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21 Jun 2024 at 01:42
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Bibliography on: Corvids: Communication


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RJR: Recommended Bibliography 21 Jun 2024 at 01:42 Created: 

Corvids: Communication

Wikipedia: A rich vocabulary is an advantage to any animal that must coordinate daily activities with social partners. This is the case for the raven, as each bird jointly defends space with a lifelong mate, quarrels and displays status with others that flock to rich foods, and warns all listeners of danger afoot. The raven is the largest songbird and as such has a brain capable of continual song learning. New, useful, and intriguing noises can be memorized by the raven and imitated as near perfect renditions. These can be incorporated into a growing and individual repertoire. A complex social lifestyle, long lifespan, and songbird brain provides the motive and the machinery a raven needs to remain the most eloquent of avian orators.

Created with PubMed® Query: (communication OR vocalization) AND \(corvus[TIAB] OR corvid[TIAB] OR OR corvids[TIAB] OR corvidae[TIAB] OR crow[TIAB] OR crows[TIAB] OR raven[TIAB] OR ravens[TIAB] OR jay[TIAB] OR jays[TIAB] OR magpie[TIAB] OR magpies[TIAB] OR jackdaw[TIAB] OR jackdaws[TIAB]) NOT pmcbook NOT ispreviousversion

Citations The Papers (from PubMed®)


RevDate: 2024-06-05
CmpDate: 2024-06-05

Speechley EM, Ashton BJ, Thornton A, et al (2024)

Aggressive interactions influence cognitive performance in Western Australian magpies.

Proceedings. Biological sciences, 291(2024):20240435.

Extensive research has investigated the relationship between the social environment and cognition, suggesting that social complexity may drive cognitive evolution and development. However, evidence for this relationship remains equivocal. Group size is often used as a measure of social complexity, but this may not capture intraspecific variation in social interactions. Social network analysis can provide insight into the cognitively demanding challenges associated with group living at the individual level. Here, we use social networks to investigate whether the cognitive performance of wild Western Australian magpies (Gymnorhina tibicen dorsalis) is related to group size and individual social connectedness. We quantified social connectedness using four interaction types: proximity, affiliative, agonistic and vocal. Consistent with previous research on this species, individuals in larger groups performed better on an associative learning task. However, social network position was also related to cognitive performance. Individuals receiving aggressive interactions performed better, while those involved in aggressive interactions with more group members performed worse. Overall, this suggests that cognitive performance is related to specific types of social interaction. The findings from this study highlight the value of considering fine-grained metrics of sociality that capture the challenges associated with social life when testing the relationship between the social environment and cognition.

RevDate: 2024-05-29

Parishar P, Rajagopalan M, S Iyengar (2024)

Changes in the dopaminergic circuitry and adult neurogenesis linked to reinforcement learning in corvids.

Frontiers in neuroscience, 18:1359874.

The caudolateral nidopallium (NCL, an analog of the prefrontal cortex) is known to be involved in learning, memory, and discrimination in corvids (a songbird), whereas the involvement of other brain regions in these phenomena is not well explored. We used house crows (Corvus splendens) to explore the neural correlates of learning and decision-making by initially training them on a shape discrimination task followed by immunohistochemistry to study the immediate early gene expression (Arc), a dopaminoceptive neuronal marker (DARPP-32, Dopamine- and cAMP-regulated phosphoprotein, Mr 32 kDa) to understand the involvement of the reward pathway and an immature neuronal marker (DCX, doublecortin) to detect learning-induced changes in adult neurogenesis. We performed neuronal counts and neuronal tracing, followed by morphometric analyses. Our present results have demonstrated that besides NCL, other parts of the caudal nidopallium (NC), avian basal ganglia, and intriguingly, vocal control regions in house crows are involved in visual discrimination. We have also found that training on the visual discrimination task can be correlated with neurite pruning in mature dopaminoceptive neurons and immature DCX-positive neurons in the NC of house crows. Furthermore, there is an increase in the incorporation of new neurons throughout NC and the medial striatum which can also be linked to learning. For the first time, our results demonstrate that a combination of structural changes in mature and immature neurons and adult neurogenesis are linked to learning in corvids.

RevDate: 2024-05-23

Lenharo M (2024)

These crows have counting skills previously only seen in people.

RevDate: 2024-05-23
CmpDate: 2024-05-23

Liao DA, Brecht KF, Veit L, et al (2024)

Crows "count" the number of self-generated vocalizations.

Science (New York, N.Y.), 384(6698):874-877.

Producing a specific number of vocalizations with purpose requires a sophisticated combination of numerical abilities and vocal control. Whether this capacity exists in animals other than humans is yet unknown. We show that crows can flexibly produce variable numbers of one to four vocalizations in response to arbitrary cues associated with numerical values. The acoustic features of the first vocalization of a sequence were predictive of the total number of vocalizations, indicating a planning process. Moreover, the acoustic features of vocal units predicted their order in the sequence and could be used to read out counting errors during vocal production.

RevDate: 2024-05-20
CmpDate: 2024-05-20

Broad HR, Dibnah AJ, Smith AE, et al (2024)

Anthropogenic disturbance affects calling and collective behaviour in corvid roosts.

Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences, 379(1905):20230185.

Acoustic communication plays an important role in coordinating group dynamics and collective movements across a range of taxa. However, anthropogenic disturbance can inhibit the production or reception of acoustic signals. Here, we investigate the effects of noise and light pollution on the calling and collective behaviour of wild jackdaws (Corvus monedula), a highly social corvid species that uses vocalizations to coordinate collective movements at winter roosting sites. Using audio and video monitoring of roosts in areas with differing degrees of urbanization, we evaluate the influence of anthropogenic disturbance on vocalizations and collective movements. We found that when levels of background noise were higher, jackdaws took longer to settle following arrival at the roost in the evening and also called more during the night, suggesting that human disturbance may cause sleep disruption. High levels of overnight calling were, in turn, linked to disruption of vocal consensus decision-making and less cohesive group departures in the morning. These results raise the possibility that, by affecting cognitive and perceptual processes, human activities may interfere with animals' ability to coordinate collective behaviour. Understanding links between anthropogenic disturbance, communication, cognition and collective behaviour must be an important research priority in our increasingly urbanized world. This article is part of the theme issue 'The power of sound: unravelling how acoustic communication shapes group dynamics'.

RevDate: 2024-05-20
CmpDate: 2024-05-20

Walsh SL, Townsend SW, Engesser S, et al (2024)

Call combination production is linked to the social environment in Western Australian magpies (Gymnorhina tibicen dorsalis).

Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences, 379(1905):20230198.

It has recently become clear that some language-specific traits previously thought to be unique to humans (such as the capacity to combine sounds) are widespread in the animal kingdom. Despite the increase in studies documenting the presence of call combinations in non-human animals, factors promoting this vocal trait are unclear. One leading hypothesis proposes that communicative complexity co-evolved with social complexity owing to the need to transmit a diversity of information to a wider range of social partners. The Western Australian magpie (Gymnorhina tibicen dorsalis) provides a unique model to investigate this proposed link because it is a group-living, vocal learning species that is capable of multi-level combinatoriality (independently produced calls contain vocal segments and comprise combinations). Here, we compare variations in the production of call combinations across magpie groups ranging in size from 2 to 11 birds. We found that callers in larger groups give call combinations: (i) in greater diversity and (ii) more frequently than callers in smaller groups. Significantly, these observations support the hypothesis that combinatorial complexity may be related to social complexity in an open-ended vocal learner, providing an important step in understanding the role that sociality may have played in the development of vocal combinatorial complexity. This article is part of the theme issue 'The power of sound: unravelling how acoustic communication shapes group dynamics'.

RevDate: 2024-04-29
CmpDate: 2024-04-29

Ramos HHA, Amaral V, de Oliveira Afonso LP, et al (2024)

Advanced Injection of Botulinum Toxin in the Nasal Muscles: A Novel Dynamic Change in Facial Expression.

Aesthetic plastic surgery, 48(8):1511-1521.

BACKGROUND: Among the nasal muscles, the levator labii superior alaeque nasi (LLSAN) acts as a transitional muscle that conjugates with other nasal and perinasal muscles. Thus, when treating the nasal region with Botulinum toxin (BTX), it is important to understand local nasal muscular dynamics and how they can influence the muscular dynamics of the entire face.

METHODS: This is a retrospective analysis of cases treated by an injection pattern encompassing the face, including nasal muscles. Photographs were taken at rest and during motion (frontal and oblique views), before and after treatment.

RESULTS: A total of 227 patients have been treated in the last 18 months with the following results: eyebrow tail lifting, softness of crow's feet, improvement of the drooping of the tip of the nose, and shortening of the lip philtrum when smiling. We present cases illustrating the use of this approach.

CONCLUSIONS: Treating the facial muscles globally (including the frontal, corrugators, procerus, orbicularis oculi, platysma, DAO, and nasal muscles) can improve the smile and facial expressions. This is believed to occur because the elevated portion of the upper lip muscle becomes stronger as the nasal part of the LLSAN is paralyzed.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE IV: This journal requires that authors assign a level of evidence to each article. For a full description of these Evidence-Based Medicine ratings, please refer to the Table of Contents or the online Instructions to Authors www.springer.com/00266 .

RevDate: 2024-02-09

Sun C, Hassin Y, Boonman A, et al (2024)

Species and habitat specific changes in bird activity in an urban environment during Covid 19 lockdown.

eLife, 12: pii:88064.

Covid-19 lockdowns provided ecologists with a rare opportunity to examine how animals behave when humans are absent. Indeed many studies reported various effects of lockdowns on animal activity, especially in urban areas and other human-dominated habitats. We explored how Covid-19 lockdowns in Israel have influenced bird activity in an urban environment by using continuous acoustic recordings to monitor three common bird species that differ in their level of adaptation to the urban ecosystem: (1) the hooded crow, an urban exploiter, which depends heavily on anthropogenic resources; (2) the rose-ringed parakeet, an invasive alien species that has adapted to exploit human resources; and (3) the graceful prinia, an urban adapter, which is relatively shy of humans and can be found in urban habitats with shrubs and prairies. Acoustic recordings provided continuous monitoring of bird activity without an effect of the observer on the animal. We performed dense sampling of a 1.3 square km area in northern Tel-Aviv by placing 17 recorders for more than a month in different micro-habitats within this region including roads, residential areas and urban parks. We monitored both lockdown and no-lockdown periods. We portray a complex dynamic system where the activity of specific bird species depended on many environmental parameters and decreases or increases in a habitat-dependent manner during lockdown. Specifically, urban exploiter species decreased their activity in most urban habitats during lockdown, while human adapter species increased their activity during lockdown especially in parks where humans were absent. Our results also demonstrate the value of different habitats within urban environments for animal activity, specifically highlighting the importance of urban parks. These species- and habitat-specific changes in activity might explain the contradicting results reported by others who have not performed a habitat specific analysis.

RevDate: 2024-01-23

Giancola M, Palmiero M, Pino MC, et al (2024)

How Do Children "Think outside the Box"? Fluid Intelligence and Divergent Thinking: A Moderated Mediation Study of Field Dependent-Independent Cognitive Style and Gender.

Children (Basel, Switzerland), 11(1): pii:children11010089.

The interplay between fluid intelligence (Gf) and divergent thinking (DT) has widely characterized current research in the psychology of creativity. Nevertheless, the evidence on the main factors involved in this association during childhood remains a matter of debate. Present research has addressed the interplay between Gf and DT, exploring the mediating role of a field dependent-independent cognitive style (FDI) and the moderating effect of gender in 101 children (Mage = 8.02; SDage = 1.43). Participants carried out Raven's Colored Progressive Matrices, the Children Embedded Figure Test, and the Alternative Uses Task. The results revealed the mediating effect of FDI in the association between Gf and DT, providing evidence that this cognitive style represents a function of controlled mental processes underpinned by Gf, which are useful to thinking divergently. In addition, the findings reported that the interplay between FDI and DT was moderated by gender, suggesting that the impact of FDI on DT was stronger among boys. Through a multidimensional approach, these current research findings provide further insight into the primary children's factors involved in the ability to find alternative solutions and think divergently.

RevDate: 2024-01-11

Martin K, Cornero FM, Clayton NS, et al (2024)

Vocal complexity in a socially complex corvid: gradation, diversity and lack of common call repertoire in male rooks.

Royal Society open science, 11(1):231713.

Vocal communication is widespread in animals, with vocal repertoires of varying complexity. The social complexity hypothesis predicts that species may need high vocal complexity to deal with complex social organization (e.g. have a variety of different interindividual relations). We quantified the vocal complexity of two geographically distant captive colonies of rooks, a corvid species with complex social organization and cognitive performances, but understudied vocal abilities. We quantified the diversity and gradation of their repertoire, as well as the inter-individual similarity at the vocal unit level. We found that males produced call units with lower diversity and gradation than females, while song units did not differ between sexes. Surprisingly, while females produced highly similar call repertoires, even between colonies, each individual male produced almost completely different call repertoires from any other individual. These findings question the way male rooks communicate with their social partners. We suggest that each male may actively seek to remain vocally distinct, which could be an asset in their frequently changing social environment. We conclude that inter-individual similarity, an understudied aspect of vocal repertoires, should also be considered as a measure of vocal complexity.

RevDate: 2023-12-18

Lohrasbi S, Moradi AR, M Sadeghi (2023)

Exploring Emotion Recognition Patterns Among Iranian People Using CANTAB as an Approved Neuro-Psychological Assessment.

Basic and clinical neuroscience, 14(2):289-295.

INTRODUCTION: Emotion recognition is the main component of social cognition and has various patterns in different cultures and nationalities. The present study aimed to investigate emotion recognition patterns among Iranians using the Cambridge neuro-psychological test automated battery (CANTAB) as a valid neuropsychological test.

METHODS: In this descriptive-analytical study, 117 males and females (Mean±SD of age 32.1±6.4) were initially assessed by computerized intelligence and progressive matrices of RAVEN-2. Furthermore, the excitement recognition subtest taken from the Cambridge neuro-psychological test automated battery (CANTAB) was performed. The correct response of participants to each of the six basic emotions as well as the recognition time was used for analysis.

RESULTS: The maximum correct response rate was 75.83% related to happy emotion. The correct responses for sadness, surprise, disgust, anger, and fear were 70%, 68.48%, 47.84%, 42.54%, and 38.26%, respectively. Moreover, the shortest recognition time was related to disgust at 322 ms, while sadness with a mean response time of 1800 ms and fear response time at 1529 ms indicated the longest recognition time. In addition, participants recognized happiness with a mean response time of 1264 ms better than other emotions; however, post-hoc t-test analyses showed that only the correct responses for sadness and surprised emotions did not differ significantly, (t(112)=-0.59, P=0.55, d=0.05). These results suggested that different emotions have various correct responses. However, sadness and surprise did not differ.

CONCLUSION: The findings of this study could be beneficial for evaluating cognitive elements, as well as cognitive abilities and inabilities among the Iranian population. Moreover, the findings could be used for investigating social cognition in this population.

HIGHLIGHTS: Emotion recognition patterns among Iranians were investigated using a valid neuropsychological test.Iranians showed higher accuracy in recognizing happiness and lower accuracy in recognizing fear.Disgust was recognized with the shortest response time, while sadness and fear had the longest recognition time.The findings highlight cultural differences in emotion recognition and can aid in evaluating cognitive abilities and social cognition in the Iranian population.The study emphasizes the importance of considering cultural factors in assessing and understanding emotion recognition.

PLAIN LANGUAGE SUMMARY: Understanding how people recognize emotions is crucial for effective communication and building social connections. However, the ability to recognize emotions can vary across cultures. This study aimed to investigate how Iranians recognize emotions using a reliable test. The researchers assessed 117 Iranian adults, both males and females, using a computer-based test. Participants were asked to identify six basic emotions (happiness, sadness, anger, disgust, fear, and surprise) displayed on a screen. The researchers measured the participants' accuracy in identifying each emotion and the time it took them to recognize it. The findings revealed that Iranians were most accurate in recognizing happiness and least accurate in recognizing fear. They were better at identifying positive emotions like happiness and surprise compared to negative emotions like disgust and anger. Participants took the least time to recognize disgust and the longest time to recognize sadness and fear. These results show that Iranians have specific patterns in recognizing emotions, which can be influenced by cultural factors. Understanding these patterns is important for assessing cognitive abilities and social cognition in the Iranian population. Moreover, these findings have broader implications. They highlight the need to consider cultural differences in emotion recognition, as it can impact communication and social interactions. The study's outcomes can be valuable for various applications. For instance, they can aid in developing tests to assess emotion recognition difficulties in individuals with conditions such as autism or schizophrenia. Furthermore, these findings can be useful for professionals, such as employees in customer service or mental health providers, who need to accurately interpret others' emotions. By shedding light on cultural variations in emotion recognition, this research contributes to our understanding of human emotions and their role in interpersonal relationships.

RevDate: 2023-12-07

Gonthier C, Harma K, Z Gavornikova-Baligand (2023)

Development of reasoning performance in Raven's matrices is grounded in the development of effective strategy use.

Journal of experimental psychology. General pii:2024-33542-001 [Epub ahead of print].

Performance in reasoning tasks such as Raven's matrices experiences a dramatic increase over cognitive development, but the mechanisms responsible for this increase are unknown. Many cognitive processes are involved in a matrix task and could potentially change with age; strategy use appears to be a good candidate, as it typically improves over development and has a large impact on reasoning performance in adults. The present study tested the role of effective strategy use in Raven's standard progressive matrices in groups of 6-, 8-, 10-, 12-, 14-, 16-, and 18-year-olds (total N = 474). Strategy use was assessed with behavioral measures of gaze patterns in Raven's matrices. We also measured working memory capacity (WMC), a good predictor of strategy use in adults, using a battery of complex spans. The results showed that the effective strategy of constructive matching substantially increased with age, along with performance. Strategy use mediated over half the effect of age on reasoning performance. Older participants were also better at adapting strategy use to difficulty of the problems. Effective strategy use was beneficial to the same extent for participants of all ages. Age-related improvements in strategy use occurred in tandem with improvements in WMC, but did not appear to be primarily driven by them. Overall, our results indicate that strategy use is a critical underpinning of reasoning performance in children as well as in adults, and that theories of cognitive development of reasoning have to consider the central role of strategy use. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2023 APA, all rights reserved).

RevDate: 2023-11-14

Palanisamy P, Urooj S, Arunachalam R, et al (2023)

A Novel Prognostic Model Using Chaotic CNN with Hybridized Spoofing for Enhancing Diagnostic Accuracy in Epileptic Seizure Prediction.

Diagnostics (Basel, Switzerland), 13(21): pii:diagnostics13213382.

Epileptic seizure detection has undergone progressive advancements since its conception in the 1970s. From proof-of-concept experiments in the latter part of that decade, it has now become a vibrant area of clinical and laboratory research. In an effort to bring this technology closer to practical application in human patients, this study introduces a customized approach to selecting electroencephalogram (EEG) features and electrode positions for seizure prediction. The focus is on identifying precursors that occur within 10 min of the onset of abnormal electrical activity during a seizure. However, there are security concerns related to safeguarding patient EEG recordings against unauthorized access and network-based attacks. Therefore, there is an urgent need for an efficient prediction and classification method for encrypted EEG data. This paper presents an effective system for analyzing and recognizing encrypted EEG information using Arnold transform algorithms, chaotic mapping, and convolutional neural networks (CNNs). In this system, the EEG time series from each channel is converted into a 2D spectrogram image, which is then encrypted using chaotic algorithms. The encrypted data is subsequently processed by CNNs coupled with transfer learning (TL) frameworks. To optimize the fusion parameters of the ensemble learning classifiers, a hybridized spoofing optimization method is developed by combining the characteristics of corvid and gregarious-seeking agents. The evaluation of the model's effectiveness yielded the following results: 98.9 ± 0.3% accuracy, 98.2 ± 0.7% sensitivity, 98.6 ± 0.6% specificity, 98.6 ± 0.6% precision, and an F1 measure of 98.9 ± 0.6%. When compared with other state-of-the-art techniques applied to the same dataset, this novel strategy demonstrated one of the most effective seizure detection systems, as evidenced by these results.

RevDate: 2023-10-17

Blackburn G, Ashton BJ, Thornton A, et al (2023)

Cognition mediates response to anthropogenic noise in wild Western Australian magpies (Gmynorhina tibicen dorsalis).

Global change biology [Epub ahead of print].

Anthropogenic noise is a pollutant of growing concern, with wide-ranging effects on taxa across ecosystems. Until recently, studies investigating the effects of anthropogenic noise on animals focused primarily on population-level consequences, rather than individual-level impacts. Individual variation in response to anthropogenic noise may result from extrinsic or intrinsic factors. One such intrinsic factor, cognitive performance, varies between individuals and is hypothesised to aid behavioural response to novel stressors. Here, we combine cognitive testing, behavioural focals and playback experiments to investigate how anthropogenic noise affects the behaviour and anti-predator response of Western Australian magpies (Gymnorhina tibicen dorsalis), and to determine whether this response is linked to cognitive performance. We found a significant population-level effect of anthropogenic noise on the foraging effort, foraging efficiency, vigilance, vocalisation rate and anti-predator response of magpies, with birds decreasing their foraging, vocalisation behaviours and anti-predator response, and increasing vigilance when loud anthropogenic noise was present. We also found that individuals varied in their response to playbacks depending on their cognitive performance, with individuals that performed better in an associative learning task maintaining their anti-predator response when an alarm call was played in anthropogenic noise. Our results add to the growing body of literature documenting the adverse effects of anthropogenic noise on wildlife and provide the first evidence for an association between individual cognitive performance and behavioural responses to anthropogenic noise.

RevDate: 2023-09-30

Ręk P, RD Magrath (2023)

The quality of avian vocal duets can be assessed independently of the spatial separation of signallers.

Scientific reports, 13(1):16438.

Interactions among groups are often mediated through signals, including coordinated calls such as duets, and the degree of temporal coordination within a group can affect signal efficacy. However, in addition to intrinsic duet quality, the spatial arrangement of callers also affects the timing of calls. So, can listeners discriminate temporal effects caused by intrinsic duet quality compared to spatial arrangement? Such discrimination would allow assessment of quality of duets produced by a pair, as distinct from transient extrinsic spatial effects. To address this issue, we studied experimentally the influence of intrinsic duet quality and spatial arrangement on the efficacy of Australian magpie-lark (Grallina cyanoleuca) vocal duets. Breeding pairs duet at varying distances from each other and to multiple neighbours. Coordinated duets are more effective territorial signals than uncoordinated duets, but it remains unclear whether listeners can discriminate the effects of quality and spatial arrangement. Our playback experiment showed that any deviation from perfect regularity of partners' notes reduced duet efficacy, but that lack of coordination due to spatial separation (slower tempo and offset of notes) had a lower effect on efficacy than effects due to intrinsic quality (irregularity). Our results therefore provide experimental evidence that the temporal organisation of group vocalisations could signal coalition quality independently of spatial effects.

RevDate: 2023-09-25
CmpDate: 2023-09-25

Webb T, Holyoak KJ, H Lu (2023)

Emergent analogical reasoning in large language models.

Nature human behaviour, 7(9):1526-1541.

The recent advent of large language models has reinvigorated debate over whether human cognitive capacities might emerge in such generic models given sufficient training data. Of particular interest is the ability of these models to reason about novel problems zero-shot, without any direct training. In human cognition, this capacity is closely tied to an ability to reason by analogy. Here we performed a direct comparison between human reasoners and a large language model (the text-davinci-003 variant of Generative Pre-trained Transformer (GPT)-3) on a range of analogical tasks, including a non-visual matrix reasoning task based on the rule structure of Raven's Standard Progressive Matrices. We found that GPT-3 displayed a surprisingly strong capacity for abstract pattern induction, matching or even surpassing human capabilities in most settings; preliminary tests of GPT-4 indicated even better performance. Our results indicate that large language models such as GPT-3 have acquired an emergent ability to find zero-shot solutions to a broad range of analogy problems.

RevDate: 2023-08-17

McCormack JE, Hill MM, DeRaad DA, et al (2023)

An elevational shift facilitated the Mesoamerican diversification of Azure-hooded Jays (Cyanolyca cucullata) during the Great American Biotic Interchange.

Ecology and evolution, 13(8):e10411.

The Great American Biotic Interchange (GABI) was a key biogeographic event in the history of the Americas. The rising of the Panamanian land bridge ended the isolation of South America and ushered in a period of dispersal, mass extinction, and new community assemblages, which sparked competition, adaptation, and speciation. Diversification across many bird groups, and the elevational zonation of others, ties back to events triggered by the GABI. But the exact timing of these events is still being revealed, with recent studies suggesting a much earlier time window for faunal exchange, perhaps as early as 20 million years ago (Mya). Using a time-calibrated phylogenetic tree, we show that the jay genus Cyanolyca is emblematic of bird dispersal trends, with an early, pre-land bridge dispersal from Mesoamerica to South America 6.3-7.3 Mya, followed by a back-colonization of C. cucullata to Mesoamerica 2.3-4.8 Mya, likely after the land bridge was complete. As Cyanolyca species came into contact in Mesoamerica, they avoided competition due to a prior shift to lower elevation in the ancestor of C. cucullata. This shift allowed C. cucullata to integrate itself into the Mesoamerican highland avifauna, which our time-calibrated phylogeny suggests was already populated by higher-elevation, congeneric dwarf-jays (C. argentigula, C. pumilo, C. mirabilis, and C. nanus). The outcome of these events and fortuitous elevational zonation was that C. cucullata could continue colonizing new highland areas farther north during the Pleistocene. Resultingly, four C. cucullata lineages became isolated in allopatric, highland regions from Panama to Mexico, diverging in genetics, morphology, plumage, and vocalizations. At least two of these lineages are best described as species (C. mitrata and C. cucullata). Continued study will further document the influence of the GABI and help clarify how dispersal and vicariance shaped modern-day species assemblages in the Americas.

RevDate: 2023-08-04

Taffs L, Kerridge I, W Lipworth (2023)

The silent world of assisted reproduction: A qualitative account of communication between doctors and patients undergoing in vitro fertilisation in Australia.

Health expectations : an international journal of public participation in health care and health policy [Epub ahead of print].

CONTEXT: In vitro fertilisation (IVF) is now a common assisted reproductive technology (ART) procedure globally, with 8 million children alive today having been conceived utilising IVF. For many patients, IVF is a difficult experience with many discontinuing treatment because of emotional, relationship and financial stress, or intolerable physical side effects of hormone treatments.

DESIGN AND PARTICIPANTS: A qualitative study, in which 31 professionals and 25 patients from the ART sector in Australia were interviewed. The interviews were analysed using codebook thematic analysis.

RESULTS: Our data indicates there are 'silences' within the therapeutic relationship of IVF, which may limit the capacity for patients to prepare emotionally, financially, or medically for the procedure, and may contribute to psychological distress and dissatisfaction with care. These 'silences' include what the patient 'is not told' by their clinician or 'does not hear' and what the patient feels they 'cannot say'.

DISCUSSION: Drawing upon the work of Jay Katz, Charis Thompson, and Miles Little on 'silences' and performance in clinical practice, we argue that although IVF is a complex and multifaceted procedure that is often conducted in a commercial setting, the clinical and therapeutic relationship between doctor and patient remains pivotal to the experiences of patients. The 'silences' within this relationship may impact negatively on decision-making, and on the delivery and experience of care.

CONCLUSIONS: Careful attention to the realities of IVF treatment in the clinic room (and awareness of the performances that hide them) should allow for more present and compassionate care. Such care may leave patients more satisfied with their experience and their choices, regardless of treatment outcomes.

This article draws on interviews with patients who had undergone or were currently undergoing IVF, as well as a range of representatives from the ART community (including reproductive medicine specialists, general practitioners, fertility nurses, counsellors, administrators in ART businesses and embryologists).

RevDate: 2023-08-01
CmpDate: 2023-08-01

Couturaud V, Le Fur M, Pelletier M, et al (2023)

Reverse skin aging signs by red light photobiomodulation.

Skin research and technology : official journal of International Society for Bioengineering and the Skin (ISBS) [and] International Society for Digital Imaging of Skin (ISDIS) [and] International Society for Skin Imaging (ISSI), 29(7):e13391.

BACKGROUND: Photobiomodulation is a process by which the absorption of red light energy produces a series of physiological effects at the cellular level such as the enhancement of mitochondrial Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) production, cell signaling and growth factor synthesis, and the reduction of oxidative stress. Light emitting diodes (LEDs) photobiomodulation is an increasingly popular therapy for treating skin problems, especially for reversing the signs of skin aging.

OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study is to demonstrate the effectiveness of a photobiomodulation treatment using red LEDs on the facial skin at a rate of two sessions per week for 3 months. The LED mask used is the Skin Light Dior x Lucibel mask diffusing a cold red light with a wavelength of 630 ± 10 nm and a power of 15.6 J/cm[2] for a duration of 12 min.

METHOD: In order to demonstrate the effectiveness of the mask in reversing the signs of skin aging, a clinical study was conducted on 20 healthy Caucasian women: the antiwrinkle effect by measuring the depth of the crow's feet wrinkle, the relaxation of the oval of the face by clinical scoring, the firmness and elasticity of the skin by cutometric measurement, the density of the dermis by ultrasound analysis, the smoothness of the skin by measuring the roughness at the cheek, the homogeneity of the complexion by chromametric measurement, the diameter of the pores by macrophotographs and finally the sebo-regulating effect by measurement of the rate of sebum and quantification of the number of pores containing porphyrin in the subjects presenting a mixed to oily skin. The satisfaction of the volunteers was also evaluated at the end of the study via a self-questionnaire.

RESULTS: The efficacy results measured after 1, 2, and 3 months of use are progressive and confirm the interest of LED photobiomodulation to reverse the visible signs of skin aging. All the volunteers observed an overall improvement in skin quality.

CONCLUSION: All the results observed confirm the interest of using photobiomodulation to reverse the visible signs of aging. These results last for up to 1 month after stopping the use of the mask, which is a sign of lasting structural and functional rejuvenation of the skin.

RevDate: 2023-07-26
CmpDate: 2023-07-26

Carlón-Beltrán Ó, Viloria-Gómora L, Urbán R J, et al (2023)

Whistle characterization of long-beaked common dolphin (Delphinus delphis bairdii) in La Paz Bay, Gulf of California.

PeerJ, 11:e15687.

Long-beaked common dolphin (Delphinus delphis bairdii) distribution is limited to the Eastern North Pacific Ocean. Its whistle repertoire is poorly investigated, with no studies in the Gulf of California. The aim of the present study is to characterize the whistles of this species and compare their parameters with different populations. Acoustic monitoring was conducted in La Paz Bay, Gulf of California. Recordings were inspected in spectrogram view in Raven Pro, selecting good quality whistles (n = 270). In the software Luscinia, contours were manually traced to obtain whistle frequencies and duration. Number of steps, inflection points and contour type were visually determined. We calculated the descriptive statistics of the selected whistle parameters and we compared the results with a dolphins population from the Eastern Pacific Ocean. Permutational multivariate analysis of variance (PERMANOVA) was performed to test the intraspecific variation of the whistle parameters among groups. In the present study the mean values (±SD) of the whistle parameters were: maximum frequency = 14.13 ± 3.71 kHz, minimum frequency = 8.44 ± 2.58 kHz and duration = 0.44 ± 0.31 s. Whistles with the upsweep contour were the most common ones (34.44%). The coefficient of variation (CV) values for modulation parameters were high (>100%), in accordance with other studies on dolphins. Whistle parameters showed significant differences among groups. Finally, ending and maximum frequencies, duration and inflection points of the whistles recorded in the present study were lower compared with the parameters of the long-beaked common dolphins from the Eastern Pacific Ocean. This study provides the first whistle characterization of long-beaked common dolphin from the Gulf of California and it will help future passive acoustic monitoring applications in the study area.

RevDate: 2023-07-13

Markiewicz R, Rahman F, Apperly I, et al (2023)

It is not all about you: Communicative cooperation is determined by your partner's theory of mind abilities as well as your own.

Journal of experimental psychology. Learning, memory, and cognition pii:2023-88422-001 [Epub ahead of print].

We investigated the relationship between Theory of Mind (ToM) and communicative cooperation. Specifically, we examined whether communicative cooperation is affected by the ToM ability of one's cooperative partner as well as their own. ToM is the attribution of mental states to oneself and others; cooperation is the joint action that leads to achieving a shared goal. We measured cooperation using a novel communicative cooperation game completed by participants in pairs. ToM was measured via the Movies for Assessment of Social Cognition (MASC) task and fluid intelligence via the Raven task. Findings of 350 adults show that ToM scores of both players were predictors of cooperative failure, whereas Raven scores were not. Furthermore, participants were split into low- and high-ToM groups through a median split of the MASC scores: high-ToM individuals committed significantly fewer cooperative errors compared to their low-ToM counterparts. Therefore, we found a direct relationship between ToM and cooperation. Interestingly, we also examined how ToM scores of paired participants determine cooperation. We found that pairs with two high-ToM individuals committed significantly fewer errors compared to pairs with two low-ToM individuals. We speculate that reduced cooperation in low-low ToM pairs is a result of less efficient development of conceptual alignment and recovery from misalignment, compared to high-high ToM dyads. For the first time, we thus demonstrate that it is not all about you; both cooperative partners make key, independent, contributions to cooperative outcomes. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2023 APA, all rights reserved).

RevDate: 2023-06-13
CmpDate: 2023-06-13

Doumari SA, Berahmand K, MJ Ebadi (2023)

Early and High-Accuracy Diagnosis of Parkinson's Disease: Outcomes of a New Model.

Computational and mathematical methods in medicine, 2023:1493676.

Parkinson's disease (PD) is one of the significant common neurological disorders of the current age that causes uncontrollable movements like shaking, stiffness, and difficulty. The early clinical diagnosis of this disease is essential for preventing the progression of PD. Hence, an innovative method is proposed here based on combining the crow search algorithm and decision tree (CSADT) for the early PD diagnosis. This approach is used on four crucial Parkinson's datasets, including meander, spiral, voice, and speech-Sakar. Using the presented method, PD is effectively diagnosed by evaluating each dataset's critical features and extracting the primary practical outcomes. The used algorithm was compared with other machine learning algorithms of k-nearest neighbor (KNN), support vector machine (SVM), naive Baye (NB), multilayer perceptron (MLP), decision tree (DT), random tree, logistic regression, support vector machine of radial base functions (SVM of RBFs), and combined classifier in terms of accuracy, recall, and combination measure F1. The analytical results emphasize the used algorithm's superiority over the other selected ones. The proposed model yields nearly 100% accuracy through various trials on the datasets. Notably, a high detection speed achieved the lowest detection time of 2.6 seconds. The main novelty of this paper is attributed to the accuracy of the presented PD diagnosis method, which is much higher than its counterparts.

RevDate: 2023-06-10

Lu C, Gudowska A, J Rutkowska (2023)

What do zebra finches learn besides singing? Systematic mapping of the literature and presentation of an efficient associative learning test.

Animal cognition [Epub ahead of print].

The process of learning in birds has been extensively studied, with a focus on species such as pigeons, parrots, chickens, and crows. In recent years, the zebra finch has emerged as a model species in avian cognition, particularly in song learning. However, other cognitive domains such as spatial memory and associative learning could also be critical to fitness and survival, particularly during the intensive juvenile period. In this systematic review, we provide an overview of cognitive studies on zebra finches, with a focus on domains other than song learning. Our findings indicate that spatial, associative, and social learning are the most frequently studied domains, while motoric learning and inhibitory control have been examined less frequently over 30 years of research. All of the 60 studies included in this review were conducted on captive birds, limiting the generalizability of the findings to wild populations. Moreover, only two of the studies were conducted on juveniles, highlighting the need for more research on this critical period of learning. To address this research gap, we propose a high-throughput method for testing associative learning performance in a large number of both juvenile and adult zebra finches. Our results demonstrate that learning can occur in both age groups, thus encouraging researchers to also perform cognitive tests on juveniles. We also note the heterogeneity of methodologies, protocols, and subject exclusion criteria applied by different researchers, which makes it difficult to compare results across studies. Therefore, we call for better communication among researchers to develop standardised methodologies for studying each cognitive domain at different life stages and also in their natural conditions.

RevDate: 2023-08-07

Majji R, G OPP, Rajeswari R, et al (2023)

Smart IoT in Breast Cancer Detection Using Optimal Deep Learning.

Journal of digital imaging, 36(4):1489-1506.

IoT in healthcare systems is currently a viable option for providing higher-quality medical care for contemporary e-healthcare. Using an Internet of Things (IoT)-based smart healthcare system, a trustworthy breast cancer classification method called Feedback Artificial Crow Search (FACS)-based Shepherd Convolutional Neural Network (ShCNN) is developed in this research. To choose the best routes, the secure routing operation is first carried out using the recommended FACS while taking fitness measures such as distance, energy, link quality, and latency into account. Then, by merging the Crow Search Algorithm (CSA) and Feedback Artificial Tree, the produced FACS is put into practice (FAT). After the completion of routing phase, the breast cancer categorization process is started at the base station. The feature extraction step is then introduced to the pre-processed input mammography image. As a result, it is possible to successfully get features including area, mean, variance, energy, contrast, correlation, skewness, homogeneity, Gray Level Co-occurrence Matrix (GLCM), and Local Gabor Binary Pattern (LGBP). The quality of the image is next enhanced through data augmentation, and finally, the developed FACS algorithm's ShCNN is used to classify breast cancer. The performance of FACS-based ShCNN is examined using six metrics, including energy, delay, accuracy, sensitivity, specificity, and True Positive Rate (TPR), with the maximum energy of 0.562 J, the least delay of 0.452 s, the highest accuracy of 91.56%, the higher sensitivity of 96.10%, the highest specificity of 91.80%, and the maximum TPR of 99.45%.

RevDate: 2023-06-12
CmpDate: 2023-05-25

Brea J, Clayton NS, W Gerstner (2023)

Computational models of episodic-like memory in food-caching birds.

Nature communications, 14(1):2979.

Birds of the crow family adapt food-caching strategies to anticipated needs at the time of cache recovery and rely on memory of the what, where and when of previous caching events to recover their hidden food. It is unclear if this behavior can be explained by simple associative learning or if it relies on higher cognitive processes like mental time-travel. We present a computational model and propose a neural implementation of food-caching behavior. The model has hunger variables for motivational control, reward-modulated update of retrieval and caching policies and an associative neural network for remembering caching events with a memory consolidation mechanism for flexible decoding of the age of a memory. Our methodology of formalizing experimental protocols is transferable to other domains and facilitates model evaluation and experiment design. Here, we show that memory-augmented, associative reinforcement learning without mental time-travel is sufficient to explain the results of 28 behavioral experiments with food-caching birds.

RevDate: 2023-04-05
CmpDate: 2023-04-05

Santoprete R, Hourblin V, Foucher A, et al (2023)

Reduction of wrinkles: From a computational hypothesis to a clinical, instrumental, and biological proof.

Skin research and technology : official journal of International Society for Bioengineering and the Skin (ISBS) [and] International Society for Digital Imaging of Skin (ISDIS) [and] International Society for Skin Imaging (ISSI), 29(3):e13267.

BACKGROUND: Facial wrinkles are clear markers of the aging process, being chronological, photo-induced, or reflecting repetitive facial expressions. The aim of this study is to provide new insights into the biophysical and biological mechanisms involved in the formation, prevention, or elimination of the expression wrinkles.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: We use a computational model to get a better understanding of the wrinkle mechanical behavior and evolution after skin softening and suggesting a possible antiaging mechanism. Then, we provide a clinical demonstration of the anti-wrinkle effect of a long-term application of a 20% glycerol in a moisturizer formula (GBM) versus its vehicle on crow's feet. Skin hydration, elasticity, and wrinkles visibility were evaluated by a combination of clinical and instrumental in vivo data, inverse finite element analysis, and proteomic data.

RESULTS: The computational model shows a predominantly compressive stress beneath the wrinkle and its significant decrease by the softening of stratum corneum. The associated clinical study confirmed a significant increase of skin hydration and elasticity as well as a decrease of wrinkle visibility after 2 and 4 months as application for both formulas; this effect being stronger for GBM. A softening effect on stratum corneum and dermis was also observed for the GBM. Furthermore, proteomic data revealed an effect of upregulation of four proteins associated with desquamation, cell-glycan extracellular interactions, and protein glycation/oxidation, functions related to the tissue mechanics and adhesion.

CONCLUSIONS: We provide an in vivo demonstration of the anti-ageing benefit of glycerol at high dose (20%) reflected by a cumulative skin surface softening effect. The use of high moisturizing potent formulations should bring additional performance to other conventional moisturizing formulations.

RevDate: 2023-06-26
CmpDate: 2023-04-12

Bootsma JN, Campbell F, McCauley D, et al (2023)

Psychometric properties of the English language version of the C-BiLLT evaluated in typically developing Canadian children.

Journal of pediatric rehabilitation medicine, 16(1):71-81.

PURPOSE: This study aimed to 1) investigate the convergent and discriminant validity, internal consistency, and test-retest reliability of the Canadian English version of the Computer-Based instrument for Low motor Language Testing (C-BiLLT-CAN), and 2) explore feasibility of the C-BiLLT assessment for children with cerebral palsy (CP) and complex communication needs in the Canadian health care context.

METHODS: Eighty typically developing children between 1.5 and 8.5 years of age completed the C-BiLLT-CAN, the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test-IV (PPVT-4), the receptive language sub-test of the New Reynell Developmental Language Scales (NRDLS), and/or the Raven's 2. Correlations between raw scores were calculated for estimates of convergent and discriminant validity. Internal consistency was calculated for all items and separately for items pertaining to vocabulary and grammar. To calculate the standard error of measurement (SEM) and intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC), 33 participants were re-tested with the C-BiLLT within three weeks. Feasibility was explored with nine participants with CP.

RESULTS: C-BiLLT-CAN's convergent validity was good to excellent (Spearman's rho > 0.78) and discriminant validity was higher than hypothesized (Spearman's rho > 0.8). Internal consistency (Cronbach's alpha = 0.96), test-retest reliability (ICC > 0.9), and measurement error (SEM < 5%) were excellent. The feasibility study could not be fully completed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Preliminary data demonstrated some technical and practical barriers for using the C-BiLLT in children with CP in Canada.

CONCLUSION: The C-BiLLT-CAN showed good to excellent psychometric properties in a sample of typically developing children, indicating that it is an adequate test for measuring language comprehension in English-speaking Canadian children. Further research is needed to investigate the feasibility of the C-BiLLT-CAN in children with CP.

RevDate: 2023-04-08
CmpDate: 2023-04-03

Brecht KF, Westendorff S, A Nieder (2023)

Neural correlates of cognitively controlled vocalizations in a corvid songbird.

Cell reports, 42(3):112113.

The neuronal basis of the songbird's song system is well understood. However, little is known about the neuronal correlates of the executive control of songbird vocalizations. Here, we record single-unit activity from the pallial endbrain region "nidopallium caudolaterale" (NCL) of crows that vocalize to the presentation of a visual go-cue but refrain from vocalizing during trials without a go-cue. We find that the preparatory activity of single vocalization-correlated neurons, but also of the entire population of NCL neurons, before vocal onset predicts whether or not the crows will produce an instructed vocalization. Fluctuations in baseline neuronal activity prior to the go-cue influence the premotor activity of such vocalization-correlated neurons and seemingly bias the crows' decision to vocalize. Neuronal response modulation significantly differs between volitional and task-unrelated vocalizations. This suggests that the NCL can take control over the vocal motor network during the production of volitional vocalizations in a corvid songbird.

RevDate: 2023-02-24

Tomasek M, Ravignani A, Boucherie PH, et al (2023)

Spontaneous vocal coordination of vocalizations to water noise in rooks (Corvus frugilegus): An exploratory study.

Ecology and evolution, 13(2):e9791.

The ability to control one's vocal production is a major advantage in acoustic communication. Yet, not all species have the same level of control over their vocal output. Several bird species can interrupt their song upon hearing an external stimulus, but there is no evidence how flexible this behavior is. Most research on corvids focuses on their cognitive abilities, but few studies explore their vocal aptitudes. Recent research shows that crows can be experimentally trained to vocalize in response to a brief visual stimulus. Our study investigated vocal control abilities with a more ecologically embedded approach in rooks. We show that two rooks could spontaneously coordinate their vocalizations to a long-lasting stimulus (the sound of their small bathing pool being filled with a water hose), one of them adjusting roughly (in the second range) its vocalizations as the stimuli began and stopped. This exploratory study adds to the literature showing that corvids, a group of species capable of cognitive prowess, are indeed able to display good vocal control abilities.

RevDate: 2023-04-03
CmpDate: 2023-03-02

Wagener L, Rinnert P, Veit L, et al (2023)

Crows protect visual working memory against interference.

The Journal of experimental biology, 226(5):.

Working memory, the ability to actively maintain and manipulate information across time, is key to intelligent behavior. Because of the limited capacity of working memory, relevant information needs to be protected against distracting representations. Whether birds can resist distractors and safeguard memorized relevant information is unclear. We trained carrion crows in a delayed match-to-sample task to memorize an image while resisting other, interfering stimuli. We found that the repetition of the sample stimulus during the memory delay improved performance accuracy and accelerated reaction time relative to a reference condition with a neutral interfering stimulus. In contrast, the presentation of the image that constituted the subsequent non-match test stimulus mildly weakened performance. However, the crows' robust performance in this most demanding distractor condition indicates that sample information was actively protected from being overwritten by the distractor. These data show that crows can cognitively control and safeguard behaviorally relevant working memory contents.

RevDate: 2023-02-17
CmpDate: 2023-02-02

Walsh SL, Engesser S, Townsend SW, et al (2023)

Multi-level combinatoriality in magpie non-song vocalizations.

Journal of the Royal Society, Interface, 20(199):20220679.

Comparative studies conducted over the past few decades have provided important insights into the capacity for animals to combine vocal segments at either one of two levels: within- or between-calls. There remains, however, a distinct gap in knowledge as to whether animal combinatoriality can extend beyond one level. Investigating this requires a comprehensive analysis of the combinatorial features characterizing a species' vocal system. Here, we used a nonlinear dimensionality reduction analysis and sequential transition analysis to quantitatively describe the non-song combinatorial repertoire of the Western Australian magpie (Gymnorhina tibicen dorsalis). We found that (i) magpies recombine four distinct acoustic segments to create a larger number of calls, and (ii) the resultant calls are further combined into larger call combinations. Our work demonstrates two levels in the combining of magpie vocal units. These results are incongruous with the notion that a capacity for multi-level combinatoriality is unique to human language, wherein the combining of meaningless sounds and meaningful words interactively occurs across different combinatorial levels. Our study thus provides novel insights into the combinatorial capacities of a non-human species, adding to the growing evidence of analogues of language-specific traits present in the animal kingdom.

RevDate: 2023-02-03
CmpDate: 2023-02-03

Likhanov M, Bogdanova O, Alenina E, et al (2023)

No evidence of a positive effect of learning Chinese language as an L2 on spatial ability.

Scientific reports, 13(1):1262.

Spatial ability (SA) was shown to be a robust predictor of success in various educational contexts, including STEM. Thus, ways to improve SA are of interest to educational psychology. There is some evidence that SA might be improved via learning character-based language, e.g. Chinese as a second language (CSL), however, the existing research is quite limited. The study aims to investigate an effect of CSL learning on SA in schoolchildren from Year 2 to Year 7. Current study employs a sample of Russian schoolchildren (N = 283), who learnt: English only, English and Spanish; or English and Chinese. Participants completed Raven's progressive matrices and Mental rotation task at the age of 8 and again at the age of 14. Our data showed negligible group differences in the initial SA level at Year 2 (before learning second language). Similar negligible differences were found at Year 7. Regression analysis showed that SA was predicted by intelligence (Raven's) and gender but not language learnt at both ages. This pattern of results indicates that learning a Chinese as a second language is unlikely to affect SA. Further research is needed to investigate whether other factors, such as length, intensity and context of learning, moderate this link.

RevDate: 2023-04-27
CmpDate: 2023-02-03

Zhou L, Lei J, Zhai X, et al (2023)

Chinese striped-neck turtles vocalize underwater and show differences in peak frequency among different age and sex groups.

PeerJ, 11:e14628.

BACKGROUND: Turtle vocalizations play an important role throughout their lives by expressing individual information (position, emotion, or physiological status), reflecting mating preferences, and synchronizing incubation. The Chinese striped-neck turtle (Mauremys sinensis) is one of the most widely distributed freshwater turtles in China, whose wild population is critically endangered. However, its vocalization has not been studied, which can be the basis for behavioral and ecological studies.

METHODS: Five different sex-age groups of turtles were recorded underwater in a soundproof room. Cluster analysis and principal component analysis for classification of Chinese striped-neck turtle calls were unreasonable. The turtle calls were manually sought using visual and aural inspection of the recordings in Raven Pro 1.5 software and classified according to differences perceived through auditory inspection and the morphological characteristics of the spectrograms. The results of similarity analysis verified the reliability of manual classification. We compared the peak frequency of the calls among different age and sex groups.

RESULTS: We identified ten M. sinensis call types, displayed their spectra and waveforms, and described their auditory characteristics. Most calls produced by the turtles were low-frequency. Some high-frequency call types, that are common in other turtle species were also produced. Similar to other turtles, the Chinese striped-neck turtle generates harmonic vocalizations. Courtship behaviors were observed when one of the call types occurred in the mixed-sex group. Adult females produced more high-frequency call types, and subadult males had higher vocalizations than other groups. These results provide a basis for future research on the function of vocalizations, field monitoring, and conservation of this species.

RevDate: 2023-02-02
CmpDate: 2023-01-30

Huber L, L Lonardo (2023)

Canine perspective-taking.

Animal cognition, 26(1):275-298.

An important question in the study of canine cognition is how dogs understand humans, given that they show impressive abilities for interacting and communicating with us. In this review, we describe and discuss studies that have investigated dogs' perspective-taking abilities. There is solid evidence that dogs are not only sensitive to the gaze of others, but also their attention. We specifically address the question whether dogs have the ability to take the perspective of others and thus come to understand what others can or cannot perceive. From the latter, they may then infer what others know and use this representation to anticipate what others do next. Still, dogs might simply rely on directly observable cues and on what they themselves can perceive when they assess what others can perceive. And instead of making inferences from representations of others' mental states, they may have just learned that certain behaviours of ours lead to certain outcomes. However, recent research seems to challenge this low-level explanation. Dogs have solved several perspective-taking tasks instantly and reliably across a large number of variations, including geometrical gaze-following, stealing in the dark, concealing information from others, and Guesser/Knower differentiation. In the latter studies, dogs' choices between two human informants were strongly influenced by cues related to the humans' visual access to the food, even when the two informants behaved identically. And finally, we review a recent study that found dogs reacting differently to misleading suggestions of human informants that have either a true or false belief about the location of food. We discuss this surprising result in terms of the comprehension of reality-incongruent mental states, which is considered as a hallmark of Theory of Mind acquisition in human development. Especially on the basis of the latter findings, we conclude that pet dogs might be sensitive to what others see, know, intend, and believe. Therefore, this ability seems to have evolved not just in the corvid and primate lineages, but also in dogs.

RevDate: 2023-01-11
CmpDate: 2023-01-10

Kapoor B, Nagpal B, Jain PK, et al (2022)

Epileptic Seizure Prediction Based on Hybrid Seek Optimization Tuned Ensemble Classifier Using EEG Signals.

Sensors (Basel, Switzerland), 23(1):.

Visual analysis of an electroencephalogram (EEG) by medical professionals is highly time-consuming and the information is difficult to process. To overcome these limitations, several automated seizure detection strategies have been introduced by combining signal processing and machine learning. This paper proposes a hybrid optimization-controlled ensemble classifier comprising the AdaBoost classifier, random forest (RF) classifier, and the decision tree (DT) classifier for the automatic analysis of an EEG signal dataset to predict an epileptic seizure. The EEG signal is pre-processed initially to make it suitable for feature selection. The feature selection process receives the alpha, beta, delta, theta, and gamma wave data from the EEG, where the significant features, such as statistical features, wavelet features, and entropy-based features, are extracted by the proposed hybrid seek optimization algorithm. These extracted features are fed forward to the proposed ensemble classifier that produces the predicted output. By the combination of corvid and gregarious search agent characteristics, the proposed hybrid seek optimization technique has been developed, and is used to evaluate the fusion parameters of the ensemble classifier. The suggested technique's accuracy, sensitivity, and specificity are determined to be 96.6120%, 94.6736%, and 91.3684%, respectively, for the CHB-MIT database. This demonstrates the effectiveness of the suggested technique for early seizure prediction. The accuracy, sensitivity, and specificity of the proposed technique are 95.3090%, 93.1766%, and 90.0654%, respectively, for the Siena Scalp database, again demonstrating its efficacy in the early seizure prediction process.

RevDate: 2023-01-03

Rey A, J Fagot (2023)

Associative learning accounts for recursive-structure generation in crows.

Learning & behavior [Epub ahead of print].

Recursive sequence generation (i.e., the ability to transfer recursive patterns to novel items) was recently reported in crows (Liao et al., 2022, Science Advances, 8[44], eabq3356). Here, we argue that although the reported data are certainly compatible with the recursion hypothesis, they can also be explained by other, much simpler mechanisms of associative learning.

RevDate: 2023-04-11
CmpDate: 2022-12-15

Cella F, Marchak KA, Bianchi C, et al (2022)

Generic Language for Social and Animal Kinds: An Examination of the Asymmetry Between Acceptance and Inferences.

Cognitive science, 46(12):e13209.

Generics (e.g., "Ravens are black") express generalizations about categories or their members. Previous research found that generics about animals are interpreted as broadly true of members of a kind, yet also accepted based on minimal evidence. This asymmetry is important for suggesting a mechanism by which unfounded generalizations may flourish; yet, little is known whether this finding extends to generics about groups of people (heretofore, "social generics"). Accordingly, in four preregistered studies (n = 665), we tested for an inferential asymmetry for generics regarding novel groups of animals versus people. Participants were randomly assigned to either an Implied Prevalence task (given a generic, asked to estimate the prevalence of a property) or a Truth-Conditions task (given prevalence information, asked whether a generic was true or false). A generic asymmetry was found in both domains, at equivalent levels. The asymmetry also extended to properties varying in valence (dangerous and neutral). Finally, there were differences as a function of property valence in the Implied Prevalence task and a small but consistent interaction between domain and prevalence in the Truth-Conditions task. We discuss the implications of these results for the semantics of generics, theoretical accounts of the asymmetry, and the relation between generics and stereotyping.

RevDate: 2023-02-09
CmpDate: 2023-01-04

Zambolli AH, Manzano MCR, Honda LK, et al (2023)

Performance of autonomous recorders to detect a cryptic and endangered primate species, the black lion-tamarin (Leontopithecus chrysopygus).

American journal of primatology, 85(1):e23454.

Information about species distribution is important for conservation but the monitoring of populations can demand a high sampling effort with traditional methods (e.g., line transects, sound playback) that are poorly efficient for cryptic primates, such as the black lion tamarin (Leontopithecus chrysopygus). Here we investigated the effectiveness of passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) as an alternative method to identify the presence of vocalizing lion tamarins in the wild. We aimed to: (1) determine the maximum distance at which autonomous recorders (Song Meter 3) and Raven Pro acoustic software can respectively detect and identify lion tamarin long calls emitted by two captive subjects (ex situ study); and (2) determine the sampling effort required to confirm the presence of the species in the wild (in situ study). In captive settings, we recorded lion tamarin long calls with one to two autonomous recorders operating at increasing distances from the animals' enclosure (8-202 m). In a 515 ha forest fragment, we deployed 12 recorders in a grid, 300 m apart from each other, within the estimated 100 ha home range of one group, and let them record for 10 consecutive days, totaling 985 h. In the ex situ study, hand-browsing of spectrograms yielded 298 long calls emitted from 8 to 194 m, and Raven's Template Detector identified 54.6% of them, also emitted from 8 to 194 m. In the in situ study, we manually counted 1115 long calls, and the Raven's Template Detector identified 44.75% of them. Furthermore, the presence of lion tamarins was confirmed within 1 day using four randomly sorted recorders, whereas 5 days on average were necessary with only one device. While specific protocols still need to be developed to determine primate population size using this technology, we concluded that PAM is a promising tool when considering long term costs and benefits.

RevDate: 2022-11-17

Guo S, Wu W, Liu Y, et al (2022)

Effects of Valley Topography on Acoustic Communication in Birds: Why Do Birds Avoid Deep Valleys in Daqinggou Nature Reserve?.

Animals : an open access journal from MDPI, 12(21):.

To investigate the effects of valley topography on the acoustic transmission of avian vocalisations, we carried out playback experiments in Daqinggou valley, Inner Mongolia, China. During the experiments, we recorded the vocalisations of five avian species, the large-billed crow (Corvus macrorhynchos Wagler, 1827), common cuckoo (Cuculus canorus Linnaeus, 1758), Eurasian magpie (Pica pica Linnaeus, 1758), Eurasian tree sparrow (Passer montanus Linnaeus, 1758), and meadow bunting (Emberiza cioides Brand, 1843), at transmission distances of 30 m and 50 m in the upper and lower parts of the valley and analysed the intensity, the fundamental frequency (F0), and the first three formant frequencies (F1/F2/F3) of the sounds. We also investigated bird species diversity in the upper and lower valley. We found that: (1) at the distance of 30 m, there were significant differences in F0/F1/F2/F3 in Eurasian magpies, significant differences in F1/F2/F3 in the meadow bunting and Eurasian tree sparrow, and partially significant differences in sound frequency between the upper and lower valley in the other two species; (2) at the distance of 50 m, there were significant differences in F0/F1/F2/F3 in two avian species (large-billed crow and common cuckoo) between the upper and lower valley and partially significant differences in sound frequency between the upper and lower valley in the other three species; (2) there were significant differences in the acoustic intensities of crow, cuckoo, magpie, and bunting calls between the upper and lower valley. (3) Species number and richness were significantly higher in the upper valley than in the lower valley. We suggested that the structure of valley habitats may lead to the breakdown of acoustic signals and communication in birds to varying degrees. The effect of valley topography on acoustic communication could be one reason for animal species avoiding deep valleys.

RevDate: 2022-10-21
CmpDate: 2022-10-21

Wang Y, Song J, Z Teng (2022)

An Improved New Caledonian Crow Learning Algorithm for Global Function Optimization.

Computational intelligence and neuroscience, 2022:9248771.

The New Caledonian crow learning algorithm (NCCLA) is a novel metaheuristic algorithm inspired by the learning behavior of New Caledonian crows learning to make tools to obtain food. However, it suffers from the problems of easily falling into local optima and insufficient convergence accuracy and convergence precision. To further improve the convergence performance of NCCLA, an improved New Caledonian crow learning algorithm (INCCLA) is proposed in this paper. By determining the parent individuals based on the cosine similarity, the juveniles are guided to search toward different ranges to maintain the population diversity; a novel hybrid mechanism of complete and incomplete learning is proposed to balance the exploration and exploitation capabilities of the algorithm; the update strategy of juveniles and parent individuals is improved to enhance the convergence speed and precision of the algorithm. The test results of the CEC2013 and CEC2020 test suites show that, compared with the original NCCLA algorithm and four of the best metaheuristics to date, INCCLA has significant advantages in terms of convergence speed, convergence precision, and stability.

RevDate: 2022-10-25
CmpDate: 2022-10-10

Romeo Z, Marino M, Angrilli A, et al (2022)

Altered language network lateralization in euthymic bipolar patients: a pilot study.

Translational psychiatry, 12(1):435.

Bipolar patients (BD) in the euthymic phase show almost no symptoms, nevertheless possibility of relapse is still present. We expected to find a psychobiological trace of their vulnerability by analyzing a specific network-the Language Network (LN)-connecting many high-level processes and brain regions measured at rest. According to Crow's hypothesis on the key role of language in the origin of psychoses, we expected an altered asymmetry of the LN in euthymic BDs. Eighteen euthymic BD patients (10 females; age = 54.50 ± 11.38 years) and 16 healthy controls (HC) (8 females; age = 51.16 ± 11.44 years) underwent a functional magnetic resonance imaging scan at rest. The LN was extracted through independent component analysis. Then, LN time series was used to compute the fractional amplitude of the low-frequency fluctuation (fALFF) index, which was then correlated with clinical scales. Compared with HC, euthymic patients showed an altered LN with greater activation of Broca's area right homologous and anterior insula together with reduced activation of left middle temporal gyrus. The normalized fALFF analysis on BD patients' LN time series revealed that the Slow-5 fALFF band was positively correlated with residual mania symptoms but negatively associated with depression scores. In line with Crow's hypothesis postulating an altered language hemispheric asymmetry in psychoses, we revealed, in euthymic BD patients, a right shift involving both the temporal and frontal linguistic hubs. The fALFF applied to LN allowed us to highlight a number of significant correlations of this measure with residual mania and depression psychiatric symptoms.

RevDate: 2023-02-07
CmpDate: 2023-02-06

Rahman E, Mosahebi A, Carruthers JDA, et al (2023)

The Efficacy and Duration of Onabotulinum Toxin A in Improving Upper Facial Expression Lines With 64-Unit Dose Optimization: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis With Trial Sequential Analysis of the Randomized Controlled Trials.

Aesthetic surgery journal, 43(2):215-229.

BACKGROUND: Onabotulinumtoxin A (Onabot A) was the first treatment to be approved for aesthetic indications, namely glabellar lines (GLs), crow's feet lines (CFLs), and forehead lines (FHLs), with a cumulative dose of 64 U.

OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to conduct a meta-analysis to combine the available data for approved doses for GLs, CFLs, and FHLs to explore the effect and duration of simultaneous treatment with Onabot A.

METHODS: PubMed/MEDLINE, Embase, and other national clinical trial registries were searched for randomized controlled trials from January 2010 to July 2022. The meta-analysis, trial sequential analysis, and investigator-assessed time to return to nonresponder status in GLs, CFLs, and FHLs following Onabot A were plotted to elicit a cumulative dose-adjusted response curve based on Kaplan-Meier analysis with a log-rank test.

RESULTS: Fourteen randomized controlled trials were eligible for quantitative analysis. A total of 8369 subjects were recruited across the trials. The meta-analysis results show that Onabot A is very effective in reducing moderate to severe GLs, CFLs, and FHLs. The cumulative Z-curve for GLs, CFLs, and FHLs also exceeds the required information size (RIS). Kaplan-Meier analysis with a log-rank test demonstrated that simultaneous treatment of GLs, CFLs, and FHLs requires 182 days (95% CI = 179, 215 days) (P < 0.00002) to return to nonresponder status.

CONCLUSIONS: Treatment of the upper facial expression lines with Onabot A is effective, and the approved cumulative dose of 64 U gives longer-lasting effects.

RevDate: 2022-07-27

Calić G, Glumbić N, Petrović-Lazić M, et al (2022)

Searching for Best Predictors of Paralinguistic Comprehension and Production of Emotions in Communication in Adults With Moderate Intellectual Disability.

Frontiers in psychology, 13:884242.

Paralinguistic comprehension and production of emotions in communication include the skills of recognizing and interpreting emotional states with the help of facial expressions, prosody and intonation. In the relevant scientific literature, the skills of paralinguistic comprehension and production of emotions in communication are related primarily to receptive language abilities, although some authors found also their correlations with intellectual abilities and acoustic features of the voice. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate which of the mentioned variables (receptive language ability, acoustic features of voice, intellectual ability, social-demographic), presents the most relevant predictor of paralinguistic comprehension and paralinguistic production of emotions in communication in adults with moderate intellectual disabilities (MID). The sample included 41 adults with MID, 20-49 years of age (M = 34.34, SD = 7.809), 29 of whom had MID of unknown etiology, while 12 had Down syndrome. All participants are native speakers of Serbian. Two subscales from The Assessment Battery for Communication - Paralinguistic comprehension of emotions in communication and Paralinguistic production of emotions in communication, were used to assess the examinees from the aspect of paralinguistic comprehension and production skills. For the graduation of examinees from the aspect of assumed predictor variables, the following instruments were used: Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test was used to assess receptive language abilities, Computerized Speech Lab ("Kay Elemetrics" Corp., model 4300) was used to assess acoustic features of voice, and Raven's Progressive Matrices were used to assess intellectual ability. Hierarchical regression analysis was applied to investigate to which extent the proposed variables present an actual predictor variables for paralinguistic comprehension and production of emotions in communication as dependent variables. The results of this analysis showed that only receptive language skills had statistically significant predictive value for paralinguistic comprehension of emotions (β = 0.468, t = 2.236, p < 0.05), while the factor related to voice frequency and interruptions, form the domain of acoustic voice characteristics, displays predictive value for paralinguistic production of emotions (β = 0.280, t = 2.076, p < 0.05). Consequently, this study, in the adult population with MID, evidenced a greater importance of voice and language in relation to intellectual abilities in understanding and producing emotions.

RevDate: 2022-08-18
CmpDate: 2022-07-27

Yi KH, Lee JH, Kim GY, et al (2022)

Novel Anatomical Proposal for Botulinum Neurotoxin Injection Targeting Lateral Canthal Rhytids.

Toxins, 14(7):.

Botulinum neurotoxin injections near the lateral canthal rhytids are commonly used in cosmetic settings; however, there is a lack of thorough anatomical knowledge, and an effective way to treat them with accumulating knowledge is needed. The anatomical characteristics concerning the injection of botulinum neurotoxin into the orbicularis oculi muscle were evaluated in this review. Current knowledge on the identification of botulinum neurotoxin injection points from recent anatomical research was assessed. The lateral canthal lines are involved with the orbicularis oculi muscle and nearby anatomical structures, and the injection points can be more precisely defined. The best possible injection sites were provided, and the injection procedure was described. This review proposes evidence for injection sites associated with the surface anatomy of the orbicularis oculi muscles to enhance the effectiveness of easing lateral canthal rhytids.

RevDate: 2023-07-14
CmpDate: 2022-07-22

Ręk P, RD Magrath (2022)

Reality and illusion: the assessment of angular separation of multi-modal signallers in a duetting bird.

Proceedings. Biological sciences, 289(1978):20220680.

The spatial distribution of cooperating individuals plays a strategic role in territorial interactions of many group-living animals, and can indicate group cohesion. Vocalizations are commonly used to judge the distribution of signallers, but the spatial resolution of sounds is poor. Many species therefore accompany calls with movement; however, little is known about the role of audio-visual perception in natural interactions. We studied the effect of angular separation on the efficacy of multimodal duets in the Australian magpie-lark, Grallina cyanoleuca. We tested specifically whether conspicuous wing movements, which typically accompany duets, affect responses to auditory angular separation. Multimodal playbacks of duets using robotic models and speakers showed that birds relied primarily on acoustic cues when visual and auditory angular separations were congruent, but used both modalities to judge separation between the signallers when modalities were spatially incongruent. The visual component modified the effect of acoustic separation: robotic models that were apart weakened the response when speakers were together, while models that were together strengthened responses when speakers were apart. Our results show that responses are stronger when signallers are together, and suggest that males were are able to bind information cross-modally on the senders' spatial location, which is consistent with a multisensory illusion.

RevDate: 2023-01-23
CmpDate: 2023-01-23

Mack C, N Uomini (2022)

Modulation of behavioural laterality in wild New Caledonian crows (Corvus moneduloides): Vocalization, age and function.

Laterality, 27(4):379-405.

The New Caledonian crow (Corvus moneduloides) is known for displaying a unique set of tool-related behaviours, with the bird's bill acting as an individually consistently lateralized effector. However, we still fail to understand how such laterality develops, is modulated or even if its expression is consistent across other behavioural categories. Creating the first ethogram for this species allowed us to examine laterality and vocalisations in a population of wild, free-flying New Caledonian crows using detailed analyses of close-up video footage. We revealed the existence of an overall strong left-sided bias during object manipulation only and which was driven by the adult crows of our focal population, the stabilization of individual preferences occurring during the birds' juvenile years. Individually, at least one crow showed consistent side biases to the right and left within different behavioural categories. Our findings highlight previously unknown variability in behavioural laterality in this species, thus advocating for further investigation. Specifically, we argue that a better understanding of the New Caledonian crow's biology and ecology is required if one wishes to pursue the promising comparative road that laterality could be connected to the evolution of tool-making.

RevDate: 2022-07-06
CmpDate: 2022-07-06

Giangaspero A, D'Onghia V, Puccini A, et al (2022)

When there is no communication between urban planners and public health operators: urban Dermanyssus gallinae infestations in humans.

Igiene e sanita pubblica, 79(2):62-69.

At the international level, it is necessary to apply urban health strategies that can integrate concrete actions to protect and promote health in urban and architectural planning. In cities, the "urban fauna" mostly consists of synanthropic birds (sparrows, starlings, swallows, martins, jackdaws, crows, hawks, gulls, pigeons) that have adapted to a continuous relationship with humans. These animals enrich the ecological network of biodiversity but also pose health problems. The most successful avian colonizers are pigeons (Columba livia), which proliferate due to the abundance of food available to them and the absence of predators. Pigeons may harbor several organisms that are pathogenic for humans, and among these the role of Dermanyssus gallinae should not be underestimated. In the absence of their preferred pigeon host, these mites will move from the nest to windowsills and window frames from which they attack humans. The Authors show that modern architectural design features in towns can favor the establishment and proliferation of pigeons, contributing to the public health risk for dermanyssosis or other diseases related to these birds. They describe an outbreak of dermanyssosis due to incorrect or unsuitable structural interventions, and highlight the need of re-thinking urban architectural choices in order to safeguard public health.

RevDate: 2022-07-06
CmpDate: 2022-07-04

Zhu C (2022)

Effects of Musicotherapy Combined with Cognitive Behavioral Intervention on the Cognitive Ability of Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

Psychiatria Danubina, 34(2):288-295.

BACKGROUND: Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) mainly manifests as learning difficulties, emotional impulsiveness, excessive activities, and attention deficit disorder. Given that it can influence social communication abilities, as well as physical and psychological health and viability, ADHD rehabilitation has attracted close attention. This study aims to discuss the influences of musicotherapy combined with cognitive behavioral intervention on the cognitive ability of children with ADHD and provide some references for ADHD rehabilitation.

SUBJECTS AND METHODS: A total of 120 children with ADHD in the Cooperative Hospital of Guangzhou University from June 2018 to May 2021 were chosen as the research objects. They were divided randomly into the control and observation groups with 60 cases in each group via the observing random digital method. The control group was the blank control and did not receive any intervention. The observation group received 16 weeks of musicotherapy combined with cognitive behavioral intervention. Symptoms and the results of the numerical cross-attention test, the Wisconsin card sorting test, the combined Raven's test (CRT), the Wechsler intelligence scale for children test, and Conner's child behavioral scale for parents of the two groups before and after the intervention were compared.

RESULTS: The relevant indexes of the control group did not show any significant changes after the intervention (P>0.05). In the intervention group, the accurately crossed number and net scores increased significantly, whereas the wrongly crossed number and missed crossed number scores and error; attention deficit; hyperactivity-impulsiveness; and ADHD-RS-Ⅳ total scores declined dramatically after intervention relative to those before the intervention. Moreover, the above indexes of the observation group showed more significant improvements than those of the control group (P<0.05). In the observation group, the conceptual level percentage and the number of completed classes had significantly increased and the number of discontinuous errors and number of continuous errors after the intervention had dropped sharply compared with those before. The above indexes of the observation group had improved significantly compared with those of the control group (P<0.05). Moreover, in both groups, the concentration/attention factor and CRT scores increased dramatically and the scores of Conner's child behavior scale after the intervention had dropped significantly compared with those before. After intervention, the above indexes of the observation group showed greater improvements than those of the control group (P<0.05).

CONCLUSIONS: The musicotherapy combined with cognitive behavioral intervention can improve the cognitive functions of children with ADHD and has clinical application values.

RevDate: 2022-08-15
CmpDate: 2022-05-26

Farine DR (2022)

Collective behaviour: Jackdaws vote to leave with their voice.

Current biology : CB, 32(10):R467-R469.

Making a decision as a group requires not only choosing where to go but also when to go. A new study provides experimental evidence that, in jackdaws, vocalisations facilitate synchronous early morning departures from communal roosts.

RevDate: 2022-08-15
CmpDate: 2022-05-26

Dibnah AJ, Herbert-Read JE, Boogert NJ, et al (2022)

Vocally mediated consensus decisions govern mass departures from jackdaw roosts.

Current biology : CB, 32(10):R455-R456.

In the early morning, large groups of up to hundreds or even thousands of roosting birds, sometimes comprising the entire roost population, often take off together in sudden mass departures. These departures commonly occur in low-light conditions and structurally complex habitats where access to visual cues is likely to be restricted. Roosting birds are often highly vocal, leading us to hypothesise that vocalisations, which can propagate over large distances, could provide a means of enabling individuals to agree on when to depart - that is to establish a consensus[1] - and thus coordinate the timing of mass movements. Investigations of the role of acoustic signals in coordinating collective decisions have been limited to honeybees[2] and relatively small vertebrate groups (<50 individuals)[3-5] and have rarely included experimental validation[2,3]. Here, by combining field recordings with a large-scale experimental manipulation, we show that jackdaws (Corvus monedula) use vocalisations to coordinate mass departures from winter roosts. This provides empirical evidence for vocally-mediated consensus decision-making in large vertebrate groups.

RevDate: 2023-01-12
CmpDate: 2022-05-17

Trivedi M, Saxena A, Shroff Z, et al (2022)

Experiences and challenges in accessing hospitalization in a government-funded health insurance scheme: Evidence from early implementation of Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojana (PM-JAY) in India.

PloS one, 17(5):e0266798.

INTRODUCTION: Government-sponsored health insurance schemes can play an important role in improving the reach of healthcare services. Launched in 2018 in India, Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojana (PM-JAY) is one of the world's largest government-sponsored health insurance schemes. The objective of this study is to understand beneficiaries' experience of availing healthcare services at the empaneled hospitals in PM-JAY. This study examines the responsiveness of PM-JAY by measuring the prompt attention in service delivery, and access to information by the beneficiaries; financial burden experienced by the beneficiaries; and beneficiary's satisfaction with the experience of hospitalization under PMJAY and its determinants.

METHODS: The study was conducted during March-August 2019. Data were obtained through a survey conducted with 200 PM-JAY beneficiaries (or their caregivers) in the Indian states of Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. The study population comprised of patients who received healthcare services at 14 study hospitals in April 2019. Prompt attention was measured in the form of a) effectiveness of helpdesk, and b) time taken at different stages of hospitalization and discharge events. Access to information by the beneficiaries was measured using the frequency and purpose of text messages and phone calls from the scheme authorities to the beneficiaries. The financial burden was measured in terms of the incidence and magnitude of out-of-pocket payments made by the beneficiaries separate from the cashless payment provided to hospitals by PMJAY. Beneficiaries' satisfaction was measured on a five-point Likert scale.

RESULTS: Socio-economically weaker sections of the society are availing healthcare services under PM-JAY. In Gujarat, the majority of the beneficiaries were made aware of the scheme by the government official channels. In Madhya Pradesh, the majority of the beneficiaries got to know about the scheme from informal sources. For most of the elements of prompt attention, access to information, and beneficiaries' satisfaction, hospitals in Gujarat performed significantly better than the hospitals in Madhya Pradesh. Similarly, for most of the elements of prompt attention, access to information, and beneficiaries' satisfaction, public hospitals performed significantly better than private hospitals. Incidence and magnitude of out-of-pocket payments were significantly higher in Madhya Pradesh as compared to Gujarat, and in private hospitals as compared to the public hospitals.

CONCLUSION: There is a need to focus on Information, Education, and Communication (IEC) activities for PM-JAY, especially in Madhya Pradesh. Capacity-building efforts need to be prioritized for private hospitals as compared to public hospitals, and for Madhya Pradesh as compared to Gujarat. There is a need to focus on enhancing the responsiveness of the scheme, and timely exchange of information with beneficiaries. There is also an urgent need for measures aimed at reducing the out-of-pocket payments made by the beneficiaries.

RevDate: 2022-10-17
CmpDate: 2022-10-17

Ocañas AR, Danoff-Burg JA, Mulroe K, et al (2022)

Addressing the raven food subsidy challenge by engaging restaurants to close their dumpsters.

Zoo biology, 41(5):491-500.

Ravens have benefitted from resource subsidies provided by humans so much that their population has increased by over 800% in the western Mojave desert over the last 50 years. Our food waste is an especially large subsidy. Raven predation is one of the greatest threats to desert tortoise survival in the California desert. We sought to create and evaluate a behavioral change program among restaurants in Yucca Valley and Twentynine Palms, California in the western Mojave with elevated raven populations. Half of the 60 restaurants in these two communities received an intervention encouraging them to close their dumpsters while the other half served as controls with no intervention. Treatment restaurants received two in-person visits to discuss the manifold importance of dumpster closure and laminated information signs to display and extend communication to staff. We surveyed all dumpsters for open/closed status five times before the intervention and five times again 3 months after the intervention. We found a significant increase in closure rates among treatment restaurants due to the interventions, with an average of 9.5% increase toward maximum possible lid closure. Restaurants achieving 80%+ closure received "Gold Star Awards" to further stimulate community-wide behavior change by publicly recognizing and encouraging desired behaviors. We summarize dumpster closure rates from similar interventions in nearby Joshua Tree and across the Coachella Valley to illustrate how local social norms may influence behavior.

RevDate: 2022-07-16

Dida H, Charif F, A Benchabane (2022)

Registration of computed tomography images of a lung infected with COVID-19 based in the new meta-heuristic algorithm HPSGWO.

Multimedia tools and applications, 81(13):18955-18976.

Computed tomography (CT) helps the radiologist in the rapid and correct detection of a person infected with the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), and this by showing the presence of the ground-glass opacity in the lung of with the virus. Tracking the evolution of the spread of the ground-glass opacity (GGO) in the lung of the person infected with the virus needs to study more than one image in different times. The various CT images must be registration to identify the evolution of the ground glass in the lung and to facilitate the study and identification of the virus. Due to the process of registration images is essentially an improvement problem, we present in this paper a new HPSGWO algorithm for registration CT images of a lung infected with the COVID-19. This algorithm is a hybridization of the two algorithms Particle swarm optimization (PSO) and Grey wolf optimizer (GWO). The simulation results obtained after applying the algorithm to the test images show that the proposed approach achieved high-precision and robust registration compared to other methods such as GWO, PSO, Firefly Algorithm (FA), and Crow Searcha Algorithms (CSA).

RevDate: 2022-08-30
CmpDate: 2022-06-08

González R, Rojas M, Rosselli M, et al (2022)

Linguistic profiles of variants of primary progressive aphasia.

Journal of communication disorders, 97:106202.

BACKGROUND: Several subtypes of primary progressive aphasia (PPA) have been proposed. Most reports use small samples, and few have included Spanish-speaking participants.

AIM: To analyze the language profile and nonlinguistic deficits in a large sample of PPA Spanish monolingual participants.

METHOD: 177 individuals were diagnosed with PPA in a sample consisting of 69 men and 108 women (Mage = 66.40 years, SD = 9.30). The participants were assessed using the Spanish versions of the Western Aphasia Battery Revised (SWAB-R) and the Boston Diagnostic Aphasia Examination (SBDAE). Non-verbal reasoning was evaluated with the Raven's Colored Progressive Matrices.

RESULTS: 41.8% of the sample met the criteria for the logopenic variant (lvPPA), while 28.2% met the criteria for semantic (svPPA), 15.3% for lexical (lxvPPA), and 14.7% for nonfluent/agrammatic (nfvPPA) variants. Language difficulties were similar in all variants except for lxvPPA. Scores on Spontaneous Language, Auditory Comprehension, Repetition, and Naming were significantly higher for the lxvPPA group. Raven's Colored Progressive Matrices scores were significantly lower in lvPPA. Years of education correlated with all test scores, while age was negatively associated with naming. When the PPA variants were classified according to the traditional aphasia classification, discrepancies were evident. Furthermore, the most frequent type of aphasia was Amnesic, while the least frequent was Wernicke's aphasia.

CONCLUSION: The SWAB-R is useful in describing the clinical characteristics of aphasia for each variant of PPA, but quantitative scores from this battery are not capable of distinguishing between variants of PPA, with the exception of lxvPPA.

RevDate: 2022-05-02
CmpDate: 2022-04-25

Yu X, Jiang Y, Li Y, et al (2022)

Comparison of Different Mandibular Jawlines Classifications on Transoral Endoscopic Thyroidectomy for Papillary Thyroid Carcinoma: Experiences of 690 Cases.

Frontiers in endocrinology, 13:842148.

BACKGROUND: The influences of patients' different mandibular jawlines on transoral endoscopic thyroidectomy via vestibular approach (TOETVA) have not been described before. The objective of this study was to introduce a new classification to assess different mandibular jawlines, and to evaluate the effects on TOETVA in terms of safety, feasibility, and postoperative feelings in the treatment of papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC).

METHODS: The crossing angle of esthetic plane and mandibular plane was defined as Wang Angle, used to assess patients' different mandibular jawlines. Mandibular classifications of A (angle: 80° ~ 110°), B (angle > 110°), and C (angle < 80°) types were compared to evaluate the surgical outcomes of TOETVA by a retrospective study. 690 patients of PTC who received TOETVA were included in this study, which were divided into three groups according to mandibular classifications.

RESULTS: Clinicopathological characteristics of the patients including age, gender, body mass index, tumor size, Hashimoto thyroiditis were similar in the three groups. Patients' length of jay in group C was significantly longer than group A and group B (P < 0.01). The ratios of using suspension system in group C were significantly higher than group A and group B (P < 0.01). The scores of postoperative visual analogue scale (VAS) and ratios of mandibular swell in group C were significantly higher than group A and group B (P < 0.01). There was no significant difference in the three groups regarding surgical outcomes, including postoperative vocal cord paralysis, hypocalcemia, serum white blood cells and C-reactive protein levels.

CONCLUSIONS: The Wang angle and mandibular jawline classifications were firstly introduced in TOETVA. All the patients of class A, B, and C mandibular jawline can achieve safe and effective surgical outcomes in the treatment of PTC with TOETVA. Patients of class C need more assistance of suspension system, would experience higher scores of VAS, and higher ratios of mandibular swell compared with class A and B.

RevDate: 2022-03-09

Nittono H, Ohashi A, M Komori (2022)

Creation and Validation of the Japanese Cute Infant Face (JCIF) Dataset.

Frontiers in psychology, 13:819428.

Research interest in cuteness perception and its effects on subsequent behavior and physiological responses has recently been increasing. The purpose of the present study was to produce a dataset of Japanese infant faces that are free of portrait rights and can be used for cuteness research. A total of 80 original facial images of 6-month-old infants were collected from their parents. The cuteness level of each picture was rated on a 7-point scale by 200 Japanese people (100 men and 100 women in their 20s-60s). Prototypical high- and low-cuteness faces were created by averaging the top 10 and bottom 10 faces according to the mean cuteness ratings. Then, 50 composite faces were made by mixing two faces randomly chosen from the 60 unused middle-cuteness faces. The normative cuteness ratings of these composite faces were obtained from 229 Japanese men and women in their 20s-60s. The shape of each composite face was transformed to be cuter (+50%) or less cute (-50%) along a continuum between the high- and low-cuteness prototypical faces. A two-alternative forced-choice task (N = 587) confirmed that cuteness discrimination was better than the chance level for all 50 face pairs. Moreover, the results showed that young men had poorer sensitivity to cuteness differences in infant faces than older men and women of any age. This Japanese Cute Infant Face (JCIF, "jay-sif") dataset, including composite face images and normative rating scores, is publicly available online.

RevDate: 2022-02-04
CmpDate: 2022-02-04

Signorini M, Piero Fundarò S, Bertossi D, et al (2022)

OnabotulinumtoxinA from lines to facial reshaping: A new Italian consensus report.

Journal of cosmetic dermatology, 21(2):550-563.

BACKGROUND: Botulinum neurotoxin type A is the most widely used nonsurgical treatment for esthetic improvement of the face and neck. In 2015, an Italian consensus panel met to discuss the optimal methods for using onabotulinumtoxinA. However, clinical practice continues to evolve and the original report is now considered obsolete.

AIMS: To provide updated guidance on the esthetic uses of onabotulinumtoxinA in the face and neck.

METHODS: A panel of 10 Italian specialists (including plastic and maxillofacial surgeons, dermatologists, and esthetic doctors) individually completed a questionnaire on their own clinical practice, and then met to discuss their responses and agree on a revised treatment consensus.

RESULTS: Recommendations are provided on patient assessment, reconstitution of onabotulinumtoxinA, and preferred procedures (injection sites, doses, anatomical targets, safety precautions, etc.) across a variety of treatment areas, including glabellar, crow's feet, and forehead lines; brow lifting and shaping; lower eyelid hypertrophy; bunny lines; sagging nasal tip; gummy smile; masseter hypertrophy; perioral lines; marionette lines and "sad mouth;" mentalis hypertonia; and platysma bands. Some of the recommended doses are substantially increased from the previous consensus (particularly in the upper third and masseter) for the purpose of achieving longer lasting results without affecting safety. Furthermore, two increasingly popular techniques-the Nefertiti lift and Microbotox-are included in the consensus for the first time.

CONCLUSIONS: Optimal practice with onabotulinumtoxinA requires a systematic approach to maximize safety and effectiveness across the range of potential uses. The present consensus was developed to support these aims.

RevDate: 2022-09-22
CmpDate: 2022-08-25

Marsja E, Stenbäck V, Moradi S, et al (2022)

Is Having Hearing Loss Fundamentally Different? Multigroup Structural Equation Modeling of the Effect of Cognitive Functioning on Speech Identification.

Ear and hearing, 43(5):1437-1446.

OBJECTIVES: Previous research suggests that there is a robust relationship between cognitive functioning and speech-in-noise performance for older adults with age-related hearing loss. For normal-hearing adults, on the other hand, the research is not entirely clear. Therefore, the current study aimed to examine the relationship between cognitive functioning, aging, and speech-in-noise, in a group of older normal-hearing persons and older persons with hearing loss who wear hearing aids.

DESIGN: We analyzed data from 199 older normal-hearing individuals (mean age = 61.2) and 200 older individuals with hearing loss (mean age = 60.9) using multigroup structural equation modeling. Four cognitively related tasks were used to create a cognitive functioning construct: the reading span task, a visuospatial working memory task, the semantic word-pairs task, and Raven's progressive matrices. Speech-in-noise, on the other hand, was measured using Hagerman sentences. The Hagerman sentences were presented via an experimental hearing aid to both normal hearing and hearing-impaired groups. Furthermore, the sentences were presented with one of the two background noise conditions: the Hagerman original speech-shaped noise or four-talker babble. Each noise condition was also presented with three different hearing processing settings: linear processing, fast compression, and noise reduction.

RESULTS: Cognitive functioning was significantly related to speech-in-noise identification. Moreover, aging had a significant effect on both speech-in-noise and cognitive functioning. With regression weights constrained to be equal for the two groups, the final model had the best fit to the data. Importantly, the results showed that the relationship between cognitive functioning and speech-in-noise was not different for the two groups. Furthermore, the same pattern was evident for aging: the effects of aging on cognitive functioning and aging on speech-in-noise were not different between groups.

CONCLUSION: Our findings revealed similar cognitive functioning and aging effects on speech-in-noise performance in older normal-hearing and aided hearing-impaired listeners. In conclusion, the findings support the Ease of Language Understanding model as cognitive processes play a critical role in speech-in-noise independent from the hearing status of elderly individuals.

RevDate: 2021-12-07

Pendergraft LT, Marzluff JM, Cross DJ, et al (2021)

American Crow Brain Activity in Response to Conspecific Vocalizations Changes When Food Is Present.

Frontiers in physiology, 12:766345.

Social interaction among animals can occur under many contexts, such as during foraging. Our knowledge of the regions within an avian brain associated with social interaction is limited to the regions activated by a single context or sensory modality. We used 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) to examine American crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) brain activity in response to conditions associated with communal feeding. Using a paired approach, we exposed crows to either a visual stimulus (the sight of food), an audio stimulus (the sound of conspecifics vocalizing while foraging) or both audio/visual stimuli presented simultaneously and compared to their brain activity in response to a control stimulus (an empty stage). We found two regions, the nucleus taenia of the amygdala (TnA) and a medial portion of the caudal nidopallium, that showed increased activity in response to the multimodal combination of stimuli but not in response to either stimulus when presented unimodally. We also found significantly increased activity in the lateral septum and medially within the nidopallium in response to both the audio-only and the combined audio/visual stimuli. We did not find any differences in activation in response to the visual stimulus by itself. We discuss how these regions may be involved in the processing of multimodal stimuli in the context of social interaction.

RevDate: 2021-11-30

Schneider S, Goettlich S, Diercks C, et al (2021)

Discrimination of Acoustic Stimuli and Maintenance of Graded Alarm Call Structure in Captive Meerkats.

Animals : an open access journal from MDPI, 11(11):.

Animals living in human care for several generations face the risk of losing natural behaviors, which can lead to reduced animal welfare. The goal of this study is to demonstrate that meerkats (Suricata suricatta) living in zoos can assess potential danger and respond naturally based on acoustic signals only. This includes that the graded information of urgency in alarm calls as well as a response to those alarm calls is retained in captivity. To test the response to acoustic signals with different threat potential, meerkats were played calls of various animals differing in size and threat (e.g., robin, raven, buzzard, jackal) while their behavior was observed. The emitted alarm calls were recorded and examined for their graded structure on the one hand and played back to them on the other hand by means of a playback experiment to see whether the animals react to their own alarm calls even in the absence of danger. A fuzzy clustering algorithm was used to analyze and classify the alarm calls. Subsequently, the features that best described the graded structure were isolated using the LASSO algorithm and compared to features already known from wild meerkats. The results show that the graded structure is maintained in captivity and can be described by features such as noise and duration. The animals respond to new threats and can distinguish animal calls that are dangerous to them from those that are not, indicating the preservation of natural cooperative behavior. In addition, the playback experiments show that the meerkats respond to their own alarm calls with vigilance and escape behavior. The findings can be used to draw conclusions about the intensity of alertness in captive meerkats and to adapt husbandry conditions to appropriate welfare.

RevDate: 2023-02-02
CmpDate: 2022-02-14

Leopold SS (2022)

A Conversation with … Jay Nordlinger, the Writer Who Sees Both Sides.

Clinical orthopaedics and related research, 480(2):217-219.

RevDate: 2021-10-26

Choi W (2021)

Musicianship Influences Language Effect on Musical Pitch Perception.

Frontiers in psychology, 12:712753.

Given its practical implications, the effect of musicianship on language learning has been vastly researched. Interestingly, growing evidence also suggests that language experience can facilitate music perception. However, the precise nature of this facilitation is not fully understood. To address this research gap, I investigated the interactive effect of language and musicianship on musical pitch and rhythmic perception. Cantonese and English listeners, each divided into musician and non-musician groups, completed the Musical Ear Test and the Raven's 2 Progressive Matrices. Essentially, an interactive effect of language and musicianship was found on musical pitch but not rhythmic perception. Consistent with previous studies, Cantonese language experience appeared to facilitate musical pitch perception. However, this facilitatory effect was only present among the non-musicians. Among the musicians, Cantonese language experience did not offer any perceptual advantage. The above findings reflect that musicianship influences the effect of language on musical pitch perception. Together with the previous findings, the new findings offer two theoretical implications for the OPERA hypothesis-bi-directionality and mechanisms through which language experience and musicianship interact in different domains.

RevDate: 2022-10-14
CmpDate: 2022-01-28

Baciadonna L, Solvi C, La Cava S, et al (2021)

Cross-modal individual recognition in the African penguin and the effect of partnership.

Proceedings. Biological sciences, 288(1960):20211463.

An animal's ability to recognize another individual by matching their image to their voice suggests they form internal representations of other individuals. To what extent this ability, termed cross-modal individual recognition, extends to birds other than corvids is unknown. Here, we used an expectancy violation paradigm to determine whether a monogamous territorial seabird (Spheniscus demersus) can cross-modally recognize familiar conspecifics (partners or colony-mates). After pairs of penguins spent time together in an isolated area, one of the penguins was released from the area leaving the focal penguin alone. Subsequently, we played contact calls of the released penguin (congruent condition) or a different penguin (incongruent condition). After being paired with a colony-mate, focal penguins' response latency to the auditory stimulus was faster in the incongruent compared to congruent condition, indicating the mismatch violated their expectations. This behavioural pattern was not observed in focal penguins after being paired with their partner. We discuss these different results in the light of penguins' natural behaviour and the evolution of social communication strategies. Our results suggest that cross-modal individual recognition extends to penguins and reveals, in contrast with previously thought, that social communication between members of this endangered species can also use visual cues.

RevDate: 2021-11-26
CmpDate: 2021-11-26

Raymond S, Schwartz ALW, Thomas RJ, et al (2021)

Temporal patterns of wildlife roadkill in the UK.

PloS one, 16(10):e0258083.

Wildlife-vehicle collisions are one of the main causes of mortality for wild mammals and birds in the UK. Here, using a dataset of 54,000+ records collated by a citizen science roadkill recording scheme between 2014-2019, we analyse and present temporal patterns of wildlife roadkill of the 19 most commonly reported taxa in the UK (84% of all reported roadkill). Most taxa (13 out of 19) showed significant and consistent seasonal variations in road mortality and fitted one of two seasonal patterns; bimodal or unimodal: only three species (red fox Vulpes vulpes, European polecat Mustela putorius and Reeves' muntjac deer Muntiacus reevesi) showed no significant seasonality. Species that increase movement in spring and autumn potentially have bimodal patterns in roadkill due to the increase in mate-searching and juvenile dispersal during these respective time periods (e.g. European badger Meles meles). Unimodal patterns likely represent increased mortality due to a single short pulse in activity associated with breeding (e.g. birds) or foraging (e.g. grey squirrels Sciurus carolinensis in autumn). Importantly, these patterns also indicate periods of increased risk for drivers, potentially posing a greater threat to human welfare. In addition to behaviour-driven annual patterns, abiotic factors (temperature and rainfall) explained some variance in roadkill. Notably, high rainfall was associated with decreased observations of two bird taxa (gulls and Eurasian magpies Pica pica) and European rabbit Oryctolagus cuniculus. By quantifying seasonal patterns in roadkill, we highlight a significant anthropogenic impact on wild species, which is important in relation to conservation, animal welfare, and human safety.

RevDate: 2022-12-07
CmpDate: 2021-11-26

Wang H, JJ Parris (2021)

Popular media as a double-edged sword: An entertainment narrative analysis of the controversial Netflix series 13 Reasons Why.

PloS one, 16(8):e0255610.

13 Reasons Why is a Netflix original series adapted from Jay Asher's 2007 young adult novel with the same title. Season 1 premiered on March 31, 2017 and featured the sensitive issue of teen suicide along with bullying, substance use, depression, and sexual assault. Unlike the typical teen dramas on popular streaming platforms, this show was created not only for entertainment, but also to stimulate conversations about taboo topics that people often shy away from. However, it also caused significant controversy, especially criticism around the main character Hannah's suicide scene. More than three years into the initial controversy and at least two dozen scholarly publications later, this study is the first to examine the entertainment narrative content of 13 Reasons Why Season 1 to better understand how these health and social issues were portrayed in the show, what specific examples we could identify as potential behavioral modeling, and to what degree it complied with the 2017 WHO guidelines for media professionals. We used the framing theory and social cognitive theory in communication research and media studies as our guiding conceptual frameworks and a narrative analysis approach to investigate a total of 660 cut scenes in all 13 episodes. Our findings provided empirical evidence, along with contextual information and detailed examples, to demonstrate that a popular entertainment program like the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why serves as a double-edged sword. The production team's good will and due diligence are commendable. Yet, additional steps can be taken in the future to effectively promote professional resources and reduce viewers' risks, especially the most vulnerable groups.

RevDate: 2022-02-14
CmpDate: 2022-02-14

Tobari Y, Masuzawa A, Harada N, et al (2021)

Noradrenergic alpha-2A receptor activation suppresses courtship vocalization in male Japanese quail.

Behavioural brain research, 414:113513.

Male Japanese quail produce high-frequency crow vocalizations to attract females during the breeding season. The nucleus of intercollicularis (ICo) is the midbrain vocal center in birds and electrical stimulation of the ICo produces calls that include crowing. Noradrenaline plays a significant role in sexual behavior but the contribution of noradrenaline in the control of courtship vocalizations in quail has not been well established. Using dose-dependent intracerebroventricular injection of clonidine, an α2-adrenergic receptor-specific agonist, crowing vocalization was immediately suppressed. At the same time as crow suppression by clonidine there was a reduction of immediate early gene, zenk mRNA, in the ICo; no zenk mRNA expression was detected in the dorsomedial division of the nucleus. Using histochemistry, we determined that the ICo receives noradrenergic innervation and expresses α2A-adrenergic receptor mRNA. Taken together, these data suggest that noradrenaline regulates courtship vocalization in quail, possibly via the α2A-adrenergic receptor expressed on ICo neurons.

RevDate: 2022-11-09
CmpDate: 2022-09-08

Ellis RJ, J Rönnberg (2022)

Temporal fine structure: associations with cognition and speech-in-noise recognition in adults with normal hearing or hearing impairment.

International journal of audiology, 61(9):778-786.

OBJECTIVES: To investigate associations between sensitivity to temporal fine structure (TFS) and performance in cognitive and speech-in-noise recognition tests.

DESIGN: A binaural test of TFS sensitivity (the TFS-LF) was used. Measures of cognition included the reading span, Raven's, and text-reception threshold tests. Measures of speech recognition included the Hearing in noise (HINT) and the Hagerman matrix sentence tests in three signal processing conditions.

STUDY SAMPLE: Analyses are based on the performance of 324/317 adults with and without hearing impairment.

RESULTS: Sensitivity to TFS was significantly correlated with both the reading span test and the recognition of speech-in-noise processed using noise reduction, the latter only when limited to participants with hearing impairment. Neither association was significant when the effects of age were partialled out.

CONCLUSIONS: The findings are consistent with previous research in finding no evidence of a link between sensitivity to TFS and working memory once the effects of age had been partialled out. The results provide some evidence of an influence of signal processing strategy on the association between TFS sensitivity and speech-in-noise recognition. However, further research is necessary to assess the generalisability of the findings before any claims can be made regarding any clinical implications of these findings.

RevDate: 2022-04-15

Cunha FCR, M Griesser (2021)

Who do you trust? Wild birds use social knowledge to avoid being deceived.

Science advances, 7(22):.

Many species give deceptive warning calls, enabled by the high risk of ignoring them. In Siberian jays, a territorial, group-living bird, individuals give warning calls toward perched predators and mob them. However, intruding neighbors can emit these warning calls in the absence of predators to access food, but breeders often ignore these calls. Playback field experiments show that breeders flee sooner and return later after warning calls of former group members than those of neighbors or unknown individuals. Thus, breeders respond appropriately only to warning calls of previous cooperation partners. This mechanism facilitates the evolution and maintenance of communication vulnerable to deceptive signaling. This conclusion also applies to human language because of its cooperative nature and thus, its vulnerability to deception.

RevDate: 2021-09-28
CmpDate: 2021-05-24

Shrader-Frechette K, AM Biondo (2021)

Health Misinformation about Toxic-Site Harm: The Case for Independent-Party Testing to Confirm Safety.

International journal of environmental research and public health, 18(8):.

Health misinformation can cause harm if regulators or private remediators falsely claim that a hazardous facility is safe. This misinformation especially threatens the health of children, minorities, and poor people, disproportionate numbers of whom live near toxic facilities. Yet, perhaps because of financial incentives, private remediators may use safety misinformation to justify reduced cleanup. Such incentives exist in nations like the United States, where most toxic-site testing/remediation is semi-privatized or voluntary, conducted by private parties, commercial redevelopers, who can increase profits by underestimating health harm, thus decreasing required testing/remediation. Our objective is to begin to determine whether or not interested parties misrepresent health harm (at hazardous facilities that they test/remediate/redevelop) when they use traditional and social media to claim that these sites are safe. Our hypothesis is that, contrary to the safety claims of the world's largest commercial developer, Coldwell Banker Real Estate/Trammell Crow (CBRE/TCC), the authors' screening assessment, especially its lab-certified, toxic-site, indoor-air tests, show violations of all three prominent government, cancer-safety benchmarks. If so, these facilities require additional testing/remediation, likely put site renters at risk, and may reveal problems with privatized hazardous cleanup. To our knowledge, we provide the first independent tests of privatized, toxic-site assessments before cancer reports occur. Our screening assessment of this hypothesis tests indoor air in rental units on a prominent former weapons-testing site (the US Naval Ordnance Testing Station, Pasadena, California (NOTSPA) that is subject to carcinogenic vapor intrusion by volatile organic compounds, VOCs), then compares test results to the redeveloper's site-safety claims, made to government officials and citizens through traditional and social media. Although NOTSPA toxic soil-gas concentrations are up to nearly a million times above allowed levels, and indoor air was never tested until now, both the regulator and the remediator (CBRE/TCC) have repeatedly claimed on social media that "the site is safe at this time." We used mainly Method TO-17 and two-week sampling with passive, sorbent tubes to assess indoor-air VOCs. Our results show that VOC levels at every location sampled-all in occupied site-rental units-violate all three government-mandated safety benchmarks: environmental screening levels (ESLs), No Significant Risk Levels (NSRLs), and inhalation risks based on the Inhalation Unit Risk (IUR); some violations are two orders of magnitude above multiple safety benchmarks. These results support our hypothesis and suggest a need for independent assessment of privatized cleanups and media-enhanced safety claims about them. If our results can be replicated at other sites, then preventing health misinformation and toxic-facility safety threats may require new strategies, one of which we outline.

RevDate: 2021-09-17
CmpDate: 2021-09-17

Luca A, Nicoletti A, Donzuso G, et al (2021)

Phonemic Verbal Fluency and Midbrain Atrophy in Progressive Supranuclear Palsy.

Journal of Alzheimer's disease : JAD, 80(4):1669-1674.

BACKGROUND: The neuropsychological profile of progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) patients is mainly characterized by executive dysfunction, but the relationship between the latter and midbrain atrophy is still unclear.

OBJECTIVE: The aims of the study were to investigate which test evaluating executive functioning is more frequently impaired in PSP patients and to evaluate the relationship between midbrain-based MRI morphometric measures and executive dysfunction.

METHODS: PSP patients who had undergone a neuropsychological battery assessing executive functioning with the Frontal Assessment Battery (FAB), the phonemic verbal fluency F-A-S, the Raven's Progressive Colored Matrix, and the Stroop word colors test (time and errors) were enrolled in the study. A group of Parkinson's disease (PD) patients matched by age, sex, education, and global cognitive status was selected. All the enrolled patients also underwent a volumetric T1-3D brain MRI.

RESULTS: Thirty-five PSP patients and 35 PD patients were enrolled. Patients with PSP as compared to patients with PD showed a significant greater impairment in verbal fluency (16.0±7.9 and 23.4±8.7 words/180 s; p < 0.001) and a significant lower score at the FAB total score (11.5±3.8 and 13.7±3.4; p = 0.013). Midbrain area was significantly smaller in PSP patients than in PD patients (83.9±20.1 and 134.5±19.9 mm2; p < 0.001). In PSP patients, a significant positive correlation between verbal fluency and the midbrain area (r = 0.421; p = 0.028) was observed.

CONCLUSION: Our findings suggest that the phonemic verbal fluency is among the most frequently impaired executive functions in PSP patients and is strongly correlated to midbrain atrophy.

RevDate: 2021-08-02
CmpDate: 2021-08-02

Brooks J, Onishi E, Clark IR, et al (2021)

Uniting against a common enemy: Perceived outgroup threat elicits ingroup cohesion in chimpanzees.

PloS one, 16(2):e0246869.

Outgroup threat has been identified as an important driver of ingroup cohesion in humans, but the evolutionary origin of such a relationship is unclear. Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) in the wild are notably aggressive towards outgroup members but coordinate complex behaviors with many individuals in group hunting and border patrols. One hypothesis claims that these behaviors evolve alongside one another, where outgroup threat selects for ingroup cohesion and group coordination. To test this hypothesis, 5 groups of chimpanzees (N = 29 individuals) were observed after hearing either pant-hoots of unfamiliar wild chimpanzees or control crow vocalizations both in their typical daily environment and in a context of induced feeding competition. We observed a behavioral pattern that was consistent both with increased stress and vigilance (self-directed behaviors increased, play decreased, rest decreased) and increased ingroup cohesion (interindividual proximity decreased, aggression over food decreased, and play during feeding competition increased). These results support the hypothesis that outgroup threat elicits ingroup tolerance in chimpanzees. This suggests that in chimpanzees, like humans, competition between groups fosters group cohesion.

RevDate: 2021-11-24
CmpDate: 2021-11-24

Kandhari R, Imran A, Sethi N, et al (2021)

Onabotulinumtoxin Type A Dosage for Upper Face Expression Lines in Males: A Systematic Review of Current Recommendations.

Aesthetic surgery journal, 41(12):1439-1453.

BACKGROUND: Botulinum toxin injection is the most commonly performed minimally invasive aesthetic procedure in men. Despite various recommendations by experts on the use of onabotulinumtoxin type A in the literature, distinct guidelines for its use in males and females do not exist.

OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to delineate safe and effective doses for the use of onabotulinumtoxin type A in males for correction of upper facial expression lines.

METHODS: PubMed (MEDLINE), Embase, the Cochrane database, and Google Scholar were searched from 2002 to 2019 inclusive. Three researchers independently assessed trials for inclusion, extracted data, checked for accuracy, and assessed the evidence with AGREE II.

RESULTS: Average dosing recommended for the treatment of upper face expression lines was specific to glabellar frown lines, crow's feet, and horizontal forehead lines. Changing trends and gender variation was noted in each of the studies. Six of the 11 recommendations suggest the need to alter dosing in male patients, although do not give separate recommendations.

CONCLUSIONS: There is an urgent need for up-to-date recommendations for the use of onabotulinumtoxin type A in upper face expression lines of male patients.

RevDate: 2021-08-26
CmpDate: 2021-08-26

Zappa G, LoMauro A, Baranello G, et al (2021)

Intellectual abilities, language comprehension, speech, and motor function in children with spinal muscular atrophy type 1.

Journal of neurodevelopmental disorders, 13(1):9.

BACKGROUND: Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a chronic, neuromuscular disease characterized by degeneration of spinal cord motor neurons, resulting in progressive muscular atrophy and weakness. SMA1 is the most severe form characterized by significant bulbar, respiratory, and motor dysfunction. SMA1 prevents children from speaking a clearly understandable and fluent language, with their communication being mainly characterized by eye movements, guttural sounds, and anarthria (type 1a); severe dysarthria (type 1b); and nasal voice and dyslalia (type 1c). The aim of this study was to analyze for the first time cognitive functions, language comprehension, and speech in natural history SMA1 children according to age and subtypes, to develop cognitive and language benchmarks that provide outcomes for the clinical medication trials that are changing SMA1 course/trajectory.

METHODS: This is a retrospective study including 22 children with SMA1 (10 affected by subtype 1a-1b: AB and 12 by 1c: C) aged 3-11 years in clinical stable condition with a coded way to communicate "yes" and "no". Data from the following assessments have been retrieved from patient charts: one-dimensional Raven test (RCPM), to evaluate cognitive development (IQ); ALS Severity Score (ALSSS) to evaluate speech disturbances; Brown Bellugy modified for Italian standards (TCGB) to evaluate language comprehension; and Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Infant Test of Neuromuscular Disorders (CHOP-INTEND) to assess motor functioning.

RESULTS: SMA 1AB and 1C children were similar in age, with the former characterized by lower CHOP-INTEND scores compared to the latter. All 22 children had collaborated to RCPM and their median IQ was 120 with no difference (p = 0.945) between AB and C. Global median score of the speech domain of the ALSSS was 5; however, it was 2 in AB children, being significantly lower than C (6.5, p < 0.001). TCGB test had been completed by 13 children, with morphosyntactic comprehension being in the normal range (50). Although ALSSS did not correlate with both IQ and TCGB, it had a strong (p < 0.001) correlation with CHOP-INTEND described by an exponential rise to maximum.

CONCLUSIONS: Although speech and motor function were severely compromised, children with SMA1 showed general intelligence and language comprehension in the normal range. Speech impairment was strictly related to global motor impairment.

RevDate: 2021-12-22
CmpDate: 2021-12-22

Roelofs A (2021)

How attention controls naming: Lessons from Wundt 2.0.

Journal of experimental psychology. General, 150(10):1927-1955.

When models of the attentional control of vocal naming, applied to color-word Stroop and picture-word interference, were first computationally implemented and examined in 1990, an implementable model proposed by Wundt (1880, 1902) was not considered. Although these modern computer models, and more recent ones, clarify many aspects of the interference, most models fail to explain its time course, as outlined in Roelofs (2003). Wundt's (1902) model assigns a key role to top-down inhibition, which is absent in most of the modern models. Here, an implementation of his model is presented, called Wundt 2.0. The necessity of perceptual inhibition was demonstrated by computer simulations of the interference and its time course, and supported by existing evidence from oscillatory brain activity in the alpha frequency band. Moreover, a new empirical study showed that Raven scores measuring the general intelligence factor g, discovered by Wundt's student Spearman (1904), predict the magnitude of the Stroop effect in fast errors, in line with the model and evidence on alpha band activity. Also, the study provided evidence that response inhibition is absent during vocal naming in the Stroop task. To conclude, Wundt's model has stood the test of time and provides a number of enduring lessons for our understanding of attention and performance. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).

RevDate: 2022-01-31
CmpDate: 2022-01-31

Kersten Y, Friedrich-Müller B, A Nieder (2021)

A histological study of the song system of the carrion crow (Corvus corone).

The Journal of comparative neurology, 529(10):2576-2595.

The song system of songbirds (oscines) is one of the best studied neuroethological model systems. So far, it has been treated as a relatively constrained sensorimotor system. Songbirds such as crows, however, are also known for their capability to cognitively control their audio-vocal system. Yet, the neuroanatomy of the corvid song system has never been explored systematically. We aim to close this scientific gap by presenting a stereotactic investigation of the extended song system of the carrion crow (Corvus corone), an oscine songbird of the corvid family that has become an interesting model system for cognitive neuroscience. In order to identify and delineate the song nuclei, the ascending auditory nuclei, and the descending vocal-motor nuclei, four stains were applied. In addition to the classical Nissl-, myelin-, and a combination of Nissl-and-myelin staining, staining for tyrosine hydroxylase was used to reveal the distribution of catecholaminergic neurons (dopaminergic, noradrenergic, and adrenergic) in the song system. We show that the crow brain contains the important song-related nuclei, including auditory input and motor output structures, and map them throughout the brain. Fiber-stained sections reveal putative connection patterns between the crow's song nuclei comparable to other songbirds.

RevDate: 2021-07-21
CmpDate: 2021-07-21

Amodio P, Brea J, Farrar BG, et al (2021)

Testing two competing hypotheses for Eurasian jays' caching for the future.

Scientific reports, 11(1):835.

Previous research reported that corvids preferentially cache food in a location where no food will be available or cache more of a specific food in a location where this food will not be available. Here, we consider possible explanations for these prospective caching behaviours and directly compare two competing hypotheses. The Compensatory Caching Hypothesis suggests that birds learn to cache more of a particular food in places where that food was less frequently available in the past. In contrast, the Future Planning Hypothesis suggests that birds recall the 'what-when-where' features of specific past events to predict the future availability of food. We designed a protocol in which the two hypotheses predict different caching patterns across different caching locations such that the two explanations can be disambiguated. We formalised the hypotheses in a Bayesian model comparison and tested this protocol in two experiments with one of the previously tested species, namely Eurasian jays. Consistently across the two experiments, the observed caching pattern did not support either hypothesis; rather it was best explained by a uniform distribution of caches over the different caching locations. Future research is needed to gain more insight into the cognitive mechanism underpinning corvids' caching for the future.

RevDate: 2022-05-31
CmpDate: 2021-04-12

Gallego-Abenza M, Blum CR, T Bugnyar (2021)

Who is crying wolf? Seasonal effect on antipredator response to age-specific alarm calls in common ravens, Corvus corax.

Learning & behavior, 49(1):159-167.

Communication about threats including those posed by the presence of predators occurs mainly through acoustic signals called alarm calls. The comprehension of these calls by receivers and their rapid antipredator response are crucial in terms of survival. However, to avoid overreaction, individuals should evaluate whether or not an antipredator response is needed by paying attention to who is calling. For instance, we could expect adults to be more experienced with predator encounters than juveniles and thus elicit stronger antipredator responses in others when alarming. Similarly, we could expect a stronger response to alarm calls when more than one individual is calling. To test these assumptions, we applied a playback experiment to wild ravens, in which we manipulated the age class (adult or juvenile) and the number (one or two) of the callers. Our results revealed a seasonal effect of age class but no effect of number of callers. Specifically, the ravens responded with stronger antipredator behaviour (vigilance posture) towards alarm calls from adults as compared to juveniles in summer and autumn, but not in spring. We discuss alternative interpretations for this unexpected seasonal pattern and argue for more studies on call-based communication in birds to understand what type of information is relevant under which conditions.

RevDate: 2021-01-05

Gao LF, Zhang W, Zhang HY, et al (2020)

Parental dependence on the nest's spatial cues in offspring recognition decreases with nestling growth in the azure-winged magpie.

Current zoology, 66(6):643-648.

In altricial birds, to address which cues are used by parents to recognize their offspring, and when they switch between cues during reproduction, it has not been well determined. In this study, we address this question in a Tibetan population of the azure-winged magpie Cyanopica cyanus, by examining the dependence of parents on a nest's spatial position in offspring recognition. During the egg and nestling phases, azure-winged magpie nests were translocated to new positions across various distances from their original site, and parental responses to the translocated nests were investigated. Our findings show that a nest's spatial position is not connected with the survival of its young, but might be used as a cue in parental offspring recognition. When nests are translocated to a new position within a certain distance, parents could recognize their nests and returned to resume their parenting behaviors. Parental dependence on the nest's spatial position in offspring recognition is higher during the egg phase than during the nestling phase, and it decreases with the growth of nestlings. After nestlings reach a certain age, the nest' s spatial position was no longer used by parents as the single cue for offspring recognition. These findings suggest that azure-winged magpies switch their cues in offspring recognition during the different stages of reproduction. After parent-offspring communication has been established, the offspring's phenotypic traits may become a more reliable cue than the nest's spatial position in offspring recognition.

RevDate: 2021-05-20
CmpDate: 2021-05-20

Pika S, Sima MJ, Blum CR, et al (2020)

Ravens parallel great apes in physical and social cognitive skills.

Scientific reports, 10(1):20617.

Human children show unique cognitive skills for dealing with the social world but their cognitive performance is paralleled by great apes in many tasks dealing with the physical world. Recent studies suggested that members of a songbird family-corvids-also evolved complex cognitive skills but a detailed understanding of the full scope of their cognition was, until now, not existent. Furthermore, relatively little is known about their cognitive development. Here, we conducted the first systematic, quantitative large-scale assessment of physical and social cognitive performance of common ravens with a special focus on development. To do so, we fine-tuned one of the most comprehensive experimental test-batteries, the Primate Cognition Test Battery (PCTB), to raven features enabling also a direct, quantitative comparison with the cognitive performance of two great ape species. Full-blown cognitive skills were already present at the age of four months with subadult ravens' cognitive performance appearing very similar to that of adult apes in tasks of physical (quantities, and causality) and social cognition (social learning, communication, and theory of mind). These unprecedented findings strengthen recent assessments of ravens' general intelligence, and aid to the growing evidence that the lack of a specific cortical architecture does not hinder advanced cognitive skills. Difficulties in certain cognitive scales further emphasize the quest to develop comparative test batteries that tap into true species rather than human specific cognitive skills, and suggest that socialization of test individuals may play a crucial role. We conclude to pay more attention to the impact of personality on cognitive output, and a currently neglected topic in Animal Cognition-the linkage between ontogeny and cognitive performance.

RevDate: 2020-11-24

Wagener L, A Nieder (2020)

Categorical Auditory Working Memory in Crows.

iScience, 23(11):101737.

The ability to group sensory data into behaviorally meaningful classes and to maintain these perceptual categories active in working memory is key to intelligent behavior. Here, we show that carrion crows, highly vocal and cognitively advanced corvid songbirds, possess categorical auditory working memory. The crows were trained in a delayed match-to-category task that required them to flexibly match remembered sounds based on the upward or downward shift of the sounds' frequency modulation. After training, the crows instantaneously classified novel sounds into the correct auditory categories. The crows showed sharp category boundaries as a function of the relative frequency interval of the modulation. In addition, the crows generalized frequency-modulated sounds within a category and correctly classified novel sounds kept in working memory irrespective of other acoustic features of the sound. This suggests that crows can form and actively memorize auditory perceptual categories in the service of cognitive control of their goal-directed behaviors.

RevDate: 2021-05-04
CmpDate: 2021-05-04

Prabhakar SK, Rajaguru H, SH Kim (2020)

An Amalgamated Approach to Bilevel Feature Selection Techniques Utilizing Soft Computing Methods for Classifying Colon Cancer.

BioMed research international, 2020:8427574.

One of the deadliest diseases which affects the large intestine is colon cancer. Older adults are typically affected by colon cancer though it can happen at any age. It generally starts as small benign growth of cells that forms on the inside of the colon, and later, it develops into cancer. Due to the propagation of somatic alterations that affects the gene expression, colon cancer is caused. A standardized format for assessing the expression levels of thousands of genes is provided by the DNA microarray technology. The tumors of various anatomical regions can be distinguished by the patterns of gene expression in microarray technology. As the microarray data is too huge to process due to the curse of dimensionality problem, an amalgamated approach of utilizing bilevel feature selection techniques is proposed in this paper. In the first level, the genes or the features are dimensionally reduced with the help of Multivariate Minimum Redundancy-Maximum Relevance (MRMR) technique. Then, in the second level, six optimization techniques are utilized in this work for selecting the best genes or features before proceeding to classification process. The optimization techniques considered in this work are Invasive Weed Optimization (IWO), Teaching Learning-Based Optimization (TLBO), League Championship Optimization (LCO), Beetle Antennae Search Optimization (BASO), Crow Search Optimization (CSO), and Fruit Fly Optimization (FFO). Finally, it is classified with five suitable classifiers, and the best results show when IWO is utilized with MRMR, and then classified with Quadratic Discriminant Analysis (QDA), a classification accuracy of 99.16% is obtained.

RevDate: 2021-01-26
CmpDate: 2021-01-26

Themelin M, Ribic CA, Melillo-Sweeting K, et al (2020)

A new approach to the study of relationship quality in dolphins: Framework and preliminary results.

Behavioural processes, 181:104260.

Proximity and synchronous behaviours from surface observations have been used to measure association patterns within and between dolphin dyads. To facilitate an investigation of relationship quality in dolphins, we applied a method used for primates and ravens that examined three main components to describe relationships: value, security, and compatibility. Using pilot data from long-term research of two study populations for this preliminary assessment, these three components were extracted from PCA of eight behavioural variables with more than 80 % variance accounted for in both study groups. Only pair swim position differed between groups. Although value, security, and compatibility are abstract terms, each is based on behaviours identified as important in dolphin social life, at least for these two populations. Examining relationship quality in dolphins with a method used to illustrate dyadic differences for primates and ravens allows for a quantitative, comparative assessment of sociality across disparate taxa. Although these species are diverse in their anatomies and in their social habitats (e.g., aquatic, terrestrial, aerial), they may well share the basic societal building blocks in the factors affecting how relationships are formed. We discuss how an examination of these behavioural variables facilitates understanding relationship quality in dolphins, as well as how dolphin relationships fit into the context of social animals' society.

RevDate: 2020-10-03

Shpurov IY, Vlasova RM, Rumshiskaya AD, et al (2020)

Neural Correlates of Group Versus Individual Problem Solving Revealed by fMRI.

Frontiers in human neuroscience, 14:290.

Group problem solving is a prototypical complex collective intellectual activity. Psychological research provides compelling evidence that problem solving in groups is both qualitatively and quantitatively different from doing so alone. However, the question of whether individual and collective problem solving involve the same neural substrate has not yet been addressed, mainly due to methodological limitations. In the current study, functional magnetic resonance imaging was performed to compare brain activation when participants solved Raven-like matrix problems in a small group and individually. In the group condition, the participant in the scanner was able to discuss the problem with other team members using a special communication device. In the individual condition, the participant was required to think aloud while solving the problem in the silent presence of the other team members. Greater activation was found in several brain regions during group problem solving, including the medial prefrontal cortex; lateral parietal, cingulate, precuneus and retrosplenial cortices; frontal and temporal poles. These areas have been identified as potential components of the so-called "social brain" on the basis of research using offline judgments of material related to socializing. Therefore, this study demonstrated the actual involvement of these regions in real-time social interactions, such as group problem solving. However, further connectivity analysis revealed that the social brain components are co-activated, but do not increase their coupling during cooperation as would be suggested for a holistic network. We suggest that the social mode of the brain may be described instead as a re-configuration of connectivity between basic networks, and we found decreased connectivity between the language and salience networks in the group compared to the individual condition. A control experiment showed that the findings from the main experiment cannot be entirely accounted for by discourse comprehension. Thus, the study demonstrates affordances provided by the presented new technique for neuroimaging the "group mind," implementing the single-brain version of the second-person neuroscience approach.

RevDate: 2022-12-07
CmpDate: 2020-12-14

Lin Y, Zhang X, Huang Q, et al (2020)

The Prevalence of Dyslexia in Primary School Children and Their Chinese Literacy Assessment in Shantou, China.

International journal of environmental research and public health, 17(19):.

The epidemiological studies of Chinese developmental dyslexia (DD) in China are still limited. In addition, literacy assessment has seldom been performed for children with dyslexia, due to lack of uniform assessment tools. This study was aimed at investigating the prevalence rate of children with dyslexia, and to evaluate their Chinese reading ability. A total of 2955 students aged 7-12 years were enrolled by randomized cluster sampling. The study was divided into three stages. In stage I, all participating students were asked to finish the Combined Raven Test (CRT) and Chinese Vocabulary Test and Assessment Scale. In stage II, the Chinese teachers and parents of the children with suspected dyslexia were interviewed by psychiatrists, and finished the Dyslexia Checklist for Chinese Children (DCCC). In stage III, these children were evaluated by child psychiatrists for the diagnosis with or without dyslexia, according to the fifth edition of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), and their Chinese literacy was further evaluated by using the Chinese Reading Ability Test (CRAT). The prevalence rate of children with dyslexia was 5.4% in Shantou city, 8.4% in boys and 2.3% in girls, with a gender ratio of 3.7:1.0. Children with dyslexia scored lower in all the five subscales of the CRAT tests. including phonological awareness, morphological awareness, rapid automatized naming, orthographic awareness, and reading ability than the control group (all p < 0.001). This study suggested that the prevalence rate of Chinese dyslexia in Shantou city is roughly equivalent to that previously reported in China. Children with dyslexia have a relatively lower Chinese reading ability in all assessments.

RevDate: 2021-09-30
CmpDate: 2021-01-19

Massen JJM, Haley SM, T Bugnyar (2020)

Azure-winged magpies' decisions to share food are contingent on the presence or absence of food for the recipient.

Scientific reports, 10(1):16147.

Helping others is a key feature of human behavior. However, recent studies render this feature not uniquely human, and describe discoveries of prosocial behavior in non-human primates, other social mammals, and most recently in some bird species. Nevertheless, the cognitive underpinnings of this prosociality; i.e., whether animals take others' need for help into account, often remain obscured. In this study, we take a first step in investigating prosociality in azure-winged magpies by presenting them with the opportunity to share highly desired food with their conspecifics i) in a situation in which these conspecifics had no such food, ii) in a situation in which they too had access to that highly desired food, and iii) in an open, base-line, situation where all had equal access to the same food and could move around freely. We find that azure-winged magpies regularly share high-value food items, preferably with, but not restricted to, members of the opposite sex. Most notably, we find that these birds, and specifically the females, seem to differentiate between whether others have food or do not have food, and subsequently cater to that lack. Begging calls by those without food seem to function as cues that elicit the food-sharing, but the response to that begging is condition-dependent. Moreover, analyses on a restricted dataset that excluded those events in which there was begging showed exactly the same patterns, raising the possibility that the azure-winged magpies might truly notice when others have access to fewer resources (even in the absence of vocal cues). This sharing behavior could indicate a high level of social awareness and prosociality that should be further investigated. Further studies are needed to establish the order of intentionality at play in this system, and whether azure-winged magpies might be able to attribute desire states to their conspecifics.

RevDate: 2021-05-24
CmpDate: 2021-05-24

Gonzalez R, Rojas M, Rosselli M, et al (2021)

Acalculia in Aphasia.

Archives of clinical neuropsychology : the official journal of the National Academy of Neuropsychologists, 36(4):455-464.

BACKGROUND: Patients with aphasia can present a type of acalculia referred to as aphasic acalculia.

AIMS: To investigate the correlation and to test regression models for one- and two-digit calculation skills using verbal and nonverbal predictors.

METHODS AND PROCEDURES: We selected an aphasia sample of 119 men and 81 women with a mean age of 57.37 years (SD = 15.56) and an average level of education of 13.52 years (SD = 4.08). Spanish versions of the Western Aphasia Battery and Boston Diagnostic Aphasia Examination, plus a Written Calculation test, were individually administered. The calculation section of the Western Aphasia Battery and the Written Calculation tests were used to pinpoint calculation difficulties.

OUTCOMES AND RESULTS: Calculation difficulties were more severe in Global and Mixed non-fluent aphasia; they were very similar in Broca, Conduction, and Amnesic Aphasia. All correlations between the two calculation subtests and the other subtests of the Western Aphasia Battery were statistically significant. Calculation subtests correlated negatively with age and positively with schooling. Sex and time post-onset did not show any correlation with the calculation scores. Education, Reading, Block Design, and Raven's Colored Progressive Matrices were significant predictors of Western Aphasia Battery Calculation. Writing was the only significant predictor of the Written Calculation scores.

CONCLUSIONS: Nonverbal abilities were predictors of calculation tests, whereas agraphia defects were predictors of the Written Calculation test. Therefore, calculation abilities can be regarded both as written language-dependent and verbal language-independent.

RevDate: 2020-11-25
CmpDate: 2020-11-25

Connelly F, Johnsson RD, Aulsebrook AE, et al (2020)

Urban noise restricts, fragments, and lightens sleep in Australian magpies.

Environmental pollution (Barking, Essex : 1987), 267:115484.

Urban areas are inherently noisy, and this noise can disrupt biological processes as diverse as communication, migration, and reproduction. We investigated how exposure to urban noise affects sleep, a process critical to optimal biological functioning, in Australian magpies (Cracticus tibicen). Eight magpies experimentally exposed to noise in captivity for 24-h spent more time awake, and less time in non-rapid eye movement (non-REM) and REM sleep at night than under quiet conditions. Sleep was also fragmented, with more frequent interruptions by wakefulness, shorter sleep episode durations, and less intense non-REM sleep. REM sleep was particularly sensitive to urban noise. Following exposure to noise, magpies recovered lost sleep by engaging in more, and more intense, non-REM sleep. In contrast, REM sleep showed no rebound. This might indicate a long-term cost to REM sleep loss mediated by noise, or contest hypotheses regarding the functional value of this state. Overall, urban noise has extensive, disruptive impacts on sleep composition, architecture, and intensity in magpies. Future work should consider whether noise-induced sleep restriction and fragmentation have long-term consequences.

RevDate: 2021-12-14
CmpDate: 2021-12-10

Jokel A, Armstrong E, Gabis L, et al (2021)

Associations and Dissociations among Phonological Processing Skills, Language Skills and Nonverbal Cognition in Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Folia phoniatrica et logopaedica : official organ of the International Association of Logopedics and Phoniatrics (IALP), 73(3):222-232.

AIMS: The purpose of this study was to examine the nature of phonological processing in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) as it pertains to their nonverbal cognitive and linguistic abilities.

METHODS: Twenty-one participants between the ages of 9 and 21 years were administered a nonverbal cognitive assessment (Raven test), a language measure that requires receptive and expressive knowledge of semantics, syntax and morphology, as well as the integration across these language domains (CELF-4), and a measure of phonological processing (CTOPP).

RESULTS: Results show that performance on nonword repetition (NWR) that reflects an aspect of phonological memory was significantly low, whereas performance on phoneme reversal, phoneme elision, blending words and memory for digits was within the normal range. Hierarchical regressions with age, nonverbal intelligence (Raven test) and receptive language (CELF) as predictors showed that for NWR and phoneme elision the receptive part of the CELF was the main significant -predictor, after controlling for age. For phoneme reversal and memory for digits, however, the Raven score was the significant predictor, suggesting that cognitive nonverbal ability is the main factor explaining variability in these tasks.

CONCLUSIONS: A deficit in phonological memory characterizes individuals in the autistic population. This deficit may influence language acquisition in this population consistent with other populations of children with language impairments. Other tasks of phonological awareness, however, might be preserved especially when they do not involve memory for long phonological sequences and when the cognitive abilities are within the norm.

RevDate: 2020-12-14
CmpDate: 2020-12-04

Zhao W, Li H, Zhu X, et al (2020)

Effect of Birdsong Soundscape on Perceived Restorativeness in an Urban Park.

International journal of environmental research and public health, 17(16):.

Natural soundscapes have beneficial effects on the perceived restorativeness of an environment. This study examines the effect of birdsong, a common natural soundscape, on perceived restorativeness in Harbin Sun Island Park in China. Eight sites were selected and a series of questionnaire surveys on perceived restorativeness soundscape scale (PRSS) of four birdsong types were conducted during summer and winter. Two-hundred and forty respondents participated in this survey. Analysis of the survey results shows that different types of birdsong have different perceived restorativeness effects in different seasons. Crow birdsong has the worst effect on the perceived restorativeness in both summer and winter. Moreover, sound comfort and preference are significantly associated with the perceived restorativeness. The perceived restorativeness soundscape is best when birdsong is at a height of 4 m rather than 0.5 m or 2 m. The demographic/social factors of age, education, and stress level are all correlated with perceived restorativeness. There are suggestions for urban park design, especially with constructed natural elements. Creating a suitable habitat for multiple species of birds will improve perceived restorativeness. Moreover, appropriate activities should be provided in city parks to ensure restorativeness environments, especially for subjects with high levels of education and stress.

RevDate: 2022-07-25
CmpDate: 2022-07-25

Miller EJ, Krumhuber EG, A Dawel (2022)

Observers perceive the Duchenne marker as signaling only intensity for sad expressions, not genuine emotion.

Emotion (Washington, D.C.), 22(5):907-919.

The Duchenne marker-crow's feet wrinkles at the corner of the eyes-has a reputation for signaling genuine positive emotion in smiles. Here, we test whether this facial action might be better conceptualized as a marker of emotional intensity, rather than genuineness per se, and examine its perceptual outcomes beyond smiling, in sad expressions. For smiles, we found ratings of emotional intensity (how happy a face is) were unable to fully account for the effect of Duchenne status (present vs. absent) on ratings of emotion genuineness. The Duchenne marker made a unique direct contribution to the perceived genuineness of smiles, supporting its reputation for signaling genuine emotion in smiling. In contrast, across 4 experiments, we found Duchenne sad expressions were not rated as any more genuine or sincere than non-Duchenne ones. The Duchenne marker did however make sad expressions look sadder and more negative, just like it made smiles look happier and more positive. Together, these findings argue the Duchenne marker has an important role in sad as well as smiling expressions, but is interpreted differently in sad expressions (contributions to intensity only) compared with smiles (emotion genuineness independently of intensity). (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, all rights reserved).

RevDate: 2020-07-29
CmpDate: 2020-07-29

Dierick F, Buisseret F, Renson M, et al (2020)

Digital natives and dual task: Handling it but not immune against cognitive-locomotor interferences.

PloS one, 15(5):e0232328.

Digital natives developed in an electronic dual tasking world. This paper addresses two questions. Do digital natives respond differently under a cognitive load realized during a locomotor task in a dual-tasking paradigm and how does this address the concept of safety? We investigate the interplay between cognitive (talking and solving Raven's matrices) and locomotor (walking on a treadmill) tasks in a sample of 17 graduate level participants. The costs of dual-tasking on gait were assessed by studying changes in stride interval time and its variability at long-range. A safety index was designed and computed from total relative change between the variability indices in the single walking and dual-task conditions. As expected, results indicate high Raven's scores with gait changes found between the dual task conditions compared to the single walking task. Greater changes are observed in the talking condition compared to solving Raven's matrices, resulting in high safety index values observed in 5 participants. We conclude that, although digital natives are efficient in performing the dual tasks when they are not emotional-based, modification of gait are observable. Due to the variation within participants and the observation of high safety index values in several of them, individuals that responded poorly to low cognitive loads should be encouraged to not perform dual task when executing a primate task of safety to themselves or others.

RevDate: 2021-03-29
CmpDate: 2021-03-29

Chan CGH, Yow WQ, A Oei (2020)

Active Bilingualism in Aging: Balanced Bilingualism Usage and Less Frequent Language Switching Relate to Better Conflict Monitoring and Goal Maintenance Ability.

The journals of gerontology. Series B, Psychological sciences and social sciences, 75(9):e231-e241.

OBJECTIVES: Experience-related neuroplasticity suggests that bilinguals who actively manage their two languages would develop more efficient neural organization at brain regions related to language control, which also overlap with areas involved in executive control. Our aim was to examine how active bilingualism-manifested as the regular balanced use of two languages and language switching-may be related to the different domains of executive control in highly proficient healthy older adult bilinguals, controlling for age, processing speed, and fluid intelligence.

METHODS: Participants were 76 community-dwelling older adults who reported being physically and mentally healthy and showed no signs of cognitive impairment. They completed a self-report questionnaire on their language background, two computer measures for previously identified covariates (processing speed as measured by two-choice reaction time (RT) task and fluid intelligence as measured by the Raven's Progressive Matrices), as well as a battery of computerized executive control tasks (Color-shape Task Switching, Stroop, Flanker, and Spatial 2-back task).

RESULTS: Regression analyses showed that, even after controlling for age, processing speed, and fluid intelligence, more balanced bilingualism usage and less frequent language switching predicted higher goal maintenance (nonswitch trials RT in Color-shape Task Switching) and conflict monitoring abilities (global RT in Color-shape Task Switching and Flanker task).

DISCUSSION: Results suggest that active bilingualism may provide benefits to maintaining specific executive control abilities in older adult bilinguals against the natural age-related declines.

RevDate: 2022-08-13

Wang Y, Shen Y, Liu Z, et al (2019)

Words Can Shift: Dynamically Adjusting Word Representations Using Nonverbal Behaviors.

Proceedings of the ... AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence. AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence, 33(1):7216-7223.

Humans convey their intentions through the usage of both verbal and nonverbal behaviors during face-to-face communication. Speaker intentions often vary dynamically depending on different nonverbal contexts, such as vocal patterns and facial expressions. As a result, when modeling human language, it is essential to not only consider the literal meaning of the words but also the nonverbal contexts in which these words appear. To better model human language, we first model expressive nonverbal representations by analyzing the fine-grained visual and acoustic patterns that occur during word segments. In addition, we seek to capture the dynamic nature of nonverbal intents by shifting word representations based on the accompanying nonverbal behaviors. To this end, we propose the Recurrent Attended Variation Embedding Network (RAVEN) that models the fine-grained structure of nonverbal subword sequences and dynamically shifts word representations based on nonverbal cues. Our proposed model achieves competitive performance on two publicly available datasets for multimodal sentiment analysis and emotion recognition. We also visualize the shifted word representations in different nonverbal contexts and summarize common patterns regarding multimodal variations of word representations.

RevDate: 2020-07-02
CmpDate: 2020-07-01

Lambert ML, M Osvath (2020)

Investigating information seeking in ravens (Corvus corax).

Animal cognition, 23(4):671-680.

Measuring the responses of non-human animals to situations of uncertainty is thought to shed light on an animal's metacognitive processes; namely, whether they monitor their own knowledge states. For example, when presented with a foraging task, great apes and macaques selectively seek information about the location of a food item when they have not seen where it was hidden, compared to when they have. We presented this same information seeking task to ravens, in which a food item was hidden in one of three containers, and subjects could either watch where the food was hidden, infer its location through visual or auditory clues, or were given no information. We found that unlike several ape species and macaques, but similar to capuchin monkeys, the ravens looked inside at least one tube on every trial, but typically only once, inside the baited tube, when they had either witnessed it being baited or could visually infer the reward's location. In contrast, subjects looked more often within trials in which they had not witnessed the baiting or were provided with auditory cues about the reward's location. Several potential explanations for these ceiling levels of looking are discussed, including how it may relate to the uncertainty faced by ravens when retrieving food caches.

RevDate: 2021-07-28
CmpDate: 2021-07-28

Stockbridge MD, Newman RS, Zukowski A, et al (2020)

Language profiles in children with concussion.

Brain injury, 34(4):567-574.

Primary Objective: Inform the production of a screening tool for language in children with concussion. The authors predicted that children with a recent concussion would perform the cognitive-linguistic tasks more poorly, but some tasks may be more sensitive to concussion than others.Methods & Procedures: 22 elementary school aged children within 30 days of a concussion and age-matched peers with no history of concussion were assessed on a battery of novel language and cognitive-linguistic tasks. They also completed an auditory attention task and the Raven's Colored Progressive Matrices.Main Outcomes & Results: Children with a recent concussion scored significantly more poorly in novel tasks targeting category identification, grammaticality judgments, and recognizing target words presented in a short story than their age-matched peers with no such injury history. All observed effects had moderate sizes. Inclusion of these three tasks significantly improved prediction of concussion status over symptom score when controlling for the age of participants.Conclusions: The finding supports continued investigation of targeted linguistic tasks in children following concussion, particularly in the domains of semantic and syntactic access and verbal working memory. Future work developing brief language assessments specifically targeting children in this age range may provide a valuable addition to the existing tools for identifying the effects of concussion.

RevDate: 2022-08-24
CmpDate: 2021-05-17

Swift KN, Marzluff JM, Templeton CN, et al (2020)

Brain activity underlying American crow processing of encounters with dead conspecifics.

Behavioural brain research, 385:112546.

Animals utilize a variety of auditory and visual cues to navigate the landscape of fear. For some species, including corvids, dead conspecifics appear to act as one such visual cue of danger, and prompt alarm calling by attending conspecifics. Which brain regions mediate responses to dead conspecifics, and how this compares to other threats, has so far only been speculative. Using 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) we contrast the metabolic response to visual and auditory cues associated with a dead conspecific among five a priori selected regions in the American crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) brain: the hippocampus, nidopallium caudolaterale, striatum, amygdala, and the septum. Using a repeated-measures, fully balanced approach, we exposed crows to four stimuli: a dead conspecific, a dead song sparrow (Melospiza melodia), conspecific alarm calls given in response to a dead crow, and conspecific food begging calls. We find that in response to observations of a dead crow, crows show significant activity in areas associated with higher-order decision-making (NCL), but not in areas associated with social behaviors or fear learning. We do not find strong differences in activation between hearing alarm calls and food begging calls; both activate the NCL. Lastly, repeated exposures to negative stimuli had a marginal effect on later increasing the subjects' brain activity in response to control stimuli, suggesting that crows might quickly learn from negative experiences.

RevDate: 2021-06-16
CmpDate: 2021-06-16

Silleresi S, Prévost P, Zebib R, et al (2020)

Identifying Language and Cognitive Profiles in Children With ASD via a Cluster Analysis Exploration: Implications for the New ICD-11.

Autism research : official journal of the International Society for Autism Research, 13(7):1155-1167.

The new version of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) mentions the existence of four different profiles in the verbal part of the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), describing them as combinations of either spared or impaired functional language and intellectual abilities. The aim of the present study was to put ASD heterogeneity to the forefront by exploring whether clear profiles related to language and intellectual abilities emerge when investigation is extended to the entire spectrum, focusing on verbal children. Our study proposed a systematic investigation of both language (specifically, structural language abilities) and intellectual abilities (specifically, nonverbal cognitive abilities) in 51 6- to 12-year-old verbal children with ASD based on explicitly motivated measures. For structural language abilities, sentence repetition and nonword repetition tasks were selected; for nonverbal cognitive abilities, we chose Raven's Progressive Matrices, as well as Matrix Reasoning and Block Design from the Wechsler Scales. An integrative approach based on cluster analyses revealed five distinct profiles. Among these five profiles, all four logically possible combinations of structural language and nonverbal abilities mentioned in the ICD-11 were detected. Three profiles emerged among children with normal language abilities and two emerged among language-impaired children. Crucially, the existence of discrepant profiles of abilities suggests that children with ASD can display impaired language in presence of spared nonverbal intelligence or spared language in the presence of impaired nonverbal intelligence, reinforcing the hypothesis of the existence of a separate language module in the brain. Autism Res 2020, 13: 1155-1167. © 2020 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc. LAY SUMMARY: The present work put Autism Spectrum Disorder heterogeneity to the forefront by exploring whether clear profiles related to language and cognitive abilities emerge when investigation is extended to the entire spectrum (focusing on verbal children). The use of explicitly motivated measures of both language and cognitive abilities and of an unsupervised machine learning approach, the cluster analysis, (a) confirmed the existence of all four logically possible profiles evoked in the new ICD-11, (b) evoked the existence of (at least) a fifth profile of language/cognitive abilities, and (c) reinforced the hypothesis of a language module in the brain.

RevDate: 2020-07-16
CmpDate: 2020-07-16

Dutour M, AR Ridley (2020)

Females sing more often and at higher frequencies than males in Australian magpies.

Behavioural processes, 172:104045.

Birdsong is a particularly useful model for animal communication studies. However, current knowledge is derived mainly from the study of male song, and is therefore incomplete. Here, we investigated whether singing behaviour differs between sexes in the cooperatively breeding Western Australian magpie (Gymnorhina tibicen dorsalis). This subspecies lives in territorial groups, and in our population there is a female-biased sex ratio, which may lead to a high level of female-female competition for males. Observations of 94 magpies (54 females, 40 males) revealed that females sang more often than males. As bird song is a sexually multidimensional signal, we also studied amplitude and structure of the main territorial high-amplitude song in magpie; the carol. We found that females sing at the same amplitude as males, but that male and female carols exhibit differences in frequency. These results highlight the importance of studying female song and may change our perception regarding the evolution of sex-specific traits, given the primary focus on male singing as a sexually selected trait in the literature to date. The next step is to discover additional species in which females sing more than males in order to improve our currently incomplete understanding of the evolution of bird song.

RevDate: 2020-06-10
CmpDate: 2020-06-10

Abadi SH, Wacker DW, Newton JG, et al (2019)

Acoustic localization of crows in pre-roost aggregations.

The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 146(6):4664.

Crows are highly intelligent and social creatures. Each night during the non-breeding period, they gather on large pre-roost aggregations as they move towards their communal roost where they sleep. Crows make numerous and varied vocalizations on these pre-roost aggregations, but the purpose of these calls, and vocal communication in general, in these pre-roost aggregations is not fully understood. In this paper, an array of four microphones is used as a non-intrusive means to observe crow vocal behavior in pre-roost aggregations in the absence of human observers. By passively localizing animal vocalizations, the location of individuals can be monitored while simultaneously recording the acoustic structure and organization of their calls. Simulations and experiment are undertaken to study the performance of two time difference of arrival-based methods (hyperbolic location estimator and maximum likelihood estimator) for call localization. The effect of signal-to-noise ratio and uncertainty in measurement on the localization error is presented. By describing, modeling, and testing these techniques in this innovative context, the authors hope that researchers will employ the authors' approaches in future empirical studies to more fully understand crow vocal behavior.

RevDate: 2020-05-05
CmpDate: 2020-05-04

Michałowska J, Tofil A, Józwik J, et al (2019)

Monitoring the Risk of the Electric Component Imposed on a Pilot During Light Aircraft Operations in a High-Frequency Electromagnetic Field.

Sensors (Basel, Switzerland), 19(24):.

High-frequency electromagnetic fields can have a negative effect on both the human body and electronic devices. The devices and systems utilized in radio communications constitute the most numerous sources of electromagnetic fields. The following research investigates values of the electric component of electromagnetic field intensification determined with the ESM 140 dosimeter during the flights of four aircrafts-Cessna C152, Cessna C172, Aero AT3 R100, and Robinson R44 Raven helicopter-from the airport in Depultycze Krolewskie near Chelm, Poland. The point of reference for the obtained results were the normative limits of the electromagnetic field that can affect a pilot in the course of a flight. The maximum value registered by the dosimeter was E = 3.307 V/m for GSM 1800 frequencies.


RJR Experience and Expertise


Robbins holds BS, MS, and PhD degrees in the life sciences. He served as a tenured faculty member in the Zoology and Biological Science departments at Michigan State University. He is currently exploring the intersection between genomics, microbial ecology, and biodiversity — an area that promises to transform our understanding of the biosphere.


Robbins has extensive experience in college-level education: At MSU he taught introductory biology, genetics, and population genetics. At JHU, he was an instructor for a special course on biological database design. At FHCRC, he team-taught a graduate-level course on the history of genetics. At Bellevue College he taught medical informatics.


Robbins has been involved in science administration at both the federal and the institutional levels. At NSF he was a program officer for database activities in the life sciences, at DOE he was a program officer for information infrastructure in the human genome project. At the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, he served as a vice president for fifteen years.


Robbins has been involved with information technology since writing his first Fortran program as a college student. At NSF he was the first program officer for database activities in the life sciences. At JHU he held an appointment in the CS department and served as director of the informatics core for the Genome Data Base. At the FHCRC he was VP for Information Technology.


While still at Michigan State, Robbins started his first publishing venture, founding a small company that addressed the short-run publishing needs of instructors in very large undergraduate classes. For more than 20 years, Robbins has been operating The Electronic Scholarly Publishing Project, a web site dedicated to the digital publishing of critical works in science, especially classical genetics.


Robbins is well-known for his speaking abilities and is often called upon to provide keynote or plenary addresses at international meetings. For example, in July, 2012, he gave a well-received keynote address at the Global Biodiversity Informatics Congress, sponsored by GBIF and held in Copenhagen. The slides from that talk can be seen HERE.


Robbins is a skilled meeting facilitator. He prefers a participatory approach, with part of the meeting involving dynamic breakout groups, created by the participants in real time: (1) individuals propose breakout groups; (2) everyone signs up for one (or more) groups; (3) the groups with the most interested parties then meet, with reports from each group presented and discussed in a subsequent plenary session.


Robbins has been engaged with photography and design since the 1960s, when he worked for a professional photography laboratory. He now prefers digital photography and tools for their precision and reproducibility. He designed his first web site more than 20 years ago and he personally designed and implemented this web site. He engages in graphic design as a hobby.

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This is a must read book for anyone with an interest in invasion biology. The full title of the book lays out the author's premise — The New Wild: Why Invasive Species Will Be Nature's Salvation. Not only is species movement not bad for ecosystems, it is the way that ecosystems respond to perturbation — it is the way ecosystems heal. Even if you are one of those who is absolutely convinced that invasive species are actually "a blight, pollution, an epidemic, or a cancer on nature", you should read this book to clarify your own thinking. True scientific understanding never comes from just interacting with those with whom you already agree. R. Robbins

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Collection of publications by R J Robbins

Reprints and preprints of publications, slide presentations, instructional materials, and data compilations written or prepared by Robert Robbins. Most papers deal with computational biology, genome informatics, using information technology to support biomedical research, and related matters.

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