149 research outputs found

    The relationship between sensory sensitivity and autistic traits in the general population.

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    Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) tend to have sensory processing difficulties (Baranek et al. in J Child Psychol Psychiatry 47:591–601, 2006). These difficulties include over- and under-responsiveness to sensory stimuli, and problems modulating sensory input (Ben-Sasson et al. in J Autism Dev Disorders 39:1–11, 2009). As those with ASD exist at the extreme end of a continuum of autistic traits that is also evident in the general population, we investigated the link between ASD and sensory sensitivity in the general population by administering two questionnaires online to 212 adult participants. Results showed a highly significant positive correlation (r = .775, p < .001) between number of autistic traits and the frequency of sensory processing problems. These data suggest a strong link between sensory processing and autistic traits in the general population, which in turn potentially implicates sensory processing problems in social interaction difficulties

    Acoustic Intensity Causes Perceived Changes in Arousal Levels in Music: An Experimental Investigation

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    Listener perceptions of changes in the arousal expressed by classical music have been found to correlate with changes in sound intensity/loudness over time. This study manipulated the intensity profiles of different pieces of music in order to test the causal nature of this relationship. Listeners (N = 38) continuously rated their perceptions of the arousal expressed by each piece. An extract from Dvorak's Slavonic Dance Opus 46 No 1 was used to create a variant in which the direction of change in intensity was inverted, while other features were retained. Even though it was only intensity that was inverted, perceived arousal was also inverted. The original intensity profile was also superimposed on three new pieces of music. The time variation in the perceived arousal of all pieces was similar to their intensity profile. Time series analyses revealed that intensity variation was a major influence on the arousal perception in all pieces, in spite of their stylistic diversity

    Auditory network connectivity in tinnitus patients: a resting-state fMRI study

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    Objective: Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) uncovers correlated activity between spatially distinct functionally related brain regions and offers clues about the integrity of functional brain circuits in people with chronic subjective tinnitus. We chose to investigate auditory network connectivity, adopting and extending previously used analyses methods to provide an independent evaluation of replicability. Design: Independent components analysis (ICA) was used to identify coherent patterns arising from spontaneous brain signals within the resting-state data. The auditory network component was extracted and evaluated. Bivariate and partial correlation analyses were performed on pre-defined regions of bilateral auditory cortex to assess functional connectivity. Study sample: Our design carefully matched participant groups for possible confounds, such as hearing status. Twelve patients (seven male, five female; mean age 66 years) all with chronic constant tinnitus and eleven controls (eight male, three female; mean age 68 years) took part. Results: No significant differences were found in auditory network connectivity between groups after correcting for multiple statistical comparisons in the analysis. This contradicts previous findings reporting reduced auditory network connectivity; albeit at a less stringent statistical threshold. Conclusions: Auditory network connectivity does not appear to be reliably altered by the experience of chronic subjective tinnitus

    Empathy Manipulation Impacts Music-Induced Emotions: A Psychophysiological Study on Opera

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    This study investigated the effects of voluntarily empathizing with a musical performer (i.e., cognitive empathy) on music-induced emotions and their underlying physiological activity. N = 56 participants watched video-clips of two operatic compositions performed in concerts, with low or high empathy instructions. Heart rate and heart rate variability, skin conductance level (SCL), and respiration rate (RR) were measured during music listening, and music-induced emotions were quantified using the Geneva Emotional Music Scale immediately after music listening. Listening to the aria with sad content in a high empathy condition facilitated the emotion of nostalgia and decreased SCL, in comparison to the low empathy condition. Listening to the song with happy content in a high empathy condition also facilitated the emotion of power and increased RR, in comparison to the low empathy condition. To our knowledge, this study offers the first experimental evidence that cognitive empathy influences emotion psychophysiology during music listening

    Gipc3 mutations associated with audiogenic seizures and sensorineural hearing loss in mouse and human

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    Sensorineural hearing loss affects the quality of life and communication of millions of people, but the underlying molecular mechanisms remain elusive. Here, we identify mutations in Gipc3 underlying progressive sensorineural hearing loss (age-related hearing loss 5, ahl5) and audiogenic seizures (juvenile audiogenic monogenic seizure 1, jams1) in mice and autosomal recessive deafness DFNB15 and DFNB95 in humans. Gipc3 localizes to inner ear sensory hair cells and spiral ganglion. A missense mutation in the PDZ domain has an attenuating effect on mechanotransduction and the acquisition of mature inner hair cell potassium currents. Magnitude and temporal progression of wave I amplitude of afferent neurons correlate with susceptibility and resistance to audiogenic seizures. The Gipc3343A allele disrupts the structure of the stereocilia bundle and affects long-term function of auditory hair cells and spiral ganglion neurons. Our study suggests a pivotal role of Gipc3 in acoustic signal acquisition and propagation in cochlear hair cells

    Response Properties of Human Amygdala Subregions: Evidence Based on Functional MRI Combined with Probabilistic Anatomical Maps

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    The human amygdala is thought to play a pivotal role in the processing of emotionally significant sensory information. The major subdivisions of the human amygdala—the laterobasal group (LB), the superficial group (SF), and the centromedial group (CM)—have been anatomically delineated, but the functional response properties of these amygdala subregions in humans are still unclear. We combined functional MRI with cyto-architectonically defined probabilistic maps to analyze the response characteristics of amygdala subregions in subjects presented with auditory stimuli. We found positive auditory stimulation-related signal changes predominantly in probabilistically defined LB, and negative responses predominantly in SF and CM. In the left amygdala, mean response magnitude in the core area of LB with 90–100% assignment probability was significantly larger than in the core areas of SF and CM. These differences were observed for pleasant and unpleasant stimuli. Our findings reveal that the probabilistically defined anatomical subregions of the human amygdala show distinctive fMRI response patterns. The stronger auditory responses in LB as compared with SF and CM may reflect a predominance of auditory inputs to human LB, similar to many animal species in which the majority of sensory, including auditory, afferents project to this subdivision of the amygdala. Our study indicates that the intrinsic functional differentiation of the human amygdala may be probed using fMRI combined with probabilistic anatomical maps

    Biosignals reflect pair-dynamics in collaborative work : EDA and ECG study of pair-programming in a classroom environment

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    Collaboration is a complex phenomenon, where intersubjective dynamics can greatly affect the productive outcome. Evaluation of collaboration is thus of great interest, and can potentially help achieve better outcomes and performance. However, quantitative measurement of collaboration is difficult, because much of the interaction occurs in the intersubjective space between collaborators. Manual observation and/or self-reports are subjective, laborious, and have a poor temporal resolution. The problem is compounded in natural settings where task-activity and response-compliance cannot be controlled. Physiological signals provide an objective mean to quantify intersubjective rapport (as synchrony), but require novel methods to support broad deployment outside the lab. We studied 28 student dyads during a self-directed classroom pair-programming exercise. Sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system activation was measured during task performance using electrodermal activity and electrocardiography. Results suggest that (a) we can isolate cognitive processes (mental workload) from confounding environmental effects, and (b) electrodermal signals show role-specific but correlated affective response profiles. We demonstrate the potential for social physiological compliance to quantify pair-work in natural settings, with no experimental manipulation of participants required. Our objective approach has a high temporal resolution, is scalable, non-intrusive, and robust.Peer reviewe

    Unforgettable film music: The role of emotion in episodic long-term memory for music

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>Specific pieces of music can elicit strong emotions in listeners and, possibly in connection with these emotions, can be remembered even years later. However, episodic memory for emotional music compared with less emotional music has not yet been examined. We investigated whether emotional music is remembered better than less emotional music. Also, we examined the influence of musical structure on memory performance.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>Recognition of 40 musical excerpts was investigated as a function of arousal, valence, and emotional intensity ratings of the music. In the first session the participants judged valence and arousal of the musical pieces. One week later, participants listened to the 40 old and 40 new musical excerpts randomly interspersed and were asked to make an old/new decision as well as to indicate arousal and valence of the pieces. Musical pieces that were rated as very positive were recognized significantly better.</p> <p>Conclusion</p> <p>Musical excerpts rated as very positive are remembered better. Valence seems to be an important modulator of episodic long-term memory for music. Evidently, strong emotions related to the musical experience facilitate memory formation and retrieval.</p
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