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Sample records for alter visual attention

  1. Encouraging expressions affect the brain and alter visual attention.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manuel Martín-Loeches

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Very often, encouraging or discouraging expressions are used in competitive contexts, such as sports practice, aiming at provoking an emotional reaction on the listener and, consequently, an effect on subsequent cognition and/or performance. However, the actual efficiency of these expressions has not been tested scientifically. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: To fill this gap, we studied the effects of encouraging, discouraging, and neutral expressions on event-related brain electrical activity during a visual selective attention task in which targets were determined by location, shape, and color. Although the expressions preceded the attentional task, both encouraging and discouraging messages elicited a similar long-lasting brain emotional response present during the visuospatial task. In addition, encouraging expressions were able to alter the customary working pattern of the visual attention system for shape selection in the attended location, increasing the P1 and the SP modulations while simultaneously fading away the SN. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: This was interpreted as an enhancement of the attentional processes for shape in the attended location after an encouraging expression. It can be stated, therefore, that encouraging expressions, as those used in sport practice, as well as in many other contexts and situations, do seem to be efficient in exerting emotional reactions and measurable effects on cognition.

  2. Attention Alters Perceived Attractiveness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Störmer, Viola S; Alvarez, George A

    2016-04-01

    Can attention alter the impression of a face? Previous studies showed that attention modulates the appearance of lower-level visual features. For instance, attention can make a simple stimulus appear to have higher contrast than it actually does. We tested whether attention can also alter the perception of a higher-order property-namely, facial attractiveness. We asked participants to judge the relative attractiveness of two faces after summoning their attention to one of the faces using a briefly presented visual cue. Across trials, participants judged the attended face to be more attractive than the same face when it was unattended. This effect was not due to decision or response biases, but rather was due to changes in perceptual processing of the faces. These results show that attention alters perceived facial attractiveness, and broadly demonstrate that attention can influence higher-level perception and may affect people's initial impressions of one another.

  3. Volitional regulation of emotions produces distributed alterations in connectivity between visual, attention control, and default networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sripada, Chandra; Angstadt, Michael; Kessler, Daniel; Phan, K Luan; Liberzon, Israel; Evans, Gary W; Welsh, Robert C; Kim, Pilyoung; Swain, James E

    2014-04-01

    The ability to volitionally regulate emotions is critical to health and well-being. While patterns of neural activation during emotion regulation have been well characterized, patterns of connectivity between regions remain less explored. It is increasingly recognized that the human brain is organized into large-scale intrinsic connectivity networks (ICNs) whose interrelationships are altered in characteristic ways during psychological tasks. In this fMRI study of 54 healthy individuals, we investigated alterations in connectivity within and between ICNs produced by the emotion regulation strategy of reappraisal. In order to gain a comprehensive picture of connectivity changes, we utilized connectomic psychophysiological interactions (PPI), a whole-brain generalization of standard single-seed PPI methods. In particular, we quantified PPI connectivity pair-wise across 837 ROIs placed throughout the cortex. We found that compared to maintaining one's emotional responses, engaging in reappraisal produced robust and distributed alterations in functional connections involving visual, dorsal attention, frontoparietal, and default networks. Visual network in particular increased connectivity with multiple ICNs including dorsal attention and default networks. We interpret these findings in terms of the role of these networks in mediating critical constituent processes in emotion regulation, including visual processing, stimulus salience, attention control, and interpretation and contextualization of stimuli. Our results add a new network perspective to our understanding of the neural underpinnings of emotion regulation, and highlight that connectomic methods can play a valuable role in comprehensively investigating modulation of connectivity across task conditions.

  4. Changes in the distribution of sustained attention alter the perceived structure of visual space.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fortenbaugh, Francesca C; Robertson, Lynn C; Esterman, Michael

    2017-02-01

    Visual spatial attention is a critical process that allows for the selection and enhanced processing of relevant objects and locations. While studies have shown attentional modulations of perceived location and the representation of distance information across multiple objects, there remains disagreement regarding what influence spatial attention has on the underlying structure of visual space. The present study utilized a method of magnitude estimation in which participants must judge the location of briefly presented targets within the boundaries of their individual visual fields in the absence of any other objects or boundaries. Spatial uncertainty of target locations was used to assess perceived locations across distributed and focused attention conditions without the use of external stimuli, such as visual cues. Across two experiments we tested locations along the cardinal and 45° oblique axes. We demonstrate that focusing attention within a region of space can expand the perceived size of visual space; even in cases where doing so makes performance less accurate. Moreover, the results of the present studies show that when fixation is actively maintained, focusing attention along a visual axis leads to an asymmetrical stretching of visual space that is predominantly focused across the central half of the visual field, consistent with an expansive gradient along the focus of voluntary attention. These results demonstrate that focusing sustained attention peripherally during active fixation leads to an asymmetrical expansion of visual space within the central visual field.

  5. Principles of visual attention

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bundesen, Claus; Habekost, Thomas

    The nature of attention is one of the oldest and most central problems in psychology. A huge amount of research has been produced on this subject in the last half century, especially on attention in the visual modality, but a general explanation has remained elusive. Many still view attention...... research as a field that is fundamentally fragmented. This book takes a different perspective and presents a unified theory of visual attention: the TVA model. The TVA model explains the many aspects of visual attention by just two mechanisms for selection of information: filtering and pigeonholing....... These mechanisms are described in a set of simple equations, which allow TVA to mathematically model a large number of classical results in the attention literature. The theory explains psychological and neuroscientific findings by the same equations; TVA is a complete theory of visual attention, linking mind...

  6. Adaptive visual attention model

    OpenAIRE

    Hügli, Heinz; Bur, Alexandre

    2009-01-01

    Visual attention, defined as the ability of a biological or artificial vision system to rapidly detect potentially relevant parts of a visual scene, provides a general purpose solution for low level feature detection in a vision architecture. Well considered for its universal detection behaviour, the general model of visual attention is suited for any environment but inferior to dedicated feature detectors in more specific environments. The goal of the development presented in this paper is t...

  7. Visual attention and stability

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mathot, Sebastiaan; Theeuwes, Jan

    2011-01-01

    In the present review, we address the relationship between attention and visual stability. Even though with each eye, head and body movement the retinal image changes dramatically, we perceive the world as stable and are able to perform visually guided actions. However, visual stability is not as co

  8. Rewards teach visual selective attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chelazzi, Leonardo; Perlato, Andrea; Santandrea, Elisa; Della Libera, Chiara

    2013-06-07

    Visual selective attention is the brain function that modulates ongoing processing of retinal input in order for selected representations to gain privileged access to perceptual awareness and guide behavior. Enhanced analysis of currently relevant or otherwise salient information is often accompanied by suppressed processing of the less relevant or salient input. Recent findings indicate that rewards exert a powerful influence on the deployment of visual selective attention. Such influence takes different forms depending on the specific protocol adopted in the given study. In some cases, the prospect of earning a larger reward in relation to a specific stimulus or location biases attention accordingly in order to maximize overall gain. This is mediated by an effect of reward acting as a type of incentive motivation for the strategic control of attention. In contrast, reward delivery can directly alter the processing of specific stimuli by increasing their attentional priority, and this can be measured even when rewards are no longer involved, reflecting a form of reward-mediated attentional learning. As a further development, recent work demonstrates that rewards can affect attentional learning in dissociable ways depending on whether rewards are perceived as feedback on performance or instead are registered as random-like events occurring during task performance. Specifically, it appears that visual selective attention is shaped by two distinct reward-related learning mechanisms: one requiring active monitoring of performance and outcome, and a second one detecting the sheer association between objects in the environment (whether attended or ignored) and the more-or-less rewarding events that accompany them. Overall this emerging literature demonstrates unequivocally that rewards "teach" visual selective attention so that processing resources will be allocated to objects, features and locations which are likely to optimize the organism's interaction with the

  9. P2-11: Attentional Control Setting Did Not Alter the Interference from Global Collinear Distractor in Visual Search

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wan-Chen Chang

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available A salient item usually captures our attention in visual search. When a distractor is salient, it should help observers to find a target that was overlapping it. However, in Jingling and Tseng (in press Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance doi: 10.1037/a0027325, a target overlapping with a salient distractor took longer to discriminate than that which was non-overlapped, if the salient distractor was grouped by collinearity. One of the reasons for prolonged responses in overlapping targets is that the collinear distractor was not contingent on the attentional control setting of task requirements. More specifically, the target was a broken bar, which might induce an attentional control setting on searching for discontinuity. Meanwhile, the distractor was grouped continuously, which was against the attentional control setting and generated interference to the overlapping target. In this study, we modified the definition of the target and tested whether the interference was preserved when the attentional control setting was not on discontinuity. The target was either a diamond or a square, and was either overlapping or not with the collinear salient distractor. Participants discriminated the shape of the target. The results replicated our previous study in that overlapping targets were harder to find. Our result argued against the possibility that the interference was induced by conflicts between the collinear distractor and the attentional control setting, implying that the interference might have been generated from earlier perceptual processing.

  10. Perception and Attention for Visualization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haroz, Steve

    2013-01-01

    This work examines how a better understanding of visual perception and attention can impact visualization design. In a collection of studies, I explore how different levels of the visual system can measurably affect a variety of visualization metrics. The results show that expert preference, user performance, and even computational performance are…

  11. Perception and Attention for Visualization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haroz, Steve

    2013-01-01

    This work examines how a better understanding of visual perception and attention can impact visualization design. In a collection of studies, I explore how different levels of the visual system can measurably affect a variety of visualization metrics. The results show that expert preference, user performance, and even computational performance are…

  12. Visual attention: The past 25 years

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carrasco, Marisa

    2012-01-01

    This review focuses on covert attention and how it alters early vision. I explain why attention is considered a selective process, the constructs of covert attention, spatial endogenous and exogenous attention, and feature-based attention. I explain how in the last 25 years research on attention has characterized the effects of covert attention on spatial filters and how attention influences the selection of stimuli of interest. This review includes the effects of spatial attention on discriminability and appearance in tasks mediated by contrast sensitivity and spatial resolution; the effects of feature-based attention on basic visual processes, and a comparison of the effects of spatial and feature-based attention. The emphasis of this review is on psychophysical studies, but relevant electrophysiological and neuroimaging studies and models regarding how and where neuronal responses are modulated are also discussed. PMID:21549742

  13. Early vision and visual attention

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gvozdenović Vasilije P.

    2003-01-01

    Full Text Available The question whether visual perception is spontaneous, sudden or is running through several phases, mediated by higher cognitive processes, was raised ever since the early work of Gestalt psychologists. In the early 1980s, Treisman proposed the feature integration theory of attention (FIT, based on the findings of neuroscience. Soon after publishing her theory a new scientific approach appeared investigating several visual perception phenomena. The most widely researched were the key constructs of FIT, like types of visual search and the role of the attention. The following review describes the main studies of early vision and visual attention.

  14. Visual attention capacity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Habekost, Thomas; Starrfelt, Randi

    2009-01-01

    to patient testing, and review existing TVA-based patient studies organized by lesion anatomy. Lesions in three anatomical regions affect visual capacity: The parietal lobes, frontal cortex and basal ganglia, and extrastriate cortex. Visual capacity thus depends on large, bilaterally distributed anatomical...

  15. Visual attention in posterior stroke

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fabricius, Charlotte; Petersen, Anders; Iversen, Helle K

    Objective: Impaired visual attention is common following strokes in the territory of the middle cerebral artery, particularly in the right hemisphere. However, attentional effects of more posterior lesions are less clear. The aim of this study was to characterize visual processing speed and appre......Objective: Impaired visual attention is common following strokes in the territory of the middle cerebral artery, particularly in the right hemisphere. However, attentional effects of more posterior lesions are less clear. The aim of this study was to characterize visual processing speed...... and apprehension span following posterior cerebral artery (PCA) stroke. We also relate these attentional parameters to visual word recognition, as previous studies have suggested that reduced visual speed and span may explain pure alexia. Methods: Nine patients with MR-verified focal lesions in the PCA......-territory (four left PCA; four right PCA; one bilateral, all >1 year post stroke) were compared to 25 controls using single case statistics. Visual attention was characterized by a whole report paradigm allowing for hemifield-specific speed and span measurements. We also characterized visual field defects...

  16. Preparatory attention in visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Battistoni, Elisa; Stein, Timo; Peelen, Marius V

    2017-05-01

    Top-down attention is the mechanism that allows us to selectively process goal-relevant aspects of a scene while ignoring irrelevant aspects. A large body of research has characterized the effects of attention on neural activity evoked by a visual stimulus. However, attention also includes a preparatory phase before stimulus onset in which the attended dimension is internally represented. Here, we review neurophysiological, functional magnetic resonance imaging, magnetoencephalography, electroencephalography, and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) studies investigating the neural basis of preparatory attention, both when attention is directed to a location in space and when it is directed to nonspatial stimulus attributes (content-based attention) ranging from low-level features to object categories. Results show that both spatial and content-based attention lead to increased baseline activity in neural populations that selectively code for the attended attribute. TMS studies provide evidence that this preparatory activity is causally related to subsequent attentional selection and behavioral performance. Attention thus acts by preactivating selective neurons in the visual cortex before stimulus onset. This appears to be a general mechanism that can operate on multiple levels of representation. We discuss the functional relevance of this mechanism, its limitations, and its relation to working memory, imagery, and expectation. We conclude by outlining open questions and future directions. © 2017 New York Academy of Sciences.

  17. Music alters visual perception.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jacob Jolij

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Visual perception is not a passive process: in order to efficiently process visual input, the brain actively uses previous knowledge (e.g., memory and expectations about what the world should look like. However, perception is not only influenced by previous knowledge. Especially the perception of emotional stimuli is influenced by the emotional state of the observer. In other words, how we perceive the world does not only depend on what we know of the world, but also by how we feel. In this study, we further investigated the relation between mood and perception. METHODS AND FINDINGS: We let observers do a difficult stimulus detection task, in which they had to detect schematic happy and sad faces embedded in noise. Mood was manipulated by means of music. We found that observers were more accurate in detecting faces congruent with their mood, corroborating earlier research. However, in trials in which no actual face was presented, observers made a significant number of false alarms. The content of these false alarms, or illusory percepts, was strongly influenced by the observers' mood. CONCLUSIONS: As illusory percepts are believed to reflect the content of internal representations that are employed by the brain during top-down processing of visual input, we conclude that top-down modulation of visual processing is not purely predictive in nature: mood, in this case manipulated by music, may also directly alter the way we perceive the world.

  18. Attentional episodes in visual perception

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wyble, Brad; Potter, Mary C.; Bowman, Howard; Nieuwenstein, Mark

    2011-01-01

    Is one's temporal perception of the world truly as seamless as it appears? This article presents a computationally motivated theory suggesting that visual attention samples information from temporal episodes (episodic simultaneous type/serial token model; Wyble, Bowman, & Nieuwenstein, 2009). Breaks

  19. Visual attention: The past 25 years

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Carrasco, Marisa

    2011-01-01

    This review focuses on covert attention and how it alters early vision. I explain why attention is considered a selective process, the constructs of covert attention, spatial endogenous and exogenous attention, and feature-based attention...

  20. Brain Connectivity and Visual Attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parks, Emily L.

    2013-01-01

    Abstract Emerging hypotheses suggest that efficient cognitive functioning requires the integration of separate, but interconnected cortical networks in the brain. Although task-related measures of brain activity suggest that a frontoparietal network is associated with the control of attention, little is known regarding how components within this distributed network act together or with other networks to achieve various attentional functions. This review considers both functional and structural studies of brain connectivity, as complemented by behavioral and task-related neuroimaging data. These studies show converging results: The frontal and parietal cortical regions are active together, over time, and identifiable frontoparietal networks are active in relation to specific task demands. However, the spontaneous, low-frequency fluctuations of brain activity that occur in the resting state, without specific task demands, also exhibit patterns of connectivity that closely resemble the task-related, frontoparietal attention networks. Both task-related and resting-state networks exhibit consistent relations to behavioral measures of attention. Further, anatomical structure, particularly white matter pathways as defined by diffusion tensor imaging, places constraints on intrinsic functional connectivity. Lastly, connectivity analyses applied to investigate cognitive differences across individuals in both healthy and diseased states suggest that disconnection of attentional networks is linked to deficits in cognitive functioning, and in extreme cases, to disorders of attention. Thus, comprehensive theories of visual attention and their clinical translation depend on the continued integration of behavioral, task-related neuroimaging, and brain connectivity measures. PMID:23597177

  1. Visual attention: The past 25 years

    OpenAIRE

    Carrasco, Marisa

    2011-01-01

    This review focuses on covert attention and how it alters early vision. I explain why attention is considered a selective process, the constructs of covert attention, spatial endogenous and exogenous attention, and feature-based attention. I explain how in the last 25 years research on attention has characterized the effects of covert attention on spatial filters and how attention influences the selection of stimuli of interest. This review includes the effects of spatial attention on discrim...

  2. Music Alters Visual Perception

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jolij, Jacob; Meurs, Maaike

    2011-01-01

    Background: Visual perception is not a passive process: in order to efficiently process visual input, the brain actively uses previous knowledge (e. g., memory) and expectations about what the world should look like. However, perception is not only influenced by previous knowledge. Especially the pe

  3. Music Alters Visual Perception

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jolij, Jacob; Meurs, Maaike

    2011-01-01

    Background: Visual perception is not a passive process: in order to efficiently process visual input, the brain actively uses previous knowledge (e. g., memory) and expectations about what the world should look like. However, perception is not only influenced by previous knowledge. Especially the

  4. Attention and visual memory in visualization and computer graphics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Healey, Christopher G; Enns, James T

    2012-07-01

    A fundamental goal of visualization is to produce images of data that support visual analysis, exploration, and discovery of novel insights. An important consideration during visualization design is the role of human visual perception. How we "see" details in an image can directly impact a viewer's efficiency and effectiveness. This paper surveys research on attention and visual perception, with a specific focus on results that have direct relevance to visualization and visual analytics. We discuss theories of low-level visual perception, then show how these findings form a foundation for more recent work on visual memory and visual attention. We conclude with a brief overview of how knowledge of visual attention and visual memory is being applied in visualization and graphics. We also discuss how challenges in visualization are motivating research in psychophysics.

  5. Infant visual attention and object recognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reynolds, Greg D

    2015-05-15

    This paper explores the role visual attention plays in the recognition of objects in infancy. Research and theory on the development of infant attention and recognition memory are reviewed in three major sections. The first section reviews some of the major findings and theory emerging from a rich tradition of behavioral research utilizing preferential looking tasks to examine visual attention and recognition memory in infancy. The second section examines research utilizing neural measures of attention and object recognition in infancy as well as research on brain-behavior relations in the early development of attention and recognition memory. The third section addresses potential areas of the brain involved in infant object recognition and visual attention. An integrated synthesis of some of the existing models of the development of visual attention is presented which may account for the observed changes in behavioral and neural measures of visual attention and object recognition that occur across infancy.

  6. Why visual attention and awareness are different

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lamme, V.A.F.

    2003-01-01

    Now that the study of consciousness is warmly embraced by cognitive scientists, much confusion seems to arise between the concepts of visual attention and visual awareness. Often, visual awareness is equated to what is in the focus of attention. There are, however, two sets of arguments to separate

  7. Attention alters the appearance of motion coherence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Taosheng; Fuller, Stuart; Carrasco, Marisa

    2006-12-01

    Selective attention enhances visual information processing, as measured by behavioral performance and neural activity. However, little is known about its effects on subjective experience. Here, we investigated the effect of transient (exogenous) attention on the appearance of visual motion, using a psychophysical procedure that directly measures appearance and controls for response bias. Observers viewed pairs of moving dot patterns and reported the motion direction of the more coherent pattern. Directing attention (via a peripheral precue) to a stimulus location increased its perceived coherence level and improved performance on a direction discrimination task. In a control experiment, we ruled out response bias by lengthening the time interval between the cue and the stimuli, so that the effect of transient attention could no longer be exerted. Our results are consistent with those of neurophysiological studies showing that attention modulates motion processing and provide evidence of a subjective perceptual correlate of attention, with a concomitant effect on performance.

  8. Auditory and visual capture during focused visual attention

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Koelewijn, T.; Bronkhorst, A.W.; Theeuwes, J.

    2009-01-01

    It is well known that auditory and visual onsets presented at a particular location can capture a person’s visual attention. However, the question of whether such attentional capture disappears when attention is focused endogenously beforehand has not yet been answered. Moreover, previous studies ha

  9. [Visual attention and its control mechanisms].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ogawa, Hirokazu

    2014-04-01

    Given the vast amount of visual information in visual scenes, the capacity of our brain to processes such scenes is severely limited. The core mechanism of selection is referred to as visual attention, and it has been the topic of intense investigation for over 25 years in experimental psychology and cognitive neuroscience. Visual attention is not a single, unitary mechanism, but consists of multiple subcomponents. Attention can be directed to various aspects of visual information, such as spatial location, features, or objects. Additionally, attention is guided by external factors such as the salience of stimuli, or whether we are able to move our attention volitionally. The purpose of this article is to review the status of these components of attentional guidance and how they interact with each other, with an emphasis on psychophysical studies.

  10. The role of visual spatial attention in audiovisual speech perception

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Tobias; Tiippana, K.; Laarni, J.

    2009-01-01

    integration did not change. Visual spatial attention was also able to select between the faces when lip reading. This suggests that visual spatial attention acts at the level of visual speech perception prior to audiovisual integration and that the effect propagates through audiovisual integration......Auditory and visual information is integrated when perceiving speech, as evidenced by the McGurk effect in which viewing an incongruent talking face categorically alters auditory speech perception. Audiovisual integration in speech perception has long been considered automatic and pre-attentive...... but recent reports have challenged this view. Here we study the effect of visual spatial attention on the McGurk effect. By presenting a movie of two faces symmetrically displaced to each side of a central fixation point and dubbed with a single auditory speech track, we were able to discern the influences...

  11. Odors enhance visual attention to congruent objects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seo, Han-Seok; Roidl, Ernst; Müller, Friedrich; Negoias, Simona

    2010-06-01

    Although it is well known that visual stimuli affect olfactory performance, little is known about the reverse case: the influence of odor on visual performance. This study aimed to determine whether odors can enhance attention towards visually presented objects congruent with the odors. Sixty healthy participants were presented with four odors (orange, lavender, coffee, and liquorice) before and during the presentation of photographic slides containing one congruent and three incongruent objects with the presented odors. The participants' visual attention was assessed as the total number and time of eye fixations by using an eye tracking system. When the participants smelled an odor, they looked more frequently and longer at a corresponding object as compared to the odorless condition. In conclusion, our findings demonstrate for the first time an olfactory priming effect on visual selective attention: odor can increase attention towards a congruent visual object as compared to a non-odor condition.

  12. Visual attention capacity after right hemisphere lesions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Habekost, Thomas; Rostrup, Egill

    2007-01-01

    Recently there has been a growing interest in visual short-term memory (VSTM) including the neural basis of the function. Processing speed, another main aspect of visual attention capacity, has received less investigation. For both cognitive functions human lesion studies are sparse. We used...... a whole report experiment for estimation of these two parameters in 22 patients with right side stroke. Psychophysical performance was analyzed using Bundesen's [Bundesen, C. (1990). A theory of visual attention. Psychological Review, 97, 523-547] Theory of Visual Attention (TVA) and compared...... for both VSTM capacity and ipsilesional processing speed. The study also showed that lesions in a large region of the right hemisphere, including the putamen, insula, and inferior frontal cortex, do not lead to general deficits in the capacity of visual attention. Udgivelsesdato: 2007-Apr-8...

  13. Novel mathematical neural models for visual attention

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Li, Kang

    Visual attention has been extensively studied in psychology, but some fundamental questions remain controversial. We focus on two questions in this study. First, we investigate how a neuron in visual cortex responds to multiple stimuli inside the receptive eld, described by either a response...... for the visual attention theories and spiking neuron models for single spike trains. Statistical inference and model selection are performed and various numerical methods are explored. The designed methods also give a framework for neural coding under visual attention theories. We conduct both analysis on real...... system, supported by simulation study. Finally, we present the decoding of multiple temporal stimuli under these visual attention theories, also in a realistic biophysical situation with simulations....

  14. Novel mathematical neural models for visual attention

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Li, Kang

    Visual attention has been extensively studied in psychology, but some fundamental questions remain controversial. We focus on two questions in this study. First, we investigate how a neuron in visual cortex responds to multiple stimuli inside the receptive eld, described by either a response...... for the visual attention theories and spiking neuron models for single spike trains. Statistical inference and model selection are performed and various numerical methods are explored. The designed methods also give a framework for neural coding under visual attention theories. We conduct both analysis on real...... system, supported by simulation study. Finally, we present the decoding of multiple temporal stimuli under these visual attention theories, also in a realistic biophysical situation with simulations....

  15. A neural theory of visual attention

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bundesen, Claus; Habekost, Thomas; Kyllingsbæk, Søren

    2005-01-01

    A neural theory of visual attention (NTVA) is presented. NTVA is a neural interpretation of C. Bundesen's (1990) theory of visual attention (TVA). In NTVA, visual processing capacity is distributed across stimuli by dynamic remapping of receptive fields of cortical cells such that more processing...... resources (cells) are devoted to behaviorally important objects than to less important ones. By use of the same basic equations used in TVA, NTVA accounts for a wide range of known attentional effects in human performance (reaction times and error rates) and a wide range of effects observed in firing rates...

  16. The Deployment of Visual Attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-06-15

    M. Henderson & Ferreira, 2004; Hidalgo- Sotelo , Oliva, & Torralba, 2005; Vo & Henderson, 2009). This is implied in models like Ahissar and...and action: Eye movements and the visual world (pp. 1-58). New York: Psychology Press. Hidalgo- Sotelo , R, Oliva , A., & Torralba, A. (2005). Human

  17. Structured Attentions for Visual Question Answering

    OpenAIRE

    Zhu, Chen; Zhao, Yanpeng; Huang, Shuaiyi; Tu, Kewei; Ma, Yi

    2017-01-01

    Visual attention, which assigns weights to image regions according to their relevance to a question, is considered as an indispensable part by most Visual Question Answering models. Although the questions may involve complex relations among multiple regions, few attention models can effectively encode such cross-region relations. In this paper, we demonstrate the importance of encoding such relations by showing the limited effective receptive field of ResNet on two datasets, and propose to mo...

  18. Visual Field Asymmetry in Attentional Capture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Du, Feng; Abrams, Richard A.

    2010-01-01

    The present study examined the spatial distribution of involuntary attentional capture over the two visual hemi-fields. A new experiment, and an analysis of three previous experiments showed that distractors in the left visual field that matched a sought-for target in color produced a much larger capture effect than identical distractors in the…

  19. Visual attention capacity after right hemisphere lesions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Habekost, Thomas; Rostrup, Egill

    2007-01-01

    Recently there has been a growing interest in visual short-term memory (VSTM) including the neural basis of the function. Processing speed, another main aspect of visual attention capacity, has received less investigation. For both cognitive functions human lesion studies are sparse. We used...

  20. Attractive faces temporally modulate visual attention

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Koyo eNakamura

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Facial attractiveness is an important biological and social signal on social interaction. Recent research has demonstrated that an attractive face captures greater spatial attention than an unattractive face does. Little is known, however, about the temporal characteristics of visual attention for facial attractiveness. In this study, we investigated the temporal modulation of visual attention induced by facial attractiveness by using a rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP. Fourteen male faces and two female faces were successively presented for 160 ms respectively, and participants were asked to identify two female faces embedded among a series of multiple male distractor faces. Identification of a second female target (T2 was impaired when a first target (T1 was attractive compared to neutral or unattractive faces, at 320 ms SOA; identification was improved when T1 was attractive compared to unattractive faces at 640 ms SOA. These findings suggest that the spontaneous appraisal of facial attractiveness modulates temporal attention.

  1. ATTENTIONAL NETWORKS AND SELECTIVE VISUAL SYSTEM

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ALEJANDRO CASTILLO MORENO

    2006-05-01

    Full Text Available In this paper we checked the principal researches and theories to explain the attention system functioning.We are going to start reviewing along time about the concept of attention, from filter theories andresources distributor theories, to the current theories in which attention is conceived as a control system.From this last point of view, we will emphasize on the attentional networks theory of Posner, thatproposes different systems to explain diverse aspects of attention, but they are related to each other. Atlast in this paper, we will mention experimental results that have been important to characterize theselective attentional mechanisms of the human visual system, using the attentional spotlight model forthis aim.

  2. A Neurodynamical Model for Selective Visual Attention

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    QU Jing-Yi; WANG Ru-Bin; ZHANG Yuan; DU Ying

    2011-01-01

    A neurodynamical model for selective visual attention considering orientation preference is proposed. Since orientation preference is one of the most important properties of neurons in the primary visual cortex, it should be fully considered besides external stimuli intensity. By tuning the parameter of orientation preference, the regimes of synchronous dynamics associated with the development of the attention focus are studied. The attention focus is represented by those peripheral neurons that generate spikes synchronously with the central neuron while the activity of other peripheral neurons is suppressed. Such dynamics correspond to the partial synchronization mode. Simulation results show that the model can sequentially select objects with different orientation preferences and has a reliable shift of attention from one object to another, which are consistent with the experimental results that neurons with different orientation preferences are laid out in pinwheel patterns.%A neurodynamical model for selective visual attention considering orientation preference is proposed.Since orientation preference is one of the most important properties of neurons in the primary visual cortex,it should be fully considered besides external stimuli intensity.By tuning the parameter of orientation preference,the regimes of synchronous dynamics associated with the development of the attention focus are studied.The attention focus is represented by those peripheral neurons that generate spikes synchronously with the central neuron while the activity of other peripheral neurons is suppressed.Such dynamics correspond to the partial synchronization mode.Simulation results show that the model can sequentially select objects with different orientation preferences and has a reliable shift of attention from one object to another,which are consistent with the experimental results that neurons with different orientation preferences are laid out in pinwheel patterns.Selective visual

  3. Extraocular muscle afferent signals modulate visual attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balslev, Daniela; Newman, William; Knox, Paul C

    2012-10-09

    Extraocular muscle afferent signals contribute to oculomotor control and visual localization. Prompted by the close links between the oculomotor and attention systems, it was investigated whether these proprioceptive signals also modulated the allocation of attention in space. A suction sclera contact lens was used to impose an eye rotation on the nonviewing, dominant eye. With their viewing, nondominant eye, participants (n = 4) fixated centrally and detected targets presented at 5° in the left or right visual hemifield. The position of the viewing eye was monitored throughout the experiment. As a control, visual localization was tested using finger pointing without visual feedback of the hand, whereas the nonviewing eye remained deviated. The sustained passive rotation of the occluded, dominant eye, while the other eye maintained central fixation, resulted in a lateralized change in the detectability of visual targets. In all participants, the advantage in speed and accuracy for detecting right versus left hemifield targets that occurred during a sustained rightward eye rotation of the dominant eye was reduced or reversed by a leftward eye rotation. The control experiment confirmed that the eye deviation procedure caused pointing errors consistent with an approximately 2° shift in perceived eye position, in the direction of rotation of the nonviewing eye. With the caveat of the small number of participants, these results suggest that extraocular muscle afferent signals modulate the deployment of attention in visual space.

  4. Pre-saccadic shifts of visual attention.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William J Harrison

    Full Text Available The locations of visual objects to which we attend are initially mapped in a retinotopic frame of reference. Because each saccade results in a shift of images on the retina, however, the retinotopic mapping of spatial attention must be updated around the time of each eye movement. Mathôt and Theeuwes [1] recently demonstrated that a visual cue draws attention not only to the cue's current retinotopic location, but also to a location shifted in the direction of the saccade, the "future-field". Here we asked whether retinotopic and future-field locations have special status, or whether cue-related attention benefits exist between these locations. We measured responses to targets that appeared either at the retinotopic or future-field location of a brief, non-predictive visual cue, or at various intermediate locations between them. Attentional cues facilitated performance at both the retinotopic and future-field locations for cued relative to uncued targets, as expected. Critically, this cueing effect also occurred at intermediate locations. Our results, and those reported previously [1], imply a systematic bias of attention in the direction of the saccade, independent of any predictive remapping of attention that compensates for retinal displacements of objects across saccades [2].

  5. Single-Trial Inference on Visual Attention

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dyrholm, Mads; Kyllingsbæk, Søren; Vangkilde, Signe Allerup

    In this paper we take a step towards single-trial behavioral modeling within a Theory of Visual Attention (TVA). In selective attention tasks, such as the Partial Report paradigm, the subject is asked to ignore distractors and only report stimuli that belong to the target class. Nothing about...... Report trial. This result retrodicts a latent attentional state of the subject using the observed response from that particular trial and thus differs from other predictions made with TVA which are based on expected values of observed variables. We show an example of the result in single-trial analysis...

  6. Single-Trial Inference on Visual Attention

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dyrholm, Mads; Kyllingsbæk, Søren; Vangkilde, Signe Allerup

    2011-01-01

    In this paper we take a step towards single-trial behavioral modeling within a Theory of Visual Attention (TVA). In selective attention tasks, such as the Partial Report paradigm, the subject is asked to ignore distractors and only report stimuli that belong to the target class. Nothing about...... Report trial. This result retrodicts a latent attentional state of the subject using the observed response from that particular trial and thus differs from other predictions made with TVA which are based on expected values of observed variables. We show an example of the result in single-trial analysis...

  7. Spatial Language, Visual Attention, and Perceptual Simulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coventry, Kenny R.; Lynott, Dermot; Cangelosi, Angelo; Monrouxe, Lynn; Joyce, Dan; Richardson, Daniel C.

    2010-01-01

    Spatial language descriptions, such as "The bottle is over the glass", direct the attention of the hearer to particular aspects of the visual world. This paper asks how they do so, and what brain mechanisms underlie this process. In two experiments employing behavioural and eye tracking methodologies we examined the effects of spatial language on…

  8. Do Multielement Visual Tracking and Visual Search Draw Continuously on the Same Visual Attention Resources?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alvarez, George A.; Horowitz, Todd S.; Arsenio, Helga C.; DiMase, Jennifer S.; Wolfe, Jeremy M.

    2005-01-01

    Multielement visual tracking and visual search are 2 tasks that are held to require visual-spatial attention. The authors used the attentional operating characteristic (AOC) method to determine whether both tasks draw continuously on the same attentional resource (i.e., whether the 2 tasks are mutually exclusive). The authors found that observers…

  9. Pilot's visual attention allocation modeling under fatigue.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Xu; Wanyan, Xiaoru; Zhuang, Damin

    2015-01-01

    Human factors involved with visual attention mechanism and fatigue are critical causes of modern aviation accidents. To investigate the connection between attention and flight fatigue, a mathematical model of pilot's visual attention allocation was established based on information processing channels. Multi-task condition and current psychophysical state were taken into account as well. Sixteen participants were recruited to perform a long-term dual-task in a Boeing 737-800 flight simulator. The primary task was an envelope flight task and the secondary was an unusual attitude (UA) recovery task. Reaction time of the secondary task was recorded as a behavior performance index, while heart rate and respiration rate were measured as physiological indices as well as fixation distribution as attention allocation index. The experiment results showed a significant affect of experiment time that indicated the occurrence and influence of fatigue. Eye movement tracking also revealed good agreement with the predictable model and hence verified its effectiveness. Moreover, applicability of the model was validated under flight fatigue and multiple tasks condition. The current study provided a quantitative connection between pilot's visual attention allocation and flight fatigue, which was verified in the ergonomics experiment.

  10. The Commingled Division of Visual Attention.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuechuan Sun

    Full Text Available Many critical activities require visual attention to be distributed simultaneously among distinct tasks where the attended foci are not spatially separated. In our two experiments, participants performed a large number of trials where both a primary task (enumeration of spots and a secondary task (reporting the presence/absence or identity of a distinctive shape required the division of visual attention. The spots and the shape were commingled spatially and the shape appeared unpredictably on a relatively small fraction of the trials. The secondary task stimulus (the shape was reported in inverse proportion to the attentional load imposed by the primary task (enumeration of spots. When the shape did appear, performance on the primary task (enumeration suffered relative to when the shape was absent; both speed and accuracy were compromised. When the secondary task required identification in addition to detection, reaction times increased by about 200 percent. These results are broadly compatible with biased competition models of perceptual processing. An important area of application, where the commingled division of visual attention is required, is the augmented reality head-up display (AR-HUD. This innovation has the potential to make operating vehicles safer but our data suggest that there are significant concerns regarding driver distraction.

  11. Visual attention and flexible normalization pools

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwartz, Odelia; Coen-Cagli, Ruben

    2013-01-01

    Attention to a spatial location or feature in a visual scene can modulate the responses of cortical neurons and affect perceptual biases in illusions. We add attention to a cortical model of spatial context based on a well-founded account of natural scene statistics. The cortical model amounts to a generalized form of divisive normalization, in which the surround is in the normalization pool of the center target only if they are considered statistically dependent. Here we propose that attention influences this computation by accentuating the neural unit activations at the attended location, and that the amount of attentional influence of the surround on the center thus depends on whether center and surround are deemed in the same normalization pool. The resulting form of model extends a recent divisive normalization model of attention (Reynolds & Heeger, 2009). We simulate cortical surround orientation experiments with attention and show that the flexible model is suitable for capturing additional data and makes nontrivial testable predictions. PMID:23345413

  12. Methylphenidate alters selective attention by amplifying salience

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Huurne, N.; Fallon, S.J.; Schouwenburg, M. van; Schaaf, M.; Buitelaar, J.; Jensen, O.; Cools, R.

    2015-01-01

    RATIONALE: Methylphenidate, the most common treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), is increasingly used by healthy individuals as a "smart drug" to enhance cognitive abilities like attention. A key feature of (selective) attention is the ability to ignore irrelevant but salien

  13. Visual attention to anti-smoking PSAs: smoking cues versus other attention-grabbing features

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sanders-Jackson, A.N.; Cappella, J.N.; Linebarger, D.L.; Piotrowski, J.; O'Keeffe, M.; Strasser, A.A.

    2011-01-01

    This study examines how addicted smokers attend visually to smoking-related public service announcements (PSAs) in adults smokers. Smokers' onscreen visual fixation is an indicator of cognitive resources allocated to visual attention. Characteristic of individuals with addictive tendencies, smokers

  14. Visual Field Asymmetries in Attention Vary with Self-Reported Attention Deficits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poynter, William; Ingram, Paul; Minor, Scott

    2010-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to determine whether an index of self-reported attention deficits predicts the pattern of visual field asymmetries observed in behavioral measures of attention. Studies of "normal" subjects do not present a consistent pattern of asymmetry in attention functions, with some studies showing better left visual field (LVF)…

  15. Attentional and perceptual impairments in Parkinson's disease with visual hallucinations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Koerts, Janneke; Borg, Maarten A. J. P.; Meppelink, Anne Marthe; Leenders, Klaus L.; van Beilen, Marije; van Laar, Teus

    2010-01-01

    Visual hallucinations (VH) are common in Parkinson's Disease (PD). Both deficits of perception and attention seem to play a role in the pathogenesis of VH in PD. However, the possible coexistence of impairments in attention and visual perception in PD with VH is not known. This study investigated bo

  16. SLAM: A Connectionist Model for Attention in Visual Selection Tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phaf, R. Hans; And Others

    1990-01-01

    The SeLective Attention Model (SLAM) performs visual selective attention tasks and demonstrates that object selection and attribute selection are both necessary and sufficient for visual selection. The SLAM is described, particularly with regard to its ability to represent an individual subject performing filtering tasks. (TJH)

  17. Visual Attention in Posterior Stroke and Relations to Alexia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Petersen, Anders; Vangkilde, Signe; Fabricius, Charlotte

    2016-01-01

    that reduced visual speed and span may explain pure alexia. Eight patients with unilateral PCA strokes (four left hemisphere, four right hemisphere) were selected on the basis of lesion location, rather than the presence of any visual symptoms. Visual attention was characterized by a whole report paradigm......Impaired visual attention is common following strokes in the territory of the middle cerebral artery, particularly in the right hemisphere, while attentional effects of more posterior lesions are less clear. Commonly, such deficits are investigated in relation to specific syndromes like visual...... agnosia or pure alexia. The aim of this study was to characterize visual processing speed and apprehension span following posterior cerebral artery (PCA) stroke. In addition, the relationship between these attentional parameters and single word reading is investigated, as previous studies have suggested...

  18. Pacing Visual Attention: Temporal Structure Effects

    Science.gov (United States)

    1993-06-01

    contracted to correspondingly change resolving power. Finally, the third class of models are the gradient models of attention (e.g., Downing & Pinker ...337. Downing, C.J. & Pinker , S. (1985). The spatial structure of attention. In M.J. Posner and O.S. Manin (Eds) Attention and Performance XI. Hillsdale...R.C. Atkinson, R.J. Herrnstein, G. Lindzey, & R. D. Luce (Eds) Stevens ’ handbook of experimental psychology, volume 2: Learning and cognition. New

  19. The Effect of Visual Threat on Spatial Attention to Touch

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poliakoff, Ellen; Miles, Eleanor; Li, Xinying; Blanchette, Isabelle

    2007-01-01

    Viewing a threatening stimulus can bias visual attention toward that location. Such effects have typically been investigated only in the visual modality, despite the fact that many threatening stimuli are most dangerous when close to or in contact with the body. Recent multisensory research indicates that a neutral visual stimulus, such as a light…

  20. Attentional effects in the visual pathways

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bundesen, Claus; Larsen, Axel; Kyllingsbæk, Søren

    2002-01-01

    CBF in visual areas in the occipital and parietal lobes, including the primary visual cortex. Subcortical activations were found in cerebellum (particularly the vermis) and in the thalamus with the focus in a region comprising the lateral geniculate nucleus, the pulvinar, and adjacent parts of the reticular...

  1. Maintaining Visual Attention over Time: Effects of Object Continuity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katsumi Watanabe

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Maintaining visual attention in dynamic environments is an important function of the visual system. The visual system appears to modulate attentional state to identify a target embedded in a rapid sequence of nontargets; typically, target identification gets better as the number of preceding items increases and is maintained at this increased level. We examined the temporal characteristics of the visual system that contribute to maintaining attentional state. Inserting one-second temporal gap in the sequence reset the elevated attentional state. However, the results also suggested that the attentional state was maintained as long as the sequence was interpreted as a single event (i.e., the object continuity was maintained. It has been proposed that ‘object files’ keep track of visual items and accumulate information as they move and change. It is also known that objects' features (shape and/or color affect the distribution of attention within objects. In a separate set of experiments, we examined whether the change detection of feature-location binding in moving visual objects would affect the attentional distribution within objects by using a probe-detection paradigm. The results showed that the performance of irregularity detection did not influence the attentional distribution within objects. This finding implies that attentional distribution within objects occurs independent of object continuity.

  2. Modelling auditory attention: Insights from the Theory of Visual Attention (TVA)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Roberts, K. L.; Andersen, Tobias; Kyllingsbæk, Søren

    , and that there is a ‘race’ for selection and representation in visual short term memory (VSTM). In the basic TVA task, participants view a brief display of letters and are asked to report either all of the letters (whole report) or a subset of the letters (e.g., the red letters; partial report). Fitting the model......We report initial progress towards creating an auditory analogue of a mathematical model of visual attention: the ‘Theory of Visual Attention’ (TVA; Bundesen, 1990). TVA is one of the best established models of visual attention. It assumes that visual stimuli are initially processed in parallel...... been used to model normal visual attention, as well as identifying how the different parameters are affected by changes across the lifespan (McAvinue et al., 2012) and by attentional deficits such as neglect (Duncan et al., 1999). An auditory analogue would allow these same parameters to be measured...

  3. Adapting the Theory of Visual Attention (TVA) to model auditory attention

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Roberts, Katherine L.; Andersen, Tobias; Kyllingsbæk, Søren

    2014-01-01

    Mathematical and computational models have provided useful insights into normal and impaired visual attention, but less progress has been made in modelling auditory attention. We are developing a Theory of Auditory Attention (TAA), based on an influential visual model, the Theory of Visual...... Attention (TVA). We report that TVA provides a good fit to auditory data when the stimuli are closely matched to those used in visual studies. In the basic visual TVA task, participants view a brief display of letters and are asked to report either all of the letters (whole report) or a subset of letters (e.......g., the red letters; partial report). For the auditory task, we used dichotic, concurrently-presented synthesised vowels. These auditory stimuli are closely-matched to the visual stimuli, in that they are simultaneous, separated in space, and unchanging over time. We found that TVA could successfully model...

  4. Visual attention: Linking prefrontal sources to neuronal and behavioral correlates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, Kelsey; Squire, Ryan Fox; Merrikhi, Yaser; Noudoost, Behrad

    2015-09-01

    Attention is a means of flexibly selecting and enhancing a subset of sensory input based on the current behavioral goals. Numerous signatures of attention have been identified throughout the brain, and now experimenters are seeking to determine which of these signatures are causally related to the behavioral benefits of attention, and the source of these modulations within the brain. Here, we review the neural signatures of attention throughout the brain, their theoretical benefits for visual processing, and their experimental correlations with behavioral performance. We discuss the importance of measuring cue benefits as a way to distinguish between impairments on an attention task, which may instead be visual or motor impairments, and true attentional deficits. We examine evidence for various areas proposed as sources of attentional modulation within the brain, with a focus on the prefrontal cortex. Lastly, we look at studies that aim to link sources of attention to its neuronal signatures elsewhere in the brain.

  5. Cholinergic enhancement of visual attention and neural oscillations in the human brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bauer, Markus; Kluge, Christian; Bach, Dominik; Bradbury, David; Heinze, Hans Jochen; Dolan, Raymond J; Driver, Jon

    2012-03-06

    Cognitive processes such as visual perception and selective attention induce specific patterns of brain oscillations. The neurochemical bases of these spectral changes in neural activity are largely unknown, but neuromodulators are thought to regulate processing. The cholinergic system is linked to attentional function in vivo, whereas separate in vitro studies show that cholinergic agonists induce high-frequency oscillations in slice preparations. This has led to theoretical proposals that cholinergic enhancement of visual attention might operate via gamma oscillations in visual cortex, although low-frequency alpha/beta modulation may also play a key role. Here we used MEG to record cortical oscillations in the context of administration of a cholinergic agonist (physostigmine) during a spatial visual attention task in humans. This cholinergic agonist enhanced spatial attention effects on low-frequency alpha/beta oscillations in visual cortex, an effect correlating with a drug-induced speeding of performance. By contrast, the cholinergic agonist did not alter high-frequency gamma oscillations in visual cortex. Thus, our findings show that cholinergic neuromodulation enhances attentional selection via an impact on oscillatory synchrony in visual cortex, for low rather than high frequencies. We discuss this dissociation between high- and low-frequency oscillations in relation to proposals that lower-frequency oscillations are generated by feedback pathways within visual cortex. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Shared visual attention and memory systems in the Drosophila brain.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bruno van Swinderen

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Selective attention and memory seem to be related in human experience. This appears to be the case as well in simple model organisms such as the fly Drosophila melanogaster. Mutations affecting olfactory and visual memory formation in Drosophila, such as in dunce and rutabaga, also affect short-term visual processes relevant to selective attention. In particular, increased optomotor responsiveness appears to be predictive of visual attention defects in these mutants. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: To further explore the possible overlap between memory and visual attention systems in the fly brain, we screened a panel of 36 olfactory long term memory (LTM mutants for visual attention-like defects using an optomotor maze paradigm. Three of these mutants yielded high dunce-like optomotor responsiveness. We characterized these three strains by examining their visual distraction in the maze, their visual learning capabilities, and their brain activity responses to visual novelty. We found that one of these mutants, D0067, was almost completely identical to dunce(1 for all measures, while another, D0264, was more like wild type. Exploiting the fact that the LTM mutants are also Gal4 enhancer traps, we explored the sufficiency for the cells subserved by these elements to rescue dunce attention defects and found overlap at the level of the mushroom bodies. Finally, we demonstrate that control of synaptic function in these Gal4 expressing cells specifically modulates a 20-30 Hz local field potential associated with attention-like effects in the fly brain. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our study uncovers genetic and neuroanatomical systems in the fly brain affecting both visual attention and odor memory phenotypes. A common component to these systems appears to be the mushroom bodies, brain structures which have been traditionally associated with odor learning but which we propose might be also involved in generating oscillatory brain activity

  7. System and method for image mapping and visual attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peters, II, Richard A. (Inventor)

    2011-01-01

    A method is described for mapping dense sensory data to a Sensory Ego Sphere (SES). Methods are also described for finding and ranking areas of interest in the images that form a complete visual scene on an SES. Further, attentional processing of image data is best done by performing attentional processing on individual full-size images from the image sequence, mapping each attentional location to the nearest node, and then summing all attentional locations at each node.

  8. Visual Object Recognition and Attention in Parkinson's Disease Patients with Visual Hallucinations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meppelink, Anne Marthe; Koerts, Janneke; Borg, Maarten; Leenders, Klaus Leonard; van Laar, Teus

    2008-01-01

    Visual hallucinations (VH) are common in Parkinson's disease (PD) and are hypothesized to be due to impaired visual perception and attention deficits. We investigated whether PD patients with VH showed attention deficits a more specific impairment of higher order visual perception or both. Forty-two

  9. Visual storytelling in 2D and stereoscopic 3D video: effect of blur on visual attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huynh-Thu, Quan; Vienne, Cyril; Blondé, Laurent

    2013-03-01

    Visual attention is an inherent mechanism that plays an important role in the human visual perception. As our visual system has limited capacity and cannot efficiently process the information from the entire visual field, we focus our attention on specific areas of interest in the image for detailed analysis of these areas. In the context of media entertainment, the viewers' visual attention deployment is also influenced by the art of visual storytelling. To this date, visual editing and composition of scenes in stereoscopic 3D content creation still mostly follows those used in 2D. In particular, out-of-focus blur is often used in 2D motion pictures and photography to drive the viewer's attention towards a sharp area of the image. In this paper, we study specifically the impact of defocused foreground objects on visual attention deployment in stereoscopic 3D content. For that purpose, we conducted a subjective experiment using an eyetracker. Our results bring more insights on the deployment of visual attention in stereoscopic 3D content viewing, and provide further understanding on visual attention behavior differences between 2D and 3D. Our results show that a traditional 2D scene compositing approach such as the use of foreground blur does not necessarily produce the same effect on visual attention deployment in 2D and 3D. Implications for stereoscopic content creation and visual fatigue are discussed.

  10. Sequential sampling of visual objects during sustained attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jia, Jianrong; Liu, Ling; Fang, Fang; Luo, Huan

    2017-06-01

    In a crowded visual scene, attention must be distributed efficiently and flexibly over time and space to accommodate different contexts. It is well established that selective attention enhances the corresponding neural responses, presumably implying that attention would persistently dwell on the task-relevant item. Meanwhile, recent studies, mostly in divided attentional contexts, suggest that attention does not remain stationary but samples objects alternately over time, suggesting a rhythmic view of attention. However, it remains unknown whether the dynamic mechanism essentially mediates attentional processes at a general level. Importantly, there is also a complete lack of direct neural evidence reflecting whether and how the brain rhythmically samples multiple visual objects during stimulus processing. To address these issues, in this study, we employed electroencephalography (EEG) and a temporal response function (TRF) approach, which can dissociate responses that exclusively represent a single object from the overall neuronal activity, to examine the spatiotemporal characteristics of attention in various attentional contexts. First, attention, which is characterized by inhibitory alpha-band (approximately 10 Hz) activity in TRFs, switches between attended and unattended objects every approximately 200 ms, suggesting a sequential sampling even when attention is required to mostly stay on the attended object. Second, the attentional spatiotemporal pattern is modulated by the task context, such that alpha-mediated switching becomes increasingly prominent as the task requires a more uniform distribution of attention. Finally, the switching pattern correlates with attentional behavioral performance. Our work provides direct neural evidence supporting a generally central role of temporal organization mechanism in attention, such that multiple objects are sequentially sorted according to their priority in attentional contexts. The results suggest that selective

  11. Components of working memory and visual selective attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burnham, Bryan R; Sabia, Matthew; Langan, Catherine

    2014-02-01

    Load theory (Lavie, N., Hirst, A., De Fockert, J. W., & Viding, E. [2004]. Load theory of selective attention and cognitive control. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 133, 339-354.) proposes that control of attention depends on the amount and type of load that is imposed by current processing. Specifically, perceptual load should lead to efficient distractor rejection, whereas working memory load (dual-task coordination) should hinder distractor rejection. Studies support load theory's prediction that working memory load will lead to larger distractor effects; however, these studies used secondary tasks that required only verbal working memory and the central executive. The present study examined which other working memory components (visual, spatial, and phonological) influence visual selective attention. Subjects completed an attentional capture task alone (single-task) or while engaged in a working memory task (dual-task). Results showed that along with the central executive, visual and spatial working memory influenced selective attention, but phonological working memory did not. Specifically, attentional capture was larger when visual or spatial working memory was loaded, but phonological working memory load did not affect attentional capture. The results are consistent with load theory and suggest specific components of working memory influence visual selective attention.

  12. A Boolean Map Theory of Visual Attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Liqiang; Pashler, Harold

    2007-01-01

    A theory is presented that attempts to answer two questions. What visual contents can an observer consciously access at one moment? Answer: only one feature value (e.g., green) per dimension, but those feature values can be associated (as a group) with multiple spatially precise locations (comprising a single labeled Boolean map). How can an…

  13. Mental Fatigue Affects Visual Selective Attention

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Faber, Leon G.; Maurits, Natasha M.; Lorist, Monicque M.

    2012-01-01

    Mental fatigue is a form of fatigue, induced by continuous task performance. Mentally fatigued people often report having a hard time keeping their attention focussed and being easily distracted. In this study, we examined the relation between mental fatigue, as induced by time on task, and

  14. Mental Fatigue Affects Visual Selective Attention

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Faber, Leon G.; Maurits, Natasha M.; Lorist, Monicque M.

    2012-01-01

    Mental fatigue is a form of fatigue, induced by continuous task performance. Mentally fatigued people often report having a hard time keeping their attention focussed and being easily distracted. In this study, we examined the relation between mental fatigue, as induced by time on task, and attentio

  15. Selective visual attention in object detection processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paletta, Lucas; Goyal, Anurag; Greindl, Christian

    2003-03-01

    Object detection is an enabling technology that plays a key role in many application areas, such as content based media retrieval. Attentive cognitive vision systems are here proposed where the focus of attention is directed towards the most relevant target. The most promising information is interpreted in a sequential process that dynamically makes use of knowledge and that enables spatial reasoning on the local object information. The presented work proposes an innovative application of attention mechanisms for object detection which is most general in its understanding of information and action selection. The attentive detection system uses a cascade of increasingly complex classifiers for the stepwise identification of regions of interest (ROIs) and recursively refined object hypotheses. While the most coarse classifiers are used to determine first approximations on a region of interest in the input image, more complex classifiers are used for more refined ROIs to give more confident estimates. Objects are modelled by local appearance based representations and in terms of posterior distributions of the object samples in eigenspace. The discrimination function to discern between objects is modeled by a radial basis functions (RBF) network that has been compared with alternative networks and been proved consistent and superior to other artifical neural networks for appearance based object recognition. The experiments were led for the automatic detection of brand objects in Formula One broadcasts within the European Commission's cognitive vision project DETECT.

  16. Reading abilities: importance of visual-spatial attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gabrieli, John D E; Norton, Elizabeth S

    2012-05-08

    Children with dyslexia may read poorly for several reasons. Recent research suggests that in addition to skills with language sounds, visual-spatial attention may be an important predictor of reading abilities. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Towards the quantitative evaluation of visual attention models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bylinskii, Z; DeGennaro, E M; Rajalingham, R; Ruda, H; Zhang, J; Tsotsos, J K

    2015-11-01

    Scores of visual attention models have been developed over the past several decades of research. Differences in implementation, assumptions, and evaluations have made comparison of these models very difficult. Taxonomies have been constructed in an attempt at the organization and classification of models, but are not sufficient at quantifying which classes of models are most capable of explaining available data. At the same time, a multitude of physiological and behavioral findings have been published, measuring various aspects of human and non-human primate visual attention. All of these elements highlight the need to integrate the computational models with the data by (1) operationalizing the definitions of visual attention tasks and (2) designing benchmark datasets to measure success on specific tasks, under these definitions. In this paper, we provide some examples of operationalizing and benchmarking different visual attention tasks, along with the relevant design considerations.

  18. Space-based visual attention: a marker of immature selective attention in toddlers?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rivière, James; Brisson, Julie

    2014-11-01

    Various studies suggested that attentional difficulties cause toddlers' failure in some spatial search tasks. However, attention is not a unitary construct and this study investigated two attentional mechanisms: location selection (space-based attention) and object selection (object-based attention). We investigated how toddlers' attention is distributed in the visual field during a manual search task for objects moving out of sight, namely the moving boxes task. Results show that 2.5-year-olds who failed this task allocated more attention to the location of the relevant object than to the object itself. These findings suggest that in some manual search tasks the primacy of space-based attention over object-based attention could be a marker of immature selective attention in toddlers.

  19. Global motion compensated visual attention-based video watermarking

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oakes, Matthew; Bhowmik, Deepayan; Abhayaratne, Charith

    2016-11-01

    Imperceptibility and robustness are two key but complementary requirements of any watermarking algorithm. Low-strength watermarking yields high imperceptibility but exhibits poor robustness. High-strength watermarking schemes achieve good robustness but often suffer from embedding distortions resulting in poor visual quality in host media. This paper proposes a unique video watermarking algorithm that offers a fine balance between imperceptibility and robustness using motion compensated wavelet-based visual attention model (VAM). The proposed VAM includes spatial cues for visual saliency as well as temporal cues. The spatial modeling uses the spatial wavelet coefficients while the temporal modeling accounts for both local and global motion to arrive at the spatiotemporal VAM for video. The model is then used to develop a video watermarking algorithm, where a two-level watermarking weighting parameter map is generated from the VAM saliency maps using the saliency model and data are embedded into the host image according to the visual attentiveness of each region. By avoiding higher strength watermarking in the visually attentive region, the resulting watermarked video achieves high perceived visual quality while preserving high robustness. The proposed VAM outperforms the state-of-the-art video visual attention methods in joint saliency detection and low computational complexity performance. For the same embedding distortion, the proposed visual attention-based watermarking achieves up to 39% (nonblind) and 22% (blind) improvement in robustness against H.264/AVC compression, compared to existing watermarking methodology that does not use the VAM. The proposed visual attention-based video watermarking results in visual quality similar to that of low-strength watermarking and a robustness similar to those of high-strength watermarking.

  20. Color impact in visual attention deployment considering emotional images

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chamaret, C.

    2012-03-01

    Color is a predominant factor in the human visual attention system. Even if it cannot be sufficient to the global or complete understanding of a scene, it may impact the visual attention deployment. We propose to study the color impact as well as the emotion aspect of pictures regarding the visual attention deployment. An eye-tracking campaign has been conducted involving twenty people watching half pictures of database in full color and the other half of database in grey color. The eye fixations of color and black and white images were highly correlated leading to the question of the integration of such cues in the design of visual attention model. Indeed, the prediction of two state-of-the-art computational models shows similar results for the two color categories. Similarly, the study of saccade amplitude and fixation duration versus time viewing did not bring any significant differences between the two mentioned categories. In addition, spatial coordinates of eye fixations reveal an interesting indicator for investigating the differences of visual attention deployment over time and fixation number. The second factor related to emotion categories shows evidences of emotional inter-categories differences between color and grey eye fixations for passive and positive emotion. The particular aspect associated to this category induces a specific behavior, rather based on high frequencies, where the color components influence the visual attention deployment.

  1. Cognitive Control Network Contributions to Memory-Guided Visual Attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosen, Maya L; Stern, Chantal E; Michalka, Samantha W; Devaney, Kathryn J; Somers, David C

    2016-05-01

    Visual attentional capacity is severely limited, but humans excel in familiar visual contexts, in part because long-term memories guide efficient deployment of attention. To investigate the neural substrates that support memory-guided visual attention, we performed a set of functional MRI experiments that contrast long-term, memory-guided visuospatial attention with stimulus-guided visuospatial attention in a change detection task. Whereas the dorsal attention network was activated for both forms of attention, the cognitive control network(CCN) was preferentially activated during memory-guided attention. Three posterior nodes in the CCN, posterior precuneus, posterior callosal sulcus/mid-cingulate, and lateral intraparietal sulcus exhibited the greatest specificity for memory-guided attention. These 3 regions exhibit functional connectivity at rest, and we propose that they form a subnetwork within the broader CCN. Based on the task activation patterns, we conclude that the nodes of this subnetwork are preferentially recruited for long-term memory guidance of visuospatial attention.

  2. Visual attention is required for multiple object tracking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tran, Annie; Hoffman, James E

    2016-12-01

    In the multiple object tracking task, participants attempt to keep track of a moving set of target objects embedded in an identical set of moving distractors. Depending on several display parameters, observers are usually only able to accurately track 3 to 4 objects. Various proposals attribute this limit to a fixed number of discrete indexes (Pylyshyn, 1989), limits in visual attention (Cavanagh & Alvarez, 2005), or "architectural limits" in visual cortical areas (Franconeri, 2013). The present set of experiments examined the specific role of visual attention in tracking using a dual-task methodology in which participants tracked objects while identifying letter probes appearing on the tracked objects and distractors. As predicted by the visual attention model, probe identification was faster and/or more accurate when probes appeared on tracked objects. This was the case even when probes were more than twice as likely to appear on distractors suggesting that some minimum amount of attention is required to maintain accurate tracking performance. When the need to protect tracking accuracy was relaxed, participants were able to allocate more attention to distractors when probes were likely to appear there but only at the expense of large reductions in tracking accuracy. A final experiment showed that people attend to tracked objects even when letters appearing on them are task-irrelevant, suggesting that allocation of attention to tracked objects is an obligatory process. These results support the claim that visual attention is required for tracking objects. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).

  3. Exogenous Attention Influences Visual Short-Term Memory in Infants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ross-Sheehy, Shannon; Oakes, Lisa M.; Luck, Steven J.

    2011-01-01

    Two experiments examined the hypothesis that developing visual attentional mechanisms influence infants' Visual Short-Term Memory (VSTM) in the context of multiple items. Five- and 10-month-old infants (N = 76) received a change detection task in which arrays of three differently colored squares appeared and disappeared. On each trial one square…

  4. Is visual attention automatically attracted to one's own name?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bundesen, C; Kyllingsbæk, Søren; Houmann, K J;

    1997-01-01

    Subjects were presented with briefly exposed visual displays of words that were common first names with a length of four to six letters. In the main experiment, each display consisted of four words: two names shown in red and two shown in white. The subject's task was to report the red names (tar......, visual attention was not automatically attracted by the subject's own name....

  5. Visual short-term memory always requires general attention

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Morey, Candice C.; Bieler, Malte

    2013-01-01

    The role of attention in visual memory remains controversial; while some evidence has suggested that memory for binding between features demands no more attention than does memory for the same features, other evidence has indicated cognitive costs or mnemonic benefits for explicitly attending to bin

  6. Visual attention to advertising : The impact of motivation and repetition

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pieters, RGM; Rosbergen, E; Hartog, M; Corfman, KP; Lynch, JG

    1996-01-01

    Using eye-tracking data, we examine the impact of motivation and repetition on visual attention to advertisements differing in argument quality. Our analyses indicate that repetition leads to an overall decrease in the amount of attention. However, while at first high motivation subjects attend to t

  7. Multiple Sensory-Motor Pathways Lead to Coordinated Visual Attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Chen; Smith, Linda B.

    2017-01-01

    Joint attention has been extensively studied in the developmental literature because of overwhelming evidence that the ability to socially coordinate visual attention to an object is essential to healthy developmental outcomes, including language learning. The goal of this study was to understand the complex system of sensory-motor behaviors that…

  8. Multiple Sensory-Motor Pathways Lead to Coordinated Visual Attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Chen; Smith, Linda B.

    2017-01-01

    Joint attention has been extensively studied in the developmental literature because of overwhelming evidence that the ability to socially coordinate visual attention to an object is essential to healthy developmental outcomes, including language learning. The goal of this study was to understand the complex system of sensory-motor behaviors that…

  9. Visual short-term memory always requires general attention

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Morey, Candice C.; Bieler, Malte

    The role of attention in visual memory remains controversial; while some evidence has suggested that memory for binding between features demands no more attention than does memory for the same features, other evidence has indicated cognitive costs or mnemonic benefits for explicitly attending to

  10. Visual short-term memory always requires general attention

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Morey, Candice C.; Bieler, Malte

    2013-01-01

    The role of attention in visual memory remains controversial; while some evidence has suggested that memory for binding between features demands no more attention than does memory for the same features, other evidence has indicated cognitive costs or mnemonic benefits for explicitly attending to bin

  11. Attention on our mind: the role of spatial attention in visual working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Theeuwes, Jan; Kramer, Arthur F; Irwin, David E

    2011-06-01

    The current study shows that spatial visual attention is used to retrieve information from visual working memory. Participants had to keep four colored circles in visual working memory. While keeping this information in memory we asked whether one of the colors was present in the array. While retrieving this information, on some trials a probe dot was presented. When this probe dot was presented at the location of the color that had to be retrieved, participants responded faster than when it was presented at another location. Our findings further elaborate the role of visual attention in working memory: not only is attention the mechanism by which information is stored into working memory, it is also the mechanism by which information is retrieved from visual working memory.

  12. Attentional Modulation in Visual Cortex Is Modified during Perceptual Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartolucci, Marco; Smith, Andrew T.

    2011-01-01

    Practicing a visual task commonly results in improved performance. Often the improvement does not transfer well to a new retinal location, suggesting that it is mediated by changes occurring in early visual cortex, and indeed neuroimaging and neurophysiological studies both demonstrate that perceptual learning is associated with altered activity…

  13. Latencies in BOLD response during visual attention processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kellermann, Thilo; Reske, Martina; Jansen, Andreas; Satrapi, Peyman; Shah, N Jon; Schneider, Frank; Habel, Ute

    2011-04-22

    One well-investigated division of attentional processes focuses on alerting, orienting and executive control, which can be assessed applying the attentional network test (ANT). The goal of the present study was to add further knowledge about the temporal dynamics of relevant neural correlates. As a right hemispheric dominance for alerting and orienting has previously been reported for intrinsic but not for phasic alertness, we additionally addressed a potential impact of this lateralization of attention by employing a lateralized version of the ANT, capturing phasic alertness processes. Sixteen healthy subjects underwent event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) while performing the ANT. Analyses of BOLD magnitude replicated the engagement of a fronto-parietal network in the attentional subsystems. The amplitudes of the attentional contrasts interacted with visual field presentation in the sense that the thalamus revealed a greater involvement for spatially cued items presented in the left visual field. Comparisons of BOLD latencies in visual cortices, first, verified faster BOLD responses following contra-lateral stimulus presentation. Second and more importantly, we identified attention-modulated activation in secondary visual and anterior cingulate cortices. Results are discussed in terms of bottom-up and lateralization processes. Although intrinsic and phasic alertness are distinct cognitive processes, we propose that neural substrates of intrinsic alertness may be accessed by phasic alertness provided that the attention-dominant (i.e., the right) hemisphere is activated directly by a warning stimulus.

  14. Infants' Early Visual Attention and Social Engagement as Developmental Precursors to Joint Attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salley, Brenda; Sheinkopf, Stephen J.; Neal-Beevers, A. Rebecca; Tenenbaum, Elena J.; Miller-Loncar, Cynthia L.; Tronick, Ed; Lagasse, Linda L.; Shankaran, Seetha; Bada, Henrietta; Bauer, Charles; Whitaker, Toni; Hammond, Jane; Lester, Barry M.

    2016-01-01

    This study examined infants' early visual attention (at 1 month of age) and social engagement (4 months) as predictors of their later joint attention (12 and 18 months). The sample (n = 325), drawn from the Maternal Lifestyle Study, a longitudinal multicenter project conducted at 4 centers of the National Institute of Child Health and Human…

  15. Usability of a theory of visual attention (TVA) for parameter-based measurement of attention II

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bublak, Peter; Finke, Kathrin; Krummenacher, Joseph

    2005-01-01

    inferior parietal lesion showed a pattern of non-spatially and spatially lateralized attention deficits that is typically found in neglect patients. Results from the second patient supported the decisive role of superior frontal brain structures for top-down control of visual attention. This double...

  16. Exploring conflict- and target-related movement of visual attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wendt, Mike; Garling, Marco; Luna-Rodriguez, Aquiles; Jacobsen, Thomas

    2014-01-01

    Intermixing trials of a visual search task with trials of a modified flanker task, the authors investigated whether the presentation of conflicting distractors at only one side (left or right) of a target stimulus triggers shifts of visual attention towards the contralateral side. Search time patterns provided evidence for lateral attention shifts only when participants performed the flanker task under an instruction assumed to widen the focus of attention, demonstrating that instruction-based control settings of an otherwise identical task can impact performance in an unrelated task. Contrasting conditions with response-related and response-unrelated distractors showed that shifting attention does not depend on response conflict and may be explained as stimulus-conflict-related withdrawal or target-related deployment of attention.

  17. VISUAL ATTENTION BASED KEYFRAMES EXTRACTION AND VIDEO SUMMARIZATION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P.Geetha

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Recent developments in digital video and drastic increase of internet use have increased the amount of people searching and watching videos online. In order to make the search of the videos easy, Summary of the video may be provided along with each video. The video summary provided thus should be effective so that the user would come to know the content of the video without having to watch it fully. The summary produced should consists of the key frames that effectively express the content and context of the video. This work suggests a method to extract key frames which express most of the information in the video. This is achieved by quantifying Visual attention each frame commands. Visual attention of each frame is quantified using a descriptor called Attention quantifier. This quantification of visual attention is based on the human attention mechanism that indicates color conspicuousness and the motion involved seek more attention. So based on the color conspicuousness and the motion involved each frame is given a Attention parameter. Based on the attention quantifier value the key frames are extracted and are summarized adaptively. This framework suggests a method to produces meaningful video summary.

  18. The impact of expert visual guidance on trainee visual search strategy, visual attention and motor skills.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leff, Daniel R; James, David R C; Orihuela-Espina, Felipe; Kwok, Ka-Wai; Sun, Loi Wah; Mylonas, George; Athanasiou, Thanos; Darzi, Ara W; Yang, Guang-Zhong

    2015-01-01

    Minimally invasive and robotic surgery changes the capacity for surgical mentors to guide their trainees with the control customary to open surgery. This neuroergonomic study aims to assess a "Collaborative Gaze Channel" (CGC); which detects trainer gaze-behavior and displays the point of regard to the trainee. A randomized crossover study was conducted in which twenty subjects performed a simulated robotic surgical task necessitating collaboration either with verbal (control condition) or visual guidance with CGC (study condition). Trainee occipito-parietal (O-P) cortical function was assessed with optical topography (OT) and gaze-behavior was evaluated using video-oculography. Performance during gaze-assistance was significantly superior [biopsy number: (mean ± SD): control = 5.6 ± 1.8 vs. CGC = 6.6 ± 2.0; p visual search, and alleviates the burden in brain centers subserving visual attention and does not induce changes in the trainee's O-P functional network observable with the current OT technique. The results imply that through visual guidance, attentional resources may be liberated, potentially improving the capability of trainees to attend to other safety critical events during the procedure.

  19. The Theory of Visual Attention without the race: a new model of visual selection

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Tobias; Kyllingsbæk, Søren

    2012-01-01

    The Theory of Visual Attention (TVA; Bundesen, 1990) is a comprehensive quantitative account of visual attention, which accounts for many empirical findings and has been extensively applied to clinical studies of attention. According to TVA, perceptual processing of objects occurs in parallel...... constrained by a limited processing capacity or rate, which is distributed among target and distractor objects with distractor objects receiving a smaller proportion of resources due to attentional filtering. Encoding into a limited visual short-term memory is implemented as a race model. Given its major...

  20. Visual Spatial Attention Training Improve Spatial Attention and Motor Control for Unilateral Neglect Patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Wei; Ji, Xiangtong; Ni, Jun; Ye, Qian; Zhang, Sicong; Chen, Wenli; Bian, Rong; Yu, Cui; Zhang, Wenting; Shen, Guangyu; Machado, Sergio; Yuan, Tifei; Shan, Chunlei

    2015-01-01

    To compare the effect of visual spatial training on the spatial attention to that on motor control and to correlate the improvement of spatial attention to motor control progress after visual spatial training in subjects with unilateral spatial neglect (USN). 9 cases with USN after right cerebral stroke were randomly divided into Conventional treatment group + visual spatial attention and Conventional treatment group. The Conventional treatment group + visual spatial attention received conventional rehabilitation therapy (physical and occupational therapy) and visual spatial attention training (optokinetic stimulation and right half-field eye patching). The Conventional treatment group was only treated with conventional rehabilitation training (physical and occupational therapy). All patients were assessed by behavioral inattention test (BIT), Fugl-Meyer Assessment of motor function (FMA), equilibrium coordination test (ECT) and non-equilibrium coordination test (NCT) before and after 4 weeks treatment. Total scores in both groups (without visual spatial attention/with visual spatial attention) improved significantly (BIT: P=0.021/P=0.000, d=1.667/d=2.116, power=0.69/power=0.98, 95%CI[-0.8839,45.88]/95%CI=[16.96,92.64]; FMA: P=0.002/P=0.000, d=2.521/d=2.700, power=0.93/power=0.98, 95%CI[5.707,30.79]/95%CI=[16.06,53.94]; ECT: P=0.002/ P=0.000, d=2.031/d=1.354, power=0.90/power=0.17, 95%CI[3.380,42.61]/95%CI=[-1.478,39.08]; NCT: P=0.013/P=0.000, d=1.124/d=1.822, power=0.41/power=0.56, 95%CI[-7.980,37.48]/95%CI=[4.798,43.60],) after treatment. Among the 2 groups, the group with visual spatial attention significantly improved in BIT (P=0.003, d=3.103, power=1, 95%CI[15.68,48.92]), FMA of upper extremity (P=0.006, d=2.771, power=1, 95%CI[5.061,20.14]) and NCT (P=0.010, d=2.214, power=0.81-0.90, 95%CI[3.018,15.88]). Correlative analysis shows that the change of BIT scores is positively correlated to the change of FMA total score (r=0.77, Pmotor control functions in

  1. Attractive Flicker--Guiding Attention in Dynamic Narrative Visualizations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waldner, Manuela; Le Muzic, Mathieu; Bernhard, Matthias; Purgathofer, Werner; Viola, Ivan

    2014-12-01

    Focus+context techniques provide visual guidance in visualizations by giving strong visual prominence to elements of interest while the context is suppressed. However, finding a visual feature to enhance for the focus to pop out from its context in a large dynamic scene, while leading to minimal visual deformation and subjective disturbance, is challenging. This paper proposes Attractive Flicker, a novel technique for visual guidance in dynamic narrative visualizations. We first show that flicker is a strong visual attractor in the entire visual field, without distorting, suppressing, or adding any scene elements. The novel aspect of our Attractive Flicker technique is that it consists of two signal stages: The first "orientation stage" is a short but intensive flicker stimulus to attract the attention to elements of interest. Subsequently, the intensive flicker is reduced to a minimally disturbing luminance oscillation ("engagement stage") as visual support to keep track of the focus elements. To find a good trade-off between attraction effectiveness and subjective annoyance caused by flicker, we conducted two perceptual studies to find suitable signal parameters. We showcase Attractive Flicker with the parameters obtained from the perceptual statistics in a study of molecular interactions. With Attractive Flicker, users were able to easily follow the narrative of the visualization on a large display, while the flickering of focus elements was not disturbing when observing the context.

  2. Splitting Attention across the Two Visual Fields in Visual Short-Term Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delvenne, Jean-Francois; Holt, Jessica L.

    2012-01-01

    Humans have the ability to attentionally select the most relevant visual information from their extrapersonal world and to retain it in a temporary buffer, known as visual short-term memory (VSTM). Research suggests that at least two non-contiguous items can be selected simultaneously when they are distributed across the two visual hemifields. In…

  3. Splitting Attention across the Two Visual Fields in Visual Short-Term Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delvenne, Jean-Francois; Holt, Jessica L.

    2012-01-01

    Humans have the ability to attentionally select the most relevant visual information from their extrapersonal world and to retain it in a temporary buffer, known as visual short-term memory (VSTM). Research suggests that at least two non-contiguous items can be selected simultaneously when they are distributed across the two visual hemifields. In…

  4. Electrophysiological dynamics of covert and overt visual attention

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ordikhani-Seyedlar, Mehdi

    Attention is a key neural function for choosing certain information to receive more processing than others. Attention is allocated either by directly looking at the target (overt) or without eye movement towards the target (covert). The current study was designed to extract relevant features...... was measure in continuous manner. Results showed that the amplitude of SSVEP frequencies is higher in overt than covert attention. This indicates that by overt attention events are registered with larger power. However, exploring the harmonics of frequencies showed that covert attention generates larger 2nd......, some SSVEP frequencies was enhanced in single neurons. These results showed, for the rst time, that visual attention to repetitive stimuli is able to regulate neuronal activities in S1 and M1 regions....

  5. ERP characterization of sustained attention effects in visual lexical categorization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Clara D; Thierry, Guillaume; Démonet, Jean-François

    2010-03-25

    As our understanding of the basic processes underlying reading is growing, the key role played by attention in this process becomes evident. Two research topics are of particular interest in this domain: (1) it is still undetermined whether sustained attention affects lexical decision tasks; (2) the influence of attention on early visual processing (i.e., before orthographic or lexico-semantic processing stages) remains largely under-specified. Here we investigated early perceptual modulations by sustained attention using an ERP paradigm adapted from Thierry et al. [1]. Participants had to decide whether visual stimuli presented in pairs pertained to a pre-specified category (lexical categorization focus on word or pseudoword pairs). Depending on the lexical category of the first item of a pair, participants either needed to fully process the second item (hold condition) or could release their attention and make a decision without full processing of the second item (release condition). The P1 peak was unaffected by sustained attention. The N1 was delayed and reduced after the second item of a pair when participants released their attention. Release of sustained attention also reduced a P3 wave elicited by the first item of a pair and abolished the P3 wave elicited by the second. Our results are consistent with differential effects of sustained attention on early processing stages and working memory. Sustained attention modulated early processing stages during a lexical decision task without inhibiting the process of stimulus integration. On the contrary, working memory involvement/updating was highly dependent upon the allocation of sustained attention. Moreover, the influence of sustained attention on both early and late cognitive processes was independent of lexical categorization focus.

  6. ERP characterization of sustained attention effects in visual lexical categorization.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Clara D Martin

    Full Text Available As our understanding of the basic processes underlying reading is growing, the key role played by attention in this process becomes evident. Two research topics are of particular interest in this domain: (1 it is still undetermined whether sustained attention affects lexical decision tasks; (2 the influence of attention on early visual processing (i.e., before orthographic or lexico-semantic processing stages remains largely under-specified. Here we investigated early perceptual modulations by sustained attention using an ERP paradigm adapted from Thierry et al. [1]. Participants had to decide whether visual stimuli presented in pairs pertained to a pre-specified category (lexical categorization focus on word or pseudoword pairs. Depending on the lexical category of the first item of a pair, participants either needed to fully process the second item (hold condition or could release their attention and make a decision without full processing of the second item (release condition. The P1 peak was unaffected by sustained attention. The N1 was delayed and reduced after the second item of a pair when participants released their attention. Release of sustained attention also reduced a P3 wave elicited by the first item of a pair and abolished the P3 wave elicited by the second. Our results are consistent with differential effects of sustained attention on early processing stages and working memory. Sustained attention modulated early processing stages during a lexical decision task without inhibiting the process of stimulus integration. On the contrary, working memory involvement/updating was highly dependent upon the allocation of sustained attention. Moreover, the influence of sustained attention on both early and late cognitive processes was independent of lexical categorization focus.

  7. The speed of attentional shifts in the visual field.

    OpenAIRE

    Saarinen, J.; Julesz, B

    1991-01-01

    The scanning speed of focal visual attention was measured directly by flashing a sequence of two, three, or four numerals one by one at random retinal positions and at a distance from each other to avoid interference between the numerals. Each numeral was followed by a mask pattern so the observers had to move their focal attention in the visual field in synchrony and at the same speed as the presentation rate of the numerals in order to recognize every numeral in the stimulus sequence. Obser...

  8. Changes in otoacoustic emissions during selective auditory and visual attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walsh, Kyle P; Pasanen, Edward G; McFadden, Dennis

    2015-05-01

    Previous studies have demonstrated that the otoacoustic emissions (OAEs) measured during behavioral tasks can have different magnitudes when subjects are attending selectively or not attending. The implication is that the cognitive and perceptual demands of a task can affect the first neural stage of auditory processing-the sensory receptors themselves. However, the directions of the reported attentional effects have been inconsistent, the magnitudes of the observed differences typically have been small, and comparisons across studies have been made difficult by significant procedural differences. In this study, a nonlinear version of the stimulus-frequency OAE (SFOAE), called the nSFOAE, was used to measure cochlear responses from human subjects while they simultaneously performed behavioral tasks requiring selective auditory attention (dichotic or diotic listening), selective visual attention, or relative inattention. Within subjects, the differences in nSFOAE magnitude between inattention and attention conditions were about 2-3 dB for both auditory and visual modalities, and the effect sizes for the differences typically were large for both nSFOAE magnitude and phase. These results reveal that the cochlear efferent reflex is differentially active during selective attention and inattention, for both auditory and visual tasks, although they do not reveal how attention is improved when efferent activity is greater.

  9. Does visual attention drive the dynamics of bistable perception?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dieter, Kevin C; Brascamp, Jan; Tadin, Duje; Blake, Randolph

    2016-10-01

    How does attention interact with incoming sensory information to determine what we perceive? One domain in which this question has received serious consideration is that of bistable perception: a captivating class of phenomena that involves fluctuating visual experience in the face of physically unchanging sensory input. Here, some investigations have yielded support for the idea that attention alone determines what is seen, while others have implicated entirely attention-independent processes in driving alternations during bistable perception. We review the body of literature addressing this divide and conclude that in fact both sides are correct-depending on the form of bistable perception being considered. Converging evidence suggests that visual attention is required for alternations in the type of bistable perception called binocular rivalry, while alternations during other types of bistable perception appear to continue without requiring attention. We discuss some implications of this differential effect of attention for our understanding of the mechanisms underlying bistable perception, and examine how these mechanisms operate during our everyday visual experiences.

  10. Changes in otoacoustic emissions during selective auditory and visual attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walsh, Kyle P.; Pasanen, Edward G.; McFadden, Dennis

    2015-01-01

    Previous studies have demonstrated that the otoacoustic emissions (OAEs) measured during behavioral tasks can have different magnitudes when subjects are attending selectively or not attending. The implication is that the cognitive and perceptual demands of a task can affect the first neural stage of auditory processing—the sensory receptors themselves. However, the directions of the reported attentional effects have been inconsistent, the magnitudes of the observed differences typically have been small, and comparisons across studies have been made difficult by significant procedural differences. In this study, a nonlinear version of the stimulus-frequency OAE (SFOAE), called the nSFOAE, was used to measure cochlear responses from human subjects while they simultaneously performed behavioral tasks requiring selective auditory attention (dichotic or diotic listening), selective visual attention, or relative inattention. Within subjects, the differences in nSFOAE magnitude between inattention and attention conditions were about 2–3 dB for both auditory and visual modalities, and the effect sizes for the differences typically were large for both nSFOAE magnitude and phase. These results reveal that the cochlear efferent reflex is differentially active during selective attention and inattention, for both auditory and visual tasks, although they do not reveal how attention is improved when efferent activity is greater. PMID:25994703

  11. Visual attention to advertising under the influence of alcohol

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Scholderer, Joachim; Jeppesen, Heine

    An eye-tracking experiment is reported in which the effects of alcohol intoxication on visual attention were tested. Based on findings from the psychopharmacological literature, it was hypothesised that the salience of visual elements in complex advertisements would be amplified, whereas...... the processing of conceptual information would be impaired. The results indicate that the visual salience of logos (either brand and corporate) is selectively increased under the influence of alcohol whilst other pictorial elements (representations of products or human models) are unaffected. Processing...

  12. Face processing is gated by visual spatial attention

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roy E Crist

    2008-03-01

    Full Text Available Human perception of faces is widely believed to rely on automatic processing by a domain-specifi c, modular component of the visual system. Scalp-recorded event-related potential (ERP recordings indicate that faces receive special stimulus processing at around 170 ms poststimulus onset, in that faces evoke an enhanced occipital negative wave, known as the N170, relative to the activity elicited by other visual objects. As predicted by modular accounts of face processing, this early face-specifi c N170 enhancement has been reported to be largely immune to the infl uence of endogenous processes such as task strategy or attention. However, most studies examining the infl uence of attention on face processing have focused on non-spatial attention, such as object-based attention, which tend to have longer-latency effects. In contrast, numerous studies have demonstrated that visual spatial attention can modulate the processing of visual stimuli as early as 80 ms poststimulus – substantially earlier than the N170. These temporal characteristics raise the question of whether this initial face-specifi c processing is immune to the infl uence of spatial attention. This question was addressed in a dual-visualstream ERP study in which the infl uence of spatial attention on the face-specifi c N170 could be directly examined. As expected, early visual sensory responses to all stimuli presented in an attended location were larger than responses evoked by those same stimuli when presented in an unattended location. More importantly, a signifi cant face-specifi c N170 effect was elicited by faces that appeared in an attended location, but not in an unattended one. In summary, early face-specifi c processing is not automatic, but rather, like other objects, strongly depends on endogenous factors such as the allocation of spatial attention. Moreover, these fi ndings underscore the extensive infl uence that top-down attention exercises over the processing of

  13. Altered anterior visual system development following early monocular enucleation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Krista R. Kelly

    2014-01-01

    Conclusions: The novel finding of an asymmetry in morphology of the anterior visual system following long-term survival from early monocular enucleation indicates altered postnatal visual development. Possible mechanisms behind this altered development include recruitment of deafferented cells by crossing nasal fibres and/or geniculate cell retention via feedback from primary visual cortex. These data highlight the importance of balanced binocular input during postnatal maturation for typical anterior visual system morphology.

  14. The Impact of Expert Visual Guidance on Trainee Visual Search Strategy, Visual Attention and Motor Skills

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel Richard Leff

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Minimally invasive and robotic surgery changes the capacity for surgical mentors to guide their trainees with the control customary to open surgery. This neuroergonomic study aims to assess a Collaborative Gaze Channel (CGC; which detects trainer gaze-behaviour and displays the point of regard to the trainee. A randomised crossover study was conducted in which twenty subjects performed a simulated robotic surgical task necessitating collaboration either with verbal (control condition or visual guidance with CGC (study condition. Trainee occipito-parietal (O-P cortical function was assessed with optical topography (OT and gaze-behaviour was evaluated using video-oculography. Performance during gaze-assistance was significantly superior [biopsy number: (mean ± SD: control=5·6±1·8 vs. CGC=6·6±2·0; p< 0.05] and was associated with significantly lower O-P cortical activity [∆HbO2 mMol x cm [median (IQR] control = 2.5 (12.0 vs. CGC 0.63 (11.2, p < 0.001]. A random effect model confirmed the association between guidance mode and O-P excitation. Network cost and global efficiency and global efficiency were not significantly influenced by guidance mode. A gaze channel enhances performance, modulates visual search, and alleviates the burden in brain centres subserving visual attention and does not induce changes in the trainee's O-P functional network observable with the current OT technique. The results imply that through visual guidance, attentional resources may be liberated, potentially improving the capability trainees to attend to other safety critical events during the procedure.

  15. Moving attention - Evidence for time-invariant shifts of visual selective attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Remington, R.; Pierce, L.

    1984-01-01

    Two experiments measured the time to shift spatial selective attention across the visual field to targets 2 or 10 deg from central fixation. A central arrow cued the most likely target location. The direction of attention was inferred from reaction times to expected, unexpected, and neutral locations. The development of a spatial attentional set with time was examined by presenting target probes at varying times after the cue. There were no effects of distance on the time course of the attentional set. Reaction times for far locations were slower than for near, but the effects of attention were evident by 150 msec in both cases. Spatial attention does not shift with a characteristic, fixed velocity. Rather, velocity is proportional to distance, resulting in a movement time that is invariant over the distances tested.

  16. How spatial attention and attentional resources influence the processing of emotional visual scenes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gutiérrez, Aida; Calvo, Manuel G

    2010-08-01

    Pleasant, neutral, or unpleasant pictures appeared for 150 ms in either peripheral or foveal vision, with or without a concurrent foveal load task. Participants indicated whether the visual scene in the picture was or was not pleasant, or was or was not unpleasant. The manipulation of picture location (foveal vs. peripheral) aimed to tap spatial attention, while the perceptual load task was used to manipulate the availability of attentional resources. Results showed that emotional valence was discriminated above the chance level even in the attentionally-constrained conditions (peripheral presentation combined with perceptual load). Nevertheless, valence encoding depended on both attentional mechanisms, as indicated by reductions in accuracy and by slowed reaction times in valence identification when attention was allocated elsewhere, relative to when the scene appeared at fixation and when there was no concurrent task. This indicates that emotional processing requires attention.

  17. Normal aging selectively diminishes alpha lateralization in visual spatial attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hong, Xiangfei; Sun, Junfeng; Bengson, Jesse J; Mangun, George R; Tong, Shanbao

    2015-02-01

    EEG studies of cue-induced visual alpha power (8-13 Hz) lateralization have been conducted on young adults without examining differences that may develop as a consequence of normal aging. Here, we examined age-related differences in spatial attention by comparing healthy older and younger adults. Our key finding is that cue-induced alpha power lateralization was observed in younger, but not older adults, even though both groups exhibited classic event-related potential signatures of spatial orienting. Specifically, both younger and older adults showed significant early directing-attention negativity (EDAN), anterior directing-attention negativity (ADAN), late directing-attention positivity (LDAP) and contingent negative variation (CNV). Furthermore, target-evoked sensory components were enhanced for attended relative to unattended targets in both younger and older groups. This pattern of results suggests that although older adults can successfully allocate spatial attention, they do so without the lateralization of alpha power that is commonly observed in younger adults. Taken together, our findings demonstrate that younger and older adults might engage different neural mechanisms for attentional orienting, and that alpha power lateralization during visual spatial attention is a phenomenon that diminishes during normal aging.

  18. Response bias reveals enhanced attention to inferior visual field in signers of American Sign Language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dye, Matthew W G; Seymour, Jenessa L; Hauser, Peter C

    2016-04-01

    Deafness results in cross-modal plasticity, whereby visual functions are altered as a consequence of a lack of hearing. Here, we present a reanalysis of data originally reported by Dye et al. (PLoS One 4(5):e5640, 2009) with the aim of testing additional hypotheses concerning the spatial redistribution of visual attention due to deafness and the use of a visuogestural language (American Sign Language). By looking at the spatial distribution of errors made by deaf and hearing participants performing a visuospatial selective attention task, we sought to determine whether there was evidence for (1) a shift in the hemispheric lateralization of visual selective function as a result of deafness, and (2) a shift toward attending to the inferior visual field in users of a signed language. While no evidence was found for or against a shift in lateralization of visual selective attention as a result of deafness, a shift in the allocation of attention from the superior toward the inferior visual field was inferred in native signers of American Sign Language, possibly reflecting an adaptation to the perceptual demands imposed by a visuogestural language.

  19. Visual attention to advertising : A segment-level analysis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rosbergen, E; Pieters, R; Wedel, M

    1997-01-01

    We propose a methodology to study the effects of physical ad properties on consumers' Visual attention to advertising that accounts for heterogeneity in these effects across consumers. In an illustrative experiment, we monitor consumers' eye movements during naturalistic exposure to a consumer magaz

  20. Augmented metacognition addressing dynamic allocation of tasks requiring visual attention

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bosse, T.; Doesburg, W. van; Maanen, P.P. van; Treur, J.

    2007-01-01

    This paper discusses the use of cognitive models as augmented metacognition on task allocation for tasks requiring visual attention. In the domain of naval warfare, the complex and dynamic nature of the environment makes that one has to deal with a large number of tasks in parallel. Therefore, human

  1. The interplay of attention and consciousness in visual search, attentional blink and working memory consolidation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raffone, Antonino; Srinivasan, Narayanan; van Leeuwen, Cees

    2014-05-05

    Despite the acknowledged relationship between consciousness and attention, theories of the two have mostly been developed separately. Moreover, these theories have independently attempted to explain phenomena in which both are likely to interact, such as the attentional blink (AB) and working memory (WM) consolidation. Here, we make an effort to bridge the gap between, on the one hand, a theory of consciousness based on the notion of global workspace (GW) and, on the other, a synthesis of theories of visual attention. We offer a theory of attention and consciousness (TAC) that provides a unified neurocognitive account of several phenomena associated with visual search, AB and WM consolidation. TAC assumes multiple processing stages between early visual representation and conscious access, and extends the dynamics of the global neuronal workspace model to a visual attentional workspace (VAW). The VAW is controlled by executive routers, higher-order representations of executive operations in the GW, without the need for explicit saliency or priority maps. TAC leads to newly proposed mechanisms for illusory conjunctions, AB, inattentional blindness and WM capacity, and suggests neural correlates of phenomenal consciousness. Finally, the theory reconciles the all-or-none and graded perspectives on conscious representation.

  2. Tricks of the mind: Visual hallucinations as disorders of attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shine, James M; O'Callaghan, Claire; Halliday, Glenda M; Lewis, Simon J G

    2014-05-01

    Visual hallucinations are common across a number of disorders but to date, a unifying pathophysiology underlying these phenomena has not been described. In this manuscript, we combine insights from neuropathological, neuropsychological and neuroimaging studies to propose a testable common neural mechanism for visual hallucinations. We propose that 'simple' visual hallucinations arise from disturbances within regions responsible for the primary processing of visual information, however with no further modulation of perceptual content by attention. In contrast, 'complex' visual hallucinations reflect dysfunction within and between the Attentional Control Networks, leading to the inappropriate interpretation of ambiguous percepts. The incorrect information perceived by hallucinators is often differentially interpreted depending on the time-course and the neuroarchitecture underlying the interpretation. Disorders with 'complex' hallucinations without retained insight are proposed to be associated with a reduction in the activity within the Dorsal Attention Network. The review concludes by showing that a variety of pathological processes can ultimately manifest in any of these three categories, depending on the precise location of the impairment.

  3. In competition for the attentional template: can multiple items within visual working memory guide attention?

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Moorselaar, Dirk; Theeuwes, Jan; Olivers, Christian N L

    2014-08-01

    Recent studies have revealed that the deployment of attention can be biased by the content of visual working memory (VWM), but that stored memories do not always interact with attention. This has led to a model which proposes a division within VWM between a single active template that interacts with perception and multiple accessory representations that do not. The present study was designed to study whether multiple memory representations are able to bias attention. Participants performed a visual search task while maintaining a variable number of colors in VWM. Consistent with earlier findings, we observed increased attentional capture by memory related distractors when VWM was filled with a single item. However, memory related capture was no longer present for memory loads beyond a single item. The absence of memory related capture at higher VWM loads was independent of individual VWM capacity, nor was it attributable to weaker encoding, forgetting, or reduced precision of memory representations. When analyses were limited to those trials in which participants had a relatively precise memory, there was still no sign of attentional guidance at higher loads. However, when observers were cued toward a specific memory item after encoding, interference with search returned. These results are consistent with a distinction within VWM between representations that interact with perception and those that do not, and show that only a single VWM representation at a time can interact with visual attention.

  4. Differential Effects of Nicotine on Discrete Components of Visual Attention

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vangkilde, Signe Allerup; Bundesen, Claus; Coull, Jennifer T.

    2009-01-01

    or a placebo gum. The experimental paradigm was a letter recognition task with varied stimulus durations terminated by pattern masks. The temporal threshold of conscious perception (t0), visual processing speed (C), storage capacity of visual short-term memory (K), and attentional selectivity (alpha) were...... measured by use of Bundesen's (1990) Theory of Visual Attention. Results: As compared with placebo, nicotine caused a significant 40% decrease in the t0-parameter (t[8] = 6.06, p ... in both conditions. Five subjects showed a marked decrease in selectivity (increase in the alpha-parameter) after nicotine, but this change did not reach significance. Conclusions: These preliminary data suggest that increased levels of nicotine in the brain (a) advances the point in time at which...

  5. Effect of tone mapping operators on visual attention deployment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Narwaria, Manish; Perreira Da Silva, Matthieu; Le Callet, Patrick; Pepion, Romuald

    2012-10-01

    High Dynamic Range (HDR) images/videos require the use of a tone mapping operator (TMO) when visualized on Low Dynamic Range (LDR) displays. From an artistic intention point of view, TMOs are not necessarily transparent and might induce different behavior to view the content. In this paper, we investigate and quantify how TMOs modify visual attention (VA). To that end both objective and subjective tests in the form of eye-tracking experiments have been conducted on several still image content that have been processed by 11 different TMOs. Our studies confirm that TMOs can indeed modify human attention and fixation behavior significantly. Therefore our studies suggest that VA needs consideration for evaluating the overall perceptual impact of TMOs on HDR content. Since the existing studies so far have only considered the quality or aesthetic appeal angle, this study brings in a new perspective regarding the importance of VA in HDR content processing for visualization on LDR displays.

  6. Visual evoked potentials and selective attention to points in space

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Voorhis, S.; Hillyard, S. A.

    1977-01-01

    Visual evoked potentials (VEPs) were recorded to sequences of flashes delivered to the right and left visual fields while subjects responded promptly to designated stimuli in one field at a time (focused attention), in both fields at once (divided attention), or to neither field (passive). Three stimulus schedules were used: the first was a replication of a previous study (Eason, Harter, and White, 1969) where left- and right-field flashes were delivered quasi-independently, while in the other two the flashes were delivered to the two fields in random order (Bernoulli sequence). VEPs to attended-field stimuli were enhanced at both occipital (O2) and central (Cz) recording sites under all stimulus sequences, but different components were affected at the two scalp sites. It was suggested that the VEP at O2 may reflect modality-specific processing events, while the response at Cz, like its auditory homologue, may index more general aspects of selective attention.

  7. Visual Saliency and Attention as Random Walks on Complex Networks

    CERN Document Server

    Costa, L F

    2006-01-01

    The unmatched versatility of vision in mammals is totally dependent on purposive eye movements and selective attention guided by saliencies in the presented images. The current article shows how concepts and tools from the areas of random walks, Markov chains, complex networks and artificial image analysis can be naturally combined in order to provide a unified and biologically plausible model for saliency detection and visual attention, which become indistinguishable in the process. Images are converted into complex networks by considering pixels as nodes while connections are established in terms of fields of influence defined by visual features such as tangent fields induced by luminance contrasts, distance, and size. Random walks are performed on such networks in order to emulate attentional shifts and even eye movements in the case of large shapes, and the frequency of visits to each node is conveniently obtained from the eigenequation defined by the stochastic matrix associated to the respectively drive...

  8. The effects of sequential attention shifts within visual working memory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qi eLi

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Previous studies have shown conflicting data as to whether it is possible to sequentially shift spatial attention among visual working memory (VWM representations. The present study investigated this issue by asynchronously presenting attentional cues during the retention interval of a change detection task. In particular, we focused on two types of sequential attention shifts: 1 orienting attention to one location, and then withdrawing attention from it, and 2 switching the focus of attention from one location to another. In Experiment 1, a withdrawal cue was presented after a spatial retro-cue to measure the effect of withdrawing attention. The withdrawal cue significantly reduced the cost of invalid spatial cues, but surprisingly, did not attenuate the benefit of valid spatial cues. This indicates that the withdrawal cue only triggered the activation of facilitative components but not inhibitory components of attention. In Experiment 2, two spatial retro-cues were presented successively to examine the effect of switching the focus of attention. We observed benefits of both the first and second cues in sequential cueing, indicating that participants were able to reorient attention from one location to another within VWM, and the reallocation of attention did not attenuate memory at the first cued location. In Experiment 3, we found that reducing the validity of the preceding spatial cue did lead to a significant reduction in its benefit. However, performance at the first-cued location was still better than the neutral baseline or performance at the uncued locations, indicating that the first cue benefit might have been preserved both partially under automatic control and partially under voluntary control. Our findings revealed new properties of dynamic attentional control in VWM maintenance.

  9. Evolution of attention mechanisms for early visual processing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Müller, Thomas; Knoll, Alois

    2011-03-01

    Early visual processing as a method to speed up computations on visual input data has long been discussed in the computer vision community. The general target of a such approaches is to filter nonrelevant information from the costly higher-level visual processing algorithms. By insertion of this additional filter layer the overall approach can be speeded up without actually changing the visual processing methodology. Being inspired by the layered architecture of the human visual processing apparatus, several approaches for early visual processing have been recently proposed. Most promising in this field is the extraction of a saliency map to determine regions of current attention in the visual field. Such saliency can be computed in a bottom-up manner, i.e. the theory claims that static regions of attention emerge from a certain color footprint, and dynamic regions of attention emerge from connected blobs of textures moving in a uniform way in the visual field. Top-down saliency effects are either unconscious through inherent mechanisms like inhibition-of-return, i.e. within a period of time the attention level paid to a certain region automatically decreases if the properties of that region do not change, or volitional through cognitive feedback, e.g. if an object moves consistently in the visual field. These bottom-up and top-down saliency effects have been implemented and evaluated in a previous computer vision system for the project JAST. In this paper an extension applying evolutionary processes is proposed. The prior vision system utilized multiple threads to analyze the regions of attention delivered from the early processing mechanism. Here, in addition, multiple saliency units are used to produce these regions of attention. All of these saliency units have different parameter-sets. The idea is to let the population of saliency units create regions of attention, then evaluate the results with cognitive feedback and finally apply the genetic mechanism

  10. The allocation of attention and working memory in visual crowding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bacigalupo, Felix; Luck, Steven J

    2015-06-01

    When the distance between a visual target and nearby flankers falls below a critical distance, target discrimination declines precipitously. This is called "crowding." Many researchers have proposed that selective attention plays a role in crowding. However, although some research has examined the effects of directing attention toward versus away from the targets, no previous research has assessed how attentional allocation varies as a function of target-flanker distance in crowding. Here, we used ERPs to assess the operation of attention during crowding, focusing on the attention-related N2pc component. We used a typical crowding task in which participants were asked to report the category (vowel/consonant) of a lateralized target letter flanked by distractor letters at different distances. We tested the hypothesis that attention fails when the target-flanker distance becomes too small for attention to operate effectively. Consistent with this hypothesis, we found that N2pc amplitude was maximal at intermediate target-flanker distances and decreased substantially when crowding became severe. In addition, we examined the sustained posterior contralateral negativity (SPCN), which reflects the amount of information being maintained in working memory. Unlike the N2pc component, the SPCN increased in amplitude at small target-flanker distances, suggesting that observers stored information about the target and flankers in working memory when attention failed to select the target. Together, the N2pc and SPCN results suggest that attention and working memory play distinctive roles in crowding: Attention operates to minimize interference from the flankers at intermediate target-flanker distances, whereas working memory may be recruited when attention fails to select the target at small target-flanker distances.

  11. Using frequency tagging to quantify attentional deployment in a visual divided attention task

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Toffanin, Paolo; de Jong, Ritske; Johnson, Addie; Martens, Sander

    Frequency tagging is an EEG method based on the quantification of the steady state visual evoked potential (SSVEP) elicited from stimuli which flicker with a distinctive frequency. Because the amplitude of the SSVEP is modulated by attention such that attended stimuli elicit higher SSVEP amplitudes

  12. Migraine and attention to visual events during mind wandering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kam, Julia W Y; Mickleborough, Marla J S; Eades, Chelsea; Handy, Todd C

    2015-05-01

    Although migraine is traditionally categorized as a primary headache disorder, the condition is also associated with abnormalities in visual attentional function in between headache events. Namely, relative to controls, migraineurs show both a heightened sensitivity to nominally unattended visual events, as well as decreased habituation responses at sensory and post-sensory (cognitive) levels. Here we used event-related potentials (ERPs) to examine whether cortical hypersensitivities in migraineurs extend to mind wandering, or periods of time wherein we transiently attenuate the processing of external stimulus inputs as our thoughts drift away from the on-going task at hand. Participants performed a sustained attention to response task while they were occasionally queried as to their attentional state-either "on-task" or "mind wandering." We then analyzed the ERP responses to task-relevant stimuli as a function of whether they immediately preceded an on-task versus mind wandering report. We found that despite the commonly reported heightened visual sensitivities in our migraine group, they nevertheless manifest a reduced cognitive response during periods of mind wandering relative to on-task attentional states, as measured via amplitude changes in the P3 ERP component. This suggests that our capacity to attenuate the processing of external stimulus inputs during mind wandering is not necessarily impaired by the class of cortical hypersensitivities characteristic of the interictal migraine brain.

  13. Disclaimer labels on fashion magazine advertisements: Impact on visual attention and relationship with body dissatisfaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bury, Belinda; Tiggemann, Marika; Slater, Amy

    2016-03-01

    Globally there is increasing advocacy for the implementation of laws requiring disclaimer labels to be attached to media images that have been digitally altered, with the goal of reducing the known negative effects of exposure to unrealistic thin ideal imagery for women. The current study used eye tracking technology to establish how digital alteration disclaimer labels affect women's visual attention to fashion magazine advertisements, and the interrelationship with body dissatisfaction and state appearance comparison. Participants were 120 female undergraduate students who viewed four thin ideal advertisements with either no disclaimer, a generic disclaimer, or a more detailed specific disclaimer. It was found that women did attend to the disclaimers. Specifically worded disclaimers directed visual attention towards target body areas, which resulted in increased body dissatisfaction, while state appearance comparison predicted increased body dissatisfaction. Further research is imperative to provide guidance on the most effective use of disclaimer labels. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Visual spatial attention has opposite effects on bidirectional plasticity in the human motor cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamke, Marc R; Ryan, Alexander E; Sale, Martin V; Campbell, Megan E J; Riek, Stephan; Carroll, Timothy J; Mattingley, Jason B

    2014-01-22

    Long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD) are key mechanisms of synaptic plasticity that are thought to act in concert to shape neural connections. Here we investigated the influence of visual spatial attention on LTP-like and LTD-like plasticity in the human motor cortex. Plasticity was induced using paired associative stimulation (PAS), which involves repeated pairing of peripheral nerve stimulation and transcranial magnetic stimulation to alter functional responses in the thumb area of the primary motor cortex. PAS-induced changes in cortical excitability were assessed using motor-evoked potentials. During plasticity induction, participants directed their attention to one of two visual stimulus streams located adjacent to each hand. When participants attended to visual stimuli located near the left thumb, which was targeted by PAS, LTP-like increases in excitability were significantly enhanced, and LTD-like decreases in excitability reduced, relative to when they attended instead to stimuli located near the right thumb. These differential effects on (bidirectional) LTP-like and LTD-like plasticity suggest that voluntary visual attention can exert an important influence on the functional organization of the motor cortex. Specifically, attention acts to both enhance the strengthening and suppress the weakening of neural connections representing events that fall within the focus of attention.

  15. Paying attention to orthography: A visual evoked potential study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anthony Thomas Herdman

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available In adult readers, letters and words are rapidly identified within visual networks to allow for efficient reading abilities. Neuroimaging studies of orthography have mostly used words and letter strings that recruit many hierarchical levels in reading. Understanding how single letters are processed could provide further insight into orthographic processing. The present study investigated orthographic processing using single letters and pseudoletters when adults were encouraged to pay attention to or away from orthographic features. We measured evoked potentials (EPs to single letters and pseudoletters from adults while they performed an orthographic-discrimination task (letters vs. pseudoletters, a colour-discrimination task (red vs. blue, and a target-detection task (respond to #1 and #2. Larger and later peaking N1 responses (~170ms and larger P2 responses (~250 ms occurred to pseudoletters as compared to letters. This reflected greater visual processing for pseudoletters. Dipole analyses localized this effect to bilateral fusiform and inferior temporal cortices. Moreover, this letter-pseudoletter difference was not modulated by task and thus indicates that directing attention to or away from orthographic features didn’t affect early visual processing of single letters or pseudoletters within extrastriate regions. Paying attention to orthography or colour as compared to disregarding the stimuli (target-detection task elicited selection negativities at about 175 ms, which were followed by a classical N2-P3 complexes. This indicated that the tasks sufficiently drew participant’s attention to and away from the stimuli. Together these findings revealed that visual processing of single letters and pseudoletters, in adults, appeared to be sensory-contingent and independent of paying attention to stimulus features (e.g., orthography or colour.

  16. Visual attention for a desktop virtual environment with ambient scent.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toet, Alexander; van Schaik, Martin G

    2013-01-01

    In the current study participants explored a desktop virtual environment (VE) representing a suburban neighborhood with signs of public disorder (neglect, vandalism, and crime), while being exposed to either room air (control group), or subliminal levels of tar (unpleasant; typically associated with burned or waste material) or freshly cut grass (pleasant; typically associated with natural or fresh material) ambient odor. They reported all signs of disorder they noticed during their walk together with their associated emotional response. Based on recent evidence that odors reflexively direct visual attention to (either semantically or affectively) congruent visual objects, we hypothesized that participants would notice more signs of disorder in the presence of ambient tar odor (since this odor may bias attention to unpleasant and negative features), and less signs of disorder in the presence of ambient grass odor (since this odor may bias visual attention toward the vegetation in the environment and away from the signs of disorder). Contrary to our expectations the results provide no indication that the presence of an ambient odor affected the participants' visual attention for signs of disorder or their emotional response. However, the paradigm used in present study does not allow us to draw any conclusions in this respect. We conclude that a closer affective, semantic, or spatiotemporal link between the contents of a desktop VE and ambient scents may be required to effectively establish diagnostic associations that guide a user's attention. In the absence of these direct links, ambient scent may be more diagnostic for the physical environment of the observer as a whole than for the particular items in that environment (or, in this case, items represented in the VE).

  17. Attention modulates visual-tactile interaction in spatial pattern matching.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Florian Göschl

    Full Text Available Factors influencing crossmodal interactions are manifold and operate in a stimulus-driven, bottom-up fashion, as well as via top-down control. Here, we evaluate the interplay of stimulus congruence and attention in a visual-tactile task. To this end, we used a matching paradigm requiring the identification of spatial patterns that were concurrently presented visually on a computer screen and haptically to the fingertips by means of a Braille stimulator. Stimulation in our paradigm was always bimodal with only the allocation of attention being manipulated between conditions. In separate blocks of the experiment, participants were instructed to (a focus on a single modality to detect a specific target pattern, (b pay attention to both modalities to detect a specific target pattern, or (c to explicitly evaluate if the patterns in both modalities were congruent or not. For visual as well as tactile targets, congruent stimulus pairs led to quicker and more accurate detection compared to incongruent stimulation. This congruence facilitation effect was more prominent under divided attention. Incongruent stimulation led to behavioral decrements under divided attention as compared to selectively attending a single sensory channel. Additionally, when participants were asked to evaluate congruence explicitly, congruent stimulation was associated with better performance than incongruent stimulation. Our results extend previous findings from audiovisual studies, showing that stimulus congruence also resulted in behavioral improvements in visuotactile pattern matching. The interplay of stimulus processing and attentional control seems to be organized in a highly flexible fashion, with the integration of signals depending on both bottom-up and top-down factors, rather than occurring in an 'all-or-nothing' manner.

  18. Attention modulates visual-tactile interaction in spatial pattern matching.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Göschl, Florian; Engel, Andreas K; Friese, Uwe

    2014-01-01

    Factors influencing crossmodal interactions are manifold and operate in a stimulus-driven, bottom-up fashion, as well as via top-down control. Here, we evaluate the interplay of stimulus congruence and attention in a visual-tactile task. To this end, we used a matching paradigm requiring the identification of spatial patterns that were concurrently presented visually on a computer screen and haptically to the fingertips by means of a Braille stimulator. Stimulation in our paradigm was always bimodal with only the allocation of attention being manipulated between conditions. In separate blocks of the experiment, participants were instructed to (a) focus on a single modality to detect a specific target pattern, (b) pay attention to both modalities to detect a specific target pattern, or (c) to explicitly evaluate if the patterns in both modalities were congruent or not. For visual as well as tactile targets, congruent stimulus pairs led to quicker and more accurate detection compared to incongruent stimulation. This congruence facilitation effect was more prominent under divided attention. Incongruent stimulation led to behavioral decrements under divided attention as compared to selectively attending a single sensory channel. Additionally, when participants were asked to evaluate congruence explicitly, congruent stimulation was associated with better performance than incongruent stimulation. Our results extend previous findings from audiovisual studies, showing that stimulus congruence also resulted in behavioral improvements in visuotactile pattern matching. The interplay of stimulus processing and attentional control seems to be organized in a highly flexible fashion, with the integration of signals depending on both bottom-up and top-down factors, rather than occurring in an 'all-or-nothing' manner.

  19. Visual attentional load influences plasticity in the human motor cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamke, Marc R; Hall, Michelle G; Lye, Hayley F; Sale, Martin V; Fenlon, Laura R; Carroll, Timothy J; Riek, Stephan; Mattingley, Jason B

    2012-05-16

    Neural plasticity plays a critical role in learning, memory, and recovery from injury to the nervous system. Although much is known about the physical and physiological determinants of plasticity, little is known about the influence of cognitive factors. In this study, we investigated whether selective attention plays a role in modifying changes in neural excitability reflecting long-term potentiation (LTP)-like plasticity. We induced LTP-like effects in the hand area of the human motor cortex using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). During the induction of plasticity, participants engaged in a visual detection task with either low or high attentional demands. Changes in neural excitability were assessed by measuring motor-evoked potentials in a small hand muscle before and after the TMS procedures. In separate experiments plasticity was induced either by paired associative stimulation (PAS) or intermittent theta-burst stimulation (iTBS). Because these procedures induce different forms of LTP-like effects, they allowed us to investigate the generality of any attentional influence on plasticity. In both experiments reliable changes in motor cortex excitability were evident under low-load conditions, but this effect was eliminated under high-attentional load. In a third experiment we investigated whether the attentional task was associated with ongoing changes in the excitability of motor cortex, but found no difference in evoked potentials across the levels of attentional load. Our findings indicate that in addition to their role in modifying sensory processing, mechanisms of attention can also be a potent modulator of cortical plasticity.

  20. Losing the big picture: how religion may control visual attention.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lorenza S Colzato

    Full Text Available Despite the abundance of evidence that human perception is penetrated by beliefs and expectations, scientific research so far has entirely neglected the possible impact of religious background on attention. Here we show that Dutch Calvinists and atheists, brought up in the same country and culture and controlled for race, intelligence, sex, and age, differ with respect to the way they attend to and process the global and local features of complex visual stimuli: Calvinists attend less to global aspects of perceived events, which fits with the idea that people's attentional processing style reflects possible biases rewarded by their religious belief system.

  1. Selective visual attention to emotional words: Early parallel frontal and visual activations followed by interactive effects in visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schindler, Sebastian; Kissler, Johanna

    2016-10-01

    Human brains spontaneously differentiate between various emotional and neutral stimuli, including written words whose emotional quality is symbolic. In the electroencephalogram (EEG), emotional-neutral processing differences are typically reflected in the early posterior negativity (EPN, 200-300 ms) and the late positive potential (LPP, 400-700 ms). These components are also enlarged by task-driven visual attention, supporting the assumption that emotional content naturally drives attention. Still, the spatio-temporal dynamics of interactions between emotional stimulus content and task-driven attention remain to be specified. Here, we examine this issue in visual word processing. Participants attended to negative, neutral, or positive nouns while high-density EEG was recorded. Emotional content and top-down attention both amplified the EPN component in parallel. On the LPP, by contrast, emotion and attention interacted: Explicit attention to emotional words led to a substantially larger amplitude increase than did explicit attention to neutral words. Source analysis revealed early parallel effects of emotion and attention in bilateral visual cortex and a later interaction of both in right visual cortex. Distinct effects of attention were found in inferior, middle and superior frontal, paracentral, and parietal areas, as well as in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). Results specify separate and shared mechanisms of emotion and attention at distinct processing stages. Hum Brain Mapp 37:3575-3587, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  2. Visual Attention Shift based on Image Segmentation Using Neurodynamic System

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lijuan Duan

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available A method of predicting visual attention shift is proposed based on image segmentation using neurodynamic system in this paper. The input image is mapped to a neural oscillator network. Each oscillator corresponding to a pixel is modeled by means of simplified Wilson-Cowan equations, and is coupled with its 8-nearest neighbors. Then the image is segmented by classifying the oscillation curves of the excitatory groups of all the oscillators. The classifier is constructed based on features of frequency, offset, phase and amplitude of the curves. The visual attention shift between the regions on the image is predicted according to the saliency strength of each region. Referring to the mechanism of winner-take-all competition, the saliency of a region is the aggregation of the dissimilarities between this region and all the other ones. Experimental results on images show the effectiveness of our method.

  3. MRT letter: visual attention driven framework for hysteroscopy video abstraction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ejaz, Naveed; Mehmood, Irfan; Baik, Sung Wook

    2013-06-01

    Diagnostic hysteroscopy is a popular method for investigating the regions in the female reproductive system. The videos generated by hysteroscopy sessions of patients are recurrently archived in medical libraries. Gynecologists often need to browse these libraries in search of similar cases or for reviewing old videos of a patient. Diagnostic hysteroscopy videos contain a lot of information with abundant redundancy. Key frame extraction-based video summarization can be used to reduce this huge amount of data. Moreover, key frames can be used for browsing and indexing of hysteroscopy videos. In this article, a domain specific visual attention driven framework for summarization of hysteroscopy videos is proposed. The visual attention model is materialized by computing saliency based on color, texture, and motion. The experimental results, in comparison with other techniques, demonstrate the efficacy of the proposed framework.

  4. The Attentional Capture of Colour in Visual Interface Design

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Emil; Maier, Anja

    2017-01-01

    The use of colour is an integral component in visual interface design for creating separation between objects and for conveying meaning. It has previously been established that colours can be separated in a hierarchy of primary colours and secondary colours, and that colours are consistently...... at a sufficiently early level of processing to influence attention. We end by discussing implications of our results for design practice and research in psychology....

  5. Attention during visual search: The benefit of bilingualism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friesen, Deanna C; Latman, Vered; Calvo, Alejandra; Bialystok, Ellen

    2015-01-01

    Aims and Objectives/Purpose/Research Questions Following reports showing bilingual advantages in executive control (EC) performance, the current study investigated the role of selective attention as a foundational skill that might underlie these advantages. Design/Methodology/Approach Bilingual and monolingual young adults performed a visual search task by determining whether a target shape was present amid distractor shapes. Task difficulty was manipulated by search type (feature or conjunction) and by the number and discriminability of the distractors. In feature searches, the target (e.g., green triangle) differed on a single dimension (e.g., color) from the distractors (e.g., yellow triangles); in conjunction searches, two types of distractors (e.g., pink circles and turquoise squares) each differed from the target (e.g., turquoise circle) on a single but different dimension (e.g., color or shape). Data and Analysis Reaction time and accuracy data from 109 young adults (53 monolinguals and 56 bilinguals) were analyzed using a repeated-measures analysis of variance. Group membership, search type, number and discriminability of distractors were the independent variables. Findings/Conclusions Participants identified the target more quickly in the feature searches, when the target was highly discriminable from the distractors and when there were fewer distractors. Importantly, although monolinguals and bilinguals performed equivalently on the feature searches, bilinguals were significantly faster than monolinguals in identifying the target in the more difficult conjunction search, providing evidence for better control of visual attention in bilinguals Originality Unlike previous studies on bilingual visual attention, the current study found a bilingual attention advantage in a paradigm that did not include a Stroop-like manipulation to set up false expectations. Significance/Implications Thus, our findings indicate that the need to resolve explicit conflict or

  6. The role of visual spatial attention in adult developmental dyslexia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collis, Nathan L; Kohnen, Saskia; Kinoshita, Sachiko

    2013-01-01

    The present study investigated the nature of visual spatial attention deficits in adults with developmental dyslexia, using a partial report task with five-letter, digit, and symbol strings. Participants responded by a manual key press to one of nine alternatives, which included other characters in the string, allowing an assessment of position errors as well as intrusion errors. The results showed that the dyslexic adults performed significantly worse than age-matched controls with letter and digit strings but not with symbol strings. Both groups produced W-shaped serial position functions with letter and digit strings. The dyslexics' deficits with letter string stimuli were limited to position errors, specifically at the string-interior positions 2 and 4. These errors correlated with letter transposition reading errors (e.g., reading slat as "salt"), but not with the Rapid Automatized Naming (RAN) task. Overall, these results suggest that the dyslexic adults have a visual spatial attention deficit; however, the deficit does not reflect a reduced span in visual-spatial attention, but a deficit in processing a string of letters in parallel, probably due to difficulty in the coding of letter position.

  7. Emotion Modulation of Visual Attention: Categorical and Temporal Characteristics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ciesielski, Bethany G.; Armstrong, Thomas; Zald, David H.; Olatunji, Bunmi O.

    2010-01-01

    Background Experimental research has shown that emotional stimuli can either enhance or impair attentional performance. However, the relative effects of specific emotional stimuli and the specific time course of these differential effects are unclear. Methodology/Principal Findings In the present study, participants (n = 50) searched for a single target within a rapid serial visual presentation of images. Irrelevant fear, disgust, erotic or neutral images preceded the target by two, four, six, or eight items. At lag 2, erotic images induced the greatest deficits in subsequent target processing compared to other images, consistent with a large emotional attentional blink. Fear and disgust images also produced a larger attentional blinks at lag 2 than neutral images. Erotic, fear, and disgust images continued to induce greater deficits than neutral images at lag 4 and 6. However, target processing deficits induced by erotic, fear, and disgust images at intermediate lags (lag 4 and 6) did not consistently differ from each other. In contrast to performance at lag 2, 4, and 6, enhancement in target processing for emotional stimuli was observed in comparison to neutral stimuli at lag 8. Conclusions/Significance These findings suggest that task-irrelevant emotion information, particularly erotica, impairs intentional allocation of attention at early temporal stages, but at later temporal stages, emotional stimuli can have an enhancing effect on directed attention. These data suggest that the effects of emotional stimuli on attention can be both positive and negative depending upon temporal factors. PMID:21079773

  8. Visual selective attention is impaired in children prenatally exposed to opioid agonist medication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Konijnenberg, Carolien; Melinder, Annika

    2015-01-01

    To examine whether prenatal exposure to opioid agonist medication is associated with visual selective attention and general attention problems in early childhood. Twenty-two children (mean age = 52.17 months, SD = 1.81) prenatally exposed to methadone, 9 children (mean age = 52.41 months, SD = 1.42) prenatally exposed to buprenorphine and 25 nonexposed comparison children (mean age = 51.44 months, SD = 1.31) were tested. Visual selective attention was measured with a Tobii 1750 Eye Tracker using a spatial negative priming paradigm. Attention problems were measured using the Child Behavior Checklist. The comparison group demonstrated a larger spatial negative priming effect (mean = 23.50, SD = 45.50) than the exposed group [mean = -6.84, SD = 86.39, F(1,50) = 5.91, p = 0.019, η(2) = 0.11]. No difference in reported attention problems was found [F(1,51) = 1.63, p = 0.21, η(2) = 0.03]. Neonatal abstinence syndrome and prenatal exposure to marijuana were found to predict slower saccade latencies in the exposed group (b = 54.55, SE = 23.56, p = 0.03 and b = 88.86, SE = 32.07, p = 0.01, respectively). Although exposed children did not appear to have attention deficits in daily life, lower performance on the SNP task indicates subtle alteration in the attention system. © 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  9. Quantifying Pilot Visual Attention in Low Visibility Terminal Operations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellis, Kyle K.; Arthur, J. J.; Latorella, Kara A.; Kramer, Lynda J.; Shelton, Kevin J.; Norman, Robert M.; Prinzel, Lawrence J.

    2012-01-01

    Quantifying pilot visual behavior allows researchers to determine not only where a pilot is looking and when, but holds implications for specific behavioral tracking when these data are coupled with flight technical performance. Remote eye tracking systems have been integrated into simulators at NASA Langley with effectively no impact on the pilot environment. This paper discusses the installation and use of a remote eye tracking system. The data collection techniques from a complex human-in-the-loop (HITL) research experiment are discussed; especially, the data reduction algorithms and logic to transform raw eye tracking data into quantified visual behavior metrics, and analysis methods to interpret visual behavior. The findings suggest superior performance for Head-Up Display (HUD) and improved attentional behavior for Head-Down Display (HDD) implementations of Synthetic Vision System (SVS) technologies for low visibility terminal area operations. Keywords: eye tracking, flight deck, NextGen, human machine interface, aviation

  10. Visual attention in orienteers at different levels of experience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eccles, David W; Walsh, Susanne E; Ingledew, David K

    2006-01-01

    This study explored how differences in orienteering experience are related to differences in how visual attention is allocated to the map, the environment and to travel. Twenty more experienced and 20 less experienced individuals orienteered while wearing a head-mounted video camera with microphone. The participants verbalized what they were attending to (map, environment or travel) at any given time. Each recorded film was coded at each point in time in terms of what the participant was attending to and whether the participant was moving or stationary. More experienced orienteers attended to the map markedly more while moving and spent less time stationary than less experienced orienteers. The participants' performance was significantly related to the ability to attend to the map while moving. The strategic control of attention is proposed to explain this ability. It is proposed that attentional training might enhance performance in sports characterized by multiple and dynamically varying elements.

  11. Ventromedial prefrontal cortex mediates visual attention during facial emotion recognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolf, Richard C; Philippi, Carissa L; Motzkin, Julian C; Baskaya, Mustafa K; Koenigs, Michael

    2014-06-01

    The ventromedial prefrontal cortex is known to play a crucial role in regulating human social and emotional behaviour, yet the precise mechanisms by which it subserves this broad function remain unclear. Whereas previous neuropsychological studies have largely focused on the role of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex in higher-order deliberative processes related to valuation and decision-making, here we test whether ventromedial prefrontal cortex may also be critical for more basic aspects of orienting attention to socially and emotionally meaningful stimuli. Using eye tracking during a test of facial emotion recognition in a sample of lesion patients, we show that bilateral ventromedial prefrontal cortex damage impairs visual attention to the eye regions of faces, particularly for fearful faces. This finding demonstrates a heretofore unrecognized function of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex-the basic attentional process of controlling eye movements to faces expressing emotion.

  12. Pupil diameter reflects uncertainty in attentional selection during visual search

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joy J. Geng

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Pupil diameter has long been used as a metric of cognitive processing. However, recent advances suggest that the cognitive sources of change in pupil size may reflect LC-NE function and the calculation of unexpected uncertainty in decision processes (Aston-Jones & Cohen, 2005b; Yu & Dayan, 2005. In the current experiments, we explored the role of uncertainty in attentional selection on task-evoked changes in pupil diameter during visual search. We found that task-evoked changes in pupil diameter were related to uncertainty during attentional selection as measured by reaction time and performance accuracy (Experiments 1-2. Control analyses demonstrated that the results are unlikely to be due to error monitoring or response uncertainty. Our results suggest that pupil diameter can be used as an implicit metric of uncertainty in ongoing attentional selection requiring effortful control processes.

  13. Usability of a theory of visual attention (TVA) for parameter-based measurement of attention I

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Finke, Kathrin; Bublak, Peter; Krummenacher, Joseph

    2005-01-01

    The present study investigated the usability of whole and partial report of briefly displayed letter arrays as a diagnostic tool for the assessment of attentional functions. The tool is based on Bundesen’s (1990, 1998, 2002; Bundesen et al., 2005) theory of visual attention (TVA), which assumes f...... clinical tests measuring similar constructs. The empirical independence of the four TVA parameters is suggested by nonsignificant or, in the case of processing speed and working memory storage capacity, only modest correlations between the parameter values.......The present study investigated the usability of whole and partial report of briefly displayed letter arrays as a diagnostic tool for the assessment of attentional functions. The tool is based on Bundesen’s (1990, 1998, 2002; Bundesen et al., 2005) theory of visual attention (TVA), which assumes...... of these parameters. The present study was designed to examine whether (a) a shortened procedure bears sufficient accuracy and reliability, (b) whether the procedures reveal attentional constructs with clinical relevance, and (c) whether the mathematically independent parameters are also empirically independent...

  14. The impact of acute psychosocial stress on magnetoencephalographic correlates of emotional attention and exogenous visual attention.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ludger Elling

    Full Text Available Stress-induced acute activation of the cerebral catecholaminergic systems has often been found in rodents. However, little is known regarding the consequences of this activation on higher cognitive functions in humans. Theoretical inferences would suggest increased distractibility in the sense of increased exogenous attention and emotional attention. The present study investigated the influence of acute stress responses on magnetoencephalographic (MEG correlates of visual attention. Healthy male subjects were presented emotional and neutral pictures in three subsequent MEG recording sessions after being exposed to a TSST-like social stressor, intended to trigger a HPA-response. The subjects anticipation of another follow-up stressor was designed to sustain the short-lived central catecholaminergic stress reactions throughout the ongoing MEG recordings. The heart rate indicates a stable level of anticipatory stress during this time span, subsequent cortisol concentrations and self-report measures of stress were increased. With regard to the MEG correlates of attentional functions, we found that the N1m amplitude remained constantly elevated during stressor anticipation. The magnetic early posterior negativity (EPNm was present but, surprisingly, was not at all modulated during stressor anticipation. This suggests that a general increase of the influence of exogenous attention but no specific effect regarding emotional attention in this time interval. Regarding the time course of the effects, an influence of the HPA on these MEG correlates of attention seems less likely. An influence of cerebral catecholaminergic systems is plausible, but not definite.

  15. Attention to body-parts varies with visual preference and verb-effector associations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boyer, Ty W; Maouene, Josita; Sethuraman, Nitya

    2017-05-01

    Theories of embodied conceptual meaning suggest fundamental relations between others' actions, language, and our own actions and visual attention processes. Prior studies have found that when people view an image of a neutral body in a scene they first look toward, in order, the head, torso, hands, and legs. Other studies show associations between action verbs and the body-effectors used in performing the action (e.g., "jump" with feet/legs; "talk" with face/head). In the present experiment, the visual attention of participants was recorded with a remote eye-tracking system while they viewed an image of an actor pantomiming an action and heard a concrete action verb. Participants manually responded whether or not the action image was a good example of the verb they heard. The eye-tracking results confirmed that participants looked at the head most, followed by the hands, and the feet least of all; however, visual attention to each of the body-parts also varied as a function of the effector associated with the spoken verb on image/verb congruent trials, particularly for verbs associated with the legs. Overall, these results suggest that language influences some perceptual processes; however, hearing auditory verbs did not alter the previously reported fundamental hierarchical sequence of directed attention, and fixations on specific body-effectors may not be essential for verb comprehension as peripheral visual cues may be sufficient to perform the task.

  16. Neural effects of auditory distraction on visual attention in schizophrenia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jason Smucny

    Full Text Available Sensory flooding, particularly during auditory stimulation, is a common problem for patients with schizophrenia. The functional consequences of this impairment during cross-modal attention tasks, however, are unclear. The purpose of this study was to examine how auditory distraction differentially affects task-associated response during visual attention in patients and healthy controls. To that end, 21 outpatients with schizophrenia and 23 healthy comparison subjects performed a visual attention task in the presence or absence of distracting, environmentally relevant "urban" noise while undergoing functional magnetic resonance imaging at 3T. The task had two conditions (difficult and easy; task-related neural activity was defined as difficult - easy. During task performance, a significant distraction (noise or silence by group (patient or control interaction was observed in the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, right hippocampus, left temporoparietal junction, and right fusiform gyrus, with patients showing relative hypoactivation during noise compared to controls. In patients, the ability to recruit the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex during the task in noise was negatively correlated with the effect of noise on reaction time. Clinically, the ability to recruit the fusiform gyrus during the task in noise was negatively correlated with SANS affective flattening score, and hippocampal recruitment during the task in noise was positively correlated with global functioning. In conclusion, schizophrenia may be associated with abnormalities in neural response during visual attention tasks in the presence of cross-modal noise distraction. These response differences may predict global functioning in the illness, and may serve as a biomarker for therapeutic development.

  17. Signal enhancement and suppression during visual-spatial selective attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Couperus, J W; Mangun, G R

    2010-11-04

    Selective attention involves the relative enhancement of relevant versus irrelevant stimuli. However, whether this relative enhancement involves primarily enhancement of attended stimuli, or suppression of irrelevant stimuli, remains controversial. Moreover, if both enhancement and suppression are involved, whether they result from a single mechanism or separate mechanisms during attentional control or selection is not known. In two experiments using a spatial cuing paradigm with task-relevant targets and irrelevant distractors, target, and distractor processing was examined as a function of distractor expectancy. Additionally, in the second study the interaction of perceptual load and distractor expectancy was explored. In both experiments, distractors were either validly cued (70%) or invalidly cued (30%) in order to examine the effects of distractor expectancy on attentional control as well as target and distractor processing. The effects of distractor expectancy were assessed using event-related potentials recorded during the cue-to-target period (preparatory attention) and in response to the task-relevant target stimuli (selective stimulus processing). Analyses of distractor-present displays (anticipated versus unanticipated), showed modulations in brain activity during both the preparatory period and during target processing. The pattern of brain responses suggest both facilitation of attended targets and suppression of unattended distractors. These findings provide evidence for a two-process model of visual-spatial selective attention, where one mechanism (facilitation) influences relevant stimuli and another (suppression) acts to filter distracting stimuli.

  18. An insect-inspired model for visual binding II: functional analysis and visual attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Northcutt, Brandon D; Higgins, Charles M

    2017-04-01

    We have developed a neural network model capable of performing visual binding inspired by neuronal circuitry in the optic glomeruli of flies: a brain area that lies just downstream of the optic lobes where early visual processing is performed. This visual binding model is able to detect objects in dynamic image sequences and bind together their respective characteristic visual features-such as color, motion, and orientation-by taking advantage of their common temporal fluctuations. Visual binding is represented in the form of an inhibitory weight matrix which learns over time which features originate from a given visual object. In the present work, we show that information represented implicitly in this weight matrix can be used to explicitly count the number of objects present in the visual image, to enumerate their specific visual characteristics, and even to create an enhanced image in which one particular object is emphasized over others, thus implementing a simple form of visual attention. Further, we present a detailed analysis which reveals the function and theoretical limitations of the visual binding network and in this context describe a novel network learning rule which is optimized for visual binding.

  19. Asynchrony in visual consciousness and the possible involvement of attention

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Konstantinos eMoutoussis

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available When subjects are asked to perceptually bind rapidly alternating colour and motion stimuli, the pairings they report are different from the ones actually occurring in physical reality. A possible explanation for this misbinding is that the time necessary for perception is different for different visual attributes. Such an explanation is in logical harmony with the fact that the visual brain is characterized by different, functionally specialized systems, with different processing times for each; this type of organization naturally leads to different perceptual times for the corresponding attributes. In the present review, the experimental findings supporting perceptual asynchrony are presented, together with the original theoretical explanation behind the phenomenon and its implication for visual consciousness. Alternative theoretical views and additional experimental facts concerning perceptual misbinding are also reviewed, with a particular emphasis given to the role of attention. With few exceptions, most theories converge on the idea that the observed misbinding reflects a difference in perception times, which is in turn due to differences in neuronal processing times for different attributes within the brain. These processing-time differences have been attributed to several different factors, attention included, with the possibility of co-existence between them.

  20. The spatial distribution of attention during covert visual orienting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCormick, P A; Klein, R

    1990-12-01

    Many studies of covert orienting of visual attention in response to informative pre-cues have focused on the spatial distribution of improved or impaired performance. One can find at least four different models in the literature, each describing a different distribution: the fixed gradient spotlight; the zoom lens spotlight; the hemifield activation hypothesis; and the flexible allocation of resources model. In previous work examining procedural details that might have led to the formulation of the hemifield activation hypothesis, it was postulated (Klein and McCormick 1989) that under conditions of uncertainty about which of two locations to attend, an observer may focus attention on a visual channel (i.e., midlocation placement of a fixed gradient spotlight) that is spatially intermediate. The present experiment was designed to distinguish among the four models of attentional distribution, and to test the midlocation placement strategy. Our findings show support for midlocation placement, demonstrate evidence against flexible allocation and hemifield activation, but could not differentiate between fixed gradient and zoom lens variants of the spotlight model.

  1. Audio-visual synchrony and feature-selective attention co-amplify early visual processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keitel, Christian; Müller, Matthias M

    2016-05-01

    Our brain relies on neural mechanisms of selective attention and converging sensory processing to efficiently cope with rich and unceasing multisensory inputs. One prominent assumption holds that audio-visual synchrony can act as a strong attractor for spatial attention. Here, we tested for a similar effect of audio-visual synchrony on feature-selective attention. We presented two superimposed Gabor patches that differed in colour and orientation. On each trial, participants were cued to selectively attend to one of the two patches. Over time, spatial frequencies of both patches varied sinusoidally at distinct rates (3.14 and 3.63 Hz), giving rise to pulse-like percepts. A simultaneously presented pure tone carried a frequency modulation at the pulse rate of one of the two visual stimuli to introduce audio-visual synchrony. Pulsed stimulation elicited distinct time-locked oscillatory electrophysiological brain responses. These steady-state responses were quantified in the spectral domain to examine individual stimulus processing under conditions of synchronous versus asynchronous tone presentation and when respective stimuli were attended versus unattended. We found that both, attending to the colour of a stimulus and its synchrony with the tone, enhanced its processing. Moreover, both gain effects combined linearly for attended in-sync stimuli. Our results suggest that audio-visual synchrony can attract attention to specific stimulus features when stimuli overlap in space.

  2. Visual arts training is linked to flexible attention to local and global levels of visual stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chamberlain, Rebecca; Wagemans, Johan

    2015-10-01

    Observational drawing skill has been shown to be associated with the ability to focus on local visual details. It is unclear whether superior performance in local processing is indicative of the ability to attend to, and flexibly switch between, local and global levels of visual stimuli. It is also unknown whether these attentional enhancements remain specific to observational drawing skill or are a product of a wide range of artistic activities. The current study aimed to address these questions by testing if flexible visual processing predicts artistic group membership and observational drawing skill in a sample of first-year bachelor's degree art students (n=23) and non-art students (n=23). A pattern of local and global visual processing enhancements was found in relation to artistic group membership and drawing skill, with local processing ability found to be specifically related to individual differences in drawing skill. Enhanced global processing and more fluent switching between local and global levels of hierarchical stimuli predicted both drawing skill and artistic group membership, suggesting that these are beneficial attentional mechanisms for art-making in a range of domains. These findings support a top-down attentional model of artistic expertise and shed light on the domain specific and domain-general attentional enhancements induced by proficiency in the visual arts.

  3. The effect of implantation age on visual attention skills.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yucel, Esra; Derim, Deray

    2008-06-01

    The aim of this study is to evaluate the visual attention skills of deaf children with cochlear implants and to determine whether age at implantation had any impact on visual attention skills. Thirty children with cochlear implants aged 6 and 11 years were evaluated and were compared with age matched 36 normal hearing children. The children with cochlear implants were analyzed in to two groups according to their age at implantation; under and at/over 4 years old. The Gordon Diagnostic System (GDS) was used in order to evaluate visual attention skills of cochlear implanted (Group 1 and Group 2) and children with normal hearing. The number of correct responses, extraneous button presses (commission errors) and the number of omission errors or the failure to respond to target stimuli which were recorded by GDS was used to evaluate the visual attention skills of the subjects. Also six different types of commission errors (19X, XX9, XX1, X1X, X9X, XXX) were analyzed and compared both for normal and cochlear implant user children. Concerning the total number of correct response, omission and commission errors no statistical difference was found between two implanted groups. Besides, both groups with cochlear implantation differed from normal hearing peers on the total number of correct responses, omission errors (ptypes of commission errors Group 1 and 2 performed similarly in all types of errors (p>0.017). Besides, Group 1 and 2 made more errors in types 19X, XX9 and XXX, XX9 compared with the control group (ptype with age at implantation. These findings show that children who had their implants at older ages made more commission errors and XX9 type of commission error. The children who were implanted after 4 years old were less mature; unsuccessful in controlling their impulsive behaviors and more careless where they can not get enough benefit from social and environmental motives compared with their normal hearing peers. This present research points out the positive

  4. Visuospatial attention deficits in developmental dyslexia: evidence from visual and mental number line bisection tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gabay, Yafit; Gabay, Shai; Schiff, Rachel; Ashkenazi, Sarit; Henik, Avishai

    2013-12-01

    Previous research has shown that individuals with DD (developmental dyslexia) demonstrated a left mini neglect on visual line (VL) bisection tasks, which has been commonly referred to as right parietal dysfunction. However, insufficient reading experience characterizes dyslexia and may call into question the validity of this interpretation, since the VL bisection task has been found to be influenced by reading habits. The current study investigated whether altered performance of individuals with DD on bisection tasks may be attributed to impaired attentional mechanisms or to insufficient reading exposure. DD and control groups performed visual and mental number line bisection tasks, which have been shown to be modulated differently by reading habits. In both tasks, the magnitude of left bisection errors was significantly larger in the DD group compared with controls. This finding suggests attentional mechanisms act differently in dyslexia and supports evidence linking dyslexia to decreased function of the left hemisphere.

  5. Traffic danger detection by visual attention model of sparse sampling

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    夏利民; 刘涛; 谭论正

    2015-01-01

    A method to detect traffic dangers based on visual attention model of sparse sampling was proposed. The hemispherical sparse sampling model was used to decrease the amount of calculation which increases the detection speed. Bayesian probability model and Gaussian kernel function were applied to calculate the saliency of traffic videos. The method of multiscale saliency was used and the final saliency was the average of all scales, which increased the detection rates extraordinarily. The detection results of several typical traffic dangers show that the proposed method has higher detection rates and speed, which meets the requirement of real-time detection of traffic dangers.

  6. Unintentionality of affective attention across visual processing stages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uusberg, Andero; Uibo, Helen; Kreegipuu, Kairi; Tamm, Maria; Raidvee, Aire; Allik, Jüri

    2013-01-01

    Affective attention involves bottom-up perceptual selection that prioritizes motivationally significant stimuli. To clarify the extent to which this process is automatic, we investigated the dependence of affective attention on the intention to process emotional meaning. Affective attention was manipulated by presenting affective images with variable arousal and intentionality by requiring participants to make affective and non-affective evaluations. Polytomous rather than binary decisions were required from the participants in order to elicit relatively deep emotional processing. The temporal dynamics of prioritized processing were assessed using early posterior negativity (EPN, 175-300 ms) as well as P3-like (P3, 300-500 ms) and slow wave (SW, 500-1500 ms) portions of the late positive potential. All analyzed components were differentially sensitive to stimulus categories suggesting that they indeed reflect distinct stages of motivational significance encoding. The intention to perceive emotional meaning had no effect on EPN, an additive effect on P3, and an interactive effect on SW. We concluded that affective attention went from completely unintentional during the EPN to partially unintentional during P3 and SW where top-down signals, respectively, complemented and modulated bottom-up differences in stimulus prioritization. The findings were interpreted in light of two-stage models of visual perception by associating the EPN with large-capacity initial relevance detection and the P3 as well as SW with capacity-limited consolidation and elaboration of affective stimuli.

  7. Unintentionality of affective attention across visual processing stages

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andero eUusberg

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Affective attention involves bottom-up perceptual selection that prioritizes motivationally significant stimuli. To clarify the extent to which this process is automatic, we investigated the dependence of affective attention on the intention to process emotional meaning. Affective attention was manipulated by presenting IAPS images with variable arousal and intentionality by requiring participants to make affective and non-affective evaluations. Polytomous rather than binary decisions were required from the participants in order to elicit relatively deep emotional processing. The temporal dynamics of prioritized processing were assessed using Early Posterior Negativity (EPN, 175-300 ms as well as P3-like (P3, 300 – 500 ms and Slow Wave (SW, 500 – 1500 ms portions of the Late Positive Potential. All analysed components were differentially sensitive to stimulus categories suggesting that they indeed reflect distinct stages of motivational significance encoding. The intention to perceive emotional meaning had no effect on EPN, an additive effect on P3, and an interactive effect on SW. We concluded that affective attention went from completely unintentional during the EPN to partially unintentional during P3 and SW where top-down signals, respectively, complemented and modulated bottom-up differences in stimulus prioritization. The findings were interpreted in light of two-stage models of visual perception by associating the EPN with large-capacity initial relevance detection and the P3 as well as SW with capacity-limited consolidation and elaboration of affective stimuli.

  8. Manipulations of attention dissociate fragile visual short-term memory from visual working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vandenbroucke, Annelinde R E; Sligte, Ilja G; Lamme, Victor A F

    2011-05-01

    People often rely on information that is no longer in view, but maintained in visual short-term memory (VSTM). Traditionally, VSTM is thought to operate on either a short time-scale with high capacity - iconic memory - or a long time scale with small capacity - visual working memory. Recent research suggests that in addition, an intermediate stage of memory in between iconic memory and visual working memory exists. This intermediate stage has a large capacity and a lifetime of several seconds, but is easily overwritten by new stimulation. We therefore termed it fragile VSTM. In previous studies, fragile VSTM has been dissociated from iconic memory by the characteristics of the memory trace. In the present study, we dissociated fragile VSTM from visual working memory by showing a differentiation in their dependency on attention. A decrease in attention during presentation of the stimulus array greatly reduced the capacity of visual working memory, while this had only a small effect on the capacity of fragile VSTM. We conclude that fragile VSTM is a separate memory store from visual working memory. Thus, a tripartite division of VSTM appears to be in place, comprising iconic memory, fragile VSTM and visual working memory. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Endogenous visuospatial attention increases visual awareness independent of visual discrimination sensitivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vernet, Marine; Japee, Shruti; Lokey, Savannah; Ahmed, Sara; Zachariou, Valentinos; Ungerleider, Leslie G

    2017-08-12

    Visuospatial attention often improves task performance by increasing signal gain at attended locations and decreasing noise at unattended locations. Attention is also believed to be the mechanism that allows information to enter awareness. In this experiment, we assessed whether orienting endogenous visuospatial attention with cues differentially affects visual discrimination sensitivity (an objective task performance) and visual awareness (the subjective feeling of perceiving) during the same discrimination task. Gabor patch targets were presented laterally, either at low contrast (contrast stimuli) or at high contrast embedded in noise (noise stimuli). Participants reported their orientation either in a 3-alternative choice task (clockwise, counterclockwise, unknown) that allowed for both objective and subjective reports, or in a 2-alternative choice task (clockwise, counterclockwise) that provided a control for objective reports. Signal detection theory models were fit to the experimental data: estimated perceptual sensitivity reflected objective performance; decision criteria, or subjective biases, were a proxy for visual awareness. Attention increased sensitivity (i.e., improved objective performance) for the contrast, but not for the noise stimuli. Indeed, with the latter, attention did not further enhance the already high target signal or reduce the already low uncertainty on its position. Interestingly, for both contrast and noise stimuli, attention resulted in more liberal criteria, i.e., awareness increased. The noise condition is thus an experimental configuration where people think they see the targets they attend to better, even if they do not. This could be explained by an internal representation of their attentional state, which influences awareness independent of objective visual signals. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  10. A methodology for coupling a visual enhancement device to human visual attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Todorovic, Aleksandar; Black, John A., Jr.; Panchanathan, Sethuraman

    2009-02-01

    The Human Variation Model views disability as simply "an extension of the natural physical, social, and cultural variability of mankind." Given this human variation, it can be difficult to distinguish between a prosthetic device such as a pair of glasses (which extends limited visual abilities into the "normal" range) and a visual enhancement device such as a pair of binoculars (which extends visual abilities beyond the "normal" range). Indeed, there is no inherent reason why the design of visual prosthetic devices should be limited to just providing "normal" vision. One obvious enhancement to human vision would be the ability to visually "zoom" in on objects that are of particular interest to the viewer. Indeed, it could be argued that humans already have a limited zoom capability, which is provided by their highresolution foveal vision. However, humans still find additional zooming useful, as evidenced by their purchases of binoculars equipped with mechanized zoom features. The fact that these zoom features are manually controlled raises two questions: (1) Could a visual enhancement device be developed to monitor attention and control visual zoom automatically? (2) If such a device were developed, would its use be experienced by users as a simple extension of their natural vision? This paper details the results of work with two research platforms called the Remote Visual Explorer (ReVEx) and the Interactive Visual Explorer (InVEx) that were developed specifically to answer these two questions.

  11. The influence of attention, learning, and motivation on visual search.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dodd, Michael D; Flowers, John H

    2012-01-01

    The 59th Annual Nebraska Symposium on Motivation (The Influence of Attention, Learning, and Motivation on Visual Search) took place April 7-8, 2011, on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus. The symposium brought together leading scholars who conduct research related to visual search at a variety levels for a series of talks, poster presentations, panel discussions, and numerous additional opportunities for intellectual exchange. The Symposium was also streamed online for the first time in the history of the event, allowing individuals from around the world to view the presentations and submit questions. The present volume is intended to both commemorate the event itself and to allow our speakers additional opportunity to address issues and current research that have since arisen. Each of the speakers (and, in some cases, their graduate students and post docs) has provided a chapter which both summarizes and expands on their original presentations. In this chapter, we sought to a) provide additional context as to how the Symposium came to be, b) discuss why we thought that this was an ideal time to organize a visual search symposium, and c) to briefly address recent trends and potential future directions in the field. We hope you find the volume both enjoyable and informative, and we thank the authors who have contributed a series of engaging chapters.

  12. Structure of attention and the logic of visual composition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wright, Katherine Blair; Bafna, Sonit

    2014-09-01

    Two groups of subjects were presented with two façade designs, one with the front façade of the existing Atlanta Public Library, an exercise in modern abstract plastic composition by the Bauhaus-trained architect Marcel Breuer, and the other with alteration that toned down its plasticity and enhanced simple relations of its parts like symmetry and repetition. The subjects were asked to recall and copy the façades. The results showed that while significantly more students recalled elements of the altered façade, the performance was equivocal for the façades for the copying task. However, the copying task showed the subjects making greater errors in reproducing elements and relations on the periphery, and those that reflect a reading of depth in the façades. We present an account of the experiment, making the case that the results show the influence of visual design of the façade on the way that an interested and involved viewer attends to it in the course of parsing and comprehending it. The broader implication of this point is to see the visual design of buildings not as simple means to increase its aesthetic value, but as a sophisticated means to lead the viewer to specific forms of imaginative engagement.

  13. Structure of Attention and the Logic of Visual Composition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katherine Blair Wright

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Two groups of subjects were presented with two façade designs, one with the front façade of the existing Atlanta Public Library, an exercise in modern abstract plastic composition by the Bauhaus-trained architect Marcel Breuer, and the other with alteration that toned down its plasticity and enhanced simple relations of its parts like symmetry and repetition. The subjects were asked to recall and copy the façades. The results showed that while significantly more students recalled elements of the altered façade, the performance was equivocal for the façades for the copying task. However, the copying task showed the subjects making greater errors in reproducing elements and relations on the periphery, and those that reflect a reading of depth in the façades. We present an account of the experiment, making the case that the results show the influence of visual design of the façade on the way that an interested and involved viewer attends to it in the course of parsing and comprehending it. The broader implication of this point is to see the visual design of buildings not as simple means to increase its aesthetic value, but as a sophisticated means to lead the viewer to specific forms of imaginative engagement.

  14. New rules for visual selection: Isolating procedural attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramamurthy, Mahalakshmi; Blaser, Erik

    2017-02-01

    High performance in well-practiced, everyday tasks-driving, sports, gaming-suggests a kind of procedural attention that can allocate processing resources to behaviorally relevant information in an unsupervised manner. Here we show that training can lead to a new, automatic attentional selection rule that operates in the absence of bottom-up, salience-driven triggers and willful top-down selection. Taking advantage of the fact that attention modulates motion aftereffects, observers were presented with a bivectorial display with overlapping, iso-salient red and green dot fields moving to the right and left, respectively, while distracted by a demanding auditory two-back memory task. Before training, since the motion vectors canceled each other out, no net motion aftereffect (MAE) was found. However, after 3 days (0.5 hr/day) of training, during which observers practiced selectively attending to the red, rightward field, a significant net MAE was observed-even when top-down selection was again distracted. Further experiments showed that these results were not due to perceptual learning, and that the new rule targeted the motion, and not the color of the target dot field, and global, not local, motion signals; thus, the new rule was: "select the rightward field." This study builds on recent work on selection history-driven and reward-driven biases, but uses a novel paradigm where the allocation of visual processing resources are measured passively, offline, and when the observer's ability to execute top-down selection is defeated.

  15. A new model to study visual attention in zebrafish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Braida, Daniela; Ponzoni, Luisa; Martucci, Roberta; Sala, Mariaelvina

    2014-12-03

    The major part of cognitive tasks applied to zebrafish has not fully assessed their attentional ability, a process by which the nervous system learns, organizes sensory input and generates coordinated behaviour. In an attempt to maximize the value of zebrafish as an animal model of cognition, we tested the possibility to apply a modified version of novel object recognition test named virtual object recognition test (VORT) using 2D geometrical shapes (square, triangle, circle, cross, etc.) on two iPod 3.5-inch widescreen displays, located on two opposite walls of the water tank. Each fish was subjected to a familiarization trial (T1), and after different time delays (from 5 min to 96 h) to a novel shape recognition trial (T2). A progressive decrease, across time, of memory performance, in terms of mean discrimination index and mean exploration time, was shown. The predictive validity was tested using cholinergic drugs. Nicotine (0.02 mg/kg intraperitoneally, IP) significantly increased, while scopolamine (0.025 mg/kg IP) and mecamylamine decreased, mean discrimination index. Zebrafish discriminated different movements (vertical, horizontal, oblique) and the discrimination index increased significantly when moving poorly discriminated shapes were presented, thus increasing visual attention. Taken together these findings demonstrate that VORT is a viable, fast and useful model to evaluate sustained attention in zebrafish and for predicting the efficacy of pharmacotherapies for cognitive disorders.

  16. Alterations of the visual pathways in congenital blindness

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ptito, Maurice; Schneider, Fabien C G; Paulson, Olaf B

    2008-01-01

    We used whole brain MRI voxel-based morphometry (VBM) to study the anatomical organization of the visual system in congenitally blind (CB) adults. Eleven CB without a history of visual perception were compared with 21 age- and sex-matched normal-sighted controls (NS). CB showed significant atrophy...... of the geniculo-striate system, encompassing the optic nerves, the optic chiasm, the optic radiations and the primary visual cortex (BA17). The volume decrease in BA17 reached 25% in both hemispheres. The pulvinar and its projections to the associative visual areas were also dramatically altered, BA18....../19 and the middle temporal cortex (MT) showing volume reductions of up to 20%. Additional significant white matter alterations were observed in the inferior longitudinal tract and in the posterior part of the corpus callosum, which links the visual areas of both hemispheres. Our data indicate that the afferent...

  17. An electrophysiological insight into visual attention mechanisms underlying schizotypy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuggetta, Giorgio; Bennett, Matthew A; Duke, Philip A

    2015-07-01

    A theoretical framework has been put forward to understand attention deficits in schizophrenia (Luck SJ & Gold JM. Biological Psychiatry. 2008; 64:34-39). We adopted this framework to evaluate any deficits in attentional processes in schizotypy. Sixteen low schizotypal (LoS) and 16 high schizotypal (HiS) individuals performed a novel paradigm combining a match-to-sample task, with inhibition of return (using spatially uninformative cues) and memory-guided efficient visual-search within one trial sequence. Behavioural measures and event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded. Behaviourally, HiS individuals exhibited a spatial cueing effect while LoS individuals showed the more typical inhibition of return effect. These results suggest HiS individuals have a relative deficit in rule selection - the endogenous control process involved in disengaging attention from the uninformative location cue. ERP results showed that the late-phase of N2pc evoked by the target stimulus had greater peak latency and amplitude in HiS individuals. This suggests a relative deficit in the implementation of selection - the process of focusing attention onto target features that enhances relevant/suppresses irrelevant inputs. This is a different conclusion than when the same theoretical framework has been applied to schizophrenia, which argues little or no deficit in implementation of selection amongst patients. Also, HiS individuals exhibited earlier onset and greater amplitude of the mismatch-triggered negativity component. In summary, our results indicate deficits of both control and implementation of selection in HiS individuals.

  18. Facilitation of visual perception in head direction: visual attention modulation based on head direction.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ryoichi Nakashima

    Full Text Available People usually see things using frontal viewing, and avoid lateral viewing (or eccentric gaze where the directions of the head and eyes are largely different. Lateral viewing interferes with attentive visual search performance, probably because the head is directed away from the target and/or because the head and eyes are misaligned. In this study, we examined which of these factors is the primary one for interference by conducting a visual identification experiment where a target was presented in the peripheral visual field. The critical manipulation was the participants' head direction and fixation position: the head was directed to the fixation location, the target position, or the opposite side of the fixation. The performance was highest when the head was directed to the target position even when there was misalignment of the head and eye, suggesting that visual perception can be influenced by both head direction and fixation position.

  19. Computational Model of Primary Visual Cortex Combining Visual Attention for Action Recognition.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Na Shu

    Full Text Available Humans can easily understand other people's actions through visual systems, while computers cannot. Therefore, a new bio-inspired computational model is proposed in this paper aiming for automatic action recognition. The model focuses on dynamic properties of neurons and neural networks in the primary visual cortex (V1, and simulates the procedure of information processing in V1, which consists of visual perception, visual attention and representation of human action. In our model, a family of the three-dimensional spatial-temporal correlative Gabor filters is used to model the dynamic properties of the classical receptive field of V1 simple cell tuned to different speeds and orientations in time for detection of spatiotemporal information from video sequences. Based on the inhibitory effect of stimuli outside the classical receptive field caused by lateral connections of spiking neuron networks in V1, we propose surround suppressive operator to further process spatiotemporal information. Visual attention model based on perceptual grouping is integrated into our model to filter and group different regions. Moreover, in order to represent the human action, we consider the characteristic of the neural code: mean motion map based on analysis of spike trains generated by spiking neurons. The experimental evaluation on some publicly available action datasets and comparison with the state-of-the-art approaches demonstrate the superior performance of the proposed model.

  20. Vigilance, visual search and attention in an agricultural task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartley, L R; Arnold, P K; Kobryn, H; Macleod, C

    1989-03-01

    In a fragile agricultural environment, such as Western Australia (WA), introduced exotic plant species present a serious environmental and economic threat. Skeleton weed, centaurea juncea, a Mediterranean daisy, was accidentally introduced into WA in 1963. It competes with cash crops such as wheat. When observed in the fields, farms are quarantined and mechanised teams search for the infestations in order to destroy them. Since the search process requires attention, visual search and vigilance, the present investigators conducted a number of controlled field trials to identify the importance of these factors in detection of the weed. The paper describes the basic hit rate, vigilance decrement, effect of search party size, effect of target size, and some data on the effect of solar illumination of the target. Several recommendations have been made and incorporated in the search programme and some laboratory studies undertaken to answer questions arising.

  1. Attention, Visual Perception and their Relationship to Sport Performance in Fencing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hijazi, Mona Mohamed Kamal

    2013-12-18

    Attention and visual perception are important in fencing, as they affect the levels of performance and achievement in fencers. This study identifies the levels of attention and visual perception among male and female fencers and the relationship between attention and visual perception dimensions and the sport performance in fencing. The researcher employed a descriptive method in a sample of 16 fencers during the 2010/2011 season. The sample was comprised of eight males and eight females who participated in the 11-year stage of the Cairo Championships. The Test of Attentional and Interpersonal Style, which was designed by Nideffer and translated by Allawi (1998) was applied. The test consisted of 59 statements that measured seven dimensions. The Test of Visual Perception Skills designed by Alsmadune (2005), which includes seven dimensions was also used. Among females, a positive and statistically significant correlation between the achievement level and Visual Discrimination, Visual-Spatial Relationships, Visual Sequential Memory, Narrow Attentional Focus and Information Processing was observed, while among males, there was a positive and statistically significant correlation between the achievement level and Visual Discrimination, Visual Sequential Memory, Broad External Attentional Focus and Information Processing. For both males and females, a positive and statistically significant correlation between achievement level and Visual Discrimination, Visual Sequential Memory, Broad External Attentional, Narrow Attentional Focus and Information Processing was found. There were statistically significant differences between males and females in Visual Discrimination and Visual-Form Constancy.

  2. Focalização da atenção visual Visual attention focusing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joaquim Carlos Rossini

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Neste estudo investigamos o ajuste dinâmico do foco atentivo em função de algumas características físicas de uma dica visual exógena. O primeiro experimento investigou o efeito da área delimitada por uma dica visual apresentada por diferentes intervalos entre estímulos (IEE. O segundo experimento investigou a disponibilidade dos recursos atentivos no meridiano horizontal e vertical do campo visual e o efeito de letras flanqueadoras apresentadas dentro e fora do foco atentivo. Os resultados do primeiro experimento sugerem que o foco da atenção pode ser mantido estável por um período superior a 500 ms, e que o tempo pelo qual os recursos atentivos podem permanecer estáveis é inversamente proporcional a sua área. Estes resultados também confirmam uma relação inversa entre o tamanho da área a ser atendida e a eficiência no processamento da informação. Os resultados do segundo experimento corroboram o efeito causado por letras flanqueadoras observado por outros autores (B. Eriksen & Eriksen, 1974; Miller, 1991, com um aumento do tempo de reação na presença da letra flanqueadora incompatível com o alvo. As letras flanqueadoras têm um efeito significativamente menor quando apresentadas fora da área delimitada pela dica visual. Este resultado indica uma ação atentiva inibitória fora da área de focalização. Além disso, observou-se uma possível assimetria na distribuição dos recursos inibitórios entre o meridiano horizontal e vertical do campo visual.This study investigated the dynamic adjustment of the attention focusing in function of some physical characteristics of an exogenous visual cue. The first experiment investigated the effect of the area delimitated by a visual cue presented by different intervals between stimuli. The second experiment investigated the availability of attentional resources in the horizontal and vertical meridian of the visual field and the effect of flanking letters presented in and out

  3. Influence of visual cueing and outcome feedback on physics problem solving and visual attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rouinfar, Amy

    Research has demonstrated that attentional cues overlaid on diagrams and animations can help students attend to the relevant areas and facilitate problem solving. In this study we investigate the influence of visual cues and outcome feedback on students' problem solving, performance, reasoning, and visual attention as they solve conceptual physics problems containing a diagram. The participants (N=90) were enrolled in an algebra-based physics course and were individually interviewed. During each interview students solved four problem sets while their eye movements were recorded. The problem diagrams contained regions that were relevant to solving the problem correctly and separate regions related to common incorrect responses. Each problem set contained an initial problem, six isomorphic training problems, and a transfer problem. Those in the cued condition saw visual cues overlaid on the training problems. Those in the feedback conditions were told if their responses (answer and explanation) were correct or incorrect. Students' verbal responses were used to determine their accuracy. The study produced two major findings. First, short duration visual cues coupled with correctness feedback can improve problem solving performance on a variety of insight physics problems, including transfer problems not sharing the surface features of the training problems, but instead sharing the underlying solution path. Thus, visual cues can facilitate re-representing a problem and overcoming impasse, enabling a correct solution. Importantly, these cueing effects on problem solving did not involve the solvers' attention necessarily embodying the solution to the problem. Instead, the cueing effects were caused by solvers attending to and integrating relevant information in the problems into a solution path. Second, these short duration visual cues when administered repeatedly over multiple training problems resulted in participants becoming more efficient at extracting the relevant

  4. A novel test for evaluating horses' spontaneous visual attention is predictive of attention in operant learning tasks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rochais, C.; Sébilleau, M.; Houdebine, M.; Bec, P.; Hausberger, M.; Henry, S.

    2017-08-01

    Attention is described as the ability to process selectively one aspect of the environment over others. In this study, we characterized horses' spontaneous attention by designing a novel visual attention test (VAT) that is easy to apply in the animal's home environment. The test was repeated over three consecutive days and repeated again 6 months later in order to assess inter-individual variations and intra-individual stability. Different patterns of attention have been revealed: `overall' attention when the horse merely gazed at the stimulus and `fixed' attention characterized by fixity and orientation of at least the visual and auditory organs towards the stimulus. The individual attention characteristics remained consistent over time (after 6 months, Spearman correlation test, P work situation (lunge working context). Our results revealed that (i) individual variations remained consistent across tests and (ii) the VAT attention measures were not only predictive of attentional skills but also of learning abilities. Differences appeared however between the first day of testing and the following test days: attention structure on the second day was predictive of learning abilities, attention performances in the 5-CSRRT and at work. The VAT appears as a promising easy-to-use tool to assess animals' attention characteristics and the impact of different factors of variation on attention.

  5. Simultaneous selection by object-based attention in visual and frontal cortex

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pooresmaeili, Arezoo; Poort, Jasper; Roelfsema, Pieter R

    2014-01-01

    Models of visual attention hold that top-down signals from frontal cortex influence information processing in visual cortex. It is unknown whether situations exist in which visual cortex actively participates in attentional selection. To investigate this question, we simultaneously recorded neuronal

  6. How stimuli presentation format affects visual attention and choice outcomes in choice experiments

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mueller Loose, Simone; Orquin, Jacob Lund

    information table, a table with visual attributes levels and a realistic product mock-up presentation. Presentation format was found to exert a significant bottom-up effect on visual attention and subsequent choice. Visual attention and choice behaviour in discrete choice experiments were found to be strongly...

  7. Learning arm/hand coordination with an altered visual input.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iftime Nielsen, Simona Denisia; Dosen, Strahinja; Popović, Mirjana B; Popović, Dejan B

    2010-01-01

    The focus of this study was to test a novel tool for the analysis of motor coordination with an altered visual input. The altered visual input was created using special glasses that presented the view as recorded by a video camera placed at various positions around the subject. The camera was positioned at a frontal (F), lateral (L), or top (T) position with respect to the subject. We studied the differences between the arm-end (wrist) trajectories while grasping an object between altered vision (F, L, and T conditions) and normal vision (N) in ten subjects. The outcome measures from the analysis were the trajectory errors, the movement parameters, and the time of execution. We found substantial trajectory errors and an increased execution time at the baseline of the study. We also found that trajectory errors decreased in all conditions after three days of practice with the altered vision in the F condition only for 20 minutes per day, suggesting that recalibration of the visual systems occurred relatively quickly. These results indicate that this recalibration occurs via movement training in an altered condition. The results also suggest that recalibration is more difficult to achieve for altered vision in the F and L conditions compared to the T condition. This study has direct implications on the design of new rehabilitation systems.

  8. Visual Spatial Attention to Multiple Locations At Once: The Jury Is Still Out

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jans, Bert; Peters, Judith C.; De Weerd, Peter

    2010-01-01

    Although in traditional attention research the focus of visual spatial attention has been considered as indivisible, many studies in the last 15 years have claimed the contrary. These studies suggest that humans can direct their attention simultaneously to multiple noncontiguous regions of the visual field upon mere instruction. The notion that…

  9. Visual attention to repeated print advertising : A test of scanpath theory

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pieters, R; Rosbergen, E; Wedel, M

    1999-01-01

    The authors examine consumers' visual attention during repeated exposures to print advertisements using eye-tracking methodology. The authors propose a statistical model comprising submodels for two key measures of visual attention to elements of the advertisement: attention duration and inter- and

  10. Video game experience and its influence on visual attention parameters: an investigation using the framework of the Theory of Visual Attention (TVA).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schubert, Torsten; Finke, Kathrin; Redel, Petra; Kluckow, Steffen; Müller, Hermann; Strobach, Tilo

    2015-05-01

    Experts with video game experience, in contrast to non-experienced persons, are superior in multiple domains of visual attention. However, it is an open question which basic aspects of attention underlie this superiority. We approached this question using the framework of Theory of Visual Attention (TVA) with tools that allowed us to assess various parameters that are related to different visual attention aspects (e.g., perception threshold, processing speed, visual short-term memory storage capacity, top-down control, spatial distribution of attention) and that are measurable on the same experimental basis. In Experiment 1, we found advantages of video game experts in perception threshold and visual processing speed; the latter being restricted to the lower positions of the used computer display. The observed advantages were not significantly moderated by general person-related characteristics such as personality traits, sensation seeking, intelligence, social anxiety, or health status. Experiment 2 tested a potential causal link between the expert advantages and video game practice with an intervention protocol. It found no effects of action video gaming on perception threshold, visual short-term memory storage capacity, iconic memory storage, top-down control, and spatial distribution of attention after 15 days of training. However, observations of a selected improvement of processing speed at the lower positions of the computer screen after video game training and of retest effects are suggestive for limited possibilities to improve basic aspects of visual attention (TVA) with practice.

  11. Audiovisual associations alter the perception of low-level visual motion

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hulusi eKafaligonul

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Motion perception is a pervasive nature of vision and is affected by both immediate pattern of sensory inputs and prior experiences acquired through associations. Recently, several studies reported that an association can be established quickly between directions of visual motion and static sounds of distinct frequencies. After the association is formed, sounds are able to change the perceived direction of visual motion. To determine whether such rapidly acquired audiovisual associations and their subsequent influences on visual motion perception are dependent on the involvement of higher-order attentive tracking mechanisms, we designed psychophysical experiments using regular and reverse-phi random dot motions isolating low-level pre-attentive motion processing. Our results show that an association between the directions of low-level visual motion and static sounds can be formed and this audiovisual association alters the subsequent perception of low-level visual motion. These findings support the view that audiovisual associations are not restricted to high-level attention based motion system and early-level visual motion processing has some potential role.

  12. Audiovisual associations alter the perception of low-level visual motion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kafaligonul, Hulusi; Oluk, Can

    2015-01-01

    Motion perception is a pervasive nature of vision and is affected by both immediate pattern of sensory inputs and prior experiences acquired through associations. Recently, several studies reported that an association can be established quickly between directions of visual motion and static sounds of distinct frequencies. After the association is formed, sounds are able to change the perceived direction of visual motion. To determine whether such rapidly acquired audiovisual associations and their subsequent influences on visual motion perception are dependent on the involvement of higher-order attentive tracking mechanisms, we designed psychophysical experiments using regular and reverse-phi random dot motions isolating low-level pre-attentive motion processing. Our results show that an association between the directions of low-level visual motion and static sounds can be formed and this audiovisual association alters the subsequent perception of low-level visual motion. These findings support the view that audiovisual associations are not restricted to high-level attention based motion system and early-level visual motion processing has some potential role.

  13. Directing gaze: the effect of disclaimer labels on women's visual attention to fashion magazine advertisements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bury, Belinda; Tiggemann, Marika; Slater, Amy

    2014-09-01

    In an effort to combat the known negative effects of exposure to unrealistic thin ideal images, there is increasing worldwide pressure on fashion, media and advertising industries to disclose when images have been digitally altered. The current study used eye tracking technology to investigate experimentally how digital alteration disclaimer labels impact women's visual attention to fashion magazine advertisements. Participants were 60 female undergraduate students who viewed four thin ideal advertisements with either no disclaimer, a generic disclaimer, or a specific more detailed disclaimer. It was established that women did attend to the disclaimers. The nature of the disclaimer had no effect on time spent looking at particular body parts, but did affect the direction of gaze following reading of the disclaimer. This latter effect was found to be greater for women high on trait appearance comparison. Further research is paramount in guiding effective policy around the use of disclaimer labels. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Dimension-based attention in visual short-term memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pilling, Michael; Barrett, Doug J K

    2016-07-01

    We investigated how dimension-based attention influences visual short-term memory (VSTM). This was done through examining the effects of cueing a feature dimension in two perceptual comparison tasks (change detection and sameness detection). In both tasks, a memory array and a test array consisting of a number of colored shapes were presented successively, interleaved by a blank interstimulus interval (ISI). In Experiment 1 (change detection), the critical event was a feature change in one item across the memory and test arrays. In Experiment 2 (sameness detection), the critical event was the absence of a feature change in one item across the two arrays. Auditory cues indicated the feature dimension (color or shape) of the critical event with 80 % validity; the cues were presented either prior to the memory array, during the ISI, or simultaneously with the test array. In Experiment 1, the cue validity influenced sensitivity only when the cue was given at the earliest position; in Experiment 2, the cue validity influenced sensitivity at all three cue positions. We attributed the greater effectiveness of top-down guidance by cues in the sameness detection task to the more active nature of the comparison process required to detect sameness events (Hyun, Woodman, Vogel, Hollingworth, & Luck, Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 35; 1140-1160, 2009).

  15. Dynamic crossmodal links revealed by steady-state responses in auditory-visual divided attention

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Jong, Ritske; Toffanin, Paolo; Harbers, Marten; Martens, Sander

    2010-01-01

    Frequency tagging has been often used to study intramodal attention but not intermodal attention. We used EEG and simultaneous frequency tagging of auditory and visual sources to study intermodal focused and divided attention in detection and discrimination performance. Divided-attention costs were

  16. Dynamic crossmodal links revealed by steady-state responses in auditory-visual divided attention

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Jong, Ritske; Toffanin, Paolo; Harbers, Marten; Martens, Sander

    Frequency tagging has been often used to study intramodal attention but not intermodal attention. We used EEG and simultaneous frequency tagging of auditory and visual sources to study intermodal focused and divided attention in detection and discrimination performance. Divided-attention costs were

  17. Spatial Attention Changes Excitability of Human Visual Cortex to Direct Stimulation

    OpenAIRE

    Bestmann, Sven; Ruff, Christian C; Blakemore, Colin; Driver, Jon; Thilo, Kai V.

    2007-01-01

    Summary Conscious perception depends not only on sensory input, but also on attention [1, 2]. Recent studies in monkeys [3–6] and humans [7–12] suggest that influences of spatial attention on visual awareness may reflect top-down influences on excitability of visual cortex. Here we tested this specifically, by providing direct input into human visual cortex via cortical transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to produce illusory visual percepts, called phosphenes. We found that a lower TMS in...

  18. Bilingualism Alters Children's Frontal Lobe Functioning for Attentional Control

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arredondo, Maria M.; Hu, Xiao-Su; Satterfield, Teresa; Kovelman, Ioulia

    2017-01-01

    Bilingualism is a typical linguistic experience, yet relatively little is known about its impact on children's cognitive and brain development. Theories of bilingualism suggest early dual-language acquisition can improve children's cognitive abilities, specifically those relying on frontal lobe functioning. While behavioral findings present much conflicting evidence, little is known about its effects on children's frontal lobe development. Using functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS), the findings suggest that Spanish-English bilingual children (n=13, ages 7-13) had greater activation in left prefrontal cortex during a non-verbal attentional control task relative to age-matched English monolinguals. In contrast, monolinguals (n=14) showed greater right prefrontal activation than bilinguals. The present findings suggest early bilingualism yields significant changes to the functional organization of children's prefrontal cortex for attentional control and carry implications for understanding how early life experiences impact cognition and brain development. PMID:26743118

  19. Higher dietary diversity is related to better visual and auditory sustained attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shiraseb, Farideh; Siassi, Fereydoun; Qorbani, Mostafa; Sotoudeh, Gity; Rostami, Reza; Narmaki, Elham; Yavari, Parvaneh; Aghasi, Mohadeseh; Shaibu, Osman Mohammed

    2016-04-01

    Attention is a complex cognitive function that is necessary for learning, for following social norms of behaviour and for effective performance of responsibilities and duties. It is especially important in sensitive occupations requiring sustained attention. Improvement of dietary diversity (DD) is recognised as an important factor in health promotion, but its association with sustained attention is unknown. The aim of this study was to determine the association between auditory and visual sustained attention and DD. A cross-sectional study was carried out on 400 women aged 20-50 years who attended sports clubs at Tehran Municipality. Sustained attention was evaluated on the basis of the Integrated Visual and Auditory Continuous Performance Test using Integrated Visual and Auditory software. A single 24-h dietary recall questionnaire was used for DD assessment. Dietary diversity scores (DDS) were determined using the FAO guidelines. The mean visual and auditory sustained attention scores were 40·2 (sd 35·2) and 42·5 (sd 38), respectively. The mean DDS was 4·7 (sd 1·5). After adjusting for age, education years, physical activity, energy intake and BMI, mean visual and auditory sustained attention showed a significant increase as the quartiles of DDS increased (P=0·001). In addition, the mean subscales of attention, including auditory consistency and vigilance, visual persistence, visual and auditory focus, speed, comprehension and full attention, increased significantly with increasing DDS (Psustained attention.

  20. Active listening impairs visual perception and selectivity: an ERP study of auditory dual-task costs on visual attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gherri, Elena; Eimer, Martin

    2011-04-01

    The ability to drive safely is disrupted by cell phone conversations, and this has been attributed to a diversion of attention from the visual environment. We employed behavioral and ERP measures to study whether the attentive processing of spoken messages is, in itself, sufficient to produce visual-attentional deficits. Participants searched for visual targets defined by a unique feature (Experiment 1) or feature conjunction (Experiment 2), and simultaneously listened to narrated text passages that had to be recalled later (encoding condition), or heard backward-played speech sounds that could be ignored (control condition). Responses to targets were slower in the encoding condition, and ERPs revealed that the visual processing of search arrays and the attentional selection of target stimuli were less efficient in the encoding relative to the control condition. Results demonstrate that the attentional processing of visual information is impaired when concurrent spoken messages are encoded and maintained, in line with cross-modal links in selective attention, but inconsistent with the view that attentional resources are modality-specific. The distraction of visual attention by active listening could contribute to the adverse effects of cell phone use on driving performance.

  1. EEG beta band activity is related to attention and attentional deficits in the visual performance of elderly subjects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gola, Mateusz; Magnuski, Mikołaj; Szumska, Izabela; Wróbel, Andrzej

    2013-09-01

    We have previously shown that beta-band EEG activity is related to attentional modulation in the visual system of cats and humans. In a separate experiment we also observed that some elderly subjects expressed beta-band power decreases during a simple visual attention task, an effect which was accompanied by low behavioral accuracy in this subgroup. Here, we conducted a detailed examination of beta power deficits in elderly subjects in comparison to young controls. In order to do so, we equalized the subjective level of task difficulty by adjusting visual stimuli presentation duration in such a way that elderly and young subjects achieved similar behavioral results. We found that: (1) beta-band power of EEG signals recorded over occipital regions in elderly and young groups is related to visual attention, as judged from increases in beta power preceding correct responses and lack of beta activity change before erroneous responses; (2) despite forming a homogeneous group when screened for dementia (MMSE), age, education level, visual correction, and speed-accuracy trade-off strategy, elderly subjects could be assigned into one of the two subgroups: high performers, who did not differ from young performers in terms of beta-band power increases, and low performers, whose beta power decreased during the most difficult attentional conditions (shortest - 3s and longest - 11s cue-target delays). These findings posit that the beta-band activity decrease recorded in low performing elderly subjects reflects difficulty in activation and deficits in sustaining attentional processes.

  2. Individual differences in visual field shape modulate the effects of attention on the lower visual field advantage in crowding

    OpenAIRE

    2015-01-01

    © 2015 ARVO. It has previously been reported that visual crowding of a target by flankers is stronger in the upper visual field than in the lower, and this finding has been attributed to greater attentional resolution in the lower hemifield (He, Cavanagh, & Intriligator, 1996). Here we show that the upper/lower asymmetry in visual crowding can be explained by natural variations in the borders of each individual's visual field. Specifically, asymmetry in crowding along the vertical meridian ca...

  3. The impact of simulated MRI scanner background noise on visual attention processes as measured by the EEG.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kobald, S Oliver; Getzmann, Stephan; Beste, Christian; Wascher, Edmund

    2016-06-21

    Environmental noise is known to affect personal well-being as well as cognitive processes. Besides daily life, environmental noise can also occur in experimental research settings, e.g. when being in a magnetic resonance scanner. Scanner background noise (SBN) might pose serious confounds for experimental findings, even when non-auditory settings are examined. In the current experiment we tested if SBN alters bottom-up and top-down related processes of selective visual attention mechanisms. Participants completed two blocks of a visual change detection task, one block in silence and one block under SBN exposure. SBN was found to decrease accuracy in measures of visual attention. This effect was modulated by the temporal occurrence of SBN. When SBN was encountered in the first block, it prevented a significant improvement of accuracy in the second block. When SBN appeared in the second block, it significantly decreased accuracy. Neurophysiological findings showed a strong frontal positivity shift only when SBN was present in the first block, suggesting an inhibitory process to counteract the interfering SBN. Common correlates of both top-down and bottom-up processes of selective visual attention were not specifically affected by SBN exposure. Further research appears necessary to entirely rule out confounds of SBN in assessing visual attention.

  4. The impact of simulated MRI scanner background noise on visual attention processes as measured by the EEG

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kobald, S. Oliver; Getzmann, Stephan; Beste, Christian; Wascher, Edmund

    2016-01-01

    Environmental noise is known to affect personal well-being as well as cognitive processes. Besides daily life, environmental noise can also occur in experimental research settings, e.g. when being in a magnetic resonance scanner. Scanner background noise (SBN) might pose serious confounds for experimental findings, even when non-auditory settings are examined. In the current experiment we tested if SBN alters bottom-up and top-down related processes of selective visual attention mechanisms. Participants completed two blocks of a visual change detection task, one block in silence and one block under SBN exposure. SBN was found to decrease accuracy in measures of visual attention. This effect was modulated by the temporal occurrence of SBN. When SBN was encountered in the first block, it prevented a significant improvement of accuracy in the second block. When SBN appeared in the second block, it significantly decreased accuracy. Neurophysiological findings showed a strong frontal positivity shift only when SBN was present in the first block, suggesting an inhibitory process to counteract the interfering SBN. Common correlates of both top-down and bottom-up processes of selective visual attention were not specifically affected by SBN exposure. Further research appears necessary to entirely rule out confounds of SBN in assessing visual attention. PMID:27324456

  5. Sustained visual-spatial attention produces costs and benefits in response time and evoked neural activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mangun, G R; Buck, L A

    1998-03-01

    This study investigated the simple reaction time (RT) and event-related potential (ERP) correlates of biasing attention towards a location in the visual field. RTs and ERPs were recorded to stimuli flashed randomly and with equal probability to the left and right visual hemifields in the three blocked, covert attention conditions: (i) attention divided equally to left and right hemifield locations; (ii) attention biased towards the left location; or (iii) attention biased towards the right location. Attention was biased towards left or right by instructions to the subjects, and responses were required to all stimuli. Relative to the divided attention condition, RTs were significantly faster for targets occurring where more attention was allocated (benefits), and slower to targets where less attention was allocated (costs). The early P1 (100-140 msec) component over the lateral occipital scalp regions showed attentional benefits. There were no amplitude modulations of the occipital N1 (125-180 msec) component with attention. Between 200 and 500 msec latency, a late positive deflection (LPD) showed both attentional costs and benefits. The behavioral findings show that when sufficiently induced to bias attention, human observers demonstrate RT benefits as well as costs. The corresponding P1 benefits suggest that the RT benefits of spatial attention may arise as the result of modulations of visual information processing in the extrastriate visual cortex.

  6. The Effect of Attentional Cueing and Spatial Uncertainty in Visual Field Testing.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jack Phu

    Full Text Available To determine the effect of reducing spatial uncertainty by attentional cueing on contrast sensitivity at a range of spatial locations and with different stimulus sizes.Six observers underwent perimetric testing with the Humphrey Visual Field Analyzer (HFA full threshold paradigm, and the output thresholds were compared to conditions where stimulus location was verbally cued to the observer. We varied the number of points cued, the eccentric and spatial location, and stimulus size (Goldmann size I, III and V. Subsequently, four observers underwent laboratory-based psychophysical testing on a custom computer program using Method of Constant Stimuli to determine the frequency-of-seeing (FOS curves with similar variables.We found that attentional cueing increased contrast sensitivity when measured using the HFA. We report a difference of approximately 2 dB with size I at peripheral and mid-peripheral testing locations. For size III, cueing had a greater effect for points presented in the periphery than in the mid-periphery. There was an exponential decay of the effect of cueing with increasing number of elements cued. Cueing a size V stimulus led to no change. FOS curves generated from laboratory-based psychophysical testing confirmed an increase in contrast detection sensitivity under the same conditions. We found that the FOS curve steepened when spatial uncertainty was reduced.We show that attentional cueing increases contrast sensitivity when using a size I or size III test stimulus on the HFA when up to 8 points are cued but not when a size V stimulus is cued. We show that this cueing also alters the slope of the FOS curve. This suggests that at least 8 points should be used to minimise potential attentional factors that may affect measurement of contrast sensitivity in the visual field.

  7. The Impact of Visual-Spatial Attention on Reading and Spelling in Chinese Children

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Duo; Chen, Xi; Wang, Ying

    2016-01-01

    The present study investigated the associations of visual-spatial attention with word reading fluency and spelling in 92 third grade Hong Kong Chinese children. Word reading fluency was measured with a timed reading task whereas spelling was measured with a dictation task. Results showed that visual-spatial attention was a unique predictor of…

  8. What Is the Unit of Visual Attention? Object for Selection, but Boolean Map for Access

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Liqiang

    2010-01-01

    In the past 20 years, numerous theories and findings have suggested that the unit of visual attention is the object. In this study, I first clarify 2 different meanings of unit of visual attention, namely the unit of access in the sense of measurement and the unit of selection in the sense of division. In accordance with this distinction, I argue…

  9. Influence of visual attention on male body dissatisfaction after idealized media exposure

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nikkelen, S.W.C.; Anschutz, D.J.; Ha, P.T.; Engels, R.C.M.E.

    2012-01-01

    The present study examined the moderating effect of men's visual attention toward male images on the relationship between idealized media exposure and body dissatisfaction. Of particular interest was men's visual attention to the abdomens and upper bodies of male images. Fifty male undergraduate

  10. Orienting Attention within Visual Short-Term Memory: Development and Mechanisms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shimi, Andria; Nobre, Anna C.; Astle, Duncan; Scerif, Gaia

    2014-01-01

    How does developing attentional control operate within visual short-term memory (VSTM)? Seven-year-olds, 11-year-olds, and adults (total n = 205) were asked to report whether probe items were part of preceding visual arrays. In Experiment 1, central or peripheral cues oriented attention to the location of to-be-probed items either prior to…

  11. Altered social reward and attention in anorexia nervosa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karli K Watson

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Dysfunctional social reward and social orienting attend a variety of neuropsychiatric disorders including autism, schizophrenia, social anxiety, and psychopathy. Here we show that similar social reward and attention dysfunction attend anorexia nervosa, a disorder defined by avoidance of food and extreme weight loss. We measured the implicit reward value of social stimuli for female participants with (n=11 and without (n=11 anorexia nervosa using an econometric choice task and also tracked gaze patterns during free viewing of images of female faces and bodies. As predicted, the reward value of viewing bodies varied inversely with observed body weight for women with anorexia but not neurotypical women, in contrast with their explicit ratings of attractiveness. Surprisingly, women with anorexia nervosa, unlike neurotypical women, did not find female faces rewarding and avoided looking at both the face and eyes—independent of observed body weight. These findings demonstrate comorbid dysfunction in the neural circuits mediating gustatory and social reward in anorexia nervosa.

  12. Spatial Scaling of the Profile of Selective Attention in the Visual Field.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gannon, Matthew A; Knapp, Ashley A; Adams, Thomas G; Long, Stephanie M; Parks, Nathan A

    2016-01-01

    Neural mechanisms of selective attention must be capable of adapting to variation in the absolute size of an attended stimulus in the ever-changing visual environment. To date, little is known regarding how attentional selection interacts with fluctuations in the spatial expanse of an attended object. Here, we use event-related potentials (ERPs) to investigate the scaling of attentional enhancement and suppression across the visual field. We measured ERPs while participants performed a task at fixation that varied in its attentional demands (attentional load) and visual angle (1.0° or 2.5°). Observers were presented with a stream of task-relevant stimuli while foveal, parafoveal, and peripheral visual locations were probed by irrelevant distractor stimuli. We found two important effects in the N1 component of visual ERPs. First, N1 modulations to task-relevant stimuli indexed attentional selection of stimuli during the load task and further correlated with task performance. Second, with increased task size, attentional modulation of the N1 to distractor stimuli showed a differential pattern that was consistent with a scaling of attentional selection. Together, these results demonstrate that the size of an attended stimulus scales the profile of attentional selection across the visual field and provides insights into the attentional mechanisms associated with such spatial scaling.

  13. Altering Visual Perception Abnormalities: A Marker for Body Image Concern.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francesca L Beilharz

    Full Text Available The body image concern (BIC continuum ranges from a healthy and positive body image, to clinical diagnoses of abnormal body image, like body dysmorphic disorder (BDD. BDD and non-clinical, yet high-BIC participants have demonstrated a local visual processing bias, characterised by reduced inversion effects. To examine whether this bias is a potential marker of BDD, the visual processing of individuals across the entire BIC continuum was examined. Dysmorphic Concern Questionnaire (DCQ; quantified BIC scores were expected to correlate with higher discrimination accuracy and faster reaction times of inverted stimuli, indicating reduced inversion effects (occurring due to increased local visual processing. Additionally, an induced global or local processing bias via Navon stimulus presentation was expected to alter these associations. Seventy-four participants completed the DCQ and upright-inverted face and body stimulus discrimination task. Moderate positive associations were revealed between DCQ scores and accuracy rates for inverted face and body stimuli, indicating a graded local bias accompanying increases in BIC. This relationship supports a local processing bias as a marker for BDD, which has significant assessment implications. Furthermore, a moderate negative relationship was found between DCQ score and inverted face accuracy after inducing global processing, indicating the processing bias can temporarily be reversed in high BIC individuals. Navon stimuli were successfully able to alter the visual processing of individuals across the BIC continuum, which has important implications for treating BDD.

  14. The effect of search condition and advertising type on visual attention to Internet advertising.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Gho; Lee, Jang-Han

    2011-05-01

    This research was conducted to examine the level of consumers' visual attention to Internet advertising. It was predicted that consumers' search type would influence visual attention to advertising. Specifically, it was predicted that more attention to advertising would be attracted in the exploratory search condition than in the goal-directed search condition. It was also predicted that there would be a difference in visual attention depending on the advertisement type (advertising type: text vs. pictorial advertising). An eye tracker was used for measurement. Results revealed that search condition and advertising type influenced advertising effectiveness.

  15. Individual differences in visual field shape modulate the effects of attention on the lower visual field advantage in crowding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fortenbaugh, Francesca C; Silver, Michael A; Robertson, Lynn C

    2015-02-12

    It has previously been reported that visual crowding of a target by flankers is stronger in the upper visual field than in the lower, and this finding has been attributed to greater attentional resolution in the lower hemifield (He, Cavanagh, & Intriligator, 1996). Here we show that the upper/lower asymmetry in visual crowding can be explained by natural variations in the borders of each individual's visual field. Specifically, asymmetry in crowding along the vertical meridian can be almost entirely accounted for by replacing the conventional definition of visual field location, in units of degrees of visual angle, with a definition based on the ratio of the extents of an individual's upper and lower visual field. We also show that the upper/lower crowding asymmetry is eliminated when stimulus eccentricity is expressed in units of percentage of visual field extent but is present when the conventional measure of visual angle is used. We further demonstrate that the relationship between visual field extent and perceptual asymmetry is most evident when participants are able to focus their attention on the target location. These results reveal important influences of visual field boundaries on visual perception, even for visual field locations far from those boundaries.

  16. Cognitive performance in visual memory and attention are influenced by many factors

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wilms, Inge Linda; Nielsen, Simon

    Visual perception serves as the basis for much of the higher level cognitive processing as well as human activity in general. Here we present normative estimates for the following components of visual perception: the visual perceptual threshold, the visual short-term memory capacity and the visual...... of Visual Attention (TVA). In addition to the estimates themselves, we present correlational data on between the estimates and self-reported demographic data and activities of daily living. The correlates suggests that age, video gaming activity and employment status may significantly impact the encoding...... speed of Visual Short-term Memory (VTSM) but not the capacity of VSTM nor the visual threshold. The estimates will be useful for future studies into the effects of various types of intervention and training on cognition in general and visual attention in particular. (...

  17. Vegetarianism and food perception. Selective visual attention to meat pictures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stockburger, Jessica; Renner, Britta; Weike, Almut I; Hamm, Alfons O; Schupp, Harald T

    2009-04-01

    Vegetarianism provides a model system to examine the impact of negative affect towards meat, based on ideational reasoning. It was hypothesized that meat stimuli are efficient attention catchers in vegetarians. Event-related brain potential recordings served to index selective attention processes at the level of initial stimulus perception. Consistent with the hypothesis, late positive potentials to meat pictures were enlarged in vegetarians compared to omnivores. This effect was specific for meat pictures and obtained during passive viewing and an explicit attention task condition. These findings demonstrate the attention capture of food stimuli, deriving affective salience from ideational reasoning and symbolic meaning.

  18. Partially converted stereoscopic images and the effects on visual attention and memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Sanghyun; Morikawa, Hiroyuki; Mitsuya, Reiko; Kawai, Takashi; Watanabe, Katsumi

    2015-03-01

    This study contained two experimental examinations of the cognitive activities such as visual attention and memory in viewing stereoscopic (3D) images. For this study, partially converted 3D images were used with binocular parallax added to a specific region of the image. In Experiment 1, change blindness was used as a presented stimulus. The visual attention and impact on memory were investigated by measuring the response time to accomplish the given task. In the change blindness task, an 80 ms blank was intersected between the original and altered images, and the two images were presented alternatingly for 240 ms each. Subjects were asked to temporarily memorize the two switching images and to compare them, visually recognizing the difference between the two. The stimuli for four conditions (2D, 3D, Partially converted 3D, distracted partially converted 3D) were randomly displayed for 20 subjects. The results of Experiment 1 showed that partially converted 3D images tend to attract visual attention and are prone to remain in viewer's memory in the area where moderate negative parallax has been added. In order to examine the impact of a dynamic binocular disparity on partially converted 3D images, an evaluation experiment was conducted that applied learning, distraction, and recognition tasks for 33 subjects. The learning task involved memorizing the location of cells in a 5 × 5 matrix pattern using two different colors. Two cells were positioned with alternating colors, and one of the gray cells was moved up, down, left, or right by one cell width. Experimental conditions was set as a partially converted 3D condition in which a gray cell moved diagonally for a certain period of time with a dynamic binocular disparity added, a 3D condition in which binocular disparity was added to all gray cells, and a 2D condition. The correct response rates for recognition of each task after the distraction task were compared. The results of Experiment 2 showed that the correct

  19. A Comparative Study on the Visual Perceptions of Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmetoglu, Emine; Aral, Neriman; Butun Ayhan, Aynur

    This study was conducted in order to (a) compare the visual perceptions of seven-year-old children diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder with those of normally developing children of the same age and development level and (b) determine whether the visual perceptions of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder vary with respect to gender, having received preschool education and parents` educational level. A total of 60 children, 30 with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and 30 with normal development, were assigned to the study. Data about children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and their families was collected by using a General Information Form and the visual perception of children was examined through the Frostig Developmental Test of Visual Perception. The Mann-Whitney U-test and Kruskal-Wallis variance analysis was used to determine whether there was a difference of between the visual perceptions of children with normal development and those diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and to discover whether the variables of gender, preschool education and parents` educational status affected the visual perceptions of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. The results showed that there was a statistically meaningful difference between the visual perceptions of the two groups and that the visual perceptions of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder were affected meaningfully by gender, preschool education and parents` educational status.

  20. Priming T2 in a Visual and Auditory Attentional Blink Task

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Burg, E. van der; Olivers, C.N.L.; Bronkhorst, A.W.; Theeuwes, J.

    2008-01-01

    Participants performed an attentional blink (AB) task including digits as targets and letters as distractors within the visual and auditory domains. Prior to the rapid serial visual presentation, a visual or auditory prime was presented in the form of a digit that was identical to the second target

  1. How to measure distinct components of visual attention fast and reliably

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vangkilde, Signe Allerup; Kyllingsbæk, Søren; Habekost, Thomas

    2009-01-01

    threshold of conscious perception (t0), visual processing speed (C), and storage capacity of visual short-term memory (K) are estimated by use of Bundesen's (1990) Theory of Visual Attention, and the standard error of each estimate is calculated using a bootstrapping procedure. The results from the first...

  2. Haptic over visual information in the distribution of visual attention after tool-use in near and far space.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, George D; Reed, Catherine L

    2015-10-01

    Despite attentional prioritization for grasping space near the hands, tool-use appears to transfer attentional bias to the tool's end/functional part. The contributions of haptic and visual inputs to attentional distribution along a tool were investigated as a function of tool-use in near (Experiment 1) and far (Experiment 2) space. Visual attention was assessed with a 50/50, go/no-go, target discrimination task, while a tool was held next to targets appearing near the tool-occupied hand or tool-end. Target response times (RTs) and sensitivity (d-prime) were measured at target locations, before and after functional tool practice for three conditions: (1) open-tool: tool-end visible (visual + haptic inputs), (2) hidden-tool: tool-end visually obscured (haptic input only), and (3) short-tool: stick missing tool's length/end (control condition: hand occupied but no visual/haptic input). In near space, both open- and hidden-tool groups showed a tool-end, attentional bias (faster RTs toward tool-end) before practice; after practice, RTs near the hand improved. In far space, the open-tool group showed no bias before practice; after practice, target RTs near the tool-end improved. However, the hidden-tool group showed a consistent tool-end bias despite practice. Lack of short-tool group results suggested that hidden-tool group results were specific to haptic inputs. In conclusion, (1) allocation of visual attention along a tool due to tool practice differs in near and far space, and (2) visual attention is drawn toward the tool's end even when visually obscured, suggesting haptic input provides sufficient information for directing attention along the tool.

  3. Orienting attention to objects in visual short-term memory

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dell'Acqua, Roberto; Sessa, Paola; Toffanin, Paolo; Luria, Roy; Joliccoeur, Pierre

    2010-01-01

    We measured electroencephalographic activity during visual search of a target object among objects available to perception or among objects held in visual short-term memory (VSTM). For perceptual search, a single shape was shown first (pre-cue) followed by a search-array and the task was to decide w

  4. Orienting attention to objects in visual short-term memory

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dell'Acqua, Roberto; Sessa, Paola; Toffanin, Paolo; Luria, Roy; Joliccoeur, Pierre

    2010-01-01

    We measured electroencephalographic activity during visual search of a target object among objects available to perception or among objects held in visual short-term memory (VSTM). For perceptual search, a single shape was shown first (pre-cue) followed by a search-array and the task was to decide w

  5. Orienting attention to objects in visual short-term memory

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dell'Acqua, Roberto; Sessa, Paola; Toffanin, Paolo; Luria, Roy; Joliccoeur, Pierre

    We measured electroencephalographic activity during visual search of a target object among objects available to perception or among objects held in visual short-term memory (VSTM). For perceptual search, a single shape was shown first (pre-cue) followed by a search-array and the task was to decide

  6. Selective Visual Attention at Twelve Months: Signs of Autism in Early Social Interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hutman, Ted; Chela, Mandeep K.; Gillespie-Lynch, Kristen; Sigman, Marian

    2012-01-01

    We examined social attention and attention shifting during (a) a play interaction between 12-month olds and an examiner and (b) after the examiner pretended to hurt herself. We coded the target and duration of infants' visual fixations and frequency of attention shifts. Siblings of children with autism and controls with no family history of autism…

  7. Infants' Selective Attention to Reliable Visual Cues in the Presence of Salient Distractors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tummeltshammer, Kristen Swan; Mareschal, Denis; Kirkham, Natasha Z.

    2014-01-01

    With many features competing for attention in their visual environment, infants must learn to deploy attention toward informative cues while ignoring distractions. Three eye tracking experiments were conducted to investigate whether 6- and 8-month-olds (total N = 102) would shift attention away from a distractor stimulus to learn a cue-reward…

  8. Object-based attention in the primary visual cortex of the macaque monkey.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lamme, V.A.F.; Roelfsema, P.R.; Spekreijse, H.

    1998-01-01

    Typical natural visual scenes contain many objects, which need to be segregated from each other and from the background. Present theories subdivide the processes responsible for this segregation into a pre-attentive and attentive system. The pre-attentive system segregates image regions that 'pop ou

  9. Visual function alterations in essential tremor: A case report

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David P. Piñero

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Our purpose is to report alterations in contrast sensitivity function (CSF and in the magno, parvo and koniocellular visual pathways by means of a multichannel perimeter in case of an essential tremor (ET. A complete evaluation of the visual function was performed in a 69-year old patient, including the analysis of the chromatic discrimination by the Fansworth–Munsell 100 hue test, the measurement of the CSF by the CSV-1000E test, and the detection of potential alteration patterns in the magno, parvo and koniocellular visual pathways by means of a multichannel perimeter. Visual acuity and intraocular pressure (IOP were within the ranges of normality in both eyes. No abnormalities were detected in the fundoscopic examination and in the optical coherence tomography (OCT exam. The results of the color vision examination were also within the ranges of normality. A significant decrease in the achromatic CSFs for right eye (RE and left eye (LE was detected for all spatial frequencies. The statistical global values provided by the multichannel perimeter confirms that there were significant absolute sensitivity losses compared to the normal pattern in RE. In the LE, only a statistically significant decrease in sensitivity was detected for the blue-yellow (BY channel. The pattern standard deviation (PSD values obtained in our patient indicated that there were significant localized losses compared to the normality pattern in the achromatic channel of the RE and in the red-green (RG channel of the LE. Some color vision alterations may be present in ET that cannot be detected with conventional color vision tests, such as the FM 100 Hue.

  10. Attention induces conservative subjective biases in visual perception

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rahnev, D.; Maniscalco, B.; Graves, T.; Huang, E.; Lange, F.P. de

    2011-01-01

    Although attention usually enhances perceptual sensitivity, we found that it can also lead to relatively conservative detection biases and lower visibility ratings in discrimination tasks. These results are explained by a model in which attention reduces the trial-by-trial variability of the percept

  11. Fusion of Saliency Maps for Visual Attention Selection in Dynamic Scenes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiawei Xu

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Human vision system can optionally process the visual information and adjust the contradiction between the limited resources and the huge visual information. Building attention models similar to human visual attention system should be very beneficial to computer vision and machine intelligence; meanwhile, it has been a challenging task due to the complexity of human brain and limited understanding of the mechanisms underlying the human attention system. Previous studies emphasized on static attention, however the motion features, which are playing key roles in human attention system intuitively, have not been well integrated into the previous models. Motion features such as motion direction are assumed to be processed within the dorsal visual and the dorsal auditory pathways and there is no systematic approach to extract the motion cues well so far. In this paper, we proposed a generic Global Attention Model (GAM system based on visual attention analysis. The computational saliency map is superimposed by a set of saliency maps via different predefined approaches. We added three saliencies maps up together to reflect dominant motion features into the attention model, i.e., the fused saliency map at each frame is adjusted by the top-down, static and motion saliency maps. By doing this, the proposed attention model accommodating motion feature into the system so that it can responds to real visual events in a manner similar to the human visual attention system in a realistic circumstance. The visual challenges used in our experiments are selected from the benchmark video sequences. We tested the GAM on several dynamic scenes, such as traffic artery, parachuter landing and surfing, with high speed and cluttered background. The experiment results showed the GAM system demonstrated high robustness and real-time ability under complex dynamic scenes. Extensive evaluations based on comparisons with other approaches of the attention model results have

  12. Primate Visual Perception: Motivated Attention in Naturalistic Scenes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frank, David W.; Sabatinelli, Dean

    2017-01-01

    Research has consistently revealed enhanced neural activation corresponding to attended cues coupled with suppression to unattended cues. This attention effect depends both on the spatial features of stimuli and internal task goals. However, a large majority of research supporting this effect involves circumscribed tasks that possess few ecologically relevant characteristics. By comparison, natural scenes have the potential to engage an evolved attention system, which may be characterized by supplemental neural processing and integration compared to mechanisms engaged during reduced experimental paradigms. Here, we describe recent animal and human studies of naturalistic scene viewing to highlight the specific impact of social and affective processes on the neural mechanisms of attention modulation.

  13. Adaptive allocation of attention : effects of sex and sociosexuality on visual attention to attractive opposite-sex faces

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Duncan, Lesley A.; Park, Justin H.; Faulkner, Jason; Schaller, Mark; Neuberg, Steven L.; Kenrick, Douglas T.

    2007-01-01

    We tested the hypothesis that, compared with sociosexually restricted individuals, those with an unrestricted approach to mating would selectively allocate visual attention to attractive opposite-sex others. We also tested for sex differences in this effect. Seventy-four participants completed the S

  14. Functional size of human visual area V1: a neural correlate of top-down attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verghese, Ashika; Kolbe, Scott C; Anderson, Andrew J; Egan, Gary F; Vidyasagar, Trichur R

    2014-06-01

    Heavy demands are placed on the brain's attentional capacity when selecting a target item in a cluttered visual scene, or when reading. It is widely accepted that such attentional selection is mediated by top-down signals from higher cortical areas to early visual areas such as the primary visual cortex (V1). Further, it has also been reported that there is considerable variation in the surface area of V1. This variation may impact on either the number or specificity of attentional feedback signals and, thereby, the efficiency of attentional mechanisms. In this study, we investigated whether individual differences between humans performing attention-demanding tasks can be related to the functional area of V1. We found that those with a larger representation in V1 of the central 12° of the visual field as measured using BOLD signals from fMRI were able to perform a serial search task at a faster rate. In line with recent suggestions of the vital role of visuo-spatial attention in reading, the speed of reading showed a strong positive correlation with the speed of visual search, although it showed little correlation with the size of V1. The results support the idea that the functional size of the primary visual cortex is an important determinant of the efficiency of selective spatial attention for simple tasks, and that the attentional processing required for complex tasks like reading are to a large extent determined by other brain areas and inter-areal connections.

  15. Decoding of visual attention from LFP signals of macaque MT.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esghaei, Moein; Daliri, Mohammad Reza

    2014-01-01

    The local field potential (LFP) has recently been widely used in brain computer interfaces (BCI). Here we used power of LFP recorded from area MT of a macaque monkey to decode where the animal covertly attended. Support vector machines (SVM) were used to learn the pattern of power at different frequencies for attention to two possible positions. We found that LFP power at both low (<9 Hz) and high (31-120 Hz) frequencies contains sufficient information to decode the focus of attention. Highest decoding performance was found for gamma frequencies (31-120 Hz) and reached 82%. In contrast low frequencies (<9 Hz) could help the classifier reach a higher decoding performance with a smaller amount of training data. Consequently, we suggest that low frequency LFP can provide fast but coarse information regarding the focus of attention, while higher frequencies of the LFP deliver more accurate but less timely information about the focus of attention.

  16. Decoding of visual attention from LFP signals of macaque MT.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Moein Esghaei

    Full Text Available The local field potential (LFP has recently been widely used in brain computer interfaces (BCI. Here we used power of LFP recorded from area MT of a macaque monkey to decode where the animal covertly attended. Support vector machines (SVM were used to learn the pattern of power at different frequencies for attention to two possible positions. We found that LFP power at both low (<9 Hz and high (31-120 Hz frequencies contains sufficient information to decode the focus of attention. Highest decoding performance was found for gamma frequencies (31-120 Hz and reached 82%. In contrast low frequencies (<9 Hz could help the classifier reach a higher decoding performance with a smaller amount of training data. Consequently, we suggest that low frequency LFP can provide fast but coarse information regarding the focus of attention, while higher frequencies of the LFP deliver more accurate but less timely information about the focus of attention.

  17. Signal Enhancement and Suppression During Visual-Spatial Selective Attention

    OpenAIRE

    Couperus, J. W.; Mangun, G.R.

    2010-01-01

    Selective attention involves the relative enhancement of relevant versus irrelevant stimuli. However, whether this relative enhancement involves primarily enhancement of attended stimuli, or suppression of irrelevant stimuli, remains controversial. Moreover, if both enhancement and suppression are involved, whether they result from a single mechanism or separate mechanisms during attentional control or selection is not known. In two experiments using a spatial cuing paradigm with task-relevan...

  18. The Attentional Fields of Visual Search in Simultanagnosia and Healthy Individuals: How Object and Space Attention Interact.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khan, A Z; Prost-Lefebvre, M; Salemme, R; Blohm, G; Rossetti, Y; Tilikete, C; Pisella, L

    2016-03-01

    Simultanagnosia is a deficit in which patients are unable to perceive multiple objects simultaneously. To date, it remains disputed whether this deficit results from disrupted object or space perception. We asked both healthy participants as well as a patient with simultanagnosia to perform different visual search tasks of variable difficulty. We also modulated the number of objects (target and distracters) presented. For healthy participants, we found that each visual search task was performed with a specific "attentional field" depending on the difficulty of visual object processing but not on the number of objects falling within this "working space." This was demonstrated by measuring the cost in reaction times using different gaze-contingent visible window sizes. We found that bilateral damage to the superior parietal lobule impairs the spatial integration of separable features (within-object processing), shrinking the attentional field in which a target can be detected, but causing no deficit in processing multiple objects per se.

  19. African elephants (Loxodonta africana) recognize visual attention from face and body orientation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smet, Anna F; Byrne, Richard W

    2014-07-01

    How do animals determine when others are able and disposed to receive their communicative signals? In particular, it is futile to make a silent gesture when the intended audience cannot see it. Some non-human primates use the head and body orientation of their audience to infer visual attentiveness when signalling, but whether species relying less on visual information use such cues when producing visual signals is unknown. Here, we test whether African elephants (Loxodonta africana) are sensitive to the visual perspective of a human experimenter. We examined whether the frequency of gestures of head and trunk, produced to request food, was influenced by indications of an experimenter's visual attention. Elephants signalled significantly more towards the experimenter when her face was oriented towards them, except when her body faced away from them. These results suggest that elephants understand the importance of visual attention for effective communication.

  20. Measuring the interrelations among multiple paradigms of visual attention: an individual differences approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Liqiang; Mo, Lei; Li, Ying

    2012-04-01

    A large part of the empirical research in the field of visual attention has focused on various concrete paradigms. However, as yet, there has been no clear demonstration of whether or not these paradigms are indeed measuring the same underlying construct. We collected a very large data set (nearly 1.3 million trials) to address this question. We tested 257 participants on nine paradigms: conjunction search, configuration search, counting, tracking, feature access, spatial pattern, response selection, visual short-term memory, and change blindness. A fairly general attention factor was identified. Some of the participants were also tested on eight other paradigms. This general attention factor was found to be correlated with intelligence, visual marking, task switching, mental rotation, and Stroop task. On the other hand, a few paradigms that are very important in the attention literature (attentional capture, consonance-driven orienting, and inhibition of return) were found to be dissociated from this general attention factor.

  1. Which Aspects of Visual Attention Are Changed by Deafness? The Case of the Attentional Network Test

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dye, Matthew W. G.; Baril, Dara E.; Bavelier, Daphne

    2007-01-01

    The loss of one sensory modality can lead to a reorganization of the other intact sensory modalities. In the case of individuals who are born profoundly deaf, there is growing evidence of changes in visual functions. Specifically, deaf individuals demonstrate enhanced visual processing in the periphery, and in particular enhanced peripheral visual…

  2. Visual processing in rapid-chase systems: Image processing, attention, and awareness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas eSchmidt

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Visual stimuli can be classified so rapidly that their analysis may be based on a single sweep of feedforward processing through the visuomotor system. Behavioral criteria for feedforward processing can be evaluated in response priming tasks where speeded pointing or keypress responses are performed towards target stimuli which are preceded by prime stimuli. We apply this method to several classes of complex stimuli. 1 When participants classify natural images into animals or non-animals, the time course of their pointing responses indicates that prime and target signals remain strictly sequential throughout all processing stages, meeting stringent behavioral criteria for feedforward processing (rapid-chase criteria. 2 Such priming effects are boosted by selective visual attention for positions, shapes, and colors, in a way consistent with bottom-up enhancement of visuomotor processing, even when primes cannot be consciously identified. 3 Speeded processing of phobic images is observed in participants specifically fearful of spiders or snakes, suggesting enhancement of feedforward processing by long-term perceptual learning. 4 When the perceived brightness of primes in complex displays is altered by means of illumination or transparency illusions, priming effects in speeded keypress responses can systematically contradict subjective brightness judgments, such that one prime appears brighter than the other but activates motor responses as if it was darker. We propose that response priming captures the output of the first feedforward pass of visual signals through the visuomotor system, and that this output lacks some characteristic features of more elaborate, recurrent processing. This way, visuomotor measures may become dissociated from several aspects of conscious vision. We argue that "fast" visuomotor measures predominantly driven by feedforward processing should supplement "slow" psychophysical measures predominantly based on visual

  3. Modulation of Neuronal Responses by Exogenous Attention in Macaque Primary Visual Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Feng; Chen, Minggui; Yan, Yin; Zhaoping, Li; Li, Wu

    2015-09-30

    Visual perception is influenced by attention deployed voluntarily or triggered involuntarily by salient stimuli. Modulation of visual cortical processing by voluntary or endogenous attention has been extensively studied, but much less is known about how involuntary or exogenous attention affects responses of visual cortical neurons. Using implanted microelectrode arrays, we examined the effects of exogenous attention on neuronal responses in the primary visual cortex (V1) of awake monkeys. A bright annular cue was flashed either around the receptive fields of recorded neurons or in the opposite visual field to capture attention. A subsequent grating stimulus probed the cue-induced effects. In a fixation task, when the cue-to-probe stimulus onset asynchrony (SOA) was visual fields weakened or diminished both the physiological and behavioral cueing effects. Our findings indicate that exogenous attention significantly modulates V1 responses and that the modulation strength depends on both novelty and task relevance of the stimulus. Significance statement: Visual attention can be involuntarily captured by a sudden appearance of a conspicuous object, allowing rapid reactions to unexpected events of significance. The current study discovered a correlate of this effect in monkey primary visual cortex. An abrupt, salient, flash enhanced neuronal responses, and shortened the animal's reaction time, to a subsequent visual probe stimulus at the same location. However, the enhancement of the neural responses diminished after repeated exposures to this flash if the animal was not required to react to the probe. Moreover, a second, simultaneous, flash at another location weakened the neuronal and behavioral effects of the first one. These findings revealed, beyond the observations reported so far, the effects of exogenous attention in the brain.

  4. Temporal constraints on visual perception: A psychophysical investigation of the relation between attention capture and the attentional blink

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Simon

    While the richness of our visual perceptions is nearly boundless, the rate with which we can perceive information is limited. For instance when we are required to perceive two consecutive target objects following briefly after each other, the accuracy with which we can report the second target...... be triggered by attention capture to the first object (Folk, Leber & Egeth, 2008) and that if making the first target easier to perceive increase its saliency this may increase the attentional blink (Chua, 2005). This thesis examines the attention capture hypothesis with focus on empirical investigations...... and a theoretical review. Specifically this work presents studies in which first target contrast is varied in two different attentional blink paradigms, while potential influences from bottleneck effects are controlled. Publication 1 describes findings using the two-target paradigm (Duncan, Ward & Shapiro, 1994...

  5. Visual Attention and Quantifier-Spreading in Heritage Russian Bilinguals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sekerina, Irina A.; Sauermann, Antje

    2015-01-01

    It is well established in language acquisition research that monolingual children and adult second language learners misinterpret sentences with the universal quantifier "every" and make quantifier-spreading errors that are attributed to a preference for a match in number between two sets of objects. The present Visual World eye-tracking…

  6. Visual Attention and Quantifier-Spreading in Heritage Russian Bilinguals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sekerina, Irina A.; Sauermann, Antje

    2015-01-01

    It is well established in language acquisition research that monolingual children and adult second language learners misinterpret sentences with the universal quantifier "every" and make quantifier-spreading errors that are attributed to a preference for a match in number between two sets of objects. The present Visual World eye-tracking…

  7. Attentional stimulus selection through selective synchronization between monkey visual areas

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bosman, C.A.; Schoffelen, J.M.; Brunet, N.; Oostenveld, R.; Bastos, A.M.; Womelsdorf, T.; Rubehn, B.; Stieglitz, T.; de Weerd, P.; Fries, P.

    2012-01-01

    A central motif in neuronal networks is convergence, linking several input neurons to one target neuron. In visual cortex, convergence renders target neurons responsive to complex stimuli. Yet, convergence typically sends multiple stimuli to a target, and the behaviorally relevant stimulus must be s

  8. The Effects of Attention Cueing on Visualizers' Multimedia Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Hui-Yu

    2016-01-01

    The present study examines how various types of attention cueing and cognitive preference affect learners' comprehension of a cardiovascular system and cognitive load. EFL learners were randomly assigned to one of four conditions: non-signal, static-blood-signal, static-blood-static-arrow-signal, and animation-signal. The results indicated that…

  9. The Role of Fixation and Visual Attention in Object Recognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1995-01-01

    stereo by matching features and using trigonometry to convert disparity into depth lies in the matching process (correspondence problem). This is...avoid obstacles and perform other tasks which require recognizing specific objects in the environment. An active-attentive vision system is more robust

  10. Losing the big picture: How religion may control visual attention

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Colzato, L.S.; van den Wildenberg, W.P.M.; Hommel, B.

    2008-01-01

    Despite the abundance of evidence that human perception is penetrated by beliefs and expectations, scientific research so far has entirely neglected the possible impact of religious background on attention. Here we show that Dutch Calvinists and atheists, brought up in the same country and culture

  11. Deficits in Human Visual Spatial Attention Following Thalamic Lesions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1987-07-20

    on Event Related Potentials, Stanford, CA. June. 11. Downing, C.J. & Pinker , S. (1985) in Attention and Performance XI ed. Posner, M.I. & Marin, O.S.M...Avenue La Jolla, CA 92093 Alexandria, VA 22333 - Dr. Steven Zornetzer Dr. Michael J. Zyda Office of Naval Research Naval Postgraduate School Code 1140 Code

  12. Guidance of Visual Attention by Semantic Information in Real-World Scenes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chia-Chien eWu

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Recent research on attentional guidance in real-world scenes has focused on object recognition within the context of a scene. This approach has been valuable for determining some factors that drive the allocation of visual attention and determine visual selection. This article provides a review of experimental work on how different components of context, especially semantic information, affect attentional deployment. We review work from the areas of object recognition, scene perception, and visual search, highlighting recent studies examining semantic structure in real-world scenes. A better understanding on how humans parse scene representations will not only improve current models of visual attention but also advance next-generation computer vision systems and human-computer interfaces.

  13. Attentional load modulates responses of human primary visual cortex to invisible stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bahrami, Bahador; Lavie, Nilli; Rees, Geraint

    2007-03-20

    Visual neuroscience has long sought to determine the extent to which stimulus-evoked activity in visual cortex depends on attention and awareness. Some influential theories of consciousness maintain that the allocation of attention is restricted to conscious representations [1, 2]. However, in the load theory of attention [3], competition between task-relevant and task-irrelevant stimuli for limited-capacity attention does not depend on conscious perception of the irrelevant stimuli. The critical test is whether the level of attentional load in a relevant task would determine unconscious neural processing of invisible stimuli. Human participants were scanned with high-field fMRI while they performed a foveal task of low or high attentional load. Irrelevant, invisible monocular stimuli were simultaneously presented peripherally and were continuously suppressed by a flashing mask in the other eye [4]. Attentional load in the foveal task strongly modulated retinotopic activity evoked in primary visual cortex (V1) by the invisible stimuli. Contrary to traditional views [1, 2, 5, 6], we found that availability of attentional capacity determines neural representations related to unconscious processing of continuously suppressed stimuli in human primary visual cortex. Spillover of attention to cortical representations of invisible stimuli (under low load) cannot be a sufficient condition for their awareness.

  14. Top-down dimensional weight set determines the capture of visual attention: evidence from the PCN component.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Töllner, Thomas; Müller, Hermann J; Zehetleitner, Michael

    2012-07-01

    Visual search for feature singletons is slowed when a task-irrelevant, but more salient distracter singleton is concurrently presented. While there is a consensus that this distracter interference effect can be influenced by internal system settings, it remains controversial at what stage of processing this influence starts to affect visual coding. Advocates of the "stimulus-driven" view maintain that the initial sweep of visual processing is entirely driven by physical stimulus attributes and that top-down settings can bias visual processing only after selection of the most salient item. By contrast, opponents argue that top-down expectancies can alter the initial selection priority, so that focal attention is "not automatically" shifted to the location exhibiting the highest feature contrast. To precisely trace the allocation of focal attention, we analyzed the Posterior-Contralateral-Negativity (PCN) in a task in which the likelihood (expectancy) with which a distracter occurred was systematically varied. Our results show that both high (vs. low) distracter expectancy and experiencing a distracter on the previous trial speed up the timing of the target-elicited PCN. Importantly, there was no distracter-elicited PCN, indicating that participants did not shift attention to the distracter before selecting the target. This pattern unambiguously demonstrates that preattentive vision is top-down modifiable.

  15. Decreased visual attention further from the perceived direction of gaze for equidistant retinal targets

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Balslev, Daniela; Gowen, Emma; Miall, R Chris

    2011-01-01

    The oculomotor and spatial attention systems are interconnected. Whereas a link between motor commands and spatial shifts in visual attention is demonstrated, it is still unknown whether the recently discovered proprioceptive signal in somatosensory cortex impacts on visual attention, too...... stimulation (rTMS), which decreases cortical processing of eye muscle proprioceptive inflow and produces an underestimation of the rotation of the right eye. Participants detected near-threshold visual targets presented in the left or right visual hemifield at equal distance from fixation. We have previously...... it in the right. This effect depended on the direction of rotation of the right eye. When the right eye was rotated rightward and TMS, we assume, shifted perceived gaze direction in opposite direction, leftward, visual accuracy decreased now in the right hemifield. We suggest that the proprioceptive eye position...

  16. Usability of a theory of visual attention (TVA) for parameter-based measurement of attention I: evidence from normal subjects

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Finke, Kathrin; Bublak, Peter; Krummenacher, Joseph

    2005-01-01

    The present study investigated the usability of whole and partial report of briefly displayed letter arrays as a diagnostic tool for the assessment of attentional functions. The tool is based on Bundesen's (1990, 1998, 2002; Bundesen et al., 2005) theory of visual attention (TVA), which assumes f...... clinical tests measuring similar constructs. The empirical independence of the four TVA parameters is suggested by nonsignificant or, in the case of processing speed and working memory storage capacity, only modest correlations between the parameter values.......The present study investigated the usability of whole and partial report of briefly displayed letter arrays as a diagnostic tool for the assessment of attentional functions. The tool is based on Bundesen's (1990, 1998, 2002; Bundesen et al., 2005) theory of visual attention (TVA), which assumes...... of these parameters. The present study was designed to examine whether (a) a shortened procedure bears sufficient accuracy and reliability, (b) whether the procedures reveal attentional constructs with clinical relevance, and (c) whether the mathematically independent parameters are also empirically independent...

  17. Characterizing the effects of feature salience and top-down attention in the early visual system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poltoratski, Sonia; Ling, Sam; McCormack, Devin; Tong, Frank

    2017-04-05

    The visual system employs a sophisticated balance of attentional mechanisms: salient stimuli are prioritized for visual processing, yet observers can also ignore such stimuli when their goals require directing attention elsewhere. A powerful determinant of visual salience is local feature contrast: if a local region differs from its immediate surround along one or more feature dimensions, it will appear more salient. Here, we used high-resolution fMRI at 7T to characterize the modulatory effects of bottom-up salience and top-down voluntary attention within multiple sites along the early visual pathway, including visual areas V1-V4 and the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN). Observers viewed arrays of spatially distributed gratings, where one of the gratings immediately to the left or right of fixation differed from all other items in orientation or motion direction, making it salient. To investigate the effects of directed attention, observers were cued to attend to the grating to the left or right of fixation, which was either salient or non-salient. Results revealed reliable additive effects of top-down attention and stimulus-driven salience throughout visual areas V1-hV4. In comparison, the LGN exhibited significant attentional enhancement but was not reliably modulated by orientation- or motion-defined salience. Our findings indicate that top-down effects of spatial attention can influence visual processing at the earliest possible site along the visual pathway, including the LGN, while the processing of orientation- and motion-driven salience primarily involves feature-selective interactions that take place in early cortical visual areas.

  18. Object-Based Visual Attention in 8-Month-Old Infants: Evidence from an Eye-Tracking Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bulf, Hermann; Valenza, Eloisa

    2013-01-01

    Visual attention is one of the infant's primary tools for gathering relevant information from the environment for further processing and learning. The space-based component of visual attention in infants has been widely investigated; however, the object-based component of visual attention has received scarce interest. This scarcity is…

  19. Altered brain structural networks in attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder children revealed by cortical thickness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Tian; Chen, Yanni; Li, Chenxi; Li, Youjun; Wang, Jue

    2017-01-18

    This study investigated the cortical thickness and topological features of human brain anatomical networks related to attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Data were collected from 40 attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder children and 40 normal control children. Interregional correlation matrices were established by calculating the correlations of cortical thickness between all pairs of cortical regions (68 regions) of the whole brain. Further thresholds were applied to create binary matrices to construct a series of undirected and unweighted graphs, and global, local, and nodal efficiencies were computed as a function of the network cost. These experimental results revealed abnormal cortical thickness and correlations in attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and showed that the brain structural networks of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder subjects had inefficient small-world topological features. Furthermore, their topological properties were altered abnormally. In particular, decreased global efficiency combined with increased local efficiency in attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder children led to a disorder-related shift of the network topological structure toward regular networks. In addition, nodal efficiency, cortical thickness, and correlation analyses revealed that several brain regions were altered in attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder patients. These findings are in accordance with a hypothesis of dysfunctional integration and segregation of the brain in patients with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder and provide further evidence of brain dysfunction in attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder patients by observing cortical thickness on magnetic resonance imaging.

  20. Intermodal auditory, visual, and tactile attention modulates early stages of neural processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karns, Christina M; Knight, Robert T

    2009-04-01

    We used event-related potentials (ERPs) and gamma band oscillatory responses (GBRs) to examine whether intermodal attention operates early in the auditory, visual, and tactile modalities. To control for the effects of spatial attention, we spatially coregistered all stimuli and varied the attended modality across counterbalanced blocks in an intermodal selection task. In each block, participants selectively responded to either auditory, visual, or vibrotactile stimuli from the stream of intermodal events. Auditory and visual ERPs were modulated at the latencies of early cortical processing, but attention manifested later for tactile ERPs. For ERPs, auditory processing was modulated at the latency of the Na (29 msec), which indexes early cortical or thalamocortical processing and the subsequent P1 (90 msec) ERP components. Visual processing was modulated at the latency of the early phase of the C1 (62-72 msec) thought to be generated in the primary visual cortex and the subsequent P1 and N1 (176 msec). Tactile processing was modulated at the latency of the N160 (165 msec) likely generated in the secondary association cortex. Intermodal attention enhanced early sensory GBRs for all three modalities: auditory (onset 57 msec), visual (onset 47 msec), and tactile (onset 27 msec). Together, these results suggest that intermodal attention enhances neural processing relatively early in the sensory stream independent from differential effects of spatial and intramodal selective attention.

  1. Effects of overt and covert attention on the steady-state visual evoked potential.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walter, Sabrina; Quigley, Cliodhna; Andersen, Søren K; Mueller, Matthias M

    2012-06-21

    Flickering stimuli evoke an oscillatory brain response with the same frequency as the driving stimulus, the so-called steady-state visual evoked potential (SSVEP). SSVEPs are robust brain signals whose amplitudes are enhanced with attention and thus play a major role in the development and use of non-invasive Brain-Computer Interfaces (BCIs). We compared the modulation of SSVEP amplitudes when subjects directly gazed at a flickering array of static dots (overt attention) to when they covertly shifted attention to the dots keeping their eyes at central fixation. A discrimination task was performed at the attended location to ensure that subjects shifted attention as instructed. Horizontal eye movements (allowed in overt attention but to be avoided in covert attention) were monitored by the horizontal electrooculogram. Subjects' behavioural performance was significantly reduced in covert attention compared to overt attention. Correspondingly, attentional modulation of SSVEP amplitudes by overt attention was larger in magnitude than for covert attention. Overt attention also changed the topographical distribution of SSVEP amplitudes on the scalp. Stimuli elicited the largest amplitudes at central occipital electrodes when they were overtly attended and at contralateral parieto-occipital sites when they were covertly attended. Accordingly, source analysis revealed clear centrally located sources in early visual areas in overt attention, regardless of the attended visual hemifield. Taken together these results affirm that overt and covert attention have qualitatively and quantitatively different effects on SSVEP responses as well as on task performance. Moreover, our results suggest that navigating SSVEP-BCIs with overt attention is more reliable and highlight some of the challenges in developing BCIs for patients who have lost the ability to move their eyes.

  2. Goal-directed attention alters the tuning of object-based representations in extrastriate cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anthony J.-W. Chen

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Humans survive in environments that contain a vast quantity and variety of visual information. All items of perceived visual information must be represented within a limited number of brain networks. The human brain requires mechanisms for selecting only a relevant fraction of perceived information for more in-depth processing, where neural representations of that information may be actively maintained and utilized for goal-directed behavior. Object-based attention is crucial for goal-directed behavior and yet remains poorly understood. Thus, in the study we investigate how neural representations of visual object information are guided by selective attention. The magnitude of activation in human extrastriate cortex has been shown to be modulated by attention; however object-based attention is not likely to be fully explained by a localized gain mechanism. Thus, we measured information coded in spatially distributed patterns of brain activity with fMRI while human participants performed a task requiring selective processing of a relevant visual object category that differed across conditions. Using pattern classification and spatial correlation techniques, we found that the direction of selective attention is implemented as a shift in the tuning of object-based information representations within extrastriate cortex. In contrast, we found that representations within lateral prefrontal cortex coded for the attention condition rather than the concrete representations of object category. In sum, our findings are consistent with a model of object-based selective attention in which representations coded within extrastriate cortex are tuned to favor the representation of goal-relevant information, guided by more abstract representations within lateral prefrontal cortex.

  3. Neural correlates of age-related decline and compensation in visual attention capacity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wiegand, Iris; Töllner, Thomas; Dyrholm, Mads

    2014-01-01

    We identified neural correlates of declined and preserved basic visual attention functions in aging individuals based on Bundesen’s ‘Theory of Visual Attention’ (TVA). In an inter-individual difference approach, we contrasted electrophysiology of higher- and lower-performing younger and older...

  4. Simulating the Role of Visual Selective Attention during the Development of Perceptual Completion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schlesinger, Matthew; Amso, Dima; Johnson, Scott P.

    2012-01-01

    We recently proposed a multi-channel, image-filtering model for simulating the development of visual selective attention in young infants (Schlesinger, Amso & Johnson, 2007). The model not only captures the performance of 3-month-olds on a visual search task, but also implicates two cortical regions that may play a role in the development of…

  5. Associations between the developmental trajectories of visual scanning and disengagement of attention in infants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hunnius, S.; Geuze, R.H.; Van Geert, P. L. C.

    2006-01-01

    The relation between the developmental trajectories of visual scanning and disengagement of attention and gaze were examined throughout early infancy. A sample of 10 infants carried out a scanning and a disengagement task with the same visual stimuli six times between 6 and 26 weeks of age. Frequenc

  6. Covert Orienting to Central Vision Cues and Sport Practice Relations in the Development of Visual Attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nougier, Vincent; And Others

    1992-01-01

    The development of visual orienting to a cued target on the part of practicing and nonpracticing tennis players aged 13, 16, and 25 years was examined. Results indicated that practicers were not faster than nonpracticers in processing visual information and that subjects of all ages oriented attention voluntarily to cued locations. (LB)

  7. Neural Basis of Visual Attentional Orienting in Childhood Autism Spectrum Disorders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murphy, Eric R.; Norr, Megan; Strang, John F.; Kenworthy, Lauren; Gaillard, William D.; Vaidya, Chandan J.

    2017-01-01

    We examined spontaneous attention orienting to visual salience in stimuli without social significance using a modified Dot-Probe task during functional magnetic resonance imaging in high-functioning preadolescent children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and age- and IQ-matched control children. While the magnitude of attentional bias (faster…

  8. Infant Thresholds with Enhanced Attention to the Signal in Visual Reinforcement Audiometry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Primus, Michael A.

    1988-01-01

    A standard operant procedure, Visual Reinforcement Audiometry, was modified to enhance 16 infants' attention to impending auditory signals. The modified technique achieved an average 5.5 dB improvement in threshold over the conventional technique. Correction for adult performance in similar tasks indicated a 3.3 dB attentional effect between…

  9. Interruption from irrelevant auditory and visual onsets even when attention is in a focused state

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lubbe, van der R.H.J.; Postma, A.

    2005-01-01

    The common view on the interplay between exogenous and endogenous orienting holds that abrupt onsets are not capable of attracting attention when they occur outside the current focus of attention. Does this also apply to sudden irrelevant auditory onsets and when irrelevant visual onsets occur far i

  10. Influences of Visual Attention and Reading Time on Children and Adults

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Chun-Chun; Ma, Min-Yuan

    2017-01-01

    This study investigates the relationship between visual attention and reading time using a mobile electroencephalography device. The mobile electroencephalography device uses a single channel dry sensor, which easily measures participants' attention in the real-world reading environment. The results reveal that age significantly influences visual…

  11. An Integrated Theory of Attention and Decision Making in Visual Signal Detection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Philip L.; Ratcliff, Roger

    2009-01-01

    The simplest attentional task, detecting a cued stimulus in an otherwise empty visual field, produces complex patterns of performance. Attentional cues interact with backward masks and with spatial uncertainty, and there is a dissociation in the effects of these variables on accuracy and on response time. A computational theory of performance in…

  12. Is that disgust I see? Political ideology and biased visual attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oosterhoff, Benjamin; Shook, Natalie J; Ford, Cameron

    2018-01-15

    Considerable evidence suggests that political liberals and conservatives vary in the way they process and respond to valenced (i.e., negative versus positive) information, with conservatives generally displaying greater negativity biases than liberals. Less is known about whether liberals and conservatives differentially prioritize certain forms of negative information over others. Across two studies using eye-tracking methodology, we examined differences in visual attention to negative scenes and facial expressions based on self-reported political ideology. In Study 1, scenes rated high in fear, disgust, sadness, and neutrality were presented simultaneously. Greater endorsement of socially conservative political attitudes was associated with less attentional engagement (i.e., lower dwell time) of disgust scenes and more attentional engagement toward neutral scenes. Socially conservative political attitudes were not significantly associated with visual attention to fear or sad scenes. In Study 2, images depicting facial expressions of fear, disgust, sadness, and neutrality were presented simultaneously. Greater endorsement of socially conservative political attitudes was associated with greater attentional engagement with facial expressions depicting disgust and less attentional engagement toward neutral faces. Visual attention to fearful or sad faces was not related to social conservatism. Endorsement of economically conservative political attitudes was not consistently associated with biases in visual attention across both studies. These findings support disease-avoidance models and suggest that social conservatism may be rooted within a greater sensitivity to disgust-related information. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Visual Attention to Competing Social and Object Images by Preschool Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sasson, Noah J.; Touchstone, Emily W.

    2014-01-01

    Eye tracking studies of young children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) report a reduction in social attention and an increase in visual attention to non-social stimuli, including objects related to circumscribed interests (CI) (e.g., trains). In the current study, fifteen preschoolers with ASD and 15 typically developing controls matched on…

  14. Theory of Visual Attention (TVA) applied to mice in the 5-choice serial reaction time task

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fitzpatrick, Ciarán Martin; Woldbye, David Paul Drucker; Andreasen T., Jesper

    2017-01-01

    RATIONALE: The 5-choice serial reaction time task (5-CSRTT) is widely used to measure rodent attentional functions. In humans, many attention studies in healthy and clinical populations have used testing based on Bundesen's Theory of Visual Attention (TVA) to estimate visual processing speeds...... and other parameters of attentional capacity. OBJECTIVES: We aimed to bridge these research fields by modifying the 5-CSRTT's design and by mathematically modelling data to derive attentional parameters analogous to human TVA-based measures. METHODS: C57BL/6 mice were tested in two 1-h sessions...... thresholds and motor response baselines. CONCLUSIONS: This study shows for the first time how 5-CSRTT performance in mice can be mathematically modelled to yield estimates of attentional capacity that are directly comparable to estimates from human studies....

  15. An investigation into how audio influences perception, attention and memory and affects visual hierarchy in design

    OpenAIRE

    Burnett, Timothy John

    2017-01-01

    This exegesis will investigate the influence of audio stimuli and its relationship with visual perception, attention and hierarchical flow within visual communication - utilising a heuristic form of inquiry. New terminology of black and white thoughts will also be explored to analyse logical and lateral thinking when applied to problem solving. By utilising visual abstraction, cross-modal perception and iconic-coupling techniques I wish to explore how one can create stronger en...

  16. Gestalt perceptual organization of visual stimuli captures attention automatically: Electrophysiological evidence

    OpenAIRE

    Francesco Marini; Carlo Alberto Marzi

    2016-01-01

    The visual system leverages organizational regularities of perceptual elements to create meaningful representations of the world. One clear example of such function, which has been formalized in the Gestalt psychology principles, is the perceptual grouping of simple visual elements (e.g., lines and arcs) into unitary objects (e.g., forms and shapes). The present study sought to characterize automatic attentional capture and related cognitive processing of Gestalt-like visual stimuli at the ps...

  17. Gestalt Perceptual Organization of Visual Stimuli Captures Attention Automatically: Electrophysiological Evidence

    OpenAIRE

    Marini, Francesco; Marzi, Carlo A.

    2016-01-01

    The visual system leverages organizational regularities of perceptual elements to create meaningful representations of the world. One clear example of such function, which has been formalized in the Gestalt psychology principles, is the perceptual grouping of simple visual elements (e.g., lines and arcs) into unitary objects (e.g., forms and shapes). The present study sought to characterize automatic attentional capture and related cognitive processing of Gestalt-like visual stimuli at the ps...

  18. Neurofeedback Therapy for Enhancing Visual Attention: State-of-the-Art and Challenges

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ordikhani-Seyedlar, Mehdi; Lebedev, Mikhail A; Sørensen, Helge Bjarup Dissing

    2016-01-01

    function. Although progress has been made in the studies of neural mechanisms of attention, extraction of attention-related neural signals needed for BCI operations is a difficult problem. To attain good BCI performance, it is important to select the features of neural activity that represent attentional......We have witnessed a rapid development of brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) linking the brain to external devices. BCIs can be utilized to treat neurological conditions and even to augment brain functions. BCIs offer a promising treatment for mental disorders, including disorders of attention. Here...... we review the current state of the art and challenges of attention-based BCIs, with a focus on visual attention. Attention-based BCIs utilize electroencephalograms (EEGs) or other recording techniques to generate neurofeedback, which patients use to improve their attention, a complex cognitive...

  19. When meaning matters: The temporal dynamics of semantic influences on visual attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Groot, Floor; Huettig, Falk; Olivers, Christian N L

    2016-02-01

    An important question is, to what extent is visual attention driven by the semantics of individual objects, rather than by their visual appearance? This study investigates the hypothesis that timing is a crucial factor in the occurrence and strength of semantic influences on visual orienting. To assess the dynamics of such influences, the authors presented the target instruction either before or after visual stimulus onset, while eye movements were continuously recorded throughout the search. The results show a substantial but delayed bias in orienting toward semantically related objects compared with visually related objects when target instruction is presented before visual stimulus onset. However, this delay can be completely undone by presenting the visual information before the target instruction (Experiment 1). Moreover, the absence or presence of visual competition does not change the temporal dynamics of the semantic bias (Experiment 2). Visual orienting is thus driven by priority settings that dynamically shift between visual and semantic representations, with each of these types of bias operating largely independently. The findings bridge the divide between the visual attention and the psycholinguistic literature. (PsycINFO Database Record

  20. Emotion recognition abilities across stimulus modalities in schizophrenia and the role of visual attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simpson, Claire; Pinkham, Amy E; Kelsven, Skylar; Sasson, Noah J

    2013-12-01

    Emotion can be expressed by both the voice and face, and previous work suggests that presentation modality may impact emotion recognition performance in individuals with schizophrenia. We investigated the effect of stimulus modality on emotion recognition accuracy and the potential role of visual attention to faces in emotion recognition abilities. Thirty-one patients who met DSM-IV criteria for schizophrenia (n=8) or schizoaffective disorder (n=23) and 30 non-clinical control individuals participated. Both groups identified emotional expressions in three different conditions: audio only, visual only, combined audiovisual. In the visual only and combined conditions, time spent visually fixating salient features of the face were recorded. Patients were significantly less accurate than controls in emotion recognition during both the audio and visual only conditions but did not differ from controls on the combined condition. Analysis of visual scanning behaviors demonstrated that patients attended less than healthy individuals to the mouth in the visual condition but did not differ in visual attention to salient facial features in the combined condition, which may in part explain the absence of a deficit for patients in this condition. Collectively, these findings demonstrate that patients benefit from multimodal stimulus presentations of emotion and support hypotheses that visual attention to salient facial features may serve as a mechanism for accurate emotion identification.

  1. Comparison of Smart Visual Attention Mechanisms for Humanoid Robots

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlos E. Agüero

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Cameras are one of the most relevant sensors in autonomous robots. One challenge with them is to manage the small field of view of regular cameras. A method of coping with this, similar to the attention systems in humans, is to use mobile cameras to cover all the robot surroundings and to perceive all the objects of interest to the robot tasks even if they do not lie in the same snapshot. A gaze control algorithm is then required that continuously selects where the camera should look. This paper presents three different covert attention mechanisms that have been designed and compared: one based on round‐Robin sharing, another based on dynamic salience and one with fixed pattern camera movements. Several experiments have been performed with a humanoid robot in order to validate them and to give an objective comparison in the context of RoboCup, where the robots have several perceptive needs like localization and object tracking that must be satisfied and may not be fully compatible.

  2. Altering sensorimotor feedback disrupts visual discrimination of facial expressions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, Adrienne; Lupyan, Gary; Sherrin, Steven; Niedenthal, Paula

    2016-08-01

    Looking at another person's facial expression of emotion can trigger the same neural processes involved in producing the expression, and such responses play a functional role in emotion recognition. Disrupting individuals' facial action, for example, interferes with verbal emotion recognition tasks. We tested the hypothesis that facial responses also play a functional role in the perceptual processing of emotional expressions. We altered the facial action of participants with a gel facemask while they performed a task that involved distinguishing target expressions from highly similar distractors. Relative to control participants, participants in the facemask condition demonstrated inferior perceptual discrimination of facial expressions, but not of nonface stimuli. The findings suggest that somatosensory/motor processes involving the face contribute to the visual perceptual-and not just conceptual-processing of facial expressions. More broadly, our study contributes to growing evidence for the fundamentally interactive nature of the perceptual inputs from different sensory modalities.

  3. Brain dynamic mechanisms on the visual attention scale with Chinese characters cues

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2002-01-01

    The temporal dynamics in brain evoked by the scale of visual attention with the cues of Chinese characters were studied by recording event-related potentials (ERPs). With the fixed orientation of visual attention, 14 healthy young participants performed a search task in which the search array was preceded by Chinese characters cues, "大, 中, 小" (large, medium, small). 128 channels scalp ERPs were recorded to study the role of visual attention scale played in the visual spatial attention. The results showed that there was no significant difference in the ERP components evoked by the three Chinese characters cues except the inferoposterior N2 latency. The targets evoked P2, N2 amplitudes and latency have significant differences with the different cues of large, middle and small, while P1 and N1 components had no significant difference. The results suggested that the processing of scale of visual attention was mainly concerned with P2, N2 components, while the P1, N1 components were mainly related with the processing of visual orientation information.

  4. Competing visual flicker reveals attention-like rivalry in the fly brain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bruno eVan Swinderen

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available There is increasing evidence that invertebrates such as flies display selective attention (van Swinderen, 2011a, although parallel processing of simultaneous cues remains difficult to demonstrate in such tiny brains. Local field potential (LFP activity in the fly brain is associated with stimulus selection and suppression (van Swinderen and Greenspan, 2003;Tang and Juusola, 2010, like in other animals such as monkeys (Fries et al., 2001, suggesting that similar processes may be working to control attention in vastly different brains. To investigate selective attention to competing visual cues, I recorded brain activity from behaving flies while applying a method used in human attention studies: competing visual flicker, or frequency tags (Vialatte et al., 2010. Behavioral fixation in a closed-loop flight arena increased the response to visual flicker in the fly brain, and visual salience modulated responses to competing tags arranged in a center-surround pattern. Visual competition dynamics in the fly brain were dependent on the rate of pattern presentation, suggesting that attention-like switching in insects is tuned to the pace of visual changes in the environment rather than simply the passage of time.

  5. Brain activity underlying visual perception and attention as inferred from TMS-EEG: a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, Paul Christopher John; Thut, Gregor

    2012-04-01

    Probing brain functions by brain stimulation while simultaneously recording brain activity allows addressing major issues in cognitive neuroscience. We review recent studies where electroencephalography (EEG) has been combined with transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) in order to investigate possible neuronal substrates of visual perception and attention. TMS-EEG has been used to study both pre-stimulus brain activity patterns that affect upcoming perception, and also the stimulus-evoked and task-related inter-regional interactions within the extended visual-attentional network from which attention and perception emerge. Local processes in visual areas have been probed by directly stimulating occipital cortex while monitoring EEG activity and perception. Interactions within the attention network have been probed by concurrently stimulating frontal or parietal areas. The use of tasks manipulating implicit and explicit memory has revealed in addition a role for attentional processes in memory. Taken together, these studies helped to reveal that visual selection relies on spontaneous intrinsic activity in visual cortex prior to the incoming stimulus, their control by attention, and post-stimulus processes incorporating a re-entrant bias from frontal and parietal areas that depends on the task. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. The µ-opioid system promotes visual attention to faces and eyes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chelnokova, Olga; Laeng, Bruno; Løseth, Guro; Eikemo, Marie; Willoch, Frode; Leknes, Siri

    2016-12-01

    Paying attention to others' faces and eyes is a cornerstone of human social behavior. The µ-opioid receptor (MOR) system, central to social reward-processing in rodents and primates, has been proposed to mediate the capacity for affiliative reward in humans. We assessed the role of the human MOR system in visual exploration of faces and eyes of conspecifics. Thirty healthy males received a novel, bidirectional battery of psychopharmacological treatment (an MOR agonist, a non-selective opioid antagonist, or placebo, on three separate days). Eye-movements were recorded while participants viewed facial photographs. We predicted that the MOR system would promote visual exploration of faces, and hypothesized that MOR agonism would increase, whereas antagonism decrease overt attention to the information-rich eye region. The expected linear effect of MOR manipulation on visual attention to the stimuli was observed, such that MOR agonism increased while antagonism decreased visual exploration of faces and overt attention to the eyes. The observed effects suggest that the human MOR system promotes overt visual attention to socially significant cues, in line with theories linking reward value to gaze control and target selection. Enhanced attention to others' faces and eyes represents a putative behavioral mechanism through which the human MOR system promotes social interest.

  7. Phonological awareness intervention and attention efficiency in children at risk: evidence of effectiveness on visual attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Porta, María Elsa; Carrada, Mariana Andrea; Ison, Mirta Susana

    2016-05-31

    Using a pretest and posttest comparison group design, this 20 weeks study investigated the effects of a phonological awareness training program (PATP) on attention efficiency (AE) in 57 children (age = 5 to 6 years) at risk. The experimental group received the PATP (EG; n=30). We obtained pretest and posttest measures of phonological awareness and AE. The ANOVA showed significant interaction effects of the PATP and time on phonological awareness and AE. For both groups, posttest AE score means were higher than pretest score means. Pretest measures showed that the AE score mean for the EG was lower than that for the Control Group (CG; n=31); whereas posttest data showed no between group differences. Contrast analysis showed that the EG gained a greater level of phonological awareness ability and AE over CG. Our results indicate that children's attention efficiency not only improved as they developed, but also increased by means of a PATP.

  8. The impact of presentation format on visual attention and choice in discrete choice experiments

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mueller Loose, Simone; Orquin, Jacob Lund

    experiments across three different presentation formats. Method. Participants’ visual attention was measured by means of eye tracking during a discrete choice experiment for yoghurt products varying on six attributes with two to four levels. The study used a mixed within-between subjects design in which......Objectives. Discrete choice experiments in which participants choose between alternatives differing on attribute levels are an important research method for preference elicitation. In such experiments choice stimuli is typically presented in tables with verbally described attributes, in tables...... with visual attributes, or as product mock-ups simulating realistic products as close as possible. So far little is known about how presentation formats affect visual attention patterns and choice behavior. This study addresses the question by analysing visual attention and part-worth utilities in choice...

  9. Selective attention modulates visual and haptic repetition priming: effects in aging and Alzheimer's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ballesteros, Soledad; Reales, José M; Mayas, Julia; Heller, Morton A

    2008-08-01

    In two experiments, we examined the effect of selective attention at encoding on repetition priming in normal aging and Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients for objects presented visually (experiment 1) or haptically (experiment 2). We used a repetition priming paradigm combined with a selective attention procedure at encoding. Reliable priming was found for both young adults and healthy older participants for visually presented pictures (experiment 1) as well as for haptically presented objects (experiment 2). However, this was only found for attended and not for unattended stimuli. The results suggest that independently of the perceptual modality, repetition priming requires attention at encoding and that perceptual facilitation is maintained in normal aging. However, AD patients did not show priming for attended stimuli, or for unattended visual or haptic objects. These findings suggest an early deficit of selective attention in AD. Results are discussed from a cognitive neuroscience approach.

  10. Attention bias for paranoia-relevant visual stimuli in schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moritz, Steffen; Laudan, Anna

    2007-09-01

    A number of studies indicate that patients with schizophrenia share a bias for paranoia-relevant material. The presence of an attentional bias for such stimuli would be of utter importance for our pathogenetic understanding of the disorder in view of ample evidence that patients with schizophrenia gather little information before arriving at strong conclusions: A both scarce and affectively biased data selection of available information may heavily distort its inner representation and thus prompt the formation of false beliefs. To date, the profile of this putative attentional bias in schizophrenia (e.g., automatic vs. controlled; hypervigilance towards vs. problems to disengage from such stimuli) is not fully uncovered. To shed light on this aspect of information processing in schizophrenia, we administered a novel task based on the inhibition of return paradigm (IOR). Twenty-four schizophrenia patients and thirty-four healthy controls were presented neutral (e.g., cup), anxiety-relevant (e.g., shark), and paranoia-relevant cue pictures (e.g., gun) at either of two possible locations. Subsequent to either a short or long interval, a target appeared at the same or opposite location. Participants were requested to press a spatially corresponding button. Both currently paranoid and nonparanoid schizophrenia patients responded faster to all kinds of targets following paranoia-relevant pictures, that is, such stimuli speeded reaction times irrespective of the cue-target interval and spatial correspondence. This indicates that paranoia-relevant information generally alerts patients more than other stimuli and facilitates processing of subsequent information. Possible implications of this finding for our understanding of delusion formation and maintenance are outlined.

  11. Neural mechanisms of intermodal sustained selective attention with concurrently presented auditory and visual stimuli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katja Saupe

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available We investigated intermodal attention effects on the auditory steady-state response (ASSR and the steady-state visual evoked potential (SSVEP. For this purpose, 40 Hz amplitude modulated tones and a stream of flickering (7.5 Hz random letters were presented concurrently. By means of an auditory or visual target detection task, participants’ attention was directed to the respective modality for several seconds. Attention to the auditory stream led to a significant enhancement of the ASSR compared to when the visual stream was attended. This attentional modulation was located mainly in the right superior temporal gyrus. Vice versa, attention to the visual stream especially increased the second harmonic response of the SSVEP. This modulation was focused in the inferior occipital and lateral occipitotemporal gyrus of both hemispheres. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first demonstration of amplitude modulation of the ASSR and the SSVEP by intermodal sustained attention. Our results open a new avenue of research to understand the basic neural mechanisms of intermodal attention in the human brain.

  12. Visual attention to emotional face in schizophrenia: an eye tracking study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mania Asgharpour

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Deficits in the processing of facial emotions have been reported extensively in patients with schizophrenia. To explore whether restricted attention is the cause of impaired emotion processing in these patients, we examined visual attention through tracking eye movements in response to emotional and neutral face stimuli in a group of patients with schizophrenia and healthy individuals. We also examined the correlation between visual attention allocation and symptoms severity in our patient group.Thirty adult patients with schizophrenia and 30 matched healthy controls participated in this study. Visual attention data were recorded while participants passively viewed emotional-neutral face pairs for 500 ms. The relationship between the visual attention and symptoms severity were assessed by the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS in the schizophrenia group. Repeated Measures ANOVAs were used to compare the groups.Comparing the number of fixations made during face-pairs presentation, we found that patients with schizophrenia made fewer fixations on faces, regardless of the expression of the face. Analysis of the number of fixations on negative-neutral pairs also revealed that the patients made fewer fixations on both neutral and negative faces. Analysis of number of fixations on positive-neutral pairs only showed more fixations on positive relative to neutral expressions in both groups. We found no correlations between visual attention pattern to faces and symptom severity in schizophrenic patients.The results of this study suggest that the facial recognition deficit in schizophrenia is related to decreased attention to face stimuli. Finding of no difference in visual attention for positive-neutral face pairs between the groups is in line with studies that have shown increased ability to positive emotional perception in these patients.

  13. Altered visual information processing systems in bipolar disorder: evidence from visual MMN and P3

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Toshihiko eMaekawa

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Objective: Mismatch negativity (MMN and P3 are unique ERP components that provide objective indices of human cognitive functions such as short-term memory and prediction. Bipolar disorder (BD is an endogenous psychiatric disorder characterized by extreme shifts in mood, energy, and ability to function socially. BD patients usually show cognitive dysfunction, and the goal of this study was to access their altered visual information processing via visual MMN (vMMN and P3 using windmill pattern stimuli.Methods: Twenty patients with BD and 20 healthy controls matched for age, gender, and handedness participated in this study. Subjects were seated in front of a monitor and listened to a story via earphones. Two types of windmill patterns (standard and deviant and white circle (target stimuli were randomly presented on the monitor. All stimuli were presented in random order at 200-ms durations with an 800-ms inter-stimulus interval. Stimuli were presented at 80% (standard, 10% (deviant, and 10% (target probabilities. The participants were instructed to attend to the story and press a button as soon as possible when the target stimuli were presented. Event-related potentials were recorded throughout the experiment using 128-channel EEG equipment. vMMN was obtained by subtracting standard from deviant stimuli responses, and P3 was evoked from the target stimulus.Results: Mean reaction times for target stimuli in the BD group were significantly higher than those in the control group. Additionally, mean vMMN-amplitudes and peak P3-amplitudes were significantly lower in the BD group than in controls.Conclusions: Abnormal vMMN and P3 in patients indicate a deficit of visual information processing in bipolar disorder, which is consistent with their increased reaction time to visual target stimuli.Significance: Both bottom-up and top-down visual information processing are likely altered in BD.

  14. Attention and Visual Motor Integration in Young Children with Uncorrected Hyperopia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kulp, Marjean Taylor; Ciner, Elise; Maguire, Maureen; Pistilli, Maxwell; Candy, T Rowan; Ying, Gui-Shuang; Quinn, Graham; Cyert, Lynn; Moore, Bruce

    2017-10-01

    Among 4- and 5-year-old children, deficits in measures of attention, visual-motor integration (VMI) and visual perception (VP) are associated with moderate, uncorrected hyperopia (3 to 6 diopters [D]) accompanied by reduced near visual function (near visual acuity worse than 20/40 or stereoacuity worse than 240 seconds of arc). To compare attention, visual motor, and visual perceptual skills in uncorrected hyperopes and emmetropes attending preschool or kindergarten and evaluate their associations with visual function. Participants were 4 and 5 years of age with either hyperopia (≥3 to ≤6 D, astigmatism ≤1.5 D, anisometropia ≤1 D) or emmetropia (hyperopia ≤1 D; astigmatism, anisometropia, and myopia each VMI, and VP. Binocular visual acuity, stereoacuity, and accommodative accuracy were also assessed at near. Analyses were adjusted for age, sex, race/ethnicity, and parent's/caregiver's education. Two hundred forty-four hyperopes (mean, +3.8 ± [SD] 0.8 D) and 248 emmetropes (+0.5 ± 0.5 D) completed testing. Mean sustained attention score was worse in hyperopes compared with emmetropes (mean difference, -4.1; P VMI; -1.3, P = .008 for VP). Hyperopes with stereoacuity of 240 seconds of arc or worse scored significantly worse than emmetropes (-6.7, P VMI; -1.7, P VMI and VP than emmetropic children.

  15. Visual sustained attention and numerosity sensitivity correlate with math achievement in children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anobile, Giovanni; Stievano, Paolo; Burr, David C

    2013-10-01

    In this study, we investigated in school-age children the relationship among mathematical performance, the perception of numerosity (discrimination and mapping to number line), and sustained visual attention. The results (on 68 children between 8 and 11 years of age) show that attention and numerosity perception predict math scores but not reading performance. Even after controlling for several variables, including age, gender, nonverbal IQ, and reading accuracy, attention remained correlated with math skills and numerosity discrimination. These findings support previous reports showing the interrelationship between visual attention and both numerosity perception and math performance. It also suggests that attentional deficits may be implicated in disturbances such as developmental dyscalculia. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Age-Related Changes in Temporal Allocation of Visual Attention: Evidence from the Rapid Serial Visual Presentation (RSVP) Paradigm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berger, Carole; Valdois, Sylviane; Lallier, Marie; Donnadieu, Sophie

    2015-01-01

    The present study explored the temporal allocation of attention in groups of 8-year-old children, 10-year-old children, and adults performing a rapid serial visual presentation task. In a dual-condition task, participants had to detect a briefly presented target (T2) after identifying an initial target (T1) embedded in a random series of…

  17. TVA-based assessment of visual attentional functions in developmental dyslexia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johanna eBogon

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available There is an ongoing debate whether an impairment of visual attentional functions constitutes an additional or even an isolated deficit of developmental dyslexia (DD. Especially performance in tasks that require the processing of multiple visual elements in parallel has been reported to be impaired in DD. We review studies that used parameter-based assessment for identifying and quantifying impaired aspect(s of visual attention that underlie this multi-element-processing deficit in DD. These studies used the mathematical framework provided by the ‘theory of visual attention’ (TVA; Bundesen, 1990 to derive quantitative measures of general attentional resources and attentional weighting aspects on the basis of behavioral performance in whole- and partial-report tasks. Based on parameter estimates in children and adults with DD, the reviewed studies support a slowed perceptual processing speed as an underlying primary deficit in DD. Moreover, a reduction in visual short term memory storage capacity seems to present a modulating component, contributing to difficulties in written language processing. Furthermore, comparing the spatial distributions of attentional weights in children and adults suggest that having limited reading and writing skills might impair the development of a slight leftward bias, that is typical for unimpaired adult readers.

  18. Competitive interactions of attentional resources in early visual cortex during sustained visuospatial attention within or between visual hemifields: evidence for the different-hemifield advantage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walter, Sabrina; Quigley, Cliodhna; Mueller, Matthias M

    2014-05-01

    Performing a task across the left and right visual hemifields results in better performance than in a within-hemifield version of the task, termed the different-hemifield advantage. Although recent studies used transient stimuli that were presented with long ISIs, here we used a continuous objective electrophysiological (EEG) measure of competitive interactions for attentional processing resources in early visual cortex, the steady-state visual evoked potential (SSVEP). We frequency-tagged locations in each visual quadrant and at central fixation by flickering light-emitting diodes (LEDs) at different frequencies to elicit distinguishable SSVEPs. Stimuli were presented for several seconds, and participants were cued to attend to two LEDs either in one (Within) or distributed across left and right visual hemifields (Across). In addition, we introduced two reference measures: one for suppressive interactions between the peripheral LEDs by using a task at fixation where attention was withdrawn from the periphery and another estimating the upper bound of SSVEP amplitude by cueing participants to attend to only one of the peripheral LEDs. We found significantly greater SSVEP amplitude modulations in Across compared with Within hemifield conditions. No differences were found between SSVEP amplitudes elicited by the peripheral LEDs when participants attended to the centrally located LEDs compared with when peripheral LEDs had to be ignored in Across and Within trials. Attending to only one LED elicited the same SSVEP amplitude as Across conditions. Although behavioral data displayed a more complex pattern, SSVEP amplitudes were well in line with the predictions of the different-hemifield advantage account during sustained visuospatial attention.

  19. UnAdulterated - children and adults' visual attention to healthy and unhealthy food.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Junghans, Astrid F; Hooge, Ignace T C; Maas, Josje; Evers, Catharine; De Ridder, Denise T D

    2015-04-01

    Visually attending to unhealthy food creates a desire to consume the food. To resist the temptation people have to employ self-regulation strategies, such as visual avoidance. Past research has shown that self-regulatory skills develop throughout childhood and adolescence, suggesting adults' superior self-regulation skills compared to children. This study employed a novel method to investigate self-regulatory skills. Children and adults' initial (bottom-up) and maintained (top-down) visual attention to simultaneously presented healthy and unhealthy food were examined in an eye-tracking paradigm. Results showed that both children and adults initially attended most to the unhealthy food. Subsequently, adults self-regulated their visual attention away from the unhealthy food. Despite the children's high self-reported attempts to eat healthily and importance of eating healthily, children did not self-regulate visual attention away from unhealthy food. Children remained influenced by the attention-driven desire to consume the unhealthy food whereas adults visually attended more strongly to the healthy food thereby avoiding the desire to consume the unhealthy option. The findings emphasize the necessity of improving children's self-regulatory skills to support their desire to remain healthy and to protect children from the influences of the obesogenic environment. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  20. The Focus of Attention in Visual Working Memory: Protection of Focused Representations and Its Individual Variation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heuer, Anna; Schubö, Anna

    2016-01-01

    Visual working memory can be modulated according to changes in the cued task relevance of maintained items. Here, we investigated the mechanisms underlying this modulation. In particular, we studied the consequences of attentional selection for selected and unselected items, and the role of individual differences in the efficiency with which attention is deployed. To this end, performance in a visual working memory task as well as the CDA/SPCN and the N2pc, ERP components associated with visual working memory and attentional processes, were analysed. Selection during the maintenance stage was manipulated by means of two successively presented retrocues providing spatial information as to which items were most likely to be tested. Results show that attentional selection serves to robustly protect relevant representations in the focus of attention while unselected representations which may become relevant again still remain available. Individuals with larger retrocueing benefits showed higher efficiency of attentional selection, as indicated by the N2pc, and showed stronger maintenance-associated activity (CDA/SPCN). The findings add to converging evidence that focused representations are protected, and highlight the flexibility of visual working memory, in which information can be weighted according its relevance. PMID:27099938

  1. Priming of Visual Search Facilitates Attention Shifts: Evidence From Object-Substitution Masking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kristjánsson, Árni

    2016-03-01

    Priming of visual search strongly affects visual function, releasing items from crowding and during free-choice primed targets are chosen over unprimed ones. Two accounts of priming have been proposed: attentional facilitation of primed features and postperceptual episodic memory retrieval that involves mapping responses to visual events. Here, well-known masking effects were used to assess the two accounts. Object-substitution masking has been considered to reflect attentional processing: It does not occur when a target is precued and is strengthened when distractors are present. Conversely, metacontrast masking has been connected to lower level processing where attention exerts little effect. If priming facilitates attention shifts, it should mitigate object-substitution masking, while lower level masking might not be similarly influenced. Observers searched for an odd-colored target among distractors. Unpredictably (on 20% of trials), object-substitution masks or metacontrast masks appeared around the target. Object-substitution masking was strongly mitigated for primed target colors, while metacontrast masking was mostly unaffected. This argues against episodic retrieval accounts of priming, placing the priming locus firmly within the realm of attentional processing. The results suggest that priming of visual search facilitates attention shifts to the target, which allows better spatiotemporal resolution that overcomes object-substitution masking.

  2. A Comparison of the Visual Attention Patterns of People with Aphasia and Adults without Neurological Conditions for Camera-Engaged and Task-Engaged Visual Scenes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thiessen, Amber; Beukelman, David; Hux, Karen; Longenecker, Maria

    2016-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of the study was to compare the visual attention patterns of adults with aphasia and adults without neurological conditions when viewing visual scenes with 2 types of engagement. Method: Eye-tracking technology was used to measure the visual attention patterns of 10 adults with aphasia and 10 adults without neurological…

  3. Divisive normalization and neuronal oscillations in a single hierarchical framework of selective visual attention

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jorrit Steven Montijn

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available In divisive normalization models of covert attention, spike rate modulations are commonly used as indicators of the effect of top-down attention. In addition, an increasing number of studies have shown that top-down attention increases the synchronization of neuronal oscillations as well, particularly those in gamma-band frequencies (25 to 100 Hz. Although modulations of spike rate and synchronous oscillations are not mutually exclusive as mechanisms of attention, there has thus far been little effort to integrate these concepts into a single framework of attention. Here, we aim to provide such a unified framework by expanding the normalization model of attention with a time dimension; allowing the simulation of a recently reported backward progression of attentional effects along the visual cortical hierarchy. A simple hierarchical cascade of normalization models simulating different cortical areas however leads to signal degradation and a loss of discriminability over time. To negate this degradation and ensure stable neuronal stimulus representations, we incorporate oscillatory phase entrainment into our model, a mechanism previously proposed as the communication-through-coherence (CTC hypothesis. Our analysis shows that divisive normalization and oscillation models can complement each other in a unified account of the neural mechanisms of selective visual attention. The resulting hierarchical normalization and oscillation (HNO model reproduces several additional spatial and temporal aspects of attentional modulation.

  4. Attentional costs of visually guided walking: effects of age, executive function and stepping-task demands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mazaheri, Masood; Roerdink, Melvyn; Bood, Robert Jan; Duysens, Jacques; Beek, Peter J; Peper, C Lieke E

    2014-01-01

    During walking, attention needs to be flexibly allocated to deal with varying environmental constraints. This ability may be affected by aging and lower overall executive function. The present study examined the influence of aging and executive function on the attentional costs of visually guided walking under different task demands. Three groups, young adults (n=15) and elderly adults with higher (n=16) and lower (n=10) executive function, walked on a treadmill in three conditions: uncued walking and walking with regular and irregular patterns of visual stepping targets projected onto the belt. Attentional costs were assessed using a secondary probe reaction time task and corrected by subtracting baseline single-task reaction time, yielding an estimate of the additional attentional costs of each walking condition. We found that uncued walking was more attentionally demanding for elderly than for young participants. In young participants, the attentional costs increased significantly from uncued to regularly cued to irregularly cued walking, whereas for the higher executive function group, attentional costs only increased significantly from regularly cued to irregularly cued walking. For the group with lower executive function, no significant differences were observed. The observed decreased flexibility of elderly, especially those with lower executive function, to allocate additional attentional resources to more challenging walking conditions may be attributed to the already increased attentional costs of uncued walking, presumably required for visuomotor and/or balance control of walking.

  5. Nicotine enhances but does not normalize visual sustained attention and the associated brain network in schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hong, L Elliot; Schroeder, Matthew; Ross, Thomas J; Buchholz, Brittany; Salmeron, Betty Jo; Wonodi, Ikwunga; Thaker, Gunvant K; Stein, Elliot A

    2011-03-01

    Sustained attention abnormality in schizophrenia is usually refractory to available treatment. Nicotine can transiently improve sustained attention in schizophrenia patients, although its neural mechanisms are unknown. Understanding the neural basis of this effect may lead to new treatment strategies for this cognitive deficit. Twenty schizophrenia patients and 24 healthy comparison smokers participated in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover, randomized functional magnetic resonance imaging study comparing nicotine vs placebo patch on sustained attention, using the rapid visual information-processing task. Schizophrenia patients had impaired visual sustained attention accuracy and processing speed (all P's attention network compared with healthy comparison subjects. Nicotine administration enhanced accuracy and processing speed compared with placebo (all P's ≤.006), with no drug × diagnosis interactions. However, schizophrenia patients' task performance remained impaired during the nicotine condition, even when compared with healthy comparison subjects in the placebo condition (all P's ≤.01). Nicotine exerted no significant reversal of the impaired attention network associated with schizophrenia. Activations in brain regions associated with nicotine-induced behavioral improvement were not significantly different between patients and comparison subjects. Thus, nicotine transiently enhanced sustained attention similarly in schizophrenia patients and in healthy comparison smokers. The neural mechanisms for this nicotinic effect in schizophrenia appear similar to those for healthy comparison subjects. However, nicotine, at least in a single sustained dose, does not normalize impaired sustained attention and its associated brain network in schizophrenia. These findings provide guidance for developing new treatment strategies for the sustained attention deficit in schizophrenia.

  6. Visual attention to plain and ornamented human bodies: an eye-tracking study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wohlrab, Silke; Fink, Bernhard; Pyritz, Lennart W; Rahlfs, Moritz; Kappeler, Peter M

    2007-06-01

    Signaling mate quality through visual adornments is a common phenomenon in animals and humans. However, humans are probably the only species who applies artificial ornaments. Such deliberate alterations of the skin, e.g., tattoos and scarring patterns, have been discussed by researchers as potential handicap signals, but there is still very little information about a potential biological signaling value of body modification. In this study eye-tracking was employed to investigate the signaling value of tattoos and other body modification. Measurement of gaze duration of 50 individuals while watching plain, scarred, accessorized, and tattooed bodies of artificial human images indicated that participants looked significantly longer at tattooed than at scarred, accessorized, and plain bodies. Generally, male participants paid more attention to tattooed stimuli of both sexes. More detailed analyses showed that particularly female tattooed stimuli were looked at longer. These findings are discussed within an evolutionary framework by suggesting that tattoos might have some signaling value which influences the perception of both male and female conspecifics and may hence also affect mating decisions.

  7. Time-resolved neuroimaging of visual short term memory consolidation by post-perceptual attention shifts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hecht, Marcus; Thiemann, Ulf; Freitag, Christine M; Bender, Stephan

    2016-01-15

    Post-perceptual cues can enhance visual short term memory encoding even after the offset of the visual stimulus. However, both the mechanisms by which the sensory stimulus characteristics are buffered as well as the mechanisms by which post-perceptual selective attention enhances short term memory encoding remain unclear. We analyzed late post-perceptual event-related potentials (ERPs) in visual change detection tasks (100ms stimulus duration) by high-resolution ERP analysis to elucidate these mechanisms. The effects of early and late auditory post-cues (300ms or 850ms after visual stimulus onset) as well as the effects of a visual interference stimulus were examined in 27 healthy right-handed adults. Focusing attention with post-perceptual cues at both latencies significantly improved memory performance, i.e. sensory stimulus characteristics were available for up to 850ms after stimulus presentation. Passive watching of the visual stimuli without auditory cue presentation evoked a slow negative wave (N700) over occipito-temporal visual areas. N700 was strongly reduced by a visual interference stimulus which impeded memory maintenance. In contrast, contralateral delay activity (CDA) still developed in this condition after the application of auditory post-cues and was thereby dissociated from N700. CDA and N700 seem to represent two different processes involved in short term memory encoding. While N700 could reflect visual post processing by automatic attention attraction, CDA may reflect the top-down process of searching selectively for the required information through post-perceptual attention. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Object integration requires attention: Visual search for Kanizsa figures in parietal extinction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gögler, Nadine; Finke, Kathrin; Keller, Ingo; Müller, Hermann J; Conci, Markus

    2016-11-01

    The contribution of selective attention to object integration is a topic of debate: integration of parts into coherent wholes, such as in Kanizsa figures, is thought to arise either from pre-attentive, automatic coding processes or from higher-order processes involving selective attention. Previous studies have attempted to examine the role of selective attention in object integration either by employing visual search paradigms or by studying patients with unilateral deficits in selective attention. Here, we combined these two approaches to investigate object integration in visual search in a group of five patients with left-sided parietal extinction. Our search paradigm was designed to assess the effect of left- and right-grouped nontargets on detecting a Kanizsa target square. The results revealed comparable reaction time (RT) performance in patients and controls when they were presented with displays consisting of a single to-be-grouped item that had to be classified as target vs. nontarget. However, when display size increased to two items, patients showed an extinction-specific pattern of enhanced RT costs for nontargets that induced a partial shape grouping on the right, i.e., in the attended hemifield (relative to the ungrouped baseline). Together, these findings demonstrate a competitive advantage for right-grouped objects, which in turn indicates that in parietal extinction, attentional competition between objects particularly limits integration processes in the contralesional, i.e., left hemifield. These findings imply a crucial contribution of selective attentional resources to visual object integration.

  9. From shunting inhibition to dynamic normalization: Attentional selection and decision-making in brief visual displays.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Philip L; Sewell, David K; Lilburn, Simon D

    2015-11-01

    Normalization models of visual sensitivity assume that the response of a visual mechanism is scaled divisively by the sum of the activity in the excitatory and inhibitory mechanisms in its neighborhood. Normalization models of attention assume that the weighting of excitatory and inhibitory mechanisms is modulated by attention. Such models have provided explanations of the effects of attention in both behavioral and single-cell recording studies. We show how normalization models can be obtained as the asymptotic solutions of shunting differential equations, in which stimulus inputs and the activity in the mechanism control growth rates multiplicatively rather than additively. The value of the shunting equation approach is that it characterizes the entire time course of the response, not just its asymptotic strength. We describe two models of attention based on shunting dynamics, the integrated system model of Smith and Ratcliff (2009) and the competitive interaction theory of Smith and Sewell (2013). These models assume that attention, stimulus salience, and the observer's strategy for the task jointly determine the selection of stimuli into visual short-term memory (VSTM) and the way in which stimulus representations are weighted. The quality of the VSTM representation determines the speed and accuracy of the decision. The models provide a unified account of a variety of attentional phenomena found in psychophysical tasks using single-element and multi-element displays. Our results show the generality and utility of the normalization approach to modeling attention.

  10. Alterations in Event Related Potentials (ERP) associated with tinnitus distress and attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delb, Wolfgang; Strauss, Daniel J; Low, Yin Fen; Seidler, Harald; Rheinschmitt, A; Wobrock, T; D'Amelio, Roberto

    2008-12-01

    Tinnitus related distress corresponds to different degrees of attention paid to the tinnitus. Shifting attention to a signal other than the tinnitus is therefore particularly difficult for patients with high tinnitus related distress. As attention effects on Event Related Potentials (ERP) have been shown this should be reflected in ERP measurements (N100, phase locking). In order to prove this hypothesis single sweep ERP recordings were obtained in 41 tinnitus patients as well as 10 control subjects during a period of time when attention was shifted to a tone (attended) and during a second phase (unattended) when they did not focus attention to the tone. Whereas tinnitus patients with low distress showed a significant reduction in both N100 amplitude and phase locking when comparing the attended and unattended measurement condition a group of patients with high tinnitus related distress did not show such ERP alterations. Using single sweep ERP measurements the results of our study show, that attention in high tinnitus related distress patients is captured by their tinnitus significantly more than in low distress patients. Furthermore our results provide the basis for future neurofeedback based tinnitus therapies aiming at maximizing the ability to shift attention away from the tinnitus.

  11. 2D-to-3D conversion by using visual attention analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Jiwon; Baik, Aron; Jung, Yong Ju; Park, Dusik

    2010-02-01

    This paper proposes a novel 2D-to-3D conversion system based on visual attention analysis. The system was able to generate stereoscopic video from monocular video in a robust manner with no human intervention. According to our experiment, visual attention information can be used to provide rich 3D experience even when depth cues from monocular view are not enough. Using the algorithm introduced in the paper, 3D display users can watch 2D media in 3D. In addition, the algorithm can be embedded into 3D displays in order to deliver better viewing experience with more immersive feeling. Using visual attention information to give a 3D effect is first tried in this research as far as we know.

  12. The Speed of Visual Attention and Motor-Response Decisions in Adult Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cross-Villasana, Fernando; Finke, Kathrin; Hennig-Fast, Kristina

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Background: Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) exhibit slowed reaction times (RTs) in various attention tasks. The exact origins of this slowing, however, have not been yet established. Potential candidates are early sensory processes mediating the deployment......-related potentials (ERP) during the performance of a visual-search task to differentiate potential sources of slowing at separable levels of processing: the posterior contralateral negativity (PCN) was used to index focalattentional selection times, while the lateralized readiness potentials synchronized to stimulus...... (sLRP) and response events (rLRP) were used to index the times taken for response selection and production, respectively. To assess the clinical relevance of ERPs, a correlation analysis between neural measures and subjective current and retrospective ADHD symptom ratings was performed. Results: ADHD...

  13. Manipulations of attention dissociate fragile visual short-term memory from visual working memory

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vandenbroucke, A.R.E.; Sligte, I.G.; Lamme, V.A.F.

    2011-01-01

    People often rely on information that is no longer in view, but maintained in visual short-term memory (VSTM). Traditionally, VSTM is thought to operate on either a short time-scale with high capacity - iconic memory - or a long time scale with small capacity - visual working memory. Recent research

  14. Neurofeedback Therapy for Enhancing Visual Attention: State-of-the-Art and Challenges

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ordikhani-Seyedlar, Mehdi; Lebedev, Mikhail A.; Sorensen, Helge B. D.; Puthusserypady, Sadasivan

    2016-01-01

    We have witnessed a rapid development of brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) linking the brain to external devices. BCIs can be utilized to treat neurological conditions and even to augment brain functions. BCIs offer a promising treatment for mental disorders, including disorders of attention. Here we review the current state of the art and challenges of attention-based BCIs, with a focus on visual attention. Attention-based BCIs utilize electroencephalograms (EEGs) or other recording techniques to generate neurofeedback, which patients use to improve their attention, a complex cognitive function. Although progress has been made in the studies of neural mechanisms of attention, extraction of attention-related neural signals needed for BCI operations is a difficult problem. To attain good BCI performance, it is important to select the features of neural activity that represent attentional signals. BCI decoding of attention-related activity may be hindered by the presence of different neural signals. Therefore, BCI accuracy can be improved by signal processing algorithms that dissociate signals of interest from irrelevant activities. Notwithstanding recent progress, optimal processing of attentional neural signals remains a fundamental challenge for the development of efficient therapies for disorders of attention. PMID:27536212

  15. Neurofeedback therapy for enhancing visual attention: state-of-the-art and challenges

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mehdi Ordikhani-Seyedlar

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available We have witnessed a rapid development of brain-computer interfaces (BCIs linking the brain to external devices. BCIs can be utilized to treat neurological conditions and even to augment brain functions. BCIs offer a promising treatment for mental disorders, including disorders of attention. Here we review the current state of the art and challenges of attention-based BCIs, with a focus on visual attention. Attention-based BCIs utilize electroencephalograms (EEGs or other recording techniques to generate neurofeedback, which patients use to improve their attention, a complex cognitive function. Although progress has been made in the studies of neural mechanisms of attention, extraction of attention-related neural signals needed for BCI operations is a difficult problem. To attain good BCI performance, it is important to select the features of neural activity that represent attentional signals. BCI decoding of attention-related activity may be hindered by the presence of different neural signals. Therefore, BCI accuracy can be improved by signal processing algorithms that dissociate signals of interest from irrelevant activities. Notwithstanding recent progress, optimal processing of attentional neural signals remains a fundamental challenge for the development of efficient therapies for disorders of attention.

  16. Sustained Splits of Attention within versus across Visual Hemifields Produce Distinct Spatial Gain Profiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walter, Sabrina; Keitel, Christian; Müller, Matthias M

    2016-01-01

    Visual attention can be focused concurrently on two stimuli at noncontiguous locations while intermediate stimuli remain ignored. Nevertheless, behavioral performance in multifocal attention tasks falters when attended stimuli fall within one visual hemifield as opposed to when they are distributed across left and right hemifields. This "different-hemifield advantage" has been ascribed to largely independent processing capacities of each cerebral hemisphere in early visual cortices. Here, we investigated how this advantage influences the sustained division of spatial attention. We presented six isoeccentric light-emitting diodes (LEDs) in the lower visual field, each flickering at a different frequency. Participants attended to two LEDs that were spatially separated by an intermediate LED and responded to synchronous events at to-be-attended LEDs. Task-relevant pairs of LEDs were either located in the same hemifield ("within-hemifield" conditions) or separated by the vertical meridian ("across-hemifield" conditions). Flicker-driven brain oscillations, steady-state visual evoked potentials (SSVEPs), indexed the allocation of attention to individual LEDs. Both behavioral performance and SSVEPs indicated enhanced processing of attended LED pairs during "across-hemifield" relative to "within-hemifield" conditions. Moreover, SSVEPs demonstrated effective filtering of intermediate stimuli in "across-hemifield" condition only. Thus, despite identical physical distances between LEDs of attended pairs, the spatial profiles of gain effects differed profoundly between "across-hemifield" and "within-hemifield" conditions. These findings corroborate that early cortical visual processing stages rely on hemisphere-specific processing capacities and highlight their limiting role in the concurrent allocation of visual attention to multiple locations.

  17. Attention is required for maintenance of feature binding in visual working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zokaei, Nahid; Heider, Maike; Husain, Masud

    2014-01-01

    Working memory and attention are intimately connected. However, understanding the relationship between the two is challenging. Currently, there is an important controversy about whether objects in working memory are maintained automatically or require resources that are also deployed for visual or auditory attention. Here we investigated the effects of loading attention resources on precision of visual working memory, specifically on correct maintenance of feature-bound objects, using a dual-task paradigm. Participants were presented with a memory array and were asked to remember either direction of motion of random dot kinematograms of different colour, or orientation of coloured bars. During the maintenance period, they performed a secondary visual or auditory task, with varying levels of load. Following a retention period, they adjusted a coloured probe to match either the motion direction or orientation of stimuli with the same colour in the memory array. This allowed us to examine the effects of an attention-demanding task performed during maintenance on precision of recall on the concurrent working memory task. Systematic increase in attention load during maintenance resulted in a significant decrease in overall working memory performance. Changes in overall performance were specifically accompanied by an increase in feature misbinding errors: erroneous reporting of nontarget motion or orientation. Thus in trials where attention resources were taxed, participants were more likely to respond with nontarget values rather than simply making random responses. Our findings suggest that resources used during attention-demanding visual or auditory tasks also contribute to maintaining feature-bound representations in visual working memory-but not necessarily other aspects of working memory.

  18. Two Sudden Onsets Capture Attention but Do Not Improve Visual Short-Term Memory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Huang Chi-Hsiang

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Onset stimulus can capture attention and then transfer into visual short-term memory. It remains unknown whether two sudden onsets also capture attention and are stored in vSTM. We modified Belopolsky, Kramer, and Godijn's (2008 visual search paradigm to test this issue. Experiment 1 using one onset and replicated Belopolsky et al's results. Two onsets in Experiment 2 were found to capture attention; however, recognition performance for the onsets was only at chance level, showing poor memory. Experiment 3 used a retro-cue to test whether only one of these two onsets can be stored in vSTM. Experiment 4 tested whehter this poor recognition was caused by interference from meory probe. This study has important insights on how attention interacts with memory.

  19. Event-related potential indices of inter-individual and age differences in visual attention capacity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wiegand, Iris; Töllner, Thomas; Dyrholm, Mads;

    The ‘Theory of Visual Attention’ quantifies an individual’s capacity of attentional resources in parameters visual processing speed C and vSTM storage capacity K. By combining TVA-based assessment with neurophysiology, we showed that distinct ERP components index inter-individual differences......-related changes in attentional capacities, these ERP markers of individual differences in processing speed and storage capacity were validated in an older group. Furthermore, additional components were related to performance exclusively in older inidividuals: Anterior N1 amplitudes were reduced for slower older...... that reorganization of attentional brain networks, including age-specific decline and compensation mechanisms, determines older individuals’ attention capacity. Furthermore, we show that the distinctiveness of the two functions, as defined in TVA, is preserved (or even increased) in older age....

  20. Audio-Visual Attractors for Capturing Attention to the Screens When Walking in CAVE Systems

    OpenAIRE

    Grani, Francesco; Argelaguet Sanz, Ferran; Gouranton, Valérie; Badawi, Marwan; Gaugne, Ronan; Serafin, Stefania; Lécuyer, Anatole

    2014-01-01

    International audience; In four-sided CAVE-like VR systems, the absence of the rear wall has been shown to decrease the level of immersion and can introduce breaks in presence. In this paper it is investigated to which extent user's attention can be driven by visual and auditory stimuli in a four-sided CAVE-like system. An experiment was conducted in order to analyze how user attention is diverted while physically walking in a virtual environment, when audio and/or visual attractors are prese...

  1. Fuzzy Classification of High Resolution Remote Sensing Scenes Using Visual Attention Features.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Linyi; Xu, Tingbao; Chen, Yun

    2017-01-01

    In recent years the spatial resolutions of remote sensing images have been improved greatly. However, a higher spatial resolution image does not always lead to a better result of automatic scene classification. Visual attention is an important characteristic of the human visual system, which can effectively help to classify remote sensing scenes. In this study, a novel visual attention feature extraction algorithm was proposed, which extracted visual attention features through a multiscale process. And a fuzzy classification method using visual attention features (FC-VAF) was developed to perform high resolution remote sensing scene classification. FC-VAF was evaluated by using remote sensing scenes from widely used high resolution remote sensing images, including IKONOS, QuickBird, and ZY-3 images. FC-VAF achieved more accurate classification results than the others according to the quantitative accuracy evaluation indices. We also discussed the role and impacts of different decomposition levels and different wavelets on the classification accuracy. FC-VAF improves the accuracy of high resolution scene classification and therefore advances the research of digital image analysis and the applications of high resolution remote sensing images.

  2. Gestalt Perceptual Organization of Visual Stimuli Captures Attention Automatically: Electrophysiological Evidence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marini, Francesco; Marzi, Carlo A

    2016-01-01

    The visual system leverages organizational regularities of perceptual elements to create meaningful representations of the world. One clear example of such function, which has been formalized in the Gestalt psychology principles, is the perceptual grouping of simple visual elements (e.g., lines and arcs) into unitary objects (e.g., forms and shapes). The present study sought to characterize automatic attentional capture and related cognitive processing of Gestalt-like visual stimuli at the psychophysiological level by using event-related potentials (ERPs). We measured ERPs during a simple visual reaction time task with bilateral presentations of physically matched elements with or without a Gestalt organization. Results showed that Gestalt (vs. non-Gestalt) stimuli are characterized by a larger N2pc together with enhanced ERP amplitudes of non-lateralized components (N1, N2, P3) starting around 150 ms post-stimulus onset. Thus, we conclude that Gestalt stimuli capture attention automatically and entail characteristic psychophysiological signatures at both early and late processing stages. Highlights We studied the neural signatures of the automatic processes of visual attention elicited by Gestalt stimuli. We found that a reliable early correlate of attentional capture turned out to be the N2pc component. Perceptual and cognitive processing of Gestalt stimuli is associated with larger N1, N2, and P3.

  3. Sex differences in visual attention to erotic and non-erotic stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lykins, Amy D; Meana, Marta; Strauss, Gregory P

    2008-04-01

    It has been suggested that sex differences in the processing of erotic material (e.g., memory, genital arousal, brain activation patterns) may also be reflected by differential attention to visual cues in erotic material. To test this hypothesis, we presented 20 heterosexual men and 20 heterosexual women with erotic and non-erotic images of heterosexual couples and tracked their eye movements during scene presentation. Results supported previous findings that erotic and non-erotic information was visually processed in a different manner by both men and women. Men looked at opposite sex figures significantly longer than did women, and women looked at same sex figures significantly longer than did men. Within-sex analyses suggested that men had a strong visual attention preference for opposite sex figures as compared to same sex figures, whereas women appeared to disperse their attention evenly between opposite and same sex figures. These differences, however, were not limited to erotic images but evidenced in non-erotic images as well. No significant sex differences were found for attention to the contextual region of the scenes. Results were interpreted as potentially supportive of recent studies showing a greater non-specificity of sexual arousal in women. This interpretation assumes there is an erotic valence to images of the sex to which one orients, even when the image is not explicitly erotic. It also assumes a relationship between visual attention and erotic valence.

  4. Attentional bias modification based on visual probe task: methodological issues, results and clinical relevance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fernanda Machado Lopes

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: Attentional bias, the tendency that a person has to drive or maintain attention to a specific class of stimuli, may play an important role in the etiology and persistence of mental disorders. Attentional bias modification has been studied as a form of additional treatment related to automatic processing. Objectives: This systematic literature review compared and discussed methods, evidence of success and potential clinical applications of studies about attentional bias modification (ABM using a visual probe task. Methods: The Web of Knowledge, PubMed and PsycInfo were searched using the keywords attentional bias modification, attentional bias manipulation and attentional bias training. We selected empirical studies about ABM training using a visual probe task written in English and published between 2002 and 2014. Results: Fifty-seven studies met inclusion criteria. Most (78% succeeded in training attention in the predicted direction, and in 71% results were generalized to other measures correlated with the symptoms. Conclusions: ABM has potential clinical utility, but to standardize methods and maximize applicability, future studies should include clinical samples and be based on findings of studies about its effectiveness.

  5. A review of the findings and theories on surface size effects on visual attention

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Peschel, Anne Odile; Orquin, Jacob Lund

    2013-01-01

    That surface size has an impact on attention has been well-known in advertising research for almost a century; however, theoretical accounts of this effect have been sparse. To address this issue, we review studies on surface size effects on eye movements in this paper. While most studies find th...... suggest that advertisers should take into account how objects in the visual scene interact in order to optimize attention to, for instance, brands and logos....

  6. The Emotional Blink: Adult Age Differences in Visual Attention to Emotional Information

    OpenAIRE

    Langley, Linda K.; Rokke, Paul D.; Stark, Atiana C.; Saville, Alyson L.; Allen, Jaryn L.; Bagne, Angela G.

    2008-01-01

    To assess age differences in attention-emotion interactions, younger adults (ages 18–33 yrs) and older adults (ages 60–80 yrs) identified target words in a rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) task. The second of two target words was neutral or emotional in content (positive in Experiment 1, negative in Experiment 2). In general, the ability to identify targets from a word stream declined with age. Age differences specific to the attentional blink were greatly reduced when baseline detecti...

  7. Sustained multifocal attentional enhancement of stimulus processing in early visual areas predicts tracking performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Störmer, Viola S; Winther, Gesche N; Li, Shu-Chen; Andersen, Søren K

    2013-03-20

    Keeping track of multiple moving objects is an essential ability of visual perception. However, the mechanisms underlying this ability are not well understood. We instructed human observers to track five or seven independent randomly moving target objects amid identical nontargets and recorded steady-state visual evoked potentials (SSVEPs) elicited by these stimuli. Visual processing of moving targets, as assessed by SSVEP amplitudes, was continuously facilitated relative to the processing of identical but irrelevant nontargets. The cortical sources of this enhancement were located to areas including early visual cortex V1-V3 and motion-sensitive area MT, suggesting that the sustained multifocal attentional enhancement during multiple object tracking already operates at hierarchically early stages of visual processing. Consistent with this interpretation, the magnitude of attentional facilitation during tracking in a single trial predicted the speed of target identification at the end of the trial. Together, these findings demonstrate that attention can flexibly and dynamically facilitate the processing of multiple independent object locations in early visual areas and thereby allow for tracking of these objects.

  8. The pupillary light response reveals the focus of covert visual attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mathôt, Sebastiaan; van der Linden, Lotje; Grainger, Jonathan; Vitu, Françoise

    2013-01-01

    The pupillary light response is often assumed to be a reflex that is not susceptible to cognitive influences. In line with recent converging evidence, we show that this reflexive view is incomplete, and that the pupillary light response is modulated by covert visual attention: Covertly attending to a bright area causes a pupillary constriction, relative to attending to a dark area under identical visual input. This attention-related modulation of the pupillary light response predicts cuing effects in behavior, and can be used as an index of how strongly participants attend to a particular location. Therefore, we suggest that pupil size may offer a new way to continuously track the focus of covert visual attention, without requiring a manual response from the participant. The theoretical implication of this finding is that the pupillary light response is neither fully reflexive, nor under complete voluntary control, but is instead best characterized as a stereotyped response to a voluntarily selected target. In this sense, the pupillary light response is similar to saccadic and smooth pursuit eye movements. Together, eye movements and the pupillary light response maximize visual acuity, stabilize visual input, and selectively filter visual information as it enters the eye.

  9. The pupillary light response reveals the focus of covert visual attention.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sebastiaan Mathôt

    Full Text Available The pupillary light response is often assumed to be a reflex that is not susceptible to cognitive influences. In line with recent converging evidence, we show that this reflexive view is incomplete, and that the pupillary light response is modulated by covert visual attention: Covertly attending to a bright area causes a pupillary constriction, relative to attending to a dark area under identical visual input. This attention-related modulation of the pupillary light response predicts cuing effects in behavior, and can be used as an index of how strongly participants attend to a particular location. Therefore, we suggest that pupil size may offer a new way to continuously track the focus of covert visual attention, without requiring a manual response from the participant. The theoretical implication of this finding is that the pupillary light response is neither fully reflexive, nor under complete voluntary control, but is instead best characterized as a stereotyped response to a voluntarily selected target. In this sense, the pupillary light response is similar to saccadic and smooth pursuit eye movements. Together, eye movements and the pupillary light response maximize visual acuity, stabilize visual input, and selectively filter visual information as it enters the eye.

  10. The Effects of Context and Attention on Spiking Activity in Human Early Visual Cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reithler, Joel; Goebel, Rainer; Ris, Peterjan; Jeurissen, Danique; Reddy, Leila; Claus, Steven; Baayen, Johannes C.; Roelfsema, Pieter R.

    2016-01-01

    Here we report the first quantitative analysis of spiking activity in human early visual cortex. We recorded multi-unit activity from two electrodes in area V2/V3 of a human patient implanted with depth electrodes as part of her treatment for epilepsy. We observed well-localized multi-unit receptive fields with tunings for contrast, orientation, spatial frequency, and size, similar to those reported in the macaque. We also observed pronounced gamma oscillations in the local-field potential that could be used to estimate the underlying spiking response properties. Spiking responses were modulated by visual context and attention. We observed orientation-tuned surround suppression: responses were suppressed by image regions with a uniform orientation and enhanced by orientation contrast. Additionally, responses were enhanced on regions that perceptually segregated from the background, indicating that neurons in the human visual cortex are sensitive to figure-ground structure. Spiking responses were also modulated by object-based attention. When the patient mentally traced a curve through the neurons’ receptive fields, the accompanying shift of attention enhanced neuronal activity. These results demonstrate that the tuning properties of cells in the human early visual cortex are similar to those in the macaque and that responses can be modulated by both contextual factors and behavioral relevance. Our results, therefore, imply that the macaque visual system is an excellent model for the human visual cortex. PMID:27015604

  11. Dissociable modulation of overt visual attention in valence and arousal revealed by topology of scan path.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jianguang Ni

    Full Text Available Emotional stimuli have evolutionary significance for the survival of organisms; therefore, they are attention-grabbing and are processed preferentially. The neural underpinnings of two principle emotional dimensions in affective space, valence (degree of pleasantness and arousal (intensity of evoked emotion, have been shown to be dissociable in the olfactory, gustatory and memory systems. However, the separable roles of valence and arousal in scene perception are poorly understood. In this study, we asked how these two emotional dimensions modulate overt visual attention. Twenty-two healthy volunteers freely viewed images from the International Affective Picture System (IAPS that were graded for affective levels of valence and arousal (high, medium, and low. Subjects' heads were immobilized and eye movements were recorded by camera to track overt shifts of visual attention. Algebraic graph-based approaches were introduced to model scan paths as weighted undirected path graphs, generating global topology metrics that characterize the algebraic connectivity of scan paths. Our data suggest that human subjects show different scanning patterns to stimuli with different affective ratings. Valence salient stimuli (with neutral arousal elicited faster and larger shifts of attention, while arousal salient stimuli (with neutral valence elicited local scanning, dense attention allocation and deep processing. Furthermore, our model revealed that the modulatory effect of valence was linearly related to the valence level, whereas the relation between the modulatory effect and the level of arousal was nonlinear. Hence, visual attention seems to be modulated by mechanisms that are separate for valence and arousal.

  12. Independent effects of motivation and spatial attention in the human visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bayer, Mareike; Rossi, Valentina; Vanlessen, Naomi; Grass, Annika; Schacht, Annekathrin; Pourtois, Gilles

    2016-12-28

    Motivation and attention constitute major determinants of human perception and action. Nonetheless, it remains a matter of debate whether motivation effects on the visual cortex depend on the spatial attention system, or rely on independent pathways. This study investigated the impact of motivation and spatial attention on the activity of the human primary and extrastriate visual cortex by employing a factorial manipulation of the two factors in a cued pattern discrimination task. During stimulus presentation, we recorded event-related potentials and pupillary responses. Motivational relevance increased the amplitudes of the C1 component at ∼70 ms after stimulus onset. This modulation occurred independently of spatial attention effects, which were evident at the P1 level. Furthermore, motivation and spatial attention had independent effects on preparatory activation as measured by the contingent negative variation; and pupil data showed increased activation in response to incentive targets. Taken together, these findings suggest independent pathways for the influence of motivation and spatial attention on the activity of the human visual cortex.

  13. Executive attention networks show altered relationship with default mode network in PD

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter Boord

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Attention dysfunction is a common but often undiagnosed cognitive impairment in Parkinson's disease that significantly reduces quality of life. We sought to increase understanding of the mechanisms underlying attention dysfunction using functional neuroimaging. Functional MRI was acquired at two repeated sessions in the resting state and during the Attention Network Test, for 25 non-demented subjects with Parkinson's disease and 21 healthy controls. Behavioral and MRI contrasts were calculated for alerting, orienting, and executive control components of attention. Brain regions showing group differences in attention processing were used as seeds in a functional connectivity analysis of a separate resting state run. Parkinson's disease subjects showed more activation during increased executive challenge in four regions of the dorsal attention and frontoparietal networks, namely right frontal eye field, left and right intraparietal sulcus, and precuneus. In three regions we saw reduced resting state connectivity to the default mode network. Further, whereas higher task activation in the right intraparietal sulcus correlated with reduced resting state connectivity between right intraparietal sulcus and the precuneus in healthy controls, this relationship was absent in Parkinson's disease subjects. Our results suggest that a weakened interaction between the default mode and task positive networks might alter the way in which the executive response is processed in PD.

  14. Temporal dynamics of visual attention measured with event-related potentials.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yoshiyuki Kashiwase

    Full Text Available How attentional modulation on brain activities determines behavioral performance has been one of the most important issues in cognitive neuroscience. This issue has been addressed by comparing the temporal relationship between attentional modulations on neural activities and behavior. Our previous study measured the time course of attention with amplitude and phase coherence of steady-state visual evoked potential (SSVEP and found that the modulation latency of phase coherence rather than that of amplitude was consistent with the latency of behavioral performance. In this study, as a complementary report, we compared the time course of visual attention shift measured by event-related potentials (ERPs with that by target detection task. We developed a novel technique to compare ERPs with behavioral results and analyzed the EEG data in our previous study. Two sets of flickering stimulus at different frequencies were presented in the left and right visual hemifields, and a target or distracter pattern was presented randomly at various moments after an attention-cue presentation. The observers were asked to detect targets on the attended stimulus after the cue. We found that two ERP components, P300 and N2pc, were elicited by the target presented at the attended location. Time-course analyses revealed that attentional modulation of the P300 and N2pc amplitudes increased gradually until reaching a maximum and lasted at least 1.5 s after the cue onset, which is similar to the temporal dynamics of behavioral performance. However, attentional modulation of these ERP components started later than that of behavioral performance. Rather, the time course of attentional modulation of behavioral performance was more closely associated with that of the concurrently recorded SSVEPs analyzed. These results suggest that neural activities reflected not by either the P300 or N2pc, but by the SSVEPs, are the source of attentional modulation of behavioral performance.

  15. Contingent capture of involuntary visual attention interferes with detection of auditory stimuli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marc R. Kamke

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The involuntary capture of attention by salient visual stimuli can be influenced by the behavioral goals of an observer. For example, when searching for a target item, irrelevant items that possess the target-defining characteristic capture attention more strongly than items not possessing that feature. Such contingent capture involves a shift of spatial attention toward the item with the target-defining characteristic. It is not clear, however, if the associated decrements in performance for detecting the target item are entirely due to involuntary orienting of spatial attention. To investigate whether contingent capture also involves a non-spatial interference, adult observers were presented with streams of visual and auditory stimuli and were tasked with simultaneously monitoring for targets in each modality. Visual and auditory targets could be preceded by a lateralized visual distractor that either did, or did not, possess the target-defining feature (a specific color. In agreement with the contingent capture hypothesis, target-colored distractors interfered with visual detection performance (response time and accuracy more than distractors that did not possess the target color. Importantly, the same pattern of results was obtained for the auditory task: visual target-colored distractors interfered with sound detection. The decrement in auditory performance following a target-colored distractor suggests that contingent capture involves a source of processing interference in addition to that caused by a spatial shift of attention. Specifically, we argue that distractors possessing the target-defining characteristic enter a capacity-limited, serial stage of neural processing, which delays detection of subsequently presented stimuli regardless of the sensory modality.

  16. Contingent capture of involuntary visual attention interferes with detection of auditory stimuli

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamke, Marc R.; Harris, Jill

    2014-01-01

    The involuntary capture of attention by salient visual stimuli can be influenced by the behavioral goals of an observer. For example, when searching for a target item, irrelevant items that possess the target-defining characteristic capture attention more strongly than items not possessing that feature. Such contingent capture involves a shift of spatial attention toward the item with the target-defining characteristic. It is not clear, however, if the associated decrements in performance for detecting the target item are entirely due to involuntary orienting of spatial attention. To investigate whether contingent capture also involves a non-spatial interference, adult observers were presented with streams of visual and auditory stimuli and were tasked with simultaneously monitoring for targets in each modality. Visual and auditory targets could be preceded by a lateralized visual distractor that either did, or did not, possess the target-defining feature (a specific color). In agreement with the contingent capture hypothesis, target-colored distractors interfered with visual detection performance (response time and accuracy) more than distractors that did not possess the target color. Importantly, the same pattern of results was obtained for the auditory task: visual target-colored distractors interfered with sound detection. The decrement in auditory performance following a target-colored distractor suggests that contingent capture involves a source of processing interference in addition to that caused by a spatial shift of attention. Specifically, we argue that distractors possessing the target-defining characteristic enter a capacity-limited, serial stage of neural processing, which delays detection of subsequently presented stimuli regardless of the sensory modality. PMID:24920945

  17. Contingent capture of involuntary visual attention interferes with detection of auditory stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamke, Marc R; Harris, Jill

    2014-01-01

    The involuntary capture of attention by salient visual stimuli can be influenced by the behavioral goals of an observer. For example, when searching for a target item, irrelevant items that possess the target-defining characteristic capture attention more strongly than items not possessing that feature. Such contingent capture involves a shift of spatial attention toward the item with the target-defining characteristic. It is not clear, however, if the associated decrements in performance for detecting the target item are entirely due to involuntary orienting of spatial attention. To investigate whether contingent capture also involves a non-spatial interference, adult observers were presented with streams of visual and auditory stimuli and were tasked with simultaneously monitoring for targets in each modality. Visual and auditory targets could be preceded by a lateralized visual distractor that either did, or did not, possess the target-defining feature (a specific color). In agreement with the contingent capture hypothesis, target-colored distractors interfered with visual detection performance (response time and accuracy) more than distractors that did not possess the target color. Importantly, the same pattern of results was obtained for the auditory task: visual target-colored distractors interfered with sound detection. The decrement in auditory performance following a target-colored distractor suggests that contingent capture involves a source of processing interference in addition to that caused by a spatial shift of attention. Specifically, we argue that distractors possessing the target-defining characteristic enter a capacity-limited, serial stage of neural processing, which delays detection of subsequently presented stimuli regardless of the sensory modality.

  18. Attention Modulates TMS-Locked Alpha Oscillations in the Visual Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herring, Jim D; Thut, Gregor; Jensen, Ole; Bergmann, Til O

    2015-10-28

    Cortical oscillations, such as 8-12 Hz alpha-band activity, are thought to subserve gating of information processing in the human brain. While most of the supporting evidence is correlational, causal evidence comes from attempts to externally drive ("entrain") these oscillations by transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). Indeed, the frequency profile of TMS-evoked potentials (TEPs) closely resembles that of oscillations spontaneously emerging in the same brain region. However, it is unclear whether TMS-locked and spontaneous oscillations are produced by the same neuronal mechanisms. If so, they should react in a similar manner to top-down modulation by endogenous attention. To test this prediction, we assessed the alpha-like EEG response to TMS of the visual cortex during periods of high and low visual attention while participants attended to either the visual or auditory modality in a cross-modal attention task. We observed a TMS-locked local oscillatory alpha response lasting several cycles after TMS (but not after sham stimulation). Importantly, TMS-locked alpha power was suppressed during deployment of visual relative to auditory attention, mirroring spontaneous alpha amplitudes. In addition, the early N40 TEP component, located at the stimulation site, was amplified by visual attention. The extent of attentional modulation for both TMS-locked alpha power and N40 amplitude did depend, with opposite sign, on the individual ability to modulate spontaneous alpha power at the stimulation site. We therefore argue that TMS-locked and spontaneous oscillations are of common neurophysiological origin, whereas the N40 TEP component may serve as an index of current cortical excitability at the time of stimulation.

  19. Normal aging delays and compromises early multifocal visual attention during object tracking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Störmer, Viola S; Li, Shu-Chen; Heekeren, Hauke R; Lindenberger, Ulman

    2013-02-01

    Declines in selective attention are one of the sources contributing to age-related impairments in a broad range of cognitive functions. Most previous research on mechanisms underlying older adults' selection deficits has studied the deployment of visual attention to static objects and features. Here we investigate neural correlates of age-related differences in spatial attention to multiple objects as they move. We used a multiple object tracking task, in which younger and older adults were asked to keep track of moving target objects that moved randomly in the visual field among irrelevant distractor objects. By recording the brain's electrophysiological responses during the tracking period, we were able to delineate neural processing for targets and distractors at early stages of visual processing (~100-300 msec). Older adults showed less selective attentional modulation in the early phase of the visual P1 component (100-125 msec) than younger adults, indicating that early selection is compromised in old age. However, with a 25-msec delay relative to younger adults, older adults showed distinct processing of targets (125-150 msec), that is, a delayed yet intact attentional modulation. The magnitude of this delayed attentional modulation was related to tracking performance in older adults. The amplitude of the N1 component (175-210 msec) was smaller in older adults than in younger adults, and the target amplification effect of this component was also smaller in older relative to younger adults. Overall, these results indicate that normal aging affects the efficiency and timing of early visual processing during multiple object tracking.

  20. Robot Evolutionary Localization Based on Attentive Visual Short-Term Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vega, Julio; Perdices, Eduardo; Cañas, José M.

    2013-01-01

    Cameras are one of the most relevant sensors in autonomous robots. However, two of their challenges are to extract useful information from captured images, and to manage the small field of view of regular cameras. This paper proposes implementing a dynamic visual memory to store the information gathered from a moving camera on board a robot, followed by an attention system to choose where to look with this mobile camera, and a visual localization algorithm that incorporates this visual memory. The visual memory is a collection of relevant task-oriented objects and 3D segments, and its scope is wider than the current camera field of view. The attention module takes into account the need to reobserve objects in the visual memory and the need to explore new areas. The visual memory is useful also in localization tasks, as it provides more information about robot surroundings than the current instantaneous image. This visual system is intended as underlying technology for service robot applications in real people's homes. Several experiments have been carried out, both with simulated and real Pioneer and Nao robots, to validate the system and each of its components in office scenarios. PMID:23337333

  1. Robot Evolutionary Localization Based on Attentive Visual Short-Term Memory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eduardo Perdices

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Cameras are one of the most relevant sensors in autonomous robots. However, two of their challenges are to extract useful information from captured images, and to manage the small field of view of regular cameras. This paper proposes implementing a dynamic visual memory to store the information gathered from a moving camera on board a robot, followed by an attention system to choose where to look with this mobile camera, and a visual localization algorithm that incorporates this visual memory. The visual memory is a collection of relevant task-oriented objects and 3D segments, and its scope is wider than the current camera field of view. The attention module takes into account the need to reobserve objects in the visual memory and the need to explore new areas. The visual memory is useful also in localization tasks, as it provides more information about robot surroundings than the current instantaneous image. This visual system is intended as underlying technology for service robot applications in real people’s homes. Several experiments have been carried out, both with simulated and real Pioneer and Nao robots, to validate the system and each of its components in office scenarios.

  2. Robot evolutionary localization based on attentive visual short-term memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vega, Julio; Perdices, Eduardo; Cañas, José M

    2013-01-21

    Cameras are one of the most relevant sensors in autonomous robots. However, two of their challenges are to extract useful information from captured images, and to manage the small field of view of regular cameras. This paper proposes implementing a dynamic visual memory to store the information gathered from a moving camera on board a robot, followed by an attention system to choose where to look with this mobile camera, and a visual localization algorithm that incorporates this visual memory. The visual memory is a collection of relevant task-oriented objects and 3D segments, and its scope is wider than the current camera field of view. The attention module takes into account the need to reobserve objects in the visual memory and the need to explore new areas. The visual memory is useful also in localization tasks, as it provides more information about robot surroundings than the current instantaneous image. This visual system is intended as underlying technology for service robot applications in real people's homes. Several experiments have been carried out, both with simulated and real Pioneer and Nao robots, to validate the system and each of its components in office scenarios.

  3. Assessment of the attention impairment in absence epilepsy: comparison of visual and auditory P300.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duncan, Connie C; Mirsky, Allan F; Lovelace, Christopher T; Theodore, William H

    2009-08-01

    We report an investigation of P300 measures of information processing in patients with generalized epilepsy of the absence type and those with complex partial epilepsy. Studies have demonstrated that absence patients perform more poorly than complex partial patients on behavioral tests of sustained attention (the Continuous Performance Test, or CPT). Duncan [Duncan, C.C., 1988. Application of event-related brain potentials to the analysis of interictal attention in absence epilepsy. In: Myslobodsky, M.S., Mirsky, A.F. (Eds.), Elements of Petit Mal Epilepsy. Peter Lang, New York, pp. 341-364] reported that P300 was significantly reduced in a group of absence patients as compared with healthy controls. The present investigation was undertaken to compare the attention deficit in absence patients to that in complex partial seizure patients. Thus, ERPs were recorded while participants with absence seizure disorder, complex partial seizure disorder, and healthy controls performed auditory and visual versions of the CPT. A significant reduction in the amplitude of P300 on the visual CPT was observed in both groups of seizure patients as compared to controls. In contrast, P300 on the auditory CPT was reduced only in the group with absence seizures. These ERP data support and amplify previous behavioral findings of the impaired capacity of absence patients to mobilize and sustain attentional resources. Auditory sustained attention seems to be more affected by the pathophysiology of absence epilepsy than visual attention. Two possible factors may be involved: (a) There are separate visual and auditory attention systems in the brain, and the latter is more vulnerable than the former [Duncan, C.C., Kosmidis, M.H., Mirsky, A.F., 2005. Closed head injury-related information processing deficits: An event-related potential analysis. Int. J. Psychophysiol. 58, 133-157]; and (b) Auditory processing depends on intact mechanisms in the brainstem, which are dysfunctional in patients

  4. A neurodynamical model of visual attention: feedback enhancement of spatial resolution in a hierarchical system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deco, G; Zihl, J

    2001-01-01

    Human beings have the capacity to recognize objects in natural visual scenes with high efficiency despite the complexity of such scenes, which usually contain multiple objects. One possible mechanism for dealing with this problem is selective attention. Psychophysical evidence strongly suggests that selective attention can enhance the spatial resolution in the input region corresponding to the focus of attention. In this work we adopt a computational neuroscience perspective to analyze the attentional enhancement of spatial resolution in the area containing the objects of interest. We extend and apply the computational model of Deco and Schürmann (2000), which consists of several modules with feedforward and feedback interconnections describing the mutual links between different areas of the visual cortex. Each module analyses the visual input with different spatial resolution and can be thought of as a hierarchical predictor at a given level of resolution. Moreover, each hierarchical predictor has a submodule that consists of a group of neurons performing a biologically based 2D Gabor wavelet transformation at a given resolution level. The attention control decides in which local regions the spatial resolution should be enhanced in a serial fashion. In this sense, the scene is first analyzed at a coarse resolution level, and the focus of attention enhances iteratively the resolution at the location of an object until the object is identified. We propose and simulate new psychophysical experiments where the effect of the attentional enhancement of spatial resolution can be demonstrated by predicting different reaction time profiles in visual search experiments where the target and distractors are defined at different levels of resolution.

  5. Simulating Visual Attention Allocation of Pilots in an Advanced Cockpit Environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frische, F.; Osterloh, J.-P.; Luedtke, A.

    2011-01-01

    This paper describes the results of experiments conducted with human line pilots and a cognitive pilot model during interaction with a new 40 Flight Management System (FMS). The aim of these experiments was to gather human pilot behavior data in order to calibrate the behavior of the model. Human behavior is mainly triggered by visual perception. Thus, the main aspect was to setup a profile of human pilots' visual attention allocation in a cockpit environment containing the new FMS. We first performed statistical analyses of eye tracker data and then compared our results to common results of familiar analyses in standard cockpit environments. The comparison has shown a significant influence of the new system on the visual performance of human pilots. Further on, analyses of the pilot models' visual performance have been performed. A comparison to human pilots' visual performance revealed important improvement potentials.

  6. Attentional enhancement via selection and pooling of early sensory responses in human visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pestilli, Franco; Carrasco, Marisa; Heeger, David J; Gardner, Justin L

    2011-12-08

    The computational processes by which attention improves behavioral performance were characterized by measuring visual cortical activity with functional magnetic resonance imaging as humans performed a contrast-discrimination task with focal and distributed attention. Focal attention yielded robust improvements in behavioral performance accompanied by increases in cortical responses. Quantitative analysis revealed that if performance were limited only by the sensitivity of the measured sensory signals, the improvements in behavioral performance would have corresponded to an unrealistically large reduction in response variability. Instead, behavioral performance was well characterized by a pooling and selection process for which the largest sensory responses, those most strongly modulated by attention, dominated the perceptual decision. This characterization predicts that high-contrast distracters that evoke large responses should negatively impact behavioral performance. We tested and confirmed this prediction. We conclude that attention enhanced behavioral performance predominantly by enabling efficient selection of the behaviorally relevant sensory signals.

  7. Unintentional activation of translation equivalents in bilinguals leads to attention capture in a cross-modal visual task

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Singh, Niharika; Mishra, Ramesh Kumar

    2015-01-01

    Using a variant of the visual world eye tracking paradigm, we examined if language non-selective activation of translation equivalents leads to attention capture and distraction in a visual task in bilinguals...

  8. Unintentional Activation of Translation Equivalents in Bilinguals Leads to Attention Capture in a Cross-Modal Visual Task: e0120131

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Niharika Singh; Ramesh Kumar Mishra

    2015-01-01

      Using a variant of the visual world eye tracking paradigm, we examined if language non- selective activation of translation equivalents leads to attention capture and distraction in a visual task in bilinguals...

  9. CHARACTERIZATION OF THE EFFECTS OF INHALED PERCHLOROETHYLENE ON SUSTAINED ATTENTION IN RATS PERFORMING A VISUAL SIGNAL DETECTION TASK

    Science.gov (United States)

    The aliphatic hydrocarbon perchloroethyelene (PCE) has been associated with neurobehavioral dysfunction including reduced attention in humans. The current study sought to assess the effects of inhaled PCE on sustained attention in rats performing a visual signal detection task (S...

  10. The impact of presentation format on visual attention and choice in discrete choice experiments

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mueller Loose, Simone; Orquin, Jacob Lund

    experiments across three different presentation formats. Method. Participants’ visual attention was measured by means of eye tracking during a discrete choice experiment for yoghurt products varying on six attributes with two to four levels. The study used a mixed within-between subjects design in which...

  11. Visual Attention as a Function of Sex and Apparel of Stimulus Object: Who Looks at Whom?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenwasser, Shirley Miller; And Others

    1983-01-01

    Examined same-sex awareness by comparing the visual attention of 51 college students toward stimulus persons. Results showed men looked longer at slides of women both clothed and in bathing suits than slides of men, and women looked longest at slides of clothed women. Results suggested intrasex competitiveness and intersex attraction. (JAC)

  12. Multiple Electrophysiological Markers of Visual-Attentional Processing in a Novel Task Directed toward Clinical Use

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julie Bolduc-Teasdale

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Individuals who have sustained a mild brain injury (e.g., mild traumatic brain injury or mild cerebrovascular stroke are at risk to show persistent cognitive symptoms (attention and memory after the acute postinjury phase. Although studies have shown that those patients perform normally on neuropsychological tests, cognitive symptoms remain present, and there is a need for more precise diagnostic tools. The aim of this study was to develop precise and sensitive markers for the diagnosis of post brain injury deficits in visual and attentional functions which could be easily translated in a clinical setting. Using electrophysiology, we have developed a task that allows the tracking of the processes involved in the deployment of visual spatial attention from early stages of visual treatment (N1, P1, N2, and P2 to higher levels of cognitive processing (no-go N2, P3a, P3b, N2pc, SPCN. This study presents a description of this protocol and its validation in 19 normal participants. Results indicated the statistically significant presence of all ERPs aimed to be elicited by this novel task. This task could allow clinicians to track the recovery of the mechanisms involved in the deployment of visual-attentional processing, contributing to better diagnosis and treatment management for persons who suffer a brain injury.

  13. Attentional Modulation of Visual-Evoked Potentials by Threat: Investigating the Effect of Evolutionary Relevance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Christopher; El-Deredy, Wael; Blanchette, Isabelle

    2010-01-01

    In dot-probe tasks, threatening cues facilitate attention to targets and enhance the amplitude of the target P1 peak of the visual-evoked potential. While theories have suggested that evolutionarily relevant threats should obtain preferential neural processing, this has not been examined empirically. In this study we examined the effects of…

  14. Abnormal Attention in Autism Shown by Steady-State Visual Evoked Potentials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belmonte, Matthew

    2000-01-01

    Eight males with autism were required to shift attention between rapidly flashed targets alternating between left and right visual hemifields. When targets were separated by less than 700 ms, steady-state brain electrical response in both hemispheres was augmented and background EEG decreased for rightward shifts as compared with leftward shifts.…

  15. Exploring visual attention functions of the human extrageniculate pathways through behavioral cues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mizzi, Raphaël; Michael, George A

    2016-11-01

    Over the past few decades, evidence has accumulated showing that, at subcortical levels, visual attention depends partly on the extrageniculate neural pathways, that is, those pathways that bypass the lateral geniculate nucleus and circumvent the primary visual cortex. Working in concert with neuroscience, experimental psychology has contributed considerably to the understanding of the role these pathways play through the use of 3 behavioral cues: nasal-temporal asymmetries, responses to S-cone stimuli, and responses to perceptually suppressed stimuli. In this article, after presenting the extrageniculate pathways and the role of each of the component structures in visual attention, we review findings from studies that have used these behavioral cues, as well as what they tell us about the role of the extrageniculate pathways in visual attention. We conclude that nasal-temporal asymmetries and responses to S-cone stimuli are plausible probes of extrageniculate functions, because they are consistent with neurophysiological, neuropsychological, and neuroimaging findings. By contrast, despite promising perspectives, the literature is yet too scarce for responses to perceptually suppressed stimuli to be considered as a plausible probe of extrageniculate-dependent attention functions. (PsycINFO Database Record

  16. Improving visual attention : the effect of Warning signs with different formats

    OpenAIRE

    Yao, Zheng; SUTO, Hidetsugu

    2015-01-01

    Designed warning signs were applied in this study to describe the performance of visual attention with different formats of stimulation. The dependent variables had be obtained from an eye movement experiment. A new proposal about how to sort experimental materials will be proposed.

  17. Through the Google Glass: The impact of heads-up displays on visual attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, Joanna E; Neider, Mark B

    2016-01-01

    In five experiments, we evaluated how secondary information presented on a heads-up display (HUD) impacts performance of a concurrent visual attention task. To do so, we had participants complete a primary visual search task under a variety of secondary load conditions (a single word presented on Google Glass during each search trial). Processing of secondary information was measured through a recognition memory task. Other manipulations included relevance (Experiments 1-4) and temporal onset of secondary information relative to the primary task (Experiment 3). Secondary information was always disruptive to the visual search, regardless of temporal onset and even when participants were instructed to ignore it. These patterns were evident in search tasks reflective of both selective (Experiments 1-3) and preattentive (Experiment 4) attentional mechanisms, and were not a result of onset-offset attentional capture (Experiment 5). Recognition memory for secondary information was always above chance. Our findings suggest that HUD-based visual information is profoundly disruptive to attentional processes and largely immune to user-centric prioritization.

  18. Patterns of Visual Attention to Faces and Objects in Autism Spectrum Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    McPartland, James C.; Webb, Sara Jane; Keehn, Brandon; Dawson, Geraldine

    2011-01-01

    This study used eye-tracking to examine visual attention to faces and objects in adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and typical peers. Point of gaze was recorded during passive viewing of images of human faces, inverted human faces, monkey faces, three-dimensional curvilinear objects, and two-dimensional geometric patterns.…

  19. Acute Caffeine Consumption Enhances the Executive Control of Visual Attention in Habitual Consumers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brunye, Tad T.; Mahoney, Caroline R.; Lieberman, Harris R.; Giles, Grace E.; Taylor, Holly A.

    2010-01-01

    Recent work suggests that a dose of 200-400mg caffeine can enhance both vigilance and the executive control of visual attention in individuals with low caffeine consumption profiles. The present study seeks to determine whether individuals with relatively high caffeine consumption profiles would show similar advantages. To this end, we examined…

  20. Acute effects of caffeine on selective attention and visual search processes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lorist, M.M.; Snel, J.; Kok, A; Mulder, G.

    1996-01-01

    The influence of a single dose of caffeine was evaluated in focused and divided attention conditions of a visual selective search task in which subjects had to perform controlled search processes to locate a target item. Search processes were manipulated by varying display load. A dose of 3 mg/kg bo

  1. Does Visual Attention Span Relate to Eye Movements during Reading and Copying?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bosse, Marie-Line; Kandel, Sonia; Prado, Chloé; Valdois, Sylviane

    2014-01-01

    This research investigated whether text reading and copying involve visual attention-processing skills. Children in grades 3 and 5 read and copied the same text. We measured eye movements while reading and the number of gaze lifts (GL) during copying. The children were also administered letter report tasks that constitute an estimation of the…

  2. Automatic attraction of visual attention by supraletter features of former target strings

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kyllingsbæk, Søren; Lommel, Sven Van; Bundesen, Claus

    2014-01-01

    , performance (d’) degraded on trials in which former targets were present, suggesting that the former targets automatically drew processing resources away from the current targets. Apparently, the two experiments showed automatic attraction of visual attention by supraletter features of former target strings....

  3. Tracking Learners' Visual Attention during a Multimedia Presentation in a Real Classroom

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Fang-Ying; Chang, Chun-Yen; Chien, Wan-Ru; Chien, Yu-Ta; Tseng, Yuen-Hsien

    2013-01-01

    The purpose of the study was to investigate university learners' visual attention during a PowerPoint (PPT) presentation on the topic of "Dinosaurs" in a real classroom. The presentation, which lasted for about 12-15 min, consisted of 12 slides with various text and graphic formats. An instructor gave the presentation to 21 students…

  4. Acute effects of caffeine on selective attention and visual search processes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lorist, M.M.; Snel, J.; Kok, A; Mulder, G.

    The influence of a single dose of caffeine was evaluated in focused and divided attention conditions of a visual selective search task in which subjects had to perform controlled search processes to locate a target item. Search processes were manipulated by varying display load. A dose of 3 mg/kg

  5. Acute Caffeine Consumption Enhances the Executive Control of Visual Attention in Habitual Consumers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brunye, Tad T.; Mahoney, Caroline R.; Lieberman, Harris R.; Giles, Grace E.; Taylor, Holly A.

    2010-01-01

    Recent work suggests that a dose of 200-400mg caffeine can enhance both vigilance and the executive control of visual attention in individuals with low caffeine consumption profiles. The present study seeks to determine whether individuals with relatively high caffeine consumption profiles would show similar advantages. To this end, we examined…

  6. Attentional Capture by Salient Distractors during Visual Search Is Determined by Temporal Task Demands

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kiss, Monika; Grubert, Anna; Petersen, Anders

    2012-01-01

    The question whether attentional capture by salient but taskirrelevant visual stimuli is triggered in a bottom–up fashion or depends on top–down task settings is still unresolved. Strong support for bottom–up capture was obtained in the additional singleton task, in which search arrays were visib...

  7. Acute exercise and aerobic fitness influence selective attention during visual search

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tom eBullock

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Successful goal directed behavior relies on a human attention system that is flexible and able to adapt to different conditions of physiological stress. However, the effects of physical activity on multiple aspects of selective attention and whether these effects are mediated by aerobic capacity, remains unclear. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of a prolonged bout of physical activity on visual search performance and perceptual distraction. Two groups of participants completed a hybrid visual search flanker/response competition task in an initial baseline session and then at 17-minute intervals over a 2 hour 16 minute test period. Participants assigned to the exercise group engaged in steady-state aerobic exercise between completing blocks of the visual task, whereas participants assigned to the control group rested in between blocks. The key result was a correlation between individual differences in aerobic capacity and visual search performance, such that those individuals that were more fit performed the search task more quickly. Critically, this relationship only emerged in the exercise group after the physical activity had begun. The relationship was not present in either group at baseline and never emerged in the control group during the test period, suggesting that under these task demands, aerobic capacity may be an important determinant of visual search performance under physical stress. The results enhance current understanding about the relationship between exercise and cognition, and also inform current models of selective attention.

  8. Different Cortical Mechanisms for Spatial vs. Feature-Based Attentional Selection in Visual Working Memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heuer, Anna; Schubö, Anna; Crawford, J D

    2016-01-01

    The limited capacity of visual working memory (VWM) necessitates attentional mechanisms that selectively update and maintain only the most task-relevant content. Psychophysical experiments have shown that the retroactive selection of memory content can be based on visual properties such as location or shape, but the neural basis for such differential selection is unknown. For example, it is not known if there are different cortical modules specialized for spatial vs. feature-based mnemonic attention, in the same way that has been demonstrated for attention to perceptual input. Here, we used transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to identify areas in human parietal and occipital cortex involved in the selection of objects from memory based on cues to their location (spatial information) or their shape (featural information). We found that TMS over the supramarginal gyrus (SMG) selectively facilitated spatial selection, whereas TMS over the lateral occipital cortex (LO) selectively enhanced feature-based selection for remembered objects in the contralateral visual field. Thus, different cortical regions are responsible for spatial vs. feature-based selection of working memory representations. Since the same regions are involved in terms of attention to external events, these new findings indicate overlapping mechanisms for attentional control over perceptual input and mnemonic representations.

  9. Different Cortical Mechanisms for Spatial vs. Feature-Based Attentional Selection in Visual Working Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heuer, Anna; Schubö, Anna; Crawford, J. D.

    2016-01-01

    The limited capacity of visual working memory (VWM) necessitates attentional mechanisms that selectively update and maintain only the most task-relevant content. Psychophysical experiments have shown that the retroactive selection of memory content can be based on visual properties such as location or shape, but the neural basis for such differential selection is unknown. For example, it is not known if there are different cortical modules specialized for spatial vs. feature-based mnemonic attention, in the same way that has been demonstrated for attention to perceptual input. Here, we used transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to identify areas in human parietal and occipital cortex involved in the selection of objects from memory based on cues to their location (spatial information) or their shape (featural information). We found that TMS over the supramarginal gyrus (SMG) selectively facilitated spatial selection, whereas TMS over the lateral occipital cortex (LO) selectively enhanced feature-based selection for remembered objects in the contralateral visual field. Thus, different cortical regions are responsible for spatial vs. feature-based selection of working memory representations. Since the same regions are involved in terms of attention to external events, these new findings indicate overlapping mechanisms for attentional control over perceptual input and mnemonic representations. PMID:27582701

  10. Visual attentional bias for food in adolescents with binge-eating disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, Ricarda; Lüthold, Patrick; Kittel, Rebekka; Tetzlaff, Anne; Hilbert, Anja

    2016-09-01

    Evidence suggests that adults with binge-eating disorder (BED) are prone of having their attention interfered by food cues, and that food-related attentional biases are associated with calorie intake and eating disorder psychopathology. For adolescents with BED experimental evidence on attentional processing of food cues is lacking. Using eye-tracking and a visual search task, the present study examined visual orienting and disengagement processes of food in youth with BED. Eye-movement data and reaction times were recorded in 25 adolescents (12-20 years) with BED and 25 controls (CG) individually matched for sex, age, body mass index, and socio-economic status. During a free exploration paradigm, the BED group showed a greater gaze duration bias for food images than the CG. Groups did not differ in gaze direction biases. In a visual search task, the BED group showed a greater detection bias for food targets than the CG. Group differences were more pronounced for personally attractive than unattractive food images. Regarding clinical associations, only in the BED group the gaze duration bias for food was associated with increased hunger and lower body mass index, and the detection bias for food targets was associated with greater reward sensitivity. The study provided first evidence of an attentional bias to food in adolescents with BED. However, more research is needed for further specifying disengagement and orienting processes in adolescent BED, including overt and covert attention, and their prospective associations with binge-eating behaviors and associated psychopathology.

  11. Different cortical mechanisms for spatial vs. feature-based attentional selection in visual working memory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna Heuer

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available The limited capacity of visual working memory necessitates attentional mechanisms that selectively update and maintain only the most task-relevant content. Psychophysical experiments have shown that the retroactive selection of memory content can be based on visual properties such as location or shape, but the neural basis for such differential selection is unknown. For example, it is not known if there are different cortical modules specialized for spatial versus feature-based mnemonic attention, in the same way that has been demonstrated for attention to perceptual input. Here, we used transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS to identify areas in human parietal and occipital cortex involved in the selection of objects from memory based on cues to their location (spatial information or their shape (featural information. We found that TMS over the supramarginal gyrus (SMG selectively facilitated spatial selection, whereas TMS over the lateral occipital cortex selectively enhanced feature-based selection for remembered objects in the contralateral visual field. Thus, different cortical regions are responsible for spatial vs. feature-based selection of working memory representations. Since the same regions are involved in attention to external events, these new findings indicate overlapping mechanisms for attentional control over perceptual input and mnemonic representations.

  12. Visualization and Attentive Behavior for Pain Reduction during Radiofrequency Ablation of Atrial Fibrillation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nørgaard, Marianne W; Werner, Anette; Abrahamsen, Randi

    2013-01-01

    pain, the amount of analgesics, anxiety, and adverse events. METHODS: A clinical controlled study with 71 patients in a control group (CG), receiving conventional care and treatment, and 76 patients in an intervention group (IG), receiving relaxation and visualization, combined with a structured......BACKGROUND: Radiofrequency (RF) ablation of atrial fibrillation (AF) can be accompanied by pain and anxiety when light conscious sedation is used. We sought to determine how visualization and structured attentive behavior during ablation of AF could reduce pain intensity, spontaneously expressed...... of anxiety, mean anxiety: CG (0.10-1.84), IG (0.9-2.03)(NS), and the number of adverse events (P = 0.241). CONCLUSION: Visualization and structured attentive behavior was shown to reduce the amount of analgesics during the RF ablation of AF. There was no difference in perception of pain intensity...

  13. The influence of anaesthetists' experience on workload, performance and visual attention during simulated critical incidents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schulz, Christian M; Schneider, Erich; Kohlbecher, Stefan; Hapfelmeier, Alexander; Heuser, Fabian; Wagner, Klaus J; Kochs, Eberhard F; Schneider, Gerhard

    2014-10-01

    Development of accurate Situation Awareness (SA) depends on experience and may be impaired during excessive workload. In order to gain adequate SA for decision making and performance, anaesthetists need to distribute visual attention effectively. Therefore, we hypothesized that in more experienced anaesthetists performance is better and increase of physiological workload is less during critical incidents. Additionally, we investigated the relation between physiological workload indicators and distribution of visual attention. In fifteen anaesthetists, the increase of pupil size and heart rate was assessed in course of a simulated critical incident. Simulator log files were used for performance assessment. An eye-tracking device (EyeSeeCam) provided data about the anaesthetists' distribution of visual attention. Performance was assessed as time until definitive treatment. T tests and multivariate generalized linear models (MANOVA) were used for retrospective statistical analysis. Mean pupil diameter increase was 8.1% (SD ± 4.3) in the less experienced and 15.8% (±10.4) in the more experienced subjects (p = 0.191). Mean heart rate increase was 10.2% (±6.7) and 10.5% (±8.3, p = 0.956), respectively. Performance did not depend on experience. Pupil diameter and heart rate increases were associated with a shift of visual attention from monitoring towards manual tasks (not significant). For the first time, the following four variables were assessed simultaneously: physiological workload indicators, performance, experience, and distribution of visual attention between "monitoring" and "manual" tasks. However, we were unable to detect significant interactions between these variables. This experimental model could prove valuable in the investigation of gaining and maintaining SA in the operation theatre.

  14. The temporal dynamics of visual working memory guidance of selective attention

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jinfeng eTan

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available The biased competition model proposes that there is top-down directing of attention to a stimulus matching the contents of working memory (WM, even when the maintenance of a WM representation is detrimental to target relevant performance. Despite many studies elucidating that spatial WM guidance can be present early in the visual processing system, whether visual WM guidance also influences perceptual selection remains poorly understood. Here, we investigated the electrophysiological correlates of early guidance of attention by WM in humans. Participants were required to perform a visual search task while concurrently maintaining object representations in their visual working memory. Behavioral results showed that response times (RTs were longer when the distractor in the visual search task was held in WM. The earliest WM guidance effect was observed in the P1 component (90-130 ms, with match trials eliciting larger P1 amplitude than mismatch trials. A similar result was also found in the N1 component (160-200 ms. These P1 and N1 effects could not be attributed to bottom-up perceptual priming from the presentation of a memory cue, because there was no significant difference in early ERP component when the cue was merely perceptually identified but not actively held in working memory. Standardized Low Resolution Electrical Tomography Analysis (sLORETA showed that the early WM guidance occurred in the occipital lobe and the N1-related activation occurred in the parietal gyrus. Time-frequency data suggested that alpha-band event-related spectral perturbation (ERSP magnitudes increased under the match condition compared with the mismatch condition. In conclusion, the present study suggests that the reappearance of a stimulus held in WM enhanced activity in the occipital area. Subsequently, this initial capture of attention by WM could be inhibited by competing visual inputs through attention re-orientation, reflecting by the alpha-band rhythm.

  15. Visual attention, an indicator of human-animal relationships? A study of domestic horses (Equus caballus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rochais, C; Henry, S; Sankey, C; Nassur, F; Góracka-Bruzda, A; Hausberger, M

    2014-01-01

    As visual attention is an intrinsic part of social relationships, and because relationships are built on a succession of interactions, their establishment involves learning and attention. The emotional, rewarding or punishing, content can modulate selective attention. In horses, the use of positive/negative reinforcement during training determines short and long-term human-horse relationships. In a recent study in horses, where either food or withers' grooming were used as a reward, it appeared that only the food-rewarded horses learned the task and show better relationship with humans. In the present study, we hypothesized that this differential effect of grooming/food rewards on learning performances could be due to attentional processes. Monitoring, gazes and behaviors directed towards the trainer revealed that the use of a food reward (FR) as positive reinforcement increased horses' selective attention towards their trainer. Conversely, horses trained with grooming reward (GR) expressed more inattentive responses and did not show a decrease of "agitated" behavior. However, individual plotting of attention vs. rate of learning performances revealed a complex pattern. Thus, while all FR horses showed a "window" of attention related to faster learning performances, GR horses' pattern followed an almost normal curve where the extreme animals (i.e., highest and lowest attention) had the slowest learning performances. On the other hand, learning was influenced by attention: at the end of training, the more attentive horses had also better learning performances. This study, based on horses, contributes to the general debate on the place of attentional processes at the interface of emotion and cognition and opens new lines of thought about individual sensitivities (only individuals can tell what an appropriate reward is), attentional processes and learning.

  16. Visual attention, an indicator of human-animal relationships? A study of domestic horses (Equus caballus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Céline eRochais

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available As visual attention is an intrinsic part of social relationships, and because relationships are built on a succession of interactions, their establishment involves learning and attention. The emotional, rewarding or punishing, content can modulate selective attention. In horses, the use of positive/negative reinforcement during training determines short and long-term human-horse relationships. In a recent study in horses, where either food or withers’ grooming were used as a reward, it appeared that only the food-rewarded horses learned the task and show better relationship with humans. In the present study, we hypothesized that this differential effect of grooming/food rewards on learning performances could be due to attentional processes. Monitoring, gazes and behaviors directed towards the trainer revealed that the use of a food reward (FR as positive reinforcement increased horses’ selective attention towards their trainer. Conversely, horses trained with grooming reward (GR expressed more inattentive responses and did not show a decrease of agitated behavior. However, individual plotting of attention versus rate of learning performances revealed a complex pattern. Thus, while all FR horses showed a window of attention related to faster learning performances, GR horses’ pattern followed an almost normal curve where the extreme animals (i.e. highest and lowest attention had the slowest learning performances. On the other hand, learning was influenced by attention: at the end of training, the more attentive horses had also better learning performances. This study, based on horses, contributes to the general debates on the place of attentional processes at the interface of emotion and cognition and open new lines of thought about individual sensitivities (only individuals can tell what an appropriate reward is, attentional processes and learning.

  17. Attentional gain and processing capacity limits predict the propensity to neglect unexpected visual stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Papera, Massimiliano; Richards, Anne

    2016-05-01

    Exogenous allocation of attentional resources allows the visual system to encode and maintain representations of stimuli in visual working memory (VWM). However, limits in the processing capacity to allocate resources can prevent unexpected visual stimuli from gaining access to VWM and thereby to consciousness. Using a novel approach to create unbiased stimuli of increasing saliency, we investigated visual processing during a visual search task in individuals who show a high or low propensity to neglect unexpected stimuli. When propensity to inattention is high, ERP recordings show a diminished amplification concomitantly with a decrease in theta band power during the N1 latency, followed by a poor target enhancement during the N2 latency. Furthermore, a later modulation in the P3 latency was also found in individuals showing propensity to visual neglect, suggesting that more effort is required for conscious maintenance of visual information in VWM. Effects during early stages of processing (N80 and P1) were also observed suggesting that sensitivity to contrasts and medium-to-high spatial frequencies may be modulated by low-level saliency (albeit no statistical group differences were found). In accordance with the Global Workplace Model, our data indicate that a lack of resources in low-level processors and visual attention may be responsible for the failure to "ignite" a state of high-level activity spread across several brain areas that is necessary for stimuli to access awareness. These findings may aid in the development of diagnostic tests and intervention to detect/reduce inattention propensity to visual neglect of unexpected stimuli.

  18. Visual Attention Saccadic Models Learn to Emulate Gaze Patterns From Childhood to Adulthood.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Meur, Olivier; Coutrot, Antoine; Liu, Zhi; Rama, Pia; Le Roch, Adrien; Helo, Andrea

    2017-10-01

    How people look at visual information reveals fundamental information about themselves, their interests and their state of mind. While previous visual attention models output static 2D saliency maps, saccadic models aim to predict not only where observers look at but also how they move their eyes to explore the scene. In this paper, we demonstrate that saccadic models are a flexible framework that can be tailored to emulate observer's viewing tendencies. More specifically, we use fixation data from 101 observers split into five age groups (adults, 8-10 y.o., 6-8 y.o., 4-6 y.o., and 2 y.o.) to train our saccadic model for different stages of the development of human visual system. We show that the joint distribution of saccade amplitude and orientation is a visual signature specific to each age group, and can be used to generate age-dependent scan paths. Our age-dependent saccadic model does not only output human-like, age-specific visual scan paths, but also significantly outperforms other state-of-the-art saliency models. We demonstrate that the computational modeling of visual attention, through the use of saccadic model, can be efficiently adapted to emulate the gaze behavior of a specific group of observers.

  19. Multisensory brand search: How the meaning of sounds guides consumers' visual attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knoeferle, Klemens M; Knoeferle, Pia; Velasco, Carlos; Spence, Charles

    2016-06-01

    Building on models of crossmodal attention, the present research proposes that brand search is inherently multisensory, in that the consumers' visual search for a specific brand can be facilitated by semantically related stimuli that are presented in another sensory modality. A series of 5 experiments demonstrates that the presentation of spatially nonpredictive auditory stimuli associated with products (e.g., usage sounds or product-related jingles) can crossmodally facilitate consumers' visual search for, and selection of, products. Eye-tracking data (Experiment 2) revealed that the crossmodal effect of auditory cues on visual search manifested itself not only in RTs, but also in the earliest stages of visual attentional processing, thus suggesting that the semantic information embedded within sounds can modulate the perceptual saliency of the target products' visual representations. Crossmodal facilitation was even observed for newly learnt associations between unfamiliar brands and sonic logos, implicating multisensory short-term learning in establishing audiovisual semantic associations. The facilitation effect was stronger when searching complex rather than simple visual displays, thus suggesting a modulatory role of perceptual load. (PsycINFO Database Record

  20. Comparison of Single and Dual Target Visual Attention Tasks in Children with down Syndrome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Melanie J. Murphy

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Understanding the nature of attentional processing in children with Down Syndrome (DS is imperative for developing effective education practices. The aim of the current study was to investigate whether children with DS exhibit impairment in sustained, transient, single-, or dual-target continuous performance tasks. Target detection time and accuracy was compared in children with DS to Typically Developing (TD children of similar nonverbal mental age (as measured by the Raven's Coloured Progressive Matrices, on single and dual- target continuous performance tasks measuring sustained attention, a visual change detection task measuring transient attention, and feature and conjunctive visual search tasks measuring both sustained and transient attention. Results showed that children with DS performed similarly to TD children on sustained and transient attention tasks that only required the detection of a single unique target, but were impaired in overall accuracy on tasks that required dual-target detection. Findings suggest a possible impairment in attention and working memory in children with DS. Error analysis of task responses revealed differences in problem solving strategy between children with DS and TD children, despite similar overall performance. Findings have implications for the education of children with DS and understanding of the nature of intellectual disability per se.

  1. Visual function and color vision in adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Soyeon; Chen, Samantha; Tannock, Rosemary

    2014-01-01

    Color vision and self-reported visual function in everyday life in young adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) were investigated. Participants were 30 young adults with ADHD and 30 controls matched for age and gender. They were tested individually and completed the Visual Activities Questionnaire (VAQ), Farnsworth-Munsell 100 Hue Test (FMT) and A Quick Test of Cognitive Speed (AQT). The ADHD group reported significantly more problems in 4 of 8 areas on the VAQ: depth perception, peripheral vision, visual search and visual processing speed. Further analyses of VAQ items revealed that the ADHD group endorsed more visual problems associated with driving than controls. Color perception difficulties on the FMT were restricted to the blue spectrum in the ADHD group. FMT and AQT results revealed slower processing of visual stimuli in the ADHD group. A comprehensive investigation of mechanisms underlying visual function and color vision in adults with ADHD is warranted, along with the potential impact of these visual problems on driving performance. Copyright © 2013 Spanish General Council of Optometry. Published by Elsevier Espana. All rights reserved.

  2. Retinotopy and attention to the face and house images in the human visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Bin; Yan, Tianyi; Ohno, Seiichiro; Kanazawa, Susumu; Wu, Jinglong

    2016-06-01

    Attentional modulation of the neural activities in human visual areas has been well demonstrated. However, the retinotopic activities that are driven by face and house images and attention to face and house images remain unknown. In the present study, we used images of faces and houses to estimate the retinotopic activities that were driven by both the images and attention to the images, driven by attention to the images, and driven by the images. Generally, our results show that both face and house images produced similar retinotopic activities in visual areas, which were only observed in the attention + stimulus and the attention conditions, but not in the stimulus condition. The fusiform face area (FFA) responded to faces that were presented on the horizontal meridian, whereas parahippocampal place area (PPA) rarely responded to house at any visual field. We further analyzed the amplitudes of the neural responses to the target wedge. In V1, V2, V3, V3A, lateral occipital area 1 (LO-1), and hV4, the neural responses to the attended target wedge were significantly greater than those to the unattended target wedge. However, in LO-2, ventral occipital areas 1 and 2 (VO-1 and VO-2) and FFA and PPA, the differences were not significant. We proposed that these areas likely have large fields of attentional modulation for face and house images and exhibit responses to both the target wedge and the background stimuli. In addition, we proposed that the absence of retinotopic activity in the stimulus condition might imply no perceived difference between the target wedge and the background stimuli.

  3. A review of the findings and theories on surface size effects on visual attention

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    Anne Odile Peschel

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available That surface size has an impact on attention has been well-known in advertising research for almost a century; however, theoretical accounts of this effect have been sparse. To address this issue, we review studies on surface size effects on eye movements in this paper. While most studies find that large objects are more likely to be fixated, receive more fixations, and are fixated faster than small objects, a comprehensive explanation of this effect is still lacking. To bridge the theoretical gap, we relate the findings from this review to three theories of surface size effects suggested in the literature: a linear model based on the assumption of random fixations (Lohse, 1997, a theory of surface size as visual saliency (Pieters et al., 2007, and a theory based on competition for attention (Janiszewski, 1998. We furthermore suggest a fourth model – demand for attention –which we derive from the theory of competition for attention by revising the underlying model assumptions. In order to test the models against each other, we reanalyse data from an eye tracking study investigating surface size and saliency effects on attention. The reanalysis revealed little support for the first three theories while the demand for attention model showed a much better alignment with the data. We conclude that surface size effects may best be explained as an increase in object signal strength which depends on object size, number of objects in the visual scene, and object distance to the centre of the scene. Our findings suggest that advertisers should take into account how objects in the visual scene interact in order to optimize attention to, for instance, brands and logos.

  4. Toward the influence of temporal attention on the selection of targets in a visual search task: An ERP study.

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    Rolke, Bettina; Festl, Freya; Seibold, Verena C

    2016-11-01

    We used ERPs to investigate whether temporal attention interacts with spatial attention and feature-based attention to enhance visual processing. We presented a visual search display containing one singleton stimulus among a set of homogenous distractors. Participants were asked to respond only to target singletons of a particular color and shape that were presented in an attended spatial position. We manipulated temporal attention by presenting a warning signal before each search display and varying the foreperiod (FP) between the warning signal and the search display in a blocked manner. We observed distinctive ERP effects of both spatial and temporal attention. The amplitudes for the N2pc, SPCN, and P3 were enhanced by spatial attention indicating a processing benefit of relevant stimulus features at the attended side. Temporal attention accelerated stimulus processing; this was indexed by an earlier onset of the N2pc component and a reduction in reaction times to targets. Most importantly, temporal attention did not interact with spatial attention or stimulus features to influence visual processing. Taken together, the results suggest that temporal attention fosters visual perceptual processing in a visual search task independently from spatial attention and feature-based attention; this provides support for the nonspecific enhancement hypothesis of temporal attention.

  5. The influence of Mozart's sonata K.448 on visual attention: an ERPs study.

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    Zhu, Weina; Zhao, Lun; Zhang, Junjun; Ding, Xiaojun; Liu, Haiwei; Ni, Enzhi; Ma, Yuanye; Zhou, Changle

    2008-03-21

    In the present study, the effects of Mozart's sonata K.448 on voluntary and involuntary attention were investigated by recording and analyzing behavioral and event-related potentials (ERPs) data in a three-stimulus visual oddball task. P3a (related to involuntary attention) and P3b (related to voluntary attention) were analyzed. The "Mozart effect" was showed on ERP but not on behavioral data. This study replicated the previous results of Mozart effect on voluntary attention: the P3b latency was influenced by Mozart's sonata K.448. But no change of P3a latency was induced by this music. At the same time, decreased P3a and P3b amplitudes in music condition were found. We interpret this change as positive "Mozart effect" on involuntary attention (P3a) and negative "Mozart effect" on voluntary attention (P3b). We conclude that Mozart's sonata K.448 has shown certain effects on both involuntary attention and voluntary attention in our study, but their effects work on different mechanisms.

  6. An amodal shared resource model of language-mediated visual attention

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    Alastair Charles Smith

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available Language-mediated visual attention describes the interaction of two fundamental components of the human cognitive system, language and vision. Within this paper we present an amodal shared resource model of language-mediated visual attention that offers a description of the information and processes involved in this complex multimodal behaviour and a potential explanation for how this ability is acquired. We demonstrate that the model is not only sufficient to account for the experimental effects of Visual World Paradigm studies but also that these effects are emergent properties of the architecture of the model itself, rather than requiring separate information processing channels or modular processing systems. The model provides an explicit description of the connection between the modality-specific input from language and vision and the distribution of eye gaze in language mediated visual attention. The paper concludes by discussing future applications for the model, specifically its potential for investigating the factors driving observed individual differences in language mediated eye gaze.

  7. Enhanced Visual-Attention Model for Perceptually Improved 3D Object Modeling in Virtual Environments

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    Chagnon-Forget, Maude; Rouhafzay, Ghazal; Cretu, Ana-Maria; Bouchard, Stéphane

    2016-12-01

    Three-dimensional object modeling and interactive virtual environment applications require accurate, but compact object models that ensure real-time rendering capabilities. In this context, the paper proposes a 3D modeling framework employing visual attention characteristics in order to obtain compact models that are more adapted to human visual capabilities. An enhanced computational visual attention model with additional saliency channels, such as curvature, symmetry, contrast and entropy, is initially employed to detect points of interest over the surface of a 3D object. The impact of the use of these supplementary channels is experimentally evaluated. The regions identified as salient by the visual attention model are preserved in a selectively-simplified model obtained using an adapted version of the QSlim algorithm. The resulting model is characterized by a higher density of points in the salient regions, therefore ensuring a higher perceived quality, while at the same time ensuring a less complex and more compact representation for the object. The quality of the resulting models is compared with the performance of other interest point detectors incorporated in a similar manner in the simplification algorithm. The proposed solution results overall in higher quality models, especially at lower resolutions. As an example of application, the selectively-densified models are included in a continuous multiple level of detail (LOD) modeling framework, in which an original neural-network solution selects the appropriate size and resolution of an object.

  8. Visual attention to and perception of undamaged and damaged versions of natural and colored female hair.

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    Fink, Bernhard; Neuser, Frauke; Deloux, Gwenelle; Röder, Susanne; Matts, Paul J

    2013-03-01

    Female hair color is thought to influence physical attractiveness, and although there is some evidence for this assertion, research has yet not addressed the question if and how physical damaging affects the perception of female hair color. Here we investigate whether people are sensitive (in terms of visual attention and age, health and attractiveness perception) to subtle differences in hair images of natural and colored hair before and after physical damaging. We tracked the eye-gaze of 50 men and 50 women aged 31-50 years whilst they viewed randomized pairs of images of 20 natural and 20 colored hair tresses, each pair displaying the same tress before and after controlled cuticle damage. The hair images were then rated for perceived health, attractiveness, and age. Undamaged versions of natural and colored hair were perceived as significantly younger, healthier, and more attractive than corresponding damaged versions. Visual attention to images of undamaged colored hair was significantly higher compared with their damaged counterparts, while in natural hair, the opposite pattern was found. We argue that the divergence in visual attention to undamaged colored female hair and damaged natural female hair and associated ratings is due to differences in social perception and discuss the source of apparent visual difference between undamaged and damaged hair.

  9. Dynamics of the spatial scale of visual attention revealed by brain event-related potentials

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    Luo, Y. J.; Greenwood, P. M.; Parasuraman, R.

    2001-01-01

    The temporal dynamics of the spatial scaling of attention during visual search were examined by recording event-related potentials (ERPs). A total of 16 young participants performed a search task in which the search array was preceded by valid cues that varied in size and hence in precision of target localization. The effects of cue size on short-latency (P1 and N1) ERP components, and the time course of these effects with variation in cue-target stimulus onset asynchrony (SOA), were examined. Reaction time (RT) to discriminate a target was prolonged as cue size increased. The amplitudes of the posterior P1 and N1 components of the ERP evoked by the search array were affected in opposite ways by the size of the precue: P1 amplitude increased whereas N1 amplitude decreased as cue size increased, particularly following the shortest SOA. The results show that when top-down information about the region to be searched is less precise (larger cues), RT is slowed and the neural generators of P1 become more active, reflecting the additional computations required in changing the spatial scale of attention to the appropriate element size to facilitate target discrimination. In contrast, the decrease in N1 amplitude with cue size may reflect a broadening of the spatial gradient of attention. The results provide electrophysiological evidence that changes in the spatial scale of attention modulate neural activity in early visual cortical areas and activate at least two temporally overlapping component processes during visual search.

  10. Effects of the Visual Exercise Environments on Cognitive Directed Attention, Energy Expenditure and Perceived Exertion

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    Mike Rogerson

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Green exercise research often reports psychological health outcomes without rigorously controlling exercise. This study examines effects of visual exercise environments on directed attention, perceived exertion and time to exhaustion, whilst measuring and controlling the exercise component. Participants completed three experimental conditions in a randomized counterbalanced order. Conditions varied by video content viewed (nature; built; control during two consistently-ordered exercise bouts (Exercise 1: 60% VO2peakInt for 15-mins; Exercise 2: 85% VO2peakInt to voluntary exhaustion. In each condition, participants completed modified Backwards Digit Span tests (a measure of directed attention pre- and post-Exercise 1. Energy expenditure, respiratory exchange ratio and perceived exertion were measured during both exercise bouts. Time to exhaustion in Exercise 2 was also recorded. There was a significant time by condition interaction for Backwards Digit Span scores (F2,22 = 6.267, p = 0.007. Scores significantly improved in the nature condition (p < 0.001 but did not in the built or control conditions. There were no significant differences between conditions for either perceived exertion or physiological measures during either Exercise 1 or Exercise 2, or for time to exhaustion in Exercise 2. This was the first study to demonstrate effects of controlled exercise conducted in different visual environments on post-exercise directed attention. Via psychological mechanisms alone, visual nature facilitates attention restoration during moderate-intensity exercise.

  11. Social and nonsocial content differentially modulates visual attention and autonomic arousal in Rhesus macaques.

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    Machado, Christopher J; Bliss-Moreau, Eliza; Platt, Michael L; Amaral, David G

    2011-01-01

    The sophisticated analysis of gestures and vocalizations, including assessment of their emotional valence, helps group-living primates efficiently navigate their social environment. Deficits in social information processing and emotion regulation are important components of many human psychiatric illnesses, such as autism, schizophrenia and social anxiety disorder. Analyzing the neurobiology of social information processing and emotion regulation requires a multidisciplinary approach that benefits from comparative studies of humans and animal models. However, many questions remain regarding the relationship between visual attention and arousal while processing social stimuli. Using noninvasive infrared eye-tracking methods, we measured the visual social attention and physiological arousal (pupil diameter) of adult male rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) as they watched social and nonsocial videos. We found that social videos, as compared to nonsocial videos, captured more visual attention, especially if the social signals depicted in the videos were directed towards the subject. Subject-directed social cues and nonsocial nature documentary footage, compared to videos showing conspecifics engaging in naturalistic social interactions, generated larger pupil diameters (indicating heightened sympathetic arousal). These findings indicate that rhesus monkeys will actively engage in watching videos of various kinds. Moreover, infrared eye tracking technology provides a mechanism for sensitively gauging the social interest of presented stimuli. Adult male rhesus monkeys' visual attention and physiological arousal do not always trend in the same direction, and are likely influenced by the content and novelty of a particular visual stimulus. This experiment creates a strong foundation for future experiments that will examine the neural network responsible for social information processing in nonhuman primates. Such studies may provide valuable information relevant to

  12. Social and nonsocial content differentially modulates visual attention and autonomic arousal in Rhesus macaques.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher J Machado

    Full Text Available The sophisticated analysis of gestures and vocalizations, including assessment of their emotional valence, helps group-living primates efficiently navigate their social environment. Deficits in social information processing and emotion regulation are important components of many human psychiatric illnesses, such as autism, schizophrenia and social anxiety disorder. Analyzing the neurobiology of social information processing and emotion regulation requires a multidisciplinary approach that benefits from comparative studies of humans and animal models. However, many questions remain regarding the relationship between visual attention and arousal while processing social stimuli. Using noninvasive infrared eye-tracking methods, we measured the visual social attention and physiological arousal (pupil diameter of adult male rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta as they watched social and nonsocial videos. We found that social videos, as compared to nonsocial videos, captured more visual attention, especially if the social signals depicted in the videos were directed towards the subject. Subject-directed social cues and nonsocial nature documentary footage, compared to videos showing conspecifics engaging in naturalistic social interactions, generated larger pupil diameters (indicating heightened sympathetic arousal. These findings indicate that rhesus monkeys will actively engage in watching videos of various kinds. Moreover, infrared eye tracking technology provides a mechanism for sensitively gauging the social interest of presented stimuli. Adult male rhesus monkeys' visual attention and physiological arousal do not always trend in the same direction, and are likely influenced by the content and novelty of a particular visual stimulus. This experiment creates a strong foundation for future experiments that will examine the neural network responsible for social information processing in nonhuman primates. Such studies may provide valuable information

  13. Sustained neural alterations in anxious youth performing an attentional bias task: a pupilometry study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Price, Rebecca B; Siegle, Greg J; Silk, Jennifer S; Ladouceur, Cecile; McFarland, Ashley; Dahl, Ronald E; Ryan, Neal D

    2013-01-01

    Biased attention patterns have been observed at early (16-500 ms poststimulus onset) and intermediate (1,500-4,000 ms post-onset) time points in anxious youth, but it is unclear whether a more sustained form of neural attentional bias, persisting well beyond the time frame of stimulus presentation and behavioral response, is also apparent. We investigated early, intermediate, and sustained forms of bias using behavioral measures and pupillary reactivity, an index of cognitive and affective load, to gain insight into potential neurocognitive targets for early intervention. Twenty nonanxious youth and 74 youth with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), separation anxiety disorder (SAD), and/or social phobia (SP) completed a dot-probe task, which requires participants to respond to a dot replacing either a neutral or fearful face. Emotional faces were presented for short/early (200 ms) or intermediate (2 s) intervals and followed by a sustained (up to 10.5 s) poststimulus interval. Pupil dilation, gaze direction, and reaction times (RTs) were measured during task completion. Early and intermediate vigilance patterns in RTs and an avoidant pattern in gaze direction were observed in all participants irrespective of anxiety. Sustained pupil dilation in anxious youth was observed on trials in which the dot replaced fearful faces, along with an inflexible pattern of pupillary responding in comparison to controls. Sustained cognitive-affective load following emotional face viewing is altered and inflexible in anxious youth. These prolonged alterations extend well beyond the time frame of behavioral attentional bias and may indicate inflexible and insufficient sustained cognitive control. Early interventions targeting these alterations could improve long-term mental health trajectories. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  14. Sensory deprivation: visual experience alters the mental number line.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pasqualotto, Achille; Taya, Shuichiro; Proulx, Michael J

    2014-03-15

    Early studies on numeric cognition reported that numbers are spatially organised according to a left-to-right small-to-large 'number line'. We investigated whether this spatial-number organisation is dictated by visual experience. We tested congenitally and late blind, and blindfolded sighted participants in a random number generation task where in one block their heads were alternately turned left or right before uttering the number. We found that the 'random' number generation was biased according to the side where the head was turned to. Consistent with the standard number line, participants with visual experience generated smaller numbers for left turns, and larger numbers for right turns. In contrast, participants without any visual experience showed the opposite pattern of results. These results suggest a role for visual experience in the development of spatial and numerical representations, which is supported by cultural differences in number representation, and provide converging evidence for visually driven organisation of the parietal cortex.

  15. Differential motor alterations in children with three types of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

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    Adrián Poblano

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Objective To determine frequency of motor alterations in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD. Method We evaluated 19 children aged 7-12 years with ADHD classified in three sub-types: Combined (ADHD-C, with Inattention (ADHD-I, and with Hyperactivity (ADHD-H. Controls were age- and gender matched healthy children. We utilized Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency (BOTMP for measuring motor skills. Results We observed differences between children with ADHD and controls in BOTMP general score and in static coordination, dynamic general- and hand- coordination, and in synkinetic movements. We also found differences in dynamic hand coordination between controls and children with ADHD-C; in dynamic general coordination between controls and children with ADHD-H; and in frequency of synkinetic movements between controls and children with ADHD-H. Conclusion Children with ADHD with a major degree of hyperactivity showed greater frequency of motor alterations.

  16. The role of the collicular pathway in the salience-based progression of visual attention.

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    Mizzi, Raphaël; Michael, George A

    2014-08-15

    Visual attention has been shown to progress from the most to the least salient item in a given scene. Cognitive and physiological models assume that this orienting of covert attention relies on the collicular pathway, involving the superior colliculus and the pulvinar. Recent studies questioned this statement as they described attentional capture by visual items invisible to the superior colliculus. Electrophysiological studies shown that there is no direct projections from short-wave receptors to the superior colliculus. S-cone stimuli can thus be employed to assess visual processing without the involvement of the collicular pathway. We have attempted to investigate whether this pathway is involved in the salience-based orientation of attention by presenting S-cone stimuli. Volunteers were asked to make a judgment regarding a target among two distractors (all items of unequal sizes). Items' location and size varied randomly, as well as color, randomly black or calibrated for each subject to activate exclusively S-cones. The hierarchical pattern testifying of the salience-based orientation of attention was only found with black stimuli, arguing in favor of an implication of the collicular pathway in salience. In a second experiment, one item was presented at a time in order to test the item-multiplicity effect by comparing experiments. Performance was the most penalized when presenting multiple stimuli in the black condition. Results were interpreted in terms of distinct modes of processing by the collicular and geniculate pathways. The establishment of salience that determines attentional progression appeared to be only possible when the collicular pathway was solicited.

  17. The Speed of Serial Attention Shifts in Visual Search: Evidence from the N2pc Component.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grubert, Anna; Eimer, Martin

    2016-02-01

    Finding target objects among distractors in visual search display is often assumed to be based on sequential movements of attention between different objects. However, the speed of such serial attention shifts is still under dispute. We employed a search task that encouraged the successive allocation of attention to two target objects in the same search display and measured N2pc components to determine how fast attention moved between these objects. Each display contained one digit in a known color (fixed-color target) and another digit whose color changed unpredictably across trials (variable-color target) together with two gray distractor digits. Participants' task was to find the fixed-color digit and compare its numerical value with that of the variable-color digit. N2pc components to fixed-color targets preceded N2pc components to variable-color digits, demonstrating that these two targets were indeed selected in a fixed serial order. The N2pc to variable-color digits emerged approximately 60 msec after the N2pc to fixed-color digits, which shows that attention can be reallocated very rapidly between different target objects in the visual field. When search display durations were increased, thereby relaxing the temporal demands on serial selection, the two N2pc components to fixed-color and variable-color targets were elicited within 90 msec of each other. Results demonstrate that sequential shifts of attention between different target locations can operate very rapidly at speeds that are in line with the assumptions of serial selection models of visual search.

  18. A review of the findings and theories on surface size effects on visual attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peschel, Anne O; Orquin, Jacob L

    2013-12-09

    That surface size has an impact on attention has been well-known in advertising research for almost a century; however, theoretical accounts of this effect have been sparse. To address this issue, we review studies on surface size effects on eye movements in this paper. While most studies find that large objects are more likely to be fixated, receive more fixations, and are fixated faster than small objects, a comprehensive explanation of this effect is still lacking. To bridge the theoretical gap, we relate the findings from this review to three theories of surface size effects suggested in the literature: a linear model based on the assumption of random fixations (Lohse, 1997), a theory of surface size as visual saliency (Pieters etal., 2007), and a theory based on competition for attention (CA; Janiszewski, 1998). We furthermore suggest a fourth model - demand for attention - which we derive from the theory of CA by revising the underlying model assumptions. In order to test the models against each other, we reanalyze data from an eye tracking study investigating surface size and saliency effects on attention. The reanalysis revealed little support for the first three theories while the demand for attention model showed a much better alignment with the data. We conclude that surface size effects may best be explained as an increase in object signal strength which depends on object size, number of objects in the visual scene, and object distance to the center of the scene. Our findings suggest that advertisers should take into account how objects in the visual scene interact in order to optimize attention to, for instance, brands and logos.

  19. Early Visual Cortex Dynamics during Top-Down Modulated Shifts of Feature-Selective Attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Müller, Matthias M; Trautmann, Mireille; Keitel, Christian

    2016-04-01

    Shifting attention from one color to another color or from color to another feature dimension such as shape or orientation is imperative when searching for a certain object in a cluttered scene. Most attention models that emphasize feature-based selection implicitly assume that all shifts in feature-selective attention underlie identical temporal dynamics. Here, we recorded time courses of behavioral data and steady-state visual evoked potentials (SSVEPs), an objective electrophysiological measure of neural dynamics in early visual cortex to investigate temporal dynamics when participants shifted attention from color or orientation toward color or orientation, respectively. SSVEPs were elicited by four random dot kinematograms that flickered at different frequencies. Each random dot kinematogram was composed of dashes that uniquely combined two features from the dimensions color (red or blue) and orientation (slash or backslash). Participants were cued to attend to one feature (such as color or orientation) and respond to coherent motion targets of the to-be-attended feature. We found that shifts toward color occurred earlier after the shifting cue compared with shifts toward orientation, regardless of the original feature (i.e., color or orientation). This was paralleled in SSVEP amplitude modulations as well as in the time course of behavioral data. Overall, our results suggest different neural dynamics during shifts of attention from color and orientation and the respective shifting destinations, namely, either toward color or toward orientation.

  20. Toward high performance, weakly invasive brain computer interfaces using selective visual attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rotermund, David; Ernst, Udo A; Mandon, Sunita; Taylor, Katja; Smiyukha, Yulia; Kreiter, Andreas K; Pawelzik, Klaus R

    2013-04-01

    Brain-computer interfaces have been proposed as a solution for paralyzed persons to communicate and interact with their environment. However, the neural signals used for controlling such prostheses are often noisy and unreliable, resulting in a low performance of real-world applications. Here we propose neural signatures of selective visual attention in epidural recordings as a fast, reliable, and high-performance control signal for brain prostheses. We recorded epidural field potentials with chronically implanted electrode arrays from two macaque monkeys engaged in a shape-tracking task. For single trials, we classified the direction of attention to one of two visual stimuli based on spectral amplitude, coherence, and phase difference in time windows fixed relative to stimulus onset. Classification performances reached up to 99.9%, and the information about attentional states could be transferred at rates exceeding 580 bits/min. Good classification can already be achieved in time windows as short as 200 ms. The classification performance changed dynamically over the trial and modulated with the task's varying demands for attention. For all three signal features, the information about the direction of attention was contained in the γ-band. The most informative feature was spectral amplitude. Together, these findings establish a novel paradigm for constructing brain prostheses as, for example, virtual spelling boards, promising a major gain in performance and robustness for human brain-computer interfaces.

  1. The Primary Visual Cortex Is Differentially Modulated by Stimulus-Driven and Top-Down Attention.

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    Marek Bekisz

    Full Text Available Selective attention can be focused either volitionally, by top-down signals derived from task demands, or automatically, by bottom-up signals from salient stimuli. Because the brain mechanisms that underlie these two attention processes are poorly understood, we recorded local field potentials (LFPs from primary visual cortical areas of cats as they performed stimulus-driven and anticipatory discrimination tasks. Consistent with our previous observations, in both tasks, we found enhanced beta activity, which we have postulated may serve as an attention carrier. We characterized the functional organization of task-related beta activity by (i cortical responses (EPs evoked by electrical stimulation of the optic chiasm and (ii intracortical LFP correlations. During the anticipatory task, peripheral stimulation that was preceded by high-amplitude beta oscillations evoked large-amplitude EPs compared with EPs that followed low-amplitude beta. In contrast, during the stimulus-driven task, cortical EPs preceded by high-amplitude beta oscillations were, on average, smaller than those preceded by low-amplitude beta. Analysis of the correlations between the different recording sites revealed that beta activation maps were heterogeneous during the bottom-up task and homogeneous for the top-down task. We conclude that bottom-up attention activates cortical visual areas in a mosaic-like pattern, whereas top-down attentional modulation results in spatially homogeneous excitation.

  2. Asymmetrical Brain Activity Induced by Voluntary Spatial Attention Depends on the Visual Hemifield: A Functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harasawa, Masamitsu; Shioiri, Satoshi

    2011-01-01

    The effect of the visual hemifield to which spatial attention was oriented on the activities of the posterior parietal and occipital visual cortices was examined using functional near-infrared spectroscopy in order to investigate the neural substrates of voluntary visuospatial attention. Our brain imaging data support the theory put forth in a…

  3. A dissociation of attention and awareness in phase-sensitive but not phase-insensitive visual channels

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brascamp, J.W.; van Boxtel, J.J.A.; Knapen, T.H.J.; Blake, R.

    2010-01-01

    The elements most vivid in our conscious awareness are the ones to which we direct our attention. Scientific study confirms the impression of a close bond between selective attention and visual awareness, yet the nature of this association remains elusive. Using visual afterimages as an index, we in

  4. Asymmetrical Brain Activity Induced by Voluntary Spatial Attention Depends on the Visual Hemifield: A Functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harasawa, Masamitsu; Shioiri, Satoshi

    2011-01-01

    The effect of the visual hemifield to which spatial attention was oriented on the activities of the posterior parietal and occipital visual cortices was examined using functional near-infrared spectroscopy in order to investigate the neural substrates of voluntary visuospatial attention. Our brain imaging data support the theory put forth in a…

  5. The role of central attention in retrieval from visual short-term memory.

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    Magen, Hagit

    2017-04-01

    The role of central attention in visual short-term memory (VSTM) encoding and maintenance is well established, yet its role in retrieval has been largely unexplored. This study examined the involvement of central attention in retrieval from VSTM using a dual-task paradigm. Participants performed a color change-detection task. Set size varied between 1 and 3 items, and the memory sample was maintained for either a short or a long delay period. A secondary tone discrimination task was introduced at the end of the delay period, shortly before the appearance of a central probe, and occupied central attention while participants were searching within VSTM representations. Similarly to numerous previous studies, reaction time increased as a function of set size reflecting the occurrence of a capacity-limited memory search. When the color targets were maintained over a short delay, memory was searched for the most part without the involvement of central attention. However, with a longer delay period, the search relied entirely on the operation of central attention. Taken together, this study demonstrates that central attention is involved in retrieval from VSTM, but the extent of its involvement depends on the duration of the delay period. Future studies will determine whether the type of memory search (parallel or serial) carried out during retrieval depends on the nature of the attentional mechanism involved the task.

  6. Motivation and short-term memory in visual search: Attention's accelerator revisited.

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    Schneider, Daniel; Bonmassar, Claudia; Hickey, Clayton

    2017-07-13

    A cue indicating the possibility of cash reward will cause participants to perform memory-based visual search more efficiently. A recent study has suggested that this performance benefit might reflect the use of multiple memory systems: when needed, participants may maintain the to-be-remembered object in both long-term and short-term visual memory, with this redundancy benefitting target identification during search (Reinhart, McClenahan & Woodman, 2016). Here we test this compelling hypothesis. We had participants complete a memory-based visual search task involving a reward cue that either preceded presentation of the to-be-remembered target (pre-cue) or followed it (retro-cue). Following earlier work, we tracked memory representation using two components of the event-related potential (ERP): the contralateral delay activity (CDA), reflecting short-term visual memory, and the anterior P170, reflecting long-term storage. We additionally tracked attentional preparation and deployment in the contingent negative variation (CNV) and N2pc, respectively. Results show that only the reward pre-cue impacted our ERP indices of memory. However, both types of cue elicited a robust CNV, reflecting an influence on task preparation, both had equivalent impact on deployment of attention to the target, as indexed in the N2pc, and both had equivalent impact on visual search behavior. Reward prospect thus has an influence on memory-guided visual search, but this does not appear to be necessarily mediated by a change in the visual memory representations indexed by CDA. Our results demonstrate that the impact of motivation on search is not a simple product of improved memory for target templates. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Heads First: Visual Aftereffects Reveal Hierarchical Integration of Cues to Social Attention.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah Cooney

    Full Text Available Determining where another person is attending is an important skill for social interaction that relies on various visual cues, including the turning direction of the head and body. This study reports a novel high-level visual aftereffect that addresses the important question of how these sources of information are combined in gauging social attention. We show that adapting to images of heads turned 25° to the right or left produces a perceptual bias in judging the turning direction of subsequently presented bodies. In contrast, little to no change in the judgment of head orientation occurs after adapting to extremely oriented bodies. The unidirectional nature of the aftereffect suggests that cues from the human body signaling social attention are combined in a hierarchical fashion and is consistent with evidence from single-cell recording studies in nonhuman primates showing that information about head orientation can override information about body posture when both are visible.

  8. Understanding the Influence from Web-shop Design on Consumers’ Visual Attention and Product Evaluation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Clement, Jesper; Kokkoli, Maria

    , research argues for a broader view on the complex decision process (Bettman et al., 1998; Hansen, 2005) and regards consumers having constructive decision processes. In the light of on-line sale additional perspectives on decision-models are still needed and recent research emphasizes the important...... of the product package together with pictures of the pills are used as eye-catcher on-line. The market for e-health is increasing (Usher and Skinner, 2010) and distribution of consumers purchasing on-line health products looks similar to the distribution in average populations. As the on-line drug store goes...... across culture and national borders it also challenges marketer to make the right set-up for a web-shop. In this paper customers’ visual attention during search for drugs on-line is investigated, relating visual attention and evaluation to a particular web-design....

  9. Spatiotopic coding of BOLD signal in human visual cortex depends on spatial attention.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sofia Crespi

    Full Text Available The neural substrate of the phenomenological experience of a stable visual world remains obscure. One possible mechanism would be to construct spatiotopic neural maps where the response is selective to the position of the stimulus in external space, rather than to retinal eccentricities, but evidence for these maps has been inconsistent. Here we show, with fMRI, that when human subjects perform concomitantly a demanding attentive task on stimuli displayed at the fovea, BOLD responses evoked by moving stimuli irrelevant to the task were mostly tuned in retinotopic coordinates. However, under more unconstrained conditions, where subjects could attend easily to the motion stimuli, BOLD responses were tuned not in retinal but in external coordinates (spatiotopic selectivity in many visual areas, including MT, MST, LO and V6, agreeing with our previous fMRI study. These results indicate that spatial attention may play an important role in mediating spatiotopic selectivity.

  10. A Metric to Quantify Shared Visual Attention in Two-Person Teams

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gontar, Patrick; Mulligan, Jeffrey B.

    2015-01-01

    Critical tasks in high-risk environments are often performed by teams, the members of which must work together efficiently. In some situations, the team members may have to work together to solve a particular problem, while in others it may be better for them to divide the work into separate tasks that can be completed in parallel. We hypothesize that these two team strategies can be differentiated on the basis of shared visual attention, measured by gaze tracking.

  11. The Effect of 10 Hz Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation of Posterior Parietal Cortex on Visual Attention

    OpenAIRE

    Isabel Dombrowe; Georgiana Juravle; Mohsen Alavash; Carsten Gießing; Claus C Hilgetag

    2015-01-01

    Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) of the posterior parietal cortex (PPC) at frequencies lower than 5 Hz transiently inhibits the stimulated area. In healthy participants, such a protocol can induce a transient attentional bias to the visual hemifield ipsilateral to the stimulated hemisphere. This bias might be due to a relatively less active stimulated hemisphere and a relatively more active unstimulated hemisphere. In a previous study, Jin and Hilgetag (2008) tried to switc...

  12. Age-Related Changes in Selective Attention and Perceptual Load During Visual Search

    OpenAIRE

    Madden, David J.; Langley, Linda K.

    2003-01-01

    Three visual search experiments were conducted to test the hypothesis that age differences in selective attention vary as a function of perceptual load (E. A. Maylor & N. Lavie, 1998). Under resource-limited conditions (Experiments 1 and 2), the distraction from irrelevant display items generally decreased as display size (perceptual load) increased. This perceptual load effect was similar for younger and older adults, contrary to the findings of Maylor and Lavie. Distraction at low perceptua...

  13. Bringing it into focus: visual cues and their role in directing attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson-Pauwels, L

    1997-01-01

    Visual cues are powerful tools for directing the user's eyes to relevant information. When incorporated into the design of a medical/scientific illustration, important details are more quickly conveyed. This article discusses the use of line, color, contrast, light and shadow, spatial relationships, image size and location, rhythm, and graphic devices as attention-directing cues utilized in focusing the user's eyes to pertinent information.

  14. Attentional bias in excessive Internet gamers: Experimental investigations using an addiction Stroop and a visual probe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeromin, Franziska; Nyenhuis, Nele; Barke, Antonia

    2016-03-01

    Background and aims Internet Gaming Disorder is included in the Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5(th) edition) as a disorder that merits further research. The diagnostic criteria are based on those for Substance Use Disorder and Gambling Disorder. Excessive gamblers and persons with Substance Use Disorder show attentional biases towards stimuli related to their addictions. We investigated whether excessive Internet gamers show a similar attentional bias, by using two established experimental paradigms. Methods We measured reaction times of excessive Internet gamers and non-gamers (N = 51, 23.7 ± 2.7 years) by using an addiction Stroop with computer-related and neutral words, as well as a visual probe with computer-related and neutral pictures. Mixed design analyses of variance with the between-subjects factor group (gamer/non-gamer) and the within-subjects factor stimulus type (computer-related/neutral) were calculated for the reaction times as well as for valence and familiarity ratings of the stimulus material. Results In the addiction Stroop, an interaction for group × word type was found: Only gamers showed longer reaction times to computer-related words compared to neutral words, thus exhibiting an attentional bias. In the visual probe, no differences in reaction time between computer-related and neutral pictures were found in either group, but the gamers were faster overall. Conclusions An attentional bias towards computer-related stimuli was found in excessive Internet gamers, by using an addiction Stroop but not by using a visual probe. A possible explanation for the discrepancy could lie in the fact that the visual probe may have been too easy for the gamers.

  15. Statistical decision theory to relate neurons to behavior in the study of covert visual attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eckstein, Miguel P; Peterson, Matthew F; Pham, Binh T; Droll, Jason A

    2009-06-01

    Scrutiny of the numerous physiology and imaging studies of visual attention reveal that integration of results from neuroscience with the classic theories of visual attention based on behavioral work is not simple. The different subfields have pursued different questions, used distinct experimental paradigms and developed diverse models. The purpose of this review is to use statistical decision theory and computational modeling to relate classic theories of attention in psychological research to neural observables such as mean firing rate or functional imaging BOLD response, tuning functions, Fano factor, neuronal index of detectability and area under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC). We focus on cueing experiments and attempt to distinguish two major leading theories in the study of attention: limited resources model/increased sensitivity vs. selection/differential weighting. We use Bayesian ideal observer (BIO) modeling, in which predictive cues or prior knowledge change the differential weighting (prior) of sensory information to generate predictions of behavioral and neural observables based on Gaussian response variables and Poisson process neural based models. The ideal observer model can be modified to represent a number of classic psychological theories of visual attention by including hypothesized human attentional limited resources in the same way sequential ideal observer analysis has been used to include physiological processing components of human spatial vision (Geisler, W. S. (1989). Sequential ideal-observer analysis of visual discrimination. Psychological Review 96, 267-314.). In particular we compare new biologically plausible implementations of the BIO and variant models with limited resources. We find a close relationship between the behavioral effects of cues predicted by the models developed in the field of human psychophysics and their neuron-based analogs. Critically, we show that cue effects on experimental observables such as

  16. Visual attention measures predict pedestrian detection in central field loss: a pilot study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Concetta F Alberti

    Full Text Available PURPOSE: The ability of visually impaired people to deploy attention effectively to maximize use of their residual vision in dynamic situations is fundamental to safe mobility. We conducted a pilot study to evaluate whether tests of dynamic attention (multiple object tracking; MOT and static attention (Useful Field of View; UFOV were predictive of the ability of people with central field loss (CFL to detect pedestrian hazards in simulated driving. METHODS: 11 people with bilateral CFL (visual acuity 20/30-20/200 and 11 age-similar normally-sighted drivers participated. Dynamic and static attention were evaluated with brief, computer-based MOT and UFOV tasks, respectively. Dependent variables were the log speed threshold for 60% correct identification of targets (MOT and the increase in the presentation duration for 75% correct identification of a central target when a concurrent peripheral task was added (UFOV divided and selective attention subtests. Participants drove in a simulator and pressed the horn whenever they detected pedestrians that walked or ran toward the road. The dependent variable was the proportion of timely reactions (could have stopped in time to avoid a collision. RESULTS: UFOV and MOT performance of CFL participants was poorer than that of controls, and the proportion of timely reactions was also lower (worse (84% and 97%, respectively; p = 0.001. For CFL participants, higher proportions of timely reactions correlated significantly with higher (better MOT speed thresholds (r = 0.73, p = 0.01, with better performance on the UFOV divided and selective attention subtests (r = -0.66 and -0.62, respectively, p<0.04, with better contrast sensitivity scores (r = 0.54, p = 0.08 and smaller scotomas (r = -0.60, p = 0.05. CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that brief laboratory-based tests of visual attention may provide useful measures of functional visual ability of individuals with CFL relevant to

  17. Differences in visual attention between those who correctly and incorrectly answer physics problems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. Sanjay Rebello1

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available This study investigated how visual attention differed between those who correctly versus incorrectly answered introductory physics problems. We recorded eye movements of 24 individuals on six different conceptual physics problems where the necessary information to solve the problem was contained in a diagram. The problems also contained areas consistent with a novicelike response and areas of high perceptual salience. Participants ranged from those who had only taken one high school physics course to those who had completed a Physics Ph.D. We found that participants who answered correctly spent a higher percentage of time looking at the relevant areas of the diagram, and those who answered incorrectly spent a higher percentage of time looking in areas of the diagram consistent with a novicelike answer. Thus, when solving physics problems, top-down processing plays a key role in guiding visual selective attention either to thematically relevant areas or novicelike areas depending on the accuracy of a student’s physics knowledge. This result has implications for the use of visual cues to redirect individuals’ attention to relevant portions of the diagrams and may potentially influence the way they reason about these problems.

  18. Early ERP effects on the scaling of spatial attention in visual search

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Ya-Nan Niu; Jing-Han Wei; Yue-Jia Luo

    2008-01-01

    This article describes the examination of the spatial 'scaling' effect of visual attention with the technique of event-related potential (ERP). Eighteen participants were involved in a visual search task in which the cue-target paradigm was used. The search array was three concentric circles consisting of randomly selected English letters that were equally distributed in each circle. The behavioral and ERP data were recorded, respectively. The behavioral results showed that the response time increased and the response accuracy decreased with the increase of precue size. The ERPs amplitude of PI and Nl components evoked by search array increased with the reduction of precue size. However, the latencies of these ERP components did not show significant differences between conditions. The hierarchical data of both behavioral assessment and ERPs provided evidence for the spatial 'scaling' effect of visual attention. The amplitudes of PI and Nl components may be used as indices to examine the effect of spatial 'scaling'. In different tasks, the display-set size of stimuli and the task complexity may be important factors that affect the attention allocation.

  19. Voluntary modulations of attention in a semantic auditory-visual matching task: an ERP study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ortega, Rodrigo; López, Vladimir; Aboitiz, Francisco

    2008-01-01

    The present study explores the neural correlates of voluntary modulations of attention in an auditory-visual matching task. Visual stimuli (a female or a male face) were preceded in close temporal proximity by auditory stimuli consisting of the Spanish word for "man" and "woman" ("hombre" or "mujer"). In 80% of the trials the gender of the two stimuli coincided. Participants were asked to mentally count the specific instances in which a female face appeared after hearing the word "man" (10 % of the trials). Our results show attention-related amplitude modulation of the early visual ERP components NI and anterior P2, but also amplitude modulations of (i) the N270 potential usually associated with conflict detection, (ii) a P300 wave related to infrequency, and (iii) an N400 potential related to semantic incongruence. The elicitation of these latter components varied according to task manipulations, evidencing the role of voluntary allocation of attention in fine-tuning cognitive processing, which includes basic processes like detection of infrequency or semantic incongruity often considered to be volition-independent.

  20. Action relevance induces an attentional weighting of representations in visual working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heuer, Anna; Crawford, J Douglas; Schubö, Anna

    2017-04-01

    Information maintained in visual working memory (VWM) can be strategically weighted according to its task-relevance. This is typically studied by presenting cues during the maintenance interval, but under natural conditions, the importance of certain aspects of our visual environment is mostly determined by intended actions. We investigated whether representations in VWM are also weighted with respect to their potential action relevance. In a combined memory and movement task, participants memorized a number of items and performed a pointing movement during the maintenance interval. The test item in the memory task was subsequently presented either at the movement goal or at another location. We found that performance was better for test items presented at a location that corresponded to the movement goal than for test items presented at action-irrelevant locations. This effect was sensitive to the number of maintained items, suggesting that preferential maintenance of action relevant information becomes particularly important when the demand on VWM is high. We argue that weighting according to action relevance is mediated by the deployment of spatial attention to action goals, with representations spatially corresponding to the action goal benefitting from this attentional engagement. Performance was also better at locations next to the action goal than at locations farther away, indicating an attentional gradient spreading out from the action goal. We conclude that our actions continue to influence visual processing at the mnemonic level, ensuring preferential maintenance of information that is relevant for current behavioral goals.

  1. Advert saliency distracts children's visual attention during task-oriented internet use

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nils eHolmberg

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available The general research question of the present study was to assess the impact of visually salient online adverts on children's task-oriented internet use. In order to answer this question, an experimental study was constructed in which 9-year-old and 12-year-old Swedish children were asked to solve a number of tasks while interacting with a mockup website. In each trial, web adverts in several saliency conditions were presented. By both measuring children's task accuracy, as well as the visual processing involved in solving these tasks, this study allows us to infer how two types of visual saliency affect children's attentional behavior, and whether such behavioral effects also impacts their task performance. Analyses show that low-level visual features and task relevance in online adverts have different effects on performance measures and process measures respectively. Whereas task performance is stable with regard to several advert saliency conditions, a marked effect is seen on children's gaze behavior. On the other hand, task performance is shown to be more sensitive to individual differences such as age, gender and level of gaze control. The results provide evidence about cognitive and behavioral distraction effects in children's task-oriented internet use caused by visual saliency in online adverts. The experiment suggests that children to some extent are able to compensate for behavioral effects caused by distracting visual stimuli when solving prospective memory tasks. Suggestions are given for further research into the interdiciplinary area between media research and cognitive science.

  2. Advert saliency distracts children's visual attention during task-oriented internet use.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holmberg, Nils; Sandberg, Helena; Holmqvist, Kenneth

    2014-01-01

    The general research question of the present study was to assess the impact of visually salient online adverts on children's task-oriented internet use. In order to answer this question, an experimental study was constructed in which 9- and 12-year-old Swedish children were asked to solve a number of tasks while interacting with a mockup website. In each trial, web adverts in several saliency conditions were presented. By both measuring children's task accuracy, as well as the visual processing involved in solving these tasks, this study allows us to infer how two types of visual saliency affect children's attentional behavior, and whether such behavioral effects also impacts their task performance. Analyses show that low-level visual features and task relevance in online adverts have different effects on performance measures and process measures respectively. Whereas task performance is stable with regard to several advert saliency conditions, a marked effect is seen on children's gaze behavior. On the other hand, task performance is shown to be more sensitive to individual differences such as age, gender and level of gaze control. The results provide evidence about cognitive and behavioral distraction effects in children's task-oriented internet use caused by visual saliency in online adverts. The experiment suggests that children to some extent are able to compensate for behavioral effects caused by distracting visual stimuli when solving prospective memory tasks. Suggestions are given for further research into the interdiciplinary area between media research and cognitive science.

  3. Attentional capture by spoken language: effects on netballers' visual task performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bishop, Daniel Tony; Moore, Sarah; Horne, Sara; Teszka, Robert

    2014-01-01

    In two experiments, participants performed visual detection, visual discrimination and decision-making tasks, in which a binary (left/right) response was required. In all experimental conditions, a spoken word ("left"/"right") was presented monaurally (left or right ear) at the onset of the visual stimulus. In Experiment 1, 26 non-athletes located a target amongst an array of distractors as quickly as possible, in both the presence and absence of spoken cues. Participants performed superiorly in the presence of valid cues, relative to invalid-cue and control conditions. In Experiment 2, 42 skilled netballers completed three tasks, in randomised order: a visual detection task, a visual discrimination task and a netball decision-making task - all in the presence of spoken cues. Our data showed that spoken auditory cues affected not only target detection, but also performance on more complex decision-making tasks: cues that were either spatially or semantically invalid slowed target detection time; spatially invalid cues impaired discrimination task accuracy; and cues that were either spatially or semantically valid improved accuracy and speeded decision-making time in the netball task. When studying visual perception and attention in sport, the impact of concomitant auditory information should be taken into account in order to achieve a more representative task design.

  4. 'Spontaneous' Visual Perspective-Taking Mediated by Attention Orienting that is Voluntary and not Reflexive.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gardner, Mark R; Hull, Zainabb; Taylor, Donna; Edmonds, Caroline J

    2017-03-17

    Experiments revealing 'spontaneous' visual perspective-taking are conventionally interpreted as demonstrating that adults have the capacity to track simple mental states in a fast and efficient manner ('implicit mentalising'). A rival account suggests that these experiments can be explained by the general purpose mechanisms responsible for reflexive attentional orienting. Here, we report two experiments designed to distinguish between these competing accounts. In Experiment 1, we assessed whether reflexive attention orienting was sufficient to yield findings interpreted as spontaneous perspective taking in the 'avatar task' (Samson et al., 2010) when the protocol was adapted so that participants were unaware that they were taking part in a perspective-taking experiment. Results revealed no evidence for perspective-taking. In Experiment 2, we employed a Posner paradigm to investigate the attentional orienting properties of the avatar stimuli. This revealed cue-validity effects only for longer stimulus onset asynchronies, which indicates a voluntary rather than reflexive shift in spatial attention. Taken together, these findings suggest that attentional orienting does indeed contribute to performance in the Samson et al. avatar task. However, attention orienting appears to be voluntary rather than reflexive, indicating that the perspective-taking phenomenon measured may be less spontaneous than first reported.

  5. Investigation of attentional bias in obsessive compulsive disorder with and without depression in visual search.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sharon Morein-Zamir

    Full Text Available Whether Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD is associated with an increased attentional bias to emotive stimuli remains controversial. Additionally, it is unclear whether comorbid depression modulates abnormal emotional processing in OCD. This study examined attentional bias to OC-relevant scenes using a visual search task. Controls, non-depressed and depressed OCD patients searched for their personally selected positive images amongst their negative distractors, and vice versa. Whilst the OCD groups were slower than healthy individuals in rating the images, there were no group differences in the magnitude of negative bias to concern-related scenes. A second experiment employing a common set of images replicated the results on an additional sample of OCD patients. Although there was a larger bias to negative OC-related images without pre-exposure overall, no group differences in attentional bias were observed. However, OCD patients subsequently rated the images more slowly and more negatively, again suggesting post-attentional processing abnormalities. The results argue against a robust attentional bias in OCD patients, regardless of their depression status and speak to generalized difficulties disengaging from negative valence stimuli. Rather, post-attentional processing abnormalities may account for differences in emotional processing in OCD.

  6. Voluntary Attentional Orienting in Schoolchildren: How Visual Orienting Skills Change During Primary School.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Commodari, Elena

    2016-06-01

    Voluntary attentional orienting is the foundation of the capacity to highlight relevant stimuli and suppress competing distractions. It plays a role in the scholastic skills. This study investigated the changes in the orienting skills in 630 schoolchildren (age range: 5.7-10.2 years old), who attended the first (N = 205, M = 6.1, SD = 0.4), third (212 children, M = 8.2, SD = 0.6), and fifth grade (213 children, M = 10, SD = 0.4) of four primary schools in Italy. Simple attentional orienting, choice attentional orienting on written stimuli, double attentional orienting (auditory and visual), and re-orienting were investigated. The tasks required pressing a key in response to some target stimuli. The stimuli were digits, images of objects, written words, letters, geometric forms, and auditory verbal stimuli. Results showed that attentional orienting improved with age. The children's performances depended on the type of stimuli and activities required for the task. The accuracy of re-orienting with written verbal stimuli did not improve during primary school. With increasing age, children became faster but not more able to focus on written verbal stimuli when shifting of attention was required.

  7. Extended temporal integration in rapid serial visual presentation: Attentional control at Lag 1 and beyond.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akyürek, Elkan G; Wolff, Michael J

    2016-07-01

    In the perception of target stimuli in rapid serial visual presentations, the process of temporal integration plays an important role when two targets are presented in direct succession (at Lag 1), causing them to be perceived as a singular episodic event. This has been associated with increased reversals of target order report and elevated task performance in classic paradigms. Yet, most current models of temporal attention do not incorporate a mechanism of temporal integration and it is currently an open question whether temporal integration is a factor in attentional processing: It might be an independent process, perhaps little more than a sensory sampling rate parameter, isolated to Lag 1, where it leaves the attentional dynamics otherwise unaffected. In the present study, these boundary conditions were tested. Temporal target integration was observed across sequences of three targets spanning an interval of 240ms. Integration rates furthermore depended strongly on bottom-up attentional filtering, and to a lesser degree on top-down control. The results support the idea that temporal integration is an adaptive process that is part of, or at least interacts with, the attentional system. Implications for current models of temporal attention are discussed.

  8. Enhancing long-term memory with stimulation tunes visual attention in one trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reinhart, Robert M G; Woodman, Geoffrey F

    2015-01-13

    Scientists have long proposed that memory representations control the mechanisms of attention that focus processing on the task-relevant objects in our visual field. Modern theories specifically propose that we rely on working memory to store the object representations that provide top-down control over attentional selection. Here, we show that the tuning of perceptual attention can be sharply accelerated after 20 min of noninvasive brain stimulation over medial-frontal cortex. Contrary to prevailing theories of attention, these improvements did not appear to be caused by changes in the nature of the working memory representations of the search targets. Instead, improvements in attentional tuning were accompanied by changes in an electrophysiological signal hypothesized to index long-term memory. We found that this pattern of effects was reliably observed when we stimulated medial-frontal cortex, but when we stimulated posterior parietal cortex, we found that stimulation directly affected the perceptual processing of the search array elements, not the memory representations providing top-down control. Our findings appear to challenge dominant theories of attention by demonstrating that changes in the storage of target representations in long-term memory may underlie rapid changes in the efficiency with which humans can find targets in arrays of objects.

  9. Normal aging alters learning and attention-related teaching signals in basolateral amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roesch, Matthew R; Esber, Guillem R; Bryden, Daniel W; Cerri, Domenic H; Haney, Zachary R; Schoenbaum, Geoffrey

    2012-09-19

    Normal aging has been associated with an increased propensity to wait for rewards. When this is tested experimentally, rewards are typically offered at increasing delays. In this setting, persistent responding for delayed rewards in aged rats could reflect either changes in the evaluation of delayed rewards or diminished learning, perhaps due to the loss of subcortical teaching signals induced by changes in reward; the loss or diminution of such teaching signals would result in slower learning with progressive delay of reward, which would appear as persistent responding. Such teaching signals have commonly been reported in phasic firing of midbrain dopamine neurons; however, similar signals have also been found in reward-responsive neurons in the basolateral amygdala (ABL). Unlike dopaminergic teaching signals, those in ABL seem to reflect surprise, increasing when reward is either better or worse than expected. Accordingly, activity is correlated with attentional responses and with the speed of learning after surprising increases or decreases in reward. Here we examined whether these attention-related teaching signals might be altered in normal aging. Young (3-6 months) and aged (22-26 months) male Long-Evans rats were trained on a discounting task used previously to demonstrate these signals. As expected, aged rats were less sensitive to delays, and this change was associated with a loss of attentional changes in orienting behavior and neural activity. These results indicate that normal aging alters teaching signals in the ABL. Changes in these teaching signals may contribute to a host of age-related cognitive changes.

  10. Pupil size directly modulates the feedforward response in human primary visual cortex independently of attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bombeke, Klaas; Duthoo, Wout; Mueller, Sven C; Hopf, Jens-Max; Boehler, C Nico

    2016-02-15

    Controversy revolves around the question of whether psychological factors like attention and emotion can influence the initial feedforward response in primary visual cortex (V1). Although traditionally, the electrophysiological correlate of this response in humans (the C1 component) has been found to be unaltered by psychological influences, a number of recent studies have described attentional and emotional modulations. Yet, research into psychological effects on the feedforward V1 response has neglected possible direct contributions of concomitant pupil-size modulations, which are known to also occur under various conditions of attentional load and emotional state. Here we tested the hypothesis that such pupil-size differences themselves directly affect the feedforward V1 response. We report data from two complementary experiments, in which we used procedures that modulate pupil size without differences in attentional load or emotion while simultaneously recording pupil-size and EEG data. Our results confirm that pupil size indeed directly influences the feedforward V1 response, showing an inverse relationship between pupil size and early V1 activity. While it is unclear in how far this effect represents a functionally-relevant adaptation, it identifies pupil-size differences as an important modulating factor of the feedforward response of V1 and could hence represent a confounding variable in research investigating the neural influence of psychological factors on early visual processing.

  11. Effects of the Visual Exercise Environments on Cognitive Directed Attention, Energy Expenditure and Perceived Exertion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogerson, Mike; Barton, Jo

    2015-06-30

    Green exercise research often reports psychological health outcomes without rigorously controlling exercise. This study examines effects of visual exercise environments on directed attention, perceived exertion and time to exhaustion, whilst measuring and controlling the exercise component. Participants completed three experimental conditions in a randomized counterbalanced order. Conditions varied by video content viewed (nature; built; control) during two consistently-ordered exercise bouts (Exercise 1: 60% VO2peakInt for 15-mins; Exercise 2: 85% VO2peakInt to voluntary exhaustion). In each condition, participants completed modified Backwards Digit Span tests (a measure of directed attention) pre- and post-Exercise 1. Energy expenditure, respiratory exchange ratio and perceived exertion were measured during both exercise bouts. Time to exhaustion in Exercise 2 was also recorded. There was a significant time by condition interaction for Backwards Digit Span scores (F2,22 = 6.267, p = 0.007). Scores significantly improved in the nature condition (p attention. Via psychological mechanisms alone, visual nature facilitates attention restoration during moderate-intensity exercise.

  12. Putting attention in the spotlight: The influence of APOE genotype on visual search in mid adulthood.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lancaster, Claire; Forster, Sophie; Tabet, Naji; Rusted, Jennifer

    2017-09-15

    The Apolipoprotein E e4 allele is associated with greater cognitive decline with age, yet effects of this gene are also observed earlier in the lifespan. This research explores genotype differences (e2, e3, e4) in the allocation of visuospatial attention in mid-adulthood. Sixty-six volunteers, aged 45-55 years, completed two paradigms probing the active selection of information at the focus of attention (a dynamic scaling task) and perceptual capacity differences. Two methods of statistical comparison (parametric statistics, Bayesian inference) found no significant difference between e4 carriers and the homozygous e3 group on either the dynamic scaling or perceptual load task. E2 carriers, however, demonstrated less efficient visual search performance on the dynamic scaling task. The lack of an e4 difference in visuospatial attention, despite previous suggestion in the literature of genotype effects, indicates that select attentional processes are intact in e4 carriers in mid-adulthood. The association of e2 genotype with slower visual search performance complicates the premised protective effects of this allele in cognitive ageing. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. The emotional blink: adult age differences in visual attention to emotional information.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Langley, Linda K; Rokke, Paul D; Stark, Atiana C; Saville, Alyson L; Allen, Jaryn L; Bagne, Angela G

    2008-12-01

    To assess age differences in attention-emotion interactions, the authors asked young adults (ages 18-33 years) and older adults (ages 60-80 years) to identify target words in a rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) task. The second of two target words was neutral or emotional in content (positive in Experiment 1, negative in Experiment 2). In general, the ability to identify targets from a word stream declined with age. Age differences specific to the attentional blink were greatly reduced when baseline detection accuracy was equated between groups. With regard to emotion effects, older adults showed enhanced identification of both positive and negative words relative to neutral words, whereas young adults showed enhanced identification of positive words and reduced identification of negative words. Together these findings suggest that the nature of attention-emotion interactions changes with age, but there was little support for a motivational shift consistent with emotional regulation goals at an early stage of cognitive processing.

  14. Visual Distraction: An Altered Aiming Spatial Response in Dementia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elizabeth E. Galletta

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Background/Aims: Healthy individuals demonstrate leftward bias on visuospatial tasks such as line bisection, which has been attributed to right brain dominance. We investigated whether this asymmetry occurred in patients with probable dementia of the Alzheimer type (pAD which is associated with neurodegenerative changes affecting temporoparietal regions. Methods: Subjects with pAD and matched controls performed a line bisection task in near and far space under conditions of no distraction, left-sided visual distraction and right-sided visual distraction. Results: Participants with pAD manifested different motor-preparatory ‘aiming’ spatial bias than matched controls. There were significantly greater rightward ‘aiming’ motor-intentional errors both without distraction and with right-sided distraction. Conclusion: ‘Aiming’ motor-preparatory brain activity may be induced by distraction in pAD subjects as compared to typical visual-motor function in controls.

  15. Attention to color sharpens neural population tuning via feedback processing in the human visual cortex hierarchy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartsch, Mandy V; Loewe, Kristian; Merkel, Christian; Heinze, Hans-Jochen; Schoenfeld, Mircea A; Tsotsos, John K; Hopf, Jens-Max

    2017-09-25

    Attention can facilitate the selection of elementary object features like color, orientation, or motion. This is referred to as feature-based attention and commonly attributed to a modulation of the gain and tuning of feature-selective units in visual cortex. While gain mechanisms are well characterized, little is known about the cortical processes underlying the sharpening of feature selectivity. Here, we show with high-resolution magnetoencephalography in human observers (men and women) that sharpened selectivity for a particular color arises from feedback processing in the human visual cortex hierarchy. To assess color selectivity, we analyze the response to a color probe that varies in color-distance from an attended color target. We find that attention causes an initial gain enhancement in anterior ventral extrastriate cortex that is coarsely selective for the target color and transitions within ∼100 ms into a sharper tuned profile in more posterior ventral occipital cortex (VO-1/hV4). We conclude that attention sharpens selectivity over time by attenuating the response at lower levels of the cortical hierarchy to color values neighboring the target in color space. These observations support computational models proposing that attention tunes feature selectivity in visual cortex through backward-propagating attenuation of units less tuned to the target.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENTWhether searching for your car, a particular item of clothing, or just obeying traffic lights, in everyday life we must select items based on color. But how does attention allow us to select a specific color? Here, we use high spatiotemporal resolution neuromagnetic recordings to examine how color selectivity emerges in the human brain. We find that color selectivity evolves as a coarse-to-fine process from higher to lower levels within the visual cortex hierarchy. Our observations support computational models proposing that feature selectivity increases over time, by attenuating the

  16. The Effects of Visual Attention Span and Phonological Decoding in Reading Comprehension in Dyslexia: A Path Analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Chen; Schneps, Matthew H; Masyn, Katherine E; Thomson, Jennifer M

    2016-11-01

    Increasing evidence has shown visual attention span to be a factor, distinct from phonological skills, that explains single-word identification (pseudo-word/word reading) performance in dyslexia. Yet, little is known about how well visual attention span explains text comprehension. Observing reading comprehension in a sample of 105 high school students with dyslexia, we used a pathway analysis to examine the direct and indirect path between visual attention span and reading comprehension while controlling for other factors such as phonological awareness, letter identification, short-term memory, IQ and age. Integrating phonemic decoding efficiency skills in the analytic model, this study aimed to disentangle how visual attention span and phonological skills work together in reading comprehension for readers with dyslexia. We found visual attention span to have a significant direct effect on more difficult reading comprehension but not on an easier level. It also had a significant direct effect on pseudo-word identification but not on word identification. In addition, we found that visual attention span indirectly explains reading comprehension through pseudo-word reading and word reading skills. This study supports the hypothesis that at least part of the dyslexic profile can be explained by visual attention abilities. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  17. Visual features for perception, attention, and working memory: Toward a three-factor framework.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Liqiang

    2015-12-01

    Visual features are the general building blocks for attention, perception, and working memory. Here, I explore the factors which can quantitatively predict all the differences they make in various paradigms. I tried to combine the strengths of experimental and correlational approaches in a novel way by developing an individual-item differences analysis to extract the factors from 16 stimulus types on the basis of their roles in eight tasks. A large sample size (410) ensured that all eight tasks had a reliability (Cronbach's α) of no less than 0.975, allowing the factors to be precisely determined. Three orthogonal factors were identified which correspond respectively to featural strength (i.e., how close a stimulus is to a basic feature), visual strength (i.e., visual quality of the stimulus), and spatial strength (i.e., how well a stimulus can be represented as a spatial structure). Featural strength helped substantially in all the tasks but moderately less so in perceptual discrimination; visual strength helped substantially in low-level tasks but not in high-level tasks; and spatial strength helped change detection but hindered ensemble matching and visual search. Jointly, these three factors explained 96.4% of all the variances of the eight tasks, making it clear that they account for almost everything about the roles of these 16 stimulus types in these eight tasks.

  18. Altered intrinsic organisation of brain networks implicated in attentional processes in adult attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: a resting-state study of attention, default mode and salience network connectivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sidlauskaite, Justina; Sonuga-Barke, Edmund; Roeyers, Herbert; Wiersema, Jan R

    2016-06-01

    Deficits in task-related attentional engagement in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have been hypothesised to be due to altered interrelationships between attention, default mode and salience networks. We examined the intrinsic connectivity during rest within and between these networks. Six-minute resting-state scans were obtained. Using a network-based approach, connectivity within and between the dorsal and ventral attention, the default mode and the salience networks was compared between the ADHD and control group. The ADHD group displayed hyperconnectivity between the two attention networks and within the default mode and ventral attention network. The salience network was hypoconnected to the dorsal attention network. There were trends towards hyperconnectivity within the dorsal attention network and between the salience and ventral attention network in ADHD. Connectivity within and between other networks was unrelated to ADHD. Our findings highlight the altered connectivity within and between attention networks, and between them and the salience network in ADHD. One hypothesis to be tested in future studies is that individuals with ADHD are affected by an imbalance between ventral and dorsal attention systems with the former playing a dominant role during task engagement, making individuals with ADHD highly susceptible to distraction by salient task-irrelevant stimuli.

  19. Auditory and visual sustained attention in children with speech sound disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murphy, Cristina F B; Pagan-Neves, Luciana O; Wertzner, Haydée F; Schochat, Eliane

    2014-01-01

    Although research has demonstrated that children with specific language impairment (SLI) and reading disorder (RD) exhibit sustained attention deficits, no study has investigated sustained attention in children with speech sound disorder (SSD). Given the overlap of symptoms, such as phonological memory deficits, between these different language disorders (i.e., SLI, SSD and RD) and the relationships between working memory, attention and language processing, it is worthwhile to investigate whether deficits in sustained attention also occur in children with SSD. A total of 55 children (18 diagnosed with SSD (8.11 ± 1.231) and 37 typically developing children (8.76 ± 1.461)) were invited to participate in this study. Auditory and visual sustained-attention tasks were applied. Children with SSD performed worse on these tasks; they committed a greater number of auditory false alarms and exhibited a significant decline in performance over the course of the auditory detection task. The extent to which performance is related to auditory perceptual difficulties and probable working memory deficits is discussed. Further studies are needed to better understand the specific nature of these deficits and their clinical implications.

  20. Task relevance of emotional information affects anxiety-linked attention bias in visual search.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dodd, Helen F; Vogt, Julia; Turkileri, Nilgun; Notebaert, Lies

    2017-01-01

    Task relevance affects emotional attention in healthy individuals. Here, we investigate whether the association between anxiety and attention bias is affected by the task relevance of emotion during an attention task. Participants completed two visual search tasks. In the emotion-irrelevant task, participants were asked to indicate whether a discrepant face in a crowd of neutral, middle-aged faces was old or young. Irrelevant to the task, target faces displayed angry, happy, or neutral expressions. In the emotion-relevant task, participants were asked to indicate whether a discrepant face in a crowd of middle-aged neutral faces was happy or angry (target faces also varied in age). Trait anxiety was not associated with attention in the emotion-relevant task. However, in the emotion-irrelevant task, trait anxiety was associated with a bias for angry over happy faces. These findings demonstrate that the task relevance of emotional information affects conclusions about the presence of an anxiety-linked attention bias. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. Auditory and visual sustained attention in children with speech sound disorder.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cristina F B Murphy

    Full Text Available Although research has demonstrated that children with specific language impairment (SLI and reading disorder (RD exhibit sustained attention deficits, no study has investigated sustained attention in children with speech sound disorder (SSD. Given the overlap of symptoms, such as phonological memory deficits, between these different language disorders (i.e., SLI, SSD and RD and the relationships between working memory, attention and language processing, it is worthwhile to investigate whether deficits in sustained attention also occur in children with SSD. A total of 55 children (18 diagnosed with SSD (8.11 ± 1.231 and 37 typically developing children (8.76 ± 1.461 were invited to participate in this study. Auditory and visual sustained-attention tasks were applied. Children with SSD performed worse on these tasks; they committed a greater number of auditory false alarms and exhibited a significant decline in performance over the course of the auditory detection task. The extent to which performance is related to auditory perceptual difficulties and probable working memory deficits is discussed. Further studies are needed to better understand the specific nature of these deficits and their clinical implications.

  2. Oculomotor Examination of the Weapon Focus Effect: Does a Gun Automatically Engage Visual Attention?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flowe, Heather D.; Hope, Lorraine; Hillstrom, Anne P.

    2013-01-01

    Background A person is less likely to be accurately remembered if they appear in a visual scene with a gun, a result that has been termed the weapon focus effect (WFE). Explanations of the WFE argue that weapons engage attention because they are unusual and/or threatening, which causes encoding deficits for the other items in the visual scene. Previous WFE research has always embedded the weapon and nonweapon objects within a larger context that provides information about an actor's intention to use the object. As such, it is currently unknown whether a gun automatically engages attention to a greater extent than other objects independent of the context in which it is presented. Method Reflexive responding to a gun compared to other objects was examined in two experiments. Experiment 1 employed a prosaccade gap-overlap paradigm, whereby participants looked toward a peripheral target, and Experiment 2 employed an antisaccade gap-overlap paradigm, whereby participants looked away from a peripheral target. In both experiments, the peripheral target was a gun or a nonthreatening object (i.e., a tomato or pocket watch). We also controlled how unexpected the targets were and compared saccadic reaction times across types of objects. Results A gun was not found to differentially engage attention compared to the unexpected object (i.e., a pocket watch). Some evidence was found (Experiment 2) that both the gun and the unexpected object engaged attention to a greater extent compared the expected object (i.e., a tomato). Conclusion An image of a gun did not engage attention to a larger extent than images of other types of objects (i.e., a pocket watch or tomato). The results suggest that context may be an important determinant of WFE. The extent to which an object is threatening may depend on the larger context in which it is presented. PMID:24349028

  3. Oculomotor examination of the weapon focus effect: does a gun automatically engage visual attention?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flowe, Heather D; Hope, Lorraine; Hillstrom, Anne P

    2013-01-01

    A person is less likely to be accurately remembered if they appear in a visual scene with a gun, a result that has been termed the weapon focus effect (WFE). Explanations of the WFE argue that weapons engage attention because they are unusual and/or threatening, which causes encoding deficits for the other items in the visual scene. Previous WFE research has always embedded the weapon and nonweapon objects within a larger context that provides information about an actor's intention to use the object. As such, it is currently unknown whether a gun automatically engages attention to a greater extent than other objects independent of the context in which it is presented. Reflexive responding to a gun compared to other objects was examined in two experiments. Experiment 1 employed a prosaccade gap-overlap paradigm, whereby participants looked toward a peripheral target, and Experiment 2 employed an antisaccade gap-overlap paradigm, whereby participants looked away from a peripheral target. In both experiments, the peripheral target was a gun or a nonthreatening object (i.e., a tomato or pocket watch). We also controlled how unexpected the targets were and compared saccadic reaction times across types of objects. A gun was not found to differentially engage attention compared to the unexpected object (i.e., a pocket watch). Some evidence was found (Experiment 2) that both the gun and the unexpected object engaged attention to a greater extent compared the expected object (i.e., a tomato). An image of a gun did not engage attention to a larger extent than images of other types of objects (i.e., a pocket watch or tomato). The results suggest that context may be an important determinant of WFE. The extent to which an object is threatening may depend on the larger context in which it is presented.

  4. Sleep deprivation impairs object-selective attention: a view from the ventral visual cortex.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julian Lim

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Most prior studies on selective attention in the setting of total sleep deprivation (SD have focused on behavior or activation within fronto-parietal cognitive control areas. Here, we evaluated the effects of SD on the top-down biasing of activation of ventral visual cortex and on functional connectivity between cognitive control and other brain regions. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Twenty-three healthy young adult volunteers underwent fMRI after a normal night of sleep (RW and after sleep deprivation in a counterbalanced manner while performing a selective attention task. During this task, pictures of houses or faces were randomly interleaved among scrambled images. Across different blocks, volunteers responded to house but not face pictures, face but not house pictures, or passively viewed pictures without responding. The appearance of task-relevant pictures was unpredictable in this paradigm. SD resulted in less accurate detection of target pictures without affecting the mean false alarm rate or response time. In addition to a reduction of fronto-parietal activation, attending to houses strongly modulated parahippocampal place area (PPA activation during RW, but this attention-driven biasing of PPA activation was abolished following SD. Additionally, SD resulted in a significant decrement in functional connectivity between the PPA and two cognitive control areas, the left intraparietal sulcus and the left inferior frontal lobe. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: SD impairs selective attention as evidenced by reduced selectivity in PPA activation. Further, reduction in fronto-parietal and ventral visual task-related activation suggests that it also affects sustained attention. Reductions in functional connectivity may be an important additional imaging parameter to consider in characterizing the effects of sleep deprivation on cognition.

  5. Alterations of Growth Factors in Autism and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alma Y. Galvez-Contreras

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Growth factors (GFs are cytokines that regulate the neural development. Recent evidence indicates that alterations in the expression level of GFs during embryogenesis are linked to the pathophysiology and clinical manifestations of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD and autism spectrum disorders (ASD. In this concise review, we summarize the current evidence that supports the role of brain-derived neurotrophic factor, insulin-like growth factor 2, hepatocyte growth factor (HGF, glial-derived neurotrophic factor, nerve growth factor, neurotrophins 3 and 4, and epidermal growth factor in the pathogenesis of ADHD and ASD. We also highlight the potential use of these GFs as clinical markers for diagnosis and prognosis of these neurodevelopmental disorders.

  6. Selective visual attention to drive cognitive brain machine interfaces: from concepts to neurofeedback and rehabilitation applications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elaine eAstrand

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Brain Machine Interfaces (BMI using motor cortical activity to drive an external effector like a screen cursor or a robotic arm have seen enormous success and proven their great rehabilitation potential. An emerging parallel effort is now directed to BMIs controlled by endogenous cognitive activity, also called cognitive BMIs. While more challenging, this approach opens new dimensions to the rehabilitation of cognitive disorders. In the present work, we focus on BMIs driven by visuospatial attention signals and we provide a critical review of these studies in the light of the accumulated knowledge about the psychophysics, anatomy and neurophysiology of visual spatial attention. Importantly, we provide a unique comparative overview of the several studies, ranging from noninvasive to invasive human and non-human primates studies, that decode attention-related information from ongoing neuronal activity. We discuss these studies in the light of the challenges attention-driven cognitive BMIs have to face. In a second part of the review, we discuss past and current attention-based neurofeedback studies, describing both the covert effects of neurofeedback onto neuronal activity and its overt behavioral effects. Importantly, we compare neurofeedback studies based on the amplitude of cortical activity to studies based on the enhancement of cortical information content. Last, we discuss several lines of future research and applications for attention-driven cognitive BCIs, including the rehabilitation of cognitive deficits, restored communication in locked-in patients, and open-field applications for enhanced cognition in normal subjects. The core motivation of this work is the key idea that the improvement of current cognitive BMIs for therapeutic and open field applications needs to be grounded in a proper interdisciplinary understanding of the physiology of the cognitive function of interest, be it spatial attention, working memory or any other

  7. THE ALTERATION OF VISUAL PERCEPTUAL MECHANISMS BY CHEMICAL AGENTS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    positive reinforcement . The visual conditioned stimulus (CS) was presented at 10 cps in three paradigms: (1) selection of the single lighted panel (light-dark discrimination); (2) discrimination between similar patterns presented at differing intensities (total luminous flux discrimination); and (3) discrimination between two differing geometric patterns of similar intensity. The CS figures were pulsed to allow frequency labeling of brain bioelectric activity. This activity was collected during habituation to the conditioning stimulus, during training and during stabilized

  8. Visual misperceptions and hallucinations in Parkinson's disease: dysfunction of attentional control networks?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shine, James M; Halliday, Glenda M; Naismith, Sharon L; Lewis, Simon J G

    2011-10-01

    Visual misperceptions and hallucinations are a major cause of distress in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD), particularly in the advanced stages of the condition. Recent work has provided a framework for understanding the pathogenesis of these symptoms, implicating impairments from the retina to the integration of external information with preformed internal images. In this article, we propose a novel hypothesis that attempts to explain the presence of visual misperceptions and hallucinations in PD through the aberrant coordination of complimentary yet competing neural networks. We propose that hallucinations in PD reflect the relative inability to recruit activation in the dorsal attention network in the presence of an ambiguous percept, leading to overreliance on default mode network processing and salience arising from the ventral attention network. This inability is proposed to stem from improper function across cortical and subcortical structures secondary to the presence of Lewy body pathology. This hypothesis may be empirically tested by the use of targeted cognitive paradigms. In turn, this may assist our understanding of the pathophysiological mechanisms and cognitive processes contributing to visual misperceptions and hallucinations and ultimately may inform more effective treatment strategies for this troubling symptom.

  9. Multiperson visual focus of attention from head pose and meeting contextual cues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ba, Sileye O; Odobez, Jean-Marc

    2011-01-01

    This paper introduces a novel contextual model for the recognition of people's visual focus of attention (VFOA) in meetings from audio-visual perceptual cues. More specifically, instead of independently recognizing the VFOA of each meeting participant from his own head pose, we propose to jointly recognize the participants' visual attention in order to introduce context-dependent interaction models that relate to group activity and the social dynamics of communication. Meeting contextual information is represented by the location of people, conversational events identifying floor holding patterns, and a presentation activity variable. By modeling the interactions between the different contexts and their combined and sometimes contradictory impact on the gazing behavior, our model allows us to handle VFOA recognition in difficult task-based meetings involving artifacts, presentations, and moving people. We validated our model through rigorous evaluation on a publicly available and challenging data set of 12 real meetings (5 hours of data). The results demonstrated that the integration of the presentation and conversation dynamical context using our model can lead to significant performance improvements.

  10. Spacing affects some but not all visual searches: implications for theories of attention and crowding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reddy, Lavanya; VanRullen, Rufin

    2007-02-02

    We investigated the effect of varying interstimulus spacing on an upright among inverted face search and a red-green among green-red bisected disk search. Both tasks are classic examples of serial search; however, spacing affects them very differently: As spacing increased, face discrimination performance improved significantly, whereas performance on the bisected disks remained poor. (No effect of spacing was observed for either a red among green or an L among + search tasks, two classic examples of parallel search.) In a second experiment, we precued the target location so that attention was no longer a limiting factor: Both serial search tasks were now equally affected by spacing, a result we attribute to a more classical form of crowding. The observed spacing effect in visual search suggests that for certain tasks, serial search may result from local neuronal competition between target and distractors, soliciting attentional resources; in other cases, serial search must occur for another reason, for example, because an item-by-item, attention-mediated recognition must take place. We speculate that this distinction may be based on whether or not there exist neuronal populations tuned to the relevant target-distractor distinction, and we discuss the possible relations between this spacing effect in visual search and other forms of crowding.

  11. Visual Search and Attention in Blue Jays (Cyanocitta cristata): Associative Cuing and Sequential Priming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goto, Kazuhiro; Bond, Alan B.; Burks, Marianna; Kamil, Alan C.

    2014-01-01

    Visual search for complex natural targets requires focal attention, either cued by predictive stimulus associations or primed by a representation of the most recently detected target. Since both processes can focus visual attention, cuing and priming were compared in an operant search task to evaluate their relative impacts on performance and to determine the nature of their interaction in combined treatments. Blue jays were trained to search for pairs of alternative targets among distractors. Informative or ambiguous color cues were provided prior to each trial, and targets were presented either in homogeneous blocked sequences or in constrained random order. Initial task acquisition was facilitated by priming in general, but was significantly retarded when targets were both cued and primed, indicating that the two processes interfered with each other during training. At asymptote, attentional effects were manifested mainly in inhibition, increasing latency in miscued trials and decreasing accuracy on primed trials following an unexpected target switch. A combination of cuing and priming was found to interfere with performance in such unexpected trials, apparently a result of the limited capacity of working memory. Because the ecological factors that promote priming and cuing are rather disparate, it is not clear whether they ever jointly and simultaneously contribute to natural predatory search. PMID:24893217

  12. Peripheral Visual Cues: Their Fate in Processing and Effects on Attention and Temporal-Order Perception

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tünnermann, Jan; Scharlau, Ingrid

    2016-01-01

    Peripheral visual cues lead to large shifts in psychometric distributions of temporal-order judgments. In one view, such shifts are attributed to attention speeding up processing of the cued stimulus, so-called prior entry. However, sometimes these shifts are so large that it is unlikely that they are caused by attention alone. Here we tested the prevalent alternative explanation that the cue is sometimes confused with the target on a perceptual level, bolstering the shift of the psychometric function. We applied a novel model of cued temporal-order judgments, derived from Bundesen's Theory of Visual Attention. We found that cue–target confusions indeed contribute to shifting psychometric functions. However, cue-induced changes in the processing rates of the target stimuli play an important role, too. At smaller cueing intervals, the cue increased the processing speed of the target. At larger intervals, inhibition of return was predominant. Earlier studies of cued TOJs were insensitive to these effects because in psychometric distributions they are concealed by the conjoint effects of cue–target confusions and processing rate changes.

  13. An independent brain-computer interface using covert non-spatial visual selective attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Dan; Maye, Alexander; Gao, Xiaorong; Hong, Bo; Engel, Andreas K.; Gao, Shangkai

    2010-02-01

    In this paper, a novel independent brain-computer interface (BCI) system based on covert non-spatial visual selective attention of two superimposed illusory surfaces is described. Perception of two superimposed surfaces was induced by two sets of dots with different colors rotating in opposite directions. The surfaces flickered at different frequencies and elicited distinguishable steady-state visual evoked potentials (SSVEPs) over parietal and occipital areas of the brain. By selectively attending to one of the two surfaces, the SSVEP amplitude at the corresponding frequency was enhanced. An online BCI system utilizing the attentional modulation of SSVEP was implemented and a 3-day online training program with healthy subjects was carried out. The study was conducted with Chinese subjects at Tsinghua University, and German subjects at University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE) using identical stimulation software and equivalent technical setup. A general improvement of control accuracy with training was observed in 8 out of 18 subjects. An averaged online classification accuracy of 72.6 ± 16.1% was achieved on the last training day. The system renders SSVEP-based BCI paradigms possible for paralyzed patients with substantial head or ocular motor impairments by employing covert attention shifts instead of changing gaze direction.

  14. Ad-hoc and context-dependent adjustments of selective attention in conflict control: an ERP study with visual probes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nigbur, R; Schneider, J; Sommer, W; Dimigen, O; Stürmer, B

    2015-02-15

    Cognitive conflict control in flanker tasks has often been described using the zoom-lens metaphor of selective attention. However, whether and how selective attention - in terms of suppression and enhancement - operates in this context has remained unclear. To examine the dynamic interplay of selective attention and cognitive control we used electrophysiological measures and presented task-irrelevant visual probe stimuli at foveal, parafoveal, and peripheral display positions. Target-flanker congruency varied either randomly from trial to trial (mixed-block) or block-wise (fixed-block) in order to induce reactive versus proactive control modes, respectively. Three EEG measures were used to capture ad-hoc adjustments within trials as well as effects of context-based predictions: the N1 component of the visual evoked potential (VEP) to probes, the VEP to targets, and the conflict-related midfrontal N2 component. Results from probe-VEPs indicate that enhanced processing of the foveal target rather than suppression of the peripheral flankers supports interference control. In incongruent mixed-block trials VEPs were larger to probes near the targets. In the fixed-blocks probe-VEPs were not modulated, but contrary to the mixed-block the preceding target-related VEP was affected by congruency. Results of the control-related N2 reveal largest amplitudes in the unpredictable context, which did not differentiate for stimulus and response incongruency. In contrast, in the predictable context, N2 amplitudes were reduced overall and differentiated between stimulus and response incongruency. Taken together these results imply that predictability alters interference control by a reconfiguration of stimulus processing. During unpredictable sequences participants adjust their attentional focus dynamically on a trial-by-trial basis as reflected in congruency-dependent probe-VEP-modulation. This reactive control mode also elicits larger N2 amplitudes. In contrast, when task demands

  15. Altered resting-state frontoparietal control network in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Hsiang-Yuan; Tseng, Wen-Yih Isaac; Lai, Meng-Chuan; Matsuo, Kayako; Gau, Susan Shur-Fen

    2015-04-01

    The frontoparietal control network, anatomically and functionally interposed between the dorsal attention network and default mode network, underpins executive control functions. Individuals with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) commonly exhibit deficits in executive functions, which are mainly mediated by the frontoparietal control network. Involvement of the frontoparietal control network based on the anterior prefrontal cortex in neurobiological mechanisms of ADHD has yet to be tested. We used resting-state functional MRI and seed-based correlation analyses to investigate functional connectivity of the frontoparietal control network in a sample of 25 children with ADHD (7-14 years; mean 9.94 ± 1.77 years; 20 males), and 25 age-, sex-, and performance IQ-matched typically developing (TD) children. All participants had limited in-scanner head motion. Spearman's rank correlations were used to test the associations between altered patterns of functional connectivity with clinical symptoms and executive functions, measured by the Conners' Continuous Performance Test and Spatial Span in the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery. Compared with TD children, children with ADHD demonstrated weaker connectivity between the right anterior prefrontal cortex (PFC) and the right ventrolateral PFC, and between the left anterior PFC and the right inferior parietal lobule. Furthermore, this aberrant connectivity of the frontoparietal control network in ADHD was associated with symptoms of impulsivity and opposition-defiance, as well as impaired response inhibition and attentional control. The findings support potential integration of the disconnection model and the executive dysfunction model for ADHD. Atypical frontoparietal control network may play a pivotal role in the pathophysiology of ADHD.

  16. Altered regional homogeneity patterns in adults with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wang, Xunheng [School of Biological Science and Medical Engineering, Southeast University, Nanjing 210096 (China); Key Laboratory of Child Development and Learning Science (Ministry of Education), Southeast University, Nanjing 210096 (China); Jiao, Yun, E-mail: yunjiao@seu.edu.cn [Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Molecular Imaging and Functional Imaging, Department of Radiology, Zhongda Hospital, Medical School of Southeast University, Nanjing 210009 (China); Tang, Tianyu; Wang, Hui; Lu, Zuhong [School of Biological Science and Medical Engineering, Southeast University, Nanjing 210096 (China); Key Laboratory of Child Development and Learning Science (Ministry of Education), Southeast University, Nanjing 210096 (China)

    2013-09-15

    Purpose: Investigating the discriminative brain map for patients with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) based on feature selection and classifier; and identifying patients with ADHD based on the discriminative model. Materials and methods: A dataset of resting state fMRI contains 23 patients with ADHD and 23 healthy subjects were analyzed. Regional homogeneity (ReHo) was extracted from resting state fMRI signals and used as model inputs. Raw ReHo features were ranked and selected in a loop according to their p values. Selected features were trained and tested by support vector machines (SVM) in a cross validation procedure. Cross validation was repeated in feature selection loop to produce optimized model. Results: Optimized discriminative map indicated that the ADHD brains exhibit more increased activities than normal controls in bilateral occipital lobes and left front lobe. The altered brain regions included portions of basal ganglia, insula, precuneus, anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), posterior cingulate cortex (PCC), thalamus, and cerebellum. Correlation coefficients indicated significant positive correlation of inattentive scores with bilateral cuneus and precuneus, and significant negative correlation of hyperactive/impulsive scores with bilateral insula and claustrum. Additionally, the optimized model produced total accuracy of 80% and sensitivity of 87%. Conclusion: ADHD brain regions were more activated than normal controls during resting state. Linear support vector classifier can provide useful discriminative information of altered ReHo patterns for ADHD; and feature selection can improve the performances of classification.

  17. Face Orientation and Motion Differently Affect the Deployment of Visual Attention in Newborns and 4-Month-Old Infants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eloisa Valenza

    Full Text Available Orienting visual attention allows us to properly select relevant visual information from a noisy environment. Despite extensive investigation of the orienting of visual attention in infancy, it is unknown whether and how stimulus characteristics modulate the deployment of attention from birth to 4 months of age, a period in which the efficiency in orienting of attention improves dramatically. The aim of the present study was to compare 4-month-old infants' and newborns' ability to orient attention from central to peripheral stimuli that have the same or different attributes. In Experiment 1, all the stimuli were dynamic and the only attribute of the central and peripheral stimuli to be manipulated was face orientation. In Experiment 2, both face orientation and motion of the central and peripheral stimuli were contrasted. The number of valid trials and saccadic latency were measured at both ages. Our results demonstrated that the deployment of attention is mainly influenced by motion at birth, while it is also influenced by face orientation at 4-month of age. These findings provide insight into the development of the orienting visual attention in the first few months of life and suggest that maturation may be not the only factor that determines the developmental change in orienting visual attention from birth to 4 months.

  18. Visual attention in infant monkeys: effects of dietary fatty acids and age.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reisbick, S; Neuringer, M; Gohl, E; Wald, R; Anderson, G J

    1997-05-01

    Effects of dietary essential fatty acids on visual attention were explored longitudinally in infant rhesus monkeys with a visual paired-comparison paradigm. Sets of primate faces and of patterns were presented at Weeks 2, 5, 9, and 13 to 9 infants deficient in omega-3 fatty acids and 8 fed a standard nursery diet. Familiarization to 1 member of each pair preceded simultaneous presentation of both stimuli. Infants fed the deficient diet showed longer individual looks in both immediate and 24-hr tests. Duration of looks decreased with age to familiar but not to novel stimuli. The proportion of time looking at the novel stimulus (% novel) increased with age but was not affected by diet. Look duration and % novel were differentially affected and may reflect different underlying processes.

  19. Shape beyond recognition: form-derived directionality and its effects on visual attention and motion perception.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sigurdardottir, Heida M; Michalak, Suzanne M; Sheinberg, David L

    2014-02-01

    The shape of an object restricts its movements and therefore its future location. The rules governing selective sampling of the environment likely incorporate any available data, including shape, that provide information about where important things are going to be in the near future so that the object can be located, tracked, and sampled for information. We asked people to assess in which direction several novel objects pointed or directed them. With independent groups of people, we investigated whether their attention and sense of motion were systematically biased in this direction. Our work shows that nearly any novel object has intrinsic directionality derived from its shape. This shape information is swiftly and automatically incorporated into the allocation of overt and covert visual orienting and the detection of motion, processes that themselves are inherently directional. The observed connection between form and space suggests that shape processing goes beyond recognition alone and may help explain why shape is a relevant dimension throughout the visual brain.

  20. An independent brain-computer interface based on covert shifts of non-spatial visual attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Dan; Gao, Xiaorong; Gao, Shangkai; Engel, Andreas K; Maye, Alexander

    2009-01-01

    Modulation of steady-state visual evoked potential (SSVEP) by directing gaze to targets flickering at different frequencies has been utilized in many brain-computer interface (BCI) studies. However, this paradigm may not work with patients suffering from complete locked-in syndrome or other severe motor disabilities that do not allow conscious control of gaze direction. In this paper, we present a novel, independent BCI paradigm based on covert shift of non-spatial visual selective attention. Subjects viewed a display consisting of two spatially overlapping sets of randomly positioned dots. The two dot sets differed in color, motion and flickering frequency. Two types of motion, rotation and linear motion, were investigated. Both, the SSVEP amplitude and phase response were modulated by selectively attending to one of the two dot sets. Offline analysis revealed a predicted online classification accuracy of 69.3+/-10.2% for the rotating dots, and 80.7+/-10.4% for the linearly moving dots.

  1. Age-related changes in selective attention and perceptual load during visual search.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madden, David J; Langley, Linda K

    2003-03-01

    Three visual search experiments were conducted to test the hypothesis that age differences in selective attention vary as a function of perceptual load (E. A. Maylor & N. Lavie, 1998). Under resource-limited conditions (Experiments 1 and 2), the distraction from irrelevant display items generally decreased as display size (perceptual load) increased. This perceptual load effect was similar for younger and older adults, contrary to the findings of Maylor and Lavie. Distraction at low perceptual loads appeared to reflect both general and specific inhibitory mechanisms. Under more data-limited conditions (Experiment 3), an age-related decline in selective attention was evident, but the age difference was not attributable to capacity limitations as predicted by the perceptual load theory.

  2. Do dyslexic individuals present a reduced visual attention span? Evidence from visual recognition tasks of non-verbal multi-character arrays.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yeari, Menahem; Isser, Michal; Schiff, Rachel

    2016-06-21

    A controversy has recently developed regarding the hypothesis that developmental dyslexia may be caused, in some cases, by a reduced visual attention span (VAS). To examine this hypothesis, independent of phonological abilities, researchers tested the ability of dyslexic participants to recognize arrays of unfamiliar visual characters. Employing this test, findings were rather equivocal: dyslexic participants exhibited poor performance in some studies but normal performance in others. The present study explored four methodological differences revealed between the two sets of studies that might underlie their conflicting results. Specifically, in two experiments we examined whether a VAS deficit is (a) specific to recognition of multi-character arrays as wholes rather than of individual characters within arrays, (b) specific to characters' position within arrays rather than to characters' identity, or revealed only under a higher attention load due to (c) low-discriminable characters, and/or (d) characters' short exposure. Furthermore, in this study we examined whether pure dyslexic participants who do not have attention disorder exhibit a reduced VAS. Although comorbidity of dyslexia and attention disorder is common and the ability to sustain attention for a long time plays a major rule in the visual recognition task, the presence of attention disorder was neither evaluated nor ruled out in previous studies. Findings did not reveal any differences between the performance of dyslexic and control participants on eight versions of the visual recognition task. These findings suggest that pure dyslexic individuals do not present a reduced visual attention span.

  3. Color vision in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: a pilot visual evoked potential study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Soyeon; Banaschewski, Tobias; Tannock, Rosemary

    2015-01-01

    Individuals with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are reported to manifest visual problems (including ophthalmological and color perception, particularly for blue-yellow stimuli), but findings are inconsistent. Accordingly, this study investigated visual function and color perception in adolescents with ADHD using color Visual Evoked Potentials (cVEP), which provides an objective measure of color perception. Thirty-one adolescents (aged 13-18), 16 with a confirmed diagnosis of ADHD, and 15 healthy peers, matched for age, gender, and IQ participated in the study. All underwent an ophthalmological exam, as well as electrophysiological testing color Visual Evoked Potentials (cVEP), which measured the latency and amplitude of the neural P1 response to chromatic (blue-yellow, red-green) and achromatic stimuli. No intergroup differences were found in the ophthalmological exam. However, significantly larger P1 amplitude was found for blue and yellow stimuli, but not red/green or achromatic stimuli, in the ADHD group (particularly in the medicated group) compared to controls. Larger amplitude in the P1 component for blue-yellow in the ADHD group compared to controls may account for the lack of difference in color perception tasks. We speculate that the larger amplitude for blue-yellow stimuli in early sensory processing (P1) might reflect a compensatory strategy for underlying problems including compromised retinal input of s-cones due to hypo-dopaminergic tone. Copyright © 2014 Spanish General Council of Optometry. Published by Elsevier Espana. All rights reserved.

  4. Combined effects of attention and motivation on visual task performance: transient and sustained motivational effects

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    Jan B Engelmann

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available We investigated how the brain integrates motivational and attentional signals by using a neuroimaging paradigm that provided separate estimates for transient cue- and target-related signals, in addition to sustained block-related responses. Participants performed a Posner-type task in which an endogenous cue predicted target location on 70% of trials, while motivation was manipulated by varying magnitude and valence of a cash incentive linked to task performance. Our findings revealed increased detection performance (d’ as a function of incentive value. In parallel, brain signals revealed that increases in absolute incentive magnitude led to cue- and target-specific response modulations that were independent of sustained state effects across visual cortex, fronto-parietal regions, and subcortical regions. Interestingly, state-like effects of incentive were observed in several of these brain regions, too, suggesting that both transient and sustained fMRI signals may contribute to task performance. For both cue and block periods, the effects of administering incentives were correlated with individual trait measures of reward sensitivity. Taken together, our findings support the notion that motivation improves behavioral performance in a demanding attention task by enhancing evoked responses across a distributed set of anatomical sites, many of which have been previously implicated in attentional processing. However, the effect of motivation was not simply additive as the impact of absolute incentive was greater during invalid than valid trials in several brain regions, possibly because motivation had a larger effect on reorienting than orienting attentional mechanisms at these sites.

  5. The attraction of visual attention to texts in real-world scenes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Hsueh-Cheng; Pomplun, Marc

    2012-06-19

    When we look at real-world scenes, attention seems disproportionately attracted by texts that are embedded in these scenes, for instance, on signs or billboards. The present study was aimed at verifying the existence of this bias and investigating its underlying factors. For this purpose, data from a previous experiment were reanalyzed and four new experiments measuring eye movements during the viewing of real-world scenes were conducted. By pairing text objects with matching control objects and regions, the following main results were obtained: (a) Greater fixation probability and shorter minimum fixation distance of texts confirmed the higher attractiveness of texts; (b) the locations where texts are typically placed contribute partially to this effect; (c) specific visual features of texts, rather than typically salient features (e.g., color, orientation, and contrast), are the main attractors of attention; (d) the meaningfulness of texts does not add to their attentional capture; and (e) the attraction of attention depends to some extent on the observer's familiarity with the writing system and language of a given text.

  6. Eye-tracking of visual attention in web-based assessment using the Force Concept Inventory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Jing; Chen, Li; Fu, Zhao; Fritchman, Joseph; Bao, Lei

    2017-07-01

    This study used eye-tracking technology to investigate students’ visual attention while taking the Force Concept Inventory (FCI) in a web-based interface. Eighty nine university students were randomly selected into a pre-test group and a post-test group. Students took the 30-question FCI on a computer equipped with an eye-tracker. There were seven weeks of instruction between the pre- and post-test data collection. Students’ performance on the FCI improved significantly from pre-test to post-test. Meanwhile, the eye-tracking results reveal that the time students spent on taking the FCI test was not affected by student performance and did not change from pre-test to post-test. Analysis of students’ attention to answer choices shows that on the pre-test students primarily focused on the naïve choices and ignored the expert choices. On the post-test, although students had shifted their primary attention to the expert choices, they still kept a high level of attention to the naïve choices, indicating significant conceptual mixing and competition during problem solving. Outcomes of this study provide new insights on students’ conceptual development in learning physics.

  7. Exploring Visual Selective Attention towards Novel Stimuli in Alzheimer's Disease Patients

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    Sarah A. Chau

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Background: Alzheimer's disease (AD is associated with selective attention impairments, which could contribute to cognitive and functional deficits. Selective attention can be explored through examination of novelty preference. Aims: In this study, we quantified novelty preference in AD patients by measuring visual scanning behaviour using an eye tracking paradigm. Methods: Mild-to-moderate AD patients and elderly controls viewed slides containing novel and repeated images simultaneously. The outcome measure was time spent on specific images, with novelty preference defined by greater relative fixation time (RFT on novel versus repeated images. Cognitive status (Standardized Mini-Mental State Examination, SMMSE and attention (Digit Span, DS were also measured. Results: AD patients (age 79.2 ± 6.7 years, SMMSE 22.2 ± 4.0, n = 41 and controls (age 76.2 ± 6.4 years, SMMSE 28.1 ± 2.0, n = 24 were similar in age, education and sex. Compared with controls, AD patients had lower RFT on novel than on repeated images (F1,63 = 11.18, p = 0.001. Further, reduced RFT was associated with lower scores on SMMSE (r63 = 0.288, p = 0.020 and DS (r63 = 0.269, p = 0.030. Within individuals, novelty preference was detected in 92.3% of patients and in 100% of controls. Conclusion: These findings suggest that novelty preference, measured by visual scanning behaviour, can differentiate cognitively healthy and impaired people and may offer a nonverbal, less cognitively demanding method of assessing selective attention.

  8. Altered visual sensory fusion in children with reading difficulties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    González-Castro, P; Rodríguez, C; Núñez, J C; Vallejo, G; González-Pienda, J A

    2014-12-01

    Reading is a multi-sensory and multi-cognitive task, and its difficulties (e.g., dyslexia) are not a unitary disorder. There are probably a variety of manifestations that relate to the actual site of impairment. A randomized, pre-test/post-test nonequivalent-groups design was conducted over 4 months with three groups aged between 6 and 8 years. One group comprised 76 participants (34 boys, 42 girls) with reading difficulties and altered sensory fusion (RD+ASF), a second group was made up of 123 students (59 boys, 64 girls) with reading difficulties but without altered sensory fusion (RD), and a third group comprised 81 participants (39 boys, 42 girls) who were young readers (RL) without reading delay, paired with the RD group on reading level. The experimental groups received intervention in the skills of control, stimulus recognition, and phonological awareness during a 4-month period. Both pre-test and post-test measures of errors in reading mechanics and reading routes (word and pseudo-word) were obtained. Poorer results in mechanics and reading routes of the RD+ASF group suggest that the effectiveness of the intervention depended on the characteristics of the groups and on the presence of sensory fusion deficits in the RD students.

  9. Altered glial gene expression, density, and architecture in the visual cortex upon retinal degeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cornett, Ashley; Sucic, Joseph F; Hillsburg, Dylan; Cyr, Lindsay; Johnson, Catherine; Polanco, Anthony; Figuereo, Joe; Cabine, Kenneth; Russo, Nickole; Sturtevant, Ann; Jarvinen, Michael K

    2011-11-08

    Genes encoding the proteins of cytoskeletal intermediate filaments (IF) are tightly regulated, and they are important for establishing neural connections. However, it remains uncertain to what extent neurological disease alters IF gene expression or impacts cells that express IFs. In this study, we determined the onset of visual deficits in a mouse model of progressive retinal degeneration (Pde6b(-) mice; Pde6b(+) mice have normal vision) by observing murine responses to a visual task throughout development, from postnatal day (PND) 21 to adult (N=174 reliable observations). Using Q-PCR, we evaluated whether expression of the genes encoding two Type III IF proteins, glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and vimentin was altered in the visual cortex before, during, and after the onset of visual deficits. Using immunohistochemical techniques, we investigated the impact of vision loss on the density and morphology of astrocytes that expressed GFAP and vimentin in the visual cortex. We found that Pde6b(-) mice displayed 1) evidence of blindness at PND 49, with visual deficits detected at PND 35, 2) reduced GFAP mRNA expression in the visual cortex between PND 28 and PND 49, and 3) an increased ratio of vimentin:GFAP-labeled astrocytes at PND 49 with reduced GFAP cell body area. Together, these findings demonstrate that retinal degeneration modifies cellular and molecular indices of glial plasticity in a visual system with drastically reduced visual input. The functional consequences of these structural changes remain uncertain.

  10. Cognitive aging on latent constructs for visual processing capacity: a novel structural equation modeling framework with causal assumptions based on a theory of visual attention

    OpenAIRE

    Nielsen, Simon; Wilms, L. Inge

    2015-01-01

    We examined the effects of normal aging on visual cognition in a sample of 112 healthy adults aged 60–75. A testbattery was designed to capture high-level measures of visual working memory and low-level measures of visuospatial attention and memory. To answer questions of how cognitive aging affects specific aspects of visual processing capacity, we used confirmatory factor analyses in Structural Equation Modeling (SEM; Model 2), informed by functional structures that were modeled with path a...

  11. Visual cortex plasticity evokes excitatory alterations in the hippocampus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marian Tsanov

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available The integration of episodic sequences in the hippocampus is believed to occur during theta rhythm episodes, when cortico-hippocampal dialog results in reconfiguration of neuronal assemblies. As the visual cortex (VC is a major source of sensory information to the hippocampus, information processing in the cortex may affect hippocampal network oscillations, facilitating the induction of synaptic modifications. We investigated to what degree the field activity in the primary VC, elicited by sensory or electrical stimulation, correlates with hippocampal oscillatory and synaptic responsiveness, in freely behaving adult rats. We found that the spectral power of theta rhythm (4-10Hz in the dentate gyrus (DG, increases in parallel with high-frequency oscillations in layer 2/3 of the VC and that this correlation depends on the degree of exploratory activity. When we mimic robust thalamocortical activity by theta-burst application to dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus, a hippocampal theta increase occurs, followed by a persistent potentiation of the DG granule field population spike. Furthermore, the potentiation of DG neuronal excitability tightly correlates with the concurrently occurring VC plasticity. The concurrent enhancement of VC and DG activity is also combined with a highly negative synchronization between hippocampal and cortical low frequency oscillations. Exploration of familiar environment decreases the degree of this synchrony. Our data propose that novel visual information can induce high-power fluctuations in intrinsic excitability for both VC and hippocampus, potent enough to induce experience-dependent modulation of cortico-hippocampal connections. This interaction may comprise one of the endogenous triggers for long-term synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus.

  12. Perceptive visual attention model based on depth information for free viewpoint video rendering

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Min-Chul; Son, Jung-Young

    2009-05-01

    How to detect meaningful video representation becomes an interesting problem in various research communities. Visual attention system detects "Region of Interesting" from input video sequence. Generally the attended regions correspond to visually prominent object in the image in video sequence. In this paper, we have improved previous approaches using spatiotemporal attention modules. We proposed to make use of 3D depth map information in addition to spatiotemporal features. Therefore, the proposed method can compensate typical spatiotemporal saliency approaches for their inaccuracy. Motion is important cue when we derive temporal saliency. On the other hand noise information that deteriorates accuracy of temporal saliency is also obtained during the computation. To obtain the saliency map with more accuracy the noise should be removed. In order to settle down the problem, we used the result of psychological studies on "double opponent receptive field" and "noise filtration" in Middle Temporal area. We also applied "FlagMap" on each frame to prevent "Flickering" of global-area noise. As a result of this consideration, our system can detect the salient regions in the image with higher accuracy while removing noise effectively. It has been applied to several image sequences as a result the proposed method can describe the salient regions with more accuracy in another higher domain than the typical approach does. The obtained result can be applied to generate a spontaneous viewpoint offered by the system itself for "3-D imaging projector" or 3-DTV.

  13. Executive control of stimulus-driven and goal-directed attention in visual working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Yanmei; Allen, Richard J; Baddeley, Alan D; Hitch, Graham J

    2016-10-01

    We examined the role of executive control in stimulus-driven and goal-directed attention in visual working memory using probed recall of a series of objects, a task that allows study of the dynamics of storage through analysis of serial position data. Experiment 1 examined whether executive control underlies goal-directed prioritization of certain items within the sequence. Instructing participants to prioritize either the first or final item resulted in improved recall for these items, and an increase in concurrent task difficulty reduced or abolished these gains, consistent with their dependence on executive control. Experiment 2 examined whether executive control is also involved in the disruption caused by a post-series visual distractor (suffix). A demanding concurrent task disrupted memory for all items except the most recent, whereas a suffix disrupted only the most recent items. There was no interaction when concurrent load and suffix were combined, suggesting that deploying selective attention to ignore the distractor did not draw upon executive resources. A final experiment replicated the independent interfering effects of suffix and concurrent load while ruling out possible artifacts. We discuss the results in terms of a domain-general episodic buffer in which information is retained in a transient, limited capacity privileged state, influenced by both stimulus-driven and goal-directed processes. The privileged state contains the most recent environmental input together with goal-relevant representations being actively maintained using executive resources.

  14. The role of different cues in the brain mechanism on visual spatial attention

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    SONG Weiqun; LUO Yuejia; CHI Song; JI Xunming; LING Feng; ZHAO Lun; WANG Maobin; SHI Jiannong

    2006-01-01

    The visual spatial attention mechanism in the brain was studied in 16 young subjects through the visual search paradigm of precue-target by the event-related potential (ERP) technique, with the attentive ranges cued by different scales of Chinese character and region cues. The results showed that the response time for Chinese character cues was much longer than that for region cues especially for small region cues. With the exterior interferences, the target stimuli recognition under region cues was much quicker than that under Chinese character cues. Compared with that under region cues, targets under Chinese character cues could lead to increase of the posterior P1,decrease of the N1 and increase of the P2. It should also be noted that the differences between region cues and Chinese character cues were affected by the interference types. Under exterior interferences, no significant difference was found between region cues and Chinese character cues; however, it was not the case under the interior interferences. Considering the difference between the exterior interferences and the interior interferences, we could conclude that with the increase of difficulty in target recognition there was obvious difference in the consumption of anterior frontal resources by target stimuli under the two kinds of cues.

  15. Acute stress alters auditory selective attention in humans independent of HPA: a study of evoked potentials.

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    Ludger Elling

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Acute stress is a stereotypical, but multimodal response to a present or imminent challenge overcharging an organism. Among the different branches of this multimodal response, the consequences of glucocorticoid secretion have been extensively investigated, mostly in connection with long-term memory (LTM. However, stress responses comprise other endocrine signaling and altered neuronal activity wholly independent of pituitary regulation. To date, knowledge of the impact of such "paracorticoidal" stress responses on higher cognitive functions is scarce. We investigated the impact of an ecological stressor on the ability to direct selective attention using event-related potentials in humans. Based on research in rodents, we assumed that a stress-induced imbalance of catecholaminergic transmission would impair this ability. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The stressor consisted of a single cold pressor test. Auditory negative difference (Nd and mismatch negativity (MMN were recorded in a tonal dichotic listening task. A time series of such tasks confirmed an increased distractibility occurring 4-7 minutes after onset of the stressor as reflected by an attenuated Nd. Salivary cortisol began to rise 8-11 minutes after onset when no further modulations in the event-related potentials (ERP occurred, thus precluding a causal relationship. This effect may be attributed to a stress-induced activation of mesofrontal dopaminergic projections. It may also be attributed to an activation of noradrenergic projections. Known characteristics of the modulation of ERP by different stress-related ligands were used for further disambiguation of causality. The conjuncture of an attenuated Nd and an increased MMN might be interpreted as indicating a dopaminergic influence. The selective effect on the late portion of the Nd provides another tentative clue for this. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Prior studies have deliberately tracked the adrenocortical influence

  16. Image Mapping and Visual Attention on the Sensory Ego-Sphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fleming, Katherine Achim; Peters, Richard Alan, II

    2012-01-01

    The Sensory Ego-Sphere (SES) is a short-term memory for a robot in the form of an egocentric, tessellated, spherical, sensory-motor map of the robot s locale. Visual attention enables fast alignment of overlapping images without warping or position optimization, since an attentional point (AP) on the composite typically corresponds to one on each of the collocated regions in the images. Such alignment speeds analysis of the multiple images of the area. Compositing and attention were performed two ways and compared: (1) APs were computed directly on the composite and not on the full-resolution images until the time of retrieval; and (2) the attentional operator was applied to all incoming imagery. It was found that although the second method was slower, it produced consistent and, thereby, more useful APs. The SES is an integral part of a control system that will enable a robot to learn new behaviors based on its previous experiences, and that will enable it to recombine its known behaviors in such a way as to solve related, but novel, task problems with apparent creativity. The approach is to combine sensory-motor data association and dimensionality reduction to learn navigation and manipulation tasks as sequences of basic behaviors that can be implemented with a small set of closed-loop controllers. Over time, the aggregate of behaviors and their transition probabilities form a stochastic network. Then given a task, the robot finds a path in the network that leads from its current state to the goal. The SES provides a short-term memory for the cognitive functions of the robot, association of sensory and motor data via spatio-temporal coincidence, direction of the attention of the robot, navigation through spatial localization with respect to known or discovered landmarks, and structured data sharing between the robot and human team members, the individuals in multi-robot teams, or with a C3 center.

  17. Effects of working memory load on visual selective attention: Behavioral and electrophysiological evidence

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    Nikki ePratt

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Working memory and attention interact in a way that enables us to focus on relevant items and maintain current goals. The influence of working memory on attention has been noted in several studies using dual task designs. Multitasking increases the demands on working memory and reduces the amount of resources available for cognitive control functions such as resolving stimulus conflict. However, few studies have investigated the temporal activation of the cortex while multitasking. The present study addresses the extent to which working memory load influences early (P1 and late (P300 attention-sensitive event-related potential (ERP components using a dual task paradigm. Participants performed an arrow flanker task alone (single task condition or concurrently with a Sternberg memory task (dual task condition. In the flanker task, participants responded to the direction of a central arrow surrounded by congruent or incongruent arrows. In the dual task condition, participants were presented with a Sternberg task that consisted of either 4 or 7 consonants to remember prior to a short block of flanker trials. Participants were slower and less accurate on incongruent versus congruent trials. Furthermore, accuracy on incongruent trials was reduced in both dual task conditions. Likewise, P300 amplitude to incongruent flanker stimuli decreased when working memory load increased. These findings suggest that interference from incongruent flankers was more difficult to suppress when working memory was taxed. In addition, P1 amplitude was diminished on all flanker trials in the dual task condition. This result indicates that top-down attentional control over early visual processing is diminished by increasing demands on working memory. Both the behavioral and electrophysiological results suggest that working memory is critical in maintaining attentional focus and resolving conflict.

  18. Feature-based and spatial attentional selection in visual working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heuer, Anna; Schubö, Anna

    2016-05-01

    The contents of visual working memory (VWM) can be modulated by spatial cues presented during the maintenance interval ("retrocues"). Here, we examined whether attentional selection of representations in VWM can also be based on features. In addition, we investigated whether the mechanisms of feature-based and spatial attention in VWM differ with respect to parallel access to noncontiguous locations. In two experiments, we tested the efficacy of valid retrocues relying on different kinds of information. Specifically, participants were presented with a typical spatial retrocue pointing to two locations, a symbolic spatial retrocue (numbers mapping onto two locations), and two feature-based retrocues: a color retrocue (a blob of the same color as two of the items) and a shape retrocue (an outline of the shape of two of the items). The two cued items were presented at either contiguous or noncontiguous locations. Overall retrocueing benefits, as compared to a neutral condition, were observed for all retrocue types. Whereas feature-based retrocues yielded benefits for cued items presented at both contiguous and noncontiguous locations, spatial retrocues were only effective when the cued items had been presented at contiguous locations. These findings demonstrate that attentional selection and updating in VWM can operate on different kinds of information, allowing for a flexible and efficient use of this limited system. The observation that the representations of items presented at noncontiguous locations could only be reliably selected with feature-based retrocues suggests that feature-based and spatial attentional selection in VWM rely on different mechanisms, as has been shown for attentional orienting in the external world.

  19. Four-Month-Old Infants' Visual Investigation of Cats and Dogs: Relations with Pet Experience and Attentional Strategy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kovack-Lesh, Kristine A.; McMurray, Bob; Oakes, Lisa M.

    2014-01-01

    We assessed the eye-movements of 4-month-old infants (N = 38) as they visually inspected pairs of images of cats or dogs. In general, infants who had previous experience with pets exhibited more sophisticated inspection than did infants without pet experience, both directing more visual attention to the informative head regions of the animals,…

  20. You see what you have learned. Evidence for an interrelation of associative learning and visual selective attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feldmann-Wüstefeld, Tobias; Uengoer, Metin; Schubö, Anna

    2015-11-01

    Besides visual salience and observers' current intention, prior learning experience may influence deployment of visual attention. Associative learning models postulate that observers pay more attention to stimuli previously experienced as reliable predictors of specific outcomes. To investigate the impact of learning experience on deployment of attention, we combined an associative learning task with a visual search task and measured event-related potentials of the EEG as neural markers of attention deployment. In the learning task, participants categorized stimuli varying in color/shape with only one dimension being predictive of category membership. In the search task, participants searched a shape target while disregarding irrelevant color distractors. Behavioral results showed that color distractors impaired performance to a greater degree when color rather than shape was predictive in the learning task. Neurophysiological results show that the amplified distraction was due to differential attention deployment (N2pc). Experiment 2 showed that when color was predictive for learning, color distractors captured more attention in the search task (ND component) and more suppression of color distractor was required (PD component). The present results thus demonstrate that priority in visual attention is biased toward predictive stimuli, which allows learning experience to shape selection. We also show that learning experience can overrule strong top-down control (blocked tasks, Experiment 3) and that learning experience has a longer-term effect on attention deployment (tasks on two successive days, Experiment 4).

  1. Investigating an Application of Speech-to-Text Recognition: A Study on Visual Attention and Learning Behaviour

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Y-M.; Liu, C-J.; Shadiev, Rustam; Shen, M-H.; Hwang, W-Y.

    2015-01-01

    One major drawback of previous research on speech-to-text recognition (STR) is that most findings showing the effectiveness of STR for learning were based upon subjective evidence. Very few studies have used eye-tracking techniques to investigate visual attention of students on STR-generated text. Furthermore, not much attention was paid to…

  2. The effect of 10 Hz repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation of posterior parietal cortex on visual attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dombrowe, Isabel; Juravle, Georgiana; Alavash, Mohsen; Gießing, Carsten; Hilgetag, Claus C

    2015-01-01

    Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) of the posterior parietal cortex (PPC) at frequencies lower than 5 Hz transiently inhibits the stimulated area. In healthy participants, such a protocol can induce a transient attentional bias to the visual hemifield ipsilateral to the stimulated hemisphere. This bias might be due to a relatively less active stimulated hemisphere and a relatively more active unstimulated hemisphere. In a previous study, Jin and Hilgetag (2008) tried to switch the attention bias from the hemifield ipsilateral to the hemifield contralateral to the stimulated hemisphere by applying high frequency rTMS. High frequency rTMS has been shown to excite, rather than inhibit, the stimulated brain area. However, the bias to the ipsilateral hemifield was still present. The participants' performance decreased when stimuli were presented in the hemifield contralateral to the stimulation site. In the present study we tested if this unexpected result was related to the fact that participants were passively resting during stimulation rather than performing a task. Using a fully crossed factorial design, we compared the effects of high frequency rTMS applied during a visual detection task and high frequency rTMS during passive rest on the subsequent offline performance in the same detection task. Our results were mixed. After sham stimulation, performance was better after rest than after task. After active 10 Hz rTMS, participants' performance was overall better after task than after rest. However, this effect did not reach statistical significance. The comparison of performance after rTMS with task and performance after sham stimulation with task showed that 10 Hz stimulation significantly improved performance in the whole visual field. Thus, although we found a trend to better performance after rTMS with task than after rTMS during rest, we could not reject the hypothesis that high frequency rTMS with task and high frequency rTMS during rest

  3. The effect of 10 Hz repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation of posterior parietal cortex on visual attention.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Isabel Dombrowe

    Full Text Available Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS of the posterior parietal cortex (PPC at frequencies lower than 5 Hz transiently inhibits the stimulated area. In healthy participants, such a protocol can induce a transient attentional bias to the visual hemifield ipsilateral to the stimulated hemisphere. This bias might be due to a relatively less active stimulated hemisphere and a relatively more active unstimulated hemisphere. In a previous study, Jin and Hilgetag (2008 tried to switch the attention bias from the hemifield ipsilateral to the hemifield contralateral to the stimulated hemisphere by applying high frequency rTMS. High frequency rTMS has been shown to excite, rather than inhibit, the stimulated brain area. However, the bias to the ipsilateral hemifield was still present. The participants' performance decreased when stimuli were presented in the hemifield contralateral to the stimulation site. In the present study we tested if this unexpected result was related to the fact that participants were passively resting during stimulation rather than performing a task. Using a fully crossed factorial design, we compared the effects of high frequency rTMS applied during a visual detection task and high frequency rTMS during passive rest on the subsequent offline performance in the same detection task. Our results were mixed. After sham stimulation, performance was better after rest than after task. After active 10 Hz rTMS, participants' performance was overall better after task than after rest. However, this effect did not reach statistical significance. The comparison of performance after rTMS with task and performance after sham stimulation with task showed that 10 Hz stimulation significantly improved performance in the whole visual field. Thus, although we found a trend to better performance after rTMS with task than after rTMS during rest, we could not reject the hypothesis that high frequency rTMS with task and high frequency r

  4. Executive Function, Visual Attention and the Cocktail Party Problem in Musicians and Non-Musicians

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    Clayton, Kameron K.; Swaminathan, Jayaganesh; Yazdanbakhsh, Arash; Zuk, Jennifer; Patel, Aniruddh D.; Kidd, Gerald

    2016-01-01

    The goal of this study was to investigate how cognitive factors influence performance in a multi-talker, “cocktail-party” like environment in musicians and non-musicians. This was achieved by relating performance in a spatial hearing task to cognitive processing abilities assessed using measures of executive function (EF) and visual attention in musicians and non-musicians. For the spatial hearing task, a speech target was presented simultaneously with two intelligible speech maskers that were either colocated with the target (0° azimuth) or were symmetrically separated from the target in azimuth (at ±15°). EF assessment included measures of cognitive flexibility, inhibition control and auditory working memory. Selective attention was assessed in the visual domain using a multiple object tracking task (MOT). For the MOT task, the observers were required to track target dots (n = 1,2,3,4,5) in the presence of interfering distractor dots. Musicians performed significantly better than non-musicians in the spatial hearing task. For the EF measures, musicians showed better performance on measures of auditory working memory compared to non-musicians. Furthermore, across all individuals, a significant correlation was observed between performance on the spatial hearing task and measures of auditory working memory. This result suggests that individual differences in performance in a cocktail party-like environment may depend in part on cognitive factors such as auditory working memory. Performance in the MOT task did not differ between groups. However, across all individuals, a significant correlation was found between performance in the MOT and spatial hearing tasks. A stepwise multiple regression analysis revealed that musicianship and performance on the MOT task significantly predicted performance on the spatial hearing task. Overall, these findings confirm the relationship between musicianship and cognitive factors including domain-general selective attention and

  5. Capturing and holding attention: the impact of emotional words in rapid serial visual presentation.

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    Mathewson, Karen J; Arnell, Karen M; Mansfield, Craig A

    2008-01-01

    When two masked, to-be-attended targets are presented within approximately 500 msec of each other, accurate report of the second target (T2) suffers more than when targets are presented farther apart in time--an attentional blink (AB). In the present study, the AB was found to be larger when taboo words were presented as a first target (T1), as compared with the AB found when emotionally neutral, negative, or positive words were presented as T1, suggesting that taboo words received preferential attentional processing. Comparable results were also obtained when taboo words were presented as to-be-ignored distractors in single-target rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP). Arousal, but not valence, ratings of the emotional words predicted accuracy on subsequent targets in both dual- and single-task RSVP. Recognition memory for taboo words accounted fully for the negative relationships between arousal ratings and accuracy on subsequent targets, suggesting that arousal-triggered changes in attentional allocation influenced encoding of taboo words at the time they were encountered.

  6. Effects of the hallucinogen psilocybin on covert orienting of visual attention in humans.

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    Gouzoulis-Mayfrank, E; Thelen, B; Maier, S; Heekeren, K; Kovar, K-A; Sass, H; Spitzer, M

    2002-01-01

    Hallucinogenic drug-induced states are considered as models for acute schizophrenic disorders (experimental psychoses). In a double-blind study with healthy volunteers we investigated the influence of the serotonergic hallucinogen psilocybin, the ecstasy-like drug 3,4-methylenedioxyethylamphetamine (MDE), the stimulant d- methamphetamine and placebo on covert orienting of spatial attention (n = 8 in each group). Reaction times were prolonged after ingestion of psilocybin > MDE, but not after d-methamphetamine. In addition, subjects on psilocybin exhibited particularly slow reaction times in invalid trials at short cue target intervals and failure of response inhibition in valid trials at long cue target intervals for right visual field targets. Despite some methodological limitations, these results are in line with both bilateral impairment of disengagement of attention and a lateralized impairment of inhibition of return (IOR) in productive psychotic states. Additional investigations with larger samples, different hallucinogenic substances (serotonergic agonists vs. NMDA antagonists) and different dose regimens are needed in order to further explore the suggested relationship between visuospatial attentional dysfunction and acute psychotic conditions.

  7. Visual social attention in autism spectrum disorder: insights from eye tracking studies.

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    Guillon, Quentin; Hadjikhani, Nouchine; Baduel, Sophie; Rogé, Bernadette

    2014-05-01

    We review different aspects of visual social attention in autism spectrum disorders (ASD) from infancy to adulthood in light of the eye-tracking literature. We first assess the assumption that individuals with ASD demonstrate a deficit in social orienting together with decreased attention to socially relevant stimuli such as faces compared to TD individuals. Results show that social orienting is actually not qualitatively impaired and that decreased attention to faces does not generalized across contexts. We also assess the assumption that individuals with ASD demonstrate excess mouth and diminished eye gaze compared to TD individuals. We find that this assumption receives little support across ages and discuss some factors that might have initially lead to this conjecture. We report that the assessment of the ability to follow the direction of another person's gaze needs to be further examined and that eye-tracking studies add to the evidence that individuals with ASD demonstrate difficulties in interpreting gaze cues. Finally, we highlight innovative data acquisition and analyses that are increasingly shedding light on the more subtle nature of the profound social difficulties experienced by individuals with ASD.

  8. Data of ERPs and spectral alpha power when attention is engaged on visual or verbal/auditory imagery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mario Villena-González

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available This article provides data from statistical analysis of event-related brain potentials (ERPs and spectral power from 20 participants during three attentional conditions. Specifically, P1, N1 and P300 amplitude of ERP were compared when participant׳s attention was oriented to an external task, to a visual imagery and to an inner speech. The spectral power from alpha band was also compared in these three attentional conditions. These data are related to the research article where sensory processing of external information was compared during these three conditions entitled “Orienting attention to visual or verbal/auditory imagery differentially impairs the processing of visual stimuli” (Villena-Gonzalez et al., 2016 [1].

  9. Patient assessment based on a theory of visual attention (TVA): subtle deficits after a right frontal-subcortical lesion.

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    Habekost, Thomas; Bundesen, Claus

    2003-01-01

    We report on a patient who complained of reduced awareness in the left visual field, but showed no visual neglect or extinction in clinical testing. By MR scanning, the brain damage was localized to the right basal ganglia, also involving structures in right frontal cortex. Using psychophysical testing and mathematical modeling based on Bundesen's theory of visual attention [TVA; Psychol. Rev. 97 (1990) 523], the patient's subjective experience of attentional disturbance was confirmed, and the deficit was specified into several components. At very short exposure durations, two effects were shown. The detection threshold was elevated, particularly in the left visual field, and stimuli in this side were given less attentional weight. In addition, the capacity of visual short-term memory (VSTM) was markedly reduced in both visual fields. The robustness of the test results was evaluated by bootstrap analysis. The study demonstrates the sensitivity and specificity gained by combining psychophysical testing with TVA modeling in the analysis of visual attention disorders. Extending the results of a pioneer study of parietal neglect patients by Duncan et al. [J. Exp. Psychol.: Gen. 128 (1999) 450], this study demonstrates the strength of the method in a single case, with a lesion outside parietal cortex, and only minor clinical symptoms.

  10. A gaze independent hybrid-BCI based on visual spatial attention

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    Egan, John M.; Loughnane, Gerard M.; Fletcher, Helen; Meade, Emma; Lalor, Edmund C.

    2017-08-01

    Objective. Brain-computer interfaces (BCI) use measures of brain activity to convey a user’s intent without the need for muscle movement. Hybrid designs, which use multiple measures of brain activity, have been shown to increase the accuracy of BCIs, including those based on EEG signals reflecting covert attention. Our study examined whether incorporating a measure of the P3 response improved the performance of a previously reported attention-based BCI design that incorporates measures of steady-state visual evoked potentials (SSVEP) and alpha band modulations. Approach. Subjects viewed stimuli consisting of two bi-laterally located flashing white boxes on a black background. Streams of letters were presented sequentially within the boxes, in random order. Subjects were cued to attend to one of the boxes without moving their eyes, and they were tasked with counting the number of target-letters that appeared within. P3 components evoked by target appearance, SSVEPs evoked by the flashing boxes, and power in the alpha band are modulated by covert attention, and the modulations can be used to classify trials as left-attended or right-attended. Main Results. We showed that classification accuracy was improved by including a P3 feature along with the SSVEP and alpha features (the inclusion of a P3 feature lead to a 9% increase in accuracy compared to the use of SSVEP and Alpha features alone). We also showed that the design improves the robustness of BCI performance to individual subject differences. Significance. These results demonstrate that incorporating multiple neurophysiological indices of covert attention can improve performance in a gaze-independent BCI.

  11. A bio-inspired method and system for visual object-based attention and segmentation

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    Huber, David J.; Khosla, Deepak

    2010-04-01

    This paper describes a method and system of human-like attention and object segmentation in visual scenes that (1) attends to regions in a scene in their rank of saliency in the image, (2) extracts the boundary of an attended proto-object based on feature contours, and (3) can be biased to boost the attention paid to specific features in a scene, such as those of a desired target object in static and video imagery. The purpose of the system is to identify regions of a scene of potential importance and extract the region data for processing by an object recognition and classification algorithm. The attention process can be performed in a default, bottom-up manner or a directed, top-down manner which will assign a preference to certain features over others. One can apply this system to any static scene, whether that is a still photograph or imagery captured from video. We employ algorithms that are motivated by findings in neuroscience, psychology, and cognitive science to construct a system that is novel in its modular and stepwise approach to the problems of attention and region extraction, its application of a flooding algorithm to break apart an image into smaller proto-objects based on feature density, and its ability to join smaller regions of similar features into larger proto-objects. This approach allows many complicated operations to be carried out by the system in a very short time, approaching real-time. A researcher can use this system as a robust front-end to a larger system that includes object recognition and scene understanding modules; it is engineered to function over a broad range of situations and can be applied to any scene with minimal tuning from the user.

  12. More than meets the eye: visual attention biases in individuals reporting chronic pain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fashler SR

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Samantha R Fashler, Joel Katz Department of Psychology, York University, Toronto, ON, CanadaAbstract: The present study used eye-tracking technology to assess whether individuals who report chronic pain direct more attention to sensory pain-related words than do pain-free individuals. A total of 113 participants (51 with chronic pain, 62 pain-free were recruited. Participants completed a dot-probe task, viewing neutral and sensory pain-related words while their reaction time and eye movements were recorded. Eye-tracking data were analyzed by mixed-design analysis of variance with group (chronic pain versus pain-free as the between-subjects factor, and word type (sensory pain versus neutral as the within-subjects factor. Results showed a significant main effect for word type: all participants attended to pain-related words more than neutral words on several eye-tracking parameters. The group main effect was significant for number of fixations, which was greater in the chronic pain group. Finally, the group by word type interaction effect was significant for average visit duration, number of fixations, and total late-phase duration, all greater for sensory pain versus neutral words in the chronic pain group. As well, participants with chronic pain fixated significantly more frequently on pain words than did pain-free participants. In contrast, none of the effects for reaction time were significant. The results support the hypothesis that individuals with chronic pain display specific attentional biases toward pain-related stimuli and demonstrate the value of eye-tracking technology in measuring differences in visual attention variables.Keywords: attention, chronic pain, dot-probe task, eye-tracking

  13. Generating a taxonomy of spatially cued attention for visual discrimination: Effects of judgment precision and set size on attention

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    Hetley, Richard; Dosher, Barbara Anne; Lu, Zhong-Lin

    2014-01-01

    Attention precues improve the performance of perceptual tasks in many but not all circumstances. These spatial attention effects may depend upon display set size or workload, and have been variously attributed to external noise filtering, stimulus enhancement, contrast gain, or response gain, or to uncertainty or other decision effects. In this study, we document systematically different effects of spatial attention in low- and high-precision judgments, with and without external noise, and in different set sizes in order to contribute to the development of a taxonomy of spatial attention. An elaborated perceptual template model (ePTM) provides an integrated account of a complex set of effects of spatial attention with just two attention factors: a set-size dependent exclusion or filtering of external noise and a narrowing of the perceptual template to focus on the signal stimulus. These results are related to the previous literature by classifying the judgment precision and presence of external noise masks in those experiments, suggesting a taxonomy of spatially cued attention in discrimination accuracy. PMID:24939234

  14. Altered white matter in early visual pathways of humans with amblyopia.

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    Allen, Brian; Spiegel, Daniel P; Thompson, Benjamin; Pestilli, Franco; Rokers, Bas

    2015-09-01

    Amblyopia is a visual disorder caused by poorly coordinated binocular input during development. Little is known about the impact of amblyopia on the white matter within the visual system. We studied the properties of six major visual white-matter pathways in a group of adults with amblyopia (n=10) and matched controls (n=10) using diffusion weighted imaging (DWI) and fiber tractography. While we did not find significant differences in diffusion properties in cortico-cortical pathways, patients with amblyopia exhibited increased mean diffusivity in thalamo-cortical visual pathways. These findings suggest that amblyopia may systematically alter the white matter properties of early visual pathways. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. A Closed-Loop Model of Operator Visual Attention, Situation Awareness, and Performance Across Automation Mode Transitions.

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    Johnson, Aaron W; Duda, Kevin R; Sheridan, Thomas B; Oman, Charles M

    2017-03-01

    This article describes a closed-loop, integrated human-vehicle model designed to help understand the underlying cognitive processes that influenced changes in subject visual attention, mental workload, and situation awareness across control mode transitions in a simulated human-in-the-loop lunar landing experiment. Control mode transitions from autopilot to manual flight may cause total attentional demands to exceed operator capacity. Attentional resources must be reallocated and reprioritized, which can increase the average uncertainty in the operator's estimates of low-priority system states. We define this increase in uncertainty as a reduction in situation awareness. We present a model built upon the optimal control model for state estimation, the crossover model for manual control, and the SEEV (salience, effort, expectancy, value) model for visual attention. We modify the SEEV attention executive to direct visual attention based, in part, on the uncertainty in the operator's estimates of system states. The model was validated using the simulated lunar landing experimental data, demonstrating an average difference in the percentage of attention ≤3.6% for all simulator instruments. The model's predictions of mental workload and situation awareness, measured by task performance and system state uncertainty, also mimicked the experimental data. Our model supports the hypothesis that visual attention is influenced by the uncertainty in system state estimates. Conceptualizing situation awareness around the metric of system state uncertainty is a valuable way for system designers to understand and predict how reallocations in the operator's visual attention during control mode transitions can produce reallocations in situation awareness of certain states.

  16. Scale-Free Brain Networks Based on the Event-Related Potential during Visual Spatial Attention

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LI Ling; JIN Zhen-Lan

    2011-01-01

    @@ The human brain is thought of as one of the most complex dynamical systems in the universe.The network view of the dynamical system has emerged since the discovery of scale-free networks.Brain functional networks, which represent functional associations among brain regions, are extracted by measuring the temporal correlations from electroencephalogram data.We measure the topological properties of the brain functional network, including degree distribution, average degree, clustering coefficient and the shortest path length, to compare the networks of multi-channel event-related potential activity between visual spatial attention and unattention conditions.It is found that the degree distribution of the brain functional networks under both the conditions is a power law distribution, which reflects a scale-free property.Moreover, the scaling exponent of the attention condition is significantly smaller than that of the unattention condition.However, the degree distribution of equivalent random networks does not follow the power law distribution.In addition, the clustering coefficient of these random networks is smaller than those of brain networks, and the shortest path length of these random networks is large and comparable with those of brain networks.Our results, typical of scale-free networks, indicate that the scaling exponent of brain activity could reflect different cognitive processes.%The human brain is thought of as one of the most complex dynamical systems in the universe. The network view of the dynamical system has emerged since the discovery of scale-free networks. Brain functional networks, which represent functional associations among brain regions, are extracted by measuring the temporal correlations from electroencephalogram data. We measure the topological properties of the brain functional network, including degree distribution, average degree, clustering coefficient and the shortest path length, to compare the networks of multi-channel event

  17. Visual Attention in Flies-Dopamine in the Mushroom Bodies Mediates the After-Effect of Cueing.

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    Koenig, Sebastian; Wolf, Reinhard; Heisenberg, Martin

    2016-01-01

    Visual environments may simultaneously comprise stimuli of different significance. Often such stimuli require incompatible responses. Selective visual attention allows an animal to respond exclusively to the stimuli at a certain location in the visual field. In the process of establishing its focus of attention the animal can be influenced by external cues. Here we characterize the behavioral properties and neural mechanism of cueing in the fly Drosophila melanogaster. A cue can be attractive, repulsive or ineffective depending upon (e.g.) its visual properties and location in the visual field. Dopamine signaling in the brain is required to maintain the effect of cueing once the cue has disappeared. Raising or lowering dopamine at the synapse abolishes this after-effect. Specifically, dopamine is necessary and sufficient in the αβ-lobes of the mushroom bodies. Evidence is provided for an involvement of the αβposterior Kenyon cells.

  18. Visual Attention in Flies—Dopamine in the Mushroom Bodies Mediates the After-Effect of Cueing

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    Koenig, Sebastian; Wolf, Reinhard; Heisenberg, Martin

    2016-01-01

    Visual environments may simultaneously comprise stimuli of different significance. Often such stimuli require incompatible responses. Selective visual attention allows an animal to respond exclusively to the stimuli at a certain location in the visual field. In the process of establishing its focus of attention the animal can be influenced by external cues. Here we characterize the behavioral properties and neural mechanism of cueing in the fly Drosophila melanogaster. A cue can be attractive, repulsive or ineffective depending upon (e.g.) its visual properties and location in the visual field. Dopamine signaling in the brain is required to maintain the effect of cueing once the cue has disappeared. Raising or lowering dopamine at the synapse abolishes this after-effect. Specifically, dopamine is necessary and sufficient in the αβ-lobes of the mushroom bodies. Evidence is provided for an involvement of the αβposterior Kenyon cells. PMID:27571359

  19. Divided visual attention: A comparison of patients with multiple sclerosis and controls, assessed with an optokinetic nystagmus suppression task.

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    Williams, Isla M; Schofield, Peter; Khade, Neha; Abel, Larry A

    2016-12-01

    Multiple sclerosis (MS) frequently causes impairment of cognitive function. We compared patients with MS with controls on divided visual attention tasks. The MS patients' and controls' stare optokinetic nystagmus (OKN) was recorded in response to a 24°/s full field stimulus. Suppression of the OKN response, judged by the gain, was measured during tasks dividing visual attention between the fixation target and a second stimulus, central or peripheral, static or dynamic. All participants completed the Audio Recorded Cognitive Screen. MS patients had lower gain on the baseline stare OKN. OKN suppression in divided attention tasks was the same in MS patients as in controls but in both groups was better maintained in static than in dynamic tasks. In only dynamic tasks, older age was associated with less effective OKN suppression. MS patients had lower scores on a timed attention task and on memory. There was no significant correlation between attention or memory and eye movement parameters. Attention, a complex multifaceted construct, has different neural combinations for each task. Despite impairments on some measures of attention, MS patients completed the divided visual attention tasks normally.

  20. Interocular Shift of Visual Attention Enhances Stereopsis and Visual Acuities of Anisometropic Amblyopes beyond the Critical Period of Visual Development: A Novel Approach

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    Liwen Huang

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Aims. Increasing evidence shows that imbalanced suppressive drive prior to binocular combination may be the key factor in amblyopia. We described a novel binocular approach, interocular shift of visual attention (ISVA, for treatment of amblyopia in adult patients. Methods. Visual stimuli were presented anaglyphically on a computer screen. A square target resembling Landolt C had 2 openings, one in red and one in cyan color. Through blue-red goggles, each eye could only see one of the two openings. The patient was required to report the location of the opening presented to the amblyopic eye. It started at an opening size of 800 sec of arc, went up and down in 160 sec of arc step, and stopped when reaching the 5th reversals. Ten patients with anisometropic amblyopia older than age 14 (average age: 26.7 were recruited and received ISVA treatment for 6 weeks, with 2 training sessions per day. Results. Both Titmus stereopsis (z=-2.809, P=0.005 and Random-dot stereopsis (z=-2.317, P=0.018 were significantly improved. Average improvement in best corrected visual acuity (BCVA was 0.74 line (t=5.842, P<0.001. Conclusions. The ISVA treatment may be effective in treating amblyopia and restoring stereoscopic function.