224,947 research outputs found

    Conflict between background matching and social signalling in a colour-changing freshwater fish

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    The ability to change coloration allows animals to modify their patterning to suit a specific function. Many freshwater fishes, for example, can appear cryptic by altering the dispersion of melanin pigment in the skin to match the visual background. However, melanin-based pigments are also used to signal dominance among competing males; thus colour change for background matching may conflict with colour change for social status signalling. We used a colour-changing freshwater fish to investigate whether colour change for background matching influenced aggressive interactions between rival males. Subordinate males that had recently darkened their skin for background matching received heightened aggression from dominant males, relative to males whose coloration had not changed. We then determined whether the social status of a rival male, the focal male's previous social status, and his previous skin coloration, affected a male's ability to change colour for background matching. Social status influenced skin darkening in the first social encounter, with dominant males darkening more than subordinate males, but there was no effect of social status on colour change in the second social encounter. We also found that the extent of skin colour change (by both dominant and subordinate males) was dependent on previous skin coloration, with dark males displaying a smaller change in coloration than pale males. Our findings suggest that skin darkening for background matching imposes a significant social cost on subordinate males in terms of increased aggression. We also suggest that the use of melanin-based signals during social encounters can impede subsequent changes in skin coloration for other functions, such as skin darkening for background matching

    Pigment composition of the bright skin in the poison toad, Melanophryniscus rubriventris (Anura: Bufonidae) from Argentina

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    The determination of the basis of skin colour is important to better understand the evolutionary and ecological relevance of colour variation in aposematic species. Significant variation in bright skin colouration can be found between and within populations of the poison toad, Melanophryniscus rubriventris. In this study, we identified the pigments present in the skin in seven populations of the species in Argentina to determine pigment composition of bright colouration. Our analysis showed that at least four different primary pigments consisting of a suite of orange-red carotenes and yellow xanthophylls contribute to the bright skin colour in different populations of the species. Four carotenoids, Astaxanthin, β-Carotene, Canthaxanthin, and Lycopene were detected by comparison with available standards in skin tissues on each population. Four carotenoids were also detected but not identified. We provide evidence that differences in colouration between individuals and populations in Melanophryniscus rubriventris cannot be merely ascribed to differences in their skin pigment profiles (i.e. pigment types). We discuss alternative explanations and stress the need of more studies on complex mechanisms and interactions affecting the expression of skin colouration in poison frogs and toads.Fil: Bonansea, Maria Ines. Universidad Nacional de Jujuy. Facultad de Ciencias Agrarias; Argentina. Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas; ArgentinaFil: Heit, Cecilia. Universidad Nacional de Jujuy; ArgentinaFil: Vaira, Marcos. Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas. Centro de Investigaciones y Transferencia de Jujuy. Universidad Nacional de Jujuy. Centro de Investigaciones y Transferencia de Jujuy; Argentin

    Skin Colour Segmentation using Fintte Bivariate Pearsonian Type-IV a Mixture Model

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    The human computer interaction with respect to skin colour is an important area of research due to its ready applications in several areas like face recognition, surveillance, image retrievals, identification, gesture analysis, human tracking etc.  For efficient skin colour segmentation statistical modeling is a prime desiderata.  In general skin colour segment is done based on Gaussian mixture model.  Due to the limitations on GMM like symmetric and mesokurtic nature the accuracy of the skin colour segmentation is affected.  To improve the accuracy of the skin colour segmentation system, In this paper the skin colour is modeled by a finite bivariate Pearsonian type-IVa mixture distribution under HSI colour space of the image.  The model parameters are estimated by EM algorithm.  Using the Bayesian frame the segmentation algorithm is proposed.  Through experimentation it is observed that the proposed skin colour segmentation algorithm perform better with respect to the segmentation quality metrics like PRI, GCE and VOI.  The ROC curves plotted for the system also revealed that the developed algorithm segment pixels in the image more efficiently. Keywords: Skin colour segmentation, HSI colour space, Bivariate Pearson type IVa mixture model, Image segmentation metrics

    Characterising the variations in ethnic skin colours: a new calibrated data base for human skin

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    Background: Accurate skin colour measurements are important for numerous medical applications including the diagnosis and treatment of cutaneous disorders and the provision of maxillofacial soft tissue prostheses. Methods: In this study, we obtained accurate skin colour measurements from four different ethnic groups (Caucasian, Chnese, Kurdish, Thai) and at four different body locations(Forehead, cheek, inner arm, back of hand) with a view of establishing a new skin colour database for medical and cosmetic applications. Skin colours are measured using a spectropho-tometer and converted to a device-independent standard colour appearance space (CIELAB) where skin colour is expressed as values along the three dimensions: Lightness L*, Redness a*and Yellowness b*. Skin colour differences and variation are then evaluated as a function of ethnicity and body location. Results: We report three main results: (1) When plotted in a standard colour appearance space (CIELAB), skin colour distributions for the four ethnic groups overlap significantly,although there are systematic mean differences. Between ethnicities, the most significant skin colour differences occur along the yellowness dimension, with Thai skin exhibiting the highest yellowness (b*) value and Caucasian skin the lowest value.Facial redness (a*) is invariant across the four ethnic groups.(2) Between different body locations, there are significant variations in redness (a*), with the forehead showing the highestredness value and the inner arm the lowest. (3) The colour gamut is smallest in the Chinese sample and largest in the Caucasian sample, with the Chinese gamut lying entirely the Caucasian gamut. Similarly, the largest variability in skin tones is found in the Caucasian group, and the smallest in the Chinese group. Conclusion: Broadly speaking, skin colour variation can be explained by two main factors: individual differences in lightness and yellowness are mostly due to ethnicity, whereas differences in redness are primarily due to different body locations. Variations in lightness are more idiosyncratic probably reflecting the large influence of environmental factors such as exposure to sun

    Colour normalisation to reduce inter-patient and intra-patient variability in microaneurysm detection in colour retinal images

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    Images of the human retina vary considerably in their appearance depending on the skin pigmentation (amount of melanin) of the subject. Some form of normalisation of colour in retinal images is required for automated analysis of images if good sensitivity and specificity at detecting lesions is to be achieved in populations involving diverse races. Here we describe an approach to colour normalisation by shade-correction intra-image and histogram normalisation inter-image. The colour normalisation is assessed by its effect on the automated detection of microaneurysms in retinal images. It is shown that the Na¨ıve Bayes classifier used in microaneurysm detection benefits from the use of features measured over colour normalised images

    An Effective Pixel-Wise Approach for Skin Colour Segmentation- Using Pixel Neighbourhood Technique

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    This paper presents a novel technique for skin colour segmentation that overcomes the limitations faced by existing techniques such as Colour Range Thresholding. Skin colour segmentation is affected by the varied skin colours and surrounding lighting conditions, leading to poorskin segmentation for many techniques. We propose a new two stage Pixel Neighbourhood technique that classifies any pixel as skin or non-skin based on its neighbourhood pixels. The first step calculates the probability of each pixel being skin by passing HSV values of the pixel to a Deep Neural Network model. In the next step, it calculates the likeliness of pixel being skin using these probabilities of neighbouring pixels. This technique performs skin colour segmentation better than the existing techniques

    Skin colour changes during experimentally-induced sickness

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    This project was supported by Swedish foundation for humanities and social sciences and a British Academy Wolfson Foundation Research Professorship grant. AH is supported by a studentship from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council.Skin colour may be an important cue to detect sickness in humans but how skin colour changes with acute sickness is currently unknown. To determine possible colour changes, 22 healthy Caucasian participants were injected twice, once with lipopolysaccharide (LPS, at a dose of 2 ng/kg body weight) and once with placebo (saline), in a randomised cross-over design study. Skin colour across 3 arm and 3 face locations was recorded spectrophotometrically over a period of 8 hours in terms of lightness (L∗), redness (a∗) and yellowness (b∗) in a manner that is consistent with human colour perception. In addition, carotenoid status was assessed as we predicted that a decrease it skin yellowness would reflect a drop in skin carotenoids. We found an early change in skin colouration 1-3 hours post LPS injection with facial skin becoming lighter and less red whilst arm skin become darker but also less red and less yellow. The LPS injection also caused a drop in plasma carotenoids from 3 hours onwards. However, the timing of the carotenoid changes was not consistent with the skin colour changes suggesting that other mechanisms, such as a reduction of blood perfusion, oxygenation or composition. This is the first experimental study characterising skin colour associated with acute illness, and shows that changes occur early in the development of the sickness response. Colour changes may serve as a cue to health, prompting actions from others in terms of care-giving or disease avoidance. Specific mechanisms underlying these colour changes require further investigation.PostprintPeer reviewe

    Photoprotection for people with skin of colour: needs and strategies

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    Skin of colour or pigmented skin has unique characteristics: it has a higher eumelanin-to-pheomelanin ratio, more mature melanosomes, an increased amount of melanin distributed in the upper layers of the epidermis, and more efficient DNA repair compared with lighter skin. However, individuals with skin of colour are at a significant risk of skin damage caused by ultraviolet radiation, including the development of photodermatoses and photoageing changes such as uneven skin tone, and are predisposed to pigmentary disorders. In fact, one of the most common conditions leading to dermatology consultations by patients with skin of colour is photoexacerbated pigmentary disorders. Unfortunately, individuals with skin of colour may be less prone to engage in photoprotective measures, including the use of sunscreens. Physicians are also less likely to prescribe sunscreens for them. There is thus a clear need for better education on photodamage and for more efficient and suitable photoprotection in populations with skin of colour. However, this need has thus far only partially been met, and the development of sunscreen products designed to provide optimal photoprotection for people with skin of colour remains a challenge. Targeted sunscreens for individuals with skin of colour require optimal cosmetic appeal (leaving no white residue and not disrupting skin tone). They should include broad-spectrum [ultraviolet (UV)B/UVA] protection with high sun protection factor, as well as protection against long-wave UVA (UVA1) and visible light, as these wavelengths are capable of inducing or augmenting pigmentary disorders. They may also contain depigmenting agents for patients with pigmentary disorders
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