Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 13

Search results for: T. Nishimura

13 Cell-Cell Interactions in Diseased Conditions Revealed by Three Dimensional and Intravital Two Photon Microscope: From Visualization to Quantification

Authors: Satoshi Nishimura


Although much information has been garnered from the genomes of humans and mice, it remains difficult to extend that information to explain physiological and pathological phenomena. This is because the processes underlying life are by nature stochastic and fluctuate with time. Thus, we developed novel "in vivo molecular imaging" method based on single and two-photon microscopy. We visualized and analyzed many life phenomena, including common adult diseases. We integrated the knowledge obtained, and established new models that will serve as the basis for new minimally invasive therapeutic approaches.

Keywords: two photon microscope, intravital visualization, thrombus, artery

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12 Science Subjects Studied and Relation to Income after University Graduation: An Empirical Analysis in Japan

Authors: Kazuo Nishimura, Junichi Hirata, Tadashi Yagi, Junko Urasaka


This paper is an investigation of the effect of science education during the high school education how science graduates of universities are appreciated in the labor market in Japan. We conducted a survey utilizing the internet and analyzed the subjects they were good at and their annual income. The results confirm that among science graduates, workers adept at physics tend to have higher incomes compared to workers good at other subjects. Generational analysis based on the curriculum guideline amendments reveals that the generational difference is small among science majors who are good at physics.

Keywords: curriculum, income, physics, science

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11 Photovoltaic Array Cleaning System Design and Evaluation

Authors: Ghoname Abdullah, Hidekazu Nishimura


Dust accumulation on the photovoltaic module's surface results in appreciable loss and negatively affects the generated power. Hence, in this paper, the design of a photovoltaic array cleaning system is presented. The cleaning system utilizes one drive motor, two guide rails, and four sweepers during the cleaning process. The cleaning system was experimentally implemented for one month to investigate its efficiency on PV array energy output. The energy capture over a month for PV array cleaned using the proposed cleaning system is compared with that of the energy capture using soiled PV array. The results show a 15% increase in energy generation from PV array with cleaning. From the results, investigating the optimal scheduling of the PV array cleaning could be an interesting research topic.

Keywords: cleaning system, dust accumulation, PV array, PV module, soiling

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10 Development of Sound Tactile Interface by Use of Human Sensation of Stiffness

Authors: K. Doi, T. Nishimura, M. Umeda


There are very few sound interfaces that both healthy people and hearing handicapped people can use to play together. In this study, we developed a sound tactile interface that makes use of the human sensation of stiffness. The interface comprises eight elastic objects having varying degrees of stiffness. Each elastic object is shaped like a column. When people with and without hearing disabilities press each elastic object, different sounds are produced depending on the stiffness of the elastic object. The types of sounds used were “Do Re Mi sounds.” The interface has a major advantage in that people with or without hearing disabilities can play with it. We found that users were able to recognize the hardness sensation and relate it to the corresponding Do Re Mi sounds.

Keywords: tactile sense, sound interface, stiffness perception, elastic object

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9 Influence of Tactile Symbol Size on Its Perceptibility in Consideration of Effect of Aging

Authors: T. Nishimura, K. Doi, H. Fujimoto, T. Wada


We conducted perception experiments on tactile symbols to elucidate the impact of the size of these letters on the level of perceptibility. This study was based on the accessible design perspective and aimed at expanding the availability of tactile symbols for the visually impaired who are unable to read Braille characters. In particular, this study targeted people with acquired visual impairments as users of the tactile symbols. The subjects (young and elderly individuals) in this study had normal vision. They were asked to participate in the experiments to identify tactile symbols while unable to see their hand during the experiments. This study investigated the relation between the size and perceptibility of tactile symbols based on an examination using test pieces of these letters in different sizes. The results revealed that the error rates for both young and elderly subjects converged to almost 0% when 12 mm size tactile symbols were used. The findings also showed that the error rate was low and subjects could identify the symbols in 5 s when 16 mm size tactile symbols were introduced.

Keywords: accessible design, tactile sense, tactile symbols, bioinformatic

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8 Development of a Method to Prepare In-School Tactile Guide Maps for Visually Impaired School Children

Authors: K. Doi, T. Nishimura, M. Kawano, H. Fujimoto, Y. Tanaka, M. Sawada, S. Oouchi, T. Kaneko, K. Kanamori


As part of reasonable accommodation for people with disabilities in Japan, which has ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, tactile guide maps are necessary. Such maps can enable visually impaired children to attend schools of special needs education (visual impairments) to grasp the arrangement of classrooms on their school campuses. However, it takes many years to be able to use a tactile guide map without difficulty. Thus, information support, in which audio information is added in addition to tactile information, is required. In the present research, a method to prepare an in-school tactile guide map with an additional audio reading function was developed. This map can enable visually impaired school children attending schools of special needs education (visual impairments) to grasp the arrangement of classrooms on their school campuses.

Keywords: accessible design, visually impaired, braille, tactile map, in-school tactile guide map

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7 Influence of Readability of Paper-Based Braille on Vertical and Horizontal Dot Spacing in Braille Beginners

Authors: K. Doi, T. Nishimura, H. Fujimoto


The number of people who become visually impaired and do not have sufficient tactile experiences has increased by various disease. Especially, many acquired visually impaired persons due to accidents, disorders, and aging cannot adequately read Braille. It is known that learning Braille requires a great deal of time and the acquisition of various skills. In our previous studies, we reported one of the problems in learning Braille. Concretely, the standard Braille size is too small for Braille beginners. And also we are short of the objective data regarding easily readable Braille size. Therefore, it is necessary to conduct various experiments for evaluating Braille size that would make learning easier for beginners. In this study, for the purpose of investigating easy-to-read conditions of vertical and horizontal dot spacing for beginners, we conducted one Braille reading experiment. In this our experiment, we prepared test pieces by use of our original Braille printer with controlling function of Braille size. We specifically considered Braille beginners with acquired visual impairments who were unfamiliar with Braille. Therefore, ten sighted subjects with no experience of reading Braille participated in this experiment. Size of vertical and horizontal dot spacing was following conditions. Each dot spacing was 2.0, 2.3, 2.5, 2.7, 2.9, 3.1mm. The subjects were asked to read one Braille character with controlled Braille size. The results of this experiment reveal that Braille beginners can read Braille accurately and quickly when both vertical and horizontal dot spacing are 3.1 mm or more. This knowledge will be helpful data in considering Braille size for acquired visually impaired persons.

Keywords: paper-based Braille, vertical and horizontal dot spacing, readability, acquired visual impairment, Braille beginner

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6 Prosocial Behavior and Satisfaction with School Life in Elementary Children: From the Perspective of Classroom Environment

Authors: Takuma Yamamoto


Present study investigated the relationship between elementary school children’s prosocial behavior in classroom and satisfaction with school life (approval and victimization from other children) with considering from the perspective of classroom social goal structures (prosocial and compliance goal structures). Participants were 755 elementary school children (393 boys, 362 girls, mean range= 10-12, 5th grader and 6th grader) who were living in Chugoku District, Japan. They filled up questionnaire which was consisted of Murakami, Nishimura and Sakurai’s (2016) prosocial behavior toward friend scale, Kawamura and Tagami’s (1997) satisfaction in classroom scale and Ohtani, Okada, Nakaya and Ito’s (2016) classroom social goal structures scale. Regression lines that satisfaction in classroom is dependent variable and prosocial behavior is independent variable for each class were drawn. There were two types of classroom which children’s prosocial behavior correlated with satisfaction positively and did not. Then one-way MANOVA was conducted to further describe two types of classroom which prosocial behavior increased satisfaction in classroom (type 1) and prosocial behavior decreased satisfaction (type 2). MANOVA for Prosocial goal structure was significant, type 1 > type 2. There were two key findings from this study. First, MANOVA for prosocial goal structure was significant. Second, high score of prosocial goal structure was not necessary condition for the classroom type which children’s prosocial behavior correlated with satisfaction. The implications from these key findings were: (1) in the low prosocial goal structure classroom, children will not behave prosocially because of their negative expectation for the effect of prosocial behavior, (2) this study can be a contribution for classroom management that teachers need to consider about the negative possibilities of prosocial behavior when they try to increase the amount of children’s positive behavior.

Keywords: elementary school children, classroom social goal structure, satisfaction with school life, prosocial behavior

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5 Evaluation Study of Easily Identification of Tactile Symbol on Body Soap Bottle

Authors: K. Doi, T. Nishimura, H. Fujimoto, Y. Hoshikawa, T. Wada


Japanese industrial standard (JIS) association established one JIS (JIS S 0021) regarding packaging accessible design for people with visual impairments and elderly people in 2000. Recently, tactile symbol on shampoo bottle has been known as one of package accessible design and more effectively used. However, it has been said that people with visual impairment have been not been in trouble with difficulty of identifying body soap bottle between three bottles such as body soap bottle, shampoo bottle, and conditioner bottle. Japanese low vision association asked JIS association to solve this problem. JIS association and Japan cosmetic industry association constituted one review team for solving the problem. The review team asked our research team to make a proposal regarding new tactile symbol on body soap bottle. We conducted user survey and maker survey regarding tactile symbol on body soap bottle with easily identification. Seven test tactile symbol marks were elected in our proposed tactile symbols. In this study, we evaluate easily identification of tactile symbol on body soap bottle. Six visual impaired subjects were participated in our experiment. These subjects were asked to identify body soap bottle between three bottles such as body soap bottle, shampoo bottle, and conditioner bottle. The test tactile symbol on body soap were presented in random order. The test tactile symbols were produced by use of our originally developed 3D raised equipment. From our study, test tactile symbol marks with easily identification were made a short list of our proposed tactile symbols. This knowledge will be helpful in revision of ISO 11156.

Keywords: tactile symbol, easily identification, body soap, people with visual impairments

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4 Basic Examination of Easily Distinguishable Tactile Symbols Attached to Containers and Packaging

Authors: T. Nishimura, K. Doi, H. Fujimoto, Y. Hoshikawa, T. Wada


In Japan, it is expected that reasonable accommodation for persons with disabilities will progress further. In particular, there is an urgent need to enhance information support for visually impaired persons who have difficulty accessing information. Recently, tactile symbols have been attached to various surfaces, such as the content labels of containers and packaging of various everyday products. The advantage of tactile symbols is that they are useful for visually impaired persons who cannot read Braille. The method of displaying tactile symbols is prescribed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). However, the quantitative data on the shapes and dimensions of tactile symbols is insufficient. In this study, through an evaluation experiments, we examine the easy-to-distinguish shapes and dimensions of tactile symbols used for various applications, including the content labels on containers and packaging. Visually impaired persons participated in the experiments. They used tactile symbols on a daily basis. The details and processes of the experiments were orally explained to the participants prior to the experiments, and the informed consent of the participants was obtained. They were instructed to touch the test pieces of tactile symbols freely with both hands. These tactile symbols were selected because they were likely to be easily distinguishable symbols on the content labels of top surfaces of containers and packaging based on a hearing survey that involved employees of an organization of visually impaired and a social welfare corporation, as well as academic experts of support technology for visually impaired. The participants then answered questions related to ease of distinguishing of tactile symbols on a scale of 5 (where 1 corresponded to ‘difficult to distinguish’ and 5 corresponded to ‘easy to distinguish’). Hearing surveys were also performed in an oral free answer manner with the participants after the experiments. This study revealed the shapes and dimensions regarding easily distinguishable tactile symbols attached to containers and packaging. We expect that this knowledge contributes to improvement of the quality of life of visually impaired persons.

Keywords: visual impairment, accessible design, tactile symbol, containers and packaging

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3 Development of Beeswax-Discharge Writing Material for Visually Impaired Persons

Authors: K. Doi, T. Nishimura, H. Fujimoto, T. Tanaka


It has been known that visually impaired persons have some problems in getting visual information. Therefore, information accessibility for the visually impaired persons is very important in a current information society. Some application software with read-aloud function for using personal computer and smartphone are getting more and more popular among visually impaired persons in the world. On the other hand, it is also very important for being able to learn how to read and write characters such as Braille and Visual character. Braille typewriter has been widely used in learning Braille. And also raised-line drawing kits as writing material has been used for decades for especially acquired visually impaired persons. However, there are some drawbacks such as the drawn line cannot be erased. Moreover, visibility of drawing lines is not so good for visually impaired with low vision. We had significant number of requests for developing new writing material for especially acquired visually impaired persons instead of raised-line drawing kits. For conducting development research of novel writing material, we could receive a research grant from ministry of health, labor and welfare in Japanese government. In this research, we developed writing material typed pens and pencils with Beeswax-discharge instead of conventional raised-line drawing kits. This writing material was equipped with cartridge heater for melting beeswax and its heat controller. When this pen users held down the pen tip on the regular paper such as fine paper and so on, the melted beeswax could be discharged from pen tip with valve structure. The beeswax was discharged at 100 gf of holding down force based on results of our previous trial study. The shape of pen tip was semispherical for becoming low friction between pen tip and surface of paper. We conducted one basic experiment to evaluate influence of the curvature of pen tip on ease to write. Concretely, the conditions of curvature was 0.15, 0.35, 0.50, 1.00 mm. The following four interval scales were used as indexes of subjective assessment during writing such as feeling of smooth motion of pen, feeling of comfortable writing, sense of security and feeling of writing fatigue. Ten subjects were asked to participate in this experiment. The results reveal that subjects could draw easily when the radius of the pen tip was 1.00 mm, and lines drawn with beeswax-discharge writing material were easy to perceive.

Keywords: beeswax-discharge writing material, raised-line drawing kits, visually impaired persons, pen tip

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2 Relationship between Readability of Paper-Based Braille and Character Spacing

Authors: T. Nishimura, K. Doi, H. Fujimoto, T. Wada


The Number of people with acquired visual impairments has increased in recent years. In specialized courses at schools for the blind and in Braille lessons offered by social welfare organizations, many people with acquired visual impairments cannot learn to read adequately Braille. One of the reasons is that the common Braille patterns for people visual impairments who already has mature Braille reading skill being difficult to read for Braille reading beginners. In addition, there is the scanty knowledge of Braille book manufacturing companies regarding what Braille patterns would be easy to read for beginners. Therefore, it is required to investigate a suitable Braille patterns would be easy to read for beginners. In order to obtain knowledge regarding suitable Braille patterns for beginners, this study aimed to elucidate the relationship between readability of paper-based Braille and its patterns. This study focused on character spacing, which readily affects Braille reading ability, to determine a suitable character spacing ratio (ratio of character spacing to dot spacing) for beginners. Specifically, considering beginners with acquired visual impairments who are unfamiliar with reading Braille, we quantitatively evaluated the effect of character spacing ratio on Braille readability through an evaluation experiment using sighted subjects with no experience of reading Braille. In this experiment, ten sighted adults took the blindfold were asked to read test piece (three Braille characters). Braille used as test piece was composed of five dots. They were asked to touch the Braille by sliding their forefinger on the test piece immediately after the test examiner gave a signal to start the experiment. Then, they were required to release their forefinger from the test piece when they perceived the Braille characters. Seven conditions depended on character spacing ratio was held (i.e., 1.2, 1.4, 1.5, 1.6, 1.8, 2.0, 2.2 [mm]), and the other four depended on the dot spacing (i.e., 2.0, 2.5, 3.0, 3.5 [mm]). Ten trials were conducted for each conditions. The test pieces are created using by NISE Graphic could print Braille adjusted arbitrary value of character spacing and dot spacing with high accuracy. We adopted the evaluation indices for correct rate, reading time, and subjective readability to investigate how the character spacing ratio affects Braille readability. The results showed that Braille reading beginners could read Braille accurately and quickly, when character spacing ratio is more than 1.8 and dot spacing is more than 3.0 mm. Furthermore, it is difficult to read Braille accurately and quickly for beginners, when both character spacing and dot spacing are small. For this study, suitable character spacing ratio to make reading easy for Braille beginners is revealed.

Keywords: Braille, character spacing, people with visual impairments, readability

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1 Relationship between Thumb Length and Pointing Performance on Portable Terminal with Touch-Sensitive Screen

Authors: Takahiro Nishimura, Kouki Doi, Hiroshi Fujimoto


Touch-sensitive screens that serve as displays and input devices have been adopted in many portable terminals such as smartphones and personal media players, and the market of touch-sensitive screens has expanded greatly. One of the advantages of touch-sensitive screen is the flexibility in the graphical user interface (GUI) design, and it is imperative to design an appropriate GUI to realize an easy-to-use interface. Moreover, it is important to evaluate the relationship between pointing performance and GUI design. There is much knowledge regarding easy-to-use GUI designs for portable terminals with touch-sensitive screens, and most have focused on GUI design approaches for women or children with small hands. In contrast, GUI design approaches for users with large hands have not received sufficient attention. In this study, to obtain knowledge that contributes to the establishment of individualized easy-to-use GUI design guidelines, we conducted experiments to investigate the relationship between thumb length and pointing performance on portable terminals with touch-sensitive screens. In this study, fourteen college students who participated in the experiment were divided into two groups based on the length of their thumbs. Specifically, we categorized the participants into two groups, thumbs longer than 64.2 mm into L (Long) group, and thumbs longer than 57.4 mm but shorter than 64.2 mm into A (Average) group, based on Japanese anthropometric database. They took part in this study under the authorization of Waseda University’s ‘Ethics Review Committee on Research with Human Subjects’. We created an application for the experimental task and implemented it on the projected capacitive touch-sensitive screen portable terminal (iPod touch (4th generation)). The display size was 3.5 inch and 960 × 640 - pixel resolution at 326 ppi (pixels per inch). This terminal was selected as the experimental device, because of its wide use and market share. The operational procedure of the application is as follows. First, the participants placed their thumb on the start position. Then, one cross-shaped target in a 10 × 7 array of 70 positions appeared at random. The participants pointed the target with their thumb as accurately and as fast as possible. Then, they returned their thumb to the start position and waited. The operation ended when this procedure had been repeated until all 70 targets had each been pointed at once by the participants. We adopted the evaluation indices for absolute error, variable error, and pointing time to investigate pointing performance when using the portable terminal. The results showed that pointing performance varied with thumb length. In particular, on the lower right side of the screen, the performance of L group with long thumb was low. Further, we presented an approach for designing easy-to- use button GUI for users with long thumbs. The contributions of this study include revelation of the relationship between pointing performance and user’s thumb length when using a portable terminal in terms of accuracy, precision, and speed of pointing. We hope that these findings contribute to an easy-to-use GUI design for users with large hands.

Keywords: pointing performance, portable terminal, thumb length, touch-sensitive screen

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