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Concept: Detection theory


Auditory neurons that exhibit stimulus-specific adaptation (SSA) decrease their response to common tones while retaining responsiveness to rare ones. We recorded single-unit responses from the inferior colliculus (IC) where SSA is known to occur and we explored for the first time SSA in the cochlear nucleus (CN) of rats. We assessed an important functional outcome of SSA, the extent to which frequency discriminability depends on sensory context. For this purpose, pure tones were presented in an oddball sequence as standard (high probability of occurrence) or deviant (low probability of occurrence) stimuli. To study frequency discriminability under different probability contexts, we varied the probability of occurrence and the frequency separation between tones. The neuronal sensitivity was estimated in terms of spike-count probability using signal detection theory. We reproduced the finding that many neurons in the IC exhibited SSA, but we did not observe significant SSA in our CN sample. We concluded that strong SSA is not a ubiquitous phenomenon in the CN. As predicted, frequency discriminability was enhanced in IC when stimuli were presented in an oddball context, and this enhancement was correlated with the degree of SSA shown by the neurons. In contrast, frequency discrimination by CN neurons was independent of stimulus context. Our results demonstrated that SSA is not widespread along the entire auditory pathway, and suggest that SSA increases frequency discriminability of single neurons beyond that expected from their tuning curves.

Concepts: Neuroanatomy, Type I and type II errors, Action potential, Auditory system, Detection theory, Lateral lemniscus, Cochlear nuclei, Inferior colliculus


To realize ground moving target indication (GMTI) for a forward-looking array, we propose a novel synthetic aperture radar (SAR) system, called rotatable cross-track interferometry SAR (Ro-XTI-SAR), for squint-looking application in this paper. By changing the angle of the cross-track baseline, the interferometry phase component of squint-looking Ro-XTI-SAR caused by the terrain height can be approximately adjusted to zero, and then the interferometry phase of Ro-XTI-SAR is only sensitive to targets' motion and can be equivalent to the along track interferometry SAR (ATI-SAR). Furthermore, the conventional displaced phase center array (DPCA) method and constant false alarm (CFAR) processing can be used to accomplish the successive clutter suppression, moving targets detection and relocation. Furthermore, the clutter suppressing performance is discussed with respect to different system parameters. Finally, some results of numerical experiments are provided to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed system.

Concepts: Detection theory, Radar, Interferometry, Astronomical interferometer, Aperture synthesis, Synthetic aperture radar, Radar signal processing, Moving target indication


Cronobacter sakazakii (C. sakazakii) is a foodborne pathogen, posing a high risk of disease to infants and immuno-compromised individuals. In order to develop a quick, easy, and sensitive assay for detecting C. sakazakii, a rabbit anti-C. sakazakii IgG was developed using sonicated cell protein from C. sakakzakii. The developed anti-C. sakazakii IgG was of good quality and purity, as well as species-specific. The developed rabbit anti-C. sakazakii IgG was attached to the surface of a sulforhodamine B-encapsulated liposome to form an immunoliposome. A test strip was then prepared by coating goat anti-rabbit IgG onto the control line and rabbit anti-C. sakazakii IgG onto the test line, respectively, of a plastic-backed nitrocellulose membrane. Purple color signal both on the test line and the control line indicated the presence of C. sakazakii in sample, while purple color only on the control line indicated the absence of C. sakazakii in sample. This immunochromatographic strip assay could produce results in 15 min with a limit of detection 10(7) CFU/ml in C. sakazakii culture. The immunochromatographic strip assay also showed a very good specificity without cross-reactivity with other tested Cronobacter species. Based on these results, the developed immunochromatographic strip assay is efficient for the detection of C. sakazakii and has a high potential for on-site detection.

Concepts: Immune system, Protein, Infectious disease, Detection theory, Purple, Andrew Martin, Nitrocellulose


Spoofing is becoming a serious threat to various Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) applications, especially for those that require high reliability and security such as power grid synchronization and applications related to first responders and aviation safety. Most current works on anti-spoofing focus on spoofing detection from the individual receiver side, which identifies spoofing when it is under an attack. This paper proposes a novel spoofing network monitoring (SNM) mechanism aiming to reveal the presence of spoofing within an area. Consisting of several receivers and one central processing component, it keeps detecting spoofing even when the network is not attacked. The mechanism is based on the different time difference of arrival (TDOA) properties between spoofing and authentic signals. Normally, TDOAs of spoofing signals from a common spoofer are identical while those of authentic signals from diverse directions are dispersed. The TDOA is measured as the differential pseudorange to carrier frequency ratio (DPF). In a spoofing case, the DPFs include those of both authentic and spoofing signals, among which the DPFs of authentic are dispersed while those of spoofing are almost overlapped. An algorithm is proposed to search for the DPFs that are within a pre-defined small range, and an alarm will be raised if several DPFs are found within such range. The proposed SNM methodology is validated by simulations and a partial field trial. Results show 99.99% detection and 0.01% false alarm probabilities are achieved. The SNM has the potential to be adopted in various applications such as (1) alerting dedicated users when spoofing is occurring, which could significantly shorten the receiver side spoofing cost; (2) in combination with GNSS performance monitoring systems, such as the Continuous Operating Reference System (CORS) and GNSS Availability, Accuracy, Reliability anD Integrity Assessment for Timing and Navigation (GAARDIAN) System, to provide more reliable monitoring services.

Concepts: Detection theory, Reliability, Navigation, Global Positioning System, Satellite navigation system, Global navigation satellite system, Satellite navigation systems, Differential GPS


For modern synthetic aperture radar (SAR), it has much more urgent demands on ground moving target indication (GMTI), which includes not only the point moving targets like cars, truck or tanks but also the distributed moving targets like river or ocean surfaces. Among the existing GMTI methods, displaced phase center antenna (DPCA) can effectively cancel the strong ground clutter and has been widely used. However, its detection performance is closely related to the target’s signal-to-clutter ratio (SCR) as well as radial velocity, and it cannot effectively detect the weak large-sized river surfaces in strong ground clutter due to their low SCR caused by specular scattering. This paper proposes a novel method called relative residue of DPCA (RR-DPCA), which jointly utilizes the DPCA cancellation outputs and the multi-look images to improve the detection performance of weak river surfaces. Furthermore, based on the statistics analysis of the RR-DPCA outputs on the homogenous background, the cell average (CA) method can be well applied for subsequent constant false alarm rate (CFAR) detection. The proposed RR-DPCA method can well detect the point moving targets and distributed moving targets simultaneously. Finally, the results of both simulated and real data are provided to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed SAR/GMTI method.

Concepts: Detection theory, Velocity, False alarm, Radar, Aperture synthesis, Synthetic aperture radar, Radar signal processing, Moving target indication


In spaceborne synthetic aperture radar (SAR) sensors, it is a challenging task to detect ground slow-moving targets against strong clutter background with limited spatial channels and restricted pulse repetition frequency (PRF). In this paper, we evaluate the image-based dual-channel SAR-ground moving target indication (SAR-GMTI) workflow for the Gaofen-3 SAR sensor and analyze the impact of strong azimuth ambiguities on GMTI when the displaced phase center antenna (DPCA) condition is not fully satisfied, which has not been demonstrated yet. An effective sliding window design technique based on system parameters analysis is proposed to deal with azimuth ambiguities and reduce false alarm. In the SAR-GMTI experiments, co-registration, clutter suppression, constant false alarm rate (CFAR) detector, vector velocity estimation and moving target relocation are analyzed and discussed thoroughly. With the real measured data of the Gaofen-3 dual-channel SAR sensor, the GMTI capability of this sensor is demonstrated and the effectiveness of the proposed method is verified.

Concepts: Detection theory, False alarm, Sensor, Radar, Beamforming, Synthetic aperture radar, Radar signal processing, Moving target indication


Does becoming aware of a change to a purely visual stimulus necessarily cause the observer to be able to identify or localise the change or can change detection occur in the absence of identification or localisation? Several theories of visual awareness stress that we are aware of more than just the few objects to which we attend. In particular, it is clear that to some extent we are also aware of the global properties of the scene, such as the mean luminance or the distribution of spatial frequencies. It follows that we may be able to detect a change to a visual scene by detecting a change to one or more of these global properties. However, detecting a change to global property may not supply us with enough information to accurately identify or localise which object in the scene has been changed. Thus, it may be possible to reliably detect the occurrence of changes without being able to identify or localise what has changed. Previous attempts to show that this can occur with natural images have produced mixed results. Here we use a novel analysis technique to provide additional evidence that changes can be detected in natural images without also being identified or localised. It is likely that this occurs by the observers monitoring the global properties of the scene.

Concepts: Detection theory, Change, Metaphysics, Awareness, Identification, Property, Localization, Observer


In a recent issue of Cognitive Neurodynamics Farwell (Cogn Neurodyn 6:115-154, 2012) published a comprehensive tutorial review of the use of Event Related Brain Potentials (ERP) in the detection of concealed information. Farwell’s review covered much of his own work employing his “brain fingerprinting” technology. All his work showed a 100 % accuracy rate in detecting concealed information. We argue in this comment that Farwell (Cogn Neurodyn 6:115-154, 2012) is misleading and misrepresents the scientific status of brain fingerprinting technology.

Concepts: Detection theory, Potential energy, Event-related potential, Brain fingerprinting, Lawrence Farwell


Mounting physiological and behavioral evidence has shown that the detectability of a visual stimulus can be enhanced by a simultaneously presented sound. The mechanisms underlying these cross-sensory effects, however, remain largely unknown. Using continuous flash suppression (CFS), we rendered a complex, dynamic visual stimulus (i.e., a talking face) consciously invisible to participants. We presented the visual stimulus together with a suprathreshold auditory stimulus (i.e., a voice speaking a sentence) that either matched or mismatched the lip movements of the talking face. We compared how long it took for the talking face to overcome interocular suppression and become visible to participants in the matched and mismatched conditions. Our results showed that the detection of the face was facilitated by the presentation of a matching auditory sentence, in comparison with the presentation of a mismatching sentence. This finding indicates that the registration of audiovisual correspondences occurs at an early stage of processing, even when the visual information is blocked from conscious awareness.

Concepts: Consciousness, Detection theory, Awareness, Face, Presentation of Mary, Self-awareness, Speech, Binocular rivalry


OBJECTIVES: Combining behavioral and neurophysiological measurements inevitably implies mutual constraints, such as when the neurophysiological measurement requires fast-paced stimulus presentation and hence the attribution of a behavioral response to a particular preceding stimulus becomes ambiguous. We develop and test a method for validly assessing behavioral detection performance in spite of this ambiguity. METHODS: We examine four approaches taken in the literature to treat such situations. We analytically derive a new variant of computing the classical parameters of signal detection theory, hit and false alarm rates, adapted to fast-paced paradigms. RESULTS: Each of the previous approaches shows specific shortcomings (susceptibility towards response window choice, biased estimates of behavioral detection performance). Superior performance of our new approach is demonstrated for both simulated and empirical behavioral data. Further evidence is provided by reliable correspondence between behavioral performance and the N2b component as an electrophysiological indicator of target detection. CONCLUSIONS: The appropriateness of our approach is substantiated by both theoretical and empirical arguments. SIGNIFICANCE: We demonstrate an easy-to-implement solution for measuring target detection performance independent of the rate of event presentation. Thus overcoming the measurement bias of previous approaches, our method will help to clarify the behavioral relevance of different measures of cortical activation.

Concepts: Scientific method, Critical thinking, Measurement, Signal processing, Detection theory, Test method, Systems of measurement, Constant false alarm rate