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Wellesley, MA, United States

Wellesley College is a private women's liberal-arts college in the town of Wellesley, Massachusetts, United States, west of Boston. Founded in 1870, Wellesley is a member of the original Seven Sisters Colleges and is consistently ranked among the top five liberal arts colleges in the United States. Wikipedia.

Conway B.R.,Wellesley College
Visual Neuroscience | Year: 2014

Explanations for color phenomena are often sought in the retina, lateral geniculate nucleus, and V1, yet it is becoming increasingly clear that a complete account will take us further along the visual-processing pathway. Working out which areas are involved is not trivial. Responses to S-cone activation are often assumed to indicate that an area or neuron is involved in color perception. However, work tracing S-cone signals into extrastriate cortex has challenged this assumption: S-cone responses have been found in brain regions, such as the middle temporal (MT) motion area, not thought to play a major role in color perception. Here, we review the processing of S-cone signals across cortex and present original data on S-cone responses measured with fMRI in alert macaque, focusing on one area in which S-cone signals seem likely to contribute to color (V4/posterior inferior temporal cortex) and on one area in which S signals are unlikely to play a role in color (MT). We advance a hypothesis that the S-cone signals in color-computing areas are required to achieve a balanced neural representation of perceptual color space, whereas those in noncolor-areas provide a cue to illumination (not luminance) and confer sensitivity to the chromatic contrast generated by natural daylight (shadows, illuminated by ambient sky, surrounded by direct sunlight). This sensitivity would facilitate the extraction of shape-from-shadow signals to benefit global scene analysis and motion perception. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2013. Source

Helluy S.,Wellesley College
Journal of Experimental Biology | Year: 2013

Some larval helminths alter the behavior of their intermediate hosts in ways that favor the predation of infected hosts, thus enhancing trophic transmission. Gammarids (Crustacea: Amphipoda) offer unique advantages for the study of the proximate factors mediating parasite-induced behavioral changes. Indeed, amphipods infected by distantly related worms (acanthocephalans, cestodes and trematodes) encysted in different microhabitats within their hosts (hemocoel, brain) present comparable, chronic, behavioral pathologies. In order to evaluate the potential connection between behavioral disturbances and immune responses in parasitized gammarids, this Review surveys the literature bearing on sensorimotor pathway dysfunctions in infected hosts, on the involvement of the neuromodulator serotonin in altered responses to environmental stimuli, and on systemic and neural innate immunity in arthropods. Hemocyte concentration and phenoloxidase activity associated with melanotic encapsulation are depressed in acanthocephalan-manipulated gammarids. However, other components of the arsenal deployed by crustaceans against pathogens have not yet been investigated in helminth-infected gammarids. Members of the Toll family of receptors, cytokines such as tumor necrosis factors (TNFs), and the free radical nitric oxide are all implicated in neuroimmune responses in crustaceans. Across animal phyla, these molecules and their neuroinflammatory signaling pathways are touted for their dual beneficial and deleterious properties. Thus, it is argued that neuroinflammation might mediate the biochemical events upstream of the serotonergic dysfunction observed in manipulated gammarids - a parsimonious hypothesis that could explain the common behavioral pathology induced by distantly related parasites, both hemocoelian and cerebral. © 2013 Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd. Source

Dickinson D.K.,Vanderbilt University | Porche M.V.,Wellesley College
Child Development | Year: 2011

Indirect effects of preschool classroom indexes of teacher talk were tested on fourth-grade outcomes for 57 students from low-income families in a longitudinal study of classroom and home influences on reading. Detailed observations and audiotaped teacher and child language data were coded to measure content and quantity of verbal interactions in preschool classrooms. Preschool teachers' use of sophisticated vocabulary during free play predicted fourth-grade reading comprehension and word recognition (mean age=9; 7), with effects mediated by kindergarten child language measures (mean age=5; 6). In large group preschool settings, teachers' attention-getting utterances were directly related to later comprehension. Preschool teachers' correcting utterances and analytic talk about books, and early support in the home for literacy predicted fourth-grade vocabulary, as mediated by kindergarten receptive vocabulary. © 2011 The Authors. Child Development © 2011 Society for Research in Child Development, Inc. Source

Griffith A.B.,University of California at Santa Cruz | Griffith A.B.,Wellesley College
Ecology | Year: 2010

There is increasing recognition that overall interactions among plant species are often the net result of both positive and negative effects. However, the positive influence of other plants has rarely been examined using detailed demographic methods, which are useful for partitioning net effects at the population level into positive and/or negative effects on individual vital rates. This study examines the influence of microhabitats created by the native shrubs Artemisia tridentata and Purshia tridentata on the demography of the invasive annual grass Bromus tectorum in the Great Basin Desert, California, USA. Shrub understory environments differed significantly from intershrub space and were characterized by higher soil fertility and less extreme microclimates. There existed a strong spatial association between B. tectorum and the shrubs across four years, with more than double the density of B. tectorum in shrub microhabitats compared to intershrub space. Periodic matrix models were used to calculate population growth (λ) and reproductive potential (RP, expected lifetime fecundity of seedlings) of B. tectorum in different microhabitats over two years. Modeled population growth was significantly increased in shrub microhabitats in the first of two years. This was primarily due to increased seedling establishment in Artemisia microhabitats, rather than effects during the growing season. In the following year, B. tectorum individuals in shrub microhabitats had a significantly greater reproductive potential than those in intershrub microhabitats, indicating shrub facilitation during the growing season. Loop analysis revealed an interacting effect of year and microhabitat on B. tectorum life history pathway elasticity values, demonstrating a fundamental influence of spatiotemporal factors on which life history pathways are important and/or possible. Life table response experiment (LTRE) analysis showed that increased survival and growth rates positively contributed to population growth in both years under Purshia, but only in the second year under Artemisia. This research provides evidence that the positive effects of native shrubs on B. tectorum can be strong enough to produce net positive effects at the population level, although positive effects were variable. In this study, a rigorous demographic approach was particularly useful in partitioning overall interactions into positive and negative components. © 2010 by the Ecological Society of America. Source

Serially homologous systems with high internal differentiation frequently exhibit meristic constraints, although the developmental basis for constraint is unknown. Constraints in the counts of the cervical and lumbosacral vertebral series are unique to mammals, and appeared in the Triassic, early in their history. Concurrent adaptive modifications of the mammalian respiratory and locomotor systems involved a novel source of cells for muscularization of the diaphragm from cervical somites, and the loss of ribs from lumbar vertebrae. Each of these innovations increased the modularity of the somitic mesoderm, and altered somitic and lateral plate mesodermal interactions across the lateral somitic frontier. These developmental innovations are hypothesized here to constrain the anteroposterior transposition of the limbs along the column, and thus also cervical and thoracolumbar count. Meristic constraints are therefore regarded here as the nonadaptive, secondary consequences of adaptive respiratory and locomotor traits. © 2013 Elsevier GmbH. Source

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