519 research outputs found

    Is there a general trait of susceptibility to simultaneous contrast?

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    Individuals differ in their susceptibility to simultaneous contrast. Are the underlying differences in neural machinery conserved across different stimulus dimensions? We measured the extent to which 101 subjects perceived simultaneous contrast on the dimensions of luminance, colour, luminance contrast, colour contrast, orientation, spatial frequency, motion and numerosity. Individual differences showed re-test reliability for each dimension (0.32ICC(c,1)0.78, p0.05), but susceptibility to simultaneous contrast, with a few exceptions, was not correlated across dimensions. Either susceptibility to contrast arises empirically from an individual's interactions with the environment, or it is genetically determined but independently for different dimensions

    Performance in the MRCP(UK) Examination 2003-4: analysis of pass rates of UK graduates in relation to self-declared ethnicity and gender

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    Background: Male students and students from ethnic minorities have been reported to underperform in undergraduate medical examinations. We examined the effects of ethnicity and gender on pass rates in UK medical graduates sitting the Membership of the Royal Colleges of Physicians in the United Kingdom [MRCP( UK)] Examination in 2003-4. Methods: Pass rates for each part of the examination were analysed for differences between graduate groupings based on self- declared ethnicity and gender.Results: All candidates declared their gender, and 84 - 90% declared their ethnicity. In all three parts of the examination, white candidates performed better than other ethnic groups (P < 0.001). In the MRCP(UK) Part 1 and Part 2 Written Examinations, there was no significant difference in pass rate between male and female graduates, nor was there any interaction between gender and ethnicity. In the Part 2 Clinical Examination (Practical Assessment of Clinical Examination Skills, PACES), women performed better than did men (P < 0.001). Non-white men performed more poorly than expected, relative to white men or non-white women. Analysis of individual station marks showed significant interaction between candidate and examiner ethnicity for performance on communication skills (P = 0.011), but not on clinical skills (P = 0.176). Analysis of overall average marks showed no interaction between candidate gender and the number of assessments made by female examiners (P = 0.151).Conclusion: The cause of these differences is most likely to be multifactorial, but cannot be readily explained in terms of previous educational experience or differential performance on particular parts of the examination. Potential examiner prejudice, significant only in the cases where there were two non- white examiners and the candidate was non- white, might indicate different cultural interpretations of the judgements being made

    Colour Relations in Form

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    The orthodox monadic determination thesis holds that we represent colour relations by virtue of representing colours. Against this orthodoxy, I argue that it is possible to represent colour relations without representing any colours. I present a model of iconic perceptual content that allows for such primitive relational colour representation, and provide four empirical arguments in its support. I close by surveying alternative views of the relationship between monadic and relational colour representation

    How does the human visual system compare the speeds of spatially separated objects?

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    We measured psychophysical thresholds for discriminating the speeds of two arrays of moving dots. The arrays could be juxtaposed or could be spatially separated by up to 10 degrees of visual angle, eccentricity being held constant. We found that the precision of the judgments varied little with separation. Moreover, the function relating threshold to separation was similar whether the arrays moved in the same, in opposite or in orthogonal directions. And there was no significant difference in threshold whether the two stimuli were initially presented to the same cerebral hemisphere or to opposite ones. How are human observers able to compare stimuli that fall at well separated positions in the visual field? We consider two classes of explanation: (i) Observers’ judgments might be based directly on the signals of dedicated ‘comparator neurons’, i.e. neurons drawing inputs of opposite sign from local regions of the visual field. (ii) Signals about local features might be transmitted to the site of comparison by a shared ‘cerebral bus’, where the same physical substrate carries different information from moment to moment. The minimal effects of proximity and direction (which might be expected to influence local detectors of relative motion), and the combinatorial explosion in the number of comparator neurons that would be required by (i), lead us to favor models of type (ii)

    Blue cone monochromacy: causative mutations and associated phenotypes.

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    PurposeTo perform a phenotypic assessment of members of three British families with blue cone monochromatism (BCM), and to determine the underlying molecular genetic basis of disease.MethodsAffected members of three British families with BCM were examined clinically and underwent detailed electrophysiological and psychophysical testing. Blood samples were taken for DNA extraction. Molecular analysis involved the amplification of the coding regions of the long (L) and medium (M) wave cone opsin genes and the upstream locus control region (LCR) by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Gene products were directly sequenced and analyzed.ResultsIn all three families, genetic analysis identified that the underlying cause of BCM involved an unequal crossover within the opsin gene array, with an inactivating mutation. Family 1 had a single 5'-L-M-3' hybrid gene, with an inactivating Cys203Arg (C203R) mutation. Family 3 had an array composed of a C203R inactivated 5'-L-M-3' hybrid gene followed by a second inactive gene. Families 1 and 3 had typical clinical, electrophysiological, and psychophysical findings consistent with stationary BCM. A novel mutation was detected in Family 2 that had a single hybrid gene lacking exon 2. This family presented clinical and psychophysical evidence of a slowly progressive phenotype.ConclusionsTwo of the BCM-causing family genotypes identified in this study comprised different hybrid genes, each of which contained the commonly described C203R inactivating mutation. The genotype in the family with evidence of a slowly progressive phenotype represents a novel BCM mutation. The deleted exon 2 in this family is not predicted to result in a shift in the reading frame, therefore we hypothesize that an abnormal opsin protein product may accumulate and lead to cone cell loss over time. This is the first report of slow progression associated with this class of mutation in the L or M opsin genes in BCM

    An online version of the Mooney Face Test: phenotypic and genetic associations.

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    The Mooney Face Test is a widely used test of face perception, but was originally designed to be administered by personal interview. We have developed a three-alternative forced-choice version for online testing. We tested 397 healthy adults between the ages of 18 and 42 (M=24 years). There was a wide range of performance (64-100% correct; M=89.6%). We observed a significant sex difference favoring males (.31 standard deviation; p =.004). In addition, independently of sex, higher 2D:4D digit ratios were significantly associated with higher scores (ρ=.14, p=.006). A genome-wide association study (GWAS) for a subset of 370 participants identified an association between Mooney performance and a polymorphism in the RAPGEF5 gene (rs1522280; p=9.68×10(-8)). This association survives a permutation test (p=.031).This is the author's accepted manuscript. The final version of this paper is published by Elsevier in Neuropsychologia here: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0028393214002747