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ABSTRACT: In natural environments, neural systems must be continuously updated to reflect changes in sensory inputs and behavioral goals. Recent studies of sound localization have shown that adaptation and learning involve multiple mechanisms that operate at different timescales and stages of processing, with other sensory and motor-related inputs playing a key role. We are only just beginning to understand, however, how these processes interact with one another to produce adaptive changes at the level of neuronal populations and behavior. Because there is no explicit map of auditory space in the cortex, studies of sound localization may also provide much broader insight into the plasticity of complex neural representations that are not topographically organized. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.Current opinion in neurobiology 12/2015; 35. DOI:10.1016/j.conb.2015.06.005
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ABSTRACT: Medical device designs aspire to take into account human factors and ergonomics. However, making these designs affordable and appropriate for developing nations is often challenging, especially when the accepted product cost has to be low. In this paper a theoretical model is presented to explore how creating appropriate designs for developing countries is more challenging than for developed countries. For illustrative purposes the model will take in variables that represent real-world descriptors. The variables relate to functionality, comfort and cost of a certain product. The outcome will describe the appropriateness of the final design. All the variables involved in the design can be assumed to have a certain number of degrees of freedom. These degrees of freedom are the number of independent ways by which the design can change without violating constraints that are imposed on it. In other words it is the number of dimensions in the design domain. The domain is more limited in the developing world and this is caused by the restricted product cost. A design threshold is subsequently set to compute the total volume of acceptable designs within a certain domain. A discrete computation method is used to estimate this volume. The model shows that the number of appropriate designs increases with almost a factor 5 when the accepted cost are doubled, increasing the probability on developing an appropriate medical device that correctly takes into account human factors and ergonomics. Relative to the total design volume, the percentage of acceptable designs drops from 34% to 6% when the allowed cost are halved. These results represent an abstraction of the appropriateness of designs, based on the interaction of selected variables. The model itself will produce different outcomes depending on the parameters that are set. Further verification and validation is needed to assess which values best represent real-world conditions.12/2015; 3:5693-5698. DOI:10.1016/j.promfg.2015.07.792
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ABSTRACT: Standard techniques for computed tomography imaging are not directly applicable to a carbonate rock because of the geometric complexity of its pore space. In this study, we first characterized the pore structure in Majella limestone with 30 per cent porosity. Microtomography data acquired on this rock was partitioned into three distinct domains: macropores, solid grains, and an intermediate domain made up of voxels of solid embedded with micropores below the resolution. A morphological analysis of the microtomography images shows that in Majella limestone both the solid and intermediate domains are interconnected in a manner similar to that reported previously in a less porous limestone. We however show that the macroporosity in Majella limestone is fundamentally different, in that it has a percolative backbone which may contribute significantly to its permeability. We then applied for the first time 3-D-volumetric digital image correlation (DIC) to characterize the mode of mechanical failure in this limestone. Samples were triaxially deformed over a wide range of confining pressures. Tomography imaging was performed on these samples before and after deformation. Inelastic compaction was observed at all tested pressures associated with both brittle and ductile behaviors. Our DIC analysis reveals the structure of compacting shear bands in Majella limestone deformed in the transitional regime. It also indicates an increase of geometric complexity with increasing confinement-from a planar shear band, to a curvilinear band, and ultimately to a diffuse multiplicity of bands, before shear localization is inhibited as the failure mode completes the transition to delocalized cataclastic flow.12/2015; 200(2-2):699-717. DOI:10.1093/gji/ggu414
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