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Sample records for perceptual processing stages

  1. Neural Mechanisms of Human Perceptual Learning: Electrophysiological Evidence for a Two-Stage Process

    PubMed Central

    Hamamé, Carlos M.; Cosmelli, Diego; Henriquez, Rodrigo; Aboitiz, Francisco

    2011-01-01

    Background Humans and other animals change the way they perceive the world due to experience. This process has been labeled as perceptual learning, and implies that adult nervous systems can adaptively modify the way in which they process sensory stimulation. However, the mechanisms by which the brain modifies this capacity have not been sufficiently analyzed. Methodology/Principal Findings We studied the neural mechanisms of human perceptual learning by combining electroencephalographic (EEG) recordings of brain activity and the assessment of psychophysical performance during training in a visual search task. All participants improved their perceptual performance as reflected by an increase in sensitivity (d') and a decrease in reaction time. The EEG signal was acquired throughout the entire experiment revealing amplitude increments, specific and unspecific to the trained stimulus, in event-related potential (ERP) components N2pc and P3 respectively. P3 unspecific modification can be related to context or task-based learning, while N2pc may be reflecting a more specific attentional-related boosting of target detection. Moreover, bell and U-shaped profiles of oscillatory brain activity in gamma (30–60 Hz) and alpha (8–14 Hz) frequency bands may suggest the existence of two phases for learning acquisition, which can be understood as distinctive optimization mechanisms in stimulus processing. Conclusions/Significance We conclude that there are reorganizations in several neural processes that contribute differently to perceptual learning in a visual search task. We propose an integrative model of neural activity reorganization, whereby perceptual learning takes place as a two-stage phenomenon including perceptual, attentional and contextual processes. PMID:21541280

  2. Neural mechanisms of human perceptual learning: electrophysiological evidence for a two-stage process.

    PubMed

    Hamamé, Carlos M; Cosmelli, Diego; Henriquez, Rodrigo; Aboitiz, Francisco

    2011-04-26

    Humans and other animals change the way they perceive the world due to experience. This process has been labeled as perceptual learning, and implies that adult nervous systems can adaptively modify the way in which they process sensory stimulation. However, the mechanisms by which the brain modifies this capacity have not been sufficiently analyzed. We studied the neural mechanisms of human perceptual learning by combining electroencephalographic (EEG) recordings of brain activity and the assessment of psychophysical performance during training in a visual search task. All participants improved their perceptual performance as reflected by an increase in sensitivity (d') and a decrease in reaction time. The EEG signal was acquired throughout the entire experiment revealing amplitude increments, specific and unspecific to the trained stimulus, in event-related potential (ERP) components N2pc and P3 respectively. P3 unspecific modification can be related to context or task-based learning, while N2pc may be reflecting a more specific attentional-related boosting of target detection. Moreover, bell and U-shaped profiles of oscillatory brain activity in gamma (30-60 Hz) and alpha (8-14 Hz) frequency bands may suggest the existence of two phases for learning acquisition, which can be understood as distinctive optimization mechanisms in stimulus processing. We conclude that there are reorganizations in several neural processes that contribute differently to perceptual learning in a visual search task. We propose an integrative model of neural activity reorganization, whereby perceptual learning takes place as a two-stage phenomenon including perceptual, attentional and contextual processes.

  3. Preferential processing of self-relevant stimuli occurs mainly at the perceptual and conscious stages of information processing.

    PubMed

    Tacikowski, P; Ehrsson, H H

    2016-04-01

    Self-related stimuli, such as one's own name or face, are processed faster and more accurately than other types of stimuli. However, what remains unknown is at which stage of the information processing hierarchy this preferential processing occurs. Our first aim was to determine whether preferential self-processing involves mainly perceptual stages or also post-perceptual stages. We found that self-related priming was stronger than other-related priming only because of perceptual prime-target congruency. Our second aim was to dissociate the role of conscious and unconscious factors in preferential self-processing. To this end, we compared the "self" and "other" conditions in trials where primes were masked or unmasked. In two separate experiments, we found that self-related priming was stronger than other-related priming but only in the unmasked trials. Together, our results suggest that preferential access to the self-concept occurs mainly at the perceptual and conscious stages of the stimulus processing hierarchy.

  4. Cueing effects on semantic and perceptual categorization: ERPs reveal differential effects of validity as a function of processing stage

    PubMed Central

    Lai, Grace; Mangels, Jennifer A.

    2007-01-01

    Valid cueing has been shown to accelerate target identification and improve decision accuracy, however the precise nature and extent to which biasing influences the successive stages of target processing remain unclear. The present event-related potential (ERP) study used a “hybrid” task that combined features of standard cued-attention and task-switching paradigms in order to explore the effects of expectation on both identification and categorization of centrally-presented stimuli. Subjects made semantic judgments (living/nonliving) on word targets (“bunny”), and perceptual judgments (right/left) on arrow targets (“≪≪<”). Target expectancy was manipulated using cues that were valid (60% of trials), invalid (10%), or neutral (30%). Invalidly-cued targets required task-set switching before categorization could commence, and resulted in RT costs relative to validly- or neutrally-cued targets. Additionally, benefits from valid-cueing were observed for word targets. Invalid cueing of both arrow and word targets modulated early posterior visual potentials (P1/N1) and elicited a subsequent anterior P3a (270 ms). The temporal relationship of these effects suggests that the P3a indexed domain-general task-set switching processes recruited in response to the detection of unexpected perceptual information. Subsequent to the P3a and immediately preceding the behavioral response, validly-cued targets elicited enhanced stimulus-specific waveforms (arrows: parietal positivity [P290], words: inferior temporal negativity [late ITN: 400–600 ms]). The degree of neural enhancement relative to the invalid and neutral conditions mirrored the magnitude of corresponding RT benefits, suggesting that these waveforms indexed categorization and/or decision processes. Together, these results suggest that valid cueing increases the neural efficiency of initial stimulus identification, facilitating transmission of information to subsequent categorization stages, where

  5. Perceptual Processes and Cognitive Ability.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schweizer, Karl; Koch, Wolfgang

    2003-01-01

    Examined the contribution of perceptual processes to cognitive ability with respect to stimulus complexity, response mode, level of encoding, and attention. Findings for 124 college students show that about 70% of common variance of perceptual processes and cognitive ability was due to attentive processes, with 30% resulting from pre-attentive…

  6. Facial identity and facial expression are initially integrated at visual perceptual stages of face processing.

    PubMed

    Fisher, Katie; Towler, John; Eimer, Martin

    2016-01-08

    It is frequently assumed that facial identity and facial expression are analysed in functionally and anatomically distinct streams within the core visual face processing system. To investigate whether expression and identity interact during the visual processing of faces, we employed a sequential matching procedure where participants compared either the identity or the expression of two successively presented faces, and ignored the other irrelevant dimension. Repetitions versus changes of facial identity and expression were varied independently across trials, and event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded during task performance. Irrelevant facial identity and irrelevant expression both interfered with performance in the expression and identity matching tasks. These symmetrical interference effects show that neither identity nor expression can be selectively ignored during face matching, and suggest that they are not processed independently. N250r components to identity repetitions that reflect identity matching mechanisms in face-selective visual cortex were delayed and attenuated when there was an expression change, demonstrating that facial expression interferes with visual identity matching. These findings provide new evidence for interactions between facial identity and expression within the core visual processing system, and question the hypothesis that these two attributes are processed independently. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Perceptual Processing Development: Its Relation to Learning Disabilities. Section I.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wepman, Joseph M.

    Presented is a developmental concept of perceptual processing as related to learning disabilities in young children. Learning is seen to involve the interaction of cognitive developmental stages at the preverbal, verbal, and postverbal levels with learning disabilities seen to be due to perceptual handicaps. A model is offered which posits a…

  8. Collapse models and perceptual processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carlo Ghirardi, Gian; Romano, Raffaele

    2014-04-01

    Theories including a collapse mechanism have been presented various years ago. They are based on a modification of standard quantum mechanics in which nonlinear and stochastic terms are added to the evolution equation. Their principal merits derive from the fact that they are mathematically precise schemes accounting, on the basis of a unique universal dynamical principle, both for the quantum behavior of microscopic systems as well as for the reduction associated to measurement processes and for the classical behavior of macroscopic objects. Since such theories qualify themselves not as new interpretations but as modifications of the standard theory they can be, in principle, tested against quantum mechanics. Recently, various investigations identifying possible crucial test have been discussed. In spite of the extreme difficulty to perform such tests it seems that recent technological developments allow at least to put precise limits on the parameters characterizing the modifications of the evolution equation. Here we will simply mention some of the recent investigations in this direction, while we will mainly concentrate our attention to the way in which collapse theories account for definite perceptual process. The differences between the case of reductions induced by perceptions and those related to measurement procedures by means of standard macroscopic devices will be discussed. On this basis, we suggest a precise experimental test of collapse theories involving conscious observers. We make plausible, by discussing in detail a toy model, that the modified dynamics can give rise to quite small but systematic errors in the visual perceptual process.

  9. Enhanced perceptual processing of speech in autism.

    PubMed

    Järvinen-Pasley, Anna; Wallace, Gregory L; Ramus, Franck; Happé, Francesca; Heaton, Pamela

    2008-01-01

    Theories of autism have proposed that a bias towards low-level perceptual information, or a featural/surface-biased information-processing style, may compromise higher-level language processing in such individuals. Two experiments, utilizing linguistic stimuli with competing low-level/perceptual and high-level/semantic information, tested processing biases in children with autism and matched controls. Whereas children with autism exhibited superior perceptual processing of speech relative to controls, and showed no evidence of either a perceptual or semantic processing bias, controls showed a tendency to process speech semantically. The data provide partial support to the perceptual theories of autism. It is additionally proposed that the pattern of results may reflect different patterns of attentional focusing towards single or multiple stimulus cues in speech between children with autism and controls.

  10. Enhanced Perceptual Processing of Speech in Autism

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jarvinen-Pasley, Anna; Wallace, Gregory L.; Ramus, Franck; Happe, Francesca; Heaton, Pamela

    2008-01-01

    Theories of autism have proposed that a bias towards low-level perceptual information, or a featural/surface-biased information-processing style, may compromise higher-level language processing in such individuals. Two experiments, utilizing linguistic stimuli with competing low-level/perceptual and high-level/semantic information, tested…

  11. Enhanced Perceptual Processing of Speech in Autism

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jarvinen-Pasley, Anna; Wallace, Gregory L.; Ramus, Franck; Happe, Francesca; Heaton, Pamela

    2008-01-01

    Theories of autism have proposed that a bias towards low-level perceptual information, or a featural/surface-biased information-processing style, may compromise higher-level language processing in such individuals. Two experiments, utilizing linguistic stimuli with competing low-level/perceptual and high-level/semantic information, tested…

  12. Are there unconscious perceptual processes?

    PubMed

    Brogaard, Berit

    2011-06-01

    Blindsight and vision for action seem to be exemplars of unconscious visual processes. However, researchers have recently argued that blindsight is not really a kind of unconscious vision but is rather severely degraded conscious vision. Morten Overgaard and colleagues have recently developed new methods for measuring the visibility of visual stimuli. Studies using these methods show that reported clarity of visual stimuli correlates with accuracy in both normal individuals and blindsight patients. Vision for action has also come under scrutiny. Recent findings seem to show that information processed by the dorsal stream for online action contributes to visual awareness. Some interpret these results as showing that some dorsal stream processes are conscious visual processes (e.g., Gallese, 2007; Jacob & Jeannerod, 2003). The aim of this paper is to provide new support for the more traditional view that blindsight and vision for action are genuinely unconscious perceptual processes. I argue that individuals with blindsight do not have access to the kind of purely qualitative color and size information which normal individuals do. So, even though people with blindsight have a kind of cognitive consciousness, visual information processing in blindsight patients is not associated with a distinctly visual phenomenology. I argue further that while dorsal stream processing seems to contribute to visual awareness, only information processed by the early dorsal stream (V1, V2, and V3) is broadcast to working memory. Information processed by later parts of the dorsal stream (the parietal lobe) never reaches working memory and hence does not correlate with phenomenal awareness. I conclude that both blindsight and vision for action are genuinely unconscious visual processes. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Audiovisual speech perception development at varying levels of perceptual processing.

    PubMed

    Lalonde, Kaylah; Holt, Rachael Frush

    2016-04-01

    This study used the auditory evaluation framework [Erber (1982). Auditory Training (Alexander Graham Bell Association, Washington, DC)] to characterize the influence of visual speech on audiovisual (AV) speech perception in adults and children at multiple levels of perceptual processing. Six- to eight-year-old children and adults completed auditory and AV speech perception tasks at three levels of perceptual processing (detection, discrimination, and recognition). The tasks differed in the level of perceptual processing required to complete them. Adults and children demonstrated visual speech influence at all levels of perceptual processing. Whereas children demonstrated the same visual speech influence at each level of perceptual processing, adults demonstrated greater visual speech influence on tasks requiring higher levels of perceptual processing. These results support previous research demonstrating multiple mechanisms of AV speech processing (general perceptual and speech-specific mechanisms) with independent maturational time courses. The results suggest that adults rely on both general perceptual mechanisms that apply to all levels of perceptual processing and speech-specific mechanisms that apply when making phonetic decisions and/or accessing the lexicon. Six- to eight-year-old children seem to rely only on general perceptual mechanisms across levels. As expected, developmental differences in AV benefit on this and other recognition tasks likely reflect immature speech-specific mechanisms and phonetic processing in children.

  14. Audiovisual speech perception development at varying levels of perceptual processing

    PubMed Central

    Lalonde, Kaylah; Holt, Rachael Frush

    2016-01-01

    This study used the auditory evaluation framework [Erber (1982). Auditory Training (Alexander Graham Bell Association, Washington, DC)] to characterize the influence of visual speech on audiovisual (AV) speech perception in adults and children at multiple levels of perceptual processing. Six- to eight-year-old children and adults completed auditory and AV speech perception tasks at three levels of perceptual processing (detection, discrimination, and recognition). The tasks differed in the level of perceptual processing required to complete them. Adults and children demonstrated visual speech influence at all levels of perceptual processing. Whereas children demonstrated the same visual speech influence at each level of perceptual processing, adults demonstrated greater visual speech influence on tasks requiring higher levels of perceptual processing. These results support previous research demonstrating multiple mechanisms of AV speech processing (general perceptual and speech-specific mechanisms) with independent maturational time courses. The results suggest that adults rely on both general perceptual mechanisms that apply to all levels of perceptual processing and speech-specific mechanisms that apply when making phonetic decisions and/or accessing the lexicon. Six- to eight-year-old children seem to rely only on general perceptual mechanisms across levels. As expected, developmental differences in AV benefit on this and other recognition tasks likely reflect immature speech-specific mechanisms and phonetic processing in children. PMID:27106318

  15. Neurofeedback training of gamma band oscillations improves perceptual processing.

    PubMed

    Salari, Neda; Büchel, Christian; Rose, Michael

    2014-10-01

    In this study, a noninvasive electroencephalography-based neurofeedback method is applied to train volunteers to deliberately increase gamma band oscillations (40 Hz) in the visual cortex. Gamma band oscillations in the visual cortex play a functional role in perceptual processing. In a previous study, we were able to demonstrate that gamma band oscillations prior to stimulus presentation have a significant influence on perceptual processing of visual stimuli. In the present study, we aimed to investigate longer lasting effects of gamma band neurofeedback training on perceptual processing. For this purpose, a feedback group was trained to modulate oscillations in the gamma band, while a control group participated in a task with an identical design setting but without gamma band feedback. Before and after training, both groups participated in a perceptual object detection task and a spatial attention task. Our results clearly revealed that only the feedback group but not the control group exhibited a visual processing advantage and an increase in oscillatory gamma band activity in the pre-stimulus period of the processing of the visual object stimuli after the neurofeedback training. Results of the spatial attention task showed no difference between the groups, which underlines the specific role of gamma band oscillations for perceptual processing. In summary, our results show that modulation of gamma band activity selectively affects perceptual processing and therefore supports the relevant role of gamma band activity for this specific process. Furthermore, our results demonstrate the eligibility of gamma band oscillations as a valuable tool for neurofeedback applications.

  16. Consensus paper: the role of the cerebellum in perceptual processes.

    PubMed

    Baumann, Oliver; Borra, Ronald J; Bower, James M; Cullen, Kathleen E; Habas, Christophe; Ivry, Richard B; Leggio, Maria; Mattingley, Jason B; Molinari, Marco; Moulton, Eric A; Paulin, Michael G; Pavlova, Marina A; Schmahmann, Jeremy D; Sokolov, Arseny A

    2015-04-01

    Various lines of evidence accumulated over the past 30 years indicate that the cerebellum, long recognized as essential for motor control, also has considerable influence on perceptual processes. In this paper, we bring together experts from psychology and neuroscience, with the aim of providing a succinct but comprehensive overview of key findings related to the involvement of the cerebellum in sensory perception. The contributions cover such topics as anatomical and functional connectivity, evolutionary and comparative perspectives, visual and auditory processing, biological motion perception, nociception, self-motion, timing, predictive processing, and perceptual sequencing. While no single explanation has yet emerged concerning the role of the cerebellum in perceptual processes, this consensus paper summarizes the impressive empirical evidence on this problem and highlights diversities as well as commonalities between existing hypotheses. In addition to work with healthy individuals and patients with cerebellar disorders, it is also apparent that several neurological conditions in which perceptual disturbances occur, including autism and schizophrenia, are associated with cerebellar pathology. A better understanding of the involvement of the cerebellum in perceptual processes will thus likely be important for identifying and treating perceptual deficits that may at present go unnoticed and untreated. This paper provides a useful framework for further debate and empirical investigations into the influence of the cerebellum on sensory perception.

  17. Selective target processing: perceptual load or distractor salience?

    PubMed

    Eltiti, Stacy; Wallace, Denise; Fox, Elaine

    2005-07-01

    Perceptual load theory (Lavie, 1995) states that participants cannot engage in focused attention when shown displays containing a low perceptual load, because attentional resources are not exhausted, whereas in high-load displays attention is always focused, because attentional resources are exhausted. An alternative "salience" hypothesis holds that the salience of distractors and not perceptual load per se determines selective attention. Three experiments were conducted to investigate the influence that target and distractor onsets and offsets have on selective processing in a standard interference task. Perceptual load theory predicts that, regardless of target or distractor presentation (onset or offset), interference from ignored distractors should occur in low-load displays only. In contrast, the salience hypothesis predicts that interference should occur when the distractor appears as an onset and would occur for distractor offsets only when the target was also an offset. Interference may even occur in highload displays if the distractor is more salient. The results supported the salience hypothesis.

  18. Perceptual Biases in Processing Facial Identity and Emotion

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Coolican, Jamesie; Eskes, Gail A.; McMullen, Patricia A.; Lecky, Erin

    2008-01-01

    Normal observers demonstrate a bias to process the left sides of faces during perceptual judgments about identity or emotion. This effect suggests a right cerebral hemisphere processing bias. To test the role of the right hemisphere and the involvement of configural processing underlying this effect, young and older control observers and patients…

  19. Human pattern recognition: parallel processing and perceptual learning.

    PubMed

    Fahle, M

    1994-01-01

    A new theory of visual object recognition by Poggio et al that is based on multidimensional interpolation between stored templates requires fast, stimulus-specific learning in the visual cortex. Indeed, performance in a number of perceptual tasks improves as a result of practice. We distinguish between two phases of learning a vernier-acuity task, a fast one that takes place within less than 20 min and a slow phase that continues over 10 h of training and probably beyond. The improvement is specific for relatively 'simple' features, such as the orientation of the stimulus presented during training, for the position in the visual field, and for the eye through which learning occurred. Some of these results are simulated by means of a computer model that relies on object recognition by multidimensional interpolation between stored templates. Orientation specificity of learning is also found in a jump-displacement task. In a manner parallel to the improvement in performance, cortical potentials evoked by the jump displacement tend to decrease in latency and to increase in amplitude as a result of training. The distribution of potentials over the brain changes significantly as a result of repeated exposure to the same stimulus. The results both of psychophysical and of electrophysiological experiments indicate that some form of perceptual learning might occur very early during cortical information processing. The hypothesis that vernier breaks are detected 'early' during pattern recognition is supported by the fact that reaction times for the detection of verniers depend hardly at all on the number of stimuli presented simultaneously. Hence, vernier breaks can be detected in parallel at different locations in the visual field, indicating that deviation from straightness is an elementary feature for visual pattern recognition in humans that is detected at an early stage of pattern recognition. Several results obtained during the last few years are reviewed, some new

  20. Color categories only affect post-perceptual processes when same- and different-category colors are equally discriminable.

    PubMed

    He, Xun; Witzel, Christoph; Forder, Lewis; Clifford, Alexandra; Franklin, Anna

    2014-04-01

    Prior claims that color categories affect color perception are confounded by inequalities in the color space used to equate same- and different-category colors. Here, we equate same- and different-category colors in the number of just-noticeable differences, and measure event-related potentials (ERPs) to these colors on a visual oddball task to establish if color categories affect perceptual or post-perceptual stages of processing. Category effects were found from 200 ms after color presentation, only in ERP components that reflect post-perceptual processes (e.g., N2, P3). The findings suggest that color categories affect post-perceptual processing, but do not affect the perceptual representation of color.

  1. Perceptual Processing of Partially and Fully Assimilated Words in French

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Snoeren, Natalie D.; Segui, Juan; Halle, Pierre A.

    2008-01-01

    Models of speech perception attribute a different role to contextual information in the processing of assimilated speech. This study concerned perceptual processing of regressive voice assimilation in French. This phonological variation is asymmetric in that assimilation is partial for voiced stops and nearly complete for voiceless stops. Two…

  2. Repetition enhancement and perceptual processing of visual word form

    PubMed Central

    Lebreton, Karine; Villain, Nicolas; Chételat, Gaël; Landeau, Brigitte; Seghier, Mohamed L.; Lazeyras, François; Eustache, Francis; Ibanez, Vicente

    2012-01-01

    The current study investigated the cerebral basis of word perceptual repetition priming with fMRI during a letter detection task that manipulated the familiarity of perceptual word form and the number of repetitions. Some neuroimaging studies have reported increases, instead of decreases, in brain activations (called “repetition enhancement”) associated with repetition priming of unfamiliar stimuli which have been interpreted as the creation of new perceptual representations for unfamiliar items. According to this interpretation, several repetitions of unfamiliar items would then be necessary for the repetition priming to occur, a hypothesis not explicitly tested in prior studies. In the present study, using a letter detection task on briefly flashed words, we explored the effect of familiarity on brain response for word visual perceptual priming using both words with usual (i.e., familiar) and unusual (i.e., unfamiliar) font, presented up to four times for stimuli with unusual font. This allows potential changes in the brain responses for unfamiliar items to be assessed over several repetitions, i.e., repetition enhancement to suppression. Our results reveal significant increases of activity in the bilateral occipital areas related to repetition of words in both familiar and unfamiliar conditions. Our findings support the sharpening hypothesis, showing a lack of cerebral economy with repetition when the task requires the processing of all word features, whatever the familiarity of the material, and emphasize the influence of the nature of stimuli processing on its neuronal manifestation. PMID:22807895

  3. Two-stage model in perceptual learning: toward a unified theory

    PubMed Central

    Shibata, Kazuhisa; Sagi, Dov; Watanabe, Takeo

    2014-01-01

    Training or exposure to a visual feature leads to a long-term improvement in performance on visual tasks that employ this feature. Such performance improvements and the processes that govern them are called visual perceptual learning (VPL). As an ever greater volume of research accumulates in the field, we have reached a point where a unifying model of VPL should be sought. A new wave of research findings has exposed diverging results along three major directions in VPL: specificity versus generalization of VPL, lower versus higher brain locus of VPL, and task-relevant versus task-irrelevant VPL. In this review, we propose a new theoretical model that suggests the involvement of two different stages in VPL: a low-level, stimulus-driven stage, and a higher-level stage dominated by task demands. If experimentally verified, this model would not only constructively unify the current divergent results in the VPL field, but would also lead to a significantly better understanding of visual plasticity, which may, in turn, lead to interventions to ameliorate diseases affecting vision and other pathological or age-related visual and nonvisual declines. PMID:24758723

  4. Perceptual learning and face processing in infancy.

    PubMed

    Galati, Ashley; Hock, Alyson; Bhatt, Ramesh S

    2016-11-01

    Configural information (spacing between features) contributes to face-processing expertise in adulthood. We examined whether infants can be "trained" to process this information. In Experiment 1, 3.5-month-olds failed to discriminate changes in the spacing between facial features. However, in Experiments 2 and 3, infants processed the same information after being primed with faces in which the spacing was repeatedly altered. Experiment 4 found that priming was not effective with inverted faces or with faces depicting changes in features but not relations among features, indicating that the priming exhibited in Experiments 2 and 3 was specific to upright faces depicting spacing changes. Thus, even young infants who do not readily process facial configural information can be induced to do so through priming. These findings suggest that learning to encode critical structural information contributes to the development of face processing expertise. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  5. Spatial Attention Enhances Perceptual Processing of Single-Element Displays

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bacon, William; Johnston, James C.; Remington, Roger W.; Null, Cynthia H. (Technical Monitor)

    1994-01-01

    Shiu and Pashler (1993) reported that precueing masked, single-element displays had negligible effects on identification accuracy. They argued that spatial attention does not actually enhance stimulus perceptibility, but only reduces decision noise. Alternatively, such negative results may arise if cues are sub-optimal, or if masks place an insufficient premium on timely deployment of attention. We report results showing that valid cueing enhances processing of even single-element displays. Spatial attention does indeed enhance perceptual processes.

  6. Spatial Attention Enhances Perceptual Processing of Single-Element Displays

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bacon, William; Johnston, James C.; Remington, Roger W.; Null, Cynthia H. (Technical Monitor)

    1994-01-01

    Shiu and Pashler (1993) reported that precueing masked, single-element displays had negligible effects on identification accuracy. They argued that spatial attention does not actually enhance stimulus perceptibility, but only reduces decision noise. Alternatively, such negative results may arise if cues are sub-optimal, or if masks place an insufficient premium on timely deployment of attention. We report results showing that valid cueing enhances processing of even single-element displays. Spatial attention does indeed enhance perceptual processes.

  7. Perceptual, Conceptual, and Representational Processes in Infancy.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Needham, Amy

    2001-01-01

    Discusses responses to Needham's research on infants' use of featural, physical and experiential information to segregate displays. Considers characterization of different kinds of information infants use when segregating objects. Discusses relations between processes underlying object segregation. Considers the roles of visual versus linguistic…

  8. Semantic Learning Modifies Perceptual Face Processing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Heisz, Jennifer J.; Shedden, Judith M.

    2009-01-01

    Face processing changes when a face is learned with personally relevant information. In a five-day learning paradigm, faces were presented with rich semantic stories that conveyed personal information about the faces. Event-related potentials were recorded before and after learning during a passive viewing task. When faces were novel, we observed…

  9. Semantic Learning Modifies Perceptual Face Processing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Heisz, Jennifer J.; Shedden, Judith M.

    2009-01-01

    Face processing changes when a face is learned with personally relevant information. In a five-day learning paradigm, faces were presented with rich semantic stories that conveyed personal information about the faces. Event-related potentials were recorded before and after learning during a passive viewing task. When faces were novel, we observed…

  10. Perceptual and Gaze Biases during Face Processing: Related or Not?

    PubMed Central

    Samson, Hélène; Fiori-Duharcourt, Nicole; Doré-Mazars, Karine; Lemoine, Christelle; Vergilino-Perez, Dorine

    2014-01-01

    Previous studies have demonstrated a left perceptual bias while looking at faces, due to the fact that observers mainly use information from the left side of a face (from the observer's point of view) to perform a judgment task. Such a bias is consistent with the right hemisphere dominance for face processing and has sometimes been linked to a left gaze bias, i.e. more and/or longer fixations on the left side of the face. Here, we recorded eye-movements, in two different experiments during a gender judgment task, using normal and chimeric faces which were presented above, below, right or left to the central fixation point or on it (central position). Participants performed the judgment task by remaining fixated on the fixation point or after executing several saccades (up to three). A left perceptual bias was not systematically found as it depended on the number of allowed saccades and face position. Moreover, the gaze bias clearly depended on the face position as the initial fixation was guided by face position and landed on the closest half-face, toward the center of gravity of the face. The analysis of the subsequent fixations revealed that observers move their eyes from one side to the other. More importantly, no apparent link between gaze and perceptual biases was found here. This implies that we do not look necessarily toward the side of the face that we use to make a gender judgment task. Despite the fact that these results may be limited by the absence of perceptual and gaze biases in some conditions, we emphasized the inter-individual differences observed in terms of perceptual bias, hinting at the importance of performing individual analysis and drawing attention to the influence of the method used to study this bias. PMID:24454927

  11. Dissociating sensory from decision processes in human perceptual decision making

    PubMed Central

    Mostert, Pim; Kok, Peter; de Lange, Floris P.

    2015-01-01

    A key question within systems neuroscience is how the brain translates physical stimulation into a behavioral response: perceptual decision making. To answer this question, it is important to dissociate the neural activity underlying the encoding of sensory information from the activity underlying the subsequent temporal integration into a decision variable. Here, we adopted a decoding approach to empirically assess this dissociation in human magnetoencephalography recordings. We used a functional localizer to identify the neural signature that reflects sensory-specific processes, and subsequently traced this signature while subjects were engaged in a perceptual decision making task. Our results revealed a temporal dissociation in which sensory processing was limited to an early time window and consistent with occipital areas, whereas decision-related processing became increasingly pronounced over time, and involved parietal and frontal areas. We found that the sensory processing accurately reflected the physical stimulus, irrespective of the eventual decision. Moreover, the sensory representation was stable and maintained over time when it was required for a subsequent decision, but unstable and variable over time when it was task-irrelevant. In contrast, decision-related activity displayed long-lasting sustained components. Together, our approach dissects neuro-anatomically and functionally distinct contributions to perceptual decisions. PMID:26666393

  12. Perceptual effects on remembering: recollective processes in picture recognition memory.

    PubMed

    Rajaram, S

    1996-03-01

    In 3 experiments, the effects of perceptual manipulations on recollective experience were tested. In Experiment 1, a picture-superiority effect was obtained for overall recognition and Remember judgements in a picture recognition task. In Experiment 2, size changes of pictorial stimuli across study and test reduced recognition memory and Remember judgements. In Experiment 3, deleterious effects of changes in left-right orientation of pictorial stimuli across study and test were obtained for Remember judgements. An alternate framework that emphasizes a distinctiveness-fluency processing distinction is proposed to account for these findings because they cannot easily be accommodated within the existing account of differences in conceptual and perceptual processing for the 2 categories of recollective experience: Remembering and Knowing, respectively (J. M. Gardiner, 1988; S. Rajaram, 1993).

  13. Low level perceptual, not attentional, processes modulate distractor interference in high perceptual load displays: evidence from neglect/extinction.

    PubMed

    Mevorach, Carmel; Tsal, Yehoshua; Humphreys, Glyn W

    2014-01-10

    According to perceptual load theory (Lavie, 2005) distractor interference is determined by the availability of attentional resources. If target processing does not exhaust resources (with low perceptual load) distractor processing will take place resulting in interference with a primary task; however, when target processing uses-up attentional capacity (with high perceptual load) interference can be avoided. An alternative account (Tsal and Benoni, 2010a) suggests that perceptual load effects can be based on distractor dilution by the mere presence of additional neutral items in high-load displays so that the effect is not driven by the amount of attention resources required for target processing. Here we tested whether patients with unilateral neglect or extinction would show dilution effects from neutral items in their contralesional (neglected/extinguished) field, even though these items do not impose increased perceptual load on the target and at the same time attract reduced attentional resources compared to stimuli in the ipsilesional field. Thus, such items do not affect the amount of attention resources available for distractor processing. We found that contralesional neutral elements can eliminate distractor interference as strongly as centrally presented ones in neglect/extinction patients, despite contralesional items being less well attended. The data are consistent with an account in terms of perceptual dilution of distracters rather than available resources for distractor processing. We conclude that distractor dilution can underlie the elimination of distractor interference in visual displays.

  14. An alternating renewal process describes the buildup of perceptual segregation

    PubMed Central

    Steele, Sara A.; Tranchina, Daniel; Rinzel, John

    2015-01-01

    For some ambiguous scenes perceptual conflict arises between integration and segregation. Initially, all stimulus features seem integrated. Then abruptly, perhaps after a few seconds, a segregated percept emerges. For example, segregation of acoustic features into streams may require several seconds. In behavioral experiments, when a subject's reports of stream segregation are averaged over repeated trials, one obtains a buildup function, a smooth time course for segregation probability. The buildup function has been said to reflect an underlying mechanism of evidence accumulation or adaptation. During long duration stimuli perception may alternate between integration and segregation. We present a statistical model based on an alternating renewal process (ARP) that generates buildup functions without an accumulative process. In our model, perception alternates during a trial between different groupings, as in perceptual bistability, with random and independent dominance durations sampled from different percept-specific probability distributions. Using this theory, we describe the short-term dynamics of buildup observed on short trials in terms of the long-term statistics of percept durations for the two alternating perceptual organizations. Our statistical-dynamics model describes well the buildup functions and alternations in simulations of pseudo-mechanistic neuronal network models with percept-selective populations competing through mutual inhibition. Even though the competition model can show history dependence through slow adaptation, our statistical switching model, that neglects history, predicts well the buildup function. We propose that accumulation is not a necessary feature to produce buildup. Generally, if alternations between two states exhibit independent durations with stationary statistics then the associated buildup function can be described by the statistical dynamics of an ARP. PMID:25620927

  15. Strength of perceptual experience predicts word processing performance better than concreteness or imageability.

    PubMed

    Connell, Louise; Lynott, Dermot

    2012-12-01

    Abstract concepts are traditionally thought to differ from concrete concepts by their lack of perceptual information, which causes them to be processed more slowly and less accurately than perceptually-based concrete concepts. In two studies, we examined this assumption by comparing concreteness and imageability ratings to a set of perceptual strength norms in five separate modalities: sound, taste, touch, smell and vision. Results showed that concreteness and imageability do not reflect the perceptual basis of concepts: concreteness ratings appear to be based on two different intersecting decision criteria, while imageability ratings are visually biased. Analysis of lexical decision and word naming performance showed that maximum perceptual strength (i.e., strength in the dominant perceptual modality) consistently outperformed both concreteness and imageability ratings in accounting for variance in response latency and accuracy. We conclude that so-called concreteness effects in word processing emerge from the perceptual strength of a concept's representation and discuss the implications for theories of conceptual representation.

  16. Slower attentional disengagement but faster perceptual processing near the hand.

    PubMed

    Thomas, Tony; Sunny, Meera Mary

    2017-03-01

    Many recent studies have reported altered visual processing near the hands. However, there is no definitive agreement about the mechanisms responsible for this effect. One viewpoint is that the effect is predominantly attentional while others argue for the role of pre-attentive perceptual differences in the manifestation of the hand-proximity effect. However, in most of the studies pre-attentional and attentional effects have been conflated. We argue that it is important to dissociate the effect of hand proximity on perception and attention to better theorize and understand how visual processing is altered near the hands. We report two experiments using a visual search task where participants completed a visual search task with their hands either on the monitor or on their lap. When on the monitor, the target could appear near the hand or farther away. In experiment 1, a letter search task showed steeper search slope near the hand suggesting slower attentional disengagement. However, the intercept was smaller in the near hand condition suggesting faster perceptual processing. These results were also replicated in experiment 2 with a conjunction search task with target present and absent conditions and 4 set sizes. The results suggest that there are dissociable effects of hand proximity on perception and attention. Importantly, the pre-attentive advantage of hand proximity does not translate to attentional benefit, but a processing cost. The results of experiment 2 additionally indicate that the steeper slope does not arise from any spatial biases in how search proceeds, but an indicator of slower attentional processing near the hands. The results also suggest that the effect of hand proximity on attention is not spatially graded whereas its effect on perceptuo-motor processes seems to be. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Emotional Content Modulates Perceptual and Response Inhibition Processing

    PubMed Central

    YANG, SUYONG; LUO, WENBO; ZHU, XIANGRU; BROSTER, LUCAS S.; CHEN, TAOLIN; LI, JINZHEN; LUO, YUEJIA

    2015-01-01

    In this study, event-related potentials were used to investigate the effect of emotion on response inhibition. Participants performed an emotional go/no-go task that required responses to human faces associated with a “go” valence (i.e., emotional, neutral) and response inhibition to human faces associated with a “no-go” valence. Emotional content impaired response inhibition, as evidenced by decreased response accuracy and N2 amplitudes in no-go trials. More importantly, emotional expressions elicited larger N170 amplitudes than neutral expressions, and this effect was larger in no-go than in go trials, indicating that the perceptual processing of emotional expression had priority in inhibitory trials. In no-go trials, correlation analysis showed that increased N170 amplitudes were associated with decreased N2 amplitudes. Taken together, our findings suggest that that emotional content impairs response inhibition due to the prioritization of emotional content processing. PMID:24942597

  18. Age effects on visual-perceptual processing and confrontation naming.

    PubMed

    Gutherie, Audrey H; Seely, Peter W; Beacham, Lauren A; Schuchard, Ronald A; De l'Aune, William A; Moore, Anna Bacon

    2010-03-01

    The impact of age-related changes in visual-perceptual processing on naming ability has not been reported. The present study investigated the effects of 6 levels of spatial frequency and 6 levels of contrast on accuracy and latency to name objects in 14 young and 13 older neurologically normal adults with intact lexical-semantic functioning. Spatial frequency and contrast manipulations were made independently. Consistent with the hypotheses, variations in these two visual parameters impact naming ability in young and older subjects differently. The results from the spatial frequency-manipulations revealed that, in general, young vs. older subjects are faster and more accurate to name. However, this age-related difference is dependent on the spatial frequency on the image; differences were only seen for images presented at low (e.g., 0.25-1 c/deg) or high (e.g., 8-16 c/deg) spatial frequencies. Contrary to predictions, the results from the contrast manipulations revealed that overall older vs. young adults are more accurate to name. Again, however, differences were only seen for images presented at the lower levels of contrast (i.e., 1.25%). Both age groups had shorter latencies on the second exposure of the contrast-manipulated images, but this possible advantage of exposure was not seen for spatial frequency. Category analyses conducted on the data from this study indicate that older vs. young adults exhibit a stronger nonliving-object advantage for naming spatial frequency-manipulated images. Moreover, the findings suggest that bottom-up visual-perceptual variables integrate with top-down category information in different ways. Potential implications on the aging and naming (and recognition) literature are discussed.

  19. Effect of perceptual load on conceptual processing: an extension of Vermeulen's theory.

    PubMed

    Xie, Jiushu; Wang, Ruiming; Sun, Xun; Chang, Song

    2013-10-01

    The effect of color and shape load on conceptual processing was studied. Perceptual load effects have been found in visual and auditory conceptual processing, supporting the theory of embodied cognition. However, whether different types of visual concepts, such as color and shape, share the same perceptual load effects is unknown. In the current experiment, 32 participants were administered simultaneous perceptual and conceptual tasks to assess the relation between perceptual load and conceptual processing. Keeping color load in mind obstructed color conceptual processing. Hence, perceptual processing and conceptual load shared the same resources, suggesting embodied cognition. Color conceptual processing was not affected by shape pictures, indicating that different types of properties within vision were separate.

  20. Emotional enhancement of perceptual priming is preserved in aging and early-stage Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    LaBar, Kevin S; Torpey, Dana C; Cook, Craig A; Johnson, Stephanie R; Warren, Lauren H; Burke, James R; Welsh-Bohmer, Kathleen A

    2005-01-01

    Perceptual priming for emotionally-negative and neutral scenes was tested in early-stage Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients and healthy younger, middle-aged and older adults. In the study phase, participants rated the scenes for their arousal properties. In the test phase, studied and novel scenes were initially presented subliminally, and the exposure duration was gradually increased until a valence categorization was made. The difference in exposure duration required to categorize novel versus studied items was the dependent measure of priming. Aversive content increased the magnitude of priming, an effect that was preserved in healthy aging and AD. Results from an immediate recognition memory test showed that the priming effects could not be attributable to enhanced explicit memory for the aversive scenes. These findings implicate a dissociation between the modulatory effect of emotion across implicit and explicit forms of memory in aging and early-stage AD.

  1. Functional communication within a perceptual network processing letters and pseudoletters.

    PubMed

    Herdman, Anthony T

    2011-10-01

    Many studies have identified regions within human ventral visual stream to be important for object identification and categorization; however, knowledge of how perceptual information is communicated within the visual network is still limited. Current theories posit that if a high correspondence between incoming sensory information and internal representations exists, then the object is rapidly identified, and if there is not, then the object requires extra detailed processing. Event-related responses from the present magnetoencephalography study showed two main effects. The N1m peak latencies were approximately 15 milliseconds earlier to familiar letters than to unfamiliar pseudoletters, and the N2m was more negative to pseudoletters than to letters. Event-related beamforming analyses identified these effects to be within bilateral visual cortices with a right lateralization for the N2m effect. Furthermore, functional connectivity analyses revealed that gamma-band (50-80 Hz) oscillatory phase synchronizations among occipital regions were greater to letters than to pseudoletters (around 85 milliseconds). However, during a later time interval between 245 and 375 milliseconds, pseudoletters elicited greater gamma-band phase synchronizations among a more distributed occipital network than did letters. These findings indicate that familiar object processing begins by at least 85 milliseconds, which could represent an initial match to an internal template. In addition, unfamiliar object processing persisted longer than that for familiar objects, which could reflect greater attention to inexperienced objects to determine their identity and/or to consolidate a new template to aid in future identification.

  2. Specificity of perceptual processing in rereading spatially transformed materials.

    PubMed

    Horton, K D; McKenzie, B D

    1995-05-01

    While most studies using the task of reading spatially transformed text do not reveal evidence of specific perceptual transfer, a study by Masson (1986, Experiment 3) provides clear evidence of such effects. Several experiments were designed to identify the basis for this empirical discrepancy. The only substantive evidence of specific perceptual transfer occurred when the words were presented in an unfamiliar typography, although each study suggested a trend toward perceptual specificity effects. The results are discussed in terms of Graf and Ryan's (1990) ideas about the role of distinctive memory representations.

  3. Perceptual implicit memory relies on intentional, load-sensitive processing at encoding.

    PubMed

    Crabb, Brian T; Dark, Veronica J

    2003-10-01

    In two experiments, we examined whether the encoding processes leading to perceptual implicit memory satisfied the intentionality and load insensitivity criteria for automaticity. Whether participants intended to process words or digits, in displays containing both, was manipulated in Experiment 1. Results showed an effect of intention on a subsequent perceptual identification task and a recognition task. Load (one, two, and four words) and exposure duration (1,000, 600, and 200 msec) at encoding were manipulated in Experiment 2. Recognition was affected by both variables, but performance on the perceptual identification task was affected only by load. In both experiments, the results showed that controlled (intentional, load-sensitive) processing of words at encoding is essential for later perceptual implicit memory. That is, the encoding processes leading to perceptual implicit memory fail both criteria of automaticity.

  4. Strength of Perceptual Experience Predicts Word Processing Performance Better than Concreteness or Imageability

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Connell, Louise; Lynott, Dermot

    2012-01-01

    Abstract concepts are traditionally thought to differ from concrete concepts by their lack of perceptual information, which causes them to be processed more slowly and less accurately than perceptually-based concrete concepts. In two studies, we examined this assumption by comparing concreteness and imageability ratings to a set of perceptual…

  5. Strength of Perceptual Experience Predicts Word Processing Performance Better than Concreteness or Imageability

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Connell, Louise; Lynott, Dermot

    2012-01-01

    Abstract concepts are traditionally thought to differ from concrete concepts by their lack of perceptual information, which causes them to be processed more slowly and less accurately than perceptually-based concrete concepts. In two studies, we examined this assumption by comparing concreteness and imageability ratings to a set of perceptual…

  6. Process- and Domain-Specificity in Regions Engaged for Face Processing: An fMRI Study of Perceptual Differentiation

    PubMed Central

    Collins, Heather R.; Zhu, Xun; Bhatt, Ramesh S.; Clark, Jonathan D.; Joseph, Jane E.

    2015-01-01

    The degree to which face-specific brain regions are specialized for different kinds of perceptual processing is debated. The present study parametrically varied demands on featural, first-order configural or second-order configural processing of faces and houses in a perceptual matching task to determine the extent to which the process of perceptual differentiation was selective for faces regardless of processing type (domain-specific account), specialized for specific types of perceptual processing regardless of category (process-specific account), engaged in category-optimized processing (i.e., configural face processing or featural house processing) or reflected generalized perceptual differentiation (i.e. differentiation that crosses category and processing type boundaries). Regions of interest were identified in a separate localizer run or with a similarity regressor in the face-matching runs. The predominant principle accounting for fMRI signal modulation in most regions was generalized perceptual differentiation. Nearly all regions showed perceptual differentiation for both faces and houses for more than one processing type, even if the region was identified as face-preferential in the localizer run. Consistent with process-specificity, some regions showed perceptual differentiation for first-order processing of faces and houses (right fusiform face area and occipito-temporal cortex, and right lateral occipital complex), but not for featural or second-order processing. Somewhat consistent with domain-specificity, the right inferior frontal gyrus showed perceptual differentiation only for faces in the featural matching task. The present findings demonstrate that the majority of regions involved in perceptual differentiation of faces are also involved in differentiation of other visually homogenous categories. PMID:22849402

  7. Perceptual, categorical, and affective processing of ambiguous smiling facial expressions.

    PubMed

    Calvo, Manuel G; Fernández-Martín, Andrés; Nummenmaa, Lauri

    2012-12-01

    Why is a face with a smile but non-happy eyes likely to be interpreted as happy? We used blended expressions in which a smiling mouth was incongruent with the eyes (e.g., angry eyes), as well as genuine expressions with congruent eyes and mouth (e.g., both happy or angry). Tasks involved detection of a smiling mouth (perceptual), categorization of the expression (semantic), and valence evaluation (affective). The face stimulus display duration and stimulus onset asynchrony (SOA) were varied to assess the time course of each process. Results indicated that (a) a smiling mouth was visually more salient than the eyes both in truly happy and blended expressions; (b) a smile led viewers to categorize blended expressions as happy similarly for upright and inverted faces; (c) truly happy, but not blended, expressions primed the affective evaluation of probe scenes 550 ms following face onset; (d) both truly happy and blended expressions primed the detection of a smile in a probe scene by 170 ms post-stimulus; and (e) smile detection and expression categorization had similar processing thresholds and preceded affective evaluation. We conclude that the saliency of single physical features such as the mouth shape makes the smile quickly accessible to the visual system, which initially speeds up expression categorization regardless of congruence with the eyes. Only when the eye expression is later configurally integrated with the mouth, will affective discrimination begin. The present research provides support for serial models of facial expression processing. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. The Impact of Perceptual/Concurrent and Mnemonic Digits on Temporal Processing: A Congruency Effect of Numerical Magnitudes

    PubMed Central

    Fan, Zhao; Jing, Guomin; Ding, Xianfeng; Cheng, Xiaorong

    2017-01-01

    Task-irrelevant stimulus numbers can automatically modulate concurrent temporal tasks——leading to the phenomenon of number-time association (NTA). Recent research provides converging evidence that the NTA occurs at the stage of temporal memory. Specifically, a reference memory containing encoded duration information can be modified by perceptual/concurrent digits, i.e., a perceptual/concurrent digit-induced NTA. Here, with five experiments, we investigated whether another working memory (WM)-related mechanism was involved in the generation of NTAs and how this memory-induced NTA was related with the perception-induced NTA. We first explored whether similar NTA effects existed for mnemonic digits which disappeared before time encoding but were actively maintained in WM, i.e., a mnemonic digit-induced NTA. Experiments 1–3 demonstrated both types of NTAs. Further, we revealed a close relationship between the two types of NTAs in two contexts. First, the mnemonic digit-induced NTA also relied on a perceptual number-time co-occurrence at time encoding. We found that the mnemonic digits influenced subsequent temporal processing when a task-irrelevant constant number ‘5’ was presented during target encoding, but not when a non-numerical symbol was presented, suggesting that temporal representations in the reference memory could be accessed and modified by both sensory and postsensory numerical magnitudes through this number-time co-occurrence. Second, the effects of perceptual and mnemonic digits on temporal reproduction could cancel each other out. A congruency effect for perceptual and mnemonic digits (relying on memorization requirement) was demonstrated in Experiments 4 and 5. Specifically, a typical NTA was observed when the magnitudes of memorized and the perceptual/concurrent digits were congruent (both were large or small numbers), but not when they were incongruent (one small and one large numbers). Taken together, our study sheds new light on the

  9. The Impact of Perceptual/Concurrent and Mnemonic Digits on Temporal Processing: A Congruency Effect of Numerical Magnitudes.

    PubMed

    Fan, Zhao; Jing, Guomin; Ding, Xianfeng; Cheng, Xiaorong

    2016-01-01

    Task-irrelevant stimulus numbers can automatically modulate concurrent temporal tasks--leading to the phenomenon of number-time association (NTA). Recent research provides converging evidence that the NTA occurs at the stage of temporal memory. Specifically, a reference memory containing encoded duration information can be modified by perceptual/concurrent digits, i.e., a perceptual/concurrent digit-induced NTA. Here, with five experiments, we investigated whether another working memory (WM)-related mechanism was involved in the generation of NTAs and how this memory-induced NTA was related with the perception-induced NTA. We first explored whether similar NTA effects existed for mnemonic digits which disappeared before time encoding but were actively maintained in WM, i.e., a mnemonic digit-induced NTA. Experiments 1-3 demonstrated both types of NTAs. Further, we revealed a close relationship between the two types of NTAs in two contexts. First, the mnemonic digit-induced NTA also relied on a perceptual number-time co-occurrence at time encoding. We found that the mnemonic digits influenced subsequent temporal processing when a task-irrelevant constant number '5' was presented during target encoding, but not when a non-numerical symbol was presented, suggesting that temporal representations in the reference memory could be accessed and modified by both sensory and postsensory numerical magnitudes through this number-time co-occurrence. Second, the effects of perceptual and mnemonic digits on temporal reproduction could cancel each other out. A congruency effect for perceptual and mnemonic digits (relying on memorization requirement) was demonstrated in Experiments 4 and 5. Specifically, a typical NTA was observed when the magnitudes of memorized and the perceptual/concurrent digits were congruent (both were large or small numbers), but not when they were incongruent (one small and one large numbers). Taken together, our study sheds new light on the mechanism of

  10. Perceptual, Categorical, and Affective Processing of Ambiguous Smiling Facial Expressions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Calvo, Manuel G.; Fernandez-Martin, Andres; Nummenmaa, Lauri

    2012-01-01

    Why is a face with a smile but non-happy eyes likely to be interpreted as happy? We used blended expressions in which a smiling mouth was incongruent with the eyes (e.g., angry eyes), as well as genuine expressions with congruent eyes and mouth (e.g., both happy or angry). Tasks involved detection of a smiling mouth (perceptual), categorization of…

  11. The Relationship of Measured Perceptual Processes to School Learning.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kephart, N. C.

    Ten test films were developed to measure aspects of children's visual perception which are difficult to assess through conventional paper and pencil tests. The film medium was selected because it allows the presentation of temporal, as well as spacial, aspects of the stimuli. Four areas of perceptual performance covered in the films are: (1)…

  12. Perceptual, Categorical, and Affective Processing of Ambiguous Smiling Facial Expressions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Calvo, Manuel G.; Fernandez-Martin, Andres; Nummenmaa, Lauri

    2012-01-01

    Why is a face with a smile but non-happy eyes likely to be interpreted as happy? We used blended expressions in which a smiling mouth was incongruent with the eyes (e.g., angry eyes), as well as genuine expressions with congruent eyes and mouth (e.g., both happy or angry). Tasks involved detection of a smiling mouth (perceptual), categorization of…

  13. Visual Perceptual Learning

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Zhong-Lin; Hua, Tianmiao; Huang, Chang-Bing; Zhou, Yifeng; Dosher, Barbara Anne

    2010-01-01

    Perceptual learning refers to the phenomenon that practice or training in perceptual tasks often substantially improves perceptual performance. Often exhibiting stimulus or task specificities, perceptual learning differs from learning in the cognitive or motor domains. Research on perceptual learning reveals important plasticity in adult perceptual systems, and as well as the limitations in the information processing of the human observer. In this article, we review the behavioral results, mechanisms, physiological basis, computational models, and applications of visual perceptual learning. PMID:20870024

  14. Perceptual processing during trauma, priming and the development of intrusive memories

    PubMed Central

    Sündermann, Oliver; Hauschildt, Marit; Ehlers, Anke

    2013-01-01

    Background Intrusive reexperiencing in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is commonly triggered by stimuli with perceptual similarity to those present during the trauma. Information processing theories suggest that perceptual processing during the trauma and enhanced perceptual priming contribute to the easy triggering of intrusive memories by these cues. Methods Healthy volunteers (N = 51) watched neutral and trauma picture stories on a computer screen. Neutral objects that were unrelated to the content of the stories briefly appeared in the interval between the pictures. Dissociation and data-driven processing (as indicators of perceptual processing) and state anxiety during the stories were assessed with self-report questionnaires. After filler tasks, participants completed a blurred object identification task to assess priming and a recognition memory task. Intrusive memories were assessed with telephone interviews 2 weeks and 3 months later. Results Neutral objects were more strongly primed if they occurred in the context of trauma stories than if they occurred during neutral stories, although the effect size was only moderate (ηp2=.08) and only significant when trauma stories were presented first. Regardless of story order, enhanced perceptual priming predicted intrusive memories at 2-week follow-up (N = 51), but not at 3 months (n = 40). Data-driven processing, dissociation and anxiety increases during the trauma stories also predicted intrusive memories. Enhanced perceptual priming and data-driven processing were associated with lower verbal intelligence. Limitations It is unclear to what extent these findings generalize to real-life traumatic events and whether they are specific to negative emotional events. Conclusions The results provide some support for the role of perceptual processing and perceptual priming in reexperiencing symptoms. PMID:23207970

  15. Prior perceptual processing enhances the effect of emotional arousal on the neural correlates of memory retrieval

    PubMed Central

    Dew, Ilana T. Z.; Ritchey, Maureen; LaBar, Kevin S.; Cabeza, Roberto

    2014-01-01

    A fundamental idea in memory research is that items are more likely to be remembered if encoded with a semantic, rather than perceptual, processing strategy. Interestingly, this effect has been shown to reverse for emotionally arousing materials, such that perceptual processing enhances memory for emotional information or events. The current fMRI study investigated the neural mechanisms of this effect by testing how neural activations during emotional memory retrieval are influenced by the prior encoding strategy. Participants incidentally encoded emotional and neutral pictures under instructions to attend to either semantic or perceptual properties of each picture. Recognition memory was tested two days later. fMRI analyses yielded three main findings. First, right amygdalar activity associated with emotional memory strength was enhanced by prior perceptual processing. Second, prior perceptual processing of emotional pictures produced a stronger effect on recollection- than familiarity-related activations in the right amygdala and left hippocampus. Finally, prior perceptual processing enhanced amygdalar connectivity with regions strongly associated with retrieval success, including hippocampal/parahippocampal regions, visual cortex, and ventral parietal cortex. Taken together, the results specify how encoding orientations yield alterations in brain systems that retrieve emotional memories. PMID:24380867

  16. Prior perceptual processing enhances the effect of emotional arousal on the neural correlates of memory retrieval.

    PubMed

    Dew, Ilana T Z; Ritchey, Maureen; LaBar, Kevin S; Cabeza, Roberto

    2014-07-01

    A fundamental idea in memory research is that items are more likely to be remembered if encoded with a semantic, rather than perceptual, processing strategy. Interestingly, this effect has been shown to reverse for emotionally arousing materials, such that perceptual processing enhances memory for emotional information or events. The current fMRI study investigated the neural mechanisms of this effect by testing how neural activations during emotional memory retrieval are influenced by the prior encoding strategy. Participants incidentally encoded emotional and neutral pictures under instructions to attend to either semantic or perceptual properties of each picture. Recognition memory was tested 2 days later. fMRI analyses yielded three main findings. First, right amygdalar activity associated with emotional memory strength was enhanced by prior perceptual processing. Second, prior perceptual processing of emotional pictures produced a stronger effect on recollection- than familiarity-related activations in the right amygdala and left hippocampus. Finally, prior perceptual processing enhanced amygdalar connectivity with regions strongly associated with retrieval success, including hippocampal/parahippocampal regions, visual cortex, and ventral parietal cortex. Taken together, the results specify how encoding orientations yield alterations in brain systems that retrieve emotional memories.

  17. Predicting perceptual learning from higher-order cortical processing.

    PubMed

    Wang, Fang; Huang, Jing; Lv, Yaping; Ma, Xiaoli; Yang, Bin; Wang, Encong; Du, Boqi; Li, Wu; Song, Yan

    2016-01-01

    Visual perceptual learning has been shown to be highly specific to the retinotopic location and attributes of the trained stimulus. Recent psychophysical studies suggest that these specificities, which have been associated with early retinotopic visual cortex, may in fact not be inherent in perceptual learning and could be related to higher-order brain functions. Here we provide direct electrophysiological evidence in support of this proposition. In a series of event-related potential (ERP) experiments, we recorded high-density electroencephalography (EEG) from human adults over the course of learning in a texture discrimination task (TDT). The results consistently showed that the earliest C1 component (68-84ms), known to reflect V1 activity driven by feedforward inputs, was not modulated by learning regardless of whether the behavioral improvement is location specific or not. In contrast, two later posterior ERP components (posterior P1 and P160-350) over the occipital cortex and one anterior ERP component (anterior P160-350) over the prefrontal cortex were progressively modified day by day. Moreover, the change of the anterior component was closely correlated with improved behavioral performance on a daily basis. Consistent with recent psychophysical and imaging observations, our results indicate that perceptual learning can mainly involve changes in higher-level visual cortex as well as in the neural networks responsible for cognitive functions such as attention and decision making.

  18. Perceptual degradation due to signal alteration: implications for auditory pattern processing.

    PubMed

    Samuel, A G

    1991-05-01

    When a passage is alternately presented to the right and left ears over headphones, perceptual processing is disrupted under certain conditions: When the signal alternation rate is approximately 3-4 cps, intelligibility is greatly reduced. Experiment 1 demonstrated that contrary to previous theorizing, the effect is not mediated by the disruption of syllabic units. Experiment 2 explored the generality of the perceptual degradation by testing perception of simple piano melodies. The basic effect holds for these complex auditory patterns. The final experiment tested a source-effect explanation of the phenomenon by using 3 signal locations (right, middle, and left) rather than 2. The degree of disruption depends on the likelihood that sounds are assigned to different sources. Together, the experiments help to account for the strikingly selective breakdown in perceptual processing and speak to the issues of perceptual units, domain specificity, and auditory source assignment.

  19. Bioplausible multiscale filtering in retino-cortical processing as a mechanism in perceptual grouping.

    PubMed

    Nematzadeh, Nasim; Powers, David M W; Lewis, Trent W

    2017-09-08

    Why does our visual system fail to reconstruct reality, when we look at certain patterns? Where do Geometrical illusions start to emerge in the visual pathway? How far should we take computational models of vision with the same visual ability to detect illusions as we do? This study addresses these questions, by focusing on a specific underlying neural mechanism involved in our visual experiences that affects our final perception. Among many types of visual illusion, 'Geometrical' and, in particular, 'Tilt Illusions' are rather important, being characterized by misperception of geometric patterns involving lines and tiles in combination with contrasting orientation, size or position. Over the last decade, many new neurophysiological experiments have led to new insights as to how, when and where retinal processing takes place, and the encoding nature of the retinal representation that is sent to the cortex for further processing. Based on these neurobiological discoveries, we provide computer simulation evidence from modelling retinal ganglion cells responses to some complex Tilt Illusions, suggesting that the emergence of tilt in these illusions is partially related to the interaction of multiscale visual processing performed in the retina. The output of our low-level filtering model is presented for several types of Tilt Illusion, predicting that the final tilt percept arises from multiple-scale processing of the Differences of Gaussians and the perceptual interaction of foreground and background elements. The model is a variation of classical receptive field implementation for simple cells in early stages of vision with the scales tuned to the object/texture sizes in the pattern. Our results suggest that this model has a high potential in revealing the underlying mechanism connecting low-level filtering approaches to mid- and high-level explanations such as 'Anchoring theory' and 'Perceptual grouping'.

  20. Enhanced cognitive and perceptual processing: a computational basis for the musician advantage in speech learning

    PubMed Central

    Smayda, Kirsten E.; Chandrasekaran, Bharath; Maddox, W. Todd

    2015-01-01

    Long-term music training can positively impact speech processing. A recent framework developed to explain such cross-domain plasticity posits that music training-related advantages in speech processing are due to shared cognitive and perceptual processes between music and speech. Although perceptual and cognitive processing advantages due to music training have been independently demonstrated, to date no study has examined perceptual and cognitive processing within the context of a single task. The present study examines the impact of long-term music training on speech learning from a rigorous, computational perspective derived from signal detection theory. Our computational models provide independent estimates of cognitive and perceptual processing in native English-speaking musicians (n = 15, mean age = 25 years) and non-musicians (n = 15, mean age = 23 years) learning to categorize non-native lexical pitch patterns (Mandarin tones). Musicians outperformed non-musicians in this task. Model-based analyses suggested that musicians shifted from simple unidimensional decision strategies to more optimal multidimensional (MD) decision strategies sooner than non-musicians. In addition, musicians used optimal decisional strategies more often than non-musicians. However, musicians and non-musicians who used MD strategies showed no difference in performance. We estimated parameters that quantify the magnitude of perceptual variability along two dimensions that are critical for tone categorization: pitch height and pitch direction. Both musicians and non-musicians showed a decrease in perceptual variability along the pitch height dimension, but only musicians showed a significant reduction in perceptual variability along the pitch direction dimension. Notably, these advantages persisted during a generalization phase, when no feedback was provided. These results provide an insight into the mechanisms underlying the musician advantage observed in non-native speech learning

  1. Task-set reconfiguration and perceptual processing: behavioral and electrophysiological evidence.

    PubMed

    Mackenzie, Ian G; Leuthold, Hartmut

    2011-08-01

    Oriet and Jolicœur (2003) proposed that an endogenous task-set reconfiguration process acts as a hard bottleneck during which even early perceptual processing is impossible. We examined this assumption using a psychophysiological approach. Participants were required to switch between magnitude and parity judgment tasks within a predictable task sequence while event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded. Stimulus contrast and response stimulus interval (RSI) were manipulated. Behavioral data demonstrated typical task switch costs that decreased as RSI increased. However, whereas ERP analysis of visual ERP component latencies sensitively revealed the contrast effect, a switch-specific postponement of perceptual processing during task-set reconfiguration at short RSIs was not observed. The present findings indicate that the process of task-set reconfiguration does not constitute a hard bottleneck that delays perceptual processing.

  2. Perceptual and processing differences between physical and dichorhinic odor mixtures.

    PubMed

    Schütze, M; Negoias, S; Olsson, M J; Hummel, T

    2014-01-31

    Perceptual integration of sensory input from our two nostrils has received little attention in comparison to lateralized inputs for vision and hearing. Here, we investigated whether a binary odor mixture of eugenol and l-carvone (smells of cloves and caraway) would be perceived differently if presented as a mixture in one nostril (physical mixture), vs. the same two odorants in separate nostrils (dichorhinic mixture). In parallel, we investigated whether the different types of presentation resulted in differences in olfactory event-related potentials (OERP). Psychophysical ratings showed that the dichorhinic mixtures were perceived as more intense than the physical mixtures. A tendency for shift in perceived quality was also observed. In line with these perceptual changes, the OERP showed a shift in latencies and amplitudes for early (more "sensory") peaks P1 and N1 whereas no significant differences were observed for the later (more "cognitive") peak P2. The results altogether suggest that the peripheral level is a site of interaction between odorants. Both psychophysical ratings and, for the first time, electrophysiological measurements converge on this conclusion.

  3. Relative Saliency in Change Signals Affects Perceptual Comparison and Decision Processes in Change Detection

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yang, Cheng-Ta

    2011-01-01

    Change detection requires perceptual comparison and decision processes on different features of multiattribute objects. How relative salience between two feature-changes influences the processes has not been addressed. This study used the systems factorial technology to investigate the processes when detecting changes in a Gabor patch with visual…

  4. Perceptual processing of natural scenes at rapid rates: effects of complexity, content, and emotional arousal.

    PubMed

    Löw, Andreas; Bradley, Margaret M; Lang, Peter J

    2013-12-01

    During rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP), the perceptual system is confronted with a rapidly changing array of sensory information demanding resolution. At rapid rates of presentation, previous studies have found an early (e.g., 150-280 ms) negativity over occipital sensors that is enhanced when emotional, as compared with neutral, pictures are viewed, suggesting facilitated perception. In the present study, we explored how picture composition and the presence of people in the image affect perceptual processing of pictures of natural scenes. Using RSVP, pictures that differed in perceptual composition (figure-ground or scenes), content (presence of people or not), and emotional content (emotionally arousing or neutral) were presented in a continuous stream for 330 ms each with no intertrial interval. In both subject and picture analyses, all three variables affected the amplitude of occipital negativity, with the greatest enhancement for figure-ground compositions (as compared with scenes), irrespective of content and emotional arousal, supporting an interpretation that ease of perceptual processing is associated with enhanced occipital negativity. Viewing emotional pictures prompted enhanced negativity only for pictures that depicted people, suggesting that specific features of emotionally arousing images are associated with facilitated perceptual processing, rather than all emotional content.

  5. Perceptual processing of natural scenes at rapid rates: Effects of complexity, content, and emotional arousal

    PubMed Central

    Bradley, Margaret M.; Lang, Peter J.

    2013-01-01

    During rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP), the perceptual system is confronted with a rapidly changing array of sensory information demanding resolution. At rapid rates of presentation, previous studies have found an early (e.g., 150–280 ms) negativity over occipital sensors that is enhanced when emotional, as compared with neutral, pictures are viewed, suggesting facilitated perception. In the present study, we explored how picture composition and the presence of people in the image affect perceptual processing of pictures of natural scenes. Using RSVP, pictures that differed in perceptual composition (figure–ground or scenes), content (presence of people or not), and emotional content (emotionally arousing or neutral) were presented in a continuous stream for 330 ms each with no intertrial interval. In both subject and picture analyses, all three variables affected the amplitude of occipital negativity, with the greatest enhancement for figure–ground compositions (as compared with scenes), irrespective of content and emotional arousal, supporting an interpretation that ease of perceptual processing is associated with enhanced occipital negativity. Viewing emotional pictures prompted enhanced negativity only for pictures that depicted people, suggesting that specific features of emotionally arousing images are associated with facilitated perceptual processing, rather than all emotional content. PMID:23780520

  6. Task-Set Reconfiguration and Perceptual Processing: Behavioral and Electrophysiological Evidence

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mackenzie, Ian G.; Leuthold, Hartmut

    2011-01-01

    Oriet and Jolicoeur (2003) proposed that an endogenous task-set reconfiguration process acts as a hard bottleneck during which even early perceptual processing is impossible. We examined this assumption using a psychophysiological approach. Participants were required to switch between magnitude and parity judgment tasks within a predictable task…

  7. Task-Set Reconfiguration and Perceptual Processing: Behavioral and Electrophysiological Evidence

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mackenzie, Ian G.; Leuthold, Hartmut

    2011-01-01

    Oriet and Jolicoeur (2003) proposed that an endogenous task-set reconfiguration process acts as a hard bottleneck during which even early perceptual processing is impossible. We examined this assumption using a psychophysiological approach. Participants were required to switch between magnitude and parity judgment tasks within a predictable task…

  8. Outlining face processing skills of portrait artists: Perceptual experience with faces predicts performance.

    PubMed

    Devue, Christel; Barsics, Catherine

    2016-10-01

    Most humans seem to demonstrate astonishingly high levels of skill in face processing if one considers the sophisticated level of fine-tuned discrimination that face recognition requires. However, numerous studies now indicate that the ability to process faces is not as fundamental as once thought and that performance can range from despairingly poor to extraordinarily high across people. Here we studied people who are super specialists of faces, namely portrait artists, to examine how their specific visual experience with faces relates to a range of face processing skills (perceptual discrimination, short- and longer term recognition). Artists show better perceptual discrimination and, to some extent, recognition of newly learned faces than controls. They are also more accurate on other perceptual tasks (i.e., involving non-face stimuli or mental rotation). By contrast, artists do not display an advantage compared to controls on longer term face recognition (i.e., famous faces) nor on person recognition from other sensorial modalities (i.e., voices). Finally, the face inversion effect exists in artists and controls and is not modulated by artistic practice. Advantages in face processing for artists thus seem to closely mirror perceptual and visual short term memory skills involved in portraiture.

  9. A Developmental Examination of Basic Perceptual Processes in Reading. Final Report.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lefton, Lester A.

    This report summarizes four groups of experiments examining the nature of basic perceptual processes in reading. The first group examined the relationship of English orthography to reading, specifically the transfer of information from the icon to short-term memory. The second group of experiments examined the use of peripheral information…

  10. Automatic Processing of Perceptual-Linguistic Stimuli in Second Grade Achieving and Non-Achieving Readers.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Swallow, Rose-Marie

    This study examined automatic processing of perceptual stimuli (auditory, visual, auditory-visual) and of linguistic units (morphological rules, grammatical structures, and syntactical control). Sixty average (85-115 IQ), Caucasian, middle class, eight-year-old boys were selected from La Habra School District second grades. The testing instruments…

  11. A Developmental Examination of Basic Perceptual Processes in Reading. Final Report.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lefton, Lester A.

    This report summarizes four groups of experiments examining the nature of basic perceptual processes in reading. The first group examined the relationship of English orthography to reading, specifically the transfer of information from the icon to short-term memory. The second group of experiments examined the use of peripheral information…

  12. Perceptual Processing of Mandarin Nasals by L1 and L2 Mandarin Speakers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lai, Yi-hsiu

    2012-01-01

    Nasals are cross-linguistically susceptible to change, especially in the syllable final position. Acoustic reports on Mandarin nasal production have recently shown that the syllable-final distinction is frequently dropped. Few studies, however, have addressed the issue of perceptual processing in Mandarin nasals for L1 and L2 speakers of Mandarin…

  13. Processing Capacity under Perceptual and Cognitive Load: A Closer Look at Load Theory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fitousi, Daniel; Wenger, Michael J.

    2011-01-01

    Variations in perceptual and cognitive demands (load) play a major role in determining the efficiency of selective attention. According to load theory (Lavie, Hirst, Fockert, & Viding, 2004) these factors (a) improve or hamper selectivity by altering the way resources (e.g., processing capacity) are allocated, and (b) tap resources rather than…

  14. Action Video Games Do Not Improve the Speed of Information Processing in Simple Perceptual Tasks

    PubMed Central

    van Ravenzwaaij, Don; Boekel, Wouter; Forstmann, Birte U.; Ratcliff, Roger; Wagenmakers, Eric-Jan

    2015-01-01

    Previous research suggests that playing action video games improves performance on sensory, perceptual, and attentional tasks. For instance, Green, Pouget, and Bavelier (2010) used the diffusion model to decompose data from a motion detection task and estimate the contribution of several underlying psychological processes. Their analysis indicated that playing action video games leads to faster information processing, reduced response caution, and no difference in motor responding. Because perceptual learning is generally thought to be highly context-specific, this transfer from gaming is surprising and warrants corroborative evidence from a large-scale training study. We conducted 2 experiments in which participants practiced either an action video game or a cognitive game in 5 separate, supervised sessions. Prior to each session and following the last session, participants performed a perceptual discrimination task. In the second experiment, we included a third condition in which no video games were played at all. Behavioral data and diffusion model parameters showed similar practice effects for the action gamers, the cognitive gamers, and the nongamers and suggest that, in contrast to earlier reports, playing action video games does not improve the speed of information processing in simple perceptual tasks. PMID:24933517

  15. Action video games do not improve the speed of information processing in simple perceptual tasks.

    PubMed

    van Ravenzwaaij, Don; Boekel, Wouter; Forstmann, Birte U; Ratcliff, Roger; Wagenmakers, Eric-Jan

    2014-10-01

    Previous research suggests that playing action video games improves performance on sensory, perceptual, and attentional tasks. For instance, Green, Pouget, and Bavelier (2010) used the diffusion model to decompose data from a motion detection task and estimate the contribution of several underlying psychological processes. Their analysis indicated that playing action video games leads to faster information processing, reduced response caution, and no difference in motor responding. Because perceptual learning is generally thought to be highly context-specific, this transfer from gaming is surprising and warrants corroborative evidence from a large-scale training study. We conducted 2 experiments in which participants practiced either an action video game or a cognitive game in 5 separate, supervised sessions. Prior to each session and following the last session, participants performed a perceptual discrimination task. In the second experiment, we included a third condition in which no video games were played at all. Behavioral data and diffusion model parameters showed similar practice effects for the action gamers, the cognitive gamers, and the nongamers and suggest that, in contrast to earlier reports, playing action video games does not improve the speed of information processing in simple perceptual tasks.

  16. From perceptual to lexico-semantic analysis--cortical plasticity enabling new levels of processing.

    PubMed

    Schlaffke, Lara; Rüther, Naima N; Heba, Stefanie; Haag, Lauren M; Schultz, Thomas; Rosengarth, Katharina; Tegenthoff, Martin; Bellebaum, Christian; Schmidt-Wilcke, Tobias

    2015-11-01

    Certain kinds of stimuli can be processed on multiple levels. While the neural correlates of different levels of processing (LOPs) have been investigated to some extent, most of the studies involve skills and/or knowledge already present when performing the task. In this study we specifically sought to identify neural correlates of an evolving skill that allows the transition from perceptual to a lexico-semantic stimulus analysis. Eighteen participants were trained to decode 12 letters of Morse code that were presented acoustically inside and outside of the scanner environment. Morse code was presented in trains of three letters while brain activity was assessed with fMRI. Participants either attended to the stimulus length (perceptual analysis), or evaluated its meaning distinguishing words from nonwords (lexico-semantic analysis). Perceptual and lexico-semantic analyses shared a mutual network comprising the left premotor cortex, the supplementary motor area (SMA) and the inferior parietal lobule (IPL). Perceptual analysis was associated with a strong brain activation in the SMA and the superior temporal gyrus bilaterally (STG), which remained unaltered from pre and post training. In the lexico-semantic analysis post learning, study participants showed additional activation in the left inferior frontal cortex (IFC) and in the left occipitotemporal cortex (OTC), regions known to be critically involved in lexical processing. Our data provide evidence for cortical plasticity evolving with a learning process enabling the transition from perceptual to lexico-semantic stimulus analysis. Importantly, the activation pattern remains task-related LOP and is thus the result of a decision process as to which LOP to engage in. © 2015 The Authors. Human Brain Mapping Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  17. From perceptual to lexico‐semantic analysis—cortical plasticity enabling new levels of processing

    PubMed Central

    Schlaffke, Lara; Rüther, Naima N.; Heba, Stefanie; Haag, Lauren M.; Schultz, Thomas; Rosengarth, Katharina; Tegenthoff, Martin; Bellebaum, Christian

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Certain kinds of stimuli can be processed on multiple levels. While the neural correlates of different levels of processing (LOPs) have been investigated to some extent, most of the studies involve skills and/or knowledge already present when performing the task. In this study we specifically sought to identify neural correlates of an evolving skill that allows the transition from perceptual to a lexico‐semantic stimulus analysis. Eighteen participants were trained to decode 12 letters of Morse code that were presented acoustically inside and outside of the scanner environment. Morse code was presented in trains of three letters while brain activity was assessed with fMRI. Participants either attended to the stimulus length (perceptual analysis), or evaluated its meaning distinguishing words from nonwords (lexico‐semantic analysis). Perceptual and lexico‐semantic analyses shared a mutual network comprising the left premotor cortex, the supplementary motor area (SMA) and the inferior parietal lobule (IPL). Perceptual analysis was associated with a strong brain activation in the SMA and the superior temporal gyrus bilaterally (STG), which remained unaltered from pre and post training. In the lexico‐semantic analysis post learning, study participants showed additional activation in the left inferior frontal cortex (IFC) and in the left occipitotemporal cortex (OTC), regions known to be critically involved in lexical processing. Our data provide evidence for cortical plasticity evolving with a learning process enabling the transition from perceptual to lexico‐semantic stimulus analysis. Importantly, the activation pattern remains task‐related LOP and is thus the result of a decision process as to which LOP to engage in. Hum Brain Mapp 36:4512–4528, 2015. © 2015 The Authors. Human Brain Mapping Published byWiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:26304153

  18. Greater sensitivity of the cortical face processing system to perceptually-equated face detection

    PubMed Central

    Maher, S.; Ekstrom, T.; Tong, Y.; Nickerson, L.D.; Frederick, B.; Chen, Y.

    2015-01-01

    Face detection, the perceptual capacity to identify a visual stimulus as a face before probing deeper into specific attributes (such as its identity or emotion), is essential for social functioning. Despite the importance of this functional capacity, face detection and its underlying brain mechanisms are not well understood. This study evaluated the roles that the cortical face processing system, which is identified largely through studying other aspects of face perception, play in face detection. Specifically, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to examine the activations of the fusifom face area (FFA), occipital face area (OFA) and superior temporal sulcus (STS) when face detection was isolated from other aspects of face perception and when face detection was perceptually-equated across individual human participants (n=20). During face detection, FFA and OFA were significantly activated, even for stimuli presented at perceptual-threshold levels, whereas STS was not. During tree detection, however, FFA and OFA were responsive only for highly salient (i.e., high contrast) stimuli. Moreover, activation of FFA during face detection predicted a significant portion of the perceptual performance levels that were determined psychophysically for each participant. This pattern of result indicates that FFA and OFA have a greater sensitivity to face detection signals and selectively support the initial process of face vs. non-face object perception. PMID:26592952

  19. Interference in character processing reflects common perceptual expertise across writing systems.

    PubMed

    Wong, Alan C-N; Qu, Zhiyi; McGugin, Rankin W; Gauthier, Isabel

    2011-01-18

    Perceptual expertise, even within the visual domain, can take many forms, depending on the goals of the practiced task and the visual information available to support performance. Given the same goals, expertise for different categories can recruit common perceptual resources, which could lead to interference during concurrent processing. We measured whether irrelevant characters of one writing system produce interference during visual search for characters of another writing system, as a function of expertise. Chinese-English bilinguals and English readers searched for target Roman letters among other distractors in a rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) sequence. Chinese character distractors interfered with Roman letter search more than pseudoletter distractors, only for bilingual readers, suggesting a common perceptual bottleneck for Roman and Chinese processing in experts with both domains. We ruled out an explanation at the level of phonetic codes, by showing that concurrent verbal rehearsal has no effect on the magnitude of such interference. These findings converge with results showing competition between faces and cars in car experts to suggest that different domains of expertise that overlap in their cortical representations also possess a common perceptual bottleneck.

  20. Multiple Stages of Learning in Perceptual Categorization: Evidence and Neurocomputational Theory

    PubMed Central

    Cantwell, George; Crossley, Matthew J.; Ashby, F. Gregory

    2015-01-01

    Virtually all current theories of category learning assume that humans learn new categories by gradually forming associations directly between stimuli and responses. In information-integration category-learning tasks, this purported process is thought to depend on procedural learning implemented via dopamine-dependent cortical-striatal synaptic plasticity. This article proposes a new, neurobiologically detailed model of procedural category learning that, unlike previous models, does not assume associations are made directly from stimulus to response. Rather, the traditional stimulus-response (S-R) models are replaced with a two-stage learning process. Multiple streams of evidence (behavioral, as well as anatomical and fMRI) are used as inspiration for the new model, which synthesizes evidence of multiple distinct cortical-striatal loops into a neurocomputational theory. An experiment is reported to test a priori predictions of the new model that: (1) recovery from a full reversal should be easier than learning new categories equated for difficulty, and (2) reversal learning in procedural tasks is mediated within the striatum via dopamine-dependent synaptic plasticity. The results confirm the predictions of the new two-stage model and are incompatible with existing S-R models. PMID:25917141

  1. WAIS-III processing speed index scores after TBI: the influence of working memory, psychomotor speed and perceptual processing.

    PubMed

    Kennedy, Jan E; Clement, Pamelia F; Curtiss, Glenn

    2003-08-01

    This study investigates the extent to which working memory, motor speed and perceptual processing speed influence Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-III (WAIS-III) Processing Speed Index (PSI) scores. Sixty-eight adult outpatients with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) of varying severity and complete data on all outcome measures were identified. Two cases with outlying values on one outcome measure were omitted from the final sample. Working memory was measured by the Working Memory Index score from the WAIS-III. Motor speed was measured as score on the Halstead-Reitan Finger Oscillation Test (finger tapping) and perceptual processing as score on the Trail Making Test--Part B. In hierarchical multiple regression analyses, working memory accounted for 10% of the variance in PSI scores, whereas motor speed only accounted for 3%. An independent measure of perceptual processing, Trail Making Test--B, accounted for 26% of the variance in WAIS-III PSI scores. The total variance accounted for by the three factors was 56%. Findings confirm that the WAIS-III PSI scores of individuals who have received a TBI reflect perceptual processing speed, with an additional component attributable to working memory. Motor speed made only a small contribution to WAIS-III PSI scores in the present sample.

  2. Holistic Processing of Faces: Perceptual and Decisional Components

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Richler, Jennifer J.; Gauthier, Isabel; Wenger, Michael J.; Palmeri, Thomas J.

    2008-01-01

    Researchers have used several composite face paradigms to assess holistic processing of faces. In the selective attention paradigm, participants decide whether one face part (e.g., top) is the same as a previously seen face part. Their judgment is affected by whether the irrelevant part of the test face is the same as or different than the…

  3. Perceptual processing and search efficiency of young and older adults in a simple-feature search task: a staircase approach.

    PubMed

    Davis, Elizabeth Thorpe; Fujawa, Greg; Shikano, Terry

    2002-07-01

    The reasons that visual search may sometimes be difficult, especially for older adults, remain important research issues. This study investigated (a) whether age-related differences can occur in simple-feature search, (b) if so, whether slowing adequately accounts for these differences, (c) whether other perceptual/cognitive factors are involved, and (d) the role of perceptual strategies. The authors tested 15 young adults (ages 18-30) and 15 older adults (ages 65-78). The target was a red disc presented among red diamonds in an array of 16 or 36 items. The forced-choice staircase procedure emphasized perceptual processing while deemphasizing decision-making and psychomotor processing. Although perceptual slowing may affect older adults' search performance, the perceptual slowing model is not simple, and other perceptual/cognitive factors, such as spatial resolution and distractibility, also are implicated. Moreover, perceptual strategies involving perceptual grouping or suppression of distractors play a key role in explaining why search efficiency is actually better for the larger set size.

  4. The role of perceptual load in processing distractor faces.

    PubMed

    Lavie, Nilli; Ro, Tony; Russell, Charlotte

    2003-09-01

    It has been established that successful ignoring of irrelevant distractors depends on the extent to which the current task loads attention. However, the previous load studies have typically employed neutral distractor stimuli (e.g., letters). In the experiments reported here, we examined whether the perception of irrelevant distractor faces would show the same effects. We manipulated attentional load in a relevant task of name search by varying the search set size and found that whereas congruency effects from meaningful nonface distractors were eliminated by higher search load, interference from distractor faces was entirely unaffected by search load. These results support the idea that face processing may be mandatory and generalize the load theory to the processing of meaningful and more complex nonface distractors.

  5. The Impact of Perceptual Load on the Non-Conscious Processing of Fearful Faces

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Lili; Feng, Chunliang; Mai, Xiaoqin; Jia, Lina; Zhu, Xiangru; Luo, Wenbo; Luo, Yue-jia

    2016-01-01

    Emotional stimuli can be processed without consciousness. In the current study, we used event-related potentials (ERPs) to assess whether perceptual load influences non-conscious processing of fearful facial expressions. Perceptual load was manipulated using a letter search task with the target letter presented at the fixation point, while facial expressions were presented peripherally and masked to prevent conscious awareness. The letter string comprised six letters (X or N) that were identical (low load) or different (high load). Participants were instructed to discriminate the letters at fixation or the facial expression (fearful or neutral) in the periphery. Participants were faster and more accurate at detecting letters in the low load condition than in the high load condition. Fearful faces elicited a sustained positivity from 250 ms to 700 ms post-stimulus over fronto-central areas during the face discrimination and low-load letter discrimination conditions, but this effect was completely eliminated during high-load letter discrimination. Our findings imply that non-conscious processing of fearful faces depends on perceptual load, and attentional resources are necessary for non-conscious processing. PMID:27149273

  6. Defining the perceptual processes involved with mammographic diagnostic errors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mugglestone, Mark D.; Gale, Alastair G.; Cowley, Helen C.; Wilson, A. R. M.

    1996-03-01

    Screening for breast cancer using mammography is currently the most sensitive technique for detecting early signs of this disease. Interpreting mammograms is a complex process and in common with other areas of visual inspection some errors of over and under-reading occur. A study is reported which investigates the nature of these errors in relation to both the initial overall global impression and the subsequent detailed visual search of the mammogram. Results demonstrate the importance of detailed visual search in mammography to detect possible abnormalities and the role of search factors in error occurrence.

  7. The benefit of no choice: goal-directed plans enhance perceptual processing.

    PubMed

    Janczyk, Markus; Dambacher, Michael; Bieleke, Maik; Gollwitzer, Peter M

    2015-03-01

    Choosing among different options is costly. Typically, response times are slower if participants can choose between several alternatives (free-choice) compared to when a stimulus determines a single correct response (forced-choice). This performance difference is commonly attributed to additional cognitive processing in free-choice tasks, which require time-consuming decisions between response options. Alternatively, the forced-choice advantage might result from facilitated perceptual processing, a prediction derived from the framework of implementation intentions. This hypothesis was tested in three experiments. Experiments 1 and 2 were PRP experiments and showed the expected underadditive interaction of the SOA manipulation and task type, pointing to a pre-central perceptual origin of the performance difference. Using the additive-factors logic, Experiment 3 further supported this view. We discuss the findings in the light of alternative accounts and offer potential mechanisms underlying performance differences in forced- and free-choice tasks.

  8. Perceptual processing of adjacent and nonadjacent tactile nontargets.

    PubMed

    Evans, P M; Craig, J C; Rinker, M A

    1992-11-01

    Previous research has shown that subjects appear unable to restrict processing to a single finger and ignore a stimulus presented to an adjacent finger. Furthermore, the evidence suggests that, at least for moving stimuli, an adjacent nontarget is fully processed to the level of incipient response activation. The present study replicated and expanded upon these original findings. The results of Experiment 1 showed that an equally large response-competition effect occurred when the nontarget was presented to adjacent and nonadjacent fingers (on the same hand). The results of Experiment 2 showed that the effects observed in Experiment 1 (and in previous studies) were also obtained with stationary stimuli. Although small, there was some indication in the results of Experiment 2 that interference may dissipate more rapidly with distance with stationary stimuli. An additional finding was that interference effects were observed in both experiments with temporal separations between the target and nontarget of up to 100 msec. In Experiment 3, target and nontarget stimuli were presented to opposite hands. Although reduced, interference was still evident with target and nontarget stimuli presented to opposite hands. Varying the physical distance between hands did not produce any change in the amount of interference. The results suggest that the focus of attention on the skin extends nearly undiminished across the fingers of one hand and is not dependent upon the physical distance between sites of stimulation.

  9. Differences in early sensory-perceptual processing in synesthesia: a visual evoked potential study.

    PubMed

    Barnett, Kylie J; Foxe, John J; Molholm, Sophie; Kelly, Simon P; Shalgi, Shani; Mitchell, Kevin J; Newell, Fiona N

    2008-11-15

    Synesthesia is a condition where stimulation of a single sensory modality or processing stream elicits an idiosyncratic, yet reliable perception in one or more other modalities or streams. Various models have been proposed to explain synesthesia, which have in common aberrant cross-activation of one cortical area by another. This has been observed directly in cases of linguistic-color synesthesia as cross-activation of the 'color area', V4, by stimulation of the grapheme area. The underlying neural substrates that mediate cross-activations in synesthesia are not well understood, however. In addition, the overall integrity of the visual system has never been assessed and it is not known whether wider differences in sensory-perceptual processing are associated with the condition. To assess whether fundamental differences in perceptual processing exist in synesthesia, we utilised high-density 128-channel electroencephalography (EEG) to measure sensory-perceptual processing using stimuli that differentially bias activation of the magnocellular and parvocellular pathways of the visual system. High and low spatial frequency gratings and luminance-contrast squares were presented to 15 synesthetes and 15 controls. We report, for the first time, early sensory-perceptual differences in synesthetes relative to non-synesthete controls in response to simple stimuli that do not elicit synesthetic color experiences. The differences are manifested in the early sensory components of the visual evoked potential (VEP) to stimuli that bias both magnocellular and parvocellular responses, but are opposite in direction, suggesting a differential effect on these two pathways. We discuss our results with reference to widespread connectivity differences as a broader phenotype of synesthesia.

  10. Configural processing at birth: evidence for perceptual organisation.

    PubMed

    Farroni, T; Valenza, E; Simion, F; Umiltà, C

    2000-01-01

    We report a series of ten experiments aimed to investigate the newborn's ability to discriminate the components of a visual pattern and to process the visual information that specifies the global configuration of a stimulus. The results reveal that: (i) newborn babies are able to distinguish individual elements of a stimulus (experiments 1A, 1B, 1C, and 1D); (ii) they can group individual elements into a holistic percept on the basis of Gestalt principles (experiments 2A and 3A); (iii) their spontaneous preferences cannot be easily modified by habituation (experiments 2B and 3B); and (iv) when horizontal stimuli are paired with vertical stimuli, they prefer the horizontal ones (experiments 4A and 4B).

  11. Second stage gasifier in staged gasification and integrated process

    DOEpatents

    Liu, Guohai; Vimalchand, Pannalal; Peng, Wan Wang

    2015-10-06

    A second stage gasification unit in a staged gasification integrated process flow scheme and operating methods are disclosed to gasify a wide range of low reactivity fuels. The inclusion of second stage gasification unit operating at high temperatures closer to ash fusion temperatures in the bed provides sufficient flexibility in unit configurations, operating conditions and methods to achieve an overall carbon conversion of over 95% for low reactivity materials such as bituminous and anthracite coals, petroleum residues and coke. The second stage gasification unit includes a stationary fluidized bed gasifier operating with a sufficiently turbulent bed of predefined inert bed material with lean char carbon content. The second stage gasifier fluidized bed is operated at relatively high temperatures up to 1400.degree. C. Steam and oxidant mixture can be injected to further increase the freeboard region operating temperature in the range of approximately from 50 to 100.degree. C. above the bed temperature.

  12. Navigated transcranial magnetic stimulation of the primary somatosensory cortex impairs perceptual processing of tactile temporal discrimination.

    PubMed

    Hannula, Henri; Neuvonen, Tuomas; Savolainen, Petri; Tukiainen, Taru; Salonen, Oili; Carlson, Synnöve; Pertovaara, Antti

    2008-05-30

    Previous studies indicate that transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) with biphasic pulses applied approximately over the primary somatosensory cortex (S1) suppresses performance in vibrotactile temporal discrimination tasks; these previous results, however, do not allow separating perceptual influence from memory or decision-making. Moreover, earlier studies using external landmarks for directing biphasic TMS pulses to the cortex do not reveal whether the changes in vibrotactile task performance were due to action on S1 or an adjacent area. In the present study, we determined whether the S1 area representing a cutaneous test site is critical for perceptual processing of tactile temporal discrimination. Electrical test pulses were applied to the thenar skin of the hand and the subjects attempted to discriminate single from twin pulses. During discrimination task, monophasic TMS pulses or sham TMS pulses were directed anatomically accurately to the S1 area representing the thenar using magnetic resonance image-guided navigation. The subject's capacity to temporal discrimination was impaired with a decrease in the delay between the TMS pulse and the cutaneous test pulse from 50 to 0 ms. The result indicates that S1 area representing a cutaneous test site is involved in perceptual processing of tactile temporal discrimination.

  13. Constraining a Distributed Hydrologic Model Using Process Constraints derived from a Catchment Perceptual Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hutton, Christopher; Wagener, Thorsten; Freer, Jim; Han, Dawei; Duffy, Chris; Musuuza, Jude; Zhang, Jun

    2015-04-01

    The increased availability of spatial datasets and hydrological monitoring techniques improves the potential to apply distributed hydrologic models robustly to simulate catchment systems. However, distributed catchment modelling remains problematic for several reasons, including the miss-match between the scale of process equations and observations, and the scale at which equations (and parameters) are applied at the model grid resolution. A key problem is that when equations are solved over a distributed grid of the catchment system, models contain a considerable number of distributed parameters, and therefore degrees of freedom, that need to be constrained through calibration. Often computational limitations alone prohibit a full search of the multidimensional parameter space. However, even when possible, insufficient data results in model parameter and/or structural equifinality. Calibration approaches therefore attempt to reduce the dimensions of parameter space to constrain model behaviour, typically by fixing, lumping or relating model parameters in some way when calibrating the model to time-series of response data. An alternative approach to help reduce the space of feasible models has been applied to lumped and semi-distributed models, where additional, often semi-qualitative information is used to constrain the internal states and fluxes of the model, which in turn help to identify feasible sets of model structures and parameters. Such process constraints have not been widely applied to distributed hydrological models, despite the fact that distributed models make more predictions of distributed states and fluxes that can potentially be constrained. This paper presents a methodology for deriving process and parameter constraints through development of a perceptual model for a given catchment system, which can then be applied in distributed model calibration and sensitivity analysis to constrain feasible parameter and model structural space. We argue that

  14. Perceptual bias, more than age, impacts on eye movements during face processing.

    PubMed

    Williams, Louise R; Grealy, Madeleine A; Kelly, Steve W; Henderson, Iona; Butler, Stephen H

    2016-02-01

    Consistent with the right hemispheric dominance for face processing, a left perceptual bias (LPB) is typically demonstrated by younger adults viewing faces and a left eye movement bias has also been revealed. Hemispheric asymmetry is predicted to reduce with age and older adults have demonstrated a weaker LPB, particularly when viewing time is restricted. What is currently unclear is whether age also weakens the left eye movement bias. Additionally, a right perceptual bias (RPB) for facial judgments has less frequently been demonstrated, but whether this is accompanied by a right eye movement bias has not been investigated. To address these issues older and younger adults' eye movements and gender judgments of chimeric faces were recorded in two time conditions. Age did not significantly weaken the LPB or eye movement bias; both groups looked initially to the left side of the face and made more fixations when the gender judgment was based on the left side. A positive association was found between LPB and initial saccades in the freeview condition and with all eye movements (initial saccades, number and duration of fixations) when time was restricted. The accompanying eye movement bias revealed by LPB participants contrasted with RPB participants who demonstrated no eye movement bias in either time condition. Consequently, increased age is not clearly associated with weakened perceptual and eye movement biases. Instead an eye movement bias accompanies an LPB (particularly under restricted viewing time conditions) but not an RPB. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Blocking serotonin but not dopamine reuptake alters neural processing during perceptual decision making

    PubMed Central

    Costa, Vincent D.; Kakalios, Laura; Averbeck, Bruno B.

    2016-01-01

    Dopamine and serotonin have opponent interactions on aspects of impulsivity. Therefore we wanted to test the hypothesis that dopamine and serotonin would have opposing effects on speed-accuracy trade-offs in a perceptual decision making task. Unlike other behavioral measures of impulsivity, perceptual decision making allows us to determine whether decreasing premature responses, often interpreted as decreased impulsivity, corresponds to increased behavioral performance. We administered GBR-12909 (a dopamine transporter blocker), escitalopram (a serotonin transporter blocker) or saline in separate sessions to three rhesus macaques. We found that animals had slower reaction times on escitalopram than on GBR-12909 or saline. However, they were also least accurate on escitalopram. Animals were faster, although non-significantly, on GBR than saline and had equivalent accuracy. Administration of GBR-12909 did cause animals to be faster in error trials than correct trials. Therefore, from the point of view of reaction times the animals were less impulsive on escitalopram. However, the decreased accuracy shows that they were not able to make use of the slower response time to make more accurate decisions. Therefore, impulsivity was reduced on escitalopram, but at the expense of information processing rate in the perceptual inference task. PMID:27513807

  16. Transfer-appropriate processing in recognition memory: perceptual and conceptual effects on recognition memory depend on task demands.

    PubMed

    Parks, Colleen M

    2013-07-01

    Research examining the importance of surface-level information to familiarity in recognition memory tasks is mixed: Sometimes it affects recognition and sometimes it does not. One potential explanation of the inconsistent findings comes from the ideas of dual process theory of recognition and the transfer-appropriate processing framework, which suggest that the extent to which perceptual fluency matters on a recognition test depends in large part on the task demands. A test that recruits perceptual processing for discrimination should show greater perceptual effects and smaller conceptual effects than standard recognition, similar to the pattern of effects found in perceptual implicit memory tasks. This idea was tested in the current experiment by crossing a levels of processing manipulation with a modality manipulation on a series of recognition tests that ranged from conceptual (standard recognition) to very perceptually demanding (a speeded recognition test with degraded stimuli). Results showed that the levels of processing effect decreased and the effect of modality increased when tests were made perceptually demanding. These results support the idea that surface-level features influence performance on recognition tests when they are made salient by the task demands. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved.

  17. Unintentionality of affective attention across visual processing stages.

    PubMed

    Uusberg, Andero; Uibo, Helen; Kreegipuu, Kairi; Tamm, Maria; Raidvee, Aire; Allik, Jüri

    2013-01-01

    Affective attention involves bottom-up perceptual selection that prioritizes motivationally significant stimuli. To clarify the extent to which this process is automatic, we investigated the dependence of affective attention on the intention to process emotional meaning. Affective attention was manipulated by presenting affective images with variable arousal and intentionality by requiring participants to make affective and non-affective evaluations. Polytomous rather than binary decisions were required from the participants in order to elicit relatively deep emotional processing. The temporal dynamics of prioritized processing were assessed using early posterior negativity (EPN, 175-300 ms) as well as P3-like (P3, 300-500 ms) and slow wave (SW, 500-1500 ms) portions of the late positive potential. All analyzed components were differentially sensitive to stimulus categories suggesting that they indeed reflect distinct stages of motivational significance encoding. The intention to perceive emotional meaning had no effect on EPN, an additive effect on P3, and an interactive effect on SW. We concluded that affective attention went from completely unintentional during the EPN to partially unintentional during P3 and SW where top-down signals, respectively, complemented and modulated bottom-up differences in stimulus prioritization. The findings were interpreted in light of two-stage models of visual perception by associating the EPN with large-capacity initial relevance detection and the P3 as well as SW with capacity-limited consolidation and elaboration of affective stimuli.

  18. Factor Structure Evidence for Developmental Levels of Perceptual Processing on the Developmental Test of Visual-Motor Integration.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Polubinski, Joseph; And Others

    1986-01-01

    Beery's Developmental Test of Visual-Motor Integration was individually administered to 193 school-age children. Four factors were obtained, indicating that the test does not measure a unitary dimension of perceptual-motor development, but rather four distinct levels or stages for the age range of children investigated. (Author/ABB)

  19. Effects of configural processing on the perceptual spatial resolution for face features.

    PubMed

    Namdar, Gal; Avidan, Galia; Ganel, Tzvi

    2015-11-01

    Configural processing governs human perception across various domains, including face perception. An established marker of configural face perception is the face inversion effect, in which performance is typically better for upright compared to inverted faces. In two experiments, we tested whether configural processing could influence basic visual abilities such as perceptual spatial resolution (i.e., the ability to detect spatial visual changes). Face-related perceptual spatial resolution was assessed by measuring the just noticeable difference (JND) to subtle positional changes between specific features in upright and inverted faces. The results revealed robust inversion effect for spatial sensitivity to configural-based changes, such as the distance between the mouth and the nose, or the distance between the eyes and the nose. Critically, spatial resolution for face features within the region of the eyes (e.g., the interocular distance between the eyes) was not affected by inversion, suggesting that the eye region operates as a separate 'gestalt' unit which is relatively immune to manipulations that would normally hamper configural processing. Together these findings suggest that face orientation modulates fundamental psychophysical abilities including spatial resolution. Furthermore, they indicate that classic psychophysical methods can be used as a valid measure of configural face processing. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. A Case Study of Visual Agnosia without Perceptual Processing or Structural Descriptions Impairment.

    PubMed

    Fery, Patrick; Morais, Jose

    2003-10-01

    We report a new case of visual associative agnosia. Our patient (DJ) was impaired in several tasks assessing visual processing of real objects, colour pictures, and line drawings. The deficit was present both with naming and gesturing responses. Object processing in other modalities (verbal, auditory nonverbal, and tactile) was intact. Semantic processing was impaired in the visual but not in the verbal modality. Picture-word matching was better than single picture identification. DJ's visual perceptual processing, was intact in several tasks such as visual attributes discrimination, shape discrimination, illusory contours perception, segmentation, embedded figures processing and matching objects under different viewpoints. Most importantly, we show that there was no impairment of stored structural descriptions and that the patient was able to build new visual representations. These results are considered in the context of Farah's (1990, 1991) proposals about visual associative agnosia.

  1. Visual speech information: a help or hindrance in perceptual processing of dysarthric speech.

    PubMed

    Borrie, Stephanie A

    2015-03-01

    This study investigated the influence of visual speech information on perceptual processing of neurologically degraded speech. Fifty listeners identified spastic dysarthric speech under both audio (A) and audiovisual (AV) conditions. Condition comparisons revealed that the addition of visual speech information enhanced processing of the neurologically degraded input in terms of (a) acuity (percent phonemes correct) of vowels and consonants and (b) recognition (percent words correct) of predictive and nonpredictive phrases. Listeners exploited stress-based segmentation strategies more readily in AV conditions, suggesting that the perceptual benefit associated with adding visual speech information to the auditory signal-the AV advantage-has both segmental and suprasegmental origins. Results also revealed that the magnitude of the AV advantage can be predicted, to some degree, by the extent to which an individual utilizes syllabic stress cues to inform word recognition in AV conditions. Findings inform the development of a listener-specific model of speech perception that applies to processing of dysarthric speech in everyday communication contexts.

  2. A dynamical framework to relate perceptual variability with multisensory information processing

    PubMed Central

    Thakur, Bhumika; Mukherjee, Abhishek; Sen, Abhijit; Banerjee, Arpan

    2016-01-01

    Multisensory processing involves participation of individual sensory streams, e.g., vision, audition to facilitate perception of environmental stimuli. An experimental realization of the underlying complexity is captured by the “McGurk-effect”- incongruent auditory and visual vocalization stimuli eliciting perception of illusory speech sounds. Further studies have established that time-delay between onset of auditory and visual signals (AV lag) and perturbations in the unisensory streams are key variables that modulate perception. However, as of now only few quantitative theoretical frameworks have been proposed to understand the interplay among these psychophysical variables or the neural systems level interactions that govern perceptual variability. Here, we propose a dynamic systems model consisting of the basic ingredients of any multisensory processing, two unisensory and one multisensory sub-system (nodes) as reported by several researchers. The nodes are connected such that biophysically inspired coupling parameters and time delays become key parameters of this network. We observed that zero AV lag results in maximum synchronization of constituent nodes and the degree of synchronization decreases when we have non-zero lags. The attractor states of this network can thus be interpreted as the facilitator for stabilizing specific perceptual experience. Thereby, the dynamic model presents a quantitative framework for understanding multisensory information processing. PMID:27502974

  3. Susceptibility to a multisensory speech illusion in older persons is driven by perceptual processes

    PubMed Central

    Setti, Annalisa; Burke, Kate E.; Kenny, RoseAnne; Newell, Fiona N.

    2013-01-01

    Recent studies suggest that multisensory integration is enhanced in older adults but it is not known whether this enhancement is solely driven by perceptual processes or affected by cognitive processes. Using the “McGurk illusion,” in Experiment 1 we found that audio-visual integration of incongruent audio-visual words was higher in older adults than in younger adults, although the recognition of either audio- or visual-only presented words was the same across groups. In Experiment 2 we tested recall of sentences within which an incongruent audio-visual speech word was embedded. The overall semantic meaning of the sentence was compatible with either one of the unisensory components of the target word and/or with the illusory percept. Older participants recalled more illusory audio-visual words in sentences than younger adults, however, there was no differential effect of word compatibility on recall for the two groups. Our findings suggest that the relatively high susceptibility to the audio-visual speech illusion in older participants is due more to perceptual than cognitive processing. PMID:24027544

  4. Two-stage coal liquefaction process

    DOEpatents

    Skinner, Ronald W.; Tao, John C.; Znaimer, Samuel

    1985-01-01

    An improved SRC-I two-stage coal liquefaction process which improves the product slate is provided. Substantially all of the net yield of 650.degree.-850.degree. F. heavy distillate from the LC-Finer is combined with the SRC process solvent, substantially all of the net 400.degree.-650.degree. F. middle distillate from the SRC section is combined with the hydrocracker solvent in the LC-Finer, and the initial boiling point of the SRC process solvent is increased sufficiently high to produce a net yield of 650.degree.-850.degree. F. heavy distillate of zero for the two-stage liquefaction process.

  5. Automatic perceptual simulation of first language meanings during second language sentence processing in bilinguals.

    PubMed

    Vukovic, Nikola; Williams, John N

    2014-01-01

    Research supports the claim that, when understanding language, people perform mental simulation using those parts of the brain which support sensation, action, and emotion. A major criticism of the findings quoted as evidence for embodied simulation, however, is that they could be a result of conscious image generation strategies. Here we exploit the well-known fact that bilinguals routinely and automatically activate both their languages during comprehension to test whether this automatic process is, in turn, modulated by embodied simulatory processes. Dutch participants heard English sentences containing interlingual homophones and implying specific distance relations, and had to subsequently respond to pictures of objects matching or mismatching this implied distance. Participants were significantly slower to reject critical items when their perceptual features matched said distance relationship. These results suggest that bilinguals not only activate task-irrelevant meanings of interlingual homophones, but also automatically simulate these meanings in a detailed perceptual fashion. Our study supports the claim that embodied simulation is not due to participants' conscious strategies, but is an automatic component of meaning construction. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Modelling social interaction as perceptual crossing: an investigation into the dynamics of the interaction process

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Froese, Tom; Di Paolo, Ezequiel A.

    2010-03-01

    This paper continues efforts to establish a mutually informative dialogue between psychology and evolutionary robotics in order to investigate the dynamics of social interaction. We replicate a recent simulation model of a minimalist experiment in perceptual crossing and confirm the results with significantly simpler artificial agents. A series of psycho-physical tests of their behaviour informs a hypothetical circuit model of their internal operation. However, a detailed study of the actual internal dynamics reveals this circuit model to be unfounded, thereby offering a tale of caution for those hypothesising about sub-personal processes in terms of behavioural observations. In particular, it is shown that the behaviour of the agents largely emerges out of the interaction process itself rather than being an individual achievement alone. We also extend the original simulation model in two novel directions in order to test further the extent to which perceptual crossing between agents can self-organise in a robust manner. These modelling results suggest new hypotheses that can become the basis for further psychological experiments.

  7. Gamma band activity and the P3 reflect post-perceptual processes, not visual awareness

    PubMed Central

    Pitts, Michael A.; Padwal, Jennifer; Fennelly, Daniel; Martínez, Antígona; Hillyard, Steven A.

    2014-01-01

    A primary goal in cognitive neuroscience is to identify neural correlates of conscious perception (NCC). By contrasting conditions in which subjects are aware versus unaware of identical visual stimuli, a number of candidate NCCs have emerged, among them induced gamma band activity in the EEG and the P3 event-related potential. In most previous studies, however, the critical stimuli were always directly relevant to the subjects’ task, such that aware versus unaware contrasts may well have included differences in post-perceptual processing in addition to differences in conscious perception per se. Here, in a series of EEG experiments, visual awareness and task relevance were manipulated independently. Induced gamma activity and the P3 were absent for task-irrelevant stimuli regardless of whether subjects were aware of such stimuli. For task-relevant stimuli, gamma and the P3 were robust and dissociable, indicating that each reflects distinct post-perceptual processes necessary for carrying-out the task but not for consciously perceiving the stimuli. Overall, this pattern of results challenges a number of previous proposals linking gamma band activity and the P3 to conscious perception. PMID:25063731

  8. Gamma band activity and the P3 reflect post-perceptual processes, not visual awareness.

    PubMed

    Pitts, Michael A; Padwal, Jennifer; Fennelly, Daniel; Martínez, Antígona; Hillyard, Steven A

    2014-11-01

    A primary goal in cognitive neuroscience is to identify neural correlates of conscious perception (NCC). By contrasting conditions in which subjects are aware versus unaware of identical visual stimuli, a number of candidate NCCs have emerged; among them are induced gamma band activity in the EEG and the P3 event-related potential. In most previous studies, however, the critical stimuli were always directly relevant to the subjects' task, such that aware versus unaware contrasts may well have included differences in post-perceptual processing in addition to differences in conscious perception per se. Here, in a series of EEG experiments, visual awareness and task relevance were manipulated independently. Induced gamma activity and the P3 were absent for task-irrelevant stimuli regardless of whether subjects were aware of such stimuli. For task-relevant stimuli, gamma and the P3 were robust and dissociable, indicating that each reflects distinct post-perceptual processes necessary for carrying-out the task but not for consciously perceiving the stimuli. Overall, this pattern of results challenges a number of previous proposals linking gamma band activity and the P3 to conscious perception.

  9. Empathy for pain influences perceptual and motor processing: Evidence from response force, ERPs, and EEG oscillations.

    PubMed

    Fabi, Sarah; Leuthold, Hartmut

    2016-09-28

    In the present study we investigated the nature and chronometry of empathy for pain influences on perceptual and motor processes. Thus, event-related brain potentials (ERPs), response force (RF) and oscillatory electroencephalography (EEG) activity were measured while participants were presented with pictures of body parts in painful or neutral situations. Their task consisted in either judging the painfulness of the stimuli or counting the body parts displayed. ERP results supported the assumption of an early automatic component of empathy for pain, as reflected by the early posterior negativity (EPN), and of a late controlled component, as reflected by the late posterior positivity (P3). RF indicated that empathy-evoking stimuli facilitate motor responses if attention is directed toward the pain dimension, whereas EEG oscillations in the mu-and beta-band revealed, independent of the task, an enhanced activation of the sensorimotor cortex after the response to painful compared to neutral stimuli. In conclusion, present findings indicate that empathy-evoking stimuli produce automatic and controlled effects on both perceptual and motor processing.

  10. The Perceptual Cues that Reshape Expert Reasoning

    PubMed Central

    Harré, Michael; Bossomaier, Terry; Snyder, Allan

    2012-01-01

    The earliest stages in our perception of the world have a subtle but powerful influence on later thought processes; they provide the contextual cues within which our thoughts are framed and they adapt to many different environments throughout our lives. Understanding the changes in these cues is crucial to understanding how our perceptual ability develops, but these changes are often difficult to quantify in sufficiently complex tasks where objective measures of development are available. Here we simulate perceptual learning using neural networks and demonstrate fundamental changes in these cues as a function of skill. These cues are cognitively grouped together to form perceptual templates that enable rapid ‘whole scene' categorisation of complex stimuli. Such categories reduce the computational load on our capacity limited thought processes, they inform our higher cognitive processes and they suggest a framework of perceptual pre-processing that captures the central role of perception in expertise. PMID:22792435

  11. The processing of biologically plausible and implausible forms in American Sign Language: evidence for perceptual tuning

    PubMed Central

    Almeida, Diogo; Poeppel, David; Corina, David

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT The human auditory system distinguishes speech-like information from general auditory signals in a remarkably fast and efficient way. Combining psychophysics and neurophysiology (MEG), we demonstrate a similar result for the processing of visual information used for language communication in users of sign languages. We demonstrate that the earliest visual cortical responses in deaf signers viewing American Sign Language signs show specific modulations to violations of anatomic constraints that would make the sign either possible or impossible to articulate. These neural data are accompanied with a significantly increased perceptual sensitivity to the anatomical incongruity. The differential effects in the early visual evoked potentials arguably reflect an expectation-driven assessment of somatic representational integrity, suggesting that language experience and/or auditory deprivation may shape the neuronal mechanisms underlying the analysis of complex human form. The data demonstrate that the perceptual tuning that underlies the discrimination of language and non-language information is not limited to spoken languages but extends to languages expressed in the visual modality. PMID:27135041

  12. Perceptual Learning With Tactile Stimuli in Rats: Changes in the Processing of a Dimension

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Four experiments with male rats investigated perceptual learning involving a tactile dimension (A, B, C, D, E), where A denotes 1 end of the continuum (e.g., a rough floor) and E the other (e.g., a smooth floor). In Experiment 1, rats given preexposure to A and E learned an appetitive discrimination between them more readily than those not given preexposure. Experiment 2a showed that rats preexposed to B and D acquired a discrimination between A and E more readily than those preexposed to A and E; and in Experiment 2b the same preexposure treatments had no effect on the acquisition of a discrimination between B and D. In Experiments 3a and 3b, rats given preexposure to C learned a discrimination between A and E more readily than those not given preexposure. Experiment 4 demonstrated that preexposure to a texture (e.g., B) that was adjacent to the to-be-discriminated textures (e.g., C and E) facilitated a discrimination between them relative to preexposure to their midpoint (D). These novel perceptual learning effects are interpreted as reflecting a redistribution of processing between the notional elements of the texture dimension. PMID:27379718

  13. The Processing of Biologically Plausible and Implausible forms in American Sign Language: Evidence for Perceptual Tuning.

    PubMed

    Almeida, Diogo; Poeppel, David; Corina, David

    The human auditory system distinguishes speech-like information from general auditory signals in a remarkably fast and efficient way. Combining psychophysics and neurophysiology (MEG), we demonstrate a similar result for the processing of visual information used for language communication in users of sign languages. We demonstrate that the earliest visual cortical responses in deaf signers viewing American Sign Language (ASL) signs show specific modulations to violations of anatomic constraints that would make the sign either possible or impossible to articulate. These neural data are accompanied with a significantly increased perceptual sensitivity to the anatomical incongruity. The differential effects in the early visual evoked potentials arguably reflect an expectation-driven assessment of somatic representational integrity, suggesting that language experience and/or auditory deprivation may shape the neuronal mechanisms underlying the analysis of complex human form. The data demonstrate that the perceptual tuning that underlies the discrimination of language and non-language information is not limited to spoken languages but extends to languages expressed in the visual modality.

  14. Auditory Stream Segregation in Autism Spectrum Disorder: Benefits and Downsides of Superior Perceptual Processes.

    PubMed

    Bouvet, Lucie; Mottron, Laurent; Valdois, Sylviane; Donnadieu, Sophie

    2016-05-01

    Auditory stream segregation allows us to organize our sound environment, by focusing on specific information and ignoring what is unimportant. One previous study reported difficulty in stream segregation ability in children with Asperger syndrome. In order to investigate this question further, we used an interleaved melody recognition task with children in the autism spectrum disorder (ASD). In this task, a probe melody is followed by a mixed sequence, made up of a target melody interleaved with a distractor melody. These two melodies have either the same [0 semitone (ST)] or a different mean frequency (6, 12 or 24 ST separation conditions). Children have to identify if the probe melody is present in the mixed sequence. Children with ASD performed better than typical children when melodies were completely embedded. Conversely, they were impaired in the ST separation conditions. Our results confirm the difficulty of children with ASD in using a frequency cue to organize auditory perceptual information. However, superior performance in the completely embedded condition may result from superior perceptual processes in autism. We propose that this atypical pattern of results might reflect the expression of a single cognitive feature in autism.

  15. Perceptual image quality in normalized LOG domain for Adaptive Optics image post-processing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guo, Shiping; Zhang, Rongzhi; Li, Jisheng; Zou, Jianhua; Liu, Changhai; Gao, Weizhe

    2015-08-01

    Adaptive Optics together with subsequent post-processing techniques obviously improve the resolution of turbulencedegraded images in ground-based space objects detection and identification. The most common method for frame selection and stopping iteration in post-processing has always been subjective viewing of the images due to a lack of widely agreed-upon objective quality metric. Full reference metrics are not applicable for assessing the field data, no-reference metrics tend to perform poor sensitivity for Adaptive Optics images. In the present work, based on the Laplacian of Gaussian (LOG) local contrast feature, a nonlinear normalization is applied to transform the input image into a normalized LOG domain; a quantitative index is then extracted in this domain to assess the perceptual image quality. Experiments show this no-reference quality index is highly consistent with the subjective evaluation of input images for different blur degree and different iteration number.

  16. Interactions Between Modality of Working Memory Load and Perceptual Load in Distractor Processing.

    PubMed

    Koshino, Hideya; Olid, Pilar

    2015-01-01

    The present study investigated interactions between working memory load and perceptual load. The load theory (Lavie, Hirst, de Fockert, & Viding, 2004 ) claims that perceptual load decreases distractor interference, whereas working memory load increases interference. However, recent studies showed that effects of working memory might depend on the relationship between modalities of working memory and task stimuli. Here, we examined whether the relationship between working memory load and perceptual load would remain the same across modalities. The results of Experiment 1 showed that verbal working memory load did not affect a compatibility effect for low perceptual load, whereas it increased the compatibility effect for high perceptual load. In Experiment 2, the compatibility effect remained the same regardless of visual working memory load. These results suggest that the effects of working memory load and perceptual load depend on the relationship between the modalities of working memory and stimuli.

  17. Effects of Language Comprehension on Visual Processing--MEG Dissociates Early Perceptual and Late N400 Effects

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hirschfeld, Gerrit; Zwitserlood, Pienie; Dobel, Christian

    2011-01-01

    We investigated whether and when information conveyed by spoken language impacts on the processing of visually presented objects. In contrast to traditional views, grounded-cognition posits direct links between language comprehension and perceptual processing. We used a magnetoencephalographic cross-modal priming paradigm to disentangle these…

  18. Effects of Language Comprehension on Visual Processing--MEG Dissociates Early Perceptual and Late N400 Effects

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hirschfeld, Gerrit; Zwitserlood, Pienie; Dobel, Christian

    2011-01-01

    We investigated whether and when information conveyed by spoken language impacts on the processing of visually presented objects. In contrast to traditional views, grounded-cognition posits direct links between language comprehension and perceptual processing. We used a magnetoencephalographic cross-modal priming paradigm to disentangle these…

  19. The Influence of Perceptual and Semantic Categorization on Inhibitory Processing as Measured by the N2-P3 Response

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Maguire, Mandy J.; Brier, Matthew R.; Moore, Patricia S.; Ferree, Thomas C.; Ray, Dylan; Mostofsky, Stewart; Hart, John, Jr.; Kraut, Michael A.

    2009-01-01

    In daily activities, humans must attend and respond to a range of important items and inhibit and not respond to unimportant distractions. Our current understanding of these processes is largely based on perceptually simple stimuli. This study investigates the interaction of conceptual-semantic categorization and inhibitory processing using Event…

  20. Chromatic Perceptual Learning but No Category Effects without Linguistic Input.

    PubMed

    Grandison, Alexandra; Sowden, Paul T; Drivonikou, Vicky G; Notman, Leslie A; Alexander, Iona; Davies, Ian R L

    2016-01-01

    Perceptual learning involves an improvement in perceptual judgment with practice, which is often specific to stimulus or task factors. Perceptual learning has been shown on a range of visual tasks but very little research has explored chromatic perceptual learning. Here, we use two low level perceptual threshold tasks and a supra-threshold target detection task to assess chromatic perceptual learning and category effects. Experiment 1 investigates whether chromatic thresholds reduce as a result of training and at what level of analysis learning effects occur. Experiment 2 explores the effect of category training on chromatic thresholds, whether training of this nature is category specific and whether it can induce categorical responding. Experiment 3 investigates the effect of category training on a higher level, lateralized target detection task, previously found to be sensitive to category effects. The findings indicate that performance on a perceptual threshold task improves following training but improvements do not transfer across retinal location or hue. Therefore, chromatic perceptual learning is category specific and can occur at relatively early stages of visual analysis. Additionally, category training does not induce category effects on a low level perceptual threshold task, as indicated by comparable discrimination thresholds at the newly learned hue boundary and adjacent test points. However, category training does induce emerging category effects on a supra-threshold target detection task. Whilst chromatic perceptual learning is possible, learnt category effects appear to be a product of left hemisphere processing, and may require the input of higher level linguistic coding processes in order to manifest.

  1. A predictive processing theory of sensorimotor contingencies: Explaining the puzzle of perceptual presence and its absence in synesthesia.

    PubMed

    Seth, Anil K

    2014-01-01

    Normal perception involves experiencing objects within perceptual scenes as real, as existing in the world. This property of "perceptual presence" has motivated "sensorimotor theories" which understand perception to involve the mastery of sensorimotor contingencies. However, the mechanistic basis of sensorimotor contingencies and their mastery has remained unclear. Sensorimotor theory also struggles to explain instances of perception, such as synesthesia, that appear to lack perceptual presence and for which relevant sensorimotor contingencies are difficult to identify. On alternative "predictive processing" theories, perceptual content emerges from probabilistic inference on the external causes of sensory signals, however, this view has addressed neither the problem of perceptual presence nor synesthesia. Here, I describe a theory of predictive perception of sensorimotor contingencies which (1) accounts for perceptual presence in normal perception, as well as its absence in synesthesia, and (2) operationalizes the notion of sensorimotor contingencies and their mastery. The core idea is that generative models underlying perception incorporate explicitly counterfactual elements related to how sensory inputs would change on the basis of a broad repertoire of possible actions, even if those actions are not performed. These "counterfactually-rich" generative models encode sensorimotor contingencies related to repertoires of sensorimotor dependencies, with counterfactual richness determining the degree of perceptual presence associated with a stimulus. While the generative models underlying normal perception are typically counterfactually rich (reflecting a large repertoire of possible sensorimotor dependencies), those underlying synesthetic concurrents are hypothesized to be counterfactually poor. In addition to accounting for the phenomenology of synesthesia, the theory naturally accommodates phenomenological differences between a range of experiential states

  2. Perceptual category learning and visual processing: An exercise in computational cognitive neuroscience.

    PubMed

    Cantwell, George; Riesenhuber, Maximilian; Roeder, Jessica L; Ashby, F Gregory

    2017-05-01

    The field of computational cognitive neuroscience (CCN) builds and tests neurobiologically detailed computational models that account for both behavioral and neuroscience data. This article leverages a key advantage of CCN-namely, that it should be possible to interface different CCN models in a plug-and-play fashion-to produce a new and biologically detailed model of perceptual category learning. The new model was created from two existing CCN models: the HMAX model of visual object processing and the COVIS model of category learning. Using bitmap images as inputs and by adjusting only a couple of learning-rate parameters, the new HMAX/COVIS model provides impressively good fits to human category-learning data from two qualitatively different experiments that used different types of category structures and different types of visual stimuli. Overall, the model provides a comprehensive neural and behavioral account of basal ganglia-mediated learning. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Disruption of Broca's Area Alters Higher-order Chunking Processing during Perceptual Sequence Learning.

    PubMed

    Alamia, Andrea; Solopchuk, Oleg; D'Ausilio, Alessandro; Van Bever, Violette; Fadiga, Luciano; Olivier, Etienne; Zénon, Alexandre

    2016-03-01

    Because Broca's area is known to be involved in many cognitive functions, including language, music, and action processing, several attempts have been made to propose a unifying theory of its role that emphasizes a possible contribution to syntactic processing. Recently, we have postulated that Broca's area might be involved in higher-order chunk processing during implicit learning of a motor sequence. Chunking is an information-processing mechanism that consists of grouping consecutive items in a sequence and is likely to be involved in all of the aforementioned cognitive processes. Demonstrating a contribution of Broca's area to chunking during the learning of a nonmotor sequence that does not involve language could shed new light on its function. To address this issue, we used offline MRI-guided TMS in healthy volunteers to disrupt the activity of either the posterior part of Broca's area (left Brodmann's area [BA] 44) or a control site just before participants learned a perceptual sequence structured in distinct hierarchical levels. We found that disruption of the left BA 44 increased the processing time of stimuli representing the boundaries of higher-order chunks and modified the chunking strategy. The current results highlight the possible role of the left BA 44 in building up effector-independent representations of higher-order events in structured sequences. This might clarify the contribution of Broca's area in processing hierarchical structures, a key mechanism in many cognitive functions, such as language and composite actions.

  4. Neurally Constrained Modeling of Perceptual Decision Making

    PubMed Central

    Purcell, Braden A.; Heitz, Richard P.; Cohen, Jeremiah Y.; Schall, Jeffrey D.; Logan, Gordon D.; Palmeri, Thomas J.

    2010-01-01

    Stochastic accumulator models account for response time in perceptual decision-making tasks by assuming that perceptual evidence accumulates to a threshold. The present investigation mapped the firing rate of frontal eye field (FEF) visual neurons onto perceptual evidence and the firing rate of FEF movement neurons onto evidence accumulation to test alternative models of how evidence is combined in the accumulation process. The models were evaluated on their ability to predict both response time distributions and movement neuron activity observed in monkeys performing a visual search task. Models that assume gating of perceptual evidence to the accumulating units provide the best account of both behavioral and neural data. These results identify discrete stages of processing with anatomically distinct neural populations and rule out several alternative architectures. The results also illustrate the use of neurophysiological data as a model selection tool and establish a novel framework to bridge computational and neural levels of explanation. PMID:20822291

  5. Perceptual decision processes flexibly adapt to avoid change-of-mind motor costs.

    PubMed

    Moher, Jeff; Song, Joo-Hyun

    2014-07-01

    The motor system is tightly linked with perception and cognition. Recent studies have shown that even anticipated biophysical action costs associated with competing response options can be incorporated into decision-making processes. As a result, choices associated with high energy costs are less likely to be selected. However, some action costs may be harder to predict. For example, a person choosing among apples at a grocery store may change his or her mind suddenly about which apple to put into the cart. This change of mind may be reflected in motor output as the initial decision triggers a motor response toward a Granny Smith that is subsequently redirected toward a Red Delicious. In the present study, to examine how motor costs associated with changes of mind affect perceptual decision making, participants performed a difficult random dot–motion discrimination task in which they had to indicate the direction of motion by reaching to one of two response options. Although each response box was always equidistant from the starting position, the physical distance between the two response options was varied. We found that when the boxes were far apart from one another, and thus changes of mind incurred greater redirection motor costs, change-of-mind frequency decreased while latency to initiate movement increased. This occurred even when response box distance varied randomly from trial to trial and was cued only 1 s before each trial began. Thus, we demonstrated that observers can dynamically adjust perceptual decision-making processes to avoid high motor costs incurred by a change of mind.

  6. The neural processes underlying perceptual decision making in humans: recent progress and future directions.

    PubMed

    Kelly, Simon P; O'Connell, Redmond G

    2015-01-01

    In the last two decades, animal neurophysiology research has made great strides towards explaining how the brain can enable adaptive action in the face of noisy sensory information. In particular, this work has identified neural signals that perform the role of a 'decision variable' which integrates sensory information in favor of a particular outcome up to an action-triggering threshold, consistent with long-standing predictions from mathematical psychology. This has provoked an intensive search for similar neural processes at work in the human brain. In this paper we review the progress that has been made in tracing the dynamics of perceptual decision formation in humans using functional imaging and electrophysiology. We highlight some of the limitations that non-invasive recording techniques place on our ability to make definitive judgments regarding the role that specific signals play in decision making. Finally, we provide an overview of our own work in this area which has focussed on two perceptual tasks - intensity change detection and motion discrimination - performed under continuous-monitoring conditions, and highlight the insights gained thus far. We show that through simple paradigm design features such as avoiding sudden intensity transients at evidence onset, a neural instantiation of the theoretical decision variable can be directly traced in the form of a centro-parietal positivity (CPP) in the standard event-related potential (ERP). We recapitulate evidence for the domain-general nature of the CPP process, being divorced from the sensory and motor requirements of the task, and re-plot data of both tasks highlighting this aspect as well as its relationship to decision outcome and reaction time. We discuss the implications of these findings for mechanistically principled research on normal and abnormal decision making in humans.

  7. Perceptual decision processes flexibly adapt to avoid change-of-mind motor costs

    PubMed Central

    Moher, Jeff; Song, Joo-Hyun

    2014-01-01

    The motor system is tightly linked with perception and cognition. Recent studies have shown that even anticipated biophysical action costs associated with competing response options can be incorporated into decision-making processes. As a result, choices associated with high energy costs are less likely to be selected. However, some action costs may be harder to predict. For example, a person choosing among apples at a grocery store may change his or her mind suddenly about which apple to put into the cart. This change of mind may be reflected in motor output as the initial decision triggers a motor response toward a Granny Smith that is subsequently redirected toward a Red Delicious. In the present study, to examine how motor costs associated with changes of mind affect perceptual decision making, participants performed a difficult random dot–motion discrimination task in which they had to indicate the direction of motion by reaching to one of two response options. Although each response box was always equidistant from the starting position, the physical distance between the two response options was varied. We found that when the boxes were far apart from one another, and thus changes of mind incurred greater redirection motor costs, change-of-mind frequency decreased while latency to initiate movement increased. This occurred even when response box distance varied randomly from trial to trial and was cued only 1 s before each trial began. Thus, we demonstrated that observers can dynamically adjust perceptual decision-making processes to avoid high motor costs incurred by a change of mind. PMID:24986186

  8. Perceptual inference.

    PubMed

    Aggelopoulos, Nikolaos C

    2015-08-01

    Perceptual inference refers to the ability to infer sensory stimuli from predictions that result from internal neural representations built through prior experience. Methods of Bayesian statistical inference and decision theory model cognition adequately by using error sensing either in guiding action or in "generative" models that predict the sensory information. In this framework, perception can be seen as a process qualitatively distinct from sensation, a process of information evaluation using previously acquired and stored representations (memories) that is guided by sensory feedback. The stored representations can be utilised as internal models of sensory stimuli enabling long term associations, for example in operant conditioning. Evidence for perceptual inference is contributed by such phenomena as the cortical co-localisation of object perception with object memory, the response invariance in the responses of some neurons to variations in the stimulus, as well as from situations in which perception can be dissociated from sensation. In the context of perceptual inference, sensory areas of the cerebral cortex that have been facilitated by a priming signal may be regarded as comparators in a closed feedback loop, similar to the better known motor reflexes in the sensorimotor system. The adult cerebral cortex can be regarded as similar to a servomechanism, in using sensory feedback to correct internal models, producing predictions of the outside world on the basis of past experience.

  9. Early sensory–perceptual processing deficits for affectively valenced inputs are more pronounced in schizophrenia patients with a history of violence than in their non-violent peers

    PubMed Central

    Foxe, John J.; Czobor, Pal; Wylie, Glenn R.; Kamiel, Stephanie M.; Huening, Jessica; Nair-Collins, Mike; Krakowski, Menahem I.

    2013-01-01

    Individuals with schizophrenia are more prone to violent behaviors than the general population. It is increasingly recognized that processing of emotionally valenced stimuli is impaired in schizophrenia, a deficit that may play a role in aggressive behavior. Our goal was to establish whether patients with a history of violence would show more severe deficits in processing emotionally valenced inputs than non-violent patients. Using event-related potentials, we measured how early during processing of emotional valence, evidence of aberrant function was observed. A total of 42 schizophrenia patients (21 with history of violence; 21 without) and 28 healthy controls were tested. Participants performed an inhibitory control task, making speeded responses to pictorial stimuli. Pictures occasionally repeated twice and participants withheld responses to these repeats. Valenced pictures from the International Affective Picture System were presented. Results in controls showed modulations during the earliest phases of sensory processing (<100 ms) for negatively valenced pictures. A cascade of modulations ensued, involving sensory and perceptual processing stages. In contrast, neither schizophrenia group showed early differentiation. Non-violent patients showed earliest modulations beginning ∼150 ms. For violent patients, however, earliest modulations were further delayed and highly attenuated. The current study reveals sensory–perceptual processing dysfunction for negatively valenced inputs, which is particularly pronounced in aggressive patients. PMID:22563006

  10. Early sensory-perceptual processing deficits for affectively valenced inputs are more pronounced in schizophrenia patients with a history of violence than in their non-violent peers.

    PubMed

    De Sanctis, Pierfilippo; Foxe, John J; Czobor, Pal; Wylie, Glenn R; Kamiel, Stephanie M; Huening, Jessica; Nair-Collins, Mike; Krakowski, Menahem I

    2013-08-01

    Individuals with schizophrenia are more prone to violent behaviors than the general population. It is increasingly recognized that processing of emotionally valenced stimuli is impaired in schizophrenia, a deficit that may play a role in aggressive behavior. Our goal was to establish whether patients with a history of violence would show more severe deficits in processing emotionally valenced inputs than non-violent patients. Using event-related potentials, we measured how early during processing of emotional valence, evidence of aberrant function was observed. A total of 42 schizophrenia patients (21 with history of violence; 21 without) and 28 healthy controls were tested. Participants performed an inhibitory control task, making speeded responses to pictorial stimuli. Pictures occasionally repeated twice and participants withheld responses to these repeats. Valenced pictures from the International Affective Picture System were presented. Results in controls showed modulations during the earliest phases of sensory processing (<100 ms) for negatively valenced pictures. A cascade of modulations ensued, involving sensory and perceptual processing stages. In contrast, neither schizophrenia group showed early differentiation. Non-violent patients showed earliest modulations beginning ∼150 ms. For violent patients, however, earliest modulations were further delayed and highly attenuated. The current study reveals sensory-perceptual processing dysfunction for negatively valenced inputs, which is particularly pronounced in aggressive patients.

  11. An Exploration of Perceptual and Cognitive Processes Involved in Piano Study with Implications for Learning Disabled Children.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gilles, Dorothy Cordes

    The perceptual and cognitive processes involved in learning to play the piano are examined as sources of confusion and problems which might be encountered by the young learning disabled piano student. The paper is reported to be based on personal observations during private piano instruction, published and unpublished literature, and a summer…

  12. Handshape monitoring: Evaluation of linguistic and perceptual factors in the processing of American Sign Language

    PubMed Central

    Grosvald, Michael; Lachaud, Christian; Corina, David

    2011-01-01

    We investigated the relevance of linguistic and perceptual factors to sign processing by comparing hearing individuals and deaf signers as they performed a handshape monitoring task, a sign-language analogue to the phoneme-monitoring paradigms used in many spoken-language studies. Each subject saw a series of brief video clips, each of which showed either an ASL sign or a phonologically possible but non-lexical “non-sign,” and responded when the viewed action was formed with a particular handshape. Stimuli varied with respect to the factors of Lexicality, handshape Markedness (Battison, 1978), and Type, defined according to whether the action is performed with one or two hands and for two-handed stimuli, whether or not the action is symmetrical. Deaf signers performed faster and more accurately than hearing non-signers, and effects related to handshape Markedness and stimulus Type were observed in both groups. However, no effects or interactions related to Lexicality were seen. A further analysis restricted to the deaf group indicated that these results were not dependent upon subjects' age of acquisition of ASL. This work provides new insights into the processes by which the handshape component of sign forms is recognized in a sign language, the role of language experience, and the extent to which these processes may or may not be considered specifically linguistic. PMID:22822282

  13. Exploring perceptual processing of ASL and human actions: Effects of inversion and repetition priming

    PubMed Central

    Corina, David P.; Grosvald, Michael

    2011-01-01

    In this paper, we compare responses of deaf signers and hearing non-signers engaged in a categorization task of signs and non-linguistic human actions. We examine the time it takes to make such categorizations under conditions of 180-degree stimulus inversion and as a function of repetition priming, in an effort to understand whether the processing of sign language forms draws upon special processing mechanisms or makes use of mechanisms used in recognition of non-linguistic human actions. Our data show that deaf signers were much faster in the categorization of both linguistic and non-linguistic actions, and relative to hearing non-signers, show evidence that they were more sensitive to the configural properties of signs. Our study suggests that sign expertise may lead to modifications of a general-purpose human action recognition system rather than evoking a qualitatively different mode of processing, and supports the contention that signed languages make use of perceptual systems through which humans understand or parse human actions and gestures more generally. PMID:22153323

  14. Perceptual processing advantages for trauma-related visual cues in post-traumatic stress disorder.

    PubMed

    Kleim, B; Ehring, T; Ehlers, A

    2012-01-01

    Intrusive re-experiencing in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) comprises distressing sensory impressions from the trauma that seem to occur 'out of the blue'. A key question is how intrusions are triggered. One possibility is that PTSD is characterized by a processing advantage for stimuli that resemble those that accompanied the trauma, which would lead to increased detection of such cues in the environment. We used a blurred picture identification task in a cross-sectional (n=99) and a prospective study (n=221) of trauma survivors. Participants with acute stress disorder (ASD) or PTSD, but not trauma survivors without these disorders, identified trauma-related pictures, but not general threat pictures, better than neutral pictures. There were no group differences in the rate of trauma-related answers to other picture categories. The relative processing advantage for trauma-related pictures correlated with re-experiencing and dissociation, and predicted PTSD at follow-up. A perceptual processing bias for trauma-related stimuli may contribute to the involuntary triggering of intrusive trauma memories in PTSD.

  15. Processing capacity under perceptual and cognitive load: a closer look at load theory.

    PubMed

    Fitousi, Daniel; Wenger, Michael J

    2011-06-01

    Variations in perceptual and cognitive demands (load) play a major role in determining the efficiency of selective attention. According to load theory (Lavie, Hirst, Fockert, & Viding, 2004) these factors (a) improve or hamper selectivity by altering the way resources (e.g., processing capacity) are allocated, and (b) tap resources rather than data limitations (Norman & Bobrow, 1975). Here we provide an extensive and rigorous set of tests of these assumptions. Predictions regarding changes in processing capacity are tested using the hazard function of the response time (RT) distribution (Townsend & Ashby, 1978; Wenger & Gibson, 2004). The assumption that load taps resource rather than data limitations is examined using measures of sensitivity and bias drawn from signal detection theory (Swets, 1964). All analyses were performed at two levels: the individual and the aggregate. Hypotheses regarding changes in processing capacity were confirmed at the level of the aggregate. Hypotheses regarding resource and data limitations were not completely supported at either level of analysis. And in all of the analyses, we observed substantial individual differences. In sum, the results suggest a need to expand the theoretical vocabulary of load theory, rather than a need to discard it.

  16. Perceptual narrowing: retrospect and prospect.

    PubMed

    Flom, Ross

    2014-11-01

    Research is reviewed demonstrating perceptual narrowing across a variety of domains. Research is also reviewed showing that the temporal window of perceptual narrowing can be extended and, in some cases, perceptual narrowing can be reversed. Research is also reviewed highlighting the neurophysiological correlates of perceptual narrowing as well as some of the individual neurophysiological differences associated with perceptual narrowing. Various methodological issues associated with perceptual narrowing are also discussed. The broader purpose of this paper, however, is to argue that the term perceptual narrowing fails to capture the dynamic nature of this perceptual process. Finally, it is argued that just as other concepts associated with experience and development are refined and modified as new evidence emerges, likewise we need to evaluate and refine how we conceptualize perceptual narrowing.

  17. Fusiform Gyrus Dysfunction is Associated with Perceptual Processing Efficiency to Emotional Faces in Adolescent Depression: A Model-Based Approach

    PubMed Central

    Ho, Tiffany C.; Zhang, Shunan; Sacchet, Matthew D.; Weng, Helen; Connolly, Colm G.; Henje Blom, Eva; Han, Laura K. M.; Mobayed, Nisreen O.; Yang, Tony T.

    2016-01-01

    While the extant literature has focused on major depressive disorder (MDD) as being characterized by abnormalities in processing affective stimuli (e.g., facial expressions), little is known regarding which specific aspects of cognition influence the evaluation of affective stimuli, and what are the underlying neural correlates. To investigate these issues, we assessed 26 adolescents diagnosed with MDD and 37 well-matched healthy controls (HCL) who completed an emotion identification task of dynamically morphing faces during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). We analyzed the behavioral data using a sequential sampling model of response time (RT) commonly used to elucidate aspects of cognition in binary perceptual decision making tasks: the Linear Ballistic Accumulator (LBA) model. Using a hierarchical Bayesian estimation method, we obtained group-level and individual-level estimates of LBA parameters on the facial emotion identification task. While the MDD and HCL groups did not differ in mean RT, accuracy, or group-level estimates of perceptual processing efficiency (i.e., drift rate parameter of the LBA), the MDD group showed significantly reduced responses in left fusiform gyrus compared to the HCL group during the facial emotion identification task. Furthermore, within the MDD group, fMRI signal in the left fusiform gyrus during affective face processing was significantly associated with greater individual-level estimates of perceptual processing efficiency. Our results therefore suggest that affective processing biases in adolescents with MDD are characterized by greater perceptual processing efficiency of affective visual information in sensory brain regions responsible for the early processing of visual information. The theoretical, methodological, and clinical implications of our results are discussed. PMID:26869950

  18. Inversion Reveals Perceptual Asymmetries in the Configural Processing of Human Body.

    PubMed

    Marzoli, Daniele; Lucafò, Chiara; Padulo, Caterina; Prete, Giulia; Giacinto, Laura; Tommasi, Luca

    2017-01-01

    Ambiguous human bodies performing unimanual/unipedal actions are perceived more frequently as right-handed/footed rather than left-handed/footed, which suggests a perceptual and attentional bias toward the right side of others' body. A bias toward the right arm of human bodies could be adaptive in social life, most social interactions occurring with right-handed individuals, and the implicit knowledge that the dominant hand of humans is usually placed on their right side might also be included in body configural information. Given that inversion disrupts configural processing for human bodies, we investigated whether inversion reduces the bias toward the right side of human bodies. Consistent with our hypothesis, when presented with ambiguous stimuli depicting humans performing lateralized actions or movements, participants perceived a greater proportion of right-handed figures when the stimuli were shown upright than when the stimuli were shown inverted. The present findings seem to confirm our hypothesis that body configural information may include some form of knowledge about the probable handedness of other individuals, although alternative accounts involving the role of experience cannot be ruled out.

  19. Separate Perceptual and Neural Processing of Velocity- and Disparity-Based 3D Motion Signals.

    PubMed

    Joo, Sung Jun; Czuba, Thaddeus B; Cormack, Lawrence K; Huk, Alexander C

    2016-10-19

    Although the visual system uses both velocity- and disparity-based binocular information for computing 3D motion, it is unknown whether (and how) these two signals interact. We found that these two binocular signals are processed distinctly at the levels of both cortical activity in human MT and perception. In human MT, adaptation to both velocity-based and disparity-based 3D motions demonstrated direction-selective neuroimaging responses. However, when adaptation to one cue was probed using the other cue, there was no evidence of interaction between them (i.e., there was no "cross-cue" adaptation). Analogous psychophysical measurements yielded correspondingly weak cross-cue motion aftereffects (MAEs) in the face of very strong within-cue adaptation. In a direct test of perceptual independence, adapting to opposite 3D directions generated by different binocular cues resulted in simultaneous, superimposed, opposite-direction MAEs. These findings suggest that velocity- and disparity-based 3D motion signals may both flow through area MT but constitute distinct signals and pathways.

  20. Event-related brain potentials and cognitive processes related to perceptual-motor information transmission.

    PubMed

    Kopp, Bruno; Wessel, Karl

    2010-05-01

    In the present study, event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded to investigate cognitive processes related to the partial transmission of information from stimulus recognition to response preparation. Participants classified two-dimensional visual stimuli with dimensions size and form. One feature combination was designated as the go-target, whereas the other three feature combinations served as no-go distractors. Size discriminability was manipulated across three experimental conditions. N2c and P3a amplitudes were enhanced in response to those distractors that shared the feature from the faster dimension with the target. Moreover, N2c and P3a amplitudes showed a crossover effect: Size distractors evoked more pronounced ERPs under high size discriminability, but form distractors elicited enhanced ERPs under low size discriminability. These results suggest that partial perceptual-motor transmission of information is accompanied by acts of cognitive control and by shifts of attention between the sources of conflicting information. Selection negativity findings imply adaptive allocation of visual feature-based attention across the two stimulus dimensions.

  1. Perceptual processing of Mandarin nasals by L1 and L2 Mandarin speakers.

    PubMed

    Lai, Yi-Hsiu

    2012-08-01

    Nasals are cross-linguistically susceptible to change, especially in the syllable final position. Acoustic reports on Mandarin nasal production have recently shown that the syllable-final distinction is frequently dropped. Few studies, however, have addressed the issue of perceptual processing in Mandarin nasals for L1 and L2 speakers of Mandarin Chinese. The current paper addressed to what extent and in what directions L1 and L2 speakers of Mandarin differed in perceiving Mandarin nasals. Possible variables, including the linguistic backgrounds (i.e. L1 vs. L2 speakers of Mandarin Chinese), the vocalic contexts (i.e. [i, ə, a, y, ua, uə, ia]) and the phonetic settings (i.e. syllable-initial vs. syllable-final), were discussed. Asymmetrical findings in the current investigation indicated limitations of speech learning theories developed from European languages in the context of Mandarin nasals. A tri-dimensional model was thus suggested for interpreting the cognitive mechanism in Mandarin nasal perception.

  2. Perceptual face processing in developmental prosopagnosia is not sensitive to the canonical location of face parts.

    PubMed

    Towler, John; Parketny, Joanna; Eimer, Martin

    2016-01-01

    Individuals with developmental prosopagnosia (DP) are strongly impaired in recognizing faces, but it is controversial whether this deficit is linked to atypical visual-perceptual face processing mechanisms. Previous behavioural studies have suggested that face perception in DP might be less sensitive to the canonical spatial configuration of face parts in upright faces. To test this prediction, we recorded event-related brain potentials (ERPs) to intact upright faces and to faces with spatially scrambled parts (eyes, nose, and mouth) in a group of ten participants with DP and a group of ten age-matched control participants with normal face recognition abilities. The face-sensitive N170 component and the vertex positive potential (VPP) were both enhanced and delayed for scrambled as compared to intact faces in the control group. In contrast, N170 and VPP amplitude enhancements to scrambled faces were absent in the DP group. For control participants, the N170 to scrambled faces was also sensitive to feature locations, with larger and delayed N170 components contralateral to the side where all features appeared in a non-canonical position. No such differences were present in the DP group. These findings suggest that spatial templates of the prototypical feature locations within an upright face are selectively impaired in DP.

  3. Processing of Perceptual Information Is More Robust than Processing of Conceptual Information in Preschool-Age Children: Evidence from Costs of Switching

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fisher, Anna V.

    2011-01-01

    Is processing of conceptual information as robust as processing of perceptual information early in development? Existing empirical evidence is insufficient to answer this question. To examine this issue, 3- to 5-year-old children were presented with a flexible categorization task, in which target items (e.g., an open red umbrella) shared category…

  4. Processing of Perceptual Information Is More Robust than Processing of Conceptual Information in Preschool-Age Children: Evidence from Costs of Switching

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fisher, Anna V.

    2011-01-01

    Is processing of conceptual information as robust as processing of perceptual information early in development? Existing empirical evidence is insufficient to answer this question. To examine this issue, 3- to 5-year-old children were presented with a flexible categorization task, in which target items (e.g., an open red umbrella) shared category…

  5. Trait anxiety and perceptual load as determinants of emotion processing in a fear conditioning paradigm.

    PubMed

    Fox, Elaine; Yates, Alan; Ashwin, Chris

    2012-04-01

    The impact of trait anxiety and perceptual load on selective attention was examined in a fear conditioning paradigm. A fear-conditioned angry face (CS+), an unconditioned angry face (CS-), or an unconditioned face with a neutral or happy expression were used in distractor interference and attentional probe tasks. In Experiments 1 and 2, participants classified centrally presented letters under two conditions of perceptual load. When perceptual load was high, distractors had no effect on selective attention, even with aversive conditioning. However, when perceptual load was low, strong response interference effects for CS+ face distractors were found for low trait-anxious participants. Across both experiments, this enhanced distractor interference reversed to strong facilitation effects for those reporting high trait anxiety. Thus, high trait-anxious participants were faster, rather than slower, when ignoring CS+ distractors. Using an attentional probe task in Experiment 3, it was found that fear conditioning resulted in strong attentional avoidance in a high trait-anxious group, which contrasted with enhanced vigilance in a low trait-anxious group. These results demonstrate that the impact of fear conditioning on attention is modulated by individual variation in trait anxiety when perceptual load is low. Fear conditioning elicits an avoidance of threat-relevant stimuli in high trait-anxious participants.

  6. Perceptual Aspects of Motor Performance.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gallahue, David L.

    Perceptual-motor functioning is a cyclic process involving: (1) organizing incoming sensory stimuli with past or stored perceptual information; (2) making motor (internal) decisions based on the combination of sensory (present) and perceptual (past) information; (3) executing the actual movement (observable act) itself; and (4) evaluating the act…

  7. Effects of working memory contents and perceptual load on distractor processing: When a response-related distractor is held in working memory.

    PubMed

    Koshino, Hideya

    2017-01-01

    Working memory and attention are closely related. Recent research has shown that working memory can be viewed as internally directed attention. Working memory can affect attention in at least two ways. One is the effect of working memory load on attention, and the other is the effect of working memory contents on attention. In the present study, an interaction between working memory contents and perceptual load in distractor processing was investigated. Participants performed a perceptual load task in a standard form in one condition (Single task). In the other condition, a response-related distractor was maintained in working memory, rather than presented in the same stimulus display as a target (Dual task). For the Dual task condition, a significant compatibility effect was found under high perceptual load; however, there was no compatibility effect under low perceptual load. These results suggest that the way the contents of working memory affect visual search depends on perceptual load.

  8. "Hearing voices": auditory hallucinations as failure of top-down control of bottom-up perceptual processes.

    PubMed

    Hugdahl, Kenneth

    2009-12-01

    Auditory hallucination is a key characteristic of schizophrenia that seriously debilitates the patient, with consequences for social engagement with others. Hallucinatory experiences are also observed in healthy individuals in the general population who report "hearing voices" in the absence of an external acoustic input. A view on auditory hallucinations and "hearing voices" is presented that regards such phenomena as perceptual processes, originating from speech perception areas in the left temporal lobe. Healthy individuals "hearing voices" are, however, often aware that the experience comes from inner thought processes, which is not reported by hallucinating patients. A perceptual model can therefore, not alone explain the difference in the phenomenology of how the "voices heard" are attributed to either an inner or outer cause. An expanded model is thus presented which takes into account top-down cognitive control, localized to prefrontal cortical areas, to inhibit and re-attribute the perceptual mis-representations. The expanded model is suggested to be empirically validated using a dichotic listening speech perception paradigm with instructions for top-down control of attention focus to either the right or left side in auditory space. It is furthermore suggested to use fMRI to validate the temporal and frontal lobe neuronal correlates of the cognitive processes involved in auditory hallucinations.

  9. Dissociating the Neural Basis of Conceptual Self-Awareness from Perceptual Awareness and Unaware Self-Processing.

    PubMed

    Tacikowski, Pawel; Berger, Christopher C; Ehrsson, H Henrik

    2017-01-23

    Conceptual self-awareness is a mental state in which the content of one's consciousness refers to a particular aspect of semantic knowledge about oneself. This form of consciousness plays a crucial role in shaping human behavior; however, little is known about its neural basis. Here, we use functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and a visual masked priming paradigm to dissociate the neural responses related to the awareness of semantic autobiographical information (one's own name, surname, etc.) from the awareness of information related to any visual stimulus (perceptual awareness), as well as from the unaware processing of self-relevant stimuli. To detect brain activity that is highly selective for self-relevant information, we used the blood-oxygen-level-dependent (BOLD) adaptation approach, which goes beyond the spatial limitations of conventional fMRI. We found that self-awareness was associated with BOLD adaptation in the medial frontopolar-retrosplenial areas, whereas perceptual awareness and unaware self-processing were associated with BOLD adaptation in the lateral fronto-parietal areas and the inferior temporal cortex, respectively. Thus, using a direct manipulation of conscious awareness we demonstrate for the first time that the neural basis of conceptual self-awareness is neuroanatomically distinct from the network mediating perceptual awareness of the sensory environment or unaware processing of self-related stimuli.

  10. Being selective at the plate: processing dependence between perceptual variables relates to hitting goals and performance.

    PubMed

    Gray, Rob

    2013-08-01

    Performance of a skill that involves acting on a goal object (e.g., a ball to be hit) can influence one's judgment of the size and speed of that object. The present study examined how these action-specific effects are affected when the goal of the actor is varied and they are free to choose between alternative actions. In Experiment 1, expert baseball players were asked to perform three different directional hitting tasks in a batting simulation and make interleaved perceptual judgments about three ball parameters (speed, plate crossing location, and size). Perceived ball size was largest (and perceived speed was slowest) when the ball crossing location was optimal for the particular hitting task the batter was performing (e.g., an "outside" pitch for opposite-field hitting). The magnitude of processing dependency between variables (speed vs. location and size vs. location) was positively correlated with batting performance. In Experiment 2, the action-specific effects observed in Experiment 1 were mimicked by systematically changing the ball diameter in the simulation as a function of plate crossing location. The number of swing initiations was greater when ball size was larger, and batters were more successful in the hitting task for which the larger pitches were optimal (e.g., greater number of pull hits than opposite-field hits when "inside" pitches were larger). These findings suggest attentional accentuation of goal-relevant targets underlies action-related changes in perception and are consistent with an action selection role for these effects. 2013 APA, all rights reserved

  11. Theory and practice of perceptual video processing in broadcast encoders for cable, IPTV, satellite, and internet distribution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCarthy, S.

    2014-02-01

    This paper describes the theory and application of a perceptually-inspired video processing technology that was recently incorporated into professional video encoders now being used by major cable, IPTV, satellite, and internet video service providers. We will present data that show that this perceptual video processing (PVP) technology can improve video compression efficiency by up to 50% for MPEG-2, H.264, and High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC). The PVP technology described in this paper works by forming predicted eye-tracking attractor maps that indicate how likely it might be that a free viewing person would look at particular area of an image or video. We will introduce in this paper the novel model and supporting theory used to calculate the eye-tracking attractor maps. We will show how the underlying perceptual model was inspired by electrophysiological studies of the vertebrate retina, and will explain how the model incorporates statistical expectations about natural scenes as well as a novel method for predicting error in signal estimation tasks. Finally, we will describe how the eye-tracking attractor maps are created in real time and used to modify video prior to encoding so that it is more compressible but not noticeably different than the original unmodified video.

  12. Gestalt Processing in Autism: Failure to Process Perceptual Relationships and the Implications for Contextual Understanding

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brosnan, Mark J.; Scott, Fiona J.; Fox, Simone; Pye, Jackie

    2004-01-01

    Background: Deficits in autism have been characterised as a bias towards local over global processing. This paper examines whether there is a deficit in gestalt grouping in autism. Method: Twenty-five low-functioning children with autism and 25 controls who were matched for chronological age and verbal mental age took part in the study. Results:…

  13. Gestalt Processing in Autism: Failure to Process Perceptual Relationships and the Implications for Contextual Understanding

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brosnan, Mark J.; Scott, Fiona J.; Fox, Simone; Pye, Jackie

    2004-01-01

    Background: Deficits in autism have been characterised as a bias towards local over global processing. This paper examines whether there is a deficit in gestalt grouping in autism. Method: Twenty-five low-functioning children with autism and 25 controls who were matched for chronological age and verbal mental age took part in the study. Results:…

  14. A Profile of Children's Reading Abilities as Indexed in Five Perceptual Processing Experiments. Final Report.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thorson, Esther L.

    Six separate experiments were undertaken to test the hypothesis that poor readers in first, second, and third grade would have more difficulty with simple perceptual discriminations than would good readers in the same grades. Various tasks were used in the experiments, including discrimination of line orientations, checking letters in three-letter…

  15. Differential contribution of early visual areas to the perceptual process of contour processing.

    PubMed

    Schira, Mark M; Fahle, Manfred; Donner, Tobias H; Kraft, Antje; Brandt, Stephan A

    2004-04-01

    We investigated contour processing and figure-ground detection within human retinotopic areas using event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in 6 healthy and naïve subjects. A figure (6 degrees side length) was created by a 2nd-order texture contour. An independent and demanding foveal letter-discrimination task prevented subjects from noticing this more peripheral contour stimulus. The contour subdivided our stimulus into a figure and a ground. Using localizers and retinotopic mapping stimuli we were able to subdivide each early visual area into 3 eccentricity regions corresponding to 1) the central figure, 2) the area along the contour, and 3) the background. In these subregions we investigated the hemodynamic responses to our stimuli and compared responses with or without the contour defining the figure. No contour-related blood oxygenation level-dependent modulation in early visual areas V1, V3, VP, and MT+ was found. Significant signal modulation in the contour subregions of V2v, V2d, V3a, and LO occurred. This activation pattern was different from comparable studies, which might be attributable to the letter-discrimination task reducing confounding attentional modulation. In V3a, but not in any other retinotopic area, signal modulation corresponding to the central figure could be detected. Such contextual modulation will be discussed in light of the recurrent processing hypothesis and the role of visual awareness.

  16. Decoding successive computational stages of saliency processing.

    PubMed

    Bogler, Carsten; Bode, Stefan; Haynes, John-Dylan

    2011-10-11

    An important requirement for vision is to identify interesting and relevant regions of the environment for further processing. Some models assume that salient locations from a visual scene are encoded in a dedicated spatial saliency map [1, 2]. Then, a winner-take-all (WTA) mechanism [1, 2] is often believed to threshold the graded saliency representation and identify the most salient position in the visual field. Here we aimed to assess whether neural representations of graded saliency and the subsequent WTA mechanism can be dissociated. We presented images of natural scenes while subjects were in a scanner performing a demanding fixation task, and thus their attention was directed away. Signals in early visual cortex and posterior intraparietal sulcus (IPS) correlated with graded saliency as defined by a computational saliency model. Multivariate pattern classification [3, 4] revealed that the most salient position in the visual field was encoded in anterior IPS and frontal eye fields (FEF), thus reflecting a potential WTA stage. Our results thus confirm that graded saliency and WTA-thresholded saliency are encoded in distinct neural structures. This could provide the neural representation required for rapid and automatic orientation toward salient events in natural environments. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Repetition blindness has a perceptual locus: evidence from online processing of targets in RSVP streams

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnston, James C.; Hochhaus, Larry; Ruthruff, Eric

    2002-01-01

    Four experiments tested whether repetition blindness (RB; reduced accuracy reporting repetitions of briefly displayed items) is a perceptual or a memory-recall phenomenon. RB was measured in rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) streams, with the task altered to reduce memory demands. In Experiment 1 only the number of targets (1 vs. 2) was reported, eliminating the need to remember target identities. Experiment 2 segregated repeated and nonrepeated targets into separate blocks to reduce bias against repeated targets. Experiments 3 and 4 required immediate "online" buttonpress responses to targets as they occurred. All 4 experiments showed very strong RB. Furthermore, the online response data showed clearly that the 2nd of the repeated targets is the one missed. The present results show that in the RSVP paradigm, RB occurs online during initial stimulus encoding and decision making. The authors argue that RB is indeed a perceptual phenomenon.

  18. Social anxiety under load: the effects of perceptual load in processing emotional faces

    PubMed Central

    Soares, Sandra C.; Rocha, Marta; Neiva, Tiago; Rodrigues, Paulo; Silva, Carlos F.

    2015-01-01

    Previous studies in the social anxiety arena have shown an impaired attentional control system, similar to that found in trait anxiety. However, the effect of task demands on social anxiety in socially threatening stimuli, such as angry faces, remains unseen. In the present study, 54 university students scoring high and low in the Social Interaction and Performance Anxiety and Avoidance Scale (SIPAAS) questionnaire, participated in a target letter discrimination task while task-irrelevant face stimuli (angry, disgust, happy, and neutral) were simultaneously presented. The results showed that high (compared to low) socially anxious individuals were more prone to distraction by task-irrelevant stimuli, particularly under high perceptual load conditions. More importantly, for such individuals, the accuracy proportions for angry faces significantly differed between the low and high perceptual load conditions, which is discussed in light of current evolutionary models of social anxiety. PMID:25954232

  19. Social anxiety under load: the effects of perceptual load in processing emotional faces.

    PubMed

    Soares, Sandra C; Rocha, Marta; Neiva, Tiago; Rodrigues, Paulo; Silva, Carlos F

    2015-01-01

    Previous studies in the social anxiety arena have shown an impaired attentional control system, similar to that found in trait anxiety. However, the effect of task demands on social anxiety in socially threatening stimuli, such as angry faces, remains unseen. In the present study, 54 university students scoring high and low in the Social Interaction and Performance Anxiety and Avoidance Scale (SIPAAS) questionnaire, participated in a target letter discrimination task while task-irrelevant face stimuli (angry, disgust, happy, and neutral) were simultaneously presented. The results showed that high (compared to low) socially anxious individuals were more prone to distraction by task-irrelevant stimuli, particularly under high perceptual load conditions. More importantly, for such individuals, the accuracy proportions for angry faces significantly differed between the low and high perceptual load conditions, which is discussed in light of current evolutionary models of social anxiety.

  20. Slow perceptual processing at the core of developmental dyslexia: a parameter-based assessment of visual attention.

    PubMed

    Stenneken, Prisca; Egetemeir, Johanna; Schulte-Körne, Gerd; Müller, Hermann J; Schneider, Werner X; Finke, Kathrin

    2011-10-01

    The cognitive causes as well as the neurological and genetic basis of developmental dyslexia, a complex disorder of written language acquisition, are intensely discussed with regard to multiple-deficit models. Accumulating evidence has revealed dyslexics' impairments in a variety of tasks requiring visual attention. The heterogeneity of these experimental results, however, points to the need for measures that are sufficiently sensitive to differentiate between impaired and preserved attentional components within a unified framework. This first parameter-based group study of attentional components in developmental dyslexia addresses potentially altered attentional components that have recently been associated with parietal dysfunctions in dyslexia. We aimed to isolate the general attentional resources that might underlie reduced span performance, i.e., either a deficient working memory storage capacity, or a slowing in visual perceptual processing speed, or both. Furthermore, by analysing attentional selectivity in dyslexia, we addressed a potential lateralized abnormality of visual attention, i.e., a previously suggested rightward spatial deviation compared to normal readers. We investigated a group of high-achieving young adults with persisting dyslexia and matched normal readers in an experimental whole report and a partial report of briefly presented letter arrays. Possible deviations in the parametric values of the dyslexic compared to the control group were taken as markers for the underlying deficit. The dyslexic group showed a striking reduction in perceptual processing speed (by 26% compared to controls) while their working memory storage capacity was in the normal range. In addition, a spatial deviation of attentional weighting compared to the control group was confirmed in dyslexic readers, which was larger in participants with a more severe dyslexic disorder. In general, the present study supports the relevance of perceptual processing speed in disorders

  1. Early Experience & Multisensory Perceptual Narrowing

    PubMed Central

    Lewkowicz, David J.

    2014-01-01

    Perceptual narrowing is a reflection of early experience and contributes in key ways to perceptual and cognitive development. In general, findings have shown that unisensory perceptual sensitivity in early infancy is broadly tuned such that young infants respond to, and discriminate, native as well as non-native sensory inputs, whereas older infants only respond to native inputs. Recently, my colleagues and I discovered that perceptual narrowing occurs at the multisensory processing level as well. The present article reviews this new evidence and puts it in the larger context of multisensory perceptual development and the role that perceptual experience plays in it. Together, the evidence on unisensory and multisensory narrowing shows that early experience shapes the emergence of perceptual specialization and expertise. PMID:24435505

  2. Chromatic Perceptual Learning but No Category Effects without Linguistic Input

    PubMed Central

    Grandison, Alexandra; Sowden, Paul T.; Drivonikou, Vicky G.; Notman, Leslie A.; Alexander, Iona; Davies, Ian R. L.

    2016-01-01

    Perceptual learning involves an improvement in perceptual judgment with practice, which is often specific to stimulus or task factors. Perceptual learning has been shown on a range of visual tasks but very little research has explored chromatic perceptual learning. Here, we use two low level perceptual threshold tasks and a supra-threshold target detection task to assess chromatic perceptual learning and category effects. Experiment 1 investigates whether chromatic thresholds reduce as a result of training and at what level of analysis learning effects occur. Experiment 2 explores the effect of category training on chromatic thresholds, whether training of this nature is category specific and whether it can induce categorical responding. Experiment 3 investigates the effect of category training on a higher level, lateralized target detection task, previously found to be sensitive to category effects. The findings indicate that performance on a perceptual threshold task improves following training but improvements do not transfer across retinal location or hue. Therefore, chromatic perceptual learning is category specific and can occur at relatively early stages of visual analysis. Additionally, category training does not induce category effects on a low level perceptual threshold task, as indicated by comparable discrimination thresholds at the newly learned hue boundary and adjacent test points. However, category training does induce emerging category effects on a supra-threshold target detection task. Whilst chromatic perceptual learning is possible, learnt category effects appear to be a product of left hemisphere processing, and may require the input of higher level linguistic coding processes in order to manifest. PMID:27252669

  3. ‘If you are good, I get better’: the role of social hierarchy in perceptual decision-making

    PubMed Central

    Pannunzi, Mario; Ayneto, Alba; Deco, Gustavo; Sebastián-Gallés, Nuria

    2014-01-01

    So far, it was unclear if social hierarchy could influence sensory or perceptual cognitive processes. We evaluated the effects of social hierarchy on these processes using a basic visual perceptual decision task. We constructed a social hierarchy where participants performed the perceptual task separately with two covertly simulated players (superior, inferior). Participants were faster (better) when performing the discrimination task with the superior player. We studied the time course when social hierarchy was processed using event-related potentials and observed hierarchical effects even in early stages of sensory-perceptual processing, suggesting early top–down modulation by social hierarchy. Moreover, in a parallel analysis, we fitted a drift-diffusion model (DDM) to the results to evaluate the decision making process of this perceptual task in the context of a social hierarchy. Consistently, the DDM pointed to nondecision time (probably perceptual encoding) as the principal period influenced by social hierarchy. PMID:23946003

  4. The process of processing: exploring the validity of Neisser's perceptual cycle model with accounts from critical decision-making in the cockpit.

    PubMed

    Plant, Katherine L; Stanton, Neville A

    2015-01-01

    The perceptual cycle model (PCM) has been widely applied in ergonomics research in domains including road, rail and aviation. The PCM assumes that information processing occurs in a cyclical manner drawing on top-down and bottom-up influences to produce perceptual exploration and actions. However, the validity of the model has not been addressed. This paper explores the construct validity of the PCM in the context of aeronautical decision-making. The critical decision method was used to interview 20 helicopter pilots about critical decision-making. The data were qualitatively analysed using an established coding scheme, and composite PCMs for incident phases were constructed. It was found that the PCM provided a mutually exclusive and exhaustive classification of the information-processing cycles for dealing with critical incidents. However, a counter-cycle was also discovered which has been attributed to skill-based behaviour, characteristic of experts. The practical applications and future research questions are discussed. Practitioner Summary: This paper explores whether information processing, when dealing with critical incidents, occurs in the manner anticipated by the perceptual cycle model. In addition to the traditional processing cycle, a reciprocal counter-cycle was found. This research can be utilised by those who use the model as an accident analysis framework.

  5. Multivoxel neurofeedback selectively modulates confidence without changing perceptual performance

    PubMed Central

    Cortese, Aurelio; Amano, Kaoru; Koizumi, Ai; Kawato, Mitsuo; Lau, Hakwan

    2016-01-01

    A central controversy in metacognition studies concerns whether subjective confidence directly reflects the reliability of perceptual or cognitive processes, as suggested by normative models based on the assumption that neural computations are generally optimal. This view enjoys popularity in the computational and animal literatures, but it has also been suggested that confidence may depend on a late-stage estimation dissociable from perceptual processes. Yet, at least in humans, experimental tools have lacked the power to resolve these issues convincingly. Here, we overcome this difficulty by using the recently developed method of decoded neurofeedback (DecNef) to systematically manipulate multivoxel correlates of confidence in a frontoparietal network. Here we report that bi-directional changes in confidence do not affect perceptual accuracy. Further psychophysical analyses rule out accounts based on simple shifts in reporting strategy. Our results provide clear neuroscientific evidence for the systematic dissociation between confidence and perceptual performance, and thereby challenge current theoretical thinking. PMID:27976739

  6. Musical training modulates the early but not the late stage of rhythmic syntactic processing.

    PubMed

    Sun, Lijun; Liu, Fang; Zhou, Linshu; Jiang, Cunmei

    2017-08-23

    Syntactic processing is essential for musical understanding. Although the processing of harmonic syntax has been well studied, very little is known about the neural mechanisms underlying rhythmic syntactic processing. The present study investigated the neural processing of rhythmic syntax and whether and to what extent long-term musical training impacts such processing. Fourteen musicians and 14 nonmusicians listened to syntactic-regular or syntactic-irregular rhythmic sequences and judged the completeness of these sequences. Nonmusicians, as well as musicians, showed a P600 effect to syntactic-irregular endings, indicating that musical exposure and perceptual learning of music are sufficient to enable nonmusicians to process rhythmic syntax at the late stage. However, musicians, but not nonmusicians, also exhibited an early right anterior negativity (ERAN) response to syntactic-irregular endings, which suggests that musical training only modulates the early but not the late stage of rhythmic syntactic processing. These findings revealed for the first time the neural mechanisms underlying the processing of rhythmic syntax in music, which has important implications for theories of hierarchically organized music cognition and comparative studies of syntactic processing in music and language. © 2017 Society for Psychophysiological Research.

  7. Attention enhances apparent perceptual organization.

    PubMed

    Barbot, Antoine; Liu, Sirui; Kimchi, Ruth; Carrasco, Marisa

    2017-08-28

    Perceptual organization and selective attention are two crucial processes that influence how we perceive visual information. The former structures complex visual inputs into coherent units, whereas the later selects relevant information. Attention and perceptual organization can modulate each other, affecting visual processing and performance in various tasks and conditions. Here, we tested whether attention can alter the way multiple elements appear to be perceptually organized. We manipulated covert spatial attention using a rapid serial visual presentation task, and measured perceptual organization of two multielements arrays organized by luminance similarity as rows or columns, at both the attended and unattended locations. We found that the apparent perceptual organization of the multielement arrays is intensified when attended and attenuated when unattended. We ruled out response bias as an alternative explanation. These findings reveal that attention enhances the appearance of perceptual organization, a midlevel vision process, altering the way we perceive our visual environment.

  8. Action-Specific Influences on Perception and Post-Perceptual Processes: Present Controversies and Future Directions

    PubMed Central

    Philbeck, John W.; Witt, Jessica K.

    2015-01-01

    The action-specific perception account holds that people perceive the environment in terms of their ability to act in it. In this view, for example, decreased ability to climb a hill due to fatigue makes the hill visually appear to be steeper. Though influential, this account has not been universally accepted, and in fact a heated controversy has emerged. The opposing view holds that action capability has little or no influence on perception. Heretofore, the debate has been quite polarized, with efforts largely being focused on supporting one view and dismantling the other. We argue here that polarized debate can impede scientific progress and that the search for similarities between two sides of a debate can sharpen the theoretical focus of both sides and illuminate important avenues for future research. In this paper, we present a synthetic review of this debate, drawing from the literatures of both approaches, to clarify both the surprising similarities and the core differences between them. We critically evaluate existing evidence, discuss possible mechanisms of action-specific effects, and make recommendations for future research. A primary focus of future work will involve not only the development of methods that guard against action-specific post-perceptual effects, but also development of concrete, well-constrained underlying mechanisms. The criteria for what constitutes acceptable control of post-perceptual effects and what constitutes an appropriately specific mechanism vary between approaches, and bridging this gap is a central challenge for future research. PMID:26501227

  9. Perceptual organization and visual attention.

    PubMed

    Kimchi, Ruth

    2009-01-01

    Perceptual organization--the processes structuring visual information into coherent units--and visual attention--the processes by which some visual information in a scene is selected--are crucial for the perception of our visual environment and to visuomotor behavior. Recent research points to important relations between attentional and organizational processes. Several studies demonstrated that perceptual organization constrains attentional selectivity, and other studies suggest that attention can also constrain perceptual organization. In this chapter I focus on two aspects of the relationship between perceptual organization and attention. The first addresses the question of whether or not perceptual organization can take place without attention. I present findings demonstrating that some forms of grouping and figure-ground segmentation can occur without attention, whereas others require controlled attentional processing, depending on the processes involved and the conditions prevailing for each process. These findings challenge the traditional view, which assumes that perceptual organization is a unitary entity that operates preattentively. The second issue addresses the question of whether perceptual organization can affect the automatic deployment of attention. I present findings showing that the mere organization of some elements in the visual field by Gestalt factors into a coherent perceptual unit (an "object"), with no abrupt onset or any other unique transient, can capture attention automatically in a stimulus-driven manner. Taken together, the findings discussed in this chapter demonstrate the multifaceted, interactive relations between perceptual organization and visual attention.

  10. Emotion recognition in children with profound and severe deafness: do they have a deficit in perceptual processing?

    PubMed

    Ludlow, Amanda; Heaton, Pam; Rosset, Delphine; Hills, Peter; Deruelle, Christine

    2010-11-01

    Findings from several studies have suggested that deaf children have difficulties with emotion identification and that these may impact upon social skills. The authors of these studies have typically attributed such problems to delayed language acquisition and/or opportunity to converse about personal experiences with other people (Peterson & Siegal, 1995, 1998). The current study aimed to investigate emotion identification in children with varying levels of deafness by specifically testing their ability to recognize perceptual aspects of emotions depicted in upright or inverted human and cartoon faces. The findings from the study showed that, in comparison with both chronological- and mental-age-matched controls, the deaf children were significantly worse at identifying emotions. However, like controls, their performance decreased when emotions were presented on the inverted faces, thus indexing a typical configural processing style. No differences were found across individuals with different levels of deafness or in those with and without signing family members. The results are supportive of poor emotional identification in hearing-impaired children and are discussed in relation to delays in language acquisition and intergroup differences in perceptual processing.

  11. The shifting appearance/disappearance of holographic images and the dynamic ontology of perceptual and cognitive processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boissonnet, Philippe

    2013-02-01

    The French philosopher M Merleau-Ponty captured the dynamic of perception with his idea of the intertwining of perceiver and perceived. Light is what links them. In the case of holographic images, not only is spatial and colour perception the pure product of light, but this light information is always in the process of self-construction with our eyes, according to our movements and the point of view adopted. According to the aesthetic reception of a work of art, Holographic images vary greatly from those of cinema, photography and even every kind of digital 3D animation. This particular image's status truly makes perceptually apparent the "co-emergence" of light and our gaze. But holography never misleads us with respect to the precarious nature of our perceptions. We have no illusion as to the limits of our empirical understanding of the perceived reality. Holography, like our knowledge of the visible, thus brings to light the phenomenon of reality's "co-constitution" and contributes to a dynamic ontology of perceptual and cognitive processes. The cognitivist Francico Varela defines this as the paradigm of enaction,i which I will adapt and apply to the appearance/disappearance context of holographic images to bring out their affinities on a metaphorical level.

  12. Perceptual convexity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kupeev, Konstantin Y.; Wolfson, Haim J.

    1995-08-01

    Often objects which are not convex in the mathematical sense are treated as `perceptually convex'. We present an algorithm for recognition of the perceptual convexity of a 2D contour. We start by reducing the notion of `a contour is perceptually convex' to the notion of `a contour is Y-convex'. The latter reflects an absence of large concavities in the OY direction of an XOY frame. Then we represented a contour by a G-graph and modify the slowest descent-- the small leaf trimming procedure recently introduced for the estimation of shape similarity. We prove that executing the slowest descent dow to a G-graph consisting of 3 vertices allows us to detect large concavities in the OY direction. This allows us to recognize the perceptual convexity of an input contour.

  13. Semantic and perceptual processing of number symbols: evidence from a cross-linguistic fMRI adaptation study.

    PubMed

    Holloway, Ian D; Battista, Christian; Vogel, Stephan E; Ansari, Daniel

    2013-03-01

    The ability to process the numerical magnitude of sets of items has been characterized in many animal species. Neuroimaging data have associated this ability to represent nonsymbolic numerical magnitudes (e.g., arrays of dots) with activity in the bilateral parietal lobes. Yet the quantitative abilities of humans are not limited to processing the numerical magnitude of nonsymbolic sets. Humans have used this quantitative sense as the foundation for symbolic systems for the representation of numerical magnitude. Although numerical symbol use is widespread in human cultures, the brain regions involved in processing of numerical symbols are just beginning to be understood. Here, we investigated the brain regions underlying the semantic and perceptual processing of numerical symbols. Specifically, we used an fMRI adaptation paradigm to examine the neural response to Hindu-Arabic numerals and Chinese numerical ideographs in a group of Chinese readers who could read both symbol types and a control group who could read only the numerals. Across groups, the Hindu-Arabic numerals exhibited ratio-dependent modulation in the left IPS. In contrast, numerical ideographs were associated with activation in the right IPS, exclusively in the Chinese readers. Furthermore, processing of the visual similarity of both digits and ideographs was associated with activation of the left fusiform gyrus. Using culture as an independent variable, we provide clear evidence for differences in the brain regions associated with the semantic and perceptual processing of numerical symbols. Additionally, we reveal a striking difference in the laterality of parietal activation between the semantic processing of the two symbols types.

  14. Associating Neural Alterations and Genotype in Autism and Fragile X Syndrome: Incorporating Perceptual Phenotypes in Causal Modeling

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bertone, Armando; Hanck, Julie; Kogan, Cary; Chaudhuri, Avi; Cornish, Kim

    2010-01-01

    We have previously described (see companion paper, this issue) the utility of using perceptual signatures for defining and dissociating condition-specific neural functioning underlying early visual processes in autism and FXS. These perceptually-driven hypotheses are based on differential performance evidenced only at the earliest stages of visual…

  15. Perceptual and Decisional Contributions to Audiovisual Interactions in the Perception of Apparent Motion: A Signal Detection Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sanabria, Daniel; Spence, Charles; Soto-Faraco, Salvador

    2007-01-01

    Motion information available to different sensory modalities can interact at both perceptual and post-perceptual (i.e., decisional) stages of processing. However, to date, researchers have only been able to demonstrate the influence of one of these components at any given time, hence the relationship between them remains uncertain. We addressed…

  16. Associating Neural Alterations and Genotype in Autism and Fragile X Syndrome: Incorporating Perceptual Phenotypes in Causal Modeling

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bertone, Armando; Hanck, Julie; Kogan, Cary; Chaudhuri, Avi; Cornish, Kim

    2010-01-01

    We have previously described (see companion paper, this issue) the utility of using perceptual signatures for defining and dissociating condition-specific neural functioning underlying early visual processes in autism and FXS. These perceptually-driven hypotheses are based on differential performance evidenced only at the earliest stages of visual…

  17. Causal evidence for frontal cortex organization for perceptual decision making.

    PubMed

    Rahnev, Dobromir; Nee, Derek Evan; Riddle, Justin; Larson, Alina Sue; D'Esposito, Mark

    2016-05-24

    Although recent research has shown that the frontal cortex has a critical role in perceptual decision making, an overarching theory of frontal functional organization for perception has yet to emerge. Perceptual decision making is temporally organized such that it requires the processes of selection, criterion setting, and evaluation. We hypothesized that exploring this temporal structure would reveal a large-scale frontal organization for perception. A causal intervention with transcranial magnetic stimulation revealed clear specialization along the rostrocaudal axis such that the control of successive stages of perceptual decision making was selectively affected by perturbation of successively rostral areas. Simulations with a dynamic model of decision making suggested distinct computational contributions of each region. Finally, the emergent frontal gradient was further corroborated by functional MRI. These causal results provide an organizational principle for the role of frontal cortex in the control of perceptual decision making and suggest specific mechanistic contributions for its different subregions.

  18. Causal evidence for frontal cortex organization for perceptual decision making

    PubMed Central

    Nee, Derek Evan; Riddle, Justin; Larson, Alina Sue; D’Esposito, Mark

    2016-01-01

    Although recent research has shown that the frontal cortex has a critical role in perceptual decision making, an overarching theory of frontal functional organization for perception has yet to emerge. Perceptual decision making is temporally organized such that it requires the processes of selection, criterion setting, and evaluation. We hypothesized that exploring this temporal structure would reveal a large-scale frontal organization for perception. A causal intervention with transcranial magnetic stimulation revealed clear specialization along the rostrocaudal axis such that the control of successive stages of perceptual decision making was selectively affected by perturbation of successively rostral areas. Simulations with a dynamic model of decision making suggested distinct computational contributions of each region. Finally, the emergent frontal gradient was further corroborated by functional MRI. These causal results provide an organizational principle for the role of frontal cortex in the control of perceptual decision making and suggest specific mechanistic contributions for its different subregions. PMID:27162349

  19. Process for coal liquefaction in staged dissolvers

    DOEpatents

    Roberts, George W.; Givens, Edwin N.; Skinner, Ronald W.

    1983-01-01

    There is described an improved liquefaction process by which coal is converted to a low ash and low sulfur carbonaceous material that can be used as a fuel in an environmentally acceptable manner without costly gas scrubbing equipment. In the process, coal is slurried with a pasting oil, passed through a preheater and at least two dissolvers in series in the presence of hydrogen-rich gases at elevated temperatures and pressures. Solids, including mineral ash and unconverted coal macerals, are separated from the condensed reactor effluent. In accordance with the improved process, the first dissolver is operated at a higher temperature than the second dissolver. This temperature sequence produces improved product selectivity and permits the incorporation of sufficient hydrogen in the solvent for adequate recycle operations.

  20. Effects of extensive dual-task practice on processing stages in simultaneous choice tasks.

    PubMed

    Strobach, Tilo; Liepelt, Roman; Pashler, Harold; Frensch, Peter A; Schubert, Torsten

    2013-07-01

    Schumacher et al. Psychological Science 12:101-108, (2001) demonstrated the elimination of most dual-task costs ("perfect time-sharing") after extensive dual-task practice of a visual and an auditory task in combination. For the present research, we used a transfer methodology to examine this practice effect in more detail, asking what task-processing stages were sped up by this dual-task practice. Such research will be essential to specify mechanisms associated with the practice-related elimination of dual-task costs. In three experiments, we introduced postpractice transfer probes focusing on the perception, central response-selection, and final motor-response stages. The results indicated that the major change achieved by dual-task practice was a speed-up in the central response-selection stages of both tasks. Additionally, perceptual-stage shortening of the auditory task was found to contribute to the improvements in time-sharing. For a better understanding of such time-sharing, we discuss the contributions of the present findings in relation to models of practiced dual-task performance.

  1. Neuronal and perceptual differences in the temporal processing of darks and lights.

    PubMed

    Komban, Stanley Jose; Kremkow, Jens; Jin, Jianzhong; Wang, Yushi; Lashgari, Reza; Li, Xiaobing; Zaidi, Qasim; Alonso, Jose-Manuel

    2014-04-02

    Visual information is mediated by two major thalamic pathways that signal light decrements (OFF) and increments (ON) in visual scenes, the OFF pathway being faster than the ON. Here, we demonstrate that this OFF temporal advantage is transferred to visual cortex and has a correlate in human perception. OFF-dominated cortical neurons in cats responded ∼3 ms faster to visual stimuli than ON-dominated cortical neurons, and dark-mediated suppression in ON-dominated neurons peaked ∼14 ms faster than light-mediated suppression in OFF-dominated neurons. Consistent with the neuronal differences, human observers were 6-14 ms faster at detecting darks than lights and better at discriminating dark than light flickers. Neuronal and perceptual differences both vanished if backgrounds were biased toward darks. Our results suggest that the cortical OFF pathway is faster than the ON pathway at increasing and suppressing visual responses, and these differences have parallels in the human visual perception of lights and darks. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Conflict-Induced Perceptual Filtering

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wendt, Mike; Luna-Rodriguez, Aquiles; Jacobsen, Thomas

    2012-01-01

    In a variety of conflict paradigms, target and distractor stimuli are defined in terms of perceptual features. Interference evoked by distractor stimuli tends to be reduced when the ratio of congruent to incongruent trials is decreased, suggesting conflict-induced perceptual filtering (i.e., adjusting the processing weights assigned to stimuli…

  3. Perceptual Load Alters Visual Excitability

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carmel, David; Thorne, Jeremy D.; Rees, Geraint; Lavie, Nilli

    2011-01-01

    Increasing perceptual load reduces the processing of visual stimuli outside the focus of attention, but the mechanism underlying these effects remains unclear. Here we tested an account attributing the effects of perceptual load to modulations of visual cortex excitability. In contrast to stimulus competition accounts, which propose that load…

  4. Conflict-Induced Perceptual Filtering

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wendt, Mike; Luna-Rodriguez, Aquiles; Jacobsen, Thomas

    2012-01-01

    In a variety of conflict paradigms, target and distractor stimuli are defined in terms of perceptual features. Interference evoked by distractor stimuli tends to be reduced when the ratio of congruent to incongruent trials is decreased, suggesting conflict-induced perceptual filtering (i.e., adjusting the processing weights assigned to stimuli…

  5. Perceptual basis for reactive teleoperation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Park, Young S.; Ewing, Thomas F.; Boyle, James M.; Yule, Thomas J.

    2001-10-01

    To improve task performance in partially structured environments, enhancements to teleoperation have been proposed by introducing autonomous behaviors. Such autonomy is implemented based on a reactive robotic architecture, where reactive motor agents that directly couple sensory inputs and motor actions become the building blocks. To this end, a perceptual basis for the motor agents is presented in this paper. The perceptual basis consists of perceptual agents that extract environmental information from a structured light vision system and provide action-oriented perception for the corresponding motor agents. Rather than performing general scene reconstruction, a perceptual agent directly provides the motion reference for the motor behavior. Various sensory mechanisms - sensor fission, fusion, and fashion - become basic building blocks of the perception process. Since perception is a process deeply intertwined with the motor actions, active perception may also incorporate motor behaviors as an integral perceptual process.

  6. Perceptual basis for reactive teleoperation.

    SciTech Connect

    Park, Y. S.; Ewing, T. F.; Boyle, J. M.; Yule, T. J.

    2001-08-28

    To enhance task performance in partially structured environment, enhancement of teleoperation was proposed by introducing autonomous behaviors. Such autonomy is implemented based on reactive robotic architecture, where reactive motor agents that directly couples sensory inputs and motor actions become the building blocks. To this end, presented in this paper is a perceptual basis for the motor agents. The perceptual basis consists of perceptual agents that extracts environmental information from a structured light vision system and provide action oriented perception for the corresponding motor agents. Rather than performing general scene reconstruction, a perceptual agent directly provides the motion reference for the motor behavior. Various sensory mechanisms--sensor fission, fusion, and fashion--becomes basic building blocks of the perception process. Since perception is a process deeply intertwined with the motor actions, active perception may also incorporate motor behaviors as an integral perceptual process.

  7. Vertical perceptual span and the processing of visual signals in reading.

    PubMed

    Cauchard, Fabrice; Eyrolle, Hélène; Cellier, Jean-Marie; Hyönä, Jukka

    2010-02-01

    A previous study by Pollatsek et al. ( 1993 ) claims that the perceptual span in reading is restricted to the fixated line, i.e. readers typically focus their visual attention on the line of text being read. The present study investigated whether readers make use of content structure signals (paragraph indentations and topic headings) present several lines away from the currently fixated line. We reasoned that as these signals are low-resolution visual objects (as opposed to letter and word identity), readers may attend to them even if they are located some distance away from the fixated line. Participants read a hierarchically organized multi-topic expository text containing structure signals in either a normal condition or a window condition, where the text disappeared above and below a vertical 3° gaze-contingent region. After reading, participants were asked to produce a written recall of the text. The results showed that the overall reading rate was not affected by the window. Nevertheless, the headings were reread more in the normal condition than in the window one. In addition, more topics were recalled in the normal than in the window condition. We interpret the results as indicating that the readers visually attend to useful text layout features while considering bigger units than single text lines. The perception of topic headings located away from the fixated line may favour long-range regressions towards them, which in turn may favour text comprehension. This claim is consistent with previous studies that showed that look-back fixations to headings are performed with an integrative intent.

  8. The Role of Bottom-Up Processing in Perceptual Categorization by 3- to 4-Month-Old Infants: Simulations and Data

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    French, Robert M.; Mareschal, Denis; Mermillod, Martial; Quinn, Paul C.

    2004-01-01

    Disentangling bottom-up and top-down processing in adult category learning is notoriously difficult. Studying category learning in infancy provides a simple way of exploring category learning while minimizing the contribution of top-down information. Three- to 4-month-old infants presented with cat or dog images will form a perceptual category…

  9. The perceptual reality of synesthetic colors

    PubMed Central

    Palmeri, Thomas J.; Blake, Randolph; Marois, René; Flanery, Marci A.; Whetsell, William

    2002-01-01

    Synesthesia is a remarkable, rare condition where an individual has multimodal perceptual experiences from a unimodal sensory event. We have studied such an individual, an adult male for whom achromatic words and alphanumeric characters are seen in vivid, reliable colors. We used a variety of perceptual tasks to document the perceptual reality of synesthetic colors and to begin to localize the stage of visual processing where this anomalous binding of externally specified form and internally generated color may take place. Synesthetic colors were elicited by forms defined solely by binocular cues or solely by motion cues, which implies a central locus of visual processing for synesthetic binding of form and color. Also included among our measurements was a difficult visual search task on which non-synesthetic subjects required an effortful search through the visual display. Our subject, in contrast to non-synesthetic subjects, accomplished the task with relative ease because the target of the search had a different synesthetic color from the distractors. Thus, synesthetic experiences appear to originate from a binding of color and form that takes place within central stages of visual processing. PMID:11904456

  10. Virtually-induced threat in Parkinson's: Dopaminergic interactions between anxiety and sensory-perceptual processing while walking.

    PubMed

    Ehgoetz Martens, Kaylena A; Ellard, Colin G; Almeida, Quincy J

    2015-12-01

    Research evidence has suggested that anxiety influences gait in PD, with an identified dopa-sensitive gait response in highly anxious PD. It has been well-established that accurate perception of the environment and sensory feedback is essential for gait. Arguably since sensory and perceptual deficits have been noted in PD, anxiety has the potential to exacerbate movement impairments, since one might expect that reducing resources needed to overcome or compensate for sensory-perceptual deficits may lead to even more severe gait impairments. It is possible that anxiety in threatening situations might consume more processing resources, limiting the ability to process information about the environment or one's own movement (sensory feedback) especially in highly anxious PD. Therefore, the current study aimed to (i) evaluate whether processing of threat-related aspects of the environment was influenced by anxiety, (ii) evaluate whether anxiety influences the ability to utilize sensory feedback in PD while walking in threatening situations, and (iii) further understand the role of dopaminergic medication on these processes in threatening situations in PD. Forty-eight participants (24 HC; 12 Low Anxious [LA-PD], 12 Highly Anxious [HA-PD]) completed 20 walking trials in virtual reality across a plank that was (i) located on the ground (GROUND) (ii) located above a deep pit (ELEVATED); while provided with or without visual feedback about their lower limbs (+VF; -VF). After walking across the plank, participants were asked to judge the width of the plank they had just walked across. The plank varied in size from 60-100 cm. Both ON and OFF dopaminergic medication states were evaluated in PD. Gait parameters, judgment error and self-reported anxiety levels were measured. Results showed that HA-PD reported greater levels of anxiety overall (p<0.001) compared to HC and LA-PD, and all participants reported greater anxiety during the ELEVATED condition compared to GROUND (p=0

  11. Impaired perceptual processing and conceptual cognition in patients with anxiety disorders: a pilot study with the binocular depth inversion paradigm.

    PubMed

    Passie, Torsten; Schneider, Udo; Borsutzky, Mathias; Breyer, Roger; Emrich, Hinderk M; Bandelow, Borwin; Schmid-Ott, Gerhard

    2013-01-01

    The binocular depth inversion test (BDIT) measures a common illusion of visual perception whereby implausible objects are seen as normal, e.g., a hollow face is perceived as a normal, convex face. Such inversion is frequent, especially for objects with a high degree of familiarity. Under normal conditions, cognitive factors apparently override the binocular disparity cues of stereopsis. This internal mechanism of "censorship" of perception, which balances "top-down" and "bottom-up" processes of perception to come to a cognitive coherence, which is congruent to previous experience and concepts, appears to be disturbed in (pro-)psychotic states. The BDIT has been shown to be a sensitive measure of impaired higher visual processing and conceptual cognition common to conditions including schizophrenia, cannabinoid-intoxication, and sleep deprivation but not depression. In this pilot study, we tested the performance of patients with anxiety disorders (ICD-10 F40 and F41) compared to matched controls using the BDIT paradigm. Anxiety patients scored significantly higher on the BDIT than controls, in a range comparable to propsychotic conditions. The findings suggest that anxiety patients could have abnormalities in central perceptual processing, top-down processing (conceptual cognition), and reality testing similar to (pro-)psychotic conditions. Implications of these findings are discussed in relation to therapeutic interventions with anxiety disorders.

  12. POLLUTION PREVENTION IN THE EARLY STAGES OF HIERARCHICAL PROCESS DESIGN

    EPA Science Inventory

    Hierarchical methods are often used in the conceptual stages of process design to synthesize and evaluate process alternatives. In this work, the methods of hierarchical process design will be focused on environmental aspects. In particular, the design methods will be coupled to ...

  13. POLLUTION PREVENTION IN THE EARLY STAGES OF HIERARCHICAL PROCESS DESIGN

    EPA Science Inventory

    Hierarchical methods are often used in the conceptual stages of process design to synthesize and evaluate process alternatives. In this work, the methods of hierarchical process design will be focused on environmental aspects. In particular, the design methods will be coupled to ...

  14. Multifunctional two-stage riser fluid catalytic cracking process.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jinhong; Shan, Honghong; Chen, Xiaobo; Li, Chunyi; Yang, Chaohe

    This paper described the discovering process of some shortcomings of the conventional fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) process and the proposed two-stage riser (TSR) FCC process for decreasing dry gas and coke yields and increasing light oil yield, which has been successfully applied in 12 industrial units. Furthermore, the multifunctional two-stage riser (MFT) FCC process proposed on the basis of the TSR FCC process was described, which were carried out by the optimization of reaction conditions for fresh feedstock and cycle oil catalytic cracking, respectively, by the coupling of cycle oil cracking and light FCC naphtha upgrading processes in the second-stage riser, and the specially designed reactor for further reducing the olefin content of gasoline. The pilot test showed that it can further improve the product quality, increase the diesel yield, and enhance the conversion of heavy oil.

  15. Alcohol affects neuronal substrates of response inhibition but not of perceptual processing of stimuli signalling a stop response.

    PubMed

    Nikolaou, Kyriaki; Critchley, Hugo; Duka, Theodora

    2013-01-01

    Alcohol impairs inhibitory control, including the ability to terminate an initiated action. While there is increasing knowledge about neural mechanisms involved in response inhibition, the level at which alcohol impairs such mechanisms remains poorly understood. Thirty-nine healthy social drinkers received either 0.4 g/kg or 0.8 g/kg of alcohol, or placebo, and performed two variants of a Visual Stop-signal task during acquisition of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data. The two task variants differed only in their instructions: in the classic variant (VSST), participants inhibited their response to a "Go-stimulus" when it was followed by a "Stop-stimulus". In the control variant (VSST_C), participants responded to the "Go-stimulus" even if it was followed by a "Stop-stimulus". Comparison of successful Stop-trials (Sstop)>Go, and unsuccessful Stop-trials (Ustop)>Sstop between the three beverage groups enabled the identification of alcohol effects on functional neural circuits supporting inhibitory behaviour and error processing. Alcohol impaired inhibitory control as measured by the Stop-signal reaction time, but did not affect other aspects of VSST performance, nor performance on the VSST_C. The low alcohol dose evoked changes in neural activity within prefrontal, temporal, occipital and motor cortices. The high alcohol dose evoked changes in activity in areas affected by the low dose but importantly induced changes in activity within subcortical centres including the globus pallidus and thalamus. Alcohol did not affect neural correlates of perceptual processing of infrequent cues, as revealed by conjunction analyses of VSST and VSST_C tasks. Alcohol ingestion compromises the inhibitory control of action by modulating cortical regions supporting attentional, sensorimotor and action-planning processes. At higher doses the impact of alcohol also extends to affect subcortical nodes of fronto-basal ganglia- thalamo-cortical motor circuits. In contrast

  16. Helping Perceptually Handicapped Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rose, Helen S.

    1974-01-01

    Five children diagnosed as having a perceptual problem as revealed by the Bender Visual Motor Gestalt Test received special tutoring to help develop their visual discrimination abilities. The six-week program for teaching the concept of shapes employed kinesthetic, visual, tactile, and verbal processes. (CS)

  17. Stage efficiency in the analysis of thermochemical water decomposition processes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Conger, W. L.; Funk, J. E.; Carty, R. H.; Soliman, M. A.; Cox, K. E.

    1976-01-01

    The procedure for analyzing thermochemical water-splitting processes using the figure of merit is expanded to include individual stage efficiencies and loss coefficients. The use of these quantities to establish the thermodynamic insufficiencies of each stage is shown. A number of processes are used to illustrate these concepts and procedures and to demonstrate the facility with which process steps contributing most to the cycle efficiency are found. The procedure allows attention to be directed to those steps of the process where the greatest increase in total cycle efficiency can be obtained.

  18. Stage efficiency in the analysis of thermochemical water decomposition processes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Conger, W. L.; Funk, J. E.; Carty, R. H.; Soliman, M. A.; Cox, K. E.

    1976-01-01

    The procedure for analyzing thermochemical water-splitting processes using the figure of merit is expanded to include individual stage efficiencies and loss coefficients. The use of these quantities to establish the thermodynamic insufficiencies of each stage is shown. A number of processes are used to illustrate these concepts and procedures and to demonstrate the facility with which process steps contributing most to the cycle efficiency are found. The procedure allows attention to be directed to those steps of the process where the greatest increase in total cycle efficiency can be obtained.

  19. Perceptual telerobotics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ligomenides, Panos A.

    1989-01-01

    A sensory world modeling system, congruent with a human expert's perception, is proposed. The Experiential Knowledge Base (EKB) system can provide a highly intelligible communication interface for telemonitoring and telecontrol of a real time robotic system operating in space. Paradigmatic acquisition of empirical perceptual knowledge, and real time experiential pattern recognition and knowledge integration are reviewed. The cellular architecture and operation of the EKB system are also examined.

  20. Habitat Fragmentation Drives Plant Community Assembly Processes across Life Stages.

    PubMed

    Hu, Guang; Feeley, Kenneth J; Yu, Mingjian

    2016-01-01

    Habitat fragmentation is one of the principal causes of biodiversity loss and hence understanding its impacts on community assembly and disassembly is an important topic in ecology. We studied the relationships between fragmentation and community assembly processes in the land-bridge island system of Thousand Island Lake in East China. We focused on the changes in species diversity and phylogenetic diversity that occurred between life stages of woody plants growing on these islands. The observed diversities were compared with the expected diversities from random null models to characterize assembly processes. Regression tree analysis was used to illustrate the relationships between island attributes and community assembly processes. We found that different assembly processes predominate in the seedlings-to-saplings life-stage transition (SS) vs. the saplings-to-trees transition (ST). Island area was the main attribute driving the assembly process in SS. In ST, island isolation was more important. Within a fragmented landscape, the factors driving community assembly processes were found to differ between life stage transitions. Environmental filtering had a strong effect on the seedlings-to-saplings life-stage transition. Habitat isolation and dispersal limitation influenced all plant life stages, but had a weaker effect on communities than area. These findings add to our understanding of the processes driving community assembly and species coexistence in the context of pervasive and widespread habitat loss and fragmentation.

  1. Habitat Fragmentation Drives Plant Community Assembly Processes across Life Stages

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Guang; Feeley, Kenneth J.; Yu, Mingjian

    2016-01-01

    Habitat fragmentation is one of the principal causes of biodiversity loss and hence understanding its impacts on community assembly and disassembly is an important topic in ecology. We studied the relationships between fragmentation and community assembly processes in the land-bridge island system of Thousand Island Lake in East China. We focused on the changes in species diversity and phylogenetic diversity that occurred between life stages of woody plants growing on these islands. The observed diversities were compared with the expected diversities from random null models to characterize assembly processes. Regression tree analysis was used to illustrate the relationships between island attributes and community assembly processes. We found that different assembly processes predominate in the seedlings-to-saplings life-stage transition (SS) vs. the saplings-to-trees transition (ST). Island area was the main attribute driving the assembly process in SS. In ST, island isolation was more important. Within a fragmented landscape, the factors driving community assembly processes were found to differ between life stage transitions. Environmental filtering had a strong effect on the seedlings-to-saplings life-stage transition. Habitat isolation and dispersal limitation influenced all plant life stages, but had a weaker effect on communities than area. These findings add to our understanding of the processes driving community assembly and species coexistence in the context of pervasive and widespread habitat loss and fragmentation. PMID:27427960

  2. Perceptual conflict during sensorimotor integration processes - a neurophysiological study in response inhibition

    PubMed Central

    Chmielewski, Witold X.; Beste, Christian

    2016-01-01

    A multitude of sensory inputs needs to be processed during sensorimotor integration. A crucial factor for detecting relevant information is its complexity, since information content can be conflicting at a perceptual level. This may be central to executive control processes, such as response inhibition. This EEG study aims to investigate the system neurophysiological mechanisms behind effects of perceptual conflict on response inhibition. We systematically modulated perceptual conflict by integrating a Global-local task with a Go/Nogo paradigm. The results show that conflicting perceptual information, in comparison to non-conflicting perceptual information, impairs response inhibition performance. This effect was evident regardless of whether the relevant information for response inhibition is displayed on the global, or local perceptual level. The neurophysiological data suggests that early perceptual/ attentional processing stages do not underlie these modulations. Rather, processes at the response selection level (P3), play a role in changed response inhibition performance. This conflict-related impairment of inhibitory processes is associated with activation differences in (inferior) parietal areas (BA7 and BA40) and not as commonly found in the medial prefrontal areas. This suggests that various functional neuroanatomical structures may mediate response inhibition and that the functional neuroanatomical structures involved depend on the complexity of sensory integration processes. PMID:27222225

  3. Perceptual conflict during sensorimotor integration processes - a neurophysiological study in response inhibition.

    PubMed

    Chmielewski, Witold X; Beste, Christian

    2016-05-25

    A multitude of sensory inputs needs to be processed during sensorimotor integration. A crucial factor for detecting relevant information is its complexity, since information content can be conflicting at a perceptual level. This may be central to executive control processes, such as response inhibition. This EEG study aims to investigate the system neurophysiological mechanisms behind effects of perceptual conflict on response inhibition. We systematically modulated perceptual conflict by integrating a Global-local task with a Go/Nogo paradigm. The results show that conflicting perceptual information, in comparison to non-conflicting perceptual information, impairs response inhibition performance. This effect was evident regardless of whether the relevant information for response inhibition is displayed on the global, or local perceptual level. The neurophysiological data suggests that early perceptual/ attentional processing stages do not underlie these modulations. Rather, processes at the response selection level (P3), play a role in changed response inhibition performance. This conflict-related impairment of inhibitory processes is associated with activation differences in (inferior) parietal areas (BA7 and BA40) and not as commonly found in the medial prefrontal areas. This suggests that various functional neuroanatomical structures may mediate response inhibition and that the functional neuroanatomical structures involved depend on the complexity of sensory integration processes.

  4. The discovery of processing stages: Extension of Sternberg's method.

    PubMed

    Anderson, John R; Zhang, Qiong; Borst, Jelmer P; Walsh, Matthew M

    2016-10-01

    We introduce a method for measuring the number and durations of processing stages from the electroencephalographic signal and apply it to the study of associative recognition. Using an extension of past research that combines multivariate pattern analysis with hidden semi-Markov models, the approach identifies on a trial-by-trial basis where brief sinusoidal peaks (called bumps) are added to the ongoing electroencephalographic signal. We propose that these bumps mark the onset of critical cognitive stages in processing. The results of the analysis can be used to guide the development of detailed process models. Applied to the associative recognition task, the hidden semi-Markov models multivariate pattern analysis method indicates that the effects of associative strength and probe type are localized to a memory retrieval stage and a decision stage. This is in line with a previously developed the adaptive control of thought-rational process model, called ACT-R, of the task. As a test of the generalization of our method we also apply it to a data set on the Sternberg working memory task collected by Jacobs, Hwang, Curran, and Kahana (2006). The analysis generalizes robustly, and localizes the typical set size effect in a late comparison/decision stage. In addition to providing information about the number and durations of stages in associative recognition, our analysis sheds light on the event-related potential components implicated in the study of recognition memory. (PsycINFO Database Record

  5. Catalytic two-stage coal hydrogenation and hydroconversion process

    DOEpatents

    MacArthur, James B.; McLean, Joseph B.; Comolli, Alfred G.

    1989-01-01

    A process for two-stage catalytic hydrogenation and liquefaction of coal to produce increased yields of low-boiling hydrocarbon liquid and gas products. In the process, the particulate coal is slurried with a process-derived liquid solvent and fed at temperature below about 650.degree. F. into a first stage catalytic reaction zone operated at conditions which promote controlled rate liquefaction of the coal, while simultaneously hydrogenating the hydrocarbon recycle oils at conditions favoring hydrogenation reactions. The first stage reactor is maintained at 650.degree.-800.degree. F. temperature, 1000-4000 psig hydrogen partial pressure, and 10-60 lb coal/hr/ft.sup.3 reactor space velocity. The partially hydrogenated material from the first stage reaction zone is passed directly to the close-coupled second stage catalytic reaction zone maintained at a temperature at least about 25.degree. F. higher than for the first stage reactor and within a range of 750.degree.-875.degree. F. temperature for further hydrogenation and thermal hydroconversion reactions. By this process, the coal feed is successively catalytically hydrogenated and hydroconverted at selected conditions, which results in significantly increased yields of desirable low-boiling hydrocarbon liquid products and minimal production of undesirable residuum and unconverted coal and hydrocarbon gases, with use of less energy to obtain the low molecular weight products, while catalyst life is substantially increased.

  6. Verbal Labels Modulate Perceptual Object Processing in 1-Year-Old Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gliga, Teodora; Volein, Agnes; Csibra, Gergely

    2010-01-01

    Whether verbal labels help infants visually process and categorize objects is a contentious issue. Using electroencephalography, we investigated whether possessing familiar or novel labels for objects directly enhances 1-year-old children's neural processes underlying the perception of those objects. We found enhanced gamma-band (20-60 Hz)…

  7. Perceptual Decoding Processes for Language in a Visual Mode and for Language in an Auditory Mode.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Myerson, Rosemarie Farkas

    The purpose of this paper is to gain insight into the nature of the reading process through an understanding of the general nature of sensory processing mechanisms which reorganize and restructure input signals for central recognition, and an understanding of how the grammar of the language functions in defining the set of possible sentences in…

  8. Verbal Labels Modulate Perceptual Object Processing in 1-Year-Old Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gliga, Teodora; Volein, Agnes; Csibra, Gergely

    2010-01-01

    Whether verbal labels help infants visually process and categorize objects is a contentious issue. Using electroencephalography, we investigated whether possessing familiar or novel labels for objects directly enhances 1-year-old children's neural processes underlying the perception of those objects. We found enhanced gamma-band (20-60 Hz)…

  9. Contextual and perceptual brain processes underlying moral cognition: a quantitative meta-analysis of moral reasoning and moral emotions.

    PubMed

    Sevinc, Gunes; Spreng, R Nathan

    2014-01-01

    insight into distinct features of moral cognition, including the generation of moral context through associative processes and the perceptual detection of moral salience.

  10. Contextual and Perceptual Brain Processes Underlying Moral Cognition: A Quantitative Meta-Analysis of Moral Reasoning and Moral Emotions

    PubMed Central

    Sevinc, Gunes; Spreng, R. Nathan

    2014-01-01

    moral input is affected by task demands. The results provide novel insight into distinct features of moral cognition, including the generation of moral context through associative processes and the perceptual detection of moral salience. PMID:24503959

  11. Perceptual repetition blindness effects.

    PubMed

    Hochhaus, L; Johnston, J C

    1996-04-01

    Repetition blindness (RB) may reveal a new limitation on human perceptual processing. Recently, however, researchers have attributed RB to postperceptual processes. The standard rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) paradigm used in most RB studies is open to such objections. The "single-frame" paradigm introduced by J. C. Johnston and B. L. Hale (1984) allowed investigation of RB with minimal memory demands. Participants made a judgment about whether 1 masked target word was the same or different than a posttarget probe. Confidence ratings permitted use of signal detection methods. In the critical condition for RB, a precue of the posttarget word was provided prior to the target stimulus so that the required judgment amounted to whether the target did or did not repeat the precue word. In control treatments, the precue was an unrelated word or a dummy. Results showed that perceptual sensitivity was significantly reduced in the RB condition relative to baseline control conditions. The data showed that RB can be obtained under conditions in which memory problems are minimal and perceptual sensitivity is assessed independently of biases. RB therefore can be a perceptual phenomenon.

  12. Task-Set Reconfiguration Suspends Perceptual Processing: Evidence from Semantic Priming during the Attentional Blink

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vachon, Francois; Tremblay, Sebastien; Jones, Dylan M.

    2007-01-01

    When two visual targets, Target 1 (T1) and Target 2 (T2), are presented among a rapid sequence of distractors, processing of T1 produces an attentional blink. Typically, processing of T2 is markedly impaired, except when T1 and T2 are adjacent (Lag 1 sparing). However, if a shift of task set--a change in task requirements from T1 to T2--occurs,…

  13. Task-Set Reconfiguration Suspends Perceptual Processing: Evidence from Semantic Priming during the Attentional Blink

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vachon, Francois; Tremblay, Sebastien; Jones, Dylan M.

    2007-01-01

    When two visual targets, Target 1 (T1) and Target 2 (T2), are presented among a rapid sequence of distractors, processing of T1 produces an attentional blink. Typically, processing of T2 is markedly impaired, except when T1 and T2 are adjacent (Lag 1 sparing). However, if a shift of task set--a change in task requirements from T1 to T2--occurs,…

  14. Fibromyalgia as a disorder of perceptual organization? An analysis of acoustic stimulus processing in patients with widespread pain.

    PubMed

    Dohrenbusch, R; Sodhi, H; Lamprecht, J; Genth, E

    1997-12-01

    We examined to what extent patients with fibromyalgia differ from painfree control subjects in the perception and processing not only of somatosensory but also of external stimuli. For this purpose the acoustic perception of 30 patients with fibromyalgia was compared with that of 36 generally pain-free age and gender matched subjects. The groups were also controlled for organic disease of pathological dysfunction of the ear and auditory nerves. Thresholds of unpleasantness and hearing thresholds were determined autiometrically for various frequencies. In addition the participants rated their experience of daily noise, vulnerability to acoustic stress, and functional and affective complaints associated with fibromyalgia. As expected the results show reduced unpleasantness thresholds for all frequencies and a nonsymptomatic hearing loss for higher frequencies. The elevated hearing threshold correlated significantly with experience of noise at the place of work, which was also elevated in the fibromyalgia group. Generalized pain had a high impact on the interaction between threshold of unpleasantness and daily noise experience. We interpret the differences in thresholds of hearing and of unpleasantness in patients with fibromyalgia as a form of either preconscious or conscious acts to protect against disturbing stimulation. Our results support the notion of a generalized disturbancy of perceptual thresholds in patients with fibromyalgia not restricted to the perception of pain.

  15. Processing the papal encyclical through perceptual filters: Pope Francis, identity-protective cognition, and climate change concern.

    PubMed

    Landrum, Asheley R; Lull, Robert B; Akin, Heather; Hasell, Ariel; Jamieson, Kathleen Hall

    2017-09-01

    Previous research suggests that when individuals encounter new information, they interpret it through perceptual 'filters' of prior beliefs, relevant social identities, and messenger credibility. In short, evaluations are not based solely on message accuracy, but also on the extent to which the message and messenger are amenable to the values of one's social groups. Here, we use the release of Pope Francis's 2015 encyclical as the context for a natural experiment to examine the role of prior values in climate change cognition. Based on our analysis of panel data collected before and after the encyclical's release, we find that political ideology moderated views of papal credibility on climate change for those participants who were aware of the encyclical. We also find that, in some contexts, non-Catholics who were aware of the encyclical granted Pope Francis additional credibility compared to the non-Catholics who were unaware of it, yet Catholics granted the Pope high credibility regardless of encyclical awareness. Importantly, papal credibility mediated the conditional relationships between encyclical awareness and acceptance of the Pope's messages on climate change. We conclude by discussing how our results provide insight into cognitive processing of new information about controversial issues. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. A predictive processing theory of sensorimotor contingencies: Explaining the puzzle of perceptual presence and its absence in synesthesia

    PubMed Central

    Seth, Anil K.

    2014-01-01

    Normal perception involves experiencing objects within perceptual scenes as real, as existing in the world. This property of “perceptual presence” has motivated “sensorimotor theories” which understand perception to involve the mastery of sensorimotor contingencies. However, the mechanistic basis of sensorimotor contingencies and their mastery has remained unclear. Sensorimotor theory also struggles to explain instances of perception, such as synesthesia, that appear to lack perceptual presence and for which relevant sensorimotor contingencies are difficult to identify. On alternative “predictive processing” theories, perceptual content emerges from probabilistic inference on the external causes of sensory signals, however, this view has addressed neither the problem of perceptual presence nor synesthesia. Here, I describe a theory of predictive perception of sensorimotor contingencies which (1) accounts for perceptual presence in normal perception, as well as its absence in synesthesia, and (2) operationalizes the notion of sensorimotor contingencies and their mastery. The core idea is that generative models underlying perception incorporate explicitly counterfactual elements related to how sensory inputs would change on the basis of a broad repertoire of possible actions, even if those actions are not performed. These “counterfactually-rich” generative models encode sensorimotor contingencies related to repertoires of sensorimotor dependencies, with counterfactual richness determining the degree of perceptual presence associated with a stimulus. While the generative models underlying normal perception are typically counterfactually rich (reflecting a large repertoire of possible sensorimotor dependencies), those underlying synesthetic concurrents are hypothesized to be counterfactually poor. In addition to accounting for the phenomenology of synesthesia, the theory naturally accommodates phenomenological differences between a range of experiential

  17. Perceptual Training Strongly Improves Visual Motion Perception in Schizophrenia

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Norton, Daniel J.; McBain, Ryan K.; Ongur, Dost; Chen, Yue

    2011-01-01

    Schizophrenia patients exhibit perceptual and cognitive deficits, including in visual motion processing. Given that cognitive systems depend upon perceptual inputs, improving patients' perceptual abilities may be an effective means of cognitive intervention. In healthy people, motion perception can be enhanced through perceptual learning, but it…

  18. Perceptual Training Strongly Improves Visual Motion Perception in Schizophrenia

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Norton, Daniel J.; McBain, Ryan K.; Ongur, Dost; Chen, Yue

    2011-01-01

    Schizophrenia patients exhibit perceptual and cognitive deficits, including in visual motion processing. Given that cognitive systems depend upon perceptual inputs, improving patients' perceptual abilities may be an effective means of cognitive intervention. In healthy people, motion perception can be enhanced through perceptual learning, but it…

  19. The Competitive Influences of Perceptual Load and Working Memory Guidance on Selective Attention

    PubMed Central

    Tan, Jinfeng; Zhao, Yuanfang; Wang, Lijun; Tian, Xia; Cui, Yan; Yang, Qian; Pan, Weigang; Zhao, Xiaoyue; Chen, Antao

    2015-01-01

    The perceptual load theory in selective attention literature proposes that the interference from task-irrelevant distractor is eliminated when perceptual capacity is fully consumed by task-relevant information. However, the biased competition model suggests that the contents of working memory (WM) can guide attentional selection automatically, even when this guidance is detrimental to visual search. An intriguing but unsolved question is what will happen when selective attention is influenced by both perceptual load and WM guidance. To study this issue, behavioral performances and event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded when participants were presented with a cue to either identify or hold in memory and had to perform a visual search task subsequently, under conditions of low or high perceptual load. Behavioural data showed that high perceptual load eliminated the attentional capture by WM. The ERP results revealed an obvious WM guidance effect in P1 component with invalid trials eliciting larger P1 than neutral trials, regardless of the level of perceptual load. The interaction between perceptual load and WM guidance was significant for the posterior N1 component. The memory guidance effect on N1 was eliminated by high perceptual load. Standardized Low Resolution Electrical Tomography Analysis (sLORETA) showed that the WM guidance effect and the perceptual load effect on attention can be localized into the occipital area and parietal lobe, respectively. Merely identifying the cue produced no effect on the P1 or N1 component. These results suggest that in selective attention, the information held in WM could capture attention at the early stage of visual processing in the occipital cortex. Interestingly, this initial capture of attention by WM could be modulated by the level of perceptual load and the parietal lobe mediates target selection at the discrimination stage. PMID:26098079

  20. The Competitive Influences of Perceptual Load and Working Memory Guidance on Selective Attention.

    PubMed

    Tan, Jinfeng; Zhao, Yuanfang; Wang, Lijun; Tian, Xia; Cui, Yan; Yang, Qian; Pan, Weigang; Zhao, Xiaoyue; Chen, Antao

    2015-01-01

    The perceptual load theory in selective attention literature proposes that the interference from task-irrelevant distractor is eliminated when perceptual capacity is fully consumed by task-relevant information. However, the biased competition model suggests that the contents of working memory (WM) can guide attentional selection automatically, even when this guidance is detrimental to visual search. An intriguing but unsolved question is what will happen when selective attention is influenced by both perceptual load and WM guidance. To study this issue, behavioral performances and event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded when participants were presented with a cue to either identify or hold in memory and had to perform a visual search task subsequently, under conditions of low or high perceptual load. Behavioural data showed that high perceptual load eliminated the attentional capture by WM. The ERP results revealed an obvious WM guidance effect in P1 component with invalid trials eliciting larger P1 than neutral trials, regardless of the level of perceptual load. The interaction between perceptual load and WM guidance was significant for the posterior N1 component. The memory guidance effect on N1 was eliminated by high perceptual load. Standardized Low Resolution Electrical Tomography Analysis (sLORETA) showed that the WM guidance effect and the perceptual load effect on attention can be localized into the occipital area and parietal lobe, respectively. Merely identifying the cue produced no effect on the P1 or N1 component. These results suggest that in selective attention, the information held in WM could capture attention at the early stage of visual processing in the occipital cortex. Interestingly, this initial capture of attention by WM could be modulated by the level of perceptual load and the parietal lobe mediates target selection at the discrimination stage.

  1. A Perceptual Process Approach to Selecting Color Scales for Complex Visualizations

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Breslow, Leonard A.; Trafton, J. Gregory; Ratwani, Raj M.

    2009-01-01

    Previous research has shown that multicolored scales are superior to ordered brightness scales for supporting identification tasks on complex visualizations (categorization, absolute numeric value judgments, etc.), whereas ordered brightness scales are superior for relative comparison tasks (greater/less). We examined the processes by which such…

  2. A Perceptual Process Approach to Selecting Color Scales for Complex Visualizations

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Breslow, Leonard A.; Trafton, J. Gregory; Ratwani, Raj M.

    2009-01-01

    Previous research has shown that multicolored scales are superior to ordered brightness scales for supporting identification tasks on complex visualizations (categorization, absolute numeric value judgments, etc.), whereas ordered brightness scales are superior for relative comparison tasks (greater/less). We examined the processes by which such…

  3. Adaptation and perceptual norms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Webster, Michael A.; Yasuda, Maiko; Haber, Sara; Leonard, Deanne; Ballardini, Nicole

    2007-02-01

    We used adaptation to examine the relationship between perceptual norms--the stimuli observers describe as psychologically neutral, and response norms--the stimulus levels that leave visual sensitivity in a neutral or balanced state. Adapting to stimuli on opposite sides of a neutral point (e.g. redder or greener than white) biases appearance in opposite ways. Thus the adapting stimulus can be titrated to find the unique adapting level that does not bias appearance. We compared these response norms to subjectively defined neutral points both within the same observer (at different retinal eccentricities) and between observers. These comparisons were made for visual judgments of color, image focus, and human faces, stimuli that are very different and may depend on very different levels of processing, yet which share the property that for each there is a well defined and perceptually salient norm. In each case the adaptation aftereffects were consistent with an underlying sensitivity basis for the perceptual norm. Specifically, response norms were similar to and thus covaried with the perceptual norm, and under common adaptation differences between subjectively defined norms were reduced. These results are consistent with models of norm-based codes and suggest that these codes underlie an important link between visual coding and visual experience.

  4. Race-Based Perceptual Asymmetry in Face Processing Is Evident Early in Life

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hayden, Angela; Bhatt, Ramesh S.; Kangas, Ashley; Zieber, Nicole; Joseph, Jane E.

    2012-01-01

    Adults' processing of own-race faces differs from that of other-race faces. The presence of an "other-race" feature (ORF) has been proposed as a mechanism underlying this specialization. We examined whether this mechanism, which was previously identified in adults and in 9-month-olds, is evident at 3.5 months. Caucasian 3.5-month-olds looked…

  5. Assessment Methodology for Process Validation Lifecycle Stage 3A.

    PubMed

    Sayeed-Desta, Naheed; Pazhayattil, Ajay Babu; Collins, Jordan; Chen, Shu; Ingram, Marzena; Spes, Jana

    2017-07-01

    The paper introduces evaluation methodologies and associated statistical approaches for process validation lifecycle Stage 3A. The assessment tools proposed can be applied to newly developed and launched small molecule as well as bio-pharma products, where substantial process and product knowledge has been gathered. The following elements may be included in Stage 3A: number of 3A batch determination; evaluation of critical material attributes, critical process parameters, critical quality attributes; in vivo in vitro correlation; estimation of inherent process variability (IPV) and PaCS index; process capability and quality dashboard (PCQd); and enhanced control strategy. US FDA guidance on Process Validation: General Principles and Practices, January 2011 encourages applying previous credible experience with suitably similar products and processes. A complete Stage 3A evaluation is a valuable resource for product development and future risk mitigation of similar products and processes. Elements of 3A assessment were developed to address industry and regulatory guidance requirements. The conclusions made provide sufficient information to make a scientific and risk-based decision on product robustness.

  6. Passing faces: sequence-dependent variations in the perceptual processing of emotional faces.

    PubMed

    Karl, Christian; Hewig, Johannes; Osinsky, Roman

    2016-10-01

    There is broad evidence that contextual factors influence the processing of emotional facial expressions. Yet temporal-dynamic aspects, inter alia how face processing is influenced by the specific order of neutral and emotional facial expressions, have been largely neglected. To shed light on this topic, we recorded electroencephalogram from 168 healthy participants while they performed a gender-discrimination task with angry and neutral faces. Our event-related potential (ERP) analyses revealed a strong emotional modulation of the N170 component, indicating that the basic visual encoding and emotional analysis of a facial stimulus happen, at least partially, in parallel. While the N170 and the late positive potential (LPP; 400-600 ms) were only modestly affected by the sequence of preceding faces, we observed a strong influence of face sequences on the early posterior negativity (EPN; 200-300 ms). Finally, the differing response patterns of the EPN and LPP indicate that these two ERPs represent distinct processes during face analysis: while the former seems to represent the integration of contextual information in the perception of a current face, the latter appears to represent the net emotional interpretation of a current face.

  7. Computational models of music perception and cognition I: The perceptual and cognitive processing chain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Purwins, Hendrik; Herrera, Perfecto; Grachten, Maarten; Hazan, Amaury; Marxer, Ricard; Serra, Xavier

    2008-09-01

    We present a review on perception and cognition models designed for or applicable to music. An emphasis is put on computational implementations. We include findings from different disciplines: neuroscience, psychology, cognitive science, artificial intelligence, and musicology. The article summarizes the methodology that these disciplines use to approach the phenomena of music understanding, the localization of musical processes in the brain, and the flow of cognitive operations involved in turning physical signals into musical symbols, going from the transducers to the memory systems of the brain. We discuss formal models developed to emulate, explain and predict phenomena involved in early auditory processing, pitch processing, grouping, source separation, and music structure computation. We cover generic computational architectures of attention, memory, and expectation that can be instantiated and tuned to deal with specific musical phenomena. Criteria for the evaluation of such models are presented and discussed. Thereby, we lay out the general framework that provides the basis for the discussion of domain-specific music models in Part II.

  8. Two representations of a high-dimensional perceptual space.

    PubMed

    Victor, Jonathan D; Rizvi, Syed M; Conte, Mary M

    2017-08-01

    A perceptual space is a mental workspace of points in a sensory domain that supports similarity and difference judgments and enables further processing such as classification and naming. Perceptual spaces are present across sensory modalities; examples include colors, faces, auditory textures, and odors. Color is perhaps the best-studied perceptual space, but it is atypical in two respects. First, the dimensions of color space are directly linked to the three cone absorption spectra, but the dimensions of generic perceptual spaces are not as readily traceable to single-neuron properties. Second, generic perceptual spaces have more than three dimensions. This is important because representing each distinguishable point in a high-dimensional space by a separate neuron or population is unwieldy; combinatorial strategies may be needed to overcome this hurdle. To study the representation of a complex perceptual space, we focused on a well-characterized 10-dimensional domain of visual textures. Within this domain, we determine perceptual distances in a threshold task (segmentation) and a suprathreshold task (border salience comparison). In N=4 human observers, we find both quantitative and qualitative differences between these sets of measurements. Quantitatively, observers' segmentation thresholds were inconsistent with their uncertainty determined from border salience comparisons. Qualitatively, segmentation thresholds suggested that distances are determined by a coordinate representation with Euclidean geometry. Border salience comparisons, in contrast, indicated a global curvature of the space, and that distances are determined by activity patterns across broadly tuned elements. Thus, our results indicate two representations of this perceptual space, and suggest that they use differing combinatorial strategies. To move from sensory signals to decisions and actions, the brain carries out a sequence of transformations. An important stage in this process is the

  9. Different Stages, Different Signals: The Modulating Effect of Cognitive Conflict on Subsequent Processing

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Li; Lu, Qingyun; Xue, Song

    2016-01-01

    The present study used event-related potentials (ERPs) to investigate the function of signals induced by cognitive conflict during the detection stage and the resolution stage of perceptual processing. The study used a combination of the Stroop task and an affective priming task to examine the conflict priming effect when the stimulus onset asynchrony (SOA) was 200 ms or 800 ms. Behavioral results showed that the RTs were shorter for positive targets following congruent primes relative to incongruent primes, and for negative targets following incongruent primes relative to congruent primes when the SOA was 200 ms. ERP results showed that the N2 amplitudes (200–300 ms) for incongruent stimuli were significantly larger than for congruent stimuli in the Stroop task, which indicated a significant conflict effect. Moreover, the N400 amplitudes (500–700 ms) for positive targets after congruent primes were significantly lower than those after incongruent primes when the SOA was 200 ms, which showed a significant negative priming effect. While the SOA was 800 ms, behavioral results showed that the RTs were shorter for positive targets following incongruent primes relative to congruent primes. ERP results showed that the N2 amplitudes (200–300 ms) for incongruent stimuli were significantly larger than for congruent stimuli in the Stroop task, which indicated a significant conflict effect. The N400 amplitudes (1100–1300 ms) for the negative targets after congruent primes were significantly lower than those after incongruent primes when the SOA was 800 ms, which showed a significant positive priming effect. The results demonstrated that the functions of signals induced by cognitive conflict were reversed in two different cognitive processing stages. PMID:27636368

  10. Different Stages, Different Signals: The Modulating Effect of Cognitive Conflict on Subsequent Processing.

    PubMed

    Pan, Fada; Shi, Liang; Zhang, Li; Lu, Qingyun; Xue, Song

    2016-01-01

    The present study used event-related potentials (ERPs) to investigate the function of signals induced by cognitive conflict during the detection stage and the resolution stage of perceptual processing. The study used a combination of the Stroop task and an affective priming task to examine the conflict priming effect when the stimulus onset asynchrony (SOA) was 200 ms or 800 ms. Behavioral results showed that the RTs were shorter for positive targets following congruent primes relative to incongruent primes, and for negative targets following incongruent primes relative to congruent primes when the SOA was 200 ms. ERP results showed that the N2 amplitudes (200-300 ms) for incongruent stimuli were significantly larger than for congruent stimuli in the Stroop task, which indicated a significant conflict effect. Moreover, the N400 amplitudes (500-700 ms) for positive targets after congruent primes were significantly lower than those after incongruent primes when the SOA was 200 ms, which showed a significant negative priming effect. While the SOA was 800 ms, behavioral results showed that the RTs were shorter for positive targets following incongruent primes relative to congruent primes. ERP results showed that the N2 amplitudes (200-300 ms) for incongruent stimuli were significantly larger than for congruent stimuli in the Stroop task, which indicated a significant conflict effect. The N400 amplitudes (1100-1300 ms) for the negative targets after congruent primes were significantly lower than those after incongruent primes when the SOA was 800 ms, which showed a significant positive priming effect. The results demonstrated that the functions of signals induced by cognitive conflict were reversed in two different cognitive processing stages.

  11. Dual mechanisms in the perceptual processing of click train temporal regularity.

    PubMed

    Phillips, Dennis P; Dingle, Rachel N; Hall, Susan E; Jang, Moragh

    2012-07-01

    Two experiments measured human sensitivity to temporal jitter in 25-click trains with inter-click intervals (ICIs) between 5 and 100 ms. In a naturalistic experiment using wideband clicks, jitter thresholds were a nonmonotonic function of ICI, peaking for ICIs near 40-60 ms. In a subsequent experiment, clicks were high-passed and presented against a low-frequency noise masker. Jitter threshold vs ICI functions lost the positive slope over short ICIs but retained the negative slope at long ICIs. The same behavior was seen in click rate discrimination tasks. Different processes mediate regularity analysis for click trains with ICIs above and below 40-60 ms.

  12. What neuroscience can tell about intuitive processes in the context of perceptual discovery.

    PubMed

    Volz, Kirsten G; von Cramon, D Yves

    2006-12-01

    According to the Oxford English Dictionary, intuition is "the ability to understand or know something immediately, without conscious reasoning." Most people would agree that intuitive responses appear as ideas or feelings that subsequently guide our thoughts and behaviors. It is proposed that people continuously, without conscious attention, recognize patterns in the stream of sensations that impinge upon them. What exactly is being recognized is not clear yet, but we assume that people detect potential content based on only a few aspects of the input (i.e., the gist). The result is a vague perception of coherence which is not explicitly describable but instead embodied in a "gut feeling" or an initial guess, which subsequently biases thought and inquiry. To approach the nature of intuitive processes, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging when participants were working at a modified version of the Waterloo Gestalt Closure Task. Starting from our conceptualization that intuition involves an informed judgment in the context of discovery, we expected activation within the median orbito-frontal cortex (OFC), as this area receives input from all sensory modalities and has been shown to be crucially involved in emotionally driven decisions. Results from a direct contrast between intuitive and nonintuitive judgments, as well as from a parametric analysis, revealed the median OFC, the lateral portion of the amygdala, anterior insula, and ventral occipito-temporal regions to be activated. Based on these findings, we suggest our definition of intuition to be promising and a good starting point for future research on intuitive processes.

  13. Transient perceptual neglect: visual working memory load affects conscious object processing.

    PubMed

    Emrich, Stephen M; Burianová, Hana; Ferber, Susanne

    2011-10-01

    Visual working memory (VWM) is a capacity-limited cognitive resource that plays an important role in complex cognitive behaviors. Recent studies indicate that regions subserving VWM may play a role in the perception and recognition of visual objects, suggesting that conscious object perception may depend on the same cognitive and neural architecture that supports the maintenance of visual object information. In the present study, we examined this question by testing object processing under a concurrent VWM load. Under a high VWM load, recognition was impaired for objects presented in the left visual field, in particular when two objects were presented simultaneously. Multivariate fMRI revealed that two independent but partially overlapping networks of brain regions contribute to object recognition. The first network consisted of regions involved in VWM encoding and maintenance. Importantly, these regions were also sensitive to object load. The second network comprised regions of the ventral temporal lobes traditionally associated with object recognition. Importantly, activation in both networks predicted object recognition performance. These results indicate that information processing in regions that mediate VWM may be critical to conscious visual perception. Moreover, the observation of a hemifield asymmetry in object recognition performance has important theoretical and clinical significance for the study of visual neglect.

  14. An analysis of the processing requirements of a complex perceptual-motor task

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kramer, A. F.; Wickens, C. D.; Donchin, E.

    1983-01-01

    Current concerns in the assessment of mental workload are discussed, and the event-related brain potential (ERP) is introduced as a promising mental-workload index. Subjects participated in a series of studies in which they were required to perform a target acquisition task while also covertly counting either auditory or visual probes. The effects of several task-difficulty manipulations on the P300 component of the ERP elicited by the counted stimulus probes were investigated. With sufficiently practiced subjects the amplitude of the P300 was found to decrease with increases in task difficulty. The second experiment also provided evidence that the P300 is selectively sensitive to task-relevant attributes. A third experiment demonstrated a convergence in the amplitude of the P300s elicited in the simple and difficult versions of the tracking task. The amplitude of the P300 was also found to covary with the measures of tracking performance. The results of the series of three experiments illustrate the sensitivity of the P300 to the processing requirements of a complex target acquisition task. The findings are discussed in terms of the multidimensional nature of processing resources.

  15. An analysis of the processing requirements of a complex perceptual-motor task

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kramer, A. F.; Wickens, C. D.; Donchin, E.

    1983-01-01

    Current concerns in the assessment of mental workload are discussed, and the event-related brain potential (ERP) is introduced as a promising mental-workload index. Subjects participated in a series of studies in which they were required to perform a target acquisition task while also covertly counting either auditory or visual probes. The effects of several task-difficulty manipulations on the P300 component of the ERP elicited by the counted stimulus probes were investigated. With sufficiently practiced subjects the amplitude of the P300 was found to decrease with increases in task difficulty. The second experiment also provided evidence that the P300 is selectively sensitive to task-relevant attributes. A third experiment demonstrated a convergence in the amplitude of the P300s elicited in the simple and difficult versions of the tracking task. The amplitude of the P300 was also found to covary with the measures of tracking performance. The results of the series of three experiments illustrate the sensitivity of the P300 to the processing requirements of a complex target acquisition task. The findings are discussed in terms of the multidimensional nature of processing resources.

  16. Perceptual and category processing of the Uncanny Valley hypothesis' dimension of human likeness: some methodological issues.

    PubMed

    Cheetham, Marcus; Jancke, Lutz

    2013-06-03

    Mori's Uncanny Valley Hypothesis(1,2) proposes that the perception of humanlike characters such as robots and, by extension, avatars (computer-generated characters) can evoke negative or positive affect (valence) depending on the object's degree of visual and behavioral realism along a dimension of human likeness (DHL) (Figure 1). But studies of affective valence of subjective responses to variously realistic non-human characters have produced inconsistent findings (3, 4, 5, 6). One of a number of reasons for this is that human likeness is not perceived as the hypothesis assumes. While the DHL can be defined following Mori's description as a smooth linear change in the degree of physical humanlike similarity, subjective perception of objects along the DHL can be understood in terms of the psychological effects of categorical perception (CP) (7). Further behavioral and neuroimaging investigations of category processing and CP along the DHL and of the potential influence of the dimension's underlying category structure on affective experience are needed. This protocol therefore focuses on the DHL and allows examination of CP. Based on the protocol presented in the video as an example, issues surrounding the methodology in the protocol and the use in "uncanny" research of stimuli drawn from morph continua to represent the DHL are discussed in the article that accompanies the video. The use of neuroimaging and morph stimuli to represent the DHL in order to disentangle brain regions neurally responsive to physical human-like similarity from those responsive to category change and category processing is briefly illustrated.

  17. Face-specific capacity limits under perceptual load do not depend on holistic processing.

    PubMed

    Thoma, Volker

    2014-12-01

    Previous observations that face recognition may proceed automatically, without drawing on attentional resources, have been challenged by recent demonstrations that only a few faces can be processed at one time. However, a question remains about the nature of the stimulus properties that underlie face-specific capacity limits. Two experiments showed that speeded categorization of a famous face (such as a politician or pop star) is facilitated when it is congruent with a peripheral distractor face. This congruency effect is eliminated if the visual search is loaded with more than one face, unlike previous demonstrations of speeded classification using semantic information. Importantly, congruency effects are also eliminated when the search task is loaded with nontarget faces that are shown in an inverted orientation. These results indicate that face-specific capacity limits are not determined by the configural ("holistic") properties of face recognition.

  18. Perceptual and Category Processing of the Uncanny Valley Hypothesis' Dimension of Human Likeness: Some Methodological Issues

    PubMed Central

    Cheetham, Marcus; Jancke, Lutz

    2013-01-01

    Mori's Uncanny Valley Hypothesis1,2 proposes that the perception of humanlike characters such as robots and, by extension, avatars (computer-generated characters) can evoke negative or positive affect (valence) depending on the object's degree of visual and behavioral realism along a dimension of human likeness (DHL) (Figure 1). But studies of affective valence of subjective responses to variously realistic non-human characters have produced inconsistent findings 3, 4, 5, 6. One of a number of reasons for this is that human likeness is not perceived as the hypothesis assumes. While the DHL can be defined following Mori's description as a smooth linear change in the degree of physical humanlike similarity, subjective perception of objects along the DHL can be understood in terms of the psychological effects of categorical perception (CP) 7. Further behavioral and neuroimaging investigations of category processing and CP along the DHL and of the potential influence of the dimension's underlying category structure on affective experience are needed. This protocol therefore focuses on the DHL and allows examination of CP. Based on the protocol presented in the video as an example, issues surrounding the methodology in the protocol and the use in "uncanny" research of stimuli drawn from morph continua to represent the DHL are discussed in the article that accompanies the video. The use of neuroimaging and morph stimuli to represent the DHL in order to disentangle brain regions neurally responsive to physical human-like similarity from those responsive to category change and category processing is briefly illustrated. PMID:23770728

  19. Hydrogen production: two stage processes for waste degradation.

    PubMed

    Gómez, X; Fernández, C; Fierro, J; Sánchez, M E; Escapa, A; Morán, A

    2011-09-01

    The dark fermentation process generates hydrogen by biological means. It presents two main advantages: fulfilling requirements for mild operational conditions and gaining benefit from the residual biomass. The process itself may be seen as a pre-treatment step in a complete stabilisation chain, with the aim of attaining the valorisation of residual biomass. However, increasing the yield of H2 production is an imperative task. In this manuscript, a review of recent work in the field of fermentative hydrogen production is presented. As dark fermentation has a maximum yield of 33% (on sugars), a description is also presented of possible second stage processes for the degradation of dark fermentation effluents. Alternatives considered were photofermentation and bioelectrochemical systems (BES) as processes capable of converting fermentation sub-products into H2. Anaerobic digestion as a final stabilisation stage was also considered owing to the wide application of this technology in the treatment of bio-wastes.

  20. The Process of Marital Disaffection: Interventions at Various Stages.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kersten, Karen Kayser

    1990-01-01

    Examined the process of marital disaffection to determine whether there is a pattern of sequential stages. Developed three-phase model of disaffection from the results of in-depth interviews with 49 highly disaffected spouses. Results suggest that marital therapy must involve different goals and interventions during each phase of disaffection to…

  1. An efficient selective perceptual-based super-resolution estimator.

    PubMed

    Karam, Lina J; Sadaka, Nabil G; Ferzli, Rony; Ivanovski, Zoran A

    2011-12-01

    In this paper, a selective perceptual-based (SELP) framework is presented to reduce the complexity of popular super-resolution (SR) algorithms while maintaining the desired quality of the enhanced images/video. A perceptual human visual system model is proposed to compute local contrast sensitivity thresholds. The obtained thresholds are used to select which pixels are super-resolved based on the perceived visibility of local edges. Processing only a set of perceptually significant pixels reduces significantly the computational complexity of SR algorithms without losing the achievable visual quality. The proposed SELP framework is integrated into a maximum-a posteriori-based SR algorithm as well as a fast two-stage fusion-restoration SR estimator. Simulation results show a significant reduction on average in computational complexity with comparable signal-to-noise ratio gains and visual quality.

  2. Altered Attentional and Perceptual Processes as Indexed by N170 during Gaze Perception in Schizophrenia: Relationship with Perceived Threat and Paranoid Delusions

    PubMed Central

    Tso, Ivy F.; Calwas, Anita M.; Chun, Jinsoo; Mueller, Savanna A.; Taylor, Stephan F.; Deldin, Patricia J.

    2015-01-01

    Using gaze information to orient attention and guide behavior is critical to social adaptation. Previous studies suggest that abnormal gaze perception in schizophrenia (SCZ) may lie in abnormal early attentional and perceptual processes, and may be related to paranoid symptoms. Using event-related brain potentials (ERP), this study investigated altered early attentional and perceptual processes during gaze perception and their relationship to paranoid delusions in SCZ. Twenty-eight individuals with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder and 32 demographically matched healthy controls (HC) completed a gaze discrimination task with face stimuli varying in gaze direction (direct, averted), head orientation (forward, deviated) and emotion (neutral, fearful). ERPs were recorded during the task. Participants rated experienced threat from each face after the task. SCZ participants were as accurate as, though slower than, HC participants on the task. SCZ participants displayed enlarged N170 responses over the left hemisphere to averted gaze presented in fearful relative to neutral faces, indicating a heightened encoding sensitivity to faces signaling external threat. This abnormality was correlated with increased perceived threat and paranoid delusions. SCZ participants also showed a reduction of N170 modulation by head orientation (normally increased amplitude to deviated faces relative to forward faces), suggesting less integration of contextual cues of head orientation in gaze perception. The psychophysiological deviations observed during gaze discrimination in SCZ underscore the role of early attentional and perceptual abnormalities in social information processing and paranoid symptoms of schizophrenia. PMID:25894438

  3. Altered attentional and perceptual processes as indexed by N170 during gaze perception in schizophrenia: Relationship with perceived threat and paranoid delusions.

    PubMed

    Tso, Ivy F; Calwas, Anita M; Chun, Jinsoo; Mueller, Savanna A; Taylor, Stephan F; Deldin, Patricia J

    2015-08-01

    Using gaze information to orient attention and guide behavior is critical to social adaptation. Previous studies have suggested that abnormal gaze perception in schizophrenia (SCZ) may originate in abnormal early attentional and perceptual processes and may be related to paranoid symptoms. Using event-related brain potentials (ERPs), this study investigated altered early attentional and perceptual processes during gaze perception and their relationship to paranoid delusions in SCZ. Twenty-eight individuals with SCZ or schizoaffective disorder and 32 demographically matched healthy controls (HCs) completed a gaze-discrimination task with face stimuli varying in gaze direction (direct, averted), head orientation (forward, deviated), and emotion (neutral, fearful). ERPs were recorded during the task. Participants rated experienced threat from each face after the task. Participants with SCZ were as accurate as, though slower than, HCs on the task. Participants with SCZ displayed enlarged N170 responses over the left hemisphere to averted gaze presented in fearful relative to neutral faces, indicating a heightened encoding sensitivity to faces signaling external threat. This abnormality was correlated with increased perceived threat and paranoid delusions. Participants with SCZ also showed a reduction of N170 modulation by head orientation (normally increased amplitude to deviated faces relative to forward faces), suggesting less integration of contextual cues of head orientation in gaze perception. The psychophysiological deviations observed during gaze discrimination in SCZ underscore the role of early attentional and perceptual abnormalities in social information processing and paranoid symptoms of SCZ. (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).

  4. Perceptual demand modulates activation of human auditory cortex in response to task-irrelevant sounds.

    PubMed

    Sabri, Merav; Humphries, Colin; Verber, Matthew; Mangalathu, Jain; Desai, Anjali; Binder, Jeffrey R; Liebenthal, Einat

    2013-09-01

    In the visual modality, perceptual demand on a goal-directed task has been shown to modulate the extent to which irrelevant information can be disregarded at a sensory-perceptual stage of processing. In the auditory modality, the effect of perceptual demand on neural representations of task-irrelevant sounds is unclear. We compared simultaneous ERPs and fMRI responses associated with task-irrelevant sounds across parametrically modulated perceptual task demands in a dichotic-listening paradigm. Participants performed a signal detection task in one ear (Attend ear) while ignoring task-irrelevant syllable sounds in the other ear (Ignore ear). Results revealed modulation of syllable processing by auditory perceptual demand in an ROI in middle left superior temporal gyrus and in negative ERP activity 130-230 msec post stimulus onset. Increasing the perceptual demand in the Attend ear was associated with a reduced neural response in both fMRI and ERP to task-irrelevant sounds. These findings are in support of a selection model whereby ongoing perceptual demands modulate task-irrelevant sound processing in auditory cortex.

  5. Deciphering the pathogenesis of tendinopathy: a three-stages process

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Our understanding of the pathogenesis of "tendinopathy" is based on fragmented evidences like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. We propose a "failed healing theory" to knit these fragments together, which can explain previous observations. We also propose that albeit "overuse injury" and other insidious "micro trauma" may well be primary triggers of the process, "tendinopathy" is not an "overuse injury" per se. The typical clinical, histological and biochemical presentation relates to a localized chronic pain condition which may lead to tendon rupture, the latter attributed to mechanical weakness. Characterization of pathological "tendinotic" tissues revealed coexistence of collagenolytic injuries and an active healing process, focal hypervascularity and tissue metaplasia. These observations suggest a failed healing process as response to a triggering injury. The pathogenesis of tendinopathy can be described as a three stage process: injury, failed healing and clinical presentation. It is likely that some of these "initial injuries" heal well and we speculate that predisposing intrinsic or extrinsic factors may be involved. The injury stage involves a progressive collagenolytic tendon injury. The failed healing stage mainly refers to prolonged activation and failed resolution of the normal healing process. Finally, the matrix disturbances, increased focal vascularity and abnormal cytokine profiles contribute to the clinical presentations of chronic tendon pain or rupture. With this integrative pathogenesis theory, we can relate the known manifestations of tendinopathy and point to the "missing links". This model may guide future research on tendinopathy, until we could ultimately decipher the complete pathogenesis process and provide better treatments. PMID:21144004

  6. The perceptual processing capacity of summary statistics between and within feature dimensions

    PubMed Central

    Attarha, Mouna; Moore, Cathleen M.

    2015-01-01

    The simultaneous–sequential method was used to test the processing capacity of statistical summary representations both within and between feature dimensions. Sixteen gratings varied with respect to their size and orientation. In Experiment 1, the gratings were equally divided into four separate smaller sets, one of which with a mean size that was larger or smaller than the other three sets, and one of which with a mean orientation that was tilted more leftward or rightward. The task was to report the mean size and orientation of the oddball sets. This therefore required four summary representations for size and another four for orientation. The sets were presented at the same time in the simultaneous condition or across two temporal frames in the sequential condition. Experiment 1 showed evidence of a sequential advantage, suggesting that the system may be limited with respect to establishing multiple within-feature summaries. Experiment 2 eliminates the possibility that some aspect of the task, other than averaging, was contributing to this observed limitation. In Experiment 3, the same 16 gratings appeared as one large superset, and therefore the task only required one summary representation for size and another one for orientation. Equal simultaneous–sequential performance indicated that between-feature summaries are capacity free. These findings challenge the view that within-feature summaries drive a global sense of visual continuity across areas of the peripheral visual field, and suggest a shift in focus to seeking an understanding of how between-feature summaries in one area of the environment control behavior. PMID:26360153

  7. How "Central" Is Central Coherence?: Preliminary Evidence on the Link between Conceptual and Perceptual Processing in Children with Autism

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lopez, Beatriz; Leekam, Susan R.; Arts, Gerda R. J.

    2008-01-01

    This study aimed to test the assumption drawn from weak central coherence theory that a central cognitive mechanism is responsible for integrating information at both conceptual and perceptual levels. A visual semantic memory task and a face recognition task measuring use of holistic information were administered to 15 children with autism and 16…

  8. Effects of Semantic Context and Feedback on Perceptual Learning of Speech Processed through an Acoustic Simulation of a Cochlear Implant

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Loebach, Jeremy L.; Pisoni, David B.; Svirsky, Mario A.

    2010-01-01

    The effect of feedback and materials on perceptual learning was examined in listeners with normal hearing who were exposed to cochlear implant simulations. Generalization was most robust when feedback paired the spectrally degraded sentences with their written transcriptions, promoting mapping between the degraded signal and its acoustic-phonetic…

  9. Perceptual completion of a sound with a short silent gap.

    PubMed

    Remijn, Gerard B; Nakajima, Yoshitaka; Tanaka, Shunsuke

    2007-01-01

    Listeners reported the perceptual completion of a sound in stimuli consisting of two crossing frequency glides of unequal duration that shared a short silent gap (40 ms or less) at their crossing point. Even though both glides shared the gap, it was consistently perceived only in the shorter glide, whereas the longer glide could be perceptually completed. Studies on perceptual completion in the auditory domain reported so far have shown that completion of a sound with a gap occurs only if the gap is filled with energy from another sound. In the stimuli used here, however, no such substitute energy was present in the gap, showing evidence for perceptual completion of a sound without local stimulation ('modal' completion). Perceptual completion of the long glide occurred under both monaural and dichotic presentation of the gap-sharing glides; it therefore involves central stages of auditory processing. The inclusion of the gap in the short glide, rather than in both the long and the short glide, is explained in terms of auditory event and stream formation.

  10. Specialization of Perceptual Processes.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1994-09-01

    engineering that cannot be transferred to other prob- lems. My second thesis is that specialized systems can be analyzed and understood in a principled...manner, one that allows general lessons to be extracted from specialized systems. I will present a general approach to analyzing specialization...Lightweight vision : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : 137 12.3 Studying the world

  11. Modeling Perceptual Decision Processes

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-09-17

    we completed a study of the effects of sleep deprivation on memory, specifically item recognition and associative recognition (Ratcliff & Van...they might be differentially affected by sleep deprivation . Also, memory is a component in many practical situations, it is important to see how it...is affected in sleep deprivation and to see which components of the memory tasks are affected. Our results showed a decrease in drift rate (evidence

  12. Optimization of a novel enzyme treatment process for early-stage processing of sheepskins.

    PubMed

    Lim, Y F; Bronlund, J E; Allsop, T F; Shilton, A N; Edmonds, R L

    2010-01-01

    An enzyme treatment process for early-stage processing of sheepskins has been previously reported by the Leather and Shoe Research Association of New Zealand (LASRA) as an alternative to current industry operations. The newly developed process had marked benefits over conventional processing in terms of a lowered energy usage (73%), processing time (47%) as well as water use (49%), but had been developed as a "proof of principle''. The objective of this work was to develop the process further to a stage ready for adoption by industry. Mass balancing was used to investigate potential modifications for the process based on the understanding developed from a detailed analysis of preliminary design trials. Results showed that a configuration utilising a 2 stage counter-current system for the washing stages and segregation and recycling of enzyme float prior to dilution in the neutralization stage was a significant improvement. Benefits over conventional processing include a reduction of residual TDS by 50% at the washing stages and 70% savings on water use overall. Benefits over the un-optimized LASRA process are reduction of solids in product after enzyme treatment and neutralization stages by 30%, additional water savings of 21%, as well as 10% savings of enzyme usage.

  13. Lightweight Concrete Produced Using a Two-Stage Casting Process

    PubMed Central

    Yoon, Jin Young; Kim, Jae Hong; Hwang, Yoon Yi; Shin, Dong Kyu

    2015-01-01

    The type of lightweight aggregate and its volume fraction in a mix determine the density of lightweight concrete. Minimizing the density obviously requires a higher volume fraction, but this usually causes aggregates segregation in a conventional mixing process. This paper proposes a two-stage casting process to produce a lightweight concrete. This process involves placing lightweight aggregates in a frame and then filling in the remaining interstitial voids with cementitious grout. The casting process results in the lowest density of lightweight concrete, which consequently has low compressive strength. The irregularly shaped aggregates compensate for the weak point in terms of strength while the round-shape aggregates provide a strength of 20 MPa. Therefore, the proposed casting process can be applied for manufacturing non-structural elements and structural composites requiring a very low density and a strength of at most 20 MPa. PMID:28788007

  14. Lightweight Concrete Produced Using a Two-Stage Casting Process.

    PubMed

    Yoon, Jin Young; Kim, Jae Hong; Hwang, Yoon Yi; Shin, Dong Kyu

    2015-03-25

    The type of lightweight aggregate and its volume fraction in a mix determine the density of lightweight concrete. Minimizing the density obviously requires a higher volume fraction, but this usually causes aggregates segregation in a conventional mixing process. This paper proposes a two-stage casting process to produce a lightweight concrete. This process involves placing lightweight aggregates in a frame and then filling in the remaining interstitial voids with cementitious grout. The casting process results in the lowest density of lightweight concrete, which consequently has low compressive strength. The irregularly shaped aggregates compensate for the weak point in terms of strength while the round-shape aggregates provide a strength of 20 MPa. Therefore, the proposed casting process can be applied for manufacturing non-structural elements and structural composites requiring a very low density and a strength of at most 20 MPa.

  15. Crew Launch Vehicle (CLV) Upper Stage Configuration Selection Process

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Davis, Daniel J.; Coook, Jerry R.

    2006-01-01

    changed since the CLV Project's inception, the USE design has remained essentially a clean-sheet approach. Although a clean-sheet upper stage design inherently carries more risk than a modified design, it does offer many advantages: a design for increased reliability; built-in extensibility to allow for commonality/growth without major redesign; and incorporation of state-of-the-art materials, hardware, and design, fabrication, and test techniques and processes to facilitate a potentially better, more reliable system. Because consideration was given in the ESAS to both clean-sheet and modified USE designs, this paper will highlight the advantages and disadvantages of both approaches and provide a detailed discussion of trades/selections made that led to the final upper stage configuration.

  16. Crew Launch Vehicle (CLV) Upper Stage Configuration Selection Process

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Davis, Daniel J.; Coook, Jerry R.

    2006-01-01

    changed since the CLV Project's inception, the USE design has remained essentially a clean-sheet approach. Although a clean-sheet upper stage design inherently carries more risk than a modified design, it does offer many advantages: a design for increased reliability; built-in extensibility to allow for commonality/growth without major redesign; and incorporation of state-of-the-art materials, hardware, and design, fabrication, and test techniques and processes to facilitate a potentially better, more reliable system. Because consideration was given in the ESAS to both clean-sheet and modified USE designs, this paper will highlight the advantages and disadvantages of both approaches and provide a detailed discussion of trades/selections made that led to the final upper stage configuration.

  17. Geologic Mapping, Volcanic Stages and Magmatic Processes in Hawaiian Volcanoes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sinton, J. M.

    2005-12-01

    rise to various Hawaiian lithologies. This analysis indicates that the important magmatic process that links geologic mapping to volcanic stage is thermal state of the volcano, as manifest by depth of magma evolution. The only criterion for rejuvenation volcanism is the presence of a significant time break (more than several hundred thousand years) preceding eruption.

  18. Neuronal mechanisms of visual perceptual learning.

    PubMed

    Kumano, Hironori; Uka, Takanori

    2013-07-15

    Numerous psychophysical studies have described perceptual learning as long-lasting improvements in perceptual discrimination and detection capabilities following practice. Where and how long-term plastic changes occur in the brain is central to understanding the neural basis of perceptual learning. Here, neurophysiological research using non-human primates is reviewed to address the neural mechanisms underlying visual perceptual learning. Previous studies have shown that training either has no effect on or only weakly alters the sensitivity of neurons in early visual areas, but more recent evidence indicates that training can cause long-term changes in how sensory signals are read out in the later stages of decision making. These results are discussed in the context of learning specificity, which has been crucial in interpreting the mechanisms underlying perceptual learning. The possible mechanisms that support learning-related plasticity are also discussed. Copyright © 2013 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Predicting age-related differences in visual information processing using a two-stage queuing model.

    PubMed

    Ellis, R D; Goldberg, J H; Detweiler, M C

    1996-05-01

    Recent work on age-related differences in some types of visual information processing has qualitatively stated that younger adults are able to develop parallel processing capability, while older adults remain serial processors. A mathematical model based on queuing theory was used to quantitatively predict and parameterize age-related differences in the perceptual encoding and central decision-making aspects of a multiple-frame search task. Statistical results indicated main effects for frame duration, display load, age group, and session of practice. Comparison of the full model and a restricted model indicated an efficient contribution of the encoding speed parameter. The best-fitting parameter set indicated that (1) younger participants processed task information with a two-channel parallel system, while older participants were serial processors; and (2) perceptual encoding had a large impact on age-related differences in task performance. Results are discussed with implications for human factors design principles.

  20. Critical Stages in the Recruitment Process of Rhamnus alaternus L.

    PubMed Central

    GULIAS, J.; TRAVESET, A.; RIERA, N.; MUS, M.

    2004-01-01

    • Background and Aims Rhamnus alaternus is a Mediterranean shrub commonly used in reforestation programs. Although several aspects of its reproductive biology have been studied, little is known about the importance of the different recruitment stages in the overall regeneration process of this species, which limits its proper use in Mediterranean forests and shrubland management. The aim of the present work was to quantify the importance of the different recruitment stages in the regeneration process of R. alaternus. • Methods Two populations of Rhamnus alaternus on the island of Mallorca that differ in climatic conditions, type of habitat and sex ratio were studied. The importance of seed production, seed dispersal and predation, seedling emergence and seedling survival for the regeneration of this species were quantified. • Key Results In both populations, fruit set and fruit removal by animals were not critical stages, since almost half of the flowers became mature fruits and 90 % of those were dispersed. Most seeds were deposited under female conspecifics (86 and 47 %, at Lloret and Esporles, respectively), and very few were found in open inter‐spaces (1 and 5 %). Post‐dispersal seed predation (mostly by ants and rodents) was very high in both populations. Seedling emergence took place during autumn and early winter and it ranged from 31 to 68 % depending upon year and microhabitat. The majority of emerged seedlings died during the first year, mainly due to desiccation; such mortality was influenced by rainfall and differed among microhabitats (varying from 67 to 100 %). The general spatial distribution of seed rain was concordant with the seedling emergence and survival pattern in both populations. • Conclusions The recruitment of Rhamnus alaternus appeared to be mainly limited by seed and seedling survival, regardless of the type of habitat in which the species is found. PMID:15150073

  1. Electrophysiological Correlates of Familiarity and Recollection in Associative Recognition: Contributions of Perceptual and Conceptual Processing to Unitization

    PubMed Central

    Li, Bingcan; Mao, Xinrui; Wang, Yujuan; Guo, Chunyan

    2017-01-01

    It is generally accepted that associative recognition memory is supported by recollection. In addition, recent research indicates that familiarity can support associative memory, especially when two items are unitized into a single item. Both perceptual and conceptual manipulations can be used to unitize items, but few studies have compared these two methods of unitization directly. In the present study, we investigated the effects of familiarity and recollection on successful retrieval of items that were unitized perceptually or conceptually. Participants were instructed to remember either a Chinese two-character compound or unrelated word-pairs, which were presented simultaneously or sequentially. Participants were then asked to recognize whether word-pairs were intact or rearranged. Event-related potential (ERP) recordings were performed during the recognition phase of the study. Two-character compounds were better discriminated than unrelated word-pairs and simultaneous presentation was found to elicit better discrimination than sequential presentation for unrelated word-pairs only. ERP recordings indicated that the early intact/rearranged effects (FN400), typically associated with familiarity, were elicited in compound word-pairs with both simultaneous and sequential presentation, and in simultaneously presented unrelated word-pairs, but not in sequentially presented unrelated word-pairs. In contrast, the late positive complex (LPC) effects associated with recollection were elicited in all four conditions. Together, these results indicate that while the engagement of familiarity in associative recognition is affected by both perceptual and conceptual unitization, conceptual unitization promotes a higher level of unitization (LOU). In addition, the engagement of recollection was not affected by unitized manipulations. It should be noted, however, that due to experimental design, the effects presented here may be due to semantic rather than episodic memory and

  2. Electrophysiological Correlates of Familiarity and Recollection in Associative Recognition: Contributions of Perceptual and Conceptual Processing to Unitization.

    PubMed

    Li, Bingcan; Mao, Xinrui; Wang, Yujuan; Guo, Chunyan

    2017-01-01

    It is generally accepted that associative recognition memory is supported by recollection. In addition, recent research indicates that familiarity can support associative memory, especially when two items are unitized into a single item. Both perceptual and conceptual manipulations can be used to unitize items, but few studies have compared these two methods of unitization directly. In the present study, we investigated the effects of familiarity and recollection on successful retrieval of items that were unitized perceptually or conceptually. Participants were instructed to remember either a Chinese two-character compound or unrelated word-pairs, which were presented simultaneously or sequentially. Participants were then asked to recognize whether word-pairs were intact or rearranged. Event-related potential (ERP) recordings were performed during the recognition phase of the study. Two-character compounds were better discriminated than unrelated word-pairs and simultaneous presentation was found to elicit better discrimination than sequential presentation for unrelated word-pairs only. ERP recordings indicated that the early intact/rearranged effects (FN400), typically associated with familiarity, were elicited in compound word-pairs with both simultaneous and sequential presentation, and in simultaneously presented unrelated word-pairs, but not in sequentially presented unrelated word-pairs. In contrast, the late positive complex (LPC) effects associated with recollection were elicited in all four conditions. Together, these results indicate that while the engagement of familiarity in associative recognition is affected by both perceptual and conceptual unitization, conceptual unitization promotes a higher level of unitization (LOU). In addition, the engagement of recollection was not affected by unitized manipulations. It should be noted, however, that due to experimental design, the effects presented here may be due to semantic rather than episodic memory and

  3. Perceptually optimized image rendering

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Laparra, Valero; Berardino, Alexander; Ballé, Johannes; Simoncelli, Eero P.

    2017-09-01

    We develop a framework for rendering photographic images, taking into account display limitations, so as to optimize perceptual similarity between the rendered image and the original scene. We formulate this as a constrained optimization problem, in which we minimize a measure of perceptual dissimilarity, the Normalized Laplacian Pyramid Distance (NLPD), which mimics the early stage transformations of the human visual system. When rendering images acquired with higher dynamic range than that of the display, we find that the optimized solution boosts the contrast of low-contrast features without introducing significant artifacts, yielding results of comparable visual quality to current state-of-the art methods with no manual intervention or parameter settings. We also examine a variety of other display constraints, including limitations on minimum luminance (black point), mean luminance (as a proxy for energy consumption), and quantized luminance levels (halftoning). Finally, we show that the method may be used to enhance details and contrast of images degraded by optical scattering (e.g. fog).

  4. Acceptance Probability (P a) Analysis for Process Validation Lifecycle Stages.

    PubMed

    Alsmeyer, Daniel; Pazhayattil, Ajay; Chen, Shu; Munaretto, Francesco; Hye, Maksuda; Sanghvi, Pradeep

    2016-04-01

    This paper introduces an innovative statistical approach towards understanding how variation impacts the acceptance criteria of quality attributes. Because of more complex stage-wise acceptance criteria, traditional process capability measures are inadequate for general application in the pharmaceutical industry. The probability of acceptance concept provides a clear measure, derived from specific acceptance criteria for each quality attribute. In line with the 2011 FDA Guidance, this approach systematically evaluates data and scientifically establishes evidence that a process is capable of consistently delivering quality product. The probability of acceptance provides a direct and readily understandable indication of product risk. As with traditional capability indices, the acceptance probability approach assumes that underlying data distributions are normal. The computational solutions for dosage uniformity and dissolution acceptance criteria are readily applicable. For dosage uniformity, the expected AV range may be determined using the s lo and s hi values along with the worst case estimates of the mean. This approach permits a risk-based assessment of future batch performance of the critical quality attributes. The concept is also readily applicable to sterile/non sterile liquid dose products. Quality attributes such as deliverable volume and assay per spray have stage-wise acceptance that can be converted into an acceptance probability. Accepted statistical guidelines indicate processes with C pk > 1.33 as performing well within statistical control and those with C pk < 1.0 as "incapable" (1). A C pk > 1.33 is associated with a centered process that will statistically produce less than 63 defective units per million. This is equivalent to an acceptance probability of >99.99%.

  5. The BEVPS: A new test battery to assess visual perceptual and spatial processing abilities in 5-14 year-old children.

    PubMed

    Schmetz, Emilie; Rousselle, Laurence; Ballaz, Cécile; Detraux, Jean-Jacques; Barisnikov, Koviljka

    2017-06-20

    This study aims to examine the different levels of visual perceptual object recognition (early, intermediate, and late) defined in Humphreys and Riddoch's model as well as basic visual spatial processing in children using a new test battery (BEVPS). It focuses on the age sensitivity, internal coherence, theoretical validity, and convergent validity of this battery. French-speaking, typically developing children (n = 179; 5 to 14 years) were assessed using 15 new computerized subtests. After selecting the most age-sensitive tasks though ceiling effect and correlation analyses, an exploratory factorial analysis was run with the 12 remaining subtests to examine the BEVPS' theoretical validity. Three separate factors were identified for the assessment of the stimuli's basic features (F1, four subtests), view-dependent and -independent object representations (F2, six subtests), and basic visual spatial processing (F3, two subtests). Convergent validity analyses revealed positive correlations between F1 and F2 and the Beery-VMI visual perception subtest, while no such correlations were found for F3. Children's performances progressed until the age of 9-10 years in F1 and in view-independent representations (F2), and until 11-12 years in view-dependent representations (F2). However, no progression with age was observed in F3. Moreover, the selected subtests, present good-to-excellent internal consistency, which indicates that they provide reliable measures for the assessment of visual perceptual processing abilities in children.

  6. Specificity of perceptual learning increases with increased training

    PubMed Central

    Jeter, Pamela E.; Dosher, Barbara Anne; Liu, Shiau-Hua; Lu, Zhong-Lin

    2012-01-01

    Perceptual learning often shows substantial and long-lasting changes in the ability to classify relevant perceptual stimuli due to practice. Specificity to trained stimuli and tasks is a key characteristic of visual perceptual learning, but little is known about whether specificity depends upon the extent of initial training. Using an orientation discrimination task, we demonstrate that specificity follows after extensive training, while the earliest stages of perceptual learning exhibit substantial transfer to a new location and an opposite orientation. Brief training shows the best performance at the point of transfer. These results for orientation-location transfer have both theoretical and practical implications for understanding perceptual expertise. PMID:20624413

  7. Ultrafine coal single stage dewatering and briquetting process

    SciTech Connect

    Wilson, J.W.; Honaker, R.Q.

    1995-12-31

    It is well known that a large portion of the pyrite particles in the coal seams of the Illinois Basin are finely disseminated within the coal matrix. In order to liberate these micron size pyrite particles, one must use a fine grinding operation. The ultrafine coal particles are difficult to dewater and create problems in coal transportation, as well as in storage and handling at utility plants. The objective of this research project is to combine the ultrafine coal dewatering and briquetting processes into a single stage operation. This will be accomplished by the use of bitumen based emulsions for dewatering and a compaction device for briquetting. During this reporting period, several types of coal samples with various particle size distributions have been tested for use in the dewatering and briquetting processes. Furthermore, various bitumen emulsions have been tested to determine the optimum dewatering reagent. These dewatering and pelletizing tests were carried out using a lab-scale ram extruder. Discharge from the dewatering and briquetting processes was tested to determine compliance with current federal and state requirements. The influence of bitumen emulsion on the sulfur content of coal pellets made were also examined. In addition, a ram extruder which can be operated continuously to simulate a rotary press operation, has been built and is currently being tested for use in the fine coal dewatering and pelletizing process.

  8. Disruption of visual awareness during the attentional blink is reflected by selective disruption of late-stage neural processing

    PubMed Central

    Harris, Joseph A.; McMahon, Alex R.; Woldorff, Marty G.

    2015-01-01

    Any information represented in the brain holds the potential to influence behavior. It is therefore of broad interest to determine the extent and quality of neural processing of stimulus input that occurs with and without awareness. The attentional blink is a useful tool for dissociating neural and behavioral measures of perceptual visual processing across conditions of awareness. The extent of higher-order visual information beyond basic sensory signaling that is processed during the attentional blink remains controversial. To determine what neural processing at the level of visual-object identification occurs in the absence of awareness, electrophysiological responses to images of faces and houses were recorded both within and outside of the attentional blink period during a rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) stream. Electrophysiological results were sorted according to behavioral performance (correctly identified targets versus missed targets) within these blink and non-blink periods. An early index of face-specific processing (the N170, 140–220 ms post-stimulus) was observed regardless of whether the subject demonstrated awareness of the stimulus, whereas a later face-specific effect with the same topographic distribution (500–700 ms post-stimulus) was only seen for accurate behavioral discrimination of the stimulus content. The present findings suggest a multi-stage process of object-category processing, with only the later phase being associated with explicit visual awareness. PMID:23859644

  9. Assess sleep stage by modern signal processing techniques.

    PubMed

    Wu, Hau-tieng; Talmon, Ronen; Lo, Yu-Lun

    2015-04-01

    In this paper, two modern adaptive signal processing techniques, empirical intrinsic geometry and synchrosqueezing transform, are applied to quantify different dynamical features of the respiratory and electroencephalographic signals. We show that the proposed features are theoretically rigorously supported, as well as capture the sleep information hidden inside the signals. The features are used as input to multiclass support vector machines with the radial basis function to automatically classify sleep stages. The effectiveness of the classification based on the proposed features is shown to be comparable to human expert classification-the proposed classification of awake, REM, N1, N2, and N3 sleeping stages based on the respiratory signal (resp. respiratory and EEG signals) has the overall accuracy 81.7% (resp. 89.3%) in the relatively normal subject group. In addition, by examining the combination of the respiratory signal with the electroencephalographic signal, we conclude that the respiratory signal consists of ample sleep information, which supplements to the information stored in the electroencephalographic signal.

  10. A thermal microprobe fabricated with wafer-stage processing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Yongxia; Zhang, Yanwei; Blaser, Juliana; Sriram, T. S.; Enver, Ahsan; Marcus, R. B.

    1998-05-01

    A thermal microprobe has been designed and built for high resolution temperature sensing. The thermal sensor is a thin-film thermocouple junction at the tip of an atomic force microprobe (AFM) silicon probe needle. Only wafer-stage processing steps are used for the fabrication. For high resolution temperature sensing it is essential that the junction be confined to a short distance at the AFM tip. This confinement is achieved by a controlled photoresist coating process. Experiment prototypes have been made with an Au/Pd junction confined to within 0.5 μm of the tip, with the two metals separated elsewhere by a thin insulating oxide layer. Processing begins with double-polished, n-type, 4 in. diameter, 300-μm-thick silicon wafers. Atomically sharp probe tips are formed by a combination of dry and wet chemical etching, and oxidation sharpening. The metal layers are sputtering deposited and the cantilevers are released by a combination of KOH and dry etching. A resistively heated calibration device was made for temperature calibration of the thermal microprobe over the temperature range 25-110 °C. Over this range the thermal outputs of two microprobes are 4.5 and 5.6 μV/K and is linear. Thermal and topographical images are also obtained from a heated tungsten thin film fuse.

  11. Conjugated linoleic acid in processed cheeses during the manufacturing stages.

    PubMed

    Luna, Pilar; de la Fuente, Miguel Angel; Juárez, Manuela

    2005-04-06

    Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is a naturally occurring micronutrient in milk fat and dairy products consisting of a group of geometric and positional isomers. The purpose of this study was to assess the level and type of CLA isomers found in two commercial processed cheeses (portions and slices) as well as to monitor their evolution during the different manufacturing stages. Total CLA concentrations ranged from 7.5 to 7.9 mg/g of fat, and rumenic acid (cis-9,trans-11 C18:2), the isomer responsible for the biological functions, represented >80% of total CLA. trans-11,cis-13 and trans-11,trans-13 were, with approximately 4% each, the second main CLA isomers. trans-trans isomers accounted for <10% of total CLA. The processing parameters used in this research had negligible effects on the CLA content of processed cheese and did not modify the isomer profile in these dairy products, thereby confirming the stability of rumenic acid during manufacturing.

  12. Processing Stages Underlying Word Recognition in the Anteroventral Temporal Lobe

    PubMed Central

    Halgren, Eric; Wang, Chunmao; Schomer, Donald L.; Knake, Susanne; Marinkovic, Ksenija; Wu, Julian; Ulbert, Istvan

    2006-01-01

    The anteroventral temporal lobe integrates visual, lexical, semantic and mnestic aspects of word-processing, through its reciprocal connections with the ventral visual stream, language areas, and the hippocampal formation. We used linear microelectrode arrays to probe population synaptic currents and neuronal firing in different cortical layers of the anteroventral temporal lobe, during semantic judgments with implicit priming, and overt word recognition. Since different extrinsic and associative inputs preferentially target different cortical layers, this method can help reveal the sequence and nature of local processing stages at a higher resolution than was previously possible. The initial response in inferotemporal and perirhinal cortices is a brief current sink beginning at ~120ms, and peaking at ~170ms. Localization of this initial sink to middle layers suggests that it represents feedforward input from lower visual areas, and simultaneously increased firing implies that it represents excitatory synaptic currents. Until ~800ms, the main focus of transmembrane current sinks alternates between middle and superficial layers, with the superficial focus becoming increasingly dominant after ~550ms. Since superficial layers are the target of local and feedback associative inputs, this suggests an alternation in predominant synaptic input between feedforward and feedback modes. Word repetition does not affect the initial perirhinal and inferotemporal middle layer sink, but does decrease later activity. Entorhinal activity begins later (~200ms), with greater apparent excitatory postsynaptic currents and multiunit activity in neocortically-projecting than hippocampal-projecting layers. In contrast to perirhinal and entorhinal responses, entorhinal responses are larger to repeated words during memory retrieval. These results identify a sequence of physiological activation, beginning with a sharp activation from lower level visual areas carrying specific information to

  13. Perceptual Repetition Blindness Effects

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hochhaus, Larry; Johnston, James C.; Null, Cynthia H. (Technical Monitor)

    1994-01-01

    The phenomenon of repetition blindness (RB) may reveal a new limitation on human perceptual processing. Recently, however, researchers have attributed RB to post-perceptual processes such as memory retrieval and/or reporting biases. The standard rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) paradigm used in most RB studies is, indeed, open to such objections. Here we investigate RB using a "single-frame" paradigm introduced by Johnston and Hale (1984) in which memory demands are minimal. Subjects made only a single judgement about whether one masked target word was the same or different than a post-target probe. Confidence ratings permitted use of signal detection methods to assess sensitivity and bias effects. In the critical condition for RB a precue of the post-target word was provided prior to the target stimulus (identity precue), so that the required judgement amounted to whether the target did or did not repeat the precue word. In control treatments, the precue was either an unrelated word or a dummy.

  14. Multiple spatial frequency channels in human visual perceptual memory.

    PubMed

    Nemes, V A; Whitaker, D; Heron, J; McKeefry, D J

    2011-12-08

    Current models of short-term visual perceptual memory invoke mechanisms that are closely allied to low-level perceptual discrimination mechanisms. The purpose of this study was to investigate the extent to which human visual perceptual memory for spatial frequency is based upon multiple, spatially tuned channels similar to those found in the earliest stages of visual processing. To this end we measured how performance on a delayed spatial frequency discrimination paradigm was affected by the introduction of interfering or 'memory masking' stimuli of variable spatial frequency during the delay period. Masking stimuli were shown to induce shifts in the points of subjective equality (PSE) when their spatial frequencies were within a bandwidth of 1.2 octaves of the reference spatial frequency. When mask spatial frequencies differed by more than this value, there was no change in the PSE from baseline levels. This selective pattern of masking was observed for different spatial frequencies and demonstrates the existence of multiple, spatially tuned mechanisms in visual perceptual memory. Memory masking effects were also found to occur for horizontal separations of up to 6 deg between the masking and test stimuli and lacked any orientation selectivity. These findings add further support to the view that low-level sensory processing mechanisms form the basis for the retention of spatial frequency information in perceptual memory. However, the broad range of transfer of memory masking effects across spatial location and other dimensions indicates more long range, long duration interactions between spatial frequency channels that are likely to rely contributions from neural processes located in higher visual areas.

  15. Perceptual learning of acoustic noise generates memory-evoked potentials.

    PubMed

    Andrillon, Thomas; Kouider, Sid; Agus, Trevor; Pressnitzer, Daniel

    2015-11-02

    Experience continuously imprints on the brain at all stages of life. The traces it leaves behind can produce perceptual learning [1], which drives adaptive behavior to previously encountered stimuli. Recently, it has been shown that even random noise, a type of sound devoid of acoustic structure, can trigger fast and robust perceptual learning after repeated exposure [2]. Here, by combining psychophysics, electroencephalography (EEG), and modeling, we show that the perceptual learning of noise is associated with evoked potentials, without any salient physical discontinuity or obvious acoustic landmark in the sound. Rather, the potentials appeared whenever a memory trace was observed behaviorally. Such memory-evoked potentials were characterized by early latencies and auditory topographies, consistent with a sensory origin. Furthermore, they were generated even on conditions of diverted attention. The EEG waveforms could be modeled as standard evoked responses to auditory events (N1-P2) [3], triggered by idiosyncratic perceptual features acquired through learning. Thus, we argue that the learning of noise is accompanied by the rapid formation of sharp neural selectivity to arbitrary and complex acoustic patterns, within sensory regions. Such a mechanism bridges the gap between the short-term and longer-term plasticity observed in the learning of noise [2, 4-6]. It could also be key to the processing of natural sounds within auditory cortices [7], suggesting that the neural code for sound source identification will be shaped by experience as well as by acoustics.

  16. Prolonged Perceptual Learning of Positional Acuity in Adult Amblyopia

    PubMed Central

    Li, Roger W; Klein, Stanley A; Levi, Dennis M

    2009-01-01

    Amblyopia is a developmental abnormality that results in physiological alterations in the visual cortex and impairs form vision. It is often successfully treated by patching the sound eye in infants and young children, but is generally considered to be untreatable in adults. However, a number of recent studies suggest that repetitive practice of a visual task using the amblyopic eye results in improved performance in both children and adults with amblyopia. These perceptual learning studies have used relatively brief periods of practice; however, clinical studies have shown that the time-constant for successful patching is long. The time-constant for perceptual learning in amblyopia is still unknown. Here we show that the time-constant for perceptual learning depends on the degree of amblyopia. Severe amblyopia requires more than 50 hours (≈35,000 trials) to reach plateau, yielding as much as a five-fold improvement in performance at a rate of ≈1.5% per hour. There is significant transfer of learning from the amblyopic to the dominant eye, suggesting that the learning reflects alterations in higher decision stages of processing. Using a reverse correlation technique, we document, for the first time, a dynamic retuning of the amblyopic perceptual decision template and a substantial reduction in internal spatial distortion. These results show that the mature amblyopic brain is surprisingly malleable, and point to more intensive treatment methods for amblyopia. PMID:19109504

  17. Disambiguating Multi–Modal Scene Representations Using Perceptual Grouping Constraints

    PubMed Central

    Pugeault, Nicolas; Wörgötter, Florentin; Krüger, Norbert

    2010-01-01

    In its early stages, the visual system suffers from a lot of ambiguity and noise that severely limits the performance of early vision algorithms. This article presents feedback mechanisms between early visual processes, such as perceptual grouping, stereopsis and depth reconstruction, that allow the system to reduce this ambiguity and improve early representation of visual information. In the first part, the article proposes a local perceptual grouping algorithm that — in addition to commonly used geometric information — makes use of a novel multi–modal measure between local edge/line features. The grouping information is then used to: 1) disambiguate stereopsis by enforcing that stereo matches preserve groups; and 2) correct the reconstruction error due to the image pixel sampling using a linear interpolation over the groups. The integration of mutual feedback between early vision processes is shown to reduce considerably ambiguity and noise without the need for global constraints. PMID:20544006

  18. Some Perceptual Prerequisites for Reading.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Frith, Uta; Vogel, Juliet M.

    The two chapters of this monograph deal with the issue of the existence of a perceptual grammar that influences reading proficiency, particularly initial reading proficiency. The first chapter indicates the importance of studying reading and writing in terms of readers' and writers' knowledge of visuo-spatial processing rules. It discusses…

  19. Perceptual learning: Toward a comprehensive theory

    PubMed Central

    Watanabe, Takeo; Sasaki, Yuka

    2014-01-01

    Visual perceptual learning (VPL) is long-term performance increase resulting from visual perceptual experience. Task-relevant VPL of a feature results from training of a task on the feature relevant to the task. Task-irrelevant VPL arises as a result of exposure to the feature irrelevant to the trained task. There are at least two serious problems. First, which stage of information processing is changed in association with task-relevant VPL is controversial. Second, no model has ever explained both task-relevant and task-irrelevant VPL. Here we propose a dual plasticity model, in which there are feature-based plasticity that is a change in a representation of the learned feature and task-based plasticity that is a change in processing of the trained task. While the two types of plasticity underlie task-relevant VPL, only feature-based plasticity lies under task-irrelevant VPL. This model provides a new comprehensive framework in which apparently contradictory results could be explained. PMID:25251494

  20. Perceptual learning: toward a comprehensive theory.

    PubMed

    Watanabe, Takeo; Sasaki, Yuka

    2015-01-03

    Visual perceptual learning (VPL) is long-term performance increase resulting from visual perceptual experience. Task-relevant VPL of a feature results from training of a task on the feature relevant to the task. Task-irrelevant VPL arises as a result of exposure to the feature irrelevant to the trained task. At least two serious problems exist. First, there is the controversy over which stage of information processing is changed in association with task-relevant VPL. Second, no model has ever explained both task-relevant and task-irrelevant VPL. Here we propose a dual plasticity model in which feature-based plasticity is a change in a representation of the learned feature, and task-based plasticity is a change in processing of the trained task. Although the two types of plasticity underlie task-relevant VPL, only feature-based plasticity underlies task-irrelevant VPL. This model provides a new comprehensive framework in which apparently contradictory results could be explained.

  1. Basic auditory processing and sensitivity to prosodic structure in children with specific language impairments: a new look at a perceptual hypothesis

    PubMed Central

    Cumming, Ruth; Wilson, Angela; Goswami, Usha

    2015-01-01

    Children with specific language impairments (SLIs) show impaired perception and production of spoken language, and can also present with motor, auditory, and phonological difficulties. Recent auditory studies have shown impaired sensitivity to amplitude rise time (ART) in children with SLIs, along with non-speech rhythmic timing difficulties. Linguistically, these perceptual impairments should affect sensitivity to speech prosody and syllable stress. Here we used two tasks requiring sensitivity to prosodic structure, the DeeDee task and a stress misperception task, to investigate this hypothesis. We also measured auditory processing of ART, rising pitch and sound duration, in both speech (“ba”) and non-speech (tone) stimuli. Participants were 45 children with SLI aged on average 9 years and 50 age-matched controls. We report data for all the SLI children (N = 45, IQ varying), as well as for two independent SLI subgroupings with intact IQ. One subgroup, “Pure SLI,” had intact phonology and reading (N = 16), the other, “SLI PPR” (N = 15), had impaired phonology and reading. Problems with syllable stress and prosodic structure were found for all the group comparisons. Both sub-groups with intact IQ showed reduced sensitivity to ART in speech stimuli, but the PPR subgroup also showed reduced sensitivity to sound duration in speech stimuli. Individual differences in processing syllable stress were associated with auditory processing. These data support a new hypothesis, the “prosodic phrasing” hypothesis, which proposes that grammatical difficulties in SLI may reflect perceptual difficulties with global prosodic structure related to auditory impairments in processing amplitude rise time and duration. PMID:26217286

  2. 'If you are good, I get better': the role of social hierarchy in perceptual decision-making.

    PubMed

    Santamaría-García, Hernando; Pannunzi, Mario; Ayneto, Alba; Deco, Gustavo; Sebastián-Gallés, Nuria

    2014-10-01

    So far, it was unclear if social hierarchy could influence sensory or perceptual cognitive processes. We evaluated the effects of social hierarchy on these processes using a basic visual perceptual decision task. We constructed a social hierarchy where participants performed the perceptual task separately with two covertly simulated players (superior, inferior). Participants were faster (better) when performing the discrimination task with the superior player. We studied the time course when social hierarchy was processed using event-related potentials and observed hierarchical effects even in early stages of sensory-perceptual processing, suggesting early top-down modulation by social hierarchy. Moreover, in a parallel analysis, we fitted a drift-diffusion model (DDM) to the results to evaluate the decision making process of this perceptual task in the context of a social hierarchy. Consistently, the DDM pointed to nondecision time (probably perceptual encoding) as the principal period influenced by social hierarchy. © The Author (2013). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  3. The cerebellum and visual perceptual learning: evidence from a motion extrapolation task.

    PubMed

    Deluca, Cristina; Golzar, Ashkan; Santandrea, Elisa; Lo Gerfo, Emanuele; Eštočinová, Jana; Moretto, Giuseppe; Fiaschi, Antonio; Panzeri, Marta; Mariotti, Caterina; Tinazzi, Michele; Chelazzi, Leonardo

    2014-09-01

    Visual perceptual learning is widely assumed to reflect plastic changes occurring along the cerebro-cortical visual pathways, including at the earliest stages of processing, though increasing evidence indicates that higher-level brain areas are also involved. Here we addressed the possibility that the cerebellum plays an important role in visual perceptual learning. Within the realm of motor control, the cerebellum supports learning of new skills and recalibration of motor commands when movement execution is consistently perturbed (adaptation). Growing evidence indicates that the cerebellum is also involved in cognition and mediates forms of cognitive learning. Therefore, the obvious question arises whether the cerebellum might play a similar role in learning and adaptation within the perceptual domain. We explored a possible deficit in visual perceptual learning (and adaptation) in patients with cerebellar damage using variants of a novel motion extrapolation, psychophysical paradigm. Compared to their age- and gender-matched controls, patients with focal damage to the posterior (but not the anterior) cerebellum showed strongly diminished learning, in terms of both rate and amount of improvement over time. Consistent with a double-dissociation pattern, patients with focal damage to the anterior cerebellum instead showed more severe clinical motor deficits, indicative of a distinct role of the anterior cerebellum in the motor domain. The collected evidence demonstrates that a pure form of slow-incremental visual perceptual learning is crucially dependent on the intact cerebellum, bearing the notion that the human cerebellum acts as a learning device for motor, cognitive and perceptual functions. We interpret the deficit in terms of an inability to fine-tune predictive models of the incoming flow of visual perceptual input over time. Moreover, our results suggest a strong dissociation between the role of different portions of the cerebellum in motor versus

  4. Rehabilitation of face-processing skills in an adolescent with prosopagnosia: Evaluation of an online perceptual training programme.

    PubMed

    Bate, Sarah; Bennetts, Rachel; Mole, Joseph A; Ainge, James A; Gregory, Nicola J; Bobak, Anna K; Bussunt, Amanda

    2015-01-01

    In this paper we describe the case of EM, a female adolescent who acquired prosopagnosia following encephalitis at the age of eight. Initial neuropsychological and eye-movement investigations indicated that EM had profound difficulties in face perception as well as face recognition. EM underwent 14 weeks of perceptual training in an online programme that attempted to improve her ability to make fine-grained discriminations between faces. Following training, EM's face perception skills had improved, and the effect generalised to untrained faces. Eye-movement analyses also indicated that EM spent more time viewing the inner facial features post-training. Examination of EM's face recognition skills revealed an improvement in her recognition of personally-known faces when presented in a laboratory-based test, although the same gains were not noted in her everyday experiences with these faces. In addition, EM did not improve on a test assessing the recognition of newly encoded faces. One month after training, EM had maintained the improvement on the eye-tracking test, and to a lesser extent, her performance on the familiar faces test. This pattern of findings is interpreted as promising evidence that the programme can improve face perception skills, and with some adjustments, may at least partially improve face recognition skills.

  5. The relationship between the objective identification threshold and priming effects does not provide a definitive boundary between conscious and unconscious perceptual processes.

    PubMed

    Fisk, Gary D; Haase, Steven J

    2011-12-01

    The Objective Threshold/Strategic Model (OT/S) proposes that strong, qualitative inferences of unconscious perception can be made if the relationship between perceptual sensitivity (typically priming effects) and stimulus visibility is nonlinear and nonmonotonic. The model proposes a nadir in priming effects at the objective identification threshold (identification d'=0). These predictions were tested with masked semantic priming and repetition priming of a lexical decision task. The visibility of the prime stimuli was systematically varied above and below the objective identification threshold. The obtained relationship between prime visibility and priming facilitation was nonlinear, but the results failed to confirm a nadir in priming effects at the objective identification threshold. We conclude that the objective identification threshold does not necessarily indicate the point where presumably unconscious priming effects might be inhibited by conscious cognitive processes. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  6. Negative BOLD response and serotonin concentration within rostral subgenual portion of the anterior cingulate cortex for long-allele carriers during perceptual processing of emotional tasks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hadi, Shamil M.; Siadat, Mohamad R.; Babajani-Feremi, Abbas

    2012-03-01

    We investigated the effect of synaptic serotonin concentration on hemodynamic responses. The stimuli paradigm involved the presentation of fearful and threatening facial expressions to a set of 24 subjects who were either5HTTLPR long- or short-allele carriers (12 of each type in each group). The BOLD signals of the rACC from subjects of each group were averaged to increase the signal-to-noise ratio. We used a Bayesian approach to estimate the parameters of the underlying hemodynamic model. Our results, during this perceptual processing of emotional task, showed a negative BOLD signal in the rACC in the subjects with long-alleles. In contrast, the subjects with short-alleles showed positive BOLD signals in the rACC. These results suggest that high synaptic serotonin concentration in the rACC inhibits neuronal activity in a fashion similar to GABA, and a consequent negative BOLD signal ensues.

  7. Locally Adaptive Perceptual Compression for Color Images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Kuo-Cheng; Chou, Chun-Hsien

    The main idea in perceptual image compression is to remove the perceptual redundancy for representing images at the lowest possible bit rate without introducing perceivable distortion. A certain amount of perceptual redundancy is inherent in the color image since human eyes are not perfect sensors for discriminating small differences in color signals. Effectively exploiting the perceptual redundancy will help to improve the coding efficiency of compressing color images. In this paper, a locally adaptive perceptual compression scheme for color images is proposed. The scheme is based on the design of an adaptive quantizer for compressing color images with the nearly lossless visual quality at a low bit rate. An effective way to achieve the nearly lossless visual quality is to shape the quantization error as a part of perceptual redundancy while compressing color images. This method is to control the adaptive quantization stage by the perceptual redundancy of the color image. In this paper, the perceptual redundancy in the form of the noise detection threshold associated with each coefficient in each subband of three color components of the color image is derived based on the finding of perceptually indistinguishable regions of color stimuli in the uniform color space and various masking effects of human visual perception. The quantizer step size for the target coefficient in each color component is adaptively adjusted by the associated noise detection threshold to make sure that the resulting quantization error is not perceivable. Simulation results show that the compression performance of the proposed scheme using the adaptively coefficient-wise quantization is better than that using the band-wise quantization. The nearly lossless visual quality of the reconstructed image can be achieved by the proposed scheme at lower entropy.

  8. The discovery of processing stages: analyzing EEG data with hidden semi-Markov models.

    PubMed

    Borst, Jelmer P; Anderson, John R

    2015-03-01

    In this paper we propose a new method for identifying processing stages in human information processing. Since the 1860s scientists have used different methods to identify processing stages, usually based on reaction time (RT) differences between conditions. To overcome the limitations of RT-based methods we used hidden semi-Markov models (HSMMs) to analyze EEG data. This HSMM-EEG methodology can identify stages of processing and how they vary with experimental condition. By combining this information with the brain signatures of the identified stages one can infer their function, and deduce underlying cognitive processes. To demonstrate the method we applied it to an associative recognition task. The stage-discovery method indicated that three major processes play a role in associative recognition: a familiarity process, an associative retrieval process, and a decision process. We conclude that the new stage-discovery method can provide valuable insight into human information processing.

  9. Can Attention be Divided Between Perceptual Groups?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    McCann, Robert S.; Foyle, David C.; Johnston, James C.; Hart, Sandra G. (Technical Monitor)

    1994-01-01

    Previous work using Head-Up Displays (HUDs) suggests that the visual system parses the HUD and the outside world into distinct perceptual groups, with attention deployed sequentially to first one group and then the other. New experiments show that both groups can be processed in parallel in a divided attention search task, even though subjects have just processed a stimulus in one perceptual group or the other. Implications for models of visual attention will be discussed.

  10. Can Attention be Divided Between Perceptual Groups?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    McCann, Robert S.; Foyle, David C.; Johnston, James C.; Hart, Sandra G. (Technical Monitor)

    1994-01-01

    Previous work using Head-Up Displays (HUDs) suggests that the visual system parses the HUD and the outside world into distinct perceptual groups, with attention deployed sequentially to first one group and then the other. New experiments show that both groups can be processed in parallel in a divided attention search task, even though subjects have just processed a stimulus in one perceptual group or the other. Implications for models of visual attention will be discussed.

  11. Generalized perceptual linear prediction features for animal vocalization analysis.

    PubMed

    Clemins, Patrick J; Johnson, Michael T

    2006-07-01

    A new feature extraction model, generalized perceptual linear prediction (gPLP), is developed to calculate a set of perceptually relevant features for digital signal analysis of animal vocalizations. The gPLP model is a generalized adaptation of the perceptual linear prediction model, popular in human speech processing, which incorporates perceptual information such as frequency warping and equal loudness normalization into the feature extraction process. Since such perceptual information is available for a number of animal species, this new approach integrates that information into a generalized model to extract perceptually relevant features for a particular species. To illustrate, qualitative and quantitative comparisons are made between the species-specific model, generalized perceptual linear prediction (gPLP), and the original PLP model using a set of vocalizations collected from captive African elephants (Loxodonta africana) and wild beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas). The models that incorporate perceptional information outperform the original human-based models in both visualization and classification tasks.

  12. Downstream processing of antibodies: single-stage versus multi-stage aqueous two-phase extraction.

    PubMed

    Rosa, P A J; Azevedo, A M; Ferreira, I F; Sommerfeld, S; Bäcker, W; Aires-Barros, M R

    2009-12-11

    Single-stage and multi-stage strategies have been evaluated and compared for the purification of human antibodies using liquid-liquid extraction in aqueous two-phase systems (ATPSs) composed of polyethylene glycol 3350 (PEG 3350), dextran, and triethylene glycol diglutaric acid (TEG-COOH). The performance of single-stage extraction systems was firstly investigated by studying the effect of pH, TEG-COOH concentration and volume ratio on the partitioning of the different components of a Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells supernatant. It was observed that lower pH values and high TEG-COOH concentrations favoured the selective extraction of human immunoglobulin G (IgG) to the PEG-rich phase. Higher recovery yields, purities and percentage of contaminants removal were always achieved in the presence of the ligand, TEG-COOH. The extraction of IgG could be enhanced using higher volume ratios, however with a significant decrease in both purity and percentage of contaminants removal. The best single-stage extraction conditions were achieved for an ATPS containing 1.3% (w/w) TEG-COOH with a volume ratio of 2.2, which allowed the recovery of 96% of IgG in the PEG-rich phase with a final IgG concentration of 0.21mg/mL, a protein purity of 87% and a total purity of 43%. In order to enhance simultaneously both recovery yield and purity, a four stage cross-current operation was simulated and the corresponding liquid-liquid equilibrium (LLE) data determined. A predicted optimised scheme of a counter-current multi-stage aqueous two-phase extraction was hence described. IgG can be purified in the PEG-rich top phase with a final recovery yield of 95%, a final concentration of 1.04mg/mL and a protein purity of 93%, if a PEG/dextran ATPS containing 1.3% (w/w) TEG-COOH, 5 stages and volume ratio of 0.4 are used. Moreover, according to the LLE data of all CHO cells supernatant components, it was possible to observe that most of the cells supernatant contaminants can be removed during this

  13. Visual prediction and perceptual expertise

    PubMed Central

    Cheung, Olivia S.; Bar, Moshe

    2012-01-01

    Making accurate predictions about what may happen in the environment requires analogies between perceptual input and associations in memory. These elements of predictions are based on cortical representations, but little is known about how these processes can be enhanced by experience and training. On the other hand, studies on perceptual expertise have revealed that the acquisition of expertise leads to strengthened associative processing among features or objects, suggesting that predictions and expertise may be tightly connected. Here we review the behavioral and neural findings regarding the mechanisms involving prediction and expert processing, and highlight important possible overlaps between them. Future investigation should examine the relations among perception, memory and prediction skills as a function of expertise. The knowledge gained by this line of research will have implications for visual cognition research, and will advance our understanding of how the human brain can improve its ability to predict by learning from experience. PMID:22123523

  14. Perceptual load influences selective attention across development.

    PubMed

    Couperus, Jane W

    2011-09-01

    Research suggests that visual selective attention develops across childhood. However, there is relatively little understanding of the neurological changes that accompany this development, particularly in the context of adult theories of selective attention, such as N. Lavie's (1995) perceptual load theory of attention. This study examined visual selective attention across development from 7 years of age to adulthood. Specifically, the author examined if changes in processing as a function of selective attention are similarly influenced by perceptual load across development. Participants were asked to complete a task at either low or high perceptual load while processing of an unattended probe stimulus was examined using event related potentials. Similar to adults, children and teens showed reduced processing of the unattended stimulus as perceptual load increased at the P1 visual component. However, although there were no qualitative differences in changes in processing, there were quantitative differences, with shorter P1 latencies in teens and adults compared with children, suggesting increases in the speed of processing across development. In addition, younger children did not need as high a perceptual load to achieve the same difference in performance between low and high perceptual load as adults. Thus, this study demonstrates that although there are developmental changes in visual selective attention, the mechanisms by which visual selective attention is achieved in children may share similarities with adults.

  15. Increased sensitivity to perceptual interference in adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

    PubMed

    Stevens, Alexander A; Maron, Leeza; Nigg, Joel T; Cheung, Desmond; Ester, Edward F; Awh, Edward

    2012-05-01

    Difficulty with selective attention is a frequent complaint of adult patients with ADHD, but selective attention tasks have not provided robust evidence of attentional dysfunction in this group. Two experiments examine this puzzle by distinguishing between failures of spatial selection and problems due to sensitivity to perceptual interference. In Experiment 1, we measured the level of perceptual interference generated by targets in crowded displays with nearby distractors by comparing luminance thresholds in both distractor-present (noise) and distractor-absent (clean) displays. ADHD and control participants had comparable thresholds for clean displays, but ADHD individuals had elevated thresholds to crowded displays. These effects could be explained in two distinct ways. Deficits may have arisen from amplified visual interference in the noise condition, or from abnormalities in top-down attentional processes that reduce visual interference. Experiment 2 adjusted for individual perceptual differences with clean and noise displays, before measuring visual interference resolution at attended versus unattended locations. ADHD and control groups had comparable interference resolution at attended locations. These results suggest that perceptual interference rather than spatial attention deficits may account for some deficits in ADHD. This putative deficit in sensory function highlights a potential early-stage perceptual processing deficit in ADHD distinct from selective attention.

  16. Increased Sensitivity to Perceptual Interference in Adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

    PubMed Central

    Stevens, Alexander A.; Maron, Leeza; Nigg, Joel T.; Cheung, Desmond; Ester, Edward F.; Awh, Edward

    2015-01-01

    Difficulty with selective attention is a frequent complaint of adult patients with ADHD, but selective attention tasks have not provided robust evidence of attentional dysfunction in this group. Two experiments examine this puzzle by distinguishing between failures of spatial selection and problems due to sensitivity to perceptual interference. In Experiment 1, we measured the level of perceptual interference generated by targets in crowded displays with nearby distractors by comparing luminance thresholds in both distractor-present (noise) and distractor-absent (clean) displays. ADHD and control participants had comparable thresholds for clean displays, but ADHD individuals had elevated thresholds to crowded displays. These effects could be explained in two distinct ways. Deficits may have arisen from amplified visual interference in the noise condition, or from abnormalities in top-down attentional processes that reduce visual interference. Experiment 2 adjusted for individual perceptual differences with clean and noise displays, before measuring visual interference resolution at attended versus unattended locations. ADHD and control groups had comparable interference resolution at attended locations. These results suggest that perceptual interference rather than spatial attention deficits may account for some deficits in ADHD. This putative deficit in sensory function highlights a potential early-stage perceptual processing deficit in ADHD distinct from selective attention. PMID:22433515

  17. Terminal Stage Leukemia: Integrating Art Therapy and Family Process.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Teufel, Emily Scudder

    1995-01-01

    Through art therapy, children express symbolically what they will not or cannot express emotionally to those close to them, and some children have the added stress of family problems that are magnified due to the situation. Presents the case history of a nine-year-old girl in the terminal stages of leukemia whose artwork symbolized family unity.…

  18. Developmental Stages in Receptive Grammar Acquisition: A Processability Theory Account

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Buyl, Aafke; Housen, Alex

    2015-01-01

    This study takes a new look at the topic of developmental stages in the second language (L2) acquisition of morphosyntax by analysing receptive learner data, a language mode that has hitherto received very little attention within this strand of research (for a recent and rare study, see Spinner, 2013). Looking at both the receptive and productive…

  19. Terminal Stage Leukemia: Integrating Art Therapy and Family Process.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Teufel, Emily Scudder

    1995-01-01

    Through art therapy, children express symbolically what they will not or cannot express emotionally to those close to them, and some children have the added stress of family problems that are magnified due to the situation. Presents the case history of a nine-year-old girl in the terminal stages of leukemia whose artwork symbolized family unity.…

  20. Developmental Stages in Receptive Grammar Acquisition: A Processability Theory Account

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Buyl, Aafke; Housen, Alex

    2015-01-01

    This study takes a new look at the topic of developmental stages in the second language (L2) acquisition of morphosyntax by analysing receptive learner data, a language mode that has hitherto received very little attention within this strand of research (for a recent and rare study, see Spinner, 2013). Looking at both the receptive and productive…

  1. Developmental Processes and Stages in the Acquisition of Cardinality.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bermejo, Vicente; Lago, M. Oliva

    1990-01-01

    Cardinality responses are affected by both the direction and nature of the elements in the counting sequence. Error analysis suggests six stages in the acquisition of cardinality. Although there appears to be a developmental dependency between counting and cardinality, this relationship is not significant in all cases. (RH)

  2. Distribution and Molecular Characterization of Campylobacter Species at Different Processing Stages in Two Poultry Processing Plants.

    PubMed

    Lee, Soo-Kyoung; Park, Hyun-Jung; Lee, Jin-Hee; Lim, Jong-Soo; Seo, Kun-Ho; Heo, Eun-Jeong; Kim, Young-Jo; Wee, Sung-Hwan; Moon, Jin-San

    2017-03-01

    The present study analyzed the prevalence and molecular characterization of Campylobacter at different processing steps in poultry slaughterhouses to determine where contamination mainly occurs. A total of 1,040 samples were collected at four different stages (preprocessing cloacal swabs, postevisceration, postwashing, and postchilling) in two processing plants. Campylobacter was detected in 5.8% (15 of 260) of the cloacal swabs and in 13.3% (104 of 780) of the processing samples. In both plants, the sampling points with the greatest contamination rates were after evisceration (20.5% and 15.4% for plants A and B, respectively) and significantly decreased after chilling (p < 0.05, from 20.5% to 10.9%) in plant A and after washing (from 15.4% to 2.9%) in plants B. In the result, however, the reduction in Campylobacter contamination was achieved through the sequential processing procedures in both plants. Campylobacter loads (>10(3) colony-forming units [CFUs]/mL) also decreased from 41.7% at evisceration to 20.0% in final carcasses. The genetic relationships of isolates were analyzed by the automated repetitive sequence-based polymerase chain reaction (rep-PCR) system, and the rep-PCR banding pattern was found to be unrelated to the processing plants, species, sampling point, or sampling day. As the gap in the intervention efficacy remains between plant A and B despite several consistencies, a national program for monitoring critical processing stages in poultry processing plants is recommended for the successful exportation of Korean-processed white mini broiler meat.

  3. The formation of linked perceptual classes.

    PubMed Central

    Fields, Lanny; Matneja, Priya; Varelas, Antonios; Belanich, James; Fitzer, Adrienne; Shamoun, Kim

    2002-01-01

    Multiple-exemplar training with stimuli in four domains induced two new fill-based (A1' and A2') and satellite-image-based (B1' and B2') perceptual classes. Conditional discriminations were established between the endpoints of the A1' and B1' classes as well as the A2' and B2' classes. The emergence of linked perceptual classes was evaluated by the performances occasioned by nine cross-class probes that contained fill variants as samples and satellite variants as comparisons, along with nine other cross-class probes that consisted of satellite variants as samples and fill variants as comparisons. The 18 probes were first presented serially and then concurrently. Class-consistent responding indicated the emergence of linked perceptual classes. Of the linked perceptual classes, 70% emerged during the initial serial test. An additional 20% of the linked perceptual classes emerged during the subsequently presented concurrent test block. Thus, linked perceptual classes emerged on an immediate or delayed basis. Linked perceptual classes, then, share structural and fuctional similarities with equivalence classes, generalized equivalence classes, cross-modal classes, and complex maturally occurring categories, and may clarify processes such as intersensory perception. PMID:12507004

  4. Prior expectations facilitate metacognition for perceptual decision.

    PubMed

    Sherman, M T; Seth, A K; Barrett, A B; Kanai, R

    2015-09-01

    The influential framework of 'predictive processing' suggests that prior probabilistic expectations influence, or even constitute, perceptual contents. This notion is evidenced by the facilitation of low-level perceptual processing by expectations. However, whether expectations can facilitate high-level components of perception remains unclear. We addressed this question by considering the influence of expectations on perceptual metacognition. To isolate the effects of expectation from those of attention we used a novel factorial design: expectation was manipulated by changing the probability that a Gabor target would be presented; attention was manipulated by instructing participants to perform or ignore a concurrent visual search task. We found that, independently of attention, metacognition improved when yes/no responses were congruent with expectations of target presence/absence. Results were modeled under a novel Bayesian signal detection theoretic framework which integrates bottom-up signal propagation with top-down influences, to provide a unified description of the mechanisms underlying perceptual decision and metacognition.

  5. Effects of emotional intensity under perceptual load: An event-related potentials (ERPs) study.

    PubMed

    Müller-Bardorff, Miriam; Schulz, Claudia; Peterburs, Jutta; Bruchmann, Maximilian; Mothes-Lasch, Martin; Miltner, Wolfgang; Straube, Thomas

    2016-05-01

    Effects of emotional intensity and valence on visual event-related potentials (ERPs) are still poorly understood, in particular in the context of limited attentional resources. In the present EEG study, we investigated the effect of emotional intensity of different emotional facial expressions on P1, N170, early posterior negativity (EPN) and late positive potential (LPP) while varying the amount of available attentional resources. A new stimulus set comprising 90 full color pictures of neutral, happy (low, high intensity), and angry (low, high intensity) expressions was developed. These facial expressions were presented centrally, superimposed by two horizontal bars, and participants engaged in a focal bars task. Availability of attentional resources was varied in two conditions by manipulating the difficulty of the focal bars task (low vs. high perceptual load). Our findings demonstrate intensity and valence effects of task-irrelevant facial expressions on early (N170) and intermediate processing stages (EPN). In addition, task-related effects of perceptual load evolved at intermediate processing stages and were full blown in the time window of LPP. In line with limited resource accounts, valence effects on N170 and EPN were reduced under high perceptual load. Interestingly, apart from this valence by load interaction no further interactions between stimulus and task-driven factors were obtained: Effects of emotional intensity were not modulated by the perceptual load of the focal bars task, indicating that emotional intensity was processed even though attentional resources were heavily restricted. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  6. The Perceptual Cognitive Processes Underpinning Skilled Performance in Volleyball: Evidence From Eye-Movements and Verbal Reports of Thinking Involving an in Situ Representative Task

    PubMed Central

    Afonso, José; Garganta, Jêlio; Mcrobert, Allistair; Williams, Andrew M.; Mesquita, Isabel

    2012-01-01

    An extensive body of work has focused on the processes underpinning perceptual-cognitive expertise. The majority of researchers have used film-based simulations to capture superior performance. We combined eye movement recording and verbal reports of thinking to explore the processes underpinning skilled performance in a complex, dynamic, and externally paced representative volleyball task involving in situ data collection. Altogether, 27 female volleyball players performed as centre backcourt defenders in simulated sessions while wearing an eye-tracking device. After each sequence, athletes were questioned concerning their perception of the situation. The visual search strategies employed by the highly-skilled players were more exploratory than those used by skilled players, involving more fixations to a greater number of locations. Highly-skilled participants spent more time fixating on functional spaces between two or more display areas, while the skilled participants fixated on the ball trajectory and specific players. Moreover, highly-skilled players generated more condition concepts with higher levels of sophistication than their skilled counterparts. Findings highlight the value of using representative task designs to capture performance in situ. Key pointsDecision-making in complex sports relies deeply on perceptual-cognitive expertise. In turn, the effect of expertise is highly dependent on the nature and complexity of the task.Nonetheless, most researchers use simple tasks in their research designs, risking not capturing performance in a meaningful way. We proposed to use a live action setting with a complex task design, representative of real world situations.We combined eye movement registration with collection of immediate retrospective verbal reports. Although the two data sets are not directly comparable, they may be used in a complementary manner, providing a deeper and fuller understanding of the processes underpinning superior performance

  7. Perceptual Organization and Visual Recognition

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1984-09-01

    spatial relations are detected directly amtong two-dimensional image features. A basic requirement of the recognition process is that perceptual organi... excellent facilities that made this work possible, and made many important contributions to the content of this thesis. Chapter 5 is based largely on his...Mackworth, who gave me an excellent grounding in computer vision while I was an undergraduatc at the University of British Columbia and has continued

  8. Variation transmission model for setting acceptance criteria in a multi-staged pharmaceutical manufacturing process.

    PubMed

    Montes, Richard O

    2012-03-01

    Pharmaceutical manufacturing processes consist of a series of stages (e.g., reaction, workup, isolation) to generate the active pharmaceutical ingredient (API). Outputs at intermediate stages (in-process control) and API need to be controlled within acceptance criteria to assure final drug product quality. In this paper, two methods based on tolerance interval to derive such acceptance criteria will be evaluated. The first method is serial worst case (SWC), an industry risk minimization strategy, wherein input materials and process parameters of a stage are fixed at their worst-case settings to calculate the maximum level expected from the stage. This maximum output then becomes input to the next stage wherein process parameters are again fixed at worst-case setting. The procedure is serially repeated throughout the process until the final stage. The calculated limits using SWC can be artificially high and may not reflect the actual process performance. The second method is the variation transmission (VT) using autoregressive model, wherein variation transmitted up to a stage is estimated by accounting for the recursive structure of the errors at each stage. Computer simulations at varying extent of variation transmission and process stage variability are performed. For the scenarios tested, VT method is demonstrated to better maintain the simulated confidence level and more precisely estimate the true proportion parameter than SWC. Real data examples are also presented that corroborate the findings from the simulation. Overall, VT is recommended for setting acceptance criteria in a multi-staged pharmaceutical manufacturing process.

  9. Conceptual Representations of Perceptual Knowledge

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Edward E.; Myers, Nicholas; Sethi, Umrao; Pantazatos, Spiro; Yanagihara, Ted; Hirsch, Joy

    2012-01-01

    Many neuroimaging studies of semantic memory have argued that knowledge of an object’s perceptual properties are represented in a modality-specific manner. These studies often base their argument on finding activation in the left-hemisphere fusiform gyrus - a region assumed to be involved in perceptual processing - when the participant is verifying verbal statements about objects and properties. In this paper we report an extension of one of these influential papers—Kan, Barsalou, Solomon, Minor, and Thompson-Schill (2003)—and present evidence for an amodal component in the representation and processing of perceptual knowledge. Participants were required to verify object-property statements (e.g., “cat- whiskers?”; “bear-wings?”) while they were being scanned by fMRI. We replicated Kan et al’s activation in the left fusiform gyrus, but also found activation in regions of left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) and middle-temporal gyrus, areas known to reflect amodal processes or representations. Further, only activations in the left IFG, an amodal area, were correlated with measures of behavioral performance. PMID:22994286

  10. How Much Does WAIS-IV Perceptual Reasoning Decline Across the 20 to 90-Year Lifespan When Processing Speed is Controlled?

    PubMed

    Scheiber, Caroline; Chen, Hsinyi; Kaufman, Alan S; Weiss, Lawrence G

    2017-01-01

    The most prominent pattern of cognitive change over the lifespan centers on the difference between patterns of maintained abilities on tests of crystallized knowledge and patterns of steady decline on tests of problem solving and processing speed. Whereas the maintained-vulnerable dichotomy is well established in the literature, questions remain about cognitive decline in problem solving when processing speed is controlled. This relationship has been examined in cross-sectional studies that typically used non-clinical tests with non-representative samples of adults. This study extended these findings to the most popular clinical test, the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale -4th ed. (WAIS-IV), using its carefully stratified sample as the source of data (ages 20-90 for Indexes, ages 16-90 for Perceptual Reasoning subtests). Multivariate Analysis of Covariance (MANCOVA) revealed that 70-80% of the variance in declining reasoning ability was shared with the speed factor. This was true (a) on the index and subtest level and (b) regardless of the type of problem-solving task employed. Such robust findings have important clinical and research implications for neuropsychologists, who most frequently use the Wechsler scales as part of their assessment battery.

  11. NEURAL CHANGES WITH TACTILE LEARNING REFLECT DECISION-LEVEL REWEIGHTING OF PERCEPTUAL READOUT

    PubMed Central

    Sathian, K.; Deshpande, Gopikrishna; Stilla, Randall

    2013-01-01

    Despite considerable work, the neural basis of perceptual learning remains uncertain. For visual learning, although some studies suggested that changes in early sensory representations are responsible, other studies point to decision-level reweighting of perceptual readout. These competing possibilities have not been examined in other sensory systems, investigating which could help resolve the issue. Here we report a study of human tactile microspatial learning in which participants achieved >six-fold decline in acuity threshold after multiple training sessions. Functional magnetic resonance imaging was carried out during performance of the tactile microspatial task and a control, tactile temporal task. Effective connectivity between relevant brain regions was estimated using multivariate, autoregressive models of hidden neuronal variables obtained by deconvolution of the hemodynamic response. Training-specific increases in task-selective activation assessed using the task-by-session interaction, and associated changes in effective connectivity, primarily involved subcortical and anterior neocortical regions implicated in motor and/or decision processes, rather than somatosensory cortical regions. A control group of participants tested twice, without intervening training, exhibited neither threshold improvement nor increases in task-selective activation. Our observations argue that neuroplasticity mediating perceptual learning occurs at the stage of perceptual readout by decision networks. This is consonant with the growing shift away from strictly modular conceptualization of the brain towards the idea that complex network interactions underlie even simple tasks. The convergence of our findings on tactile learning with recent studies of visual learning reconciles earlier discrepancies in the literature on perceptual learning. PMID:23516304

  12. Neural changes with tactile learning reflect decision-level reweighting of perceptual readout.

    PubMed

    Sathian, K; Deshpande, Gopikrishna; Stilla, Randall

    2013-03-20

    Despite considerable work, the neural basis of perceptual learning remains uncertain. For visual learning, although some studies suggested that changes in early sensory representations are responsible, other studies point to decision-level reweighting of perceptual readout. These competing possibilities have not been examined in other sensory systems, investigating which could help resolve the issue. Here we report a study of human tactile microspatial learning in which participants achieved >six-fold decline in acuity threshold after multiple training sessions. Functional magnetic resonance imaging was performed during performance of the tactile microspatial task and a control, tactile temporal task. Effective connectivity between relevant brain regions was estimated using multivariate, autoregressive models of hidden neuronal variables obtained by deconvolution of the hemodynamic response. Training-specific increases in task-selective activation assessed using the task × session interaction and associated changes in effective connectivity primarily involved subcortical and anterior neocortical regions implicated in motor and/or decision processes, rather than somatosensory cortical regions. A control group of participants tested twice, without intervening training, exhibited neither threshold improvement nor increases in task-selective activation. Our observations argue that neuroplasticity mediating perceptual learning occurs at the stage of perceptual readout by decision networks. This is consonant with the growing shift away from strictly modular conceptualization of the brain toward the idea that complex network interactions underlie even simple tasks. The convergence of our findings on tactile learning with recent studies of visual learning reconciles earlier discrepancies in the literature on perceptual learning.

  13. Transfer-Appropriate Processing in Recognition Memory: Perceptual and Conceptual Effects on Recognition Memory Depend on Task Demands

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Parks, Colleen M.

    2013-01-01

    Research examining the importance of surface-level information to familiarity in recognition memory tasks is mixed: Sometimes it affects recognition and sometimes it does not. One potential explanation of the inconsistent findings comes from the ideas of dual process theory of recognition and the transfer-appropriate processing framework, which…

  14. Transfer-Appropriate Processing in Recognition Memory: Perceptual and Conceptual Effects on Recognition Memory Depend on Task Demands

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Parks, Colleen M.

    2013-01-01

    Research examining the importance of surface-level information to familiarity in recognition memory tasks is mixed: Sometimes it affects recognition and sometimes it does not. One potential explanation of the inconsistent findings comes from the ideas of dual process theory of recognition and the transfer-appropriate processing framework, which…

  15. Relations between Perceptual and Conceptual Scope: How Global versus Local Processing Fits a Focus on Similarity versus Dissimilarity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Forster, Jens

    2009-01-01

    Nine studies showed a bidirectional link (a) between a global processing style and generation of similarities and (b) between a local processing style and generation of dissimilarities. In Experiments 1-4, participants were primed with global versus local perception styles and then asked to work on an allegedly unrelated generation task. Across…

  16. Relations between Perceptual and Conceptual Scope: How Global versus Local Processing Fits a Focus on Similarity versus Dissimilarity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Forster, Jens

    2009-01-01

    Nine studies showed a bidirectional link (a) between a global processing style and generation of similarities and (b) between a local processing style and generation of dissimilarities. In Experiments 1-4, participants were primed with global versus local perception styles and then asked to work on an allegedly unrelated generation task. Across…

  17. The “Perceptual Wedge” hypothesis as the basis for bilingual babies’ phonetic processing advantage: New insights from fNIRS brain imaging

    PubMed Central

    Petitto, L. A.; Berens, M. S.; Kovelman, I.; Dubins, M. H.; Jasinska, K.; Shalinsky, M.

    2011-01-01

    In a neuroimaging study focusing on young bilinguals, we explored the brains of bilingual and monolingual babies across two age groups (younger 4–6 months, older 10–12 months), using fNIRS in a new event-related design, as babies processed linguistic phonetic (Native English, Non-Native Hindi) and nonlinguistic Tone stimuli. We found that phonetic processing in bilingual and monolingual babies is accomplished with the same language-specific brain areas classically observed in adults, including the left superior temporal gyrus (associated with phonetic processing) and the left inferior frontal cortex (associated with the search and retrieval of information about meanings, and syntactic and phonological patterning), with intriguing developmental timing differences: left superior temporal gyrus activation was observed early and remained stably active over time, while left inferior frontal cortex showed greater increase in neural activation in older babies notably at the precise age when babies’ enter the universal first-word milestone, thus revealing a first-time focal brain correlate that may mediate a universal behavioral milestone in early human language acquisition. A difference was observed in the older bilingual babies’ resilient neural and behavioral sensitivity to Non-Native phonetic contrasts at a time when monolingual babies can no longer make such discriminations. We advance the “Perceptual Wedge Hypothesis”as one possible explanation for how exposure to greater than one language may alter neural and language processing in ways that we suggest are advantageous to language users. The brains of bilinguals and multilinguals may provide the most powerful window into the full neural “extent and variability” that our human species’ language processing brain areas could potentially achieve. PMID:21724244

  18. The "Perceptual Wedge Hypothesis" as the basis for bilingual babies' phonetic processing advantage: new insights from fNIRS brain imaging.

    PubMed

    Petitto, L A; Berens, M S; Kovelman, I; Dubins, M H; Jasinska, K; Shalinsky, M

    2012-05-01

    In a neuroimaging study focusing on young bilinguals, we explored the brains of bilingual and monolingual babies across two age groups (younger 4-6 months, older 10-12 months), using fNIRS in a new event-related design, as babies processed linguistic phonetic (Native English, Non-Native Hindi) and non-linguistic Tone stimuli. We found that phonetic processing in bilingual and monolingual babies is accomplished with the same language-specific brain areas classically observed in adults, including the left superior temporal gyrus (associated with phonetic processing) and the left inferior frontal cortex (associated with the search and retrieval of information about meanings, and syntactic and phonological patterning), with intriguing developmental timing differences: left superior temporal gyrus activation was observed early and remained stably active over time, while left inferior frontal cortex showed greater increase in neural activation in older babies notably at the precise age when babies' enter the universal first-word milestone, thus revealing a first-time focal brain correlate that may mediate a universal behavioral milestone in early human language acquisition. A difference was observed in the older bilingual babies' resilient neural and behavioral sensitivity to Non-Native phonetic contrasts at a time when monolingual babies can no longer make such discriminations. We advance the "Perceptual Wedge Hypothesis" as one possible explanation for how exposure to greater than one language may alter neural and language processing in ways that we suggest are advantageous to language users. The brains of bilinguals and multilinguals may provide the most powerful window into the full neural "extent and variability" that our human species' language processing brain areas could potentially achieve.

  19. Perceptual Incongruence Influences Bistability and Cortical Activation

    PubMed Central

    Brouwer, Gijs Joost; Tong, Frank; Hagoort, Peter; van Ee, Raymond

    2009-01-01

    We employed a parametric psychophysical design in combination with functional imaging to examine the influence of metric changes in perceptual incongruence on perceptual alternation rates and cortical responses. Subjects viewed a bistable stimulus defined by incongruent depth cues; bistability resulted from incongruence between binocular disparity and monocular perspective cues that specify different slants (slant rivalry). Psychophysical results revealed that perceptual alternation rates were positively correlated with the degree of perceived incongruence. Functional imaging revealed systematic increases in activity that paralleled the psychophysical results within anterior intraparietal sulcus, prior to the onset of perceptual alternations. We suggest that this cortical activity predicts the frequency of subsequent alternations, implying a putative causal role for these areas in initiating bistable perception. In contrast, areas implicated in form and depth processing (LOC and V3A) were sensitive to the degree of slant, but failed to show increases in activity when these cues were in conflict. PMID:19333385

  20. Perceptual Color Characterization of Cameras

    PubMed Central

    Vazquez-Corral, Javier; Connah, David; Bertalmío, Marcelo

    2014-01-01

    Color camera characterization, mapping outputs from the camera sensors to an independent color space, such as XY Z, is an important step in the camera processing pipeline. Until now, this procedure has been primarily solved by using a 3 × 3 matrix obtained via a least-squares optimization. In this paper, we propose to use the spherical sampling method, recently published by Finlayson et al., to perform a perceptual color characterization. In particular, we search for the 3 × 3 matrix that minimizes three different perceptual errors, one pixel based and two spatially based. For the pixel-based case, we minimize the CIE ΔE error, while for the spatial-based case, we minimize both the S-CIELAB error and the CID error measure. Our results demonstrate an improvement of approximately 3% for the ΔE error, 7% for the S-CIELAB error and 13% for the CID error measures. PMID:25490586

  1. Downstream processing of virus-like particles: single-stage and multi-stage aqueous two-phase extraction.

    PubMed

    Ladd Effio, Christopher; Wenger, Lukas; Ötes, Ozan; Oelmeier, Stefan A; Kneusel, Richard; Hubbuch, Jürgen

    2015-02-27

    The demand for vaccines against untreated diseases has enforced the research and development of virus-like particle (VLP) based vaccine candidates in recent years. Significant progress has been made in increasing VLP titres during upstream processing in bacteria, yeast and insect cells. Considering downstream processing, the separation of host cell impurities is predominantly achieved by time-intensive ultracentrifugation processes or numerous chromatography and filtration steps. In this work, we evaluate the potential of an alternative separation technology for VLPs: aqueous two-phase extraction (ATPE). The benefits of ATPE have been demonstrated for various biomolecules, but capacity and separation efficiency were observed to be low for large biomolecules such as VLPs or viruses. Both performance parameters were examined in detail in a case study on human B19 parvovirus-like particles derived from Spodoptera frugiperda Sf9 insect cells. A solubility-guided approach enabled the design of polyethylene (PEG) salt aqueous two-phase systems with a high capacity of up to 4.1mg/mL VLPs. Unique separation efficiencies were obtained by varying the molecular weight of PEG, the pH value and by using neutral salt additives. Further improvement of the separation of host cell impurities was achieved by multi-stage ATPE on a centrifugal partition chromatography (CPC) device in 500mL scale. While single-stage ATPE enabled a DNA clearance of 99.6%, multi-stage ATPE improved the separation of host cell proteins (HCPs). The HPLC purity ranged from 16.8% (100% VLP recovery) for the single-stage ATPE to 69.1% (40.1% VLP recovery) for the multi-stage ATPE. An alternative two-step downstream process is presented removing the ATPS forming polymer, cell debris and 99.77% DNA with a HPLC purity of 90.6% and a VLP recovery of 63.9%.

  2. Perceptually Guided Photo Retargeting.

    PubMed

    Xia, Yingjie; Zhang, Luming; Hong, Richang; Nie, Liqiang; Yan, Yan; Shao, Ling

    2016-04-22

    We propose perceptually guided photo retargeting, which shrinks a photo by simulating a human's process of sequentially perceiving visually/semantically important regions in a photo. In particular, we first project the local features (graphlets in this paper) onto a semantic space, wherein visual cues such as global spatial layout and rough geometric context are exploited. Thereafter, a sparsity-constrained learning algorithm is derived to select semantically representative graphlets of a photo, and the selecting process can be interpreted by a path which simulates how a human actively perceives semantics in a photo. Furthermore, we learn the prior distribution of such active graphlet paths (AGPs) from training photos that are marked as esthetically pleasing by multiple users. The learned priors enforce the corresponding AGP of a retargeted photo to be maximally similar to those from the training photos. On top of the retargeting model, we further design an online learning scheme to incrementally update the model with new photos that are esthetically pleasing. The online update module makes the algorithm less dependent on the number and contents of the initial training data. Experimental results show that: 1) the proposed AGP is over 90% consistent with human gaze shifting path, as verified by the eye-tracking data, and 2) the retargeting algorithm outperforms its competitors significantly, as AGP is more indicative of photo esthetics than conventional saliency maps.

  3. Paradoxical sleep is characterized by uncoupled gamma activity between frontal and perceptual cortical regions.

    PubMed

    Pérez-Garci, E; del-Río-Portilla, Y; Guevara, M A; Arce, C; Corsi-Cabrera, M

    2001-02-01

    Coherent activity of fast activity has been postulated to be a common language of the brain involved in the processing of information and in integration of spatially separated but temporally correlated stimuli into whole events. Any disruption affecting temporality would result in distortion of cognitive activity. Dreaming during paradoxical sleep (PS) shows cognitive alterations that mimic frontal lobe dysfunction. Decreased temporal coupling of EEG between frontal and perceptual regions was hypothesized. The main objective was to explore temporal relationships of fast activity among these regions. N/A. N/A. 8 young adults. N/A. Interhemispheric (INTERr) and intrahemispheric (INTRAr) EEG correlation spectra (1-50 Hz) were obtained for wakefulness, stage 2, stage 4, and PS during the second night spent at the laboratory. INTERr showed a significant overall increase during sleep in comparison to wakefulness, whereas INTRAr of fast activity (27-48 Hz) between frontal-perceptual regions (F-P, F-O, F-T, Fp-P, Fp-T) decreased exclusively during PS while INTRAr among perceptual regions (P-O, P-T, O-T) maintained wakefulness values. Present results demonstrate state- and frequency-dependent shifts on temporal coupling. The hypothesized decrease in correlation of fast activity between frontal and perceptual regions during PS was confirmed. This decrease of temporal coupling might underlie the loss of voluntary direction of thinking and congruence with social and temporal context and the lack of judgment and passive acceptance of bizarreness during PS dreaming. The wakefulness levels in correlation of fast activity among perceptual regions might explain perceptual acuity during PS dreaming.

  4. Do experts see it in slow motion? Altered timing of action simulation uncovers domain-specific perceptual processing in expert athletes.

    PubMed

    Vicario, Carmelo M; Makris, Stergios; Urgesi, Cosimo

    2016-09-07

    Accurate encoding of the spatio-temporal properties of others' actions is essential for the successful implementation of daily activities and, even more, for successful sportive performance, given its role in movement coordination and action anticipation. Here we investigated whether athletes are provided with special perceptual processing of spatio-temporal properties of familiar sportive actions. Basketball and volleyball players and novices were presented with short video-clips of free basketball throws that were partially occluded ahead of realization and were asked to judge whether a subsequently presented pose was either taken from the same throw depicted in the occluded video (action identification task) or temporally congruent with the expected course of the action during the occlusion period (explicit timing task). Results showed that basketball players outperformed the other groups in detecting action compatibility when the pose depicted earlier or synchronous, but not later phases of the movement as compared to the natural course of the action during occlusion. No difference was obtained for explicit estimations of timing compatibility. This leads us to argue that the timing of simulated actions in the experts might be slower than that of perceived actions ("slow-motion" bias), allowing for more detailed representation of ongoing actions and refined prediction abilities.

  5. Mathematical modeling of a single stage ultrasonically assisted distillation process.

    PubMed

    Mahdi, Taha; Ahmad, Arshad; Ripin, Adnan; Abdullah, Tuan Amran Tuan; Nasef, Mohamed M; Ali, Mohamad W

    2015-05-01

    The ability of sonication phenomena in facilitating separation of azeotropic mixtures presents a promising approach for the development of more intensified and efficient distillation systems than conventional ones. To expedite the much-needed development, a mathematical model of the system based on conservation principles, vapor-liquid equilibrium and sonochemistry was developed in this study. The model that was founded on a single stage vapor-liquid equilibrium system and enhanced with ultrasonic waves was coded using MATLAB simulator and validated with experimental data for ethanol-ethyl acetate mixture. The effects of both ultrasonic frequency and intensity on the relative volatility and azeotropic point were examined, and the optimal conditions were obtained using genetic algorithm. The experimental data validated the model with a reasonable accuracy. The results of this study revealed that the azeotropic point of the mixture can be totally eliminated with the right combination of sonication parameters and this can be utilized in facilitating design efforts towards establishing a workable ultrasonically intensified distillation system. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. ERP Evidence of Visualization at Early Stages of Visual Processing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Page, Jonathan W.; Duhamel, Paul; Crognale, Michael A.

    2011-01-01

    Recent neuroimaging research suggests that early visual processing circuits are activated similarly during visualization and perception but have not demonstrated that the cortical activity is similar in character. We found functional equivalency in cortical activity by recording evoked potentials while color and luminance patterns were viewed and…

  7. Two-stage process combines anaerobic and aerobic methods

    SciTech Connect

    Kayhanian, M.; Lindenauer, K.; Hardy, S.; Tchobanoglous, G.

    1991-03-01

    The organic fraction of the material diverted from landfills has potential to be utilized as a raw material to be recycled, used for the production of compost, converted to energy in waste-to-energy facilities, or used for the production of other end products. Given the uncertainties concerning the future availability, production costs, and market prices for conventional fuels, any potential source of alternate energy and alternative energy technologies deserve serious consideration. Faced with an uncertain energy future, several European countries have already started using biomass and MSW as a source of energy. An innovative high-solids anaerobic digestion/aerobic composting process currently under investigation at the University of California, Davis is as an ideal candidate for processing a large fraction of the organic matter in MSW. The principal advantages of this innovative process which is described and discussed in this paper are: (1) the recovery of biogas that can be used as a fuel for the production of energy, and (2) the production of humus-like material that can be used as a high-quality soil amendment or as boiler fuel. The fact that a liquid waste stream that needs further treatment is not generated in this process is another significant advantage.

  8. ERP Evidence of Visualization at Early Stages of Visual Processing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Page, Jonathan W.; Duhamel, Paul; Crognale, Michael A.

    2011-01-01

    Recent neuroimaging research suggests that early visual processing circuits are activated similarly during visualization and perception but have not demonstrated that the cortical activity is similar in character. We found functional equivalency in cortical activity by recording evoked potentials while color and luminance patterns were viewed and…

  9. Relations between perceptual and conceptual scope: how global versus local processing fits a focus on similarity versus dissimilarity.

    PubMed

    Förster, Jens

    2009-02-01

    Nine studies showed a bidirectional link (a) between a global processing style and generation of similarities and (b) between a local processing style and generation of dissimilarities. In Experiments 1-4, participants were primed with global versus local perception styles and then asked to work on an allegedly unrelated generation task. Across materials, participants generated more similarities than dissimilarities after global priming, whereas for participants with local priming, the opposite was true. Experiments 5-6 demonstrated a bidirectional link whereby participants who were first instructed to search for similarities attended more to the gestalt of a stimulus than to its details, whereas the reverse was true for those who were initially instructed to search for dissimilarities. Because important psychological variables are correlated with processing styles, in Experiments 7-9, temporal distance, a promotion focus, and high power were predicted and shown to enhance the search for similarities, whereas temporal proximity, a prevention focus, and low power enhanced the search for dissimilarities. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2009 APA, all rights reserved).

  10. Generalization of multisensory perceptual learning.

    PubMed

    Powers Iii, Albert R; Hillock-Dunn, Andrea; Wallace, Mark T

    2016-03-22

    Life in a multisensory world requires the rapid and accurate integration of stimuli across the different senses. In this process, the temporal relationship between stimuli is critical in determining which stimuli share a common origin. Numerous studies have described a multisensory temporal binding window-the time window within which audiovisual stimuli are likely to be perceptually bound. In addition to characterizing this window's size, recent work has shown it to be malleable, with the capacity for substantial narrowing following perceptual training. However, the generalization of these effects to other measures of perception is not known. This question was examined by characterizing the ability of training on a simultaneity judgment task to influence perception of the temporally-dependent sound-induced flash illusion (SIFI). Results do not demonstrate a change in performance on the SIFI itself following training. However, data do show an improved ability to discriminate rapidly-presented two-flash control conditions following training. Effects were specific to training and scaled with the degree of temporal window narrowing exhibited. Results do not support generalization of multisensory perceptual learning to other multisensory tasks. However, results do show that training results in improvements in visual temporal acuity, suggesting a generalization effect of multisensory training on unisensory abilities.

  11. Generalization of multisensory perceptual learning

    PubMed Central

    Powers III, Albert R.; Hillock-Dunn, Andrea; Wallace, Mark T.

    2016-01-01

    Life in a multisensory world requires the rapid and accurate integration of stimuli across the different senses. In this process, the temporal relationship between stimuli is critical in determining which stimuli share a common origin. Numerous studies have described a multisensory temporal binding window—the time window within which audiovisual stimuli are likely to be perceptually bound. In addition to characterizing this window’s size, recent work has shown it to be malleable, with the capacity for substantial narrowing following perceptual training. However, the generalization of these effects to other measures of perception is not known. This question was examined by characterizing the ability of training on a simultaneity judgment task to influence perception of the temporally-dependent sound-induced flash illusion (SIFI). Results do not demonstrate a change in performance on the SIFI itself following training. However, data do show an improved ability to discriminate rapidly-presented two-flash control conditions following training. Effects were specific to training and scaled with the degree of temporal window narrowing exhibited. Results do not support generalization of multisensory perceptual learning to other multisensory tasks. However, results do show that training results in improvements in visual temporal acuity, suggesting a generalization effect of multisensory training on unisensory abilities. PMID:27000988

  12. Divide and conquer: How perceptual contrast sensitivity and perceptual learning cooperate in reducing input variation in speech perception.

    PubMed

    Sjerps, Matthias J; Reinisch, Eva

    2015-06-01

    Listeners have to overcome variability of the speech signal that can arise, for example, because of differences in room acoustics, differences in speakers' vocal tract properties, or idiosyncrasies in pronunciation. Two mechanisms that are involved in resolving such variation are perceptually contrastive effects that arise from surrounding acoustic context and lexically guided perceptual learning. Although both processes have been studied in great detail, little attention has been paid to how they operate relative to each other in speech perception. The present study set out to address this issue. The carrier parts of exposure stimuli of a classical perceptual learning experiment were spectrally filtered such that the acoustically ambiguous final fricatives sounded relatively more like the lexically intended sound (Experiment 1) or the alternative (Experiment 2). Perceptual learning was found only in the latter case. The findings show that perceptual contrast effects precede lexically guided perceptual learning, at least in terms of temporal order, and potentially in terms of cognitive processing levels as well.

  13. Bacterial diversity at different stages of the composting process

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Composting is an aerobic microbiological process that is facilitated by bacteria and fungi. Composting is also a method to produce fertilizer or soil conditioner. Tightened EU legislation now requires treatment of the continuously growing quantities of organic municipal waste before final disposal. However, some full-scale composting plants experience difficulties with the efficiency of biowaste degradation and with the emission of noxious odours. In this study we examine the bacterial species richness and community structure of an optimally working pilot-scale compost plant, as well as a full-scale composting plant experiencing typical problems. Bacterial species composition was determined by isolating total DNA followed by amplifying and sequencing the gene encoding the 16S ribosomal RNA. Results Over 1500 almost full-length 16S rRNA gene sequences were analysed and of these, over 500 were present only as singletons. Most of the sequences observed in either one or both of the composting processes studied here were similar to the bacterial species reported earlier in composts, including bacteria from the phyla Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes, Proteobacteria and Deinococcus-Thermus. In addition, a number of previously undetected bacterial phylotypes were observed. Statistical calculations estimated a total bacterial diversity of over 2000 different phylotypes in the studied composts. Conclusions Interestingly, locally enriched or evolved bacterial variants of familiar compost species were observed in both composts. A detailed comparison of the bacterial diversity revealed a large difference in composts at the species and strain level from the different composting plants. However, at the genus level, the difference was much smaller and illustrated a delay of the composting process in the full-scale, sub-optimally performing plants. PMID:20350306

  14. Stress Potentiates Early and Attenuates Late Stages of Visual Processing

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-01-19

    A.J.S.). We thank K. Berling, S. Blume, D. Cole, I. Dolski, L. Friedman, J. Koger, J. Nichols, and A. Teche for assistance; and A. Fox, A. Heller , J...monkey. J Neurosci 9:81–93. Qin S, Hermans EJ, van Marle HJ, Luo J, Fernández G (2009) Acute psycho- logical stress reduces working memory-related...Neurosci 11:843– 850. van Marle HJ, Hermans EJ, Qin S, Fernández G (2009) From specificity to sensitivity: how acute stress affects amygdala processing of

  15. Modelling the Emergence and Dynamics of Perceptual Organisation in Auditory Streaming

    PubMed Central

    Mill, Robert W.; Bőhm, Tamás M.; Bendixen, Alexandra; Winkler, István; Denham, Susan L.

    2013-01-01

    Many sound sources can only be recognised from the pattern of sounds they emit, and not from the individual sound events that make up their emission sequences. Auditory scene analysis addresses the difficult task of interpreting the sound world in terms of an unknown number of discrete sound sources (causes) with possibly overlapping signals, and therefore of associating each event with the appropriate source. There are potentially many different ways in which incoming events can be assigned to different causes, which means that the auditory system has to choose between them. This problem has been studied for many years using the auditory streaming paradigm, and recently it has become apparent that instead of making one fixed perceptual decision, given sufficient time, auditory perception switches back and forth between the alternatives—a phenomenon known as perceptual bi- or multi-stability. We propose a new model of auditory scene analysis at the core of which is a process that seeks to discover predictable patterns in the ongoing sound sequence. Representations of predictable fragments are created on the fly, and are maintained, strengthened or weakened on the basis of their predictive success, and conflict with other representations. Auditory perceptual organisation emerges spontaneously from the nature of the competition between these representations. We present detailed comparisons between the model simulations and data from an auditory streaming experiment, and show that the model accounts for many important findings, including: the emergence of, and switching between, alternative organisations; the influence of stimulus parameters on perceptual dominance, switching rate and perceptual phase durations; and the build-up of auditory streaming. The principal contribution of the model is to show that a two-stage process of pattern discovery and competition between incompatible patterns can account for both the contents (perceptual organisations) and the

  16. Perceptual dimensions differentiate emotions.

    PubMed

    Cavanaugh, Lisa A; MacInnis, Deborah J; Weiss, Allen M

    2015-08-26

    Individuals often describe objects in their world in terms of perceptual dimensions that span a variety of modalities; the visual (e.g., brightness: dark-bright), the auditory (e.g., loudness: quiet-loud), the gustatory (e.g., taste: sour-sweet), the tactile (e.g., hardness: soft vs. hard) and the kinaesthetic (e.g., speed: slow-fast). We ask whether individuals use perceptual dimensions to differentiate emotions from one another. Participants in two studies (one where respondents reported on abstract emotion concepts and a second where they reported on specific emotion episodes) rated the extent to which features anchoring 29 perceptual dimensions (e.g., temperature, texture and taste) are associated with 8 emotions (anger, fear, sadness, guilt, contentment, gratitude, pride and excitement). Results revealed that in both studies perceptual dimensions differentiate positive from negative emotions and high arousal from low arousal emotions. They also differentiate among emotions that are similar in arousal and valence (e.g., high arousal negative emotions such as anger and fear). Specific features that anchor particular perceptual dimensions (e.g., hot vs. cold) are also differentially associated with emotions.

  17. Top-down modulation of sensory cortex gates perceptual learning.

    PubMed

    Caras, Melissa L; Sanes, Dan H

    2017-09-12

    Practice sharpens our perceptual judgments, a process known as perceptual learning. Although several brain regions and neural mechanisms have been proposed to support perceptual learning, formal tests of causality are lacking. Furthermore, the temporal relationship between neural and behavioral plasticity remains uncertain. To address these issues, we recorded the activity of auditory cortical neurons as gerbils trained on a sound detection task. Training led to improvements in cortical and behavioral sensitivity that were closely matched in terms of magnitude and time course. Surprisingly, the degree of neural improvement was behaviorally gated. During task performance, cortical improvements were large and predicted behavioral outcomes. In contrast, during nontask listening sessions, cortical improvements were weak and uncorrelated with perceptual performance. Targeted reduction of auditory cortical activity during training diminished perceptual learning while leaving psychometric performance largely unaffected. Collectively, our findings suggest that training facilitates perceptual learning by strengthening both bottom-up sensory encoding and top-down modulation of auditory cortex.

  18. Evaluation of a two-stage hydrothermal process for enhancing acetic acid production using municipal biosolids.

    PubMed

    Aggrey, Anderson; Dare, Peter; Lei, Robert; Gapes, Daniel

    2012-01-01

    A two-stage hydrothermal process aimed at improving acetic acid production using municipal biosolids was evaluated against thermal hydrolysis and conventional wet oxidation process in a 600 ml Parr batch reactor. Thermal hydrolysis was conducted at 140 °C, wet oxidation at 220 °C and the two-stage process, which acted as a series combination of thermal hydrolysis and wet oxidation, at 220 °C. Initial pressure of 1 MPa was maintained in all the three processes. The results indicated that the highest acetic acid production of up to 58 mg/g dry solids feed was achieved in the wet oxidation process followed by the two-stage process with 36 mg/g dry solids feed and 1.8 mg/g dry solids feed for thermal hydrolysis. The acetic acid yield obtained by the thermal processes increased from 0.4% in the thermal hydrolysis process to 12% during the single stage wet oxidation, with the two-stage process achieving 8%. The purity of the acetic acid improved from 1% in thermal hydrolysis to 38% in the wet oxidation process. The two-stage process achieved acetic acid purity of 25%. This work demonstrated no enhancement of acetic acid production by the two-stage concept compared with the single stage wet oxidation process. This is in contrast to similar work by other researchers, investigated on carbohydrate biomass and vegetable wastes using hydrogen peroxide as the oxidant. However, the data obtained revealed that substrate specificity, reaction severity or oxidant type is clearly important in promoting reaction mechanisms which support enhanced acetic acid production using municipal biosolids.

  19. Metamodeling and Optimization of a Blister Copper Two-Stage Production Process

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jarosz, Piotr; Kusiak, Jan; Małecki, Stanisław; Morkisz, Paweł; Oprocha, Piotr; Pietrucha, Wojciech; Sztangret, Łukasz

    2016-06-01

    It is often difficult to estimate parameters for a two-stage production process of blister copper (containing 99.4 wt.% of Cu metal) as well as those for most industrial processes with high accuracy, which leads to problems related to process modeling and control. The first objective of this study was to model flash smelting and converting of Cu matte stages using three different techniques: artificial neural networks, support vector machines, and random forests, which utilized noisy technological data. Subsequently, more advanced models were applied to optimize the entire process (which was the second goal of this research). The obtained optimal solution was a Pareto-optimal one because the process consisted of two stages, making the optimization problem a multi-criteria one. A sequential optimization strategy was employed, which aimed for optimal control parameters consecutively for both stages. The obtained optimal output parameters for the first smelting stage were used as input parameters for the second converting stage. Finally, a search for another optimal set of control parameters for the second stage of a Kennecott-Outokumpu process was performed. The optimization process was modeled using a Monte-Carlo method, and both modeling parameters and computed optimal solutions are discussed.

  20. Perceptual load in sport and the heuristic value of the perceptual load paradigm in examining expertise-related perceptual-cognitive adaptations.

    PubMed

    Furley, Philip; Memmert, Daniel; Schmid, Simone

    2013-03-01

    In two experiments, we transferred perceptual load theory to the dynamic field of team sports and tested the predictions derived from the theory using a novel task and stimuli. We tested a group of college students (N = 33) and a group of expert team sport players (N = 32) on a general perceptual load task and a complex, soccer-specific perceptual load task in order to extend the understanding of the applicability of perceptual load theory and further investigate whether distractor interference may differ between the groups, as the sport-specific processing task may not exhaust the processing capacity of the expert participants. In both, the general and the specific task, the pattern of results supported perceptual load theory and demonstrates that the predictions of the theory also transfer to more complex, unstructured situations. Further, perceptual load was the only determinant of distractor processing, as we neither found expertise effects in the general perceptual load task nor the sport-specific task. We discuss the heuristic utility of using response-competition paradigms for studying both general and domain-specific perceptual-cognitive adaptations.

  1. Shared mechanisms of perceptual learning and decision making.

    PubMed

    Law, Chi-Tat; Gold, Joshua I

    2010-04-01

    Perceptual decisions require the brain to weigh noisy evidence from sensory neurons to form categorical judgments that guide behavior. Here we review behavioral and neurophysiological findings suggesting that at least some forms of perceptual learning do not appear to affect the response properties of neurons that represent the sensory evidence. Instead, improved perceptual performance results from changes in how the sensory evidence is selected and weighed to form the decision. We discuss the implications of this idea for possible sites and mechanisms of training-induced improvements in perceptual processing in the brain.

  2. Optimal Ripeness Stage for Processing ‘Kent’ Mangoes into Fresh-cut Slices

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The optimal ripeness stage for processing ‘Kent’ mango into a fresh-cut product and marketing it with best quality and maximum shelf life in terms of visual, compositional, and sensory quality was determined. An initial ripeness stage selection was based on whole fruit firmness, which was more relia...

  3. Familiarity and Emotional Expression Influence an Early Stage of Face Processing: An Electrophysiological Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Caharel, Stephanie; Courtay, Nolwenn; Bernard, Christian; Lalonde, Robert; Rebai, Mohamed

    2005-01-01

    Recent data indicate that the familiarity and the emotional expression of faces occur at an early stage of information processing. The goal of the present study was to determine whether these two aspects interact at the structural encoding stage as reflected by the N170 component of event-related potentials in tasks requiring the subjects either…

  4. Multisensory perceptual learning and sensory substitution.

    PubMed

    Proulx, Michael J; Brown, David J; Pasqualotto, Achille; Meijer, Peter

    2014-04-01

    One of the most exciting recent findings in neuroscience has been the capacity for neural plasticity in adult humans and animals. Studies of perceptual learning have provided key insights into the mechanisms of neural plasticity and the changes in functional neuroanatomy that it affords. Key questions in this field of research concern how practice of a task leads to specific or general improvement. Although much of this work has been carried out with a focus on a single sensory modality, primarily visual, there is increasing interest in multisensory perceptual learning. Here we will examine how advances in perceptual learning research both inform and can be informed by the development and advancement of sensory substitution devices for blind persons. To allow 'sight' to occur in the absence of visual input through the eyes, visual information can be transformed by a sensory substitution device into a representation that can be processed as sound or touch, and thus give one the potential to 'see' through the ears or tongue. Investigations of auditory, visual and multisensory perceptual learning can have key benefits for the advancement of sensory substitution, and the study of sensory deprivation and sensory substitution likewise will further the understanding of perceptual learning in general and the reverse hierarchy theory in particular. It also has significant importance for the developing understanding of the brain in metamodal terms, where functional brain areas might be best defined by the computations they carry out rather than by their sensory-specific processing role. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Development of a replacement for trichloroethylene in the two-stage cleaning process

    SciTech Connect

    Harding, W.B.

    1992-12-01

    A solvent was sought to replace trichloroethylene in the two-stage cleaning process that is used in the Allied-Signal Inc., Kansas City Division (KCD) Miniature Electro-Mechanical Assembly Department. The process is an ultrasonic cleaning process in which product is first cleaned in trichloroethylene and then in isopropyl alcohol. After a general review of the properties of available solvents, isopropyl alcohol, d-limonene, and a synthetic mineral spirits, were chosen to be evaluated as trichloroethylene replacements. Stainless steel test panels were cleaned and then soiled with several different organic materials. Certain of the panels were cleaned by the two-stage process. The others were cleaned by the two-stage process using one or another of the solvents under evaluation in the place of the trichloroethylene. The cleanliness of the panels was determined by Auger and photoelectron spectroscopy. The panels cleaned with any of the three solvents under evaluation were found to be as clean as those cleaned by the standard two-stage process. Because of simplicity and minimization of inventory, it is recommended that the two-stage process be changed to use isopropyl alcohol in both stages.

  6. Three stages of emotional word processing: an ERP study with rapid serial visual presentation.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Dandan; He, Weiqi; Wang, Ting; Luo, Wenbo; Zhu, Xiangru; Gu, Ruolei; Li, Hong; Luo, Yue-Jia

    2014-12-01

    Rapid responses to emotional words play a crucial role in social communication. This study employed event-related potentials to examine the time course of neural dynamics involved in emotional word processing. Participants performed a dual-target task in which positive, negative and neutral adjectives were rapidly presented. The early occipital P1 was found larger when elicited by negative words, indicating that the first stage of emotional word processing mainly differentiates between non-threatening and potentially threatening information. The N170 and the early posterior negativity were larger for positive and negative words, reflecting the emotional/non-emotional discrimination stage of word processing. The late positive component not only distinguished emotional words from neutral words, but also differentiated between positive and negative words. This represents the third stage of emotional word processing, the emotion separation. Present results indicated that, similar with the three-stage model of facial expression processing; the neural processing of emotional words can also be divided into three stages. These findings prompt us to believe that the nature of emotion can be analyzed by the brain independent of stimulus type, and that the three-stage scheme may be a common model for emotional information processing in the context of limited attentional resources. © The Author (2014). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  7. Three stages of emotional word processing: an ERP study with rapid serial visual presentation

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Dandan; He, Weiqi; Wang, Ting; Zhu, Xiangru; Gu, Ruolei; Li, Hong; Luo, Yue-jia

    2014-01-01

    Rapid responses to emotional words play a crucial role in social communication. This study employed event-related potentials to examine the time course of neural dynamics involved in emotional word processing. Participants performed a dual-target task in which positive, negative and neutral adjectives were rapidly presented. The early occipital P1 was found larger when elicited by negative words, indicating that the first stage of emotional word processing mainly differentiates between non-threatening and potentially threatening information. The N170 and the early posterior negativity were larger for positive and negative words, reflecting the emotional/non-emotional discrimination stage of word processing. The late positive component not only distinguished emotional words from neutral words, but also differentiated between positive and negative words. This represents the third stage of emotional word processing, the emotion separation. Present results indicated that, similar with the three-stage model of facial expression processing; the neural processing of emotional words can also be divided into three stages. These findings prompt us to believe that the nature of emotion can be analyzed by the brain independent of stimulus type, and that the three-stage scheme may be a common model for emotional information processing in the context of limited attentional resources. PMID:24526185

  8. Perceptual basis of redundancy gains in visual pop-out search.

    PubMed

    Töllner, Thomas; Zehetleitner, Michael; Krummenacher, Joseph; Müller, Hermann J

    2011-01-01

    The redundant-signals effect (RSE) refers to a speed-up of RT when the response is triggered by two, rather than just one, response-relevant target elements. Although there is agreement that in the visual modality RSEs observed with dimensionally redundant signals originating from the same location are generated by coactive processing architectures, there has been a debate as to the exact stage(s)--preattentive versus postselective--of processing at which coactivation arises. To determine the origin(s) of redundancy gains in visual pop-out search, the present study combined mental chronometry with electrophysiological markers that reflect purely preattentive perceptual (posterior-contralateral negativity [PCN]), preattentive and postselective perceptual plus response selection-related (stimulus-locked lateralized readiness potential [LRP]), or purely response production-related processes (response-locked LRP). As expected, there was an RSE on target detection RTs, with evidence for coactivation. At the electrophysiological level, this pattern was mirrored by an RSE in PCN latencies, whereas stimulus-locked LRP latencies showed no RSE over and above the PCN effect. Also, there was no RSE on the response-locked LRPs. This pattern demonstrates a major contribution of preattentive perceptual processing stages to the RSE in visual pop-out search, consistent with parallel-coactive coding of target signals in multiple visual dimensions [Müller, H. J., Heller, D., & Ziegler, J. Visual search for singleton feature targets within and across feature dimensions.

  9. Frequent video game players resist perceptual interference.

    PubMed

    Berard, Aaron V; Cain, Matthew S; Watanabe, Takeo; Sasaki, Yuka

    2015-01-01

    Playing certain types of video games for a long time can improve a wide range of mental processes, from visual acuity to cognitive control. Frequent gamers have also displayed generalized improvements in perceptual learning. In the Texture Discrimination Task (TDT), a widely used perceptual learning paradigm, participants report the orientation of a target embedded in a field of lines and demonstrate robust over-night improvement. However, changing the orientation of the background lines midway through TDT training interferes with overnight improvements in overall performance on TDT. Interestingly, prior research has suggested that this effect will not occur if a one-hour break is allowed in between the changes. These results have suggested that after training is over, it may take some time for learning to become stabilized and resilient against interference. Here, we tested whether frequent gamers have faster stabilization of perceptual learning compared to non-gamers and examined the effect of daily video game playing on interference of training of TDT with one background orientation on perceptual learning of TDT with a different background orientation. As a result, we found that non-gamers showed overnight performance improvement only on one background orientation, replicating previous results with the interference in TDT. In contrast, frequent gamers demonstrated overnight improvements in performance with both background orientations, suggesting that they are better able to overcome interference in perceptual learning. This resistance to interference suggests that video game playing not only enhances the amplitude and speed of perceptual learning but also leads to faster and/or more robust stabilization of perceptual learning.

  10. On the relationship between autobiographical memory and perceptual learning.

    PubMed

    Jacoby, L L; Dallas, M

    1981-09-01

    Although the majority of research on human memory has concentrated on a person's ability to recall or recognize items as having been presented in a particular situation, the effects of memory are also revealed in a person's performance of a perceptual task. Prior experience with material can make that material more easily identified or comprehended in perceptually difficult situations. Unlike with standard retention tests, effects of prior experience on a perceptual task do not logically require that a person be aware that he or she is remembering. Indeed, amnesic patients purportedly show effects of practice in their subsequent performance of a perceptual or motor task even though they profess that they do not remember having engaged in that prior experience. The experiments that are reported were designed to explore the relationship between the more aware autobiographical form of memory that is measured by a recognition memory test and the less aware form of memory that is expressed in perceptual learning. Comparisons of effects on perceptual learning and recognition memory reveal two classes of variables. Variables such as the level of processing of words during study influenced recognition memory, although they had no effect on subsequent perceptual recognition. A study presentation of a word had as large an effect on its later perceptual recognition when recognition memory performance was very poor as it did when recognition memory performance was near perfect. In contrast, variables such as the number and the spacing of repetitions produced parallel effects on perceptual recognition and recognition memory. Following Mandler and others, it is suggested that there are two bases for recognition memory. If an item is readily perceived so that it seems to "jump out" from the page, a person is likely to judge that he or she has previously seen the item in the experimental situation. Variables that influence ease of perceptual recognition, then, can also have an

  11. The characteristics and processes of NO{sub x} formation/destruction in staged combustion

    SciTech Connect

    Xu, Zhe; Hayashi, Shigeru; Takagi, Toshimi

    1999-07-01

    The characteristics and processes of NO formation and destruction in methane-air staged combustion taking place in the re-burning technique were studied numerically by using detailed chemical kinetics compiled by GRL Special attention was paid to the effects of equivalence ratio, temperature and pressure. The model of staged combustion used in the computation consists of three stages: firstly well-stirred reactor, and then two one-dimensional plug flows, one with a secondary fuel inlet, the other a secondary air inlet. It is assumed that the secondary fuel is injected instantaneously at the inlet of the second stage, and the secondary air is injected over a certain time along the flow in the third stage. After their injection, secondary fuel and air are rapidly mixed with the primary combustion gas which comes from the previous stage. The results are described.

  12. Selective Attention to Perceptual Dimensions and Switching between Dimensions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Meiran, Nachshon; Dimov, Eduard; Ganel, Tzvi

    2013-01-01

    In the present experiments, the question being addressed was whether switching attention between perceptual dimensions and selective attention to dimensions are processes that compete over a common resource? Attention to perceptual dimensions is usually studied by requiring participants to ignore a never-relevant dimension. Selection failure…

  13. Perceptual Specificity Effects in Rereading: Evidence from Eye Movements

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sheridan, Heather; Reingold, Eyal M.

    2012-01-01

    The present experiments examined perceptual specificity effects using a rereading paradigm. Eye movements were monitored while participants read the same target word twice, in two different low-constraint sentence frames. The congruency of perceptual processing was manipulated by either presenting the target word in the same distortion typography…

  14. Selective Attention to Perceptual Dimensions and Switching between Dimensions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Meiran, Nachshon; Dimov, Eduard; Ganel, Tzvi

    2013-01-01

    In the present experiments, the question being addressed was whether switching attention between perceptual dimensions and selective attention to dimensions are processes that compete over a common resource? Attention to perceptual dimensions is usually studied by requiring participants to ignore a never-relevant dimension. Selection failure…

  15. The Role of Perceptual Load in Inattentional Blindness

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cartwright-Finch, Ula; Lavie, Nilli

    2007-01-01

    Perceptual load theory offers a resolution to the long-standing early vs. late selection debate over whether task-irrelevant stimuli are perceived, suggesting that irrelevant perception depends upon the perceptual load of task-relevant processing. However, previous evidence for this theory has relied on RTs and neuroimaging. Here we tested the…

  16. Perceptual Specificity Effects in Rereading: Evidence from Eye Movements

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sheridan, Heather; Reingold, Eyal M.

    2012-01-01

    The present experiments examined perceptual specificity effects using a rereading paradigm. Eye movements were monitored while participants read the same target word twice, in two different low-constraint sentence frames. The congruency of perceptual processing was manipulated by either presenting the target word in the same distortion typography…

  17. Acetylcholine and Olfactory Perceptual Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wilson, Donald A.; Fletcher, Max L.; Sullivan, Regina M.

    2004-01-01

    Olfactory perceptual learning is a relatively long-term, learned increase in perceptual acuity, and has been described in both humans and animals. Data from recent electrophysiological studies have indicated that olfactory perceptual learning may be correlated with changes in odorant receptive fields of neurons in the olfactory bulb and piriform…

  18. Acetylcholine and Olfactory Perceptual Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wilson, Donald A.; Fletcher, Max L.; Sullivan, Regina M.

    2004-01-01

    Olfactory perceptual learning is a relatively long-term, learned increase in perceptual acuity, and has been described in both humans and animals. Data from recent electrophysiological studies have indicated that olfactory perceptual learning may be correlated with changes in odorant receptive fields of neurons in the olfactory bulb and piriform…

  19. Perceptual Learning in Speech

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Norris, Dennis; McQueen, James M.; Cutler, Anne

    2003-01-01

    This study demonstrates that listeners use lexical knowledge in perceptual learning of speech sounds. Dutch listeners first made lexical decisions on Dutch words and nonwords. The final fricative of 20 critical words had been replaced by an ambiguous sound, between [f] and [s]. One group of listeners heard ambiguous [f]-final words (e.g.,…

  20. Perceptual-Motor Dysfunction.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pyfer, Jean L.

    Discussed are theoretical and treatment aspects of perceptual motor dysfunction and rehabilitation in 4- to 12-year-old academically failing children involved in a 3-year investigation at the University of Kansas. The program is said to stress increasing the amount of stimulation received by sensory receptors of the vestibular, reflex, and haptic…

  1. Payoff Information Biases a Fast Guess Process in Perceptual Decision Making under Deadline Pressure: Evidence from Behavior, Evoked Potentials, and Quantitative Model Comparison.

    PubMed

    Noorbaloochi, Sharareh; Sharon, Dahlia; McClelland, James L

    2015-08-05

    We used electroencephalography (EEG) and behavior to examine the role of payoff bias in a difficult two-alternative perceptual decision under deadline pressure in humans. The findings suggest that a fast guess process, biased by payoff and triggered by stimulus onset, occurred on a subset of trials and raced with an evidence accumulation process informed by stimulus information. On each trial, the participant judged whether a rectangle was shifted to the right or left and responded by squeezing a right- or left-hand dynamometer. The payoff for each alternative (which could be biased or unbiased) was signaled 1.5 s before stimulus onset. The choice response was assigned to the first hand reaching a squeeze force criterion and reaction time was defined as time to criterion. Consistent with a fast guess account, fast responses were strongly biased toward the higher-paying alternative and the EEG exhibited an abrupt rise in the lateralized readiness potential (LRP) on a subset of biased payoff trials contralateral to the higher-paying alternative ∼ 150 ms after stimulus onset and 50 ms before stimulus information influenced the LRP. This rise was associated with poststimulus dynamometer activity favoring the higher-paying alternative and predicted choice and response time. Quantitative modeling supported the fast guess account over accounts of payoff effects supported in other studies. Our findings, taken with previous studies, support the idea that payoff and prior probability manipulations produce flexible adaptations to task structure and do not reflect a fixed policy for the integration of payoff and stimulus information. Humans and other animals often face situations in which they must make choices based on uncertain sensory information together with information about expected outcomes (gains or losses) about each choice. We investigated how differences in payoffs between available alternatives affect neural activity, overt choice, and the timing of choice

  2. Liquid phase methanol reactor staging process for the production of methanol

    SciTech Connect

    Bonnell, Leo W.; Perka, Alan T.; Roberts, George W.

    1988-01-01

    The present invention is a process for the production of methanol from a syngas feed containing carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and hydrogen. Basically, the process is the combination of two liquid phase methanol reactors into a staging process, such that each reactor is operated to favor a particular reaction mechanism. In the first reactor, the operation is controlled to favor the hydrogenation of carbon monoxide, and in the second reactor, the operation is controlled so as to favor the hydrogenation of carbon dioxide. This staging process results in substantial increases in methanol yield.

  3. Neural Dynamics of Emotional Salience Processing in Response to Voices during the Stages of Sleep.

    PubMed

    Chen, Chenyi; Sung, Jia-Ying; Cheng, Yawei

    2016-01-01

    Sleep has been related to emotional functioning. However, the extent to which emotional salience is processed during sleep is unknown. To address this concern, we investigated night sleep in healthy adults regarding brain reactivity to the emotionally (happily, fearfully) spoken meaningless syllables dada, along with correspondingly synthesized nonvocal sounds. Electroencephalogram (EEG) signals were continuously acquired during an entire night of sleep while we applied a passive auditory oddball paradigm. During all stages of sleep, mismatch negativity (MMN) in response to emotional syllables, which is an index for emotional salience processing of voices, was detected. In contrast, MMN to acoustically matching nonvocal sounds was undetected during Sleep Stage 2 and 3 as well as rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. Post-MMN positivity (PMP) was identified with larger amplitudes during Stage 3, and at earlier latencies during REM sleep, relative to wakefulness. These findings clearly demonstrated the neural dynamics of emotional salience processing during the stages of sleep.

  4. A two-stage ultrafiltration and nanofiltration process for recycling dairy wastewater.

    PubMed

    Luo, Jianquan; Ding, Luhui; Qi, Benkun; Jaffrin, Michel Y; Wan, Yinhua

    2011-08-01

    A two-stage ultrafiltration and nanofiltration (UF/NF) process for the treatment of model dairy wastewater was investigated to recycle nutrients and water from the wastewater. Ultracel PLGC and NF270 membranes were found to be the most suitable for this purpose. In the first stage, protein and lipid were concentrated by the Ultracel PLGC UF membrane and could be used for algae cultivation to produce biodiesel and biofuel, and the permeate from UF was concentrated by the NF270 membrane in the second stage to obtain lactose in retentate and reusable water in permeate, while the NF retentate could be recycled for anaerobic digestion to produce biogas. With this approach, most of dairy wastewater could be recycled to produce reusable water and substrates for bioenergy production. Compared with the single NF process, this two-stage UF/NF process had a higher efficiency and less membrane fouling.

  5. Neural Dynamics of Emotional Salience Processing in Response to Voices during the Stages of Sleep

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Chenyi; Sung, Jia-Ying; Cheng, Yawei

    2016-01-01

    Sleep has been related to emotional functioning. However, the extent to which emotional salience is processed during sleep is unknown. To address this concern, we investigated night sleep in healthy adults regarding brain reactivity to the emotionally (happily, fearfully) spoken meaningless syllables dada, along with correspondingly synthesized nonvocal sounds. Electroencephalogram (EEG) signals were continuously acquired during an entire night of sleep while we applied a passive auditory oddball paradigm. During all stages of sleep, mismatch negativity (MMN) in response to emotional syllables, which is an index for emotional salience processing of voices, was detected. In contrast, MMN to acoustically matching nonvocal sounds was undetected during Sleep Stage 2 and 3 as well as rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. Post-MMN positivity (PMP) was identified with larger amplitudes during Stage 3, and at earlier latencies during REM sleep, relative to wakefulness. These findings clearly demonstrated the neural dynamics of emotional salience processing during the stages of sleep. PMID:27378870

  6. Empirical study of classification process for two-stage turbo air classifier in series

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, Yuan; Liu, Jiaxiang; Li, Gang

    2013-05-01

    The suitable process parameters for a two-stage turbo air classifier are important for obtaining the ultrafine powder that has a narrow particle-size distribution, however little has been published internationally on the classification process for the two-stage turbo air classifier in series. The influence of the process parameters of a two-stage turbo air classifier in series on classification performance is empirically studied by using aluminum oxide powders as the experimental material. The experimental results show the following: 1) When the rotor cage rotary speed of the first-stage classifier is increased from 2 300 r/min to 2 500 r/min with a constant rotor cage rotary speed of the second-stage classifier, classification precision is increased from 0.64 to 0.67. However, in this case, the final ultrafine powder yield is decreased from 79% to 74%, which means the classification precision and the final ultrafine powder yield can be regulated through adjusting the rotor cage rotary speed of the first-stage classifier. 2) When the rotor cage rotary speed of the second-stage classifier is increased from 2 500 r/min to 3 100 r/min with a constant rotor cage rotary speed of the first-stage classifier, the cut size is decreased from 13.16 μm to 8.76 μm, which means the cut size of the ultrafine powder can be regulated through adjusting the rotor cage rotary speed of the second-stage classifier. 3) When the feeding speed is increased from 35 kg/h to 50 kg/h, the "fish-hook" effect is strengthened, which makes the ultrafine powder yield decrease. 4) To weaken the "fish-hook" effect, the equalization of the two-stage wind speeds or the combination of a high first-stage wind speed with a low second-stage wind speed should be selected. This empirical study provides a criterion of process parameter configurations for a two-stage or multi-stage classifier in series, which offers a theoretical basis for practical production.

  7. Competition explains limited attention and perceptual resources: implications for perceptual load and dilution theories

    PubMed Central

    Scalf, Paige E.; Torralbo, Ana; Tapia, Evelina; Beck, Diane M.

    2013-01-01

    Both perceptual load theory and dilution theory purport to explain when and why task-irrelevant information, or so-called distractors are processed. Central to both explanations is the notion of limited resources, although the theories differ in the precise way in which those limitations affect distractor processing. We have recently proposed a neurally plausible explanation of limited resources in which neural competition among stimuli hinders their representation in the brain. This view of limited capacity can also explain distractor processing, whereby the competitive interactions and bias imposed to resolve the competition determine the extent to which a distractor is processed. This idea is compatible with aspects of both perceptual load and dilution models of distractor processing, but also serves to highlight their differences. Here we review the evidence in favor of a biased competition view of limited resources and relate these ideas to both classic perceptual load theory and dilution theory. PMID:23717289

  8. Hydrogen and methane production from household solid waste in the two-stage fermentation process.

    PubMed

    Liu, Dawei; Liu, Dapeng; Zeng, Raymond J; Angelidaki, Irini

    2006-06-01

    A two-stage process combined hydrogen and methane production from household solid waste was demonstrated working successfully. The yield of 43 mL H(2)/g volatile solid (VS) added was generated in the first hydrogen production stage and the methane production in the second stage was 500 mL CH(4)/g VS added. This figure was 21% higher than the methane yield from the one-stage process, which was run as control. Sparging of the hydrogen reactor with methane gas resulted in doubling of the hydrogen production. pH was observed as a key factor affecting fermentation pathway in hydrogen production stage. The optimum pH range for hydrogen production in this system was in the range from 5 to 5.5. The short hydraulic retention time (2 days) applied in the first stage was enough to separate acidogenesis from methanogenesis. No additional control for preventing methanogenesis in the first stage was necessary. Furthermore, this study also provided direct evidence in the dynamic fermentation process that, hydrogen production increase was reflected by acetate to butyrate ratio increase in liquid phase.

  9. Premotor cortex mediates perceptual performance.

    PubMed

    Callan, Daniel; Callan, Akiko; Gamez, Mario; Sato, Masa-aki; Kawato, Mitsuo

    2010-06-01

    Articulatory goals have long been proposed to mediate perception. Examples include direct realist and constructivist (analysis by synthesis) theories of speech perception. Although the activity in brain regions involved with action production has been shown to be present during action observation (Mirror Neuron System), the relationship of this activity to perceptual performance has not been clearly demonstrated at the event level. To this end we used functional magnetic resonance imaging fMRI and magnetoencephalography MEG to measure brain activity for correct and incorrect trials of an auditory phonetic identification in noise task. FMRI analysis revealed activity in the premotor cortex including the neighboring frontal opercular part of Broca's area (PMC/Broca's) for both perception and production tasks involving the same phonetic stimuli (potential mirror system site) that was significantly greater for correct over incorrect perceptual identification trials. Time-frequency analysis of single trials conducted over MEG current localized to PMC/Broca's using a hierarchical variational Bayesian source analysis technique revealed significantly greater event-related synchronization ERS and desynchronization ERD for correct over incorrect trials in the alpha, beta, and gamma frequency range prior to and after stimulus presentation. Together, these fMRI and MEG results are consistent with the hypothesis that articulatory processes serve to facilitate perceptual performance, while further dispelling concerns that activity found in ventral PMC/Broca's (mirror system) is merely a product of covert production of the perceived action. The finding of performance predictive activity prior to stimulus onset as well as activity related to task difficulty instead of information available in stimulation are consistent with constructivist and contrary to direct realist theories of perception.

  10. Testosterone induces off-line perceptual learning.

    PubMed

    Wright, Nicholas D; Edwards, Thomas; Fleming, Stephen M; Dolan, Raymond J

    2012-12-01

    Perceptual learning operates on distinct timescales. How different neuromodulatory systems impact on learning across these different timescales is poorly understood. Here, we test the causal impact of a novel influence on perceptual learning, the androgen hormone testosterone, across distinct timescales. In a double-blind, placebo- controlled, cross-over study with testosterone, subjects undertook a simple contrast detection task during training sessions on two separate days. On placebo, there was no learning either within training sessions or between days, except for a fast, rapidly saturating, improvement early on each testing day. However, testosterone caused "off-line" learning, with no learning seen within training sessions, but a marked performance improvement over the days between sessions. This testosterone-induced learning occurred in the absence of changes in subjective confidence or introspective accuracy. Our findings show that testosterone influences perceptual learning on a timescale consistent with an influence on "off-line" consolidation processes.

  11. Perceptual versus mediational learning in a total change concept-shift paradigm.

    PubMed

    Harpur, J G; Estabrooks, K A; Allen, N J; Asaph, C A

    1978-04-01

    The experiment investigated the effects of language acquisition by children in Grades 1 to 4 on performance in a concept-shift task in which the relevant stimulus attributes were either the colour of ink in which a word was written or the meaning of the word. Both English stream and French Immersion children served as subjects. The results indicated a developmental sequence from perceptual learning to verbal mediation. This process was demonstrated at an earlier stage in the French Immersion students who formed a more highly selected group, and intellectual or socio-economic explanations for these differences may be feasible. The relative speed of acquisition of intradimensional and extradimensional shifts interacts with the perceptual/mediational process.

  12. The Development of Perceptual Grouping Biases in Infancy: A Japanese-English Cross-Linguistic Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yoshida, Katherine A.; Iversen, John R.; Patel, Aniruddh D.; Mazuka, Reiko; Nito, Hiromi; Gervain, Judit; Werker, Janet F.

    2010-01-01

    Perceptual grouping has traditionally been thought to be governed by innate, universal principles. However, recent work has found differences in Japanese and English speakers' non-linguistic perceptual grouping, implicating language in non-linguistic perceptual processes (Iversen, Patel, & Ohgushi, 2008). Two experiments test Japanese- and…

  13. The Discovery of Processing Stages: Extension of Sternberg’s Method

    PubMed Central

    Anderson, John R.; Zhang, Qiong; Borst, Jelmer P.; Walsh, Matthew M.

    2016-01-01

    We introduce a method for measuring the number and durations of processing stages from the electroencephalographic (EEG) signal and apply it to the study of associative recognition. Using an extension of past research that combines multivariate pattern analysis (MVPA) with hidden semi-Markov models (HSMMs), the approach identifies on a trial-by-trial basis where brief sinusoidal peaks (called bumps) are added to the ongoing EEG signal. We propose that these bumps mark the onset of critical cognitive stages in processing. The results of the analysis can be used to guide the development of detailed process models. Applied to the associative recognition task, the HSMM-MVPA method indicates that the effects of associative strength and probe type are localized to a memory retrieval stage and a decision stage. This is in line with a previously developed ACT-R process model of the task. As a test of the generalization of our method we also apply it to a data set on the Sternberg working memory task collected by Jacobs et al. (2006). The analysis generalizes robustly, and localizes the typical set size effect in a late comparison/decision stage. In addition to providing information about the number and durations of stages in associative recognition, our analysis sheds light on the ERP components implicated in the study of recognition memory. PMID:27135600

  14. Catalytic two-stage coal liquefaction process having improved nitrogen removal

    DOEpatents

    Comolli, Alfred G.

    1991-01-01

    A process for catalytic multi-stage hydrogenation and liquefaction of coal to produce high yields of low-boiling hydrocarbon liquids containing low concentrations of nitogen compounds. First stage catalytic reaction conditions are 700.degree.-800.degree. F. temperature, 1500-3500 psig hydrogen partial pressure, with the space velocity maintained in a critical range of 10-40 lb coal/hr ft.sup.3 catalyst settled volume. The first stage catalyst has 0.3-1.2 cc/gm total pore volume with at least 25% of the pore volume in pores having diameters of 200-2000 Angstroms. Second stage reaction conditions are 760.degree.-870.degree. F. temperature with space velocity exceeding that in the first stage reactor, so as to achieve increased hydrogenation yield of low-boiling hydrocarbon liquid products having at least 75% removal of nitrogen compounds from the coal-derived liquid products.

  15. Perceptual learning and human expertise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kellman, Philip J.; Garrigan, Patrick

    2009-06-01

    We consider perceptual learning: experience-induced changes in the way perceivers extract information. Often neglected in scientific accounts of learning and in instruction, perceptual learning is a fundamental contributor to human expertise and is crucial in domains where humans show remarkable levels of attainment, such as language, chess, music, and mathematics. In Section 2, we give a brief history and discuss the relation of perceptual learning to other forms of learning. We consider in Section 3 several specific phenomena, illustrating the scope and characteristics of perceptual learning, including both discovery and fluency effects. We describe abstract perceptual learning, in which structural relationships are discovered and recognized in novel instances that do not share constituent elements or basic features. In Section 4, we consider primary concepts that have been used to explain and model perceptual learning, including receptive field change, selection, and relational recoding. In Section 5, we consider the scope of perceptual learning, contrasting recent research, focused on simple sensory discriminations, with earlier work that emphasized extraction of invariance from varied instances in more complex tasks. Contrary to some recent views, we argue that perceptual learning should not be confined to changes in early sensory analyzers. Phenomena at various levels, we suggest, can be unified by models that emphasize discovery and selection of relevant information. In a final section, we consider the potential role of perceptual learning in educational settings. Most instruction emphasizes facts and procedures that can be verbalized, whereas expertise depends heavily on implicit pattern recognition and selective extraction skills acquired through perceptual learning. We consider reasons why perceptual learning has not been systematically addressed in traditional instruction, and we describe recent successful efforts to create a technology of perceptual

  16. Mental imagery of speech implicates two mechanisms of perceptual reactivation

    PubMed Central

    Tian, Xing; Zarate, Jean Mary; Poeppel, David

    2017-01-01

    Sensory cortices can be activated without any external stimuli. Yet, it is still unclear how this perceptual reactivation occurs and which neural structures mediate this reconstruction process. In this study, we employed fMRI with mental imagery paradigms to investigate the neural networks involved in perceptual reactivation. Subjects performed two speech imagery tasks: articulation imagery (AI) and hearing imagery (HI). We found that AI induced greater activity in frontal-parietal sensorimotor systems, including sensorimotor cortex, subcentral (BA 43), middle frontal cortex (BA 46) and parietal operculum (PO), whereas HI showed stronger activation in regions that have been implicated in memory retrieval: middle frontal (BA 8), inferior parietal cortex and intraparietal sulcus. Moreover, posterior superior temporal sulcus (pSTS) and anterior superior temporal gyrus (aSTG) was activated more in AI compared with HI, suggesting that covert motor processes induced stronger perceptual reactivation in the auditory cortices. These results suggest that motor-to-perceptual transformation and memory retrieval act as two complementary mechanisms to internally reconstruct corresponding perceptual outcomes. These two mechanisms can serve as a neurocomputational foundation for predicting perceptual changes, either via a previously learned relationship between actions and their perceptual consequences or via stored perceptual experiences of stimulus and episodic or contextual regularity. PMID:26889603

  17. Mental imagery of speech implicates two mechanisms of perceptual reactivation.

    PubMed

    Tian, Xing; Zarate, Jean Mary; Poeppel, David

    2016-04-01

    Sensory cortices can be activated without any external stimuli. Yet, it is still unclear how this perceptual reactivation occurs and which neural structures mediate this reconstruction process. In this study, we employed fMRI with mental imagery paradigms to investigate the neural networks involved in perceptual reactivation. Subjects performed two speech imagery tasks: articulation imagery (AI) and hearing imagery (HI). We found that AI induced greater activity in frontal-parietal sensorimotor systems, including sensorimotor cortex, subcentral (BA 43), middle frontal cortex (BA 46) and parietal operculum (PO), whereas HI showed stronger activation in regions that have been implicated in memory retrieval: middle frontal (BA 8), inferior parietal cortex and intraparietal sulcus. Moreover, posterior superior temporal sulcus (pSTS) and anterior superior temporal gyrus (aSTG) was activated more in AI compared with HI, suggesting that covert motor processes induced stronger perceptual reactivation in the auditory cortices. These results suggest that motor-to-perceptual transformation and memory retrieval act as two complementary mechanisms to internally reconstruct corresponding perceptual outcomes. These two mechanisms can serve as a neurocomputational foundation for predicting perceptual changes, either via a previously learned relationship between actions and their perceptual consequences or via stored perceptual experiences of stimulus and episodic or contextual regularity.

  18. Load theory behind the wheel; perceptual and cognitive load effects.

    PubMed

    Murphy, Gillian; Greene, Ciara M

    2017-09-01

    Perceptual Load Theory has been proposed as a resolution to the longstanding early versus late selection debate in cognitive psychology. There is much evidence in support of Load Theory but very few applied studies, despite the potential for the model to shed light on everyday attention and distraction. Using a driving simulator, the effect of perceptual and cognitive load on drivers' visual search was assessed. The findings were largely in line with Load Theory, with reduced distractor processing under high perceptual load, but increased distractor processing under high cognitive load. The effect of load on driving behaviour was also analysed, with significant differences in driving behaviour under perceptual and cognitive load. In addition, the effect of perceptual load on drivers' levels of awareness was investigated. High perceptual load significantly increased inattentional blindness and deafness, for stimuli that were both relevant and irrelevant to driving. High perceptual load also increased RTs to hazards. The current study helps to advance Load Theory by illustrating its usefulness outside of traditional paradigms. There are also applied implications for driver safety and roadway design, as the current study suggests that perceptual and cognitive load are important factors in driver attention. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).

  19. The Mirage of the Perceptually Handicapped Syndrome

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    West, Malcolm

    1970-01-01

    Emphasize the importance of a positive diagnosis of perceptual handicap, rather than a wastebasket" diagnosis. The tendency to separate the child's handicap from his feelings about it is reflected in the treatment process. There exists little concern with the totality of the child's development in his total environment. (Author)

  20. Generalization of Perceptual Learning of Vocoded Speech

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hervais-Adelman, Alexis G.; Davis, Matthew H.; Johnsrude, Ingrid S.; Taylor, Karen J.; Carlyon, Robert P.

    2011-01-01

    Recent work demonstrates that learning to understand noise-vocoded (NV) speech alters sublexical perceptual processes but is enhanced by the simultaneous provision of higher-level, phonological, but not lexical content (Hervais-Adelman, Davis, Johnsrude, & Carlyon, 2008), consistent with top-down learning (Davis, Johnsrude, Hervais-Adelman,…

  1. Sensorineural hearing loss and auditory perceptual organization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hall, Joseph W.; Grose, John H.; Buss, Emily

    2004-05-01

    This talk will consider the implications of sensorineural hearing loss for auditory perceptual organization. In everyday environments, the listener is often faced with the difficulty of processing a target sound that intermingles acoustically with one or more extraneous sounds. Under such circumstances, several auditory processes enable the complex waveforms reaching the two ears to be interpreted in terms of putative auditory objects giving rise to the target and extraneous sounds. Such processes of perceptual organization depend upon the central analysis of cues that allow distributed spectral information to be either linked together or split apart on the basis of details related to such variables as synchrony of onset/modulation, harmonic relation, rhythm, and interaural differences. Efficient perceptual organization must depend not only upon such central auditory analyses but also upon the fidelity with which the peripheral auditory system encodes the spectral and temporal characteristics of sound. We will consider the implications of sensorineural hearing loss for perceptual organization in terms of both peripheral and central auditory processes.

  2. Generalization of Perceptual Learning of Vocoded Speech

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hervais-Adelman, Alexis G.; Davis, Matthew H.; Johnsrude, Ingrid S.; Taylor, Karen J.; Carlyon, Robert P.

    2011-01-01

    Recent work demonstrates that learning to understand noise-vocoded (NV) speech alters sublexical perceptual processes but is enhanced by the simultaneous provision of higher-level, phonological, but not lexical content (Hervais-Adelman, Davis, Johnsrude, & Carlyon, 2008), consistent with top-down learning (Davis, Johnsrude, Hervais-Adelman,…

  3. The Mirage of the Perceptually Handicapped Syndrome

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    West, Malcolm

    1970-01-01

    Emphasize the importance of a positive diagnosis of perceptual handicap, rather than a wastebasket" diagnosis. The tendency to separate the child's handicap from his feelings about it is reflected in the treatment process. There exists little concern with the totality of the child's development in his total environment. (Author)

  4. Concurrent Data Elicitation Procedures, Processes, and the Early Stages of L2 Learning: A Critical Overview

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Leow, Ronald P.; Grey, Sarah; Marijuan, Silvia; Moorman, Colleen

    2014-01-01

    Given the current methodological interest in eliciting direct data on the cognitive processes L2 learners employ as they interact with L2 data during the early stages of the learning process, this article takes a critical and comparative look at three concurrent data elicitation procedures currently employed in the SLA literature: Think aloud (TA)…

  5. The Evolution of a Children's Domestic Violence Counseling Group: Stages and Processes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thompson, E. Heather

    2011-01-01

    The purpose of this qualitative case study is to illuminate the lived experiences of 4 young children between 6 and 7 years old who witnessed domestic violence while revealing the complex relationship between group process and stage development in their 18-week counseling group. Data revealed that processes occurring between and among group…

  6. The Evolution of a Children's Domestic Violence Counseling Group: Stages and Processes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thompson, E. Heather

    2011-01-01

    The purpose of this qualitative case study is to illuminate the lived experiences of 4 young children between 6 and 7 years old who witnessed domestic violence while revealing the complex relationship between group process and stage development in their 18-week counseling group. Data revealed that processes occurring between and among group…

  7. Theorizing the Process of Leaving: Turning Points and Trajectories in the Stages of Change

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Khaw, Lyndal; Hardesty, Jennifer L.

    2007-01-01

    The Stages of Change Model (J. O. Prochaska & C. C. DiClemente, 1984) has been used to explore women's process of leaving relationships involving intimate partner violence. Using a strengths-based approach, this study aims to build upon the model to further theorize the process of leaving. We conducted secondary data analysis of interviews with 19…

  8. Concurrent Data Elicitation Procedures, Processes, and the Early Stages of L2 Learning: A Critical Overview

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Leow, Ronald P.; Grey, Sarah; Marijuan, Silvia; Moorman, Colleen

    2014-01-01

    Given the current methodological interest in eliciting direct data on the cognitive processes L2 learners employ as they interact with L2 data during the early stages of the learning process, this article takes a critical and comparative look at three concurrent data elicitation procedures currently employed in the SLA literature: Think aloud (TA)…

  9. Innovative two-stage anaerobic process for effective codigestion of cheese whey and cattle manure.

    PubMed

    Bertin, Lorenzo; Grilli, Selene; Spagni, Alessandro; Fava, Fabio

    2013-01-01

    The valorisation of agroindustrial waste through anaerobic digestion represents a significant opportunity for refuse treatment and renewable energy production. This study aimed to improve the codigestion of cheese whey (CW) and cattle manure (CM) by an innovative two-stage process, based on concentric acidogenic and methanogenic phases, designed for enhancing performance and reducing footprint. The optimum CW to CM ratio was evaluated under batch conditions. Thereafter, codigestion was implemented under continuous-flow conditions comparing one- and two-stage processes. The results demonstrated that the addition of CM in codigestion with CW greatly improved the anaerobic process. The highest methane yield was obtained co-treating the two substrates at equal ratio by using the innovative two-stage process. The proposed system reached the maximum value of 258 mL(CH4) g(gv(-1), which was more than twice the value obtained by the one-stage process and 10% higher than the value obtained by the two-stage one.

  10. The role of perceptual load in inattentional blindness.

    PubMed

    Cartwright-Finch, Ula; Lavie, Nilli

    2007-03-01

    Perceptual load theory offers a resolution to the long-standing early vs. late selection debate over whether task-irrelevant stimuli are perceived, suggesting that irrelevant perception depends upon the perceptual load of task-relevant processing. However, previous evidence for this theory has relied on RTs and neuroimaging. Here we tested the effects of load on conscious perception using the "inattentional blindness" paradigm. As predicted by load theory, awareness of a task-irrelevant stimulus was significantly reduced by higher perceptual load (with increased numbers of search items, or a harder discrimination vs. detection task). These results demonstrate that conscious perception of task-irrelevant stimuli critically depends upon the level of task-relevant perceptual load rather than intentions or expectations, thus enhancing the resolution to the early vs. late selection debate offered by the perceptual load theory.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

  12. Next-Generation Sequence Assembly: Four Stages of Data Processing and Computational Challenges

    PubMed Central

    El-Metwally, Sara; Hamza, Taher; Zakaria, Magdi; Helmy, Mohamed

    2013-01-01

    Decoding DNA symbols using next-generation sequencers was a major breakthrough in genomic research. Despite the many advantages of next-generation sequencers, e.g., the high-throughput sequencing rate and relatively low cost of sequencing, the assembly of the reads produced by these sequencers still remains a major challenge. In this review, we address the basic framework of next-generation genome sequence assemblers, which comprises four basic stages: preprocessing filtering, a graph construction process, a graph simplification process, and postprocessing filtering. Here we discuss them as a framework of four stages for data analysis and processing and survey variety of techniques, algorithms, and software tools used during each stage. We also discuss the challenges that face current assemblers in the next-generation environment to determine the current state-of-the-art. We recommend a layered architecture approach for constructing a general assembler that can handle the sequences generated by different sequencing platforms. PMID:24348224

  13. Next-generation sequence assembly: four stages of data processing and computational challenges.

    PubMed

    El-Metwally, Sara; Hamza, Taher; Zakaria, Magdi; Helmy, Mohamed

    2013-01-01

    Decoding DNA symbols using next-generation sequencers was a major breakthrough in genomic research. Despite the many advantages of next-generation sequencers, e.g., the high-throughput sequencing rate and relatively low cost of sequencing, the assembly of the reads produced by these sequencers still remains a major challenge. In this review, we address the basic framework of next-generation genome sequence assemblers, which comprises four basic stages: preprocessing filtering, a graph construction process, a graph simplification process, and postprocessing filtering. Here we discuss them as a framework of four stages for data analysis and processing and survey variety of techniques, algorithms, and software tools used during each stage. We also discuss the challenges that face current assemblers in the next-generation environment to determine the current state-of-the-art. We recommend a layered architecture approach for constructing a general assembler that can handle the sequences generated by different sequencing platforms.

  14. Russian refiner tests new one-stage H[sub 2]S removal process

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1994-03-07

    The Institute of Catalysis, Novosibirsk, Russia, has developed a new technology for purifying gas streams containing hydrogen sulfide. The one-stage process was tested at BashSKTP Concern Grozneftekhim's refinery in Ufa, Russia, near the southern Ural Mountains. In a pilot-size reactor, the process achieved 99% conversion of total H[sub 2]S and 98% selectivity to sulfur. The process and test results are described briefly.

  15. Catalytic two-stage coal hydrogenation process using extinction recycle of heavy liquid fraction

    DOEpatents

    MacArthur, James B.; Comolli, Alfred G.; McLean, Joseph B.

    1989-01-01

    A process for catalytic two-stage hydrogenation and liquefaction of coal with selective extinction recycle of all heavy liquid fractions boiling above a distillation cut point of about 600.degree.-750.degree. F. to produce increased yields of low-boiling hydrocarbon liquid and gas products. In the process, the particulate coal feed is slurried with a process-derived liquid solvent normally boiling above about 650.degree. F. and fed into a first stage catalytic reaction zone operated at conditions which promote controlled rate liquefaction of the coal, while simultaneously hydrogenating the hydrocarbon recycle oils. The first stage reactor is maintained at 710.degree.-800.degree. F. temperature, 1000-4000 psig hydrogen partial pressure, and 10-90 lb/hr per ft.sup.3 catalyst space velocity. Partially hydrogenated material withdrawn from the first stage reaction zone is passed directly to the second stage catalytic reaction zone maintained at 760.degree.-860.degree. F. temperature for further hydrogenation and hydroconversion reactions. A 600.degree.-750.degree. F..sup.+ fraction containing 0-20 W % unreacted coal and ash solids is recycled to the coal slurrying step. If desired, the cut point lower boiling fraction can be further catalytically hydrotreated. By this process, the coal feed is successively catalytically hydrogenated and hydroconverted at selected conditions, to provide significantly increased yields of desirable low-boiling hydrocarbon liquid products and minimal production of hydrocarbon gases, and no net production of undesirable heavy oils and residuum materials.

  16. Catalytic two-stage coal hydrogenation process using extinction recycle of heavy liquid fraction

    DOEpatents

    MacArthur, J.B.; Comolli, A.G.; McLean, J.B.

    1989-10-17

    A process is described for catalytic two-stage hydrogenation and liquefaction of coal with selective extinction recycle of all heavy liquid fractions boiling above a distillation cut point of about 600--750 F to produce increased yields of low-boiling hydrocarbon liquid and gas products. In the process, the particulate coal feed is slurried with a process-derived liquid solvent normally boiling above about 650 F and fed into a first stage catalytic reaction zone operated at conditions which promote controlled rate liquefaction of the coal, while simultaneously hydrogenating the hydrocarbon recycle oils. The first stage reactor is maintained at 710--800 F temperature, 1,000--4,000 psig hydrogen partial pressure, and 10-90 lb/hr per ft[sup 3] catalyst space velocity. Partially hydrogenated material withdrawn from the first stage reaction zone is passed directly to the second stage catalytic reaction zone maintained at 760--860 F temperature for further hydrogenation and hydroconversion reactions. A 600--750 F[sup +] fraction containing 0--20 W % unreacted coal and ash solids is recycled to the coal slurrying step. If desired, the cut point lower boiling fraction can be further catalytically hydrotreated. By this process, the coal feed is successively catalytically hydrogenated and hydroconverted at selected conditions, to provide significantly increased yields of desirable low-boiling hydrocarbon liquid products and minimal production of hydrocarbon gases, and no net production of undesirable heavy oils and residuum materials. 2 figs.

  17. Explaining seeing? Disentangling qualia from perceptual organization.

    PubMed

    Ibáñez, Agustin; Bekinschtein, Tristan

    2010-09-01

    Abstract Visual perception and integration seem to play an essential role in our conscious phenomenology. Relatively local neural processing of reentrant nature may explain several visual integration processes (feature binding or figure-ground segregation, object recognition, inference, competition), even without attention or cognitive control. Based on the above statements, should the neural signatures of visual integration (via reentrant process) be non-reportable phenomenological qualia? We argue that qualia are not required to understand this perceptual organization.

  18. Injection blow moulding single stage process: Validation of the numerical simulation through tomography analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Biglione, Jordan; Béreaux, Yves; Charmeau, Jean-Yves

    2016-10-01

    The injection blow moulding single stage process has been made available on standard injection moulding machine. Both the injection moulding stage and the blow moulding stage are being taken care of in an injection mould. Thus the dimensions of this mould are those of a conventional injection moulding mould. The fact that the two stages are located in the same mould leads to a process more constrained than the conventional one. This process introduces temperature gradients, molecular orientation, high stretch rates and high cooling rates. These constraints lead to a small processing window. In practice, the preform has to remain sufficiently melted to be blown so that the process takes place between the melting temperature and the crystallization temperature. In our numerical approach, the polymer is supposed to be blown in its molten state. Hence we have identified the mechanical behaviour of the polymer in its molten state through dynamical rheology experiments. A viscous Cross model has been proved to be relevant to the problem. Thermal dependence is assumed by an Arrhenius law. The process is simulated through a finite element code (POLYFLOW software) in the Ansys Workbench framework. Thickness measurements using image analysis of tomography data are performed and comparisons with the simulation results show good agreements.

  19. The effects of bromazepam on the early stage of visual information processing (P100).

    PubMed

    Puga, Fernanda; Sampaio, Isabel; Veiga, Heloisa; Ferreira, Camila; Cagy, Maurício; Piedade, Roberto; Ribeiro, Pedro

    2007-12-01

    The early stages of visual information processing, involving the detection and perception of simple visual stimuli, have been demonstrated to be sensitive to psychotropic agents. The present study investigated the effects of an acute dose of bromazepam (3 mg), compared with placebo, on the P100 component of the visual evoked potential and reaction time. The sample, consisting of 14 healthy subjects (6 male and 8 female), was submitted to a visual discrimination task, which employed the "oddball" paradigm. Results suggest that bromazepam (3 mg) impairs the initial stage of visual information processing, as observed by an increase in P100 latency.

  20. Investigation of gas stripping and pervaporation for improved feasibility of two-stage butanol production process.

    PubMed

    Setlhaku, Mpho; Heitmann, Sebastian; Górak, Andrzej; Wichmann, Rolf

    2013-05-01

    Gas stripping and pervaporation are investigated for butanol recovery in a two-stage acetone-butanol-ethanol (ABE) fermentation process. The first stage is operated in a continuous mode and the second stage as a fed-batch. Gas stripping coupled to the second stage and operated intermittently enabled additional glucose feeding in the second stage and up to 59 g/L butanol and 73 g/L total ABE solvents in the condensate. Concentration of 167 g/L butanol and 269 g/L ABE in the permeate was measured in ex situ pervaporation experiments using a PDMS membrane at temperature of 37 °C and pressure of 10mbars. The "operating window" tool is introduced to evaluate the feasibility of the existing ABE fermentations operated as continuous with cell recycle, as two-stages, with biomass immobilization or with integrated product removal. This tool enables the identification of the most favorable process configuration, which is the combination of cell immobilization and integrated product removal.

  1. Temporal integration at consecutive processing stages in the auditory pathway of the grasshopper

    PubMed Central

    Ronacher, Bernhard

    2015-01-01

    Temporal integration in the auditory system of locusts was quantified by presenting single clicks and click pairs while performing intracellular recordings. Auditory neurons were studied at three processing stages, which form a feed-forward network in the metathoracic ganglion. Receptor neurons and most first-order interneurons (“local neurons”) encode the signal envelope, while second-order interneurons (“ascending neurons”) tend to extract more complex, behaviorally relevant sound features. In different neuron types of the auditory pathway we found three response types: no significant temporal integration (some ascending neurons), leaky energy integration (receptor neurons and some local neurons), and facilitatory processes (some local and ascending neurons). The receptor neurons integrated input over very short time windows (<2 ms). Temporal integration on longer time scales was found at subsequent processing stages, indicative of within-neuron computations and network activity. These different strategies, realized at separate processing stages and in parallel neuronal pathways within one processing stage, could enable the grasshopper's auditory system to evaluate longer time windows and thus to implement temporal filters, while at the same time maintaining a high temporal resolution. PMID:25609104

  2. Real time simulation of the retina allowing visualization of each processing stage

    SciTech Connect

    Teeters, J.L.; Werblin, F.

    1990-03-01

    Our retina computes to let us see, but can we see our retina compute? Until now, the answer has been `no` because the unconscious nature of the processing hides it from our view. Here we overcome the barrier of our closeness and describe what (to our knowledge) is the first method of seeing computations performed throughout the retina. This is achieved by using neurophysical data to construct a model of the retina, and using a special purpose image processing computer (PIPE) to implement the model in real time. Processing in the model is organized into stages corresponding to computations performed by each retinal cell type. The final stage is the formation of the transient (change detecting) ganglion cell response. A CCD camera forms the input image and the activity of any retinal cell type layer is the output which is displayed on a TV monitor. By changing the retina cell type driving the monitor, the progressive transformations of the image occurring in each stage of retina processing can be observed. The simulations demonstrate several phenomena including the slight blurring of the image caused by coupling between receptors, the relatively slow response to change and further blurring of the image by horizontal cells, the enhancement of moving edges by the bipolar cells, the separation of information flow into On and Off components, change detection in amacrine cells and the lateral inhibition to ganglion cells. Because the retina is the first stage of all biological vision systems, this processing may be useful for machine vision.

  3. Real time simulation of the retina allowing visualization of each processing stage

    SciTech Connect

    Teeters, J.L. ); Werblin, F. )

    1990-03-01

    Our retina computes to let us see, but can we see our retina compute Until now, the answer has been no' because the unconscious nature of the processing hides it from our view. Here we overcome the barrier of our closeness and describe what (to our knowledge) is the first method of seeing computations performed throughout the retina. This is achieved by using neurophysical data to construct a model of the retina, and using a special purpose image processing computer (PIPE) to implement the model in real time. Processing in the model is organized into stages corresponding to computations performed by each retinal cell type. The final stage is the formation of the transient (change detecting) ganglion cell response. A CCD camera forms the input image and the activity of any retinal cell type layer is the output which is displayed on a TV monitor. By changing the retina cell type driving the monitor, the progressive transformations of the image occurring in each stage of retina processing can be observed. The simulations demonstrate several phenomena including the slight blurring of the image caused by coupling between receptors, the relatively slow response to change and further blurring of the image by horizontal cells, the enhancement of moving edges by the bipolar cells, the separation of information flow into On and Off components, change detection in amacrine cells and the lateral inhibition to ganglion cells. Because the retina is the first stage of all biological vision systems, this processing may be useful for machine vision.

  4. Gestalt Perceptual Organization of Visual Stimuli Captures Attention Automatically: Electrophysiological Evidence

    PubMed Central

    Marini, Francesco; Marzi, Carlo A.

    2016-01-01

    The visual system leverages organizational regularities of perceptual elements to create meaningful representations of the world. One clear example of such function, which has been formalized in the Gestalt psychology principles, is the perceptual grouping of simple visual elements (e.g., lines and arcs) into unitary objects (e.g., forms and shapes). The present study sought to characterize automatic attentional capture and related cognitive processing of Gestalt-like visual stimuli at the psychophysiological level by using event-related potentials (ERPs). We measured ERPs during a simple visual reaction time task with bilateral presentations of physically matched elements with or without a Gestalt organization. Results showed that Gestalt (vs. non-Gestalt) stimuli are characterized by a larger N2pc together with enhanced ERP amplitudes of non-lateralized components (N1, N2, P3) starting around 150 ms post-stimulus onset. Thus, we conclude that Gestalt stimuli capture attention automatically and entail characteristic psychophysiological signatures at both early and late processing stages. Highlights We studied the neural signatures of the automatic processes of visual attention elicited by Gestalt stimuli. We found that a reliable early correlate of attentional capture turned out to be the N2pc component. Perceptual and cognitive processing of Gestalt stimuli is associated with larger N1, N2, and P3 PMID:27630555

  5. Gestalt Perceptual Organization of Visual Stimuli Captures Attention Automatically: Electrophysiological Evidence.

    PubMed

    Marini, Francesco; Marzi, Carlo A

    2016-01-01

    The visual system leverages organizational regularities of perceptual elements to create meaningful representations of the world. One clear example of such function, which has been formalized in the Gestalt psychology principles, is the perceptual grouping of simple visual elements (e.g., lines and arcs) into unitary objects (e.g., forms and shapes). The present study sought to characterize automatic attentional capture and related cognitive processing of Gestalt-like visual stimuli at the psychophysiological level by using event-related potentials (ERPs). We measured ERPs during a simple visual reaction time task with bilateral presentations of physically matched elements with or without a Gestalt organization. Results showed that Gestalt (vs. non-Gestalt) stimuli are characterized by a larger N2pc together with enhanced ERP amplitudes of non-lateralized components (N1, N2, P3) starting around 150 ms post-stimulus onset. Thus, we conclude that Gestalt stimuli capture attention automatically and entail characteristic psychophysiological signatures at both early and late processing stages. Highlights We studied the neural signatures of the automatic processes of visual attention elicited by Gestalt stimuli. We found that a reliable early correlate of attentional capture turned out to be the N2pc component. Perceptual and cognitive processing of Gestalt stimuli is associated with larger N1, N2, and P3.

  6. Performance analysis of RDF gasification in a two stage fluidized bed-plasma process.

    PubMed

    Materazzi, M; Lettieri, P; Taylor, R; Chapman, C

    2016-01-01

    The major technical problems faced by stand-alone fluidized bed gasifiers (FBG) for waste-to gas applications are intrinsically related to the composition and physical properties of waste materials, such as RDF. The high quantity of ash and volatile material in RDF can provide a decrease in thermal output, create high ash clinkering, and increase emission of tars and CO2, thus affecting the operability for clean syngas generation at industrial scale. By contrast, a two-stage process which separates primary gasification and selective tar and ash conversion would be inherently more forgiving and stable. This can be achieved with the use of a separate plasma converter, which has been successfully used in conjunction with conventional thermal treatment units, for the ability to 'polish' the producer gas by organic contaminants and collect the inorganic fraction in a molten (and inert) state. This research focused on the performance analysis of a two-stage fluid bed gasification-plasma process to transform solid waste into clean syngas. Thermodynamic assessment using the two-stage equilibrium method was carried out to determine optimum conditions for the gasification of RDF and to understand the limitations and influence of the second stage on the process performance (gas heating value, cold gas efficiency, carbon conversion efficiency), along with other parameters. Comparison with a different thermal refining stage, i.e. thermal cracking (via partial oxidation) was also performed. The analysis is supported by experimental data from a pilot plant.

  7. Cleaner Production of Ti Powder by a Two-Stage Aluminothermic Reduction Process

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Kun; Wang, Yaowu; Feng, Naixiang

    2017-04-01

    A two-stage aluminothermic reduction process for preparing Ti powder under vacuum conditions using Na2TiF6 was investigated. An Al-Ti master alloy and a clean cryolite were simultaneously obtained as co-products. The first-stage reduction was an exothermic process that occurred at approximately 660°C. The Al and O contents of the Ti powder product were 0.18 wt.% and 0.35 wt.%, respectively, with an average particle size <74 μm. Ti(IV), Ti(III), and metallic Ti were present in the Ti-containing cryolite produced by the first-stage reduction, at a total content of approximately 3.13 wt.%. After second-stage reduction, the Ti elemental contents of the clean cryolite were reduced to 0.002 wt.%. The Al-Ti master alloy obtained by second-stage reduction was composed of Al and TiAl3. The mechanisms involved in these reduction processes were also examined.

  8. Effect of ripeness stage during processing on Listeria monocytogenes growth on fresh-cut 'Conference' pears.

    PubMed

    Colás-Medà, Pilar; Abadias, Maribel; Alegre, Isabel; Usall, Josep; Viñas, Inmaculada

    2015-08-01

    There are several factors that affect the shelf life of fresh-cut fruit, including the cultivar, the ripeness stage of the fruit during processing and the fruit's storage atmosphere and temperature. The effect of fruit ripeness during processing on the survival and growth of Listeria monocytogenes on fresh-cut 'Conference' pear slices at different temperatures (5, 10 and 20 °C) was studied. The four ripeness stages studied in this work (assessed by a fruit's firmness) were mature-green (54-60 N), partially ripe (43-53 N), ripe (31-42 N) and overripe (<31 N). In our studies, pH, acidity and soluble solids content did not significantly change during conditioning at 20 °C. L. monocytogenes grew under all experimental conditions, showing an increase of approximately 2 log CFU g(-1) after 8 days of storage at 5 °C. There were significant differences in the L. monocytogenes population between different ripeness stages at the end of the experiments at 10 and 20 °C. Regardless of the ripeness stage of a fresh-cut pear, the growth potential of L. monocytogenes increased with increasing temperature. A pear's ripeness stage during processing is an important consideration to ensure the quality of a fresh-cut pear, but it is not as important for preventing L. monocytogenes growth at common storage temperatures. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Catalytic multi-stage process for hydroconversion and refining hydrocarbon feeds

    DOEpatents

    Comolli, Alfred G.; Lee, Lap-Keung

    2001-01-01

    A multi-stage catalytic hydrogenation and hydroconversion process for heavy hydrocarbon feed materials such as coal, heavy petroleum fractions, and plastic waste materials. In the process, the feedstock is reacted in a first-stage, back-mixed catalytic reactor with a highly dispersed iron-based catalyst having a powder, gel or liquid form. The reactor effluent is pressure-reduced, vapors and light distillate fractions are removed overhead, and the heavier liquid fraction is fed to a second stage back-mixed catalytic reactor. The first and second stage catalytic reactors are operated at 700-850.degree. F. temperature, 1000-3500 psig hydrogen partial pressure and 20-80 lb./hr per ft.sup.3 reactor space velocity. The vapor and light distillates liquid fractions removed from both the first and second stage reactor effluent streams are combined and passed to an in-line, fixed-bed catalytic hydrotreater for heteroatom removal and for producing high quality naphtha and mid-distillate or a full-range distillate product. The remaining separator bottoms liquid fractions are distilled at successive atmospheric and vacuum pressures, low and intermediate-boiling hydrocarbon liquid products are withdrawn, and heavier distillate fractions are recycled and further upgraded to provide additional low-boiling hydrocarbon liquid products. This catalytic multistage hydrogenation process provides improved flexibility for hydroprocessing the various carbonaceous feedstocks and adjusting to desired product structures and for improved economy of operations.

  10. Cleaner Production of Ti Powder by a Two-Stage Aluminothermic Reduction Process

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Kun; Wang, Yaowu; Feng, Naixiang

    2017-10-01

    A two-stage aluminothermic reduction process for preparing Ti powder under vacuum conditions using Na2TiF6 was investigated. An Al-Ti master alloy and a clean cryolite were simultaneously obtained as co-products. The first-stage reduction was an exothermic process that occurred at approximately 660°C. The Al and O contents of the Ti powder product were 0.18 wt.% and 0.35 wt.%, respectively, with an average particle size <74 μm. Ti(IV), Ti(III), and metallic Ti were present in the Ti-containing cryolite produced by the first-stage reduction, at a total content of approximately 3.13 wt.%. After second-stage reduction, the Ti elemental contents of the clean cryolite were reduced to 0.002 wt.%. The Al-Ti master alloy obtained by second-stage reduction was composed of Al and TiAl3. The mechanisms involved in these reduction processes were also examined.

  11. Associative fear learning and perceptual discrimination: a perceptual pathway in the development of chronic pain.

    PubMed

    Zaman, Jonas; Vlaeyen, Johan W S; Van Oudenhove, Lukas; Wiech, Katja; Van Diest, Ilse

    2015-04-01

    Recent neuropsychological theories emphasize the influence of maladaptive learning and memory processes on pain perception. However, the precise relationship between these processes as well as the underlying mechanisms remain poorly understood; especially the role of perceptual discrimination and its modulation by associative fear learning has received little attention so far. Experimental work with exteroceptive stimuli consistently points to effects of fear learning on perceptual discrimination acuity. In addition, clinical observations have revealed that in individuals with chronic pain perceptual discrimination is impaired, and that tactile discrimination training reduces pain. Based on these findings, we present a theoretical model of which the central tenet is that associative fear learning contributes to the development of chronic pain through impaired interoceptive and proprioceptive discrimination acuity.

  12. A two-stage enzymatic process for synthesis of extremely pure high oleic glycerol monooleate.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Qisi; Li, Tie; Wang, Yonghua; Yang, Bo; Ma, Yongjun

    2011-02-08

    This paper presents a research interest concentrating on aims to establish a feasible industrial process for enzymatic production of highly pure glycerol monooleate (GMO). The synthesis of high oleic glycerol monooleate by enzymatic glycerolysis of high oleic sunflower oil, using Novozyme 435 as the biocatalyst, in a binary solvent mixture of tert-butanol and tert-pentanol (80/20, v/v), at a lab scale has been studied. A yield of 75.31% monoacylglycerol has been achieved at the first stage. A yield of 93.3% GMO was finally reached after further purification at the second stage. To evaluate the possibility of the process for industrialization, production of GMO was performed at a pilot-plant scale under the correspondingly adjusted conditions. A yield of 68.17% and 93.4% of GMO was obtained, respectively, at the end of the three stages.

  13. Two-Stage Process for Precipitating Coarse Boehmite from Sodium Aluminate Solution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Guihua; Li, Zheng; Qi, Tiangui; Li, Xiaobin; Zhou, Qiusheng; Peng, Zhihong

    2017-10-01

    To increase the precipitation rate significantly and obtain sandy alumina, a two-stage seeded precipitation process for preparing coarse boehmite was studied. In the first stage, which involved gibbsite precipitation, the fresh fine gibbsite, along with the active seed of less than 20 g L-1, acted as seed. An estimated 70% precipitation rate was achieved in the concentrated sodium aluminate solution at 45°C for 20 h. In the second stage, which involved boehmite precipitation, the fine gibbsite played a dual function in dissolution and as seed. After gibbsite was dissolved into the solution and boehmite was precipitated, uniform coarse boehmite was precipitated from sodium aluminate solution at 95°C for 20 h. Extending the duration and adding boehmite as seed benefitted the formation of coarse boehmite and the transformation of gibbsite into boehmite. Finally, a precipitation process that remarkably increased the precipitation rate was presented.

  14. Two-Stage Process for Precipitating Coarse Boehmite from Sodium Aluminate Solution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Guihua; Li, Zheng; Qi, Tiangui; Li, Xiaobin; Zhou, Qiusheng; Peng, Zhihong

    2017-08-01

    To increase the precipitation rate significantly and obtain sandy alumina, a two-stage seeded precipitation process for preparing coarse boehmite was studied. In the first stage, which involved gibbsite precipitation, the fresh fine gibbsite, along with the active seed of less than 20 g L-1, acted as seed. An estimated 70% precipitation rate was achieved in the concentrated sodium aluminate solution at 45°C for 20 h. In the second stage, which involved boehmite precipitation, the fine gibbsite played a dual function in dissolution and as seed. After gibbsite was dissolved into the solution and boehmite was precipitated, uniform coarse boehmite was precipitated from sodium aluminate solution at 95°C for 20 h. Extending the duration and adding boehmite as seed benefitted the formation of coarse boehmite and the transformation of gibbsite into boehmite. Finally, a precipitation process that remarkably increased the precipitation rate was presented.

  15. Relationship between early and late stages of information processing: an event-related potential study

    PubMed Central

    Portella, Claudio; Machado, Sergio; Arias-Carrión, Oscar; Sack, Alexander T.; Silva, Julio Guilherme; Orsini, Marco; Leite, Marco Antonio Araujo; Silva, Adriana Cardoso; Nardi, Antonio E.; Cagy, Mauricio; Piedade, Roberto; Ribeiro, Pedro

    2012-01-01

    The brain is capable of elaborating and executing different stages of information processing. However, exactly how these stages are processed in the brain remains largely unknown. This study aimed to analyze the possible correlation between early and late stages of information processing by assessing the latency to, and amplitude of, early and late event-related potential (ERP) components, including P200, N200, premotor potential (PMP) and P300, in healthy participants in the context of a visual oddball paradigm. We found a moderate positive correlation among the latency of P200 (electrode O2), N200 (electrode O2), PMP (electrode C3), P300 (electrode PZ) and the reaction time (RT). In addition, moderate negative correlation between the amplitude of P200 and the latencies of N200 (electrode O2), PMP (electrode C3), P300 (electrode PZ) was found. Therefore, we propose that if the secondary processing of visual input (P200 latency) occurs faster, the following will also happen sooner: discrimination and classification process of this input (N200 latency), motor response processing (PMP latency), reorganization of attention and working memory update (P300 latency), and RT. N200, PMP, and P300 latencies are also anticipated when higher activation level of occipital areas involved in the secondary processing of visual input rise (P200 amplitude). PMID:23355929

  16. Role of Temporal Processing Stages by Inferior Temporal Neurons in Facial Recognition

    PubMed Central

    Sugase-Miyamoto, Yasuko; Matsumoto, Narihisa; Kawano, Kenji

    2011-01-01

    In this review, we focus on the role of temporal stages of encoded facial information in the visual system, which might enable the efficient determination of species, identity, and expression. Facial recognition is an important function of our brain and is known to be processed in the ventral visual pathway, where visual signals are processed through areas V1, V2, V4, and the inferior temporal (IT) cortex. In the IT cortex, neurons show selective responses to complex visual images such as faces, and at each stage along the pathway the stimulus selectivity of the neural responses becomes sharper, particularly in the later portion of the responses. In the IT cortex of the monkey, facial information is represented by different temporal stages of neural responses, as shown in our previous study: the initial transient response of face-responsive neurons represents information about global categories, i.e., human vs. monkey vs. simple shapes, whilst the later portion of these responses represents information about detailed facial categories, i.e., expression and/or identity. This suggests that the temporal stages of the neuronal firing pattern play an important role in the coding of visual stimuli, including faces. This type of coding may be a plausible mechanism underlying the temporal dynamics of recognition, including the process of detection/categorization followed by the identification of objects. Recent single-unit studies in monkeys have also provided evidence consistent with the important role of the temporal stages of encoded facial information. For example, view-invariant facial identity information is represented in the response at a later period within a region of face-selective neurons. Consistent with these findings, temporally modulated neural activity has also been observed in human studies. These results suggest a close correlation between the temporal processing stages of facial information by IT neurons and the temporal dynamics of face recognition

  17. Monitoring the censored lognormal reliability data in a three-stage process using AFT model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goodarzi, Azam; Amiri, Amirhossein; Asadzadeh, Shervin

    2017-09-01

    Improving the product reliability is the main concern in both manufacturing and service processes which is obtained by monitoring the reliability-related quality characteristics. Nowadays, products or services are the result of processes with dependent stages referred to as multistage processes. In these processes, the quality characteristic in each stage is affected by the quality characteristic in the previous stages known as cascade property. Two regression-adjusted control schemes are applied to monitor the output quality variables of interest. Moreover, censoring is among the main limitations while monitoring the reliability-related quality characteristics, causing not to record the real values of some observations. Hence, the right censored observations are used to extend monitoring schemes under both the fixed- and variable-competing risks. In this paper, the accelerated failure time (AFT) is used to relate the reliability-related quality characteristic with lognormal distribution to the incoming variables. Then, two cause-selecting control charts are developed to monitor outgoing quality variables when censoring happens in each reliability-related stage. The performance of the control charts is evaluated and compared through extensive simulation studies under the censored and non-censored scenarios.

  18. The influence of different processing stages on particle size, microstructure, and appearance of dark chocolate.

    PubMed

    Glicerina, Virginia; Balestra, Federica; Dalla Rosa, Marco; Bergenhstål, Bjorn; Tornberg, Eva; Romani, Santina

    2014-07-01

    The effect of different process stages on microstructural and visual properties of dark chocolate was studied. Samples were obtained at each phase of the manufacture process: mixing, prerefining, refining, conching, and tempering. A laser light diffraction technique and environmental scanning electron microscopy (ESEM) were used to study the particle size distribution (PSD) and to analyze modifications in the network structure. Moreover, colorimetric analyses (L*, h°, and C*) were performed on all samples. Each stage influenced in stronger way the microstructural characteristic of products and above all the PSD. Sauter diameter (D [3.2]) decreased from 5.44 μm of mixed chocolate sample to 3.83 μm, of the refined one. ESEM analysis also revealed wide variations in the network structure of samples during the process, with an increase of the aggregation and contact point between particles from mixing to refining stage. Samples obtained from the conching and tempering were characterized by small PS, and a less dense aggregate structure. From color results, samples with the finest particles, having larger specific surface area and the smallest diameter, appeared lighter and more saturated than those with coarse particles. Final quality of food dispersions is affected by network and particles characteristics. The deep knowledge of the influence of single processing stage on chocolate microstructural properties is useful in order to improve or modify final product characteristics. ESEM and laser diffraction are suitable techniques to study changes in chocolate microstructure. © 2014 Institute of Food Technologists®

  19. Different stages of Cd’s transporting process in waters in Jiaozhou Bay

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Dongfang; Miao, Zhenqing; Li, Haixia; Zhang, Longlei; Wang, Qi

    2017-08-01

    Cd pollution in marine bays is one of the critical environmental issues, and understanding the stages of transporting process of Cd in marine bays is essential to pollution control. This paper analyzed the stages of Cd’s transporting process in waters in Jiaozhou Bay during 1979-1983. Results showed that the transporting process in waters in Jiaozhou Bay included seven different stages of 1) the sedimentation of Cd content was beginning, 2) the sedimentation of Cd content was increasing, 3) the sedimentation of Cd content was increasing greatly, 4) the sedimentation of Cd content was beginning to decrease, 5) the sedimentation of Cd content was decreasing stably, 6) the sedimentation of Cd content was beginning to stop, and 7) the sedimentation of Cd content was beginning to fully stop. In according to the different stages of Cd’s transporting process in waters, the changing trends of Cd contents in surface and bottom waters and their relationships could be defined and predicted.

  20. Information Processing at Successive Stages of Decision Making: Need for Cognition and Inclusion-Exclusion Effects.

    PubMed

    Levin; Huneke; Jasper

    2000-07-01

    Levin and Jasper's (1995) phased narrowing technique for tracking changes in information usage across successive stages of the decision-making process was combined with Huneke's (1996) "pull-down menu" extension of Payne, Bettman, and Johnson's (1988) software package for generating measures of information processing. Because this technique provided considerable data for each individual subject at each stage, we were able to focus on individual differences in information processing across stages, most notably differences related to need for cognition (NC; Cacioppo & Petty, 1982). In a computerized information search and decision task, 60 college students were first asked to narrow their options for purchasing a notebook computer to form a consideration set and were then asked to make a final choice from this set. At the consideration set formation stage, half the subjects were instructed to adopt a mindset to include options while the other half were asked to exclude options. Especially in the inclusion condition where subjects showed greater narrowing of options, high NC subjects processed information in a more focused manner with greater depth and breadth than did low NC subjects, and the quality of their selections tended to be higher. There was no evidence of widespread shifts in strategy as individuals moved from set formation to final choice but, as a group, high NC subjects were more successful at adaptive decision making. Copyright 2000 Academic Press.

  1. Stages of nonsymbolic number processing in occipitoparietal cortex disentangled by fMRI adaptation.

    PubMed

    Roggeman, Chantal; Santens, Seppe; Fias, Wim; Verguts, Tom

    2011-05-11

    The neurobiological mechanisms of nonsymbolic number processing in humans are still unclear. Computational modeling proposed three successive stages: first, the spatial location of objects is stored in an object location map; second, this information is transformed into a numerical summation code; third, this summation code is transformed to a number-selective code. Here, we used fMRI-adaptation to identify these three stages and their relative anatomical location. By presenting the same number of dots on the same locations in the visual field, we adapted neurons of human volunteers. Occasionally, deviants with the same number of dots at different locations or different numbers of dots at the same location were shown. By orthogonal number and location factors in the deviants, we were able to calculate three independent contrasts, each sensitive to one of the stages. We found an occipitoparietal gradient for nonsymbolic number processing: the activation of the object location map was found in the inferior occipital gyrus. The summation coding map exhibited a nonlinear pattern of activation, with first increasing and then decreasing activation, and most activity in the middle occipital gyrus. Finally, the number-selective code became more pronounced in the superior parietal lobe. In summary, we disentangled the three stages of nonsymbolic number processing predicted by computational modeling and demonstrated that they constitute a pathway along the occipitoparietal processing stream.

  2. Wallas' Four-Stage Model of the Creative Process: More than Meets the Eye?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sadler-Smith, Eugene

    2015-01-01

    Based on a detailed reading of Graham Wallas' "Art of Thought" (1926) it is argued that his four-stage model of the creative process (Preparation, Incubation, Illumination, Verification), in spite of holding sway as a conceptual anchor for many creativity researchers, does not reflect accurately Wallas' full account of the creative…

  3. Study of SSIN (Single Stage Interconnection Networks) Parallel Processing Interconnection Networks

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1988-10-31

    Processing Networks,----_ 𔄃 ABSTRACT (Continue on reverse if necessary and identify by bloc;umr.ber) The increase in dynamic average path length ( DAPL ...increase in dynamic average path length ( DAPL ) with network size is moderate while it is significantly less than log 2N , the number of stages needed in

  4. The Transtheoretical Model's Stages and Processes of Change and Their Relation to Premature Termination.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Smith, Kevin J., And Others

    1995-01-01

    Explores the issue of premature termination of therapy using the client readiness variables reflected in the stages and processes of change and proposed in Prochaska and DiClemente's transtheoretical model. This study used these variables to distinguish between premature and nonpremature terminators in a college counseling. Results indicated that…

  5. Wallas' Four-Stage Model of the Creative Process: More than Meets the Eye?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sadler-Smith, Eugene

    2015-01-01

    Based on a detailed reading of Graham Wallas' "Art of Thought" (1926) it is argued that his four-stage model of the creative process (Preparation, Incubation, Illumination, Verification), in spite of holding sway as a conceptual anchor for many creativity researchers, does not reflect accurately Wallas' full account of the creative…

  6. Is Statistical Learning Constrained by Lower Level Perceptual Organization?

    PubMed Central

    Emberson, Lauren L.; Liu, Ran; Zevin, Jason D.

    2013-01-01

    In order for statistical information to aid in complex developmental processes such as language acquisition, learning from higher-order statistics (e.g. across successive syllables in a speech stream to support segmentation) must be possible while perceptual abilities (e.g. speech categorization) are still developing. The current study examines how perceptual organization interacts with statistical learning. Adult participants were presented with multiple exemplars from novel, complex sound categories designed to reflect some of the spectral complexity and variability of speech. These categories were organized into sequential pairs and presented such that higher-order statistics, defined based on sound categories, could support stream segmentation. Perceptual similarity judgments and multi-dimensional scaling revealed that participants only perceived three perceptual clusters of sounds and thus did not distinguish the four experimenter-defined categories, creating a tension between lower level perceptual organization and higher-order statistical information. We examined whether the resulting pattern of learning is more consistent with statistical learning being “bottom-up,” constrained by the lower levels of organization, or “top-down,” such that higher-order statistical information of the stimulus stream takes priority over the perceptual organization, and perhaps influences perceptual organization. We consistently find evidence that learning is constrained by perceptual organization. Moreover, participants generalize their learning to novel sounds that occupy a similar perceptual space, suggesting that statistical learning occurs based on regions of or clusters in perceptual space. Overall, these results reveal a constraint on learning of sound sequences, such that statistical information is determined based on lower level organization. These findings have important implications for the role of statistical learning in language acquisition. PMID:23618755

  7. Is statistical learning constrained by lower level perceptual organization?

    PubMed

    Emberson, Lauren L; Liu, Ran; Zevin, Jason D

    2013-07-01

    In order for statistical information to aid in complex developmental processes such as language acquisition, learning from higher-order statistics (e.g. across successive syllables in a speech stream to support segmentation) must be possible while perceptual abilities (e.g. speech categorization) are still developing. The current study examines how perceptual organization interacts with statistical learning. Adult participants were presented with multiple exemplars from novel, complex sound categories designed to reflect some of the spectral complexity and variability of speech. These categories were organized into sequential pairs and presented such that higher-order statistics, defined based on sound categories, could support stream segmentation. Perceptual similarity judgments and multi-dimensional scaling revealed that participants only perceived three perceptual clusters of sounds and thus did not distinguish the four experimenter-defined categories, creating a tension between lower level perceptual organization and higher-order statistical information. We examined whether the resulting pattern of learning is more consistent with statistical learning being "bottom-up," constrained by the lower levels of organization, or "top-down," such that higher-order statistical information of the stimulus stream takes priority over perceptual organization and perhaps influences perceptual organization. We consistently find evidence that learning is constrained by perceptual organization. Moreover, participants generalize their learning to novel sounds that occupy a similar perceptual space, suggesting that statistical learning occurs based on regions of or clusters in perceptual space. Overall, these results reveal a constraint on learning of sound sequences such that statistical information is determined based on lower level organization. These findings have important implications for the role of statistical learning in language acquisition. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B

  8. Exogenous Attention Enables Perceptual Learning.

    PubMed

    Szpiro, Sarit F A; Carrasco, Marisa

    2015-12-01

    Practice can improve visual perception, and these improvements are considered to be a form of brain plasticity. Training-induced learning is time-consuming and requires hundreds of trials across multiple days. The process of learning acquisition is understudied. Can learning acquisition be potentiated by manipulating visual attentional cues? We developed a protocol in which we used task-irrelevant cues for between-groups manipulation of attention during training. We found that training with exogenous attention can enable the acquisition of learning. Remarkably, this learning was maintained even when observers were subsequently tested under neutral conditions, which indicates that a change in perception was involved. Our study is the first to isolate the effects of exogenous attention and to demonstrate its efficacy to enable learning. We propose that exogenous attention boosts perceptual learning by enhancing stimulus encoding.

  9. Quasi-steady stages in the process of premixed flame acceleration in narrow channels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Valiev, D. M.; Bychkov, V.; Akkerman, V.; Eriksson, L.-E.; Law, C. K.

    2013-09-01

    The present paper addresses the phenomenon of spontaneous acceleration of a premixed flame front propagating in micro-channels, with subsequent deflagration-to-detonation transition. It has recently been shown experimentally [M. Wu, M. Burke, S. Son, and R. Yetter, Proc. Combust. Inst. 31, 2429 (2007)], 10.1016/j.proci.2006.08.098, computationally [D. Valiev, V. Bychkov, V. Akkerman, and L.-E. Eriksson, Phys. Rev. E 80, 036317 (2009)], 10.1103/PhysRevE.80.036317, and analytically [V. Bychkov, V. Akkerman, D. Valiev, and C. K. Law, Phys. Rev. E 81, 026309 (2010)], 10.1103/PhysRevE.81.026309 that the flame acceleration undergoes different stages, from an initial exponential regime to quasi-steady fast deflagration with saturated velocity. The present work focuses on the final saturation stages in the process of flame acceleration, when the flame propagates with supersonic velocity with respect to the channel walls. It is shown that an intermediate stage may occur during acceleration with quasi-steady velocity, noticeably below the Chapman-Jouguet deflagration speed. The intermediate stage is followed by additional flame acceleration and subsequent saturation to the Chapman-Jouguet deflagration regime. We elucidate the intermediate stage by the joint effect of gas pre-compression ahead of the flame front and the hydraulic resistance. The additional acceleration is related to viscous heating at the channel walls, being of key importance at the final stages. The possibility of explosion triggering is also demonstrated.

  10. Modeling of thin films growth processes in the early stage for atoms with covalent bonds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tupik, V. A.; Margolin, V. I.; Trong Su, Chu

    2017-07-01

    Computer simulation for obtaining thin film’s growth process at an early stage with the proposed model of atoms with isotropic and anisotropic interactions been considered. Carrying out the procedure for analyzing the problem on the basis of the program being implemented, computer simulation of thin film growth processes has been carried out on several examples. The results of computer simulation of the growth process of thin film on a given substrate and an aggregate in a vacuum condition are shown. Some characteristic distributions of the obtained structure have been carried out to evaluate the proposed adequate model and to reflect the high complexity of thin films growth process.

  11. Sensory shelf life estimation of minimally processed lettuce considering two stages of consumers' decision-making process.

    PubMed

    Ares, Gastón; Giménez, Ana; Gámbaro, Adriana

    2008-01-01

    The aim of the present work was to study the influence of context, particularly the stage of the decision-making process (purchase vs consumption stage), on sensory shelf life of minimally processed lettuce. Leaves of butterhead lettuce were placed in common polypropylene bags and stored at 5, 10 and 15 degrees C. Periodically, a panel of six assessors evaluated the appearance of the samples, and a panel of 40 consumers evaluated their appearance and answered "yes" or "no" to the questions: "Imagine you are in a supermarket, you want to buy a minimally processed lettuce, and you find a package of lettuce with leaves like this, would you normally buy it?" and "Imagine you have this leaf of lettuce stored in your refrigerator, would you normally consume it?". Survival analysis was used to calculate the shelf lives of minimally processed lettuce, considering both decision-making stages. Shelf lives estimated considering rejection to purchase were significantly lower than those estimated considering rejection to consume. Therefore, in order to be conservative and assure the products' quality, shelf life should be estimated considering consumers' rejection to purchase instead of rejection to consume, as traditionally has been done. On the other hand, results from logistic regressions of consumers' rejection percentage as a function of the evaluated appearance attributes suggested that consumers considered them differently while deciding whether to purchase or to consume minimally processed lettuce.

  12. Determination of wastewater LC50 of the different process stages of the textile industry.

    PubMed

    Villegas-Navarro, A; Ramírez-M, Y; Salvador-S, M S; Gallardo, J M

    2001-01-01

    Textile plants are very important sources of toxic discharges. The purpose of the research described in this paper was to use bioassays with daphnids to determine the LC50 values of textile wastewater samples taken from different stages of the finishing textile industry. Toxicity due to dyeing, chlorination, and the absence of adequate physicochemical conditions for daphnid survival were considered. Wastewater samples corresponding to each process stage were collected at five finishing textile industries and assayed according to previously published procedures. The sensitivity of daphnids to chemicals was assayed using sodium dodecyl sulfate and was similar to other reports (14.6+/-6.8 vs 14.5+/-2.3 mg/L). All effluents from the five company samples were toxic in terms of LC50 and exhibited very high toxicity with acute toxicity unit (ATU) levels between 2.2 and 960, indicating that the five textile industries produced toxic water. The sensory characteristics indicated that the dyes contributed to overall sample toxicity at all process stages. The most toxic contaminant seemed to be ClO- at levels between 0.2 and 6.8 mg/L, suggesting that further research is needed on the economic costs of stage-by-stage and total effluent treatments.

  13. Early-stage comparative sustainability assessment of new bio-based processes.

    PubMed

    Patel, Akshay D; Meesters, Koen; den Uil, Herman; de Jong, Ed; Worrell, Ernst; Patel, Martin K

    2013-09-01

    Our increasing demand for materials and energy has put critical roadblocks on our path towards a sustainable society. To remove these roadblocks, it is important to engage in smart research and development (R&D). We present an early-stage sustainability assessment framework that is used to analyze eight new bio-based process alternatives developed within the CatchBio research consortium in the Netherlands. This assessment relies on a multi-criteria approach, integrating the performance of chemical conversions based on five indicators into an index value. These indicators encompass economics, environmental impact, hazards and risks thereby incorporating elements of green chemistry principles, and techno-economic and life cycle assessments. The analyzed bio-based options target the production of fuels and chemicals through chemical catalysis. For each bio-based process, two R&D stages (current laboratory and expected future) are assessed against a comparable conventional process. The multi-criteria assessment in combination with the uncertainty and scenario analysis shows that the chemical production processes using biomass as feedstock can provide potential sustainability benefits over conventional alternatives. However, further development is necessary to realize the potential benefits from biomass gasification and pyrolysis processes for fuel production. This early stage assessment is intended as an input for R&D decision making to support optimal allocation and utilization of resources to further develop promising bio-based processes. Copyright © 2013 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  14. Perceptual load modulates conscious flicker perception.

    PubMed

    Carmel, David; Saker, Pascal; Rees, Geraint; Lavie, Nilli

    2007-12-17

    Subjective visual experience depends not only on the spatial arrangement of the environment, but also on the temporal pattern of stimulation. For example, flickering and steady light presented in the same location evoke a very different perceptual experience due to their different temporal patterns. Here, we examined whether the availability of processing resources affected the temporal resolution of conscious flicker perception--the ability to distinguish rapid changes in light intensity, detecting visual temporal patterns. Participants detected flicker in a fixated LED that flickered at or around the individually adjusted critical flicker fusion (CFF) threshold while searching for a target letter presented in the periphery either on its own (low perceptual load) or among other letters (high load). Physically identical flickering stimuli were more likely to be perceived as "fused" under high (compared to low) load in the peripheral letter search. Furthermore, psychophysical measures showed a reduction in flicker detection sensitivity under high perceptual load. These results could not be due to criterion or stimulus prioritization differences or to differential likelihood of forgetting the correct response under different load conditions. These findings demonstrate that perceptual load influences conscious perception of temporal patterns.

  15. Predicting Odor Perceptual Similarity from Odor Structure

    PubMed Central

    Weiss, Tali; Frumin, Idan; Khan, Rehan M.; Sobel, Noam

    2013-01-01

    To understand the brain mechanisms of olfaction we must understand the rules that govern the link between odorant structure and odorant perception. Natural odors are in fact mixtures made of many molecules, and there is currently no method to look at the molecular structure of such odorant-mixtures and predict their smell. In three separate experiments, we asked 139 subjects to rate the pairwise perceptual similarity of 64 odorant-mixtures ranging in size from 4 to 43 mono-molecular components. We then tested alternative models to link odorant-mixture structure to odorant-mixture perceptual similarity. Whereas a model that considered each mono-molecular component of a mixture separately provided a poor prediction of mixture similarity, a model that represented the mixture as a single structural vector provided consistent correlations between predicted and actual perceptual similarity (r≥0.49, p<0.001). An optimized version of this model yielded a correlation of r = 0.85 (p<0.001) between predicted and actual mixture similarity. In other words, we developed an algorithm that can look at the molecular structure of two novel odorant-mixtures, and predict their ensuing perceptual similarity. That this goal was attained using a model that considers the mixtures as a single vector is consistent with a synthetic rather than analytical brain processing mechanism in olfaction. PMID:24068899

  16. Perceptual crossing: the simplest online paradigm

    PubMed Central

    Auvray, Malika; Rohde, Marieke

    2012-01-01

    Researchers in social cognition increasingly realize that many phenomena cannot be understood by investigating offline situations only, focusing on individual mechanisms and an observer perspective. There are processes of dynamic emergence specific to online situations, when two or more persons are engaged in a real-time interaction that are more than just the sum of the individual capacities or behaviors, and these require the study of online social interaction. Auvray et al.'s (2009) perceptual crossing paradigm offers possibly the simplest paradigm for studying such online interactions: two persons, a one-dimensional space, one bit of information, and a yes/no answer. This study has provoked a lot of resonance in different areas of research, including experimental psychology, computer/robot modeling, philosophy, psychopathology, and even in the field of design. In this article, we review and critically assess this body of literature. We give an overview of both behavioral experimental research and simulated agent modeling done using the perceptual crossing paradigm. We discuss different contexts in which work on perceptual crossing has been cited. This includes the controversy about the possible constitutive role of perceptual crossing for social cognition. We conclude with an outlook on future research possibilities, in particular those that could elucidate the link between online interaction dynamics and individual social cognition. PMID:22723776

  17. Perceptual shift in bilingualism: brain potentials reveal plasticity in pre-attentive colour perception.

    PubMed

    Athanasopoulos, Panos; Dering, Benjamin; Wiggett, Alison; Kuipers, Jan-Rouke; Thierry, Guillaume

    2010-09-01

    The validity of the linguistic relativity principle continues to stimulate vigorous debate and research. The debate has recently shifted from the behavioural investigation arena to a more biologically grounded field, in which tangible physiological evidence for language effects on perception can be obtained. Using brain potentials in a colour oddball detection task with Greek and English speakers, a recent study suggests that language effects may exist at early stages of perceptual integration [Thierry, G., Athanasopoulos, P., Wiggett, A., Dering, B., & Kuipers, J. (2009). Unconscious effects of language-specific terminology on pre-attentive colour perception. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 106, 4567-4570]. In this paper, we test whether in Greek speakers exposure to a new cultural environment (UK) with contrasting colour terminology from their native language affects early perceptual processing as indexed by an electrophysiological correlate of visual detection of colour luminance. We also report semantic mapping of native colour terms and colour similarity judgements. Results reveal convergence of linguistic descriptions, cognitive processing, and early perception of colour in bilinguals. This result demonstrates for the first time substantial plasticity in early, pre-attentive colour perception and has important implications for the mechanisms that are involved in perceptual changes during the processes of language learning and acculturation.

  18. An approach to quantitative sustainability assessment in the early stages of process design.

    PubMed

    Tugnoli, Alessandro; Santarelli, Francesco; Cozzani, Valerio

    2008-06-15

    A procedure was developed for the quantitative assessment of key performance indicators suitable for the sustainability analysis of alternative processes, mainly addressing the early stages of process design. The methodology was based on the calculation of a set of normalized impact indices allowing a direct comparison of the additional burden of each process alternative on a selected reference area. Innovative reference criteria were developed to compare and aggregate the impact indicators on the basis of the site-specific impact burden and sustainability policy. An aggregation procedure also allows the calculation of overall sustainability performance indicators and of an "impact fingerprint" of each process alternative. The final aim of the method is to support the decision making process during process development, providing a straightforward assessment of the expected sustainability performances. The application of the methodology to case studies concerning alternative waste disposal processes allowed a preliminary screening of the expected critical sustainability impacts of each process. The methodology was shown to provide useful results to address sustainability issues in the early stages of process design.

  19. Perceptualization of scientific data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grinstein, Georges G.; Smith, Stuart

    1990-08-01

    In this paper we discuss data exploration as a particularly difficult case within the general problem of data visualization. We describe (1) a novel graphic technique for displaying multidimensional data visually and (2) an auditory display integrated with the visual display that allows us to represent multidimensional data in sound. The visual/auditory display employs an "iconographic" technique that seeks to exploit the spontaneous perceptual capacity to sense and discriminate texture. Structures in data to be analyzed can appear, both visually and aurally, as distinct textural regions and contours when the data are represented iconographically. Sound can be used to reinforce the visual presentation or to augment the dimensionality of the visual display. The immediate focus of the work reported here is to investigate how best to transform data into perceptible visual and auditory textures, that is, how best to "perceptualize" the data. A key problem we discuss is deciding which fields of a multidimensional data set should be represented in the visual domain and which in the auditory domain. This activity is part of the University of Lowell's Exploratory Visualization (Exvis) project, a multidisciplinary effort to develop new paradigms for the exploration and analysis of data with high dimensionality.

  20. On-line monitoring of a two-stage anaerobic digestion process using a BOD analyzer.

    PubMed

    Liu, Jing; Olsson, Gustaf; Mattiasson, Bo

    2004-04-29

    A computer-controlled biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) analyzer has been developed for fast estimation of biochemical oxygen demand (BODst) automatically with the purpose of on-line monitoring of a process for conversion of biomass under field conditions. The instrument was tested by on-line monitoring of the connecting stream between two stages of a two-stage anaerobic process in laboratory scale. In the first stage, hydrolysis of sugar beet leaves and its conversion into volatile fatty acids and other low molecular weight substrates took place. The effluent from the first reactor was used as a feed stream to the second stage, i.e. an anaerobic contact reactor. The feed stream was sampled intermittently, diluted and analyzed by the BOD analyzer automatically in order to estimate the organic loading rate to the reactor. The results from this study demonstrated that the BOD analyzer could be a stand-alone and promising sensor device for rapid on-line monitoring of easily biodegradable organic substances in biological treatment processes.

  1. Coupled finite element simulation and optimization of single- and multi-stage sheet-forming processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tamasco, Cynthia M.; Rais-Rohani, Masoud; Buijk, Arjaan

    2013-03-01

    This article presents the development and application of a coupled finite element simulation and optimization framework that can be used for design and analysis of sheet-forming processes of varying complexity. The entire forming process from blank gripping and deep drawing to tool release and springback is modelled. The dies, holders, punch and workpiece are modelled with friction, temperature, holder force and punch speed controlled in the process simulation. Both single- and multi-stage sheet-forming processes are investigated. Process simulation is coupled with a nonlinear gradient-based optimization approach for optimizing single or multiple design objectives with imposed sheet-forming response constraints. A MATLAB program is developed and used for data-flow management between process simulation and optimization codes. Thinning, springback, damage and forming limit diagram are used to define failure in the forming process design optimization. Design sensitivity analysis and optimization results of the example problems are presented and discussed.

  2. Economics of spray-dryer FGD system: the two-stage open-loop processes

    SciTech Connect

    Burnett, T.A.; O'Brien, W.E.

    1981-06-01

    Preliminary economics of the Rockwell International Corporation - Wheelabrator Frye, Inc., (RI/WF) two-stage open-loop flue gas desulfurization (FGD) process were determined for both lime and soda ash absorbents. This two-stage open-loop process is a throwaway system in which the alkali raw material (as a solution or slurry) is sprayed into the flue gas stream, dried by the latent heat in the hot flue gas, and collected as dry particulate matter in a baghouse. The fly ash is also collected in the baghouse as an inherent part of the process. An economic evaluation of a limestone slurry FGD process with an electrostatic precipitator (ESP) for particulate matter removal was included for comparison. The basis was a 500-MW power plant burning 3.5% sulfur, 16% ash coal with 90% SO/sub 2/ removal and 0.1 lb/MBtu particulate matter emission. The economic evaluations were made using both TVA and Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) economic premises. Cost differences between the two-stage open-loop lime and soda ash versions are largely the result of different waste disposal and raw material costs. Both RI/WF versions are more economical than limestone in most process elements except raw material costs. Cost differences between the TVA- and EPRI-based estimates are the result of different methods of estimating indirect costs, levelizing operating costs, and different raw material costs.

  3. Influence of processing stages on antimutagenic and antioxidant potentials of rooibos tea.

    PubMed

    Standley, L; Winterton, P; Marnewick, J L; Gelderblom, W C; Joubert, E; Britz, T J

    2001-01-01

    The antimutagenic and antioxidant potentials of rooibos (Aspalathus linearis) tea samples, collected from each of its major processing stages, were evaluated according to the Salmonella typhimurium mutagenicity test and the hydrogen donating ability and superoxide anion radical scavenging assays, respectively. Ten random samples were collected before and after fermentation, as well as after sun-drying, sieving, and steam pasteurization. Results indicated that the fermented tea had a significantly (P < 0.05) lower antimutagenic and antioxidant potential than the unfermented tea. Of the different processing stages, the most significant reduction in the antimutagenic and antioxidant property of the tea was found during the "fermentation" step. Sun-drying, sieving, and steam pasteurization also reduced the antimutagenic potential of the tea, although not to the same extent as the first processing step. The hydrogen donating ability was significantly increased after steam pasteurization in comparison to those of fermented and sun-dried tea. Pasteurization did not affect superoxide anion radical scavenging in comparison to fermented tea. Differences seem to exist in the antimutagenicity and antioxidant potencies of the tea sampled at the various stages during processing. A possible role of tea polyphenols in the antimutagenic and antioxdant activities of the tea is suggested as processing caused a significant reduction in the total polyphenolic content.

  4. Detecting perceptual groupings in textures by continuity considerations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Greene, Richard J.

    1990-01-01

    A generalization is presented for the second derivative of a Gaussian D(sup 2)G operator to apply to problems of perceptual organization involving textures. Extensions to other problems of perceptual organization are evident and a new research direction can be established. The technique presented is theoretically pleasing since it has the potential of unifying the entire area of image segmentation under the mathematical notion of continuity and presents a single algorithm to form perceptual groupings where many algorithms existed previously. The eventual impact on both the approach and technique of image processing segmentation operations could be significant.

  5. PERCEPTUAL LEARNING IN EDUCATIONAL SITUATIONS.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    GIBSON, ELEANOR J.

    BOTH COGNITIVELY-ORIENTED AND RESPONSE-ORIENTED THEORIES OF PERCEPTUAL LEARNING ARE DISCUSSED AND CONTRASTED WITH A STIMULUS-ORIENTED THEORY. PERCEPTUAL LEARNING IS DEFINED AS AN INCREASE IN SPECIFICITY OF DISCRIMINATION OF THE STIMULUS INPUT. THE AUTHOR DESCRIBED WHAT IS LEARNED IN PERCEPUTAL LEARNING AS () THE DISTINCTIVE FEATURES OF THINGS, (2)…

  6. Individualized Motor-Perceptual Study.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Portland Public Schools, OR.

    This guide is being used in the Individualized Motor-Perceptual Study to determine whether working directly with kindergarten children to improve performance on motor-perceptual tasks will affect reading ability at the end of grades one, two, and three. The 5-year project involves six schools. In this guide, there are tips for teaching, suggested…

  7. Simulative design and process optimization of the two-stage stretch-blow molding process

    SciTech Connect

    Hopmann, Ch.; Rasche, S.; Windeck, C.

    2015-05-22

    The total production costs of PET bottles are significantly affected by the costs of raw material. Approximately 70 % of the total costs are spent for the raw material. Therefore, stretch-blow molding industry intends to reduce the total production costs by an optimized material efficiency. However, there is often a trade-off between an optimized material efficiency and required product properties. Due to a multitude of complex boundary conditions, the design process of new stretch-blow molded products is still a challenging task and is often based on empirical knowledge. Application of current CAE-tools supports the design process by reducing development time and costs. This paper describes an approach to determine optimized preform geometry and corresponding process parameters iteratively. The wall thickness distribution and the local stretch ratios of the blown bottle are calculated in a three-dimensional process simulation. Thereby, the wall thickness distribution is correlated with an objective function and preform geometry as well as process parameters are varied by an optimization algorithm. Taking into account the correlation between material usage, process history and resulting product properties, integrative coupled simulation steps, e.g. structural analyses or barrier simulations, are performed. The approach is applied on a 0.5 liter PET bottle of Krones AG, Neutraubling, Germany. The investigations point out that the design process can be supported by applying this simulative optimization approach. In an optimization study the total bottle weight is reduced from 18.5 g to 15.5 g. The validation of the computed results is in progress.

  8. Simulative design and process optimization of the two-stage stretch-blow molding process

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hopmann, Ch.; Rasche, S.; Windeck, C.

    2015-05-01

    The total production costs of PET bottles are significantly affected by the costs of raw material. Approximately 70 % of the total costs are spent for the raw material. Therefore, stretch-blow molding industry intends to reduce the total production costs by an optimized material efficiency. However, there is often a trade-off between an optimized material efficiency and required product properties. Due to a multitude of complex boundary conditions, the design process of new stretch-blow molded products is still a challenging task and is often based on empirical knowledge. Application of current CAE-tools supports the design process by reducing development time and costs. This paper describes an approach to determine optimized preform geometry and corresponding process parameters iteratively. The wall thickness distribution and the local stretch ratios of the blown bottle are calculated in a three-dimensional process simulation. Thereby, the wall thickness distribution is correlated with an objective function and preform geometry as well as process parameters are varied by an optimization algorithm. Taking into account the correlation between material usage, process history and resulting product properties, integrative coupled simulation steps, e.g. structural analyses or barrier simulations, are performed. The approach is applied on a 0.5 liter PET bottle of Krones AG, Neutraubling, Germany. The investigations point out that the design process can be supported by applying this simulative optimization approach. In an optimization study the total bottle weight is reduced from 18.5 g to 15.5 g. The validation of the computed results is in progress.

  9. Central Pain Processing in Early-Stage Parkinson's Disease: A Laser Pain fMRI Study

    PubMed Central

    Petschow, Christine; Scheef, Lukas; Paus, Sebastian; Zimmermann, Nadine; Schild, Hans H.; Klockgether, Thomas; Boecker, Henning

    2016-01-01

    Background & Objective Pain is a common non-motor symptom in Parkinson’s disease. As dopaminergic dysfunction is suggested to affect intrinsic nociceptive processing, this study was designed to characterize laser-induced pain processing in early-stage Parkinson’s disease patients in the dopaminergic OFF state, using a multimodal experimental approach at behavioral, autonomic, imaging levels. Methods 13 right-handed early-stage Parkinson’s disease patients without cognitive or sensory impairment were investigated OFF medication, along with 13 age-matched healthy control subjects. Measurements included warmth perception thresholds, heat pain thresholds, and central pain processing with event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (erfMRI) during laser-induced pain stimulation at lower (E = 440 mJ) and higher (E = 640 mJ) target energies. Additionally, electrodermal activity was characterized during delivery of 60 randomized pain stimuli ranging from 440 mJ to 640 mJ, along with evaluation of subjective pain ratings on a visual analogue scale. Results No significant differences in warmth perception thresholds, heat pain thresholds, electrodermal activity and subjective pain ratings were found between Parkinson’s disease patients and controls, and erfMRI revealed a generally comparable activation pattern induced by laser-pain stimuli in brain areas belonging to the central pain matrix. However, relatively reduced deactivation was found in Parkinson’s disease patients in posterior regions of the default mode network, notably the precuneus and the posterior cingulate cortex. Conclusion Our data during pain processing extend previous findings suggesting default mode network dysfunction in Parkinson’s disease. On the other hand, they argue against a genuine pain-specific processing abnormality in early-stage Parkinson’s disease. Future studies are now required using similar multimodal experimental designs to examine pain processing in more advanced

  10. Central Pain Processing in Early-Stage Parkinson's Disease: A Laser Pain fMRI Study.

    PubMed

    Petschow, Christine; Scheef, Lukas; Paus, Sebastian; Zimmermann, Nadine; Schild, Hans H; Klockgether, Thomas; Boecker, Henning

    2016-01-01

    Pain is a common non-motor symptom in Parkinson's disease. As dopaminergic dysfunction is suggested to affect intrinsic nociceptive processing, this study was designed to characterize laser-induced pain processing in early-stage Parkinson's disease patients in the dopaminergic OFF state, using a multimodal experimental approach at behavioral, autonomic, imaging levels. 13 right-handed early-stage Parkinson's disease patients without cognitive or sensory impairment were investigated OFF medication, along with 13 age-matched healthy control subjects. Measurements included warmth perception thresholds, heat pain thresholds, and central pain processing with event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (erfMRI) during laser-induced pain stimulation at lower (E = 440 mJ) and higher (E = 640 mJ) target energies. Additionally, electrodermal activity was characterized during delivery of 60 randomized pain stimuli ranging from 440 mJ to 640 mJ, along with evaluation of subjective pain ratings on a visual analogue scale. No significant differences in warmth perception thresholds, heat pain thresholds, electrodermal activity and subjective pain ratings were found between Parkinson's disease patients and controls, and erfMRI revealed a generally comparable activation pattern induced by laser-pain stimuli in brain areas belonging to the central pain matrix. However, relatively reduced deactivation was found in Parkinson's disease patients in posterior regions of the default mode network, notably the precuneus and the posterior cingulate cortex. Our data during pain processing extend previous findings suggesting default mode network dysfunction in Parkinson's disease. On the other hand, they argue against a genuine pain-specific processing abnormality in early-stage Parkinson's disease. Future studies are now required using similar multimodal experimental designs to examine pain processing in more advanced stages of Parkinson's disease.

  11. NASA Ares 1 Crew Launch Vehicle Upper Stage Configuration Selection Process

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cook, Jerry R.

    2006-01-01

    The Upper Stage Element of NASA s Ares I Crew Launch Vehicle (CLV) is a "clean-sheet" approach that is being designed and developed in-house, with Element management at MSFC. The USE concept is a self-supporting cylindrical structure, approximately 115 long and 216" in diameter. While the Reusable Solid Rocket Booster (RSRB) design has changed since the CLV inception, the Upper Stage Element design has remained essentially a clean-sheet approach. Although a clean-sheet upper stage design inherently carries more risk than a modified design, it does offer many advantages: a design for increased reliability; built-in extensibility to allow for commonality/growth without major redesign; and incorporation of state-of-the-art materials, hardware, and design, fabrication, and test techniques and processes to facilitate a potentially better, more reliable system.

  12. Information processing deficits in head injury assessed with ERPs reflecting early and late processing stages.

    PubMed

    Reinvang, I; Nordby, H; Nielsen, C S

    2000-01-01

    ERPs provide informative measures of slowed information processing in head injury. While several studies have reported changes in long latency ERPs (N2, P3) in head injury, the data on early ERP components related to attention selection are inconclusive. The problem may be partly methodological because the standard oddball paradigm does not give an adequate basis for discriminating components contributing to the N1 and P2 waveforms. Following a suggestion by Garcia-Larrea et al. [10: Garcia-Larrea L, Lukasziewicz A-C, Maugière F. Revisiting the oddball paradigm. Non-target vs neutral stimuli and the evaluation of ERP attention effects. Neuropsychologia 1992;30:723-741] we used an extended oddball paradigm to study measures of early processing (N1-average, P250) as well as conventional cognitive ERPs (N1, P2, N2, P3) in a group of head injured patients and controls. We found evidence of deficits in early processing of neutral and non-target stimuli in the patient group, and interpret the findings as an indication that the patients are less efficient in terminating processing of irrelevant stimuli. The results further indicate that processing deviations affect both target and non-target stimuli in the oddball paradigm and thus the allocation of attention in the task as a whole.

  13. Integrated approaches to perceptual learning.

    PubMed

    Jacobs, Robert A

    2010-04-01

    New technologies and new ways of thinking have recently led to rapid expansions in the study of perceptual learning. We describe three themes shared by many of the nine articles included in this topic on Integrated Approaches to Perceptual Learning. First, perceptual learning cannot be studied on its own because it is closely linked to other aspects of cognition, such as attention, working memory, decision making, and conceptual knowledge. Second, perceptual learning is sensitive to both the stimulus properties of the environment in which an observer exists and to the properties of the tasks that the observer needs to perform. Moreover, the environmental and task properties can be characterized through their statistical regularities. Finally, the study of perceptual learning has important implications for society, including implications for science education and medical rehabilitation. Contributed articles relevant to each theme are summarized.

  14. Sustained Perceptual Deficits from Transient Sensory Deprivation

    PubMed Central

    Sanes, Dan H.

    2015-01-01

    displays an increased vulnerability to the sensory environment. Here, we identify a precise developmental window during which mild hearing loss affects the maturation of an auditory perceptual cue that is known to support animal communication, including human speech. Furthermore, animals reared with transient hearing loss display deficits in perceptual learning. Our results suggest that speech and language delays associated with transient or permanent childhood hearing loss may be accounted for, in part, by deficits in central auditory processing mechanisms. PMID:26224865

  15. Perceptual Learning at a Conceptual Level.

    PubMed

    Wang, Rui; Wang, Jie; Zhang, Jun-Yun; Xie, Xin-Yu; Yang, Yu-Xiang; Luo, Shu-Han; Yu, Cong; Li, Wu

    2016-02-17

    Humans can learn to abstract and conceptualize the shared visual features defining an object category in object learning. Therefore, learning is generalizable to transformations of familiar objects and even to new objects that differ in other physical properties. In contrast, visual perceptual learning (VPL), improvement in discriminating fine differences of a basic visual feature through training, is commonly regarded as specific and low-level learning because the improvement often disappears when the trained stimulus is simply relocated or rotated in the visual field. Such location and orientation specificity is taken as evidence for neural plasticity in primary visual cortex (V1) or improved readout of V1 signals. However, new training methods have shown complete VPL transfer across stimulus locations and orientations, suggesting the involvement of high-level cognitive processes. Here we report that VPL bears similar properties of object learning. Specifically, we found that orientation discrimination learning is completely transferrable between luminance gratings initially encoded in V1 and bilaterally symmetric dot patterns encoded in higher visual cortex. Similarly, motion direction discrimination learning is transferable between first- and second-order motion signals. These results suggest that VPL can take place at a conceptual level and generalize to stimuli with different physical properties. Our findings thus reconcile perceptual and object learning into a unified framework. Training in object recognition can produce a learning effect that is applicable to new viewing conditions or even to new objects with different physical properties. However, perceptual learning has long been regarded as a low-level form of learning because of its specificity to the trained stimulus conditions. Here we demonstrate with new training tactics that visual perceptual learning is completely transferrable between distinct physical stimuli. This finding indicates that

  16. Perceptual Discrimination in Static and Dynamic Noise: The Temporal Relation between Perceptual Encoding and Decision Making

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ratcliff, Roger; Smith, Philip L.

    2010-01-01

    The authors report 9 new experiments and reanalyze 3 published experiments that investigate factors affecting the time course of perceptual processing and its effects on subsequent decision making. Stimuli in letter-discrimination and brightness-discrimination tasks were degraded with static and dynamic noise. The onset and the time course of…

  17. Exploring Perceptual Skills in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders: From Target Detection to Dynamic Perceptual Discrimination

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Miller, Louisa; McGonigle-Chalmers, Maggie

    2014-01-01

    Perceptual processing in autism is associated with both "strengths" and "weaknesses" but within a literature that varies widely in terms of the assessments used. We report data from 12 children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and 12 age and IQ matched neurotypical controls tested on a set of tasks using the same stimuli…

  18. Exploring Perceptual Skills in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders: From Target Detection to Dynamic Perceptual Discrimination

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Miller, Louisa; McGonigle-Chalmers, Maggie

    2014-01-01

    Perceptual processing in autism is associated with both "strengths" and "weaknesses" but within a literature that varies widely in terms of the assessments used. We report data from 12 children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and 12 age and IQ matched neurotypical controls tested on a set of tasks using the same stimuli…

  19. Perceptual Discrimination in Static and Dynamic Noise: The Temporal Relation between Perceptual Encoding and Decision Making

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ratcliff, Roger; Smith, Philip L.

    2010-01-01

    The authors report 9 new experiments and reanalyze 3 published experiments that investigate factors affecting the time course of perceptual processing and its effects on subsequent decision making. Stimuli in letter-discrimination and brightness-discrimination tasks were degraded with static and dynamic noise. The onset and the time course of…

  20. Neural stages of spoken, written, and signed word processing in beginning second language learners

    PubMed Central

    Leonard, Matthew K.; Ferjan Ramirez, Naja; Torres, Christina; Hatrak, Marla; Mayberry, Rachel I.; Halgren, Eric

    2013-01-01

    We combined magnetoencephalography (MEG) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to examine how sensory modality, language type, and language proficiency interact during two fundamental stages of word processing: (1) an early word encoding stage, and (2) a later supramodal lexico-semantic stage. Adult native English speakers who were learning American Sign Language (ASL) performed a semantic task for spoken and written English words, and ASL signs. During the early time window, written words evoked responses in left ventral occipitotemporal cortex, and spoken words in left superior temporal cortex. Signed words evoked activity in right intraparietal sulcus that was marginally greater than for written words. During the later time window, all three types of words showed significant activity in the classical left fronto-temporal language network, the first demonstration of such activity in individuals with so little second language (L2) instruction in sign. In addition, a dissociation between semantic congruity effects and overall MEG response magnitude for ASL responses suggested shallower and more effortful processing, presumably reflecting novice L2 learning. Consistent with previous research on non-dominant language processing in spoken languages, the L2 ASL learners also showed recruitment of right hemisphere and lateral occipital cortex. These results demonstrate that late lexico-semantic processing utilizes a common substrate, independent of modality, and that proficiency effects in sign language are comparable to those in spoken language. PMID:23847496

  1. Materials, Processes and Manufacturing in Ares 1 Upper Stage: Integration with Systems Design and Development

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bhat, Biliyar N.

    2008-01-01

    Ares I Crew Launch Vehicle Upper Stage is designed and developed based on sound systems engineering principles. Systems Engineering starts with Concept of Operations and Mission requirements, which in turn determine the launch system architecture and its performance requirements. The Ares I-Upper Stage is designed and developed to meet these requirements. Designers depend on the support from materials, processes and manufacturing during the design, development and verification of subsystems and components. The requirements relative to reliability, safety, operability and availability are also dependent on materials availability, characterization, process maturation and vendor support. This paper discusses the roles and responsibilities of materials and manufacturing engineering during the various phases of Ares IUS development, including design and analysis, hardware development, test and verification. Emphasis is placed how materials, processes and manufacturing support is integrated over the Upper Stage Project, both horizontally and vertically. In addition, the paper describes the approach used to ensure compliance with materials, processes, and manufacturing requirements during the project cycle, with focus on hardware systems design and development.

  2. Neural stages of spoken, written, and signed word processing in beginning second language learners.

    PubMed

    Leonard, Matthew K; Ferjan Ramirez, Naja; Torres, Christina; Hatrak, Marla; Mayberry, Rachel I; Halgren, Eric

    2013-01-01

    WE COMBINED MAGNETOENCEPHALOGRAPHY (MEG) AND MAGNETIC RESONANCE IMAGING (MRI) TO EXAMINE HOW SENSORY MODALITY, LANGUAGE TYPE, AND LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY INTERACT DURING TWO FUNDAMENTAL STAGES OF WORD PROCESSING: (1) an early word encoding stage, and (2) a later supramodal lexico-semantic stage. Adult native English speakers who were learning American Sign Language (ASL) performed a semantic task for spoken and written English words, and ASL signs. During the early time window, written words evoked responses in left ventral occipitotemporal cortex, and spoken words in left superior temporal cortex. Signed words evoked activity in right intraparietal sulcus that was marginally greater than for written words. During the later time window, all three types of words showed significant activity in the classical left fronto-temporal language network, the first demonstration of such activity in individuals with so little second language (L2) instruction in sign. In addition, a dissociation between semantic congruity effects and overall MEG response magnitude for ASL responses suggested shallower and more effortful processing, presumably reflecting novice L2 learning. Consistent with previous research on non-dominant language processing in spoken languages, the L2 ASL learners also showed recruitment of right hemisphere and lateral occipital cortex. These results demonstrate that late lexico-semantic processing utilizes a common substrate, independent of modality, and that proficiency effects in sign language are comparable to those in spoken language.

  3. Subcortical correlates of auditory perceptual organization in humans.

    PubMed

    Yamagishi, Shimpei; Otsuka, Sho; Furukawa, Shigeto; Kashino, Makio

    2016-09-01

    To make sense of complex auditory scenes, the auditory system sequentially organizes auditory components into perceptual objects or streams. In the conventional view of this process, the cortex plays a major role in perceptual organization, and subcortical mechanisms merely provide the cortex with acoustical features. Here, we show that the neural activities of the brainstem are linked to perceptual organization, which alternates spontaneously for human listeners without any stimulus change. The stimulus used in the experiment was an unchanging sequence of repeated triplet tones, which can be interpreted as either one or two streams. Listeners were instructed to report the perceptual states whenever they experienced perceptual switching between one and two streams throughout the stimulus presentation. Simultaneously, we recorded event related potentials with scalp electrodes. We measured the frequency-following response (FFR), which is considered to originate from the brainstem. We also assessed thalamo-cortical activity through the middle-latency response (MLR). The results demonstrate that the FFR and MLR varied with the state of auditory stream perception. In addition, we found that the MLR change precedes the FFR change with perceptual switching from a one-stream to a two-stream percept. This suggests that there are top-down influences on brainstem activity from the thalamo-cortical pathway. These findings are consistent with the idea of a distributed, hierarchical neural network for perceptual organization and suggest that the network extends to the brainstem level.

  4. Is the continuous two-stage anaerobic digestion process well suited for all substrates?

    PubMed

    Lindner, Jonas; Zielonka, Simon; Oechsner, Hans; Lemmer, Andreas

    2016-01-01

    Two-stage anaerobic digestion systems are often considered to be advantageous compared to one-stage processes. Although process conditions and fermenter setups are well examined, overall substrate degradation in these systems is controversially discussed. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate how substrates with different fibre and sugar contents (hay/straw, maize silage, sugar beet) influence the degradation rate and methane production. Intermediates and gas compositions, as well as methane yields and VS-degradation degrees were recorded. The sugar beet substrate lead to a higher pH-value drop 5.67 in the acidification reactor, which resulted in a six time higher hydrogen production in comparison to the hay/straw substrate (pH-value drop 5.34). As the achieved yields in the two-stage system showed a difference of 70.6% for the hay/straw substrate, and only 7.8% for the sugar beet substrate. Therefore two-stage systems seem to be only recommendable for digesting sugar rich substrates.

  5. Industrial demonstration plant for the gasification of herb residue by fluidized bed two-stage process.

    PubMed

    Zeng, Xi; Shao, Ruyi; Wang, Fang; Dong, Pengwei; Yu, Jian; Xu, Guangwen

    2016-04-01

    A fluidized bed two-stage gasification process, consisting of a fluidized-bed (FB) pyrolyzer and a transport fluidized bed (TFB) gasifier, has been proposed to gasify biomass for fuel gas production with low tar content. On the basis of our previous fundamental study, an autothermal two-stage gasifier has been designed and built for gasify a kind of Chinese herb residue with a treating capacity of 600 kg/h. The testing data in the operational stable stage of the industrial demonstration plant showed that when keeping the reaction temperatures of pyrolyzer and gasifier respectively at about 700 °C and 850 °C, the heating value of fuel gas can reach 1200 kcal/Nm(3), and the tar content in the produced fuel gas was about 0.4 g/Nm(3). The results from this pilot industrial demonstration plant fully verified the feasibility and technical features of the proposed FB two-stage gasification process.

  6. The feasibility of using a two-stage autotrophic nitrogen removal process to treat sewage.

    PubMed

    Ma, Bin; Zhang, Shujun; Zhang, Liang; Yi, Peng; Wang, Junmin; Wang, Shuying; Peng, Yongzhen

    2011-09-01

    The feasibility of using a two-stage autotrophic nitrogen removal process to treat sewage was examined in this study. The obtained results showed that total nitrogen (TN) could be efficiently removed by 88.38% when influent TN and chemical oxygen demand (COD) were 45.87 and 44.40 mg/L, respectively. In the first stage, nitritation was instantly achieved by the bioaugmentation strategy, and can be maintained under limited oxygen condition (below 0.2mg/L). The ratio of nitrite to ammonium in the effluent of the nitritation reactor can be controlled at approximate 1.0 by adjusting aeration rate. In the second stage, anammox was realized in the upflow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) reactor, where the total nitrogen removal rate was 0.40 kg Nm(-3)d(-1) under limited-substrate condition. Therefore, the organic matter in sewage can be firstly concentrated in biomass which could generate biogas (energy). Then, nitrogen in sewage could be removed in a two-stage autotrophic nitrogen removal process.

  7. Harnessing the wandering mind: The role of perceptual load

    PubMed Central

    Forster, Sophie; Lavie, Nilli

    2009-01-01

    Perceptual load is a key determinant of distraction by task-irrelevant stimuli (e.g., Lavie, N. (2005). Distracted and confused?: Selective attention under load. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 9, 75–82). Here we establish the role of perceptual load in determining an internal form of distraction by task-unrelated thoughts (TUTs or “mind-wandering”). Four experiments demonstrated reduced frequency of TUTs with high compared to low perceptual load in a visual-search task. Alternative accounts in terms of increased demands on responses, verbal working memory or motivation were ruled out and clear effects of load were found for unintentional TUTs. Individual differences in load effects on internal (TUTs) and external (response-competition) distractors were correlated. These results suggest that exhausting attentional capacity in task-relevant processing under high perceptual load can reduce processing of task-irrelevant information from external and internal sources alike. PMID:19327760

  8. EEG-informed fMRI reveals spatiotemporal characteristics of perceptual decision making.

    PubMed

    Philiastides, Marios G; Sajda, Paul

    2007-11-28

    Single-unit and multiunit recordings in primates have already established that decision making involves at least two general stages of neural processing: representation of evidence from early sensory areas and accumulation of evidence to a decision threshold from decision-related regions. However, the relay of information from early sensory to decision areas, such that the accumulation process is instigated, is not well understood. Using a cued paradigm and single-trial analysis of electroencephalography (EEG), we previously reported on temporally specific components related to perceptual decision making. Here, we use information derived from our previous EEG recordings to inform the analysis of fMRI data collected for the same behavioral task to ascertain the cortical origins of each of these EEG components. We demonstrate that a cascade of events associated with perceptual decision making takes place in a highly distributed neural network. Of particular importance is an activation in the lateral occipital complex implicating perceptual persistence as a mechanism by which object decision making in the human brain is instigated.

  9. Associative (prosop)agnosia without (apparent) perceptual deficits: a case-study.

    PubMed

    Anaki, David; Kaufman, Yakir; Freedman, Morris; Moscovitch, Morris

    2007-04-09

    In associative agnosia early perceptual processing of faces or objects are considered to be intact, while the ability to access stored semantic information about the individual face or object is impaired. Recent claims, however, have asserted that associative agnosia is also characterized by deficits at the perceptual level, which are too subtle to be detected by current neuropsychological tests. Thus, the impaired identification of famous faces or common objects in associative agnosia stems from difficulties in extracting the minute perceptual details required to identify a face or an object. In the present study, we report the case of a patient DBO with a left occipital infarct, who shows impaired object and famous face recognition. Despite his disability, he exhibits a face inversion effect, and is able to select a famous face from among non-famous distractors. In addition, his performance is normal in an immediate and delayed recognition memory for faces, whose external features were deleted. His deficits in face recognition are apparent only when he is required to name a famous face, or select two faces from among a triad of famous figures based on their semantic relationships (a task which does not require access to names). The nature of his deficits in object perception and recognition are similar to his impairments in the face domain. This pattern of behavior supports the notion that apperceptive and associative agnosia reflect distinct and dissociated deficits, which result from damage to different stages of the face and object recognition process.

  10. Generalized perceptual features for animal vocalization classification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clemins, Patrick J.; Johnson, Michael T.

    2004-05-01

    Two sets of generalized, perceptual-based features are investigated for use in classifying animal vocalizations. Since many species, especially mammals, share similar physical sound perception mechanisms which vary in size, two features sets commonly used in human speech processing, mel-frequency cepstral coefficients (MFCCs) and perceptual linear prediction (PLP) analysis, are modified for use in other species. One modification made to the feature extraction process is incorporating the frequency range of hearing and length of the basilar membrane of the animal in order to correctly determine the width and location of the critical band filters used for signal processing. Experimentally determined critical bands (equivalent rectangular bandwidth) and equal loudness curves (audiograms) can also be incorporated directly into the feature extraction process. Experiments are performed on African elephant (Loxodonta africana) vocalizations using a hidden Markov model (HMM) based classifier showing increased classification accuracy when using features sets based on the specific animals perceptual abilities compared to the original human perception-based feature sets.

  11. Similarity ratio analysis for early stage fault detection with optical emission spectrometer in plasma etching process.

    PubMed

    Yang, Jie; McArdle, Conor; Daniels, Stephen

    2014-01-01

    A Similarity Ratio Analysis (SRA) method is proposed for early-stage Fault Detection (FD) in plasma etching processes using real-time Optical Emission Spectrometer (OES) data as input. The SRA method can help to realise a highly precise control system by detecting abnormal etch-rate faults in real-time during an etching process. The method processes spectrum scans at successive time points and uses a windowing mechanism over the time series to alleviate problems with timing uncertainties due to process shift from one process run to another. A SRA library is first built to capture features of a healthy etching process. By comparing with the SRA library, a Similarity Ratio (SR) statistic is then calculated for each spectrum scan as the monitored process progresses. A fault detection mechanism, named 3-Warning-1-Alarm (3W1A), takes the SR values as inputs and triggers a system alarm when certain conditions are satisfied. This design reduces the chance of false alarm, and provides a reliable fault reporting service. The SRA method is demonstrated on a real semiconductor manufacturing dataset. The effectiveness of SRA-based fault detection is evaluated using a time-series SR test and also using a post-process SR test. The time-series SR provides an early-stage fault detection service, so less energy and materials will be wasted by faulty processing. The post-process SR provides a fault detection service with higher reliability than the time-series SR, but with fault testing conducted only after each process run completes.

  12. Similarity Ratio Analysis for Early Stage Fault Detection with Optical Emission Spectrometer in Plasma Etching Process

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Jie; McArdle, Conor; Daniels, Stephen

    2014-01-01

    A Similarity Ratio Analysis (SRA) method is proposed for early-stage Fault Detection (FD) in plasma etching processes using real-time Optical Emission Spectrometer (OES) data as input. The SRA method can help to realise a highly precise control system by detecting abnormal etch-rate faults in real-time during an etching process. The method processes spectrum scans at successive time points and uses a windowing mechanism over the time series to alleviate problems with timing uncertainties due to process shift from one process run to another. A SRA library is first built to capture features of a healthy etching process. By comparing with the SRA library, a Similarity Ratio (SR) statistic is then calculated for each spectrum scan as the monitored process progresses. A fault detection mechanism, named 3-Warning-1-Alarm (3W1A), takes the SR values as inputs and triggers a system alarm when certain conditions are satisfied. This design reduces the chance of false alarm, and provides a reliable fault reporting service. The SRA method is demonstrated on a real semiconductor manufacturing dataset. The effectiveness of SRA-based fault detection is evaluated using a time-series SR test and also using a post-process SR test. The time-series SR provides an early-stage fault detection service, so less energy and materials will be wasted by faulty processing. The post-process SR provides a fault detection service with higher reliability than the time-series SR, but with fault testing conducted only after each process run completes. PMID:24755865

  13. HRI catalytic two-stage liquefaction (CTSL) process materials: chemical analysis and biological testing

    SciTech Connect

    Wright, C.W.; Later, D.W.

    1985-12-01

    This report presents data from the chemical analysis and biological testing of coal liquefaction materials obtained from the Hydrocarbon Research, Incorporated (HRI) catalytic two-stage liquefaction (CTSL) process. Materials from both an experimental run and a 25-day demonstration run were analyzed. Chemical methods of analysis included adsorption column chromatography, high-resolution gas chromatography, gas chromatography/mass spectrometry, low-voltage probe-inlet mass spectrometry, and proton nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. The biological activity was evaluated using the standard microbial mutagenicity assay and an initiation/promotion assay for mouse-skin tumorigenicity. Where applicable, the results obtained from the analyses of the CTSL materials have been compared to those obtained from the integrated and nonintegrated two-stage coal liquefaction processes. 18 refs., 26 figs., 22 tabs.

  14. Theta oscillations are sensitive to both early and late conflict processing stages: effects of alcohol intoxication.

    PubMed

    Kovacevic, Sanja; Azma, Sheeva; Irimia, Andrei; Sherfey, Jason; Halgren, Eric; Marinkovic, Ksenija

    2012-01-01

    Prior neuroimaging evidence indicates that decision conflict activates medial and lateral prefrontal and parietal cortices. Theoretical accounts of cognitive control highlight anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) as a central node in this network. However, a better understanding of the relative primacy and functional contributions of these areas to decision conflict requires insight into the neural dynamics of successive processing stages including conflict detection, response selection and execution. Moderate alcohol intoxication impairs cognitive control as it interferes with the ability to inhibit dominant, prepotent responses when they are no longer correct. To examine the effects of moderate intoxication on successive processing stages during cognitive control, spatio-temporal changes in total event-related theta power were measured during Stroop-induced conflict. Healthy social drinkers served as their own controls by participating in both alcohol (0.6 g/kg ethanol for men, 0.55 g/kg women) and placebo conditions in a counterbalanced design. Anatomically-constrained magnetoencephalography (aMEG) approach was applied to complex power spectra for theta (4-7 Hz) frequencies. The principal generator of event-related theta power to conflict was estimated to ACC, with contributions from fronto-parietal areas. The ACC was uniquely sensitive to conflict during both early conflict detection, and later response selection and execution stages. Alcohol attenuated theta power to conflict across successive processing stages, suggesting that alcohol-induced deficits in cognitive control may result from theta suppression in the executive network. Slower RTs were associated with attenuated theta power estimated to ACC, indicating that alcohol impairs motor preparation and execution subserved by the ACC. In addition to their relevance for the currently prevailing accounts of cognitive control, our results suggest that alcohol-induced impairment of top-down strategic processing

  15. FRAS1-related extracellular matrix 3 (FREM3) single-nucleotide polymorphism effects on gene expression, amygdala reactivity and perceptual processing speed: An accelerated aging pathway of depression risk

    PubMed Central

    Nikolova, Yuliya S.; Iruku, Swetha P.; Lin, Chien-Wei; Conley, Emily Drabant; Puralewski, Rachel; French, Beverly; Hariri, Ahmad R.; Sibille, Etienne

    2015-01-01

    The A allele of the FRAS1-related extracellular matrix protein 3 (FREM3) rs7676614 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) was linked to major depressive disorder (MDD) in an early genome-wide association study (GWAS), and to symptoms of psychomotor retardation in a follow-up investigation. In line with significant overlap between age- and depression-related molecular pathways, parallel work has shown that FREM3 expression in postmortem human brain decreases with age. Here, we probe the effect of rs7676614 on amygdala reactivity and perceptual processing speed, both of which are altered in depression and aging. Amygdala reactivity was assessed using a face-matching BOLD fMRI paradigm in 365 Caucasian participants in the Duke Neurogenetics Study (DNS) (192 women, mean age 19.7 ± 1.2). Perceptual processing speed was indexed by reaction times in the same task and the Trail Making Test (TMT). The effect of rs7676614 on FREM3 mRNA brain expression levels was probed in a postmortem cohort of 169 Caucasian individuals (44 women, mean age 50.8 ± 14.9). The A allele of rs7676614 was associated with blunted amygdala reactivity to faces, slower reaction times in the face-matching condition (p < 0.04), as well as marginally slower performance on TMT Part B (p = 0.056). In the postmortem cohort, the T allele of rs6537170 (proxy for the rs7676614 A allele), was associated with trend-level reductions in gene expression in Brodmann areas 11 and 47 (p = 0.066), reminiscent of patterns characteristic of older age. The low-expressing allele of another FREM3 SNP (rs1391187) was similarly associated with reduced amygdala reactivity and slower TMT Part B speed, in addition to reduced BA47 activity and extraversion (p < 0.05). Together, these results suggest common genetic variation associated with reduced FREM3 expression may confer risk for a subtype of depression characterized by reduced reactivity to environmental stimuli and slower perceptual processing speed, possibly suggestive of

  16. Perceptual training for visual search.

    PubMed

    Schuster, David; Rivera, Javier; Sellers, Brittany C; Fiore, Stephen M; Jentsch, Florian

    2013-01-01

    People are better at visual search than the best fully automated methods. Despite this, visual search remains a difficult perceptual task. The goal of this investigation was to experimentally test the ways in which visual search performance could be improved through two categories of training interventions: perceptual training and conceptual training. To determine the effects of each training on a later performance task, the two types of trainings were manipulated using a between-subjects design (conceptual vs. perceptual × training present vs. training absent). Perceptual training led to speed and accuracy improvements in visual search. Issues with the design and administration of the conceptual training limited conclusions on its effectiveness but provided useful lessons for conceptual training design. The results suggest that when the visual search task involves detecting heterogeneous or otherwise unpredictable stimuli, perceptual training can improve visual search performance. Similarly, careful consideration of the performance task and training design is required to evaluate the effectiveness of conceptual training. Visual search is a difficult, yet critical, task in industries such as baggage screening and radiology. This study investigated the effectiveness of perceptual training for visual search. The results suggest that when visual search involves detecting heterogeneous or otherwise unpredictable stimuli, perceptual training may improve the speed and accuracy of visual search.

  17. Improvement in Visual Search with Practice: Mapping Learning-Related Changes in Neurocognitive Stages of Processing

    PubMed Central

    Clark, Kait; Appelbaum, L. Gregory; van den Berg, Berry; Mitroff, Stephen R.

    2015-01-01

    Practice can improve performance on visual search tasks; the neural mechanisms underlying such improvements, however, are not clear. Response time typically shortens with practice, but which components of the stimulus–response processing chain facilitate this behavioral change? Improved search performance could result from enhancements in various cognitive processing stages, including (1) sensory processing, (2) attentional allocation, (3) target discrimination, (4) motor-response preparation, and/or (5) response execution. We measured event-related potentials (ERPs) as human participants completed a five-day visual-search protocol in which they reported the orientation of a color popout target within an array of ellipses. We assessed changes in behavioral performance and in ERP components associated with various stages of processing. After practice, response time decreased in all participants (while accuracy remained consistent), and electrophysiological measures revealed modulation of several ERP components. First, amplitudes of the early sensory-evoked N1 component at 150 ms increased bilaterally, indicating enhanced visual sensory processing of the array. Second, the negative-polarity posterior–contralateral component (N2pc, 170–250 ms) was earlier and larger, demonstrating enhanced attentional orienting. Third, the amplitude of the sustained posterior contralateral negativity component (SPCN, 300–400 ms) decreased, indicating facilitated target discrimination. Finally, faster motor-response preparation and execution were observed after practice, as indicated by latency changes in both the stimulus-locked and response-locked lateralized readiness potentials (LRPs). These electrophysiological results delineate the functional plasticity in key mechanisms underlying visual search with high temporal resolution and illustrate how practice influences various cognitive and neural processing stages leading to enhanced behavioral performance. PMID:25834059

  18. Correlates of Perceptual Orientation Biases in Human Primary Visual Cortex.

    PubMed

    Patten, Matthew L; Mannion, Damien J; Clifford, Colin W G

    2017-05-03

    prior experience affects both perceptual judgments and neural responses in the human visual system. We observe systematic biases in the perception of orientation that correlate with the pattern of activity in the primary visual cortex of the human brain. These results indicate that prior expectations influence neural processing right from the earliest stage of the cortical hierarchy. Copyright © 2017 the authors 0270-6474/17/374744-07$15.00/0.

  19. 4-rotor Desiccant Cooling Process Equipped with a Double Stage Dehumidification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ando, Kosuke; Kodama, Akio; Okano, Hiroshi; Asada, Toshinobu

    2-rotor desiccant cooling process consisting of a honeycomb rotor dehumidifier and a sensible heat exchanger is a mainstream of the desiccant cooling process which are practically applied to supermarket, hospital and so on. However, this process cannot produce a sufficient dehumidifying performance in high humidity region. In this study, 4-rotor desiccant cooling process equipped with a double stage dehumidification was proposed and investigated experimentally. In this process, regeneration temperature around 60°C could produce a sufficient dehumidifying performance even at high ambient humidity. “Serial heat supply” mode was considered to improve the heat efficiency by the cascade use of regeneration heat inside the cooling cycle. The dehumidifying performance of the “serial heat supply” mode was only slightly lower than that of a “parallel heat supply” mode at which the same temperature hot air was supplied to the both heaters. However, dehumidifying performance of this “serial heat supply” mode was much higher than that of conventional 2-rotor desiccant cooling process. Furthermore, the desiccant rotors of 0.1m in thickness were mounted to 4-rotor desiccant cooling process in place of the 0.2m desiccant rotors. It was found that the drop of dehumidifying performance of the process equipped with 0.1m desiccant rotors was only by 10 percents comparing with the 0.2m rotor process. Moreover, it was found that optimization of rotation speed of the desiccant rotor was needed to improve the energy efficiency. Regarding the supply point of return air, it was also found that return air should be supplied to the regeneration inlet of the second stage for higher dehumidifying performance.

  20. Effects of drying process on the physicochemical properties of nopal cladodes at different maturity stages.

    PubMed

    Contreras-Padilla, Margarita; Gutiérrez-Cortez, Elsa; Valderrama-Bravo, María Del Carmen; Rojas-Molina, Isela; Espinosa-Arbeláez, Diego Germán; Suárez-Vargas, Raúl; Rodríguez-García, Mario Enrique

    2012-03-01

    Chemical proximate analysis was done in order to determine the changes of nutritional characteristics of nopal powders from three different maturity stages 50, 100, and 150 days and obtained by three different drying processes: freeze dried, forced air oven, and tunnel. Results indicate that nopal powder obtained by the process of freeze dried retains higher contents of protein, soluble fiber, and fat than the other two processes. Also, freeze dried process had less effect on color hue variable. No changes were observed in insoluble fiber content, chroma and lightness with the three different drying processes. Furthermore, the soluble fibers decreased with the age of nopal while insoluble fibers and ash content shows an opposite trend. In addition, the luminosity and hue values did not show differences among the maturity stages studied. The high content of dietary fibers of nopal pad powder could to be an interesting source of these important components for human diets and also could be used in food, cosmetics and pharmaceutical industry.

  1. Stage 2 Process Performance Qualification (PPQ): a Scientific Approach to Determine the Number of PPQ Batches.

    PubMed

    Pazhayattil, Ajay; Alsmeyer, Daniel; Chen, Shu; Hye, Maksuda; Ingram, Marzena; Sanghvi, Pradeep

    2016-08-01

    The approach documented in this article reviews data from earlier process validation lifecycle stages with a described statistical model to provide the "best estimate" on the number of process performance qualification (PPQ) batches that should generate sufficient information to make a scientific and risk-based decision on product robustness. This approach is based upon estimation of a statistical confidence from the current product knowledge (Stage 1), historical variability for similar products/processes (batch-to-batch), and label claim specifications such as strength. The analysis is to determine the confidence level with the measurements of the product quality attributes and to compare them with the specifications. The projected minimum number of PPQ batches required will vary depending on the product, process understanding, and attributes, which are critical input parameters for the current statistical model. This new approach considers the critical finished product CQAs (assay, dissolution, and content uniformity), primarily because assay/content uniformity and dissolution as well as strength are the components of the label claim. The key CQAs determine the number of PPQ batches. This approach will ensure that sufficient scientific data is generated to demonstrate process robustness as desired by the 2011 FDA guidance.

  2. Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli contamination at different stages of the chicken slaughtering process.

    PubMed

    Alonso, M Z; Padola, N L; Parma, A E; Lucchesi, P M A

    2011-11-01

    Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli is a foodborne pathogen that produces potentially fatal infant diarrhea, noticeably in developing countries. The aim of this study was to detect EPEC contamination by PCR at different stages of the chicken slaughtering process. We collected swabs from chicken cloacae and washed carcasses (external and visceral cavity) during the slaughtering process in 3 sampling occasions. Unwashed eviscerated carcasses were also sampled (at the visceral cavity) in the second and third sampling occasions. Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli was detected in 6 to 28% of cloacal samples, 39 and 56% of unwashed eviscerated carcasses, and 4 to 58% of washed carcasses. None of the samples were positive for bfpA, suggesting contamination with atypical EPEC. The detection of EPEC at different stages of the chicken slaughtering process showed that the proportion of contaminated samples remained or even increased during processing. In addition, the high proportion of contaminated carcasses during chicken processing represents a risk for the consumers and a challenge to improve procedures for those working in the sanitary control service.

  3. Perceptual issues in scientific visualization

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kaiser, Mary K.; Proffitt, Dennis R.

    1989-01-01

    In order to develop effective tools for scientific visulaization, consideration must be given to the perceptual competencies, limitations, and biases of the human operator. Perceptual psychology has amassed a rich body of research on these issues and can lend insight to the development of visualization tehcniques. Within a perceptual psychological framework, the computer display screen can best be thought of as a special kind of impoverished visual environemnt. Guidelines can be gleaned from the psychological literature to help visualization tool designers avoid ambiguities and/or illusions in the resulting data displays.

  4. Perceptual Issues In Scientific Visualization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaiser, Mary K.; Proffitt, Dennis R.

    1989-09-01

    In order to develop effective tools for scientific visualization, consideration must be given to the perceptual competencies, limitations, and biases of the human operator. Perceptual psychology has amassed a rich body of research on these issues, and can lend insight to the development of visualization techniques. Within a perceptual psychological framework, the computer display screen can best be thought of as a special kind of impoverished visual environment. Guidelines can be gleaned from the psychological literature to help visualization tool designers avoid ambiguities and/or illusions in the resulting data displays.

  5. A Mathematical Model for the Reduction Stage of the CAS-OB Process

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sulasalmi, Petri; Visuri, Ville-Valtteri; Kärnä, Aki; Järvinen, Mika; Ollila, Seppo; Fabritius, Timo

    2016-12-01

    This paper proposes a novel method for modeling the reduction stage of the CAS-OB process (composition adjustment by sealed argon bubbling-oxygen blowing). Our previous study proposed a model for the heating stage of the CAS-OB process; the purpose of the present study is to extend this work toward a more comprehensive model for the process in question. The CAS-OB process is designed for homogenization and control of the composition and temperature of steel. During the reduction stage, the steel phase is stirred intensely by employing the gas nozzles at the bottom of the ladle, which blow argon gas. It is assumed that the reduction rate of the top slag is dictated by the formation of slag droplets at the steel-slag interface. Slag droplets, which are generated due to turning of the steel flow in the spout, contribute mainly by increasing the interfacial area between the steel and slag phases. This phenomenon has been taken into account based on our previous study, in which the droplet size distribution and generation rate at different steel flow velocities. The reactions considered between the slag and steel phases are assumed to be mass transfer controlled and reversible. We validated the results from the model against the measurements from the real CAS-OB process. The results indicate that the model accurately predicts the end compositions of slag and steel. Moreover, it was discovered that the cooling rate of steel during the gas stirring given by the model is consistent with the results reported in the literature.

  6. Perceptual Load Modulates Object-Based Attention

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ho, Ming-Chou; Atchley, Paul

    2009-01-01

    Two experimental series are reported using both reaction time (RT) and a data-limited perceptual report to examine the effects of perceptual load on object-based attention. Perceptual load was manipulated across 3 levels by increasing the complexity of perceptual judgments. Data from the RT-based experiments showed object-based effects when the…

  7. Perceptual Decision Making in Rodents, Monkeys, and Humans.

    PubMed

    Hanks, Timothy D; Summerfield, Christopher

    2017-01-04

    Perceptual decision making is the process by which animals detect, discriminate, and categorize information from the senses. Over the past two decades, understanding how perceptual decisions are made has become a central theme in the neurosciences. Exceptional progress has been made by recording from single neurons in the cortex of the macaque monkey and using computational models from mathematical psychology to relate these neural data to behavior. More recently, however, the range of available techniques and paradigms has dramatically broadened, and researchers have begun to harness new approaches to explore how rodents and humans make perceptual decisions. The results have illustrated some striking convergences with findings from the monkey, but also raised new questions and provided new theoretical insights. In this review, we summarize key findings, and highlight open challenges, for understanding perceptual decision making in rodents, monkeys, and humans. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Heavy metals and its chemical speciation in sewage sludge at different stages of processing.

    PubMed

    Tytła, Malwina; Widziewicz, Kamila; Zielewicz, Ewa

    2016-01-01

    The analysis of heavy metal concentrations and forms in sewage sludge constitutes an important issue in terms of both health and environmental hazards the metals pose. The total heavy metals concentration enables only the assessment of its contamination. Hence the knowledge of chemical forms is required to determine their environmental mobility and sludge final disposal. Heavy metals speciation was studied by using four-stage sequential extraction BCR (Community Bureau of Reference). This study was aimed at determining the total concentration of selected heavy metals (Zn, Cu, Ni, Pb, Cd, Cr and Hg) and their chemical forms (except for Hg) in sludge collected at different stages of its processing at two municipal Wastewater Treatment Plants in southern Poland. Metals contents in sludge samples were determined by using flame atomic absorption spectrometry (FAAS) and electrothermal atomic absorption spectrometry (ETAAS). This study shows that Zn and Cu appeared to be the most abundant in sludge, while Cd and Hg were in the lowest concentrations. The sewage sludge revealed the domination of immobile fractions over the mobile ones. The oxidizable and residual forms were dominant for all the heavy metals. There was also a significant difference in metals speciation between sludges of different origin which was probably due to differences in wastewater composition and processes occurring in biological stage of wastewater treatment. The results indicate a negligible capability of metals to migrate from sludge into the environment. Our research revealed a significant impact of thickening, stabilization and hygienization on the distribution of heavy metals in sludge and their mobility.

  9. Performance Evaluation of Staged Bosch Process for CO2 Reduction to Produce Life Support Consumables

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vilekar, Saurabh A.; Hawley, Kyle; Junaedi, Christian; Walsh, Dennis; Roychoudhury, Subir; Abney. Morgan B.; Mansell, James M.

    2012-01-01

    Utilizing carbon dioxide to produce water and hence oxygen is critical for sustained manned missions in space, and to support both NASA's cabin Atmosphere Revitalization System (ARS) and In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) concepts. For long term missions beyond low Earth orbit, where resupply is significantly more difficult and costly, open loop ARS, like Sabatier, consume inputs such as hydrogen. The Bosch process, on the other hand, has the potential to achieve complete loop closure and is hence a preferred choice. However, current single stage Bosch reactor designs suffer from a large recycle penalty due to slow reaction rates and the inherent limitation in approaching thermodynamic equilibrium. Developmental efforts are seeking to improve upon the efficiency (hence reducing the recycle penalty) of current single stage Bosch reactors which employ traditional steel wool catalysts. Precision Combustion, Inc. (PCI), with support from NASA, has investigated the potential for utilizing catalysts supported over short-contact time Microlith substrates for the Bosch reaction to achieve faster reaction rates, higher conversions, and a reduced recycle flows. Proof-of-concept testing was accomplished for a staged Bosch process by splitting the chemistry in two separate reactors, first being the reverse water-gas-shift (RWGS) and the second being the carbon formation reactor (CFR) via hydrogenation and/or Boudouard. This paper presents the results from this feasibility study at various operating conditions. Additionally, results from two 70 hour durability tests for the RWGS reactor are discussed.

  10. Workload-Matched Adaptive Automation Support of Air Traffic Controller Information Processing Stages

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kaber, David B.; Prinzel, Lawrence J., III; Wright, Melanie C.; Clamann, Michael P.

    2002-01-01

    Adaptive automation (AA) has been explored as a solution to the problems associated with human-automation interaction in supervisory control environments. However, research has focused on the performance effects of dynamic control allocations of early stage sensory and information acquisition functions. The present research compares the effects of AA to the entire range of information processing stages of human operators, such as air traffic controllers. The results provide evidence that the effectiveness of AA is dependent on the stage of task performance (human-machine system information processing) that is flexibly automated. The results suggest that humans are better able to adapt to AA when applied to lower-level sensory and psychomotor functions, such as information acquisition and action implementation, as compared to AA applied to cognitive (analysis and decision-making) tasks. The results also provide support for the use of AA, as compared to completely manual control. These results are discussed in terms of implications for AA design for aviation.

  11. Verbal Mediation for Perceptual Deficits in Learning Disabilities: A Review and Suggestions.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Miller, Maurice; Rohr, Michael E.

    1980-01-01

    An intervening variable between perceptual deficits and academic learning--verbal mediation processes--is explored. Research reviewed, primarily that of A. Luria, leads to the conclusion that verbal mediational processes can compensate for perceptual learning process deficits. Relevant teaching applications are discussed. (Author)

  12. LSM: perceptually accurate line segment merging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hamid, Naila; Khan, Nazar

    2016-11-01

    Existing line segment detectors tend to break up perceptually distinct line segments into multiple segments. We propose an algorithm for merging such broken segments to recover the original perceptually accurate line segments. The algorithm proceeds by grouping line segments on the basis of angular and spatial proximity. Then those line segment pairs within each group that satisfy unique, adaptive mergeability criteria are successively merged to form a single line segment. This process is repeated until no more line segments can be merged. We also propose a method for quantitative comparison of line segment detection algorithms. Results on the York Urban dataset show that our merged line segments are closer to human-marked ground-truth line segments compared to state-of-the-art line segment detection algorithms.

  13. Real-time simulation of the retina allowing visualization of each processing stage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Teeters, Jeffrey L.; Werblin, Frank S.

    1991-08-01

    The retina computes to let us see, but can we see the retina compute? Until now, the answer has been no, because the unconscious nature of the processing hides it from our view. Here the authors describe a method of seeing computations performed throughout the retina. This is achieved by using neurophysiological data to construct a model of the retina, and using a special-purpose image processing computer (PIPE) to implement the model in real time. Processing in the model is organized into stages corresponding to computations performed by each retinal cell type. The final stage is the transient (change detecting) ganglion cell. A CCD camera forms the input image, and the activity of a selected retinal cell type is the output which is displayed on a TV monitor. By changing the retina cell driving the monitor, the progressive transformations of the image by the retina can be observed. These simulations demonstrate the ubiquitous presence of temporal and spatial variations in the patterns of activity generated by the retina which are fed into the brain. The dynamical aspects make these patterns very different from those generated by the common DOG (Difference of Gaussian) model of receptive field. Because the retina is so successful in biological vision systems, the processing described here may be useful in machine vision.

  14. Distinct Stages of Moment-to-Moment Processing in the Cinguloopercular and Frontoparietal Networks.

    PubMed

    Gratton, C; Neta, M; Sun, H; Ploran, E J; Schlaggar, B L; Wheeler, M E; Petersen, S E; Nelson, S M

    2016-04-19

    Control of goal-directed tasks is putatively carried out via the cinguloopercular (CO) and frontoparietal (FP) systems. However, it remains unclear whether these systems show dissociable moment-to-moment processing during distinct stages of a trial. Here, we characterize dynamics in the CO and FP networks in a meta-analysis of 5 decision-making tasks using fMRI, with a specialized "slow reveal" paradigm which allows us to measure the temporal characteristics of trial responses. We find that activations in left FP, right FP, and CO systems form separate clusters, pointing to distinct roles in decision-making. Left FP shows early "accumulator-like" responses, suggesting a role in pre-decision processing. CO has a late onset and transient response linked to the decision event, suggesting a role in performance reporting. The majority of right FP regions show late onsets with prolonged responses, suggesting a role in post-recognition processing. These findings expand upon past models, arguing that the CO and FP systems relate to distinct stages of processing within a trial. Furthermore, the findings provide evidence for a heterogeneous profile in the FP network, with left and right FP taking on specialized roles. This evidence informs our understanding of how distinct control networks may coordinate moment-to-moment components of complex actions.

  15. Performance of an innovative two-stage process converting food waste to hydrogen and methane.

    PubMed

    Han, Sun-Kee; Shin, Hang-Sik

    2004-02-01

    This study was conducted to evaluate the performance of an innovative two-stage process, BIOCELL, that was developed to produce hydrogen (H2) and methane (CH4) from food waste on the basis of phase separation, reactor rotation mode, and sequential batch technique. The BIOCELL process consisted of four leaching-bed reactors for H2 recovery and post-treatment and a UASB reactor for CH4 recovery. The leaching-bed reactors were operated in a rotation mode with a 2-day interval between degradation stages. The sequential batch technique was useful to optimize environmental conditions during H2 fermentation. The BIOCELL process demonstrated that, at the high volatile solids (VS) loading rate of 11.9 kg/m3 x day, it could remove 72.5% of VS and convert VS(removed) to H2 (28.2%) and CH4 (69.9%) on a chemical oxygen demand (COD) basis in 8 days. H2 gas production rate was 3.63 m3/m3 x day, while CH4 gas production rate was 1.75 m3/m3 x day. The yield values of H2 and CH4 were 0.31 and 0.21 m3/kg VS(added), respectively. Moreover, the output from the post-treatment could be used as a soil amendment. The BIOCELL process proved to be stable, reliable, and effective in resource recovery as well as waste stabilization.

  16. Early-Stage Capital Cost Estimation of Biorefinery Processes: A Comparative Study of Heuristic Techniques.

    PubMed

    Tsagkari, Mirela; Couturier, Jean-Luc; Kokossis, Antonis; Dubois, Jean-Luc

    2016-09-08

    Biorefineries offer a promising alternative to fossil-based processing industries and have undergone rapid development in recent years. Limited financial resources and stringent company budgets necessitate quick capital estimation of pioneering biorefinery projects at the early stages of their conception to screen process alternatives, decide on project viability, and allocate resources to the most promising cases. Biorefineries are capital-intensive projects that involve state-of-the-art technologies for which there is no prior experience or sufficient historical data. This work reviews existing rapid cost estimation practices, which can be used by researchers with no previous cost estimating experience. It also comprises a comparative study of six cost methods on three well-documented biorefinery processes to evaluate their accuracy and precision. The results illustrate discrepancies among the methods because their extrapolation on biorefinery data often violates inherent assumptions. This study recommends the most appropriate rapid cost methods and urges the development of an improved early-stage capital cost estimation tool suitable for biorefinery processes. © 2015 The Authors. Published by Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA.

  17. Early‐Stage Capital Cost Estimation of Biorefinery Processes: A Comparative Study of Heuristic Techniques

    PubMed Central

    Couturier, Jean‐Luc; Kokossis, Antonis; Dubois, Jean‐Luc

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Biorefineries offer a promising alternative to fossil‐based processing industries and have undergone rapid development in recent years. Limited financial resources and stringent company budgets necessitate quick capital estimation of pioneering biorefinery projects at the early stages of their conception to screen process alternatives, decide on project viability, and allocate resources to the most promising cases. Biorefineries are capital‐intensive projects that involve state‐of‐the‐art technologies for which there is no prior experience or sufficient historical data. This work reviews existing rapid cost estimation practices, which can be used by researchers with no previous cost estimating experience. It also comprises a comparative study of six cost methods on three well‐documented biorefinery processes to evaluate their accuracy and precision. The results illustrate discrepancies among the methods because their extrapolation on biorefinery data often violates inherent assumptions. This study recommends the most appropriate rapid cost methods and urges the development of an improved early‐stage capital cost estimation tool suitable for biorefinery processes. PMID:27484398

  18. Development of a Two-Stage Microalgae Dewatering Process - A Life Cycle Assessment Approach.

    PubMed

    Soomro, Rizwan R; Ndikubwimana, Theoneste; Zeng, Xianhai; Lu, Yinghua; Lin, Lu; Danquah, Michael K

    2016-01-01

    Even though microalgal biomass is leading the third generation biofuel research, significant effort is required to establish an economically viable commercial-scale microalgal biofuel production system. Whilst a significant amount of work has been reported on large-scale cultivation of microalgae using photo-bioreactors and pond systems, research focus on establishing high performance downstream dewatering operations for large-scale processing under optimal economy is limited. The enormous amount of energy and associated cost required for dewatering large-volume microalgal cultures has been the primary hindrance to the development of the needed biomass quantity for industrial-scale microalgal biofuels production. The extremely dilute nature of large-volume microalgal suspension and the small size of microalgae cells in suspension create a significant processing cost during dewatering and this has raised major concerns towards the economic success of commercial-scale microalgal biofuel production as an alternative to conventional petroleum fuels. This article reports an effective framework to assess the performance of different dewatering technologies as the basis to establish an effective two-stage dewatering system. Bioflocculation coupled with tangential flow filtration (TFF) emerged a promising technique with total energy input of 0.041 kWh, 0.05 kg CO2 emissions and a cost of $ 0.0043 for producing 1 kg of microalgae biomass. A streamlined process for operational analysis of two-stage microalgae dewatering technique, encompassing energy input, carbon dioxide emission, and process cost, is presented.

  19. Development of a Two-Stage Microalgae Dewatering Process – A Life Cycle Assessment Approach

    PubMed Central

    Soomro, Rizwan R.; Zeng, Xianhai; Lu, Yinghua; Lin, Lu; Danquah, Michael K.

    2016-01-01

    Even though microalgal biomass is leading the third generation biofuel research, significant effort is required to establish an economically viable commercial-scale microalgal biofuel production system. Whilst a significant amount of work has been reported on large-scale cultivation of microalgae using photo-bioreactors and pond systems, research focus on establishing high performance downstream dewatering operations for large-scale processing under optimal economy is limited. The enormous amount of energy and associated cost required for dewatering large-volume microalgal cultures has been the primary hindrance to the development of the needed biomass quantity for industrial-scale microalgal biofuels production. The extremely dilute nature of large-volume microalgal suspension and the small size of microalgae cells in suspension create a significant processing cost during dewatering and this has raised major concerns towards the economic success of commercial-scale microalgal biofuel production as an alternative to conventional petroleum fuels. This article reports an effective framework to assess the performance of different dewatering technologies as the basis to establish an effective two-stage dewatering system. Bioflocculation coupled with tangential flow filtration (TFF) emerged a promising technique with total energy input of 0.041 kWh, 0.05 kg CO2 emissions and a cost of $ 0.0043 for producing 1 kg of microalgae biomass. A streamlined process for operational analysis of two-stage microalgae dewatering technique, encompassing energy input, carbon dioxide emission, and process cost, is presented. PMID:26904075

  20. Acute Stress and Perceptual Load Consume the Same Attentional Resources: A Behavioral-ERP Study

    PubMed Central

    Tiferet-Dweck, Chen; Hensel, Michael; Kirschbaum, Clemens; Tzelgov, Joseph; Friedman, Alon; Salti, Moti

    2016-01-01

    Stress and perceptual load affect selective attention in a paradoxical manner. They can facilitate selectivity or disrupt it. This EEG study was designed to examine the reciprocal relations between stress, load and attention. Two groups of subjects, one that performed the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST), and a control group, were asked to respond to a target letter under low and high perceptual load in the absence or presence of a distractor. In the control group, the distractor increased response times (RTs) for high and low load. In the TSST group, distractor increased RTs under low load only. ERPs showed that distractor’s presentation attenuated early visual P1 component and shortened its latency. In the TSST group, distractor reduced P1 component under high load but did not affect its latency. Source localization demonstrated reduced activation in V1 in response to distractors presence in the P1 time window for the TSST group compared to the control group. A behavioral replication revealed that in the TSST group distractors were less perceived under high load. Taken together, our results show that stress and perceptual load affect selectivity through the early stages of visual processing and might increase selectivity in a manner that would block conscious perception of irrelevant stimuli. PMID:27196027