Camouflage is perhaps the most widespread defence against predators in nature and an active area of interdisciplinary research. Recent work has aimed to understand what camouflage types exist (e.g. background matching, disruptive, and distractive patterns) and their effectiveness. However, work has almost exclusively focused on the efficacy of these strategies in preventing initial detection, despite the fact that predators often encounter the same prey phenotype repeatedly, affording them opportunities to learn to find those prey more effectively. The overall value of a camouflage strategy may, therefore, reflect both its ability to prevent detection by predators and resist predator learning. We conducted four experiments with humans searching for hidden targets of different camouflage types (disruptive, distractive, and background matching of various contrast levels) over a series of touch screen trials. As with previous work, disruptive coloration was the most successful method of concealment overall, especially with relatively high contrast patterns, whereas potentially distractive markings were either neutral or costly. However, high contrast patterns incurred faster decreases in detection times over trials compared to other stimuli. In addition, potentially distractive markings were sometimes learnt more slowly than background matching markings, despite being found more readily overall. Finally, learning effects were highly dependent upon the experimental paradigm, including the number of prey types seen and whether subjects encountered targets simultaneously or sequentially. Our results show that the survival advantage of camouflage strategies reflects both their ability to avoid initial detection (sensory mechanisms) and predator learning (perceptual mechanisms).
Impairment of skin quality may contribute to diabetic foot ulceration (DFU). Our goal was to determine whether high-risk patients exhibited specific skin structural and metabolic deficits that could predispose to foot complications.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
A total of 46 patients comprising 9 diabetic control subjects, 16 with diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN) alone, and 21 with recurrent DFUs (including 9 with Charcot neuroarthropathy [CNA]) were recruited and compared with 14 nondiabetic control (NDC) subjects. DPN was assessed using the Michigan Neuropathy Screening Instrument (MNSI). Skin punch biopsies (3 mm) were performed on upper and lower leg skin for measurements of intraepidermal nerve fiber density (IENFD), structural analysis, type 1 procollagen abundance, tissue degrading matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), and poly(ADP-ribose) (PAR) immunoreactivity.
MNSI scores were comparable across DPN groups. IENFD was decreased by diabetes and DPN but did not differ between neuropathic groups. Skin structural deficit scores were elevated in all neuropathic subjects, particularly in the DFU group. Type 1 procollagen abundance was reduced in DFU subjects 387 ± 256 units (mean ± 1 SD) compared with NDC subjects (715 ± 100, P < 0.001). MMP-1 and MMP-2 were activated by diabetes. PAR immunoreactivity was increased in DFU (particularly in the CNA group; P < 0.01) compared with other DPN subjects.
Increased PAR, reduced type 1 procollagen abundance, and impaired skin structure are associated with foot complications in diabetes. The potential of therapies that improve skin quality to reduce DFU needs to be investigated.
The Foot and Ankle Outcome Score (FAOS) is a patient-reported questionnaire measuring symptoms and functional limitations of the foot and ankle. Aim is to translate and culturally adapt the Dutch version of the FAOS and to investigate internal consistency, validity, repeatability and responsiveness.
According to the Cross Cultural Adaptation of Self-Report Measures guideline, the FAOS was translated into Dutch. Eighty-nine patients who had undergone an ankle arthroscopy, ankle arthrodesis, ankle ligament reconstruction or hallux valgus correction completed the FAOS, FFI, WOMAC and SF-36 questionnaires and were included in the validity study. Sixty-five of them completed the FAOS a second time to determine repeatability. Responsiveness was analysed in an additional 15 patients who were being treated for foot or ankle problems.
Internal consistency of the FAOS is high (Cronbach’s alphas varying between 0.90 and 0.96). Repeatability can be considered good, with ICC’s ranging from 0.90 to 0.96. Construct validity can be classified as good with moderate-to-high correlations between the FAOS subscales and subscales of the FFI (0.55 to 0.90), WOMAC (0.57 to 0.92) and SF-36 subscales physical functioning, pain, social functioning and role-physical (0.33 to 0.81). Low standard response means were found for responsiveness (0.0 to 0.4).
The results of this study show that the Dutch version of the FAOS is a reliable and valid questionnaire to assess symptoms and functional limitations of the foot and ankle.
Foot; Ankle; Questionnaire; FAOS; Dutch; Reliability; Validity; Orthopaedics
Rationale: Diabetic peripheral neuropathy is common and causes significant morbidity. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is also common in patients with type 2 diabetes. Because OSA is associated with inflammation and oxidative stress, we hypothesized that OSA is associated with peripheral neuropathy in type 2 diabetes.
Objectives: To assess the relationship between OSA and peripheral neuropathy in patients with type 2 diabetes.
Methods: A cross-sectional study of adults with type 2 diabetes recruited randomly from the diabetes clinic of two UK hospitals.
Measurements and Main Results: Peripheral neuropathy was diagnosed using the Michigan Neuropathy Screening Instrument. OSA (apnea-hypopnea index ≥ 5 events/h) was assessed using home-based, multichannel respiratory monitoring. Serum nitrotyrosine was measured by ELISA, lipid peroxide by spectrophotometer, and microvascular function by laser speckle contrast imaging. Two hundred thirty-four patients (mean [SD] age, 57  yr) were analyzed. OSA prevalence was 65% (median apnea-hypopnea index, 7.2; range, 0–93), 40% of which were moderate to severe. Neuropathy prevalence was higher in patients with OSA than those without (60% vs. 27%, P < 0.001). After adjustment for possible confounders, OSA remained independently associated with diabetic neuropathy (odds ratio, 2.82; 95% confidence interval, 1.44–5.52; P = 0.0034). Nitrotyrosine and lipid peroxide levels (n = 102, 74 with OSA) were higher in OSA and correlated with hypoxemia severity. Cutaneous microvascular function (n = 71, 47 with OSA) was impaired in OSA.
Conclusions: We describe a novel independent association between diabetic peripheral neuropathy and OSA. We identified increased nitrosative/oxidative stress and impaired microvascular regulation as potential mechanisms. Prospective and interventional studies are needed to assess the impact of OSA and its treatment on peripheral neuropathy development and progression in patients with type 2 diabetes.
obstructive sleep apnea; diabetic neuropathy; nitrosative stress; microvascular function; laser speckle contrast imaging
Many animals are toxic or unpalatable and signal this to predators with warning signals (aposematism). Aposematic appearance has long been a classical system to study predator–prey interactions, communication and signalling, and animal behaviour and learning. The area has received considerable empirical and theoretical investigation. However, most research has centred on understanding the initial evolution of aposematism, despite the fact that these studies often tell us little about the form and diversity of real warning signals in nature. In contrast, less attention has been given to the mechanistic basis of aposematic markings; that is, ‘what makes an effective warning signal?’, and the efficacy of warning signals has been neglected. Furthermore, unlike other areas of adaptive coloration research (such as camouflage and mate choice), studies of warning coloration have often been slow to address predator vision and psychology. Here, we review the current understanding of warning signal form, with an aim to comprehend the diversity of warning signals in nature. We present hypotheses and suggestions for future work regarding our current understanding of several inter-related questions covering the form of warning signals and their relationship with predator vision, learning, and links to broader issues in evolutionary ecology such as mate choice and speciation.
aposematism; predation; signal; defensive coloration; vision
The role of taurine in regulating glucose-induced nitrosative stress has been examined in human Schwann cells, a model for understanding the pathogenesis of diabetic neuropathy. Exposure to high glucose increased nitrated proteins (1.56 fold p<0.05), inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and neuronal NOS (nNOS) mRNA expression (1.55 fold and 2.2 fold respectively, p<0.05 both), phospho-p38 MAPK (1.32 fold, p<0.05) abundance and decreased Schwann cell growth (11 ± 2%, p<0.05). Taurine supplementation prevented high-glucose induced iNOS and nNOS mRNA upregulation, reduced nitrated proteins and phospho-p38 MAPK (56 ± 11% and 45 ± 18% (p<0.05 both) respectively) and restored Schwann cell growth to control levels. High glucose and taurine treatment alone reduced phospho-p42/44 MAPK and phospho-AKT to below detectable levels. Treatment of human Schwann cells with donors of nitric oxide and peroxynitrite reduced taurine transporter (TauT) expression (by 35 ± 5% and 29 ± 7% respectively p<0.05 both) as well as the maximum velocity of taurine uptake (TauT Vmax). NOS inhibition prevented glucose-mediated TauT mRNA downregulation, and restored TauT Vmax. These data demonstrate an important role for taurine in the prevention of nitrosative stress in human Schwann cells, which may have important implications for the development and treatment of diabetic neuropathy.
Hyperglycemia and Nitric oxide in Schwann cells
In diabetes foot ulceration may result from increased skin fragility. Retinoids can reverse some diabetes-induced deficits of skin structure and function but their clinical utility is limited by skin irritation. The effect of diabetes and MDI 301 a non-irritating synthetic retinoid and retinoic acid have been evaluated on matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), procollagen expression and skin structure in skin biopsies from non-diabetic volunteers and diabetic subjects at risk of foot ulceration using organ culture techniques.
Zymography and ELISA were utilized for analysis of MMP-1,-2,-9 and tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-1 (TIMP-1) and immunohistochemisty for type I procollagen protein abundance. Collagen structure parameters were assessed in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue sections.
The % of active MMP-1 and -9 was higher and TIMP-1 abundance lower in subjects with diabetes. Type 1 procollagen abundance was reduced and skin structural deficits were increased in diabetes. Three μm MDI 301 reduced active MMP-1 and -9 abundance by 29% (p<0.05) and 40% (p<0.05), respectively and increased TIMP-1 by 45% (p=0.07). MDI 301 increased type 1 procollagen abundance by 40% (p<0.01) and completely corrected structural deficit scores. Two μm retinoic acid reduced MMP-1 but did not significantly affect skin structure.
These data indicate that diabetic patients at risk of foot ulceration have deficits of skin structure and function. MDI 301 offers potential for repairing this skin damage complicating diabetes.
Diabetes; skin; retinoids; foot ulceration
Coevolution between antagonistic species has produced instances of exquisite mimicry. Among brood-parasitic cuckoos, host defences have driven the evolution of mimetic eggs, but the evolutionary arms race was believed to be constrained from progressing to the chick stage, with cuckoo nestlings generally looking unlike host young. However, recent studies on bronze-cuckoos have confounded theoretical expectations by demonstrating cuckoo nestling rejection by hosts. Coevolutionary theory predicts reciprocal selection for visual mimicry of host young by cuckoos, although this has not been demonstrated previously. Here we show that, in the eyes of hosts, nestlings of three bronze-cuckoo species are striking visual mimics of the young of their morphologically diverse hosts, providing the first evidence that coevolution can select for visual mimicry of hosts in cuckoo chicks. Bronze-cuckoos resemble their own hosts more closely than other host species, but the accuracy of mimicry varies according to the diversity of hosts they exploit.
brood parasitism; visual mimicry; avian vision; cuckoo; coevolution
Left ventricular torsion is increased and cardiac energetics reduced in uncomplicated type 1 diabetes (T1DM). Our aim was to determine the relationships of these abnormalities to cardiovascular autonomic neuropathy (CAN) in subjects with T1DM.
A cross-sectional study was conducted in twenty subjects with T1DM free of known coronary heart disease attending an outpatient clinic. CAN was assessed using heart rate variability studies and the continuous wavelet transform method. Left ventricular function was determined by speckle tracking echocardiography. Magnetic resonance spectroscopy and stress magnetic resonance imaging was used to measure cardiac energetics and myocardial perfusion reserve index, respectively.
Twenty subjects (age 35±8 years, diabetes duration 16±9 years, HbA1c 8.0±1.1%) were recruited. 40% subjects exhibited definite or borderline CAN. Log peak radial strain was significantly increased in subjects with CAN compared to those without (1.56±0.06 vs. 1.43±0.14 respectively, p=0.011). Data was adjusted for log duration of diabetes, and log left ventricular torsion correlated (r=0.593, p=0.01) with log low frequency-to-high frequency ratio during the Valsalva maneuver. Log isovolumic relaxation time correlated significantly with log Valsalva ratio and log pNN50 during deep breathing. However, CAN did not correlate with cardiac energetics or myocardial perfusion reserve index.
Spectral analysis of low frequency-to-high frequency ratio power during the Valsalva maneuver is associated with altered left ventricular torsion in subjects with T1DM. Parasympathetic dysfunction is closely associated with diastolic deficits. CAN is not however the principal cause of impaired cardiac energetics. The role of CAN in the development of cardiomyopathy warrants further evaluation.
Type 1 Diabetes; Cardiovascular autonomic neuropathy; Left ventricular torsion; Sympathetic tone
Compensatory trunk movements during gait, such as a Duchenne limp, are observed frequently in subjects with osteoarthritis of the hip, yet angular trunk movements are seldom included in clinical gait assessments. Hence, the objective of this study was to quantify compensatory trunk movements during gait in subjects with hip osteoarthritis, outside a gait laboratory, using a body-fixed-sensor based gait analysis. Frontal plane angular movements of the pelvis and thorax and spatiotemporal parameters of persons who showed a Duchenne limp during gait were compared to healthy subjects and persons without a Duchenne limp.
A Body-fixed-sensor based gait analysis approach was used. Two body-fixed sensors were positioned at the dorsal side of the pelvis and on the upper thorax. Peak-to-peak frontal plane range of motion (ROM) and spatiotemporal parameters (walking speed, step length and cadence) of persons with a Duchenne limp during gait were compared to healthy subjects and persons without a Duchenne limp. Participants were instructed to walk at a self-selected low, preferred and high speed along a hospital corridor. Generalized estimating equations (GEE) analyses were used to assess group differences between persons with a Duchenne limp, without a Duchenne limp and healthy subjects.
Persons with a Duchenne limp showed a significantly larger thoracic ROM during walking compared to healthy subjects and to persons without a Duchenne limp. In both groups of persons with hip osteoarthritis, pelvic ROM was lower than in healthy subjects. This difference however only reached significance in persons without a Duchenne limp. The ratio of thoracic ROM relative to pelvic ROM revealed distinct differences in trunk movement patterns. Persons with hip osteoarthritis walked at a significantly lower speed compared to healthy subjects. No differences in step length and cadence were found between patients and healthy subjects, after correction for differences in walking speed.
Distinctive patterns of frontal plane angular trunk movements during gait could be objectively quantified in healthy subjects and in persons with hip osteoarthritis using a body-fixed-sensor based gait analysis approach. Therefore, frontal plane angular trunk movements should be included in clinical gait assessments of persons with hip osteoarthritis.
Camouflage patterns that hinder detection and/or recognition by antagonists are widely studied in both human and animal contexts. Patterns of contrasting stripes that purportedly degrade an observer's ability to judge the speed and direction of moving prey ('motion dazzle') are, however, rarely investigated. This is despite motion dazzle having been fundamental to the appearance of warships in both world wars and often postulated as the selective agent leading to repeated patterns on many animals (such as zebra and many fish, snake, and invertebrate species). Such patterns often appear conspicuous, suggesting that protection while moving by motion dazzle might impair camouflage when stationary. However, the relationship between motion dazzle and camouflage is unclear because disruptive camouflage relies on high-contrast markings. In this study, we used a computer game with human subjects detecting and capturing either moving or stationary targets with different patterns, in order to provide the first empirical exploration of the interaction of these two protective coloration mechanisms.
Moving targets with stripes were caught significantly less often and missed more often than targets with camouflage patterns. However, when stationary, targets with camouflage markings were captured less often and caused more false detections than those with striped patterns, which were readily detected.
Our study provides the clearest evidence to date that some patterns inhibit the capture of moving targets, but that camouflage and motion dazzle are not complementary strategies. Therefore, the specific coloration that evolves in animals will depend on how the life history and ontogeny of each species influence the trade-off between the costs and benefits of motion dazzle and camouflage.
This study evaluated the role for 12/15-lipoxygenase, which converts arachidonic acid to 12(S)- and 15(S)-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acids, in nitrosative stress in peripheral nervous system and peripheral prediabetic and diabetic neuropathies. The experiments were performed in C57Bl6/J mice made diabetic with streptozotocin or fed high-fat diet, and human Schwann cells cultured in 5.5 mM or 30 mM glucose. 12/15-lipoxygenase overexpression and activation were present in sciatic nerve and spinal cord of diabetic and high fat diet-fed mice, as well as in human Schwann cells cultured in high concentrations of D-, but not L-glucose. 12/15-lipoxygenase inhibition with cinnamyl-3,4-dihydroxy-α-cyanocinnamate (8 mgkg-1d-1 s.c., for 4 weeks after 12 weeks without treatment) alleviated accumulation of nitrated proteins in sciatic nerve and spinal cord, and large and small nerve fiber dysfunction, but not intraepidermal nerve fiber loss. 12/15-lipoxygenase gene deficiency alleviated nitrosative stress and nerve conduction deficit, but not small sensory fiber neuropathy, in high-fat diet fed mice. In conclusion, 12/15-lipoxygenase is implicated in nitrosative stress and peripheral neuropathy in mouse models of Type 1 and early Type 2 diabetes. Its presence in human Schwann cells and upregulation by high glucose suggest a potential involvement in human disease.
human Schwann cell; 12(S)-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid; intraepidermal nerve fiber density; 12/15-lipoxygenase; nitrosative stress; nerve conduction; peripheral diabetic neuropathy; tactile allodynia; thermal algesia
Left ventricular torsion is increased and cardiac energetics are reduced in uncomplicated type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM). Our aim was to determine the relationships of these abnormalities to cardiovascular autonomic neuropathy (CAN) in subjects with T1DM. A cross-sectional study was conducted in 20 subjects with T1DM free of known coronary heart disease attending an outpatient clinic. Cardiovascular autonomic neuropathy was assessed using heart rate variability studies and the continuous wavelet transform method. Left ventricular function was determined by speckle tracking echocardiography. Magnetic resonance spectroscopy and stress magnetic resonance imaging were used to measure cardiac energetics and myocardial perfusion reserve index, respectively. Twenty subjects (age, 35 ± 8 years; diabetes duration, 16 ± 9 years; hemoglobin A1c, 8.0% ± 1.1%) were recruited. Forty percent of the subjects exhibited definite or borderline CAN. Log peak radial strain was significantly increased in subjects with CAN compared with those without (1.56 ± 0.06 vs 1.43 ± 0.14, respectively; P = .011). Data were adjusted for log duration of diabetes, and log left ventricular torsion correlated (r = 0.593, P = .01) with log low-frequency to high-frequency ratio during the Valsalva maneuver. Log isovolumic relaxation time correlated significantly with log Valsalva ratio and log proportion of differences in consecutive RR intervals of normal beats greater than 50 milliseconds during deep breathing. However, CAN did not correlate with cardiac energetics or myocardial perfusion reserve index. Spectral analysis of low-frequency to high-frequency ratio power during the Valsalva maneuver is associated with altered left ventricular torsion in subjects with T1DM. Parasympathetic dysfunction is closely associated with diastolic deficits. Cardiovascular autonomic neuropathy is not however the principal cause of impaired cardiac energetics. The role of CAN in the development of cardiomyopathy warrants further evaluation.
Overweight/obesity in patients after total hip arthroplasty (THA) is a growing problem and is associated with postoperative complications and a negative effect on functional outcome. The objective of this study is to determine to what extent overweight/obesity is associated with physical functioning and health-related quality of life 1 year after primary THA.
A retrospective analysis of prospectively collected data from 653 patients who had undergone a primary THA was conducted. Physical functioning, health-related quality of life, body mass index (BMI), comorbidity, and postoperative complications were assessed by means of a questionnaire and from medical records. To determine to what extent overweight/obesity is associated with physical functioning and health-related quality of life after THA, a structural equation model (SEM) analysis was conducted.
The association of BMI corrected for age, gender, complications, and comorbidity with physical functioning is −0.63. This means that an increase in 1 kg/m2 BMI leads to a reduction of 0.63 points in the physical functioning score as measured with the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (100-point scale). The prevalence of complications or comorbidity leads to a reduction of, respectively, 5.63 and 7.25 (one or two comorbidities) and 14.50 points in the case of more than two comorbidities on the physical functioning score. The same pattern is observed for health-related quality of life.
The influence of overweight/obesity on physical functioning and health-related quality of life is low. The impact of complications and comorbidity is considerable. Refusing a patient a THA solely on the basis of overweight or obesity does not seem justified.
Obesity; Total hip arthroplasty; Quality of life; Physical functioning
The prevalence of diabetic polyneuropathy (DPN) can approach 50% in subjects with longer-duration diabetes. The most common neuropathies are generalized symmetrical chronic sensorimotor polyneuropathy and autonomic neuropathy. It is important to recognize that 50% of subjects with DPN may have no symptoms and only careful clinical examination may reveal the diagnosis. DPN, especially painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy, is associated with poor quality of life. Although there is a better understanding of the pathophysiology of DPN and the mechanisms of pain, treatment remains challenging and is limited by variable efficacy and side effects of therapies. Intensification of glycemic control remains the cornerstone for the prevention or delay of DPN but optimization of other traditional cardiovascular risk factors may also be of benefit. The management of DPN relies on its early recognition and needs to be individually based on comorbidities and tolerability to medications. To date, most pharmacological strategies focus upon symptom control. In the management of pain, tricyclic antidepressants, selective serotonin noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors, and anticonvulsants alone or in combination are current first-line therapies followed by use of opiates. Topical agents may offer symptomatic relief in some patients. Disease-modifying agents are still in development and to date, antioxidant α-lipoic acid has shown the most promising effect. Further development and testing of therapies based upon improved understanding of the complex pathophysiology of this common and disabling complication is urgently required.
diabetes; neuropathic pain; microvascular; glucose
Animal coloration has provided many classical examples of both natural and sexual selection. Methods to study color signals range from human assessment to models of receiver vision, with objective measurements commonly involving spectrometry or digital photography. However, signal assessment by a receiver is not objective but linked to receiver perception. Here, we use standardized digital photographs of female rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta) face and hindquarter regions, combined with estimates of the timing of the female fertile phase, to assess how color varies with respect to this timing. We compare objective color measures (camera sensor responses) with models of rhesus vision (retinal receptor stimulation and visual discriminability). Due to differences in spectral separation between camera sensors and rhesus receptors, camera measures overestimated color variation and underestimated luminance variation compared with rhesus macaques. Consequently, objective digital camera measurements can produce statistically significant relationships that are probably undetectable to rhesus macaques, and hence biologically irrelevant, while missing variation in the measure that may be relevant. Discrimination modeling provided results that were most meaningful (as they were directly related to receiver perception) and were easiest to relate to underlying physiology. Further, this gave new insight into the function of such signals, revealing perceptually salient signal luminance changes outside of the fertile phase that could potentially enhance paternity confusion. Our study demonstrates how, even for species with similar visual systems to humans, models of vision may provide more accurate and meaningful information on the form and function of visual signals than objective color measures do.
color signaling; communication; receiver perception; visual discrimination threshold modeling
Previous research on time to referral to orthopaedic surgery has predominantly used hip complaints as starting point instead of the moment the diagnosis of osteoarthritis (OA) of the hip is established, therefore little is known about the length of time a patient diagnosed with hip OA stays under the care of a general practitioner (GP). No knowledge on factors of influence on this time period is available either. Aim of this study was thus to determine the time an incident hip OA patient stays in the care of a GP until referral to an orthopaedic department. Influencing factors were also analyzed.
A prospective observational study was conducted based on data over a 10-year period from a general practice-based registration network (17 GPs, > 30,000 patients registered yearly). Patients with the diagnosis of hip OA were included. A survival analysis was used to determine time until referral to an orthopaedic department, and to determine factors of influence on this time.
Of 391 patients diagnosed with hip OA, 121 (31%) were referred; average survival time until referral was 82.0 months (95% CI 76.6-87.5). Less contact with the GP for hip complaints before the diagnosis of hip OA was established resulted in a decreased time to referral.
The results of this study show that patients with hip OA were under the care of a general practitioner, and thus in primary care, for a considerable amount of time once the diagnosis of hip OA was established.
Cuckoo–host interactions provide classical examples of coevolution. Cuckoos place hosts under selection to detect and reject foreign eggs, while host defences result in the evolution of host-egg mimicry in cuckoos. Despite a long history of research, egg pattern mimicry has never been objectively quantified, and so its coevolution with host defences has not been properly assessed. Here, we use digital image analysis and modelling of avian vision to quantify the level of pattern mimicry in eight host species of the common cuckoo Cuculus canorus and their respective cuckoo host-races. We measure a range of pattern attributes, including marking size, diversity in size, contrast, coverage and dispersion. This new technique reveals hitherto unnoticed sophistication in egg pattern mimicry. We show that various features of host egg pattern are mimicked by the eggs of their respective cuckoo host-races, and that cuckoos have evolved better pattern mimicry for host species that exhibit stronger egg rejection. Pattern differs relatively more between eggs of different host species than between their respective cuckoo host-races. We suggest that cuckoos may have more ‘average’ markings in order to be able to use subsidiary hosts. Our study sheds new light on cuckoo–host coevolution and illustrates a new technique for quantifying animal markings with respect to the relevant animal visual system.
pattern mimicry; brood parasitism; bird vision; egg rejection; cuckoos; digital image analysis
Arms races between avian brood parasites and their hosts often result in parasitic mimicry of host eggs, to evade rejection. Once egg mimicry has evolved, host defences could escalate in two ways: (i) hosts could improve their level of egg discrimination; and (ii) negative frequency-dependent selection could generate increased variation in egg appearance (polymorphism) among individuals. Proficiency in one defence might reduce selection on the other, while a combination of the two should enable successful rejection of parasitic eggs. We compared three highly variable host species of the Afrotropical cuckoo finch Anomalospiza imberbis, using egg rejection experiments and modelling of avian colour and pattern vision. We show that each differed in their level of polymorphism, in the visual cues they used to reject foreign eggs, and in their degree of discrimination. The most polymorphic host had the crudest discrimination, whereas the least polymorphic was most discriminating. The third species, not currently parasitized, was intermediate for both defences. A model simulating parasitic laying and host rejection behaviour based on the field experiments showed that the two host strategies result in approximately the same fitness advantage to hosts. Thus, neither strategy is superior, but rather they reflect alternative potential evolutionary trajectories.
coevolution; egg colour; egg pattern; vision
Animals signal their reproductive status in a range of sensory modalities. Highly social animals, such as primates, have access not only to such signals, but also to prior experience of other group members. Whether this experience affects how animals interpret reproductive signals is unknown. Here, we explore whether familiarity with a specific female affects a male's ability to assess that female's reproductive signals. We used a preferential looking procedure to assess signal discrimination in free-ranging rhesus macaques, a species in which female facial luminance covaries with reproductive status. We collected images of female faces throughout the reproductive cycle, and using faecal hormone analysis to determine ovulation, categorized images as coming from a female's pre-fertile, ovulating, or post-fertile period. We printed colour-calibrated stimuli of these faces, reproducing stimuli perceptually the same in colour and luminance to the original appearance of females. These images were presented to males who were either unfamiliar or familiar with stimuli females. Overall, males distinguished ovulatory from pre-ovulatory faces. However, a significant proportion of males did so only among males familiar with stimuli females. These experiments demonstrate that familiarity may increase a receiver's ability to use a social partner's signals to discern their reproductive status.
familiarity; experience; cognition; reproductive signals; ovulation; discrimination
Preoperative expectations of outcome of total hip and knee arthroplasty are important determinants of patients' satisfaction and functional outcome. Aims of the study were (1) to translate the Hospital for Special Surgery Hip Replacement Expectations Survey and Knee Replacement Expectations Survey into Dutch and (2) to study test-retest reliability and concurrent validity.
Patients scheduled for total hip (N = 112) or knee replacement (N = 101) were sent the Dutch Expectations Surveys twice with a 2 week interval to determine test-retest reliability. To determine concurrent validity, the Expectation WOMAC was sent.
The results for the Dutch Hip Replacement Expectations Survey revealed good test-retest reliability (ICC 0.87), no bias and good internal consistency (alpha 0.86) (N = 72). The correlation between the Hip Expectations Score and the Expectation WOMAC score was 0.59 (N = 86). The results for the Dutch Knee Replacement Expectations Survey revealed good test-retest reliability (ICC 0.79), no bias and good internal consistency (alpha 0.91) (N = 46). The correlation with the Expectation WOMAC score was 0.52 (N = 57).
Both Dutch Expectations Surveys are reliable instruments to determine patients' expectations before total hip or knee arthroplasty. As for concurrent validity, the correlation between both surveys and the Expectation WOMAC was moderate confirming that the same construct was determined. However, patients scored systematically lower on the Expectation WOMAC compared to the Dutch Expectation Surveys. Research on patients' expectations before total hip and knee replacement has only been performed in a limited amount of countries. With the Dutch Expectations Surveys it is now possible to determine patients' expectations in another culture and healthcare setting.
We used speckle tracking echocardiography to study the early changes in left ventricular (LV) torsion in young patients with uncomplicated type 1 diabetes and stress magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to assess its interrelationships with coronary microangiopathy.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
We recruited 33 asymptomatic subjects with type 1 diabetes and 32 age-matched healthy control subjects. All subjects underwent echocardiograms. Stress MRIs were performed in 30 subjects (8 healthy control subjects) to compute myocardial perfusion reserve index (MPRI).
A significant increase in LV torsion (2 ± 0.7 vs. 1.4 ± 0.7°/cm, P < 0.05) was identified in longer-term and retinopathy-positive type 1 diabetic subjects (1.9 ± 0.7 vs. 1.4 ± 0.7°/cm, P < 0.05) as compared with the healthy control subjects. The MPRI was independently associated with increased LV torsion.
We demonstrate that LV torsion is increased in young patients with uncomplicated type 1 diabetes and that coronary microvascular disease may play a key pathophysiological role in the development of increased LV torsion.
Both minimally invasive surgery (MIS) and computer-assisted surgery (CAS) for total hip arthroplasty (THA) have gained popularity in recent years. We conducted a qualitative and systematic review to assess the effectiveness of MIS, CAS and computer-assisted MIS for THA.
An extensive computerised literature search of PubMed, Medline, Embase and OVIDSP was conducted. Both randomised clinical trials and controlled clinical trials on the effectiveness of MIS, CAS and computer-assisted MIS for THA were included. Methodological quality was independently assessed by two reviewers. Effect estimates were calculated and a best-evidence synthesis was performed.
Four high-quality and 14 medium-quality studies with MIS THA as study contrast, and three high-quality and four medium-quality studies with CAS THA as study contrast were included. No studies with computer-assisted MIS for THA as study contrast were identified. Strong evidence was found for a decrease in operative time and intraoperative blood loss for MIS THA, with no difference in complication rates and risk for acetabular outliers. Strong evidence exists that there is no difference in physical functioning, measured either by questionnaires or by gait analysis. Moderate evidence was found for a shorter length of hospital stay after MIS THA. Conflicting evidence was found for a positive effect of MIS THA on pain in the early postoperative period, but that effect diminished after three months postoperatively. Strong evidence was found for an increase in operative time for CAS THA, and limited evidence was found for a decrease in intraoperative blood loss. Furthermore, strong evidence was found for no difference in complication rates, as well as for a significantly lower risk for acetabular outliers.
The results indicate that MIS THA is a safe surgical procedure, without increases in operative time, blood loss, operative complication rates and component malposition rates. However, the beneficial effect of MIS THA on functional recovery has to be proven. The results also indicate that CAS THA, though resulting in an increase in operative time, may have a positive effect on operative blood loss and operative complication rates. More importantly, the use of CAS results in better positioning of acetabular component of the prosthesis.
Physical performance measures are widely used to assess physical function, providing information about physiological and biomechanical aspects of motor performance. However they do not provide insight into the attentional and visual demands for motor performance. A figure-of-eight sprint test was therefore developed to measure the attentional and visual demands for repeated-sprint performance. The aims of the study were: 1) to assess test-retest reliability of the figure-of-eight sprint test, and 2) to study the attentional and visual demands for sprint performance in a non-fatigued and fatigued condition.
Twenty-seven healthy athletes were included in the study. To determine test-retest reliability, a subgroup of 19 athletes performed the figure-of-eight sprint test twice. The figure-of-eight sprint test consisted of nine 30-second sprints. The sprint test consisted of three test parts: sprinting without any restriction, with an attention-demanding task, and with restricted vision. Increases in sprint times with the attention-demanding task or restricted vision are reflective of the attentional and visual demands for sprinting. Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) and mean difference between test and retest with 95% confidence limits (CL) were used to assess test-retest reliability. Repeated-measures ANOVA were used for comparisons between the sprint times and fatigue measurements of the test parts in both a non-fatigued and fatigued condition.
The figure-of-eight sprint test showed good test-retest reliability, with ICCs ranging from 0.75 to 0.94 (95% CL: 0.40-0.98). Zero lay within the 95% CL of the mean differences, indicating that no bias existed between sprint performance at test and retest. Sprint times during the test parts with attention-demanding task (P = 0.01) and restricted vision (P < 0.001) increased significantly compared to the base measurement. Furthermore the sprint times and fatigue measurements increased significantly in fatigued condition. There was a significant interaction effect between test part and level of fatigue (P = 0.03).
High ICCs and the absence of systematic variation indicate good test-retest reliability of the figure-of-eight sprint test. The attentional and visual demands for sprint performance, in both a non-fatigued and fatigued condition, can be measured in healthy team-sport athletes with the figure-of-eight sprint test.
Disruptive coloration breaks up the shape and destroys the outline of an object, hindering detection. The principle was first suggested approximately a century ago, but, although research has significantly increased, the field remains conceptually unstructured and no unambiguous definition exists. This has resulted in variable use of the term, making it difficult to formulate testable hypotheses that are comparable between studies, slowing down advancement in this field. Related to this, a range of studies do not effectively distinguish between disruption and other forms of camouflage. Here, we give a formal definition of disruptive coloration, reorganize a range of sub-principles involved in camouflage and argue that five in particular are specifically related to disruption: differential blending; maximum disruptive contrast; disruption of surface through false edges; disruptive marginal patterns; and coincident disruptive coloration. We discuss how disruptive coloration can be optimized, how it can relate to other forms of camouflage markings and where future work is particularly needed.
disruptive coloration; camouflage; crypsis; predation; dazzle coloration; background matching