We developed a qualitative analysis method for verbal fluency tasks in Japanese natives. In this paper, we discuss the validity and characteristics of our qualitative analysis. The purpose of study 1 was to detect and visualize clusters seen during animal category verbal fluency. We used cluster analysis with collocation ratios between animal names seen in verbal fluency tasks as parameters. The purpose of study 2 was to verify the consistency between clusters seen during animal category verbal fluency and semantic similarity. We carried out a semantic similarity decision task of animal names and analyzed the scores with cluster analysis techniques. We compared the results with the results obtained in study 1. The purpose of study 3 was to examine the characteristics of our qualitative analysis method. We used principal component analysis on the collocation ratios obtained in study 1 and semantic similarity scores obtained in study 2 and compared the results. The results of studies 1, 2 and 3 indicate that during animal category verbal fluency tasks in normal Japanese adults, clusters such as pets, wild cats, wild large herbivorous animals, Chinese astrology animals, Japanese countryside animals, primates and marine mammals can be observed. In addition, various semantic attributes can be examined by our analysis method.
The role of interpretation for parents by children of deaf adults (CODA) affects their mental development. Some CODA take a long time to progress from conflicting feelings during their adolescence to psychological independence from their parents in adulthood. In this study, we explored the factors affecting long psychological weaning by CODA making use of type II quantification methods. The CODA (N=23) were divided into two groups based on items gleaned from two previous studies, one using semi-structured interviews and the other using a morale scale: a normal group (N=18) and a long psychological weaning group (N=5). The main results of this study indicated that factors of confusion and dissatisfaction in adolescence were strongly related to long psychological weaning in children of deaf parents, in addition to conscious protectiveness of parents and experience of interpretation in childhood.
Objective: The purpose of this research was to examine the training effects of the various Vocal Function Exercise (VFE) programs, and to examine factors which influence their therapeutic effects. Method: First, 18 patients with dysphonia were randomly classified into two groups - group A demonstrating nasalized vowel prolongations before producing pitch glides, and group B presenting pitch glides before producing nasalized vowel prolongations - and training was begun. Then, we examined 11 of the subjects who were able to complete the treatment. Comparison was performed by analysis of variance (ANOVA) using the following dependent variables: phonatory function parameters, acoustic parameters and subjective evaluation. Results and Conclusion: After training in nasalized vowel prolongations by VFE intensively in isolation for two weeks, maximum phonation time (MPT) appeared to have direct influence. Results suggested that regardless of the symptoms of the dysphonia and the contents of the training program, phonatory function and subjective evaluation are improved after two to four weeks of VFE training. Because considerable time may be needed in order to realize effect from exercise alone in expansion of the F0-range, we think that it is useful to carry out the various programs simultaneously according to their original methods.
The purpose of this study was to identify brain regions activated by auditory attention using fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging). The activated brain regions, which were identified between "listening" and "hearing," were compared quantitatively. We also compared the activation volume in each region using original software that we developed. Additionally, SPM2 software was employed to analyze the results. The subjects were twelve healthy adults (five men, seven women) without hearing problems. The tasks performed were a monosyllabic hearing test employing both male and female speakers, and the same monosyllabic hearing test under ambient noise. The results showed that the dominant regions activated by auditory attention, for both male and female speakers, were the middle frontal gyrus, orbital cortex, superior temporal cortex, and inferior semilunar lobule. ANOVA results indicated that the frontal area was the most activated region. Analysis according to gender of the speaker and measurement of activation level indicated that activation increases in response to the voice of an opposite gender speaker. Together these results suggest that the prefrontal cortex, supramarginal gyrus, and cingulate gyrus are responsible for auditory attention. Also, the affected brain regions activate more when listening to a speaker of the opposite gender than to a speaker of the same gender.
The efficacy of voice therapy was analyzed in 49 patients who were diagnosed and treated for functional dysphonia at Kurume University Hospital between 1993 and 2013. Forty-six of the 49 patients underwent voice therapy, and their records, including age, sex, period of training, outcome of voice function, and patient background, were retrospectively reviewed. The results indicated that functional dysphonia is frequently seen in younger patients and more in female patients than in males. By type, most patients were grouped into hyperfunctional dysphonia or hypofunctional dysphonia. Of 39 patients who finished the voice therapy, complete response was achieved in 22 (56.4%) and partial improvement was seen in 11 (28.2%). Generally, the period of treatment was short in the hypofunctional group and long in the hyperfunctional group.
We investigated word attribute effects on and characteristics of errors in spelling to dictation of two-character Japanese Kanji words in 48 Japanese normal adults. Frequency, imageability, and spelling consistency significantly affected spelling accuracy and latency. The frequency and imageability effects are taken to reflect lexical processing, and the spelling consistency effect is taken to reflect sub-lexical processing. These results suggest that both lexical and sub-lexical processing occur during spelling to dictation of Kanji words. Spelling duration was affected by frequency and number of strokes. The spelling errors were mainly classified into three types: one-character correct responses, phonologically plausible errors, and non-responses. This outcome suggests that phonologically plausible errors result from sub-lexical processing for spelling inconsistent words.
This study evaluated the reproducibility of measurements of facial skin vibration during singing by a scanning laser-Doppler vibrometer. A laser-Doppler vibrometer is an optical transducer capable of measuring the vibration velocity and the displacement of a certain point of a vibrating object on the basis of optical Doppler effect. A scanning vibrometer can scan and probe multiple predetermined points of a vibrating surface automatically. Three trained singers participated in this study. They sat with their head in a fixed position by attaching their forehead to the frame of a chin receiving stand. During the measurement, they were asked to sing the Japanese vowel /a/ in their comfortable pitch height continually, and the vibration velocity of the facial skin surface was obtained only during voicing. The results of three measurements for each participant showed that the root mean square errors of the vibration velocity were less than 4.0 dB. Moreover, the probability of outliers of the measurements, which were defined as measurement points whose vibration velocity was more than 6 dB apart from the median of the measured values, was 2.4%. Many of the outliers occurred at rounded facial surfaces where it was difficult to observe a reflected laser beam.
A case with learning disability at school was diagnosed as specific developmental writing disorder by multiple batteries of cognitive-psychological performance and study performance, and visual cognitive impairment was suspected. There were high-intensity areas around the brain white matter near both sides of the trigone of the lateral ventricle in T2 weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The case was suspected to have periventricular leukomalacia (PVL), and to be affected with visual cognitive impairment caused by PVL.
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