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Sample records for attention improves performance

  1. Paying More Attention to Attention: Improving the Performance of Convolutional Neural Networks via Attention Transfer

    OpenAIRE

    Zagoruyko, Sergey; Komodakis, Nikos

    2016-01-01

    Attention plays a critical role in human visual experience. Furthermore, it has recently been demonstrated that attention can also play an important role in the context of applying artificial neural networks to a variety of tasks from fields such as computer vision and NLP. In this work we show that, by properly defining attention for convolutional neural networks, we can actually use this type of information in order to significantly improve the performance of a student CNN network by forcin...

  2. Training Attentional Control Improves Cognitive and Motor Task Performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ducrocq, Emmanuel; Wilson, Mark; Vine, Sam; Derakshan, Nazanin

    2016-10-01

    Attentional control is a necessary function for the regulation of goal-directed behavior. In three experiments we investigated whether training inhibitory control using a visual search task could improve task-specific measures of attentional control and performance. In Experiment 1 results revealed that training elicited a near-transfer effect, improving performance on a cognitive (antisaccade) task assessing inhibitory control. In Experiment 2 an initial far-transfer effect of training was observed on an index of attentional control validated for tennis. The principal aim of Experiment 3 was to expand on these findings by assessing objective gaze measures of inhibitory control during the performance of a tennis task. Training improved inhibitory control and performance when pressure was elevated, confirming the mechanisms by which cognitive anxiety impacts performance. These results suggest that attentional control training can improve inhibition and reduce taskspecific distractibility with promise of transfer to more efficient sporting performance in competitive contexts.

  3. Neurofeedback training improves attention and working memory performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Jinn-Rong; Hsieh, Shulan

    2013-12-01

    The present study aimed to investigate the effectiveness of the frontal-midline theta (fmθ) activity uptraining protocol on attention and working memory performance of older and younger participants. Thirty-two participants were recruited. Participants within each age group were randomly assigned to either the neurofeedback training (fmθ uptraining) group or the sham-neurofeedback training group. There was a significant improvement in orienting scores in the older neurofeedback training group. In addition, there was a significant improvement in conflict scores in both the older and young neurofeedback training groups. However, alerting scores failed to increase. In addition, the fmθ training was found to improve working memory function in the older participants. The results further showed that fmθ training can modulate resting EEG for both neurofeedback groups. Our study demonstrated that fmθ uptraining improved attention and working memory performance and theta activity in the resting state for normal aging adults. In addition, younger participants also benefited from the present protocol in terms of improving their executive function. The current findings contribute to a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying neurofeedback training in cognitive function, and suggest that the fmθ uptraining protocol is an effective intervention program for cognitive aging. Copyright © 2013 International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Improvement of attention with amphetamine in low- and high-performing rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turner, Karly M; Burne, Thomas H J

    2016-09-01

    Attentional deficits occur in a range of neuropsychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Psychostimulants are one of the main treatments for attentional deficits, yet there are limited reports of procognitive effects of amphetamine in preclinical studies. Therefore, task development may be needed to improve predictive validity when measuring attention in rodents. This study aimed to use a modified signal detection task (SDT) to determine if and at what doses amphetamine could improve attention in rats. Sprague-Dawley rats were trained on the SDT prior to amphetamine challenge (0.1, 0.25, 0.75 and 1.25 mg/kg). This dose range was predicted to enhance and disrupt cognition with the effect differing between individuals depending on baseline performance. Acute low dose amphetamine (0.1 and 0.25 mg/kg) improved accuracy, while the highest dose (1.25 mg/kg) significantly disrupted performance. The effects differed for low- and high-performing groups across these doses. The effect of amphetamine on accuracy was found to significantly correlate with baseline performance in rats. This study demonstrates that improvement in attentional performance with systemic amphetamine is dependent on baseline accuracy in rats. Indicative of the inverted U-shaped relationship between dopamine and cognition, there was a baseline-dependent shift in performance with increasing doses of amphetamine. The SDT may be a useful tool for investigating individual differences in attention and response to psychostimulants in rodents.

  5. Clonidine improves attentional and memory components of delayed response performance in a model of early Parkinsonism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneider, J S; Tinker, J P; Decamp, E

    2010-08-25

    Cognitive deficits, including attention and working memory deficits, are often described in Parkinson's disease (PD) patients even during the early stages of the disease. However, cognitive deficits associated with PD have proven difficult to treat and often do not respond well to the dopaminergic therapies used to treat the motor symptoms of the disease. Chronic administration of low doses of the neurotoxin 1-methy,4-phenyl,1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) can induce cognitive dysfunction in non-human primates, including impaired performance on a variable delayed response (VDR) task with attentional and memory components. Since alpha-2 adrenergic receptor agonists have been suggested to improve attention and working memory in a variety of conditions, the present study assessed the extent to which the alpha-2 noradrenergic agonist clonidine might influence VDR performance in early Parkinsonian non-human primates. Clonidine (0.02-0.10 mg/kg) improved performance on both attentional and memory components of the task, performed in a modified Wisconsin General Test Apparatus, in a dose-dependent manner and the cognition enhancing effects of clonidine were blocked by co-administration of the alpha-2 noradrenergic antagonist idazoxan (0.10 mg/kg). These data suggest that clonidine or drugs of this class, perhaps with greater receptor subtype selectivity and low sedation liability, might be effective therapeutics for cognitive dysfunction associated with PD. Copyright 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Improving behavioral performance under full attention by adjusting response criteria to changes in stimulus predictability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katzner, Steffen; Treue, Stefan; Busse, Laura

    2012-09-04

    One of the key features of active perception is the ability to predict critical sensory events. Humans and animals can implicitly learn statistical regularities in the timing of events and use them to improve behavioral performance. Here, we used a signal detection approach to investigate whether such improvements in performance result from changes of perceptual sensitivity or rather from adjustments of a response criterion. In a regular sequence of briefly presented stimuli, human observers performed a noise-limited motion detection task by monitoring the stimulus stream for the appearance of a designated target direction. We manipulated target predictability through the hazard rate, which specifies the likelihood that a target is about to occur, given it has not occurred so far. Analyses of response accuracy revealed that improvements in performance could be accounted for by adjustments of the response criterion; a growing hazard rate was paralleled by an increasing tendency to report the presence of a target. In contrast, the hazard rate did not affect perceptual sensitivity. Consistent with previous research, we also found that reaction time decreases as the hazard rate grows. A simple rise-to-threshold model could well describe this decrease and attribute predictability effects to threshold adjustments rather than changes in information supply. We conclude that, even under conditions of full attention and constant perceptual sensitivity, behavioral performance can be optimized by dynamically adjusting the response criterion to meet ongoing changes in the likelihood of a target.

  7. Attention Training in Autism as a Potential Approach to Improving Academic Performance: A School-Based Pilot Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spaniol, Mayra Muller; Shalev, Lilach; Kossyvaki, Lila; Mevorach, Carmel

    2018-01-01

    This study assessed the effectiveness of an attention intervention program (Computerized Progressive Attentional Training; CPAT) in improving academic performance of children with ASD. Fifteen 6-10 year olds with ASD attending a mainstream and a special school were assigned to an experimental (CPAT; n = 8) and active control (computer games; n =…

  8. Mindfulness Training Improves Attentional Task Performance in Incarcerated Youth: A Group Randomized Controlled Intervention Trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Noelle R Leonard

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available We investigated the impact of cognitive behavioral therapy and mindfulness training (CBT/MT on attentional task performance in incarcerated adolescents. Attention is a cognitive system necessary for managing cognitive demands and regulating emotions. Yet persistent and intensive demands, such as those experienced during high-stress intervals like incarceration and the events leading to incarceration, may deplete attention resulting in cognitive failures, emotional disturbances, and impulsive behavior. We hypothesized that CBT/MT may mitigate these deleterious effects of high stress and protect against degradation in attention over the high-stress interval of incarceration. Using a group randomized controlled trial design, we randomly assigned dormitories of incarcerated youth, ages 16 to 18, to a CBT/MT intervention (youth n = 147 or an active control intervention (youth n = 117. Both arms received approximately 750 minutes of intervention in a small-group setting over a 3-5 week period. Youth in the CBT/MT arm also logged the amount of out-of-session time spent practicing MT exercises. The Attention Network Test was used to index attentional task performance at baseline and 4 months post-baseline. Overall, task performance degraded over time in all participants. The magnitude of performance degradation was significantly less in the CBT/MT vs. control arm. Further, within the CBT/MT arm, performance degraded over time in those with no outside-of-class practice time, but remained stable over time in those who practiced mindfulness exercises outside of the session meetings. Thus, these findings suggest that sufficient CBT/MT practice may protect against functional attentional impairments associated with high-stress intervals. Keywords: adolescent development, incarcerated adolescents, detained adolescents, stress, attention, mindfulness meditation.

  9. A Novel Feed-Forward Modeling System Leads to Sustained Improvements in Attention and Academic Performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDermott, Ashley F; Rose, Maya; Norris, Troy; Gordon, Eric

    2016-01-28

    This study tested a novel feed-forward modeling (FFM) system as a nonpharmacological intervention for the treatment of ADHD children and the training of cognitive skills that improve academic performance. This study implemented a randomized, controlled, parallel design comparing this FFM with a nonpharmacological community care intervention. Improvements were measured on parent- and clinician-rated scales of ADHD symptomatology and on academic performance tests completed by the participant. Participants were followed for 3 months after training. Participants in the FFM training group showed significant improvements in ADHD symptomatology and academic performance, while the control group did not. Improvements from FFM were sustained 3 months later. The FFM appeared to be an effective intervention for the treatment of ADHD and improving academic performance. This FFM training intervention shows promise as a first-line treatment for ADHD while improving academic performance. © The Author(s) 2016.

  10. Task-irrelevant novel sounds improve attentional performance in children with and without ADHD

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jana eTegelbeckers

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Task-irrelevant salient stimuli involuntarily capture attention and can lead to distraction from an ongoing task, especially in children with ADHD. However, there has been tentative evidence that the presentation of novel sounds can have beneficial effects on cognitive performance. In the present study, we aimed to investigate the influence of novel sounds compared to no sound and a repeatedly presented standard sound on attentional performance in children and adolescents with and without ADHD. We therefore had 32 patients with ADHD and 32 typically developing children and adolescents (8 to 13 years executed a flanker task in which each trial was preceded either by a repeatedly presented standard sound (33%, an unrepeated novel sound (33% or no auditory stimulation (33%. Task-irrelevant novel sounds facilitated attentional performance similarly in children with and without ADHD, as indicated by reduced omission error rates, reaction times, and reaction time variability without compromising performance accuracy. By contrast, standard sounds, while also reducing omission error rates and reaction times, led to increased commission error rates. Therefore, the beneficial effect of novel sounds exceeds cueing of the target display by potentially increased alerting and/or enhanced behavioral control.

  11. Competitor presence reduces internal attentional focus and improves 16.1km cycling time trial performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Emily L; Jones, Hollie S; Andy Sparks, S; Marchant, David C; Midgley, Adrian W; Mc Naughton, Lars R

    2015-07-01

    Whilst the presence of a competitor has been found to improve performance, the mechanisms influencing the change in selected work rates during direct competition have been suggested but not specifically assessed. The aim was to investigate the physiological and psychological influences of a visual avatar competitor during a 16.1-km cycling time trial performance, using trained, competitive cyclists. Randomised cross-over design. Fifteen male cyclists completed four 16.1km cycling time trials on a cycle ergometer, performing two with a visual display of themselves as a simulated avatar (FAM and SELF), one with no visual display (DO), and one with themselves and an opponent as simulated avatars (COMP). Participants were informed the competitive avatar was a similar ability cyclist but it was actually a representation of their fastest previous performance. Increased performance times were evident during COMP (27.8±2.0min) compared to SELF (28.7±1.9min) and DO (28.4±2.3min). Greater power output, speed and heart rate were apparent during COMP trial than SELF (pperformance. Competitive cyclists performed significantly faster during a 16.1-km competitive trial than when performing maximally, without a competitor. The improvement in performance was elicited due to a greater external distraction, deterring perceived exertion. Copyright © 2014 Sports Medicine Australia. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Glucose administration prior to a divided attention task improves tracking performance but not word recognition: evidence against differential memory enhancement?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scholey, Andrew B; Sünram-Lea, Sandra I; Greer, Joanna; Elliott, Jade; Kennedy, David O

    2009-01-01

    The cognition-enhancing effects of glucose administration to humans have been well-documented; however, it remains unclear whether this effect preferentially targets episodic memory or other cognitive domains. The effect of glucose on the allocation of attentional resources during memory encoding was assessed using a sensitive dual-attention paradigm. One hundred and twenty volunteers (mean age 21.60, SD 4.89, 77 females) took part in this randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel groups study where each consumed a 25-g glucose drink or a placebo. Half of the participants in each drink condition attempted to track a moving on-screen target during auditory word presentation. The distance between the cursor and the tracking target was used as an index of attentional cost during encoding. Effects of drink and tracking on recognition memory and drink on tracking performance were assessed. Self-rated appetite and mood were co-monitored. Co-performing the tracking task significantly impaired memory performance irrespective of drink condition. In the placebo-tracking condition, there was a cost to tracking manifest as greater deviation from target during and immediately following word presentation. Compared with placebo, the glucose drink significantly improved tracking performance during encoding. There were significant time-related changes in thirst and alertness ratings but these were not differentially affected by drink or tracking conditions. Tracking but not memory was enhanced by glucose. This finding suggests that, under certain task conditions, glucose administrations does not preferentially enhance memory performance. One mechanism through which glucose acts as a cognition enhancer is through allowing greater allocation of attentional resources.

  13. Stimulation of postsynapse adrenergic α2A receptor improves attention/cognition performance in an animal model of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kawaura, Kazuaki; Karasawa, Jun-ichi; Chaki, Shigeyuki; Hikichi, Hirohiko

    2014-08-15

    A 5-trial inhibitory avoidance test using spontaneously hypertensive rat (SHR) pups has been used as an animal model of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). However, the roles of noradrenergic systems, which are involved in the pathophysiology of ADHD, have not been investigated in this model. In the present study, the effects of adrenergic α2 receptor stimulation, which has been an effective treatment for ADHD, on attention/cognition performance were investigated in this model. Moreover, neuronal mechanisms mediated through adrenergic α2 receptors were investigated. We evaluated the effects of both clonidine, a non-selective adrenergic α2 receptor agonist, and guanfacine, a selective adrenergic α2A receptor agonist, using a 5-trial inhibitory avoidance test with SHR pups. Juvenile SHR exhibited a shorter transfer latency, compared with juvenile Wistar Kyoto (WKY) rats. Both clonidine and guanfacine significantly prolonged the transfer latency of juvenile SHR. The effects of clonidine and guanfacine were significantly blocked by pretreatment with an adrenergic α2A receptor antagonist. In contrast, the effect of clonidine was not attenuated by pretreatment with an adrenergic α2B receptor antagonist, or an adrenergic α2C receptor antagonist, while it was attenuated by a non-selective adrenergic α2 receptor antagonist. Furthermore, the effects of neither clonidine nor guanfacine were blocked by pretreatment with a selective noradrenergic neurotoxin. These results suggest that the stimulation of the adrenergic α2A receptor improves the attention/cognition performance of juvenile SHR in the 5-trial inhibitory avoidance test and that postsynaptic, rather than presynaptic, adrenergic α2A receptor is involved in this effect. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Modafinil improves attentional performance in healthy, non-sleep deprived humans at doses not inducing hyperarousal across species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cope, Zackary A; Minassian, Arpi; Kreitner, Dustin; MacQueen, David A; Milienne-Petiot, Morgane; Geyer, Mark A; Perry, William; Young, Jared W

    2017-10-01

    The wake-promoting drug modafinil is frequently used off-label to improve cognition in psychiatric and academic populations alike. The domain-specific attentional benefits of modafinil have yet to be quantified objectively in healthy human volunteers using tasks validated for comparison across species. Further, given that modafinil is a low-affinity inhibitor for the dopamine and norepinephrine transporters (DAT/NET respectively) it is unclear if any effects are attributable to a non-specific increase in arousal, a feature of many catecholamine reuptake inhibitors (e.g., cocaine, amphetamine). These experiments were designed to test for domain-specific enhancement of attention and cognitive control by modafinil (200 and 400 mg) in healthy volunteers using the 5-choice continuous performance task (5C-CPT) and Wisconsin Card Sort Task (WCST). An additional cross-species assessment of arousal and hyperactivity was performed in this group and in mice (3.2, 10, or 32 mg/kg) using species-specific versions of the behavioral pattern monitor (BPM). Modafinil significantly enhanced attention (d prime) in humans performing the 5C-CPT at doses that did not affect WCST performance or induce hyperactivity in the BPM. In mice, only the highest dose elicited increased activity in the BPM. These results indicate that modafinil produces domain-specific enhancement of attention in humans not driven by hyperarousal, unlike other drugs in this class, and higher equivalent doses were required for hyperarousal in mice. Further, these data support the utility of using the 5C-CPT across species to more precisely determine the mechanism(s) underlying the pro-cognitive effects of modafinil and potentially other pharmacological treatments. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Modafinil improves attentional performance in healthy, non-sleep deprived humans at doses not inducing hyperarousal across species

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cope, Zackary A; Minassian, Arpi; Kreitner, Dustin; MacQueen, David A; Milienne-Petiot, Morgane; Geyer, Mark A; Perry, William; Young, Jared W

    2017-01-01

    The wake-promoting drug modafinil is frequently used off-label to improve cognition in psychiatric and academic populations alike. The domain-specific attentional benefits of modafinil have yet to be quantified objectively in healthy human volunteers using tasks validated for comparison across

  16. WHOLE BODY VIBRATION IMPROVES ATTENTION AND MOTOR PERFORMANCE IN MICE DEPENDING ON THE DURATION OF THE WHOLE-BODY VIBRATION SESSION.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keijser, Jan N; van Heuvelen, Marieke J G; Nyakas, Csaba; Tóth, Kata; Schoemaker, Regien G; Zeinstra, Edzard; van der Zee, Eddy A

    2017-01-01

    Whole body vibration (WBV) is a form of physical stimulation via mechanical vibrations transmitted to a subject. It is assumed that WBV induces sensory stimulation in cortical brain regions through the activation of skin and muscle receptors responding to the vibration. The effects of WBV on muscle strength are well described. However, little is known about the impact of WBV on the brain. Recently, it was shown in humans that WBV improves attention in an acute WBV protocol. Preclinical research is needed to unravel the underlying brain mechanism. As a first step, we examined whether chronic WBV improves attention in mice. A custom made vibrating platform for mice with low intensity vibrations was used. Male CD1 mice (3 months of age) received five weeks WBV (30 Hz; 1.9 G), five days a week with sessions of five (n=12) or 30 (n=10) minutes. Control mice (pseudo-WBV; n=12 and 10 for the five and 30 minute sessions, respectively) were treated in a similar way, but did not receive the actual vibration. Object recognition tasks were used as an attention test (novel and spatial object recognition - the primary outcome measure). A Balance beam was used for motor performance, serving as a secondary outcome measure. WBV sessions of five (but not WBV sessions of 30 minutes) improved balance beam performance (mice gained 28% in time needed to cross the beam) and novel object recognition (mice paid significantly more attention to the novel object) as compared to pseudo WBV, but no change was found for spatial object performance (mice did not notice the relocation). Although 30 minutes WBV sessions were not beneficial, it did not impair either attention or motor performance. These results show that brief sessions of WBV improve, next to motor performance, attention for object recognition, but not spatial cues of the objects. The selective improvement of attention in mice opens the avenue to unravel the underlying brain mechanisms.

  17. A racket-sport intervention improves behavioral and cognitive performance in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pan, Chien-Yu; Chu, Chia-Hua; Tsai, Chia-Liang; Lo, Shen-Yu; Cheng, Yun-Wen; Liu, Yu-Jen

    2016-10-01

    The present study assessed the effects of a 12-week table tennis exercise on motor skills, social behaviors, and executive functions in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). In the first 12-week phase, 16 children (group I) received the intervention, whereas 16 children (group II) did not. A second 12-week phase immediately followed with the treatments reversed. Improvements were observed in executive functions in both groups after the intervention. After the first 12-week phase, some motor and behavioral functions improved in group I. After the second 12-week phase, similar improvements were noted for group II, and the intervention effects achieved in the first phase were persisted in group I. The racket-sport intervention is valuable in promoting motor skills, social behaviors, and executive functions and should be included within the standard-of-care treatment for children with ADHD. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. An Experimental Investigation of Improving Human Problem-Solving Performance by Guiding Attention and Adaptively Proving Details on Information Displays

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Narayanan, N. H

    2007-01-01

    .... Results showed that various display strategies for augmenting information presented based on knowledge about both the viewer's gaze patterns and the problem solving procedure he or she is employing could indeed improve problem-solving performance.

  19. An Experimental Investigation of Improving Human Problem-Solving Performance by Guiding Attention and Adaptively Providing Details on Information Displays

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Narayanan, N. H

    2007-01-01

    .... Results showed that various display strategies for augmenting information presented based on knowledge about both the viewer's gaze patterns and the problem solving procedure he or she is employing could indeed improve problem-solving performance.

  20. Game-based training of flexibility and attention improves task-switch performance: near and far transfer of cognitive training in an EEG study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olfers, Kerwin J F; Band, Guido P H

    2018-01-01

    There is a demand for ways to enhance cognitive flexibility, as it can be a limiting factor for performance in daily life. Video game training has been linked to advantages in cognitive functioning, raising the question if training with video games can promote cognitive flexibility. In the current study, we investigated if game-based computerized cognitive training (GCCT) could enhance cognitive flexibility in a healthy young adult sample (N = 72), as measured by task-switch performance. Three GCCT schedules were contrasted, which targeted: (1) cognitive flexibility and task switching, (2) attention and working memory, or (3) an active control involving basic math games, in twenty 45-min sessions across 4-6 weeks. Performance on an alternating-runs task-switch paradigm during pretest and posttest sessions indicated greater overall reaction time improvements after both flexibility and attention training as compared to control, although not related to local switch cost. Flexibility training enhanced performance in the presence of distractor-related interference. In contrast, attention training was beneficial when low task difficulty undermined sustained selective attention. Furthermore, flexibility training improved response selection as indicated by a larger N2 amplitude after training as compared to control, and more efficient conflict monitoring as indicated by reduced Nc/CRN and larger Pe amplitude after training. These results provide tentative support for the efficacy of GCCT and suggest that an ideal training might include both task switching and attention components, with maximal task diversity both within and between training games.

  1. Spatial attention does improve temporal discrimination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chica, Ana B; Christie, John

    2009-02-01

    It has recently been stated that exogenous attention impairs temporal-resolution tasks (Hein, Rolke, & Ulrich, 2006; Rolke, Dinkelbach, Hein, & Ulrich, 2008; Yeshurun, 2004; Yeshurun & Levy, 2003). In comparisons of performance on spatially cued trials versus neutral cued trials, the results have suggested that spatial attention decreases temporal resolution. However, when performance on cued and uncued trials has been compared in order to equate for cue salience, typically speed-accuracy trade-offs (SATs) have been observed, making the interpretation of the results difficult. In the present experiments, we aimed at studying the effect of spatial attention in temporal resolution while using a procedure to control for SATs. We controlled reaction times (RTs) by constraining the time to respond, so that response decisions would be made within comparable time windows. The results revealed that when RT was controlled, performance was impaired for cued trials as compared with neutral trials, replicating previous findings. However, when cued and uncued trials were compared, performance was actually improved for cued trials as compared with uncued trials. These results suggest that SAT effects may have played an important role in the previous studies, because when they were controlled and measured, the results reversed, revealing that exogenous attention does improve performance on temporal-resolution tasks.

  2. Smoking improves divided attention in schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahlers, Eike; Hahn, Eric; Ta, Thi Minh Tam; Goudarzi, Elnaz; Dettling, Michael; Neuhaus, Andres H

    2014-10-01

    Smoking is highly prevalent in schizophrenia, and there is evidence for beneficial effects on neurocognition. Smoking is therefore hypothesized a self-medication in schizophrenia. Although much effort is devoted to characterize those cognitive domains that potentially benefit from smoking, divided attention has not yet been investigated. The aim of this study was to analyze the interactional effects of diagnosis of schizophrenia and smoking history on divided attention. We investigated behavioral measures of divided attention in a sample of 48 schizophrenic patients and 48 controls (24 current smokers and non-smokers each) carefully matched for age, sex, education, verbal IQ, and smoking status with general linear models. Most important within the scope of this study, significant interactions were found for valid reactions and errors of omission: Performance substantially increased in smoking schizophrenic patients, but not in controls. Further, these interactions were modified by sex, driven by female schizophrenic patients who showed a significant behavioral advantage of smokers over non-smokers, other than male schizophrenic patients or healthy controls who did not express this sex-specific pattern. Results suggest a positive effect of smoking history on divided attention in schizophrenic patients. This study provides first evidence that the complex attention domain of divided attention is improved by smoking, which further substantiates the self-medication hypothesis of smoking in schizophrenia, although this has been shown mainly for sustained and selective attention. Gender-specific effects on cognition need to be further investigated.

  3. Acute, low-dose methamphetamine administration improves attention/information processing speed and working memory in methamphetamine-dependent individuals displaying poorer cognitive performance at baseline.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahoney, James J; Jackson, Brian J; Kalechstein, Ari D; De La Garza, Richard; Newton, Thomas F

    2011-03-30

    Abstinent methamphetamine (Meth) dependent individuals demonstrate poorer performance on tests sensitive to attention/information processing speed, learning and memory, and working memory when compared to non-Meth dependent individuals. The poorer performance on these tests may contribute to the morbidity associated with Meth-dependence. In light of this, we sought to determine the effects of acute, low-dose Meth administration on attention, working memory, and verbal learning and memory in 19 non-treatment seeking, Meth-dependent individuals. Participants were predominantly male (89%), Caucasian (63%), and cigarette smokers (63%). Following a four day, drug-free washout period, participants were given a single-blind intravenous infusion of saline, followed the next day by 30 mg of Meth. A battery of neurocognitive tasks was administered before and after each infusion, and performance on measures of accuracy and reaction time were compared between conditions. While acute Meth exposure did not affect test performance for the entire sample, participants who demonstrated relatively poor performance on these tests at baseline, identified using a median split on each test, showed significant improvement on measures of attention/information processing speed and working memory when administered Meth. Improved performance was seen on the following measures of working memory: choice reaction time task (p≤0.04), a 1-back task (p≤0.01), and a 2-back task (p≤0.04). In addition, those participants demonstrating high neurocognitive performance at baseline experienced similar or decreased performance following Meth exposure. These findings suggest that acute administration of Meth may temporarily improve Meth-associated neurocognitive performance in those individuals experiencing lower cognitive performance at baseline. As a result, stimulants may serve as a successful treatment for improving cognitive functioning in those Meth-dependent individuals experiencing

  4. Mindfulness Meditation Improves Mood, Quality of Life, and Attention in Adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bueno, Viviane Freire; Kozasa, Elisa H; da Silva, Maria Aparecida; Alves, Tânia Maria; Louzã, Mario Rodrigues; Pompéia, Sabine

    2015-01-01

    Adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) display affective problems and impaired attention. Mood in ADHD can be improved by mindful awareness practices (MAP), but results are mixed regarding the enhancement of attentional performance. Here we evaluated MAP-induced changes in quality of life (QoL), mood, and attention in adult ADHD patients and controls using more measures of attention than prior studies. Twenty-one ADHD patients and 8 healthy controls underwent 8 weekly MAP sessions; 22 similar patients and 9 controls did not undergo the intervention. Mood and QoL were assessed using validated questionnaires, and attention was evaluated using the Attentional Network Test (ANT) and the Conners Continuous Performance Test (CPT II), before and after intervention. MAP enhanced sustained attention (ANT) and detectability (CPT II) and improved mood and QoL of patients and controls. MAP is a complementary intervention that improves affect and attention of adults with ADHD and controls.

  5. Adolescents with obstructive sleep apnea adhere poorly to positive airway pressure (PAP, but PAP users show improved attention and school performance.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dean W Beebe

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA is associated with medical and neurobehavioral morbidity across the lifespan. Positive airway pressure (PAP treatment has demonstrated efficacy in treating OSA and has been shown to improve daytime functioning in adults, but treatment adherence can be problematic. There are nearly no published studies examining functional outcomes such as academic functioning in adolescents treated with PAP. This study was conducted as an initial step towards determining whether PAP treatment improves daytime functioning among adolescents with OSA.Self-reported academic grades, self- and parent-reported academic quality of life, and objectively-measured attention were assessed before and after PAP was clinically initiated in a sample of 13 obese adolescents with OSA, as well as 15 untreated obese Controls without OSA. Based on adherence data, the treated group was divided into PAP Users (n = 6 and Non-Adherent participants (n = 7.Though demographically similar, the three groups significantly differed in how their academic performance and attention scores changed from baseline to follow-up. Non-Adherent participants showed worsening functioning over time, while PAP Users showed stable or improved functioning, similar to controls.Although many adolescents prescribed PAP for OSA are non-adherent to the treatment, those who adhere to treatment can display improved attention and academic functioning.

  6. Does mindfulness meditation improve attention in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Modesto-Lowe, Vania; Farahmand, Pantea; Chaplin, Margaret; Sarro, Lauren

    2015-12-22

    Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) manifests by high levels of inattention, impulsiveness and hyperactivity. ADHD starts in childhood and results in impairments that continue into adulthood. While hyperactivity declines over time, inattention and executive function difficulties persist, leading to functional deficits. Adolescents and adults with ADHD have pervasive impairment in interpersonal and family relationships. They may develop addiction, delinquent behavior and comorbid psychiatric disorders. Despite advances in diagnosis and treatment, persistent residual symptoms are common, highlighting the need for novel treatment strategies. Mindfulness training, derived from Eastern meditation practices, may improve self-regulation of attention. It may also be a useful strategy to augment standard ADHD treatments and may be used as a potential tool to reduce impairments in patients with residual symptoms of ADHD. Clinically, this would manifest by an increased ability to suppress task-unrelated thoughts and distractions resulting in improved attention, completion of tasks and potential improvement in occupational and social function.

  7. Cold-Blooded Attention: Finger Temperature Predicts Attentional Performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vergara, Rodrigo C; Moënne-Loccoz, Cristóbal; Maldonado, Pedro E

    2017-01-01

    Thermal stress has been shown to increase the chances of unsafe behavior during industrial and driving performances due to reductions in mental and attentional resources. Nonetheless, establishing appropriate safety standards regarding environmental temperature has been a major problem, as modulations are also be affected by the task type, complexity, workload, duration, and previous experience with the task. To bypass this attentional and thermoregulatory problem, we focused on the body rather than environmental temperature. Specifically, we measured tympanic, forehead, finger and environmental temperatures accompanied by a battery of attentional tasks. We considered a 10 min baseline period wherein subjects were instructed to sit and relax, followed by three attentional tasks: a continuous performance task (CPT), a flanker task (FT) and a counting task (CT). Using multiple linear regression models, we evaluated which variable(s) were the best predictors of performance. The results showed a decrement in finger temperature due to instruction and task engagement that was absent when the subject was instructed to relax. No changes were observed in tympanic or forehead temperatures, while the environmental temperature remained almost constant for each subject. Specifically, the magnitude of the change in finger temperature was the best predictor of performance in all three attentional tasks. The results presented here suggest that finger temperature can be used as a predictor of alertness, as it predicted performance in attentional tasks better than environmental temperature. These findings strongly support that peripheral temperature can be used as a tool to prevent unsafe behaviors and accidents.

  8. Cold-Blooded Attention: Finger Temperature Predicts Attentional Performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rodrigo C. Vergara

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Thermal stress has been shown to increase the chances of unsafe behavior during industrial and driving performances due to reductions in mental and attentional resources. Nonetheless, establishing appropriate safety standards regarding environmental temperature has been a major problem, as modulations are also be affected by the task type, complexity, workload, duration, and previous experience with the task. To bypass this attentional and thermoregulatory problem, we focused on the body rather than environmental temperature. Specifically, we measured tympanic, forehead, finger and environmental temperatures accompanied by a battery of attentional tasks. We considered a 10 min baseline period wherein subjects were instructed to sit and relax, followed by three attentional tasks: a continuous performance task (CPT, a flanker task (FT and a counting task (CT. Using multiple linear regression models, we evaluated which variable(s were the best predictors of performance. The results showed a decrement in finger temperature due to instruction and task engagement that was absent when the subject was instructed to relax. No changes were observed in tympanic or forehead temperatures, while the environmental temperature remained almost constant for each subject. Specifically, the magnitude of the change in finger temperature was the best predictor of performance in all three attentional tasks. The results presented here suggest that finger temperature can be used as a predictor of alertness, as it predicted performance in attentional tasks better than environmental temperature. These findings strongly support that peripheral temperature can be used as a tool to prevent unsafe behaviors and accidents.

  9. Network-targeted cerebellar transcranial magnetic stimulation improves attentional control

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esterman, Michael; Thai, Michelle; Okabe, Hidefusa; DeGutis, Joseph; Saad, Elyana; Laganiere, Simon E.; Halko, Mark A.

    2018-01-01

    Developing non-invasive brain stimulation interventions to improve attentional control is extremely relevant to a variety of neurologic and psychiatric populations, yet few studies have identified reliable biomarkers that can be readily modified to improve attentional control. One potential biomarker of attention is functional connectivity in the core cortical network supporting attention - the dorsal attention network (DAN). We used a network-targeted cerebellar transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) procedure, intended to enhance cortical functional connectivity in the DAN. Specifically, in healthy young adults we administered intermittent theta burst TMS (iTBS) to the midline cerebellar node of the DAN and, as a control, the right cerebellar node of the default mode network (DMN). These cerebellar targets were localized using individual resting-state fMRI scans. Participants completed assessments of both sustained (gradual onset continuous performance task, gradCPT) and transient attentional control (attentional blink) immediately before and after stimulation, in two sessions (cerebellar DAN and DMN). Following cerebellar DAN stimulation, participants had significantly fewer attentional lapses (lower commission error rates) on the gradCPT. In contrast, stimulation to the cerebellar DMN did not affect gradCPT performance. Further, in the DAN condition, individuals with worse baseline gradCPT performance showed the greatest enhancement in gradCPT performance. These results suggest that temporarily increasing functional connectivity in the DAN via network-targeted cerebellar stimulation can enhance sustained attention, particularly in those with poor baseline performance. With regard to transient attention, TMS stimulation improved attentional blink performance across both stimulation sites, suggesting increasing functional connectivity in both networks can enhance this aspect of attention. These findings have important implications for intervention applications

  10. Mindfulness Meditation Improves Mood, Quality of Life, and Attention in Adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Viviane Freire Bueno

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Objective. Adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD display affective problems and impaired attention. Mood in ADHD can be improved by mindful awareness practices (MAP, but results are mixed regarding the enhancement of attentional performance. Here we evaluated MAP-induced changes in quality of life (QoL, mood, and attention in adult ADHD patients and controls using more measures of attention than prior studies. Methods. Twenty-one ADHD patients and 8 healthy controls underwent 8 weekly MAP sessions; 22 similar patients and 9 controls did not undergo the intervention. Mood and QoL were assessed using validated questionnaires, and attention was evaluated using the Attentional Network Test (ANT and the Conners Continuous Performance Test (CPT II, before and after intervention. Results. MAP enhanced sustained attention (ANT and detectability (CPT II and improved mood and QoL of patients and controls. Conclusion. MAP is a complementary intervention that improves affect and attention of adults with ADHD and controls.

  11. Background music: effects on attention performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shih, Yi-Nuo; Huang, Rong-Hwa; Chiang, Hsin-Yu

    2012-01-01

    Previous studies indicate that noise may affect worker attention. However, some background music in the work environment can increase worker satisfaction and productivity. This study compared how music with, and without, lyrics affects human attention. One hundred and two participants, aged 20-24 years, were recruited into this study. Fifty-six males and 46 females participated in this study. Background music with, and without lyrics, was tested for effects on listener concentration in attention testing using a randomized controlled trial (RCT) study. The comparison results revealed that background music with lyrics had significant negative effects on concentration and attention. The findings suggest that, if background music is played in the work environment, music without lyrics is preferable because songs with lyrics are likely to reduce worker attention and performance.

  12. Does attentional training improve numerical processing in developmental dyscalculia?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashkenazi, Sarit; Henik, Avishai

    2012-01-01

    Recently, a deficit in attention was found in those with pure developmental dyscalculia (DD). Accordingly, the present study aimed to examine the influence of attentional training on attention abilities, basic numerical abilities, and arithmetic in participants who were diagnosed as having DD. Nine university students diagnosed as having DD (IQ and reading abilities in the normal range and no indication of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder) and nine matched controls participated in attentional training (i.e., video game training). First, training modulated the orienting system; after training, the size of the validity effect (i.e., effect of valid vs. invalid) decreased. This effect was comparable in the two groups. Training modulated abnormalities in the attention systems of those with DD, that is, it reduced their enlarged congruity effect (i.e., faster responding when flanking arrows pointed to the same location as a center arrow). Second, in relation to the enumeration task, training reduced the reaction time of the DD group in the subitizing range but did not change their smaller-than-normal subitizing range. Finally, training improved performance in addition problems in both the DD and control groups. These results imply that attentional training does improve most of the attentional deficits of those with DD. In contrast, training did not improve the abnormalities of the DD group in arithmetic or basic numerical processing. Thus, in contrast to the domain-general hypothesis, the deficits in attention among those with DD and the deficits in numerical processing appear to originate from different sources.

  13. Effects of Online Synchronous Instruction with an Attention Monitoring and Alarm Mechanism on Sustained Attention and Learning Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Chih-Ming; Wang, Jung-Ying

    2018-01-01

    Many studies have shown that learners' sustained attention strongly affects e-learning performance, particularly during online synchronous instruction. This work thus develops a novel attention monitoring and alarm mechanism (AMAM) based on brainwave signals to improve learning performance via monitoring the attention state of individual learners…

  14. Moving out of the laboratory: does nicotine improve everyday attention?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rusted, J M; Caulfield, D; King, L; Goode, A

    2000-11-01

    The most robust demonstrations of the nicotine-related performance effects on human cognitive processes are seen in tasks that measure attention. If nicotine does have some potential for enhancing attention, the obvious question to ask is whether the effects demonstrated in the laboratory hold any significance for real-life performance. This paper describes three studies that compare the effects in smokers of a single own brand cigarette on laboratory tests of attention and on everyday analogues of these laboratory tasks. In the laboratory measures of sustained attention and in the everyday analogue, performance advantages were registered in the smoking condition. These benefits were observed in smokers who abstained for a self-determined period of not less than 2 h. The studies were unable to replicate previous research reporting positive effects of smoking on a laboratory task of selective attention, the Stroop task. Small but significant improvements in performance were registered in the everyday analogues, which involved sustaining attention in a dual task situation, a telephone directory search task and a map search task. In addition, smokers showed a significant colour-naming decrement for smoking-related stimuli in the Stroop task. This attentional bias towards smoking-related words occurred independent of whether they had abstained or recently smoked an own brand cigarette. The effect is discussed in terms of the two-component model of processing bias for emotionally valenced stimuli.

  15. Improved performance of the industry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jeffrey, R.

    1994-01-01

    The remarkable improvements in the performance of AGR stations is illustrated. The underlying reasons for this improvement are discussed, emphasizing both the operational performance factors which have led to higher sustained output and the managerial and cultural changes which have focused attention at all levels on the need to be competitive. It is concluded that the UK nuclear industry has become world class with more improvements to come, an asset to the UK. (Author)

  16. Partial agonism at the α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor improves attention, impulsive action and vigilance in low attentive rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayward, Andrew; Adamson, Lisa; Neill, Joanna C

    2017-04-01

    Inattention is a disabling symptom in conditions such as schizophrenia and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Nicotine can improve attention and vigilance, but is unsuitable for clinical use due to abuse liability. Genetic knockout of the α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) induces attention deficits therefore selective agonism may improve attention, without the abuse liability associated with nicotine. The α7 nAChR partial agonist encenicline (formerly EVP-6124) enhances memory in rodents and humans. Here we investigate, for the first time, efficacy of encenicline to improve attention and vigilance in animals behaviourally grouped for low attentive traits in the 5 choice-continuous performance task (5C-CPT). Female Lister Hooded rats were trained to perform the 5C-CPT with a variable stimulus duration (SD). Animals were then grouped based on performance into upper and lower quartiles of d' (vigilance) and accuracy (selective attention), producing high-attentive (HA) and low-attentive (LA) groups. LA animals showed an increase in selective attention and vigilance at 0.3mg/kg encenicline, a reduction in impulsive action (probability of false alarms) and increase in vigilance following 1mg/kg at 0.75sSD. At 1mg/kg, HA animals had reduced selective attention at 0.75sSD and reduced vigilance at 0.75 and 1.25sSD. Improvement of attention, vigilance and impulsive action in LA animals demonstrates that encenicline has pro-attentive properties dependent on baseline levels of performance. Our work suggests that α7 nAChR partial agonism may improve attention particularly in conditions with low attention. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. and ECNP. All rights reserved.

  17. Self-estimates of attention performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    CHRISTOPH MENGELKAMP

    2007-09-01

    Full Text Available In research on self-estimated IQ, gender differences are often found. The present study investigates whether these findings are true for self-estimation of attention, too. A sample of 100 female and 34 male students were asked to fill in the test of attention d2. After taking the test, the students estimated their results in comparison to their fellow students. The results show that the students underestimate their percent rank compared with the actual percent rank they achieved in the test, but estimate their rank order fairly accurately. Moreover, males estimate their performance distinctly higher than females do. This last result remains true even when the real test score is statistically controlled. The results are discussed with regard to research on positive illusions and gender stereotypes.

  18. Rhythmic Haptic Stimuli Improve Short-Term Attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Shusheng; Wang, Dangxiao; Afzal, Naqash; Zhang, Yuru; Wu, Ruilin

    2016-01-01

    Brainwave entrainment using rhythmic visual and/or auditory stimulation has shown its efficacy in modulating neural activities and cognitive ability. In the presented study, we aim to investigate whether rhythmic haptic stimulation could enhance short-term attention. An experiment with sensorimotor rhythm (SMR) increasing protocol was performed in which participants were presented sinusoidal vibrotactile stimulus of 15 Hz on their palm. Test of Variables of Attention (T.O.V.A.) was performed before and after the stimulating session. Electroencephalograph (EEG) was recorded across the stimulating session and the two attention test sessions. SMR band power manifested a significant increase after stimulation. Results of T.O.V.A. tests indicated an improvement in the attention of participants who had received the stimulation compared to the control group who had not received the stimulation. The D prime score of T.O.V.A. reveals that participants performed better in perceptual sensitivity and sustaining attention level compared to their baseline performance before the stimulating session. These findings highlight the potential value of using haptics-based brainwave entrainment for cognitive training.

  19. Improved control of exogenous attention in action video game players

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew S Cain

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Action video game players have demonstrated a number of attentional advantages over non-players. Here, we propose that many of those benefits might be underpinned by improved control over exogenous (i.e., stimulus-driven attention. To test this we used an anti-cuing task, in which a sudden-onset cue indicated that the target would likely appear in a separate location on the opposite side of the fixation point. When the time between the cue onset and the target onset was short (40 ms, non-players (nVGPs showed a typical exogenous attention effect. Their response times were faster to targets presented at the cued (but less probable location compared with the opposite (more probable location. Video game players (VGPs, however, were less likely to have their attention drawn to the location of the cue. When the onset asynchrony was long (600 ms, VGPs and nVGPs were equally able to endogenously shift their attention to the likely (opposite target location. In order to rule out processing-speed differences as an explanation for this result, we also tested VGPs and nVGPs on an attentional blink task. In a version of the attentional blink task that minimized demands on task switching and iconic memory, VGPs and nVGPs did not differ in second target identification performance (i.e., VGPs had the same magnitude of attentional blink as nVGPs, suggesting that the anti-cuing results were due to flexible control over exogenous attention rather than to more general speed-of-processing differences.

  20. An integrative framework of stress, attention, and visuomotor performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samuel James Vine

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this article is to present an integrative conceptual framework that depicts the effect of acute stress on the performance of visually guided motor skills. We draw upon seminal theories highlighting the importance of subjective interpretations of stress on subsequent performance and outline how models of disrupted attentional control might explain this effect through impairments in visuomotor control. We first synthesize and critically discuss empirical support for theories examining these relationships in isolation. We then outline our integrative framework that seeks to provide a more complete picture of the interacting influences of stress responses (challenge and threat and attention in explaining how elevated stress may lead to different visuomotor performance outcomes. We propose a number of mechanisms that explain why evaluations of stress are related to attentional control, and highlight the emotion of anxiety as the most likely candidate to explain why negative reactions to stress lead to disrupted attention and poor visuomotor skill performance. Finally, we propose a number of feedback loops that explain why stress responses are often self-perpetuating, as well as a number of proposed interventions that are designed to help improve or maintain performance in real world performance environments (e.g., sport, surgery, military, and aviation.

  1. Improving fleet performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ramjist, S.

    2015-01-01

    Use Fleet Initiatives to Improve Overall Fleet Performance . Tightly Integrated with Business Planning (Cause & Effect) . Leverage Strength of Broader Organization - Converge on Standard Business Practices . Ancillary Benefit of Improved Agility.

  2. Improving fleet performance

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ramjist, S. [Ontario Power Generation, Toronto, ON (Canada)

    2015-07-01

    Use Fleet Initiatives to Improve Overall Fleet Performance . Tightly Integrated with Business Planning (Cause & Effect) . Leverage Strength of Broader Organization - Converge on Standard Business Practices . Ancillary Benefit of Improved Agility.

  3. Ibudilast may improve attention during early abstinence from methamphetamine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Birath, J Brandon; Briones, Marisa; Amaya, Stephanie; Shoptaw, Steven; Swanson, Aimee-Noelle; Tsuang, John; Furst, Benjamin; Heinzerling, Keith; Obermeit, Lisa; Maes, Lauryn; McKay, Charles; Wright, Matthew J

    2017-09-01

    Inattention is a deficit related to instilling abstinence from methamphetamine (MA) dependence. This study aimed to determine whether ibudilast (IB; 50mg bid) improves attentional abilities compared to placebo during early abstinence from MA dependence. Attention was assessed in 11 MA-dependent non-treatment seeking participants in a phase IB safety-interaction trial. The Conners' Continuous Performance Test-II (CPT-II), a measure of sustained attention and response inhibition, was administered at baseline and on day 22, 48h post a MA challenge under placebo (P; n=6) or IB 50mg bid (n=5). Group differences were compared using Mann-Whitney U Tests. Groups were similar at baseline in premorbid intellectual functioning, attention deficit hyperactivity symptom scores, impulsivity ratings, and education level, but differed in age. Demographically corrected T-scores for CPT-II performances were utilized. Although no group differences in sustained attention existed at baseline, at follow-up, the IB group (Mdn=44.4) showed reduced variability in response times compared with the P group (Mdn=69.9), U=0.00, z=-2.74, p=.006, r=.83. The IB group (Mdn=45.8) also gave fewer perseverative responses than the P group (Mdn=67.0), U=2.00, z=-2.50, p=.01, r=.75. No other significant differences were observed. Findings suggest that IB may have a protective effect on sustained attention during early abstinence from MA dependence. This may guide thinking about mechanism of action should IB demonstrate efficacy as a treatment for MA dependence. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Game-based training of flexibility and attention improves task-switch performance: near and far transfer of cognitive training in an EEG study

    OpenAIRE

    Olfers, Kerwin J. F.; Band, Guido P. H.

    2017-01-01

    There is a demand for ways to enhance cognitive flexibility, as it can be a limiting factor for performance in daily life. Video game training has been linked to advantages in cognitive functioning, raising the question if training with video games can promote cognitive flexibility. In the current study, we investigated if game-based computerized cognitive training (GCCT) could enhance cognitive flexibility in a healthy young adult sample (N = 72), as measured by task-switch performance. Thre...

  5. Attention for users improves the results. Performances and comfort differ from the design of a building; Aandacht voor gebruikers verbetert resultaat. Prestaties en comfort wijken af van gebouwontwerp

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zeiler, W.; Boxem, G.; Van Houten, R.; Vissers, D.; Maaijen, R. [Faculteit Bouwkunde, Technische Universiteit Eindhoven TUE, Eindhoven (Netherlands); Van der Velden, J.; Noom, P.; Haan, J.F.; Wortel, W.; Dubbeldam, J.W. [Kropman Installatietechniek, Nijmegen (Netherlands)

    2011-10-15

    The comfort and energy performance of a building design in practice often not met. This results in more energy, higher absenteeism and reduced performance of the users. A huge energy savings is possible, but only with new energy management systems that also consider the role of the user. [Dutch] Het comfort en de energetische prestaties van een gebouwontwerp worden in de praktijk vaak niet gehaald. Dit resulteert in meer energiegebruik, een hoger ziekteverzuim en een geringere prestatie van de gebruikers. Een enorme energiebesparing is mogelijk, maar dan alleen met nieuwe energiemanagementsystemen die ook oog hebben voor de rol van de gebruiker.

  6. Attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Callahan, Patrick M; Terry, Alvin V

    2015-01-01

    The ability to focus one's attention on important environmental stimuli while ignoring irrelevant stimuli is fundamental to human cognition and intellectual function. Attention is inextricably linked to perception, learning and memory, and executive function; however, it is often impaired in a variety of neuropsychiatric disorders, including Alzheimer's disease, schizophrenia, depression, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Accordingly, attention is considered as an important therapeutic target in these disorders. The purpose of this chapter is to provide an overview of the most common behavioral paradigms of attention that have been used in animals (particularly rodents) and to review the literature where these tasks have been employed to elucidate neurobiological substrates of attention as well as to evaluate novel pharmacological agents for their potential as treatments for disorders of attention. These paradigms include two tasks of sustained attention that were developed as rodent analogues of the human Continuous Performance Task (CPT), the Five-Choice Serial Reaction Time Task (5-CSRTT) and the more recently introduced Five-Choice Continuous Performance Task (5C-CPT), and the Signal Detection Task (SDT) which was designed to emphasize temporal components of attention.

  7. An Interactive Attention Board: Improving the Attention of Individuals with Autism and Mental Retardation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sahin, Yasar Guneri; Cimen, Fatih Mehmet

    2011-01-01

    This paper presents a tool named "Interactive Attention Board" (IAB) and an associated software named "Interactive Attention Boards Software" (IABS) for individuals with Mental Retardation and Autism. The proposed system is based on several theories such as perception and learning theories, and it is intended to improve hand-eye coordination and…

  8. Measuring Distribution Performance? Benchmarking Warrants Your Attention

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ericson, Sean J [National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Alvarez, Paul [The Wired Group

    2018-04-13

    Identifying, designing, and measuring performance metrics is critical to securing customer value, but can be a difficult task. This article examines the use of benchmarks based on publicly available performance data to set challenging, yet fair, metrics and targets.

  9. MCNP Progress & Performance Improvements

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brown, Forrest B. [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Bull, Jeffrey S. [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Rising, Michael Evan [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)

    2015-04-14

    Twenty-eight slides give information about the work of the US DOE/NNSA Nuclear Criticality Safety Program on MCNP6 under the following headings: MCNP6.1.1 Release, with ENDF/B-VII.1; Verification/Validation; User Support & Training; Performance Improvements; and Work in Progress. Whisper methodology will be incorporated into the code, and run speed should be increased.

  10. Sex differences in attentional performance and their modulation by methylphenidate in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Günther, Thomas; Herpertz-Dahlmann, Beate; Konrad, Kerstin

    2010-06-01

    Still little is known about neuropsychological differences between boys and girls with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and whether there are sex-specific differences in the modulation of attentional performance by methylphenidate (MPH). In this study, 27 males and 27 females between 8-12 years old and with ADHD were investigated in a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial on five computerized attention tests (0.25 vs. 0.5 mg/kg MPH as a single dose, versus placebo). Boys and girls with ADHD did not differ with respect to age, intelligence quotient (IQ), symptom severity, co-morbidity patterns, and ADHD subtype. However, ADHD boys were more impulsive on a sustained attention task, whereas girls with ADHD had more deficits on tasks measuring selective attention. Attentional performance increased differentially as a function of MPH dose, with some tasks showing linear improvement with higher dosage whereas more complex tasks in particular showed inverse U-shaped patterns of MPH effects. However, these effects were comparable between girls and boys. Our data suggest that there are some gender differences in attentional performance in subjects with ADHD in a clinical sample, even if symptom severity and co-morbidity are controlled; however, modulation of attention by MPH does not seem to differ between sexes.

  11. The effect of different stimulus attributes on the attentional performance of children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder and dyslexia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Li-Chih; Tsai, Huang-Ju; Yang, Hsien-Ming

    2013-11-01

    While teachers have traditionally used the interesting objects to increase student attention in the classroom, evidence supporting the effectiveness of this method is lacking. The present study investigated the influence of different stimulus attributes for typical developing students and for students with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and dyslexia. Thirty children with ADHD, 30 children with dyslexia, and 30 typical developing students were tested using a measuring tool that was constructed by the authors to assess their sustained attention and selective attention on the geometric-figure assessment and the interesting-figure assessment. The geometric-figure assessment included a square, circle, trapezium, and triangle; and the interesting-figure assessment included a house, cat, hand, and tree. While the typical developing group showed better selective attention on the geometric-figure assessment, there was no difference between the dyslexic group and the ADHD group with respect to selective attention. Furthermore, the typical developing and dyslexic groups did not differ in the geometric-figure assessment in sustained attention and were both better in this area than the ADHD group. In the interesting-figure assessment, the typical developing and dyslexic groups performed similarly in sustained attention, but selective attention of the dyslexic group improved more than the ADHD group, similar to the typical developing group. Both selective attention of the dyslexic group and sustained attention of the ADHD group showed positive significant differences in the interesting-figure assessment, but sustained attention of the dyslexic group and selective attention of the ADHD group showed little difference in the interesting-figure assessment. Surprisingly, the typical developing group did not show any significant difference in the interesting-figure assessment, possibly because they had previously demonstrated a ceiling effect in the geometric

  12. Containment performance improvement program

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Beckner, W.; Mitchell, J.; Soffer, L.; Chow, E.; Lane, J.; Ridgely, J.

    1990-01-01

    The Containment Performance Improvement (CPI) program has been one of the main elements in the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission's (NRC's) integrated approach to closure of severe accident issues for US nuclear power plants. During the course of the program, results from various probabilistic risk assessment (PRA) studies and from severe accident research programs for the five US containment types have been examined to identify significant containment challenges and to evaluate potential improvements. The five containment types considered are: the boiling water reactor (BMR) Mark I containment, the BWR Mark II containment, the BWR Mark III containment, the pressurized water reactor (PWR) ice condenser containment, and the PWR dry containments (including both subatmospheric and large subtypes). The focus of the CPI program has been containment performance and accident mitigation, however, insights are also being obtained in the areas of accident prevention and accident management

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  14. Motor Performance in Relation with Sustained Attention in Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Solmaz Solouki

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Objective: Present study compares relationship between motor performance, sustained attention and impulse control in children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and normal children. Materials & Methods: In this descriptive-analytic study, 21 boys with ADHD and 21 normal boys in the age range of 7- 10 years old were participated. Motor performance by using Bruininks Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency and sustained attention and impulse control by using Continuous Performance Test were evaluated. Results: Analysis by T-Test and Mann-Whitney revealed significant difference between ADHD group and normal group in gross, fine and battery motor performance also sustained attention and impulse control (P<0.0001. Analysis by Z-Fisher test indicated no significant difference between Correlation Coefficient of inattention and gross motor performance in two groups (P=0.276 but significant difference between Correlation Coefficient of inattention and fine (P<0.0001 and battery (P<0.0001 motor performance were shown. Correlation Coefficient impulsivity and gross (P=0.379, fine (P=0.92 and battery (P=0.562 motor performance shown no significant difference between two groups. Conclusion: According to study results there was a positive relation between sustained attention and impulse control and most of motor performance in both groups. Therefore these findings help Occupational Therapist to determine rehabilitation priorities and to use exact strategies in order to enhance motor performance in children.

  15. Improving visual memory, attention, and school function with atomoxetine in boys with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shang, Chi-Yung; Gau, Susan Shur-Fen

    2012-10-01

    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.

  16. Effect of handedness on auditory attentional performance in ADHD students

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Schmidt SL

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Sergio L Schmidt,1,2 Ana Lucia Novais Carvaho,3 Eunice N Simoes2 1Department of Neurophysiology, State University of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, 2Neurology Department, Federal University of the State of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, 3Department of Psychology, Fluminense Federal University, Niteroi, Brazil Abstract: The relationship between handedness and attentional performance is poorly understood. Continuous performance tests (CPTs using visual stimuli are commonly used to assess subjects suffering from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD. However, auditory CPTs are considered more useful than visual ones to evaluate classroom attentional problems. A previous study reported that there was a significant effect of handedness on students’ performance on a visual CPT. Here, we examined whether handedness would also affect CPT performance using only auditory stimuli. From an initial sample of 337 students, 11 matched pairs were selected. Repeated ANOVAs showed a significant effect of handedness on attentional performance that was exhibited even in the control group. Left-handers made more commission errors than right-handers. The results were interpreted considering that the association between ADHD and handedness reflects that consistent left-handers are less lateralized and have decreased interhemispheric connections. Auditory attentional data suggest that left-handers have problems in the impulsive/hyperactivity domain. In ADHD, clinical therapeutics and rehabilitation must take handedness into account because consistent sinistrals are more impulsive than dextrals. Keywords: attention, ADHD, consistent left-handers, auditory attention, continuous performance test

  17. White matter abnormalities and their impact on attentional performance in adult attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Konrad, Andreas; Dielentheis, Thomas F; El Masri, Dschamil; Dellani, Paulo R; Stoeter, Peter; Vucurevic, Goran; Winterer, Georg

    2012-06-01

    Inattention is the most important behavioral feature of adult patients with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Neuroimaging studies in ADHD have demonstrated abnormalities primarily in the frontostriatal circuitry and were mostly conducted in children. We investigated white matter (WM) integrity in adult ADHD patients and the correlation of WM microstructure and neuropsychological parameters in 37 (21 men) never-medicated adult ADHD patients and 34 age- and gender-matched healthy controls. All subjects underwent clinical interviews, rating scales, and neuropsychological tests of attentional performance. Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) was acquired, and 12 WM regions-of-interest (ROIs) within the attentional network were chosen. Group differences of mean fractional anisotropy (FA) and mean diffusivity (MD) values were calculated for each ROI, and patients' DTI measures were then correlated with measures of attentional performance. FA values in ADHD patients were significantly reduced in the left inferior longitudinal fasciculus (ILF), while MD values were significantly increased in ADHD patients in the frontal portion of the left frontooccipital fasciculus (IFO). In ADHD patients, MD values were negatively correlated with attentional performance in the left ILF. Our findings provide further support for disturbed frontostriatal structural connectivity and also point to an involvement of the left temporal white matter with an impact on attentional performance.

  18. EEG cross-frequency coupling associated with attentional performance: An RDoC approach to attention

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gerrits, B.J.L.; Vollebregt, M.A.; Olbrich, S.; Kessels, R.P.C.; Palmer, D.; Gordon, E.; Arns, M.W.

    2016-01-01

    19th biennial IPEG Meeting: Nijmegen, The Netherlands. 26-30 October 2016. The quality of attentional performance plays a crucial role in goaldirected behavior in daily life activities, cognitive task performance, and in multiple psychiatric illnesses. The Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) approach

  19. Optimal distance of an external focus of attention in standing long jump performance of athletes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gh. Lotfi

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available Background and Study Aim: Recently, studies have shown that an external focus of attention improves the performance of individuals. Some studies have also confirmed the superiority of distances away from body for external focus of attention. The aim of this study was to determine the optimal distance of an external focus of attention when performing athletes' standing long jump. Material and Method: 51 volunteer students (M age= 23.31 ± 5.26 years were selected as sample. At first all they performed a standing long jump in control status (without instruction for focus of attention. Then in an interpersonal counterbalanced design, a pair of jumps was performed with four different distances of an external focus of attention. These distances included 0.5, 2.5, 4 and 8 meters from the jump start line marked with colored tapes on the ground. Results: The results showed that having an external focus of attention compare to the control conditions has a significant advantage in the performance of the athlete's standing long jump. Also, the performance of athletes at different distances of an external focus of attention was compared. Results showed that the four-meter distance was significantly better performance than the half-meter distance of an external focus of attention. Conclusion: Four-meter distance can be introduced as the optimal distance of an external focus of attention in the performance of athletes’ standing long jump.

  20. Continuous Performance Tasks: Not Just about Sustaining Attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roebuck, Hettie; Freigang, Claudia; Barry, Johanna G.

    2016-01-01

    Purpose: Continuous performance tasks (CPTs) are used to measure individual differences in sustained attention. Many different stimuli have been used as response targets without consideration of their impact on task performance. Here, we compared CPT performance in typically developing adults and children to assess the role of stimulus processing…

  1. Effects of total sleep deprivation on divided attention performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chua, Eric Chern-Pin; Fang, Eric; Gooley, Joshua J

    2017-01-01

    Dividing attention across two tasks performed simultaneously usually results in impaired performance on one or both tasks. Most studies have found no difference in the dual-task cost of dividing attention in rested and sleep-deprived states. We hypothesized that, for a divided attention task that is highly cognitively-demanding, performance would show greater impairment during exposure to sleep deprivation. A group of 30 healthy males aged 21-30 years was exposed to 40 h of continuous wakefulness in a laboratory setting. Every 2 h, subjects completed a divided attention task comprising 3 blocks in which an auditory Go/No-Go task was 1) performed alone (single task); 2) performed simultaneously with a visual Go/No-Go task (dual task); and 3) performed simultaneously with both a visual Go/No-Go task and a visually-guided motor tracking task (triple task). Performance on all tasks showed substantial deterioration during exposure to sleep deprivation. A significant interaction was observed between task load and time since wake on auditory Go/No-Go task performance, with greater impairment in response times and accuracy during extended wakefulness. Our results suggest that the ability to divide attention between multiple tasks is impaired during exposure to sleep deprivation. These findings have potential implications for occupations that require multi-tasking combined with long work hours and exposure to sleep loss.

  2. Effects of total sleep deprivation on divided attention performance.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eric Chern-Pin Chua

    Full Text Available Dividing attention across two tasks performed simultaneously usually results in impaired performance on one or both tasks. Most studies have found no difference in the dual-task cost of dividing attention in rested and sleep-deprived states. We hypothesized that, for a divided attention task that is highly cognitively-demanding, performance would show greater impairment during exposure to sleep deprivation. A group of 30 healthy males aged 21-30 years was exposed to 40 h of continuous wakefulness in a laboratory setting. Every 2 h, subjects completed a divided attention task comprising 3 blocks in which an auditory Go/No-Go task was 1 performed alone (single task; 2 performed simultaneously with a visual Go/No-Go task (dual task; and 3 performed simultaneously with both a visual Go/No-Go task and a visually-guided motor tracking task (triple task. Performance on all tasks showed substantial deterioration during exposure to sleep deprivation. A significant interaction was observed between task load and time since wake on auditory Go/No-Go task performance, with greater impairment in response times and accuracy during extended wakefulness. Our results suggest that the ability to divide attention between multiple tasks is impaired during exposure to sleep deprivation. These findings have potential implications for occupations that require multi-tasking combined with long work hours and exposure to sleep loss.

  3. When size matters: attention affects performance by contrast or response gain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herrmann, Katrin; Montaser-Kouhsari, Leila; Carrasco, Marisa; Heeger, David J

    2010-12-01

    Covert attention, the selective processing of visual information in the absence of eye movements, improves behavioral performance. We found that attention, both exogenous (involuntary) and endogenous (voluntary), can affect performance by contrast or response gain changes, depending on the stimulus size and the relative size of the attention field. These two variables were manipulated in a cueing task while stimulus contrast was varied. We observed a change in behavioral performance consonant with a change in contrast gain for small stimuli paired with spatial uncertainty and a change in response gain for large stimuli presented at one location (no uncertainty) and surrounded by irrelevant flanking distracters. A complementary neuroimaging experiment revealed that observers' attention fields were wider with than without spatial uncertainty. Our results support important predictions of the normalization model of attention and reconcile previous, seemingly contradictory findings on the effects of visual attention.

  4. Where to start? Bottom-up attention improves working memory by determining encoding order.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ravizza, Susan M; Uitvlugt, Mitchell G; Hazeltine, Eliot

    2016-12-01

    The present study aimed to characterize the mechanism by which working memory is enhanced for items that capture attention because of their novelty or saliency-that is, via bottom-up attention. The first experiment replicated previous research by corroborating that bottom-up attention directed to an item is sufficient for enhancing working memory and, moreover, generalized the effect to the domain of verbal working memory. The subsequent 3 experiments sought to determine how bottom-up attention affects working memory. We considered 2 hypotheses: (1) Bottom-up attention enhances the encoded representation of the stimulus, similar to how voluntary attention functions, or (2) It affects the order of encoding by shifting priority onto the attended stimulus. By manipulating how stimuli were presented (simultaneous/sequential display) and whether the cue predicted the tested items, we found evidence that bottom-up attention improves working memory performance via the order of encoding hypothesis. This finding was observed across change detection and free recall paradigms. In contrast, voluntary attention improved working memory regardless of encoding order and showed greater effects on working memory. We conclude that when multiple information sources compete, bottom-up attention prioritizes the location at which encoding should begin. When encoding order is set, bottom-up attention has little or no benefit to working memory. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).

  5. Dynamic Filtering Improves Attentional State Prediction with fNIRS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harrivel, Angela R.; Weissman, Daniel H.; Noll, Douglas C.; Huppert, Theodore; Peltier, Scott J.

    2016-01-01

    Brain activity can predict a person's level of engagement in an attentional task. However, estimates of brain activity are often confounded by measurement artifacts and systemic physiological noise. The optimal method for filtering this noise - thereby increasing such state prediction accuracy - remains unclear. To investigate this, we asked study participants to perform an attentional task while we monitored their brain activity with functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). We observed higher state prediction accuracy when noise in the fNIRS hemoglobin [Hb] signals was filtered with a non-stationary (adaptive) model as compared to static regression (84% +/- 6% versus 72% +/- 15%).

  6. Stress improves selective attention towards emotionally neutral left ear stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoskin, Robert; Hunter, M D; Woodruff, P W R

    2014-09-01

    Research concerning the impact of psychological stress on visual selective attention has produced mixed results. The current paper describes two experiments which utilise a novel auditory oddball paradigm to test the impact of psychological stress on auditory selective attention. Participants had to report the location of emotionally-neutral auditory stimuli, while ignoring task-irrelevant changes in their content. The results of the first experiment, in which speech stimuli were presented, suggested that stress improves the ability to selectively attend to left, but not right ear stimuli. When this experiment was repeated using tonal stimuli the same result was evident, but only for female participants. Females were also found to experience greater levels of distraction in general across the two experiments. These findings support the goal-shielding theory which suggests that stress improves selective attention by reducing the attentional resources available to process task-irrelevant information. The study also demonstrates, for the first time, that this goal-shielding effect extends to auditory perception. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Working memory-driven attention improves spatial resolution: Support for perceptual enhancement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pan, Yi; Luo, Qianying; Cheng, Min

    2016-08-01

    Previous research has indicated that attention can be biased toward those stimuli matching the contents of working memory and thereby facilitates visual processing at the location of the memory-matching stimuli. However, whether this working memory-driven attentional modulation takes place on early perceptual processes remains unclear. Our present results showed that working memory-driven attention improved identification of a brief Landolt target presented alone in the visual field. Because the suprathreshold target appeared without any external noise added (i.e., no distractors or masks), the results suggest that working memory-driven attention enhances the target signal at early perceptual stages of visual processing. Furthermore, given that performance in the Landolt target identification task indexes spatial resolution, this attentional facilitation indicates that working memory-driven attention can boost early perceptual processing via enhancement of spatial resolution at the attended location.

  8. Interaction of hypertension and age in visual selective attention performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madden, D J; Blumenthal, J A

    1998-01-01

    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.

  9. Does Focus of Attention Improve Snatch Lift Kinematics?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schutts, Kyle S; Wu, Will F W; Vidal, Anthony D; Hiegel, Jamie; Becker, James

    2017-10-01

    Recent motor control literature has demonstrated that using verbal instructions to direct a performer's attention externally (i.e., toward the movement outcome) enhances motor skill performance. The purpose of this study was to investigate how an athlete's focus of attention impacts kinematic performance of the snatch. Using a counterbalanced within-participant design, 12 competitively trained athletes (8 male and 4 female athletes) performed 2 instructional blocks of 3 snatch repetitions at 80% of their most recent training 1 repetition maximum. Blocks of internal and external instructions were given to the athlete in a random fashion. Results showed that, when focusing internally, athletes significantly (p ≤ 0.05) increased elbow velocity relative to focusing externally, whereas the external instructions significantly increased horizontal barbell velocity, relative to internal instructions. Additionally, an internal focus resulted in significantly larger barbell-cervical-hip angles at maximum height of the barbell compared with an external focus, indicating that the athletes squatted under the barbell too soon. This information adds to the literature suggesting small changes in coaching instructions can impact performance significantly. It is recommended that coaches use instructions that direct an athlete's attention externally, toward the movement outcome, rather than the action itself.

  10. Attentional performance in children and adolescents with tic disorder and co-occurring attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: new insights from a 2 × 2 factorial design study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greimel, Ellen; Wanderer, Sina; Rothenberger, Aribert; Herpertz-Dahlmann, Beate; Konrad, Kerstin; Roessner, Veit

    2011-08-01

    The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of both tic disorder (TD) and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) on attentional functions. N=96 children and adolescents participated in the study, including n=21 subjects with TD, n=23 subjects with ADHD, n=25 subjects with TD+ADHD, and n=27 controls. Attentional performance was tested based on four computerized attention tasks (sustained attention, divided attention, go/nogo and set shifting). The effect of TD as well as ADHD on attentional performance was tested using a 2 × 2 factorial approach. A diagnosis of TD had no negative impact on attentional functions but was associated with improved performance in the set shifting task. By contrast, regardless of a diagnosis of TD, subjects with ADHD were found to perform worse in the sustained attention, divided attention and go/nogo task. No interaction effect between the factors TD and ADHD was revealed for any of the attention measures. Our results add to findings from other areas of research, showing that in subjects with TD and ADHD, ADHD psychopathology is often the main source of impairment, whereas a diagnosis of TD has little or no impact on neuropsychological performance in most cases and even seems to be associated with adaptive mechanisms.

  11. Decreased attention to object size information in scale errors performers

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Grzyb, B.J.; Cangelosi, A.; Cattani, A.; Floccia, C.

    2017-01-01

    Young children sometimes make serious attempts to perform impossible actions on miniature objects as if they were full-size objects. The existing explanations of these curious action errors assume (but never explicitly tested) children’s decreased attention to object size information. This study

  12. Improving construction performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1990-03-01

    Design for Constructability's overall purpose was to identify and address changes in the nuclear industry to restore nuclear energy as an attractive option for new generating capacity. As the centerpiece of project control, a comprehensive, stable schedule should organize the project logically to accomplish the project's objectives. A good schedule will: integrate the project team; serve as a communications tool to all members of the project team; and provide a means to monitor and measure project performance

  13. Full versus divided attention and implicit memory performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolters, G; Prinsen, A

    1997-11-01

    Effects of full and divided attention during study on explicit and implicit memory performance were investigated in two experiments. Study time was manipulated in a third experiment. Experiment 1 showed that both similar and dissociative effects can be found in the two kinds of memory test, depending on the difficulty of the concurrent tasks used in the divided-attention condition. In this experiment, however, standard implicit memory tests were used and contamination by explicit memory influences cannot be ruled out. Therefore, in Experiments 2 and 3 the process dissociation procedure was applied. Manipulations of attention during study and of study time clearly affected the controlled (explicit) memory component, but had no effect on the automatic (implicit) memory component. Theoretical implications of these findings are discussed.

  14. Elucidating the relationship between work attention performance and emotions arising from listening to music.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shih, Yi-Nuo; Chien, Wei-Hsien; Chiang, Han-Sun

    2016-10-17

    In addition to demonstrating that human emotions improve work attention performance, numerous studies have also established that music alters human emotions. Given the pervasiveness of background music in the workplace, exactly how work attention, emotions and music listening are related is of priority concern in human resource management. This preliminary study investigates the relationship between work attention performance and emotions arising from listening to music. Thirty one males and 34 females, ranging from 20-24 years old, participated in this study following written informed consent. A randomized controlled trial (RCT) was performed in this study, which consisted of six steps and the use of the standard attention test and emotion questionnaire. Background music with lyrics adversely impacts attention performance more than that without lyrics. Analysis results also indicate that listeners self-reported feeling "loved" while music played that implied a higher score on their work-attention performance. Moreover, a greater ability of music to make listeners feel sad implied a lower score on their work-attention performance. Results of this preliminary study demonstrate that background music in the workplace should focus mainly on creating an environment in which listeners feel loved or taken care and avoiding music that causes individuals to feel stressed or sad. We recommend that future research increase the number of research participants to enhance the applicability and replicability of these findings.

  15. A wearable navigation display can improve attentiveness to the surgical field.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stewart, James; Billinghurst, Mark

    2016-06-01

    Surgical navigation is typically shown on a computer display that is distant from the patient, making it difficult for the surgeon to watch the patient while performing a guided task. We investigate whether a light-weight, untracked, wearable display (such as Google Glass, which has the same size and weight as corrective glasses) can improve attentiveness to the surgical field in a simulated surgical task. Three displays were tested: a computer monitor; a peripheral display above the eye; and a through-the-lens display in front of the eye. Twelve subjects performed a task to position and orient a tracked tool on a plastic femur. Both wearable displays were tested on the dominant and non-dominant eyes of each subject. Attentiveness during the task was measured by the time taken to respond to randomly illuminated LEDs on the femur. Attentiveness was improved with the wearable displays at the cost of a decrease in accuracy. The through-the-lens display performed better than the peripheral display. The peripheral display performed better when on the dominant eye, while the through-the-lens display performed better when on the non-dominant eye. Attentiveness to the surgical field can be improved with the use of a light-weight, untracked, wearable display. A through-the-lens display performs better than a peripheral display, and both perform better than a computer monitor. Eye dominance should be considered when positioning the display.

  16. Loss-Aversion or Loss-Attention: The Impact of Losses on Cognitive Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yechiam, Eldad; Hochman, Guy

    2013-01-01

    Losses were found to improve cognitive performance, and this has been commonly explained by increased weighting of losses compared to gains (i.e., loss aversion). We examine whether effects of losses on performance could be modulated by two alternative processes: an attentional effect leading to increased sensitivity to task incentives; and a…

  17. Decreased attention to object size information in scale errors performers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grzyb, Beata J; Cangelosi, Angelo; Cattani, Allegra; Floccia, Caroline

    2017-05-01

    Young children sometimes make serious attempts to perform impossible actions on miniature objects as if they were full-size objects. The existing explanations of these curious action errors assume (but never explicitly tested) children's decreased attention to object size information. This study investigated the attention to object size information in scale errors performers. Two groups of children aged 18-25 months (N=52) and 48-60 months (N=23) were tested in two consecutive tasks: an action task that replicated the original scale errors elicitation situation, and a looking task that involved watching on a computer screen actions performed with adequate to inadequate size object. Our key finding - that children performing scale errors in the action task subsequently pay less attention to size changes than non-scale errors performers in the looking task - suggests that the origins of scale errors in childhood operate already at the perceptual level, and not at the action level. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Pupil Size Tracks Attentional Performance In Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wainstein, G; Rojas-Líbano, D; Crossley, N A; Carrasco, X; Aboitiz, F; Ossandón, T

    2017-08-15

    Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) diagnosis is based on reported symptoms, which carries the potential risk of over- or under-diagnosis. A biological marker that helps to objectively define the disorder, providing information about its pathophysiology, is needed. A promising marker of cognitive states in humans is pupil size, which reflects the activity of an 'arousal' network, related to the norepinephrine system. We monitored pupil size from ADHD and control subjects, during a visuo-spatial working memory task. A sub group of ADHD children performed the task twice, with and without methylphenidate, a norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake inhibitor. Off-medication patients showed a decreased pupil diameter during the task. This difference was no longer present when patients were on-medication. Pupil size correlated with the subjects' performance and reaction time variability, two vastly studied indicators of attention. Furthermore, this effect was modulated by medication. Through pupil size, we provide evidence of an involvement of the noradrenergic system during an attentional task. Our results suggest that pupil size could serve as a biomarker in ADHD.

  19. Attention in aviation. [to aircraft design and pilot performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wickens, Christopher D.

    1987-01-01

    The relevance of four principles or mechanisms of human attention to the design of aviation systems and the performance of pilots in multitask environments, including workload prediction and measurement, control-display integration, and the use of voice and head-up displays is discussed. The principles are: the mental energy that supplies task performance (resources), the resulting cross-talk between tasks as they are made more similar (confusion), the combination of different task elements (integration), and the way in which one task is processed and another is ignored (selection or tunneling). The introduction of greater levels of complexity into the validation of attentional theories in order to approach the demands of the cockpit or ATC console is proposed.

  20. Motor performance of pupils with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

    OpenAIRE

    Otipková, Zuzana

    2012-01-01

    Title: Motor performance of pupils with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Objectives: The aim of the work was to determine the level of fine and gross motor skills of upper extremities of the pupils with diagnosis ADHD at schools specialized on these pupils and compare it with the fine and gross motor skills of upper extremities of children without this diagnosis at common elementary school. Further work objective was to determine the level of gross motor skills of lower limbs ...

  1. Methylphenidate-induced improvements of various measures of attention in adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tucha, O; Mecklinger, L; Laufkötter, R; Klein, H E; Walitza, S; Lange, K W

    2006-10-01

    The present study examined the effect of the stimulant medication methylphenidate (MPH) on attentional functioning of adults with ADHD. Sixteen adults with a diagnosed ADHD without comorbidity were assessed twice, at baseline off MPH and following MPH treatment. The assessment battery consisted of reaction time tasks of low complexity, including measures of alertness--subdivided into tonic and phasic alertness, vigilance, divided attention, flexibility and such aspects of selective attention as including focused attention, inhibition and integration of sensory information. In addition, 16 healthy participants who were matched to adults with ADHD according to sex, age, education level and intellectual functions were also assessed twice using the same test battery. The results of the present study suggest that adults with ADHD off stimulant medication are seriously impaired in various components of attention including vigilance, divided attention, selective attention and flexibility. These impairments of attention were observed primarily in regard to reaction time and its variability. Treatment of adults with ADHD using individually tailored doses of MPH has a positive effect on measures of alertness, vigilance, selective attention, divided attention and flexibility. However, even on MPH adults with ADHD displayed considerable deficits in vigilance and integration of sensory information. The present findings indicate that adults with ADHD are not differentially impaired in attentional processes but may suffer from a more global deficit of attention. Although MPH treatment has been found to be effective in the treatment of the attention deficit of adults with ADHD, additional treatment appears to be necessary.

  2. Can training improve human performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Waylett, W.J. Jr.

    1986-01-01

    The nuclear industry has made a significant commitment to improve training through the implementation of performance-based training programs. Senior management expects that human performance improvement will result from this significant resource allocation. The author examines this hypothesis and discusses other issues that may interfere with enhancing human performance through training. The integration of quality improvement concepts to support training is also discussed by the author, who was a pioneer facilitator during the development of Florida Power and Light Company's Quality Improvement Program. Critical success factors are proposed based on the author's experience as a plant manager, training manager and quality facilitator

  3. Evaluation of attention training and metacognitive facilitation to improve reading comprehension in aphasia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Jaime B; Moore Sohlberg, McKay

    2013-05-01

    This pilot study investigated the impact of direct attention training combined with metacognitive facilitation on reading comprehension in individuals with aphasia. A single-subject, multiple baseline design was employed across 4 participants to evaluate potential changes in reading comprehension resulting from an 8-week intervention using Attention Process Training-3 (APT-3). The primary outcome measure was a maze reading task. Pre- and posttesting included attention and reading comprehension measures. Visual inspection of graphed performance data across conditions was used as the primary method of analysis. Treatment effect sizes were calculated for changes in reading comprehension probes from baseline to maintenance phases. Two of the study's 4 participants demonstrated improvements in maze reading, with corresponding effect sizes that were small in magnitude according to benchmarks for aphasia treatment research. All 4 participants made improvements on select standardized measures of attention. Interventions that include a metacognitive component with direct attention training may elicit improvements in participants' attention and allocation of resources. Maze passage reading is a repeated measure that appears sensitive to treatment-related changes in reading comprehension. Issues for future research related to measurement, candidacy, and clinical delivery are discussed.

  4. Randomized Crossover Study of the Natural Restorative Environment Intervention to Improve Attention and Mood in Heart Failure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jung, Miyeon; Jonides, John; Northouse, Laurel; Berman, Marc G; Koelling, Todd M; Pressler, Susan J

    In heart failure (HF), attention may be decreased because of lowered cerebral blood flow and increased attentional demands needed for self-care. Guided by the Attention Restoration Theory, the objective was to test the efficacy of the natural restorative environment (NRE) intervention on improving attention and mood among HF patients and healthy adults. A randomized crossover pilot study was conducted among 20 HF patients and an age- and education-matched comparison group of 20 healthy adults to test the efficacy of the NRE intervention compared with an active control intervention. Neuropsychological tests were administered to examine attention, particularly attention span, sustained attention, directed attention, and attention switching, at before and after the intervention. Mood was measured with the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule. No significant differences were found in attention and mood after the NRE intervention compared with the control intervention among the HF patients and the healthy adults. In analyses with HF patients and healthy adults combined (n = 40), significant differences were found. Compared with the control intervention, sustained attention improved after the NRE intervention (P = .001) regardless of the presence of HF. Compared with the healthy adults, HF patients performed significantly worse on attention switching after the control intervention (P = .045). The NRE intervention may be efficacious in improving sustained attention in HF patients. Future studies are needed to enhance the NRE intervention to be more efficacious and tailored for HF patients and test the efficacy in a larger sample of HF patients.

  5. Strategic predictors of performance in a divided attention task

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faragó, Kinga Bettina; Lőrincz, András

    2018-01-01

    In this study we investigate the strategies of subjects in a complex divided attention task. We conducted a series of experiments with ten participants and evaluated their performance. After an extensive analysis, we identified four strategic measures that justify the achievement of the participants, by highlighting the individual differences and predicting performance in a regression analysis using generalized estimating equations. Selecting the more urgent task and user action between multiple simultaneous possibilities form two of the strategic decisions, respectively. The third one refers to choosing a response within the same task when the opportunity is present. The fourth and most important measure of strategy involves thinking ahead and executing an action before a situation would become critical. This latter one has the effect of reducing later cognitive load or timing constraints and it is shown to explain almost as much variance in performance as the other three, more straightforward predictors together. In addition to determining these strategic predictors, we also show how manipulating task difficulty induces a shift in strategy, thus impairing human performance in the rehearsed task. The results of this study indicate that considerable differences in the divided attention ability of normal subjects can be identified early and with simple measurements. The importance of describing and analyzing strategies is also emphasized, which can substantially influence performance in complex tasks and may serve training needs. PMID:29621292

  6. Strategic predictors of performance in a divided attention task.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Róbert Adrian Rill

    Full Text Available In this study we investigate the strategies of subjects in a complex divided attention task. We conducted a series of experiments with ten participants and evaluated their performance. After an extensive analysis, we identified four strategic measures that justify the achievement of the participants, by highlighting the individual differences and predicting performance in a regression analysis using generalized estimating equations. Selecting the more urgent task and user action between multiple simultaneous possibilities form two of the strategic decisions, respectively. The third one refers to choosing a response within the same task when the opportunity is present. The fourth and most important measure of strategy involves thinking ahead and executing an action before a situation would become critical. This latter one has the effect of reducing later cognitive load or timing constraints and it is shown to explain almost as much variance in performance as the other three, more straightforward predictors together. In addition to determining these strategic predictors, we also show how manipulating task difficulty induces a shift in strategy, thus impairing human performance in the rehearsed task. The results of this study indicate that considerable differences in the divided attention ability of normal subjects can be identified early and with simple measurements. The importance of describing and analyzing strategies is also emphasized, which can substantially influence performance in complex tasks and may serve training needs.

  7. Strategic predictors of performance in a divided attention task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rill, Róbert Adrian; Faragó, Kinga Bettina; Lőrincz, András

    2018-01-01

    In this study we investigate the strategies of subjects in a complex divided attention task. We conducted a series of experiments with ten participants and evaluated their performance. After an extensive analysis, we identified four strategic measures that justify the achievement of the participants, by highlighting the individual differences and predicting performance in a regression analysis using generalized estimating equations. Selecting the more urgent task and user action between multiple simultaneous possibilities form two of the strategic decisions, respectively. The third one refers to choosing a response within the same task when the opportunity is present. The fourth and most important measure of strategy involves thinking ahead and executing an action before a situation would become critical. This latter one has the effect of reducing later cognitive load or timing constraints and it is shown to explain almost as much variance in performance as the other three, more straightforward predictors together. In addition to determining these strategic predictors, we also show how manipulating task difficulty induces a shift in strategy, thus impairing human performance in the rehearsed task. The results of this study indicate that considerable differences in the divided attention ability of normal subjects can be identified early and with simple measurements. The importance of describing and analyzing strategies is also emphasized, which can substantially influence performance in complex tasks and may serve training needs.

  8. Performance improvement: the organization's quest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKinley, C O; Parmer, D E; Saint-Amand, R A; Harbin, C B; Roulston, J C; Ellis, R A; Buchanan, J R; Leonard, R B

    1999-01-01

    In today's health care marketplace, quality has become an expectation. Stakeholders are demanding quality clinical outcomes, and accrediting bodies are requiring clinical performance data. The Roosevelt Institute's quest was to define and quantify quality outcomes, develop an organizational culture of performance improvement, and ensure customer satisfaction. Several of the organization's leaders volunteered to work as a team to develop a specific performance improvement approach tailored to the organization. To date, over 200 employees have received an orientation to the model and its philosophy and nine problem action and process improvement teams have been formed.

  9. Regular, brief mindfulness meditation practice improves electrophysiological markers of attentional control

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Adam; Gruber, Thomas; Derose, Jennifer; Malinowski, Peter

    2012-01-01

    Mindfulness-based meditation practices involve various attentional skills, including the ability to sustain and focus ones attention. During a simple mindful breathing practice, sustained attention is required to maintain focus on the breath while cognitive control is required to detect mind wandering. We thus hypothesized that regular, brief mindfulness training would result in improvements in the self-regulation of attention and foster changes in neuronal activity related to attentional control. A longitudinal randomized control group EEG study was conducted. At baseline (T1), 40 meditation naïve participants were randomized into a wait list group and a meditation group, who received three hours mindfulness meditation training. Twenty-eight participants remained in the final analysis. At T1, after eight weeks (T2) and after 16 weeks (T3), all participants performed a computerized Stroop task (a measure of attentional control) while the 64-channel EEG was recorded. Between T1 and T3 the meditators were requested to meditate daily for 10 min. Event-related potential (ERP) analysis highlighted two between group effects that developed over the course of the 16-week mindfulness training. An early effect at left and right posterior sites 160–240 ms post-stimulus indicated that meditation practice improved the focusing of attentional resources. A second effect at central posterior sites 310–380 ms post-stimulus reflects that meditation practice reduced the recruitment of resources during object recognition processes, especially for incongruent stimuli. Scalp topographies and source analyses (Variable Resolution Electromagnetic Tomography, VARETA) indicate relevant changes in neural sources, pertaining to left medial and lateral occipitotemporal areas for the early effect and right lateral occipitotemporal and inferior temporal areas for the later effect. The results suggest that mindfulness meditation may alter the efficiency of allocating cognitive resources

  10. Regular, brief mindfulness meditation practice improves electrophysiological markers of attentional control

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adam W Moore

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Mindfulness based meditation practices involve various attentional skills, including the ability to sustain and focus ones attention. During a simple mindful breathing practice, sustained attention is required to maintain focus on the breath while cognitive control is required to detect mind wandering. We thus hypothesized that regular, brief mindfulness training would result in improvements in the self regulation of attention and foster changes in neuronal activity related to attentional control.A longitudinal randomized control group EEG study was conducted. At baseline (T1, 40 meditation naïve participants were randomized into a wait list group and a meditation group, who received three hours mindfulness meditation training. 28 participants remained in the final analysis. At T1, after 8 weeks (T2 and after 16 weeks (T3, all participants performed a computerized Stroop task (a measure of attentional control while the 64-channel EEG was recorded. Between T1 and T3 the meditators were requested to meditate daily for ten minutes.Event-related potential (ERP analysis highlighted two between group effects that developed over the course of the 16-week mindfulness training. An early effect at left and right posterior sites 160 – 240 ms post stimulus indicated that meditation practice improved the focusing of attentional resources. A second effect at central posterior sites 310 – 380 ms post stimulus reflects that meditation practice reduced the recruitment of resources during object recognition processes, especially for incongruent stimuli. Scalp topographies and source analyses (VARETA indicate relevant changes in neural sources, pertaining to left medial and lateral occipitotemporal areas for the early effect and right lateral occipitotemporal and inferior temporal areas for the later effect.The results suggest that mindfulness meditation may alter the efficiency of allocating cognitive resources, leading to improved self regulation of

  11. Performance improvement - business excellence processes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Doucett, J. [NB Nuclear Power, Point Lepreau, New Brunswick (Canada)

    2010-07-01

    This presentation discusses Performance Improvement which is defined as 'the process of identifying and analyzing important organizational and individual performance gaps, planning for future performance improvement, designing and developing cost-effective and ethically justifiable intervention to close performance gaps, implementing the interventions and evaluating the financial and non-financial results', i.e. making things better. Specifically, it discusses the refurbishment outage at the Point Lepreau Power Plant that began at the end of March 2008. The business risks identified in 2008 were leadership, demographics and management system.

  12. Performance improvement - business excellence processes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Doucett, J.

    2010-01-01

    This presentation discusses Performance Improvement which is defined as 'the process of identifying and analyzing important organizational and individual performance gaps, planning for future performance improvement, designing and developing cost-effective and ethically justifiable intervention to close performance gaps, implementing the interventions and evaluating the financial and non-financial results', i.e. making things better. Specifically, it discusses the refurbishment outage at the Point Lepreau Power Plant that began at the end of March 2008. The business risks identified in 2008 were leadership, demographics and management system.

  13. Mediators of methylphenidate effects on math performance in children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Froehlich, Tanya E; Antonini, Tanya N; Brinkman, William B; Langberg, Joshua M; Simon, John O; Adams, Ryan; Fredstrom, Bridget; Narad, Megan E; Kingery, Kathleen M; Altaye, Mekibib; Matheson, Heather; Tamm, Leanne; Epstein, Jeffery N

    2014-01-01

    Stimulant medications, such as methylphenidate (MPH), improve the academic performance of children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). However, the mechanism by which MPH exerts an effect on academic performance is unclear. We examined MPH effects on math performance and investigated possible mediation of MPH effects by changes in time on-task, inhibitory control, selective attention, and reaction time variability. Children with ADHD aged 7 to 11 years (N = 93) completed a timed math worksheet (with problems tailored to each individual's level of proficiency) and 2 neuropsychological tasks (Go/No-Go and Child Attention Network Test) at baseline, then participated in a 4-week, randomized, controlled, titration trial of MPH. Children were then randomly assigned to their optimal MPH dose or placebo for 1 week (administered double-blind) and repeated the math and neuropsychological tasks (posttest). Baseline and posttest videorecordings of children performing the math task were coded to assess time on-task. Children taking MPH completed 23 more math problems at posttest compared to baseline, whereas the placebo group completed 24 fewer problems on posttest versus baseline, but the effects on math accuracy (percent correct) did not differ. Path analyses revealed that only change in time on-task was a significant mediator of MPH's improvements in math productivity. MPH-derived math productivity improvements may be explained in part by increased time spent on-task, rather than improvements in neurocognitive parameters, such as inhibitory control, selective attention, or reaction time variability.

  14. Training attention improves decision making in individuals with elevated self-reported depressive symptoms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooper, Jessica A; Gorlick, Marissa A; Denny, Taylor; Worthy, Darrell A; Beevers, Christopher G; Maddox, W Todd

    2014-06-01

    Depression is often characterized by attentional biases toward negative items and away from positive items, which likely affects reward and punishment processing. Recent work has reported that training attention away from negative stimuli reduced this bias and reduced depressive symptoms. However, the effect of attention training on subsequent learning has yet to be explored. In the present study, participants were required to learn to maximize reward during decision making. Undergraduates with elevated self-reported depressive symptoms received attention training toward positive stimuli prior to performing the decision-making task (n = 20; active training). The active-training group was compared to two other groups: undergraduates with elevated self-reported depressive symptoms who received placebo training (n = 22; placebo training) and a control group with low levels of depressive symptoms (n = 33; nondepressive control). The placebo-training depressive group performed worse and switched between options more than did the nondepressive controls on the reward maximization task. However, depressives that received active training performed as well as the nondepressive controls. Computational modeling indicated that the placebo-trained group learned more from negative than from positive prediction errors, leading to more frequent switching. The nondepressive control and active-training depressive groups showed similar learning from positive and negative prediction errors, leading to less-frequent switching and better performance. Our results indicate that individuals with elevated depressive symptoms are impaired at reward maximization, but that the deficit can be improved with attention training toward positive stimuli.

  15. Bupropion improves attention but does not affect impulsive behavior in healthy young adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Acheson, Ashley; de Wit, Harriet

    2008-04-01

    Bupropion is an effective abstinence aid for cessation of smoking and possibly other drug use as well. There is evidence that bupropion improves attention and impulse control in certain patient populations, and improvements in these processes could mediate its efficacy as an abstinence aid. In the present study, we tested the effects of acute bupropion on measures of attention and impulsivity in healthy adults with d-amphetamine included as a positive control. Twenty-two nonsmokers (11 women) and 11 smokers (4 women) completed four 4-hr sessions where they received placebo, bupropion (150 or 300 mg), or d-amphetamine (20 mg) in capsules. Ninety minutes after capsule administration, participants were tested on attention with a simple reaction time task (SRT) and on impulsivity with the stop task, a delay and probability discounting task (DPD), and the balloon analogue risk task (BART). Participants also completed mood questionnaires during sessions. Bupropion (150 mg) decreased lapses in attention on the SRT, but did not affect performance on the stop task, DPD, or BART. Amphetamine decreased lapses in attention and speeded sensory motor processing time on the SRT but did not significantly affect responding on the stop task or DPD. On the BART, d-amphetamine tended to decrease risk taking in men but increased risk taking in women. Bupropion (300 mg) and d-amphetamine increased ratings of arousal. These results suggest that bupropion improves attention without affecting impulsive behavior in healthy adults. Improvements in attention may contribute to the effectiveness of bupropion as a pharmacotherapy for smoking.

  16. Memory Performance for Everyday Motivational and Neutral Objects Is Dissociable from Attention

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Judith Schomaker

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Episodic memory is typically better for items coupled with monetary reward or punishment during encoding. It is yet unclear whether memory is also enhanced for everyday objects with appetitive or aversive values learned through a lifetime of experience, and to what extent episodic memory enhancement for motivational and neutral items is attributable to attention. In a first experiment, we investigated attention to everyday motivational objects using eye-tracking during free-viewing and subsequently tested episodic memory using a remember/know procedure. Attention was directed more to aversive stimuli, as evidenced by longer viewing durations, whereas recollection was higher for both appetitive and aversive objects. In the second experiment, we manipulated the visual contrast of neutral objects through changes of contrast to further dissociate attention and memory encoding. While objects presented with high visual contrast were looked at longer, recollection was best for objects presented in unmodified, medium contrast. Generalized logistic mixed models on recollection performance showed that attention as measured by eye movements did not enhance subsequent memory, while motivational value (Experiment 1 and visual contrast (Experiment 2 had quadratic effects in opposite directions. Our findings suggest that an enhancement of incidental memory encoding for appetitive items can occur without an increase in attention and, vice versa, that enhanced attention towards salient neutral objects is not necessarily associated with memory improvement. Together, our results provide evidence for a double dissociation of attention and memory effects under certain conditions.

  17. Memory Performance for Everyday Motivational and Neutral Objects Is Dissociable from Attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schomaker, Judith; Wittmann, Bianca C.

    2017-01-01

    Episodic memory is typically better for items coupled with monetary reward or punishment during encoding. It is yet unclear whether memory is also enhanced for everyday objects with appetitive or aversive values learned through a lifetime of experience, and to what extent episodic memory enhancement for motivational and neutral items is attributable to attention. In a first experiment, we investigated attention to everyday motivational objects using eye-tracking during free-viewing and subsequently tested episodic memory using a remember/know procedure. Attention was directed more to aversive stimuli, as evidenced by longer viewing durations, whereas recollection was higher for both appetitive and aversive objects. In the second experiment, we manipulated the visual contrast of neutral objects through changes of contrast to further dissociate attention and memory encoding. While objects presented with high visual contrast were looked at longer, recollection was best for objects presented in unmodified, medium contrast. Generalized logistic mixed models on recollection performance showed that attention as measured by eye movements did not enhance subsequent memory, while motivational value (Experiment 1) and visual contrast (Experiment 2) had quadratic effects in opposite directions. Our findings suggest that an enhancement of incidental memory encoding for appetitive items can occur without an increase in attention and, vice versa, that enhanced attention towards salient neutral objects is not necessarily associated with memory improvement. Together, our results provide evidence for a double dissociation of attention and memory effects under certain conditions. PMID:28694774

  18. Memory Performance for Everyday Motivational and Neutral Objects Is Dissociable from Attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schomaker, Judith; Wittmann, Bianca C

    2017-01-01

    Episodic memory is typically better for items coupled with monetary reward or punishment during encoding. It is yet unclear whether memory is also enhanced for everyday objects with appetitive or aversive values learned through a lifetime of experience, and to what extent episodic memory enhancement for motivational and neutral items is attributable to attention. In a first experiment, we investigated attention to everyday motivational objects using eye-tracking during free-viewing and subsequently tested episodic memory using a remember/know procedure. Attention was directed more to aversive stimuli, as evidenced by longer viewing durations, whereas recollection was higher for both appetitive and aversive objects. In the second experiment, we manipulated the visual contrast of neutral objects through changes of contrast to further dissociate attention and memory encoding. While objects presented with high visual contrast were looked at longer, recollection was best for objects presented in unmodified, medium contrast. Generalized logistic mixed models on recollection performance showed that attention as measured by eye movements did not enhance subsequent memory, while motivational value (Experiment 1) and visual contrast (Experiment 2) had quadratic effects in opposite directions. Our findings suggest that an enhancement of incidental memory encoding for appetitive items can occur without an increase in attention and, vice versa, that enhanced attention towards salient neutral objects is not necessarily associated with memory improvement. Together, our results provide evidence for a double dissociation of attention and memory effects under certain conditions.

  19. Action video games and improved attentional control: Disentangling selection- and response-based processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chisholm, Joseph D; Kingstone, Alan

    2015-10-01

    Research has demonstrated that experience with action video games is associated with improvements in a host of cognitive tasks. Evidence from paradigms that assess aspects of attention has suggested that action video game players (AVGPs) possess greater control over the allocation of attentional resources than do non-video-game players (NVGPs). Using a compound search task that teased apart selection- and response-based processes (Duncan, 1985), we required participants to perform an oculomotor capture task in which they made saccades to a uniquely colored target (selection-based process) and then produced a manual directional response based on information within the target (response-based process). We replicated the finding that AVGPs are less susceptible to attentional distraction and, critically, revealed that AVGPs outperform NVGPs on both selection-based and response-based processes. These results not only are consistent with the improved-attentional-control account of AVGP benefits, but they suggest that the benefit of action video game playing extends across the full breadth of attention-mediated stimulus-response processes that impact human performance.

  20. Visual Attention and Academic Performance in Children with Developmental Disabilities and Behavioural Attention Deficits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirk, Hannah E.; Gray, Kylie; Riby, Deborah M.; Taffe, John; Cornish, Kim M.

    2017-01-01

    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…

  1. The effects of arousal reappraisal on stress responses, performance and attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sammy, Nadine; Anstiss, Paul A; Moore, Lee J; Freeman, Paul; Wilson, Mark R; Vine, Samuel J

    2017-11-01

    This study examined the effects of arousal reappraisal on cardiovascular responses, demand and resource evaluations, self-confidence, performance and attention under pressurized conditions. A recent study by Moore et al. [2015. Reappraising threat: How to optimize performance under pressure. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 37(3), 339-343. doi: 10.1123/jsep.2014-0186 ] suggested that arousal reappraisal is beneficial to the promotion of challenge states and leads to improvements in single-trial performance. This study aimed to further the work of Moore and colleagues (2015) by examining the effects of arousal reappraisal on cardiovascular responses, demand and resource evaluations, self-confidence, performance and attention in a multi-trial pressurized performance situation. Participants were randomly assigned to either an arousal reappraisal intervention or control condition, and completed a pressurized dart throwing task. The intervention encouraged participants to view their physiological arousal as facilitative rather than debilitative to performance. Measures of cardiovascular reactivity, demand and resource evaluations, self-confidence, task performance and attention were recorded. The reappraisal group displayed more favorable cardiovascular reactivity and reported higher resource evaluations and higher self-confidence than the control group but no task performance or attention effects were detected. These findings demonstrate the strength of arousal reappraisal in promoting adaptive stress responses, perceptions of resources and self-confidence.

  2. Enhancing reading performance through action video games: the role of visual attention span.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antzaka, A; Lallier, M; Meyer, S; Diard, J; Carreiras, M; Valdois, S

    2017-11-06

    Recent studies reported that Action Video Game-AVG training improves not only certain attentional components, but also reading fluency in children with dyslexia. We aimed to investigate the shared attentional components of AVG playing and reading, by studying whether the Visual Attention (VA) span, a component of visual attention that has previously been linked to both reading development and dyslexia, is improved in frequent players of AVGs. Thirty-six French fluent adult readers, matched on chronological age and text reading proficiency, composed two groups: frequent AVG players and non-players. Participants performed behavioural tasks measuring the VA span, and a challenging reading task (reading of briefly presented pseudo-words). AVG players performed better on both tasks and performance on these tasks was correlated. These results further support the transfer of the attentional benefits of playing AVGs to reading, and indicate that the VA span could be a core component mediating this transfer. The correlation between VA span and pseudo-word reading also supports the involvement of VA span even in adult reading. Future studies could combine VA span training with defining features of AVGs, in order to build a new generation of remediation software.

  3. The effect of internal and external focus of attention on game performance in tennis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marina Tsetseli

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Background: Great importance has been given in recent years to the impact of focus of attention cues during skills execution but not during real game play, where more cognitive skills are involved besides technical performance. Objective: The purpose of the present study was to examine the effect of internal and external focus of attention instructions on the components of the game performance (decision making, skill execution, base in tennis. Methods: The participants (N = 60 were divided into three groups and followed an intervention training program that lasted 6 weeks; IF group (n = 20 under internal focus of attention instructions, EF group (n = 20 under external focus of attention instructions and CON group (n = 20 under no attentional focus instructions. Three measurements took place (pre, post and ret in which the participants were recorded on video while playing matches in real scoring conditions. Game Performance Assessment Instrument (GPAI was used to evaluate the components of game performance in tennis in three game situations; service, return of the service, base line game. Results: ANOVA repeated measures in a 3 (groups: IF, EF & CON × 3 (measurements: pre, post, ret revealed a significant interaction between groups and measurements and post hoc analysis indicated that the group that was instructed to focus externally improved significantly only in decision making compared to the internal focus of attention and to the control group. The score difference was maintained at the retention test as well, which indicates that the impact concerned not only performance but also learning. Conclusions: Instructions that aim to an external focus of attention enhance decision making skills, which are considered the most important element of game performance in tennis.

  4. Windows with improved energy performances

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Laustsen, Jacob Birck; Svendsen, Svend

    2003-01-01

    Heat loss through windows represents a considerable part of the total heat loss from houses. However, apart from providing daylight access and view, windows offer a unique potential for solar gain to be exploited during the heating season. Until now valuation of the energy performance of windows...... has primary focused on the heat loss coefficient, U-value. However, as the U-value, especially for the glazing part, has improved considerably during the last years, the total solar energy transmittance, g-value, has become equally important to the total energy performance of windows. Improved energy...... resulted in a window with a positive net energy gain (in short the Net Gain Window), which means that it contributes to the space heating of the building. All improvements are based on existing technology and manufacturing methods. The results from this work show that the energy performances of windows can...

  5. The Attentional Boost Effect: Transient increases in attention to one task enhance performance in a second task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swallow, Khena M; Jiang, Yuhong V

    2010-04-01

    Recent work on event perception suggests that perceptual processing increases when events change. An important question is how such changes influence the way other information is processed, particularly during dual-task performance. In this study, participants monitored a long series of distractor items for an occasional target as they simultaneously encoded unrelated background scenes. The appearance of an occasional target could have two opposite effects on the secondary task: It could draw attention away from the second task, or, as a change in the ongoing event, it could improve secondary task performance. Results were consistent with the second possibility. Memory for scenes presented simultaneously with the targets was better than memory for scenes that preceded or followed the targets. This effect was observed when the primary detection task involved visual feature oddball detection, auditory oddball detection, and visual color-shape conjunction detection. It was eliminated when the detection task was omitted, and when it required an arbitrary response mapping. The appearance of occasional, task-relevant events appears to trigger a temporal orienting response that facilitates processing of concurrently attended information (Attentional Boost Effect). Copyright 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Dissociable effects of a single dose of ecstasy (MDMA) on psychomotor skills and attentional performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamers, C T J; Ramaekers, J G; Muntjewerff, N D; Sikkema, K L; Samyn, N; Read, N L; Brookhuis, K A; Riedel, W J

    2003-12-01

    Ecstasy (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, MDMA) is a psychoactive recreational drug widely used by young people visiting dance parties, and has been associated with poor cognitive function. The current study assessed the influence of a single dose of MDMA 75 mg and alcohol 0.5 g/kg on cognition, psychomotor performance and driving-related task performance. Twelve healthy recreational ecstasy users participated in an experimental study conducted according to a double-blind, double-dummy, placebo-controlled three-way cross-over design. MDMA improved psychomotor performance, such as movement speed and tracking performance in a single task, as well as in a divided attention task. MDMA impaired the ability to predict object movement under divided attention. However, the inability to accurately predict object movement after MDMA may indicate impairment of particular performance skills relevant to driving. There was no effect of MDMA on visual search, planning or retrieval from semantic memory.

  7. Attention improves encoding of task-relevant features in the human visual cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jehee, Janneke F.M.; Brady, Devin K.; Tong, Frank

    2011-01-01

    When spatial attention is directed towards a particular stimulus, increased activity is commonly observed in corresponding locations of the visual cortex. Does this attentional increase in activity indicate improved processing of all features contained within the attended stimulus, or might spatial attention selectively enhance the features relevant to the observer’s task? We used fMRI decoding methods to measure the strength of orientation-selective activity patterns in the human visual cortex while subjects performed either an orientation or contrast discrimination task, involving one of two laterally presented gratings. Greater overall BOLD activation with spatial attention was observed in areas V1-V4 for both tasks. However, multivariate pattern analysis revealed that orientation-selective responses were enhanced by attention only when orientation was the task-relevant feature, and not when the grating’s contrast had to be attended. In a second experiment, observers discriminated the orientation or color of a specific lateral grating. Here, orientation-selective responses were enhanced in both tasks but color-selective responses were enhanced only when color was task-relevant. In both experiments, task-specific enhancement of feature-selective activity was not confined to the attended stimulus location, but instead spread to other locations in the visual field, suggesting the concurrent involvement of a global feature-based attentional mechanism. These results suggest that attention can be remarkably selective in its ability to enhance particular task-relevant features, and further reveal that increases in overall BOLD amplitude are not necessarily accompanied by improved processing of stimulus information. PMID:21632942

  8. Working-memory performance is related to spatial breadth of attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kreitz, Carina; Furley, Philip; Memmert, Daniel; Simons, Daniel J

    2015-11-01

    Working memory and attention are closely related constructs. Models of working memory often incorporate an attention component, and some even equate working memory and attentional control. Although some attention-related processes, including inhibitory control of response conflict and interference resolution, are strongly associated with working memory, for other aspects of attention the link is less clear. We examined the association between working-memory performance and attentional breadth, the ability to spread attention spatially. If the link between attention and working memory is broader than inhibitory and interference resolution processes, then working-memory performance might also be associated with other attentional abilities, including attentional breadth. We tested 123 participants on a variety of working-memory and attentional-breadth measures, finding a strong correlation between performances on these two types of tasks. This finding demonstrates that the link between working memory and attention extends beyond inhibitory processes.

  9. Sustained attention and executive functioning performance in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stins, J.F.; Tollenaar, M.S.; Slaats-Willemse, D.I.E.; Buitelaar, J.K.; Swaab-Barneveld, H.J.; Verhulst, F.C.; Polderman, T.J.C.; Boomsma, D.I.

    2005-01-01

    The aim of this study was to further refine the cognitive phenotype of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), with respect to the ability to sustain attention and executive functioning. Participants were 34 boys with ADHD (combined type) and 28 normal controls. The groups were closely

  10. Sustained attention and executive functioning performance in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stins, J.F.; Tollenaar, M.S.; Slaats-Willemse, D.I.E.; Buitelaar, J.K.; Swaab, H.J.T.; Verhulst, F.C.; Polderman, T.J.C.; Boomsma, D.I.

    2005-01-01

    The aim of this study was to further refine the cognitive phenotype of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), with respect to the ability to sustain attention and executive functioning. Participants were 34 boys with ADHD (combined type) and 28 normal controls. The groups were closely

  11. Sustained attention and executive functioning performance in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stins, J.F.; Tollenaar, M.S.; Slaats-Willemse, D.I.E.; Buitelaar, J.K.; Swaab-Barneveld, H.J.T.; Verhulst, F.C.; Polderman, J.C.; Boomsma, D.I.

    2005-01-01

    The aim of this study was to further refine the cognitive phenotype of attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), with respect to the ability to sustain attention and executive functioning. Participants were 34 boys with ADHD (combined type) and 28 normal controls. The groups were closely

  12. Sensory Gain Outperforms Efficient Readout Mechanisms in Predicting Attention-Related Improvements in Behavior

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ester, Edward F.; Deering, Sean

    2014-01-01

    Spatial attention has been postulated to facilitate perceptual processing via several different mechanisms. For instance, attention can amplify neural responses in sensory areas (sensory gain), mediate neural variability (noise modulation), or alter the manner in which sensory signals are selectively read out by postsensory decision mechanisms (efficient readout). Even in the context of simple behavioral tasks, it is unclear how well each of these mechanisms can account for the relationship between attention-modulated changes in behavior and neural activity because few studies have systematically mapped changes between stimulus intensity, attentional focus, neural activity, and behavioral performance. Here, we used a combination of psychophysics, event-related potentials (ERPs), and quantitative modeling to explicitly link attention-related changes in perceptual sensitivity with changes in the ERP amplitudes recorded from human observers. Spatial attention led to a multiplicative increase in the amplitude of an early sensory ERP component (the P1, peaking ∼80–130 ms poststimulus) and in the amplitude of the late positive deflection component (peaking ∼230–330 ms poststimulus). A simple model based on signal detection theory demonstrates that these multiplicative gain changes were sufficient to account for attention-related improvements in perceptual sensitivity, without a need to invoke noise modulation. Moreover, combining the observed multiplicative gain with a postsensory readout mechanism resulted in a significantly poorer description of the observed behavioral data. We conclude that, at least in the context of relatively simple visual discrimination tasks, spatial attention modulates perceptual sensitivity primarily by modulating the gain of neural responses during early sensory processing PMID:25274817

  13. Techniques for Improving Spelling Performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saylor, Paul

    Improving spelling performance of college students is a question of insuring that the correct information is in long-term memory and readily retrievable. Any system of spelling instruction should recognize the capacity limits of the sensory register and short-term memory; provide for identification of and concentration on the distinctive features…

  14. Learning in shifts of transient attention improves recognition of parts of ambiguous figure-ground displays.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kristjánsson, Arni

    2009-04-24

    Previously demonstrated learning effects in shifts of transient attention have only been shown to result in beneficial effects upon secondary discrimination tasks and affect landing points of express saccades. Can such learning result in more direct effects upon perception than previously demonstrated? Observers performed a cued Vernier acuity discrimination task where the cue was one of a set of ambiguous figure-ground displays (with a black and white part). The critical measure was whether, if a target appeared consistently within a part of a cue of a certain brightness, this would result in learning effects and whether such learning would then affect recognition of the cue parts. Critically the target always appeared within the same part of each individual cue. Some cues were used in early parts of streaks of repetition of cue-part brightness, and others in latter parts of such streaks. All the observers showed learning in shifts of transient attention, with improved performance the more often the target appeared within the part of the cue of the same brightness. Subsequently the observers judged whether cue-parts had been parts of the cues used on the preceding discrimination task. Recognition of the figure parts, where the target had consistently appeared, improved strongly with increased length of streaks of repetition of cue-part brightness. Learning in shifts of transient attention leads not only to faster attention shifts but to direct effects upon perception, in this case recognition of parts of figure-ground ambiguous cues.

  15. Programs to improve plant performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Felmus, N.L.

    1987-01-01

    Looking toward the 1990's, we see a period in which our industry will face the challenge of improving the performance of the nuclear plants which are built and operating. The skills and technology are at hand to make good plant performance a reality and we believe the time has come to use them to achieve that end. As reserve margins decline, utilities and their regulators will increasingly seek to tap the unexploited capacity tied up in plants operating below their optimum availability. This paper describes a number of the programs, plant improvements and operations improvements which can yield a significant increase in nuclear plant availability and capacity factor now and into the 1990's. (author)

  16. Not just scenery: viewing nature pictures improves executive attention in older adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gamble, Katherine R; Howard, James H; Howard, Darlene V

    2014-01-01

    BACKGROUND/STUDY CONTEXT: Attention Restoration Theory (Kaplan, 1995, Journal of Environmental Psychology, 15, 169-182) suggests that exposure to nature improves attention. Berman, Jonides, and Kaplan (2008, Psychological Science, 19, 1207-1212) showed that simply viewing nature pictures improves executive attention in young adults. The present study is the first to investigate this Nature Effect in older adults. The authors investigated whether executive attention could be improved in healthy older adults following brief exposure to nature pictures. Thirty healthy older adults (64-79 years old) and 26 young university students (18-25 years old) participated. They completed the Attention Network Test before and after 6 min of viewing either nature or urban pictures, with random assignment into a picture type. Attention immediately before (most fatigued) and after (most restored) picture viewing was measured, and change in attention was compared between age groups and picture types. Results showed that viewing nature, but not urban, pictures significantly improved executive attention in both older and young adults as measured by the Attention Network Test, with similar effects seen in the two age groups. Alerting and orienting attention scores were not affected by picture viewing. This was the first study to show that viewing nature pictures improves attention in older adults, and to show that it is executive attention, specifically, that is improved. Among a growing number of interventions, nature exposure offers a quick, inexpensive, and enjoyable means to provide a temporary boost in executive attention.

  17. Differential relationship of recent self-reported stress and acute anxiety with divided attention performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petrac, D C; Bedwell, J S; Renk, K; Orem, D M; Sims, V

    2009-07-01

    There have been relatively few studies on the relationship between recent perceived environmental stress and cognitive performance, and the existing studies do not control for state anxiety during the cognitive testing. The current study addressed this need by examining recent self-reported environmental stress and divided attention performance, while controlling for state anxiety. Fifty-four university undergraduates who self-reported a wide range of perceived recent stress (10-item perceived stress scale) completed both single and dual (simultaneous auditory and visual stimuli) continuous performance tests. Partial correlation analysis showed a statistically significant positive correlation between perceived stress and the auditory omission errors from the dual condition, after controlling for state anxiety and auditory omission errors from the single condition (r = 0.41). This suggests that increased environmental stress relates to decreased divided attention performance in auditory vigilance. In contrast, an increase in state anxiety (controlling for perceived stress) was related to a decrease in auditory omission errors from the dual condition (r = - 0.37), which suggests that state anxiety may improve divided attention performance. Results suggest that further examination of the neurobiological consequences of environmental stress on divided attention and other executive functioning tasks is needed.

  18. Sodium bicarbonate improves swimming performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindh, A M; Peyrebrune, M C; Ingham, S A; Bailey, D M; Folland, J P

    2008-06-01

    Sodium bicarbonate ingestion has been shown to improve performance in single-bout, high intensity events, probably due to an increase in buffering capacity, but its influence on single-bout swimming performance has not been investigated. The effects of sodium bicarbonate supplementation on 200 m freestyle swimming performance were investigated in elite male competitors. Following a randomised, double blind counterbalanced design, 9 swimmers completed maximal effort swims on 3 separate occasions: a control trial (C); after ingestion of sodium bicarbonate (SB: NaHCO3 300 mg . kg (-1) body mass); and after ingestion of a placebo (P: CaCO3 200 mg . kg (-1) body mass). The SB and P agents were packed in gelatine capsules and ingested 90 - 60 min prior to each 200 m swim. Mean 200 m performance times were significantly faster for SB than C or P (1 : 52.2 +/- 4.7; 1 : 53.7 +/- 3.8; 1 : 54.0 +/- 3.6 min : ss; p bicarbonate were all elevated pre-exercise in the SB compared to C and P trials (p < 0.05). Post-200 m blood lactate concentrations were significantly higher following the SB trial compared with P and C (p < 0.05). It was concluded that SB supplementation can improve 200 m freestyle performance time in elite male competitors, most likely by increasing buffering capacity.

  19. Long-term musical training may improve different forms of visual attention ability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodrigues, Ana Carolina; Loureiro, Maurício Alves; Caramelli, Paulo

    2013-08-01

    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.

  20. Does attention bias modification improve attentional control? A double-blind randomized experiment with individuals with social anxiety disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heeren, Alexandre; Mogoaşe, Cristina; McNally, Richard J; Schmitz, Anne; Philippot, Pierre

    2015-01-01

    People with anxiety disorders often exhibit an attentional bias for threat. Attention bias modification (ABM) procedure may reduce this bias, thereby diminishing anxiety symptoms. In ABM, participants respond to probes that reliably follow non-threatening stimuli (e.g., neutral faces) such that their attention is directed away from concurrently presented threatening stimuli (e.g., disgust faces). Early studies showed that ABM reduced anxiety more than control procedures lacking any contingency between valenced stimuli and probes. However, recent work suggests that no-contingency training and training toward threat cues can be as effective as ABM in reducing anxiety, implying that any training may increase executive control over attention, thereby helping people inhibit their anxious thoughts. Extending this work, we randomly assigned participants with DSM-IV diagnosed social anxiety disorder to either training toward non-threat (ABM), training toward threat, or no-contingency condition, and we used the attention network task (ANT) to assess all three components of attention. After two training sessions, subjects in all three conditions exhibited indistinguishably significant declines from baseline to post-training in self-report and behavioral measures of anxiety on an impromptu speech task. Moreover, all groups exhibited similarly significant improvements on the alerting and executive (but not orienting) components of attention. Implications for ABM research are discussed. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Bitumen nanocomposites with improved performance

    KAUST Repository

    Kosma, Vasiliki

    2017-11-29

    Bitumen-clay nanocomposite binders with styrene-butadienestyrene triblock copolymer, SBS, and combinations of SBS and crumb rubber (CR) with different CR/SBS ratios have been synthesized and characterized. In addition to the binder, samples containing the binder and concrete sand (with a weight ratio 1:9) were prepared. The modified binders were studied in terms of filler dispersion, storage stability, mechanical performance and water susceptibility. We demonstrate that the samples containing nanoclays consistently outperform those based only on the polymer additives. We also find that nanocomposite samples based on a combination of SBS and CR are best, since in addition to other improvements they show excellent storage stability. Our work shows that substituting CR with SBS as a bitumen additive and combining it with inexpensive nanoclays leads to new materials with enhanced performance and improved stability for practical asphalt applications.

  2. Effectiveness of a visual attention retraining program on the driving performance of clients with stroke.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mazer, Barbara L; Sofer, Susan; Korner-Bitensky, Nicol; Gelinas, Isabelle; Hanley, James; Wood-Dauphinee, Sharon

    2003-04-01

    To compare the effectiveness of a visual attention retraining program using the Useful Field of View (UFOV) with a traditional visuoperception treatment program on the driving performance of clients with stroke. Randomized controlled trial. Rehabilitation hospital located in Quebec, Canada. Ninety-seven individuals referred for driving evaluation after a stroke. Participants were randomized to receive 20 sessions of either UFOV training of visual processing speed, divided attention, and selective attention or traditional computerized visuoperception retraining. Subjects were evaluated with an on-road driving evaluation, visuoperception tests, and the Test of Everyday Attention. An occupational therapist unaware of group assignment conducted all evaluations. Eighty-four participants completed the outcome evaluation. There were no significant differences between groups on any of the outcome measures. There was, however, almost a 2-fold increase (52.4% vs 28.6%) in the rate of success on the on-road driving evaluation after UFOV training for subjects with right-sided lesions. Rehabilitation that targets visual attention skills was not significantly more beneficial than traditional perceptual training in improving the outcome of an on-road driving evaluation. However, results suggest a potential improvement for subjects with right-sided lesions, indicating that training must target specific skills.

  3. Improving engineers' performance with computers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Purvis, E.E. III

    1984-01-01

    The problem addressed is how to improve the performance of engineers in the design, operation, and maintenance of nuclear power plants. The application of computer science to this problem offers a challenge in maximizing the use of developments outside the nuclear industry and setting priorities to address the most fruitful areas first. Areas of potential benefits include data base management through design, analysis, procurement, construction, operation maintenance, cost, schedule and interface control and planning, and quality engineering on specifications, inspection, and training

  4. Audio-Visual Fusion for Sound Source Localization and Improved Attention

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lee, Byoung Gi; Choi, Jong Suk; Yoon, Sang Suk; Choi, Mun Taek; Kim, Mun Sang; Kim, Dai Jin

    2011-01-01

    Service robots are equipped with various sensors such as vision camera, sonar sensor, laser scanner, and microphones. Although these sensors have their own functions, some of them can be made to work together and perform more complicated functions. AudioFvisual fusion is a typical and powerful combination of audio and video sensors, because audio information is complementary to visual information and vice versa. Human beings also mainly depend on visual and auditory information in their daily life. In this paper, we conduct two studies using audioFvision fusion: one is on enhancing the performance of sound localization, and the other is on improving robot attention through sound localization and face detection

  5. Audio-Visual Fusion for Sound Source Localization and Improved Attention

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lee, Byoung Gi; Choi, Jong Suk; Yoon, Sang Suk; Choi, Mun Taek; Kim, Mun Sang [Korea Institute of Science and Technology, Daejeon (Korea, Republic of); Kim, Dai Jin [Pohang University of Science and Technology, Pohang (Korea, Republic of)

    2011-07-15

    Service robots are equipped with various sensors such as vision camera, sonar sensor, laser scanner, and microphones. Although these sensors have their own functions, some of them can be made to work together and perform more complicated functions. AudioFvisual fusion is a typical and powerful combination of audio and video sensors, because audio information is complementary to visual information and vice versa. Human beings also mainly depend on visual and auditory information in their daily life. In this paper, we conduct two studies using audioFvision fusion: one is on enhancing the performance of sound localization, and the other is on improving robot attention through sound localization and face detection.

  6. Windows with improved energy performance

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Noyé, Peter Anders; Laustsen, Jacob Birck; Svendsen, Svend

    2002-01-01

    According to the Danish energy protocol, Energy 21, one of the goals with highest priority is to reduce the CO2-emission. Energy consumption for domestic heating is a major contributor to the CO2-emission; hence one of the primary efforts to reach the goal is by saving energy in the households...... performances. During the last 20 years the U-value of the glazing part of windows has been improved considerably, but the frame part has not followed the same development with respect to energy performance. Therefore an increasingly large part of the total heat loss through windows is relating to the frame...... part, for which reason, as far as energy efficiency and total economy are concerned, it has become more interesting to further develop frame structures. Traditionally, the energy performance of windows has primarily been characterised by the heat loss coefficient, U-value. However as the heat loss has...

  7. Serotonergic neurotransmission and lapses of attention in children and adolescents with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: availability of tryptophan influences attentional performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zepf, Florian D; Gaber, Tilman J; Baurmann, David; Bubenzer, Sarah; Konrad, Kerstin; Herpertz-Dahlmann, Beate; Stadler, Christina; Poustka, Fritz; Wöckel, Lars

    2010-08-01

    Deficiencies in serotonergic (5-HT) neurotransmission have frequently been linked to altered attention and memory processes. With attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) being associated with impaired attention and working memory, this study investigated the effects of a diminished 5-HT turnover achieved by rapid tryptophan depletion (RTD) on attentional performance in children and adolescents with ADHD. Twenty-two male patients with ADHD (aged 9-15 yr) received the RTD procedure Moja-De and a tryptophan (Trp)-balanced placebo (Pla) in a randomized, double-blind, within-subject crossover design on two separate study days. Lapses of attention (LA) and phasic alertness (PA) were assessed within the test battery for attentional performance under depleted and sham-depleted conditions 120 (T1), 220 (T2) and 300 (T3) min after intake of RTD/Pla. At T1 there was a significant main effect for RTD, indicating more LA under intake of a Trp-balanced Pla compared to diminished 5-HT neurotransmission. For T2/T3 there were no such effects. PA was not affected by the factors RTD/Pla and time. Interactions of 5-HT with other neurotransmitters as possible underlying neurochemical processes could be subject to further investigations involving healthy controls as regards altered attentional performance in children and adolescents.

  8. Attention in Williams Syndrome and Down's Syndrome: Performance on the New Early Childhood Attention Battery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Breckenridge, Kate; Braddick, Oliver; Anker, Shirley; Woodhouse, Margaret; Atkinson, Janette

    2013-01-01

    Attentional problems are commonly reported as a feature of the behavioural profile in both Williams syndrome (WS) and Down's syndrome (DS). Recent studies have begun to investigate these impairments empirically, acknowledging the need for an approach that considers cross-syndrome comparisons and developmental changes across the different component…

  9. Performance effects of nicotine during selective attention, divided attention, and simple stimulus detection: an fMRI study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hahn, Britta; Ross, Thomas J; Wolkenberg, Frank A; Shakleya, Diaa M; Huestis, Marilyn A; Stein, Elliot A

    2009-09-01

    Attention-enhancing effects of nicotine appear to depend on the nature of the attentional function. Underlying neuroanatomical mechanisms, too, may vary depending on the function modulated. This functional magnetic resonance imaging study recorded blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) activity in minimally deprived smokers during tasks of simple stimulus detection, selective attention, or divided attention after single-blind application of a transdermal nicotine (21 mg) or placebo patch. Smokers' performance in the placebo condition was unimpaired as compared with matched nonsmokers. Nicotine reduced reaction time (RT) in the stimulus detection and selective attention but not divided attention condition. Across all task conditions, nicotine reduced activation in frontal, temporal, thalamic, and visual regions and enhanced deactivation in so-called "default" regions. Thalamic effects correlated with RT reduction selectively during stimulus detection. An interaction with task condition was observed in middle and superior frontal gyri, where nicotine reduced activation only during stimulus detection. A visuomotor control experiment provided evidence against nonspecific effects of nicotine. In conclusion, although prefrontal activity partly displayed differential modulation by nicotine, most BOLD effects were identical across tasks, despite differential performance effects, suggesting that common neuronal mechanisms can selectively benefit different attentional functions. Overall, the effects of nicotine may be explained by increased functional efficiency and downregulated task-independent "default" functions.

  10. Improved power performance assessment methods

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Frandsen, S; Antoniou, I; Dahlberg, J A [and others

    1999-03-01

    The uncertainty of presently-used methods for retrospective assessment of the productive capacity of wind farms is unacceptably large. The possibilities of improving the accuracy have been investigated and are reported. A method is presented that includes an extended power curve and site calibration. In addition, blockage effects with respect to reference wind speed measurements are analysed. It is found that significant accuracy improvements are possible by the introduction of more input variables such as turbulence and wind shear, in addition to mean wind speed and air density. Also, the testing of several or all machines in the wind farm - instead of only one or two - may provide a better estimate of the average performance. (au)

  11. Yoga improves attention and self-esteem in underprivileged girl student.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sethi, Jaspal Kaur; Nagendra, H R; Sham Ganpat, Tikhe

    2013-01-01

    A student under optimal stress does bring out his or her best; however, extreme stress can result in mental health problems and deteriorates their academic performance. Students who esteem themselves low are most likely to engage in destructive and self-destructive behaviors. Moreover, excessive stress is harmful to academic performance and may lead to dropping out in student. Can Yoga be of benefit in students for improving their attention and self-esteem (SE)? To assess attention and SE in girls undergoing Integrated Yoga Module (IYM). Sixty low-income high school girls with 15.17 + 0.64 years of mean age participated in this single group pre-post study. The data was collected before and after 5 days of IYM. Means, standard deviations, Kolmogorov-Smirnov test, and Wilcoxon signed rank test were used to analyze the data with the help of SPSS 16. The data analysis showed 9.04% increase (P = 0.001) in SE scores, whereas d2 test for attention revealed 10.12% increase (P P < 0.001) in total number of errors. The present study suggests that of IYM can result in improvement of attention and SE among students and thereby enhancing their mental health and can help them in improving their academic achievement. Efforts aimed at reducing mental health problems among students may focus more on implementing effective and culturally acceptable interventions, such as Yoga, counseling, and social support. Additional well-designed studies are needed before a strong recommendation can be made.

  12. Brief Report: Longitudinal Improvements in the Quality of Joint Attention in Preschool Children with Autism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawton, Kathy; Kasari, Connie

    2012-01-01

    Children with autism exhibit deficits in their quantity and quality of joint attention. Early autism intervention studies rarely document improvement in joint attention quality. The purpose of this study was to determine whether there was a change in joint attention quality for preschoolers with autism who were randomized to a joint attention…

  13. Performance improvement through management audits

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Arter, D.R.

    1986-01-01

    We should go back to the basics of what a quality assurance program is designed to accomplish and then use that program to provide confidence to the public that actions are correct. The quality assurance management audit, if done responsible with trained people, is the best tool we have to monitor the goal of conducting business safely and correctly. Audit report should be used to project future performance and should not be used as a forum for recommendations. They should be presented in such a manner as to allow the managers involved to continually improve the work activity

  14. Contributions of Sensory Coding and Attentional Control to Individual Differences in Performance in Spatial Auditory Selective Attention Tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dai, Lengshi; Shinn-Cunningham, Barbara G

    2016-01-01

    Listeners with normal hearing thresholds (NHTs) differ in their ability to steer attention to whatever sound source is important. This ability depends on top-down executive control, which modulates the sensory representation of sound in the cortex. Yet, this sensory representation also depends on the coding fidelity of the peripheral auditory system. Both of these factors may thus contribute to the individual differences in performance. We designed a selective auditory attention paradigm in which we could simultaneously measure envelope following responses (EFRs, reflecting peripheral coding), onset event-related potentials (ERPs) from the scalp (reflecting cortical responses to sound) and behavioral scores. We performed two experiments that varied stimulus conditions to alter the degree to which performance might be limited due to fine stimulus details vs. due to control of attentional focus. Consistent with past work, in both experiments we find that attention strongly modulates cortical ERPs. Importantly, in Experiment I, where coding fidelity limits the task, individual behavioral performance correlates with subcortical coding strength (derived by computing how the EFR is degraded for fully masked tones compared to partially masked tones); however, in this experiment, the effects of attention on cortical ERPs were unrelated to individual subject performance. In contrast, in Experiment II, where sensory cues for segregation are robust (and thus less of a limiting factor on task performance), inter-subject behavioral differences correlate with subcortical coding strength. In addition, after factoring out the influence of subcortical coding strength, behavioral differences are also correlated with the strength of attentional modulation of ERPs. These results support the hypothesis that behavioral abilities amongst listeners with NHTs can arise due to both subcortical coding differences and differences in attentional control, depending on stimulus characteristics

  15. Contributions of sensory coding and attentional control to individual differences in performance in spatial auditory selective attention tasks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lengshi Dai

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Listeners with normal hearing thresholds differ in their ability to steer attention to whatever sound source is important. This ability depends on top-down executive control, which modulates the sensory representation of sound in cortex. Yet, this sensory representation also depends on the coding fidelity of the peripheral auditory system. Both of these factors may thus contribute to the individual differences in performance. We designed a selective auditory attention paradigm in which we could simultaneously measure envelope following responses (EFRs, reflecting peripheral coding, onset event-related potentials from the scalp (ERPs, reflecting cortical responses to sound, and behavioral scores. We performed two experiments that varied stimulus conditions to alter the degree to which performance might be limited due to fine stimulus details vs. due to control of attentional focus. Consistent with past work, in both experiments we find that attention strongly modulates cortical ERPs. Importantly, in Experiment I, where coding fidelity limits the task, individual behavioral performance correlates with subcortical coding strength (derived by computing how the EFR is degraded for fully masked tones compared to partially masked tones; however, in this experiment, the effects of attention on cortical ERPs were unrelated to individual subject performance. In contrast, in Experiment II, where sensory cues for segregation are robust (and thus less of a limiting factor on task performance, inter-subject behavioral differences correlate with subcortical coding strength. In addition, after factoring out the influence of subcortical coding strength, behavioral differences are also correlated with the strength of attentional modulation of ERPs. These results support the hypothesis that behavioral abilities amongst listeners with normal hearing thresholds can arise due to both subcortical coding differences and differences in attentional control, depending on

  16. Attentional Control Buffers the Effect of Public Speaking Anxiety on Performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Christopher R; Fazio, Russell H; Vasey, Michael W

    2012-09-01

    We explored dispositional differences in the ability to self-regulate attentional processes in the domain of public speaking. Participants first completed measures of speech anxiety and attentional control. In a second session, participants prepared and performed a short speech. Fear of public speaking negatively impacted performance only for those low in attentional control. Thus, attentional control appears to act as a buffer that facilitates successful self-regulation despite performance anxiety.

  17. Effects of methylphenidate on acute math performance in children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grizenko, Natalie; Cai, Emmy; Jolicoeur, Claude; Ter-Stepanian, Mariam; Joober, Ridha

    2013-11-01

    Examine the short-term (acute) effects of methylphenidate (MPH) on math performance in children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and what factors predict improvement in math performance. One hundred ninety-eight children with ADHD participated in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized crossover MPH trial. Math response to MPH was determined through administration of math problems adjusted to their academic level during the Restricted Academic Situation Scale (RASS). Student t tests were conducted to assess change in math performance with psychostimulants. Correlation between change on the RASS and change on the math performance was also examined. Linear regression was performed to determine predictor variables. Children with ADHD improved significantly in their math with MPH (P math performance on MPH was highly correlated. A child's age at baseline and Wechsler Individual Achievement Test (WIAT)-Numerical Operations standard scores at baseline accounted for 15% of variances for acute math improvement. MPH improves acute math performance in children with ADHD. Younger children with lower math scores (as assessed by the WIAT) improved most on math scores when given psychostimulants. NCT00483106.

  18. Caffeine improves attention deficit in neonatal 6-OHDA lesioned rats, an animal model of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caballero, Miguel; Núñez, Fabiana; Ahern, Siobhán; Cuffí, Maria L; Carbonell, Lourdes; Sánchez, Silvia; Fernández-Dueñas, Víctor; Ciruela, Francisco

    2011-04-20

    Nowadays the pharmacological treatment of the attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is based on amphetamine derivatives (i.e. methylphenidate). However, these drugs induce a large array of adverse side effects, thus less aggressive psychostimulant drugs (i.e. caffeine) are being proposed in the management of ADHD. Following this tendency, we decided to study the possible therapeutic use of caffeine in an animal model of ADHD, namely the neonatal 6-hydroxy-dopamine (6-OHDA)-lesioned rat. Therefore, at postnatal day 7 rats were lesioned at the left striatum with 6-OHDA or with saline. Thereafter, at postnatal day 25 their activity and attention were measured with the Olton maze before caffeine was administered ad libitum in the drinking water. Next, after 14 days of caffeine treatment, we repeated these measurements to assess the effect of caffeine on motor activity and attention deficit. Interestingly, while no changes in the motor activity measurements were observed before and after caffeine administration, a significant improvement in the attention deficit of the 6-OHDA lesioned rats was achieved after caffeine treatment. Thus, our results led us to hypothesize that caffeine might be useful to manage the attention deficit during the prepubertal period of ADHD. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Neuroplus biofeedback improves attention, resilience, and injury prevention in elite soccer players.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rusciano, Aiace; Corradini, Giuliano; Stoianov, Ivilin

    2017-06-01

    Performance and injury prevention in elite soccer players are typically investigated from physical-tactical, biomechanical, and metabolic perspectives. However, executive functions, visuospatial abilities, and psychophysiological adaptability or resilience are also fundamental for efficiency and well-being in sports. Based on previous research associating autonomic flexibility with prefrontal cortical control, we designed a novel integrated autonomic biofeedback training method called Neuroplus to improve resilience, visual attention, and injury prevention. Herein, we introduce the method and provide an evaluation of 20 elite soccer players from the Italian Soccer High Division (Serie-A): 10 players trained with Neuroplus and 10 trained with a control treatment. The assessments included psychophysiological stress profiles, a visual search task, and indexes of injury prevention, which were measured pre- and posttreatment. The analysis showed a significant enhancement of physiological adaptability, recovery following stress, visual selective attention, and injury prevention that were specific to the Neuroplus group. Enhancing the interplay between autonomic and cognitive functions through biofeedback may become a key principle for obtaining excellence and well-being in sports. To our knowledge, this is the first evidence that shows improvement in visual selective attention following intense autonomic biofeedback. © 2017 Society for Psychophysiological Research.

  20. improving performance of laying hens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A.P Sinurat

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available A trial was conducted in order to study the effect of the supplementation of Avizyme 1500® (Danisco Animal Nutrition, Marlborough, UK on the performance of laying hens for one year. A control diet based on corn – soybean meal was formulated to meet nutrient requirement of ISA Brown laying hens. Two treatments, the control diet (C and C + 1000 g Avizyme/tonne diet were tested. Each diet was fed to 80 birds (20 replicates of 4 birds from 20 to 72 weeks of age, and performances of birds (feed intake, egg production, egg size, egg mass, feed conversion ratio, and egg quality were measured. All data were subject to analyses of variance following the t-test. Results showed that the addition of Avizyme 1500 to the feed reduced feed intake by 4% (P < 0.01, mortality by 75 % or from 15% to 3.75% (P < 0.01 and improved the feed conversion ratio by 3 % (P < 0.05. The high mortality of the control treatment (15% is explained by an E.coli infection that was observed following the post-mortem examination of dead birds. The egg production (HD and HH, egg size and egg mass however were not significantly affected by the Avizyme supplementation. Egg quality (HU, yolk colour score, yolk weight and shell thickness was not significantly affected by Avizyme supplementation. It can be concluded that the supplementation of 1000 g Avizyme /tonne of diet improved feed efficiency and this was mediated via a reduction in feed intake.

  1. Selective Attention, Anxiety, Depressive Symptomatology and Academic Performance in Adolescents

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernandez-Castillo, Antonio; Gutierrez-Rojas, Maria Esperanza

    2009-01-01

    Introduction: In this cross-sectional, descriptive research we studied the relation between three psychological variables (anxiety, depression and attention) in order to analyze their possible association with and predictive power for academic achievement (as expressed in school grades) in a sample of secondary students. Method: For this purpose…

  2. Divided attention improves delayed, but not immediate retrieval of a consolidated memory.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yoav Kessler

    Full Text Available A well-documented dissociation between memory encoding and retrieval concerns the role of attention in the two processes. The typical finding is that divided attention (DA during encoding impairs future memory, but retrieval is relatively robust to attentional manipulations. However, memory research in the past 20 years had demonstrated that retrieval is a memory-changing process, in which the strength and availability of information are modified by various characteristics of the retrieval process. Based on this logic, several studies examined the effects of DA during retrieval (Test 1 on a future memory test (Test 2. These studies yielded inconsistent results. The present study examined the role of memory consolidation in accounting for the after-effect of DA during retrieval. Initial learning required a classification of visual stimuli, and hence involved incidental learning. Test 1 was administered 24 hours after initial learning, and therefore required retrieval of consolidated information. Test 2 was administered either immediately following Test 1 or after a 24-hour delay. Our results show that the effect of DA on Test 2 depended on this delay. DA during Test 1 did not affect performance on Test 2 when it was administered immediately, but improved performance when Test 2 was given 24-hours later. The results are consistent with other findings showing long-term benefits of retrieval difficulty. Implications for theories of reconsolidation in human episodic memory are discussed.

  3. Divided attention improves delayed, but not immediate retrieval of a consolidated memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kessler, Yoav; Vandermorris, Susan; Gopie, Nigel; Daros, Alexander; Winocur, Gordon; Moscovitch, Morris

    2014-01-01

    A well-documented dissociation between memory encoding and retrieval concerns the role of attention in the two processes. The typical finding is that divided attention (DA) during encoding impairs future memory, but retrieval is relatively robust to attentional manipulations. However, memory research in the past 20 years had demonstrated that retrieval is a memory-changing process, in which the strength and availability of information are modified by various characteristics of the retrieval process. Based on this logic, several studies examined the effects of DA during retrieval (Test 1) on a future memory test (Test 2). These studies yielded inconsistent results. The present study examined the role of memory consolidation in accounting for the after-effect of DA during retrieval. Initial learning required a classification of visual stimuli, and hence involved incidental learning. Test 1 was administered 24 hours after initial learning, and therefore required retrieval of consolidated information. Test 2 was administered either immediately following Test 1 or after a 24-hour delay. Our results show that the effect of DA on Test 2 depended on this delay. DA during Test 1 did not affect performance on Test 2 when it was administered immediately, but improved performance when Test 2 was given 24-hours later. The results are consistent with other findings showing long-term benefits of retrieval difficulty. Implications for theories of reconsolidation in human episodic memory are discussed.

  4. Improving cardiac myocytes performance by CNTs platforms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valentina eMartinelli

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available The application of nanotechnology to the cardiovascular system has increasingly caught scientists’ attention as a potentially powerful tool for the development of new generation devices able to interface, repair or boost the performance of cardiac tissue. Carbon nanotubes (CNTs are considered as promising materials for nanomedicine applications in general and have been recently tested towards excitable cell growth. CNTs are cylindrically shaped structures made up of rolled-up graphene sheets, with unique electrical, thermal and mechanical properties, able to effectively conducting electrical current in electrochemical interfaces. CNTs-based scaffolds have been recently found to support the in vitro growth of cardiac cells: in particular, their ability to improve cardiomyocytes proliferation, maturation and electrical behavior are making CNTs extremely attractive for the development and exploitation of interfaces able to impact on cardiac cells physiology and function.

  5. Mechanism of Perceptual Attention

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Lu, Zhong-Lin

    2000-01-01

    .... Attention may affect the perceived clarity of visual displays and improve performance. In this project, a powerful external noise method was developed to identify and characterize the effect of attention on perceptual performance in visual tasks...

  6. Mechanisms of Perceptual Attention

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Dosher, Barbara

    2000-01-01

    .... Attention may affect the perceived clarity of visual displays and improve performance. In this project, a powerful external noise method was developed to identify and characterize the effect of attention on perceptual performance in visual tasks...

  7. Impact of Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder on School Performance: What are the Effects of Medication?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baweja, Raman; Mattison, Richard E; Waxmonsky, James G

    2015-12-01

    Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) affects an estimated 5-7 % of schoolchildren worldwide. School functioning and academic achievement are frequently impaired by ADHD and represent one of the main reasons children start ADHD medication. Multiple potential causal pathways exist between ADHD and impaired school performance. In this review, we decompose school performance into three components and assess the impact of ADHD and its treatments on academic performance (assessed by grade point average [GPA], time on-task, percentage of work completed as well as percent completed correctly), academic skills (as measured by achievement tests and cognitive measures), and academic enablers (such as study skills, motivation, engagement, classroom behavior and interpersonal skills). Most studies examined only the short-term effects of medication on school performance. In these, ADHD medications have been observed to improve some aspects of school performance, with the largest impact on measures of academic performance such as seatwork productivity and on-task performance. In a subset of children, these benefits may translate into detectable improvements in GPA and achievement testing. However, limited data exists to support whether these changes are sustained over years. Optimizing medication effects requires periodic reassessment of school performance, necessitating a collaborative effort involving patients, parents, school staff and prescribers. Even with systematic reassessment, behavioral-based treatments and additional school-based services may be needed to maximize academic performance for the many youth with ADHD and prominent impairments in school performance.

  8. Correlation between clinical manifestations of nocturnal enuresis and attentional performance in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Teng-Kai; Huang, Kuo-How; Chen, Shyh-Chyan; Chang, Hong-Chiang; Yang, Hung-Ju; Guo, Ya-Jun

    2013-01-01

    Children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) tend to be more vulnerable to various forms of voiding dysfunction and nocturnal enuresis (NE). We attempt to compare the clinical manifestations and attentional performance between ADHD children with NE and those without NE. We consecutively enrolled children diagnosed with ADHD in child and adolescent psychiatric clinics. The questionnaires for evaluation of ADHD symptoms and voiding dysfunction symptoms were administered to all study participants. All participants also received the Test Battery for Attention Performance (TAP) for assessment of attentional function. A total of 53 children were enrolled in this study, comprising 47 boys and six girls. The prevalence rate of NE was 28.3%. Children in the NE group had statistically significant higher dysfunctional voiding symptom score (5.40 ± 3.66 vs.3.16 ± 2.74; p = 0.018) and two subscales of "When I wet myself, my underwear is soaked" (p attention than the non-NE group. Children with ADHD have a high prevalence of NE. ADHD children with NE had a significantly higher dysfunctional voiding symptom score and shorter reaction time in most domains of the TAP test. Further study is needed to discern the impact of NE on the neuropsychological function of ADHD children. Copyright © 2012. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  9. Influence of Methylphenidate on Motor Performance and Attention in Children with Developmental Coordination Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bart, Orit; Daniel, Liron; Dan, Orrie; Bar-Haim, Yair

    2013-01-01

    Individuals with attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) often have coexisting developmental coordination disorder (DCD). The positive therapeutic effect of methylphenidate on ADHD symptoms is well documented, but its effects on motor coordination are less studied. We assessed the influence of methylphenidate on motor performance in children…

  10. Attention Diversion Improves Response Inhibition of Immediate Reward, But Only When it Is Beneficial: An fMRI Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scalzo, Franco; O’Connor, David A.; Orr, Catherine; Murphy, Kevin; Hester, Robert

    2016-01-01

    Deficits of self-control are associated with a number of mental state disorders. The ability to direct attention away from an alluring stimulus appears to aid inhibition of an impulsive response. However, further functional imaging research is required to assess the impact of shifts in attention on self-regulating processes. We varied the level of attentional disengagement in an functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)-based Go/No-go task to probe whether diversion of attention away from alluring stimuli facilitates response inhibition. We used the attention-grabbing characteristic of faces to exogenously direct attention away from stimuli and investigated the relative importance of attention and response inhibition mechanisms under different delayed reward scenarios [i.e., where forgoing an immediate reward ($1) led to a higher ($10) or no payoff in the future]. We found that diverting attention improved response inhibition performance, but only when resistance to an alluring stimulus led to delayed reward. Region of interest analyses indicated significant increased activity in posterior right inferior frontal gyrus during successful No-go trials for delayed reward trials compared to no delayed reward trials, and significant reduction in activity in the superior temporal gyri and left caudate in contexts of high attentional diversion. Our findings imply that strategies that increase the perceived benefits of response inhibition might assist individuals in abstaining from problematic impulsive behaviors. PMID:27616988

  11. A 30-Minute Physical Education Program Improves Students' Executive Attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kubesch, Sabine; Walk, Laura; Spitzer, Manfred; Kammer, Thomas; Lainburg, Alyona; Heim, Rudiger; Hille, Katrin

    2009-01-01

    Physical activity is not only beneficial to physical health but also to cognitive functions. In particular, executive functions that are closely related to learning achievement can be improved by acute and recurring physical activity. We examined the effects of a single 30-min physical education program in contrast to a 5-min movement break on…

  12. Effects of Task Performance and Task Complexity on the Validity of Computational Models of Attention

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Koning, L. de; Maanen, P.P. van; Dongen, K. van

    2008-01-01

    Computational models of attention can be used as a component of decision support systems. For accurate support, a computational model of attention has to be valid and robust. The effects of task performance and task complexity on the validity of three different computational models of attention were

  13. Different effects of adding white noise on cognitive performance of sub-, normal and super-attentive school children.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Suzannah K Helps

    Full Text Available Noise often has detrimental effects on performance. However, because of the phenomenon of stochastic resonance (SR, auditory white noise (WN can alter the "signal to noise" ratio and improve performance. The Moderate Brain Arousal (MBA model postulates different levels of internal "neural noise" in individuals with different attentional capacities. This in turn determines the particular WN level most beneficial in each individual case-with one level of WN facilitating poor attenders but hindering super-attentive children. The objective of the present study is to find out if added WN affects cognitive performance differently in children that differ in attention ability.Participants were teacher-rated super- (N = 25; normal- (N = 29 and sub-attentive (N = 36 children (aged 8 to 10 years. Two non-executive function (EF tasks (a verbal episodic recall task and a delayed verbal recognition task and two EF tasks (a visuo-spatial working memory test and a Go-NoGo task were performed under three WN levels. The non-WN condition was only used to control for potential differences in background noise in the group testing situations.There were different effects of WN on performance in the three groups-adding moderate WN worsened the performance of super-attentive children for both task types and improved EF performance in sub-attentive children. The normal-attentive children's performance was unaffected by WN exposure. The shift from moderate to high levels of WN had little further effect on performance in any group.The predicted differential effect of WN on performance was confirmed. However, the failure to find evidence for an inverted U function challenges current theories. Alternative explanations are discussed. We propose that WN therapy should be further investigated as a possible non-pharmacological treatment for inattention.

  14. Different effects of adding white noise on cognitive performance of sub-, normal and super-attentive school children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Helps, Suzannah K; Bamford, Susan; Sonuga-Barke, Edmund J S; Söderlund, Göran B W

    2014-01-01

    Noise often has detrimental effects on performance. However, because of the phenomenon of stochastic resonance (SR), auditory white noise (WN) can alter the "signal to noise" ratio and improve performance. The Moderate Brain Arousal (MBA) model postulates different levels of internal "neural noise" in individuals with different attentional capacities. This in turn determines the particular WN level most beneficial in each individual case-with one level of WN facilitating poor attenders but hindering super-attentive children. The objective of the present study is to find out if added WN affects cognitive performance differently in children that differ in attention ability. Participants were teacher-rated super- (N = 25); normal- (N = 29) and sub-attentive (N = 36) children (aged 8 to 10 years). Two non-executive function (EF) tasks (a verbal episodic recall task and a delayed verbal recognition task) and two EF tasks (a visuo-spatial working memory test and a Go-NoGo task) were performed under three WN levels. The non-WN condition was only used to control for potential differences in background noise in the group testing situations. There were different effects of WN on performance in the three groups-adding moderate WN worsened the performance of super-attentive children for both task types and improved EF performance in sub-attentive children. The normal-attentive children's performance was unaffected by WN exposure. The shift from moderate to high levels of WN had little further effect on performance in any group. The predicted differential effect of WN on performance was confirmed. However, the failure to find evidence for an inverted U function challenges current theories. Alternative explanations are discussed. We propose that WN therapy should be further investigated as a possible non-pharmacological treatment for inattention.

  15. Attentional Filter Training but Not Memory Training Improves Decision-Making.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmicker, Marlen; Müller, Patrick; Schwefel, Melanie; Müller, Notger G

    2017-01-01

    Decision-making has a high practical relevance for daily performance. Its relation to other cognitive abilities such as executive control and memory is not fully understood. Here we asked whether training of either attentional filtering or memory storage would influence decision-making as indexed by repetitive assessments of the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT). The IGT was developed to assess and simulate real-life decision-making (Bechara et al., 2005). In this task, participants gain or lose money by developing advantageous or disadvantageous decision strategies. On five consecutive days we trained 29 healthy young adults (20-30 years) either in working memory (WM) storage or attentional filtering and measured their IGT scores after each training session. During memory training (MT) subjects performed a computerized delayed match-to-sample task where two displays of bars were presented in succession. During filter training (FT) participants had to indicate whether two simultaneously presented displays of bars matched or not. Whereas in MT the relevant target stimuli stood alone, in FT the targets were embedded within irrelevant distractors (bars in a different color). All subjects within each group improved their performance in the trained cognitive task. For the IGT, we observed an increase over time in the amount of money gained in the FT group only. Decision-making seems to be influenced more by training to filter out irrelevant distractors than by training to store items in WM. Selective attention could be responsible for the previously noted relationship between IGT performance and WM and is therefore more important for enhancing efficiency in decision-making.

  16. An iPad-Based Tool for Improving the Skills of Children with Attention Deficit Disorder

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Natalia Wrońska

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD, with a worldwide prevalence of 5.29%–7.1%, is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders among children and adolescents. Apart from typical symptoms like inattention, hyperactivity and impulsiveness, patients also evidence attention deficit problems with reading comprehension. This in turn causes poor school performance and widens the gap with peers without ADHD. This paper presents a novel and interactive tool based on Serious Games for Health, whose aim is not only to improve comprehension, but also hold the user’s attention. This tool is geared towards assessing reading quality and is intended for iPad devices. Preliminary results obtained from the experiment performed to evaluate the game are included in this report. A group of six typically developing children from Colegio Vizcaya aged between 8 and 12 took part in the evaluation of motivation, satisfaction and usability of the same therapy in the new media. Results obtained by participants playing the game were analysed together with questionnaires concerning the usability of the system. Game evaluation resulted in relatively good statistics-average score was 3 points out of 4 and average time for completing the exercise was 59 seconds. A SUS questionnaire with an average score of 92.75 out of 100 indicates that the game presented is user-friendly and an effective tool. Moreover, based on the feedback obtained from participants, the game had been improved and additional functionality introduced. Older participants completed the first game faster than the younger ones, but age was not influential in subsequent games.

  17. An iPad-Based Tool for Improving the Skills of Children with Attention Deficit Disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wrońska, Natalia; Garcia-Zapirain, Begonya; Mendez-Zorrilla, Amaia

    2015-06-02

    Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), with a worldwide prevalence of 5.29%-7.1%, is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders among children and adolescents. Apart from typical symptoms like inattention, hyperactivity and impulsiveness, patients also evidence attention deficit problems with reading comprehension. This in turn causes poor school performance and widens the gap with peers without ADHD. This paper presents a novel and interactive tool based on Serious Games for Health, whose aim is not only to improve comprehension, but also hold the user's attention. This tool is geared towards assessing reading quality and is intended for iPad devices. Preliminary results obtained from the experiment performed to evaluate the game are included in this report. A group of six typically developing children from Colegio Vizcaya aged between 8 and 12 took part in the evaluation of motivation, satisfaction and usability of the same therapy in the new media. Results obtained by participants playing the game were analysed together with questionnaires concerning the usability of the system. Game evaluation resulted in relatively good statistics-average score was 3 points out of 4 and average time for completing the exercise was 59 seconds. A SUS questionnaire with an average score of 92.75 out of 100 indicates that the game presented is user-friendly and an effective tool. Moreover, based on the feedback obtained from participants, the game had been improved and additional functionality introduced. Older participants completed the first game faster than the younger ones, but age was not influential in subsequent games.

  18. Attentional models of multitask pilot performance using advanced display technology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wickens, Christopher D; Goh, Juliana; Helleberg, John; Horrey, William J; Talleur, Donald A

    2003-01-01

    In the first part of the reported research, 12 instrument-rated pilots flew a high-fidelity simulation, in which air traffic control presentation of auditory (voice) information regarding traffic and flight parameters was compared with advanced display technology presentation of equivalent information regarding traffic (cockpit display of traffic information) and flight parameters (data link display). Redundant combinations were also examined while pilots flew the aircraft simulation, monitored for outside traffic, and read back communications messages. The data suggested a modest cost for visual presentation over auditory presentation, a cost mediated by head-down visual scanning, and no benefit for redundant presentation. The effects in Part 1 were modeled by multiple-resource and preemption models of divided attention. In the second part of the research, visual scanning in all conditions was fit by an expected value model of selective attention derived from a previous experiment. This model accounted for 94% of the variance in the scanning data and 90% of the variance in a second validation experiment. Actual or potential applications of this research include guidance on choosing the appropriate modality for presenting in-cockpit information and understanding task strategies induced by introducing new aviation technology.

  19. Enhanced jump performance when providing augmented feedback compared to an external or internal focus of attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keller, Martin; Lauber, Benedikt; Gottschalk, Marius; Taube, Wolfgang

    2015-01-01

    Factors such as an external focus of attention (EF) and augmented feedback (AF) have been shown to improve performance. However, the efficacy of providing AF to enhance motor performance has never been compared with the effects of an EF or an internal focus of attention (IF). Therefore, the aim of the present study was to identify which of the three conditions (AF, EF or IF) leads to the highest performance in a countermovement jump (CMJ). Nineteen volunteers performed 12 series of 8 maximum CMJs. Changes in jump height between conditions and within the series were analysed. Jump heights differed between conditions (P jump heights at the end of the series in AF (+1.60%) and lower jump heights at the end of the series in EF (-1.79%) and IF (-1.68%) were observed. Muscle activity did not differ between conditions. The differences between conditions and within the series provide evidence that AF leads to higher performance and better progression within one series than EF and IF. Consequently, AF seems to outperform EF and IF when maximising jump height.

  20. Measuring and improving infrastructure performance

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Committee on Measuring and Improving Infrastructure Performance, National Research Council

    .... Developing a framework for guiding attempts at measuring the performance of infrastructure systems and grappling with the concept of defining good performance are the major themes of this book...

  1. No age deficits in the ability to use attention to improve visual working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Souza, Alessandra S

    2016-08-01

    Maintenance of information in mind to the moment-to-moment cognition is accomplished by working memory (WM). WM capacity is reduced in old age, but the nature of this decline is yet not clear. The current study examined the hypothesis that the decline in visual WM performance with age is related to a reduced ability to use attention to control the contents of WM. Young (M = 26 years) and old (M = 71 years) adults performed a color reproduction task in which the precise color of a set of dots had to be maintained in mind over a brief interval and later reproduced using a continuous color wheel. Attention was manipulated by presenting a spatial cue before the onset of the memory array (a precue) or during the maintenance phase (retro-cue). The cue indicated with 100% certainty the item to be tested at the end of the trial. A precue allows the selective encoding of only the relevant item to WM, whereas a retro-cue allows WM contents to be updated by refreshing the relevant (cued) item and removing nonrelevant (noncued) items. Aging was associated with a lower capacity in the baseline (no-cue) condition. Precues and (to a smaller extent) retro-cues improved WM performance (in terms of probability of recall and memory precision). Critically, the benefits of cueing were of similar magnitude in young and older adults showing that the ability to use attention to selectively encode and update the contents of WM is preserved with aging. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).

  2. Prenatal supplementation with DHA improves attention at 5 y of age: a randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramakrishnan, Usha; Gonzalez-Casanova, Ines; Schnaas, Lourdes; DiGirolamo, Ann; Quezada, Amado D; Pallo, Beth C; Hao, Wei; Neufeld, Lynnette M; Rivera, Juan A; Stein, Aryeh D; Martorell, Reynaldo

    2016-10-01

    Docosahexanoic acid (DHA) is an important constituent of the brain. Evidence from well-designed intervention trials of the long-term benefits of increasing DHA intake during pregnancy has been sparse. We evaluated global cognition, behavior, and attention at age 5 y in the offspring of Mexican women who participated in a randomized controlled trial of prenatal DHA supplementation. A total of 1094 women were randomly assigned to receive 400 mg of either DHA or placebo/d from 18 to 22 wk of pregnancy until delivery. We assessed cognitive development and behavioral and executive functioning, including attention, in 797 offspring at age 5 y (82% of 973 live births) with the use of the McCarthy Scales of Children's Abilities (MSCA), the parental scale of the Behavioral Assessment System for Children, Second Edition (BASC-2), and the Conners' Kiddie Continuous Performance Test (K-CPT). We compared the groups on raw scores, T-scores, and standardized scores, as appropriate. We examined heterogeneity by the quality of the home environment, maternal intelligence, and socioeconomic status. There were no group differences for MSCA scores (P > 0.05), but the positive effect of the home environment at 12 mo on general cognitive abilities was attenuated in the DHA group compared with in the placebo group (P-interaction 0.05) for the other K-CPT scores or of the proportion who were clinically at risk of attention deficit hyperactivity disorders after Bonferroni correction for multiple comparisons. Prenatal exposure to DHA may contribute to improved sustained attention in preschool children. This trial was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT00646360. © 2016 American Society for Nutrition.

  3. Attention shaping as a means to improve emotion perception deficits in outpatients with schizophrenia and impaired controls.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Combs, Dennis R; Chapman, Dustin; Waguspack, Jace; Basso, Michael R; Penn, David L

    2011-04-01

    Deficits in emotion perception are common in people with schizophrenia and current research has focused on improving these deficits. In our previous research, we demonstrated that directing attention to salient facial features via attention shaping can improve these deficits among inpatients. In this study, we examined the efficacy of an enhanced attention shaping program that contains 192 emotional expressions from which 25 are randomly presented for training. We extended our previous work by using repeated administrations of the shaping intervention and testing its effect in outpatients with schizophrenia and impaired controls. Fifteen participants with schizophrenia and fourteen college student controls with emotion perception deficits were randomly assigned to 1, 3 or 5 sessions of attention shaping. Participants completed 2 outcome measures of emotion perception, the FEIT and BLERT, not presented during the training, and underwent eye tracking at pre and post-tests. All conditions and groups improved, but the largest improvements on the BLERT and FEIT were found for persons assigned to the 5 session condition. Performance on the shaping program was positively correlated with the two outcome measures of emotion perception. There was less support for changes in visual scanning of faces as there was a relative reduction in total scanning time from pre-test to post-test. Results are interpreted in terms of the efficacy of attention shaping as a means to improve emotion perception deficits. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Visual attention and emotional memory: recall of aversive pictures is partially mediated by concurrent task performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pottage, Claire L; Schaefer, Alexandre

    2012-02-01

    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

  5. Sustained and transient attention in the Continuous Performance Task

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Smid, HGOM; de Witte, MR; Homminga, [No Value; van den Bosch, RJ

    One of the most frequently applied methods to study abnormal cognition is the Continuous Performance Task (CPT). It is unclear, however, which cognitive functions are engaged in normal CPT performance. The aims of the present study were to identify the neurocognitive functions engaged in the main

  6. Equipment improvements for performance enhancement

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gaestel, P.; Guesnon, H.; Sauze, G.

    1994-01-01

    In order to enhance the reactor availability, several improvements on reactor equipment have been developed: design optimization for stator maintenance replacement in the main alternator; adjustment modification of stator coils in the main alternator for an easier maintenance; improvement of the fuel handling line (pole crane, transfer equipment, loading machine); development of a loose part trapping system in the steam generator secondary circuit. 1 tab

  7. Incorporating modern neuroscience findings to improve brain-computer interfaces: tracking auditory attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wronkiewicz, Mark; Larson, Eric; Lee, Adrian Kc

    2016-10-01

    Brain-computer interface (BCI) technology allows users to generate actions based solely on their brain signals. However, current non-invasive BCIs generally classify brain activity recorded from surface electroencephalography (EEG) electrodes, which can hinder the application of findings from modern neuroscience research. In this study, we use source imaging-a neuroimaging technique that projects EEG signals onto the surface of the brain-in a BCI classification framework. This allowed us to incorporate prior research from functional neuroimaging to target activity from a cortical region involved in auditory attention. Classifiers trained to detect attention switches performed better with source imaging projections than with EEG sensor signals. Within source imaging, including subject-specific anatomical MRI information (instead of using a generic head model) further improved classification performance. This source-based strategy also reduced accuracy variability across three dimensionality reduction techniques-a major design choice in most BCIs. Our work shows that source imaging provides clear quantitative and qualitative advantages to BCIs and highlights the value of incorporating modern neuroscience knowledge and methods into BCI systems.

  8. Working memory load can both improve and impair selective attention: evidence from the Navon paradigm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmed, Lubna; de Fockert, Jan W

    2012-10-01

    Selective attention to relevant targets has been shown to depend on the availability of working memory (WM). Under conditions of high WM load, processing of irrelevant distractors is enhanced. Here we showed that this detrimental effect of WM load on selective attention efficiency is reversed when the task requires global- rather than local-level processing. Participants were asked to attend to either the local or the global level of a hierarchical Navon stimulus while keeping either a low or a high load in WM. In line with previous findings, during attention to the local level, distractors at the global level produced more interference under high than under low WM load. By contrast, loading WM had the opposite effect of improving selective attention during attention to the global level. The findings demonstrate that the impact of WM load on selective attention is not invariant, but rather is dependent on the level of the to-be-attended information.

  9. Differential effects of psychomotor stimulants on attentional performance in rats: nicotine, amphetamine, caffeine and methylphenidate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bizarro, L; Patel, S; Murtagh, C; Stolerman, I P

    2004-05-01

    Nicotine can improve attentional performance in the rat as assessed by a modified five-choice serial reaction time task (5-CSRTT), but it is not known if the effect is shared with other psychomotor stimulants. This study compared the effects of nicotine, amphetamine, caffeine and methylphenidate on performance in the 5-CSRTT and determined whether presenting stimuli at unpredictable times by using variable inter-trial intervals (ITI) influenced the sensitivity of the task to the drugs. One group of male hooded rats was trained to obtain food reinforcers by nose-poking in response to 1 s light stimuli presented randomly in one of five apertures, with fixed ITI; for a second group of rats, ITI varied randomly (n=12 per group). As observed previously, nicotine (tested in doses of 0.05-0.2 mg/kg) produced dose-related improvements in accuracy, reduced omission errors and response latencies, but increased anticipatory responding. Amphetamine (0.1-0.8 mg/kg) and methylphenidate (2.5-10 mg/kg) increased accuracy and reduced response latency, and decreased anticipatory responding. Caffeine (2.5-20 mg/kg) did not improve performance except at a small dose that decreased omission errors only. Training at different levels of stimulus predictability influenced performance in the undrugged state but had little impact on profiles of responses to the drugs. The findings with methylphenidate support the potential value of the 5-CSRTT for testing drugs that may be useful in the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

  10. The role of time on task performance in modifying the effects of gum chewing on attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tucha, Lara; Simpson, William

    2011-04-01

    Recent research examined the effects of chewing gum on attention and reported a significant interaction of gum chewing with time. Using a crossover within-subject design, the present study examined the effect of gum chewing on sustained attention in healthy adults over a period of 30 min. The results revealed a significant main effect of time and a significant interaction between gum chewing and time. The findings suggest that gum chewing differentially affects attention performance. While gum chewing has detrimental effects on sustained attention in earlier stages of the task, beneficial effects on sustained attention were observed at later stages. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Whole body vibration improves attention and motor performance in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Background: Whole body vibration (WBV) is a form of physical stimulation via mechanical vibrations transmitted to a subject. It is assumed that WBV induces sensory stimulation in cortical brain regions through the activation of skin and muscle receptors responding to the vibration. The effects of WBV on muscle strength are ...

  12. Improvement of attention span and reaction time with hyperbaric oxygen treatment in patients with toxic injury due to mold exposure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ezra, N; Dang, K; Heuser, G

    2011-01-01

    It is, by now, well established that mold toxins (mycotoxins) can cause significant adverse health effects. In this study, 15 subjects who developed an attention deficit disorder (ADD) and slowing of reaction time at the time of exposure to mold toxins were identified. Deficits in attention span and reaction time were documented not only by taking a careful history, but also by performing a Test of Variables of Attention (TOVA). The TOVA test provides an objective measure of these two variables. It was found that mold-exposed subjects show statistically significant decreases in attention span and significant increases in reaction time to stimuli compared to controls. After ten sessions of hyperbaric oxygen treatment (HBOT), a statistically significant improvement was seen in both measures. This preliminary study suggests promising outcomes in treating mold-exposed patients with hyperbaric oxygen.

  13. Adaptive aspirations and performance heterogeneity : Attention allocation among multiple reference points

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Blettner, D.P.; He, Z.; Hu, S.; Bettis, R.

    Organizations learn and adapt their aspiration levels based on reference points (prior aspiration, prior performance, and prior performance of reference groups). The relative attention that organizations allocate to these reference points impacts organizational search and strategic decisions.

  14. Attention, Exposure Duration, and Gaze Shifting in Naming Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roelofs, Ardi

    2011-01-01

    Two experiments are reported in which the role of attribute exposure duration in naming performance was examined by tracking eye movements. Participants were presented with color-word Stroop stimuli and left- or right-pointing arrows on different sides of a computer screen. They named the color attribute and shifted their gaze to the arrow to…

  15. Impact of Methylphenidate Delivery Profiles on Driving Performance of Adolescents with Attention-Deficit/hyperactivity Disorder: A Pilot Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cox, Daniel J.; Merkel, R. Lawrence; Penberthy, Jennifer Kim; Kovatchev, Boris; Hankin, Cheryl S.

    2004-01-01

    Objective: Adolescents with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are at high risk for driving accidents. One dose of methylphenidate (MPH) improves simulator driving performances of ADHD-diagnosed adolescents at 1.5 hours post-dose. However, little is known about the effects of different MPH delivery profiles on driving performance…

  16. L-theanine and caffeine improve task switching but not intersensory attention or subjective alertness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Einöther, Suzanne J L; Martens, Vanessa E G; Rycroft, Jane A; De Bruin, Eveline A

    2010-04-01

    Tea ingredients L-theanine and caffeine have repeatedly been shown to deliver unique cognitive benefits when consumed in combination. The current randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, cross-over study compared a combination of L-theanine (97 mg) and caffeine (40 mg) to a placebo on two attention tasks and a self-report questionnaire before, and 10 and 60 min after consumption. The combination of L-theanine and caffeine significantly improved attention on a switch task as compared to the placebo, while subjective alertness and intersensory attention were not improved significantly. The results support previous evidence that L-theanine and caffeine in combination can improve attention. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Benchmark for Strategic Performance Improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gohlke, Annette

    1997-01-01

    Explains benchmarking, a total quality management tool used to measure and compare the work processes in a library with those in other libraries to increase library performance. Topics include the main groups of upper management, clients, and staff; critical success factors for each group; and benefits of benchmarking. (Author/LRW)

  18. Improvement of postoperative cognitive dysfunction and attention network function of patients with ischemic cerebrovascular disease via dexmedetomidine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Jingchao; Wang, Guoliang; Zhang, Fangxiang; Zhao, Qian

    2018-03-01

    The protective effect of dexmedetomidine on cognitive dysfunction and decreased attention network function of patients with ischemic cerebrovascular disease after stenting was investigated. Fifty-eight patients with ischemic cerebrovascular disease undergoing stenting in Guizhou Provincial People's Hospital were selected and randomly divided into control group (n=29) and dexmedetomidine group (n=29). The dexmedetomidine group was treated with dexmedetomidine before induced anesthesia, while the control group was given the same dose of normal saline; and the normal volunteers of the same age were selected as the normal group (n=29). At 3 days after operation, the levels of serum S100B and nerve growth factor (NGF) in each group were detected using the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and the level of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) was detected via western blotting. Montreal cognitive assessment (MoCA) and attention network test (ANT) were performed. Moreover, the cognitive function and attention network function, and the effects of dexmedetomidine on cognitive function and attention network function were evaluated. The concentrations of serum S100B and NGF in dexmedetomidine group was lower than those in control group (Pfunction scores, attention scores, delayed memory scores, targeted network efficiency and executive control network efficiency in dexmedetomidine group were obviously higher than those in control group (Pcognitive function and attention network function of patients with ischemic cerebrovascular disease have a certain degree of damage, and the preoperative administration of dexmedetomidine can effectively improve the patient's cognitive dysfunction and attention network function after operation.

  19. Moral concerns increase attention and response monitoring during IAT performance: ERP evidence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellemers, Naomi; Derks, Belle; Nieuwenhuis, Sander

    2014-01-01

    Previous research has revealed that people value morality as a more important person characteristic than competence. In this study, we tested whether people adjust their less explicit behavior more to moral than competence values. Participants performed an Implicit Association Test (IAT) that was either framed as a test of their morality or as a test of their competence. The behavioral results revealed a smaller IAT effect (i.e. a weaker negative implicit bias toward Muslims) in the morality condition than in the competence condition. Moreover, event-related potentials indicated increased social categorization of faces (as indexed by the N1 and P150) and enhanced conflict- and error monitoring (N450 and error-related negativity) in the morality condition compared to the competence condition. These findings indicate that an emphasis on morality can increase attentional and motivational processes that help to improve people’s task performance. PMID:23175679

  20. Attentional Performance is Correlated with the Local Regional Efficiency of Intrinsic Brain Networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Junhai eXu

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Attention is a crucial brain function for human beings. Using neuropsychological paradigms and task-based functional brain imaging, previous studies have indicated that widely distributed brain regions are engaged in three distinct attention subsystems: alerting, orienting and executive control (EC. Here, we explored the potential contribution of spontaneous brain activity to attention by examining whether resting-state activity could account for individual differences of the attentional performance in normal individuals. The resting-state functional images and behavioral data from attention network test (ANT task were collected in 59 healthy subjects. Graph analysis was conducted to obtain the characteristics of functional brain networks and linear regression analyses were used to explore their relationships with behavioral performances of the three attentional components. We found that there was no significant relationship between the attentional performance and the global measures, while the attentional performance was associated with specific local regional efficiency. These regions related to the scores of alerting, orienting and EC largely overlapped with the regions activated in previous task-related functional imaging studies, and were consistent with the intrinsic dorsal and ventral attention networks (DAN/VAN. In addition, the strong associations between the attentional performance and specific regional efficiency suggested that there was a possible relationship between the DAN/VAN and task performances in the ANT. We concluded that the intrinsic activity of the human brain could reflect the processing efficiency of the attention system. Our findings revealed a robust evidence for the functional significance of the efficiently organized intrinsic brain network for highly productive cognitions and the hypothesized role of the DAN/ VAN at rest.

  1. Training improves reading speed in peripheral vision: is it due to attention?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Hye-Won; Kwon, Miyoung; Legge, Gordon E; Gefroh, Joshua J

    2010-06-01

    Previous research has shown that perceptual training in peripheral vision, using a letter-recognition task, increases reading speed and letter recognition (S. T. L. Chung, G. E. Legge, & S. H. Cheung, 2004). We tested the hypothesis that enhanced deployment of spatial attention to peripheral vision explains this training effect. Subjects were pre- and post-tested with 3 tasks at 10° above and below fixation-RSVP reading speed, trigram letter recognition (used to construct visual-span profiles), and deployment of spatial attention (measured as the benefit of a pre-cue for target position in a lexical-decision task). Groups of five normally sighted young adults received 4 days of trigram letter-recognition training in upper or lower visual fields, or central vision. A control group received no training. Our measure of deployment of spatial attention revealed visual-field anisotropies; better deployment of attention in the lower field than the upper, and in the lower-right quadrant compared with the other three quadrants. All subject groups exhibited slight improvement in deployment of spatial attention to peripheral vision in the post-test, but this improvement was not correlated with training-related increases in reading speed and the size of visual-span profiles. Our results indicate that improved deployment of spatial attention to peripheral vision does not account for improved reading speed and letter recognition in peripheral vision.

  2. Visual Attention and Math Performance in Survivors of Childhood Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richard, Annette E; Hodges, Elise K; Heinrich, Kimberley P

    2018-01-24

    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: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  3. The Effect of Bio/Neurofeedback Training on Performance, Audio and Visual Attention in Elite Shooters

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Farzaneh Bagheri asl

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was the effect of Bio/Neurofeedback training on performance, audio and visual attention of elite shooters. In this study 36 elite shooters of Kermanshah Province participated. They divided in three groups. Two groups were experimental groups how participated biofeedback and neurofeedback training and one group was control group. All participants were tried that their trainings as well as the number of shoots were closely controlled in order to assure their physical and special trainings. In this study, for attention affects the computerized Integrated Visual and Auditory test (IVA was used. This test has been considered as both a pretest and a posttest after the therapeutic intervention in three groups. The score of shooting also were collected before and after intervention. Each athlete in neurofeedback training group carried out the neurofeedback training for 20 sessions, each lasting 45 minutes. To do so, both auricles and T3 and PZ of each individual were cleaned using alcohol and new-perp gel to prepare for the neurofeedback training. The biofeedback training was heart rate and respiratory training.  To compare the results of the pretest and the posttest in each group, the dependent t-test was used. For compare three groups we used ANOVA test. The significance level was set at 0.05. The results indicated that there is a significant difference in three groups. It indicates a significant increase in the total score for attention after the implementation of the biofeedback and neurofeedback training. The results showed that the attention mean scores in three visual, audio, and total variables were higher in the posttest than in the pretest for two experimental groups. The results also indicated that the scores of the shoots were improved after training.  According the research finding, we can be said that the neurofeedback and biofeedback  training act on the waves of the sensory-motor beats and which are responsible

  4. Improving the psychometric properties of dot-probe attention measures using response-based computation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, Travis C; Britton, Jennifer C

    2018-09-01

    Abnormal threat-related attention in anxiety disorders is most commonly assessed and modified using the dot-probe paradigm; however, poor psychometric properties of reaction-time measures may contribute to inconsistencies across studies. Typically, standard attention measures are derived using average reaction-times obtained in experimentally-defined conditions. However, current approaches based on experimentally-defined conditions are limited. In this study, the psychometric properties of a novel response-based computation approach to analyze dot-probe data are compared to standard measures of attention. 148 adults (19.19 ± 1.42 years, 84 women) completed a standardized dot-probe task including threatening and neutral faces. We generated both standard and response-based measures of attention bias, attentional orientation, and attentional disengagement. We compared overall internal consistency, number of trials necessary to reach internal consistency, test-retest reliability (n = 72), and criterion validity obtained using each approach. Compared to standard attention measures, response-based measures demonstrated uniformly high levels of internal consistency with relatively few trials and varying improvements in test-retest reliability. Additionally, response-based measures demonstrated specific evidence of anxiety-related associations above and beyond both standard attention measures and other confounds. Future studies are necessary to validate this approach in clinical samples. Response-based attention measures demonstrate superior psychometric properties compared to standard attention measures, which may improve the detection of anxiety-related associations and treatment-related changes in clinical samples. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. A matter of attention: Crossmodal congruence enhances and impairs performance in a novel trimodal matching paradigm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Misselhorn, Jonas; Daume, Jonathan; Engel, Andreas K; Friese, Uwe

    2016-07-29

    A novel crossmodal matching paradigm including vision, audition, and somatosensation was developed in order to investigate the interaction between attention and crossmodal congruence in multisensory integration. To that end, all three modalities were stimulated concurrently while a bimodal focus was defined blockwise. Congruence between stimulus intensity changes in the attended modalities had to be evaluated. We found that crossmodal congruence improved performance if both, the attended modalities and the task-irrelevant distractor were congruent. If the attended modalities were incongruent, the distractor impaired performance due to its congruence relation to one of the attended modalities. Between attentional conditions, magnitudes of crossmodal enhancement or impairment differed. Largest crossmodal effects were seen in visual-tactile matching, intermediate effects for audio-visual and smallest effects for audio-tactile matching. We conclude that differences in crossmodal matching likely reflect characteristics of multisensory neural network architecture. We discuss our results with respect to the timing of perceptual processing and state hypotheses for future physiological studies. Finally, etiological questions are addressed. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Engaging service providers in improving industry performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Oberth, R.

    2012-01-01

    Effective task leadership is the key to achieving results in the nuclear industry and in most other industries. One of the themes of this conference is to discuss how the nuclear industry can undertake Issue-Identification and Definition as a means of 'identifying what needs attention' and then 'defining what needs to be done to make that happen'. I will explore this theme from the perspective of the 'Service Provider' - which by the definition of this conference includes everyone not within an operating utility - meaning 'those involved in everything from inspection and repair to research and plant architecture' - basically the member companies of my association, OCI. Our members take the definition of the roles and responsibilities of the 'Service Provider' community very seriously. In the context of this discussion a key utility function is the early definition of requirements and expectations of Service Providers in supplying to these requirements. Let's explore for a moment the Service Provider role and perspective. Service Providers are by nature pro-active - they seek ways to engage with utilities (and tier one vendors) to solve problems and achieve good outcomes. They come to industry conferences like this one to learn about upcoming utility programs and supply opportunities and how they can improve performance. Service Providers particularly want to hear senior utility people comment on emerging issues even those at the very early identification stage. Some Clarification of Roles is in Order - as that is the focus of this conference: 'Issue-Identification and Definition'. 'Issue-Identification' is the utility's job - it is the utility's role to identify as early as possible 'what needs attention and what their needs and expectations are'. This takes place before service provider engagement. 'Issue-Definition' is more challenging. It means 'determining and prioritizing what needs to be done to deal with the situation at hand'. This typically involves

  7. Performance predictions affect attentional processes of event-based prospective memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rummel, Jan; Kuhlmann, Beatrice G; Touron, Dayna R

    2013-09-01

    To investigate whether making performance predictions affects prospective memory (PM) processing, we asked one group of participants to predict their performance in a PM task embedded in an ongoing task and compared their performance with a control group that made no predictions. A third group gave not only PM predictions but also ongoing-task predictions. Exclusive PM predictions resulted in slower ongoing-task responding both in a nonfocal (Experiment 1) and in a focal (Experiment 2) PM task. Only in the nonfocal task was the additional slowing accompanied by improved PM performance. Even in the nonfocal task, however, was the correlation between ongoing-task speed and PM performance reduced after predictions, suggesting that the slowing was not completely functional for PM. Prediction-induced changes could be avoided by asking participants to additionally predict their performance in the ongoing task. In sum, the present findings substantiate a role of metamemory for attention-allocation strategies of PM. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Stimulants improve theory of mind in children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maoz, Hagai; Tsviban, Lior; Gvirts, Hila Z; Shamay-Tsoory, Simone G; Levkovitz, Yechiel; Watemberg, Nathan; Bloch, Yuval

    2014-03-01

    Impairments in 'theory of mind' (ToM) were linked to social cognition and reciprocal relationships deficits in children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Twenty-four children with ADHD (13 with inattentive type and 11 with combined type, mean age 10.2 years) completed the Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI), a self-reported empathy questionnaire. All children performed the 'faux pas' task and a computerized ToM task in two different sessions either with or without administration of methylphenidate (MPH). Administration of MPH was associated with an improvement in cognitive and affective ToM. Children with ADHD-combined type had significantly lower scores in total IRI and the fantasy scale compared to children with ADHD-inattentive type. We conclude that deficits in empathy and ToM may play an important role in the impairments in social cognition and peer relationship in children with ADHD, especially children a hyperactive component. Stimulants may improve ToM and empathic functions. Future studies including larger samples and additional cognitive tasks are warranted in order to generalize these results and to identify possible underlying mechanisms for improvement in ToM following the administration of MPH.

  9. Executive and Attentional Functions in Chronic Pain: Does Performance Decrease with Increasing Task Load?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joukje M Oosterman

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Diminished executive function and attentional control has been reported in chronic pain patients. However, the precise pattern of impairment in these aspects of cognition in chronic pain remains unclear. Moreover, a decline in psychomotor speed could potentially influence executive and attentional control performance in pain patients.

  10. Expectation of having consumed caffeine can improve performance and mood.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dawkins, Lynne; Shahzad, Fatima-Zahra; Ahmed, Suada S; Edmonds, Caroline J

    2011-12-01

    We explored whether caffeine, and expectation of having consumed caffeine, affects attention, reward responsivity and mood using double-blinded methodology. 88 participants were randomly allocated to 'drink-type' (caffeinated/decaffeinated coffee) and 'expectancy' (told caffeinated/told decaffeinated coffee) manipulations. Both caffeine and expectation of having consumed caffeine improved attention and psychomotor speed. Expectation enhanced self-reported vigour and reward responsivity. Self-reported depression increased at post-drink for all participants, but less in those receiving or expecting caffeine. These results suggest caffeine expectation can affect mood and performance but do not support a synergistic effect. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Methodological approach to organizational performance improvement process

    OpenAIRE

    Buble, Marin; Dulčić, Želimir; Pavić, Ivan

    2017-01-01

    Organizational performance improvement is one of the fundamental enterprise tasks. This especially applies to the case when the term “performance improvement” implies efficiency improvement measured by indicators, such as ROI, ROE, ROA, or ROVA/ROI. Such tasks are very complex, requiring implementation by means of project management. In this paper, the authors propose a methodological approach to improving the organizational performance of a large enterprise.

  12. Methodological approach to organizational performance improvement process

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marin Buble

    2001-01-01

    Full Text Available Organizational performance improvement is one of the fundamental enterprise tasks. This especially applies to the case when the term “performance improvement” implies efficiency improvement measured by indicators, such as ROI, ROE, ROA, or ROVA/ROI. Such tasks are very complex, requiring implementation by means of project management. In this paper, the authors propose a methodological approach to improving the organizational performance of a large enterprise.

  13. Auditory and Visual Attention Performance in Children With ADHD: The Attentional Deficiency of ADHD Is Modality Specific.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Hung-Yu; Hsieh, Hsieh-Chun; Lee, Posen; Hong, Fu-Yuan; Chang, Wen-Dien; Liu, Kuo-Cheng

    2017-08-01

    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.

  14. Exercise-Induced Fatigue and Caffeine Supplementation Affect Psychomotor Performance but Not Covert Visuo-Spatial Attention.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Charlotte J W Connell

    Full Text Available Fatigue resulting from strenuous exercise can impair cognition and oculomotor control. These impairments can be prevented by administering psychostimulants such as caffeine. This study used two experiments to explore the influence of caffeine administered at rest and during fatiguing physical exercise on spatial attention-a cognitive function that is crucial for task-based visually guided behavior. In independent placebo-controlled studies, cohorts of 12 healthy participants consumed caffeine and rested or completed 180 min of stationary cycling. Covert attentional orienting was measured in both experiments using a spatial cueing paradigm. We observed no alterations in attentional facilitation toward spatial cues suggesting that covert attentional orienting is not influenced by exercise fatigue or caffeine supplementation. Response times were increased (impaired after exercise and this deterioration was prevented by caffeine supplementation. In the resting experiment, response times across all conditions and cues were decreased (improved with caffeine. Covert spatial attention was not influenced by caffeine. Together, the results of these experiments suggest that covert attentional orienting is robust to the effects of fatiguing exercise and not influenced by caffeine. However, exercise fatigue impairs response times, which can be prevented by caffeine, suggesting that pre-motor planning and execution of the motor responses required for performance of the cueing task are sensitive to central nervous system fatigue. Caffeine improves response time in both fatigued and fresh conditions, most likely through action on networks controlling motor function.

  15. Exercise-Induced Fatigue and Caffeine Supplementation Affect Psychomotor Performance but Not Covert Visuo-Spatial Attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Connell, Charlotte J W; Thompson, Benjamin; Kuhn, Gustav; Gant, Nicholas

    2016-01-01

    Fatigue resulting from strenuous exercise can impair cognition and oculomotor control. These impairments can be prevented by administering psychostimulants such as caffeine. This study used two experiments to explore the influence of caffeine administered at rest and during fatiguing physical exercise on spatial attention-a cognitive function that is crucial for task-based visually guided behavior. In independent placebo-controlled studies, cohorts of 12 healthy participants consumed caffeine and rested or completed 180 min of stationary cycling. Covert attentional orienting was measured in both experiments using a spatial cueing paradigm. We observed no alterations in attentional facilitation toward spatial cues suggesting that covert attentional orienting is not influenced by exercise fatigue or caffeine supplementation. Response times were increased (impaired) after exercise and this deterioration was prevented by caffeine supplementation. In the resting experiment, response times across all conditions and cues were decreased (improved) with caffeine. Covert spatial attention was not influenced by caffeine. Together, the results of these experiments suggest that covert attentional orienting is robust to the effects of fatiguing exercise and not influenced by caffeine. However, exercise fatigue impairs response times, which can be prevented by caffeine, suggesting that pre-motor planning and execution of the motor responses required for performance of the cueing task are sensitive to central nervous system fatigue. Caffeine improves response time in both fatigued and fresh conditions, most likely through action on networks controlling motor function.

  16. Attentional fluctuations in preschoolers: Direct and indirect relations with task accuracy, academic readiness, and school performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isbell, Elif; Calkins, Susan D; Swingler, Margaret M; Leerkes, Esther M

    2018-03-01

    Attentional control fluctuates in the presence of internal and external distractors, wandering on and off a given task. The current study investigated individual differences in attentional fluctuations in 250 preschoolers. Attentional fluctuations were assessed via intra-individual variability in response time in a Go/No-Go task. Greater fluctuations in attentional control were linked to lower task accuracy. In addition, greater attentional fluctuations predicted lower performance in a task of cognitive flexibility, the Dimensional Change Card Sort task. Attentional fluctuations were also associated with laboratory measures of academic readiness in preschool, as assessed by the Applied Problems and Letter-Word Identification subscales of the Woodcock-Johnson III Tests of Achievement, which in turn predicted teacher reports of academic performance in first grade. Attentional fluctuations also had indirect associations with emergent math skills in preschool, via cognitive flexibility, as well as indirect associations with first-grade teacher reports of academic performance, via the relations between cognitive flexibility and emergent math skills in preschool. These results suggest that consistency is an important aspect of attentional control during early childhood. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. An iPad-Based Tool for Improving the Skills of Children with Attention Deficit Disorder

    OpenAIRE

    Wrońska, Natalia; Garcia-Zapirain, Begonya; Mendez-Zorrilla, Amaia

    2015-01-01

    Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), with a worldwide prevalence of 5.29%–7.1%, is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders among children and adolescents. Apart from typical symptoms like inattention, hyperactivity and impulsiveness, patients also evidence attention deficit problems with reading comprehension. This in turn causes poor school performance and widens the gap with peers without ADHD. This paper presents a novel and interactive tool based on Serious Games...

  18. Memory functions in chronic pain: examining contributions of attention and age to test performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oosterman, Joukje M; Derksen, Laura C; van Wijck, Albert J M; Veldhuijzen, Dieuwke S; Kessels, Roy P C

    2011-01-01

    Previous studies have revealed that memory performance is diminished in chronic pain patients. Few studies, however, have assessed multiple components of memory in a single sample. It is currently also unknown whether attentional problems, which are commonly observed in chronic pain, mediate the decline in memory. Finally, previous studies have focused on middle-aged adults, and a possible detrimental effect of aging on memory performance in chronic pain patients has been commonly disregarded. This study, therefore, aimed at describing the pattern of semantic, working, and visual and verbal episodic memory performance in participants with chronic pain, while testing for possible contributions of attention and age to task performance. Thirty-four participants with chronic pain and 32 pain-free participants completed tests of episodic, semantic, and working memory to assess memory performance and a test of attention. Participants with chronic pain performed worse on tests of working memory and verbal episodic memory. A decline in attention explained some, but not all, group differences in memory performance. Finally, no additional effect of age on the diminished task performance in participants with chronic pain was observed. Taken together, the results indicate that chronic pain significantly affects memory performance. Part of this effect may be caused by underlying attentional dysfunction, although this could not fully explain the observed memory decline. An increase in age in combination with the presence of chronic pain did not additionally affect memory performance.

  19. Using virtual reality environment to improve joint attention associated with pervasive developmental disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Yufang; Huang, Ruowen

    2012-01-01

    The focus of this study is using data glove to practice Joint attention skill in virtual reality environment for people with pervasive developmental disorder (PDD). The virtual reality environment provides a safe environment for PDD people. Especially, when they made errors during practice in virtual reality environment, there is no suffering or dangerous consequences to deal with. Joint attention is a critical skill in the disorder characteristics of children with PDD. The absence of joint attention is a deficit frequently affects their social relationship in daily life. Therefore, this study designed the Joint Attention Skills Learning (JASL) systems with data glove tool to help children with PDD to practice joint attention behavior skills. The JASL specifically focus the skills of pointing, showing, sharing things and behavior interaction with other children with PDD. The system is designed in playroom-scene and presented in the first-person perspectives for users. The functions contain pointing and showing, moving virtual objects, 3D animation, text, speaking sounds, and feedback. The method was employed single subject multiple-probe design across subjects' designs, and analysis of visual inspection in this study. It took 3 months to finish the experimental section. Surprisingly, the experiment results reveal that the participants have further extension in improving the joint attention skills in their daily life after using the JASL system. The significant potential in this particular treatment of joint attention for each participant will be discussed in details in this paper. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Can the attention training technique turn one marshmallow into two? Improving children's ability to delay gratification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murray, Joanne; Theakston, Anna; Wells, Adrian

    2016-02-01

    The seminal Marshmallow Test (Mischel & Ebbesen, 1970) has reliably demonstrated that children who can delay gratification are more likely to be emotionally stable and successful later in life. However, this is not good news for those children who can't delay. Therefore, this study aimed to explore whether a metacognitive therapy technique, Attention Training (ATT: Wells, 1990) can improve young children's ability to delay gratification. One hundred children participated. Classes of 5-6 year olds were randomly allocated to either the ATT or a no-intervention condition and were tested pre and post-intervention on ability to delay gratification, verbal inhibition (executive control), and measures of mood. The ATT intervention significantly increased (2.64 times) delay of gratification compared to the no-intervention condition. After controlling for age and months in school, the ATT intervention and verbal inhibition task performance were significant independent predictors of delay of gratification. These results provide evidence that ATT can improve children's self-regulatory abilities with the implication that this might reduce psychological vulnerability later in life. The findings highlight the potential contribution that the Self-Regulatory Executive Function (S-REF) model could make to designing techniques to enhance children's self-regulatory processes. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Improving Team Performance: Proceedings of the Rand Team Performance Workshop.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1980-08-01

    Gene Gloye of ONR said at that time that by highlighting specific content areas for attention, one runs the risk of supporting "research by the yard...Meister The purpose of this paper is to describe how human factors engineering ( HFE ) relates to team performance. HFE is the application of...behavioral principles and data to the design and development of man-machine systems (MMS). HFE activities begin in the very early planning stages of MMS

  2. Neural Determinants of Task Performance during Feature-Based Attention in Human Cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gong, Mengyuan

    2018-01-01

    Abstract Studies of feature-based attention have associated activity in a dorsal frontoparietal network with putative attentional priority signals. Yet, how this neural activity mediates attentional selection and whether it guides behavior are fundamental questions that require investigation. We reasoned that endogenous fluctuations in the quality of attentional priority should influence task performance. Human subjects detected a speed increment while viewing clockwise (CW) or counterclockwise (CCW) motion (baseline task) or while attending to either direction amid distracters (attention task). In an fMRI experiment, direction-specific neural pattern similarity between the baseline task and the attention task revealed a higher level of similarity for correct than incorrect trials in frontoparietal regions. Using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), we disrupted posterior parietal cortex (PPC) and found a selective deficit in the attention task, but not in the baseline task, demonstrating the necessity of this cortical area during feature-based attention. These results reveal that frontoparietal areas maintain attentional priority that facilitates successful behavioral selection. PMID:29497703

  3. Maximizing Performance: Augmented Feedback, Focus of Attention, and/or Reward?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wälchli, Michael; Ruffieux, Jan; Bourquin, Yann; Keller, Martin; Taube, Wolfgang

    2016-04-01

    Different approaches like providing augmented feedback (aF), applying an external focus of attention (EF), or rewarding participants with money (RE) have been shown to instantly enhance motor performance. So far, these approaches have been tested either in separate studies or directly against each other. However, there is no study that combined aF, EF, and/or RE to test whether this provokes additional benefits. The aim of the present study was therefore to identify the most powerful combination. Eighteen participants performed maximal countermovement jumps in six different conditions: neutral (NE), aF, RE, aF + EF, aF + RE, and aF + EF + RE. Participants demonstrated the highest jump heights with aF + EF, followed by aF + EF + RE, aF + RE, aF, RE, and finally, NE. Activity of the M. rectus femoris differed significantly between conditions resulting in lower muscular activity in aF + EF and aF + EF + RE compared with NE. All other parameters, such as ground reaction forces and joint angles, were comparable across conditions. This is the first study showing superior performance when combining aF with EF. As reduced muscular activity was found only in conditions with EF, it is argued in line with the constrained action hypothesis that adopting an EF improves movement efficiency. In contrast, aF seems to rather enhance (intrinsic) motivation. However, monetary reward did not further amplify performance.

  4. Spatial attention improves the quality of population codes in human visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saproo, Sameer; Serences, John T

    2010-08-01

    Selective attention enables sensory input from behaviorally relevant stimuli to be processed in greater detail, so that these stimuli can more accurately influence thoughts, actions, and future goals. Attention has been shown to modulate the spiking activity of single feature-selective neurons that encode basic stimulus properties (color, orientation, etc.). However, the combined output from many such neurons is required to form stable representations of relevant objects and little empirical work has formally investigated the relationship between attentional modulations on population responses and improvements in encoding precision. Here, we used functional MRI and voxel-based feature tuning functions to show that spatial attention induces a multiplicative scaling in orientation-selective population response profiles in early visual cortex. In turn, this multiplicative scaling correlates with an improvement in encoding precision, as evidenced by a concurrent increase in the mutual information between population responses and the orientation of attended stimuli. These data therefore demonstrate how multiplicative scaling of neural responses provides at least one mechanism by which spatial attention may improve the encoding precision of population codes. Increased encoding precision in early visual areas may then enhance the speed and accuracy of perceptual decisions computed by higher-order neural mechanisms.

  5. Four minutes of in-class high-intensity interval activity improves selective attention in 9- to 11-year olds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Jasmin K; Le Mare, Lucy; Gurd, Brendon J

    2015-03-01

    The amount of time allocated to physical activity in schools is declining. Time-efficient physical activity solutions that demonstrate their impact on academic achievement-related outcomes are needed to prioritize physical activity within the school curricula. "FUNtervals" are 4-min, high-intensity interval activities that use whole-body actions to complement a storyline. The purpose of this study was to (i) explore whether FUNtervals can improve selective attention, an executive function posited to be essential for learning and academic success; and (ii) examine whether this relationship is predicted by students' classroom off-task behaviour. Seven grade 3-5 classes (n = 88) were exposed to a single-group, repeated cross-over design where each student's selective attention was compared between no-activity and FUNtervals days. In week 1, students were familiarized with the d2 test of attention and FUNterval activities, and baseline off-task behaviour was observed. In both weeks 2 and 3 students completed the d2 test of attention following either a FUNterval break or a no-activity break. The order of these breaks was randomized and counterbalanced between weeks. Neither motor nor passive off-task behaviour predicted changes in selective attention following FUNtervals; however, a weak relationship was observed for verbal off-task behaviour and improvements in d2 test performance. More importantly, students made fewer errors during the d2 test following FUNtervals. In supporting the priority of physical activity inclusion within schools, FUNtervals, a time efficient and easily implemented physical activity break, can improve selective attention in 9- to 11-year olds.

  6. Flow Experience During Attentional Training Improves Cognitive Functions in Patients with Traumatic Brain Injury: An Exploratory Case Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kazuki Yoshida

    2014-12-01

    Conclusion: The results for Patient A suggested that the flow task was more effective than general OT for improving attention deficits. Moreover, the results for Patient B suggested that the flow task was more effective than the control task. Attention training inducing flow experience may thus facilitate improvement of attention.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Huang Chi-Hsiang

    2011-05-01

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

  8. The executive control network and symptomatic improvement in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Francx, Winke; Oldehinkel, Marianne; Oosterlaan, Jaap; Heslenfeld, Dirk; Hartman, Catharina A.; Hoekstra, Pieter J.; Franke, Barbara; Beckmann, Christian F.; Buitelaar, Jan K.; Mennes, Maarten

    2015-01-01

    Background: One neurodevelopmental theory hypothesizes remission of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) to result from improved prefrontal top-down control, while ADHD, independent of the current diagnosis, is characterized by stable non-cortical deficits (Halperin & Schulz, 2006). We

  9. White matter microstructure and developmental improvement of hyperactive/impulsive symptoms in Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Francx, W.; Zwiers, M.P.; Mennes, M.; Oosterlaan, J.; Heslenfeld, D.J.; Hoekstra, P.; Hartman, C.A.; Franke, C.; Faraone, S.V.; O'Dwyer, L.; Buitelaar, J.K.

    2015-01-01

    Background A developmental improvement of symptoms in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is frequently reported, but the underlying neurobiological substrate has not been identified. The aim of this study was to determine whether white matter microstructure is related to developmental

  10. Human performance improvement for nuclear power plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2005-01-01

    The IAEA assists NPP operating organizations to improve plant performance through a focus on human performance improvement in areas like organizational and leadership development, senior management decision making, organization and management of HPI programmes including tools needed for effective HPI implementation, safety culture enhancement, knowledge management, personnel selection and staffing, career development, training and development, work design, scheduling and conditions, procedure and other job-aid development and use, effective communications, human performance monitoring, motivation. Many NPP operating organizations in Member States, are not yet achieving the full potential of their NPP technology/equipment regarding safety, operational or economic performance due to human performance weaknesses. The IAEA's HPI (Human Performance Improvement) services provide a means for these organizations to efficiently and effectively learn from international experts and the experiences of others in improving plant performance through human performance improvements. NPP operating organizations can benefit from these services in a number of ways, including requesting a national project, participating in a regional project, or requesting an assist visit. The types of activities provided through these services include assistance in benchmarking practices of successful organizations, providing information exchange and reviews of current practices through assist missions, conducting workshops on focused human performance topics, evaluating current human performance methods, including assistance in implementing self assessment programmes and providing support to safety culture enhancement programmes based on self-assessment

  11. Improving performance on core processes of care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Austin, John Matthew; Pronovost, Peter J

    2016-06-01

    This article describes the recent literature on using extrinsic and intrinsic motivators to improve performance on core processes of care, highlighting literature that describes general frameworks for quality improvement work. The literature supporting the effectiveness of extrinsic motivators to improve quality is generally positive for public reporting of performance, with mixed results for pay-for-performance. A four-element quality improvement framework developed by The Armstrong Institute at Johns Hopkins Medicine was developed with intrinsic motivation in mind. The clear definition and communication of goals are important for quality improvement work. Training clinicians in improvement science, such as lean sigma, teamwork, or culture change provides clinicians with the skills they need to drive the improvement work. Peer learning communities offer the opportunity for clinicians to engage with each other and offer support in their work. The transparent reporting of performance helps ensure accountability of performance ranging from individual clinicians to governance. Quality improvement work that is led by and engages clinicians offers the opportunity for the work to be both meaningful and sustainable. The literature supports approaching quality improvement work in a systematic way, including the key elements of communication, infrastructure building, training, transparency, and accountability.

  12. The effects of divided attention on implicit and explicit memory performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmitter-Edgecombe, M

    1996-03-01

    This study explored the nature of the relationship between attention available at learning and subsequent implicit and explicit memory performance. One hundred neurologically normal subjects rated their liking of target words on a five-point scale. Half of the subjects completed the word-rating task in a full attention condition and the other half performed the task in a divided attention condition. Following administration of the word-rating task, all subjects completed five memory tests, three implicit (category association, tachistoscopic identification, and perceptual clarification) and two explicit (semantic-cued recall and graphemic-cued recall), each bearing on a different subset of the list of previously presented target words. The results revealed that subjects in the divided attention condition performed significantly more poorly than subjects in the full attention condition on the explicit memory measures. In contrast, there were no significant group differences in performance on the implicit memory measures. These findings suggest that the attention to an episode that is necessary to produce later explicit memory may differ from that necessary to produce unconscious influences. The relationship between implicit memory, neurologic injury and automatic processes is discussed.

  13. Serotonin-1A receptor gene polymorphism and the ability of antipsychotic drugs to improve attention in schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sumiyoshi, Tomiki; Tsunoda, Masahiko; Higuchi, Yuko; Itoh, Toru; Seo, Tomonori; Itoh, Hiroko; Suzuki, Michio; Kurachi, Masayoshi

    2010-05-01

    The purpose of this study was to determine if the functional single nucleotide polymorphisms of rs6259 C(-1019)G in the promoter region, which regulates serotonin 5-HT(1A) receptor transcription, affects the ability of antipsychotic drugs to improve attention in patients with schizophrenia. Subjects were neuroleptic-free and meeting DSM-IV-TR criteria for schizophrenia. Psychopathology and attention were evaluated with the Scale for the Assessment of Positive Symptoms (SAPS) and the Scale for the Assessment of Negative Symptoms (SANS) at baseline and 3 months after treatment with atypical antipsychotic drugs (AAPDs). DNA was extracted from peripheral blood following standard procedures. Genotyping was performed with HS-Taq assay (LaboPass). Data were available from 30 subjects (male/female=19/11), in which 17 had the CC genotype, three had the GG genotype, and 10 were heterozygous. The 3-month treatment with AAPDs was associated with significant improvements in positive and negative symptoms, but not attention as measured by SANS-Attention subscale in the entire subject group. There were no significant differences in the degree of improvements of SAPS and SANS scores between the CC genotype group and the (C/G plus G/G) combined group. On the other hand, improvement of attention was significantly greater for the former group compared to the latter group (P<0.016), suggesting a detrimental influence of the G-allele. These results provide additional support to the role of 5-HT(1A) receptors in some of the cognitive disturbances of schizophrenia. Further studies with a larger number of subjects are warranted.

  14. Contextual cueing improves attentional guidance, even when guidance is supposedly optimal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, Anthony M; Remington, Roger W

    2017-05-01

    Visual search through previously encountered contexts typically produces reduced reaction times compared with search through novel contexts. This contextual cueing benefit is well established, but there is debate regarding its underlying mechanisms. Eye-tracking studies have consistently shown reduced number of fixations with repetition, supporting improvements in attentional guidance as the source of contextual cueing. However, contextual cueing benefits have been shown in conditions in which attentional guidance should already be optimal-namely, when attention is captured to the target location by an abrupt onset, or under pop-out conditions. These results have been used to argue for a response-related account of contextual cueing. Here, we combine eye tracking with response time to examine the mechanisms behind contextual cueing in spatially cued and pop-out conditions. Three experiments find consistent response time benefits with repetition, which appear to be driven almost entirely by a reduction in number of fixations, supporting improved attentional guidance as the mechanism behind contextual cueing. No differences were observed in the time between fixating the target and responding-our proxy for response related processes. Furthermore, the correlation between contextual cueing magnitude and the reduction in number of fixations on repeated contexts approaches 1. These results argue strongly that attentional guidance is facilitated by familiar search contexts, even when guidance is near-optimal. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).

  15. Exercise-Induced Fatigue and Caffeine Supplementation Affect Psychomotor Performance but Not Covert Visuo-Spatial Attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Connell, Charlotte J. W.; Thompson, Benjamin; Kuhn, Gustav; Gant, Nicholas

    2016-01-01

    Fatigue resulting from strenuous exercise can impair cognition and oculomotor control. These impairments can be prevented by administering psychostimulants such as caffeine. This study used two experiments to explore the influence of caffeine administered at rest and during fatiguing physical exercise on spatial attention—a cognitive function that is crucial for task-based visually guided behavior. In independent placebo-controlled studies, cohorts of 12 healthy participants consumed caffeine and rested or completed 180 min of stationary cycling. Covert attentional orienting was measured in both experiments using a spatial cueing paradigm. We observed no alterations in attentional facilitation toward spatial cues suggesting that covert attentional orienting is not influenced by exercise fatigue or caffeine supplementation. Response times were increased (impaired) after exercise and this deterioration was prevented by caffeine supplementation. In the resting experiment, response times across all conditions and cues were decreased (improved) with caffeine. Covert spatial attention was not influenced by caffeine. Together, the results of these experiments suggest that covert attentional orienting is robust to the effects of fatiguing exercise and not influenced by caffeine. However, exercise fatigue impairs response times, which can be prevented by caffeine, suggesting that pre-motor planning and execution of the motor responses required for performance of the cueing task are sensitive to central nervous system fatigue. Caffeine improves response time in both fatigued and fresh conditions, most likely through action on networks controlling motor function. PMID:27768747

  16. Decreasing internal focus of attention improves postural control during quiet standing in young healthy adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nafati, Gilel; Vuillerme, Nicolas

    2011-12-01

    This experiment was designed to investigate whether and how decreasing the amount of attentional focus invested in postural control could affect bipedal postural control. Twelve participants were asked to stand upright as immobile as possible on a force platform in one control condition and one cognitive condition. In the latter condition, they performed a short-term digit-span memory task. Decreased center-of-gravity displacements and decreased center-of-foot-pressure displacements minus center-of-gravity displacements were observed in the cognitive condition relative to the control condition. These results suggest that shifting the attentional focus away from postural control by executing a concurrent attention-demanding task could increase postural performance and postural efficiency.

  17. Evaluating the Relationship between Team Performance and Joint Attention with Longitudinal Multivariate Mixed Models

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-09-23

    Sweller, J. (2005). Cognitive load theory and complex learning: Recent developments and future directions. Educational Psychology Review, 17(2), 147–177...Relationship between Team Performance and Joint Attention with Longitudinal Multivariate Mixed Models 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER FA8650-14-D-6501-0009 5b...Annual Meeting, 19-23 September 2016. 14. Previous research indicates that measures of joint attention provide unique insight into team cognition

  18. Location versus task relevance: The impact of differing internal focus of attention instructions on motor performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pelleck, Valerie; Passmore, Steven R

    2017-05-01

    Impaired performance while executing a motor task is attributed to a disruption of normal automatic processes when an internal focus of attention is used. What remains unclear is whether the specificity of internally focused task instructions may impact task performance. The present study assessed the implications of changing the attentional focus of novice and skilled golfers by measuring behavioural, neurophysiological and kinematic changes during a golf putting task. Over six blocks of ten putting trials each, attention was directed either externally (towards the target) or internally in one of two ways: 1) proximal (keeping the elbows extended and the hands gripping the putter); or 2) distal (keeping the weight evenly distributed between both legs) to the critical elements of the task. Results provided evidence that when novice participants use an internal focus of attention more closely associated with task performance that their: 1) execution; 2) accuracy; 3) variability of surface electromyography (sEMG) activity; and 4) kinematics of the putter movement are all adversely affected. Skilled golfers are much more resilient to changes in attentional focus, while all participants interpret a distal internal focus of attention similar to an external focus. All participants produced decreased activity in the muscle (tibialis anterior) associated with the distal (less task relevant) focus of attention even when the "internal" focus was on the lower extremity. Our results provide evidence that the skill level of the participant and the distance of the internal focus of attention from the key elements of a motor skill directly impact the execution, muscle activity, and movement kinematics associated with skilled motor task performance. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder at work: Does it impact job performance?

    OpenAIRE

    Nikos Bozionelos; Giorgos Bozionelos

    2013-01-01

    Avaible online: http://dx.doi.org/10.5465/amp.2013.0107; International audience; The article focuses on Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), which affects a substantial proportion of the adult population and it often remains undiagnosed. Because of its symptoms, which include inability to focus and maintain attention, problems in time management and procrastination, ADHD is suspected as a cause of poor performance in the workplace. A recent contemplation suggests a mechanism for t...

  20. Treatment with escitalopram improves the attentional bias toward negative facial expressions in patients with major depressive disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Zhenhe; Cao, Suxia; Li, Hengfen; Li, Youhui

    2015-10-01

    We hypothesized that treatment with escitalopram would improve cognitive bias and contribute to the recovery process for patients with major depressive disorder (MDD). Many previous studies have established that patients with MDD tend to pay selective attention to negative stimuli. The assessment of the level of cognitive bias is regarded as a crucial dimension of treatment outcomes for MDD. To our knowledge, no prior studies have been reported on the effects of treatment with escitalopram on attentional bias in MDD, employing a dot probe task of facial expression. We studied 25 patients with MDD and 25 controls, and used a dot probe task of facial expression to measure cognitive bias. The patients' psychopathologies were rated using the Hamilton Depression Scale (HAMD) at baseline and after 8 weeks of treatment with escitalopram. All participants performed the facial expression dot probe task. The results revealed that the 8 week escitalopram treatment decreased the HAMD scores. The patients with MDD at baseline exhibited an attentional bias towards negative faces, however, no significant bias toward either negative or happy faces were observed in the controls. After the 8 week escitalopram treatment, no significant bias toward negative faces was observed in the patient group. In conclusion, patients with MDD pay more attention to negative facial expressions, and treatment with escitalopram improves this attentional bias toward negative facial expressions. This is the first study, to our knowledge, on the effects of treatment with escitalopram on attentional bias in patients with MDD that has employed a dot probe task of facial expression. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Attention Process Training-3 to improve reading comprehension in mild aphasia: A single-case experimental design study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Jaime B; Sohlberg, McKay Moore; Harn, Beth; Horner, Robert; Cherney, Leora R

    2018-06-04

    People with aphasia frequently present with nonlinguistic deficits, in addition to their compromised language abilities, which may contribute to their problems with reading comprehension. Treatment of attention, working memory and executive control may improve reading comprehension in individuals with aphasia, particularly those with mild reading problems. This single-case experimental design study evaluated the efficacy of Attention Process Training-3, an intervention combining direct attention training and metacognitive facilitation, for improving reading comprehension in individuals with mild aphasia. A multiple baseline design across six participants was used to evaluate treatment effects. The primary outcome measure was a maze reading task. Cognitive measures were administered pre- and post-treatment. Visual inspection of graphed maze reading performance data indicated a basic effect between APT-3 and improved maze reading for three of the six participants. Quantitative analyses, using Tau-U, corroborated findings identified through visual analysis. The overall effect size was significant (Tau = .48, p = .01). Results suggest that APT-3 has the potential to improve reading in individuals with aphasia, but that it may be more efficacious under certain conditions. Treatment and participant variables, including intensity of treatment and metacognitive strategy usage, are discussed as potential influences on participants' responsiveness to APT-3.

  2. Performance improvement program: goals and experience

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Guglielmi, F. [Point Lepreau Generating Station, Maces Bay, New Brunswick (Canada)

    2015-07-01

    Following long 54 month refurbishment outage at Point Lepreau Generating Station, operational performance had fallen below industry standards in a number of areas. Leadership development and succession planning had stalled. Operational focus was low primarily due to the construction focus during refurbishment. Condition of balance of plant was poor including several long standing deficiencies. In order to improve performance, the site implemented a framework based on INPO 12-011: Focus on Improving Behaviours; Set common goals and demonstrate results; Align and engage the organization; Drive to achieve high levels of performance and sustain performance.

  3. Performance improvement program: goals and experience

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Guglielmi, F.

    2015-01-01

    Following long 54 month refurbishment outage at Point Lepreau Generating Station, operational performance had fallen below industry standards in a number of areas. Leadership development and succession planning had stalled. Operational focus was low primarily due to the construction focus during refurbishment. Condition of balance of plant was poor including several long standing deficiencies. In order to improve performance, the site implemented a framework based on INPO 12-011: Focus on Improving Behaviours; Set common goals and demonstrate results; Align and engage the organization; Drive to achieve high levels of performance and sustain performance.

  4. Object-Based Attention on Social Units: Visual Selection of Hands Performing a Social Interaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yin, Jun; Xu, Haokui; Duan, Jipeng; Shen, Mowei

    2018-05-01

    Traditionally, objects of attention are characterized either as full-fledged entities or either as elements grouped by Gestalt principles. Because humans appear to use social groups as units to explain social activities, we proposed that a socially defined group, according to social interaction information, would also be a possible object of attentional selection. This hypothesis was examined using displays with and without handshaking interactions. Results demonstrated that object-based attention, which was measured by an object-specific attentional advantage (i.e., shorter response times to targets on a single object), was extended to two hands performing a handshake but not to hands that did not perform meaningful social interactions, even when they did perform handshake-like actions. This finding cannot be attributed to the familiarity of the frequent co-occurrence of two handshaking hands. Hence, object-based attention can select a grouped object whose parts are connected within a meaningful social interaction. This finding implies that object-based attention is constrained by top-down information.

  5. Rapid Improvement in Visual Selective Attention Related to Action Video Gaming Experience

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nan Qiu

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available A central issue in cognitive science is understanding how learning induces cognitive and neural plasticity, which helps illuminate the biological basis of learning. Research in the past few decades showed that action video gaming (AVG offered new, important perspectives on learning-related cognitive and neural plasticity. However, it is still unclear whether cognitive and neural plasticity is observable after a brief AVG session. Using behavioral and electrophysiological measures, this study examined the plasticity of visual selective attention (VSA associated with a 1 h AVG session. Both AVG experts and non-experts participated in this study. Their VSA was assessed prior to and after the AVG session. Within-group comparisons on the participants' performance before and after the AVG session showed improvements in response time in both groups and modulations of electrophysiological measures in the non-experts. Furthermore, between-group comparisons showed that the experts had superior VSA, relative to the non-experts, prior to the AVG session. These findings suggested an association between the plasticity of VSA and AVG. Most importantly, this study showed that the plasticity of VSA was observable after even a 1 h AVG session.

  6. Rapid Improvement in Visual Selective Attention Related to Action Video Gaming Experience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qiu, Nan; Ma, Weiyi; Fan, Xin; Zhang, Youjin; Li, Yi; Yan, Yuening; Zhou, Zhongliang; Li, Fali; Gong, Diankun; Yao, Dezhong

    2018-01-01

    A central issue in cognitive science is understanding how learning induces cognitive and neural plasticity, which helps illuminate the biological basis of learning. Research in the past few decades showed that action video gaming (AVG) offered new, important perspectives on learning-related cognitive and neural plasticity. However, it is still unclear whether cognitive and neural plasticity is observable after a brief AVG session. Using behavioral and electrophysiological measures, this study examined the plasticity of visual selective attention (VSA) associated with a 1 h AVG session. Both AVG experts and non-experts participated in this study. Their VSA was assessed prior to and after the AVG session. Within-group comparisons on the participants' performance before and after the AVG session showed improvements in response time in both groups and modulations of electrophysiological measures in the non-experts. Furthermore, between-group comparisons showed that the experts had superior VSA, relative to the non-experts, prior to the AVG session. These findings suggested an association between the plasticity of VSA and AVG. Most importantly, this study showed that the plasticity of VSA was observable after even a 1 h AVG session.

  7. Does Education Reform Improve Job Performance

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Wenger, J

    2003-01-01

    .... Examining military personnel data, which is a highly detailed source of information for recent high school graduate's performance, we find that the quality of Navy recruits improved during the 1990...

  8. Effects of Attentional Focus and Age on Suprapostural Task Performance and Postural Control

    Science.gov (United States)

    McNevin, Nancy; Weir, Patricia; Quinn, Tiffany

    2013-01-01

    Purpose: Suprapostural task performance (manual tracking) and postural control (sway and frequency) were examined as a function of attentional focus, age, and tracking difficulty. Given the performance benefits often found under external focus conditions, it was hypothesized that external focus instructions would promote superior tracking and…

  9. The effect of organizational learning from performance feedback on team attention focus

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lucas, G.J.M.; Zijlmans, Marius; Meeus, M.T.H.; Blettner, D.P.; Sund, K.J.; Galavan, R.J.; Huff, A.S.

    2016-01-01

    In this chapter, we present a theory on how organizational performance feedback influences individual decision-maker cognitions and thereby changes a team’s attention focus in terms of strategy. We argue that when performance compares unfavorably to aspiration levels, decision-makers reconsider

  10. Improving Process Heating System Performance v3

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None

    2016-04-11

    Improving Process Heating System Performance: A Sourcebook for Industry is a development of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO) and the Industrial Heating Equipment Association (IHEA). The AMO and IHEA undertook this project as part of an series of sourcebook publications developed by AMO on energy-consuming industrial systems, and opportunities to improve performance. Other topics in this series include compressed air systems, pumping systems, fan systems, steam systems, and motors and drives

  11. Performance improvement plan in customer technical services

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lachambre, L.

    1995-01-01

    This presentation centred around the philosophy, goals, and initiatives associated with Gaz Metropolitain's performance improvement plan. Various aspects of the plan including customer surveys, new customer service policies, the creation of small working units, the decentralization of the Montreal service department, and customer-harmonized shift schedules were explored. Implementation of new service plans and contracts, the formation of improvement groups related to human resources, human resource and productivity management, leadership training, and the use of performance indicators were also explained

  12. An Adaptive Middleware for Improved Computational Performance

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bonnichsen, Lars Frydendal

    , we are improving computational performance by exploiting modern hardware features, such as dynamic voltage-frequency scaling and transactional memory. Adapting software is an iterative process, requiring that we continually revisit it to meet new requirements or realities; a time consuming process......The performance improvements in computer systems over the past 60 years have been fueled by an exponential increase in energy efficiency. In recent years, the phenomenon known as the end of Dennard’s scaling has slowed energy efficiency improvements — but improving computer energy efficiency...... is more important now than ever. Traditionally, most improvements in computer energy efficiency have come from improvements in lithography — the ability to produce smaller transistors — and computer architecture - the ability to apply those transistors efficiently. Since the end of scaling, we have seen...

  13. Selective effects of cholinergic modulation on task performance during selective attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Furey, Maura L; Pietrini, Pietro; Haxby, James V; Drevets, Wayne C

    2008-03-01

    The cholinergic neurotransmitter system is critically linked to cognitive functions including attention. The current studies were designed to evaluate the effect of a cholinergic agonist and an antagonist on performance during a selective visual attention task where the inherent salience of attended/unattended stimuli was modulated. Two randomized, placebo-controlled, crossover studies were performed, one (n=9) with the anticholinesterase physostigmine (1.0 mg/h), and the other (n=30) with the anticholinergic scopolamine (0.4 mc/kg). During the task, two double-exposure pictures of faces and houses were presented side by side. Subjects were cued to attend to either the face or the house component of the stimuli, and were instructed to perform a matching task with the two exemplars from the attended category. The cue changed every 4-7 trials to instruct subjects to shift attention from one stimulus component to the other. During placebo in both studies, reaction time (RT) associated with the first trial following a cued shift in attention was longer than RT associated with later trials (pattention to houses condition (pattention to faces. Scopolamine increased RT relative to placebo selectively during trials greater than one (pattention to faces condition (pselective attention (ie trials greater than 1). Moreover, effects of cholinergic manipulation depend on the selective attention condition (ie faces vs houses), which may suggest that cholinergic activity interacts with stimulus salience. The findings are discussed within the context of the role of acetylcholine both in stimulus processing and stimulus salience, and in establishing attention biases through top-down and bottom-up mechanisms of attention.

  14. CPAP Adherence is Associated With Attentional Improvements in a Group of Primarily Male Patients With Moderate to Severe OSA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deering, Sean; Liu, Lin; Zamora, Tania; Hamilton, Joanne; Stepnowsky, Carl

    2017-12-15

    Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a widespread condition that adversely affects physical health and cognitive functioning. The prevailing treatment for OSA is continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), but therapeutic benefits are dependent on consistent use. Our goal was to investigate the relationship between CPAP adherence and measures of sustained attention in patients with OSA. Our hypothesis was that the Psychomotor Vigilance Task (PVT) would be sensitive to attention-related improvements resulting from CPAP use. This study was a secondary analysis of a larger clinical trial. Treatment adherence was determined from CPAP use data. Validated sleep-related questionnaires and a sustained-attention and alertness test (PVT) were administered to participants at baseline and at the 6-month time point. Over a 6-month time period, the average CPAP adherence was 3.32 h/night (standard deviation [SD] = 2.53), average improvement in PVT minor lapses was -4.77 (SD = 13.2), and average improvement in PVT reaction time was -73.1 milliseconds (standard deviation = 211). Multiple linear regression analysis showed that higher CPAP adherence was significantly associated with a greater reduction in minor lapses in attention after 6 months of continuous treatment with CPAP therapy (β = -0.72, standard error = 0.34, P = .037). The results of this study showed that higher levels of CPAP adherence were associated with significant improvements in vigilance. Because the PVT is a performance-based measure that is not influenced by prior learning and is not subjective, it may be an important supplement to patient self-reported assessments. Name: Effect of Self-Management on Improving Sleep Apnea Outcomes, URL: https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT00310310, Identifier: NCT00310310. © 2017 American Academy of Sleep Medicine

  15. The effectiveness of neurofeedback with computrized training in improving working memory in adults with attention deficit disorder/ hyperactivity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    lila Heydarinasab

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Background : Attention deficit / hyperactivity disorder, is a common psychological disorder in persons, that continues from childhood into adulthood and leads to problem in various aspects of  their  life, such as personal, social, professional, and executive function such as working memory. Several studies indicate a close relationship between working memory deficits and attention deficit / hyperactivity disorder. Given the lack of studies on the effectiveness of neurofeedback in improving working memory in adults with ADHD, this study was designed to evaluate the effectiveness of neurofeedback in working memory. Materials and Methods: Research design was experimental with pre-test and post-test and control group and carried out on adults with attention deficit / hyperactivity disorder referred to the Atieh clinic in Tehran .After reviewing inclusion and exclusion criteria,16 persons based on purposive sampling were selected in 2 groups of 8 cases as experimental and control groups. The research instruments were the Beck Anxiety Inventory, Beck Depression Inventory, Inventory adult attention deficit/ hyperactivity disorder of Barkley, vital cns test, auditory and visual integrated test signs. Data analysis, through SPSS software using U Mann-Whitney, was performed. The independent t-test, Wilcoxon and Kruskal-Wallis tests were used also for complementary results. The protocol  used in this study, was increasing of beta waves on FZ. Results: The results showed that neurofeedback was led to a significant increase in working memory in experimental group. Conclusion: According to the results of this study, which is consistent with results of the researches done in this field, neurofeedback increases frontal lobe activity and activation of neural circuits involved in executive function and working memory, and improve executive function and working memory deficits in patients with attention deficit / hyperactivity disorder. As a result, given the

  16. A human visual model-based approach of the visual attention and performance evaluation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Meur, Olivier; Barba, Dominique; Le Callet, Patrick; Thoreau, Dominique

    2005-03-01

    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.

  17. The impact of attentional and emotional demands on memory performance in obsessive-compulsive disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fink, Jakob; Hendrikx, Friederike; Stierle, Christian; Stengler, Katarina; Jahn, Ina; Exner, Cornelia

    2017-08-01

    Lower performance on memory tests in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) has been repeatedly observed. However, the origins of these performance deficits are not sufficiently explained. In this study we tested if OCD-related extensive focus of attention on thoughts (heightened self-consciousness) could be an explanatory mechanism for lower memory performance. Heightened situational self-consciousness was manipulated by instructing participants to either monitor neutral thoughts or to monitor OCD-related thoughts. We included a Behavioral Avoidance Task based on individual obsessions and compulsions to induce OCD-related thoughts. Participants were asked to perform these monitoring tasks in parallel to a taxing verbal memory task, resulting in learning under divided attention. The two conditions of learning under divided attention were compared to a single-task condition. Twenty-four participants with OCD and 24 healthy controls took part in these three learning conditions. The results indicate that in both groups memory performance deteriorated in the two conditions with divided attention compared to the single task condition. In the OCD-related thought monitoring condition (OTM) self-consciousness and Behavioral Avoidance Task-induced stress and fear were particularly increased and memory performance further deteriorated in the OCD group. This finding highlights an important and underestimated mechanism (personal involvement) which might serve to better understand lower memory performance in OCD. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. The moderating role of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in the work engagement-performance process.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halbesleben, Jonathon R B; Wheeler, Anthony R; Shanine, Kristen K

    2013-04-01

    Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a cognitive disability that affects millions. Although individuals with ADHD are employed throughout many organizations and there is evidence that their performance is lower, scant research exists describing how ADHD impacts an individual's performance. In this article, we extend attentional control theory to examine how ADHD impacts both the effectiveness and efficiency of employee performance. Across 3 samples, 2 of general working adults (n = 257 and 170) and 1 of nurses (n = 243), we found that ADHD was associated with lower performance (rated via self-, coworker, and supervisor ratings) and that the relationship was strongest for in-role performance, suggesting that employees with ADHD may be diverting attention away from task-relevant behaviors. Furthermore, although work engagement was associated with higher performance, that relationship was diminished among those who experienced higher levels of ADHD, suggesting lower performance efficiency. We discuss the implications of these findings for research on attentional control and the management of those with ADHD at work.

  19. Optimizing performance through intrinsic motivation and attention for learning: The OPTIMAL theory of motor learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wulf, Gabriele; Lewthwaite, Rebecca

    2016-10-01

    Effective motor performance is important for surviving and thriving, and skilled movement is critical in many activities. Much theorizing over the past few decades has focused on how certain practice conditions affect the processing of task-related information to affect learning. Yet, existing theoretical perspectives do not accommodate significant recent lines of evidence demonstrating motivational and attentional effects on performance and learning. These include research on (a) conditions that enhance expectancies for future performance, (b) variables that influence learners' autonomy, and (c) an external focus of attention on the intended movement effect. We propose the OPTIMAL (Optimizing Performance through Intrinsic Motivation and Attention for Learning) theory of motor learning. We suggest that motivational and attentional factors contribute to performance and learning by strengthening the coupling of goals to actions. We provide explanations for the performance and learning advantages of these variables on psychological and neuroscientific grounds. We describe a plausible mechanism for expectancy effects rooted in responses of dopamine to the anticipation of positive experience and temporally associated with skill practice. Learner autonomy acts perhaps largely through an enhanced expectancy pathway. Furthermore, we consider the influence of an external focus for the establishment of efficient functional connections across brain networks that subserve skilled movement. We speculate that enhanced expectancies and an external focus propel performers' cognitive and motor systems in productive "forward" directions and prevent "backsliding" into self- and non-task focused states. Expected success presumably breeds further success and helps consolidate memories. We discuss practical implications and future research directions.

  20. Attention training improves aberrant neural dynamics during working memory processing in veterans with PTSD.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDermott, Timothy J; Badura-Brack, Amy S; Becker, Katherine M; Ryan, Tara J; Bar-Haim, Yair; Pine, Daniel S; Khanna, Maya M; Heinrichs-Graham, Elizabeth; Wilson, Tony W

    2016-12-01

    Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is associated with executive functioning deficits, including disruptions in working memory (WM). Recent studies suggest that attention training reduces PTSD symptomatology, but the underlying neural mechanisms are unknown. We used high-density magnetoencephalography (MEG) to evaluate whether attention training modulates brain regions serving WM processing in PTSD. Fourteen veterans with PTSD completed a WM task during a 306-sensor MEG recording before and after 8 sessions of attention training treatment. A matched comparison sample of 12 combat-exposed veterans without PTSD completed the same WM task during a single MEG session. To identify the spatiotemporal dynamics, each group's data were transformed into the time-frequency domain, and significant oscillatory brain responses were imaged using a beamforming approach. All participants exhibited activity in left hemispheric language areas consistent with a verbal WM task. Additionally, veterans with PTSD and combat-exposed healthy controls each exhibited oscillatory responses in right hemispheric homologue regions (e.g., right Broca's area); however, these responses were in opposite directions. Group differences in oscillatory activity emerged in the theta band (4-8 Hz) during encoding and in the alpha band (9-12 Hz) during maintenance and were significant in right prefrontal and right supramarginal and inferior parietal regions. Importantly, following attention training, these significant group differences were reduced or eliminated. This study provides initial evidence that attention training improves aberrant neural activity in brain networks serving WM processing.

  1. Peer Mentors Can Improve Academic Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asgari, Shaki; Carter, Frederick, Jr.

    2016-01-01

    The present study examined the relationship between peer mentoring and academic performance. Students from two introductory psychology classes either received (n = 37) or did not receive (n = 36) peer mentoring. The data indicated a consistent improvement in the performance (i.e., grades on scheduled exams) of the mentored group. A similar pattern…

  2. Do Leadership Changes Improve Electoral Performance?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Helboe Pedersen, H.; Schumacher, G.; Cross, W.; Pilet, J.-B.

    2015-01-01

    Does changing the leader improve a party’s electoral performance? And does it matter who for electoral performance who selects the leader? We hypothesize that in parties with inclusive selectorates leadership change is beneficial because the competition for the leadership is more open, receives more

  3. The effect of divided attention on novices and experts in laparoscopic task performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghazanfar, Mudassar Ali; Cook, Malcolm; Tang, Benjie; Tait, Iain; Alijani, Afshin

    2015-03-01

    Attention is important for the skilful execution of surgery. The surgeon's attention during surgery is divided between surgery and outside distractions. The effect of this divided attention has not been well studied previously. We aimed to compare the effect of dividing attention of novices and experts on a laparoscopic task performance. Following ethical approval, 25 novices and 9 expert surgeons performed a standardised peg transfer task in a laboratory setup under three randomly assigned conditions: silent as control condition and two standardised auditory distracting tasks requiring response (easy and difficult) as study conditions. Human reliability assessment was used for surgical task analysis. Primary outcome measures were correct auditory responses, task time, number of surgical errors and instrument movements. Secondary outcome measures included error rate, error probability and hand specific differences. Non-parametric statistics were used for data analysis. 21109 movements and 9036 total errors were analysed. Novices had increased mean task completion time (seconds) (171 ± 44SD vs. 149 ± 34, p 0.05). Divided attention conditions in theatre environment require careful consideration during surgical training as the junior surgeons are less able to focus their attention during these conditions.

  4. Does attentional selectivity in the flanker task improve discretely or gradually?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ronald eHübner

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available An important question is whether attentional selectivity improves discretely or continuously during stimulus processing. In a recent study, Hübner, et al. (2010 found that the discrete DSTP model accounted better for flanker-task data than various continuous improvement models. However, in a subsequent study, White, et al. (2011 introduced the continuous SSP model and showed that it was superior to the DSTP model. From this result they concluded that attentional selectivity improves continuously rather than discretely. Because different stimuli and procedures were used in these two studies, though, we questioned that the superiority of the SSP model holds generally. Therefore, we fit the SSP model to Hübner et al.’s data and found that the DSTP model was again superior. A series of four experiments revealed that model superiority depends on the response-stimulus interval (RSI. Together, our results demonstrate that methodological details can be crucial for model selection, and that further comparisons between the models are needed before it can be decided whether attentional selectivity improves continuously or discretely.

  5. Memantine improves attention and episodic memory in Parkinson's disease dementia and dementia with Lewy bodies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wesnes, Keith A; Aarsland, Dag; Ballard, Clive; Londos, Elisabet

    2015-01-01

    In both dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) and Parkinson's disease dementia (PDD), attentional dysfunction is a core clinical feature together with disrupted episodic memory. This study evaluated the cognitive effects of memantine in DLB and PDD using automated tests of attention and episodic memory. A randomised double-blind, placebo-controlled, 24-week three centre trial of memantine (20 mg/day) was conducted in which tests of attention (simple and choice reaction time) and word recognition (immediate and delayed) from the CDR System were administered prior to dosing and again at 12 and 24 weeks. Although other results from this study have been published, the data from the CDR System tests were not included and are presented here for the first time. Data were available for 51 patients (21 DLB and 30 PDD). In both populations, memantine produced statistically significant medium to large effect sized improvements to choice reaction time, immediate and delayed word recognition. These are the first substantial improvements on cognitive tests of attention and episodic recognition memory identified with memantine in either DLB or PDD. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  6. South Bank Coke Ovens heating performance improvements

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fraser, A.J. [South Bank Coke Ovens (United Kingdom)

    1995-12-31

    The coke oven batteries at South Bank Coke Ovens had a history of refractory failure, overheating, and poor environmental performance despite repeated attempts to solve the problem. The fundamental design was poor, but previous upgrade attempts had a history of short term improvements followed by renewed decline, suggesting that the problem may not merely with the equipment. An audit of the area showed multiple morale, equipment and communications problems, although a significant proportion of the workforce were interested in improving the situation. A group of those interested in performance improvements was called together and objectives agreed upon. Communications were upgraded and problem walls analysed for their particular weaknesses. A team approach was used for maintenance, leading to slowly improving pushing emission factors. Temperature control equipment ensured better environmental performance and lower electricity consumption. 5 refs., 3 figs.

  7. An improved P300 pattern in BCI to catch user’s attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jin, Jing; Zhang, Hanhan; Daly, Ian; Wang, Xingyu; Cichocki, Andrzej

    2017-06-01

    Objective. Brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) can help patients who have lost control over most muscles but are still conscious and able to communicate or interact with the environment. One of the most popular types of BCI is the P300-based BCI. With this BCI, users are asked to count the number of appearances of target stimuli in an experiment. To date, the majority of visual P300-based BCI systems developed have used the same character or picture as the target for every stimulus presentation, which can bore users. Consequently, users attention may decrease or be negatively affected by adjacent stimuli. Approach. In this study, a new stimulus is presented to increase user concentration. Honeycomb-shaped figures with 1-3 red dots were used as stimuli. The number and the positions of the red dots in the honeycomb-shaped figure were randomly changed during BCI control. The user was asked to count the number of the dots presented in each flash instead of the number of times they flashed. To assess the performance of this new stimulus, another honeycomb-shaped stimulus, without red dots, was used as a control condition. Main results. The results showed that the honeycomb-shaped stimuli with red dots obtained significantly higher classification accuracies and information transfer rates (p  <  0.05) compared to the honeycomb-shaped stimulus without red dots. Significance. The results indicate that this proposed method can be a promising approach to improve the performance of the BCI system and can be an efficient method in daily application.

  8. Improving human performance: Industry factors influencing the ability to perform

    OpenAIRE

    Güera Massyn Romo

    2013-01-01

    Learning interventions and new technologies that aim to improve human performance must take cognisance of industry factors inhibiting human performance. The dynamic and fast pace nature of the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and the engineering industries do not lend themselves to proper skills planning and management. These industries experience real skills gaps, to some of which they contribute by themselves. This study reports on these performance-inhibiting factors such a...

  9. Performance improvement integration: a whole systems approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Page, C K

    1999-02-01

    Performance improvement integration in health care organizations is a challenge for health care leaders. Required for accreditation by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (Joint Commission), performance improvement (PI) can be designed as a sustainable model for performance to survive in a turbulent period. Central Baptist Hospital developed a model for PI that focused on strategy established by the leadership team, delineated responsibility through the organizational structure of shared governance, and accountability for outcomes evidenced through the organization's profitability. Such an approach integrated into the culture of the organization can produce positive financial margins, positive customer satisfaction, and commendations from the Joint Commission.

  10. Do school inspections improve primary school performance?

    OpenAIRE

    Dinand Webbink; Rob Luginbuhl; I. de Wolf

    2007-01-01

    Inspectors from the Dutch Inspectorate of Education inspect primary schools, write inspection reports on each inspected school, and make recommendations as to how each school can improve. We test whether these inspections result in better school performance. Using a fixed-effects model, we find evidence that school inspections do lead to measurably better school performance. Our assessment of school performance is based on the Cito test scores of pupils in their final year of primary school. ...

  11. Subjective evaluation of two stereoscopic imaging systems exploiting visual attention to improve 3D quality of experience

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanhart, Philippe; Ebrahimi, Touradj

    2014-03-01

    Crosstalk and vergence-accommodation rivalry negatively impact the quality of experience (QoE) provided by stereoscopic displays. However, exploiting visual attention and adapting the 3D rendering process on the fly can reduce these drawbacks. In this paper, we propose and evaluate two different approaches that exploit visual attention to improve 3D QoE on stereoscopic displays: an offline system, which uses a saliency map to predict gaze position, and an online system, which uses a remote eye tracking system to measure real time gaze positions. The gaze points were used in conjunction with the disparity map to extract the disparity of the object-of-interest. Horizontal image translation was performed to bring the fixated object on the screen plane. The user preference between standard 3D mode and the two proposed systems was evaluated through a subjective evaluation. Results show that exploiting visual attention significantly improves image quality and visual comfort, with a slight advantage for real time gaze determination. Depth quality is also improved, but the difference is not significant.

  12. Improvements in concentration, working memory and sustained attention following consumption of a natural citicoline-caffeine beverage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruce, Steven E; Werner, Kimberly B; Preston, Brittany F; Baker, Laurie M

    2014-12-01

    This study examined the neurocognitive and electrophysiological effects of a citicoline-caffeine-based beverage in 60 healthy adult participants enrolled in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Measures of electrical brain activity using electroencephalogram (EEG) and neuropsychological measures examining attention, concentration and reaction time were administered. Compared to placebo, participants receiving the citicoline-caffeine beverage exhibited significantly faster maze learning times and reaction times on a continuous performance test, fewer errors in a go/no-go task and better accuracy on a measure of information processing speed. EEG results examining P450 event-related potentials revealed that participants receiving the citicoline-caffeine beverage exhibited higher P450 amplitudes than controls, suggesting an increase in sustained attention. Overall, these findings suggest that the beverage significantly improved sustained attention, cognitive effort and reaction times in healthy adults. Evidence of improved P450 amplitude indicates a general improvement in the ability to accommodate new and relevant information within working memory and overall enhanced brain activation.

  13. Improving Mobility Performance in Wheelchair Basketball.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veeger, Thom T J; De Witte, Annemarie M H; Berger, Monique A M; Van Der Slikke, Rienk M A; Veeger, Dirkjan H E J; Hoozemans, Marco J M

    2017-10-16

    This study aimed to investigate which characteristics of athlete, wheelchair and athlete-wheelchair interface are the best predictors of wheelchair basketball mobility performance. Sixty experienced wheelchair basketball players performed a wheelchair mobility performance test to assess their mobility performance. To determine which variables were the best predictors of mobility performance, forward stepwise linear regression analyses were performed on a set of 33 characteristics, including ten athlete, nineteen wheelchair and four athlete-wheelchair interface characteristics. Eight of the characteristics turned out to be significant predictors of wheelchair basketball mobility performance. Classification, experience, maximal isometric force, wheel axis height and hand rim diameter - which both interchangeable with each other and wheel diameter - camber angle, and the vertical distance between shoulder and rear wheel axis - which was interchangeable with seat height - were positively associated with mobility performance. The vertical distance between the front seat and the footrest was negatively associated with mobility performance. With this insight, coaches and biomechanical specialists are provided with statistical findings to determine which characteristics they could focus on best to improve mobility performance. Six out of eight predictors are modifiable and can be optimized to improve mobility performance. These adjustments could be carried out both in training (maximal isometric force) and in wheelchair configurations (e.g. camber angle).

  14. Contextual Cueing Improves Attentional Guidance, Even When Guidance Is Supposedly Optimal

    OpenAIRE

    Harris, A. M.; Remington, R. W.

    2017-01-01

    Visual search through previously encountered contexts typically produces reduced reaction times compared with search through novel contexts. This contextual cueing benefit is well established, but there is debate regarding its underlying mechanisms. Eye-tracking studies have consistently shown reduced number of fixations with repetition, supporting improvements in attentional guidance as the source of contextual cueing. However, contextual cueing benefits have been shown in conditions in whic...

  15. Adjunctive raloxifene treatment improves attention and memory in men and women with schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weickert, T W; Weinberg, D; Lenroot, R; Catts, S V; Wells, R; Vercammen, A; O'Donnell, M; Galletly, C; Liu, D; Balzan, R; Short, B; Pellen, D; Curtis, J; Carr, V J; Kulkarni, J; Schofield, P R; Weickert, C S

    2015-06-01

    There is increasing clinical and molecular evidence for the role of hormones and specifically estrogen and its receptor in schizophrenia. A selective estrogen receptor modulator, raloxifene, stimulates estrogen-like activity in brain and can improve cognition in older adults. The present study tested the extent to which adjunctive raloxifene treatment improved cognition and reduced symptoms in young to middle-age men and women with schizophrenia. Ninety-eight patients with a diagnosis of schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder were recruited into a dual-site, thirteen-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover trial of adjunctive raloxifene treatment in addition to their usual antipsychotic medications. Symptom severity and cognition in the domains of working memory, attention/processing speed, language and verbal memory were assessed at baseline, 6 and 13 weeks. Analyses of the initial 6-week phase of the study using a parallel groups design (with 39 patients receiving placebo and 40 receiving raloxifene) revealed that participants receiving adjunctive raloxifene treatment showed significant improvement relative to placebo in memory and attention/processing speed. There was no reduction in symptom severity with treatment compared with placebo. There were significant carryover effects, suggesting some cognitive benefits are sustained even after raloxifene withdrawal. Analysis of the 13-week crossover data revealed significant improvement with raloxifene only in attention/processing speed. This is the first study to show that daily, oral adjunctive raloxifene treatment at 120 mg per day has beneficial effects on attention/processing speed and memory for both men and women with schizophrenia. Thus, raloxifene may be useful as an adjunctive treatment for cognitive deficits associated with schizophrenia.

  16. Stereotype threat engenders neural attentional bias toward negative feedback to undermine performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forbes, Chad E; Leitner, Jordan B

    2014-10-01

    Stereotype threat, a situational pressure individuals experience when they fear confirming a negative group stereotype, engenders a cascade of physiological stress responses, negative appraisals, and performance monitoring processes that tax working memory resources necessary for optimal performance. Less is known, however, about how stereotype threat biases attentional processing in response to performance feedback, and how such attentional biases may undermine performance. Women received feedback on math problems in stereotype threatening compared to stereotype-neutral contexts while continuous EEG activity was recorded. Findings revealed that stereotype threatened women elicited larger midline P100 ERPs, increased phase locking between anterior cingulate cortex and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (two regions integral for attentional processes), and increased power in left fusiform gyrus in response to negative feedback compared to positive feedback and women in stereotype-neutral contexts. Increased power in left fusiform gyrus in response to negative feedback predicted underperformance on the math task among stereotype threatened women only. Women in stereotype-neutral contexts exhibited the opposite trend. Findings suggest that in stereotype threatening contexts, neural networks integral for attention and working memory are biased toward negative, stereotype confirming feedback at very early speeds of information processing. This bias, in turn, plays a role in undermining performance. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging Correlates of First-Episode Psychoses during Attentional and Memory Task Performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Del Casale, Antonio; Kotzalidis, Georgios D; Rapinesi, Chiara; Sorice, Serena; Girardi, Nicoletta; Ferracuti, Stefano; Girardi, Paolo

    2016-01-01

    The nature of the alteration of the response to cognitive tasks in first-episode psychosis (FEP) still awaits clarification. We used activation likelihood estimation, an increasingly used method in evaluating normal and pathological brain function, to identify activation changes in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies of FEP during attentional and memory tasks. We included 11 peer-reviewed fMRI studies assessing FEP patients versus healthy controls (HCs) during performance of attentional and memory tasks. Our database comprised 290 patients with FEP, matched with 316 HCs. Between-group analyses showed that HCs, compared to FEP patients, exhibited hyperactivation of the right middle frontal gyrus (Brodmann area, BA, 9), right inferior parietal lobule (BA 40), and right insula (BA 13) during attentional task performances and hyperactivation of the left insula (BA 13) during memory task performances. Right frontal, parietal, and insular dysfunction during attentional task performance and left insular dysfunction during memory task performance are significant neural functional FEP correlates. © 2016 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  18. Improving Working Memory in Children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: The Separate and Combined Effects of Incentives and Stimulant Medication

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strand, Michael T.; Hawk, Larry W., Jr.; Bubnik, Michelle; Shiels, Keri; Pelham, William E., Jr.; Waxmonsky, James G.

    2012-01-01

    Working memory (WM) is considered a core deficit in Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), with numerous studies demonstrating impaired WM among children with ADHD. We tested the degree to which WM in children with ADHD was improved by performance-based incentives, an analog of behavioral intervention. In two studies, WM performance was…

  19. Relationship between weekend catch-up sleep and poor performance on attention tasks in Korean adolescents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Seog Ju; Lee, Yu Jin; Cho, Seong-Jin; Cho, In-Hee; Lim, Weonjeong; Lim, Wonshin

    2011-09-01

    To investigate the relationship between insufficient sleep and poor attention in Korean adolescents, adjusting for potential confounding factors of depressed mood and habitual snoring. School-based cross-sectional study. Eight high schools in 3 cities in the Republic of Korea. A sample of 2638 urban high school students (42.2% male and 57.8% female; mean [SD] age, 17.3 [0.6] years [age range, 14-19 years]) completed questionnaires and computerized attention tasks during the school term. Weekend catch-up sleep. Self-reported sleep schedules and habits, including sleep duration, bedtime, wake-up time, depressed mood, and habitual snoring. Also measured were numbers of omission and commission errors on computerized attention tasks. The mean (SD) sleep duration on weekdays was 5 hours 42 minutes (1 hour 0 minutes) per day and on weekends was 8 hours 24 minutes (1 hour 36 minutes) per day. The mean (SD) weekend catch-up sleep was 2 hours 42 minutes (1 hour 42 minutes) per day. After adjusting for age, sex, depressed mood (Beck Depression Inventory score, ≥10), habitual snoring, and weekday sleep duration, increased weekend catch-up sleep was significantly associated with more omission and commission errors on sustained attention tasks (P sleep as an indicator of insufficient weekday sleep is associated with poor performance on objective attention tasks. Assessment of catch-up sleep and sleep duration may be useful for physicians to evaluate sleep insufficiency and its adverse effects on attention in adolescents.

  20. Atomoxetine Improved Attention in Children and Adolescents with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and Dyslexia in a 16 Week, Acute, Randomized, Double-Blind Trial

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, David; Shaywitz, Sally; Shaywitz, Bennett; Hooper, Stephen R.; Wigal, Sharon B.; Dunn, David; McBurnett, Keith

    2013-01-01

    Abstract Objective The purpose of this study was to evaluate atomoxetine treatment effects in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD-only), attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder with comorbid dyslexia (ADHD+D), or dyslexia only on ADHD core symptoms and on sluggish cognitive tempo (SCT), working memory, life performance, and self-concept. Methods Children and adolescents (10–16 years of age) with ADHD+D (n=124), dyslexia-only (n=58), or ADHD-only (n=27) received atomoxetine (1.0–1.4 mg/kg/day) or placebo (ADHD-only subjects received atomoxetine) in a 16 week, acute, randomized, double-blind trial with a 16 week, open-label extension phase (atomoxetine treatment only). Changes from baseline were assessed to weeks 16 and 32 in ADHD Rating Scale-IV-Parent-Version:Investigator-Administered and Scored (ADHDRS-IV-Parent:Inv); ADHD Rating Scale-IV-Teacher-Version (ADHDRS-IV-Teacher-Version); Life Participation Scale—Child- or Parent-Rated Version (LPS); Kiddie-Sluggish Cognitive Tempo (K-SCT) Interview; Multidimensional Self Concept Scale (MSCS); and Working Memory Test Battery for Children (WMTB-C). Results At week 16, atomoxetine treatment resulted in significant (pDyslexia-only, atomoxetine versus placebo significantly improved K-SCT Youth subscale scores from baseline. At Week 32, atomoxetine-treated ADHD+D subjects significantly improved from baseline on all measures except MSCS Family subscale and WMTB-C Central Executive and Visuo-spatial Sketchpad component scores. The atomoxetine-treated dyslexia-only subjects significantly improved from baseline to week 32 on ADHDRS-IV-Parent:Inv Inattentive subscale, K-SCT Parent and Teacher subscales, and WMTB-C Phonological Loop and Central Executive component scores. The atomoxetine-treated ADHD-only subjects significantly improved from baseline to Week 32 on ADHDRS-Parent:Inv Total and subscales, ADHDRS-IV-Teacher-Version Hyperactive/Impulsive subscale, LPS Self-Control and Total, all K-SCT subscales, and

  1. Goals and experience of performance improvement

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tan, H. [CNNO, CNNP, Nuclear Power Operations Management Co., Ltd. (China)

    2015-07-01

    Performance improvement was achieved by reasonable arrangement of planned window for related work and optimization of time for important maintenance items, outage quality and duration. Unplanned output loss has been reduced through routine unit management and improvements to both personnel skill and equipment reliability. Planned power generation loss is reduced by controlling planned duration and quality of forced shutdowns and outages, to ensure safe and stable plant operation.

  2. Performance improvement using methodology: case study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harmelink, Stacy

    2008-01-01

    The department of radiology at St. Luke's Regional Medical Center in Sioux City, IA implemented meaningful workflow changes for reducing patient wait times and, at the same time, improved customer and employee satisfaction scores. Lean methodology and the 7 Deadly Wastes, along with small group interaction, was used to evaluate and change the process of a patient waiting for an exam in the radiology department. The most important key to the success of a performance improvement project is the involvement of staff.

  3. A new test of attention in listening (TAIL) predicts auditory performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yu-Xuan; Barry, Johanna G; Moore, David R; Amitay, Sygal

    2012-01-01

    Attention modulates auditory perception, but there are currently no simple tests that specifically quantify this modulation. To fill the gap, we developed a new, easy-to-use test of attention in listening (TAIL) based on reaction time. On each trial, two clearly audible tones were presented sequentially, either at the same or different ears. The frequency of the tones was also either the same or different (by at least two critical bands). When the task required same/different frequency judgments, presentation at the same ear significantly speeded responses and reduced errors. A same/different ear (location) judgment was likewise facilitated by keeping tone frequency constant. Perception was thus influenced by involuntary orienting of attention along the task-irrelevant dimension. When information in the two stimulus dimensions were congruent (same-frequency same-ear, or different-frequency different-ear), response was faster and more accurate than when they were incongruent (same-frequency different-ear, or different-frequency same-ear), suggesting the involvement of executive control to resolve conflicts. In total, the TAIL yielded five independent outcome measures: (1) baseline reaction time, indicating information processing efficiency, (2) involuntary orienting of attention to frequency and (3) location, and (4) conflict resolution for frequency and (5) location. Processing efficiency and conflict resolution accounted for up to 45% of individual variances in the low- and high-threshold variants of three psychoacoustic tasks assessing temporal and spectral processing. Involuntary orientation of attention to the irrelevant dimension did not correlate with perceptual performance on these tasks. Given that TAIL measures are unlikely to be limited by perceptual sensitivity, we suggest that the correlations reflect modulation of perceptual performance by attention. The TAIL thus has the power to identify and separate contributions of different components of attention

  4. The influence of anaesthetists' experience on workload, performance and visual attention during simulated critical incidents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schulz, Christian M; Schneider, Erich; Kohlbecher, Stefan; Hapfelmeier, Alexander; Heuser, Fabian; Wagner, Klaus J; Kochs, Eberhard F; Schneider, Gerhard

    2014-10-01

    Development of accurate Situation Awareness (SA) depends on experience and may be impaired during excessive workload. In order to gain adequate SA for decision making and performance, anaesthetists need to distribute visual attention effectively. Therefore, we hypothesized that in more experienced anaesthetists performance is better and increase of physiological workload is less during critical incidents. Additionally, we investigated the relation between physiological workload indicators and distribution of visual attention. In fifteen anaesthetists, the increase of pupil size and heart rate was assessed in course of a simulated critical incident. Simulator log files were used for performance assessment. An eye-tracking device (EyeSeeCam) provided data about the anaesthetists' distribution of visual attention. Performance was assessed as time until definitive treatment. T tests and multivariate generalized linear models (MANOVA) were used for retrospective statistical analysis. Mean pupil diameter increase was 8.1% (SD ± 4.3) in the less experienced and 15.8% (±10.4) in the more experienced subjects (p = 0.191). Mean heart rate increase was 10.2% (±6.7) and 10.5% (±8.3, p = 0.956), respectively. Performance did not depend on experience. Pupil diameter and heart rate increases were associated with a shift of visual attention from monitoring towards manual tasks (not significant). For the first time, the following four variables were assessed simultaneously: physiological workload indicators, performance, experience, and distribution of visual attention between "monitoring" and "manual" tasks. However, we were unable to detect significant interactions between these variables. This experimental model could prove valuable in the investigation of gaining and maintaining SA in the operation theatre.

  5. Improving human performance in maintenance personnel

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gonzalez Anez, Francisco; Agueero Agueero, Jorge

    2010-01-01

    The continuous evolution and improvement of safety-related processes has included the analysis, design and development of training plans for the qualification of maintenance nuclear power plant personnel. In this respect, the international references in this area recommend the establishment of systematic qualification programmes for personnel performing functions or carrying out safety related tasks. Maintenance personnel qualification processes have improved significantly, and training plans have been designed and developed based on Systematic Approach to Training methodology to each job position. These improvements have been clearly reflected in recent training programmes with new training material and training facilities focused not only on developing technical knowledge and skills but also on improving attitudes and safety culture. The objectives of maintenance training facilities such as laboratories, mock-ups real an virtual, hydraulic loops, field simulators and other training material to be used in the maintenance training centre are to cover training necessities for initial and continuous qualification. Evidently, all these improvements made in the qualification of plant personnel should be extended to include supplemental personnel (external or contracted) performing safety-related tasks. The supplemental personnel constitute a very spread group, covering the performance of multiple activities entailing different levels of responsibility. Some of these activities are performed permanently at the plant, while others are occasional or sporadic. In order to establish qualification requirements for these supplemental workers, it is recommended to establish a rigorous analysis of job positions and tasks. The objective will be to identify the qualification requirements to assure competence and safety. (authors)

  6. Performance-based interpretation bias in clinically anxious youths: relationships with attention, anxiety, and negative cognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rozenman, Michelle; Amir, Nader; Weersing, V Robin

    2014-09-01

    This preliminary investigation sought to examine basic interpretive biases, as assessed via performance-based means, in the context of anxious symptomatology, attention, and negative cognition in children and adolescents. At a single assessment, 26 youths diagnosed with primary separation anxiety, social phobia, or generalized anxiety disorder completed performance-based assessments of interpretation and attention. Youths and parents also completed diagnostic interviews and youths completed a measure of negative self-statements. Components of interpretation (threat-valence judgments and speed of responding) were examined, and interpretation was explored as a correlate of youth anxiety, attention bias, and negative self-statements. Results found percentage of negative interpretations endorsed as the strongest predictor of anxiety symptoms; this index was also correlated with attention bias. Slower rejection of benign interpretations was also associated with youth-reported negative self-statements.This initial investigation provides support for a relationship between interpretation bias and anxiety and preliminary evidence for a relationship between attention and interpretation biases. Continued research dismantling the stages of basic cognition within the chain of information processing may provide a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying anxiety disorders in youths and lead to continued development and refinement of cognitive interventions. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  7. Sustained attention performance during sleep deprivation associates with instability in behavior and physiologic measures at baseline.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chua, Eric Chern-Pin; Yeo, Sing-Chen; Lee, Ivan Tian-Guang; Tan, Luuan-Chin; Lau, Pauline; Cai, Shiwei; Zhang, Xiaodong; Puvanendran, Kathiravelu; Gooley, Joshua J

    2014-01-01

    To identify baseline behavioral and physiologic markers that associate with individual differences in sustained attention during sleep deprivation. In a retrospective study, ocular, electrocardiogram, and electroencephalogram (EEG) measures were compared in subjects who were characterized as resilient (n = 15) or vulnerable (n = 15) to the effects of total sleep deprivation on sustained attention. Chronobiology and Sleep Laboratory, Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School Singapore. Healthy volunteers aged 22-32 years from the general population. Subjects were kept awake for at least 26 hours under constant environmental conditions. Every 2 hours, sustained attention was assessed using a 10-minute psychomotor vigilance task (PVT). During baseline sleep and recovery sleep, EEG slow wave activity was similar in resilient versus vulnerable subjects, suggesting that individual differences in vulnerability to sleep loss were not related to differences in homeostatic sleep regulation. Rather, irrespective of time elapsed since wake, subjects who were vulnerable to sleep deprivation exhibited slower and more variable PVT response times, lower and more variable heart rate, and higher and more variable EEG spectral power in the theta frequency band (6.0-7.5 Hz). Performance decrements in sustained attention during sleep deprivation associate with instability in behavioral and physiologic measures at baseline. Small individual differences in sustained attention that are present at baseline are amplified during prolonged wakefulness, thus contributing to large between-subjects differences in performance and sleepiness.

  8. An audience response system strategy to improve student motivation, attention, and feedback.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cain, Jeff; Black, Esther P; Rohr, Jürgen

    2009-04-07

    To implement an audience response system (ARS) to improve student motivation and attention during lectures and provide immediate feedback to the instructor concerning student understanding of lecture content in a Physiological Chemistry/Molecular Biology course. Students used ARS devices to respond to strategically placed questions throughout physiological chemistry/molecular biology lectures. The instructor inserted 6 to 7 questions that promoted student/class interactivity into each of several 50-minute lectures to focus students' attention and provide feedback on students' comprehension of material. Ninety-eight percent of first-year pharmacy (P1) students (n = 109) reported that strategically placed ARS questions throughout lectures helped them maintain attention. Reports from an independent focus group indicated that students favored this strategy. Furthermore, ARS feedback helped the instructor gauge student comprehension and adjust lectures accordingly. Focused, strategically placed ARS questions throughout lectures may help students maintain attention and stay motivated to learn. Feedback from these questions also allows instructors to adapt lectures to address areas of deficiency.

  9. Free and Cued Recall Memory Performance in Children with Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hager, Lisa D.

    This study investigated the effects of organization at input and cued retrieval on the free- and cued-recall memory performance of children (all male and between the ages of 8 and 12) with and without attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Children with ADHD (N=20) recalled significantly fewer words/pictures than children without ADHD…

  10. Attention, spatial integration, and the tail of response time distributions in Stroop task performance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Roelofs, A.P.A.

    2012-01-01

    A few studies have examined selective attention in Stroop task performance through ex-Gaussian analyses of response time (RT) distributions. It has remained unclear whether the tail of the RT distribution in vocal responding reflects spatial integration of relevant and irrelevant attributes, as

  11. Implicit and Explicit Memory Performance in Children with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aloisi, Bruno A.; McKone, Elinor; Heubeck, Bernd G.

    2004-01-01

    The present investigation examined implicit and explicit memory in 20 children diagnosed with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD) and 20 matched controls. Consistent with previous research, children with AD/HD performed more poorly than controls on an explicit test of long-term memory for pictures. New results were that (a) there was…

  12. Memory functions in chronic pain: examining contributions of attention and age to test performance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oosterman, J.M.; Derksen, L.C.; Wijck, A.J.M. van; Veldhuijzen, D.S.; Kessels, R.P.C.

    2011-01-01

    OBJECTIVES: Previous studies have revealed that memory performance is diminished in chronic pain patients. Few studies, however, have assessed multiple components of memory in a single sample. It is currently also unknown whether attentional problems, which are commonly observed in chronic pain,

  13. Drawing students' attention to relevant assessment criteria: effects on self-assessment skills and performance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fastré, Greet; Van der Klink, Marcel; Sluijsmans, Dominique; Van Merriënboer, Jeroen

    2012-01-01

    Fastré, G. M. J., Van der Klink, M. R., Sluijsmans, D., & Van Merriënboer, J. J. G. (2012). Drawing students’ attention to relevant assessment criteria: effects on self-assessment skills and performance. Journal of Vocational Education & Training, 64(2), 185-198. doi:10.1080/13636820.2011.630537

  14. Simulator Evaluation of Drivers’ Performance on Rural Highways in relation to Drivers’ Visual Attention Demands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yaqin Qin

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Aim of the study is to investigate, by means of a driving simulator experiment, drivers’ performance in terms of lateral position, speed, deceleration, steering angle, and breaking times on a divided two-lane rural highway in relation to drivers’ visual attention (VD. In the experiment, the virtual scene of twenty different geometric alignment sections without traffic and the VD testing were designed. Twenty-three experienced drivers with the calibration of attention capacity participated in a 30 km drive in an interactive fixed-base simulator. Each participant was required to drive with the controlled speed of 60 km/h along the central lane as repeating random number and was evaluated on VD and driving performances. Three different data analysis techniques were used: (a statistical tests and hypothesis test of curvature change rate (CCR of the geometric alignments, visual attention demands, and driving performance data, (b correlation analysis of VD, CCRs, and driving behaviors, and (c regression analysis of the VD and CCRs. Results have showed that the driving performance can be effectively influenced by the highway alignment and a prediction model built in this study can evaluate the drivers’ visual attention demands before the highway constructed. The interactions among VD, driving behavior, and CCRs were also found.

  15. Memory Functions in Chronic Pain Examining Contributions of Attention and Age to Test Performance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oosterman, J.M.; Derksen, L.C.; Wijck, A.J.M. van; Veldhuijzen, D.S.; Kessels, R.P.C.

    2011-01-01

    Objectives: Previous studies have revealed that memory performance is diminished in chronic pain patients. Few studies, however, have assessed multiple components of memory in a single sample. It is currently also unknown whether attentional problems, which are commonly observed in chronic pain,

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  17. Recent technology on steam turbine performance improvement

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hirada, M.; Watanabe, E.; Tashiro, H.

    1991-01-01

    Continuous efforts have been made to improve turbine efficiency by applying the latest aerodynamic technologies to meet the energy saving requirement. In recent years, there has been considerable improvement in the field of computational fluid dynamics and these new technologies have been applied to the new blade design for HP, IP and LP turbines. Experimental verification for the new blade in turbine tests has established the overall turbine performance improvement and the excellent correspondence of flow pattern to the predicted value. This paper introduces the latest design technologies for the newly developed high efficiency blade and the verification test results

  18. Attentional Filter Training but Not Memory Training Improves Decision-Making

    OpenAIRE

    Schmicker, Marlen; M?ller, Patrick; Schwefel, Melanie; M?ller, Notger G.

    2017-01-01

    Decision-making has a high practical relevance for daily performance. Its relation to other cognitive abilities such as executive control and memory is not fully understood. Here we asked whether training of either attentional filtering or memory storage would influence decision-making as indexed by repetitive assessments of the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT). The IGT was developed to assess and simulate real-life decision-making (Bechara et al., 2005). In this task, participants gain or lose money...

  19. Design aspects of PHWR for improved performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Das, M.

    1989-01-01

    The PHWR fuel bundle is elegantly simple in design consisting of only six components. The unique features of the design include high density natural UO 2 pellets, collapsible zircaloy cladding, no gas plenums and short (50 cm), simple bundle configuration. Over the last 20 years, considerable efforts have been expended and still being continued on development of analytical tools and computer codes generation of technical specifications tests and experimental studies type tests on prototype bundles irradiation of special documented fuel bundles in power reactors and monitoring and analysis of fuel performance. The knowledge thus gained has helped us to modify design requirements, relax technical specifications and to evolve new, improved designs. The PHWR fuel technology in India can now be considered as well proven but there is considerable scope for further improvements both in design and manufacturing. For example, in design, use of thinner wall cladding (to improve burn up) bundle design with graded elements, double dished pellet, improved coatings, use of MOX fuel etc. are being explored. On the manufacturing side emphasis need to be given on maintaining the quality, improvement on production and process control. The use of automation and advances in machine control techniques, for example, using micro processors can effectively contribute to improvements in quality, productivity and lowering of fuel fabrication costs. In this paper, the PHWR fuel design features, different fuel designs evolved, fuel specifications, influence of fabrication variables and future direction in improved fuel performance are discussed. (author) 9 refs., 7 figs

  20. Involuntary attention with uncertainty: peripheral cues improve perception of masked letters, but may impair perception of low-contrast letters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kerzel, Dirk; Gauch, Angélique; Buetti, Simona

    2010-10-01

    Improvements of perceptual performance following the presentation of peripheral cues have been ascribed to accelerated accrual of information, enhanced contrast perception, and decision bias. We investigated effects of peripheral cues on the perception of Gabor and letter stimuli. Non-predictive, peripheral cues improved perceptual accuracy when the stimuli were masked. In contrast, peripheral cues degraded perception of low-contrast letters and did not affect the perception of low-contrast Gabors. The results suggest that involuntary attention accelerates accrual of information but are not entirely consistent with the idea that involuntary attention enhances subjective contrast. Rather, peripheral cues may cause crowding with single letter targets of low contrast. Further, we investigated the effect of the amount of uncertainty on involuntary attention. Cueing effects were (initially) larger when there were more possible target locations. In addition, cueing effects were larger when error feedback was absent and observers had no knowledge of results. Despite these strategic factors, location uncertainty was not sufficient to produce cueing effects, showing that location uncertainty paired with non-predictive cues reveals perceptual and not (only) decisional processes.

  1. Measurement of mental attention: Assessing a cognitive component underlying performance on standardized intelligence tests

    OpenAIRE

    Steven J. Howard; Janice Johnson; Juan Pascual-Leone

    2013-01-01

    Despite the widespread use of standardized IQ tests to measure human intelligence, problems with such measures have led some to suggest that better indices may derive from measurement of cognitive processes underlying performance on IQ tests (e.g., working memory capacity). However, measures from both approaches may exhibit performance biases in favour of majority groups, due to the influence of prior learning and experience. Mental attentional (M-) capacity is proposed to be a causal factor ...

  2. Effect of alcohol and divided attention task on simulated driving performance of young drivers

    OpenAIRE

    FREYDIER , Chloé; BERTHELON , Catherine; Bastien-Toniazzo , Mireille; GINEYT , Guy

    2013-01-01

    The aim of this study is to evaluate driving impairment linked to divided attention task and alcohol and determinate if it is higher for novice drivers compared to more experienced drivers. Sixteen novice drivers and sixteen experienced drivers participated in three experimental sessions corresponding to blood alcohol concentration [BAC] of 0.0 g/L, 0.2 g/L and 0.5 g/L. They performed a divided attention task [car-following task combined with a number parity identification task], and their re...

  3. Purchasing to improve health systems performance

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Robinson, Ray; Jakubowski, Elke; Figueras, Josep

    2005-01-01

    ... as they formulate purchasing strategies so that they can increase effectiveness and improve performance in their own national context An assessment of the intersecting roles of citizens, the government and the providers * * * Written by leading health policy analysts, this book is essential reading for health policy makers, planners and managers as well as resear...

  4. Improving the Performance of Justice Institutions

    OpenAIRE

    Decker, Klaus; Mohlen, Christian; Varela, David F.

    2011-01-01

    This paper presents a selection of experiences from Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries in managing justice institutions which are the most relevant for performance improvement of their counterparts in Latin America. The scope of the paper is mostly limited to the courts, but comprises all types of courts: specialized courts as well as courts of general j...

  5. The People Side of Performance Improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerson, Richard F.

    1999-01-01

    Discusses 11 keys to the personal side of performance improvement, including positive attitude, high self esteem and positive self-image, communication skills, lifelong learning, caring about other people, health and well-being, motivation, goal setting, relaxation, visualization, and personal value system. (LRW)

  6. Acute administration of cyclosporine A does not impair attention or memory performance in healthy men.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kahl, Anna L; Kirchhof, Julia; Füting, Anna; Hütter, Bernd-Otto; Wilde, Benjamin; Witzke, Oliver; Benson, Sven; Hadamitzky, Martin; Schedlowski, Manfred

    2017-06-01

    There is clinical and experimental evidence that treatment with immunosuppressive and antiproliferative drugs such as the calcineurin inhibitor cyclosporine A (CsA) is associated with mental health problems and neuropsychological disturbances in patients. However, it remains unclear whether and to what extent cognitive functions such as memory and attention processes are affected by the pharmacological treatment. This is partly because of the fact that it is difficult to refer the observed neuropsychological disturbances in patients to the drug itself, to drug-induced immune suppression, or to interaction with other medication or comorbidities. Thus, in a double-blind study with healthy male participants (n=30), we investigated whether short-term intake of therapeutic doses of CsA (4×2.5 mg/kg) affects attention, working memory performance, and anxiety levels, measured with the Tests of Attentional Performance and the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory. The data indicate that short-term CsA-administration and subsequent suppression in interleukin-2 production are accompanied neither by a decrease in attention or memory performance nor by increased anxiety levels in healthy male volunteers, suggesting that the short-term intake of CsA does not impair cognitive functioning. Further studies in healthy humans are needed to determine neurocognitive functions and mood states after short-term or subchronic treatment with different immunosuppressive and antiproliferative drugs.

  7. Improving engineering performance by utilizing process indicators

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Roberts, T.E.

    1992-01-01

    The purpose of the work discussed in this paper was to develop engineering performance indicators used to facilitate improvement to the technical quality, cost-effectiveness, and delivery of engineering products and service. This work was specifically tailored for engineering support products and service associated with operating Florida Power and Light Company (FP and L) nuclear plants. The engineering process for the development of plant change packages was reviewed to identify critical in-process activities. Because each engineering project usually deals with a specific component or plant system, the different tasks are usually technically unique and of varying magnitudes. Although each engineering product may employ different analytical techniques or industry code requirements, several activities in documenting the engineering design process are generic. The quality of performance in these activities can be monitored analogously to the steps in a manufacturing process. This concept builds quality concepts into the package in lieu of inspecting package quality at the end of the process. The work has resulted in a valuable self-assessment tool that serves as a basis for engineering process improvements. The indicators are published in a semi-yearly performance report for FP and L contractors as well as FP and L in-house engineering work. Contracts have been set up to base fees on meeting targets established for the performance report. The ability to meet performance targets continues to improve

  8. Visuospatial training improves elementary students' mathematics performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lowrie, Tom; Logan, Tracy; Ramful, Ajay

    2017-06-01

    Although spatial ability and mathematics performance are highly correlated, there is scant research on the extent to which spatial ability training can improve mathematics performance. This study evaluated the efficacy of a visuospatial intervention programme within classrooms to determine the effect on students' (1) spatial reasoning and (2) mathematics performance as a result of the intervention. The study involved grade six students (ages 10-12) in eight classes. There were five intervention classes (n = 120) and three non-intervention control classes (n = 66). A specifically designed 10-week spatial reasoning programme was developed collaboratively with the participating teachers, with the intervention replacing the standard mathematics curriculum. The five classroom teachers in the intervention programme presented 20 hr of activities aimed at enhancing students' spatial visualization, mental rotation, and spatial orientation skills. The spatial reasoning programme led to improvements in both spatial ability and mathematics performance relative to the control group who received standard mathematics instruction. Our study is the first to show that a classroom-based spatial reasoning intervention improves elementary school students' mathematics performance. © 2017 The British Psychological Society.

  9. Pre-task music improves swimming performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smirmaul, B P; Dos Santos, R V; Da Silva Neto, L V

    2015-12-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of pre-task music on swimming performance and other psychological variables. A randomized counterbalanced within-subjects (experimental and control condition) design was employed. Eighteen regional level male swimmers performed two 200-m freestyle swimming time trials. Participants were exposed to either 5 minutes of self-selected music (pre-task music condition) or 5 minutes of silence (control condition) and, after 1 minute, performed the swimming task. Swimming time was significantly shorter (-1.44%) in the pre-task music condition. Listening to pre-task music increased motivation to perform the swimming task, while arousal remained unchanged. While fatigue increased after the swimming task in both conditions, vigor, ratings of perceived exertion and affective valence were unaltered. It is concluded, for the first time, that pre-task music improves swimming performance.

  10. Markers of preparatory attention predict visual short-term memory performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murray, Alexandra M; Nobre, Anna C; Stokes, Mark G

    2011-05-01

    Visual short-term memory (VSTM) is limited in capacity. Therefore, it is important to encode only visual information that is most likely to be relevant to behaviour. Here we asked which aspects of selective biasing of VSTM encoding predict subsequent memory-based performance. We measured EEG during a selective VSTM encoding task, in which we varied parametrically the memory load and the precision of recall required to compare a remembered item to a subsequent probe item. On half the trials, a spatial cue indicated that participants only needed to encode items from one hemifield. We observed a typical sequence of markers of anticipatory spatial attention: early attention directing negativity (EDAN), anterior attention directing negativity (ADAN), late directing attention positivity (LDAP); as well as of VSTM maintenance: contralateral delay activity (CDA). We found that individual differences in preparatory brain activity (EDAN/ADAN) predicted cue-related changes in recall accuracy, indexed by memory-probe discrimination sensitivity (d'). Importantly, our parametric manipulation of memory-probe similarity also allowed us to model the behavioural data for each participant, providing estimates for the quality of the memory representation and the probability that an item could be retrieved. We found that selective encoding primarily increased the probability of accurate memory recall; that ERP markers of preparatory attention predicted the cue-related changes in recall probability. Copyright © 2011. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  11. Focused attention improves working memory: implications for flexible-resource and discrete-capacity models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Souza, Alessandra S; Rerko, Laura; Lin, Hsuan-Yu; Oberauer, Klaus

    2014-10-01

    Performance in working memory (WM) tasks depends on the capacity for storing objects and on the allocation of attention to these objects. Here, we explored how capacity models need to be augmented to account for the benefit of focusing attention on the target of recall. Participants encoded six colored disks (Experiment 1) or a set of one to eight colored disks (Experiment 2) and were cued to recall the color of a target on a color wheel. In the no-delay condition, the recall-cue was presented after a 1,000-ms retention interval, and participants could report the retrieved color immediately. In the delay condition, the recall-cue was presented at the same time as in the no-delay condition, but the opportunity to report the color was delayed. During this delay, participants could focus attention exclusively on the target. Responses deviated less from the target's color in the delay than in the no-delay condition. Mixture modeling assigned this benefit to a reduction in guessing (Experiments 1 and 2) and transposition errors (Experiment 2). We tested several computational models implementing flexible or discrete capacity allocation, aiming to explain both the effect of set size, reflecting the limited capacity of WM, and the effect of delay, reflecting the role of attention to WM representations. Both models fit the data better when a spatially graded source of transposition error is added to its assumptions. The benefits of focusing attention could be explained by allocating to this object a higher proportion of the capacity to represent color.

  12. Social isolation induces deficit of latent learning performance in mice: a putative animal model of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ouchi, Hirofumi; Ono, Kazuya; Murakami, Yukihisa; Matsumoto, Kinzo

    2013-02-01

    Social isolation of rodents (SI) elicits a variety of stress responses such as increased aggressiveness, hyper-locomotion, and reduced susceptibility to pentobarbital. To obtain a better understanding of the relevance of SI-induced behavioral abnormalities to psychiatric disorders, we examined the effect of SI on latent learning as an index of spatial attention, and discussed the availability of SI as an epigenetic model of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Except in specially stated cases, 4-week-old male mice were housed in a group or socially isolated for 3-70 days before experiments. The animals socially isolated for 1 week or more exhibited spatial attention deficit in the water-finding test. Re-socialized rearing for 5 weeks after 1-week SI failed to attenuate the spatial attention deficit. The effect of SI on spatial attention showed no gender difference or correlation with increased aggressive behavior. Moreover, SI had no effect on cognitive performance elucidated in a modified Y-maze or an object recognition test, but it significantly impaired contextual and conditional fear memory elucidated in the fear-conditioning test. Drugs used for ADHD therapy, methylphenidate (1-10 mg/kg, i.p.) and caffeine (0.5-1 mg/kg, i.p.), improved SI-induced latent learning deficit in a manner reversible with cholinergic but not dopaminergic antagonists. Considering the behavioral features of SI mice together with their susceptibility to ADHD drugs, the present findings suggest that SI provides an epigenetic animal model of ADHD and that central cholinergic systems play a role in the effect of methylphenidate on SI-induced spatial attention deficit. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Continuous theta-burst stimulation may improve visuospatial neglect via modulating the attention network: a randomized controlled study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fu, Wei; Cao, Lei; Zhang, Yanming; Huo, Su; Du, JuBao; Zhu, Lin; Song, Weiqun

    2017-05-01

    Visuospatial neglect (VSN) is devastating and common after stroke, and is thought to involve functional disturbance of the attention network. Non-invasive theta-burst stimulation (TBS) may help restore the normal function of attention network, therefore facilitating recovery from VSN. This study investigated the effects of continuous TBS on resting-state functional connectivity (RSFC) in the attention network, and behavioral performances of patients with VSN after stroke. Twelve patients were randomly assigned to receive 10-day cTBS of the left posterior parietal cortex delivered at 80% (the cTBS group), or 40% (the active control group) of the resting motor threshold. Both groups received daily visual scanning training and motor function treatment. Resting-state functional MRI (fMRI) and behavioral tests including line bisection test and star cancelation test were conducted at baseline and after the treatment. At baseline, the two groups showed comparable results in the resting-state fMRI experiments and behavioral tests. After treatment, the cTBS group showed lower functional connectivity between right temporoparietal junction (TPJ) and right anterior insula, and between right superior temporal sulcus and right anterior insula, as compared with the active control group; both groups showed improvement in the behavioral tests, with the cTBS group showing larger changes from baseline than the active control group. cTBS of the left posterior parietal cortex in patients with VSN may induce changes in inter-regional RSFC in the right ventral attention network. These changes may be associated with improved recovery of behavioral deficits after behavioral training. The TPJ and superior temporal sulcus may play crucial roles in recovery from VSN.

  14. PUBLIC ATTENTION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION AS DETERMINANTS OF FIRMS PERFORMANCE IN THE TELECOMMUNICATION SECTOR

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ridwan Nurazi

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available The remarkable progress of information technology had driven every firm to publish their financial performanceby using internet. This circumstance resulted in the high public attention in order to generate the stockreturn. In addition, financial information such as financial ratio namely DER, LEV, NPM, ROI, and ROEwere supposed to influence the firm’s performance either in positive or negative effects. This study focused onthe investigation of public attention (PA and financial information as determinants of financial performanceon four companies in Telecommunication sector, Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX, within time period from2007 to 2012. Hereby, we pointed out that public attention and financial information considerably contributeto firm performance, in which the Pooled Least Square (EGLS with cross section and period weight wasemployed. The results showed that Public Attention (PA positively contributed towards stock return. Further,financial ratio such as debt-to-equity ratio (DER negatively influenced the return. Leverage (LEV, net profitmargin (NPM and return on investment (ROI positively related to return. However, return on equity (ROEshowed the contrary sign, in which it negatively influenced the return but was statistically insignificant. Then,we reported that the stock price (LNSP did not significantly contribute towards return (RET.

  15. Spatial-attention and emotional evocation: line bisection performance and visual art emotional evocation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drago, Valeria; Finney, Glen R; Foster, Paul S; Amengual, Alejandra; Jeong, Yong; Mizuno, Tomoiuki; Crucian, Gregory P; Heilman, Kenneth M

    2008-03-01

    Lesion studies demonstrate that the right temporal-parietal region (RTP) is important for mediating spatial attention. The RTP is also involved in emotional experiences that can be evoked by art. Normal people vary in their ability to allocate spatial attention, thus, people who can better allocate attention might also be more influenced by the emotional messages of the paintings (evocative impact). Seventeen healthy participants bisected an unlabeled 100mm line and their performance on this task was used to create two groups, individuals who were more (mALB) and less accurate (lALB). These participants also judged 10 paintings on five qualities, Evocative Impact, Aesthetics, Novelty, Technique, and Closure by marking a 100mm line from 1 (low degree) to 10 (high degree). An ANOVA indicated differences in accuracy on the line bisection (LB) between the two groups. Additional ANOVAs, using the quality ratings as the dependent measure, revealed that the mALB group scored the Evocative Impact greater than the lALB group. These results suggest that the differences in attentional bias between the two groups, as indicated by their LB performance, might influence their evocative impact or reactions and also be a 'barometer' of other RTP functions, including emotional processing.

  16. Pleasant music improves visual attention in patients with unilateral neglect after stroke.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Mei-Ching; Tsai, Pei-Luen; Huang, Yu-Ting; Lin, Keh-Chung

    2013-01-01

    To investigate whether listening to pleasant music improves visual attention to and awareness of contralesional stimuli in patients with unilateral neglect after stroke. A within-subject design was used with 19 participants with unilateral neglect following a right hemisphere stroke. Participants were tested in three conditions (pleasant music, unpleasant music and white noise) within 1 week. All musical pieces were chosen by the participants. In each condition, participants were asked to complete three sub-tests of the Behavioural Inattention Test (the Star Cancellation Test, the Line Bisection Test and the Picture Scanning test) and a visual exploration task with everyday scenes. Eye movements in the visual exploration task were recorded simultaneously. Mood and arousal induced by different auditory stimuli were assessed using visual analogue scales, heart rate and galvanic skin response. Compared with unpleasant music and white noise, participants rated their moods as more positive and arousal as higher with pleasant music, but also showed significant improvement on all tasks and eye movement data, except the Line Bisection Test. The findings suggest that pleasant music can improve visual attention in patients with unilateral neglect after stroke. Additional research using randomized controlled trials is required to validate these findings.

  17. Improving Robustness against Environmental Sounds for Directing Attention of Social Robots

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thomsen, Nicolai Bæk; Tan, Zheng-Hua; Lindberg, Børge

    2015-01-01

    This paper presents a multi-modal system for finding out where to direct the attention of a social robot in a dialog scenario, which is robust against environmental sounds (door slamming, phone ringing etc.) and short speech segments. The method is based on combining voice activity detection (VAD......) and sound source localization (SSL) and furthermore apply post-processing to SSL to filter out short sounds. The system is tested against a baseline system in four different real-world experiments, where different sounds are used as interfering sounds. The results are promising and show a clear improvement....

  18. Impact of the focus of attention on vertical jump performance of junior basketball players

    OpenAIRE

    Manojlović Vladimir; Erčulj Frane

    2013-01-01

    The aim of the research was to determine the impact of the focus of attention on vertical jump performance expressed through a jump height. Thirteen basketball players (body mass = 73,4 kg, height = 186,58 cm, age = 15.12 ± 0.61 y) volunteered as participants. All the subject represented a club which participated in the Croatian cadets 1. league in season 2008/09, and were tested during the season. The subjects performed two experiments. In both experiments, they performed 15 repetitions of c...

  19. Retrospective Attention Interacts with Stimulus Strength to Shape Working Memory Performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wildegger, Theresa; Humphreys, Glyn; Nobre, Anna C

    2016-01-01

    Orienting attention retrospectively to selective contents in working memory (WM) influences performance. A separate line of research has shown that stimulus strength shapes perceptual representations. There is little research on how stimulus strength during encoding shapes WM performance, and how effects of retrospective orienting might vary with changes in stimulus strength. We explore these questions in three experiments using a continuous-recall WM task. In Experiment 1 we show that benefits of cueing spatial attention retrospectively during WM maintenance (retrocueing) varies according to stimulus contrast during encoding. Retrocueing effects emerge for supraliminal but not sub-threshold stimuli. However, once stimuli are supraliminal, performance is no longer influenced by stimulus contrast. In Experiments 2 and 3 we used a mixture-model approach to examine how different sources of error in WM are affected by contrast and retrocueing. For high-contrast stimuli (Experiment 2), retrocues increased the precision of successfully remembered items. For low-contrast stimuli (Experiment 3), retrocues decreased the probability of mistaking a target with distracters. These results suggest that the processes by which retrospective attentional orienting shape WM performance are dependent on the quality of WM representations, which in turn depends on stimulus strength during encoding.

  20. Retrospective Attention Interacts with Stimulus Strength to Shape Working Memory Performance.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Theresa Wildegger

    Full Text Available Orienting attention retrospectively to selective contents in working memory (WM influences performance. A separate line of research has shown that stimulus strength shapes perceptual representations. There is little research on how stimulus strength during encoding shapes WM performance, and how effects of retrospective orienting might vary with changes in stimulus strength. We explore these questions in three experiments using a continuous-recall WM task. In Experiment 1 we show that benefits of cueing spatial attention retrospectively during WM maintenance (retrocueing varies according to stimulus contrast during encoding. Retrocueing effects emerge for supraliminal but not sub-threshold stimuli. However, once stimuli are supraliminal, performance is no longer influenced by stimulus contrast. In Experiments 2 and 3 we used a mixture-model approach to examine how different sources of error in WM are affected by contrast and retrocueing. For high-contrast stimuli (Experiment 2, retrocues increased the precision of successfully remembered items. For low-contrast stimuli (Experiment 3, retrocues decreased the probability of mistaking a target with distracters. These results suggest that the processes by which retrospective attentional orienting shape WM performance are dependent on the quality of WM representations, which in turn depends on stimulus strength during encoding.

  1. Attention Deficit ِDuring Dual-Task Performance in Alzheimer’s Disease Patients

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hamid Salehi

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Objectives: The aims of the present investigation was the evaluation of divided attention deficits in Alzheimer's disease (AD patients by using dual-task paradigm in order to ascertain whether this method can be useful in the early diagnosis of AD or not.  Methods & Materials: A total of 23 elderly individuals (11 females and 12 males voluntarily participated in the investigation: 13 patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD and 10 healthy elderly individuals. The experimental setup consisted of (a single -task and (b dual-task trials at two levels of difficulty. In singletask condition, the participants were asked to recite the months of the year continuously with normal order (easy and backward (difficult. They also performed a computerized visuospatial/motor tracking task. The participants then performed the tracking task in conjunction with each of the months reciting tasks as dual-task condition. Results: The results showed a significant interaction (disease×level of difficulty effect. So that, the performance impairment on combine performance in two simultaneous tasks was related to task difficulty, but the elderly control group did not differ in the easy and difficult conditions. Conclusion: These findings not only increase our understanding of the attention deficits in AD patients, but also have implications for the mediating effect of cognitive load in using dual-task paradigm for studying attention mechanisms of cognitively suffered individuals.

  2. Divided Attention in Younger and Older Adults: Effects of Strategy and Relatedness on Memory Performance and Secondary Task Costs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naveh-Benjamin, Moshe; Craik, Fergus I. M.; Guez, Jonathan; Kreuger, Sharyn

    2005-01-01

    Divided attention at encoding leads to a significant decline in memory performance, whereas divided attention during retrieval has relatively little effect; nevertheless, retrieval carries significant secondary task costs, especially for older adults. The authors further investigated the effects of divided attention in younger and older adults by…

  3. Effects of Diurnal Variation and Caffeine Consumption on Test of Variables of Attention (TOVA) Performance in Healthy Young Adults

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunt, Melissa G.; Momjian, Ani J.; Wong, Keri K.

    2011-01-01

    The Test of Variables of Attention (TOVA) is a continuous performance test (CPT) that assesses attention, impulsivity, and processing speed. CPTs are used in the assessment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children, but more young adults are being assessed for ADHD as well. The TOVA norms are based on a standardization sample…

  4. Improved Low Temperature Performance of Supercapacitors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brandon, Erik J.; West, William C.; Smart, Marshall C.; Gnanaraj, Joe

    2013-01-01

    Low temperature double-layer capacitor operation enabled by: - Base acetonitrile / TEATFB salt formulation - Addition of low melting point formates, esters and cyclic ethers center dot Key electrolyte design factors: - Volume of co-solvent - Concentration of salt center dot Capacity increased through higher capacity electrodes: - Zeolite templated carbons - Asymmetric cell designs center dot Continuing efforts - Improve asymmetric cell performance at low temperature - Cycle life testing Motivation center dot Benchmark performance of commercial cells center dot Approaches for designing low temperature systems - Symmetric cells (activated carbon electrodes) - Symmetric cells (zeolite templated carbon electrodes) - Asymmetric cells (lithium titanate/activated carbon electrodes) center dot Experimental results center dot Summary

  5. Cloud Computing for Maintenance Performance Improvement

    OpenAIRE

    Kour, Ravdeep; Karim, Ramin; Parida, Aditya

    2013-01-01

    Cloud Computing is an emerging research area. It can be utilised for acquiring an effective and efficient information logistics. This paper uses cloud-based technology for the establishment of information logistics for railway system which requires information based on data from different data sources (e.g. railway maintenance, railway operation, and railway business data). In order to improve the performance of the maintenance process relevant data from various sources need to be acquired, f...

  6. The assessment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in children using continous performance tasks in virtual environments

    OpenAIRE

    Gutiérrez Maldonado, José; Letosa Porta, A.; Rus Calafell, M.; Peñaloza Salazar, C.

    2009-01-01

    The assessment of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) involves the use of different instruments, and one of the most frequently used is the Continuous Performance Test (CPT). Virtual reality allows for the achieving of the presentation of stimuli with high levels of control. In addition, it facilitates the presentation of distracters with a high level of resemblance to elements which in fact can be found in the real world by placing them in a similar context. Thus, it is possible ...

  7. Improvements in Attention and Cardiac Autonomic Modulation After a 2-Weeks Sprint Interval Training Program: A Fidelity Approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arilson F. M. de Sousa

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available This study aimed to: (1 investigate the influence of a 2-weeks sprint interval training (SIT program on aerobic capacity, cardiac autonomic control, and components of attention in young healthy university students; and (2 to ascertain whether training fidelity would influence these adaptations. One hundred and nine participants were divided into an experimental (EG and control (CG groups. The EG performed a SIT program that consisted of 6 sessions of 4 × 30 s “all-out” efforts on a cycle ergometer, interspersed with active rests of 4 min. The criterion for fidelity was achieving >90% of estimated maximum heart rate (HR during sprint bouts. After analyses, the EG was divided into HIGH (n = 26 and LOW (n = 46 fidelity groups. Components of attention were assessed using the Attention Network Test (ANT. Aerobic capacity (VO2max was estimated while the sum of skinfolds was determined. Autonomic control of HR was assessed by means of HR variability (HRV and HR complexity at rest and during ANT. Both HIGH and LOW significantly increased aerobic capacity, vagal modulation before and during ANT, and executive control, and decreased body fatness after SIT (p < 0.05. However, only participants from HIGH showed an increase in HR complexity and accuracy in ANT when compared to LOW (p < 0.05. Two weeks of SIT improved executive control, body fatness, aerobic fitness, and autonomic control in university students with better results reported in those individuals who exhibited high fidelity.

  8. Measuring the performance of attention networks with the Dalhousie Computerized Attention Battery (DalCAB: Methodology and reliability in healthy adults

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephanie Anne Holland Jones

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Attention is an important, multifaceted cognitive domain that has been linked to three distinct, yet interacting, networks: alerting, orienting, and executive control. The measurement of attention and deficits of attention within these networks is critical to the assessment of many neurological and psychiatric conditions in both research and clinical settings. The Dalhousie Computerized Attention Battery (DalCAB was created to assess attentional functions related to the three attention networks using a range of tasks including: simple reaction time, go/no-go, choice reaction time, dual task, flanker, item and location working memory and visual search. The current study provides preliminary normative data, test-retest reliability (intraclass correlations and practice effects in DalCAB performance 24-hours after baseline for healthy young adults (n = 96, 18-31 years. Performance on the DalCAB tasks demonstrated Good to Excellent test-retest reliability for mean reaction time, while accuracy and difference measures (e.g., switch costs, interference effects and working memory load effects were most reliable for tasks that require more extensive cognitive processing (e.g., choice reaction time, flanker, dual task, and conjunction search. Practice effects were common and pronounced at the 24-hour interval. In addition, performance related to specific within-task parameters of the DalCAB sub-tests provides preliminary support for future formal assessment of the convergent validity of our interpretation of the DalCAB as a potential clinical and research assessment tool for measuring aspects of attention related to the alerting, orienting and executive control networks.Keywords: computerized assessment; attention; orienting; alerting; executive function

  9. Improving creativity performance by short-term meditation

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    Background One form of meditation intervention, the integrative body-mind training (IBMT) has been shown to improve attention, reduce stress and change self-reports of mood. In this paper we examine whether short-term IBMT can improve performance related to creativity and determine the role that mood may play in such improvement. Methods Forty Chinese undergraduates were randomly assigned to short-term IBMT group or a relaxation training (RT) control group. Mood and creativity performance were assessed by the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS) and Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking (TTCT) questionnaire respectively. Results As predicted, the results indicated that short-term (30 min per day for 7 days) IBMT improved creativity performance on the divergent thinking task, and yielded better emotional regulation than RT. In addition, cross-lagged analysis indicated that both positive and negative affect may influence creativity in IBMT group (not RT group). Conclusions Our results suggested that emotion-related creativity-promoting mechanism may be attributed to short-term meditation. PMID:24645871

  10. Differential reinforcement and resistance to change of divided-attention performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Podlesnik, Christopher A; Thrailkill, Eric; Shahan, Timothy A

    2012-06-01

    Behavioral momentum theory provides a framework for understanding how conditions of reinforcement influence instrumental response strength under conditions of disruption (i.e., resistance to change). The present experiment examined resistance to change of divided-attention performance when different overall probabilities of reinforcement were arranged across two components of a multiple schedule. Pigeons responded in a delayed-matching-to-sample procedure with compound samples (color + line orientation) and element comparisons (two colors or two line orientations). Reinforcement ratios of 1:9, 1:1, and 9:1 for accurate matches on the two types of comparison trials were examined across conditions using reinforcement probabilities (color/lines) of .9/.1, .5/.5, and .1/.9 in the rich component and .18/.02, .1/.1, and .02/.18 in the lean component. Relative accuracy with color and line comparisons was an orderly function of relative reinforcement, but this relation did not depend on the overall rate of reinforcement between components. The resistance to change of divided-attention performance was greater for both trial types in the rich component with presession feeding and extinction, but not with decreases in sample duration. These findings suggest promise for the applicability of quantitative models of operant behavior to divided-attention performance, but they highlight the need to further explore conditions impacting the resistance to change of attending.

  11. AULA virtual reality test as an attention measure: convergent validity with Conners' Continuous Performance Test.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Díaz-Orueta, Unai; Garcia-López, Cristina; Crespo-Eguílaz, Nerea; Sánchez-Carpintero, Rocío; Climent, Gema; Narbona, Juan

    2014-01-01

    The majority of neuropsychological tests used to evaluate attention processes in children lack ecological validity. The AULA Nesplora (AULA) is a continuous performance test, developed in a virtual setting, very similar to a school classroom. The aim of the present study is to analyze the convergent validity between the AULA and the Continuous Performance Test (CPT) of Conners. The AULA and CPT were administered correlatively to 57 children, aged 6-16 years (26.3% female) with average cognitive ability (IQ mean = 100.56, SD = 10.38) who had a diagnosis of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) according to DSM-IV-TR criteria. Spearman correlations analyses were conducted among the different variables. Significant correlations were observed between both tests in all the analyzed variables (omissions, commissions, reaction time, and variability of reaction time), including for those measures of the AULA based on different sensorial modalities, presentation of distractors, and task paradigms. Hence, convergent validity between both tests was confirmed. Moreover, the AULA showed differences by gender and correlation to Perceptual Reasoning and Working Memory indexes of the WISC-IV, supporting the relevance of IQ measures in the understanding of cognitive performance in ADHD. In addition, the AULA (but not Conners' CPT) was able to differentiate between ADHD children with and without pharmacological treatment for a wide range of measures related to inattention, impulsivity, processing speed, motor activity, and quality of attention focus. Additional measures and advantages of the AULA versus Conners' CPT are discussed.

  12. Attention Cueing and Activity Equally Reduce False Alarm Rate in Visual-Auditory Associative Learning through Improving Memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nikouei Mahani, Mohammad-Ali; Haghgoo, Hojjat Allah; Azizi, Solmaz; Nili Ahmadabadi, Majid

    2016-01-01

    In our daily life, we continually exploit already learned multisensory associations and form new ones when facing novel situations. Improving our associative learning results in higher cognitive capabilities. We experimentally and computationally studied the learning performance of healthy subjects in a visual-auditory sensory associative learning task across active learning, attention cueing learning, and passive learning modes. According to our results, the learning mode had no significant effect on learning association of congruent pairs. In addition, subjects' performance in learning congruent samples was not correlated with their vigilance score. Nevertheless, vigilance score was significantly correlated with the learning performance of the non-congruent pairs. Moreover, in the last block of the passive learning mode, subjects significantly made more mistakes in taking non-congruent pairs as associated and consciously reported lower confidence. These results indicate that attention and activity equally enhanced visual-auditory associative learning for non-congruent pairs, while false alarm rate in the passive learning mode did not decrease after the second block. We investigated the cause of higher false alarm rate in the passive learning mode by using a computational model, composed of a reinforcement learning module and a memory-decay module. The results suggest that the higher rate of memory decay is the source of making more mistakes and reporting lower confidence in non-congruent pairs in the passive learning mode.

  13. Improving Vaginal Examinations Performed by Midwives

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rhoda S. Muliira

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available A vaginal examination (VE is an essential part of midwifery care, and is routinely performed when assessing the progress of labour. As evidence shows that during labour women may find VEs unpleasant,embarrassing and sometimes painful, the aim of this article is to review literature on the use of VEs during labour and to synthesise information from the available literature on how to provide an effective VE. The studies considered were retrieved from three databases (the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature [CINAHL], SCOPUS and MEDLINE using the following search terms: “VEs in labour”, “midwives and use of VEs” and “women experiences of VEs in labour”. The literature reviewed suggests that midwives are not careful about VEs. Therefore, a concerted effort is needed to pay attention to the frequency of VEs, the management ofpain and distress, information-giving and the preferences of the patient, so that the patient can feel in control during a VE.

  14. Improving Dorsal Stream Function in Dyslexics by Training Figure/Ground Motion Discrimination Improves Attention, Reading Fluency, and Working Memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawton, Teri

    2016-01-01

    There is an ongoing debate about whether the cause of dyslexia is based on linguistic, auditory, or visual timing deficits. To investigate this issue three interventions were compared in 58 dyslexics in second grade (7 years on average), two targeting the temporal dynamics (timing) of either the auditory or visual pathways with a third reading intervention (control group) targeting linguistic word building. Visual pathway training in dyslexics to improve direction-discrimination of moving test patterns relative to a stationary background (figure/ground discrimination) significantly improved attention, reading fluency, both speed and comprehension, phonological processing, and both auditory and visual working memory relative to controls, whereas auditory training to improve phonological processing did not improve these academic skills significantly more than found for controls. This study supports the hypothesis that faulty timing in synchronizing the activity of magnocellular with parvocellular visual pathways is a fundamental cause of dyslexia, and argues against the assumption that reading deficiencies in dyslexia are caused by phonological deficits. This study demonstrates that visual movement direction-discrimination can be used to not only detect dyslexia early, but also for its successful treatment, so that reading problems do not prevent children from readily learning.

  15. Improving Dorsal Stream Function in Dyslexics By Training Figure/Ground Motion Discrimination Improves Reading Fluency, Attention, and Working Memory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Teri Lawton

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available There is an ongoing debate about whether the cause of dyslexia is based on linguistic, auditory, or visual timing deficits. To investigate this issue three interventions were compared in 58 dyslexics in second grade (7 years on average, two targeting the temporal dynamics (timing of either the auditory or visual pathways with a third reading intervention (control group using linguistic word building. Visual pathway training in dyslexics to improve direction-discrimination of moving test patterns relative to a stationary background (figure/ground discrimination significantly improved attention, reading fluency, both speed and comprehension, phonological processing, and both auditory and visual working memory relative to controls, whereas auditory training to improve phonological processing did not improve these academic skills significantly more than found for controls. This study supports the hypothesis that faulty timing in synchronizing the activity of magnocellular with parvocellular visual pathways is a fundamental cause of dyslexia, and argues against the assumption that reading deficiencies in dyslexia are caused by phonological deficits. This study demonstrates that visual movement direction-discrimination can be used to not only detect dyslexia early, but also for its successful treatment, so that reading problems do not prevent children from readily learning.

  16. The Effectiveness of a Joint Attention Training Program on Improving Communication Skills of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eissa, Mourad Ali

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to explore the effect of a joint attention intervention program on improving joint attention and communication skills in children with autism disorder. Participants were ten children between the ages of five and seven who attended a school for children with developmental disabilities (Tarbya Fekrya ). A pre-post…

  17. Error review: Can this improve reporting performance?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tudor, Gareth R.; Finlay, David B.

    2001-01-01

    AIM: This study aimed to assess whether error review can improve radiologists' reporting performance. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Ten Consultant Radiologists reported 50 plain radiographs, in which the diagnoses were established. Eighteen of the radiographs were normal, 32 showed an abnormality. The radiologists were shown their errors and then re-reported the series of radiographs after an interval of 4-5 months. The accuracy of the reports to the established diagnoses was assessed. Chi-square test was used to calculate the difference between the viewings. RESULTS: On re-reporting the radiographs, seven radiologists improved their accuracy score, two had a lower score and one radiologist showed no score difference. Mean accuracy pre-education was 82.2%, (range 78-92%) and post-education was 88%, (range 76-96%). Individually, two of the radiologists showed a statistically significant improvement post-education (P < 0.01,P < 0.05). Assessing the group as a whole, there was a trend for improvement post-education but this did not reach statistical significance. Assessing only the radiographs where errors were made on the initial viewing, for the group as a whole there was a 63% improvement post-education. CONCLUSION: We suggest that radiologists benefit from error review, although there was not a statistically significant improvement for the series of radiographs in total. This is partly explained by the fact that some radiologists gave incorrect responses post-education that had initially been correct, thus masking the effect of the educational intervention. Tudor, G.R. and Finlay, D.B. (2001

  18. Cleanliness criteria to improve steam generator performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schwarz, T.; Bouecke, R.; Odar, S.

    2005-01-01

    High steam generator performance is a prerequisite for high plant availability and possible life time extension. The major opponent to that is corrosion and fouling of the heating tubes. Such steam generator degradation problems arise from the continuous ingress of non-volatile contaminants, i.e. corrosion products and salt impurities may accumulate in the steam generators. These impurities have their origin in the secondary side systems. The corrosion products generally accumulate in the steam generators and form deposits not only in the flow restricted areas, such as on top of tube sheet and tube support structure, but also build scales on the steam generator heating tubes. In addition, the tube scales in general affect the steam generator thermal performance, which ultimately causes a reduction of power output. The most effective ways of counteracting all these degradation problems, and thus of improving the steam generator performance is to keep them in clean conditions or, if judged necessary, to plan cleaning measures such as mechanical tube sheet lancing or chemical cleaning. This paper presents a methodology how to assess the cleanliness condition of a steam generator by bringing together all available operational and inspection data such as thermal performance and water chemistry data. By means of this all-inclusive approach the cleanliness condition is quantified in terms of a fouling index. The fouling index allows to monitor the condition of a specific steam generator, compare it to other plants and, finally, to serve as criterion for cleaning measures such as chemical cleaning. The application of the cleanliness criteria and the achieved field results with respect to improvements of steam generator performance will be presented. (author)

  19. Self-focused attention affects subsequent processing of positive (but not negative) performance appraisals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holzman, Jacob B; Valentiner, David P

    2016-03-01

    Cognitive-behavioral models highlight the conjoint roles of self-focused attention (SFA), post-event processing (PEP), and performance appraisals in the maintenance of social anxiety. SFA, PEP, and biased performance appraisals are related to social anxiety; however, limited research has examined how SFA affects information-processing following social events. The current study examined whether SFA affects the relationships between performance appraisals and PEP following a social event.. 137 participants with high (n = 72) or low (n = 65) social anxiety were randomly assigned to conditions of high SFA or low SFA while engaging in a standardized social performance. Subsequent performance appraisals and PEP were measured. Immediate performance appraisals were not affected by SFA. High levels of SFA led to a stronger, inverse relationship between immediate positive performance appraisals and subsequent negative PEP. High levels of SFA also led to a stronger, inverse relationship between negative PEP and changes in positive performance appraisals.. Future research should examine whether the current findings, which involved a standardized social performance event, extend to interaction events as well as in a clinical sample. These findings suggest that SFA affects the processing of positive information following a social performance event. SFA is particularly important for understanding how negative PEP undermines positive performance appraisals.. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  20. Signal Processing for Improved Wireless Receiver Performance

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christensen, Lars P.B.

    2007-01-01

    This thesis is concerned with signal processing for improving the performance of wireless communication receivers for well-established cellular networks such as the GSM/EDGE and WCDMA/HSPA systems. The goal of doing so, is to improve the end-user experience and/or provide a higher system capacity...... by allowing an increased reuse of network resources. To achieve this goal, one must first understand the nature of the problem and an introduction is therefore provided. In addition, the concept of graph-based models and approximations for wireless communications is introduced along with various Belief...... Propagation (BP) methods for detecting the transmitted information, including the Turbo principle. Having established a framework for the research, various approximate detection schemes are discussed. First, the general form of linear detection is presented and it is argued that this may be preferable...

  1. Restructuring primary care for performance improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fawcett, Kenneth J; Brummel, Stacy; Byrnes, John J

    2009-01-01

    Primary care practices can no longer consider ongoing quality assessment and management processes to be optional. There are ever-increasing demands from any number of interested parties for objectively measured proof of outcomes and quality of care. Primary Care Partners (PCP), a 16-site ambulatory affiliate of the Spectrum Health system in Grand Rapids, Michigan, began such a continuous quality improvement (CQI) effort in 2005. The intent was to develop an ongoing systematic process that would raise its performance potential and improve patient outcomes in the areas of chronic disease management and preventive services. This article describes the partnerships PCP established, specific benchmarks and measurements used, processes utilized, and results to date. This could be used as a roadmap for other primary care systems that are working to establish CQI in their daily operations.

  2. Measuring the Performance of Attention Networks with the Dalhousie Computerized Attention Battery (DalCAB): Methodology and Reliability in Healthy Adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Stephanie A H; Butler, Beverly C; Kintzel, Franziska; Johnson, Anne; Klein, Raymond M; Eskes, Gail A

    2016-01-01

    Attention is an important, multifaceted cognitive domain that has been linked to three distinct, yet interacting, networks: alerting, orienting, and executive control. The measurement of attention and deficits of attention within these networks is critical to the assessment of many neurological and psychiatric conditions in both research and clinical settings. The Dalhousie Computerized Attention Battery (DalCAB) was created to assess attentional functions related to the three attention networks using a range of tasks including: simple reaction time, go/no-go, choice reaction time, dual task, flanker, item and location working memory, and visual search. The current study provides preliminary normative data, test-retest reliability (intraclass correlations) and practice effects in DalCAB performance 24-h after baseline for healthy young adults (n = 96, 18-31 years). Performance on the DalCAB tasks demonstrated Good to Very Good test-retest reliability for mean reaction time, while accuracy and difference measures (e.g., switch costs, interference effects, and working memory load effects) were most reliable for tasks that require more extensive cognitive processing (e.g., choice reaction time, flanker, dual task, and conjunction search). Practice effects were common and pronounced at the 24-h interval. In addition, performance related to specific within-task parameters of the DalCAB sub-tests provides preliminary support for future formal assessment of the convergent validity of our interpretation of the DalCAB as a potential clinical and research assessment tool for measuring aspects of attention related to the alerting, orienting, and executive control networks.

  3. Under which conditions does T1 difficulty affect T2 performance in the attentional blink?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Simon; Petersen, Anders; Andersen, Tobias Søren

    2009-01-01

    When two visual targets (T1 & T2) are presented in rapid succession, performance of T2 suffers up to 900 ms. One theory of this attentional blink (Raymond, Shapiro, & Arnell, 1992) propose that T1 and T2 compete for limited processing resources (Chun & Potter, 1995), and predict that prolonging...... processing time for T1 by increasing its perceptual difficulty will induce a larger blink. Several studies have tested this prediction without reaching a consistent answer. McLaughlin, Shore, & Klein (2001) found no effect of the exposure duration of T1 on the attentional blink. Christmann & Leuthold (2004...... duration. In the hard condition, T1 exposure duration was 10 ms while T1 contrast was adjusted individually to reach 50% correct T1 identification. In the long duration condition, T1 exposure duration was increased to reach approximately 90% correct T1 identification. In the high contrast condition, T1...

  4. Improved performance of the Sao Paulo Pelletron

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sala, O.; Stier, M.; Acquadro, J.C.

    1981-01-01

    The Sao Paulo Pelletron was the first Pelletron constructed by the NEC and also the first to become operational at the end of 1971. Although the Herb Pelletron design was demonstrated from the beginning to be very good (later this was proven by the successful operation of several larger Pelletrons) our machine did suffer from defects in engineering which limited its performance and its application as a reliable tool for research in nuclear physics. This paper describes some of the improvements which we have introduced to increase the reliability of our Pelletron as a research tool in the University. (orig.)

  5. EEG indices correlate with sustained attention performance in patients affected by diffuse axonal injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coelli, Stefania; Barbieri, Riccardo; Reni, Gianluigi; Zucca, Claudio; Bianchi, Anna Maria

    2018-06-01

    The aim of this study is to assess the ability of EEG-based indices in providing relevant information about cognitive engagement level during the execution of a clinical sustained attention (SA) test in healthy volunteers and DAI (diffused axonal injury)-affected patients. We computed three continuous power-based engagement indices (P β /P α , 1/P α , and P β / (P α + P θ )) from EEG recordings in a control group (n = 7) and seven DAI-affected patients executing a 10-min Conners' "not-X" continuous performance test (CPT). A correlation analysis was performed in order to investigate the existence of relations between the EEG metrics and behavioral parameters in both the populations. P β /P α and 1/P α indices were found to be correlated with reaction times in both groups while P β / (P α + P θ ) and P β /P α also correlated with the errors rate for DAI patients. In line with previous studies, time course fluctuations revealed a first strong decrease of attention after 2 min from the beginning of the test and a final fading at the end. Our results provide evidence that EEG-derived indices extraction and evaluation during SA tasks are helpful in the assessment of attention level in healthy subjects and DAI patients, offering motivations for including EEG monitoring in cognitive rehabilitation practice. Graphical abstract Three EEG-derived indices were computed from four electrodes montages in a population of seven healthy volunteers and a group of seven DAI-affected patients. Results show a significant correlation between the time course of the indices and behavioral parameters, thus demonstrating their usefulness in monitoring mental engagement level during a sustained attention task.

  6. Improving human performance: Industry factors influencing the ability to perform

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Güera Massyn Romo

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Learning interventions and new technologies that aim to improve human performance must take cognisance of industry factors inhibiting human performance. The dynamic and fast pace nature of the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT and the engineering industries do not lend themselves to proper skills planning and management. These industries experience real skills gaps, to some of which they contribute by themselves. This study reports on these performance-inhibiting factors such as the underutilisation of available skills, tolerance for individual preferences, and dynamically, and informally refining a role objective while an employee is occupying a certain role. The important professional skills required by individuals to cope with these real life factors are also explored in the skills gaps management context. Moreover, these industries need a profile they refer to as Special Forces, which denotes a high calibre of worker that possesses well-developed professional skills whilst having advanced technical expertise and sufficient experience. This resource profile is required largely due to the poor management of human resource processes in practice and the current reported lack of adequate skills. Furthermore, this study refers to the recent lack of a working definition for these Special Forces leading to the omitted active development of these profiles in industry today, which appears to become a key human performance inhibiting factor.

  7. Artificial Astrocytes Improve Neural Network Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Porto-Pazos, Ana B.; Veiguela, Noha; Mesejo, Pablo; Navarrete, Marta; Alvarellos, Alberto; Ibáñez, Oscar; Pazos, Alejandro; Araque, Alfonso

    2011-01-01

    Compelling evidence indicates the existence of bidirectional communication between astrocytes and neurons. Astrocytes, a type of glial cells classically considered to be passive supportive cells, have been recently demonstrated to be actively involved in the processing and regulation of synaptic information, suggesting that brain function arises from the activity of neuron-glia networks. However, the actual impact of astrocytes in neural network function is largely unknown and its application in artificial intelligence remains untested. We have investigated the consequences of including artificial astrocytes, which present the biologically defined properties involved in astrocyte-neuron communication, on artificial neural network performance. Using connectionist systems and evolutionary algorithms, we have compared the performance of artificial neural networks (NN) and artificial neuron-glia networks (NGN) to solve classification problems. We show that the degree of success of NGN is superior to NN. Analysis of performances of NN with different number of neurons or different architectures indicate that the effects of NGN cannot be accounted for an increased number of network elements, but rather they are specifically due to astrocytes. Furthermore, the relative efficacy of NGN vs. NN increases as the complexity of the network increases. These results indicate that artificial astrocytes improve neural network performance, and established the concept of Artificial Neuron-Glia Networks, which represents a novel concept in Artificial Intelligence with implications in computational science as well as in the understanding of brain function. PMID:21526157

  8. Artificial astrocytes improve neural network performance.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana B Porto-Pazos

    Full Text Available Compelling evidence indicates the existence of bidirectional communication between astrocytes and neurons. Astrocytes, a type of glial cells classically considered to be passive supportive cells, have been recently demonstrated to be actively involved in the processing and regulation of synaptic information, suggesting that brain function arises from the activity of neuron-glia networks. However, the actual impact of astrocytes in neural network function is largely unknown and its application in artificial intelligence remains untested. We have investigated the consequences of including artificial astrocytes, which present the biologically defined properties involved in astrocyte-neuron communication, on artificial neural network performance. Using connectionist systems and evolutionary algorithms, we have compared the performance of artificial neural networks (NN and artificial neuron-glia networks (NGN to solve classification problems. We show that the degree of success of NGN is superior to NN. Analysis of performances of NN with different number of neurons or different architectures indicate that the effects of NGN cannot be accounted for an increased number of network elements, but rather they are specifically due to astrocytes. Furthermore, the relative efficacy of NGN vs. NN increases as the complexity of the network increases. These results indicate that artificial astrocytes improve neural network performance, and established the concept of Artificial Neuron-Glia Networks, which represents a novel concept in Artificial Intelligence with implications in computational science as well as in the understanding of brain function.

  9. Artificial astrocytes improve neural network performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Porto-Pazos, Ana B; Veiguela, Noha; Mesejo, Pablo; Navarrete, Marta; Alvarellos, Alberto; Ibáñez, Oscar; Pazos, Alejandro; Araque, Alfonso

    2011-04-19

    Compelling evidence indicates the existence of bidirectional communication between astrocytes and neurons. Astrocytes, a type of glial cells classically considered to be passive supportive cells, have been recently demonstrated to be actively involved in the processing and regulation of synaptic information, suggesting that brain function arises from the activity of neuron-glia networks. However, the actual impact of astrocytes in neural network function is largely unknown and its application in artificial intelligence remains untested. We have investigated the consequences of including artificial astrocytes, which present the biologically defined properties involved in astrocyte-neuron communication, on artificial neural network performance. Using connectionist systems and evolutionary algorithms, we have compared the performance of artificial neural networks (NN) and artificial neuron-glia networks (NGN) to solve classification problems. We show that the degree of success of NGN is superior to NN. Analysis of performances of NN with different number of neurons or different architectures indicate that the effects of NGN cannot be accounted for an increased number of network elements, but rather they are specifically due to astrocytes. Furthermore, the relative efficacy of NGN vs. NN increases as the complexity of the network increases. These results indicate that artificial astrocytes improve neural network performance, and established the concept of Artificial Neuron-Glia Networks, which represents a novel concept in Artificial Intelligence with implications in computational science as well as in the understanding of brain function.

  10. When a Thousand Words Are (Not Enough: An Empirical Study of the Relationship between Firm Performance and Attention to Shareholders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luciana Carvalho de Mesquita Ferreira

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study is to concurrently test the explanatory power of the attention-based view (ABV of the firm and of the resource dependence theory (RDT. We propose a conceptual model of attention to shareholders based on assumptions of both ABV and RDT. We test these hypotheses using a unique dataset, consisting of contentanalyzed data on attention allocation for 313 firms from 24 different countries. Our research findings highlight the complementary nature of the RDT and ABV and add to the literature about attention, providing empirical evidence and theoretical explanation for the scarcely explored relationship between firm performance and organizational attention.

  11. Complex living conditions impair behavioral inhibition but improve attention in rats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rixt evan der Veen

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Rapid adaptation to changes, while maintaining a certain level of behavioral inhibition is an important feature in every day functioning. How environmental context and challenges in life can impact on the development of this quality is still unknown. In the present study, we examined the effect of a complex rearing environment during adolescence on attention and behavioral inhibition in adult male rats. We also tested whether these effects were affected by an adverse early life challenge, maternal deprivation. We found that animals that were raised in large, two floor MarlauTM cages, together with 10 conspecifics, showed improved attention, but impaired behavioral inhibition in the 5-choice serial reaction time task. The early life challenge of 24h maternal deprivation on postnatal day 3 led to a decline in bodyweight during adolescence, but did not by itself influence responses in the 5-choice task in adulthood, nor did it moderate the effects of complex housing. Our data suggest that a complex rearing environment leads to a faster adaptation to changes in the environment, but at the cost of lower behavioral inhibition.

  12. Evaluation of perception performance in neck dissection planning using eye tracking and attention landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burgert, Oliver; Örn, Veronika; Velichkovsky, Boris M.; Gessat, Michael; Joos, Markus; Strauß, Gero; Tietjen, Christian; Preim, Bernhard; Hertel, Ilka

    2007-03-01

    Neck dissection is a surgical intervention at which cervical lymph node metastases are removed. Accurate surgical planning is of high importance because wrong judgment of the situation causes severe harm for the patient. Diagnostic perception of radiological images by a surgeon is an acquired skill that can be enhanced by training and experience. To improve accuracy in detecting pathological lymph nodes by newcomers and less experienced professionals, it is essential to understand how surgical experts solve relevant visual and recognition tasks. By using eye tracking and especially the newly-developed attention landscapes visualizations, it could be determined whether visualization options, for example 3D models instead of CT data, help in increasing accuracy and speed of neck dissection planning. Thirteen ORL surgeons with different levels of expertise participated in this study. They inspected different visualizations of 3D models and original CT datasets of patients. Among others, we used scanpath analysis and attention landscapes to interpret the inspection strategies. It was possible to distinguish different patterns of visual exploratory activity. The experienced surgeons exhibited a higher concentration of attention on the limited number of areas of interest and demonstrated less saccadic eye movements indicating a better orientation.

  13. Impact of the focus of attention on vertical jump performance of junior basketball players

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manojlović Vladimir

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The aim of the research was to determine the impact of the focus of attention on vertical jump performance expressed through a jump height. Thirteen basketball players (body mass = 73,4 kg, height = 186,58 cm, age = 15.12 ± 0.61 y volunteered as participants. All the subject represented a club which participated in the Croatian cadets 1. league in season 2008/09, and were tested during the season. The subjects performed two experiments. In both experiments, they performed 15 repetitions of countermovement jump, whereas in one of the experiments, during the performance of the jumps they were listening to an audio record of spectators. For both type of jumps, the subjects were instructed to stay in the air as long as possible during a single jump (external focus of attention. To determine the differences between jumps, a paired-sample t-test was used with a level of statistical significance set to p ≤ 0.05. Comparison for jump height between both type of jumps revealed no statistically significant difference, although the presented difference should not be denied considering a real match conditions.

  14. Improving the Dictation in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder by Using Computer Based Interventions: A Clinical Trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mahdi Tehranidoost

    2006-07-01

    Full Text Available Objective: The aim of the current study was to assess the impact of computer games and computer-assisted type instruction on dictation scores of elementary school children with attention deficit – hyperactivity disorder (ADHD. Method: In this single-blind clinical trial, 37 elementary school children with ADHD, selected by convenience sampling and divided into group I (n=17 and group II (n=20, underwent eight one-hour sessions (3 sessions per week of intervention by computer games versus computer-assisted type instruction, respectively. 12 school dictation scores were considered: 4 scores preintervention, 4 scores during interventions, and 4 scores post-intervention. Dictation test was taken during each session. Data was analyzed using repeated measure ANOVA. Results: Two groups were matched for age, gender, school grade, medication, IQ, parent’s and teacher’s Conners’ scale scores, having computer at home, history of working with computer, and mean dictation scores. There was no significant difference in dictation scores before and after interventions and also between the study groups. The improvement in school dictation scores had no significant correlation with age, gender, Ritalin use, owning a computer at home and past history of computer work, baseline dictation scores, Ritalin dose, educational status, IQ, and the total score of parent’s and teacher’s Conners’ rating scale. Conclusion: Absence of significant improvement in dictation scores in study groups may be due to the confounding effect of other variables with known impact on dictation scores. Further studies in this field should also assess the change of attention and memory.

  15. Performance Benefits with Scene-Linked HUD Symbology: An Attentional Phenomenon?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levy, Jonathan L.; Foyle, David C.; McCann, Robert S.; Null, Cynthia H. (Technical Monitor)

    1999-01-01

    Previous research has shown that in a simulated flight task, navigating a path defined by ground markers while maintaining a target altitude is more accurate when an altitude indicator appears in a virtual "scenelinked" format (projected symbology moving as if it were part of the out-the-window environment) compared to the fixed-location, superimposed format found on present-day HUDs (Foyle, McCann & Shelden, 1995). One explanation of the scene-linked performance advantage is that attention can be divided between scene-linked symbology and the outside world more efficiently than between standard (fixed-position) HUD symbology and the outside world. The present study tested two alternative explanations by manipulating the location of the scene-linked HUD symbology relative to the ground path markers. Scene-linked symbology yielded better ground path-following performance than standard fixed-location superimposed symbology regardless of whether the scene-linked symbology appeared directly along the ground path or at various distances off the path. The results support the explanation that the performance benefits found with scene-linked symbology are attentional.

  16. Impulsiveness, overactivity, and poorer sustained attention improve by chronic treatment with low doses of l-amphetamine in an animal model of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sagvolden, Terje

    2011-03-30

    ADHD is currently defined as a cognitive/behavioral developmental disorder where all clinical criteria are behavioral. Overactivity, impulsiveness, and inattentiveness are presently regarded as the main clinical symptoms. There is no biological marker, but there is considerable evidence to suggest that ADHD behavior is associated with poor dopaminergic and noradrenergic modulation of neuronal circuits that involve the frontal lobes. The best validated animal model of ADHD, the Spontaneously Hypertensive Rat (SHR), shows pronounced overactivity, impulsiveness, and deficient sustained attention. The primary objective of the present research was to investigate behavioral effects of a range of doses of chronic l-amphetamine on ADHD-like symptoms in the SHR. The present study tested the behavioral effects of 0.75 and 2.2 mg l-amphetamine base/kg i.p. in male SHRs and their controls, the Wistar Kyoto rat (WKY). ADHD-like behavior was tested with a visual discrimination task measuring overactivity, impulsiveness and inattentiveness. The striking impulsiveness, overactivity, and poorer sustained attention seen during baseline conditions in the SHR were improved by chronic treatment with l-amphetamine. The dose-response curves were, however, different for the different behaviors. Most significantly, the 0.75 mg/kg dose of l-amphetamine improved sustained attention without reducing overactivity and impulsiveness. The 2.2 mg/kg dose improved sustained attention as well as reduced SHR overactivity and impulsiveness. The effects of l-amphetamine to reduce the behavioral symptoms of ADHD in the SHR were maintained over the 14 days of daily dosing with no evidence of tolerance developing.

  17. MEMS Actuators for Improved Performance and Durability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yearsley, James M.

    Micro-ElectroMechanical Systems (MEMS) devices take advantage of force-scaling at length scales smaller than a millimeter to sense and interact with directly with phenomena and targets at the microscale. MEMS sensors found in everyday devices like cell-phones and cars include accelerometers, gyros, pressure sensors, and magnetic sensors. MEMS actuators generally serve more application specific roles including micro- and nano-tweezers used for single cell manipulation, optical switching and alignment components, and micro combustion engines for high energy density power generation. MEMS rotary motors are actuators that translate an electric drive signal into rotational motion and can serve as rate calibration inputs for gyros, stages for optical components, mixing devices for micro-fluidics, etc. Existing rotary micromotors suffer from friction and wear issues that affect lifetime and performance. Attempts to alleviate friction effects include surface treatment, magnetic and electrostatic levitation, pressurized gas bearings, and micro-ball bearings. The present work demonstrates a droplet based liquid bearing supporting a rotary micromotor that improves the operating characteristics of MEMS rotary motors. The liquid bearing provides wear-free, low-friction, passive alignment between the rotor and stator. Droplets are positioned relative to the rotor and stator through patterned superhydrophobic and hydrophilic surface coatings. The liquid bearing consists of a central droplet that acts as the motor shaft, providing axial alignment between rotor and stator, and satellite droplets, analogous to ball-bearings, that provide tip and tilt stable operation. The liquid bearing friction performance is characterized through measurement of the rotational drag coefficient and minimum starting torque due to stiction and geometric effects. Bearing operational performance is further characterized by modeling and measuring stiffness, environmental survivability, and high

  18. Transitioning to future air traffic management: effects of imperfect automation on controller attention and performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rovira, Ericka; Parasuraman, Raja

    2010-06-01

    This study examined whether benefits of conflict probe automation would occur in a future air traffic scenario in which air traffic service providers (ATSPs) are not directly responsible for freely maneuvering aircraft but are controlling other nonequipped aircraft (mixed-equipage environment). The objective was to examine how the type of automation imperfection (miss vs. false alarm) affects ATSP performance and attention allocation. Research has shown that the type of automation imperfection leads to differential human performance costs. Participating in four 30-min scenarios were 12 full-performance-level ATSPs. Dependent variables included conflict detection and resolution performance, eye movements, and subjective ratings of trust and self confidence. ATSPs detected conflicts faster and more accurately with reliable automation, as compared with manual performance. When the conflict probe automation was unreliable, conflict detection performance declined with both miss (25% conflicts detected) and false alarm automation (50% conflicts detected). When the primary task of conflict detection was automated, even highly reliable yet imperfect automation (miss or false alarm) resulted in serious negative effects on operator performance. The further in advance that conflict probe automation predicts a conflict, the greater the uncertainty of prediction; thus, designers should provide users with feedback on the state of the automation or other tools that allow for inspection and analysis of the data underlying the conflict probe algorithm.

  19. How Does Paying Attention Improve Sexual Functioning in Women? A Review of Mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arora, Nikita; Brotto, Lori A

    2017-07-01

    treating sexual dysfunction. Future work should examine these mediators and other putative mediators and moderators in randomized controlled trials of mindfulness. Arora N, Brotto LA. How Does Paying Attention Improve Sexual Functioning in Women? A Review of Mechanisms. Sex Med Rev 2017;5:266-274. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  20. Improving performance with accident tolerant-fuels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gomes, Daniel S.; Muniz, Rafael O.R.; Giovedi, Claudia; Universidade de São Paulo

    2017-01-01

    After the Fukushima reactor accident, efforts to improve risk management in nuclear operations have included the intensification of research on accident-tolerant fuels (ATFs). In this investigation, the physical properties of recently developed ATFs were compared with those of the current standard fuel, UO 2 - Zr. The goals for innovative fuel design include a rigorous characterization of the thermal, mechanical, and chemical considerations. The intentions are to lengthen the burnup cycle, raise the power density, and improve safety. Fuels must have a high uranium density - above that supported by UO 2 - and possess a coating that exhibits better oxidation resistance than Zircaloys. ATFs such as U 3 Si 2 , UN, and UC contain a higher uranium density and thermal conductivity than UO 2 , providing significant benefits. The ideal combination of fuel and cladding must increase performance in a loss-of-coolant accident. However, U 3 Si 2 , UN, and UC have a disadvantage; their respective swelling rates are higher than that of UO 2 . These ATFs also have thermal conductivities approximately four times higher than that of UO 2 . A study was conducted investigating the hydrogen generated by the oxidation of zirconium alloys in contact with steam using cladding options such as Fe-Cr-Al and silicon carbide. It was confirmed that ferritic alloys offer a better response under severe conditions, because of their mechanical properties as creep rate. The findings of this study indicate that advanced fuels should replace UO 2 - Zr as the fuel system of choice. (author)

  1. Action video games improve reading abilities and visual-to-auditory attentional shifting in English-speaking children with dyslexia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franceschini, Sandro; Trevisan, Piergiorgio; Ronconi, Luca; Bertoni, Sara; Colmar, Susan; Double, Kit; Facoetti, Andrea; Gori, Simone

    2017-07-19

    Dyslexia is characterized by difficulties in learning to read and there is some evidence that action video games (AVG), without any direct phonological or orthographic stimulation, improve reading efficiency in Italian children with dyslexia. However, the cognitive mechanism underlying this improvement and the extent to which the benefits of AVG training would generalize to deep English orthography, remain two critical questions. During reading acquisition, children have to integrate written letters with speech sounds, rapidly shifting their attention from visual to auditory modality. In our study, we tested reading skills and phonological working memory, visuo-spatial attention, auditory, visual and audio-visual stimuli localization, and cross-sensory attentional shifting in two matched groups of English-speaking children with dyslexia before and after they played AVG or non-action video games. The speed of words recognition and phonological decoding increased after playing AVG, but not non-action video games. Furthermore, focused visuo-spatial attention and visual-to-auditory attentional shifting also improved only after AVG training. This unconventional reading remediation program also increased phonological short-term memory and phoneme blending skills. Our report shows that an enhancement of visuo-spatial attention and phonological working memory, and an acceleration of visual-to-auditory attentional shifting can directly translate into better reading in English-speaking children with dyslexia.

  2. Methylphenidate does not influence smoking-reinforced responding or attentional performance in adult smokers with and without attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kollins, Scott H; Schoenfelder, Erin; English, Joseph S; McClernon, F Joseph; Dew, Rachel E; Lane, Scott D

    2013-10-01

    Individuals with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) smoke cigarettes at rates higher than the general population and questions have been raised about how stimulant drugs-the frontline pharmacological treatment for ADHD-influence smoking risk and behavior in those with ADHD. In the present study adult regular smokers with (n = 16) and without (n = 17) ADHD participated in 3 experimental sessions in which they completed a Progressive Ratio (PR) task to measure the relative reinforcing effects of cigarette smoking and money after oral administration of placebo and 2 active doses of methylphenidate (10 mg and 40 mg). We also measured attention and inhibitory control via a Continuous Performance Test (CPT). Methylphenidate had no effect on smoking-reinforced responding, attention, or inhibitory control in either group. Attention and inhibitory control were associated with smoking-reinforced responding, but unsystematically and only in the non-ADHD group. Several design features, such as the value of the monetary response option, the PR schedule, and the potential effects of smoking on attention and inhibitory control, could have contributed to the negative findings and are discussed as such. Although inconsistent with some previous human laboratory studies of stimulant drugs and smoking, results are consistent with recent trials of stimulant drugs as adjuncts for smoking cessation in adult smokers with ADHD. In general, methylphenidate at mild and moderate doses did not influence the relative reinforcing effects of cigarette smoking in adults with and without ADHD. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved.

  3. Both a Nicotinic Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) and a Noradrenergic SNP Modulate Working Memory Performance when Attention is Manipulated

    OpenAIRE

    Greenwood, Pamela M.; Sundararajan, Ramya; Lin, Ming-Kuan; Kumar, Reshma; Fryxell, Karl J.; Parasuraman, Raja

    2009-01-01

    We investigated the relation between the two systems of visuospatial attention and working memory by examining the effect of normal variation in cholinergic and noradrenergic genes on working memory performance under attentional manipulation. We previously reported that working memory for location was impaired following large location precues, indicating the scale of visuospatial attention has a role in forming the mental representation of the target. In one of the first studies to compare ef...

  4. Improving chemistry performance in CANDU plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Turner, C.; Guzonas, D.

    2010-01-01

    system to facilitate improved chemistry control and to help staff to proactively identify and address emerging issues before they result in a loss of performance. This paper will outline AECL's chemistry control philosophy, and provide specific examples to illustrate how changes to plant design, materials, operational procedures, and chemistry specifications are being implemented to support improved chemistry performance in existing and new-build CANDU® plants. (author)

  5. Organic photovoltaic cells: from performance improvement to manufacturing processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Youn, Hongseok; Park, Hui Joon; Guo, L Jay

    2015-05-20

    Organic photovoltaics (OPVs) have been pursued as a next generation power source due to their light weight, thin, flexible, and simple fabrication advantages. Improvements in OPV efficiency have attracted great attention in the past decade. Because the functional layers in OPVs can be dissolved in common solvents, they can be manufactured by eco-friendly and scalable printing or coating technologies. In this review article, the focus is on recent efforts to control nanomorphologies of photoactive layer and discussion of various solution-processed charge transport and extraction materials, to maximize the performance of OPV cells. Next, recent works on printing and coating technologies for OPVs to realize solution processing are reviewed. The review concludes with a discussion of recent advances in the development of non-traditional lamination and transfer method towards highly efficient and fully solution-processed OPV. © 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  6. Attentional Predictors of 5-month-olds’ Performance on a Looking A-not-B Task†

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marcovitch, Stuart; Clearfield, Melissa W.; Swingler, Margaret; Calkins, Susan D.; Bell, Martha Ann

    2015-01-01

    In the first year of life, the ability to search for hidden objects is an indicator of object permanence and, when multiple locations are involved, executive function (i.e. inhibition, cognitive flexibility and working memory). The current study was designed to examine attentional predictors of search in 5-month-old infants (as measured by the looking A-not-B task), and whether levels of maternal education moderated the effect of the predictors. Specifically, in a separate task, the infants were shown a unique puppet, and we measured the percentage of time attending to the puppet, as well as the length of the longest look (i.e., peak fixation) directed towards the puppet. Across the entire sample (N =390), the percentage of time attending to the puppet was positively related to performance on the visual A-not-B task. However, for infants whose mothers had not completed college, having a shorter peak looking time (after controlling for percentage of time) was also a predictor of visual A-not-B performance. The role of attention, peak fixation and maternal education in visual search is discussed. PMID:27642263

  7. Performance improvement of optical semiconductor sources

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    El Tokhy, M.E.M.E

    2009-01-01

    This thesis has been concerned with a detailed study of nano-technology quantum sources. From these sources, quantum cascaded laser (QCLs) and quantum dot lasers (QDs), are studied theoretically. Block diagram models based on VisSim environment in junction with mathematical models are developed to analyze these kinds of optical sources. The mathematical model is derived to express explicitly the performance of the device, while a block diagram model is implemented which implicitly describe the same device. By using these mathematical models, new expressions are obtained. Accurate and efficient modeling of these sources is being increasingly important in the design and optimization of optical integrated circuits and circuit component. In the case of QCLs, the diagram is used to calculate its characteristics such as potential voltage, output optical power, current, threshold current density, slope efficiency, differential efficiency, and optical gain of these devices. Furthermore, the effect of each parameter of the QCLs, such as number of periods; N p , operating temperature; T, waveguide losses; α w , mirror losses; α m , on its performance are discussed in details. To demonstrate these effects further, the changes in three dimensional are plotted. In another mean, improving the lasing properties of the QCLs through both block diagram and mathematical models is the main scope in this thesis. In order to enhance the performance of the underlined device, mathematical model parameters are tuned to obtain the optimum behavior. Additionally, it is important to model and analyze the effects of these physical parameters on the performance of QCLs. These parameters play the central role in specifying the optical characteristics of the considered laser source. Proposed relation that linked emitted power with QCLs parameters is deduced. Moreover, it is important to have a large amount of radiated power, where increasing the amount of radiated power represents the main

  8. The Effect of Chronic Alprazolam Intake on Memory, Attention, and Psychomotor Performance in Healthy Human Male Volunteers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zahid Sadek Chowdhury

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Alprazolam is used as an anxiolytic drug for generalized anxiety disorder and it has been reported to produce sedation and anterograde amnesia. In the current study, we randomly divided 26 healthy male volunteers into two groups: one group taking alprazolam 0.5 mg and the other taking placebo daily for two weeks. We utilized the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB software to assess the chronic effect of alprazolam. We selected Paired Associates Learning (PAL and Delayed Matching to Sample (DMS tests for memory, Rapid Visual Information Processing (RVP for attention, and Choice Reaction Time (CRT for psychomotor performance twice: before starting the treatment and after the completion of the treatment. We found statistically significant impairment of visual memory in one parameter of PAL and three parameters of DMS in alprazolam group. The PAL mean trial to success and total correct matching in 0-second delay, 4-second delay, and all delay situation of DMS were impaired in alprazolam group. RVP total hits after two weeks of alprazolam treatment were improved in alprazolam group. But such differences were not observed in placebo group. In our study, we found that chronic administration of alprazolam affects memory but attentive and psychomotor performance remained unaffected.

  9. The Effect of Chronic Alprazolam Intake on Memory, Attention, and Psychomotor Performance in Healthy Human Male Volunteers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chowdhury, Zahid Sadek; Morshed, Mohammed Monzur; Shahriar, Mohammad; Bhuiyan, Mohiuddin Ahmed; Islam, Sardar Mohd Ashraful; Bin Sayeed, Muhammad Shahdaat

    2016-01-01

    Alprazolam is used as an anxiolytic drug for generalized anxiety disorder and it has been reported to produce sedation and anterograde amnesia. In the current study, we randomly divided 26 healthy male volunteers into two groups: one group taking alprazolam 0.5 mg and the other taking placebo daily for two weeks. We utilized the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB) software to assess the chronic effect of alprazolam. We selected Paired Associates Learning (PAL) and Delayed Matching to Sample (DMS) tests for memory, Rapid Visual Information Processing (RVP) for attention, and Choice Reaction Time (CRT) for psychomotor performance twice: before starting the treatment and after the completion of the treatment. We found statistically significant impairment of visual memory in one parameter of PAL and three parameters of DMS in alprazolam group. The PAL mean trial to success and total correct matching in 0-second delay, 4-second delay, and all delay situation of DMS were impaired in alprazolam group. RVP total hits after two weeks of alprazolam treatment were improved in alprazolam group. But such differences were not observed in placebo group. In our study, we found that chronic administration of alprazolam affects memory but attentive and psychomotor performance remained unaffected.

  10. Improving Docking Performance Using Negative Image-Based Rescoring.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurkinen, Sami T; Niinivehmas, Sanna; Ahinko, Mira; Lätti, Sakari; Pentikäinen, Olli T; Postila, Pekka A

    2018-01-01

    Despite the large computational costs of molecular docking, the default scoring functions are often unable to recognize the active hits from the inactive molecules in large-scale virtual screening experiments. Thus, even though a correct binding pose might be sampled during the docking, the active compound or its biologically relevant pose is not necessarily given high enough score to arouse the attention. Various rescoring and post-processing approaches have emerged for improving the docking performance. Here, it is shown that the very early enrichment (number of actives scored higher than 1% of the highest ranked decoys) can be improved on average 2.5-fold or even 8.7-fold by comparing the docking-based ligand conformers directly against the target protein's cavity shape and electrostatics. The similarity comparison of the conformers is performed without geometry optimization against the negative image of the target protein's ligand-binding cavity using the negative image-based (NIB) screening protocol. The viability of the NIB rescoring or the R-NiB, pioneered in this study, was tested with 11 target proteins using benchmark libraries. By focusing on the shape/electrostatics complementarity of the ligand-receptor association, the R-NiB is able to improve the early enrichment of docking essentially without adding to the computing cost. By implementing consensus scoring, in which the R-NiB and the original docking scoring are weighted for optimal outcome, the early enrichment is improved to a level that facilitates effective drug discovery. Moreover, the use of equal weight from the original docking scoring and the R-NiB scoring improves the yield in most cases.

  11. Effects of two doses of methylphenidate on simulator driving performance in adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barkley, Russell A; Murphy, Kevin R; O'Connell, Trisha; Connor, Daniel F

    2005-01-01

    Numerous studies have documented an increased frequency of vehicular crashes, traffic citations, driving performance deficits, and driving-related cognitive impairments in teens and adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. The present study evaluated the effects of two single, acute doses of methylphenidate (10 and 20 mg) and a placebo on the driving performance of 53 adults with ADHD (mean age=37 years, range=18-65) using a virtual reality driving simulator, examiner and self-ratings of simulator performance, and a continuous performance test (CPT) to evaluate attention and inhibition. A double-blind, drug-placebo, within-subjects crossover design was used in which all participants were tested at baseline and then experienced all three drug conditions. A significant beneficial effect for the high dose of medication was observed on impulsiveness on CPT, variability of steering in the standard driving course, and driving speed during the obstacle course. A beneficial effect of the low dose of medication also was evident on turn signal use during the standard driving course. An apparent practice effect was noted on some of the simulator measures between the baseline and subsequent testing sessions that may have interacted with and thereby obscured drug effects on those measures. The results, when placed in the context of prior studies of stimulants on driving performance, continue to recommend their clinical use as one means of reducing the driving risks in ADHD teens and adults. Given the significantly higher risk of adverse driving outcomes associated with ADHD, industry needs to better screen for ADHD among employees who drive as part of employment so as to improve safety and reduce costs. Use of stimulants to treat the adult ADHD driver may reduce safety risks.

  12. Both a Nicotinic Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) and a Noradrenergic SNP Modulate Working Memory Performance when Attention Is Manipulated

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greenwood, Pamela M.; Sundararajan, Ramya; Lin, Ming-Kuan; Kumar, Reshma; Fryxell, Karl J.; Parasuraman, Raja

    2009-01-01

    We investigated the relation between the two systems of visuospatial attention and working memory by examining the effect of normal variation in cholinergic and noradrenergic genes on working memory performance under attentional manipulation. We previously reported that working memory for location was impaired following large location precues,…

  13. Nanotechnological inventions considerably improve performance characteristics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    VLASOV Vladimir Alexeevich

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The invention «The method of production of carbon nanomaterial (RU 2509053» can be used as an additive for concretes and polymers which significantly improves their performance characteristics. The method of production of carbon nanomaterial consists of the following stages: preliminary preparation of sphagnous moss when it is refined from foreign admixtures, dried up to 10% humidity and ground, then ground material is exposed to pyrolysis under the temperature 850–950оC for 1–2 hours and cooled up to the environment temperature. After that amorphous carbon obtained in pyrolysis is treated with mechanical activation in the variable planetary mill for 7–10 hours. The invention makes it possible to provide increased outcome of nanotubes with high cleanliness. The invention «The method of production of nanodispersed metal powders and alloys of them (RU 2509626» relates to the powder metallurgy. Powder metal chloride or powder mixture at least of two metal chlorides is treated in the environment of the water steam which is supplied in reaction space at the rate of 50–100 ml/min at the temperature 400–800оC at the presence of absorbent carbon or introducing carbon oxide (II obtained during dissolution of formic acid HCOOH. The invention provides reliable production of nanodispersed metal powders and alloys of them from 3-d metal range: Ni, Co, Cu, Fe, Zn which can be used in powder metallurgy to improve baking process, in chemical industry as the fillers of polymers and reaction catalysts; as additives to anticorrosive covers, etc.

  14. Improving performance with accident tolerant-fuels

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gomes, Daniel S.; Muniz, Rafael O.R.; Giovedi, Claudia, E-mail: dsgomes@ipen.br, E-mail: rafael.orm@gmail.com, E-mail: claudia.giovedi@ctmsp.mar.mil.br [Instituto de Pesquisas Energeticas e Nucleares (IPEN/CNEN-SP), Sao Paulo, SP (Brazil); Universidade de São Paulo (USP), SP (Brazil). Departamento de Engenharia Naval e Oceânica

    2017-07-01

    After the Fukushima reactor accident, efforts to improve risk management in nuclear operations have included the intensification of research on accident-tolerant fuels (ATFs). In this investigation, the physical properties of recently developed ATFs were compared with those of the current standard fuel, UO{sub 2} - Zr. The goals for innovative fuel design include a rigorous characterization of the thermal, mechanical, and chemical considerations. The intentions are to lengthen the burnup cycle, raise the power density, and improve safety. Fuels must have a high uranium density - above that supported by UO{sub 2} - and possess a coating that exhibits better oxidation resistance than Zircaloys. ATFs such as U{sub 3}Si{sub 2}, UN, and UC contain a higher uranium density and thermal conductivity than UO{sub 2}, providing significant benefits. The ideal combination of fuel and cladding must increase performance in a loss-of-coolant accident. However, U{sub 3}Si{sub 2}, UN, and UC have a disadvantage; their respective swelling rates are higher than that of UO{sub 2}. These ATFs also have thermal conductivities approximately four times higher than that of UO{sub 2}. A study was conducted investigating the hydrogen generated by the oxidation of zirconium alloys in contact with steam using cladding options such as Fe-Cr-Al and silicon carbide. It was confirmed that ferritic alloys offer a better response under severe conditions, because of their mechanical properties as creep rate. The findings of this study indicate that advanced fuels should replace UO{sub 2} - Zr as the fuel system of choice. (author)

  15. Spatial Modulation Improves Performance in CTIS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bearman, Gregory H.; Wilson, Daniel W.; Johnson, William R.

    2009-01-01

    Suitably formulated spatial modulation of a scene imaged by a computed-tomography imaging spectrometer (CTIS) has been found to be useful as a means of improving the imaging performance of the CTIS. As used here, "spatial modulation" signifies the imposition of additional, artificial structure on a scene from within the CTIS optics. The basic principles of a CTIS were described in "Improvements in Computed- Tomography Imaging Spectrometry" (NPO-20561) NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 24, No. 12 (December 2000), page 38 and "All-Reflective Computed-Tomography Imaging Spectrometers" (NPO-20836), NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 26, No. 11 (November 2002), page 7a. To recapitulate: A CTIS offers capabilities for imaging a scene with spatial, spectral, and temporal resolution. The spectral disperser in a CTIS is a two-dimensional diffraction grating. It is positioned between two relay lenses (or on one of two relay mirrors) in a video imaging system. If the disperser were removed, the system would produce ordinary images of the scene in its field of view. In the presence of the grating, the image on the focal plane of the system contains both spectral and spatial information because the multiple diffraction orders of the grating give rise to multiple, spectrally dispersed images of the scene. By use of algorithms adapted from computed tomography, the image on the focal plane can be processed into an image cube a three-dimensional collection of data on the image intensity as a function of the two spatial dimensions (x and y) in the scene and of wavelength (lambda). Thus, both spectrally and spatially resolved information on the scene at a given instant of time can be obtained, without scanning, from a single snapshot; this is what makes the CTIS such a potentially powerful tool for spatially, spectrally, and temporally resolved imaging. A CTIS performs poorly in imaging some types of scenes in particular, scenes that contain little spatial or spectral variation. The computed spectra of

  16. More attention, less deficit:wearable eeg-based serious game for focus improvement

    OpenAIRE

    Alchalabi, Alaa Eddin; Eddin, Amer Nour; Shirmohammadi, Shervin

    2017-01-01

    Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Attention Deficit Disorders (ADD) are two of the most spread mental disorders characterized by the lack of attention and focus. One way to measure focus is through Electroencephalogram (EEG) signals that can be read using the new wireless EEG reading devices often used by Brain-computer Interface (BCI) researchers. In parallel, serious games have been recently providing opportunities for the rehabilitation of various cognitive and emotional ...

  17. Divided Attention Improves Delayed, but Not Immediate Retrieval of a Consolidated Memory

    OpenAIRE

    Kessler, Yoav; Vandermorris, Susan; Gopie, Nigel; Daros, Alexander; Winocur, Gordon; Moscovitch, Morris

    2014-01-01

    A well-documented dissociation between memory encoding and retrieval concerns the role of attention in the two processes. The typical finding is that divided attention (DA) during encoding impairs future memory, but retrieval is relatively robust to attentional manipulations. However, memory research in the past 20 years had demonstrated that retrieval is a memory-changing process, in which the strength and availability of information are modified by various characteristics of the retrieval p...

  18. Nicotine increases impulsivity and decreases willingness to exert cognitive effort despite improving attention in "slacker" rats: insights into cholinergic regulation of cost/benefit decision making.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hosking, Jay G; Lam, Fred C W; Winstanley, Catharine A

    2014-01-01

    Successful decision making in our daily lives requires weighing an option's costs against its associated benefits. The neuromodulator acetylcholine underlies both the etiology and treatment of a number of illnesses in which decision making is perturbed, including Alzheimer's disease, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and schizophrenia. Nicotine acts on the cholinergic system and has been touted as a cognitive enhancer by both smokers and some researchers for its attention-boosting effects; however, it is unclear whether treatments that have a beneficial effect on attention would also have a beneficial effect on decision making. Here we utilize the rodent Cognitive Effort Task (rCET), wherein animals can choose to allocate greater visuospatial attention for a greater reward, to examine cholinergic contributions to both attentional performance and choice based on attentional demand. Following the establishment of baseline behavior, four drug challenges were administered: nicotine, mecamylamine, scopolamine, and oxotremorine (saline plus three doses for each). As per previous rCET studies, animals were divided by their baseline preferences, with "worker" rats choosing high-effort/high-reward options more than their "slacker" counterparts. Nicotine caused slackers to choose even fewer high-effort trials than at baseline, but had no effect on workers' choice. Despite slackers' decreased willingness to expend effort, nicotine improved their attentional performance on the task. Nicotine also increased measures of motor impulsivity in all animals. In contrast, scopolamine decreased animals' choice of high-effort trials, especially for workers, while oxotremorine decreased motor impulsivity for all animals. In sum, the cholinergic system appears to contribute to decision making, and in part these contributions can be understood as a function of individual differences. While nicotine has been considered as a cognitive enhancer, these data suggest that its modest

  19. Nicotine increases impulsivity and decreases willingness to exert cognitive effort despite improving attention in "slacker" rats: insights into cholinergic regulation of cost/benefit decision making.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jay G Hosking

    Full Text Available Successful decision making in our daily lives requires weighing an option's costs against its associated benefits. The neuromodulator acetylcholine underlies both the etiology and treatment of a number of illnesses in which decision making is perturbed, including Alzheimer's disease, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and schizophrenia. Nicotine acts on the cholinergic system and has been touted as a cognitive enhancer by both smokers and some researchers for its attention-boosting effects; however, it is unclear whether treatments that have a beneficial effect on attention would also have a beneficial effect on decision making. Here we utilize the rodent Cognitive Effort Task (rCET, wherein animals can choose to allocate greater visuospatial attention for a greater reward, to examine cholinergic contributions to both attentional performance and choice based on attentional demand. Following the establishment of baseline behavior, four drug challenges were administered: nicotine, mecamylamine, scopolamine, and oxotremorine (saline plus three doses for each. As per previous rCET studies, animals were divided by their baseline preferences, with "worker" rats choosing high-effort/high-reward options more than their "slacker" counterparts. Nicotine caused slackers to choose even fewer high-effort trials than at baseline, but had no effect on workers' choice. Despite slackers' decreased willingness to expend effort, nicotine improved their attentional performance on the task. Nicotine also increased measures of motor impulsivity in all animals. In contrast, scopolamine decreased animals' choice of high-effort trials, especially for workers, while oxotremorine decreased motor impulsivity for all animals. In sum, the cholinergic system appears to contribute to decision making, and in part these contributions can be understood as a function of individual differences. While nicotine has been considered as a cognitive enhancer, these data suggest

  20. Learning to improve path planning performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chen, Pang C.

    1995-04-01

    In robotics, path planning refers to finding a short. collision-free path from an initial robot configuration to a desired configuratioin. It has to be fast to support real-time task-level robot programming. Unfortunately, current planning techniques are still too slow to be effective, as they often require several minutes, if not hours of computation. To remedy this situation, we present and analyze a learning algorithm that uses past experience to increase future performance. The algorithm relies on an existing path planner to provide solutions to difficult tasks. From these solutions, an evolving sparse network of useful robot configurations is learned to support faster planning. More generally, the algorithm provides a speedup-learning framework in which a slow but capable planner may be improved both cost-wise and capability-wise by a faster but less capable planner coupled with experience. The basic algorithm is suitable for stationary environments, and can be extended to accommodate changing environments with on-demand experience repair and object-attached experience abstraction. To analyze the algorithm, we characterize the situations in which the adaptive planner is useful, provide quantitative bounds to predict its behavior, and confirm our theoretical results with experiments in path planning of manipulators. Our algorithm and analysis are sufficiently, general that they may also be applied to other planning domains in which experience is useful

  1. EDUCATIONAL POLICIES AND INITIATIVES FOR IMPROVED PERFORMANCE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Flavia, CAIA

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available According to Gartner estimates, due to increased variety, speed and data volume, by 2015 there will be a global demand of 4.4 million professionals for real-time analysis of data from sources with different structures, but only one third of the demand will be met. The purpose of this research is to identify possible solutions for improved academic results in the IT domain, considering the time management policies, the content and the student motivations, as well as the business strategy tendencies. These proposals are targeted toward meeting the IT specialists demand. The research is composed of two parts: the first explores the Romanian IT labour market characteristics, while the second investigates the academic education policies that can help mitigate deficiencies and attain higher performance. The deficiencies are identified through a series of statistical research and analysis based on national level databases, adopting a quantitative approach. The policies proposed are supported by a flow model developed considering the students' activity, motivation, traits and results, measured and analysed quantitatively.

  2. Improved Bevatron local injector ion source performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stover, G.; Zajec, E.

    1985-05-01

    Performance tests of the improved Bevatron Local Injector PIG Ion Source using particles of Si 4 + , Ne 3 + , and He 2 + are described. Initial measurements of the 8.4 keV/nucleon Si 4 + beam show an intensity of 100 particle microamperes with a normalized emittance of .06 π cm-mrad. A low energy beam transport line provides mass analysis, diagnostics, and matching into a 200 MHz RFQ linac. The RFQ accelerates the beam from 8.4 to 200 keV/nucleon. The injector is unusual in the sense that all ion source power supplies, the ac distribution network, vacuum control equipment, and computer control system are contained in a four bay rack mounted on insulators which is located on a floor immediately above the ion source. The rack, transmission line, and the ion source housing are raised by a dc power supply to 80 kilovolts above earth ground. All power supplies, which are referenced to rack ground, are modular in construction and easily removable for maintenance. AC power is delivered to the rack via a 21 kVA, 3-phase transformer. 2 refs., 5 figs., 1 tab

  3. Acoustic noise induces attention shifts and reduces foraging performance in three-spined sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julia Purser

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Acoustic noise is known to have a variety of detrimental effects on many animals, including humans, but surprisingly little is known about its impacts on foraging behaviour, despite the obvious potential consequences for survival and reproductive success. We therefore exposed captive three-spined sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus to brief and prolonged noise to investigate how foraging performance is affected by the addition of acoustic noise to an otherwise quiet environment. The addition of noise induced only mild fear-related behaviours--there was an increase in startle responses, but no change in the time spent freezing or hiding compared to a silent control--and thus had no significant impact on the total amount of food eaten. However, there was strong evidence that the addition of noise increased food-handling errors and reduced discrimination between food and non-food items, results that are consistent with a shift in attention. Consequently, noise resulted in decreased foraging efficiency, with more attacks needed to consume the same number of prey items. Our results suggest that acoustic noise has the potential to influence a whole host of everyday activities through effects on attention, and that even very brief noise exposure can cause functionally significant impacts, emphasising the threat posed by ever-increasing levels of anthropogenic noise in the environment.

  4. Improving Mobility Performance in Wheelchair Basketball

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Veeger, Thom T.J.; De Witte, Annemarie M H; Berger, Monique A M; van der Slikke, Rienk M A; Veeger, Dirkjan H E J; Hoozemans, Marco J M

    2017-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to investigate which characteristics of athlete, wheelchair and athlete-wheelchair interface are the best predictors of wheelchair basketball mobility performance. DESIGN: Sixty experienced wheelchair basketball players performed a wheelchair mobility performance test to

  5. Transcranial direct current stimulation improves short-term memory in an animal model of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leffa, Douglas Teixeira; de Souza, Andressa; Scarabelot, Vanessa Leal; Medeiros, Liciane Fernandes; de Oliveira, Carla; Grevet, Eugenio Horacio; Caumo, Wolnei; de Souza, Diogo Onofre; Rohde, Luis Augusto Paim; Torres, Iraci L S

    2016-02-01

    Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is characterized by impairing levels of hyperactivity, impulsivity and inattention. However, different meta-analyses have reported disruptions in short and long-term memory in ADHD patients. Previous studies indicate that mnemonic dysfunctions might be the result of deficits in attentional circuits, probably due to ineffective dopaminergic modulation of hippocampal synaptic plasticity. In this study we aimed to evaluate the potential therapeutic effects of a neuromodulatory technique, transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), in short-term memory (STM) deficits presented by the spontaneous hypertensive rats (SHR), the most widely used animal model of ADHD. Adult male SHR and Wistar Kyoto rats (WKY) were subjected to a constant electrical current of 0.5 mA intensity applied on the frontal cortex for 20 min/day during 8 days. STM was evaluated with an object recognition test conducted in an open field. Exploration time and locomotion were recorded, and brain regions were dissected to determine dopamine and BDNF levels. SHR spent less time exploring the new object when compared to WKY, and tDCS improved object recognition deficits in SHR without affecting WKY performance. Locomotor activity was higher in SHR and it was not affected by tDCS. After stimulation, dopamine levels were increased in the hippocampus and striatum of both strains, while BDNF levels were increased only in the striatum of WKY. These findings suggest that tDCS on the frontal cortex might be able to improve STM deficits present in SHR, which is potentially related to dopaminergic neurotransmission in the hippocampus and striatum of those animals. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  6. Performance patterns in Conners' CPT among children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and dyslexia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Monica Carolina Miranda

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available This study investigated the performance of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD and dyslexia using Conners' Continuous Performance Test (CCPT. The clinical groups were composed of 52 children with ADHD and 32 children with dyslexia. Performance in the CCPT was evaluated using ANCOVA to compare the clinical groups with the normative Brazilian sample. The ADHD group performed worse than the normative sample in almost all of the measurements, except for reaction time and response style. The dyslexia group scored higher on commissions, variability, perseverations and inconsistency in the reaction time over the six time blocks (Hit SE Block Change than the children in the normative Brazilian sample. The ADHD and dyslexia groups differed in omission measurements, Hit RT SE, variability, perseverations, Hit RT Interstimulus Intervals (ISI Change and Hit SE ISI Change. We thus found that the dyslexia group had specific deficit patterns, with greater response to non-target stimuli, greater perseveration and response variability, and difficulties in hit reaction time as the test progressed.

  7. Mind-wandering, cognition, and performance: a theory-driven meta-analysis of attention regulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Randall, Jason G; Oswald, Frederick L; Beier, Margaret E

    2014-11-01

    The current meta-analysis accumulates empirical findings on the phenomenon of mind-wandering, integrating and interpreting findings in light of psychological theories of cognitive resource allocation. Cognitive resource theory emphasizes both individual differences in attentional resources and task demands together to predict variance in task performance. This theory motivated our conceptual and meta-analysis framework by introducing moderators indicative of task-demand to predict who is more likely to mind-wander under what conditions, and to predict when mind-wandering and task-related thought are more (or less) predictive of task performance. Predictions were tested via a random-effects meta-analysis of correlations obtained from normal adult samples (k = 88) based on measurement of specified episodes of off-task and/or on-task thought frequency and task performance. Results demonstrated that people with fewer cognitive resources tend to engage in more mind-wandering, whereas those with more cognitive resources are more likely to engage in task-related thought. Addressing predictions of resource theory, we found that greater time-on-task-although not greater task complexity-tended to strengthen the negative relation between cognitive resources and mind-wandering. Additionally, increases in mind-wandering were generally associated with decreases in task performance, whereas increases in task-related thought were associated with increased performance. Further supporting resource theory, the negative relation between mind-wandering and performance was more pronounced for more complex tasks, though not longer tasks. Complementarily, the positive association between task-related thought and performance was stronger for more complex tasks and for longer tasks. We conclude by discussing implications and future research directions for mind-wandering as a construct of interest in psychological research. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved).

  8. Virtual environment to quantify the influence of colour stimuli on the performance of tasks requiring attention

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frère Annie F

    2011-08-01

    where tasks, that require attention, were most affected. Conclusions The game proved to be a user-friendly tool capable to detect and quantify the influence of color on the performance of people executing tasks that require attention and showed to be attractive for people with ADHD.

  9. Virtual environment to quantify the influence of colour stimuli on the performance of tasks requiring attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, Alessandro P; Frère, Annie F

    2011-08-19

    Recent studies indicate that the blue-yellow colour discrimination is impaired in ADHD individuals. However, the relationship between colour and performance has not been investigated. This paper describes the development and the testing of a virtual environment that is capable to quantify the influence of red-green versus blue-yellow colour stimuli on the performance of people in a fun and interactive way, being appropriate for the target audience. An interactive computer game based on virtual reality was developed to evaluate the performance of the players.The game's storyline was based on the story of an old pirate who runs across islands and dangerous seas in search of a lost treasure. Within the game, the player must find and interpret the hints scattered in different scenarios. Two versions of this game were implemented. In the first, hints and information boards were painted using red and green colours. In the second version, these objects were painted using blue and yellow colours. For modelling, texturing, and animating virtual characters and objects the three-dimensional computer graphics tool Blender 3D was used. The textures were created with the GIMP editor to provide visual effects increasing the realism and immersion of the players. The games were tested on 20 non-ADHD volunteers who were divided into two subgroups (A1 and A2) and 20 volunteers with ADHD who were divided into subgroups B1 and B2. Subgroups A1 and B1 used the first version of the game with the hints painted in green-red colors, and subgroups A2 and B2 the second version using the same hints now painted in blue-yellow. The time spent to complete each task of the game was measured. Data analyzed with ANOVA two-way and posthoc TUKEY LSD showed that the use of blue/yellow instead of green/red colors decreased the game performance of all participants. However, a greater decrease in performance could be observed with ADHD participants where tasks, that require attention, were most affected

  10. Expectation of having consumed caffeine can improve performance and mood

    OpenAIRE

    Dawkins, Lynne; Shahzad, Fatima-Zahra; Ahmed, Suada S.; Edmonds, Caroline J.

    2011-01-01

    We explored whether caffeine, and expectation of having consumed caffeine, affects attention, reward responsivity and mood using double-blinded methodology. 88 participants were randomly allocated to ‘drink-type’ (caffeinated/decaffeinated coffee) and ‘expectancy’ (told caffeinated/told decaffeinated coffee) manipulations. Both caffeine and expectation of having consumed caffeine improved attention and psychomotor speed. Expectation enhanced self-reported vigour and reward responsivity. Self-...

  11. The effects of virtual reality displays on visual attention and detection of signals performance for main control room training

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lin Shiaufeng; Lin Chiuhsiang Joe; Wang Rouwen; Yang Lichen; Yang Chihwei; Cheng Tsungchieh; Wang Jyhgang

    2011-01-01

    The nuclear power plant (NPP) mainly serve the purpose to provide low-cost and stable electricity for the people, but this purpose must be dependent upon the premise of 'safety first.' The reason for this is that the occurrence of nuclear power plant accidents could cause catastrophic damage to the people, property, society, and the environment. Therefore, training in superior and high reliability system is very important in accident prevention. In recent years, the Virtual Reality (VR) technology advances very fast as well as the technology for e-learning environment. VR systems have been applied for education, safety training of NPP and flying simulators. In particular, VR is an interactive and reactive technology; it allows users to interact and navigate with objects in the virtual environment. Development of VR and simulation techniques contributes to an accurate and immersive training environment for NPP operators. Main Control Room (MCR) training simulator based on VR is a more cost effective and efficient alternative to traditional simulator based training methods. The VR simulation for MCR training is a complex task. Since VR not only reinforces the visual presentation of the training materials but also provides ways to interact with the training system, it becomes more flexible and possibly more powerful in the training system. In the VR training system, the MCR operators may use just one display to view the wide range of the real world displays. The field of view (FOV) will be different from the real MCR environment in which many displays exist for the operators to view. Thus operator's immersion and visual attention will be reduced. This is the problem of MCR virtual training compared with the traditional simulator based training systems. Therefore, improving the operator's visual attention and the detection of signals in VR training system is a very important issue. This investigation intends to contribute in assessing benefits of visual attention and

  12. Caffeine improves spatial learning deficits in an animal model of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) -- the spontaneously hypertensive rat (SHR).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prediger, Rui D S; Pamplona, Fabrício A; Fernandes, Daniel; Takahashi, Reinaldo N

    2005-12-01

    The spontaneously hypertensive rat (SHR) is generally considered to be a suitable genetic model for the study of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), since it displays hyperactivity, impulsivity, poorly sustained attention, and deficits in learning and memory processes. Converging evidence suggests a primary role of disturbance in the dopaminergic neurotransmission in ADHD patients and in SHR, and in addition, some studies have also demonstrated alterations in adenosinergic neurotransmission in SHR. In the present study, adult female Wistar (WIS) and SHR rats received caffeine (1-10 mg/kg i.p.) 30 min before training, immediately after training, or 30 min before a test session in the spatial version of the Morris water maze. The effect of caffeine administration on WIS and SHR blood pressure was also measured. SHR needed significantly more trials in the training session to acquire the spatial information, but they displayed a similar profile to that of WIS rats in the test session (48 h later), demonstrating a selective deficit in spatial learning. Pre-training administration of caffeine (1-10 mg/kg i.p.) improved this spatial learning deficit in SHR, but did not alter the WIS performance. In contrast, post-training administration of caffeine (3 mg/kg i.p.) did not alter the SHR test performance, but increased memory retention in WIS rats. No dose of caffeine tested altered the mean blood pressure of WIS or SHR. These results demonstrate a selective spatial learning deficit in SHR which can be attenuated by pre-training administration of caffeine. In addition, the present findings indicate that the spatial learning deficit in SHR is not directly related to hypertension.

  13. Using business intelligence to improve performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wadsworth, Tom; Graves, Brian; Glass, Steve; Harrison, A Marc; Donovan, Chris; Proctor, Andrew

    2009-10-01

    Cleveland Clinic's enterprise performance management program offers proof that comparisons of actual performance against strategic objectives can enable healthcare organization to achieve rapid organizational change. Here are four lessons Cleveland Clinic learned from this initiative: Align performance metrics with strategic initiatives. Structure dashboards for the CEO. Link performance to annual reviews. Customize dashboard views to the specific user.

  14. Word of the Day Improves and Redirects Student Attention while Supporting Vocabulary Development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vesely, Pamela J.; Gryder, Nancy L.

    2009-01-01

    To learn and master new concepts, including the acquisition of new vocabulary, students must be able to sustain attention during direct instruction, stay focused throughout the guided practice activity, and successfully complete the independent practice assignments. Yet, difficulty with maintaining attention is a common characteristic for students…

  15. Acute personalized habitual caffeine doses improve attention and have selective effects when considering the fractionation of executive functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lanini, Juliana; Galduróz, José Carlos Fernandes; Pompéia, Sabine

    2016-01-01

    Caffeine is widely used, often consumed with food, and improves simple and complex/executive attention under fasting conditions. We investigated whether these cognitive effects are observed when personalized habitual doses of caffeine are ingested by caffeine consumers, whether they are influenced by nutriments and if various executive domains are susceptible to improvement. This was a double-blind, placebo-controlled study including 60 young, healthy, rested males randomly assigned to one of four treatments: placebo fasting, caffeine fasting, placebo meal and caffeine meal. Caffeine doses were individualized for each participant based on their self-reported caffeine consumption at the time of testing (morning). The test battery included measures of simple and sustained attention, executive domains (inhibiting, updating, shifting, dual tasking, planning and accessing long-term memory), control measures of subjective alterations, glucose and insulin levels, skin conductance, heart rate and pupil dilation. Regardless of meal intake, acute habitual doses of caffeine decreased fatigue, and improved simple and sustained attention and executive updating. This executive effect was not secondary to the habitual weekly dose consumed, changes in simple and sustained attention, mood, meal ingestion and increases in cognitive effort. We conclude that the morning caffeine "fix" has positive attentional effects and selectively improved executive updating whether or not caffeine is consumed with food. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  16. Neuropsychological Training of Attention Improves MS-Related Fatigue: Results of a Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Double-Blind Pilot Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flachenecker, Peter; Meissner, Heike; Frey, Rebecca; Guldin, Wolfgang

    2017-01-01

    Attentional deficits may be pathophysiologically relevant in MS-associated fatigue. Thirty MS patients with fatigue and attentional deficits in neuropsychological testing participated in this randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial. The intervention group (IG; n = 14) was treated with 10 h of computerized, specific neuropsychological training performing simple reaction time tasks, whereas the control group (CG; n = 16) also runs through computerized, but unspecific neuropsychological training using tasks without time components. The subjective feeling of fatigue was assessed with the Würzburg Fatigue Inventory for Multiple Sclerosis (WEIMuS) questionnaire, and testing of alertness was used as an objective measure at baseline and after the 2-week study period. Reaction times of alertness were significantly decreased in IG but not CG after 2 weeks. The subjective feeling of fatigue was ameliorated in both groups but more pronounced in IG. Effect sizes were below 0.7 for alertness and WEIMuS scores in CG but large and clinically meaningful in IG for both measures. Our pilot study suggests that neuropsychological training of attention may improve both measures of fatigue. The parallel improvement of attentional deficits and subjective fatigue after specific neuropsychological training support previous findings that fatigue may be at least partially caused by impaired intensity of attention. © 2017 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  17. Cognitive Improvement of Attention and Inhibition in the Late Afternoon in Children With Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Treated With Osmotic-Release Oral System Methylphenidate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slama, Hichem; Fery, Patrick; Verheulpen, Denis; Vanzeveren, Nathalie; Van Bogaert, Patrick

    2015-07-01

    Long-acting medications have been developed and approved for use in the treatment of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). These compounds are intended to optimize and maintain symptoms control throughout the day. We tested prolonged effects of osmotic-release oral system methylphenidate on both attention and inhibition, in the late afternoon. A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study was conducted in 36 boys (7-12 years) with ADHD and 40 typically developing children. The ADHD children received an individualized dose of placebo or osmotic-release oral system methylphenidate. They were tested about 8 hours after taking with 2 continuous performance tests (continuous performance test-X [CPT-X] and continuous performance test-AX [CPT-AX]) and a counting Stroop. A positive effect of osmotic-release oral system methylphenidate was present in CPT-AX with faster and less variable reaction times under osmotic-release oral system methylphenidate than under placebo, and no difference with typically developing children. In the counting Stroop, we found a decreased interference with osmotic-release oral system methylphenidate but no difference between children with ADHD under placebo and typically developing children. © The Author(s) 2014.

  18. PACER Performance of Children Aged 11-14 With Attention-Deficit Hyperactive Disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martinson, Timothy; Butterfield, Stephen A; Mason, Craig A; Tu, Shihfen; Lehnhard, Robert A; Nightingale, Christopher J

    2018-05-01

    The purposes of this study were to examine the performance on the progressive aerobic cardiovascular endurance run (PACER) test in children with and without attention-deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) over the course of a school year, and also to investigate the possible influence of age, sex, school sport participation, and body mass index on results. Utilizing a repeated measures design, 892 middle school children aged 11-14 years (mean = 12.25, SD = 0.94) including 55 children with ADHD participated. While controlling for age, sex, sports participation, and body mass index, children were tested on the PACER 3 times during the school year. Procedures specified in the FITNESSGRAM test manual were explicitly followed. Hierarchical linear modeling was applied to analyze the data. Children with ADHD performed 8.6 fewer laps at intercept (baseline), than did healthy children without ADHD (t 878  = -6.20, P < .001). However, no significant differences emerged for time (slope). In addition, no significant interactions were found for ADHD with age, sex, sports participation, or body mass index. A diagnosis of ADHD, independent of selected predictor variables, explained lower PACER performance.

  19. Examining Vision and Attention in Sports Performance Using a Gaze-Contingent Paradigm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Donghyun Ryu

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available In time-constrained activities, such as competitive sports, the rapid acquisition and comprehension of visual information is vital for successful performance. Currently our understanding of how and what visual information is acquired and how this changes with skill development is quite rudimentary. Interpretation of eye movement behaviour is limited by uncertainties surrounding the relationship between attention, line-of-gaze data, and the mechanism of information pick-up from different sectors of the visual field. We used gaze-contingent display methodology to provide a selective information presentation to the central and peripheral parts of the visual field while performing a decision-making task. Eleven skilled and 11 less-skilled players watched videos of basketball scenarios under three different vision conditions (tunnel, masked, and full vision and in a forced-choice paradigm responded whether it was more appropriate for the ball carrier to pass or drive. In the tunnel and mask conditions vision was selectively restricted to, or occluded from, 5o around the line of gaze respectively. The skilled players showed significantly higher response accuracy and faster response times compared to their lesser skilled counterparts irrespective of the vision condition, demonstrating the skilled players' superiority in information extraction irrespective of the segment of visual field they rely on. Findings suggest that the capability to interpret visual information appears to be the key limiting factor to expert performance rather than the sector of the visual field in which the information is detected.

  20. The alpha-2A adrenoceptor agonist guanfacine improves sustained attention and reduces overactivity and impulsiveness in an animal model of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sagvolden Terje

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background ADHD is currently defined as a cognitive/behavioral developmental disorder where all clinical criteria are behavioral. Overactivity, impulsiveness, and inattentiveness are presently regarded as the main clinical symptoms. There is no biological marker, but there is considerable evidence to suggest that ADHD behavior is associated with poor dopaminergic and noradrenergic modulation of neuronal circuits that involve the frontal lobes. The best validated animal model of ADHD, the Spontaneously Hypertensive Rat (SHR, shows pronounced overactivity, impulsiveness, and deficient sustained attention. While dopamine release is decreased in SHR prefrontal cortex, norepinephrine concentrations are elevated. The noradrenergic system appears to be hyperactive as a result of impaired alpha-2A adrenoceptor regulation. Thus, the present study tested behavioral effects of the centrally acting alpha-2A adrenoceptor agonist guanfacine on SHR behavior. Methods The present study tested behavioral effects of guanfacine at doses of 0.075, 0.15, 0.30 and 0.60 mg base/kg i.p. in both male SHRs and their controls, the Wistar Kyoto rat (WKY. ADHD-like behavior was tested with a visual discrimination task measuring overactivity, impulsiveness and inattentiveness. Results The striking impulsiveness, overactivity, and reduced sustained attention during baseline conditions in the SHR improved by treatment with guanfacine. The most pronounced improvement in SHR behavior was seen following the two highest doses (0.3 and 0.6 mg/kg of guanfacine when SHR behaviors virtually normalized. The positive effects of the drug were most marked towards the end of the session. Conclusion The results indicate that guanfacine improved poor noradrenergic modulation of neuronal circuits that involve the frontal lobes in an animal model of ADHD. The present results support the beneficial effects of guanfacine on ADHD behavior reported clinically and experimentally in primate

  1. Improving File System Performance by Striping

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lam, Terance L.; Kutler, Paul (Technical Monitor)

    1998-01-01

    This document discusses the performance and advantages of striped file systems on the SGI AD workstations. Performance of several striped file system configurations are compared and guidelines for optimal striping are recommended.

  2. Association between Urine Phthalate Levels and Poor Attentional Performance in Children with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder with Evidence of Dopamine Gene-Phthalate Interaction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Subin Park

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Although there is some evidence supporting the existence of an association between prenatal maternal or postnatal child’s urine phthalate metabolite concentrations and poor attentional performances, the interaction between urine phthalate metabolite levels and genetic variation for neuropsychological deficit of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD has not been examined. The aim of this study was to determine whether phthalate metabolites in urine are associated with poor neuropsychological performance in children with ADHD, and whether such association is affected by genotype-phthalate interaction. A cross-sectional examination of urine phthalate metabolite concentrations and the continuous performance test (CPT were performed in 179 Korean children with ADHD recruited from department of psychiatry of university hospital. Correlations between urine phthalate metabolite concentrations and the CPT scores were investigated, and the interaction of phthalate metabolite levels with the selected polymorphisms at major candidate genes for ADHD, namely dopamine receptor D4 (DRD4, dopamine transporter, α-2A-adrenergic receptor, and norepinephrine transporter genes. For the subjects with the DRD4 4/4 genotype, there were significant associations of the urine phthalate metabolite concentrations with the number of omission errors, the number of commission errors, and the response time variability scores on the CPT. However, for the subjects without the DRD4 4/4 genotype, no significant associations were found. The results of this study suggest a possible association between phthalate metabolite concentrations and poor attentional performances of ADHD as well as a genetic influence on this association. Further prospective and epigenetic studies are needed to investigate causality and pathophysiological mechanisms.

  3. Association between urine phthalate levels and poor attentional performance in children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder with evidence of dopamine gene-phthalate interaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Subin; Kim, Bung-Nyun; Cho, Soo-Churl; Kim, Yeni; Kim, Jae-Won; Lee, Ju-Young; Hong, Soon-Beom; Shin, Min-Sup; Yoo, Hee Jeong; Im, Hosub; Cheong, Jae Hoon; Han, Doug Hyun

    2014-06-27

    Although there is some evidence supporting the existence of an association between prenatal maternal or postnatal child's urine phthalate metabolite concentrations and poor attentional performances, the interaction between urine phthalate metabolite levels and genetic variation for neuropsychological deficit of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has not been examined. The aim of this study was to determine whether phthalate metabolites in urine are associated with poor neuropsychological performance in children with ADHD, and whether such association is affected by genotype-phthalate interaction. A cross-sectional examination of urine phthalate metabolite concentrations and the continuous performance test (CPT) were performed in 179 Korean children with ADHD recruited from department of psychiatry of university hospital. Correlations between urine phthalate metabolite concentrations and the CPT scores were investigated, and the interaction of phthalate metabolite levels with the selected polymorphisms at major candidate genes for ADHD, namely dopamine receptor D4 (DRD4), dopamine transporter, α-2A-adrenergic receptor, and norepinephrine transporter genes. For the subjects with the DRD4 4/4 genotype, there were significant associations of the urine phthalate metabolite concentrations with the number of omission errors, the number of commission errors, and the response time variability scores on the CPT. However, for the subjects without the DRD4 4/4 genotype, no significant associations were found. The results of this study suggest a possible association between phthalate metabolite concentrations and poor attentional performances of ADHD as well as a genetic influence on this association. Further prospective and epigenetic studies are needed to investigate causality and pathophysiological mechanisms.

  4. Association between Urine Phthalate Levels and Poor Attentional Performance in Children with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder with Evidence of Dopamine Gene-Phthalate Interaction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Subin; Kim, Bung-Nyun; Cho, Soo-Churl; Kim, Yeni; Kim, Jae-Won; Lee, Ju-Young; Hong, Soon-Beom; Shin, Min-Sup; Yoo, Hee Jeong; Im, Hosub; Cheong, Jae Hoon; Han, Doug Hyun

    2014-01-01

    Although there is some evidence supporting the existence of an association between prenatal maternal or postnatal child’s urine phthalate metabolite concentrations and poor attentional performances, the interaction between urine phthalate metabolite levels and genetic variation for neuropsychological deficit of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has not been examined. The aim of this study was to determine whether phthalate metabolites in urine are associated with poor neuropsychological performance in children with ADHD, and whether such association is affected by genotype-phthalate interaction. A cross-sectional examination of urine phthalate metabolite concentrations and the continuous performance test (CPT) were performed in 179 Korean children with ADHD recruited from department of psychiatry of university hospital. Correlations between urine phthalate metabolite concentrations and the CPT scores were investigated, and the interaction of phthalate metabolite levels with the selected polymorphisms at major candidate genes for ADHD, namely dopamine receptor D4 (DRD4), dopamine transporter, α-2A-adrenergic receptor, and norepinephrine transporter genes. For the subjects with the DRD4 4/4 genotype, there were significant associations of the urine phthalate metabolite concentrations with the number of omission errors, the number of commission errors, and the response time variability scores on the CPT. However, for the subjects without the DRD4 4/4 genotype, no significant associations were found. The results of this study suggest a possible association between phthalate metabolite concentrations and poor attentional performances of ADHD as well as a genetic influence on this association. Further prospective and epigenetic studies are needed to investigate causality and pathophysiological mechanisms. PMID:24978879

  5. Performance samples on academic tasks : improving prediction of academic performance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tanilon, Jenny

    2011-01-01

    This thesis is about the development and validation of a performance-based test, labeled as Performance Samples on academic tasks in Education and Child Studies (PSEd). PSEd is designed to identify students who are most able to perform the academic tasks involved in an Education and Child Studies

  6. Sootblowing optimization for improved boiler performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    James, John Robert; McDermott, John; Piche, Stephen; Pickard, Fred; Parikh, Neel J.

    2012-12-25

    A sootblowing control system that uses predictive models to bridge the gap between sootblower operation and boiler performance goals. The system uses predictive modeling and heuristics (rules) associated with different zones in a boiler to determine an optimal sequence of sootblower operations and achieve boiler performance targets. The system performs the sootblower optimization while observing any operational constraints placed on the sootblowers.

  7. Attentional and visual demands for sprint performance in non-fatigued and fatigued conditions : reliability of a repeated sprint test

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Reininga, Inge H. F.; Lemmink, Koen A. P. M.; Diercks, Ron L.; Buizer, Arina T.; Stevens, Martin

    2010-01-01

    Background: Physical performance measures are widely used to assess physical function, providing information about physiological and biomechanical aspects of motor performance. However they do not provide insight into the attentional and visual demands for motor performance. A figure-of-eight sprint

  8. Football to Improve Math and Reading Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Klaveren, Chris; De Witte, Kristof

    2015-01-01

    Schools frequently increase the instructional time to improve primary school children's math and reading skills. There is, however, little evidence that math and reading skills are effectively improved by these instruction-time increases. This study evaluates "Playing for Success" (PfS), an extended school day program for underachieving…

  9. Football to improve math and reading performance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Klaveren, Chris; De Witte, Kristof

    2015-01-01

    Schools frequently increase the instructional time to improve primary school children's math and reading skills. There is, however, little evidence that math and reading skills are effectively improved by these instruction-time increases. This study evaluates ‘Playing for Success’ (PfS), an extended

  10. Specific Components of Pediatricians' Medication-Related Care Predict Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Symptom Improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Epstein, Jeffery N; Kelleher, Kelly J; Baum, Rebecca; Brinkman, William B; Peugh, James; Gardner, William; Lichtenstein, Phil; Langberg, Joshua M

    2017-06-01

    The development of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) care quality measurements is a prerequisite to improving the quality of community-based pediatric care of children with ADHD. Unfortunately, the evidence base for existing ADHD care quality metrics is poor. The objective of this study was to identify which components of ADHD care best predict patient outcomes. Parents of 372 medication-naïve children in grades 1 to 5 presenting to their community-based pediatrician (N = 195) for an ADHD-related concern and who were subsequently prescribed ADHD medication were identified. Parents completed the Vanderbilt ADHD Parent Rating Scale (VAPRS) at the time ADHD was raised as a concern and then approximately 12 months after starting ADHD medication. Each patient's chart was reviewed to measure 12 different components of ADHD care. Across all children, the mean decrease in VAPRS total symptom score during the first year of treatment was 11.6 (standard deviation 10.1). Of the 12 components of ADHD care, shorter times to first contact and more teacher ratings collected in the first year of treatment significantly predicted greater decreases in patient total symptom scores. Notably, it was timeliness of contacts, defined as office visits, phone calls, or email communication, that predicted more ADHD symptom decreases. Office visits alone, in terms of number or timeliness, did not predict patient outcomes. The magnitude of ADHD symptom decrease that can be achieved with the use of ADHD medications was associated with specific components of ADHD care. Future development and modifications of ADHD quality care metrics should include these ADHD care components. Copyright © 2017 American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Effects of alcohol on attention orienting and dual-task performance during simulated driving: an event-related potential study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wester, Anne E; Verster, Joris C; Volkerts, Edmund R; Böcker, Koen B E; Kenemans, J Leon

    2010-09-01

    Driving is a complex task and is susceptible to inattention and distraction. Moreover, alcohol has a detrimental effect on driving performance, possibly due to alcohol-induced attention deficits. The aim of the present study was to assess the effects of alcohol on simulated driving performance and attention orienting and allocation, as assessed by event-related potentials (ERPs). Thirty-two participants completed two test runs in the Divided Attention Steering Simulator (DASS) with blood alcohol concentrations (BACs) of 0.00%, 0.02%, 0.05%, 0.08% and 0.10%. Sixteen participants performed the second DASS test run with a passive auditory oddball to assess alcohol effects on involuntary attention shifting. Sixteen other participants performed the second DASS test run with an active auditory oddball to assess alcohol effects on dual-task performance and active attention allocation. Dose-dependent impairments were found for reaction times, the number of misses and steering error, even more so in dual-task conditions, especially in the active oddball group. ERP amplitudes to novel irrelevant events were also attenuated in a dose-dependent manner. The P3b amplitude to deviant target stimuli decreased with blood alcohol concentration only in the dual-task condition. It is concluded that alcohol increases distractibility and interference from secondary task stimuli, as well as reduces attentional capacity and dual-task integrality.

  12. Is it time to turn our attention towards central mechanisms for post-exertional recovery strategies and performance?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ben eRattray

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Post-exercise recovery has largely focused on peripheral mechanisms of fatigue, but there is growing acceptance that fatigue is also contributed to through central mechanisms which demands that attention should be paid to optimising recovery of the brain. In this narrative review we assemble evidence for the role that many currently utilised recovery strategies may have on the brain, as well as potential mechanisms for their action. The review provides discussion of how common nutritional strategies as well as physical modalities and methods to reduce mental fatigue are likely to interact with the brain, and offer an opportunity for subsequent improved performance. We aim to highlight the fact that many recovery strategies have been designed with the periphery in mind, and that refinement of current methods are likely to provide improvements in minimising central fatigue. Whilst we offer a number of recommendations, it is evident that there are many opportunities for improving the research, and practical guidelines in this area.

  13. Symptom and performance validity with veterans assessed for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shura, Robert D; Denning, John H; Miskey, Holly M; Rowland, Jared A

    2017-12-01

    Little is known about attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in veterans. Practice standards recommend the use of both symptom and performance validity measures in any assessment, and there are salient external incentives associated with ADHD evaluation (stimulant medication access and academic accommodations). The purpose of this study was to evaluate symptom and performance validity measures in a clinical sample of veterans presenting for specialty ADHD evaluation. Patients without a history of a neurocognitive disorder and for whom data were available on all measures (n = 114) completed a clinical interview structured on DSM-5 ADHD symptoms, the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2-Restructured Form (MMPI-2-RF), and the Test of Memory Malingering Trial 1 (TOMM1) as part of a standardized ADHD diagnostic evaluation. Veterans meeting criteria for ADHD were not more likely to overreport symptoms on the MMPI-2-RF nor to fail TOMM1 (score ≤ 41) compared with those who did not meet criteria. Those who overreported symptoms did not endorse significantly more ADHD symptoms; however, those who failed TOMM1 did report significantly more ADHD symptoms (g = 0.90). In the total sample, 19.3% failed TOMM1, 44.7% overreported on the MMPI-2-RF, and 8.8% produced both an overreported MMPI-2-RF and invalid TOMM1. F-r had the highest correlation to TOMM1 scores (r = -.30). These results underscore the importance of assessing both symptom and performance validity in a clinical ADHD evaluation with veterans. In contrast to certain other conditions (e.g., mild traumatic brain injury), ADHD as a diagnosis is not related to higher rates of invalid report/performance in veterans. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).

  14. Driver performance and attention allocation in use of logo signs on freeway exit ramps.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zahabi, Maryam; Machado, Patricia; Lau, Mei Ying; Deng, Yulin; Pankok, Carl; Hummer, Joseph; Rasdorf, William; Kaber, David B

    2017-11-01

    The objective of this research was to quantify the effects of driver age, ramp signage configuration, including number of panels, logo format and sign familiarity, on driver performance and attention allocation when exiting freeways. Sixty drivers participated in a simulator study and analysis of variance models were used to assess response effects of the controlled manipulations. Results revealed elderly drivers to demonstrate worse performance and conservative control strategies as compared to middle-aged and young drivers. Elderly drivers also exhibited lower off-road fixation frequency and shorter off-road glance durations compared to middle-aged and young drivers. In general, drivers adopted a more conservative strategy when exposed to nine-panel signs as compared to six-panel signs and were more accurate in target detection when searching six-panels vs. nine and with familiar vs. unfamiliar logos. These findings provide an applicable guide for agency design of freeway ramp signage accounting for driver demographics. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Stroop performance in multiple sclerosis: information processing, selective attention, or executive functioning?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macniven, J A B; Davis, C; Ho, M-Y; Bradshaw, C M; Szabadi, E; Constantinescu, C S

    2008-09-01

    Cognitive impairments in information processing speed, attention and executive functioning are widely reported in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). Several studies have identified impaired performance on the Stroop test in people with MS, yet uncertainty remains over the cause of this phenomenon. In this study, 25 patients with MS were assessed with a neuropsychological test battery including a computerized Stroop test and a computerized test of information processing speed, the Graded Conditional Discrimination Tasks (GCDT). The patient group was compared with an individually age, sex and estimated premorbid IQ-matched healthy control group. The patients' reaction times (RTs) were significantly longer than those of the controls on all Stroop test trials and there was a significantly enhanced absolute (RT(incongruent)-RT(neutral)) and relative (100 x [RT(incongruent)-RT(neutral)]/RT(neutral)) Stroop interference effect for the MS group. The linear function relating RT to stimulus complexity in the GCDT was significantly steeper in the patient group, indicating slowed information processing. The results are discussed with reference to the difference engine model, a theory of diversity in speeded cognition. It is concluded that, in the assessment of people with MS, great caution must be used in the interpretation of performance on neuropsychological tests which rely on RT as the primary measure.

  16. 7804 PERFORMANCE OF IMPROVED BEAN VARIETIES IN ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Win7Ent

    2013-06-03

    Jun 3, 2013 ... 3. June 2013. ABSTRACT. A project aimed at improving bean production in Kigoma Region was carried out ... Some rain is required during the flowering and pod setting stages [2]. ..... library.ciat.cgiar.org/articulos/ciat/paperb.

  17. Measuring collections effort improves cash performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shutts, Joe

    2009-09-01

    Having a satisfied work force can lead to an improved collections effort. Hiring the right people and training them ensures employee engagement. Measuring collections effort and offering incentives is key to revenue cycle success.

  18. Performance improvement of professional printing systems : from theory to practice

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ezzeldin Mahdy Abdelmonem, M.

    2012-01-01

    Performance Improvement of Professional Printing Systems: from theory to practice Markets demand continuously for higher quality, higher speed, and more energy-efficient professional printers. In this thesis, control strategies have been developed to improve the performance of both professional

  19. Performance Results of CMMI-Based Process Improvement

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Gibson, Diane L; Goldenson, Dennis R; Kost, Keith

    2006-01-01

    .... There now is evidence that process improvement using the CMMI Product Suite can result in improvements in schedule and cost performance, product quality, return on investment and other measures of performance outcome...

  20. Can visual arts training improve physician performance?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katz, Joel T; Khoshbin, Shahram

    2014-01-01

    Clinical educators use medical humanities as a means to improve patient care by training more self-aware, thoughtful, and collaborative physicians. We present three examples of integrating fine arts - a subset of medical humanities - into the preclinical and clinical training as models that can be adapted to other medical environments to address a wide variety of perceived deficiencies. This novel teaching method has promise to improve physician skills, but requires further validation.

  1. Can Visual Arts Training Improve Physician Performance?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katz, Joel T.; Khoshbin, Shahram

    2014-01-01

    Clinical educators use medical humanities as a means to improve patient care by training more self-aware, thoughtful, and collaborative physicians. We present three examples of integrating fine arts — a subset of medical humanities — into the preclinical and clinical training as models that can be adapted to other medical environments to address a wide variety of perceived deficiencies. This novel teaching method has promise to improve physician skills, but requires further validation. PMID:25125749

  2. Improvement of irradiation facilities performance in JMTR

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kanno, Masaru; Sakurai, Susumu; Honma, Kenzo; Sagawa, Hisashi; Nakazaki, Chousaburo

    1999-01-01

    Various kinds of irradiation facilities are installed in the JMTR for the purpose of irradiation tests on fuels and materials and of producing radioisotopes. The irradiation facilities have been improved so far at every opportunity of new irradiation requirements and of renewing them which reached the design lifetime. Of these irradiation facilities, improvements of the power ramping test facility (BOCA/OSF-1 facility) and the hydraulic rabbit No.2 (HR-2 facility) are described here. (author)

  3. Aromatherapy Improves Work Performance Through Balancing the Autonomic Nervous System.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Lin; Capdevila, Lluis

    2017-03-01

    This study analyzed the efficacy of aromatherapy in improving work performance and reducing workplace stress. The initial sample comprised 42 administrative university workers (M age  = 42.21 years, standard deviation = 7.12; 10 male). All sessions were performed in a university computer classroom. The participants were randomly assigned into an aromatherapy group (AG) and a control group (CG), and they were invited to participate in a specific session only once. They were seated in front of a computer. During the intervention period, some oil diffusers were switched on and were in operation throughout the session with petitgrain essential oil for AG sessions and a neutral oil (almond) for CG sessions. At the same time, participants completed a computer task on a specific Web site typing on their keyboard until they had finished it. The single times were different for all participants and were recorded on the Web site as "performance time." Before and after the intervention, participants completed anxiety and mood state questionnaires (the Stait-Trait Anxiety Inventory [STAI] and the Profile of Mood States [POMS]). Heart-rate variability (HRV) was measured before (PRE), during (20-25 min), and after (POS) the intervention to analyze autonomic nervous system regulation. The AG performed the Web site task 2.28 min faster than the CG (p = 0.05). The two groups showed differences in the following HRV parameters: low frequency (p = 0.05), high frequency (p = 0.02), standard deviation of all RR intervals (p = 0.05), and root mean square of differences (p = 0.02). All participants in all groups showed a decrease from PRE to POST for STAI (p Aromatherapy (inhaling petitgrain essential oil) can improve performance in the workplace. These results could be explained by an autonomic balance on the sympathetic/parasympathetic system through a combined action of the petitgrain main components (linalyl acetate, linalool, and myrcene). The final

  4. Effects of distractors on upright balance performance in school-aged children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, preliminary study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aydinli, Fatma Esen; Çak, Tuna; Kirazli, Meltem Çiğdem; Çinar, Betül Çiçek; Pektaş, Alev; Çengel, Ebru Kültür; Aksoy, Songül

    2016-11-17

    Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a common impairing neuropsychiatric disorder with onset in early childhood. Almost half of the children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder also experience a variety of motor-related dysfunctions ranging from fine/gross motor control problems to difficulties in maintaining balance. The main purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of distractors two different auditory distractors namely, relaxing music and white noise on upright balance performance in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. We compared upright balance performance and the involvement of different sensory systems in the presence of auditory distractors between school-aged children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (n=26) and typically developing controls (n=20). Neurocom SMART Balance Master Dynamic Posturography device was used for the sensory organization test. Sensory organization test was repeated three times for each participant in three different test environments. The balance scores in the silence environment were lower in the attention deficit hyperactivity disorder group but the differences were not statistically significant. In addition to lower balance scores the visual and vestibular ratios were also lower. Auditory distractors affected the general balance performance positively for both groups. More challenging conditions, using an unstable platform with distorted somatosensory signals were more affected. Relaxing music was more effective in the control group, and white noise was more effective in the attention deficit hyperactivity disorder group and the positive effects of white noise became more apparent in challenging conditions. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study evaluating balance performance in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder under the effects of auditory distractors. Although more studies are needed, our results indicate that auditory distractors

  5. Improving Student Performance Using Nudge Analytics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feild, Jacqueline

    2015-01-01

    Providing students with continuous and personalized feedback on their performance is an important part of encouraging self regulated learning. As part of our higher education platform, we built a set of data visualizations to provide feedback to students on their assignment performance. These visualizations give students information about how they…

  6. How Six Sigma Methodology Improved Doctors' Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zafiropoulos, George

    2015-01-01

    Six Sigma methodology was used in a District General Hospital to assess the effect of the introduction of an educational programme to limit unnecessary admissions. The performance of the doctors involved in the programme was assessed. Ishikawa Fishbone and 5 S's were initially used and Pareto analysis of their findings was performed. The results…

  7. Using Performance Task Data to Improve Instruction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abbott, Amy L.; Wren, Douglas G.

    2016-01-01

    Two well-accepted ideas among educators are (a) performance assessment is an effective means of assessing higher-order thinking skills and (b) data-driven instruction planning is a valuable tool for optimizing student learning. This article describes a locally developed performance task (LDPT) designed to measure critical thinking, problem…

  8. Effects of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy on neurophysiological correlates of performance monitoring in adult attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schoenberg, Poppy L A; Hepark, Sevket; Kan, Cornelis C; Barendregt, Henk P; Buitelaar, Jan K; Speckens, Anne E M

    2014-07-01

    To examine whether mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) would enhance attenuated amplitudes of event-related potentials (ERPs) indexing performance monitoring biomarkers of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Fifty adult ADHD patients took part in a randomised controlled study investigating ERP and clinical measures pre-to-post MBCT. Twenty-six patients were randomly allocated to MBCT, 24 to a wait-list control. Main outcome measures included error processing (ERN, Pe), conflict monitoring (NoGo-N2), and inhibitory control (NoGo-P3) ERPs concomitant to a continuous performance task (CPT-X). Inattention and hyperactivity-impulsivity ADHD symptoms, psychological distress and social functioning, and mindfulness skills were also assessed. MBCT was associated with increased Pe and NoGo-P3 amplitudes, coinciding with reduced 'hyperactivity/impulsivity' and 'inattention' symptomatology. Specific to the MBCT; enhanced Pe amplitudes correlated with a decrease in hyperactivity/impulsivity symptoms and increased 'act-with-awareness' mindfulness skill, whereas, enhanced P3 correlated with amelioration in inattention symptoms. MBCT enhanced ERP amplitudes associated with motivational saliency and error awareness, leading to improved inhibitory regulation. MBCT suggests having comparable modulation on performance monitoring ERP amplitudes as pharmacological treatments. Further study and development of MBCT as a treatment for ADHD is warranted, in addition to its potential scope for clinical applicability to broader defined externalising disorders and clinical problems associated with impairments of the prefrontal cortex. Copyright © 2013 International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Habitual caffeine consumption and its relation to memory, attention, planning capacity and psychomotor performance across multiple age groups.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hameleers, P. A. H. M; Van Boxtel, M. P. J; Hogervorst, E; Riedel, W. J; Houx, P. J; Buntinx, F; Jolles, J

    2000-12-01

    The present study evaluated the association between habitual caffeine intake via coffee and tea and cognitive performance. This was done as part of a larger research programme into the determinants of cognitive ageing (the Maastricht Aging Study: MAAS). Possible withdrawal effects that may have explained in part the positive association between performance and intake in an earlier study were controlled for. In addition, all cognitive tests in this study were administered under strict laboratory conditions. A group of 1875 healthy adults, stratified for age (range 24 - 81 years), sex, and general ability, were screened for habitual intake of coffee and tea and took part in extensive cognitive testing. Multiple regression analysis with control for age, sex, socio-demographic variables, and substance use showed that habitual caffeine consumption was significantly related to better long-term memory performance and faster locomotor speed. No relationships were found between habitual caffeine consumption and short-term memory, information processing, planning, and attention as measured with the Stroop Test. Moreover, no difference in sensitivity to caffeine intake between different age groups was found, suggesting that caffeine intake did not counteract age-related cognitive decline. Several recommendations are made to improve the design of future studies in this field. Copyright 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  10. Integrating Mindfulness Practices into the Elementary Curriculum to Improve Attention-to-Task Behaviors and Social Relations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kanagy-Borofka, Lori

    2013-01-01

    This study examined effects of integrating mindfulness practices into the 5th grade curriculum to improve attention-to-task, including inattention and executive functioning, hyperactivity/impulsivity, and social relations. As academic requirements become more rigorous, students have been expected to demonstrate increased skills in…

  11. White matter microstructure and developmental improvement of hyperactive/impulsive symptoms in Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Francx, W.C.L.; Zwiers, M.P.; Mennes, M.J.J.; Oosterlaan, J.; Heslenfeld, D.J.; Hoekstra, P.J.; Hartman, C.A.; Franke, B.; Faraone, S.V; O'Dwyer, L.G.; Buitelaar, J.K.

    2015-01-01

    Background A developmental improvement of symptoms in Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is frequently reported, but the underlying neurobiological substrate has not been identified. The aim of this study was to determine whether white matter microstructure is related to developmental

  12. White matter microstructure and developmental improvement of hyperactive/impulsive symptoms in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Francx, Winke; Zwiers, Marcel P.; Mennes, Maarten; Oosterlaan, Jaap; Heslenfeld, Dirk; Hoekstra, Pieter J.; Hartman, Catharina A.; Franke, Barbara; Faraone, Stephen V.; O'Dwyer, Laurence; Buitelaar, Jan K.

    2015-01-01

    Background: A developmental improvement of symptoms in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is frequently reported, but the underlying neurobiological substrate has not been identified. The aim of this study was to determine whether white matter microstructure is related to developmental

  13. Cerebral networks of sustained attention and working memory: a functional magnetic resonance imaging study based on the Continuous Performance Test.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartés-Serrallonga, M; Adan, A; Solé-Casals, J; Caldú, X; Falcón, C; Pérez-Pàmies, M; Bargalló, N; Serra-Grabulosa, J M

    2014-04-01

    One of the most used paradigms in the study of attention is the Continuous Performance Test (CPT). The identical pairs version (CPT-IP) has been widely used to evaluate attention deficits in developmental, neurological and psychiatric disorders. However, the specific locations and the relative distribution of brain activation in networks identified with functional imaging, varies significantly with differences in task design. To design a task to evaluate sustained attention using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), and thus to provide data for research concerned with the role of these functions. Forty right-handed, healthy students (50% women; age range: 18-25 years) were recruited. A CPT-IP implemented as a block design was used to assess sustained attention during the fMRI session. The behavioural results from the CPT-IP task showed a good performance in all subjects, higher than 80% of hits. fMRI results showed that the used CPT-IP task activates a network of frontal, parietal and occipital areas, and that these are related to executive and attentional functions. In relation to the use of the CPT to study of attention and working memory, this task provides normative data in healthy adults, and it could be useful to evaluate disorders which have attentional and working memory deficits.

  14. Industry activities to improve valve performance

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Callaway, C.

    1996-12-01

    Motor-operated valve issues refuse to go away. For over a decade the industry and the NRC have been focusing extraordinary resources on assuring these special components operate when called upon. Now that industry has fixed the design deficiencies, it is focusing on assuring that they perform their safety function within the current licensing basis for the remainder of plant life. NEI supported the efforts by ASME to develop OMN-1 and was encouraged that the industry and the NRC worked together to develop risk and performance based approaches to maintain MOV performance.

  15. Does Advertising Spending Improve Sales Performance?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Assaf, A. George; Josiassen, Alexander; Mattila, Anna S.

    2015-01-01

    Hotel managers and investors commonly analyze the impact of advertising spending on firm performance. This paper investigates such an impact using a comprehensive framework incorporating the moderating effects of hotel size and star ratings. We estimated sales performance via dynamic, stochastic...... frontier modelling. Using longitudinal data from a sample of Slovenian and Croatian hotels, we demonstrate that advertising spending has a positive impact on hotel sales performance, and that the relationship strengthens for larger hotels and hotels with higher star ratings. Theoretical and managerial...

  16. Human resource management interventions to improve health workers' performance in low and middle income countries : a realist review

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dieleman, Marjolein; Gerretsen, Barend; van der Wilt, Gert Jan

    2009-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Improving health workers' performance is vital for achieving the Millennium Development Goals. In the literature on human resource management (HRM) interventions to improve health workers' performance in Low and Middle Income Countries (LMIC), hardly any attention has been paid to the

  17. Human resource management interventions to improve health workers' performance in low and middle income countries: a realist review.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dieleman, M.; Gerretsen, B.; Wilt, G.J. van der

    2009-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Improving health workers' performance is vital for achieving the Millennium Development Goals. In the literature on human resource management (HRM) interventions to improve health workers' performance in Low and Middle Income Countries (LMIC), hardly any attention has been paid to the

  18. Warehouse Performance Improvement at Linfox Logistics Indonesia

    OpenAIRE

    Pratama, Riyan Galuh; Simatupang, Togar M

    2013-01-01

    The objective of this research is to provide alternative solutions for Linfox Logistics Indonesia (LLI) in facing warehouse performance issues. The main warehouse performance indicators called Customer Case Filling on Time (CCFOT) and Case Picking Productivity failed to achieve the target. Several analyses were carried out regarding current dispatch process, value stream mapping, and root causes identification. The results find that much waste occurred in dispatch process. Proposed improvemen...

  19. Redesign of the Attention Process of Patients with Rheumatologic Diseases: Assessing the Performance with Analytic Hierarchy Process

    OpenAIRE

    Gorbanev, Iouri; Cortes, Ariel; Agudelo-Londoño, Sandra

    2017-01-01

    Objective. To compare the Business process management and the analytic hierarchy process as the tools of process performance assessment. Instruments and Methods. Case study of the attention process of rheumatology patients. Business process management and analytic hierarchy process were applied to assess the redesign of the attention process. The two methods were compared. The data were obtained through personal observations, an interview with a Colombian health insurer’s senior executive, an...

  20. A Management Tool for Improvement (Improving) IMS Stations Performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mohammad, D.; Pantin, A.; Quintana, E.

    2011-01-01

    IMS-Maintenance is a software under development by the personnel of ARN-CTBT office, intended for the technical management of IMS stations under ARN's responsibility. This software integrates the whole control of the equipment in an IMS station, including the management of consumables used in daily or periodic operation. It permits an easy retrieval (access) of the technical features, suppliers, etc. of each item of the equipment, as well as its maintenance history and scheduled task. Although this project is still in a starting phase, a preliminary version of this software is being used in radionuclide station RN01 (Buenos Aires), having already demonstrated its usefulness and potential for the improvement of IMS station management. (authors)

  1. The Relationship between Intelligence and Performance on the Test of Variables of Attention (TOVA).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weyandt, Lisa L.; Mitzlaff, Linda; Thomas, Laura

    2002-01-01

    This study, with 17 young adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and 62 without ADHD, found no significant correlations between full scale IQ and scores on the Test of Variables of Attention (TOVA). However, analysis of variance revealed that subjects with ADHD made more errors of omission on the TOVA than did controls.…

  2. Written Composition Performance of Students with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Casas, Ana Miranda; Ferrer, Manuel Soriano; Fortea, Inmaculada Baixauli

    2013-01-01

    Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is frequently associated with learning disabilities. The present study examined the written composition of children with ADHD, which depends to a large degree on continuous self-regulation and attentional control skills for organizing information and maintaining the level of effort. Fifty children…

  3. The role of time on task performance in modifying the effects of gum chewing on attention

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tucha, Lara; Simpson, William

    Recent research examined the effects of chewing gum on attention and reported a significant interaction of gum chewing with time. Using a crossover within-subject design, the present study examined the effect of gum chewing on sustained attention in healthy adults over a period of 30 min. The

  4. Attentional Performance in Children and Adolescents with Tic Disorder and Co-Occurring Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: New Insights from a 2 × 2 Factorial Design Study

    OpenAIRE

    Greimel, Ellen; Wanderer, Sina; Rothenberger, Aribert; Herpertz-Dahlmann, Beate; Konrad, Kerstin; Roessner, Veit

    2011-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of both tic disorder (TD) and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) on attentional functions. N = 96 children and adolescents participated in the study, including n = 21 subjects with TD, n = 23 subjects with ADHD, n = 25 subjects with TD+ADHD, and n = 27 controls. Attentional performance was tested based on four computerized attention tasks (sustained attention, divided attention, go/nogo and set shifting). The effect of TD...

  5. When endogenous spatial attention improves conscious perception: effects of alerting and bottom-up activation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Botta, Fabiano; Lupiáñez, Juan; Chica, Ana B

    2014-01-01

    Recent studies have consistently demonstrated that conscious perception interacts with exogenous attentional orienting, but it can be dissociated from endogenous attentional orienting (Chica Lasaponara, et al., 2011; Wyart & Tallon-Baudry, 2008). It has been hypothesized that enhanced conscious processing at exogenously attended locations results from a synergistic action of spatial orienting, bottom-up activation, and phasic alerting induced by the abrupt onset of the exogenous cue (Chica, Lasaponara, et al., 2011). Instead, as endogenous cues need more time to be interpreted, the phasic alerting they produce may have dissipated when the target appears. Furthermore, endogenous cues presumably elicit a weak bottom-up activation at the cued location. Consistent with these hypotheses, we observed that endogenous attention modulated conscious perception, but only when phasic alerting or bottom-up activation was increased. Results are discussed in the context of recent theoretical models of consciousness (Dehaene, Changeux, Naccache, Sackur, & Sergent, 2006). Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Functional improvement and correlations with symptomatic improvement in adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder receiving long-acting methylphenidate.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Buitelaar, J.K.; Casas, M.; Philipsen, A.; Kooij, J.J.; Ramos-Quiroga, J.A.; Dejonckheere, J.; Oene, J.C. van; Schauble, B.

    2012-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Data on the relationship between core symptoms and daily functioning in adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are limited. Daily functioning was assessed as part of an open-label extension, and associations with symptom scores were evaluated. METHOD: After a 5-week

  7. Partnering through Training and Practice to Achieve Performance Improvement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyons, Paul R.

    2010-01-01

    This article presents a partnership effort among managers, trainers, and employees to spring to life performance improvement using the performance templates (P-T) approach. P-T represents a process model as well as a method of training leading to performance improvement. Not only does it add to our repertoire of training and performance management…

  8. Continuous performance test in pediatric obsessive-compulsive disorder and tic disorders: the role of sustained attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lucke, Ilse M; Lin, Charlotte; Conteh, Fatmata; Federline, Amanda; Sung, Huyngmo; Specht, Matthew; Grados, Marco A

    2015-10-01

    Pediatric obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and tic disorders (TD) are often associated with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). In order to clarify the role of attention and inhibitory control in pediatric OCD and TD, a continuous performance test (CPT) was administered to a cohort of children and adolescents with OCD alone, TD alone, and OCD+TD. A clinical cohort of 48 children and adolescents with OCD alone (n=20), TD alone (n=15), or OCD+TD (n=13) was interviewed clinically and administered the Conners Continuous Performance Test II (CPT-II). The Conners CPT-II is a 14-minute normed computerized test consisting of 6 blocks. It taps into attention, inhibitory control, and sustained attention cognitive domains. Key parameters include errors of omission (distractability), commission (inhibitory control), and variable responding over time (sustained attention). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition (DSM-IV) criteria were applied in a best-estimate process to diagnose OCD, TD, ADHD, and anxiety disorders. Children with OCD+TD had more errors of omission (p=0.03), and more hit RT block change (p=0.003) and hit SE block change (p=0.02) than subjects with OCD alone and TD alone. These deficits in sustained attention were associated with younger age and hoarding tendencies. A clinical diagnosis of ADHD in the OCD+TD group also determined worse sustained attention. A deficit in sustained attention, a core marker of ADHD, is also a marker of OCD+TD, compared to OCD alone and TD alone. Biological correlates of sustained attention may serve to uncover the pathophysiology of OCD and TD through genetic and imaging studies.

  9. Improving operational performance by influencing shopfloor behavior via performance management practices

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Leeuw, S.L.J.M.; van den Berg, J.P.

    2011-01-01

    It is generally believed that companies applying performance management practices outperform those that do not measure and manage their performance. Studies examining the link between performance management and performance improvement implicitly assume that performance management affects behavior of

  10. Performance improvement by alumina coatings on Y

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zhou, Z.; Zhou, Nan; Lu, Xiangyang; ten Kate, O.M.; Valdesueiro Gonzalez, D.; van Ommen, J.R.; Hintzen, H.T.J.M.

    2016-01-01

    To improve the thermal stability, Al2O3 has been successfully coated on a Y3Al5O12:Ce3+ (YAG:Ce) phosphor powder host by using the Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) approach in a fluidized bed reactor. Transmission Electron Microscopy

  11. Reactor coolant pump seals: improving their performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pothier, N.E.; Metcalfe, R.

    1986-06-01

    Large CANDU plants are benefitting from transient-resistant four-year reliable reactor coolant pump seal lifetimes, a direct result of AECL's 20-year comprehensive seal improvement program involving R and D staff, manufacturers, and plant designers and operators. An overview of this program is presented, which covers seal modification design, testing, post-service examination, specialized maintenance and quality control. The relevancy of this technology to Light Water Reactor Coolant Pump Seals is also discussed

  12. The Implementation of Collaborative Learning Using AfL through Giving Feedback Strategy for Improving Students’ Attention to Mathematics Lesson

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurniasih, R.; Sujadi, I.; Pramesti, G.

    2016-02-01

    This research aims to describe the process of implementation collaborative learning with AfL through giving feedback strategy for improving students’ attention to mathematics lesson. Data which is collected in this research are students’ attention towards learning and students’ achievement. The result of this research showed that the learning steps by using collaborative learning with AfL through giving feedback strategy which can improve students’ attention are: 1) pre activity: the teacher delivers the purpose of the learning, successful criteria, apperception, and motivation. 2) main activity: the teacher gives the background of learning activity, explains learning materials at a glance, divides students discuss, the teacher observes and guides students to the problem solving, present their discussion result, gives feedback, the students do AfL problem and the answer is collected and result will be given before next meeting. 3) post activity: the teacher with students concludes the material. Test result, the percentage of students who complete the examination in the second cycle is 77.27%. Based on those results can be concluded that the implementation of collaborative learning using AfL through giving feedback can improve students’ attention towards learning and students’ achievement of XI IPA Students MA Al-Islam Jamsaren Surakarta academic year 2013/2014.

  13. Improvement an enterprises marketing performance measurement system

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stanković Ljiljana

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Business conditions in which modern enterprises do business are more and more complex. The complexity of the business environment is caused by activities of external and internal factors, which imposes the need for the turn in management focus. One of key turns is related to the need of adaptation and development of new business performance evaluation systems. The evaluation of marketing contribution to business performance is very important however a complex task as well. The marketing theory and practice indicates the need for developing adequate standards and systems for evaluating the efficiency of marketing decisions. The better understanding of marketing standards and ways that managers use is a very important factor that affects the efficiency of strategic decision-making. The paper presents the results of researching the way in which managers perceive and apply marketing performance measures. The data that were received through the field research sample enabled the consideration of the managers' attitudes on practical ways of implementing marketing performance measurement and identifying measures that managers imply as used mostly in business practice.

  14. Does Negotiation Training Improve Negotiators' Performance?

    Science.gov (United States)

    ElShenawy, Eman

    2010-01-01

    Purpose: This paper's objective is to test the main effect of negotiation training-level on acquiring negotiation skills. Training level refers to the time a trainee spends in a negotiation training course receiving the standard style and methods of training. Negotiation skills are manifested through trainees' performance after receiving training.…

  15. Improving spelling performance and spelling consciousness

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cordewener, K.A.H.; Verhoeven, L.T.W.; Bosman, A.M.T.

    2016-01-01

    This study examined the immediate and sustained effects of three training conditions on both spelling performance and spelling consciousness of 72 third-grade low- and high-skilled spellers. Spellers were assigned to a strategy-instruction, self-correction, or no-correction condition. The role of

  16. Improving Spelling Performance and Spelling Consciousness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cordewener, Kim A. H.; Verhoeven, Ludo; Bosman, Anna M. T.

    2016-01-01

    This study examined the immediate and sustained effects of three training conditions on both spelling performance and spelling consciousness of 72 third-grade low- and high-skilled spellers. Spellers were assigned to a strategy-instruction, self-correction, or no-correction condition. The role of spelling ability and word characteristic were also…

  17. Tools for Measuring and Improving Performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jurow, Susan

    1993-01-01

    Explains the need for meaningful performance measures in libraries and the Total Quality Management (TQM) approach to data collection. Five tools representing different stages of a TQM inquiry are covered (i.e., the Shewhart Cycle, flowcharts, cause-and-effect diagrams, Pareto charts, and control charts), and benchmarking is addressed. (Contains…

  18. Improving Student Performance through Parent Involvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steventon, Candace E.

    A personalized parenting program was implemented to address poor academic performance and low self-esteem of high school students. Student records, the Coopersmith Self-Esteem Inventory, the Behavior Evaluation Scale, and teacher surveys were employed to identify and measure academic and/or self-perception growth. Parents participated in an 8-week…

  19. Methylphenidate does not improve interference control during a working memory task in young patients with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prehn-Kristensen, Alexander; Krauel, Kerstin; Hinrichs, Hermann; Fischer, Jochen; Malecki, Ulrike; Schuetze, Hartmut; Wolff, Stephan; Jansen, Olav; Duezel, Emrah; Baving, Lioba

    2011-05-04

    Patients with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) show deficits in working memory (WM) which may be related to prefrontal dysfunction. Methylphenidate (MPH) can restore WM deficits in ADHD by enhancing prefrontal activity. At the same time, changes in striatal activation could cause ADHD patients to be more interference-sensitive during working memory tasks. However, it is unclear whether MPH reduces WM distractibility in ADHD. In this fMRI study, 12 ADHD patients and 12 healthy controls participated on two separate days in a delayed-match-to-sample test. During the delay interval, a distractor stimulus was presented in half of the trials. Children and adolescents with ADHD received MPH only on one of the two sessions. Behavioral data analyses revealed that MPH normalized WM in ADHD. However, MPH did not improve WM performance when a distractor was presented during the delay interval. Functional images showed that MPH enhanced prefrontal activity during the delay in ADHD patients when no distractor was present. If the delay was interrupted by a distractor, only healthy controls showed activation of the caudate. In patients with ADHD, however, in line with behavioral data, MPH did not enhance caudate activity. In healthy youth, caudate activity is involved in interference control allowing the successful maintenance of information in working memory even in the presence of distraction. Our findings suggest that interference control, linked to caudate activity, is not adequately enhanced by MPH in ADHD. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Is performance on probed serial recall tasks in schizophrenia related to duration of Attentional Blink?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David P. McAllindon

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Schizophrenia is associated with a deficit in working memory, with the degree of working memory impairment related to the level of social and occupational functioning. This study tests the hypothesis that the working memory deficits in individuals with schizophrenia can be explained by slow processing of visual stimuli, as measured by the attentional blink (AB task. Individuals with schizophrenia (SC and controls (HC were recruited from an early intervention service for psychosis and the local community. Data from 16 SC (11M/5F, mean = 26.4 yo and 20 age-matched HC (11M/9F, mean = 25.8 yo were analyzed. Each subject performed an AB task to determine their AB duration, defined as the lag to reach their plateau performance (ltpp. As expected, mean AB duration in the SC group (575 ms was significantly slower than HC (460 ms; p = 0.007. Recall accuracy of the SC group on a working memory task, a 6-item probed serial recall task (PSR, was reduced compared to the HC group at a standard interstimulus interval (ISI (p = 0.002. When the individual's AB duration was then used to adjust the ISI on the PSR task to three relative ISI rates (Slow (2 × ltpp, Medium (ltpp and Fast (1/2 × ltpp, performance on the PSR task was affected by group, position and ISI and qualified by an ISI ∗ position (p = 0.001 and a trend to a triple interaction (p = 0.054. There was main effect of group at all ISIs, but group ∗ position interaction only at Slow ISI (p = 0.01. Our interpretation of the results is that absolute ISI, rather than ISI relative to AB duration, affected performance.

  1. Putative therapeutic targets for symptom subtypes of adult ADHD: D4 receptor agonism and COMT inhibition improve attention and response inhibition in a novel translational animal model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomlinson, Anneka; Grayson, Ben; Marsh, Samuel; Hayward, Andrew; Marshall, Kay M; Neill, Joanna C

    2015-04-01

    Prefrontal cortical dopamine plays an important role in cognitive control, specifically in attention and response inhibition; the core deficits in ADHD. We have previously shown that methylphenidate and atomoxetine differentially improve these deficits dependent on baseline performance. The present study extends this work to investigate the effects of putative therapeutic targets in our model. A selective dopamine D4 receptor agonist (A-412997) and the catechol-O-methyl-transferase (COMT) inhibitor; tolcapone, were investigated in the combined subtype of adult ADHD (ADHD-C). Adult female rats were trained to criterion in the 5C-CPT (5-Choice Continuous Performance Task) and then separated into subgroups according to baseline levels of sustained attention, vigilance, and response disinhibition. The subgroups included: high-attentive (HA) and low-attentive with high response disinhibition (ADHD-C). The ADHD-C subgroup was selected to represent the combined subtype of adult ADHD. Effects of tolcapone (3.0, 10.0, 15.0mg/kg) and A-412997 (0.1, 0.3, 1.0µmol/kg) were tested by increasing the variable inter-trial-interval (ITI) duration in the 5C-CPT. Tolcapone (15mg/kg) significantly increased sustained attention, vigilance and response inhibition in ADHD-C animals, and impaired attention in HA animals. A-412997 (1.0µmol/kg) significantly increased vigilance and response inhibition in ADHD-C animals only, with no effect in HA animals. This is the first study to use the translational 5C-CPT to model the adult ADHD-C subtype in rats and to study new targets in this model. Both tolcapone and A-412997 increased vigilance and response inhibition in the ADHD-C subgroup. D4 and COMT are emerging as important potential therapeutic targets in adult ADHD that warrant further investigation. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. and ECNP. All rights reserved.

  2. Decreasing Internal Focus of Attention Improves Postural Control during Quiet Standing in Young Healthy Adults

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nafati, Gilel; Vuillerme, Nicolas

    2011-01-01

    This experiment was designed to investigate whether and how decreasing the amount of attentional focus invested in postural control could affect bipedal postural control. Twelve participants were asked to stand upright as immobile as possible on a force platform in one control condition and one cognitive condition. In the latter condition, they…

  3. Attention Therapy Improves Reading Comprehension in Adjudicated Teens in a Residential Facility

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shelley-Tremblay, John; Langhinrichsen-Rohling, Jennifer; Eyer, Joshua

    2012-01-01

    This study quantified the influence of visual Attention Therapy (AT) on reading skills and Coherent Motion Threshold (CMT) in adjudicated teens with moderate reading disabilities (RD) residing in a residential alternative sentencing program. Forty-two students with below-average reading scores were identified using standardized reading…

  4. Self-Alert Training: Volitional Modulation of Autonomic Arousal Improves Sustained Attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Connell, Redmond G.; Bellgrove, Mark A.; Dockree, Paul M.; Lau, Adam; Fitzgerald, Michael; Robertson, Ian H.

    2008-01-01

    The present study examines a new alertness training strategy (Self-Alert Training, SAT) designed to explore the relationship between the top-down control processes governing arousal and sustained attention. In order to maximally target frontal control systems SAT combines a previously validated behavioural self-alerting technique [Robertson, I.…

  5. Methylphenidate Improves Visual-Spatial Memory in Children with Attention-Deficit- hyperactivity Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bedard, Anne-Claude; Martinussen, Rhonda; Ickowicz, Abel; Tannock, Rosemary

    2004-01-01

    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…

  6. Using Virtual Reality Environment to Improve Joint Attention Associated with Pervasive Developmental Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Yufang; Huang, Ruowen

    2012-01-01

    The focus of this study is using data glove to practice Joint attention skill in virtual reality environment for people with pervasive developmental disorder (PDD). The virtual reality environment provides a safe environment for PDD people. Especially, when they made errors during practice in virtual reality environment, there is no suffering or…

  7. Auditory Stream Segregation Improves Infants' Selective Attention to Target Tones Amid Distracters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Nicholas A.; Trainor, Laurel J.

    2011-01-01

    This study examined the role of auditory stream segregation in the selective attention to target tones in infancy. Using a task adapted from Bregman and Rudnicky's 1975 study and implemented in a conditioned head-turn procedure, infant and adult listeners had to discriminate the temporal order of 2,200 and 2,400 Hz target tones presented alone,…

  8. Can a multi-disciplinary assessment approach improve outcomes for children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bor, William; Heath, Fiona; Heussler, Honey; Reuter, Rebecca; Perrett, Carmel; Lee, Erica

    2013-10-01

    Public, consumer and professional views about attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, its assessment and treatment - especially with medication - remain a highly contested domain. Parents in particular express disquiet with services. One response to this tension is a multidisciplinary evaluation. Parental and education perceptions of this process have not been evaluated previously. A community multidisciplinary approach was assessed in terms of diagnostic outcomes and client satisfaction. A comprehensive multidisciplinary structured assessment of the first 50 referred children with severe attentional problems was documented. Demographic and symptom/behavioural profiles, developmental history and indicated multi-disciplinary evaluation were recorded. A team consensus process arrived at diagnostic classification. Post-assessment satisfaction of parents and school staff was surveyed. Thirteen children (26%) were diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and three commenced stimulants. The majority of parents and educators were satisfied with the service. A multidisciplinary assessment clinic for children presenting with attention problems resulted in minimal prescribing. Overall, education staff and parents were satisfied with the service. The model may be a suitable response to the multiple concerns in the community.

  9. Evaluation of Attention Training and Metacognitive Facilitation to Improve Reading Comprehension in Aphasia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Jaime B.; Sohlberg, McKay Moore

    2013-01-01

    Purpose: This pilot study investigated the impact of direct attention training combined with metacognitive facilitation on reading comprehension in individuals with aphasia. Method: A single-subject, multiple baseline design was employed across 4 participants to evaluate potential changes in reading comprehension resulting from an 8-week…

  10. Is There a Relationship between the Play Attention Program and Improved Student Achievement?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Webber, Jenny Ann

    2011-01-01

    Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and its effects on student academic achievement have been researched for many years. There have been many interventions that have been used in treating ADHD that have been found successful when implemented consistently. Some of the interventions that have been researched in the past are behavior…

  11. Improving fatigue performance of rail thermite welds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jezzini-Aouad, M.; Flahaut, P.; Hariri, S.; Winiar, L.

    2010-06-01

    Rail transport development offers economic and ecological interests. Nevertheless, it requires heavy investments in rolling material and infrastructure. To be competitive, this transportation means must rely on safe and reliable infrastructure, which requires optimization of all implemented techniques and structure. Rail thermite (or aluminothermic) welding is widely used within the railway industry for in-track welding during re-rail and defect replacement. The process provides numerous advantages against other welding technology commonly used. Obviously, future demands on train traffic are heavier axle loads, higher train speeds and increased traffic density. Thus, a new enhanced weld should be developed to prevent accidents due to fracture of welds and to lower maintenance costs. In order to improve such assembly process, a detailed metallurgical study coupled to a thermomechanical modelling of the phenomena involved in the thermite welding process is carried out. Obtained data enables us to develop a new improved thermite weld (type A). This joint is made by modifying the routinely specified procedure (type B) used in a railway rail by a standard gap alumino-thermic weld. Joints of type A and B are tested and compared. Based on experimental temperature measurements, a finite element analysis is used to calculate the thermal residual stresses induced. In the vicinity of the weld, the residual stress patterns depend on the thermal conditions during welding as it also shown by litterature [1, 2]. In parallel, X-Ray diffraction has been used to map the residual stress field that is generated in welded rail of types A and B. Their effect on fatigue crack growth in rail welds is studied. An experimental study based on fatigue tests of rails welded by conventional and improved processes adjudicates on the new advances and results will be shown.

  12. Benchmark and Continuous Improvement of Performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alina Alecse Stanciu

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available The present Economic Environment is challenge us to perform, to think and re-think our personal strategies in according with our entities strategies, even if we are simply employed or we are entrepreneurs. Is an environment characterised by Volatility, Uncertainity, Complexity and Ambiguity - a VUCA World in which the entities must fight for their position gained in the market, disrupt new markets and new economies, developing their client portofolio, with the Performance as one final goal. The pressure of driving forces known as the 2030 Megatrends: Globalization 2.0, Environmental Crisis and the Scarcity of Resources, Individualism and Value Pluralism, Demographic Change, This paper examines whether using benchmark is an opportunity to increase the competitiveness of Romanian SMEs and the results show that benchmark is therefore a powerful instrument, combining reduced negative impact on the environment with a positive impact on the economy and society.

  13. Does School Choice Improve Student Performance?

    OpenAIRE

    Kaja Høiseth Brugård

    2013-01-01

    This paper studies the relationship between school choice and student performance for high school students in Norway. The analysis exploits both the fact that the degree of school choice formally differs between counties, and detailed information on travelling distances to high schools, which more closely reflects the students' actual school choice possibilities. Information on students' residence, high school location, and the degree of formal school choice is used to estimate the effect on ...

  14. Meditation increases the depth of information processing and improves the allocation of attention in space

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sara evan Leeuwen

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available During meditation, practitioners are required to center their attention on a specific object for extended periods of time. When their thoughts get diverted, they learn to quickly disengage from the distracter. We hypothesized that learning to respond to the dual demand of engaging attention on specific objects and disengaging quickly from distracters enhances the efficiency by which meditation practitioners can allocate attention. We tested this hypothesis in a global-to-local task while measuring electroencephalographic activity from a group of eight highly trained Buddhist monks and nuns and a group of eight age and education matched controls with no previous meditation experience. Specifically, we investigated the effect of attentional training on the global precedence effect, i.e., faster detection of targets on a global than on a local level. We expected to find a reduced global precedence effect in meditation practitioners but not in controls, reflecting that meditators can more quickly disengage their attention from the dominant global level. Analysis of reaction times confirmed this prediction. To investigate the underlying changes in brain activity and their time course, we analyzed event-related potentials. Meditators showed an enhanced ability to select the respective target level, as reflected by enhanced processing of target level information. In contrast with control group, which showed a local target selection effect only in the P1 and a global target selection effect in the P3 component, meditators showed effects of local information processing in the P1, N2 and P3 and of global processing for the N1, N2 and P3. Thus, meditators seem to display enhanced depth of processing. In addition, meditation altered the uptake of information such that meditators selected target level information earlier in the processing sequence than controls. In a longitudinal experiment, we could replicate the behavioral effects, suggesting that

  15. Improving performance by anchoring movement and "nerves".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iso-Ahola, Seppo E; Dotson, Charles O; Jagodinsky, Adam E; Clark, Lily C; Smallwood, Lorraine L; Wilburn, Christopher; Weimar, Wendi H; Miller, Matthew W

    2016-10-01

    Golf's governing bodies' recent decision to ban all putting styles "anchoring one end of the club against the body" bridges an important practical problem with psychological theory. We report the first experiment testing whether anchoring provides technical and/or psychological advantage in competitive performance. Many "greats" of professional golf from Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus to Tiger Woods have argued against anchoring, believing that it takes "nerves" out of competitive performance and therefore artificially levels the playing field. To shed more light on the issue, we tested participants' performance with anchored and unanchored putters under low and high pressure when controlling for the putter length. We found no statistically significant evidence for a technical advantage due to anchoring but a clear psychological advantage: participants who anchored their putters significantly outperformed unanchored counterparts under high, but not low, pressure. Results provide tentative evidence for the ban's justification from a competitive standpoint. However, before any definite conclusions can be made, more research is needed when using high-level golfers. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Moderation of Nicotine Effects on Covert Orienting of Attention Tasks by Poor Placebo Performance and Cue Validity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilbert, David G.; Rzetelny, Adam; Rabinovich, Norka E.

    2016-01-01

    Introduction and Rationale Given baseline-dependent effects of nicotine on other forms of attention, there is reason to believe that inconsistent findings for the effects of nicotine on attentional orienting may be partly due to individual differences in baseline (abstinence state) functioning. Individuals with low baseline attention may benefit more from nicotine replacement. Method The effects of nicotine as a function of baseline performance (bottom, middle, and top third of mean reaction times during placebo) were assessed in 52 habitual abstinent smokers (26 females/26 males) utilizing an arrow-cued covert orienting of attention task. Results Compared to a placebo patch, a 14 mg nicotine patch produced faster overall reaction times (RTs). In addition, individuals with slower RTs during the placebo condition benefitted more from nicotine on cued trials than did those who had shorter (faster) RTs during placebo. Nicotine also enhanced the validity effect (shorter RTs to validly vs. invalidly cued targets), but this nicotine benefit did not differ as a function of overall placebo-baseline performance. Conclusions These findings support the view that nicotine enhances cued spatial attentional orienting in individuals who have slower RTs during placebo (nicotine-free) conditions; however, baseline-dependent effects may not generalize to all aspects of spatial attention. These findings are consistent with findings indicating that nicotine’s effects vary as a function of task parameters rather than simple RT speeding or cognitive enhancement. PMID:27461547

  17. Hybrid Modeling Improves Health and Performance Monitoring

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-01-01

    Scientific Monitoring Inc. was awarded a Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) project by NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center to create a new, simplified health-monitoring approach for flight vehicles and flight equipment. The project developed a hybrid physical model concept that provided a structured approach to simplifying complex design models for use in health monitoring, allowing the output or performance of the equipment to be compared to what the design models predicted, so that deterioration or impending failure could be detected before there would be an impact on the equipment's operational capability. Based on the original modeling technology, Scientific Monitoring released I-Trend, a commercial health- and performance-monitoring software product named for its intelligent trending, diagnostics, and prognostics capabilities, as part of the company's complete ICEMS (Intelligent Condition-based Equipment Management System) suite of monitoring and advanced alerting software. I-Trend uses the hybrid physical model to better characterize the nature of health or performance alarms that result in "no fault found" false alarms. Additionally, the use of physical principles helps I-Trend identify problems sooner. I-Trend technology is currently in use in several commercial aviation programs, and the U.S. Air Force recently tapped Scientific Monitoring to develop next-generation engine health-management software for monitoring its fleet of jet engines. Scientific Monitoring has continued the original NASA work, this time under a Phase III SBIR contract with a joint NASA-Pratt & Whitney aviation security program on propulsion-controlled aircraft under missile-damaged aircraft conditions.

  18. The benefit of hippotherapy for improvement of attention and memory in children with cerebral palsy: A pilot study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eva Krejčí

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Background: The research is based on an assumption that the hypokinesia induced by cerebral palsy (CP leads to inhibition of some mental functions. The method we used to treat patients with CP, hippotherapy (HT, is a treatment using horses and belongs to proprioceptive-neuromuscular-facilitative methods. Objective: The aim of the research was to determine the benefit of HT on attention and memory of patients with CP. Methods: There were two groups of patients: short-term HT (n = 11; 8 females and 3 males, age 15.4 ± 5.3 years and long-term HT (n = 9; 7 females and 2 males, age 10.8 ± 2.7 years. The short-term HT group participated in daily 30 minute-long HT sessions for duration of a week-long summer therapy camp; while with the long-term HT group, HT sessions of the same length were used weekly for 5-6 weeks. Attention and memory skills were assessed with "Numeric square test" and "Verbal learning test", respectively. Both tests were undertaken before starting and after concluding the camp or the 5-6 week long HT period. Results: Attention improvement demonstrated in a significant decrease of an average time of "Numeric square test". The improvement was seen in both long-term HT (15.7 seconds overall average time reduction after HT, p < .01 and short-term HT (20.8 seconds reduction, p < .01 groups. Short-term memory improvement was found in the long-term HT group, demonstrated by a higher number of memorized words (more than half of the patients memorized on average 10.5 more words after HT (p < .05. While the short-term HT group did not show significant improvement of attention or short-term memory, the average number of memorized words after a diversion of attention and a 30 minute delay increased by 4.1, showing an improvement (p < .05 of long-term memory. Conclusions: Our results suggest that hippotherapy as a part of comprehensive therapy in patients with CP leads to improvement of memory and

  19. A Closed-Loop Model of Operator Visual Attention, Situation Awareness, and Performance Across Automation Mode Transitions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Aaron W; Duda, Kevin R; Sheridan, Thomas B; Oman, Charles M

    2017-03-01

    This article describes a closed-loop, integrated human-vehicle model designed to help understand the underlying cognitive processes that influenced changes in subject visual attention, mental workload, and situation awareness across control mode transitions in a simulated human-in-the-loop lunar landing experiment. Control mode transitions from autopilot to manual flight may cause total attentional demands to exceed operator capacity. Attentional resources must be reallocated and reprioritized, which can increase the average uncertainty in the operator's estimates of low-priority system states. We define this increase in uncertainty as a reduction in situation awareness. We present a model built upon the optimal control model for state estimation, the crossover model for manual control, and the SEEV (salience, effort, expectancy, value) model for visual attention. We modify the SEEV attention executive to direct visual attention based, in part, on the uncertainty in the operator's estimates of system states. The model was validated using the simulated lunar landing experimental data, demonstrating an average difference in the percentage of attention ≤3.6% for all simulator instruments. The model's predictions of mental workload and situation awareness, measured by task performance and system state uncertainty, also mimicked the experimental data. Our model supports the hypothesis that visual attention is influenced by the uncertainty in system state estimates. Conceptualizing situation awareness around the metric of system state uncertainty is a valuable way for system designers to understand and predict how reallocations in the operator's visual attention during control mode transitions can produce reallocations in situation awareness of certain states.

  20. Continuing education for performance improvement: a creative approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collins, Patti-Ann; Hardesty, Ilana; White, Julie L; Zisblatt, Lara

    2012-10-01

    In an effort to improve patient safety and health care outcomes, continuing medical education has begun to focus on performance improvement initiatives for physician practices. Boston University School of Medicine's (BUSM) Continuing Nursing Education Accredited Provider Unit has begun a creative project to award nursing contact hours for nurses' participation in performance improvement activities. This column highlights its initial efforts. Copyright 2012, SLACK Incorporated.

  1. Improving Steam System Performance: A Sourcebook for Industry, Second Edition

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None

    2012-02-23

    This sourcebook is designed to provide steam system users with a reference that describes the basic steam system components, outlines opportunities for energy and performance improvements, and discusses the benefits of a systems approach in identifying and implementing these improvement opportunities. The sourcebook is divided into three main sections: steam system basics, performance improvement opportunities, and where to find help.

  2. Attentional and visual demands for sprint performance in non-fatigued and fatigued conditions: reliability of a repeated sprint test

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diercks Ron L

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Physical performance measures are widely used to assess physical function, providing information about physiological and biomechanical aspects of motor performance. However they do not provide insight into the attentional and visual demands for motor performance. A figure-of-eight sprint test was therefore developed to measure the attentional and visual demands for repeated-sprint performance. The aims of the study were: 1 to assess test-retest reliability of the figure-of-eight sprint test, and 2 to study the attentional and visual demands for sprint performance in a non-fatigued and fatigued condition. Methods Twenty-seven healthy athletes were included in the study. To determine test-retest reliability, a subgroup of 19 athletes performed the figure-of-eight sprint test twice. The figure-of-eight sprint test consisted of nine 30-second sprints. The sprint test consisted of three test parts: sprinting without any restriction, with an attention-demanding task, and with restricted vision. Increases in sprint times with the attention-demanding task or restricted vision are reflective of the attentional and visual demands for sprinting. Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs and mean difference between test and retest with 95% confidence limits (CL were used to assess test-retest reliability. Repeated-measures ANOVA were used for comparisons between the sprint times and fatigue measurements of the test parts in both a non-fatigued and fatigued condition. Results The figure-of-eight sprint test showed good test-retest reliability, with ICCs ranging from 0.75 to 0.94 (95% CL: 0.40-0.98. Zero lay within the 95% CL of the mean differences, indicating that no bias existed between sprint performance at test and retest. Sprint times during the test parts with attention-demanding task (P = 0.01 and restricted vision (P Conclusions High ICCs and the absence of systematic variation indicate good test-retest reliability of the figure

  3. Central as well as peripheral attentional bottlenecks in dual-task performance activate lateral prefrontal cortices

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andre J Szameitat

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Human information processing suffers from severe limitations in parallel processing. In particular, when required to respond to two stimuli in rapid succession, processing bottlenecks may appear at central and peripheral stages of task processing. Importantly, it has been suggested that executive functions are needed to resolve the interference arising at such bottlenecks. The aims of the present study were to test whether central attentional limitations (i.e., bottleneck at the decisional response selection stage as well as peripheral limitations (i.e., bottleneck at response initiation both demand executive functions located in the lateral prefrontal cortex. For this, we re-analysed two previous studies, in which a total of 33 participants performed a dual-task according to the paradigm of the psychological refractory period (PRP during fMRI. In one study (N=17, the PRP task consisted of two two-choice response tasks known to suffer from a central bottleneck (CB group. In the other study (N=16, the PRP task consisted of two simple-response tasks known to suffer from a peripheral bottleneck (PB group. Both groups showed considerable dual-task costs in form of slowing of the second response in the dual-task (PRP effect. Imaging results are based on the subtraction of both single-tasks from the dual-task within each group. In the CB group, the bilateral middle frontal gyri and inferior frontal gyri were activated. Higher activation in these areas was associated with lower dual-task costs. In the PB group, the right middle frontal and inferior frontal gyrus were activated. Here, higher activation was associated with higher dual-task costs. In conclusion we suggest that central and peripheral bottlenecks both demand executive functions located in lateral prefrontal cortices. Differences between the CB and PB groups with respect to the exact prefrontal areas activated and the correlational patterns suggest that the executive functions resolving

  4. The improvement of performances for PWR fuels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Debes

    2001-01-01

    UO 2 fuels used in French nuclear power plants are authorized for values of burn-ups up to 52 GWj/t. Constant technological progress concerning pellets, cladding, and the design of the assembly has led to better performance and a broader safety margin. EDF is gathering all the elements to qualify and back its demand to increase the limit burn-up to 65 GWj/t in 2004 and to 70 GWj/t in 2008. For the same amount of energy produced, this policy of higher burn-ups will allow: - a reduction of the number of spent fuel assemblies, - a direct economic spare by using less fuel assemblies, - a reduction of personnel dosimetry because of longer irradiation campaigns, and - less quantity of residual plutonium produced. (A.C.)

  5. Improving UV Resistance of High Performance Fibers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hassanin, Ahmed

    High performance fibers are characterized by their superior properties compared to the traditional textile fibers. High strength fibers have high modules, high strength to weight ratio, high chemical resistance, and usually high temperature resistance. It is used in application where superior properties are needed such as bulletproof vests, ropes and cables, cut resistant products, load tendons for giant scientific balloons, fishing rods, tennis racket strings, parachute cords, adhesives and sealants, protective apparel and tire cords. Unfortunately, Ultraviolet (UV) radiation causes serious degradation to the most of high performance fibers. UV lights, either natural or artificial, cause organic compounds to decompose and degrade, because the energy of the photons of UV light is high enough to break chemical bonds causing chain scission. This work is aiming at achieving maximum protection of high performance fibers using sheathing approaches. The sheaths proposed are of lightweight to maintain the advantage of the high performance fiber that is the high strength to weight ratio. This study involves developing three different types of sheathing. The product of interest that need be protected from UV is braid from PBO. First approach is extruding a sheath from Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE) loaded with different rutile TiO2 % nanoparticles around the braid from the PBO. The results of this approach showed that LDPE sheath loaded with 10% TiO2 by weight achieved the highest protection compare to 0% and 5% TiO2. The protection here is judged by strength loss of PBO. This trend noticed in different weathering environments, where the sheathed samples were exposed to UV-VIS radiations in different weatheromter equipments as well as exposure to high altitude environment using NASA BRDL balloon. The second approach is focusing in developing a protective porous membrane from polyurethane loaded with rutile TiO2 nanoparticles. Membrane from polyurethane loaded with 4

  6. Training improves reading speed in peripheral vision: Is it due to attention?

    OpenAIRE

    Lee, Hye-Won; Kwon, MiYoung; Legge, Gordon E.; Gefroh, Joshua J.

    2010-01-01

    Previous research has shown that perceptual training in peripheral vision, using a letter-recognition task, increases reading speed and letter recognition (Chung, Legge, & Cheung, 2004). We tested the hypothesis that enhanced deployment of spatial attention to peripheral vision explains this training effect. Subjects were pre- and post-tested with 3 tasks at 10° above and below fixation—RSVP reading speed, trigram letter recognition (used to construct visual-span profiles), and deployment of ...

  7. Efficacy of a Template Creation Approach for Performance Improvement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyons, Paul R.

    2011-01-01

    This article presents the training and performance improvement approach, performance templates (P-T), and provides empirical evidence to support the efficacy of P-T. This approach involves a partnership among managers, trainers, and employees in the creation, use, and improvement of guides to affect the performance of critical tasks in the…

  8. Improved human performance through appropriate work scheduling

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Morisseau, D.S.; Lewis, P.M.; Persensky, J.J.

    1987-01-01

    The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has had a policy, Generic Letter 82-12, on hours of work since 1982. The policy states that licensees should establish controls to prevent situations where fatigue could reduce the ability of operating personnel to perform their duties safely (USNRC 1982). While that policy does give guidance on hours of work and overtime, it does not address periods of longer than 7 days or work schedules other than the routine 8-hour day, 40-hour week. Recognizing that NRC policy could provide broader guidance for shift schedules and hours of overtime work, the Division of Human Factors Safety conducted a project with Pacific Northwest Laboratories (PNL) to help the NRC better understand the human factors principles and issues concerning hours of work so that the NRC could consider updating their policy as necessary. The results of this project are recommendations for guidelines and limits for periods of 14 days, 28 days, and 1 year to take into account the cumulative effects of fatigue. In addition, routine 12-hour shifts are addressed. This latter type of shift schedule has been widely adopted in the petroleum and chemical industries and several utilities operating nuclear power plants have adopted it as well. Since this is the case, it is important to consider including guidelines for implementing this type of schedule. This paper discusses the bases for the PNL recommendations which are currently being studied by the NRC

  9. Baking oven improvement by performance modelling

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1994-04-01

    The first phase of the project included both the derivation of an oven model and the development of a portable, rapid-response heat-flux sensor. Heat flux (defined as the instantaneous rate of heat flow per unit at the surface of the baking biscuit and expressed in W/cm[sup 2]) has been shown to be a more useful measure of oven performance than temperature alone. Fixed-point heat-flux sensors have already been developed and marketed, but a need was expressed at the start of this project for a travelling sensor which could be used to construct a more detailed picture of heat-flux variation in an oven. The travelling monitor developed can be used to measure variations in the heat flux experienced at the surface of products being baked in a travelling oven, both when oven conditions are fixed and when they are varied. It can also be used to identify the optimum locations within an oven for fixed heat-flux probes. It has been used effectively throughout the project for both purposes. Fuel savings of 18% and 21%, respectively, were achieved with two ovens. (author)

  10. Hardfacing and packings for improved valve performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Aikin, J.A.; Patrick, J.N.F.; Inglis, I.

    2003-01-01

    The CANDU Owners Group (COG), Chemistry, Materials and Components (CMC) Program has supported an ongoing program on valve maintenance and performance for several years. An overview is presented of recent work on iron-based hardfacing, packing qualification, friction testing of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) packings, and an investigation of re-torquing valve packing. Based on this program, two new valve-packing materials have been qualified for use in CANDU stations. By doing this, CANDU maintenance can avoid having only one packing qualified for station use, as well as assess the potential impact of the industry trend towards using lower gland loads. The results from corrosion tests by AECL and the coefficient of friction studies at Battelle' s tribology testing facilities on Delcrome 910, an iron-based hardfacing alloy, indicate it is an acceptable replacement for Stellite 6 under certain conditions. This information can be used to update in-line valve purchasing specifications. The renewed interest in friction characteristics, and environmental qualification (EQ) of packing containing PTFE has resulted in a new test program in these areas. The COG-funded valve programs have resulted in modifications to design specifications for nuclear station in-line valves and have led to better maintenance practices and valve reliability. In the end, this means lower costs and cheaper electricity. (author)

  11. The importance of assessing for validity of symptom report and performance in attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): Introduction to the special section on noncredible presentation in ADHD.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suhr, Julie A; Berry, David T R

    2017-12-01

    Invalid self-report and invalid performance occur with high base rates in attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD; Harrison, 2006; Musso & Gouvier, 2014). Although much research has focused on the development and validation of symptom validity tests (SVTs) and performance validity tests (PVTs) for psychiatric and neurological presentations, less attention has been given to the use of SVTs and PVTs in ADHD evaluation. This introduction to the special section describes a series of studies examining the use of SVTs and PVTs in adult ADHD evaluation. We present the series of studies in the context of prior research on noncredible presentation and call for future research using improved research methods and with a focus on assessment issues specific to ADHD evaluation. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).

  12. Attention–memory training yields behavioral and academic improvements in children diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder comorbid with a learning disorder

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Farias AC

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Antonio Carlos Farias,1–4 Mara L Cordeiro,1,2,5 Erico PG Felden,6 Tiago S Bara,1,2 Cássia R Benko,1,2 Daniele Coutinho,1,2 Leandra F Martins,2 Rosilda TC Ferreira,1,2 James T McCracken5 1Faculdades Pequeno Príncipe, 2Neurosciences Core, Pelé Pequeno Príncipe Research Institute, Curitiba, 3Department of Neuropediatrics, Children’s Hospital, Pequeno Príncipe, 4School of Medicine, University Positivo, Curitiba, Brazil; 5Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, David Geffen School of Medicine, Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, University of California, Los Angeles, CA, US; 6Center for Health Science Research, Santa Catarina State University, Florianópolis, Brazil Background: Recent studies have suggested that children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD may benefit from computerized cognitive training. Therapy implementation is especially complicated when ADHD is associated with learning disorders (LDs. This study tested the efficacy of a computer-based cognitive training program, namely, computerized cognitive training (CCT, in children with ADHD comorbid with an LD (ADHD-LD, with or without psychostimulant medication. Materials and methods: After diagnostic evaluations, 27 children with ADHD-LD (8 unmedicated and 19 medicated participated in CCT, which is intended to improve attention, memory, reasoning, visual processing, and executive functioning. The participants completed 24 1-hour sessions over 3 months. Neuropsychometric and standardized academic test results before and after training were compared to assess treatment efficacy. Shapiro–Wilk normality tests were applied, and subsequent Wilcoxon tests were used to identify significant differences in pre- versus post-training performance. Results: After CAT, children diagnosed with ADHD-LD showed 1 improvements in trained skills, measured directly within the software and indirectly by external psychometric tests; 2 improvements in

  13. Effect of Caraway Extract on the Performance of Selective Attention and Cognitive Flexibility

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ziba Barghi-Irani

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Background: This trial study is conducted in the field of psychopharmacology aiming to examine psychological effects of caraway. Materials and Methods: The sample under study consists of two groups including experimental (N=22 and control (N=28; both groups were identical in terms of demographic characteristics. The subjects participated voluntarily in the study; they were placed into experimental and control groups by random selection. The evaluation of attention function test was carried out by computerized Stroop effect test. Results: The results from analysis of covariance statistical test (ANCOVA showed that taking caraway with an effective dose may increase functions of selective attention, response inhibition ability as well as cognitive flexibility and change (p<0.005. Conclusion: Taking advantage of positive effects of caraway extract, it may be used as one of the herbal medicine in treating stress and increasing different attention functions

  14. Attention deficit associated with early life interictal spikes in a rat model is improved with ACTH.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amanda E Hernan

    Full Text Available Children with epilepsy often present with pervasive cognitive and behavioral comorbidities including working memory impairments, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD and autism spectrum disorder. These non-seizure characteristics are severely detrimental to overall quality of life. Some of these children, particularly those with epilepsies classified as Landau-Kleffner Syndrome or continuous spike and wave during sleep, have infrequent seizure activity but frequent focal epileptiform activity. This frequent epileptiform activity is thought to be detrimental to cognitive development; however, it is also possible that these IIS events initiate pathophysiological pathways in the developing brain that may be independently associated with cognitive deficits. These hypotheses are difficult to address due to the previous lack of an appropriate animal model. To this end, we have recently developed a rat model to test the role of frequent focal epileptiform activity in the prefrontal cortex. Using microinjections of a GABA(A antagonist (bicuculline methiodine delivered multiple times per day from postnatal day (p 21 to p25, we showed that rat pups experiencing frequent, focal, recurrent epileptiform activity in the form of interictal spikes during neurodevelopment have significant long-term deficits in attention and sociability that persist into adulthood. To determine if treatment with ACTH, a drug widely used to treat early-life seizures, altered outcome we administered ACTH once per day subcutaneously during the time of the induced interictal spike activity. We show a modest amelioration of the attention deficit seen in animals with a history of early life interictal spikes with ACTH, in the absence of alteration of interictal spike activity. These results suggest that pharmacological intervention that is not targeted to the interictal spike activity is worthy of future study as it may be beneficial for preventing or ameliorating adverse

  15. l-Theanine and caffeine improve target-specific attention to visual stimuli by decreasing mind wandering: a human functional magnetic resonance imaging study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kahathuduwa, Chanaka N; Dhanasekara, Chathurika S; Chin, Shao-Hua; Davis, Tyler; Weerasinghe, Vajira S; Dassanayake, Tharaka L; Binks, Martin

    2018-01-01

    Oral intake of l-theanine and caffeine supplements is known to be associated with faster stimulus discrimination, possibly via improving attention to stimuli. We hypothesized that l-theanine and caffeine may be bringing about this beneficial effect by increasing attention-related neural resource allocation to target stimuli and decreasing deviation of neural resources to distractors. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to test this hypothesis. Solutions of 200mg of l-theanine, 160mg of caffeine, their combination, or the vehicle (distilled water; placebo) were administered in a randomized 4-way crossover design to 9 healthy adult men. Sixty minutes after administration, a 20-minute fMRI scan was performed while the subjects performed a visual color stimulus discrimination task. l-Theanine and l-theanine-caffeine combination resulted in faster responses to targets compared with placebo (∆=27.8milliseconds, P=.018 and ∆=26.7milliseconds, P=.037, respectively). l-Theanine was associated with decreased fMRI responses to distractor stimuli in brain regions that regulate visual attention, suggesting that l-theanine may be decreasing neural resource allocation to process distractors, thus allowing to attend to targets more efficiently. l-Theanine-caffeine combination was associated with decreased fMRI responses to target stimuli as compared with distractors in several brain regions that typically show increased activation during mind wandering. Factorial analysis suggested that l-theanine and caffeine seem to have a synergistic action in decreasing mind wandering. Therefore, our hypothesis is that l-theanine and caffeine may be decreasing deviation of attention to distractors (including mind wandering); thus, enhancing attention to target stimuli was confirmed. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Deviant white matter structure in adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder points to aberrant myelination and affects neuropsychological performance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Onnink, A.M.H.; Zwiers, M.P.; Hoogman, M.; Mostert, J.C.; Dammers, J.; Kan, C.C.; Arias Vasquez, A.; Schene, A.H.; Buitelaar, J.K.; Franke, B.

    2015-01-01

    Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in childhood is characterized by gray and white matter abnormalities in several brain areas. Considerably less is known about white matter microstructure in adults with ADHD and its relation with clinical symptoms and cognitive performance. In 107

  17. Effects of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy on neurophysiological correlates of performance monitoring in adult attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schoenberg, P.L.; Hepark, S.; Kan, C.C.; Barendregt, H.P.; Buitelaar, J.K.; Speckens, A.E.M.

    2014-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: To examine whether mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) would enhance attenuated amplitudes of event-related potentials (ERPs) indexing performance monitoring biomarkers of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). METHODS: Fifty adult ADHD patients took part in a randomised

  18. Complex Heat Exchangers for Improved Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bran, Gabriela Alejandra

    propagates along the channel. However, the sinusoidal behavior on one of the fluids does not fully translate to the other gets damped by the wall and the heat transfer coefficients that can be barely seen on the other flow. A scaling analysis and a parametric study were performed to determine the influence the different parameters on the system have on the time a heat exchanger takes to reach steady state. The results show the dependency of tst* (time a system takes to reach steady state) on the dimensionless parameters M, C, NTUh, NTUc, and Cw. t st* depends linearly on C and Cw, and it is a power function of M. It was also shown that tst* has a logarithmic dependency on NTUh and NTUc. A correlation was generated to approximate the time a system takes to reach steady state for systems where C w heat exchanger with the specific application of solar energy storage was also investigated. This application involves a counter-flow heat exchanger with a reacting flow in one of the channels, and it includes varying properties, heat generation, varying heat transfer coefficient, and axial conduction. The application for this reactor heat exchanger is on solar energy storage, and the goals is to heat up steam to 650 °C by using the ammonia synthesis heat of reaction. One of the concerns for this system is the start-up time and also how disturbances in reacting flow can affect the steam outlet temperature. The transient behavior during the system start-up was presented. In order to achieve the desired outlet steam temperature at a reasonable time, the system must operate at high gas mass flow rates. If the inlet temperature of the gas suffers a step change, it affects the reaction rate as well as the outlet steam temperature. A small perturbation on the gas mass flow rate has an effect on the profile shape. However, the maximum temperature reached by the gas due to reaction is not affected, and consequently, it has little effect on the steam temperature. Axial conduction in the

  19. Performance Improvement Quarterly. Volume 15, Number 1, 2002

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    2002-01-01

    Performance Improvement Quarterly (PIQ) is a peer-reviewed journal whose goal is to stimulate professional discussion in the field and to advance the discipline of performance technology through the publication of scholarly works...

  20. Microsoft Kinect-based Continuous Performance Test: An Objective Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delgado-Gomez, David; Peñuelas-Calvo, Inmaculada; Masó-Besga, Antonio Eduardo; Vallejo-Oñate, Silvia; Baltasar Tello, Itziar; Arrua Duarte, Elsa; Vera Varela, María Constanza; Carballo, Juan; Baca-García, Enrique

    2017-03-20

    One of the major challenges in mental medical care is finding out new instruments for an accurate and objective evaluation of the attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Early ADHD identification, severity assessment, and prompt treatment are essential to avoid the negative effects associated with this mental condition. The aim of our study was to develop a novel ADHD assessment instrument based on Microsoft Kinect, which identifies ADHD cardinal symptoms in order to provide a more accurate evaluation. A group of 30 children, aged 8-12 years (10.3 [SD 1.4]; male 70% [21/30]), who were referred to the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Unit of the Department of Psychiatry at Fundación Jiménez Díaz Hospital (Madrid, Spain), were included in this study. Children were required to meet the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) criteria of ADHD diagnosis. One of the parents or guardians of the children filled the Spanish version of the Strengths and Weaknesses of ADHD Symptoms and Normal Behavior (SWAN) rating scale used in clinical practice. Each child conducted a Kinect-based continuous performance test (CPT) in which the reaction time (RT), the commission errors, and the time required to complete the reaction (CT) were calculated. The correlations of the 3 predictors, obtained using Kinect methodology, with respect to the scores of the SWAN scale were calculated. The RT achieved a correlation of -.11, -.29, and -.37 with respect to the inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity factors of the SWAN scale. The correlations of the commission error with respect to these 3 factors were -.03, .01, and .24, respectively. Our findings show a relation between the Microsoft Kinect-based version of the CPT and ADHD symptomatology assessed through parental report. Results point out the importance of future research on the development of objective measures for the diagnosis of ADHD among children and adolescents. ©David Delgado-Gomez, Inmaculada

  1. Effects on automatic attention due to exposure to pictures of emotional faces while performing Chinese word judgment tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Junhong, Huang; Renlai, Zhou; Senqi, Hu

    2013-01-01

    Two experiments were conducted to investigate the automatic processing of emotional facial expressions while performing low or high demand cognitive tasks under unattended conditions. In Experiment 1, 35 subjects performed low (judging the structure of Chinese words) and high (judging the tone of Chinese words) cognitive load tasks while exposed to unattended pictures of fearful, neutral, or happy faces. The results revealed that the reaction time was slower and the performance accuracy was higher while performing the low cognitive load task than while performing the high cognitive load task. Exposure to fearful faces resulted in significantly longer reaction times and lower accuracy than exposure to neutral faces on the low cognitive load task. In Experiment 2, 26 subjects performed the same word judgment tasks and their brain event-related potentials (ERPs) were measured for a period of 800 ms after the onset of the task stimulus. The amplitudes of the early component of ERP around 176 ms (P2) elicited by unattended fearful faces over frontal-central-parietal recording sites was significantly larger than those elicited by unattended neutral faces while performing the word structure judgment task. Together, the findings of the two experiments indicated that unattended fearful faces captured significantly more attention resources than unattended neutral faces on a low cognitive load task, but not on a high cognitive load task. It was concluded that fearful faces could automatically capture attention if residues of attention resources were available under the unattended condition.

  2. The Influence of Attentional Focus Instructions and Vision on Jump Height Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdollahipour, Reza; Psotta, Rudolf; Land, William M.

    2016-01-01

    Purpose: Studies have suggested that the use of visual information may underlie the benefit associated with an external focus of attention. Recent studies exploring this connection have primarily relied on motor tasks that involve manipulation of an object (object projection). The present study examined whether vision influences the effect of…

  3. Effects of Color Stimulation and Information on the Copying Performance of Attention-Problem Adolescents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zentall, Sydney S.; And Others

    The optimal stimulaton theory (which proposes that hyperactive children are more readily underaroused than nonhyperactive children and should thus derive greater gains from stimulation added to repetitive copying tasks than comparisons) was tested with 16 adolescents, rating high on attention and behavior problems, and 16 controls. Matched pairs…

  4. Attentional Predictors of 5-Month-Olds' Performance on a Looking A-Not-B Task

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marcovitch, Stuart; Clearfield, Melissa W.; Swingler, Margaret; Calkins, Susan D.; Bell, Martha Ann

    2016-01-01

    In the first year of life, the ability to search for hidden objects is an indicator of object permanence and, when multiple locations are involved, executive function (i.e. inhibition, cognitive flexibility and working memory). The current study was designed to examine attentional predictors of search in 5-month-old infants (as measured by the…

  5. Influence of the Visual Attention Span on Child Reading Performance: A Cross-Sectional Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bosse, Marie-Line; Valdois, Sylviane

    2009-01-01

    The visual attention (VA) span deficit hypothesis was found successfully to account for variability in developmental dyslexia (Bosse, Tainturier & Valdois, 2007). We conducted a cross-sectional study on 417 typically developing children from first, third and fifth grades examining the role of VA span on the development of reading skills. A battery…

  6. Independent Oscillatory Patterns Determine Performance Fluctuations in Children with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yordanova, Juliana; Albrecht, Bjorn; Uebel, Henrik; Kirov, Roumen; Banaschewski, Tobias; Rothenberger, Aribert; Kolev, Vasil

    2011-01-01

    The maintenance of stable goal-directed behaviour is a hallmark of conscious executive control in humans. Notably, both correct and error human actions may have a subconscious activation-based determination. One possible source of subconscious interference may be the default mode network that, in contrast to attentional network, manifests…

  7. CDH13 is associated with working memory performance in attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Arias Vasquez, A.; Altink, M.E.; Lambregts-Rommelse, N.N.J.; Slaats-Willemse, D.I.E.; Buschgens, C.J.M.; Fliers, E.A.; Faraone, S.V.; Sergeant, J.A.; Oosterlaan, J.; Franke, B.; Buitelaar, J.K.

    2011-01-01

    Different analytic strategies, including linkage, association and meta-analysis support a role of CDH13 in the susceptibility to attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). CDH13 codes for cadherin 13 (or H-cadherin), which is a member of a family of calcium-dependent cell-cell adhesion

  8. Musical experience shapes top-down auditory mechanisms: evidence from masking and auditory attention performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strait, Dana L; Kraus, Nina; Parbery-Clark, Alexandra; Ashley, Richard

    2010-03-01

    A growing body of research suggests that cognitive functions, such as attention and memory, drive perception by tuning sensory mechanisms to relevant acoustic features. Long-term musical experience also modulates lower-level auditory function, although the mechanisms by which this occurs remain uncertain. In order to tease apart the mechanisms that drive perceptual enhancements in musicians, we posed the question: do well-developed cognitive abilities fine-tune auditory perception in a top-down fashion? We administered a standardized battery of perceptual and cognitive tests to adult musicians and non-musicians, including tasks either more or less susceptible to cognitive control (e.g., backward versus simultaneous masking) and more or less dependent on auditory or visual processing (e.g., auditory versus visual attention). Outcomes indicate lower perceptual thresholds in musicians specifically for auditory tasks that relate with cognitive abilities, such as backward masking and auditory attention. These enhancements were observed in the absence of group differences for the simultaneous masking and visual attention tasks. Our results suggest that long-term musical practice strengthens cognitive functions and that these functions benefit auditory skills. Musical training bolsters higher-level mechanisms that, when impaired, relate to language and literacy deficits. Thus, musical training may serve to lessen the impact of these deficits by strengthening the corticofugal system for hearing. 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. Chewing and Attention: A Positive Effect on Sustained Attention

    OpenAIRE

    Hirano, Yoshiyuki; Onozuka, Minoru

    2015-01-01

    Chewing is crushing food not only to aid swallowing and digestion, but also to help stress relief and regulate cognitive function, especially in attention. It is well known that chewing gum is used for sleepiness prevention during work, learning, and driving, suggesting a link between chewing and sustained attention. We hypothesized that chewing elevates attention and/or alertness, leading to improvements in cognitive performance. We carried out a systematic review of the PubMed database. We ...

  10. Shared decision-making to improve attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brinkman, William B; Hartl Majcher, Jessica; Poling, Lauren M; Shi, Gaoyan; Zender, Mike; Sucharew, Heidi; Britto, Maria T; Epstein, Jeffery N

    2013-10-01

    To examine the effect of a shared decision-making intervention with parents of children newly diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Seven pediatricians participated in a pre/post open trial of decision aids for use before and during the office visit to discuss diagnosis and develop a treatment plan. Encounters pre- (n=21, control group) and post-intervention implementation (n=33, intervention group) were compared. We video-recorded encounters and surveyed parents. Compared to controls, intervention group parents were more involved in shared decision-making (31.2 vs. 43.8 on OPTION score, pdecision-making with parents. Parents were better informed about treatment options without increasing visit duration. Interventions are available to prepare parents for visits and enable physicians to elicit parent preferences and involvement in decision-making. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Overview of human performance improvement initiatives in Nuclear Power Plants (NPPs )

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sharma, Ashok Kumar

    2006-01-01

    Nuclear Power Plants (NPPs) are very complex systems. Diverse, multiple and redundant technological systems are used for effective control and safety of the NPPs. The increased numbers of such systems require increased operator attention. Additionally, the control stations (man-machine interfaces) are to be kept manageable in size. This sometimes reduces the scope for truly ergonomic design. These limitations, coupled with the shortcomings of human nature, led to unintended human performance problems and errors resulting into poor plant performance worldwide. Some organisational weaknesses, managerial decisions and latent errors also aided and abetted human errors. In view of this, a need was felt for development of performance culture at all levels in NPP organisations. Towards this end, ready-to-use performance improvement tools were developed and used for individual performers, supervisors and managers in the NPPs. This paper describes the experiences of the global nuclear electricity generating industry towards human performance improvement and error reduction. (author)

  12. Relationships Between Functional Outcomes and Symptomatic Improvement in Atomoxetine-Treated Adult Patients with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: Post Hoc Analysis of an Integrated Database

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bruyckere, K. De; Bushe, C.; Bartel, C.; Berggren, L.; Kan, C.C.; Dittmann, R.W.

    2016-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Atomoxetine treatment is associated with improvements in functional outcomes in patients with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), although relationships between improvements in these outcomes and reductions in ADHD symptoms have not been comprehensively investigated in

  13. Improving Manufacturing Performance in South Africa : Report of the ...

    International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Digital Library (Canada)

    1995-01-01

    Improving Manufacturing Performance in South Africa : Report of the Industrial Strategy Project. Couverture du livre Improving Manufacturing Performance in South Africa. Author(s):. Avril Joffe, David Kaplan, Raphael Kaplinsky et David Lewis. Publisher(s):. UCT Press, CRDI. January 1, 1995. ISBN: Épuisé. 264 pages.

  14. Glucocorticoids improve high-intensity exercise performance in humans

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Casuso, Rafael A; Melskens, Lars; Bruhn, Thomas

    2014-01-01

    It was investigated whether oral dexamethasone (DEX) administration improves exercise performance by reducing the initial rate of muscle fatigue development during dynamic exercise.......It was investigated whether oral dexamethasone (DEX) administration improves exercise performance by reducing the initial rate of muscle fatigue development during dynamic exercise....

  15. The movement kinematics and learning strategies associated with adopting different foci of attention during both acquisition and anxious performance.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gavin Peter Lawrence

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Research suggests that implicit strategies adopted during learning help prevent breakdown of automatic processes and subsequent performance decrements associated with the presence of pressure. According to the Constrained Action Hypothesis, automaticity of movement is promoted when adopting an external focus of attention. The purpose of the current experiment was to investigate if learning with an external focus of attention can enhance performance under subsequent pressure situations through promoting implicit learning and automaticity. Since previous research has generally used outcome measures of performance, the current study adopted measures of movement production. Specifically, we calculated within subject variability in trajectory velocity and distance travelled every 10% of movement time. This detailed kinematic analysis allowed investigation into some of the previously unexplored mechanisms responsible for the benefits of adopting an external focus of attention. Novice participants performed a 2.5m golf putt. Following a pre-test, participants were randomly assigned to one of three focus groups (internal, external, control. Participants then completed 400 acquisition trials over two consecutive days before being subjected to both a low-anxiety and high-anxiety transfer test. Dependent variables included variability, number of successful putts and mean radial error. Results revealed that variability was greater in the internal compared to the external and control groups. Putting performance revealed that all groups increased performance following acquisition. However, only the control group demonstrated a decrement in performance in the high-anxiety transfer test. These findings suggest that adopting an appropriate focus of attention during learning can prevent choking; with an external focus inhibiting the breakdown of automatic processes and an internal focus acting as a self-focus learning strategy and thus desensitizing individuals

  16. Effects of physical activity on executive functions, attention and academic performance in preadolescent children: a meta-analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Greeff, Johannes W; Bosker, Roel J; Oosterlaan, Jaap; Visscher, Chris; Hartman, E

    2018-05-01

    The aim of this meta-analysis was to provide a systematic review of intervention studies that investigated the effects of physical activity on multiple domains of executive functions, attention and academic performance in preadolescent children (6-12 years of age). In addition, a systematic quantification of the effects of physical activity on these domains is provided. Systematic review and meta-analysis. Searches of electronic databases and examining relevant reviews between 2000 and April 2017 resulted in 31 intervention studies meeting the inclusion criteria. Four subdomains of executive functions (inhibition, working memory, cognitive flexibility and planning), three subdomains of attention (selective, divided and sustained) and three subdomains of academic performance (mathematics, spelling and reading) were distinguished. Effects for different study designs (acute physical activity or longitudinal physical activity programs), type of physical activity (aerobic or cognitively engaging) and duration of intervention were examined separately. Acute physical activity has a positive effect on attention (g=0.43; 95% CI=0.09, 0.77; 6 studies), while longitudinal physical activity programs has a positive effect on executive functions (g=0.24; 95% CI=0.09, 0.39; 12 studies), attention (g=0.90; 95% CI=0.56, 1.24; 1 study) and academic performance (g=0.26; 95% CI=0.02, 0.49; 3 studies). The effects did depend on the subdomain. Positive effects were found for physical activity on executive functions, attention and academic performance in preadolescent children. Largest effects are expected for interventions that aim for continuous regular physical activity over several weeks. Copyright © 2017 Sports Medicine Australia. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Retrospective Cues Based on Object Features Improve Visual Working Memory Performance in Older Adults

    OpenAIRE

    Gilchrist, Amanda L.; Duarte, Audrey; Verhaeghen, Paul

    2015-01-01

    Research with younger adults has shown that retrospective cues can be used to orient top-down attention toward relevant items in working memory. We examined whether older adults could take advantage of these cues to improve memory performance. Younger and older adults were presented with visual arrays of five colored shapes; during maintenance, participants were either presented with an informative cue based on an object feature (here, object shape or color) that would be probed, or with an u...

  18. Improvement of Wind Farm Performance by Means of Spinner Anemometry

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Friis Pedersen, Troels; Demurtas, Giorgio; Gottschall, Julia

    This report is a project report on the EUDP research project SpinnerFarm. The objectives of the project were to improve software and hardware on the spinner anemometer concept and to demonstrate improvement of wind farm performance by opitmized yaw control. The hardware was improved by a more...

  19. Experience of safety and performance improvement for fuel handling equipment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gyoon Chang, Sang; Hee Lee, Dae

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to provide experience of safety and performance improvement of fuel handling equipment for nuclear power plants in Korea. The fuel handling equipment, which is used as an important part of critical processes during the refueling outage, has been improved to enhance safety and to optimize fuel handling procedures. Results of data measured during the fuel reloading are incorporated into design changes. The safety and performance improvement for fuel handling equipment could be achieved by simply modifying the components and improving the interlock system. The experience provided in this study can be useful lessons for further improvement of the fuel handling equipment. (authors)

  20. Physicians' attentional performance following a 24-hour observation period: do we need to regulate sleep prior to work?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smyth, P; Maximova, K; Jirsch, J D

    2017-08-01

    The tradition of physicians working while sleep deprived is increasingly criticised. Medical regulatory bodies have restricted resident physician duty-hours, not addressing the greater population of physicians. We aimed to assess factors such as sleep duration prior to a 24-hour observation period on physicians' attention. We studied 70 physicians (mean age 38 years old (SD 10.8 years)): 36 residents and 34 faculty from call rosters at the University of Alberta. Among 70 physicians, 52 (74%) performed overnight call; 18 did not perform overnight call and were recruited to control for the learning effect of repetitive neuropsychological testing. Attentional Network Test (ANT) measured physicians' attention at the beginning and end of the 24-hour observation period. Participants self-reported ideal sleep needs, sleep duration in the 24 hours prior to (ie, baseline) and during the 24-hour observation period (ie, follow-up). Median regression models examined effects on ANT parameters. Sleep deprivation at follow-up was associated with reduced attentional accuracy following the 24-hour observation period, but only for physicians more sleep deprived at baseline. Other components of attention were not associated with sleep deprivation after adjusting for repetitive testing. Age, years since medical school and caffeine use did not impact changes in ANT parameters. Our study suggests that baseline sleep before 24 hours of observation impacts the accuracy of physicians' attentional testing at 24 hours. Further study is required to determine if optimising physician sleep prior to overnight call shifts is a sustainable strategy to mitigate the effects of sleep deprivation. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://www.bmj.com/company/products-services/rights-and-licensing/.