UCL University College London Eprints
UCL Eprints collects the work of UCL researchers and makes it freely available over the web, helping the worldwide scholarly community to discover UCL research. Institutional repositories like UCL Eprints complement the traditional academic publishing and scholarly communications processes. They raise the visibility of research and help to maximise its impact. UCL researchers are encouraged to deposit a copy of each journal article, conference paper, working paper, and any other research output, in the UCL Eprints at the earliest opportunity, ensuring that their research reaches as wide an audience as possible.
The scotogenic contact lens: a novel device for treating binocular diplopia - Robert, MP; Bonci, F; Pandit, A; Ferguson, V; Nachev, P
Binocular diplopia is a debilitating visual symptom requiring immediate intervention for symptomatic control, whether or not definitive treatment is eventually possible. Where prismatic correction is infeasible, the current standard is occlusion, either by a patch or an opaque contact lens. In eliminating one problem-diplopia-occlusive techniques invariably create another: reduced peripheral vision. Crucially, this is often unnecessary, for the reduced spatial resolution in the periphery limits its contribution to the perception of diplopia. Here, we therefore introduce a novel soft contact lens device that instead creates a monocular central scotoma inversely mirroring the physiological variation in spatial acuity across the monocular...
Sex-specific Trans-regulatory Variation on the Drosophila melanogaster X Chromosome - Stocks, M; Dean, R; Rogell, B; Friberg, U
The X chromosome constitutes a unique genomic environment because it is present in one copy in males, but two copies in females. This simple fact has motivated several theoretical predictions with respect to how standing genetic variation on the X chromosome should differ from the autosomes. Unmasked expression of deleterious mutations in males and a lower census size are expected to reduce variation, while allelic variants with sexually antagonistic effects, and potentially those with a sex-specific effect, could accumulate on the X chromosome and contribute to increased genetic variation. In addition, incomplete dosage compensation of the X chromosome could potentially...
Virtual Character Personality Influences Participant Attitudes and Behavior - An Interview with a Virtual Human Character about Her Social Anxiety - Pan, X; Gillies, M; Slater, M
We introduce a novel technique for the study of human–virtual character interaction in immersive virtual reality. The human participants verbally administered a standard questionnaire about social anxiety to a virtual female character, which responded to each question through speech and body movements. The purpose was to study the extent to which participants responded differently to characters that exhibited different personalities, even though the verbal content of their answers was always the same. A separate online study provided evidence that our intention to create two different personality types had been successful. In the main between-groups experiment that utilized a Cave system...
Auditory working memory for objects vs. features - Joseph, S; Kumar, S; Husain, M; Griffiths, TD
This work considers bases for working memory for non-verbal sounds. Specifically we address whether sounds are represented as integrated objects or individual features in auditory working memory and whether the representational format influences WM capacity. The experiments used sounds in which two different stimulus features, spectral passband and temporal amplitude modulation rate, could be combined to produce different auditory objects. Participants had to memorize sequences of auditory objects of variable length (1-4 items). They either maintained sequences of whole objects or sequences of individual features until recall for one of the items was tested. Memory recall was more accurate when...
Incorporating equity into sustainability assessments of biofuels - Tomei, J; Hodbod, J; Blaber-Wegg, T
This paper summarises the evidence regarding the impact of biofuels on equity, before going on to examine the equity dimensions of the most commonly used, formal methods of biofuel sustainability assessments – the EU’s voluntary certification schemes. Although there has been an increased focus on the ethical dimensions of biofuels in the academic literature, equity does not yet feature in a robust way in these forms of sustainability appraisal and therefore the extent to which poverty or social inequalities are reduced or exacerbated for those affected remain unknown. It is suggested that the inclusion of multiple voices and perspectives within...
Connecting Life Span Development with the Sociology of the Life Course: A New Direction - Gilleard, C; Higgs, P
The life course has become a topic of growing interest within the social sciences. Attempts to link this sub-discipline with life span developmental psychology have been called for but with little sign of success. In this paper, we seek to address three interlinked issues concerning the potential for a more productive interchange between life course sociology and life span psychology. The first is to try to account for the failure of these two sub-disciplines to achieve any deepening engagement with each other, despite the long-expressed desirability of that goal; the second is to draw attention to the scope for enriching...
Enhanced integration of motion information in children with autism. - Manning, C; Tibber, MS; Charman, T; Dakin, SC; Pellicano, E
To judge the overall direction of a shoal of fish or a crowd of people, observers must integrate motion signals across space and time. The limits on our ability to pool motion have largely been established using the motion coherence paradigm, in which observers report the direction of coherently moving dots amid randomly moving noise dots. Poor performance by autistic individuals on this task has widely been interpreted as evidence of disrupted integrative processes. Critically, however, motion coherence thresholds are not necessarily limited only by pooling. They could also be limited by imprecision in estimating the direction of individual elements...
Nonlinear transfer of signal and noise correlations in cortical networks. - Lyamzin, DR; Barnes, SJ; Donato, R; Garcia-Lazaro, JA; Keck, T; Lesica, NA
Signal and noise correlations, a prominent feature of cortical activity, reflect the structure and function of networks during sensory processing. However, in addition to reflecting network properties, correlations are also shaped by intrinsic neuronal mechanisms. Here we show that spike threshold transforms correlations by creating nonlinear interactions between signal and noise inputs; even when input noise correlation is constant, spiking noise correlation varies with both the strength and correlation of signal inputs. We characterize these effects systematically in vitro in mice and demonstrate their impact on sensory processing in vivo in gerbils. We also find that the effects of nonlinear...
The Open Physiology workflow: modeling processes over physiology circuitboards of interoperable tissue units - de Bono, B; Safaei, S; Grenon, P; Nickerson, DP; Alexander, S; Helvensteijn, M; Kok, JN; Kokash, N; Wu, A; Yu, T; Hunter, P; Baldock, RA
A key challenge for the physiology modeling community is to enable the searching, objective comparison and, ultimately, re-use of models and associated data that are interoperable in terms of their physiological meaning. In this work, we outline the development of a workflow to modularize the simulation of tissue-level processes in physiology. In particular, we show how, via this approach, we can systematically extract, parcellate and annotate tissue histology data to represent component units of tissue function. These functional units are semantically interoperable, in terms of their physiological meaning. In particular, they are interoperable with respect to [i] each other and...
Crooked Timber: The life of Calvin Wells (1908-1978) - Waldron, T
Calvin Wells was the leading palaeopathologist in the UK between the later 1950s and the early 1970s. He studied medicine at University College London but failed in anatomy and qualified in 1933 with the Conjoint Diploma (MRCS, LRCP). After qualification he began to study obstetrics and after war service in the RAMC he settled in Norfolk (UK), established a small general practice and took up palaeopathology. Although he was usually conservative in diagnosis he tended to over-interpret signs in the skeleton, often publishing descriptions that were more fiction than science. He held firm views on the way in which palaeopathology...
Computational studies of the unusual water adduct [Cp2TiMe(OH2)](+): the roles of the solvent and the counterion - Saßmannshausen, J
The recently reported cationic titanocene complex [Cp2TiMe(OH2)](+) was subjected to detailed computational studies using density functional theory (DFT). The calculated NMR spectra revealed the importance of including the anion and the solvent (CD2Cl2) in order to calculate spectra which were in good agreement with the experimental data. Specifically, two organic solvent molecules were required to coordinate to the two hydrogens of the bound OH2 in order to achieve such agreement. Further elaboration of the role of the solvent led to Bader's QTAIM and natural bond order calculations. The zirconocene complex [Cp2ZrMe(OH2)](+) was simulated for comparison.
Great Expectations: The Role of Rules in Guiding Pro-social Behaviour in Groups with High Versus Low Autistic Traits. - Jameel, L; Vyas, K; Bellesi, G; Cassell, D; Channon, S
Measuring autistic traits in the general population has proven sensitive for examining cognition. The present study extended this to pro-social behaviour, investigating the influence of expectations to help others. A novel task describing characters in need of help was administered to students scoring high versus low on the Autism-Spectrum Quotient. Scenarios had two variants, describing either a 'clear-cut' or 'ambiguous' social rule. Participants with high versus low autistic traits were less pro-social and sympathetic overall towards the characters. The groups' ratings of characters' expectations were comparable, but those with high autistic traits provided more rule-based rationales in the clear-cut condition....
The sustainability of sugarcane-ethanol systems in Guatemala: land, labour and law - Tomei, J
Since 2010, Guatemala has been exporting ethanol, principally to European markets. This means that Guatemalan biofuel has been certified sustainable, although this is deeply contested with NGO reports drawing attention to the negative impacts of ‘agrofuels’, particularly for marginalised communities. Guatemala therefore provides an excellent case study for examining not only the impacts of increased global demand for biofuels, but also whether sustainability, as conceptualised by the European Union’s Renewable Energy Directive, can capture those issues that are salient to the Guatemalan context. Drawing on more than eighty qualitative, in-depth interviews, this paper finds that the bloc’s governance framework for...
Probing the local electronic structure of the cross-linked (1×2) reconstruction of rutile TiO2(110) - Yim, CM; Pang, CL; Thornton, G
The electronic structure of cross-linked TiO2(110)-(1×2) has been investigated using scanning tunneling spectroscopy (STS) and by monitoring changes in ultraviolet photoelectron spectroscopy (UPS) following exposure of the surface to O2. STS reveals two states located in the bandgap, at 0.7 and 1.5 eV below the Fermi level. The population of these two states varies over different parts of the (1×2)- reconstructed surface. An addition state at 1.1 eV above the Fermi level is observed at the double link part of the structure. All of the bandgap states are attenuated following exposure to O2, while the workfunction is increased. We attribute...
Independent stratum formation on the avian sex chromosomes reveals inter-chromosomal gene conversion and predominance of purifying selection on the w chromosome - Wright, AE; Pointer, MA; Harrison, PW; Montgomery, SH; Mank, JE
We used a comparative approach spanning three species and 90 million years to study the evolutionary history of the avian sex chromosomes. Using whole transcriptomes, we assembled the largest cross-species dataset of W-linked coding content to date. Our results show that recombination suppression in large portions of the avian sex chromosomes has evolved independently, and that long-term sex chromosome divergence is consistent with repeated and independent inversions spreading progressively to restrict recombination. In contrast, over short-term periods we observe heterogeneous and locus-specific divergence. We also uncover four instances of gene conversion between both highly diverged and recently evolved gametologs, suggesting...
A Comparative Analysis of the Equity Outcomes in Three Sugarcane–Ethanol Systems - Tomei, J; Hodbod, J; Blaber-Wegg, T
This article identifies equity outcomes associated with three biofuel systems in Brazil, Ethiopia, and Guatemala. Acknowledging that winners and losers are socially and politically generated, the article identifies some of the factors behind the distribution of winners and losers along different stages of three sugarcane–ethanol supply chains. Analyzing the outcomes for equity within each case study reveals an uneven distribution that, we argue, is related to the procedure and structure of the given sugarcane–ethanol system, and the recognition of the impacts on different actors within those structures. Increasing equity in sugarcane–ethanol systems will require greater openness in decision-making processes, in...