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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. 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…

  3. Physiological assessment of task underload

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1988-01-01

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

  4. 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."

  5. 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."

  6. 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…

  7. 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…

  8. Task-related changes in intracortical inhibition assessed with paired- and triple-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation.

    PubMed

    Opie, George M; Ridding, Michael C; Semmler, John G

    2015-03-01

    Recent research has demonstrated a task-related modulation of postsynaptic intracortical inhibition within primary motor cortex for tasks requiring isolated (abduction) or synergistic (precision grip) muscle activation. The current study sought to investigate task-related changes in pre- and postsynaptic intracortical inhibition in motor cortex. In 13 young adults (22.5 ± 3.5 yr), paired-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) was used to measure short (SICI)- and long-interval intracortical inhibition (LICI) (i.e., postsynaptic motor cortex inhibition) in first dorsal interosseous muscle, and triple-pulse TMS was used to investigate changes in SICI-LICI interactions (i.e., presynaptic motor cortex inhibition). These measurements were obtained at rest and during muscle activation involving isolated abduction of the index finger and during a precision grip using the index finger and thumb. SICI was reduced during abduction and precision grip compared with rest, with greater reductions during precision grip. The modulation of LICI during muscle activation depended on the interstimulus interval (ISI; 100 and 150 ms) but was not different between abduction and precision grip. For triple-pulse TMS, SICI was reduced in the presence of LICI at both ISIs in resting muscle (reflecting presynaptic motor cortex inhibition) but was only modulated at the 150-ms ISI during index finger abduction. Results suggest that synergistic contractions are accompanied by greater reductions in postsynaptic motor cortex inhibition than isolated contractions, but the contribution of presynaptic mechanisms to this disinhibition is limited. Furthermore, timing-dependent variations in LICI provide additional evidence that measurements using different ISIs may not represent activation of the same cortical process. Copyright © 2015 The American Physiological Society.

  9. 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.

  10. Tasks in changing the organization from within (COFW).

    PubMed

    Resnick, H

    1978-01-01

    This paper, after introducing the reader to some basic components of COFW, attempts to provide for the potential change catalyst in the human services organization more specific guidelines for action than are found in previously published material in this subfield. These guidelines are in the form of tasks--analytical and interactional. The analytical tasks discussed are: (a) goal determination--what the change shall be; (b) resistance assessment--who and what may be potential obstacles to this change; and (c) strategy selection--which guidelines or strategies may be utilized to achieve the change goal. Of the many interactional tasks in an organizational change project, two major ones are presented and explored: (a) developing the action system, and (b) meeting with the administrators for decision making.

  11. 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.

  12. Development of Prospective Teachers' Conceptions of Assessment and Choices of Assessment Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Izci, Kemal; Caliskan, Gurbuz

    2017-01-01

    Recent developments in students' assessment have required change in teachers' understanding and practices of assessment. Assessing student learning is an important skill that all teachers need to develop for effective teaching. However, it is a complex and difficult task to achieve because of the difficulties in changing teachers' traditional…

  13. 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. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd and The Ergonomics Society. All rights reserved.

  14. 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

  15. 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…

  16. How does a lower predictability of lane changes affect performance in the Lane Change Task?

    PubMed

    Petzoldt, Tibor; Krems, Josef F

    2014-07-01

    The Lane Change Task (LCT) is an established method to assess driver distraction caused by secondary tasks. In the LCT ISO standard, "course following and maneuvering" and "event detection" are mentioned as central task properties. Especially event detection seems to be a reasonable feature, as research suggests that distraction has profound effects on drivers' reactions to sudden, unexpected events. However, closer inspection of the LCT reveals that the events to be detected (lane change signs) and the required response are highly predictable. To investigate how the LCT's distraction assessment of secondary tasks might change if lane change events and responses were less predictable, we implemented three different versions of the LCT - an "original" one, a second one with lowered predictability of event position, and a third one with lowered predictability of event position and response. We tested each of these implementations with the same set of visual and cognitive secondary tasks of varying demand. The results showed that a decrease in predictability resulted in overall degraded performance in the LCT when using the basic lane change model for analysis. However, all secondary task conditions suffered equally. No differential effects were found. We conclude that although an ISO conforming implementation of the LCT might not be excessively valid regarding its depiction of safety relevant events, the results obtained are nevertheless comparable to what would be found in settings of higher validity.

  17. 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).

  18. 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).

  19. Alcohol-related impairment in the Lane Change Task.

    PubMed

    Huemer, Anja Katharina; Vollrath, Mark

    2010-11-01

    The Lane Change Task was developed to provide an objective safety criterion for the assessment of driver distraction by in-vehicle information systems (IVIS). It consists of two basic driving tasks, namely lane keeping and lane changes. The LCT has been shown to reliably detect distraction from driving. As this test becomes increasingly important for the assessment of safety the validity of the LCT is crucial. In order to examine this further, the effect of an alcohol intoxication of 0.08 g/dl on the performance in the LCT was examined in the present study as the negative effects of alcohol on driving are well known. Twenty-three participants were tested under alcohol and placebo in a cross-over design measuring different performance indicators in the LCT. There were significant effects of alcohol during the lane keeping phase. However, these were much smaller than those typically found with distracting secondary tasks. The lane change phase was only marginally affected by alcohol. This result gives rise to some caution for interpreting effects in the LCT. The LCT is well able to detect distraction, as other studies have shown. However, our study with intoxicated participants shows that a small effect in the LCT does not necessarily mean that this condition does not impair driving.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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…

  4. Report of the Task Force on Collection Policies and Assessments.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dawson, Deborah; And Others

    Task force actions and data created from its experience are summarized in this report of the Task Force on Collection Development Policies and Assessments, whose major objectives were to create (1) models of collection development policies and collection assessments that could guide subject specialist/liaisons planning to build the library…

  5. On the Roles of Task Model Variables in Assessment Design.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    Tasks are the most visible element in an educational assessment. Their purpose, however, is to provide evidence about targets of inference that cannot be directly seen at all: what examinees know and can do, more broadly conceived than can be observed in the context of any particular set of tasks. This paper concerns issues in an assessment design…

  6. 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…

  7. 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…

  8. 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,…

  9. 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,…

  10. Climate change assessments

    Treesearch

    Linda A. Joyce

    2008-01-01

    The science associated with climate and its effects on ecosystems, economies, and social systems is developing rapidly. Climate change assessments can serve as an important synthesis of this science and provide the information and context for management and policy decisions on adaptation and mitigation. This topic paper describes the variety of climate change...

  11. Task Analysis Assessment on Intrastate Bus Traffic Controllers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yen Bin, Teo; Azlis-Sani, Jalil; Nur Annuar Mohd Yunos, Muhammad; Ismail, S. M. Sabri S. M.; Tajedi, Noor Aqilah Ahmad

    2016-11-01

    Public transportation acts as social mobility and caters the daily needs of the society for passengers to travel from one place to another. This is true for a country like Malaysia where international trade has been growing significantly over the past few decades. Task analysis assessment was conducted with the consideration of cognitive ergonomic view towards problem related to human factors. Conducting research regarding the task analysis on bus traffic controllers had allowed a better understanding regarding the nature of work and the overall monitoring activities of the bus services. This paper served to study the task analysis assessment on intrastate bus traffic controllers and the objectives of this study include to conduct task analysis assessment on the bus traffic controllers. Task analysis assessment for the bus traffic controllers was developed via Hierarchical Task Analysis (HTA). There are a total of five subsidiary tasks on level one and only two were able to be further broken down in level two. Development of HTA allowed a better understanding regarding the work and this could further ease the evaluation of the tasks conducted by the bus traffic controllers. Thus, human error could be reduced for the safety of all passengers and increase the overall efficiency of the system. Besides, it could assist in improving the operation of the bus traffic controllers by modelling or synthesizing the existing tasks if necessary.

  12. Designing K-2 Formative Assessment Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reed, Kristen E.; Goldenberg, E. Paul

    2016-01-01

    Formative assessment is a process used by teachers and students during instruction that provides feedback to adjust ongoing teaching and learning to improve students' achievements of intended instructional outcomes. Formative assessment means assessment embedded in instruction. That definition was adopted in 2006 by the Council of Chief State…

  13. Designing K-2 Formative Assessment Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reed, Kristen E.; Goldenberg, E. Paul

    2016-01-01

    Formative assessment is a process used by teachers and students during instruction that provides feedback to adjust ongoing teaching and learning to improve students' achievements of intended instructional outcomes. Formative assessment means assessment embedded in instruction. That definition was adopted in 2006 by the Council of Chief State…

  14. On-Task versus Off-Task Self-Assessments among Korean Elementary School Students Studying English

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Butler, Yuko Goto; Lee, Jiyoon

    2006-01-01

    This study examined the validity of Korean students' self-assessments of their oral performance in English in a Foreign Language at the Elementary School (FLES) level. We examined the validity of 2 types of assessments: an off-task self-assessment and an on-task self-assessment. The off-task assessment asked students to evaluate their overall…

  15. Assessing Situational Awareness in Task Force XXI.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1997-06-01

    information dominance over the enemy and that units equipped with greater situational awareness will fight more successfully than units without the added capability. In an effort to test this hypothesis the Army conducted an Advanced Warfighter Experiment (AWE) which began at Ft. Hood, TX and culminated in a focused rotation at the National Training Center, Ft. Irwin, CA. Although many initiatives in the area of information dominance were tested in the AWE, the centerpiece of the program was a test case unit designated as Task Force Twenty-One (TF

  16. 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…

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

  1. 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…

  2. Using functional transcranial Doppler ultrasonography to assess language lateralisation: Influence of task and difficulty level

    PubMed Central

    Badcock, Nicholas A.; Nye, Abigail; Bishop, Dorothy V. M.

    2011-01-01

    Language is lateralised to the left hemisphere in most people, but it is unclear whether the same degree and direction of lateralisation is found for all verbal tasks and whether laterality is affected by task difficulty. We used functional transcranial Doppler ultrasonography (fTCD) to assess the lateralisation of language processing in 27 young adults using three tasks: word generation (WG), auditory naming (AN), and picture story (PS). WG and AN are active tasks requiring behavioural responses whereas PS is a passive task that involves listening to an auditory story accompanied by pictures. We also examined the effect of task difficulty by a post hoc behavioural categorisation of trials in the WG task and a word frequency manipulation in the AN task. fTCD was used to measure task-dependent blood flow velocity changes in the left and right middle cerebral arteries. All of these tasks were significantly left lateralised: WG, 77% of individuals left, 5% right; AN, 72% left: 4% right; PS, 56% left: 0% right. There were significant positive relationships between WG and AN (r = 0.56) as well as AN and PS (r = .76) but not WG and PS (r = −0.22). The task difficulty manipulation affected accuracy in both WG and AN tasks, as well as reaction time in the AN task, but did not significantly influence laterality indices in either task. It is concluded that verbal tasks are not interchangeable when assessing cerebral lateralisation, but that differences between tasks are not a consequence of task difficulty. PMID:23098198

  3. Measuring task-related changes in heart rate variability.

    PubMed

    Moses, Ziev B; Luecken, Linda J; Eason, James C

    2007-01-01

    Small beat-to-beat differences in heart rate are the result of dynamic control of the cardiovascular system by the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. Heart rate variability (HRV) has been positively correlated with both mental and physical health. While many studies measure HRV under rest conditions, few have measured HRV during stressful situations. We describe an experimental protocol designed to measure baseline, task, and recovery values of HRV as a function of three different types of stressors. These stressors involve an attention task, a cold pressor test, and a videotaped speech presentation. We found a measurable change in heart rate in participants (n=10) during each task (all p's < 0.05). The relative increase or decrease from pre-task heart rate was predicted by task (one-way ANOVA, p= 0.0001). Spectral analysis of HRV during the attention task revealed consistently decreased measures of both high (68+/-7%, mean+/-S.E.) and low (62+/-13%) frequency HRV components as compared to baseline. HRV spectra for the cold pressor and speech tasks revealed no consistent patterns of increase or decrease from baseline measurements. We also found no correlation in reactivity measures between any of our tasks. These findings suggest that each of the tasks in our experimental design elicits a different type of stress response in an individual. Our experimental approach may prove useful to biobehavioral researchers searching for factors that determine individual differences in responses to stress in daily life.

  4. 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.…

  5. 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.…

  6. 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…

  7. 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.

  8. Functional Task Test: 1. Sensorimotor changes Associated with Postflight Alterations in Astronaut Functional Task Performance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2011-01-01

    Space flight is known to cause alterations 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. This presentation will focus on the sensorimotor contributions to postflight functional performance.

  9. The effect of changing the secondary task in dual-task paradigms for measuring listening effort.

    PubMed

    Picou, Erin M; Ricketts, Todd A

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of changing the secondary task in dual-task paradigms that measure listening effort. Specifically, the effects of increasing the secondary task complexity or the depth of processing on a paradigm's sensitivity to changes in listening effort were quantified in a series of two experiments. Specific factors investigated within each experiment were background noise and visual cues. Participants in Experiment 1 were adults with normal hearing (mean age 23 years) and participants in Experiment 2 were adults with mild sloping to moderately severe sensorineural hearing loss (mean age 60.1 years). In both experiments, participants were tested using three dual-task paradigms. These paradigms had identical primary tasks, which were always monosyllable word recognition. The secondary tasks were all physical reaction time measures. The stimulus for the secondary task varied by paradigm and was a (1) simple visual probe, (2) a complex visual probe, or (3) the category of word presented. In this way, the secondary tasks mainly varied from the simple paradigm by either complexity or depth of speech processing. Using all three paradigms, participants were tested in four conditions, (1) auditory-only stimuli in quiet, (2) auditory-only stimuli in noise, (3) auditory-visual stimuli in quiet, and (4) auditory-visual stimuli in noise. During auditory-visual conditions, the talker's face was visible. Signal-to-noise ratios used during conditions with background noise were set individually so word recognition performance was matched in auditory-only and auditory-visual conditions. In noise, word recognition performance was approximately 80% and 65% for Experiments 1 and 2, respectively. For both experiments, word recognition performance was stable across the three paradigms, confirming that none of the secondary tasks interfered with the primary task. In Experiment 1 (listeners with normal hearing), analysis of median reaction times

  10. Assessing language dominance with functional MRI: the role of control tasks and statistical analysis.

    PubMed

    Dodoo-Schittko, Frank; Rosengarth, Katharina; Doenitz, Christian; Greenlee, Mark W

    2012-09-01

    There is a discrepancy between the brain regions revealed by functional neuroimaging techniques and those brain regions where a loss of function, either by lesion or by electrocortical stimulation, induces language disorders. To differentiate between essential and non-essential language-related processes, we investigated the effects of linguistic control tasks and different analysis methods for functional MRI data. Twelve subjects solved two linguistic generation tasks: (1) a verb generation task and (2) an antonym generation task (each with a linguistic control task on the phonological level) as well as two decision tasks of semantic congruency (each with a cognitive high-level control task). Differential contrasts and conjunction analyses were carried out on the single-subject level and an individual lateralization index (LI) was computed. On the group level we determined the percent signal change in the left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG: BA 44 and BA 45). The conjunction analysis of multiple language tasks led to significantly greater absolute LIs than the LIs based on the single task versus fixation contrasts. A further significant increase of the magnitude of the LIs could be achieved by using the phonological control conditions. Although the decision tasks appear to be more robust to changes in the statistical threshold, the combined generation tasks had an advantage over the decision tasks both for assessing language dominance and locating Broca's area. These results underline the need for conjunction analysis based on several language tasks to suppress highly task-specific processes. They also point to the need for high-level cognitive control tasks to partial out general, language supporting but not language critical processes. Higher absolute LIs, which reflect unambiguously hemispheric language dominance, can be thus obtained.

  11. 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)

  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. Fashioning the Subject: The Rhetorical Accomplishment of Assessment Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nicoll, Katherine

    2007-01-01

    This paper explores the potential of a poststructuralist and rhetorical analysis in appreciating more fully the discursive work of assessment tasks as mechanisms of power/knowledge within discourses of professional development. It is argued that such analysis may reveal detail in the way in which assessments work as material elements within a body…

  14. 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

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

  17. Ergonomic assessment of airport shuttle driver tasks using an ergonomic analysis toolset.

    PubMed

    Çakıt, Erman

    2017-01-26

    This study aimed to (a) evaluate strength requirements and lower back stresses during lifting and baggage handling tasks with the 3D Static Strength Prediction Program (3DSSPP) and (b) provide additional analyses using rapid entire body assessment (REBA) and the NASA task load index (TLX) to assess the risks associated with the tasks. Four healthy female shuttle drivers of good health aged between 55 and 60 years were observed and interviewed in an effort to determine the tasks required of their occupations. The results indicated that lifting bags and placing them in a shuttle were high risk for injury and possible changes should be further investigated. The study concluded there was a potential for injury associated with baggage storing and retrieval tasks of a shuttle driver.

  18. Change detection inflates confidence on a subsequent recognition task.

    PubMed

    Fitzgerald, Ryan J; Oriet, Chris; Price, Heather L

    2011-11-01

    A face viewed under good encoding conditions is more likely to be remembered than a face viewed under poor encoding conditions. In four experiments we investigated how encoding conditions affected confidence in recognising faces from line-ups. Participants performed a change detection task followed by a recognition task and then rated how confident they were in their recognition accuracy. In the first two experiments the same faces were repeated across trials. In the final two experiments novel faces were used on each trial. Target-present and target-absent line-ups were utilised. In each experiment participants had greater recognition confidence after change detection than after change blindness. The finding that change detection inflates confidence, even for inaccurate recognitions, indicates recognition certainty can be a product of perceived encoding conditions rather than authentic memory strength.

  19. Denver RTD range extension study. Task 2 - system definitions. Task 3 - system assessments. Working paper

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1982-05-01

    This working paper presents the results obtained in Task 2: System Definition and Task 3: System Assessments of the Battery-Electric Bus Range Extension Study of the Denver Regional Transit District (RTD) study. The buses were tested on the following range extension techniques: baseline system battery exchange; hydro-pneumatic regeneration system to recover braking energy; fast recharge at the Mall terminals; series hybrid: on-board internal combustion engine and generator which charges the battery; and combination of hydro-pneumatic regeneration and fast recharge at the Mall terminals.

  20. 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…

  1. 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…

  2. 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…

  3. 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…

  4. Gender-Related Differences on Open and Closed Assessment Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Anderson, Johnston

    2002-01-01

    The use of short assessment tasks can provide valuable information about undergraduates' knowledge and understanding. However, it is known that there are gender-related differences in performance on certain types of objective tests, both among school pupils and university undergraduates. This article focuses on undergraduate learning, using a…

  5. "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…

  6. 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…

  7. "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…

  8. 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…

  9. 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

  10. 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…

  11. 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…

  12. Sensitivity to Changing Contingencies in an Impulsivity Task

    PubMed Central

    Young, Michael E.; Webb, Tara L.; Rung, Jillian M.; Jacobs, Eric A.

    2014-01-01

    Using a video-game-based escalating interest task, participants repeatedly encountered a reward that gradually increased in value over a 10-second interval. Responding early in the interval netted less immediate reward than responding later in the interval. Each participant experienced four different reward contingencies for waiting. These contingencies were changed three times as the experiment proceeded. Behavior tracked these changing contingencies, but wait times reflected long-term carryover from the previously assigned contingencies. Both the tendency to respond slowly and the optimality of behavior were affected by the order of contingencies experienced. Demographic variables only weakly predicted behavior, and delay discounting rate in a hypothetical money choice task predicted choice only when the contingencies in the game were weaker. PMID:23658118

  13. 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

  14. Reliability and Validity of Dual-Task Mobility Assessments in People with Chronic Stroke

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Lei; He, Chengqi; Pang, Marco Yiu Chung

    2016-01-01

    Background The ability to perform a cognitive task while walking simultaneously (dual-tasking) is important in real life. However, the psychometric properties of dual-task walking tests have not been well established in stroke. Objective To assess the test-retest reliability, concurrent and known-groups validity of various dual-task walking tests in people with chronic stroke. Design Observational measurement study with a test-retest design. Methods Eighty-eight individuals with chronic stroke participated. The testing protocol involved four walking tasks (walking forward at self-selected and maximal speed, walking backward at self-selected speed, and crossing over obstacles) performed simultaneously with each of the three attention-demanding tasks (verbal fluency, serial 3 subtractions or carrying a cup of water). For each dual-task condition, the time taken to complete the walking task, the correct response rate (CRR) of the cognitive task, and the dual-task effect (DTE) for the walking time and CRR were calculated. Forty-six of the participants were tested twice within 3–4 days to establish test-retest reliability. Results The walking time in various dual-task assessments demonstrated good to excellent reliability [Intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC2,1) = 0.70–0.93; relative minimal detectable change at 95% confidence level (MDC95%) = 29%-45%]. The reliability of the CRR (ICC2,1 = 0.58–0.81) and the DTE in walking time (ICC2,1 = 0.11–0.80) was more varied. The reliability of the DTE in CRR (ICC2,1 = -0.31–0.40) was poor to fair. The walking time and CRR obtained in various dual-task walking tests were moderately to strongly correlated with those of the dual-task Timed-up-and-Go test, thus demonstrating good concurrent validity. None of the tests could discriminate fallers (those who had sustained at least one fall in the past year) from non-fallers. Limitation The results are generalizable to community-dwelling individuals with chronic stroke only

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. A multiple-choice task with changes of mind.

    PubMed

    Albantakis, Larissa; Branzi, Francesca M; Costa, Albert; Deco, Gustavo

    2012-01-01

    The role of changes of mind and multiple choices has recently received increased attention in the study of perceptual decision-making. Previously, these extensions to standard two-alternative tasks have been studied separately. Here we explored how changes of mind depend on the number of choice-alternatives. To this end, we tested 14 human subjects on a 2- and 4-alternative direction-discrimination task. Changes of mind in the participants' movement trajectories could be observed for two and for four choice alternatives. With fewer alternatives, participants responded faster and more accurately. The frequency of changes of mind, however, did not significantly differ for the different numbers of choice alternatives. Nevertheless, mind-changing improved the participants' final performance, particularly for intermediate difficulty levels, in both experimental conditions. Moreover, the mean reaction times of individual participants were negatively correlated with their overall tendency to make changes of mind. We further reproduced these findings with a multi-alternative attractor model for decision-making, while a simple race model could not account for the experimental data. Our experiment, combined with the theoretical models allowed us to shed light on: (1) the differences in choice behavior between two and four alternatives, (2) the differences between the data of our human subjects and previous monkey data, (3) individual differences between participants, and (4) the inhibitory interaction between neural representations of choice alternatives.

  18. A Multiple-Choice Task with Changes of Mind

    PubMed Central

    Albantakis, Larissa; Branzi, Francesca M.; Costa, Albert; Deco, Gustavo

    2012-01-01

    The role of changes of mind and multiple choices has recently received increased attention in the study of perceptual decision-making. Previously, these extensions to standard two-alternative tasks have been studied separately. Here we explored how changes of mind depend on the number of choice-alternatives. To this end, we tested 14 human subjects on a 2- and 4-alternative direction-discrimination task. Changes of mind in the participants' movement trajectories could be observed for two and for four choice alternatives. With fewer alternatives, participants responded faster and more accurately. The frequency of changes of mind, however, did not significantly differ for the different numbers of choice alternatives. Nevertheless, mind-changing improved the participants' final performance, particularly for intermediate difficulty levels, in both experimental conditions. Moreover, the mean reaction times of individual participants were negatively correlated with their overall tendency to make changes of mind. We further reproduced these findings with a multi-alternative attractor model for decision-making, while a simple race model could not account for the experimental data. Our experiment, combined with the theoretical models allowed us to shed light on: (1) the differences in choice behavior between two and four alternatives, (2) the differences between the data of our human subjects and previous monkey data, (3) individual differences between participants, and (4) the inhibitory interaction between neural representations of choice alternatives. PMID:22916216

  19. Evaluating the relationship between change in performance on training tasks and on untrained outcomes.

    PubMed

    Zelinski, Elizabeth M; Peters, Kelly D; Hindin, Shoshana; Petway, Kevin T; Kennison, Robert F

    2014-01-01

    Training interventions for older adults are designed to remediate performance on trained tasks and to generalize, or transfer, to untrained tasks. Evidence for transfer is typically based on the trained group showing greater improvement than controls on untrained tasks, or on a correlation between gains in training and in transfer tasks. However, this ignores potential correlational relationships between trained and untrained tasks that exist before training. By accounting for crossed (trained and untrained) and lagged (pre-training and post-training) and cross-lagged relationships between trained and untrained scores in structural equation models, the training-transfer gain relationship can be independently estimated. Transfer is confirmed if only the trained but not control participants' gain correlation is significant. Modeling data from the Improvement in Memory with Plasticity-based Adaptive Cognitive Training (IMPACT) study (Smith et al., 2009), transfer from speeded auditory discrimination and syllable span to list and text memory and to working memory was demonstrated in 487 adults aged 65-93. Evaluation of age, sex, and education on pretest scores and on change did not alter this. The overlap of the training with transfer measures was also investigated to evaluate the hypothesis that performance gains in a non-verbal speeded auditory discrimination task may be associated with gains on fewer tasks than gains in a verbal working memory task. Gains in speeded processing were associated with gains on one list memory measure. Syllable span gains were associated with improvement in difficult list recall, story recall, and working memory factor scores. Findings confirmed that more overlap with task demands was associated with gains to more of the tasks assessed, suggesting that transfer effects are related to task overlap in multimodal training.

  20. Evaluating the relationship between change in performance on training tasks and on untrained outcomes

    PubMed Central

    Zelinski, Elizabeth M.; Peters, Kelly D.; Hindin, Shoshana; Petway, Kevin T.; Kennison, Robert F.

    2014-01-01

    Training interventions for older adults are designed to remediate performance on trained tasks and to generalize, or transfer, to untrained tasks. Evidence for transfer is typically based on the trained group showing greater improvement than controls on untrained tasks, or on a correlation between gains in training and in transfer tasks. However, this ignores potential correlational relationships between trained and untrained tasks that exist before training. By accounting for crossed (trained and untrained) and lagged (pre-training and post-training) and cross-lagged relationships between trained and untrained scores in structural equation models, the training-transfer gain relationship can be independently estimated. Transfer is confirmed if only the trained but not control participants' gain correlation is significant. Modeling data from the Improvement in Memory with Plasticity-based Adaptive Cognitive Training (IMPACT) study (Smith et al., 2009), transfer from speeded auditory discrimination and syllable span to list and text memory and to working memory was demonstrated in 487 adults aged 65–93. Evaluation of age, sex, and education on pretest scores and on change did not alter this. The overlap of the training with transfer measures was also investigated to evaluate the hypothesis that performance gains in a non-verbal speeded auditory discrimination task may be associated with gains on fewer tasks than gains in a verbal working memory task. Gains in speeded processing were associated with gains on one list memory measure. Syllable span gains were associated with improvement in difficult list recall, story recall, and working memory factor scores. Findings confirmed that more overlap with task demands was associated with gains to more of the tasks assessed, suggesting that transfer effects are related to task overlap in multimodal training. PMID:25165440

  1. 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…

  2. 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…

  3. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-01

    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. 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. 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. The results indicate potential for overexposure to noise from a variety of firefighting tasks and equipment, and suggest a need for further

  5. Task-Technology Fit Assessment of an Expertise Transfer System

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2009-03-01

    MSgt, USAF AFIT/ GIR /ENV/09-M02 DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE AIR UNIVERSITY AIR FORCE INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY Wright-Patterson Air Force...Government. AFIT/ GIR /ENV/09-M02 TASK-TECHNOLOGY FIT ASSESSMENT OF AN EXPERTISE TRANSFER SYSTEM THESIS Presented to the Faculty...Daphne R. McGill, BS MSgt, USAF March 2009 APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE; DISTRIBUTION UNLIMITED. AFIT/ GIR /ENV/09-M02

  6. 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...

  7. 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...

  8. Brain Activations for Vestibular Stimulation and Dual Tasking Change with Spaceflight

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yuan, Peng; Koppelmans, Vincent; Reuter-Lorenz, Patricia; De Dios, Yiri; Gadd, Nichole; Wood, Scott; Riascos, Roy; Kofman, Igor; Bloomberg, Jacob; Mulavara, Ajitkumar; hide

    2017-01-01

    Previous studies have documented the effects of spaceflight on human physiology and behavior, including muscle mass, cardiovascular function, gait, balance, manual motor control, and cognitive performance. An understanding of spaceflight-related changes provides important information about human adaptive plasticity and facilitates future space travel. In the current study, we evaluated how brain activations associated with vestibular stimulation and dual tasking change as a function of spaceflight. Five crewmembers were included in this study. The durations of their spaceflight missions ranged from 3 months to 7 months. All of them completed at least two preflight assessments and at least one postflight assessment. The preflight sessions occurred, on average, about 198 days and 51 days before launch; the first postflight sessions were scheduled 5 days after return. Functional MRI was acquired during vestibular stimulation and dual tasking, at each session. Vestibular stimulation was administered via skull taps delivered by a pneumatic tactile pulse system placed over the lateral cheekbones. The magnitude of brain activations for vestibular stimulation increased with spaceflight relative to the preflight levels, in frontal areas and the precuneus. In addition, longer flight duration was associated with greater preflight-to-postflight increases in vestibular activation in frontal regions. Functional MRI for finger tapping was acquired during both single-task (finger tapping only) and dual-task (simultaneously performing finger tapping and a secondary counting task) conditions. Preflight-to-post-spaceflight decreases in brain activations for dual tasking were observed in the right postcentral cortex. An association between flight duration and amplitude of flight-related change in activations for dual tasking was observed in the parietal cortex. The spaceflight-related increase in vestibular brain activations suggests that after a long-term spaceflight, more neural

  9. 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.

  10. Assessment, Technology, and Change

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Clarke-Midura, Jody; Dede, Chris

    2010-01-01

    Despite three decades of advances in information and communications technology (ICT) and a generation of research on cognition and new pedagogical strategies, the field of assessment has not progressed much beyond paper-and-pencil item-based tests. Research has shown these instruments are not valid measures of sophisticated intellectual…

  11. Task-specific changes in motor evoked potentials of lower limb muscles after different training interventions.

    PubMed

    Beck, S; Taube, W; Gruber, M; Amtage, F; Gollhofer, A; Schubert, M

    2007-11-07

    This study aimed to identify sites and mechanisms of long-term plasticity following lower limb muscle training. Two groups performing either a postural stability maintenance training (SMT) or a ballistic ankle strength training (BST) were compared to a non-training group. The hypothesis was that practicing of a self-initiated voluntary movement would facilitate cortico-spinal projections, while practicing fast automatic adjustments during stabilization of stance would reduce excitatory influence from the primary motor cortex. Training effects were expected to be confined to the practiced task. To test for training specificity, motor evoked potentials (MEP) induced by transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) were recorded at rest and during motor tasks that were similar to each training. Intracortical, cortico-spinal, as well as spinal parameters were assessed at rest and during these tasks. The results show high task and training specificity. Training effects were only observable during performance of the trained task. While MEP size was decreased in the SMT group for the trained tasks, MEP recruitment was increased in the BST group in the trained task only. The control group did not show any changes. Background electromyogram levels, M. soleus H-reflex amplitudes and intracortical parameters were unaltered. In summary, it is suggested that the changes of MEP parameters in both training groups, but not in the control group, reflect cortical motor plasticity. While cortico-spinal activation was enhanced in the BST group, SMT may be associated with improved motor control through increased inhibitory trans-cortical effects. Since spinal excitability remained unaltered, changes most likely occur on the supraspinal level.

  12. Electrophysiological Correlates of Change Detection during Delayed Matching Task: A Comparison of Different References.

    PubMed

    Liang, Tengfei; Hu, Zhonghua; Li, Yuchen; Ye, Chaoxiong; Liu, Qiang

    2017-01-01

    Detecting the changed information between memory representation and incoming sensory inputs is a fundamental cognitive ability. By offering the promise of excellent temporal resolution, event-related potential (ERP) technique has served as a primary tool for studying this process with reference of the linked mastoid (LM). However, given that LM may distort the ERP signals, it is still undetermined whether LM is the best reference choice. The goal of the current study was to systematically compare LM, reference electrode standardization technique (REST) and average reference (AR) for assessing the ERP correlates of change detection during a delayed matching task. Colored shapes were adopted as materials while both the task-relevant shape feature and -irrelevant color feature could be changed. The results of the ERP amplitude showed that both of the task-relevant and -conjunction feature changes elicited significantly more positive posterior P2 in REST and AR, but not in LM. Besides, significantly increased N270 was observed in task-relevant and -conjunction feature changes in both the REST and LM, but in the conjunction feature change in AR. Only the REST-obtained N270 revealed a significant increment in task-irrelevant feature change, which was compatible with the delayed behavioral performance. Statistical parametric scalp mapping (SPSM) results showed a left posterior distribution for AR, an anterior distribution for LM, and both the anterior and left posterior distributions for REST. These results indicate that different types of references may provide distinct cognitive interpretations. Interestingly, only the SPSM of REST was consistent with previous fMRI findings. Combined with the evidence of simulation studies and the current observations, we take the REST-based results as the objective one, and recommend using REST technology in the future ERP data analysis.

  13. Brain biomarkers based assessment of cognitive workload in pilots under various task demands.

    PubMed

    Gentili, Rodolphe J; Rietschel, Jeremy C; Jaquess, Kyle J; Lo, Li-Chuan; Prevost, Michael; Miller, Matt W; Mohler, Jessica M; Oh, Hyuk; Tan, Ying Ying; Hatfield, Bradley D

    2014-01-01

    Cognitive workload is an important element of cognitive-motor performance such as that exhibited during the piloting of an aircraft. Namely, an increase in task demands on the pilot can elevate cognitive information processing and, thus, the risk of human error. As such, there is a need to develop methods that reliably assess mental workload in pilots within operational settings. The present study contributes to this research goal by identifying physiological and brain biomarkers of cognitive workload and attentional reserve during a simulated aircraft piloting task under three progressive levels of challenge. A newly developed experimental method was employed by which electroencephalography (EEG) was acquired via a dry (i.e., gel-free sensors) system using few scalp sites. Self-reported responses to surveys and piloting performance indicators were analyzed. The findings revealed that as the challenge (task demands) increased, the perceived mental load increased, attentional reserve was attenuated, and task performance decreased. Such an increase in task demands was also reflected by changes in heart rate variability (HRV), as well as in the amplitude of the P300 component of event-related potentials to auditory probes, and in the spectral power of specific EEG frequency bands. This work provides a first step towards a long-term goal to develop a composite system of biomarkers for real-time cognitive workload assessment and state assessment of pilots in operational settings.

  14. MHAC--an assessment tool for analysing manual material handling tasks.

    PubMed

    Batish, Ajay; Singh, Tejinder P

    2008-01-01

    This paper describes an assessment tool for analysing material handling tasks and its application for material handling tasks prevalent in engine bearing industry. After a close observation of material handling tasks spread over many days, a list of tasks and parameters/variables affecting those tasks was made. Ergonomic conditions present in these tasks and their deficiencies were then identified and on the basis of the relationships between the tasks and their affinities, categories were developed. Using the data of those categories and various conditions and parameters, an assessment tool called MHAC (material handling assessment chart) was developed.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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 that…

  19. 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.

  20. Change They Can't Find: Change Blindness in Chimpanzees during a Visual Search Task

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Although considerable advances have been made in the study of change blindness in humans, research regarding change blindness in nonhuman animals has been rare thus far. Indeed, we do not know whether chimpanzees, our closest evolutionary relatives, experience difficulty detecting changes in a stimulus when presentations are separated by blank displays. This study demonstrated that chimpanzees showed severe difficulties in detecting changes in a flicker-type visual search task, and these results are discussed in relation to the adaptive significance of change detection (e.g. the relationship between change blindness and vigilance behaviour).

  1. Variations in Articulatory Movement with Changes in Speech Task.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tasko, Stephen M.; McClean, Michael D.

    2004-01-01

    Studies of normal and disordered articulatory movement often rely on the use of short, simple speech tasks. However, the severity of speech disorders can be observed to vary markedly with task. Understanding task-related variations in articulatory kinematic behavior may allow for an improved understanding of normal and disordered speech motor…

  2. Variations in Articulatory Movement with Changes in Speech Task.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tasko, Stephen M.; McClean, Michael D.

    2004-01-01

    Studies of normal and disordered articulatory movement often rely on the use of short, simple speech tasks. However, the severity of speech disorders can be observed to vary markedly with task. Understanding task-related variations in articulatory kinematic behavior may allow for an improved understanding of normal and disordered speech motor…

  3. 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

  4. New indirect measures of "inattentive" visual grouping in a change-detection task.

    PubMed

    Russell, Charlotte; Driver, Jon

    2005-05-01

    It has often been suggested that Gestalt-like visual grouping processes may operate preattentively, but Mack and Rock (1998) suggested that no visual grouping takes place under "inattention." We introduced a new method to assess this. While participants performed a demanding change-detection task on a small matrix at fixation, task-irrelevant background elements were arranged by color sinilarity into columns, rows, or pseudorandomly. Independent of any change in the target matrix, background grouping could also change or remain the same on each trial. This influenced accuracy of change judgments for the central task, even though background grouping or its change usually could not be explicitly reported when probed with surprise questions as in Mack and Rock. This suggests that visual grouping may arise implicitly under inattention and provides a new method for testing the boundaries of this processing. Here we extended the initial result to changes in background grouping remote from the target and to those occurring across an intervening saccade.

  5. Predicting Students' Academic Achievement: Contributions of Perceptions of Classroom Assessment Tasks and Motivated Learning Strategies

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alkharusi, Hussain

    2016-01-01

    Introduction: Students are daily exposed to a variety of assessment tasks in the classroom. It has long been recognized that students' perceptions of the assessment tasks may influence student academic achievement. The present study aimed at predicting academic achievement in mathematics from perceptions of the assessment tasks after controlling…

  6. Predicting Students' Academic Achievement: Contributions of Perceptions of Classroom Assessment Tasks and Motivated Learning Strategies

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alkharusi, Hussain

    2016-01-01

    Introduction: Students are daily exposed to a variety of assessment tasks in the classroom. It has long been recognized that students' perceptions of the assessment tasks may influence student academic achievement. The present study aimed at predicting academic achievement in mathematics from perceptions of the assessment tasks after controlling…

  7. Evaluating working memory: Comparing change-detection tasks and Wechsler working memory subtests in school-age children.

    PubMed

    Colbert, Alison; Bo, Jin

    2017-09-01

    Among a number of methods for assessing working memory (WM), span tasks have been commonly utilized in clinical psychology, whereas change-detection tasks are often used in experimental or cognitive psychology. This study sought to understand the use of change-detection tasks in children and to evaluate the relationship between change-detection tasks and clinical WM measures in the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, Fourth Edition (WISC-IV). Results revealed that the overall pattern of performance in change-detection tasks for children was similar to adults' performance in the literature; with increased array size, response accuracy systematically decreased. Significant age-related improvements on visuospatial and verbal WM capacities were found in school-age children. Although WISC-IV WM measures were significantly correlated with each other, only the Arithmetic subtest was significantly correlated with visuospatial WM as measured by the change-detection task, and none were significantly correlated with verbal WM as measured by the change-detection task. These results suggest the clinical WISC-IV WM subtests may not elicit the same construct as experimental change-detection WM measures, with the possible exception of the Arithmetic subtest.

  8. 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…

  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. Investigation of age-related changes in brain activity during the divalent task-switching paradigm using functional MRI.

    PubMed

    Kunimi, Mitsunobu; Kiyama, Sachiko; Nakai, Toshiharu

    2016-02-01

    This study compared the brain activation of young and older subjects during the use of the task-switching paradigm (TSP) at various task speeds to examine the relationship between task load and brain activation. Specifically, it attempted to examine whether the task load-dependent BOLD response gradient is a useful tool for functional magnetic resonance imaging-based assessments of age-related changes in cognitive function. We predicted that the extent of the activation of the brain regions responsible for task-set reconfiguration and the inhibition of task switching functions induced during the performance of a TSP-based task would vary according to age. Task difficulty was controlled by altering the inter-stimulus interval. Although similar brain regions were activated in both age groups, significant differences in the extent of the activation were detected between the young and older groups. In particular, some regions were activated in the older group, but not the young group. This study indicated that TSP-based task performance-induced activation of the brain regions linked to executive function increases with age and that the degree and pattern of such activation depend on the content and difficulty of the task being performed. This indicates that the age- and task difficulty-dependent augmentation of brain activation varies between brain regions.

  11. The neural basis of task switching changes with skill acquisition

    PubMed Central

    Jimura, Koji; Cazalis, Fabienne; Stover, Elena R. S.; Poldrack, Russell A.

    2014-01-01

    Learning novel skills involves reorganization and optimization of cognitive processing involving a broad network of brain regions. Previous work has shown asymmetric costs of switching to a well-trained task vs. a poorly-trained task, but the neural basis of these differential switch costs is unclear. The current study examined the neural signature of task switching in the context of acquisition of new skill. Human participants alternated randomly between a novel visual task (mirror-reversed word reading) and a highly practiced one (plain word reading), allowing the isolation of task switching and skill set maintenance. Two scan sessions were separated by 2 weeks, with behavioral training on the mirror reading task in between the two sessions. Broad cortical regions, including bilateral prefrontal, parietal, and extrastriate cortices, showed decreased activity associated with learning of the mirror reading skill. In contrast, learning to switch to the novel skill was associated with decreased activity in a focal subcortical region in the dorsal striatum. Switching to the highly practiced task was associated with a non-overlapping set of regions, suggesting substantial differences in the neural substrates of switching as a function of task skill. Searchlight multivariate pattern analysis also revealed that learning was associated with decreased pattern information for mirror vs. plain reading tasks in fronto-parietal regions. Inferior frontal junction and posterior parietal cortex showed a joint effect of univariate activation and pattern information. These results suggest distinct learning mechanisms task performance and executive control as a function of learning. PMID:24904378

  12. Onset of dyskinesia and changes in postural task performance during the course of neuroleptic withdrawal.

    PubMed

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

    2002-07-01

    The effect of neuroleptic withdrawal on postural task performance of 20 adults with mental retardation was examined. Dyskinesia was measured using the DISCUS rating scale and postural stability using a force platform during a prospective longitudinal neuroleptic medication withdrawal protocol. Assessments were conducted at baseline and monthly intervals, extending to approximately one year following complete medication withdrawal, when significant changes in amount of postural motion and sequential pattern of postural movement complexity were observed. Postural task performance tended to return to near baseline levels at periods of up to 1 year following medication withdrawal, although one third of the subjects continued to display atypical postural motion profiles at follow-up. Results provide within-subject evidence that tardive dyskinesia is associated with generalized changes in motor control and not simply peripheral disturbances of movement.

  13. 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…

  14. 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…

  15. Dynamic Changes in Brain Functional Connectivity during Concurrent Dual-Task Performance

    PubMed Central

    Cocchi, Luca; Zalesky, Andrew; Toepel, Ulrike; Whitford, Thomas J.; De-Lucia, Marzia; Murray, Micah M.; Carter, Olivia

    2011-01-01

    This study investigated the spatial, spectral, temporal and functional proprieties of functional brain connections involved in the concurrent execution of unrelated visual perception and working memory tasks. Electroencephalography data was analysed using a novel data-driven approach assessing source coherence at the whole-brain level. Three connections in the beta-band (18–24 Hz) and one in the gamma-band (30–40 Hz) were modulated by dual-task performance. Beta-coherence increased within two dorsofrontal-occipital connections in dual-task conditions compared to the single-task condition, with the highest coherence seen during low working memory load trials. In contrast, beta-coherence in a prefrontal-occipital functional connection and gamma-coherence in an inferior frontal-occipitoparietal connection was not affected by the addition of the second task and only showed elevated coherence under high working memory load. Analysis of coherence as a function of time suggested that the dorsofrontal-occipital beta-connections were relevant to working memory maintenance, while the prefrontal-occipital beta-connection and the inferior frontal-occipitoparietal gamma-connection were involved in top-down control of concurrent visual processing. The fact that increased coherence in the gamma-connection, from low to high working memory load, was negatively correlated with faster reaction time on the perception task supports this interpretation. Together, these results demonstrate that dual-task demands trigger non-linear changes in functional interactions between frontal-executive and occipitoparietal-perceptual cortices. PMID:22140572

  16. Self-control assessments of capuchin monkeys with the rotating tray task and the accumulation task.

    PubMed

    Beran, Michael J; Perdue, Bonnie M; Rossettie, Mattea S; James, Brielle T; Whitham, Will; Walker, Bradlyn; Futch, Sara E; Parrish, Audrey E

    2016-08-01

    Recent studies of delay of gratification in capuchin monkeys using a rotating tray (RT) task have shown improved self-control performance in these animals in comparison to the accumulation (AC) task. In this study, we investigated whether this improvement resulted from the difference in methods between the rotating tray task and previous tests, or whether it was the result of greater overall experience with delay of gratification tasks. Experiment 1 produced similar performance levels by capuchins monkeys in the RT and AC tasks when identical reward and temporal parameters were used. Experiment 2 demonstrated a similar result using reward amounts that were more similar to previous AC experiments with these monkeys. In Experiment 3, monkeys performed multiple versions of the AC task with varied reward and temporal parameters. Their self-control behavior was found to be dependent on the overall delay to reward consumption, rather than the overall reward amount ultimately consumed. These findings indicate that these capuchin monkeys' self-control capacities were more likely to have improved across studies because of the greater experience they had with delay of gratification tasks. Experiment 4 and Experiment 5 tested new, task-naïve monkeys on both tasks, finding more limited evidence of self-control, and no evidence that one task was more beneficial than the other in promoting self-control. The results of this study suggest that future testing of this kind should focus on temporal parameters and reward magnitude parameters to establish accurate measures of delay of gratification capacity and development in this species and perhaps others. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Self-Control Assessments of Capuchin Monkeys With the Rotating Tray Task and the Accumulation Task

    PubMed Central

    Beran, Michael J.; Perdue, Bonnie M.; Rossettie, Mattea S.; James, Brielle T.; Whitham, Will; Walker, Bradlyn; Futch, Sara E.; Parrish, Audrey E.

    2016-01-01

    Recent studies of delay of gratification in capuchin monkeys using a rotating tray (RT) task have shown improved self-control performance in these animals in comparison to the accumulation (AC) task. In this study, we investigated whether this improvement resulted from the difference in methods between the rotating tray task and previous tests, or whether it was the result of greater overall experience with delay of gratification tasks. Experiment 1 produced similar performance levels by capuchins monkeys in the RT and AC tasks when identical reward and temporal parameters were used. Experiment 2 demonstrated a similar result using reward amounts that were more similar to previous AC experiments with these monkeys. In Experiment 3, monkeys performed multiple versions of the AC task with varied reward and temporal parameters. Their self-control behavior was found to be dependent on the overall delay to reward consumption, rather than the overall reward amount ultimately consumed. These findings indicate that these capuchin monkeys’ self-control capacities were more likely to have improved across studies because of the greater experience they had with delay of gratification tasks. Experiment 4 and Experiment 5 tested new, task-naïve monkeys on both tasks, finding more limited evidence of self-control, and no evidence that one task was more beneficial than the other in promoting self-control. The results of this study suggest that future testing of this kind should focus on temporal parameters and reward magnitude parameters to establish accurate measures of delay of gratification capacity and development in this species and perhaps others. PMID:27298233

  18. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  20. Effects of task precision demands on behavioral and physiological changes during a repetitive asymmetric lifting activity.

    PubMed

    Mehta, Jay P; Lavender, Steven A; Jagacinski, Richard J; Sommerich, Carolyn M

    2015-05-01

    This study investigated the effects of task precision demands on behavioral and physiological changes during repetitive asymmetric lifting. Repetitive lifting encountered in manual material handling leads to muscle fatigue and is a documented risk factor for low back disorder. A total of 17 healthy volunteers performed repetitive asymmetric lifting for 60 min (10 lifts/min). Task precision demands were imposed by varying the entry width onto the destination conveyor. Physiological changes were assessed using near-infrared spectroscopy obtained from the erector spinae muscles. Three-dimensional spine kinematics and moment responses were quantified to understand behavioral changes during the lifting activity. Task precision demands showed no effect on erector spinae muscle oxygenation levels. Behavioral changes associated with repetitive lifting included increases in the overall lift duration, peak forward bending motion, and three-dimensional movement velocities of the spine, along with a decrease in the lateral bending moment. Relative to low precision demands, high precision demands resulted in 20% longer placement periods, which, in turn, resulted in a 12% increase in the time-integrated twisting postures and a 10% increase in the time-integrated lateral bending moments during load placement. The elevated risk of low back injury when lifting under greater precision demands is likely due to the sustained spine twisting and the sustained lateral bending moment on the spine in the final phase of these lifts. Understanding behavioral changes to repetitive asymmetric lifting, especially for tasks requiring greater precision can be used to support injury prevention efforts. © 2014, Human Factors and Ergonomics Society.

  1. Dedicated tool to assess the impact of a rhetorical task on human body temperature.

    PubMed

    Koprowski, Robert; Wilczyński, Sławomir; Martowska, Katarzyna; Gołuch, Dominik; Wrocławska-Warchala, Emilia

    2017-10-01

    Functional infrared thermal imaging is a method widely used in medicine, including analysis of the mechanisms related to the effect of emotions on physiological processes. The article shows how the body temperature may change during stress associated with performing a rhetorical task and proposes new parameters useful for dynamic thermal imaging measurements MATERIALS AND METHODS: 29 healthy male subjects were examined. They were given a rhetorical task that induced stress. Analysis and processing of collected body temperature data in a spatial resolution of 256×512pixels and a temperature resolution of 0.1°C enabled to show the dynamics of temperature changes. This analysis was preceded by dedicated image analysis and processing methods RESULTS: The presented dedicated algorithm for image analysis and processing allows for fully automated, reproducible and quantitative assessment of temperature changes and time constants in a sequence of thermal images of the patient. When performing the rhetorical task, the temperature rose by 0.47±0.19°C in 72.41% of the subjects, including 20.69% in whom the temperature decreased by 0.49±0.14°C after 237±141s. For 20.69% of the subjects only a drop in temperature was registered. For the remaining 6.89% of the cases, no temperature changes were registered CONCLUSIONS: The performance of the rhetorical task by the subjects causes body temperature changes. The ambiguous temperature response to the given stress factor indicates the complex mechanisms responsible for regulating stressful situations. Stress associated with the examination itself induces body temperature changes. These changes should always be taken into account in the analysis of infrared data. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. PRN 2009-1: Establishment of Antimicrobial Exposure Assessment Task Force II

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    This PR notice announces the establishment of the Antimicrobial Exposure Assessment Task Force II, an industry-wide task force to develop mixer, loader, applicator and post-application exposure data for antimicrobial pesticides used in various settings.

  3. A distinct neurocognitive phenotype in female fragile-X premutation carriers assessed with visual attention tasks.

    PubMed

    Steyaert, Jean; Legius, Eric; Borghgraef, Martine; Fryns, Jean-Pierre

    2003-01-01

    Premature ovarian failure (POF) and underlying hormonal changes are recognized as a distinct phenotype in female fragile-X premutation carriers. Neurocognitive deficits, in particular mental retardation, are associated with the full mutation in males and females. In female full mutation carriers this neurocognitive phenotype is expressed more mildly than in males. Research on whether the fragile-X premutation is associated with a particular neurocognitive phenotype or not has been equivocal. By means of the Sonneville Visual Attentions Tasks (SVAT) computer-based battery of neurocognitive tasks, we assessed reaction time on different tasks in three groups of subjects: female premutation carriers, female full mutation carriers, and female control subjects. The results show that a fraction of the female premutation carriers perform poorly on several selective attention tasks, but not on other tasks. Their neurocognitive profile is different from that of control subjects and of the majority of female premutation carriers. It may also be different from the phenotype of female full mutation carriers, though in that respect this study remains inconclusive. These findings support earlier findings that the fragile-X premutation may affect neurocognitive functioning, in particular aspects of attention.

  4. 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.

  5. An automated skills assessment framework for laparoscopic training tasks.

    PubMed

    Sgouros, Nicholas P; Loukas, Constantinos; Koufi, Vassiliki; Troupis, Theodore G; Georgiou, Evangelos

    2017-08-15

    Various sensors and methods are used for evaluating trainees' skills in laparoscopic procedures. These methods are usually task-specific and involve high costs or advanced setups. In this paper, we propose a novel manoeuver representation feature space (MRFS) constructed by tracking the vanishing points of the edges of the graspers on the video sequence frames, acquired by the standard box trainer camera. This study aims to provide task-agnostic classification of trainees in experts and novices using a single MRFS over two basic laparoscopic tasks. The system achieves an average of 96% correct classification ratio (CCR) when no information on the performed task is available and >98% CCR when the task is known, outperforming a recently proposed video-based technique by >13%. Robustness, extensibility and accurate task-agnostic classification between novices and experts is achieved by utilizing advanced computer vision techniques and derived features from a novel MRFS. Copyright © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Assessing Mental Models of Emergencies Through Two Knowledge Elicitation Tasks.

    PubMed

    Whitmer, Daphne E; Sims, Valerie K; Torres, Michael E

    2017-05-01

    The goals of this study were to assess the risk identification aspect of mental models using standard elicitation methods and how university campus alerts were related to these mental models. People fail to follow protective action recommendations in emergency warnings. Past research has yet to examine cognitive processes that influence emergency decision-making. Study 1 examined 2 years of emergency alerts distributed by a large southeastern university. In Study 2, participants listed emergencies in a thought-listing task. Study 3 measured participants' time to decide if a situation was an emergency. The university distributed the most alerts about an armed person, theft, and fire. In Study 2, participants most frequently listed fire, car accident, heart attack, and theft. In Study 3, participants quickly decided a bomb, murder, fire, tornado, and rape were emergencies. They most slowly decided that a suspicious package and identify theft were emergencies. Recent interaction with warnings was only somewhat related to participants' mental models of emergencies. Risk identification precedes decision-making and applying protective actions. Examining these characteristics of people's mental representations of emergencies is fundamental to further understand why some emergency warnings go ignored. Someone must believe a situation is serious to categorize it as an emergency before taking the protective action recommendations in an emergency warning. Present-day research must continue to examine the problem of people ignoring warning communication, as there are important cognitive factors that have not yet been explored until the present research.

  9. Pigeons (Columba livia) show change blindness in a color-change detection task.

    PubMed

    Herbranson, Walter T; Jeffers, Jacob S

    2017-07-01

    Change blindness is a phenomenon whereby changes to a stimulus are more likely go unnoticed under certain circumstances. Pigeons learned a change detection task, in which they observed sequential stimulus displays consisting of individual colors back-projected onto three response keys. The color of one response key changed during each sequence and pecks to the key that displayed the change were reinforced. Pigeons showed a change blindness effect, in that change detection accuracy was worse when there was an inter-stimulus interval interrupting the transition between consecutive stimulus displays. Birds successfully transferred to stimulus displays involving novel colors, indicating that pigeons learned a general change detection rule. Furthermore, analysis of responses to specific color combinations showed that pigeons could detect changes involving both spectral and non-spectral colors and that accuracy was better for changes involving greater differences in wavelength. These results build upon previous investigations of change blindness in both humans and pigeons and suggest that change blindness may be a general consequence of selective visual attention relevant to multiple species and stimulus dimensions.

  10. 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…

  11. 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…

  12. Exploring approaches to dietetic assessment of a common task across different universities through assessment moderation.

    PubMed

    Palermo, C; Volders, E; Gibson, S; Kennedy, M; Wray, A; Thomas, J; Hannan-Jones, M; Gallegos, D; Beck, E

    2017-07-20

    Assessment presents one of the greatest challenges to evaluating health professional trainee performance, as a result of the subjectivity of judgements and variability in assessor standards. The present study aimed to test a moderation procedure for assessment across four independent universities and explore approaches to assessment and the factors that influence assessment decisions. Assessment tasks designed independently by each of the four universities to assess student readiness for placement were chosen for the present study. Each university provided four student performance recordings for moderation. Eight different academic assessors viewed the student performances and assessed them using the corresponding university assessment instrument. Assessment results were collated and presented back to the assessors, together with the original university assessment results. Results were discussed with assessors to explore variations. The discussion was recorded, transcribed, thematically analysed and presented back to all assessors to achieve consensus on the emerging major learnings. Although there were differences in absolute scores, there was consistency (12 out of 16 performances) in overall judgement decisions regarding placement readiness. Proficient communication skills were considered a key factor when determining placement readiness. The discussion revealed: (i) assessment instruments; (ii) assessor factors; and (iii) the subjectivity of judgement as the major factors influencing assessment. Assessment moderation is a useful method for improving the quality of assessment decisions by sharing understanding and aligning standards of performance. © 2017 The British Dietetic Association Ltd.

  13. The Role of Task Structure in Oral Fluency Assessment.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ejzenberg, Roseli

    This study sought to develop a description of second language fluency, based on the concept that the microcontext of the testing task and the resulting psycholinguistic demands on speech production affect the nature of the discourse produced so that different tasks have differential impact on an individual's display of fluency. It investigated how…

  14. CHANGING HEALTH TECHNOLOGY ASSESSMENT PARADIGMS?

    PubMed

    Husereau, Don; Henshall, Chris; Sampietro-Colom, Laura; Thomas, Sarah

    2016-01-01

    Health technology assessment (HTA) has to innovate to best support changing health system environments and to help provide access to valuable innovation under fiscal constraint. Issues associated with changing HTA paradigms were identified through scoping and explored through deliberation at a meeting of industry and HTA leaders. Five broad areas of change (engagement, scientific dialogue, research prioritization, adaptive approaches, and real world data) were identified. The meeting focused on two themes derived from these: re-thinking scientific dialogue and multi-stakeholder engagement, and re-thinking value, affordability, and access. Earlier and ongoing engagement to steer the innovation process and help achieve appropriate use across the technology lifecycle was perceived as important but would be resource intensive and would require priority setting. Patients need to be involved throughout, and particularly at the early stages. Further discussion is needed on the type of body best suited to convening the dialogue required. There was agreement that HTA must continue to assess value, but views differed on the role that HTA should play in assessing affordability and on appropriate responses to challenges around affordability. Enhanced horizon scanning could play an important role in preparing for significant future investments. Early and ongoing multi-stakeholder engagement and revisiting approaches to valuing innovation are required. Questions remain as to the most appropriate role for HTA bodies. Changing HTA paradigms extend HTA's traditional remit of being responsive to decision-makers demands to being more proactive and considering whole system value.

  15. Learning the Lane Change Task: comparing different training regimes in semi-paced and continuous secondary tasks.

    PubMed

    Huemer, Anja Katharina; Vollrath, Mark

    2012-09-01

    For road safety it is paramount that distraction by in-vehicle systems is limited. To reach this aim the Lane Change Task (LCT; Mattes, 2003) was developed. It is used as a test procedure to measure distraction due to secondary tasks in driving. The LCT is implemented as an ISO standard (ISO 26022: 2010) with the aim to provide an objective criterion for designing human-machine interactions (HMI) in a way which is not detrimental to driving. As different baseline performance in the LCT could not be sufficiently explained in recent studies, comparisons of different training regimes were conducted in order to examine training influences on LCT performance. Discriminable performance improvements in LCT were found depending on the secondary task used. A training regime of at least ten runs of LCT in single-task mode is recommended for effective training. This training should be supplemented by a training of the secondary tasks examined. An additional exploration of a dual-task situation is recommended.

  16. Videogame training strategy-induced change in brain function during a complex visuomotor task.

    PubMed

    Lee, Hyunkyu; Voss, Michelle W; Prakash, Ruchika Shaurya; Boot, Walter R; Vo, Loan T K; Basak, Chandramallika; Vanpatter, Matt; Gratton, Gabriele; Fabiani, Monica; Kramer, Arthur F

    2012-07-01

    Although changes in brain function induced by cognitive training have been examined, functional plasticity associated with specific training strategies is still relatively unexplored. In this study, we examined changes in brain function during a complex visuomotor task following training using the Space Fortress video game. To assess brain function, participants completed functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) before and after 30 h of training with one of two training regimens: Hybrid Variable-Priority Training (HVT), with a focus on improving specific skills and managing task priority, or Full Emphasis Training (FET), in which participants simply practiced the game to obtain the highest overall score. Control participants received only 6 h of FET. Compared to FET, HVT learners reached higher performance on the game and showed less brain activation in areas related to visuo-spatial attention and goal-directed movement after training. Compared to the control group, HVT exhibited less brain activation in right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), coupled with greater performance improvement. Region-of-interest analysis revealed that the reduction in brain activation was correlated with improved performance on the task. This study sheds light on the neurobiological mechanisms of improved learning from directed training (HVT) over non-directed training (FET), which is related to visuo-spatial attention and goal-directed motor planning, while separating the practice-based benefit, which is related to executive control and rule management.

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

  19. 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…

  20. 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.…

  1. 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.…

  2. 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,…

  3. 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.

  4. 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…

  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. 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…

  7. 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…

  8. 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…

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

  11. Naturalistic Assessment of Everyday Functioning in Individuals with Mild Cognitive Impairment: The Day Out Task

    PubMed Central

    Schmitter-Edgecombe, Maureen; McAlister, Courtney; Weakley, Alyssa

    2012-01-01

    Objective The Day Out Task (DOT), a naturalistic task that requires multitasking in a real-world setting, was used to examine everyday functioning in individuals with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Method Thirty-eight participants with MCI and 38 cognitively healthy older adult controls prioritized, organized, initiated and completed a number of subtasks in a campus apartment to prepare for a day out (e.g., determine and gather change for bus, bring a magazine). Participants also completed tests assessing cognitive constructs important in multitasking (i.e., retrospective memory, prospective memory, planning). Results Compared to controls, the MCI group required more time to complete the DOT and demonstrated poorer task accuracy, performing more subtasks incompletely and inaccurately. Despite poorer DOT task accuracy, the MCI and control groups approached completion of the DOT in a similar manner. For the MCI group, retrospective memory was a unique predictor of the number of subtasks left incomplete and inaccurate, while prospective memory was a unique predictor of DOT sequencing. The DOT measures, but not the cognitive tests, were predictive of knowledgeable informant report of everyday functioning. Conclusions These findings suggest that difficulty remembering and keeping track of multiple goals and subgoals may contribute to the poorer performance of individuals with MCI in complex everyday situations. PMID:22846035

  12. Changing the National Conversation on Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tashlik, Phyllis

    2010-01-01

    The New York Performance Standards Consortium includes urban public high schools that have successfully used a performance-based assessment option. Instead of exit exams, student assessments are based on specific performance-based assessment tasks. These schools have shown that it is possible to use qualitative data to make substantive decisions…

  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. Attachment and emotion regulation in middle childhood: changes in affect and vagal tone during a social stress task.

    PubMed

    Movahed Abtahi, Mahsa; Kerns, Kathryn A

    2017-06-01

    In middle childhood, more securely attached children show better emotion regulation when assessed as general tendencies (e.g. coping style), but studies looking at emotion in response to specific stressors have revealed mixed results. This study examined how attachment security, avoidance, and ambivalence - assessed with a story stem task (99 children, 9-11 years old) - relate to dynamic indices of affective and autonomic responses (baseline, reactivity, recovery). Reports of positive and negative affect, and high-frequency heart rate variability (HF-HRV), were assessed during a social stressor task. Securely attached children did not show reactivity effects, although they did show greater recovery of positive affect after the task ended. Avoidant children showed both less reactivity and recovery of negative affect, suggesting a dampened emotional response. Ambivalent children showed more reactivity and more recovery of negative affect. Autonomic response changes were only evident for ambivalent children, who showed less suppression of HF-HRV variability under stress.

  16. 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.

  17. Development of a performance assessment of executive function: the Children's Kitchen Task Assessment.

    PubMed

    Rocke, Kristy; Hays, Paige; Edwards, Dorothy; Berg, Christine

    2008-01-01

    This study developed and explored the validity of the Children's Kitchen Task Assessment (CKTA), a performance assessment of executive function. The development of the CKTA is described. Children were given the CKTA and neuropsychological assessments of executive functioning. Parents completed the Parent Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (Parent BRIEF). Forty-nine typically developing children ages 8 to 12 years participated in this study. Interrater reliability and internal consistency were established. Preliminary evidence of discriminant validity was reflected in significant differences on neuropsychological tests and the Parent BRIEF between high- and low-scoring CKTA groups. Age-related differences in CKTA performance further supported discriminant validity. Support for concurrent validity was observed in moderate correlations with established neuropsychological tests. Preliminary results suggest the CKTA is a valid performance assessment that evaluates the level of cognitive assistance children require to complete a challenging functional activity.

  18. A Comparison of Assessment Tasks Used to Measure FL Reading Comprehension.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wolf, Darlene F.

    1993-01-01

    Data from a study on second-language reading comprehension show that assessment task type, language of assessment, and target language experience uniformly affect learners' ability to demonstrate their reading comprehension. A literature review is included. (Contains 57 references.) (LB)

  19. Simple statistical inference algorithms for task-dependent wellness assessment.

    PubMed

    Kailas, A; Chong, C-C; Watanabe, F

    2012-07-01

    Stress is a key indicator of wellness in human beings and a prime contributor to performance degradation and errors during various human tasks. The overriding purpose of this paper is to propose two algorithms (probabilistic and non-probabilistic) that iteratively track stress states to compute a wellness index in terms of the stress levels. This paper adopts the physiological view-point that high stress is accompanied with large deviations in biometrics such as body temperature, heart rate, etc., and the proposed algorithms iteratively track these fluctuations to compute a personalized wellness index that is correlated to the engagement levels of the tasks performed by the user. In essence, this paper presents a quantitative relationship between temperature, occupational stress, and wellness during different tasks. The simplicity of the statistical inference algorithms make them favorable candidates for implementation on mobile platforms such as smart phones in the future, thereby providing users an inexpensive application for self-wellness monitoring for a healthier lifestyle.

  20. 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.

  1. 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…

  2. 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…

  3. Designing Tasks to Promote and Assess Mathematical Transfer in Primary School Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Clark, Julie; Page, Shaileigh; Thornton, Steve

    2013-01-01

    This study aims to design learning situations and tasks that promote and assess the capacity of primary school children to transfer mathematical knowledge to new contexts. We discuss previous studies investigating mathematical transfer, and particularly the strengths and limitations of tasks used to assess transfer in these studies. We describe…

  4. 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…

  5. 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…

  6. Perceptions of Classroom Assessment Tasks: An Interplay of Gender, Subject Area, and Grade Level

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alkharusi, Hussain Ali; Al-Hosni, Salim

    2015-01-01

    This study investigates students' perceptions of classroom assessment tasks as a function of gender, subject area, and grade level. Data from 2753 students on Dorman and Knightley's (2006) Perceptions of Assessment Tasks Inventory (PATI) were analyzed in a MANOVA design. Results showed that students tended to hold positive perceptions of their…

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Assessing motivation in children using a progressive ratio task.

    PubMed

    Chelonis, John J; Gravelin, Claire R; Paule, Merle G

    2011-06-01

    The association of age and sex on the performance of a progressive ratio task was studied in 847 children, ages 4-14 years. Variations of this task have been used extensively with animals and to a lesser extent with humans to study factors that affect aspects of motivation. The participants in this study were required to press a response lever for nickel reinforcers during a 10 min period. One response was required to earn the first nickel and each subsequent nickel required an additional 10 more responses. Older children had a significantly higher breakpoint than younger children. This appeared to be mostly the result of older children having significantly shorter inter-response times than younger children. In addition, boys had significantly higher breakpoints than girls, especially at older ages. The results of this study illustrate that both age and sex influence the performance of this task and thus suggest that age and sex influence aspects of motivation in children. Further, characterization of performance of this task by humans facilitates comparisons with animal models and, thus, enhances its translational utility.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Distinct changes in cortical acetylcholine and noradrenaline efflux during contingent and noncontingent performance of a visual attentional task.

    PubMed

    Dalley, J W; McGaughy, J; O'Connell, M T; Cardinal, R N; Levita, L; Robbins, T W

    2001-07-01

    Optimization of cognitive processing may depend on specific and distinct functions of the cortical cholinergic and noradrenergic systems. This investigation dissociates functions of cortical acetylcholine (ACh) and noradrenaline (NA) in arousal and visual attention by simultaneously measuring ACh and NA efflux in the rat prefrontal cortex during sustained attentional performance. The five-choice serial reaction time task was used to provide a continuous assessment of visuospatial attention. Previous studies using this task have established a critical role for the cortical cholinergic system in the detection of visual targets. However, selective lesions of the locus coeruleus noradrenergic system impair performance only when additional attentional demands are placed on the subject by distractors or temporally unpredictable targets. To test the hypothesis that the cortical noradrenergic system is particularly sensitive to novel task contingencies, we also assessed NA and ACh efflux in rats that been trained previously on the task but for whom the instrumental contingency coupling responding with stimulus detection and reward was abolished. Cortical ACh efflux showed a robust and task-related increase during established contingent performance. This response was significantly attenuated in noncontingent subjects, although it still exceeded pretask values. In contrast, NA efflux only increased transiently in contingent subjects after task onset but showed sustained elevations in noncontingent subjects on the first day when contingencies were changed. These data also implicate cortical ACh in aspects of attentional functioning but highlight a specific involvement of the cortical noradrenergic system in detecting shifts in the predictive relationship between instrumental action and reinforcement.

  14. Multi-Tasking Assessment for Personnel Selection and Development

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2005-08-01

    Kahneman, 1973; Meyer & Kieras, 1997). Field studies have associated MT with increased error, burnout , stress, and attrition in work environments such as...knowledge, and analytical and procedural accuracy tasks that require memory for following rules. The findings of correlational studies, however, were not... following section describes the methods and results of that study. STUDY OF VARIATION AMONG MT ENVIRONMENTS The purpose of the interview study was to

  15. Interhemispheric comparisons of cerebral blood flow velocity changes during mental tasks with transcranial Doppler sonography.

    PubMed

    Lin, Tzu-Kang; Ryu, Shan-Jin; Hsu, Peng-Wei

    2009-11-01

    The purpose of this study was to evaluate hemispheric asymmetry of cerebral blood flow changes during various mental tests by applying transcranial Doppler sonography (TCD) to simultaneously monitor bilateral cerebral blood flow velocity changes. Twenty-one participants without cerebrovascular disease performed 3 left hemispheric tasks (reading, calculation, and color scaling) and 3 right hemispheric tasks (face recognition, space imagination, and line orientation). Mean velocities of the rest and performing periods did not differ significantly between the left and right hemispheric tasks. Although greater acceleration of blood flow velocity was observed on the left than on the right in most of the 6 tasks except line orientation (mean left - right ratio difference [D(l-r)] ranged from -0.018 to 0.071), this difference was larger for left hemispheric tasks (mean D(l-r) ranged from 0.050 to 0.071) than right hemispheric tasks (mean D(l-r) ranged from -0.018 to 0.034; P < .001). Further comparisons of each pair of (ie, left and right) hemispheric tasks revealed that the most suitable left and right hemispheric tasks to show hemispheric asymmetry were reading and line orientation, respectively (P < .001). Hemispheric asymmetry of cerebral blood flow changes during mental tests is demonstrable with TCD only when comparing the D(l-r) in response to suitable paired left and right hemispheric tasks.

  16. Assessing Comprehension: Selected Interactions of Task and Reader.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Davey, Beth

    1989-01-01

    Summarizes key findings from five studies investigating how features of test questions (question format, testing condition, and question type) affect reading comprehension assessment outcomes. Discusses implications for assessment design and instructional practice. (MM)

  17. The validation of procedures to assess prevocational task preferences in retarded adults.

    PubMed Central

    Mithaug, D E; Hanawalt, D A

    1978-01-01

    Three severely retarded young adults between the ages of 19 and 21 years participated in a prevocational training program, and worked regularly on six different tasks during the scheduled six-hour day. The study attempted to assess each subject's preferences for the six tasks: collating, stuffing, sorting, pulley assembly, flour-sifter assembly, and circuit-board stuffing. In Phase I, the procedure consisted of randomly pairing each task with all other tasks in a two-choice situation that required the subjects to select one task from each pair combination to work for a seven-minute period. The selection procedure consisted of presenting two representative task objects on a tray and requesting the subject to pick up one object and place it on the work table. The object selected represented the task worked for that period. The 15 possible pair combinations were presented randomly every two days for a period of 34 days to determine the preferences. During the validation phase (Phase II), each subject's least- and most-preferred tasks were paired separately with moderately-preferred tasks. As expected, these manipulations confirmed the baseline data, as choices for the moderately-preferred tasks decreased when consistently paired with the preferred tasks and increased when consistently paired with the least-preferred tasks. PMID:649523

  18. 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…

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

  1. Developmental change in proactive interference across the life span: evidence from two working memory tasks.

    PubMed

    Loosli, Sandra V; Rahm, Benjamin; Unterrainer, Josef M; Weiller, Cornelius; Kaller, Christoph P

    2014-04-01

    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 PI. To this end, 92 individuals between the ages of 8 and 74 years completed a recent-probes task and an n-back task that both composed experimental manipulations of PI. Regarding global WM development, young adults had higher WM performance than children and older adults in both tasks. Significant PI × Age interactions revealed that susceptibility to PI changed over the life span in both tasks, whereas the developmental course of PI differed between the tasks: Children committed more PI-related errors than young adults in the recent-probes task but showed marginally less PI in the n-back task. Regarding reaction time costs, children did not differ from adults in the recent-probes task and were less affected than adults in the n-back. Older adults showed more PI-related errors than young adults in both tasks. Therefore, as expected, item-specific PI changed over the life span with the young adults being less susceptible to PI than children and older adults. The diverging developmental effects of PI across both tasks, especially in the children, are supposed to reflect different causes for the difficulties regarding resisting PI in children and older adults. These might concern differently developed underlying cognitive processes such as inhibition or recollection, or different responses to task demands across both tasks. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved.

  2. 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. Reprint & Copyright © 2016 Association of Military Surgeons of the U.S.

  3. 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. (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).

  4. 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.

  5. Task relevance induces momentary changes in the functional visual field during reading.

    PubMed

    Kaakinen, Johanna K; Hyönä, Jukka

    2014-02-01

    In the research reported here, we examined whether task demands can induce momentary tunnel vision during reading. More specifically, we examined whether the size of the functional visual field depends on task relevance. Forty participants read an expository text with a specific task in mind while their eye movements were recorded. A display-change paradigm with random-letter strings as preview masks was used to study the size of the functional visual field within sentences that contained task-relevant and task-irrelevant information. The results showed that orthographic parafoveal-on-foveal effects and preview benefits were observed for words within task-irrelevant but not task-relevant sentences. The results indicate that the size of the functional visual field is flexible and depends on the momentary processing demands of a reading task. The higher cognitive processing requirements experienced when reading task-relevant text rather than task-irrelevant text induce momentary tunnel vision, which narrows the functional visual field.

  6. Amitriptyline- and mianserin-induced changes in acquisition of paired-association learning-task.

    PubMed

    Liljequist, R; Seppälä, T; Mattila, M J

    1978-02-01

    1 The double-blind study on twenty healthy students was an attempt at assessing the effects of 2-week's treatment with amitriptyline (25 mg three times a day) and mianserin (10 mg three times a day), each alone or separatively inbibed with alcohol (0.5 g/kg) on the immediate memory and on the acquisition of a paired-association learning-task. 2 Amitriptyline impaired both the short-term memory-span and acquisition, and alcohol potentiated these effects. The action of mianserin did not deviate significantly from that of the placebo, and it also failed to interact with alcohol. 3 It is concluded that the decrement in learning capacity, that occurs after the 2-week's treatment with therapeutic doses of amitriptyline, reflects changes in both the intrinsic and the regulatory mechanisms of learning.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

  11. Great Performances: Creating Classroom-Based Assessment Tasks.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lewin, Larry; Shoemaker, Betty Jean

    This book presents an approach to developing performance assessments. It begins with four steps for "Info In" and moves to four "Info Out" modes through which students can make their content understanding explicit for evaluation purposes. The first chapter is an overview of performance assessment in the classroom. Chapter 2 discusses the "Info In"…

  12. 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…

  13. Taking Teaching to (Performance) Task: Linking Pedagogical and Assessment Practices

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chun, Marc

    2010-01-01

    Because most teaching is done in the classroom, most assessment of learning is done by faculty for their own courses. But since a college or university's collective learning goals, such as the development of higher-order thinking skills, are not the sole province of any single course or faculty member, the assessment of them needs to track the…

  14. 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…

  15. A Review of the Validity of Laboratory Cognitive Tasks Used to Assess Symptoms of ADHD

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nichols, Shana L.; Waschbusch, Daniel A.

    2004-01-01

    The authors of this article reviewed the validity of frequently used laboratory assessment measures of ADHD symptoms using research published since 1991. During this review, there was a strong emphasis on examining the validity of the tasks as they are commonly used by clinicians and researchers. Tasks evaluated included: the Continuous…

  16. 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…

  17. 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…

  18. Magnitude of Task-Sampling Variability in Performance Assessment: A Meta-Analysis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Huang, Chiungjung

    2009-01-01

    This study examined the percentage of task-sampling variability in performance assessment via a meta-analysis. In total, 50 studies containing 130 independent data sets were analyzed. Overall results indicate that the percentage of variance for (a) differential difficulty of task was roughly 12% and (b) examinee's differential performance of the…

  19. A Rich Assessment Task as a Window into Students' Multiplicative Reasoning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Downton, Ann; Wright, Vince

    2016-01-01

    This study explored the potential of a rich assessment task to reveal students' multiplicative thinking in respect to a hypothetical learning trajectory. Thirty pairs of students in grades 5 and 6 attempted the task. Twenty-two pairs applied multiplicative structure to find the number of items in arrays. However counting and computational errors…

  20. A Review of the Validity of Laboratory Cognitive Tasks Used to Assess Symptoms of ADHD

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nichols, Shana L.; Waschbusch, Daniel A.

    2004-01-01

    The authors of this article reviewed the validity of frequently used laboratory assessment measures of ADHD symptoms using research published since 1991. During this review, there was a strong emphasis on examining the validity of the tasks as they are commonly used by clinicians and researchers. Tasks evaluated included: the Continuous…

  1. 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…

  2. Student Engagement: A Framework for On-Demand Performance Assessment Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Taylor, Catherine; Kokka, Kari; Darling-Hammond, Linda; Dieckmann, Jack; Pacheco, Vivian Santana; Sandler, Susan; Bae, Soung

    2016-01-01

    Engaging students in meaningful applications of their knowledge is a key aspect of both addressing the standards and providing greater access. Not only do the standards emphasize the importance of meaningful engagement in real-world tasks, but evidence shows that engagement is strongly related to student performance on assessment tasks, especially…

  3. 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…

  4. 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…

  5. 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…

  6. 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

  7. Beyond Behavioral Inhibition: A Computer Avatar Task Designed to Assess Behavioral Inhibition Extends to Harm Avoidance.

    PubMed

    Allen, Michael Todd; Jameson, Molly M; Myers, Catherine E

    2017-01-01

    Personality factors such as behavioral inhibition (BI), a temperamental tendency for avoidance in the face of unfamiliar situations, have been identified as risk factors for anxiety disorders. Personality factors are generally identified through self-report inventories. However, this tendency to avoid may affect the accuracy of these self-report inventories. Previously, a computer based task was developed in which the participant guides an on-screen "avatar" through a series of onscreen events; performance on the task could accurately predict participants' BI, measured by a standard paper and pencil questionnaire (Adult Measure of Behavioral Inhibition, or AMBI). Here, we sought to replicate this finding as well as compare performance on the avatar task to another measure related to BI, the harm avoidance (HA) scale of the Tridimensional Personality Questionnaire (TPQ). The TPQ includes HA scales as well as scales assessing reward dependence (RD), novelty seeking (NS) and persistence. One hundred and one undergraduates voluntarily completed the avatar task and the paper and pencil inventories in a counter-balanced order. Scores on the avatar task were strongly correlated with BI assessed via the AMBI questionnaire, which replicates prior findings. Females exhibited higher HA scores than males, but did not differ on scores on the avatar task. There was a strong positive relationship between scores on the avatar task and HA scores. One aspect of HA, fear of uncertainty was found to moderately mediate the relationship between AMBI scores and avatar scores. NS had a strong negative relationship with scores on the avatar task, but there was no significant relationship between RD and scores on the avatar task. These findings indicate the effectiveness of the avatar task as a behavioral alternative to self-report measures to assess avoidance. In addition, the use of computer based behavioral tasks are a viable alternative to paper and pencil self-report inventories

  8. An electrophysiological assessment of distractor suppression in visual search tasks.

    PubMed

    Mazza, Veronica; Turatto, Massimo; Caramazza, Alfonso

    2009-07-01

    We investigated whether the N2pc is unequivocally linked to distractor-suppression mechanisms, as is commonly assumed. According to the distractor-suppression account of the N2pc, no suppression, and thus no N2pc, should occur when homogeneous distractors help in selecting the target, such as when the target feature is unpredictable. Participants performed a simple detection or a finer discrimination on a singleton target, which had either a variable or a constant color. Contrary to the distractor-suppression account, an N2pc was present for both the variable and the constant conditions, and for both tasks. Additionally, target feature consistency correlated with earlier N2pc onsets relative to variable blocks. Both results indicate that the N2pc is not unequivocally linked to distractor-suppression mechanisms, but may index mechanisms involved in identifying and localizing relevant stimuli through enhancement of their features.

  9. Pesticides: EPA's formidable task to assess and regulate their risks

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1986-01-01

    Most of the 50,000 pesticide products registered for use today have not been fully tested and evaluated in accordance with current testing requirements. These tests are required to determine a pesticide's potential for causing chronic effects in humans. At its current pace, EPA's reassessment and reregistration efforts will extend into the 21st century due to the magnitude and complexity of the tasks involved. Until EPA completes this effort, the health and environmental risks and benefits associated with older pesticides and their uses will not be fully known. EPA's review has been affected by data not being readily available and the competing demands on EPA resources. EPA's reregistration effort is further complicated by the need for an efficient mechanism to obtain test data on the effects of some inert ingredients and by the apparent legal inconsistencies that prohibit the use of a cancer-causing pesticide while, under other circumstances, allowing the use of the same pesticide.

  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. 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.

  12. Using Single-Participant Research To Assess Counseling Approaches on Children's Off-Task Behavior.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yarbrough, Jamie L.; Thompson, Charles L.

    2002-01-01

    Researches the efficacy of reality therapy and solution- focused brief counseling with elementary school students engaging in off-task behavior and demonstrates the utility of a single- participant design in conducting counseling research. Significant positive changes in the on-task behaviors of the students resulted from both approaches.…

  13. Using Single-Participant Research To Assess Counseling Approaches on Children's Off-Task Behavior.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yarbrough, Jamie L.; Thompson, Charles L.

    2002-01-01

    Researches the efficacy of reality therapy and solution- focused brief counseling with elementary school students engaging in off-task behavior and demonstrates the utility of a single- participant design in conducting counseling research. Significant positive changes in the on-task behaviors of the students resulted from both approaches.…

  14. 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.

  15. The Assessment of Military Multitasking Performance: Validation of a Dual-Task and Multitask Protocol

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-08-01

    1 AD_________________ Award Number: Contract W81XWH-12-2-0070 TITLE: Annual Report: The Assessment of Military Multitasking ...Performance: Validation of a Dual-Task and Multitask Protocol (Contract W81XWH-12-2-0070) PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Margaret M. Weightman PT...Assessment of Military Multitasking Performance: Validation of a Dual-Task and Multitask Protocol 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER 5b. GRANT NUMBER 5c. PROGRAM

  16. Developing Classroom Assessment Tasks Based on a Language Arts Curriculum: An In-service Approach.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Patelis, Thanos; Singer, Judith

    The purpose of this study was twofold: to develop teachers' assessment skills and to enable teachers to apply this knowledge to the creation of assessment tasks for the language arts curriculum thereby linking curriculum to assessment. Using a newly developed language arts curriculum, 79 urban Connecticut teachers were asked to develop the…

  17. Exploring the Role of Assessment Tasks to Promote Formative Assessment in Key Stage 3 Geography: Evidence from Twelve Teachers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tiknaz, Yonca; Sutton, Alan

    2006-01-01

    The article focuses on the planning and implementation of interim assessment tasks in Key Stage 3 Geography. This research identifies three key dimensions which impact on the planning of assessment in the medium and long term. These are: teachers' emerging conceptualization of "formative assessment"; the statutory requirements for…

  18. 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.; hide

    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.

  19. Scaling up Strategies for Change: Change in Formative Assessment Practices

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dekker, Truus; Feijs, Els

    2005-01-01

    This article discusses some of the results of the CATCH (Classroom Assessment as a basis for Teacher Change) project. CATCH was meant to develop, apply and scale up a professional development programme designed to change teachers' instruction by helping them change their formative assessment practices. The authors focus on the analysis of three…

  20. Needs Assessment and Analysis: Tools for Change.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rodriguez, Stephen R.

    1988-01-01

    Considers the processes associated with holistic needs assessment and other front end activities such as needs analysis, front-end analysis, and task analysis. The Organizational Elements Model (OEM) is described to clarify how processes relate to levels of organizational planning, and the optimal contexts for use of each process are suggested.…

  1. Assessment of Differential Item Functioning for Performance Tasks.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zwick, Rebecca; And Others

    1993-01-01

    Two extensions of the Mantel Haenszel procedure that may be useful in assessing differential item functioning (DIF) are explored. Simulation results showed that, for both inferential procedures, the studied item should be included in the matching variable, as in the dichotomous case. (SLD)

  2. Unscrambling Jumbled Sentences: An Authentic Task for English Language Assessment?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lanteigne, Betty

    2017-01-01

    Jumbled sentence items in language assessment have been criticized by some authors as inauthentic. However, unscrambling jumbled sentences is a common occurrence in real-world communication in English as a lingua franca. Naturalistic inquiry identified 54 instances of jumbled sentence use in daily life in Dubai/Sharjah, where English is widely…

  3. Assessment of driving after stroke--a pluridisciplinary task.

    PubMed

    Ponsford, A-S; Viitanen, M; Lundberg, C; Johansson, K

    2008-03-01

    The aim of the study was to analyze the assessment procedure and identify predictors for the team decision when assessing fitness to drive a car after stroke. The material used was a retrospective data set with 200 stroke clients from Queen Elisabeth's Foundation Mobility Centre at Banstead UK. Fifty-four percent of clients were considered fit to continue driving where 9% could resume driving after car adaptation and training. Important factors for the outcome were vision (acuity and field), neuropsychological functions (divided attention), and track and/or on road test (reaction time, anticipation, speed, and positioning). Cognitive impairment was the main problem in those who failed the driving test and judged not fit for continued driving. Car adaptation, mainly comprising infrared transmitted secondary controls together with automatic transmission was recommended in 35% of the cases. The contribution of different specialist groups appears to be necessary for an effective evaluation, but the assessment procedure can be done more cost-effectively by dividing it into two separate parts and removing certain subtests. The in-car track test is an important part of the assessment procedure with a high face validity and could in many cases make it unnecessary to perform in-traffic tests with unsafe drivers. Car adaptation is often necessary for a client with pronounced hemi-paresis and a full road test can for those only be performed after training the use of car controls.

  4. Assessing Expertise in Introductory Physics Using Categorization Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mason, Andrew; Singh, Chandralekha

    2011-01-01

    The ability to categorize problems based upon underlying principles, rather than surface features or contexts, is considered one of several proxy predictors of expertise in problem solving. With inspiration from the classic study by Chi, Feltovich, and Glaser, we assess the distribution of expertise among introductory physics students by asking…

  5. 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

  6. A virtual shopping task for the assessment of executive functions: Validity for people with stroke.

    PubMed

    Nir-Hadad, Shira Yama; Weiss, Patrice L; Waizman, Anna; Schwartz, Natalia; Kizony, Rachel

    2017-07-01

    The importance of assessing executive functions (EF) using ecologically valid assessments has been discussed extensively. Due to the difficulty of carrying out such assessments in real-world settings on a regular basis, virtual reality has been proposed as a technique to provide complex functional tasks under a variety of differing conditions while measuring various aspects of performance and controlling for stimuli. The main goal of this study was to examine the discriminant, construct-convergent and ecological validity of the Adapted Four-Item Shopping Task, an assessment of the Instrumental Activity of Daily Living (IADL) of shopping. Nineteen people with stroke, aged 50-85 years, and 20 age- and gender-matched healthy participants performed the shopping task in both the SeeMe Virtual Interactive Shopping environment and a real shopping environment (the hospital cafeteria) in a counterbalanced order. The shopping task outcomes were compared to clinical measures of EF. The findings provided good initial support for the validity of the Adapted Four-Item Shopping Task as an IADL assessment that requires the use of EF for people with stroke. Further studies should examine this task with a larger sample of people with stroke as well as with other populations who have deficits in EF.

  7. 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…

  8. 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…

  9. Electrophysiological assessment of driving pleasure and difficulty using a task-irrelevant probe technique.

    PubMed

    Takeda, Yuji; Inoue, Kazuya; Kimura, Motohiro; Sato, Toshihisa; Nagai, Chikara

    2016-10-01

    The amplitude of event-related brain potentials (ERPs) elicited by task-irrelevant auditory probes decreases when more attentional resources are allocated to a visual task. This task-irrelevant probe technique is considered to be useful in assessing the degree of interest in a visual task, as well as task difficulty. The present study examined the amplitude of the N1 and P2 components elicited by task-irrelevant auditory probes during a driving task in a simulated environment. The analysis of ERPs showed that the N1 amplitude decreased when participants drove on the road course that had more frequent and sharper curves, whereas the P2 amplitude decreased when the road contained sharper curves, irrespective of curve frequency. Subjective ratings of driving pleasure and difficulty showed the same variation patterns as the N1 and P2 amplitudes, respectively. These results suggest that use of the task-irrelevant probe technique can assess the degree of driving pleasure and difficulty separately.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Changes in the Spinal Neural Circuits are Dependent on the Movement Speed of the Visuomotor Task.

    PubMed

    Kubota, Shinji; Hirano, Masato; Koizume, Yoshiki; Tanabe, Shigeo; Funase, Kozo

    2015-01-01

    Previous studies have shown that spinal neural circuits are modulated by motor skill training. However, the effects of task movement speed on changes in spinal neural circuits have not been clarified. The aim of this research was to investigate whether spinal neural circuits were affected by task movement speed. Thirty-eight healthy subjects participated in this study. In experiment 1, the effects of task movement speed on the spinal neural circuits were examined. Eighteen subjects performed a visuomotor task involving ankle muscle slow (nine subjects) or fast (nine subjects) movement speed. Another nine subjects performed a non-visuomotor task (controls) in fast movement speed. The motor task training lasted for 20 min. The amounts of D1 inhibition and reciprocal Ia inhibition were measured using H-relfex condition-test paradigm and recorded before, and at 5, 15, and 30 min after the training session. In experiment 2, using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), the effects of corticospinal descending inputs on the presynaptic inhibitory pathway were examined before and after performing either a visuomotor (eight subjects) or a control task (eight subjects). All measurements were taken under resting conditions. The amount of D1 inhibition increased after the visuomotor task irrespective of movement speed (P < 0.01). The amount of reciprocal Ia inhibition increased with fast movement speed conditioning (P < 0.01), but was unchanged by slow movement speed conditioning. These changes lasted up to 15 min in D1 inhibition and 5 min in reciprocal Ia inhibition after the training session. The control task did not induce changes in D1 inhibition and reciprocal Ia inhibition. The TMS conditioned inhibitory effects of presynaptic inhibitory pathways decreased following visuomotor tasks (P < 0.01). The size of test H-reflex was almost the same size throughout experiments. The results suggest that supraspinal descending inputs for controlling joint movement are responsible

  13. Task-related changes in functional properties of the human brain network underlying attentional control.

    PubMed

    Kida, Tetsuo; Kakigi, Ryusuke

    2013-01-01

    Previous studies have demonstrated task-related changes in brain activation and inter-regional connectivity but the temporal dynamics of functional properties of the brain during task execution is still unclear. In the present study, we investigated task-related changes in functional properties of the human brain network by applying graph-theoretical analysis to magnetoencephalography (MEG). Subjects performed a cue-target attention task in which a visual cue informed them of the direction of focus for incoming auditory or tactile target stimuli, but not the sensory modality. We analyzed the MEG signal in the cue-target interval to examine network properties during attentional control. Cluster-based non-parametric permutation tests with the Monte-Carlo method showed that in the cue-target interval, beta activity was desynchronized in the sensori-motor region including premotor and posterior parietal regions in the hemisphere contralateral to the attended side. Graph-theoretical analysis revealed that, in beta frequency, global hubs were found around the sensori-motor and prefrontal regions, and functional segregation over the entire network was decreased during attentional control compared to the baseline. Thus, network measures revealed task-related temporal changes in functional properties of the human brain network, leading to the understanding of how the brain dynamically responds to task execution as a network.

  14. Changing Practices: Influences on Classroom Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tierney, Robin D.

    2006-01-01

    The pedagogical potential of classroom assessment to support student learning has increasingly been evidenced in research over the past decade. Constructive classroom assessment has been championed by assessment specialists, and endorsed by professional organizations. In practice, however, the process of changing classroom assessment from its…

  15. Ecological assessment of the dysexecutive syndrome using execution of a cooking task.

    PubMed

    Chevignard, M P; Taillefer, C; Picq, C; Poncet, F; Noulhiane, M; Pradat-Diehl, P

    2008-08-01

    Patients with a dysexecutive syndrome often have severe disabilities in daily life activities. The aims of this study were to use a naturalistic experimental task to assess patients' disabilities, and to study the nature of the cognitive disorders underlying them. Execution of a cooking task involving multi-tasking (Chevignard et al., 2000) was studied in 45 patients with a dysexecutive syndrome following acquired brain injury. Patients made significantly more errors and were slower than controls; more than half of the patients did not achieve the goal and demonstrated dangerous behaviours. Those results were significantly correlated to the results of the Six Elements Task and to a behavioural questionnaire. They were also correlated to brain injury severity and to patients' cooking habits. This naturalistic assessment is clinically relevant to better assess patients' dysexecutive impairments in complex activities of daily living. Correlations of the results in the cooking task with the neuropsychological assessment highlighted the role of the dysexecutive syndrome in patients' disabilities, indicating control alterations rather than planning disorders, difficulty in dealing with the environment, and inhibiting inappropriate actions. The role of attention and prospective memory was also underlined, whereas other cognitive functions did not influence task performance.

  16. 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…

  17. 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…

  18. 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.

  19. Task requirements change signal strength of the primary somatosensory M50: Oddball vs. one-back tasks.

    PubMed

    Götz, Theresa; Huonker, Ralph; Miltner, Wolfgang H R; Witte, Otto W; Dettner, Konrad; Weiss, Thomas

    2011-04-01

    Studies on attention to tactile stimuli have produced conflicting results concerning the possibility and/or direction of modulation of early somatosensory-evoked fields (SEFs). To evaluate sources of these conflicting results, the same subjects performed four different tasks in which the stimulation site, type, and intensity were kept constant. Twelve subjects performed an oddball-like tactile task, two different one-back tactile tasks, and a visual task, while two distal phalanges of the index and ring finger were stimulated. Task-dependent SEF modulations were found as early as 50 ms after stimulus onset (M50 component). Target/non-target ratios of M50 revealed enhanced values for the oddball-like tactile task, but decreased values for the tactile one-back task. This indicates that previously obtained conflicting results might be due to different central mechanisms induced by different task requirements. Copyright © 2010 Society for Psychophysiological Research.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    Abstract 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. PMID:24963035

  1. 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. © 2014 The Authors. Physiological Reports published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of the American Physiological Society and The Physiological Society.

  2. Using the NASA Task Load Index to Assess Workload in Electronic Medical Records.

    PubMed

    Hudson, Darren; Kushniruk, Andre W; Borycki, Elizabeth M

    2015-01-01

    Electronic medical records (EMRs) has been expected to decrease health professional workload. The NASA Task Load Index has become an important tool for assessing workload in many domains. However, its application in assessing the impact of an EMR on nurse's workload has remained to be explored. In this paper we report the results of a study of workload and we explore the utility of applying the NASA Task Load Index to assess impact of an EMR at the end of its lifecycle on nurses' workload. It was found that mental and temporal demands were the most responsible for the workload. Further work along these lines is recommended.

  3. 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…

  4. Naturalistic Decision-Making Task Processes in Multiprofessional Assessment of Disability.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bartolo, Paul A.; Dockrell, Julie; Lunt, Ingrid

    2001-01-01

    Studies the group decision-making process of the evaluation of preschool children with complex disabilities. Sequential application of processes was found to be influenced by the occurrence of a series of three cycles of decision making within each assessment and the decomposition of the assessment task into distinct subproblems. (Contains 67…

  5. 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…

  6. Using the Perceived Intensity-Level Assessment Task as an Instructional Tool.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Doering, Natalie

    2002-01-01

    Describes the Perceived Intensity-Level Assessment Task (PILAT), an instructional tool designed as an assessment device to help students feel various intensity levels and properly code themselves as they jump rope in a regular physical education class. The paper highlights justification for its use, instructional uses and procedures, instructional…

  7. Using the Perceived Intensity-Level Assessment Task as an Instructional Tool.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Doering, Natalie

    2002-01-01

    Describes the Perceived Intensity-Level Assessment Task (PILAT), an instructional tool designed as an assessment device to help students feel various intensity levels and properly code themselves as they jump rope in a regular physical education class. The paper highlights justification for its use, instructional uses and procedures, instructional…

  8. 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…

  9. Assessing Task Difficulty for Other People: When Deeper Evaluation Means "It's More about Me!"

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Krispenz, Ann; Dickhäuser, Oliver; Reinhard, Marc-André

    2016-01-01

    Empirical studies have revealed that teachers face problems when assessing task difficulty for their students. By drawing on research that focuses on how individuals assess what others know, we argue that these difficulties are a consequence of the imputation of one's own knowledge to others (i.e., social projection). In particular, we tested the…

  10. 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…

  11. 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.…

  12. Contextualising Higher Education Assessment Task Words with an "'Anti'-Glossary" Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Richards, Kendall; Pilcher, Nick

    2014-01-01

    Key "generic" assessment task words such as "discuss" and "critically evaluate" are integral to higher education assessment. Although sources such as study skills guides give generic decontextualised glossaries of these words, much research rightly argues for greater dialogue between students (particularly…

  13. Design of Tasks for Online Assessment That Supports Understanding of Students' Conceptions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yerushalmy, Michal; Nagari-Haddif, Galit; Olsher, Shai

    2017-01-01

    In the present study, we ask whether and how online assessment can inform teaching about students' understanding of advanced concepts. Our main goal is to illustrate how we study design of tasks that support reliable online formative assessment by automatically analyzing the objects and relations that characterize the students' submissions. We aim…

  14. Gender Perspectives on Spatial Tasks in a National Assessment: A Secondary Data Analysis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Logan, Tracy; Lowrie, Tom

    2017-01-01

    Most large-scale summative assessments present results in terms of cumulative scores. Although such descriptions can provide insights into general trends over time, they do not provide detail of how students solved the tasks. Less restrictive access to raw data from these summative assessments has occurred in recent years, resulting in…

  15. 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.…

  16. Naturalistic Decision-Making Task Processes in Multiprofessional Assessment of Disability.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bartolo, Paul A.; Dockrell, Julie; Lunt, Ingrid

    2001-01-01

    Studies the group decision-making process of the evaluation of preschool children with complex disabilities. Sequential application of processes was found to be influenced by the occurrence of a series of three cycles of decision making within each assessment and the decomposition of the assessment task into distinct subproblems. (Contains 67…

  17. 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…

  18. Ergonomic assessment for the task of repairing computers in a manufacturing company: A case study.

    PubMed

    Maldonado-Macías, Aidé; Realyvásquez, Arturo; Hernández, Juan Luis; García-Alcaraz, Jorge

    2015-01-01

    Manufacturing industry workers who repair computers may be exposed to ergonomic risk factors. This project analyzes the tasks involved in the computer repair process to (1) find the risk level for musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) and (2) propose ergonomic interventions to address any ergonomic issues. Work procedures and main body postures were video recorded and analyzed using task analysis, the Rapid Entire Body Assessment (REBA) postural method, and biomechanical analysis. High risk for MSDs was found on every subtask using REBA. Although biomechanical analysis found an acceptable mass center displacement during tasks, a hazardous level of compression on the lower back during computer's transportation was detected. This assessment found ergonomic risks mainly in the trunk, arm/forearm, and legs; the neck and hand/wrist were also compromised. Opportunities for ergonomic analyses and interventions in the design and execution of computer repair tasks are discussed.

  19. 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.

  20. 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…

  1. 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…

  2. Antecedent Assessment and Assessment-Based Treatment of Off-Task Behavior in a Child Diagnosed with Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Flood, William A.; Wilder, David A.

    2002-01-01

    Antecedent assessment and assessment-based intervention for off-task behavior by an 11-year-old with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is reported. Assessment correlated off-task behavior with difficult academic tasks; intervention included functional communication training that focused on teaching the child to request assistance, as well…

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Functional assessment of immediate task planning and execution by adults with acquired brain injury.

    PubMed

    Brown, Jessica A; Hux, Karen

    2016-06-27

    Individuals with acquired brain injury (ABI) often struggle planning and executing tasks outside daily routines. Given the pervasive effects executive functioning challenges have on independent living, professionals need methods of assessing these skills. This study's purpose was to evaluate an ecologically-valid procedure to assess novel task planning and execution by adults with ABI. The researchers implemented a single group design across two phases. Participants included nine adults with severe ABI. In the first experimental phase, participants created a plan for executing tasks that required adherence to pre-determined rules; in the second phase, participants executed the tasks. The researchers tallied information units recorded during the planning phase, performed momentary time-sampling to document observations about participant behaviors, and collected speed, accuracy, and rule violation data about task completion. Planning strategies implemented by most participants were limited to word-for-word copying of some or all of the specified tasks. On average, participants attempted and accurately performed less than half the required tasks and exhibited high rule violation rates. Given further development and refinement, the implemented procedures may serve as a basis for developing an ecologically-valid tool for evaluating executive functioning in adults with ABI.

  6. Cognitive performance in senile dementia of the Alzheimer's type: the Kitchen Task Assessment.

    PubMed

    Baum, C; Edwards, D F

    1993-05-01

    The Kitchen Task Assessment (KTA) is a functional measure that records the level of cognitive support required by a person with Senile Dementia of the Alzheimer's Type (SDAT) to complete a cooking task successfully. The results allow the clinician to help caregivers understand the level of support the impaired person needs to perform daily living tasks. This paper presents the validity and internal consistency of the KTA. Data were collected from 106 persons diagnosed with SDAT. Construct validity was established by examining the relationship between subjects' performance on the KTA and standard neuropsychological measures.

  7. Changes in corticospinal motor excitability induced by non-motor linguistic tasks.

    PubMed

    Papathanasiou, I; Filipović, S R; Whurr, R; Rothwell, J C; Jahanshahi, M

    2004-01-01

    The excitability of the corticospinal motor pathways to transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) can be differentially modulated by a variety of motor tasks. However, there is emerging evidence that linguistic tasks may alter excitability of the corticospinal motor pathways also. In this study we evaluated the effect of several movement-free, low-level linguistic processes involved in reading and writing on the excitability of the bilateral corticospinal motor pathways in a group of right-handed subjects. The study included two series of tasks, visual searching/matching and imaginal writing/drawing. The tasks were designed to roughly correspond with elemental aspects of the reading and writing, grapheme recognition and grapheme generation, respectively. Each task series included separate blocks with different task targets: letters, digits, semantically easy-to-code (i.e. geometric) shapes, and semantically hard-to-code shapes, as well as control blocks with no task. During task performance, TMS was delivered randomly over the hand area of either the left or right motor cortex and the modulation of the excitability of the corticospinal motor pathways was measured bilaterally through changes of the size of the motor-evoked potential (MEP) induced in the relaxed right and left first dorsal interosseous (FDI) muscles. We found that the size of the MEP in hand muscles increased during visual searching/matching tasks, particularly when targets were letters or geometric shapes, and the increase was significant for the dominant hand (left hemisphere) only. No such consistent effects were seen across subjects during imaginal tasks. This study provides evidence that even the performance of certain low-level linguistic tasks can modulate the excitability of the corticospinal motor pathways, particularly those originating from the left (dominant) hemisphere, despite the absence of overt motor activity. Moreover, in the light of the recently increased awareness of the role of

  8. On-the-Job Training: Development and Assessment of a Methodology for Generating Task Proficiency Evaluation Instruments.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Warm, Ronnie; And Others

    This document describes the development and assessment of a methodology for generating on-the-job-training (OJT) task proficiency assessment instruments. The Task Evaluation Form (TEF) development procedures were derived to address previously identified deficiencies in the evaluation of OJT task proficiency. The TEF development procedures allow…

  9. On-the-Job Training: Development and Assessment of a Methodology for Generating Task Proficiency Evaluation Instruments.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Warm, Ronnie; And Others

    This document describes the development and assessment of a methodology for generating on-the-job-training (OJT) task proficiency assessment instruments. The Task Evaluation Form (TEF) development procedures were derived to address previously identified deficiencies in the evaluation of OJT task proficiency. The TEF development procedures allow…

  10. Stress and gender effects on prefrontal cortex oxygenation levels assessed during single and dual-task walking conditions.

    PubMed

    Holtzer, Roee; Schoen, Chelsea; Demetriou, Eleni; Mahoney, Jeannette R; Izzetoglu, Meltem; Wang, Cuiling; Verghese, Joe

    2017-03-01

    The ability to walk is critical for functional independence and wellbeing. The pre-frontal cortex (PFC) plays a key role in cognitive control of locomotion, notably under attention-demanding conditions. Factors that influence brain responses to cognitive demands of locomotion, however, are poorly understood. Herein, we evaluated the individual and combined effects of gender and perceived stress on stride velocity and PFC Oxygenated Hemoglobin (HbO2 ) assessed during single and dual-task walking conditions. The experimental paradigm included Normal Walk (NW); Cognitive Interference (Alpha); and Walk-While-Talk (WWT) tasks. An instrumented walkway was used to assess stride velocity in NW and WWT conditions. Functional Near-Infrared-Spectroscopy (fNIRS) was used to quantify PFC HbO2 levels during NW, Alpha and WWT. Perceived task-related stress was evaluated with a single 11-point scale item. Participants were community residing older adults (age = 76.8 ± 6.7 years; %female = 56). Results revealed that higher perceived stress was associated with greater decline in stride velocity from single to dual-task conditions among men. Three-way interactions revealed that gender moderated the effect of perceived stress on changes in HbO2 levels comparing WWT to NW and Alpha. Attenuation in the increase in HbO2 levels, in high compared to low perceived stress levels, from the two single task conditions to WWT was observed only in men. Thus, older men may be more vulnerable to the effect of perceived stress on the change in PFC oxygenation levels across walking conditions that vary in terms of cognitive demands. These findings confer important implications for assessment and treatment of individuals at risk of mobility impairments. © 2016 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  11. Microanalytic Assessment of Self-Regulated Learning During Clinical Reasoning Tasks: Recent Developments and Next Steps.

    PubMed

    Cleary, Timothy J; Durning, Steven J; Artino, Anthony R

    2016-11-01

    Helping medical educators obtain and use assessment data to assist medical students, residents, and physicians in reducing diagnostic errors and other forms of ineffective clinical practice is of critical importance. Self-Regulated Learning-Microanalytic Assessment and Training is an assessment-to-intervention framework designed to address this need by generating data about trainees' strategic processes (e.g., focusing on clinical task procedures), regulatory processes (e.g., planning how to do a task), and motivational processes (e.g., increasing confidence for performing a task) as they perform clinical activities. In this article, the authors review several studies that have used an innovative assessment approach, called self-regulated learning (SRL) microanalysis, to generate data about how trainees regulate their thinking and actions during clinical reasoning tasks. Across the studies, initial findings revealed that medical students often do not exhibit strategic thinking and action during clinical reasoning practice tasks even though some regulatory processes (e.g., planning) are predictive of important medical education outcomes. Further, trainees' motivation beliefs, strategic thinking, and self-evaluative judgments tend to shift rapidly during clinical skills practice and may also vary across different parts of a patient encounter. Collectively, these findings underscore the value of dynamically assessing trainees' SRL as they complete clinical tasks. The findings also set the stage for exploring how medical educators can best use SRL microanalytic assessment data to guide remedial practices and the provision of feedback to trainees. Implications and future research directions for connecting assessments to intervention in medical education are discussed.

  12. The Application of Additive Factors Methodology to Workload Assessment in a Dynamic System Monitoring Task.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1980-12-01

    resources, task interference will be greater, and changes in the difficulty of one task will be more likely to derogate performance of the other. It...number of items in short term memory and response latency suggesting the presence of a comparison process between test stimulus onset and response...execution. Each additional item in memory adds approximately 38ms to the response latency. The essentially equivalent slopes for positive and negative

  13. Improving multitasking assessment in healthy older adults using a prop-based version of the Breakfast task.

    PubMed

    Kosowicz, Maria; MacPherson, Sarah E

    2017-01-01

    Computerized cognitive assessment is becoming increasingly more common in clinical neuropsychological assessment and cognitive neuropsychological research. A number of computerized tasks now exist to assess multitasking abilities that are essential for everyday tasks such as cooking, shopping, or driving, but little is known about whether these tasks are appropriate for assessing older adults' multitasking. The present study directly compared age effects on multitasking when assessed using a computerized and a prop-based version of Craik and Bialystok's ( 2006 ) Breakfast task. Twenty participants aged 18 to 24 years and 20 participants aged 60 to 79 years were assessed on both versions of the Breakfast task. While age-related decrements in multitasking performance were found using the computerized task, significant age differences were not found on the majority of measures when the prop-based version was administered. The results suggest that age-related deficits in multitasking will be less when more contextualized, noncomputer based tasks are used.

  14. Regional Climate Tutorial: Assessing Regional Climate Change and Its Impacts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barron, E.; Fisher, A.

    2002-05-01

    Recent scientific progress now enables credible projections of global changes in climate over long time periods. But people will experience global climate change where they live and work, and have difficulty thinking of a future beyond their grandchildren's lifetime. Although the task of projecting climate change and its impacts is far more challenging for regional and relatively near-term time scales, these are the scales at which actions most easily can be taken to moderate negative impacts. This tutorial will summarize what is known about projecting changes in regional climate, and about assessing the impacts for sectors such as forests, agriculture, fresh water quantity and quality, coastal zones, human health, and ecosystems. The Mid-Atlantic Regional Assessment (MARA) is used to provide context and illustrate how adaptation within the region and feedback from other regions influence the impacts that might be experienced.

  15. Adjustable task lighting: Field study assesses the benefits in an office environment.

    PubMed

    Joines, Sharon; James, Tamara; Liu, Siwen; Wang, Wenjiao; Dunn, Rebecca; Cohen, Shane

    2015-01-01

    Lighting is a part of every work task in the office environment, yet it is often overlooked. Research links direct and indirect glare to increased risk of visual discomfort among office workers with symptoms ranging from dry eyes to blurry vision or headaches. Researchers have been primarily concerned with those characteristics of task lighting that cause glare including luminance level, position (line of sight), and control. It is unknown what the benefits of adjustable task lights are and whether or not their use has an effect on musculoskeletal comfort or posture. No comprehensive field evaluations of this type were found among peer-reviewed, indexed journals. The purpose of this study was to assess the ergonomic and calculated utility power consumption benefits of adjustable LED task lighting in an office environment using a control/intervention experiment design. One hundred participants were originally recruited and randomly assigned to intervention and control groups. Self-reported data was collected on level of eye fatigue, perception of job content, intervention usability, and musculoskeletal discomfort. Data was also collected on workspace level of illumination and posture during standardized tasks (assessed using RULA). Comparing baseline data to follow-up data for the intervention group, the use of the adjustable, LED task lights provided statistically significant, positive impacts on users' rating of discomfort, eye fatigue, perception of job content, and posture between baseline and the short-term follow up. Significant benefits to musculoskeletal comfort, posture, and visual comfort were documented when participants used the adjustable task lights. Participants' assessments of the light's usability, usefulness and desirability were positive. There were no negative results found with adjustable task light use.

  16. 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…

  17. 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…

  18. 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

  19. Somatosensory evoked potentials show plastic changes following a novel motor training task with the thumb.

    PubMed

    Andrew, D; Haavik, H; Dancey, E; Yielder, P; Murphy, B

    2015-03-01

    Accumulating evidence indicates that plastic changes can be maladaptive in nature, resulting in movement and neurological disorders. The aim of this study was to further the understanding of these neurophysiological changes in sensorimotor integration (SMI) using somatosensory evoked potentials (SEPs) and concurrent performance changes following a repetitive typing task. SEPs were recorded following median nerve stimulation at the wrist and performed pre and post intervention. 24 participants were randomly assigned to either an intervention group which performed a 20min repetitive typing task or a control group which participated in a 20min period of mental recitation. The P22-N24 amplitude increased by 59.6%, compared to only 0.96% increase following the control. The P22-N30 SEP peak amplitude increased on average 13.4% following the motor training, compared to only 0.92% following the control. Significant improvement in reaction time when comparing performance of the motor task for the intervention group was observed. The N24 increase supports the involvement of cerebellar connections and the N30 increase provides further support for changes in SMI following motor learning. Combining motor training tasks with electrophysiological techniques gives insight into the mechanisms of disordered SMI and whether the changes are adaptive or maladaptive. Copyright © 2014 International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. How is a motor skill learned? Change and invariance at the levels of task success and trajectory control.

    PubMed

    Shmuelof, Lior; Krakauer, John W; Mazzoni, Pietro

    2012-07-01

    The public pays large sums of money to watch skilled motor performance. Notably, however, in recent decades motor skill learning (performance improvement beyond baseline levels) has received less experimental attention than motor adaptation (return to baseline performance in the setting of an external perturbation). Motor skill can be assessed at the levels of task success and movement quality, but the link between these levels remains poorly understood. We devised a motor skill task that required visually guided curved movements of the wrist without a perturbation, and we defined skill learning at the task level as a change in the speed-accuracy trade-off function (SAF). Practice in restricted speed ranges led to a global shift of the SAF. We asked how the SAF shift maps onto changes in trajectory kinematics, to establish a link between task-level performance and fine motor control. Although there were small changes in mean trajectory, improved performance largely consisted of reduction in trial-to-trial variability and increase in movement smoothness. We found evidence for improved feedback control, which could explain the reduction in variability but does not preclude other explanations such as an increased signal-to-noise ratio in cortical representations. Interestingly, submovement structure remained learning invariant. The global generalization of the SAF across a wide range of difficulty suggests that skill for this task is represented in a temporally scalable network. We propose that motor skill acquisition can be characterized as a slow reduction in movement variability, which is distinct from faster model-based learning that reduces systematic error in adaptation paradigms.

  1. How is a motor skill learned? Change and invariance at the levels of task success and trajectory control

    PubMed Central

    Krakauer, John W.; Mazzoni, Pietro

    2012-01-01

    The public pays large sums of money to watch skilled motor performance. Notably, however, in recent decades motor skill learning (performance improvement beyond baseline levels) has received less experimental attention than motor adaptation (return to baseline performance in the setting of an external perturbation). Motor skill can be assessed at the levels of task success and movement quality, but the link between these levels remains poorly understood. We devised a motor skill task that required visually guided curved movements of the wrist without a perturbation, and we defined skill learning at the task level as a change in the speed–accuracy trade-off function (SAF). Practice in restricted speed ranges led to a global shift of the SAF. We asked how the SAF shift maps onto changes in trajectory kinematics, to establish a link between task-level performance and fine motor control. Although there were small changes in mean trajectory, improved performance largely consisted of reduction in trial-to-trial variability and increase in movement smoothness. We found evidence for improved feedback control, which could explain the reduction in variability but does not preclude other explanations such as an increased signal-to-noise ratio in cortical representations. Interestingly, submovement structure remained learning invariant. The global generalization of the SAF across a wide range of difficulty suggests that skill for this task is represented in a temporally scalable network. We propose that motor skill acquisition can be characterized as a slow reduction in movement variability, which is distinct from faster model-based learning that reduces systematic error in adaptation paradigms. PMID:22514286

  2. Quantitative assessment of airborne exposures generated during common cleaning tasks: a pilot study

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background A growing body of epidemiologic evidence suggests an association between exposure to cleaning products with asthma and other respiratory disorders. Thus far, these studies have conducted only limited quantitative exposure assessments. Exposures from cleaning products are difficult to measure because they are complex mixtures of chemicals with a range of physicochemical properties, thus requiring multiple measurement techniques. We conducted a pilot exposure assessment study to identify methods for assessing short term, task-based airborne exposures and to quantitatively evaluate airborne exposures associated with cleaning tasks simulated under controlled work environment conditions. Methods Sink, mirror, and toilet bowl cleaning tasks were simulated in a large ventilated bathroom and a small unventilated bathroom using a general purpose, a glass, and a bathroom cleaner. All tasks were performed for 10 minutes. Airborne total volatile organic compounds (TVOC) generated during the tasks were measured using a direct reading instrument (DRI) with a photo ionization detector. Volatile organic ingredients of the cleaning mixtures were assessed utilizing an integrated sampling and analytic method, EPA TO-17. Ammonia air concentrations were also measured with an electrochemical sensor embedded in the DRI. Results Average TVOC concentrations calculated for 10 minute tasks ranged 0.02 - 6.49 ppm and the highest peak concentrations observed ranged 0.14-11 ppm. TVOC time concentration profiles indicated that exposures above background level remained present for about 20 minutes after cessation of the tasks. Among several targeted VOC compounds from cleaning mixtures, only 2-BE was detectable with the EPA method. The ten minute average 2- BE concentrations ranged 0.30 -21 ppm between tasks. The DRI underestimated 2-BE exposures compared to the results from the integrated method. The highest concentration of ammonia of 2.8 ppm occurred during mirror cleaning

  3. Evaluating the utility of administering a reaction time task in an ecological momentary assessment study.

    PubMed

    Waters, Andrew J; Li, Yisheng

    2008-03-01

    Cognitive processes underlying drug use have typically been assessed in laboratory settings. More detailed and ecologically valid data may be possible if assessments were conducted in an ecological momentary assessment (EMA) setting. We evaluated the feasibility and utility of administering a reaction time task on a hand-held computer (personal digital assistant, PDA) in an EMA setting. Twenty-two smokers and 22 non-smokers carried around the PDA for 1 week as they went about their daily lives. They were beeped at random times four times per day (random assessments, RAs). Participants were also instructed to press an "anxiety assessment" (AA) button on the PDA whenever they felt suddenly anxious. At each assessment (RA, AA), participants responded to items assessing subjective, pharmacological, and contextual variables, and subsequently completed a Stroop task (classic-Stroop, emotional-Stroop, or smoking-Stroop task). Participants responded to 81.2% of RAs, completed assessments in an average of 4.44 min, reported no interruptions on the majority of assessments (62.4%), and produced data with adequate reliability. Using generalized estimating equation (GEE) analyses, age was associated with the classic-Stroop effect, state anxiety was associated with the emotional-Stroop effect, and Fagerstrom Test for Nicotine Dependence scores were associated with the smoking-Stroop effect. The study provided evidence for the feasibility and utility of the approach.

  4. 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.

  5. Training-induced changes in the pattern of triceps to biceps activation during reaching tasks after chronic and severe stroke.

    PubMed

    Barker, Ruth Nancy; Brauer, Sandra; Carson, Richard

    2009-07-01

    This exploratory study was undertaken to investigate the mechanisms that contributed to improvements in upper limb function following a novel training program. Surface electromyography (EMG) was used to examine training-induced changes in the pattern of triceps and biceps activation during reaching tasks in stroke survivors with severe paresis in the chronic stage of recovery. The EMG data were obtained in the context of a single blind randomised clinical trial conducted with 42 stroke survivors with minimal upper limb muscle activity and who were more than 6 months post-stroke. Of the 33 participants who completed the study, 10 received training of reaching using a non-robotic upper limb training device, the SMART Arm, with EMG triggered functional electrical stimulation (EMG-stim), 13 received training of reaching using the SMART Arm alone, and 10 received no intervention. Each intervention group engaged in 12 1-h training sessions over a 4-week period. Clinical and laboratory measures of upper limb function were administered prior to training (0 weeks), at completion (4 weeks) and 2 months (12 weeks) after training. The primary outcome measure was 'upper arm function' which is Item 6 of the Motor Assessment Scale (MAS). Laboratory measures consisted of two multijoint reaching tasks to assess 'maximum isometric force' and 'maximum distance reached'. Surface EMG was used to monitor triceps brachii and biceps brachii during the two reaching tasks. To provide a comparison with normal values, seven healthy adults were tested on one of the reaching tasks according to the same procedure. Study findings demonstrated a statistically significant improvement in upper limb function for stroke participants in the two training groups compared to those who received no training however no difference was found between the two training groups. For the reaching tasks, all stroke participants, when compared to normal healthy adults, exhibited lower triceps and biceps activation and

  6. Reliability of accelerometry to assess impact loads of jumping and landing tasks.

    PubMed

    Simons, Chantal; Bradshaw, Elizabeth J

    2016-01-01

    Overuse injuries, resulting from repetitive subacute impact loading, are a problem in high-performance sports. Monitoring of impact loading may aid in the prevention of these injuries. The current study aimed to establish the intra-day and inter-day reliability of a tri-axial accelerometer to assess impact loading during jumping and landing tasks. Twelve participants wore an accelerometer on their upper and lower back. They performed a continuous hopping task as well as drop landings and rebound jumps from three drop heights (37.5, 57.5 and 77.5 cm), peak resultant acceleration (PRA) was calculated for all tasks. The tasks were performed twice, one week apart at the same time of day. The difference in the mean, intra-class correlation coefficient, coefficient of variation and Cohen's effect size were calculated as measures of reliability. PRA showed good intra-day reliability for the hopping task. Inter-day reliability of the PRA was moderate to good across all tasks. Reliability of PRA was slightly higher when accelerations were recorded on the lower back compared to the upper back. To assess impact loading, during continuous hopping, drop landings and rebound jumps, PRA recorded at both the upper and lower back appears to be a reliable measure.

  7. 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.

  8. Development and Feasibility of a Virtual Reality Task for the Cognitive Assessment of Older Adults: The ECO-VR.

    PubMed

    Oliveira, Camila R; Lopes Filho, Brandel José P; Sugarman, Michael A; Esteves, Cristiane S; Lima, Margarida Maria B M P; Moret-Tatay, Carmen; Irigaray, Tatiana Q; Argimon, Irani Iracema L

    2016-12-13

    Cognitive assessment with virtual reality (VR) may have superior ecological validity for older adults compared to traditional pencil-and-paper cognitive assessment. However, few studies have reported the development of VR tasks. The aim of this study was to present the development, feasibility, content validity, and preliminary evidence of construct validity of an ecological task of cognitive assessment for older adults in VR (ECO-VR). The tasks were prepared based on theoretical and clinical backgrounds. We had 29 non-expert judges identify virtual visual stimuli and three-dimensional scenarios, and five expert judges assisted with content analysis and developing instructions. Finally, six older persons participated in three pilot studies and thirty older persons participated in the preliminary study to identify construct validity evidence. Data were analyzed by descriptive statistics and partial correlation. Target stimuli and three-dimensional scenarios were judged adequate and the content analysis demonstrated that ECO-VR evaluates temporo-spatial orientation, memory, language and executive functioning. We made significant changes to the instructions after the pilot studies to increase comprehensibility and reduce the completion time. The total score of ECO-VR was positively correlated mainly with performance in executive function (r = .172, p < .05) and memory tests (r = .488, p ≤ .01). The ECO-VR demonstrated feasibility for cognitive assessment in older adults, as well as content and construct validity evidences.

  9. Functional brain and age-related changes associated with congruency in task switching.

    PubMed

    Eich, Teal S; Parker, David; Liu, Dan; Oh, Hwamee; Razlighi, Qolamreza; Gazes, Yunglin; Habeck, Christian; Stern, Yaakov

    2016-10-01

    Alternating between completing two simple tasks, as opposed to completing only one task, has been shown to produce costs to performance and changes to neural patterns of activity, effects which are augmented in old age. Cognitive conflict may arise from factors other than switching tasks, however. Sensorimotor congruency (whether stimulus-response mappings are the same or different for the two tasks) has been shown to behaviorally moderate switch costs in older, but not younger adults. In the current study, we used fMRI to investigate the neurobiological mechanisms of response-conflict congruency effects within a task switching paradigm in older (N=75) and younger (N=62) adults. Behaviorally, incongruency moderated age-related differences in switch costs. Neurally, switch costs were associated with greater activation in the dorsal attention network for older relative to younger adults. We also found that older adults recruited an additional set of brain areas in the ventral attention network to a greater extent than did younger adults to resolve congruency-related response-conflict. These results suggest both a network and an age-based dissociation between congruency and switch costs in task switching.

  10. Task difficulty and life changes among stroke family caregivers: relationship to depressive symptoms.

    PubMed

    McLennon, Susan M; Bakas, Tamilyn; Jessup, Nenette M; Habermann, Barbara; Weaver, Michael T

    2014-12-01

    To investigate differences in stroke caregiver task difficulty and life changes based on level of caregiver depressive symptoms, and to estimate probabilities among task difficulty and life change items. Descriptive analysis of baseline data from an ongoing stroke caregiver intervention trial. Hospitals and rehabilitation facilities. Caregivers (N=242; 78.6% women; 47.7% spouses; 71.8% white; mean age, 54.2±12.1y) caring for stroke survivors within 8 weeks of discharge to home. Not applicable. Baseline measures for task difficulty (Oberst Caregiving Burden Scale) and life changes (Bakas Caregiving Outcomes Scale) were compared based on level of depressive symptoms (Patient Health Questionnaire-9 [PHQ-9] scores <5 means no depressive symptoms; n=126; PHQ-9 scores ≥5 means mild to severe depressive symptoms, n=116). Mean scores were analyzed using general linear modeling, with item analyses using logistic regression and the Benjamini-Hochberg method to control type I error inflation. Caregivers with mild to severe depressive symptoms have greater difficulty with tasks and worse life changes than those with no depressive symptoms (P<.001). Odds ratios were highest for the task of arranging care while away and for negative life changes (eg, addressing self-esteem, coping with stress, physical health). Findings underscore the importance of depressive symptom screening for stroke caregivers during or shortly after discharge. Assisting caregivers with depressive symptoms to arrange for respite care and addressing negative physical and psychological changes may be priority areas for future interventions. Copyright © 2014 American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Task Difficulty and Life Changes among Stroke Family Caregivers: Relationship to Depressive Symptoms

    PubMed Central

    McLennon, Susan M.; Bakas, Tamilyn; Jessup, Nenette M.; Habermann, Barbara; Weaver, Michael T.

    2014-01-01

    OBJECTIVE To investigate differences in stroke caregiver task difficulty and life changes based on level of caregiver depressive symptoms, and to estimate probabilities among task difficulty and life change items. DESIGN Descriptive analysis of baseline data from an ongoing stroke caregiver intervention trial. SETTING Caregivers recruited from 10 mid-western hospitals and rehabilitation facilities. PARTICIPANTS Caregivers (N=242; 78.6% female; 47.7% spouses; 71.8% white; mean age 54.2±12.1) caring for stroke survivors within 8 weeks of discharge to home. INTERVENTIONS Not applicable. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES Baseline measures for task difficulty (Oberst Caregiving Burden Scale) and life changes (Bakas Caregiving Outcomes Scale) were compared based on level of depressive symptoms (PHQ-9 scores < 5 = no depressive symptoms, n=126; PHQ-9 scores ≥ 5 = mild to severe depressive symptoms, n=116). Mean scores were analyzed using general linear modeling, with item analyses using logistic regression and the Benjamini-Hochberg method to control Type I error inflation. RESULTS Caregivers with mild to severe depressive symptoms had greater difficulty with tasks and worse life changes than those with no depressive symptoms (p<.001). Odds ratios were highest for the task of arranging care while away, and highest for negative life changes such as addressing self-esteem, coping with stress, and physical health. CONCLUSION Findings underscore the importance of depressive symptom screening for stroke caregivers during or shortly after discharge. Assisting caregivers with depressive symptoms to arrange for respite care and addressing negative physical and psychological changes may be priority areas for future interventions. PMID:24858447

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. The Box Task: A tool to design experiments for assessing visuospatial working memory.

    PubMed

    Kessels, Roy P C; Postma, Albert

    2017-09-15

    The present paper describes the Box Task, a paradigm for the computerized assessment of visuospatial working memory. In this task, hidden objects have to be searched by opening closed boxes that are shown at different locations on the computer screen. The set size (i.e., number of boxes that must be searched) can be varied and different error scores can be computed that measure specific working memory processes (i.e., the number of within-search and between-search errors). The Box Task also has a developer's mode in which new stimulus displays can be designed for use in tailored experiments. The Box Task comes with a standard set of stimulus displays (including practice trials, as well as stimulus displays with 4, 6, and 8 boxes). The raw data can be analyzed easily and the results of individual participants can be aggregated into one spreadsheet for further statistical analyses.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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…

  20. Learned Irrelevance and Response Perseveration in a Total Change Dimensional Shift Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Maes, J. H. R.; Vich, J.; Eling, P. A. T. M.

    2006-01-01

    Thirty-six healthy participants received a discrimination learning task requiring the identification of a relevant stimulus dimension. After successful learning, the relevant dimension was shifted unannounced. All exemplars of the two dimensions presented after the shift were novel, implying a "total change" design. In three experimental…

  1. 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…

  2. 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.…

  3. 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…

  4. A Longitudinal Perspective on Inductive Reasoning Tasks. Illuminating the Probability of Change

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ifenthaler, Dirk; Seel, Norbert M.

    2011-01-01

    Cognitive scientists have studied internal cognitive structures, processes, and systems for decades in order to understand how they function in human learning. Nevertheless, questions concerning the diagnosis of changes in these cognitive structures while solving inductive reasoning tasks are still being scrutinized. This paper reports findings…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2010-01-01

    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.…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2010-01-01

    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.…

  7. Perspective Taking and Cognitive Flexibility in the Dimensional Change Card Sorting (DCCS) Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kloo, Daniela; Perner, Josef; Aichhorn, Markus; Schmidhuber, Nicola

    2010-01-01

    In a study with 79 3-year-olds, we confirm earlier findings that separating the sorting dimensions improve children's performance on the Dimensional Change Card Sorting (DCCS) task. We also demonstrate that the central reason for this facilitation is that the two sorting dimensions are not integral features of a single object. Spatial separation…

  8. 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.…

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

  11. 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…

  12. Climate change vulnerability assessment in Georgia

    Treesearch

    Binita KC; J. Marshall Shepherd; Cassandra Johnson Gaither

    2015-01-01

    Climate change is occurring in the Southeastern United States, and one manifestation is changes in frequency and intensity of extreme events. A vulnerability assessment is performed in the state of Georgia (United States) at the county level from 1975 to 2012 in decadal increments. Climate change vulnerability is typically measured as a function of exposure to physical...

  13. Task-dependent changes in cortical excitability and effective connectivity: a combined TMS-EEG study

    PubMed Central

    Kundu, Bornali; Casali, Adenauer G.; Postle, Bradley R.

    2012-01-01

    The brain's electrical response to transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is known to be influenced by exogenous factors such as the frequency and intensity of stimulation and the orientation and positioning of the stimulating coil. Less understood, however, is the influence of endogenous neural factors, such as global brain state, on the TMS-evoked response (TMS-ER). In the present study, we explored how changes in behavioral state affect the TMS-ER by perturbing the superior parietal lobule (SPL) with single pulses of TMS and measuring consequent differences in the frequency, strength, and spatial spread of TMS-evoked currents during the delay period of a spatial short-term memory task and during a period of passive fixation. Results revealed that task performance increased the overall strength of electrical currents induced by TMS, increased the spatial spread of TMS-evoked activity to distal brain regions, and increased the ability of TMS to reset the phase of ongoing broadband cortical oscillations. By contrast, task performance had little effect on the dominant frequency of the TMS-ER, both locally and at distal brain areas. These findings contribute to a growing body of work using combined TMS and neuroimaging methods to explore task-dependent changes in the functional organization of cortical networks implicated in task performance. PMID:22323626

  14. Devices and tasks involved in the objective assessment of standing dynamic balancing - A systematic literature review.

    PubMed

    Petró, Bálint; Papachatzopoulou, Alexandra; Kiss, Rita M

    2017-01-01

    Static balancing assessment is often complemented with dynamic balancing tasks. Numerous dynamic balancing assessment methods have been developed in recent decades with their corresponding balancing devices and tasks. The aim of this systematic literature review is to identify and categorize existing objective methods of standing dynamic balancing ability assessment with an emphasis on the balancing devices and tasks being used. Three major scientific literature databases (Science Direct, Web of Science, PLoS ONE) and additional sources were used. Studies had to use a dynamic balancing device and a task described in detail. Evaluation had to be based on objectively measureable parameters. Functional tests without instrumentation evaluated exclusively by a clinician were excluded. A total of 63 articles were included. The data extracted during full-text assessment were: author and date; the balancing device with the balancing task and the measured parameters; the health conditions, size, age and sex of participant groups; and follow-up measurements. A variety of dynamic balancing assessment devices were identified and categorized as 1) Solid ground, 2) Balance board, 3) Rotating platform, 4) Horizontal translational platform, 5) Treadmill, 6) Computerized Dynamic Posturography, and 7) Other devices. The group discrimination ability of the methods was explored and the conclusions of the studies were briefly summarized. Due to the wide scope of this search, it provides an overview of balancing devices and do not represent the state-of-the-art of any single method. The identified dynamic balancing assessment methods are offered as a catalogue of candidate methods to complement static assessments used in studies involving postural control.

  15. Assessment of Joystick control during the performance of powered wheelchair driving tasks

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Powered wheelchairs are essential for many individuals who have mobility impairments. Nevertheless, if operated improperly, the powered wheelchair poses dangers to both the user and to those in its vicinity. Thus, operating a powered wheelchair with some degree of proficiency is important for safety, and measuring driving skills becomes an important issue to address. The objective of this study was to explore the discriminate validity of outcome measures of driving skills based on joystick control strategies and performance recorded using a data logging system. Methods We compared joystick control strategies and performance during standardized driving tasks between a group of 10 expert and 13 novice powered wheelchair users. Driving tasks were drawn from the Wheelchair Skills Test (v. 4.1). Data from the joystick controller were collected on a data logging system. Joystick control strategies and performance outcome measures included the mean number of joystick movements, time required to complete tasks, as well as variability of joystick direction. Results In simpler tasks, the expert group's driving skills were comparable to those of the novice group. Yet, in more difficult and spatially confined tasks, the expert group required fewer joystick movements for task completion. In some cases, experts also completed tasks in approximately half the time with respect to the novice group. Conclusions The analysis of joystick control made it possible to discriminate between novice and expert powered wheelchair users in a variety of driving tasks. These results imply that in spatially confined areas, a greater powered wheelchair driving skill level is required to complete tasks efficiently. Based on these findings, it would appear that the use of joystick signal analysis constitutes an objective tool for the measurement of powered wheelchair driving skills. This tool may be useful for the clinical assessment and training of powered wheelchair skills. PMID

  16. 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.

  17. 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). © 2016 Society for the Experimental Analysis of Behavior.

  18. 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.

  19. A Novel Method for Assessing Task Complexity in Outpatient Clinical-Performance Measures.

    PubMed

    Hysong, Sylvia J; Amspoker, Amber B; Petersen, Laura A

    2016-04-01

    Clinical-performance measurement has helped improve the quality of health-care; yet success in attaining high levels of quality across multiple domains simultaneously still varies considerably. Although many sources of variability in care quality have been studied, the difficulty required to complete the clinical work itself has received little attention. We present a task-based methodology for evaluating the difficulty of clinical-performance measures (CPMs) by assessing the complexity of their component requisite tasks. Using Functional Job Analysis (FJA), subject-matter experts (SMEs) generated task lists for 17 CPMs; task lists were rated on ten dimensions of complexity, and then aggregated into difficulty composites. Eleven outpatient work SMEs; 133 VA Medical Centers nationwide. Clinical Performance: 17 outpatient CPMs (2000-2008) at 133 VA Medical Centers nationwide. Measure Difficulty: for each CPM, the number of component requisite tasks and the average rating across ten FJA complexity scales for the set of tasks comprising the measure. Measures varied considerably in the number of component tasks (M = 10.56, SD = 6.25, min = 5, max = 25). Measures of chronic care following acute myocardial infarction exhibited significantly higher measure difficulty ratings compared to diabetes or screening measures, but not to immunization measures ([Formula: see text] = 0.45, -0.04, -0.05, and -0.06 respectively; F (3, 186) = 3.57, p = 0.015). Measure difficulty ratings were not significantly correlated with the number of component tasks (r = -0.30, p = 0.23). Evaluating the difficulty of achieving recommended CPM performance levels requires more than simply counting the tasks involved; using FJA to assess the complexity of CPMs' component tasks presents an alternate means of assessing the difficulty of primary-care CPMs and accounting for performance variation among measures and performers. This in turn could be used in designing

  20. The U.S. Navy’s Task Force Climate Change & The Navy’s Arctic Roadmap

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-06-01

    Wild-cards  Ocean acidification  Abrupt climate change  Geoengineering Challenges and opportunities exist UNCLASSIFIED 4 Task Force...UNCLASSIFIED The U.S. Navy’s Task Force Climate Change & The Navy’s Arctic Roadmap CAPT Tim Gallaudet, Ph.D. Deputy Director, Task Force... Climate Change / Office of the Oceanographer of the Navy June 2011 Report Documentation Page Form ApprovedOMB No. 0704-0188 Public reporting burden for

  1. "Doing Geography": Evaluating an Independent Geographic Inquiry Assessment Task in an Initial Teacher Education Program

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Harte, Wendy; Reitano, Paul

    2016-01-01

    The assessment task of the final course in a bachelor of secondary education program is examined for opportunities for preservice geography teachers to achieve the course aims of integrating, consolidating, applying, and reflecting on the knowledge and skills they have learned during their initial teacher education program. The results show that…

  2. 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 between…

  3. Reverse Discourse Completion Task as an Assessment Tool for Intercultural Competence

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kanik, Mehmet

    2013-01-01

    This paper proposes a prototypic assessment tool for intercultural communicative competence. Because traditional discourse completion tasks (DCTs) focus on illocutionary competence rather than sociolinguistic competence, a modified version of a DCT was created to target sociolinguistic competence. The modified DCT employs speech acts as prompts…

  4. Comparing Vignette Instruction and Assessment Tasks to Classroom Observations and Reflections

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jeffries, Carolyn; Maeder, Dale W.

    2011-01-01

    The growing body of research on the use of vignettes in teacher education courses suggests that vignette-based instruction and assessment tasks may represent a viable alternative to traditional forms of scaffolded instruction and reflective essays following classroom observations, thereby creating a bridge between college and K-12 classrooms for…

  5. 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…

  6. 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"…

  7. How Many Words Do You Know? An Integrated Assessment Task for Introductory Statistics Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Warton, David I.

    2007-01-01

    A novel assignment exercise is described, in which students use a dictionary to estimate the size of their vocabulary. This task was developed for an introductory statistics service course, although it can be modified for use in survey sampling courses. The exercise can be used to simultaneously assess a range of core statistics skills: sample…

  8. 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 between…

  9. "Doing Geography": Evaluating an Independent Geographic Inquiry Assessment Task in an Initial Teacher Education Program

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Harte, Wendy; Reitano, Paul

    2016-01-01

    The assessment task of the final course in a bachelor of secondary education program is examined for opportunities for preservice geography teachers to achieve the course aims of integrating, consolidating, applying, and reflecting on the knowledge and skills they have learned during their initial teacher education program. The results show that…

  10. Effect of Assessment Task and Letter Writing Ability on Preschool Children's Spelling Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Puranik, Cynthia; Apel, Kenn

    2010-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine whether spelling performance in preschool children varied as a function of the method of assessment and letter writing ability. The authors manipulated the motoric element and memory demands of the task by having children spell single words using letter tiles, orally, and by writing. The authors also…

  11. How Many Words Do You Know? An Integrated Assessment Task for Introductory Statistics Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Warton, David I.

    2007-01-01

    A novel assignment exercise is described, in which students use a dictionary to estimate the size of their vocabulary. This task was developed for an introductory statistics service course, although it can be modified for use in survey sampling courses. The exercise can be used to simultaneously assess a range of core statistics skills: sample…

  12. 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…

  13. 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…

  14. 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…

  15. Correlating virtual reality and box trainer tasks in the assessment of laparoscopic surgical skills.

    PubMed

    Newmark, Jordan; Dandolu, Vani; Milner, Richard; Grewal, Harsh; Harbison, Sean; Hernandez, Enrique

    2007-11-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine the correlation in the assessment of laparoscopic surgical skills in medical students with the use of a virtual reality laparoscopic trainer and a low-fidelity video box trainer with comparative tasks. Third-year medical students were asked to perform 3 basic skills set modules on LapSim (Surgical Science, Gothenburg, Sweden): coordination, grasping and lifting, and handling the intestines. Each task was set at the easiest level, and each student was allowed a maximum of 10 attempts to complete each task. Similar-appearing tasks were chosen for comparison with the use of a standard video box trainer: pegboard, cup drop and rope pass, respectively. Laparoscopic skills were evaluated with the use of both trainers during 1 session. Pearson's correlation coefficients were used to compare paired data on each student using statistical software. Forty-seven of 65 medical students were assigned to clinical clerkships on-campus at Temple University School of Medicine participated in the study. All 47 students participated in the video box trainer tasks; 34 students completed both the video box trainer and LapSim skills set. Observations that were obtained on the LapSim virtual reality system and video box trainer simulator demonstrated several correlations. The time to completion for the LapSim coordination task and the pegboard task were correlated (r = 0.507; P = .006), as were the grasping and lifting task completion time on LapSim and the comparative box trainer cup drop task completion time (r = 0.404; P = .022). When accounting for errors, the LapSim coordination task tissue damage score was correlated with the sum of all box trainer errors (r = 0.353; P = .040); the average grasping and lifting tissue damage was correlated with the total number of errors during all box trainer tasks (r = 0.374; P = .035). Overall, in evaluating laparoscopic skills, the LapSim and video box trainer were correlated positively with one another

  16. 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…

  17. 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…

  18. 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.

  19. 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…

  20. Development of a Performance Assessment Task and Rubric to Measure Prospective Secondary School Mathematics Teachers' Pedagogical Content Knowledge and Skills

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Koirala, Hari P.; Davis, Marsha; Johnson, Peter

    2008-01-01

    The purpose of this paper is to share a performance assessment task and rubric designed to assess secondary school mathematics preservice teachers' pedagogical content knowledge and skills. The assessment task and rubric were developed in collaboration with five education faculty, four arts and sciences faculty, and four high school teachers over…

  1. 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…

  2. 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.

  3. A schizophrenia relevant 5-Choice Serial Reaction Time Task for mice assessing broad monitoring, distractibility and impulsivity.

    PubMed

    Huang, Huiping; Guadagna, Simone; Mereu, Maddalena; Ciampoli, Mariasole; Pruzzo, Giacomo; Ballard, Theresa; Papaleo, Francesco

    2017-04-05

    The 5-Choice Serial Reaction Time Task (5-CSRTT) is an automated test for rodents allowing the assessment of multiple cognitive measures. Originally designed to assess cognitive deficits relevant to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, it has been widely used in the investigation of neural systems of attention. In the current study, we have set up a modified version, which reduced the training phase to only 8-9 days with minimal food deprivation and without single-housing. Furthermore, based on evidence that patients with schizophrenia are more impaired in broad monitoring abilities than in sustained attention, we successfully developed a protocol replicating the Spatial Attentional Resource Allocation Task (SARAT), used in humans to assess broad monitoring. During this task, when the target appeared at a single pre-cued location, mice selectively responded faster. Instead, increasing the number of validly cued locations proportionately decreased accuracy. We then validated a protocol which is relevant for neuropsychiatric disorders in which additional irrelevant pre-cue lights selectively disrupted attention (distractibility). Finally, we improved previously used protocols changing inter-trial intervals from 5 to 7 s by randomly presenting this shift only in 20% of the trials. This resulted in a selective effect on premature responses (impulsivity), with important implications for schizophrenia as well as for other mental disorders. Therefore, this revised 5-CSRTT reduced training and stress on the animals while selectively measuring different cognitive functions with translational validity to schizophrenia and other psychiatric disorders.

  4. 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. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  5. Climate change vulnerability for species-Assessing the assessments.

    PubMed

    Wheatley, Christopher J; Beale, Colin M; Bradbury, Richard B; Pearce-Higgins, James W; Critchlow, Rob; Thomas, Chris D

    2017-09-01

    Climate change vulnerability assessments are commonly used to identify species at risk from global climate change, but the wide range of methodologies available makes it difficult for end users, such as conservation practitioners or policymakers, to decide which method to use as a basis for decision-making. In this study, we evaluate whether different assessments consistently assign species to the same risk categories and whether any of the existing methodologies perform well at identifying climate-threatened species. We compare the outputs of 12 climate change vulnerability assessment methodologies, using both real and simulated species, and validate the methods using historic data for British birds and butterflies (i.e. using historical data to assign risks and more recent data for validation). Our results show that the different vulnerability assessment methods are not consistent with one another; different risk categories are assigned for both the real and simulated sets of species. Validation of the different vulnerability assessments suggests that methods incorporating historic trend data into the assessment perform best at predicting distribution trends in subsequent time periods. This study demonstrates that climate change vulnerability assessments should not be used interchangeably due to the poor overall agreement between methods when considering the same species. The results of our validation provide more support for the use of trend-based rather than purely trait-based approaches, although further validation will be required as data become available. © 2017 The Authors. Global Change Biology Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  6. Assessing change with the extended logistic model.

    PubMed

    Cristante, Francesca; Robusto, Egidio

    2007-11-01

    The purpose of this article is to define a method for the assessment of change. A reinterpretation of the extended logistic model is proposed. The extended logistic model for the assessment of change (ELMAC) allows the definition of a time parameter which is supposed to identify whether change occurs during a period of time, given a specific event or phenomenon. The assessment of a trend of change through time, on the basis of the time parameter which is estimated at different successive occasions during a period of time, is also considered. In addition, a dispersion parameter is calculated which identifies whether change is consistent at each time point. The issue of independence is taken into account both in relation to the time parameter and the dispersion parameter. An application of the ELMAC in a learning process is presented. The interpretation of the model parameters and the model fit statistics is consistent with expectations.

  7. A Closer Look: A Workshop Guide Designed to Aid Teachers in Assessing Learning Tasks in Instructional Materials.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Manzo, Anthony V.; And Others

    This manual for workshop leaders offers guidelines for planning and conducting a teachers' workshop in assessing the tasks students are asked to perform. The focus is on individual tasks in self-help or auto-instructional materials, although closer examination of such tasks will suggest their value for adaptation and inclusion in standard teaching…

  8. Assessing Affective and Deliberative Decision-Making: Adaptation of the Columbia Card Task to Brazilian Portuguese.

    PubMed

    Kluwe-Schiavon, Bruno; Sanvicente-Vieira, Breno; Viola, Thiago W; Veiga, Eduardo; Bortolotto, Vanessa; Grassi-Oliveira, Rodrigo

    2015-11-20

    The ability to predict reward and punishment is essential for decision-making and the ability to learn about an ever-changing environment. Therefore, efforts have been made in understanding the mechanisms underlying decision-making, especially regarding how affective and deliberative processes interact with risk behavior. To adapt to Brazilian Portuguese the Columbia Card Task (CCT) and investigate affective and deliberative processes involved in decision-making. This study had two main phases: (1) a transcultural adaptation and (2) a pilot study. The feedback manipulation among the three conditions of CCT had an effect on the risk-taking level (p < .005, ES = .201). In addition, the feedback manipulation among the three conditions of CCT had an effect on the information use at both the individual and group levels. Further, a linear regression suggested that the use of information, indicated by the advantageous level of the scenarios, predict the number of cards chosen R 2 = .029, p < .001, accounting for 17% of the variance. The Brazilian CCT performs well and is a versatile method for the assessment of affective and deliberative decision-making under risk according to different feedback manipulation scenarios. This study goes further, comparing electrodermal activity during hot and warm conditions and addressing an advantageous level index analysis to asses deliberative processing.

  9. 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…

  10. Real-time changes in corticospinal excitability related to motor imagery of a force control task.

    PubMed

    Tatemoto, Tsuyoshi; Tsuchiya, Junko; Numata, Atsuki; Osawa, Ryuji; Yamaguchi, Tomofumi; Tanabe, Shigeo; Kondo, Kunitsugu; Otaka, Yohei; Sugawara, Kenichi

    2017-09-29

    To investigate real-time excitability changes in corticospinal pathways related to motor imagery in a changing force control task, using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). Ten healthy volunteers learnt to control the contractile force of isometric right wrist dorsiflexion in order to track an on-screen sine wave form. Participants performed the trained task 40 times with actual muscle contraction in order to construct the motor image. They were then instructed to execute the task without actual muscle contraction, but by imagining contraction of the right wrist in dorsiflexion. Motor evoked potentials (MEPs), induced by TMS in the right extensor carpi radialis muscle (ECR) and flexor carpi radialis muscle (FCR), were measured during motor imagery. MEPs were induced at five time points: prior to imagery, during the gradual generation of the imaged wrist dorsiflexion (Increasing phase), the peak value of the sine wave, during the gradual reduction (Decreasing phase), and after completion of the task. The MEP ratio, as the ratio of imaged MEPs to resting-state, was compared between pre- and post-training at each time point. In the ECR muscle, the MEP ratio significantly increased during the Increasing phase and at the peak force of dorsiflexion imagery after training. Moreover, the MEP ratio was significantly greater in the Increasing phase than in the Decreasing phase. In the FCR, there were no significant consistent changes. Corticospinal excitability during motor imagery in an isometric contraction task was modulated in relation to the phase of force control after image construction. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Park Play: a picture description task for assessing childhood motor speech disorders.

    PubMed

    Patel, Rupal; Connaghan, Kathryn

    2014-08-01

    The purpose of this study was to develop a picture description task for eliciting connected speech from children with motor speech disorders. The Park Play scene is a child-friendly picture description task aimed at augmenting current assessment protocols for childhood motor speech disorders. The design process included a literature review to: (1) establish optimal design features for child assessment, (2) identify a set of evidence-based speech targets specifically tailored to tax the motor speech system, and (3) enhance current assessment tools. To establish proof of concept, five children (ages 4;3-11;1) with dysarthria or childhood apraxia of speech were audio-recorded while describing the Park Play scene. Feedback from the feasibility test informed iterative design modifications. Descriptive, segmental, and prosodic analyses revealed the task was effective in eliciting desired targets in a connected speech sample, thereby yielding additional information beyond the syllables, words, and sentences generally elicited through imitation during the traditional motor speech examination. Further discussion includes approaches to adapt the task for a variety of clinical needs.

  12. Comparative Study of Upper Limb Load Assessment and Occurrence of Musculoskeletal Disorders at Repetitive Task Workstations

    PubMed Central

    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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-01

    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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. The Indiana Climate Change Impacts Assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dukes, J. S.; Widhalm, M.

    2016-12-01

    With coordination from the Purdue Climate Change Research Center, experts and stakeholders from across Indiana are working together to develop a state-focused assessment to inform decision makers, policy makers, and interested citizens about the likely impacts of climate change in Indiana. While this assessment is not intended to provide policy recommendations, we anticipate it will elevate conversations about climate change risks within a state that is not traditionally focused on these issues, and provide the baseline data needed for moving forward with improved planning and actions. Our guiding principal throughout this process is creating information that matters. We are connecting with stakeholders before, during, and after the assessment process to understand key vulnerabilities, risks, and reasons for concern so we can ensure the Indiana Climate Change Impacts Assessment (IN CCIA) includes relevant information that is usable by state and local decision makers.The IN CCIA is building a statewide network of experts and stakeholders interested in climate change that can serve as a foundation for a sustained assessment process. This presentation will describe the grassroots, collaborative approach being followed as we conduct this assessment, and discuss the opportunities and challenges encountered along the way.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Rest improves performance, nature improves happiness: Assessment of break periods on the abbreviated vigilance task.

    PubMed

    Finkbeiner, Kristin M; Russell, Paul N; Helton, William S

    2016-05-01

    The abbreviated vigilance task can quickly generate vigilance decrements, which has been argued is due to depletion of cognitive resources needed to sustain performance. Researchers suggest inclusion of rest breaks within vigilance tasks improve overall performance (Helton & Russell, 2015; Ross, Russell, & Helton, 2014), while different types of breaks demonstrate different effects. Some literature suggests exposure to natural movements/stimuli helps restore attention (Herzog, Black, Fountaine, & Knotts, 1997; Kaplan, 1995). Participants were randomly assigned to one experimental condition: dog video breaks, robot video breaks, countdown breaks or continuous vigilance. We assessed task performance and subjective reports of stress/workload. The continuous group displayed worst performance, suggesting breaks help restore attention. The dog videos did not affect performance, however, decreased reports of distress. These results support the importance of rest breaks and acknowledge the benefit of natural stimuli for promoting wellbeing/stress relief, overall suggesting performance and wellbeing may be independent, which warrants future studies.

  4. A challenging task for assessment of checking behaviors in obsessive-compulsive disorder.

    PubMed

    Rotge, J Y; Clair, A H; Jaafari, N; Hantouche, E G; Pelissolo, A; Goillandeau, M; Pochon, J B; Guehl, D; Bioulac, B; Burbaud, P; Tignol, J; Mallet, L; Aouizerate, B

    2008-06-01

    The present study concerns the objective and quantitative measurement of checking activity, which represents the most frequently observed compulsions in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). To address this issue, we developed an instrumental task producing repetitive checking in OCD subjects. Fifty OCD subjects and 50 normal volunteers (NV) were administered a delayed matching-to-sample task that offered the unrestricted opportunity to verify the choice made. Response accuracy, number of verifications, and response time for choice taken to reflect the degree of uncertainty and doubt were recorded over 50 consecutive trials. Despite similar levels of performance, patients with OCD demonstrated a greater number of verifications and a longer response time for choice before checking than NV. Such behavioral patterns were more pronounced in OCD subjects currently experiencing checking compulsions. The present task might be of special relevance for the quantitative assessment of checking behaviors and for determining relationships with cognitive processes.

  5. Assessing species vulnerability to climate change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pacifici, Michela; Foden, Wendy B.; Visconti, Piero; Watson, James E. M.; Butchart, Stuart H. M.; Kovacs, Kit M.; Scheffers, Brett R.; Hole, David G.; Martin, Tara G.; Akçakaya, H. Resit; Corlett, Richard T.; Huntley, Brian; Bickford, David; Carr, Jamie A.; Hoffmann, Ary A.; Midgley, Guy F.; Pearce-Kelly, Paul; Pearson, Richard G.; Williams, Stephen E.; Willis, Stephen G.; Young, Bruce; Rondinini, Carlo

    2015-03-01

    The effects of climate change on biodiversity are increasingly well documented, and many methods have been developed to assess species' vulnerability to climatic changes, both ongoing and projected in the coming decades. To minimize global biodiversity losses, conservationists need to identify those species that are likely to be most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. In this Review, we summarize different currencies used for assessing species' climate change vulnerability. We describe three main approaches used to derive these currencies (correlative, mechanistic and trait-based), and their associated data requirements, spatial and temporal scales of application and modelling methods. We identify strengths and weaknesses of the approaches and highlight the sources of uncertainty inherent in each method that limit projection reliability. Finally, we provide guidance for conservation practitioners in selecting the most appropriate approach(es) for their planning needs and highlight priority areas for further assessments.

  6. Age-Related Changes in Attentional Selection: Quality of Task Set or Degradation of Task Set Across Time?

    PubMed Central

    Jackson, Jonathan D.; Balota, David A.

    2014-01-01

    The present study explores the nature of attentional selection in younger and older adults. Following de Jong, Berendsen, and Cools (1999, Acta Psychologica, 101, 379–394), we manipulated the response to stimulus interval (RSI) in two attentional selection paradigms to examine if there are age-related differences in the quality of task set and/or the maintenance of task set across time. In Experiment 1, we found that the interference effect in a spatial interference task was (a) overall larger in older adults compared to younger adults, and (b) smaller at the short RSI (200 ms) compared to the long RSI (2000 ms), and (c) there was no hint of an interaction between age and RSI. The second experiment explored the same variables in a Stroop color interference paradigm. Again, older adults produced a disproportionately larger interference effect than younger adults, the interference effect was smaller at the short RSI compared to the long RSI, and there was no evidence of an interaction between age and RSI. In both experiments the larger interference effect could not be attributed to age-related general slowing and there was evidence from Vincentile analyses of increasing interference and age effects at the slower response latencies. These results indicate that attentional selection deficits in these two experiments were due to a breakdown in the quality of the task set as opposed to age-related differences in the maintenance of the task set across time. PMID:23834491

  7. Age-related changes in attentional selection: quality of task set or degradation of task set across time?

    PubMed

    Jackson, Jonathan D; Balota, David A

    2013-09-01

    The present study explores the nature of attentional selection in younger and older adults. Following R. De Jong, E. Berendsen, and R. Cools (1999, Acta Psychologica, Vol. 101, pp. 379-394), we manipulated the response to stimulus interval (RSI) in two attentional selection paradigms to examine if there are age-related differences in the quality of task set and/or the maintenance of task set across time. In Experiment 1, we found that the interference effect in a spatial interference task was (a) overall larger in older adults compared with younger adults, and (b) smaller at the short RSI (200 ms) compared with the long RSI (2000 ms), and (c) not associated with an interaction between age and RSI. The second experiment explored the same variables in a Stroop color interference paradigm. Again, older adults produced a disproportionately larger interference effect than younger adults, the interference effect was smaller at the short RSI compared with the long RSI, and there was no evidence of an interaction between age and RSI. In both experiments, the larger interference effect could not be attributed to age-related general slowing and there was evidence from Vincentile analyses of increasing interference and age effects at the slower response latencies. These results indicate that attentional selection deficits in these two experiments were due to a breakdown in the quality of the task set as opposed to age-related differences in the maintenance of the task set across time.

  8. 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

  9. Leading change: a three-dimensional model of nurse leaders' main tasks and roles during a change process.

    PubMed

    Salmela, Susanne; Eriksson, Katie; Fagerström, Lisbeth

    2012-02-01

    This paper is a report of a qualitative study which explored how nurse leaders described and understood their main tasks and roles during a change process. During a database search for literature, no actual research that highlighted the main tasks and roles of nurse leaders during a change process was found. Earlier research has indicated the need for different leadership styles and the importance of strategies and values. In-depth interviews with 17 nurse leaders took place in 2004. A phenomenological-hermeneutical approach was used for data analysis. The findings resulted in a model of leading change in health care that focuses on good patient care and consists of three dimensions: leading relationships, leading processes and leading a culture. In addition to leading relationships and processes, nurse leaders, as role models, greatly impact caring culture and its inherent ethical behaviour, especially about the responsibility for achieving good patient care. Nurse leaders are also instrumental in leading ward culture. Nurse leaders need guidance and knowledge of what is expected of them during a structural change process. They play different roles by directing, guiding, motivating, supporting and communicating without losing their cultural ethos of caring and use various leadership styles to bring about actual change, which, in turn, requires learning so that the thought patterns, values and attitudes of personnel can be changed. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  10. Changing behavior and accuracy with time on task in mammography screening

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taylor-Phillips, Sian; Jenkinson, David; Stinton, Chris; Wallis, Matthew G.; Clarke, Aileen

    2017-03-01

    Background: The vigilance decrement and prevalence effect both describe changes to speed and accuracy with time on task. Whilst there is much laboratory based research on these effects, little is known about whether they occur in real world mammography practice. Methods: The Changing Case Order to Optimise Patterns of Performance in Screening (CO-OPS) trial randomised 37,724 batches containing 1.2 million women attending breast screening to intervention or control (222,208 from the Midlands of England). In the control arm the batch was examined in the same order by both readers, in the intervention arm it was examined in a different order by both readers. Time taken, recall decision by both readers, and cancers detected were recorded for each case, and used to examine patterns of performance with time on task. Results: 49,575 women were recalled and 10,484 had cancer detected. Median time taken to examine each case was 35 seconds (out of cases where time taken was 10 minutes or less). The intervention did not affect overall cancer detection rates or recall rates. A more detailed analysis of the Midlands data indicates cancer detection rate did not change when reading up to 60 cases in a batch, but recall rate reduced. Time taken per case reduced with time on task, from a median 41 seconds when examining the second case in the batch to 28.5 seconds examining the 60th case. Conclusion: Reader behavior and performance systematically changes with time on task in breast screening.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Executive n-back tasks for the neuropsychological assessment of working memory.

    PubMed

    León-Domínguez, Umberto; Martín-Rodríguez, Juan Francisco; León-Carrión, José

    2015-10-01

    Working memory (WM) has been defined as a cerebral function which allows us to maintain and manipulate information "online". One of the most widely used paradigms to assess WM is the n-back test. Despite its extensive application, some authors have questioned its capacity to assess the manipulation of WM load. The present study introduces a new version of the n-back test to carry out this assessment. We use functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) to evaluate prefrontal cortex (PFC) activation. The modified n-back requires monitoring of sequentially presented stimuli (in this case the days of the week). The target response relates to a stimulus which appears previously, from 0 to 2 items back, on the computer screen. Our data reveals that while modified and unmodified n-back activate the same regions of the left PFC, our modified 2-back version shows significantly higher activation in the left dorsolateral PFC (DLPFC) and the left frontal opercula. These results suggest that increased complexity in verbal WM tasks entail greater executive control, which would lead to an increase in cerebral blood flow to the areas associated with verbal WM. Therefore, an increase in the manipulation of WM load in verbal tasks reflects greater physiological activity in the left DLPFC and the left frontal opercula. The modified n-back test may also be incorporated into the armamentarium of valid instruments for the neuropsychological assessment of the maintenance and manipulation of verbal information in tasks requiring working memory.

  17. 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:…

  18. 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

    ... 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 Climate Change for National and International Security will meet in closed session on July 14-15 and on July 29...

  19. 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.

  20. Assessing the Ability of a VR-Based Assembly Task Simulation to Evaluate Physical Risk Factors.

    PubMed

    Pontonnier, Charles; Samani, Afshin; Badawi, Marwan; Madeleine, Pascal; Dumont, Georges

    2014-05-01

    Nowadays the process of workstation design tends to include assessment steps in a virtual environment (VE) to evaluate the ergonomic features. These approaches are cost-effective and convenient since working directly on the digital mock-up in a VE is preferable to constructing a real physical mock-up in a real environment (RE). This study aimed at understanding the ability of a VR-based assembly tasks simulator to evaluate physical risk factors in ergonomics. Sixteen subjects performed simplified assembly tasks in RE and VE. Motion of the upper body and five muscle electromyographic activities were recorded to compute normalized and averaged objective indicators of discomfort, that is, rapid upper limb assessment score, averaged muscle activations, and total task time. Rated perceived exertion (RPE) and a questionnaire were used as subjective indicators of discomfort. The timing regime and complexity of the assembly tasks were investigated as within-subject factors. The results revealed significant differences between measured indicators in RE and VE. While objective measures indicated lower activity and exposure in VE, the subjects experienced more discomfort than in RE. Fairly good correlation levels were found between RE and VE for six of the objective indicators. This study clearly demonstrates that ergonomic studies of assembly tasks using VR are still challenging. Indeed, objective and subjective measurements of discomfort that are usually used in ergonomics to minimize the risks of work-related musculoskeletal disorders development exhibit opposite trends in RE and VE. Nevertheless, the high level of correlation found during this study indicates that the VR-based simulator can be used for such assessments.

  1. Age-related increase in CNS sensitivity to benzodiazepines as assessed by task difficulty.

    PubMed

    Nikaido, A M; Ellinwood, E H; Heatherly, D G; Gupta, S K

    1990-01-01

    The differential sensitivity of young and elderly healthy adults to the impairment effects of benzodiazepines was assessed by tasks with several levels of difficulty. Using a double-blind procedure, single doses of placebo, alprazolam (0.75 and 1.5 mg) and triazolam (0.25 and 0.5 mg) were ingested orally by 10 young men, 9 young women, 7 elderly men, and 10 elderly women. Order of drug administration was determined by a random Latin square design. Different versions of the subcritical tracking and digit symbol substitution tasks were characterized by three difficulty levels. Assessments of task performance were conducted at varying intervals for 7 h after drug administration. Both drugs induced a rapid initial onset of impairment in the two age groups. Evidence of increased drug sensitivity in the elderly was provided by the more prolonged duration of the pharmacologic effect in the older than young subjects, especially for the harder versions of the SCT and DSS tasks. In summary, the data provide support for the hypothesis of an age-related decline in the adaptive capacity to inhibit adverse drug effects.

  2. Assessing reservoir operations risk under climate change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brekke, Levi D.; Maurer, Edwin P.; Anderson, Jamie D.; Dettinger, Michael D.; Townsley, Edwin S.; Harrison, Alan; Pruitt, Tom

    2009-04-01

    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.

  3. 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.

  4. Attention and inhibition in bilingual children: evidence from the dimensional change card sort task.

    PubMed

    Bialystok, Ellen; Martin, Michelle M

    2004-06-01

    In a previous study, a bilingual advantage for preschool children in solving the dimensional change card sort task was attributed to superiority in inhibition of attention (Bialystok, 1999). However, the task includes difficult representational demands to encode and interpret the task stimuli, and bilinguals may also have profited from superior representational abilities. This possibility is examined in three studies. In Study 1, bilinguals outperformed monolinguals on versions of the problem containing moderate representational demands but not on a more demanding condition. Studies 2 and 3 demonstrated that bilingual children were more skilled than monolinguals when the target dimensions were perceptual features of the stimulus and that the two groups were equivalent when the target dimensions were semantic features. The conclusions are that bilinguals have better inhibitory control for ignoring perceptual information than monolinguals do but are not more skilled in representation, confirming the results of the original study. The results also identify the ability to ignore an obsolete display feature as the critical difficulty in solving this task.

  5. 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.

  6. Hemodynamic changes in cortical sensorimotor systems following hand and orofacial motor tasks and pulsed pneumotactile stimulation.

    PubMed

    Rosner, Austin O; Barlow, Steven M

    We performed a functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) study of the evoked hemodynamic responses seen in hand and face sensorimotor cortical representations during (1) active motor tasks and (2) pulsed pneumotactile stimulation. Contralateral fNIRS measurements were performed on 22 healthy adult participants using a block paradigm that consisted of repetitive right hand and right oral angle somatosensory stimulation using a pulsed pneumotactile array stimulator, and repetitive right-hand grip compression and bilabial compressions on strain gages. Results revealed significant oxyhemoglobin (HbO) modulation across stimulus conditions in corresponding somatotopic cortical regions. Of the 22 participants, 86% exhibited a decreased HbO response during at least one of the stimulus conditions, which may be indicative of cortical steal, or hypo-oxygenation occurring in channels adjacent to the primary areas of activation. Across all conditions, 56% of participants' HbO responses were positive and 44% were negative. Hemodynamic responses most likely differed across hand and face motor and somatosensory cortical regions due to differences in regional arterial/venous anatomy, cortical vascular beds, extent and orientation of somatotopy, task dynamics, and mechanoreceptor typing in hand and face. The combination of optical imaging and task conditions allowed for non-invasive examination of hemodynamic changes in somatosensory and motor cortices using natural, pneumatic stimulation of glabrous hand and hairy skin of the lower face and functionally relevant and measurable motor tasks involving the same structures.

  7. 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.

  8. 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…

  9. 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…

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

    SciTech Connect

    Kakwani, R. M.; Wilson, Jr., R. P.; Winsor, R. E.

    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.

  12. Assessing communicative intents in young children: low structured observation or elicitation tasks?

    PubMed

    Coggins, T E; Olswang, L B; Guthrie, J

    1987-02-01

    This longitudinal study examines the effectiveness of two different assessment methodologies, low structured observation and structured elicitation tasks, to obtain communicative intents from 35 sensorimotor children. The subjects, 9 months of age at the onset of the study, were observed under the two experimental conditions every 3 months, for a 15-month period. The results reveal differences between the two approaches that vary according to the age of the child and eliciting context. The implications of the findings are examined.

  13. Salience in a social landscape: electrophysiological effects of task-irrelevant and infrequent vocal change

    PubMed Central

    Barros, Carla; Pedrosa, João

    2016-01-01

    In a dynamically changing social environment, humans have to face the challenge of prioritizing stimuli that compete for attention. In the context of social communication, the voice is the most important sound category. However, the existing studies do not directly address whether and how the salience of an unexpected vocal change in an auditory sequence influences the orientation of attention. In this study, frequent tones were interspersed with task-relevant infrequent tones and task-irrelevant infrequent vocal sounds (neutral, happy and angry vocalizations). Eighteen healthy college students were asked to count infrequent tones. A combined event-related potential (ERP) and EEG time–frequency approach was used, with the focus on the P3 component and on the early auditory evoked gamma band response, respectively. A spatial-temporal principal component analysis was used to disentangle potentially overlapping ERP components. Although no condition differences were observed in the 210–310 ms window, larger positive responses were observed for emotional than neutral vocalizations in the 310–410 ms window. Furthermore, the phase synchronization of the early auditory evoked gamma oscillation was enhanced for happy vocalizations. These findings support the idea that the brain prioritizes the processing of emotional stimuli, by devoting more attentional resources to salient social signals even when they are not task-relevant. PMID:26468268

  14. Real-time changes in hippocampal energy demands during a spatial working memory task.

    PubMed

    Kealy, John; Bennett, Rachel; Woods, Barbara; Lowry, John P

    2017-02-27

    Activity-dependent changes in hippocampal energy consumption have largely been determined using microdialysis. However, real-time recordings of brain energy consumption can be more accurately achieved using amperometric sensors, allowing for sensitive real-time monitoring of concentration changes. Here, we test the theory that systemic pre-treatment with glucose in rats prevents activity-dependent decreases in hippocampal glucose levels and thus enhances their performance in a spontaneous alternation task. Male Sprague Dawley rats were implanted into the hippocampus with either: 1) microdialysis probe; or 2) an oxygen sensor and glucose biosensor co-implanted together. Animals were pre-treated with either saline or glucose (250mg/kg) 30min prior to performing a single 20-min spontaneous alternation task in a +-maze. There were no significant differences found between either treatment group in terms of spontaneous alternation performance. Additionally, there was a significant difference found between treatment groups on hippocampal glucose levels measured using microdialysis (a decrease associated with glucose pre-treatment in control animals) but not amperometry. There were significant increases in hippocampal oxygen during +-maze exploration. Combining the findings from both methods, it appears that hippocampal activity in the spontaneous alternation task does not cause an increase in glucose consumption, despite an increase in regional cerebral blood flow (using oxygen supply as an index of blood flow) and, as such, pre-treatment with glucose does not enhance spontaneous alternation performance.

  15. 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.

  16. Salience in a social landscape: electrophysiological effects of task-irrelevant and infrequent vocal change.

    PubMed

    Pinheiro, Ana P; Barros, Carla; Pedrosa, João

    2016-01-01

    In a dynamically changing social environment, humans have to face the challenge of prioritizing stimuli that compete for attention. In the context of social communication, the voice is the most important sound category. However, the existing studies do not directly address whether and how the salience of an unexpected vocal change in an auditory sequence influences the orientation of attention. In this study, frequent tones were interspersed with task-relevant infrequent tones and task-irrelevant infrequent vocal sounds (neutral, happy and angry vocalizations). Eighteen healthy college students were asked to count infrequent tones. A combined event-related potential (ERP) and EEG time-frequency approach was used, with the focus on the P3 component and on the early auditory evoked gamma band response, respectively. A spatial-temporal principal component analysis was used to disentangle potentially overlapping ERP components. Although no condition differences were observed in the 210-310 ms window, larger positive responses were observed for emotional than neutral vocalizations in the 310-410 ms window. Furthermore, the phase synchronization of the early auditory evoked gamma oscillation was enhanced for happy vocalizations. These findings support the idea that the brain prioritizes the processing of emotional stimuli, by devoting more attentional resources to salient social signals even when they are not task-relevant. © The Author (2015). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  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.

  18. 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

  19. Objective assessment of mandibular motor control using a 'reach-and-hold' task.

    PubMed

    Roatta, Silvestro; Rolando, M; Notaro, V; Testa, M; Bassi, F; Passatore, M

    2011-10-01

    Mandibular motor function is well known to be impaired in the presence of temporomandibular disorders. However, while a vast literature is available concerning accuracy of motor control in limbs, quantitative and objective assessment of mandibular motor control has been seldom performed, also because of the lack of adequate investigative tools. Aim of this work is to present a technique for reliable evaluation of the motor performance of the mandible based on a kinesiography-monitored reach-and-hold task. Nineteen healthy subjects were engaged in a task in which they had to drive a cursor on a screen by corresponding movements of the mandible in the frontal plane and reach 30 random targets sequentially displayed on the screen. The whole task was repeated three times per session in two different days. The individual performance was assessed by different indices evaluating precision and steadiness of target matching. The performance progressively improved in the three trials of the first session, further improved and stabilised in the second session, with an average positioning error of 0·59 ± 038 mm and was slightly correlated with the horizontal dimension of the mandible border movement (r = 0·55). Intraclass correlation coefficient ranged between 0·76 and 0·94 for the different indices indicating good repeatability. The kinesiographic technique allowed for objective and reliable assessment of the voluntary control of the mandible position. Its potential applications include support to the characterisation of temporomandibular disorders and to motor training and progress monitoring in rehabilitation treatments.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Using fiction to assess mental state understanding: a new task for assessing theory of mind in adults.

    PubMed

    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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Development of a valid simulation assessment for a military dismounted assault task.

    PubMed

    Silk, Aaron J; Billing, Daniel C

    2013-03-01

    The Australian Defence Force is currently developing physical standards commensurate with job demands. Vital to this development process has been the accurate profiling of common military tasks. One such task required of all dismounted combat soldiers, an offensive assault on an enemy force, was the subject of in-depth profiling. In addition to overall assault performance, potential differences among patrol roles (scout, gunner, and flank) were investigated. Three different mock assaults of 100 to 150 m were performed by three patrols comprising qualified experienced infantry soldiers. Each soldier was fitted with a heart rate monitor and wore a global positioning device. Average assault duration was 6.5 minutes and required nineteen 7-m bounds performed on a 22-seconds duty cycle at 75% heart rate reserve and a work to rest ratio 1:4. Assaults conducted in more densely vegetated terrain resulted in significantly reduced (p < 0.05) bound distance, bound duration, and movement velocity. Results indicated significant performance differences (p < 0.05) among patrol roles for external load carried, heart rate response, bound duration, and distance covered while movement velocity was not different (p > 0.05). As a result of profiling the assault task, a valid simulation capable of assessing soldiers' physical capacity to perform this task was developed.

  6. [Developmental changes in reading ability of Japanese elementary school children--analysis of 4 kana reading tasks].

    PubMed

    Kobayashi, Tomoka; Inagaki, Masumi; Gunji, Atsuko; Yatabe, Kiyomi; Kaga, Makiko; Goto, Takaaki; Koike, Toshihide; Wakamiya, Eiji; Koeda, Tatsuya

    2010-01-01

    Five hundred and twenty-eight Japanese elementary school children aged from 6 (Grade 1) to 12 (Grade 6) were tested for their abilities to read Hiragana characters, words, and short sentences. They were typically developing children whom the classroom teachers judged to have no problems with reading and writing in Japanese. Each child was asked to read four tasks which were written in Hiragana script: single mora reading task, four syllable non-word reading task, four syllable word reading task, and short sentence reading task. The total articulation time for reading and performance in terms of accuracy were measured for each task. Developmental changes in these variables were evaluated. The articulation time was significantly longer for the first graders, and it gradually shortened as they moved through to the upper grades in all tasks. The articulation time reached a plateau in the 4th grade for the four syllable word and short sentence reading tasks, while it did so for the single mora and four syllable non-word reading tasks in the 5th grade. The articulation times for the four syllable word and short sentence reading tasks correlated strongly. There were very few clear errors for all tasks, and the number of such errors significantly changed between the school grades only for the single mora and four syllable word reading tasks. It was noted that more than half of the children read the beginning portion of the word or phrase twice or more, in order to read it accurately, and developmental changes were also seen in this pattern of reading. This study revealed that the combination of these reading tasks may function as a screening test for reading disorders such as developmental dyslexia in children below the age of ten or eleven years old.

  7. Portfolio Assessment: Making Connections, Guiding Change

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    King, Caryn M.; Patterson, Nancy G.; Stolle, Elizabeth Petroelje

    2008-01-01

    Three literacy teacher-educators chart the ways in which portfolio assessment impacted their program. They discuss the tension between the demands of national accreditation standards and faculty belief systems in more ecological approaches. They describe the processes of change that occurred programmatically and individually which continue to…

  8. Constrained range expansion and climate change assessments

    Treesearch

    Yohay Carmel; Curtis H. Flather

    2006-01-01

    Modeling the future distribution of keystone species has proved to be an important approach to assessing the potential ecological consequences of climate change (Loehle and LeBlanc 1996; Hansen et al. 2001). Predictions of range shifts are typically based on empirical models derived from simple correlative relationships between climatic characteristics of occupied and...

  9. Assessing housing growth when census boundaries change

    Treesearch

    Alexandra D. Syphard; Susan I. Stewart; Jason McKeefry; Roger B. Hammer; Jeremy S. Fried; Sherry Holcomb; Volker C. Radeloff

    2009-01-01

    The US Census provides the primary source of spatially explicit social data, but changing block boundaries complicate analyses of housing growth over time. We compared procedures for reconciling housing density data between 1990 and 2000 census block boundaries in order to assess the sensitivity of analytical methods to estimates of housing growth in Oregon. Estimates...

  10. 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…

  11. 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…

  12. Exploring Assessment Demands and Task Supports in Early Childhood Phonological Awareness Assessments

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cassano, Christina M.; Steiner, Lilly

    2016-01-01

    Phonological awareness is assessed in various ways in both research studies and early childhood classrooms. The measures used to assess phonological awareness are related closely, although they differ in the linguistic unit used (e.g., word, syllable, onset-rime, or phoneme), the position of the linguistic unit (e.g., initial, medial, final), the…

  13. Exploring Assessment Demands and Task Supports in Early Childhood Phonological Awareness Assessments

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cassano, Christina M.; Steiner, Lilly

    2016-01-01

    Phonological awareness is assessed in various ways in both research studies and early childhood classrooms. The measures used to assess phonological awareness are related closely, although they differ in the linguistic unit used (e.g., word, syllable, onset-rime, or phoneme), the position of the linguistic unit (e.g., initial, medial, final), the…

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Assessing knowledge change in computer science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-03-01

    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 ratings were submitted to the Pathfinder network-scaling algorithm, which uses distance estimates to generate an individual's knowledge structure representation composed of nodes that are connected by links. Results showed that significant change in teachers' knowledge structure occurred during the workshop, both in terms of individual teacher networks and their averaged networks. Moreover, these changes were significantly related to performance in the workshop. The results of this study suggest several implications for teaching and assessment in computer science.

  1. Changes in Task-Extrinsic Context Do Not Affect the Persistence of Long-Term Cumulative Structural Priming

    PubMed Central

    Kutta, Timothy J.; Kaschak, Michael P.

    2015-01-01

    We present two experiments exploring the role of extrinsic memory factors (i.e., factors that are extrinsic to the primary task that is being performed) and intrinsic memory factors (i.e., factors that are intrinsic to the primary task being completed) in the persistence of cumulative structural priming effects. Participants completed a two-phase experiment, where the first phase established a bias toward producing either the double object or prepositional object construction, and the second phase assessed the effects of this bias. Extrinsic memory factors were manipulated by having participants complete the two phases of the study in the same or different locations (physical context change) or while watching the same or different videos (video context change). Participants completed the second phase of the study 10 min after the first phase of the study in Experiment 1, and after a delay of 1 week in Experiment 2. Results suggest that the observed structural priming effects were not affected by manipulations of extrinsic memory factors. These data suggest that explicit memory does not play a large role in the long-term persistence of cumulative structural priming effects. PMID:23103416

  2. Age-dependent changes in task-based modular organization of the human brain.

    PubMed

    Schlesinger, Kimberly J; Turner, Benjamin O; Lopez, Brian A; Miller, Michael B; Carlson, Jean M

    2017-02-01

    As humans age, cognition and behavior change significantly, along with associated brain function and organization. Aging has been shown to decrease variability in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) signals, and to affect the modular organization of human brain function. In this work, we use complex network analysis to investigate the dynamic community structure of large-scale brain function, asking how evolving communities interact with known brain systems, and how the dynamics of communities and brain systems are affected by age. We analyze dynamic networks derived from fMRI scans of 104 human subjects performing a word memory task, and determine the time-evolving modular structure of these networks by maximizing the multislice modularity, thereby identifying distinct communities, or sets of brain regions with strong intra-set functional coherence. To understand how community structure changes over time, we examine the number of communities as well as the flexibility, or the likelihood that brain regions will switch between communities. We find a significant positive correlation between age and both these measures: younger subjects tend to have less fragmented and more coherent communities, and their brain regions tend to change communities less often during the memory task. We characterize the relationship of community structure to known brain systems by the recruitment coefficient, or the probability of a brain region being grouped in the same community as other regions in the same system. We find that regions associated with cingulo-opercular, somatosensory, ventral attention, and subcortical circuits have a significantly higher recruitment coefficient in younger subjects. This indicates that the within-system functional coherence of these specific systems during the memory task declines with age. Such a correspondence does not exist for other systems (e.g. visual and default mode), whose recruitment coefficients remain relatively uniform across ages

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

  4. Changes in quantitative EEG absolute power during the task of catching an object in free fall.

    PubMed

    Machado, Sergio; Portella, Cláudio Elidio; Silva, Julio Guilherme; Velasques, Bruna; Terra, Patrícia; Vorkapic, Camila Ferreira; Silva, Vernon Furtado da; Miana, Luis; Basile, Luis; Cagy, Mauricio; Piedade, Roberto; Ribeiro, Pedro

    2007-09-01

    The aim of this study was to verify changes in absolute power (qEEG), in theta, during the catch of a free falling object. The sample consisted of 10 healthy individuals, of both genders, with ages between 25 and 40 years. A three-way ANOVA followed by Post-Hoc analysis was applied. The results demonstrated main effects for time and position. In conclusion, a motor task that involves expectation produces deactivation of non-relevant areas in the ipsilateral hemisphere of the active limb. On the other hand, the patterns of results showed activation in areas responsible for planning and selection of motor repertoires in the contralateral hemisphere.

  5. 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.

  6. Computer-Based Assessment in E-Learning: A Framework for Constructing "Intermediate Constraint" Questions and Tasks for Technology Platforms

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Scalise, Kathleen; Gifford, Bernard

    2006-01-01

    Technology today offers many new opportunities for innovation in educational assessment through rich new assessment tasks and potentially powerful scoring, reporting and real-time feedback mechanisms. One potential limitation for realizing the benefits of computer-based assessment in both instructional assessment and large scale testing comes in…

  7. Assessing Hurricane Vulnerability Changes Arising from Climate Variability and Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holland, G. J.; Done, J.; Bruyere, C.; NESL Regional Climate Research Group

    2011-12-01

    The vulnerability of a community to hurricane impacts depends on a diverse array of factors. At the community level these include: the quality of their infrastructure and its ability to withstand a hurricane impact, their level of preparedness and ability to respond appropriately to a threat, and their capacity to recover after an impact. Developing and maintaining these at an appropriate level requires a dedicated and sustained effort that results in considerable cost to the community. This cost must be balanced against the likely damage from an impact and its frequency of occurrence. And therein lies the rub; traditional assessment techniques use past cyclone data that: are subject to various levels of data deficiencies, cannot account for changes that might arise from climate change, may cover too short a time period to adequately account for long-term climate variability or to enable assessment of the very rare extreme events. This talk will address current approaches to assessing these deficiencies. We will first discuss the cyclone parameters that are important to assessing impact and show that intensity alone is only one part. For wind it is duration, extent and gustiness that are crucial, and often the rainfall is the dominant impact. These also depend on hurricane size, translation speed and local terrain; and the level of storm surge is also dependent on bathymetry and coastline details. Second, We will address how numerical models are becoming a valuable tool in assessing these features for future climate. The talk will conclude with a summary of the current state of agreement, and disagreement, on likely future changes.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Guidelines and Ethical Considerations for Assessment Center Operations: International Task Force on Assessment Center Guidelines.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Public Personnel Management, 2000

    2000-01-01

    This update of the International Personnel Management Association's guidelines for organizational psychologists, human resource management specialists, and others addresses elements of assessment centers, policy statements, assessor training, informed participation, and participants' rights. (SK)

  11. Guidelines and Ethical Considerations for Assessment Center Operations: International Task Force on Assessment Center Guidelines.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Public Personnel Management, 2000

    2000-01-01

    This update of the International Personnel Management Association's guidelines for organizational psychologists, human resource management specialists, and others addresses elements of assessment centers, policy statements, assessor training, informed participation, and participants' rights. (SK)

  12. Utility as a rationale for choosing observer performance assessment paradigms for detection tasks in medical imaging.

    PubMed

    Wunderlich, Adam; Abbey, Craig K

    2013-11-01

    Studies of lesion detectability are often carried out to evaluate medical imaging technology. For such studies, several approaches have been proposed to measure observer performance, such as the receiver operating characteristic (ROC), the localization ROC (LROC), the free-response ROC (FROC), the alternative free-response ROC (AFROC), and the exponentially transformed FROC (EFROC) paradigms. Therefore, an experimenter seeking to carry out such a study is confronted with an array of choices. Traditionally, arguments for different approaches have been made on the basis of practical considerations (statistical power, etc.) or the gross level of analysis (case-level or lesion-level). This article contends that a careful consideration of utility should form the rationale for matching the assessment paradigm to the clinical task of interest. In utility theory, task performance is commonly evaluated with total expected utility, which integrates the various event utilities against the probability of each event. To formalize the relationship between expected utility and the summary curve associated with each assessment paradigm, the concept of a "natural" utility structure is proposed. A natural utility structure is defined for a summary curve when the variables associated with the summary curve axes are sufficient for computing total expected utility, assuming that the disease prevalence is known. Natural utility structures for ROC, LROC, FROC, AFROC, and EFROC curves are introduced, clarifying how the utilities of correct and incorrect decisions are aggregated by summary curves. Further, conditions are given under which general utility structures for localization-based methodologies reduce to case-based assessment. Overall, the findings reveal how summary curves correspond to natural utility structures of diagnostic tasks, suggesting utility as a motivating principle for choosing an assessment paradigm.

  13. 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

  14. Integration of Teaching Processes and Learning Assessment in the Prefrontal Cortex during a Video Game Teaching-learning Task.

    PubMed

    Takeuchi, Naoyuki; Mori, Takayuki; Suzukamo, Yoshimi; Izumi, Shin-Ichi

    2016-01-01

    Human teaching is a social interaction that supports reciprocal and dynamical feedback between the teacher and the student. The prefrontal cortex (PFC) is a region of particular interest due to its demonstrated role in social interaction. In the present study, we evaluated the PFC activity simultaneously in two individuals playing the role of a teacher and student in a video game teaching-learning task. For that, we used two wearable near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) devices in order to elucidate the neural mechanisms underlying cognitive interactions between teachers and students. Fifteen teacher-student pairs in total (N = 30) participated in this study. Each teacher was instructed to teach the video game to their student partner, without speaking. The PFC activity was simultaneously evaluated in both participants using a wearable 16-channel NIRS system during the video game teaching-learning task. Two sessions, each including a triplet of a 30-s teaching-learning task, were performed in order to evaluate changes in PFC activity after advancement of teaching-learning state. Changes in the teachers' left PFC activity between the first and second session positively correlated with those observed in students (r = 0.694, p = 0.004). Moreover, among teachers, multiple regression analysis revealed a correlation between the left PFC activity and the assessment gap between one's own teaching and the student's understanding (β = 0.649, p = 0.009). Activity in the left PFC changed synchronously in both teachers and students after advancement of the teaching-learning state. The left PFC of teachers may be involved in integrating information regarding one's own teaching process and the student's learning state. The present observations indicate that simultaneous recording and analysis of brain activity data during teacher-student interactions may be useful in the field of educational neuroscience.

  15. Integration of Teaching Processes and Learning Assessment in the Prefrontal Cortex during a Video Game Teaching–learning Task

    PubMed Central

    Takeuchi, Naoyuki; Mori, Takayuki; Suzukamo, Yoshimi; Izumi, Shin-Ichi

    2017-01-01

    Human teaching is a social interaction that supports reciprocal and dynamical feedback between the teacher and the student. The prefrontal cortex (PFC) is a region of particular interest due to its demonstrated role in social interaction. In the present study, we evaluated the PFC activity simultaneously in two individuals playing the role of a teacher and student in a video game teaching–learning task. For that, we used two wearable near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) devices in order to elucidate the neural mechanisms underlying cognitive interactions between teachers and students. Fifteen teacher–student pairs in total (N = 30) participated in this study. Each teacher was instructed to teach the video game to their student partner, without speaking. The PFC activity was simultaneously evaluated in both participants using a wearable 16-channel NIRS system during the video game teaching–learning task. Two sessions, each including a triplet of a 30-s teaching–learning task, were performed in order to evaluate changes in PFC activity after advancement of teaching–learning state. Changes in the teachers’ left PFC activity between the first and second session positively correlated with those observed in students (r = 0.694, p = 0.004). Moreover, among teachers, multiple regression analysis revealed a correlation between the left PFC activity and the assessment gap between one’s own teaching and the student’s understanding (β = 0.649, p = 0.009). Activity in the left PFC changed synchronously in both teachers and students after advancement of the teaching–learning state. The left PFC of teachers may be involved in integrating information regarding one’s own teaching process and the student’s learning state. The present observations indicate that simultaneous recording and analysis of brain activity data during teacher–student interactions may be useful in the field of educational neuroscience. PMID:28119650

  16. A Flicker Change Detection Task Reveals Object-in-Scene Memory Across Species.

    PubMed

    Chau, Vivian L; Murphy, Emily F; Rosenbaum, R Shayna; Ryan, Jennifer D; Hoffman, Kari L

    2011-01-01

    Tests of recognition memory in macaques typically assay memory for objects or isolated images, over time spans of seconds to hours from stimulus presentation, and/or require extensive training. Here, we propose a new application of the flicker change detection task that could measure object-in-scene memory days after single-trial exposures. In three experiments, participants searched for a changing object - or "target" - embedded within a scene as their eye movements were tracked. For new targets-in-scenes, the change is difficult to detect and requires extensive search. Once the target is found, however, the change becomes obvious. We reasoned that the decreased times required to find a target in a repeated scene would indicate memory for the target. In humans, targets were found faster when the targets-and-scenes were explicitly remembered than when they were forgotten, or had never been seen before. This led to faster repeated-trial compared to novel-trial search times. Based solely on repeated-trial search times, we were able to select distributions comprised of predominantly remembered or predominantly forgotten trials. Macaques exhibited the same repetition effects as humans, suggesting that remembered trials could be dissociated from novel or forgotten trials using the same procedures we established in humans. Finally, an anterograde amnesic patient with damage that included the medial temporal lobe (MTL) showed no search time differences, suggesting that memory revealed through search times on this task requires MTL integrity. Together, these findings indicate that the time required to locate a changing object reveals object-in-scene memory over long retention intervals in humans and macaques.

  17. A Flicker Change Detection Task Reveals Object-in-Scene Memory Across Species

    PubMed Central

    Chau, Vivian L.; Murphy, Emily F.; Rosenbaum, R. Shayna; Ryan, Jennifer D.; Hoffman, Kari L.

    2011-01-01

    Tests of recognition memory in macaques typically assay memory for objects or isolated images, over time spans of seconds to hours from stimulus presentation, and/or require extensive training. Here, we propose a new application of the flicker change detection task that could measure object-in-scene memory days after single-trial exposures. In three experiments, participants searched for a changing object – or “target” – embedded within a scene as their eye movements were tracked. For new targets-in-scenes, the change is difficult to detect and requires extensive search. Once the target is found, however, the change becomes obvious. We reasoned that the decreased times required to find a target in a repeated scene would indicate memory for the target. In humans, targets were found faster when the targets-and-scenes were explicitly remembered than when they were forgotten, or had never been seen before. This led to faster repeated-trial compared to novel-trial search times. Based solely on repeated-trial search times, we were able to select distributions comprised of predominantly remembered or predominantly forgotten trials. Macaques exhibited the same repetition effects as humans, suggesting that remembered trials could be dissociated from novel or forgotten trials using the same procedures we established in humans. Finally, an anterograde amnesic patient with damage that included the medial temporal lobe (MTL) showed no search time differences, suggesting that memory revealed through search times on this task requires MTL integrity. Together, these findings indicate that the time required to locate a changing object reveals object-in-scene memory over long retention intervals in humans and macaques. PMID:21960963

  18. Ecological prospective memory assessment in children with acquired brain injury using the Children's Cooking Task.

    PubMed

    Krasny-Pacini, Agata; Servant, Violette; Alzieu, Christine; Chevignard, Mathilde

    2017-01-01

    Prospective memory (PM) has been shown to be impaired in children with acquired brain injuries (ABI) and is a major concern for parents. Few studies have addressed this issue and most used tasks that are not ecologically valid. The aims of this study were (1) to explore if children who have sustained an ABI suffer PM impairment, measured both by the Children's Cooking task (CCT) PM score and using the 2 PM subtests of the Rivermead Behavioral Memory Test (RBMT), and (2) to explore if the CCT PM score is sensitive to developmental changes in PM in typically developing children and in children with ABI. Fifty-four children with ABI and 33 typically developing controls participated in the study. Children with ABI had significantly lower PM scores and poorer performance in the CCT than their typically developing peers. PM scores increased significantly with age, indicating developmental progress of PM performance.

  19. Brain slow potential and ERP changes associated with operator load in a visual tracking task.

    PubMed

    McCallum, W C; Cooper, R; Pocock, P V

    1988-05-01

    Brain electrophysiological changes occurring during the course of a visual tracking task were recorded from 24 normal subjects under varying conditions of workload. Recordings were made with directly coupled amplifiers from 4 scalp midline locations and of vertical and horizontal EOG. The task was to track with a joystick a moving letter on a video monitor screen. Various decisions and button pressing responses were required from the subject during the course of each tracking trial, the total duration of a trial being 28 sec. Trial difficulty was varied by requiring identification of 'targets' or 'non-targets' based on a pre-learned 1-, 3- or 6-letter set of possible targets, by varying speed and distance travelled by the letter and by the introduction of movement perturbation. Sustained negative slow potential (SP) shifts were associated with the introduction and course of each trial. These had 2 phases: an early phase related to memorization and rehearsal and a later stage associated with the tracking itself. Increasing tracking difficulty resulted in an increased negative DC shift during the tracking stage. Increased memory set size caused a reduction in the negative shift during the preparatory, memorization phase. The experimental manipulations of difficulty also resulted in a number of changes in the amplitude and/or latency of ERP components associated with the various points of decision or response.

  20. 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.

  1. Motor learning: changes in the structure of variability in a redundant task.

    PubMed

    Müller, Hermann; Sternad, Dagmar

    2009-01-01

    Although variability is a fundamental and ubiquitous feature of movement in all biological systems, skilled performance is typically associated with a low level of variability and, implicitly, random noise. Hence, during practice performance variability undergoes changes leading to an overall reduction. However, learning manifests itself through more than just a reduction of random noise. To better understand the processes underlying acquisition and control of movements we show how the examination of variability and its changes with practice provides a suitable window to shed light on this phenomenon. We present one route into this problem that is particularly suited for tasks with redundant degrees of freedom: task performance is parsed into execution and result variables that are related by some function which provides a set of equivalent executions for a given result. Variability over repeated performances is analyzed with a view to this solution manifold. We present a method that parses the structure of variability into four conceptually motivated components and review three methods that are currently used in motor control research. Their advantages and limitations are discussed.

  2. How low can you go? Changing the resolution of novel complex objects in visual working memory according to task demands.

    PubMed

    Allon, Ayala S; Balaban, Halely; Luria, Roy

    2014-01-01

    In three experiments we manipulated the resolution of novel complex objects in visual working memory (WM) by changing task demands. Previous studies that investigated the trade-off between quantity and resolution in visual WM yielded mixed results for simple familiar stimuli. We used the contralateral delay activity as an electrophysiological marker to directly track the deployment of visual WM resources while participants preformed a change-detection task. Across three experiments we presented the same novel complex items but changed the task demands. In Experiment 1 we induced a medium resolution task by using change trials in which a random polygon changed to a different type of polygon and replicated previous findings showing that novel complex objects are represented with higher resolution relative to simple familiar objects. In Experiment 2 we induced a low resolution task that required distinguishing between polygons and other types of stimulus categories, but we failed in finding a corresponding decrease in the resolution of the represented item. Finally, in Experiment 3 we induced a high resolution task that required discriminating between highly similar polygons with somewhat different contours. This time, we observed an increase in the item's resolution. Our findings indicate that the resolution for novel complex objects can be increased but not decreased according to task demands, suggesting that minimal resolution is required in order to maintain these items in visual WM. These findings support studies claiming that capacity and resolution in visual WM reflect different mechanisms.

  3. Analysis of the pen pressure and grip force signal during basic drawing tasks: The timing and speed changes impact drawing characteristics.

    PubMed

    Gatouillat, Arthur; Dumortier, Antoine; Perera, Subashan; Badr, Youakim; Gehin, Claudine; Sejdić, Ervin

    2017-08-01

    Writing is a complex fine and trained motor skill, involving complex biomechanical and cognitive processes. In this paper, we propose the study of writing kinetics using three angles: the pen-tip normal force, the total grip force signal and eventually writing quality assessment. In order to collect writing kinetics data, we designed a sensor collecting these characteristics simultaneously. Ten healthy right-handed adults were recruited and were asked to perform four tasks: first, they were instructed to draw circles at a speed they considered comfortable; they then were instructed to draw circles at a speed they regarded as fast; afterwards, they repeated the comfortable task compelled to follow the rhythm of a metronome; and eventually they performed the fast task under the same timing constraints. Statistical differences between the tasks were computed, and while pen-tip normal force and total grip force signal were not impacted by the changes introduced in each task, writing quality features were affected by both the speed changes and timing constraint changes. This verifies the already-studied speed-accuracy trade-off and suggest the existence of a timing constraints-accuracy trade-off. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Brief International Cognitive Assessment for Multiple Sclerosis (BICAMS) and performance of everyday life tasks: Actual Reality.

    PubMed

    Goverover, Yael; Chiaravalloti, Nancy; DeLuca, John

    2016-04-01

    Recently, a brief cognitive assessment (Brief International Cognitive Assessment for Multiple Sclerosis: BICAMS) has been recommended for use with patients diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) to screen for cognitive impairments. However, the relationship between the BICAMS and everyday life activity has not been examined. The aim of this study was to examine whether the BICAMS can predict performance of activities of daily living using Actual Reality(TM) (AR) in persons with MS. A between-subjects design was utilized to compare 41 individuals with MS and 32 healthy controls (HC) performing BICAMS and an AR task. Participants were asked to access the internet to purchase a flight ticket or cookies, and were administered the BICAMS and questionnaires to assess quality of life (QOL), affect symptomatology, and prior internet experience. Participants with MS performed significantly worse than HC on the BICAMS and the AR. Additionally, better BICAMS performance was associated with more independent AR performance. Self-reports of QOL were not correlated with AR or BICAMS performance. Individuals with MS have greater problems with actual everyday life tasks as compared to HC. The BICAMS is a promising cognitive screening tool to predict actual functional performance in participants with MS. © The Author(s), 2015.

  5. Task-related electromyographic spectral changes in the human masseter and temporalis muscles.

    PubMed

    Farella, Mauro; Van Eijden, Theo; Baccini, Michela; Michelotti, Ambra

    2002-02-01

    The masticatory muscles differ in their fiber type composition. It can therefore be expected that their electromyographic (EMG) power spectra will differ during the performance of different bite force tasks. In the present study, surface EMG activity was picked up from the masseter and from the anterior and posterior temporalis muscles of nine adult subjects. At a bite force level as low as 25 N, the mean power frequency (MPF) values of the posterior temporalis were significantly lower than those of the masseter and anterior temporalis. The MPF values of the masseter muscles decreased with an increase of bite force magnitude, whereas the MPF values of the anterior and posterior temporalis did not change significantly. The MPF values were significantly influenced by the direction of bite force. The observed changes of MPF are possibly related to the recruitment of different fiber types, and support the concept that the masticatory muscles behave heterogeneously.

  6. The Use of Visuoconstructive Tasks in the Assessment of Attention Deficits: Towards a Standard Assessment Battery.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McMillan, Douglas N.; Walters, Elizabeth

    Findings from a multiphase project to develop a standard assessment battery for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are reported. In the first study, validity of a delayed-recall administration of the Benton Revised Visual Retention Test (Benton, 1974) was examined with 30 children individually given 3 administrations of the Benton…

  7. The Relation between Types of Assessment Tasks and the Mathematical Reasoning Students Use

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Boesen, Jesper; Lithner, Johan; Palm, Torulf

    2010-01-01

    The relation between types of tasks and the mathematical reasoning used by students trying to solve tasks in a national test situation is analyzed. The results show that when confronted with test tasks that share important properties with tasks in the textbook the students solved them by trying to recall facts or algorithms. Such test tasks did…

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Sequencing sit-to-stand and upright posture for mobility limitation assessment: determination of the timing of the task phases from force platform data.

    PubMed

    Mazzà, Claudia; Zok, Mounir; Della Croce, Ugo

    2005-06-01

    The identification of quantitative tools to assess an individual's mobility limitation is a complex and challenging task. Several motor tasks have been designated as potential indicators of mobility limitation. In this study, a multiple motor task obtained by sequencing sit-to-stand and upright posture was used. Algorithms based on data obtained exclusively from a single force platform were developed to detect the timing of the motor task phases (sit-to-stand, preparation to the upright posture and upright posture). To test these algorithms, an experimental protocol inducing predictable changes in the acquired signals was designed. Twenty-two young, able-bodied subjects performed the task in four different conditions: self-selected natural and high speed with feet kept together, and self-selected natural and high speed with feet pelvis-width apart. The proposed algorithms effectively detected the timing of the task phases, the duration of which was sensitive to the four different experimental conditions. As expected, the duration of the sit-to-stand was sensitive to the speed of the task and not to the foot position, while the duration of the preparation to the upright posture was sensitive to foot position but not to speed. In addition to providing a simple and effective description of the execution of the motor task, the correct timing of the studied multiple task could facilitate the accurate determination of variables descriptive of the single isolated phases, allowing for a more thorough description of the motor task and therefore could contribute to the development of effective quantitative functional evaluation tests.

  11. Oil-Spill Risk-Assessment Task Force report. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1989-10-01

    The Oil Spill Risk Assessment Task Force was asked to analyze all potential impacts of exploratory drilling operations on south Florida coastal and marine resources. The report deals with information on the likelihood of an oil spill occurring during exploration activities; existing and planned physical oceanographic information necessary to understand the major current regimes in the south Florida area; the Department of the Interior Oil Spill Risk Analysis Model and other oil-spill probability models; and measures available to mitigate oil-spill risks.

  12. Figure of merit for task-based assessment of frequency-domain diffusive imaging.

    PubMed

    Kang, DongYel; Kupinski, Matthew A

    2013-01-15

    A figure of merit (FOM) for frequency-domain diffusive imaging (FDDI) is theoretically developed adapting the concept of Hotelling observer signal-to-noise ratio. Different from conventionally used FOMs for FDDI, the newly developed FOM considers diffused intensities, modulation amplitudes, and phases in combination. The FOM applied to Monte Carlo simulations of signal- and background-known-exactly problems shows unique characteristics that are in agreement with findings in the literature. We believe that a task based assessment using the FOM improves the characterization of FDDI systems and allows for complete system optimization.

  13. 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

  14. A diagonal landing task to assess dynamic postural stability in ACL reconstructed females.

    PubMed

    Patterson, Matthew R; Delahunt, Eamonn

    2013-12-01

    Previous research has used time to stabilization (TTS) from forward landing tasks to assess dynamic postural stability in ACL reconstructed (ACLR) athletes in order to identify impaired sensorimotor control and mechanical stability. This may not be an appropriate test due to the fact that research has suggested that ACL injury has a multi-planar mechanism of injury. The purpose of the present study was to compare TTS values from a forward land and a diagonal land to determine if diagonal landing TTS values are more sensitive to dynamic postural stability deficits in female ACLR athletes. A group of ACL reconstructed female athletes and a group of female control athletes performed three forward lands and three diagonal lands onto a force-plate and remained still on one foot for 15s. TTS was calculated for the anterior-posterior and medial-lateral ground reaction forces as well as the resultant vector of both forces. All three TTS values were significantly increased in the ACLR group from the control group for the diagonal landing task. There was no difference in TTS values between the groups for the forward landing task. TTS values from a diagonal landing are more sensitive at detecting impaired dynamic postural stability in a group of female ACLR athletes compared to TTS values from a forward land. III - Casecontrolled study. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. 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.

  16. Biomechanical Analysis of a Change-of-Direction Task in Collegiate Soccer Players.

    PubMed

    Condello, Giancarlo; Kernozek, Thomas W; Tessitore, Antonio; Foster, Carl

    2016-01-01

    This study aimed to investigate biomechanical parameters during a change-of-direction task in college soccer players. Fourteen male and 12 female players performed a 10-m sprint with a 60° change of direction at 5 m. Vertical and mediolateral ground-reaction force (GRF) and contact time were measured by having the subjects run in both directions while contacting a force plate with either their preferred (kicking) or nonpreferred leg. Using the midpoint between 2 pelvic markers, further parameters were evaluated: performance cutting angle and horizontal distance. Relationships between parameters, sex, and leg preference were analyzed. Significant correlations emerged between vertical and mediolateral GRF (r = .660-.909) and between contact time and performance cutting angle (r = -.598 to -.793). Sex differences were found for mediolateral GRF (P = .005), performance cutting angle (P = .043), and horizontal distance (P = .020). Leg differences were observed for vertical GRF (P = .029), performance cutting angle (P = .011), and horizontal distance (P = .012). This study showed that a sharper change of direction corresponded to a longer contact time, while no relationships were found with GRF. Moreover, measuring the angle revealed that the real path traveled was different from the theoretical one, highlighting the performance of sharper or more rounded execution. In conclusion, this study showed that specific biomechanical measurements can provide details about the execution of a change of direction, highlighting the ability of the nonpreferred leg to perform better directional changes.

  17. 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.

  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. © 2016 M. R. Federer et al. CBE—Life Sciences Education © 2016 The American Society for Cell Biology. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). It is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Comparison of sustained attention assessed by auditory and visual psychomotor vigilance tasks prior to and during sleep deprivation.

    PubMed

    Jung, Christopher M; Ronda, Joseph M; Czeisler, Charles A; Wright, Kenneth P

    2011-06-01

    To date, no detailed examination of the pattern of change in reaction time performance for different sensory modalities has been conducted across the circadian cycle during sleep deprivation. Therefore, we compared sustained auditory and visual attention performance during 40h of sleep deprivation assessing multiple metrics of auditory and visual psychomotor vigilance tasks (PVT). Forty healthy participants (14 women) aged 30.8±8.6years were studied. Subjects were scheduled for an ∼8h sleep schedule at home prior to three-six laboratory baseline days with an 8 h sleep schedule followed by 40h sleep deprivation. Visual and auditory PVTs were 10min in duration, and were administered every 2h during sleep deprivation. Data were analysed with mixed-model anova. Sleep deprivation and circadian phase increased response time, lapses, anticipations, standard deviation of response times and time on task decrements for visual and auditory PVTs. In general, auditory vigilance was faster and less variable than visual vigilance, with larger differences between auditory and visual PVT during sleep deprivation versus baseline. Failures to respond to stimuli within 10s were four times more likely to occur to visual versus auditory stimuli. Our findings highlight that lapses during sleep deprivation are more than just long responses due to eye closure or visual distraction. Furthermore, our findings imply that the general pattern of change in attention during sleep deprivation (e.g. circadian variation, response slowing, lapsing and anticipations, time on task decrements and state instability) is similar among sensory-motor behavioral response modalities. © 2010 European Sleep Research Society.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  5. 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

  6. Using Bishop’s Card Reaching Task to Assess Hand Preference in 8- to 10-Year-Old Czech Children

    PubMed Central

    Musalek, Martin; Scharoun, Sara Marie; Bryden, Pamela J.

    2016-01-01

    Hand preference is one of the most apparent functional asymmetry in humans. Under contralateral control, performance is more proficient with the preferred hand; however, the difference between the two hands is greater in right handers, considering left handers generally display less cerebral lateralization. One method of evaluating hand preference is Bishop’s card reaching task; however, information regarding validity and sensitivity with children in limited. This study assessed the relationship between Bishop’s card reaching task and five hand preference tasks in 8- to 10-year-old typically-developing children from the Czech Republic (N = 376). Structural equation modelling identified a one factor model as the most suitable, including Bishop’s card reaching task and three hand preference tasks (ringing, throwing, and rolling with dice). The factor validity (.89) and sensitivity of Bishop’s card reaching task (90% to 97%) provided a very good identification of hand preference. These results support the suitability of Bishop’s card reaching task as a separate test for determining hand preference in children. Accordingly, we suggest that the assessment of handedness, particularly in neurodevelopmental disorders where the proportion of right-handers and left-handers is disrupted (e.g., children with DCD or ADHD), should make use of Bishop’s card reaching task alongside other unimanual tasks. PMID:27835677

  7. Using Bishop's Card Reaching Task to Assess Hand Preference in 8- to 10-Year-Old Czech Children.

    PubMed

    Musalek, Martin; Scharoun, Sara Marie; Bryden, Pamela J

    2016-01-01

    Hand preference is one of the most apparent functional asymmetry in humans. Under contralateral control, performance is more proficient with the preferred hand; however, the difference between the two hands is greater in right handers, considering left handers generally display less cerebral lateralization. One method of evaluating hand preference is Bishop's card reaching task; however, information regarding validity and sensitivity with children in limited. This study assessed the relationship between Bishop's card reaching task and five hand preference tasks in 8- to 10-year-old typically-developing children from the Czech Republic (N = 376). Structural equation modelling identified a one factor model as the most suitable, including Bishop's card reaching task and three hand preference tasks (ringing, throwing, and rolling with dice). The factor validity (.89) and sensitivity of Bishop's card reaching task (90% to 97%) provided a very good identification of hand preference. These results support the suitability of Bishop's card reaching task as a separate test for determining hand preference in children. Accordingly, we suggest that the assessment of handedness, particularly in neurodevelopmental disorders where the proportion of right-handers and left-handers is disrupted (e.g., children with DCD or ADHD), should make use of Bishop's card reaching task alongside other unimanual tasks.

  8. Time course of corticospinal excitability changes following a novel motor training task.

    PubMed

    Holland, Luc; Murphy, Bernadette; Passmore, Steven; Yielder, Paul

    2015-03-30

    Motor learning is known to take place over several days, and there are a number of studies investigating the time course of improvements in motor performance, yet only a limited number that have investigated the time course of neurophysiological changes that accompany motor learning. The aim of this study was to investigate the time course of changes to corticospinal excitability, following novel motor training in the dominant hand, during two sessions of motor training and testing. This study used the slope of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) input-output (I/O) curves elicited at stimulator intensities between 90 and 150% of resting motor threshold for the first dorsal interosseous (FDI) muscle in order to measure corticospinal excitability. The I/O curves for 12 right-handed males (M age: 21.9+-0.5 years, [Laterality Index]=83.42 SD=4.9) were elicited before and after the performance of novel motor tracing task performed with the right hand on two different testing days. Participants had significant improvements in motor performance during both the initial (mean error improvement=31%, SD=7%, F(1, 11)=22.439 with p=0.001) and follow up session (mean error improvement=19%, SD=6%, F(1, 11)=17.85 with p=0.001). The slope of the TMS I/O curve decreased significantly over the four training blocks, F(1,11)=8.149, p=0.016, however pre-planned contrasts within the repeated measures ANOVA indicated that the decrease was only significant relative to baseline following the first day of training F(1,11)=10.476, p=0.008. This study found that corticospinal excitability measured using I/O curves decreases in response to performance of a novel motor training task, and the majority of this excitability change occurs on the first training day. Crown Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Contralateral white noise selectively changes left human auditory cortex activity in a lexical decision task.

    PubMed

    Behne, Nicole; Wendt, Beate; Scheich, Henning; Brechmann, André

    2006-04-01

    In a previous study, we hypothesized that the approach of presenting information-bearing stimuli to one ear and noise to the other ear may be a general strategy to determine hemispheric specialization in auditory cortex (AC). In that study, we confirmed the dominant role of the right AC in directional categorization of frequency modulations by showing that fMRI activation of right but not left AC was sharply emphasized when masking noise was presented to the contralateral ear. Here, we tested this hypothesis using a lexical decision task supposed to be mainly processed in the left hemisphere. Subjects had to distinguish between pseudowords and natural words presented monaurally to the left or right ear either with or without white noise to the other ear. According to our hypothesis, we expected a strong effect of contralateral noise on fMRI activity in left AC. For the control conditions without noise, we found that activation in both auditory cortices was stronger on contralateral than on ipsilateral word stimulation consistent with a more influential contralateral than ipsilateral auditory pathway. Additional presentation of contralateral noise did not significantly change activation in right AC, whereas it led to a significant increase of activation in left AC compared with the condition without noise. This is consistent with a left hemispheric specialization for lexical decisions. Thus our results support the hypothesis that activation by ipsilateral information-bearing stimuli is upregulated mainly in the hemisphere specialized for a given task when noise is presented to the more influential contralateral ear.

  15. Validity of an upper-body-mounted accelerometer to measure peak vertical and resultant force during running and change-of-direction tasks.

    PubMed

    Wundersitz, Daniel W T; Netto, Kevin J; Aisbett, Brad; Gastin, Paul B

    2013-11-01

    This study assessed the validity of a tri-axial accelerometer worn on the upper body to estimate peak forces during running and change-of-direction tasks. Seventeen participants completed four different running and change-of-direction tasks (0 degrees, 45 degrees, 90 degrees, and 180 degrees; five trials per condition). Peak crania-caudal and resultant acceleration was converted to force and compared against peak force plate ground reaction force (GRF) in two formats (raw and smoothed). The resultant smoothed (10 Hz) and crania-caudal raw (except 180 degrees) accelerometer values were not significantly different to resultant and vertical GRF for all running and change-of-direction tasks, respectively. Resultant accelerometer measures showed no to strong significant correlations (r = 0.00-0.76) and moderate to large measurement errors (coefficient of variation [CV] = 11.7-23.9%). Crania-caudal accelerometer measures showed small to moderate correlations (r = -0.26 to 0.39) and moderate to large measurement errors (CV = 15.0-20.6%). Accelerometers, within integrated micro-technology tracking devices and worn on the upper body, can provide a relative measure of peak impact force experienced during running and two change-of-direction tasks (45 degrees and 90 degrees) provided that resultant smoothed values are used.

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

    PubMed

    Brown, Helen; Spickett, Jeffery; Katscherian, Dianne

    2014-12-01

    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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Web Camera Based Eye Tracking to Assess Visual Memory on a Visual Paired Comparison Task.

    PubMed

    Bott, Nicholas T; Lange, Alex; Rentz, Dorene; Buffalo, Elizabeth; Clopton, Paul; Zola, Stuart

    2017-01-01

    Background: Web cameras are increasingly part of the standard hardware of most smart devices. Eye movements can often provide a noninvasive "window on the brain," and the recording of eye movements using web cameras is a burgeoning area of research. Objective: This study investigated a novel methodology for administering a visual paired comparison (VPC) decisional task using a web camera.To further assess this method, we examined the correlation between a standard eye-tracking camera automated scoring procedure [obtaining images at 60 frames per second (FPS)] and a manually scored procedure using a built-in laptop web camera (obtaining images at 3 FPS). Methods: This was an observational study of 54 clinically normal older adults.Subjects completed three in-clinic visits with simultaneous recording of eye movements on a VPC decision task by a standard eye tracker camera and a built-in laptop-based web camera. Inter-rater reliability was analyzed using Siegel and Castellan's kappa formula. Pearson correlations were used to investigate the correlation between VPC performance using a standard eye tracker camera and a built-in web camera. Results: Strong associations were observed on VPC mean novelty preference score between the 60 FPS eye tracker and 3 FPS built-in web camera at each of the three visits (r = 0.88-0.92). Inter-rater agreement of web camera scoring at each time point was high (κ = 0.81-0.88). There were strong relationships on VPC mean novelty preference score between 10, 5, and 3 FPS training sets (r = 0.88-0.94). Significantly fewer data quality issues were encountered using the built-in web camera. Conclusions: Human scoring of a VPC decisional task using a built-in laptop web camera correlated strongly with automated scoring of the same task using a standard high frame rate eye tracker camera.While this method is not suitable for eye tracking paradigms requiring the collection and analysis of fine-grained metrics, such as fixation points, built

  20. Web Camera Based Eye Tracking to Assess Visual Memory on a Visual Paired Comparison Task

    PubMed Central

    Bott, Nicholas T.; Lange, Alex; Rentz, Dorene; Buffalo, Elizabeth; Clopton, Paul; Zola, Stuart

    2017-01-01

    Background: Web cameras are increasingly part of the standard hardware of most smart devices. Eye movements can often provide a noninvasive “window on the brain,” and the recording of eye movements using web cameras is a burgeoning area of research. Objective: This study investigated a novel methodology for administering a visual paired comparison (VPC) decisional task using a web camera.To further assess this method, we examined the correlation between a standard eye-tracking camera automated scoring procedure [obtaining images at 60 frames per second (FPS)] and a manually scored procedure using a built-in laptop web camera (obtaining images at 3 FPS). Methods: This was an observational study of 54 clinically normal older adults.Subjects completed three in-clinic visits with simultaneous recording of eye movements on a VPC decision task by a standard eye tracker camera and a built-in laptop-based web camera. Inter-rater reliability was analyzed using Siegel and Castellan's kappa formula. Pearson correlations were used to investigate the correlation between VPC performance using a standard eye tracker camera and a built-in web camera. Results: Strong associations were observed on VPC mean novelty preference score between the 60 FPS eye tracker and 3 FPS built-in web camera at each of the three visits (r = 0.88–0.92). Inter-rater agreement of web camera scoring at each time point was high (κ = 0.81–0.88). There were strong relationships on VPC mean novelty preference score between 10, 5, and 3 FPS training sets (r = 0.88–0.94). Significantly fewer data quality issues were encountered using the built-in web camera. Conclusions: Human scoring of a VPC decisional task using a built-in laptop web camera correlated strongly with automated scoring of the same task using a standard high frame rate eye tracker camera.While this method is not suitable for eye tracking paradigms requiring the collection and analysis of fine-grained metrics, such as fixation points

  1. Enhancing the executive functions of 3-year-olds in the Dimensional Change Card Sort task.

    PubMed

    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 prior experience with the postswitch dimension can enhance 3-year-olds' performance in the DCCS. In Experiment 1A, a matching game was used to preexpose 3-year-olds (n = 36) to color. This facilitated switching from sorting by shape to color. In , 3-year-olds (n = 18) were preexposed to shape. This did not facilitate switching from sorting by color to shape. The model was used to explain this asymmetry. © 2014 The Authors. Child Development © 2014 Society for Research in Child Development, Inc.

  2. Guidelines for Guidelines: Are They Up to the Task? A Comparative Assessment of Clinical Practice Guideline Development Handbooks

    PubMed Central

    Ansari, Shabnam; Rashidian, Arash

    2012-01-01

    help decision makers in identifying the necessary tasks for guideline development, provide an updated comparative list of guideline development handbooks, and provide a checklist to assess the comprehensiveness of guideline development processes. PMID:23189167

  3. Guidelines for guidelines: are they up to the task? A comparative assessment of clinical practice guideline development handbooks.

    PubMed

    Ansari, Shabnam; Rashidian, Arash

    2012-01-01

    necessary tasks for guideline development, provide an updated comparative list of guideline development handbooks, and provide a checklist to assess the comprehensiveness of guideline development processes.

  4. Quantification of Perfusion Changes during a Motor Task Using Arterial Spin Labeling.

    PubMed

    Vilela, P; Pimentel, M; Sousa, I; Figueiredo, P

    2011-03-29

    flip angle = 90°; nine contiguous axial slices of 6 mm thickness acquired in-line with the AC-PC axis, positioned from the vertex of the brain to the top of cerebellum; FOV = 256 × 256 mm(2) ; matrix 64 × 64; gap between the labeling slab and the proximal 18.8 mm). The post-processing was performed using FSL (www.fmrib.ox.uk/fsl). The mean CBF values obtained for protocols #1 / #2 were: CBFrest = 61.0 / 69.4 ml/100g/min; CBFactivation = 104.8 / 109.9 ml/100g/min; and CBFvariation = CBFactivation - CBFrest = 43.7 / 40.5 ml/100g/min. The relative perfusion changes during activation [defined as CBFvariation / CBFrest (%)] were 73±6 % and 62±7 % (mean±SE) for protocols #1 and #2, respectively. These results show that both activation vs rest and block design functional protocols were capable to detect consistent variations in perfusion associated with a simple motor task. However, the block design has the advantages of requiring shorter acquisitions, directly comparing rest and activation conditions and allowing the acquisition of simultaneous Blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) contrast information, while still providing comparable results with the more conventional activation vs rest protocol. In conclusion, our results indicate that a block design ASL-BOLD protocol may be a preferable approach for the evaluation of perfusion changes to endogenous stimuli.

  5. 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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  7. 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…

  8. 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…

  9. Assessing LGBTQ campus climate and creating change.

    PubMed

    Yost, Megan R; Gilmore, Stephanie

    2011-01-01

    We report the findings of a climate study of a liberal arts college in Pennsylvania. This climate assessment was comprehensive in content (heterosexual and cisgender individuals' attitudes, and LGBTQ individuals' experiences), participants (faculty, staff, and students), and methodology (qualitative and quantitative). We found low levels of sexual prejudice and generally positive perceptions of the campus, but positive attitudes were more strongly endorsed by heterosexual and cisgender than LGBTQ participants. We consider the impact of these perceptions on LGBTQ students' co-curricular involvement and discuss the institutional changes that are underway as a result of our study.

  10. Clinician-Reported Outcome Assessments of Treatment Benefit: Report of the ISPOR Clinical Outcome Assessment Emerging Good Practices Task Force

    PubMed Central

    Powers, John H.; Patrick, Donald L.; Walton, Marc K.; Marquis, Patrick; Cano, Stefan; Hobart, Jeremy; Isaac, Maria; Vamvakas, Spiros; Slagle, Ashley; Molsen, Elizabeth; Burke, Laurie B.

    2017-01-01

    A clinician-reported outcome (ClinRO) assessment is a type of clinical outcome assessment (COA). ClinRO assessments, like all COAs (patient-reported, observer-reported, or performance outcome assessments), are used to 1) measure patients’ health status and 2) define end points that can be interpreted as treatment benefits of medical interventions on how patients feel, function, or survive in clinical trials. Like other COAs, ClinRO assessments can be influenced by human choices, judgment, or motivation. A ClinRO assessment is conducted and reported by a trained health care professional and requires specialized professional training to evaluate the patient’s health status. This is the second of two reports by the ISPOR Clinical Outcomes Assessment—Emerging Good Practices for Outcomes Research Task Force. The first report provided an overview of COAs including definitions important for an understanding of COA measurement practices. This report focuses specifically on issues related to ClinRO assessments. In this report, we define three types of ClinRO assessments (readings, ratings, and clinician global assessments) and describe emerging good measurement practices in their development and evaluation. The good measurement practices include 1) defining the context of use; 2) identifying the concept of interest measured; 3) defining the intended treatment benefit on how patients feel, function, or survive reflected by the ClinRO assessment and evaluating the relationship between that intended treatment benefit and the concept of interest; 4) documenting content validity; 5) evaluating other measurement properties once content validity is established (including intra- and inter-rater reliability); 6) defining study objectives and end point(s) objectives, and defining study end points and placing study end points within the hierarchy of end points; 7) establishing interpretability in trial results; and 8) evaluating operational considerations for the implementation

  11. Significant Change Spotting for Periodic Human Motion Segmentation of Cleaning Tasks Using Wearable Sensors

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Kai-Chun; Chan, Chia-Tai

    2017-01-01

    The proportion of the aging population is rapidly increasing around the world, which will cause stress on society and healthcare systems. In recent years, advances in technology have created new opportunities for automatic activities of daily living (ADL) monitoring to improve the quality of life and provide adequate medical service for the elderly. Such automatic ADL monitoring requires reliable ADL information on a fine-grained level, especially for the status of interaction between body gestures and the environment in the real-world. In this work, we propose a significant change spotting mechanism for periodic human motion segmentation during cleaning task performance. A novel approach is proposed based on the search for a significant change of gestures, which can manage critical technical issues in activity recognition, such as continuous data segmentation, individual variance, and category ambiguity. Three typical machine learning classification algorithms are utilized for the identification of the significant change candidate, including a Support Vector Machine (SVM), k-Nearest Neighbors (kNN), and Naive Bayesian (NB) algorithm. Overall, the proposed approach achieves 96.41% in the F1-score by using the SVM classifier. The results show that the proposed approach can fulfill the requirement of fine-grained human motion segmentation for automatic ADL monitoring. PMID:28106853

  12. 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…

  13. 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…

  14. Validation of an endoscopic part-task training box as a skill assessment tool.

    PubMed

    Jirapinyo, Pichamol; Kumar, Nitin; Thompson, Christopher C

    2015-04-01

    There is no objective methodology to assess trainee progress in endoscopy. Our prior work has detailed the development of the endoscopic part-task training box. To assess validity evidence regarding relationship to other variables by evaluating a correlation between level of endoscopic experience and training box score. Prospective validation study. Three academic institutions. A total of 42 participants: 7 novices, 7 first-year GI fellows, 7 second-year GI fellows, 7 third-year GI fellows, 7 attending physicians, and 7 interventional attending physicians. The training box consists of 5 modules: retroflexion, knob control, torque, polypectomy, and navigation/loop reduction. Performance is scored for precision and speed. Each participant was required to complete the training box once. Additionally, 5 participants at different endoscopic levels completed the training box 3 times at 1-week intervals. A correlation between level of endoscopic experience and training box score. All 42 participants completed the 5 modules during a single session. Aggregate training box scores differed significantly between each training level (P values < .05). Individual modules significantly differentiated between experience-level groups (novices, fellows, and attending physicians; P values < .01). Participants who repeated the training box demonstrated score improvement over time, with persistence of separation between training levels. The training box focuses only on the technical aspects of endoscopy and does not address the cognitive elements of endoscopic training. The endoscopic part-task training box is able to objectively assess endoscopic ability by differentiating scores based on clinical experience. Further multicenter efforts are now needed to establish learning curves and to correlate use of the simulator with improved clinical aptitude. Copyright © 2015 American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Changes in Cue Configuration Reduce the Impact of Interfering Information in a Predictive Learning Task.

    PubMed

    Cubillas, Carmelo P; Vadillo, Miguel A; Matute, Helena

    2016-01-01

    Decades of research in extinction and interference show that contexts can play a critical role at disambiguating the meaning of cues that have been paired with different outcomes at different times. For instance, if a cue x is followed by outcome 1 in the first phase of an experiment and by outcome 2 in a second phase, responses to cue x tend to be consistent with outcome 2 when tested in a context similar to that of the second phase of the experiment. However, if participants are taken back to the original context of the first phase (i.e., ABA renewal) or to a completely new context (i.e., ABC or AAB renewal), their responses to x tend to be more consistent with outcome 1. Although the role of physical and temporal contexts has been well studied, other factors that can also modulate the selective retrieval of information after interference have received less attention. The present series of experiments shows how changes in cue configuration can modulate responding in a similar manner. Across five experiments using a human predictive learning task, we found that adding, removing or replacing elements from a compound cue that had undergone an interference treatment gave rise to a recovery of responding akin to that observed after context changes in AAB renewal. These results are consistent with those of previous studies exploring the effect of changes of cue configuration on interference. Taken together, these studies suggest that a change in cue configuration can have the functional properties of a context change, a finding with important implications for formal models of configural learning and for classical accounts of interference and information retrieval.

  16. Changes in Cue Configuration Reduce the Impact of Interfering Information in a Predictive Learning Task

    PubMed Central

    Cubillas, Carmelo P.; Vadillo, Miguel A.; Matute, Helena

    2017-01-01

    Decades of research in extinction and interference show that contexts can play a critical role at disambiguating the meaning of cues that have been paired with different outcomes at different times. For instance, if a cue x is followed by outcome 1 in the first phase of an experiment and by outcome 2 in a second phase, responses to cue x tend to be consistent with outcome 2 when tested in a context similar to that of the second phase of the experiment. However, if participants are taken back to the original context of the first phase (i.e., ABA renewal) or to a completely new context (i.e., ABC or AAB renewal), their responses to x tend to be more consistent with outcome 1. Although the role of physical and temporal contexts has been well studied, other factors that can also modulate the selective retrieval of information after interference have received less attention. The present series of experiments shows how changes in cue configuration can modulate responding in a similar manner. Across five experiments using a human predictive learning task, we found that adding, removing or replacing elements from a compound cue that had undergone an interference treatment gave rise to a recovery of responding akin to that observed after context changes in AAB renewal. These results are consistent with those of previous studies exploring the effect of changes of cue configuration on interference. Taken together, these studies suggest that a change in cue configuration can have the functional properties of a context change, a finding with important implications for formal models of configural learning and for classical accounts of interference and information retrieval. PMID:28111562

  17. The Reliability and Validity of the Complex Task Performance Assessment: A Performance-Based Assessment of Executive Function

    PubMed Central

    Wolf, Timothy J.; Dahl, Abigail; Auen, Colleen; Doherty, Meghan

    2015-01-01

    The objective of this study was to evaluate the inter-rater reliability, test-retest reliability, concurrent validity, and discriminant validity of the Complex Task Performance Assessment (CTPA): An ecologically-valid performance-based assessment of executive function. Community control participants (n = 20) and individuals with mild stroke (n = 14) participated in this study. All participants completed the CTPA and a battery of cognitive assessments at initial testing. The control participants completed the CTPA at two different times one week apart. The intra-class correlation coefficient (ICC) for inter-rater reliability for the total score on the CTPA was 0.991. The ICCs for all of the sub scores of the CTPA were also high (0.889-0.977). The CTPA total score was significantly correlated to Condition 4 of the DKEFS Color-Word Interference Test (ρ = −0.425), and the Wechsler Test of Adult Reading (ρ = −0.493). Finally, there were significant differences between control subjects and individuals with mild stroke on the total score of the CTPA (p = 0.007) and all sub scores except interpretation failures and total items incorrect. These results are also consistent with other current executive function performance-based assessments and indicate that the CTPA is a reliable and valid performance-based measure of executive function. PMID:25939359

  18. The reliability and validity of the Complex Task Performance Assessment: A performance-based assessment of executive function.

    PubMed

    Wolf, Timothy J; Dahl, Abigail; Auen, Colleen; Doherty, Meghan

    2015-05-05

    The objective of this study was to evaluate the inter-rater reliability, test-retest reliability, concurrent validity, and discriminant validity of the Complex Task Performance Assessment (CTPA): an ecologically valid performance-based assessment of executive function. Community control participants (n = 20) and individuals with mild stroke (n = 14) participated in this study. All participants completed the CTPA and a battery of cognitive assessments at initial testing. The control participants completed the CTPA at two different times one week apart. The intra-class correlation coefficient (ICC) for inter-rater reliability for the total score on the CTPA was .991. The ICCs for all of the sub-scores of the CTPA were also high (.889-.977). The CTPA total score was significantly correlated to Condition 4 of the DKEFS Color-Word Interference Test (p = -.425), and the Wechsler Test of Adult Reading (p  = -.493). Finally, there were significant differences between control subjects and individuals with mild stroke on the total score of the CTPA (p = .007) and all sub-scores except interpretation failures and total items incorrect. These results are also consistent with other current executive function performance-based assessments and indicate that the CTPA is a reliable and valid performance-based measure of executive function.

  19. 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.

  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.