to detect the two neurophysiological categories under investigation and distinguish their activation patterns.

  5. The Development and Implementation of a Web-Based Formative Peer Assessment System for Enhancing Students' Metacognitive Awareness and Performance in Ill-Structured Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kim, Minjeong; Ryu, Jeeheon

    2013-01-01

    An assessment was conducted of a web-based formative peer assessment system (WFPAS) emphasizing learners' metacognitive awareness for their performance in ill-structured tasks. Results indicate that the WFPAS group achieved significantly higher scores for metacognitive awareness and performance in ill-structured tasks than the traditional…

  6. Nonuniform High-Gamma (60–500 Hz) Power Changes Dissociate Cognitive Task and Anatomy in Human Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Gaona, Charles M.; Sharma, Mohit; Freudenburg, Zachary V.; Breshears, Jonathan D.; Bundy, David T.; Roland, Jarod; Barbour, Dennis L.; Schalk, Gerwin

    2011-01-01

    High-gamma-band (>60 Hz) power changes in cortical electrophysiology are a reliable indicator of focal, event-related cortical activity. Despite discoveries of oscillatory subthreshold and synchronous suprathreshold activity at the cellular level, there is an increasingly popular view that high-gamma-band amplitude changes recorded from cellular ensembles are the result of asynchronous firing activity that yields wideband and uniform power increases. Others have demonstrated independence of power changes in the low- and high-gamma bands, but to date, no studies have shown evidence of any such independence above 60 Hz. Based on nonuniformities in time-frequency analyses of electrocorticographic (ECoG) signals, we hypothesized that induced high-gamma-band (60–500 Hz) power changes are more heterogeneous than currently understood. Using single-word repetition tasks in six human subjects, we showed that functional responsiveness of different ECoG high-gamma sub-bands can discriminate cognitive task (e.g., hearing, reading, speaking) and cortical locations. Power changes in these sub-bands of the high-gamma range are consistently present within single trials and have statistically different time courses within the trial structure. Moreover, when consolidated across all subjects within three task-relevant anatomic regions (sensorimotor, Broca's area, and superior temporal gyrus), these behavior- and location-dependent power changes evidenced nonuniform trends across the population. Together, the independence and nonuniformity of power changes across a broad range of frequencies suggest that a new approach to evaluating high-gamma-band cortical activity is necessary. These findings show that in addition to time and location, frequency is another fundamental dimension of high-gamma dynamics. PMID:21307246

  7. Relating plastic changes of short latency human soleus stretch reflex to changes in task performance induced by training.

    PubMed

    Kundert, Robinson; Yagi, Tohru

    2012-01-01

    Recent findings in the field of neurophysiology showed that operant conditioning on the human H-Reflex is possible. This leads to many possible clinical applications as well as possible sophisticated training methods for athletes. Although stretch reflexes have been subject to extensive literature, knowledge about the influence of short latency stretch reflexes on task performance is lacking. Within this study an ankle control task was designed where perturbations in the magnitude of functional relevance were applied. Results analyzing angle over time after perturbation confirm previous findings which used to analyze the EMG and force response to ankle perturbations. Further it was found that after training the response to perturbations shifted from initially containing latencies which indicate conscious support by transcortical pathways to latencies which could only origin from unconscious stretch reflex responses. The trend of the short latency response to shift towards the long latency response and to diminish, while pre-defined performance criteria improved, denote a functional relevance of the short latency stretch reflex to task performance. Whereas short latency reflexes have any importance at all or if improvements emerge only out of enhancements in the long latency response future work making use of operant conditioning on the short latency H-Reflex will have to unravel. PMID:23366715

  8. Assessment of visual-spatial skills in medical context tasks when using monoscopic and stereoscopic visualization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martinez Escobar, Marisol; Juhnke, Bethany; Hisley, Kenneth; Eliot, David; Winer, Eliot

    2013-03-01

    The dramatic rise of digital medical imaging has allowed medical personnel to see inside their patients as never before. Many software products are now available to view this data in various 2D and 3D formats. This also raises many basic research questions on spatial perception for humans viewing these images. The work presented here attempts to answer the question: How would adding the stereopsis depth cue affect relative position tasks in a medical context? By designing and conducting a study to isolate the benefits between monoscopic 3D and stereoscopic 3D displays in a relative position task, the following hypothesis was tested: stereoscopic 3D displays are beneficial over monoscopic 3D displays for relative position judgment tasks in a medical visualization setting. The results show that stereoscopic condition yielded a higher score than the monoscopic condition, but the results were not always statistically significant.

  9. Sequential Learning Models for the Wisconsin Card Sort Task: Assessing Processes in Substance Dependent Individuals

    PubMed Central

    Bishara, Anthony J.; Kruschke, John K.; Stout, Julie C.; Bechara, Antoine; McCabe, David P.; Busemeyer, Jerome R.

    2010-01-01

    The Wisconsin Card Sort Task (WCST) is a commonly used neuropsychological test of executive or frontal lobe functioning. Traditional behavioral measures from the task (e.g., perseverative errors) distinguish healthy controls from clinical populations, but such measures can be difficult to interpret. In an attempt to supplement traditional measures, we developed and tested a family of sequential learning models that allowed for estimation of processes at the individual subject level in the WCST. Testing the model with substance dependent individuals and healthy controls, the model parameters significantly predicted group membership even when controlling for traditional behavioral measures from the task. Substance dependence was associated with a) slower attention shifting following punished trials and b) reduced decision consistency. Results suggest that model parameters may offer both incremental content validity and incremental predictive validity. PMID:20495607

  10. ASSESSING HIPPOCAMPAL CHANGES INDICATIVE OF NEUROTOXIC EFFECTS.

    EPA Science Inventory

    Subtle changes in cognitive function are often the earliest indication of neurotoxic effects in humans. The hippocampus is a large forebrain structure subserving specific kinds of information encoding and consolidation in humans and other animals. Because of it laminar structur...

  11. Computerized spatial delayed recognition span task: a specific tool to assess visuospatial working memory

    PubMed Central

    Satler, Corina; Belham, Flávia Schechtman; Garcia, Ana; Tomaz, Carlos; Tavares, Maria Clotilde H.

    2015-01-01

    A new tablet device version (IOS platform) of the Spatial Delayed Recognition Span Task (SDRST) was developed with the aim of investigating visuospatial Working Memory (WM) abilities based on touchscreen technology. This new WM testing application will be available to download for free in Apple Store app (“SDRST app”). In order to verify the feasibility of this computer-based task, we conducted three experiments with different manipulations and groups of participants. We were interested in investigating if (1) the SDRST is sensitive enough to tap into cognitive differences brought by aging and dementia; (2) different experimental manipulations work successfully; (3) cortical brain activations seen in other WM tasks are also demonstrated here; and (4) non-human primates are able to answer the task. Performance (scores and response time) was better for young than older adults and higher for the latter when compared to Alzheimer’s disease (AD) patients. All groups performed better with facial stimuli than with images of scenes and with emotional than with neutral stimuli. Electrophysiology data showed activation on prefrontal and frontal areas of scalp, theta band activity on the midline area, and gamma activity in left temporal area. There are all scalp regions known to be related to attention and WM. Besides those data, our sample of adult captive capuchin monkeys (Sapajus libidinosus) answered the task above chance level. Taken together, these results corroborate the reliability of this new computer-based SDRST as a measure of visuospatial WM in clinical and non-clinical populations as well as in non-human primates. Its tablet app allows the task to be administered in a wide range of settings, including hospitals, homes, schools, laboratories, universities, and research institutions. PMID:25964758

  12. Changes in default mode network as automaticity develops in a categorization task.

    PubMed

    Shamloo, Farzin; Helie, Sebastien

    2016-10-15

    The default mode network (DMN) is a set of brain regions in which blood oxygen level dependent signal is suppressed during attentional focus on the external environment. Because automatic task processing requires less attention, development of automaticity in a rule-based categorization task may result in less deactivation and altered functional connectivity of the DMN when compared to the initial learning stage. We tested this hypothesis by re-analyzing functional magnetic resonance imaging data of participants trained in rule-based categorization for over 10,000 trials (Helie et al., 2010) [12,13]. The results show that some DMN regions are deactivated in initial training but not after automaticity has developed. There is also a significant decrease in DMN deactivation after extensive practice. Seed-based functional connectivity analyses with the precuneus, medial prefrontal cortex (two important DMN regions) and Brodmann area 6 (an important region in automatic categorization) were also performed. The results show increased functional connectivity with both DMN and non-DMN regions after the development of automaticity, and a decrease in functional connectivity between the medial prefrontal cortex and ventromedial orbitofrontal cortex. Together, these results further support the hypothesis of a strategy shift in automatic categorization and bridge the cognitive and neuroscientific conceptions of automaticity in showing that the reduced need for cognitive resources in automatic processing is accompanied by a disinhibition of the DMN and stronger functional connectivity between DMN and task-related brain regions. PMID:27457134

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pausder, H. J.; Hummes, D.

    1982-01-01

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

  14. Estimated effects of ionizing radiation upon military task performance: individual combat crewmember assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Anno, G.H.; Wilson, D.B.

    1984-04-01

    Quantitative estimates are developed of the performance levels for selected individual Army combat crewmembers exposed to prompt ionizing radiation from nuclear weapons. The performance levels, expressed in percent of normal (baseline) task performance, provide information for military operations planning, combat training, and computer simulation modeling of combat crew and unit effectiveness. The methodology is described where data from two separate bodies of information: acute radiation sickness symptomatology, and judgment of task performance time from Army combat crew questionnaires - are integrated to compute performance levels as a function of dose (free-in-air) and post-exposure time.

  15. Enemy avoidance task: a novel behavioral paradigm for assessing spatial avoidance of a moving subject.

    PubMed

    Telensky, Petr; Svoboda, Jan; Pastalkova, Eva; Blahna, Karel; Bures, Jan; Stuchlik, Ales

    2009-05-30

    Navigation with respect to moving goals represents a useful ability in the everyday life of animals. We have developed a novel behavioral paradigm, "enemy avoidance task", in which a laboratory rat (subject) was trained to avoid another rat (enemy), while searching for small pasta pellets dispensed onto an experimental arena. Whenever the distance between the two animals was smaller than 25 cm, the subject was given a mild electric footshock. The results have shown that rats are capable of avoiding another rat while exploring an environment. Therefore, the enemy avoidance task can be used in electrophysiological, lesion or neuropharmacological studies exploring neuronal substrate coding for egocentric and allocentric positions of an observed animal.

  16. Using Outcomes Assessment to Change Classroom Instruction

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cook, Michelle D.; Wiedenhoeft, Mary H.; Polito, Thomas A.; Gibson, Lance R.; Pogranichniy, Sherry; Mullen, Russ E.

    2006-01-01

    How can student outcomes assessment (SOA) be incorporated into ones courses and teaching? The purposes of this article are to explore a process enacted in the Department of Agronomy at Iowa State University using SOA to: (i) develop a clearer understanding of what students should learn in a course, (ii) determine how a course or courses fit within…

  17. Reclamation of automotive batteries: Assessment of health impacts and recycling technology. Task 2: Assessment of health impacts; Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Unnasch, S.

    1999-04-01

    The task 2 report compares the relative health and hazard impacts of EV battery recycling technologies. Task 2 compared the relative impact of recycling EV batteries in terms of cancer, toxicity, and ecotoxicological potential, as well as leachability, flammability, and corrosivity/reactivity hazards. Impacts were evaluated for lead-acid, nickel-cadmium, nickel-metal hydride, sodium sulfur, sodium-nickel chloride, lithium-iron sulfide and disulfide, lithium-polymer, lithium-ion, and zinc-air batteries. Health/hazard impacts were evaluated for recycling methods including smelting, electrowinning, and other appropriate techniques that apply to different battery technologies.

  18. An Effective Assessment Model for Implementing Change and Improving Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mince, Rose; Ebersole, Tara

    2008-01-01

    Assessment at Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC) involves asking the right questions and using data to determine what changes should be implemented to enhance student learning. Guided by a 5-stage design, CCBC's assessment program is faculty-driven, risk-free, and externally validated. Curricular and pedagogical changes have resulted in…

  19. Impaired performance from brief social isolation of rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) - A multiple video-task assessment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Washburn, David A.; Rumbaugh, Duane M.

    1991-01-01

    Social isolation has been demonstrated to produce profound and lasting psychological effects in young primates. In the present investigation, two adult rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) were isolated from one another for up to 6 days and tested on 7 video tasks designed to assess psychomotor and cognitive functioning. Both the number and quality (i.e., speed and accuracy) of responses were significantly compromised in the social isolation condition relative to levels in which the animals were tested together. It is argued that adult rhesus are susceptible to performance disruption by even relatively brief social isolation, and that these effects can best be assessed by a battery of complex and sensitive measures.

  20. Assessment of changing technologies in medicine.

    PubMed

    Schenken, J R

    1987-07-01

    Technology is the outcome of man's use of tools and reason to change the environment to his benefit. New technology creates opportunities for some and threats for others. New technology will be dramatically influenced by the political, social, economic, and ethical milieu in which it develops. An overriding concern in the near future may be cost. Cost-benefit analysis/cost-effectiveness analysis can be a helpful planning tool but should not be used exclusively to plan for technological change. Knowledge of the humanities as well as a science will be essential if we are to make the decisions needed as we approach the 21st century.

  1. Using Challenging Tasks for Formative Assessment on Quadratic Functions with Senior Secondary Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wilkie, Karina J.

    2016-01-01

    Senior secondary mathematics students who develop conceptual understanding that moves them beyond "rules without reasons" to connections between related concepts are in a strong place to tackle the more difficult mathematics application problems. Current research is examining how the use of challenging tasks at different levels of…

  2. A Drawing Task to Assess Emotion Inference in Language-Impaired Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vendeville, Nathalie; Blanc, Nathalie; Brechet, Claire

    2015-01-01

    Purpose: Studies investigating the ability of children with language impairment (LI) to infer emotions rely on verbal responses (which can be challenging for these children) and/or the selection of a card representing an emotion (which limits the response range). In contrast, a drawing task might allow a broad spectrum of responses without…

  3. Understanding Learner Strengths and Weaknesses: Assessing Performance on an Integrated Writing Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sawaki, Yasuyo; Quinlan, Thomas; Lee, Yong-Won

    2013-01-01

    The present study examined the factor structures across features of 446 examinees' responses to a writing task that integrates reading and listening modalities as well as reading and listening comprehension items of the TOEFL iBT[R] (Internet-based test). Both human and automated scores obtained for the integrated essays were utilized. Based on a…

  4. Linguistic Proficiency Assessment in Second Language Acquisition Research: The Elicited Imitation Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gaillard, Stéphanie; Tremblay, Annie

    2016-01-01

    This study investigated the elicited imitation task (EIT) as a tool for measuring linguistic proficiency in a second/foreign (L2) language, focusing on French. Nonnative French speakers (n = 94) and native French speakers (n = 6) completed an EIT that included 50 sentences varying in length and complexity. Three raters evaluated productions on…

  5. Dependability of Scores for a New ESL Speaking Assessment Consisting of Integrated and Independent Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lee, Yong-Won

    2006-01-01

    A multitask speaking measure consisting of both integrated and independent tasks is expected to be an important component of a new version of the TOEFL test. This study considered two critical issues concerning score dependability of the new speaking measure: How much would the score dependability be impacted by (1) combining scores on different…

  6. Misleading Cues Improve Developmental Assessment of Working Memory Capacity: The Color Matching Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Arsalidou, Marie; Pascual-Leone, Juan; Johnson, Janice

    2010-01-01

    The theory of constructive operators was used as a framework to design two versions of a paradigm (color matching task, CMT) in which items are parametrically ordered in difficulty, and differ only contextually. Items in CMT-Balloon are facilitating, whereas items in CMT-Clown contain misleading cues. Participants of ages 7-14 years and adults (N…

  7. Assessing Inattention and Impulsivity in Children during the Go/NoGo Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bezdjian, Serena; Baker, Laura A.; Lozano, Dora Isabel; Raine, Adrian

    2009-01-01

    Behavioural performance in the Go/NoGo task was compared with caregiver and teacher reports of inattention and hyperactivity-impulsivity in 1,151 children (N = 557 boys; N = 594 girls) age 9-10 years old. Errors of commission (NoGo errors) were significantly correlated with symptom counts of hyperactivity-impulsivity, while errors of omission (Go…

  8. Response-time evidence for mixed memory states in a sequential-presentation change-detection task.

    PubMed

    Nosofsky, Robert M; Donkin, Chris

    2016-02-01

    Response-time (RT) and choice-probability data were obtained in a rapid visual sequential-presentation change-detection task in which memory set size, study-test lag, and objective change probabilities were manipulated. False "change" judgments increased dramatically with increasing lag, consistent with the idea that study items with long lags were ejected from a discrete-slots buffer. Error RTs were nearly invariant with set size and lag, consistent with the idea that the errors were produced by a stimulus-independent guessing process. The patterns of error and RT data could not be explained in terms of encoding limitations, but were consistent with the hypothesis that long retention lags produced a zero-stimulus-information state that required guessing. Formal modeling of the change-detection RT and error data pointed toward a hybrid model of visual working memory. The hybrid model assumed mixed states involving a combination of memory and guessing, but with higher memory resolution for items with shorter retention lags. The work raises new questions concerning the nature of the memory representations that are produced across the closely related tasks of change detection and visual memory search.

  9. Neural substrates of attentive listening assessed with a novel auditory Stroop task.

    PubMed

    Christensen, Thomas A; Lockwood, Julie L; Almryde, Kyle R; Plante, Elena

    2011-01-01

    A common explanation for the interference effect in the classic visual Stroop test is that reading a word (the more automatic semantic response) must be suppressed in favor of naming the text color (the slower sensory response). Neuroimaging studies also consistently report anterior cingulate/medial frontal, lateral prefrontal, and anterior insular structures as key components of a network for Stroop-conflict processing. It remains unclear, however, whether automatic processing of semantic information can explain the interference effect in other variants of the Stroop test. It also is not known if these frontal regions serve a specific role in visual Stroop conflict, or instead play a more universal role as components of a more generalized, supramodal executive-control network for conflict processing. To address these questions, we developed a novel auditory Stroop test in which the relative dominance of semantic and sensory feature processing is reversed. Listeners were asked to focus either on voice gender (a more automatic sensory discrimination task) or on the gender meaning of the word (a less automatic semantic task) while ignoring the conflicting stimulus feature. An auditory Stroop effect was observed when voice features replaced semantic content as the "to-be-ignored" component of the incongruent stimulus. Also, in sharp contrast to previous Stroop studies, neural responses to incongruent stimuli studied with functional magnetic resonance imaging revealed greater recruitment of conflict loci when selective attention was focused on gender meaning (semantic task) over voice gender (sensory task). Furthermore, in contrast to earlier Stroop studies that implicated dorsomedial cortex in visual conflict processing, interference-related activation in both of our auditory tasks was localized ventrally in medial frontal areas, suggesting a dorsal-to-ventral separation of function in medial frontal cortex that is sensitive to stimulus context.

  10. Climate change: The IPCC scientific assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Houghton, J.T.; Jenkins, G.J.; Ephraums, J.J.

    1990-01-01

    Book review of the intergovernmental panel on climate change report on global warming and the greenhouse effect. Covers the scientific basis for knowledge of the future climate. Presents chemistry of greenhouse gases and mathematical modelling of the climate system. The book is primarily for government policy makers.

  11. Evaluation of an Anthropometric Human Body Model for Simulated EVA Task Assessment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Etter, Brad

    1996-01-01

    One of the more mission-critical tasks performed in space is extravehicular activity (EVA) which requires the astronaut to be external to the station or spacecraft, and subsequently at risk from the many threats posed by space. These threats include, but are not limited to: no significant atmosphere, harmful electromagnetic radiation, micrometeoroids, and space debris. To protect the astronaut from this environment, a special EVA suit is worn which is designed to maintain a sustainable atmosphere (at 1/3 atmosphere) and provide protection against the hazards of space. While the EVA suit serves these functions well, it does impose limitations on the astronaut as a consequence of the safety it provides. Since the astronaut is in a virtual vacuum, any atmospheric pressure inside the suit serves to pressurize the suit and restricts mobility of flexible joints (such as fabric). Although some of the EVA suit joints are fixed, rotary-style joints, most of the mobility is achieved by the simple flexibility of the fabric. There are multiple layers of fabric, each of which serves a special purpose in the safety of the astronaut. These multiple layers add to the restriction of motion the astronaut experiences in the space environment. Ground-based testing is implemented to evaluate the capability of EVA-suited astronauts to perform the various tasks in space. In addition to the restriction of motion imposed by the EVA suit, most EVA activity is performed in a micro-gravity (weight less) environment. To simulate weightlessness EVA-suited testing is performed in a neutral buoyancy simulator (NBS). The NBS is composed of a large container of water (pool) in which a weightless environment can be simulated. A subject is normally buoyant in the pressurized suit; however he/she can be made neutrally buoyant with the addition of weights. In addition, most objects the astronaut must interface with in the NBS sink in water and flotation must be added to render them "weightless". The

  12. Two stages of parafoveal processing during reading: Evidence from a display change detection task.

    PubMed

    Angele, Bernhard; Slattery, Timothy J; Rayner, Keith

    2016-08-01

    We used a display change detection paradigm (Slattery, Angele, & Rayner Human Perception and Performance, 37, 1924-1938 2011) to investigate whether display change detection uses orthographic regularity and whether detection is affected by the processing difficulty of the word preceding the boundary that triggers the display change. Subjects were significantly more sensitive to display changes when the change was from a nonwordlike preview than when the change was from a wordlike preview, but the preview benefit effect on the target word was not affected by whether the preview was wordlike or nonwordlike. Additionally, we did not find any influence of preboundary word frequency on display change detection performance. Our results suggest that display change detection and lexical processing do not use the same cognitive mechanisms. We propose that parafoveal processing takes place in two stages: an early, orthography-based, preattentional stage, and a late, attention-dependent lexical access stage.

  13. Two stages of parafoveal processing during reading: Evidence from a display change detection task.

    PubMed

    Angele, Bernhard; Slattery, Timothy J; Rayner, Keith

    2016-08-01

    We used a display change detection paradigm (Slattery, Angele, & Rayner Human Perception and Performance, 37, 1924-1938 2011) to investigate whether display change detection uses orthographic regularity and whether detection is affected by the processing difficulty of the word preceding the boundary that triggers the display change. Subjects were significantly more sensitive to display changes when the change was from a nonwordlike preview than when the change was from a wordlike preview, but the preview benefit effect on the target word was not affected by whether the preview was wordlike or nonwordlike. Additionally, we did not find any influence of preboundary word frequency on display change detection performance. Our results suggest that display change detection and lexical processing do not use the same cognitive mechanisms. We propose that parafoveal processing takes place in two stages: an early, orthography-based, preattentional stage, and a late, attention-dependent lexical access stage. PMID:26769246

  14. Changes in P3b Latency and Amplitude Reflect Expertise Acquisition in a Football Visuomotor Learning Task

    PubMed Central

    Morgan, Kyle K.; Luu, Phan; Tucker, Don M.

    2016-01-01

    Learning is not a unitary phenomenon. Rather, learning progresses through stages, with the stages reflecting different challenges that require the support of specific cognitive processes that reflect the functions of different brain networks. A theory of general learning proposes that learning can be divided into early and late stages controlled by corticolimbic networks located in frontal and posterior brain regions, respectively. Recent human studies using dense-array EEG (dEEG) support these results by showing progressive increases in P3b amplitude (an Event Related Potential with estimated sources in posterior cingulate cortex and hippocampus) as participants acquire a new visuomotor skill. In the present study, the P3b was used to track the learning and performance of participants as they identify defensive football formations and make an appropriate response. Participants acquired the task over three days, and P3b latency and amplitude significantly changed when participants learned the task. As participants demonstrated further proficiency with extensive training, amplitude and latency changes in the P3b continued to closely mirror performance improvements. Source localization results across all days suggest that an important source generator of the P3b is located in the posterior cingulate cortex. Results from the study support prior findings and further suggest that the careful analysis of covert learning mechanisms and their underlying electrical signatures are a robust index of task competency. PMID:27111898

  15. Flood risk assessment in France: comparison of extreme flood estimation methods (EXTRAFLO project, Task 7)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garavaglia, F.; Paquet, E.; Lang, M.; Renard, B.; Arnaud, P.; Aubert, Y.; Carre, J.

    2013-12-01

    In flood risk assessment the methods can be divided in two families: deterministic methods and probabilistic methods. In the French hydrologic community the probabilistic methods are historically preferred to the deterministic ones. Presently a French research project named EXTRAFLO (RiskNat Program of the French National Research Agency, https://extraflo.cemagref.fr) deals with the design values for extreme rainfall and floods. The object of this project is to carry out a comparison of the main methods used in France for estimating extreme values of rainfall and floods, to obtain a better grasp of their respective fields of application. In this framework we present the results of Task 7 of EXTRAFLO project. Focusing on French watersheds, we compare the main extreme flood estimation methods used in French background: (i) standard flood frequency analysis (Gumbel and GEV distribution), (ii) regional flood frequency analysis (regional Gumbel and GEV distribution), (iii) local and regional flood frequency analysis improved by historical information (Naulet et al., 2005), (iv) simplify probabilistic method based on rainfall information (i.e. Gradex method (CFGB, 1994), Agregee method (Margoum, 1992) and Speed method (Cayla, 1995)), (v) flood frequency analysis by continuous simulation approach and based on rainfall information (i.e. Schadex method (Paquet et al., 2013, Garavaglia et al., 2010), Shyreg method (Lavabre et al., 2003)) and (vi) multifractal approach. The main result of this comparative study is that probabilistic methods based on additional information (i.e. regional, historical and rainfall information) provide better estimations than the standard flood frequency analysis. Another interesting result is that, the differences between the various extreme flood quantile estimations of compared methods increase with return period, staying relatively moderate up to 100-years return levels. Results and discussions are here illustrated throughout with the example

  16. Ranking inconsistencies in the assessment of digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) reconstruction algorithms using a location-known task and a search task

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-03-01

    In this work, we validated a task-based performance figure-of-merit (FOM) by investigating ranking inconsistencies due to lurking variable/factors. We applied a falsifiable search assessment theory to assessing digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) image quality using a scanning channelized Hotelling observer (CHO) on a simulated DBT dataset. We compared the performance of five reconstruction algorithms: filter back projection (FBP), maximum likelihood (ML), simultaneous algebraic reconstruction technique (SART), total-variation regularized least square estimator (TVLS) with strong and mild regularization settings. The results showed that the location-known-exactly (LKE) detection performance was almost identical for the five reconstruction algorithms. However the search characteristic as described by effective set size (M*) and search AUC value, ranked them differently. To falsify/corroborate our evaluations on search characteristic and performance, we conducted an image-size test. This test demonstrated an agreement between theoretical predictions and empirically measured observer performance in absolute performance levels, except for the ML algorithm. We concluded that evidence corroborated our evaluations, except that for the ML algorithm where our evaluation was wrong. Further investigation of the wrong evaluation in the ML case revealed a lurking variable that affected system performance ranking in search when AUC value was used as the FOM. This further confirmed that our evaluation in its current form for the ML algorithm was indeed wrong. We also noted that the ranking inconsistencies exist even when the AUC value was used as the FOM, and the falsifiable nature of M* allowed such inconsistencies to be identified.

  17. Hippocampus and subregions of the dorsal striatum respond differently to a behavioral strategy change on a spatial navigation task

    PubMed Central

    Regier, Paul S.; Amemiya, Seiichiro

    2015-01-01

    Goal-directed and habit-based behaviors are driven by multiple but dissociable decision making systems involving several different brain areas, including the hippocampus and dorsal striatum. On repetitive tasks, behavior transitions from goal directed to habit based with experience. Hippocampus has been implicated in initial learning and dorsal striatum in automating behavior, but recent studies suggest that subregions within the dorsal striatum have distinct roles in mediating habit-based and goal-directed behavior. We compared neural activity in the CA1 region of hippocampus with anterior dorsolateral and posterior dorsomedial striatum in rats on a spatial choice task, in which subjects experienced reward delivery changes that forced them to adjust their behavioral strategy. Our results confirm the importance of the hippocampus in evaluating predictive steps during goal-directed behavior, while separate circuits in the basal ganglia integrated relevant information during automation of actions and recognized when new behaviors were needed to continue obtaining rewards. PMID:26084902

  18. Examining Gender Differences in Written Assessment Tasks in Biology: A Case Study of Evolutionary Explanations

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Federer, Meghan Rector; Nehm, Ross H.; Pearl, Dennis K.

    2016-01-01

    Understanding sources of performance bias in science assessment provides important insights into whether science curricula and/or assessments are valid representations of student abilities. Research investigating assessment bias due to factors such as instrument structure, participant characteristics, and item types are well documented across a…

  19. Technology Enabled Assessments: An Investigation of Scoring Models for Scaffolded Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nash, Brooke L.

    2012-01-01

    While significant progress has been made in recent years on technology enabled assessments (TEAs), including assessment systems that incorporate scaffolding into the assessment process, there is a dearth of research regarding psychometric scoring models that can be used to fully capture students' knowledge, skills and abilities as measured by…

  20. Student Performance on Argumentation Task in the Swedish National Assessment in Science

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jönsson, Anders

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this study is to investigate the influence of content knowledge on students' socio-scientific argumentation in the Swedish National Assessment in biology, chemistry and physics for 12-year-olds. In Sweden, the assessment of socio-scientific argumentation has been a major part of the National Assessment during three consecutive years and…

  1. Electric Vehicle Preparedness: Task 1, Assessment of Fleet Inventory for Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune

    SciTech Connect

    Schey, Stephen; Francfort, Jim

    2015-01-01

    Several U.S. Department of Defense-based studies were conducted to identify potential U.S. Department of Defense transportation systems that are strong candidates for introduction or expansion of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs). Task 1 included a survey of the inventory of non-tactical fleet vehicles at the Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune (MCBCL) to characterize the fleet. This information and characterization will be used to select vehicles for monitoring that takes place during Task 2. This monitoring involves data logging of vehicle operation in order to identify the vehicle’s mission and travel requirements. Individual observations of these selected vehicles provide the basis for recommendations related to PEV adoption. It also identifies whether a battery electric vehicle or plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (collectively referred to as PEVs) can fulfill the mission requirements and provides observations related to placement of PEV charging infrastructure.

  2. Assessing rodent hippocampal involvement in the novel object recognition task. A review.

    PubMed

    Cohen, Sarah J; Stackman, Robert W

    2015-05-15

    The novel object recognition (NOR) task has emerged as a popular method for testing the neurobiology of nonspatial memory in rodents. This task exploits the natural tendency of rodents to explore novel items and depending on the amount of time that rodents spend exploring the presented objects, inferences about memory can be established. Despite its wide use, the underlying neural circuitry and mechanisms supporting NOR have not been clearly defined. In particular, considerable debate has focused on whether the hippocampus plays a significant role in the object memory that is encoded, consolidated and then retrieved during discrete stages of the NOR task. Here we analyzed the results of all published reports in which the role of the rodent hippocampus in object memory was inferred from performance in the task with restricted parameters. We note that the remarkable variability in NOR methods across studies complicates the ability to draw meaningful conclusions from the work. Focusing on 12 reports in which a minimum criterion of sample session object exploration was imposed, we find that temporary or permanent lesion of the hippocampus consistently disrupts object memory when a delay of 10 min or greater is imposed between the sample and test sessions. We discuss the significance of a delay-dependent role of the hippocampus in NOR within the framework of the medial temporal lobe. We assert that standardization of the NOR protocol is essential for obtaining reliable data that can then be compared across studies to build consensus as to the specific contribution of the rodent hippocampus to object memory.

  3. Global Assessment of Hydrogen Technologies – Task 6 Report Promoting a Southeast Hydrogen Consortium

    SciTech Connect

    Fouad, Fouad H.; Peters, Robert W.; Sisiopiku, Virginia P.; Sullivan Andrew J.

    2007-12-01

    The purpose of this project task was to establish a technical consortium to promote the deployment of hydrogen technologies and infrastructure in the Southeast. The goal was to partner with fuel cell manufacturers, hydrogen fuel infrastructure providers, electric utilities, energy service companies, research institutions, and user groups to improve education and awareness of hydrogen technologies in an area that is lagging behind other parts of the country in terms of vehicle and infrastructure demonstrations and deployments. This report documents that effort.

  4. Computerized Testing Software for Assessing Interference Suppression in Children and Adults: The Bivalent Shape Task (BST)

    PubMed Central

    Mueller, Shane T.; Esposito, Alena G.

    2015-01-01

    We describe the Bivalent Shape Task (BST), software using the Psychology Experiment Building Language (PEBL), for testing of cognitive interference and the ability to suppress interference. The test is available via the GNU Public License, Version 3 (GPLv3), is freely modifiable, and has been tested on both children and adults and found to provide a simple and fast non-verbal measure of cognitive interference and suppression that requires no reading. PMID:26702358

  5. Adaptation of a ladder beam walking task to assess locomotor recovery in mice following spinal cord injury.

    PubMed

    Cummings, Brian J; Engesser-Cesar, Christie; Cadena, Gilbert; Anderson, Aileen J

    2007-02-27

    Locomotor impairments after spinal cord injury (SCI) are often assessed using open-field rating scales. These tasks have the advantage of spanning the range from complete paralysis to normal walking; however, they lack sensitivity at specific levels of recovery. Additionally, most supplemental assessments were developed in rats, not mice. For example, the horizontal ladder beam has been used to measure recovery in the rat after SCI. This parametric task results in a videotaped archival record of the event, is easily administered, and is unambiguously scored. Although a ladder beam apparatus for mice is available, its use in the assessment of recovery in SCI mice is rare, possibly because normative data for uninjured mice and the type of step misplacements injured mice exhibit is lacking. We report the development of a modified ladder beam instrument and scoring system to measure hindlimb recovery in vertebral T9 contusion spinal cord injured mice. The mouse ladder beam allows for the use of standard parametric statistical tests to assess locomotor recovery. Ladder beam performance is consistent across four strains of mice, there are no sex differences, and inter-rater reliability between observers is high. The ladder beam score is proportional to injury severity and can be used to easily separate mice capable of weight-supported stance up to mice with consistent forelimb to hindlimb coordination. Critically, horizontal ladder beam testing discriminates between mice that score identically in terms of stepping frequency in open-field testing. PMID:17197044

  6. Airphoto assessment of changes in aquatic vegetation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Markham, B. L.; Philipson, W. R.; Russel, A. E.

    1977-01-01

    Large scale, multiyear, color and color infrared aerial photographs were used to evaluate changes in aquatic vegetation that have accompanied a reduction in phosphorus inputs to a phosphorus-limited, eutrophic lake in New York State. The study showed that the distribution of emergent, floating and submersed vegetation could be determined with little or no concurrent ground data; that various emergent and floating types could be separated and, with limited field checks, identified; and that different submersed types are generally not separable. Major vegetative types are characterized by spectral and nonspectral features, and a classification is developed for compiling time-sequential vegetation maps.

  7. Assessing inattention and impulsivity in children during the Go/NoGo task.

    PubMed

    Bezdjian, Serena; Baker, Laura A; Lozano, Dora Isabel; Raine, Adrian

    2009-06-01

    Behavioural performance in the Go/NoGo task was compared with caregiver and teacher reports of inattention and hyperactivity-impulsivity in 1,151 children (N = 557 boys; N = 594 girls) age 9- 10-years-old. Errors of commission (NoGo errors) were significantly correlated with symptom counts of hyperactivity-impulsivity, while errors of omission (Go errors) were significantly correlated with symptom counts for inattention in both caregiver and teacher reports. Cross-correlations were also evident, however, such that errors of commission were related to inattention symptoms, and errors of omission were related to hyperactivity-impulsivity. Moreover, hyperactivity-impulsivity and inattention symptoms were highly intercorrelated in both caregiver (r = .52) and teacher reports (r = .70), while errors of commission and omission were virtually uncorrelated in the Go/NoGo task (r = .06). The results highlight the difficulty in disentangling hyperactivity-impulsivity and inattention in questionnaires, and suggest that these constructs may be more clearly distinguished in laboratory measures such as the Go/NoGo task.

  8. Attentional capture by irrelevant transients leads to perceptual errors in a competitive change detection task.

    PubMed

    Schneider, Daniel; Beste, Christian; Wascher, Edmund

    2012-01-01

    Theories on visual change detection imply that attention is a necessary but not sufficient prerequisite for aware perception. Misguidance of attention due to salient irrelevant distractors can therefore lead to severe deficits in change detection. The present study investigates the mechanisms behind such perceptual errors and their relation to error processing on higher cognitive levels. Participants had to detect a luminance change that occasionally occurred simultaneously with an irrelevant orientation change in the opposite hemi-field (conflict condition). By analyzing event-related potentials in the EEG separately in those error prone conflict trials for correct and erroneous change detection, we demonstrate that only correct change detection was associated with the allocation of attention to the relevant luminance change. Erroneous change detection was associated with an initial capture of attention toward the irrelevant orientation change in the N1 time window and a lack of subsequent target selection processes (N2pc). Errors were additionally accompanied by an increase of the fronto-central N2 and a kind of error negativity (Ne or ERN), which, however, peaked prior to the response. These results suggest that a strong perceptual conflict by salient distractors can disrupt the further processing of relevant information and thus affect its aware perception. Yet, it does not impair higher cognitive processes for conflict and error detection, indicating that these processes are independent from awareness.

  9. Patient representatives' contributions to the benefit‐risk assessment tasks of the European Medicines Agency scientific committees

    PubMed Central

    Bernabe, Rosemarie D L C; van Thiel, Ghislaine J M W; van Delden, Johannes

    2014-01-01

    In the European Medicines Agency (EMA), the involvement of patients has been increasingly recognized as valuable and necessary. Specifically in scientific committees, patients through patient representatives are actively involved in deliberations and decision making processes. These scientific committees are meant to ensure that licensed medicines have a positive benefit–risk ratio in favour of the patients and users. To investigate what the contributions are of patient representatives in benefit–risk assessment, we interviewed 15 scientific committee members, 10 of whom are/were EU-state regulatory representatives and five are/were patient representatives. We asked the participants questions related to the benefit–risk assessment tasks of their committees, the connection between patient representatives and the patient perspective, and the contribution of patient representatives in the various benefit–risk assessments tasks. We found that the contribution of patient representatives benefit–risk assessment may be a variable of the benefits and the risks involved in the drug such that the necessity of their contribution is strongly felt when both benefits and risks are high, when benefits are almost equal or are equal to risks and when both benefits and risks are low. In terms of the various benefit–risk tasks, patient representatives contribute to benefit–risk analysis by providing criteria that help define the benefit–risk picture. In benefit–risk evaluation, patient representatives aid in providing a specific basis for the values and weights given to specific benefits and risks and in decision making, they provide what may be a crucial patient perspective in terms of the acceptability of risks. Hence, patient representatives provide a specific expertise in these scientific committees. PMID:24995713

  10. Assessment of Cognitive Function in the Water Maze Task: Maximizing Data Collection and Analysis in Animal Models of Brain Injury.

    PubMed

    Whiting, Mark D; Kokiko-Cochran, Olga N

    2016-01-01

    Animal models play a critical role in understanding the biomechanical, pathophysiological, and behavioral consequences of traumatic brain injury (TBI). In preclinical studies, cognitive impairment induced by TBI is often assessed using the Morris water maze (MWM). Frequently described as a hippocampally dependent spatial navigation task, the MWM is a highly integrative behavioral task that requires intact functioning in numerous brain regions and involves an interdependent set of mnemonic and non-mnemonic processes. In this chapter, we review the special considerations involved in using the MWM in animal models of TBI, with an emphasis on maximizing the degree of information extracted from performance data. We include a theoretical framework for examining deficits in discrete stages of cognitive function and offer suggestions for how to make inferences regarding the specific nature of TBI-induced cognitive impairment. The ultimate goal is more precise modeling of the animal equivalents of the cognitive deficits seen in human TBI. PMID:27604738

  11. Comparative Assessment of Handedness for a Coordinated Bimanual Task in Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes), Gorillas (Gorilla gorilla), and Orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus)

    PubMed Central

    Hopkins, William D.; Stoinski, Tara S.; Lukas, Kristen E.; Ross, Stephen R.; Wesley, Michael J.

    2007-01-01

    Hand preferences for a coordinated bimanual task were assessed in a sample of 31 captive gorillas (Gorilla gorilla) and 19 captive orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus) and were compared with chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) hand preferences in subjects that were matched on the basis of age, sex, and rearing history. The task required that the apes remove food from the inside edges of a symmetrical polyvinyl chloride pipe presented to them in their home cages. The results indicate significant species differences with chimpanzees showing population-level right-handedness and orangutans showing population-level left-handedness. The gorillas showed a nonsignificant trend toward right-handedness. The results are discussed in terms of possible ecological or biomechanical factors that may influence hand preferences in different ape species. PMID:14498806

  12. Effects of battlefield display frames of reference on navigation tasks, spatial judgements, and change detection.

    PubMed

    Thomas, Lisa C; Wickens, Christopher D

    This paper describes an experiment which illustrates the cause of 'cognitive tunnelling' as it affects information gathering and perception-based task performance in computer-generated terrain displays of varying frames of reference. Cognitive tunnelling refers to the effect where observers focus attention on information from specific areas of a display to the exclusion of information presented outside these areas. Previous research suggests that cognitive tunnelling is induced by more immersive or egocentric visual displays. Results from our preceding study suggested that an immersed split-screen display induces cognitive tunnelling and results in poorer information extraction and situation awareness than an exocentric display of the same information. The current study determined that failure of the observers to integrate information across the two views of the immersed display led to the cognitive tunnelling effect. Cognitive tunnelling was also affected by primacy of information initially presented within the larger egocentric view in the immersed display.

  13. A Longitudinal Behavioral Genetic Analysis of Task Persistence

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Deater-Deckard, Kirby; Petrill, Stephen A.; Thompson, Lee A.; DeThorne, Laura S.

    2006-01-01

    Change in task persistence was assessed in two annual assessments using teachers', testers', and observers' ratings. Participants included 79 monozygotic and 116 same-sex dizygotic twin pairs who were in Kindergarten or 1st grade (4.3 to 7.9 years old) at the initial assessment. Task persistence was widely distributed and higher among older…

  14. New Tasks for Teachers of English in Poland in Light of Social, Economic, and Political Changes.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ehrenhalt, Ewa

    The weakness of English and other language instruction in Poland is due largely to the political system after World War II. Political and economic change and gradual recognition of the importance of English have recently increased rapidly. Expanded contact with the West calls for immediate qualitative and quantitative changes in English language…

  15. Probabilistic assessment of beach and dune changes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sallenger, A.H.; Stockdon, H.; Haines, J.; Krabill, W.; Swift, R.; Brock, J.

    2004-01-01

    The recent availability of spatially-dense airborne lidar data makes assessment of the vulnerability of beaches and dunes to storm impacts practical over long reaches of coast. As an initial test, elevations of the tops (D high) and bases (Dlow) of foredune ridges along a 55-km reach on the northern Outer Banks, NC were found to have considerable spatial variability suggesting that different parts of the barrier island would respond differently to storms. Comparing statistics of storm wave runup to D high and Dlow, we found that net erosion due to overwash and dune retreat should be greatest at the northern and southern ends of the study area and least in the central section. This predicted spatial pattern of storm-induced erosion is similar to the spatial pattern of long-term erosion of the shoreline which may be controlled by additional processes (such as gradients in longshore transport) as well as the cross-shore processes considered here. However, consider feedback where at erosional hot spots there is a deficit of sand (caused by gradients in longshore transport) which lead to lower dunes and enhanced erosional cross-shore processes, such as overwash. Hence, the erosional hot spots would be exacerbated, further increasing the vulnerability of the beach and dunes to net erosion.

  16. Integrated Assessment and the Relation Between Land-Use Change and Climate Change

    DOE R&D Accomplishments Database

    Dale, V. H.

    1994-10-07

    Integrated assessment is an approach that is useful in evaluating the consequences of global climate change. Understanding the consequences requires knowledge of the relationship between land-use change and climate change. Methodologies for assessing the contribution of land-use change to atmospheric CO{sub 2} concentrations are considered with reference to a particular case study area: south and southeast Asia. The use of models to evaluate the consequences of climate change on forests must also consider an assessment approach. Each of these points is discussed in the following four sections.

  17. Integrated assessment and the relation between land-use change and climate change

    SciTech Connect

    Dale, V.H.

    1994-10-07

    Integrated assessment is an approach that is useful in evaluating the consequences of global climate change. Understanding the consequences requires knowledge of the relationship between land-use change and climate change. Methodologies for assessing the contribution of land-use change to atmospheric CO{sub 2} concentrations are considered with reference to a particular case study area: south and southeast Asia. The use of models to evaluate the consequences of climate change on forests must also consider an assessment approach. Each of these points is discussed in the following four sections.

  18. Changes in human muscle spindle sensitivity during a proprioceptive attention task.

    PubMed

    Hospod, Valérie; Aimonetti, Jean-Marc; Roll, Jean-Pierre; Ribot-Ciscar, Edith

    2007-05-01

    The aim of the present study was to test whether fusimotor control of human muscle spindle sensitivity changed when attention was selectively directed to the recognition of an imposed two-dimensional movement in the form of a written symbol. The unitary activities of 32 muscle spindle afferents (26 Ia, 6 II) were recorded by microneurography at the level of the common peroneal nerve. The patterns of firing rate in response to passive movements of the ankle, forming different letters or numbers, were compared in two conditions: control and recognition. No visual cues were given in either condition, but subjects had to recognize and name the character in one condition compared with not paying attention in the control condition. The results showed that 58% of the tested Ia afferents presented modified responses to movements when these had to be recognized. Changes in Ia afferent responses included decreased depth of modulation, increased variability of discharge, and changes in spontaneous activity. Not all changes were evident in the same afferent. Furthermore, the percentage of correctly recognized movements amounted to 63% when changes were observed, but it was only 48% when the primary ending sensitivity was unaltered. The responses of group II afferents were only weakly changed or unchanged. It is suggested that the altered muscle spindle sensitivity is because of selective changes in fusimotor control, the consequence of which might be to feed the brain movement trajectory information that is more accurate. PMID:17494703

  19. Task-dependent modification of leg motor neuron synaptic input underlying changes in walking direction and walking speed

    PubMed Central

    Rosenbaum, Philipp; Schmitz, Josef; Schmidt, Joachim

    2015-01-01

    Animals modify their behavior constantly to perform adequately in their environment. In terrestrial locomotion many forms of adaptation exist. Two tasks are changes of walking direction and walking speed. We investigated these two changes in motor output in the stick insect Cuniculina impigra to see how they are brought about at the level of leg motor neurons. We used a semi-intact preparation in which we can record intracellularly from leg motor neurons during walking. In this single-leg preparation the middle leg of the animal steps in a vertical plane on a treadwheel. Stimulation of either abdomen or head reliably elicits fictive forward or backward motor activity, respectively, in the fixed and otherwise deafferented thorax-coxa joint. With a change of walking direction only thorax-coxa-joint motor neurons protractor and retractor changed their activity. The protractor switched from swing activity during forward to stance activity during backward walking, and the retractor from stance to swing. This phase switch was due to corresponding change of phasic synaptic inputs from inhibitory to excitatory and vice versa at specific phases of the step cycle. In addition to phasic synaptic input a tonic depolarization of the motor neurons was present. Analysis of changes in stepping velocity during stance showed only a significant correlation to flexor motor neuron activity, but not to that of retractor and depressor motor neurons during forward walking. These results show that different tasks in the stick insect walking system are generated by altering synaptic inputs to specific leg joint motor neurons only. PMID:26063769

  20. Task-dependent modification of leg motor neuron synaptic input underlying changes in walking direction and walking speed.

    PubMed

    Rosenbaum, Philipp; Schmitz, Josef; Schmidt, Joachim; Büschges, Ansgar

    2015-08-01

    Animals modify their behavior constantly to perform adequately in their environment. In terrestrial locomotion many forms of adaptation exist. Two tasks are changes of walking direction and walking speed. We investigated these two changes in motor output in the stick insect Cuniculina impigra to see how they are brought about at the level of leg motor neurons. We used a semi-intact preparation in which we can record intracellularly from leg motor neurons during walking. In this single-leg preparation the middle leg of the animal steps in a vertical plane on a treadwheel. Stimulation of either abdomen or head reliably elicits fictive forward or backward motor activity, respectively, in the fixed and otherwise deafferented thorax-coxa joint. With a change of walking direction only thorax-coxa-joint motor neurons protractor and retractor changed their activity. The protractor switched from swing activity during forward to stance activity during backward walking, and the retractor from stance to swing. This phase switch was due to corresponding change of phasic synaptic inputs from inhibitory to excitatory and vice versa at specific phases of the step cycle. In addition to phasic synaptic input a tonic depolarization of the motor neurons was present. Analysis of changes in stepping velocity during stance showed only a significant correlation to flexor motor neuron activity, but not to that of retractor and depressor motor neurons during forward walking. These results show that different tasks in the stick insect walking system are generated by altering synaptic inputs to specific leg joint motor neurons only.

  1. A Novel Device for Grasping Assessment during Functional Tasks: Preliminary Results

    PubMed Central

    Rocha, Ana Carolinne Portela; Tudella, Eloisa; Pedro, Leonardo M.; Appel, Viviane Cristina Roma; da Silva, Louise Gracelli Pereira; Caurin, Glauco Augusto de Paula

    2016-01-01

    This paper presents a methodology and first results obtained in a study with a novel device that allows the analysis of grasping quality. Such a device is able to acquire motion information of upper limbs allowing kinetic of manipulation analysis as well. A pilot experiment was carried out with six groups of typically developing children aged between 5 and 10 years, with seven to eight children in each one. The device, designed to emulate a glass, has an optical system composed by one digital camera and a special convex mirror that together allow image acquisition of grasping hand posture when it is grasped and manipulated. It also carries an Inertial Measurement Unit that captures motion data as acceleration, orientation, and angular velocities. The novel instrumented object is used in our approach to evaluate functional tasks performance in quantitative terms. During tests, each child was invited to grasp the cylindrical part of the device that was placed on the top of a table, simulating the task of drinking a glass of water. In the sequence, the child was oriented to transport the device back to the starting position and release it. The task was repeated three times for each child. A grasping hand posture evaluation is presented as an example to evaluate grasping quality. Additionally, motion patterns obtained with the trials performed with the different groups are presented and discussed. This device is attractive due to its portable characteristics, the small size, and its ability to evaluate grasping form. The results may be also useful to analyze the evolution of the rehabilitation process through reach-to-grasping movement and the grasping images analysis. PMID:26942178

  2. Does face inversion qualitatively change face processing: an eye movement study using a face change detection task.

    PubMed

    Xu, Buyun; Tanaka, James W

    2013-02-18

    Understanding the Face Inversion Effect is important for the study of face processing. Some researchers believe that the processing of inverted faces is qualitatively different from the processing of upright faces because inversion leads to a disproportionate performance decrement on the processing of different kinds of face information. Other researchers believe that the difference is quantitative because the processing of all kinds of facial information is less efficient due to the change in orientation and thus, the performance decrement is not disproportionate. To address the Qualitative and Quantitative debate, the current study employed a response-contingent, change detection paradigm to study eye movement during the processing of upright and inverted faces. In this study, configural and featural information were parametrically and independently manipulated in the eye and mouth region of the face. The manipulations for configural information involved changing the interocular distance between the eyes or the distance between the mouth and the nose. The manipulations for featural information involved changing the size of the eyes or the size of the mouth. The main results showed that change detection was more difficult in inverted than upright faces. Specifically, performance declined when the manipulated change occurred in the mouth region, despite the greater efforts allocated to the mouth region. Moreover, compared to upright faces where fixations were concentrated on the eyes and nose regions, inversion produced a higher concentration of fixations on the nose and mouth regions. Finally, change detection performance was better when the last fixation prior to response was located on the region of change, and the relationship between last fixation location and accuracy was stronger for inverted than upright faces. These findings reinforce the connection between eye movements and face processing strategies, and suggest that face inversion produces a qualitative

  3. An Open Source Software Tool for Hydrologic Climate Change Assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Park, Dong Kwan; Shin, Mun-Ju; Kim, Young-Oh

    2015-04-01

    With the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) publishing Climate Change Assessment Reports containing updated forecasts and scenarios regularly, it is necessary to also periodically perform hydrologic assessments studies on these scenarios. The practical users including scientists and government people need to use handy tools that operate from climate input data of historical observations and climate change scenarios to rainfall-runoff simulation and assessment periodically. We propose HydroCAT (Hydrologic Climate change Assessment Tool), which is a flexible software tool designed to simplify and streamline hydrologic climate change assessment studies with the incorporation of: taking climate input values from general circulation models using the latest climate change scenarios; simulation of downscaled values using statistical downscaling methods; calibration and simulation of well-know multiple lumped conceptual hydrologic models; assessment of results using statistical methods. This package is designed in an open source, R-based, software package that includes an operating framework to support wide data frameworks, variety of hydrologic models, and climate change scenarios. The use of the software is demonstrated in a case study of the Geum River basin in Republic of Korea.

  4. Post-stroke aphasia recovery assessed with fMRI and a picture identification task

    PubMed Central

    Szaflarski, Jerzy P.; Eaton, Kenneth; Ball, Angel L.; Banks, Christi; Vannest, Jennifer; Allendorfer, Jane B.; Page, Stephen; Holland, Scott K.

    2010-01-01

    Background Stroke patients often display deficits in language function such as correctly naming objects. Our aim was to evaluate the reliability and the patterns of post-stroke language recovery using a picture identification task during fMRI at 4T. Material and Methods 4 healthy and 4 left MCA stroke subjects with chronic (>1 year) aphasia. Ten fMRI scans were performed for each subject over a 10-week period using a picture identification task. Active condition involved presenting subjects with a panel of 4 figures (e.g., drawings of 4 animals) every 6 seconds; subjects indicated which figure matched the written name in the center. Control condition was same/different judgment task of pairs of geometric figures (squares, octagons or combination) presented every 6 seconds. Thirty-second active/control blocks were repeated 5 times each; responses were recorded. Results Patients and controls exhibited similar demographic characteristics: age (46 vs. 53 years), personal handedness (EHI; 89 vs. 95), familial handedness (93 vs. 95) or years of education (14.3 vs. 14.8). For the active condition, controls performed better than patients (97.7% vs. 89.1%, p<0.001); performance was similar for the control condition (99.5% vs. 98.8%, p=0.23). During fMRI, controls exhibited bilateral, L>R positive blood oxygenation-level dependent (BOLD) activations in frontal and temporal language areas and symmetric retro-splenial and posterior cingulate areas and symmetric negative BOLD activations in bilateral fronto-temporal language networks. However, the patient group showed positive BOLD activations predominantly in peri-stroke areas and negative BOLD activations in the unaffected (right) hemisphere. Both the control and patient groups displayed high activation reliability (as measured by the ICC) in left frontal and temporal language areas, although the ICC in frontal regions of the patients was spread over a much larger peri-stroke area. Conclusion This study documents the utility

  5. Assessing relatedness and redundancy of forest monitoring and change indicators.

    PubMed

    Nagendra, Harini

    2012-03-01

    Information on changes in forest structure and composition is required for informed, adaptive management and conservation. As the collection of such information requires field studies that are expensive, difficult, and time consuming, the prioritization of metrics can be of significant value. This study evaluates a number of metrics used to assess changes in forest structure and composition for a set of 59 forests in five countries - Kenya, India, Nepal, Uganda and USA. Changes in tree density are significantly positively correlated with changes in species richness, and changes in sapling/shrub density are significantly positively correlated with changes in species richness. Thus, rapid assessments of tree density change can be used to prioritize locations where there may be rapid deterioration in tree diversity, where the collection of detailed information on changes in species composition may be prioritized. Changes in tree density do not reflect changes in shrub and sapling density. The shrub and sapling layer appears to respond differently to human or natural disturbances compared to the tree layer, and may require separate assessment. Changes in tree DBH and tree height are not completely congruent, indicating that measurements of DBH and height may be required to accurately estimate changes in above ground carbon storage over time, for programs such as REDD that provide payment for carbon sequestration services. PMID:22115515

  6. Performance Assessments in Science: Hands-On Tasks and Scoring Guides.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stecher, Brian M.; Klein, Stephen P.

    In 1992, RAND received a grant from the National Science Foundation to study the technical quality of performance assessments in science and to evaluate their feasibility for use in large-scale testing programs. The specific goals of the project were to assess the reliability and validity of hands-on science testing and to investigate the cost and…

  7. Assessment of Learning Strategies: Self-Report Questionnaire or Learning Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kikas, Eve; Jõgi, Anna-Liisa

    2016-01-01

    Two types of assessment instruments were developed to assess middle school students' learning strategies, and their effectiveness in predicting various learning outcomes was examined. The participants were 565 middle school students. Three subscales (rehearsal, organization, elaboration) from the "Motivated Strategies for Learning…

  8. Developing an Adaptive Tool to Select, Plan, and Scaffold Oral Assessment Tasks for Undergraduate Courses

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Demmans Epp, Carrie; Park, Gina; Plumb, Christopher

    2015-01-01

    The increased linguistic and cultural diversity of undergraduate classrooms at English language institutions has imposed additional pedagogical and assessment challenges on instructors, many of whom lack the knowledge necessary to design classroom activities and assessments that are fair to all students regardless of students' background and…

  9. Combining the Tasks of Grading Individual Assignments and Assessing Student Outcomes in Project-Based Courses

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dahm, Kevin

    2014-01-01

    ABET requires that engineering programs demonstrate continuous assessment and continuous improvement in order to be accredited. Central to the process is establishing and assessing measurable "student outcomes" that reflect whether the goals and objectives of the program are being met. This paper examines effective strategies for…

  10. A Nonverbal Phoneme Deletion Task Administered in a Dynamic Assessment Format

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gillam, Sandra Laing; Fargo, Jamison; Foley, Beth; Olszewski, Abbie

    2011-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of the project was to design a nonverbal dynamic assessment of phoneme deletion that may prove useful with individuals who demonstrate complex communication needs (CCN) and are unable to communicate using natural speech or who present with moderate-severe speech impairments. Method: A nonverbal dynamic assessment of phoneme…

  11. Integrating Scaffolding Strategies into Technology-Enhanced Assessments of English Learners: Task Types and Measurement Models

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wolf, Mikyung Kim; Guzman-Orth, Danielle; Lopez, Alexis; Castellano, Katherine; Himelfarb, Igor; Tsutagawa, Fred S.

    2016-01-01

    This article investigates ways to improve the assessment of English learner students' English language proficiency given the current movement of creating next-generation English language proficiency assessments in the Common Core era. In particular, this article discusses the integration of scaffolding strategies, which are prevalently utilized as…

  12. Dynamic Testing with Tangible Electronics: Measuring Children's Change in Strategy Use with a Series Completion Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Resing, Wilma C. M.; Elliott, Julian G.

    2011-01-01

    Aims: This study sought to explore the use of a novel approach that incorporates dynamic testing and tangible electronics in the assessment of children's learning potential and strategy use. Sample: A total of 77 children with a mean age 8.9 years participated in the study; half of them were dynamically tested using graduate prompt techniques; the…

  13. Assessment of muscle fatigue in low level monotonous task performance during car driving.

    PubMed

    Hostens, I; Ramon, H

    2005-06-01

    Knowledge of the muscle activation and the development of muscle fatigue may provide more inside in the effects of long-term driving in the occurrence of health problems in the neck/shoulder/back area. The basic assumption behind fatigue detection with electromyography (EMG) is an increase in the EMG amplitude and a decrease of the mean frequency (MF). This study aimed at checking this assumption in monotonous task performance with low level activity during car driving. Surface electromyography was captured from left and right trapezius and deltoid muscles, during a repetitive, non-continuous, driving task (gearing and steering) and the active parts were separated from the non-active parts. Muscle stiffness was reported by more than half of the subjects after a 1 h drive. Only for the active parts a significant decrease of the MF was seen. But also the EMG amplitude decreased significantly. Two possible mechanisms are posted in literature for this finding: no extra recruitment of motor units (MU) and potentiation of muscle fibers. Literature also hypothesizes that low-force occupational work engages only a fraction of the MU available for recruitment and that these units are selectively type I muscle fibers (Cinderella fibers). Initiators of this phenomenon are probably the time lag between activations and the stress from driving and vibration exposure.

  14. Effect of dextromethorphan on reference memory assessed in rats by a three-panel runway task.

    PubMed

    Göçmez, Semil Selcen; Erden, Bekir Faruk; Ulak, Güner; Utkan, Tijen; Yildiz, Füruzan; Gacar, Nejat; Mutlu, Oguz

    2006-01-01

    The effects of dextromethorphan (DM, CAS 6700-34-1), a common over-the-counter cough suppressant, on the reference memory have been investigated by a three-panel runway setup in rats. This study was designed by using a repeated acquisition procedure such as a radialarm maze task or a water maze task. DM (20-40 mg/kg i.p.) produced a significant decrease in the number of errors (pushes made on the two incorrect panels of the three panel gates at four choice points) and latency. Systemically administered scopolamine (CAS 114-49-8) (1 mg/kg i.p.) impaired the performance on both parameters. DM (40 mg/kg i.p.) was effective in reversing the reference memory deficit induced by administration of scopolamine. DM acts as a noncompetitive antagonist of the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors. Our results suggest that inhibition of NMDA receptors by DM supports its potential positive properties. This finding might present an oppurtunity for the evaluation of this old antitussive drug. PMID:16724513

  15. Avoidance behavior: a free-operant lever-press avoidance task for the assessment of the effects of safety signals.

    PubMed

    Fernando, Anushka B P; Mar, Adam C; Urcelay, Gonzalo P; Dickinson, Anthony; Robbins, Trevor W

    2015-01-05

    This protocol details a free-operant avoidance paradigm that has been developed to evaluate the relative contribution of different sources of reinforcement of avoidance behavior that may play an important role in the development and maintenance of human anxiety disorders. The task enables the assessment of the effects of safety cues that signal a period free from danger on lever-press avoidance behavior. Avoidance behavior trained using this protocol has been shown to be sensitive to both behavioral and pharmacological manipulations and has been optimized so that it takes approximately 1 month for rats to perform at high levels of stable avoidance responding.

  16. Task-dependent changes in the responses to low-threshold cutaneous afferent volleys in the human lower limb.

    PubMed

    Burke, D; Dickson, H G; Skuse, N F

    1991-01-01

    1. In seven human subjects who were standing without support the sural nerves were stimulated electrically using trains of non-painful stimuli (five pulses at 300 Hz), designed to activate afferents from cutaneous mechanoreceptors. The reflex effects of the stimulus train on different muscles of the ipsilateral and contralateral legs were sought in post-stimulus averages of rectified EMG. Changes in the pattern of reflex influence were investigated when the subjects maintained different postures. 2. Clear reflex responses were seen in ipsilateral tibialis anterior, soleus, biceps femoris and vastus lateralis, but only when the muscles were actively contracting. In each muscle, inhibition was the dominant reflex response within the first 100 ms. In four of the seven subjects, reflex changes were detectable in the contralateral tibialis anterior and soleus, the peak-to-peak modulation within the first 200 ms being 25-50% of that for the homologous ipsilateral muscle. 3. When subjects attempted to stand on a tilted platform, an unstable platform or on one leg with the other flexed, different combinations of muscles were active, involving both flexors and extensors or predominantly flexors or predominantly extensors. In each posture the reflex effects were demonstrable only in the active muscles. 4. With ipsilateral tibialis anterior, there were task-dependent changes in the short-latency components of the EMG response, approximately 60 ms and 80 ms after the stimulus. When seated performing voluntary contractions these components were difficult to define, and when standing on a platform tilted toe-up they were small. When the ipsilateral leg was flexed or when standing on an unstable base, these early components were more prominent in each subject. With contralateral tibialis anterior, the dominant reflex pattern was inhibition when seated and contracting voluntarily, and facilitation during bipedal stance tilted toe-up. These changes in reflex pattern could not be

  17. Changing Assessment Practices of Teaching Candidates and Variables That Facilitate That Change

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kaden, Ute; Patterson, Philip P.

    2014-01-01

    This mixed-methods study explores changes over time in assessment strategies and identifies variables that facilitate that change by examining assessment practices of 11 teacher candidates enrolled in a one-year postbaccalaureate teacher education program that prepares for teaching in rural and urban settings of Alaska. Analyzing multiple data…

  18. Waste area Grouping 2 Phase I task data report: Human health risk assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Purucker, S.T.; Douthat, D.M.

    1996-06-01

    This report is one of five reports issued in 1996 that provide follow- up information to the Phase 1 Remedial Investigation (RI) Report for Waste Area Grouping (WAG) 2 at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). The five reports address areas of concern that could cause potential human health risk and ecological risk within WAG2 at ORNL. The purpose of this report is to present a summary of the human health risk assessment results based on the data collected for the WAG 2 Phase 1 RI. Estimates of risk are provided based on measured concentrations in the surface water, floodplain soil, and sediment of White Oak Creek, Melton Branch, and their tributaries. The human health risk assessment methodology used in this risk assessment is based on Risk Assessment Guidance for Superfund (RAGS). First, the data for the different media are elevated to determine usability for risk assessment. Second, through the process of selecting chemicals of potential concern (COPCs), contaminants to be considered in the risk assessment are identified for each assessment of exposure potential is performed, and exposure pathways are identified. Subsequently, exposure is estimated quantitatively, and the toxicity of each of the COPCs is determined. The results of these analyses are combined and summarized in a risk characterization.

  19. Assessment of Charging Infrastructure for Plug-in Electric Vehicles at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. Task 3

    SciTech Connect

    Schey, Stephen; Francfort, Jim

    2015-11-01

    Battelle Energy Alliance, LLC, managing and operating contractor for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory, is the lead laboratory for the U.S. Department of Energy’s advanced vehicle testing. Battelle Energy Alliance, LLC contracted with Intertek Testing Services, North America (Intertek) to conduct several U.S. Department of Defense-based studies to identify potential U.S. Department of Defense transportation systems that are strong candidates for introduction or expansion of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs). Task 1 consisted of a survey of the non-tactical fleet of vehicles at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune to begin the review of vehicle mission assignments and types of vehicles in service. Task 2 selected vehicles for further monitoring and involved identifying daily operational characteristics of these select vehicles. Data logging of vehicle movements was initiated in order to characterize the vehicle’s mission. The Task 3 vehicle utilization report provided results of the data analysis and observations related to the replacement of current vehicles with PEVs. Finally, this report provides an assessment of charging infrastructure required to support the suggested PEV replacements. Intertek acknowledges the support of Idaho National Laboratory, Marine Corps headquarters, and Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune Fleet management and personnel for participation in this study. Intertek is pleased to provide this report and is encouraged by enthusiasm and support from Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune personnel.

  20. Assessment of upper body accelerations in young adults with intellectual disabilities while walking, running, and dual-task running.

    PubMed

    Iosa, Marco; Morelli, Daniela; Nisi, Enrica; Sorbara, Carlo; Negrini, Stefano; Gentili, Paola; Paolucci, Stefano; Fusco, Augusto

    2014-04-01

    There is an increasing interest about upper body accelerations during locomotion and how they are altered by physical impairments. Recent studies have demonstrated that cognitive impairments affect gait stability in the elderly (i.e., their capacity for smoothing upper body accelerations during walking) but little attention has been paid to young adults with intellectual disabilities. The purpose of this study was to examine upright stability in young adults with intellectual disabilities during walking, running, and dual-task running (playing soccer). To this aim a wearable trunk-mounted device that permits on-field assessment was used to quantify trunk acceleration of 18 male teenagers with intellectual disabilities (IDG) and 7 mental-age-matched healthy children (HCG) who participated in the same soccer program. We did not find any significant difference during walking in terms of speed, whereas speed differences were found during running (p=.001). Upper body accelerations were altered in a pathology-specific manner during the dual task: the performance of subjects with autistic disorders was compromised while running and controlling the ball with the feet. Differences in upright locomotor patterns between IDG and HCG emerged during more demanding motor tasks in terms of a loss in the capacity of smoothing accelerations at the trunk level.

  1. Ecological risk assessment in the context of global climate change.

    PubMed

    Landis, Wayne G; Durda, Judi L; Brooks, Marjorie L; Chapman, Peter M; Menzie, Charles A; Stahl, Ralph G; Stauber, Jennifer L

    2013-01-01

    Changes to sources, stressors, habitats, and geographic ranges; toxicological effects; end points; and uncertainty estimation require significant changes in the implementation of ecological risk assessment (ERA). Because of the lack of analog systems and circumstances in historically studied sites, there is a likelihood of type III error. As a first step, the authors propose a decision key to aid managers and risk assessors in determining when and to what extent climate change should be incorporated. Next, when global climate change is an important factor, the authors recommend seven critical changes to ERA. First, develop conceptual cause-effect diagrams that consider relevant management decisions as well as appropriate spatial and temporal scales to include both direct and indirect effects of climate change and the stressor of management interest. Second, develop assessment end points that are expressed as ecosystem services. Third, evaluate multiple stressors and nonlinear responses-include the chemicals and the stressors related to climate change. Fourth, estimate how climate change will affect or modify management options as the impacts become manifest. Fifth, consider the direction and rate of change relative to management objectives, recognizing that both positive and negative outcomes can occur. Sixth, determine the major drivers of uncertainty, estimating and bounding stochastic uncertainty spatially, temporally, and progressively. Seventh, plan for adaptive management to account for changing environmental conditions and consequent changes to ecosystem services. Good communication is essential for making risk-related information understandable and useful for managers and stakeholders to implement a successful risk-assessment and decision-making process.

  2. Managing Change-Engaging Faculty in Assessment Opportunities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Andrade, Maureen Snow

    2011-01-01

    Regional accrediting bodies require evidence that higher education institutions are meeting their stated goals. Institutions have answered this call for accountability by assessing student learning. Managing change in order to implement assessment practices is a challenge, however, particularly when autonomy, academic freedom, and shared…

  3. GLOBAL CHANGE RESEARCH NEWS #5: HEALTH SECTOR ASSESSMENT

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Health Sector Assessment is one of the three levels of the assessment process that is intended to answer four questions: (1) What is the current status of the nation's health, and what are current stresses on our health? (2) How might climate change affect the country's healt...

  4. Using Classroom Assessment To Change Both Teaching and Learning.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Steadman, Mimi

    1998-01-01

    Summarizes results of a study on implementation and impact of classroom assessment techniques (CATs) in community colleges, examining how classroom assessment has been applied by teachers, documenting changes in teaching behaviors, and considering costs and benefits. Also examines students' experiences and satisfaction with courses taught using…

  5. Creating a Culture of Assessment: A Catalyst for Organizational Change

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lakos, Amos; Phipps, Shelley E.

    2004-01-01

    In the rapidly changing information environment, libraries have to demonstrate that their services have relevance, value, and impact for stakeholders and customers. To deliver effective and high quality services, libraries have to assess their performance from the customer point of view. Moving to an assessment framework will be more successful if…

  6. Assessment of climate change impact on Eastern Washington agriculture

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    An assessment of the potential impact of climate change and the concurrent increase of atmospheric CO2 concentration on eastern Washington State agriculture was conducted. Climate projections from four selected general circulation models (GCM) were chosen, and the assessment included the crops with ...

  7. Practice Changes the Usage of Moment Components in Executing a Multijoint Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kadota, Koji; Matsuo, Tomoyuki; Hashizume, Ken; Tezuka, Kazushi

    2004-01-01

    In this article, the authors examined changes in the usage of muscular and motion-dependent moments during the long-term practice of a complex, multijoint movement. Seven participants practiced a cyclic movement of the upper limbs until their joint angular movements conformed to those of an expert. The motions of the participants were digitally…

  8. Developmental Change in Proactive Interference across the Life Span: Evidence from Two Working Memory Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Loosli, Sandra V.; Rahm, Benjamin; Unterrainer, Josef M.; Weiller, Cornelius; Kaller, Christoph P.

    2014-01-01

    Working memory (WM) as the ability to temporarily maintain and manipulate various kinds of information is known to be affected by proactive interference (PI) from previously relevant contents, but studies on developmental changes in the susceptibility to PI are scarce. In the present study, we investigated life span development of item-specific…

  9. Children's Recognition of Fairness and Others' Welfare in a Resource Allocation Task: Age Related Changes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rizzo, Michael T.; Elenbaas, Laura; Cooley, Shelby; Killen, Melanie

    2016-01-01

    The present study investigated age-related changes regarding children's (N = 136) conceptions of fairness and others' welfare in a merit-based resource allocation paradigm. To test whether children at 3- to 5-years-old and 6- to 8-years-old took others' welfare into account when dividing resources, in addition to merit and equality concerns,…

  10. Changing Societies and Four Tasks of Schooling: Challenges for Strongly Differentiated Educational Systems

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    van de Werfhorst, Herman G.

    2014-01-01

    Changing labour markets, increased calls for selection and excellence, and increased diversity and individualisation have repercussions on how educational systems can prepare youth for work, optimise knowledge production, achieve equality of opportunity, and socialise students into active civic engagement. This paper discusses four central tasks…

  11. Neuropsychological characteristics of right hemisphere damage: investigation by attention tests, concept formation and change test, and self-evaluation task.

    PubMed

    Mizuno, M

    1991-12-01

    Neuropsychological characteristics of right (non-dominant) hemisphere damage were investigated by attention tests, a concept formation and change test, and a self-evaluation task on a total of 126 brain damaged subjects (66 right hemisphere damaged and 60 left hemisphere damaged). Common response patterns specific to subjects with right hemisphere lesions were studied by three attention tests (audio-motor method, cancellation test, and set dependent activity test). Those with right hemisphere lesions showed a large number of responses (excessive response) and low proportion of correct responses (low hit rate, qualitative deterioration of response), indicating a tendency toward randomness. A concept formation and change test, the new modified Wisconsin Card Sorting Test, was performed to investigate the handling of higher concepts. Only the frequency of difficulty of maintaining set (DMS) was significantly higher in those with right hemisphere lesions. Problems concerning attention and attitude toward the tests, i.e. random attitude were thought to exist in those with right hemisphere damage. Self-evaluation and corrective ability were studied on the self-evaluation task using the audio-motor method. Feedback was less effective in subjects with right hemisphere lesions, and they tended to underestimate their errors. These results were consistent with personality characteristics such as the lack of a serious attitude and poor volition for treatment, which are frequently observed in clinical settings. The above are considered basic, common characteristics of right hemisphere damage. These findings may partially explain the phenomenological characteristics of right hemisphere damage described by various investigators.

  12. Characterization of stroke- and aging-related changes in the complexity of EMG signals during tracking tasks.

    PubMed

    Ao, Di; Sun, Rui; Tong, Kai-Yu; Song, Rong

    2015-04-01

    To explore the stroke- and aging-induced neurological changes in paretic muscles from an entropy point of view, fuzzy approximate entropy (fApEn) was utilized to represent the complexity of EMG signals in elbow-tracking tasks. In the experiment, 11 patients after stroke and 20 healthy control subjects (10 young and 10 age-matched adults) were recruited and asked to perform elbow sinusoidal trajectory tracking tasks. During the tests, the elbow angle and electromyographic (EMG) signals of the biceps brachii and triceps brachii were recorded simultaneously. The results showed significant differences in fApEn values of both biceps and triceps EMG among four groups at six velocities (p < 0.01), with fApEn values in the following order: affected sides of stroke patients < unaffected sides of stroke patients < age-matched controls < young controls. A possible mechanism underlying the smaller fApEn values in the affected sides in comparison with aged-matched controls and in the aged individuals in comparison with young controls might be the reduction in the number and firing rate of active motor units. This method and index provide evidence of neurological changes after stroke and aging by complexity analysis of the surface EMG signals. Further studies are needed to validate and facilitate the application in clinic.

  13. Towards quantification of blood-flow changes during cognitive task activation using perfusion-based fMRI.

    PubMed

    Mildner, Toralf; Zysset, Stefan; Trampel, Robert; Driesel, Wolfgang; Möller, Harald E

    2005-10-01

    Multi-slice perfusion-based functional magnetic resonance imaging (p-fMRI) is demonstrated with a color-word Stroop task as an established cognitive paradigm. Continuous arterial spin labeling (CASL) of the blood in the left common carotid artery was applied for all repetitions of the functional run in a quasi-continuous fashion, i.e., it was interrupted only during image acquisition. For comparison, blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) contrast was detected using conventional gradient-recalled echo (GE) echo planar imaging (EPI). Positive activations in BOLD imaging appeared in p-fMRI as negative signal changes corresponding to an enhanced transport of inverted water spins into the region of interest, i.e., increased cerebral blood flow (CBF). Regional differences between the localization of activations and the sensitivity of p-fMRI and BOLD-fMRI were observed as, for example, in the inferior frontal sulcus and in the intraparietal sulcus. Quantification of CBF changes during cognitive task activation was performed on a multi-subject basis and yielded CBF increases of the order of 20-30%.

  14. Climate Change Impact Assessments for International Market Systems (CLIMARK)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Winkler, J. A.; Andresen, J.; Black, J.; Bujdoso, G.; Chmielewski, F.; Kirschke, D.; Kurlus, R.; Liszewska, M.; Loveridge, S.; Niedzwiedz, T.; Nizalov, D.; Rothwell, N.; Tan, P.; Ustrnul, Z.; von Witzke, H.; Zavalloni, C.; Zhao, J.; Zhong, S.

    2012-12-01

    The vast majority of climate change impact assessments evaluate how local or regional systems and processes may be affected by a future climate. Alternative strategies that extend beyond the local or regional scale are needed when assessing the potential impacts of climate change on international market systems, including agricultural commodities. These industries have multiple production regions that are distributed worldwide and are likely to be differentially impacted by climate change. Furthermore, for many industries and market systems, especially those with long-term climate-dependent investments, temporal dynamics need to be incorporated into the assessment process, including changing patterns of international trade, consumption and production, and evolving adaptation strategies by industry stakeholder groups. A framework for conducting climate change assessments for international market systems, developed as part of the CLIMARK (Climate Change and International Markets) project is outlined, and progress toward applying the framework for an impact assessment for the international tart cherry industry is described. The tart cherry industry was selected for analysis in part because tart cherries are a perennial crop requiring long-term investments by the producer. Components of the project include the preparation of fine resolution climate scenarios, evaluation of phenological models for diverse production regions, the development of a yield model for tart cherry production, new methods for incorporating individual decision making and adaptation options into impact assessments, and modification of international trade models for use in impact studies. Innovative aspects of the project include linkages between model components and evaluation of the mega-uncertainty surrounding the assessment outcomes. Incorporation of spatial and temporal dynamics provides a more comprehensive evaluation of climate change impacts and an assessment product of potentially greater

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2011-01-01

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

  16. Modelling the hydrological cycle in assessments of climate change

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rind, D.; Rosenzweig, C.; Goldberg, R.

    1992-01-01

    The predictions of climate change studies depend crucially on the hydrological cycles embedded in the different models used. It is shown here that uncertainties in hydrological processes and inconsistencies in both climate and impact models limit confidence in current assessments of climate change. A future course of action to remedy this problem is suggested.

  17. ASSESSING ACCURACY OF NET CHANGE DERIVED FROM LAND COVER MAPS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Net change derived from land-cover maps provides important descriptive information for environmental monitoring and is often used as an input or explanatory variable in environmental models. The sampling design and analysis for assessing net change accuracy differ from traditio...

  18. [Present situation and research task on the assessment of psychological effects caused by low-frequency noise].

    PubMed

    Takahashi, Yukio

    2013-01-01

    Wind power generation is one of the good solutions to ensuring a clean and sustainable energy source. In recent years, therefore, many facilities for wind power generation have been constructed in Japan. In contrast to its advantage, however, residents in some areas near a wind power generation site have complained that their well-being has been disturbed by noise from wind turbines. Wind turbines generate low-frequency noise, which can lead to adverse psychological effects such as annoyance. In Japan, the method of assessing appropriately the adverse effects caused by low-frequency noise has not been established. In this article, the characteristics and effects of low-frequency noise are outlined, and the present situation and research task on the assessment of psychological effects of low-frequency noise from wind turbines are presented.

  19. Glutamate and GABA concentration changes in the globus pallidus internus of Parkinson's patients during performance of implicit and declarative memory tasks: a report of two subjects.

    PubMed

    Buchanan, Robert J; Gjini, Klevest; Darrow, David; Varga, Georgeta; Robinson, Jennifer L; Nadasdy, Zoltan

    2015-03-01

    The basal ganglia, typically associated with motor function, are involved in human cognitive processes, as demonstrated in behavioral, lesion, and noninvasive functional neuroimaging studies. Here we report task-contingent changes in concentrations of the neurotransmitters glutamate (Glu) and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the globus pallidus internus (GPi) of two patients with Parkinson's disease undergoing deep brain stimulation surgery by utilizing in-vivo microdialysis measurements during performance of implicit and declarative memory tasks. Performance of an implicit memory task (weather prediction task-WPT) was associated with increased levels of glutamate and GABA in the GPi compared to their concentrations at baseline. On the other hand, performance of a declarative memory task (verbal learning task-VLT) was associated with decreased levels of glutamate and GABA in GPi compared to baseline during the encoding and immediate recall phase with less conclusive results during the delayed recall phase. These results are in line with hypothesized changes in these neurotransmitter levels: an increase of excitatory (Glu) input from subthalamic nucleus (STN) to GPi during implicit memory task performance and a decrease of inhibitory inputs (GABA) from globus pallidus externus (GPe) and striatum to GPi during declarative memory performance. Consistent with our previous report on in-vivo neurotransmitter changes during tasks in STN, these data provide corroborative evidence for the direct involvement of basal ganglia in cognitive functions and complements our model of the functional circuitry of basal ganglia in the healthy and Parkinson's disease affected brain.

  20. Effects of psychoactive drugs or stress on learning, memory, and performance as assessed using a novel water maze task.

    PubMed

    Kant, G J

    1993-02-01

    A novel water maze was used to assess the potential performance-disrupting effects of psychoactive drugs and stressors (4 mg/kg amphetamine sulfate; 1, 2, or 4 mg/kg diazepam; 30 mg/kg caffeine; 5 or 30 mg/kg atropine sulfate; 15 min of either intermittent foot-shock, forced running, or immobilization). The task utilized a traditional type of maze with walls and doorways set inside a pool. The apparatus could easily be reconfigured to present different mazes of approximately equal difficulty by opening or closing multiple doorways. Performance was measured by number of errors and time required to swim from the "start" to "finish" (a raised platform not in the rat's line of sight). After initial maze training, rats were divided into two groups. One group ran three daily trails through the same maze each day; this group was used to assess memory. The second group was challenged to swim three consecutive trials in a new maze configuration each day as a measure of learning. On any given day, rats from both groups received the same treatment. Drug or stress treatments were interspersed with vehicle or no-treatment trials days. The new maze task was more sensitive than the well-learned maze to the performance disrupting effects of amphetamine, caffeine, and diazepam, while atropine had no significant effect on performance on either maze. Foot-shock stress impaired performance on both mazes, while the other stressors had no significant effect.