Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Moment


BACKGROUND: Wing size and shape have important aerodynamic implications on flight performance. We explored how wing size was related to wing shape in territorial males of 37 taxa of the damselfly family Calopterygidae. Wing coloration was also included in the analyses because it is sexually and naturally selected and has been shown to be related to wing shape. We studied wing shape using both the non-dimensional radius of the second moment of wing area (RSM) and geometric morphometrics. Lower values of the RSM result in less energetically demanding flight and wider ranges of flight speed. We also re-analyzed previously published data on other damselflies and dragonflies. RESULTS: The RSM showed a hump-shaped relationship with wing size. However, after correcting for phylogeny using independent contrast, this pattern changed to a negative linear relationship. The basal genus of the study family, Hetaerina, was mainly driving that change. The obtained patterns were specific for the study family and differed from other damselflies and dragonflies. The relationship between the RSM and wing shape measured by geometric morphometrics was linear, but relatively small changes along the RSM axis can result in large changes in wing shape. Our results also showed that wing coloration may have some effect on RSM. CONCLUSIONS: We found that RSM showed a complex relationship with size in calopterygid damselflies, probably as a result of other selection pressures besides wing size per se. Wing coloration and specific behavior (e.g. courtship) are potential candidates for explaining the complexity. Univariate measures of wing shape such as RSM are more intuitive but lack the high resolution of other multivariate techniques such as geometric morphometrics. We suggest that the relationship between wing shape and size are taxa-specific and differ among closely-related insect groups.

Concepts: Moment, Damselflies, Dragonfly, Change, Wing, Odonata, Aerodynamics, Damselfly


Orbital localization of occupied and virtual Hartree-Fock orbitals generated from basis sets augmented with diffuse functions is performed using the Pipek-Mezey, Boys, powers of the second central moment, and powers of the fourth central moment localizations. The locality of the obtained orbital sets are presented in terms of second and fourth moment orbital spreads. The results show that both local occupied and virtual orbitals may be obtained when using powers of the second central moment and powers of the fourth central moment localizations, while the Pipek-Mezey and Boys localizations fail to produce sets of local virtual orbitals. The locality of the fourth central moment virtual orbitals exhibits a locality similar to the locality of a Boys localization for non-augmented basis sets.

Concepts: Local ring, Moment, Orbital, Basis set, Quantum chemistry, Internationalization and localization, Computational chemistry, Localization


A local minimum for running energetics has been reported for a specific bending stiffness, implying that shoe stiffness assists in running propulsion. However, the determinant of the metabolic optimum remains unknown. Highly stiff shoes significantly increase the moment arm of the ground reaction force (GRF) and reduce the leverage effect of joint torque at ground push-off. Inspired by previous findings, we hypothesized that the restriction of the natural metatarsophalangeal (MTP) flexion caused by stiffened shoes and the corresponding joint torque changes may reduce the benefit of shoe bending stiffness to running energetics. We proposed the critical stiffness, kcr, which is defined as the ratio of the MTP joint (MTPJ) torque to the maximal MTPJ flexion angle, as a possible threshold of the elastic benefit of shoe stiffness. 19 subjects participated in a running test while wearing insoles with five different bending stiffness levels. Joint angles, GRFs, and metabolic costs were measured and analyzed as functions of the shoe stiffness. No significant changes were found in the take-off velocity of the center of mass (CoM), but the horizontal ground push-offs were significantly reduced at different shoe stiffness levels, indicating that complementary changes in the lower-limb joint torques were introduced to maintain steady running. Slight increases in the ankle, knee, and hip joint angular impulses were observed at stiffness levels exceeding the critical stiffness, whereas the angular impulse at the MTPJ was significantly reduced. These results indicate that the shoe bending stiffness is beneficial to running energetics if it does not disturb the natural MTPJ flexion.

Concepts: Cross product, Moment, Moment of inertia, Reaction, Flexion, Angular momentum, Force, Torque


We studied the behavioral and emotional dynamics displayed by two people trying to resolve a conflict. 59 groups of two people were asked to talk for 20 minutes to try to reach a consensus about a topic on which they disagreed. The topics were abortion, affirmative action, death penalty, and euthanasia. Behavior data were determined from audio recordings where each second of the conversation was assessed as proself, neutral, or prosocial. We determined the probability density function of the durations of time spent in each behavioral state. These durations were well fit by a stretched exponential distribution, [Formula: see text] with an exponent, [Formula: see text], of approximately 0.3. This indicates that the switching between behavioral states is not a random Markov process, but one where the probability to switch behavioral states decreases with the time already spent in that behavioral state. The degree of this “memory” was stronger in those groups who did not reach a consensus and where the conflict grew more destructive than in those that did. Emotion data were measured by having each person listen to the audio recording and moving a computer mouse to recall their negative or positive emotional valence at each moment in the conversation. We used the Hurst rescaled range analysis and power spectrum to determine the correlations in the fluctuations of the emotional valence. The emotional valence was well described by a random walk whose increments were uncorrelated. Thus, the behavior data demonstrated a “memory” of the duration already spent in a behavioral state while the emotion data fluctuated as a random walk whose steps did not have a “memory” of previous steps. This work demonstrates that statistical analysis, more commonly used to analyze physical phenomena, can also shed interesting light on the dynamics of processes in social psychology and conflict management.

Concepts: Moment, Normal distribution, Expected value, Probability density function, Random variable, Variance, Psychology, Probability theory


The most interesting events in Radiological Monitoring Network correspond to higher values of H*(10). The higher doses cause skewness in the probability density function (PDF) of the records, which there are not Gaussian anymore. Within this work the probability of having a dose >2 standard deviations is proposed as surveillance of higher doses. Such probability is estimated by using the Hermite polynomials for reconstructing the PDF. The result is that the probability is ~6 ± 1%, much >2.5% corresponding to Gaussian PDFs, which may be of interest in the design of alarm level for higher doses.

Concepts: Standard deviation, Probability density function, Fundamental physics concepts, Probability theory, Moment, Variance, Random variable, Normal distribution


This paper reports on the influence that extreme values in the tails of the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) Index probability density function (PDF) can exert on temperatures in Europe. When the NAO Index enters into its lowest (10% quantile or less) and highest (90% quantile or higher) modes, European temperatures often exhibit large negative or positive departures from their mean values, respectively. Analyses of the joint quantiles of the Index and temperatures (i.e., the simultaneous exceedance of particular quantile thresholds by the two variables) show that temperatures enter into the upper or lower tails of their PDF when the NAO Index also enters into its extreme tails, more often that could be expected from random statistics. Studies of this nature help further our understanding of the manner by which mechanisms of decadal-scale climate variability can influence extremes of temperature-and thus perhaps improve the forecasting of extreme temperatures in weather and climate models.

Concepts: Moment, Variance, Atlantic Ocean, Expected value, Random variable, Weather, Probability density function, Probability theory


The optical sectioning capability of structured illumination using random speckle patterns is shown by simulations to improve when cumulants beyond the traditional second order are used as the image-forming signals. The improvement scales with the cumulant order, asymptotically approaching confocal performance. As actual experiments operate with finite-size sample estimators instead of true cumulants, purely statistical (nonoptical) effects can result in nonideal behavior. We analyze the finite ensemble effects along with the experimental effects of detector dynamic range through Monte Carlo simulations. Despite these real-world factors, we show when the third-order-derived signal can demonstrate improved sectioning at good signal-to-noise levels set by finite-sample effects.

Concepts: Better, Cumulant, Variance, Improve, Monte Carlo, Moment, Normal distribution, Monte Carlo method


The analysis of patterns of segregating (i.e. polymorphic) sites in aligned sequences is routine in population genetics. Quantities of interest include the total number of segregating sites and the number of sites with mutations of different frequencies, the so-called site frequency spectrum. For neutrally evolving sequences, some classical results are available, including the expected value and variance of the spectrum in the Kingman coalescent model without recombination as calculated by Fu (1995). In this work, we use similar techniques to compute the third moments of the frequencies of three linked sites. Based on these results, we derive analytical results for the bias of Tajima’s D and other neutrality tests. As a corollary, we obtain the second moments of the frequencies of two linked mutations conditional on the presence of a third mutation with a certain frequency. These moments can be used for the normalisation of new neutrality tests relying on these spectra.

Concepts: Moment, Probability density function, Expected value, Genetics, Evolution, Probability theory, Variance, DNA


[Purpose] The strategy of trunk lean gait to reduce external knee adduction moment (KAM) may affect multi-segmental synergy control of center of mass (COM) displacement. Uncontrolled manifold (UCM) analysis is an evaluation index to understand motor variability. The purpose of this study was to investigate how motor variability is affected by using UCM analysis on adjustment of the trunk lean angle. [Subjects and Methods] Fifteen healthy young adults walked at their preferred speed under two conditions: normal and trunk lean gait. UCM analysis was performed with respect to the COM displacement during the stance phase. The KAM data were analyzed at the points of the first KAM peak during the stance phase. [Results] The KAM during trunk lean gait was smaller than during normal gait. Despite a greater segmental configuration variance with respect to mediolateral COM displacement during trunk lean gait, the synergy index was not significantly different between the two conditions. The synergy index with respect to vertical COM displacement during trunk lean gait was smaller than that during normal gait. [Conclusion] These results suggest that trunk lean gait is effective in reducing KAM; however, it may decrease multi-segmental movement coordination of COM control in the vertical direction.

Concepts: Standard deviation, Affect, Control, Vertical direction, Moment, Normal distribution, Variance, Mathematical analysis


We analyze the performance of a free-space optical (FSO) link affected by atmospheric turbulence and line-of-sight (LOS) blockage. For this purpose, the atmospheric turbulence induced fading is modeled by the ℳ distribution, which includes the Gamma-Gamma distribution as special case. We exploit the fact that the physical interpretation of the ℳ distribution allows to split the optical energy through the propagation link into three different components: two coherent components and one incoherent scatter component. Based on this separation, we derive novel analytical expressions for the probability density function (PDF), for the cumulative distribution function (CDF) and for the moment generating function (MGF) of the ℳ distribution under the temporary blockage of the coherent components, hereinafter referred to as LOS blockage. Further, a new closed-form expression for the outage probability (OP) under LOS blockage is derived in terms of the turbulence model parameters and the LOS blockage probability. By means of an asymptotic analysis, this expression is simplified in the high-SNR regime and the OP in terms of the diversity order and diversity gain is then deduced. Obtained results show that the impact of the LOS blockage on the OP strongly depends on the intensity of the turbulence and on the LOS blockage probability.

Concepts: Moment, Fundamental physics concepts, Probability distribution, Probability density function, Probability theory, Random variable, Normal distribution, Cumulative distribution function