Knight, Helen C; Smith, Daniel T; Knight, David C; Ellison, Amanda
Attentional control settings have an important role in guiding visual behaviour. Previous work within cognitive psychology has found that the deployment of general attentional control settings can be modulated by training. However, research has not yet established whether long-term modifications of one particular type of attentional control setting can be induced. To address this, we investigated persistent alterations to feature search mode, also known as an attentional bias, towards an arbitrary stimulus in healthy participants. Subjects were biased towards the colour green by an information sheet. Attentional bias was assessed using a change detection task. After an interval of either 1 or 2 weeks, participants were then retested on the same change detection task, tested on a different change detection task where colour was irrelevant, or were biased towards an alternative colour. One experiment included trials in which the distractor stimuli (but never the target stimuli) were green. The key finding was that green stimuli in the second task attracted attention, despite this impairing task performance. Furthermore, inducing a second attentional bias did not override the initial bias toward green objects. The attentional bias also persisted for at least two weeks. It is argued that this persistent attentional bias is mediated by a chronic change to participants' attentional control settings, which is aided by long-term representations involving contextual cueing. We speculate that similar changes to attentional control settings and continuous cueing may relate to attentional biases observed in psychopathologies. Targeting these biases may be a productive approach to treatment.
Barbot, Antoine; Carrasco, Marisa
The ability to swiftly detect and prioritize the processing of relevant information around us is critical for the way we interact with our environment. Selective attention is a key mechanism that serves this purpose, improving performance in numerous visual tasks. Reflexively attending to sudden information helps detect impeding threat or danger, a possible reason why emotion modulates the way selective attention affects perception. For instance, the sudden appearance of a fearful face potentiates the effects of exogenous (involuntary, stimulus-driven) attention on performance. Internal states such as trait anxiety can also modulate the impact of attention on early visual processing. However, attention does not only improve performance; it also alters the way visual information appears to us, e.g. by enhancing perceived contrast. Here we show that emotion potentiates the effects of exogenous attention on both performance and perceived contrast. Moreover, we found that trait anxiety mediates these effects, with stronger influences of attention and emotion in anxious observers. Finally, changes in performance and appearance correlated with each other, likely reflecting common attentional modulations. Altogether, our findings show that emotion and anxiety interact with selective attention to truly alter how we see.
Harris, Jill; Kamke, Marc R
Selective attention fundamentally alters sensory perception, but little is known about the functioning of attention in individuals who use a cochlear implant. This study aimed to investigate visual and auditory attention in adolescent cochlear implant users. Event related potentials were used to investigate the influence of attention on visual and auditory evoked potentials in six cochlear implant users and age-matched normally-hearing children. Participants were presented with streams of alternating visual and auditory stimuli in an oddball paradigm: each modality contained frequently presented 'standard' and infrequent 'deviant' stimuli. Across different blocks attention was directed to either the visual or auditory modality. For the visual stimuli attention boosted the early N1 potential, but this effect was larger for cochlear implant users. Attention was also associated with a later P3 component for the visual deviant stimulus, but there was no difference between groups in the later attention effects. For the auditory stimuli, attention was associated with a decrease in N1 latency as well as a robust P3 for the deviant tone. Importantly, there was no difference between groups in these auditory attention effects. The results suggest that basic mechanisms of auditory attention are largely normal in children who are proficient cochlear implant users, but that visual attention may be altered. Ultimately, a better understanding of how selective attention influences sensory perception in cochlear implant users will be important for optimising habilitation strategies. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
de Heering, Adélaïde; Dormal, Giulia; Pelland, Maxime; Lewis, Terri; Maurer, Daphne; Collignon, Olivier
Is a short and transient period of visual deprivation early in life sufficient to induce lifelong changes in how we attend to, and integrate, simple visual and auditory information [1, 2]? This question is of crucial importance given the recent demonstration in both animals and humans that a period of blindness early in life permanently affects the brain networks dedicated to visual, auditory, and multisensory processing [1-16]. To address this issue, we compared a group of adults who had been treated for congenital bilateral cataracts during early infancy with a group of normally sighted controls on a task requiring simple detection of lateralized visual and auditory targets, presented alone or in combination. Redundancy gains obtained from the audiovisual conditions were similar between groups and surpassed the reaction time distribution predicted by Miller's race model. However, in comparison to controls, cataract-reversal patients were faster at processing simple auditory targets and showed differences in how they shifted attention across modalities. Specifically, they were faster at switching attention from visual to auditory inputs than in the reverse situation, while an opposite pattern was observed for controls. Overall, these results reveal that the absence of visual input during the first months of life does not prevent the development of audiovisual integration but enhances the salience of simple auditory inputs, leading to a different crossmodal distribution of attentional resources between auditory and visual stimuli. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Evans, K.K.; Horowitz, T.S.; Howe, P.; Pedersini, R.; Reijnen, E.; Pinto, Y.; Wolfe, J.M.
A typical visual scene we encounter in everyday life is complex and filled with a huge amount of perceptual information. The term, ‘visual attention’ describes a set of mechanisms that limit some processing to a subset of incoming stimuli. Attentional mechanisms shape what we see and what we can act
Evans, Karla K; Horowitz, Todd S; Howe, Piers; Pedersini, Roccardo; Reijnen, Ester; Pinto, Yair; Kuzmova, Yoana; Wolfe, Jeremy M
A typical visual scene we encounter in everyday life is complex and filled with a huge amount of perceptual information. The term, 'visual attention' describes a set of mechanisms that limit some processing to a subset of incoming stimuli. Attentional mechanisms shape what we see and what we can act upon. They allow for concurrent selection of some (preferably, relevant) information and inhibition of other information. This selection permits the reduction of complexity and informational overload. Selection can be determined both by the 'bottom-up' saliency of information from the environment and by the 'top-down' state and goals of the perceiver. Attentional effects can take the form of modulating or enhancing the selected information. A central role for selective attention is to enable the 'binding' of selected information into unified and coherent representations of objects in the outside world. In the overview on visual attention presented here we review the mechanisms and consequences of selection and inhibition over space and time. We examine theoretical, behavioral and neurophysiologic work done on visual attention. We also discuss the relations between attention and other cognitive processes such as automaticity and awareness. WIREs Cogni Sci 2011 2 503-514 DOI: 10.1002/wcs.127 For further resources related to this article, please visit the WIREs website. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Marques-Carneiro, J E; Faure, J-B; Barbelivien, A; Nehlig, A; Cassel, J-C
Even if considered benign, absence epilepsy may alter memory and attention, sometimes subtly. Very little is known on behavior and cognitive functions in the Genetic Absence Epilepsy Rats from Strasbourg (GAERS) model of absence epilepsy. We focused on different memory systems and sustained visual attention, using Non Epileptic Controls (NECs) and Wistars as controls. A battery of cognitive/behavioral tests was used. The functionality of reference, working, and procedural memory was assessed in the Morris water maze (MWM), 8-arm radial maze, T-maze and/or double-H maze. Sustained visual attention was evaluated in the 5-choice serial reaction time task. In the MWM, GAERS showed delayed learning and less efficient working memory. In the 8-arm radial maze and T-maze tests, working memory performance was normal in GAERS, although most GAERS preferred an egocentric strategy (based on proprioceptive/kinesthetic information) to solve the task, but could efficiently shift to an allocentric strategy (based on spatial cues) after protocol alteration. Procedural memory and visual attention were mostly unimpaired. Absence epilepsy has been associated with some learning problems in children. In GAERS, the differences in water maze performance (slower learning of the reference memory task and weak impairment of working memory) and in radial arm maze strategies suggest that cognitive alterations may be subtle, task-specific, and that normal performance can be a matter of strategy adaptation. Altogether, these results strengthen the "face validity" of the GAERS model: in humans with absence epilepsy, cognitive alterations are not easily detectable, which is compatible with subtle deficits. Copyright © 2016 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Daniel Thomas Jäger
Full Text Available The Broaden-and-Build Theory states that positive emotions broaden cognition and therefore build personal resources. However, missing theoretical precision regarding the interaction of the cognitive processes involved offers a variety of possible explanations for the mechanisms of broadening and building. In Experiment 1 we tested the causality assumption which states that positive emotions first broaden visual attention which in turn leads to broadened cognition. We examined the effects of a broadened, narrowed or neutral attentional scope of 72 subjects (30 men on their momentary thought-action repertoire. Results showed that there were no significant differences between groups regarding the breadth or the content of the thought-action repertoire. In Experiment 2 we studied the non-causality hypothesis which assumes a non-causal relationship between cognitive processes. We did so by investigating the effects of negative, neutral, and positive affect on the visual attentional scope of 85 subjects (41 men in Experiment 2a, as well as on the thought-action repertoire of 85 participants (42 men in Experiment 2b. Results revealed an attentional broadening effect in Experiment 2a but no differences between groups concerning the breadth of the thought-action repertoire in Experiment 2b. However, a theory driven content analysis showed that positive affect promoted social actions whereas negative affect endorsed resource protecting actions. Thus, our results favor the non-causality assumption. Moreover, results indicate that positive emotions do not target personal resources in general but rather resources associated with social behavior. In conclusion, we argue that the Broaden-and-Build Theory should be refined.
LaRoche, Ronee B; Morgan, Russell E
Over the past two decades the use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) to treat behavioral disorders in children has grown rapidly, despite little evidence regarding the safety and efficacy of these drugs for use in children. Utilizing a rat model, this study investigated whether post-weaning exposure to a prototype SSRI, fluoxetine (FLX), influenced performance on visual tasks designed to measure discrimination learning, sustained attention, inhibitory control, and reaction time. Additionally, sex differences in response to varying doses of fluoxetine were examined. In Experiment 1, female rats were administered (P.O.) fluoxetine (10 mg/kg ) or vehicle (apple juice) from PND 25 thru PND 49. After a 14 day washout period, subjects were trained to perform a simultaneous visual discrimination task. Subjects were then tested for 20 sessions on a visual attention task that consisted of varied stimulus delays (0, 3, 6, or 9 s) and cue durations (200, 400, or 700 ms). In Experiment 2, both male and female Long-Evans rats (24 F, 24 M) were administered fluoxetine (0, 5, 10, or 15 mg/kg) then tested in the same visual tasks used in Experiment 1, with the addition of open-field and elevated plus-maze testing. Few FLX-related differences were seen in the visual discrimination, open field, or plus-maze tasks. However, results from the visual attention task indicated a dose-dependent reduction in the performance of fluoxetine-treated males, whereas fluoxetine-treated females tended to improve over baseline. These findings indicate that enduring, behaviorally-relevant alterations of the CNS can occur following pharmacological manipulation of the serotonin system during postnatal development.
Castellanos, E H; Charboneau, E; Dietrich, M S; Park, S; Bradley, B P; Mogg, K; Cowan, R L
The major aim of this study was to investigate whether the motivational salience of food cues (as reflected by their attention-grabbing properties) differs between obese and normal-weight subjects in a manner consistent with altered reward system function in obesity. A total of 18 obese and 18 normal-weight, otherwise healthy, adult women between the ages of 18 and 35 participated in an eye-tracking paradigm in combination with a visual probe task. Eye movements and reaction time to food and non-food images were recorded during both fasted and fed conditions in a counterbalanced design. Eating behavior and hunger level were assessed by self-report measures. Obese individuals had higher scores than normal-weight individuals on self-report measures of responsiveness to external food cues and vulnerability to disruptions in control of eating behavior. Both obese and normal-weight individuals demonstrated increased gaze duration for food compared to non-food images in the fasted condition. In the fed condition, however, despite reduced hunger in both groups, obese individuals maintained the increased attention to food images, whereas normal-weight individuals had similar gaze duration for food and non-food images. Additionally, obese individuals had preferential orienting toward food images at the onset of each image. Obese and normal-weight individuals did not differ in reaction time measures in the fasted or fed condition. Food cue incentive salience is elevated equally in normal-weight and obese individuals during fasting. Obese individuals retain incentive salience for food cues despite feeding and decreased self-report of hunger. Sensitization to food cues in the environment and their dysregulation in obese individuals may play a role in the development and/or maintenance of obesity.
Finke, Kathrin; Neitzel, Julia; Bäuml, Josef G; Redel, Petra; Müller, Hermann J; Meng, Chun; Jaekel, Julia; Daamen, Marcel; Scheef, Lukas; Busch, Barbara; Baumann, Nicole; Boecker, Henning; Bartmann, Peter; Habekost, Thomas; Wolke, Dieter; Wohlschläger, Afra; Sorg, Christian
Although pronounced and lasting deficits in selective attention have been observed for preterm born individuals it is unknown which specific attentional sub-mechanisms are affected and how they relate to brain networks. We used the computationally specified 'Theory of Visual Attention' together with whole- and partial-report paradigms to compare attentional sub-mechanisms of pre- (n=33) and full-term (n=32) born adults. Resting-state fMRI was used to evaluate both between-group differences and inter-individual variance in changed functional connectivity of intrinsic brain networks relevant for visual attention. In preterm born adults, we found specific impairments of visual short-term memory (vSTM) storage capacity while other sub-mechanisms such as processing speed or attentional weighting were unchanged. Furthermore, changed functional connectivity was found in unimodal visual and supramodal attention-related intrinsic networks. Among preterm born adults, the individual pattern of changed connectivity in occipital and parietal cortices was systematically associated with vSTM in such a way that the more distinct the connectivity differences, the better the preterm adults' storage capacity. These findings provide first evidence for selectively changed attentional sub-mechanisms in preterm born adults and their relation to altered intrinsic brain networks. In particular, data suggest that cortical changes in intrinsic functional connectivity may compensate adverse developmental consequences of prematurity on visual short-term storage capacity. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Bundesen, Claus; Habekost, Thomas
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......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....... 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...
Mathot, Sebastiaan; Theeuwes, Jan
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
Nagamatsu, Lindsay S.; Munkacsy, Michelle; Liu-Ambrose, Teresa; Handy, Todd C.
Executive cognitive functions play a critical role in falls risk – a pressing health care issue in seniors. In particular, intact attentional processing is integral for safe mobility and navigation. However, the specific contribution of impaired visual-spatial attention in falls remains unclear. In this study, we examined the association between visual-spatial attention to task-irrelevant stimuli and falls risk in community-dwelling older adults. Participants completed a visual target discrimination task at fixation while task-irrelevant probes were presented in both visual fields. We assessed attention to left and right peripheral probes using event-related potentials (ERPs). Falls risk was determined using the valid and reliable Physiological Profile Assessment (PPA). We found a significantly positive association between reduced attentional facilitation, as measured by the N1 ERP component, and falls risk. This relationship was specific to probes presented in the left visual field and measured at ipsilateral electrode sites. Our results suggest that fallers exhibit reduced attention to the left side of visual space and provide evidence that impaired right hemispheric function and/or structure may contribute to falls. PMID:24436970
Habekost, Thomas; Starrfelt, Randi
Psychophysical studies have identified two distinct limitations of visual attention capacity: processing speed and apprehension span. Using a simple test, these cognitive factors can be analyzed by Bundesen's Theory of Visual Attention (TVA). The method has strong specificity and sensitivity......, and measurements are highly reliable. As the method is theoretically founded, it also has high validity. TVA-based assessment has recently been used to investigate a broad range of neuropsychological and neurological conditions. We present the method, including the experimental paradigm and practical guidelines...... 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...
Keenan, Kevin G; Huddleston, Wendy E; Ernest, Bradley E
The purpose of the study was to determine the visual strategies used by older adults during a pinch grip task and to assess the relations between visual strategy, deficits in attention, and increased force fluctuations in older adults. Eye movements of 23 older adults (>65 yr) were monitored during a low-force pinch grip task while subjects viewed three common visual feedback displays. Performance on the Grooved Pegboard test and an attention task (which required no concurrent hand movements) was also measured. Visual strategies varied across subjects and depended on the type of visual feedback provided to the subjects. First, while viewing a high-gain compensatory feedback display (horizontal bar moving up and down with force), 9 of 23 older subjects adopted a strategy of performing saccades during the task, which resulted in 2.5 times greater force fluctuations in those that exhibited saccades compared with those who maintained fixation near the target line. Second, during pursuit feedback displays (force trace moving left to right across screen and up and down with force), all subjects exhibited multiple saccades, and increased force fluctuations were associated ( r s = 0.6; P = 0.002) with fewer saccades during the pursuit task. Also, decreased low-frequency (attention z scores. Comparison of these results with our previously published results in young subjects indicates that saccadic eye movements and attention are related to force control in older adults. NEW & NOTEWORTHY The significant contributions of the study are the addition of eye movement data and an attention task to explain differences in hand motor control across different visual displays in older adults. Older participants used different visual strategies across varying feedback displays, and saccadic eye movements were related with motor performance. In addition, those older individuals with deficits in attention had impaired motor performance on two different hand motor control tasks, including
Bosse, T.; Lambalgen, R. van; Maanen, P.P. van; Treur, J.
In this paper a system for visual attention manipulation is introduced and formally described. This system is part of the design of a software agent that supports naval crew in her task to compile a tactical picture of the situation in the field. A case study is described in hich the system is used
Terreros, Gonzalo; Jorratt, Pascal; Aedo, Cristian; Elgoyhen, Ana Belén; Delano, Paul H
During selective attention, subjects voluntarily focus their cognitive resources on a specific stimulus while ignoring others. Top-down filtering of peripheral sensory responses by higher structures of the brain has been proposed as one of the mechanisms responsible for selective attention. A prerequisite to accomplish top-down modulation of the activity of peripheral structures is the presence of corticofugal pathways. The mammalian auditory efferent system is a unique neural network that originates in the auditory cortex and projects to the cochlear receptor through the olivocochlear bundle, and it has been proposed to function as a top-down filter of peripheral auditory responses during attention to cross-modal stimuli. However, to date, there is no conclusive evidence of the involvement of olivocochlear neurons in selective attention paradigms. Here, we trained wild-type and α-9 nicotinic receptor subunit knock-out (KO) mice, which lack cholinergic transmission between medial olivocochlear neurons and outer hair cells, in a two-choice visual discrimination task and studied the behavioral consequences of adding different types of auditory distractors. In addition, we evaluated the effects of contralateral noise on auditory nerve responses as a measure of the individual strength of the olivocochlear reflex. We demonstrate that KO mice have a reduced olivocochlear reflex strength and perform poorly in a visual selective attention paradigm. These results confirm that an intact medial olivocochlear transmission aids in ignoring auditory distraction during selective attention to visual stimuli. The auditory efferent system is a neural network that originates in the auditory cortex and projects to the cochlear receptor through the olivocochlear system. It has been proposed to function as a top-down filter of peripheral auditory responses during attention to cross-modal stimuli. However, to date, there is no conclusive evidence of the involvement of olivocochlear
Wang, Wenguan; Shen, Jianbing
In this work, we aim to predict human eye fixation with view-free scenes based on an end-to-end deep learning architecture. Although Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) have made substantial improvement on human attention prediction, it is still needed to improve CNN based attention models by efficiently leveraging multi-scale features. Our visual attention network is proposed to capture hierarchical saliency information from deep, coarse layers with global saliency information to shallow, fine layers with local saliency response. Our model is based on a skip-layer network structure, which predicts human attention from multiple convolutional layers with various reception fields. Final saliency prediction is achieved via the cooperation of those global and local predictions. Our model is learned in a deep supervision manner, where supervision is directly fed into multi-level layers, instead of previous approaches of providing supervision only at the output layer and propagating this supervision back to earlier layers. Our model thus incorporates multi-level saliency predictions within a single network, which significantly decreases the redundancy of previous approaches of learning multiple network streams with different input scales. Extensive experimental analysis on various challenging benchmark datasets demonstrate our method yields state-of-the-art performance with competitive inference time.
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
Moore, Tirin; Zirnsak, Marc
Selective visual attention describes the tendency of visual processing to be confined largely to stimuli that are relevant to behavior. It is among the most fundamental of cognitive functions, particularly in humans and other primates for whom vision is the dominant sense. We review recent progress in identifying the neural mechanisms of selective visual attention. We discuss evidence from studies of different varieties of selective attention and examine how these varieties alter the processing of stimuli by neurons within the visual system, current knowledge of their causal basis, and methods for assessing attentional dysfunctions. In addition, we identify some key questions that remain in identifying the neural mechanisms that give rise to the selective processing of visual information.
Perceptual organization--the processes structuring visual information into coherent units--and visual attention--the processes by which some visual information in a scene is selected--are crucial for the perception of our visual environment and to visuomotor behavior. Recent research points to important relations between attentional and organizational processes. Several studies demonstrated that perceptual organization constrains attentional selectivity, and other studies suggest that attention can also constrain perceptual organization. In this chapter I focus on two aspects of the relationship between perceptual organization and attention. The first addresses the question of whether or not perceptual organization can take place without attention. I present findings demonstrating that some forms of grouping and figure-ground segmentation can occur without attention, whereas others require controlled attentional processing, depending on the processes involved and the conditions prevailing for each process. These findings challenge the traditional view, which assumes that perceptual organization is a unitary entity that operates preattentively. The second issue addresses the question of whether perceptual organization can affect the automatic deployment of attention. I present findings showing that the mere organization of some elements in the visual field by Gestalt factors into a coherent perceptual unit (an "object"), with no abrupt onset or any other unique transient, can capture attention automatically in a stimulus-driven manner. Taken together, the findings discussed in this chapter demonstrate the multifaceted, interactive relations between perceptual organization and visual attention.
Gvozdenović Vasilije P.
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.
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 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...
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.
Battistoni, E.; Stein, T.; Peelen, M.V.
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
88-0551 Visual Motion Perception and Visual Attentive Processes George Spering , New YorkUnivesity A -cesson For DTIC TAB rant AFOSR 85-0364... Spering . HIPSt: A Unix-based image processing syslem. Computer Vision, Graphics, and Image Processing, 1984,25. 331-347. ’HIPS is the Human Information...Processing Laboratory’s Image Processing System. 1985 van Santen, Jan P. It, and George Spering . Elaborated Reichardt detectors. Journal of the Optical
Battistoni, Elisa; Stein, Timo; Peelen, Marius V
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.
Gvozdenović Vasilije P.
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 constru...
Wyble, Brad; Potter, Mary C.; Bowman, Howard; Nieuwenstein, Mark
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
Jolij, Jacob; Meurs, Maaike
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
Parks, Emily L.
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
Kreutzer, Sylvia; Fink, Gereon R; Weidner, Ralph
The current study determined in healthy subjects (n = 16) whether size adaptation occurs at early, i.e., preattentive, levels of processing or whether higher cognitive processes such as attention can modulate the illusion. To investigate this issue, bottom-up stimulation was kept constant across conditions by using a single adaptation display containing both small and large adapter stimuli. Subjects' attention was directed to either the large or small adapter stimulus by means of a luminance detection task. When attention was directed toward the small as compared to the large adapter, the perceived size of the subsequent target was significantly increased. Data suggest that different size adaptation effects can be induced by one and the same stimulus depending on the current allocation of attention. This indicates that size adaptation is subject to attentional modulation. These findings are in line with previous research showing that transient as well as sustained attention modulates visual features, such as contrast sensitivity and spatial frequency, and influences adaptation in other contexts, such as motion adaptation (Alais & Blake, 1999; Lankheet & Verstraten, 1995). Based on a recently suggested model (Pooresmaeili, Arrighi, Biagi, & Morrone, 2013), according to which perceptual adaptation is based on local excitation and inhibition in V1, we conclude that guiding attention can boost these local processes in one or the other direction by increasing the weight of the attended adapter. In sum, perceptual adaptation, although reflected in changes of neural activity at early levels (as shown in the aforementioned study), is nevertheless subject to higher-order modulation.
Healey, Christopher G; Enns, James T
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.
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
Visual attention is the collection of mechanisms by which relevant visual information is selected, and irrelevant visual information is ignored. Visual working memory is the mechanism by which relevant visual information is retained, and irrelevant information is suppressed. In addition to this
Olivers, C.N.L.; Meijer, F.; Theeuwes, J.
In 7 experiments, the authors explored whether visual attention (the ability to select relevant visual information) and visual working memory (the ability to retain relevant visual information) share the same content representations. The presence of singleton distractors interfered more strongly
Wang, Leiquan; Chu, Xiaoliang; Zhang, Weishan; Wei, Yiwei; Sun, Weichen; Wu, Chunlei
Image captioning with a natural language has been an emerging trend. However, the social image, associated with a set of user-contributed tags, has been rarely investigated for a similar task. The user-contributed tags, which could reflect the user attention, have been neglected in conventional image captioning. Most existing image captioning models cannot be applied directly to social image captioning. In this work, a dual attention model is proposed for social image captioning by combining the visual attention and user attention simultaneously.Visual attention is used to compress a large mount of salient visual information, while user attention is applied to adjust the description of the social images with user-contributed tags. Experiments conducted on the Microsoft (MS) COCO dataset demonstrate the superiority of the proposed method of dual attention.
Full Text Available Image captioning with a natural language has been an emerging trend. However, the social image, associated with a set of user-contributed tags, has been rarely investigated for a similar task. The user-contributed tags, which could reflect the user attention, have been neglected in conventional image captioning. Most existing image captioning models cannot be applied directly to social image captioning. In this work, a dual attention model is proposed for social image captioning by combining the visual attention and user attention simultaneously.Visual attention is used to compress a large mount of salient visual information, while user attention is applied to adjust the description of the social images with user-contributed tags. Experiments conducted on the Microsoft (MS COCO dataset demonstrate the superiority of the proposed method of dual attention.
Van der Burg, Erik; Nieuwenstein, Mark R.; Theeuwes, Jan; Olivers, Christian N. L.
In the present study we investigated whether a task-irrelevant distractor can induce a visual attentional blink pattern. Participants were asked to detect only a visual target letter (A, B, or C) and to ignore the preceding auditory, visual, or audiovisual distractor. An attentional blink was
Koelewijn, T.; Bronkhorst, A.W.; Theeuwes, J.
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
Koelewijn, Thomas; Bronkhorst, Adelbert; Theeuwes, Jan
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 have not differentiated between capture by onsets…
Nieuwenhuis, S.; Donner, T.H.
Goals are represented in prefrontal cortex and modulate sensory processing in visual cortex. A new study combines TMS, fMRI and EEG to understand how feedback improves retention of behaviorally relevant visual information.
Mayo, J Patrick
The classical model of visual processing emphasizes the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN) as the major intermediary between the retina and visual cortex. Yet, anatomical findings inspired Francis Crick to suggest an alternative model in which the thalamic reticular nucleus, which envelops the LGN, acts as the "guardian" of visual cortex by modulating LGN activity. Recent work by McAlonan and colleagues supports Crick's hypothesis, thereby enhancing our understanding of the early stages of visual processing.
Richard, Annette E; Lajiness-O'Neill, Renee
Abnormal visual attention has been frequently observed in autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Abnormal shifting of visual attention is related to abnormal development of social cognition and has been identified as a key neuropsychological finding in ASD. Better characterizing attention shifting in ASD and its relationship with social functioning may help to identify new targets for intervention and improving social communication in these disorders. Thus, the current study investigated deficits in attention shifting in ASD as well as relationships between attention shifting and social communication in ASD and neurotypicals (NT). To investigate deficits in visual attention shifting in ASD, 20 ASD and 20 age- and gender-matched NT completed visual search (VS) and Navon tasks with attention-shifting demands as well as a set-shifting task. VS was a feature search task with targets defined in one of two dimensions; Navon required identification of a target letter presented at the global or local level. Psychomotor and processing speed were entered as covariates. Relationships between visual attention shifting, set shifting, and social functioning were also examined. ASD and NT showed comparable costs of shifting attention. However, psychomotor and processing speed were slower in ASD than in NT, and psychomotor and processing speed were positively correlated with attention-shifting costs on Navon and VS, respectively, for both groups. Attention shifting on VS and Navon were correlated among NT, while attention shifting on Navon was correlated with set shifting among ASD. Attention-shifting costs on Navon were positively correlated with restricted and repetitive behaviors among ASD. Relationships between attention shifting and psychomotor and processing speed, as well as relationships between measures of different aspects of visual attention shifting, suggest inefficient top-down influences over preattentive visual processing in ASD. Inefficient attention shifting may be
When observers perform a visual search task, they are assumed to adopt an attentional set for what they are looking for. The present experiment investigates the influence of long-term visual memory associations on this attentional set. On each trial, observers were asked to search a display for a
Self, M.W.; Roelfsema, P.R.
Sudden changes in our visual field capture our attention so that we are faster and more accurate in our responses to that region of space. The underlying mechanisms by which these behavioral improvements occur are unknown. Here we investigate the level of the visual system at which attentional
Mayo, J. Patrick
The classical model of visual processing emphasizes the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN) as the major intermediary between the retina and visual cortex. Yet, anatomical findings inspired Francis Crick to suggest an alternative model in which the thalamic reticular nucleus, which envelops the LGN, acts as the “guardian” of visual cortex by modulating LGN activity. Recent work by McAlonan and colleagues supports Crick's hypothesis, thereby enhancing our understanding of the early stages of visu...
Le Callet, Patrick; Niebur, Ernst
Making technological advances in the field of human-machine interactions requires that the capabilities and limitations of the human perceptual system are taken into account. The focus of this report is an important mechanism of perception, visual selective attention, which is becoming more and more important for multimedia applications. We introduce the concept of visual attention and describe its underlying mechanisms. In particular, we introduce the concepts of overt and covert visual atte...
Habekost, Thomas; Rostrup, Egill
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...
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......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...... 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....
Bundesen, Claus; Habekost, Thomas; Kyllingsbæk, Søren
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...
Webb, Taylor W.; Igelström, Kajsa M.; Schurger, Aaron; Graziano, Michael S. A.
Do specific areas of the brain participate in subjective visual experience? We measured brain activity in humans using fMRI. Participants were aware of a visual stimulus in one condition and unaware of it in another condition. The two conditions were balanced for their effect on visual attention. Specific brain areas were more active in the aware than in the unaware condition, suggesting they were involved in subjective awareness independent of attention. The largest cluster of activity was f...
Koelewijn, T.; Bronkhorst, A.W.; Theeuwes, J.
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 have not differentiated between capture by onsets presented at a nontarget (invalid) location and possible performance benefits occurring when the target location is (validly) cued. In this study, th...
Olivers, Christian N. L.; Meijer, Frank; Theeuwes, Jan
In 7 experiments, the authors explored whether visual attention (the ability to select relevant visual information) and visual working memory (the ability to retain relevant visual information) share the same content representations. The presence of singleton distractors interfered more strongly with a visual search task when it was accompanied by…
Reynolds, Greg D
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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Zhu, Chen; Zhao, Yanpeng; Huang, Shuaiyi; Tu, Kewei; Ma, Yi
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...
Pinto, Yair; Vandenbroucke, Annelinde R; Otten, Marte; Sligte, Ilja G; Seth, Anil K; Lamme, Victor A F
Is conscious visual perception limited to the locations that a person attends? The remarkable phenomenon of change blindness, which shows that people miss nearly all unattended changes in a visual scene, suggests the answer is yes. However, change blindness is found after visual interference (a mask or a new scene), so that subjects have to rely on working memory (WM), which has limited capacity, to detect the change. Before such interference, however, a much larger capacity store, called fragile memory (FM), which is easily overwritten by newly presented visual information, is present. Whether these different stores depend equally on spatial attention is central to the debate on the role of attention in conscious vision. In 2 experiments, we found that minimizing spatial attention almost entirely erases visual WM, as expected. Critically, FM remains largely intact. Moreover, minimally attended FM responses yield accurate metacognition, suggesting that conscious memory persists with limited spatial attention. Together, our findings help resolve the fundamental issue of how attention affects perception: Both visual consciousness and memory can be supported by only minimal attention. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).
Du, Feng; Abrams, Richard A.
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…
Anthony D Cate
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Recent neuroimaging studies have revealed that putatively unimodal regions of visual cortex can be activated during auditory tasks in sighted as well as in blind subjects. However, the task determinants and functional significance of auditory occipital activations (AOAs remains unclear. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We examined AOAs in an intermodal selective attention task to distinguish whether they were stimulus-bound or recruited by higher-level cognitive operations associated with auditory attention. Cortical surface mapping showed that auditory occipital activations were localized to retinotopic visual cortex subserving the far peripheral visual field. AOAs depended strictly on the sustained engagement of auditory attention and were enhanced in more difficult listening conditions. In contrast, unattended sounds produced no AOAs regardless of their intensity, spatial location, or frequency. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Auditory attention, but not passive exposure to sounds, routinely activated peripheral regions of visual cortex when subjects attended to sound sources outside the visual field. Functional connections between auditory cortex and visual cortex subserving the peripheral visual field appear to underlie the generation of AOAs, which may reflect the priming of visual regions to process soon-to-appear objects associated with unseen sound sources.
Heiervang, Einar; Hugdahl, Kenneth
A cue-target visual attention task was administered to 25 children (ages 10-12) with dyslexia. Results showed a general pattern of slower responses in the children with dyslexia compared to controls. Subjects also had longer reaction times in the short and long cue-target interval conditions (covert and overt shift of attention). (Contains…
Moray, N.; Richards, M.; Brophy, C.
A model is described which predicts the allocation of attention to the features of a radar display. It uses the growth of uncertainty and the probability of near collision to call the eye to a feature of the display. The main source of uncertainty is forgetting following a fixation, which is modelled as a two dimensional diffusion process. The model was used to predict information overload in intercept controllers, and preliminary validation obtained by recording eye movements of intercept controllers in simulated and live (practice) interception.
Andersen, Tobias; Tiippana, K.; Laarni, J.
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 b......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...... from each of the faces and from the voice on the auditory speech percept. We found that directing visual spatial attention towards a face increased the influence of that face on auditory perception. However, the influence of the voice on auditory perception did not change suggesting that audiovisual...... 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...
Liu, Yi; Tong, Yu; Li, Hong
Previous research has demonstrated abstract concepts associated with spatial location (e.g., God in the Heavens) could direct visual attention upward or downward, because thinking about the abstract concepts activates the corresponding vertical perceptual symbols. For self-concept, there are similar metaphors (e.g., "I am above others"). However, whether thinking about the self can induce visual attention orientation is still unknown. Therefore, the current study tested whether self-reflection can direct visual attention. Individuals often display the tendency of self-enhancement in social comparison, which reminds the individual of the higher position one possesses relative to others within the social environment. As the individual is the agent of the attention orientation, and high status tends to make an individual look down upon others to obtain a sense of pride, it was hypothesized that thinking about the self would lead to a downward attention orientation. Using reflection of personality traits and a target discrimination task, Study 1 found that, after self-reflection, visual attention was directed downward. Similar effects were also found after friend-reflection, with the level of downward attention being correlated with the likability rating scores of the friend. Thus, in Study 2, a disliked other was used as a control and the positive self-view was measured with above-average judgment task. We found downward attention orientation after self-reflection, but not after reflection upon the disliked other. Moreover, the attentional bias after self-reflection was correlated with above-average self-view. The current findings provide the first evidence that thinking about the self could direct visual-spatial attention downward, and suggest that this effect is probably derived from a positive self-view within the social context.
Squire, Ryan F; Noudoost, Behrad; Schafer, Robert J; Moore, Tirin
The faculty of attention endows us with the capacity to process important sensory information selectively while disregarding information that is potentially distracting. Much of our understanding of the neural circuitry underlying this fundamental cognitive function comes from neurophysiological studies within the visual modality. Past evidence suggests that a principal function of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) is selective attention and that this function involves the modulation of sensory signals within posterior cortices. In this review, we discuss recent progress in identifying the specific prefrontal circuits controlling visual attention and its neural correlates within the primate visual system. In addition, we examine the persisting challenge of precisely defining how behavior should be affected when attentional function is lost.
Nakamura, Koyo; Kawabata, Hideaki
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. 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 stimulus onset asynchrony (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. PMID:24994994
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.
ALEJANDRO CASTILLO MORENO
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.
Kuo, Bo-Cheng; Stokes, Mark G; Murray, Alexandra M; Nobre, Anna Christina
In the current study, we tested whether representations in visual STM (VSTM) can be biased via top-down attentional modulation of visual activity in retinotopically specific locations. We manipulated attention using retrospective cues presented during the retention interval of a VSTM task. Retrospective cues triggered activity in a large-scale network implicated in attentional control and led to retinotopically specific modulation of activity in early visual areas V1-V4. Importantly, shifts of attention during VSTM maintenance were associated with changes in functional connectivity between pFC and retinotopic regions within V4. Our findings provide new insights into top-down control mechanisms that modulate VSTM representations for flexible and goal-directed maintenance of the most relevant memoranda.
Bundesen, Claus; Larsen, Axel; Kyllingsbæk, Søren
nucleus. Frontal activations were found in a region that seems implicated in visual short-term memory (posterior parts of the superior sulcus and the middle gyrus). The reverse, color-shape comparison showed bilateral increases in rCBF in the anterior cingulate gyri, superior frontal gyri, and superior...... and middle temporal gyri. The attentional effects found by the shape-color comparison in the thalamus and the primary visual cortex may have been generated by feedback signals preserving visual representations of selected stimuli in short-term memory....
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...
Webb, Taylor W; Igelström, Kajsa M; Schurger, Aaron; Graziano, Michael S A
It is now well established that visual attention, as measured with standard spatial attention tasks, and visual awareness, as measured by report, can be dissociated. It is possible to attend to a stimulus with no reported awareness of the stimulus. We used a behavioral paradigm in which people were aware of a stimulus in one condition and unaware of it in another condition, but the stimulus drew a similar amount of spatial attention in both conditions. The paradigm allowed us to test for brain regions active in association with awareness independent of level of attention. Participants performed the task in an MRI scanner. We looked for brain regions that were more active in the aware than the unaware trials. The largest cluster of activity was obtained in the temporoparietal junction (TPJ) bilaterally. Local independent component analysis (ICA) revealed that this activity contained three distinct, but overlapping, components: a bilateral, anterior component; a left dorsal component; and a right dorsal component. These components had brain-wide functional connectivity that partially overlapped the ventral attention network and the frontoparietal control network. In contrast, no significant activity in association with awareness was found in the banks of the intraparietal sulcus, a region connected to the dorsal attention network and traditionally associated with attention control. These results show the importance of separating awareness and attention when testing for cortical substrates. They are also consistent with a recent proposal that awareness is associated with ventral attention areas, especially in the TPJ.
Chun, Marvin M
Visual working memory and visual attention are intimately related, such that working memory encoding and maintenance reflects actively sustained attention to a limited number of visual objects and events important for ongoing cognition and action. Although attention is typically considered to operate over perceptual input, a recent taxonomy proposes to additionally consider how attention can be directed to internal perceptual representations in the absence of sensory input, as well as other internal memories, choices, and thoughts (Chun, Golomb, & Turk-Browne, 2011). Such internal attention enables prolonged binding of features into integrated objects, along with enhancement of relevant sensory mechanisms. These processes are all limited in capacity, although different types of working memory and attention, such as spatial vs. object processing, operate independently with separate capacity. Overall, the success of maintenance depends on the ability to inhibit both external (perceptual) and internal (cognitive) distraction. Working memory is the interface by which attentional mechanisms select and actively maintain relevant perceptual information from the external world as internal representations within the mind. Copyright © 2011. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Full Text Available It is known that faces are rapidly and even unconsciously categorized into social groups (black vs. white, male vs. female. Here, I test whether preferences for specific social groups guide attention, using a visual search paradigm. In Experiment 1 participants searched displays of neutral faces for an angry or frightened target face. Black target faces were detected more efficiently than white targets, indicating that black faces attracted more attention. Experiment 2 showed that attention differences between black and white faces were correlated with individual differences in automatic race preference. In Experiment 3, using happy target faces, the attentional preference for black over white faces was eliminated. Taken together, these results suggest that automatic preferences for social groups guide attention to individuals from negatively valenced groups, when people are searching for a negative emotion such as anger or fear.
Deltomme, Berre; Mertens, G.; Tibboel, Helen; Braem, Senne
We investigated whether stimuli merely instructed to be fear-relevant can bias visual attention, even when the fear relation was never experienced before. Participants performed a dot-probe task with pictures of naturally fear-relevant (snake or spider) or -irrelevant (bird or butterfly) stimuli.
Coventry, Kenny R.; Lynott, Dermot; Cangelosi, Angelo; Monrouxe, Lynn; Joyce, Dan; Richardson, Daniel C.
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…
Bosse, T.; Maanen, P.P. van; Treur, J.
In this paper a simulation model for visual attention is discussed and formally analysed. The model is part of the design of an agent-based system that supports a naval officer in its task to compile a tactical picture of the situation in the field. A case study is described in which the model is
Chen, I-Ping; Liao, Chia-Ning; Yeh, Shih-Hao
Attention plays an important role in the design of human-machine interfaces. However, current knowledge about attention is largely based on data obtained when using devices of moderate display size. With advancement in display technology comes the need for understanding attention behavior over a wider range of viewing sizes. The effect of display size on test participants' visual search performance was studied. The participants (N = 12) performed two types of visual search tasks, that is, parallel and serial search, under three display-size conditions (16 degrees, 32 degrees, and 60 degrees). Serial, but not parallel, search was affected by display size. In the serial task, mean reaction time for detecting a target increased with the display size.
Anderson, Brian A.; Wampler, Emma K.; Laurent, Patryk A.
It has long been known that the control of attention in visual search depends both on voluntary, top-down deployment according to context-specific goals, and on involuntary, stimulus-driven capture based on the physical conspicuity of perceptual objects. Recent evidence suggests that pairing target stimuli with reward can modulate the voluntary deployment of attention, but there is little evidence that reward modulates the involuntary deployment of attention to task-irrelevant distractors. We report several experiments that investigate the role of reward learning on attentional control. Each experiment involved a training phase and a test phase. In the training phase, different colors were associated with different amounts of monetary reward. In the test phase, color was not task-relevant and participants searched for a shape singleton; in most experiments no reward was delivered in the test phase. We first show that attentional capture by physically salient distractors is magnified by a previous association with reward. In subsequent experiments we demonstrate that physically inconspicuous stimuli previously associated with reward capture attention persistently during extinction—even several days after training. Furthermore, vulnerability to attentional capture by high-value stimuli is negatively correlated across individuals with working memory capacity and positively correlated with trait impulsivity. An analysis of intertrial effects reveals that value-driven attentional capture is spatially specific. Finally, when reward is delivered at test contingent on the task-relevant shape feature, recent reward history modulates value-driven attentional capture by the irrelevant color feature. The influence of learned value on attention may provide a useful model of clinical syndromes characterized by similar failures of cognitive control, including addiction, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and obesity. PMID:23437631
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.
Kimchi, Ruth; Yeshurun, Yaffa; Spehar, Branka; Pirkner, Yossef
We have previously demonstrated that the mere organization of some elements in the visual field into an object attracts attention automatically. Here, we explored three different aspects of this automatic attentional capture: (a) Does the attentional capture by an object involve a spatial component? (b) Which Gestalt organization factors suffice for an object to capture attention? (c) Does the strength of organization affect the object's ability to capture attention? Participants viewed multi-elements displays and either identified the color of one element or responded to a Vernier target. On some trials, a subset of the elements grouped by Gestalt factors into an object that was irrelevant to the task and not predictive of the target. An object effect - faster performance for targets within the object than for targets outside the object - was found even when the target appeared after the object offset, and was sensitive to target-object distance, suggesting that the capture of attention by an object is accompanied by a deployment of attention to the object location. Object effects of similar magnitude were found for objects grouped by a combination of factors (collinearity, closure, and symmetry, or closure and symmetry) or by a single factor when it was collinearity, but not symmetry, suggesting that collinearity, or closure combined with symmetry, suffices for automatic capture of attention by an object, but symmetry does not. Finally, the strength of grouping in modal completion, manipulated by varying contrast polarity between and within elements, affected the effectiveness of the attentional capture by the induced object. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Habekost, Thomas; Rostrup, Egill
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...... statistically to lesion location and size measured by MRI. Visual processing speed was impaired in the contralesional hemifield for most patients, but typically preserved ipsilesionally, even after large cortico-subcortical lesions. When bilateral deficits in processing speed occurred, they were related...... to damage in the right middle frontal gyrus or leukoaraiosis. The storage capacity of VSTM was also normal for most patients, but deficits were found after severe leukoaraiosis or large strokes extending deep into white matter. Thus, the study demonstrated the importance of white-matter connectivity...
Schwartz, Odelia; Coen-Cagli, Ruben
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
Gozli, Davood G; Moskowitz, Joshua B; Pratt, Jay
Expecting a particular stimulus can facilitate processing of that stimulus over others, but what is the fate of other stimuli that are known to co-occur with the expected stimulus? This study examined the impact of learned association on feature-based attention. The findings show that the effectiveness of an uninformative color transient in orienting attention can change by learned associations between colors and the expected target shape. In an initial acquisition phase, participants learned two distinct sequences of stimulus-response-outcome, where stimuli were defined by shape ('S' vs. 'H'), responses were localized key-presses (left vs. right), and outcomes were colors (red vs. green). Next, in a test phase, while expecting a target shape (80% probable), participants showed reliable attentional orienting to the color transient associated with the target shape, and showed no attentional orienting with the color associated with the alternative target shape. This bias seemed to be driven by learned association between shapes and colors, and not modulated by the response. In addition, the bias seemed to depend on observing target-color conjunctions, since encountering the two features disjunctively (without spatiotemporal overlap) did not replicate the findings. We conclude that associative learning - likely mediated by mechanisms underlying visual object representation - can extend the impact of goal-driven attention to features associated with a target stimulus. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Carlisle, Nancy B; Kristjánsson, Árni
Recent evidence shows that when the contents of visual working memory overlap with targets and distractors in a pop-out search task, intertrial priming is inhibited (Kristjánsson, Sævarsson & Driver, Psychon Bull Rev 20(3):514-521, 2013, Experiment 2, Psychonomic Bulletin and Review). This may reflect an interesting interaction between implicit short-term memory-thought to underlie intertrial priming-and explicit visual working memory. Evidence from a non-pop-out search task suggests that it may specifically be holding distractors in visual working memory that disrupts intertrial priming (Cunningham & Egeth, Psychol Sci 27(4):476-485, 2016, Experiment 2, Psychological Science). We examined whether the inhibition of priming depends on whether feature values in visual working memory overlap with targets or distractors in the pop-out search, and we found that the inhibition of priming resulted from holding distractors in visual working memory. These results are consistent with separate mechanisms of target and distractor effects in intertrial priming, and support the notion that the impact of implicit short-term memory and explicit visual working memory can interact when each provides conflicting attentional signals.
Mitsven, Samantha G; Cantrell, Lisa M; Luck, Steven J; Oakes, Lisa M
Adults' visual attention is guided by the contents of visual short-term memory (VSTM). Here we asked whether 10-month-old infants' (N = 41) visual attention is also guided by the information stored in VSTM. In two experiments, we modified the one-shot change detection task (Oakes, Baumgartner, Barrett, Messenger, & Luck, 2013) to create a simplified cued visual search task to ask how information stored in VSTM influences where infants look. A single sample item (e.g., a colored circle) was presented at fixation for 500 ms, followed by a brief (300 ms) retention interval and then a test array consisting of two items, one on each side of fixation. One item in the test array matched the sample stimulus and the other did not. Infants were more likely to look at the non-matching item than at the matching item, demonstrating that the information stored rapidly in VSTM guided subsequent looking behavior. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Souza, Alessandra S; Oberauer, Klaus
We investigated the role of two kinds of attention-visual and central attention-for the maintenance of visual representations in working memory (WM). In Experiment 1 we directed attention to individual items in WM by presenting cues during the retention interval of a continuous delayed-estimation task, and instructing participants to think of the cued items. Attending to items improved recall commensurate with the frequency with which items were attended (0, 1, or 2 times). Experiments 1 and 3 further tested which kind of attention-visual or central-was involved in WM maintenance. We assessed the dual-task costs of two types of distractor tasks, one tapping sustained visual attention and one tapping central attention. Only the central attention task yielded substantial dual-task costs, implying that central attention substantially contributes to maintenance of visual information in WM. Experiment 2 confirmed that the visual-attention distractor task was demanding enough to disrupt performance in a task relying on visual attention. We combined the visual-attention and the central-attention distractor tasks with a multiple object tracking (MOT) task. Distracting visual attention, but not central attention, impaired MOT performance. Jointly, the three experiments provide a double dissociation between visual and central attention, and between visual WM and visual object tracking: Whereas tracking multiple targets across the visual filed depends on visual attention, visual WM depends mostly on central attention.
D A Baker
Full Text Available Several highly-cited experiments have presented evidence suggesting that neuroimages may unduly bias laypeople's judgments of scientific research. This finding has been especially worrisome to the legal community in which neuroimage techniques may be used to produce evidence of a person's mental state. However, a more recent body of work that has looked directly at the independent impact of neuroimages on layperson decision-making (both in legal and more general arenas, and has failed to find evidence of bias. To help resolve these conflicting findings, this research uses eye tracking technology to provide a measure of attention to different visual representations of neuroscientific data. Finding an effect of neuroimages on the distribution of attention would provide a potential mechanism for the influence of neuroimages on higher-level decisions. In the present experiment, a sample of laypeople viewed a vignette that briefly described a court case in which the defendant's actions might have been explained by a neurological defect. Accompanying these vignettes was either an MRI image of the defendant's brain, or a bar graph depicting levels of brain activity-two competing visualizations that have been the focus of much of the previous research on the neuroimage bias. We found that, while laypeople differentially attended to neuroimagery relative to the bar graph, this did not translate into differential judgments in a way that would support the idea of a neuroimage bias.
Uchikawa, Keiji; Sato, Masayuki; Kuwamura, Keiko
Visual attention has a significant effect on various visual functions, such as response time, detection and discrimination sensitivity, and color appearance. It has been suggested that visual attention may affect visual functions in the early visual pathways. In this study we examined selective effects of visual attention on sensitivities of the chromatic and achromatic pathways to clarify whether visual attention modifies responses in the early visual system. We used a dual task paradigm in which the observer detected a peripheral test stimulus presented at 4 deg eccentricities while the observer concurrently carried out an attention task in the central visual field. In experiment 1, it was confirmed that peripheral spectral sensitivities were reduced more for short and long wavelengths than for middle wavelengths with the central attention task so that the spectral sensitivity function changed its shape by visual attention. This indicated that visual attention affected the chromatic response more strongly than the achromatic response. In experiment 2 it was obtained that the detection thresholds increased in greater degrees in the red-green and yellow-blue chromatic directions than in the white-black achromatic direction in the dual task condition. In experiment 3 we showed that the peripheral threshold elevations depended on the combination of color-directions of the central and peripheral stimuli. Since the chromatic and achromatic responses were separately processed in the early visual pathways, the present results provided additional evidence that visual attention affects responses in the early visual pathways.
ter Huurne, Niels; Fallon, Sean James; van Schouwenburg, Martine; van der Schaaf, Marieke; Buitelaar, Jan; Jensen, Ole; Cools, Roshan
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 salient information in the environment (distractors). Although crucial for cognitive performance, until now, it is not known how the use of methylphenidate affects resistance to attentional capture by distractors. The present study aims to clarify how methylphenidate affects distractor suppression in healthy individuals. The effect of methylphenidate (20 mg) on distractor suppression was assessed in healthy subjects (N = 20), in a within-subject double-blind placebo-controlled crossover design. We used a visuospatial attention task with target faces flanked by strong (faces) or weak distractors (scrambled faces). Methylphenidate increased accuracy on trials that required gender identification of target face stimuli (methylphenidate 88.9 ± 1.4 [mean ± SEM], placebo 86.0 ± 1.2 %; p = .003), suggesting increased processing of the faces. At the same time, however, methylphenidate increased reaction time when the target face was flanked by a face distractor relative to a scrambled face distractor (methylphenidate 34.9 ± 3.73, placebo 26.7 ± 2.84 ms; p = .027), suggesting enhanced attentional capture by distractors with task-relevant features. We conclude that methylphenidate amplifies salience of task-relevant information at the level of the stimulus category. This leads to enhanced processing of the target (faces) but also increased attentional capture by distractors drawn from the same category as the target.
McAvinue, Laura P; Vangkilde, Signe; Johnson, Katherine A; Habekost, Thomas; Kyllingsbæk, Søren; Bundesen, Claus; Robertson, Ian H
Inattentive behaviour is a defining characteristic of ADHD. Researchers have wondered about the nature of the attentional deficit underlying these symptoms. The primary purpose of the current study was to examine this attentional deficit using a novel paradigm based upon the Theory of Visual Attention (TVA). The TVA paradigm enabled a componential analysis of visual attention through the use of a mathematical model to estimate parameters relating to attentional selectivity and capacity. Children's ability to sustain attention was also assessed using the Sustained Attention to Response Task. The sample included a comparison between 25 children with ADHD and 25 control children aged 9-13. Children with ADHD had significantly impaired sustained attention and visual processing speed but intact attentional selectivity, perceptual threshold and visual short-term memory capacity. The results of this study lend support to the notion of differential impairment of attentional functions in children with ADHD. © 2012 SAGE Publications.
Koenig, D E; Hart, N W; Hofer, H J
Adaptive optics combined with visual psychophysics creates the potential to study the relationship between visual function and the retina at the cellular scale. This potential is hampered, however, by visual interference from the wavefront-sensing beacon used during correction. For example, we have previously shown that even a dim, visible beacon can alter stimulus perception (Hofer et al., 2012). Here we describe a simple strategy employing a longer wavelength (980nm) beacon that, in conjunction with appropriate restriction on timing and placement, allowed us to perform psychophysics when dark adapted without altering visual perception. The method was verified by comparing detection and color appearance of foveally presented small spot stimuli with and without the wavefront beacon present in 5 subjects. As an important caution, we found that significant perceptual interference can occur even with a subliminal beacon when additional measures are not taken to limit exposure. Consequently, the lack of perceptual interference should be verified for a given system, and not assumed based on invisibility of the beacon. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Bundesen, Claus; Habekost, Thomas; Kyllingsbaek, Soren
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…
Hoekstra, A; Prendinger, H.; Bee, N.; Heylen, Dirk K.J.; Ishizuka, M.
This research proposes 3D graphical agents in the role of virtual presenters with a new type of functionality – the capability to process and respond to visual attention of users communicated by their eye movements. Eye gaze is an excellent clue to users’ attention, visual interest, and visual
Tadic, Valerie; Pring, Linda; Dale, Naomi
The study investigated attentional processes of 32 preschool children with congenital visual impairment (VI). Children with profound visual impairment (PVI) and severe visual impairment (SVI) were compared to a group of typically developing sighted children in their ability to respond to adult directed attention in terms of establishing,…
Mulckhuyse, M.; Belopolsky, A.V.; Heslenfeld, D.J.; Talsma, D.; Theeuwes, J.
Previous research has shown that the extent to which people spread attention across the visual field plays a crucial role in visual selection and the occurrence of bottom-up driven attentional capture. Consistent with previous findings, we show that when attention was diffusely distributed across
Mayer, Jutta S; Bittner, Robert A; Nikolić, Danko; Bledowski, Christoph; Goebel, Rainer; Linden, David E J
Humans are severely limited in their ability to memorize visual information over short periods of time. Selective attention has been implicated as a limiting factor. Here we used functional magnetic resonance imaging to test the hypothesis that this limitation is due to common neural resources shared by visual working memory (WM) and selective attention. We combined visual search and delayed discrimination of complex objects and independently modulated the demands on selective attention and WM encoding. Participants were presented with a search array and performed easy or difficult visual search in order to encode one or three complex objects into visual WM. Overlapping activation for attention-demanding visual search and WM encoding was observed in distributed posterior and frontal regions. In the right prefrontal cortex and bilateral insula blood oxygen-level-dependent activation additively increased with increased WM load and attentional demand. Conversely, several visual, parietal and premotor areas showed overlapping activation for the two task components and were severely reduced in their WM load response under the condition with high attentional demand. Regions in the left prefrontal cortex were selectively responsive to WM load. Areas selectively responsive to high attentional demand were found within the right prefrontal and bilateral occipital cortex. These results indicate that encoding into visual WM and visual selective attention require to a high degree access to common neural resources. We propose that competition for resources shared by visual attention and WM encoding can limit processing capabilities in distributed posterior brain regions.
Redi, J.A.; Liu, H.; Zunino, R.; Heynderickx, I.E.J.R.
Several attempts to integrate visual saliency information in quality metrics are described in literature, albeit with contradictory results. The way saliency is integrated in quality metrics should reflect the mechanisms underlying the interaction between image quality assessment and visual
Pinto, Y.; Vandenbroucke, A.R.; Otten, M.; Sligte, I.G.; Seth, A.K.; Lamme, V.A.F.
Is conscious visual perception limited to the locations that a person attends? The remarkable phenomenon of change blindness, which shows that people miss nearly all unattended changes in a visual scene, suggests the answer is yes. However, change blindness is found after visual interference (a mask
Mulligan, Jeffrey B.; Gontar, Patrick
Multi-person teams are sometimes responsible for critical tasks, such as flying an airliner. Here we present a method using gaze tracking data to assess shared visual attention, a term we use to describe the situation where team members are attending to a common set of elements in the environment. Gaze data are quantized with respect to a set of N areas of interest (AOIs); these are then used to construct a time series of N dimensional vectors, with each vector component representing one of the AOIs, all set to 0 except for the component corresponding to the currently fixated AOI, which is set to 1. The resulting sequence of vectors can be averaged in time, with the result that each vector component represents the proportion of time that the corresponding AOI was fixated within the given time interval. We present two methods for comparing sequences of this sort, one based on computing the time-varying correlation of the averaged vectors, and another based on a chi-square test testing the hypothesis that the observed gaze proportions are drawn from identical probability distributions. We have evaluated the method using synthetic data sets, in which the behavior was modeled as a series of "activities," each of which was modeled as a first-order Markov process. By tabulating distributions for pairs of identical and disparate activities, we are able to perform a receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis, allowing us to choose appropriate criteria and estimate error rates. We have applied the methods to data from airline crews, collected in a high-fidelity flight simulator (Haslbeck, Gontar & Schubert, 2014). We conclude by considering the problem of automatic (blind) discovery of activities, using methods developed for text analysis.
Vangkilde, Signe Allerup; Bundesen, Claus; Coull, Jennifer T.
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...... encoding of information into visual short-term memory is begun, but (b) decreases the rate of encoding and possibly also the attentional selectivity.......Objective: Nicotine is an important cholinergic neurotransmitter that has been linked to various cognitive functions. Several studies have observed attentional modulations after nicotine, but the roles played by nicotine and other cholinergic substances in attention remain unclear. The aim...
Petersen, Anders; Vangkilde, Signe; Fabricius, Charlotte
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...
Shioiri, Satoshi; Honjyo, Hajime; Kashiwase, Yoshiyuki; Matsumiya, Kazumichi; Kuriki, Ichiro
Visual attention spreads over a range around the focus as the spotlight metaphor describes. Spatial spread of attentional enhancement and local selection/inhibition are crucial factors determining the profile of the spatial attention. Enhancement and ignorance/suppression are opposite effects of attention, and appeared to be mutually exclusive. Yet, no unified view of the factors has been provided despite their necessity for understanding the functions of spatial attention. This report provides electroencephalographic and behavioral evidence for the attentional spread at an early stage and selection/inhibition at a later stage of visual processing. Steady state visual evoked potential showed broad spatial tuning whereas the P3 component of the event related potential showed local selection or inhibition of the adjacent areas. Based on these results, we propose a two-stage model of spatial attention with broad spread at an early stage and local selection at a later stage.
Reeves, Adam; Sperling, George
An experiment is conducted showing that an attention shift to a stream of numerals presented in rapid serial visual presentation mode produces not a total loss, but a systematic distortion of order. An attention gating model (AGM) is developed from a more general attention model. (Author/LMO)
Rose, Susan A.; Feldman, Judith F.; Jankowski, Jeffery J.
Examined contributions of cognitive processing speed, short-term memory capacity, and attention to infant visual recognition memory. Found that infants who showed better attention and faster processing had better recognition memory. Contributions of attention and processing speed were independent of one another and similar at all ages studied--5,…
Bauer, Markus; Kluge, Christian; Bach, Dominik; Bradbury, David; Heinze, Hans Jochen; Dolan, Raymond J; Driver, Jon
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 Â© 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Clark, Kelsey; Squire, Ryan Fox; Merrikhi, Yaser; Noudoost, Behrad
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. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Roberts, Katherine L.; Andersen, Tobias; Kyllingsbæk, Søren
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...... the auditory data, producing good estimates of the rate at which information is encoded (C), the minimum exposure duration required for processing to begin (t0), and the relative attentional weight to targets versus distractors (α). Future work will address the issue of target-distractor confusion, and extend...
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
What is the relation between visual attention and visual awareness? It is difficult to imagine being aware of something without attending to it, and by some, visual consciousness is simply equated to what is in the focus of attention. However, findings from psychological as well as from
Peters, II, Richard A. (Inventor)
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.
Fougnie, Daryl; Cockhren, Jurnell; Marois, René
Tasks that require tracking visual information reveal the severe limitations of our capacity to attend to multiple objects that vary in time and space. Although these limitations have been extensively characterized in the visual domain, very little is known about tracking information in other sensory domains. Does tracking auditory information exhibit characteristics similar to those of tracking visual information, and to what extent do these two tracking tasks draw on the same attention resources? We addressed these questions by asking participants to perform either single or dual tracking tasks from the same (visual-visual) or different (visual-auditory) perceptual modalities, with the difficulty of the tracking tasks being manipulated across trials. The results revealed that performing two concurrent tracking tasks, whether they were in the same or different modalities, affected tracking performance as compared to performing each task alone (concurrence costs). Moreover, increasing task difficulty also led to increased costs in both the single-task and dual-task conditions (load-dependent costs). The comparison of concurrence costs between visual-visual and visual-auditory dual-task performance revealed slightly greater interference when two visual tracking tasks were paired. Interestingly, however, increasing task difficulty led to equivalent costs for visual-visual and visual-auditory pairings. We concluded that visual and auditory tracking draw largely, though not exclusively, on common central attentional resources.
Gilbert, C; Ito, M; Kapadia, M; Westheimer, G
Attention in early visual processing engages the higher order, context dependent properties of neurons. Even at the earliest stages of visual cortical processing neurons play a role in intermediate level vision - contour integration and surface segmentation. The contextual influences mediating this process may be derived from long range connections within primary visual cortex (V1). These influences are subject to perceptual learning, and are strongly modulated by visuospatial attention, which is itself a learning dependent process. The attentional influences may involve interactions between feedback and horizontal connections in V1. V1 is therefore a dynamic and active processor, subject to top-down influences.
Theeuwes, J.; Kramer, A.F.; Irwin, D.E.
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
Sanders-Jackson, Ashley N.; Cappella, Joseph N.; Linebarger, Deborah L.; Piotrowski, Jessica Taylor; O'Keeffe, Moira; Strasser, Andrew A.
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 are expected to be appetitively activated by…
Petersen, A; Vangkilde, S; Fabricius, C; Iversen, H K; Delfi, T S; Starrfelt, R
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 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 allowing for hemifield-specific measurements of processing speed and apprehension span. All patients showed reductions in visual span contralateral to the lesion site, and four patients showed bilateral reductions in visual span despite unilateral lesions (2L; 2R). Six patients showed selective deficits in visual span, though processing speed was unaffected in the same field (ipsi- or contralesionally). Only patients with right hemifield reductions in visual span were impaired in reading, and this could follow either right or left lateralized stroke and was irrespective of visual field impairments. In conclusion, visual span may be affected bilaterally by unilateral PCA-lesions. Reductions in visual span may also be confined to one hemifield, and may be affected in spite of preserved visual processing speed. Furthermore, reduced span in the right visual field seems to be related to reading impairment in this group, regardless of lesion lateralization. Copyright Â© 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Kirk, Hannah E.; Gray, Kylie; Riby, Deborah M.; Taffe, John; Cornish, Kim M.
Despite well-documented attention deficits in children with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), distinctions across types of attention problems and their association with academic attainment has not been fully explored. This study examines visual attention capacities and inattentive/hyperactive behaviours in 77 children aged 4 to…
Full Text Available 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
Cohen, Marlene R.
Visual attention, which improves perception of attended locations or objects, has long been known to affect many aspects of the responses of neuronal populations in visual cortex. There are two nonmutually exclusive hypotheses concerning the neuronal mechanisms that underlie these perceptual improvements. The first hypothesis, that attention improves the information encoded by a population of neurons in a particular cortical area, has considerable physiological support. The second hypothesis is that attention improves perception by selectively communicating relevant visual information. This idea has been tested primarily by measuring interactions between neurons on very short timescales, which are mathematically nearly independent of neuronal interactions on longer timescales. We tested the hypothesis that attention changes the way visual information is communicated between cortical areas on longer timescales by recording simultaneously from neurons in primary visual cortex (V1) and the middle temporal area (MT) in rhesus monkeys. We used two independent and complementary approaches. Our correlative experiment showed that attention increases the trial-to-trial response variability that is shared between the two areas. In our causal experiment, we electrically microstimulated V1 and found that attention increased the effect of stimulation on MT responses. Together, our results suggest that attention affects both the way visual stimuli are encoded within a cortical area and the extent to which visual information is communicated between areas on behaviorally relevant timescales. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Visual attention dramatically improves the perception of attended stimuli. Attention has long been thought to act by selecting relevant visual information for further processing. It has been hypothesized that this selection is accomplished by increasing communication between neurons that encode attended information in different cortical areas. We recorded simultaneously
Ruff, Douglas A; Cohen, Marlene R
Visual attention, which improves perception of attended locations or objects, has long been known to affect many aspects of the responses of neuronal populations in visual cortex. There are two nonmutually exclusive hypotheses concerning the neuronal mechanisms that underlie these perceptual improvements. The first hypothesis, that attention improves the information encoded by a population of neurons in a particular cortical area, has considerable physiological support. The second hypothesis is that attention improves perception by selectively communicating relevant visual information. This idea has been tested primarily by measuring interactions between neurons on very short timescales, which are mathematically nearly independent of neuronal interactions on longer timescales. We tested the hypothesis that attention changes the way visual information is communicated between cortical areas on longer timescales by recording simultaneously from neurons in primary visual cortex (V1) and the middle temporal area (MT) in rhesus monkeys. We used two independent and complementary approaches. Our correlative experiment showed that attention increases the trial-to-trial response variability that is shared between the two areas. In our causal experiment, we electrically microstimulated V1 and found that attention increased the effect of stimulation on MT responses. Together, our results suggest that attention affects both the way visual stimuli are encoded within a cortical area and the extent to which visual information is communicated between areas on behaviorally relevant timescales. Visual attention dramatically improves the perception of attended stimuli. Attention has long been thought to act by selecting relevant visual information for further processing. It has been hypothesized that this selection is accomplished by increasing communication between neurons that encode attended information in different cortical areas. We recorded simultaneously from neurons in primary
Burnham, Bryan R; Sabia, Matthew; Langan, Catherine
Load theory (Lavie, N., Hirst, A., De Fockert, J. W., & Viding, E. . 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. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved.
contrast, Bocanegra and Zeelenberg (2009) demonstrated that emotional factors can improve some components of visual processing, while actually...on a year in Afghanistan. ARMY Magazine,59, 44-54. Bocanegra, B.R., & Zeelenberg , R. (2009). Emotion improves and impairs early vision
A method is proposed for measuring the visual conspicuity of an object in its background. Associated with each object is a conspicuity area, which is defined as the retinal area within which the object to be searched for is seen in a brief presentation. The size of this area can be used as a measure
Faber, Leon G.; Maurits, Natasha M.; Lorist, Monicque M.
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
Gregory, Samantha E. A.; Jackson, Margaret C.
Joint attention--the mutual focus of 2 individuals on an item--speeds detection and discrimination of target information. However, what happens to that information beyond the initial perceptual episode? To fully comprehend and engage with our immediate environment also requires working memory (WM), which integrates information from second to…
Linden, Lotje van der; Theeuwes, Jan; Ellis, Rob
van der Linden, L., Theeuwes, J., & Ellis, R. (2012). Getting a grip on affordances, attention, and visual fields. Poster presented at the 2012 William James Graduate School Symposium, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Bylinskii, Z; DeGennaro, E M; Rajalingham, R; Ruda, H; Zhang, J; Tsotsos, J K
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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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 bindings. We attempted to reconcile these findings by examining how memory for binding, for features, and for features during binding is affected by a concurrent attention-demanding task. We demonstrated that performing a concurrent task impairs memory for as few as two visual objects, regardless of whether each object includes one or more features. We argue that this pattern of results reflects an essential role for domain-general attention in visual memory, regardless of the simplicity of the to-be-remembered stimuli. We then discuss the implications of these findings for theories of visual working memory.
Skogsberg, KatieAnn; Grabowecky, Marcia; Wilt, Joshua; Revelle, William; Iordanescu, Lucica; Suzuki, Satoru
Many studies have examined attention mechanisms involved in specific behavioral tasks (e.g., search, tracking, distractor inhibition). However, relatively little is known about the relationships among those attention mechanisms. Is there a fundamental attention faculty that makes a person superior or inferior at most types of attention tasks, or do relatively independent processes mediate different attention skills? We focused on individual differences in voluntary visual-attention abilities using a battery of eleven representative tasks. An application of parallel analysis, hierarchical-cluster analysis, and multidimensional scaling to the inter-task correlation matrix revealed four functional clusters, representing spatiotemporal attention, global attention, transient attention, and sustained attention, organized along two dimensions, one contrasting spatiotemporal and global attention and the other contrasting transient and sustained attention. Comparison with the neuroscience literature suggests that the spatiotemporal-global dimension corresponds to the dorsal frontoparietal circuit and the transient-sustained dimension corresponds to the ventral frontoparietal circuit, with distinct sub-regions mediating the separate clusters within each dimension. We also obtained highly specific patterns of gender difference, and of deficits for college students with elevated ADHD traits. These group differences suggest that different mechanisms of voluntary visual attention can be selectively strengthened or weakened based on genetic, experiential, and/or pathological factors. PMID:25867505
Jaworski, Jessica L Bean; Eigsti, Inge-Marie
Visual attention is integral to social interaction and is a critical building block for development in other domains (e.g., language). Furthermore, atypical attention (especially joint attention) is one of the earliest markers of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The current study assesses low-level visual attention and its relation to social attentional processing in youth with ASD and typically developing (TD) youth, aged 7 to 18 years. The findings indicate difficulty overriding incorrect attentional cues in ASD, particularly with non-social (arrow) cues relative to social (face) cues. The findings also show reduced competition in ASD from cues that remain on-screen. Furthermore, social attention, autism severity, and age were all predictors of competing cue processing. The results suggest that individuals with ASD may be biased towards speeded rather than accurate responding, and further, that reduced engagement with visual information may impede responses to visual attentional cues. Once attention is engaged, individuals with ASD appear to interpret directional cues as meaningful. These findings from a controlled, experimental paradigm were mirrored in results from an ecologically valid measure of social attention. Attentional difficulties may be exacerbated during the complex and dynamic experience of actual social interaction. Implications for intervention are discussed.
Roberts, K. L.; Andersen, Tobias; Kyllingsbæk, Søren
modelled using a log-logistic function than an exponential function. A more challenging difference is that in the partial report task, there is more target-distractor confusion for auditory than visual stimuli. This failure of object-formation (prior to attentional object-selection) is not yet effectively......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......, 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...
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.
Spratling, M W; Johnson, M H
Feedback connections are a prominent feature of cortical anatomy and are likely to have a significant functional role in neural information processing. We present a neural network model of cortical feedback that successfully simulates neurophysiological data associated with attention. In this domain, our model can be considered a more detailed, and biologically plausible, implementation of the biased competition model of attention. However, our model is more general as it can also explain a variety of other top-down processes in vision, such as figure/ground segmentation and contextual cueing. This model thus suggests that a common mechanism, involving cortical feedback pathways, is responsible for a range of phenomena and provides a unified account of currently disparate areas of research.
Tran, Annie; Hoffman, James E
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).
Schneider, Darryl W
Previous studies have shown that interference effects in the flanker task are reduced when physical barriers (e.g., hands) are placed around rather than below a target flanked by distractors. One explanation of this finding is the referential coding hypothesis, whereby the barriers serve as reference objects for allocating attention. In five experiments, the generality of the referential coding hypothesis was tested by investigating whether interference effects are modulated by the placement of virtual barriers (e.g., parentheses). Modulation of flanker interference was found only when target and distractors differed in size and the virtual barriers were beveled wood-grain objects. Under these conditions and those of previous studies, the author conjectures that an impression of depth was produced when the barriers were around the target, such that the target was perceived to be on a different depth plane than the distractors. Perception of depth in the stimulus display might have led to referential coding of the stimuli in three-dimensional (3-D) space, influencing the allocation of attention beyond the horizontal and vertical dimensions. This 3-D referential coding hypothesis is consistent with research on selective attention in 3-D space that shows flanker interference is reduced when target and distractors are separated in depth.
Rosen, Maya L; Stern, Chantal E; Michalka, Samantha W; Devaney, Kathryn J; Somers, David C
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. Published by Oxford University Press 2015. This work is written by (a) US Government employee(s) and is in the public domain in the US.
Bartolucci, Marco; Smith, Andrew T.
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…
Bundesen, C; Kyllingsbæk, Søren; Houmann, K J
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....
Ross-Sheehy, Shannon; Oakes, Lisa M.; Luck, Steven J.
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…
Bosse, Marie-Line; Tainturier, Marie Josephe; Valdois, Sylviane
The visual attention (VA) span is defined as the amount of distinct visual elements which can be processed in parallel in a multi-element array. Both recent empirical data and theoretical accounts suggest that a VA span deficit might contribute to developmental dyslexia, independently of a phonological disorder. In this study, this hypothesis was…
Madsen, Adrian M.
The work described here represents an effort to understand and influence visual attention while solving physics problems containing a diagram. Our visual system is guided by two types of processes--top-down and bottom-up. The top-down processes are internal and determined by ones prior knowledge and goals. The bottom-up processes are external and…
Allen, Richard J.; Baddeley, Alan D.; Hitch, Graham J.
How does executive attentional control contribute to memory for sequences of visual objects, and what does this reveal about storage and processing in working memory? Three experiments examined the impact of a concurrent executive load (backward counting) on memory for sequences of individually presented visual objects. Experiments 1 and 2 found…
Rivière, James; Brisson, Julie
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. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Neimeijer, Renate A.M.; Roefs, Anne; de Jong, Peter J.
The present study was designed to test the hypothesis that anorexia nervosa (AN) patients are relatively insensitive to the attentional capture of visual food stimuli. Attentional avoidance of food might help AN patients to prevent more elaborate processing of food stimuli and the subsequent
Pieters, RGM; Rosbergen, E; Hartog, M; Corfman, KP; Lynch, JG
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
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
Yu, Chen; Smith, Linda B.
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…
van Moorselaar, D.; Battistoni, E.; Theeuwes, J.; Olivers, C.N.L.
There is evidence that the deployment of attention can be biased by the content of visual working memory. Recently, it has been shown that focusing internal attention to a specific item in memory not only increases the accessibility of that specific item for retrieval, but also results in increased
Hickey, C.M.; Theeuwes, J.
Competition-based models of visual attention propose that perceptual ambiguity is resolved through inhibition, which is stronger when objects share a greater number of neural receptive fields (RFs). According to this theory, the misallocation of attention to a salient distractor-that is, the capture
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.
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 four centers of the NICHD Neonatal Research Network, included high-risk (cocaine exposed) and matched non-cocaine exposed infants. Hierarchical regressions revealed that infants’ attention orienting at 1 month significantly predicted more frequent initiating joint attention at 12 (but not 18) months of age. Social engagement at 4 months predicted initiating joint attention at 18 months. Results provide the first empirical evidence for the role of visual attention and social engagement behaviors as developmental precursors for later joint attention outcome. PMID:27786527
Cosman, Joshua D; Vecera, Shaun P
Specialized, bimodal neural systems integrate visual and tactile information in the space near the hand. Here, we show that visuo-tactile representations allow attention to influence early perceptual processing, namely, figure-ground assignment. Regions that were reached toward were more likely than other regions to be assigned as foreground figures, and hand position competed with image-based information to bias figure-ground assignment. Our findings suggest that hand position allows attention to influence visual perceptual processing and that visual processes typically viewed as unimodal can be influenced by bimodal visuo-tactile representations.
Slotboom, Jantine; Hoppenbrouwers, Sylco S; Bouman, Yvonne H A; In 't Hout, Willem; Sergiou, Carmen; van der Stigchel, Stefan; Theeuwes, Jan
Impairments in executive functioning give rise to reduced control of behavior and impulses, and are therefore a risk factor for violence and criminal behavior. However, the contribution of specific underlying processes remains unclear. A crucial element of executive functioning, and essential for cognitive control and goal-directed behavior, is visual attention. To further elucidate the importance of attentional functioning in the general offender population, we employed an attentional capture task to measure visual attention. We expected offenders to have impaired visual attention, as revealed by increased attentional capture, compared to healthy controls. When comparing the performance of 62 offenders to 69 healthy community controls, we found our hypothesis to be partly confirmed. Offenders were more accurate overall, more accurate in the absence of distracting information, suggesting superior attention. In the presence of distracting information offenders were significantly less accurate compared to when no distracting information was present. Together, these findings indicate that violent offenders may have superior attention, yet worse control over attention. As such, violent offenders may have trouble adjusting to unexpected, irrelevant stimuli, which may relate to failures in self-regulation and inhibitory control. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
McLaughlin, Paula M; Anderson, Nicole D; Rich, Jill B; Chertkow, Howard; Murtha, Susan J E
Subtle deficits in visual selective attention have been found in amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI). However, few studies have explored performance on visual search paradigms or the Simon task, which are known to be sensitive to disease severity in Alzheimer's patients. Furthermore, there is limited research investigating how deficiencies can be ameliorated with exogenous support (auditory cues). Sixteen individuals with aMCI and 14 control participants completed 3 experimental tasks that varied in demand and cue availability: visual search-alerting, visual search-orienting, and Simon task. Visual selective attention was influenced by aMCI, auditory cues, and task characteristics. Visual search abilities were relatively consistent across groups. The aMCI participants were impaired on the Simon task when working memory was required, but conflict resolution was similar to controls. Spatially informative orienting cues improved response times, whereas spatially neutral alerting cues did not influence performance. Finally, spatially informative auditory cues benefited the aMCI group more than controls in the visual search task, specifically at the largest array size where orienting demands were greatest. These findings suggest that individuals with aMCI have working memory deficits and subtle deficiencies in orienting attention and rely on exogenous information to guide attention. © The Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: email@example.com.
Full Text Available Visual search is impaired when a salient task-irrelevant stimulus is presented together with the target. Recent research has shown that this attentional capture effect is enhanced when the salient stimulus matches working memory (WM content, arguing in favor of attention guidance from WM. Visual attention was also shown to be closely coupled with action planning. Preparing a movement renders action-relevant perceptual dimensions more salient and thus increases search efficiency for stimuli sharing that dimension. The present study aimed at revealing common underlying mechanisms for selective attention, WM, and action planning. Participants both prepared a specific movement (grasping or pointing and memorized a color hue. Before the movement was executed towards an object of the memorized color, a visual search task (additional singleton was performed. Results showed that distraction from target was more pronounced when the additional singleton had a memorized color. This WM-guided attention deployment was more pronounced when participants prepared a grasping movement. We argue that preparing a grasping movement mediates attention guidance from WM content by enhancing representations of memory content that matches the distractor shape (i.e., circles, thus encouraging attentional capture by circle distractors of the memorized color. We conclude that templates for visual search, action planning, and WM compete for resources and thus cause interferences.
Feldmann-Wüstefeld, Tobias; Schubö, Anna
Visual search is impaired when a salient task-irrelevant stimulus is presented together with the target. Recent research has shown that this attentional capture effect is enhanced when the salient stimulus matches working memory (WM) content, arguing in favor of attention guidance from WM. Visual attention was also shown to be closely coupled with action planning. Preparing a movement renders action-relevant perceptual dimensions more salient and thus increases search efficiency for stimuli sharing that dimension. The present study aimed at revealing common underlying mechanisms for selective attention, WM, and action planning. Participants both prepared a specific movement (grasping or pointing) and memorized a color hue. Before the movement was executed towards an object of the memorized color, a visual search task (additional singleton) was performed. Results showed that distraction from target was more pronounced when the additional singleton had a memorized color. This WM-guided attention deployment was more pronounced when participants prepared a grasping movement. We argue that preparing a grasping movement mediates attention guidance from WM content by enhancing representations of memory content that matches the distractor shape (i.e., circles), thus encouraging attentional capture by circle distractors of the memorized color. We conclude that templates for visual search, action planning, and WM compete for resources and thus cause interferences.
Bublak, Peter; Finke, Kathrin; Krummenacher, Joseph
, and spatial distribution of attention. The procedure used was short enough to be applicable within a standard clinical setting. Two brain-damaged patients, selected based on lesion location and neuropsychological test profile, were compared to a control group of 22 healthy subjects. One patient with a right......Based on a 'Theory of Visual Attention' (TVA), whole and partial report of brief letter arrays is presented as a diagnostic tool to estimate four clinically significant attentional components: perceptual processing speed, visual working memory storage capacity, efficiency of top-down control...... 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...
Sakai, Tsugunosuke; Tamaki, Haruya; Ota, Yosuke; Egusa, Ryohei; Inagaki, Shigenori; Kusunoki, Fusako; Sugimoto, Masanori; Mizoguchi, Hiroshi
This paper describes the relationship between visual attention and eye blink frequency. In an experiment, we prompted the activation of a subject's visual attention and examined the influence of visual attention (as measured using electrodermal activity (EDA), which is meaningfully correlated with visual attention) on the subject's eye blink frequency. Experimental results show that engagement of visual attention decreased eye blink frequency and that when visual attention was not activated, ...
Proulx, Michael J
Can objects or events ever capture one's attention in a purely stimulus-driven manner? A recent review of the literature set out the criteria required to find stimulus-driven attentional capture independent of goal-directed influences, and concluded that no published study has satisfied that criteria. Here visual search experiments assessed whether an irrelevantly large object can capture attention. Capture of attention by this static visual feature was found. The results suggest that a large object can indeed capture attention in a stimulus-driven manner and independent of displaywide features of the task that might encourage a goal-directed bias for large items. It is concluded that these results are either consistent with the stimulus-driven criteria published previously or alternatively consistent with a flexible, goal-directed mechanism of saliency detection.
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.
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…
Delvenne, Jean-Francois; Holt, Jessica L.
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…
Cohen-Maitre, Stacey Ann; Haerich, Paul
This study investigated the ability of color and motion to elicit and maintain visual attention in a sample of children with cortical visual impairment (CVI). It found that colorful and moving objects may be used to engage children with CVI, increase their motivation to use their residual vision, and promote visual learning.
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
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, Pvisual spatial training could
Ettenhofer, Mark L; Hershaw, Jamie N; Barry, David M
Computerized cognitive tests measuring manual response time (RT) and errors are often used in the assessment of visual attention. Evidence suggests that saccadic RT and errors may also provide valuable information about attention. This study was conducted to examine a novel approach to multimodal assessment of visual attention incorporating concurrent measurements of saccadic eye movements and manual responses. A computerized cognitive task, the Bethesda Eye & Attention Measure (BEAM) v.34, was designed to evaluate key attention networks through concurrent measurement of saccadic and manual RT and inhibition errors. Results from a community sample of n = 54 adults were analyzed to examine effects of BEAM attention cues on manual and saccadic RT and inhibition errors, internal reliability of BEAM metrics, relationships between parallel saccadic and manual metrics, and relationships of BEAM metrics to demographic characteristics. Effects of BEAM attention cues (alerting, orienting, interference, gap, and no-go signals) were consistent with previous literature examining key attention processes. However, corresponding saccadic and manual measurements were weakly related to each other, and only manual measurements were related to estimated verbal intelligence or years of education. This study provides preliminary support for the feasibility of multimodal assessment of visual attention using the BEAM. Results suggest that BEAM saccadic and manual metrics provide divergent measurements. Additional research will be needed to obtain comprehensive normative data, to cross-validate BEAM measurements with other indicators of neural and cognitive function, and to evaluate the utility of these metrics within clinical populations of interest.
Waldner, Manuela; Le Muzic, Mathieu; Bernhard, Matthias; Purgathofer, Werner; Viola, Ivan
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.
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...... by using steady-state visual evoked potentials (SSVEP) task. SSVEP task was presented to subjects at the same time that the electroencephalography (EEG) signals were recorded by the scalp electrodes. Subjects were instructed to respond to a certain stimulus by pressing a button. This way attention...... 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...
Olivers, Christian N L
When observers perform a visual search task, they are assumed to adopt an attentional set for what they are looking for. The present experiment investigates the influence of long-term visual memory associations on this attentional set. On each trial, observers were asked to search a display for a grayscale version of a known traffic sign. On each trial, a distractor sign was drawn in full color. This color could either be related or unrelated to the target sign. Distractors interfered more with search when their color was related (e.g. red when the target was a stop sign), implying that long-term color associations resulted in inadvertent attentional guidance, even though color was irrelevant to the task. The results add to the growing body of evidence that long-term memory representations automatically affect attentional orienting. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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. . 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.
Büttner, Oliver B; Wieber, Frank; Schulz, Anna Maria; Bayer, Ute C; Florack, Arnd; Gollwitzer, Peter M
Mindset theory suggests that a deliberative mindset entails openness to information in one's environment, whereas an implemental mindset entails filtering of information. We hypothesized that this open- versus closed-mindedness influences individuals' breadth of visual attention. In Studies 1 and 2, we induced an implemental or deliberative mindset, and measured breadth of attention using participants' length estimates of x-winged Müller-Lyer figures. Both studies demonstrate a narrower breadth of attention in the implemental mindset than in the deliberative mindset. In Study 3, we manipulated participants' mindsets and measured the breadth of attention by tracking eye movements during scene perception. Implemental mindset participants focused on foreground objects, whereas deliberative mindset participants attended more evenly to the entire scene. Our findings imply that deliberative versus implemental mindsets already operate at the level of visual attention. © 2014 by the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Inc.
Berggren, Nick; Eimer, Martin
During visual search, attention is believed to be controlled in a strictly feature-based fashion, without any guidance by object-based target representations. To challenge this received view, we measured electrophysiological markers of attentional selection (N2pc component) and working memory (SPCN) in search tasks where two possible targets were defined by feature conjunctions (e.g., blue circles and green squares). Critically, some search displays also contained nontargets with two target f...
Wijers, A A; Okita, T; Mulder, G; Mulder, L J; Lorist, M M; Poiesz, R; Scheffers, M K
ERPs and performance were measured in divided and focussed attention visual search tasks. In focussed attention tasks, to-be-attended and to-be-ignored letters were presented simultaneously. We varied display load, mapping conditions and display size. RT, P3b-latency and negativity in the ERP associated with controlled search all increased with display load. Each of these measures showed selectivity of controlled search, in that they decreased with focussing of attention. An occipital N230, on the other hand, was not sensitive to focussing of attention, but was primarily affected by display load. ERPs to both attended and unattended targets in focussed attention conditions showed and N2 compared to nontargets, suggesting that both automatic and controlled letter classifications are possible. These effects were not affected by display size. Consistent mapping resulted in shorter RT and P3b-latency in divided attention conditions, compared to varied mapping conditions, but had no effect in focussed attention conditions.
Dieter, Kevin C; Brascamp, Jan; Tadin, Duje; Blake, Randolph
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.
Walsh, Kyle P; Pasanen, Edward G; McFadden, Dennis
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.
Walsh, Kyle P.; Pasanen, Edward G.; McFadden, Dennis
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
Roper, Zachary J J; Vecera, Shaun P
Perceptual load theory accounts for many attentional phenomena; however, its mechanism remains elusive because it invokes underspecified attentional resources. Recent dual-task evidence has revealed that a concurrent visual short-term memory (VSTM) load slows visual search and reduces contrast sensitivity, but it is unknown whether a VSTM load also constricts attention in a canonical perceptual load task. If attentional selection draws upon VSTM resources, then distraction effects-which measure attentional "spill-over"-will be reduced as competition for resources increases. Observers performed a low perceptual load flanker task during the delay period of a VSTM change detection task. We observed a reduction of the flanker effect in the perceptual load task as a function of increasing concurrent VSTM load. These findings were not due to perceptual-level interactions between the physical displays of the two tasks. Our findings suggest that perceptual representations of distractor stimuli compete with the maintenance of visual representations held in memory. We conclude that access to VSTM determines the degree of attentional selectivity; when VSTM is not completely taxed, it is more likely for task-irrelevant items to be consolidated and, consequently, affect responses. The "resources" hypothesized by load theory are at least partly mnemonic in nature, due to the strong correspondence they share with VSTM capacity.
Doolan, Katy J; Breslin, Gavin; Hanna, Donncha; Murphy, Kate; Gallagher, Alison M
Based on the theory of incentive sensitization, the aim of this study was to investigate differences in attentional processing of food-related visual cues between normal-weight and overweight/obese males and females. Twenty-six normal-weight (14M, 12F) and 26 overweight/obese (14M, 12F) adults completed a visual probe task and an eye-tracking paradigm. Reaction times and eye movements to food and control images were collected during both a fasted and fed condition in a counterbalanced design. Participants had greater visual attention towards high-energy-density food images compared to low-energy-density food images regardless of hunger condition. This was most pronounced in overweight/obese males who had significantly greater maintained attention towards high-energy-density food images when compared with their normal-weight counterparts however no between weight group differences were observed for female participants. High-energy-density food images appear to capture visual attention more readily than low-energy-density food images. Results also suggest the possibility of an altered visual food cue-associated reward system in overweight/obese males. Attentional processing of food cues may play a role in eating behaviors thus should be taken into consideration as part of an integrated approach to curbing obesity. © 2014 The Obesity Society.
Dye, Matthew W G; Seymour, Jenessa L; Hauser, Peter C
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.
Walsh, Kyle P.; Pasanen, Edward G.; McFadden, Dennis
Human subjects performed in several behavioral conditions requiring, or not requiring, selective attention to visual stimuli. Specifically, the attentional task was to recognize strings of digits that had been presented visually. A nonlinear version of the stimulus-frequency otoacoustic emission (SFOAE), called the nSFOAE, was collected during the visual presentation of the digits. The segment of the physiological response discussed here occurred during brief silent periods immediately following the SFOAE-evoking stimuli. For all subjects tested, the physiological-noise magnitudes were substantially weaker (less noisy) during the tasks requiring the most visual attention. Effect sizes for the differences were >2.0. Our interpretation is that cortico-olivo influences adjusted the magnitude of efferent activation during the SFOAE-evoking stimulation depending upon the attention task in effect, and then that magnitude of efferent activation persisted throughout the silent period where it also modulated the physiological noise present. Because the results were highly similar to those obtained when the behavioral conditions involved auditory attention, similar mechanisms appear to operate both across modalities and within modalities. Supplementary measurements revealed that the efferent activation was spectrally global, as it was for auditory attention. PMID:24732070
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...
Roy E Crist
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
Rosbergen, E; Pieters, R; Wedel, M
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
Boerman, S.; Smit, E.; van Meurs, A.
Using eye-tracking data, we tested what elements of the ad are able to catch the eye and whether the context of the ad can draw visual attention away. Characteristics of 183 magazine ads and their direct context were systematically coded and linked to eye-tracking data. Results showed that indeed ad
Jensen, Rasmus Ramsbøl; Stets, Jonathan Dyssel; Suurmets, Seidi
gaze trackers allows respondents to move freely in any real world 3D environment, removing the previous restrictions. In this paper we propose a novel approach for processing visual attention of respondents using mobile wearable gaze trackers in a 3D environment. The pipeline consists of 3 steps...
Bosse, T.; Maanen, P.P. van; Treur, J.
In this paper a simulation model for visual attention is discussed and formally analysed. The model is part of the design of a cognitive system which comprises an agent that supports a naval officer in its task to compile a tactical picture of the situation in the field. A case study is described in
Bosse, T.; Maanen, P.P. van; Treur, J.
In this paper a cognitive model for visual attention is introduced. The cognitive model is part of the design of a software agent that supports a naval warfare officer in its task to compile a tactical picture of the situation in the field. An executable formal specification of the cognitive model
Berger, Andrea; Henik, Avishai; Rafal, Robert
The relation between reflexive and voluntary orienting of visual attention was investigated with 4 experiments: a simple detection task, a localization task, a saccade toward the target task, and a target identification task in which discrimination difficulty was manipulated. Endogenous and exogenous orienting cues were presented in each trial and…
McDonald, John J.; Green, Jessica J.; Jannati, Ali; Di Lollo, Vincent
The presence of a salient distractor interferes with visual search. According to the salience-driven selection hypothesis, this interference is because of an initial deployment of attention to the distractor. Three event-related potential (ERP) findings have been regarded as evidence for this hypothesis: (a) salient distractors were found to…
Ross-Sheehy, Shannon; Perone, Sammy; Macek, Kelsi L; Eschman, Bret
Cognitive outcomes for children born prematurely are well characterized, including increased risk for deficits in memory, attention, processing speed, and executive function. However, little is known about deficits that appear within the first 12 months, and how these early deficits contribute to later outcomes. To probe for functional deficits in visual attention, preterm and full-term infants were tested at 5 and 10 months with the Infant Orienting With Attention task (IOWA; Ross-Sheehy, Schneegans and Spencer, 2015). 5-month-old preterm infants showed significant deficits in orienting speed and task related error. However, 10-month-old preterm infants showed only selective deficits in spatial attention, particularly reflexive orienting responses, and responses that required some inhibition. These emergent deficits in spatial attention suggest preterm differences may be related to altered postnatal developmental trajectories. Moreover, we found no evidence of a dose-response relation between increased gestational risk and spatial attention. These results highlight the critical role of postnatal visual experience, and suggest that visual orienting may be a sensitive measure of attentional delay. Results reported here both inform current theoretical models of early perceptual/cognitive development, and future intervention efforts. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Faught, Gayle G; Conners, Frances A; Himmelberger, Zachary M
Sustained attention (SA) is important to task performance and development of higher functions. It emerges as a separable component of attention during preschool and shows incremental improvements during this stage of development. The current study investigated if auditory and visual SA match developmental level or are particular challenges for youth with DS. Further, we sought to determine if there were modality effects in SA that could predict those seen in short-term memory (STM). We compared youth with DS to typically developing youth matched for nonverbal mental age and receptive vocabulary. Groups completed auditory and visual sustained attention to response tests (SARTs) and STM tasks. Results indicated groups performed similarly on both SARTs, even over varying cognitive ability. Further, within groups participants performed similarly on auditory and visual SARTs, thus SA could not predict modality effects in STM. However, SA did generally predict a significant portion of unique variance in groups' STM. Ultimately, results suggested both auditory and visual SA match developmental level in DS. Further, SA generally predicts STM, though SA does not necessarily predict the pattern of poor auditory relative to visual STM characteristic of DS. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
De Voogd, E L; Wiers, R W; Prins, P J M; Salemink, E
An attentional bias for negative information plays an important role in the development and maintenance of (social) anxiety and depression, which are highly prevalent in adolescence. Attention Bias Modification (ABM) might be an interesting tool in the prevention of emotional disorders. The current study investigated whether visual search ABM might affect attentional bias and emotional functioning in adolescents. A visual search task was used as a training paradigm; participants (n = 16 adolescents, aged 13-16) had to repeatedly identify the only smiling face in a 4 × 4 matrix of negative emotional faces, while participants in the control condition (n = 16) were randomly allocated to one of three placebo training versions. An assessment version of the task was developed to directly test whether attentional bias changed due to the training. Self-reported anxiety and depressive symptoms and self-esteem were measured pre- and post-training. After two sessions of training, the ABM group showed a significant decrease in attentional bias for negative information and self-reported social phobia, while the control group did not. There were no effects of training on depressive mood or self-esteem. No correlation between attentional bias and social phobia was found, which raises questions about the validity of the attentional bias assessment task. Also, the small sample size precludes strong conclusions. Visual search ABM might be beneficial in changing attentional bias and social phobia in adolescents, but further research with larger sample sizes and longer follow-up is needed. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Maunsell, John H. R.
Studies of visual attention in monkeys typically measure neuronal activity when the stimulus event to be detected occurs at a cued location versus when it occurs at an uncued location. But this approach does not address how neuronal activity changes relative to conditions where attention is unconstrained by cueing. Human psychophysical studies have used neutral cueing conditions and found that neutrally cued behavioral performance is generally intermediate to that of cued and uncued conditions (Posner et al., 1978; Mangun and Hillyard, 1990; Montagna et al., 2009). To determine whether the neuronal correlates of visual attention during neutral cueing are similarly intermediate, we trained macaque monkeys to detect changes in stimulus orientation that were more likely to occur at one location (cued) than another (uncued), or were equally likely to occur at either stimulus location (neutral). Consistent with human studies, performance was best when the location was cued, intermediate when both locations were neutrally cued, and worst when the location was uncued. Neuronal modulations in visual area V4 were also graded as a function of cue validity and behavioral performance. By recording from both hemispheres simultaneously, we investigated the possibility of switching attention between stimulus locations during neutral cueing. The results failed to support a unitary “spotlight” of attention. Overall, our findings indicate that attention-related changes in V4 are graded to accommodate task demands. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Studies of the neuronal correlates of attention in monkeys typically use visual cues to manipulate where attention is focused (“cued” vs “uncued”). Human psychophysical studies often also include neutrally cued trials to study how attention naturally varies between points of interest. But the neuronal correlates of this neutral condition are unclear. We measured behavioral performance and neuronal activity in cued, uncued, and neutrally
Mayo, J Patrick; Maunsell, John H R
Studies of visual attention in monkeys typically measure neuronal activity when the stimulus event to be detected occurs at a cued location versus when it occurs at an uncued location. But this approach does not address how neuronal activity changes relative to conditions where attention is unconstrained by cueing. Human psychophysical studies have used neutral cueing conditions and found that neutrally cued behavioral performance is generally intermediate to that of cued and uncued conditions (Posner et al., 1978; Mangun and Hillyard, 1990; Montagna et al., 2009). To determine whether the neuronal correlates of visual attention during neutral cueing are similarly intermediate, we trained macaque monkeys to detect changes in stimulus orientation that were more likely to occur at one location (cued) than another (uncued), or were equally likely to occur at either stimulus location (neutral). Consistent with human studies, performance was best when the location was cued, intermediate when both locations were neutrally cued, and worst when the location was uncued. Neuronal modulations in visual area V4 were also graded as a function of cue validity and behavioral performance. By recording from both hemispheres simultaneously, we investigated the possibility of switching attention between stimulus locations during neutral cueing. The results failed to support a unitary "spotlight" of attention. Overall, our findings indicate that attention-related changes in V4 are graded to accommodate task demands. Studies of the neuronal correlates of attention in monkeys typically use visual cues to manipulate where attention is focused ("cued" vs "uncued"). Human psychophysical studies often also include neutrally cued trials to study how attention naturally varies between points of interest. But the neuronal correlates of this neutral condition are unclear. We measured behavioral performance and neuronal activity in cued, uncued, and neutrally cued blocks of trials. Behavioral
Remington, R.; Pierce, L.
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.
Narwaria, Manish; Perreira Da Silva, Matthieu; Le Callet, Patrick; Pepion, Romuald
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.
Lin, Hung-Yu; Hsieh, Hsieh-Chun; Lee, Posen; Hong, Fu-Yuan; Chang, Wen-Dien; Liu, Kuo-Cheng
This study explored auditory and visual attention in children with ADHD. In a randomized, two-period crossover design, 50 children with ADHD and 50 age- and sex-matched typically developing peers were measured with the Test of Various Attention (TOVA). The deficiency of visual attention is more serious than that of auditory attention in children with ADHD. On the auditory modality, only the deficit of attentional inconsistency is sufficient to explain most cases of ADHD; however, most of the children with ADHD suffered from deficits of sustained attention, response inhibition, and attentional inconsistency on the visual modality. Our results also showed that the deficit of attentional inconsistency is the most important indicator in diagnosing and intervening in ADHD when both auditory and visual modalities are considered. The findings provide strong evidence that the deficits of auditory attention are different from those of visual attention in children with ADHD.
Van Voorhis, S.; Hillyard, S. A.
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.
César Oliva Aravena
Full Text Available This article present a qualitative analysis, relating visual perception to attention in the acquisition of motor abilities process. Research shows that the visual system is already in an advanced stage, right from the moment the baby is born, and that normal eye sight is attained at the age of 5 and continues to improve. On the other hand, attention is an flexible process, subordinated to a cognitive strategy and its relation to eye sight is only functional. The understanfing of the capacity of selective attention is necessary to the teacher or coach for it will help him/her to take decisions on how to teach, which aspects of his/her teaching should be emphasized or inhibited, in the learning process, and wich teaching strategies he/she should use.
Madden, D J; Blumenthal, J A
Previous research suggests that some aspects of cognitive performance decline as a joint function of age and hypertension. In this experiment, 51 unmedicated individuals with mild essential hypertension and 48 normotensive individuals, 18-78 years of age, performed a visual search task. The estimated time required to identify a display character and shift attention between display positions increased with age. This attention shift time did not differ significantly between hypertensive and normotensive participants, but regression analyses indicated some mediation of the age effect by blood pressure. For individuals less than 60 years of age, the error rate was greater for hypertensive than for normotensive participants. Although the present design could detect effects of only moderate to large size, the results suggest that effects of hypertension may be more evident in a relatively general measure of performance (mean error rate) than in the speed of shifting visual attention.
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 than do ignored stimuli, the method has been used to investigate the neural mechanisms of spatial attention. However, up to now it has not been shown whether the amplitude of the SSVEP is sensitive to gradations of attention and there has been debate about whether attention effects on the SSVEP are dependent on the tagging frequency used. We thus compared attention effects on SSVEP across three attention conditions-focused, divided, and ignored-with six different tagging frequencies. Participants performed a visual detection task (respond to the digit 5 embedded in a stream of characters). Two stimulus streams, one to the left and one to the right of fixation, were displayed simultaneously, each with a background grey square whose hue was sine-modulated with one of the six tagging frequencies. At the beginning of each trial a cue indicated whether targets on the left, right, or both sides should be responded to. Accuracy was higher in the focused- than in the divided-attention condition. SSVEP amplitudes were greatest in the focused-attention condition, intermediate in the divided-attention condition, and smallest in the ignored-attention condition. The effect of attention on SSVEP amplitude did not depend on the tagging frequency used. Frequency tagging appears to be a flexible technique for studying attention.
Raffone, Antonino; Srinivasan, Narayanan; van Leeuwen, Cees
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.
Raffone, Antonino; Srinivasan, Narayanan; van Leeuwen, Cees
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. PMID:24639586
Bury, Belinda; Tiggemann, Marika; Slater, Amy
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.
Tummeltshammer, Kristen; Amso, Dima
The visual context in which an object or face resides can provide useful top-down information for guiding attention orienting, object recognition, and visual search. Although infants have demonstrated sensitivity to covariation in spatial arrays, it is presently unclear whether they can use rapidly acquired contextual knowledge to guide attention during visual search. In this eye-tracking experiment, 6- and 10-month-old infants searched for a target face hidden among colorful distracter shapes. Targets appeared in Old or New visual contexts, depending on whether the visual search arrays (defined by the spatial configuration, shape and color of component items in the search display) were repeated or newly generated throughout the experiment. Targets in Old contexts appeared in the same location within the same configuration, such that context covaried with target location. Both 6- and 10-month-olds successfully distinguished between Old and New contexts, exhibiting faster search times, fewer looks at distracters, and more anticipation of targets when contexts repeated. This initial demonstration of contextual cueing effects in infants indicates that they can use top-down information to facilitate orienting during memory-guided visual search. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
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.
Li, Qi; Saiki, Jun
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 equivalent benefits of the first and second spatial cues, suggesting 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 was still better at first-cued locations than at uncued and neutral 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.
Li, Qi; Saiki, Jun
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 equivalent benefits of the first and second spatial cues, suggesting 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 was still better at first-cued locations than at uncued and neutral 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. PMID:25237306
Müller, Thomas; Knoll, Alois
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
Seidl-Rathkopf, Katharina N; Turk-Browne, Nicholas B; Kastner, Sabine
Looking for objects in cluttered natural environments is a frequent task in everyday life. This process can be difficult, because the features, locations, and times of appearance of relevant objects often are not known in advance. Thus, a mechanism by which attention is automatically biased toward information that is potentially relevant may be helpful. We tested for such a mechanism across five experiments by engaging participants in real-world visual search and then assessing attentional capture for information that was related to the search set but was otherwise irrelevant. Isolated objects captured attention while preparing to search for objects from the same category embedded in a scene, as revealed by lower detection performance (Experiment 1A). This capture effect was driven by a central processing bottleneck rather than the withdrawal of spatial attention (Experiment 1B), occurred automatically even in a secondary task (Experiment 2A), and reflected enhancement of matching information rather than suppression of nonmatching information (Experiment 2B). Finally, attentional capture extended to objects that were semantically associated with the target category (Experiment 3). We conclude that attention is efficiently drawn towards a wide range of information that may be relevant for an upcoming real-world visual search. This mechanism may be adaptive, allowing us to find information useful for our behavioral goals in the face of uncertainty.
Seidl-Rathkopf, Katharina N.; Turk-Browne, Nicholas B.; Kastner, Sabine
Looking for objects in cluttered natural environments is a frequent task in everyday life. This process can be difficult, as the features, locations, and times of appearance of relevant objects are often not known in advance. A mechanism by which attention is automatically biased toward information that is potentially relevant may thus be helpful. Here we tested for such a mechanism across five experiments by engaging participants in real-world visual search and then assessing attentional capture for information that was related to the search set but was otherwise irrelevant. Isolated objects captured attention while preparing to search for objects from the same category embedded in a scene, as revealed by lower detection performance (Experiment 1A). This capture effect was driven by a central processing bottleneck rather than the withdrawal of spatial attention (Experiment 1B), occurred automatically even in a secondary task (Experiment 2A), and reflected enhancement of matching information rather than suppression of non-matching information (Experiment 2B). Finally, attentional capture extended to objects that were semantically associated with the target category (Experiment 3). We conclude that attention is efficiently drawn towards a wide range of information that may be relevant for an upcoming real-world visual search. This mechanism may be adaptive, allowing us to find information useful for our behavioral goals in the face of uncertainty. PMID:25898897
Balslev, Daniela; Gowen, Emma; Miall, R Chris
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...
Neimeijer, Renate A M; de Jong, Peter J; Roefs, Anne
Although restrained eaters try to limit their food intake, they often fail and indulge in exactly those foods that they want to avoid. A possible explanation is a temporal attentional bias for food cues. It could be that for these people food stimuli are processed relatively efficiently and require less attentional resources to enter awareness. Once a food stimulus has captured attention, it may be preferentially processed and granted prioritized access to limited cognitive resources. This might help explain why restrained eaters often fail in their attempts to restrict their food intake. A Rapid Serial Visual Presentation task consisting of dual and single target trials with food and neutral pictures as targets and/or distractors was administered to restrained (n=40) and unrestrained (n=40) eaters to study temporal attentional bias. Results indicated that (1) food cues did not diminish the attentional blink in restrained eaters when presented as second target; (2) specifically restrained eaters showed an interference effect of identifying food targets on the identification of preceding neutral targets; (3) for both restrained and unrestrained eaters, food cues enhanced the attentional blink; (4) specifically in restrained eaters, food distractors elicited an attention blink in the single target trials. In restrained eaters, food cues get prioritized access to limited cognitive resources, even if this processing priority interferes with their current goals. This temporal attentional bias for food stimuli might help explain why restrained eaters typically have difficulties maintaining their diet rules. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Saksida, Amanda; Iannuzzi, Stéphanie; Bogliotti, Caroline; Chaix, Yves; Démonet, Jean-François; Bricout, Laure; Billard, Catherine; Nguyen-Morel, Marie-Ange; Le Heuzey, Marie-France; Soares-Boucaud, Isabelle; George, Florence; Ziegler, Johannes C.; Ramus, Franck
In this study, we concurrently investigated 3 possible causes of dyslexia--a phonological deficit, visual stress, and a reduced visual attention span--in a large population of 164 dyslexic and 118 control French children, aged between 8 and 13 years old. We found that most dyslexic children showed a phonological deficit, either in terms of…
Wang, Tsui-Ying; Huang, Ho-Chuan; Huang, Hsiu-Shuang
We propose a computer-assisted cancellation test system (CACTS) to understand the visual attention performance and visual search strategies in school children. The main aim of this paper is to present our design and development of the CACTS and demonstrate some ways in which computer techniques can allow the educator not only to obtain more…
Bacigalupo, Felix; Luck, Steven J
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.
Bleckley, M Kathryn; Durso, Francis T; Crutchfield, Jerry M; Engle, Randall W; Khanna, Maya M
To the extent that individual differences in working memory capacity (WMC) reflect differences in attention (Baddeley, 1993; Engle, Kane, & Tuholski, 1999), differences in WMC should predict performance on visual attention tasks. Individuals who scored in the upper and lower quartiles on the OSPAN working memory test performed a modification of Egly and Homa's (1984) selective attention task. In this task, the participants identified a central letter and localized a displaced letter flashed somewhere on one of three concentric rings. When the displaced letter occurred closer to fixation than the cue implied, high-WMC, but not low-WMC, individuals showed a cost in the letter localization task. This suggests that low-WMC participants allocated attention as a spotlight, whereas those with high WMC showed flexible allocation.
Neimeijer, Renate A M; Roefs, Anne; de Jong, Peter J
The present study was designed to test the hypothesis that anorexia nervosa (AN) patients are relatively insensitive to the attentional capture of visual food stimuli. Attentional avoidance of food might help AN patients to prevent more elaborate processing of food stimuli and the subsequent generation of craving, which might enable AN patients to maintain their strict diet. Participants were 66 restrictive AN spectrum patients and 55 healthy controls. A single-target rapid serial visual presentation task was used with food and disorder-neutral cues as critical distracter stimuli and disorder-neutral pictures as target stimuli. AN spectrum patients showed diminished task performance when visual food cues were presented in close temporal proximity of the to-be-identified target. In contrast to our hypothesis, results indicate that food cues automatically capture AN spectrum patients' attention. One explanation could be that the enhanced attentional capture of food cues in AN is driven by the relatively high threat value of food items in AN. Implications and suggestions for future research are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).
Wadlinger, Heather A; Isaacowitz, Derek M
In an attempt to investigate the impact of positive emotions on visual attention within the context of Fredrickson's (1998) broaden-and-build model, eye tracking was used in two studies to measure visual attentional preferences of college students (n=58, n=26) to emotional pictures. Half of each sample experienced induced positive mood immediately before viewing slides of three similarly-valenced images, in varying central-peripheral arrays. Attentional breadth was determined by measuring the percentage viewing time to peripheral images as well as by the number of visual saccades participants made per slide. Consistent with Fredrickson's theory, the first study showed that individuals induced into positive mood fixated more on peripheral stimuli than did control participants; however, this only held true for highly-valenced positive stimuli. Participants under induced positive mood also made more frequent saccades for slides of neutral and positive valence. A second study showed that these effects were not simply due to differences in emotional arousal between stimuli. Selective attentional broadening to positive stimuli may act both to facilitate later building of resources as well as to maintain current positive affective states.
Full Text Available 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 towards the vegetation in the environment and away from the signs of disorder. Contrary to our expectations the results show that the presence of an ambient odor did not affect the participants’ visual attention for signs of disorder or their emotional response. 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.
Toet, Alexander; van Schaik, Martin G
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).
Anthony Thomas Herdman
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.
Finke, Kathrin; Bublak, Peter; Krummenacher, Joseph
four separable attentional components: processing speed, working memory storage capacity, spatial distribution of attention, and top-down control. A number of studies (Duncan et al., 1999; Habekost & Bundesen, 2003; Peers et al., 2005) have already demonstrated the clinical relevance......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...
Tegelbeckers, Jana; Bunzeck, Nico; Duzel, Emrah; Bonath, Björn; Flechtner, Hans-Henning; Krauel, Kerstin
Attentional problems in patients with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have often been linked with deficits in cognitive control. Whether these deficits are associated with increased sensitivity to external salient stimuli remains unclear. To address this issue, we acquired functional brain images (fMRI) in 38 boys with and without ADHD (age: 11-16 years). To differentiate the effects of item novelty, contextual rareness and task relevance, participants performed a visual oddball task including four stimulus categories: a frequent standard picture (62.5%), unique novel pictures (12.5%), one repeated rare picture (12.5%), and a target picture (12.5%) that required a specific motor response. As a main finding, we can show considerable overlap in novelty-related BOLD responses between both groups, but only healthy participants showed neural deactivation in temporal as well as frontal regions in response to novel pictures. Furthermore, only ADHD patients, but not healthy controls, engaged wide parts of the novelty network when processing the rare but familiar picture. Our results provide first evidence that ADHD patients show enhanced neural activity in response to novel but behaviorally irrelevant stimuli as well as reduced habituation to familiar items. These findings suggest an inefficient use of neuronal resources in children with ADHD that could be closely linked to increased distractibility. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Schindler, Sebastian; Kissler, Johanna
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.
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
Göschl, Florian; Engel, Andreas K.; Friese, Uwe
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. PMID:25203102
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.
Anton-Erxleben, Katharina; Henrich, Christian; Treue, Stefan
Spatial attention shifts receptive fields in monkey extrastriate visual cortex toward the focus of attention (S. Ben Hamed, J. R. Duhamel, F. Bremmer, & W. Graf, 2002; C. E. Connor, J. L. Gallant, D. C. Preddie, & D. C. Van Essen, 1996; C. E. Connor, D. C. Preddie, J. L. Gallant, & D. C. Van Essen, 1997; T. Womelsdorf, K. Anton-Erxleben, F. Pieper, & S. Treue, 2006). This distortion in the retinotopic distribution of receptive fields might cause distortions in spatial perception such as an increase of the perceived size of attended stimuli. Here we test for such an effect in human subjects by measuring the point of subjective equality (PSE) for the perceived size of a neutral and an attended stimulus when drawing automatic attention to one of two spatial locations. We found a significant increase in perceived size of attended stimuli. Depending on the absolute stimulus size, this effect ranged from 4% to 12% and was more pronounced for smaller than for larger stimuli. In our experimental design, an attentional effect on task difficulty or a cue bias might influence the PSE measure. We performed control experiments and indeed found such effects, but they could only account for part of the observed results. Our findings demonstrate that the allocation of transient spatial attention onto a visual stimulus increases its perceived size and additionally biases subjects to select this stimulus for a perceptual judgment.
Kamke, Marc R; Hall, Michelle G; Lye, Hayley F; Sale, Martin V; Fenlon, Laura R; Carroll, Timothy J; Riek, Stephan; Mattingley, Jason B
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.
Wiegand, Iris Michaela; Petersen, Anders; Bundesen, Claus
In the present study, we investigated effects of phasic alerting on visual attention in younger and older adults. We modelled parameters of visual attention based on the computational Theory of Visual Attention (TVA) and measured event-related lateralizations (ERLs) in a partial report task, in w...... and attention, which governs the responsiveness to external cues and is critical for general cognitive functioning in aging.......In the present study, we investigated effects of phasic alerting on visual attention in younger and older adults. We modelled parameters of visual attention based on the computational Theory of Visual Attention (TVA) and measured event-related lateralizations (ERLs) in a partial report task...
Andersen, Emil; Maier, Anja
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...... in a controlled environment, in which 11 participants scanned a 20 item display for a coloured target amongst coloured distractors. We found evidence to support that primary colours capture attention significantly more than secondary colours, and inconclusive evidence that colours convey their meaning...... 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....
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.
STUDENT RESEACHER UC Irvine...and Zhang et al. 2007). BCI research on visual attention has produced several methods for using...further research using this attention tracking method in a real world or virtual
Krüger, Alexander; Tünnermann, Jan; Scharlau, Ingrid
For almost three decades, the theory of visual attention (TVA) has been successful in mathematically describing and explaining a wide variety of phenomena in visual selection and recognition with high quantitative precision. Interestingly, the influence of feature contrast on attention has been included in TVA only recently, although it has been extensively studied outside the TVA framework. The present approach further develops this extension of TVA's scope by measuring and modeling salience. An empirical measure of salience is achieved by linking different (orientation and luminance) contrasts to a TVA parameter. In the modeling part, the function relating feature contrasts to salience is described mathematically and tested against alternatives by Bayesian model comparison. This model comparison reveals that the power function is an appropriate model of salience growth in the dimensions of orientation and luminance contrast. Furthermore, if contrasts from the two dimensions are combined, salience adds up additively.
Konijnenberg, Carolien; Melinder, Annika
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.
Collis, Nathan L; Kohnen, Saskia; Kinoshita, Sachiko
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.
Boyer, Ty W; Maouene, Josita; Sethuraman, Nitya
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.
Laasonen, Marja; Salomaa, Jonna; Cousineau, Denis; Leppamaki, Sami; Tani, Pekka; Hokkanen, Laura; Dye, Matthew
In this study of the project DyAdd, three aspects of visual attention were investigated in adults (18-55 years) with dyslexia (n = 35) or attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD, n = 22), and in healthy controls (n = 35). Temporal characteristics of visual attention were assessed with Attentional Blink (AB), capacity of visual attention…
Ellis, Kyle K.; Arthur, J. J.; Latorella, Kara A.; Kramer, Lynda J.; Shelton, Kevin J.; Norman, Robert M.; Prinzel, Lawrence J.
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
Full Text Available Neurophysiological findings in the typical population demonstrate that spatial scrutiny for visual selection determines a center-surround profile of the attentional focus, which is the result of recurrent processing in the visual system. Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD manifest several anomalies in their visual selection, with strengths in detail-oriented tasks, but also difficulties in distractor inhibition tasks. Here, we asked whether contradictory aspects of perception in ASD might be due to a different center-surround profile of their attentional focus. In two experiments, we tested two independent samples of children with ASD, comparing them with typically developing (TD peers. In Experiment 1, we used a psychophysical task that mapped the entire spatial profile of the attentional focus. In Experiment 2, we used dense-array electroencephalography (EEG to explore its neurophysiological underpinnings. Experiment 1 results showed that the suppression, surrounding the attentional focus, was markedly reduced in children with ASD. Experiment 2 showed that the center-surround profile in TD children resulted in a modulation of the posterior N2 ERP component, with cortical sources in the lateral-occipital and medial/inferior temporal areas. In contrast, children with ASD did not show modulation of the N2 and related activations in the ventral visual stream. Furthermore, behavioural and neurophysiological measures of weaker suppression predicted more severe autistic symptomatology. The present findings, showing an altered center-surround profile during attentional selection, give an important insight to understand superior visual processing in autism as well as the experiencing of sensory overload. Keywords: EEG, Source analysis, Ventral visual stream, Perception, Rehabilitation
Hugues, Etienne; Jose, Jorge V.
Visual scenes have enormous spatial and temporal information that are transduced into neural spike trains. Psychophysical experiments indicate that only a small portion of a spatial image is consciously accessible. Electrophysiological experiments in behaving monkeys have revealed a number of modulations of the neural activity in special visual area known as V4, when the animal is paying attention directly towards a particular stimulus location. The nature of the attentional input to V4, however, remains unknown as well as to the mechanisms responsible for these modulations. We use a biophysical neural network model of V4 to address these issues. We first constrain our model to reproduce the experimental results obtained for different external stimulus configurations and without paying attention. To reproduce the known neuronal response variability, we found that the neurons should receive about equal, or balanced, levels of excitatory and inhibitory inputs and whose levels are high as they are in in vivo conditions. Next we consider attentional inputs that can induce and reproduce the observed spiking modulations. We also elucidate the role played by the neural network to generate these modulations
Fan, Judith E; Turk-Browne, Nicholas B
Holding recently experienced information in mind can help us achieve our current goals. However, such immediate and direct forms of guidance from working memory are less helpful over extended delays or when other related information in long-term memory is useful for reaching these goals. Here we show that information that was encoded in the past but is no longer present or relevant to the task also guides attention. We examined this by associating multiple unique features with novel shapes in visual long-term memory (VLTM), and subsequently testing how memories for these objects biased the deployment of attention. In Experiment 1, VLTM for associated features guided visual search for the shapes, even when these features had never been task-relevant. In Experiment 2, associated features captured attention when presented in isolation during a secondary task that was completely unrelated to the shapes. These findings suggest that long-term memory enables a durable and automatic type of memory-based attentional control. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).
Murray, Alexandra M; Nobre, Anna C; Clark, Ian A; Cravo, André M; Stokes, Mark G
When a memory is forgotten, is it lost forever? Our study shows that selective attention can restore forgotten items to visual short-term memory (VSTM). In our two experiments, all stimuli presented in a memory array were designed to be equally task relevant during encoding. During the retention interval, however, participants were sometimes given a cue predicting which of the memory items would be probed at the end of the delay. This shift in task relevance improved recall for that item. We found that this type of cuing improved recall for items that otherwise would have been irretrievable, providing critical evidence that attention can restore forgotten information to VSTM. Psychophysical modeling of memory performance has confirmed that restoration of information in VSTM increases the probability that the cued item is available for recall but does not improve the representational quality of the memory. We further suggest that attention can restore discrete items to VSTM.
Berggren, Nick; Eimer, Martin
During visual search, attention is believed to be controlled in a strictly feature-based fashion, without any guidance by object-based target representations. To challenge this received view, we measured electrophysiological markers of attentional selection (N2pc component) and working memory (sustained posterior contralateral negativity; SPCN) in search tasks where two possible targets were defined by feature conjunctions (e.g., blue circles and green squares). Critically, some search displays also contained nontargets with two target features (incorrect conjunction objects, e.g., blue squares). Because feature-based guidance cannot distinguish these objects from targets, any selective bias for targets will reflect object-based attentional control. In Experiment 1, where search displays always contained only one object with target-matching features, targets and incorrect conjunction objects elicited identical N2pc and SPCN components, demonstrating that attentional guidance was entirely feature-based. In Experiment 2, where targets and incorrect conjunction objects could appear in the same display, clear evidence for object-based attentional control was found. The target N2pc became larger than the N2pc to incorrect conjunction objects from 250 ms poststimulus, and only targets elicited SPCN components. This demonstrates that after an initial feature-based guidance phase, object-based templates are activated when they are required to distinguish target and nontarget objects. These templates modulate visual processing and control access to working memory, and their activation may coincide with the start of feature integration processes. Results also suggest that while multiple feature templates can be activated concurrently, only a single object-based target template can guide attention at any given time. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved).
Kentridge, R W; Nijboer, T C W; Heywood, C A
Does any one psychological process give rise to visual awareness? One candidate is selective attention-when we attend to something it seems we always see it. But if attention can selectively enhance our response to an unseen stimulus then attention cannot be a sufficient precondition for awareness. Kentridge, Heywood & Weiskrantz [Kentridge, R. W., Heywood, C. A., & Weiskrantz, L. (1999). Attention without awareness in blindsight. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series B, 266, 1805-1811; Kentridge, R. W., Heywood, C. A., & Weiskrantz, L. (2004). Spatial attention speeds discrimination without awareness in blindsight. Neuropsychologia, 42, 831-835.] demonstrated just such a dissociation in the blindsight subject GY. Here, we test whether the dissociation generalizes to the normal population. We presented observers with pairs of coloured discs, each masked by the subsequent presentation of a coloured annulus. The discs acted as primes, speeding discrimination of the colour of the annulus when they matched in colour and slowing it when they differed. We show that the location of attention modulated the size of this priming effect. However, the primes were rendered invisible by metacontrast-masking and remained unseen despite being attended. Visual attention could therefore facilitate processing of an invisible target and cannot, therefore, be a sufficient precondition for visual awareness.
Raymond, Jane E; O'Brien, Jennifer L
Learning to associate the probability and value of behavioral outcomes with specific stimuli (value learning) is essential for rational decision making. However, in demanding cognitive conditions, access to learned values might be constrained by limited attentional capacity. We measured recognition of briefly presented faces seen previously in a value-learning task involving monetary wins and losses; the recognition task was performed both with and without constraints on available attention. Regardless of available attention, recognition was substantially enhanced for motivationally salient stimuli (i.e., stimuli highly predictive of outcomes), compared with equally familiar stimuli that had weak or no motivational salience, and this effect was found regardless of valence (win or loss). However, when attention was constrained (because stimuli were presented during an attentional blink, AB), valence determined recognition; win-associated faces showed no AB, but all other faces showed large ABs. Motivational salience acts independently of attention to modulate simple perceptual decisions, but when attention is limited, visual processing is biased in favor of reward-associated stimuli.
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.
Elling, Ludger; Schupp, Harald; Bayer, Janine; Bröckelmann, Ann-Kathrin; Steinberg, Christian; Dobel, Christian; Junghofer, Markus
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.
Angelique Van Ombergen
Conclusions: We found alterations in the visual and vestibular cortical network in VID patients that could underlie the typical VID symptoms such as a worsening of their vestibular symptoms when being exposed to challenging visual stimuli. These preliminary findings provide the first insights into the underlying functional brain connectivity in VID patients. Future studies should extend these findings by employing larger sample sizes, by investigating specific task-based paradigms in these patients and by exploring the implications for treatment.
Lobier, Muriel; Zoubrinetzky, Rachel; Valdois, Sylviane
The visual attention (VA) span deficit hypothesis of dyslexia posits that letter string deficits are a consequence of impaired visual processing. Alternatively, some have interpreted this deficit as resulting from a visual-to-phonology code mapping impairment. This study aims to disambiguate between the two interpretations by investigating performance in a non-verbal character string visual categorization task with verbal and non-verbal stimuli. Results show that VA span ability predicts performance for the non-verbal visual processing task in normal reading children. Furthermore, VA span impaired dyslexic children are also impaired for the categorization task independently of stimuli type. This supports the hypothesis that the underlying impairment responsible for the VA span deficit is visual, not verbal. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Srl. All rights reserved.
Yu, Yuanlong; Mann, George K I; Gosine, Raymond G
By extending integrated competition hypothesis, this paper presents an object-based visual attention model, which selects one object of interest using low-dimensional features, resulting that visual perception starts from a fast attentional selection procedure. The proposed attention model involves seven modules: learning of object representations stored in a long-term memory (LTM), preattentive processing, top-down biasing, bottom-up competition, mediation between top-down and bottom-up ways, generation of saliency maps, and perceptual completion processing. It works in two phases: learning phase and attending phase. In the learning phase, the corresponding object representation is trained statistically when one object is attended. A dual-coding object representation consisting of local and global codings is proposed. Intensity, color, and orientation features are used to build the local coding, and a contour feature is employed to constitute the global coding. In the attending phase, the model preattentively segments the visual field into discrete proto-objects using Gestalt rules at first. If a task-specific object is given, the model recalls the corresponding representation from LTM and deduces the task-relevant feature(s) to evaluate top-down biases. The mediation between automatic bottom-up competition and conscious top-down biasing is then performed to yield a location-based saliency map. By combination of location-based saliency within each proto-object, the proto-object-based saliency is evaluated. The most salient proto-object is selected for attention, and it is finally put into the perceptual completion processing module to yield a complete object region. This model has been applied into distinct tasks of robots: detection of task-specific stationary and moving objects. Experimental results under different conditions are shown to validate this model.
Simona Denisia Iftime Nielsen
Full Text Available 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.
Chamberlain, Rebecca; Wagemans, Johan
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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Keitel, Christian; Müller, Matthias M
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.
Ptito, Maurice; Schneider, Fabien C G; Paulson, Olaf B
/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...... projections to the visual cortex in CB are largely atrophied. Despite the massive volume reductions in the occipital lobes, there is compelling evidence from the literature (reviewed in Noppeney 2007; Ptito and Kupers 2005) that blind subjects activate their visual cortex when performing tasks that involve...
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.
Neumann, Nicola; Dubischar-Krivec, Anna M.; Poustka, Fritz; Birbaumer, Niels; Bolte, Sven; Braun, Christoph
Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) demonstrate intact or superior local processing of visual-spatial tasks. We investigated the hypothesis that in a disembedding task, autistic individuals exhibit a more local processing style than controls, which is reflected by altered electromagnetic brain activity in response to embedded stimuli…
Duncan, J; Humphreys, G
Treisman (1991) described a series of visual search studies testing feature integration theory against an alternative (Duncan & Humphreys, 1989) in which feature and conjunction search are basically similar. Here the latter account is noted to have 2 distinct levels: (a) a summary of search findings in terms of stimulus similarities, and (b) a theory of how visual attention is brought to bear on relevant objects. Working at the 1st level, Treisman found that even when similarities were calibrated and controlled, conjunction search was much harder than feature search. The theory, however, can only really be tested at the 2nd level, because the 1st is an approximation. An account of the findings is developed at the 2nd level, based on the 2 processes of input-template matching and spreading suppression. New data show that, when both of these factors are controlled, feature and conjunction search are equally difficult. Possibilities for unification of the alternative views are considered.
Stentiford, Fred W. M.
This paper provides a brief outline of the approaches to modeling human visual attention. Bottom-up and top-down mechanisms are described together with some of the problems that they face. It has been suggested in brain science that memory functions by trading measurement precision for associative power; sensory inputs from the environment are never identical on separate occasions, but the associations with memory compensate for the differences. A graphical representation for image similarity is described that relies on the size of maximally associative structures (cliques) that are found to reflect between pairs of images. This is applied to the recognition of movie posters, the location and recognition of characters, and the recognition of faces. The similarity mechanism is shown to model popout effects when constraints are placed on the physical separation of pixels that correspond to nodes in the maximal cliques. The effect extends to modeling human visual behaviour on the Poggendorff illusion.
Vandenbroucke, Annelinde R E; Sligte, Ilja G; Lamme, Victor A F
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.
Mothes-Lasch, Martin; Mentzel, Hans-Joachim; Miltner, Wolfgang H R; Straube, Thomas
In accordance with influential models proposing prioritized processing of threat, previous studies have shown automatic brain responses to angry prosody in the amygdala and the auditory cortex under auditory distraction conditions. However, it is unknown whether the automatic processing of angry prosody is also observed during cross-modal distraction. The current fMRI study investigated brain responses to angry versus neutral prosodic stimuli during visual distraction. During scanning, participants were exposed to angry or neutral prosodic stimuli while visual symbols were displayed simultaneously. By means of task requirements, participants either attended to the voices or to the visual stimuli. While the auditory task revealed pronounced activation in the auditory cortex and amygdala to angry versus neutral prosody, this effect was absent during the visual task. Thus, our results show a limitation of the automaticity of the activation of the amygdala and auditory cortex to angry prosody. The activation of these areas to threat-related voices depends on modality-specific attention.
Vernet, Marine; Japee, Shruti; Lokey, Savannah; Ahmed, Sara; Zachariou, Valentinos; Ungerleider, Leslie G
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.
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.
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.
Andersen, Tobias; Kyllingsbæk, Søren
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...
Martin-Emerson, R.; Wickens, C. D.
In two experiments we examined a number of related factors postulated to influence head-up display (HUD) performance. We addressed the benefit of reduced scanning and the cost of increasing the number of elements in the visual field by comparing a superimposed HUD with an identical display in a head-down position in varying visibility conditions. We explored the extent to which the characteristics of HUD symbology support a division of attention by contrasting conformal symbology (which links elements of the display image to elements of the far domain) with traditional instrument landing system (ILS) symbology. Together the two experiments provide strong evidence that minimizing scanning between flight instruments and the far domain contributes substantially to the observed HUD performance advantage. Experiment 1 provides little evidence for a performance cost attributable to visual clutter. In Experiment 2 the pattern of differences in lateral tracking error between conformal and traditional ILS symbology supports the hypothesis that, to the extent that the symbology forms an object with the far domain, attention may be divided between the superimposed image and its counterpart in the far domain.
Dodd, Michael D; Flowers, John H
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.
Wolf, Richard C; Philippi, Carissa L; Motzkin, Julian C; Baskaya, Mustafa K; Koenigs, Michael
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. © The Author (2014). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Guarantors of Brain. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Emrich, Stephen M; Lockhart, Holly A; Al-Aidroos, Naseem
Though it is clear that it is impossible to store an unlimited amount of information in visual working memory (VWM), the limiting mechanisms remain elusive. While several models of VWM limitations exist, these typically characterize changes in performance as a function of the number of to-be-remembered items. Here, we examine whether changes in spatial attention could better account for VWM performance, independent of load. Across 2 experiments, performance was better predicted by the prioritization of memory items (i.e., attention) than by the number of items to be remembered (i.e., memory load). This relationship followed a power law, and held regardless of whether performance was assessed based on overall precision or any of 3 measures in a mixture model. Moreover, at large set sizes, even minimally attended items could receive a small proportion of resources, without any evidence for a discrete-capacity on the number of items that could be maintained in VWM. Finally, the observed data were best fit by a variable-precision model in which response error was related to the proportion of resources allocated to each item, consistent with a model of VWM in which performance is determined by the continuous allocation of attentional resources during encoding. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).
Full Text Available Effective interaction between a human and a robot requires the bidirectional perception and interpretation of actions and behavior. While actions can be identified as a directly observable activity, this might not be sufficient to deduce actions in a scene. For example, orienting our face toward a book might suggest the action toward “reading.” For a human observer, this deduction requires the direction of gaze, the object identified as a book and the intersection between gaze and book. With this in mind, we aim to estimate and map human visual attention as directed to a scene, and assess how this relates to the detection of objects and their related actions. In particular, we consider human head pose as measurement to infer the attention of a human engaged in a task and study which prior knowledge should be included in such a detection system. In a user study, we show the successful detection of attention to objects in a typical office task scenario (i.e., reading, working with a computer, studying an object. Our system requires a single external RGB camera for head pose measurements and a pre-recorded 3D point cloud of the environment.
Full Text Available Visual search is easier after observing some distractors in advance; it is as if the previewed distractors were excluded from the search. This effect is referred to as the preview benefit, and a memory template that visually marks the old locations of the distractors is thought to help in prioritizing the locations of newly presented items. One remaining question is whether the presence of a conspicuous item during the sequential shift of attention within the new items reduces this preview benefit. To address this issue, we combined the above preview search and a conventional visual search paradigm using a singleton distractor and examined whether the search performance was affected by the presence of the singleton. The results showed that the slope of reaction time as a function of set size became steeper in the presence of a singleton, indicating that the singleton distractor reduced the preview benefit. Furthermore, this degradation effect was positively correlated with the degree of conventional attentional capture to a singleton measured in a separate experiment with simultaneous search. These findings suggest that the mechanism of visual marking shares common attentional resources with the search process.
Williams, Melonie; Pouget, Pierre; Boucher, Leanne; Woodman, Geoffrey F.
Theories have proposed that the maintenance of object representations in visual working memory is aided by a spatial rehearsal mechanism. In this study, we used two different approaches to test the hypothesis that overt and covert visual-spatial attention mechanisms contribute to the maintenance of object representations in visual working memory. First, we tracked observers’ eye movements while remembering a variable number of objects during change-detection tasks. We observed that during the blank retention interval, participants spontaneously shifted gaze to the locations that the objects had occupied in the memory array. Next, we hypothesized that if attention mechanisms contribute to the maintenance of object representations, then drawing attention away from the object locations during the retention interval would impair object memory during these change-detection tasks. Supporting this prediction, we found that attending to the fixation point in anticipation of a brief probe stimulus during the retention interval reduced change-detection accuracy even on the trials in which no probe occurred. These findings support models of working memory in which visual-spatial selection mechanisms contribute to the maintenance of object representations. PMID:23371773
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.
Schabinger, Nadine; Gillmeister, Helge; Berti, Stefan; Michal, Matthias; Beutel, Manfred E; Adler, Julia
Depersonalisation (DP) is a psychological condition marked by feelings of disembodiment. In everyday life, it is frequently associated with concentration problems. The present study used visual event-related potentials (ERPs) in a Posner-type spatial cueing task with valid, invalid and spatially neutral cues to delineate the potential neurophysiological correlates of these concentration problems. Altered attentional functioning at early, sensory stages was found in DP patients but not in anxiety- and depression-matched psychosomatic patients without DP. Specifically, DP was associated with decreased suppression of stimuli at unattended locations, shown as absent processing costs for invalidly versus neutrally cued stimuli over P1 (135-150 ms). Attentional benefits at N1, and all attentional effects at later, cognitive processing stages (P2-N2, P3) were similar in both groups. We propose that this insufficient early suppression of unattended stimuli may result from atypical sensory gain control in DP. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Purpose Listeners with hearing loss, as well as many listeners with clinically normal hearing, often experience great difficulty segregating talkers in a multiple-talker sound field and selectively attending to the desired “target” talker while ignoring the speech from unwanted “masker” talkers and other sources of sound. This listening situation forms the classic “cocktail party problem” described by Cherry (1953) that has received a great deal of study over the past few decades. In this article, a new approach to improving sound source segregation and enhancing auditory selective attention is described. The conceptual design, current implementation, and results obtained to date are reviewed and discussed in this article. Method This approach, embodied in a prototype “visually guided hearing aid” (VGHA) currently used for research, employs acoustic beamforming steered by eye gaze as a means for improving the ability of listeners to segregate and attend to one sound source in the presence of competing sound sources. Results The results from several studies demonstrate that listeners with normal hearing are able to use an attention-based “spatial filter” operating primarily on binaural cues to selectively attend to one source among competing spatially distributed sources. Furthermore, listeners with sensorineural hearing loss generally are less able to use this spatial filter as effectively as are listeners with normal hearing especially in conditions high in “informational masking.” The VGHA enhances auditory spatial attention for speech-on-speech masking and improves signal-to-noise ratio for conditions high in “energetic masking.” Visual steering of the beamformer supports the coordinated actions of vision and audition in selective attention and facilitates following sound source transitions in complex listening situations. Conclusions Both listeners with normal hearing and with sensorineural hearing loss may benefit from the acoustic
López Bonal, María Teresa; Fernández Caballero, Antonio; Saiz Valverde, Sergio
Depth inclusion as an important parameter for dynamic selective visual attention is presented in this article. The model introduced in this paper is based on two previously developed models, dynamic selective visual attention and visual stereoscopy, giving rise to the so-called dynamic stereoscopic selective visual attention method. The three models are based on the accumulative computation problem-solving method. This paper shows how software reusability enables enhancing results in vision r...
Klaver, Peter; Talsma, Durk
We recorded ERPs to investigate whether the visual memory load can bias visual selective attention. Participants memorized one or four letters and then responded to memory-matching letters presented in a relevant color while ignoring distractor letters or letters in an irrelevant color. Stimuli in the relevant color elicited larger frontal selection positivities (FSP) and occipital selection negativities (OSN) compared to irrelevant color stimuli. Only distractors elicited a larger FSP in the high than in the low memory load task. Memory load prolonged the OSN for all letters. Response mapping complexity was also modulated but did not affect the FSP and OSN. Together, the FSP data suggest that high memory load increased distractability. The OSN data suggest that memory load sustained attention to letters in a relevant color until working memory processing was completed, independently of whether the letters were in working memory or not. Copyright © 2013 Society for Psychophysiological Research.
Rochais, C; Sébilleau, M; Houdebine, M; Bec, P; Hausberger, M; Henry, S
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 attentional skills was assessed by comparing the results, for the same horses, with those obtained in both a 'classical' experimental attention test the 'five-choice serial reaction time task' (5-CSRTT) and a 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.
Bury, Belinda; Tiggemann, Marika; Slater, Amy
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.
David P. Piñero
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.
Ricciardi, Emiliano; Handjaras, Giacomo; Bernardi, Giulio; Pietrini, Pietro; Furey, Maura L
Enhancing cholinergic function improves performance on various cognitive tasks and alters neural responses in task specific brain regions. We have hypothesized that the changes in neural activity observed during increased cholinergic function reflect an increase in neural efficiency that leads to improved task performance. The current study tested this hypothesis by assessing neural efficiency based on cholinergically-mediated effects on regional brain connectivity and BOLD signal variability. Nine subjects participated in a double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover fMRI study. Following an infusion of physostigmine (1 mg/h) or placebo, echo-planar imaging (EPI) was conducted as participants performed a selective attention task. During the task, two images comprised of superimposed pictures of faces and houses were presented. Subjects were instructed periodically to shift their attention from one stimulus component to the other and to perform a matching task using hand held response buttons. A control condition included phase-scrambled images of superimposed faces and houses that were presented in the same temporal and spatial manner as the attention task; participants were instructed to perform a matching task. Cholinergic enhancement improved performance during the selective attention task, with no change during the control task. Functional connectivity analyses showed that the strength of connectivity between ventral visual processing areas and task-related occipital, parietal and prefrontal regions reduced significantly during cholinergic enhancement, exclusively during the selective attention task. Physostigmine administration also reduced BOLD signal temporal variability relative to placebo throughout temporal and occipital visual processing areas, again during the selective attention task only. Together with the observed behavioral improvement, the decreases in connectivity strength throughout task-relevant regions and BOLD variability within stimulus
Pieters, F.G.M.; Rosbergen, E.; Wedel, M.
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
Pieters, F.G.M.; Rosbergen, E.; Wedel, M.
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
Anderson, Daniel R.; And Others
Decribes age trends in television viewing time and visual attention of children and adults videotaped in their homes for 10-day periods. Shows that the increase in visual attention to television during the preschool years is consistent with the theory that television program comprehensibility is a major determinant of attention in young children.…
Schubert, Torsten; Finke, Kathrin; Redel, Petra; Kluckow, Steffen; Müller, Hermann; Strobach, Tilo
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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Rochais, C.; Sébilleau, M.; Houdebine, M.; Bec, P.; Hausberger, M.; Henry, S.
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.
Arredondo, Maria M.; Hu, Xiao-Su; Satterfield, Teresa; Kovelman, Ioulia
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
Craver-Lemley, Catherine; Bornstein, Robert F
To determine whether self-generated visual imagery alters liking ratings of merely exposed stimuli, 79 college students were repeatedly exposed to the ambiguous duck-rabbit figure. Half the participants were told to picture the image as a duck and half to picture it as a rabbit. When participants made liking ratings of both disambiguated versions of the figure, they rated the version consistent with earlier encoding more positively than the alternate version. Implications of these findings for theoretical models of the exposure effect are discussed.
representations of the visual world, visual attention, and object representations. 24 Bauer, R. M., & Rubens, A. B. (1985). Agnosia . In K. M. Heilman, & E...visual information. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 1-1, 501-517. Farah, M. J. (1990). Visual Agnosia : Disorders of Object Recognition and
Pilling, Michael; Barrett, Doug J K
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).
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
Christian H. Poth
Full Text Available Monitoring the environment for visual events while performing a concurrent task requires adjustment of visual processing priorities. By use of Bundesen's (1990 Theory of Visual Attention (TVA, we investigated how monitoring for an object-based brief event affected distinct components of visual attention in a concurrent task. The perceptual salience of the event was varied. Monitoring reduced the processing speed in the concurrent task, and the reduction was stronger when the event was less salient. The monitoring task neither affected the temporal threshold of conscious perception nor the storage capacity of visual short-term memory nor the efficiency of top-down controlled attentional selection.
Karli K Watson
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.
de Jong, Ritske; Toffanin, Paolo; Harbers, Marten
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 smaller, but still significant, in detection than in discrimination. The auditory steady-state response (SSR) showed no effects of attention at frontocentral locations, but did so at occipital locations where it was evident only when attention was divided between audition and vision. Similarly, the visual SSR at occipital locations was substantially enhanced when attention was divided across modalities. Both effects were equally present in detection and discrimination. We suggest that both effects reflect a common cause: An attention-dependent influence of auditory information processing on early cortical stages of visual information processing, mediated by enhanced effective connectivity between the two modalities under conditions of divided attention. Copyright (c) 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Gherri, Elena; Eimer, Martin
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.
Jacobsen, Leslie K; Slotkin, Theodore A; Mencl, W Einar; Frost, Stephen J; Pugh, Kenneth R
Prenatal exposure to active maternal tobacco smoking elevates risk of cognitive and auditory processing deficits, and of smoking in offspring. Recent preclinical work has demonstrated a sex-specific pattern of reduction in cortical cholinergic markers following prenatal, adolescent, or combined prenatal and adolescent exposure to nicotine, the primary psychoactive component of tobacco smoke. Given the importance of cortical cholinergic neurotransmission to attentional function, we examined auditory and visual selective and divided attention in 181 male and female adolescent smokers and nonsmokers with and without prenatal exposure to maternal smoking. Groups did not differ in age, educational attainment, symptoms of inattention, or years of parent education. A subset of 63 subjects also underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging while performing an auditory and visual selective and divided attention task. Among females, exposure to tobacco smoke during prenatal or adolescent development was associated with reductions in auditory and visual attention performance accuracy that were greatest in female smokers with prenatal exposure (combined exposure). Among males, combined exposure was associated with marked deficits in auditory attention, suggesting greater vulnerability of neurocircuitry supporting auditory attention to insult stemming from developmental exposure to tobacco smoke in males. Activation of brain regions that support auditory attention was greater in adolescents with prenatal or adolescent exposure to tobacco smoke relative to adolescents with neither prenatal nor adolescent exposure to tobacco smoke. These findings extend earlier preclinical work and suggest that, in humans, prenatal and adolescent exposure to nicotine exerts gender-specific deleterious effects on auditory and visual attention, with concomitant alterations in the efficiency of neurocircuitry supporting auditory attention.
Ruiz-Rizzo, Adriana L; Neitzel, Julia; Müller, Hermann J; Sorg, Christian; Finke, Kathrin
Separable visual attention functions are assumed to rely on distinct but interacting neural mechanisms. Bundesen's "theory of visual attention" (TVA) allows the mathematical estimation of independent parameters that characterize individuals' visual attentional capacity (i.e., visual processing speed and visual short-term memory storage capacity) and selectivity functions (i.e., top-down control and spatial laterality). However, it is unclear whether these parameters distinctively map onto different brain networks obtained from intrinsic functional connectivity, which organizes slowly fluctuating ongoing brain activity. In our study, 31 demographically homogeneous healthy young participants performed whole- and partial-report tasks and underwent resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI). Report accuracy was modeled using TVA to estimate, individually, the four TVA parameters. Networks encompassing cortical areas relevant for visual attention were derived from independent component analysis of rs-fMRI data: visual, executive control, right and left frontoparietal, and ventral and dorsal attention networks. Two TVA parameters were mapped on particular functional networks. First, participants with higher (vs. lower) visual processing speed showed lower functional connectivity within the ventral attention network. Second, participants with more (vs. less) efficient top-down control showed higher functional connectivity within the dorsal attention network and lower functional connectivity within the visual network. Additionally, higher performance was associated with higher functional connectivity between networks: specifically, between the ventral attention and right frontoparietal networks for visual processing speed, and between the visual and executive control networks for top-down control. The higher inter-network functional connectivity was related to lower intra-network connectivity. These results demonstrate that separable visual attention
Shiraseb, Farideh; Siassi, Fereydoun; Qorbani, Mostafa; Sotoudeh, Gity; Rostami, Reza; Narmaki, Elham; Yavari, Parvaneh; Aghasi, Mohadeseh; Shaibu, Osman Mohammed
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 (Pvisual and auditory sustained attention.
van Ommen, M M; van Beilen, M; Cornelissen, F W; Smid, H G O M; Knegtering, H; Aleman, A; van Laar, T
Little is known about visual hallucinations (VH) in psychosis. We investigated the prevalence and the role of bottom-up and top-down processing in VH. The prevailing view is that VH are probably related to altered top-down processing, rather than to distorted bottom-up processing. Conversely, VH in Parkinson's disease are associated with impaired visual perception and attention, as proposed by the Perception and Attention Deficit (PAD) model. Auditory hallucinations (AH) in psychosis, however, are thought to be related to increased attention. Our retrospective database study included 1119 patients with non-affective psychosis and 586 controls. The Community Assessment of Psychic Experiences established the VH rate. Scores on visual perception tests [Degraded Facial Affect Recognition (DFAR), Benton Facial Recognition Task] and attention tests [Response Set-shifting Task, Continuous Performance Test-HQ (CPT-HQ)] were compared between 75 VH patients, 706 non-VH patients and 485 non-VH controls. The lifetime VH rate was 37%. The patient groups performed similarly on cognitive tasks; both groups showed worse perception (DFAR) than controls. Non-VH patients showed worse attention (CPT-HQ) than controls, whereas VH patients did not perform differently. We did not find significant VH-related impairments in bottom-up processing or direct top-down alterations. However, the results suggest a relatively spared attentional performance in VH patients, whereas face perception and processing speed were equally impaired in both patient groups relative to controls. This would match better with the increased attention hypothesis than with the PAD model. Our finding that VH frequently co-occur with AH may support an increased attention-induced 'hallucination proneness'.
Wiegand, Iris Michaela; Petersen, Anders; Finke, Kathrin
In the present study, we investigated effects of phasic alerting on visual attention in a partial report task, in which half of the displays were preceded by an auditory warning cue. Based on the computational Theory of Visual Attention (TVA), we estimated parameters of spatial and non......-spatial aspects of visual attention and measured event-related lateralizations (ERLs) over visual processing areas. We found that the TVA parameter sensory effectiveness a, which is thought to reflect visual processing capacity, significantly increased with phasic alerting. By contrast, the distribution of visual....... These results suggest that phasic alerting facilitates visual processing in a general, unselective manner and that this effect originates in early stages of visual information processing....
Mangun, G R; Buck, L A
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.
Shang, Chi-Yung; Gau, Susan Shur-Fen
Atomoxetine is efficacious in reducing symptoms of attention- deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), but its effect on visual memory and attention needs more investigation. This study aimed to assess the effect of atomoxetine on visual memory, attention, and school function in boys with ADHD in Taiwan. This was an open-label 12 week atomoxetine treatment trial among 30 drug-naíve boys with ADHD, aged 8-16 years. Before administration of atomoxetine, the participants were assessed using psychiatric interviews, the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, 3rd edition (WISC-III), the school function of the Chinese version of the Social Adjustment Inventory for Children and Adolescents (SAICA), the Conners' Continuous Performance Test (CPT), and the tasks of the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB) involving visual memory and attention: Pattern Recognition Memory, Spatial Recognition Memory, and Reaction Time, which were reassessed at weeks 4 and 12. Our results showed there was significant improvement in pattern recognition memory and spatial recognition memory as measured by the CANTAB tasks, sustained attention and response inhibition as measured by the CPT, and reaction time as measured by the CANTAB after treatment with atomoxetine for 4 weeks or 12 weeks. In addition, atomoxetine significantly enhanced school functioning in children with ADHD. Our findings suggested that atomoxetine was associated with significant improvement in visual memory, attention, and school functioning in boys with ADHD.
Ruiz-Rizzo, Adriana L.; Neitzel, Julia; Müller, Hermann J.; Sorg, Christian; Finke, Kathrin
Separable visual attention functions are assumed to rely on distinct but interacting neural mechanisms. Bundesen's “theory of visual attention” (TVA) allows the mathematical estimation of independent parameters that characterize individuals' visual attentional capacity (i.e., visual processing speed and visual short-term memory storage capacity) and selectivity functions (i.e., top-down control and spatial laterality). However, it is unclear whether these parameters distinctively map onto different brain networks obtained from intrinsic functional connectivity, which organizes slowly fluctuating ongoing brain activity. In our study, 31 demographically homogeneous healthy young participants performed whole- and partial-report tasks and underwent resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI). Report accuracy was modeled using TVA to estimate, individually, the four TVA parameters. Networks encompassing cortical areas relevant for visual attention were derived from independent component analysis of rs-fMRI data: visual, executive control, right and left frontoparietal, and ventral and dorsal attention networks. Two TVA parameters were mapped on particular functional networks. First, participants with higher (vs. lower) visual processing speed showed lower functional connectivity within the ventral attention network. Second, participants with more (vs. less) efficient top-down control showed higher functional connectivity within the dorsal attention network and lower functional connectivity within the visual network. Additionally, higher performance was associated with higher functional connectivity between networks: specifically, between the ventral attention and right frontoparietal networks for visual processing speed, and between the visual and executive control networks for top-down control. The higher inter-network functional connectivity was related to lower intra-network connectivity. These results demonstrate that separable visual attention
Adriana L. Ruiz-Rizzo
Full Text Available Separable visual attention functions are assumed to rely on distinct but interacting neural mechanisms. Bundesen's “theory of visual attention” (TVA allows the mathematical estimation of independent parameters that characterize individuals' visual attentional capacity (i.e., visual processing speed and visual short-term memory storage capacity and selectivity functions (i.e., top-down control and spatial laterality. However, it is unclear whether these parameters distinctively map onto different brain networks obtained from intrinsic functional connectivity, which organizes slowly fluctuating ongoing brain activity. In our study, 31 demographically homogeneous healthy young participants performed whole- and partial-report tasks and underwent resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI. Report accuracy was modeled using TVA to estimate, individually, the four TVA parameters. Networks encompassing cortical areas relevant for visual attention were derived from independent component analysis of rs-fMRI data: visual, executive control, right and left frontoparietal, and ventral and dorsal attention networks. Two TVA parameters were mapped on particular functional networks. First, participants with higher (vs. lower visual processing speed showed lower functional connectivity within the ventral attention network. Second, participants with more (vs. less efficient top-down control showed higher functional connectivity within the dorsal attention network and lower functional connectivity within the visual network. Additionally, higher performance was associated with higher functional connectivity between networks: specifically, between the ventral attention and right frontoparietal networks for visual processing speed, and between the visual and executive control networks for top-down control. The higher inter-network functional connectivity was related to lower intra-network connectivity. These results demonstrate that separable
Shimi, Andria; Nobre, Anna C.; Astle, Duncan; Scerif, Gaia
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…
Orquin, Jacob Lund; Mueller Loose, Simone
This study analyses visual attention and part-worth utilities in choice experiments across three different choice stimuli presentation formats. Visual attention and choice behaviour in discrete choice experiments are found to be strongly affected by stimuli presentation format. These results...
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…
Liu, Duo; Chen, Xi; Wang, Ying
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…
Chun, Marvin M.; Jiang, Yuhong
Six experiments involving a total of 112 college students demonstrate that a robust memory for visual context exists to guide spatial attention. Results show how implicit learning and memory of visual context can guide spatial attention toward task-relevant aspects of a scene. (SLD)
Nikkelen, S.W.C.; Anschutz, D.J.; Ha, T.; Engels, R.C.M.E.
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
Nikkelen, S.W.C.; Anschutz, D.J.; Ha, P.T.; Engels, R.C.M.E.
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
Lansu, T.A.M.; Troop-Gordon, W.
Visual attention to high-status peers is well documented, but whether this attentional bias is due to high-status individuals' leadership and prosocial characteristics or due to their more agonistic behaviors has yet to be examined. To identify the affective associations that may underlie visual
Background Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) affects several areas of cognitive function including visual processing and attention. We investigated the neural mechanisms underlying the visual deficits of children and adolescents with NF1 by studying visual evoked potentials (VEPs) and brain oscillations during visual stimulation and rest periods. Methods Electroencephalogram/event-related potential (EEG/ERP) responses were measured during visual processing (NF1 n = 17; controls n = 19) and idle periods with eyes closed and eyes open (NF1 n = 12; controls n = 14). Visual stimulation was chosen to bias activation of the three detection mechanisms: achromatic, red-green and blue-yellow. Results We found significant differences between the groups for late chromatic VEPs and a specific enhancement in the amplitude of the parieto-occipital alpha amplitude both during visual stimulation and idle periods. Alpha modulation and the negative influence of alpha oscillations in visual performance were found in both groups. Conclusions Our findings suggest abnormal later stages of visual processing and enhanced amplitude of alpha oscillations supporting the existence of deficits in basic sensory processing in NF1. Given the link between alpha oscillations, visual perception and attention, these results indicate a neural mechanism that might underlie the visual sensitivity deficits and increased lapses of attention observed in individuals with NF1. PMID:24559228
Shiraseb, Farideh; Siassi, Fereydoun; Sotoudeh, Gity; Qorbani, Mostafa; Rostami, Reza; Sadeghi-Firoozabadi, Vahid; Narmaki, Elham
A low antioxidants status has been shown to result in oxidative stress and cognitive impairment. Because antioxidants can protect the nervous system, it is expected that a better blood antioxidant status might be related to sustained attention. However, the relationship between the blood antioxidant status and visual and auditory sustained attention has not been investigated. The aim of this study was to evaluate the association of fruits and vegetables intake and the blood antioxidant status with visual and auditory sustained attention in women. This cross-sectional study was performed on 400 healthy women (20-50 years) who attended the sports clubs of Tehran Municipality. Sustained attention was evaluated based on the Integrated Visual and Auditory Continuous Performance Test using the Integrated Visual and Auditory (IVA) software. The 24-hour food recall questionnaire was used for estimating fruits and vegetables intake. Serum total antioxidant capacity (TAC), and erythrocyte superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) activities were measured in 90 participants. After adjusting for energy intake, age, body mass index (BMI), years of education and physical activity, higher reported fruits, and vegetables intake was associated with better visual and auditory sustained attention (P attention (P visual and auditory sustained attention after adjusting for age, years of education, physical activity, energy, BMI, and caffeine intake (P visual and auditory sustained attention is associated with a better blood antioxidant status. Therefore, improvement of the antioxidant status through an appropriate dietary intake can possibly enhance sustained attention.
Gannon, Matthew A; Knapp, Ashley A; Adams, Thomas G; Long, Stephanie M; Parks, Nathan A
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.
Matthew A Gannon
Full Text Available 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.
In more than one respect, visual search for the most salient or the least salient item in a display are different kinds of visual tasks. The present work investigated whether this difference is primarily one of perceptual difficulty, or whether it is more fundamental and relates to visual attention. Display items of different salience were produced by varying either size, contrast, color saturation, or pattern. Perceptual masking was employed and, on average, mask onset was delayed longer in search for the least salient item than in search for the most salient item. As a result, the two types of visual search presented comparable perceptual difficulty, as judged by psychophysical measures of performance, effective stimulus contrast, and stability of decision criterion. To investigate the role of attention in the two types of search, observers attempted to carry out a letter discrimination and a search task concurrently. To discriminate the letters, observers had to direct visual attention at the center of the display and, thus, leave unattended the periphery, which contained target and distractors of the search task. In this situation, visual search for the least salient item was severely impaired while visual search for the most salient item was only moderately affected, demonstrating a fundamental difference with respect to visual attention. A qualitatively identical pattern of results was encountered by Schiller and Lee (1991), who used similar visual search tasks to assess the effect of a lesion in extrastriate area V4 of the macaque.
Kim, Gho; Lee, Jang-Han
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.
Kim, Sanghyun; Morikawa, Hiroyuki; Mitsuya, Reiko; Kawai, Takashi; Watanabe, Katsumi
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
Cloquell-Ballester, Vicente-Agustín; Carmen Torres-Sibille, Ana del; Cloquell-Ballester, Víctor-Andrés; Santamarina-Siurana, María Cristina
The objective of this investigation is to evaluate how visual perception varies as the rural landscape is altered by human interventions of varying character. An experiment is carried out using Semantic Differential Analysis to analyse the effect of the character and the type of the intervention on perception. Interventions are divided into elements of “permanent industrial character”, “elements of permanent rural character” and “elements of temporary character”, and these categories are sub-divided into smaller groups according to the type of development. To increase the reliability of the results, the Intraclass Correlation Coefficient tool, is applied to validate the semantic space of the perceptual responses and to determine the number of subjects required for a reliable evaluation of the scenes.
Cloquell-Ballester, Vicente-Agustin, E-mail: email@example.com; Carmen Torres-Sibille, Ana del; Cloquell-Ballester, Victor-Andres; Santamarina-Siurana, Maria Cristina
The objective of this investigation is to evaluate how visual perception varies as the rural landscape is altered by human interventions of varying character. An experiment is carried out using Semantic Differential Analysis to analyse the effect of the character and the type of the intervention on perception. Interventions are divided into elements of 'permanent industrial character', 'elements of permanent rural character' and 'elements of temporary character', and these categories are sub-divided into smaller groups according to the type of development. To increase the reliability of the results, the Intraclass Correlation Coefficient tool, is applied to validate the semantic space of the perceptual responses and to determine the number of subjects required for a reliable evaluation of the scenes.
Wood, Adrienne; Lupyan, Gary; Sherrin, Steven; Niedenthal, Paula
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.
Fitzpatrick, C. M.; Caballero-Puntiverio, M.; Gether, U.
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...... on an individual level. Scopolamine HBr dose-dependently reduced 5-CSRTT attentional performance while also increasing reward collection latency at the highest dose. Upon TVA modelling, scopolamine HBr significantly reduced visual processing speed at both doses, while having less pronounced effects on visual...... modelled using a new three-parameter version of TVA to obtain estimates of visual processing speeds, visual thresholds and motor response baselines in each mouse. Results The parameter estimates for each animal were reliable across sessions, showing that the data were stable enough to support analysis...
Park, George D; Reed, Catherine L
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.
Zokaei, Nahid; Heider, Maike; Husain, Masud
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-...
Stockburger, Jessica; Renner, Britta; Weike, Almut I; Hamm, Alfons O; Schupp, Harald T
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.
Burg, E. van der; Olivers, C.N.L.; Bronkhorst, A.W.; Theeuwes, J.
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
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.
Doolan, K J; Breslin, G; Hanna, D; Gallagher, A M
The incentive sensitisation model of obesity suggests that modification of the dopaminergic associated reward systems in the brain may result in increased awareness of food-related visual cues present in the current food environment. Having a heightened awareness of these visual food cues may impact on food choices and eating behaviours with those being most aware of or demonstrating greater attention to food-related stimuli potentially being at greater risk of overeating and subsequent weight gain. To date, research related to attentional responses to visual food cues has been both limited and conflicting. Such inconsistent findings may in part be explained by the use of different methodological approaches to measure attentional bias and the impact of other factors such as hunger levels, energy density of visual food cues and individual eating style traits that may influence visual attention to food-related cues outside of weight status alone. This review examines the various methodologies employed to measure attentional bias with a particular focus on the role that attentional processing of food-related visual cues may have in obesity. Based on the findings of this review, it appears that it may be too early to clarify the role visual attention to food-related cues may have in obesity. Results however highlight the importance of considering the most appropriate methodology to use when measuring attentional bias and the characteristics of the study populations targeted while interpreting results to date and in designing future studies.
Shen, Mowei; Huang, Xiang; Gao, Zaifeng
Feature binding is a core concept in many research fields, including the study of working memory (WM). Over the past decade, it has been debated whether keeping the feature binding in visual WM consumes more visual attention than the constituent single features. Previous studies have only explored the contribution of domain-general attention or space-based attention in the binding process; no study so far has explored the role of object-based attention in retaining binding in visual WM. We hypothesized that object-based attention underlay the mechanism of rehearsing feature binding in visual WM. Therefore, during the maintenance phase of a visual WM task, we inserted a secondary mental rotation (Experiments 1-3), transparent motion (Experiment 4), or an object-based feature report task (Experiment 5) to consume the object-based attention available for binding. In line with the prediction of the object-based attention hypothesis, Experiments 1-5 revealed a more significant impairment for binding than for constituent single features. However, this selective binding impairment was not observed when inserting a space-based visual search task (Experiment 6). We conclude that object-based attention underlies the rehearsal of binding representation in visual WM. (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved.
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
Olivers, Christian N. L.; Peters, Judith; Houtkamp, Roos; Roelfsema, Pieter R.
Recent studies have revealed a strong relationship between visual working memory and selective attention, such that attention is biased by what is currently on our mind. However, other data show that not all memorized items influence the deployment of attention, thus calling for a distinction within
Roberts, Jane E.; Hatton, Deborah D.; Long, Anna C. J.; Anello, Vittoria; Colombo, John
Aberrant attention is a core feature of fragile X syndrome (FXS), however, little is known regarding the developmental trajectory and underlying physiological processes of attention deficits in FXS. Atypical visual attention is an early emerging and robust indicator of autism in idiopathic (non-FXS) autism. Using a biobehavioral approach with gaze…
Guzman-Martinez, Emmanuel; Grabowecky, Marcia; Palafox, German; Suzuki, Satoru
Visual spatial attention can be exogenously captured by a salient stimulus or can be endogenously allocated by voluntary effort. Whether these two attention modes serve distinctive functions is debated, but for processing of single targets the literature suggests superiority of exogenous attention (it is faster acting and serves more functions).…
Wannig, Aurel; Stanisor, Liviu; Roelfsema, Pieter R.
Visual attention can select spatial locations, features and objects. Theories of object-based attention claim that attention enhances the representation of all parts of an object, even parts that are not task relevant. We recorded neuronal activity in area V1 of macaque monkeys and observed an
Tummeltshammer, Kristen Swan; Mareschal, Denis; Kirkham, Natasha Z.
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…
Vissers, M.E.; Gulbinaite, R.; van den Bos, T.; Slagter, H.A.
In the presence of distraction, attentional filtering is a key predictor of efficient information storage in visual short-term memory (VSTM). Yet, the role of attention in distractor filtering, and the extent to which attentional filtering continues to protect information during post-perceptual
West, Greg L.; Anderson, Adam A. K.; Pratt, Jay
Previous studies that have found attentional capture effects for stimuli of motivational significance do not directly measure initial attentional deployment, leaving it unclear to what extent these items produce attentional capture. Visual prior entry, as measured by temporal order judgments (TOJs), rests on the premise that allocated attention…
Oray, Serkan; Lu, Zhong-Lin; Dawson, Michael E
To investigate the cross-modal nature of the exogenous attention system, we studied how involuntary attention in the visual modality affects ERPs elicited by sudden onset of events in the auditory modality. Relatively loud auditory white noise bursts were presented to subjects with random and long inter-trial intervals. The noise bursts were either presented alone, or paired with a visual stimulus with a visual to auditory onset asynchrony of 120 ms. In a third condition, the visual stimuli were shown alone. All three conditions, auditory alone, visual alone, and paired visual/auditory, were randomly inter-mixed and presented with equal probabilities. Subjects were instructed to fixate on a point in front of them without task instructions concerning either the auditory or visual stimuli. ERPs were recorded from 28 scalp sites throughout every experimental session. Compared to ERPs in the auditory alone condition, pairing the auditory noise bursts with the visual stimulus reduced the amplitude of the auditory N100 component at Cz by 40% and the auditory P200/P300 component at Cz by 25%. No significant topographical change was observed in the scalp distributions of the N100 and P200/P300. Our results suggest that involuntary attention to visual stimuli suppresses early sensory (N100) as well as late cognitive (P200/P300) processing of sudden auditory events. The activation of the exogenous attention system by sudden auditory onset can be modified by involuntary visual attention in a cross-model, passive prepulse inhibition paradigm.
Xu, Jingping P; He, Zijiang J; Ooi, Teng Leng
Perceptual learning is an important means for the brain to maintain its agility in a dynamic environment. Top-down focal attention, which selects task-relevant stimuli against competing ones in the background, is known to control and select what is learned in adults. Still unknown, is whether the adult brain is able to learn highly visible information beyond the focus of top-down attention. If it is, we should be able to reveal a purely stimulus-driven perceptual learning occurring in functions that are largely determined by the early cortical level, where top-down attention modulation is weak. Such an automatic, stimulus-driven learning mechanism is commonly assumed to operate only in the juvenile brain. We performed perceptual training to reduce sensory eye dominance (SED), a function that taps on the eye-of-origin information represented in the early visual cortex. Two retinal locations were simultaneously stimulated with suprathreshold, dichoptic orthogonal gratings. At each location, monocular cueing triggered perception of the grating images of the weak eye and suppression of the strong eye. Observers attended only to one location and performed orientation discrimination of the gratings seen by the weak eye, while ignoring the highly visible gratings at the second, unattended, location. We found SED was not only reduced at the attended location, but also at the unattended location. Furthermore, other untrained visual functions mediated by higher cortical levels improved. An automatic, stimulus-driven learning mechanism causes synaptic alterations in the early cortical level, with a far-reaching impact on the later cortical levels. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Ronconi, Luca; Facoetti, Andrea; Bulf, Hermann; Franchin, Laura; Bettoni, Roberta; Valenza, Eloisa
Since subthreshold autistic social impairments aggregate in family members, and since attentional dysfunctions appear to be one of the earliest cognitive markers of children with autism, we investigated in the general population the relationship between infants' attentional functioning and the autistic traits measured in their parents.…
Wegbreit, Ezra; Suzuki, Satoru; Grabowecky, Marcia; Kounios, John; Beeman, Mark
Behavioral and neuroimaging findings indicate that distinct cognitive and neural processes underlie solving problems with sudden insight. Moreover, people with less focused attention sometimes perform better on tests of insight and creative problem solving. However, it remains unclear whether different states of attention, within individuals,…
Velzen, José Lucia van
ln recent years the there has been growing interest in the topic of attentional control in the field of cognitive neuroscience. The first chapter of this thesis introduces the relevant theoretical concepts in the study of selective attention and gives an overview of what has become known from
de Voogd, E.L.; Wiers, R.W.; Prins, P.J.M.; Salemink, E.
Background and objectives: An attentional bias for negative information plays an important role in the development and maintenance of (social) anxiety and depression, which are highly prevalent in adolescence. Attention Bias Modification (ABM) might be an interesting tool in the prevention of
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.
In more than one respect, visual search for the most salient or the least salient item in a display are different kinds of visual tasks. The present work investigated whether this difference is primarily one of perceptual difficulty, or whether it is more fundamental and relates to visual attention. Display items of different salience were produced by varying either size, contrast, color saturation, or pattern. Perceptual masking was employed and, on average, mask onset was delayed longer in ...
Le Meur, Olivier; Barba, Dominique; Le Callet, Patrick; Thoreau, Dominique
In this paper, a coherent computational model of visual selective attention for color pictures is described and its performances are precisely evaluated. The model based on some important behaviours of the human visual system is composed of four parts: visibility, perception, perceptual grouping and saliency map construction. This paper focuses mainly on its performances assessment by achieving extended subjective and objective comparisons with real fixation points captured by an eye-tracking system used by the observers in a task-free viewing mode. From the knowledge of the ground truth, qualitatively and quantitatively comparisons have been made in terms of the measurement of the linear correlation coefficient (CC) and of the Kulback Liebler divergence (KL). On a set of 10 natural color images, the results show that the linear correlation coefficient and the Kullback Leibler divergence are of about 0.71 and 0.46, respectively. CC and Kl measures with this model are respectively improved by about 4% and 7% compared to the best model proposed by L.Itti. Moreover, by comparing the ability of our model to predict eye movements produced by an average observer, we can conclude that our model succeeds quite well in predicting the spatial locations of the most important areas of the image content.
Mulligan, Neil W
Extant research presents conflicting results on whether manipulations of attention during encoding affect perceptual priming. Two suggested mediating factors are type of manipulation (selective vs divided) and whether attention is manipulated across multiple objects or within a single object. Words printed in different colors (Experiment 1) or flanked by colored blocks (Experiment 2) were presented at encoding. In the full-attention condition, participants always read the word, in the unattended condition they always identified the color, and in the divided-attention conditions, participants attended to both word identity and color. Perceptual priming was assessed with perceptual identification and explicit memory with recognition. Relative to the full-attention condition, attending to color always reduced priming. Dividing attention between word identity and color, however, only disrupted priming when these attributes were presented as multiple objects (Experiment 2) but not when they were dimensions of a common object (Experiment 1). On the explicit test, manipulations of attention always affected recognition accuracy.
Mueller Loose, Simone; Orquin, Jacob Lund
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...... 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...... the presentation format varied between a verbal information table, a table with visual attributes levels and a realistic product mock-up presentation. Results. A strong relationship between attention and choice was observed so that attributes with a higher importance for participant choices also received a higher...
Peters, Benjamin; Kaiser, Jochen; Rahm, Benjamin; Bledowski, Christoph
Visual attention enables observers to select behaviorally relevant information based on spatial locations, features, or objects. Attentional selection is not limited to physically present visual information, but can also operate on internal representations maintained in working memory (WM) in service of higher-order cognition. However, only little is known about whether attention to WM contents follows the same principles as attention to sensory stimuli. To address this question, we investigated in humans whether the typically observed effects of object-based attention in perception are also evident for object-based attentional selection of internal object representations in WM. In full accordance with effects in visual perception, the key behavioral and neuronal characteristics of object-based attention were observed in WM. Specifically, we found that reaction times were shorter when shifting attention to memory positions located on the currently attended object compared with equidistant positions on a different object. Furthermore, functional magnetic resonance imaging and multivariate pattern analysis of visuotopic activity in visual (areas V1-V4) and parietal cortex revealed that directing attention to one position of an object held in WM also enhanced brain activation for other positions on the same object, suggesting that attentional selection in WM activates the entire object. This study demonstrated that all characteristic features of object-based attention are present in WM and thus follows the same principles as in perception. Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/353360-10$15.00/0.
Pottage, Claire L; Schaefer, Alexandre
The emotional enhancement of memory is often thought to be determined by attention. However, recent evidence using divided attention paradigms suggests that attention does not play a significant role in the formation of memories for aversive pictures. We report a study that investigated this question using a paradigm in which participants had to encode lists of randomly intermixed negative and neutral pictures under conditions of full attention and divided attention followed by a free recall test. Attention was divided by a highly demanding concurrent task tapping visual processing resources. Results showed that the advantage in recall for aversive pictures was still present in the DA condition. However, mediation analyses also revealed that concurrent task performance significantly mediated the emotional enhancement of memory under divided attention. This finding suggests that visual attentional processes play a significant role in the formation of emotional memories. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved
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
MacLean, Gregory H; Klein, Raymond M; Hilchey, Matthew D
The oculomotor readiness hypothesis makes 2 predictions: Shifts in covert attention are accompanied by preparedness to move one's eyes to the attended region, and preparedness to move one's eyes to a region in space is accompanied by a shift in covert attention to the prepared location. Both predictions have been disconfirmed using an endogenous attention task. In the 2 experiments presented here, the same 2 predictions were tested using an exogenous attention task. It was found that participants experienced covert capture without accompanying oculomotor activation and experienced oculomotor activation without accompanying covert capture. While under everyday conditions the overt and covert orienting systems may be strongly linked, apparently they can nonetheless operate with a high degree of independence from one another. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).
Baars, B J
A common confound between consciousness and attention makes it difficult to think clearly about recent advances in the understanding of the visual brain. Visual consciousness involves phenomenal experience of the visual world, but visual attention is more plausibly treated as a function that selects and maintains the selection of potential conscious contents, often unconsciously. In the same sense, eye movements select conscious visual events, which are not the same as conscious visual experience. According to common sense, visual experience is consciousness, and selective processes are labeled as attention. The distinction is reflected in very different behavioral measures and in very different brain anatomy and physiology. Visual consciousness tends to be associated with the "what" stream of visual feature neurons in the ventral temporal lobe. In contrast, attentional selection and maintenance are mediated by other brain regions, ranging from superior colliculi to thalamus, prefrontal cortex, and anterior cingulate. The author applied the common-sense distinction between attention and consciousness to the theoretical positions of M. I. Posner (1992, 1994) and D. LaBerge (1997, 1998) to show how it helps to clarify the evidence. He concluded that clarity of thought is served by calling a thing by its proper name.
Finke, Kathrin; Bublak, Peter; Krummenacher, Joseph
four separable attentional components: processing speed, working memory storage capacity, spatial distribution of attention, and top-down control. A number of studies (Duncan et al., 1999; Habekost & Bundesen, 2003; Peers et al., 2005) have already demonstrated the clinical relevance......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...
Duncan, Lesley A; Park, Justin H; Faulkner, Jason; Schaller, Mark; Neuberg, Steven L; Kenrick, Douglas T
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 Sociosexual Orientation Inventory, and performed a computer-based task that assessed the speed with which they detected changes in attractive and unattractive male and female faces. Differences in reaction times served as indicators of selective attention. Results revealed a Sex X Sociosexuality interaction: Compared with sociosexually restricted men, unrestricted men selectively allocated attention to attractive opposite-sex others; no such effect emerged among women. This finding was specific to opposite-sex targets and did not occur in attention to same-sex others. These results contribute to a growing literature on the adaptive allocation of attention in social environments.
Stenneken, Prisca; Egetemeir, Johanna; Schulte-Körne, Gerd; Müller, Hermann J; Schneider, Werner X; Finke, Kathrin
The cognitive causes as well as the neurological and genetic basis of developmental dyslexia, a complex disorder of written language acquisition, are intensely discussed with regard to multiple-deficit models. Accumulating evidence has revealed dyslexics' impairments in a variety of tasks requiring visual attention. The heterogeneity of these experimental results, however, points to the need for measures that are sufficiently sensitive to differentiate between impaired and preserved attentional components within a unified framework. This first parameter-based group study of attentional components in developmental dyslexia addresses potentially altered attentional components that have recently been associated with parietal dysfunctions in dyslexia. We aimed to isolate the general attentional resources that might underlie reduced span performance, i.e., either a deficient working memory storage capacity, or a slowing in visual perceptual processing speed, or both. Furthermore, by analysing attentional selectivity in dyslexia, we addressed a potential lateralized abnormality of visual attention, i.e., a previously suggested rightward spatial deviation compared to normal readers. We investigated a group of high-achieving young adults with persisting dyslexia and matched normal readers in an experimental whole report and a partial report of briefly presented letter arrays. Possible deviations in the parametric values of the dyslexic compared to the control group were taken as markers for the underlying deficit. The dyslexic group showed a striking reduction in perceptual processing speed (by 26% compared to controls) while their working memory storage capacity was in the normal range. In addition, a spatial deviation of attentional weighting compared to the control group was confirmed in dyslexic readers, which was larger in participants with a more severe dyslexic disorder. In general, the present study supports the relevance of perceptual processing speed in disorders
Stockburger, Jessica; Renner, Britta; Weike, Almut I.; Hamm, Alfons O.; Schupp, Harald Thomas
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 fo...
Duncan, Lesley A.; Park, Justin H.; Faulkner, Jason; Schaller, Mark; Neuberg, Steven L.; Kenrick, Douglas T.
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
Full Text Available It is commonly held that different essential oils produce different effects, as reflected in various commercial advertisements. Yet, little is known about whether smelling essential oils would affect our attention and whether smelling different essential oils affects attentional components differently, due to the lack of empirical data. Here we provide such data. Participants conducted the Attention Network Test (ANT while smelling the essential oil of Chamaecyparis formosensis (Experiment 1, the wood usually used in shrine or furniture or Eucalyptus globules (Experiment 2, smelling like camphor or mint, compared with the control condition of smelling water. The order of the essential oil condition and the water condition was counterbalanced between participants. Three attention systems were measured: alertness, orienting and executive control. Results showed that Chamaecyparis formosens reduced the effect of orienting, implying that smelling this odor would prevent involuntary attentional shift by an exogenous cue. On the other hand, Eucalyptus globules produced a larger interference effect in the executive control system, suggesting a larger span of spatial attention that is associated with a positive emotion(Rowe, Hirsh, & Anderson, 2007.
Reinhart, Robert M. G.; Woodman, Geoffrey F.
Theories of attention propose that we rely on working memory to control attention by maintaining target presentations in this active store as our visual systems are used to search for certain objects. Here, we show that the tuning of perceptual attention can be sharply accelerated by noninvasive brain stimulation. Our electrophysiological measurements showed that these improvements in attentional tuning were preceded by changes in event-related potentials thought to index long-term memory, bu...
Gögler, N.; Finke, K.; Keller, I.; Muller, Hermann J.; Conci, M.
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 att...
Tas, A. Caglar; Luck, Steven J.; Hollingworth, Andrew
There is substantial debate over whether visual working memory (VWM) and visual attention constitute a single system for the selection of task-relevant perceptual information or whether they are distinct systems that can be dissociated when their representational demands diverge. In the present study, we focused on the relationship between visual attention and the encoding of objects into visual working memory (VWM). Participants performed a color change-detection task. During the retention interval, a secondary object, irrelevant to the memory task, was presented. Participants were instructed either to execute an overt shift of gaze to this object (Experiments 1–3) or to attend it covertly (Experiments 4 and 5). Our goal was to determine whether these overt and covert shifts of attention disrupted the information held in VWM. We hypothesized that saccades, which typically introduce a memorial demand to bridge perceptual disruption, would lead to automatic encoding of the secondary object. However, purely covert shifts of attention, which introduce no such demand, would not result in automatic memory encoding. The results supported these predictions. Saccades to the secondary object produced substantial interference with VWM performance, but covert shifts of attention to this object produced no interference with VWM performance. These results challenge prevailing theories that consider attention and VWM to reflect a common mechanism. In addition, they indicate that the relationship between attention and VWM is dependent on the memorial demands of the orienting behavior. PMID:26854532
Full Text Available The impairing effects of mental fatigue on visual sustained attention were assessed by event-related potentials (ERPs. Subjects performed a dual visual task, which includes a continuous tracking task (primary task and a random signal detection task (secondary task, for 63 minutes nonstop in order to elicit ERPs. In this period, the data such as subjective levels of mental fatigue, behavioral performance measures, and electroencephalograms were recorded for each subject. Comparing data from the first interval (0-25 min to that of the second, the following phenomena were observed: the subjective fatigue ratings increased with time, which indicates that performing the tasks leads to increase in mental fatigue levels; reaction times prolonged and accuracy rates decreased in the second interval, which indicates that subjects' sustained attention decreased.; In the ERP data, the P3 amplitudes elicited by the random signals decreased, while the P3 latencies increased in the second interval. These results suggest that mental fatigue can modulate the higher-level cognitive processes, in terms of less attentional resources allocated to the random stimuli, which leads to decreased speed in information evaluating and decision making against the stimuli. These findings provide new insights into the question that how mental fatigue affects visual sustained attention and, therefore, can help to design countermeasures to prevent accidents caused by low visual sustained attention.
Chechlacz, Magdalena; Gillebert, Celine R; Vangkilde, Signe A; Petersen, Anders; Humphreys, Glyn W
Visuospatial attention allows us to select and act upon a subset of behaviorally relevant visual stimuli while ignoring distraction. Bundesen's theory of visual attention (TVA) (Bundesen, 1990) offers a quantitative analysis of the different facets of attention within a unitary model and provides a powerful analytic framework for understanding individual differences in attentional functions. Visuospatial attention is contingent upon large networks, distributed across both hemispheres, consisting of several cortical areas interconnected by long-association frontoparietal pathways, including three branches of the superior longitudinal fasciculus (SLF I-III) and the inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus (IFOF). Here we examine whether structural variability within human frontoparietal networks mediates differences in attention abilities as assessed by the TVA. Structural measures were based on spherical deconvolution and tractography-derived indices of tract volume and hindrance-modulated orientational anisotropy (HMOA). Individual differences in visual short-term memory (VSTM) were linked to variability in the microstructure (HMOA) of SLF II, SLF III, and IFOF within the right hemisphere. Moreover, VSTM and speed of information processing were linked to hemispheric lateralization within the IFOF. Differences in spatial bias were mediated by both variability in microstructure and volume of the right SLF II. Our data indicate that the microstructural and macrostrucutral organization of white matter pathways differentially contributes to both the anatomical lateralization of frontoparietal attentional networks and to individual differences in attentional functions. We conclude that individual differences in VSTM capacity, processing speed, and spatial bias, as assessed by TVA, link to variability in structural organization within frontoparietal pathways. Copyright © 2015 Chechlacz et al.
Liu, Tian; Chen, Yanni; Li, Chenxi; Li, Youjun; Wang, Jue
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.
Klein, Barrie P; Harvey, Ben M; Dumoulin, Serge O
Voluntary spatial attention concentrates neural resources at the attended location. Here, we examined the effects of spatial attention on spatial position selectivity in humans. We measured population receptive fields (pRFs) using high-field functional MRI (fMRI) (7T) while subjects performed an attention-demanding task at different locations. We show that spatial attention attracts pRF preferred positions across the entire visual field, not just at the attended location. This global change in pRF preferred positions systematically increases up the visual hierarchy. We model these pRF preferred position changes as an interaction between two components: an attention field and a pRF without the influence of attention. This computational model suggests that increasing effects of attention up the hierarchy result primarily from differences in pRF size and that the attention field is similar across the visual hierarchy. A similar attention field suggests that spatial attention transforms different neural response selectivities throughout the visual hierarchy in a similar manner. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Stuart, Samuel; Lord, Sue; Galna, Brook; Rochester, Lynn
Gait impairment is a core feature of Parkinson's disease (PD) with implications for falls risk. Visual cues improve gait in PD, but the underlying mechanisms are unclear. Evidence suggests that attention and vision play an important role; however, the relative contribution from each is unclear. Measurement of visual exploration (specifically saccade frequency) during gait allows for real-time measurement of attention and vision. Understanding how visual cues influence visual exploration may allow inferences of the underlying mechanisms to response which could help to develop effective therapeutics. This study aimed to examine saccade frequency during gait in response to a visual cue in PD and older adults and investigate the roles of attention and vision in visual cue response in PD. A mobile eye-tracker measured saccade frequency during gait in 55 people with PD and 32 age-matched controls. Participants walked in a straight line with and without a visual cue (50 cm transverse lines) presented under single task and dual-task (concurrent digit span recall). Saccade frequency was reduced when walking in PD compared to controls; however, visual cues ameliorated saccadic deficit. Visual cues significantly increased saccade frequency in both PD and controls under both single task and dual-task. Attention rather than visual function was central to saccade frequency and gait response to visual cues in PD. In conclusion, this study highlights the impact of visual cues on visual exploration when walking and the important role of attention in PD. Understanding these complex features will help inform intervention development. © 2018 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Wang, Feng; Chen, Minggui; Yan, Yin; Zhaoping, Li; Li, Wu
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. Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/3513419-11$15.00/0.
Zhao, Jing; Liu, Menglian; Liu, Hanlong; Huang, Chen
With reading development, some children fail to learn to read fluently. However, reading fluency difficulty (RFD) has not been fully investigated. The present study explored the underlying mechanism of RFD from the aspect of visual attention span. Fourteen Chinese children with RFD and fourteen age-matched normal readers participated. The visual 1-back task was adopted to examine visual attention span. Reaction time and accuracy were recorded, and relevant d-prime (d') scores were computed. Results showed that children with RFD exhibited lower accuracy and lower d' values than the controls did in the visual 1-back task, revealing a visual attention span deficit. Further analyses on d' values revealed that the attention distribution seemed to exhibit an inverted U-shaped pattern without lateralization for normal readers, but a W-shaped pattern with a rightward bias for children with RFD, which was discussed based on between-group variation in reading strategies. Results of the correlation analyses showed that visual attention span was associated with reading fluency at the sentence level for normal readers, but was related to reading fluency at the single-character level for children with RFD. The different patterns in correlations between groups revealed that visual attention span might be affected by the variation in reading strategies. The current findings extend previous data from alphabetic languages to Chinese, a logographic language with a particularly deep orthography, and have implications for reading-dysfluency remediation. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Marino, Alexandria C.; Mazer, James A.
During natural vision, saccadic eye movements lead to frequent retinal image changes that result in different neuronal subpopulations representing the same visual feature across fixations. Despite these potentially disruptive changes to the neural representation, our visual percept is remarkably stable. Visual receptive field remapping, characterized as an anticipatory shift in the position of a neuron’s spatial receptive field immediately before saccades, has been proposed as one possible neural substrate for visual stability. Many of the specific properties of remapping, e.g., the exact direction of remapping relative to the saccade vector and the precise mechanisms by which remapping could instantiate stability, remain a matter of debate. Recent studies have also shown that visual attention, like perception itself, can be sustained across saccades, suggesting that the attentional control system can also compensate for eye movements. Classical remapping could have an attentional component, or there could be a distinct attentional analog of visual remapping. At this time we do not yet fully understand how the stability of attentional representations relates to perisaccadic receptive field shifts. In this review, we develop a vocabulary for discussing perisaccadic shifts in receptive field location and perisaccadic shifts of attentional focus, review and synthesize behavioral and neurophysiological studies of perisaccadic perception and perisaccadic attention, and identify open questions that remain to be experimentally addressed. PMID:26903820
Poltoratski, Sonia; Ling, Sam; McCormack, Devin; Tong, Frank
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. We used high-resolution functional MRI (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 nonsalient. 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, whereas the processing of orientation- and motion-driven salience primarily involves feature-selective interactions that take place in early cortical visual areas. NEW & NOTEWORTHY While spatial attention allows for specific, goal-driven enhancement of stimuli, salient items outside of the current focus of attention must also be prioritized. We used 7T fMRI to compare salience and spatial attentional enhancement along the early visual hierarchy. We report additive effects of
Snyder, Adam C.; Morais, Michael J.
Inhibition and excitation form two fundamental modes of neuronal interaction, yet we understand relatively little about their distinct roles in service of perceptual and cognitive processes. We developed a multidimensional waveform analysis to identify fast-spiking (putative inhibitory) and regular-spiking (putative excitatory) neurons in vivo and used this method to analyze how attention affects these two cell classes in visual area V4 of the extrastriate cortex of rhesus macaques. We found that putative inhibitory neurons had both greater increases in firing rate and decreases in correlated variability with attention compared with putative excitatory neurons. Moreover, the time course of attention effects for putative inhibitory neurons more closely tracked the temporal statistics of target probability in our task. Finally, the session-to-session variability in a behavioral measure of attention covaried with the magnitude of this effect. Together, these results suggest that selective targeting of inhibitory neurons and networks is a critical mechanism for attentional modulation. PMID:27466133
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...... perceptual encoding/decoding speed (processing speed) of visual short-term memory based on an assessment of 94 healthy subjects aged 60-75. The estimates are presented at total sample level as well as at gender level. The estimates were modelled from input from a whole-report assessment based on A Theory...... 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. (...
Sekerina, Irina A.; Sauermann, Antje
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…
Rogalska, Anna; Napieralski, Piotr
The visual saliency map is becoming important and challenging for many scientific disciplines (robotic systems, psychophysics, cognitive neuroscience and computer science). Map created by the model indicates possible salient regions by taking into consideration face presence and motion which is essential in motion pictures. By combining we can obtain credible saliency map with a low computational cost.
Brennan, Allison A; Bruderer, Alison J; Liu-Ambrose, Teresa; Handy, Todd C; Enns, James T
This study compared visual search under everyday conditions among participants across the life span (healthy participants in 4 groups, with average age of 6 years, 8 years, 22 years, and 75 years, and 1 group averaging 73 years with a history of falling). The task involved opening a door and stepping into a room find 1 of 4 everyday objects (apple, golf ball, coffee can, toy penguin) visible on shelves. The background for this study included 2 well-cited laboratory studies that pointed to different cognitive mechanisms underlying each end of the U-shaped pattern of visual search over the life span (Hommel et al., 2004; Trick & Enns, 1998). The results recapitulated some of the main findings of the laboratory study (e.g., a U-shaped function, dissociable factors for maturation and aging), but there were several unique findings. These included large differences in the baseline salience of common objects at different ages, visual eccentricity effects that were unique to aging, and visual field effects that interacted strongly with age. These findings highlight the importance of studying cognitive processes in more natural settings, where factors such as personal relevance, life history, and bodily contributions to cognition (e.g., limb, head, and body movements) are more readily revealed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).
Full Text Available The visual saliency map is becoming important and challenging for many scientific disciplines (robotic systems, psychophysics, cognitive neuroscience and computer science. Map created by the model indicates possible salient regions by taking into consideration face presence and motion which is essential in motion pictures. By combining we can obtain credible saliency map with a low computational cost.
Neimeijer, Renate A. M.; de Jong, Peter J.; Roefs, Anne
Although restrained eaters try to limit their food intake, they often fail and indulge in exactly those foods that they want to avoid. A possible explanation is a temporal attentional bias for food cues. It could be that for these people food stimuli are processed relatively efficiently and require
Smucny, Jason; Rojas, Donald C.; Eichman, Lindsay C.; Tregellas, Jason R.
Selective attention in the presence of distraction is a key aspect of healthy cognition. The underlying neurobiological processes, have not, however, been functionally well characterized. In the present study, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging to determine how ecologically relevant distracting noise affects cortical activity in 27…
Rohlfing, Katharina J.; Longo, Matthew R.; Bertenthal, Bennett I.
Pointing, like eye gaze, is a deictic gesture that can be used to orient the attention of another person towards an object or an event. Previous research suggests that infants first begin to follow a pointing gesture between 10 and 13 months of age. We investigated whether sensitivity to pointing could be seen at younger ages employing a technique…
Wagner, Jennifer B.; Luyster, Rhiannon J.; Yim, Jung Yeon; Tager-Flusberg, Helen; Nelson, Charles A.
Faces convey important information about the social environment, and even very young infants are preferentially attentive to face-like over non-face stimuli. Eye-tracking studies have allowed researchers to examine which features of faces infants find most salient across development, and the present study examined scanning of familiar (i.e.,…
Lamme, V.A.F.; Raftopoulos, A.
In this chapter, what I will try is to explain the very related phenomena of attention and awareness at the basic neural level. It will be an endeavour in the spirit of cognitive neuroscience, where cognitive psychology and neuroscience meet, to obtain new definitions for behavioral and mental
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…
Colzato, L.S.; van den Wildenberg, W.P.M.; Hommel, B.
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
Itti, L; Dhavale, N; Pighin, F
We describe a neurobiological model of visual attention and eye/head movements in primates, and its application to the automatic animation of a realistic virtual human head watching an unconstrained...
Wickens, Christopher; Dixon, Stephen; Goh, Juliana; Hammer, Ben
An unmanned air vehicle (UAV) simulation was designed to reveal the effects of imperfectly reliable diagnostic automation a monitor of system health parameters on pilot attention, as the latter was assessed via visual scanning...
Park, Min Chul; Kim, Sung Kyu; Son, Jung-Young
Human visual attention system has a remarkable ability to interpret complex scenes with the ease and simplicity by selecting or focusing on a small region of visual field without scanning the whole images. In this paper, a novel selective visual attention model by using 3D image display system for a stereo pair of images is proposed. It is based on the feature integration theory and locates ROI(region of interest) or FOA(focus of attention). The disparity map obtained from a stereo pair of images is exploited as one of spatial visual features to form a set of topographic feature maps in our approach. Though the true human cognitive mechanism on the analysis and integration process might be different from our assumption the proposed attention system matches well with the results found by human observers.
Bahrami, Bahador; Lavie, Nilli; Rees, Geraint
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 , 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 . 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.
Richard, Annette E; Hodges, Elise K; Heinrich, Kimberley P
Attentional and academic difficulties, particularly in math, are common in survivors of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Of cognitive deficits experienced by survivors of childhood ALL, attention deficits may be particularly responsive to intervention. However, it is unknown whether deficits in particular aspects of attention are associated with deficits in math skills. The current study investigated relationships between math calculation skills, performance on an objective measure of sustained attention, and parent- and teacher-reported attention difficulties. Twenty-four survivors of childhood ALL (Mage = 13.5 years, SD= 2.8 years) completed a computerized measure of sustained attention and response control and a written measure of math calculation skills in the context of a comprehensive clinical neuropsychological evaluation. Parent and teacher ratings of inattention and impulsivity were obtained. Visual response control and visual attention accounted for 26.4% of the variance observed among math performance scores after controlling for IQ (p < .05). Teacher-rated, but not parent-rated, inattention was significantly negatively correlated with math calculation scores. Consistency of responses to visual stimuli on a computerized measure of attention is a unique predictor of variance in math performance among survivors of childhood ALL. Objective testing of visual response control, rather than parent-rated attentional problems, may have clinical utility in identifying ALL survivors at risk for math difficulties. © The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kulp, Marjean Taylor; Ciner, Elise; Maguire, Maureen; Pistilli, Maxwell; Candy, T Rowan; Ying, Gui-Shuang; Quinn, Graham; Cyert, Lynn; Moore, Bruce
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 attention (sustained, receptive, and expressive), 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 Attention score was worse in 4 to 6 D hyperopes compared with emmetropes (by -2.6, P = .01). Hyperopes with reduced near visual acuity (20/40 or worse) had worse scores than emmetropes (-6.4, P attention; -3.0, P = .004 for Receptive Attention; -0.7, P = .006 for 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 attention; -3.4, P = .03 for Expressive Attention; -2.2, P = .03 for Receptive Attention; -0.7, P = .01 for VMI; -1.7, P visual function generally performed similarly to emmetropes. Moderately hyperopic children were found to have deficits in measures of attention. Hyperopic children with reduced near visual function also had lower scores on VMI and VP than emmetropic children.
Nagel, Bonnie J.; Bathula, Deepti; Herting, Megan; Schmitt, Colleen; Kroenke, Christopher D.; Fair, Damien; Nigg, Joel T.
Objective: Identification of biomarkers is a priority for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Studies have documented macrostructural brain alterations in ADHD, but few have examined white matter microstructure, particularly in preadolescent children. Given dramatic white matter maturation across childhood, microstructural differences…
Brosch, Tobias; Grandjean, Didier Maurice; Sander, David; Scherer, Klaus R.
Emotionally relevant stimuli are prioritized in human information processing. It has repeatedly been shown that selective spatial attention is modulated by the emotional content of a stimulus. Until now, studies investigating this phenomenon have only examined withinmodality effects, most frequently using pictures of emotional stimuli to modulate visual attention. In this study, we used simultaneously presented utterances with emotional and neutral prosody as cues for a visually presented tar...
Arguin, Martin; Joanette, Yves; Cavanagh, Patrick
Brain-damaged subjects who had previously been identified as suffering from a visual attention deficit for contralesional stimulation were tested on a series of visual search tasks. The experiments examined the hypothesis that the processing of single features is preattentive but that feature integration, necessary for the correct perception of conjunctions of features, requires attention (Treisman & Gelade, 1980 Treisman & Sato, 1990). Subjects searched for a feature target (orientation or c...
Full Text Available Following bi-parietal lesions patient AT showed a severe inability to relocate her attention within a visual field which perimetry proved to be near-normal. An experimental approach with tasks testing visuo-spatial attention demonstrated a shrinkage of A.T.’s attentional visual field. With her visual attention narrowed to a kind of functional tunnel vision, the patient exhibited simultanagnosia (Wolpert, 1924, a symptom previously described in 1909 by Balint under the label of Psychic paralysis of “Gaze”. In striking contrast AT showed an efficient and effortless perception of complex natural scenes, which, according to recent work in normal subjects, necessitate few if any attentional resources.
Tas, A Caglar; Luck, Steven J; Hollingworth, Andrew
There is substantial debate over whether visual working memory (VWM) and visual attention constitute a single system for the selection of task-relevant perceptual information or whether they are distinct systems that can be dissociated when their representational demands diverge. In the present study, we focused on the relationship between visual attention and the encoding of objects into VWM. Participants performed a color change-detection task. During the retention interval, a secondary object, irrelevant to the memory task, was presented. Participants were instructed either to execute an overt shift of gaze to this object (Experiments 1-3) or to attend it covertly (Experiments 4 and 5). Our goal was to determine whether these overt and covert shifts of attention disrupted the information held in VWM. We hypothesized that saccades, which typically introduce a memorial demand to bridge perceptual disruption, would lead to automatic encoding of the secondary object. However, purely covert shifts of attention, which introduce no such demand, would not result in automatic memory encoding. The results supported these predictions. Saccades to the secondary object produced substantial interference with VWM performance, but covert shifts of attention to this object produced no interference with VWM performance. These results challenge prevailing theories that consider attention and VWM to reflect a common mechanism. In addition, they indicate that the relationship between attention and VWM is dependent on the memorial demands of the orienting behavior. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).
Lin, I-Mei; Fan, Sheng-Yu; Huang, Tiao-Lai; Wu, Wan-Ting; Li, Shi-Ming
Visual search is an important attention process that precedes the information processing. Visual search also mediates the relationship between cognition function (attention) and social cognition (such as facial expression identification). However, the association between visual attention and social cognition in patients with schizophrenia remains unknown. The purposes of this study were to examine the differences in visual search performance and facial expression identification between patients with schizophrenia and normal controls, and to explore the relationship between visual search performance and facial expression identification in patients with schizophrenia. Fourteen patients with schizophrenia (mean age=46.36±6.74) and 15 normal controls (mean age=40.87±9.33) participated this study. The visual search task, including feature search and conjunction search, and Japanese and Caucasian Facial Expression of Emotion were administered. Patients with schizophrenia had worse visual search performance both in feature search and conjunction search than normal controls, as well as had worse facial expression identification, especially in surprised and sadness. In addition, there were negative associations between visual search performance and facial expression identification in patients with schizophrenia, especially in surprised and sadness. However, this phenomenon was not showed in normal controls. Patients with schizophrenia who had visual search deficits had the impairment on facial expression identification. Increasing ability of visual search and facial expression identification may improve their social function and interpersonal relationship.
Liu, H.; Heynderickx, I.E.J.
Current research on image quality assessment tends to include visual attention in objective metrics to further enhance their performance. A variety of computational models of visual attention are implemented in different metrics, but their accuracy in representing human visual attention is not fully
Bulf, Hermann; Valenza, Eloisa
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…
Spence, C; Ranson, J; Driver, J
In three experiments, we investigated whether the ease with which distracting sounds can be ignored depends on their distance from fixation and from attended visual events. In the first experiment, participants shadowed an auditory stream of words presented behind their heads, while simultaneously fixating visual lip-read information consistent with the relevant auditory stream, or meaningless "chewing" lip movements. An irrelevant auditory stream of words, which participants had to ignore, was presented either from the same side as the fixated visual stream or from the opposite side. Selective shadowing was less accurate in the former condition, implying that distracting sounds are harder to ignore when fixated. Furthermore, the impairment when fixating toward distractor sounds was greater when speaking lips were fixated than when chewing lips were fixated, suggesting that people find it particularly difficult to ignore sounds at locations that are actively attended for visual lipreading rather than merely passively fixated. Experiments 2 and 3 tested whether these results are specific to cross-modal links in speech perception by replacing the visual lip movements with a rapidly changing stream of meaningless visual shapes. The auditory task was again shadowing, but the active visual task was now monitoring for a specific visual shape at one location. A decrement in shadowing was again observed when participants passively fixated toward the irrelevant auditory stream. This decrement was larger when participants performed a difficult active visual task there versus fixating, but not for a less demanding visual task versus fixation. The implications for cross-modal links in spatial attention are discussed.
Lenz, Daniel; Krauel, Kerstin; Flechtner, Hans-Henning; Schadow, Jeanette; Hinrichs, Hermann; Herrmann, Christoph S.
Neurophysiological studies yield contrary results whether attentional problems of patients with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are related to early visual processing deficits or not. Evoked gamma-band responses (GBRs), being among the first cortical responses occurring as early as 90 ms after visual stimulation in human EEG, have…
Amer, Tarek; Ngo, K W Joan; Hasher, Lynn
We investigated differences between participants of East Asian and Western descent in attention to and implicit memory for irrelevant words which participants were instructed to ignore while completing a target task (a Stroop Task in Experiment 1 and a 1-back task on pictures in Experiment 2). Implicit memory was measured using two conceptual priming tasks (category generation in Experiment 1 and general knowledge in Experiment 2). Participants of East Asian descent showed reliable implicit memory for previous distractors relative to those of Western descent with no evidence of differences on target task performance. We also found differences in a Corsi Block spatial memory task in both studies, with superior performance by the East Asian group. Our findings suggest that cultural differences in attention extend to task-irrelevant background information, and demonstrate for the first time that such information can boost performance when it becomes relevant on a subsequent task. © 2016 The British Psychological Society.
On the interplay between working memory consolidation and attentional selection in controlling conscious access : Parallel processing at a cost-a comment on 'The interplay of attention and consciousness in visual search, attentional blink and working memory consolidation'
Wyble, Brad; Bowman, Howard; Nieuwenstein, Mark
On the interplay between working memory consolidation and attentional selection in controlling conscious access: parallel processing at a cost-a comment on 'The interplay of attention and consciousness in visual search, attentional blink and working memory consolidation'
Habekost, Thomas; Starrfelt, Randi
Psychophysical studies have identified two distinct limitations of visual attention capacity: processing speed and apprehension span. Using a simple test, these cognitive factors can be analyzed by Bundesen's Theory of Visual Attention (TVA). The method has strong specificity and sensitivity, and measurements are highly reliable. As the method is theoretically founded, it also has high validity. TVA-based assessment has recently been used to investigate a broad range of neuropsychological and neurological conditions. We present the method, including the experimental paradigm and practical guidelines 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 networks that include several regions outside the visual system. The two visual capacity parameters are functionally separable, but seem to rely on largely overlapping brain areas.
Dombrowe, I.; Olivers, C.N.L.; Donk, M.
Previous work has generated inconsistent results with regard to what extent working memory (WM) content guides visual attention. Some studies found effects of easy to verbalize stimuli, whereas others only found an influence of visual memory content. To resolve this, we compared the time courses of
Tsai, Meng-Jung; Hou, Huei-Tse; Lai, Meng-Lung; Liu, Wan-Yi; Yang, Fang-Ying
This study employed an eye-tracking technique to examine students' visual attention when solving a multiple-choice science problem. Six university students participated in a problem-solving task to predict occurrences of landslide hazards from four images representing four combinations of four factors. Participants' responses and visual attention…
Bedard, Anne-Claude; Martinussen, Rhonda; Ickowicz, Abel; Tannock, Rosemary
Objective: To investigate the effect of methylphenidate (MPH) on visual-spatial memory, as measured by subtests of the Cambridge Neuropsychological Testing Automated Battery (CANTAB), in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Visual-spatial memory is a core component of working memory that has been shown to be impaired in…
Schlesinger, Matthew; Amso, Dima; Johnson, Scott P.
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…
Reynolds, Greg D.; Guy, Maggie W.; Zhang, Dantong
Past studies have identified individual differences in infant visual attention based upon peak look duration during initial exposure to a stimulus. Colombo and colleagues found that infants that demonstrate brief visual fixations (i.e., short lookers) during familiarization are more likely to demonstrate evidence of recognition memory during…
Yadav, Naveen K; Thiagarajan, Preethi; Ciuffreda, Kenneth J
The purpose of the experiment was to investigate the effect of oculomotor vision rehabilitation (OVR) on the visual-evoked potential (VEP) and visual attention in the mTBI population. Subjects (n = 7) were adults with a history of mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI). Each received 9 hours of OVR over a 6-week period. The effects of OVR on VEP amplitude and latency, the attention-related alpha band (8-13 Hz) power (µV(2)) and the clinical Visual Search and Attention Test (VSAT) were assessed before and after the OVR. After the OVR, the VEP amplitude increased and its variability decreased. There was no change in VEP latency, which was normal. Alpha band power increased, as did the VSAT score, following the OVR. The significant changes in most test parameters suggest that OVR affects the visual system at early visuo-cortical levels, as well as other pathways which are involved in visual attention.
Wei, Chun-Chun; Ma, Min-Yuan
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…
Sasson, Noah J.; Touchstone, Emily W.
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…
Neumann, Michelle M.; Acosta, Camillia; Neumann, David L.
Environmental print, such as signs and product labels, consist of both print and contextual cues designed to attract the visual attention of the reader. However, contextual cues may draw young children's attention away from the print, thus questioning the value of environmental print in early reading development. Eye tracker technology was used to…
Smith, Philip L.; Ratcliff, Roger
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…
Murphy, Eric R.; Norr, Megan; Strang, John F.; Kenworthy, Lauren; Gaillard, William D.; Vaidya, Chandan J.
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…
Oosterhoff, Benjamin; Shook, Natalie J; Ford, Cameron
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.
Piech, Richard M; Pastorino, Michael T; Zald, David H
While effects of hunger on motivation and food reward value are well-established, far less is known about the effects of hunger on cognitive processes. Here, we deployed the emotional blink of attention paradigm to investigate the impact of visual food cues on attentional capture under conditions of hunger and satiety. Participants were asked to detect targets which appeared in a rapid visual stream after different types of task irrelevant distractors. We observed that food stimuli acquired increased power to capture attention and prevent target detection when participants were hungry. This occurred despite monetary incentives to perform well. Our findings suggest an attentional mechanism through which hunger heightens perception of food cues. As an objective behavioral marker of the attentional sensitivity to food cues, the emotional attentional blink paradigm may provide a useful technique for studying individual differences, and state manipulations in the sensitivity to food cues. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Bosworth, Rain G; Petrich, Jennifer A F; Dobkins, Karen R
In order to investigate differences in the effects of spatial attention between the left visual field (LVF) and the right visual field (RVF), we employed a full/poor attention paradigm using stimuli presented in the LVF vs. RVF. In addition, to investigate differences in the effects of spatial attention between the dorsal and ventral processing streams, we obtained motion thresholds (motion coherence thresholds and fine direction discrimination thresholds) and orientation thresholds, respectively. The results of this study showed negligible effects of attention on the orientation task, in either the LVF or RVF. In contrast, for both motion tasks, there was a significant effect of attention in the LVF, but not in the RVF. These data provide psychophysical evidence for greater effects of spatial attention in the LVF/right hemisphere, specifically, for motion processing in the dorsal stream. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Gabbott, P L; Stewart, M G
The effect of visual deprivation followed by light exposure on the tangential organisation of dendritic bundles passing through layer 4 of the rat visual cortex was studied quantitatively in the light microscope. Four groups of animals were investigated: (I) rats reared in an environment illuminated normally--group 52 dL; (II) rats reared in the dark until 21 days postnatum (DPN) and subsequently light exposed for 31 days-group 21/31; (III) rats dark reared until 52 DPN and then subsequently light exposed for 3 days--group 3 dL; and (IV) rats totally dark reared until 52 DPN--group 52 DPN. Each group contained five animals. Semithin 0.5-1-μm thick resin-embedded sections were collected from tangential sampling levels through the middle of layer 4 in area 17 and stained with Toluidine Blue. These sections were used to quantitatively analyse the composition and distribution of dendritic clusters in the tangential plane. The key result of this study indicates a significant reduction in the mean number of medium- and small-sized dendritic profiles (diameter less than 2 μm) contributing to clusters in layer 4 of groups 3 dL and 52 dD compared with group 21/31. No differences were detected in the mean number of large-sized dendritic profiles composing a bundle in these experimental groups. Moreover, the mean number of clusters and their tangential distribution in layer 4 did not vary significantly between all four groups. Finally, the clustering parameters were not significantly different between groups 21/31 and the normally reared group 52 dL. This study demonstrates, for the first time, that extended periods of dark rearing followed by light exposure can alter the morphological composition of dendritic bundles in thalamorecipient layer 4 of rat visual cortex. Because these changes occur in the primary region of thalamocortical input, they may underlie specific alterations in the processing of visual information both cortically and subcortically during periods of
computers", Technical Report, Aritificial Intelligence Lab, M.I. T., AI-Memo-915, June 1986.  D.P. Huttenlocher and S.Ullman, "Object Recognition Using...attention", Technical Report, Aritificial Intelligence Lab, M.I. T., AI-memo-770, Jan 1984.  E.Krotkov, K. Henriksen and R. Kories, "Stereo...MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory [ PCTBTBimON STATEMENT X \\ Afipioved tor puciic reieo*«* \\ »?*•;.., jDi*tiibutK» U»lisut»d* 19951004
Moisala, Mona; Salmela, Viljami; Salo, Emma; Carlson, Synnove; Vuontela, Virve; Salonen, Oili; Alho, Kimmo
Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we measured brain activity of human participants while they performed a sentence congruence judgment task in either the visual or auditory modality separately, or in both modalities simultaneously. Significant performance decrements were observed when attention was divided between the two modalities compared with when one modality was selectively attended. Compared with selective attention (i.e., single tasking), divided attention (i.e., dua...
Kamke, Marc R.; Harris, Jill
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...
Simpson, Claire; Pinkham, Amy E; Kelsven, Skylar; Sasson, Noah J
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. © 2013.
Park, George D; Reed, Catherine L
Researchers acknowledge the interplay between action and attention, but typically consider action as a response to successful attentional selection or the correlation of performance on separate action and attention tasks. We investigated how concurrent action with spatial monitoring affects the distribution of attention across the visual field. We embedded a functional field of view (FFOV) paradigm with concurrent central object recognition and peripheral target localization tasks in a simulated driving environment. Peripheral targets varied across 20-60 deg eccentricity at 11 radial spokes. Three conditions assessed the effects of visual complexity and concurrent action on the size and shape of the FFOV: (1) with no background, (2) with driving background, and (3) with driving background and vehicle steering. The addition of visual complexity slowed task performance and reduced the FFOV size but did not change the baseline shape. In contrast, the addition of steering produced not only shrinkage of the FFOV, but also changes in the FFOV shape. Nonuniform performance decrements occurred in proximal regions used for the central task and for steering, independent of interference from context elements. Multifocal attention models should consider the role of action and account for nonhomogeneities in the distribution of attention. © 2015 SAGE Publications.
DUNCAN, LESLEY A.; PARK, JUSTIN H.; FAULKNER, JASON; SCHALLER, MARK; NEUBERG, STEVEN L.; KENRICK, DOUGLAS T.
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 Sociosexual Orientation Inventory, and performed a computer-based task that assessed the speed with which they detected changes in attractive and unattractive male and female faces. Differences in r...
Schlesinger, Matthew; Amso, Dima; Johnson, Scott P.
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 visual selective attention. In the current simulation study, we used the same model to simulate 3-month-olds’ performance on a second measure, the percep...
McAdams, Carrie J; Reid, R Clay
Spatial attention has long been postulated to act as a spotlight that increases the salience of visual stimuli at the attended location. We examined the effects of attention on the receptive fields of simple cells in primary visual cortex (V1) by training macaque monkeys to perform a task with two modes. In the attended mode, the stimuli relevant to the animal's task overlay the receptive field of the neuron being recorded. In the unattended mode, the animal was cued to attend to stimuli outside the receptive field of that neuron. The relevant stimulus, a colored pixel, was briefly presented within a white-noise stimulus, a flickering grid of black and white pixels. The receptive fields of the neurons were mapped by correlating spikes with the white-noise stimulus in both attended and unattended modes. We found that attention could cause significant modulation of the visually evoked response despite an absence of significant effects on the overall firing rates. On further examination of the relationship between the strength of the visual stimulation and the firing rate, we found that attention appears to cause multiplicative scaling of the visually evoked responses of simple cells, demonstrating that attention reaches back to the initial stages of visual cortical processing.
Chelnokova, Olga; Laeng, Bruno; Løseth, Guro; Eikemo, Marie; Willoch, Frode; Leknes, Siri
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. © The Author (2016). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: email@example.com.
Wirth, Maria; Isaacowitz, Derek M; Kunzmann, Ute
Prominent life span theories of emotion propose that older adults attend less to negative emotional information and report less negative emotional reactions to the same information than younger adults do. Although parallel age differences in affective information processing and age differences in emotional reactivity have been proposed, they have rarely been investigated within the same study. In this eye-tracking study, we tested age differences in visual attention and emotional reactivity, using standardized emotionally negative stimuli. Additionally, we investigated age differences in the association between visual attention and emotional reactivity, and whether these are moderated by cognitive reappraisal. Older as compared with younger adults showed fixation patterns away from negative image content, while they reacted with greater negative emotions. The association between visual attention and emotional reactivity differed by age group and positive reappraisal. Younger adults felt better when they attended more to negative content rather than less, but this relationship only held for younger adults who did not attach a positive meaning to the negative situation. For older adults, overall, there was no significant association between visual attention and emotional reactivity. However, for older adults who did not use positive reappraisal, decreases in attention to negative information were associated with less negative emotions. The present findings point to a complex relationship between younger and older adults' visual attention and emotional reactions. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).
Green, Jessica J; Boehler, Carsten N; Roberts, Kenneth C; Chen, Ling-Chia; Krebs, Ruth M; Song, Allen W; Woldorff, Marty G
Visual spatial attention has been studied in humans with both electroencephalography (EEG) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) individually. However, due to the intrinsic limitations of each of these methods used alone, our understanding of the systems-level mechanisms underlying attentional control remains limited. Here, we examined trial-to-trial covariations of concurrently recorded EEG and fMRI in a cued visual spatial attention task in humans, which allowed delineation of both the generators and modulators of the cue-triggered event-related oscillatory brain activity underlying attentional control function. The fMRI activity in visual cortical regions contralateral to the cued direction of attention covaried positively with occipital gamma-band EEG, consistent with activation of cortical regions representing attended locations in space. In contrast, fMRI activity in ipsilateral visual cortical regions covaried inversely with occipital alpha-band oscillations, consistent with attention-related suppression of the irrelevant hemispace. Moreover, the pulvinar nucleus of the thalamus covaried with both of these spatially specific, attention-related, oscillatory EEG modulations. Because the pulvinar's neuroanatomical geometry makes it unlikely to be a direct generator of the scalp-recorded EEG, these covariational patterns appear to reflect the pulvinar's role as a regulatory control structure, sending spatially specific signals to modulate visual cortex excitability proactively. Together, these combined EEG/fMRI results illuminate the dynamically interacting cortical and subcortical processes underlying spatial attention, providing important insight not realizable using either method alone. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Noninvasive recordings of changes in the brain's blood flow using functional magnetic resonance imaging and electrical activity using electroencephalography in humans have individually shown that shifting attention to a location in space
Sheremata, Summer L; Somers, David C; Shomstein, Sarah
Visual short-term memory (VSTM) and attention are distinct yet interrelated processes. While both require selection of information across the visual field, memory additionally requires the maintenance of information across time and distraction. VSTM recruits areas within human (male and female) dorsal and ventral parietal cortex that are also implicated in spatial selection; therefore, it is important to determine whether overlapping activation might reflect shared attentional demands. Here, identical stimuli and controlled sustained attention across both tasks were used to ask whether fMRI signal amplitude, functional connectivity, and contralateral visual field bias reflect memory-specific task demands. While attention and VSTM activated similar cortical areas, BOLD amplitude and functional connectivity in parietal cortex differentiated the two tasks. Relative to attention, VSTM increased BOLD amplitude in dorsal parietal cortex and decreased BOLD amplitude in the angular gyrus. Additionally, the tasks differentially modulated parietal functional connectivity. Contrasting VSTM and attention, intraparietal sulcus (IPS) 1-2 were more strongly connected with anterior frontoparietal areas and more weakly connected with posterior regions. This divergence between tasks demonstrates that parietal activation reflects memory-specific functions and consequently modulates functional connectivity across the cortex. In contrast, both tasks demonstrated hemispheric asymmetries for spatial processing, exhibiting a stronger contralateral visual field bias in the left versus the right hemisphere across tasks, suggesting that asymmetries are characteristic of a shared selection process in IPS. These results demonstrate that parietal activity and patterns of functional connectivity distinguish VSTM from more general attention processes, establishing a central role of the parietal cortex in maintaining visual information. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Visual short-term memory (VSTM) and
Murphy, Eric R; Norr, Megan; Strang, John F; Kenworthy, Lauren; Gaillard, William D; Vaidya, Chandan J
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 response to probes in the location of solid color patch) to visually salient stimuli was similar in the groups, activation differences in frontal and temporoparietal regions suggested hyper-sensitivity to visual salience or to sameness in ASD children. Further, activation in a subset of those regions was associated with symptoms of restricted and repetitive behavior. Thus, atypicalities in response to visual properties of stimuli may drive attentional orienting problems associated with ASD.
Anton-Erxleben, Katharina; Abrams, Jared; Carrasco, Marisa
Covert attention not only improves performance in many visual tasks but also modulates the appearance of several visual features. Studies on attention and appearance have assessed subjective appearance using a task contingent upon a comparative judgment (e.g., M. Carrasco, S. Ling, & S. Read, 2004). Recently, K. A. Schneider and M. Komlos (2008) questioned the validity of those results because they did not find a significant effect of attention on contrast appearance using an equality task. They claim that such equality judgments are bias-free whereas comparative judgments are bias-prone and propose an alternative interpretation of the previous findings based on a decision bias. However, to date there is no empirical support for the superiority of the equality procedure. Here, we compare biases and sensitivity to shifts in perceived contrast of both paradigms. We measured contrast appearance using both a comparative and an equality judgment. Observers judged the contrasts of two simultaneously presented stimuli, while either the contrast of one stimulus was physically incremented (Experiments 1 and 2) or exogenous attention was drawn to it (Experiments 3 and 4). We demonstrate several methodological limitations of the equality paradigm. Nevertheless, both paradigms capture shifts in PSE due to physical and perceived changes in contrast and show that attention enhances apparent contrast.
Peschel, Anne Odile; Orquin, Jacob Lund
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 (CA; Janiszewski, 1998). We furthermore suggest a fourth model – demand for attention – which we derive...... 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....
Ballesteros, Soledad; Reales, José M; Mayas, Julia; Heller, Morton A
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.
Ponthieu, L.; Wolfe, J.M.
This work has been carried out while the author was visiting the Visual Psychophysics lab at the Center for Ophthalmic Research, Harvard Medical School. The general framework is the design of a wiring diagrams visualization system for maintenance operators in electric plants. This study concentrates on how knowledge and experimental techniques from visual attention can help this goal. From this standpoint, the visualization system must best exploit the human visual system abilities. As electronic databases containing all the diagrams will soon be available, it is important to think in advance the display techniques. Presently, maintenance operators favor working with paper printouts even where such databases are already available. The study shows why such an approach is valuable for the design of a display that fits the operator's tasks. Beyond that, this work has been a mean to learn the experimental techniques of cognitive sciences in an applied frame. (authors). 9 figs., 5 annexes
W. Wiktor Jedrzejczak
Full Text Available Previous research has indicated that inner ear function might be modulated by visual attention, although the results have not been totally conclusive. Conceivably, modulation of hearing might occur due to stimulation of the cochlea via descending medial olivocochlear (MOC neurons. The aim of the present study was to test whether increased visual attention caused corresponding changes in inner ear function, which was measured by the strength of otoacoustic emissions (OAEs recorded from the ear canal in response to a steady train of clicks. To manipulate attention, we asked subjects to attend to, or ignore, visual stimuli delivered according to an odd-ball paradigm. The subjects were presented with two types of visual stimuli: standard and deviant (20% of all stimuli, randomly presented. During a passive part of the experiment, subjects had to just observe a pattern of squares on a computer screen. In an active condition, the subject’s task was to silently count the occasional inverted (deviant pattern on the screen. At all times, visual evoked potentials (VEPs were used to objectively gauge the subject’s state of attention, and OAEs in response to clicks (transiently evoked OAEs, TEOAEs were used to gauge inner ear function. As a test of descending neural activity, TEOAE levels were evaluated with and without contralateral acoustic stimulation (CAS by broadband noise, a paradigm known to activate the MOC pathway. Our results showed that the recorded VEPs were, as expected, a good measure of visual attention, but even when attention levels changed there was no corresponding change in TEOAE levels. We conclude that visual attention does not significantly affect inner ear function.
Chiang, Huey-Ling; Chen, Yu-Jen; Lo, Yu-Chun; Tseng, Wen-Yih I; Gau, Susan S
The neural substrate for clinical symptoms and neuropsychological performance in individuals with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has rarely been studied and has yielded inconsistent results. We sought to compare the microstructural property of fibre tracts associated with the prefrontal cortex and its association with ADHD symptoms and a wide range of attention performance in youth with ADHD and healthy controls. We assessed youths with ADHD and age-, sex-, handedness-, coil- and intelligence-matched controls using the Conners' Continuous Performance Test (CCPT) for attention performance and MRI. The 10 target tracts, including the bilateral frontostriatal tracts (caudate to dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, ventrolateral prefrontal cortex and orbitofrontal cortex), superior longitudinal fasciculus (SLF) and cingulum bundle were reconstructed using diffusion spectrum imaging tractography. We computed generalized fractional anisotropy (GFA) values to indicate tract-specific microstructural property. We included 50 youths with ADHD and 50 healthy controls in our study. Youths with ADHD had lower GFA in the left frontostriatal tracts, bilateral SLF and right cingulum bundle and performed worse in the CCPT than controls. Furthermore, alteration of the right SLF GFA was most significantly associated with the clinical symptom of inattention in youths with ADHD. Finally, youths with ADHD had differential association patterns of the 10 fibre tract GFA values with attention performance compared with controls. Ten of the youths with ADHD were treated with methylphenidate, which may have long-term effects on microstructural property. Our study highlights the importance of the SLF, cingulum bundle and frontostriatal tracts for clinical symptoms and attention performance in youths with ADHD and demonstrates the involvement of different fibre tracts in attention performance in these individuals.
Full Text Available Self-concept is one of the major factors to explain the cultural differences between East Asians and Westerners. In the field of visual attention, most studies have focused on the modulation of visual spatial-based attention, whereas possible influences of culture or self-concept on other types of visual attention remain largely unexplored. The present study investigated the possible modulation of visual feature-based attention by self-concept, using a within-group self-construal priming design. The experiment paradigm employed visual stimuli consisted of two intermixing random dot clouds presented in the focal visual field with red and green colors. After primed with an interdependent, independent or neutral self-construal, the participants were instructed to attend to one of the focally presented dot cloud and respond to occasional luminance decrement events of the attended dot cloud. The detection of the focal events was found to be significantly faster when exogenously cued by a peripheral dot cloud of either the same or different colors as the attended focal dot cloud (congruent / incongruent, compared to the uncued condition. More importantly, the self-construal priming took effect only on the reaction time (RT differences between the congruent and incongruent cued conditions: the participants responded much slower to incongruent cued events than congruent cued events under interdependent self-construal priming, while the RT difference was significantly smaller under independent self-construal priming. A closer look on the results suggests that the attention scope is selectively modulated by self-construal priming, and the modulation is mainly reflected by varying the degree of suppression on the processing of the incongruent contextual stimuli that do not share visual features with the focal object. Our findings provide new evidences that could possibly extend the current understanding on the cultural influence on visual attention.
Full Text Available Given that both auditory and visual systems have anatomically separate object identification ("what" and spatial ("where" pathways, it is of interest whether attention-driven cross-sensory modulations occur separately within these feature domains. Here, we investigated how auditory "what" vs. "where" attention tasks modulate activity in visual pathways using cortically constrained source estimates of magnetoencephalograpic (MEG oscillatory activity. In the absence of visual stimuli or tasks, subjects were presented with a sequence of auditory-stimulus pairs and instructed to selectively attend to phonetic ("what" vs. spatial ("where" aspects of these sounds, or to listen passively. To investigate sustained modulatory effects, oscillatory power was estimated from time periods between sound-pair presentations. In comparison to attention to sound locations, phonetic auditory attention was associated with stronger alpha (7-13 Hz power in several visual areas (primary visual cortex; lingual, fusiform, and inferior temporal gyri, lateral occipital cortex, as well as in higher-order visual/multisensory areas including lateral/medial parietal and retrosplenial cortices. Region-of-interest (ROI analyses of dynamic changes, from which the sustained effects had been removed, suggested further power increases during Attend Phoneme vs. Location centered at the alpha range 400-600 ms after the onset of second sound of each stimulus pair. These results suggest distinct modulations of visual system oscillatory activity during auditory attention to sound object identity ("what" vs. sound location ("where". The alpha modulations could be interpreted to reflect enhanced crossmodal inhibition of feature-specific visual pathways and adjacent audiovisual association areas during "what" vs. "where" auditory attention.
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.
Verghese, Ashika; Kolbe, Scott C; Anderson, Andrew J; Egan, Gary F; Vidyasagar, Trichur R
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. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Harrison, Neil R; Woodhouse, Rob
Previous research has demonstrated that threatening, compared to neutral pictures, can bias attention towards non-emotional auditory targets. Here we investigated which subcomponents of attention contributed to the influence of emotional visual stimuli on auditory spatial attention. Participants indicated the location of an auditory target, after brief (250 ms) presentation of a spatially non-predictive peripheral visual cue. Responses to targets were faster at the location of the preceding visual cue, compared to at the opposite location (cue validity effect). The cue validity effect was larger for targets following pleasant and unpleasant cues compared to neutral cues, for right-sided targets. For unpleasant cues, the crossmodal cue validity effect was driven by delayed attentional disengagement, and for pleasant cues, it was driven by enhanced engagement. We conclude that both pleasant and unpleasant visual cues influence the distribution of attention across modalities and that the associated attentional mechanisms depend on the valence of the visual cue.
Mueller Loose, Simone; Orquin, Jacob Lund
in the product mock-up presentation required significantly fewer fixations and less decision time, and more within-alternative transitions were observed compared to the verbal and visual presentation formats. Attributes presented visually or at larger size had a higher impact on participants’ choices......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...
Awh, Edward; Sgarlata, Antoinette Marie; Kliestik, John
Models of attentional control usually describe online shifts in control settings that accommodate changing task demands. The current studies suggest that online control over distractor exclusion--a core component of visual selection--can be accomplished without online shifts in top-down settings. Measurements of target discrimination accuracy…
Wiegand, Iris; Petersen, Anders; Finke, Kathrin; Bundesen, Claus; Lansner, Jon; Habekost, Thomas
In the present study, we investigated effects of phasic alerting on visual attention in a partial report task, in which half of the displays were preceded by an auditory warning cue. Based on the computational Theory of Visual Attention (TVA), we estimated parameters of spatial and non-spatial aspects of visual attention and measured event-related lateralizations (ERLs) over visual processing areas. We found that the TVA parameter sensory effectiveness a , which is thought to reflect visual processing capacity, significantly increased with phasic alerting. By contrast, the distribution of visual processing resources according to task relevance and spatial position, as quantified in parameters top-down control α and spatial bias w index , was not modulated by phasic alerting. On the electrophysiological level, the latencies of ERLs in response to the task displays were reduced following the warning cue. These results suggest that phasic alerting facilitates visual processing in a general, unselective manner and that this effect originates in early stages of visual information processing.
Kimura, Motohiro; Widmann, Andreas; Schröger, Erich
Recent neuroscience studies using visual mismatch negativity (visual MMN), an event-related brain potential (ERP) index of memory-mismatch processes in the visual sensory system, have shown that although sequential regularities embedded in successive visual stimuli can be automatically represented in the visual sensory system, an existence of sequential regularity itself does not guarantee that the sequential regularity will be automatically represented. In the present study, we investigated the effects of top-down attention on sequential regularity representation in the visual sensory system. Our results showed that a sequential regularity (SSSSD) embedded in a modified oddball sequence where infrequent deviant (D) and frequent standard stimuli (S) differing in luminance were regularly presented (SSSSDSSSSDSSSSD...) was represented in the visual sensory system only when participants attended the sequential regularity in luminance, but not when participants ignored the stimuli or simply attended the dimension of luminance per se. This suggests that top-down attention affects sequential regularity representation in the visual sensory system and that top-down attention is a prerequisite for particular sequential regularities to be represented. Copyright 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Gendle, Mathew H; Strawderman, Myla S; Mactutus, Charles F; Booze, Rosemarie M; Levitsky, David A; Strupp, Barbara J
Although correlations have been reported between maternal cocaine use and impaired attention in exposed children, interpretation of these findings is complicated by the many risk factors that differentiate cocaine-exposed children from SES-matched controls. For this reason, the present dose-response study (0, 0.5, 1.0, or 3.0 mg/kg cocaine HCl) was designed to explore the effect of prenatal cocaine exposure on visual attention in a rodent model, using an intravenous injection protocol that closely mimics the pharmacokinetic profile and physiological effects of human recreational cocaine use. In adulthood, animals were tested on an attention task in which the duration, location, and onset time of a brief visual cue varied randomly between trials. The 3.0 mg/kg exposed males committed significantly more omission errors than control males during the final 1/3 of each testing session, specifically on trials that followed an error, which implicates impaired sustained attention and increased reactivity to committing an error. During the final 1/3 of each testing session, the 0.5 and 1.0 mg/kg exposed females took longer to enter the testing alcove at trial onset, and failed to enter the alcove more frequently than control females. Because these effects were not seen in other tasks of similar duration and reinforcement density, these findings suggest an impairment of sustained attention. This inference is supported by the finding that the increase in omission errors in the final block of trials in each daily session (relative to earlier in the session) was significantly greater for the 1.0 mg/kg females than for controls, a trend also seen for the 0.5 mg/kg group. Unlike the cocaine-exposed males, who remain engaged in the task when attention is waning, the cocaine-exposed females appear to opt for another strategy; namely, refusing to participate when their ability to sustain attention is surpassed.
Montijn, Jorrit Steven; Klink, P Christaan; van Wezel, Richard J A
Divisive normalization models of covert attention commonly use spike rate modulations 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 in gamma-band frequencies (25-100 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 multi-level hierarchical structure and a time dimension; allowing the simulation of a recently reported backward progression of attentional effects along the visual cortical hierarchy. A simple cascade of normalization models simulating different cortical areas is shown to cause signal degradation and a loss of stimulus discriminability over time. To negate this degradation and ensure stable neuronal stimulus representations, we incorporate a kind of oscillatory phase entrainment into our model that has previously been 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 and predicts a latency effect on neuronal responses as a result of cued attention.
Yao, Tao; Treue, Stefan; Krishna, B Suresh
While making saccadic eye-movements to scan a visual scene, humans and monkeys are able to keep track of relevant visual stimuli by maintaining spatial attention on them. This ability requires a shift of attentional modulation from the neuronal population representing the relevant stimulus pre-saccadically to the one representing it post-saccadically. For optimal performance, this trans-saccadic attention shift should be rapid and saccade-synchronized. Whether this is so is not known. We trained two rhesus monkeys to make saccades while maintaining covert attention at a fixed spatial location. We show that the trans-saccadic attention shift in cortical visual medial temporal (MT) area is well synchronized to saccades. Attentional modulation crosses over from the pre-saccadic to the post-saccadic neuronal representation by about 50 ms after a saccade. Taking response latency into account, the trans-saccadic attention shift is well timed to maintain spatial attention on relevant stimuli, so that they can be optimally tracked and processed across saccades.
Hopkins, Michael E; Sharma, Mita; Evans, Gretchen C; Bucci, David J
The effects of voluntary physical exercise on attentional function and social behavior were examined in male and female spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR), a commonly used animal model of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Rats in the exercise groups had free access to a running wheel for 2 weeks and then all rats received nonreinforced presentations of a visual stimulus (light) during the 1st training session, followed by daily sessions in which the light was paired with food. Nonexercising male and female SHR rats exhibited more unconditioned orienting behavior than Wistar-Kyoto rats. SHRs also exhibited impaired conditioning when the light was paired with food. Exercise reduced orienting in female SHRs but not in male SHRs. In the social interaction task, nonexercising male and female SHRs interacted more with an unfamiliar rat than Wistar-Kyoto rats. Exercise reduced the number of social interactions in female SHRs but not male SHRs. There were no differences in general locomotor activity observed between the nonexercising and exercising SHRs. These data indicate that exercise may preferentially benefit female SHRs, and has implications for using exercise as an intervention for ADHD and for understanding sex differences in the effects of exercise on behavior. Copyright (c) 2009 APA, all rights reserved.
Nusbaum, Amy T; Whitney, Paul; Cuttler, Carrie; Spradlin, Alexander; Hinson, John M; McLaughlin, Ryan J
Cannabis use has increased rapidly in recent decades. The increase in cannabis use makes it important to understand the potential influence of chronic use on attentional control and other executive functions (EFs). Because cannabis is often used to reduce stress, and because stress can constrain attentional control and EFs, the primary goal of this study was to determine the joint effect of acute stress and chronic cannabis use on specific EFs. Thirty-nine cannabis users and 40 non-users were assigned to either a stress or no stress version of the Maastricht Acute Stress Test. Participants then completed two cognitive tasks that involve EFs: (1) task switching, and (2) a novel Flexible Attentional Control Task. These two tasks provided assessments of vigilant attention, inhibitory control, top-down attentional control, and cognitive flexibility. Salivary cortisol was assessed throughout the study. Reaction time indices showed an interaction between stress and cannabis use on top-down attentional control (p=0.036, n p 2 =0.059). Follow-up tests showed that cannabis users relied less on top-down attentional control than did non-users in the no stress version. Despite not relying on top-down control, the cannabis users showed no overall performance deficits on the tasks. Chronic cannabis users performed cognitive tasks involving EFs as well as non-users while not employing cognitive control processes that are typical for such tasks. These results indicate alterations in cognitive processing in cannabis users, but such alterations do not necessarily lead to global performance deficits. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Thiessen, Amber; Beukelman, David; Hux, Karen; Longenecker, Maria
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…
Lansu, Tessa A M; Troop-Gordon, Wendy
Visual attention to high-status peers is well documented, but whether this attentional bias is due to high-status individuals' leadership and prosocial characteristics or due to their more agonistic behaviors has yet to be examined. To identify the affective associations that may underlie visual attention for high-status versus low-status peers, 122 early adolescents (67 girls; M age =11.0years, SD=0.7) completed a primed attention paradigm. Visual attention was measured using eye tracking as participants looked simultaneously at photographs of two classmates: one nominated by peers as popular and one nominated by peers as unpopular. Prior to each trial, the early adolescents were presented with a positive prime, the word "nice"; a negative prime, the word "stupid"; or no prime. Primary analyses focused on first-gaze preference and total gaze time The results showed a stronger first gaze preference for popular peers than for unpopular peers in the no-prime and negative prime trials than in the positive prime trials. The visual preference for a popular peer, thus, was attenuated by the positive prime. These findings are consistent with the notion that youths may visually attend to high-status peers due to their association with more negative characteristics and the threat they may pose to youths' own social standing and ability to gain interpersonal resources. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Bogon, Johanna; Finke, Kathrin; Stenneken, Prisca
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” (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 suggests that having limited reading and writing skills might impair the development of a slight leftward bias, that is typical for unimpaired adult readers. PMID:25360129
Bettencourt, Katherine C; Michalka, Samantha W; Somers, David C
Both visual attention and visual short-term memory (VSTM) have been shown to have capacity limits of 4 ± 1 objects, driving the hypothesis that they share a visual processing buffer. However, these capacity limitations also show strong individual differences, making the degree to which these capacities are related unclear. Moreover, other research has suggested a distinction between attention and VSTM buffers. To explore the degree to which capacity limitations reflect the use of a shared visual processing buffer, we compared individual subject's capacities on attentional and VSTM tasks completed in the same testing session. We used a multiple object tracking (MOT) and a VSTM change detection task, with varying levels of distractors, to measure capacity. Significant correlations in capacity were not observed between the MOT and VSTM tasks when distractor filtering demands differed between the tasks. Instead, significant correlations were seen when the tasks shared spatial filtering demands. Moreover, these filtering demands impacted capacity similarly in both attention and VSTM tasks. These observations fail to support the view that visual attention and VSTM capacity limits result from a shared buffer but instead highlight the role of the resource demands of underlying processes in limiting capacity.
Ikumi, Nara; Soto-Faraco, Salvador
Temporal recalibration of cross-modal synchrony has been proposed as a mechanism to compensate for timing differences between sensory modalities. However, far from the rich complexity of everyday life sensory environments, most studies to date have examined recalibration on isolated cross-modal pairings. Here, we hypothesize that selective attention might provide an effective filter to help resolve which stimuli are selected when multiple events compete for recalibration. We addressed this question by testing audio-visual recalibration following an adaptation phase where two opposing audio-visual asynchronies were present. The direction of voluntary visual attention, and therefore to one of the two possible asynchronies (flash leading or flash lagging), was manipulated using colour as a selection criterion. We found a shift in the point of subjective audio-visual simultaneity as a function of whether the observer had focused attention to audio-then-flash or to flash-then-audio groupings during the adaptation phase. A baseline adaptation condition revealed that this effect of endogenous attention was only effective toward the lagging flash. This hints at the role of exogenous capture and/or additional endogenous effects producing an asymmetry toward the leading flash. We conclude that selective attention helps promote selected audio-visual pairings to be combined and subsequently adjusted in time but, stimulus organization exerts a strong impact on recalibration. We tentatively hypothesize that the resolution of recalibration in complex scenarios involves the orchestration of top-down selection mechanisms and stimulus-driven processes.
Full Text Available Temporal recalibration of cross-modal synchrony has been proposed as a mechanism to compensate for timing differences between sensory modalities. However, far from the rich complexity of everyday life sensory environments, most studies to date have examined recalibration on isolated cross-modal pairings. Here, we hypothesize that selective attention might provide an effective filter to help resolve which stimuli are selected when multiple events compete for recalibration. We addressed this question by testing audio-visual recalibration following an adaptation phase where two opposing audio-visual asynchronies were present. The direction of voluntary visual attention, and therefore to one of the two possible asynchronies (flash leading or flash lagging, was manipulated using colour as a selection criterion. We found a shift in the point of subjective audio-visual simultaneity as a function of whether the observer had focused attention to audio-then-flash or to flash-then-audio groupings during the adaptation phase. A baseline adaptation condition revealed that this effect of endogenous attention was only effective toward the lagging flash. This hints at the role of exogenous capture and/or additional endogenous effects producing an asymmetry toward the leading flash. We conclude that selective attention helps promote selected audio-visual pairings to be combined and subsequently adjusted in time but, stimulus organization exerts a strong impact on recalibration. We tentatively hypothesize that the resolution of recalibration in complex scenarios involves the orchestration of top-down selection mechanisms and stimulus-driven processes.
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.
Treder Matthias S
Full Text Available Abstract Background In a visual oddball paradigm, attention to an event usually modulates the event-related potential (ERP. An ERP-based brain-computer interface (BCI exploits this neural mechanism for communication. Hitherto, it was unclear to what extent the accuracy of such a BCI requires eye movements (overt attention or whether it is also feasible for targets in the visual periphery (covert attention. Also unclear was how the visual design of the BCI can be improved to meet peculiarities of peripheral vision such as low spatial acuity and crowding. Method Healthy participants (N = 13 performed a copy-spelling task wherein they had to count target intensifications. EEG and eye movements were recorded concurrently. First, (covert attention was investigated by way of a target fixation condition and a central fixation condition. In the latter, participants had to fixate a dot in the center of the screen and allocate their attention to a target in the visual periphery. Second, the effect of visual speller layout was investigated by comparing the symbol Matrix to an ERP-based Hex-o-Spell, a two-levels speller consisting of six discs arranged on an invisible hexagon. Results We assessed counting errors, ERP amplitudes, and offline classification performance. There is an advantage (i.e., less errors, larger ERP amplitude modulation, better classification of overt attention over covert attention, and there is also an advantage of the Hex-o-Spell over the Matrix. Using overt attention, P1, N1, P2, N2, and P3 components are enhanced by attention. Using covert attention, only N2 and P3 are enhanced for both spellers, and N1 and P2 are modulated when using the Hex-o-Spell but not when using the Matrix. Consequently, classifiers rely mainly on early evoked potentials in overt attention and on later cognitive components in covert attention. Conclusions Both overt and covert attention can be used to drive an ERP-based BCI, but performance is markedly lower
Junghans, Astrid F; Hooge, Ignace T C; Maas, Josje; Evers, Catharine; De Ridder, Denise T D
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.
Botta, Fabiano; Lupiáñez, Juan; Sanabria, Daniel
Audiovisual links in spatial attention have been reported in many previous studies. However, the effectiveness of auditory spatial cues in biasing the information encoding into visuo-spatial working memory (VSWM) is still relatively unknown. In this study, we addressed this issue by combining a cuing paradigm with a change detection task in VSWM. Moreover, we manipulated the perceptual organization of the to-be-remembered visual stimuli. We hypothesized that the auditory effect on VSWM would depend on the perceptual association between the auditory cue and the visual probe. Results showed, for the first time, a significant auditory attentional bias in VSWM. However, the effect was observed only when the to-be-remembered visual stimuli were organized in two distinctive visual objects. We propose that these results shed new light on audio-visual crossmodal links in spatial attention suggesting that, apart from the spatio-temporal contingency, the likelihood of perceptual association between the auditory cue and the visual target can have a large impact on crossmodal attentional biases. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Walter, Sabrina; Quigley, Cliodhna; Mueller, Matthias M
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.
Tsujimura, Akira; Miyagawa, Yasushi; Takada, Shingo; Matsuoka, Yasuhiro; Takao, Tetsuya; Hirai, Toshiaki; Matsushita, Masateru; Nonomura, Norio; Okuyama, Akihiko
Although men appear to be more interested in sexual stimuli than women, this difference is not completely understood. Eye-tracking technology has been used to investigate visual attention to still sexual images; however, it has not been applied to moving sexual images. To investigate whether sex difference exists in visual attention to sexual videos. Eleven male and 11 female healthy volunteers were studied by our new methodology. The subjects viewed two sexual videos (one depicting sexual intercourse and one not) in which several regions were designated for eye-gaze analysis in each frame. Visual attention was measured across each designated region according to gaze duration. Sex differences, the region attracting the most attention, and visually favored sex were evaluated. In the nonintercourse clip, gaze time for the face and body of the actress was significantly shorter among women than among men. Gaze time for the face and body of the actor and nonhuman regions was significantly longer for women than men. The region attracting the most attention was the face of the actress for both men and women. Men viewed the opposite sex for a significantly longer period than did women, and women viewed their own sex for a significantly longer period than did men. However, gaze times for the clip showing intercourse were not significantly different between sexes. A sex difference existed in visual attention to a sexual video without heterosexual intercourse; men viewed the opposite sex for longer periods than did women, and women viewed the same sex for longer periods than did men. There was no statistically significant sex difference in viewing patterns in a sexual video showing heterosexual intercourse, and we speculate that men and women may have similar visual attention patterns if the sexual stimuli are sufficiently explicit.
Fitzpatrick, C M; Caballero-Puntiverio, M; Gether, U; Habekost, T; Bundesen, C; Vangkilde, S; Woldbye, D P D; Andreasen, J T; Petersen, A
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. 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. C57BL/6 mice were tested in two 1-h sessions on consecutive days with a version of the 5-CSRTT where stimulus duration (SD) probe length was varied based on information from previous TVA studies. Thereafter, a scopolamine hydrobromide (HBr; 0.125 or 0.25 mg/kg) pharmacological challenge was undertaken, using a Latin square design. Mean score values were modelled using a new three-parameter version of TVA to obtain estimates of visual processing speeds, visual thresholds and motor response baselines in each mouse. The parameter estimates for each animal were reliable across sessions, showing that the data were stable enough to support analysis on an individual level. Scopolamine HBr dose-dependently reduced 5-CSRTT attentional performance while also increasing reward collection latency at the highest dose. Upon TVA modelling, scopolamine HBr significantly reduced visual processing speed at both doses, while having less pronounced effects on visual thresholds and motor response baselines. 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.
Heuer, Anna; Schubö, Anna
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.
Parker, Jason G; Zalusky, Eric J; Kirbas, Cemil
Accurate mapping of visual function and selective attention using fMRI is important in the study of human performance as well as in presurgical treatment planning of lesions in or near visual centers of the brain. Conjunctive visual search (CVS) is a useful tool for mapping visual function during fMRI because of its greater activation extent compared with high-capacity parallel search processes. The purpose of this work was to develop and evaluate a CVS that was capable of generating consistent activation in the basic and higher level visual areas of the brain by using a high number of distractors as well as an optimized contrast condition. Images from 10 healthy volunteers were analyzed and brain regions of greatest activation and deactivation were determined using a nonbiased decomposition of the results at the hemisphere, lobe, and gyrus levels. The results were quantified in terms of activation and deactivation extent and mean z-statistic. The proposed CVS was found to generate robust activation of the occipital lobe, as well as regions in the middle frontal gyrus associated with coordinating eye movements and in regions of the insula associated with task-level control and focal attention. As expected, the task demonstrated deactivation patterns commonly implicated in the default-mode network. Further deactivation was noted in the posterior region of the cerebellum, most likely associated with the formation of optimal search strategy. We believe the task will be useful in studies of visual and selective attention in the neuroscience community as well as in mapping visual function in clinical fMRI.
Vandenbroucke, A.R.E.; Sligte, I.G.; Lamme, V.A.F.
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
Hecht, Marcus; Thiemann, Ulf; Freitag, Christine M; Bender, Stephan
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.
Jorrit Steven Montijn
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.
Chen, X; Zhang, Z H; Song, Y; Yuan, W; Liu, Z X; Tang, M Q
Cognitive impairment is one of the main targets of the treatment to schizophrenia.The atypical antipsychotic was proved to improve the cognition function of the patients. There were a few of clinical trials to detect the effect of medicine treatment on attention function. But the respective changes of sustained and selective attention in the patients with treatment of ziprasidone were rarely investigated. This present study was to explore the effect of ziprasidone on visual sustained and selective attention in schizophrenia. There were 81 patients who were treated with ziprasidone and matched with 81 healthy controls in this open-label trial. The functions were evaluated by Continuous Performance Test (CPT) and Color Word Test (CWT) at baseline and eight weeks later. Between two groups the functions were compared at the two time points, and in patients group those were compared prior to and post treatment. As compared with healthy controls, the functions of the patients were worse. But after 8 weeks treatment of ziprasidone the functions improved in some degree, which were indicated by the change of CPT and CWT indexes. Furthermore, those of patients post treatment were better than prior to treatment. Patients with paranoid schizophrenia have visual sustained and selective attention deficits. The deficits can be improved partly with ziprasidone treatment.
Smith, Philip L; Sewell, David K; Lilburn, Simon D
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. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Inappropriate traffic speeds are a major cause of traffic fatalities. Since driving is a task with a substantial contribution : from vision, the use of lighting and visual information such as signage could assist in providing appropriate cues to : en...
Inappropriate traffic speeds are a major cause of traffic fatalities. Since driving is a task with a substantial contribution : from vision, the use of lighting and visual information such as signage could assist in providing appropriate cues to : en...
Mather, Susan M.; Clark, M. Diane
One of the ongoing challenges teachers of students who are deaf or hard of hearing face is managing the visual split attention implicit in multimedia learning. When a teacher presents various types of visual information at the same time, visual learners have no choice but to divide their attention among those materials and the teacher and…
Bogon, Johanna; Finke, Kathrin; Schulte-Körne, Gerd; Müller, Hermann J.; Schneider, Werner X.; Stenneken, Prisca
People with developmental dyslexia (DD) have been shown to be impaired in tasks that require the processing of multiple visual elements in parallel. It has been suggested that this deficit originates from disturbed visual attentional functions. The parameter-based assessment of visual attention based on Bundesen's (1990) theory of visual…
Lansu, Tessa A M; Cillessen, Antonius H N; Karremans, Johan C
Previous research has shown that adolescents' attention for a peer is determined by the peer's status. This study examined how it is also determined by the status of the perceiving adolescent, and the gender of both parties involved (perceiver and perceived). Participants were 122 early adolescents (M age = 11.0 years) who completed sociometric measures and eye-tracking recordings of visual fixations at pictures of high-status (popular) and low-status (unpopular) classmates. Automatic attention (first-gaze preference) and controlled attention (total gaze time) were measured. Target popularity was associated with both measures of attention. These associations were further moderated by perceiver popularity and perceiver and target gender. Popular adolescents attracted attention especially from other popular adolescents. Popular boys attracted attention especially from girls. © 2013 The Authors. Child Development © 2013 Society for Research in Child Development, Inc.
Jørgensen, Søren H; Fitzpatrick, Ciarán Martin; Gether, Ulrik
Exclusively Activated by Designer Drugs (DREADDs). The DREADD technology is an emerging and transformative method that allows selective manipulation of G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) signalling, and its broad-ranging usefulness in attention research is now beginning to emerge. We first describe......Attention is a fundamental cognitive process involved in nearly all aspects of life. Abnormal attentional control is a symptom of many neurological disorders, most notably recognized in ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). Although attentional performance and its malfunction has been...... the different DREADDs available and explain how unprecedented specificity of neuronal signalling can be achieved using DREADDs. We next discuss various studies performed in animal models of visual attention, where different brain regions and neuronal populations have been probed by DREADDs. We highlight...
Walter, Sabrina; Keitel, Christian; Müller, Matthias M
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.
Helen Y. Weng
Full Text Available Compassion meditation training is hypothesized to increase the motivational salience of cues of suffering, while also enhancing equanimous attention and decreasing emotional reactivity to suffering. However, it is currently unknown how compassion meditation impacts visual attention to suffering, and how this impacts neural activation in regions associated with motivational salience as well as aversive responses, such as the amygdala. Healthy adults were randomized to 2 weeks of compassion or reappraisal training. We measured BOLD fMRI responses before and after training while participants actively engaged in their assigned training to images depicting human suffering or non-suffering. Eye-tracking data were recorded concurrently, and we computed looking time for socially and emotionally evocative areas of the images, and calculated visual preference for suffering vs. non-suffering. Increases in visual preference for suffering due to compassion training were associated with decreases in the amygdala, a brain region involved in negative valence, arousal, and physiological responses typical of fear and anxiety states. This pattern was specifically in the compassion group, and was not found in the reappraisal group. In addition, compassion training-related increases in visual preference for suffering were also associated with decreases in regions sensitive to valence and empathic distress, spanning the anterior insula and orbitofrontal cortex (while the reappraisal group showed the opposite effect. Examining visual attention alone demonstrated that engaging in compassion in general (across both time points resulted in visual attention preference for suffering compared to engaging in reappraisal. Collectively, these findings suggest that compassion meditation may cultivate visual preference for suffering while attenuating neural responses in regions typically associated with aversive processing of negative stimuli, which may cultivate a more
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.
Two experiments were carried out to investigate the relation between exogenous and endogenous control of visual attention. Subjects searched for a target letter among three nontarget letters that were positioned on an imaginary circle around a fixation point. At different cue-display intervals, a centrally located arrowhead cue reliably indicated the location of the target letter. At different SOAs, a peripheral line segment near one of the letters was either abruptly switched on (Experiment 1) or abruptly switched off (Experiment 2). Presenting the central arrowhead after display onset prevents attention from being focused in advance on the critical location. In this unfocused attentional state, both onset and offset transients attracted attention. When the central arrowhead was available in advance, the focusing of attention prior to display onset precluded attention attraction to the location of the onset or offset transient. Contrary to an offset transient, an onset transient presented at the attended location disrupted performance, indicating that an onset within the spotlight of attention attracts attention. The results are reconciled by means of the zoom-lens theory of attention, suggesting that outside the focus of attention, abrupt transients are not capable of attracting attention. Since the size of the zoom lens is under voluntary control, it can be argued that transients do not fulfill the intentionality criterion of automaticity.
Heider, Maike; Husain, Masud
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. PMID:24266343
Zokaei, Nahid; Heider, Maike; Husain, Masud
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.
Alotaibi, Albandri; Underwood, Geoffrey; Smith, Alastair D
Individual differences in visual attention have been linked to thinking style: analytic thinking (common in individualistic cultures) is thought to promote attention to detail and focus on the most important part of a scene, whereas holistic thinking (common in collectivist cultures) promotes attention to the global structure of a scene and the relationship between its parts. However, this theory is primarily based on relatively simple judgement tasks. We compared groups from Great Britain (an individualist culture) and Saudi Arabia (a collectivist culture) on a more complex comparative visual search task, using simple natural scenes. A higher overall number of fixations for Saudi participants, along with longer search times, indicated less efficient search behaviour than British participants. Furthermore, intra-group comparisons of scan-path for Saudi participants revealed less similarity than within the British group. Together, these findings suggest that there is a positive relationship between an analytic cognitive style and controlled attention. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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....
Zhang, Bao; Zhang, John X; Huang, Sai; Kong, Lingyue; Wang, Suiping
An active recent line of research on working memory and attention has shown that the visual attention can be top-down guided by working memory contents. The present study examined whether the guidance effect is modulated by memory load, i.e., the amount of information maintained in working memory. In a set of three experiments, participants were asked to perform a visual search task while maintaining several objects in working memory. The memory-driven attentional guidance effect was observed in all experiments when there were spare working memory resources. When memory load was increased from one item to two items, there was no sign that the guidance effect was attenuated. When load was further increased to four items, the guidance effect disappeared completely, indicating a clear impact of memory load on attentional guidance. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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.
Snyder, Adam C; Morais, Michael J; Smith, Matthew A
Inhibition and excitation form two fundamental modes of neuronal interaction, yet we understand relatively little about their distinct roles in service of perceptual and cognitive processes. We developed a multidimensional waveform analysis to identify fast-spiking (putative inhibitory) and regular-spiking (putative excitatory) neurons in vivo and used this method to analyze how attention affects these two cell classes in visual area V4 of the extrastriate cortex of rhesus macaques. We found that putative inhibitory neurons had both greater increases in firing rate and decreases in correlated variability with attention compared with putative excitatory neurons. Moreover, the time course of attention effects for putative inhibitory neurons more closely tracked the temporal statistics of target probability in our task. Finally, the session-to-session variability in a behavioral measure of attention covaried with the magnitude of this effect. Together, these results suggest that selective targeting of inhibitory neurons and networks is a critical mechanism for attentional modulation. Copyright © 2016 the American Physiological Society.
Mathias Haeger; Otmar Bock; Daniel Memmert; Stefanie Hüttermann
Virtual reality offers a good possibility for the implementation of real-life tasks in a laboratory-based training or testing scenario. Thus, a computerized training in a driving simulator offers an ecological valid training approach. Visual attention had an influence on driving performance, so we used the reverse approach to test the influence of a driving training on visual attention and executive functions. Thirty-seven healthy older participants (mean age: 71.46 ± 4.09; gender: 17 men and...
Full Text Available 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.
Visual attention can be deployed to stimuli based on our willful, top-down goal (endogenous attention) or on their intrinsic saliency against the background (exogenous attention). Flexibility is thought to be a hallmark of endogenous attention, whereas decades of research show that exogenous attention is attracted to the retinotopic locations of the salient stimuli. However, to the extent that salient stimuli in the natural environment usually form specific spatial relations with the surrounding context and are dynamic, exogenous attention, to be adaptive, should embrace these structural regularities. Here we test a non-retinotopic, object-centered mechanism in exogenous attention, in which exogenous attention is dynamically attracted to a relative, object-centered location. Using a moving frame configuration, we presented two frames in succession, forming either apparent translational motion or in mirror reflection, with a completely uninformative, transient cue presented at one of the item locations in the first frame. Despite that the cue is presented in a spatially separate frame, in both translation and mirror reflection, behavioralperformance in visual search is enhanced when the target in the second frame appears at the same relative location as the cue location than at other locations. These results provide unambiguous evidence for non-retinotopic exogenous attention and further reveal an object-centered mechanism supporting flexible exogenous attention. Moreover, attentional generalization across mirror reflection may constitute an attentional correlate of perceptual generalization across lateral mirror images, supporting an adaptive, functional account of mirror images confusion. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Kotseruba, Iuliia; Tsotsos, John K.
In this paper we present STAR-RT - the first working prototype of Selective Tuning Attention Reference (STAR) model and Cognitive Programs (CPs). The Selective Tuning (ST) model received substantial support through psychological and neurophysiological experiments. The STAR framework expands ST and applies it to practical visual tasks. In order to do so, similarly to many cognitive architectures, STAR combines the visual hierarchy (based on ST) with the executive controller, working and short-...
Berggren, Nick; Jenkins, M.; McCants, C.W.; Eimer, Martin
Glyn Humphreys and his co-workers have made numerous important theoretical and empirical contributions to research on visual search. They have introduced the concept of attentional target templates and investigated the nature of these templates and how they are involved in the control of search performance. In the experiments reported here, we investigated whether feature-specific search template for particular colours can guide target selection independently for different regions of visual s...
Farzin, Faraz; Rivera, Susan M.; Whitney, David
Fragile X syndrome is the most common cause of inherited intellectual impairment and the most common single-gene cause of autism. Individuals with fragile X syndrome present with a neurobehavioural phenotype that includes selective deficits in spatiotemporal visual perception associated with neural processing in frontal–parietal networks of the brain. The goal of the current study was to examine whether reduced resolution of spatial and/or temporal visual attention may underlie perceptual def...
Lykins, Amy D; Meana, Marta; Strauss, Gregory P
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.
Smith, Philip L; Ratcliff, Roger
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 this task is described. The theory links visual encoding, masking, spatial attention, visual short-term memory (VSTM), and perceptual decision making in an integrated dynamic framework. The theory assumes that decisions are made by a diffusion process driven by a neurally plausible, shunting VSTM. The VSTM trace encodes the transient outputs of early visual filters in a durable form that is preserved for the time needed to make a decision. Attention increases the efficiency of VSTM encoding, either by increasing the rate of trace formation or by reducing the delay before trace formation begins. The theory provides a detailed, quantitative account of attentional effects in spatial cuing tasks at the level of response accuracy and the response time distributions. (c) 2009 APA, all rights reserved
Rodrigues, Ana Carolina; Loureiro, Maurício Alves; Caramelli, Paulo
Many studies have suggested that structural and functional cerebral neuroplastic processes result from long-term musical training, which in turn may produce cognitive differences between musicians and non-musicians. We aimed to investigate whether intensive, long-term musical practice is associated with improvements in three different forms of visual attention ability: selective, divided and sustained attention. Musicians from symphony orchestras (n=38) and non-musicians (n=38), who were comparable in age, gender and education, were submitted to three neuropsychological tests, measuring reaction time and accuracy. Musicians showed better performance relative to non-musicians on four variables of the three visual attention tests, and such an advantage could not solely be explained by better sensorimotor integration. Moreover, in the group of musicians, significant correlations were observed between the age at the commencement of musical studies and reaction time in all visual attention tests. The results suggest that musicians present augmented ability in different forms of visual attention, thus illustrating the possible cognitive benefits of long-term musical training. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Woodman, Geoffrey F.; Luck, Steven J.
In many theories of cognition, researchers propose that working memory and perception operate interactively. For example, in previous studies researchers have suggested that sensory inputs matching the contents of working memory will have an automatic advantage in the competition for processing resources. The authors tested this hypothesis by requiring observers to perform a visual search task while concurrently maintaining object representations in visual working memory. The hypothesis that ...
Fernanda Machado Lopes
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.
Bentley, P.; Driver, J.; Dolan, R.J.
Visuo-attentional deficits occur early in Alzheimer's disease (AD) and are considered more responsive to pro-cholinergic therapy than characteristic memory disturbances. We hypothesised that neural responses in AD during visual attentional processing would be impaired relative to controls, yet partially susceptible to improvement with cholinesterase inhibition. We studied 16 mild AD patients and 17 age-matched healthy controls, using fMRI-scanning to enable within-subject placebo-controlled c...
Berggren, Nick; Eimer, Martin
Representations of target-defining features (attentional templates) guide the selection of target objects in visual search. We used behavioural and electrophysiological measures to investigate how such search templates control the allocation of attention in search tasks where targets are defined by the combination of two colours or by a specific spatial configuration of these colours. Target displays were preceded by spatially uninformative cue displays that contained items in one or both tar...