541 research outputs found

    Polar coralline algal CaCO<sub>3</sub>-production rates correspond to intensity and duration of the solar radiation

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    In this study we present a comparative quantification of CaCO3 production rates by rhodolith-forming coralline red algal communities situated in high polar latitudes and assess which environmental parameters control these production rates. The present rhodoliths act as ecosystem engineers, and their carbonate skeletons provide an important ecological niche to a variety of benthic organisms. The settings are distributed along the coasts of the Svalbard archipelago, being Floskjeret (78◦180N) in Isfjorden, Krossfjorden (79◦080N) at the eastern coast of Haakon VII Land, Mosselbukta (79◦530N) at the eastern coast of Mosselhalvøya, and Nordkappbukta (80◦310N) at the northern coast of Nordaustlandet. All sites feature Arctic climate and strong seasonality

    A Cortical Region Consisting Entirely of Face-Selective Cells

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    Face perception is a skill crucial to primates. In both humans and macaque monkeys, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) reveals a system of cortical regions that show increased blood flow when the subject views images of faces, compared with images of objects. However, the stimulus selectivity of single neurons within these fMRI-identified regions has not been studied. We used fMRI to identify and target the largest face-selective region in two macaques for single-unit recording. Almost all (97%) of the visually responsive neurons in this region were strongly face selective, indicating that a dedicated cortical area exists to support face processing in the macaque

    Functional Compartmentalization and Viewpoint Generalization Within the Macaque Face-Processing System

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    Primates can recognize faces across a range of viewing conditions. Representations of individual identity should thus exist that are invariant to accidental image transformations like view direction. We targeted the recently discovered face-processing network of the macaque monkey that consists of six interconnected face-selective regions and recorded from the two middle patches (ML, middle lateral, and MF, middle fundus) and two anterior patches (AL, anterior lateral, and AM, anterior medial). We found that the anatomical position of a face patch was associated with a unique functional identity: Face patches differed qualitatively in how they represented identity across head orientations. Neurons in ML and MF were view-specific; neurons in AL were tuned to identity mirror-symetrically across views, thus achieving partial view invariance; and neurons in AM, the most anterior face patch, achieved almost full view invariance

    What Makes a Cell Face Selective? The Importance of Contrast

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    Faces are robustly detected by computer vision algorithms that search for characteristic coarse contrast features. Here, we investigated whether face-selective cells in the primate brain exploit contrast features as well. We recorded from face-selective neurons in macaque inferotemporal cortex, while presenting a face-like collage of regions whose luminances were changed randomly. Modulating contrast combinations between regions induced activity changes ranging from no response to a response greater than that to a real face in 50% of cells. The critical stimulus factor determining response magnitude was contrast polarity, for example, nose region brighter than left eye. Contrast polarity preferences were consistent across cells, suggesting a common computational strategy across the population, and matched features used by computer vision algorithms for face detection. Furthermore, most cells were tuned both for contrast polarity and for the geometry of facial features, suggesting cells encode information useful both for detection and recognition

    Temperate carbonate cycling and water mass properties from intertidal to bathyal depths (Azores)

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    The rugged submarine topography of the Azores supports a diverse heterozoan association resulting in intense biotically-controlled carbonate-production and accumulation. In order to characterise this cold-water (C) factory a 2-year experiment was carried out in the southern Faial Channel to study the biodiversity of hardground communities and for budgeting carbonate production and degradation along a bathymetrical transect from the intertidal to bathyal 500 m depth. Seasonal temperatures peak in September (above a thermocline) and bottom in March (stratification diminishes) with a decrease in amplitude and absolute values with depth, and tidal-driven short-term fluctuations. Measured seawater stable isotope ratios and levels of dissolved nutrients decrease with depth, as do the calcium carbonate saturation states. The photosynthetic active radiation shows a base of the euphotic zone in ~70 m and a dysphotic limit in ~150 m depth. Bioerosion, being primarily a function of light availability for phototrophic endoliths and grazers feeding upon them, is ~10 times stronger on the illuminated upside versus the shaded underside of substrates in the photic zone, with maximum rates in the intertidal (−631 g/m2/yr). Rates rapidly decline towards deeper waters where bioerosion and carbonate accretion are slow and epibenthic/endolithic communities take years to mature. Accretion rates are highest in the lower euphotic zone (955 g/m2/yr), where the substrate is less prone to hydrodynamic force. Highest rates are found – inversely to bioerosion – on down-facing substrates, suggesting that bioerosion may be a key factor governing the preferential settlement and growth of calcareous epilithobionts on down-facing substrates. In context of a latitudinal gradient, the Azores carbonate cycling rates plot between known values from the cold-temperate Swedish Kosterfjord and the tropical Bahamas, with a total range of two orders in magnitude. Carbonate budget calculations for the bathymetrical transect yield a mean 266.9 kg of epilithic carbonate production, −54.6 kg of bioerosion, and 212.3 kg of annual net carbonate production per metre of coastline in the Azores C factory

    A face feature space in the macaque temporal lobe

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    The ability of primates to effortlessly recognize faces has been attributed to the existence of specialized face areas. One such area, the macaque middle face patch, consists almost entirely of cells that are selective for faces, but the principles by which these cells analyze faces are unknown. We found that middle face patch neurons detect and differentiate faces using a strategy that is both part based and holistic. Cells detected distinct constellations of face parts. Furthermore, cells were tuned to the geometry of facial features. Tuning was most often ramp-shaped, with a one-to-one mapping of feature magnitude to firing rate. Tuning amplitude depended on the presence of a whole, upright face and features were interpreted according to their position in a whole, upright face. Thus, cells in the middle face patch encode axes of a face space specialized for whole, upright faces

    Functional Connectivity of the Macaque Brain across Stimulus and Arousal States

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    Cortical networks generate temporally correlated brain activity. To clarify the functional significance of this correlated activity, we asked whether and how its structure depends on stimulus and arousal state. Using independent components analysis of macaque functional magnetic resonance imaging data, we identified a large number of brain networks that were strikingly reproducible across different visual stimulus contexts. Fewer networks were reproducible across alert and anesthetized brain states. Network complexity ranged from bilateral single-node networks to networks comprising multiple discrete nodes distributed over 3 cm of cortex; one network identified in our survey included parts of the temporal parietal occipital junction, dorsal premotor cortex, insula, and posterior cingulate cortex bilaterally. Our results reveal the wealth of spatially structured correlated networks throughout the brain in both alert and anesthetized monkeys, and show that anesthesia significantly alters the spatial structure of these networks
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