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    8065 research outputs found

    Effects of task difficulty on performance and event-related bradycardia during preparation for action

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    The slowing of heart rate prior to movement onset has been presented as a marker of task related cognitive processing and linked with performance accuracy. Here we examined this event-related bradycardia and task performance as a function of task difficulty. Forty experienced golfers completed a series of golf putting conditions that manipulated task difficulty by varying target distance, target size, and surface contour. Performance was measured by the number of holed putts and finishing distance from the hole. Physiological activity was recorded throughout. Analyses confirmed that performance varied as a function of task difficulty, worsening with longer distances to target, smaller targets, and sloping paths to target. Task difficulty also impacted the cardiac response, including the rate of heart rate deceleration, change in heart rate, and heart rate at impact. These heart rate metrics were found to correlate with performance strongly, moderately, and weakly, respectively. In conclusion, heart rate deceleration in the moments preceding movement onset was affected by task difficulty. Features of this cardiac deceleration pattern were characteristic of successful performance. Our findings are discussed in terms of the role of cognitive and motor processes during the execution of complex motor skills

    Photonic Hook-Assisted Contrast-Enhanced Super-Resolution Imaging Using Janus Microspheres

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    Microsphere-assisted imaging is a promising label- free super-resolution imaging technique. Its performance is sig- nificantly affected by the photonic nanojet (PNJ) of microspheres. Recently, a new type of curved PNJ, i.e. the photonic hook (PH), was discovered, which shows promising potential for various applications. This Letter presented a contrast-enhanced super- resolution imaging technique utilizing the PHs generated by Janus microspheres. We demonstrated that the Janus micro- spheres can be fabricated using a one-step deposition process, they exhibit superior imaging performance to pristine micro- spheres, and their field-of-view and imaging contrast can be easily adjusted by changing the coating thickness. In addition, we demonstrated that the imaging contrast of Janus microspheres can be further enhanced by using polarized illumination

    Converging evidence that left extrastriate body area supports visual sensitivity to social interactions

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    Navigating our complex social world requires processing the interactions we observe. Recent psychophysical and neuroimaging studies provide parallel evidence that the human visual system may be attuned to efficiently perceive dyadic interactions. This work implies, but has not yet demonstrated, that activity in body-selective cortical regions causally supports efficient visual perception of interactions. We adopt a multi-method approach to close this important gap. First, using a large fMRI dataset (N=92), we found that the left-hemisphere Extrastriate Body Area (EBA) responds more to face-to-face than non-facing dyads. Second, we replicated a behavioural marker of visual sensitivity to interactions: categorisation of facing dyads is more impaired by inversion than non-facing dyads. Third, in a pre-registered experiment, we used fMRI-guided transcranial magnetic stimulation to show that online stimulation of the left EBA, but not a nearby control region, abolishes this selective inversion effect. Activity in left EBA, thus, causally supports the efficient perception of social interactions

    Prognostic factors for a change in eye health or vision: A rapid review

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    The general public are advised to have regular routine eye examinations to check their vision and ocular health; however current UK guidance on how often to have eye examinations is not evidence-based and was issued in 2002.This Rapid Review aims to provide an evidence base that stakeholders can use to form updated guidance for Wales by asking the question ‘What are the prognostic factors for a change in ocular status in the general population attending routine eye examinations?’The review included evidence available from January 2009 up until August 2023. Evidence was included from 2011 up until 2023. 19 studies were included: two systematic reviews; nine prospective cohort studies; three retrospective cohort studies; two longitudinal studies; two case-control studies; and one cross-sectional study were included.<br/

    Observational energy transfers of a spiral cold filament within an anticyclonic eddy

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    The ocean surface mixed layer represents a critical interface linking the ocean and atmosphere. The physical processes determining the surface mixed layer properties and mediate atmosphere-ocean exchange. Submesoscale processes play a key role in cross-scale oceanic energy transformation and the determination of surface mixed-layer properties, including the enhancement of vertical nutrient transport, leading to increased primary productivity. Herein, we presented observations of the spiral chlorophyll-a filament and its influence on turbulence within an anticyclonic eddy in the western South China Sea during August 2021. The filament had a negative Ertel potential vorticity associated with strong upwelled/downward currents (approximately 20-40 m/day). Across-filament sections of the in-situ profiles showed turbulent dissipation rates enhanced in the filament. We suggested this enhancement values can be attributed to submesoscale processes, which accounted for 25% of the total parameterized turbulent dissipation rates. The present parametrized submesoscale turbulent scheme overestimated the in-situ values. The filament transferred kinetic energy upward to anticyclonic eddy via barotropic instability and gained energy from the anticyclonic eddy via baroclinic instability. After kinetic energy budget diagnostic, we suggested besides symmetric instability, centrifugal instability and mixed layer baroclinic instability should also be included in the turbulence scheme to overcome the overestimation. The observed dual energy transfers between the anticyclonic eddy and filament, and the observed high turbulent energy dissipation within the filament, emphasized the need for these processes to be accurately parameterized regional and climate models

    "you just look at rocks, and have beards" Perceptions of geology from the UK: a qualitative analysis from an online survey.

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    In the last few decades, Geology courses, particularly in the Global North, have seen a decline in student enrolment. Geologists have linked this downturn to a lack of exposure to the subject at school and college level. This work seeks to understand the public's relationship with Geology and draws on over 5000 open-ended question responses to a survey disseminated in 2021. The survey asked both those who had, and had not, studied geology as a subject a series of questions in order to explore their perceptions of the discipline. Our findings indicate that individuals 'outside' of geology see the subject as old fashioned, boring, and environmentally damaging; simply the study of rock samples with nothing new to be discovered from; and with poor job prospects outside of the oil and gas industry. Geologists who responded to the survey paint a picture of a broad, interdisciplinary subject, with vibrant employability opportunities yet struggle to coherently and collectively describe this when asked, 'what is geology?'. In addition to the identified perception of geology as boring, and notions of poor employability being a barrier to prospective students, diversity and inclusivity issues are highlighted as significant barriers by those who study geology. Our findings indicate that both geologists and the geology curriculum need to coherently describe what geology is more effectively. We need to develop and better communicate the subject's interdisciplinary nature and links to critical societal issues, such as the role of responsible mineral extraction in the energy transition and the importance of geology in vital areas such as climate change science, water resource management, environmental conservation, and sustainable urban/built development. Finding new ways to show that, far from being boring, geology is a subject that can fundamentally change the way you see and interact with the world around you is of central importance to achieving this. Efforts to make the subject more equitable are also highlighted as being critical in creating a more inclusive and accessible discipline

    Wave resource characterization and co-location with offshore wind in the Irish Sea

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    One barrier affecting progress in the wave energy sector is detailed knowledge of the spatiotemporal distribution of waves in shelf sea regions, including their inter- and intra-annual variability. Here, a recent decade (2012-2021) of waves is simulated at high-resolution in the Irish Sea - a region with much offshore energy infrastructure. The spectral wave model SWAN is forced with ERA5 wind fields. There is a strong seasonal cycle in wave height and power. In all months except for July, large waves (significant wave height greater than 5 m) can penetrate into the northern part of the Irish Sea, but the most energetic region is the Celtic Sea, where monthly mean wave power exceeds 30 kW/m in December. In this region, wave power strongly correlates with the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) from September to March. To investigate the potential for co-location, i.e. to reduce costs through shared infrastructure, wave and wind power were compared at a leased floating wind site in the Celtic Sea. Over the simulated decade, r^2 ~ 0.5, demonstrating modest potential for co-location of wind and wave energy technologies in this part of the Irish Sea - considerably less favourable than other sites in the North Atlantic that experience greater swell

    A multiple baseline approach for marine heatwaves

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    Marine heatwaves and other extreme temperature events can drive biological responses, including mass mortality. However, their effects depend on how they are experienced by biological systems (including human societies). We applied two different baselines (fixed and shifting) to a time series of North Sea water temperature to explore how slowly vs. quickly adapting systems would experience extreme temperatures. We tested if the properties of marine heatwaves and the association with atmospheric heatwaves were robust to a change in baseline. A fixed baseline produced an increase in the frequency and duration of marine heatwaves, which would be experienced as the new normal by slowly adapting systems; 7 of the 10 most severe heatwaves occurred between 1990 and 2018. The shifting baseline removed the trend in the frequency but not duration of heatwaves; the 1990s appeared as a period of change in the frequency of strong and severe heatwaves as compared to the 1980s. There were also common patterns among baselines: marine heatwaves were more frequent in late summer when temperatures peak; temperature variability was characterized by low frequency, large amplitude fluctuations (i.e., as red noise), known to drive extinction events. In addition, marine heatwaves occurred during or just after atmospheric heatwaves. Our work highlights the importance of identifying properties of marine heatwaves that are robust or contingent on a change in baseline

    The associations of dyadic coping strategies with caregiver’s willingness to care and burden: A weekly diary study

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    This weekly diary study investigated associations of weekly dyadic coping strategies with caregivers’willingness to care and burden. Multilevel modelling was applied to assess between- and within-personassociations for 24 consecutive weeks in 955 caregivers. Greater willingness to care was reported in weekswhen caregivers used more collaborative (b=0.26, p&lt;0.001) and supportive (b=0.30, p&lt;0.001) strategies,whereas uninvolved coping was associated with lower willingness to care (b=−0.44, p&lt;0.001). Usingcollaborative coping strategies was associated with lower weekly burden (b=−0.13, p&lt;0.001). A greaterburden was reported in weeks when caregivers used more uninvolved (b=0.19, p&lt;0.001) and controlling(b=0.13, p&lt;0.001) coping strategies. A full understanding of whether caregivers’ willingness to care andburden may be improved owing to weekly dyadic coping is essential for developing timely support forcaregivers

    Assessing Li accommodation at amorphous ZrO2 grain boundaries

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    Nuclear Pressurised Water Reactors (PWRs) use zirconium alloys as a fuel cladding, preventing the cooling water, at elevated pH using lithium hydroxide, from interacting with the fuel. Boron, as boric acid, is added to the coolant as a reactivity shim. Future reactor designs are considering removing soluble boron reactivity control to aid plant simplification. The presence of lithium in the absence of boron in the coolant has, however, been found to accelerate the corrosion of zirconium-based alloys under certain conditions and the mechanisms by which this occurs is under investigation. The ingress of lithium into the bulk oxide layer of zirconium alloy has been addressed in a previous study and was found to be unlikely. Here, atomistic simulations were used to produce Brouwer diagrams from which the solubility of lithium in amorphous structures representing complex grain boundaries have been predicted. The solubility of lithium in these amorphous structures is predicted to be high and will produce an elevated concentration of oxygen defects within the amorphous structure. This could offer a mode for transport of oxygen to the metal oxide interface and, potentially, offer a mechanism or part of a mechanism for observed lithium-accelerated corrosion of Zr-based alloys


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