ResearchPad - Sensory Systems https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Overnight polysomnography and the recording of sleep and sleep-related respiration in orchestra musicians – possible protective effects of wind instruments on respiration]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=N88c23519-1215-408d-ac46-2899835df1cf

Our study is the first to objectively assess sleep and sleep-related respiration in orchestra musicians. We hypothesized low sleep quality due to high work demands and irregular work-sleep schedules, and a better respiration for wind instrument (WI) players than string instrument (SI) players due to habitual upper airway muscles training. We recorded overnight polysomnography with 29 professional orchestra musicians (21 men, 14 WI/ 15 SI). The musicians presented a sleep efficiency of 88% (IQR 82–92%) with WI having a significant higher sleep efficiency than SI (89%, 85–93% vs. 85%, 74–89%; p = 0.029). The group had a total sleep time around 6 hours (377min, 340-421min) with signs of increased NREM 1 (light sleep) and decreased REM (dream sleep). The musicians displayed an apnea-hypopnea-index of 2.1events/hour (0.7–5.5) and an oxygen saturation of 98% (97–100%). While SI player exhibited declining sleep-related respiration with age (breathing events: r = 0.774, p = 0.001, oxygen: r = -0.647, p = 0.009), WI player showed improved respiration with age (breathing events: r = -0.548, p = 0.043; oxygen: r = 0.610, p = 0.020). Our study is the first objective investigation of sleep pattern and respiration during sleep with overnight polysomnography in professional orchestra musicians. While sleep and respiration were unexpectedly good, our results revealed possible signs of sleep deprivation and an interesting age-related pattern on respiration depending on instrument. While sample size was small and results modest, these findings present first objective evidence towards the assumption that habitual playing of a WI–and training of the upper airway muscles–may have a protective effect on respiration.

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<![CDATA[Gaze direction reveals implicit item and source memory in older adults]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=Nd6bd49f6-c3a2-422e-9a90-0c981119f651

This study looked at eye movements in relation to source memory in older adults. Participants first studied images of common objects appearing in different quadrants of a screen. After a delay, they were shown cues one at a time presented in all four quadrants. Participants stated whether or not the cue had been seen before and in which location. Participants also rated level of confidence in their responses. In trials where participants either claimed they have not seen a previously presented cue or placed it in an incorrect location, they looked significantly more at the correct quadrant. The proportion of time looking at the correct quadrants during incorrect responses was not related to confidence ratings. These results suggest that eye gaze during the memory task does not reflect memory retrieval below the threshold of verbal report. They instead point to an implicit form of source memory in humans that is accessible to eye movements but not to verbal responses.

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<![CDATA[Ocular surface and tear film changes in workers exposed to organic solvents used in the dry-cleaning industry]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=N6840e79e-1c57-49df-9829-1ba3fd26bb8e

Workers in the dry-cleaning industry are exposed to organic solvents that may cause eye irritation and tear film changes. Objective To quantify changes in the ocular surface and tear film in dry cleaners exposed to organic solvents and associate these changes with ocular irritation as reported in a symptom questionnaire for dry eye diagnosis. Methods This was a case and control study in which the characteristics and eye-irritation symptoms were compared between two groups of 62 participants that were either exposed or not exposed to organic solvents. A general optometric examination and the following test were performed: lipid interferometry, Lissamine Green Stain, tear breakup time, Schirmer I, conjunctival impression cytology and the Donate dry eye symptoms questionnaire. Results Sixty-five percent of exposed workers obtained a higher score than 13 on the Donate dry eye symptoms questionnaire which indicated the presence of more irritation symptoms than those in the non- exposed group. A Chi-square analysis indicated the exposed group reported significantly higher incidences (P <0.005) for eye irritation symptoms of sandy sensation; tearing eyes sensation; foreign body sensation; tearing; dry eye; dryness; eyestrain and heavy eyelids. A Mann Whitney-U indicated greater severity only for symptoms relating to dry eye; sandy sensation; foreign body sensation, tearing; tearing eyes and dryness. There was a statistically significant difference (P <0.05) for Schirmer I; tear break up time; and the ocular surface assessed with Lissamine green staining and conjunctival impression cytology between groups. A reduction in the thickness of the lipid layer in the exposed group compared to the non-exposed group was observed. Surprisingly, clinical test outcomes were not significantly correlated with dry eye symptoms nor years of exposure. Conclusion Workers in the dry-cleaning industry exposed to organic solvents are associated with changes in ocular surface and tear film generating irritation symptoms commonly present in evaporative dry eye.

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<![CDATA[Independent working memory resources for egocentric and allocentric spatial information]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5c784ff1d5eed0c484007976

Visuospatial working memory enables us to maintain access to visual information for processing even when a stimulus is no longer present, due to occlusion, our own movements, or transience of the stimulus. Here we show that, when localizing remembered stimuli, the precision of spatial recall does not rely solely on memory for individual stimuli, but additionally depends on the relative distances between stimuli and visual landmarks in the surroundings. Across three separate experiments, we consistently observed a spatially selective improvement in the precision of recall for items located near a persistent landmark. While the results did not require that the landmark be visible throughout the memory delay period, it was essential that it was visible both during encoding and response. We present a simple model that can accurately capture human performance by considering relative (allocentric) spatial information as an independent localization estimate which degrades with distance and is optimally integrated with egocentric spatial information. Critically, allocentric information was encoded without cost to egocentric estimation, demonstrating independent storage of the two sources of information. Finally, when egocentric and allocentric estimates were put in conflict, the model successfully predicted the resulting localization errors. We suggest that the relative distance between stimuli represents an additional, independent spatial cue for memory recall. This cue information is likely to be critical for spatial localization in natural settings which contain an abundance of visual landmarks.

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<![CDATA[High incidence and prevalence of visual problems after acute stroke: An epidemiology study with implications for service delivery]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5c897734d5eed0c4847d26dc

Background

Visual problems are an under-reported sequela following stroke. The aim of this study is to report annual incidence and point prevalence of visual problems in an acute adult stroke population and to explore feasibility of early timing of visual assessment.

Methods and findings

Multi-centre acute stroke unit, prospective, epidemiology study (1st July 2014 to 30th June 2015). Orthoptists reviewed all patients with assessment of visual acuity, visual fields, ocular alignment, ocular motility, visual inattention and visual perception. 1033 patients underwent visual screening at a median of 3 days (IQR 2) and full visual assessment at a median of 4 days (IQR 7) after the incident stroke: 52% men, 48% women, mean age 73 years and 87% ischaemic strokes. Excluding pre-existent eye problems, the incidence of new onset visual sequelae was 48% for all stroke admissions and 60% in stroke survivors. Three quarters 752/1033 (73%) had visual problems (point prevalence): 56% with impaired central vision, 40% eye movement abnormalities, 28% visual field loss, 27% visual inattention, 5% visual perceptual disorders. 281/1033 (27%) had normal eye exams.

Conclusions

Incidence and point prevalence of visual problems in acute stroke is alarmingly high, affecting over half the survivors. For most, visual screening and full visual assessment was achieved within about 5 days of stroke onset. Crucial information can thus be provided on visual status and its functional significance to the stroke team, patients and carers, enabling early intervention.

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<![CDATA[Posterior ventral tegmental area-nucleus accumbens shell circuitry modulates response to novelty]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5c8823b2d5eed0c484638e5a

Dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens from ventral tegmental area (VTA) efferent neurons is critical for orientation and response to novel stimuli in the environment. However, there are considerable differences between neuronal populations of the VTA and it is unclear which specific cell populations modulate behavioral responses to environmental novelty. A retroDREADDs (designer drugs exclusively activated by designer receptors) technique, comprising designer G protein-coupled receptors exclusively activated by designer drugs and modulated by retrograde transported Cre, was used to selectively stimulate neurons of the VTA which project to the nucleus accumbens shell (AcbSh). First, the selectivity and expression of the human M3 muscarinic receptor-based adeno-associated virus (AAV-hM3D) was confirmed in primary neuronal cell cultures. Second, AAV-CMV-GFP/Cre was infused into the AcbSh and AAV-hSyn-DIO-hM3D(Gq)-mCherry (a presynaptic enhancer in the presence of its cognate ligand clozapine-N-oxide) was infused into the VTA of ovariectomized female Fisher 344 rats to elicit hM3D(Gq)-mCherry production specifically in neurons of the VTA which synapse in the AcbSh. Finally, administration of clozapine-N-oxide significantly altered rodents’ response to novelty (e.g. absence of white background noise) by activation of hM3D(Gq) receptors, without altering gross locomotor activity or auditory processing per se. Confocal imaging confirmed production of mCherry in neurons of the posterior aspect of the VTA (pVTA) suggesting these neurons contribute to novelty responses. These results suggest the pVTA-AcbSh circuit is potentially altered in motivational disorders such as apathy, depression, and drug addiction. Targeting the pVTA-AcbSh circuit, therefore, may be an effective target for pharmacological management of such psychopathologies.

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<![CDATA[Altruistic decisions are influenced by the allocation of monetary incentives in a pain-sharing game]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5c897771d5eed0c4847d2ce9

Background

Altruistic behavior is essential to the sustainability of society, but our current understanding of its underlying motivation is limited. In addition to the intrinsic motives to help others, based on empathy, extrinsic motives such as monetary incentives and social reputation influence prosociality. The purpose of this study was to examine the underlying motivations of prosocial behavior under constant or increasing extrinsic motivation settings.

Methods

An experimental task, Altruistic Pain Sharing, was developed in which the participants were asked to share the other participants’ pain. In the session with monetary incentives, the incentives were given either constantly (CONSTANT condition) or proportionally (INCREASING condition), to the amount of shared pain. In addition, monetary incentives were not provided in the NO session. The participants experienced different amounts of mechanical pain at the beginning of the task and chose the number of pain stimulations to share, based on their experiences.

Results

Compared to the NO session, the INCREASING session exhibited a rise in the mean of shared pain, but not the CONSTANT session. Furthermore, there was a distinct tendency to receive less pain than the other participant in the CONSTANT session, and a tendency to receive more pain than the other participant in the INCREASING session.

Conclusion

Prosocial behavior was influenced by the presence, as well as the form, of the extrinsic monetary incentives. Our study shows that rewards incentivize individuals to demonstrate a higher level of prosocial behavior, implying that prosocial behavior is itself a mixture of intrinsic and extrinsic motivations, and that an effectively designed rewards system may function to enhance prosocial behavior.

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<![CDATA[Amperometric biosensing system directly powered by button cell battery for lactate]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5c897724d5eed0c4847d2544

The development of new signal systems for electrical biosensors could provide exciting new opportunities for biomedical analysis, pollutant monitoring, and explosive detection. The signal systems for commercial portable sensors involve the integration of a battery and a circuit conditioning system to power an amperometric biosensor. However, this increases the size and complexity of the entire system. In this study, we develop a simple amperometric biosensor that is directly powered by a button cell battery for the detection of lactate. A two-electrode sensing transducer was printed on cardboard or integrated on a ring. It was directly powered by a button cell battery, and connected to a multimeter for current measurement. This sensor showed a sensitive detection range of 0.04762–9.21429 mM and short measuring time of 2 min. These results show that this system can achieve an excellent sensing performance, and the construction of this new sensing system directly powered by a button cell battery offers a new method for further developing a wide range of miniaturized, flexible, portable, or wearable sensing systems, and these could be used in detecting various analytes that are important in medical diagnosis and environmental monitoring.

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<![CDATA[A computational scheme for internal models not requiring precise system parameters]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5c803c6ed5eed0c484ad895a

Utilization by humans of a precise and adaptable internal model of the dynamics of the body in generating movements is a well-supported concept. The prevailing opinion is that such an internal model ceaselessly develops through long-term repetition and accumulation in the central nervous system (CNS). However, a long-term learning process would not be absolutely necessary for the formation of internal models. It is possible to estimate the dynamics of the system by using a motor command and its resulting output, instead of constructing a model of the dynamics with precise parameters. In this study, a computational model is proposed that uses a motor command and its corresponding output to estimate the dynamics of the system and it is examined whether the proposed model is capable of describing a series of empirical movements. The proposed model was found to be capable of describing humans’ fast movements which require compensation for system dynamics as well as sensory delays. In addition, the proposed model shows equifinality under inertial perturbations as seen in several experimental studies. This satisfactory reproducibility of the proposed computation raises the possibility that humans make a movement by estimating the system dynamics with a copy of motor command and sensory output on a momentary basis, without the need to identify precise system parameters.

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<![CDATA[Mandarin Chinese modality exclusivity norms]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5c76fe72d5eed0c484e5ba83

Modality exclusivity norms have been developed in different languages for research on the relationship between perceptual and conceptual systems. This paper sets up the first modality exclusivity norms for Chinese, a Sino-Tibetan language with semantics as its orthographically relevant level. The norms are collected through two studies based on Chinese sensory words. The experimental designs take into consideration the morpho-lexical and orthographic structures of Chinese. Study 1 provides a set of norms for Mandarin Chinese single-morpheme words in mean ratings of the extent to which a word is experienced through the five sense modalities. The degrees of modality exclusivity are also provided. The collected norms are further analyzed to examine how sub-lexical orthographic representations of sense modalities in Chinese characters affect speakers’ interpretation of the sensory words. In particular, we found higher modality exclusivity rating for the sense modality explicitly represented by a semantic radical component, as well as higher auditory dominant modality rating for characters with transparent phonetic symbol components. Study 2 presents the mean ratings and modality exclusivity of coordinate disyllabic compounds involving multiple sense modalities. These studies open new perspectives in the study of modality exclusivity. First, links between modality exclusivity and writing systems have been established which has strengthened previous accounts of the influence of orthography in the processing of visual information in reading. Second, a new set of modality exclusivity norms of compounds is proposed to show the competition of influence on modality exclusivity from different linguistic factors and potentially allow such norms to be linked to studies on synesthesia and semantic transparency.

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<![CDATA[Noninvasive vagus nerve stimulation alters neural response and physiological autonomic tone to noxious thermal challenge]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5c6dca21d5eed0c48452a80d

The mechanisms by which noninvasive vagal nerve stimulation (nVNS) affect central and peripheral neural circuits that subserve pain and autonomic physiology are not clear, and thus remain an area of intense investigation. Effects of nVNS vs sham stimulation on subject responses to five noxious thermal stimuli (applied to left lower extremity), were measured in 30 healthy subjects (n = 15 sham and n = 15 nVNS), with fMRI and physiological galvanic skin response (GSR). With repeated noxious thermal stimuli a group × time analysis showed a significantly (p < .001) decreased response with nVNS in bilateral primary and secondary somatosensory cortices (SI and SII), left dorsoposterior insular cortex, bilateral paracentral lobule, bilateral medial dorsal thalamus, right anterior cingulate cortex, and right orbitofrontal cortex. A group × time × GSR analysis showed a significantly decreased response in the nVNS group (p < .0005) bilaterally in SI, lower and mid medullary brainstem, and inferior occipital cortex. Finally, nVNS treatment showed decreased activity in pronociceptive brainstem nuclei (e.g. the reticular nucleus and rostral ventromedial medulla) and key autonomic integration nuclei (e.g. the rostroventrolateral medulla, nucleus ambiguous, and dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus nerve). In aggregate, noninvasive vagal nerve stimulation reduced the physiological response to noxious thermal stimuli and impacted neural circuits important for pain processing and autonomic output.

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<![CDATA[STRFs in primary auditory cortex emerge from masking-based statistics of natural sounds]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5c4a3057d5eed0c4844bfd7a

We investigate how the neural processing in auditory cortex is shaped by the statistics of natural sounds. Hypothesising that auditory cortex (A1) represents the structural primitives out of which sounds are composed, we employ a statistical model to extract such components. The input to the model are cochleagrams which approximate the non-linear transformations a sound undergoes from the outer ear, through the cochlea to the auditory nerve. Cochleagram components do not superimpose linearly, but rather according to a rule which can be approximated using the max function. This is a consequence of the compression inherent in the cochleagram and the sparsity of natural sounds. Furthermore, cochleagrams do not have negative values. Cochleagrams are therefore not matched well by the assumptions of standard linear approaches such as sparse coding or ICA. We therefore consider a new encoding approach for natural sounds, which combines a model of early auditory processing with maximal causes analysis (MCA), a sparse coding model which captures both the non-linear combination rule and non-negativity of the data. An efficient truncated EM algorithm is used to fit the MCA model to cochleagram data. We characterize the generative fields (GFs) inferred by MCA with respect to in vivo neural responses in A1 by applying reverse correlation to estimate spectro-temporal receptive fields (STRFs) implied by the learned GFs. Despite the GFs being non-negative, the STRF estimates are found to contain both positive and negative subfields, where the negative subfields can be attributed to explaining away effects as captured by the applied inference method. A direct comparison with ferret A1 shows many similar forms, and the spectral and temporal modulation tuning of both ferret and model STRFs show similar ranges over the population. In summary, our model represents an alternative to linear approaches for biological auditory encoding while it captures salient data properties and links inhibitory subfields to explaining away effects.

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<![CDATA[The Drosophila fussel gene is required for bitter gustatory neuron differentiation acting within an Rpd3 dependent chromatin modifying complex]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5c65dcafd5eed0c484dec036

Members of the Ski/Sno protein family are classified as proto-oncogenes and act as negative regulators of the TGF-ß/BMP-pathways in vertebrates and invertebrates. A newly identified member of this protein family is fussel (fuss), the Drosophila homologue of the human functional Smad suppressing elements (fussel-15 and fussel-18). We and others have shown that Fuss interacts with SMAD4 and that overexpression leads to a strong inhibition of Dpp signaling. However, to be able to characterize the endogenous Fuss function in Drosophila melanogaster, we have generated a number of state of the art tools including anti-Fuss antibodies, specific fuss-Gal4 lines and fuss mutant fly lines via the CRISPR/Cas9 system. Fuss is a predominantly nuclear, postmitotic protein, mainly expressed in interneurons and fuss mutants are fully viable without any obvious developmental phenotype. To identify potential target genes or cells affected in fuss mutants, we conducted targeted DamID experiments in adult flies, which revealed the function of fuss in bitter gustatory neurons. We fully characterized fuss expression in the adult proboscis and by using food choice assays we were able to show that fuss mutants display defects in detecting bitter compounds. This correlated with a reduction of gustatory receptor gene expression (Gr33a, Gr66a, Gr93a) providing a molecular link to the behavioral phenotype. In addition, Fuss interacts with Rpd3, and downregulation of rpd3 in gustatory neurons phenocopies the loss of Fuss expression. Surprisingly, there is no colocalization of Fuss with phosphorylated Mad in the larval central nervous system, excluding a direct involvement of Fuss in Dpp/BMP signaling. Here we provide a first and exciting link of Fuss function in gustatory bitter neurons. Although gustatory receptors have been well characterized, little is known regarding the differentiation and maturation of gustatory neurons. This work therefore reveals Fuss as a pivotal element for the proper differentiation of bitter gustatory neurons acting within a chromatin modifying complex.

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<![CDATA[Personally relevant online advertisements: Effects of demographic targeting on visual attention and brand evaluation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5c70677bd5eed0c4847c70da

Global investments in online advertising rise quickly but internet users often avoid looking at ads due to established banner blindness. Demographic targeting is expected to overcome this tendency by attracting users’ attention to more self-relevant ad content. However, little is known about the effect of demographically targeted versus non-targeted ads on users’ actual attention allocation during exposure to webpages. The present study aimed to further fill this empirical gap by clarifying whether demographic targeting attracts visual attention and to exploratively examine whether it also affects brand attitude and website evaluation, as suggested by previous studies. Eye tracking data revealed that demographic targeting can have medium- to large-sized effects on several eye movement parameters when internet users are in a free-viewing mode. In contrast, demographic targeting did not influence brand attitude and website evaluation. We conclude that attention for personally relevant advertisement can be strong. However, attention, although being a necessary condition for subsequent judgment formation according to the model of human information processing, is not sufficient to elicit positive effects at the level of subjective judgments.

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<![CDATA[Apparent speed of motion concomitant with action alters with delay]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5c706764d5eed0c4847c6fb1

Multiple studies have shown action to affect perception of motion. The speed intended in the generation of a motion by action affects the apparent speed of the motion. However, it was unclear whether action with no intention of speed affects the apparent speed of a motion. In Experiment 1, we investigated the apparent speed of a motion following a key press action. We manipulated the delay from the action to the consequent motion for shifting the timing of efference copy and found the apparent speed decreasing with increases in the delay. This could be because it is known that speed irrelevant action caused expansion of perceived duration of the consequent stimulus and it might have influenced the result in Experiment 1, we investigated the apparent duration of the action consequent static (Ex. 2-1) and motion (Ex. 2-2) stimulus. We found that the apparent duration was not changed with delay. Moreover, the apparent speed and duration had different characteristics on delay. These results were discussed in terms of the sense of agency.

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<![CDATA[Coding of low-level position and orientation information in human naturalistic vision]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5c6b266cd5eed0c484289a44

Orientation and position of small image segments are considered to be two fundamental low-level attributes in early visual processing, yet their encoding in complex natural stimuli is underexplored. By measuring the just-noticeable differences in noise perturbation, we investigated how orientation and position information of a large number of local elements (Gabors) were encoded separately or jointly. Importantly, the Gabors composed various classes of naturalistic stimuli that were equated by all low-level attributes and differed only in their higher-order configural complexity and familiarity. Although unable to consciously tell apart the type of perturbation, observers detected orientation and position noise significantly differently. Furthermore, when the Gabors were perturbed by both types of noise simultaneously, performance adhered to a reliability-based optimal probabilistic combination of individual attribute noises. Our results suggest that orientation and position are independently coded and probabilistically combined for naturalistic stimuli at the earliest stage of visual processing.

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<![CDATA[Age and sex related self-reported symptoms in a general population across 30 years: Patterns of reporting and secular trend]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5c61e8cbd5eed0c48496f1a1

Objective

To study age and sex specific prevalence of 30 symptoms in random samples from the general population and to analyze possible secular trends across time.

Study population

The study was based on data from eight on-going Swedish cohort studies, with baseline investigations performed between 1973 and 2003. Samples were drawn from the general population of the cities of Gothenburg and Eskilstuna, and of Uppsala County. Overall, 20,160 subjects were sampled, 14,470 (71.8%) responded, of whom 12.000 were unique subjects, and 2548 were part of more than one sample.

Methods

The Complaint score sub-scale of the Gothenburg Quality of Life instrument, listing 30 general symptoms was used. Responders were asked to indicate which symptoms they had experienced during the last three months.

Results

Women reported on average 7.8 symptoms, and men 5.3 (p<0.0001). Women reported higher prevalence than men for 24 of the 30 symptoms. In multivariate analyses four patterns of prevalence across age were identified in both men and women; increasing prevalence, decreasing, stable and biphasic prevalence. The symptoms in the various pattern groups differed somewhat between men and women. However, symptoms related to strain were prominent among symptoms decreasing with age. Moreover, there were secular trends. Across all symptoms reporting prevalence increased over time in men (p<0.001) as well as in women (p<0.0001).

Conclusions

Women reported higher total symptom prevalence than men. Symptoms related to health generally increased with age, while symptoms related to stress decreased markedly. Significant secular trends across time regarding symptom prevalence were found.

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<![CDATA[The cost-effectiveness of oral contraceptives compared to ‘no hormonal treatment’ for endometriosis-related pain: An economic evaluation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5c5b52d6d5eed0c4842bd0f0

Objective

To develop a preliminary cost-effectiveness model that compares oral contraceptives and ‘no hormonal treatment’ for the treatment of endometriosis-related pain.

Methods

A de novo preliminary state transition (Markov) model was developed. The model was informed by systematic literature review and expert opinion. The uncertainty around the results was assessed both by deterministic and probabilistic sensitivity analyses. The economic evaluation was conducted from National Health Service (NHS) England perspective. The main outcome measure was incremental cost per quality-adjusted life year (QALY), with cost-effectiveness plane and cost-effectiveness acceptability curves presented for alternative willingness-to-pay thresholds.

Results

Oral contraceptives dominated ‘no hormonal treatment’ and provided more QALYs at a lower cost than ‘no hormonal treatment’, with a cost-effectiveness probability of 98%. A one-way sensitivity analysis excluding general practitioner consultations showed that oral contraceptives were still cost-effective.

Conclusions

The analyses showed that oral contraceptives could be an effective option for the treatment of endometriosis, as this treatment was shown to provide a higher level of QALYs at a lower cost, compared to ‘no hormonal treatment’. The results are subject to considerable parameter uncertainty as a range of assumptions were required as part of the modelling process.

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<![CDATA[The benefits of sensation on the experience of a hand: A qualitative case series]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5c5ca2abd5eed0c48441e844

Background

The experience of upper limb loss involves loss of both functional capabilities and the sensory connection of a hand. Research studies to restore sensation to persons with upper limb loss with neural interfaces typically measure outcomes through standardized functional tests or quantitative surveys. However, these types of metrics cannot fully capture the personal experience of living with limb loss or the impact of sensory restoration on this experience. Qualitative studies can demonstrate the viewpoints and priorities of specific persons or groups and reveal the underlying conceptual structure of various aspects of their experiences.

Methods and findings

Following a home use trial of a neural-connected, sensory-enabled prosthesis, two persons with upper limb loss were interviewed about their experiences using the sensory restoration system in unsupervised, unconstrained settings. We used grounded theory methodology to examine their experiences, perspectives, and opinions about the sensory restoration system. We then developed a model to describe the impact of sensation on the experience of a hand for persons with upper limb loss.

Conclusions

The experience of sensation was complex and included concepts such as the naturalness of the experience, sensation modality, and the usefulness of the sensory information. Sensation was critical for outcome acceptance, and contributed to prosthesis embodiment, confidence, reduced focus and attention for using the prosthesis, and social interactions. Embodiment, confidence, and social interactions were also key determinants of outcome acceptance. This model provides a unified framework to study and understand the impact of sensation on the experience of limb loss and to understand outcome acceptance following upper limb loss more broadly.

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<![CDATA[Individual differences in cognitive processing for roughness rating of fine and coarse textures]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5c5b5262d5eed0c4842bc728

Previous studies have demonstrated that skin vibration is an important factor affecting the roughness perception of fine textures. For coarse textures, the determining physical factor is much less clear and there are indications that this might be participant-dependent. In this paper, we focused on roughness perception of both coarse and fine textures of different materials (glass particle surfaces and sandpapers). We investigated the relationship between subjective roughness ratings and three physical parameters (skin vibration, friction coefficient, and particle size) within a group of 30 participants. Results of the glass particle surfaces showed both spatial information (particle size) and temporal information (skin vibration) had a high correlation with subjective roughness ratings. The former correlation was slightly but significantly higher than the latter. The results also indicated different weights of temporal information and spatial information for roughness ratings among participants. Roughness ratings of a different material (sandpaper versus glass particles) could be either larger, similar or smaller, indicating differences among individuals. The best way to describe our results is that in their perceptual evaluation of roughness, different individuals weight temporal information, spatial information, and other mechanical properties differently.

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