ResearchPad - optical-equipment https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![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[Analysis and modeling of coolants and coolers for specimen transportation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N4e3aeb5c-7b13-42da-a06e-637c738940f8

Maintaining cold chain while transporting medical supplies and samples is difficult in remote settings. Failure to maintain temperature requirements can lead to degraded sample quality and inaccuracies in sample analysis. We performed a systematic analysis on different types of transport coolers (polystyrene foam, injection-molded, and rotational molded) and transport coolants (ice, cold packs, frozen water bottles) frequently in use in many countries. Polystyrene foam coolers stayed below our temperature threshold (6°C) longer than almost all other types of coolers, but were not durable. Injection-molded coolers were durable, but warmed to 6°C the quickest. Rotational molded coolers were able to keep temperatures below our threshold for 24 hours longer than injection molded coolers and were highly durable. Coolant systems were evaluated in terms of cost and their ability to maintain cold temperatures. Long lasting commercial cold packs were found to be less cost effective and were below freezing for the majority of the testing period. Frozen plastic water bottles were found to be a reusable and economical choice for coolant and were only below freezing briefly. Finally, we modeled the coolers performance at maintaining internal temperatures below 6°C and built a highly accurate linear model to predict how long a cooler will remain below 6°C. We believe this data may be useful in the planning and design of specimen transportation systems in the field, particularly in remote or resource limited settings.

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<![CDATA[Switchable resolution in soft x-ray tomography of single cells]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N83fafb3a-9522-40a6-a68c-b2c601c68e90

The diversity of living cells, in both size and internal complexity, calls for imaging methods with adaptable spatial resolution. Soft x-ray tomography (SXT) is a three-dimensional imaging technique ideally suited to visualizing and quantifying the internal organization of single cells of varying sizes in a near-native state. The achievable resolution of the soft x-ray microscope is largely determined by the objective lens, but switching between objectives is extremely time-consuming and typically undertaken only during microscope maintenance procedures. Since the resolution of the optic is inversely proportional to the depth of focus, an optic capable of imaging the thickest cells is routinely selected. This unnecessarily limits the achievable resolution in smaller cells and eliminates the ability to obtain high-resolution images of regions of interest in larger cells. Here, we describe developments to overcome this shortfall and allow selection of microscope optics best suited to the specimen characteristics and data requirements. We demonstrate that switchable objective capability advances the flexibility of SXT to enable imaging cells ranging in size from bacteria to yeast and mammalian cells without physically modifying the microscope, and we demonstrate the use of this technology to image the same specimen with both optics.

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<![CDATA[Evaluation of upconverting nanoparticles towards heart theranostics]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nf188e231-36c5-4bb6-9ed3-e7a465fadb41

Restricted and controlled drug delivery to the heart remains a challenge giving frequent off-target effects as well as limited retention of drugs in the heart. There is a need to develop and optimize tools to allow for improved design of drug candidates for treatment of heart diseases. Over the last decade, novel drug platforms and nanomaterials were designed to confine bioactive materials to the heart. Yet, the research remains in its infancy, not only in the development of tools but also in the understanding of effects of these materials on cardiac function and tissue integrity. Upconverting nanoparticles are nanomaterials that recently accelerated interest in theranostic nanomedicine technologies. Their unique photophysical properties allow for sensitive in vivo imaging that can be combined with spatio-temporal control for targeted release of encapsulated drugs.

Here we synthesized upconverting NaYF4:Yb,Tm nanoparticles and show for the first time their innocuity in the heart, when injected in the myocardium or in the pericardial space in mice. Nanoparticle retention and upconversion in the cardiac region did not alter heart rate variability, nor cardiac function as determined over a 15-day time course ensuing the sole injection. Altogether, our nanoparticles show innocuity primarily in the pericardial region and can be safely used for controlled spatiotemporal drug delivery. Our results support the use of upconverting nanoparticles as potential theranostics tools overcoming some of the key limitations associated with conventional experimental cardiology.

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<![CDATA[Extending the information content of the MALDI analysis of biological fluids via multi-million shot analysis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Ne38ffd74-9b00-41c1-8ae6-cb5565d3274c

Introduction

Reliable measurements of the protein content of biological fluids like serum or plasma can provide valuable input for the development of personalized medicine tests. Standard MALDI analysis typically only shows high abundance proteins, which limits its utility for test development. It also exhibits reproducibility issues with respect to quantitative measurements. In this paper we show how the sensitivity of MALDI profiling of intact proteins in unfractionated human serum can be substantially increased by exposing a sample to many more laser shots than are commonly used. Analytical reproducibility is also improved.

Methods

To assess what is theoretically achievable we utilized spectra from the same samples obtained over many years and combined them to generate MALDI spectral averages of up to 100,000,000 shots for a single sample, and up to 8,000,000 shots for a set of 40 different serum samples. Spectral attributes, such as number of peaks and spectral noise of such averaged spectra were investigated together with analytical reproducibility as a function of the number of shots. We confirmed that results were similar on MALDI instruments from different manufacturers.

Results

We observed an expected decrease of noise, roughly proportional to the square root of the number of shots, over the whole investigated range of the number of shots (5 orders of magnitude), resulting in an increase in the number of reliably detected peaks. The reproducibility of the amplitude of these peaks, measured by CV and concordance analysis also improves with very similar dependence on shot number, reaching median CVs below 2% for shot numbers > 4 million. Measures of analytical information content and association with biological processes increase with increasing number of shots.

Conclusions

We demonstrate that substantially increasing the number of laser shots in a MALDI-TOF analysis leads to more informative and reliable data on the protein content of unfractionated serum. This approach has already been used in the development of clinical tests in oncology.

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<![CDATA[The faster, the better? Relationships between run-up speed, the degree of difficulty (D-score), height and length of flight on vault in artistic gymnastics]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c99030dd5eed0c484b98b90

On vault in artistic gymnastics, a high run-up speed is thought to be important when performing difficult vaults. To test this assumption in a large cohort of elite athletes, we calculated the correlations between the run-up speed, scores, height and length of flight for handspring-, Tsukahara- and Yurchenko-style vaults and compared the performances of male and female elite and junior athletes (n = 407) during the 2016 European Championships. In females, run-up speed correlated significantly with the difficulty (D-) score and height of flight for all vaulting styles (r ≤ 0.80). In males, run-up speed correlated significantly with the D-score, height and length of flight of Tsukahara (r ≤ 0.69) and Yurchenko vaults only (r ≤ 0.65). Males reached 8–9% higher run-up speeds performing handspring and Tsukahara vaults than did females, but similar run-up speeds performing Yurchenko vaults. Elite females achieved higher run-up speeds than junior females performing Yurchenko vaults. Elite males displayed higher run-up speeds than junior males performing handspring and Tsukahara vaults. We conclude that, in females, more difficult vaults require higher run-up speeds than vaults with lower D-scores and thus, within the measured range of speeds, the faster the run-up, the better, regardless of vaulting style. Males, on the other hand, may not need to exhaust their sprinting capacity, even for the most difficult vaults. Finally, the knowledge of the required run-up speed for each vault helps coaches to estimate each athlete’s potential and/or to focus the training on developing the required physical qualities.

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<![CDATA[Applicability of personal laser scanning in forestry inventory]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c803c6ad5eed0c484ad8913

Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) technology has been widely used in forestry surveys in the form of airborne laser scanning (ALS), terrestrial laser scanning (TLS), and mobile laser scanning (MLS). The acquisition of important basic tree parameters (e.g., diameter at breast height and tree position) in forest inventory did not solve the problem of low measurement efficiency or weak GNSS signal under the canopy. A personal laser scanning (PLS) device combined with SLAM technology provides an effective solution for forest inventory under complex conditions with its light weight and flexible mobility. This study proposes a new method for calculating the volume of a cylinder using point cloud data obtained by a PLS device by fitting to a polygonal cylinder to calculate the diameter of the trunk. The point cloud data of tree trunks of different thickness were modeled using different fitting methods. The rate of correct tree trunk detection was 93.3% and the total deviation of the estimations of tree diameter at breast height (DBH) was -1.26 cm. The root mean square errors (RMSEs) of the estimations of the extracted DBH and the tree position were 1.58 cm and 26 cm, respectively. The survey efficiency of the personal laser scanning (PLS) device was 30m2/min for each investigator, compared with 0.91m2/min for the field survey. The test demonstrated that the PLS device combined with the SLAM algorithm provides an efficient and convenient solution for forest inventory.

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<![CDATA[A low-cost, autonomous mobile platform for limnological investigations, supported by high-resolution mesoscale airborne imagery]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6f1526d5eed0c48467ae54

Two complementary measurement systems—built upon an autonomous floating craft and a tethered balloon—for lake research and monitoring are presented. The autonomous vehicle was assembled on a catamaran for stability, and is capable of handling a variety of instrumentation for in situ and near-surface measurements. The catamaran hulls, each equipped with a small electric motor, support rigid decks for arranging equipment. An electric generator provides full autonomy for about 8 h. The modular power supply and instrumentation data management systems are housed in two boxes, which enable rapid setup. Due to legal restrictions in Switzerland (where the craft is routinely used), the platform must be observed from an accompanying boat while in operation. Nevertheless, the control system permits fully autonomous operation, with motion controlled by speed settings and waypoints, as well as obstacle detection. On-board instrumentation is connected to a central hub for data storage, with real-time monitoring of measurements from the accompanying boat. Measurements from the floating platform are complemented by mesoscale imaging from an instrument package attached to a He-filled balloon. The aerial package records thermal and RGB imagery, and transmits it in real-time to a ground station. The balloon can be tethered to the autonomous catamaran or to the accompanying boat. Missions can be modified according to imagery and/or catamaran measurements. Illustrative results showing the surface thermal variations of Lake Geneva demonstrate the versatility of the combined floating platform/balloon imagery system setup for limnological investigations.

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<![CDATA[Affordable gait analysis using augmented reality markers]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6f1519d5eed0c48467adab

A typical optical based gait analysis laboratory uses expensive stereophotogrammetric motion capture systems. The study aims to propose and validate an affordable gait analysis method using augmented reality (AR) markers with a single action camera. Image processing software calculates the position and orientation of the AR markers. Anatomical landmark calibration is applied on the subject to calibrate each of the anatomical points with respect to their corresponding AR markers. This way, anatomical points are tracked through AR markers using homogeneous coordinate transformations, and the further processing of gait analysis is identical with conventional solutions. The proposed system was validated on nine participants of varying age using a conventional motion capture system on simultaneously measured treadmill gait trials on 2, 3 and 4.5 km/h walking speeds. Coordinates of the virtual anatomical points were compared using the Bland-Altman analysis. Spatial-temporal gait parameters (step length, stride length, walking base, cadence, pelvis range of motion) and angular gait parameters (range of motion of knee, hip and pelvis angles) were compared between measurement systems by RMS error and Bland-Altman analysis. The proposed method shows some differences in the raw coordinates of virtually tracked anatomical landmarks and gait parameters compared to the reference system. RMS errors of spatial parameters were below 23 mm, while the angular range of motion RMS errors varies from 2.55° to 6.73°. Some of these differences (e.g. knee angle range of motion) is comparable to previously reported differences between commercial motion capture systems and gait variability. The proposed method can be a very cheap gait analysis solution, but precision is not guaranteed for every aspect of gait analysis using the currently exemplified implementation of the AR marker tracking approach.

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<![CDATA[Raman spectroscopic evaluation of human serum using metal plate and 785- and 1064-nm excitation lasers]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c70675fd5eed0c4847c6f69

In this study, we utilized a stainless steel (SUS304) plate for measuring the Raman scattering spectra of body fluid samples. Using this stainless steel plate, we recorded the Raman scattering spectra of 99.5% ethanol and human serum samples by performing irradiation with 785- and 1064-nm lasers. Raman scattering spectra with intensities equal to or greater than those reported previously were obtained. In addition, the Raman scattering spectra acquired using the 1064-nm laser were less influenced by autofluorescence than those obtained via use of the shorter-wavelength laser. Moreover, the shapes of the spectra did not show any dependence on integration time, and denaturation of the samples was minimal. Our method, based on 1064-nm laser and the stainless steel plate, provides performance equal to or better than the methods reported thus far for the measurement of Raman scattering spectra from liquid samples. This method can be employed to rapidly evaluate the components of serum in liquid form without using surface-enhanced Raman scattering.

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<![CDATA[A mobile-phone based high-resolution microendoscope to image cervical precancer]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c648ce0d5eed0c484c819d1

Nearly 90% of cervical cancer cases and deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries that lack comprehensive national HPV immunization and cervical cancer screening programs. In these settings, it is difficult to implement screening programs due to a lack of infrastructure and shortage of trained personnel. Screening programs based on visual inspection with acetic acid (VIA) have been successfully implemented in some low-resource settings. However, VIA has poor specificity and up to 90% of patients receiving treatment based on a positive VIA exam are over-treated. A number of studies have suggested that high-resolution cervical imaging to visualize nuclear morphology in vivo can improve specificity by better distinguishing precancerous and benign lesions. To enable high-resolution imaging in low-resource settings, we developed a portable, low-cost, high-resolution microendoscope that uses a mobile phone to detect and display images of cervical epithelium in vivo with subcellular resolution. The device was fabricated for less than $2,000 using commercially available optical components including filters, an LED and triplet lenses assembled in a 3D-printed opto-mechanical mount. We show that the mobile high-resolution microendoscope achieves similar resolution and signal-to-background ratio as previously reported high-resolution microendoscope systems using traditional cameras and computers to detect and display images. Finally, we demonstrate the ability of the mobile high-resolution microendoscope to image normal and precancerous squamous epithelium of the cervix in vivo in a gynecological referral clinic in Barretos, Brazil.

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<![CDATA[High-accuracy detection of malaria vector larval habitats using drone-based multispectral imagery]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c4a305cd5eed0c4844bfe34

Interest in larval source management (LSM) as an adjunct intervention to control and eliminate malaria transmission has recently increased mainly because long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) and indoor residual spray (IRS) are ineffective against exophagic and exophilic mosquitoes. In Amazonian Peru, the identification of the most productive, positive water bodies would increase the impact of targeted mosquito control on aquatic life stages. The present study explores the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) for identifying Nyssorhynchus darlingi (formerly Anopheles darlingi) breeding sites with high-resolution imagery (~0.02m/pixel) and their multispectral profile in Amazonian Peru. Our results show that high-resolution multispectral imagery can discriminate a profile of water bodies where Ny. darlingi is most likely to breed (overall accuracy 86.73%- 96.98%) with a moderate differentiation of spectral bands. This work provides proof-of-concept of the use of high-resolution images to detect malaria vector breeding sites in Amazonian Peru and such innovative methodology could be crucial for LSM malaria integrated interventions.

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<![CDATA[Measurement of time-varying kinematics of a dolphin in burst accelerating swimming]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5b5280d5eed0c4842bca0f

Dolphins are well known as excellent swimmers for being capable of efficient cruising and sharp acceleration. While studies of the thrust production and power consumption of dolphin swimming have been the main subject for decades, time-varying acceleration process during successive fluke beats still remains poorly understood. In this study, we quantified the time-varying kinematics of a dolphin (Lagenorhynchus obliquidens) by directly recording its burst-accelerating swimming before vertical jump in an aquarium with two synchronized high-speed video cameras. We tracked the three-dimensional trajectories of its beak, body sides, and fluke. We found that dolphin could quickly accelerate from 5.0 m s-1 to 8.7 m s-1 merely by 5 strokes (i.e. 2.5 fluke beats) in 0.7 seconds. During the strokes, it was further found that the dolphin demonstrated a great acceleration in downstroke but less acceleration or even a slight deceleration in upstroke. Hydrodynamic forces and thrust power for each stroke were further estimated based on the equation of body motion and a static hydrodynamic model. The drag coefficient of the dolphin was estimated through computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modeling of the steady flows around a realistic geometric model based on 3-D scan data. The thrust and thrust power were then calculated by combining the body kinematics and the drag coefficient, resulting in a maximum stroke-averaged thrust and power-to-mass ratio of 1.3 × 103 N and 90 W kg-1 at downstroke, and 3.3 × 102 N and 19 W kg-1 at upstroke, respectively. Our results point out the importance of asymmetric kinematics in burst acceleration of dolphin, which may be a useful mechanism for biomimetic design of high-performance underwater robots.

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<![CDATA[Effects of playing position, pitch location, opposition ability and team ability on the technical performance of elite soccer players in different score line states]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c633972d5eed0c484ae67a3

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of playing position, pitch location, team ability and opposition ability on technical performance variables (pass, cross, corner, free kick accuracy) of English Premier League Soccer players in difference score line states. A validated automatic tracking system (Venatrack) was used to code player actions in real time for passing accuracy, cross accuracy, corner accuracy and free kick accuracy. In total 376 of the 380 games played during the 2011–12 English premier League season were recorded, resulting in activity profiles of 570 players and over 35’000 rows of data. These data were analysed using multi-level modelling. Multi-level regression revealed a “u” shaped association between passing accuracy and goal difference (GD) with greater accuracy occurring at extremes of GD e.g., when the score was either positive or negative. The same pattern was seen for corner accuracy away from home e.g., corner accuracy was lowest when the score was close with the lowest accuracy at extremes of GD. Although free kicks were not associated with GD, team ability, playing position and pitch location were found to predict accuracy. No temporal variables were found to predict cross accuracy. A number of score line effects were present across the temporal factors which should be considered by coaches and managers when preparing and selecting teams in order to maximise performance. The current study highlighted the need for more sensitive score line definitions in which to consider score line effects.

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<![CDATA[The Light Sword Lens - A novel method of presbyopia compensation: Pilot clinical study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c61e8fdd5eed0c48496f5bb

Purpose

Clinical assessment of a new optical element for presbyopia correction–the Light Sword Lens.

Methods

Healthy dominant eyes of 34 presbyopes were examined for visual performance in 3 trials: reference (with lens for distance correction); stenopeic (distance correction with a pinhole ϕ = 1.25 mm) and Light Sword Lens (distance correction with a Light Sword Lens). In each trial, visual acuity was assessed in 7 tasks for defocus from 0.2D to 3.0D while contrast sensitivity in 2 tasks for defocus 0.3D and 2.5D. The Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study protocol and Pelli-Robson method were applied. Within visual acuity and contrast sensitivity results degree of homogeneity through defocus was determined. Reference and stenopeic trials were compared to Light Sword Lens results. Friedman analysis of variance, Nemenyi post-hoc, Wilcoxon tests were used, p-value < 0.05 was considered significant.

Results

In Light Sword Lens trial visual acuity was stable in tested defocus range [20/25–20/32], Stenopeic trial exhibited a limited range of degradation [20/25–20/40]. Light Sword Lens and reference trials contrast sensitivity was high [1.9–2.0 logCS] for both defocus cases, but low in stenopeic condition [1.5–1.7 logCS]. Between-trials comparisons of visual acuity results showed significant differences only for Light Sword Lens versus reference trials and in contrast sensitivity only for Light Sword Lens versus stenopeic trials.

Conclusions

Visual acuity achieved with Light Sword Lens correction in presbyopic eye is comparable to stenopeic but exhibits none significant loss in contrast sensitivity. Such correction method seems to be very promising for novel contact lenses and intraocular lenses design.

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<![CDATA[A compact holographic projector module for high-resolution 3D multi-site two-photon photostimulation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c58d62cd5eed0c484031834

Patterned two-photon (2P) photolysis via holographic illumination is a powerful method to investigate neuronal function because of its capability to emulate multiple synaptic inputs in three dimensions (3D) simultaneously. However, like any optical system, holographic projectors have a finite space-bandwidth product that restricts the spatial range of patterned illumination or field-of-view (FOV) for a desired resolution. Such trade-off between holographic FOV and resolution restricts the coverage within a limited domain of the neuron’s dendritic tree to perform highly resolved patterned 2P photolysis on individual spines. Here, we integrate a holographic projector into a commercial 2P galvanometer-based 2D scanning microscope with an uncaging unit and extend the accessible holographic FOV by using the galvanometer scanning mirrors to reposition the holographic FOV arbitrarily across the imaging FOV. The projector system utilizes the microscope’s built-in imaging functions. Stimulation positions can be selected from within an acquired 3D image stack (the volume-of-interest, VOI) and the holographic projector then generates 3D illumination patterns with multiple uncaging foci. The imaging FOV of our system is 800×800 μm2 within which a holographic VOI of 70×70×70 μm3 can be chosen at arbitrary positions and also moved during experiments without moving the sample. We describe the design and alignment protocol as well as the custom software plugin that controls the 3D positioning of stimulation sites. We demonstrate the neurobiological application of the system by simultaneously uncaging glutamate at multiple spines within dendritic domains and consequently observing summation of postsynaptic potentials at the soma, eventually resulting in action potentials. At the same time, it is possible to perform two-photon Ca2+ imaging in 2D in the dendrite and thus to monitor synaptic Ca2+ entry in selected spines and also local regenerative events such as dendritic action potentials.

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<![CDATA[Changes in axial length in accommodative esotropia patients with minimal hyperopic correction]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6448aed5eed0c484c2eb5b

Purpose

To compare the changes of spherical equivalent refractive error (SER) and axial length (AL) for three years in hyperopic children with minimal undercorrection according to the presence of accommodative esotropia (AE).

Methods

A total of 67 hyperopic children were enrolled. The patients were divided into 3 groups and matched by initial age upon examination; esotropic eyes with AE (AE group), fellow eyes with AE (FE group), and right eyes without esotropia (HE group). Changes of SER and AL were serially measured every six months for three years and collected data were compared among the groups.

Results

All three groups underwent significant myopic shift and AL elongation during the follow-up period. However, the least amount of change was found in the AE group. The AE group (-0.96 ± 1.38D) exhibited significantly less change in SER compared to the HE group (-1.76 ± 1.11D) and the FE group (-1.57 ± 1.33D) (both p<0.001). Meanwhile, smaller changes of AL were noticeable in the AE group (0.62 ± 0.88mm) compared to the other two groups (HE 0.99 ± 0.29mm; p<0.001, FE 0.73 ± 0.65mm; p = 0.04). The SER and AL changes were not significantly different between the HE group and FE group.

Conclusions

Esotropic eyes with AE patients with minimal undercorrection exhibited little negative shift of SER and AL elongation compared to not only hyperopic eyes without AE but also fellow eyes with AE.

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<![CDATA[Fixed or flexible? Orientation preference in identity and gaze processing in humans]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c64495ed5eed0c484c2faf2

Vision begins with the encoding of contrast at specific orientations. Several works showed that humans identify their conspecifics best based on the horizontally-oriented information contained in the face image; this range conveys the main morphological features of the face. In contrast, the vertical structure of the eye region seems to deliver optimal cues to gaze direction. The present work investigates whether the human face processing system flexibly tunes to vertical information contained in the eye region when processing gaze direction. Alternatively, face processing may invariantly rely on the horizontal range, supporting the domain specificity of orientation tuning for faces and the gateway role of horizontal content to access any type of facial information. Participants judged the gaze direction of faces staring at a range of lateral positions. They additionally performed an identification task with upright and inverted face stimuli. Across tasks, stimuli were filtered to selectively reveal horizontal (H), vertical (V), or combined (HV) information. Most participants identified faces better based on horizontal than vertical information confirming the horizontal tuning of face identification. In contrast, they showed a vertically-tuned sensitivity to gaze direction. The logistic functions fitting the “left” and “right” response proportion as a function of gaze direction were indeed steeper when based on vertical than on horizontal information. The finding of a vertically-tuned processing of gaze direction favours the hypothesis that visual encoding of face information flexibly switches to the orientation channel carrying the cues most relevant to the task at hand. It suggests that horizontal structure, though predominant in the face stimulus, is not a mandatory gateway for efficient face processing. The present evidence may help better understand how visual signals travel the visual system to enable rich and complex representations of naturalistic stimuli such as faces.

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<![CDATA[A fast threshold segmentation method for froth image base on the pixel distribution characteristic]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c40f77bd5eed0c484386242

With the increase of the camera resolution, the number of pixels contained in froth image is increased, which brings many challenges to image segmentation. Froth size and distribution are the important index in froth flotation. The segmentation of froth images is always a problem in building flotation model. In segmenting froth images, Otsu method is usually used to get a binary image for classification of froth images, this method can get a satisfactory segmentation result. However, each gray level is required to calculate each of the between-class variance, it takes a longer time in froth images with a large number of pixels. To solve this problem, an improved method is proposed in this paper. Most froth images have the pixel distribution characteristic that the gray histogram curve is a sawtooth shape. The proposed method uses polynomial to fit the curve of gray histogram and takes the characteristic of gray histogram's valley into consideration in Otsu method. Two performance comparison methods are introduced and used. Experimental comparison between Otsu method and the proposed method shows that the proposed method has a satisfactory image segmentation with a low computing time.

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<![CDATA[Nonstrabismic binocular dysfunctions and cervical complaints: The possibility of a cross-dysfunction]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c478c66d5eed0c484bd2192

The aim of this study is to establish a relationship between non-strabismic binocular dysfunction and neck pain. One hundred twelve participants underwent binocular vision assessment by evaluating horizontal heterophoria, horizontal and vertical fusional vergence ranges and vergence facility. The subjects were classified into two groups: binocular anomalies and normal binocular function. Neck complaints were measured with the Neck Disability Index, visual analogue scale, cervical range of motion, deep-flexor muscle activation score (AS) and performance index (PI). Our results showed that participants with low AS had significantly altered values of lateral phoria (near) (mean = -6.99 SD ± 6.96 PD) and PFV (near) blur (mean = 9.49 SD ± 5.45 PD) against those who presented normal AS (lateral phoria (near) mean = -3.64 SD ± 6.37 PD; PFV (near) blur mean = 12.84 SD ± 6.20 PD). In addition, participants with NFV (near) recovery outside the norm had a significantly lower right side-bending (mean = 35.63 SD ± 8.35 PD) than those within the standard (mean = 39.64 SD ± 9 PD). The subjects with binocular vision impairment showed a diminished response to the deep cervical musculature, with low AS and PI, as well as a tendency to suffer from cervicalgia of more than three months’ evolution and a lower range of motion.

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