Matching Items (21)

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The Wham-Womb Effect: Words with the Phoneme /æ/ are Rated as More Rousing than those with /u/

Description

Recent findings support that facial musculature accounts for a form of phonetic sound symbolism. Yu, McBeath, and Glenberg (2019) found that, in both English words and Mandarin pinyin, words with the middle phoneme /i:/ (as in “gleam”) were rated as

Recent findings support that facial musculature accounts for a form of phonetic sound symbolism. Yu, McBeath, and Glenberg (2019) found that, in both English words and Mandarin pinyin, words with the middle phoneme /i:/ (as in “gleam”) were rated as more positive than their paired words containing the phoneme /ʌ/ (as in “glum”). The present study tested whether a second largely orthogonal dimension of vowel phoneme production (represented by the phonemes /æ/ vs /u/), is related to a second dimension perpendicular to emotional valence, arousal. Arousal was chosen because it is the second dimension of the Russell Circumplex Model of Affect. In phonetic similarity mappings, this second dimension is typically characterized by oral aperture size and larynx position, but it also appears to follow the continuum of consonance/dissonance. Our findings supported the hypothesis that one-syllable words with the center vowel phoneme /æ/ were reliably rated as more rousing, and less calming, than matched words with the center vowel phoneme /u/. These results extend the Yu, et al. findings regarding the potential contribution of facial musculature to sounds associated with the emotional dimension of arousal, and further confirm a model of sound symbolism related to emotional expression. These findings support that phonemes are not neutral basic units but rather illustrate an innate relationship between embodied emotional expression and speech production.

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2019-05

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Who's Top Dog? The Sociability towards Humans of Six Different Canid Types

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We compared sociability towards humans of domesticated and tame members of several Canidae: Belyaev's fox (Vulpes vulpes), red fox (Vulpes vulpes), gray wolf (Canis lupus), dingo (Canis l. dingo), New Guinea singing dog (Canis l. dingo), and dog (Canis l.

We compared sociability towards humans of domesticated and tame members of several Canidae: Belyaev's fox (Vulpes vulpes), red fox (Vulpes vulpes), gray wolf (Canis lupus), dingo (Canis l. dingo), New Guinea singing dog (Canis l. dingo), and dog (Canis l. familiaris). We defined sociability as motivation or willingness to engage with humans. Our operationalized definition of sociability is the latency to approach (LTA) the human experimenter and the amount of time the canid spent within one meter of the human experimenter (PTC). We added an unfamiliar and familiar experimenter condition to deduce whether or not canids discriminated on who they were more social with: an owner or a stranger. To each experimenter condition we added a passive and active phase to discern whether or not canids were more social when called or not. Across all conditions and phases dogs were significantly more social than all other canid types. We concluded genetic differences due to domestication and environmental differences due to socialization accounted for sociability differences seen in dogs compared to the other canid types.

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2018-05

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Empathy and Pro-Human Social Behavior in Dogs: Will Dogs Attempt to Rescue a Person in Distress?

Description

There are many anecdotal stories of dogs rescuing their owners from dangerous situations, but this rescue behavior has yet to be shown in an experimental setting. Studies have shown that dogs behave differently towards crying humans, but do not seek

There are many anecdotal stories of dogs rescuing their owners from dangerous situations, but this rescue behavior has yet to be shown in an experimental setting. Studies have shown that dogs behave differently towards crying humans, but do not seek help for their owners when they are in distress. This study sought to determine if a dog could recognize when its owner was in distress and would attempt to rescue the owner. The experiment consisted of three conditions: a distress condition to determine how dogs respond to an owner calling for help, a reading condition to control for proximity-seeking and sound, and a food control to use as a basis for motivation and door-opening ability of the dog. Sixty dogs were tested in all three conditions in a pseudo-random order so that an equal number of dogs completed the conditions in each order. 38% of the dogs opened the apparatus for any condition, while 32% opened for the food and distress conditions and 27% opened for the reading condition, which shows that rescue in general is unlikely. There was no significant difference in the proportion of dogs who opened the apparatus for each condition, indicating that dogs are no more likely to rescue their distressed owners than they are to open the apparatus for other conditions and may not be able to sense that the owner is in distress. The similarities in the success rates also show that the owner can be just as motivating for a dog as food. Overall, the low success rates suggest that dogs are not generally likely to rescue a person who is trapped, even when they are calling for help.

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2018-05

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Utilizing MRI Texture Analysis and APOE Genotype to Predict the Aging Brain as a Potential Method for Early Assessment of Alzheimer's Disease

Description

Background: Noninvasive MRI methods that can accurately detect subtle brain changes are highly desirable when studying disease-modifying interventions. Texture analysis is a novel imaging technique which utilizes the extraction of a large number of image features with high specificity and

Background: Noninvasive MRI methods that can accurately detect subtle brain changes are highly desirable when studying disease-modifying interventions. Texture analysis is a novel imaging technique which utilizes the extraction of a large number of image features with high specificity and predictive power. In this investigation, we use texture analysis to assess and classify age-related changes in the right and left hippocampal regions, the areas known to show some of the earliest change in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Apolipoprotein E (APOE)'s e4 allele confers an increased risk for AD, so studying differences in APOE e4 carriers may help to ascertain subtle brain changes before there has been an obvious change in behavior. We examined texture analysis measures that predict age-related changes, which reflect atrophy in a group of cognitively normal individuals. We hypothesized that the APOE e4 carriers would exhibit significant age-related differences in texture features compared to non-carriers, so that the predictive texture features hold promise for early assessment of AD. Methods: 120 normal adults between the ages of 32 and 90 were recruited for this neuroimaging study from a larger parent study at Mayo Clinic Arizona studying longitudinal cognitive functioning (Caselli et al., 2009). As part of the parent study, the participants were genotyped for APOE genetic polymorphisms and received comprehensive cognitive testing every two years, on average. Neuroimaging was done at Barrow Neurological Institute and a 3D T1-weighted magnetic resonance image was obtained during scanning that allowed for subsequent texture analysis processing. Voxel-based features of the appearance, structure, and arrangement of these regions of interest were extracted utilizing the Mayo Clinic Python Texture Analysis Pipeline (pyTAP). Algorithms applied in feature extraction included Grey-Level Co-Occurrence Matrix (GLCM), Gabor Filter Banks (GFB), Local Binary Patterns (LBP), Discrete Orthogonal Stockwell Transform (DOST), and Laplacian-of-Gaussian Histograms (LoGH). Principal component (PC) analysis was used to reduce the dimensionality of the algorithmically selected features to 13 PCs. A stepwise forward regression model was used to determine the effect of APOE status (APOE e4 carriers vs. noncarriers), and the texture feature principal components on age (as a continuous variable). After identification of 5 significant predictors of age in the model, the individual feature coefficients of those principal components were examined to determine which features contributed most significantly to the prediction of an aging brain. Results: 70 texture features were extracted for the two regions of interest in each participant's scan. The texture features were coded as 70 initial components andwere rotated to generate 13 principal components (PC) that contributed 75% of the variance in the dataset by scree plot analysis. The forward stepwise regression model used in this exploratory study significantly predicted age, accounting for approximately 40% of the variance in the data. The regression model revealed 5 significant regressors (2 right PC's, APOE status, and 2 left PC by APOE interactions). Finally, the specific texture features that contributed to each significant PCs were identified. Conclusion: Analysis of image texture features resulted in a statistical model that was able to detect subtle changes in brain integrity associated with age in a group of participants who are cognitively normal, but have an increased risk of developing AD based on the presence of the APOE e4 phenotype. This is an important finding, given that detecting subtle changes in regions vulnerable to the effects of AD in patients could allow certain texture features to serve as noninvasive, sensitive biomarkers predictive of AD. Even with only a small number of patients, the ability for us to determine sensitive imaging biomarkers could facilitate great improvement in speed of detection and effectiveness of AD interventions..

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2016-05

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Pigeon Iridescence: Physical and Functional Properties

Description

Rock Doves (Columba livia), also known as pigeons, are a common sight to city dwellers around the world. Often overlooked as urban pests, these birds have intriguing iridescent coloration on their necks that has been the subject of few studies.

Rock Doves (Columba livia), also known as pigeons, are a common sight to city dwellers around the world. Often overlooked as urban pests, these birds have intriguing iridescent coloration on their necks that has been the subject of few studies. Previous studies have documented the multimodal reflectance spectra of the iridescence and the keratin cortex microstructures responsible for those properties, but do not address questions about the biological context of this coloration. In this study, I explore the factors that affect how this directional signal might appear to intended receivers (assumed to be females). Pigeon neck feathers were obtained from captive-raised birds and measured for reflectance values at numerous angles in the hemisphere above the feather to obtain a directional reflectance distribution. Each feather was mounted individually, and measurements were taken at a consistent location on the feather using a spectrophotometer; the collector was positioned directly above the feather, while we moved the light source in both azimuth and elevation on a Carden arm to simulate changes in pigeon movements during courtship. Depending on the elevation and azimuth of the light source, pigeon neck feathers shift in appearance from green to purple, with an accompanying shift in the location and intensity of reflectance peaks. Additionally, this unique coloration is due to multiple reflectance peaks in the avian vision field between 300 and 700nm. These data coupled with qualitative behavioral observations of Rock Dove courtship inform our understanding of how the color signal is displayed and how it appears to a potential mate; as a female observes the movements in a male courtship display, properties of the iridescence utilize multiple viewing angles to create a dynamic color array.

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2015-05

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Human Auditory Biases Match Natural Regularities Found With Animal Calls

Description

Human perceptual dimensions of sound are not necessarily simple representations of the actual physical dimensions that make up sensory input. In particular, research on the perception of interactions between acoustic frequency and intensity has shown that people exhibit a bias

Human perceptual dimensions of sound are not necessarily simple representations of the actual physical dimensions that make up sensory input. In particular, research on the perception of interactions between acoustic frequency and intensity has shown that people exhibit a bias to expect the perception of pitch and loudness to change together. Researchers have proposed that this perceptual bias occurs because sound sources tend to follow a natural regularity of a correlation between changes in intensity and frequency of sound. They postulate that the auditory system has adapted to expect this naturally occurring relationship to facilitate auditory scene analysis, the tracking and parsing sources of sound as listeners analyze their auditory environments. However, this correlation has only been tested with human speech and musical sounds. The current study explores if animal sounds also exhibit the same natural correlation between intensity and frequency and tests if people exhibit a perceptual bias to assume this correlation when listening to animal calls. Our principal hypotheses are that animal sounds will tend to exhibit a positive correlation between intensity and frequency and that, when hearing such sounds change in intensity, listeners will perceive them to also change in frequency and vice versa. Our tests with 21 animal calls and 8 control stimuli along with our experiment with participants responding to these stimuli supported these hypotheses. This research provides a further example of coupling of perceptual biases with natural regularities in the auditory domain, and provides a framework for understanding perceptual biases as functional adaptations that help perceivers more accurately anticipate and utilize reliable natural patterns to enhance scene analyses in real world environments.

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2014-05

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Effects of Loudness Change on Tempo Perception and Action in Percussion

Description

Tempo control is a crucial part of musicianship that can provide an obstacle for novice musicians. The current study examines why novice percussionists increase their playing tempo when they increase their loudness (in music, loudness is referred to as dynamics).

Tempo control is a crucial part of musicianship that can provide an obstacle for novice musicians. The current study examines why novice percussionists increase their playing tempo when they increase their loudness (in music, loudness is referred to as dynamics). This study tested five hypotheses: 1) As actual tempo changes, listeners perceive that the tempo is changing; 2) There is a perceptual bias to perceive increases in acoustic intensity as also increasing in tempo; 3) All individuals, regardless of percussion experience, display the bias described in hypothesis 2; 4) Unskilled or non-percussionists increase or decrease produced tempo as they respectively increase or decrease loudness; and 5) Skilled percussionist produce less change in tempo due to changes in loudness than non-percussionists. In Experiment 1, percussionists and non-percussionists listened to metronome samples that gradually change in intensity and/or tempo. Participants identified the direction and size of their perceived tempo change using a computer mouse. In Experiment 2, both groups of participants produced various tempo and dynamic changes on a drum pad. Our findings support that both percussionists and non-percussionists, to some extent, display a perceptual bias to perceive tempo changes as a function of intensity changes. We also found that non-percussionists altered their tempo as a function of changing dynamic levels, whereas percussionists did not. Overall, our findings support that listeners tend to experience some integrality between perceptual dimensions of perceived tempo and loudness. Dimensional integration also persists when playing percussion instruments though experience with percussion instruments reduces this effect.

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2014-05

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Does Adapting the Body Schema to a Partner Facilitate Motor Learning?

Description

Often learning new skills, such as how to throw a basketball or how to play the piano, are better accomplished practicing with another than from self-practice. Why? We propose that during joint action, partners learn to adjust their behavior to

Often learning new skills, such as how to throw a basketball or how to play the piano, are better accomplished practicing with another than from self-practice. Why? We propose that during joint action, partners learn to adjust their behavior to each other. For example, when dancing with a partner, we must adjust the timing, the force, and the spatial locations of movements to those of the partner. We call these adjustments a joint body schema (JBS). That is, the locations of our own effectors and our own movements are adapted by interaction with the partner. Furthermore, we propose that after a JBS is established, learning new motor skills can be enhanced by the learner's attunement to the specifics of the partner's actions. We test this proposal by having partners engage in a motor task requiring cooperation (to develop the JBS). Then we determined whether a) the JBS enhances the coordination on an unrelated task, and b) whether the JBS enhances the learning of a new motor skill. In fact, participants who established a JBS showed stronger coordination with a partner and better motor learning from the partner than did control participants. Several applications of this finding are discussed.

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2015-05

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Basketball Shooting in Rhythm Reliability of View Judgment and Player Accuracy

Description

When a sports performance is at its peak, it is akin to a musical performance in the sense that each player seems to perform their part effortlessly, creating a rhythmic flow of counterparts all moving as one. Rhythm and timing

When a sports performance is at its peak, it is akin to a musical performance in the sense that each player seems to perform their part effortlessly, creating a rhythmic flow of counterparts all moving as one. Rhythm and timing are vital elements in sports like basketball in which syncopated passing and shooting appear to facilitate accuracy. This study tests if shooting baskets “in rhythm,” as measured by the catch-to-release time, reliably enhances shooting accuracy. It then tests if an “in rhythm” timing is commonly detected and agreed upon by observers, and if observer timing ratings are related to shooting accuracy. Experiment 1 tests the shooting accuracy of two amateur basketball players after different delays between catching a pass and shooting the ball. Shots were taken from the three-point line (180 shots). All shots were recorded and analyzed for accuracy as a function of delay time, and the recordings were used to select stimuli varying in timing intervals for observers to view in Experiment 2. In Experiment 2, 24 observers each reviewed 17 video clips of the shots to test visual judgment of shooting-in-rhythm. The delay times ranged from 0.3 to 3.2 seconds, with a goal of having some of the shots taken too fast, some close to in rhythm, and some too slow. Observers rated if each shot occurs too fast, in rhythm slightly fast, in rhythm slightly slow, or too slow. In Experiment 1, shooters exhibited a significant cubic fit with better shooting performance in the middle of the timing distribution (1.2 sec optimal delay) between catching a pass and shooting. In Experiment, 2 observers reliably judged shots to be in rhythm centered at 1.1 ± 0.2 seconds, which matched the delay that leads to optimal performance for the shooters found in Experiment 1. The pattern of findings confirms and validates that there is a common “in rhythm” catch-to-shoot delay time of a little over 1 second that both optimizes shooter accuracy and is reliably recognized by observers.

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2021-05

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Measure to measure: additional lengths using educative music therapy to increase the math aptitude and social competency of the "forgotten middle

Description

Educators and therapists must unify and formulate new strategies to address the academic and social needs of a newly emerging at risk demographic, "the forgotten middle." Currently, a paradigm shift within educative music therapy, human development study, and educational

Educators and therapists must unify and formulate new strategies to address the academic and social needs of a newly emerging at risk demographic, "the forgotten middle." Currently, a paradigm shift within educative music therapy, human development study, and educational psychology, suggests that curriculums need to integrate alternative methods into their framework, change the definition of at-risk, and recognize math aptitude and social competency as predictors of a student's ability to gain upward mobility and self-sufficiency. Musical interaction, although considered a secondary measure within educational forums, is a viable means to address the socio-emotional and academic needs of students. In order to substantiate the need for educators to integrate educative music therapy and social competency programs into standard curriculums, the researcher conducted a study using 23 students from a beginning high school guitar class and 4 students from a high school after-school program. These students participated in a ten-week study involving educative music therapy, social competency, and math aptitude. Participants completed the math fluency and math calculations sections of the Wechsler's Individual Achievement Test version 3, along with a questionnaire examining the participants' beliefs about the influence of music on math aptitude and social competency. Although the pre- and post-test results show no statistically significant difference between educative music therapy and math aptitude, the results from the questionnaires administered suggest that students perceive that social competency and musical interaction augment academic and social performance.

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2010