ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201806.0211.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Cognitive & Experimental Psychology Keywords: metacontrast; attention; exogenous attention; endogenous attention; visual masking; masking attention interactions
Online: 13 June 2018 (11:06:02 CEST)
To efficiently use its finite resources, the visual system selects for further processing only a subset of the rich sensory information. Visual masking and spatial attention control the information transfer from visual sensory-memory to visual short-term memory. There is still a debate whether these two processes operate independently or interact, with empirical evidence supporting both arguments. However, recent studies pointed out that earlier studies showing significant interactions between common-onset masking and attention suffered from ceiling and/or floor effects. Our review of previous studies reporting metacontrast-attention interactions revealed similar artifacts. Therefore, we investigated metacontrast-attention interactions by using an experimental paradigm in which ceiling/floor effects were avoided. We also examined whether metacontrast masking is differently influenced by endogenous and exogenous attention. We analyzed mean absolute-magnitude of response-errors and their statistical distribution. Our results support the hypothesis that metacontrast and endogenous/exogenous attention are largely independent with negligible likelihood for interactions. Moreover, statistical modeling of the distribution of response-errors suggests weak interactions modulating the probability of “guessing” behavior for some observers in both types of attention. Nevertheless, our data suggest that any joint effect of attention and metacontrast can be adequately explained by their independent and additive contributions.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0604.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Other Keywords: Parkinson's disease; Emotion; Facial Masking; Dysarthria; Stigma; Dehumanization; Loneliness
Online: 25 July 2020 (11:16:57 CEST)
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is typically well-recognized by its characteristic motor symptoms (e.g., bradykinesia, rigidity, and tremor). The cognitive symptoms of PD are increasingly being acknowledged by clinicians and researchers alike. However, PD also involves a host of emotional and communicative changes which can cause major disruptions to social functioning. These include problems producing emotional facial expressions (i.e., facial masking) and emotional speech (i.e., dysarthria), as well as difficulties recognizing the verbal and non-verbal emotional cues of others. These social symptoms of PD can result in severe negative social consequences, including stigma, dehumanization, and loneliness, which might affect quality of life to an even greater extent than more well-recognized motor or cognitive symptoms. It is therefore imperative that researchers and clinicians become aware of these potential social symptoms and their negative effects, in order to properly investigate and manage the socioemotional aspects of PD. The present review provides an examination of the current research surrounding some of the most common social symptoms of PD and their related social consequences, and argues that proactively and adequately addressing these issues might improve disease outcomes.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201801.0098.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Other Keywords: aesthetic measure; entropy; information theory; digital photography; unsharp masking
Online: 11 January 2018 (05:18:41 CET)
We examined a series of real-world, pictorial photographs with varying characteristics, along with their modification by noise addition and unsharp masking. As response metrics we used three different versions of the aesthetic measure originally proposed by Birkhoff. The first aesthetic measure, which has been used in other studies, and which we used in our previous work as well, showed a preference for the least complex of the images. It provided no justification for noise addition, but did reveal enhancement on unsharp masking. Optimum level of unsharp masking varied with the image, but was predictable from the individual image’s GIF compressibility. We expect this result to be useful for guiding the processing of pictorial photographic imagery. The second aesthetic measure, that of informational aesthetics based on entropy alone failed to provide useful discrimination among the images or the conditions of their modification. A third measure, derived from the concepts of entropy maximization, as well as the hypothesized preference of observers for “simpler”, i.e., more compressible, images, yielded qualitatively the same results as the more traditional version of the measure. Differences among the photographs and the conditions of their modification were more clearly defined with this metric, however.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0172.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Business And Administrative Sciences Keywords: COVID-19; Mental Health; Occupational Health; Telecommuting; Masking; Physical Distancing
Online: 9 August 2022 (04:27:48 CEST)
Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has seen a considerable expansion in the way work settings are structured with a continuum emerging between working fully in-person and from home. The pandemic has also exacerbated many risk factors for poor mental health in the workplace, especially in public-facing jobs. Therefore, we sought to test the potential relationship between work setting and self-rated mental health. Methods: We modeled the association of work setting (only working from home, only in-person, hybrid) on self-rated mental health (Excellent/Very Good/Good vs. Fair/Poor) in an online survey of Canadian workers during the 3rd wave of COVID-19. Mediating effects of vaccination, masking, and distancing were explored due to the potential effect of COVID-19 related worries on mental health among those working in-person. Results: Among 1,576 workers, most reported hybrid work (77.2%). Most also reported good self-rated mental health (80.7%). Exclusive work from home (aOR: 2.79, 95%CI:1.90,4.07) and exclusive in-person work (aOR: 2.79, 95%CI: 1.83,4.26) were associated with poorer self-rated mental health than hybrid work. Vaccine status mediated only a small proportion of this relationship (7%), while masking and physical distancing were not mediators. Conclusion: Hybrid work arrangements were associated with positive self-rated mental health. Compliance to vaccination, masking, and distancing did not meaningfully mediate this relationship.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0376.v1
Subject: Engineering, Automotive Engineering Keywords: power substation; transformer noise; low-frequency noise; noise masking; soundscape
Online: 16 July 2021 (14:33:26 CEST)
Low-frequency audible noise generated by the magnetostriction effect inherent to the operation of power transformers has become a major drawback, especially in cases where the electrical substation is located in urban areas subject to strict environmental regulations that imposes sound pressure limits, differing for day and night periods. Such regulations apply a +5 dB penalty if a tonal component of noise is present, which is clearly the case of magnetostriction noise, typically concentrated at twice the industrial frequency (50 Hz or 60 Hz, depending on the country). The strategy used to eliminate the tonal characteristics, therefore contributing to establish compliance with the applicable regulation and to alleviate the discomfort it causes to the human ear, consisted in superimposing to the substation noise a masking sound synthesized from “sounds of nature” with suitable intensities, to flatten the noise spectrum while enhancing the soundscape. The masking system (heavy-duty speakers powered by a microprocessor platform) was validated at an already judicialized urban scenario. Measurement results confirmed that the masking solution was capable of flattening the tonal frequencies, whose beneficial effect yielded the cancellation of the public civil action filed by the neighbors. The proposed solution is ready to be replicated to other scenarios.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201812.0059.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: Bioavailability; Box-Behnken design; β-cyclodextrin; erectile dysfunction; taste masking; vardenafil.
Online: 4 December 2018 (16:39:51 CET)
Because of lower solubility and considerable metabolism, vardenafil (VRD) bioavailability is 15 %. To get over this obstacle, this study aimed to increase the solubility, hasten the onset of action, and mask the unpleasant taste of VRD utilizing β-cyclodextrin (β-CD) and formulation of the inclusion complex as oral disintegrating tablets (ODTs). The solubility of the obtained complexes in various ratios has been studied. A Box-Behnken design (BBD) was utilized to investigate the influence of excipients on the quality of ODTs. The solubility of VRD was improved at 1:2 drug: β-CD ratio. The formulated VRD-ODTs exhibited satisfying results regarding the hardness and disintegration time. In addition, in vivo taste masking and disintegration time showed improved results, after placing the tablets in the oral cavity of the healthy volunteers. The pharmacokinetic parameters for the optimized VRD–ODTs exhibited a significant improvement with P < 0.05 in the maximum plasma concentration and reduction in the time needed to reach this concentration when compared with the marketed tablets. Finally, the optimized VRD-ODTs exhibited increased oral absorption of VRD and subsequent decreasing the time of onset of clinical effect and masking the unpleasant taste, which is favored for patients with erectile dysfunction.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202108.0178.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Probability And Statistics Keywords: Spatial regression model; Influential observation; Outlier; Leverage; prediction residual; Masking and swamping; Diagnostic
Online: 9 August 2021 (07:57:56 CEST)
Influential Observations, which are outliers in x direction, y direction or both, remain a hitch in classical regression model fitting. Spatial regression model, with peculiar nature of outliers due to their local nature, is not free from the effect of such influential observations. Researchers have adapted some classical regression techniques to the spatial models and yielded satisfactory results. However, masking or/and swamping remain stumbling block to such methods. We obtained the spatial representation of the classical regression measures of diagnostic in general spatial model. Commonly used diagnostic measure in spatial diagnostic, the Cook's distance, is compared to some robust methods, Hi2 (using robust and non-robust measures), and classification based on generalized residuals and diagnostic generalized potentials, ISRs-Posi and ESRs-Posi, with the help of the obtained spatial prediction residuals and the spatial leverage term. Results of simulation and applications to real data have shown the advantage of the ISRs-Posi and ESRs-Posi due to classification of outliers over Cook's distance and non-robust Hsi12, which suffer from masking, and robust Hsi22 which suffer from swamping in general spatial model.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202011.0635.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Accounting Keywords: Intellectual property protection; independent R&D investment; green technology innovation; masking effect; threshold effect
Online: 25 November 2020 (11:20:02 CET)
Due to the continuous trade friction between China and the United States, for domestic enterprises in China, the cost of importing foreign technologies is increasing. Thus, the independent research and development (R&D) becomes particularly important for the realization of green technology innovation (GTI). This paper establishes a non-linear mediating effect model based on the data of various regions in China from 2012 to 2018. The main results are shown in the following. Firstly, there is an inverted U-shaped relationship between the intensity of intellectual property protection (IPP) and the level of GTI. Furthermore, the independent R&D investment has a masking effect between them. Secondly, by taking the independent R&D investment as a threshold variable, we prove our findings. Considering that the intensity of IPP is at a high level in most regions of China, the above statements mean that the enterprises need to continuously increase their investment in R&D, in order to further improve the regional ability in GTI. Meanwhile, local governments should also stimulate enterprises' willingness to expand their scale in R&D by issuing incentive policies, such as R&D tax incentives and government subsidies.