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Rong Zhu, Yiyu Wang, Zongrui Zhang, Daiwei Ma, Xinyu Wang
In this study, to obtain biomedical polyurethane elastomers with good mechanical properties and biocompatibility, a series of polycarbonate urethanes were synthesized via a two-step solution of polymerization method using the poly(1,6-hexanediol)carbonate diols (PCDL) as the soft segment, 4,4'-methylenebis(cyclohexyl isocyanate) (H12MDI), 1,6-hexamethylene diisocyanate (HDI) and 1,4-butanediol (BDO) as the hard segment with dibutyltin dilaurate as the catalyst. In this article, we illustrated the physical behaviors were obviously influenced by synthetic routes...
June 2016: Heliyon
Amandine Michelas, Cristel Portes, Maud Champagne-Lavau
Recent studies on a variety of languages have shown that a speaker's commitment to the propositional content of his or her utterance can be encoded, among other strategies, by pitch accent types. Since prior research mainly relied on lexical-stress languages, our understanding of how speakers of a non-lexical-stress language encode speaker commitment is limited. This paper explores the contribution of the last pitch accent of an intonation phrase to convey speaker commitment in French, a language that has stress at the phrasal level as well as a restricted set of pitch accents...
June 2016: Language and Speech
Chris Davis, Colin Schoknecht, Jeesun Kim, Denis Burnham
Three naming aloud experiments and a lexical decision (LD) experiment used masked priming to index the processing of written Thai vowels and tones. Thai allows for manipulation of the mapping between orthography and phonology not possible in other orthographies, for example, the use of consonants, vowels and tone markers in both horizontal and vertical orthographic positions (HOPs and VOPs). Experiment I showed that changing a vowel between prime and target slowed down target naming but changing a tone mark did not...
June 2016: Language and Speech
James Sneed German, Mariapaola D'Imperio
This study addresses the relationship between information structure and intonation in French. Using an interactive speech production experiment, it tests the hypothesis that the French initial rise (LHi) is used to mark the left edge of a contrastively focused constituent. Since the occurrence of the initial rise is also known to be sensitive to the length of an Accentual Phrase (AP), AP length was manipulated within the same experiment in a 2 x 2 design. This made it possible to explore the issue of whether the initial rise represents a true marker of focus in the traditional sense, or whether the association is less direct...
June 2016: Language and Speech
Vladislav Victorovich Khrustalev, Tatyana Aleksandrovna Khrustaleva, Kamil Szpotkowski, Victor Vitoldovich Poboinev, Katsiaryna Yurieuna Kakhanouskaya
Mechanisms of beta sheet formation by the human prion protein are not clear yet. In this work, we clarified the role of the region containing C-half of the second helix and N-half of the third helix of that protein in the process of alpha helix to beta sheet transition. Solid phase automatic synthesis of the original peptide (CC36: Cys179-Cys214) failed because of the beta hairpin formation in the region 206-MERVVEQMC-214 with a high beta strand potential. Using Met206Arg and Val210Arg substitutions, we increased the probability of alpha helix formation by that sequence...
October 2016: Proteins
Gerardo Tusman, Stephan H Bohm, Fernando Suarez-Sipmann
Pulse oximetry is an undisputable standard of care in clinical monitoring. It combines a spectrometer to detect hypoxemia with a plethysmograph for the diagnosis, monitoring, and follow-up of cardiovascular diseases. These pulse oximetry capabilities are extremely useful for assessing the respiratory and circulatory status and for monitoring of mechanically ventilated patients. On the one hand, the key spectrography-derived function of pulse oximetry is to evaluate a patient's gas exchange that results from a particular ventilatory treatment by continuously and noninvasively measuring arterial hemoglobin saturation (SpO2)...
May 13, 2016: Anesthesia and Analgesia
Shu-Wei Huang, Jinghui Yang, Mingbin Yu, Bart H McGuyer, Dim-Lee Kwong, Tanya Zelevinsky, Chee Wei Wong
Optical frequency combs-coherent light sources that connect optical frequencies with microwave oscillations-have become the enabling tool for precision spectroscopy, optical clockwork, and attosecond physics over the past decades. Current benchmark systems are self-referenced femtosecond mode-locked lasers, but Kerr nonlinear dynamics in high-Q solid-state microresonators has recently demonstrated promising features as alternative platforms. The advance not only fosters studies of chip-scale frequency metrology but also extends the realm of optical frequency combs...
April 2016: Science Advances
Saana Isojunno, Charlotte Cure, Petter Helgevold Kvadsheim, Frans-Peter Alexander Lam, Peter Lloyd Tyack, Paul Jacobus Wensveen, Patrick James O'Malley Miller
The time and energetic costs of behavioral responses to incidental and experimental sonar exposures, as well as control stimuli, were quantified using hidden state analysis of time series of acoustic and movement data recorded by tags (DTAG) attached to 12 sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) using suction cups. Behavioral state transition modeling showed that tagged whales switched to a non-foraging, non-resting state during both experimental transmissions of low-frequency active sonar from an approaching vessel (LFAS; 1-2 kHz, source level 214 dB re 1 µPa m, four tag records) and playbacks of potential predator (killer whale, Orcinus orca) sounds broadcast at naturally occurring sound levels as a positive control from a drifting boat (five tag records)...
January 2016: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
Francesco Bernardini, Anya Lunden, Michael Covington, Beth Broussard, Brooke Halpern, Yazeed Alolayan, Anthony Crisafio, Luca Pauselli, Pierfrancesco M Balducci, Leslie Capulong, Luigi Attademo, Emanuela Lucarini, Gianfranco Salierno, Luca Natalicchi, Roberto Quartesan, Michael T Compton
This is the first cross-language study of the effect of schizophrenia on speech as measured by analyzing phonetic parameters with sound spectrography. We hypothesized that reduced variability in pitch and formants would be correlated with negative symptom severity in two samples of patients with schizophrenia, one from Italy, and one from the United States. Audio recordings of spontaneous speech were available from 40 patients. From each speech sample, a file of F0 (pitch) and formant values (F1 and F2, resonance bands indicating the moment-by-moment shape of the oral cavity), and the portion of the recording in which there was speaking ("fraction voiced," FV), was created...
May 30, 2016: Psychiatry Research
Bor-Shing Lin, Huey-Dong Wu, Sao-Jie Chen
Wheezing is a common clinical symptom in patients with obstructive pulmonary diseases such as asthma. Automatic wheezing detection offers an objective and accurate means for identifying wheezing lung sounds, helping physicians in the diagnosis, long-term auscultation, and analysis of a patient with obstructive pulmonary disease. This paper describes the design of a fast and high-performance wheeze recognition system. A wheezing detection algorithm based on the order truncate average method and a back-propagation neural network (BPNN) is proposed...
2015: Journal of Healthcare Engineering
Flora G Nassrallah, Christian Giguere, Hilmi R Dajani, Nicolas N Ellaham
The measurement of noise exposure from communication headsets poses a methodological challenge. Although several standards describe methods for general noise measurements in occupational settings, these are not directly applicable to noise assessments under communication headsets. For measurements under occluded ears, specialized methods have been specified by the International Standards Organization (ISO 11904) such as the microphone in a real ear and manikin techniques. Simpler methods have also been proposed in some national standards such as the use of general purpose artificial ears and simulators in conjunction with single number corrections to convert measurements to the equivalent diffuse field...
March 2016: Noise & Health
Ben D B Willmore, Oliver Schoppe, Andrew J King, Jan W H Schnupp, Nicol S Harper
UNLABELLED: Adaptation to stimulus statistics, such as the mean level and contrast of recently heard sounds, has been demonstrated at various levels of the auditory pathway. It allows the nervous system to operate over the wide range of intensities and contrasts found in the natural world. Yet current standard models of the response properties of auditory neurons do not incorporate such adaptation. Here we present a model of neural responses in the ferret auditory cortex (the IC Adaptation model), which takes into account adaptation to mean sound level at a lower level of processing: the inferior colliculus (IC)...
January 13, 2016: Journal of Neuroscience: the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience
Er-Wen Huang, Long-Yun Peng, Jin-Xiang Zheng, Dan Wang, Xiao-Hong Tan, Zhong-Yi Yang, Xue-Mei Li, Qiu-Ping Wu, Shuang-Bo Tang, Bin Luo, Li Quan, Shui-Ping Liu, Xiao-Shan Liu, Zhao-Hui Li, He Shi, Guo-Li Lv, Jian Zhao, Chao Liu, Jian-Ding Cheng
A large-scale meta-analysis of 14 genome-wide association studies has identified and replicated a series of susceptibility polymorphisms for coronary artery disease (CAD) in European ancestry populations, but evidences for the associations of these loci with CAD in other ethnicities remain lacking. Herein we investigated the associations between ten (rs579459, rs12413409, rs964184, rs4773144, rs2895811, rs3825807, rs216172, rs12936587, rs46522 and rs3798220) of these loci and CAD in Southern Han Chinese (CHS)...
May 2016: Journal of Human Genetics
Mark A Sicoli, Tanya Stivers, N J Enfield, Stephen C Levinson
In conversation, the initial pitch of an utterance can provide an early phonetic cue of the communicative function, the speech act, or the social action being implemented. We conducted quantitative acoustic measurements and statistical analyses of pitch in over 10,000 utterances, including 2512 questions, their responses, and about 5000 other utterances by 180 total speakers from a corpus of 70 natural conversations in 10 languages. We measured pitch at first prominence in a speaker's utterance and discriminated utterances by language, speaker, gender, question form, and what social action is achieved by the speaker's turn...
June 2015: Language and Speech
Vickie Y Yu, Luc F De Nil, Elizabeth W Pang
Voice onset time (VOT) is a temporal acoustic parameter that reflects motor speech coordination skills. This study investigated the patterns of age and sex differences across development of voice onset time in a group of 70 English-speaking children, ranging in age from 4.1 to 18.4 years, and 12 young adults. The effect of the number of syllables on VOT patterns was also examined. Speech samples were elicited by producing syllables /pa/ and /pataka/. Results supported previous findings showing that younger children produce longer VOT values with higher levels of variability...
June 2015: Language and Speech
Daniel R McCloy, Richard A Wright, Pamela E Souza
This study investigates the relative effects of talker-specific variation and dialect-based variation on speech intelligibility. Listeners from two dialects of American English performed speech-in-noise tasks with sentences spoken by talkers of each dialect. An initial statistical model showed no significant effects for either talker or listener dialect group, and no interaction. However, a mixed-effects regression model including several acoustic measures of the talker's speech revealed a subtle effect of talker dialect once the various acoustic dimensions were accounted for...
September 2015: Language and Speech
Marianna Nadeu, José Ignacio Hualde
This paper addresses the question of how synchronic variation in intervocalic voicing of voiceless obstruents, as observed in several languages (e.g., Rome Italian /lato/ [lato] - [lado]), may initiate and give rise to a regular sound change (e.g., /t/ > /d/ between vowels). We hypothesize that a biomechanically motivated linkage between male gender, speech rate, and voicing may provide a way to accelerate the spread of the phenomenon and lead to an eventual generalized recategorization. In order to explore this hypothesis, first we reanalyze the results of a previous study on intervocalic voicing in Spanish, focusing on individual differences and, in particular, the possible role of gender...
September 2015: Language and Speech
Chierh Cheng, Yi Xu
This study was designed to test the hypothesis that time pressure is a direct cause of tonal reduction in Taiwan Mandarin. Tonal reduction refers to the phenomenon of the tones of a disyllabic unit being contracted into a monosyllabic unit. An experiment was carried out in which six native Taiwan Mandarin male speakers produced sentences containing disyllabic compound words /ma/+/ma/ with varying tonal combinations at different speech rates. Analyses indicated that increasing time pressure led to severe tonal reductions...
September 2015: Language and Speech
Jeffrey N Zeyl, Stefano Malavasi, Daniel E Holt, Patricia Noel, Marco Lugli, Carol E Johnston
Darters (Perciformes, Percidae), sculpins (Perciformes, Cottidae), and gobioids (Gobiiformes, Gobioidei) exhibit convergent life history traits, including a benthic lifestyle and a cavity nesting spawning mode. Soniferous species within these taxa produce pulsed and/or tonal sounds with peak frequencies below 200 Hz (with some exceptions), primarily in agonistic and/or reproductive contexts. The reduced or absent swim bladders found in these taxa limit or prevent both hearing enhancement via pressure sensitivity and acoustic amplification of the contracting sonic muscles, which are associated with the skull and pectoral girdle...
2016: Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
B Barsties, U Hoffmann, Y Maryn
OBJECTIVE: Traditionally, voice quality is evaluated by auditory-perceptual judgment but objective-acoustic analyses are also valid tools. Spectrography is a part of objective-acoustic analyses and is used since around 50 years. Recently, Sprecher et al. (2010) designed a new classification scheme for signal typing in voice using narrowband spectrograms. The present study aimed to explore the external validation between these 2 methods in a larger dataset. MATERIALS AND METHODS: In total 300 voice samples were used based on the vowel [a:], in which n=270 had various degrees of dysphonia and n=30 were vocally normal...
February 2016: Laryngo- Rhino- Otologie
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