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- Stimulus homogeneity enhances implicit learning: Evidence from contextual cueing. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Vision Res 2014 Mar 3.
Visual search for a target object is faster if the target is embedded in a repeatedly presented invariant configuration of distractors ('contextual cueing'). It has also been shown that the homogeneity of a context affects the efficiency of visual search: targets receive prioritized processing when presented in a homogeneous context compared to a heterogeneous context, presumably due to grouping processes at early stages of visual processing. The present study investigated in three Experiments whether context homogeneity also affects contextual cueing. In Experiment 1, context homogeneity varied on three levels of the task-relevant dimension (orientation) and contextual cueing was most pronounced for context configurations with high orientation homogeneity. When context homogeneity varied on three levels of the task-irrelevant dimension (color) and orientation homogeneity was fixed, no modulation of contextual cueing was observed: high orientation homogeneity led to large contextual cueing effects (Experiment 2) and low orientation homogeneity led to low contextual cueing effects (Experiment 3), irrespective of color homogeneity. Enhanced contextual cueing for homogeneous context configurations suggest that grouping processes do not only affect visual search but also implicit learning. We conclude that memory representation of context configurations are more easily acquired when context configurations can be processed as larger, grouped perceptual units. However, this form of implicit perceptual learning is only improved by stimulus homogeneity when stimulus homogeneity facilitates grouping processes on a dimension that is currently relevant in the task.
- Lack of international uniformity in assessing color vision deficiency in professional pilots. [Journal Article]
- Aviat Space Environ Med 2014 Feb; 85(2):148-59.
Color is an important characteristic of the aviation environment. Pilots must rapidly and accurately differentiate and identify colors. The medical standards published by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) require that pilots have "the ability to perceive readily those colors the perception of which is necessary for the safe performance of duties." The general wording of that color vision (CV) standard, coupled with the associated flexibility provisions, allows for different approaches to the assessment of color vision deficient (CVD) pilots.Data was gathered and analyzed regarding medical assessment practices applied by different countries to CVD pilots.Data was obtained from 78 countries, representing 78% of the population and 92% of the aviation activity of the world. That data indicates wide variation in the medical assessment of CVD pilots. Countries use different tools and procedures for the testing of pilots, and also apply different result criteria to those tests. At one extreme an applicant making one error upon Ishihara 24-plate pseudoisochromatic plate (PIP) testing is declined a class 1 medical assessment, while at another extreme an applicant failing every color vision test required by the regulatory authority may be issued a medical assessment allowing commercial and airline copilot privileges.The medical assessment of CVD applicants is not performed consistently across the world. Factors that favor uniformity have been inadequate to encourage countries toward consistent medical assessment outcomes. This data is not consistent with the highest practicable degree of uniformity in medical assessment outcomes, and encourages aeromedical tourism.
- Assisted night vision and oxygenation state: 'steady adapted gaze'. [Journal Article, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't]
- Aviat Space Environ Med 2014 Feb; 85(2):120-9.
Visual effects of hypoxia relevant to viewing through night vision devices (NVD), or beneath them at dim instrument panel (IP) information, include elevation of color discrimination and contrast acuity thresholds, whereas supplementary oxygen enhances sensitivity. This study examined the effects of respiratory disturbance on low contrast acuity and color sensitivity under steady state visual adaptation representative of NVD and IP viewing.Foveal low contrast acuity (with and without distractors) and color signal thresholds were estimated using versions of the Contrast Acuity Assessment (CAA) test (8) and Color Assessment and Diagnosis (CAD) test (2). NVD viewing was simulated using an isochromatic green background field at 1.0 and 3.0 cd x m-2 while IP adaptation employed an achromatic background at 1.0 and 0.1 cd x m(-2). Respiratory conditions were normoxia (breathing air), hyperoxia (100% oxygen), and hypoxia (13.7% oxygen, balance nitrogen).Breathing gas was a significant determinant of contrast acuity and color thresholds under all four viewing conditions. Contrast acuity thresholds were elevated consistently under hypoxia by up to 25% relative to breathing oxygen. Both red-green and S-cone color thresholds were elevated by -20-25% during NVD viewing and up to 50% during IP viewing at 0.1 cd x m(-2).Hypoxia degrades mesopic visual performance substantially during steady state IP viewing, but also compromises NVD viewing at low photopic luminance. Low contrast acuity and color sensitivity will be compromised upon arrival at 10,000 ft (3048 m) viewing through or beneath NVDs. Unexpectedly, visual distractors enhanced acuity at 0.1 cd x m(-2), with possible implications for mesopic visual displays.
- Orientation tuning in human colour vision at detection threshold. [Journal Article]
- Sci Rep 2014.:4285.
We measure the orientation tuning of red-green colour and luminance vision at low (0.375 c/deg) and mid (1.5 c/deg) spatial frequencies using the low-contrast psychophysical method of subthreshold summation. Orientation bandwidths of the underlying neural detectors are found using a model involving Minkowski summation of the rectified outputs of a bank of oriented filters. At 1.5 c/deg, we find orientation-tuned detectors with similar bandwidths for chromatic and achromatic contrast. At 0.375 c/deg, orientation tuning is preserved with no change in bandwidth for achromatic stimuli, however, for chromatic stimuli orientation tuning becomes extremely broad, compatible with detection by non-oriented colour detectors. A non-oriented colour detector, previously reported in single cells in primate V1 but not psychophysically in humans, can transmit crucial information about the color of larger areas or surfaces whereas orientation-tuned detectors are required to detect the colour or luminance edges that delineate an object's shape.
- Four-dimensional live imaging of apical biosynthetic trafficking reveals a post-Golgi sorting role of apical endosomal intermediates. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2014 Mar 3.
Emerging data suggest that in polarized epithelial cells newly synthesized apical and basolateral plasma membrane proteins traffic through different endosomal compartments en route to the respective cell surface. However, direct evidence for trans-endosomal pathways of plasma membrane proteins is still missing and the mechanisms involved are poorly understood. Here, we imaged the entire biosynthetic route of rhodopsin-GFP, an apical marker in epithelial cells, synchronized through recombinant conditional aggregation domains, in live Madin-Darby canine kidney cells using spinning disk confocal microscopy. Our experiments directly demonstrate that rhodopsin-GFP traffics through apical recycling endosomes (AREs) that bear the small GTPase Rab11a before arriving at the apical membrane. Expression of dominant-negative Rab11a drastically reduced apical delivery of rhodopsin-GFP and caused its missorting to the basolateral membrane. Surprisingly, functional inhibition of dynamin-2 trapped rhodopsin-GFP at AREs and caused aberrant accumulation of coated vesicles on AREs, suggesting a previously unrecognized role for dynamin-2 in the scission of apical carrier vesicles from AREs. A second set of experiments, using a unique method to carry out total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy (TIRFM) from the apical side, allowed us to visualize the fusion of rhodopsin-GFP carrier vesicles, which occurred randomly all over the apical plasma membrane. Furthermore, two-color TIRFM showed that Rab11a-mCherry was present in rhodopsin-GFP carrier vesicles and was rapidly released upon fusion onset. Our results provide direct evidence for a role of AREs as a post-Golgi sorting hub in the biosynthetic route of polarized epithelia, with Rab11a regulating cargo sorting at AREs and carrier vesicle docking at the apical membrane.
- Sparkling feather reflections of a bird-of-paradise explained by finite-difference time-domain modeling. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2014 Mar 3.
Birds-of-paradise are nature's prime examples of the evolution of color by sexual selection. Their brilliant, structurally colored feathers play a principal role in mating displays. The structural coloration of both the occipital and breast feathers of the bird-of-paradise Lawes' parotia is produced by melanin rodlets arranged in layers, together acting as interference reflectors. Light reflection by the silvery colored occipital feathers is unidirectional as in a classical multilayer, but the reflection by the richly colored breast feathers is three-directional and extraordinarily complex. Here we show that the reflection properties of both feather types can be quantitatively explained by finite-difference time-domain modeling using realistic feather anatomies and experimentally determined refractive index dispersion values of keratin and melanin. The results elucidate the interplay between avian coloration and vision and indicate tuning of the mating displays to the spectral properties of the avian visual system.
- Color and brightness encoded in a common L- and M-cone pathway with expansive and compressive nonlinearities. [Journal Article]
- J Vis 2014; 14(3)
Lights near 560 nm appear brighter when flickered, whereas lights near 520 or 650 nm appear yellower. Both effects are consistent with signal distortion within the visual pathway-brightness changes at an expansive nonlinearity, and hue shifts at a compressive one. We previously manipulated the distortion products generated by each nonlinearity to extract the temporal properties of stages of the L- and M-cone pathways that signal brightness and color before (early stages) and after (late stages) each nonlinearity. We find that the attenuation characteristics of the early and late stages are virtually identical in both pathways: The early temporal stage acts like a band-pass filter peaking at 10-15 Hz, while the late stage acts like low-pass filter with a cut-off frequency near 3 Hz. We propose a physiologically relevant model that accounts for the filter shapes and incorporates both nonlinearities within a common parvocellular pathway. The shape of the early band-pass filter is consistent with antagonism between center signals and more sluggish and delayed surround signals, while the late filter is consistent with a simple two-stage low-pass filter. Modeling suggests that the brightness change and hue shift are both initially caused by the half-wave rectification and partition of signals into ON and OFF components. However, the hue shift is probably caused by the additional effects of a later nonlinearity that compresses chromatic red and green signals. Plausible sites for the expansive half-wave rectifying nonlinearity are after surround antagonism, possibly from horizontal cells, but the compressive nonlinearity is likely to be after the late filter.
- Species concepts, diversity, and evolution in primates: Lessons to be learned from mouse lemurs. [Journal Article]
- Evol Anthropol 2014 Jan 2; 23(1):11-4.
Humans primarily rely on vision when categorizing the world. If you just look at the same-sized but strikingly differently colored Neotropical poison-dart frogs such as strawberry frogs (Fig. ), you would be convinced that they must belong to different species. However, this is an excellent example of a polymorphic species, meaning that although these frogs look quite different, mating decisions are made based on their conspicuous and species-specific advertisements calls, which are not primarily linked to specific color pattern. The situation is quite different among nocturnal primates living in dense forest environments, such as the tiny nocturnal Malagasy mouse lemurs. In this case, even geographically isolated, well-accepted species look superficially quite similar and are therefore often termed cryptic species (Fig. ). Some morphs are a bit larger than others or show minor phenotypic differences, but morph-specific differences are difficult to detect in living subjects. This phenomenon explains why, until the end of the last century, species diversity in mouse lemurs was assumed to be low, with only two morphologically distinct species. Over the last two decades, several international working groups, including our own, undertook a massive island-wide sampling effort, including DNA sequencing and phylogenetic analyses of mouse lemurs. These revealed a 10-fold higher species diversity, with 21 currently described species. Are these new species, mostly defined based on the phylogenetic species concept (sensu Cracraft), or independent evolutionary lineages or, perhaps, only artifacts of taxonomic inflation? What is a species? How can we identify primate species? How and why do species emerge during evolution? [Figure: see text] [Figure: see text].
- Comparing distributions of color words: pitfalls and metric choices. [Journal Article]
- PLoS One 2014; 9(2):e89184.
Computational methods have started playing a significant role in semantic analysis. One particularly accessible area for developing good computational methods for linguistic semantics is in color naming, where perceptual dissimilarity measures provide a geometric setting for the analyses. This setting has been studied first by Berlin & Kay in 1969, and then later on by a large data collection effort: the World Color Survey (WCS). From the WCS, a dataset on color naming by 2 616 speakers of 110 different languages is made available for further research. In the analysis of color naming from WCS, however, the choice of analysis method is an important factor of the analysis. We demonstrate concrete problems with the choice of metrics made in recent analyses of WCS data, and offer approaches for dealing with the problems we can identify. Picking a metric for the space of color naming distributions that ignores perceptual distances between colors assumes a decorrelated system, where strong spatial correlations in fact exist. We can demonstrate that the corresponding issues are significantly improved when using Earth Mover's Distance, or Quadratic [Formula: see text]-square Distance, and we can approximate these solutions with a kernel-based analysis method.
- Wild bees preferentially visit Rudbeckia flower heads with exaggerated ultraviolet absorbing floral guides. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Biol Open 2014 Feb 28.
Here, we report on the results of an experimental study that assessed the visitation frequency of wild bees to conspecific flowers with different sized floral guides. UV absorbent floral guides are ubiquitous in Angiosperms, yet surprisingly little is known about conspecific variation in these guides and very few studies have evaluated pollinator response to UV guide manipulation. This is true despite our rich understanding about learning and color preferences in bees. Historical dogma indicates that flower color serves as an important long-range visual signal allowing pollinators to detect the flowers, while floral guides function as close-range signals that direct pollinators to a reward. We initiated the work presented here by first assessing the population level variation in UV absorbent floral guides for conspecific flowers. We assessed two species, Rudbeckia hirta and R. fulgida. We then used several petal cut-and-paste experiments to test whether UV floral guides can also function to attract visitors. We manipulated floral guide size and evaluated visitation frequency. In all experiments, pollinator visitation rates were clearly associated with floral guide size. Diminished floral guides recruited relatively few insect visitors. Exaggerated floral guides recruited more visitors than smaller or average sized guides. Thus, UV floral guides play an important role in pollinator recruitment and in determining the relative attractiveness of conspecific flower heads. Consideration of floral guides is therefore important when evaluating the overall conspicuousness of flower heads relative to background coloration. This work raises the issue of whether floral guides serve as honest indicators of reward, since guide size varies in nature for conspecific flowers at the same developmental stage and since preferences for larger guides were found. To our knowledge, these are the first cut-and-paste experiments conducted to examine whether UV absorbent floral guides affect visitation rates and pollinator preference.