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information technology [keywords]
- Mental mechanisms for topics identification. [Journal Article]
- Comput Intell Neurosci 2014.:920892.
Topics identification (TI) is the process that consists in determining the main themes present in natural language documents. The current TI modeling paradigm aims at acquiring semantic information from statistic properties of large text datasets. We investigate the mental mechanisms responsible for the identification of topics in a single document given existing knowledge. Our main hypothesis is that topics are the result of accumulated neural activation of loosely organized information stored in long-term memory (LTM). We experimentally tested our hypothesis with a computational model that simulates LTM activation. The model assumes activation decay as an unavoidable phenomenon originating from the bioelectric nature of neural systems. Since decay should negatively affect the quality of topics, the model predicts the presence of short-term memory (STM) to keep the focus of attention on a few words, with the expected outcome of restoring quality to a baseline level. Our experiments measured topics quality of over 300 documents with various decay rates and STM capacity. Our results showed that accumulated activation of loosely organized information was an effective mental computational commodity to identify topics. It was furthermore confirmed that rapid decay is detrimental to topics quality but that limited capacity STM restores quality to a baseline level, even exceeding it slightly.
- Evaluating the impact of genotype errors on rare variant tests of association. [Journal Article]
- Front Genet 2014.:62.
The new class of rare variant tests has usually been evaluated assuming perfect genotype information. In reality, rare variant genotypes may be incorrect, and so rare variant tests should be robust to imperfect data. Errors and uncertainty in SNP genotyping are already known to dramatically impact statistical power for single marker tests on common variants and, in some cases, inflate the type I error rate. Recent results show that uncertainty in genotype calls derived from sequencing reads are dependent on several factors, including read depth, calling algorithm, number of alleles present in the sample, and the frequency at which an allele segregates in the population. We have recently proposed a general framework for the evaluation and investigation of rare variant tests of association, classifying most rare variant tests into one of two broad categories (length or joint tests). We use this framework to relate factors affecting genotype uncertainty to the power and type I error rate of rare variant tests. We find that non-differential genotype errors (an error process that occurs independent of phenotype) decrease power, with larger decreases for extremely rare variants, and for the common homozygote to heterozygote error. Differential genotype errors (an error process that is associated with phenotype status), lead to inflated type I error rates which are more likely to occur at sites with more common homozygote to heterozygote errors than vice versa. Finally, our work suggests that certain rare variant tests and study designs may be more robust to the inclusion of genotype errors. Further work is needed to directly integrate genotype calling algorithm decisions, study costs and test statistic choices to provide comprehensive design and analysis advice which appropriately accounts for the impact of genotype errors.
- Ensemble inference by integrative cancer networks. [Journal Article]
- Front Genet 2014.:59.
- Scene analysis in the natural environment. [REVIEW]
- Front Psychol 2014.:199.
The problem of scene analysis has been studied in a number of different fields over the past decades. These studies have led to important insights into problems of scene analysis, but not all of these insights are widely appreciated, and there remain critical shortcomings in current approaches that hinder further progress. Here we take the view that scene analysis is a universal problem solved by all animals, and that we can gain new insight by studying the problems that animals face in complex natural environments. In particular, the jumping spider, songbird, echolocating bat, and electric fish, all exhibit behaviors that require robust solutions to scene analysis problems encountered in the natural environment. By examining the behaviors of these seemingly disparate animals, we emerge with a framework for studying scene analysis comprising four essential properties: (1) the ability to solve ill-posed problems, (2) the ability to integrate and store information across time and modality, (3) efficient recovery and representation of 3D scene structure, and (4) the use of optimal motor actions for acquiring information to progress toward behavioral goals.
- Homeostatic structural plasticity increases the efficiency of small-world networks. [Journal Article]
- Front Synaptic Neurosci 2014.:7.
In networks with small-world topology, which are characterized by a high clustering coefficient and a short characteristic path length, information can be transmitted efficiently and at relatively low costs. The brain is composed of small-world networks, and evolution may have optimized brain connectivity for efficient information processing. Despite many studies on the impact of topology on information processing in neuronal networks, little is known about the development of network topology and the emergence of efficient small-world networks. We investigated how a simple growth process that favors short-range connections over long-range connections in combination with a synapse formation rule that generates homeostasis in post-synaptic firing rates shapes neuronal network topology. Interestingly, we found that small-world networks benefited from homeostasis by an increase in efficiency, defined as the averaged inverse of the shortest paths through the network. Efficiency particularly increased as small-world networks approached the desired level of electrical activity. Ultimately, homeostatic small-world networks became almost as efficient as random networks. The increase in efficiency was caused by the emergent property of the homeostatic growth process that neurons started forming more long-range connections, albeit at a low rate, when their electrical activity was close to the homeostatic set-point. Although global network topology continued to change when neuronal activities were around the homeostatic equilibrium, the small-world property of the network was maintained over the entire course of development. Our results may help understand how complex systems such as the brain could set up an efficient network topology in a self-organizing manner. Insights from our work may also lead to novel techniques for constructing large-scale neuronal networks by self-organization.
- EEG-informed fMRI analysis during a hand grip task: estimating the relationship between EEG rhythms and the BOLD signal. [Journal Article]
- Front Hum Neurosci 2014.:186.
In the last decade, an increasing interest has arisen in investigating the relationship between the electrophysiological and hemodynamic measurements of brain activity, such as EEG and (BOLD) fMRI. In particular, changes in BOLD have been shown to be associated with changes in the spectral profile of neural activity, rather than with absolute power. Concurrently, recent findings showed that different EEG rhythms are independently related to changes in the BOLD signal: therefore, it would be also important to distinguish between the contributions of the different EEG rhythms to BOLD fluctuations when modeling the relationship between the two signals. Here we propose a method to perform EEG-informed fMRI analysis where the changes in the spectral profile are modeled, and, at the same time, the distinction between rhythms is preserved. We compared our model with two other frequency-dependent regressors modeling using simultaneous EEG-fMRI data from healthy subjects performing a motor task. Our results showed that the proposed method better captures the correlations between BOLD signal and EEG rhythms modulations, identifying task-related, well localized activated volumes. Furthermore, we showed that including among the regressors also EEG rhythms not primarily involved in the task enhances the performance of the analysis, even when only correlations with BOLD signal and specific EEG rhythms are explored.
- Inverse Tone Mapping Based upon Retina Response. [Journal Article]
- ScientificWorldJournal 2014.:168564.
The development of high dynamic range (HDR) display arouses the research of inverse tone mapping methods, which expand dynamic range of the low dynamic range (LDR) image to match that of HDR monitor. This paper proposed a novel physiological approach, which could avoid artifacts occurred in most existing algorithms. Inspired by the property of the human visual system (HVS), this dynamic range expansion scheme performs with a low computational complexity and a limited number of parameters and obtains high-quality HDR results. Comparisons with three recent algorithms in the literature also show that the proposed method reveals more important image details and produces less contrast loss and distortion.
- Factors influencing visor use among players in the National Hockey League (NHL). [Journal Article]
- Open Access J Sports Med 2014.:43-6.
Eye, orbital, and facial injuries are significant risks to National Hockey League (NHL) players, and can be mitigated by the use of a partial visor - currently optional for all non-rookie players. The goal of the current study was to determine the overall use of visors among non-rookie NHL players in the 2013-2014 season and assess factors influencing their uptake. This was an observational, cross-sectional study using active NHL rosters and demographic information obtained from the official NHL website. Visor use was determined based on in-game video or images at two different time points in the 2013-2014 season. The use of visors during the 2013-2014 season was 75.2% among non-rookie players. When rookies were included, the overall use of visors was 77.8%. Compared to Canadian-born players, European players were significantly more likely to choose to wear a visor (odds ratio [OR] 3.48, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.96-6.17). Players in the younger age-groups, particularly those younger than 24 years (OR 5.67, 95% CI 2.52-5.76) and those between 24 and 28 years (OR 2.18, 95% CI 1.23-3.87), were more likely to wear a visor compared to older players. Overall, visor use continues to grow in the NHL independently of new legislation, and is more likely in younger players and those of European origin.
Interest in the perception of the material of objects has been growing. While material perception is a critical ability for animals to properly regulate behavioral interactions with surrounding objects (e.g., eating), little is known about its underlying processing. Vision and audition provide useful information for material perception; using only its visual appearance or impact sound, we can infer what an object is made from. However, what material is perceived when the visual appearance of one material is combined with the impact sound of another, and what are the rules that govern cross-modal integration of material information? We addressed these questions by asking 16 human participants to rate how likely it was that audiovisual stimuli (48 combinations of visual appearances of six materials and impact sounds of eight materials) along with visual-only stimuli and auditory-only stimuli fell into each of 13 material categories. The results indicated strong interactions between audiovisual material perceptions; for example, the appearance of glass paired with a pepper sound is perceived as transparent plastic. Rating material-category likelihoods follow a multiplicative integration rule in that the categories judged to be likely are consistent with both visual and auditory stimuli. On the other hand, rating-material properties, such as roughness and hardness, follow a weighted average rule. Despite a difference in their integration calculations, both rules can be interpreted as optimal Bayesian integration of independent audiovisual estimations for the two types of material judgment, respectively.
- A novel artificial anal sphincter system in an in vitro and in vivo experiment. [Journal Article]
- Int J Artif Organs 2014 Apr 15; 37(3):253-63.
This paper presents some of the latest progress in the development of a novel artificial anal sphincter system (AASS) to treat severe fecal incontinence. We have redesigned and integrated an intelligent, remote-controlled artificial anal sphincter based on biological signal feedback mechanisms. The device consists of an external telemetry unit, an internal artificial anal sphincter (IAAS), and a transcutaneous energy transfer system (TETS). The mechanical medical micropump of the IAAS can realize bidirectional flow with a maximum flow rate of 8.5 ml/min and can build backpressure up to 170 kPa. The design of the prosthesis reduces occlusion pressure and allows for low inflation volumes (9 mL-10.5 mL); operating pressures between 4.05 kPa and 7.16 kPa indicate that the risk of ischemic injury to the bowel is minimal. Furthermore, the rechargeable battery based on TETS puts the operation time at an estimated 2 days. The performance characteristics of the AASS and its efficiency in achieving continence and sensing the stool inside the anorectum were evaluated in vitro and in vivo in a pig model. Experimental results confirm that the system can maintain continence and build the sense of defecation successfully. Moreover, this innovation can be integrated into not only severe fecal incontinence, erectile dysfunction, and therapy-resistant reflux disease, but also morbid adiposity therapeutic AASS applications.