Vision: modular analysis--or not? (1/3957)

It has commonly been assumed that the many separate areas of the visual system perform modular analyses, each restricted to a single attribute of the image. A recent paper advocates a radically different approach, where all areas in the hierarchy analyse all attributes of the image to extract perceptually relevant decisions.  (+info)

Development of the physical therapy outpatient satisfaction survey (PTOPS). (2/3957)

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The purposes of this 3-phase study were (1) to identify the underlying components of outpatient satisfaction in physical therapy and (2) to develop a test that would yield reliable and valid measurements of these components. SUBJECTS: Three samples, consisting of 177, 257, and 173 outpatients from 21 facilities, were used in phases 1, 2, and 3, respectively. METHODS AND RESULTS: In phase 1, principal component analyses (PCAs), reliability checks, and correlations with social desirability scales were used to reduce a pool of 98 items to 32 items. These analyses identified a 5-component model of outpatient satisfaction in physical therapy. The phase 2 PCA, with a revised pool of 48 items, indicated that 4 components rather than 5 components represented the best model and resulted in the 34-item Physical Therapy Outpatient Satisfaction Survey (PTOPS). Factor analyses conducted with phase 2 and phase 3 data supported this conclusion and provided evidence for the internal validity of the PTOPS scores. The 4-component scales were labeled "Enhancers," "Detractors," "Location," and "Cost." Responses from subsamples of phase 3 subjects provided evidence for validity of scores in that the PTOPS components of "Enhancers," "Detractors," and "Cost" appeared to differentiate overtly satisfied patients from overtly dissatisfied patients. "Location" and "Enhancer" scores discriminated subjects with excellent attendance at scheduled physical therapy sessions from those with poor attendance. CONCLUSION AND DISCUSSION: In this study, we identified components of outpatient satisfaction in physical therapy and used them to develop a test that would yield valid and reliable measurements of these components.  (+info)

Hospital restructuring and the changing nature of the physical therapist's role. (3/3957)

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: This study was conducted to identify role behavior changes of acute care physical therapists and changes in the organizational and professional context of hospitals following restructuring. METHODS: A Delphi technique, which involved a panel of 100 randomly selected acute care physical therapy managers, was used as the research design for this study. Responses from rounds 1 and 2 were synthesized and organized into exhaustive and mutually exclusive categories for round 3. Data obtained from round 3 were used to develop a comprehensive perspective on the changes that have occurred. RESULTS: Changed role behaviors in patient care and professional interaction, including increased emphasis on evaluation, planning, teaching, supervising, and collaboration, appeared to be extensions of unchanged role behaviors. Reported changes in the structural and professional context of physical therapy services included using critical pathways to guide care, providing services system-wide, and using educational activities and meetings to maintain a sense of community. The importance of professionalism to physical therapists' work was identified and related to specific role behavior changes. CONCLUSION AND DISCUSSION: The changing role of physical therapists in acute care hospitals includes an increased emphasis on higher-level skills in patient care and professional interaction and the continuing importance of professionalism.  (+info)

Increasing confidence in vergence as a cue to distance. (4/3957)

Multiple cues contribute to the visual perception of an object's distance from the observer. The manner in which the nervous system combines these various cues is of considerable interest. Although it is accepted that image cues play a significant role in distance perception, controversy exists regarding the use of kinaesthetic information about the eyes' state of convergence. We used a perturbation technique to explore the contribution of vergence to visually based distance estimates as a function of both fixation distance and the availability of retinal information. Our results show that the nervous system increases the weighting given to vergence as (i) fixation distance becomes closer; and (ii) the available retinal image cues decrease. We also identified the presence of a strong contraction bias when distance cues were studied in isolation, but we argue that such biases do not suggest that vergence provides an ineffectual signal for near-space perception.  (+info)

Combinatorial receptor codes for odors. (5/3957)

The discriminatory capacity of the mammalian olfactory system is such that thousands of volatile chemicals are perceived as having distinct odors. Here we used a combination of calcium imaging and single-cell RT-PCR to identify odorant receptors (ORs) for odorants with related structures but varied odors. We found that one OR recognizes multiple odorants and that one odorant is recognized by multiple ORs, but that different odorants are recognized by different combinations of ORs. Thus, the olfactory system uses a combinatorial receptor coding scheme to encode odor identities. Our studies also indicate that slight alterations in an odorant, or a change in its concentration, can change its "code," potentially explaining how such changes can alter perceived odor quality.  (+info)

Health seeking behaviour and the control of sexually transmitted disease. (6/3957)

What people do when they have symptoms or suspicion of a sexually transmitted disease (STD) has major implications for transmission and, consequently, for disease control. Delays in seeking and obtaining diagnosis and treatment can allow for continued transmission and the greater probability of adverse sequelae. An understanding of health seeking behaviour is therefore important if STD control programmes are to be effective. However, taboos and stigma related to sex and STD in most cultures mean that gaining a true picture is difficult and requires considerable cultural sensitivity. At the moment relatively little is known about who people turn to for advice, or about how symptoms are perceived, recognized or related to decisions to seek help. It is argued that such knowledge would assist programme planners in the development of more accessible and effective services, that studies of health seeking behaviour need to include a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods, and that studies should include data collection about people who do not present to health care facilities as well as those who do. A pilot protocol for studying STD-related health seeking behaviour in developing countries is briefly presented.  (+info)

Local instrumental variables and latent variable models for identifying and bounding treatment effects. (7/3957)

This paper examines the relationship between various treatment parameters within a latent variable model when the effects of treatment depend on the recipient's observed and unobserved characteristics. We show how this relationship can be used to identify the treatment parameters when they are identified and to bound the parameters when they are not identified.  (+info)

Is integer arithmetic fundamental to mental processing?: the mind's secret arithmetic. (8/3957)

Unlike the ability to acquire our native language, we struggle to learn multiplication and division. It may then come as a surprise that the mental machinery for performing lightning-fast integer arithmetic calculations could be within us all even though it cannot be readily accessed, nor do we have any idea of its primary function. We are led to this provocative hypothesis by analysing the extraordinary skills of autistic savants. In our view such individuals have privileged access to lower levels of information not normally available through introspection.  (+info)