Matching Items (10)

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Two Visual Training Paradigms Associated with Enhanced Critical Flicker Fusion Threshold

Description

Critical flicker fusion thresholds (CFFTs) describe when quick amplitude modulations of a light source become undetectable as the frequency of the modulation increases and are thought to underlie a number

Critical flicker fusion thresholds (CFFTs) describe when quick amplitude modulations of a light source become undetectable as the frequency of the modulation increases and are thought to underlie a number of visual processing skills, including reading. Here, we compare the impact of two vision-training approaches, one involving contrast sensitivity training and the other directional dot-motion training, compared to an active control group trained on Sudoku. The three training paradigms were compared on their effectiveness for altering CFFT. Directional dot-motion and contrast sensitivity training resulted in significant improvement in CFFT, while the Sudoku group did not yield significant improvement. This finding indicates that dot-motion and contrast sensitivity training similarly transfer to effect changes in CFFT. The results, combined with prior research linking CFFT to high-order cognitive processes such as reading ability, and studies showing positive impact of both dot-motion and contrast sensitivity training in reading, provide a possible mechanistic link of how these different training approaches impact reading abilities.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016-10-26

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A small number of abnormal brain connections predicts adult autism spectrum disorder

Description

Although autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a serious lifelong condition, its underlying neural mechanism remains unclear. Recently, neuroimaging-based classifiers for ASD and typically developed (TD) individuals were developed to identify

Although autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a serious lifelong condition, its underlying neural mechanism remains unclear. Recently, neuroimaging-based classifiers for ASD and typically developed (TD) individuals were developed to identify the abnormality of functional connections (FCs). Due to over-fitting and interferential effects of varying measurement conditions and demographic distributions, no classifiers have been strictly validated for independent cohorts. Here we overcome these difficulties by developing a novel machine-learning algorithm that identifies a small number of FCs that separates ASD versus TD. The classifier achieves high accuracy for a Japanese discovery cohort and demonstrates a remarkable degree of generalization for two independent validation cohorts in the USA and Japan. The developed ASD classifier does not distinguish individuals with major depressive disorder and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder from their controls but moderately distinguishes patients with schizophrenia from their controls. The results leave open the viable possibility of exploring neuroimaging-based dimensions quantifying the multiple-disorder spectrum.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016-04-14

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Word-Decoding as a Function of Temporal Processing in the Visual System

Description

This study explored the relation between visual processing and word-decoding ability in a normal reading population. Forty participants were recruited at Arizona State University. Flicker fusion thresholds were assessed with

This study explored the relation between visual processing and word-decoding ability in a normal reading population. Forty participants were recruited at Arizona State University. Flicker fusion thresholds were assessed with an optical chopper using the method of limits by a 1-deg diameter green (543 nm) test field. Word decoding was measured using reading-word and nonsense-word decoding tests. A non-linguistic decoding measure was obtained using a computer program that consisted of Landolt C targets randomly presented in four cardinal orientations, at 3-radial distances from a focus point, for eight compass points, in a circular pattern. Participants responded by pressing the arrow key on the keyboard that matched the direction the target was facing. The results show a strong correlation between critical flicker fusion thresholds and scores on the reading-word, nonsense-word, and non-linguistic decoding measures. The data suggests that the functional elements of the visual system involved with temporal modulation and spatial processing may affect the ease with which people read.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2013-12-20

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Decoding Reveals Plasticity in V3A as a Result of Motion Perceptual Learning

Description

Visual perceptual learning (VPL) is defined as visual performance improvement after visual experiences. VPL is often highly specific for a visual feature presented during training. Such specificity is observed in

Visual perceptual learning (VPL) is defined as visual performance improvement after visual experiences. VPL is often highly specific for a visual feature presented during training. Such specificity is observed in behavioral tuning function changes with the highest improvement centered on the trained feature and was originally thought to be evidence for changes in the early visual system associated with VPL. However, results of neurophysiological studies have been highly controversial concerning whether the plasticity underlying VPL occurs within the visual cortex. The controversy may be partially due to the lack of observation of neural tuning function changes in multiple visual areas in association with VPL. Here using human subjects we systematically compared behavioral tuning function changes after global motion detection training with decoded tuning function changes for 8 visual areas using pattern classification analysis on functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) signals. We found that the behavioral tuning function changes were extremely highly correlated to decoded tuning function changes only in V3A, which is known to be highly responsive to global motion with human subjects. We conclude that VPL of a global motion detection task involves plasticity in a specific visual cortical area.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2012-08-28

Literature Review of Mobility and Psychological Attitude to Assess the Possible Need for Mobility Apparatus in Pediatric Wards

Description

The importance of mobility and psychological attitude during hospitalization and how they correlate with recovery is highlighted in this paper through a review of the research literature on both topics.

The importance of mobility and psychological attitude during hospitalization and how they correlate with recovery is highlighted in this paper through a review of the research literature on both topics. The literature review revealed that increased mobility and positive psychological cognitive state are correlated positively with increased recovery among hospitalized individuals. The research findings have led to the development of child mobility apparatuses called "Lily Pads" being constructed and donated to pediatric hospitals with the intention of helping increase patient mobility and positivity in pediatric wards of hospitals. A history of the lily pads and their potentially positive impact is presented as well as a brief description of the construction process, should readers like to build and donate these apparatuses to their local hospital. It is concluded that further empirical research on the use and effects of lily pads in pediatric wards and the possible correlation with pediatric recovery is needed in order to qualitatively and quantitatively assess the apparatuses' effectiveness.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2017-12

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Implicit Racial Bias as a Function of In-Utero Androgen Exposure

Description

Androgen has been shown to affect functioning of the central nervous system by modulating neural circuitry during in-utero development subsequently affecting parts of the brain implicated in the evaluation of

Androgen has been shown to affect functioning of the central nervous system by modulating neural circuitry during in-utero development subsequently affecting parts of the brain implicated in the evaluation of socially relevant stimuli. This can suggest an examination of underlying neurobiological mechanisms that may influence androgen in the brain and likewise human cognition and behavior. Since the index and ring finger ratio is associated with androgen related outcomes, this study sought to identify a relationship between a participant's implicit race association test score and left-handed ring (4D) and index (2D) finger ratio. Specifically, we found that higher androgen exposure in our female subjects equated to a stronger bias for European American faces over African American faces.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2018-05

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Fetal Androgen & Childhood Adversity: Relations with Self-Compassion, Compassion for Others, Empathy, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Susceptibility

Description

Fetal androgen exposure and childhood experiences are believed to contribute to the development and organization of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) and hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axes, which are responsible for the regulation and

Fetal androgen exposure and childhood experiences are believed to contribute to the development and organization of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) and hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axes, which are responsible for the regulation and release of stress and sex hormones, respectively. Evidence suggests the HPA and HPG axes can couple in response to childhood adversity, and that hormonal dysregulation contributes to psychopathological disorders such as anxiety and depression. Recent research also suggests self-compassion interventions could reduce PTSD symptoms, and that the experience of childhood trauma is related to increased empathy. Still, little is known regarding the impact of fetal androgen exposure on PTSD susceptibility and the relationships between self-compassion, compassion for others, and empathy. The current study aims to determine whether fetal androgen exposure mitigates PTSD susceptibility, and to clarify the relationships between empathy, compassion for others, self-compassion, and PTSD symptoms. A sample of 208 adults completed an online survey designed to measure fetal androgen exposure, childhood maltreatment, self-compassion, compassion for others, empathy, and PTSD symptoms. Findings show a significant difference in PTSD symptoms between individuals in high and low fetal androgen exposure groups, and significant correlations were discovered between empathy and compassion for others, empathy and self-compassion, but not compassion for others and self-compassion. Future studies could explore the extent to which fetal androgen exposure influences PTSD symptom susceptibility and the clinical implications therein.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2021-05

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Neuropsychological predictors of alexithymia in psychogenic nonepileptic seizures and epilepsy

Description

Alexithymia is a personality trait characterized by a diminished ability to identify and describe feelings, as well as an inability to distinguish physical symptoms associated with emotional arousal. Alexithymia is

Alexithymia is a personality trait characterized by a diminished ability to identify and describe feelings, as well as an inability to distinguish physical symptoms associated with emotional arousal. Alexithymia is elevated in both patients with epilepsy (a neurologically-based seizure disorder) and psychogenic nonepileptic seizures (PNES; a psychological condition mimicking epilepsy); however, different neuropsychological processes may underlie this deficit in the two groups. To expand on previous research considering factors contributing to alexithymia in these populations, we examined the extent to which scores on the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20) were predicted by performance on measures of executive and language functioning. We studied 138 PNES and 150 epilepsy patients with video-EEG confirmed diagnoses. Neuropsychological tests were administered to assess executive functioning (interference scores of the Stroop Color-Word Test and Part B of the Trail Making Test) and language functioning (Animals, Controlled Oral Word Association Test, and Boston Naming Test). Hierarchical linear regressions revealed that the relationships between disparate neuropsychological domains and alexithymia were not moderated by diagnosis of PNES or epilepsy. Multiple regression analyses within each group demonstrated that phonemic verbal fluency and response inhibition were significant predictors of alexithymia in epilepsy. Thus, alexithymia may reflect impairments in language and aspects of executive functioning in both PNES and epilepsy.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2017

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Spousal touch during sleep: better sleep unless you're anxiously attached?

Description

Affiliative touch, such as physical affection between relationship partners, activates neural systems associated with reward, relaxation, and attachment. Co-sleeping is a common practice among romantic partners, and the social context

Affiliative touch, such as physical affection between relationship partners, activates neural systems associated with reward, relaxation, and attachment. Co-sleeping is a common practice among romantic partners, and the social context of sleep is linked to well-being. The effect of touch during sleep, however, remains largely untested. As a first study, 210 married couples were asked how much they generally touched during sleep and how important it was for them to touch during sleep. I hypothesized that perceptions of more spousal touch during sleep, as well as greater importance placed on that touch, would be associated with better quality of sleep. Given the strong links between touch and attachment, and previous findings of poor sleep associated with attachment anxiety, these effects were expected to be greatest among spouses higher in attachment anxiety (who might benefit most from a sense of security arising from touch). Separate regression analyses were run for husbands and wives, controlling for affective symptoms of depression (which were significant predictors of poor sleep for both spouses). For both spouses, higher reports of amount and importance of touch during sleep predicted better quality of sleep. For wives, the predicted interaction was significant, but in the opposite direction: Reported amount and importance of spousal touch during sleep was positively related to sleep quality only among those with lower attachment anxiety, whereas it was unrelated among those with higher attachment anxiety. Higher attachment anxiety also was related to worse sleep among wives, but not husbands. It may be the case that wives who are lowest in attachment anxiety may feel more comfortable when being touched by their partners. As a result, they may touch more often, place more importance on touch, and be more likely to experience rewards of touch such as better sleep quality. The findings lend support to the idea that social touch can serve a regulatory function, even during sleep.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2017

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The effects of implied motion training on general cortical processing

Description

Current research has identified a specific type of visual experience that leads to faster cortical processing. Specifically, performance on perceptual learning of a directional-motion leads to faster cortical processing. This

Current research has identified a specific type of visual experience that leads to faster cortical processing. Specifically, performance on perceptual learning of a directional-motion leads to faster cortical processing. This is important on two levels; first, cortical processing is positively correlated with cognitive functions and inversely related to age, frontal lobe lesions, and some cognitive disorders. Second, temporal processing has been shown to be relatively stable over time. In order to expand on this line of research, we examined the effects of a different, but relevant visual experience (i.e., implied motion) on cortical processing. Previous fMRI studies have indicated that static images that imply motion activate area V5 or middle temporal/medial superior temporal complex (MT/MST+) of the visual cortex, the same brain region that is activated in response to real motion. Therefore, we hypothesized that visual experience of implied motion may parallel the positive relationship between real directional-motion and cortical processing. Seven subjects participated in a visual task of implied motion for 4 days, and a pre- and post-test of cortical processing. The results indicated that performance on implied motion is systematically different from performance on a dot motion task. Despite individual differences in performance, overall cortical processing increased from day 1 to day 4.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014