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  1. null (Ed.)
    In this work, we investigated the classification of texture by neuromorphic tactile encoding and an unsupervised learning method. Additionally, we developed an adaptive classification algorithm to detect and characterize the presence of new texture data. The neuromorphic tactile encoding of textures from a multilayer tactile sensor was based on the physical structure and afferent spike signaling of human glabrous skin mechanoreceptors. We explored different neuromorphic spike pattern metrics and dimensionality reduction techniques in order to maximize classification accuracy while improving computational efficiency. Using a dataset composed of 3 textures, we showed that unsupervised learning of the neuromorphic tactile encoding data had high classification accuracy (mean=86.46%, sd=5 .44%). Moreover, the adaptive classification algorithm was successful at determining that there were 3 underlying textures in the training dataset. In this work, tactile information is transformed into neuromorphic spiking activity that can be used as a stimulation pattern to elicit texture sensation for prosthesis users. Furthermore, we provide the basis for identifying new textures adaptively which can be used to actively modify stimulation patterns to improve texture discrimination for the user. 
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  2. Abstract

    Vertebrates obtain social information about predation risk by eavesdropping on the alarm calls of sympatric species. In the Holarctic, birds in the family Paridae function as sentinel species; however, factors shaping eavesdroppers' reliance on their alarm calls are unknown. We compared three hypothesized drivers of eavesdropper reliance: (a) foraging ecology, (b) degree of sociality, and (c) call relevance (caller‐to‐eavesdropper body‐size difference). In a rigorous causal‐comparative design, we presented Tufted Titmouse (Baeolophus bicolor) alarm calls to 242 individuals of 31 ecologically diverse bird species in Florida forests and recorded presence/absence and type (diving for cover or freezing in place) of response. Playback response was near universal, as individuals responded to 87% of presentations (N = 211). As an exception to this trend, the sit‐and‐wait flycatcher Eastern Phoebe (Sayornis phoebe) represented 48% of the nonresponses. We tested 12 predictor variables representing measures relevant to the three hypothesized drivers, distance to playback speaker, and vulnerability at time of playback (eavesdropper's microhabitat when alarm call is detected). Using model‐averaged generalized linear models, we determined that foraging ecology best predicted playback response, with aerial foragers responding less often. Foraging ecology (distance from trunk) and microhabitat occupied during playback (distance to escape cover) best predicted escape behavior type. We encountered a sparsity of sit‐and‐wait flycatchers (3 spp.), yet their contrasting responses relative to other foraging behaviors clearly identified foraging ecology as a driver of species‐specific antipredator escape behavior. Our findings align well with known links between the exceptional visual acuity and other phenotypic traits of flycatchers that allow them to rely more heavily on personal rather than social information while foraging. Our results suggest that foraging ecology drives species‐specific antipredator behavior based on the availability and type of escape cover.

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  3. Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 1, 2024