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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. 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.

  3. A Population of Assessment Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Daro, Phil; Burkhardt, Hugh

    2012-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kloo, Daniela; Perner, Josef

    2005-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1993-07-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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…

  10. 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.

  11. Task Analyses for Difficult-to-Assess Collective Tasks

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-02-01

    pronunciation and use of common phrases of the local dialect likely to be of utility during the KLE. Rehearse mission with KLE team. Coordinate...concurrently teaching individual crew, leader, and collective skills. Demonstrate to HN personnel the execution of each task using a step-by-step process...to include work schedules, mail, and other required support for mission. Coordinate for the translation of all necessary documents from English to

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1998-01-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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…

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

  19. 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…

  20. 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,…

  1. 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.

  2. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2014-01-01

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

  4. 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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2016-01-01

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

  6. 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…

  7. Reduction of stroke assessment time for visually guided reaching task on KINARM exoskeleton robot.

    PubMed

    Mostafavi, S M; Dukelow, S P; Glasgow, J I; Scott, S H; Mousavi, P

    2014-01-01

    Robotic technologies provide objective, highly reliable tools for assessment of brain function following stroke. KINARM is an exoskeleton device that quantifies sensorimotor brain function using a visually guided reaching task among many other behavioral tasks. As further tasks are developed to more broadly assess different aspects of behavior using the robot, techniques and approaches are required to reduce the time it takes to complete each task. The present study investigates how the value of robot-measured parameters changes under alternative schemes that significantly reduce assessment time compared to the current assessment protocol for the visually guided reaching task. Results of the study are validated by addressing an important diagnostic question using an SVM classifier, showing that the alternative schemes provide nearly identical performance in terms of classification sensitivity, specificity and accuracy.

  8. 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.…

  9. 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.

  10. 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…

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  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. 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)

  15. 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.

  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. 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…

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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…

  2. 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.

  3. 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…

  4. 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…

  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. 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…

  7. 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

  8. 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…

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  10. 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

  11. 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...

  12. 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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2006-01-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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…

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lee, Scott Weng Fai

    2013-01-01

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

  4. 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.

  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. 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…

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Dissociation of Motor Task-Induced Cortical Excitability and Pain Perception Changes in Healthy Volunteers

    PubMed Central

    Volz, Magdalena S.; Mendonca, Mariana; Pinheiro, Fernando S.; Cui, Huashun; Santana, Marcus; Fregni, Felipe

    2012-01-01

    Background There is evidence that interventions aiming at modulation of the motor cortex activity lead to pain reduction. In order to understand further the role of the motor cortex on pain modulation, we aimed to compare the behavioral (pressure pain threshold) and neurophysiological effects (transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) induced cortical excitability) across three different motor tasks. Methodology/Principal Findings Fifteen healthy male subjects were enrolled in this randomized, controlled, blinded, cross-over designed study. Three different tasks were tested including motor learning with and without visual feedback, and simple hand movements. Cortical excitability was assessed using single and paired-pulse TMS measures such as resting motor threshold (RMT), motor-evoked potential (MEP), intracortical facilitation (ICF), short intracortical inhibition (SICI), and cortical silent period (CSP). All tasks showed significant reduction in pain perception represented by an increase in pressure pain threshold compared to the control condition (untrained hand). ANOVA indicated a difference among the three tasks regarding motor cortex excitability change. There was a significant increase in motor cortex excitability (as indexed by MEP increase and CSP shortening) for the simple hand movements. Conclusions/Significance Although different motor tasks involving motor learning with and without visual feedback and simple hand movements appear to change pain perception similarly, it is likely that the neural mechanisms might not be the same as evidenced by differential effects in motor cortex excitability induced by these tasks. In addition, TMS-indexed motor excitability measures are not likely good markers to index the effects of motor-based tasks on pain perception in healthy subjects as other neural networks besides primary motor cortex might be involved with pain modulation during motor training. PMID:22470548

  11. 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).

  12. 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…

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

    PubMed

    Colbert, Alison; Bo, Jin

    2016-11-13

    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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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…

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2012-01-01

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

  5. 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…

  6. 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,…

  7. 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.

  8. 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…

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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…

  12. 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…

  13. 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…

  14. 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.

  15. 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…

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  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. 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…

  20. 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…

  1. 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…

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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)

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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…

  16. 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

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2012-01-01

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

  20. 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…

  1. 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…

  2. 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…

  3. 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"…

  4. 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…

  5. 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…

  6. 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…

  7. 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.

  8. 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…

  9. 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…

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.…

  18. 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…

  19. 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.…

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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…

  3. 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)

  4. 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…

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

  11. 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.

  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. 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…

  14. 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.…

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

  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. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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…

  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. 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…

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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…

  7. 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…

  8. 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…

  9. 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.…

  10. 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…

  11. 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…

  12. 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.…

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

  19. 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"…

  20. 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…

  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. 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…

  3. 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…

  4. 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…

  5. 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…

  6. 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…

  7. 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.

  8. 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…

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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…

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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…

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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...

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  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. 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…

  20. 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…

  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. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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…

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. [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.

  18. 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)

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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…

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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…

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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…

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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…

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

    SciTech Connect

    BECKER, D.L.

    2000-05-23

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

  2. 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.

  3. Assessing urban adaptive capacity to climate change.

    PubMed

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

    2016-12-01

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

  4. Interval Timing Deficits Assessed by Time Reproduction Dual Tasks as Cognitive Endophenotypes for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

    PubMed Central

    Hwang-Gu, Shoou-Lian; Gau, Susan Shur-Fen

    2015-01-01

    The literature has suggested timing processing as a potential endophenotype for attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD); however, whether the subjective internal clock speed presented by verbal estimation and limited attention capacity presented by time reproduction could be endophenotypes for ADHD is still unknown. We assessed 223 youths with DSM-IV ADHD (age range: 10-17 years), 105 unaffected siblings, and 84 typically developing (TD) youths using psychiatric interviews, intelligence tests, verbal estimation and time reproduction tasks (single task and simple and difficult dual tasks) at 5-second, 12-second, and 17-second intervals. We found that youths with ADHD tended to overestimate time in verbal estimation more than their unaffected siblings and TD youths, implying that fast subjective internal clock speed might be a characteristic of ADHD, rather than an endophenotype for ADHD. Youths with ADHD and their unaffected siblings were less precise in time reproduction dual tasks than TD youths. The magnitude of estimated errors in time reproduction was greater in youths with ADHD and their unaffected siblings than in TD youths, with an increased time interval at the 17-second interval and with increased task demands on both simple and difficult dual tasks versus the single task. Increased impaired time reproduction in dual tasks with increased intervals and task demands were shown in youths with ADHD and their unaffected siblings, suggesting that time reproduction deficits explained by limited attention capacity might be a useful endophenotype of ADHD. PMID:25992899

  5. 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

  6. 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…

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  8. A Paradigm to Assess Implicit Attitudes towards God: The Positive/Negative God Associations Task.

    PubMed

    Pirutinsky, Steven; Carp, Sean; Rosmarin, David H

    2017-02-01

    Psychological research on the relationship between spirituality/religion and mental health has grown considerably over the past several decades and now constitutes a sizable body of scholarship. Among dimensions of S/R, positive beliefs about God have been significantly related to better mental health outcomes, and conversely negative beliefs about God are generally associated with more distress. However, prior research on this topic has relied heavily upon self-report Likert-type scales, which are vulnerable to self-report biases and measure only explicit cognitive processes. In this study, we developed and validated an implicit social cognition task, the Positive/Negative God Go/No-go Association Task (PNG-GNAT), for use in psychological research on spirituality and religion (S/R). Preliminary evidence in a large sample (N = 381) suggests that the PNG-GNAT demonstrates internal consistency, test-retest and split-half reliability, and concurrent evidence of validity. Further, our results suggest that PNG-GNAT scores represent different underlying dimensions of S/R than explicit self-report measures, and incrementally predict mental health above and beyond self-report assessment. The PNG-GNAT appears to be an effective tool for measuring implicit positive/negative beliefs about God.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Timms, Mike

    2014-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mat-jizat, Jessnor Elmy

    2013-01-01

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

  16. Assessment of reproducibility of thigh marker ranking during walking and landing tasks.

    PubMed

    Monnet, Tony; Thouzé, Arsène; Pain, Matt T G; Begon, Mickaël

    2012-10-01

    The aim of this paper is to analyse the repeatability of marker deformation and marker ranking across subjects and motor tasks. A method based on the solidification of the thigh with optimized rototranslation was applied which used 26 markers placed on the left thigh. During five trials of landing and five trials of walking for eight participants, the deformation between the actual positions of the 26 markers and the recalled positions from solidification were calculated. Markers were then sorted and ranked from the most deformed to the least deformed. Like previous studies, marker deformation found in this paper is subject and movement-dependant. The reproducibility of the marker rankings was assessed using Kendall's coefficient of concordance. Results highlighted that the marker ranking was similar between the trials of landing and between the trials of walking. Moreover, for walking and landing the rankings were consistent across the eight subjects.

  17. Helping and hurting others: Person and situation effects on aggressive and prosocial behavior as assessed by the Tangram task.

    PubMed

    Saleem, Muniba; Barlett, Christopher P; Anderson, Craig A; Hawkins, Ian

    2017-04-01

    The Tangram Help/Hurt Task is a laboratory-based measure designed to simultaneously assess helpful and hurtful behavior. Across five studies we provide evidence that further establishes the convergent and discriminant validity of the Tangram Help/Hurt Task. Cross-sectional and meta-analytic evidence finds consistently significant associations between helpful and hurtful scores on the Tangram Task and prosocial and aggressive personality traits. Experimental evidence reveals that situational primes known to induce aggressive and prosocial behavior significantly influence helpful and hurtful scores on the Tangram Help/Hurt Task. Additionally, motivation items in all studies indicate that tangram choices are indeed associated with intent of helping and hurting. We discuss the advantages and limitations of the Tangram Help/Hurt Task relative to established measures of helpful and hurtful behavior. Aggr. Behav. 43:133-146, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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

    PubMed

    Andrew, Danielle; Yielder, Paul; Murphy, Bernadette

    2015-02-15

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

  19. 78 FR 14912 - International Aviation Safety Assessment (IASA) Program Change

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-03-08

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

  20. 75 FR 43944 - Defense Science Board; Task Force on Trends and Implications of Climate Change for National and...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-07-27

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

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

    PubMed

    Kümmel, Jakob; Kramer, Andreas; Gruber, Markus

    2014-12-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1994-11-30

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

  3. The changing nature of life cycle assessment

    PubMed Central

    McManus, Marcelle C.; Taylor, Caroline M.

    2015-01-01

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

  4. Assessing impulsivity changes in Alzheimer disease.

    PubMed

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

    2008-01-01

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

  5. Muscle pain induces task-dependent changes in cervical agonist/antagonist activity.

    PubMed

    Falla, D; Farina, D; Dahl, M Kanstrup; Graven-Nielsen, T

    2007-02-01

    This study examined the effect of experimental neck muscle pain on the EMG-force relationship of cervical agonist and antagonist muscles. Surface EMG signals were detected from the sternomastoid, splenius capitis, and upper trapezius muscles bilaterally from 14 healthy subjects during cervical flexion and extension contractions of linearly increasing force from 0 to 60% of the maximum voluntary contraction (MVC). Measurements were performed before and after injection of 0.5 ml hypertonic and isotonic saline into either the sternomastoid or splenius capitis in two experimental sessions. EMG average rectified value (ARV) of the sternomastoid, splenius capitis, and upper trapezius muscles and the muscle fiber conduction velocity (CV) of the sternomastoid muscle were estimated at 5% MVC force increments. During cervical flexion with injection of hypertonic saline in sternomastoid, ARV of sternomastoid was lower on the side of pain in the force range 25-60% MVC (P < 0.05) and was associated with a bilateral reduction of splenius capitis and upper trapezius ARV (P < 0.01). During cervical extension, injection of hypertonic saline in splenius capitis resulted in lower estimates of splenius capitis ARV on the painful side from 45 to 60% MVC (P < 0.05), which was associated with a bilateral increase in upper trapezius ARV estimates from 50 to 60% MVC (P < 0.001). However, no significant change was identified for estimates of sternomastoid ARV. Experimentally induced neck muscle pain resulted in task-dependent changes in cervical agonist/antagonist activity without modifications in muscle fiber CV.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  7. Age-related changes of arm movements in dual task condition when walking on different surfaces.

    PubMed

    Hsieh, Yao-Jen; Cho, Chiung-Yu

    2012-02-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate whether the dual task paradigm would influence arm movements during walking. Furthermore, we examined the effects of different walking surfaces on arm movements while performing dual tasks. The effects of age and gender were also investigated. Fifteen young adults and 15 older adults were included in this study. Subjects were asked to perform the walking task alone (single-task trial) and walking in combination with a cognitive task (dual-task trial). Four walking conditions (1 single task and 3 dual task trials)×two walking surfaces were encountered. Both age groups had greater elbow and trunk movement in the sagittal plane under the dual task trials as compared to the single task trial (p<.05). Subjects had greater upper extremity and upper body movement on the soft floor than on the hard floor (p<.05). Subjects had greater movement amplitude when confronting a challenging environment, especially in the contralateral side. Among gender, there was a group-gender interaction: the older females had smaller upper extremity movement than the older males (p<.05) but the opposite was true for the young adults. The results suggest that different age groups of males and females use different balance control strategy to deal with the challenging conditions.

  8. Assessing victim empathy in sexual offenders using the victim letter task.

    PubMed

    Webster, Stephen D

    2002-10-01

    In attempting to enhance victim empathy, it is common to have sexual offenders write an apology letter to their victim. This task is thought to reveal the level of empathy that the sexual offender has for his victim. However, until now there has been no reliable method for judging the quality of empathy revealed in the victim letter. This paper reports the development and evaluation of 2 templates to score letters written to child victims and adult victims, respectively. An acceptable level of interrater reliability was obtained for the templates. Deficits revealed by the templates did not correlate with scores on a generic empathy measure but did correlate with scales measuring minimization and denial. The measures were also sensitive to change following empathy training.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

    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-bar w = 0.69) and non-cyclic work tasks (r̄-bar w = 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.

  10. Walking-adaptability assessments with the Interactive Walkway: Between-systems agreement and sensitivity to task and subject variations.

    PubMed

    Geerse, Daphne J; Coolen, Bert H; Roerdink, Melvyn

    2017-03-02

    The ability to adapt walking to environmental circumstances is an important aspect of walking, yet difficult to assess. The Interactive Walkway was developed to assess walking adaptability by augmenting a multi-Kinect-v2 10-m walkway with gait-dependent visual context (stepping targets, obstacles) using real-time processed markerless full-body kinematics. In this study we determined Interactive Walkway's usability for walking-adaptability assessments in terms of between-systems agreement and sensitivity to task and subject variations. Under varying task constraints, 21 healthy subjects performed obstacle-avoidance, sudden-stops-and-starts and goal-directed-stepping tasks. Various continuous walking-adaptability outcome measures were concurrently determined with the Interactive Walkway and a gold-standard motion-registration system: available response time, obstacle-avoidance and sudden-stop margins, step length, stepping accuracy and walking speed. The same holds for dichotomous classifications of success and failure for obstacle-avoidance and sudden-stops tasks and performed short-stride versus long-stride obstacle-avoidance strategies. Continuous walking-adaptability outcome measures generally agreed well between systems (high intraclass correlation coefficients for absolute agreement, low biases and narrow limits of agreement) and were highly sensitive to task and subject variations. Success and failure ratings varied with available response times and obstacle types and agreed between systems for 85-96% of the trials while obstacle-avoidance strategies were always classified correctly. We conclude that Interactive Walkway walking-adaptability outcome measures are reliable and sensitive to task and subject variations, even in high-functioning subjects. We therefore deem Interactive Walkway walking-adaptability assessments usable for obtaining an objective and more task-specific examination of one's ability to walk, which may be feasible for both high

  11. Stress response in honeybees is associated with changes in task-related physiology and energetic metabolism.

    PubMed

    Bordier, Célia; Suchail, Séverine; Pioz, Maryline; Devaud, Jean Marc; Collet, Claude; Charreton, Mercedes; Le Conte, Yves; Alaux, Cédric

    2017-04-01

    In a rapidly changing environment, honeybee colonies are increasingly exposed to diverse sources of stress (e.g., new parasites, pesticides, climate warming), which represent a challenge to individual and social homeostasis. However, bee physiological responses to stress remain poorly understood. We therefore exposed bees specialised in different tasks (nurses, guards and foragers) to ancient (immune and heat stress) or historically more recent sources of stress (pesticides), and we determined changes in the expression of genes linked to behavioural maturation (vitellogenin - vg and juvenile hormone esterase - jhe) as well as in energetic metabolism (glycogen level, expression level of the receptor to the adipokinetic hormone - akhr, and endothermic performance). While acute exposure to sublethal doses of two pesticides did not affect vg and jhe expression, immune and heat challenges caused a decrease and increase in both genes, respectively, suggesting that bees had responded to ecologically relevant stressors. Since vg and jhe are expressed to a higher level in nurses than in foragers, it is reasonable to assume that an immune challenge stimulated behavioural maturation to decrease potential contamination risk and that a heat challenge promoted a nurse profile for brood thermoregulation. All behavioural castes responded in the same way. Though endothermic performances did not change upon stress exposure, the akhr level dropped in immune and heat-challenged individuals. Similarly, the abdomen glycogen level tended to decline in immune-challenged bees. Altogether, these results suggest that bee responses are stress specific and adaptive but that they tend to entail a reduction of energetic metabolism that needs to be studied on a longer timescale.

  12. Performance-based workload assessment: Allocation strategy and added task sensitivity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vidulich, Michael A.

    1990-01-01

    The preliminary results of a research program investigating the use of added tasks to evaluate mental workload are reviewed. The focus of the first studies was a reappraisal of the traditional secondary task logic that encouraged the use of low-priority instructions for the added task. It was believed that such low-priority tasks would encourage subjects to split their available resources among the two tasks. The primary task would be assigned all the resources it needed, and any remaining reserve capacity would be assigned to the secondary task. If the model were correct, this approach was expected to combine sensitivity to primary task difficulty with unintrusiveness to primary task performance. The first studies of the current project demonstrated that a high-priority added task, although intrusive, could be more sensitive than the traditional low-priority secondary task. These results suggested that a more appropriate model of the attentional effects associated with added task performance might be based on capacity switching, rather than the traditional optimal allocation model.

  13. A versatile task for assessing decision-making abilities: the truck dispatcher framework.

    PubMed

    Schiebener, Johannes; Schulte, Frank Paul; Hofmann, Jens; Brand, Matthias

    2014-01-01

    In neuropsychological decision-making research, several different tasks are used to measure decision-making competences in patients and healthy study participants. Unfortunately, the existing tasks are often inflexible for modification, use different scenarios, and include several gambling cues. Therefore, comparisons between participants' performances in different tasks are difficult. We developed the Truck Dispatcher Framework (TDF), in which different decision-making tasks can be designed within one unitary, flexible, and real-world-oriented story line. To test the story line, TDF analogues of three standard decision-making tasks (Game of Dice Task, Probability-Associated Gambling task, Iowa Gambling Task) were developed. In three studies with brain-healthy participants, the behavior in standard decision-making tasks and the TDF analogues of those tasks were compared. Similar behaviors indicate that the TDF tasks measure decision making appropriately. Thus, the TDF is recommended for experimental and clinical research because it allows for examining decision-making competences in tasks with different demands that take place within one unitary story line.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Butler, Yuko Goto; Zeng, Wei

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    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 36 and 84 months in age participated in the study. The children were tested on measures of WMC (MST), verbal and nonverbal memory (NEPSY Narrative Memory and Memory for Designs subtests), and language skills (Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test, fourth edition). Children showed increased working memory capacity scores with age, as measured by the MST, with significant differences between 3- and 5-year-olds and 3- and 6-year-olds. Significant correlations were also found between the MST and language and verbal and nonverbal memory scores. MSTscores still remained significantly correlated with the other measures of memory even after age and global language were accounted for in a regression analysis, demonstrating that the MST captures unique variance related specifically to WMC and cognitive control processes used to retrieve and scan information in short-term memory (STM). The results of this study demonstrate that the MST is a feasible and valid methodology for assessing WMC in preschool children as young 3 years of age.

  16. Task-evoked fMRI changes in attention networks are associated with preclinical Alzheimer's disease biomarkers.

    PubMed

    Gordon, Brian A; Zacks, Jeffrey M; Blazey, Tyler; Benzinger, Tammie L S; Morris, John C; Fagan, Anne M; Holtzman, David M; Balota, David A

    2015-05-01

    There is a growing emphasis on examining preclinical levels of Alzheimer's disease (AD)-related pathology in the absence of cognitive impairment. Previous work examining biomarkers has focused almost exclusively on memory, although there is mounting evidence that attention also declines early in disease progression. In the current experiment, 2 attentional control tasks were used to examine alterations in task-evoked functional magnetic resonance imaging data related to biomarkers of AD pathology. Seventy-one cognitively normal individuals (females = 44, mean age = 63.5 years) performed 2 attention-demanding cognitive tasks in a design that modeled both trial- and task-level functional magnetic resonance imaging changes. Biomarkers included amyloid β42, tau, and phosphorylated tau measured from cerebrospinal fluid and positron emission tomography measures of amyloid deposition. Both tasks elicited widespread patterns of activation and deactivation associated with large task-level manipulations of attention. Importantly, results from both tasks indicated that higher levels of tau and phosphorylated tau pathologies were associated with block-level overactivations of attentional control areas. This suggests early alteration in attentional control with rising levels of AD pathology.

  17. Task-evoked fMRI Changes in Attention Networks are Associated with Preclinical Alzheimer Disease Biomarkers

    PubMed Central

    Gordon, Brian A; Zacks, Jeffrey M; Blazey, Tyler; Benzinger, Tammie LS; Morris, John C; Fagan, Anne M; Holtzman, David M; Balota, David A

    2015-01-01

    There is a growing emphasis on examining preclinical levels of Alzheimer Disease-related pathology in the absence of cognitive impairment. Prior work examining biomarkers has focused almost exclusively on memory, although there is mounting evidence that attention also declines early in disease progression. In the current experiment, two attentional control tasks were used to examine alterations in task-evoked functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data related to biomarkers of Alzheimer pathology. Seventy-one cognitively normal individuals (females=44, mean age=63.5) performed two attention-demanding cognitive tasks in a design that modeled both trial-level and task-level fMRI changes. Biomarkers included Aβ42, tau, and phosphorylated tau (ptau) measured from cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), and positron emission tomography (PET) measures of amyloid deposition. Both tasks elicited widespread patterns of activation and deactivation associated with large task-level manipulations of attention. Importantly, results from both tasks indicated that higher levels of tau and ptau pathology were associated with block level over-activations of attentional control areas. This suggests early alteration in attentional control with rising levels of Alzheimer Disease pathology. PMID:25708908

  18. Location of minimum foot clearance on the shoe and with respect to the obstacle changes with locomotor task.

    PubMed

    Loverro, Kari L; Mueske, Nicole M; Hamel, Kate A

    2013-07-26

    Minimum foot clearance (MFC) as it relates to trips and falls has been extensively studied across many locomotor tasks, but examination of this body of research yields several studies with conflicting results and a wide range of MFCs within tasks. While there are several factors that may affect the MFC variability across studies (populations studied, environmental conditions, etc.), one aspect of the discrepancies in the literature may be the result of different placements of shoe markers and/or MFC calculation methods. A marker on the toe is often used, but may only quantify one aspect of how the foot actually clears the trip hazard. The purpose of this study was to determine the location on the shoe where MFC occurs during locomotor tasks with the highest risk of tripping. Ten young adults performed three trials of locomotor tasks which included overground walking, obstacle crossing, level change and stair negotiation. Clearance was calculated for 72 points on each shoe, including those most commonly used in past research. The location of the overall MFC on the shoe sole differed both between limbs and across locomotor tasks. Additionally, the region of the obstacle, step or stair over which the MFC occurred varied both within and across task. Use of this 3D MFC methodology provided further insight into which portions of the shoe may come closest to the tripping hazard. Future research should examine whether the location and value of the MFC changes between different populations, or with environmental modifications.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yuan, Zhen; Lin, Xiaohong

    2016-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Scharoun, Sara M; Bryden, Pamela J

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Scharoun, Sara M.; Bryden, Pamela J.

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-15

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

  3. Aging effects in cueing tasks as assessed by the ideal observer: peripheral cues.

    PubMed

    Swan, Eleanor F; Hutchinson, Claire V; Everard, Mark; Shimozaki, Steven S

    2015-02-04

    Previous aging and cueing studies suggest that automatic orienting driven by peripheral cues is preserved with aging; however, inconsistencies can be found. One issue might be the use of response times (RT) to assess cueing effects (invalid RT--valid RT), which, in many cases, may not have clear quantitative predictions. We propose an ideal observer (IO) analysis of accuracy estimating participants' internal value of cue validity, or weight, which should equal the actual cue validity. The weight measures the use of information provided by the cue and is insensitive to variations in set size and difficulty, thus potentially providing advantages to RT. Older (n = 54) and younger (n = 58) participants performed a yes/no detection task of a two-dimensional (2-D) Gaussian (60 ms). Square peripheral precues (150 ms) indicated likely target locations (70% valid) across two or six locations (set sizes). For cueing effects, (valid--invalid hit rates), younger participants had set-size effects (larger cueing effects for set size 6), while older participants did not. The opposite pattern was found for weights (younger: no set-size effects, older: set-size effects) due to the IO predicting larger cueing effects for larger set sizes. Comparisons to the ideal weight (cue validity) suggested that older participants used the cue information effectively with set size 2 (as or more so than younger participants), but not with set size 6. These results suggest that attentional deficits from aging in peripheral cueing tasks may only arise as difficulty increases, such as larger set sizes.

  4. Advances in Methods for Assessing Longitudinal Change

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Grimm, Kevin J.; Mazza, Gina L.; Mazzocco, Michèle M. M.

    2016-01-01

    Educational research aims to understand how and why students change over time. With its emphasis on within-person change, latent change score models provide educational researchers with a more general and flexible framework for testing nuanced hypotheses regarding within-person change and between-person differences in within-person change. Models…

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1995-06-01

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

  6. Functional connectivity changes during a working memory task in rat via NMF analysis.

    PubMed

    Wei, Jing; Bai, Wenwen; Liu, Tiaotiao; Tian, Xin

    2015-01-01

    Working memory (WM) is necessary in higher cognition. The brain as a complex network is formed by interconnections among neurons. Connectivity results in neural dynamics to support cognition. The first aim is to investigate connectivity dynamics in medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) networks during WM. As brain neural activity is sparse, the second aim is to find the intrinsic connectivity property in a feature space. Using multi-channel electrode recording techniques, spikes were simultaneously obtained from mPFC of rats that performed a Y-maze WM task. Continuous time series converted from spikes were embedded in a low-dimensional space by non-negative matrix factorization (NMF). mPFC network in original space was constructed by measuring connections among neurons. And the same network in NMF space was constructed by computing connectivity values between the extracted NMF components. Causal density (Cd) and global efficiency (E) were estimated to present the network property. The results showed that Cd and E significantly peaked in the interval right before the maze choice point in correct trials. However, the increase did not emerge in error trials. Additionally, Cd and E in two spaces displayed similar trends in correct trials. The difference was that the measures in NMF space were significantly greater than those in original space. Our findings indicated that the anticipatory changes in mPFC networks may have an effect on future WM behavioral choices. Moreover, the NMF analysis achieves a better characterization for a brain network.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

  8. Self-Reported vs. Performance-Based Assessments of a Simple Mobility Task among Older Adults in the Emergency Department

    PubMed Central

    Roedersheimer, Kyle M.; Pereira, Greg F.; Jones, Christopher W.; Braz, Valerie A.; Mangipudi, Sowmya A.; Platts-Mills, Timothy F.

    2015-01-01

    Background Accurate information about the mobility of independently-living older adults is essential in determining whether they may be safely discharged home from the emergency department (ED). We assessed the accuracy of self-reported ability to complete a simple mobility task among older ED patients. Methods This was a cross-sectional study of cognitively intact patients aged 65 years and older who were neither nursing home residents nor critically ill conducted in two academic EDs. Consenting participants were asked whether they could get out of bed, walk 10 feet, turn around, and get back in bed without assistance, and if not, whether they could perform this task with a cane, walker, or human assistance. Each participant was then asked to perform the task and was provided with a mobility device or human assistance as needed. Results Of 272 patients who met eligibility criteria and answered the physical task question, 161 (59%) said they could do the task unassisted, 45 (17%) said they could do it with a cane or walker, 21 (8%) said they could do it with human assistance, and 45 (17%) said they would be unable to do it even with human assistance. Among those who said they could do the task either with or without assistance and who were subsequently willing to attempt the task (N=172), discrepancies between self-reported ability and actual performance were common. Of those who said they could perform the task without assistance, 12% required some assistance or were unable to complete the task. Of those who said they could perform the task with a cane or walker, 48% required either human assistance or were unable to perform the task. Of those who said they could perform the task with human assistance, 24% were unable to perform the task even with human assistance. Conclusion In this sample of older adults receiving care in the ED, the accuracy of their self-reported ability to perform a simple mobility task was poor, particularly for those who reported some need

  9. Voice and Fluency Changes as a Function of Speech Task and Deep Brain Stimulation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Van Lancker Sidtis, Diana; Rogers, Tiffany; Godier, Violette; Tagliati, Michele; Sidtis, John J.

    2010-01-01

    Purpose: Speaking, which naturally occurs in different modes or "tasks" such as conversation and repetition, relies on intact basal ganglia nuclei. Recent studies suggest that voice and fluency parameters are differentially affected by speech task. In this study, the authors examine the effects of subcortical functionality on voice and fluency,…

  10. The long-term climate change task of the Hanford permanent isolation barrier development program

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1994-08-01

    The Hanford Site Permanent Isolation Barrier Development Program is developing an in-place disposal capability for low-level nuclear waste for the US Department of Energy at the Hanford Site in southeastern Washington State. Layered earthen and engineered barriers are being developed that will function in what is currently a semiarid environment (mean annual precipitation and temperature of 16 cm and 11.8{degrees}C, respectively) for at least 1,000 yr by limiting the infiltration of water through the waste. The Long-Term Climate Change Task has specific goals of (1) obtaining defensible probabilistic projections of the long-term climate variability in the Hanford Site region at many different time scales into the future; (2) developing several test-case climate scenarios that bracket the range of potential future climate, including both greenhouse warming and cycling into another ice age; and (3) using the climate scenarios both to test and to model protective barrier performance. Results from the Carp Lake Pollen Coring Project indicate that for the last approximately 100,000 yr the Columbia River Basin`s long-term range of mean annual precipitation ranged from 25%--50% below to 28% above modern levels, while temperature has ranged from 7{degrees}C--10{degrees}C below to 2{degrees}C above modern levels. This long record provides confidence that such a range should bracket potential natural climate change even if the earth cycles back into another Ice Age in the next few millennia.

  11. Video-task assessment of learning and memory in Macaques (Macaca mulatta) - Effects of stimulus movement on performance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Washburn, David A.; Hopkins, William D.; Rumbaugh, Duane M.

    1989-01-01

    Effects of stimulus movement on learning, transfer, matching, and short-term memory performance were assessed with 2 monkeys using a video-task paradigm in which the animals responded to computer-generated images by manipulating a joystick. Performance on tests of learning set, transfer index, matching to sample, and delayed matching to sample in the video-task paradigm was comparable to that obtained in previous investigations using the Wisconsin General Testing Apparatus. Additionally, learning, transfer, and matching were reliably and significantly better when the stimuli or discriminanda moved than when the stimuli were stationary. External manipulations such as stimulus movement may increase attention to the demands of a task, which in turn should increase the efficiency of learning. These findings have implications for the investigation of learning in other populations, as well as for the application of the video-task paradigm to comparative study.

  12. Mining Task Force Report.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Saskatchewan Inst. of Applied Science and Technology, Saskatoon.

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

  13. General mental ability and two types of adaptation to unforeseen change: applying discontinuous growth models to the task-change paradigm.

    PubMed

    Lang, Jonas W B; Bliese, Paul D

    2009-03-01

    The present research provides new insights into the relationship between general mental ability (GMA) and adaptive performance by applying a discontinuous growth modeling framework to a study of unforeseen change on a complex decision-making task. The proposed framework provides a way to distinguish 2 types of adaptation (transition adaptation and reacquisition adaptation) from 2 common performance components (skill acquisition and basal task performance). Transition adaptation refers to an immediate loss of performance following a change, whereas reacquisition adaptation refers to the ability to relearn a changed task over time. Analyses revealed that GMA was negatively related to transition adaptation and found no evidence for a relationship between GMA and reacquisition adaptation. The results are integrated within the context of adaptability research, and implications of using the described discontinuous growth modeling framework to study adaptability are discussed.

  14. Changes in task parameters during walking prism adaptation influence the subsequent generalization pattern.

    PubMed

    Alexander, M Scott; Flodin, Brent W G; Marigold, Daniel S

    2013-05-01

    An understanding of the transfer (or generalization) of motor adaptations between legs and across tasks during walking has remained elusive due to limited research and mixed results. Here, we asked whether stepping sequences or task constraints introduced during walking prism-adaptation tasks influence generalization patterns. Forty subjects adapted to prism glasses in precision-walking or obstacle-avoidance tasks that required a specific stepping sequence to the center of two/three targets or laterally over an obstacle. We then tested for generalization, reflected by aftereffects in the nonadapted task. Our previous study using these tasks found that only one leg generalized. Here, we reversed the stepping sequence and found that only the opposite leg generalized in the subject group that adapted in a precision-walking task. The combination of stepping sequence and direction of prism shift caused subjects in two groups to collide with the obstacle early during adaptation, thus making the step prior to going over the obstacle more important. Both legs subsequently generalized. A fourth subject group experienced a three-target, precision-walking task, resulting in a balanced, right-left, left-right stepping sequence, meant to induce bilateral generalization. While only one leg generalized, foot placement aftereffects before stepping over the obstacle would have caused subjects to collide with it. Together with our previous study, the results suggest a contribution of stepping sequence during the adapted task on generalization patterns, likely driven by proprioceptive feedback. The results also support the idea that negative consequences during adaptation and/or perceived threat can influence generalization.

  15. Assessment of workload using NASA Task Load Index in perianesthesia nursing.

    PubMed

    Young, Gloria; Zavelina, Lyubov; Hooper, Vallire

    2008-04-01

    According to the Institute of Medicine (IOM), as many as 44,000 to 98,000 people in the United States die in hospitals every year due to medical errors. Multiple physiological and psychological factors can impact the health care provider's attention span, making medical errors more likely. Some of these factors include increased workload, fatigue, cognitive overload, ineffective interpersonal communications, and faulty information processing. Postanesthesia nurses, responsible for providing care to unstable patients emerging from anesthesia with multiple life-threatening conditions, must make critical decisions on a minute-by-minute basis. The current ASPAN Patient Classification/Recommended Staffing Guidelines does not adequately take into account varying care requirements among the patients. If a tool could be found that effectively evaluated staff's workload, ongoing assessment would be enhanced and resources better used. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration-Task Load Index (NASA-TLX), a multifaceted tool for evaluating perceptual (subjective) workload, has seen extensive applications and is widely regarded as the strongest tool available for reporting perceptions of workload. This article will survey various uses of the NASA-TLX and consider the potential uses for this tool in perianesthesia nursing.

  16. The problem of reversals in assessing implicit sequence learning with serial reaction time tasks.

    PubMed

    Vaquero, Joaquín M M; Jiménez, Luis; Lupiáñez, Juan

    2006-10-01

    We report two experiments in which implicit learning is demonstrated within a short session of practice, in the absence of explicit knowledge of what is learned. In Experiment 1, we replicate the experiments by Curran (Psychol Res 60:24-41, 1997a; J Cogn Neurosci 9(4):522-533, 1997b) and highlight the importance of avoiding a random sequence as comparison to the training sequence, due to the higher proportion of reversal trials included in the random one, which leads to an artifactual measure of learning. In Experiment 2 we present a procedure in which two structurally analogous sequences are used both as training and control sequences, thus controlling for any factor different from learning. The results show that implicit learning is obtained within a short session of practice, and in the absence of any explicit knowledge as assessed through a subsequent generation task. We surmise that this procedure might be especially useful in areas in which short procedures are needed, such as when special populations are tested (e.g., patients, children or elderly people) or when the neural bases of implicit learning are being investigated through neurophysiological measures.

  17. Global Assessment of Hydrogen Technologies - Task 1 Report Technology Evaluation of Hydrogen Light Duty Vehicles

    SciTech Connect

    Fouad, Fouad H.; Peters, Robert W.; Sisiopiku, Virginia P.; Sullivan Andrew J.; Rousseau, Aymeric

    2007-12-01

    This task analyzes the candidate hydrogen-fueled vehicles for near-term use in the Southeastern U.S. The purpose of this work is to assess their potential in terms of efficiency and performance. This report compares conventional, hybrid electric vehicles (HEV) with gasoline and hydrogen-fueled internal combustion engines (ICEs) as well as fuel cell and fuel cell hybrids from a technology as well as fuel economy point of view. All the vehicles have been simulated using the Powertrain System Analysis Toolkit (PSAT). First, some background information is provided on recent American automotive market trends and consequences. Moreover, available options are presented for introducing cleaner and more economical vehicles in the market in the future. In this study, analysis of various candidate hydrogen-fueled vehicles is performed using PSAT and, thus, a brief description of PSAT features and capabilities are provided. Detailed information on the simulation analysis performed is also offered, including methodology assumptions, fuel economic results, and conclusions from the findings.

  18. Making Decisions under Ambiguity: Judgment Bias Tasks for Assessing Emotional State in Animals.

    PubMed

    Roelofs, Sanne; Boleij, Hetty; Nordquist, Rebecca E; van der Staay, Franz Josef

    2016-01-01

    Judgment bias tasks (JBTs) are considered as a family of promising tools in the assessment of emotional states of animals. JBTs provide a cognitive measure of optimism and/or pessimism by recording behavioral responses to ambiguous stimuli. For instance, a negative emotional state is expected to produce a negative or pessimistic judgment of an ambiguous stimulus, whereas a positive emotional state produces a positive or optimistic judgment of the same ambiguous stimulus. Measuring an animal's emotional state or mood is relevant in both animal welfare research and biomedical research. This is reflected in the increasing use of JBTs in both research areas. We discuss the different implementations of JBTs with animals, with a focus on their potential as an accurate measure of emotional state. JBTs have been successfully applied to a very broad range of species, using many different types of testing equipment and experimental protocols. However, further validation of this test is deemed necessary. For example, the often extensive training period required for successful judgment bias testing remains a possible factor confounding results. Also, the issue of ambiguous stimuli losing their ambiguity with repeated testing requires additional attention. Possible improvements are suggested to further develop the JBTs in both animal welfare and biomedical research.

  19. Task-based assessment of phase-shifting interferometer/ellipsometer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rogala, Eric W.

    2002-06-01

    In this presentation, I present a novel phase-shifting interferometer/ellipsometer. The uniqueness arises from the fact that this study is the consolidation of four distinct ideas drawn from the field of optics and the field of statistics. A conventional four-step phase-shifting interferometer is modified to allow for both TE and TM polarized measurements. Maximum-likelihood estimation theory is then used to extract the three parameters of interest, namely the real and imaginary components of the complex index of refraction and the surface profile. Finally, Cramer-Rao lower bounds serve as a quantitative means of assessing the particular system design at the task of estimating the three parameters in question. I will demonstrate the feasibility of the proposed technique with a Mach-Zehnder prototype, and show how three system parameters, namely the incident amplitude and the relationship between the TE and TM polarized light in terms of amplitude and phase, affect the performance. I also show how quantization of the measured irradiance affects the performance.

  20. Making Decisions under Ambiguity: Judgment Bias Tasks for Assessing Emotional State in Animals

    PubMed Central

    Roelofs, Sanne; Boleij, Hetty; Nordquist, Rebecca E.; van der Staay, Franz Josef

    2016-01-01

    Judgment bias tasks (JBTs) are considered as a family of promising tools in the assessment of emotional states of animals. JBTs provide a cognitive measure of optimism and/or pessimism by recording behavioral responses to ambiguous stimuli. For instance, a negative emotional state is expected to produce a negative or pessimistic judgment of an ambiguous stimulus, whereas a positive emotional state produces a positive or optimistic judgment of the same ambiguous stimulus. Measuring an animal’s emotional state or mood is relevant in both animal welfare research and biomedical research. This is reflected in the increasing use of JBTs in both research areas. We discuss the different implementations of JBTs with animals, with a focus on their potential as an accurate measure of emotional state. JBTs have been successfully applied to a very broad range of species, using many different types of testing equipment and experimental protocols. However, further validation of this test is deemed necessary. For example, the often extensive training period required for successful judgment bias testing remains a possible factor confounding results. Also, the issue of ambiguous stimuli losing their ambiguity with repeated testing requires additional attention. Possible improvements are suggested to further develop the JBTs in both animal welfare and biomedical research. PMID:27375454

  1. Changes in GABA and glutamate concentrations during memory tasks in patients with Parkinson's disease undergoing DBS surgery.

    PubMed

    Buchanan, Robert J; Darrow, David P; Meier, Kevin T; Robinson, Jennifer; Schiehser, Dawn M; Glahn, David C; Nadasdy, Zoltan

    2014-01-01

    Until now direct neurochemical measurements during memory tasks have not been accomplished in the human basal ganglia. It has been proposed, based on both functional imaging studies and psychometric testing in normal subjects and in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD), that the basal ganglia is responsible for the performance of feedback-contingent implicit memory tasks. To measure neurotransmitters, we used in vivo microdialysis during deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery. We show in the right subthalamic nucleus (STN) of patients with PD a task-dependent change in the concentrations of glutamate and GABA during an implicit memory task relative to baseline, while no difference was found between declarative memory tasks. The five patients studied had a significant decrease in the percent concentration of GABA and glutamate during the performance of the weather prediction task (WPT). We hypothesize, based on current models of basal ganglia function, that this decrease in the concentration is consistent with expected dysfunction in basal ganglia networks in patients with PD.

  2. The Role of Negative Priming in Preschoolers' Flexible Rule Use on the Dimensional Change Card Sort Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Muller, Ulrich; Dick, Anthony Steven; Gela, Katherine; Overton, Willis F.; Zelazo, Philip David

    2006-01-01

    Four experiments examined the development of negative priming (NP) in 3-5-year-old children using as a measure of children's executive function (EF) the dimensional change card sort (DCCS) task. In the NP version of the DCCS, the values of the sorting dimension that is relevant during the preswitch phase are removed during the postswitch phase.…

  3. The Challenge: Latinos in a Changing California. The Report of the University of California SCR 43 Task Force.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    California Univ., Riverside. Consortium on Mexico and the United States.

    This document presents a report from a task force composed of scholars, professionals, and community leaders to the State of California and the University of California (UC) addressing issues affecting Latinos in California. The following major recommendations are discussed: (1) continuing research must be undertaken concerning dynamic changes and…

  4. Performance of the Towers of Hanoi task and cortical electroencephalographic power changes associated with infancy, adolescence, and early adulthood.

    PubMed

    Guevara, Miguel Ángel; Hernández González, Marisela; Rizo Martínez, Lucía Ester; Robles Aguirre, Francisco Abelardo

    2013-11-01

    The executive functions, which depend on the adequate maturation and functioning of the prefrontal cortex and its connection to posterior zones, follow a process of development as age increases. This work studied changes in the absolute power (AP) of EEG activity recorded in the prefrontal and parietal areas during the performance of the Tower of Hanoi task in children, adolescents, and young adults. Three groups of healthy male subjects such as G1, 11-13; G2, 18-20; and G3, 26-30, years of age were recorded at the F3, F4, P3, and P4 derivations under two conditions: basal and performance of the Towers of Hanoi task. The majority of subjects in G1 failed to complete the task in the allotted time (7 min), while those in G2 and G3 were able to resolve the task quickly and efficiently. During the Towers of Hanoi task, G1 showed an increase of AP in the delta band only in the frontal areas, with a decrease in the alpha1 and alpha2 sub-bands only at the parietal derivations, while G2 and G3 were characterized by an increase of AP in the delta band and a decreased AP in the alpha1 and alpha2 sub-bands in all derivations. These data demonstrate that during the performance of the Towers of Hanoi task, the prefrontal and parietal areas show a characteristic EEG pattern in relation to age. It is probable that the AP patterns obtained in G2 and G3 are associated with the functional changes at cortical levels that adolescents and early adults require to achieve an adequate and fast performance of the Towers of Hanoi task.

  5. Unpacking High and Low Efficacy Teachers' Task Analysis and Competence Assessment in Teaching Low-Achieving Students in Secondary Schools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wang, Li-Yi; Jen-Yi, Li; Tan, Liang-See; Tan, Irene; Lim, Xue-Fang; Wu, Bing Sheng

    2016-01-01

    This study adopted a pragmatic qualitative research design to unpack high and low efficacy teachers' task analysis and competence assessment in the context of teaching low-achieving students. Nine secondary school English and Science teachers were recruited and interviewed. Results of thematic analysis show that helping students perform well in…

  6. Developing Pre-Service Teacher Capacity to Make Appropriate Choices of Tasks and Resources through Diagnostic Assessment of Children's Work

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hurst, Chris

    2014-01-01

    This paper reports on one phase of a long-term project investigating mathematical content knowledge of pre-service teachers. A cohort of second year PSTs conducted a diagnostic assessment and a series of associated tutoring sessions with a primary aged child. The focus here is on the PSTs' ability to make appropriate task choices following the…

  7. A New Tool for Assessing Context Conditioning Induced by US-Unpredictability in Humans: The Martians Task Restyled

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Meulders, Ann; Vervliet, Bram; Vansteenwegen, Debora; Hermans, Dirk; Baeyens, Frank

    2011-01-01

    Unpredictability of an unconditioned stimulus (US) typically produces context conditioning in animals and humans. We modified the Martians task--a computer game measuring learning of Pavlovian associations through conditioned suppression--for assessing context conditioning in humans. One between-subjects and one within-subjects study are reported.…

  8. Developing PISA-"Like" Mathematics Task with Indonesia Natural and Cultural Heritage as Context to Assess Students Mathematical Literacy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Oktiningrum, Wuli; Zulkardi; Hartono, Yusuf

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this research is produce a set of PISA-like mathematics task with Indonesia natural and cultural heritage as context which are valid, practical, to assess students' mathematics literacy. This is design research using type of development research with formative evaluation. A total of 20 students of SMP Negeri 1 Palembang. Beside, 10…

  9. An Automated Version of the BAT Syntactic Comprehension Task for Assessing Auditory L2 Proficiency in Healthy Adults

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Achim, Andre; Marquis, Alexandra

    2011-01-01

    Studies of bilingualism sometimes require healthy subjects to be assessed for proficiency at auditory sentence processing in their second language (L2). The Syntactic Comprehension task of the Bilingual Aphasia Test could satisfy this need. For ease and uniformity of application, we automated its English (Paradis, M., Libben, G., and Hummel, K.…

  10. Self-Assessment and Task Selection in Learner-Controlled Instruction: Differences between Effective and Ineffective Learners

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kostons, Danny; van Gog, Tamara; Paas, Fred

    2010-01-01

    Learner-controlled instruction is often found to be less effective for learning than fixed or adaptive system-controlled instruction. One possible reason for that finding is that students--especially novices--might not able to accurately assess their own performance and select tasks that fit their learning needs. Therefore, this explorative study…

  11. Factors That May Explain Differences between Home and Clinic Meal Preparation Task Assessments in Frail Older Adults

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Provencher, Veronique; Demers, Louise; Gelinas, Isabelle

    2012-01-01

    Meal preparation assessments conducted in clinical environments (such as rehabilitation settings) might not reflect frail patients' performance at home. In addition, factors that may explain differences in performance between settings remain unknown. The aim of this study was to compare home and clinic performance on meal preparation tasks in…

  12. The Video Viewing Task: A Source of Information for Assessing and Addressing Teacher Understanding of Text-Based Discussion

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kucan, Linda; Palincsar, Annemarie Sullivan; Khasnabis, Debi; Chang, Ching-I.

    2009-01-01

    This paper reports on the Video Viewing Task (VVT), an assessment designed to measure teachers' developing understanding of two reading comprehension instruction approaches: Reciprocal Teaching (Palincsar, A. S. & Brown, A. L. (1984). Reciprocal teaching of comprehension-fostering and comprehension-monitoring activities. "Cognition and…

  13. Change That "Snapshot" Approach to Classroom Assessment.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Glazer, Susan Mandel

    1993-01-01

    Suggests that, to better gauge children's learning progress, teachers and schools should put less emphasis on standardized tests and more emphasis on continuous classroom assessment of students. (MDM)

  14. Climate Change Assessment for the Baltic Sea Basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reckermann, Marcus; von Storch, Hans; Isemer, Hans-Jörg

    2008-04-01

    The Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [IPCC, 2007] has had a big impact on the public perception and acknowledgment of global climate change. However, regional climate change assessments are urgently needed to complement the big picture with regional results and scenarios of higher resolution, which local decision makers and stakeholders can use [Visbeck, 2008; von Storch and Meinke, 2008].

  15. Changing Assessment--Towards a New Assessment Paradigm Using ICT

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Redecker, Christine; Johannessen, Oystein

    2013-01-01

    This article discusses how Information and Communication Technologies can support 21st century assessment strategies and what needs to be done to ensure that technological advances support and foster pedagogical innovation. Based on an extensive review of the literature, it provides an overview of current ICT-enabled assessment practices, with a…

  16. Postural Change Effects on Infants' AB Task Performance: Visual, Postural, or Spatial?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lew, Adina R.; Hopkins, Brian; Owen, Laura H.; Green, Michael

    2007-01-01

    Smith and colleagues (Smith, L. B., Thelen, E., Titzer, R., & McLin, D. (1999). Knowing in the context of acting: The task dynamics of the A-not-B error. "Psychological Review, 106," 235-260) demonstrated that 10-month-olds succeed on a Piagetian AB search task if they are moved from a sitting position to a standing position between A and B…

  17. Task-based assessment of a proposed phase-shifting interferometer/ellipsometer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rogala, Eric Waldemar

    In this dissertation, we offer a novel phase-shifting interferometer/ellipsometer. The uniqueness arises from the fact that this study is the consolidation of four distinct ideas drawn from the field of optics and the field of statistics. A conventional four-step phase- shifting interferometer is modified to allow for both TE and TM polarized measurements. Maximum-likelihood estimation theory is then used to extract the three parameters of interest, namely the real and imaginary components of the complex index of refraction and the surface profile. Finally, Cramér-Rao lower bounds serve as a quantitative means of assessing the particular system design at the task of estimating the three parameters in question. As we will show, the unknown parameters n, k and h are related to the measured irradiance in a complicated, nonlinear way. As such, no analytical expressions to estimate the unknown parameters from the measured data have been found. Rather, the unknown parameters are found numerically through a minimization program, developed and optimized specifically for this task. The results from our Monte Carlo simulations will show that conventional designs such as the Twyman-Green interferometer perform poorly at reconstructing n, k and h. The estimates on n and k exhibit bias, where the mean is not equal to the true value, and are non-efficient, where the standard deviation is greater than the Cramér-Rao lower bound. While the estimate of h is unbiased and efficient, the performance is an order of magnitude worse than the case where only h is to be estimated. By incorporating tilt in the design, the performance on all three parameters improves considerably. The estimates on n and k are shown to be unbiased and efficient, and the performance of the h estimator is equivalent to the h-only case. The dissertation culminates with the development of a Mach-Zehnder prototype. We demonstrate the feasibility of the proposed technique, and show how three system parameters

  18. Dual task-related gait changes in patients with mild cognitive impairment

    PubMed Central

    Nascimbeni, Alberto; Caruso, Shiva; Salatino, Adriana; Carenza, Marinella; Rigano, Marta; Raviolo, Andrea; Ricci, Raffaella

    2015-01-01

    Summary Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) entails a high risk of developing Alzheimer’s dementia. In MCI patients gait impairment, which increases the risk of falls and institutionalization, is an early motor sign. A dual-task (DT) paradigm might improve the observation of this phenomenon. The aim of this study was to investigate motor-cognitive interference in a sample of MCI patients and a group of matched healthy controls submitted to DT conditions. To this end, three different cognitive tasks were used: counting backwards, short story recall and a phonemic fluency task. Overall, the patients, compared with the healthy participants, performed worse on the cognitive tasks and showed some degree of gait impairment. In the DT conditions, both groups showed significant gait disruption independently of the concomitant cognitive task. As regards cognitive performance, counting backwards worsened during dual tasking, while short story recall improved in both groups. Overall, our results suggest that the use of a DT paradigm does not improve the early detection of MCI. Our findings of enhanced story recall during walking might have interesting implications for rehabilitation of memory function. PMID:26214028

  19. USGS science for the Nation's changing coasts; shoreline change assessment

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Thieler, E. Robert; Hapke, Cheryl J.

    2011-01-01

    The coastline of the United States features some of the most popular tourist and recreational destinations in the world and is the site of intense residential, commercial, and industrial development. The coastal zone also has extensive and pristine natural areas, with diverse ecosystems providing essential habitat and resources that support wildlife, fish, and human use. Coastal erosion is a widespread process along most open-ocean shores of the United States that affects both developed and natural coastlines. As the coast changes, there are a wide range of ways that change can affect coastal communities, habitats, and the physical characteristics of the coast?including beach erosion, shoreline retreat, land loss, and damage to infrastructure. Global climate change will likely increase the rate of coastal change. A recent study of the U.S. Mid-Atlantic coast, for example, found that it is virtually certain that sandy beaches will erode faster in the future as sea level rises because of climate change. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is responsible for conducting research on coastal change hazards, understanding the processes that cause coastal change, and developing models to predict future change. To understand and adapt to shoreline change, accurate information regarding the past and present configurations of the shoreline is essential. A comprehensive, nationally consistent analysis of shoreline movement is needed. To meet this national need, the USGS is conducting an analysis of historical shoreline changes along open-ocean coasts of the conterminous United States and parts of Alaska and Hawaii, as well as the coasts of the Great Lakes.

  20. The Changing Nature of Educational Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bennett, Randy Elliot

    2015-01-01

    On the surface, this chapter concerns the evolution of educational assessment from a paper-based technology to an electronic one. On a deeper level, that evolution is more substantive. In the first section of this chapter, those stages are briefly described and used to place the new generation of assessments being created by the two comprehensive…

  1. Authentic Assessment: Change for the Future.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bullens, Dimitra

    This report describes a project on the implementation of authentic assessment methods in order to show an authentic picture of students progress and abilities. The targeted population consisted of approximately 40 eighth grade students in 2 classes in a suburb of a major midwestern city. The problems with current assessment methods were documented…

  2. Student Assessment System. Student Performance Record. Task Detailing. Cosmetology. Georgia Vocational Education Program Articulation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Georgia Univ., Athens. Div. of Vocational Education.

    This booklet lists tasks and functions the cosmetology student should be able to do upon entering an employment situation or a postsecondary school. (Listings are also available for the areas of allied health occupations/practical nursing and transportation/automotive mechanics.) Tasks are coded to correspond to those on the Student Performance…

  3. Linking Basic Skills to Entry-Level Auto Mechanic & Auto Body Worker Tasks. Instructional Resources. Assessments.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Benavidez, Charlotte; Miyatake, George

    This project first identified the duties and tasks required of an entry-level auto mechanic (AM) and an auto body worker (ABW), using a modified DACUM (Developing a Curriculum) occupational analysis process. In this process, a panel of local, expert workers determined the essential duties and tasks of their occupations. Next, the panel identified…

  4. Assessing Measurement Invariance for Spanish Sentence Repetition and Morphology Elicitation Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kapantzoglou, Maria; Thompson, Marilyn S.; Gray, Shelley; Restrepo, M. Adelaida

    2016-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this study was to evaluate evidence supporting the construct validity of two grammatical tasks (sentence repetition, morphology elicitation) included in the Spanish Screener for Language Impairment in Children (Restrepo, Gorin, & Gray, 2013). We evaluated if the tasks measured the targeted grammatical skills in the same…

  5. Assessing Relational Complexity in Hierarchical Reasoning: A Dual-Task Approach.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Foley, Elizabeth J.; Berch, Daniel B.

    This study used the "double easy-to-hard" paradigm to examine the hypothesis that the class inclusion (CI) task should be equivalent in relational complexity to the transitive inference (TI) problem. Participating in the study were 64 girls and 50 boys, with a mean age of 8 years, 6 months. Stimuli for easy versions of the tasks were…

  6. Task complexity and location specific changes of cortical thickness in executive and salience networks after working memory training

    PubMed Central

    Metzler-Baddeley, Claudia; Caeyenberghs, Karen; Foley, Sonya; Jones, Derek K.

    2016-01-01

    Novel activities and experiences shape the brain's structure and organisation and, hence, our behaviour. However, evidence from structural plasticity studies remains mixed and the neural correlates of learning and practice are still poorly understood. We conducted a robustly designed study into grey matter plasticity following 2 months of working memory training. We generated a priori hypotheses regarding the location of plastic effects across three cognitive control networks (executive, anterior salience and basal ganglia networks), and compared the effects of adaptive training (n = 20) with a well-matched active control group (n = 20) which differed in training complexity and included extensive cognitive assessment before and after the training. Adaptive training relative to control activities resulted in a complex pattern of subtle and localised structural changes: Training was associated with increases in cortical thickness in right-lateralised executive regions, notably the right caudal middle frontal cortex, as well as increases in the volume of the left pallidum. In addition the training group showed reductions of thickness in the right insula, which were correlated with training-induced improvements in backward digit span performance. Unexpectedly, control activities were associated with reductions in thickness in the right pars triangularis. These results suggest that the direction of activity-induced plastic changes depend on the level of training complexity as well as brain location. These observations are consistent with the view that the brain responds dynamically to environmental demands by focusing resources on task relevant networks and eliminating irrelevant processing for the purpose of energy reduction. PMID:26806288

  7. Assessing Statistical Model Assumptions under Climate Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Varotsos, Konstantinos V.; Giannakopoulos, Christos; Tombrou, Maria

    2016-04-01

    The majority of the studies assesses climate change impacts on air-quality using chemical transport models coupled to climate ones in an off-line mode, for various horizontal resolutions and different present and future time slices. A complementary approach is based on present-day empirical relations between air-pollutants and various meteorological variables which are then extrapolated to the future. However, the extrapolation relies on various assumptions such as that these relationships will retain their main characteristics in the future. In this study we focus on the ozone-temperature relationship. It is well known that among a number of meteorological variables, temperature is found to exhibit the highest correlation with ozone concentrations. This has led, in the past years, to the development and application of statistical models with which the potential impact of increasing future temperatures on various ozone statistical targets was examined. To examine whether the ozone-temperature relationship retains its main characteristics under warmer temperatures we analyze the relationship during the heatwaves events of 2003 and 2006 in Europe. More specifically, we use available gridded daily maximum temperatures (E-OBS) and hourly ozone observations from different non-urban stations (EMEP) within the areas that were impacted from the two heatwave events. In addition, we compare the temperature distributions of the two events with temperatures from two different future time periods 2021-2050 and 2071-2100 from a number of regional climate models developed under the framework of the Cordex initiative (http://www.cordex.org) with a horizontal resolution of 12 x 12km, based on different IPCC RCPs emissions scenarios. A statistical analysis is performed on the ozone-temperature relationship for each station and for the two aforementioned years which are then compared against the ozone-temperature relationships obtained from the rest of the available dataseries. The

  8. A new modified listening span task to enhance validity of working memory assessment for people with and without aphasia

    PubMed Central

    Ivanova, Maria V.; Hallowell, Brooke

    2014-01-01

    Deficits in working memory (WM) are an important subset of cognitive processing deficits associated with aphasia. However, there are serious limitations to research on WM in aphasia largely due to the lack of an established valid measure of WM impairment for this population. The aim of the current study was to address shortcomings of previous measures by developing and empirically evaluating a novel WM task with a sentence-picture matching processing component designed to circumvent confounds inherent in existing measures of WM in aphasia. The novel WM task was presented to persons with (n = 27) and without (n = 33) aphasia. Results demonstrated high concurrent validity of a novel WM task. Individuals with aphasia performed significantly worse on all conditions of the WM task compared to individuals without aphasia. Different patterns of performance across conditions were observed for the two groups. Additionally, WM capacity was significantly related to auditory comprehension abilities in individuals with mild aphasia but not those with moderate aphasia. Strengths of the novel WM task are that it allows for differential control for length versus complexity of verbal stimuli and indexing of the relative influence of each, minimizes metalinguistic requirements, enables control for complexity of processing components, allows participants to respond with simple gestures or verbally, and eliminates reading requirements. Results support the feasibility and validity of using a novel task to assess WM in individuals with and without aphasia. PMID:24986153

  9. Evaluating the Iowa Gambling Task as a Direct Assessment of Impulsivity with Low-Income Children

    PubMed Central

    Burdick, Jessica D.; Roy, Amanda L.; Raver, C. Cybele

    2013-01-01

    This study examined performance on the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT; Bechara, Damasio, Damasio, & Anderson, 1994) as a measure of low-income school-aged children's affective decision-making and considered its utility as a direct indicator of impulsivity. One hundred and ninety-three 8-11 year olds performed a computerized version of the Iowa Gambling Task, a validated measure of decision-making. Multi-level modeling was used to examine children's performance over the course of the task, with age, gender, and teachers' ratings of child impulsivity (BIS-11; Patton, Stanford, & Barratt, 1995) used to predict children's Iowa Gambling performance. Higher impulsivity scores predicted a decrease in slope of Iowa Gambling performance, indicating students rated higher on impulsivity chose more disadvantageously across the task blocks. Results support evidence of the validity of the Iowa Gambling Task as a measure of impulsivity in low-income minority children. PMID:24072950

  10. Evaluating the Iowa Gambling Task as a Direct Assessment of Impulsivity with Low-Income Children.

    PubMed

    Burdick, Jessica D; Roy, Amanda L; Raver, C Cybele

    2013-10-01

    This study examined performance on the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT; Bechara, Damasio, Damasio, & Anderson, 1994) as a measure of low-income school-aged children's affective decision-making and considered its utility as a direct indicator of impulsivity. One hundred and ninety-three 8-11 year olds performed a computerized version of the Iowa Gambling Task, a validated measure of decision-making. Multi-level modeling was used to examine children's performance over the course of the task, with age, gender, and teachers' ratings of child impulsivity (BIS-11; Patton, Stanford, & Barratt, 1995) used to predict children's Iowa Gambling performance. Higher impulsivity scores predicted a decrease in slope of Iowa Gambling performance, indicating students rated higher on impulsivity chose more disadvantageously across the task blocks. Results support evidence of the validity of the Iowa Gambling Task as a measure of impulsivity in low-income minority children.

  11. Changing the Way We Assess Leadership

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1997-01-01

    and be- having based on the demands and reality of a changing context. As Farkas and Wetlaufer wrote in the Harvard Business Review (1996), “CEOs...ers lead. Harvard Business Review , 110–122. Hall, M. (1996). Prceedings: The 1996 NTL Conference: Leaders and Change. “Increasing Leadership Capacity to...Kotter, J. (1996b, September). Leading change: Why transformation efforts fail. Harvard Business Review , 59–67. Acquisition Review Quarterly—Fall

  12. The effect of exercise on motor performance tasks used in the neurological assessment of sports-related concussion.

    PubMed

    Schneiders, A G; Sullivan, S J; McCrory, P R; Gray, A; Maruthayanar, S; Singh, P; Ranhotigammage, P; Van der Salm, R

    2008-12-01

    Sports-related concussion is assessed using both cognitive and motor performance tasks. There is limited understanding of how exercise affects these measures. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of moderate-intensity exercise on three selected measures of motor performance. A repeated measures design was used to compare baseline motor performance scores with post-exercise scores with an exercise intervention modelled on the physiological demands of a team sport. 30 physically active subjects performed timed motor performance tasks: Finger-to-Nose (FTN), Tandem Gait (TG) and Single Leg Stance (SLS). The tasks were administered twice pre-exercise and twice post-exercise. FTN, TG and SLS demonstrated high test-retest reliability (ICC values >0.8). 15 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise caused a significant improvement in FTN (T2 = 2.66 (SD 0.38), T3 = 2.49 (0.32); p<0.001) and TG (T2 = 13.08 (2.84), T3 = 12.23 (2.22); p = 0.001), but not in SLS (T2 = 5.94 (4.99), T3 = 5.91 (5.54); p = 0.507). Improvement in the performance of motor tasks after exercise has implications for the immediate assessment of sports-related concussion, given that measures of motor performance are utilised in concussion assessment instruments.

  13. Power spectral density changes and language lateralization during covert object naming tasks measured with high-density EEG recordings.

    PubMed

    Ramon, C; Holmes, M; Freeman, Walter J; Gratkowski, Maciej; Eriksen, K J; Haueisen, Jens

    2009-01-01

    Our objective was to study changes in EEG time-domain power spectral density (PSDt) and localization of language areas during covert object naming tasks in human subjects with epilepsy. EEG data for subjects with epilepsy were acquired during the covert object naming tasks using a net of 256 electrodes. The trials required each subject to provide the names of common objects presented every 4 seconds on slides. Each trial comprised the 1.0 second before and 3.0 seconds after initial object presentation. PSDt values at baseline and during tasks were calculated in the theta, alpha, beta, low gamma, and high gamma bands. The spatial contour plots reveal that PSDt values during object naming were 10-20% higher than the baseline values for different bands. Language was lateralized to left frontal or temporal areas. In all cases, the Wada test disclosed language lateralization to the left hemisphere as well.

  14. Sex-dependent effects on tasks assessing reinforcement learning and interference inhibition

    PubMed Central

    Evans, Kelly L.; Hampson, Elizabeth

    2015-01-01

    Increasing evidence suggests that the prefrontal cortex (PFC) is influenced by sex steroids and that some cognitive functions dependent on the PFC may be sexually differentiated in humans. Past work has identified a male advantage on certain complex reinforcement learning tasks, but it is unclear which latent task components are important to elicit the sex difference. The objective of the current study was to investigate whether there are sex differences on measures of response inhibition and valenced feedback processing, elements that are shared by previously studied reinforcement learning tasks. Healthy young adults (90 males, 86 females) matched in general intelligence completed the Probabilistic Selection Task (PST), a Simon task, and the Stop-Signal task. On the PST, females were more accurate than males in learning from positive (but not negative) feedback. On the Simon task, males were faster than females, especially in the face of incongruent stimuli. No sex difference was observed in Stop-Signal reaction time. The current findings provide preliminary support for a sex difference in the processing of valenced feedback and in interference inhibition. PMID:26257691

  15. Sex-dependent effects on tasks assessing reinforcement learning and interference inhibition.

    PubMed

    Evans, Kelly L; Hampson, Elizabeth

    2015-01-01

    Increasing evidence suggests that the prefrontal cortex (PFC) is influenced by sex steroids and that some cognitive functions dependent on the PFC may be sexually differentiated in humans. Past work has identified a male advantage on certain complex reinforcement learning tasks, but it is unclear which latent task components are important to elicit the sex difference. The objective of the current study was to investigate whether there are sex differences on measures of response inhibition and valenced feedback processing, elements that are shared by previously studied reinforcement learning tasks. Healthy young adults (90 males, 86 females) matched in general intelligence completed the Probabilistic Selection Task (PST), a Simon task, and the Stop-Signal task. On the PST, females were more accurate than males in learning from positive (but not negative) feedback. On the Simon task, males were faster than females, especially in the face of incongruent stimuli. No sex difference was observed in Stop-Signal reaction time. The current findings provide preliminary support for a sex difference in the processing of valenced feedback and in interference inhibition.

  16. Behavioral Assessment of Listening Effort Using a Dual-Task Paradigm

    PubMed Central

    Besser, Jana; Lemke, Ulrike

    2017-01-01

    Published investigations (n = 29) in which a dual-task experimental paradigm was employed to measure listening effort during speech understanding in younger and older adults were reviewed. A summary of the main findings reported in the articles is provided with respect to the participants’ age-group and hearing status. Effects of different signal characteristics, such as the test modality, on dual-task outcomes are evaluated, and associations with cognitive abilities and self-report measures of listening effort are described. Then, several procedural issues associated with the use of dual-task experiment paradigms are discussed. Finally, some issues that warrant future research are addressed. The review revealed large variability in the dual-task experimental paradigms that have been used to measure the listening effort expended during speech understanding. The differences in experimental procedures used across studies make it difficult to draw firm conclusions concerning the optimal choice of dual-task paradigm or the sensitivity of specific paradigms to different types of experimental manipulations. In general, the analysis confirmed that dual-task paradigms have been used successfully to measure differences in effort under different experimental conditions, in both younger and older adults. Several research questions that warrant further investigation in order to better understand and characterize the intricacies of dual-task paradigms were identified. PMID:28091178

  17. Advanced power assessment for Czech lignite. Task 3.6, Volume 1

    SciTech Connect

    Sondreal, E.A.; Mann, M.D.; Weber, G.W.; Young, B.C.

    1995-12-01

    The US has invested heavily in research, development, and demonstration of efficient and environmentally acceptable technologies for the use of coal. The US has the opportunity to use its leadership position to market a range of advanced coal-based technologies internationally. For example, coal mining output in the Czech Republic has been decreasing. This decrease in demand can be attributed mainly to the changing structure of the Czech economy and to environmental constraints. The continued production of energy from indigenous brown coals is a major concern for the Czech Republic. The strong desire to continue to use this resource is a challenge. The Energy and Environmental Research Center undertook two major efforts recently. One effort involved an assessment of opportunities for commercialization of US coal technologies in the Czech Republic. This report is the result of that effort. The technology assessment focused on the utilization of Czech brown coals. These coals are high in ash and sulfur, and the information presented in this report focuses on the utilization of these brown coals in an economically and environmentally friendly manner. Sections 3--5 present options for utilizing the as-mined coal, while Sections 6 and 7 present options for upgrading and generating alternative uses for the lignite. Contents include Czech Republic national energy perspectives; powering; emissions control; advanced power generation systems; assessment of lignite-upgrading technologies; and alternative markets for lignite.

  18. Electric Vehicle Preparedness Task 3: Detailed Assessment of Target Electrification Vehicles at Joint Base Lewis McChord Utilization

    SciTech Connect

    Schey, Stephen; Francfort, Jim

    2014-08-01

    Task 2 involved identifying daily operational characteristics of select vehicles and initiating data logging of vehicle movements in order to characterize the vehicle’s mission. Individual observations of these selected vehicles provide the basis for recommendations related to PEV adoption and whether a battery electric vehicle (BEV) or plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) (collectively PEVs) can fulfill the mission requirements and provides observations related to placement of PEV charging infrastructure. This report provides the results of the data analysis and observations related to the replacement of current vehicles with PEVs. This fulfills part of the Task 3 requirements. Task 3 also includes an assessment of charging infrastructure required to support this replacement. That is the subject of a separate report.

  19. Assessment of Charging Infrastructure for Plug-in Electric Vehicles at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island: Task 3

    SciTech Connect

    Schey, Steve; Francfort, Jim

    2015-07-01

    Several U.S. Department of Defense base studies have been conducted to identify potential U.S. Department of Defense transportation systems that are strong candidates for introduction or expansion of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs). Task 1 consisted of a survey of the non-tactical fleet of vehicles at NASWI to begin the review of vehicle mission assignments and types of vehicles in service. Task 2 selected vehicles for further monitoring and involved identifying daily operational characteristics of these select vehicles. Data logging of vehicle movements was initiated in order to characterize the vehicle’s mission. The Task 3 Vehicle Utilization report provided the results of the data analysis and observations related to the replacement of current vehicles with PEVs. This report provides an assessment of charging infrastructure required to support the suggested PEV replacements.

  20. Critical Thinking Assessment: Measuring a Moving Target. Report & Recommendations of the South Carolina Higher Education Assessment Network Critical Thinking Task Force.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cook, Patricia; Johnson, Reid; Moore, Phil; Myers, Phyllis; Pauly, Susan; Pendarvis, Faye; Prus, Joe; Ulmer-Sottong, Lovely

    This report is part of South Carolina's effort to move toward "100 percent performance funding" for the state's public colleges and universities and results from a task force's investigation of ways to assess critical thinking. The following eight major findings are reported: (1) policy makers must determine priorities; (2) critical…

  1. ASSESSING HIPPOCAMPAL CHANGES INDICATIVE OF NEUROTOXIC EFFECTS.

    EPA Science Inventory

    Subtle changes in cognitive function are often the earliest indication of neurotoxic effects in humans. The hippocampus is a large forebrain structure subserving specific kinds of information encoding and consolidation in humans and other animals. Because of it laminar structur...

  2. Age-related changes of the functional architecture of the cortico-basal ganglia circuitry during motor task execution.

    PubMed

    Marchand, William R; Lee, James N; Suchy, Yana; Garn, Cheryl; Johnson, Susanna; Wood, Nicole; Chelune, Gordon

    2011-03-01

    Normal human aging is associated with declining motor control and function. It is thought that dysfunction of the cortico-basal ganglia circuitry may contribute to age-related sensorimotor impairment, however the underlying mechanisms are poorly characterized. The aim of this study was to enhance our understanding of age-related changes in the functional architecture of these circuits. Fifty-nine subjects, consisting of a young, middle and old group, were studied using functional MRI and a motor activation paradigm. Functional connectivity analyses and examination of correlations of connectivity strength with performance on the activation task as well as neurocognitive tasks completed outside of magnet were conducted. Results indicated that increasing age is associated with changes in the functional architecture of the cortico-basal ganglia circuitry. Connectivity strength increased between subcortical nuclei and cortical motor and sensory regions but no changes were found between subcortical components of the circuitry. Further, increased connectivity was correlated with poorer performance on a neurocognitive task independently of age. This result suggests that increased connectivity reflects a decline in brain function rather than a compensatory process. These findings advance our understanding of the normal aging process. Further, the methods employed will likely be useful for future studies aimed at disambiguating age-related versus illness progression changes associated with neuropsychiatric disorders that involve the cortico-basal ganglia circuitry.

  3. Using Outcomes Assessment to Change Classroom Instruction

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cook, Michelle D.; Wiedenhoeft, Mary H.; Polito, Thomas A.; Gibson, Lance R.; Pogranichniy, Sherry; Mullen, Russ E.

    2006-01-01

    How can student outcomes assessment (SOA) be incorporated into ones courses and teaching? The purposes of this article are to explore a process enacted in the Department of Agronomy at Iowa State University using SOA to: (i) develop a clearer understanding of what students should learn in a course, (ii) determine how a course or courses fit within…

  4. Age-Related Changes in Antisaccade Task Performance: Inhibitory Control or Working-Memory Engagement?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Eenshuistra, R.M.; Ridderinkhof, K.R.; Molen, M.W.v.d.

    2004-01-01

    In antisaccade tasks, subjects are required to generate a saccade in the direction opposite to the location of a sudden-onset target stimulus. Compared to young adults, older adults tend to make more reflex-like eye movements towards the target, and/or show longer saccadic onset latencies on correct direct antisaccades. To better understand the…

  5. Indirect Measurement of Sexual Orientation: Comparison of the Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure, Viewing Time, and Choice Reaction Time Tasks.

    PubMed

    Rönspies, Jelena; Schmidt, Alexander F; Melnikova, Anna; Krumova, Rosina; Zolfagari, Asadeh; Banse, Rainer

    2015-07-01

    The present study was conducted to validate an adaptation of the Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure (IRAP) as an indirect latency-based measure of sexual orientation. Furthermore, reliability and criterion validity of the IRAP were compared to two established indirect measures of sexual orientation: a Choice Reaction Time task (CRT) and a Viewing Time (VT) task. A sample of 87 heterosexual and 35 gay men completed all three indirect measures in an online study. The IRAP and the VT predicted sexual orientation nearly perfectly. Both measures also showed a considerable amount of convergent validity. Reliabilities (internal consistencies) reached satisfactory levels. In contrast, the CRT did not tap into sexual orientation in the present study. In sum, the VT measure performed best, with the IRAP showing only slightly lower reliability and criterion validity, whereas the CRT did not yield any evidence of reliability or criterion validity in the present research. The results were discussed in the light of specific task properties of the indirect latency-based measures (task-relevance vs. task-irrelevance).

  6. Load-dependent brain activation assessed by time-domain functional near-infrared spectroscopy during a working memory task with graded levels of difficulty

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Molteni, Erika; Contini, Davide; Caffini, Matteo; Baselli, Giuseppe; Spinelli, Lorenzo; Cubeddu, Rinaldo; Cerutti, Sergio; Bianchi, Anna Maria; Torricelli, Alessandro

    2012-05-01

    We evaluated frontal brain activation during a mixed attentional/working memory task with graded levels of difficulty in a group of 19 healthy subjects, by means of time-domain functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). Brain activation was assessed, and load-related oxy- and deoxy-hemoglobin changes were studied. Generalized linear model (GLM) was applied to the data to explore the metabolic processes occurring during the mental effort and, possibly, their involvement in short-term memorization. GLM was applied to the data twice: for modeling the task as a whole and for specifically investigating brain activation at each cognitive load. This twofold employment of GLM allowed (1) the extraction and isolation of different information from the same signals, obtained through the modeling of different cognitive categories (sustained attention and working memory), and (2) the evaluation of model fitness, by inspection and comparison of residuals (i.e., unmodeled part of the signal) obtained in the two different cases. Results attest to the presence of a persistent attentional-related metabolic activity, superimposed to a task-related mnemonic contribution. Some hemispherical differences have also been highlighted frontally: deoxy-hemoglobin changes manifested a strong right lateralization, whereas modifications in oxy- and total hemoglobin showed a medial localization. The present work successfully explored the capability of fNIRS to detect the two neurophysiological categories under investigation and distinguish their activation patterns.

  7. The Development and Implementation of a Web-Based Formative Peer Assessment System for Enhancing Students' Metacognitive Awareness and Performance in Ill-Structured Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kim, Minjeong; Ryu, Jeeheon

    2013-01-01

    An assessment was conducted of a web-based formative peer assessment system (WFPAS) emphasizing learners' metacognitive awareness for their performance in ill-structured tasks. Results indicate that the WFPAS group achieved significantly higher scores for metacognitive awareness and performance in ill-structured tasks than the traditional…

  8. Assessment of the nursing skill mix in Mozambique using a task analysis methodology

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background The density of the nursing and maternal child health nursing workforce in Mozambique (0.32/1000) is well below the WHO minimum standard of 1 nurse per 1000. Two levels of education were being offered for both nurses and maternal child health nurses, in programmes ranging from 18 to 30 months in length. The health care workforce in Mozambique also includes Medical Technicians and Medical Agents, who are also educated at either basic or mid-level. The Ministry of Health determined the need to document the tasks that each of the six cadres was performing within various health facilities to identify gaps, and duplications, in order to identify strategies for streamlining workforce production, while retaining highest educational and competency standards. The methodology of task analysis (TA) was used to achieve this objective. This article provides information about the TA methodology, and selected outcomes of the very broad study. Methods A cross-sectional descriptive task analysis survey was conducted over a 15 month period (2008–2009). A stratified sample of 1295 individuals was recruited from every type of health facility in all of Mozambique’s 10 provinces and in Maputo City. Respondents indicated how frequently they performed any of 233 patient care tasks. Data analysis focused on identifying areas where identical tasks were performed by the various cadres. Analyses addressed frequency of performance, grouped by level of educational preparation, within various types of health facilities. Results Task sharing ranged from 74% to 88% between basic and general nurse cadres and from 54% to 88% between maternal and child health nurse cadres, within various health facility types. Conversely, there was distinction between scope of practice for nursing and maternal/child health nursing cadres. Conclusion The educational pathways to general nursing and maternal/child health nursing careers were consolidated into one 24 month programme for each career. The

  9. Developments and Changes Resulting from Writing and Thinking Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Flateby, Teresa

    2009-01-01

    This article chronicles the evolution of a large research extensive institution's General Education writing assessment efforts from an initial summative focus to a formative, improvement focus. The methods of assessment, which changed as the assessment purpose evolved, are described. As more data were collected, the measurement tool was…

  10. Performance Assessment Models and Tools for Complex Tasks. CSE Technical Report 682

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chung, Gregory K. W. K.; Delacruz, Girlie C.; Bewley, William L.

    2006-01-01

    Assessment models support the design of quality performance assessments. Assessment tools are being developed to enable easy and effective application of the models. Based on representations of assessment design knowledge and domain knowledge in ontologies, the tools provide guidance to assessment designers, and through constraint processing check…

  11. An Investigation of Saudi English-Major Learners' Perceptions of Formative Assessment Tasks and Their Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Umer, Muhammad; Omer, Abdul Majeed Attayib

    2015-01-01

    The effect of standardised and summative assessment on teaching and learning has been explored in various settings. Formative assessment or classroom assessment, however, has not captured considerable attention of washback researchers. The prime goal of the inclusion of formative assessment in the assessment regime of a curriculum is to allow…

  12. Beyond Needs Assessments: Marketing as Change Agent.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Piland, William E.

    1984-01-01

    Views marketing techniques as agents of change providing valuable assistance to community college decision makers. Discusses the importance of a balance among the four P's of marketing (i.e., promotion, price, place, and product); and seven procedural steps in developing a sound marketing strategy. (DMM)

  13. Climate change: The IPCC scientific assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Houghton, J.T.; Jenkins, G.J.; Ephraums, J.J.

    1990-01-01

    Book review of the intergovernmental panel on climate change report on global warming and the greenhouse effect. Covers the scientific basis for knowledge of the future climate. Presents chemistry of greenhouse gases and mathematical modelling of the climate system. The book is primarily for government policy makers.

  14. 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...Arctic Warming is 2 x the Rest of the World Total Earth Heat Content from 1950 (Murphy 2009). Ocean data taken from Domingues et al 2008 The... Ocean is Storing Most of the Heat Mean surface temperature 2001-2007 relative to baseline period 1951-1980, from:The Copenhagen Diagnosis, 2009

  15. Human Performance Tool Development and Analysis Support. FY15 Task: Early Manpower Assessment Tool (EMAT) for STAMPS

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-10-01

    1 Annual Progress Report (A003) for Human Performance Tool Development and Analysis Support FY15 Task: EARLY MANPOWER ASSESSMENT TOOL (EMAT...00-2015 to 00-00-2015 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Human Performance Tool Development and Analysis Support 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER 5b. GRANT NUMBER 5c...for the development and maintenance of the U.S. Navy’s Leading Edge Architecture got Prototyping Systems (LEAPS) Integrated Digital Environment

  16. A task force model for statewide change in nursing education: building quality and safety.

    PubMed

    Mundt, Mary H; Clark, Margherita Procaccini; Klemczak, Jeanette Wrona

    2013-01-01

    The purpose of this article was to describe a statewide planning process to transform nursing education in Michigan to improve quality and safety of patient care. A task force model was used to engage diverse partners in issue identification, consensus building, and recommendations. An example of a statewide intervention in nursing education and practice that was executed was the Michigan Quality and Safety in Nursing Education Institute, which was held using an integrated approach to academic-practice partners from all state regions. This paper describes the unique advantage of leadership by the Michigan Chief Nurse Executive, the existence of a nursing strategic plan, and a funding model. An overview of the Task Force on Nursing Education is presented with a focus on the model's 10 process steps and resulting seven recommendations. The Michigan Nurse Education Council was established to implement the recommendations that included quality and safety.

  17. Task Group on a Culture of Savings: Implementing Behavior Change in DoD

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-01-01

    Robert Hale Task Group Chairman – Navy Future Personnel and Pay Solution (FPPS) - Business Case November 30, 2009 – Case for Shared Services in the...Public Sector - Accenture Shared Services in Government - AT Kearney – 2009 Global Shared Services Survey Results - Deloitte – Shared Services - a...Benchmark Study - The Johnson Group – Economics of Business Process Outsourcing - Technology Association of Georgia – State of Shared Services and Business

  18. When Plans Change: Task Analysis and Taxonomy of 3-D Situation Awareness Challenges of UAV Replanning

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-06-01

    3-D difficulties, we conducted a cognitive task analysis of the replanning problem with the Navy?s VC-6 Squadron recently returned from Iraq . Key 3-D...the Navy’s VC-6 Squadron recently returned from Iraq . Key 3-D spatial challenges involved rationalizing complex combinations of avoiding airspace and...conducted a requirements analysis of the replanning problem with Navy UAV operators recently returned from the war in Iraq , and report our findings

  19. Assessment of visual-spatial skills in medical context tasks when using monoscopic and stereoscopic visualization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martinez Escobar, Marisol; Juhnke, Bethany; Hisley, Kenneth; Eliot, David; Winer, Eliot

    2013-03-01

    The dramatic rise of digital medical imaging has allowed medical personnel to see inside their patients as never before. Many software products are now available to view this data in various 2D and 3D formats. This also raises many basic research questions on spatial perception for humans viewing these images. The work presented here attempts to answer the question: How would adding the stereopsis depth cue affect relative position tasks in a medical context? By designing and conducting a study to isolate the benefits between monoscopic 3D and stereoscopic 3D displays in a relative position task, the following hypothesis was tested: stereoscopic 3D displays are beneficial over monoscopic 3D displays for relative position judgment tasks in a medical visualization setting. The results show that stereoscopic condition yielded a higher score than the monoscopic condition, but the results were not always statistically significant.

  20. Sequential Learning Models for the Wisconsin Card Sort Task: Assessing Processes in Substance Dependent Individuals

    PubMed Central

    Bishara, Anthony J.; Kruschke, John K.; Stout, Julie C.; Bechara, Antoine; McCabe, David P.; Busemeyer, Jerome R.

    2010-01-01

    The Wisconsin Card Sort Task (WCST) is a commonly used neuropsychological test of executive or frontal lobe functioning. Traditional behavioral measures from the task (e.g., perseverative errors) distinguish healthy controls from clinical populations, but such measures can be difficult to interpret. In an attempt to supplement traditional measures, we developed and tested a family of sequential learning models that allowed for estimation of processes at the individual subject level in the WCST. Testing the model with substance dependent individuals and healthy controls, the model parameters significantly predicted group membership even when controlling for traditional behavioral measures from the task. Substance dependence was associated with a) slower attention shifting following punished trials and b) reduced decision consistency. Results suggest that model parameters may offer both incremental content validity and incremental predictive validity. PMID:20495607

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-11-01

    Grid: Instrumented Stand and Walk -Grid Coordinates MEDCOM: US Army Medical Command MET: Multiple Errands Test MOB : Mobility Priority MOS... MOB : Time 0.96 (0.91-0.98) 0.88 (0.80-0.95) 0.98 (0.97-0.99) Dual-Task MOB : Words Correct 1.0 (1-1) 1.0 (1-1) 1.0 (1-1) Dual-Task MOB : Word Errors...0.09 (0-0.35) 0.85 (0.64-1) 0.86 (0.58-1) Dual-Task MOB : Course Errors NA NA 1.0 (1-1) COG: Cognitive priority; “concentrate on remembering the words

  2. Computerized spatial delayed recognition span task: a specific tool to assess visuospatial working memory

    PubMed Central

    Satler, Corina; Belham, Flávia Schechtman; Garcia, Ana; Tomaz, Carlos; Tavares, Maria Clotilde H.

    2015-01-01

    A new tablet device version (IOS platform) of the Spatial Delayed Recognition Span Task (SDRST) was developed with the aim of investigating visuospatial Working Memory (WM) abilities based on touchscreen technology. This new WM testing application will be available to download for free in Apple Store app (“SDRST app”). In order to verify the feasibility of this computer-based task, we conducted three experiments with different manipulations and groups of participants. We were interested in investigating if (1) the SDRST is sensitive enough to tap into cognitive differences brought by aging and dementia; (2) different experimental manipulations work successfully; (3) cortical brain activations seen in other WM tasks are also demonstrated here; and (4) non-human primates are able to answer the task. Performance (scores and response time) was better for young than older adults and higher for the latter when compared to Alzheimer’s disease (AD) patients. All groups performed better with facial stimuli than with images of scenes and with emotional than with neutral stimuli. Electrophysiology data showed activation on prefrontal and frontal areas of scalp, theta band activity on the midline area, and gamma activity in left temporal area. There are all scalp regions known to be related to attention and WM. Besides those data, our sample of adult captive capuchin monkeys (Sapajus libidinosus) answered the task above chance level. Taken together, these results corroborate the reliability of this new computer-based SDRST as a measure of visuospatial WM in clinical and non-clinical populations as well as in non-human primates. Its tablet app allows the task to be administered in a wide range of settings, including hospitals, homes, schools, laboratories, universities, and research institutions. PMID:25964758

  3. Estimated effects of ionizing radiation upon military task performance: individual combat crewmember assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Anno, G.H.; Wilson, D.B.

    1984-04-01

    Quantitative estimates are developed of the performance levels for selected individual Army combat crewmembers exposed to prompt ionizing radiation from nuclear weapons. The performance levels, expressed in percent of normal (baseline) task performance, provide information for military operations planning, combat training, and computer simulation modeling of combat crew and unit effectiveness. The methodology is described where data from two separate bodies of information: acute radiation sickness symptomatology, and judgment of task performance time from Army combat crew questionnaires - are integrated to compute performance levels as a function of dose (free-in-air) and post-exposure time.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pausder, H. J.; Hummes, D.

    1982-01-01

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

  5. Impaired performance from brief social isolation of rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) - A multiple video-task assessment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Washburn, David A.; Rumbaugh, Duane M.

    1991-01-01

    Social isolation has been demonstrated to produce profound and lasting psychological effects in young primates. In the present investigation, two adult rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) were isolated from one another for up to 6 days and tested on 7 video tasks designed to assess psychomotor and cognitive functioning. Both the number and quality (i.e., speed and accuracy) of responses were significantly compromised in the social isolation condition relative to levels in which the animals were tested together. It is argued that adult rhesus are susceptible to performance disruption by even relatively brief social isolation, and that these effects can best be assessed by a battery of complex and sensitive measures.

  6. Airphoto assessment of changes in aquatic vegetation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Markham, B. L.; Philipson, W. R.; Russel, A. E.

    1977-01-01

    Large scale, multiyear, color and color infrared aerial photographs were used to evaluate changes in aquatic vegetation that have accompanied a reduction in phosphorus inputs to a phosphorus-limited, eutrophic lake in New York State. The study showed that the distribution of emergent, floating and submersed vegetation could be determined with little or no concurrent ground data; that various emergent and floating types could be separated and, with limited field checks, identified; and that different submersed types are generally not separable. Major vegetative types are characterized by spectral and nonspectral features, and a classification is developed for compiling time-sequential vegetation maps.

  7. Assessing Inattention and Impulsivity in Children during the Go/NoGo Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bezdjian, Serena; Baker, Laura A.; Lozano, Dora Isabel; Raine, Adrian

    2009-01-01

    Behavioural performance in the Go/NoGo task was compared with caregiver and teacher reports of inattention and hyperactivity-impulsivity in 1,151 children (N = 557 boys; N = 594 girls) age 9-10 years old. Errors of commission (NoGo errors) were significantly correlated with symptom counts of hyperactivity-impulsivity, while errors of omission (Go…

  8. A Drawing Task to Assess Emotion Inference in Language-Impaired Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vendeville, Nathalie; Blanc, Nathalie; Brechet, Claire

    2015-01-01

    Purpose: Studies investigating the ability of children with language impairment (LI) to infer emotions rely on verbal responses (which can be challenging for these children) and/or the selection of a card representing an emotion (which limits the response range). In contrast, a drawing task might allow a broad spectrum of responses without…

  9. Performance-Based Task Assessment of Higher-Order Proficiencies in Redesigned STEM High Schools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ernst, Jeremy V.; Glennie, Elizabeth; Li, Songze

    2017-01-01

    This study explored student abilities in applying conceptual knowledge when presented with structured performance tasks. Specifically, the study gauged proficiency in higher-order applications of students enrolled in earth and environmental science or biology. The student sample was drawn from a Redesigned STEM high school model where a tested…

  10. The Rediscovery of Education in America: An Assessment of National Commission and Task Force Reports.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johnstone, Tamara S.

    The national task force and commission reports on the status of education in the United States released in 1983 and 1984 that have the most relevance for foreign language studies are reviewed. These include: (1) "A Nation At Risk" by the National Commission on Excellence in Education, the College Board's "Academic Preparation for…

  11. Understanding Learner Strengths and Weaknesses: Assessing Performance on an Integrated Writing Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sawaki, Yasuyo; Quinlan, Thomas; Lee, Yong-Won

    2013-01-01

    The present study examined the factor structures across features of 446 examinees' responses to a writing task that integrates reading and listening modalities as well as reading and listening comprehension items of the TOEFL iBT[R] (Internet-based test). Both human and automated scores obtained for the integrated essays were utilized. Based on a…

  12. Fatigue Resistance Assessed in Five Tasks for a Single Session of Sleep Deprivation

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2008-10-01

    best metric, as this is typically the measure of choice for working memory tasks (e.g., Kyllonen & Christal , 1990; Woltz, 1988). Von Dongen...for Applied Research in Warfighting. Aviation Space and Environmental Medicine, 75(3), 44-53. Kyllonen, P. C., & Christal , R. E. (1990). Reasoning

  13. Linguistic Proficiency Assessment in Second Language Acquisition Research: The Elicited Imitation Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gaillard, Stéphanie; Tremblay, Annie

    2016-01-01

    This study investigated the elicited imitation task (EIT) as a tool for measuring linguistic proficiency in a second/foreign (L2) language, focusing on French. Nonnative French speakers (n = 94) and native French speakers (n = 6) completed an EIT that included 50 sentences varying in length and complexity. Three raters evaluated productions on…

  14. Physiological and Dual Task Assessment of Workload during Tracking and Simulated Flight.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1981-01-01

    Lindholm, Ruppel , and Buckland, 1979). Heart rate, skin conductance, and pupil size are reported to be consis- tently related to workload, but pupil...34- ..- . . . . .. .. . . . .. . . . --- - - I A 75 Lindholm, E., Ruppel , M., and Buckland, G.H. Attention and task complexity as indicated by physiological indices. AFHRL TR-79-47, 1979

  15. Misleading Cues Improve Developmental Assessment of Working Memory Capacity: The Color Matching Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Arsalidou, Marie; Pascual-Leone, Juan; Johnson, Janice

    2010-01-01

    The theory of constructive operators was used as a framework to design two versions of a paradigm (color matching task, CMT) in which items are parametrically ordered in difficulty, and differ only contextually. Items in CMT-Balloon are facilitating, whereas items in CMT-Clown contain misleading cues. Participants of ages 7-14 years and adults (N…

  16. Assessing Seventh Graders' Mathematical Literacy in Solving PISA-Like Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dewantara, Andi Harpeni; Zulkardi; Darmawijoyo

    2015-01-01

    This design research type development study aims at producing a set of PISA-like mathematics task which is valid and practical as well as has the potential effects. Then, activation of fundamental mathematical capabilities underlying mathematical process related to the mathematical literacy as the main potential effect of the developed PISA-like…

  17. Using Piagetian Tasks to Assess Developmental Levels in Elementary School Students.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Adkins, Gary A.

    To aid undergraduate students in their initial study of Piaget's theory of intellectual development, students enrolled in a sophomore child development course administered selected tasks to individual subjects in order to verify or disprove results predicted in the theory. Prior to replicating the Piagetian experiments, students were introduced to…

  18. Variants of the Morris water maze task to comparatively assess human and rodent place navigation.

    PubMed

    Schoenfeld, Robby; Schiffelholz, Thomas; Beyer, Christian; Leplow, Bernd; Foreman, Nigel

    2017-03-01

    Performance in the Morris water maze has been widely used in routine behavioural studies of rodents. Since the advent of computer-based virtual environments, adaptations of the water maze have become available for human research. Despite decades of comparative neuroscience, formal comparisons of human and animal place navigation performance are rare. We studied 36 subjects, 18 young male mice in a Morris water maze and 18 male students in a virtual version. Quantitative measures (escape latencies, distances and platform crossings) indicated no discernable differences between human and rodent performance, reinforcing the task's general validity and its implied cross-species comparability. However, we extracted, using an a priori free classification method, qualitatively different movement patterns for mice and humans, patterns that reflect the probable strategy that individuals might have been using to solve the task. Our results indicated young male students to have most likely solved the maze by means of spatial strategies whereas mice were observed more often to have adopted non-spatial strategies. These differences could be attributed to differences in our maze setups (spatial cues, task instruction, training protocol, motivation) and gave further hints that maze learning depends on many factors. In summary performance on both spatial tasks was equivalent in humans and mice but the kind of maze learning that was used to achieve maximum performance was different.

  19. UT Austin in the TREC 2012 Crowdsourcing Track’s Image Relevance Assessment Task

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-11-01

    Silberman . Turkopticon: Interrupting worker invisibility in amazon me- chanical turk. In Proceeding of the Annual ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human...Eliminating spammers and ranking annotators for crowdsourced labeling tasks. Journal of Machine Learning Research, 13:491–518, 2012. 14. M. Silberman , L

  20. Changing assessment practice through in situ faculty development.

    PubMed

    Pickworth, G E; Snyman, W D

    2012-02-01

    The aim of this article is to describe the process of an in situ staff development process with the objective to influence change in assessment practice. An in situ training course focusing on writing questions for written examinations, but also including some contextual aspects of assessment practice, was therefore developed and implemented. The anticipated change was measured against Kirkpatrick's four levels for evaluating training programmes. As a whole, the reaction from the participants was positive (Kirkpatrick Level 1), and in a number of instances, learning, which includes changes in attitude, knowledge and skills (Kirkpatrick Level 2) and change in behaviour (Kirkpatrick Level 3), was observed. To conclude, the staff development initiative in the form of in situ assessment training facilitated change resulting in an improvement in assessment practice in the School in a relatively short period of time.

  1. Deterministic learning and attempted suicide among older depressed individuals: Cognitive assessment using the Wisconsin Card Sorting Task

    PubMed Central

    McGirr, Alexander; Dombrovski, Alexandre Y.; Butters, Meryl A.; Clark, Luke; Szanto, Katalin

    2011-01-01

    Background Late-life suicide is an under-investigated public health problem. Among the putative vulnerabilities for this complex multifactorial behaviour are deficits in cognitive control, an ability to integrate and prioritize multiple cognitive processes in order to flexibly adapt behaviour and meet situational demands. We investigated cognitive control during rule learning in a complex and changing environment in older individuals with suicide attempts of varying lethality. Method Ninety-three participants over the age of 60 (30 healthy controls, 29 depressed never suicidal, 20 low-lethality suicide attempters, 14 high-lethality suicide attempters) underwent structured clinical and cognitive assessments. Participants then completed the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST), a well-studied task of cognitive control during rule learning. Results High-lethality attempters demonstrated a pattern of deficits involving poor conceptual reasoning, perseverative errors and total errors. Compared to low-lethality attempters and healthy controls, high-lethality attempters demonstrated poor conceptual reasoning, as well as increased rates of perseverative errors and total errors. Compared to non-suicidal depressed participants, high-lethality attempters also made more conceptual errors. Conclusion High-lethality suicide attempts among older people are associated with impaired cognitive control during rule learning as detected by the WCST. Our data suggest that impairment in cognitive control during rule learning may represent a vulnerability distinct from the impulsive diathesis, typically manifesting in young, low-lethality attempters. This vulnerability may contribute to the high incidence of serious or, often, fatal suicidal acts in old age. PMID:22024486

  2. Two stages of parafoveal processing during reading: Evidence from a display change detection task.

    PubMed

    Angele, Bernhard; Slattery, Timothy J; Rayner, Keith

    2016-08-01

    We used a display change detection paradigm (Slattery, Angele, & Rayner Human Perception and Performance, 37, 1924-1938 2011) to investigate whether display change detection uses orthographic regularity and whether detection is affected by the processing difficulty of the word preceding the boundary that triggers the display change. Subjects were significantly more sensitive to display changes when the change was from a nonwordlike preview than when the change was from a wordlike preview, but the preview benefit effect on the target word was not affected by whether the preview was wordlike or nonwordlike. Additionally, we did not find any influence of preboundary word frequency on display change detection performance. Our results suggest that display change detection and lexical processing do not use the same cognitive mechanisms. We propose that parafoveal processing takes place in two stages: an early, orthography-based, preattentional stage, and a late, attention-dependent lexical access stage.

  3. Changes in P3b Latency and Amplitude Reflect Expertise Acquisition in a Football Visuomotor Learning Task

    PubMed Central

    Morgan, Kyle K.; Luu, Phan; Tucker, Don M.

    2016-01-01

    Learning is not a unitary phenomenon. Rather, learning progresses through stages, with the stages reflecting different challenges that require the support of specific cognitive processes that reflect the functions of different brain networks. A theory of general learning proposes that learning can be divided into early and late stages controlled by corticolimbic networks located in frontal and posterior brain regions, respectively. Recent human studies using dense-array EEG (dEEG) support these results by showing progressive increases in P3b amplitude (an Event Related Potential with estimated sources in posterior cingulate cortex and hippocampus) as participants acquire a new visuomotor skill. In the present study, the P3b was used to track the learning and performance of participants as they identify defensive football formations and make an appropriate response. Participants acquired the task over three days, and P3b latency and amplitude significantly changed when participants learned the task. As participants demonstrated further proficiency with extensive training, amplitude and latency changes in the P3b continued to closely mirror performance improvements. Source localization results across all days suggest that an important source generator of the P3b is located in the posterior cingulate cortex. Results from the study support prior findings and further suggest that the careful analysis of covert learning mechanisms and their underlying electrical signatures are a robust index of task competency. PMID:27111898

  4. EEG-power and -coherence changes in a unimodal and a crossmodal working memory task with visual and kinesthetic stimuli.

    PubMed

    Seemüller, A; Müller, E M; Rösler, F

    2012-01-01

    We investigated EEG-power and EEG-coherence changes in a unimodal and a crossmodal matching-to-sample working memory task with either visual or kinesthetic stimuli. Angle-shaped trajectories were used as stimuli presented either as a moving dot on a screen or as a passive movement of a haptic device. Effects were evaluated during the different phases of encoding, maintenance, and recognition. Alpha power was modulated during encoding by the stimulus modality, and in crossmodal conditions during encoding and maintenance by the expected modality of the upcoming test stimulus. These power modulations were observed over modality-specific cortex regions. Systematic changes of coherence for crossmodal compared to unimodal tasks were not observed during encoding and maintenance but only during recognition. There, coherence in the theta-band increased between electrode sites over left central and occipital cortex areas in the crossmodal compared to the unimodal conditions. The results underline the importance of modality-specific representations and processes in unimodal and crossmodal working memory tasks. Crossmodal recognition of visually and kinesthetically presented object features seems to be related to a direct interaction of somatosensory/motor and visual cortex regions by means of long-range synchronization in the theta-band and such interactions seem to take place at the beginning of the recognition phase, i.e. when crossmodal transfer is actually necessary.

  5. Evaluation of an Anthropometric Human Body Model for Simulated EVA Task Assessment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Etter, Brad

    1996-01-01

    One of the more mission-critical tasks performed in space is extravehicular activity (EVA) which requires the astronaut to be external to the station or spacecraft, and subsequently at risk from the many threats posed by space. These threats include, but are not limited to: no significant atmosphere, harmful electromagnetic radiation, micrometeoroids, and space debris. To protect the astronaut from this environment, a special EVA suit is worn which is designed to maintain a sustainable atmosphere (at 1/3 atmosphere) and provide protection against the hazards of space. While the EVA suit serves these functions well, it does impose limitations on the astronaut as a consequence of the safety it provides. Since the astronaut is in a virtual vacuum, any atmospheric pressure inside the suit serves to pressurize the suit and restricts mobility of flexible joints (such as fabric). Although some of the EVA suit joints are fixed, rotary-style joints, most of the mobility is achieved by the simple flexibility of the fabric. There are multiple layers of fabric, each of which serves a special purpose in the safety of the astronaut. These multiple layers add to the restriction of motion the astronaut experiences in the space environment. Ground-based testing is implemented to evaluate the capability of EVA-suited astronauts to perform the various tasks in space. In addition to the restriction of motion imposed by the EVA suit, most EVA activity is performed in a micro-gravity (weight less) environment. To simulate weightlessness EVA-suited testing is performed in a neutral buoyancy simulator (NBS). The NBS is composed of a large container of water (pool) in which a weightless environment can be simulated. A subject is normally buoyant in the pressurized suit; however he/she can be made neutrally buoyant with the addition of weights. In addition, most objects the astronaut must interface with in the NBS sink in water and flotation must be added to render them "weightless". The

  6. The American Psychological Association Task Force assessment of violent video games: Science in the service of public interest.

    PubMed

    Calvert, Sandra L; Appelbaum, Mark; Dodge, Kenneth A; Graham, Sandra; Nagayama Hall, Gordon C; Hamby, Sherry; Fasig-Caldwell, Lauren G; Citkowicz, Martyna; Galloway, Daniel P; Hedges, Larry V

    2017-01-01

    A task force of experts was convened by the American Psychological Association (APA) to update the knowledge and policy about the impact of violent video game use on potential adverse outcomes. This APA Task Force on Media Violence examined the existing literature, including the meta-analyses in the field, since the last APA report on media violence in 2005. Because the most recent meta-analyses were published in 2010 and reflected work through 2009, the task force conducted a search of the published studies from 2009-2013. These recently published articles were scored and assessed by a systematic evidentiary review, followed by a meta-analysis of the high utility studies, as documented in the evidentiary review. Consistent with the literature that we reviewed, we found that violent video game exposure was associated with: an increased composite aggression score; increased aggressive behavior; increased aggressive cognitions; increased aggressive affect, increased desensitization, and decreased empathy; and increased physiological arousal. The size of the effects was similar to that in prior meta-analyses, suggesting a stable result. Our task force concluded that violent video game use is a risk factor for adverse outcomes, but found insufficient studies to examine any potential link between violent video game use and delinquency or criminal behavior. Our technical report is the basis of this article. (PsycINFO Database Record

  7. Probabilistic assessment of beach and dune changes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sallenger, A.H.; Stockdon, H.; Haines, J.; Krabill, W.; Swift, R.; Brock, J.

    2004-01-01

    The recent availability of spatially-dense airborne lidar data makes assessment of the vulnerability of beaches and dunes to storm impacts practical over long reaches of coast. As an initial test, elevations of the tops (D high) and bases (Dlow) of foredune ridges along a 55-km reach on the northern Outer Banks, NC were found to have considerable spatial variability suggesting that different parts of the barrier island would respond differently to storms. Comparing statistics of storm wave runup to D high and Dlow, we found that net erosion due to overwash and dune retreat should be greatest at the northern and southern ends of the study area and least in the central section. This predicted spatial pattern of storm-induced erosion is similar to the spatial pattern of long-term erosion of the shoreline which may be controlled by additional processes (such as gradients in longshore transport) as well as the cross-shore processes considered here. However, consider feedback where at erosional hot spots there is a deficit of sand (caused by gradients in longshore transport) which lead to lower dunes and enhanced erosional cross-shore processes, such as overwash. Hence, the erosional hot spots would be exacerbated, further increasing the vulnerability of the beach and dunes to net erosion.

  8. Integrated Assessment and the Relation Between Land-Use Change and Climate Change

    DOE R&D Accomplishments Database

    Dale, V. H.

    1994-10-07

    Integrated assessment is an approach that is useful in evaluating the consequences of global climate change. Understanding the consequences requires knowledge of the relationship between land-use change and climate change. Methodologies for assessing the contribution of land-use change to atmospheric CO{sub 2} concentrations are considered with reference to a particular case study area: south and southeast Asia. The use of models to evaluate the consequences of climate change on forests must also consider an assessment approach. Each of these points is discussed in the following four sections.

  9. Integrated assessment and the relation between land-use change and climate change

    SciTech Connect

    Dale, V.H.

    1994-10-07

    Integrated assessment is an approach that is useful in evaluating the consequences of global climate change. Understanding the consequences requires knowledge of the relationship between land-use change and climate change. Methodologies for assessing the contribution of land-use change to atmospheric CO{sub 2} concentrations are considered with reference to a particular case study area: south and southeast Asia. The use of models to evaluate the consequences of climate change on forests must also consider an assessment approach. Each of these points is discussed in the following four sections.

  10. Task-shifting an inpatient triage, assessment, and treatment program improves the quality of care for hospitalized Malawian children

    PubMed Central

    Olson, Dan; Preidis, Geoffrey A.; Milazi, Robert; Spinler, Jennifer K.; Lufesi, Norman; Mwansambo, Charles; Hosseinipour, Mina C.; McCollum, Eric D.

    2013-01-01

    Objective We aimed to improve pediatric inpatient surveillance at a busy referral hospital in Malawi with 2 new programs: (1) the provision of vital sign equipment and implementation of an inpatient triage program (ITAT) that includes a simplified pediatric severity-of-illness score; (2) task-shifting ITAT to a new cadre of health care workers called “Vital Sign Assistants” (VSAs). Methods This study, conducted on the pediatric inpatient ward of a large referral hospital in Malawi, was divided into 3 phases, each lasting 4 weeks. In Phase A, we collected baseline data. In Phase B, we provided 3 new automated vital sign poles and implemented ITAT with current hospital staff. In Phase C, VSAs were introduced and performed ITAT. Our primary outcome measures were the number of vital sign assessments performed and clinician notifications to reassess patients with high ITAT scores. Results We enrolled 3,994 patients who received 5,155 vital sign assessments. Assessment frequency was equal between Phases A (0.67 assessments/patient) and B (0.61 assessments/patient), but increased 3.6-fold in Phase C (2.44 assessments/patient, p<0.001). Clinician notifications increased from Phases A (84) and B (113) to Phase C (161, p=0.002). Inpatient mortality fell from Phase A (9.3%) to Phases B (5.7) and C (6.9%). Conclusions ITAT with VSAs improved vital sign assessments and nearly doubled clinician notifications of patients needing further assessment due to high ITAT scores, while equipment alone made no difference. Task-shifting ITAT to VSAs may improve outcomes in pediatric hospitals in the developing world. PMID:23600592

  11. Flood risk assessment in France: comparison of extreme flood estimation methods (EXTRAFLO project, Task 7)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garavaglia, F.; Paquet, E.; Lang, M.; Renard, B.; Arnaud, P.; Aubert, Y.; Carre, J.

    2013-12-01

    In flood risk assessment the methods can be divided in two families: deterministic methods and probabilistic methods. In the French hydrologic community the probabilistic methods are historically preferred to the deterministic ones. Presently a French research project named EXTRAFLO (RiskNat Program of the French National Research Agency, https://extraflo.cemagref.fr) deals with the design values for extreme rainfall and floods. The object of this project is to carry out a comparison of the main methods used in France for estimating extreme values of rainfall and floods, to obtain a better grasp of their respective fields of application. In this framework we present the results of Task 7 of EXTRAFLO project. Focusing on French watersheds, we compare the main extreme flood estimation methods used in French background: (i) standard flood frequency analysis (Gumbel and GEV distribution), (ii) regional flood frequency analysis (regional Gumbel and GEV distribution), (iii) local and regional flood frequency analysis improved by historical information (Naulet et al., 2005), (iv) simplify probabilistic method based on rainfall information (i.e. Gradex method (CFGB, 1994), Agregee method (Margoum, 1992) and Speed method (Cayla, 1995)), (v) flood frequency analysis by continuous simulation approach and based on rainfall information (i.e. Schadex method (Paquet et al., 2013, Garavaglia et al., 2010), Shyreg method (Lavabre et al., 2003)) and (vi) multifractal approach. The main result of this comparative study is that probabilistic methods based on additional information (i.e. regional, historical and rainfall information) provide better estimations than the standard flood frequency analysis. Another interesting result is that, the differences between the various extreme flood quantile estimations of compared methods increase with return period, staying relatively moderate up to 100-years return levels. Results and discussions are here illustrated throughout with the example

  12. Ranking inconsistencies in the assessment of digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) reconstruction algorithms using a location-known task and a search task

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    He, Xin; Zeng, Rongping; Samuelson, Frank; Sahiner, Berkman

    2016-03-01

    In this work, we validated a task-based performance figure-of-merit (FOM) by investigating ranking inconsistencies due to lurking variable/factors. We applied a falsifiable search assessment theory to assessing digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) image quality using a scanning channelized Hotelling observer (CHO) on a simulated DBT dataset. We compared the performance of five reconstruction algorithms: filter back projection (FBP), maximum likelihood (ML), simultaneous algebraic reconstruction technique (SART), total-variation regularized least square estimator (TVLS) with strong and mild regularization settings. The results showed that the location-known-exactly (LKE) detection performance was almost identical for the five reconstruction algorithms. However the search characteristic as described by effective set size (M*) and search AUC value, ranked them differently. To falsify/corroborate our evaluations on search characteristic and performance, we conducted an image-size test. This test demonstrated an agreement between theoretical predictions and empirically measured observer performance in absolute performance levels, except for the ML algorithm. We concluded that evidence corroborated our evaluations, except that for the ML algorithm where our evaluation was wrong. Further investigation of the wrong evaluation in the ML case revealed a lurking variable that affected system performance ranking in search when AUC value was used as the FOM. This further confirmed that our evaluation in its current form for the ML algorithm was indeed wrong. We also noted that the ranking inconsistencies exist even when the AUC value was used as the FOM, and the falsifiable nature of M* allowed such inconsistencies to be identified.

  13. Hippocampus and subregions of the dorsal striatum respond differently to a behavioral strategy change on a spatial navigation task

    PubMed Central

    Regier, Paul S.; Amemiya, Seiichiro

    2015-01-01

    Goal-directed and habit-based behaviors are driven by multiple but dissociable decision making systems involving several different brain areas, including the hippocampus and dorsal striatum. On repetitive tasks, behavior transitions from goal directed to habit based with experience. Hippocampus has been implicated in initial learning and dorsal striatum in automating behavior, but recent studies suggest that subregions within the dorsal striatum have distinct roles in mediating habit-based and goal-directed behavior. We compared neural activity in the CA1 region of hippocampus with anterior dorsolateral and posterior dorsomedial striatum in rats on a spatial choice task, in which subjects experienced reward delivery changes that forced them to adjust their behavioral strategy. Our results confirm the importance of the hippocampus in evaluating predictive steps during goal-directed behavior, while separate circuits in the basal ganglia integrated relevant information during automation of actions and recognized when new behaviors were needed to continue obtaining rewards. PMID:26084902

  14. Training-Induced Improvement of Response Selection and Error Detection in Aging Assessed by Task Switching: Effects of Cognitive, Physical, and Relaxation Training

    PubMed Central

    Gajewski, Patrick D.; Falkenstein, Michael

    2012-01-01

    Cognitive control functions decline with increasing age. The present study examines if different types of group-based and trainer-guided training effectively enhance performance of older adults in a task switching task, and how this expected enhancement is reflected in changes of cognitive functions, as measured in electrophysiological brain activity (event-related potentials). One hundred forty-one healthy participants aged 65 years and older were randomly assigned to one of four groups: physical training (combined aerobic and strength training), cognitive training (paper–pencil and computer-aided), relaxation and wellness (social control group), and a control group that did not receive any intervention. Training sessions took place twice a week for 90 min for a period of 4 months. The results showed a greater improvement of performance for attendants of the cognitive training group compared to the other groups. This improvement was evident in a reduction of mixing costs in accuracy and intraindividual variability of speed, indexing improved maintenance of multiple task sets in working memory, and an enhanced coherence of neuronal processing. These findings were supported by event-related brain potentials which showed higher amplitudes in a number of potentials associated with response selection (N2), allocation of cognitive resources (P3b), and error detection (Ne). Taken together, our findings suggest neurocognitive plasticity of aging brains which can be stimulated by broad and multilayered cognitive training and assessed in detail by electrophysiological methods. PMID:22593740

  15. Student Performance on Argumentation Task in the Swedish National Assessment in Science

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jönsson, Anders

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this study is to investigate the influence of content knowledge on students' socio-scientific argumentation in the Swedish National Assessment in biology, chemistry and physics for 12-year-olds. In Sweden, the assessment of socio-scientific argumentation has been a major part of the National Assessment during three consecutive years and…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2016-01-01

    Understanding sources of performance bias in science assessment provides important insights into whether science curricula and/or assessments are valid representations of student abilities. Research investigating assessment bias due to factors such as instrument structure, participant characteristics, and item types are well documented across a…

  17. Electric Vehicle Preparedness: Task 1, Assessment of Fleet Inventory for Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune

    SciTech Connect

    Schey, Stephen; Francfort, Jim

    2015-01-01

    Several U.S. Department of Defense-based studies were conducted to identify potential U.S. Department of Defense transportation systems that are strong candidates for introduction or expansion of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs). Task 1 included a survey of the inventory of non-tactical fleet vehicles at the Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune (MCBCL) to characterize the fleet. This information and characterization will be used to select vehicles for monitoring that takes place during Task 2. This monitoring involves data logging of vehicle operation in order to identify the vehicle’s mission and travel requirements. Individual observations of these selected vehicles provide the basis for recommendations related to PEV adoption. It also identifies whether a battery electric vehicle or plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (collectively referred to as PEVs) can fulfill the mission requirements and provides observations related to placement of PEV charging infrastructure.

  18. Global Assessment of Hydrogen Technologies – Task 6 Report Promoting a Southeast Hydrogen Consortium

    SciTech Connect

    Fouad, Fouad H.; Peters, Robert W.; Sisiopiku, Virginia P.; Sullivan Andrew J.

    2007-12-01

    The purpose of this project task was to establish a technical consortium to promote the deployment of hydrogen technologies and infrastructure in the Southeast. The goal was to partner with fuel cell manufacturers, hydrogen fuel infrastructure providers, electric utilities, energy service companies, research institutions, and user groups to improve education and awareness of hydrogen technologies in an area that is lagging behind other parts of the country in terms of vehicle and infrastructure demonstrations and deployments. This report documents that effort.

  19. Assessing rodent hippocampal involvement in the novel object recognition task. A review.

    PubMed

    Cohen, Sarah J; Stackman, Robert W

    2015-05-15

    The novel object recognition (NOR) task has emerged as a popular method for testing the neurobiology of nonspatial memory in rodents. This task exploits the natural tendency of rodents to explore novel items and depending on the amount of time that rodents spend exploring the presented objects, inferences about memory can be established. Despite its wide use, the underlying neural circuitry and mechanisms supporting NOR have not been clearly defined. In particular, considerable debate has focused on whether the hippocampus plays a significant role in the object memory that is encoded, consolidated and then retrieved during discrete stages of the NOR task. Here we analyzed the results of all published reports in which the role of the rodent hippocampus in object memory was inferred from performance in the task with restricted parameters. We note that the remarkable variability in NOR methods across studies complicates the ability to draw meaningful conclusions from the work. Focusing on 12 reports in which a minimum criterion of sample session object exploration was imposed, we find that temporary or permanent lesion of the hippocampus consistently disrupts object memory when a delay of 10 min or greater is imposed between the sample and test sessions. We discuss the significance of a delay-dependent role of the hippocampus in NOR within the framework of the medial temporal lobe. We assert that standardization of the NOR protocol is essential for obtaining reliable data that can then be compared across studies to build consensus as to the specific contribution of the rodent hippocampus to object memory.

  20. Assessing Neurophysiologic Markers for Training and Simulation to Develop Expertise in Complex Cognitive Tasks

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-09-01

    al. (1997) and Wickens, Bellenkes, et al. (1995) measured pilots scan during a 7-segment instrument flight rules ( IFR ) event conducted in a PC-based...interactive real time training system. Additionally the PC-based IFR task is a comparatively closed domain. During instrument flight, the interaction...original CTA and SME insights from previous studies (Beilstein, 2003; Kulakowski, 2004; Lennerton, 2004) experts would be expected to consistently

  1. Assessing inattention and impulsivity in children during the Go/NoGo task

    PubMed Central

    Bezdjian, Serena; Baker, Laura A.; Lozano, Dora Isabel; Raine, Adrian

    2009-01-01

    Behavioural performance in the Go/NoGo task was compared with caregiver and teacher reports of inattention and hyperactivity–impulsivity in 1,151 children (N = 557 boys; N = 594 girls) age 9–10 years old. Errors of commission (NoGo errors) were significantly correlated with symptom counts of hyperactivity–impulsivity, while errors of omission (Go errors) were significantly correlated with symptom counts for inattention in both caregiver and teacher reports. Cross-correlations were also evident, however, such that errors of commission were related to inattention symptoms, and errors of omission were related to hyperactivity–impulsivity. Moreover, hyperactivity–impulsivity and inattention symptoms were highly intercorrelated in both caregiver (r = .52) and teacher reports (r = .70), while errors of commission and omission were virtually uncorrelated in the Go/NoGo task (r = .06). The results highlight the difficulty in disentangling hyperactivity–impulsivity and inattention in questionnaires, and suggest that these constructs may be more clearly distinguished in laboratory measures such as the Go/NoGo task. PMID:19812711

  2. Comparative assessment of handedness for a coordinated bimanual task in chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes), gorillas (Gorilla gorilla) and orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus).

    PubMed

    Hopkins, William D; Stoinski, Tara S; Lukas, Kristen E; Ross, Stephen R; Wesley, Michael J

    2003-09-01

    Hand preferences for a coordinated bimanual task were assessed in a sample of 31 captive gorillas (Gorilla gorilla) and 19 captive orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus) and were compared with chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) hand preferences in subjects that were matched on the basis of age, sex, and rearing history. The task required that the apes remove food from the inside edges of a symmetrical polyvinyl chloride pipe presented to them in their home cages. The results indicate significant species differences with chimpanzees showing population-level right-handedness and orangutans showing population-level left-handedness. The gorillas showed a nonsignificant trend toward right-handedness. The results are discussed in terms of possible ecological or biomechanical factors that may influence hand preferences in different ape species.

  3. Comparative Assessment of Handedness for a Coordinated Bimanual Task in Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes), Gorillas (Gorilla gorilla), and Orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus)

    PubMed Central

    Hopkins, William D.; Stoinski, Tara S.; Lukas, Kristen E.; Ross, Stephen R.; Wesley, Michael J.

    2007-01-01

    Hand preferences for a coordinated bimanual task were assessed in a sample of 31 captive gorillas (Gorilla gorilla) and 19 captive orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus) and were compared with chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) hand preferences in subjects that were matched on the basis of age, sex, and rearing history. The task required that the apes remove food from the inside edges of a symmetrical polyvinyl chloride pipe presented to them in their home cages. The results indicate significant species differences with chimpanzees showing population-level right-handedness and orangutans showing population-level left-handedness. The gorillas showed a nonsignificant trend toward right-handedness. The results are discussed in terms of possible ecological or biomechanical factors that may influence hand preferences in different ape species. PMID:14498806

  4. Changing Assessment Practices of Teaching Candidates and Variables That Facilitate That Change

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kaden, Ute; Patterson, Philip P.

    2014-01-01

    This mixed-methods study explores changes over time in assessment strategies and identifies variables that facilitate that change by examining assessment practices of 11 teacher candidates enrolled in a one-year postbaccalaureate teacher education program that prepares for teaching in rural and urban settings of Alaska. Analyzing multiple data…

  5. Assessing the effects of caffeine and theanine on the maintenance of vigilance during a sustained attention task.

    PubMed

    Foxe, John J; Morie, Kristen P; Laud, Peter J; Rowson, Matthew J; de Bruin, Eveline A; Kelly, Simon P

    2012-06-01

    Caffeine and L-theanine, both naturally occurring in tea, affect the ability to make rapid phasic deployments of attention to locations in space as reflected in behavioural performance and alpha-band oscillatory brain activity (8-14 Hz). However, surprisingly little is known about how these compounds affect an aspect of attention that has been more popularly associated with tea, namely vigilant attention: the ability to maintain focus on monotonous tasks over protracted time-periods. Twenty-seven participants performed the Sustained Attention to Response Task (SART) over a two-hour session on each of four days, on which they were administered caffeine (50 mg), theanine (100 mg), the combination, or placebo in a double-blind, randomized, cross-over fashion. Concurrently, we recorded oscillatory brain activity through high-density electroencephalography (EEG). We asked whether either compound alone, or both in combination, would affect performance of the task in terms of reduced error rates over time, and whether changes in alpha-band activity would show a relationship to such changes in performance. When treated with placebo, participants showed a rise in error rates, a pattern that is commonly observed with increasing time-on-task, whereas after caffeine and theanine ingestion, error rates were significantly reduced. The combined treatment did not confer any additional benefits over either compound alone, suggesting that the individual compounds may confer maximal benefits at the dosages employed. Alpha-band oscillatory activity was significantly reduced on ingestion of caffeine, particularly in the first hour. This effect was not changed by addition of theanine in the combined treatment. Theanine alone did not affect alpha-band activity.

  6. Task based exposure assessment in ergonomic epidemiology: a study of upper arm elevation in the jobs of machinists, car mechanics, and house painters

    PubMed Central

    Svendsen, S; Mathiassen, S; Bonde, J

    2005-01-01

    Aims: To explore the precision of task based estimates of upper arm elevation in three occupational groups, compared to direct measurements of job exposure. Methods: Male machinists (n = 26), car mechanics (n = 23), and house painters (n = 23) were studied. Whole day recordings of upper arm elevation were obtained for four consecutive working days, and associated task information was collected in diaries. For each individual, task based estimates of job exposure were calculated by weighting task exposures from a collective database by task proportions according to the diaries. These estimates were validated against directly measured job exposures using linear regression. The performance of the task based approach was expressed through the gain in precision of occupational group mean exposures that could be obtained by adding subjects with task based estimates to a group of subjects with measured job exposures in a "validation" design. Results: In all three occupations, tasks differed in mean exposure, and task proportions varied between individuals. Task based estimation proved inefficient, with squared correlation coefficients only occasionally exceeding 0.2 for the relation between task based and measured job exposures. Consequently, it was not possible to substantially improve the precision of an estimated group mean by including subjects whose job exposures were based on task information. Conclusions: Task based estimates of mechanical job exposure can be very imprecise, and only marginally better than estimates based on occupation. It is recommended that investigators in ergonomic epidemiology consider the prospects of task based exposure assessment carefully before placing resources at obtaining task information. Strategies disregarding tasks may be preferable in many cases. PMID:15613604

  7. Ecological risk assessment in the context of global climate change.

    PubMed

    Landis, Wayne G; Durda, Judi L; Brooks, Marjorie L; Chapman, Peter M; Menzie, Charles A; Stahl, Ralph G; Stauber, Jennifer L

    2013-01-01

    Changes to sources, stressors, habitats, and geographic ranges; toxicological effects; end points; and uncertainty estimation require significant changes in the implementation of ecological risk assessment (ERA). Because of the lack of analog systems and circumstances in historically studied sites, there is a likelihood of type III error. As a first step, the authors propose a decision key to aid managers and risk assessors in determining when and to what extent climate change should be incorporated. Next, when global climate change is an important factor, the authors recommend seven critical changes to ERA. First, develop conceptual cause-effect diagrams that consider relevant management decisions as well as appropriate spatial and temporal scales to include both direct and indirect effects of climate change and the stressor of management interest. Second, develop assessment end points that are expressed as ecosystem services. Third, evaluate multiple stressors and nonlinear responses-include the chemicals and the stressors related to climate change. Fourth, estimate how climate change will affect or modify management options as the impacts become manifest. Fifth, consider the direction and rate of change relative to management objectives, recognizing that both positive and negative outcomes can occur. Sixth, determine the major drivers of uncertainty, estimating and bounding stochastic uncertainty spatially, temporally, and progressively. Seventh, plan for adaptive management to account for changing environmental conditions and consequent changes to ecosystem services. Good communication is essential for making risk-related information understandable and useful for managers and stakeholders to implement a successful risk-assessment and decision-making process.

  8. The functional connectivity of semantic task changes in the recovery from stroke aphasia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lu, Jie; Wu, Xia; Yao, Li; Li, Kun-Cheng; Shu, Hua; Dong, Qi

    2007-03-01

    Little is known about the difference of functional connectivity of semantic task between the recovery aphasic patients and normal subject. In this paper, an fMRI experiment was performed in a patient with aphasia following a left-sided ischemic lesion and normal subject. Picture naming was used as semantic activation task in this study. We compared the preliminary functional connectivity results of the recovery aphasic patient with the normal subject. The fMRI data were separated by independent component analysis (ICA) into 90 components. According to our experience and other papers, we chose a region of interest (ROI) of semantic (x=-57, y=15, z=8, r=11mm). From the 90 components, we chose one component as the functional connectivity of the semantic ROI according to one criterion. The criterion is the mean value of the voxels in the ROI. So the component of the highest mean value of the ROI is the functional connectivity of the ROI. The voxel with its value higher than 2.4 was thought as activated (p<0.05). And the functional connectivity networks of the normal subjects were t-tested as group network. From the result, we can know the semantic functional connectivity of stroke aphasic patient and normal subjects are different. The activated areas of the left inferior frontal gyrus and inferior/middle temporal gyrus are larger than the ones of normal. The activated area of the right inferior frontal gyrus is smaller than the ones of normal. The functional connectivity of stroke aphasic patient under semantic condition is different with the normal one. The focus of the stroke aphasic patient can affect the functional connectivity.

  9. GLOBAL CHANGE RESEARCH NEWS #5: HEALTH SECTOR ASSESSMENT

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Health Sector Assessment is one of the three levels of the assessment process that is intended to answer four questions: (1) What is the current status of the nation's health, and what are current stresses on our health? (2) How might climate change affect the country's healt...

  10. Managing Change-Engaging Faculty in Assessment Opportunities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Andrade, Maureen Snow

    2011-01-01

    Regional accrediting bodies require evidence that higher education institutions are meeting their stated goals. Institutions have answered this call for accountability by assessing student learning. Managing change in order to implement assessment practices is a challenge, however, particularly when autonomy, academic freedom, and shared…

  11. Assessment of climate change impact on Eastern Washington agriculture

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    An assessment of the potential impact of climate change and the concurrent increase of atmospheric CO2 concentration on eastern Washington State agriculture was conducted. Climate projections from four selected general circulation models (GCM) were chosen, and the assessment included the crops with ...

  12. Student-selected components in the undergraduate medical curriculum: a multi-institutional consensus on assessable key tasks.

    PubMed

    Stark, Patsy; Ellershaw, John; Newble, David; Perry, Mark; Robinson, Louise; Smith, John; Whittle, Sue; Murdoch-Eaton, Deborah

    2005-12-01

    This paper describes further progress by the Northern Universities SSC Consortium in achieving consensus on the contribution of the Student Selected Components (SSCs) to undergraduate medical courses. Following the identification of common purposes and outcomes, the group has matched these to assessable key tasks which students may undertake in order to demonstrate competence on a range of attributes not normally fully assessed in the core curriculum. In some schools, SSCs may be the predominant route through which students gain exposure to research methods and reflective practice. In addition to opportunities to acquire knowledge and skills outside the core curriculum, SSCs can contribute towards enhancement of core skills. SSCs may also contribute to the overall longitudinal assessment of personal and professional development. The potential role of portfolios in maximizing student learning from SSCs is discussed, and future areas for development identified.

  13. Task-dependent modification of leg motor neuron synaptic input underlying changes in walking direction and walking speed.

    PubMed

    Rosenbaum, Philipp; Schmitz, Josef; Schmidt, Joachim; Büschges, Ansgar

    2015-08-01

    Animals modify their behavior constantly to perform adequately in their environment. In terrestrial locomotion many forms of adaptation exist. Two tasks are changes of walking direction and walking speed. We investigated these two changes in motor output in the stick insect Cuniculina impigra to see how they are brought about at the level of leg motor neurons. We used a semi-intact preparation in which we can record intracellularly from leg motor neurons during walking. In this single-leg preparation the middle leg of the animal steps in a vertical plane on a treadwheel. Stimulation of either abdomen or head reliably elicits fictive forward or backward motor activity, respectively, in the fixed and otherwise deafferented thorax-coxa joint. With a change of walking direction only thorax-coxa-joint motor neurons protractor and retractor changed their activity. The protractor switched from swing activity during forward to stance activity during backward walking, and the retractor from stance to swing. This phase switch was due to corresponding change of phasic synaptic inputs from inhibitory to excitatory and vice versa at specific phases of the step cycle. In addition to phasic synaptic input a tonic depolarization of the motor neurons was present. Analysis of changes in stepping velocity during stance showed only a significant correlation to flexor motor neuron activity, but not to that of retractor and depressor motor neurons during forward walking. These results show that different tasks in the stick insect walking system are generated by altering synaptic inputs to specific leg joint motor neurons only.

  14. Task-dependent modification of leg motor neuron synaptic input underlying changes in walking direction and walking speed

    PubMed Central

    Rosenbaum, Philipp; Schmitz, Josef; Schmidt, Joachim

    2015-01-01

    Animals modify their behavior constantly to perform adequately in their environment. In terrestrial locomotion many forms of adaptation exist. Two tasks are changes of walking direction and walking speed. We investigated these two changes in motor output in the stick insect Cuniculina impigra to see how they are brought about at the level of leg motor neurons. We used a semi-intact preparation in which we can record intracellularly from leg motor neurons during walking. In this single-leg preparation the middle leg of the animal steps in a vertical plane on a treadwheel. Stimulation of either abdomen or head reliably elicits fictive forward or backward motor activity, respectively, in the fixed and otherwise deafferented thorax-coxa joint. With a change of walking direction only thorax-coxa-joint motor neurons protractor and retractor changed their activity. The protractor switched from swing activity during forward to stance activity during backward walking, and the retractor from stance to swing. This phase switch was due to corresponding change of phasic synaptic inputs from inhibitory to excitatory and vice versa at specific phases of the step cycle. In addition to phasic synaptic input a tonic depolarization of the motor neurons was present. Analysis of changes in stepping velocity during stance showed only a significant correlation to flexor motor neuron activity, but not to that of retractor and depressor motor neurons during forward walking. These results show that different tasks in the stick insect walking system are generated by altering synaptic inputs to specific leg joint motor neurons only. PMID:26063769

  15. Changes in kinetics and kinematics of handwriting during a prolonged writing task in children with and without dysgraphia.

    PubMed

    Kushki, Azadeh; Schwellnus, Heidi; Ilyas, Faizah; Chau, Tom

    2011-01-01

    Handwriting difficulties or dysgraphia have a profound impact on children's psychosocial development, and yet, 10-30% of school-aged children are reported to experience difficulties mastering this skill. Several studies have examined the nature and biomechanical underpinnings of handwriting difficulties in children with and without dysgraphia. While the majority of these studies have considered short handwriting activities involving a sentence or a paragraph, handwriting quality and speed are reported to vary with the length of the writing task. Further, it is suggested that the biomechanics of handwriting also evolve over extended writing periods, and that these changes may be distinct between children with and without dysgraphia. The nature and specificity of these biomechanical alterations remain unknown. To address this knowledge gap, we examined changes in writing speed, grip forces on the pen barrel, and normal forces on the writing surface, over the course of a 10-min writing task, in a large cohort of 4th grade children with and without dysgraphia. Horizontal stroke speed, grip force and normal force increased over time while vertical stroke speed decreased in all children. These biomechanical changes may be attributable to physical and psychological fatigue and the corresponding compensatory processes invoked by the motor system.

  16. Climate Change Impact Assessments for International Market Systems (CLIMARK)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Winkler, J. A.; Andresen, J.; Black, J.; Bujdoso, G.; Chmielewski, F.; Kirschke, D.; Kurlus, R.; Liszewska, M.; Loveridge, S.; Niedzwiedz, T.; Nizalov, D.; Rothwell, N.; Tan, P.; Ustrnul, Z.; von Witzke, H.; Zavalloni, C.; Zhao, J.; Zhong, S.

    2012-12-01

    The vast majority of climate change impact assessments evaluate how local or regional systems and processes may be affected by a future climate. Alternative strategies that extend beyond the local or regional scale are needed when assessing the potential impacts of climate change on international market systems, including agricultural commodities. These industries have multiple production regions that are distributed worldwide and are likely to be differentially impacted by climate change. Furthermore, for many industries and market systems, especially those with long-term climate-dependent investments, temporal dynamics need to be incorporated into the assessment process, including changing patterns of international trade, consumption and production, and evolving adaptation strategies by industry stakeholder groups. A framework for conducting climate change assessments for international market systems, developed as part of the CLIMARK (Climate Change and International Markets) project is outlined, and progress toward applying the framework for an impact assessment for the international tart cherry industry is described. The tart cherry industry was selected for analysis in part because tart cherries are a perennial crop requiring long-term investments by the producer. Components of the project include the preparation of fine resolution climate scenarios, evaluation of phenological models for diverse production regions, the development of a yield model for tart cherry production, new methods for incorporating individual decision making and adaptation options into impact assessments, and modification of international trade models for use in impact studies. Innovative aspects of the project include linkages between model components and evaluation of the mega-uncertainty surrounding the assessment outcomes. Incorporation of spatial and temporal dynamics provides a more comprehensive evaluation of climate change impacts and an assessment product of potentially greater

  17. The role of negative priming in preschoolers' flexible rule use on the dimensional change card sort task.

    PubMed

    Müller, Ulrich; Dick, Anthony Steven; Gela, Katherine; Overton, Willis F; Zelazo, Philip David

    2006-01-01

    Four experiments examined the development of negative priming (NP) in 3-5-year-old children using as a measure of children's executive function (EF) the dimensional change card sort (DCCS) task. In the NP version of the DCCS, the values of the sorting dimension that is relevant during the preswitch phase are removed during the postswitch phase. The experiments showed that the NP effect observed in the DCCS decreased during the preschool years, and they clarified the circumstances in which NP occurs. Taken together, the findings suggest that the development of EF in early childhood consists in part in disinhibiting attention to information that has previously been suppressed.

  18. Potential predictors of changes in gross motor function during various tasks for children with cerebral palsy: a follow-up study.

    PubMed

    Chen, Chia-ling; Chen, Chung-yao; Chen, Hsieh-ching; Liu, Wen-yu; Shen, I-hsuan; Lin, Keh-chung

    2013-01-01

    Very few studies have investigated predictors of change in various gross motor outcomes in ambulatory children with cerebral palsy (CP). The aim of this study was to identify potential predictors for change in gross motor outcomes measured during various tasks in children with CP. A group of 45 children (age, 6-15 years) with CP and 7 potential predictors were identified, including age, gender, CP subtypes, gross motor function classification system (GMFCS) levels, abdominal muscle endurance, and muscles strength of knee extensor and knee flexor measured by isokinetic dynanometer. Motor outcome was assessed by means of the gross motor composite (GMC) of Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency (BOTMP), including four gross motor subtests: running speed and agility (RSA), balance (BAL), bilateral coordination (BCO), and strength (STR). The outcomes were measured at baseline and 12-week later (follow-up). The regression analyses showed that knee extensor strength was a robust predictor of change in BAL, BCO, and GMC (adjusted R(2) = 0.07-0.19, P<0.05). Additionally, abdominal muscle strength was a negative predictor for the changes in the RSA (adjusted R(2) = 0.08, P<0.05). However, STR model revealed no significant predictors. These findings suggest that ambulatory children with greater knee muscle strength may benefit more from therapy than those with lower strength. The knee muscle strength can be used as a biomarker to predict the changes in the gross motor functions.

  19. A Novel Device for Grasping Assessment during Functional Tasks: Preliminary Results

    PubMed Central

    Rocha, Ana Carolinne Portela; Tudella, Eloisa; Pedro, Leonardo M.; Appel, Viviane Cristina Roma; da Silva, Louise Gracelli Pereira; Caurin, Glauco Augusto de Paula

    2016-01-01

    This paper presents a methodology and first results obtained in a study with a novel device that allows the analysis of grasping quality. Such a device is able to acquire motion information of upper limbs allowing kinetic of manipulation analysis as well. A pilot experiment was carried out with six groups of typically developing children aged between 5 and 10 years, with seven to eight children in each one. The device, designed to emulate a glass, has an optical system composed by one digital camera and a special convex mirror that together allow image acquisition of grasping hand posture when it is grasped and manipulated. It also carries an Inertial Measurement Unit that captures motion data as acceleration, orientation, and angular velocities. The novel instrumented object is used in our approach to evaluate functional tasks performance in quantitative terms. During tests, each child was invited to grasp the cylindrical part of the device that was placed on the top of a table, simulating the task of drinking a glass of water. In the sequence, the child was oriented to transport the device back to the starting position and release it. The task was repeated three times for each child. A grasping hand posture evaluation is presented as an example to evaluate grasping quality. Additionally, motion patterns obtained with the trials performed with the different groups are presented and discussed. This device is attractive due to its portable characteristics, the small size, and its ability to evaluate grasping form. The results may be also useful to analyze the evolution of the rehabilitation process through reach-to-grasping movement and the grasping images analysis. PMID:26942178

  20. Task-based assessment of occupational vibration and noise exposures in forestry workers.

    PubMed

    Neitzel, Richard; Yost, Michael

    2002-01-01

    Forty-two noise exposures and 164 whole-body (WBV) and hand-arm (HAV) vibration exposures were collected from 43 forestry workers in six trades employed by two forestry companies. Data were collected on 10 days over 8 weeks during various felling, logging, and log handling operations. Up to 5 volunteers were monitored for noise and vibration daily using datalogging noise dosimeters, which provided daily time-weighted averages (TWAs) and 1-min averages; and a precision sound level meter equipped to measure human vibration, which provided triaxial HAV and WBV event-weighted averages (AEQS). Workers completed a short questionnaire throughout the workday detailing the timing and number of tasks performed and equipment used. Substantial overexposures to noise and vibration were seen; for example, 60% of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) TWAs and 83% of National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) noise TWAs exceeded 85 dBA, 33-53% of the axis-specific HAV AEQS exceeded the 8-hour American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists' HAV threshold limit value, and 34% of all summary weighted WBV AEQS exceeded the Commission of the European Communities' 8-hour exposure limit. The mean for 99 WBV summary weighted AEQ was 3.53 +/- 7.12 m/sec2, whereas the mean for 65 HAV summary weighted AEQ was 5.45 +/- 5.25 m/sec2. The mean OSHA TWA was 86.1 +/- 6.2 dBA, whereas the mean NIOSH TWA was 90.2 +/- 5.1 dBA. The task and tool with the highest exposure levels were unbelling chokers on landings and chain saws (noise), log processing and frontend loaders (WBV), and notching stumps and chain saws (HAV). An internal validation substudy indicated excellent agreement between worker-reported and researcher-documented tasks and tools.

  1. ASSESSING ACCURACY OF NET CHANGE DERIVED FROM LAND COVER MAPS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Net change derived from land-cover maps provides important descriptive information for environmental monitoring and is often used as an input or explanatory variable in environmental models. The sampling design and analysis for assessing net change accuracy differ from traditio...

  2. Post-stroke aphasia recovery assessed with fMRI and a picture identification task

    PubMed Central

    Szaflarski, Jerzy P.; Eaton, Kenneth; Ball, Angel L.; Banks, Christi; Vannest, Jennifer; Allendorfer, Jane B.; Page, Stephen; Holland, Scott K.

    2010-01-01

    Background Stroke patients often display deficits in language function such as correctly naming objects. Our aim was to evaluate the reliability and the patterns of post-stroke language recovery using a picture identification task during fMRI at 4T. Material and Methods 4 healthy and 4 left MCA stroke subjects with chronic (>1 year) aphasia. Ten fMRI scans were performed for each subject over a 10-week period using a picture identification task. Active condition involved presenting subjects with a panel of 4 figures (e.g., drawings of 4 animals) every 6 seconds; subjects indicated which figure matched the written name in the center. Control condition was same/different judgment task of pairs of geometric figures (squares, octagons or combination) presented every 6 seconds. Thirty-second active/control blocks were repeated 5 times each; responses were recorded. Results Patients and controls exhibited similar demographic characteristics: age (46 vs. 53 years), personal handedness (EHI; 89 vs. 95), familial handedness (93 vs. 95) or years of education (14.3 vs. 14.8). For the active condition, controls performed better than patients (97.7% vs. 89.1%, p<0.001); performance was similar for the control condition (99.5% vs. 98.8%, p=0.23). During fMRI, controls exhibited bilateral, L>R positive blood oxygenation-level dependent (BOLD) activations in frontal and temporal language areas and symmetric retro-splenial and posterior cingulate areas and symmetric negative BOLD activations in bilateral fronto-temporal language networks. However, the patient group showed positive BOLD activations predominantly in peri-stroke areas and negative BOLD activations in the unaffected (right) hemisphere. Both the control and patient groups displayed high activation reliability (as measured by the ICC) in left frontal and temporal language areas, although the ICC in frontal regions of the patients was spread over a much larger peri-stroke area. Conclusion This study documents the utility

  3. Functional near-infrared spectroscopy for the assessment of speech related tasks.

    PubMed

    Dieler, A C; Tupak, S V; Fallgatter, A J

    2012-05-01

    Over the past years functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) has substantially contributed to the understanding of language and its neural correlates. In contrast to other imaging techniques, fNIRS is well suited to study language function in healthy and psychiatric populations due to its cheap and easy application in a quiet and natural measurement setting. Its relative insensitivity for motion artifacts allows the use of overt speech tasks and the investigation of verbal conversation. The present review focuses on the numerous contributions of fNIRS to the field of language, its development, and related psychiatric disorders but also on its limitations and chances for the future.

  4. Neural correlate of vernier acuity tasks assessed by functional MRI (FMRI).

    PubMed

    Sheth, Kevin N; Walker, B Michael; Modestino, Edward J; Miki, Atsushi; Terhune, Kyla P; Francis, Ellie L; Haselgrove, John C; Liu, Grant T

    2007-01-01

    Vernier acuity refers to the ability to discern a small offset within a line. However, while Vernier acuity has been extensively studied psychophysically, its neural correlates are uncertain. Based upon previous psychophysical and electrophysiologic data, we hypothesized that extrastriate areas of the brain would be involved in Vernier acuity tasks, so we designed event-related functional MRI (fMRI) paradigms to identify cortical regions of the brain involved in this behavior. Normal subjects identified suprathreshold and subthreshold Vernier offsets. The results suggest a cortical network including frontal, parietal, occipital, and cerebellar regions subserves the observation, processing, interpretation, and acknowledgment of briefly presented Vernier offsets.

  5. Incorporating climate change into ecosystem service assessments and decisions: a review.

    PubMed

    Runting, Rebecca K; Bryan, Brett A; Dee, Laura E; Maseyk, Fleur J F; Mandle, Lisa; Hamel, Perrine; Wilson, Kerrie A; Yetka, Kathleen; Possingham, Hugh P; Rhodes, Jonathan R

    2017-01-01

    Climate change is having a significant impact on ecosystem services and is likely to become increasingly important as this phenomenon intensifies. Future impacts can be difficult to assess as they often involve long timescales, dynamic systems with high uncertainties, and are typically confounded by other drivers of change. Despite a growing literature on climate change impacts on ecosystem services, no quantitative syntheses exist. Hence, we lack an overarching understanding of the impacts of climate change, how they are being assessed, and the extent to which other drivers, uncertainties, and decision making are incorporated. To address this, we systematically reviewed the peer-reviewed literature that assesses climate change impacts on ecosystem services at subglobal scales. We found that the impact of climate change on most types of services was predominantly negative (59% negative, 24% mixed, 4% neutral, 13% positive), but varied across services, drivers, and assessment methods. Although uncertainty was usually incorporated, there were substantial gaps in the sources of uncertainty included, along with the methods used to incorporate them. We found that relatively few studies integrated decision making, and even fewer studies aimed to identify solutions that were robust to uncertainty. For management or policy to ensure the delivery of ecosystem services, integrated approaches that incorporate multiple drivers of change and account for multiple sources of uncertainty are needed. This is undoubtedly a challenging task, but ignoring these complexities can result in misleading assessments of the impacts of climate change, suboptimal management outcomes, and the inefficient allocation of resources for climate adaptation.

  6. Changes in Plantar Loading Based on Shoe Type and Sex During a Jump-Landing Task

    PubMed Central

    DeBiasio, Justin C.; Russell, Mary E.; Butler, Robert J.; Nunley, James A.; Queen, Robin M.

    2013-01-01

    Context: Metatarsal stress fractures are common in cleated-sport athletes. Previous authors have shown that plantar loading varies with footwear, sex, and the athletic task. Objective: To examine the effects of shoe type and sex on plantar loading in the medial midfoot (MMF), lateral midfoot (LMF), medial forefoot (MFF), middle forefoot (MidFF), and lateral forefoot (LFF) during a jump-landing task. Design: Crossover study. Setting: Laboratory. Patients or Other Participants: Twenty-seven recreational athletes (14 men, 13 women) with no history of lower extremity injury in the last 6 months and no history of foot or ankle surgery. Main Outcome Measure(s): The athletes completed 7 jumping trials while wearing bladed-cleat, turf-cleat, and running shoes. Maximum force, contact area, contact time, and the force-time integral were analyzed in each foot region. We calculated 2 × 3 analyses of variance (α = .05) to identify shoe-condition and sex differences. Results: We found no shoe × sex interactions, but the MMF, LMF, MFF, and LFF force-time integrals were greater in men (P < .03). The MMF maximum force was less with the bladed-cleat shoes (P = .02). Total foot and MidFF maximum force was less with the running shoes (P < .01). The MFF and LFF maximum forces were different among all shoe conditions (P < .01). Total foot contact area was less in the bladed-cleat shoes (P = .01). The MMF contact area was greatest in the running shoes (P < .01). The LFF contact area was less in the running shoes (P = .03). The MFF and LFF force-time integrals were greater with the bladed-cleat shoes (P < .01). The MidFF force-time integral was less in the running shoes (P < .01). Conclusions: Independent of shoe, men and women loaded the foot differently during a jump landing. The bladed cleat increased forefoot loading, which may increase the risk for forefoot injury. The type of shoe should be considered when choosing footwear for athletes returning to activity after metatarsal

  7. Methods for Predicting Job-Ability Requirements: I. Ability Requirements as a Function of Changes in the Characteristics of an Auditory Signal Identification Task.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wheaton, George R.; And Others

    The relationship between variations in an auditory signal identification task and consequent changes in the abilities related to identification performance was investigated. Characteristics of the signal identification task were manipulated by varying signal duration and signal-to-noise ratio. Subjects received a battery of reference ability tests…

  8. Combining the Tasks of Grading Individual Assignments and Assessing Student Outcomes in Project-Based Courses

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dahm, Kevin

    2014-01-01

    ABET requires that engineering programs demonstrate continuous assessment and continuous improvement in order to be accredited. Central to the process is establishing and assessing measurable "student outcomes" that reflect whether the goals and objectives of the program are being met. This paper examines effective strategies for…

  9. A Nonverbal Phoneme Deletion Task Administered in a Dynamic Assessment Format

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gillam, Sandra Laing; Fargo, Jamison; Foley, Beth; Olszewski, Abbie

    2011-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of the project was to design a nonverbal dynamic assessment of phoneme deletion that may prove useful with individuals who demonstrate complex communication needs (CCN) and are unable to communicate using natural speech or who present with moderate-severe speech impairments. Method: A nonverbal dynamic assessment of phoneme…

  10. Integrating Scaffolding Strategies into Technology-Enhanced Assessments of English Learners: Task Types and Measurement Models

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wolf, Mikyung Kim; Guzman-Orth, Danielle; Lopez, Alexis; Castellano, Katherine; Himelfarb, Igor; Tsutagawa, Fred S.

    2016-01-01

    This article investigates ways to improve the assessment of English learner students' English language proficiency given the current movement of creating next-generation English language proficiency assessments in the Common Core era. In particular, this article discusses the integration of scaffolding strategies, which are prevalently utilized as…

  11. Assessment of Learning Strategies: Self-Report Questionnaire or Learning Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kikas, Eve; Jõgi, Anna-Liisa

    2016-01-01

    Two types of assessment instruments were developed to assess middle school students' learning strategies, and their effectiveness in predicting various learning outcomes was examined. The participants were 565 middle school students. Three subscales (rehearsal, organization, elaboration) from the "Motivated Strategies for Learning…

  12. Developing an Adaptive Tool to Select, Plan, and Scaffold Oral Assessment Tasks for Undergraduate Courses

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Demmans Epp, Carrie; Park, Gina; Plumb, Christopher

    2015-01-01

    The increased linguistic and cultural diversity of undergraduate classrooms at English language institutions has imposed additional pedagogical and assessment challenges on instructors, many of whom lack the knowledge necessary to design classroom activities and assessments that are fair to all students regardless of students' background and…

  13. Performance Assessments in Science: Hands-On Tasks and Scoring Guides.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stecher, Brian M.; Klein, Stephen P.

    In 1992, RAND received a grant from the National Science Foundation to study the technical quality of performance assessments in science and to evaluate their feasibility for use in large-scale testing programs. The specific goals of the project were to assess the reliability and validity of hands-on science testing and to investigate the cost and…

  14. Dynamic Testing with Tangible Electronics: Measuring Children's Change in Strategy Use with a Series Completion Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Resing, Wilma C. M.; Elliott, Julian G.

    2011-01-01

    Aims: This study sought to explore the use of a novel approach that incorporates dynamic testing and tangible electronics in the assessment of children's learning potential and strategy use. Sample: A total of 77 children with a mean age 8.9 years participated in the study; half of them were dynamically tested using graduate prompt techniques; the…

  15. Using Work Samples from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) to Design Tasks That Assess Statistical Knowledge for Teaching

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Groth, Randall E.

    2014-01-01

    Statistics courses for prospective teachers are being developed in response to recent K-12 curriculum recommendations. As these courses are developed, it is important to design accompanying assessments. This manuscript describes a strategy for assessing aspects of statistical knowledge for teaching. The strategy involves analyzing and responding…

  16. Using the Biology Card Sorting Task to Measure Changes in Conceptual Expertise during Postsecondary Biology Education

    PubMed Central

    Bissonnette, Sarah A.; Combs, Elijah D.; Nagami, Paul H.; Byers, Victor; Fernandez, Juliana; Le, Dinh; Realin, Jared; Woodham, Selina; Smith, Julia I.; Tanner, Kimberly D.

    2017-01-01

    While there have been concerted efforts to reform undergraduate biology toward teaching students to organize their conceptual knowledge like experts, there are few tools that attempt to measure this. We previously developed the Biology Card Sorting Task (BCST), designed to probe how individuals organize their conceptual biological knowledge. Previous results showed the BCST could differentiate between different populations, namely non–biology majors (NBM) and biology faculty (BF). In this study, we administered the BCST to three additional populations, using a cross-sectional design: entering biology majors (EBM), advanced biology majors (ABM), and biology graduate students (BGS). Intriguingly, ABM did not initially sort like experts any more frequently than EBM. However, once the deep-feature framework was revealed, ABM were able to sort like experts more readily than did EBM. These results are consistent with the conclusion that biology education enables advanced biology students to use an expert-like conceptual framework. However, these results are also consistent with a process of “selection,” wherein students who persist in the major may have already had an expert-like conceptual framework to begin with. These results demonstrate the utility of the BCST in measuring differences between groups of students over the course of their undergraduate education. PMID:28213584

  17. Using the Biology Card Sorting Task to Measure Changes in Conceptual Expertise during Postsecondary Biology Education.

    PubMed

    Bissonnette, Sarah A; Combs, Elijah D; Nagami, Paul H; Byers, Victor; Fernandez, Juliana; Le, Dinh; Realin, Jared; Woodham, Selina; Smith, Julia I; Tanner, Kimberly D

    2017-01-01

    While there have been concerted efforts to reform undergraduate biology toward teaching students to organize their conceptual knowledge like experts, there are few tools that attempt to measure this. We previously developed the Biology Card Sorting Task (BCST), designed to probe how individuals organize their conceptual biological knowledge. Previous results showed the BCST could differentiate between different populations, namely non-biology majors (NBM) and biology faculty (BF). In this study, we administered the BCST to three additional populations, using a cross-sectional design: entering biology majors (EBM), advanced biology majors (ABM), and biology graduate students (BGS). Intriguingly, ABM did not initially sort like experts any more frequently than EBM. However, once the deep-feature framework was revealed, ABM were able to sort like experts more readily than did EBM. These results are consistent with the conclusion that biology education enables advanced biology students to use an expert-like conceptual framework. However, these results are also consistent with a process of "selection," wherein students who persist in the major may have already had an expert-like conceptual framework to begin with. These results demonstrate the utility of the BCST in measuring differences between groups of students over the course of their undergraduate education.

  18. A field evaluation method for assessing whole body biomechanical joint stress in manual lifting tasks.

    PubMed

    Lin, Chiuhsiang J; Wang, Shun J; Chen, Hung J

    2006-10-01

    Work-related musculoskeletal injuries are often associated with overexertion of the body at work. The manual materials handling activity of lifting is a major source of work-related musculoskeletal disorders. Biomechanical evaluation offers useful information about the physical stress imposed on the worker's body joints; however, biomechanical analysis is usually tedious and complex. For evaluation purpose, the biomechanical method needs to be easy to apply in a field environment. Manual lifting occurs as one of the most common manual materials handling tasks in the workplace. A biomechanical evaluation method was developed based on the ratio of joint moment to joint capacity. The method was applied to evaluate the physical stress of manual lifting in truck loading jobs using a nine-link whole body joint model. Thirty eight industrial tasks were evaluated using the developed joint moment ratio. The moment ratio was compared with subjectively rated body discomfort, overall workload, and the NIOSH lifting index. The moment ratio was found to have a high correlation with the NIOSH lifting index. The biomechanical method can be used with relatively simple equipment and procedure which may be suitable for on-site ergonomic evaluation.

  19. Measuring vigilance while assessing the functioning of the three attentional networks: the ANTI-Vigilance task.

    PubMed

    Roca, Javier; Castro, Cándida; López-Ramón, María Fernanda; Lupiáñez, Juan

    2011-06-15

    Vigilance could be a crucial aspect of attention that may modulate the functioning of the attentional system. Some behavioural tests, such as the Attention Network Test (ANT), have been developed to obtain an individual index of the three attentional networks (alertness, orientation, and executive control). However, alerting network measures are usually inferred using a phasic alertness task, and some indirect indexes of tonic alertness or vigilance have been proposed but not properly evaluated. The general aim for the present study is to provide the ANT with a direct measure of vigilance and then to analyse the relationship between this measure and other alternative indirect indexes. The obtained results suggest that the proposed new test (ANTI-Vigilance or ANTI-V) is useful to achieve a direct measure of vigilance and could be considered as a new tool available in cognitive, clinical or behavioural neurosciences for analysing vigilance in addition to the usual ANT scores. Other alternative indexes (such as global reaction time and global accuracy averaged across conditions) are only moderately correlated to a direct vigilance measure. As a consequence, although they may be to some extent related to the participants' vigilance level, they could not be used isolatedly as appropriate indexes of vigilance. Also, the role played by these global measures in the ANT task, which have been previously associated with some performance measures in applied areas (such as driving performance), is discussed.

  20. U.S. Global Change Research Program National Climate Assessment Global Change Information System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tilmes, Curt

    2012-01-01

    The program: a) Coordinates Federal research to better understand and prepare the nation for global change. b) Priori4zes and supports cutting edge scientific work in global change. c) Assesses the state of scientific knowledge and the Nation s readiness to respond to global change. d) Communicates research findings to inform, educate, and engage the global community.