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Sample records for odour perception recognition

  1. Mammalian social odours: attraction and individual recognition

    PubMed Central

    Brennan, Peter A; Kendrick, Keith M

    2006-01-01

    learning and recognition of chemosensory individuality have evolved, often associated with major life events, such as mating, parturition or neonatal development. These forms of learning share common features, such as increased noradrenaline evoked by somatosensory stimulation, which results in neural changes at the level of the olfactory bulb. In the main olfactory bulb, these changes are likely to refine the pattern of activity in response to the learned odour, enhancing its discrimination from those of similar odours. In the accessory olfactory bulb, memory formation is hypothesized to involve a selective inhibition, which disrupts the transmission of the learned chemosignal from the mating male. Information from the main olfactory and vomeronasal systems is integrated at the level of the corticomedial amygdala, which forms the most important pathway by which social odours mediate their behavioural and physiological effects. Recent evidence suggests that this region may also play an important role in the learning and recognition of social chemosignals. PMID:17118924

  2. Central mechanisms of odour object perception

    PubMed Central

    Gottfried, Jay A.

    2013-01-01

    The stimulus complexity of naturally occurring odours presents unique challenges for central nervous systems that are aiming to internalize the external olfactory landscape. One mechanism by which the brain encodes perceptual representations of behaviourally relevant smells is through the synthesis of different olfactory inputs into a unified perceptual experience — an odour object. Recent evidence indicates that the identification, categorization and discrimination of olfactory stimuli rely on the formation and modulation of odour objects in the piriform cortex. Convergent findings from human and rodent models suggest that distributed piriform ensemble patterns of olfactory qualities and categories are crucial for maintaining the perceptual constancy of ecologically inconstant stimuli. PMID:20700142

  3. Experience dependent changes in odour-viscosity perception.

    PubMed

    Stevenson, Richard J; Mahmut, Mehmet K

    2011-01-01

    One consequence of experiencing flavour - the combination of taste, smell and somatosensation that occurs during ingestion - is that it can result in perceptual changes for the odour component, when this is later smelled alone. One such change is the acquisition of taste-like properties, but whether odours can also acquire somatosensory-like qualities is largely unknown. Participants here were exposed to one odour sampled in a viscous solution, another sampled in a sweet/viscous solution, and a further odour sampled in water. The odour sampled in the sweet/viscous solution was, when later sniffed alone, judged to smell thicker and sweeter, than the other two odours. Similarly, when the sweet/viscous paired odour was added to a viscous solution, the combination was judged as more viscous, than the other two odours - and sweeter when added to a sweet solution. This experiment suggests that odours can acquire tactile-like somatosensory qualities and this may best occur when a taste is present during learning. Recent work indicates that tastes may be superior to somatosensory stimuli alone in promoting flavour binding, a seeming precondition for this type of learning.

  4. Experience influences elemental and configural perception of certain binary odour mixtures in newborn rabbits.

    PubMed

    Sinding, Charlotte; Thomas-Danguin, Thierry; Crepeaux, Guillemette; Schaal, Benoist; Coureaud, Gérard

    2011-12-15

    Elemental and configural olfactory perception allows interaction with the environment from very early in life. To evaluate how newborn rabbits can extract and respond to information from the highly complex chemical surroundings, and how experience acts on this sensory, cognitive and behavioural capability, we ran a study in four steps including a total of eight experiments. We mainly used a binary AB mixture comprising ethyl isobutyrate (component A) and ethyl maltol (component B), previously shown as a bearer of blending properties; in rabbit pups (as in human adults), the mixture elicits a weak configural perception, i.e. the perception of a configural odour different from the odours of the components. First, a repeated exposure to one component of AB led to a more elemental perception of this mixture; conversely, a repeated exposure to AB facilitated its configural processing. Second, similar impact of experience did not appear with a non-blending AC mixture (ethyl isobutyrate-guaïacol). Third, repeated exposure to AB impacted not only the perception of AB, but also and in the same way the perception of the AC mixture sharing one component, and reciprocally. However, facilitation to perceive one mixture in one mode (configural/elemental) was not generalized to a mixture sharing no components with the experienced mixture [AB versus DE (damascenone and vanillin)]. Thus, experience contributes to the neonatal perception of odour mixtures and adds plasticity to the perceptual system. However, this impact remains dependent on the chemical composition of the mixtures.

  5. Public perception of odour and environmental pollution attributed to MSW treatment and disposal facilities: A case study

    SciTech Connect

    De Feo, Giovanni; De Gisi, Sabino; Williams, Ian D.

    2013-04-15

    Highlights: ► Effects of closing MSW facilities on perception of odour and pollution studied. ► Residents’ perception of odour nuisance considerably diminished post closure. ► Odour perception showed an association with distance from MSW facilities. ► Media coverage increased knowledge about MSW facilities and how they operate. ► Economic compensation possibly affected residents’ views and concerns. - Abstract: If residents’ perceptions, concerns and attitudes towards waste management facilities are either not well understood or underestimated, people can produce strong opposition that may include protest demonstrations and violent conflicts such as those experienced in the Campania Region of Italy. The aim of this study was to verify the effects of the closure of solid waste treatment and disposal facilities (two landfills and one RDF production plant) on public perception of odour and environmental pollution. The study took place in four villages in Southern Italy. Identical questionnaires were administered to residents during 2003 and after the closure of the facilities occurred in 2008. The residents’ perception of odour nuisance considerably diminished between 2003 and 2009 for the nearest villages, with odour perception showing an association with distance from the facilities. Post closure, residents had difficulty in identifying the type of smell due to the decrease in odour level. During both surveys, older residents reported most concern about the potentially adverse health impacts of long-term exposure to odours from MSW facilities. However, although awareness of MSW facilities and concern about potentially adverse health impacts varied according to the characteristics of residents in 2003, substantial media coverage produced an equalisation effect and increased knowledge about the type of facilities and how they operated. It is possible that residents of the village nearest to the facilities reported lower awareness of and concern about

  6. Public perception of odour and environmental pollution attributed to MSW treatment and disposal facilities: a case study.

    PubMed

    De Feo, Giovanni; De Gisi, Sabino; Williams, Ian D

    2013-04-01

    If residents' perceptions, concerns and attitudes towards waste management facilities are either not well understood or underestimated, people can produce strong opposition that may include protest demonstrations and violent conflicts such as those experienced in the Campania Region of Italy. The aim of this study was to verify the effects of the closure of solid waste treatment and disposal facilities (two landfills and one RDF production plant) on public perception of odour and environmental pollution. The study took place in four villages in Southern Italy. Identical questionnaires were administered to residents during 2003 and after the closure of the facilities occurred in 2008. The residents' perception of odour nuisance considerably diminished between 2003 and 2009 for the nearest villages, with odour perception showing an association with distance from the facilities. Post closure, residents had difficulty in identifying the type of smell due to the decrease in odour level. During both surveys, older residents reported most concern about the potentially adverse health impacts of long-term exposure to odours from MSW facilities. However, although awareness of MSW facilities and concern about potentially adverse health impacts varied according to the characteristics of residents in 2003, substantial media coverage produced an equalisation effect and increased knowledge about the type of facilities and how they operated. It is possible that residents of the village nearest to the facilities reported lower awareness of and concern about odour and environmental pollution because the municipality received economic compensation for their presence.

  7. Consumption of garlic positively affects hedonic perception of axillary body odour.

    PubMed

    Fialová, Jitka; Roberts, S Craig; Havlíček, Jan

    2016-02-01

    Beneficial health properties of garlic, as well as its most common adverse effect - distinctive breath odour - are well-known. In contrast, analogous research on the effect of garlic on axillary odour is currently missing. Here, in three studies varying in the amount and nature of garlic provided (raw garlic in study 1 and 2, garlic capsules in study 3), we tested the effect of garlic consumption on the quality of axillary odour. A balanced within-subject experimental design was used. In total, 42 male odour donors were allocated to either a "garlic" or "non-garlic" condition, after which they wore axillary pads for 12 h to collect body odour. One week later, the conditions were reversed. Odour samples were then judged for their pleasantness, attractiveness, masculinity and intensity by 82 women. We found no significant differences in ratings of any characteristics in study 1. However, the odour of donors after an increased garlic dosage was assessed as significantly more pleasant, attractive and less intense (study 2), and more attractive and less intense in study 3. Our results indicate that garlic consumption may have positive effects on perceived body odour hedonicity, perhaps due to its health effects (e.g., antioxidant properties, antimicrobial activity).

  8. Blending of heritable recognition cues among ant nestmates creates distinct colony gestalt odours but prevents within-colony nepotism.

    PubMed

    van Zweden, J S; Brask, J B; Christensen, J H; Boomsma, J J; Linksvayer, T A; d'Ettorre, P

    2010-07-01

    The evolution of sociality is facilitated by the recognition of close kin, but if kin recognition is too accurate, nepotistic behaviour within societies can dissolve social cohesion. In social insects, cuticular hydrocarbons act as nestmate recognition cues and are usually mixed among colony members to create a Gestalt odour. Although earlier studies have established that hydrocarbon profiles are influenced by heritable factors, transfer among nestmates and additional environmental factors, no studies have quantified these relative contributions for separate compounds. Here, we use the ant Formica rufibarbis in a cross-fostering design to test the degree to which hydrocarbons are heritably synthesized by young workers and transferred by their foster workers. Bioassays show that nestmate recognition has a significant heritable component. Multivariate quantitative analyses based on 38 hydrocarbons reveal that a subset of branched alkanes are heritably synthesized, but that these are also extensively transferred among nestmates. In contrast, especially linear alkanes are less heritable and little transferred; these are therefore unlikely to act as cues that allow within-colony nepotistic discrimination or as nestmate recognition cues. These results indicate that heritable compounds are suitable for establishing a genetic Gestalt for efficient nestmate recognition, but that recognition cues within colonies are insufficiently distinct to allow nepotistic kin discrimination.

  9. Understanding the Odour Spaces: A Step towards Solving Olfactory Stimulus-Percept Problem

    PubMed Central

    Kumar, Ritesh; Bhondekar, Amol P.

    2015-01-01

    Odours are highly complex, relying on hundreds of receptors, and people are known to disagree in their linguistic descriptions of smells. It is partly due to these facts that, it is very hard to map the domain of odour molecules or their structure to that of perceptual representations, a problem that has been referred to as the Structure-Odour-Relationship. We collected a number of diverse open domain databases of odour molecules having unorganised perceptual descriptors, and developed a graphical method to find the similarity between perceptual descriptors; which is intuitive and can be used to identify perceptual classes. We then separately projected the physico-chemical and perceptual features of these molecules in a non-linear dimension and clustered the similar molecules. We found a significant overlap between the spatial positioning of the clustered molecules in the physico-chemical and perceptual spaces. We also developed a statistical method of predicting the perceptual qualities of a novel molecule using its physico-chemical properties with high receiver operating characteristics(ROC). PMID:26484763

  10. Odour measurements for sewage treatment works.

    PubMed

    Gostelow, P; Parsons, S A; Stuetz, R M

    2001-03-01

    Public concern over odours from sewage treatment works is increasing. More people are being exposed to odours, due to development around existing works or construction of new works. Increased awareness of both the environment and individual rights has meant people are now more likely to complain. Odour abatement and control is a major issue for sewage works operators. To control odours, they must first be measured. This is no easy task as response to odours is subjective. Our understanding of the sense of smell is incomplete, and there is no single measure that will directly relate to the likelihood of complaint. Odour measurement has often been regarded as an art as opposed to a science. Odour measurement techniques fall into two classes. Sensory measurements employ the human nose and measure the effects of the odour as perceived by an observer. Analytical measurements characterise odours in terms of their chemical composition and attempt to quantify the odorants present. Both methods are less than ideal--sensory measurements can be overly subjective and the interpretation of results requires care. Analytical measurements are complicated by the large number of odorants present, often at concentrations close to detection limits. Our incomplete understanding of odour perception makes linking analytical and sensory measurements difficult. This paper reviews the methods applied to sewage treatment works odour measurement. Sensory and analytical measurements are reviewed, along with a recent development, the electronic nose.

  11. Use of Perceptive Vision for Ruling Recognition in Ancient Documents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lemaitre, Aurélie; Coüasnon, Bertrand; Camillerapp, Jean

    Rulings are graphical primitives that are essential for document structure recognition. However in the case of ancient documents, bad printing techniques or bad conditions of conservation induce problems for their efficient recognition. Consequently, usual line segment extractors are not powerful enough to properly extract all the rulings of a heterogeneous document. In this paper, we propose a new method for ruling recognition, based on perceptive vision: we show that combining several levels of vision improves ruling recognition. Thus, it is possible to put forward hypothesis on the nature of the rulings at a given resolution, and to confirm or infirm their presence and find their exact position at higher resolutions.

  12. Odour Detection Methods: Olfactometry and Chemical Sensors

    PubMed Central

    Brattoli, Magda; de Gennaro, Gianluigi; de Pinto, Valentina; Loiotile, Annamaria Demarinis; Lovascio, Sara; Penza, Michele

    2011-01-01

    The complexity of the odours issue arises from the sensory nature of smell. From the evolutionary point of view olfaction is one of the oldest senses, allowing for seeking food, recognizing danger or communication: human olfaction is a protective sense as it allows the detection of potential illnesses or infections by taking into account the odour pleasantness/unpleasantness. Odours are mixtures of light and small molecules that, coming in contact with various human sensory systems, also at very low concentrations in the inhaled air, are able to stimulate an anatomical response: the experienced perception is the odour. Odour assessment is a key point in some industrial production processes (i.e., food, beverages, etc.) and it is acquiring steady importance in unusual technological fields (i.e., indoor air quality); this issue mainly concerns the environmental impact of various industrial activities (i.e., tanneries, refineries, slaughterhouses, distilleries, civil and industrial wastewater treatment plants, landfills and composting plants) as sources of olfactory nuisances, the top air pollution complaint. Although the human olfactory system is still regarded as the most important and effective “analytical instrument” for odour evaluation, the demand for more objective analytical methods, along with the discovery of materials with chemo-electronic properties, has boosted the development of sensor-based machine olfaction potentially imitating the biological system. This review examines the state of the art of both human and instrumental sensing currently used for the detection of odours. The olfactometric techniques employing a panel of trained experts are discussed and the strong and weak points of odour assessment through human detection are highlighted. The main features and the working principles of modern electronic noses (E-Noses) are then described, focusing on their better performances for environmental analysis. Odour emission monitoring carried out

  13. Odour detection methods: olfactometry and chemical sensors.

    PubMed

    Brattoli, Magda; de Gennaro, Gianluigi; de Pinto, Valentina; Loiotile, Annamaria Demarinis; Lovascio, Sara; Penza, Michele

    2011-01-01

    The complexity of the odours issue arises from the sensory nature of smell. From the evolutionary point of view olfaction is one of the oldest senses, allowing for seeking food, recognizing danger or communication: human olfaction is a protective sense as it allows the detection of potential illnesses or infections by taking into account the odour pleasantness/unpleasantness. Odours are mixtures of light and small molecules that, coming in contact with various human sensory systems, also at very low concentrations in the inhaled air, are able to stimulate an anatomical response: the experienced perception is the odour. Odour assessment is a key point in some industrial production processes (i.e., food, beverages, etc.) and it is acquiring steady importance in unusual technological fields (i.e., indoor air quality); this issue mainly concerns the environmental impact of various industrial activities (i.e., tanneries, refineries, slaughterhouses, distilleries, civil and industrial wastewater treatment plants, landfills and composting plants) as sources of olfactory nuisances, the top air pollution complaint. Although the human olfactory system is still regarded as the most important and effective "analytical instrument" for odour evaluation, the demand for more objective analytical methods, along with the discovery of materials with chemo-electronic properties, has boosted the development of sensor-based machine olfaction potentially imitating the biological system. This review examines the state of the art of both human and instrumental sensing currently used for the detection of odours. The olfactometric techniques employing a panel of trained experts are discussed and the strong and weak points of odour assessment through human detection are highlighted. The main features and the working principles of modern electronic noses (E-Noses) are then described, focusing on their better performances for environmental analysis. Odour emission monitoring carried out through

  14. Perception and recognition of faces in adolescence

    PubMed Central

    Fuhrmann, D.; Knoll, L. J.; Sakhardande, A. L.; Speekenbrink, M.; Kadosh, K. C.; Blakemore, S. -J.

    2016-01-01

    Most studies on the development of face cognition abilities have focussed on childhood, with early maturation accounts contending that face cognition abilities are mature by 3–5 years. Late maturation accounts, in contrast, propose that some aspects of face cognition are not mature until at least 10 years. Here, we measured face memory and face perception, two core face cognition abilities, in 661 participants (397 females) in four age groups (younger adolescents (11.27–13.38 years); mid-adolescents (13.39–15.89 years); older adolescents (15.90–18.00 years); and adults (18.01–33.15 years)) while controlling for differences in general cognitive ability. We showed that both face cognition abilities mature relatively late, at around 16 years, with a female advantage in face memory, but not in face perception, both in adolescence and adulthood. Late maturation in the face perception task was driven mainly by protracted development in identity perception, while gaze perception abilities were already comparatively mature in early adolescence. These improvements in the ability to memorize, recognize and perceive faces during adolescence may be related to increasing exploratory behaviour and exposure to novel faces during this period of life. PMID:27647477

  15. Tactile Perception and Braille Letter Recognition: Effects of Developmental Teaching.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mangold, Sally S.

    1978-01-01

    The extent to which a developmental program of tactile perception and braille letter recognition would affect errors in these abilities and reduce scrubbing and backtracking behaviors of 30 legally blind braille users (5-15 years old) was studied. (Author/BD)

  16. Testing the Recognition and Perception of Errors in Context

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brandenburg, Laura C.

    2015-01-01

    This study tests the recognition of errors in context and whether the presence of errors affects the reader's perception of the writer's ethos. In an experimental, posttest only design, participants were randomly assigned a memo to read in an online survey: one version with errors and one version without. Of the six intentional errors in version…

  17. Visual agnosia: the dual deficit of perception and recognition.

    PubMed

    Kertesz, A

    1979-09-01

    This case of visual agnosia is of special interest because of its causation by trauma, of the unusually long follow-up (10 1/2 years), and the evidence for dual deficits of recognition and perception. Although most of the findings were characteristic of associative visual agnosia with preserved perceptual function, the poor copying, contrasted to better spontaneous drawing, suggested apperceptive agnosia as well. Prosopagnosia, alexia without agraphia, Balint's syndrome, visual static agnosia and simultanagnosia were also observed. The patient had persisting amnestic syndrome, but no dementia or aphasia. The responses to visual stimulation were perseverations, form confusions and confabulations. Visual evoked potentials were severely, bilaterally abnormal and computerized tomographic localization showed bilateral lesions also. The stages of recognition are analysed through this case of visual verbal disconnection and the importance of memory in perception is highlighted.

  18. Emotional correlates of unirhinal odour identification.

    PubMed

    Wilkinson, David; Moreno, Sergio; Ang, Chee Siang; Deravi, Farzin; Sharma, Dinkar; Sakel, Mohamed

    2016-01-01

    It seems self-evident that smell profoundly shapes emotion, but less clear is the nature of this interaction. Here, we sought to determine whether the ability to identify odours co-varies with self-reported feelings of empathy and emotional expression recognition, as predicted if the two capacities draw on common resource. Thirty-six neurotypical volunteers were administered the Alberta Smell Test, the Interpersonal Reactivity Index and an emotional expression recognition task. Statistical analyses indicated that feelings of emotional empathy positively correlated with odour discrimination in right nostril, while the recognition of happy and fearful facial expressions positively correlated with odour discrimination in left nostril. These results uncover new links between olfactory discrimination and emotion which, given the ipsilateral configuration of the olfactory projections, point towards intra- rather than inter-hemispheric interaction. The results also provide novel support for the proposed lateralization of emotional empathy and the recognition of facial expression, and give reason to further explore the diagnostic sensitivity of smell tests because reduced sensitivity to others' emotions can mark the onset of certain neurological diseases.

  19. How reliable are odour assessments?

    PubMed

    Bokowa, A; Beukes, J A

    2012-01-01

    This paper will demonstrate the differences found in odour test results, when odour sampling is performed at the same sources by two different consultants. By examining two case studies, this paper will highlight that the difference between the results can be significant. Both studies are based on odour sampling programs determining the odour removal efficiency of odour control units installed at two different facilities: a pet food facility and an oil/grease recycling facility. The first study is based on odour measurements at the inlet and outlet of the unit installed by Applied Plasma Physics AS at the pet food facility. Odour assessments were performed by two separate consultants at the same time. The second study is based on testing of the odour removal effectiveness of two units: a scrubber and a biofilter at an oil/grease recycling facility. During this study two odour sampling programs were performed by two consultants at different times, but under the same process conditions. This paper will show how varying results can play a role in choosing the adequate odour control technologies. The final results suggest that although, an odour control unit may appear to be insufficient, it actually is successful at removing the odours.

  20. Odour, covering and ventilation.

    PubMed

    Sivil, D; Hobson, J A

    2009-01-01

    A technique is described based on the decay in concentration of added SF(6) to measure L(0), the rate of leakage from an enclosure with no extraction of air. It is believed this measurement is much more precise than measurements of E(0), the minimum rate of extraction which just prevents leakage. Three out of four enclosures studied had L(0) values equating to residence times of air that were well under one hour. Relationships were developed between extraction rate and concentration and emission rate for enclosed odour sources based on mass transfer from water to air. These could be used to assess the benefits of minimising extraction rates while remaining within concentration limits set on the grounds of corrosion or toxicity. From these relationships a critical flow can be identified, termed Q(50), at which both the emission rate and concentration of a particular species are at 50% of their maximum value. In any particular system, Q50 for one species, such as H(2)S, will in general not be the same as for another species, nor for odour concentration. As a consequence the benefit of reducing extraction rates based on H(2)S may not appear as good as it would based on an assessment of odour concentration. A second consequence is that as the rate of air extraction is varied, the ratio between two species or between H(2)S and odour concentration, is likely to vary.

  1. Dialogue procedures for the management of odour related community conflicts.

    PubMed

    Sucker, K

    2009-01-01

    In the German Guideline on Odour in Ambient Air (GOAA) statements about the degree of residential odour annoyance are based on the frequency of recognisable odours and hedonic tone. The use of olfactory standards to adequately estimate the annoyance impact is limited if, for example, worry about adverse health outcomes significantly influences the annoyance response of the population. This report introduces dialogue procedures as complementary measures to consider the complainants' subjective perceptions and worries adequately. At first, it is illustrated that odour exposure and number of odour complaints are not necessarily correlated. Then the "interest analysis" and the five steps of a dialogue procedure are presented. A dialogue procedure can be initiated in "quiet times" - where the focus is on trust building and on the development of adequate communication strategies to promote realistic risk reception - as well as in order to establish a successful conflict resolution process if the issue is complex and emotionally discussed. After that, two examples of handling odour complaints are shown. Finally, considerations applying dialogue procedures as a tool to advance odour annoyance mitigation are outlined.

  2. Appropriateness of selecting different averaging times for modelling chronic and acute exposure to environmental odours

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Drew, G. H.; Smith, R.; Gerard, V.; Burge, C.; Lowe, M.; Kinnersley, R.; Sneath, R.; Longhurst, P. J.

    Odour emissions are episodic, characterised by periods of high emission rates, interspersed with periods of low emissions. It is frequently the short term, high concentration peaks that result in annoyance in the surrounding population. Dispersion modelling is accepted as a useful tool for odour impact assessment, and two approaches can be adopted. The first approach of modelling the hourly average concentration can underestimate total odour concentration peaks, resulting in annoyance and complaints. The second modelling approach involves the use of short averaging times. This study assesses the appropriateness of using different averaging times to model the dispersion of odour from a landfill site. We also examine perception of odour in the community in conjunction with the modelled odour dispersal, by using community monitors to record incidents of odour. The results show that with the shorter averaging times, the modelled pattern of dispersal reflects the pattern of observed odour incidents recorded in the community monitoring database, with the modelled odour dispersing further in a north easterly direction. Therefore, the current regulatory method of dispersion modelling, using hourly averaging times, is less successful at capturing peak concentrations, and does not capture the pattern of odour emission as indicated by the community monitoring database. The use of short averaging times is therefore of greater value in predicting the likely nuisance impact of an odour source and in framing appropriate regulatory controls.

  3. The modelling of odour dispersion as a support tool for the improvements of high odours impact plants.

    PubMed

    Luciano, Antonella; Torretta, Vincenzo; Mancini, Giuseppe; Eleuteri, Andrea; Raboni, Massimo; Viotti, Paolo

    2017-03-01

    Two scenarios in terms of odour impact assessment were studied during the phase of upgrading of an existing waste treatment plant: CALPUFF was used for the simulation of odour dispersion. Olfactometric measures, carried out over different periods and different positions in the plant, were used for model calibration. Results from simulations were reported in terms of statistics of odour concentrations and isopleths maps of the 98th percentile of the hourly peak concentrations, as requested from the European legislation and standards. The excess perception thresholds and emissions were utilized to address the plant upgrade options. The hourly evaluation of odours was performed to determine the most impacting period of the day. An inverse application of the numerical simulation starting from defining the odour threshold at the receptor was made to allow the definition of the required abatement efficiency at the odours source location. Results from the proposed approach confirmed the likelihood to adopt odour dispersion modelling, not only in the authorization phase, but also as a tool for driving technical and managing actions in plant upgrade so to reduce impacts and improve the public acceptance. The upgrade actions in order to achieve the expected efficiency are reported as well.

  4. Gibberellin Perception by the Gibberellin Receptor and its Effector Recognition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hakoshima, Toshio; Murase, Kohji; Hirano, Yoshinori; Sun, Tai-Ping

    Gibberellins control a diverse range of growth and developmental processes in higher plants and have been widely utilized in the agricultural industry. By binding to a nuclear receptor GIBBERELLIN INSENSITIVE DWARF1 (GID1), gibberellins regulate gene expression by promoting degradation of the transcriptional regulator DELLA proteins. The precise manner in which GID1 discriminates and becomes activated by bioactive gibberellins for specific binding to DELLA proteins remains unclear. We present the crystal structure of a ternary complex of Arabidopsis thaliana GID1A, a bioactive gibberellin and the N-terminal DELLA domain of GAI. In this complex, GID1a occludes gibberellin in a deep binding pocket covered by its N-terminal helical switch region, which in turn interacts with the DELLA domain containing DELLA, VHYNP and LExLE motifs. Our results establish a structural model of a plant hormone receptor which is distinct from the hormone-perception mechanism and effector recognition of the known auxin receptors.

  5. Sign language perception research for improving automatic sign language recognition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    ten Holt, Gineke A.; Arendsen, Jeroen; de Ridder, Huib; Koenderink-van Doorn, Andrea J.; Reinders, Marcel J. T.; Hendriks, Emile A.

    2009-02-01

    Current automatic sign language recognition (ASLR) seldom uses perceptual knowledge about the recognition of sign language. Using such knowledge can improve ASLR because it can give an indication which elements or phases of a sign are important for its meaning. Also, the current generation of data-driven ASLR methods has shortcomings which may not be solvable without the use of knowledge on human sign language processing. Handling variation in the precise execution of signs is an example of such shortcomings: data-driven methods (which include almost all current methods) have difficulty recognizing signs that deviate too much from the examples that were used to train the method. Insight into human sign processing is needed to solve these problems. Perceptual research on sign language can provide such insights. This paper discusses knowledge derived from a set of sign perception experiments, and the application of such knowledge in ASLR. Among the findings are the facts that not all phases and elements of a sign are equally informative, that defining the 'correct' form for a sign is not trivial, and that statistical ASLR methods do not necessarily arrive at sign representations that resemble those of human beings. Apparently, current ASLR methods are quite different from human observers: their method of learning gives them different sign definitions, they regard each moment and element of a sign as equally important and they employ a single definition of 'correct' for all circumstances. If the object is for an ASLR method to handle natural sign language, then the insights from sign perception research must be integrated into ASLR.

  6. On the Relationship between Memory and Perception: Sequential Dependencies in Recognition Memory Testing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Malmberg, Kenneth J.; Annis, Jeffrey

    2012-01-01

    Many models of recognition are derived from models originally applied to perception tasks, which assume that decisions from trial to trial are independent. While the independence assumption is violated for many perception tasks, we present the results of several experiments intended to relate memory and perception by exploring sequential…

  7. Odour-based kin discrimination in the cooperatively breeding meerkat.

    PubMed

    Leclaire, Sarah; Nielsen, Johanna F; Thavarajah, Nathan K; Manser, Marta; Clutton-Brock, Tim H

    2013-02-23

    Kin recognition is a useful ability for animals, facilitating cooperation among relatives and avoidance of excessive kin competition or inbreeding. In meerkats, Suricata suricatta, encounters between unfamiliar kin are relatively frequent, and kin recognition by phenotype matching is expected to avoid inbreeding with close relatives. Here, we investigate whether female meerkats are able to discriminate the scent of unfamiliar kin from unfamiliar non-kin. Dominant females were presented with anal gland secretion from unfamiliar individuals that varied in their relatedness. Our result indicates that females spent more time investigating the scent of related than unrelated unfamiliar individuals, suggesting that females may use a phenotype matching mechanism (or recognition alleles) to discriminate the odour of their kin from the odour of their non-kin. Our study provides a key starting point for further investigations into the use of kin recognition for inbreeding avoidance in the widely studied meerkat.

  8. Odour-based kin discrimination in the cooperatively breeding meerkat

    PubMed Central

    Leclaire, Sarah; Nielsen, Johanna F.; Thavarajah, Nathan K.; Manser, Marta; Clutton-Brock, Tim H.

    2013-01-01

    Kin recognition is a useful ability for animals, facilitating cooperation among relatives and avoidance of excessive kin competition or inbreeding. In meerkats, Suricata suricatta, encounters between unfamiliar kin are relatively frequent, and kin recognition by phenotype matching is expected to avoid inbreeding with close relatives. Here, we investigate whether female meerkats are able to discriminate the scent of unfamiliar kin from unfamiliar non-kin. Dominant females were presented with anal gland secretion from unfamiliar individuals that varied in their relatedness. Our result indicates that females spent more time investigating the scent of related than unrelated unfamiliar individuals, suggesting that females may use a phenotype matching mechanism (or recognition alleles) to discriminate the odour of their kin from the odour of their non-kin. Our study provides a key starting point for further investigations into the use of kin recognition for inbreeding avoidance in the widely studied meerkat. PMID:23234867

  9. Bayesian Action-Perception loop modeling: Application to trajectory generation and recognition using internal motor simulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gilet, Estelle; Diard, Julien; Palluel-Germain, Richard; Bessière, Pierre

    2011-03-01

    This paper is about modeling perception-action loops and, more precisely, the study of the influence of motor knowledge during perception tasks. We use the Bayesian Action-Perception (BAP) model, which deals with the sensorimotor loop involved in reading and writing cursive isolated letters and includes an internal simulation of movement loop. By using this probabilistic model we simulate letter recognition, both with and without internal motor simulation. Comparison of their performance yields an experimental prediction, which we set forth.

  10. Predicting odour impact using the Austrian odour dispersion model (AODM).

    PubMed

    Schauberger, G; Piringer, M

    2001-01-01

    Using a dispersion model to calculate ambient odour concentrations, the separation distance between livestock buildings and residential areas is defined by the odour impact criteria using a combination of a pre-selected odour threshold and an exceeding probability. The dynamic Austrian Odour Dispersion Model (AODM), a Gaussian model, is used to calculate the direction-dependent separation distances for several combinations of these two values, which represent the protection level of various land use categories. The calculated direction-dependent separation distances are a function of the prevailing wind velocity and atmospheric stability conditions. At a site in the Austrian North-alpine foreland, the direction-dependent separation distance (calculated on the basis of a two year time series of meteorological data) for pure residential areas (3% exceeding probability over the year for an odour threshold of 1 OU/m3) lies between 99 m (for northerly winds with a probability of less than 3%) and 362 m (for westerly winds with a probability of 34%). For west and east the main wind directions, odour sensation can be expected more often for higher wind velocities and a neutral or stable atmosphere around sunset. Northerly and southerly winds show the typical diurnal variation of a local valley wind system with predominantly northerly daytime up-valley and southerly night-time down-valley winds.

  11. Odour intensity and hedonic tone--important parameters to describe odour annoyance to residents?

    PubMed

    Both, R; Sucker, K; Winneke, G; Koch, E

    2004-01-01

    The Guideline on Odour in Ambient Air has been in use for many years for odour regulation in Germany. The main parameter that the odour regulation authority has to take into account is the odour frequency expressed as odour hours per year. In the guideline, limit values are given for the maximum odour frequency per year. These limit values are based on field investigations in which significant relationships between odour impact and odour annoyance was found. In these investigations, odour intensity did not yield a better description of the degree of annoyance caused to the residents. The hedonic tone was not mentioned. In a new research project finished in 2003, the influence of odour intensity and hedonic tone, in addition to odour frequency, has been assessed. Two installations emitting pleasant odours, two emitting neutral and two emitting unpleasant odours, have been selected. In each case grid field measurements by a panel were carried out, and the annoyance of the residents was assessed using a special questionnaire. The results of this project are: (1) A new method to measure odour intensity and hedonic tone in the field with data record forms was developed and validated. With this method, reliable and reproducible results are obtained. (2) The parameter odour frequency based on the system of "odour hours" is suitable and sufficient to predict the odour annoyance caused by unpleasant/neutral odours. (3) In the case of pleasant odours, hedonic tone has an abundantly clear effect on the dose-response relationship between odour frequency and annoyance. Pleasant odours have a significant lower annoyance potential than unpleasant/neutral odours. (4) The odour intensity has no additional influence on this relationship. If odours are recognisable then they can cause annoyance.

  12. A natural polymorphism alters odour and DEET sensitivity in an insect odorant receptor.

    PubMed

    Pellegrino, Maurizio; Steinbach, Nicole; Stensmyr, Marcus C; Hansson, Bill S; Vosshall, Leslie B

    2011-09-21

    Blood-feeding insects such as mosquitoes are efficient vectors of human infectious diseases because they are strongly attracted by body heat, carbon dioxide and odours produced by their vertebrate hosts. Insect repellents containing DEET (N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide) are highly effective, but the mechanism by which this chemical wards off biting insects remains controversial despite decades of investigation. DEET seems to act both at close range as a contact chemorepellent, by affecting insect gustatory receptors, and at long range, by affecting the olfactory system. Two opposing mechanisms for the observed behavioural effects of DEET in the gas phase have been proposed: that DEET interferes with the olfactory system to block host odour recognition and that DEET actively repels insects by activating olfactory neurons that elicit avoidance behaviour. Here we show that DEET functions as a modulator of the odour-gated ion channel formed by the insect odorant receptor complex. The functional insect odorant receptor complex consists of a common co-receptor, ORCO (ref. 15) (formerly called OR83B; ref. 16), and one or more variable odorant receptor subunits that confer odour selectivity. DEET acts on this complex to potentiate or inhibit odour-evoked activity or to inhibit odour-evoked suppression of spontaneous activity. This modulation depends on the specific odorant receptor and the concentration and identity of the odour ligand. We identify a single amino-acid polymorphism in the second transmembrane domain of receptor OR59B in a Drosophila melanogaster strain from Brazil that renders OR59B insensitive to inhibition by the odour ligand and modulation by DEET. Our data indicate that natural variation can modify the sensitivity of an odour-specific insect odorant receptor to odour ligands and DEET. Furthermore, they support the hypothesis that DEET acts as a molecular 'confusant' that scrambles the insect odour code, and provide a compelling explanation for the broad

  13. Lexical support for phonetic perception during nonnative spoken word recognition

    PubMed Central

    Frost, Ram

    2016-01-01

    Second language comprehension is generally not as efficient and effective as native language comprehension. In the present study, we tested the hypothesis that lower-level processes such as lexical support for phonetic perception are a contributing factor to these differences. For native listeners, it has been shown that the perception of ambiguous acoustic– phonetic segments is driven by lexical factors (Samuel Psychological Science, 12, 348–351, 2001). Here, we tested whether nonnative listeners can use lexical context in the same way. Native Hebrew speakers living in Israel were tested with American English stimuli. When subtle acoustic cues in the stimuli worked against the lexical context, these nonnative speakers showed no evidence of lexical guidance of phonetic perception. This result conflicts with the performance of native speakers, who demonstrate lexical effects on phonetic perception even with conflicting acoustic cues. When stimuli without any conflicting cues were used, the native Hebrew subjects produced results similar to those of native English speakers, showing lexical support for phonetic perception in their second language. In contrast, native Arabic speakers, who were less proficient in English than the native Hebrew speakers, showed no ability to use lexical activation to support phonetic perception, even without any conflicting cues. These results reinforce previous demonstrations of lexical support of phonetic perception and demonstrate how proficiency modulates the use of lexical information in driving phonetic perception. PMID:26866066

  14. Odour emission inventory of German wastewater treatment plants--odour flow rates and odour emission capacity.

    PubMed

    Frechen, F-B

    2004-01-01

    Wastewater Treatment plants can cause odour emissions that may lead to significant odour annoyance in their vicinity. Thus, over the past 20 years, several measurements were taken of the odour emissions that occur at WWTPs of different sizes, treatment technology, plant design and under different operating conditions. The specific aspects of odour sampling and measurement have to be considered. I presented some of the results of my odour emission measurements 11 years ago. However, it is now necessary to update the figures by evaluating newer measurement results obtained from measurements taken from 1994 to 2003. These are presented in this paper. Also, the paper highlights the odour emission capacity (OEC) measurement technique which characterises liquids and can be used to assess the results achieved by different types of treatment in the liquid phase, e.g. in a sewerage system. In addition, the OEC is a suitable parameter to set standards for the odorant content of industrial wastewaters that are discharged into the publicly owned sewerage system.

  15. [Acoustic recognition of emotions and musical perceptive abilities in young deaf person].

    PubMed

    Fiol, L; Rousteau, G

    2012-01-01

    What influence does being deaf have on the ability to recognise emotions in other people? What perceptive abilities can be found in deaf people that are based on the acoustic recognition of emotions? Studies concerning the most useful acoustic clues in the recognition of emotions remain scarce. Beyond the uttered words, emotions are perceptible through the music of speech i.e. its words, its parameters (namely the intensity), the pitch and the timbre or colour of a sound, as well as its rhythm. The protocol of assessment developed in this study shows evidence of a correlation between the recognition of fundamental emotions and the perceptive musical abilities of deaf patients. This concept is relevant when regarding any deaf patient; irrespective of hearing aid type or re-education method.

  16. The anatomy of odour wheels for odours of drinking water, wastewater, compost and the urban environment.

    PubMed

    Suffet, I H; Rosenfeld, P

    2007-01-01

    In the drinking water and air pollution fields, odour quality characterisation and intensity of each odour characteristic needs to be developed to evaluate the causes of the odours present. Drinking water quality characterisation has matured to the point where an "odour wheel" is described and the primary chemicals producing the odour are known and therefore a potential treatment can be defined from the odours reported. Sufficient understanding of the types of odorous compounds that can arise from wastewater and compost treatment processes and odours in the urban environment are starting to emerge. This article presents the anatomy of the odour wheels. It is hoped that the foundation of odour wheels will evolve as odour quality data are reported and linked with chemical causation. The compost and urban odour wheels are presented in print for the first time.

  17. Color character recognition method based on human perception

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yamaba, Kazuo; Miyake, Yoichi

    1993-01-01

    Color is one of the most powerful and important types of visual information in various fields such as image processing, electronic imaging, and robot vision technologies. A new color character recognition system, composed of a camera, optical filters, an image board, a neuro board, and a micro computer was constructed. Using typewriter characters and backgrounds in five colors, two kinds of experiments were performed. The first consisted of preliminary experiments testing the effectiveness of the modified opponent-color theory of the human eye for use in machine character recognition. The second was an experiment in color character recognition, in which the system recognized both characters and their colors.

  18. A Rhythm Recognition Computer Program to Advocate Interactivist Perception

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Buisson, Jean-Christophe

    2004-01-01

    This paper advocates the main ideas of the interactive model of representation of Mark Bickhard and the assimilation/accommodation framework of Jean Piaget, through a rhythm recognition demonstration program. Although completely unsupervised, the program progressively learns to recognize more and more complex rhythms struck on the user's keyboard.…

  19. Category-specific interference of object recognition with biological motion perception.

    PubMed

    Wittinghofer, Karin; de Lussanet, Marc H E; Lappe, Markus

    2010-11-24

    The rapid and detailed recognition of human action from point-light displays is a remarkable ability and very robust against masking by motion signals. However, recognition of biological motion is strongly impaired when the typical point lights are replaced by pictures of complex objects. In a reaction time task and a detection in noise task, we asked subjects to decide if the walking direction is forward or backward. We found that complex objects as local elements impaired performance. When we compared different object categories, we found that human shapes as local objects gave more impairment than any other tested object category. Inverting or scrambling the human shapes restored the performance of walking perception. These results demonstrate an interference between object perception and biological motion recognition caused by shared processing capacities.

  20. The influence of listener perception of the speaker on recognition memory.

    PubMed

    Wertsch, J V

    1975-01-01

    Results are reported for an experiment which examined the influence of listener perception of speaker intention on sentence recognition. Given the same passage and recognition sentences, subjects displayed different false recognition patterns of test items depending on which of two speakers with opposing viewpoints the passage was attributed to. It is argued that the reconstructive process of memory is based on information from the context (e.g., the speaker's perceived intentions) as well as on the actual words used. Retention of different aspects of a message is seen to rely on information from different sources. Specifically, the results of the study indicate that retention of meaning involving the speaker's predictions, opinions, etc., is influenced by the listener's perception of the speaker.

  1. Assessment and regulation of odour impacts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nicell, Jim A.

    Decades of experience support the inclusion of odours in the list of contaminant types that must be regulated by government. In many jurisdictions, odour impacts are regulated under the nuisance provisions of common law. However, the explicit conditions that establish whether a nuisance condition exists are not easily defined. Due to this shortcoming, there is a need to introduce objectivity into odour impact assessments and odour limits. While individual responses to odours are highly variable and can result in a variety of effects, generally the impacts of odours arise from a variety of interacting factors, collectively known as FIDOL: frequency, intensity, duration, offensiveness, and location. In view of the need to prevent or mitigate such impacts, an approach to odour regulation is proposed in which the protection of the public from odour impacts is accomplished based on the FIDOL approach. This involves the introduction of an objective odour limit, as follows: " Facilities that are identified as sources of potentially offensive odours shall ensure that the 10-min average concentration of odour resulting from all sources at the facility and determined in accordance with accepted procedures, shall be less than 1 odour unit 99.5% of the time at the most impacted sensitive receptor". It is argued that the proposed limit would provide the public with an understanding of the degree of protection from odours that is to be provided through regulations and would provide industries with a basis for designing their facilities to minimize impact at the design stage. Such limits would also provide industries with benchmarks against which they can gauge their success at preventing or mitigating odour impacts and for evaluating the effectiveness of odour control technologies.

  2. When family looks strange and strangers look normal: a case of impaired face perception and recognition after stroke.

    PubMed

    Heutink, Joost; Brouwer, Wiebo H; Kums, Evelien; Young, Andy; Bouma, Anke

    2012-02-01

    We describe a patient (JS) with impaired recognition and distorted visual perception of faces after an ischemic stroke. Strikingly, JS reports that the faces of family members look distorted, while faces of other people look normal. After neurological and neuropsychological examination, we assessed response accuracy, response times, and skin conductance responses on a face recognition task in which photographs of close family members, celebrities and unfamiliar people were presented. JS' performance was compared to the performance of three healthy control participants. Results indicate that three aspects of face perception appear to be impaired in JS. First, she has impaired recognition of basic emotional expressions. Second, JS has poor recognition of familiar faces in general, but recognition of close family members is disproportionally impaired compared to faces of celebrities. Third, JS perceives faces of family members as distorted. In this paper we consider whether these impairments can be interpreted in terms of previously described disorders of face perception and recent models for face perception.

  3. Development of a procedure to determine odour emissions from animal farming for regulatory purposes in Flanders.

    PubMed

    Van Langenhove, H; De Bruyn, G

    2001-01-01

    The purpose of the project described in this paper was to develop a procedure to determine odour emissions at existing and new intensive animal farming houses. The procedure should be scientifically valid and preferably applicable on a large scale at reasonable costs. In this project odour emissions were measured during one year at the same farm. Measurements included 20 olfactometric sampling days and 50 sniffing measurements, all spread over one year. For each olfactometric sampling day, samples were taken in duplicate for the different pig categories. The olfactometric analysis resulted in the determination of odour emission factors for growing/fattening pigs, weaned piglets, dry sows and farrowing sows. The influence of external parameters (ventilation rate, inside temperature, outside temperature, pen dirtiness, number of pigs and their weight) was examined. Good correlation between the odour emission and an external parameter could only be found for the ventilation rate (r = 0.98) and outside temperature (r = 0.87). The sniffing measurements resulted in maximal odour perception distances and odour emissions calculated with short and long term dispersion models. No significant influence of the outside temperature (season) could be found here. The results of the olfactometric and sniffing measurements will be presented, including a combination of both techniques to determine the odour emission of an agricultural construction.

  4. Sensing the intruder: a quantitative threshold for recognition cues perception in honeybees

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cappa, Federico; Bruschini, Claudia; Cipollini, Maria; Pieraccini, Giuseppe; Cervo, Rita

    2014-02-01

    The ability to discriminate among nestmates and non-nestmate is essential to defend social insect colonies from intruders. Over the years, nestmate recognition has been extensively studied in the honeybee Apis mellifera; nevertheless, the quantitative perceptual aspects at the basis of the recognition system represent an unexplored subject in this species. To test the existence of a cuticular hydrocarbons' quantitative perception threshold for nestmate recognition cues, we conducted behavioural assays by presenting different amounts of a foreign forager's chemical profile to honeybees at the entrance of their colonies. We found an increase in the explorative and aggressive responses as the amount of cues increased based on a threshold mechanism, highlighting the importance of the quantitative perceptual features for the recognition processes in A. mellifera.

  5. A new look at emotion perception: Concepts speed and shape facial emotion recognition.

    PubMed

    Nook, Erik C; Lindquist, Kristen A; Zaki, Jamil

    2015-10-01

    Decades ago, the "New Look" movement challenged how scientists thought about vision by suggesting that conceptual processes shape visual perceptions. Currently, affective scientists are likewise debating the role of concepts in emotion perception. Here, we utilized a repetition-priming paradigm in conjunction with signal detection and individual difference analyses to examine how providing emotion labels-which correspond to discrete emotion concepts-affects emotion recognition. In Study 1, pairing emotional faces with emotion labels (e.g., "sad") increased individuals' speed and sensitivity in recognizing emotions. Additionally, individuals with alexithymia-who have difficulty labeling their own emotions-struggled to recognize emotions based on visual cues alone, but not when emotion labels were provided. Study 2 replicated these findings and further demonstrated that emotion concepts can shape perceptions of facial expressions. Together, these results suggest that emotion perception involves conceptual processing. We discuss the implications of these findings for affective, social, and clinical psychology.

  6. Test battery for measuring the perception and recognition of facial expressions of emotion

    PubMed Central

    Wilhelm, Oliver; Hildebrandt, Andrea; Manske, Karsten; Schacht, Annekathrin; Sommer, Werner

    2014-01-01

    Despite the importance of perceiving and recognizing facial expressions in everyday life, there is no comprehensive test battery for the multivariate assessment of these abilities. As a first step toward such a compilation, we present 16 tasks that measure the perception and recognition of facial emotion expressions, and data illustrating each task's difficulty and reliability. The scoring of these tasks focuses on either the speed or accuracy of performance. A sample of 269 healthy young adults completed all tasks. In general, accuracy and reaction time measures for emotion-general scores showed acceptable and high estimates of internal consistency and factor reliability. Emotion-specific scores yielded lower reliabilities, yet high enough to encourage further studies with such measures. Analyses of task difficulty revealed that all tasks are suitable for measuring emotion perception and emotion recognition related abilities in normal populations. PMID:24860528

  7. Speech-perception training for older adults with hearing loss impacts word recognition and effort.

    PubMed

    Kuchinsky, Stefanie E; Ahlstrom, Jayne B; Cute, Stephanie L; Humes, Larry E; Dubno, Judy R; Eckert, Mark A

    2014-10-01

    The current pupillometry study examined the impact of speech-perception training on word recognition and cognitive effort in older adults with hearing loss. Trainees identified more words at the follow-up than at the baseline session. Training also resulted in an overall larger and faster peaking pupillary response, even when controlling for performance and reaction time. Perceptual and cognitive capacities affected the peak amplitude of the pupil response across participants but did not diminish the impact of training on the other pupil metrics. Thus, we demonstrated that pupillometry can be used to characterize training-related and individual differences in effort during a challenging listening task. Importantly, the results indicate that speech-perception training not only affects overall word recognition, but also a physiological metric of cognitive effort, which has the potential to be a biomarker of hearing loss intervention outcome.

  8. Subjective disturbance of perception is related to facial affect recognition in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Comparelli, Anna; De Carolis, Antonella; Corigliano, Valentina; Romano, Silvia; Kotzalidis, Giorgio D; Campana, Chiara; Ferracuti, Stefano; Tatarelli, Roberto; Girardi, Paolo

    2011-10-01

    To examine the relationship between facial affect recognition (FAR) and subjective perceptual disturbances (SPDs), we assessed SPDs in 82 patients with DSM-IV schizophrenia (44 with first-episode psychosis [FEP] and 38 with multiple episodes [ME]) using two subscales of the Frankfurt Complaint Questionnaire (FCQ), WAS (simple perception) and WAK (complex perception). Emotional judgment ability was assessed using Ekman and Friesen's FAR task. Impaired recognition of emotion correlated with scores on the WAS but not on the WAK. The association was significant in the entire group and in the ME group. FAR was more impaired in the ME than in the FEP group. Our findings suggest that there is a relationship between SPDs and FAR impairment in schizophrenia, particularly in multiple-episode patients.

  9. What determines human body odour?

    PubMed

    Hamada, Kaoru; Haruyama, Sanehito; Yamaguchi, Takashi; Yamamoto, Kayo; Hiromasa, Kana; Yoshioka, Manabu; Nishio, Daisuke; Nakamura, Motonobu

    2014-05-01

    Human body odour and earwax type are genetically dependent on a single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) located in the ABCC11 gene. So far, it still remains to be clear how SNP in the ABCC11 gene is associated with human malodour. In a recent issue of Experimental Dermatology, Baumann et al. propose one of the underlying molecular pathways. Although one of the amino acid conjugated of the odorants, Cys-Gly-3-methyl-3-sulfanylhexanol (3M3SH), was not taken up by the transporter ABCC11, glutathione conjugate of 3MSH (SG-3MSH) was transported by ABCC11. Moreover, SG-3MSH was processed to 3M3SH by γ-glutamyl-transferase 1 (GGT1), which was abundantly expressed in apocrine sweat glands. These findings may pave a way for the pharmacogenetics of human body odour and the development of innovative deodorant products.

  10. Odour sampling 1: Physical chemistry considerations.

    PubMed

    Hudson, N; Ayoko, G A

    2008-07-01

    The selection of an odour sampling device may influence the composition of the resulting odour sample. Limited comparison of emission rates derived from turbulent and essentially quiescent sampling devices confirms that the emission rates derived from these devices are quite different. There is therefore compelling evidence that current odour sampling practice should have greater regard for fundamental physical and chemical principles, the nature of the odour source and the conditions created by the sampling device. Such consideration may identify the most appropriate situations under which the use of these devices may or may not be correct.

  11. Detection and perception of generic host volatiles by mosquitoes modulate host preference: context dependence of (R)-1-octen-3-ol

    PubMed Central

    Majeed, Shahid; Hill, Sharon Rose; Birgersson, Göran

    2016-01-01

    Natural selection favours a restricted host breadth in disease vector mosquitoes, indicating that there is an adaptive value associated with maintaining plasticity in host preference. One mechanism to maintain such plasticity is via the detection of generic cues by conserved peripheral olfactory pathways, which when perceived in different host odour contexts enable the identification of and discrimination among potential host species. Here, we show that the context of an odour cue shapes host perception in mosquitoes, by altering the release rate of the generic host-related volatile (R)-1-octen-3-ol, within its natural range, and in the background odour of known hosts and non-hosts. This result highlights that host recognition is contextual and dependent on quantitative and qualitative differences in odour blends and the olfactory codes evoked. From the perspective of vector management, understanding the perception of odour blends and their context is essential to the process of developing synthetic blends for the optimal attraction of mosquitoes in efforts to control and monitor populations. PMID:28018630

  12. Detection and perception of generic host volatiles by mosquitoes modulate host preference: context dependence of (R)-1-octen-3-ol.

    PubMed

    Majeed, Shahid; Hill, Sharon Rose; Birgersson, Göran; Ignell, Rickard

    2016-11-01

    Natural selection favours a restricted host breadth in disease vector mosquitoes, indicating that there is an adaptive value associated with maintaining plasticity in host preference. One mechanism to maintain such plasticity is via the detection of generic cues by conserved peripheral olfactory pathways, which when perceived in different host odour contexts enable the identification of and discrimination among potential host species. Here, we show that the context of an odour cue shapes host perception in mosquitoes, by altering the release rate of the generic host-related volatile (R)-1-octen-3-ol, within its natural range, and in the background odour of known hosts and non-hosts. This result highlights that host recognition is contextual and dependent on quantitative and qualitative differences in odour blends and the olfactory codes evoked. From the perspective of vector management, understanding the perception of odour blends and their context is essential to the process of developing synthetic blends for the optimal attraction of mosquitoes in efforts to control and monitor populations.

  13. Continuous odour measurement from fattening pig units

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Romain, Anne-Claude; Nicolas, Jacques; Cobut, Pierre; Delva, Julien; Nicks, Baudouin; Philippe, François-Xavier

    2013-10-01

    A study in experimental slatted-system fattening pig units was conducted with the aim of estimating the odour emission factor (in ou s.pig-1), which can subsequently be used in dispersion models to assess the odour annoyance zone. Dynamic olfactometry measurements carried out at different development stages of pigs showed a logical trend of the mean assessed odour emission factor with the pig mass. However, the variation within the same mass class was much larger than variation between classes. Possible causes of such variation were identified as the evolution of ventilation rate during the day and the circadian rhythm of pig. To be able to monitor continuously the daily variation of the odour, an electronic nose was used with suitable regression model calibrated against olfactometric measurements. After appropriate validation check, the electronic nose proved to be convenient, as a complementary tool to dynamic olfactometry, to record the daily variation of the odour emission factor in the pig barn. It was demonstrated that, in the controlled conditions of the experimental pens, the daily variation of the odour emission rate could be mainly attributed to the sole influence of the circadian rhythm of pig. As a consequence, determining a representative odour emission factor in a real case cannot be based on a snapshot odour sampling.

  14. Neonatal representation of odour objects: distinct memories of the whole and its parts.

    PubMed

    Coureaud, Gérard; Thomas-Danguin, Thierry; Wilson, Donald A; Ferreira, Guillaume

    2014-08-22

    Extraction of relevant information from highly complex environments is a prerequisite to survival. Within odour mixtures, such information is contained in the odours of specific elements or in the mixture configuration perceived as a whole unique odour. For instance, an AB mixture of the element A (ethyl isobutyrate) and the element B (ethyl maltol) generates a configural AB percept in humans and apparently in another species, the rabbit. Here, we examined whether the memory of such a configuration is distinct from the memory of the individual odorants. Taking advantage of the newborn rabbit's ability to learn odour mixtures, we combined behavioural and pharmacological tools to specifically eliminate elemental memory of A and B after conditioning to the AB mixture and evaluate consequences on configural memory of AB. The amnesic treatment suppressed responsiveness to A and B but not to AB. Two other experiments confirmed the specific perception and particular memory of the AB mixture. These data demonstrate the existence of configurations in certain odour mixtures and their representation as unique objects: after learning, animals form a configural memory of these mixtures, which coexists with, but is relatively dissociated from, memory of their elements. This capability emerges very early in life.

  15. Neonatal representation of odour objects: distinct memories of the whole and its parts

    PubMed Central

    Coureaud, Gérard; Thomas-Danguin, Thierry; Wilson, Donald A.; Ferreira, Guillaume

    2014-01-01

    Extraction of relevant information from highly complex environments is a prerequisite to survival. Within odour mixtures, such information is contained in the odours of specific elements or in the mixture configuration perceived as a whole unique odour. For instance, an AB mixture of the element A (ethyl isobutyrate) and the element B (ethyl maltol) generates a configural AB percept in humans and apparently in another species, the rabbit. Here, we examined whether the memory of such a configuration is distinct from the memory of the individual odorants. Taking advantage of the newborn rabbit's ability to learn odour mixtures, we combined behavioural and pharmacological tools to specifically eliminate elemental memory of A and B after conditioning to the AB mixture and evaluate consequences on configural memory of AB. The amnesic treatment suppressed responsiveness to A and B but not to AB. Two other experiments confirmed the specific perception and particular memory of the AB mixture. These data demonstrate the existence of configurations in certain odour mixtures and their representation as unique objects: after learning, animals form a configural memory of these mixtures, which coexists with, but is relatively dissociated from, memory of their elements. This capability emerges very early in life. PMID:24990670

  16. Integrated odour modelling for sewage treatment works.

    PubMed

    Gostelow, P; Parsons, S A; Lovell, M

    2004-01-01

    Odours from sewage treatment works are a significant source of environmental annoyance. There is a need for tools to assess the degree of annoyance caused, and to assess strategies for mitigation of the problem. This is the role of odour modelling. Four main stages are important in the development of an odour problem. Firstly, the odorous molecules must be formed in the liquid phase. They must then transfer from the liquid to the gaseous phase. They are then transported through the atmosphere to the population surrounding the odour source, and are then perceived and assessed by that population. Odour modelling as currently practised tends to concentrate on the transportation of odorants through the atmosphere, with the other areas receiving less attention. Instead, odour modelling should consider each stage in an integrated manner. This paper describes the development of integrated odour models for annoyance prediction. The models describe the liquid-phase transformations and emission of hydrogen sulphide from sewage treatment processes. Model output is in a form suitable for integration with dispersion models, the predictions of which can in turn be used to indicate the probability of annoyance. The models have been applied to both hypothetical and real sewage treatment works cases. Simulation results have highlighted the potential variability of emission rates from sewage treatment works, resulting from flow, quality and meteorological variations. Emission rate variations can have significant effects on annoyance predictions, which is an important finding, as they are usually considered to be fixed and only meteorological variations are considered in predicting the odour footprint. Areas for further development of integrated odour modelling are discussed, in particular the search for improved links between analytical and sensory measurements, and a better understanding of dose/response relationships for odour annoyance.

  17. Directive on odour in ambient air: an established system of odour measurement and odour regulation in Germany.

    PubMed

    Both, R

    2001-01-01

    The legal basis for any requirement with respect to ambient air quality is the German Federal Protection Act for Ambient Air. According to article 3 Federal Protection Act all odours caused by plants are defined as an annoyance. The problem is to find out whether an annoyance has to be considered as a significant disturbance. In the Directive on Odour in Ambient Air a complete system is designed, beginning with measurement methods and concluding with ambient air quality requirements. In the following paper the tenor of the Directive on Odour is presented, some main aspects of more than five years of practical experience will be shown and a perspective on some future investigations and developments will be given. As a conclusion it is pointed out that in practice, the Directive on Odours has been successful. Both methods, field measurements with panels and dispersion modelling, are generally qualified for the determination of odour loads. The restriction of odour loads by limit values expressed as odour frequency per year for certain areas has been established in a lot of cases.

  18. Is H2S a suitable process indicator for odour abatement performance of sewer odours?

    PubMed

    Wang, B; Sivret, E C; Parcsi, G; Wang, X; Le, N M; Kenny, S; Bustamante, H; Stuetz, R M

    2014-01-01

    Odour abatement units are typically designed and maintained on H(2)S concentrations, but operational failures are reported in terms of overall odour removal, suggesting a wide range of malodorous compounds emitted from sewers that may not be efficiently removed by existing odour abatement processes. Towards providing greater insight into this issue, several activated carbon filters and biofilters treating odorous emissions from sewer systems in Sydney (Australia) were monitored by collecting and analysing gas samples before and after treatment. The monitoring studies were conducted by both olfactometric measurements and gas-chromatography-based chemical analysis. Single H(2)S assessment often failed to indicate the odour abatement performance for treatment systems in the abatement units studied, particularly when the incoming H(2)S concentrations were in the sub-ppm range (i.e. below H(2)S odour threshold). Chemical analysis indicated that some non-H(2)S odorous compounds were not removed efficiently during odour treatment. Additionally, when odour eliminations were correlated with the removal of individual compounds (Pearson's correlations) it was observed that the correlation (with a coefficient of 0.79) was best when the overall removal of all the measured odorous compounds that exceeded their odour threshold values was used for the analysis. These findings may help to further advance the design and operation of odour abatement processes to address the treatment of sewer odour emissions.

  19. Monitoring techniques for odour abatement assessment.

    PubMed

    Muñoz, Raul; Sivret, Eric C; Parcsi, Gavin; Lebrero, R; Wang, Xinguang; Suffet, I H Mel; Stuetz, Richard M

    2010-10-01

    Odorous emissions from sewers and wastewater treatment plants are a complex mixture of volatile chemicals that can cause annoyance to local populations, resulting in complaints to wastewater operators. Due to the variability in hedonic tone and chemical character of odorous emissions, no analytical technique can be applied universally for the assessment of odour abatement performance. Recent developments in analytical methodologies, specifically gas chromatography, odour assessment approaches (odour wheels, the odour profile method and dynamic olfactometry), and more recently combined gas chromatography-sensory analysis, have contributed to improvements in our ability to assesses odorous emissions in terms of odorant concentration and composition. This review collates existing knowledge with the aim of providing new insight into the effectiveness of sensorial and characterisation approaches to improve our understanding of the fate of odorous emissions during odour abatement. While research in non-specific sensor array (e-nose) technology has resulted in progress in the field of continuous odour monitoring, more successful long term case-studies are still needed to overcome the early overoptimistic performance expectations. Knowledge gaps still remain with regards to the decomposition of thermally unstable volatile compounds (especially sulfur compounds), the inability to predict synergistic, antagonistic, or additive interactions among odorants in combined chemical/sensorial analysis techniques, and the long term stability of chemical sensors due to sensor drift, aging, temperature/relative humidity effects, and temporal variations. Future odour abatement monitoring will require the identification of key odorants to facilitate improved process selection, design and management.

  20. Evaluation of an Odour Emission Factor (OEF) to estimate odour emissions from landfill surfaces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lucernoni, Federico; Tapparo, Federica; Capelli, Laura; Sironi, Selena

    2016-11-01

    Emission factors are fundamental tools for air quality management. Odour Emission Factors (OEFs) can be developed in analogy with the emission factors defined for other chemical compounds, which relate the quantity of a pollutant released to the atmosphere to a given associated activity. Landfills typically represent a common source of odour complaint; for this reason, the development of specific OEFs allowing the estimation of odour emissions from this kind of source would be of great interest both for the landfill design and management. This study proposes an up-to-date methodology for the development of an OEF for the estimation of odour emissions from landfills, thereby focusing on the odour emissions related to the emissions of landfill gas (LFG) from the exhausted landfill surface. The proposed approach is an "indirect" approach based on the quantification of the LFG emissions from methane concentration measurements carried out on an Italian landfill. The Odour Emission Rate (OER) is then obtained by multiplying the emitted gas flow rate by the LFG odour concentration. The odour concentration of the LFG emitted through the landfill surface was estimated by means of an ad hoc correlation investigated between methane concentration and odour concentration. The OEF for the estimation of odour emissions from landfill surfaces was computed, considering the landfill surface as the activity index, as the product between the mean specific LFG flux emitted through the surface resulting from the experimental campaigns, equal to 0.39 l/m2/h, and its odour concentration, which was estimated to be equal to 105‧000 eq. ouE/m3, thus giving an OEF of 0.011 ouE/m2/s. This value, which is considerably lower than those published in previous works, should be considered as an improved estimation based on the most recent developments of the research in the field of odour sampling on surface sources.

  1. When Action Observation Facilitates Visual Perception: Activation in Visuo-Motor Areas Contributes to Object Recognition.

    PubMed

    Sim, Eun-Jin; Helbig, Hannah B; Graf, Markus; Kiefer, Markus

    2015-09-01

    Recent evidence suggests an interaction between the ventral visual-perceptual and dorsal visuo-motor brain systems during the course of object recognition. However, the precise function of the dorsal stream for perception remains to be determined. The present study specified the functional contribution of the visuo-motor system to visual object recognition using functional magnetic resonance imaging and event-related potential (ERP) during action priming. Primes were movies showing hands performing an action with an object with the object being erased, followed by a manipulable target object, which either afforded a similar or a dissimilar action (congruent vs. incongruent condition). Participants had to recognize the target object within a picture-word matching task. Priming-related reductions of brain activity were found in frontal and parietal visuo-motor areas as well as in ventral regions including inferior and anterior temporal areas. Effective connectivity analyses suggested functional influences of parietal areas on anterior temporal areas. ERPs revealed priming-related source activity in visuo-motor regions at about 120 ms and later activity in the ventral stream at about 380 ms. Hence, rapidly initiated visuo-motor processes within the dorsal stream functionally contribute to visual object recognition in interaction with ventral stream processes dedicated to visual analysis and semantic integration.

  2. Predicting odour emissions from wastewater treatment plants by means of odour emission factors.

    PubMed

    Capelli, Laura; Sironi, Selena; Del Rosso, Renato; Céntola, Paolo

    2009-04-01

    In this study, the results of odour concentration measurements on different wastewater treatment plants are presented and used in order to estimate the odour emission factors relevant to single odour sources. An odour emission factor is a representative value that relates the quantity of odour released to the atmosphere to a specific activity index, which in this case was the plant treatment capacity, resulting in an odour emission factor expressed in odour units per cubic metre of treated sewage. The results show that the major odour source of a wastewater treatment plant is represented by the primary sedimentation (with an OEF equal to 1.9 x 10(5)ou(E) m(-3)). In general, the highest OEFs are observed in correspondence of the first steps of the wastewater depuration cycle (OEF between 1.1 x 10(4)ou(E) m(-3) and 1.9 x 10(5)ou(E) m(-3)) and tend to decrease along the depuration process (OEF between 7.4 x 10(3)ou(E) m(-3) and 4.3 x 10(4)ou(E) m(-3)). In general, the OEFs calculated according to this approach represent a model for a rough prediction of odour emissions independently from the specific characteristics of the different plants.

  3. Dissociable neural pathways for the perception and recognition of expressive and instrumental gestures.

    PubMed

    Gallagher, Helen L; Frith, Christopher D

    2004-01-01

    Previous functional imaging studies have sought to characterize the neural correlates of gesture representation. However, little is yet known about the representation of different categories of gesture. Here we contrasted the perception of hand gestures that express inner feeling states, e.g. I am angry, I do not care, with the perception of instrumental gestures intended to change the behavior of others by communicating commands, e.g. come here, look over there. We hypothesised that recognition of expressive gestures would activate a network of brain regions associated with mentalising ('theory of mind') whereas instrumental gestures would activate different neural pathways. Twelve normal volunteers underwent fMRI while they watched a series of short videos (3 s duration) of actors performing expressive and instrumental gestures. The volunteers had either to recognise the gesture or to monitor the positions of the hands. As predicted, different neural networks were activated by the observation of instrumental or expressive gestures. The perception of expressive gestures elicited activity in the anterior paracingulate cortex, the amygdala and the temporal poles bilaterally and the right superior temporal sulcus. These regions have all previously been activated during the performance of mentalising tasks. In contrast, instrumental gestures elicited activity in a left-lateralised system previously associated with language and motor imitation.

  4. Odour Identification in Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Rami, Lorena; Loy, Clement T.; Hailstone, Julia; Warren, Jason D.

    2008-01-01

    Little information is available concerning olfactory processing in frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD). We undertook a case-control study of olfactory processing in three male patients fulfilling clinical criteria for FTLD. Odour identification (semantic analysis) and odour discrimination (perceptual analysis) were investigated using tests adapted from the University of Pennsylvania Smell Identification Test. General neuropsychometry and structural volumetric brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) were also performed. The three patients with FTLD exhibited a disorder of olfactory processing with the characteristics of a predominantly semantic (odour identification) deficit. This olfactory deficit was more prominent in patients with greater involvement of the temporal lobes on MRI. Central deficits of odour identification may be more common in FTLD than previously recognised, and these deficits may assist in clinical characterisation. PMID:17380245

  5. Human body odour, symmetry and attractiveness.

    PubMed

    Rikowski, A; Grammer, K

    1999-05-07

    Several studies have found body and facial symmetry as well as attractiveness to be human mate choice criteria. These characteristics are presumed to signal developmental stability. Human body odour has been shown to influence female mate choice depending on the immune system, but the question of whether smell could signal general mate quality, as do other cues, was not addressed in previous studies. We compared ratings of body odour, attractiveness, and measurements of facial and body asymmetry of 16 male and 19 female subjects. Subjects wore a T-shirt for three consecutive nights under controlled conditions. Opposite-sex raters judged the odour of the T-shirts and another group evaluated portraits of the subjects for attractiveness. We measured seven bilateral traits of the subject's body to assess body asymmetry. Facial asymmetry was examined by distance measurements of portrait photographs. The results showed a significant positive correlation between facial attractiveness and sexiness of body odour for female subjects. We found positive relationships between body odour and attractiveness and negative ones between smell and body asymmetry for males only if female odour raters were in the most fertile phase of their menstrual cycle. The outcomes are discussed in the light of different male and female reproductive strategies.

  6. Development of a 15-item odour discrimination test (Düsseldorf Odour Discrimination Test).

    PubMed

    Weierstall, Roland; Pause, Bettina M

    2012-01-01

    A key function of the olfactory system is the detection of differences in odour quality. Therefore, a test was developed to assess odour discrimination ability in normosmic humans. Out of six monomolecular substances (capric acid, coumarin, eugenol, geraniol, phenylethyl alcohol, and vanillin) quaternary mixtures were prepared. Within one item, three odour mixtures were presented (triangle forced-choice procedure). The deviant odour contained the same substances as the two remaining odours; however, the proportions were changed. Study 1 (120 participants) aimed to select items that contribute to a high internal consistency. Study 2 (104 participants) assessed test-retest reliability, parallel test reliability and test validity. Out of 45 items, a 15-item test (Düsseldorf Odour Discrimination Test, DODT) with an internal consistency of 0.61 and medium item difficulties was prepared. The test-retest reliability of the DODT was 0.66 (test interval = 4 weeks) and the parallel test reliability 0.42. The DODT correlated significantly with the University of Pennsylvania Smell Identification Test and to a lesser extent with the phenylethyl alcohol odour threshold test. As the DODT did not correlate with the odour discrimination test of the Sniffin' Sticks, the two tests seem to measure different performances of the olfactory system.

  7. Manipulation of body odour alters men's self-confidence and judgements of their visual attractiveness by women.

    PubMed

    Craig Roberts, S; Little, A C; Lyndon, A; Roberts, J; Havlicek, J; Wright, R L

    2009-02-01

    Human body odour is important in modulating self-perception and interactions between individuals. Artificial fragrances have been used for thousands of years to manipulate personal odour, but the nature and extent of influences on person perception are relatively unexplored. Here we test the effects of a double-blind manipulation of personal odour on self-confidence and behaviour. We gave to male participants either an aerosol spray containing a formulation of fragrance and antimicrobial agents or an otherwise identical spray that lacked these active ingredients. Over several days, we found effects between treatment groups on psychometric self-confidence and self-perceived attractiveness. Furthermore, although there was no difference between groups in mean attractiveness ratings of men's photographs by a female panel, the same women judged men using the active spray as more attractive in video-clips, suggesting a behavioural difference between the groups. Attractiveness of an individual male's non-verbal behaviour, independent of structural facial features, was predicted by the men's self-reported proclivity towards the provided deodorant. Our results demonstrate the pervasive influence of personal odour on self-perception, and how this can extend to impressions on others even when these impressions are formed in the absence of odour cues.

  8. The Emotion Recognition Task: a paradigm to measure the perception of facial emotional expressions at different intensities.

    PubMed

    Montagne, Barbara; Kessels, Roy P C; De Haan, Edward H F; Perrett, David I

    2007-04-01

    The Emotion Recognition Task is a computer-generated paradigm for measuring the recognition of six basic facial emotional expressions: anger, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness, and surprise. Video clips of increasing length were presented, starting with a neutral face that changes into a facial expression of different intensities (20%-100%). The present study describes methodological aspects of the paradigm and its applicability in healthy participants (N=58; 34 men; ages between 22 and 75), specifically focusing on differences in recognition performance between the six emotion types and age-related change. The results showed that happiness was the easiest emotion to recognize, while fear was the most difficult. Moreover, older adults performed worse than young adults on anger, sadness, fear, and happiness, but not on disgust and surprise. These findings indicate that this paradigm is probably more sensitive than emotion perception tasks using static images, suggesting it is a useful tool in the assessment of subtle impairments in emotion perception.

  9. Pheromones cause disease: pheromone/odourant transduction.

    PubMed

    Nicholson, B

    2001-09-01

    This paper compares two models of the sense of smell and demonstrates that the new model has advantages over the accepted model with implications for medical research. The accepted transduction model had an odourant or pheromone contacting an aqueous sensory lymph then movement through it to a receptor membrane beneath. If the odourant or pheromone were non-soluble, the odourant/pheromone supposedly would be bound to a soluble protein in the lymph to be carried across. Thus, an odourant/carrier protein complex physically moved through the receptor lymph/mucus to interact with a membrane bound receptor. After the membranous receptor interaction, the molecule would be deactivated and any odourant/pheromone-binding protein recycled. This new electrical chemosensory model being proposed here has the pheromone or other odourant generating an electrical event in the extra-cellular mucus. Before the pheromone arrives, proteins of the 'carrier class' dissolved in the receptor mucus slowly and continuously sequester ions. A sensed pheromonal chemical species sorbs to the mucus and immediately binds to the now ion-holding dissolved protein. The binding of the pheromone to the protein causes a measurable conformational change in the pheromone/odourant-binding protein, desequestering ions. Releasing the bound ions changes the potential differences across a nearby super-sensitive dendritic membrane resulting in dendrite excitation. Pheromones will be implicated in the aetiology of the infectious, psychiatric and autoimmune diseases. This is the third article in a series of twelve to systematically explore this contention (see references 1-9).

  10. Round robin test for odour testing of migration waters.

    PubMed

    Rapp, Thomas; Günther, Herbert

    2015-04-15

    For a round robin test for EN 1420-1 (Odour assessment for organic materials in contact with drinking water) with 14 contributing laboratories from 10 European countries segments of a plastic pipe were sent to the laboratories which performed a migration test and an odour analysis of the migration waters (water that had contact with the organic material) according to the procedure described in the standard from 1999. In addition reference substances (Methyl tert-butyl ether, 1-butanol and hexanal) were investigated for their suitability to qualify the panels and the individual panellists. Methyl tert-butyl ether (MtBE) and 1-butanol proved to be suitable for this purpose, whereas hexanal showed a wide distribution of the individual odour threshold concentrations. Both possible testing options (unforced and forced choice) were performed and gave similar results. However, with respect to the qualification of the panellists and the data analysis the unforced choice procedure showed advantages. As human olfactory perception is used for the analysis, the reproducibility and the comparability between laboratories is of particular concern. For the pipe material the TON results of the different laboratories were in a range of ±1.5 dilutions based on a dilution factor of 2. This might be improved by taking the individual sensitivities of the panellists into account more strongly. Appropriate measures for the improvement of the test method appear to be the use of the proposed reference substances for the training of the panellists as well as the auditing and the selection of the panellists. The results of this round robin test are used in the revision process of the standard.

  11. Auditory perception and word recognition in Cantonese-Chinese speaking children with and without Specific Language Impairment.

    PubMed

    Kidd, Joanna C; Shum, Kathy K; Wong, Anita M-Y; Ho, Connie S-H; Au, Terry K

    2017-01-01

    Auditory processing and spoken word recognition difficulties have been observed in Specific Language Impairment (SLI), raising the possibility that auditory perceptual deficits disrupt word recognition and, in turn, phonological processing and oral language. In this study, fifty-seven kindergarten children with SLI and fifty-three language-typical age-matched controls were assessed with a speech-gating task to measure spoken word recognition, psychophysical tasks to measure auditory Frequency Modulation (FM) detection and Frequency Discrimination (FD), and standardized psychometric tests of phonological processing and oral language. As a group, children with SLI took significantly longer than language-typical controls to recognize words with high neighborhood density, perhaps reflecting subpar phonological representations. FM, but not FD, was significantly worse in SLI. However, while both poorer speech-gating performance and poorer auditory thresholds (FM) were evident in SLI, spoken word recognition did not mediate any relation between auditory perception and either phonological processing or oral language.

  12. Appetitive floral odours prevent aggression in honeybees.

    PubMed

    Nouvian, Morgane; Hotier, Lucie; Claudianos, Charles; Giurfa, Martin; Reinhard, Judith

    2015-12-22

    Honeybees defend their colonies aggressively against intruders and release a potent alarm pheromone to recruit nestmates into defensive tasks. The effect of floral odours on this behaviour has never been studied, despite the relevance of these olfactory cues for the biology of bees. Here we use a novel assay to investigate social and olfactory cues that drive defensive behaviour in bees. We show that social interactions are necessary to reveal the recruiting function of the alarm pheromone and that specific floral odours-linalool and 2-phenylethanol-have the surprising capacity to block recruitment by the alarm pheromone. This effect is not due to an olfactory masking of the pheromone by the floral odours, but correlates with their appetitive value. In addition to their potential applications, these findings provide new insights about how honeybees make the decision to engage into defence and how conflicting information affects this process.

  13. Differential Odour Coding of Isotopomers in the Honeybee Brain

    PubMed Central

    Paoli, Marco; Anesi, Andrea; Antolini, Renzo; Guella, Graziano; Vallortigara, Giorgio; Haase, Albrecht

    2016-01-01

    The shape recognition model of olfaction maintains that odorant reception probes physicochemical properties such as size, shape, electric charge, and hydrophobicity of the ligand. Recently, insects were shown to distinguish common from deuterated isotopomers of the same odorant, suggesting the involvement of other molecular properties to odorant reception. Via two-photon functional microscopy we investigated how common and deuterated isoforms of natural odorants are coded within the honeybee brain. Our results provide evidence that (i) different isotopomers generate different neuronal activation maps, (ii) isotopomer sensitivity is a general mechanism common to multiple odorant receptors, and (iii) isotopomer specificity is highly consistent across individuals. This indicates that honeybee’s olfactory system discriminates between isotopomers of the same odorant, suggesting that other features, such as molecular vibrations, may contribute to odour signal transduction. PMID:26899989

  14. A review of cuttlefish camouflage and object recognition and evidence for depth perception.

    PubMed

    Kelman, Emma J; Osorio, Daniel; Baddeley, Roland J

    2008-06-01

    Cuttlefishes of the genus Sepia produce adaptive camouflage by regulating the expression of visual features such as spots and lines, and textures including stipples and stripes. They produce the appropriate pattern for a given environment by co-ordinated expression of about 40 of these 'chromatic components'. This behaviour has great flexibility, allowing the animals to produce a very large number of patterns, and hence gives unique access to cuttlefish visual perception. We have, for instance, tested their sensitivity to image parameters including spatial frequency, orientation and spatial phase. One can also ask what features in the visual environment elicit a given coloration pattern; here most work has been on the disruptive body pattern, which includes well-defined light and dark features. On 2-D backgrounds, isolated pale objects of a specific size, that have well-defined edges, elicit the disruptive pattern. Here we show that visual depth is also relevant. Naturally, cuttlefish probably use the disruptive pattern amongst discrete objects, such as pebbles. We suggest that they use several visual cues to 'identify' this type of background (including: edges, contrast, size, and real and pictorial depth). To conclude we argue that the visual strategy cuttlefish use to select camouflage is fundamentally similar to human object recognition.

  15. Face familiarity promotes stable identity recognition: exploring face perception using serial dependence

    PubMed Central

    Kok, Rebecca; Van der Burg, Erik; Rhodes, Gillian; Alais, David

    2017-01-01

    Studies suggest that familiar faces are processed in a manner distinct from unfamiliar faces and that familiarity with a face confers an advantage in identity recognition. Our visual system seems to capitalize on experience to build stable face representations that are impervious to variation in retinal input that may occur due to changes in lighting, viewpoint, viewing distance, eye movements, etc. Emerging evidence also suggests that our visual system maintains a continuous perception of a face's identity from one moment to the next despite the retinal input variations through serial dependence. This study investigates whether interactions occur between face familiarity and serial dependence. In two experiments, participants used a continuous scale to rate attractiveness of unfamiliar and familiar faces (either experimentally learned or famous) presented in rapid sequences. Both experiments revealed robust inter-trial effects in which attractiveness ratings for a given face depended on the preceding face's attractiveness. This inter-trial attractiveness effect was most pronounced for unfamiliar faces. Indeed, when participants were familiar with a given face, attractiveness ratings showed significantly less serial dependence. These results represent the first evidence that familiar faces can resist the temporal integration seen in sequential dependencies and highlight the importance of familiarity to visual cognition.

  16. Biotechnology-based odour control: design criteria and performance data.

    PubMed

    Quigley, C; Easter, C; Burrowes, P; Witherspoon, J

    2004-01-01

    As neighbouring areas continue to encroach upon wastewater treatment plants, there is an increasing need for odour control to mitigate potential negative offsite odorous impacts. One technology that is gaining widespread acceptance is biotechnology, which utilises the inherent ability of certain microorganisms to biodegrade offensive odorous compounds. Two main advantages of this form of treatment over other odour control technologies include the absence of hazardous chemicals and relatively low operation and maintenance requirements. The purpose of this paper is to provide information related to odour control design criteria used in sizing/selecting biotechnology-based odour control technologies, and to provide odour removal performance data obtained from several different biotechnology-based odour control systems. CH2M HILL has collected biotechnology-based odour control performance data over the last several years in order to track the continued performance of various biofilters and biotowers over time. Specifically, odour removal performance data have been collected from soil-, organic- and inorganic-media biofilters and inert inorganic media biotowers. Results indicate that biotechnology-based odour control is a viable and consistent technology capable of achieving high removal performance for odour and hydrogen sulphide. It is anticipated that the information presented in this paper will be of interest to anyone involved with odour control technology evaluation/selection or design review.

  17. Control of odour emission in wastewater treatment plants by direct and undirected measurement of odour emission capacity.

    PubMed

    Zarra, T; Giuliani, S; Naddeo, V; Belgiorno, V

    2012-01-01

    Odour emissions from wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) are considered to be the main causes of disturbance noticed by the exposed population and have relevant impacts on both tourism economy and land costs. Odour impact from WWTPs is generated by primary and secondary odour emissions. Primary odour emissions are related especially to the wastewater type and variability discharged into the sewer and directed to the WWTP, and to the wastewater collection and sewage system. Secondary odours are related to the treatment units of the plant. Several studies describe the key role of primary odour emissions and how they are strongly related to odour impacts of WWTPs. In this way, a opportune characterization of the emission capacity of primary odour could be an effective way to control odour emission in the WWTPs. In this study the odour emission capacity (OEC) of different domestic sewers was described and investigated; a correlation between the OEC and the main physical-chemical parameters of wastewater quality was also carried out. Results of this study identify the optimum conditions for sampling and measuring OEC in wastewaters and define its dependence by wastewater quality. These results can contribute to setting the standards for the maximum odourant content of wastewater that are discharged into the publicly owned sewage system.

  18. Odour emissions from poultry litter - A review litter properties, odour formation and odorant emissions from porous materials.

    PubMed

    Dunlop, Mark W; Blackall, Patrick J; Stuetz, Richard M

    2016-07-15

    Odour emissions from meat chicken sheds can at times cause odour impacts on surrounding communities. Litter is seen as the primary source of this odour. Formation and emission of odour from meat chicken litter during the grow-out period are influenced by various factors such as litter conditions, the environment, microbial activity, properties of the odorous gases and management practices. Odour emissions vary spatially and temporally. This variability has made it challenging to understand how specific litter conditions contribute to odour emissions from the litter and production sheds. Existing knowledge on odorants, odour formation mechanisms and emission processes that contribute to odour emissions from litter are reviewed. Litter moisture content and water thermodynamics (i.e. water activity, Aw) are also examined as factors that contribute to microbial odour formation, physical litter conditions and the exchange of individual odorant gases at the air-water interface. Substantial opportunities exist for future research on litter conditions and litter formation mechanisms and how these contribute to odour emissions. Closing this knowledge gap will improve management strategies that intercept and interfere with odour formation and emission processes leading to an overall reduction in the potential to cause community impacts.

  19. Recent odour regulation developments in Flanders: ambient odour quality standards based on dose-response relationships.

    PubMed

    Van Broeck, G; Van Langenhove, H; Nieuwejaers, B

    2001-01-01

    Until now there has been little uniformity in the approach of odour nuisance problems in Flanders. A switch to a standardised and scientifically underpinned approach is essential and is currently in full development. This paper mainly discusses the results of five year research on odour concentration standard developments in Flanders, executed in the period 1996-2000. The research was focused on five pilot sectors: pig farms, slaughterhouses, paint spray installations, sewage treatment plants and textile plants. The general approach of the method to determine the dose-response relation was found to be sufficient. The methodology used is fully described in the paper presented by Van Broeck and Van Langenhove at the CIWEM and IAWO Joint International Conference on Control and Prevention of Odours in the Water Industry in September 1999. For each location (16 locations in total) an unambiguous dose-response relation could be derived (rising nuisance for rising concentrations). In most cases, a "no effect" level could be determined. The background percentage nuisance fluctuated between 0 and 15%. For the sectors of the slaughterhouses, paint spray installations and sewage treatment plants a no effect level was 0.5, 2.0 and 0.5 sniffing units m(-3) as 98th percentile (sniffing units are odour concentrations measured by means of sniffing measurements on the field) was determined. For the sectors of the textile plants and pig farms, no unambiguous no effect level was found. Currently research is undertaken to translate the no effect levels to odour standards. Other initiatives, taken to underpin the Flemish odour regulations, such as the development of an odour source inventory and a complaint handling system, are also briefly discussed.

  20. Odour in composting processes at pilot scale: monitoring and biofiltration.

    PubMed

    Gutiérrez, M C; Serrano, A; Martín, M A; Chica, A F

    2014-08-01

    Although odour emissions associated with the composting process, especially during the hydrolytic stage, are widely known, their impact on surrounding areas is not easily quantifiable, For this reason, odour emissions during the first stage ofcomposting were evaluated by dynamic olfactometry at pilot scale in order to obtain results which can be extrapolated to industrial facilities. The composting was carried out in a commercial dynamic respirometer equipped with two biofilters at pilot scale filled with prunings (Populus) and mature compost obtained from the organic fraction of municipal solid waste. Given that the highest odour emissions occur in the first stage of the composting process, this stage was carried out in a closed system to better control the odour emissions, whose maximum value was estimated to be 2.78 ouF S-1 during the experiments. Odour concentration, the dynamic respiration index and temperature showed the same evolution during composting, thus indicating that odour could be a key variable in the monitoring process. Other variables such as total organic carbon (CTOC) and pH were also found to be significant in this study due to their influence over odour emissions. The efficiency of the biofilters (empty bed residence time of 86 s) was determined by quantifying the odour emissions at the inlet and outlet of both biofilters. The moisture content in the biofilters was found to be an important variable for improving odour removal efficiency, while the minimum moisture percentage to obtain successful results was found to be 55% (odour removal efficiency of 95%).

  1. RecceMan: an interactive recognition assistance for image-based reconnaissance: synergistic effects of human perception and computational methods for object recognition, identification, and infrastructure analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    El Bekri, Nadia; Angele, Susanne; Ruckhäberle, Martin; Peinsipp-Byma, Elisabeth; Haelke, Bruno

    2015-10-01

    This paper introduces an interactive recognition assistance system for imaging reconnaissance. This system supports aerial image analysts on missions during two main tasks: Object recognition and infrastructure analysis. Object recognition concentrates on the classification of one single object. Infrastructure analysis deals with the description of the components of an infrastructure and the recognition of the infrastructure type (e.g. military airfield). Based on satellite or aerial images, aerial image analysts are able to extract single object features and thereby recognize different object types. It is one of the most challenging tasks in the imaging reconnaissance. Currently, there are no high potential ATR (automatic target recognition) applications available, as consequence the human observer cannot be replaced entirely. State-of-the-art ATR applications cannot assume in equal measure human perception and interpretation. Why is this still such a critical issue? First, cluttered and noisy images make it difficult to automatically extract, classify and identify object types. Second, due to the changed warfare and the rise of asymmetric threats it is nearly impossible to create an underlying data set containing all features, objects or infrastructure types. Many other reasons like environmental parameters or aspect angles compound the application of ATR supplementary. Due to the lack of suitable ATR procedures, the human factor is still important and so far irreplaceable. In order to use the potential benefits of the human perception and computational methods in a synergistic way, both are unified in an interactive assistance system. RecceMan® (Reconnaissance Manual) offers two different modes for aerial image analysts on missions: the object recognition mode and the infrastructure analysis mode. The aim of the object recognition mode is to recognize a certain object type based on the object features that originated from the image signatures. The

  2. Appetitive floral odours prevent aggression in honeybees

    PubMed Central

    Nouvian, Morgane; Hotier, Lucie; Claudianos, Charles; Giurfa, Martin; Reinhard, Judith

    2015-01-01

    Honeybees defend their colonies aggressively against intruders and release a potent alarm pheromone to recruit nestmates into defensive tasks. The effect of floral odours on this behaviour has never been studied, despite the relevance of these olfactory cues for the biology of bees. Here we use a novel assay to investigate social and olfactory cues that drive defensive behaviour in bees. We show that social interactions are necessary to reveal the recruiting function of the alarm pheromone and that specific floral odours—linalool and 2-phenylethanol—have the surprising capacity to block recruitment by the alarm pheromone. This effect is not due to an olfactory masking of the pheromone by the floral odours, but correlates with their appetitive value. In addition to their potential applications, these findings provide new insights about how honeybees make the decision to engage into defence and how conflicting information affects this process. PMID:26694599

  3. Measurement of odour with focus on sampling techniques.

    PubMed

    Bockreis, A; Steinberg, I

    2005-01-01

    The treatment of waste and many manufacturing processes cause odour emissions. In order to prevent odours, the residents and businesses in the neighbourhood of such plants complain about odour, and it becomes necessary to reduce the emissions. To achieve that, the emissions have to be investigated and evaluated in a representative and reproducible manner. The DIN EN 13725 (2003) [DIN EN 13725. 2003. Luftbeschaffenheit--Bestimmung der Geruchsstoffkonzentration mit dynamischer Olfaktometrie--Air quality--Determination of odour concentration by dynamic olfactometry, Deutsche Fassung EN 13725:2003. Beuth Verlag, Berlin (DE)] provides a European standard for the measurement of odour. Nevertheless, the subject of sampling is not standardised; even though it has a substantial influence on the results of the measurements. In this paper, the odour measurement itself, as well as the different kinds of sampling methods (depending on the specific type of source), will be presented and discussed.

  4. Calculation of odour emissions from aircraft engines at Copenhagen Airport.

    PubMed

    Winther, Morten; Kousgaard, Uffe; Oxbøl, Arne

    2006-07-31

    In a new approach the odour emissions from aircraft engines at Copenhagen Airport are calculated using actual fuel flow and emission measurements (one main engine and one APU: Auxiliary Power Unit), odour panel results, engine specific data and aircraft operational data for seven busy days. The calculation principle assumes a linear relation between odour and HC emissions. Using a digitalisation of the aircraft movements in the airport area, the results are depicted on grid maps, clearly reflecting aircraft operational statistics as single flights or total activity during a whole day. The results clearly reflect the short-term temporal fluctuations of the emissions of odour (and exhaust gases). Aircraft operating at low engine thrust (taxiing, queuing and landing) have a total odour emission share of almost 98%, whereas the shares for the take off/climb out phases (2%) and APU usage (0.5%) are only marginal. In most hours of the day, the largest odour emissions occur, when the total amount of fuel burned during idle is high. However, significantly higher HC emissions for one specific engine cause considerable amounts of odour emissions during limited time periods. The experimentally derived odour emission factor of 57 OU/mg HC is within the range of 23 and 110 OU/mg HC used in other airport odour studies. The distribution of odour emission results between aircraft operational phases also correspond very well with the results for these other studies. The present study uses measurement data for a representative engine. However, the uncertainties become large when the experimental data is used to estimate the odour emissions for all aircraft engines. More experimental data is needed to increase inventory accuracy, and in terms of completeness it is recommended to make odour emission estimates also for engine start and the fuelling of aircraft at Copenhagen Airport in the future.

  5. Deficits in audiovisual speech perception in normal aging emerge at the level of whole-word recognition

    PubMed Central

    Stevenson, Ryan A.; Nelms, Caitlin; Baum, Sarah H.; Zurkovsky, Lilia; Barense, Morgan D.; Newhouse, Paul A.; Wallace, Mark T.

    2014-01-01

    Over the next two decades, a dramatic shift in the demographics of society will take place, with a rapid growth in the population of older adults. One of the most common complaints with healthy aging is a decreased ability to successfully perceive speech, particularly in noisy environments. In such noisy environments, the presence of visual speech cues (i.e., lip movements) provide striking benefits for speech perception and comprehension, but previous research suggests that older adults gain less from such audiovisual integration than their younger peers. To determine at what processing level these behavioral differences arise in healthy-aging populations, we administered a speech-in-noise task to younger and older adults. We compared the perceptual benefits of having speech information available in both the auditory and visual modalities and examined both phoneme and whole-word recognition across varying levels of signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). For whole-word recognition, older relative to younger adults showed greater multisensory gains at intermediate SNRs, but reduced benefit at low SNRs. By contrast, at the phoneme level both younger and older adults showed approximately equivalent increases in multisensory gain as SNR decreased. Collectively, the results provide important insights into both the similarities and differences in how older and younger adults integrate auditory and visual speech cues in noisy environments, and help explain some of the conflicting findings in previous studies of multisensory speech perception in healthy aging. These novel findings suggest that audiovisual processing is intact at more elementary levels of speech perception in healthy aging populations, and that deficits begin to emerge only at the more complex, word-recognition level of speech signals. PMID:25282337

  6. Deficits in audiovisual speech perception in normal aging emerge at the level of whole-word recognition.

    PubMed

    Stevenson, Ryan A; Nelms, Caitlin E; Baum, Sarah H; Zurkovsky, Lilia; Barense, Morgan D; Newhouse, Paul A; Wallace, Mark T

    2015-01-01

    Over the next 2 decades, a dramatic shift in the demographics of society will take place, with a rapid growth in the population of older adults. One of the most common complaints with healthy aging is a decreased ability to successfully perceive speech, particularly in noisy environments. In such noisy environments, the presence of visual speech cues (i.e., lip movements) provide striking benefits for speech perception and comprehension, but previous research suggests that older adults gain less from such audiovisual integration than their younger peers. To determine at what processing level these behavioral differences arise in healthy-aging populations, we administered a speech-in-noise task to younger and older adults. We compared the perceptual benefits of having speech information available in both the auditory and visual modalities and examined both phoneme and whole-word recognition across varying levels of signal-to-noise ratio. For whole-word recognition, older adults relative to younger adults showed greater multisensory gains at intermediate SNRs but reduced benefit at low SNRs. By contrast, at the phoneme level both younger and older adults showed approximately equivalent increases in multisensory gain as signal-to-noise ratio decreased. Collectively, the results provide important insights into both the similarities and differences in how older and younger adults integrate auditory and visual speech cues in noisy environments and help explain some of the conflicting findings in previous studies of multisensory speech perception in healthy aging. These novel findings suggest that audiovisual processing is intact at more elementary levels of speech perception in healthy-aging populations and that deficits begin to emerge only at the more complex word-recognition level of speech signals.

  7. Self perception of empathy in schizophrenia: emotion recognition, insight, and symptoms predict degree of self and interviewer agreement.

    PubMed

    Lysaker, Paul H; Hasson-Ohayon, Ilanit; Kravetz, Shlomo; Kent, Jerillyn S; Roe, David

    2013-04-30

    Many with schizophrenia have been found to experience difficulties recognizing a range of their own mental states including memories and emotions. While there is some evidence that the self perception of empathy in schizophrenia is often at odds with objective observations, little is known about the correlates of rates of concordance between self and rater assessments of empathy for this group. To explore this issue we gathered self and rater assessments of empathy in addition to assessments of emotion recognition using the Bell Lysaker Emotion Recognition Task, insight using the Scale to Assess Unawareness of Mental Disorder, and symptoms using the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale from 91 adults diagnosed with schizophrenia spectrum disorders. Results revealed that participants with better emotion recognition, better insight, fewer positive symptoms and fewer depressive symptoms produced self ratings of empathy which were more strongly correlated with assessments of empathy performed by raters than participants with greater deficits in these domains. Results suggest that deficits in emotion recognition along with poor insight and higher levels of positive and depressive symptoms may affect the degree of agreement between self and rater assessments of empathy in schizophrenia.

  8. A tangerine-scented social odour in a monogamous seabird.

    PubMed Central

    Hagelin, Julie C; Jones, Ian L; Rasmussen, L E L

    2003-01-01

    Social odours, conspecific chemical signals, have been demonstrated in every class of vertebrate except birds. The apparent absence is surprising, as every bird examined has a functional olfactory system and many produce odours. The crested auklet (Aethia cristatella), a monogamous seabird, exhibits a distinctive tangerine-like scent closely associated with courtship. Using T-maze experiments, we tested whether auklets preferred conspecific odours and whether they distinguished between different types of scent, two prerequisites of chemical communication. Crested auklets exhibited: (i) an attraction to conspecific feather odour; (ii) a preference for two chemical components of feather scent (cis-4-decenal and octanal), which we identified as seasonally elevated; and (iii) differential responses to odours, as indicated by a preference for auklet odour, an aversion to mammalian musk, but no significant response to banana essence (amyl acetate). Our results suggest that crested auklets detect plumage odour and preferentially orientate towards this stimulus. The striking and well-described courtship display that involves the scented neck region, the 'ruff sniff', provides a conspicuous behavioural mechanism for odour transmission and the potential for scent assessment during sexual selection. Although the importance and full social function of chemical signals are just beginning to be understood in birds, including crested auklets, social odours promise to reveal a largely unexplored and possibly widespread means of avian communication. PMID:12965022

  9. Revisiting vocal perception in non-human animals: a review of vowel discrimination, speaker voice recognition, and speaker normalization

    PubMed Central

    Kriengwatana, Buddhamas; Escudero, Paola; ten Cate, Carel

    2015-01-01

    The extent to which human speech perception evolved by taking advantage of predispositions and pre-existing features of vertebrate auditory and cognitive systems remains a central question in the evolution of speech. This paper reviews asymmetries in vowel perception, speaker voice recognition, and speaker normalization in non-human animals – topics that have not been thoroughly discussed in relation to the abilities of non-human animals, but are nonetheless important aspects of vocal perception. Throughout this paper we demonstrate that addressing these issues in non-human animals is relevant and worthwhile because many non-human animals must deal with similar issues in their natural environment. That is, they must also discriminate between similar-sounding vocalizations, determine signaler identity from vocalizations, and resolve signaler-dependent variation in vocalizations from conspecifics. Overall, we find that, although plausible, the current evidence is insufficiently strong to conclude that directional asymmetries in vowel perception are specific to humans, or that non-human animals can use voice characteristics to recognize human individuals. However, we do find some indication that non-human animals can normalize speaker differences. Accordingly, we identify avenues for future research that would greatly improve and advance our understanding of these topics. PMID:25628583

  10. Odour-based recognition of nectar in cursorial spiders

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Increasingly, carnivorous arthropods are known to feed on plant-derived foods, such as honeydew, pollen, and nectar. Consumption of saccharides from non-prey food in spiders that ambush or stalk their prey also appears to be more widespread than previously thought. This is not surprising, since in...

  11. Odour emission ability (OEA) and its application in assessing odour removal efficiency.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xinguang; Parcsi, Gavin; Sivret, Eric; Le, Hung; Wang, Bei; Stuetz, Richard M

    2012-01-01

    Odourous emissions from sewer networks and wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) can significantly impact a local population. Sampling techniques such as wind tunnels and flux hood chambers are traditionally used to collect area source samples for subsequent quantification of odour emission rates using dilution olfactometry, however these methods are unsuitable for assessing liquid samples from point sources due to the large liquid volumes required. To overcome this limitation, a gas phase sample preparation method was developed for assessing the total Odour Emission Ability (OEA) from a liquid sample. The method was validated using two volatile organic sulphur compounds (VOSCs), dimethyl-trisulphide (DMTS) and bismethylthiomethane (BMTM) that are frequently detected from sewers and WWTPs and are relatively stable compared with common VOSCs like mercaptan or methyl mercaptan. The recovery rates of DMTS and BMTM were quantified by injecting a known volume of a standard liquid sample into Tedlar bags using a static injection and a dynamic injection methodology. It was confirmed that both dynamic and static injection methods at ambient condition achieved high recovery rates with no need to consider increasing evaporation by elevating the temperature. This method can also be used to assess odour removal effectiveness of liquids by comparing the OEA before and after the treatment tests. Two application examples were presented.

  12. Odourant dominance in olfactory mixture processing: what makes a strong odourant?

    PubMed

    Schubert, Marco; Sandoz, Jean-Christophe; Galizia, Giovanni; Giurfa, Martin

    2015-03-07

    The question of how animals process stimulus mixtures remains controversial as opposing views propose that mixtures are processed analytically, as the sum of their elements, or holistically, as unique entities different from their elements. Overshadowing is a widespread phenomenon that can help decide between these alternatives. In overshadowing, an individual trained with a binary mixture learns one element better at the expense of the other. Although element salience (learning success) has been suggested as a main explanation for overshadowing, the mechanisms underlying this phenomenon remain unclear. We studied olfactory overshadowing in honeybees to uncover the mechanisms underlying olfactory-mixture processing. We provide, to our knowledge, the most comprehensive dataset on overshadowing to date based on 90 experimental groups involving more than 2700 bees trained either with six odourants or with their resulting 15 binary mixtures. We found that bees process olfactory mixtures analytically and that salience alone cannot predict overshadowing. After normalizing learning success, we found that an unexpected feature, the generalization profile of an odourant, was determinant for overshadowing. Odourants that induced less generalization enhanced their distinctiveness and became dominant in the mixture. Our study thus uncovers features that determine odourant dominance within olfactory mixtures and allows the referring of this phenomenon to differences in neural activity both at the receptor and the central level in the insect nervous system.

  13. Odour-modulated collective network oscillations of olfactory interneurons in a terrestrial mollusc

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gelperin, Alan; Tank, David W.

    1990-05-01

    DETERMINATION of the dynamical structure of neural circuits—the general principles of how neural activity varies with time and manipulates information—is a prerequisite to understanding their computational function1. Rhythmically active or oscillating neural circuits are particularly interesting dynamical structures, as rhythms and oscillations are a prominent feature of mammalian central nervous system electrophysiology. Coherent oscillations by networks of interneurons are observed in the vertebrate olfactory system2,3 and have recently been described in mammalian visual cortex4-6. These interneuronal networks display oscillations in local field potential (LFP) and probability of producing action potentials that are highly correlated between subcircuits sharing the same stimulus features. Much less is known about the existence and importance of network oscillations in the higher centres of invertebrates7. Here we report that a network of olfactory inter-neurons in the cerebral ganglion of the terrestrial mollusc Limax maximus also displays coherent oscillations in LFP which are modified by odour input. This dynamical structure could be central to the odour recognition and odour learning ability of Limax8,9.

  14. Liking the odour, liking the food. Toddlers' liking of strongly flavoured foods correlates with liking of their odour.

    PubMed

    Wagner, S; Issanchou, S; Chabanet, C; Lange, C; Schaal, B; Monnery-Patris, S

    2014-10-01

    Olfaction plays a significant role in the sensing of foods. However, little information is available at any age on the relationship between the hedonic responses to given food odours and the effective liking and disliking of foods bearing these same odours. The present study aimed to assess the relationships between food odour liking and liking of the corresponding foods. This study relied on a longitudinal design involving 235 toddlers who were assessed for both their observed liking of a set of food odours and their parent-reported liking of foods at 12 and 22 months. To assess odour liking, eight odorants representing pleasant and unpleasant foods were presented in bottles along with neutral stimuli. The participants' behaviour towards the odorized and control bottles was measured in terms of mouthing, a behaviour considered to reflect attraction. For each odorant, odour-liking scores were calculated relative to the control. The participants' food liking was rated by the parents at the periods 12-15 and 21-24 months. Positive correlations were found between the odour-liking scores for some of the odours and the liking of the associated foods. These correlations concerned foods with strong, unpleasant flavours at 12 months only, suggesting that the olfactory system acts as an 'alarm' system during this period of food transition. At 22 months, no significant correlations were found, except a marginal one for green vegetables. Whatever the age, no significant correlations were found for pleasant odours. Thus, some correlations were found between the observed odour liking for food-related odours and the liking for the corresponding foods. However, these relationships are subject to developmental fluctuations depending on the hedonic nature of the odorants and the age when infants are tested.

  15. Reduction of odours in pilot-scale landfill biocovers.

    PubMed

    Capanema, M A; Cabana, H; Cabral, A R

    2014-04-01

    Unpleasant odours generated from waste management facilities represent an environmental and societal concern. This multi-year study documented odour and total reduced sulfur (TRS) abatement in four experimental landfill biocovers installed on the final cover of the Saint-Nicéphore landfill (Canada). Performance was evaluated based on the reduction in odour and TRS concentrations between the raw biogas collected from a dedicated well and the emitted gases at the surface. Odour analyses were carried out by the sensorial technique of olfactometry, whereas TRS analyses followed the pulse fluorescence technique. The large difference of 2-5 orders of magnitude between raw biogas (average odour concentration=2,100,000OUm(-3)) and emitted gases resulted in odour removal efficiencies of close to 100% for all observations. With respect to TRS concentrations, abatement efficiencies were all greater than 95%, with values averaging 21,000ppb of eq. SO2 in the raw biogas. The influence of water infiltration on odour concentrations was documented and showed that lower odour values were obtained when the 48-h accumulated precipitation prior to sampling was higher.

  16. Machine shape perception: object recognition based on need-driven resolution flexibility and convex-hull carving

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yen, Sidney; Kondraske, George V.

    1992-02-01

    A hierarchical shape decomposition method called Convex-Hull Carving, derived from Sklansky's Concavity Tree and designed to accommodate the incorporation of human flexible resolution visual perception strategies in machine recognition, is proposed. The method characterizes an arbitrary complex shape at multiple hierarchical levels starting from a gross perspective of the entire shape itself, and progressing to decomposed and quantified convex sub-shapes, etc. Calculation complexity and the amount of data to be processed for object recognition applications are reduced. Sklansky's Concavity Tree is a hierarchical arrangement for describing nonconvex shapes. The concavity tree of a shape is defined as a tree describing the hierarchical arrangement of concavities; i.e., concavities within concavities. In the proposed Convex-Hull Carving method, the concavity tree structure is converted to a structure analogous to a chemical molecule. Tree components represent the `atoms' of the molecule and are characterized by their geometric position and a recently defined quantitative shape attribute called the shape quantifier. In addition, the number of hierarchical levels of shape description employed during recognition is driven by: (1) meeting `need to discriminate' criteria; or (2) the determination that all components (`atoms') are convex within predefined acceptance criteria (i.e., no further reduction is possible). The method was implemented to classify a set of two-dimensional aircraft shapes. Results showed that the method is stable with variation of rotation, scaling, and image resolution factors, as well as small viewing angle projection changes.

  17. Tracking the time course of action priming on object recognition: evidence for fast and slow influences of action on perception.

    PubMed

    Kiefer, Markus; Sim, Eun-Jin; Helbig, Hannah; Graf, Markus

    2011-08-01

    Perception and action are classically thought to be supported by functionally and neuroanatomically distinct mechanisms. However, recent behavioral studies using an action priming paradigm challenged this view and showed that action representations can facilitate object recognition. This study determined whether action representations influence object recognition during early visual processing stages, that is, within the first 150 msec. To this end, the time course of brain activation underlying such action priming effects was examined by recording ERPs. Subjects were sequentially presented with two manipulable objects (e.g., tools), which had to be named. In the congruent condition, both objects afforded similar actions, whereas dissimilar actions were afforded in the incongruent condition. In order to test the influence of the prime modality on action priming, the first object (prime) was presented either as picture or as word. We found an ERP effect of action priming over the central scalp as early as 100 msec after target onset for pictorial, but not for verbal primes. A later action priming effect on the N400 ERP component known to index semantic integration processes was obtained for both picture and word primes. The early effect was generated in a fronto-parietal motor network, whereas the late effect reflected activity in anterior temporal areas. The present results indicate that action priming influences object recognition through both fast and slow pathways: Action priming affects rapid visuomotor processes only when elicited by pictorial prime stimuli. However, it also modulates comparably slow conceptual integration processes independent of the prime modality.

  18. Antimicrobial textiles, skin-borne flora and odour.

    PubMed

    Höfer, Dirk

    2006-01-01

    Along with climate and physical activity, textiles have an effect on sweating and the development of odours. Accordingly, textiles inadequately optimized in terms of clothing technology as a result of poorly cut structures or poor materials result in increased sweating and odour. However, the development of body odour itself cannot be avoided, even with optimally designed clothing. Therefore new textiles, 'treated with antimicrobial agents', have been developed, with the aim of reducing odour by decreasing the number of germs on the skin. From the scientific point of view, the interactions between textiles, sweat, skin and skin flora are extremely complex. For this reason, this article explains in more detail the basic principles of odour formation resulting from sweat and how this can be influenced by textiles treated with antimicrobial agents. With reference to the results of recent research, the article looks into questions of how textiles treated with antimicrobial agents have an effect on populations of skin bacteria.

  19. Colour preferences influences odour learning in the hawkmoth, Macroglossum stellatarum

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Balkenius, Anna; Kelber, Almut

    2006-05-01

    The hummingbird hawkmoth, Macroglossum stellatarum, learns colour fast and reliably. It has earlier been shown to spontaneously feed from odourless artificial flowers. Now, we have studied odour learning. The moths were trained to discriminate feeders of the same colour but marked with different odours. They did not learn to discriminate two natural flower odours when they were presented with the innately preferred colour blue, but they did learn this discrimination combined with yellow or green colours that are less attractive to the moth. The yellow colour could be trained to become as attractive as the innately preferred blue colour and the blue colour could be trained to become less attractive. This is the first proof of odour learning in a diurnal moth. The results show that M. stellatarum can use more than one modality in their foraging behaviour and that the system is plastic. By manipulating the preferences for the different colours, their influence on odour learning could be changed.

  20. Development of a diagnostic tool: the wastewater collection network odour wheel.

    PubMed

    Decottignies, V; Huyard, A; Kelly, R F; Barillon, B

    2013-01-01

    The assessment of nuisance odour problems and the application of an effective odour management programme for the associated industrial activity may be achieved using a representative odour wheel and Odour Profile Analysis methodology. The odour wheel is a very useful tool for conducting odour quality control monitoring and developing a constructive dialogue regarding nuisance odours with the public. Previously, odours from wastewater treatment plant activities have been identified and described with a dedicated odour wheel. The oxidation state of the organic chemicals responsible for a given odour depends on multiple parameters specific to the individual wastewater collection networks (residence time of wastewater, topographic disposition and network slope, aeration and on line chemical treatment processes). This is especially important for odorous nitrogen, sulfur and volatile fatty acids. Trained sensory odour panels combined with chemical analyses have been used to study wastewater collection network odours and to adapt the wastewater odour wheel accordingly. The wastewater collection network odour wheel has been produced using the results of five sampling campaigns; eight out of the 11 odour families constituting the wastewater odour wheel have been identified and consequently validated for sewer networks. Different groups of odours have been perceived according to the presence or absence of wastewater effluents at the various sampling points.

  1. Philadelphia obtains useful information from its customers about taste and odour quality.

    PubMed

    Burlingame, G A; Mackey, E D

    2007-01-01

    Customers are sensitive to the flavour of water. Customers evaluate drinking water based on their expectations, on experiences with their usual drinking water and on experiences with alternative waters. The Philadelphia Water Department provides one example of success in developing a better understanding of customer perceptions and attitudes about tap water taste and odour. Philadelphia found that customers do communicate in ways that water utilities can understand. Water utilities can enhance that communication and collect useful data. In addition, water utilities can characterise their tap water flavour, track it for changes and correlate changes to customer complaints.

  2. Abu Dhabi's strategic tunnel enhancement programme: odour extraction system approaches.

    PubMed

    Cowden, Scott; Witherspoon, Jay; Orakzai, Shahzad; Krause, T

    2012-01-01

    The Emirate of Abu Dhabi has experienced tremendous growth since the mid-1970s resulting in significant overloading of its existing sewerage system. Master planning determined that the best long-term wastewater collection and conveyance solution was construction of a deep tunnel sewer system. Implementation of this massive project faced numerous challenges, including the goal of no odours and limited odour control facilities. To accomplish this, the consultant team examined a unique approach of a single odour control system installed at the proposed downstream tunnel pumping station. Rigorous analysis utilising computer-based models confirmed the viability of this approach. However, other approaches including multiple satellite (localised or regional) odour extraction systems were considered. To better understand entrained air forces at vortex drops, and to confirm the preferred odour extraction approach, physical modelling of drop structures and overall tunnel system was implemented. Results and findings concluded that a regional odour extraction system approach was preferred over a single (centralised) extraction approach. This paper focuses on the process of selecting the preferred odour extraction approach and preliminary capacity sizing of regional systems.

  3. Sign Perception and Recognition in Non-Native Signers of ASL

    PubMed Central

    Morford, Jill P.; Carlson, Martina L.

    2011-01-01

    Past research has established that delayed first language exposure is associated with comprehension difficulties in non-native signers of American Sign Language (ASL) relative to native signers. The goal of the current study was to investigate potential explanations of this disparity: do non-native signers have difficulty with all aspects of comprehension, or are their comprehension difficulties restricted to some aspects of processing? We compared the performance of deaf non-native, hearing L2, and deaf native signers on a handshape and location monitoring and a sign recognition task. The results indicate that deaf non-native signers are as rapid and accurate on the monitoring task as native signers, with differences in the pattern of relative performance across handshape and location parameters. By contrast, non-native signers differ significantly from native signers during sign recognition. Hearing L2 signers, who performed almost as well as the two groups of deaf signers on the monitoring task, resembled the deaf native signers more than the deaf non-native signers on the sign recognition task. The combined results indicate that delayed exposure to a signed language leads to an overreliance on handshape during sign recognition. PMID:21686080

  4. The Central Role of Recognition in Auditory Perception: A Neurobiological Model

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McLachlan, Neil; Wilson, Sarah

    2010-01-01

    The model presents neurobiologically plausible accounts of sound recognition (including absolute pitch), neural plasticity involved in pitch, loudness and location information integration, and streaming and auditory recall. It is proposed that a cortical mechanism for sound identification modulates the spectrotemporal response fields of inferior…

  5. Speech Recognition Software for Language Learning: Toward an Evaluation of Validity and Student Perceptions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cordier, Deborah

    2009-01-01

    A renewed focus on foreign language (FL) learning and speech for communication has resulted in computer-assisted language learning (CALL) software developed with Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR). ASR features for FL pronunciation (Lafford, 2004) are functional components of CALL designs used for FL teaching and learning. The ASR features…

  6. Odour emission characteristics of 22 recreational rivers in Nanjing.

    PubMed

    Wan, Yu; Ruan, Xiaohong; Wang, Xinguang; Ma, Qian; Lu, Xiaoming

    2014-10-01

    The odour emission characteristics of 22 recreational rivers in Nanjing were investigated and analysed. Eight odorous compounds (ammonia (NH₃), hydrogen sulphide (H₂S), sulphur dioxide (SO₂), carbon disulphide (CS₂), nitrobenzene (C₆H₅NO₂), aniline (C₆H₅NH₂), dimethylamine (C₂H₇N), and formaldehyde (HCHO)) were measured in odour emission samples collected using a custom-made emission flux hood chamber. The results showed that all odorants were detected in all monitoring rivers. NH₃ was the main odorant, with emission rates ranging from 4.86 to 15.13 μg/min m(2). The total odour emission rate of the Nan River, at 1 427.07 OU/s, was the highest of the all investigated rivers. H₂S, NH₃ and nitrobenzene were three key odour emission contributors according to their contributions to the total odour emission. A correlation analysis of the pollutants showed there was a significant positive correlation between the emission rate of NH₃ and the concentration of ammonia nitrogen (NH₄ (+)-N) and total nitrogen (TN). The H₂S and SO₂ emission rates had a significant positive correlation with sulphides (S(2-)) and available sulphur (AS) in the water and sediment. The content of TN, NH₄(+)-N, S(2-) and AS in the water and sediment affected the concentration of H₂S, SO₂ and NH₃ in the emission gases. NH₄(+)-N, S(2-) and AS are suggested as the key odour control indexes for reducing odours emitted from these recreational rivers. The study provides useful information for effective pollution control, especially for odour emission control for the recreational rivers of the city. It also provides a demonstrate example to show how to monitor and assess a contaminated river when odour emission and its control need to be focused on.

  7. Synthesis and odour properties of floral smelling compounds.

    PubMed

    Anselmi, C; Centini, M; Sega, A; Napolitano, E; Pelosi, P; Scesa, C

    1996-04-01

    Synopsis To provide further information on the relationships between chemical structure and floral odour, here we report the synthesis and the odour evaluation of some spirane derivatives, designed as conformational models of our previously described floral odorants. One of the new compounds (5-methyl-benzo[1,3]dioxole-2-spiro-1-cyclohexane), in particular, is endowed with a particularly pleasant odour of white flowers, can be easily prepared from commercial products and is more stable than other odorants of the same class; these characteristics make this odorant suitable for being used as an additive in perfumery and cosmetics.

  8. Kiwifruit Flower Odor Perception and Recognition by Honey Bees, Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Twidle, Andrew M; Mas, Flore; Harper, Aimee R; Horner, Rachael M; Welsh, Taylor J; Suckling, David M

    2015-06-17

    Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from male and female kiwifruit (Actinidia deliciosa 'Hayward') flowers were collected by dynamic headspace sampling. Honey bee (Apis mellifera) perception of the flower VOCs was tested using gas chromatography coupled to electroantennogram detection. Honey bees consistently responded to six compounds present in the headspace of female kiwifruit flowers and five compounds in the headspace of male flowers. Analysis of the floral volatiles by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and microscale chemical derivatization showed the compounds to be nonanal, 2-phenylethanol, 4-oxoisophorone, (3E,6E)-α-farnesene, (6Z,9Z)-heptadecadiene, and (8Z)-heptadecene. Bees were then trained via olfactory conditioning of the proboscis extension response (PER) to synthetic mixtures of these compounds using the ratios present in each flower type. Honey bees trained to the synthetic mixtures showed a high response to the natural floral extracts, indicating that these may be the key compounds for honey bee perception of kiwifruit flower odor.

  9. Interpreting odours in hermit crabs: A comparative study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tricarico, Elena; Breithaupt, Thomas; Gherardi, Francesca

    2011-01-01

    Odours of different sources can indicate to hermit crabs the availability of empty shells, crucial resources for the life cycle of almost all of them. Here, we compared Clibanarius erythropus and Pagurus bernhardus for the intensity of investigative behaviour exhibited towards an empty, well-fitting shell in the presence of (1) plain seawater as control and seawater conditioned by (2) dead and live snails, (3) dead and live conspecifics, (4) live predators, and (5) food. During 10 min of observation, we recorded latency (the time until the first contact with the shell), and the number and duration of shell investigation bouts. The two species behaved similarly when exposed to the odours of food, live snails, and predators, while a more intense shell investigation was induced by dead snail odour in C. erythropus and by dead or live conspecific odour in P. bernhardus. Further studies should investigate the influence of phylogeny and ecology on this interspecific difference.

  10. Understanding medicinal taste and odour formation in drinking waters.

    PubMed

    Piriou, P; Soulet, C; Acero, J L; Bruchet, A; Von Gunten, U; Suffet, I H

    2007-01-01

    The formation of bromophenols during chlorination of phenol- and bromide-containing waters can be critical for taste and odour problems in drinking waters. The work performed has confirmed that flavour threshold concentrations of some bromophenols are in the ng/L range. In addition, under typical drinking water conditions, kinetic experiments and model simulations performed have shown that (1) bromination is the predominant reaction pathway, (2) bromophenol reaction kinetics are rapid leading to taste-and-odour episodes that last for short periods of 10-20 min, (3) increasing phenol concentration and pH tends to increase taste and odour intensity, (4) increasing chlorine or bromide concentrations tends to shorten the duration of the taste-and-odour episode.

  11. Identification of chemicals, possibly originating from misuse of refillable PET bottles, responsible for consumer complaints about off-odours in water and soft drinks.

    PubMed

    Widén, H; Leufvén, A; Nielsen, T

    2005-07-01

    Mineral water and soft drinks with a perceptible off-odour were analysed to identify contaminants originating from previous misuse of the refillable polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottle. Consumers detected the off-odour after opening the bottle and duly returned it with the remaining content to the producers. The contaminants in question had thus been undetected by the in-line detection devices (so-called 'sniffers') that are supposed to reject misused bottles. GC-MS analysis was carried out on the headspace of 31 returned products and their corresponding reference products, and chromatograms were compared to find the possible off-odour compounds. Substances believed to be responsible for the organoleptic change were 2-methoxynaphthalene (10 bottles), dimethyl disulfide (4), anethole (3), petroleum products (4), ethanol with isoamyl alcohol (1) and a series of ethers (1). The mouldy/musty odour (5 bottles) was caused by trichloroanisole in one instance. In some cases, the origins of the off-odours are believed to be previous consumer misuse of food products (liquorice-flavoured alcohol, home-made alcohol containing fusel oil) or non-food products (cleaning products, petroleum products, oral moist snuff and others). The results also apply to 1.5-litre recyclable PET bottles, since the nature and extent of consumer misuse can be expected to be similar for the two bottle types.

  12. Theory of Mind, Emotion Recognition and Social Perception in Individuals at Clinical High Risk for Psychosis: findings from the NAPLS-2 cohort

    PubMed Central

    Barbato, Mariapaola; Liu, Lu; Cadenhead, Kristin S.; Cannon, Tyrone D.; Cornblatt, Barbara A.; McGlashan, Thomas H.; Perkins, Diana O.; Seidman, Larry J.; Tsuang, Ming T.; Walker, Elaine F.; Woods, Scott W.; Bearden, Carrie E.; Mathalon, Daniel H.; Heinssen, Robert; Addington, Jean

    2015-01-01

    Social cognition, the mental operations that underlie social interactions, is a major construct to investigate in schizophrenia. Impairments in social cognition are present before the onset of psychosis, and even in unaffected first-degree relatives, suggesting that social cognition may be a trait marker of the illness. In a large cohort of individuals at clinical high risk for psychosis (CHR) and healthy controls, three domains of social cognition (theory of mind, facial emotion recognition and social perception) were assessed to clarify which domains are impaired in this population. Six-hundred and seventy-five CHR individuals and 264 controls, who were part of the multi-site North American Prodromal Longitudinal Study, completed The Awareness of Social Inference Test, the Penn Emotion Recognition task, the Penn Emotion Differentiation task, and the Relationship Across Domains, measures of theory of mind, facial emotion recognition, and social perception, respectively. Social cognition was not related to positive and negative symptom severity, but was associated with age and IQ. CHR individuals demonstrated poorer performance on all measures of social cognition. However, after controlling for age and IQ, the group differences remained significant for measures of theory of mind and social perception, but not for facial emotion recognition. Theory of mind and social perception are impaired in individuals at CHR for psychosis. Age and IQ seem to play an important role in the arising of deficits in facial affect recognition. Future studies should examine the stability of social cognition deficits over time and their role, if any, in the development of psychosis. PMID:27695675

  13. An odorant congruent with a colour cue is selectively perceived in an odour mixture.

    PubMed

    Arao, Mari; Suzuki, Maya; Katayama, Jun'ich; Akihiro, Yagi

    2012-01-01

    Odour identification can be influenced by colour cues. This study examined the mechanism underlying this colour context effect. We hypothesised that a specific odour component congruent with a colour would be selectively perceived in preference to another odour component in a binary odour mixture. We used a ratio estimation method under two colour conditions, a binary odour mixture (experiment 1) and single chemicals presented individually (experiment 2). Each colour was congruent with one of the odour components. Participants judged the perceived mixture ratio in each odour container on which a colour patch was pasted. An influence of colour was not observed when the odour stimulus did not contain the odour component congruent with the colour (experiment 2); however, the odour component congruent with the colour was perceived as more dominant when the odour stimulus did contain the colour-congruent odorant (experiment 1). This pattern indicates that a colour-congruent odour component is selectively perceived in an odour mixture. This finding suggests that colours can enhance the perceptual representation of the colour-associated component in an odour mixture.

  14. [Non-conscious perception of emotional faces affects the visual objects recognition].

    PubMed

    Gerasimenko, N Iu; Slavutskaia, A V; Kalinin, S A; Mikhaĭlova, E S

    2013-01-01

    In 34 healthy subjects we have analyzed accuracy and reaction time (RT) during the recognition of complex visual images: pictures of animals and non-living objects. The target stimuli were preceded by brief presentation of masking non-target ones, which represented drawings of emotional (angry, fearful, happy) or neutral faces. We have revealed that in contrast to accuracy the RT depended on the emotional expression of the preceding faces. RT was significantly shorter if the target objects were paired with the angry and fearful faces as compared with the happy and neutral ones. These effects depended on the category of the target stimulus and were more prominent for objects than for animals. Further, the emotional faces' effects were determined by emotional and communication personality traits (defined by Cattell's Questionnaire) and were clearer defined in more sensitive, anxious and pessimistic introverts. The data are important for understanding the mechanisms of human visual behavior determination by non-consciously processing of emotional information.

  15. Percept

    SciTech Connect

    2014-11-26

    The Percept software package is a collection of libraries and executables that provide tools for verifying computer simulations of engineering components and systems. Percept is useful for simulations using the finite element or finite volume methods on unstructured meshes. Percept includes API's for adaptive mesh refinement, geometry representation, the method of manufactured solutions, analysis of convergence including the convergence of vibrational eigenmodes, and metrics for analyzing the difference between fields represented on two different overlapping unstructured grids.

  16. The Odour of Sex: Sex-Related Differences in Volatile Compound Composition among Barn Swallow Eggs Carrying Embryos of Either Sex.

    PubMed

    Costanzo, Alessandra; Panseri, Sara; Giorgi, Annamaria; Romano, Andrea; Caprioli, Manuela; Saino, Nicola

    2016-01-01

    Avian communication has been traditionally believed to be mainly mediated by visual and auditory channels. However, an increasing number of studies are disclosing the role of olfaction in the interaction of birds with their social environment and with other species, as well as in other behaviors such as nest recognition, food location and navigation. Olfaction has also been suggested to play a role in parent-offspring communication not only in the post- but also in the pre-hatching period. Volatile compounds produced during embryogenesis and passively released through the eggshell pores may indeed represent the only cue at parents' disposal to assess offspring quality, including the sex composition of their clutch before hatching. In turn, sex identification before hatching may mediate adaptive strategies of allocation to either sex. In the present study, we analyzed odour composition of barn swallow eggs incubated in their nest in order to identify any sex-related differences in volatile compounds emitted. For the first time in any bird species, we also investigated whether odour composition is associated with relatedness. The evidence of differences in odour composition among eggs containing embryos of either sex indicates that parents have a cue to identify their brood sex composition even before hatching which can be used to modulate their behavior accordingly. Moreover, odour similarity within nests may represent the prerequisite for kin recognition in this species.

  17. The Odour of Sex: Sex-Related Differences in Volatile Compound Composition among Barn Swallow Eggs Carrying Embryos of Either Sex

    PubMed Central

    Costanzo, Alessandra; Panseri, Sara; Giorgi, Annamaria; Romano, Andrea; Caprioli, Manuela; Saino, Nicola

    2016-01-01

    Avian communication has been traditionally believed to be mainly mediated by visual and auditory channels. However, an increasing number of studies are disclosing the role of olfaction in the interaction of birds with their social environment and with other species, as well as in other behaviors such as nest recognition, food location and navigation. Olfaction has also been suggested to play a role in parent-offspring communication not only in the post- but also in the pre-hatching period. Volatile compounds produced during embryogenesis and passively released through the eggshell pores may indeed represent the only cue at parents’ disposal to assess offspring quality, including the sex composition of their clutch before hatching. In turn, sex identification before hatching may mediate adaptive strategies of allocation to either sex. In the present study, we analyzed odour composition of barn swallow eggs incubated in their nest in order to identify any sex-related differences in volatile compounds emitted. For the first time in any bird species, we also investigated whether odour composition is associated with relatedness. The evidence of differences in odour composition among eggs containing embryos of either sex indicates that parents have a cue to identify their brood sex composition even before hatching which can be used to modulate their behavior accordingly. Moreover, odour similarity within nests may represent the prerequisite for kin recognition in this species. PMID:27851741

  18. Isoflurane impairs odour discrimination learning in rats: differential effects on short- and long-term memory

    PubMed Central

    Pearce, R. A.; Duscher, P.; Van Dyke, K.; Lee, M.; Andrei, A. C.; Perouansky, M.

    2012-01-01

    Background Anaesthetics suppress the formation of lasting memories at concentrations that do not suppress perception, but it is unclear which elements of the complex cascade leading from a conscious experience to a lasting memory trace are disrupted. Experiments in conscious humans suggest that subhypnotic concentrations of anaesthetics impair consolidation or maintenance rather than acquisition of a representation (long-term more than short-term memory). We sought to test whether these agents similarly impair learning in rats. Methods We used operant conditioning in rats to examine the effect of isoflurane on acquisition compared with long-term (24 h) memory of non-aversive olfactory memories using two different odour discrimination tasks. Rats learned the ‘valences’ of odour pairs presented either separately (task A) or simultaneously (task B), under control conditions and under isoflurane inhalation. In a separate set of experiments, we tested the ability of the animals to recall a learning set that had been acquired 24 h previously. Results Under 0.4% isoflurane inhalation, the average number of trials required to reach criterion performance (18 correct responses in 20 successive trials) increased from 21.9 to 43.5 (P<0.05) and 24.2 to 54.4 (P<0.05) for tasks A and B, respectively. Under 0.3% isoflurane inhalation, only task B was impaired (from 24.2 to 31.5 trials, P<0.05). Recall at 24 h was dose-dependently impaired or prevented by isoflurane for both tasks. Conclusions Isoflurane interfered with long-term memory of odour valence without preventing its acquisition. This paradigm may serve as a non-aversive animal model of conscious amnesia. PMID:22258200

  19. Responses of tadpoles to hybrid predator odours: strong maternal signatures and the potential risk/response mismatch.

    PubMed

    Chivers, Douglas P; Mathiron, Anthony; Sloychuk, Janelle R; Ferrari, Maud C O

    2015-06-22

    Previous studies have established that when a prey animal knows the identity of a particular predator, it can use this knowledge to make an 'educated guess' about similar novel predators. Such generalization of predator recognition may be particularly beneficial when prey are exposed to introduced and invasive species of predators or hybrids. Here, we examined generalization of predator recognition for woodfrog tadpoles exposed to novel trout predators. Tadpoles conditioned to recognize tiger trout, a hybrid derived from brown trout and brook trout, showed generalization of recognition of several unknown trout odours. Interestingly, the tadpoles showed stronger responses to odours of brown trout than brook trout. In a second experiment, we found that tadpoles trained to recognize brown trout showed stronger responses to tiger trout than those tadpoles trained to recognize brook trout. Given that tiger trout always have a brown trout mother and a brook trout father, these results suggest a strong maternal signature in trout odours. Tadpoles that were trained to recognize both brown trout and brook trout showed stronger response to novel tiger trout than those trained to recognize only brown trout or only brook trout. This is consistent with a peak shift in recognition, whereby cues that are intermediate between two known cues evoke stronger responses than either known cue. Given that our woodfrog tadpoles have no evolutionary or individual experience with trout, they have no way of knowing whether or not brook trout, brown trout or tiger trout are more dangerous. The differential intensity of responses that we observed to hybrid trout cues and each of the parental species indicates that there is a likely mismatch between risk and anti-predator response intensity. Future work needs to address the critical role of prey naivety on responses to invasive and introduced hybrid predators.

  20. Shape Beyond Recognition: Form-derived Directionality and its Effects on Visual Attention and Motion Perception

    PubMed Central

    Sigurdardottir, Heida M.; Michalak, Suzanne M.; Sheinberg, David L.

    2013-01-01

    The shape of an object restricts its movements and therefore its future location. The rules governing selective sampling of the environment likely incorporate any available data, including shape, that provide information about where important things are going to be in the near future so that the object can be located, tracked, and sampled for information. We asked people to assess in which direction several novel objects pointed or directed them. With independent groups of people, we investigated whether their attention and sense of motion were systematically biased in this direction. Our work shows that nearly any novel object has intrinsic directionality derived from its shape. This shape information is swiftly and automatically incorporated into the allocation of overt and covert visual orienting and the detection of motion, processes which themselves are inherently directional. The observed connection between form and space suggests that shape processing goes beyond recognition alone and may help explain why shape is a relevant dimension throughout the visual brain. PMID:23565670

  1. Food Preference and Appetite after Switching between Sweet and Savoury Odours in Women

    PubMed Central

    Ramaekers, Mariëlle G.; Luning, Pieternel A.; Lakemond, Catriona M. M.; van Boekel, Martinus A. J. S.; Gort, Gerrit; Boesveldt, Sanne

    2016-01-01

    Background Exposure to food odours increases the appetite for congruent foods and decreases the appetite for incongruent foods. However, the effect of exposure to a variety of food odours, as often occurs in daily life, is unknown. Objective Investigate how switching between sweet and savoury odours affects the appetite for sweet and savoury products. Design Thirty women (age: 18-45y; BMI: 18.5-25kg/m2) intensely smelled the contents of cups filled with banana, meat or water (no-odour) in a within-subject design with four combinations: no-odour/banana, no-odour/meat, meat/banana and banana/meat. Participants received one combination per test day. In each combination, two cups with different fillings were smelled for five minutes after each other. Treatment order was balanced as much as possible. The effects of previous exposure and current odour on the appetite for (in)congruent sweet and savoury products, and odour pleasantness were analysed. A change from meat to banana odour or banana to meat odour was referred to as switch, whereas a change from no-odour to meat odour or no-odour to banana odour was no-switch. Results The current odour (P<0.001), as opposed to the previous exposure (P = 0.71), determined the appetite for (in)congruent sweet and savoury products, already one minute after a switch between sweet and savoury odours. The pleasantness of the odour decreased during odour exposure (P = 0.005). Conclusions After a switch, the appetite for specific products quickly adjusted to the new odour and followed the typical pattern as found during odour exposure in previous studies. Interestingly, the appetite for the smelled food remained elevated during odour exposure, known as sensory-specific appetite, whereas the pleasantness of the odour decreased over time, previously termed olfactory sensory-specific satiety. This seeming contradiction may result from different mechanisms underlying the odour-induced anticipation of food intake versus the decrease in

  2. Embryonic exposure to predator odour modulates visual lateralization in cuttlefish.

    PubMed

    Jozet-Alves, Christelle; Hébert, Marie

    2013-02-07

    Predation pressure acts on the behaviour and morphology of prey species. In fish, the degree of lateralization varies between high- and low-predation populations. While lateralization appears to be widespread in invertebrates, we do not know whether heredity and early experience interact during development as in vertebrates. Here we show, for the first time, that an exposure to predator odour prior to hatching modulates visual lateralization in newly hatched cuttlefish. Only cuttlefish that have been exposed to predator odour display a left-turning bias when tested with blank seawater in a T-shaped apparatus. Exposure to predator odour all the incubation long could appear as an acute predictor of a high-predation surrounding environment. In addition, cuttlefish of all groups display a left-turning preference when tested with predator odour in the apparatus. This suggests the ability of cuttlefish to innately recognize predator odour. To our knowledge, this is the first clear demonstration that lateralization is vulnerable to ecological challenges encountered during embryonic life, and that environmental stimulation of the embryo through the olfactory system could influence the development of subsequent visual lateralization.

  3. Neonicotinoid-induced impairment of odour coding in the honeybee

    PubMed Central

    Andrione, Mara; Vallortigara, Giorgio; Antolini, Renzo; Haase, Albrecht

    2016-01-01

    Exposure to neonicotinoid pesticides is considered one of the possible causes of honeybee (Apis mellifera) population decline. At sublethal doses, these chemicals have been shown to negatively affect a number of behaviours, including performance of olfactory learning and memory, due to their interference with acetylcholine signalling in the mushroom bodies. Here we provide evidence that neonicotinoids can affect odour coding upstream of the mushroom bodies, in the first odour processing centres of the honeybee brain, i.e. the antennal lobes (ALs). In particular, we investigated the effects of imidacloprid, the most common neonicotinoid, in the AL glomeruli via in vivo two-photon calcium imaging combined with pulsed odour stimulation. Following acute imidacloprid treatment, odour-evoked calcium response amplitude in single glomeruli decreases, and at the network level the representations of different odours are no longer separated. This demonstrates that, under neonicotinoid influence, olfactory information might reach the mushroom bodies in a form that is already incorrect. Thus, some of the impairments in olfactory learning and memory caused by neonicotinoids could, in fact, arise from the disruption in odor coding and olfactory discrimination ability of the honey bees. PMID:27905515

  4. Elimination of seaweed odour and its effect on antioxidant activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keyimu, Xiren Guli; Abdullah, Aminah

    2014-09-01

    The objectives of this study were to determine the most effective method to remove odour from Sargassum muticum seaweeds and studied their antioxidant properties. Ten grams of wet seaweeds (10 grams dried seaweeds soaked in 100 ml water for 2 hours) were soaked in 100 mL of 1%, 3% and 5% of gum Arabic, rice flour, lemon juice, respectively, and 1% of vinegar. There effect of each treatment on antioxidant level were determined by using the total phenolic content (TPC), free radical scavenging ability expressed as a DPPH value, and oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) and compared to control seaweeds sample (soaked in water only). For sensory attribute, seven trained panellists were asked to evaluate the fishy odour of 11 treated seaweed samples. The fishy odour characteristics and antioxidant activity of treated seaweeds were compared against the control sample (soaked seaweeds), and subjected to statistical analysis. Results showed that 3% and 5% lemon juice and 5% rice flour were able to eliminate the fishy odour of seaweed. However, the antioxidant activity was significantly higher (P<0.05) only for seaweed treated with 5% lemon juice compared to other treatments. Therefore, 5% of lemon juice-treated seaweeds contained the least fishy odour and retained the highest antioxidant activity.

  5. Recent developments in the analysis of musty odour compounds in water and wine: A review.

    PubMed

    Callejón, R M; Ubeda, C; Ríos-Reina, R; Morales, M L; Troncoso, A M

    2016-01-08

    One of the most common taints in foods is a musty or earthy odour, which is commonly associated with the activity of microorganisms. Liquid foods, particularly wine and water, can be affected by this defect due to the presence of certain aromatic organic compounds at very low concentrations (ng/L) consistent with human threshold perception levels. The volatile compounds responsible for a mouldy off-aroma include approximately 20 compounds, namely, haloanisoles, geosmin, 2-methylisoborneol, several alkyl-methoxypyrazines, 1-octen-3-ol, 1-octen-3-one, trans-octenol, 3-octanone, fenchol and fenchone. Methods for determining these very low concentrations of odour compounds must be extremely sensitive and selective with efficient preconcentration treatments. A number of extraction techniques based on LLME (liquid-liquid microextraction), SPME (solid-phase microextraction) or SBSE (stir-bar sorptive extraction) can be applied and should be selected on a case-by-case basis. Moreover, recent developments in GC instrumentation coupled to different detection systems can effectively increase the selectivity and sensitivity of the analysis of target compounds.

  6. The odour of digested sewage sludge--determination and its abatement by air stripping.

    PubMed

    Winter, P; Jones, N; Asaadi, M; Bowman, L

    2004-01-01

    This paper describes a project to investigate the odour of sewage sludge after anaerobic digestion. The impact of air stripping on the odour of liquid sludge and on the quality of the dewatered product was evaluated at a full-scale sludge treatment installation. A continuous and a batch air-stripping mode were tested. Odour samples were collected during air stripping from the liquid sludge and from the biosolids surface during long term storage. The biosolids were also analysed for hedonic tone and for their potential odour expressed as an odour unit per unit mass. The odour emission profiles for continuous and batch air stripping demonstrated a reduction in the overall (time weighted) emissions during a 24 hr-period compared with emissions from the quiescent liquid storage tank. The averaged specific odour emission rate (Esp) of the biosolids derived from the continuous process was only 13% of the Esp of the biosolids derived from unaerated liquid sludge during the first month of storage. The results of the total potential odour and the hedonic tone of the biosolids underpin the beneficial effects of the air stripping. Odour dispersion modelling showed a noticeable reduction in overall odour impact from the sludge centre when air stripping was applied. The reduction was primarily associated with the reduced odour from stockpiled biosolids. The continuous air-stripping mode appeared to provide the greatest benefits in terms of odour impact from site operations.

  7. Large-Corpus Phoneme and Word Recognition and the Generality of Lexical Context in CVC Word Perception

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gelfand, Jessica T.; Christie, Robert E.; Gelfand, Stanley A.

    2014-01-01

    Purpose: Speech recognition may be analyzed in terms of recognition probabilities for perceptual wholes (e.g., words) and parts (e.g., phonemes), where j or the j-factor reveals the number of independent perceptual units required for recognition of the whole (Boothroyd, 1968b; Boothroyd & Nittrouer, 1988; Nittrouer & Boothroyd, 1990). For…

  8. Prediction of object detection, recognition, and identification [DRI] ranges at color scene images based on quantifying human color contrast perception

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pinsky, Ephi; Levin, Ilia; Yaron, Ofer

    2016-10-01

    We propose a novel approach to predict, for specified color imaging system and for objects with known characteristics, their detection, recognition, identification (DRI) ranges in a colored dynamic scene, based on quantifying the human color contrast perception. The method refers to the well established L*a*b*, 3D color space. The nonlinear relations of this space are intended to mimic the nonlinear response of the human eye. The metrics of L*a*b* color space is such that the Euclidian distance between any two colors in this space is approximately proportional to the color contrast as perceived by the human eye/brain. The result of this metrics leads to the outcome that color contrast of any two points is always greater (or equal) than their equivalent grey scale contrast. This meets our sense that looking on a colored image, contrast is superior to the gray scale contrast of the same image. Yet, color loss by scattering at very long ranges should be considered as well. The color contrast derived from the distance between the colored object pixels and to the nearby colored background pixels, as derived from the L*a*b* color space metrics, is expressed in terms of gray scale contrast. This contrast replaces the original standard gray scale contrast component of that image. As expected, the resulted DRI ranges are, in most cases, larger than those predicted by the standard gray scale image. Upon further elaboration and validation of this method, it may be combined with the next versions of the well accepted TRM codes for DRI predictions. Consistent prediction of DRI ranges implies a careful evaluation of the object and background color contrast reduction along the range. Clearly, additional processing for reconstructing the objects and background true colors and hence the color contrast along the range, will further increase the DRI ranges.

  9. Learning to distinguish between predators and non-predators: understanding the critical role of diet cues and predator odours in generalisation

    PubMed Central

    Mitchell, Matthew D.; Chivers, Douglas P.; McCormick, Mark I.; Ferrari, Maud C.O.

    2015-01-01

    It is critical for prey to recognise predators and distinguish predators from non-threatening species. Yet, we have little understanding of how prey develop effective predator recognition templates. Recent studies suggest that prey may actually learn key predator features which can be used to recognise novel species with similar characteristics. However, non-predators are sometimes mislabelled as predators when generalising recognition. Here, we conduct the first comprehensive investigation of how prey integrate information on predator odours and predator diet cues in generalisation, allowing them to discriminate between predators and non-predators. We taught lemon damselfish to recognise a predator fed a fish diet, and tested them for their response to the known predator and a series of novel predators (fed fish diet) and non-predators (fed squid diet) distributed across a phylogenetic gradient. Our findings show that damselfish distinguish between predators and non-predators when generalising recognition. Additional experiments revealed that generalised recognition did not result from recognition of predator odours or diet cues, but that damselfish based recognition on what they learned during the initial conditioning. Incorporating multiple sources of information enables prey to develop highly plastic and accurate recognition templates that will increase survival in patchy environments where they have little prior knowledge. PMID:26358861

  10. Social learning of floral odours inside the honeybee hive.

    PubMed

    Farina, Walter M; Grüter, Christoph; Díaz, Paula C

    2005-09-22

    A honeybee hive serves as an information centre in which communication among bees allows the colony to exploit the most profitable resources in a continuously changing environment. The best-studied communication behaviour in this context is the waggle dance performed by returning foragers, which encodes information about the distance and direction to the food source. It has been suggested that another information cue, floral scents transferred within the hive, is also important for recruitment to food sources, as bee recruits are more strongly attracted to odours previously brought back by foragers in both honeybees and bumble-bees. These observations suggested that honeybees learn the odour from successful foragers before leaving the hive. However, this has never been shown directly and the mechanisms and properties of the learning process remain obscure. We tested the learning and memory of recruited bees in the laboratory using the proboscis extension response (PER) paradigm, and show that recruits indeed learn the nectar odours brought back by foragers by associative learning and retrieve this memory in the PER paradigm. The associative nature of this learning reveals that information was gained during mouth-to-mouth contacts among bees (trophallaxis). Results further suggest that the information is transferred to long-term memory. Associative learning of food odours in a social context may help recruits to find a particular food source faster.

  11. Social learning of floral odours inside the honeybee hive

    PubMed Central

    Farina, Walter M; Grüter, Christoph; Díaz, Paula C

    2005-01-01

    A honeybee hive serves as an information centre in which communication among bees allows the colony to exploit the most profitable resources in a continuously changing environment. The best-studied communication behaviour in this context is the waggle dance performed by returning foragers, which encodes information about the distance and direction to the food source. It has been suggested that another information cue, floral scents transferred within the hive, is also important for recruitment to food sources, as bee recruits are more strongly attracted to odours previously brought back by foragers in both honeybees and bumble-bees. These observations suggested that honeybees learn the odour from successful foragers before leaving the hive. However, this has never been shown directly and the mechanisms and properties of the learning process remain obscure. We tested the learning and memory of recruited bees in the laboratory using the proboscis extension response (PER) paradigm, and show that recruits indeed learn the nectar odours brought back by foragers by associative learning and retrieve this memory in the PER paradigm. The associative nature of this learning reveals that information was gained during mouth-to-mouth contacts among bees (trophallaxis). Results further suggest that the information is transferred to long-term memory. Associative learning of food odours in a social context may help recruits to find a particular food source faster. PMID:16191598

  12. A butterfly's chemical key to various ant forts: intersection-odour or aggregate-odour multi-host mimicry?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schlick-Steiner, Birgit C.; Steiner, Florian M.; Höttinger, Helmut; Nikiforov, Alexej; Mistrik, Robert; Schafellner, Christa; Baier, Peter; Christian, Erhard

    Deception is a crucial yet incompletely understood strategy of social parasites. In central Europe, the Mountain Alcon Blue, Maculinea rebeli, a highly endangered butterfly, parasitises several Myrmica ant species. Caterpillars gain access to host nests probably by faking the ants' odour. We analysed gas chromatography-mass spectrometry data of body surface hydrocarbons of pre-adoption and hibernated larvae of Maculinea rebeli and of their host species Myrmica sabuleti and M. schencki. Data were ordinated by different methods, based on similarities in the relative quantities of compounds between chromatograms. The two Myrmica species exhibit species-specific profiles. The Maculinea rebeli pre-adoption larva has a complex profile that simultaneously contains species-specific substances of the two investigated host species. This evidence leads to the interpretation that, in central Europe, Maculinea rebeli is predisposed for multi-host use by the chemical signature of its pre-adoption larva. The Maculinea rebeli larva clearly does not rely on an ``intersection-odour'' of compounds common to all host ant species, but synthesises an ``aggregate-odour'' containing specific compounds of each of the investigated hosts. We term this previously unknown chemical strategy ``aggregate-odour multi-host mimicry''.

  13. A review of odour impact criteria in selected countries around the world.

    PubMed

    Brancher, Marlon; Griffiths, K David; Franco, Davide; de Melo Lisboa, Henrique

    2017-02-01

    Exposure to environmental odour can result in annoyance, health effects and depreciation of property values. Therefore, many jurisdictions classify odour as an atmospheric pollutant and regulate emissions and/or impacts from odour generating activities at a national, state or municipal level. In this work, a critical review of odour regulations in selected jurisdictions of 28 countries is presented. Individual approaches were identified as: comparing ambient air odour concentration and individual chemicals statistics against impact criteria (maximum impact standard); using fixed and variable separation distances (separation distance standard); maximum emission rate for mixtures of odorants and individual chemical species (maximum emission standard); number of complaints received or annoyance level determined via community surveys (maximum annoyance standard); and requiring use of best available technologies (BAT) to minimize odour emissions (technology standard). The comparison of model-predicted odour concentration statistics against odour impact criteria (OIC) is identified as one of the most common tools used by regulators to evaluate the risk of odour impacts in planning stage assessments and is also used to inform assessment of odour impacts of existing facilities. Special emphasis is given to summarizing OIC (concentration percentile and threshold) and the manner in which they are applied. The way short term odour peak to model time-step mean (peak-to-mean) effects is also captured. Furthermore, the fundamentals of odorant properties, dimensions of nuisance odour, odour sampling and analysis methods and dispersion modelling guidance are provided. Common elements of mature and effective odour regulation frameworks are identified and an integrated multi-tool strategy is recommended.

  14. Auditory Perception and Word Recognition in Cantonese-Chinese Speaking Children with and without Specific Language Impairment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kidd, Joanna C.; Shum, Kathy K.; Wong, Anita M.-Y.; Ho, Connie S.-H.

    2017-01-01

    Auditory processing and spoken word recognition difficulties have been observed in Specific Language Impairment (SLI), raising the possibility that auditory perceptual deficits disrupt word recognition and, in turn, phonological processing and oral language. In this study, fifty-seven kindergarten children with SLI and fifty-three language-typical…

  15. Olfactory Specific Satiety depends on degree of association between odour and food.

    PubMed

    Stafford, Lorenzo D

    2016-03-01

    The pleasantness of a food odour decreases when that food is eaten to satiety or even smelled for a brief period (Olfactory Specific Satiety, OSS), which suggests that odours signal food variety and encourage approach behaviour toward novel foods. In the study here, we aimed to extend this theory to understand the consequence of manipulating the food consumed and its degree of association to the evaluated odour. We also wished to clarify if these effects related to individual sensitivity to the target odour. In the study here, participants (n = 94) rated the pleasantness of a food odour (isoamyl acetate) and then consumed confectionary that had either Low or High association to that odour or a No food control. This was followed by final pleasantness ratings for the odour and a threshold sensitivity test. Results revealed that in line with OSS, pleasantness decreased in the High association group only. This effect was not dependent on any differences in sensitivity to the target odour. These findings are consistent with OSS, and that this effect likely depends on activation of brain areas related to odour hedonics rather than the degree to which the odour is detected.

  16. Effects of pH and microbial composition on odour in food waste composting.

    PubMed

    Sundberg, Cecilia; Yu, Dan; Franke-Whittle, Ingrid; Kauppi, Sari; Smårs, Sven; Insam, Heribert; Romantschuk, Martin; Jönsson, Håkan

    2013-01-01

    A major problem for composting plants is odour emission. Slow decomposition during prolonged low-pH conditions is a frequent process problem in food waste composting. The aim was to investigate correlations between low pH, odour and microbial composition during food waste composting. Samples from laboratory composting experiments and two large scale composting plants were analysed for odour by olfactometry, as well as physico-chemical and microbial composition. There was large variation in odour, and samples clustered in two groups, one with low odour and high pH (above 6.5), the other with high odour and low pH (below 6.0). The low-odour samples were significantly drier, had lower nitrate and TVOC concentrations and no detectable organic acids. Samples of both groups were dominated by Bacillales or Actinobacteria, organisms which are often indicative of well-functioning composting processes, but the high-odour group DNA sequences were similar to those of anaerobic or facultatively anaerobic species, not to typical thermophilic composting species. High-odour samples also contained Lactobacteria and Clostridia, known to produce odorous substances. A proposed odour reduction strategy is to rapidly overcome the low pH phase, through high initial aeration rates and the use of additives such as recycled compost.

  17. Synthesis and odour thresholds of mixed halogenated anisoles in water.

    PubMed

    Díaz, A; Fabrellas, C; Galceran, M T; Ventura, F

    2004-01-01

    Earthy-musty off-flavour compounds in water samples are usually associated with the presence of geosmin and 2-methylisoborneol. However, the presence of 2,3,6- and 2,4,6-trichloroanisoles or other halogenated anisoles can impart objectionable tastes and odours to the water even at very low trace levels. This paper shows the synthesis of non-commercial 2,3,6- and 2,4,6- mixed chloro/bromoanisoles which can be present in bromide rich waters and could also be suspected of imparting earthy-musty off-flavours to the water. All the synthesized compounds were subjected to the flavour profile analysis (FPA) method and their odour threshold concentrations (OTC) in water were carried out giving values in the low ng/L range.

  18. Behavioural correlates of combinatorial versus temporal features of odour codes

    PubMed Central

    Saha, Debajit; Li, Chao; Peterson, Steven; Padovano, William; Katta, Nalin; Raman, Baranidharan

    2015-01-01

    Most sensory stimuli evoke spiking responses that are distributed across neurons and are temporally structured. Whether the temporal structure of ensemble activity is modulated to facilitate different neural computations is not known. Here, we investigated this issue in the insect olfactory system. We found that an odourant can generate synchronous or asynchronous spiking activity across a neural ensemble in the antennal lobe circuit depending on its relative novelty with respect to a preceding stimulus. Regardless of variations in temporal spiking patterns, the activated combinations of neurons robustly represented stimulus identity. Consistent with this interpretation, locusts reliably recognized both solitary and sequential introductions of trained odourants in a quantitative behavioural assay. However, predictable behavioural responses across locusts were observed only to novel stimuli that evoked synchronized spiking patterns across neural ensembles. Hence, our results indicate that the combinatorial ensemble response encodes for stimulus identity, whereas the temporal structure of the ensemble response selectively emphasizes novel stimuli. PMID:25912016

  19. Machine perception

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1982-01-01

    The book is aimed at the level of a graduate student or the practising professional and discusses visual perception by computers. Topics covered include: pattern classification methods; polyhedra scenes; shape analysis and recognition; perception of brightness and colour; edge and curve detection; region segmentation; texture analysis; depth measurement analysis; knowledge-based systems and applications. A subject index is included.

  20. Study of Odours and taste for Space Food

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Katayama, Naomi; Space Agriculture Task Force; Nakata, Seiichi; Teranishi, Masaaki; Sone, Michihiko; Nakashima, Tsutomu; Hamajima, Nobuyuki; Ito, Yoshihiro

    2012-07-01

    The sense of taste and smell come under some kind of influences in the space environment. In the space, the astronaut was changed their food habits from light taste and smell food to like strong taste and smells food. When an astronaut live in the space comes to have weak bone like osteoporosis. It may become the physiologic condition like the old man on the earth. Therefore this study performed fact-finding of the smell and the taste in the old man on the earth as test bed of astronaut in space. Based on this finding, it was intended to predict the taste and the olfactory change of the astronaut in the space. The study included 179 males and 251 females aged 30-90 years in Yakumo Town, Hokkaido, Japan. Odours were tested using a ``standard odours by odour stick identification''method of organoleptic testing. Taste were tested using a ``standard taste by taste disc identification'' method of chemical testing. Correct answers for identification odours consisted of average 6.0±3.0 in male subjects and average 6.9±2.8 in female subjects. Correct answers for identification of sweet taste consisted of 81% males and 87% females, salty taste consisted of 86% males and 91%, sour taste consisted of 75% males and 78% females, bitter taste consisted of 76% males and 88% females. It became clear that overall approximately 20% were in some kind of abnormality in sense of smell and taste. I want to perform the investigation that continued more in future.

  1. Characteristic odour in the blood reveals ovarian carcinoma

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Ovarian carcinoma represents about 4% of all cancers diagnosed in women worldwide. Mortality rate is high, over 50%, mainly due to late diagnosis. Currently there are no acceptable screening techniques available, although ovarian cancer belongs to the group of malignancies for which mortality could be dramatically reduced by early diagnosis. In a recently published study, we clearly demonstrated that human ovarian carcinoma tissues can be characterized by a specific odour, detectable by a trained dog. Another recent study confirmed these results using an electronic nose. Methods In the present work, we examined whether the cancer-specific odour can also be found in the blood. Two specially trained dogs were used. Both ovarian cancer tissues and blood from patients with ovarian carcinoma were tested. Results The tissue tests showed sensitivity of 100% and specificity of 95%, while the blood tests showed sensitivity of 100% and specificity of 98%. Conclusions The present study strongly suggests that the characteristic odour emitted by ovarian cancer samples is also present in blood (plasma) taken from patients with the disease. This finding opens possibilities for future screening of healthy populations for early diagnosis of ovarian carcinoma. A future challenge is to develop a sensitive electronic nose for screening of ovarian carcinoma by testing the blood/plasma to detect the disease at a stage early enough for treatment to be effective. PMID:21106067

  2. A simple model to assess odour hours for regulatory purposes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oettl, Dietmar; Ferrero, Enrico

    2017-04-01

    A novel methodology for estimating odour hours in the frame of licencing procedures is presented. In contrast to the widely used constant-factor-4 model, which is the prescribed method in Germany, a model based on computing concentration variances is proposed. It is derived upon the advection-diffusion equation for the concentration variance, but is strongly simplified by neglecting the transport and diffusion terms. In this way, the method becomes extremely efficient with regard to computation times. Furthermore, the model is independent on the type of dispersion model used to calculate average concentrations, which are necessary for subsequently computing concentration variances. In a second step, simulated concentration variances are used in combination with a slightly modified two-parameter Weibull probability density function to get the 90th percentile of the cumulative frequency distribution of odour-concentration fluctuations, which is required for computing a so-called odour hour. The model is operated in post-processing mode and can, thus, easily be implemented in existing dispersion models. It's validity has been tested against two tracer tests carried out in Germany and the U.S.

  3. The functional correlates of face perception and recognition of emotional facial expressions as evidenced by fMRI.

    PubMed

    Jehna, M; Neuper, C; Ischebeck, A; Loitfelder, M; Ropele, S; Langkammer, C; Ebner, F; Fuchs, S; Schmidt, R; Fazekas, F; Enzinger, C

    2011-06-01

    Recognition and processing of emotional facial expression are crucial for social behavior and employ higher-order cognitive and visual working processes. In neuropsychiatric disorders, impaired emotion recognition most frequently concerned three specific emotions, i.e., anger, fear, and disgust. As incorrect processing of (neutral) facial stimuli per se might also underlie deficits in the recognition of emotional facial expressions, we aimed to assess all these aspects in one experiment. We therefore report here a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) paradigm for parallel assessment of the neural correlates of both the recognition of neutral faces and the three clinically most relevant emotions for future use in patients with neuropsychiatric disorders. FMRI analyses were expanded through comparisons of the emotional conditions with each other. The differential insights resulting from these two analyses strategies are compared and discussed. 30 healthy participants (21 F/9 M; age 36.3 ± 14.3, 17-66 years) underwent fMRI and behavioral testing for non-emotional and emotional face recognition. Recognition of neutral faces elicited activation in the fusiform gyri. Processing angry faces led to activation in left middle and superior frontal gyri and the anterior cingulate cortex. There was considerable heterogeneity regarding the fear versus neutral contrast, resulting in null effects for this contrast. Upon recognition of disgust, activation was noted in bilateral occipital, in the fronto-orbital cortex and in the insula. Analyzing contrasts between emotional conditions showed similar results (to those of contrasting with reference conditions) for separated emotional network patterns. We demonstrate here that our paradigm reproduces single aspects of separate previous studies across a cohort of healthy subjects, irrespective of age. Our approach might prove useful in future studies of patients with neurologic disorders with potential effect on emotion

  4. Assessment of perception of morphed facial expressions using the Emotion Recognition Task: normative data from healthy participants aged 8-75.

    PubMed

    Kessels, Roy P C; Montagne, Barbara; Hendriks, Angelique W; Perrett, David I; de Haan, Edward H F

    2014-03-01

    The ability to recognize and label emotional facial expressions is an important aspect of social cognition. However, existing paradigms to examine this ability present only static facial expressions, suffer from ceiling effects or have limited or no norms. A computerized test, the Emotion Recognition Task (ERT), was developed to overcome these difficulties. In this study, we examined the effects of age, sex, and intellectual ability on emotion perception using the ERT. In this test, emotional facial expressions are presented as morphs gradually expressing one of the six basic emotions from neutral to four levels of intensity (40%, 60%, 80%, and 100%). The task was administered in 373 healthy participants aged 8-75. In children aged 8-17, only small developmental effects were found for the emotions anger and happiness, in contrast to adults who showed age-related decline on anger, fear, happiness, and sadness. Sex differences were present predominantly in the adult participants. IQ only minimally affected the perception of disgust in the children, while years of education were correlated with all emotions but surprise and disgust in the adult participants. A regression-based approach was adopted to present age- and education- or IQ-adjusted normative data for use in clinical practice. Previous studies using the ERT have demonstrated selective impairments on specific emotions in a variety of psychiatric, neurologic, or neurodegenerative patient groups, making the ERT a valuable addition to existing paradigms for the assessment of emotion perception.

  5. Novel Insights into the Ontogeny of Nestmate Recognition in Polistes Social Wasps

    PubMed Central

    Signorotti, Lisa; Cappa, Federico; d’Ettorre, Patrizia; Cervo, Rita

    2014-01-01

    The importance of early experience in animals’ life is unquestionable, and imprinting-like phenomena may shape important aspects of behaviour. Early learning typically occurs during a sensitive period, which restricts crucial processes of information storage to a specific developmental phase. The characteristics of the sensitive period have been largely investigated in vertebrates, because of their complexity and plasticity, both in behaviour and neurophysiology, but early learning occurs also in invertebrates. In social insects, early learning appears to influence important social behaviours such as nestmate recognition. Yet, the mechanisms underlying recognition systems are not fully understood. It is currently believed that Polistes social wasps are able to discriminate nestmates from non-nestmates following the perception of olfactory cues present on the paper of their nest, which are learned during a strict sensitive period, immediately after emergence. Here, through differential odour experience experiments, we show that workers of Polistes dominula develop correct nestmate recognition abilities soon after emergence even in absence of what have been so far considered the necessary cues (the chemicals spread on nest paper). P. dominula workers were exposed for the first four days of adult life to paper fragments from their nest, or from a foreign conspecific nest or to a neutral condition. Wasps were then transferred to their original nests where recognition abilities were tested. Our results show that wasps do not alter their recognition ability if exposed only to nest material, or in absence of nest material, during the early phase of adult life. It thus appears that the nest paper is not used as a source of recognition cues to be learned in a specific time window, although we discuss possible alternative explanations. Our study provides a novel perspective for the study of the ontogeny of nestmate recognition in Polistes wasps and in other social insects

  6. Novel insights into the ontogeny of nestmate recognition in Polistes social wasps.

    PubMed

    Signorotti, Lisa; Cappa, Federico; d'Ettorre, Patrizia; Cervo, Rita

    2014-01-01

    The importance of early experience in animals' life is unquestionable, and imprinting-like phenomena may shape important aspects of behaviour. Early learning typically occurs during a sensitive period, which restricts crucial processes of information storage to a specific developmental phase. The characteristics of the sensitive period have been largely investigated in vertebrates, because of their complexity and plasticity, both in behaviour and neurophysiology, but early learning occurs also in invertebrates. In social insects, early learning appears to influence important social behaviours such as nestmate recognition. Yet, the mechanisms underlying recognition systems are not fully understood. It is currently believed that Polistes social wasps are able to discriminate nestmates from non-nestmates following the perception of olfactory cues present on the paper of their nest, which are learned during a strict sensitive period, immediately after emergence. Here, through differential odour experience experiments, we show that workers of Polistes dominula develop correct nestmate recognition abilities soon after emergence even in absence of what have been so far considered the necessary cues (the chemicals spread on nest paper). P. dominula workers were exposed for the first four days of adult life to paper fragments from their nest, or from a foreign conspecific nest or to a neutral condition. Wasps were then transferred to their original nests where recognition abilities were tested. Our results show that wasps do not alter their recognition ability if exposed only to nest material, or in absence of nest material, during the early phase of adult life. It thus appears that the nest paper is not used as a source of recognition cues to be learned in a specific time window, although we discuss possible alternative explanations. Our study provides a novel perspective for the study of the ontogeny of nestmate recognition in Polistes wasps and in other social insects.

  7. A review of taste and odour events in Barcelona's drinking water area (1990-2004).

    PubMed

    Boleda, M R; Díaz, A; Martí, I; Martín-Alonso, J; Matia, L; Romero, J; Ventura, F

    2007-01-01

    The main, relevant, solved problems associated with taste and odour incidents in Barcelona's drinking water area in the last 14 years are reviewed. Events produced by creosote, dioxanes and dioxolanes, dicylopentadiene, and diacetyl, among the anthropogenic compounds; geosmin, MIB and iodinated trihalomethanes and chlorobromoanisoles as examples of compounds of natural origin are exemplified. The determination of the odour threshold concentrations of selected odorous compounds is also shown as a tool to gain a better knowledge of future taste and odour events.

  8. A structure-odour relationship study using EVA descriptors and hierarchical clustering.

    PubMed

    Takane, Shin-ya; Mitchell, John B O

    2004-11-21

    Structure-odour relationship analyses using hierarchical clustering were carried out on a diverse dataset of 47 molecules. These molecules were divided into seven odour categories: ambergris, bitter almond, camphoraceous, rose, jasmine, muguet, and musk. The alignment-independent descriptor EVA (EigenVAlue) was used as the molecular descriptor. The results were compared with those of another kind of descriptor, the UNITY 2D fingerprint. The dendrograms obtained with these descriptors were compared with the seven odour categories using the adjusted Rand index. The dendrograms produced by EVA consistently outperformed those from UNITY 2D in reproducing the experimental odour classifications of these 47 molecules.

  9. Pragmatic evaluation of odour emissions from a rendering plant in southern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Vieira, Magnun M; Schirmer, Waldir N; de Melo Lisboa, Henrique; Belli Filho, Paulo; Guillot, Jean-Michel

    2016-12-01

    In the food industry and linked activities, environmental impacts relate mainly to the generation of liquid and gaseous effluents. Rendering plants, which process animal by-products, are strongly associated with malodorous emissions. Thus, effective odour-control technologies are required to minimise odour annoyance in nearby communities and thereby public complaints. In this paper, the effectiveness of a biofilter for the treatment of odours from a meat-rendering plant located in southern Brazil was evaluated based on German guideline VDI 3477:2004-11. Samples were collected upstream and downstream of the gas treatment system using a pragmatic approach in order to minimise the cost of such a study. Odour concentration was determined according to European standard EN 13725:2003. The results showed an OER of 8.82 × 10(8) ouE h(-1) and odour removal efficiency lower than the established benchmark set by SEMA Resolution 054/2006, taken as reference for being the only Brazilian regulation to establish quantitative odour emission criteria. Enhancement of the biofiltration system and/or association with other odour abatement technologies are required to increase odour removal, limit impacts and comply with regulatory requirements. The paper also includes a discussion on the current odour regulation in Brazil.

  10. Assessing odour nuisance from wastewater treatment and composting facilities in Greece.

    PubMed

    Lasaridi, Katia; Katsabanis, George; Kyriacou, Adamantini; Maggos, Thomas; Manios, Thrassyvoulos; Fountoulakis, Mihalis; Kalogerakis, Nicolas; Karageorgos, Petros; Stentiford, Edward Ian

    2010-11-01

    The problem of odour nuisances in Greece was explored using: (a) field measurements of a range of malodorous compounds (hydrogen sulfide, ammonia, benzene, toluene, xylenes, formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, acetone, methyl-mercaptan and carbonyl sulfide) from selected wastewater treatment plants and composting facilities; and (b) questionnaires, completed by wastewater treatment plant operators, to investigate potential odour problems, the odour abatement technologies used, and potential interest and motives for adopting such technologies. The sparse information available in the literature is also exploited. Results indicate that on several occasions there was an odour problem, often stemming from the uncontrolled city sprawl, which results in mixed and often conflicting land uses. This is particularly true for wastewater treatment plants, which tend to be built close to built-up areas and highlights the importance of town planning as a tool to minimize odour problems. Measurement of odours and/or odour related gases is not commonly practised in Greece, while the odour abatement systems currently used are often considered inadequate by plant managers who do have an active interest in using more efficient and effective technologies. To our knowledge, this is the first systematic effort to monitor the odour nuisance in the country.

  11. Odours stimulate neuronal activity in the dorsolateral area of the hippocampal formation during path integration

    PubMed Central

    Jorge, P. E.; Phillips, J. B.; Gonçalves, A.; Marques, P. A. M.; Nĕmec, P.

    2014-01-01

    The dorsolateral area of the hippocampal formation of birds is commonly assumed to play a central role in processing information needed for geographical positioning and homing. Previous work has interpreted odour-induced activity in this region as evidence for an ‘olfactory map’. Here, we show, using c-Fos expression as a marker, that neuronal activation in the dorsolateral area of the hippocampal formation of pigeons is primarily a response to odour novelty, not to the spatial distribution of odour sources that would be necessary for an olfactory map. Pigeons exposed to odours had significantly more neurons activated in this area of the brain than pigeons exposed to filtered air with odours removed. This increased activity was observed only in response to unfamiliar odours. No change in activity was observed when pigeons were exposed to home odours. These findings are consistent with non-home odours activating non-olfactory components of the pigeon's navigation system. The pattern of neuronal activation in the triangular and dorsomedial areas of the hippocampal formation was, by contrast, consistent with the possibility that odours play a role in providing spatial information. PMID:24671977

  12. Odours stimulate neuronal activity in the dorsolateral area of the hippocampal formation during path integration.

    PubMed

    Jorge, P E; Phillips, J B; Gonçalves, A; Marques, P A M; Nĕmec, P

    2014-05-22

    The dorsolateral area of the hippocampal formation of birds is commonly assumed to play a central role in processing information needed for geographical positioning and homing. Previous work has interpreted odour-induced activity in this region as evidence for an 'olfactory map'. Here, we show, using c-Fos expression as a marker, that neuronal activation in the dorsolateral area of the hippocampal formation of pigeons is primarily a response to odour novelty, not to the spatial distribution of odour sources that would be necessary for an olfactory map. Pigeons exposed to odours had significantly more neurons activated in this area of the brain than pigeons exposed to filtered air with odours removed. This increased activity was observed only in response to unfamiliar odours. No change in activity was observed when pigeons were exposed to home odours. These findings are consistent with non-home odours activating non-olfactory components of the pigeon's navigation system. The pattern of neuronal activation in the triangular and dorsomedial areas of the hippocampal formation was, by contrast, consistent with the possibility that odours play a role in providing spatial information.

  13. Comparison of different measurement methods of odour and odorants used in the odour impact assessment of wastewater treatment plants in Poland.

    PubMed

    Barczak, Radosław J; Kulig, Andrzej

    2017-02-01

    The aim of this study was to compare sensory and analytical methods used to measure odour and odorants concentrations for odour impact assessment on municipal wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs). A range of sources and odour or odorants concentrations were used to compare the methods. Four different odours and odorants measurement methods were compared: field olfactometry using Nasal Ranger(®) field olfactometer, dynamic olfactometry according to PN-EN 13725:2007 standard, colorimetric assays (hydrogen sulphide, ammonia) and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) methods (methanethiol, ethanethiol, dimethyl sulphide). Mechanical-biological and mechanical-biological-chemical WWTPs were chosen. Receptor points were selected inside of 'closed' facilities of the technological line (screening rooms, mechanical thickening and dewatering building) and downwind at 'open' facilities (collection chambers, sand trap, mechanical thickeners) which were the most significant regarding the potential for odour nuisance. By the research, it is not possible to specify explicit dependencies between results obtained from different research methods used in the odour impact assessment of WWTPs. A strong correlation (Pearson's correlation coefficient was equal R = 0.79) was determined only once between odour concentrations measured by dynamic olfactometry and methanethiol concentrations in the screen room at the WWTP No. 3.

  14. Perception of pathogenic or beneficial bacteria and their evasion of host immunity: pattern recognition receptors in the frontline

    PubMed Central

    Trdá, Lucie; Boutrot, Freddy; Claverie, Justine; Brulé, Daphnée; Dorey, Stephan; Poinssot, Benoit

    2015-01-01

    Plants are continuously monitoring the presence of microorganisms to establish an adapted response. Plants commonly use pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) to perceive microbe- or pathogen-associated molecular patterns (MAMPs/PAMPs) which are microorganism molecular signatures. Located at the plant plasma membrane, the PRRs are generally receptor-like kinases (RLKs) or receptor-like proteins (RLPs). MAMP detection will lead to the establishment of a plant defense program called MAMP-triggered immunity (MTI). In this review, we overview the RLKs and RLPs that assure early recognition and control of pathogenic or beneficial bacteria. We also highlight the crucial function of PRRs during plant-microbe interactions, with a special emphasis on the receptors of the bacterial flagellin and peptidoglycan. In addition, we discuss the multiple strategies used by bacteria to evade PRR-mediated recognition. PMID:25904927

  15. The Facial Expressive Action Stimulus Test. A test battery for the assessment of face memory, face and object perception, configuration processing, and facial expression recognition.

    PubMed

    de Gelder, Beatrice; Huis In 't Veld, Elisabeth M J; Van den Stock, Jan

    2015-01-01

    There are many ways to assess face perception skills. In this study, we describe a novel task battery FEAST (Facial Expressive Action Stimulus Test) developed to test recognition of identity and expressions of human faces as well as stimulus control categories. The FEAST consists of a neutral and emotional face memory task, a face and shoe identity matching task, a face and house part-to-whole matching task, and a human and animal facial expression matching task. The identity and part-to-whole matching tasks contain both upright and inverted conditions. The results provide reference data of a healthy sample of controls in two age groups for future users of the FEAST.

  16. The Facial Expressive Action Stimulus Test. A test battery for the assessment of face memory, face and object perception, configuration processing, and facial expression recognition

    PubMed Central

    de Gelder, Beatrice; Huis in ‘t Veld, Elisabeth M. J.; Van den Stock, Jan

    2015-01-01

    There are many ways to assess face perception skills. In this study, we describe a novel task battery FEAST (Facial Expressive Action Stimulus Test) developed to test recognition of identity and expressions of human faces as well as stimulus control categories. The FEAST consists of a neutral and emotional face memory task, a face and shoe identity matching task, a face and house part-to-whole matching task, and a human and animal facial expression matching task. The identity and part-to-whole matching tasks contain both upright and inverted conditions. The results provide reference data of a healthy sample of controls in two age groups for future users of the FEAST. PMID:26579004

  17. Individual Differences in Language Ability Are Related to Variation in Word Recognition, Not Speech Perception: Evidence from Eye Movements

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McMurray, Bob; Munson, Cheyenne; Tomblin, J. Bruce

    2014-01-01

    Purpose: The authors examined speech perception deficits associated with individual differences in language ability, contrasting auditory, phonological, or lexical accounts by asking whether lexical competition is differentially sensitive to fine-grained acoustic variation. Method: Adolescents with a range of language abilities (N = 74, including…

  18. Olfactory receptor cells on the cockroach antennae: responses to the direction and rate of change in food odour concentration.

    PubMed

    Hinterwirth, Armin; Zeiner, Reinhard; Tichy, Harald

    2004-06-01

    In insects, information about food odour is encoded by olfactory receptor cells with characteristic response spectra, located in several types of cuticular sensilla. Within short, hair-like sensilla on the cockroach's antenna, antagonistic pairs of olfactory receptor cells shape information inflow to the CNS by providing excitatory responses for both increases and decreases in food odour concentration. The segregation of food odour information into parallel ON and OFF responses suggests that temporal concentration changes become enhanced in the sensory output. When food odour concentration changes slowly and continuously up and down with smooth transition from one direction to another, the ON and OFF olfactory cells not only signal a succession of odour concentrations but also the rate with which odour concentration happens to be changing. Access to the values of such cues is of great use to an insect orientating to an odour source. With them they may extract concentration gradients from odour plumes.

  19. Comparison of odour emissions from animal housing systems with low ammonia emission.

    PubMed

    Ogink, N W; Koerkamp, P W

    2001-01-01

    Nuisance from livestock facilities is an increasing problem in densely populated areas like The Netherlands. It is in the interest of both farmers and society that housing systems and management methods are developed to minimise the emission of odour. An odour research programme has been completed in The Netherlands to investigate odour emission from both conventional housing systems and systems designed for low ammonia emission. The aim of this paper is to compare within each animal category the odour emission of a number of swine housing systems and poultry housing systems. Emission measurements including 17 housing systems were carried out at 24 livestock facilities. Results showed that investigated systems with low ammonia emission for fattening pigs and sows were significantly (p<0.025) lower than conventional systems, being 50%, or more, lower. For laying hens and broilers, housing systems with low ammonia emission showed odour emissions that in most cases only differed slightly from conventional systems. Correlations between ammonia and odour concentration (within facilities) did not show a consistent pattern. It is concluded that methods for restriction of emitting (slurry) surface in pig husbandry may reduce both ammonia and odour emission. In poultry housings the effects of methods for ammonia reduction that involve drying of fresh manure or litter cannot be directly extrapolated to odour emision.

  20. Odour influence on well-being and health with specific focus on animal production emissions.

    PubMed

    Nimmermark, Sven

    2004-01-01

    Odour and odorants may affect the quality of life of exposed individuals. A review of the literature on olfaction and reactions to odours was carried out with the aim of reaching an understanding of their influence on well-being and health, and to suggest possible improvements in odour environment. This review has focussed specifically on the impact of animal production emissions. Factors like emission and air movements form the physical odour levels, and individual parameters involving psychological and social factors determine the human response. An odour may have positive as well as negative effects on well-being. Learning may be important for induced approach or avoidance behaviour. Common sites of irritation and injury from odorants are the respiratory organs and the nose. In most cases, the protection system triggered by the trigeminal nerve prevents severe effects. Increased frequencies of a number of respiratory and stress-related symptoms are found in the vicinity of animal production facilities. Explanations may be odour-mediated symptoms through annoyance and/or co-existing compounds like dust and gases with synergistic effects. Besides hydrogen sulphide, a number of gases related to animal production have hazardous properties and might be contributory elements despite their low concentrations. Important factors affecting mood, stress, and perceived health are odour levels, exposure time, sensitivity, unpleasantness, cognition and coping. Odour unpleasantness influences annoyance and might be interesting for regulatory purposes.

  1. Interference competition: odours of an apex predator and conspecifics influence resource acquisition by red foxes.

    PubMed

    Leo, Viyanna; Reading, Richard P; Letnic, Mike

    2015-12-01

    Apex predators can impact smaller predators via lethal effects that occur through direct killing, and non-lethal effects that arise when fear-induced behavioural and physiological changes reduce the fitness of smaller predators. A general outcome of asymmetrical competition between co-existing predator species is that larger predators tend to suppress the abundances of smaller predators. Here, we investigate interference effects that an apex predator, the dingo (Canis dingo), has on the acquisition of food and water by the smaller red fox (Vulpes vulpes), by exposing free-ranging foxes to the odour of dingoes and conspecifics in an arid environment. Using giving-up densities we show that foxes foraged more apprehensively at predator-odour treatments than unscented controls, but their food intake did not differ between dingo- and fox-odour treatments. Using video analysis of fox behaviour at experimental water stations we show that foxes spent more time engaged in exploration behaviour at stations scented with fox odour and spent more time drinking at water stations scented with dingo odour. Our results provide support for the idea that dingo odour exerts a stronger interference effect on foxes than conspecific odour, but suggest that the odours of both larger dingoes and unfamiliar conspecifics curtailed foxes' acquisition of food resources.

  2. Perception and motivation in face recognition: a critical review of theories of the Cross-Race Effect.

    PubMed

    Young, Steven G; Hugenberg, Kurt; Bernstein, Michael J; Sacco, Donald F

    2012-05-01

    Although humans possess well-developed face processing expertise, face processing is nevertheless subject to a variety of biases. Perhaps the best known of these biases is the Cross-Race Effect--the tendency to have more accurate recognition for same-race than cross-race faces. The current work reviews the evidence for and provides a critical review of theories of the Cross-Race Effect, including perceptual expertise and social cognitive accounts of the bias. The authors conclude that recent hybrid models of the Cross-Race Effect, which combine elements of both perceptual expertise and social cognitive frameworks, provide an opportunity for theoretical synthesis and advancement not afforded by independent expertise or social cognitive models. Finally, the authors suggest future research directions intended to further develop a comprehensive and integrative understanding of biases in face recognition.

  3. Characterisation of free and glycosidically bound odourant compounds of Aragonez clonal musts by GC-O.

    PubMed

    Botelho, Goreti; Mendes-Faia, Arlete; Clímaco, Maria Cristina

    2010-01-11

    To evaluate the potential aroma of Aragonez clonal red musts, several free and glycosidically bound odourant compounds were extracted. Then, the gas chromatography-olfactometry (GC-O) posterior intensity method was used to evaluate their odour intensity and the compounds were identified by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). A group of eight sniffers evaluated free and bound fractions of Aragonez musts and perceived forty-three and twenty-two odourant peaks respectively. Furaneol (burnt sugar, candy-cotton) and vanillin (vanilla, sweet) were identified in both free and bound fractions of Aragonez musts, indicating their grape-derived origin. Principal component analysis (PCA) was applied to the posterior intensity method data and a relationship between the different odourant compound variables and the free fractions was established. Two principal components (PCs) were found which together explained 100% of the total variance. A large number of potentially important but yet unknown odourants was detected by the GC-O analysis.

  4. Optimizing chemical conditioning for odour removal of undigested sewage sludge in drying processes.

    PubMed

    Vega, Esther; Monclús, Hèctor; Gonzalez-Olmos, Rafael; Martin, Maria J

    2015-03-01

    Emission of odours during the thermal drying in sludge handling processes is one of the main sources of odour problems in wastewater treatment plants. The objective of this work was to assess the use of the response surface methodology as a technique to optimize the chemical conditioning process of undigested sewage sludges, in order to improve the dewaterability, and to reduce the odour emissions during the thermal drying of the sludge. Synergistic effects between inorganic conditioners (iron chloride and calcium oxide) were observed in terms of sulphur emissions and odour reduction. The developed quadratic models indicated that optimizing the conditioners dosage is possible to increase a 70% the dewaterability, reducing a 50% and 54% the emission of odour and volatile sulphur compounds respectively. The optimization of the conditioning process was validated experimentally.

  5. Close encounters: contributions of carbon dioxide and human skin odour to finding and landing on a host in Aedes aegypti

    PubMed Central

    LACEY, EMERSON S.; RAY, ANANDASANKAR; CARDÉ, RING T.

    2014-01-01

    In a wind-tunnel study, the upwind flight and source location of female Aedes aegypti to plumes of carbon dioxide (CO2) gas and odour from human feet is tested. Both odour sources are presented singly and in combination. Flight upwind along the plumes is evident for both CO2 and odour from human feet when the odours are presented alone. Likewise, both odour sources are located by more than 70% of mosquitoes in less than 3 min. When both CO2 and odour from human feet are presented simultaneously in two different choice tests (with plumes superimposed or with plumes separated), there is no evidence that females orientate along the plume of CO2 and only a few mosquitoes locate its source. Rather, the foot odour plume is navigated and the source of foot odour is located by over 80% of female Ae. aegypti. When a female is presented a plume of CO2 within a broad plume of human foot odour of relatively low concentration, the source of CO2 is not located; instead, flight is upwind in the diffuse plume of foot odour. Although upwind flight by Ae. aegypti at long range is presumably induced by CO2 and the threshold of response to skin odours is lowered, our findings suggest that once females have arrived near a prospective human host, upwind orientation and landing are largely governed by the suite of odours from a human foot, while orientation is no longer influenced by CO2. PMID:24839345

  6. Diet and growth effects in panel assessment of sheepmeat odour and flavour.

    PubMed

    Rousset-Akrim, S; Young, O A; Berdagué, J L

    1997-02-01

    The effects of sheep age and diet on several odours and flavours are described. Ram lambs raised on ewe's milk then a corn-based diet were compared with lambs raised on milk and a pasture of grass/clover, six treatments in all. A seventh treatment comprised very old ewes maintained on pasture. Fat and lean from forequarters was minced and cooked together. Cooked lean was assessed for intensity by a sensory panel for 10 flavour attributes. Four showed significant (P < 0.01) treatment effects: 'sheepmeat', 'animal', 'liver', and 'poultry'. Sheepmeat flavour was highest in the slow-grown pasture-fed lambs. Animal flavour-the flavour associated with the odour of confined livestock-showed a similar pattern with treatment. Liver flavour was highest in ewe meat, and the biochemical origin of this flavour is discussed. Eleven related odour attributes were assessed on the rendered fat with a novel olfactometer. Five attributes showed highly significant treatment effects for intensity (P < 0.001): animal and sheepmeat odours showed a similar distribution to the equivalent flavours; likewise cabbage and rancid odours were associated with the two slow-grown pasture treatments. A comparison of the odour and flavour statistics showed that the sense of smell was the more discriminating in sheepmeat assessment, and also confirmed that fat was the true source of sheepmeat odour/flavour. In respect of sheepmeat production for effective marketing, the data showed that at 90 days, a pastoral diet resulted in slightly enhanced odours when compared with a corn-based diet. By 215 days, however, many undesirable odours were exacerbated. Since these older rams were more sexually developed, a sex rather than an age effect could not be excluded. Rendered fat from this work was further used in a companion study (Yang et al., 1997. Meat Sci., 45, 183-200) in an attempt to link individual volatile compounds to odour attributes.

  7. King penguins can detect two odours associated with conspecifics.

    PubMed

    Cunningham, Gregory B; Bonadonna, Francesco

    2015-11-01

    Recent studies on olfaction in penguins have focused on their use of odours while foraging. It has been proposed for some seabirds that an olfactory landscape shaped by odours coming from feeding areas exists. Islands and colonies, however, may also contribute to the olfactory landscape and may act as an orienting map. To test sensitivities to a colony scent we studied whether King penguins (Aptenodytes patagonicus) could detect the smell of sand, feathers or feces by holding presentations beneath their beaks while they naturally slept on the beach. Penguins had a significantly greater response to the feathers and feces presentations than to sand. Although only a first step in exploring a broader role of olfaction in this species, our results raise the possibility of olfaction being used by King penguins in three potential ways: (1) locating the colony from the water or the shore, (2) finding the rendezvous zone within the colony where a chick or partner may be found, or (3) recognizing individuals by scent, as in Humboldt penguins (Spheniscus demersus).

  8. Determination of odour threshold concentration ranges for some disinfectants and disinfection by-products for an Australian panel.

    PubMed

    McDonald, S; Lethorn, A; Loi, C; Joll, C; Driessen, H; Heitz, A

    2009-01-01

    Taste-and-odour complaints are a leading cause of consumer dissatisfaction with drinking water. The aim of this study was to determine odour threshold concentration ranges and descriptors, using a Western Australian odour panel, for chlorine, bromine, chlorine added to bromide ions, the four major regulated trihalomethanes (THMs), and combined THMs. An odour panel was established and trained to determine odour threshold concentration ranges for odorous compounds typically found in drinking water at 25 degrees C, using modified flavour profile analysis (FPA) techniques. Bromine and chlorine had the same odour threshold concentration ranges and were both described as having a chlorinous odour by a majority of panellists, but the odour threshold concentration range of bromine expressed in free chlorine equivalents was lower that that of chlorine. It is likely that the free chlorine equivalent residuals measured in many parts of distribution systems in Western Australia are comprised of some portion of bromine and that bromine has the potential to cause chlorinous odours at a lower free chlorine equivalent concentration than chlorine itself. In fact, bromine is the likely cause of any chlorinous odours in Western Australian distributed waters when the free chlorine equivalent concentration is between 0.04 and 0.1 mg L(-1). Odour threshold concentrations for the four individual THMs ranged from 0.06-0.16 mg L(-1), and the odour threshold concentration range was 0.10 + or - 0.09 mg L(-1) when the four THMs were combined (in equal mass concentrations). These concentrations are below the maximum guideline value for total THM concentration in Australia so odours from these compounds may possibly be observed in distributed waters. However, while the presence of THMs may contribute to any sweet/fragrant/floral and chemical/hydrocarbon odours in local drinking waters, the THMs are unlikely to contribute to chlorinous odours.

  9. Testing Speech Recognition in Spanish-English Bilingual Children with the Computer-Assisted Speech Perception Assessment (CASPA): Initial Report.

    PubMed

    García, Paula B; Rosado Rogers, Lydia; Nishi, Kanae

    2016-01-01

    This study evaluated the English version of Computer-Assisted Speech Perception Assessment (E-CASPA) with Spanish-English bilingual children. E-CASPA has been evaluated with monolingual English speakers ages 5 years and older, but it is unknown whether a separate norm is necessary for bilingual children. Eleven Spanish-English bilingual and 12 English monolingual children (6 to 12 years old) with normal hearing participated. Responses were scored by word, phoneme, consonant, and vowel. Regardless of scores, performance across three signal-to-noise ratio conditions was similar between groups, suggesting that the same norm can be used for both bilingual and monolingual children.

  10. Below and beyond the recognition of emotional facial expressions in alcohol dependence: from basic perception to social cognition.

    PubMed

    D'Hondt, Fabien; Campanella, Salvatore; Kornreich, Charles; Philippot, Pierre; Maurage, Pierre

    2014-01-01

    Studies that have carried out experimental evaluation of emotional skills in alcohol-dependence have, up to now, been mainly focused on the exploration of emotional facial expressions (EFE) decoding. In the present paper, we provide some complements to the recent systematic literature review published by Donadon and de Lima Osório on this crucial topic. We also suggest research avenues that must be, in our opinion, considered in the coming years. More precisely, we propose, first, that a battery integrating a set of emotional tasks relating to different processes should be developed to better systemize EFE decoding measures in alcohol-dependence. Second, we propose to go below EFE recognition deficits and to seek for the roots of those alterations, particularly by investigating the putative role played by early visual processing and vision-emotion interactions in the emotional impairment observed in alcohol-dependence. Third, we insist on the need to go beyond EFE recognition deficits by suggesting that they only constitute a part of wider emotional deficits in alcohol-dependence. Importantly, since the efficient decoding of emotions is a crucial ability for the development and maintenance of satisfactory interpersonal relationships, we suggest that disruption of this ability in alcohol-dependent individuals may have adverse consequences for their social integration. One way to achieve this research agenda would be to develop the field of affective and social neuroscience of alcohol-dependence, which could ultimately lead to major advances at both theoretical and therapeutic levels.

  11. Evaluation of the odour reduction potential of alternative cover materials at a commercial landfill.

    PubMed

    Solan, P J; Dodd, V A; Curran, T P

    2010-02-01

    The availability of virgin soils and traditional landfill covers are not only costly and increasingly becoming scarce, but they also reduce the storage capacity of landfill. The problem can be overcome by the utilisation of certain suitable waste streams as alternative landfill covers. The objective of this study was to assess the suitability of Construction & Demolition fines (C&D), Commercial & Industrial fines (C&I) and woodchip (WC) as potential landfill cover materials in terms of odour control. Background odour analysis was conducted to determine if any residual odour was emitted from the cover types. It was deemed negligible for the three materials. The odour reduction performance of each of the materials was also examined on an area of an active landfill site. A range of intermediate cover compositions were also studied to assess their performance. Odour emissions were sampled using a Jiang hood and analysed. Results indicate that the 200 mm deep combination layer of C&D and wood chip used on-site is adequate for odour abatement. The application of daily cover was found to result in effective reduction allowing for the background odour of woodchip.

  12. Catalytic ozonation for odour removal of high temperature alumina refinery condensate.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xinguang; Guan, Jing; Stuetz, Richard M

    2012-01-01

    Odour emissions from aluminium processing can cause an impact on local communities surrounding such facilities. Of particular concern is fugitive odours emitted from the handling and use of refinery condensate streams, particularly the digestion condensate. This study evaluated the application of using catalytic ozonation to treat alumina refinery condensate in order to remove the potential emission of odourous compounds from the industrial wastewater. The technical challenges in treating the alumina refinery condensate are the high pH and temperatures of the wastewater effluent (over 80 °C and pH above 10) due the industrial process. The odour removal efficiencies for different catalysts (FeCl(3), MnO, and MnSO(4)) under experimental conditions in terms of controlled pH, temperature and ozone dosage were determined before and after ozone treatment using dynamic olfactometry. The result demonstrated that the addition of both FeCl(3) and MnO catalysts improved odour removal efficiencies during the ozonation of alumina condensates at similar pH and temperature conditions. FeCl(3) and MnO had similar enhancement for odour removal, however MnO was determined to be more appropriate than MnSO(4) for odour removal due to the colouration of the treated condensate.

  13. Preliminary observation on the effect of baking soda volume on controlling odour from discarded organic waste

    SciTech Connect

    Qamaruz-Zaman, N. Kun, Y.; Rosli, R.-N.

    2015-01-15

    Highlights: • Approximately 50 g baking soda reduced odour concentration by 70%. • Reducing volatile acid concentration reduces odour concentration. • Ammonia has less effect on odour concentration. - Abstract: Food wastes with high moisture and organic matter content are likely to emit odours as a result of the decomposition process. The management of odour from decomposing wastes is needed to sustain the interest of residents and local councils in the source separation of kitchen wastes. This study investigated the potential of baking soda (at 50 g, 75 g and 100 g per kg food waste) to control odour from seven days stored food waste. It was found that 50 g of baking soda, spread at the bottom of 8 l food wastes bin, can reduce the odour by about 70%. A higher amount (above 100 g) is not advised as a pH higher than 9.0 may be induced leading to the volatilization of odorous ammonia. This research finding is expected to benefit the waste management sector, food processing industries as well as the local authorities where malodour from waste storage is a pressing issue.

  14. Monitoring of pile composting process of OFMSW at full scale and evaluation of odour emission impact.

    PubMed

    Gutiérrez, M C; Martín, M A; Serrano, A; Chica, A F

    2015-03-15

    In this study, the evolution of odour concentration (ouE/m(3)STP) emitted during the pile composting of the organic fraction of municipal solid waste (OFMSW) was monitored by dynamic olfactometry. Physical-chemical variables as well as the respirometric variables were also analysed. The aim of this work was twofold. The first was to determine the relationship between odour and traditional variables to determine if dynamic olfactometry is a feasible and adequate technique for monitoring an aerobic stabilisation process (composting). Second, the composting process odour impact on surrounding areas was simulated by a dispersion model. The results showed that the decrease of odour concentration, total organic carbon and respirometric variables was similar (around 96, 96 y 98% respectively). The highest odour emission (5224 ouE/m(3)) was reached in parallel with the highest microbiological activity (SOUR and OD20 values of 25 mgO2/gVS · h and 70 mgO2/gVS, respectively). The validity of monitoring odour emissions during composting in combination with traditional and respirometric variables was demonstrated by the adequate correlation obtained between the variables. Moreover, the quantification of odour emissions by dynamic olfactometry and the subsequent application of the dispersion model permitted making an initial prediction of the impact of odorous emissions on the population. Finally, the determination of CO2 and CH4 emissions allowed the influence of composting process on carbon reservoirs and global warming to be evaluated.

  15. MHC-correlated odour preferences in humans and the use of oral contraceptives

    PubMed Central

    Roberts, S. Craig; Gosling, L. Morris; Carter, Vaughan; Petrie, Marion

    2008-01-01

    Previous studies in animals and humans show that genes in the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) influence individual odours and that females often prefer odour of MHC-dissimilar males, perhaps to increase offspring heterozygosity or reduce inbreeding. Women using oral hormonal contraceptives have been reported to have the opposite preference, raising the possibility that oral contraceptives alter female preference towards MHC similarity, with possible fertility costs. Here we test directly whether contraceptive pill use alters odour preferences using a longitudinal design in which women were tested before and after initiating pill use; a control group of non-users were tested with a comparable interval between test sessions. In contrast to some previous studies, there was no significant difference in ratings between odours of MHC-dissimilar and MHC-similar men among women during the follicular cycle phase. However, single women preferred odours of MHC-similar men, while women in relationships preferred odours of MHC-dissimilar men, a result consistent with studies in other species, suggesting that paired females may seek to improve offspring quality through extra-pair partnerships. Across tests, we found a significant preference shift towards MHC similarity associated with pill use, which was not evident in the control group. If odour plays a role in human mate choice, our results suggest that contraceptive pill use could disrupt disassortative mate preferences. PMID:18700206

  16. The effect of two ammonia-emission-reducing pig housing systems on odour emission.

    PubMed

    Mol, G; Ogink, N W M

    2004-01-01

    Odour nuisance from agricultural activities is increasing in densely populated countries like the Netherlands. To develop adequate regulations, a large-scale, government-financed monitoring programme was started in the mid-1990s to establish odour emission levels for both conventional and low ammonia emission housing systems for cattle, pigs and poultry. The results indicate that high- and low-odour emission housing are difficult to distinguish because of the large variation within housing systems. Measurements on different farm locations within the same housing system show both a large variation between locations and within one location (in time). The latter, however, is significantly smaller, which suggests that farm management is an important determinant in odour emission that interferes with the effects of housing systems. The current research was aimed at determining the effect of two common ammonia-reducing pig-housing systems on odour emissions compared to conventional housing systems under similar management conditions. The respective reduction principles of these systems are reducing the emitting surface of the manure pit and cooling of manure in the manure pit (both pits beneath slatted floor). Five farms that combined conventional housing with one low-ammonia system (three reduced emitting surface and two manure cooling) were selected for a direct, pair-wise comparison of (olfactometric) odour emission measurements. The results show a highly significant effect (p < 0.01) for two of the three reduced emitting surface systems and for one of the two manure cooling system. The average odour reduction percentages of these systems are 35% (from 24.9 to 16.0 OUE/s per animal) and 23% (from 30.1 to 24.0 OUE/s per animal) respectively. Although odour emission reduction through the type of housing system is possible, management factors interact with the system and thereby determine whether the system reduces odour emission or not.

  17. Decomposition Odour Profiling in the Air and Soil Surrounding Vertebrate Carrion

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Chemical profiling of decomposition odour is conducted in the environmental sciences to detect malodourous target sources in air, water or soil. More recently decomposition odour profiling has been employed in the forensic sciences to generate a profile of the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) produced by decomposed remains. The chemical profile of decomposition odour is still being debated with variations in the VOC profile attributed to the sample collection technique, method of chemical analysis, and environment in which decomposition occurred. To date, little consideration has been given to the partitioning of odour between different matrices and the impact this has on developing an accurate VOC profile. The purpose of this research was to investigate the decomposition odour profile surrounding vertebrate carrion to determine how VOCs partition between soil and air. Four pig carcasses (Sus scrofa domesticus L.) were placed on a soil surface to decompose naturally and their odour profile monitored over a period of two months. Corresponding control sites were also monitored to determine the VOC profile of the surrounding environment. Samples were collected from the soil below and the air (headspace) above the decomposed remains using sorbent tubes and analysed using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. A total of 249 compounds were identified but only 58 compounds were common to both air and soil samples. This study has demonstrated that soil and air samples produce distinct subsets of VOCs that contribute to the overall decomposition odour. Sample collection from only one matrix will reduce the likelihood of detecting the complete spectrum of VOCs, which further confounds the issue of determining a complete and accurate decomposition odour profile. Confirmation of this profile will enhance the performance of cadaver-detection dogs that are tasked with detecting decomposition odour in both soil and air to locate victim remains. PMID:24740412

  18. Decomposition odour profiling in the air and soil surrounding vertebrate carrion.

    PubMed

    Forbes, Shari L; Perrault, Katelynn A

    2014-01-01

    Chemical profiling of decomposition odour is conducted in the environmental sciences to detect malodourous target sources in air, water or soil. More recently decomposition odour profiling has been employed in the forensic sciences to generate a profile of the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) produced by decomposed remains. The chemical profile of decomposition odour is still being debated with variations in the VOC profile attributed to the sample collection technique, method of chemical analysis, and environment in which decomposition occurred. To date, little consideration has been given to the partitioning of odour between different matrices and the impact this has on developing an accurate VOC profile. The purpose of this research was to investigate the decomposition odour profile surrounding vertebrate carrion to determine how VOCs partition between soil and air. Four pig carcasses (Sus scrofa domesticus L.) were placed on a soil surface to decompose naturally and their odour profile monitored over a period of two months. Corresponding control sites were also monitored to determine the VOC profile of the surrounding environment. Samples were collected from the soil below and the air (headspace) above the decomposed remains using sorbent tubes and analysed using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. A total of 249 compounds were identified but only 58 compounds were common to both air and soil samples. This study has demonstrated that soil and air samples produce distinct subsets of VOCs that contribute to the overall decomposition odour. Sample collection from only one matrix will reduce the likelihood of detecting the complete spectrum of VOCs, which further confounds the issue of determining a complete and accurate decomposition odour profile. Confirmation of this profile will enhance the performance of cadaver-detection dogs that are tasked with detecting decomposition odour in both soil and air to locate victim remains.

  19. Carbon dioxide instantly sensitizes female yellow fever mosquitoes to human skin odours.

    PubMed

    Dekker, Teun; Geier, Martin; Cardé, Ring T

    2005-08-01

    Female mosquitoes are noted for their ability to use odours to locate a host for a blood meal. Two sensory organs contribute to their sense of smell: the maxillary palps, which measure the level of CO2, and the antennae, which detect other host-released odours. To establish the relative importance and interactions of CO2 and other body emissions in freely flying mosquitoes, we presented female yellow fever mosquitoes Aedes aegypti L. with broad plumes of human skin odour and CO2 at natural concentrations and dilutions thereof in a wind tunnel. 3-D video-recorded flight tracks were reconstructed. Activation, flight velocity, upwind turning and source finding waned quickly as skin odours were diluted, whereas in the presence of CO2 these parameters remained unchanged over more than a 100-fold dilution from exhaled concentrations. Although mosquitoes were behaviourally less sensitive to skin odours than to CO2, their sensitivity to skin odours increased transiently by at least fivefold immediately following a brief encounter with a filament of CO2. This sensitization was reflected in flight velocity, track angle, turning rate upon entering and exiting the broad odour plume and, ultimately, in the source-finding rate. In Ae. aegypti, CO2 thus functions as a ;releaser' for a higher sensitivity and responsiveness to skin odours. The initially low responsiveness of mosquitoes to skin odours, their high sensitivity to CO2, and the sensitization of the olfactory circuitry by CO2 are ecologically relevant, because rapidly fluctuating CO2 levels reliably signal a potential host. Possible mechanisms of the instantaneous sensitization are considered.

  20. Perception of the Arabidopsis Danger Signal Peptide 1 Involves the Pattern Recognition Receptor AtPEPR1 and Its Close Homologue AtPEPR2*

    PubMed Central

    Krol, Elzbieta; Mentzel, Tobias; Chinchilla, Delphine; Boller, Thomas; Felix, Georg; Kemmerling, Birgit; Postel, Sandra; Arents, Michael; Jeworutzki, Elena; Al-Rasheid, Khaled A. S.; Becker, Dirk; Hedrich, Rainer

    2010-01-01

    Plasma membrane-borne pattern recognition receptors, which recognize microbe-associated molecular patterns and endogenous damage-associated molecular patterns, provide the first line of defense in innate immunity. In plants, leucine-rich repeat receptor kinases fulfill this role, as exemplified by FLS2 and EFR, the receptors for the microbe-associated molecular patterns flagellin and elongation factor Tu. Here we examined the perception of the damage-associated molecular pattern peptide 1 (AtPep1), an endogenous peptide of Arabidopsis identified earlier and shown to be perceived by the leucine-rich repeat protein kinase PEPR1. Using seedling growth inhibition, elicitation of an oxidative burst and induction of ethylene biosynthesis, we show that wild type plants and the pepr1 and pepr2 mutants, affected in PEPR1 and in its homologue PEPR2, are sensitive to AtPep1, but that the double mutant pepr1/pepr2 is completely insensitive. As a central body of our study, we provide electrophysiological evidence that at the level of the plasma membrane, AtPep1 triggers a receptor-dependent transient depolarization through activation of plasma membrane anion channels, and that this effect is absent in the double mutant pepr1/pepr2. The double mutant also fails to respond to AtPep2 and AtPep3, two distant homologues of AtPep1 on the basis of homology screening, implying that the PEPR1 and PEPR2 are responsible for their perception too. Our findings provide a basic framework to study the biological role of AtPep1-related danger signals and their cognate receptors. PMID:20200150

  1. Taste and odour issues in South Korea's drinking water industry.

    PubMed

    Bae, B U; Shin, H S; Choi, J J

    2007-01-01

    This paper reviews taste and odour (T&O) issues of South Korea's water industry. For this purpose, an overview of the water supply systems and drinking water standards is presented and some results from citizen surveys for customer satisfaction are included. A case study is presented in which the water intake was shifted from inside a main reservoir to a downstream location due to T&O problems. It is true that the South Korean water industry has long relied on the tolerance of consumers for periodic T&O events. Recently the South Korean water industry has become aware that the T&O problems are at the centre of consumers' concerns and has taken several positive approaches. These include monitoring T&O events using sensory and instrumental methods, installation of a baffled-channel PAC contactor and application of advanced water treatment processes.

  2. Odour Mapping Under Strong Backgrounds With a Metal Oxide Sensor Array

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ziyatdinov, Andrey; Calvo, José María Blanco; Lechón, Miguel; Bermúdez i Badia, Sergi; Verschure, Paul F. M. J.; Marco, Santiago; Perera, Alexandre

    2011-09-01

    This work describes the data from navigation experiments with the mobile robot, equipped with the sensor array of three MOX gas sensors. Performed four series of measurements aim to explore the capabilities of sensor array to build the odour map with one or two odour sources in the wind tunnel space. It was demonstrated that the method based on Independent Component Analysis (ICA) is able to discriminate two odour sources, that in future can be used in the surge-and-cast robot navigation algorithm.

  3. Predator odour and its impact on male fertility and reproduction in Phodopus campbelli hamsters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vasilieva, N. Y.; Cherepanova, E. V.; von Holst, D.; Apfelbach, R.

    This study investigated the influence of cat urine odour in suppressing development and fertility in Campbell's hamster males. Exposure to this odour from postnatal day 11 until day 45 (sexual maturation) resulted in reduced sex organ weights, reduced testosterone levels and in an increase in abnormalities of the synaptonemal complex in both sex chromosomes and autosomes. Subsequent breeding experiments revealed a significant decrease in litter size. All these data indicate a severe effect of predator odour on the breeding success of potential prey species. It is assumed that these effects are caused by the sulphurous compounds in the urine; however, the underlying mechanisms are not yet known.

  4. Electronic Nose Aided Verification of an Odour Dispersion Model for Composting Plants' Applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Artoni, Riccardo; Palmeri, Luca; Pittarello, Alberto; Benzo, Maurizio

    2009-05-01

    The dispersion of odour from a composting plant was calculated with the CALPUFF modeling system, where site specific meteorology and geophysical informations were taken into account. The odour emissions, both from forced and free-convection sources, were measured by means of dynamic olfactometry and implemented in the model. The results obtained from the model were verified with a MOS sensor based Electronic Nose equipped with a preconcentrator, placed in two target sites 50 m and 250 m far from the plant. Odour episodes, detected by electronic nose, were compared with model's forecast; a procedure for tuning the model parameters is needed, in order to reproduce Electronic Nose measurements.

  5. Colorectal cancer screening with odour material by canine scent detection

    PubMed Central

    Kohnoe, Shunji; Yamazato, Tetsuro; Satoh, Yuji; Morizono, Gouki; Shikata, Kentaro; Morita, Makoto; Watanabe, Akihiro; Morita, Masaru; Kakeji, Yoshihiro; Inoue, Fumio; Maehara, Yoshihiko

    2011-01-01

    Objective Early detection and early treatment are of vital importance to the successful treatment of various cancers. The development of a novel screening method that is as economical and non-invasive as the faecal occult blood test (FOBT) for early detection of colorectal cancer (CRC) is needed. A study was undertaken using canine scent detection to determine whether odour material can become an effective tool in CRC screening. Design Exhaled breath and watery stool samples were obtained from patients with CRC and from healthy controls prior to colonoscopy. Each test group consisted of one sample from a patient with CRC and four control samples from volunteers without cancer. These five samples were randomly and separately placed into five boxes. A Labrador retriever specially trained in scent detection of cancer and a handler cooperated in the tests. The dog first smelled a standard breath sample from a patient with CRC, then smelled each sample station and sat down in front of the station in which a cancer scent was detected. Results 33 and 37 groups of breath and watery stool samples, respectively, were tested. Among patients with CRC and controls, the sensitivity of canine scent detection of breath samples compared with conventional diagnosis by colonoscopy was 0.91 and the specificity was 0.99. The sensitivity of canine scent detection of stool samples was 0.97 and the specificity was 0.99. The accuracy of canine scent detection was high even for early cancer. Canine scent detection was not confounded by current smoking, benign colorectal disease or inflammatory disease. Conclusions This study shows that a specific cancer scent does indeed exist and that cancer-specific chemical compounds may be circulating throughout the body. These odour materials may become effective tools in CRC screening. In the future, studies designed to identify cancer-specific volatile organic compounds will be important for the development of new methods for early detection of CRC

  6. Culicoides midge trap enhancement with animal odour baits in Scotland.

    PubMed

    Mands, V; Kline, D L; Blackwell, A

    2004-12-01

    Examples of the commercial trap Mosquito Magnet Pro (MMP emitting attractant 1-octen-3-ol in carbon dioxide 500 mL/min generated from propane fuel), were run 24 h/day on the Isle of Skye, Scotland, during June-August 2001 and evaluated for catching Culicoides biting midges (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae). From 30 days trapping, the catch averaged 2626 +/- 1358 Culicoides females/trap/day (mean +/- SE, range 558 +/- 139 to 6088 +/- 3597, for five sets of six consecutive nights), predominantly the pest Culicoides impunctatus Goetghebuer (68% overall), plus C. vexans (Staeger) > C. delta Edwards > C. pulicaris (L.) > C. lupicaris Downs & Kettle > C. albicans (Winnertz) > other Culicoides spp. Attempts were made to enhance the odour baiting system by adding hexane-extracts (2.1 mg/day) of hair samples from large host animals, resulting in the following effects on Culicoides collections: sheep - 53 %, red deer - 26 %, calf + 20%, pony + 40%, water buffalo + 262%, with greatest increases for C. impunctatus and C. pulicaris. Serial concentrations of these animal extracts (10(-1) - 10(-3) x 2.2 g/mL) were assayed on parous female C. impunctatus response in a Y-tube olfactometer (air-flow 150 mL/min), and by electroantennogram (EAG) on Culicoides nubeculosus Meigen laboratory-reared parous females. Positive behavioural responses to host odours were dose-dependent: the water buffalo extract being most active (threshold 0.22 g/mL), similar to deer, whereas other host extracts were > or = 10-fold less active. Correspondingly, the EAG threshold was lowest for water buffalo, 10-fold greater for deer, calf and pony, but not detected for sheep. If the active component(s) of these host extracts can be identified and synthesized, they might be employed to improve the capture of Culicoides midges for local control by removal trapping.

  7. Individual differences in language ability are related to variation in word recognition, not speech perception: Evidence from eye-movements

    PubMed Central

    McMurray, Bob; Munson, Cheyenne; Tomblin, J. Bruce

    2013-01-01

    Purpose This study examined speech perception deficits associated with individual differences in language ability contrasting auditory, phonological or lexical accounts by asking if lexical competition is differentially sensitive to fine-grained acoustic variation. Methods 74 adolescents with a range of language abilities (including 35 impaired) participated in an experiment based on McMurray, Tanenhaus and Aslin (2002). Participants heard tokens from six 9-step Voice Onset Time (VOT) continua spanning two words (beach/peach, beak/peak, etc), while viewing a screen containing pictures of those words and two unrelated objects. Participants selected the referent while eye-movements to each picture were monitored as a measure of lexical activation. Fixations were examined as a function of both VOT and language ability. Results Eye-movements were sensitive to within-category VOT differences: as VOT approached the boundary, listeners made more fixations to the competing word. This did not interact with language ability, suggesting that language impairment is not associated with differential auditory sensitivity or phonetic categorization. Listeners with poorer language skills showed heightened competitors fixations overall, suggesting a deficit in lexical processes. Conclusions Language impairment may be better characterized by a deficit in lexical competition (inability to suppress competing words), rather than differences phonological categorization or auditory abilities. PMID:24687026

  8. Do you smell what I smell? Genetic variation in olfactory perception.

    PubMed

    Logan, Darren W

    2014-08-01

    The sense of smell is mediated by the detection of chemical odours by ORs (olfactory receptors) in the nose. This initiates a neural percept of the odour in the brain, which may provoke an emotional or behavioural response. Analogous to colour-blindness in the visual system, some individuals report a very different percept of specific odours to others, in terms of intensity, valence or detection threshold. A significant proportion of variance in odour perception is heritable, and recent advances in genome sequencing and genotyping technologies have permitted studies into the genes that underpin these phenotypic differences. In the present article, I review the evidence that OR genes are extremely variable between individuals. I argue that this contributes to a unique receptor repertoire in our noses that provides us each with a personalized perception of our environment. I highlight specific examples where known OR variants influence odour detection and discuss the wider implications of this for both humans and other mammals that use chemical communication for social interaction.

  9. Odour-induced analgesia mediated by hypothalamic orexin neurons in mice

    PubMed Central

    Tashiro, Shogo; Yamaguchi, Ran; Ishikawa, Sodemi; Sakurai, Takeshi; Kajiya, Katsuko; Kanmura, Yuichi; Kuwaki, Tomoyuki; Kashiwadani, Hideki

    2016-01-01

    Various folk remedies employ certain odorous compounds with analgesic effects. In fact, linalool, a monoterpene alcohol found in lavender extracts, has been found to attenuate pain responses via subcutaneous, intraperitoneal, intrathecal, and oral administration. However, the analgesic effects of odorous compounds mediated by olfaction have not been thoroughly examined. We performed behavioural pain tests under odourant vapour exposure in mice. Among six odourant molecules examined, linalool significantly increased the pain threshold and attenuated pain behaviours. Olfactory bulb or epithelium lesion removed these effects, indicating that olfactory sensory input triggered the effects. Furthermore, immunohistochemical analysis revealed that linalool activated hypothalamic orexin neurons, one of the key mediators for pain processing. Formalin tests in orexin neuron-ablated and orexin peptide-deficient mice showed orexinergic transmission was essential for linalool odour-induced analgesia. Together, these findings reveal central analgesic circuits triggered by olfactory input in the mammalian brain and support a potential therapeutic approach for treating pain with linalool odour stimulation. PMID:27845440

  10. Preliminary observation on the effect of baking soda volume on controlling odour from discarded organic waste.

    PubMed

    Qamaruz-Zaman, N; Kun, Y; Rosli, R-N

    2015-01-01

    Food wastes with high moisture and organic matter content are likely to emit odours as a result of the decomposition process. The management of odour from decomposing wastes is needed to sustain the interest of residents and local councils in the source separation of kitchen wastes. This study investigated the potential of baking soda (at 50 g, 75 g and 100g per kg food waste) to control odour from seven days stored food waste. It was found that 50 g of baking soda, spread at the bottom of 8l food wastes bin, can reduce the odour by about 70%. A higher amount (above 100g) is not advised as a pH higher than 9.0 may be induced leading to the volatilization of odorous ammonia. This research finding is expected to benefit the waste management sector, food processing industries as well as the local authorities where malodour from waste storage is a pressing issue.

  11. A dispersion modelling approach to determining the odour impact of intensive pig production units in Ireland.

    PubMed

    Sheridan, B A; Hayes, E T; Curran, T P; Dodd, V A

    2004-01-01

    It is becoming more common now to use atmospheric dispersion models to predict where odour nuisance is likely to occur near pig units. An odour threshold concentration of 1 OuE m(-3) is the level at which an odour is detectable by 50% of screened panellists. A new odour annoyance criterion (C(98,1-h) (98%-ile, 1-h average odour concentration) < or = 4.3 OuE m(-3)) was developed in this study and compared to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (Ireland) recommendation (C(98,1-h)< or = 6 OuE m(-3)) using the ISCST3 model with data from three meteorological stations. Abatement techniques such as exhaust vent modification, feed manipulation, and biofiltration were assessed. Based on current limits (C(98,1-h)< or = 6 OuE m(-3)) for existing facilities, predicted setback distances can be up to 780 m for a 1000-sow unit, depending on which meteorological data set is used. However, if using the suggested odour impact criterion in this research (C(98,1-h)< or = 4.3 OuE m(-3)), setback distances could reach a maximum of 1000 m. Biofilters on second stage weaning and finishing pig buildings offer the greatest single reduction (up to 650 m) in odour impact. When combined with feed manipulation and increased exhaust air velocity, the figure can be as high as 920 m. Due to the critical requirement for local meteorological data, it is recommended that a meteorological station be installed on large pig units to facilitate more accurate predictions. Site measurements of odour emissions should be made in each case because emissions are influenced by a range of local factors including feed, manure management, building design and operation.

  12. Olfactory experience shapes the evaluation of odour similarity in ants: a behavioural and computational analysis

    PubMed Central

    Perez, Margot; Nowotny, Thomas; d'Ettorre, Patrizia

    2016-01-01

    Perceptual similarity between stimuli is often assessed via generalization, the response to stimuli that are similar to the one which was previously conditioned. Although conditioning procedures are variable, studies on how this variation may affect perceptual similarity remain scarce. Here, we use a combination of behavioural and computational analyses to investigate the influence of olfactory conditioning procedures on odour generalization in ants. Insects were trained following either absolute conditioning, in which a single odour (an aldehyde) was rewarded with sucrose, or differential conditioning, in which one odour (the same aldehyde) was similarly rewarded and another odour (an aldehyde differing in carbon-chain length) was punished with quinine. The response to the trained odours and generalization to other aldehydes were assessed. We show that olfactory similarity, rather than being immutable, varies with the conditioning procedure. Compared with absolute conditioning, differential conditioning enhances olfactory discrimination. This improvement is best described by a multiplicative interaction between two independent processes, the excitatory and inhibitory generalization gradients induced by the rewarded and the punished odour, respectively. We show that olfactory similarity is dramatically shaped by an individual's perceptual experience and suggest a new hypothesis for the nature of stimulus interactions underlying experience-dependent changes in perceptual similarity. PMID:27581883

  13. What Makes Us Smell: The Biochemistry of Body Odour and the Design of New Deodorant Ingredients.

    PubMed

    Natsch, Andreas

    2015-01-01

    Today, axilla odours are socially stigmatized and are targeted with deodorants and antiperspirants representing a multi-billion market. Axilla odours aren't simple byproducts of our metabolism but specifically formed by an intricate interplay between i) specific glands, ii) secreted amino acid conjugates of highly specific odorants and iii) selective enzymes present in microorganisms colonizing our skin, providing a natural 'controlled-release' mechanism. Within a multidisciplinary research project, we were able to elucidate the structure of key body odorants, isolate and characterize secreted amino acid conjugates and identify the enzymes responsible for odour release. These enzymes then served as targets for the development of specific active compounds in an almost medicinal chemistry approach, an approach rarely used in the cosmetic field so far. Here we review the key new insights into the biochemistry of human body odour formation, with some remarks on the experimental steps undertaken and hurdles encountered. The development of deodorant actives and the difficult path to market for such specifically acting cosmetic actives is discussed. The basic insights into the biochemistry also opened the way to address some questions in population genetics: Why have large proportions of Asians lost the 'ability' to form body odours? Do twins smell the same? Are our typical body odours indeed influenced by the immune system as often claimed? After addressing these questions, I'll conclude with the key remaining challenges in this field on an ecological niche that is 'anatomically very close to our heart'.

  14. Multi-stage absorption of rendering plant odours using sodium hypochlorite and other reagents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pope, D.; Davis, B. J.; Moss, R. L.

    Conditions for using sodium hypochlorite solution as the main component of a multi-stage absorption system for the treatment of malodorous process emissions were studied, together with the additional reagents needed for effective odour control. In laboratory experiments, mixtures containing vpm levels in air of trimethylamine, hydrogen sulphide, methyl mercaptan, dimethyl disulphide, n-butanal and sometimes ammonia were passed through three bubble-plate columns containing some of the following: water, dilute sulphuric acid, sodium hypochlorite solutions (varying in pH and available chlorine content) sodium hydroxide and sodium hydrogen sulphite. Odour removal was monitored by Chromatographic and sensory methods. Conclusions from laboratory experiments were supported by field-tests at four rendering plants in the U.K., treating both ventilation and process gases. Alkaline hypochlorite with considerable excess available chlorine removes many sulphur-compounds and aldehydes but effective odour control requires an acid pre-wash to prevent the generation of odorous chlorinated compounds from ammonia and amines. Acidic hypochlorite solution followed by sodium hydrogen sulphite (to remove aldehyde) and sodium hydroxide was a most effective combination in both laboratory and field tests. Odour generated in chlorination reactions involving acidic hypochlorite solution was analysed by GC-MS and GC-MPD-odour-port and the odour key compounds identified.

  15. Kin Recognition in Bacteria.

    PubMed

    Wall, Daniel

    2016-09-08

    The ability of bacteria to recognize kin provides a means to form social groups. In turn these groups can lead to cooperative behaviors that surpass the ability of the individual. Kin recognition involves specific biochemical interactions between a receptor(s) and an identification molecule(s). Recognition specificity, ensuring that nonkin are excluded and kin are included, is critical and depends on the number of loci and polymorphisms involved. After recognition and biochemical perception, the common ensuing cooperative behaviors include biofilm formation, quorum responses, development, and swarming motility. Although kin recognition is a fundamental mechanism through which cells might interact, microbiologists are only beginning to explore the topic. This review considers both molecular and theoretical aspects of bacterial kin recognition. Consideration is also given to bacterial diversity, genetic relatedness, kin selection theory, and mechanisms of recognition.

  16. Odour-evoked responses to queen pheromone components and to plant odours using optical imaging in the antennal lobe of the honey bee drone Apis mellifera L.

    PubMed

    Sandoz, Jean-Christophe

    2006-09-01

    The primordial functional role of honey bee males (drones) is to mate with virgin queens, a behaviour relying heavily on the olfactory detection of queen pheromone. In the present work I studied olfactory processing in the drone antennal lobe (AL), the primary olfactory centre of the insect brain. In drones, the AL consists of about 103 ordinary glomeruli and four enlarged glomeruli, the macroglomeruli (MG). Two macroglomeruli (MG1 and MG2) and approximately 20 ordinary glomeruli occupy the anterior surface of the antennal lobe and are thus accessible to optical recordings. Calcium imaging was used to measure odour-evoked responses to queen pheromonal components and plant odours. MG2 responded specifically to the main component of the queen mandibular pheromone, 9-ODA. The secondary components HOB and HVA each triggered activity in one, but not the same, ordinary glomerulus. MG1 did not respond to any of the tested stimuli. Plant odours induced signals only in ordinary glomeruli in a combinatorial manner, as in workers. This study thus shows that the major queen pheromonal component is processed in the most voluminous macroglomerulus of the drone antennal lobe, and that plant odours, as well as some queen pheromonal components, are processed in ordinary glomeruli.

  17. Variation in complex olfactory stimuli and its influence on odour recognition.

    PubMed Central

    Wrigh, Geraldine A.; Smith, Brian H.

    2004-01-01

    Natural olfactory stimuli are often complex and highly variable. The olfactory systems of animals are likely to have evolved to use specific features of olfactory stimuli for identification and discrimination. Here, we train honeybees to learn chemically defined odorant mixtures that systematically vary from trial to trial and then examine how they generalize to each odorant present in the mixture. An odorant that was present at a constant concentration in a mixture becomes more representative of the mixture than other variable odorants. We also show that both variation and intensity of a complex olfactory stimulus affect the rate of generalization by honeybees to subsequent olfactory stimuli. These results have implications for the way that all animals perceive and attend to features of olfactory stimuli. PMID:15058390

  18. Use of electronic noses for detection of odour from animal production facilities: a review.

    PubMed

    Nimmermark, S

    2001-01-01

    In the field of controlling livestock and poultry odours in the internal and external environment and in derived food products, one main obstacle is how to measure the odour in a suitable way. Olfactometry and a human panel have been used in most studies of farm odour until now. Alternatives like electronic noses are interesting considering disadvantages for olfactometry regarding cost and labour requirement. An electronic device can produce an almost instant response which is useful in many applications. Studies have shown detection of farm odour for some electronic noses and also response to odour concentrations. Other studies have shown very high odour threshold values compared to human noses. Electronic noses with a large number of sensors have been developed since a base was formed in the 1950s. The fast progress in data processing and sensor development in the latest years have made the electronic noses interesting for a large number of industrial applications in the food processing industry, as well as in other areas. Materials like manure produce a complex mixture of odorous compounds and the interaction between these creates a unique odour where no specific dominating and characterising compound seems to exist. Related to swine farms almost 200 different odorous compounds have been reported. The electronic noses can, depending on the sensitivity of its sensors, detect some compounds at lower levels than the human nose, while other compounds offensive to a human nose cannot be detected. Proper function of the electronic noses with sensitivity for the odorous gases in the application must be followed by satisfying properties regarding ageing, temperature stability, humidity and other environmental factors.

  19. Habitats as Complex Odour Environments: How Does Plant Diversity Affect Herbivore and Parasitoid Orientation?

    PubMed Central

    Wäschke, Nicole; Hardge, Kristin; Hancock, Christine; Hilker, Monika; Obermaier, Elisabeth; Meiners, Torsten

    2014-01-01

    Plant diversity is known to affect success of host location by pest insects, but its effect on olfactory orientation of non-pest insect species has hardly been addressed. First, we tested in laboratory experiments the hypothesis that non-host plants, which increase odour complexity in habitats, affect the host location ability of herbivores and parasitoids. Furthermore, we recorded field data of plant diversity in addition to herbivore and parasitoid abundance at 77 grassland sites in three different regions in Germany in order to elucidate whether our laboratory results reflect the field situation. As a model system we used the herb Plantago lanceolata, the herbivorous weevil Mecinus pascuorum, and its larval parasitoid Mesopolobus incultus. The laboratory bioassays revealed that both the herbivorous weevil and its larval parasitoid can locate their host plant and host via olfactory cues even in the presence of non-host odour. In a newly established two-circle olfactometer, the weeviĺs capability to detect host plant odour was not affected by odours from non-host plants. However, addition of non-host plant odours to host plant odour enhanced the weeviĺs foraging activity. The parasitoid was attracted by a combination of host plant and host volatiles in both the absence and presence of non-host plant volatiles in a Y-tube olfactometer. In dual choice tests the parasitoid preferred the blend of host plant and host volatiles over its combination with non-host plant volatiles. In the field, no indication was found that high plant diversity disturbs host (plant) location by the weevil and its parasitoid. In contrast, plant diversity was positively correlated with weevil abundance, whereas parasitoid abundance was independent of plant diversity. Therefore, we conclude that weevils and parasitoids showed the sensory capacity to successfully cope with complex vegetation odours when searching for hosts. PMID:24416354

  20. Odour as a determinant of persistent symptoms after a chemical explosion, a longitudinal study

    PubMed Central

    TJALVIN, Gro; MAGERØY, Nils; BRÅTVEIT, Magne; LYGRE, Stein Håkon Låstad; HOLLUND, Bjørg Eli; MOEN, Bente Elisabeth

    2016-01-01

    Foul-smelling environmental pollution was a major concern following a chemical workplace explosion. Malodorous pollution has previously been associated with aggravated physical and psychological health, and in persons affected by a trauma, an incidence-related odour can act as a traumatic reminder. Olfaction may even be of significance in the development and persistence of post-traumatic stress symptoms (PTSS). The present longitudinal study assessed whether perceived smell related to malodorous environmental pollution in the aftermath of the explosion was a determinant of subjective health complaints (SHC) and PTSS among gainfully employed adults, when the malodorous pollution was present, and after pollution clean-up. Questionnaire data from validated instruments were analysed using mixed effects models. Individual odour scores were computed, and the participants (n=486) were divided into high and low odour score groups, respectively. Participants in the high odour score group (n=233) reported more SHC and PTSS than those in the low odour score group (n=253), before and even after the pollution was eliminated. These associations lasted for at least three years after the pollution was removed, and might indicate that prompt clean-up is important to avoid persistent health effects after malodorous chemical spills. PMID:27916759

  1. Identification of the origin of odour episodes through social participation, chemical control and numerical modelling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gallego, E.; Soriano, C.; Roca, F. X.; Perales, J. F.; Alarcón, M.; Guardino, X.

    Odour episodes and environmental air quality are topics of worldwide concern, mainly due to the fact that industrial facilities are often located very close to inhabited areas. Several atmospheric pollutants, mainly volatile organic compounds (VOCs), are responsible for odour episodes of varying degrees of annoyance. A methodology based on the simultaneous application of social participation (by building databases of odour episodes and acquiring air samples), chemical control and the computation of back trajectories allows us to identify the origin of odour episodes. A validated analytical method, based on thermal desorption (TD) coupled with gas chromatography (GC) and mass spectrometry (MS), is used to identify and determine a wide range of VOCs that cause odour nuisance and affect air quality in outdoor air. Back-trajectory modelling is used to track the origin of the air mass responsible for the discomfort backwards in time, mainly to find possible VOC sources outside the urban area. The procedure combines, on one hand, an analytical approach based on the acquisition of samples, which requires the participation of the affected population (which means that social participation is used as a scientific tool), and on the other hand, a modelling approach. Three examples are described to illustrate the methodology.

  2. Chemical reduction of odour in fresh sewage sludge in the presence of ferric hydroxide.

    PubMed

    Su, Lianghu; Zhao, Youcai

    2013-01-01

    To assess the potential of ferric hydroxide (FH) to reduce odour emission from dewatered sewage sludge with a moisture of approximately 86%, odour reduction was evaluated using an electronic nose and measurements of odorous compounds (hydrogen sulphide, ammonia and volatile fatty acids (VFAs)). The sulphur species including sulphate, acid-volatile sulphide (AVS), Cr(II)-reducible sulphide (CRS) and elemental sulphur (ES), were analysed by a modified cold diffusion sequential extraction method before and after anaerobic incubation. Within 32 days, 69.3, 83.8 and 88.6% of the odour (or 81.3, 93.7 and 97.5% of hydrogen sulphide) were eliminated, respectively, at the rates of 0.05, 0.10 and 0.25% (wt) of FH. The sulphur species analysis indicated that FeS, FeS2 and a small portion of S0 were formed by FH-sulphide reaction. This study also found that the relationship between odour and H2S concentrations could be well expressed by Steven's law. We believe that FH can be a cost-effective reagent for sludge odour control in sewage treatment processes.

  3. Assessment of the Indoor Odour Impact in a Naturally Ventilated Room.

    PubMed

    Eusebio, Lidia; Derudi, Marco; Capelli, Laura; Nano, Giuseppe; Sironi, Selena

    2017-04-05

    Indoor air quality influences people's lives, potentially affecting their health and comfort. Nowadays, ventilation is the only technique commonly used for regulating indoor air quality. CO₂ is the reference species considered in order to calculate the air exchange rates of indoor environments. Indeed, regarding air quality, the presence of pleasant or unpleasant odours can strongly influence the environmental comfort. In this paper, a case study of indoor air quality monitoring is reported. The indoor field tests were conducted measuring both CO₂ concentration, using a photoacoustic multi-gas analyzer, and odour trends, using an electronic nose, in order to analyze and compare the information acquired. The indoor air monitoring campaign was run for a period of 20 working days into a university room. The work was focused on the determination of both CO₂ and odour emission factors (OEF) emitted by the human activity and on the evaluation of the odour impact in a naturally ventilated room. The results highlighted that an air monitoring and recycling system based only on CO₂ concentration and temperature measurements might be insufficient to ensure a good indoor air quality, whereas its performances could be improved by integrating the existing systems with an electronic nose for odour detection.

  4. Distributed nestmate recognition in ants

    PubMed Central

    Esponda, Fernando; Gordon, Deborah M.

    2015-01-01

    We propose a distributed model of nestmate recognition, analogous to the one used by the vertebrate immune system, in which colony response results from the diverse reactions of many ants. The model describes how individual behaviour produces colony response to non-nestmates. No single ant knows the odour identity of the colony. Instead, colony identity is defined collectively by all the ants in the colony. Each ant responds to the odour of other ants by reference to its own unique decision boundary, which is a result of its experience of encounters with other ants. Each ant thus recognizes a particular set of chemical profiles as being those of non-nestmates. This model predicts, as experimental results have shown, that the outcome of behavioural assays is likely to be variable, that it depends on the number of ants tested, that response to non-nestmates changes over time and that it changes in response to the experience of individual ants. A distributed system allows a colony to identify non-nestmates without requiring that all individuals have the same complete information and helps to facilitate the tracking of changes in cuticular hydrocarbon profiles, because only a subset of ants must respond to provide an adequate response. PMID:25833853

  5. Distributed nestmate recognition in ants.

    PubMed

    Esponda, Fernando; Gordon, Deborah M

    2015-05-07

    We propose a distributed model of nestmate recognition, analogous to the one used by the vertebrate immune system, in which colony response results from the diverse reactions of many ants. The model describes how individual behaviour produces colony response to non-nestmates. No single ant knows the odour identity of the colony. Instead, colony identity is defined collectively by all the ants in the colony. Each ant responds to the odour of other ants by reference to its own unique decision boundary, which is a result of its experience of encounters with other ants. Each ant thus recognizes a particular set of chemical profiles as being those of non-nestmates. This model predicts, as experimental results have shown, that the outcome of behavioural assays is likely to be variable, that it depends on the number of ants tested, that response to non-nestmates changes over time and that it changes in response to the experience of individual ants. A distributed system allows a colony to identify non-nestmates without requiring that all individuals have the same complete information and helps to facilitate the tracking of changes in cuticular hydrocarbon profiles, because only a subset of ants must respond to provide an adequate response.

  6. Evaluation of a plant material-based air purifier for removing H2S, NH3 and swine manure odour.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Xuezhi; Zhang, Qiang; Huang, Anhong

    2012-12-01

    A plant material-based air purifier (PMAP) was evaluated for odour removal. Laboratory tests were performed using two identical chambers: one treated by PMAP, and one as the control. Swine manure, hydrogen sulphide (H2S) and ammonia (NH3) were tested as odour sources. The test was also conducted in a swine barn. Air samples were taken from test chambers and two rooms in the pig barn and analysed for H2S, NH3 and odour concentrations. When treated with PMAP, the H2S concentration in the sealed chamber was subject to exponential decay, with the decay constant ranging from 0.59 to 0.70 l/h. The H2S concentration was reduced from 20 to 3 ppm in 3 h and to 0.2 ppm in 7h for H2S produced by chemical reaction, and from 0.4 to 0.02 ppm in 3 h for swine manure as the odour source. When an equal amount of ammonia solution was placed in the two test chambers, the NH3 concentration reached a peak value of 25 ppm in the chamber treated by PMAP, and 43 ppm in the control. The NH3 concentration in the treated chamber was reduced to 5 ppm in 3.5 h but stayed at 37 ppm in the control. The PMAP reduced the NH3 concentration from 38 to 10 ppm when swine manure was used as the odour source. The PMAP was capable of reducing swine odour in both laboratory and in-barn conditions. The reduction rate was at least 50%. The results from this research indicate the plant-based materials provide an alternative, environmentally friendly way for odour control. It is also shown that the mode of odour reduction by the PMAP was the removal of odour compounds, in contrast to odour masking, which occurs for most plant materials that have been used for odour control.

  7. One rhinophore probably provides sufficient sensory input for odour-based navigation by the nudibranch mollusc Tritonia diomedea.

    PubMed

    McCullagh, Gregory B; Bishop, Cory D; Wyeth, Russell C

    2014-12-01

    Tritonia diomedea (synonymous with Tritonia tetraquetra) navigates in turbulent odour plumes, crawling upstream towards prey and downstream to avoid predators. This is probably accomplished by odour-gated rheotaxis, but other possibilities have not been excluded. Our goal was to test whether T. diomedea uses odour-gated rheotaxis and to simultaneously determine which of the cephalic sensory organs (rhinophores and oral veil) are required for navigation. In a first experiment, slugs showed no coherent responses to streams of odour directed at single rhinophores. In a second experiment, navigation in prey and predator odour plumes was compared between animals with unilateral rhinophore lesions, denervated oral veils, or combined unilateral rhinophore lesions and denervated oral veils. In all treatments, animals navigated in a similar manner to that of control and sham-operated animals, indicating that a single rhinophore provides sufficient sensory input for navigation (assuming that a distributed flow measurement system would also be affected by the denervations). Amongst various potential navigational strategies, only odour-gated positive rheotaxis can produce the navigation tracks we observed in prey plumes while receiving input from a single sensor. Thus, we provide strong evidence that T. diomedea uses odour-gated rheotaxis in attractive odour plumes, with odours and flow detected by the rhinophores. In predator plumes, slugs turned downstream to varying degrees rather than orienting directly downstream for crawling, resulting in greater dispersion for negative rheotaxis in aversive plumes. These conclusions are the first explicit confirmation of odour-gated rheotaxis as a navigational strategy in gastropods and are also a foundation for exploring the neural circuits that mediate odour-gated rheotaxis.

  8. Coordinate Transformations in Object Recognition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Graf, Markus

    2006-01-01

    A basic problem of visual perception is how human beings recognize objects after spatial transformations. Three central classes of findings have to be accounted for: (a) Recognition performance varies systematically with orientation, size, and position; (b) recognition latencies are sequentially additive, suggesting analogue transformation…

  9. Automatic Recognition of Deaf Speech.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Abdelhamied, Kadry; And Others

    1990-01-01

    This paper describes a speech perception system for automatic recognition of deaf speech. Using a 2-step segmentation approach for 468 utterances by 2 hearing-impaired men and 2 normal-hearing men, rates as high as 93.01 percent and 81.81 percent recognition were obtained in recognizing from deaf speech isolated words and connected speech,…

  10. Computer image processing and recognition

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hall, E. L.

    1979-01-01

    A systematic introduction to the concepts and techniques of computer image processing and recognition is presented. Consideration is given to such topics as image formation and perception; computer representation of images; image enhancement and restoration; reconstruction from projections; digital television, encoding, and data compression; scene understanding; scene matching and recognition; and processing techniques for linear systems.

  11. Colour and odour drive fruit selection and seed dispersal by mouse lemurs

    PubMed Central

    Valenta, Kim; Burke, Ryan J.; Styler, Sarah A.; Jackson, Derek A.; Melin, Amanda D.; Lehman, Shawn M.

    2013-01-01

    Animals and fruiting plants are involved in a complex set of interactions, with animals relying on fruiting trees as food resources, and fruiting trees relying on animals for seed dispersal. This interdependence shapes fruit signals such as colour and odour, to increase fruit detectability, and animal sensory systems, such as colour vision and olfaction to facilitate food identification and selection. Despite the ecological and evolutionary importance of plant-animal interactions for shaping animal sensory adaptations and plant characteristics, the details of the relationship are poorly understood. Here we examine the role of fruit chromaticity, luminance and odour on seed dispersal by mouse lemurs. We show that both fruit colour and odour significantly predict fruit consumption and seed dispersal by Microcebus ravelobensis and M. murinus. Our study is the first to quantify and examine the role of bimodal fruit signals on seed dispersal in light of the sensory abilities of the disperser. PMID:23939534

  12. Assessment of odour and H(2)S impact in WWTPs by cryo-condensation.

    PubMed

    Juárez-Galan, J M; Manjón, Carlos; Flores, Pedro; Valor, Ignacio

    2012-01-01

    Stability of gaseous samples is a major concern when dealing with odours and airborne pollutants sampling. In terms of odours, the representativeness of the sample can be very seriously compromised, despite the rigorous application of the maximum storage time established by EN-13725. The present paper is focused on the use of the cryo-condensation technique (Cryocore) for time-weighted-average (TWA) sampling in waste water treatment plants (WWTPs), with the aim of comparing the values of TWA odour and H(2)S concentration when using the Cryocore system and other well established sampling methods, such as those described in EN-13725 and passive sampling. The study showed comparable results when comparing all the methodologies tested.

  13. Performance of sanitary sewer collection system odour control devices operating in diverse conditions.

    PubMed

    Camarillo, Mary Kay; Stringfellow, William T; Hanlon, Jeremy S; Basha, Elizabeth

    2013-01-01

    Controlling odours from sanitary sewer systems is challenging as a result of the expansive nature of these systems. Addition of oxidizing chemicals is often practiced as a mitigation strategy. One alternative is to remove odorous compounds in the gases vented from manholes using adsorptive media. In this study, odour control devices located at manholes were observed to determine the ability of these systems to reduce hydrogen sulphide from vented gases. The odour control devices incorporated pressure regulation to control gas flow out of manhole covers and adsorptive media to remove hydrogen sulphide in the vented gases prior to release. Pressure regulation was accomplished using a variable volume bladder and two pressure relief valves that permitted gas flow when pressures exceeded 1.3 to 2.5 cm water column. The reduction in gas flow vented from manholes was intended to extend the service life of the adsorptive media, as compared with odour control devices that do not incorporate pressure modulation. Devices were deployed at four locations and three adsorptive media were tested. Although measured collection system hydrogen sulphide concentrations varied from zero to over 1,000 ppm, the removal rates observed using odour control devices were typically above 90%. The lower removal rates observed at one of the sites (50.5 ± 36.1%) appeared related to high gas flow rates being emitted at this location. Activated carbon was used in most of the tests, although use of iron media resulted in the highest removal observed: 97.8 ± 3.6%. The expected service life of the adsorptive media contained within the odour control devices is a function of site-specific hydrogen sulphide concentrations and gas flow rates. The units used in this study were in service for more than 8 to 12 months prior to requiring media replacement.

  14. Shades of yellow: interactive effects of visual and odour cues in a pest beetle

    PubMed Central

    Stevenson, Philip C.; Belmain, Steven R.

    2016-01-01

    Background: The visual ecology of pest insects is poorly studied compared to the role of odour cues in determining their behaviour. Furthermore, the combined effects of both odour and vision on insect orientation are frequently ignored, but could impact behavioural responses. Methods: A locomotion compensator was used to evaluate use of different visual stimuli by a major coleopteran pest of stored grains (Sitophilus zeamais), with and without the presence of host odours (known to be attractive to this species), in an open-loop setup. Results: Some visual stimuli—in particular, one shade of yellow, solid black and high-contrast black-against-white stimuli—elicited positive orientation behaviour from the beetles in the absence of odour stimuli. When host odours were also present, at 90° to the source of the visual stimulus, the beetles presented with yellow and vertical black-on-white grating patterns changed their walking course and typically adopted a path intermediate between the two stimuli. The beetles presented with a solid black-on-white target continued to orient more strongly towards the visual than the odour stimulus. Discussion: Visual stimuli can strongly influence orientation behaviour, even in species where use of visual cues is sometimes assumed to be unimportant, while the outcomes from exposure to multimodal stimuli are unpredictable and need to be determined under differing conditions. The importance of the two modalities of stimulus (visual and olfactory) in food location is likely to depend upon relative stimulus intensity and motivational state of the insect. PMID:27478707

  15. Prospects for developing odour baits to control Glossina fuscipes spp., the major vector of human African trypanosomiasis.

    PubMed

    Omolo, Maurice O; Hassanali, Ahmed; Mpiana, Serge; Esterhuizen, Johan; Lindh, Jenny; Lehane, Mike J; Solano, Philippe; Rayaisse, Jean Baptiste; Vale, Glyn A; Torr, Steve J; Tirados, Inaki

    2009-01-01

    We are attempting to develop cost-effective control methods for the important vector of sleeping sickness, Glossina fuscipes spp. Responses of the tsetse flies Glossina fuscipes fuscipes (in Kenya) and G. f. quanzensis (in Democratic Republic of Congo) to natural host odours are reported. Arrangements of electric nets were used to assess the effect of cattle-, human- and pig-odour on (1) the numbers of tsetse attracted to the odour source and (2) the proportion of flies that landed on a black target (1x1 m). In addition responses to monitor lizard (Varanus niloticus) were assessed in Kenya. The effects of all four odours on the proportion of tsetse that entered a biconical trap were also determined. Sources of natural host odour were produced by placing live hosts in a tent or metal hut (volumes approximately 16 m(3)) from which the air was exhausted at approximately 2000 L/min. Odours from cattle, pigs and humans had no significant effect on attraction of G. f. fuscipes but lizard odour doubled the catch (P<0.05). Similarly, mammalian odours had no significant effect on landing or trap entry whereas lizard odour increased these responses significantly: landing responses increased significantly by 22% for males and 10% for females; the increase in trap efficiency was relatively slight (5-10%) and not always significant. For G. f. quanzensis, only pig odour had a consistent effect, doubling the catch of females attracted to the source and increasing the landing response for females by approximately 15%. Dispensing CO(2) at doses equivalent to natural hosts suggested that the response of G. f. fuscipes to lizard odour was not due to CO(2). For G. f. quanzensis, pig odour and CO(2) attracted similar numbers of tsetse, but CO(2) had no material effect on the landing response. The results suggest that identifying kairomones present in lizard odour for G. f. fuscipes and pig odour for G. f. quanzensis may improve the performance of targets for controlling these species.

  16. Odour reduction strategies for biosolids produced from a Western Australian wastewater treatment plant: results from Phase I laboratory trials.

    PubMed

    Gruchlik, Yolanta; Heitz, Anna; Joll, Cynthia; Driessen, Hanna; Fouché, Lise; Penney, Nancy; Charrois, Jeffrey W A

    2013-01-01

    This study investigated sources of odours from biosolids produced from a Western Australian wastewater treatment plant and examined possible strategies for odour reduction, specifically chemical additions and reduction of centrifuge speed on a laboratory scale. To identify the odorous compounds and assess the effectiveness of the odour reduction measures trialled in this study, headspace solid-phase microextraction gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (HS SPME-GC-MS) methods were developed. The target odour compounds included volatile sulphur compounds (e.g. dimethyl sulphide, dimethyl disulphide and dimethyl trisulphide) and other volatile organic compounds (e.g. toluene, ethylbenzene, styrene, p-cresol, indole and skatole). In our laboratory trials, aluminium sulphate added to anaerobically digested sludge prior to dewatering offered the best odour reduction strategy amongst the options that were investigated, resulting in approximately 40% reduction in the maximum concentration of the total volatile organic sulphur compounds, relative to control.

  17. Factors influencing separation distances against odour annoyance calculated by Gaussian and Lagrangian dispersion models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Piringer, Martin; Knauder, Werner; Petz, Erwin; Schauberger, Günther

    2016-09-01

    Direction-dependent separation distances to avoid odour annoyance, calculated with the Gaussian Austrian Odour Dispersion Model AODM and the Lagrangian particle diffusion model LASAT at two sites, are analysed and compared. The relevant short-term peak odour concentrations are calculated with a stability-dependent peak-to-mean algorithm. The same emission and meteorological data, but model-specific atmospheric stability classes are used. The estimate of atmospheric stability is obtained from three-axis ultrasonic anemometers using the standard deviations of the three wind components and the Obukhov stability parameter. The results are demonstrated for the Austrian villages Reidling and Weissbach with very different topographical surroundings and meteorological conditions. Both the differences in the wind and stability regimes as well as the decrease of the peak-to-mean factors with distance lead to deviations in the separation distances between the two sites. The Lagrangian model, due to its model physics, generally calculates larger separation distances. For worst-case calculations necessary with environmental impact assessment studies, the use of a Lagrangian model is therefore to be preferred over that of a Gaussian model. The study and findings relate to the Austrian odour impact criteria.

  18. Unconscious Odour Conditioning 25 Years Later: Revisiting and Extending "Kirk-Smith, Van Toller and Dodd"

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zucco, Gesualdo M.; Paolini, Michela; Schaal, Benoist

    2009-01-01

    The pioneering work by Kirk-Smith, Van Toller, and Dodd [Kirk-Smith, M. D., Van Toller, C., & Dodd, G. H. (1983). "Unconscious odour conditioning in human subjects." "Biological Psychology," 17, 221-231], established that an unnoticed odorant paired with an emotionally meaningful task can influence mood and attitudes when the odorant alone is…

  19. Advances in the use of odour as forensic evidence through optimizing and standardizing instruments and canines

    PubMed Central

    Furton, Kenneth G.; Caraballo, Norma Iris; Cerreta, Michelle M.; Holness, Howard K.

    2015-01-01

    This paper explores the advances made in identifying trace amounts of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that originate from forensic specimens, such as drugs, explosives, live human scent and the scent of death, as well as the probative value for detecting such odours. The ability to locate and identify the VOCs liberated from or left by forensic substances is of increasing importance to criminal investigations as it can indicate the presence of contraband and/or associate an individual to a particular location or object. Although instruments have improved significantly in recent decades—with sensitivities now rivalling that of biological detectors—it is widely recognized that canines are generally still more superior for the detection of odourants due to their speed, versatility, ruggedness and discriminating power. Through advancements in the detection of VOCs, as well as increased standardization efforts for instruments and canines, the reliability of odour as evidence has continuously improved and is likely to continue to do so. Moreover, several legal cases in which this novel form of evidence has been accepted into US courts of law are discussed. As the development and implementation of best practice guidelines for canines and instruments increase, their reliability in detecting VOCs of interest should continue to improve, expanding the use of odour as an acceptable form of forensic evidence. PMID:26101287

  20. Advances in the use of odour as forensic evidence through optimizing and standardizing instruments and canines.

    PubMed

    Furton, Kenneth G; Caraballo, Norma Iris; Cerreta, Michelle M; Holness, Howard K

    2015-08-05

    This paper explores the advances made in identifying trace amounts of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that originate from forensic specimens, such as drugs, explosives, live human scent and the scent of death, as well as the probative value for detecting such odours. The ability to locate and identify the VOCs liberated from or left by forensic substances is of increasing importance to criminal investigations as it can indicate the presence of contraband and/or associate an individual to a particular location or object. Although instruments have improved significantly in recent decades-with sensitivities now rivalling that of biological detectors-it is widely recognized that canines are generally still more superior for the detection of odourants due to their speed, versatility, ruggedness and discriminating power. Through advancements in the detection of VOCs, as well as increased standardization efforts for instruments and canines, the reliability of odour as evidence has continuously improved and is likely to continue to do so. Moreover, several legal cases in which this novel form of evidence has been accepted into US courts of law are discussed. As the development and implementation of best practice guidelines for canines and instruments increase, their reliability in detecting VOCs of interest should continue to improve, expanding the use of odour as an acceptable form of forensic evidence.

  1. Design and validation of a wind tunnel system for odour sampling on liquid area sources.

    PubMed

    Capelli, L; Sironi, S; Del Rosso, R; Céntola, P

    2009-01-01

    The aim of this study is to describe the methods adopted for the design and the experimental validation of a wind tunnel, a sampling system suitable for the collection of gaseous samples on passive area sources, which allows to simulate wind action on the surface to be monitored. The first step of the work was the study of the air velocity profiles. The second step of the work consisted in the validation of the sampling system. For this purpose, the odour concentration of some air samples collected by means of the wind tunnel was measured by dynamic olfactometry. The results of the air velocity measurements show that the wind tunnel design features enabled the achievement of a uniform and homogeneous air flow through the hood. Moreover, the laboratory tests showed a very good correspondence between the odour concentration values measured at the wind tunnel outlet and the odour concentration values predicted by the application of a specific volatilization model, based on the Prandtl boundary layer theory. The agreement between experimental and theoretical trends demonstrate that the studied wind tunnel represents a suitable sampling system for the simulation of specific odour emission rates from liquid area sources without outward flow.

  2. Odour aversion after olfactory conditioning of the sting extension reflex in honeybees.

    PubMed

    Carcaud, Julie; Roussel, Edith; Giurfa, Martin; Sandoz, Jean-Christophe

    2009-03-01

    In Pavlovian conditioning, an originally neutral stimulus (conditioned stimulus or CS) gains control over an animal's reflex after its association with a biologically relevant stimulus (unconditioned stimulus or US). As a consequence, a conditioned response is emitted by the animal upon further CS presentations. In such a situation, the subject exhibits a reflex response, so that whether the CS thereby acquires a positive or a negative value for the animal is difficult to assess. In honeybees, Apis mellifera, an odour (CS) can be associated either with sucrose solution (US) in the appetitive conditioning of the proboscis extension reflex (PER), or with an electric shock (US) in the aversive conditioning of the sting extension reflex (SER). The term ;aversive' may not apply to the latter as bees do not suppress SER as a consequence of learning but, on the contrary, start emitting SER to the CS. To determine whether the CS acquires a positive or a negative value in these conditioning forms, we compared the orientation behaviour of freely walking honeybees in an olfactory-cued Y-maze after training them with an odour-sucrose association (PER conditioning) or an odour-shock association (SER conditioning). We show that the same odours can acquire either a positive value when associated to sucrose, or a negative value when associated to an electric shock, as bees respectively approach or avoid the CS in the Y-maze. Importantly, these results clearly establish the aversive nature of SER conditioning in honeybees.

  3. Behavioural responses of stable flies to cattle manure slurry associated odourants

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Stable flies (Stomoxys calcitrans [Diptera: Muscidae] L.) are blood-feeding synanthropic pests, which cause significant economic losses in livestock. Stable fly antennae contain olfactory sensilla responsive to host and host environment-associated odours. Field observation indicated that the abundan...

  4. Real time monitoring to the odour of excrement for health of infants and elderly completely bedridden

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ye, Jiancheng; Huang, Guoliang

    2017-01-01

    In the domain of biomedical signals measurements, monitoring human physiological parameters is an important issue. With the rapid development of wireless body area network, it makes monitor, transmit and record physiological parameters faster and more convenient. Infants and the elderly completely bedridden are two special groups of the society who need more medical care. According to researches investigating current frontier domains and the market products, the detection of physiological parameters from the excrement is rare. However, urine and faeces contain a large number of physiological information, which are high relative to health. The mainly distributed odour from urine is NH4 and the distributed odour from feces is mainly H2S, which are both could be detected by the sensors. In this paper, we introduce the design and implementation of a portable wireless device based on body area network for real time monitoring to the odour of excrement for health of infants and the elderly completely bedridden. The device not only could monitor in real time the emitted odour of faeces and urine for health analysis, but also measures the body temperature and environment humidity, and send data to the mobile phone of paramedics to alarm or the server for storage and process, which has prospect to monitoring infants and the paralysis elderly.

  5. Use of non-thermal plasma and UV-light for removal of odour from sludge treatment.

    PubMed

    Andersen, K B; Feilberg, A; Beukes, J A

    2012-01-01

    Non-thermal plasma (NTP) systems can be used for abatement of odour nuisances. Odour reductions are achieved by radical-initiated oxidation and dust collection in the plasma reactor. For some emissions a sequence of NTP followed by UV-light can improve the odour reduction further. This study was conducted to evaluate the efficiency of NTP technology combined with UV-light towards odour emissions from sludge treatment. Air from a pilot sludge dryer was treated with a pilot NTP and a UV unit. The effect of using an acid scrubber upstream the NTP system was also tested. Thermal desorption gas chromatography and mass spectrometry (TD-GC/MS) was used to analyse samples taken from the inlet and the outlet of the NTP system. The TD-GC/MS used was also equipped with a sniffing port that made it possible to record odour-active compounds eluting from the column. Relative amounts of odour-active compounds in the inlet and the outlet flow from the NTP system were compared. Bag samples from inlet and outlet were also separately analysed by an external lab and by two operators using a one-man olfactometer, a modified NasalRanger(TM). These results indicated a significant odour removal efficiency of 70-90% depending on the settings and combinations of abatement equipment.

  6. Calcium imaging in the ant Camponotus fellah reveals a conserved odour-similarity space in insects and mammals

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Olfactory systems create representations of the chemical world in the animal brain. Recordings of odour-evoked activity in the primary olfactory centres of vertebrates and insects have suggested similar rules for odour processing, in particular through spatial organization of chemical information in their functional units, the glomeruli. Similarity between odour representations can be extracted from across-glomerulus patterns in a wide range of species, from insects to vertebrates, but comparison of odour similarity in such diverse taxa has not been addressed. In the present study, we asked how 11 aliphatic odorants previously tested in honeybees and rats are represented in the antennal lobe of the ant Camponotus fellah, a social insect that relies on olfaction for food search and social communication. Results Using calcium imaging of specifically-stained second-order neurons, we show that these odours induce specific activity patterns in the ant antennal lobe. Using multidimensional analysis, we show that clustering of odours is similar in ants, bees and rats. Moreover, odour similarity is highly correlated in all three species. Conclusion This suggests the existence of similar coding rules in the neural olfactory spaces of species among which evolutionary divergence happened hundreds of million years ago. PMID:20187931

  7. Early recognition of speech

    PubMed Central

    Remez, Robert E; Thomas, Emily F

    2013-01-01

    Classic research on the perception of speech sought to identify minimal acoustic correlates of each consonant and vowel. In explaining perception, this view designated momentary components of an acoustic spectrum as cues to the recognition of elementary phonemes. This conceptualization of speech perception is untenable given the findings of phonetic sensitivity to modulation independent of the acoustic and auditory form of the carrier. The empirical key is provided by studies of the perceptual organization of speech, a low-level integrative function that finds and follows the sensory effects of speech amid concurrent events. These projects have shown that the perceptual organization of speech is keyed to modulation; fast; unlearned; nonsymbolic; indifferent to short-term auditory properties; and organization requires attention. The ineluctably multisensory nature of speech perception also imposes conditions that distinguish language among cognitive systems. WIREs Cogn Sci 2013, 4:213–223. doi: 10.1002/wcs.1213 PMID:23926454

  8. Odour enrichment increases adult-born dopaminergic neurons in the mouse olfactory bulb.

    PubMed

    Bonzano, Sara; Bovetti, Serena; Fasolo, Aldo; Peretto, Paolo; De Marchis, Silvia

    2014-11-01

    The olfactory bulb (OB) is the first brain region involved in the processing of olfactory information. In adult mice, the OB is highly plastic, undergoing cellular/molecular dynamic changes that are modulated by sensory experience. Odour deprivation induces down-regulation of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) expression in OB dopaminergic interneurons located in the glomerular layer (GL), resulting in decreased dopamine in the OB. Although the effect of sensory deprivation is well established, little is known about the influence of odour enrichment on dopaminergic cells. Here we report that prolonged odour enrichment on C57BL/6J strain mice selectively increases TH-immunopositive cells in the GL by nearly 20%. Following odour enrichment on TH-green fluorescent protein (GFP) transgenic mice, in which GFP identified both mature TH-positive cells and putative immature dopaminergic cells expressing TH mRNA but not TH protein, we found a similar 20% increase in GFP-expressing cells, with no changes in the ratio between TH-positive and TH-negative cells. These data suggest that enriched conditions induce an expansion in the whole dopaminergic lineage. Accordingly, by using 5-bromo-2-deoxyuridine injections to label adult-generated cells in the GL of TH-GFP mice, we found an increase in the percentage of 5-bromo-2-deoxyuridine-positive dopaminergic cells in enriched compared with control conditions, whereas no differences were found for calretinin- and calbindin-positive subtypes. Strikingly, the fraction of newborn cells among the dopaminergic population doubled in enriched conditions. On the whole, our results demonstrate that odour enrichment drives increased integration of adult-generated dopaminergic cells that could be critical to adapt the OB circuits to the environmental incoming information.

  9. Modulation by cyclic GMP of the odour sensitivity of vertebrate olfactory receptor cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Leinders-Zufall, T.; Shepherd, G. M.; Zufall, F.

    1996-01-01

    Recent evidence has indicated a significant role for the cGMP second messenger system in vertebrate olfactory transduction but no clear functions have been identified for cGMP so far. Here, we have examined the effects of 8-Br-cGMP and carbon monoxide (CO) on odour responses of salamander olfactory receptor neurons using perforated patch recordings. We report that 8-Br-cGMP strongly down-regulates the odour sensitivity of the cells, with a K1/2 of 460 nM. This adaptation-like effect can be mimicked by CO, an activator of soluble guanylyl cyclase, with a K1/2 of 1 microM. Sensitivity modulation is achieved through a regulatory chain of events in which cGMP stimulates a persistent background current due to the activation of cyclic nucleotide-gated channels. This in turn leads to sustained Ca2+ entry providing a negative feedback signal. One consequence of the Ca2+ entry is a shift to the right of the stimulus-response curve and a reduction in saturating odour currents. Together, these two effects can reduce the sensory generator current by up to twenty-fold. Thus, cGMP functions to control the gain of the G-protein coupled cAMP pathway. Another consequence of the action of cGMP is a marked prolongation of the odour response kinetics. The effects of CO/cGMP are long-lasting and can continue for minutes. Hence, we propose that cGMP helps to prevent saturation of the cell's response by adjusting the operational range of the cAMP cascade and contributes to olfactory adaptation by decreasing the sensitivity of olfactory receptor cells to repeated odour stimuli.

  10. Voice Recognition in Face-Blind Patients.

    PubMed

    Liu, Ran R; Pancaroglu, Raika; Hills, Charlotte S; Duchaine, Brad; Barton, Jason J S

    2016-04-01

    Right or bilateral anterior temporal damage can impair face recognition, but whether this is an associative variant of prosopagnosia or part of a multimodal disorder of person recognition is an unsettled question, with implications for cognitive and neuroanatomic models of person recognition. We assessed voice perception and short-term recognition of recently heard voices in 10 subjects with impaired face recognition acquired after cerebral lesions. All 4 subjects with apperceptive prosopagnosia due to lesions limited to fusiform cortex had intact voice discrimination and recognition. One subject with bilateral fusiform and anterior temporal lesions had a combined apperceptive prosopagnosia and apperceptive phonagnosia, the first such described case. Deficits indicating a multimodal syndrome of person recognition were found only in 2 subjects with bilateral anterior temporal lesions. All 3 subjects with right anterior temporal lesions had normal voice perception and recognition, 2 of whom performed normally on perceptual discrimination of faces. This confirms that such lesions can cause a modality-specific associative prosopagnosia.

  11. Fatal Attraction Phenomenon in Humans – Cat Odour Attractiveness Increased for Toxoplasma-Infected Men While Decreased for Infected Women

    PubMed Central

    Flegr, Jaroslav; Lenochová, Pavlína; Hodný, Zdeněk; Vondrová, Marta

    2011-01-01

    Background Latent toxoplasmosis, a lifelong infection with the protozoan Toxoplasma gondii, has cumulative effects on the behaviour of hosts, including humans. The most impressive effect of toxoplasmosis is the “fatal attraction phenomenon,” the conversion of innate fear of cat odour into attraction to cat odour in infected rodents. While most behavioural effects of toxoplasmosis were confirmed also in humans, neither the fatal attraction phenomenon nor any toxoplasmosis-associated changes in olfactory functions have been searched for in them. Principal Findings Thirty-four Toxoplasma-infected and 134 noninfected students rated the odour of urine samples from cat, horse, tiger, brown hyena and dog for intensity and pleasantness. The raters were blind to their infection status and identity of the samples. No signs of changed sensitivity of olfaction were observed. However, we found a strong, gender dependent effect of toxoplasmosis on the pleasantness attributed to cat urine odour (p = 0.0025). Infected men rated this odour as more pleasant than did the noninfected men, while infected women rated the same odour as less pleasant than did noninfected women. Toxoplasmosis did not affect how subjects rated the pleasantness of any other animal species' urine odour; however, a non-significant trend in the same directions was observed for hyena urine. Conclusions The absence of the effects of toxoplasmosis on the odour pleasantness score attributed to large cats would suggest that the amino acid felinine could be responsible for the fatal attraction phenomenon. Our results also raise the possibility that the odour-specific threshold deficits observed in schizophrenia patients could be caused by increased prevalence of Toxoplasma-infected subjects in this population rather than by schizophrenia itself. The trend observed with the hyena urine sample suggests that this carnivore, and other representatives of the Feliformia suborder, should be studied for their

  12. Audit of the use of sugar dressings for the control of wound odour at Lilongwe Central Hospital, Malawi.

    PubMed

    Chiwenga, S; Dowlen, Henry; Mannion, Steve

    2009-01-01

    Seventy-one patients with malodorous, painful wounds were treated with sugar dressings in Lilongwe Hospital, Malawi, to assess the effects of such dressings on diminishing pain and odour. Pain and odour were assessed at the beginning of dressing application and then at frequent intervals. Mean patient odour scores reduced from 5.45 (out of 10) on application to 2.94 at 10 days, and mean patient discomfort scores reduced from 6.73 on application to 3.87 at 10 days. This very cheap treatment produced reproducible benefits as part of an appropriate protocol for use in developing world hospitals with limited resources and nursing care.

  13. Design and application of a GC-SNIff/MS system for solving taste and odour episodes in drinking water.

    PubMed

    Hochereau, C; Bruchet, A

    2004-01-01

    This paper describes the implementation of a GC-Sniff/MS system that allows the simultaneous determination of the odorous properties of compounds eluting from a GC column and their identification by MS. The technique was first tested with standard compounds then applied to real cases of taste and odour episodes. This approach allowed the identification of geosmin at low levels and suggested the possible implication of methylnaphthalene in the development of chemical odours. It provided the first clue of the presence of a halophenol with a very low odour threshold involved in a chlorophenolic odour episode. The chemical was finally identified as 2,6-dibromophenol. The method was also applied to the characterization of a complex mixture of additives leaching from a flexible rubber pipe. In the latter case, Time-of-Flight MS was also used to confirm the identity of the additives.

  14. Nutritional status modulates behavioural and olfactory bulb Fos responses to isoamyl acetate or food odour in rats: roles of orexins and leptin.

    PubMed

    Prud'homme, M J; Lacroix, M C; Badonnel, K; Gougis, S; Baly, C; Salesse, R; Caillol, M

    2009-09-15

    Food odours are major determinants for food choice, and their detection depends on nutritional status. The effects of different odour stimuli on both behavioural responses (locomotor activity and sniffing) and Fos induction in olfactory bulbs (OB) were studied in satiated or 48-h fasted rats. We focused on two odour stimuli: isoamyl acetate (ISO), as a neutral stimulus either unknown or familiar, and food pellet odour, that were presented to quiet rats during the light phase of the day. We found significant effects of nutritional status and odour stimulus on both behavioural and OB responses. The locomotor activity induced by odour stimuli was always more marked in fasted than in satiated rats, and food odour induced increased sniffing activity only in fasted rats. Fos expression was quantified in periglomerular, mitral and granular OB cell layers. As a new odour, ISO induced a significant increase in Fos expression in all OB layers, similar in fasted and satiated rats. Significant OB responses to familiar odours were only observed in fasted rats. Among the numerous peptides shown to vary after 48 h of fasting, we focused on orexins (for which immunoreactive fibres are present in the OB) and leptin, as a peripheral hormone linked to adiposity, and tested their effects of food odour. The administration of orexin A in satiated animals partially mimicked fasting, since food odour increased OB Fos responses, but did not induce sniffing. The treatment of fasted animals with either an orexin receptors antagonist (ACT-078573) or leptin significantly decreased both locomotor activity, time spent sniffing food odour and OB Fos induction in all cell layers, thus mimicking a satiated status. We conclude that orexins and leptin are some of the factors that can modify behavioural and OB Fos responses to a familiar food odour.

  15. [Olfactory perception and learning in the honey bee (Apis mellifera): calcium imaging in the antenna lobe].

    PubMed

    Sandoz, Jean-Christophe

    2003-01-01

    Honey bees are a key-model in the study of learning and memory, because they show considerable learning abilities, their brain is well described and is accessible to a wide range of physiological recordings and treatments. We use in vivo calcium imaging to study olfactory perception in the bee brain, and combine this method to appetitive olfactory conditioning to unravel the neural substrates of olfactory learning. Odours are detected by receptor neurons on the antennae. Each receptor neuron projects to the first-order neuropile of the olfactory pathway, the antennal lobe, connecting to projection neurons in one of its 160 functional units, the glomeruli. In calcium imaging experiments, each odour elicits a particular activity pattern of antennal lobe glomeruli, according to a code conserved between individuals. The antennal lobe is also a site where the olfactory memory is formed. Using optical imaging, two studies have shown modulations of odour representation in the antennal lobe after learning, with different effects depending on the type of conditioning used. While simple differential conditioning (A + B- training) showed an increased calcium response to the reinforced odour, side-specific conditioning (A + B-/B + A- training) decorrelated the calcium responses of odours between brain sides. This difference may owe to the formation of different memories, which will be addressed in future work. By specifically staining antennal lobe neuronal subpopulations, we hope to be able in the future to study synaptic plasticity in the honey bee.

  16. Cumulative effects of noise and odour annoyances on environmental and health related quality of life.

    PubMed

    Oiamo, Tor H; Luginaah, Isaac N; Baxter, Jamie

    2015-12-01

    Noise and odour annoyances are important considerations in research on health effects of air pollution and traffic noise. Cumulative exposures can occur via several chemical hazards or a combination of chemical and stressor-based hazards, and related health outcomes can be generalized as manifestations of physiological and/or psychological stress responses. A major research challenge in this field is to understand the combined health effects of physiological and psychological responses to exposure. The SF-12 Health Survey is a health related quality of life (HRQoL) instrument designed for the assessment of functional mental and physical health in clinical practice and therefore well suited to research on physiological health outcomes of exposure. However, previous research has not assessed its sensitivity to psychological stress as measured by noise annoyance and odour annoyance. The current study validated and tested this application of the SF-12 Health Survey in a cross-sectional study (n = 603) that included exposure assessment for traffic noise and air pollution in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. The results indicated that SF-12 scores in Windsor were lower than Canadian normative data. A structural equation model demonstrated that this was partially due to noise and odour annoyances, which were associated with covarying exposures to ambient nitrogen dioxide and traffic noise. More specifically, noise annoyance had a significant and negative effect on both mental and physical health factors of the SF-12 and there was a significant covariance between noise annoyance and odour annoyance. The study confirmed a significant effect of psychological responses to cumulative exposures on HRQoL. The SF-12 Health Survey shows promise with respect to assessing the cumulative health effects of outdoor air pollution and traffic noise.

  17. Zinc-impregnated and odour-control two-layer compression.

    PubMed

    Stephen-Haynes, Jackie; Callaghan, Rosie

    This article presents the results of 40 patients using two versions of a new two-layer compression system in a large primary care organisation. The evaluation was undertaken to explore the following areas formulary inclusion consideration: ease of use, clinical acceptability, clinical outcome and additional patient benefits of an alternative new low-profile bandage system containing zinc (n=30) and odour-control properties (n=10).

  18. Impact of a non-attentively perceived odour on subsequent food choices.

    PubMed

    Gaillet-Torrent, M; Sulmont-Rossé, C; Issanchou, S; Chabanet, C; Chambaron, S

    2014-05-01

    Current research in psychology suggests that unconscious processes influence a significant proportion of choices and decisions. To study the impact of a non-attentively perceived odour on food choices, we used a priming paradigm. We had previously shown that non-attentively perceived fruity odours could impact food choice intentions (on a menu card), guiding participants toward items containing more fruit and/or vegetables. The present study was designed to extend these findings, in a real-life consumption setting. One hundred and fifteen participants took part in this study, and were assigned randomly to either a control or a scented condition. On arrival in the laboratory, they were seated in a waiting room. For the scented condition, they were unobtrusively exposed to a pear odour, while under the control condition the waiting room was non-odorised. Following this waiting period, all participants moved into a non-odorised test room where they were asked to choose, from dishes served buffet-style, the starter, main course and dessert that they would actually eat for lunch. The results showed that participants subjected to the scented condition chose to consume the 'fruity' dessert (compote) more frequently than those who had waited under the control condition, who chose more frequently the dessert without fruit (brownie). In line with the findings of our previous study, these results confirm the idea of priming effects 'specific to the food cue'. To conclude, a non-attentively perceived fruity odour was shown to influence actual food choices, guiding individuals towards more fruity desserts. The involvement of implicit processes in food choices should be taken into account in guidelines and strategies designed to promote healthy eating.

  19. Perception and Hierarchical Dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Kiebel, Stefan J.; Daunizeau, Jean; Friston, Karl J.

    2009-01-01

    In this paper, we suggest that perception could be modeled by assuming that sensory input is generated by a hierarchy of attractors in a dynamic system. We describe a mathematical model which exploits the temporal structure of rapid sensory dynamics to track the slower trajectories of their underlying causes. This model establishes a proof of concept that slowly changing neuronal states can encode the trajectories of faster sensory signals. We link this hierarchical account to recent developments in the perception of human action; in particular artificial speech recognition. We argue that these hierarchical models of dynamical systems are a plausible starting point to develop robust recognition schemes, because they capture critical temporal dependencies induced by deep hierarchical structure. We conclude by suggesting that a fruitful computational neuroscience approach may emerge from modeling perception as non-autonomous recognition dynamics enslaved by autonomous hierarchical dynamics in the sensorium. PMID:19649171

  20. Effect of light Sphagnum peat on odour formation in the early stages of biowaste composting.

    PubMed

    Kurola, Jukka M; Arnold, Mona; Kontro, Merja H; Talves, Matti; Romantschuk, Martin

    2010-05-01

    In the present study, we investigated the effects of two bulking materials, Sphagnum peat and pine wood chips, on the early stages of biowaste composting in two pilot-scale processes. Emphasis was placed on studying the formation conditions of malodorous compost gases in the initial phases of the processes. The results showed that gas emission leaving an open windrow and a closed drum composting system contained elevated concentrations of fermentative microbial metabolites when acid Sphagnum peat (pH 3.2) was used as a bulking material. Moreover, the gas emission of the peat amended drum composter contained a high concentration of odour (up to 450,000oum(-3) of air). The highest odour values in the outlet gas of peat amended composts coincided with the elevated concentrations of volatile organic compounds such as acetoin and buthanedion. We conclude that the acidifying qualities of composting substrates or bulking material may intensify odour emission from biowaste composts and prolong the early stages of the composting process.

  1. Reducing variation in decomposition odour profiling using comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography.

    PubMed

    Perrault, Katelynn A; Stefanuto, Pierre-Hugues; Stuart, Barbara H; Rai, Tapan; Focant, Jean-François; Forbes, Shari L

    2015-01-01

    Challenges in decomposition odour profiling have led to variation in the documented odour profile by different research groups worldwide. Background subtraction and use of controls are important considerations given the variation introduced by decomposition studies conducted in different geographical environments. The collection of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from soil beneath decomposing remains is challenging due to the high levels of inherent soil VOCs, further confounded by the use of highly sensitive instrumentation. This study presents a method that provides suitable chromatographic resolution for profiling decomposition odour in soil by comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography coupled with time-of-flight mass spectrometry using appropriate controls and field blanks. Logarithmic transformation and t-testing of compounds permitted the generation of a compound list of decomposition VOCs in soil. Principal component analysis demonstrated the improved discrimination between experimental and control soil, verifying the value of the data handling method. Data handling procedures have not been well documented in this field and standardisation would thereby reduce misidentification of VOCs present in the surrounding environment as decomposition byproducts. Uniformity of data handling and instrumental procedures will reduce analytical variation, increasing confidence in the future when investigating the effect of taphonomic variables on the decomposition VOC profile.

  2. Analysis of odour and taste problems in high-density polyethene.

    PubMed

    Villberg, K; Veijanen, A; Gustafsson, I; Wickström, K

    1997-12-12

    The compounds that cause off-flavours in plastics, have been recognized mainly as carbonyl compounds (aldehydes, ketones and esters). They occur in low concentrations, and due to their low-threshold odour concentrations, their typical odours were identified. Most of these off-flavour compounds are volatile. Chemical analysis of smelling compounds requires a very sensitive method with a high-resolution capability. The analysis of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in high density polyethene (HD-PE) granules and waters in which the granules have been shaken for 4 h, were carried out by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry-sniffing system (GC-MS-SNIFF) and by gas chromatography-fourier transform infrared spectroscopy-sniffing system (GC-FTIR-SNIFF). A purge-and-trap technique was used to introduce the VOCs from samples into the gas chromatograph. Leaching waters of HD-PE granules were also evaluated by panel. This panel agreed upon six descriptive attributes for odour: sweet, chemical, stale, dusty, foul and floor-cloth. The attributes for taste were: sweet, metallic, stony, pungent, dusty, plastic, foul, stink bug and candle grease.

  3. Thermogenesis, Flowering and the Association with Variation in Floral Odour Attractants in Magnolia sprengeri (Magnoliaceae)

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Ruohan; Xu, Sai; Liu, Xiangyu; Zhang, Yiyuan; Wang, Jianzhong; Zhang, Zhixiang

    2014-01-01

    Magnolia sprengeri Pamp. is an ornamentally and ecologically important tree that blooms at cold temperatures in early spring. In this study, thermogenesis and variation in the chemical compounds of floral odours and insect visitation in relation to flowering cycles were studied to increase our understanding of the role of floral thermogenesis in the pollination biology of M. sprengeri. There were five distinct floral stages across the floral cycle of this species: pre-pistillate, pistillate, pre-staminate, staminate and post-staminate. Floral thermogenesis during anthesis and consisted of two distinct peaks: one at the pistillate stage and the other at the staminate stage. Insects of five families visited M. sprengeri during the floral cycle, and sap beetles (Epuraea sp., Nitidulidae) were determined to be the most effective pollinators, whereas bees (Apis cerana, Apidae) were considered to be occasional pollinators. A strong fragrance was released during thermogenesis, consisting of 18 chemical compounds. Although the relative proportions of these compounds varied at different floral stages across anthesis, linalool, 1-iodo-2-methylundecane and 2,2,6-trimethyl-6-vinyltetrahydro-2H-pyran-3-ol were dominant. Importantly, we found that the floral blends released during the pistillate and staminate stages were very similar, and coincided with flower visitation by sap beetles and the two thermogenic episodes. Based on these results, we propose that odour acts as a signal for a reward (pollen) and that an odour mimicry of staminate-stage flowers occurs during the pistillate stage. PMID:24922537

  4. Wake up and smell the conflict: odour signals in female competition

    PubMed Central

    Stockley, Paula; Bottell, Lisa; Hurst, Jane L.

    2013-01-01

    Odour signals used in competitive and aggressive interactions between males are well studied in the context of sexual selection. By contrast, relatively little is known about comparable signals used by females, despite current interest in the evolution of female ornaments and weaponry. Available evidence suggests that odour signals are important in competitive interactions between female mammals, with reductions or reversals of male-biased sexual dimorphism in signalling where female competition is intense. Scent marking is often associated with conflict between females over access to resources or reproductive opportunities. Female scent marks may therefore provide reliable signals of competitive ability that could be used both by competitors and potential mates. Consistent with this hypothesis, we report that aggressive behaviour of female house mice is correlated with the amount of major urinary protein (MUP) excreted in their urine, a polymorphic set of proteins that are used in scent mark signalling. Under semi-natural conditions, females with high MUP output are more likely to produce offspring sired by males that have high reproductive success, and less likely to produce offspring by multiple different sires, suggesting that females with strong MUP signals are monopolized by males of particularly high quality. We conclude that odour signals are worthy of more detailed investigation as mediators of female competition. PMID:24167312

  5. Thermogenesis, flowering and the association with variation in floral odour attractants in Magnolia sprengeri (Magnoliaceae).

    PubMed

    Wang, Ruohan; Xu, Sai; Liu, Xiangyu; Zhang, Yiyuan; Wang, Jianzhong; Zhang, Zhixiang

    2014-01-01

    Magnolia sprengeri Pamp. is an ornamentally and ecologically important tree that blooms at cold temperatures in early spring. In this study, thermogenesis and variation in the chemical compounds of floral odours and insect visitation in relation to flowering cycles were studied to increase our understanding of the role of floral thermogenesis in the pollination biology of M. sprengeri. There were five distinct floral stages across the floral cycle of this species: pre-pistillate, pistillate, pre-staminate, staminate and post-staminate. Floral thermogenesis during anthesis and consisted of two distinct peaks: one at the pistillate stage and the other at the staminate stage. Insects of five families visited M. sprengeri during the floral cycle, and sap beetles (Epuraea sp., Nitidulidae) were determined to be the most effective pollinators, whereas bees (Apis cerana, Apidae) were considered to be occasional pollinators. A strong fragrance was released during thermogenesis, consisting of 18 chemical compounds. Although the relative proportions of these compounds varied at different floral stages across anthesis, linalool, 1-iodo-2-methylundecane and 2,2,6-trimethyl-6-vinyltetrahydro-2H-pyran-3-ol were dominant. Importantly, we found that the floral blends released during the pistillate and staminate stages were very similar, and coincided with flower visitation by sap beetles and the two thermogenic episodes. Based on these results, we propose that odour acts as a signal for a reward (pollen) and that an odour mimicry of staminate-stage flowers occurs during the pistillate stage.

  6. A specific area of olfactory cortex involved in stress hormone responses to predator odours.

    PubMed

    Kondoh, Kunio; Lu, Zhonghua; Ye, Xiaolan; Olson, David P; Lowell, Bradford B; Buck, Linda B

    2016-04-07

    Instinctive reactions to danger are critical to the perpetuation of species and are observed throughout the animal kingdom. The scent of predators induces an instinctive fear response in mice that includes behavioural changes, as well as a surge in blood stress hormones that mobilizes multiple body systems to escape impending danger. How the olfactory system routes predator signals detected in the nose to achieve these effects is unknown. Here we identify a specific area of the olfactory cortex in mice that induces stress hormone responses to volatile predator odours. Using monosynaptic and polysynaptic viral tracers, we found that multiple olfactory cortical areas transmit signals to hypothalamic corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) neurons, which control stress hormone levels. However, only one minor cortical area, the amygdalo-piriform transition area (AmPir), contained neurons upstream of CRH neurons that were activated by volatile predator odours. Chemogenetic stimulation of AmPir activated CRH neurons and induced an increase in blood stress hormones, mimicking an instinctive fear response. Moreover, chemogenetic silencing of AmPir markedly reduced the stress hormone response to predator odours without affecting a fear behaviour. These findings suggest that AmPir, a small area comprising <5% of the olfactory cortex, plays a key part in the hormonal component of the instinctive fear response to volatile predator scents.

  7. Anxiolytic effects of Lavandula angustifolia odour on the Mongolian gerbil elevated plus maze.

    PubMed

    Bradley, B F; Starkey, N J; Brown, S L; Lea, R W

    2007-05-22

    Lavender is a popular treatment for stress and mild anxiety in Europe and the USA. The present study investigated the effects of (Lavandula angustifolia Mill. (Lamiaceae)) lavender odour inhalation over 2 weeks or 24 h periods, on gerbil behaviour in the elevated plus maze in mature male and female gerbils, and compared results with the effects of diazepam (1 mg/kg) i.p. after 30 min and 2-week administration. Traditional measures of open entries showed an increasing trend over the 2 weeks exposure, whereas ethological measures indicative of anxiety; stretch-attend frequency and percentage protected head-dips, were significantly lower. Exploratory behaviour, total head-dip frequency, increased after 24 h lavender and 2 weeks exposure. These results are comparable with diazepam administration. There were sex differences in protected head-dip an ethological indicator of anxiety: females showed a significant decrease in protected head-dips compared to both males and to female controls. In conclusion exposure to lavender odour may have an anxiolytic profile in gerbils similar to that of the anxiolytic diazepam. In addition, prolonged, 2-week lavender odour exposure increased exploratory behaviour in females indicating a further decrease in anxiety in this sex.

  8. Sensitivity and specificity in Drosophila pheromone perception.

    PubMed

    Benton, Richard

    2007-10-01

    How the brain perceives volatile chemicals in the environment to evoke the appropriate behaviour is a fundamental question in sensory neuroscience. The olfactory system of the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, has emerged as a powerful model system to address this problem. Recent analysis of the molecular, neuroanatomical and physiological properties of the olfactory circuits that detect the sex and social aggregation pheromone cis-vaccenyl acetate now provides one of the most comprehensive outlines for the neural basis of odour perception. This review describes these latest advances, discusses what they reveal about where stimulus sensitivity and specificity is encoded in olfactory circuits, and considers future questions.

  9. Valuing autonomy, struggling for an identity and a collective voice, and seeking role recognition: community mental health nurses' perceptions of their roles.

    PubMed

    White, Jane H; Kudless, Mary

    2008-10-01

    Leaders in this community mental health system approached the problem of job frustration, morale issues, and turnover concerns of their Community Mental Health Nurses (CMHNs) by designing a qualitative study using Participant Action Research (PAR) methodology based on the philosophy of Habermas. Six focus groups were conducted to address the nurses' concerns. The themes of Valuing Autonomy, Struggling for an Identity and Collective Voice, and Seeking Role Recognition best explained the participants' concerns. The study concluded with an action plan, the implementation of the plan, and a discussion of the plan's final outcomes.

  10. The Multi-Stimulus Box: an innovative learning device for the comparative study of object perception and recognition with various types of stimuli.

    PubMed

    Steurer, Michael Morten; Stephan, Claudia; Aringer, Josef; Berger, Wolfgang; Aust, Ulrike

    2012-09-01

    In this article, we report the construction of a novel type of automated learning device for exploring a broad range of issues in animal visual cognition. The testing box (Multi-Stimulus Box, or MSB) we describe is an experimental chamber that enables the flexible presentation of various stimulus types while providing control over incidental cues to the greatest possible extent. Among the stimuli that can be presented are photographs, real objects, and even holograms. The MSB allows for comparative research across different stimulus qualities and species, and is thus a promising tool for advancing our understanding of the role of stimulus qualities for animals' perception, discrimination, and categorization of objects.

  11. Do we need STRFs for cocktail parties? On the relevance of physiologically motivated features for human speech perception derived from automatic speech recognition.

    PubMed

    Kollmeier, B; Schädler, M R René; Meyer, A; Anemüller, J; Meyer, B T

    2013-01-01

    Complex auditory features such as spectro-temporal receptive fields (STRFs) derived from the cortical auditory neurons appear to be advantageous in sound processing. However, their physiological and functional relevance is still unclear. To assess the utility of such feature processing for speech reception in noise, automatic speech recognition (ASR) performance using feature sets obtained from physiological and/or psychoacoustical data and models is compared to human performance. Time-frequency representations with a nonlinear compression are compared with standard features such as mel-scaled spectrograms. Both alternatives serve as an input to model estimators that infer spectro-temporal filters (and subsequent nonlinearity) from physiological measurements in auditory brain areas of zebra finches. Alternatively, a filter bank of 2-dimensional Gabor functions is employed, which covers a wide range of modulation frequencies in the time and frequency domain. The results indicate a clear increase in ASR robustness using complex features (modeled by Gabor functions), while the benefit from physiologically derived STRFs is limited. In all cases, the use of power-normalized spectral representations increases performance, indicating that substantial dynamic compression is advantageous for level-independent pattern recognition. The methods employed may help physiologists to look for more relevant STRFs and to better understand specific differences in estimated STRFs.

  12. Prospects for the development of odour baits to control the tsetse flies Glossina tachinoides and G. palpalis s.l.

    PubMed

    Rayaisse, J B; Tirados, I; Kaba, D; Dewhirst, S Y; Logan, J G; Diarrassouba, A; Salou, E; Omolo, M O; Solano, P; Lehane, M J; Pickett, J A; Vale, G A; Torr, S J; Esterhuizen, J

    2010-03-16

    Field studies were done of the responses of Glossina palpalis palpalis in Côte d'Ivoire, and G. p. gambiensis and G. tachinoides in Burkina Faso, to odours from humans, cattle and pigs. Responses were measured either by baiting (1.) biconical traps or (2.) electrocuting black targets with natural host odours. The catch of G. tachinoides from traps was significantly enhanced ( approximately 5x) by odour from cattle but not humans. In contrast, catches from electric targets showed inconsistent results. For G. p. gambiensis both human and cattle odour increased (>2x) the trap catch significantly but not the catch from electric targets. For G. p. palpalis, odours from pigs and humans increased (approximately 5x) the numbers of tsetse attracted to the vicinity of the odour source but had little effect on landing or trap-entry. For G. tachinoides a blend of POCA (P = 3-n-propylphenol; O = 1-octen-3-ol; C = 4-methylphenol; A = acetone) alone or synthetic cattle odour (acetone, 1-octen-3-ol, 4-methylphenol and 3-n-propylphenol with carbon dioxide) consistently caught more tsetse than natural cattle odour. For G. p. gambiensis, POCA consistently increased catches from both traps and targets. For G. p. palpalis, doses of carbon dioxide similar to those produced by a host resulted in similar increases in attraction. Baiting traps with super-normal (approximately 500 mg/h) doses of acetone also consistently produced significant but slight (approximately 1.6x) increases in catches of male flies. The results suggest that odour-baited traps and insecticide-treated targets could assist the AU-Pan African Tsetse and Trypanosomiasis Eradication Campaign (PATTEC) in its current efforts to monitor and control Palpalis group tsetse in West Africa. For all three species, only approximately 50% of the flies attracted to the vicinity of the trap were actually caught by it, suggesting that better traps might be developed by an analysis of the visual responses and identification of any

  13. Control of odour nuisance in urban areas: the efficiency and social acceptance of the application of masking agents.

    PubMed

    Lazarova, Valentina; Abed, Brahim; Markovska, Gabriela; Dezenclos, Thierry; Amara, Aït

    2013-01-01

    This paper presents and discusses the results of the project named 'Jasmin' implemented in Algiers to control the strong odours of the river named Oued El Harrach, one of the largest rivers in the centre of the city. Pending the achievement of curative solutions, a temporary option for mitigation of nuisance odour by masking agents was implemented in the vicinity of the main bridges. The efficiency of this technology has been followed by means of an odour panel with the participation of representatives of all stakeholders. A sociological study by means of 1,000 questionnaires and face-to-face interviews of the local population demonstrated the benefits and the positive outcomes of the attenuation of odour nuisance: 70% of the surveyed population is satisfied or very satisfied with the application of masking agents and 96% of respondents support the continuation of the project. In terms of size and public access, the project Jasmin is a world-first demonstration of odour control in urban areas in developing countries.

  14. Odour-tracking capability of a silkmoth driving a mobile robot with turning bias and time delay.

    PubMed

    Ando, N; Emoto, S; Kanzaki, R

    2013-03-01

    The reconstruction of mechanisms behind odour-tracking behaviours of animals is expected to enable the development of biomimetic robots capable of adaptive behaviour and effectively locating odour sources. However, because the behavioural mechanisms of animals have not been extensively studied, their behavioural capabilities cannot be verified. In this study, we have employed a mobile robot driven by a genuine insect (insect-controlled robot) to evaluate the behavioural capabilities of a biological system implemented in an artificial system. We used a male silkmoth as the 'driver' and investigated its behavioural capabilities to imposed perturbations during odour tracking. When we manipulated the robot to induce the turning bias, it located the odour source by compensatory turning of the on-board moth. Shifting of the orientation paths to the odour plume boundaries and decreased orientation ability caused by covering the visual field suggested that the moth steered with bilateral olfaction and vision to overcome the bias. An evaluation of the time delays of the moth and robot movements suggested an acceptable range for sensory-motor processing when the insect system was directly applied to artificial systems. Further evaluations of the insect-controlled robot will provide a 'blueprint' for biomimetic robots and strongly promote the field of biomimetics.

  15. Volatile trace compounds released from municipal solid waste at the transfer stage: Evaluation of environmental impacts and odour pollution.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Yan; Lu, Wenjing; Wang, Hongtao

    2015-12-30

    Odour pollution caused by municipal solid waste is a public concern. This study quantitatively evaluated the concentration, environmental impacts, and olfaction of volatile trace compounds released from a waste transfer station. Seventy-six compounds were detected, and ethanol presented the highest releasing rate and ratio of 14.76 kg/d and 12.30 g/t of waste, respectively. Life cycle assessment showed that trichlorofluoromethane and dichlorodifluoromethane accounted for more than 99% of impact potentials to global warming and approximately 70% to human toxicity (non-carcinogenic). The major contributor for both photochemical ozone formation and ecotoxicity was ethanol. A detection threshold method was also used to evaluate odour pollution. Five compounds including methane thiol, hydrogen sulphide, ethanol, dimethyl disulphide, and dimethyl sulphide, with dilution multiples above one, were considered the critical compounds. Methane thiol showed the highest contribution to odour pollution of more than 90%, as indicated by its low threshold. Comparison of the contributions of the compounds to different environmental aspects indicated that typical pollutants varied based on specific evaluation targets and therefore should be comprehensively considered. This study provides important information and scientific methodology to elucidate the impacts of odourant compounds to the environment and odour pollution.

  16. Technological and life cycle assessment of organics processing odour control technologies.

    PubMed

    Bindra, Navin; Dubey, Brajesh; Dutta, Animesh

    2015-09-15

    As more municipalities and communities across developed world look towards implementing organic waste management programmes or upgrading existing ones, composting facilities are emerging as a popular choice. However, odour from these facilities continues to be one of the most important concerns in terms of cost & effective mitigation. This paper provides a technological and life cycle assessment of some of the different odour control technologies and treatment methods that can be implemented in organics processing facilities. The technological assessment compared biofilters, packed tower wet scrubbers, fine mist wet scrubbers, activated carbon adsorption, thermal oxidization, oxidization chemicals and masking agents. The technologies/treatment methods were evaluated and compared based on a variety of operational, usage and cost parameters. Based on the technological assessment it was found that, biofilters and packed bed wet scrubbers are the most applicable odour control technologies for use in organics processing faculties. A life cycle assessment was then done to compare the environmental impacts of the packed-bed wet scrubber system, organic (wood-chip media) bio-filter and inorganic (synthetic media) bio-filter systems. Twelve impact categories were assessed; cumulative energy demand (CED), climate change, human toxicity, photochemical oxidant formation, metal depletion, fossil depletion, terrestrial acidification, freshwater eutrophication, marine eutrophication, terrestrial eco-toxicity, freshwater eco-toxicity and marine eco-toxicity. The results showed that for all impact categories the synthetic media biofilter had the highest environmental impact, followed by the wood chip media bio-filter system. The packed-bed system had the lowest environmental impact for all categories.

  17. Smelling your way to food: can bed bugs use our odour?

    PubMed

    Harraca, V; Ryne, C; Birgersson, G; Ignell, R

    2012-02-15

    The resurgence in developed countries of the common bed bug, Cimex lectularius, has led to a search for new sustainable methods to monitor and control this human ectoparasite. Because of increased resistance to insecticides, traps baited with attractive cues are considered a promising method to be developed into efficient monitoring tools for bed bugs. Despite their potential as attractants, only a few studies have investigated the odorant cues implicated in the attraction of bed bugs to human hosts. In this study, we used aeration extracts from human volunteers to assess the role of olfaction in host searching by bed bugs. By coupled gas chromatography and single sensillum recordings on all the antennal sensilla, we measured the electrophysiological response elicited by the compounds present in our human odour extracts. Only five compounds were clearly detected by the olfactory receptor neurons housed in the smooth-peg sensilla of the bed bugs. We tested the behavioural effect of these extracts in a still-air arena and showed a gradient of repellence linked to the dose, as well as a higher propensity of local search behaviour associated with human odours containing a lower ratio of 6-methyl-5-hepten-2-one to C(7)-C(10) aldehydes. We conclude that human odour alone has a weak influence on the behaviour of C. lectularius and we propose that human kairomones may have a significant impact on bed bug behaviour in combination with heat and carbon dioxide, the only two currently known attractive vertebrate cues used by bed bugs for host seeking.

  18. Prevention of volatile fatty acids production and limitation of odours from winery wastewaters by denitrification.

    PubMed

    Bories, André; Guillot, Jean-Michel; Sire, Yannick; Couderc, Marie; Lemaire, Sophie-Andréa; Kreim, Virginie; Roux, Jean-Claude

    2007-07-01

    The effect of the addition of nitrate to winery wastewaters to control the formation of VFA in order to prevent odours during storage and treatment was studied in batch bioreactors at different NO(3)/chemical oxygen demand (COD) ratios and at full scale in natural evaporation ponds (2 x 7000 m(2)) by measuring olfactory intensity. In the absence of nitrate, butyric acid (2304 mgL(-1)), acetic acid (1633 mgL(-1)), propionic acid (1558 mgL(-1)), caproic acid (499 mgL(-1)) and valeric acid (298 mgL(-1)) were produced from reconstituted winery wastewater. For a ratio of NO(3)/COD=0.4 gg(-1), caproic and valeric acids were not formed. The production of butyric and propionic acids was reduced by 93.3% and 72.5%, respectively, at a ratio of NO(3)/COD=0.8, and by 97.4% and 100% at a ratio of NO(3)/COD=1.2 gg(-1). Nitrate delayed and decreased butyric acid formation in relation to the oxidoreduction potential. Studies in ponds showed that the addition of concentrated calcium nitrate (NITCAL) to winery wastewaters (3526 m(3)) in a ratio of NO(3)/COD=0.8 inhibited VFA production, with COD elimination (94%) and total nitrate degradation, and no final nitrite accumulation. On the contrary, in ponds not treated with nitrate, malodorous VFA (from propionic to heptanoïc acids) represented up to 60% of the COD. Olfactory intensity measurements in relation to the butanol scale of VFA solutions and the ponds revealed the pervasive role of VFA in the odour of the untreated pond as well as the clear decrease in the intensity and not unpleasant odour of the winery wastewater pond enriched in nitrates. The results obtained at full scale underscored the feasibility and safety of the calcium nitrate treatment as opposed to concentrated nitric acid.

  19. Effect of strange male odour on parental care in lactating female mice

    PubMed

    Mandillo; D'AMATO

    1997-10-01

    This paper analyses the behaviour of lactating female outbred mice, Mus musculus domesticusin the presence of male conspecific odours. When olfactory cues were left in the environment by a sexually naive adult male, a potentially infanticidal animal, the mother took longer to reach her litter following 30 min of separation. Odours left by the sexual partner, by an unknown male of parental status, or by a young naive male did not modify the mother's behaviour, compared with the control situation (absence of male odour). The number of ultrasonic calls of pups varied according to the characteristics of the male but did not modify the behaviour of the dam. Females took longer to reach pups on day 8 of lactation than on days 4 or 12. We suggest adaptive reasons why females take longer to reach pups when the situation is more risky. We tested the hypothesis that the loss of an 8-day-old litter is more expensive, in term of the mother's future reproductive success, than the loss of younger and older litters. Females conceived a new litter within a few days (the inter-birth interval varied according to the age of the litter previously removed) but, even though no difference in size and weight of litters was recorded, females that had the litter removed on day 8 postpartum (compared with days 4 and 12) suffered from a higher mortality rate in the next litter. We suggest that the time the mother takes to reach her pups in the presence of a potentially infanticidal male could represent a measure of parental investment.Copyright 1997 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour1997The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour

  20. Profiling the decomposition odour at the grave surface before and after probing.

    PubMed

    Forbes, S L; Troobnikoff, A N; Ueland, M; Nizio, K D; Perrault, K A

    2016-02-01

    Human remains detection (HRD) dogs are recognised as a valuable and non-invasive search method for remains concealed in many different environments, including clandestine graves. However, the search for buried remains can be a challenging task as minimal odour may be available at the grave surface for detection by the dogs. Handlers often use a soil probe during these searches in an attempt to increase the amount of odour available for detection, but soil probing is considered an invasive search technique. The aim of this study was to determine whether the soil probe assists with increasing the abundance of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) available at the grave surface. A proof-of-concept method was developed using porcine remains to collect VOCs within the grave without disturbing the burial environment, and to compare their abundance at the grave surface before and after probing. Detection and identification of the VOC profiles required the use of comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography-time-of-flight mass spectrometry (GC×GC-TOFMS) due to its superior sensitivity and selectivity for decomposition odour profiling. The abundance of decomposition VOCs was consistently higher within the grave environment compared to the grave surface, except when the grave surface had been disturbed, confirming the reduced availability of odour at the grave surface. Although probing appeared to increase the abundance of VOCs at the grave surface on many of the sampling days, there were no clear trends identified across the study and no direct relationships with the environmental variables measured. Typically, the decomposition VOCs that were most prevalent in the grave soil were the same VOCs detected at the grave surface, whereas the trace VOCs detected in these environments varied throughout the post-burial period. This study highlighted that probing the soil can assist with releasing decomposition VOCs but is likely correlated to environmental and burial variables

  1. A case with fear of emitting body odour resulted in successful treatment with clomipramine.

    PubMed

    Kizu, A; Miyoshi, N; Yoshida, Y; Miyagishi, T

    1994-11-01

    A patient with fear of emitting body odour of about 20 years' duration is reported. The patient was improved with clomipramine, a tricyclic antidepressant. Generally in Japan, he would be classified as having anthropophobia. However, according to the criteria advocated by Munro and Chmara (1982), he could be classified as having monosymptomatic hypochondriasis (MH). There are some reports that antidepressants have been effective in patients with either anthropophobia or MH. Therefore, a subgroup of patients which respond to antidepressants may exist in these disorders.

  2. Numerical modelling of odour dispersion around a cubical obstacle using large eddy simulation.

    PubMed

    Dourado, Harerton Oliveira; Santos, Jane Meri; Reis, Neyval C; Mavroidis, Ilias

    2012-01-01

    In the present work two different large eddy simulation (LES) approaches, namely the Dynamic Smagorinsky model and the Wale model, are used to simulate the air flow and pollutant dispersion around a cubical obstacle. Results are compared with wind tunnel data (WT) and with results from the Smagorinsky LES model. Overall agreement was good between the different LES approaches and the WT results, both for the mean and fluctuating flow and concentration patterns. LES models can provide good estimates of concentration fluctuation intensity and enable the calculation of the intermittency factor. The model results indicate that LES is a viable tool for odour impact assessment.

  3. Odour-impact assessment around a landfill site from weather-type classification, complaint inventory and numerical simulation.

    PubMed

    Chemel, C; Riesenmey, C; Batton-Hubert, M; Vaillant, H

    2012-01-01

    Gases released from landfill sites into the atmosphere have the potential to cause olfactory nuisances within the surrounding communities. Landfill sites are often located over complex topography for convenience mainly related to waste disposal and environmental masking. Dispersion of odours is strongly conditioned by local atmospheric dynamics. Assessment of odour impacts needs to take into account the variability of local atmospheric dynamics. In this study, we discuss a method to assess odour impacts around a landfill site located over complex terrain in order to provide information to be used subsequently to identify management strategies to reduce olfactory nuisances in the residential neighbourhoods. A weather-type classification is defined in order to identify meteorological conditions under which olfactory nuisances are to be expected. A non-steady state Gaussian model and a full-physics meteorological model are used to predict olfactory nuisances, for both the winter and summer scenarios that lead to the majority of complaints in neighbourhoods surrounding the landfill site. Simulating representative scenarios rather than full years make a high resolution simulation of local atmospheric dynamics in space and time possible. Results underline the key role of local atmospheric dynamics in driving the dispersion of odours. The odour concentration simulated by the full-physics meteorological model is combined with the density of the population in order to calculate an average population exposure for the two scenarios. Results of this study are expected to provide helpful information to develop technical solutions for an effective management of landfill operations, which would reduce odour impacts within the surrounding communities.

  4. Evaluating odour control technologies using reliability and sustainability criteria--a case study for water treatment plants.

    PubMed

    Kraakman, N J R; Estrada, J M; Lebrero, R; Cesca, J; Muñoz, R

    2014-01-01

    Technologies for odour control have been widely reviewed and their optimal range of application and performance has been clearly established. Selection criteria, mainly driven by process economics, are usually based on the air flow volume, the inlet concentrations and the required removal efficiency. However, these criteria are shifting with social and environmental issues becoming as important as process economics. A methodology is illustrated to quantify sustainability and robustness of odour control technology in the context of odour control at wastewater treatment or water recycling plants. The most commonly used odour abatement techniques (biofiltration, biotrickling filtration, activated carbon adsorption, chemical scrubbing, activated sludge diffusion and biotrickling filtration coupled with activated carbon adsorption) are evaluated in terms of: (1) sustainability, with quantification of process economics, environmental performance and social impact using the sustainability metrics of the Institution of Chemical Engineers; (2) sensitivity towards design and operating parameters like utility prices (energy and labour), inlet odour concentration (H2S) and design safety (gas contact time); (3) robustness, quantifications of operating reliability, with recommendations to improve reliability during their lifespan of operations. The results show that the odour treatment technologies with the highest investments presented the lowest operating costs, which means that the net present value (NPV) should be used as a selection criterion rather than investment costs. Economies of scale are more important in biotechniques (biofiltration and biotrickling filtration) as, at increased airflows, their reduction in overall costs over 20 years (NPV20) is more extreme when compared to the physical/chemical technologies (chemical scrubbing and activated carbon filtration). Due to their low NPV and their low environmental impact, activated sludge diffusion and biotrickling

  5. Kin-recognition abilities and nepotism as a function of sociality.

    PubMed Central

    Mateo, Jill M

    2002-01-01

    Despite widespread interest in kin selection and nepotism, relatively little is known about the perceptual abilities of animals to recognize their relatives. Here I show that a highly nepotistic species, Belding's ground squirrels (Spermophilus beldingi), produces odours from at least two sources that correlate with relatedness ('kin labels'), and that ground squirrels can use these odours to make accurate discriminations among never before encountered ('unfamiliar') kin. Recognition odours appear to vary linearly with relatedness, rather than in an all-or-none fashion, allowing precise estimates of kinship even among distant relatives. Thus S. beldingi are able to recognize their distant kin and male kin, even though they do not treat them preferentially. I also show that a closely related species (S. lateralis) similarly produces kin labels and discriminates among kin, although it shows no evidence of kin-directed behaviour. Thus, contrary to a commonly held assumption, kin favouritism and recognition abilities can evolve independently, depending on variation in the costs and benefits of nepotism for a given species. PMID:11934364

  6. The effect of white or grey PVC pipe and its joint solvents (primer and cement) on odour problems in drinking water distribution systems.

    PubMed

    Wiesenthal, K E; Suffet, I H

    2007-01-01

    A study of the production of odour-causing compounds was conducted from the leaching of polyvinylchloride (PVC) pipe and its joints, primer and cement, into drinking water distribution systems. Flavour Profile Analysis (FPA), closed-loop stripping analysis--gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (CLSA-GC/MS) and sensory-GC analysis of white or grey PVC alone found no odour-causing compounds produced during the leaching experiments. FPA analysis of the PVC's primer and cement leached alone and/or when applied to grey or white PVC pipes produced a glue/varnish odour. A sweet/phenolic odour replaced the glue/varnish odour after the leached media were diluted with Milli-Q water to threshold odour intensity. Three compounds were responsible for the sweet/phenolic odour and were observed by sensoryGC analysis. The leaching study of the PVC pipe with its joint solvents (primer and cement) concluded that the original solvent compounds, and their reaction products that formed during the bonding process on the PVC pipe, were a primary source of the glue/varnish odour. The original compounds of the PVC primer and cement were not detected by CLSA-GC/MS, due to their high volatility during the CLSA extraction method and/or these compounds appeared in a solvent peak of the GC/MS analysis. However, the original primer and cement chemicals (acetone, tetrahydrofuran, methyl ethyl ketone, and cyclohexanone) had a glue/varnish odour. A total of nine odorous GC peaks were produced as reaction products from leaching of primer in water and white or grey PVC pipe with primer and cement, and white or grey PVC with primer only. None of these compounds were among the chemical ingredients in the original primer or cement. Four GC peaks with a sweet/phenolic odour were present due to the reaction products of the cement leached with white or grey PVC. None of these compounds were positively identified.

  7. Niépce–Bell or Turing: how to test odour reproduction

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Decades before the existence of anything resembling an artificial intelligence system, Alan Turing raised the question of how to test whether machines can think, or, in modern terminology, whether a computer claimed to exhibit intelligence indeed does so. This paper raises the analogous issue for olfaction: how to test the validity of a system claimed to reproduce arbitrary odours artificially, in a way recognizable to humans. Although odour reproduction systems are still far from being viable, the question of how to test candidates thereof is claimed to be interesting and non-trivial, and a novel method is proposed. Despite the similarity between the two questions and their surfacing long before the tested systems exist, the present question cannot be answered adequately by a Turing-like method. Instead, our test is very different: it is conditional, requiring from the artificial no more than is required from the original, and it employs a novel method of immersion that takes advantage of the availability of easily recognizable reproduction methods for sight and sound, a la Nicéphore Niépce and Alexander Graham Bell. PMID:28003527

  8. Niépce-Bell or Turing: how to test odour reproduction.

    PubMed

    Harel, David

    2016-12-01

    Decades before the existence of anything resembling an artificial intelligence system, Alan Turing raised the question of how to test whether machines can think, or, in modern terminology, whether a computer claimed to exhibit intelligence indeed does so. This paper raises the analogous issue for olfaction: how to test the validity of a system claimed to reproduce arbitrary odours artificially, in a way recognizable to humans. Although odour reproduction systems are still far from being viable, the question of how to test candidates thereof is claimed to be interesting and non-trivial, and a novel method is proposed. Despite the similarity between the two questions and their surfacing long before the tested systems exist, the present question cannot be answered adequately by a Turing-like method. Instead, our test is very different: it is conditional, requiring from the artificial no more than is required from the original, and it employs a novel method of immersion that takes advantage of the availability of easily recognizable reproduction methods for sight and sound, a la Nicéphore Niépce and Alexander Graham Bell.

  9. Supersensitive detection and discrimination of enantiomers by dorsal olfactory receptors: evidence for hierarchical odour coding.

    PubMed

    Sato, Takaaki; Kobayakawa, Reiko; Kobayakawa, Ko; Emura, Makoto; Itohara, Shigeyoshi; Kizumi, Miwako; Hamana, Hiroshi; Tsuboi, Akio; Hirono, Junzo

    2015-09-11

    Enantiomeric pairs of mirror-image molecular structures are difficult to resolve by instrumental analyses. The human olfactory system, however, discriminates (-)-wine lactone from its (+)-form rapidly within seconds. To gain insight into receptor coding of enantiomers, we compared behavioural detection and discrimination thresholds of wild-type mice with those of ΔD mice in which all dorsal olfactory receptors are genetically ablated. Surprisingly, wild-type mice displayed an exquisite "supersensitivity" to enantiomeric pairs of wine lactones and carvones. They were capable of supersensitive discrimination of enantiomers, consistent with their high detection sensitivity. In contrast, ΔD mice showed selective major loss of sensitivity to the (+)-enantiomers. The resulting 10(8)-fold differential sensitivity of ΔD mice to (-)- vs. (+)-wine lactone matched that observed in humans. This suggests that humans lack highly sensitive orthologous dorsal receptors for the (+)-enantiomer, similarly to ΔD mice. Moreover, ΔD mice showed >10(10)-fold reductions in enantiomer discrimination sensitivity compared to wild-type mice. ΔD mice detected one or both of the (-)- and (+)-enantiomers over a wide concentration range, but were unable to discriminate them. This "enantiomer odour discrimination paradox" indicates that the most sensitive dorsal receptors play a critical role in hierarchical odour coding for enantiomer identification.

  10. Supersensitive detection and discrimination of enantiomers by dorsal olfactory receptors: evidence for hierarchical odour coding

    PubMed Central

    Sato, Takaaki; Kobayakawa, Reiko; Kobayakawa, Ko; Emura, Makoto; Itohara, Shigeyoshi; Kizumi, Miwako; Hamana, Hiroshi; Tsuboi, Akio; Hirono, Junzo

    2015-01-01

    Enantiomeric pairs of mirror-image molecular structures are difficult to resolve by instrumental analyses. The human olfactory system, however, discriminates (−)-wine lactone from its (+)-form rapidly within seconds. To gain insight into receptor coding of enantiomers, we compared behavioural detection and discrimination thresholds of wild-type mice with those of ΔD mice in which all dorsal olfactory receptors are genetically ablated. Surprisingly, wild-type mice displayed an exquisite “supersensitivity” to enantiomeric pairs of wine lactones and carvones. They were capable of supersensitive discrimination of enantiomers, consistent with their high detection sensitivity. In contrast, ΔD mice showed selective major loss of sensitivity to the (+)-enantiomers. The resulting 108-fold differential sensitivity of ΔD mice to (−)- vs. (+)-wine lactone matched that observed in humans. This suggests that humans lack highly sensitive orthologous dorsal receptors for the (+)-enantiomer, similarly to ΔD mice. Moreover, ΔD mice showed >1010-fold reductions in enantiomer discrimination sensitivity compared to wild-type mice. ΔD mice detected one or both of the (−)- and (+)-enantiomers over a wide concentration range, but were unable to discriminate them. This “enantiomer odour discrimination paradox” indicates that the most sensitive dorsal receptors play a critical role in hierarchical odour coding for enantiomer identification. PMID:26361056

  11. Avian egg odour encodes information on embryo sex, fertility and development.

    PubMed

    Webster, Ben; Hayes, William; Pike, Thomas W

    2015-01-01

    Avian chemical communication is a rapidly emerging field, but has been hampered by a critical lack of information on volatile chemicals that communicate ecologically relevant information (semiochemicals). A possible, but as yet unexplored, function of olfaction and chemical communication in birds is in parent-embryo and embryo-embryo communication. Communication between parents and developing embryos may act to mediate parental behaviour, while communication between embryos can control the synchronicity of hatching. Embryonic vocalisations and vibrations have been implicated as a means of communication during the later stages of development but in the early stages, before embryos are capable of independent movement and vocalisation, this is not possible. Here we show that volatiles emitted from developing eggs of Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica) convey information on egg fertility, along with the sex and developmental status of the embryo. Specifically, egg volatiles changed over the course of incubation, differed between fertile and infertile eggs, and were predictive of embryo sex as early as day 1 of incubation. Egg odours therefore have the potential to facilitate parent-embryo and embryo-embryo interactions by allowing the assessment of key measures of embryonic development long before this is possible through other modalities. It also opens up the intriguing possibility that parents may be able to glean further relevant information from egg volatiles, such as the health, viability and heritage of embryos. By determining information conveyed by egg-derived volatiles, we hope to stimulate further investigation into the ecological role of egg odours.

  12. African penguins (Spheniscus demersus) can detect dimethyl sulphide, a prey-related odour.

    PubMed

    Cunningham, Gregory B; Strauss, Venessa; Ryan, Peter G

    2008-10-01

    Although it is well established that certain procellariiform seabirds use odour cues to find prey, it is not clear whether penguins use olfactory cues to forage. It is commonly assumed that penguins lack a sense of smell, yet they are closely related to procellariiforms and forage on similar types of prey in similar areas to many procellariiforms. Such regions are characterized by having high levels of dimethyl sulphide (DMS) a scented compound that many marine animals use to locate foraging grounds. If penguins can smell, DMS may be a biologically relevant scented compound that they may be sensitive to in nature. To test this hypothesis, we investigated whether adult African penguins (Spheniscus demersus) could detect DMS using two separate experiments. We tested wild penguins on Robben Island, South Africa, by deploying mumolar DMS solutions in the colonies, and found that birds slowed down their walking speeds. We also tested captive penguins in a Y-maze. In both cases, our data convincingly demonstrate that African penguins have a functioning sense of smell and are attracted to DMS. The implication of this work is that the detection of changes in the odour landscape (DMS) may assist penguins in identifying productive areas of the ocean for foraging. At-sea studies are needed to investigate this issue further.

  13. Performance study of biofilter developed to treat H2S from wastewater odour

    PubMed Central

    Omri, Ilhem; Aouidi, Fethia; Bouallagui, Hassib; Godon, Jean-Jacques; Hamdi, Moktar

    2013-01-01

    Biofiltration is an efficient biotechnological process used for waste gas abatement in various industrial processes. It offers low operating and capital costs and produces minimal secondary waste streams. The objective of this study was to evaluate the performance of a pilot scale biofilter in terms of pollutants’ removal efficiencies and the bacterial dynamics under different inlet concentrations of H2S. The treatment of odourous pollutants by biofiltration was investigated at a municipal wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) (Charguia, Tunis, Tunisia). Sampling and analyses were conducted for 150 days. Inlet H2S concentration recorded was between 200 and 1300 mg H2S.m−3. Removal efficiencies reached 99% for the majority of the running time at an empty bed retention time (EBRT) of 60 s. Heterotrophic bacteria were found to be the dominant microorganisms in the biofilter. The bacteria were identified as the members of the genus Bacillus, Pseudomonas and xanthomonadacea bacterium. The polymerase chain reaction-single stranded conformation polymorphism (PCR-SSCP) method showed that bacterial community profiles changed with the H2S inlet concentration. Our results indicated that the biofilter system, containing peat as the packing material, was proved able to remove H2S from the WWTP odourous pollutants. PMID:23961233

  14. Characterization and biological abatement of diffuse methane emissions and odour in an innovative wastewater treatment plant.

    PubMed

    Barcón, Tamara; Hernández, Jerónimo; Gómez-Cuervo, Santiago; Garrido, Juan M; Omil, Francisco

    2015-01-01

    An innovative and patented process for medium-high strength sewage which comprises an anaerobic step followed by a hybrid anoxic-aerobic chamber and a final ultrafiltration stage was characterized in terms of methane fugitive emissions as well as odours. The operation at ambient temperature implies higher methane content in the liquid anaerobic effluent, which finally causes concentrations around 0.01-2.4% in the off-gas released in the anoxic-aerobic chamber (1.25% average). Mass balances indicate that these emissions account for up to 30-35% of the total methane generated in the anaerobic reactor. A conventional biofilter (BF) operated at an empty bed residence time of 4 min was used to treat these emissions for 70 d. In spite of the fluctuations in the methane inlet concentrations derived from the operation of the wastewater treatment plant (WWTP), it was possible to operate at pseudo-steady-state conditions, achieving average removal efficiencies of 76.5% and maximum elimination capacities of 30.1 g m(-3) h(-1). Odour removal was quantified as 99.1%. Fluorescence in situ hybridization probes as well as metabolic activity assays demonstrated the suitability of the biomass developed in the WWTP as inoculum to start up the BF due to the presence of methanotrophic bacteria.

  15. Odour maps in the brain of butterflies with divergent host-plant preferences.

    PubMed

    Carlsson, Mikael A; Bisch-Knaden, Sonja; Schäpers, Alexander; Mozuraitis, Raimondas; Hansson, Bill S; Janz, Niklas

    2011-01-01

    Butterflies are believed to use mainly visual cues when searching for food and oviposition sites despite that their olfactory system is morphologically similar to their nocturnal relatives, the moths. The olfactory ability in butterflies has, however, not been thoroughly investigated. Therefore, we performed the first study of odour representation in the primary olfactory centre, the antennal lobes, of butterflies. Host plant range is highly variable within the butterfly family Nymphalidae, with extreme specialists and wide generalists found even among closely related species. Here we measured odour evoked Ca(2+) activity in the antennal lobes of two nymphalid species with diverging host plant preferences, the specialist Aglais urticae and the generalist Polygonia c-album. The butterflies responded with stimulus-specific combinations of activated glomeruli to single plant-related compounds and to extracts of host and non-host plants. In general, responses were similar between the species. However, the specialist A. urticae responded more specifically to its preferred host plant, stinging nettle, than P. c-album. In addition, we found a species-specific difference both in correlation between responses to two common green leaf volatiles and the sensitivity to these compounds. Our results indicate that these butterflies have the ability to detect and to discriminate between different plant-related odorants.

  16. How floral odours are learned inside the bumblebee ( Bombus terrestris) nest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Molet, Mathieu; Chittka, Lars; Raine, Nigel E.

    2009-02-01

    Recruitment in social insects often involves not only inducing nestmates to leave the nest, but also communicating crucial information about finding profitable food sources. Although bumblebees transmit chemosensory information (floral scent), the transmission mechanism is unknown as mouth-to-mouth fluid transfer (as in honeybees) does not occur. Because recruiting bumblebees release a pheromone in the nest that triggers foraging in previously inactive workers, we tested whether this pheromone helps workers learn currently rewarding floral odours, as found in food social learning in rats. We exposed colonies to artificial recruitment pheromone, paired with anise scent. The pheromone did not facilitate learning of floral scent. However, we found that releasing floral scent in the air of the colony was sufficient to trigger learning and that learning performance was improved when the chemosensory cue was provided in the nectar in honeypots; probably because it guarantees a tighter link between scent and reward, and possibly because gustatory cues are involved in addition to olfaction. Scent learning was maximal when anise-scented nectar was brought into the nest by demonstrator foragers, suggesting that previously unidentified cues provided by successful foragers play an important role in nestmates learning new floral odours.

  17. Elimination of sulphur odours at landfills by bioconversion and the corona discharge plasma technique.

    PubMed

    Xia, Fangfang; Liu, Xin; Kang, Ying; He, Ruo; Wu, Zucheng

    2015-01-01

    Hydrogen sulphide (H2S) contributes a lot to odours at landfills, which is a threat to the environment and the health of the staff therein. To mitigate its emission, the bioconversion within landfill cover soils (LCSs) was introduced. H2S emission and concentration both in the field air above the landfill and in microcosm testing were surveyed. Results indicated that H2S emission and concentration in the landfill varied with landfill seasons and sites. There existed relationship between H2S concentration and fluxes spatially and temporally. To characterize and assess the spatial and temporal diversity of sulphur-oxidizing bacteria (SOB) and sulphate-reducing bacteria (SRB) in the LCSs, the terminal-restriction fragment length polymorphism technique was employed. Using the functional genes of dsrB and soxB, SOB, including Halothiobacillus, Rhodothalassium, Paracocccus, Allochromatium, and Thiobacillus, and SRB, including Desulfovibrio, Syntrophobacter, Desulfomonile and Desulfobacca, were identical and exhibited the dominant role in the LCSs. By employing an alternative available corona reactor, more than 90% removal efficiencies of sulphides were demonstrated, suggesting that the LCSs for eliminating odours in a lower concentration would be feasible.

  18. Scent of a Dragonfly: Sex Recognition in a Polymorphic Coenagrionid.

    PubMed

    Frati, Francesca; Piersanti, Silvana; Conti, Eric; Rebora, Manuela; Salerno, Gianandrea

    2015-01-01

    In polymorphic damselflies discrimination of females from males is complex owing to the presence of androchrome and gynochrome females. To date there is no evidence that damselflies use sensory modalities other than vision (and tactile stimuli) in mate searching and sex recognition. The results of the present behavioural and electrophysiological investigations on Ischnura elegans, a polymorphic damselfly, support our hypothesis that chemical cues could be involved in Odonata sex recognition. The bioassays demonstrate that males in laboratory prefer female to male odour, while no significant difference was present in male behavior between stimuli from males and control. The bioassays suggest also some ability of males to distinguish between the two female morphs using chemical stimuli. The ability of male antennae to perceive odours from females has been confirmed by electrophysiological recordings. These findings are important not only to get insight into the chemical ecology of Odonata, and to shed light into the problem of olfaction in Paleoptera, but could be useful to clarify the controversial aspects of the mating behavior of polymorphic coenagrionids. Behavioural studies in the field are necessary to investigate further these aspects.

  19. Scent of a Dragonfly: Sex Recognition in a Polymorphic Coenagrionid

    PubMed Central

    Conti, Eric; Rebora, Manuela; Salerno, Gianandrea

    2015-01-01

    In polymorphic damselflies discrimination of females from males is complex owing to the presence of androchrome and gynochrome females. To date there is no evidence that damselflies use sensory modalities other than vision (and tactile stimuli) in mate searching and sex recognition. The results of the present behavioural and electrophysiological investigations on Ischnura elegans, a polymorphic damselfly, support our hypothesis that chemical cues could be involved in Odonata sex recognition. The bioassays demonstrate that males in laboratory prefer female to male odour, while no significant difference was present in male behavior between stimuli from males and control. The bioassays suggest also some ability of males to distinguish between the two female morphs using chemical stimuli. The ability of male antennae to perceive odours from females has been confirmed by electrophysiological recordings. These findings are important not only to get insight into the chemical ecology of Odonata, and to shed light into the problem of olfaction in Paleoptera, but could be useful to clarify the controversial aspects of the mating behavior of polymorphic coenagrionids. Behavioural studies in the field are necessary to investigate further these aspects. PMID:26305118

  20. Social recognition in wild fish populations

    PubMed Central

    Ward, Ashley J.W; Webster, Michael M; Hart, Paul J.B

    2007-01-01

    The ability of animals to gather information about their social and physical environment is essential for their ecological function. Odour cues are an important component of this information gathering across taxa. Recent laboratory studies have revealed the importance of flexible chemical cues in facilitating social recognition of fishes. These cues are known to be mediated by recent habitat experience and fishes are attracted to individuals that smell like themselves. However, to be relevant to wild populations, where animals may move and forage freely, these cues would have to be temporally flexible and allow spatial resolution. Here, we present data from a study of social recognition in wild populations of three-spined sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus). Focal fish preferentially associated with conspecifics from the same habitat as themselves. These preferences were changed and updated following translocation of the focal fish to a different site. Further investigation revealed that association preferences changed after 3 h of exposure to different habitat cues. In addition to temporal flexibility, the cues also allowed a high degree of spatial resolution: fish taken from sites 200 m apart produced cues that were sufficiently different to enable the focal fish to discriminate and associate with fish captured near their own home site. The adaptive benefits of this social recognition mechanism remain unclear, though they may allow fish to orient within their social environment and gain current local information. PMID:17284411

  1. Analysis of airborne microorganisms, MVOC and odour in the surrounding of composting facilities and implications for future investigations.

    PubMed

    Fischer, Guido; Albrecht, Andreas; Jäckel, Udo; Kämpfer, Peter

    2008-03-01

    Emission and dispersal of microorganisms and odours from composting facilities were studied in a 3-year project at nine different composting facilities in Germany. Measurements were carried out under so-called 'normal-case', i.e. typical local climate conditions and working activities within the facilities, and 'real worst-case' conditions ('drainage flow' conditions) being characterized by the translocation of cold air mostly at night, and containing large amounts of bioaerosols. Highest concentrations of microorganisms were observed during turning of compost with a maximum of 2.4x10(6)cfu m(-3) for thermophilic actinomycetes. Other groups of microorganisms were detected in concentrations of about 10(5)cfu m(-3). During shredding of fresh organic material, the concentrations of all microorganisms reached 10(4)cfu m(-3). Here, odour concentrations turned out to be highest (up to 1,367 odour units (OU)m(-3)). At facilities equipped with a biofilter (odour reduction), a decrease in OU by a factor of 10 was observed. In the surrounding of the facilities, highest concentrations ranged between 10(1)-10(3)cfu m(-3) upwind and from 10(1)-10(4)cfu m(-3) downwind. The specific local meteorological situations must be considered carefully in advance and during sampling. Especially 'drainage flow' situations can lead to high microorganism concentrations (>10(4)-10(5)cfu m(-3) of thermophilic actinomycetes and thermophilic fungi) in the surroundings of composting facilities.

  2. Field background odour should be taken into account when formulating a pest attractant based on plant volatiles.

    PubMed

    Cai, Xiaoming; Bian, Lei; Xu, Xiuxiu; Luo, Zongxiu; Li, Zhaoqun; Chen, Zongmao

    2017-02-02

    Attractants for pest monitoring and controlling can be developed based on plant volatiles. Previously, we showed that tea leafhopper (Empoasca onukii) preferred grapevine, peach plant, and tea plant odours to clean air. In this research, we formulated three blends with similar attractiveness to leafhoppers as peach, grapevine, and tea plant volatiles; these blends were composed of (Z)-3-hexenyl acetate, (E)-ocimene, (E)-4,8-dimethyl-1,3,7-nonatriene, benzaldehyde, and ethyl benzoate. Based on these five compounds, we developed two attractants, formula-P and formula-G. The specific component relative to tea plant volatiles in formula-P was benzaldehyde, and that in formula-G was ethyl benzoate. These two compounds played a role in attracting leafhoppers. In laboratory assays, the two attractants were more attractive than tea plant volatiles to the leafhoppers, and had a similar level of attractiveness. However, the leafhoppers were not attracted to formula-P in the field. A high concentration of benzaldehyde was detected in the background odour of the tea plantations. In laboratory tests, benzaldehyde at the field concentration was attractive to leafhoppers. Our results indicate that the field background odour can interfere with a point-releasing attractant when their components overlap, and that a successful attractant must differ from the field background odour.

  3. Wind tunnels vs. flux chambers: Area source emission measurements and the necessity for VOC and odour correction factors

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Wind tunnels and flux chambers have been used to measure fluxes of volatile organic compounds (VOC), odour, and ammonia (NH3) with little regard to air velocity or sweep air flow rates. As a result, flux measurements have been highly variable and scientists have been in disagreement as to the better...

  4. Field background odour should be taken into account when formulating a pest attractant based on plant volatiles

    PubMed Central

    Cai, Xiaoming; Bian, Lei; Xu, Xiuxiu; Luo, Zongxiu; Li, Zhaoqun; Chen, Zongmao

    2017-01-01

    Attractants for pest monitoring and controlling can be developed based on plant volatiles. Previously, we showed that tea leafhopper (Empoasca onukii) preferred grapevine, peach plant, and tea plant odours to clean air. In this research, we formulated three blends with similar attractiveness to leafhoppers as peach, grapevine, and tea plant volatiles; these blends were composed of (Z)-3-hexenyl acetate, (E)-ocimene, (E)-4,8-dimethyl-1,3,7-nonatriene, benzaldehyde, and ethyl benzoate. Based on these five compounds, we developed two attractants, formula-P and formula-G. The specific component relative to tea plant volatiles in formula-P was benzaldehyde, and that in formula-G was ethyl benzoate. These two compounds played a role in attracting leafhoppers. In laboratory assays, the two attractants were more attractive than tea plant volatiles to the leafhoppers, and had a similar level of attractiveness. However, the leafhoppers were not attracted to formula-P in the field. A high concentration of benzaldehyde was detected in the background odour of the tea plantations. In laboratory tests, benzaldehyde at the field concentration was attractive to leafhoppers. Our results indicate that the field background odour can interfere with a point-releasing attractant when their components overlap, and that a successful attractant must differ from the field background odour. PMID:28150728

  5. Acceptability of boar meat by consumers depending on their age, gender, culinary habits, and sensitivity and appreciation of androstenone odour.

    PubMed

    Font I Furnols, M; Gispert, M; Diestre, A; Oliver, M A

    2003-08-01

    Sensitivity of the consumers to androstenone, evaluated as the degree of smell (strong/weak) perceived by smelling the pure compound, is important in determining their acceptability of pork with different levels of androstenone and skatole. However, 8% (3.3% women and 16.2% men) of highly sensitive consumers like this odour, and 12.7% (9.1% women and 15.9% men) of mildly sensitive/insensitive consumers dislike it. The effect of the appreciation (like/dislike) of the smell in the acceptability of pork samples has not been reported previously. The aim of this paper is to ascertain if this liking for androstenone odour affects pork acceptability as well as the gender, age, and culinary habits of the consumers. Consumers evaluated the flavour and odour of five cooked and reheated samples, and recorded their acceptability on a 7-step scale. Results showed that acceptability of pork increases when the frequency of cooking and eating fresh pork are higher. The acceptability also differed depending on the sensitivity of the consumer within each age group. Appreciability of androstenone odour discriminates more than sensitivity in consumers' acceptance of pork.

  6. New antiaxillary odour deodorant made with antimicrobial Ag-zeolite (silver-exchanged zeolite).

    PubMed

    Nakane, T; Gomyo, H; Sasaki, I; Kimoto, Y; Hanzawa, N; Teshima, Y; Namba, T

    2006-08-01

    The causative substances for axillary osmidrosis, which are often found in apocrine sweat, are the decomposed/denatured products of short-chain fatty acid and other biological metabolite compounds produced by axillary-resident bacteria. Conventional underarm deodorants suppress the process of odour production mostly by the following mechanism: (1) suppression of perspiration, (2) reduction in numbers of resident bacteria, (3) deodorization and (4) masking. The most important and effective method to reduce odour is to suppress the growth of resident bacteria with antimicrobials, which have several drawbacks, especially in their safety aspect. To solve these problems, we focused on Ag-zeolite (silver-exchanged zeolite) that hold stable Ag, an inorganic bactericidal agent, in its structure, and therefore, poses less risk in safety. Its bactericidal effect on skin-resident bacteria was found to be excellent and comparable with that of triclosan, a most frequently used organic antimicrobial in this product category. The dose-response study of Ag-zeolite powder spray (0-40 w/w%) using 39 volunteers revealed that 5-40 w/w% Ag-zeolite could show a sufficient antimicrobial effect against skin-resident bacteria. The comparison study using 0.2 w/w% triclosan as the control and 10 w/w% Ag-zeolite indicated that: (1) one application of the powder spray containing 10 w/w% Ag-zeolite could show a sufficient antimicrobial effect against the resident bacteria and its effect continued for 24 h, (2) a powder spray containing 0.2 w/w% triclosan was unable to show a sufficient antimicrobial effect, and (3) no adverse event was observed. These studies show that Ag-zeolite has a superior antimicrobial ability that is rarely found in conventional antimicrobials used in deodorant products and a strong antiaxillary odour deodorant ability because of its long-lasting effect. During clinical study, patch tests with humans and other clinical studies of this product showed no adverse events

  7. Interactions of carbon dioxide and food odours in Drosophila: olfactory hedonics and sensory neuron properties.

    PubMed

    Faucher, Cécile P; Hilker, Monika; de Bruyne, Marien

    2013-01-01

    Behavioural responses of animals to volatiles in their environment are generally dependent on context. Most natural odours are mixtures of components that can each induce different behaviours when presented on their own. We have investigated how a complex of two olfactory stimuli is evaluated by Drosophila flies in a free-flying two-trap choice assay and how these stimuli are encoded in olfactory receptor neurons. We first observed that volatiles from apple cider vinegar attracted flies while carbon dioxide (CO2) was avoided, confirming their inherent positive and negative values. In contradiction with previous results obtained from walking flies in a four-field olfactometer, in the present assay the addition of CO2 to vinegar increased rather than decreased the attractiveness of vinegar. This effect was female-specific even though males and females responded similarly to CO2 and vinegar on their own. To test whether the female-specific behavioural response to the mixture correlated with a sexual dimorphism at the peripheral level we recorded from olfactory receptor neurons stimulated with vinegar, CO2 and their combination. Responses to vinegar were obtained from three neuron classes, two of them housed with the CO2-responsive neuron in ab1 sensilla. Sensitivity of these neurons to both CO2 and vinegar per se did not differ between males and females and responses from female neurons did not change when CO2 and vinegar were presented simultaneously. We also found that CO2-sensitive neurons are particularly well adapted to respond rapidly to small concentration changes irrespective of background CO2 levels. The ability to encode temporal properties of stimulations differs considerably between CO2- and vinegar-sensitive neurons. These properties may have important implications for in-flight navigation when rapid responses to fragmented odour plumes are crucial to locate odour sources. However, the flies' sex-specific response to the CO2-vinegar combination and the

  8. Characterization of volatile metabolites associated with confinement odour during the shelf-life of vacuum packed lamb meat under different storage conditions.

    PubMed

    Reis, Marlon M; Reis, Mariza G; Mills, John; Ross, Colleen; Brightwell, Gale

    2016-03-01

    Confinement odour was investigated. Volatiles were extracted directly from the pack, using solid phase microextraction and analysed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Sensory evaluation and microbiological analysis of the meat surface were also performed. Commercial samples of vacuum packed lamb legs (n=85), from two meat processing plants, were kept for 7weeks at -1.5°C then at different regimes of temperature (-1.5 to +4°C) until 11, 12 or 13weeks. Persistent odour was observed in 66% of samples, confinement odour in 24% and no odour in 11%. Volatiles associated with confinement odour (3-methyl-butanal, 3-hydroxy-2-butanone and sulphur dioxide) corresponded with end/sub products of glucose fermentation and catabolism of amino acids by bacteria (all bacteria naturally found in meat and do not represent a risk to health). Confinement odour could indicate a stage at which the environment for bacteria growth is becoming favourable for the production of volatiles with strong odours that are noticed by the consumer.

  9. Odours from pulp mill effluent treatment ponds: the origin of significant levels of geosmin and 2-methylisoborneol (MIB).

    PubMed

    Watson, Susan B; Ridal, Jeff; Zaitlin, Beryl; Lo, Amy

    2003-06-01

    Pulp and paper mills are well known for their sharp, sulphurous stack emissions, but the secondary treatment units also can be significant contributors to local odour. This study investigated the source(s) of earthy/musty emissions from a mixed hardwood pulp mill in response to a high local odour. Samples from five sites in the mill over five months were analyzed for earthy/musty volatile organic compounds (VOCs), examined microscopically, and plated for bacteria and moulds. In all cases, activated sludge showed substantial geosmin levels and to a lesser extent 2-methylisoborneol (MIB) at 2000-9000 times their odour threshold concentrations (OTCs). These VOCs were lower or absent upstream and downstream, suggesting that they were produced within the bioreactor. Geosmin and MIB were highest in late summer and declined over winter, and correlated with different operating parameters. Geosmin was most closely coupled with temperature and MIB with nitrogen uptake. Cyanobacteria were present in all sludge samples, but actinomycetes were not found. Gram-negative bacteria and one fungal species isolated from the bioreactor and secondary outfall tested negative for geosmin or MIB. We conclude: (i) geosmin and MIB contribute significantly to airborne odours from this mill, but are diluted below OTC levels at the river; (ii) these VOCs are generated by biota in the activated sludge; and (iii) cyanobacteria are likely primary source(s). The growth of cyanobacteria in activated sludge represents a loss of energy to the heterotrophic population; thus earthy/musty odours may represent a diagnostic for less than optimal conditions.

  10. Odour and flavour thresholds of gasoline additives (MTBE, ETBE and TAME) and their occurrence in Dutch drinking water collection areas.

    PubMed

    van Wezel, Annemarie; Puijker, Leo; Vink, Cees; Versteegh, Ans; de Voogt, Pim

    2009-07-01

    The use of ETBE (ethyl-tert-butylether) as gasoline additive has recently grown rapidly. Contamination of aquatic systems is well documented for MTBE (methyl-tert-butylether), but less for other gasoline additives. Due to their mobility they may easily reach drinking water collection areas. Odour and flavour thresholds of MTBE are known to be low, but for ETBE and TAME (methyl-tert-amylether) hardly information is available. The objective here is to determine these thresholds for MTBE, ETBE and TAME, and relate these to concentrations monitored in thousands of samples from Dutch drinking water collection areas. For ETBE odour and flavour thresholds are low with 1-2microgL(-1), for MTBE and TAME they range from 7 to 16microg L(-1). In most groundwater collection areas MTBE concentrations are below 0.1microg L(-1). In phreatic groundwaters in sandy soils not covered by a protective soil layer, occasionally MTBE occurs at higher concentrations. For surface water collection areas a minority of the locations is free of MTBE. For river bank and dune infiltrates, at a few locations the odour and flavour threshold is exceeded. For ETBE fewer monitoring data are available. ETBE was found in 2 out of 37 groundwater collection areas, in concentrations below 1microgL(-1). In the surface water collection areas monitored ETBE was found in concentrations near to the odour and flavour thresholds. The low odour and flavour thresholds combined with the high mobility and persistence of these compounds, their high production volumes and their increased use may yield problems with future production of drinking water.

  11. Indoor mildew odour in old housing was associated with adult allergic symptoms, asthma, chronic bronchitis, vision, sleep and self-rated health: USA NHANES, 2005-2006.

    PubMed

    Shiue, Ivy

    2015-09-01

    A recent systematic review and meta-analysis has shown the effect of indoor mildew odour on allergic rhinitis risk, but its relation to other common chronic health outcomes in adults has not been investigated. Therefore, it was aimed to examine the relationship of indoor mildew odour and common health outcomes in adults in a national and population-based setting. Data was retrieved from the United States National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys, 2005-2006, including the available information on demographics, housing characteristics, self-reported health conditions and urinary concentrations of environmental chemicals. T test, chi-squared test and survey-weighted logistic regression modelling were performed. Of all American adults (n = 4979), 744 (15.1%) reported indoor mildew odour or musty smell in their households. People who reported indoor mildew odour or musty smell also reported poorer self-rated health, sleep complaints, chronic bronchitis, asthma attack, itchy rash, sneezing and poor vision. In addition, people who reported indoor mildew odour or musty smell also tended to reside in older housing that were built 20 years earlier. However, there were no significant statistical associations found between indoor mildew odour or musty smell and urinary concentrations of environmental chemicals, which was also found to be associated with old housing. People who lived in older housing with indoor mildew odour or musty smell tended to have chronic health problems. To protect occupants in old housing from chronic illnesses associated with indoor mildew odour, elimination of the odour sources should be explored in future research and therefore public health and housing programs. Graphical abstract Pathway from old housing to musty smell, environmental chemicals and then health outcomes.

  12. Gas recognition using a neural network approach to plasma optical emission spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hyland, Mark; Mariotti, Davide; Dubitzky, Werner; McLaughlin, James A.; Maguire, Paul

    2000-10-01

    A system has been developed which enables the detection and recognition of various gases. Plasma emission spectroscopy has been used to record spectra from volatile species of acetone, vinegar, and coffee beans, along with air and nitrogen spectra. The spectra have been uniquely processed and fed into an artificial neural network program for training and recognition of unknown gases. The system as a whole can be grouped into the emerging and diverse area of artificial nose technology. The sy stem has shown to provide a solution to the recognition of simple gases and odours (air, nitrogen, acetone) and could also satisfactorily recognise more complex samples (vinegar and coffee beans). Recognition is performed in seconds; this being a positive aspect for many artificial nose applications.

  13. Odour cues from suitors' nests determine mating success in a fish.

    PubMed

    Lehtonen, Topi K; Kvarnemo, Charlotta

    2015-05-01

    Animals use a range of sensory cues for finding food, avoiding predators and choosing mates. In this regard, the aquatic environment is particularly suitable for the use of olfactory and other chemical cues. Nevertheless, mate choice research, even on aquatic organisms, has focused on visual signals, while chemical cues relevant in sexual selection have been assumed to be 'intrinsic' excretions of mate candidates. Here, using the sand goby Pomatoschistus minutus, a small fish with paternal egg care, we investigated the possibility that 'extrinsic' chemical cues in the males' nests could also have a significant contribution to mating success. We found that females strongly avoided laying eggs into nests subject to the odour of Saprolegnia water moulds (an egg infection) and that this effect was independent of the females' initial, visually based preference for males. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to show that chemical cues related to parental failure can play a large role in sexual selection.

  14. Odour sampling. 2. Comparison of physical and aerodynamic characteristics of sampling devices: a review.

    PubMed

    Hudson, N; Ayoko, G A

    2008-07-01

    Sampling devices differing greatly in shape, size and operating condition have been used to collect air samples to determine rates of emission of volatile substances, including odour. However, physical chemistry principles, in particular the partitioning of volatile substances between two phases as explained by Henrys Law and the relationship between wind velocity and emission rate, suggests that different devices cannot be expected to provide equivalent emission rate estimates. Thus several problems are associated with the use of static and dynamic emission chambers, but the more turbulent devices such as wind tunnels do not appear to be subject to these problems. In general, the ability to relate emission rate estimates obtained from wind tunnel measurements to those derived from device-independent techniques supports the use of wind tunnels to determine emission rates that can be used as input data for dispersion models.

  15. UV/chlorine control of drinking water taste and odour at pilot and full-scale.

    PubMed

    Wang, Ding; Bolton, James R; Andrews, Susan A; Hofmann, Ron

    2015-10-01

    Advanced oxidation processes (AOPs) can be used to destroy taste and odour-causing compounds in drinking water. This work investigated both pilot- and full-scale performance of the novel ultraviolet (UV)/chlorine AOP for the destruction of geosmin, 2-methylisoborneol (MIB) and caffeine (as a surrogate) in two different surface waters. The efficiency of the UV/chlorine process at pH 7.5 and 8.5 was comparable to that of the UV/hydrogen peroxide (UV/H2O2) process under parallel conditions, and was superior at pH 6.5. Caffeine was found to be a suitable surrogate for geosmin and MIB, and could be used as a more economical alternative to geosmin or MIB spiking for site-specific full-scale testing.

  16. Floral odour chemistry defines species boundaries and underpins strong reproductive isolation in sexually deceptive orchids

    PubMed Central

    Peakall, Rod; Whitehead, Michael R.

    2014-01-01

    Background and Aims The events leading to speciation are best investigated in systems where speciation is ongoing or incomplete, such as incipient species. By examining reproductive barriers among incipient sister taxa and their congeners we can gain valuable insights into the relative timing and importance of the various barriers involved in the speciation process. The aim of this study was to identify the reproductive barriers among sexually deceptive orchid taxa in the genus Chiloglottis. Methods The study targeted four closely related taxa with varying degrees of geographic overlap. Chemical, morphological and genetic evidence was combined to explore the basis of reproductive isolation. Of primary interest was the degree of genetic differentiation among taxa at both nuclear and chloroplast DNA markers. To objectively test whether or not species boundaries are defined by the chemistry that controls pollinator specificity, genetic analysis was restricted to samples of known odour chemistry. Key Results Floral odour chemical analysis was performed for 600+ flowers. The three sympatric taxa were defined by their specific chiloglottones, the semiochemicals responsible for pollinator attraction, and were found to be fully cross-compatible. Multivariate morphometric analysis could not reliably distinguish among the four taxa. Although varying from very low to moderate, significant levels of genetic differentiation were detected among all pairwise combinations of taxa at both nuclear and chloroplast loci. However, the levels of genetic differentiation were lower than expected for mature species. Critically, a lack of chloroplast DNA haplotype sharing among the morphologically indistinguishable and most closely related taxon pair confirmed that chemistry alone can define taxon boundaries. Conclusions The results confirmed that pollinator isolation, mediated by specific pollinator attraction, underpins strong reproductive isolation in these taxa. A combination of large

  17. Odour-Mediated Orientation of Beetles Is Influenced by Age, Sex and Morph

    PubMed Central

    Arnold, Sarah E. J.; Stevenson, Philip C.; Belmain, Steven R.

    2012-01-01

    The behaviour of insects is dictated by a combination of factors and may vary considerably between individuals, but small insects are often considered en masse and thus these differences can be overlooked. For example, the cowpea bruchid Callosobruchus maculatus F. exists naturally in two adult forms: the active (flight) form for dispersal, and the inactive (flightless), more fecund but shorter-lived form. Given that these morphs show dissimilar biology, it is possible that they differ in odour-mediated orientation and yet studies of this species frequently neglect to distinguish morph type, or are carried out only on the inactive morph. Along with sex and age of individual, adult morph could be an important variable determining the biology of this and similar species, informing studies on evolution, ecology and pest management. We used an olfactometer with motion-tracking to investigate whether the olfactory behaviour and orientation of C. maculatus towards infested and uninfested cowpeas and a plant-derived repellent compound, methyl salicylate, differed between morphs or sexes. We found significant differences between the behaviour of male and female beetles and beetles of different ages, as well as interactive effects of sex, morph and age, in response to both host and repellent odours. This study demonstrates that behavioural experiments on insects should control for sex and age, while also considering differences between adult morphs where present in insect species. This finding has broad implications for fundamental entomological research, particularly when exploring the relationships between physiology, behaviour and evolutionary biology, and the application of crop protection strategies. PMID:23145074

  18. Field testing of different chemical combinations as odour baits for trapping wild mosquitoes in The Gambia.

    PubMed

    Jawara, Musa; Awolola, Taiwo S; Pinder, Margaret; Jeffries, David; Smallegange, Renate C; Takken, Willem; Conway, David J

    2011-01-01

    Odour baited traps have potential use in population surveillance of insect vectors of disease, and in some cases for vector population reduction. Established attractants for human host-seeking mosquitoes include a combination of CO(2) with L-lactic acid and ammonia, on top of which additional candidate compounds are being tested. In this field study in rural Gambia, using Latin square experiments with thorough randomization and replication, we tested nine different leading candidate combinations of chemical odorants for attractiveness to wild mosquitoes including anthropophilic malaria vectors, using modified Mosquito Magnet-X (MM-X) counterflow traps outside experimental huts containing male human sleepers. Highest catches of female mosquitoes, particularly of An. gambiae s.l. and Mansonia species, were obtained by incorporation of tetradecanoic acid. As additional carboxylic acids did not increase the trap catches further, this 'reference blend' (tetradecanoic acid with L-lactic acid, ammonia and CO(2)) was used in subsequent experiments. MM-X traps with this blend caught similar numbers of An. gambiae s.l. and slightly more Mansonia and Culex mosquitoes than a standard CDC light trap, and these numbers were not significantly affected by the presence or absence of human sleepers in the huts. Experiments with CO(2) produced from overnight yeast cultures showed that this organic source was effective in enabling trap attractiveness for all mosquito species, although at a slightly lower efficiency than obtained with use of CO(2) gas cylinders. Although further studies are needed to discover additional chemicals that increase attractiveness, as well as to optimise trap design and CO(2) source for broader practical use, the odour-baited traps described here are safe and effective for sampling host-seeking mosquitoes outdoors and can be incorporated into studies of malaria vector ecology.

  19. Generalization of learned predator recognition: an experimental test and framework for future studies

    PubMed Central

    Ferrari, Maud C.O; Gonzalo, Adega; Messier, François; Chivers, Douglas P

    2007-01-01

    While some prey species possess an innate recognition of their predators, others require learning to recognize their predators. The specific characteristics of the predators that prey learn and whether prey can generalize this learning to similar predatory threats have been virtually ignored. Here, we investigated whether fathead minnows that learned to chemically recognize a specific predator species as a threat has the ability to generalize their recognition to closely related predators. We found that minnows trained to recognize the odour of a lake trout as a threat (the reference predator) generalized their responses to brook trout (same genus as lake trout) and rainbow trout (same family), but did not generalize to a distantly related predatory pike or non-predatory suckers. We also found that the intensity of antipredator responses to the other species was correlated with the phylogenetic distance to the reference predator; minnows responded with a higher intensity response to brook trout than rainbow trout. This is the first study showing that prey have the ability to exhibit generalization of predator odour recognition. We discuss these results and provide a theoretical framework for future studies of generalization of predator recognition. PMID:17519190

  20. Context affects nestmate recognition errors in honey bees and stingless bees.

    PubMed

    Couvillon, Margaret J; Segers, Francisca H I D; Cooper-Bowman, Roseanne; Truslove, Gemma; Nascimento, Daniela L; Nascimento, Fabio S; Ratnieks, Francis L W

    2013-08-15

    Nestmate recognition studies, where a discriminator first recognises and then behaviourally discriminates (accepts/rejects) another individual, have used a variety of methodologies and contexts. This is potentially problematic because recognition errors in discrimination behaviour are predicted to be context-dependent. Here we compare the recognition decisions (accept/reject) of discriminators in two eusocial bees, Apis mellifera and Tetragonisca angustula, under different contexts. These contexts include natural guards at the hive entrance (control); natural guards held in plastic test arenas away from the hive entrance that vary either in the presence or absence of colony odour or the presence or absence of an additional nestmate discriminator; and, for the honey bee, the inside of the nest. For both honey bee and stingless bee guards, total recognition errors of behavioural discrimination made by guards (% nestmates rejected + % non-nestmates accepted) are much lower at the colony entrance (honey bee: 30.9%; stingless bee: 33.3%) than in the test arenas (honey bee: 60-86%; stingless bee: 61-81%; P<0.001 for both). Within the test arenas, the presence of colony odour specifically reduced the total recognition errors in honey bees, although this reduction still fell short of bringing error levels down to what was found at the colony entrance. Lastly, in honey bees, the data show that the in-nest collective behavioural discrimination by ca. 30 workers that contact an intruder is insufficient to achieve error-free recognition and is not as effective as the discrimination by guards at the entrance. Overall, these data demonstrate that context is a significant factor in a discriminators' ability to make appropriate recognition decisions, and should be considered when designing recognition study methodologies.

  1. Perception, representation and recognition: a holistic view of recognition.

    PubMed

    Christou, C; Bülthoff, H H

    2000-01-01

    It is clear that humans have mental representations of their spatial environments and that these representations are useful, if not essential, in a wide variety of cognitive tasks such as identification of landmarks and objects, guiding actions and navigation and in directing spatial awareness and attention. Determining the properties of mental representation has long been a contentious issue (see Pinker, 1984). One method of probing the nature of human representation is by studying the extent to which representation can surpass or go beyond the visual (or sensory) experience from which it derives. From a strictly empiricist standpoint what is not sensed cannot be represented; except as a combination of things that have been experienced. But perceptual experience is always limited by our view of the world and the properties of our visual system. It is therefore not surprising when human representation is found to be highly dependent on the initial viewpoint of the observer and on any shortcomings thereof. However, representation is not a static entity; it evolves with experience. The debate as to whether human representation of objects is view-dependent or view-invariant that has dominated research journals recently may simply be a discussion concerning how much information is available in the retinal image during experimental tests and whether this information is sufficient for the task at hand. Here we review an approach to the study of the development of human spatial representation under realistic problem solving scenarios. This is facilitated by the use of realistic virtual environments, exploratory learning and redundancy in visual detail.

  2. Holistic processing predicts face recognition.

    PubMed

    Richler, Jennifer J; Cheung, Olivia S; Gauthier, Isabel

    2011-04-01

    The concept of holistic processing is a cornerstone of face-recognition research. In the study reported here, we demonstrated that holistic processing predicts face-recognition abilities on the Cambridge Face Memory Test and on a perceptual face-identification task. Our findings validate a large body of work that relies on the assumption that holistic processing is related to face recognition. These findings also reconcile the study of face recognition with the perceptual-expertise work it inspired; such work links holistic processing of objects with people's ability to individuate them. Our results differ from those of a recent study showing no link between holistic processing and face recognition. This discrepancy can be attributed to the use in prior research of a popular but flawed measure of holistic processing. Our findings salvage the central role of holistic processing in face recognition and cast doubt on a subset of the face-perception literature that relies on a problematic measure of holistic processing.

  3. Can prey exhibit threat-sensitive generalization of predator recognition? Extending the Predator Recognition Continuum Hypothesis

    PubMed Central

    Ferrari, Maud C.O; Messier, François; Chivers, Douglas P

    2008-01-01

    Despite the importance of predator recognition in mediating predator–prey interactions, we know little about the specific characteristics that prey use to distinguish predators from non-predators. Recent experiments indicate that some prey who do not innately recognize specific predators as threats have the ability to display antipredator responses upon their first encounter with those predators if they are similar to predators that the prey has recently learned to recognize. The purpose of our present experiment is to test whether this generalization of predator recognition is dependent on the level of risk associated with the known predator. We conditioned fathead minnows to chemically recognize brown trout either as a high or low threat and then tested the minnows for their responses to brown trout, rainbow trout (closely related predator) or yellow perch (distantly related predator). When the brown trout represents a high-risk predator, minnows show an antipredator response to the odour of brown trout and rainbow trout but not to yellow perch. However, when the brown trout represents a low-risk predator, minnows display antipredator responses to brown trout, but not to the rainbow trout or yellow perch. We discuss these results in the context of the Predator Recognition Continuum Hypothesis. PMID:18445564

  4. Conjoint Recognition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brainerd, C. J.; Reyna, V. F.; Mojardin, A. H.

    1999-01-01

    Reviews some limiting properties of the process-dissociation model as it applies to the study of dual-process conceptions of memory. A second-generation model (conjoint recognition) is proposed to address these limitations and supply additional capabilities. Worked applications to data are provided. (Author/GCP)

  5. Pattern Perception and Pictures for the Blind

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Heller, Morton A.; McCarthy, Melissa; Clark, Ashley

    2005-01-01

    This article reviews recent research on perception of tangible pictures in sighted and blind people. Haptic picture naming accuracy is dependent upon familiarity and access to semantic memory, just as in visual recognition. Performance is high when haptic picture recognition tasks do not depend upon semantic memory. Viewpoint matters for the ease…

  6. Disturbances of spatial perception in children.

    PubMed

    Meerwaldt, J D; van Dongen, H R

    1988-12-01

    Spatial perception was tested in 12 children with a localized brain lesion by means of the rod orientation test, line orientation test and facial recognition test. Only children with a lesion of the right hemisphere showed a disturbance of spatial perception.

  7. Variability and repeatability of olfactometric results of n-butanol, pig odour and a synthetic gas mixture.

    PubMed

    Defoer, N; Van Langenhove, H

    2004-01-01

    For the purposes of a research project for the Flemish authorities, olfactometric measurements were carried out at six closed pig farms and six fattener farms. The results of these olfactometric measurements were compared with the olfactometric results of n-butanol samples and samples of a synthetic gas mixture of ethanethiol, methylacetate and 2-propanol in nitrogen, both analysed on the same days as the air samples from the pig farms. The results of the n-butanol tests for all panellists showed that nobody was qualified according to the CEN criteria, and that, consequently, these criteria are rather stringent. Comparing the variability of the results for the three different odours showed that the mean and standard deviation of the mean variance were not significantly different for the three odour types, which means that the repeatability of the panellist results was equal for the examined odour types. The principle of traceability was checked by comparing the variance of the n-butanol, pig odour and synthetic mixture ratio. For the complete dataset, the principle of traceability could not been proven for n-butanol. For the restricted dataset, the principle of traceability was more valid for n-butanol than for the mixture, but differences were small. Finally, normalization was looked for with regard to olfactometric measurements of air samples from pig arms based either on n-butanol or on the synthetic mixture. Both models had low determination coefficients, but the model based on the synthetic mixture gave better results than the one based on n-butanol.

  8. Study of the art: canine olfaction used for cancer detection on the basis of breath odour. Perspectives and limitations.

    PubMed

    Jezierski, Tadeusz; Walczak, Marta; Ligor, Tomasz; Rudnicka, Joanna; Buszewski, Bogusław

    2015-05-06

    Experimental studies using trained dogs to identify breath odour markers of human cancer, published in the recent decade, have been analyzed and compared with the authors' own results. Particular published studies differ as regards the experimental setup, kind of odour samples (breath, urine, tumor tissue, serum), sample collection methods, dogs' characteristics and dog training methods as well as in results presented in terms of detection sensitivity and specificity. Generally it can be stated that trained dogs are able to distinguish breath odour samples typical for patients with lung cancer and other cancers from samples typical for healthy humans at a 'better than by chance' rate. Dogs' indications were positively correlated with content of 2-pentanone and ethyl acetate (r = 0.97 and r = 0.85 respectively) and negatively correlated with 1-propanol and propanal in breath samples (r = -0.98 and -0.87 respectively). The canine method has some advantages as a potential cancer-screening method, due to its non-invasiveness, simplicity of odour sampling and storage, ease of testing and interpretation of results and relatively low costs. Disadvantages and limitations of this method are related to the fact that it is still not known exactly to which chemical compounds and/or their combinations the dogs react. So far it could not be confirmed that dogs are able to sniff out early preclinical cancer stages with approximately the same accuracy as already diagnosed cases. The detection accuracy may vary due to failure in conditioning of dogs, decreasing motivation or confounding factors. The dogs' performance should be systematically checked in rigorous double-blind procedures. Recommendations for methodological standardization have been proposed.

  9. Use of headspace solid-phase microextraction to characterize odour compounds in subsurface flow constructed wetland for wastewater treatment.

    PubMed

    Huang, Y; Ortiz, L; García, J; Aguirre, P; Mujeriego, R; Bayona, J M

    2004-01-01

    A headspace solid-phase microextraction (HS-SPME) preconcentration method was applied to the analysis of some of the major odorous compounds occurring in wastewater using GC/MS or GC/NPD detection. The detection limit for volatile amines, volatile fatty acids, and volatile alkylsulphides ranged from 3 to 100, 2 to 150, and 0.0006 to 0.035 microg/L, respectively. The SPME method was used to examine the fate of odorous compounds in the subsurface flow constructed wetlands (SFCW) operated under different hydraulic loading rate (HLR), bed aspect ratio, and granular medium size. Among the experimental conditions evaluated in the SFCW beds, HLR was found to be the most important factor influencing the evolution of the studied compounds. There were also significant differences among bed types in the behaviour of ammonia (NH3), acetic acid (Ac), isovaleric acid (IsoA), propionic acid (PrA), and dimethylsulphide. Aspect ratio and medium granular size were minor factors influencing SFCW performance. The major odour compounds by mass in the effluent of SFCW with different operational conditions were NH3 and Ac. Further removal of these two compounds is considered as very important from the viewpoint of chemical composition. On the other hand, Relative Odour Intensity (ROI: ratio between the absolute concentration to the odour threshold concentration) suggested that PrA and IsoA were the two major compounds responsible for odour intensity. Thus, further removal of these two compounds is viewed as very important for the effluent deodorization, especially for PrA. From our results, this compound appears to be produced by processes occurring in the SFCW.

  10. Automatic speech recognition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Espy-Wilson, Carol

    2005-04-01

    Great strides have been made in the development of automatic speech recognition (ASR) technology over the past thirty years. Most of this effort has been centered around the extension and improvement of Hidden Markov Model (HMM) approaches to ASR. Current commercially-available and industry systems based on HMMs can perform well for certain situational tasks that restrict variability such as phone dialing or limited voice commands. However, the holy grail of ASR systems is performance comparable to humans-in other words, the ability to automatically transcribe unrestricted conversational speech spoken by an infinite number of speakers under varying acoustic environments. This goal is far from being reached. Key to the success of ASR is effective modeling of variability in the speech signal. This tutorial will review the basics of ASR and the various ways in which our current knowledge of speech production, speech perception and prosody can be exploited to improve robustness at every level of the system.

  11. Conjoint recognition.

    PubMed

    Brainerd, C J; Reyna, V F; Mojardin, A H

    1999-01-01

    The process-dissociation model has stimulated important advances in the study of dual-process conceptions of memory. The authors review some limiting properties of that model and consider the degree of support for its parent theory (the recollection-familiarity distinction). A 2nd-generation model (conjoint recognition) is proposed that addresses these limitations and supplies additional capabilities, such as goodness-of-fit tests, the ability to measure dual processes for false-memory responses, and statistical procedures for testing within- and between-conditions hypotheses about its parameters. The conjoint-recognition model also implements an alternative theoretical interpretation (the identity-similarity distinction of fuzzy-trace theory). Worked applications to data are provided.

  12. Responses to colour and host odour cues in three cereal pest species, in the context of ecology and control.

    PubMed

    Arnold, S E J; Stevenson, P C; Belmain, S R

    2015-08-01

    Many insects show a greater attraction to multimodal cues, e.g. odour and colour combined, than to either cue alone. Despite the potential to apply the knowledge to improve control strategies, studies of multiple stimuli have not been undertaken for stored product pest insects. We tested orientation towards a food odour (crushed white maize) in combination with a colour cue (coloured paper with different surface spectral reflectance properties) in three storage pest beetle species, using motion tracking to monitor their behaviour. While the maize weevil, Sitophilus zeamais (Motsch.), showed attraction to both odour and colour stimuli, particularly to both cues in combination, this was not observed in the bostrichid pests Rhyzopertha dominica (F.) (lesser grain borer) or Prostephanus truncatus (Horn) (larger grain borer). The yellow stimulus was particularly attractive to S. zeamais, and control experiments showed that this was neither a result of the insects moving towards darker-coloured areas of the arena, nor their being repelled by optical brighteners in white paper. Visual stimuli may play a role in location of host material by S. zeamais, and can be used to inform trap design for the control or monitoring of maize weevils. The lack of visual responses by the two grain borers is likely to relate to their different host-seeking behaviours and ecological background, which should be taken into account when devising control methods.

  13. Disruption of Kcc2-dependent inhibition of olfactory bulb output neurons suggests its importance in odour discrimination

    PubMed Central

    Gödde, Kathrin; Gschwend, Olivier; Puchkov, Dmytro; Pfeffer, Carsten K.; Carleton, Alan; Jentsch, Thomas J.

    2016-01-01

    Synaptic inhibition in the olfactory bulb (OB), the first relay station of olfactory information, is believed to be important for odour discrimination. We interfered with GABAergic inhibition of mitral and tufted cells (M/T cells), the principal neurons of the OB, by disrupting their potassium-chloride cotransporter 2 (Kcc2). Roughly, 70% of mice died around 3 weeks, but surviving mice appeared normal. In these mice, the resulting increase in the intracellular Cl− concentration nearly abolished GABA-induced hyperpolarization of mitral cells (MCs) and unexpectedly increased the number of perisomatic synapses on MCs. In vivo analysis of odorant-induced OB electrical activity revealed increased M/T cell firing rate, altered phasing of action potentials in the breath cycle and disrupted separation of odour-induced M/T cell activity patterns. Mice also demonstrated a severely impaired ability to discriminate chemically similar odorants or odorant mixtures. Our work suggests that precisely tuned GABAergic inhibition onto M/T cells is crucial for M/T cell spike pattern separation needed to distinguish closely similar odours. PMID:27389623

  14. The use of an odour wheel classification for the evaluation of human health risk criteria for compost facilities.

    PubMed

    Rosenfeld, P E; Clark, J J J; Hensley, A R; Suftet, I H

    2007-01-01

    Odorants are released during the decomposition of organic waste at compost treatment plants. Composting releases volatile organic chemicals (VOCs), including alcohols, aldehydes, volatile fatty acids, ammonia and other nitrogen compounds, senobiotic solvents, and various sulphur compounds into the environment as categorised by a compost odor wheel. Each odorant possesses a characteristic odour signature--quality and threshold as well as a tosicity value. This paper presents data relating the human odour detection limit to human health threshold criteria developed by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Occupational Satety and Health Administration, the United States Environmental Protection Agency Region 9 and the World Health Organisation. This comparison indicates that: (1) the human odour threshold concentrations (OTO) for most compost odorants are far lower than their respective human health risk (regulatory) threshold values, (2) several compost odorants have OTC that are below some of their respective regulatory thresholds and above others (i.e. dimethyl amine, formic acid acetone, ethyl benzene and toluene) and (3) only the VOCs probably present as contaminants in the raw composting material have OTC greater than all of its regulatory thresholds (i.e. benzene). Benzene is the most hazardous VOC associated with compoating and should be monitored.

  15. Evaluation of a novel wind tunnel for the measurement of the kinetics of odour emissions from piggery effluent.

    PubMed

    Sohn, J H; Smith, R; Yoong, E; Hudson, N; Kim, T I

    2004-01-01

    A novel laboratory wind tunnel, with the capability to control factors such as air flow-rate, was developed to measure the kinetics of odour emissions from liquid effluent. The tunnel allows the emission of odours and other volatiles under an atmospheric transport system similar to ambient conditions. Sensors for wind speed, temperature and humidity were installed and calibrated. To calibrate the wind tunnel, trials were performed to determine the gas recovery efficiency under different air flow-rates (ranging from 0.001 to 0.028m3/s) and gas supply rates (ranging from 2.5 to 10.0 L/min) using a standard CO gas mixture. The results have shown gas recovery efficiencies ranging from 61.7 to 106.8%, while the average result from the trials was 81.14%. From statistical analysis, it was observed that the highest, most reliable gas recovery efficiency of the tunnel was 88.9%. The values of air flow-rate and gas supply rate corresponding to the highest gas recovery efficiency were 0.028 m3/s and 10.0 L/min respectively. This study suggested that the wind tunnel would provide precise estimates of odour emission rate. However, the wind tunnel needs to be calibrated to compensate for errors caused by different air flow-rates.

  16. State-dependent and odour-mediated anemotactic responses of the predatory mite Phytoseiulus persimilis in a wind tunnel.

    PubMed

    Van Tilborg, Merijn; Sabelis, Maurice W; Roessingh, Peter

    2004-01-01

    Anemotaxis in the predatory mite Phytoseiulus persimilis (both well-fed and starved), has previously been studied on a wire grid under slight turbulent airflow conditions yielding weak, yet distinct, gradients in wind speed and odour concentration (Sabelis and Van der Weel 1993). Such conditions might have critically influenced the outcome of the study. We repeated these experiments, under laminar airflow conditions on a flat surface in a wind tunnel, thereby avoiding variation in wind speed and odour concentration. Treatments for starved and well-fed mites were (1) still-air without herbivore-induced plant volatiles (HIPV) (well-fed mites only), (2) an HIPV-free air stream, and (3) an air stream with HIPV (originating from Lima bean plants infested by two-spotted spider mites, Tetranychus urticae). Well-fed mites oriented in random directions in still-air without HIPV. In an air stream, starved mites always oriented upwind, whether plant odours were present or not. Well-fed mites oriented downwind in an HIPV-free air stream, but in random directions in an air stream with HIPV. Only under the last treatment our results differed from those of Sabelis and Van der Weel (1993).

  17. Autoimmune hepatitis associated with the odour of fish food proteins: a causal relationship or just a mere association?

    PubMed

    Prandota, J; Stolarczyk, J

    2002-01-01

    We present the case of a 15-year-old boy [HLA phenotype: A 1, 25 (10); B 18, 8; C 7; DR 17 (3), 6] with classic (type 1) autoimmune hepatitis presumably caused by a long-term exposure to the strong odour of food fed to a large number of tropical fish which that the boy kept in tanks in his bedroom. The boy presented with a history of recent symptoms of common cold, and a high cytomegalovirus-IgG titer, both known to activate proinflammatory cytokines. The patient's laboratory results and physical findings improved without specific treatment during his first stay in the hospital for several weeks, as well as when the thanks were removed from his bedroom while disease activity increased after his return home. This suggests that the association with fish food odour (putative volatile protein antigens) was not simply coincidental. Our patien's history is in agreement with the recently postulated pathomechanism of autoimmune hepatitis, according to which viral infections may trigger the disease in a genetically predisposed individuals persistently exposed to a constant antigenic stimulus, which results in ongoing allergic inflammation and finally develops into an immune process. The spontaneous remissions observed in our patient were characteristic of the natural course of autoimmune hepatitis and may reflect periods when he was not exposed to the eventually harmful effects of the odour of fish food proteins.

  18. Managing an odour episode in Barcelona's water supply: strategies adopted, the causative agent (diacetyl) and determination of its organoleptic properties.

    PubMed

    Martín-Alonso, J; Devesa, R; Bernal, A; Matia, L

    2007-01-01

    The Llobregat River is a basic drinking water resource for the city of Barcelona, meeting 40% of the demand. The river runs through a densely populated industrial area, so that it has in its history experienced various episodes due to industrial spills. The present work deals with a recent episode involving diacetyl. To the best of our knowledge this episode is the first time that this compound has been identified as an odour-causing compound in water. In a previous work the analytical method used for the identification of the compound causing the episode was described. The present work focuses its attention on how the episode was handled: action taken at the Sant Joan Despi water treatment plant and the sampling strategy on the river that led to the identification of the company responsible for the spill, a paper mill. It also deals with the role played by the FPA panel in the resolution of the episode: organoleptic description of samples of the problem in the initial phase of the episode (from the treatment plant, distribution network and customer complaints) and, once the compound responsible was identified, the determination of its organoleptic characteristics (odour threshold, odour descriptors, Weber-Fechner curve).

  19. The Role of Object Recognition in Young Infants' Object Segregation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carey, Susan; Williams, Travis

    2001-01-01

    Discusses Needham's findings by asserting that they extend understanding of infant perception by showing that the memory representations infants draw upon have bound together information about shape, color, and pattern. Considers the distinction between two senses of "recognition" and asks in which sense object recognition contributes to object…

  20. Ants use odour cues to exploit fig-fig wasp interactions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schatz, Bertrand; Hossaert-McKey, Martine

    2010-01-01

    Fig wasps may constitute a relatively abundant food source for ants associated with the fig-fig wasp nursery pollination mutualism. We found previously that a Mediterranean ant species detects fig wasps by chemical signals. In this paper we want to test the generality of this finding by studying two tropical ants, Oecophylla smaragdina and Crematogaster sp., preying on fig wasps on the dioecious Ficus fistulosa in Brunei (Borneo). Behavioural tests in a Y-tube olfactometer showed that these two ants were attracted both to odours emitted by receptive figs and to those emitted by fig wasps (male and female of the pollinator, and a non-pollinating fig wasp) used here as a kairomone. Naïve workers were not attracted to fig wasps, suggesting that olfactory learning may play a role in prey detection. We also found that O. smaragdina was much more likely to be present on figs of male trees (where fig wasps are more abundant), and that the abundance of this ant species varied strongly with developmental phase of figs on individual trees. Moreover, its aggressiveness was also strongly influenced by the nature of the object presented in our behavioural tests, the site of the test and the developmental phase of the fig tested. Investigation on the chemical and behavioural ecology of the different interacting species provides important insights into the intricate relationships supported by the fig-fig wasp mutualism.

  1. Costs of female odour in males of the parasitic wasp Lariophagus distinguendus (Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae).

    PubMed

    Ruther, Joachim; Steiner, Sven

    2008-06-01

    The display of female traits by males is widespread in the animal kingdom. In several species, this phenomenon has been shown to function adaptively as a male mating strategy to deceive sexual rivals (female mimicry). Freshly emerged males of the parasitic wasp Lariophagus distinguendus (Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae) are perceived by other males as if they were females because of a very similar composition of cuticular hydrocarbons which function as a sex pheromone in this species inducing courtship behaviour in males. Within 32 h, however, males deactivate the pheromone and are no longer courted by other males. In this paper, behavioural experiments were performed to test hypotheses on potential costs and benefits associated with the female odour in young males. We did not find any benefits, but demonstrated that young males were significantly more often outrivaled in male-male contests when competing with two older males for a female. Also, young males were significantly more often mounted in homosexual courtship events during these contests. Thus, display of female traits by males is not necessarily beneficial, and in fact, can be disadvantageous. We suggest that these costs have favoured the evolution of the pheromone deactivation mechanism in L. distinguendus males. The function of cuticular hydrocarbons as a female courtship pheromone in L. distinguendus might have evolved secondarily from a primary function relevant for both genders, and the deactivation of the signal in males might have caused a shift of specificity of the chemical signal from the species level to the sex level.

  2. Costs of female odour in males of the parasitic wasp Lariophagus distinguendus (Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ruther, Joachim; Steiner, Sven

    2008-06-01

    The display of female traits by males is widespread in the animal kingdom. In several species, this phenomenon has been shown to function adaptively as a male mating strategy to deceive sexual rivals (female mimicry). Freshly emerged males of the parasitic wasp Lariophagus distinguendus (Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae) are perceived by other males as if they were females because of a very similar composition of cuticular hydrocarbons which function as a sex pheromone in this species inducing courtship behaviour in males. Within 32 h, however, males deactivate the pheromone and are no longer courted by other males. In this paper, behavioural experiments were performed to test hypotheses on potential costs and benefits associated with the female odour in young males. We did not find any benefits, but demonstrated that young males were significantly more often outrivaled in male-male contests when competing with two older males for a female. Also, young males were significantly more often mounted in homosexual courtship events during these contests. Thus, display of female traits by males is not necessarily beneficial, and in fact, can be disadvantageous. We suggest that these costs have favoured the evolution of the pheromone deactivation mechanism in L. distinguendus males. The function of cuticular hydrocarbons as a female courtship pheromone in L. distinguendus might have evolved secondarily from a primary function relevant for both genders, and the deactivation of the signal in males might have caused a shift of specificity of the chemical signal from the species level to the sex level.

  3. City Dweller Responses to Multiple Stressors Intruding into Their Homes: Noise, Light, Odour, and Vibration

    PubMed Central

    Pedersen, Eja

    2015-01-01

    Urban densification increases exposure to noise, light, odour, and vibration in urban dwellings. Exposure from combined environmental stressors intruding into the home could increase the risk of adverse effects on wellbeing, even when the exposure is at a relatively low level. This study assesses the prevalence of annoyance with a combination of potential environmental stressors common in urban areas and the association with wellbeing. A questionnaire was sent by mail to residents in five areas in Halmstad (Sweden) with similar socioeconomic and housing characteristics but different exposure (response rate 56%; n = 385). Of the respondents, 50% were annoyed to some degree by at least one of the suggested stressors, most commonly by noise and vibration from local traffic. Structural equation modelling showed that annoyance led to lowered quality of life via the mediating construct residential satisfaction, which in turn was influenced by place attachment and perceived restoration possibilities in the dwelling. Stress had a negative impact on quality of life, but was not directly correlated to annoyance. Stress was however correlated with sensitivity. The findings suggest that dose-response relationships for environmental stressors should be studied in a broader context of environmental and individual factors. Also relatively low levels of exposure should be mitigated, especially if several stressors are present. PMID:25794188

  4. Efficient taste and odour removal by water treatment plants around the Han River water supply system.

    PubMed

    Ahn, H; Chae, S; Kim, S; Wang, C; Summers, R S

    2007-01-01

    Seven major water treatment plants in Seoul Metropolitan Area, which are under Korea Water Resources Corporation (KOWACO)'s management, take water from the Paldang Reservoir in the Han River System for drinking water supply. There are taste and odour (T&O) problems in the finished water because the conventional treatment processes do not efficiently remove the T&O compounds. This study evaluated T&O removal by ozonation, granular activated carbon (GAC) treatment, powder activated carbon (PAC) and an advanced oxidation process in a pilot-scale treatment plant and bench-scale laboratory experiments. During T&O episodes, PAC alone was not adequate, but as a pretreatment together with GAC it could be a useful option. The optimal range of ozone dose was 1 to 2 mg/L at a contact time of 10 min. However, with ozone alone it was difficult to meet the T&O target of 3 TON and 15 ng/L of MIB or geosmin. The GAC adsorption capacity for DOC in the three GAC systems (F/A, GAC and O3 + GAC) at an EBCT of 14 min is mostly exhausted after 9 months. However, substantial TON removal continued for more than 2 years (>90,000 bed volumes). GAC was found to be effective for T&O control and the main removal mechanisms were adsorption capacity and biodegradation.

  5. Integration of advanced oxidation processes at mild conditions in wet scrubbers for odourous sulphur compounds treatment.

    PubMed

    Vega, Esther; Martin, Maria J; Gonzalez-Olmos, Rafael

    2014-08-01

    The effectiveness of different advanced oxidation processes on the treatment of a multicomponent aqueous solution containing ethyl mercaptan, dimethyl sulphide and dimethyl disulphide (0.5 mg L(-1) of each sulphur compound) was investigated with the objective to assess which one is the most suitable treatment to be coupled in wet scrubbers used in odour treatment facilities. UV/H2O2, Fenton, photo-Fenton and ozone treatments were tested at mild conditions and the oxidation efficiency obtained was compared. The oxidation tests were carried out in magnetically stirred cylindrical quartz reactors using the same molar concentration of oxidants (hydrogen peroxide or ozone). The results show that ozone and photo-Fenton are the most efficient treatments, achieving up to 95% of sulphur compounds oxidation and a mineralisation degree around 70% in 10 min. Furthermore, the total costs of the treatments taking into account the capital and operational costs were also estimated for a comparative purpose. The economic analysis revealed that the Fenton treatment is the most economical option to be integrated in a wet scrubber to remove volatile organic sulphur compounds, as long as there are no space constraints to install the required reactor volume. In the case of reactor volume limitation or retrofitting complexities, the ozone and photo-Fenton treatments should be considered as viable alternatives.

  6. Male mammals respond to a risk of sperm competition conveyed by odours of conspecific males

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    delBarco-Trillo, Javier; Ferkin, Michael H.

    2004-09-01

    Sperm competition occurs when a female copulates with two or more males and the sperm of those males compete within the female's reproductive tract to fertilize her eggs. The frequent occurrence of sperm competition has forced males of many species to develop different strategies to overcome the sperm of competing males. A prevalent strategy is for males to increase their sperm investment (total number of sperm allocated by a male to a particular female) after detecting a risk of sperm competition. It has been shown that the proportion of sperm that one male contributes to the sperm pool of a female is correlated with the proportion of offspring sired by that male. Therefore, by increasing his sperm investment a male may bias a potential sperm competition in his favour. Here we show that male meadow voles, Microtus pennsylvanicus, increase their sperm investment when they mate in the presence of another male's odours. Such an increase in sperm investment does not occur by augmenting the frequency of ejaculations, but by increasing the amount of sperm in a similar number of ejaculations.

  7. Odour cues from suitors’ nests determine mating success in a fish

    PubMed Central

    Lehtonen, Topi K.; Kvarnemo, Charlotta

    2015-01-01

    Animals use a range of sensory cues for finding food, avoiding predators and choosing mates. In this regard, the aquatic environment is particularly suitable for the use of olfactory and other chemical cues. Nevertheless, mate choice research, even on aquatic organisms, has focused on visual signals, while chemical cues relevant in sexual selection have been assumed to be ‘intrinsic’ excretions of mate candidates. Here, using the sand goby Pomatoschistus minutus, a small fish with paternal egg care, we investigated the possibility that ‘extrinsic’ chemical cues in the males’ nests could also have a significant contribution to mating success. We found that females strongly avoided laying eggs into nests subject to the odour of Saprolegnia water moulds (an egg infection) and that this effect was independent of the females’ initial, visually based preference for males. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to show that chemical cues related to parental failure can play a large role in sexual selection. PMID:25948566

  8. Facial expression recognition and subthalamic nucleus stimulation

    PubMed Central

    Schroeder, U; Kuehler, A; Hennenlotter, A; Haslinger, B; Tronnier, V; Krause, M; Pfister, R; Sprengelmeyer, R; Lange, K; Ceballos-Baumann, A

    2004-01-01

    Objective: To study the impact of STN stimulation in Parkinson's disease on perception of facial expressions. Results: There was a selective reduction in recognition of angry faces, but not other expressions, during STN stimulation. Conclusions: The findings may have important implications for social adjustment in these patients. PMID:15026519

  9. Moment-to-moment flight manoeuvres of the female yellow fever mosquito (Aedes aegypti L.) in response to plumes of carbon dioxide and human skin odour.

    PubMed

    Dekker, Teun; Cardé, Ring T

    2011-10-15

    Odours are crucial cues enabling female mosquitoes to orient to prospective hosts. However, their in-flight manoeuvres to host odours are virtually unknown. Here we analyzed in 3-D the video records of female Aedes aegypti mosquitoes flying in a wind tunnel in response to host odour plumes that differed in spatial structure and composition. Following a brief (~0.03 s) encounter with CO(2), mosquitoes surged upwind and, in the absence of further encounters, counterturned without displacing upwind. These patterns resemble moth responses to encounter and loss of a filament of pheromone. Moreover, CO(2) encounters induced a highly regular pattern of counterturning across the windline in the horizontal (crosswind) and vertical planes, causing the mosquito to transect repeatedly the area where CO(2) was previously detected. However, despite the rapid changes across all three axes following an encounter with CO(2), the angular velocities remained remarkably constant. This suggests that during these CO(2)-induced surges mosquitoes stabilize flight through sensors, such as the halteres and Johnston organs, sensitive to Coriolis forces. In contrast to the instantaneous responses of the mosquito CO(2), a brief encounter with a filament of human skin odour did not induce a consistent change in mosquito flight. These differential responses were reflected in further experiments with broad plumes. A broad homogeneous plume of skin odour induced rapid upwind flight and source finding, whereas a broad filamentous plume of skin odour lowered activation rates, kinetic responses and source finding compared with homogeneous plumes. Apparently, yellow fever mosquitoes need longer continuous exposure to complex skin-odour blends to induce activation and source finding.

  10. Chemical induction in mangrove crab megalopae, Ucides cordatus (Ucididae): Do young recruits emit metamorphosis-triggering odours as do conspecific adults?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simith, Darlan de Jesus de Brito; Abrunhosa, Fernando Araújo; Diele, Karen

    2013-10-01

    In many brachyuran species, including the mangrove crab Ucides cordatus, water-soluble chemicals (odours) emitted by adult residents trigger metamorphosis of megalopae, probably facilitating habitat selection and settlement near conspecific crab population. New field findings revealed that early benthic crab stages co-inhabit burrows of both juveniles and adults of U. cordatus which raised the question whether megalopae are also stimulated by sexually immature juveniles. Therefore, we tested in an experimental laboratory study the hypothesis that small benthic recruits and older juveniles also emit metamorphosis-stimulating odours as do conspecific adult crabs. U. cordatus megalopae were cultivated in eight conspecific odour-treatments containing seawater previously conditioned with crabs of different carapace widths (CW 0.15-5.0 cm) and in a control treatment with filtered seawater not conditioned with crabs. In all odour-treatments, including those with small immature crabs, the percentage of metamorphosed larvae was significantly higher (≥74%) and the average development was shorter (15.8-19.3 days) than in the control group, where only 30% moulted after 25.6 ± 6.6 days of megalopal development. In addition, megalopae developed 2.7 days faster when exposed to odours from young and older juveniles compared to those larvae kept in contact with odours from conspecific adults. Our results clearly demonstrate that the emission of metamorphic odours in U. cordatus is independent of size/age or sexual maturity. The responsiveness of megalopae to chemicals emitted by resident crabs of varying ages should aid the natural recovery of U. cordatus populations in areas significantly affected by size-selective fishery where only large conspecific adults are harvested.

  11. Effect of whey protein concentrate and sodium chloride concentrations on the odour profile of sous vide cooked whole-muscle beef from Argentina.

    PubMed

    Grigioni, G; Langman, L; Szerman, N; Irurueta, M; Vaudagna, S R

    2008-07-01

    Semitendinosus muscles added with whey protein concentrate (WPC) and sodium chloride (NaCl) were submitted to sous vide cooking. Four enhancement treatments and a control were tested: 0.875% WPC (w/w)+0.625% NaCl, 2.625% WPC+0.625% NaCl, 0.875% WPC+1.875% NaCl, 2.625% WPC+1.875% NaCl, and control (non-injected muscles). Odour analyses were carried out with an electronic nose (EN) system. EN data were evaluated applying Principal Component Analysis, Linear Discriminant Analysis and Partial Least Squares algorithm. EN was able to discriminate the odour profiles of cooked enhanced beef as a function of the amount of WPC added. No significant differences in odour profiles were observed regarding NaCl concentration. These results agreed with those obtained when odour profiles were analysed in WPC dispersions. The reported results support the applicability of EN methodology for analysing the impact of processing parameters on beef odour profiles.

  12. A simple behaviour provides accuracy and flexibility in odour plume tracking--the robotic control of sensory-motor coupling in silkmoths.

    PubMed

    Ando, Noriyasu; Kanzaki, Ryohei

    2015-12-01

    Odour plume tracking is an essential behaviour for animal survival. A fundamental strategy for this is to move upstream and then across-stream. Male silkmoths, Bombyx mori, display this strategy as a pre-programmed sequential behaviour. They walk forward (surge) in response to the female sex pheromone and perform a zigzagging 'mating dance'. Though pre-programmed, the surge direction is modulated by bilateral olfactory input and optic flow. However, the nature of the interaction between these two sensory modalities and contribution of the resultant motor command to localizing an odour source are still unknown. We evaluated the ability of the silkmoth to localize an odour source under conditions of disturbed sensory-motor coupling, using a silkmoth-driven mobile robot. The significance of the bilateral olfaction of the moth was confirmed by inverting the olfactory input to the antennae, or its motor output. Inversion of the motor output induced consecutive circling, which was inhibited by covering the visual field of the moth. This suggests that the corollary discharge from the motor command and the reafference of self-generated optic flow generate compensatory signals to guide the surge accurately. Additionally, after inverting the olfactory input, the robot successfully tracked the odour plume by using a combination of behaviours. These results indicate that accurate guidance of the reflexive surge by integrating bilateral olfactory and visual information with innate pre-programmed behaviours increases the flexibility to track an odour plume even under disturbed circumstances.

  13. Recognition Tunneling

    PubMed Central

    Lindsay, Stuart; He, Jin; Sankey, Otto; Hapala, Prokop; Jelinek, Pavel; Zhang, Peiming; Chang, Shuai; Huang, Shuo

    2010-01-01

    Single molecules in a tunnel junction can now be interrogated reliably using chemically-functionalized electrodes. Monitoring stochastic bonding fluctuations between a ligand bound to one electrode and its target bound to a second electrode (“tethered molecule-pair” configuration) gives insight into the nature of the intermolecular bonding at a single molecule-pair level, and defines the requirements for reproducible tunneling data. Simulations show that there is an instability in the tunnel gap at large currents, and this results in a multiplicity of contacts with a corresponding spread in the measured currents. At small currents (i.e. large gaps) the gap is stable, and functionalizing a pair of electrodes with recognition reagents (the “free analyte” configuration) can generate a distinct tunneling signal when an analyte molecule is trapped in the gap. This opens up a new interface between chemistry and electronics with immediate implications for rapid sequencing of single DNA molecules. PMID:20522930

  14. Improvement of a wind-tunnel sampling system for odour and VOCs.

    PubMed

    Wang, X; Jiang, J; Kaye, R

    2001-01-01

    Wind-tunnel systems are widely used for collecting odour emission samples from surface area sources. Consequently, a portable wind-tunnel system was developed at the University of New South Wales that was easy to handle and suitable for sampling from liquid surfaces. Development work was undertaken to ensure even air-flows above the emitting surface and to optimise air velocities to simulate real situations. However, recovery efficiencies for emissions have not previously been studied for wind-tunnel systems. A series of experiments was carried out for determining and improving the recovery rate of the wind-tunnel sampling system by using carbon monoxide as a tracer gas. It was observed by mass balance that carbon monoxide recovery rates were initially only 37% to 48% from a simulated surface area emission source. It was therefore apparent that further development work was required to improve recovery efficiencies. By analysing the aerodynamic character of air movement and CO transportation inside the wind-tunnel, it was determined that the apparent poor recoveries resulted from uneven mixing at the sample collection point. A number of modifications were made for the mixing chamber of the wind-tunnel system. A special sampling chamber extension and a sampling manifold with optimally distributed sampling orifices were developed for the wind-tunnel sampling system. The simulation experiments were repeated with the new sampling system. Over a series of experiments, the recovery efficiency of sampling was improved to 83-100% with an average of 90%, where the CO tracer gas was introduced at a single point and 92-102% with an average of 97%, where the CO tracer gas was introduced along a line transverse to the sweep air. The stability and accuracy of the new system were determined statistically and are reported.

  15. Guatemalan potato moth Tecia solanivora distinguish odour profiles from qualitatively different potatoes Solanum tuberosum L.

    PubMed

    Karlsson, Miriam Frida; Birgersson, Göran; Witzgall, Peter; Lekfeldt, Jonas Duus Stevens; Nimal Punyasiri, P A; Bengtsson, Marie

    2013-01-01

    Guatemalan potato moth, Tecia solanivora, lay eggs in the soil nearby potato Solanum spp. and larvae feed on the tubers. We investigated the oviposition behaviour of T. solanivora females and the survival of larval offspring on healthy vs. stressed, i.e. light exposed and/or damaged potato tubers. In choice tests, females laid significantly more eggs in response to potato odour of healthy tubers and female oviposition preference correlated with higher larval survival. Survival of larvae was negatively correlated with the tuber content of the steroid glycoalkaloids α-solanine and α-chaconine: healthy potatoes contained lower amounts than stressed tubers, ranging from 25 to 500 μg g⁻¹ and from 30 to 600 μg g⁻¹, respectively. Analysis of volatile compounds emitted by potato tubers revealed that stressed tubers could clearly be distinguished from healthy tubers by the composition of their volatile profiles. Compounds that contributed to this difference were e.g. decanal, nonanal, isopropyl myristate, phenylacetaldehyde, benzothiazole, heptadecane, octadecane, myristicin, E,E-α-farnesene and verbenone. Oviposition assays, when female moths were not in contact with the tubers, clearly demonstrated that volatiles guide the females to lay fewer eggs on stressed tubers that are of inferior quality for the larvae. We propose that volatiles, such as sesquiterpenes and aldehydes, mediate oviposition behaviour and are correlated with biosynthetically related, non-volatile compounds, such as steroidal glycoalkaloids, which influence larval survival. We conclude that the oviposition response and larval survival of T. solanivora on healthy vs. stressed tubers supports the preference performance hypothesis for insect herbivores.

  16. Bidirectional Modulation of Recognition Memory.

    PubMed

    Ho, Jonathan W; Poeta, Devon L; Jacobson, Tara K; Zolnik, Timothy A; Neske, Garrett T; Connors, Barry W; Burwell, Rebecca D

    2015-09-30

    Perirhinal cortex (PER) has a well established role in the familiarity-based recognition of individual items and objects. For example, animals and humans with perirhinal damage are unable to distinguish familiar from novel objects in recognition memory tasks. In the normal brain, perirhinal neurons respond to novelty and familiarity by increasing or decreasing firing rates. Recent work also implicates oscillatory activity in the low-beta and low-gamma frequency bands in sensory detection, perception, and recognition. Using optogenetic methods in a spontaneous object exploration (SOR) task, we altered recognition memory performance in rats. In the SOR task, normal rats preferentially explore novel images over familiar ones. We modulated exploratory behavior in this task by optically stimulating channelrhodopsin-expressing perirhinal neurons at various frequencies while rats looked at novel or familiar 2D images. Stimulation at 30-40 Hz during looking caused rats to treat a familiar image as if it were novel by increasing time looking at the image. Stimulation at 30-40 Hz was not effective in increasing exploration of novel images. Stimulation at 10-15 Hz caused animals to treat a novel image as familiar by decreasing time looking at the image, but did not affect looking times for images that were already familiar. We conclude that optical stimulation of PER at different frequencies can alter visual recognition memory bidirectionally. Significance statement: Recognition of novelty and familiarity are important for learning, memory, and decision making. Perirhinal cortex (PER) has a well established role in the familiarity-based recognition of individual items and objects, but how novelty and familiarity are encoded and transmitted in the brain is not known. Perirhinal neurons respond to novelty and familiarity by changing firing rates, but recent work suggests that brain oscillations may also be important for recognition. In this study, we showed that stimulation of

  17. A re-evaluation of the taste and odour of methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) in drinking water.

    PubMed

    Suffet, I H

    2007-01-01

    Methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) is a gasoline additive that has been found in groundwater when an underground gasoline storage tank leaks. Although dependent on the clean-up standards that are applied, clean-up costs have been estimated in the US alone to be in the billions of dollars. MTBE is considered primarily a taste and odour concern and not a toxicity issue at concentrations found in drinking water. Thus, the clean-up of MTBE problems is controlled by the MTBE odour threshold concentration (OTC). The level of clean-up and associated differential of millions of dollars is a matter of concern for water purveyors and well owners. A 1993 study of nine OTC studies showed the OTC of MTBE in water to be between 0.04 and 0.06 microg/L, a level over two orders of magnitude less than eight other studies. This 1993 study was repeated at the original laboratory in 2004 and is reported in this paper. The laboratory's quality control programme and ability to repeat one of the eight other studies indicated the laboratory was qualified to repeat its original OTC study. The flavour and odour detection threshold range in the 1993 study, however, could not be confirmed by trained assessors repeating the original study in 2004. The inconsistencies in the data and the high detection on water blanks indicate that the dilution series of the test solutions for the 1993 study were mainly at subthreshold levels. Therefore, the original study of 1993 is not a valid OTC study for MTBE and should not be used to develop drinking water and clean-up standards. The OTC of MTBE is over 15 microg/L for the eight valid studies.

  18. Blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus) respond to an experimental change in the aromatic plant odour composition of their nest.

    PubMed

    Mennerat, A

    2008-11-01

    Although the use of olfaction by birds is now widely recognised, the olfactory abilities of passerine birds remain poorly explored, for historical reasons. Several studies however suggest that passerines can perceive volatile compounds in several biologically relevant contexts. In Corsica, recent findings suggest that cavity-nesting blue tits may use volatile compounds in the context of nest building and maintenance. Although they build their nests mainly from moss, female blue tits also frequently incorporate fragments of several species of aromatic plants in the nest cup. In field experiments, breeding female blue tits altered their nest maintenance behaviour in response to experimental addition of aromatic plants in their nest. In aviary experiments, captive male blue tits could be trained to detect lavender odour from a distance. Here I report results from a field study aimed to test whether adult blue tits altered their chick-feeding behaviour after an experimental change in nest odour composition. I experimentally added fragments of aromatic plant species that differed from those brought in the nests before the start of the experiment in a set of experimental nests and added moss, the basic nest material, in a set of control nests. Both male and female blue tits hesitated significantly longer entering the nest cavity after addition of new aromatic plant fragments, as compared to moss addition. This response was especially observed during the first visit following the experimental change in nest plant composition. Nest composition treatment had no effect on the time spent in the nest. This study demonstrates that free-ranging blue tits detect changes in nest odour from outside the nest cavity.

  19. Psychoacoustic abilities as predictors of vocal emotion recognition.

    PubMed

    Globerson, Eitan; Amir, Noam; Golan, Ofer; Kishon-Rabin, Liat; Lavidor, Michal

    2013-11-01

    Prosodic attributes of speech, such as intonation, influence our ability to recognize, comprehend, and produce affect, as well as semantic and pragmatic meaning, in vocal utterances. The present study examines associations between auditory perceptual abilities and the perception of prosody, both pragmatic and affective. This association has not been previously examined. Ninety-seven participants (49 female and 48 male participants) with normal hearing thresholds took part in two experiments, involving both prosody recognition and psychoacoustic tasks. The prosody recognition tasks included a vocal emotion recognition task and a focus perception task requiring recognition of an accented word in a spoken sentence. The psychoacoustic tasks included a task requiring pitch discrimination and three tasks also requiring pitch direction (i.e., high/low, rising/falling, changing/steady pitch). Results demonstrate that psychoacoustic thresholds can predict 31% and 38% of affective and pragmatic prosody recognition scores, respectively. Psychoacoustic tasks requiring pitch direction recognition were the only significant predictors of prosody recognition scores. These findings contribute to a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying prosody recognition and may have an impact on the assessment and rehabilitation of individuals suffering from deficient prosodic perception.

  20. Attraction of the cutaneous leishmaniasis vector Nyssomyia neivai (Diptera: Psychodidae) to host odour components in a wind tunnel

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Laboratory studies of host-seeking olfactory behaviour in sandflies have largely been restricted to the American visceral leishmaniasis vector Lutzomyia longipalpis. In comparison, almost nothing is known about the chemical ecology of related species, which transmit American cutaneous leishmaniasis (ACL), due in part to difficulties in raising these insects in the laboratory. Understanding how ACL vectors locate their hosts will be essential to developing new vector control strategies to combat this debilitating disease. Methods This study examined host-odour seeking behaviour of the ACL vector Nyssomyia neivai (Pinto) (=Lutzomyia neivai) using a wind tunnel olfactometer. The primary aim was to determine whether field-collected female N. neivai would respond to host odours in the laboratory, thereby eliminating the need to maintain colonies of these insects for behavioural experiments. Responses to two key host odour components, 1-octen-3-ol and lactic acid, and a commercially-available mosquito lure (BG-Lure™) were assessed and compared relative to an air control. We also tested whether trials could be conducted outside of the normal evening activity period of N. neivai without impacting on fly behaviour, and whether the same flies could be used to assess baseline responses to air without affecting responses to octenol, thereby reducing the number of flies required for experiments. Results Octenol was found to both activate host-seeking behaviour and attract female N. neivai in the wind tunnel, while lactic acid elicited weaker responses of activation and attractiveness under identical conditions. The BG-Lure did not activate or attract N. neivai under test conditions. Further experiments showed that sandfly behaviour in the wind tunnel was not affected by time of day, such that experiments need not be restricted to nocturnal hours. Moreover, using the same flies to measure both baseline responses to air and attraction to test compounds did not affect

  1. Perceptual fluency and affect without recognition.

    PubMed

    Anand, P; Sternthal, B

    1991-05-01

    A dichotic listening task was used to investigate the affect-without-recognition phenomenon. Subjects performed a distractor task by responding to the information presented in one ear while ignoring the target information presented in the other ear. The subjects' recognition of and affect toward the target information as well as toward foils was measured. The results offer evidence for the affect-without-recognition phenomenon. Furthermore, the data suggest that the subjects' affect toward the stimuli depended primarily on the extent to which the stimuli were perceived as familiar (i.e., subjective familiarity), and this perception was influenced by the ear in which the distractor or the target information was presented. These data are interpreted in terms of current models of recognition memory and hemispheric lateralization.

  2. The Swipe Card Model of Odorant Recognition

    PubMed Central

    Brookes, Jennifer C.; Horsfield, Andrew P.; Stoneham, A. Marshall

    2012-01-01

    Just how we discriminate between the different odours we encounter is not completely understood yet. While obviously a matter involving biology, the core issue is a matter for physics: what microscopic interactions enable the receptors in our noses-small protein switches—to distinguish scent molecules? We survey what is and is not known about the physical processes that take place when we smell things, highlighting the difficulties in developing a full understanding of the mechanics of odorant recognition. The main current theories, discussed here, fall into two major groups. One class emphasises the scent molecule's shape, and is described informally as a “lock and key” mechanism. But there is another category, which we focus on and which we call “swipe card” theories: the molecular shape must be good enough, but the information that identifies the smell involves other factors. One clearly-defined “swipe card” mechanism that we discuss here is Turin's theory, in which inelastic electron tunnelling is used to discern olfactant vibration frequencies. This theory is explicitly quantal, since it requires the molecular vibrations to take in or give out energy only in discrete quanta. These ideas lead to obvious experimental tests and challenges. We describe the current theory in a form that takes into account molecular shape as well as olfactant vibrations. It emerges that this theory can explain many observations hard to reconcile in other ways. There are still some important gaps in a comprehensive physics-based description of the central steps in odorant recognition. We also discuss how far these ideas carry over to analogous processes involving other small biomolecules, like hormones, steroids and neurotransmitters. We conclude with a discussion of possible quantum behaviours in biology more generally, the case of olfaction being just one example. This paper is presented in honour of Prof. Marshall Stoneham who passed away unexpectedly during its

  3. The neural substrate of gesture recognition.

    PubMed

    Villarreal, Mirta; Fridman, Esteban A; Amengual, Alejandra; Falasco, German; Gerschcovich, Eliana Roldan; Gerscovich, Eliana Roldan; Ulloa, Erlinda R; Leiguarda, Ramon C

    2008-01-01

    Previous studies have linked action recognition with a particular pool of neurons located in the ventral premotor cortex, the posterior parietal cortex and the superior temporal sulcus (the mirror neuron system). However, it is still unclear if transitive and intransitive gestures share the same neural substrates during action-recognition processes. In the present study, we used event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to assess the cortical areas active during recognition of pantomimed transitive actions, intransitive gestures, and meaningless control actions. Perception of all types of gestures engaged the right pre-supplementary motor area (pre-SMA), and bilaterally in the posterior superior temporal cortex, the posterior parietal cortex, occipitotemporal regions and visual cortices. Activation of the posterior superior temporal sulcus/superior temporal gyrus region was found in both hemispheres during recognition of transitive and intransitive gestures, and in the right hemisphere during the control condition; the middle temporal gyrus showed activation in the left hemisphere when subjects recognized transitive and intransitive gestures; activation of the left inferior parietal lobe and intraparietal sulcus (IPS) was mainly observed in the left hemisphere during recognition of the three conditions. The most striking finding was the greater activation of the left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) during recognition of intransitive actions. Results show that a similar neural substrate, albeit, with a distinct engagement underlies the cognitive processing of transitive and intransitive gestures recognition. These findings suggest that selective disruptions in these circuits may lead to distinct clinical deficits.

  4. Plant odour processing in the antennal lobe of male and female grapevine moths, Lobesia botrana (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae).

    PubMed

    Masante-Roca, I; Gadenne, C; Anton, S

    2002-12-01

    Moths of Lobesia botrana (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae) are confronted with different volatiles emitted from the host plant during the different seasons. To test the hypothesis of plasticity of central plant odour processing in moths of different generations in the future, we first investigated the responses of antennal lobe (AL) interneurons of laboratory-reared virgin and mated males and females. We used intracellular recording and staining techniques while stimulating the antenna with a range of host and non-host plant odours. The AL structure of L. botrana is similar to that found in other Lepidoptera species studied. The most frequent physiological responses for all types of moths were obtained with (E)-2-hexenal, and with thujyl alcohol and beta-thujone, components of tansy, a behaviourally attractive non-host plant. Some broadly responding neurons were capable of distinguishing between different compounds through different response patterns (excitation/inhibition) and/or different dose-response characteristics. Response characteristics (response spectra, threshold and specificity) of neurons were similar, independent of sex or mating status of the moths. Significant differences between the groups were, however, found in the proportion of responding neurons for a few tested components.

  5. Social cichlid fish change behaviour in response to a visual predator stimulus, but not the odour of damaged conspecifics.

    PubMed

    O'Connor, Constance M; Reddon, Adam R; Odetunde, Aderinsola; Jindal, Shagun; Balshine, Sigal

    2015-12-01

    Predation is one of the primary drivers of fitness for prey species. Therefore, there should be strong selection for accurate assessment of predation risk, and whenever possible, individuals should use all available information to fine-tune their response to the current threat of predation. Here, we used a controlled laboratory experiment to assess the responses of individual Neolamprologus pulcher, a social cichlid fish, to a live predator stimulus, to the odour of damaged conspecifics, or to both indicators of predation risk combined. We found that fish in the presence of the visual predator stimulus showed typical antipredator behaviour. Namely, these fish decreased activity and exploration, spent more time seeking shelter, and more time near conspecifics. Surprisingly, there was no effect of the chemical cue alone, and fish showed a reduced response to the combination of the visual predator stimulus and the odour of damaged conspecifics relative to the visual predator stimulus alone. These results demonstrate that N. pulcher adjust their anti-predator behaviour to the information available about current predation risk, and we suggest a possible role for the use of social information in the assessment of predation risk in a cooperatively breeding fish.

  6. Deadly intentions: naïve introduced foxes show rapid attraction to odour cues of an unfamiliar native prey

    PubMed Central

    Bytheway, Jenna P.; Price, Catherine J.; Banks, Peter B.

    2016-01-01

    Introduced predators have caused declines and extinctions of native species worldwide, seemingly able to find and hunt new, unfamiliar prey from the time of their introduction. Yet, just as native species are often naïve to introduced predators, in theory, introduced predators should initially be naïve in their response to novel native prey. Here we examine the response of free-living introduced red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) to their first encounter with the odour cues of a novel native prey, the long-nosed bandicoot (Perameles nasuta). Despite no experience with bandicoots at the study site, foxes were significantly more interested in bandicoot odour compared to untreated controls and to a co-evolved prey, the black rat (Rattus rattus). So what gives introduced predators a novelty advantage over native prey? Such neophilia towards novel potential food sources carries little costs, however naïve native prey often lack analogous neophobic responses towards novel predators, possibly because predator avoidance is so costly. We propose that this nexus between the costs and benefits of responding to novel information is different for alien predators and native prey, giving alien predators a novelty advantage over native prey. This may explain why some introduced predators have rapid and devastating impacts on native fauna. PMID:27416966

  7. UV-based advanced oxidation processes for the treatment of odour compounds: efficiency and by-product formation.

    PubMed

    Zoschke, Kristin; Dietrich, Norman; Börnick, Hilmar; Worch, Eckhard

    2012-10-15

    The occurrence of the taste and odour compounds geosmin and 2-methyl isoborneol (2-MIB) affects the organoleptic quality of raw waters from drinking water reservoirs worldwide. UV-based oxidation processes for the removal of these substances are an alternative to adsorption and biological processes, since they additionally provide disinfection of the raw water. We could show that the concentration of geosmin and 2-MIB could be reduced by VUV irradiation and the combination of UV irradiation with ozone and hydrogen peroxide in pure water and water from a drinking water reservoir. The figure of merit EE/O is an appropriate tool to compare the AOPs and showed that VUV and UV/O(3) yielded the lowest treatment costs for the odour compounds in pure and raw water, respectively. Additionally, VUV irradiation with addition of ozone, generated by the VUV lamp, was evaluated. The generation of ozone and the irradiation were performed in a single reactor system using the same low-pressure mercury lamp, thereby reducing the energy consumption of the treatment process. The formation of the undesired by-products nitrite and bromate was investigated. The combination of VUV irradiation with ozone produced by a VUV lamp avoided the formation of relevant concentrations of the by-products. The internal generation of ozone is capable to produce ozone concentrations sufficient to reduce EE/O below 1 kWh m(-3) and without the risk of the formation of nitrite or bromate above the maximum contaminant level.

  8. Location of and landing on a source of human body odour by female Culex quinquefasciatus in still and moving air

    PubMed Central

    LACEY, EMERSON S.; CARDÉ, RING T.

    2014-01-01

    The orientation to and landing on a source of human odour by female Culex quinquefasciatus Say (Diptera: Culicidae) is observed in a wind tunnel without an airflow or with a laminar airflow of 0.2 m s-1. Odours from human feet are collected by ‘wearing’ clean glass beads inside a stocking and presenting beads in a Petri dish in a wind tunnel. Mosquitoes are activated by brief exposure to a 1 L min-1 jet of 4% CO2 positioned 10 cm from the release cage. In moving air at 0.2 m s-1, a mean of 3.45 ± 0.49 landings are observed in 10 min trials (5 mosquitoes per trial), whereas 6.50 ± 0.96 landings are recorded in still air. Furthermore, 1.45 ± 0.31mosquitoes are recorded on beads at any one time in moving air (a measure of individuals landing versus one landing multiple times) compared to 3.10 ± 0.31 in still air. Upwind flight to beads in moving air is demonstrated by angular headings of flight immediately prior to landing, whereas approaches to beads in still air are oriented randomly. The mean latency until first landing is 226.7 ± 17.98 s in moving air compared to 122.5 ± 24.18 in still air. Strategies used to locate a prospective host at close range in still air are considered. PMID:26472918

  9. Voice input/output capabilities at Perception Technology Corporation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ferber, Leon A.

    1977-01-01

    Condensed resumes of key company personnel at the Perception Technology Corporation are presented. The staff possesses recognition, speech synthesis, speaker authentication, and language identification. Hardware and software engineers' capabilities are included.

  10. Social Hackers: Integration in the Host Chemical Recognition System by a Paper Wasp Social Parasite

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turillazzi, S.; Sledge, M. F.; Dani, F. R.; Cervo, R.; Massolo, A.; Fondelli, L.

    Obligate social parasites in the social insects have lost the worker caste and the ability to establish nests. As a result, parasites must usurp a host nest, overcome the host recognition system, and depend on the host workers to rear their offspring. We analysed cuticular hydrocarbon profiles of live parasite females of the paper wasp social parasite Polistes sulcifer before and after usurpation of host nests, using the non-destructive technique of solid-phase micro-extraction. Our results reveal that hydrocarbon profiles of parasites change after usurpation of host nests to match the cuticular profile of the host species. Chemical evidence further shows that the parasite queen changes the odour of the nest by the addition of a parasite-specific hydrocarbon. We discuss the possible role of this in the recognition and acceptance of the parasite and its offspring in the host colony.

  11. Social hackers: integration in the host chemical recognition system by a paper wasp social parasite.

    PubMed

    Turillazzi, S; Sledge, M F; Dani, F R; Cervo, R; Massolo, A; Fondelli, L

    2000-04-01

    Obligate social parasites in the social insects have lost the worker caste and the ability to establish nests. As a result, parasites must usurp a host nest, overcome the host recognition system, and depend on the host workers to rear their offspring. We analysed cuticular hydrocarbon profiles of live parasite females of the paper wasp social parasite Polistes sulcifer before and after usurpation of host nests, using the non-destructive technique of solid-phase micro-extraction. Our results reveal that hydrocarbon profiles of parasites change after usurpation of host nests to match the cuticular profile of the host species. Chemical evidence further shows that the parasite queen changes the odour of the nest by the addition of a parasite-specific hydrocarbon. We discuss the possible role of this in the recognition and acceptance of the parasite and its offspring in the host colony.

  12. A "Situational" and "Coorientational" Measure of Specialized Magazine Editors' Perceptions of Readers.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jeffers, Dennis W.

    A study was undertaken of specialized magazine editors' perceptions of audience characteristics as well as the perceived role of their publications. Specifically, the study examines the relationship between the editors' perceptions of reader problem recognition, level of involvement, constraint recognition, and possession of reference criteria and…

  13. Identification of the odour-active cyclic diketone cis-2,6-dimethyl-1,4-cyclohexanedione in roasted Arabica coffee brew.

    PubMed

    Miyazato, Hironari; Nakamura, Michiaki; Hashimoto, Seiji; Hayashi, Shuichi

    2013-06-15

    We investigated odour-active trace compounds in roasted Brazilian Arabica coffee. Aroma dilution extract analysis (AEDA) applied to the volatile oil extracted from roasted coffee brew revealed 34 odour-active compounds. Among these, a pungent-smelling unknown odour-active compound was determined. The volatile oil was fractioned by silica gel column chromatography. Gas chromatography-olfactometry (GC-O) and multidimensional gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (MDGC-MS) of the fraction which contained a significant amount of the target unknown compound revealed the cyclic 1,4-diketone, cis-2,6-dimethyl-1,4-cyclohexanedione, which had a pungent odour, and was thus first identified in roasted coffee. Model experiments revealed that cis-2,6-dimethyl-1,4-cyclohexanedione was formed via thermal degradation of sugars, especially monosaccharides, under alkaline conditions. Further, we demonstrated that 2-hydroxy-3-pentanone and 1-hydroxy-2-propanone, thermal degradation products of monosaccharides, were closely related to the formation of cis-2,6-dimethyl-1,4-cyclohexanedione.

  14. The function of stereotypes in visual perception.

    PubMed

    Niemeyer, Greg O

    2003-01-01

    Human vision is a product of both physiological and cultural dispositions. This cultural study investigates the role of cultural dispositions in visual perception. In particular, the study focuses on the role of stereotypes, which are involved in recognition. I propose that stereotypes are essential for basic functions of perception and human perception. However, stereotypes also introduce significant limitations on human experience. The fact that stereotypes are abstract simplifications of realities is not the limiting factor, since scientific and cultural progress continually refines stereotypes. The very principle of the stereotype appears to introduce the limitation, because the process of forming stereotypes requires both temporal and functional fragmentations of the continuum of our perception. This fragmentation can be a cause of sensory overload, a postmodern condition that generates cultural, perceptual and behavioral problems. To address this problem, I propose a cultural modification to our modality of perception. The modification shifts the emphasis of our perception from the recognition of stereotypes to the recognition of flows, processes and durations. References to the work of Henri Bergson and Martin Heidegger provide the philosophical basis for this modification and several empirical and experimental examples illustrate such modifications in practice.

  15. Changing Perceptions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mallett, Susanne; Wren, Steve; Dawes, Mark; Blinco, Amy; Haines, Brett; Everton, Jenny; Morgan, Ellen; Barton, Craig; Breen, Debbie; Ellison, Geraldine; Burgess, Danny; Stavrou, Jim; Carre, Catherine; Watson, Fran; Cherry, David; Hawkins, Chris; Stapenhill-Hunt, Maria; Gilderdale, Charlie; Kiddle, Alison; Piggott, Jennifer

    2009-01-01

    A group of teachers involved in embedding NRICH tasks (http://nrich.maths.org) into their everyday practice were keen to challenge common perceptions of mathematics, and of the teaching and learning of mathematics. In this article, the teachers share what they are doing to change these perceptions in their schools.

  16. Effect of reuterin-producing Lactobacillus reuteri coupled with glycerol on the volatile fraction, odour and aroma of semi-hard ewe milk cheese.

    PubMed

    Gómez-Torres, Natalia; Ávila, Marta; Delgado, David; Garde, Sonia

    2016-09-02

    The effect of the biopreservation system formed by Lactobacillus reuteri INIA P572, a reuterin-producing strain, and glycerol (required for reuterin production), on the volatile fraction, aroma and odour of industrial sized semi-hard ewe milk cheese (Castellano type) was investigated over a 3-month ripening period. The volatile compounds were extracted and analyzed by SPME-GC-MS and cheese odour and aroma profiles were studied by descriptive sensory analysis. Control cheese was made only with a mesophilic starter and experimental cheeses with L. reuteri were made with and without glycerol. The addition of L. reuteri INIA P572 to milk enhanced the formation of six volatile compounds. Despite the changes in the volatile compounds profile, the use of L. reuteri INIA P572 did not noticeably affect the sensory characteristics of cheese. On the other hand, the addition of L. reuteri INIA P572 coupled with 30mM glycerol enhanced the formation of twelve volatile compounds, but decreased the formation of five ones. The use of the biopreservation system did not affect overall odour and aroma quality of cheese although it resulted in a significant decrease of the odour intensity scores. In addition, this cheese received significant higher scores for "cheesy" aroma and significant lower scores for the aroma attributes "milky", "caramel" and "yogurt-like". The first two axes of a principal component analysis (PCA) performed for selected volatile compounds and sensory characteristics, accounting for 75% of the variability between cheeses, separated cheeses made with L. reuteri INIA P572 and glycerol from the rest of cheeses, and also differentiated control cheese from cheeses made with L. reuteri INIA P572 from day 60 onward. Our results showed that the reuterin-producing L. reuteri INIA P572 strain, when coupled with glycerol, may be a suitable biopreservation system to use in cheese without affecting odour and aroma quality.

  17. Music Perception in Dementia.

    PubMed

    Golden, Hannah L; Clark, Camilla N; Nicholas, Jennifer M; Cohen, Miriam H; Slattery, Catherine F; Paterson, Ross W; Foulkes, Alexander J M; Schott, Jonathan M; Mummery, Catherine J; Crutch, Sebastian J; Warren, Jason D

    2017-01-01

    Despite much recent interest in music and dementia, music perception has not been widely studied across dementia syndromes using an information processing approach. Here we addressed this issue in a cohort of 30 patients representing major dementia syndromes of typical Alzheimer's disease (AD, n = 16), logopenic aphasia (LPA, an Alzheimer variant syndrome; n = 5), and progressive nonfluent aphasia (PNFA; n = 9) in relation to 19 healthy age-matched individuals. We designed a novel neuropsychological battery to assess perception of musical patterns in the dimensions of pitch and temporal information (requiring detection of notes that deviated from the established pattern based on local or global sequence features) and musical scene analysis (requiring detection of a familiar tune within polyphonic harmony). Performance on these tests was referenced to generic auditory (timbral) deviance detection and recognition of familiar tunes and adjusted for general auditory working memory performance. Relative to healthy controls, patients with AD and LPA had group-level deficits of global pitch (melody contour) processing while patients with PNFA as a group had deficits of local (interval) as well as global pitch processing. There was substantial individual variation within syndromic groups. Taking working memory performance into account, no specific deficits of musical temporal processing, timbre processing, musical scene analysis, or tune recognition were identified. The findings suggest that particular aspects of music perception such as pitch pattern analysis may open a window on the processing of information streams in major dementia syndromes. The potential selectivity of musical deficits for particular dementia syndromes and particular dimensions of processing warrants further systematic investigation.

  18. Music perception in dementia

    PubMed Central

    Nicholas, Jennifer M; Cohen, Miriam H; Slattery, Catherine F; Paterson, Ross W; Foulkes, Alexander J M; Schott, Jonathan M; Mummery, Catherine J; Crutch, Sebastian J; Warren, Jason D

    2017-01-01

    Despite much recent interest in music and dementia, music perception has not been widely studied across dementia syndromes using an information processing approach. Here we addressed this issue in a cohort of 30 patients representing major dementia syndromes of typical Alzheimer’s disease (AD, n=16), logopenic aphasia (LPA, an Alzheimer variant syndrome; n=5) and progressive nonfluent aphasia (PNFA; n=9) in relation to 19 healthy age-matched individuals. We designed a novel neuropsychological battery to assess perception of musical patterns in the dimensions of pitch and temporal information (requiring detection of notes that deviated from the established pattern based on local or global sequence features) and musical scene analysis (requiring detection of a familiar tune within polyphonic harmony). Performance on these tests was referenced to generic auditory (timbral) deviance detection and recognition of familiar tunes and adjusted for general auditory working memory performance. Relative to healthy controls, patients with AD and LPA had group-level deficits of global pitch (melody contour) processing while patients with PNFA as a group had deficits of local (interval) as well as global pitch processing. There was substantial individual variation within syndromic groups. No specific deficits of musical temporal processing, timbre processing, musical scene analysis or tune recognition were identified. The findings suggest that particular aspects of music perception such as pitch pattern analysis may open a window on the processing of information streams in major dementia syndromes. The potential selectivity of musical deficits for particular dementia syndromes and particular dimensions of processing warrants further systematic investigation. PMID:27802226

  19. Face recognition increases during saccade preparation.

    PubMed

    Lin, Hai; Rizak, Joshua D; Ma, Yuan-ye; Yang, Shang-chuan; Chen, Lin; Hu, Xin-tian

    2014-01-01

    Face perception is integral to human perception system as it underlies social interactions. Saccadic eye movements are frequently made to bring interesting visual information, such as faces, onto the fovea for detailed processing. Just before eye movement onset, the processing of some basic features, such as the orientation, of an object improves at the saccade landing point. Interestingly, there is also evidence that indicates faces are processed in early visual processing stages similar to basic features. However, it is not known whether this early enhancement of processing includes face recognition. In this study, three experiments were performed to map the timing of face presentation to the beginning of the eye movement in order to evaluate pre-saccadic face recognition. Faces were found to be similarly processed as simple objects immediately prior to saccadic movements. Starting ∼ 120 ms before a saccade to a target face, independent of whether or not the face was surrounded by other faces, the face recognition gradually improved and the critical spacing of the crowding decreased as saccade onset was approaching. These results suggest that an upcoming saccade prepares the visual system for new information about faces at the saccade landing site and may reduce the background in a crowd to target the intended face. This indicates an important role of pre-saccadic eye movement signals in human face recognition.

  20. The cultural neuroscience of person perception.

    PubMed

    Freeman, Jonathan B; Rule, Nicholas O; Ambady, Nalini

    2009-01-01

    In the last few years, theorists have argued that culture can shape processes of basic visual perception. This work has primarily focused on cultural influences in nonsocial domains, such as cross-cultural differences in seeing and attending to focal stimuli versus backgrounds. Recently, researchers have begun to examine how culture can shape processes of social perception. We review such evidence and describe how culture tunes both the outcomes of social perception (as revealed in behavioral responses) as well as the activity of the neural mechanisms that mediate these outcomes. Such evidence comes from the domains of emotion recognition, social status perception, social group evaluation, and mental state inference. We explicate these findings through our viewpoint that ecologically important aspects of the sociocultural environment shape perceptual processing and its neural basis. More broadly, we discuss the promise of a cultural neuroscience approach to social perception and some of its epistemological challenges as a nascent interdisciplinary enterprise.

  1. Labeling, identification, and recognition of wine-relevant odorants in expert sommeliers, intermediates, and untrained wine drinkers.

    PubMed

    Zucco, Gesualdo M; Carassai, Aurelio; Baroni, Maria Rosa; Stevenson, Richard J

    2011-01-01

    In this study we examined the development of wine expertise. We asked four groups--untrained wine drinkers, second- and third-level trainee sommeliers, and professional sommeliers--to engage in a range of olfactory tasks to assess perceptual and semantic aspects of expertise. These tasks included identification, recognition, and description of a range of domain-specific and common odour stimuli, including wines. Trainee sommeliers were significantly poorer at identification of wine-relevant odours than untrained wine drinkers and professional sommeliers. Trainee and professional sommeliers were, however, significantly better than untrained wine drinkers in a delayed matching-to-sample wine-recognition task, but not in the case of other odorous stimuli. The wine-description task demonstrated a degree of skill, in terms of specificity and quantity of wine-relevant descriptors, as a function of expertise. These results, of one of the first studies of examining wine expertise by a cross-sectional developmental approach, indicate that perceptual aspects of expertise are probably rapidly acquired, being present even in the second- and third-level trainees, while semantic expertise is slower to develop, and may incur time for the identification of wine-specific odorants during training.

  2. Pitch perception.

    PubMed

    Yost, William A

    2009-11-01

    This article is a review of the psychophysical study of pitch perception. The history of the study of pitch has seen a continual competition between spectral and temporal theories of pitch perception. The pitch of complex stimuli is likely based on the temporal regularities in a sound's waveform, with the strongest pitches occurring for stimuli with low-frequency components. Thus, temporal models, especially those based on autocorrelation-like processes, appear to account for the majority of the data.

  3. Key considerations for the experimental training and evaluation of cancer odour detection dogs: lessons learnt from a double-blind, controlled trial of prostate cancer detection

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Cancer detection using sniffer dogs is a potential technology for clinical use and research. Our study sought to determine whether dogs could be trained to discriminate the odour of urine from men with prostate cancer from controls, using rigorous testing procedures and well-defined samples from a major research hospital. Methods We attempted to train ten dogs by initially rewarding them for finding and indicating individual prostate cancer urine samples (Stage 1). If dogs were successful in Stage 1, we then attempted to train them to discriminate prostate cancer samples from controls (Stage 2). The number of samples used to train each dog varied depending on their individual progress. Overall, 50 unique prostate cancer and 67 controls were collected and used during training. Dogs that passed Stage 2 were tested for their ability to discriminate 15 (Test 1) or 16 (Tests 2 and 3) unfamiliar prostate cancer samples from 45 (Test 1) or 48 (Tests 2 and 3) unfamiliar controls under double-blind conditions. Results Three dogs reached training Stage 2 and two of these learnt to discriminate potentially familiar prostate cancer samples from controls. However, during double-blind tests using new samples the two dogs did not indicate prostate cancer samples more frequently than expected by chance (Dog A sensitivity 0.13, specificity 0.71, Dog B sensitivity 0.25, specificity 0.75). The other dogs did not progress past Stage 1 as they did not have optimal temperaments for the sensitive odour discrimination training. Conclusions Although two dogs appeared to have learnt to select prostate cancer samples during training, they did not generalise on a prostate cancer odour during robust double-blind tests involving new samples. Our study illustrates that these rigorous tests are vital to avoid drawing misleading conclusions about the abilities of dogs to indicate certain odours. Dogs may memorise the individual odours of large numbers of training samples rather than

  4. Inspiratory phase-locked alpha oscillation in human olfaction: source generators estimated by a dipole tracing method

    PubMed Central

    Masaoka, Yuri; Koiwa, Nobuyoshi; Homma, Ikuo

    2005-01-01

    Olfactory perception and related emotions are largely dependent on inspiration. We acquired simultaneous respiration and electroencephalographic recordings during pleasant odour and unpleasant odour stimulation. We sought to identify changes in respiratory pattern, inspiratory-related potentials and location of dipoles estimated from the potentials. Electroencephalographic recording was triggered by inspiration onset. Respiratory frequency decreased at pleasant odour recognition, and it increased at unpleasant odour detection and recognition. O2 consumption records showed that these changes were not due to metabolic demand. During olfactory stimulation, inspiratory phase-locked alpha oscillation (I-α) was found in the averaged potential triggered by inspiration onset. I-α was observed at both pleasant odour and unpleasant odour detection and recognition, but it was not seen in the inspiration-triggered potentials of normal air breathing. Electroencephalographic dipole tracing identified the location of dipoles from the I-α in the limbic area and the cortex; the entorhinal cortex, hippocampus, amygdala, premotor area and centroposterior orbitofrontal cortex subserve odour detection, and the rostromedial orbitofrontal cortex subserves odour recognition. We suggest that the I-α in our study originated from the olfactory cortex in the forebrain and was phase-locked to inspiration. PMID:15890706

  5. Image Recognition Based on Biometric Pattern Recognition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, Shuliang; Chen, Zhong; Liu, Chenglian; Guo, Yongning; Lin, Xueyun

    2011-09-01

    A new method, biomimetric pattern recognition, is mentioned to recognize images. At first, the image is pretreatment and feature extraction, then a high vector is got. A biomimetric pattern recognition model is designed. The judgment function is used to discriminate the classification of the samples. It is showed that the method is effective for little samples by experiment. It would be useful in many fields in future.

  6. Signal and Noise in the Perception of Facial Emotion Expressions: From Labs to Life.

    PubMed

    Hess, Ursula; Kafetsios, Konstantinos; Mauersberger, Heidi; Blaison, Christophe; Kessler, Carolin-Louisa

    2016-08-01

    Human interactions are replete with emotional exchanges, and hence, the ability to decode others' emotional expressions is of great importance. The present research distinguishes between the emotional signal (the intended emotion) and noise (perception of secondary emotions) in social emotion perception and investigates whether these predict the quality of social interactions. In three studies, participants completed laboratory-based assessments of emotion recognition ability and later reported their perceptions of naturally occurring social interactions. Overall, noise perception in the recognition task was associated with perceiving more negative emotions in others and perceiving interactions more negatively. Conversely, signal perception of facial emotion expressions was associated with higher quality in social interactions. These effects were moderated by relationship closeness in Greece but not in Germany. These findings suggest that emotion recognition as assessed in the laboratory is a valid predictor of social interaction quality. Thus, emotion recognition generalizes from the laboratory to everyday life.

  7. Leveraging Automatic Speech Recognition Errors to Detect Challenging Speech Segments in TED Talks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mirzaei, Maryam Sadat; Meshgi, Kourosh; Kawahara, Tatsuya

    2016-01-01

    This study investigates the use of Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) systems to epitomize second language (L2) listeners' problems in perception of TED talks. ASR-generated transcripts of videos often involve recognition errors, which may indicate difficult segments for L2 listeners. This paper aims to discover the root-causes of the ASR errors…

  8. Relations among Linguistic and Cognitive Skills and Spoken Word Recognition in Adults with Cochlear Implants

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Collison, Elizabeth A.; Munson, Benjamin; Carney, Arlene Earley

    2004-01-01

    This study examined spoken word recognition in adults with cochlear implants (CIs) to determine the extent to which linguistic and cognitive abilities predict variability in speech-perception performance. Both a traditional consonant-vowel-consonant (CVC)-repetition measure and a gated-word recognition measure (F. Grosjean, 1996) were used.…

  9. The Development of the Orthographic Consistency Effect in Speech Recognition: From Sublexical to Lexical Involvement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ventura, Paulo; Morais, Jose; Kolinsky, Regine

    2007-01-01

    The influence of orthography on children's on-line auditory word recognition was studied from the end of Grade 2 to the end of Grade 4, by examining the orthographic consistency effect [Ziegler, J. C., & Ferrand, L. (1998). Orthography shapes the perception of speech: The consistency effect in auditory recognition. "Psychonomic Bulletin & Review",…

  10. Sonority contours in word recognition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McLennan, Sean

    2003-04-01

    Contrary to the Generativist distinction between competence and performance which asserts that speech or perception errors are due to random, nonlinguistic factors, it seems likely that errors are principled and possibly governed by some of the same constraints as language. A preliminary investigation of errors modeled after the child's ``Chain Whisper'' game (a degraded stimulus task) suggests that a significant number of recognition errors can be characterized as an improvement in syllable sonority contour towards the linguistically least-marked, voiceless-stop-plus-vowel syllable. An independent study of sonority contours showed that approximately half of the English lexicon can be uniquely identified by their contour alone. Additionally, ``sororities'' (groups of words that share a single sonority contour), surprisingly, show no correlation to familiarity or frequency in either size or membership. Together these results imply that sonority contours may be an important factor in word recognition and in defining word ``neighborhoods.'' Moreover, they suggest that linguistic markedness constraints may be more prevalent in performance-related phenomena than previously accepted.

  11. The illusory-letters phenomenon: an illustration of graphemic restoration in visual word recognition.

    PubMed

    Jordan, T R; Thomas, S M; Scott-Brown, K C

    1999-01-01

    We present a demonstration of word perception in which stimuli containing very few letters (just 50% of their original number) are presented for unlimited durations and yet are seen unequivocally as complete words. The phenomenon suggests that recognition of words can be achieved even when perception of their component letters is prevented.

  12. Optical Pattern Recognition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, Francis T. S.; Jutamulia, Suganda

    2008-10-01

    Contributors; Preface; 1. Pattern recognition with optics Francis T. S. Yu and Don A. Gregory; 2. Hybrid neural networks for nonlinear pattern recognition Taiwei Lu; 3. Wavelets, optics, and pattern recognition Yao Li and Yunglong Sheng; 4. Applications of the fractional Fourier transform to optical pattern recognition David Mendlovic, Zeev Zalesky and Haldum M. Oxaktas; 5. Optical implementation of mathematical morphology Tien-Hsin Chao; 6. Nonlinear optical correlators with improved discrimination capability for object location and recognition Leonid P. Yaroslavsky; 7. Distortion-invariant quadratic filters Gregory Gheen; 8. Composite filter synthesis as applied to pattern recognition Shizhou Yin and Guowen Lu; 9. Iterative procedures in electro-optical pattern recognition Joseph Shamir; 10. Optoelectronic hybrid system for three-dimensional object pattern recognition Guoguang Mu, Mingzhe Lu and Ying Sun; 11. Applications of photrefractive devices in optical pattern recognition Ziangyang Yang; 12. Optical pattern recognition with microlasers Eung-Gi Paek; 13. Optical properties and applications of bacteriorhodopsin Q. Wang Song and Yu-He Zhang; 14. Liquid-crystal spatial light modulators Aris Tanone and Suganda Jutamulia; 15. Representations of fully complex functions on real-time spatial light modulators Robert W. Cohn and Laurence G. Hassbrook; Index.

  13. A bacterial tyrosine phosphatase inhibits plant pattern recognition receptor activation

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Perception of pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) by surface-localised pattern-recognition receptors (PRRs) is a key component of plant innate immunity. Most known plant PRRs are receptor kinases and initiation of PAMP-triggered immunity (PTI) signalling requires phosphorylation of the PR...

  14. Distributed Recognition of Natural Songs by European Starlings

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Knudsen, Daniel; Thompson, Jason V.; Gentner, Timothy Q.

    2010-01-01

    Individual vocal recognition behaviors in songbirds provide an excellent framework for the investigation of comparative psychological and neurobiological mechanisms that support the perception and cognition of complex acoustic communication signals. To this end, the complex songs of European starlings have been studied extensively. Yet, several…

  15. Gender and Aggression in the Recognition of Interruption.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bresnahan, Mary I.; Cai, Deborah H.

    1996-01-01

    Focuses on whether women and men have different perceptions about when simultaneous talk becomes interruptive. Asks participants to judge whether 20 overlaps are interruptive when presented with a conflictive interview between a high-power female and a low-power male. Suggests that verbal aggressiveness is a better predictor of recognition of…

  16. Too Fresh Is Unattractive! The Attraction of Newly Emerged Nicrophorus vespilloides Females to Odour Bouquets of Large Cadavers at Various Stages of Decomposition

    PubMed Central

    von Hoermann, Christian; Steiger, Sandra; Müller, Josef K.; Ayasse, Manfred

    2013-01-01

    The necrophagous burying beetle Nicrophorus vespilloides reproduces on small carcasses that are buried underground to serve as food for their offspring. Cadavers that are too large to bury have previously been postulated to be important food sources for newly emerged beetles; however, the attractiveness of distinct successive stages of decomposition were not further specified. Therefore, we investigated the potential preference of newly emerged N. vespilloides females for odour bouquets of piglet cadavers at specific stages of decomposition. Analyses of walking tracks on a Kramer sphere revealed a significantly higher mean walking speed and, consequently, a higher mean total track length when beetles were confronted with odour plumes of the decomposition stages ‘post-bloating’, ‘advanced decay’ or ‘dry remains’ in comparison with the solvent control. Such a change of the walking speed of newly emerged N. vespilloides females indicates a higher motivation to locate such food sources. In contrast to less discriminating individuals this behaviour provides the advantage of not wasting time at unsuitable food sources. Furthermore, in the advanced decay stage, we registered a significantly higher preference of beetles for upwind directions to its specific odour plume when compared with the solvent control. Such a change to upwind walking behaviour increases the likelihood that a large cadaver will be quickly located. Our findings are of general importance for applied forensic entomology: newly emerged N. vespilloides females on large cadavers can and should be regarded as potential indicators of prolonged post mortem intervals as our results clearly show that they prefer emitted odour bouquets of later decomposition stages. PMID:23516497

  17. Acquisition of species-specific perfume blends: influence of habitat-dependent compound availability on odour choices of male orchid bees (Euglossa spp.).

    PubMed

    Pokorny, T; Hannibal, M; Quezada-Euan, J J G; Hedenström, E; Sjöberg, N; Bång, J; Eltz, T

    2013-06-01

    Male orchid bees (Euglossini, Apidae, Hymenoptera) expose species-specific blends of volatile chemicals (perfume bouquets) during their courtship display. The perfumes are acquired by collecting fragrant substances from environmental sources, which are then accumulated in specialised hind leg pouches. To balance the perfume composition, the males need to find and collect the required substances in specific relative amounts while facing seasonal, local or habitat-dependent differences in compound availability. Experience-dependent choice of odours, i.e. 'learned avoidance' of recently collected components, has been proposed as the mechanism that mediates the accumulation of the stereotypical compound ratios. In the present study, we used the presence of certain compounds in male hind leg pouches as proxy for the respective local compound availability, and investigated whether differences in content are correlated with differences in chemical choice assays. Our results suggest that volatile availability differs between localities (n = 16) as well as habitats (n = 2; coastal vs. inland) across the Yucatán peninsula, Mexico, for both studied species. Male Euglossa dilemma showed a pronounced preference for benzyl benzoate and eugenol at locations where those compounds were rare in hind leg extracts, as predicted by the learned avoidance model. No equivalent correlations were found for Euglossa viridissima. This is the first study to combine chemical analyses of perfumes with bioassays of odour choice. It strengthens the view that negative feedback from collected odours modifies future chemical choice and helps males to acquire specific perfume blends.

  18. Multimodal eye recognition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, Zhi; Du, Yingzi; Thomas, N. L.; Delp, Edward J., III

    2010-04-01

    Multimodal biometrics use more than one means of biometric identification to achieve higher recognition accuracy, since sometimes a unimodal biometric is not good enough used to do identification and classification. In this paper, we proposed a multimodal eye recognition system, which can obtain both iris and sclera patterns from one color eye image. Gabor filter and 1-D Log-Gabor filter algorithms have been applied as the iris recognition algorithms. In sclera recognition, we introduced automatic sclera segmentation, sclera pattern enhancement, sclera pattern template generation, and sclera pattern matching. We applied kernelbased matching score fusion to improve the performance of the eye recognition system. The experimental results show that the proposed eye recognition method can achieve better performance compared to unimodal biometric identification, and the accuracy of our proposed kernel-based matching score fusion method is higher than two classic linear matching score fusion methods: Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and Linear Discriminant Analysis (LDA).

  19. Melodic Pitch Perception and Lexical Tone Perception in Mandarin-Speaking Cochlear Implant Users

    PubMed Central

    Tao, Duoduo; Deng, Rui; Jiang, Ye; Galvin, John J.; Fu, Qian-Jie; Chen, Bing

    2014-01-01

    Objectives To examine the relationship between lexical tone perception and melodic pitch perception in Mandarin-speaking cochlear implant (CI) users, and to investigate the influence of previous acoustic hearing on CI users’ speech and music perception. Design Lexical tone perception and melodic contour identification (MCI) were measured in 21 prelingual and 11 postlingual young (age: 6–26 years old) Mandarin-speaking CI users. Lexical tone recognition was measured for four tonal patterns: Tone 1 (flat F0), Tone 2 (rising F0), Tone 3 (falling-rising F0), and Tone 4 (falling F0). MCI was measured using 9 five-note melodic patterns that contained changes in pitch contour, as well as different semitone spacing between notes. Results Lexical tone recognition was generally good (overall mean = 81% correct), and there was no significant difference between subject groups. MCI performance was generally poor (mean = 23% correct). MCI performance was significantly better for postlingual (mean = 32% correct) than for prelingual CI participants (18% correct). After correcting for outliers, there was no significant correlation between lexical tone recognition and MCI performance for prelingual or post-lingual CI participants. Age at deafness was significantly correlated with MCI performance only for postlingual participants. CI experience was significantly correlated with MCI performance for both prelingual and postlingual participants. Duration of deafness was significantly correlated with tone recognition only for prelingual participants. Conclusions Despite the prevalence of pitch cues in Mandarin, the present CI participants had great difficulty perceiving melodic pitch. The availability of amplitude and duration cues in lexical tones most likely compensated for the poor pitch perception observed with these CI listeners. Previous acoustic hearing experience seemed to benefit postlingual CI users’ melodic pitch perception. Longer CI experience was associated with

  20. Exploiting core knowledge for visual object recognition.

    PubMed

    Schurgin, Mark W; Flombaum, Jonathan I

    2017-03-01

    Humans recognize thousands of objects, and with relative tolerance to variable retinal inputs. The acquisition of this ability is not fully understood, and it remains an area in which artificial systems have yet to surpass people. We sought to investigate the memory process that supports object recognition. Specifically, we investigated the association of inputs that co-occur over short periods of time. We tested the hypothesis that human perception exploits expectations about object kinematics to limit the scope of association to inputs that are likely to have the same token as a source. In several experiments we exposed participants to images of objects, and we then tested recognition sensitivity. Using motion, we manipulated whether successive encounters with an image took place through kinematics that implied the same or a different token as the source of those encounters. Images were injected with noise, or shown at varying orientations, and we included 2 manipulations of motion kinematics. Across all experiments, memory performance was better for images that had been previously encountered with kinematics that implied a single token. A model-based analysis similarly showed greater memory strength when images were shown via kinematics that implied a single token. These results suggest that constraints from physics are built into the mechanisms that support memory about objects. Such constraints-often characterized as 'Core Knowledge'-are known to support perception and cognition broadly, even in young infants. But they have never been considered as a mechanism for memory with respect to recognition. (PsycINFO Database Record

  1. Recognition of spoken words: semantic effects in lexical access.

    PubMed

    Wurm, Lee H; Vakoch, Douglas A; Seaman, Sean R

    2004-01-01

    Until recently most models of word recognition have assumed that semantic auditory naming effects come into play only after the identification of the word in question. What little evidence exists for early semantic effects in word recognition lexical decision has relied primarily on priming manipulations using the lexical decision task, and has used visual stimulus presentation. The current study uses semantics auditory stimulus presentation and multiple experimental tasks, and does not use priming. Response latencies for 100 common nouns were found to speech perception depend on perceptual dimensions identified by Osgood (1969): Evaluation, Potency, and Activity. In addition, the two-way interactions between these word recognition dimensions were significant. All effects were above and beyond the effects of concreteness, word length, frequency, onset phoneme characteristics, stress, and neighborhood density. Results are discussed against evidence from several areas of research suggesting a role of behaviorally important information in perception.

  2. A sensitivity analysis of process design parameters, commodity prices and robustness on the economics of odour abatement technologies.

    PubMed

    Estrada, José M; Kraakman, N J R Bart; Lebrero, Raquel; Muñoz, Raúl

    2012-01-01

    The sensitivity of the economics of the five most commonly applied odour abatement technologies (biofiltration, biotrickling filtration, activated carbon adsorption, chemical scrubbing and a hybrid technology consisting of a biotrickling filter coupled with carbon adsorption) towards design parameters and commodity prices was evaluated. Besides, the influence of the geographical location on the Net Present Value calculated for a 20 years lifespan (NPV20) of each technology and its robustness towards typical process fluctuations and operational upsets were also assessed. This comparative analysis showed that biological techniques present lower operating costs (up to 6 times) and lower sensitivity than their physical/chemical counterparts, with the packing material being the key parameter affecting their operating costs (40-50% of the total operating costs). The use of recycled or partially treated water (e.g. secondary effluent in wastewater treatment plants) offers an opportunity to significantly reduce costs in biological techniques. Physical/chemical technologies present a high sensitivity towards H2S concentration, which is an important drawback due to the fluctuating nature of malodorous emissions. The geographical analysis evidenced high NPV20 variations around the world for all the technologies evaluated, but despite the differences in wage and price levels, biofiltration and biotrickling filtration are always the most cost-efficient alternatives (NPV20). When, in an economical evaluation, the robustness is as relevant as the overall costs (NPV20), the hybrid technology would move up next to BTF as the most preferred technologies.

  3. Cycle-Characteristic Odour of Cow Urine Can Be Detected by the Female Face Fly (Musca autumnalis)

    PubMed Central

    Nordéus, K; Webster, B; Söderquist, L; Båge, R; Glinwood, R

    2014-01-01

    Contents Due to declining dairy cow fertility rates, there is great interest in developing tools for oestrus detection. Compounds in the volatile profile of oestrous cows are suggested as oestrus-specific, but consistent results have not been presented. Certain haematophagous arthropods can discriminate stages of the mammalian reproductive cycle based on host volatiles. This study investigated whether the face fly, Musca autumnalis de Geer (Diptera: Muscidae), can discriminate between urine from cows in oestrus and urine collected during the luteal phase. Individual flies were tested in a two-choice behavioural assay with choice between odour of oestrous or luteal urine and water (control). Flies chose the control arm significantly more when exposed to oestrous urine than when exposed to luteal urine. Analysis of volatiles showed that 1-hexadecanol (cetyl alcohol) was released in greater amounts from oestrous urine than from urine collected during the luteal phase. In a dose response assay, flies were significantly attracted by 0.01 ng of 1-hexadecanol but significantly repelled by 0.1 ng, a pattern consistent with fly responses to urine. In conclusion, M. autumnalis can discriminate between oestrous and luteal urine, and this may be mediated by differences in 1-hexadecanol concentration. PMID:25244510

  4. Characterisation of aroma profiles of commercial sufus by odour activity value, gas chromatography-olfactometry, aroma recombination and omission studies.

    PubMed

    Xiao, Zuobing; Shang, Yi; Chen, Feng; Niu, Yunwei; Gu, Yongbo; Liu, Shengjiang; Zhu, Jiancai

    2015-01-01

    Sufu is a solid-state fermented product made from soya beans. For the sake of quality control and regulation purposes, it is essential to be able to identify key odorants of various commercial sufus. To identify the aroma-active compounds in sufus, gas chromatography-olfactometry/aroma extract dilution analysis (GC-O/AEDA) was performed, and odour activity value (OAV) was estimated. The correlations between aroma profiles and identified aroma-active compounds were also investigated by principal component analysis. Results showed that 35 aroma-active compounds were detected through OAV calculation, while 28 compounds were identified by using GC-O/AEDA. Quantitative descriptive analysis revealed that aroma recombination model based on OAV calculation was more similar to original sufu in terms of aroma comparing to aroma recombination model based on GC-O/AEDA. Omission experiments further confirmed that the aroma compounds, such as ethyl butanoate, ethyl 2-methylbutanoate, ethyl hexanoate, (E,E)-2,4-decadienal and 2,6-dimethylpyrazine, contributed most significantly to the characteristic aroma of a commercial sufu.

  5. Membrane gas absorbers for H2S removal--design, operation and technology integration into existing odour treatment strategies.

    PubMed

    Jefferson, B; Nazareno, C; Georgaki, S; Gostelow, P; Stuetz, R M; Longhurst, P; Robinson, T

    2005-07-01

    A hollow fibre (HF) polypropylene membrane gas absorber was investigated for the removal of hydrogen sulphide (H2S) from gas streams. Gas concentrations between 25-2010 ppmV were fed into the shell side of a membrane module whilst water-NaOH solutions flowed counter-currently in the fibre lumens. The process was effective at removing the H2S (96% at G:L ratios up to 50 and pH 13) from the gas phase in a single pass through the membrane at all the concentrations of HaS investigated. Analysis of the mass transfer process revealed the rate of transfer to be controlled by the gas phase transfer coefficient with a value between 1 and 25 x 10(-4) m.s(-1). The possible integration of a membrane absorber system into existing odour treatment strategies was assessed by comparing the membrane system, based on the experimentally determined mass transfer coefficient, with existing full scale biofiltration plants. The membrane system became economically favourable at gas flow rates lower than 1630 m(3) x h(-1).

  6. The response of the blood-sucking bug Triatoma infestans to carbon dioxide and other host odours.

    PubMed

    Barrozo, Romina B; Lazzari, Claudio R

    2004-05-01

    Behavioural responses of Triatoma infestans larvae to carbon dioxide and other odours of vertebrate origin were investigated in a locomotion compensator. T. infestans oriented towards airstreams enriched with carbon dioxide exhibiting a threshold response between 300 and 400 p.p.m. above the ambient CO(2) background. The accuracy of the oriented response to carbon dioxide improved with stimulus intensity. Remarkably, insects did not show any change in their sensitivity threshold to carbon dioxide with the starvation time. The attractiveness to carbon dioxide depended on the time of the day, i.e. these nocturnal bugs only oriented towards carbon dioxide-loaded airstreams during the first hours of the scotophase. L-lactic acid did not evoke oriented responses when it was presented as a single stimulus in a wide range of intensities. However, a marked synergism was evident when L-lactic acid was combined with a sub-threshold concentration of carbon dioxide. Under this condition, the threshold response to carbon dioxide decreased to 75-150 p.p.m. above ambient CO(2) background. The isomer D-lactic acid evoked no response, either alone or in combination with carbon dioxide. When insects were stimulated with 1-octen-3-ol a significant positive orientation was found. This response was not modified by the addition of carbon dioxide.

  7. Chemical compositions and muddy flavour/odour of protein hydrolysate from Nile tilapia and broadhead catfish mince and protein isolate.

    PubMed

    Yarnpakdee, Suthasinee; Benjakul, Soottawat; Penjamras, Pimpimol; Kristinsson, Hordur G

    2014-01-01

    Chemical compositions and muddy compounds in dorsal and ventral muscles of Nile tilapia and broadhead catfish were comparatively studied. On a dry weight basis, Nile tilapia was rich in protein (93.1-93.8%), whilst broadhead catfish contained protein (55.2-59.5%) and lipid (36.6-42.4%) as the major constituents. Ventral portion had higher lipid or phospholipid contents with coincidentally higher geosmin and/or 2-methylisoborneol (2-MIB) contents. Geosmin was found in mince of Nile tilapia and broadhead catfish at levels of 1.5 and 3.2μg/kg, respectively. Broadhead catfish mince had 2-MIB at level of 0.8μg/kg, but no 2-MIB was detected in Nile tilapia counterpart. When pre-washing and alkaline solubilisation were applied for preparing protein isolate (PI), lipid and phospholipid contents were lowered with concomitant decrease in geosmin and 2-MIB contents. Protein hydrolysate produced from PI had a lighter colour and a lower amount of muddy compounds, compared with that prepared from mince. Therefore, PI from both Nile tilapia and broadhead catfish could serve as the promising proteinaceous material, yielding protein hydrolysate with the negligible muddy odour and flavour.

  8. Lexical and context effects in children's audiovisual speech recognition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holt, Rachael; Kirk, Karen; Pisoni, David; Burckhartzmeyer, Lisa; Lin, Anna

    2005-09-01

    The Audiovisual Lexical Neighborhood Sentence Test (AVLNST), a new, recorded speech recognition test for children with sensory aids, was administered in multiple presentation modalities to children with normal hearing and vision. Each sentence consists of three key words whose lexical difficulty is controlled according to the Neighborhood Activation Model (NAM) of spoken word recognition. According to NAM, the recognition of spoken words is influenced by two lexical factors: the frequency of occurrence of individual words in a language, and how phonemically similar the target word is to other words in the listeners lexicon. These predictions are based on auditory similarity only, and thus do not take into account how visual information can influence the perception of speech. Data from the AVLNST, together with those from recorded audiovisual versions of isolated word recognition measures, the Lexical Neighborhood, and the Multisyllabic Lexical Neighborhood Tests, were used to examine the influence of visual information on speech perception in children. Further, the influence of top-down processing on speech recognition was examined by evaluating performance on the recognition of words in isolation versus words in sentences. [Work supported by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation, the American Hearing Research Foundation, and the NIDCD, T32 DC00012 to Indiana University.

  9. Changes in functional connectivity support conscious object recognition.

    PubMed

    Imamoglu, Fatma; Kahnt, Thorsten; Koch, Christof; Haynes, John-Dylan

    2012-12-01

    What are the brain mechanisms that mediate conscious object recognition? To investigate this question, it is essential to distinguish between brain processes that cause conscious recognition of a stimulus from other correlates of its sensory processing. Previous fMRI studies have identified large-scale brain activity ranging from striate to high-level sensory and prefrontal regions associated with conscious visual perception or recognition. However, the possible role of changes in connectivity during conscious perception between these regions has only rarely been studied. Here, we used fMRI and connectivity analyses, together with 120 custom-generated, two-tone, Mooney images to directly assess whether conscious recognition of an object is accompanied by a dynamical change in the functional coupling between extrastriate cortex and prefrontal areas. We compared recognizing an object versus not recognizing it in 19 naïve subjects using two different response modalities. We find that connectivity between the extrastriate cortex and the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) increases when objects are consciously recognized. This interaction was independent of the response modality used to report conscious recognition. Furthermore, computing the difference in Granger causality between recognized and not recognized conditions reveals stronger feedforward connectivity than feedback connectivity when subjects recognized the objects. We suggest that frontal and visual brain regions are part of a functional network that supports conscious object recognition by changes in functional connectivity.

  10. Moreland Recognition Program.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moreland Elementary School District, San Jose, CA.

    THE FOLLOWING IS THE FULL TEXT OF THIS DOCUMENT: Recognition for special effort and achievement has been noted as a component of effective schools. Schools in the Moreland School District have effectively improved standards of discipline and achievement by providing forty-six different ways for children to receive positive recognition. Good…

  11. Evolutionary grass roots for odor recognition.

    PubMed

    Olender, Tsviya; Lancet, Doron

    2012-09-01

    Considerable evidence supports the idea that odorant recognition depends on specific sequence variations in olfactory receptor (OR) proteins. Much of this emerges from in vitro screens in heterogenous expression systems. However, the ultimate proof should arise from measurements of odorant thresholds in human individuals harboring different OR genetic variants, a research vein that has so far been only scantly explored. The study of McRae et al., published in this issue of Chemical Senses, shows how the recognition of a grassy odorant depends on specific OR interindividual sequence changes. It provides a clear relevant example for the impact of genetics on olfaction and is an excellent portrayal of the power of human genomics to decipher olfactory perception.

  12. Cascaded automatic target recognition (Cascaded ATR)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walls, Bradley

    2010-04-01

    The global war on terror has plunged US and coalition forces into a battle space requiring the continuous adaptation of tactics and technologies to cope with an elusive enemy. As a result, technologies that enhance the intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) mission making the warfighter more effective are experiencing increased interest. In this paper we show how a new generation of smart cameras built around foveated sensing makes possible a powerful ISR technique termed Cascaded ATR. Foveated sensing is an innovative optical concept in which a single aperture captures two distinct fields of view. In Cascaded ATR, foveated sensing is used to provide a coarse resolution, persistent surveillance, wide field of view (WFOV) detector to accomplish detection level perception. At the same time, within the foveated sensor, these detection locations are passed as a cue to a steerable, high fidelity, narrow field of view (NFOV) detector to perform recognition level perception. Two new ISR mission scenarios, utilizing Cascaded ATR, are proposed.

  13. Object recognition difficulty in visual apperceptive agnosia.

    PubMed

    Grossman, M; Galetta, S; D'Esposito, M

    1997-04-01

    Two patients with visual apperceptive agnosia were examined on tasks assessing the appreciation of visual material. Elementary visual functioning was relatively preserved, but they had profound difficulty recognizing and naming line drawings. More detailed evaluation revealed accurate recognition of regular geometric shapes and colors, but performance deteriorated when the shapes were made more complex visually, when multiple-choice arrays contained larger numbers of simple targets and foils, and when a mental manipulation such as a rotation was required. The recognition of letters and words was similarly compromised. Naming, recognition, and anomaly judgments of colored pictures and real objects were more accurate than similar decisions involving black-and-white line drawings. Visual imagery for shapes, letters, and objects appeared to be more accurate than visual perception of the same materials. We hypothesize that object recognition difficulty in visual apperceptive agnosia is due to two related factors: the impaired appreciation of the visual perceptual features that constitute objects, and a limitation in the cognitive resources that are available for processing demanding material within the visual modality.

  14. EEG based topography analysis in string recognition task

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ma, Xiaofei; Huang, Xiaolin; Shen, Yuxiaotong; Qin, Zike; Ge, Yun; Chen, Ying; Ning, Xinbao

    2017-03-01

    Vision perception and recognition is a complex process, during which different parts of brain are involved depending on the specific modality of the vision target, e.g. face, character, or word. In this study, brain activities in string recognition task compared with idle control state are analyzed through topographies based on multiple measurements, i.e. sample entropy, symbolic sample entropy and normalized rhythm power, extracted from simultaneously collected scalp EEG. Our analyses show that, for most subjects, both symbolic sample entropy and normalized gamma power in string recognition task are significantly higher than those in idle state, especially at locations of P4, O2, T6 and C4. It implies that these regions are highly involved in string recognition task. Since symbolic sample entropy measures complexity, from the perspective of new information generation, and normalized rhythm power reveals the power distributions in frequency domain, complementary information about the underlying dynamics can be provided through the two types of indices.

  15. The neural correlates of visual self-recognition.

    PubMed

    Devue, Christel; Brédart, Serge

    2011-03-01

    This paper presents a review of studies that were aimed at determining which brain regions are recruited during visual self-recognition, with a particular focus on self-face recognition. A complex bilateral network, involving frontal, parietal and occipital areas, appears to be associated with self-face recognition, with a particularly high implication of the right hemisphere. Results indicate that it remains difficult to determine which specific cognitive operation is reflected by each recruited brain area, in part due to the variability of used control stimuli and experimental tasks. A synthesis of the interpretations provided by previous studies is presented. The relevance of using self-recognition as an indicator of self-awareness is discussed. We argue that a major aim of future research in the field should be to identify more clearly the cognitive operations induced by the perception of the self-face, and search for dissociations between neural correlates and cognitive components.

  16. Assessing collective affect recognition via the Emotional Aperture Measure.

    PubMed

    Sanchez-Burks, Jeffrey; Bartel, Caroline A; Rees, Laura; Huy, Quy

    2016-01-01

    Curiosity about collective affect is undergoing a revival in many fields. This literature, tracing back to Le Bon's seminal work on crowd psychology, has established the veracity of collective affect and demonstrated its influence on a wide range of group dynamics. More recently, an interest in the perception of collective affect has emerged, revealing a need for a methodological approach for assessing collective emotion recognition to complement measures of individual emotion recognition. This article addresses this need by introducing the Emotional Aperture Measure (EAM). Three studies provide evidence that collective affect recognition requires a processing style distinct from individual emotion recognition and establishes the validity and reliability of the EAM. A sample of working managers further shows how the EAM provides unique insights into how individuals interact with collectives. We discuss how the EAM can advance several lines of research on collective affect.

  17. Saliency modulates global perception in simultanagnosia.

    PubMed

    Huberle, Elisabeth; Karnath, Hans-Otto

    2010-08-01

    Patients with parieto-occipital brain damage may show simultanagnosia, a selective impairment in the simultaneous perception and integration of multiple objects (global perception) with normal recognition of individual objects. Recent findings in patients with simultanagnosia indicate improved global perception at smaller spatial distances between local elements of hierarchical organized complex visual arrays. Global perception thus does not appear to be an all-or-nothing phenomenon but can be modified by the spatial relationship between local elements. The present study aimed to define characteristics of a general principle that accounts for improved global perception of hierarchically organized complex visual arrays in patients with simultanagnosia with respect to the spatial properties of local elements. In detail, we investigated the role of the number and size of the local elements as well as their relationship with each other for the global perception. The findings indicate that global perception increases independently of the size of the global object and depends on the spatial relationship between the local elements and the global object. The results further argue against the possibility of a restriction in the attended or perceived area in simultanagnosia, in the sense that the integration of local elements into a global scene is impaired if a certain spatial "field of view" is exceeded. A possible explanation for these observations might be a shift from global to local saliency in simultanagnosia.

  18. Neuronal substrates characterizing two stages in visual object recognition.

    PubMed

    Taminato, Tomoya; Miura, Naoki; Sugiura, Motoaki; Kawashima, Ryuta

    2014-12-01

    Visual object recognition is classically believed to involve two stages: a perception stage in which perceptual information is integrated, and a memory stage in which perceptual information is matched with an object's representation. The transition from the perception to the memory stage can be slowed to allow for neuroanatomical segregation using a degraded visual stimuli (DVS) task in which images are first presented at low spatial resolution and then gradually sharpened. In this functional magnetic resonance imaging study, we characterized these two stages using a DVS task based on the classic model. To separate periods that are assumed to dominate the perception, memory, and post-recognition stages, subjects responded once when they could guess the identity of the object in the image and a second time when they were certain of the identity. Activation of the right medial occipitotemporal region and the posterior part of the rostral medial frontal cortex was found to be characteristic of the perception and memory stages, respectively. Although the known role of the former region in perceptual integration was consistent with the classic model, a likely role of the latter region in monitoring for confirmation of recognition suggests the advantage of recently proposed interactive models.

  19. Analysis of odour compounds from scented consumer products using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and gas chromatography-olfactometry.

    PubMed

    Bartsch, Jennifer; Uhde, Erik; Salthammer, Tunga

    2016-01-21

    Scented consumer products are being bought in increasing amounts and gaining more popularity. There is, however, relatively little information available about their ingredients, emissions and allergenic potential. Frequently, a mixture of different fragrance substances and not solely an individual substance contributes to the overall desired smell. The aim of this study was to investigate the odorous volatile organic compounds (OVOCs) in consumer products containing fragrances. Over 44 products were selected: various scented candles, printing products with different scent types and other products types particularly meant to be used indoors. Measurements were carried out in a desiccator. Air samples were collected on thermal desorption tubes to determine the released fragrance substances by means of gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Moreover, gas chromatography-olfactometry (GC-O) was used to obtain sensory data and to ensure no important odorant was overlooked. Using both methods it was possible to distinguish between odour active and inactive compounds and subsequently to identify almost 300 different odorants across all scented products. Besides the advantage of differentiation, as the human nose is a very sensitive detector, GC-O was found to be a useful tool for detecting traces and chosen target compounds. One focus in this study lay on the 26 EU-regulated fragrance allergens to prove their relevance in scented consumer goods. In total, 18 of them were identified, with at least one substance being present in almost every product. Benzyl alcohol, cinnamaldehyde, citronellol, eugenol, linalool and limonene were the prevalently detected allergens. Particularly linalool and limonene were observed in over 50% of the products. In addition, eugenol appeared to be one of the most frequently detected compounds in trace-level concentrations in the candle emissions.

  20. Development of odour-baited flytraps for sampling the African latrine fly, Chrysomya putoria, a putative vector of enteric diseases.

    PubMed

    Lindsay, Thomas C; Jawara, Musa; D'Alessandro, Umberto; Pinder, Margaret; Lindsay, Steven W

    2012-01-01

    African pit latrines produce prodigious numbers of the latrine fly, Chrysomya putoria, a putative vector of diarrhoeal pathogens. We set out to develop a simple, low-cost odour-baited trap for collecting C. putoria in the field. A series of field experiments was carried out in The Gambia to assess the catching-efficiency of different trap designs. The basic trap was a transparent 3L polypropylene box baited with 50 g of fish, with a white opaque lid with circular entrance holes. We tested variations of the number, diameter, position and shape of the entrance holes, the height of the trap above ground, degree of transparency of the box, its shape, volume, colour, and the attractiveness of gridded surfaces on or under the trap. Traps were rotated between positions on different sampling occasions using a Latin Square design. The optimal trapping features were incorporated into a final trap that was tested against commercially available traps. Features of the trap that increased the number of flies caught included: larger entrance holes (compared with smaller ones, p<0.001), using conical collars inside the holes (compared with without collars, p = 0.01), entrance holes on the top of the trap (compared with the side or bottom, p<0.001), traps placed on the ground (compared with above ground, p<0.001), the box having transparent sides (compared with being opaque, p<0.001), and with no wire grids nearby (compared with those with grids, p = 0.03). This trap collected similar numbers of C. putoria to other common traps for blow flies. The optimum trap design was a transparent box, with a white plastic lid on top, perforated with 10 conical entrance holes, placed on the ground. Our simple trap provides a cheap, low-maintenance and effective method of sampling C. putoria in the field.

  1. Development of Odour-Baited Flytraps for Sampling the African Latrine Fly, Chrysomya putoria, a Putative Vector of Enteric Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Lindsay, Thomas C.; Jawara, Musa; D’Alessandro, Umberto; Pinder, Margaret; Lindsay, Steven W.

    2012-01-01

    African pit latrines produce prodigious numbers of the latrine fly, Chrysomya putoria, a putative vector of diarrhoeal pathogens. We set out to develop a simple, low-cost odour-baited trap for collecting C. putoria in the field. A series of field experiments was carried out in The Gambia to assess the catching-efficiency of different trap designs. The basic trap was a transparent 3L polypropylene box baited with 50 g of fish, with a white opaque lid with circular entrance holes. We tested variations of the number, diameter, position and shape of the entrance holes, the height of the trap above ground, degree of transparency of the box, its shape, volume, colour, and the attractiveness of gridded surfaces on or under the trap. Traps were rotated between positions on different sampling occasions using a Latin Square design. The optimal trapping features were incorporated into a final trap that was tested against commercially available traps. Features of the trap that increased the number of flies caught included: larger entrance holes (compared with smaller ones, p<0.001), using conical collars inside the holes (compared with without collars, p = 0.01), entrance holes on the top of the trap (compared with the side or bottom, p<0.001), traps placed on the ground (compared with above ground, p<0.001), the box having transparent sides (compared with being opaque, p<0.001), and with no wire grids nearby (compared with those with grids, p = 0.03). This trap collected similar numbers of C. putoria to other common traps for blow flies. The optimum trap design was a transparent box, with a white plastic lid on top, perforated with 10 conical entrance holes, placed on the ground. Our simple trap provides a cheap, low-maintenance and effective method of sampling C. putoria in the field. PMID:23226296

  2. Pattern recognition technique

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hong, J. P.

    1971-01-01

    Technique operates regardless of pattern rotation, translation or magnification and successfully detects out-of-register patterns. It improves accuracy and reduces cost of various optical character recognition devices and page readers and provides data input to computer.

  3. Eye movements during object recognition in visual agnosia.

    PubMed

    Charles Leek, E; Patterson, Candy; Paul, Matthew A; Rafal, Robert; Cristino, Filipe

    2012-07-01

    This paper reports the first ever detailed study about eye movement patterns during single object recognition in visual agnosia. Eye movements were recorded in a patient with an integrative agnosic deficit during two recognition tasks: common object naming and novel object recognition memory. The patient showed normal directional biases in saccades and fixation dwell times in both tasks and was as likely as controls to fixate within object bounding contour regardless of recognition accuracy. In contrast, following initial saccades of similar amplitude to controls, the patient showed a bias for short saccades. In object naming, but not in recognition memory, the similarity of the spatial distributions of patient and control fixations was modulated by recognition accuracy. The study provides new evidence about how eye movements can be used to elucidate the functional impairments underlying object recognition deficits. We argue that the results reflect a breakdown in normal functional processes involved in the integration of shape information across object structure during the visual perception of shape.

  4. Short-term experiments in using digestate products as substitutes for mineral (N) fertilizer: Agronomic performance, odours, and ammonia emission impacts.

    PubMed

    Riva, C; Orzi, V; Carozzi, M; Acutis, M; Boccasile, G; Lonati, S; Tambone, F; D'Imporzano, G; Adani, F

    2016-03-15

    Anaerobic digestion produces a biologically stable and high-value fertilizer product, the digestate, which can be used as an alternative to mineral fertilizers on crops. However, misuse of digestate can lead to annoyance for the public (odours) and to environmental problems such as nitrate leaching and ammonia emissions into the air. Full field experimental data are needed to support the use of digestate in agriculture, promoting its correct management. In this work, short-term experiments were performed to substitute mineral N fertilizers (urea) with digestate and products derived from it to the crop silage maize. Digestate and the liquid fraction of digestate were applied to soil at pre-sowing and as topdressing fertilizers in comparison with urea, both by surface application and subsurface injection during the cropping seasons 2012 and 2013. After each fertilizer application, both odours and ammonia emissions were measured, giving data about digestate and derived products' impacts. The AD products could substitute for urea without reducing crop yields, apart from the surface application of AD-derived fertilizers. Digestate and derived products, because of high biological stability acquired during the AD, had greatly reduced olfactometry impact, above all when they were injected into soils (82-88% less odours than the untreated biomass, i.e. cattle slurry). Ammonia emission data indicated, as expected, that the correct use of digestate and derived products required their injection into the soil avoiding, ammonia volatilization into the air and preserving fertilizer value. Sub-surface injection allowed ammonia emissions to be reduced by 69% and 77% compared with surface application during the 2012 and 2013 campaigns.

  5. Determination of odour threshold concentrations and dose-response relations in water of several minor disinfection by-products: aldehydes and alkyl nitriles.

    PubMed

    Fabrellas, C; Matia, L; Ventura, F

    2004-01-01

    The odour threshold concentrations (OTCs) levels of aldehydes and alkyl nitriles, two groups of disinfection by-products of water treatment, have been studied in order to know if some of these compounds can be associated with off-flavour events. For aldehydes, as a result of the values obtained, which are in the low microg/L range, it is possible that they are related to these events. This is not the case for the other group, alkyl nitriles, with very high OTC values.

  6. Temporal Integration in Face Perception: Evidence of Configural Processing of Temporally Separated Face Parts

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Anaki, David; Boyd, Jennifer; Moscovitch, Morris

    2007-01-01

    Temporal integration is the process by which temporally separated visual components are combined into a unified representation. Although this process has been studied in object recognition, little is known about temporal integration in face perception and recognition. In the present study, the authors investigated the characteristics and time…

  7. Stereoscopic Perception

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clapp, Robert E.

    1987-06-01

    There is only one real world, We "see" that world as extending into three dimensions because we look at it with two eyes. We are not presented with two "pictures" of the real world, but with two separate views. Views not pictures. The analog of the eye as a camera has done violence to the development of concepts of human vision. The eye is a dynamic sensing apparatus that supplies the brain with inputs from which the brain constructs the scene we "see", and so is responsible for our perceptual structuring of the real world. These visual perceptions are dependent upon our other sensory inputs as well. Indeed, our body senses control and direct, to some degree, where out eyes look and what we "see". This process of conceptualization is thoroughly egocentric. This paper addresses the processes by which our mind/eye/senses interact to form our perception (and concepts) of the world (real or illusionary) and the advantages (and problems) of our egocentric reduction of the data inputs.

  8. Auditory perception of a human walker.

    PubMed

    Cottrell, David; Campbell, Megan E J

    2014-01-01

    When one hears footsteps in the hall, one is able to instantly recognise it as a person: this is an everyday example of auditory biological motion perception. Despite the familiarity of this experience, research into this phenomenon is in its infancy compared with visual biological motion perception. Here, two experiments explored sensitivity to, and recognition of, auditory stimuli of biological and nonbiological origin. We hypothesised that the cadence of a walker gives rise to a temporal pattern of impact sounds that facilitates the recognition of human motion from auditory stimuli alone. First a series of detection tasks compared sensitivity with three carefully matched impact sounds: footsteps, a ball bouncing, and drumbeats. Unexpectedly, participants were no more sensitive to footsteps than to impact sounds of nonbiological origin. In the second experiment participants made discriminations between pairs of the same stimuli, in a series of recognition tasks in which the temporal pattern of impact sounds was manipulated to be either that of a walker or the pattern more typical of the source event (a ball bouncing or a drumbeat). Under these conditions, there was evidence that both temporal and nontemporal cues were important in recognising theses stimuli. It is proposed that the interval between footsteps, which reflects a walker's cadence, is a cue for the recognition of the sounds of a human walking.

  9. Emotion recognition (sometimes) depends on horizontal orientations

    PubMed Central

    Huynh, Carol M; Balas, Benjamin

    2014-01-01

    Face recognition depends critically on horizontal orientations (Goffaux & Dakin, 2010). Face images that lack horizontal features are harder to recognize than those that have that information preserved. Presently, we asked if facial emotional recognition also exhibits this dependency by asking observers to categorize orientation-filtered happy and sad expressions. Furthermore, we aimed to dissociate image-based orientation energy from object-based orientation by rotating images 90-degrees in the picture-plane. In our first experiment, we showed that the perception of emotional expression does depend on horizontal orientations and that object-based orientation constrained performance more than image-based orientation. In Experiment 2 we showed that mouth openness (i.e. open versus closed-mouths) also influenced the emotion-dependent reliance on horizontal information. Lastly, we describe a simple computational analysis that demonstrates that the impact of mouth openness was not predicted by variation in the distribution of orientation energy across horizontal and vertical orientation bands. Overall, our results suggest that emotion recognition does largely depend on horizontal information defined relative to the face, but that this bias is modulated by multiple factors that introduce variation in appearance across and within distinct emotions. PMID:24664854

  10. A comparison of biofilms from macrophytes and rocks for taste and odour producers in the St. Lawrence river.

    PubMed

    Ridal, J J; Watson, S B; Hickey, M B C

    2007-01-01

    Given their widespread and prolific annual development in the St. Lawrence River (SLR), macrophytes (i.e. submerged aquatic plants) represent large surface areas for biofilm growth and potentially important sites for associated production of taste and odour (T&O) compounds. We therefore evaluated the importance of submerged macrophytes and their associated biofilms for production of T&O compounds, 2-methylisoborneol (MIB) and geosmin (GM), compared with biofilms from adjacent rocks. We also tested the hypothesis that production of these compounds would differ between macrophyte species, based on the premise that they are not inert substrates but directly influence the communities that colonise their surfaces. Samples collected from transects across the SLR between Kingston and Cornwall, ON were dominated by the flat-bladed Vallisneria spp., and the leafed Myriophyllum spicatum, Elodea canadensis, Chara spp., Potamgeton spp., and Ceratophyllum spp. Overall, MIB and GM levels in biofilms ranged widely between samples. Expressed per g dry weight of biofilm, median levels from macrophyte were 50 (range 1-5000) ng MIB g(-1) and 10 (<1 to 580) ng GM g(-1) compared with 50 (range 5-970) ng MIB g(-1) and 160 (1-1600) ng GM g(-1) from rocks. Based on non-parametric statistical analysis, levels of GM were higher on a g dry weight basis in biofilms from rocks than macrophytes (P = 0.02), but MIB levels were similar (P = 0.94). However, when normalised for differences in substrate surface area (i.e. ng cm(-2)), levels of both MIB and GM were higher in biofilms from rocks than from macrophytes (P < 0.01). There were no discernable differences in MIB and GM concentrations from biofilms of different macrophytes based on either g dry weight sample or surface area (P > 0.05). Overlying water (OLW) concentrations ranged between 2-45 ng L(-1) for MIB and 5-30 ng L(-1) for GM and were not correlated with levels in adjacent biofilms. However, OLW concentrations peaked in shallow, low

  11. Alexithymia, not autism, predicts poor recognition of emotional facial expressions.

    PubMed

    Cook, Richard; Brewer, Rebecca; Shah, Punit; Bird, Geoffrey

    2013-05-01

    Despite considerable research into whether face perception is impaired in autistic individuals, clear answers have proved elusive. In the present study, we sought to determine whether co-occurring alexithymia (characterized by difficulties interpreting emotional states) may be responsible for face-perception deficits previously attributed to autism. Two experiments were conducted using psychophysical procedures to determine the relative contributions of alexithymia and autism to identity and expression recognition. Experiment 1 showed that alexithymia correlates strongly with the precision of expression attributions, whereas autism severity was unrelated to expression-recognition ability. Experiment 2 confirmed that alexithymia is not associated with impaired ability to detect expression variation; instead, results suggested that alexithymia is associated with difficulties interpreting intact sensory descriptions. Neither alexithymia nor autism was associated with biased or imprecise identity attributions. These findings accord with the hypothesis that the emotional symptoms of autism are in fact due to co-occurring alexithymia and that existing diagnostic criteria may need to be revised.

  12. Clustering-based pattern recognition applied to chemical recognition using SAW array signals

    SciTech Connect

    Osbourn, G.C.; Bartholomew, J.W.; Frye, G.C.; Ricco, A.J.

    1994-05-01

    We present a new patter recognition (PR) technique for chemical identification using arrays of microsensors. The technique relies on a new empirical approach to k-dimensional cluster analysis which incorporates measured human visual perceptions of difficult 2- dimensional clusters. The method can handle nonlinear SAW array data, detects both unexpected (outlier) and unreliable array responses, and has no user-adjustable parameters. We use this technique to guide the development of arrays of thin-film-coated SAW (Surface Acoustic Wave) devices that produce optimal PR performance for distinguishing a variety of volatile organic compounds, organophosphonates and water.

  13. Improving Negative Emotion Recognition in Young Offenders Reduces Subsequent Crime

    PubMed Central

    Hubble, Kelly; Bowen, Katharine L.; Moore, Simon C.; van Goozen, Stephanie H. M.

    2015-01-01

    Background Children with antisocial behaviour show deficits in the perception of emotional expressions in others that may contribute to the development and persistence of antisocial and aggressive behaviour. Current treatments for antisocial youngsters are limited in effectiveness. It has been argued that more attention should be devoted to interventions that target neuropsychological correlates of antisocial behaviour. This study examined the effect of emotion recognition training on criminal behaviour. Methods Emotion recognition and crime levels were studied in 50 juvenile offenders. Whilst all young offenders received their statutory interventions as the study was conducted, a subgroup of twenty-four offenders also took part in a facial affect training aimed at improving emotion recognition. Offenders in the training and control groups were matched for age, SES, IQ and lifetime crime level. All offenders were tested twice for emotion recognition performance, and recent crime data were collected after the testing had been completed. Results Before the training there were no differences between the groups in emotion recognition, with both groups displaying poor fear, sadness and anger recognition. After the training fear, sadness and anger recognition improved significantly in juvenile offenders in the training group. Although crime rates dropped in all offenders in the 6 months following emotion testing, only the group of offenders who had received the emotion training showed a significant reduction in the severity of the crimes they committed. Conclusions The study indicates that emotion recognition can be relatively easily improved in youths who engage in serious antisocial and criminal behavior. The results suggest that improved emotion recognition has the potential to reduce the severity of reoffending. PMID:26121148

  14. Spatio-Temporal Pattern Recognition Using Hidden Markov Models

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1994-06-01

    motion. Bulpitt and Allinson have a method that uses a neural network to interpret the motion in MLDs (12). A measure of the relative position of each...Report RC-4788, IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center, April 1974. 4. Dana H. Ballard and Christopher M. Brown. Computer Vision. Prentice-Hall, New...1987. 12. A. J. Bulpitt and N. M. Allinson . Motion perception and recognition using moving light displays. In Second International Conference on

  15. The effect of saliva composition on texture perception of semi-solids.

    PubMed

    Engelen, Lina; van den Keybus, Petra A M; de Wijk, René A; Veerman, Enno C I; Amerongen, Arie V Nieuw; Bosman, Frits; Prinz, Jon F; van der Bilt, Andries

    2007-06-01

    Saliva is expected to be of significance for the perception of food stimuli in the mouth. Mixing the food with saliva, including breakdown and dilution, is considered to be of large importance for semi-solids as these products are masticated without chewing. It is known that there are large variations in composition of saliva originating from different glands and different subjects. In this study we investigated how variations in salivary characteristics affect sensory perception. Eighteen trained subjects participated in the study. Saliva was collected at rest and during three types of stimulation (odour, parafilm chewing and citric acid), and flow rates were determined. The collected saliva was analyzed for protein concentration, buffer capacity, mucin level and alpha-amylase activity. The salivary components measured in this study varied considerably among subjects, but also within subjects as a result of different means of stimulation. Variations in salivary components were correlated with sensory perception of a number of flavour, mouth feel and after feel attributes in the semi-solids mayonnaise and custard dessert. Total protein concentration and alpha-amylase activity were observed to correlate most strongly with texture perception.

  16. Haptic Object Recognition is View-Independent in Early Blind but not Sighted People.

    PubMed

    Occelli, Valeria; Lacey, Simon; Stephens, Careese; John, Thomas; Sathian, K

    2016-03-01

    Object recognition, whether visual or haptic, is impaired in sighted people when objects are rotated between learning and test, relative to an unrotated condition, that is, recognition is view-dependent. Loss of vision early in life results in greater reliance on haptic perception for object identification compared with the sighted. Therefore, we hypothesized that early blind people may be more adept at recognizing objects despite spatial transformations. To test this hypothesis, we compared early blind and sighted control participants on a haptic object recognition task. Participants studied pairs of unfamiliar three-dimensional objects and performed a two-alternative forced-choice identification task, with the learned objects presented both unrotated and rotated 180° about they-axis. Rotation impaired the recognition accuracy of sighted, but not blind, participants. We propose that, consistent with our hypothesis, haptic view-independence in the early blind reflects their greater experience with haptic object perception.

  17. Haptic object recognition is view-independent in early blind but not sighted people

    PubMed Central

    Occelli, Valeria; Lacey, Simon; Stephens, Careese; John, Thomas; Sathian, K.

    2016-01-01

    Object recognition, whether visual or haptic, is impaired in sighted people when objects are rotated between learning and test, relative to an unrotated condition, i.e., recognition is view-dependent. Loss of vision early in life results in greater reliance on haptic perception for object identification compared to the sighted. Therefore, we hypothesized that early blind people may be more adept at recognizing objects despite spatial transformations. To test this hypothesis, we compared early blind and sighted control participants on a haptic object recognition task. Participants studied pairs of unfamiliar 3-D objects and performed a two-alternative forced-choice identification task, with the learned objects presented both unrotated and rotated 180° about the y-axis. Rotation impaired the recognition accuracy of sighted, but not blind, participants. We propose that, consistent with our hypothesis, haptic view-independence in the early blind reflects their greater experience with haptic object perception. PMID:26562881

  18. Face averages enhance user recognition for smartphone security.

    PubMed

    Robertson, David J; Kramer, Robin S S; Burton, A Mike

    2015-01-01

    Our recognition of familiar faces is excellent, and generalises across viewing conditions. However, unfamiliar face recognition is much poorer. For this reason, automatic face recognition systems might benefit from incorporating the advantages of familiarity. Here we put this to the test using the face verification system available on a popular smartphone (the Samsung Galaxy). In two experiments we tested the recognition performance of the smartphone when it was encoded with an individual's 'face-average'--a representation derived from theories of human face perception. This technique significantly improved performance for both unconstrained celebrity images (Experiment 1) and for real faces (Experiment 2): users could unlock their phones more reliably when the device stored an average of the user's face than when they stored a single image. This advantage was consistent across a wide variety of everyday viewing conditions. Furthermore, the benefit did not reduce the rejection of imposter faces. This benefit is brought about solely by consideration of suitable representations for automatic face recognition, and we argue that this is just as important as development of matching algorithms themselves. We propose that this representation could significantly improve recognition rates in everyday settings.

  19. [Prosopagnosia and facial expression recognition].

    PubMed

    Koyama, Shinichi

    2014-04-01

    This paper reviews clinical neuropsychological studies that have indicated that the recognition of a person's identity and the recognition of facial expressions are processed by different cortical and subcortical areas of the brain. The fusiform gyrus, especially the right fusiform gyrus, plays an important role in the recognition of identity. The superior temporal sulcus, amygdala, and medial frontal cortex play important roles in facial-expression recognition. Both facial recognition and facial-expression recognition are highly intellectual processes that involve several regions of the brain.

  20. Beginning Students' Perceptions of Effective Activities for Chinese Character Recognition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wang, Jing; Leland, Christine H.

    2011-01-01

    This study investigates what beginning learners of Chinese perceive as helpful in learning to recognize characters. Thirteen English-speaking participants in a beginning Chinese class answered journal questions and completed a survey over one semester at a large Midwestern university. Findings suggest that participants perceived the usefulness of…

  1. Auditory Perception in an Open Space: Detection and Recognition

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-06-01

    acoustic (target sound and noise level) and meteorological (wind direction and strength, temperature , atmospheric pressure, humidity) data were...33 Fig. 14 The effects of temperature and relative humidity on sound attenuation as functions of temperature (left...depends on sound frequency, temperature and atmospheric (static) pressure within the medium, and in the case of molecular relaxation processes, on

  2. Gender, Self, and Others: Perceptions of the Campus Environment.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fischer, Ann R.; Good, Glenn E.

    1994-01-01

    Examined gender roles and sex equity in higher education. Findings from 635 college students revealed that greater sex bias and discrimination were reported by women, whereas greater indifference and lack of recognition were perceived by men. Students' experiences with sexual harassment and perceptions of degree to which women were represented in…

  3. Research on Speech Perception. Progress Report No. 12.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pisoni, David B.; And Others

    Summarizing research activities in 1986, this is the twelfth annual report of research on speech perception, analysis, synthesis, and recognition conducted in the Speech Research Laboratory of the Department of Psychology at Indiana University. The report contains the following 23 articles: "Comprehension of Digitally Encoded Natural Speech…

  4. Perception of Biological Motion in Autism Spectrum Disorders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Freitag, Christine M.; Konrad, Carsten; Haberlen, Melanie; Kleser, Christina; von Gontard, Alexander; Reith, Wolfgang; Troje, Nikolaus F.; Krick, Christoph

    2008-01-01

    In individuals with autism or autism-spectrum-disorder (ASD), conflicting results have been reported regarding the processing of biological motion tasks. As biological motion perception and recognition might be related to impaired imitation, gross motor skills and autism specific psychopathology in individuals with ASD, we performed a functional…

  5. Research on Speech Perception. Progress Report No. 13.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pisoni, David B.; And Others

    Summarizing research activities in 1987, this is the thirteenth annual report of research on speech perception, analysis, synthesis, and recognition conducted in the Speech Research Laboratory of the Department of Psychology at Indiana University. The report includes extended manuscripts, short reports, progress reports, and information on…

  6. Research on Speech Perception. Progress Report No. 15.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pisoni, David B.

    Summarizing research activities in 1989, this is the fifteenth annual report of research on speech perception, analysis, synthesis, and recognition conducted in the Speech Research Laboratory of the Department of Psychology at Indiana University. The report contains the following 21 articles: "Perceptual Learning of Nonnative Speech…

  7. Research on Speech Perception. Progress Report No. 14.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pisoni, David B.; And Others

    Summarizing research activities in 1988, this is the fourteenth annual report of research on speech perception, analysis, synthesis, and recognition conducted in the Speech Research Laboratory of the Department of Psychology at Indiana University. The report includes extended manuscripts, short reports, and progress reports. The report contains…

  8. Faculty Perceptions of Job Rewards and Instructional Development Activities.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cook, Ellen Piel; And Others

    1990-01-01

    This study explored the perceptions of faculty at a large urban university concerning (1) personal and college rewards for job responsibilities, and (2) which programs and incentives to enhance teaching effectiveness would be most attractive to them. The top rated options were institutional recognition of teaching excellence. (Author/MLW)

  9. Speech Recognition in Natural Background Noise

    PubMed Central

    Meyer, Julien; Dentel, Laure; Meunier, Fanny

    2013-01-01

    In the real world, human speech recognition nearly always involves listening in background noise. The impact of such noise on speech signals and on intelligibility performance increases with the separation of the listener from the speaker. The present behavioral experiment provides an overview of the effects of such acoustic disturbances on speech perception in conditions approaching ecologically valid contexts. We analysed the intelligibility loss in spoken word lists with increasing listener-to-speaker distance in a typical low-level natural background noise. The noise was combined with the simple spherical amplitude attenuation due to distance, basically changing the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). Therefore, our study draws attention to some of the most basic environmental constraints that have pervaded spoken communication throughout human history. We evaluated the ability of native French participants to recognize French monosyllabic words (spoken at 65.3 dB(A), reference at 1 meter) at distances between 11 to 33 meters, which corresponded to the SNRs most revealing of the progressive effect of the selected natural noise (−8.8 dB to −18.4 dB). Our results showed that in such conditions, identity of vowels is mostly preserved, with the striking peculiarity of the absence of confusion in vowels. The results also confirmed the functional role of consonants during lexical identification. The extensive analysis of recognition scores, confusion patterns and associated acoustic cues revealed that sonorant, sibilant and burst properties were the most important parameters influencing phoneme recognition. . Altogether these analyses allowed us to extract a resistance scale from consonant recognition scores. We also identified specific perceptual consonant confusion groups depending of the place in the words (onset vs. coda). Finally our data suggested that listeners may access some acoustic cues of the CV transition, opening interesting perspectives for future studies

  10. Neurocomputational bases of object and face recognition.

    PubMed Central

    Biederman, I; Kalocsai, P

    1997-01-01

    A number of behavioural phenomena distinguish the recognition of faces and objects, even when members of a set of objects are highly similar. Because faces have the same parts in approximately the same relations, individuation of faces typically requires specification of the metric variation in a holistic and integral representation of the facial surface. The direct mapping of a hypercolumn-like pattern of activation onto a representation layer that preserves relative spatial filter values in a two-dimensional (2D) coordinate space, as proposed by C. von der Malsburg and his associates, may account for many of the phenomena associated with face recognition. An additional refinement, in which each column of filters (termed a 'jet') is centred on a particular facial feature (or fiducial point), allows selectivity of the input into the holistic representation to avoid incorporation of occluding or nearby surfaces. The initial hypercolumn representation also characterizes the first stage of object perception, but the image variation for objects at a given location in a 2D coordinate space may be too great to yield sufficient predictability directly from the output of spatial kernels. Consequently, objects can be represented by a structural description specifying qualitative (typically, non-accidental) characterizations of an object's parts, the attributes of the parts, and the relations among the parts, largely based on orientation and depth discontinuities (as shown by Hummel & Biederman). A series of experiments on the name priming or physical matching of complementary images (in the Fourier domain) of objects and faces documents that whereas face recognition is strongly dependent on the original spatial filter values, evidence from object recognition indicates strong invariance to these values, even when distinguishing among objects that are as similar as faces. PMID:9304687

  11. Including public perception data in the evaluation of the consequences of sewerage derived urban flooding.

    PubMed

    Arthur, Scott; Crow, Helen; Karikas, Naoum

    2009-01-01

    This text reports research which was undertaken to assess the failure consequences associated with sewerage systems. In an effort to move away from considering only flood volume, depth or extent, the text will focus on how a survey of public opinion was used to inform the development of a consequence scoring methodology. The failure consequences considered range from internal flooding of properties, to road closure, environmental damage and odour problems. The text reports the extent to which experience of flooding influences perceptions of failure consequence and sewerage system management. It is also outlined how this data was used, along with other data sources, to construct an objective scoring process that can be used to evaluate failure consequence and readily prioritise sewerage maintenance.

  12. Prediction, Bayesian inference and feedback in speech recognition

    PubMed Central

    Norris, Dennis; McQueen, James M.; Cutler, Anne

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Speech perception involves prediction, but how is that prediction implemented? In cognitive models prediction has often been taken to imply that there is feedback of activation from lexical to pre-lexical processes as implemented in interactive-activation models (IAMs). We show that simple activation feedback does not actually improve speech recognition. However, other forms of feedback can be beneficial. In particular, feedback can enable the listener to adapt to changing input, and can potentially help the listener to recognise unusual input, or recognise speech in the presence of competing sounds. The common feature of these helpful forms of feedback is that they are all ways of optimising the performance of speech recognition using Bayesian inference. That is, listeners make predictions about speech because speech recognition is optimal in the sense captured in Bayesian models. PMID:26740960

  13. Automatic object recognition

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ranganath, H. S.; Mcingvale, Pat; Sage, Heinz

    1988-01-01

    Geometric and intensity features are very useful in object recognition. An intensity feature is a measure of contrast between object pixels and background pixels. Geometric features provide shape and size information. A model based approach is presented for computing geometric features. Knowledge about objects and imaging system is used to estimate orientation of objects with respect to the line of sight.

  14. Units of Word Recognition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Santa, Carol M.; And Others

    Both psychologists and reading specialists have been interested in whether words are processed letter by letter or in larger units. A reaction time paradigm was used to evaluate these options with interest focused on potential units of word recognition which might be functional within single syllable words. The basic paradigm involved presenting…

  15. Optical Character Recognition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Converso, L.; Hocek, S.

    1990-01-01

    This paper describes computer-based optical character recognition (OCR) systems, focusing on their components (the computer, the scanner, the OCR, and the output device); how the systems work; and features to consider in selecting a system. A list of 26 questions to ask to evaluate systems for potential purchase is included. (JDD)

  16. Automated Optical Target Recognition.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1994-12-01

    A multi-resolution signal processing approach to object recognition is presented using an optical correlator for generating a wavelet transform . The...This report presents an overview of continuous and discrete wavelet transforms. Both digital and optical implementations of the discrete wavelet ... transform are discussed. Examples of typical wavelet basis functions are compared and the constraints imposed by optical implementations are discussed

  17. Teaching Word Recognition Skills.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dawson, Mildred A., Comp.

    A series of articles with the chief emphasis on phonics as a means of analyzing words is presented. Various articles pertain to elementary, secondary, and college level instruction. The first of the five parts into which the volume is divided is comprised of a single article which gives an excellent overview of the field of word recognition. Part…

  18. View Invariant Gait Recognition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seely, Richard D.; Goffredo, Michela; Carter, John N.; Nixon, Mark S.

    Recognition by gait is of particular interest since it is the biometric that is available at the lowest resolution, or when other biometrics are (intentionally) obscured. Gait as a biometric has now shown increasing recognition capability. There are many approaches and these show that recognition can achieve excellent performance on current large databases. The majority of these approaches are planar 2D, largely since the early large databases featured subjects walking in a plane normal to the camera view. To extend deployment capability, we need viewpoint invariant gait biometrics. We describe approaches where viewpoint invariance is achieved by 3D approaches or in 2D. In the first group, the identification relies on parameters extracted from the 3D body deformation during walking. These methods use several video cameras and the 3D reconstruction is achieved after a camera calibration process. On the other hand, the 2D gait biometric approaches use a single camera, usually positioned perpendicular to the subject’s walking direction. Because in real surveillance scenarios a system that operates in an unconstrained environment is necessary, many of the recent gait analysis approaches are orientated toward view-invariant gait recognition.

  19. Automatic aircraft recognition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hmam, Hatem; Kim, Jijoong

    2002-08-01

    Automatic aircraft recognition is very complex because of clutter, shadows, clouds, self-occlusion and degraded imaging conditions. This paper presents an aircraft recognition system, which assumes from the start that the image is possibly degraded, and implements a number of strategies to overcome edge fragmentation and distortion. The current vision system employs a bottom up approach, where recognition begins by locating image primitives (e.g., lines and corners), which are then combined in an incremental fashion into larger sets of line groupings using knowledge about aircraft, as viewed from a generic viewpoint. Knowledge about aircraft is represented in the form of whole/part shape description and the connectedness property, and is embedded in production rules, which primarily aim at finding instances of the aircraft parts in the image and checking the connectedness property between the parts. Once a match is found, a confidence score is assigned and as evidence in support of an aircraft interpretation is accumulated, the score is increased proportionally. Finally a selection of the resulting image interpretations with the highest scores, is subjected to competition tests, and only non-ambiguous interpretations are allowed to survive. Experimental results demonstrating the effectiveness of the current recognition system are given.

  20. Multisensory speech perception in autism spectrum disorder: From phoneme to whole-word perception.

    PubMed

    Stevenson, Ryan A; Baum, Sarah H; Segers, Magali; Ferber, Susanne; Barense, Morgan D; Wallace, Mark T

    2017-03-24

    Speech perception in noisy environments is boosted when a listener can see the speaker's mouth and integrate the auditory and visual speech information. Autistic children have a diminished capacity to integrate sensory information across modalities, which contributes to core symptoms of autism, such as impairments in social communication. We investigated the abilities of autistic and typically-developing (TD) children to integrate auditory and visual speech stimuli in various signal-to-noise ratios (SNR). Measurements of both whole-word and phoneme recognition were recorded. At the level of whole-word recognition, autistic children exhibited reduced performance in both the auditory and audiovisual modalities. Importantly, autistic children showed reduced behavioral benefit from multisensory integration with whole-word recognition, specifically at low SNRs. At the level of phoneme recognition, autistic children exhibited reduced performance relative to their TD peers in auditory, visual, and audiovisual modalities. However, and in contrast to their performance at the level of whole-word recognition, both autistic and TD children showed benefits from multisensory integration for phoneme recognition. In accordance with the principle of inverse effectiveness, both groups exhibited greater benefit at low SNRs relative to high SNRs. Thus, while autistic children showed typical multisensory benefits during phoneme recognition, these benefits did not translate to typical multisensory benefit of whole-word recognition in noisy environments. We hypothesize that sensory impairments in autistic children raise the SNR threshold needed to extract meaningful information from a given sensory input, resulting in subsequent failure to exhibit behavioral benefits from additional sensory information at the level of whole-word recognition. Autism Res 2017. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  1. Recognition by Prototypes

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1992-12-01

    between the prototype and thet and semantic categorization was suggested by Lissauer imag was better than if only rigid transformations wer, [24...122. NJ: Ablexi, 370-428. [24] Lissauer H., 1890. Fall von Seelenblindheit nebst [61 Binford, T.O., 1971. Visual perception by com- einem beitrag zur

  2. School IPM Recognition and Certification

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Schools and school districts can get support and recognition for implementation of school IPM. EPA is developing a program to provide recognition for school districts that are working towards or have achieved a level of success with school IPM programs.

  3. Timing of presentation and nature of stimuli determine retroactive interference with social recognition memory in mice.

    PubMed

    Perna, Judith Camats; Wotjak, Carsten T; Stork, Oliver; Engelmann, Mario

    2015-05-01

    The present study was designed to further investigate the nature of stimuli and the timing of their presentation, which can induce retroactive interference with social recognition memory in mice. In accordance with our previous observations, confrontation with an unfamiliar conspecific juvenile 3h and 6h, but not 22 h, after the initial learning session resulted in retroactive interference. The same effect was observed with the exposure to both enantiomers of the monomolecular odour carvone, and with a novel object. Exposure to a loud tone (12 KHz, 90 dB) caused retroactive interference at 6h, but not 3h and 22 h, after sampling. Our data show that retroactive interference of social recognition memory can be induced by exposing the experimental subjects to the defined stimuli presented <22 h after learning in their home cage. The distinct interference triggered by the tone presentation at 6h after sampling may be linked to the intrinsic aversiveness of the loud tone and suggests that at this time point memory consolidation is particularly sensitive to stress.

  4. A dissonant scale: stress recognition in the SAQ

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Our previous analyses using the Stress Recognition subscale of the Safety Attitudes Questionnaire (SAQ) resulted in significant effect estimates with equally opposing explanations. We suspected construct validity issues and investigated such using our own data and correlation matrices of previous published studies. Methods The correlation matrices for each of the SAQ subscales from two previous studies by Speroff and Taylor were replicated and compared. The SAS Proc Factor procedure and the PRIORS = SMC option were used to perform Common Factor Analysis. Results The correlation matrices of both studies were very similar. Teamwork, Safety Climate, Job Satisfaction, Perceptions of Management and Working Conditions were well-correlated. The correlations ranged from 0.53 to 0.76. For Stress Recognition correlations ranged from -0.15 to 0.03. Common Factor Analysis confirmed the isolation of Stress Recognition. CFA returned a strong one-factor model that explained virtually all of the communal variance. Stress Recognition loaded poorly on this factor in both instances, and the CFA indicated that 96.4-100.0% of the variance associated with Stress Recognition was unique to that subscale, and not shared with the other 5 subscales. Conclusions We conclude that the Stress Recognition subscale does not fit into the overall safety climate construct the SAQ intended to reflect. We recommend that this domain be omitted from overall safety climate scale score calculations, and clearly identified as an important yet distinct organizational construct. We suggest that this subscale be investigated for its true meaning, characterized as such, and findings conveyed to SAQ end users. We make no argument against Stress Recognition as an important organizational metric, rather we suggest that as a stand-alone construct its current packaging within the SAQ may be misleading for those intent on intervention development and evaluation in healthcare settings if they interpret

  5. A Neural Model of Face Recognition: a Comprehensive Approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stara, Vera; Montesanto, Anna; Puliti, Paolo; Tascini, Guido; Sechi, Cristina

    Visual recognition of faces is an essential behavior of humans: we have optimal performance in everyday life and just such a performance makes us able to establish the continuity of actors in our social life and to quickly identify and categorize people. This remarkable ability justifies the general interest in face recognition of researchers belonging to different fields and specially of designers of biometrical identification systems able to recognize the features of person's faces in a background. Due to interdisciplinary nature of this topic in this contribute we deal with face recognition through a comprehensive approach with the purpose to reproduce some features of human performance, as evidenced by studies in psychophysics and neuroscience, relevant to face recognition. This approach views face recognition as an emergent phenomenon resulting from the nonlinear interaction of a number of different features. For this reason our model of face recognition has been based on a computational system implemented through an artificial neural network. This synergy between neuroscience and engineering efforts allowed us to implement a model that had a biological plausibility, performed the same tasks as human subjects, and gave a possible account of human face perception and recognition. In this regard the paper reports on an experimental study of performance of a SOM-based neural network in a face recognition task, with reference both to the ability to learn to discriminate different faces, and to the ability to recognize a face already encountered in training phase, when presented in a pose or with an expression differing from the one present in the training context.

  6. Visual Recognition Memory across Contexts

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jones, Emily J. H.; Pascalis, Olivier; Eacott, Madeline J.; Herbert, Jane S.

    2011-01-01

    In two experiments, we investigated the development of representational flexibility in visual recognition memory during infancy using the Visual Paired Comparison (VPC) task. In Experiment 1, 6- and 9-month-old infants exhibited recognition when familiarization and test occurred in the same room, but showed no evidence of recognition when…

  7. International Recognition of Vocational Qualifications.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Imrie, Bradford W.

    Certain issues are relevant to the international recognition of vocational qualifications: (1) the assumption that each country does or should value vocational education and training; (2) the quality of the national system and the implications for international recognition of qualifications, including recognition of the accrediting and awarding…

  8. Word Recognition in Auditory Cortex

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    DeWitt, Iain D. J.

    2013-01-01

    Although spoken word recognition is more fundamental to human communication than text recognition, knowledge of word-processing in auditory cortex is comparatively impoverished. This dissertation synthesizes current models of auditory cortex, models of cortical pattern recognition, models of single-word reading, results in phonetics and results in…

  9. Speech Recognition: A General Overview.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    de Sopena, Luis

    Speech recognition is one of five main areas in the field of speech processing. Difficulties in speech recognition include variability in sound within and across speakers, in channel, in background noise, and of speech production. Speech recognition can be used in a variety of situations: to perform query operations and phone call transfers; for…

  10. The changing of the guard: the Pto/Prf receptor complex of tomato and pathogen recognition.

    PubMed

    Ntoukakis, Vardis; Saur, Isabel M L; Conlan, Brendon; Rathjen, John P

    2014-08-01

    One important model for disease resistance is the Prf recognition complex of tomato, which responds to different bacterial effectors. Prf incorporates a protein kinase called Pto as its recognition domain that mimics effector virulence targets, and activates resistance after interaction with specific effectors. Recent findings show that this complex is oligomeric, and reveal how this impacts mechanism. Oligomerisation brings two or more kinases into proximity, where they can phosphorylate each other after effector perception. Effector attack on one kinase activates another in trans, constituting a molecular trap for the effector. Oligomerisation of plant resistance proteins may be a general concept that broadens pathogen recognition and restricts the ability of pathogens to evolve virulence.

  11. [Improved learning capacity and discrimination performance of neural networks in pattern recognition of biosignals].

    PubMed

    Herrmann, L; Rienäcker, U

    1992-04-01

    Pattern recognition was an important goal in the early work on artificial neural networks. Without arousing dramatic speculation, the paper describes, how a "natural" method of dealing with the configuration of the input layer can considerably improve learning behaviour and classification rate of a modified multi-layered perception with backpropagation of the error learning rule. Using this method, recognition of complex patterns in electrophysiological signals can be performed more accurately, without rules or complicated heuristic procedures. The proposed technique is demonstrated using recognition of the J-point in the ECG as an example.

  12. The uncrowded window of object recognition

    PubMed Central

    Pelli, Denis G; Tillman, Katharine A

    2009-01-01

    It is now emerging that vision is usually limited by object spacing rather than size. The visual system recognizes an object by detecting and then combining its features. ‘Crowding’ occurs when objects are too close together and features from several objects are combined into a jumbled percept. Here, we review the explosion of studies on crowding—in grating discrimination, letter and face recognition, visual search, selective attention, and reading—and find a universal principle, the Bouma law. The critical spacing required to prevent crowding is equal for all objects, although the effect is weaker between dissimilar objects. Furthermore, critical spacing at the cortex is independent of object position, and critical spacing at the visual field is proportional to object distance from fixation. The region where object spacing exceeds critical spacing is the ‘uncrowded window’. Observers cannot recognize objects outside of this window and its size limits the speed of reading and search. PMID:18828191

  13. Famous talker effects in spoken word recognition.

    PubMed

    Maibauer, Alisa M; Markis, Teresa A; Newell, Jessica; McLennan, Conor T

    2014-01-01

    Previous work has demonstrated that talker-specific representations affect spoken word recognition relatively late during processing. However, participants in these studies were listening to unfamiliar talkers. In the present research, we used a long-term repetition-priming paradigm and a speeded-shadowing task and presented listeners with famous talkers. In Experiment 1, half the words were spoken by Barack Obama, and half by Hillary Clinton. Reaction times (RTs) to repeated words were shorter than those to unprimed words only when repeated by the same talker. However, in Experiment 2, using nonfamous talkers, RTs to repeated words were shorter than those to unprimed words both when repeated by the same talker and when repeated by a different talker. Taken together, the results demonstrate that talker-specific details can affect the perception of spoken words relatively early during processing when words are spoken by famous talkers.

  14. Audio-visual gender recognition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Ming; Xu, Xun; Huang, Thomas S.

    2007-11-01

    Combining different modalities for pattern recognition task is a very promising field. Basically, human always fuse information from different modalities to recognize object and perform inference, etc. Audio-Visual gender recognition is one of the most common task in human social communication. Human can identify the gender by facial appearance, by speech and also by body gait. Indeed, human gender recognition is a multi-modal data acquisition and processing procedure. However, computational multimodal gender recognition has not been extensively investigated in the literature. In this paper, speech and facial image are fused to perform a mutli-modal gender recognition for exploring the improvement of combining different modalities.

  15. Recognition of teaching excellence.

    PubMed

    Hammer, Dana; Piascik, Peggy; Medina, Melissa; Pittenger, Amy; Rose, Renee; Creekmore, Freddy; Soltis, Robert; Bouldin, Alicia; Schwarz, Lindsay; Scott, Steven

    2010-11-10

    The 2008-2009 Task Force for the Recognition of Teaching Excellence was charged by the AACP Council of Faculties Leadership to examine teaching excellence by collecting best practices from colleges and schools of pharmacy, evaluating the literature to identify evidence-based criteria for excellent teaching, and recommending appropriate means to acknowledge and reward teaching excellence. This report defines teaching excellence and discusses a variety of ways to assess it, including student, alumni, peer, and self-assessment. The task force identifies important considerations that colleges and schools must address when establishing teaching recognition programs including the purpose, criteria, number and mix of awards, frequency, type of award, and method of nominating and determining awardees. The report concludes with recommendations for the academy to consider when establishing and revising teaching award programs.

  16. Verification of key odorants in rose oil by gas chromatography-olfactometry/aroma extract dilution analysis, odour activity value and aroma recombination.

    PubMed

    Xiao, Zuobing; Li, Jing; Niu, Yunwei; Liu, Qiang; Liu, Junhua

    2017-03-28

    Rose oil is much too expensive but very popular. It's well known that the flower oil's aroma profile hasn't been intensively investigated. In order to verify the aroma profile of rose oil, the synthetic blend of odorants was prepared and then compared with the original rose oil using electronic nose analysis (ENA) combined with quantitative descriptive analysis (QDA). The odorants from rose oils were screened out by Gas Chromatography-Olfactometry/aroma extract dilution analysis (GC-O/AEDA) combined with odour activity value (OAV). Both ENA and QDA indicated the recombination model derived from OAV and GC-O/AEDA closely resembled the original rose oil. The experiment results show that rose oxide, linalool, α-pinene, β-pinene, nonanal, heptanal citronellal, phenyl ethyl alcohol, benzyl alcohol, eugenol, methyl eugenol, β-citronellol, hexyl acetate, β-ionone, nerol, etc. are very important constituent to rose oil aroma profile.

  17. Evaluation of the synergism among volatile compounds in Oolong tea infusion by odour threshold with sensory analysis and E-nose.

    PubMed

    Zhu, JianCai; Chen, Feng; Wang, LingYing; Niu, YunWei; Xiao, ZuoBing

    2017-04-15

    Twenty-four kinds of representative aroma compounds in Oolong tea were selected to evaluate the interactions by the variation in the threshold values of these compounds before, and after, they were mixed. Result demonstrated that the ratios of the referenced threshold values of heptanal, β-damascenone, and methional to their determined thresholds were larger, namely, 5, 3.85, and 2.5, respectively. On the other hand, the mixed compounds with similar structure and aroma mainly presented a synergistic effect and additive action. Moreover, a masking effect was found among compounds with different structures. (E)-2-hexenal was added to tea infusion at a concentration below its threshold level to investigate whether, or not, the sub-threshold compounds affected the overall odour sensation of Oolong tea by sensory analysis and electronic nose (E-nose). The result indicated that the aroma of the tea infusion with added (E)-2-hexenal had changed before, and after, they were mixed.

  18. Influence of fresh alfalfa supplementation on fat skatole and indole concentration and chop odour and flavour in lambs grazing a cocksfoot pasture.

    PubMed

    Devincenzi, T; Prunier, A; Meteau, K; Nabinger, C; Prache, S

    2014-12-01

    We investigated the influence of the level of fresh alfalfa supplementation on fat skatole and indole concentration and chop sensory attributes in grazing lambs. Four groups of nine male Romane lambs grazing a cocksfoot pasture were supplemented with various levels of alfalfa for at least 60days before slaughter. Perirenal fat skatole concentration was higher for lambs that consumed alfalfa than for those that consumed only cocksfoot. The intensity of 'animal' odour in the lean part of the chop and of 'animal' flavour in both the lean and fat parts of the chop, evaluated by a trained sensory panel, increased from the lowest level of alfalfa supplementation onwards and did not increase further with increasing levels of alfalfa supplementation. The outcome of this study therefore suggests that these sensory attributes may reach a plateau when perirenal fat skatole concentration is in the range 0.16-0.24μg/g of liquid fat.

  19. Integration of auditory and tactile inputs in musical meter perception.

    PubMed

    Huang, Juan; Gamble, Darik; Sarnlertsophon, Kristine; Wang, Xiaoqin; Hsiao, Steven

    2013-01-01

    Musicians often say that they not only hear but also "feel" music. To explore the contribution of tactile information to "feeling" music, we investigated the degree that auditory and tactile inputs are integrated in humans performing a musical meter-recognition task. Subjects discriminated between two types of sequences, "duple" (march-like rhythms) and "triple" (waltz-like rhythms), presented in three conditions: (1) unimodal inputs (auditory or tactile alone); (2) various combinations of bimodal inputs, where sequences were distributed between the auditory and tactile channels such that a single channel did not produce coherent meter percepts; and (3) bimodal inputs where the two channels contained congruent or incongruent meter cues. We first show that meter is perceived similarly well (70-85 %) when tactile or auditory cues are presented alone. We next show in the bimodal experiments that auditory and tactile cues are integrated to produce coherent meter percepts. Performance is high (70-90 %) when all of the metrically important notes are assigned to one channel and is reduced to 60 % when half of these notes are assigned to one channel. When the important notes are presented simultaneously to both channels, congruent cues enhance meter recognition (90 %). Performance dropped dramatically when subjects were presented with incongruent auditory cues (10 %), as opposed to incongruent tactile cues (60 %), demonstrating that auditory input dominates meter perception. These observations support the notion that meter perception is a cross-modal percept with tactile inputs underlying the perception of "feeling" music.

  20. The Production and Recognition of Acoustic Frequency Cues in Chickadees

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lohr, Bernard Stephen

    1995-01-01

    The production and recognition of songs with appropriate species-typical features underlies a songbird's success in defending a breeding territory. The ability to recognize a song that is characteristic of one's own species presents an interesting problem, given the variety of types of information often encoded in song. Information in song may involve cues for individual identity, neighbor/stranger recognition, reproductive status, and motivational state. This thesis is concerned with the use of acoustic frequency as a cue for species-recognition of birdsong, and the various forms of frequency production and perception that may provide such cues. Carolina chickadees (Parus carolinensis) sing songs characterized by a succession of unmodulated, pure -tonal notes that alternate between high (approximately 5400-7000 Hz) and low (approximately 3000-4200 Hz) frequencies. Mechanisms of acoustic frequency perception in male territorial Carolina chickadees were evaluated using playback experiments designed to vary specific note frequencies, note frequency ranges, and the frequency range of the entire song type. Note frequency ranges provide the primary acoustic frequency cues for song recognition in this species. A gap between note frequency ranges exists in this species. Tones in this intermediate frequency range do not receive responses in the context of territorial song recognition. This kind of gap in frequency perception has not been demonstrated for other songbirds. Song playback experiments also were designed to vary systematically the contours (inter-note frequency sequences) of notes in song. Note frequency ranges provide the principal cues for song recognition, while the contour between note frequencies plays a supplementary role. The presence of a single descending interval between notes in the appropriate note frequency ranges of Carolina chickadee song generates full species-typical responses to song. Additionally, response to a descending contour between note

  1. Facial and bodily emotion recognition in multiple sclerosis: the role of alexithymia and other characteristics of the disease.

    PubMed

    Cecchetto, Cinzia; Aiello, Marilena; D'Amico, Delia; Cutuli, Daniela; Cargnelutti, Daniela; Eleopra, Roberto; Rumiati, Raffaella Ida

    2014-11-01

    Multiple sclerosis (MS) may be associated with impaired perception of facial emotions. However, emotion recognition mediated by bodily postures has never been examined in these patients. Moreover, several studies have suggested a relation between emotion recognition impairments and alexithymia. This is in line with the idea that the ability to recognize emotions requires the individuals to be able to understand their own emotions. Despite a deficit in emotion recognition has been observed in MS patients, the association between impaired emotion recognition and alexithymia has received little attention. The aim of this study was, first, to investigate MS patient's abilities to recognize emotions mediated by both facial and bodily expressions and, second, to examine whether any observed deficits in emotions recognition could be explained by the presence of alexithymia. Thirty patients with MS and 30 healthy matched controls performed experimental tasks assessing emotion discrimination and recognition of facial expressions and bodily postures. Moreover, they completed questionnaires evaluating alexithymia, depression, and fatigue. First, facial emotion recognition and, to a lesser extent, bodily emotion recognition can be impaired in MS patients. In particular, patients with higher disability showed an impairment in emotion recognition compared with patients with lower disability and controls. Second, their deficit in emotion recognition was not predicted by alexithymia. Instead, the disease's characteristics and the performance on some cognitive tasks significantly correlated with emotion recognition. Impaired facial emotion recognition is a cognitive signature of MS that is not dependent on alexithymia.

  2. Homology recognition funnel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Dominic; Kornyshev, Alexei A.

    2009-10-01

    The recognition of homologous sequences of DNA before strand exchange is considered to be the most puzzling stage of homologous recombination. A mechanism for two homologous dsDNAs to recognize each other from a distance in electrolytic solution without unzipping had been proposed in an earlier paper [A. A. Kornyshev and S. Leikin, Phys. Rev. Lett. 86, 366 (2001)]. In that work, the difference in the electrostatic interaction energy between homologous duplexes and between nonhomologous duplexes, termed the recognition energy, has been calculated. That calculation was later extended in a series of papers to account for torsional elasticity of the molecules. A recent paper [A. A. Kornyshev and A. Wynveen, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 106, 4683 (2009)] investigated the form of the potential well that homologous DNA molecules may feel when sliding along each other. A simple formula for the shape of the well was obtained. However, this latter study was performed under the approximation that the sliding molecules are torsionally rigid. Following on from this work, in the present article we investigate the effect of torsional flexibility of the molecules on the shape of the well. A variational approach to this problem results in a transcendental equation that is easily solved numerically. Its solutions show that at large interaxial separations the recognition well becomes wider and shallower, whereas at closer distances further unexpected features arise related to an abrupt change in the mean azimuthal alignment of the molecules. The energy surface as a function of interaxial separation and the axial shift defines what we call the recognition funnel. We show that it depends dramatically on the patterns of adsorption of counterions on DNA.

  3. Metamorphopsia and letter recognition.

    PubMed

    Wiecek, Emily; Dakin, Steven C; Bex, Peter

    2014-12-01

    Acuity is the most commonly used measure of visual function, and reductions in acuity are associated with most eye diseases. Metamorphopsia--a perceived distortion of visual space--is another common symptom of visual impairment and is currently assessed qualitatively using Amsler (1953) charts. In order to quantify the impact of metamorphopsia on acuity, we measured the effect of physical spatial distortion on letter recognition. Following earlier work showing that letter recognition is tuned to specific spatial frequency (SF) channels, we hypothesized that the effect of distortion might depend on the spatial scale of visual distortion just as it depends on the spatial scale of masking noise. Six normally sighted observers completed a 26 alternate forced choice (AFC) Sloan letter identification task at five different viewing distances, and the letters underwent different levels of spatial distortion. Distortion was controlled using spatially band-pass filtered noise that spatially remapped pixel locations. Noise was varied over five spatial frequencies and five magnitudes. Performance was modeled with logistic regression and worsened linearly with increasing distortion magnitude and decreasing letter size. We found that retinal SF affects distortion at midrange frequencies and can be explained with the tuning of a basic contrast sensitivity function, while object-centered distortion SF follows a similar pattern of letter object recognition sensitivity and is tuned to approximately three cycles per letter (CPL). The interaction between letter size and distortion makes acuity an unreliable outcome for metamorphopsia assessment.

  4. Metamorphopsia and letter recognition

    PubMed Central

    Wiecek, Emily; Dakin, Steven C.; Bex, Peter

    2014-01-01

    Acuity is the most commonly used measure of visual function, and reductions in acuity are associated with most eye diseases. Metamorphopsia—a perceived distortion of visual space—is another common symptom of visual impairment and is currently assessed qualitatively using Amsler (1953) charts. In order to quantify the impact of metamorphopsia on acuity, we measured the effect of physical spatial distortion on letter recognition. Following earlier work showing that letter recognition is tuned to specific spatial frequency (SF) channels, we hypothesized that the effect of distortion might depend on the spatial scale of visual distortion just as it depends on the spatial scale of masking noise. Six normally sighted observers completed a 26 alternate forced choice (AFC) Sloan letter identification task at five different viewing distances, and the letters underwent different levels of spatial distortion. Distortion was controlled using spatially band-pass filtered noise that spatially remapped pixel locations. Noise was varied over five spatial frequencies and five magnitudes. Performance was modeled with logistic regression and worsened linearly with increasing distortion magnitude and decreasing letter size. We found that retinal SF affects distortion at midrange frequencies and can be explained with the tuning of a basic contrast sensitivity function, while object-centered distortion SF follows a similar pattern of letter object recognition sensitivity and is tuned to approximately three cycles per letter (CPL). The interaction between letter size and distortion makes acuity an unreliable outcome for metamorphopsia assessment. PMID:25453116

  5. Whole-cell recording from honeybee olfactory receptor neurons: ionic currents, membrane excitability and odourant response in developing workerbee and drone.

    PubMed

    Laurent, Stéphanie; Masson, Claudine; Jakob, Ingrid

    2002-04-01

    Whole-cell recording techniques were used to characterize ionic membrane currents and odourant responses in honeybee olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs) in primary cell culture. ORNs of workerbee (female) and drone (male) were isolated at an early stage of development before sensory axons connect to their target in the antennal lobe. The results collectively indicate that honeybee ORNs have electrical properties similar, but not necessarily identical to, those currently envisaged for ORNs of other species. Under voltage clamp at least four ionic currents could be distinguished. Inward currents were made of a fast transient, tetrodotoxin-sensitive sodium current. In some ORNs a cadmium-sensitive calcium current was detected. ORNs showed heterogeneity in their outward currents: either outward currents were made of a delayed rectifier type potassium current, which was partially blocked by tetraethyl ammonium or quinidine, or were composed of a delayed rectifier type and a transient calcium-dependent potassium current, which was cadmium-sensitive and abolished by removal of external calcium. The proportion of each of the two outward currents, however, was different within the ORNs of the two sexes suggesting a gender-specific functional heterogeneity. ORNs showed heterogeneity in action potential firing properties: depolarizing current steps elicited either one action potential or, as in most of the cells, it led to repetitive spiking. Action potentials were tetrodotoxin-sensitive suggesting they are carried by sodium. Odourant stimulation with different mixtures and pure substances evoked depolarizing receptor potentials with superimposed action potentials when spike threshold was reached. In summary, honeybee ORNs are remarkably mature at early stages in their development.

  6. Comparison of two extraction methods for evaluation of volatile constituents patterns in commercial whiskeys Elucidation of the main odour-active compounds.

    PubMed

    Caldeira, M; Rodrigues, F; Perestrelo, R; Marques, J C; Câmara, J S

    2007-11-15

    An analytical procedure based on manual dynamic headspace solid-phase microextraction (HS-SPME) method and the conventional extraction method by liquid-liquid extraction (LLE), were compared for their effectiveness in the extraction and quantification of volatile compounds from commercial whiskey samples. Seven extraction solvents covering a wide range of polarities and two SPME fibres coatings, has been evaluated. The highest amounts extracted, were achieved using dichloromethane (CH2Cl2) by LLE method (LLE(CH2Cl2)) and using a CAR/PDMS fibre (SPME(CAR/PDMS)) in HS-SPME. Each method was used to determine the responses of 25 analytes from whiskeys and calibration standards, in order to provide sensitivity comparisons between the two methods. Calibration curves were established in a synthetic whiskey and linear correlation coefficient (r) were greater than 0.9929 for LLE(CH2Cl2) and 0.9935 for SPME(CAR/PDMS), for all target compounds. Recoveries greater than 80% were achieved. For most compounds, precision (expressed by relative standard deviation, R.S.D.) are very good, with R.S.D. values lower than 14.78% for HS-SPME method and than 19.42% for LLE method. The detection limits ranged from 0.13 to 19.03 microg L(-1) for SPME procedure and from 0.50 to 12.48 microg L(-1) for LLE. A tentative study to estimate the contribution of a specific compound to the aroma of a whiskey, on the basis of their odour activity values (OAV) was made. Ethyl octanoate followed by isoamyl acetate and isobutyl alcohol, were found the most potent odour-active compounds.

  7. Implicit multisensory associations influence voice recognition.

    PubMed

    von Kriegstein, Katharina; Giraud, Anne-Lise

    2006-10-01

    Natural objects provide partially redundant information to the brain through different sensory modalities. For example, voices and faces both give information about the speech content, age, and gender of a person. Thanks to this redundancy, multimodal recognition is fast, robust, and automatic. In unimodal perception, however, only part of the information about an object is available. Here, we addressed whether, even under conditions of unimodal sensory input, crossmodal neural circuits that have been shaped by previous associative learning become activated and underpin a performance benefit. We measured brain activity with functional magnetic resonance imaging before, while, and after participants learned to associate either sensory redundant stimuli, i.e. voices and faces, or arbitrary multimodal combinations, i.e. voices and written names, ring tones, and cell phones or brand names of these cell phones. After learning, participants were better at recognizing unimodal auditory voices that had been paired with faces than those paired with written names, and association of voices with faces resulted in an increased functional coupling between voice and face areas. No such effects were observed for ring tones that had been paired with cell phones or names. These findings demonstrate that brief exposure to ecologically valid and sensory redundant stimulus pairs, such as voices and faces, induces specific multisensory associations. Consistent with predictive coding theories, associative representations become thereafter available for unimodal perception and facilitate object recognition. These data suggest that for natural objects effective predictive signals can be generated across sensory systems and proceed by optimization of functional connectivity between specialized cortical sensory modules.

  8. Loss-of-function mutations in sodium channel Nav1.7 cause anosmia.

    PubMed

    Weiss, Jan; Pyrski, Martina; Jacobi, Eric; Bufe, Bernd; Willnecker, Vivienne; Schick, Bernhard; Zizzari, Philippe; Gossage, Samuel J; Greer, Charles A; Leinders-Zufall, Trese; Woods, C Geoffrey; Wood, John N; Zufall, Frank

    2011-04-14

    Loss of function of the gene SCN9A, encoding the voltage-gated sodium channel Na(v)1.7, causes a congenital inability to experience pain in humans. Here we show that Na(v)1.7 is not only necessary for pain sensation but is also an essential requirement for odour perception in both mice and humans. We examined human patients with loss-of-function mutations in SCN9A and show that they are unable to sense odours. To establish the essential role of Na(v)1.7 in odour perception, we generated conditional null mice in which Na(v)1.7 was removed from all olfactory sensory neurons. In the absence of Na(v)1.7, these neurons still produce odour-evoked action potentials but fail to initiate synaptic signalling from their axon terminals at the first synapse in the olfactory system. The mutant mice no longer display vital, odour-guided behaviours such as innate odour recognition and avoidance, short-term odour learning, and maternal pup retrieval. Our study creates a mouse model of congenital general anosmia and provides new strategies to explore the genetic basis of the human sense of smell.

  9. Mechanisms and neural basis of object and pattern recognition: a study with chess experts.

    PubMed

    Bilalić, Merim; Langner, Robert; Erb, Michael; Grodd, Wolfgang

    2010-11-01

    Comparing experts with novices offers unique insights into the functioning of cognition, based on the maximization of individual differences. Here we used this expertise approach to disentangle the mechanisms and neural basis behind two processes that contribute to everyday expertise: object and pattern recognition. We compared chess experts and novices performing chess-related and -unrelated (visual) search tasks. As expected, the superiority of experts was limited to the chess-specific task, as there were no differences in a control task that used the same chess stimuli but did not require chess-specific recognition. The analysis of eye movements showed that experts immediately and exclusively focused on the relevant aspects in the chess task, whereas novices also examined irrelevant aspects. With random chess positions, when pattern knowledge could not be used to guide perception, experts nevertheless maintained an advantage. Experts' superior domain-specific parafoveal vision, a consequence of their knowledge about individual domain-specific symbols, enabled improved object recognition. Functional magnetic resonance imaging corroborated this differentiation between object and pattern recognition and showed that chess-specific object recognition was accompanied by bilateral activation of the occipitotemporal junction, whereas chess-specific pattern recognition was related to bilateral activations in the middle part of the collateral sulci. Using the expertise approach together with carefully chosen controls and multiple dependent measures, we identified object and pattern recognition as two essential cognitive processes in expert visual cognition, which may also help to explain the mechanisms of everyday perception.

  10. Perception of insect feeding by plants.

    PubMed

    Bonaventure, G

    2012-11-01

    The recognition of phytophagous insects by plants induces a set of very specific responses aimed at deterring tissue consumption and reprogramming metabolism and development of the plant to tolerate the herbivore. The recognition of insects by plants requires the plant's ability to perceive chemical cues generated by the insects and to distinguish a particular pattern of tissue disruption. Relatively little is known about the molecular basis of insect perception by plants and the signalling mechanisms directly associated with this perception. Importantly, the insect feeding behaviour (piercing-sucking versus chewing) is a decisive determinant of the plant's defence response, and the mechanisms used to perceive insects from different feeding guilds may be distinct. During insect feeding, components of the saliva of chewing or piercing-sucking insects come into contact with plant cells, and elicitors or effectors present in this insect-derived fluid are perceived by plant cells to initiate the activation of specific signalling cascades. Although receptor-ligand interactions controlling insect perception have yet not been molecularly described, a significant number of regulatory components acting downstream of receptors and involved in the activation of defence responses against insects has been reported. Some of these regulators mediate changes in the phytohormone network, while others directly control gene expression or the redox state of the cell. These processes are central in the orchestration of plant defence responses against insects.

  11. Evidence for a role of action in colour perception.

    PubMed

    Bompas, Aline; O'Regan, J Kevin

    2006-01-01

    Action is not usually considered to play a role in colour perception. However, sensorimotor theories of perception (eg O'Regan and Noë, 2001 Behavior and Brain Science 24 939-1011) suggest that, on the contrary, the transformations created by action in the sensory input are a necessary condition for all perception. In the case of colour vision, eye movements may explain how a retina with significant irregularities in resolution and cone arrangement (Roorda and Williams, 1999 Nature 397 520-522) could permit the perception of a richly coloured world (Clark and O'Regan, 2000 15th International Conference on Pattern Recognition volume 2: Pattern Recognition and Neural Networks pp 503-506; Skaff et al, 2002 16th International Conference on Pattern Recognition volume 2, pp 681-684). We provide evidence that perception of colour is modified when an artificial coupling is introduced linking eye movements and colour changes. After 40 min of wearing left-field-blue/right-field-yellow spectacles, observers' colour vision adapts so that, after removing the spectacles, white patches seem to become bluer when the eyes move rightwards and yellower when the eyes move leftwards. This induced dependence of colour perception on the direction of eye saccade is shown to be related to the amount of eye movements during exposure. This result, which cannot be explained either by retinal adaptation, or by a conditioned association between colour and side, constitutes first clear evidence for a role of eye movements in perceived colour and argues for the involvement in colour perception of neural mechanisms continuously tuned to sensorimotor contingencies.

  12. Songbirds use spectral shape, not pitch, for sound pattern recognition

    PubMed Central

    Bregman, Micah R.; Patel, Aniruddh D.; Gentner, Timothy Q.

    2016-01-01

    Humans easily recognize “transposed” musical melodies shifted up or down in log frequency. Surprisingly, songbirds seem to lack this capacity, although they can learn to recognize human melodies and use complex acoustic sequences for communication. Decades of research have led to the widespread belief that songbirds, unlike humans, are strongly biased to use absolute pitch (AP) in melody recognition. This work relies almost exclusively on acoustically simple stimuli that may belie sensitivities to more complex spectral features. Here, we investigate melody recognition in a species of songbird, the European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris), using tone sequences that vary in both pitch and timbre. We find that small manipulations altering either pitch or timbre independently can drive melody recognition to chance, suggesting that both percepts are poor descriptors of the perceptual cues used by birds for this task. Instead we show that melody recognition can generalize even in the absence of pitch, as long as the spectral shapes of the constituent tones are preserved. These results challenge conventional views regarding the use of pitch cues in nonhuman auditory sequence recognition. PMID:26811447

  13. Relationship between multipulse integration and speech recognition with cochlear implants.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Ning; Pfingst, Bryan E

    2014-09-01

    Comparisons of performance with cochlear implants and postmortem conditions in the cochlea in humans have shown mixed results. The limitations in those studies favor the use of within-subject designs and non-invasive measures to estimate cochlear conditions. One non-invasive correlate of cochlear health is multipulse integration, established in an animal model. The present study used this measure to relate neural health in human cochlear implant users to their speech recognition performance. The multipulse-integration slopes were derived based on psychophysical detection thresholds measured for two pulse rates (80 and 640 pulses per second). A within-subject design was used in eight subjects with bilateral implants where the direction and magnitude of ear differences in the multipulse-integration slopes were compared with those of the speech-recognition results. The speech measures included speech reception threshold for sentences and phoneme recognition in noise. The magnitude of ear difference in the integration slopes was significantly correlated with the magnitude of ear difference in speech reception thresholds, consonant recognition in noise, and transmission of place of articulation of consonants. These results suggest that multipulse integration predicts speech recognition in noise and perception of features that use dynamic spectral cues.

  14. A reciprocal model of face recognition and autistic traits: evidence from an individual differences perspective.

    PubMed

    Halliday, Drew W R; MacDonald, Stuart W S; Scherf, K Suzanne; Sherf, Suzanne K; Tanaka, James W

    2014-01-01

    Although not a core symptom of the disorder, individuals with autism often exhibit selective impairments in their face processing abilities. Importantly, the reciprocal connection between autistic traits and face perception has rarely been examined within the typically developing population. In this study, university participants from the social sciences, physical sciences, and humanities completed a battery of measures that assessed face, object and emotion recognition abilities, general perceptual-cognitive style, and sub-clinical autistic traits (the Autism Quotient (AQ)). We employed separate hierarchical multiple regression analyses to evaluate which factors could predict face recognition scores and AQ scores. Gender, object recognition performance, and AQ scores predicted face recognition behaviour. Specifically, males, individuals with more autistic traits, and those with lower object recognition scores performed more poorly on the face recognition test. Conversely, university major, gender and face recognition performance reliably predicted AQ scores. Science majors, males, and individuals with poor face recognition skills showed more autistic-like traits. These results suggest that the broader autism phenotype is associated with lower face recognition abilities, even among typically developing individuals.

  15. Impact of Childhood Maltreatment on the Recognition of Facial Expressions of Emotions.

    PubMed

    Ardizzi, Martina; Martini, Francesca; Umiltà, Maria Alessandra; Evangelista, Valentina; Ravera, Roberto; Gallese, Vittorio

    2015-01-01

    The development of the explicit recognition of facial expressions of emotions can be affected by childhood maltreatment experiences. A previous study demonstrated the existence of an explicit recognition bias for angry facial expressions among a population of adolescent Sierra Leonean street-boys exposed to high levels of maltreatment. In the present study, the recognition bias for angry facial expressions was investigated in a younger population of street-children and age-matched controls. Participants performed a forced-choice facial expressions recognition task. Recognition bias was measured as participants' tendency to over-attribute anger label to other negative facial expressions. Participants' heart rate was assessed and related to their behavioral performance, as index of their stress-related physiological responses. Results demonstrated the presence of a recognition bias for angry facial expressions among street-children, also pinpointing a similar, although significantly less pronounced, tendency among controls. Participants' performance was controlled for age, cognitive and educational levels and for naming skills. None of these variables influenced the recognition bias for angry facial expressions. Differently, a significant effect of heart rate on participants' tendency to use anger label was evidenced. Taken together, these results suggest that childhood exposure to maltreatment experiences amplifies children's "pre-existing bias" for anger labeling in forced-choice emotion recognition task. Moreover, they strengthen the thesis according to which the recognition bias for angry facial expressions is a manifestation of a functional adaptive mechanism that tunes victim's perceptive and attentive focus on salient environmental social stimuli.

  16. Using pronunciation data to study word recognition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pitt, Mark A.; Johnson, Keith

    2003-10-01

    Many of the mysteries of spoken word recognition have evolved out of the observation that pronunciation is highly variable yet perception is amazingly stable. Extreme forms of variation can even result in different phonetic percepts, such as consonant assimilation (e.g., ``green ball:'' ``greem ball'') and deletion (e.g., ``and:'' ``an''), yet listeners still perceive the intended word. The results from two lines of work will be presented in which we are studying the regularity of these production phenomena to evaluate models of how phonological variants are recognized. In one project we examined variation itself. Phonological and acoustic analyses of phonological variation in the Buckeye corpus of conversational speech were carried out in which we asked questions such as the following: How predictable and consistent is regressive assimilation? and How acoustically similar is the assimilated segment to an intended production of that same segment? In a related project, we examined the listener's sensitivity to the variation found in conversational speech. Results reveal the complexities of these production phenomena, the challenges models must overcome to account for how variants are recognized, and listeners' sensitivity to stochastic properties of pronunication variation. [Work supported by NIDCD.

  17. Spoken word recognition without a TRACE

    PubMed Central

    Hannagan, Thomas; Magnuson, James S.; Grainger, Jonathan

    2013-01-01

    How do we map the rapid input of spoken language onto phonological and lexical representations over time? Attempts at psychologically-tractable computational models of spoken word recognition tend either to ignore time or to transform the temporal input into a spatial representation. TRACE, a connectionist model with broad and deep coverage of speech perception and spoken word recognition phenomena, takes the latter approach, using exclusively time-specific units at every level of representation. TRACE reduplicates featural, phonemic, and lexical inputs at every time step in a large memory trace, with rich interconnections (excitatory forward and backward connections between levels and inhibitory links within levels). As the length of the memory trace is increased, or as the phoneme and lexical inventory of the model is increased to a realistic size, this reduplication of time- (temporal position) specific units leads to a dramatic proliferation of units and connections, begging the question of whether a more efficient approach is possible. Our starting point is the observation that models of visual object recognition—including visual word recognition—have grappled with the problem of spatial invariance, and arrived at solutions other than a fully-reduplicative strategy like that of TRACE. This inspires a new model of spoken word recognition that combines time-specific phoneme representations similar to those in TRACE with higher-level representations based on string kernels: temporally independent (time invariant) diphone and lexical units. This reduces the number of necessary units and connections by several orders of magnitude relative to TRACE. Critically, we compare the new model to TRACE on a set of key phenomena, demonstrating that the new model inherits much of the behavior of TRACE and that the drastic computational savings do not come at the cost of explanatory power. PMID:24058349

  18. Infant word recognition: Insights from TRACE simulations☆

    PubMed Central

    Mayor, Julien; Plunkett, Kim

    2014-01-01

    The TRACE model of speech perception (McClelland & Elman, 1986) is used to simulate results from the infant word recognition literature, to provide a unified, theoretical framework for interpreting these findings. In a first set of simulations, we demonstrate how TRACE can reconcile apparently conflicting findings suggesting, on the one hand, that consonants play a pre-eminent role in lexical acquisition (Nespor, Peña & Mehler, 2003; Nazzi, 2005), and on the other, that there is a symmetry in infant sensitivity to vowel and consonant mispronunciations of familiar words (Mani & Plunkett, 2007). In a second series of simulations, we use TRACE to simulate infants’ graded sensitivity to mispronunciations of familiar words as reported by White and Morgan (2008). An unexpected outcome is that TRACE fails to demonstrate graded sensitivity for White and Morgan’s stimuli unless the inhibitory parameters in TRACE are substantially reduced. We explore the ramifications of this finding for theories of lexical development. Finally, TRACE mimics the impact of phonological neighbourhoods on early word learning reported by Swingley and Aslin (2007). TRACE offers an alternative explanation of these findings in terms of mispronunciations of lexical items rather than imputing word learning to infants. Together these simulations provide an evaluation of Developmental (Jusczyk, 1993) and Familiarity (Metsala, 1999) accounts of word recognition by infants and young children. The findings point to a role for both theoretical approaches whereby vocabulary structure and content constrain infant word recognition in an experience-dependent fashion, and highlight the continuity in the processes and representations involved in lexical development during the second year of life. PMID:24493907

  19. Effects of Speech-to-Text Recognition Application on Learning Performance in Synchronous Cyber Classrooms

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hwang, Wu-Yuin; Shadiev, Rustam; Kuo, Tony C. T.; Chen, Nian-Shing

    2012-01-01

    The aim of this study was to apply Speech-to-Text Recognition (STR) in an effort to improve learning performance in an online synchronous cyber classroom environment. Students' perceptions and their behavioral intentions toward using STR and the effectiveness of applying STR in synchronous cyber classrooms were also investigated. After the…

  20. Developmental Changes in Face Recognition during Childhood: Evidence from Upright and Inverted Faces

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    de Heering, Adelaide; Rossion, Bruno; Maurer, Daphne

    2012-01-01

    Adults are experts at recognizing faces but there is controversy about how this ability develops with age. We assessed 6- to 12-year-olds and adults using a digitized version of the Benton Face Recognition Test, a sensitive tool for assessing face perception abilities. Children's response times for correct responses did not decrease between ages 6…

  1. The Recognition of Web Pages' Hyperlinks by People with Intellectual Disabilities: An Evaluation Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rocha, Tania; Bessa, Maximino; Goncalves, Martinho; Cabral, Luciana; Godinho, Francisco; Peres, Emanuel; Reis, Manuel C.; Magalhaes, Luis; Chalmers, Alan

    2012-01-01

    Background: One of the most mentioned problems of web accessibility, as recognized in several different studies, is related to the difficulty regarding the perception of what is or is not clickable in a web page. In particular, a key problem is the recognition of hyperlinks by a specific group of people, namely those with intellectual…

  2. fMRI of global visual perception in simultanagnosia.

    PubMed

    Himmelbach, Marc; Erb, Michael; Klockgether, Thomas; Moskau, Susanna; Karnath, Hans-Otto

    2009-03-01

    The integration of visual elements into global perception seems to be implemented separately to single object perception. This assumption is supported by the existence of patients with simultanagnosia who can identify single objects but are incapable of integrating multiple visual items. We investigated a case of simultanagnosia due to posterior cortical atrophy without structural brain damage who demonstrated an incomplete simultanagnosia. The patient successfully recognized a global stimulus in one trial but failed to do so just a few seconds later. Using event-related fMRI, we contrasted post hoc selected trials of successful global perception with trials of global recognition failure. We found circumscribed clusters of activity at the right and left primary intermediate sulci and a bilateral cluster at the ventral precuneus. The integration of multiple visual elements resulting in a conscious perception of their gestalt seems to rely on these bilateral structures in the human lateral and medial inferior parietal cortex.

  3. Predictions penetrate perception: Converging insights from brain, behaviour and disorder.

    PubMed

    O'Callaghan, Claire; Kveraga, Kestutis; Shine, James M; Adams, Reginald B; Bar, Moshe

    2017-01-01

    It is argued that during ongoing visual perception, the brain is generating top-down predictions to facilitate, guide and constrain the processing of incoming sensory input. Here we demonstrate that these predictions are drawn from a diverse range of cognitive processes, in order to generate the richest and most informative prediction signals. This is consistent with a central role for cognitive penetrability in visual perception. We review behavioural and mechanistic evidence that indicate a wide spectrum of domains-including object recognition, contextual associations, cognitive biases and affective state-that can directly influence visual perception. We combine these insights from the healthy brain with novel observations from neuropsychiatric disorders involving visual hallucinations, which highlight the consequences of imbalance between top-down signals and incoming sensory information. Together, these lines of evidence converge to indicate that predictive penetration, be it cognitive, social or emotional, should be considered a fundamental framework that supports visual perception.

  4. Using a new odour-baited device to explore options for luring and killing outdoor-biting malaria vectors: a report on design and field evaluation of the Mosquito Landing Box

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Mosquitoes that bite people outdoors can sustain malaria transmission even where effective indoor interventions such as bednets or indoor residual spraying are already widely used. Outdoor tools may therefore complement current indoor measures and improve control. We developed and evaluated a prototype mosquito control device, the ‘Mosquito Landing Box’ (MLB), which is baited with human odours and treated with mosquitocidal agents. The findings are used to explore technical options and challenges relevant to luring and killing outdoor-biting malaria vectors in endemic settings. Methods Field experiments were conducted in Tanzania to assess if wild host-seeking mosquitoes 1) visited the MLBs, 2) stayed long or left shortly after arrival at the device, 3) visited the devices at times when humans were also outdoors, and 4) could be killed by contaminants applied on the devices. Odours suctioned from volunteer-occupied tents were also evaluated as a potential low-cost bait, by comparing baited and unbaited MLBs. Results There were significantly more Anopheles arabiensis, An. funestus, Culex and Mansonia mosquitoes visiting baited MLB than unbaited controls (P≤0.028). Increasing sampling frequency from every 120 min to 60 and 30 min led to an increase in vector catches of up to 3.6 fold (P≤0.002), indicating that many mosquitoes visited the device but left shortly afterwards. Outdoor host-seeking activity of malaria vectors peaked between 7:30 and 10:30pm, and between 4:30 and 6:00am, matching durations when locals were also outdoors. Maximum mortality of mosquitoes visiting MLBs sprayed or painted with formulations of candidate mosquitocidal agent (pirimiphos-methyl) was 51%. Odours from volunteer occupied tents attracted significantly more mosquitoes to MLBs than controls (P<0.001). Conclusion While odour-baited devices such as the MLBs clearly have potential against outdoor-biting mosquitoes in communities where LLINs are used, candidate

  5. Improving social perception in schizophrenia: the role of oxytocin.

    PubMed

    Fischer-Shofty, M; Brüne, M; Ebert, A; Shefet, D; Levkovitz, Y; Shamay-Tsoory, S G

    2013-05-01

    Previous research has shown that patients with schizophrenia are impaired in a wide range of social cognitive abilities, including emotion recognition, empathy for others, and mental perspective-taking. Recent studies suggest that a dysfunction of the oxytocinergic system contributes to the social impairment in schizophrenia. Accordingly, the present study sought to examine whether patients with schizophrenia would improve in a social perception task after taking a single dose of oxytocin, as compared to a placebo. Thirty-five patients diagnosed with schizophrenia were compared with 46 psychologically healthy matched controls on their recognition of kinship and intimacy, using the Interpersonal Perception Task. All participants received a single intranasal dose of 24 IU oxytocin or placebo, one week apart. Overall, the participants were more accurate in judging intimacy and kinship following the administration of oxytocin, as opposed to a placebo. However, when comparing patients with controls, only the recognition of kinship improved significantly in the patient group, whereas no such effect was observed in the control group or in the recognition of intimacy in either group. This is one of the first studies to demonstrate that social perception in schizophrenia can be improved by the administration of oxytocin and that patients show a greater treatment effect than controls.

  6. Sensory Perception in the Human Research and Engineering Directorate: Thrust Areas and Recent Research 2011-2014

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-09-01

    research studies the effects of night vision devices on depth perception and target recognition and is incorporated into models of target detection...Vision Perception Laboratory in Building 520. To complete the experimental task, participants will use a depth acuity device. The participant’s task...match the luminance level seen by the unaided eye and thus achieve binocular depth perception . This study quantified the effects of interocular

  7. Computational validation of the motor contribution to speech perception.

    PubMed

    Badino, Leonardo; D'Ausilio, Alessandro; Fadiga, Luciano; Metta, Giorgio

    2014-07-01

    Action perception and recognition are core abilities fundamental for human social interaction. A parieto-frontal network (the mirror neuron system) matches visually presented biological motion information onto observers' motor representations. This process of matching the actions of others onto our own sensorimotor repertoire is thought to be important for action recognition, providing a non-mediated "motor perception" based on a bidirectional flow of information along the mirror parieto-frontal circuits. State-of-the-art machine learning strategies for hand action identification have shown better performances when sensorimotor data, as opposed to visual information only, are available during learning. As speech is a particular type of action (with acoustic targets), it is expected to activate a mirror neuron mechanism. Indeed, in speech perception, motor centers have been shown to be causally involved in the discrimination of speech sounds. In this paper, we review recent neurophysiological and machine learning-based studies showing (a) the specific contribution of the motor system to speech perception and (b) that automatic phone recognition is significantly improved when motor data are used during training of classifiers (as opposed to learning from purely auditory data).

  8. Automatic Speech Recognition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Potamianos, Gerasimos; Lamel, Lori; Wölfel, Matthias; Huang, Jing; Marcheret, Etienne; Barras, Claude; Zhu, Xuan; McDonough, John; Hernando, Javier; Macho, Dusan; Nadeu, Climent

    Automatic speech recognition (ASR) is a critical component for CHIL services. For example, it provides the input to higher-level technologies, such as summarization and question answering, as discussed in Chapter 8. In the spirit of ubiquitous computing, the goal of ASR in CHIL is to achieve a high performance using far-field sensors (networks of microphone arrays and distributed far-field microphones). However, close-talking microphones are also of interest, as they are used to benchmark ASR system development by providing a best-case acoustic channel scenario to compare against.

  9. Genetic specificity of face recognition.

    PubMed

    Shakeshaft, Nicholas G; Plomin, Robert

    2015-10-13

    Specific cognitive abilities in diverse domains are typically found to be highly heritable and substantially correlated with general cognitive ability (g), both phenotypically and genetically. Recent twin studies have found the ability to memorize and recognize faces to be an exception, being similarly heritable but phenotypically substantially uncorrelated both with g and with general object recognition. However, the genetic relationships between face recognition and other abilities (the extent to which they share a common genetic etiology) cannot be determined from phenotypic associations. In this, to our knowledge, first study of the genetic associations between face recognition and other domains, 2,000 18- and 19-year-old United Kingdom twins completed tests assessing their face recognition, object recognition, and general cognitive abilities. Results confirmed the substantial heritability of face recognition (61%), and multivariate genetic analyses found that most of this genetic influence is unique and not shared with other cognitive abilities.

  10. [Comparative studies of face recognition].

    PubMed

    Kawai, Nobuyuki

    2012-07-01

    Every human being is proficient in face recognition. However, the reason for and the manner in which humans have attained such an ability remain unknown. These questions can be best answered-through comparative studies of face recognition in non-human animals. Studies in both primates and non-primates show that not only primates, but also non-primates possess the ability to extract information from their conspecifics and from human experimenters. Neural specialization for face recognition is shared with mammals in distant taxa, suggesting that face recognition evolved earlier than the emergence of mammals. A recent study indicated that a social insect, the golden paper wasp, can distinguish their conspecific faces, whereas a closely related species, which has a less complex social lifestyle with just one queen ruling a nest of underlings, did not show strong face recognition for their conspecifics. Social complexity and the need to differentiate between one another likely led humans to evolve their face recognition abilities.

  11. Does knowing speaker sex facilitate vowel recognition at short durations?

    PubMed

    Smith, David R R

    2014-05-01

    A man, woman or child saying the same vowel do so with very different voices. The auditory system solves the complex problem of extracting what the man, woman or child has said despite substantial differences in the acoustic properties of their voices. Much of the acoustic variation between the voices of men and woman is due to changes in the underlying anatomical mechanisms for producing speech. If the auditory system knew the sex of the speaker then it could potentially correct for speaker sex related acoustic variation thus facilitating vowel recognition. This study measured the minimum stimulus duration necessary to accurately discriminate whether a brief vowel segment was spoken by a man or woman, and the minimum stimulus duration necessary to accuately recognise what vowel was spoken. Results showed that reliable vowel recognition precedesreliable speaker sex discrimination, thus questioning the use of speaker sex information in compensating for speaker sex related acoustic variation in the voice. Furthermore, the pattern of performance across experiments where the fundamental frequency and formant frequency information of speaker's voices were systematically varied, was markedly different depending on whether the task was speaker-sex discrimination or vowel recognition. This argues for there being little relationship between perception of speaker sex (indexical information) and perception of what has been said (linguistic information) at short durations.

  12. Familiarity is not notoriety: phenomenological accounts of face reco