Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 8

Search results for: Makoto Nakazawa

8 Development of Electroencephalograph Collection System in Language-Learning Self-Study System That Can Detect Learning State of the Learner

Authors: Katsuyuki Umezawa, Makoto Nakazawa, Manabu Kobayashi, Yutaka Ishii, Michiko Nakano, Shigeichi Hirasawa


This research aims to develop a self-study system equipped with an artificial teacher who gives advice to students by detecting the learners and to evaluate language learning in a unified framework. 'Detecting the learners' means that the system understands the learners' learning conditions, such as each learner’s degree of understanding, the difference in each learner’s thinking process, the degree of concentration or boredom in learning, and problem solving for each learner, which can be interpreted from learning behavior. In this paper, we propose a system to efficiently collect brain waves from learners by focusing on only the brain waves among the biological information for 'detecting the learners'. The conventional Electroencephalograph (EEG) measurement method during learning using a simple EEG has the following disadvantages. (1) The start and end of EEG measurement must be done manually by the experiment participant or staff. (2) Even when the EEG signal is weak, it may not be noticed, and the data may not be obtained. (3) Since the acquired EEG data is stored in each PC, there is a possibility that the time of data acquisition will be different in each PC. This time, we developed a system to collect brain wave data on the server side. This system overcame the above disadvantages.

Keywords: artificial teacher, e-learning, self-study system, simple EEG

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7 Stress Distribution in Axisymmetric Indentation of an Elastic Layer-Substrate Body

Authors: Kotaro Miura, Makoto Sakamoto, Yuji Tanabe


We focus on internal stress and displacement of an elastic axisymmetric contact problem for indentation of a layer-substrate body. An elastic layer is assumed to be perfectly bonded to an elastic semi-infinite substrate. The elastic layer is smoothly indented with a flat-ended cylindrical indenter. The analytical and exact solutions were obtained by solving an infinite system of simultaneous equations using the method to express a normal contact stress at the upper surface of the elastic layer as an appropriate series. This paper presented the numerical results of internal stress and displacement distributions for hard-coating system with constant values of Poisson’s ratio and the thickness of elastic layer.

Keywords: indentation, contact problem, stress distribution, coating materials, layer-substrate body

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6 Numerical Investigation on Tsunami Suppression by Submerged Breakwater

Authors: Tasuku Hongo, Hiroya Mamori, Naoya Fukushima, Makoto Yamamoto


A tsunami induced by an earthquake gives a severe disaster in coastal area. As well known, the huge earthquake in Japan 2011 induced a huge tsunami and the tsunami caused serious damage in the Tohoku and Kanto area. Although breakwaters were constructed in the coast to suppress the tsunami, these were collapsed, and it resulted in severe disasters. In order to decrease the tsunami disaster, we propose the submerged breakwaters and investigate its effect on the tsunami behavior by means of numerical simulations. In order to reproduce tsunami and capture its interface, we employed a moving particle method which is one of the Lagragian methods. Different from ordinary breakwaters, the present breakwater is located in the under-sea. An effective installation condition is investigated by the parametric study. The results show that the submerged breakwater can decrease the wave force by the tsunami. Moreover, the combination of two submerged breakwaters can reduce the tsunami safely and effectively. Therefore, the present results give the effective condition of the installation of the under-sea breakwaters and its mechanism.

Keywords: coastal area, tsunami force reduction, MPS method, submerged breakwater

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5 Rice Bran Material Enrichment of Granulated Cane Brown Sugar to Increase Policosanol Contents

Authors: Monthana Weerawatanakorn, Hajime Tamaki, Yonathan Asikin, Koji Wada, Makoto Takahashi, Chi-Tang Ho, Min-Hsiung Pan


Rice bran and sugarcane are significant sources of wax containing policosanol (PC), the cholesterol-lowering nutraceutical available in the market. The processing of rice bran oil causes the loss of PC content into various waste products. Therefore, we hypothesise that defatted rice bran (DRB) as agricultural waste product and rice bran oil (RBO) retain a varying but significant amount of PC wax. Non-centrifugal cane sugar (NCS) or cane brown sugar has been consumed worldwide and possesses various health benefits. Since PC wax is mainly in the outer layer rinds of cane, PC contents of the granulated sugar are reduced due to the peeling step. The study aimed to increase PC contents of the granular brown sugar by adding wax extracted from DRB and RBO and to investigate the toxicity of the developed products. The results showed that the total PC contents including long chain aldehyde of products were increased to the maximum level of 147.97 mg/100 g and 40.14 mg/100 g for extracted wax and rice bran oil addition, respectively. PC content of RBO was found to be 96.93 mg/100 g. DRB is promising source of policosanol (6,044.7 mg/100 g). The 28-day toxicity evaluations of the developed sugar revealed no adverse effects on the liver, spleen or kidney.

Keywords: enrichment, sugarcane, policosanol, defatted rice bran, wax

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4 Spectra Analysis in Sunset Color Demonstrations with a White-Color LED as a Light Source

Authors: Makoto Hasegawa, Seika Tokumitsu


Spectra of light beams emitted from white-color LED torches are different from those of conventional electric torches. In order to confirm if white-color LED torches can be used as light sources for popular sunset color demonstrations in spite of such differences, spectra of travelled light beams and scattered light beams with each of a white-color LED torch (composed of a blue LED and yellow-color fluorescent material) and a conventional electric torch as a light source were measured and compared with each other in a 50 cm-long water tank for sunset color demonstration experiments. Suspension liquid was prepared from acryl-emulsion and tap-water in the water tank, and light beams from the white-color LED torch or the conventional electric torch were allowed to travel in this suspension liquid. Sunset-like color was actually observed when the white-color LED torch was used as the light source in sunset color demonstrations. However, the observed colors when viewed with naked eye look slightly different from those obtainable with the conventional electric torch. At the same time, with the white-color LED, changes in colors in short to middle wavelength regions were recognized with careful observations. From those results, white-color LED torches are confirmed to be applicable as light sources in sunset color demonstrations, although certain attentions have to be paid. Further advanced classes will be successfully performed with white-color LED torches as light sources.

Keywords: blue sky demonstration, sunset color demonstration, white LED torch, physics education

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3 Prolonged Synthesis of Chitin Polysaccharide from Chlorovirus System

Authors: Numfon Rakkhumkaew, Takeru Kawasaki, Makoto Fujie, Takashi Yamada


Chlorella viruses or chloroviruses contain a gene that encodes a function for chitin synthesis, which is expressed early in viral infection to produce chitin polysaccharide, a polymer of β-1, 4-linked GlcNAc, on the outside of Chlorella cell wall. Interestingly, chlorovirus system is an eco-friendly system which converses CO2 and solar energy from the environment into useful materials. However, infected Chlorella cells are lysed at the final stage of viral infection, and this phenomenon is caused the breaking down of polysaccharide. To postpone the lysing period and prolong the synthesis of chitin polysaccharide on cells, the slow growing virus incorporated with aphidicolin treatment, an inhibitor of DNA synthesis, was investigated. In this study, a total of 25 virus isolates from water samples in Japan region were analyzed for CHS (the gene for CH synthase) gene by PCR (polymerase chain reaction). The accumulation and appearance of chitin polysaccharide on infected cells were detected by biotinylated chitin-binding proteins WGA (wheat germ agglutinin)-biotin for chitin in conjunction with avidin-Cy 2 or Cy 3 and investigated by fluorescence microscopy, observed as green or yellow fluorescence over the cell surface. Among all chlorovirus isolates, cells infected with CNF1 revealed the accumulation of chitin over the cell surface within 30 min p.i. and continued to accumulate on cells until 4 h p.i. before cell lyses which was 1.6 times longer accumulation period than cells infected with CVK2 (prototype virus). Furthermore, addition of aphidicolin could extend the chitin accumulation on cells infected with CNF1 until 8 h p.i. before cell lyses. Whereas, CVK2-infected cells treated with aphidicolin could prolong the chitin synthesis only for 6 h p.i. before cell lyses. Therefore, chitin synthesis by Chlorella-virus system could be prolonged by using slow-growing viral isolates and with aphidicolin.

Keywords: chitin, chlorovirus, Chlorella virus, aphidicolin

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2 Towards Real-Time Classification of Finger Movement Direction Using Encephalography Independent Components

Authors: Mohamed Mounir Tellache, Hiroyuki Kambara, Yasuharu Koike, Makoto Miyakoshi, Natsue Yoshimura


This study explores the practicality of using electroencephalographic (EEG) independent components to predict eight-direction finger movements in pseudo-real-time. Six healthy participants with individual-head MRI images performed finger movements in eight directions with two different arm configurations. The analysis was performed in two stages. The first stage consisted of using independent component analysis (ICA) to separate the signals representing brain activity from non-brain activity signals and to obtain the unmixing matrix. The resulting independent components (ICs) were checked, and those reflecting brain-activity were selected. Finally, the time series of the selected ICs were used to predict eight finger-movement directions using Sparse Logistic Regression (SLR). The second stage consisted of using the previously obtained unmixing matrix, the selected ICs, and the model obtained by applying SLR to classify a different EEG dataset. This method was applied to two different settings, namely the single-participant level and the group-level. For the single-participant level, the EEG dataset used in the first stage and the EEG dataset used in the second stage originated from the same participant. For the group-level, the EEG datasets used in the first stage were constructed by temporally concatenating each combination without repetition of the EEG datasets of five participants out of six, whereas the EEG dataset used in the second stage originated from the remaining participants. The average test classification results across datasets (mean ± S.D.) were 38.62 ± 8.36% for the single-participant, which was significantly higher than the chance level (12.50 ± 0.01%), and 27.26 ± 4.39% for the group-level which was also significantly higher than the chance level (12.49% ± 0.01%). The classification accuracy within [–45°, 45°] of the true direction is 70.03 ± 8.14% for single-participant and 62.63 ± 6.07% for group-level which may be promising for some real-life applications. Clustering and contribution analyses further revealed the brain regions involved in finger movement and the temporal aspect of their contribution to the classification. These results showed the possibility of using the ICA-based method in combination with other methods to build a real-time system to control prostheses.

Keywords: brain-computer interface, electroencephalography, finger motion decoding, independent component analysis, pseudo real-time motion decoding

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1 The Effect of Vibration Amplitude on Tissue Temperature and Lesion Size When Using a Vibrating Cardiac Catheter

Authors: Kaihong Yu, Tetsui Yamashita, Shigeaki Shingyochi, Kazuo Matsumoto, Makoto Ohta


During cardiac ablation, high power delivery for deeper lesion formation is limited by electrode-tissue interface overheating which can cause serious complications such as thrombus. To prevent this overheating, temperature control and open irrigation are often used. In temperature control, radiofrequency generator is adjusted to deliver the maximum output power, which maintains the electrode temperature at a target temperature (commonly 55°C or 60°C). Then the electrode-tissue interface temperature is also limited. The electrode temperature is a result of heating from the contacted tissue and cooling from the surrounding blood. Because the cooling from blood is decreased under conditions of low blood flow, the generator needs to decrease the output power. Thus, temperature control cannot deliver high power under conditions of low blood flow. In open irrigation, saline in room temperature is flushed through the holes arranged in the electrode. The electrode-tissue interface is cooled by the sufficient environmental cooling. And high power delivery can also be done under conditions of low blood flow. However, a large amount of saline infusions (approximately 1500 ml) during irrigation can cause other serious complication. When open irrigation cannot be used under conditions of low blood flow, a new overheating prevention may be required. The authors have proposed a new electrode cooling method by making the catheter vibrating. The previous work has introduced that the vibration can make a cooling effect on electrode, which may result form that the vibration could increase the flow velocity around the catheter. The previous work has also proved that increasing vibration frequency can increase the cooling by vibration. However, the effect of the vibration amplitude is still unknown. Thus, the present study investigated the effect of vibration amplitude on tissue temperature and lesion size. An agar phantom model was used as a tissue-equivalent material for measuring tissue temperature. Thermocouples were inserted into the agar to measure the internal temperature. Porcine myocardium was used for lesion size measurement. A normal ablation catheter was set perpendicular to the tissue (agar or porcine myocardium) with 10 gf contact force in 37°C saline without flow. Vibration amplitude of ± 0.5, ± 0.75, and ± 1.0 mm with a constant frequency (31 Hz or 63) was used. A temperature control protocol (45°C for agar phantom, 60°C for porcine myocardium) was used for the radiofrequency applications. The larger amplitude shows the larger lesion sizes. And the higher tissue temperatures in agar phantom are also shown with the higher amplitude. With a same frequency, the larger amplitude has the higher vibrating speed. And the higher vibrating speed will increase the flow velocity around the electrode more, which leads to a larger electrode temperature decrease. To maintain the electrode at the target temperature, ablator has to increase the output power. With the higher output power in the same duration, the released energy also increases. Consequently, the tissue temperature will be increased and lead to larger lesion sizes.

Keywords: cardiac ablation, electrode cooling, lesion size, tissue temperature

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