ResearchPad - cognition https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Functional magnetic resonance imaging of the trail-making test in older adults]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13819 The trail-making test (TMT) is a popular neuropsychological test, which is used extensively to measure cognitive impairment associated with neurodegenerative disorders in older adults. Behavioural performance on the TMT has been investigated in older populations, but there is limited research on task-related brain activity in older adults. The current study administered a naturalistic version of the TMT to a healthy older-aged population in an MRI environment using a novel, MRI-compatible tablet. Functional MRI was conducted during task completion, allowing characterization of the brain activity associated with the TMT. Performance on the TMT was evaluated using number of errors and seconds per completion of each link. Results are reported for 36 cognitively healthy older adults between the ages of 52 and 85. Task-related activation was observed in extensive regions of the bilateral frontal, parietal, temporal and occipital lobes as well as key motor areas. Increased age was associated with reduced brain activity and worse task performance. Specifically, older age was correlated with decreased task-related activity in the bilateral occipital, temporal and parietal lobes. These results suggest that healthy older aging significantly affects brain function during the TMT, which consequently may result in performance decrements. The current study reveals the brain activation patterns underlying TMT performance in a healthy older aging population, which functions as an important, clinically-relevant control to compare to pathological aging in future investigations.

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<![CDATA[Re-imaging the intentional stance]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_9537 The commonly used paradigm to investigate Dennet's ‘intentional stance’ compares neural activation when participants compete with a human versus a computer. This paradigm confounds whether the opponent is natural or artificial and whether it is intentional or an automaton. This functional magnetic resonance imaging study is, to our knowledge, the first to investigate the intentional stance by orthogonally varying perceptions of the opponents' intentionality (responding actively or passively according to a script) and embodiment (human or a computer). The mere perception of the opponent (whether human or computer) as intentional activated the mentalizing network: the temporoparietal junction (TPJ) bilaterally, right temporal pole, anterior paracingulate cortex (aPCC) and the precuneus. Interacting with humans versus computers induced activations in a more circumscribed right lateralized subnetwork within the mentalizing network, consisting of the TPJ and the aPCC, possibly reflective of the tendency to spontaneously attribute intentionality to humans. The interaction between intentionality (active versus passive) and opponent (human versus computer) recruited the left frontal pole, possibly in response to violations of the default intentional stance towards humans and computers. Employing an orthogonal design is important to adequately capture Dennett's conception of the intentional stance as a mentalizing strategy that can apply equally well to humans and other intentional agents.

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<![CDATA[Using case-level context to classify cancer pathology reports]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7869 Individual electronic health records (EHRs) and clinical reports are often part of a larger sequence—for example, a single patient may generate multiple reports over the trajectory of a disease. In applications such as cancer pathology reports, it is necessary not only to extract information from individual reports, but also to capture aggregate information regarding the entire cancer case based off case-level context from all reports in the sequence. In this paper, we introduce a simple modular add-on for capturing case-level context that is designed to be compatible with most existing deep learning architectures for text classification on individual reports. We test our approach on a corpus of 431,433 cancer pathology reports, and we show that incorporating case-level context significantly boosts classification accuracy across six classification tasks—site, subsite, laterality, histology, behavior, and grade. We expect that with minimal modifications, our add-on can be applied towards a wide range of other clinical text-based tasks.

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<![CDATA[Breeding practices and trait preferences of smallholder farmers for indigenous sheep in the northwest highlands of Ethiopia: Inputs to design a breeding program]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7865 The aim of this study was to identify breeding practices and trait preferences for indigenous sheep in three districts (Estie, Farta and Lay Gayient) located in the northwest highlands of Ethiopia. Questionnaire survey and choice experiment methods were used to collect data from 370 smallholder farmers. Respondents were selected randomly among smallholder farmers who own sheep in the aforementioned districts. A generalized multinomial logit model was employed to examine preferences for sheep attributes, while descriptive statistics and index values were computed to describe sheep breeding practices. Having the highest index value of 0.36, income generation was ranked as the primary reason for keeping sheep, followed by meat and manure sources. The average flock size per smallholder farmer was 10.21 sheep. The majority of the smallholder farmers (91%) have the experience of selecting breeding rams and ewes within their own flock using diverse criteria. Given the highest index value of 0.34, body size was ranked as a primary ram and ewe selection criteria, followed by coat color. Furthermore, choice modeling results revealed that tail type, body size, coat color, growth rate, horn and ear size have shown significant influences on smallholder farmers’ preference for breeding rams (P<0.01). The part-worth utility coefficients were positive for all ram attributes except ear size. For breeding ewes, mothering ability, coat color, body size, lambing interval, growth rate, tail type and litter size have shown significant effects on choice preferences of smallholder farmers (P<0.05). Moreover, significant scale heterogeneity was observed among respondents for ewe attributes (P<0.001). Overall, the results implied that sheep breeding objectives suitable for the northwest highlands of the country can be derived from traits such as linear body measurement, weight and survival at different ages, and lambing intervals. However, selection decisions at the smallholder level should not only be based on estimated breeding values of traits included in the breeding objective but instead, incorporate ways to address farmers’ preference for qualitative traits.

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<![CDATA[Participant and informant memory-specific cognitive complaints predict future decline and incident dementia: Findings from the Sydney Memory and Ageing Study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7842 Subjective Cognitive Complaints (SCCs) may represent one of the earliest stages of preclinical dementia. The objective of the present study was to extend previous work by our group to examine the relationship between participant-reported and informant-reported memory and non-memory SCCs, cognitive decline and incident dementia, over a six-year period. Participants were 873 community dwelling older adults (Mage = 78.65, SD = 4.79) without dementia and 843 informants (close friends or family) from the Sydney Memory and Ageing Study. Comprehensive neuropsychological testing and diagnostic assessments were carried out at baseline and biennially for six years. Linear mixed models and Cox proportional hazard models were performed to determine the association of SCCs, rate of cognitive decline and risk of incident dementia, controlling demographics and covariates of mood and personality. Participant and informant memory-specific SCCs were associated with rate of global cognitive decline; for individual cognitive domains, participant memory SCCs predicted decline for language, while informant memory SCCs predicted decline for executive function and memory. Odds of incident dementia were associated with baseline participant memory SCCs and informant memory and non-memory SCCs in partially adjusted models. In fully adjusted models, only informant SCCs were associated with increased risk of incident dementia. Self-reported memory-specific cognitive complaints are associated with decline in global cognition over 6-years and may be predictive of incident dementia, particularly if the individual is depressed or anxious and has increased neuroticism or decreased openness. Further, if and where possible, informants should be sought and asked to report on their perceptions of the individual’s memory ability and any memory-specific changes that they have noticed as these increase the index of diagnostic suspicion.

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<![CDATA[Juvenile hormone suppresses aggregation behavior through influencing antennal gene expression in locusts]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7742 A behavioral change from shy solitarious individuals to highly social gregarious individuals is critical to the formation of disastrous swarms of locusts. However, the underlying molecular mechanism of behavioral plasticity regulated by hormones is still largely unknown. Here, we investigated the effect of juvenile hormone (JH) on the behavioral transition in fourth-instar gregarious and solitarious locusts. We found that JH induced the behavioral shift of the gregarious locust from attraction to repulsion to the volatiles of gregarious locusts. The solitarious locust significantly decreased repulsion behavior after deprivation of JH by precocene or knockdown of JHAMT, a key enzyme to synthesize JH. JH application on gregarious locusts caused significant expression alteration of genes, especially the olfactory genes TO and CSP in the antennae. We further demonstrated that the JH signaling pathway suppressed aggregation behavior in gregarious locusts by increasing TO1 expression and decreasing CSP3 expression at the same time. Our results suggested that internal physiological factors can directly modulate periphery olfactory system to produce behavioral plasticity.

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<![CDATA[Image-quality metric system for color filter array evaluation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7704 A modern color filter array (CFA) output is rendered into the final output image using a demosaicing algorithm. During this process, the rendered image is affected by optical and carrier cross talk of the CFA pattern and demosaicing algorithm. Although many CFA patterns have been proposed thus far, an image-quality (IQ) evaluation system capable of comprehensively evaluating the IQ of each CFA pattern has yet to be developed, although IQ evaluation items using local characteristics or specific domain have been created. Hence, we present an IQ metric system to evaluate the IQ performance of CFA patterns. The proposed CFA evaluation system includes proposed metrics such as the moiré robustness using the experimentally determined moiré starting point (MSP) and achromatic reproduction (AR) error, as well as existing metrics such as color accuracy using CIELAB, a color reproduction error using spatial CIELAB, structural information using the structure similarity, the image contrast based on MTF50, structural and color distortion using the mean deviation similarity index (MDSI), and perceptual similarity using Haar wavelet-based perceptual similarity index (HaarPSI). Through our experiment, we confirmed that the proposed CFA evaluation system can assess the IQ for an existing CFA. Moreover, the proposed system can be used to design or evaluate new CFAs by automatically checking the individual performance for the metrics used.

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<![CDATA[Emotional facial perception development in 7, 9 and 11 year-old children: The emergence of a silent eye-tracked emotional other-race effect]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7635 The present study examined emotional facial perception (happy and angry) in 7, 9 and 11-year-old children from Caucasian and multicultural environments with an offset task for two ethnic groups of faces (Asian and Caucasian). In this task, participants were required to respond to a dynamic facial expression video when they believed that the first emotion presented had disappeared. Moreover, using an eye-tracker, we evaluated the ocular behavior pattern used to process these different faces. The analyses of reaction times do not show an emotional other-race effect (i.e., a facility in discriminating own-race faces over to other-race ones) in Caucasian children for Caucasian vs. Asian faces through offset times, but an effect of emotional face appeared in the oldest children. Furthermore, an eye-tracked ocular emotion and race-effect relative to processing strategies is observed and evolves between age 7 and 11. This study strengthens the interest in advancing an eye-tracking study in developmental and emotional processing studies, showing that even a “silent” effect should be detected and shrewdly analyzed through an objective means.

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<![CDATA[Induction of LTM following an Insulin Injection]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_8071 The pond snail Lymnaea stagnalis learns conditioned taste aversion (CTA) and consolidates it into long-term memory (LTM). One-day food-deprived snails (day 1 snails) show the best CTA learning and memory, whereas more severely food-deprived snails (5 d) do not express good memory. However, previous studies showed that CTA-LTM was indeed formed in 5-d food-deprived snails (day 5 snails), but its recall was prevented by the effects of food deprivation. CTA-LTM recall in day 5 snails was expressed following 7 d of feeding and then 1 d of food deprivation (day 13 snails). In the present study, we thus hypothesized that memory recall occurs because day 13 snails are in an optimal internal state. One day of food deprivation before the memory test in day 13 snails increased the mRNA level of molluscan insulin-related peptide (MIP) in the CNS. Thus, we further hypothesized that an injection of insulin into day 5 snails following seven additional days with access to food (day 12 snails) activates CTA neurons and mimics the food deprivation state before the memory test in day 13 snails. Day 12 snails injected with insulin could recall the memory. In addition, the simultaneous injection of an anti-insulin receptor antibody and insulin into day 12 snails did not allow memory recall. Insulin injection also decreased the hemolymph glucose concentration. Together, the results suggest that an optimal internal state (i.e., a spike in insulin release and specific glucose levels) are necessary for LTM recall following CTA training in snails.

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<![CDATA[A perceptual bias for man-made objects in humans]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N6eb95d67-220e-4afa-bd41-bd51c41dbc56

Ambiguous images are widely recognized as a valuable tool for probing human perception. Perceptual biases that arise when people make judgements about ambiguous images reveal their expectations about the environment. While perceptual biases in early visual processing have been well established, their existence in higher-level vision has been explored only for faces, which may be processed differently from other objects. Here we developed a new, highly versatile method of creating ambiguous hybrid images comprising two component objects belonging to distinct categories. We used these hybrids to measure perceptual biases in object classification and found that images of man-made (manufactured) objects dominated those of naturally occurring (non-man-made) ones in hybrids. This dominance generalized to a broad range of object categories, persisted when the horizontal and vertical elements that dominate man-made objects were removed and increased with the real-world size of the manufactured object. Our findings show for the first time that people have perceptual biases to see man-made objects and suggest that extended exposure to manufactured environments in our urban-living participants has changed the way that they see the world.

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<![CDATA[Off-Target Effects in Transgenic Mice: Characterization of Dopamine Transporter (DAT)-Cre Transgenic Mouse Lines Exposes Multiple Non-Dopaminergic Neuronal Clusters Available for Selective Targeting within Limbic Neurocircuitry]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Na879a15f-f0a9-4244-b017-a71c67eff096

Visual Abstract

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<![CDATA[Partition dependence in financial aid distribution to income categories]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N0611b39b-d559-4542-a5d9-a69c54a62df4

When allocating resources, people often diversify across categories even when those categories are arbitrary, such that allocations differ when identical sets of options are partitioned differently (“partition dependence”). The first goal of the present work (Experiment 1) was to replicate an experiment by Fox and colleagues in which graduate students exhibited partition dependence when asked how university financial aid should be allocated across arbitrarily partitioned income brackets. Our sample consisted of community members at a liberal arts college where financial aid practices have been recent topics of debate. Because stronger intrinsic preferences can reduce partition dependence, these participants might display little partition dependence with financial aid allocations. Alternatively, a demonstration of strong partition dependence in this population would emphasize the robustness of the effect. The second goal was to extend a “high transparency” modification to the present task context (Experiment 2) in which participants were shown both possible income partitions and randomly assigned themselves to one, to determine whether partition dependence in this paradigm would be reduced by revealing the study design (and the arbitrariness of income categories). Participants demonstrated clear partition dependence in both experiments. Results demonstrate the robustness of partition dependence in this context.

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<![CDATA[Tsinghua facial expression database – A database of facial expressions in Chinese young and older women and men: Development and validation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nf679a1e8-67cb-47b3-95b4-f3d293b80761

Perception of facial identity and emotional expressions is fundamental to social interactions. Recently, interest in age associated changes in the processing of faces has grown rapidly. Due to the lack of older faces stimuli, most previous age-comparative studies only used young faces stimuli, which might cause own-age advantage. None of the existing Eastern face stimuli databases contain face images of different age groups (e.g. older adult faces). In this study, a database that comprises images of 110 Chinese young and older adults displaying eight facial emotional expressions (Neutral, Happiness, Anger, Disgust, Surprise, Fear, Content, and Sadness) was constructed. To validate this database, each image was rated on the basis of perceived facial expressions, perceived emotional intensity, and perceived age by two different age groups. Results have shown an overall 79.08% correct identification rate in the validation. Access to the freely available database can be requested by emailing the corresponding authors.

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<![CDATA[Towards a fully automated surveillance of well-being status in laboratory mice using deep learning: Starting with facial expression analysis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N201121b9-bfe0-423d-91d1-e349ea424365

Assessing the well-being of an animal is hindered by the limitations of efficient communication between humans and animals. Instead of direct communication, a variety of parameters are employed to evaluate the well-being of an animal. Especially in the field of biomedical research, scientifically sound tools to assess pain, suffering, and distress for experimental animals are highly demanded due to ethical and legal reasons. For mice, the most commonly used laboratory animals, a valuable tool is the Mouse Grimace Scale (MGS), a coding system for facial expressions of pain in mice. We aim to develop a fully automated system for the surveillance of post-surgical and post-anesthetic effects in mice. Our work introduces a semi-automated pipeline as a first step towards this goal. A new data set of images of black-furred laboratory mice that were moving freely is used and provided. Images were obtained after anesthesia (with isoflurane or ketamine/xylazine combination) and surgery (castration). We deploy two pre-trained state of the art deep convolutional neural network (CNN) architectures (ResNet50 and InceptionV3) and compare to a third CNN architecture without pre-training. Depending on the particular treatment, we achieve an accuracy of up to 99% for the recognition of the absence or presence of post-surgical and/or post-anesthetic effects on the facial expression.

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<![CDATA[Multiple criteria decision analysis approach to consider therapeutic innovations in the emergency department: The methoxyflurane organizational impact in acute trauma pain]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N48fe9543-bf7a-4bb3-b7f3-098351efee5f

Background

Acute trauma pain is poorly managed in the emergency department (ED). The reasons are partly organizational: ED crowding and rare trauma care pathways contribute to oligoanalgesia. Anticipating the organizational impact of an innovative care procedure might facilitate the decision-making process and help to optimize pain management.

Methods

We used a multiple criteria decision analysis (MCDA) approach to consider the organizational impact of methoxyflurane (self-administered) in the ED, introduced alone or supported by a trauma care pathway. A MCDA experiment was designed for this specific context, 8 experts in emergency trauma care pathways (leading physicians and pharmacists working in French urban tertiary hospitals) were recruited. The study involved four steps: (i) Selection of organizational criteria for evaluating the innovation’s impact; (ii) assessment of the relative weight of each criterion; (iii) choice of appropriate scenarios for exploring the organizational impact of MEOX under various contexts; and (iv) software-assisted simulation based on pairwise comparisons of the scenarios. The final outcome measure was the expected overall organizational impact of methoxyflurane on a 0-to-100 scale (score >50: positive impact).

Results

Nine organizational criteria were selected. "Mean length of stay in the ED" was the most weighted. Methoxyflurane alone obtained 59 as a total score, with a putative positive impact for eight criteria, and a neutral effect on one. When a trauma care pathway was introduced concomitantly, the impact of methoxyflurane was greater overall (score: 75) and for each individual criterion.

Conclusions

Our model highlighted the putative positive organizational impact of methoxyflurane in the ED—particularly when supported by a trauma care pathway—and the relevance of expert consensus in this particular pharmacoeconomic context. The MCDA approach could be extended to other research fields and healthcare challenges in emergency medicine.

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<![CDATA[Beware of vested interests: Epistemic vigilance improves reasoning about scientific evidence (for some people)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Na4c1a7a8-d330-434e-b120-e60e98785391

In public disputes, stakeholders sometimes misrepresent statistics or other types of scientific evidence to support their claims. One of the reasons this is problematic is that citizens often do not have the motivation nor the cognitive skills to accurately judge the meaning of statistics and thus run the risk of being misinformed. This study reports an experiment investigating the conditions under which people become vigilant towards a source’s claim and thus reason more carefully about the supporting evidence. For this, participants were presented with a claim by a vested-interest or a neutral source and with statistical evidence which was cited by the source as being in support of the claim. However, this statistical evidence actually contradicted the source’s claim but was presented as a contingency table, which are typically difficult for people to interpret correctly. When the source was a lobbyist arguing for his company’s product people were better at interpreting the evidence compared to when the same source argued against the product. This was not the case for a different vested-interests source nor for the neutral source. Further, while all sources were rated as less trustworthy when participants realized that the source had misrepresented the evidence, only for the lobbyist source was this seen as a deliberate attempt at deception. Implications for research on epistemic trust, source credibility effects and science communication are discussed.

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<![CDATA[Children’s descriptions of playing and learning as related processes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nb68d6bfc-75c6-4e1a-9b4b-3dced51d37df

Many studies have examined children’s understanding of playing and learning as separate concepts, but the ways that children relate playing and learning to one another remain relatively unexplored. The current study asked 5- to 8-year-olds (N = 92) to define playing and learning, and examined whether children defined them as abstract processes or merely as labels for particular types of activities. We also asked children to state whether playing and learning can occur simultaneously, and examined whether they could give examples of playing and learning with attributes either congruent or incongruent with those activities. Older children were more likely to define both playing and learning in terms of abstract processes, rather than by describing particular topics or activities. Children who defined both playing and learning in this way were able to generate more examples of situations where they were simultaneously playing and learning, and were better able to generate examples of learning with characteristics of play, and examples of playing with characteristics of learning. These data suggest that children develop an understanding that learning and playing can coincide. These results are critical to researchers and educators who seek to integrate play and learning, as children’s beliefs about these concepts can influence how they reflect on playful learning opportunities.

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<![CDATA[Clinical impact of melatonin on breast cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy; effects on cognition, sleep and depressive symptoms: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nf52b3d22-02a5-4e7e-bb1d-9e73ca6c7e6b

This randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial tested the hypothesis that 20mg of melatonin before and during the first cycle of adjuvant chemotherapy for breast cancer (ACBC) reduced the side effects associated with cognitive impairment. We evaluated the effects of melatonin on cognition, depressive symptoms and sleep quality, and whether these effects were related to serum levels of Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) and its receptor, tropomyosin kinase B (TrkB). Thirty-six women were randomly assigned to receive melatonin or placebo for 10 days. To evaluate cognitive performance, we used the Trail-Making-Test Parts A and B (A-B), Rey Auditory-Verbal Learning Test (RAVLT), Controlled Oral Word Association Test (COWAT) and an inhibitory task type Go / No-Go. Our results revealed that melatonin improved executive function on TMT scores, enhanced episodic memory (immediate and delayed) and recognition on RAVLT, and increased verbal fluency in the orthographic COWAT. The TMT-A-B(A-B) were negatively correlated with baseline levels of TrkB and BDNF, respectively. At the end of treatment, changes in TrkB and BDNF were inversely associated with depressive symptoms and sleep quality, but not with the TMT scores. These results suggest a neuroprotective effect of melatonin to counteract the adverse effects of ACBC on cognitive function, sleep quality and depressive symptoms.

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<![CDATA[What is empathy for?]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N9c7e87b8-4163-4283-aaae-3230b79ba514

The concept of empathy has received much attention from philosophers and also from both cognitive and social psychologists. It has, however, been given widely conflicting definitions, with some taking it primarily as an epistemological notion and others as a social one. Recently, empathy has been closely associated with the simulationist approach to social cognition and, as such, it might be thought that the concept’s utility stands or falls with that of simulation itself. I suggest that this is a mistake. Approaching the question of what empathy is via the question of what it is for, I claim that empathy plays a distinctive epistemological role: it alone allows us to know how others feel. This is independent of the plausibility of simulationism more generally. With this in view I propose an inclusive definition of empathy, one likely consequence of which is that empathy is not a natural kind. It follows that, pace a number of empathy researchers, certain experimental paradigms tell us not about the nature of empathy but about certain ways in which empathy can be achieved. I end by briefly speculating that empathy, so conceived, may also play a distinctive social role, enabling what I term ‘transparent fellow-feeling’.

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<![CDATA[Zona Incerta GABAergic Output Controls a Signaled Locomotor Action in the Midbrain Tegmentum]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nd948430f-4158-4075-a037-146b558e6bcc

Abstract

The zona incerta is a subthalamic nucleus proposed to link sensory stimuli with motor responses to guide behavior, but its functional role is not well established. Using mice of either sex, we studied the effect of manipulating zona incerta GABAergic cells on the expression of a signaled locomotor action, known as signaled active avoidance. We found that modulation of GABAergic zona incerta cells, but not of cells in the adjacent thalamic reticular nucleus (NRT), fully controls the expression of signaled active avoidance responses. Inhibition of zona incerta GABAergic cells drives active avoidance responses, while excitation of these cells blocks signaled active avoidance mainly by inhibiting cells in the midbrain pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus (PPT). The zona incerta regulates signaled locomotion in the midbrain.

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