ResearchPad - sensory-perception https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Warm, lively, rough? Assessing agreement on aesthetic effects of artworks]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13856 The idea that simple visual elements such as colors and lines have specific, universal associations—for example red being warm—appears rather intuitive. Such associations have formed a basis for the description of artworks since the 18th century and are still fundamental to discourses on art today. Art historians might describe a painting where red is dominant as “warm,” “aggressive,” or “lively,” with the tacit assumption that beholders would universally associate the works’ certain key forms with specific qualities, or “aesthetic effects”. However, is this actually the case? Do we actually share similar responses to the same line or color? In this paper, we tested whether and to what extent this assumption of universality (sharing of perceived qualities) is justified. We employed—for the first time—abstract artworks as well as single elements (lines and colors) extracted from these artworks in an experiment in which participants rated the stimuli on 14 “aesthetic effect” scales derived from art literature and empirical aesthetics. To test the validity of the assumption of universality, we examined on which of the dimensions there was agreement, and investigated the influence of art expertise, comparing art historians with lay people. In one study and its replication, we found significantly lower agreement than expected. For the whole artworks, participants agreed on the effects of warm-cold, heavy-light, and happy-sad, but not on 11 other dimensions. Further, we found that the image type (artwork or its constituting elements) was a major factor influencing agreement; people agreed more on the whole artwork than on single elements. Art expertise did not play a significant role and agreement was especially low on dimensions usually of interest in empirical aesthetics (e.g., like-dislike). Our results challenge the practice of interpreting artworks based on their aesthetic effects, as these effects may not be as universal as previously thought.

]]>
<![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.

]]>
<![CDATA[The qualitative assessment of optical coherence tomography and the central retinal sensitivity in patients with retinitis pigmentosa]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7697 To analyze the relationships between qualitative and quantitative parameters of spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) and the central retinal sensitivity in patients with retinitis pigmentosa (RP).Materials and methodsNinety-three eyes of 93 patients were finally enrolled, with a median age (quartile) of 58 (24.5) years. We assessed the patients using SD-OCT and the 10–2 program of a Humphry Field Analyzer (HFA). As a qualitative parameter, two graders independently classified the patients’ SD-OCT images into five severity grades (grades 1–5) based on the severity of damage to the photoreceptor inner and outer segments (IS/OS) layer. As quantitative parameters, we measured the IS-ellipsoid zone (IS-EZ) width, IS/OS thickness, outer nuclear layer (ONL) thickness, central macular thickness (CMT, 1 and 3 mm) and macular cube (6 × 6 mm) volume and thickness. The central retinal sensitivity was defined by the best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA; logMAR), average sensitivities of the central 4 (foveal sensitivity [FS]) and 12 (macular sensitivity [MS]) points of the HFA 10–2 program and the mean deviation (MD) of the 10–2 program. Spearman’s correlation was used to assess the association between both qualitative and quantitative parameters and variables of the central retinal sensitivity. In addition, we performed a multiple regression analysis using these parameters to identify the parameters most strongly influencing the central retinal sensitivity.ResultsThe IS/OS severity grade was significantly correlated with the BCVA (ρ = 0.741, P < 0.001), FS (ρ = −0.844, P < 0.001), MS (ρ = −0.820, P < 0.001) and MD (ρ = −0.681, P < 0.001) and showed stronger correlations to them than any other quantitative parameters including the IS-EZ width, IS/OS thickness, ONL thickness, CMTs and macular cube volume/thickness. Furthermore, a step-wise multiple regression analysis indicated that the IS/OS severity grade was more strongly associated with the BCVA (β = 0.659, P < 0.001), FS (β = −0.820, P < 0.001), MS (β = −0.820, P < 0.001) and MD (β = −0.674, P < 0.001) than any other quantitative parameters. The intraclass correlation coefficient between two graders indicated substantial correlation (κ = 0.70).DiscussionThe qualitative grading of OCT based on the severity of the IS/OS layer was simple and strongly correlated with the central retinal sensitivity in patients with RP. It may be useful to assess the central visual function in patients with RP, although there is some variation in severity within the same severity grade. ]]> <![CDATA[Valence-Specific Modulation in the Accumulation of Perceptual Evidence Prior to Visual Scene Recognition]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9efab0ee8fa60b6dd7f

Visual scene recognition is a dynamic process through which incoming sensory information is iteratively compared with predictions regarding the most likely identity of the input stimulus. In this study, we used a novel progressive unfolding task to characterize the accumulation of perceptual evidence prior to scene recognition, and its potential modulation by the emotional valence of these scenes. Our results show that emotional (pleasant and unpleasant) scenes led to slower accumulation of evidence compared to neutral scenes. In addition, when controlling for the potential contribution of non-emotional factors (i.e., familiarity and complexity of the pictures), our results confirm a reliable shift in the accumulation of evidence for pleasant relative to neutral and unpleasant scenes, suggesting a valence-specific effect. These findings indicate that proactive iterations between sensory processing and top-down predictions during scene recognition are reliably influenced by the rapidly extracted (positive) emotional valence of the visual stimuli. We interpret these findings in accordance with the notion of a genuine positivity offset during emotional scene recognition.

]]>
<![CDATA[Assessment of availability, awareness and perception of stakeholders regarding preschool vision screening in Kumasi, Ghana: An exploratory study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N637f6c02-dcec-48f9-ae4a-5e42bca666db

Background

Regardless of the importance of preschool vision screening (PSVS), there is limited data on the current state of these programs in Africa (particularly Ghana). This study sought to investigate the level of awareness and perception of stakeholders regarding PSVS, its availability and related policies/programmes in the Kumasi Metropolis, Ghana.

Methods

This descriptive cross-sectional study included 100 systematically sampled preschools in the metropolis (using probability proportional-to-size method); 72 private schools and 28 public schools. Convenience sampling was used to recruit stakeholders of preschools (teachers, head teachers, proprietors, administrators, directors, and educationists), and were interviewed using a well-structured questionnaire. Questionnaires were administered to all eligible respondents who were present at the time of data collection.

Results

A total of 344 respondents participated in the study; 123 (35.8%) males and 221 (64.2%) females. The overall mean age of respondents was 37.63 ±12.20 years (18–71 years). Of the respondents, 215 (62.5%), 94 (27.3%), and 35 (10.2%) were enrolled from private schools, public schools, and Metropolitan Education Directorate, respectively. 73.8% of respondents reported the absence of routine PSVS in schools whereas 90.1% reported no written policies for PSVS in schools. Only 63.6% of respondents were aware of PSVS whereas more than half (59.6%) of all respondents perceived PSVS to be very important for preschoolers. Private school ownership was significantly associated with availability of PSVS whereas age, teachers, private school ownership, and preschool experience > 10 years were significantly associated with awareness of PSVS (P < 0.05). However, there was no significant association between sociodemographic factors and perception of PSVS.

Conclusion

PSVS is largely unavailable in most Ghanaian schools. Majority of stakeholders were aware of PSVS and agreed to its implementation and incorporation into schools’ health programmes. There is the need to implement a national programme/policy on preschool vision screening in Ghana.

]]>
<![CDATA[Is bad news on TV tickers good news? The effects of voiceover and visual elements in video on viewers’ assessment]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N6a76f847-8cb5-45f6-9e66-865fc26387f0

In our experiment, we tested how exposure to a mock televised news segment, with a systematically manipulated emotional valence of voiceover, images and TV tickers (in the updating format) impacts viewers’ perception. Subjects (N = 603) watched specially prepared professional video material which portrayed the story of a candidate for local mayor. Following exposure to the video, subjects assessed the politician in terms of competence, sociability, and morality.

Results showed that positive images improved the assessment of the politician, whereas negative images lowered it. In addition, unexpectedly, positive tickers led to a negative assessment, and negative ones led to more beneficial assessments. However, in a situation of inconsistency between the voiceover and information provided on visual add-ons, additional elements are apparently ignored, especially when they are negative and the narrative is positive. We then discuss the implications of these findings.

]]>
<![CDATA[Resting state networks of the canine brain under sevoflurane anaesthesia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N0f88adec-494f-4799-9601-5a30499e23df

Resting-state functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (rs-fMRI) has become an established technique in humans and reliably determines several resting state networks (RSNs) simultaneously. Limited data exist about RSN in dogs. The aim of this study was to investigate the RSNs in 10 healthy beagle dogs using a 3 tesla MRI scanner and subsequently perform group-level independent component analysis (ICA) to identify functionally connected brain networks. Rs-fMRI sequences were performed under steady state sevoflurane inhalation anaesthesia. Anaesthetic depth was titrated to the minimum level needed for immobilisation and mechanical ventilation of the patient. This required a sevoflurane MAC between 0.8 to 1.2. Group-level ICA dimensionality of 20 components revealed distributed sensory, motor and higher-order networks in the dogs’ brain. We identified in total 7 RSNs (default mode, primary and higher order visual, auditory, two putative motor-somatosensory and one putative somatosensory), which are common to other mammals including humans. Identified RSN are remarkably similar to those identified in awake dogs. This study proves the feasibility of rs-fMRI in anesthetized dogs and describes several RSNs, which may set the basis for investigating pathophysiological characteristics of various canine brain diseases.

]]>
<![CDATA[The impact of body posture on intrinsic brain activity: The role of beta power at rest]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N65f7a4e6-ac5f-46ef-91d2-3d4de84bb5d0

Tying the hands behind the back has detrimental effects on sensorimotor perceptual tasks. Here we provide evidence that beta band oscillatory activity in a resting state condition might play a crucial role in such detrimental effects. EEG activity at rest was measured from thirty young participants (mean age = 24.03) in two different body posture conditions. In one condition participants were required to keep their hands freely resting on the table. In the other condition, participants’ hands were tied behind their back. Increased beta power was observed in the left inferior frontal gyrus during the tied hands condition compared to the free hands condition. A control experiment ruled out alternative explanations for observed change in beta power, including muscle tension. Our findings provide new insights on how body postural manipulations impact on perceptual tasks and brain activity.

]]>
<![CDATA[Bilateral Parkinson’s disease model rats exhibit hyperalgesia to subcutaneous formalin administration into the vibrissa pad]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nc1e56242-0f9e-4dec-b14c-0acf3482ec2d

We bilaterally injected 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) into the medial forebrain bundle of rats and developed bilateral Parkinson’s disease (PD) model rats in order to experimentally investigate the neural mechanisms underlying the alteration of nociception in the orofacial region of patients with PD. We explored the effects of dopamine depletion on nociception by investigating behavioral responses (face rubbing) triggered by subcutaneous administration of formalin into the vibrissa pad. We also assessed the number of c-Fos–immunoreactive (c-Fos-IR) cells in the superficial layers of the trigeminal spinal subnucleus caudalis (Vc). Subcutaneous formalin administration evoked a two-phase increase in face rubbing. We observed the first increase 0–5 min after formalin administration (first phase) and the second increase 10–60 min after administration (second phase). The number of face rubbing behaviors of 6OHDA–injected rats did not significantly change compared with saline–injected rats in both phases. Significant increase of c-Fos-IR cells in the Vc was found in 6-OHDA–injected rats after formalin administration compared with those in saline–injected rats after formalin administration. We also assessed expression of c-Fos-IR cells in the paraventricular nucleus (PVN), and significant decrease of c-Fos-IR cells in the PVN of 6-OHDA–injected rats was found. Taken together, these findings suggest that bilateral dopaminergic denervation evoked by 6-OHDA administration causes hyperalgesia in the trigeminal region and the PVN may be involved in the hyperalgesia.

]]>
<![CDATA[Gaze direction reveals implicit item and source memory in older adults]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/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.

]]>
<![CDATA[Ocular surface and tear film changes in workers exposed to organic solvents used in the dry-cleaning industry]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/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.

]]>
<![CDATA[Independent working memory resources for egocentric and allocentric spatial information]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/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.

]]>
<![CDATA[Long-term visual acuity in patients with optic pathway glioma treated during childhood with up-front BB-SFOP chemotherapy—Analysis of a French pediatric historical cohort]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8c1959d5eed0c484b4d486

Background

Visual outcome is one of the main issues in the treatment of optic pathway glioma in childhood. Although the prognostic factors of low vision have been discussed extensively, no reliable indicators for visual loss exist. Therefore, we aimed to define initial and evolving factors associated with long-term vision loss.

Methods

We conducted a multicenter historical cohort study of children treated in France with up-front BB-SFOP chemotherapy between 1990 and 2004. Visual acuity performed at the long-term follow-up visit or within 6 months prior was analyzed. Logistic regression analysis was used to estimate the effects of clinical and radiological factors on long-term visual outcome.

Findings

Of the 180 patients in the cohort, long-term visual acuity data were available for 132 (73.3%) patients (median follow-up: 14.2 years; range: 6.1–25.6). At the last follow-up, 61/132 patients (46.2%) had impaired vision, and 35 of these patients (57.3%) were partially sighted or blind. Multivariate analysis showed that factors associated with a worse prognosis for long-term visual acuity were an age at diagnosis of < 1 year (OR 3.5 [95% CI: 1.1–11.2], p = 0.04), tumor extent (OR 4.7 [95% CI: 1.2–19.9], p = 0.03), intracranial hypertension requiring one or more surgical procedures (OR 5.6 [95% CI: 1.8–18.4], p = 0.003), and the need for additional treatment after initial BB-SFOP chemotherapy (OR 3.5 [95% CI: 1.1–11.9], p = 0.04). NF1 status did not appear as a prognostic factor, but in non-NF1 patients, a decrease in tumor volume with contrast enhancement after BB-SFOP chemotherapy was directly associated with a better visual prognosis (OR 0.8 [95% CI: 0.8–0.9], p = 0.04).

Interpretation

Our study confirms that a large proportion of children with optic pathway glioma have poor long-term outcomes of visual acuity. These data suggest new prognostic factors for visual acuity, but these results need to be confirmed further by large- and international-scale studies.

]]>
<![CDATA[Validation of the Spanish-language Cardiff Anomalous Perception Scale]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c897783d5eed0c4847d2ec2

The Cardiff Anomalous Perceptions Scale (CAPS) is a psychometric measure of hallucinatory experience. It has been widely used in English and used in initial studies in Spanish but a full validation study has not yet been published. We report a validation study of the Spanish-language CAPS, conducted in both Spain and Colombia to cover both European and Latin American Spanish. The Spanish-language version of the CAPS was produced through back translation with slight modifications made for local dialects. In Spain, 329 non-clinical participants completed the CAPS along with 40 patients with psychosis. In Colombia, 190 non-clinical participants completed the CAPS along with 21 patients with psychosis. Participants completed other psychometric scales measuring psychosis-like experience to additionally test convergent and divergent validity. The Spanish-language CAPS was found to have good internal reliability. Test-retest reliability was slightly below the cut-off, although could only be tested in the Spanish non-clinical sample. The scale showed solid construct validity and a principal components analysis broadly replicated previously reported three component factor structures for the CAPS.

]]>
<![CDATA[Cyborg groups enhance face recognition in crowded environments]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c89773bd5eed0c4847d2790

Recognizing a person in a crowded environment is a challenging, yet critical, visual-search task for both humans and machine-vision algorithms. This paper explores the possibility of combining a residual neural network (ResNet), brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) and human participants to create “cyborgs” that improve decision making. Human participants and a ResNet undertook the same face-recognition experiment. BCIs were used to decode the decision confidence of humans from their EEG signals. Different types of cyborg groups were created, including either only humans (with or without the BCI) or groups of humans and the ResNet. Cyborg groups decisions were obtained weighing individual decisions by confidence estimates. Results show that groups of cyborgs are significantly more accurate (up to 35%) than the ResNet, the average participant, and equally-sized groups of humans not assisted by technology. These results suggest that melding humans, BCI, and machine-vision technology could significantly improve decision-making in realistic scenarios.

]]>
<![CDATA[Structure and variability of delay activity in premotor cortex]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c990204d5eed0c484b9749c

Voluntary movements are widely considered to be planned before they are executed. Recent studies have hypothesized that neural activity in motor cortex during preparation acts as an ‘initial condition’ which seeds the proceeding neural dynamics. Here, we studied these initial conditions in detail by investigating 1) the organization of neural states for different reaches and 2) the variance of these neural states from trial to trial. We examined population-level responses in macaque premotor cortex (PMd) during the preparatory stage of an instructed-delay center-out reaching task with dense target configurations. We found that after target onset the neural activity on single trials converges to neural states that have a clear low-dimensional structure which is organized by both the reach endpoint and maximum speed of the following reach. Further, we found that variability of the neural states during preparation resembles the spatial variability of reaches made in the absence of visual feedback: there is less variability in direction than distance in neural state space. We also used offline decoding to understand the implications of this neural population structure for brain-machine interfaces (BMIs). We found that decoding of angle between reaches is dependent on reach distance, while decoding of arc-length is independent. Thus, it might be more appropriate to quantify decoding performance for discrete BMIs by using arc-length between reach end-points rather than the angle between them. Lastly, we show that in contrast to the common notion that direction can better be decoded than distance, their decoding capabilities are comparable. These results provide new insights into the dynamical neural processes that underline motor control and can inform the design of BMIs.

]]>
<![CDATA[Introducing chaotic codes for the modulation of code modulated visual evoked potentials (c-VEP) in normal adults for visual fatigue reduction]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c897745d5eed0c4847d28a9

Code modulated Visual Evoked Potentials (c-VEP) based BCI studies usually employ m-sequences as a modulating codes for their broadband spectrum and correlation property. However, subjective fatigue of the presented codes has been a problem. In this study, we introduce chaotic codes containing broadband spectrum and similar correlation property. We examined whether the introduced chaotic codes could be decoded from EEG signals and also compared the subjective fatigue level with m-sequence codes in normal subjects. We generated chaotic code from one-dimensional logistic map and used it with conventional 31-bit m-sequence code. In a c-VEP based study in normal subjects (n = 44, 21 females) we presented these codes visually and recorded EEG signals from the corresponding codes for their four lagged versions. Canonical correlation analysis (CCA) and spatiotemporal beamforming (STB) methods were used for target identification and comparison of responses. Additionally, we compared the subjective self-declared fatigue using VAS caused by presented m-sequence and chaotic codes. The introduced chaotic code was decoded from EEG responses with CCA and STB methods. The maximum total accuracy values of 93.6 ± 11.9% and 94 ± 14.4% were achieved with STB method for chaotic and m-sequence codes for all subjects respectively. The achieved accuracies in all subjects were not significantly different in m-sequence and chaotic codes. There was significant reduction in subjective fatigue caused by chaotic codes compared to the m-sequence codes. Both m-sequence and chaotic codes were similar in their accuracies as evaluated by CCA and STB methods. The chaotic codes significantly reduced subjective fatigue compared to the m-sequence codes.

]]>
<![CDATA[Speech perception in noise: Impact of directional microphones in users of combined electric-acoustic stimulation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8977a1d5eed0c4847d31f3

Objectives

Combined electric-acoustic stimulation (EAS) is a well-accepted therapeutic treatment for cochlear implant (CI) users with residual hearing in the low frequencies but severe to profound hearing loss in the high frequencies. The recently introduced SONNETeas audio processor offers different microphone directionality (MD) settings and wind noise reduction (WNR) as front-end processing. The aim of this study was to compare speech perception in quiet and noise between two EAS audio processors DUET 2 and SONNETeas, to assess the impact of MD and WNR on speech perception in EAS users in the absence of wind. Furthermore, subjective rating of hearing performance was registered.

Method

Speech perception and subjective rating with SONNETeas or DUET 2 audio processor were assessed in 10 experienced EAS users. Speech perception was measured in quiet and in a diffuse noise setup (MSNF). The SONNETeas processor was tested with three MD settings omnidirectional/natural/adaptive and with different intensities of WNR. Subjective rating of auditory benefit and sound quality was rated using two questionnaires.

Results

There was no significant difference between DUET 2 and SONNETeas processor using the omnidirectional microphone in quiet and in noise. There was a significant improvement in SRT with MD settings natural (2.2 dB) and adaptive (3.6 dB). No detrimental effect of the WNR algorithm on speech perception was found in the absence of wind. Sound quality was rated as “moderate” for both audio processors.

Conclusions

The different MD settings of the SONNETeas can provide EAS users with better speech perception compared to an omnidirectional microphone. Concerning speech perception in quiet and quality of life, the performance of the DUET 2 and SONNETeas audio processors was comparable.

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

]]>
<![CDATA[Effects of frontal-executive dysfunction on self-perceived hearing handicap in the elderly with mild cognitive impairment]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c897757d5eed0c4847d2a69

It is increasingly agreed upon that cognitive and audiological factors are associated with self-perceived hearing handicap in old adults. This study aimed to compare self-perceived hearing handicap among mild cognitive impairment (MCI) subgroups and a cognitively normal elderly (CNE) group and determine which factors (i.e., demographic, audiometric, or neuropsychological factors) are correlated with self-perceived hearing handicap in each group. A total of 46 MCI patients and 39 hearing threshold-matched CNE subjects participated in this study, and their age ranged from 55 to 80 years. The MCI patients were reclassified into two groups: 16 with frontal-executive dysfunction (FED) and 30 without FED. All subjects underwent audiometric, neuropsychological, and self-perceived hearing handicap assessments. The Korean version of the Hearing Handicap Inventory for the Elderly (K-HHIE) was administered to obtain the hearing handicap scores for each subject. After controlling for age, years of education, and depression levels, we found no significant differences in the K-HHIE scores between the MCI and the CNE groups. However, after we classified the MCI patients into the MCI with FED and MCI without FED groups, the MCI with FED group scored significantly higher than did both the MCI without FED and the CNE groups. In addition, after controlling for depression levels, significant partial correlations of hearing handicap scores with frontal-executive function scores and speech-in-noise perception performance were found in the MCI groups. In the CNE group, the hearing handicap scores were related to peripheral hearing sensitivity and years of education. In summary, MCI patients with FED are more likely to experience everyday hearing handicap than those without FED and cognitively normal old adults. Although educational level and peripheral hearing function are related to self-perceived hearing handicap in cognitively normal old adults, speech-in-noise perception and frontal-executive function are mainly associated with hearing handicap in patients with MCI.

]]>