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Sample records for attention improves performance

  1. 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.

  2. Adopting an external focus of attention improves sprinting performance in low-skilled sprinters.

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    Porter, Jared M; Wu, Will F W; Crossley, Richard M; Knopp, Seth W; Campbell, Olivia C

    2015-04-01

    For more than 10 years, researchers have investigated how the focusing of conscious attention influences motor skill execution. This line of investigation has consistently demonstrated that directing attention externally rather than internally improves motor skill learning and performance. The purpose of this study was to test the prediction that participants completing a 20-m sprint would run significantly faster when using an external focus of attention rather than an internal or no-focus of attention. Participants were college-aged volunteers (N = 84; 42 women, 42 men; mean age = 20.32, SD = 1.73 years) with no prior sprint training. This study used a counterbalanced within-participant design. Each participant completed 3 days of testing, with each day utilizing a different focus of attention (i.e. internal, external, or control). Running times were collected automatically using infrared timing gates. Data were analyzed using a 1-way repeated measures analysis of variance (ANOVA). The results of the ANOVA revealed a significant main effect for condition, F (1, 83) = 6565.3, p ≤ 0.001. Follow-up analysis indicated that the trials completed in the external focus condition (mean = 3.75 seconds, SD = 0.43) were significantly faster than trials completed in the internal (mean = 3.87 seconds, SD = 0.64) and control conditions (mean = 3.87 seconds, SD = 0.45). The analysis also indicated that the control and internal conditions were not significantly different. The results of this study extend the findings of previous research and demonstrate sprinting performance can be improved by using an external focus of attention.

  3. Pycnogenol® supplementation improves cognitive function, attention and mental performance in students.

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    Luzzi, R; Belcaro, G; Zulli, C; Cesarone, M R; Cornelli, U; Dugall, M; Hosoi, M; Feragalli, B

    2011-09-01

    This study compared the effects of supplementation with Pycnogenol® on cognitive function, attention and mental performance in students with an 8 week, evaluation study. Pycnogenol® was used in healthy students; the supplement was used with the aim of enhancing "normal" mental performances. Attention, memory, evaluation of executive functions were included and students were also evaluated - in the 8-week study - according to results of the university tests. Fifty-three students (range 18-27 years) were included and Pycnogenol® was administered for 8 weeks. A group of equivalent students were followed up as a control group. In the 8-week study Pycnogenol® supplementation improved sustained attention, memory, executive functions and mood ratings in the students. The improvement was statistically significant. The actual performance on real tests was measured in students undergoing university examinations. The controls failed 9 tests out a total of 84 (10.71%). In the Pycnogenol® group the students failed 7 tests out of 112 (6.25%) with a difference of 4.46% of failures in the Pycnogenol® group that performed, statistically, generally better. The average test score measured by the marks obtained was 23.81 (1.1) in controls vs. 26.1(1.3) (Pstudents.

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

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    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 =…

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

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    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.

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

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

    2017-11-08

    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 = 7) group. Children were assessed pre- and post-intervention on measures of behavioural symptoms, cognitive skills and academic performance. The intervention was conducted in school twice a week for 8 weeks. Children in the CPAT group showed cognitive and academic improvements over and above the active control group, while children in both groups showed improvements in behaviour. Results suggest that attention training is a feasible approach to improving academic performance in this population.

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

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    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.

  8. Attentional focus of feedback for improving performance of reach-to-grasp after stroke: a randomised crossover study.

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    Durham, K F; Sackley, C M; Wright, C C; Wing, A M; Edwards, M G; van Vliet, P

    2014-06-01

    To investigate whether feedback inducing an external focus (EF) of attention (about movement effects) was more effective for retraining reach-to-grasp after stroke compared with feedback inducing an internal focus (IF) of attention (about body movement). It was predicted that inducing an EF of attention would be more beneficial to motor performance. Crossover trial where participants were assigned at random to two feedback order groups: IF followed by EF or EF followed by IF. Research laboratory. Forty-two people with upper limb impairment after stroke. Participants performed three reaching tasks: (A) reaching to grasp a jar; (B) placing a jar forwards on to a table; and (C) placing a jar on to a shelf. Ninety-six reaches were performed in total over one training session. Kinematic measures were collected using motion analysis. Primary outcome measures were movement duration, peak velocity of the wrist, size of peak aperture and peak elbow extension. Feedback inducing an EF of attention produced shorter movement durations {first feedback order group: IF mean 2.53 seconds [standard deviation (SD) 1.85]; EF mean 2.12 seconds (SD 1.63), mean difference 0.41 seconds; 95% confidence interval -0.68 to 1.5; P=0.008}, an increased percentage time to peak deceleration (P=0.01) when performing Task B, and an increased percentage time to peak velocity (P=0.039) when performing Task A compared with feedback inducing an IF of attention. However, an order effect was present whereby performance was improved if an EF of attention was preceded by an IF of attention. Feedback inducing an EF of attention may be of some benefit for improving motor performance of reaching in people with stroke in the short term; however, these results should be interpreted with caution. Further research using a randomised design is recommended to enable effects on motor learning to be assessed. Copyright © 2013 Chartered Society of Physiotherapy. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Pycnogenol® improves cognitive function, attention, mental performance and specific professional skills in healthy professionals aged 35-55.

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    Belcaro, G; Luzzi, R; Dugall, M; Ippolito, E; Saggino, A

    2014-12-01

    This 12-week, product-evaluation registry study aimed to compare the effects of supplementation with French Pine Bark Extract (Pycnogenol®) on cognitive function, attention, and mental performance in healthy professionals with increased oxidative stress in a professional context. Professionals were screened for increased oxidative stress: 60 subjects (range 35-55 years, no risk conditions, no addictions) voluntarily decided to be followed-up. Diet, alcohol and lifestyle patterns, including exercise, were controlled. Pycnogenol® (150 mg/day) was used in combination with a health plan to enhance mental performance and control oxidative stress. A group of 30 professionals used Pycnogenol®, and 29 acted as comparable controls for a period of 12 weeks. The two registry groups were comparable. Cognitive function, attention, mental performance, sustained attention, memory, executive functions, mood and oxidative stress values were comparable at inclusion. At 12 weeks the improvement in Pycnogenol® subjects was more significant than in controls. Plasma-free radicals (oxidative stress) were significantly decreased (median -30.4%) at 12 weeks in Pycnogenol® subjects in comparison with a non-significant variation observed in controls (+0.9%; difference between groups). Considering the cognitive test battery (PASAT, pattern recognition memory, spatial recognition memory, spatial working memory), Pycnogenol® subjects showed a small but significant improvement with spatial recognition memory unchanged. Mood parameters (alertness, anxiety, contentedness) also improved in professionals using the supplement. In the evaluation of 12 professional daily tasks all items were improved with Pycnogenol® supplementation. The score relative to semi-professional minitasks was improved more in Pycnogenol® subjects. Tolerability and compliance were optimal with >94% of the doses of supplement correctly used. Pycnogenol® supplementation for 12 weeks appears to improve cognitive

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

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    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.

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

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    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.

  12. Treatment of Allergic Rhinitis Is Associated with Improved Attention Performance in Children: The Allergic Rhinitis Cohort Study for Kids (ARCO-Kids)

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    Kim, Dong-Kyu; Rhee, Chae Seo; Han, Doo Hee; Won, Tae-Bin; Kim, Dong-Young; Kim, Jeong-Whun

    2014-01-01

    BACKGROUND: It has been well known that pediatric allergic rhinitis was associated with poor performance at school due to attention deficit. However, there were no cohort studies for the effect of treatment of allergic rhinitis on attention performance in pediatric population. Thus, the aim of this study was to investigate whether attention performance was improved after treatment in children with allergic rhinitis. METHODS: In this ARCO-Kids (Allergic Rhinitis Cohort Study for Kids), consecu...

  13. Treatment of allergic rhinitis is associated with improved attention performance in children: the Allergic Rhinitis Cohort Study for Kids (ARCO-Kids.

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    Dong-Kyu Kim

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: It has been well known that pediatric allergic rhinitis was associated with poor performance at school due to attention deficit. However, there were no cohort studies for the effect of treatment of allergic rhinitis on attention performance in pediatric population. Thus, the aim of this study was to investigate whether attention performance was improved after treatment in children with allergic rhinitis. METHODS: In this ARCO-Kids (Allergic Rhinitis Cohort Study for Kids, consecutive pediatric patients with rhinitis symptoms underwent a skin prick test and computerized comprehensive attention test. According to the skin prick test results, the children were diagnosed as allergic rhinitis or non- allergic rhinitis. All of the patients were regularly followed up and treated with oral medication or intranasal corticosteroid sprays. The comprehensive attention tests consisted of sustained and divided attention tasks. Each of the tasks was assessed by the attention score which was calculated by the number of omission and commission errors. The comprehension attention test was repeated after 1 year. RESULTS: A total of 797 children with allergic rhinitis and 239 children with non-allergic rhinitis were included. Initially, the attention scores of omission and commission errors on divided attention task were significantly lower in children with allergic rhinitis than in children with non-allergic rhinitis. After 1 year of treatment, children with allergic rhinitis showed improvement in attention: commission error of sustained (95.6±17.0 vs 97.0±16.6 and divided attention task (99.1±15.8 vs 91.8±23.5. Meanwhile, there was no significant difference of attention scores in children with non-allergic rhinitis. CONCLUSIONS: Our study showed that management of allergic rhinitis might be associated with improvement of attention.

  14. Treatment of allergic rhinitis is associated with improved attention performance in children: the Allergic Rhinitis Cohort Study for Kids (ARCO-Kids).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Dong-Kyu; Rhee, Chae Seo; Han, Doo Hee; Won, Tae-Bin; Kim, Dong-Young; Kim, Jeong-Whun

    2014-01-01

    It has been well known that pediatric allergic rhinitis was associated with poor performance at school due to attention deficit. However, there were no cohort studies for the effect of treatment of allergic rhinitis on attention performance in pediatric population. Thus, the aim of this study was to investigate whether attention performance was improved after treatment in children with allergic rhinitis. In this ARCO-Kids (Allergic Rhinitis Cohort Study for Kids), consecutive pediatric patients with rhinitis symptoms underwent a skin prick test and computerized comprehensive attention test. According to the skin prick test results, the children were diagnosed as allergic rhinitis or non- allergic rhinitis. All of the patients were regularly followed up and treated with oral medication or intranasal corticosteroid sprays. The comprehensive attention tests consisted of sustained and divided attention tasks. Each of the tasks was assessed by the attention score which was calculated by the number of omission and commission errors. The comprehension attention test was repeated after 1 year. A total of 797 children with allergic rhinitis and 239 children with non-allergic rhinitis were included. Initially, the attention scores of omission and commission errors on divided attention task were significantly lower in children with allergic rhinitis than in children with non-allergic rhinitis. After 1 year of treatment, children with allergic rhinitis showed improvement in attention: commission error of sustained (95.6±17.0 vs 97.0±16.6) and divided attention task (99.1±15.8 vs 91.8±23.5). Meanwhile, there was no significant difference of attention scores in children with non-allergic rhinitis. Our study showed that management of allergic rhinitis might be associated with improvement of attention.

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

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    Olfers, Kerwin J F; Band, Guido P H

    2017-12-20

    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.

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

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    Beebe, Dean W; Byars, Kelly C

    2011-03-17

    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.

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

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    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.

  18. Improving the Writing Performance of High School Students with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and Writing Difficulties

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    Jacobson, Laura Thompson; Reid, Robert

    2012-01-01

    This study examined the effectiveness of persuasive writing instruction using the Self-Regulated Strategy Development (SRSD) model with high school students identified with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Using a multiple baseline design across participants, four students in grades 10 and 11 received one-to-one instruction in…

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

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

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26740931

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

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    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.

  1. Anxiety and cognitive performance: attentional control theory.

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    Eysenck, Michael W; Derakshan, Nazanin; Santos, Rita; Calvo, Manuel G

    2007-05-01

    Attentional control theory is an approach to anxiety and cognition representing a major development of Eysenck and Calvo's (1992) processing efficiency theory. It is assumed that anxiety impairs efficient functioning of the goal-directed attentional system and increases the extent to which processing is influenced by the stimulus-driven attentional system. In addition to decreasing attentional control, anxiety increases attention to threat-related stimuli. Adverse effects of anxiety on processing efficiency depend on two central executive functions involving attentional control: inhibition and shifting. However, anxiety may not impair performance effectiveness (quality of performance) when it leads to the use of compensatory strategies (e.g., enhanced effort; increased use of processing resources). Directions for future research are discussed.

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

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    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.

  3. Background music: effects on attention performance.

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    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.

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

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    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.

  5. The COFU3 Study. Improvement in cognitive function, attention, mental performance with Pycnogenol® in healthy subjects (55-70) with high oxidative stress.

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    Belcaro, G; Dugall, M; Ippolito, E; Hu, S; Saggino, A; Feragalli, B

    2015-12-01

    This 12-month product registry study evaluated the effects of supplementation with French pine bark extract (Pycnogenol(®)) on cognitive function, attention, and mental performance in healthy subjects with high oxidative stress. Healthy subjects (age range 55-70) were screened - within a cardiovascular screening program - for oxidative stress. Out of 150 subjects, high oxidative stress was present in 44; the use of the supplement Pycnogenol(®) was suggested (100 mg/day). These subjects decided to use Pycnogenol(®) and accepted to be evaluated by assessing cognitive functions. A group of subjects with comparable oxidative stress was followed as a reference. IQ Code (Informant Questionnaire on Cognitive Decline in the Elderly), daily tasks, cognitive function, oxidative stress and the short Blessed tests (SBT) were used (in defined scales) to evaluate cognitive functions (COFU). As for the IQ Code, at 12 months there was a significantlty total lower score in Pycnogenol(®) patients and also a lower value (PPycnogenol(®) (-28.07%; PPycnogenol(®) group (PPycnogenol(®) were optimal with >97% of the doses of the supplement correctly used. No side effects were observed, recorded or described. Pycnogenol(®) supplementation for 12 months appears to improve cognitive function and oxidative stress in normal subjects between 55 and 70 years of age.

  6. Arousal mechanisms, attention and sports performance

    OpenAIRE

    Kerr, John H.

    1988-01-01

    This thesis is concerned with the relationship between arousal mechanisms, attentional processes and competitive sports performance. Theoretical interpretations of the arousal-performance relationship have traditionally followed the inverted-U hypothesis. Based on this approach, the generally accepted view in sports psychology is that high levels of arousal are detrimental to good performance. A review of the relevant psychological literature reveals the limited nature of such an approach ...

  7. Focus of attention and speech motor performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lisman, Amanda L; Sadagopan, Neeraja

    2013-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to examine the effect of an internal vs. external 'focus of attention' on speech motor performance in healthy young adults. Twenty adults (aged 18-25) participated in a within-subjects experimental design. Nonwords, real words, and tongue twisters were produced by each participant in both attentional focus conditions (internal and external), with order of condition counterbalanced across participants. Speech motor coordinative consistency, timing, and behavioral accuracy were investigated. Accuracy of nonword, real word and tongue twister productions were relatively high across both external and internal focus conditions. A robust effect of condition on timing measures was noticed such that an internal focus (on articulatory movement) resulted in longer production durations and higher durational variability for most productions. In addition, an internal focus caused an increase in movement coordination variability for the production of real words. Our findings offer some preliminary support to the theory that operating in an external 'focus of attention' condition, with a focus on acoustic goals, results in more efficient, automatic control of speech movements. After reading this article, the reader will be able to: (1) describe the relevance of and challenges associated with the application of principles that govern nonspeech movements to speech performance; (2) summarize the implications of an external vs. internal focus of attention for speech motor performance; and (3) describe its role in speech motor skill learning in healthy and disordered groups. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Increased cortical neuronal responses to NMDA and improved attentional set-shifting performance in rats following prebiotic (B-GOS®) ingestion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gronier, Benjamin; Savignac, Helene M; Di Miceli, Mathieu; Idriss, Sherif M; Tzortzis, George; Anthony, Daniel; Burnet, Philip W J

    2018-01-01

    We have previously shown that prebiotics (dietary fibres that augment the growth of indigenous beneficial gut bacteria) such as Bimuno™ galacto-oligosaccharides (B-GOS®), increased N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor levels in the rat brain. The current investigation examined the functional correlates of these changes in B-GOS®-fed rats by measuring cortical neuronal responses to NMDA using in vivo NMDA micro-iontophoresis electrophysiology, and performance in the attentional set-shifting task. Adult male rats were supplemented with B-GOS® in the drinking water 3 weeks prior to in vivo iontophoresis or behavioural testing. Cortical neuronal responses to NMDA iontophoresis, were greater (+30%) in B-GOS® administered rats compared to non-supplemented controls. The intake of B-GOS® also partially hindered the reduction of NMDA responses by the glycine site antagonist, HA-966. In the attentional set-shifting task, B-GOS® -fed rats shifted from an intra-dimensional to an extra-dimensional set in fewer trials than controls, thereby indicating greater cognitive flexibility. An initial exploration into the mechanisms revealed that rats ingesting B-GOS® had increased levels of plasma acetate, and cortical GluN2B subunits and Acetyl Co-A Carboxylase mRNA. These changes were also observed in rats fed daily for 3 weeks with glyceryl triacetate, though unlike B-GOS®, cortical histone deacetylase (HDAC1, HDAC2) mRNAs were also increased which suggested an additional epigenetic action of direct acetate supplementation. Our data demonstrate that a pro-cognitive effect of B-GOS® intake in rats is associated with an increase in cortical NMDA receptor function, but the role of circulating acetate derived from gut bacterial fermentation of this prebiotic requires further investigation. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. and ECNP. All rights reserved.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Interactions between performance pressure, performance streaks, and attentional focus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gray, Rob; Allsop, Jonathan

    2013-08-01

    How is performance under pressure influenced by the history of events that precede it, and how does the pressure outcome influence the series of events that follow? A baseball batting simulation was used with college players to investigate these questions. In Experiment 1, the difficulty of the simulation was first adaptively adjusted to equate performance level. Batters next completed 20 at-bats used to classify them into one of three performance groups (normal, cold streak, or hot streak) followed by a one at-bat pressure condition. Finally, performance was evaluated over a period of 20 postpressure at-bats. In Experiment 2, a series of secondary tasks were added to assess attentional focus. In both experiments, whether batters succeeded or failed under pressure was significantly related to their performance history immediately before the pressure event, with the normal group having the poorest pressure performance. Performance postpressure was significantly related to both the pressure outcome and prepressure performance. These performance effects were related to changes in the batter's attentional focus as shown by changes in secondary task accuracy.

  14. The Effect of Attentional Focus Cues on Object Control Performance in Elementary Children

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palmer, Kara K.; Matsuyama, Abigail L.; Irwin, J. Megan; Porter, Jared M.; Robinson, Leah E.

    2017-01-01

    Background and purpose: Attentional focus cues have been shown to impact motor performance of adults and children. Specifically, an external focus of attention results in improved motor learning and performance as compared to adopting an internal focus of attention. The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of an internal and external…

  15. ELECTROENCEPHALOGRAPHIC BIOFEEDBACK IMPROVES FOCUSED ATTENTION IN ATTENTION DEFICIT/HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. M. Sokhadze

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available EEG biofeedback (so called neurofeedback is considered as an efficacious treatment for ADHD. We propose that operant conditioning of EEG in neurofeedback training mode, aimed to mitigate inattention and low arousal in ADHD, will be accompanied by changes in EEG bands' relative power. Patients were 18 children diagnosed with ADHD. The neurofeedback protocol (“Focus/Alertness” by Peak Achievement Trainer, Neurotek, KY used to train patients has focused attention training procedure, which according to specifications, represents wide band EEG amplitude suppression training. Quantitative EEG analysis was completed on each of 25 min long twelve sessions to determine the relative power of each of the EEG bands of interest throughout each session, and from the first session to the last session. Additional statistical analysis was performed to determine significant changes in relative power within sessions (from minute 1 to minute 25, and between sessions (from session 1 to session 12 for an individual patient. We performed analysis of relative power of Theta, Alpha, Low and High Beta, Theta/Alpha, Theta/Beta, and Theta/Low Beta and Theta/High Beta ratios. We performed also analysis between the “Focus”measure and changes in relative power of above EEG rhythms and their ratios. Additional secondary measures of patients’ post-neurofeedback outcomes were assessed using an audio-visual selective attention test (IVA + Plus and behavioral evaluation scores from Aberrant Behavior Checklist. We found that, as expected, Theta/Low Beta and Theta/Alpha ratios decreased significantly from Session 1 to Session 12 and from minute 1 to minute 25 within sessions. The ‘Focus” measure of protocol showed high negative correlation with both Theta/Alpha and Theta/Beta ratios. The findings regarding EEG changes resulting from self-regulation training along with behavioral evaluations will help in elucidation of neural mechanisms of neurofeedback aimed to improve

  16. Preserved Discrimination Performance and Neural Processing during Crossmodal Attention in Aging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mishra, Jyoti; Gazzaley, Adam

    2013-01-01

    In a recent study in younger adults (19-29 year olds) we showed evidence that distributed audiovisual attention resulted in improved discrimination performance for audiovisual stimuli compared to focused visual attention. Here, we extend our findings to healthy older adults (60-90 year olds), showing that performance benefits of distributed audiovisual attention in this population match those of younger adults. Specifically, improved performance was revealed in faster response times for semantically congruent audiovisual stimuli during distributed relative to focused visual attention, without any differences in accuracy. For semantically incongruent stimuli, discrimination accuracy was significantly improved during distributed relative to focused attention. Furthermore, event-related neural processing showed intact crossmodal integration in higher performing older adults similar to younger adults. Thus, there was insufficient evidence to support an age-related deficit in crossmodal attention. PMID:24278464

  17. 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

  18. Attention tasks as skills performance measures of drug effects

    OpenAIRE

    Moskowitz, H.

    1984-01-01

    1 Both empirical epidemiological data on the causes of traffic accidents and conceptual models of skilled human performance stress the central role of perception and cognition. This paper examines the effects of drugs on two major components of cognitive perceptual performance, namely, concentrated attention or vigilance and divided attention.

  19. The Emotional Side of Performance Improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerson, Richard F.

    2000-01-01

    Discussion of performance improvement focuses on the effect of emotions on performance. Topics include the emotional intelligence of the performers; how people deal with emotional demands and the stress of their performance; and emotional states that affect attention, focus, perception, and time on task. (LRW)

  20. 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.

  1. A Performance of Individual Differences in Selective Attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wahl, Otto

    A reliable, easily administered performance test of selective attentional ability was sought. A monaural listening task provided a baseline control for adequate hearing and memory; a dichotic listening task then provided indices of ability to focus attention and resist distraction while a simultaneous listening task provided measures of ability to…

  2. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  4. Improving SQL Server Perform

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicolae MERCIOIU

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available With the development of client server technology and multilayer architectures the systems ef-ficiency issue has been increasingly discussed. Lacking knowledge in optimization methods and tools offered by DBMS's, database administrators and developers of applications based on Microsoft technologies cannot optimally design and service performing systems. In this article we review the objectives that should be considered (in order to improve performance of SQL Server instances and we describe the techniques used to optimize queries. Also, we explain and illustrate the new optimization features offered by SQL Server 2008.

  5. 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

  6. Diabetes severely affects attentional performance after coronary artery bypass grafting

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Krannich Jens-Holger

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Diabetes is a risk factor for (micro vascular damage of the brain, too. Therefore cognitive performance after coronary artery bypass grafting may be hypothesized worse in diabetics. To avoid observational errors a reliable tool for testing attentional performance was used. We evaluated whether diabetes mellitus disposes to distinct cognitive dysfunction after coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG. Methods Three aspects in attentional performance were prospectively tested with three different tests (alertness: composed of un-cued and cued reaction, divided attention, and selective attention by a computerized tool one day before and seven days after CABG in a highly selected cohort of 30 males, 10 of whom had diabetes. Statistical comparisons were done with analysis of variance for repeated measurements and Fisher's LSD. Results Prior to CABG there was no statistically meaningful difference between diabetics and non-diabetics. Postoperatively, diabetic patients performed significantly worse than non-diabetics in tests for un-cued (p=0.01 and cued alertness (p=0.03. Test performance in divided attention was worse after CABG but independent of diabetes status. Selective attention was neither affected by diabetes status nor by CABG itself. Conclusions Diabetes may have an impact on cognitive performance after CABG. More severe deficits in alertness may point to underlying microvascular disease.

  7. 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.

  8. 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).

  9. Absinthe: attention performance and mood under the influence of thujone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dettling, A; Grass, H; Schuff, A; Skopp, G; Strohbeck-Kuehner, P; Haffner, H Th

    2004-09-01

    The aim of this study was to determine whether the impacts of absinthe on attention performance and mood were different from those experienced with beverages that contain only alcohol. The ingredient causing absinthe's toxicity is believed to be thujone. A total of 25 healthy subjects participated in the study. An attention performance test and two questionnaires testing different mood dimensions were used. Three drinks with an identical amount of alcohol but with different amounts of thujone were offered. The results of the present study showed that the simultaneous administration of alcohol containing a high concentration of thujone had a negative effect on attention performance. Under this condition, the subjects tended to direct their attention to signals in the central field of attention and to neglect peripheral signals; the number of correct reactions decreased significantly in the peripheral field of attention, and reaction time and the number of "false alarm" reactions increased significantly. The effects were most prominent at the time of the first measurement. When the subjects were under the influence of alcohol or were administered both alcohol and a low thujone concentration, these effects were not observed. The assessment of mood state dimensions showed that the anxiolytic effect of alcohol was temporarily counteracted by a high thujone concentration. As they are apparently opposed to the effect of alcohol, the reactions observed here can be explained by the antagonistic effect of thujone on the gamma-aminobutyric acid receptor. Similar alterations were observed for the other mood state dimensions examined.

  10. 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%).

  11. Does attentional cueing affect dichotic listening performance in children?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Obrzut, John E; Boliek, Carol A; Asbjornsen, Arve

    2006-01-01

    This study addresses the effects of verbal versus nonverbal (tone) shifts of attention on dichotic listening (DL) performance with children. Theoretically, a tonal cue may be more effective in increasing attention than a verbal cue following instruction. The inconsistency of studies reporting substantial effects of attention on ear asymmetries in children with or without learning disabilities (LDs) may be due to a developmental difference in their ability to use verbal or tone cues to select stimuli for recall. Participants included 30 right-handed children (15 control, 15 with LDs) with a mean age of 10.8 years. Each participant received 60 trials of a monaural tone cue task, 60 trials of a binaural verbal cue task, and 60 trials of a monaural verbal cue task, to direct attention to either the left or right ear before the presentation of consonant-vowel syllable pairs in a DL task. A factorial design analysis of variance yielded a significant right-ear advantage for both groups. More important, the Group x Task interaction was found to be significant, indicating that group performance on ear scores was dependent on type of cueing condition. Whereas all 3 cue conditions were effective in orienting attention for control participants, larger shifts were apparent under both binaural and monaural verbal instructional cue conditions. In contrast, participants with LD showed larger shifts of attention under the tonal cue condition. These results show that control participants have greater ability to focus attention with the use of a verbal cue, whereas participants with LD show greater ability to orient attention with the use of a tone cue in reducing error rates in DL performance.

  12. Attention as a factor in the school performance of adolescents

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Milovanović Radmila B.

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Attention represents a core of cognitive activity, it is an essential element of meaningful information processing and a key factor in self-regulation which is necessary for academic success. Despite this, there is only a small number of studies that examine the relationship between attention and school performance of adolescents. The aim of this research is an attempt to identify the components of attention which are relevant for academic achievement in adolescence. In addition, the aim of the research is also to determine potential differences with regard to the respondents' gender. The sample included 350 adolescents, aged between 14 and 16 years (M=15.2, matched for their intelligence quotient, from different towns in Serbia. The following instruments were used - the Digit Span Test, Digit Symbol-Coding, the Trail Making Test, the Stroop Test, the Concentration Achievement Test (for measuring the components of attention, Raven's Progressive Matrices (as a measure of intelligence. The results indicate that academic achievement is highly significantly associated with a certain configuration of components of the function of attention (goal-oriented selectivity, resistance to distractions, attention maintenance and concentration, and that the performance of students with poor academic achievement differs significantly from the performance of students with better academic achievement (p < 0.01. The results imply that the academic achievement or failure of adolescents cannot be interpreted without taking into account the characteristics of their attention. In addition, the results also indicate the necessity to establish an educational program with an aim to encourage the development of the assessed components of attention, in order for adolescents to attain academic achievements adequate to their intellectual capabilities.

  13. 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.

  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. Peer Tutoring for Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: Effects on Classroom Behavior and Academic Performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DuPaul, George J.; Ervin, Ruth A.; Hook, Christine L.; McGoey, Kara E.

    1998-01-01

    A study investigated effects of classwide peer tutoring (CWPT) on classroom behavior and academic performance of 18 students with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). CWPT led to improvements in performance in math or spelling for 50% of students with ADHD, along with reductions in off-task behavior for most participants. (Author/CR)

  16. 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.

  17. Night shifts, sleep deprivation, and attention performance in medical students.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pérez-Olmos, Isabel; Ibáñez-Pinilla, Milcíades

    2014-03-29

    To determine attention performance of medical students after sleep deprivation due to night shift work. Prospective cohort design. All seventh, eighth and ninth semester students were invited to participate (n= 209). The effectiveness and concentration indices (d2 Test for attention, dependent variable) from 180 students at 3 evaluations during the semester were compared. Eighth and ninth semester students underwent their second evaluation after a night shift. The independent variables were nocturnal sleep measurements. No differences in nocturnal sleep hours during the previous week (p=0.966), sleep deprivation (p=0.703) or effectiveness in the d2 Test (p=0.428) were found between the groups at the beginning of the semester. At the beginning and the end of the semester, the d2 Test results were not different between groups (p=0.410, p=0.394) respectively. The second evaluation showed greater sleep deprivation in students with night shift work (p=0.001). The sleep deprived students had lower concentration indices (p=0.001).The differences were associated with the magnitude of sleep deprivation (p=0.008). Multivariate regression analysis showed that attention performance was explained by sleep deprivation due to night shift work, adjusting for age and gender. Students with sleep deprivation had worse concentration than those without. Sleep deprivation due to night shift work in medical students had a negative impact on their attention performance. Medical educators should address these potential negative learning and patient care consequences of sleep deprivation in medical students due to night shifts.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Handwriting performance in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Racine, Marie Brossard; Majnemer, Annette; Shevell, Michael; Snider, Laurie

    2008-04-01

    Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is the most common neurobehavioral condition of childhood. Consequences are multifaceted and include activity limitations in daily-living skills, academic challenges, diminished socialization skills, and motor difficulties. Poor handwriting performance is an example of an affected life skill that has been anecdotally observed by educators and clinicians for this population and can negatively impact academic performance and self-esteem. To guide health and educational service delivery needs, the authors reviewed the evidence in the literature on handwriting difficulties in children with ADHD. Existing evidence would suggest that children with ADHD have impaired handwriting performance, characterized by illegible written material and/or inappropriate speed of execution compared to children without ADHD. Studies with larger sample sizes using standardized measures of handwriting performance are needed to evaluate the prevalence of the problem and to better understand the nature of handwriting difficulties and their impact in this population.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2013-01-01

    Background: 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)? Objective: To asse...

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Windows with improved energy performances

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Laustsen, Jacob Birck; Svendsen, Svend

    2003-01-01

    performance of windows can be reached by development of each element of the window, but to gain a considerable improvement in the overall energy performance all elements of the windows need to be examined together and the construction optimised. This paper describes potential improvements of window elements......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...

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  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. 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 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.

  14. Personality and attention: Levels of neuroticism and extraversion can predict attentional performance during a change detection task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hahn, Sowon; Buttaccio, Daniel R; Hahn, Jungwon; Lee, Taehun

    2015-01-01

    The present study demonstrates that levels of extraversion and neuroticism can predict attentional performance during a change detection task. After completing a change detection task built on the flicker paradigm, participants were assessed for personality traits using the Revised Eysenck Personality Questionnaire (EPQ-R). Multiple regression analyses revealed that higher levels of extraversion predict increased change detection accuracies, while higher levels of neuroticism predict decreased change detection accuracies. In addition, neurotic individuals exhibited decreased sensitivity A' and increased fixation dwell times. Hierarchical regression analyses further revealed that eye movement measures mediate the relationship between neuroticism and change detection accuracies. Based on the current results, we propose that neuroticism is associated with decreased attentional control over the visual field, presumably due to decreased attentional disengagement. Extraversion can predict increased attentional performance, but the effect is smaller than the relationship between neuroticism and attention.

  15. 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.

  16. Combined effects of attention and motivation on visual task performance: transient and sustained motivational effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Engelmann, Jan B; Damaraju, Eswar; Padmala, Srikanth; Pessoa, Luiz

    2009-01-01

    We investigated how the brain integrates motivational and attentional signals by using a neuroimaging paradigm that provided separate estimates for transient cue- and target-related signals, in addition to sustained block-related responses. Participants performed a Posner-type task in which an endogenous cue predicted target location on 70% of trials, while motivation was manipulated by varying magnitude and valence of a cash incentive linked to task performance. Our findings revealed increased detection performance (d') as a function of incentive value. In parallel, brain signals revealed that increases in absolute incentive magnitude led to cue- and target-specific response modulations that were independent of sustained state effects across visual cortex, fronto-parietal regions, and subcortical regions. Interestingly, state-like effects of incentive were observed in several of these brain regions, too, suggesting that both transient and sustained fMRI signals may contribute to task performance. For both cue and block periods, the effects of administering incentives were correlated with individual trait measures of reward sensitivity. Taken together, our findings support the notion that motivation improves behavioral performance in a demanding attention task by enhancing evoked responses across a distributed set of anatomical sites, many of which have been previously implicated in attentional processing. However, the effect of motivation was not simply additive as the impact of absolute incentive was greater during invalid than valid trials in several brain regions, possibly because motivation had a larger effect on reorienting than orienting attentional mechanisms at these sites.

  17. Combined effects of attention and motivation on visual task performance: transient and sustained motivational effects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jan B Engelmann

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available We investigated how the brain integrates motivational and attentional signals by using a neuroimaging paradigm that provided separate estimates for transient cue- and target-related signals, in addition to sustained block-related responses. Participants performed a Posner-type task in which an endogenous cue predicted target location on 70% of trials, while motivation was manipulated by varying magnitude and valence of a cash incentive linked to task performance. Our findings revealed increased detection performance (d’ as a function of incentive value. In parallel, brain signals revealed that increases in absolute incentive magnitude led to cue- and target-specific response modulations that were independent of sustained state effects across visual cortex, fronto-parietal regions, and subcortical regions. Interestingly, state-like effects of incentive were observed in several of these brain regions, too, suggesting that both transient and sustained fMRI signals may contribute to task performance. For both cue and block periods, the effects of administering incentives were correlated with individual trait measures of reward sensitivity. Taken together, our findings support the notion that motivation improves behavioral performance in a demanding attention task by enhancing evoked responses across a distributed set of anatomical sites, many of which have been previously implicated in attentional processing. However, the effect of motivation was not simply additive as the impact of absolute incentive was greater during invalid than valid trials in several brain regions, possibly because motivation had a larger effect on reorienting than orienting attentional mechanisms at these sites.

  18. How changing the focus of attention affects performance, kinematics, and electromyography in dart throwing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lohse, Keith R; Sherwood, David E; Healy, Alice F

    2010-08-01

    Research has found an advantage for an external focus of attention in motor control and learning; instructing subjects to focus on the effects of their actions, rather than on body movements, can improve performance during training and retention testing. Previous research has mostly concentrated on movement outcomes, not on the quality of the movement itself. Thus, this study combined surface electromyography (EMG) with motion analysis and outcome measures in a dart throwing task, making this the first study that includes a comprehensive analysis of changes in motor performance as a function of attentional focus. An external focus of attention led to better performance (less absolute error), decreased preparation time between throws, and reduced EMG activity in the triceps brachii. There was also some evidence of increased variability for kinematic measures of the shoulder joint under an external focus relative to an internal focus. These results suggest improved movement economy with an external focus of attention. Copyright 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Effect of osteopathic manipulative therapy in the attentive performance of children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Accorsi, Alessandro; Lucci, Chiara; Di Mattia, Lorenzo; Granchelli, Cristina; Barlafante, Gina; Fini, Federica; Pizzolorusso, Gianfranco; Cerritelli, Francesco; Pincherle, Maurizio

    2014-05-01

    Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurobehavioral disorder most commonly affecting children and teenagers. It is characterized by the coexistence of attention problems and impulsivity and hyperactivity. Although several studies have been conducted on the efficacy of conventional and alternative therapies in children with ADHD, few studies have specifically investigated the efficacy of osteopathic manipulative therapy (OMTh). To evaluate the efficacy of OMTh in the treatment of children with ADHD. Children aged 5 to 15 years with a primary diagnosis of ADHD who were admitted to a single neuropsychiatry unit from November 2008 to September 2009 were randomly assigned to an intervention group (OMTh + conventional care) or a control group (conventional care only). Biancardi-Stroppa Modified Bell Cancellation Test accuracy and rapidity scores were recorded for both groups at baseline and after 10 weeks. Statistical analyses included univariate tests and multivariate linear regressions. A total of 28 participants were included in the study: 14 in the OMTh group and 14 in the control group. Univariate statistical analysis showed no statistically significant differences between the intervention and control groups in terms of characteristics measured at baseline, except for psychosocial intervention (P=.05). Multivariate linear regression showed that OMTh was positively associated with changes in the Biancardi-Stroppa Test accuracy (β=7.948 points; P=.04) and rapidity (β=9.089 points; P=.03) scores. Participants who received OMTh had greater improvement in Biancardi-Stroppa Test scores than participants who received conventional care only, suggesting that OMTh can potentially increase performances of selective and sustained attention in children with ADHD. To confirm these findings, studies of larger and more diverse populations are warranted.

  20. 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.

  1. D-Amphetamine remediates attentional performance in rats with dorsal prefrontal lesions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chudasama, Y; Nathwani, F; Robbins, T W

    2005-03-07

    Although amphetamine treatment has been shown to promote recovery of motor function in animals with cortical ablations, the potential therapeutic effect of amphetamine on processes other than motor control, such as attention and working memory, has been relatively unexplored. Accordingly, we investigated the beneficial effect of D-amphetamine treatment in animals with dorsal prefrontal cortex lesions (dPFC) compared with sham controls on a novel combined attention-memory task (CAM) that simultaneously measures attention to a visual stimulus and memory for that stimulus. The dPFC group was impaired in their ability to correctly detect the visual stimulus. Although this deficit occurred together with increased omissions and slow response latencies, these associated deficits largely recovered within the 10 post-operative baseline sessions revealing a selective attentional deficit in this group of animals. Nonetheless, the dPFC lesion did not substantially affect the working memory component of the task. The systemic administration of d-amphetamine served to ameliorate the attentional deficit in the dPFC group at the low dose only (0.2 mg/kg). By contrast, the dPFC group were less sensitive to the detrimental effects of the high dose (0.8 mg/kg) on any aspect of task performance. However, despite improving attention to the visual stimulus, D-amphetamine did not improve memory for that stimulus which instead appeared to deteriorate. The results provide apparently the first demonstration that low doses of D-amphetamine can ameliorate an attentional deficit in animals with selective dPFC lesions and may be a useful model of cognitive deficit in ADHD, schizophrenia or frontal brain injury.

  2. 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

  3. 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

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

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Lawton, Teri

    2016-01-01

    ... (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...

  5. 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.

  6. Pay attention to impulsivity: modelling low attentive and high impulsive subtypes of adult ADHD in the 5-choice continuous performance task (5C-CPT) in female rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomlinson, Anneka; Grayson, Ben; Marsh, Samuel; Harte, Michael K; Barnes, Samuel A; Marshall, Kay M; Neill, Joanna C

    2014-08-01

    Varying levels of attention and impulsivity deficits are core features of the three subtypes of adult attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). To date, little is known about the neurobiological correlates of these subtypes. Development of a translational animal model is essential to improve our understanding and improve therapeutic strategies. The 5-choice continuous performance task (5C-CPT) in rats can be used to examine different forms of attention and impulsivity. Adult rats were trained to pre-set 5C-CPT criterion and subsequently separated into subgroups according to baseline levels of sustained attention, vigilance, premature responding and response disinhibition in the 5C-CPT. The behavioural subgroups were selected to represent the different subtypes of adult ADHD. Consequently, effects of the clinically used pharmacotherapies (methylphenidate and atomoxetine) were assessed in the different subgroups. Four subgroups were identified: low-attentive (LA), high-attentive (HA), high-impulsive (HI) and low-impulsive (LI). Methylphenidate and atomoxetine produced differential effects in the subgroups. Methylphenidate increased sustained attention and vigilance in LA animals, and reduced premature responding in HI animals. Atomoxetine also improved sustained attention and vigilance in LA animals, and reduced response disinhibition and premature responding in HI animals. This is the first study using adult rats to demonstrate the translational value of the 5C-CPT to select subgroups of rats, which may be used to model the subtypes observed in adult ADHD. Our findings suggest that this as an important paradigm to increase our understanding of the neurobiological underpinnings of adult ADHD-subtypes and their response to pharmacotherapy. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. and ECNP. All rights reserved.

  7. Consumption of a mid-morning snack improves memory but not attention in school children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muthayya, Sumithra; Thomas, Tinku; Srinivasan, Krishnamachari; Rao, Kirthi; Kurpad, Anura V; van Klinken, Jan-Willem; Owen, Gail; de Bruin, Eveline A

    2007-01-30

    Muthayya, S., T. Thomas, K. Srinivasan, K. Rao, A. V. Kurpad, J.-W. Van Klinken, G. Owen and E.A. de Bruin: Consumption of a mid-morning snack improves memory but not attention in school children. Physiol Behav 00(0) 000-000, 2006.--This study aimed to determine whether consumption of a mid-morning snack with appropriate energy compensation through a smaller breakfast or lunch, resulted in improved cognitive performance of 7-9 year old children with a low and high socioeconomic status (LSES and HSES, n=35 and 34 respectively). The children were each randomly assigned to three iso-caloric dietary interventions: control (standard breakfast, no snack and standard lunch), intervention A (small breakfast, snack, and standard lunch) and intervention B (standard breakfast, snack, and small lunch), using a cross-over design. The children were tested on three different days, each one week apart. Computerised tests of cognitive performance, consisting of memory, sustained attention and psychomotor speed, were performed during four sessions, i.e., prior to breakfast, after breakfast, after a mid-morning snack and after lunch. Having a mid-morning snack resulted in a smaller decline in immediate and delayed memory in LSES but not in HSES children. Having a snack did not influence sustained attention and psychomotor speed in either LSES or HSES children. This study shows that a more evenly distributed energy intake throughout the morning by consuming a mid-morning snack improves memory performance in school-age LSES children even when the total amount of energy consumed during the morning is not altered.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Supporting attention allocation in multitask environments: effects of likelihood alarm systems on trust, behavior, and performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiczorek, Rebecca; Manzey, Dietrich

    2014-11-01

    The aim of the current study was to investigate potential benefits of likelihood alarm systems (LASs) over binary alarm systems (BASs) in a multitask environment. Several problems are associated with the use of BASs, because most of them generate high numbers of false alarms. Operators lose trust in the systems and ignore alarms or cross-check all of them when other information is available. The first behavior harms safety, whereas the latter one reduces productivity. LASs represent an alternative, which is supposed to improve operators' attention allocation. We investigated LASs and BASs in a dual-task paradigm with and without the possibility to cross-check alerts with raw data information. Participants' trust in the system, their behavior, and their performance in the alert and the concurrent task were assessed. Reported trust, compliance with alarms, and performance in the alert and the concurrent task were higher for the LAS than for the BAS. The cross-check option led to an increase in alert task performance for both systems and a decrease in concurrent task performance for the BAS, which did not occur in the LAS condition. LASs improve participants' attention allocation between two different tasks and therefore lead to an increase in alert task and concurrent task performance. The performance maximum is achieved when LAS is combined with a cross-check option for validating alerts with additional information. The use of LASs instead of BASs in safety-related multitask environments has the potential to increase safety and productivity likewise.

  11. The most effective intervention for attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder: using continuous performance test.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meftagh, Sayyed Davood; Najimi, Arash; Mohammadi, Norallah; Ghanizadeh, Ahmad; Rahimi, Changiz; Amini, Mehdi Mohammad

    2014-06-01

    This study compares the effectiveness of three treating methods including behavioral mother training (BMT), Verbal self-instruction to the children (VSI), and pharmacotherapy in children with attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) using the continuous performance test (CPT). In this semi-experimental study, 51 elementary students were identified in a boys' school in Shiraz (age 8-10) with attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder in a pilot study (among 1760 students). They were randomly divided into three groups; BMT, VSI, and control group. Moreover, 22 students were selected with ADHD among the clients in Hafez hospital. They were chosen by the availability method and they were put into the Pharmacotherapy group. Data collection tools were the Child Symptoms Inventory (CSI-4) and the continuous performance test. All of the groups were evaluated after the intervention and in post-test and also 2 months later in follow up. The treatment type (group) showed statistically significant difference in the result of CPT on severity of attention-deficit and in the number of correct responses (P=0.01), yet on the hyperactivity symptoms, there was no significant difference between the different treatment groups (P=0.08). The time factor shows a significant difference among the different groups (pADHD indicates that pharmacotherapy can improve the severity of attention deficit and the number of correct answers of children with ADHD.

  12. 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…

  13. 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...

  14. 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...

  15. 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.

  16. Bioreactor control improves bioprocess performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simutis, Rimvydas; Lübbert, Andreas

    2015-08-01

    The performance of bioreactors is not only determined by productivity but also by process quality, which is mainly determined by variances in the process variables. As fluctuations in these quantities directly affect the variability in the product properties, combatting distortions is the main task of practical quality assurance. The straightforward way of reducing this variability is keeping the product formation process tightly under control. Purpose of this keynote is to show that there is enough evidence in literature showing that the performance of the fermentation processes can significantly be improved by feedback control. Most of the currently used open loop control procedures can be replaced by relatively simple feedback techniques. It is shown by practical examples that such a retrofitting does not require significant changes in the well-established equipment. Feedback techniques are best in assuring high reproducibility of the industrial cultivation processes and thus in assuring the quality of their products. Many developments in supervising and controlling industrial fermentations can directly be taken over in manufacturing processes. Even simple feedback controllers can efficiently improve the product quality. It's the time now that manufacturers follow the developments in most other industries and improve process quality by automatic feedback control. Copyright © 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  17. 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)

  18. 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.

  19. Attention Diversion Improves Response Inhibition of Immediate Reward, But Only When it is Beneficial: An FMRI Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Franco Scalzo

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available 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 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 to abstain from problematic impulsive behaviors.

  20. Prenatal supplementation with DHA improves attention at 5 y of age: a randomized controlled trial1

    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

    2016-01-01

    Background: 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. Objective: 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. Design: 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. Results: 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 DHA group showed improved mean ± SD T-scores compared with those of the placebo group for omissions (DHA: 47.6 ± 10.3; placebo: 49.6 ± 11.2; P 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. Conclusion: Prenatal exposure to DHA may contribute to improved sustained attention in preschool children. This trial was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT00646360. PMID:27604770

  1. 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 DHA group showed improved mean ± SD T-scores compared with those of the placebo group for omissions (DHA: 47.6 ± 10.3; placebo: 49.6 ± 11.2; P 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.

  2. A Polymorphism Related to Methylation Influences Attention during Performance of Speeded Skills

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pascale Voelker

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available The executive attention network is important for resolving conflict among responses thus allowing us to control voluntary behavior in the face of competition. We have previously shown that individual differences in the efficiency of performing conflict tasks are related to genetic differences. In this study we examine whether performance by adults in conflict tasks is related to a polymorphism that influences the efficiency of methylation. We find that variation in a gene associated with higher rates of methylation is related to better performance in speeded tasks involving the resolution of conflict. Reaction time in conflict tasks improves with development and with practice. Although most theories of skilled performance support a monotonic improvement in reaction time with practice, our data suggest that for some people, waning attention can lead to an increase in reaction time late in practice. Variation in a gene facilitating norepinephrine production was associated with increased reaction time. We discuss the efficiency of myelination and release of dopamine within neural networks relevant to the resolution of conflict as possible mechanisms for methylation as an influence on skilled behavior.

  3. The Attention Skills and Academic Performance of Aggressive/Rejected and Low Aggressive/Popular Children

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Beverly J.; Petaja, Holly; Mancil, Larissa

    2011-01-01

    Research Findings: Aggressive/rejected children are at risk for continuing conduct and school problems. Some limited research indicates that these children have attention problems. Previous research has linked attention problems with academic performance. The current study investigated group differences in attention skills and the role of these…

  4. College Students' Attention Behaviors during Independent Study and Course Level Academic Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagner, Linda G.

    2012-01-01

    Students in college make daily choices about how to use their independent study time, including choices about allocation of attention. Based on theoretical considerations and clinical studies, attention and the dividing of attention through multitasking is thought to have a relationship to performance levels. Research is only beginning to explore,…

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

    Objectives 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. Methods 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. Results 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. Significance 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. PMID:25393410

  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 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. Video game training to improve selective visual attention in older adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belchior, Patrícia; Marsiske, Michael; Sisco, Shannon M; Yam, Anna; Bavelier, Daphne; Ball, Karlene; Mann, William C

    2013-07-01

    The current study investigated the effect of video game training on older adult's useful field of view performance (the UFOV® test). Fifty-eight older adult participants were randomized to receive practice with the target action game (Medal of Honor), a placebo control arcade game (Tetris), a clinically validated UFOV training program, or into a no contact control group. Examining pretest-posttest change in selective visual attention, the UFOV improved significantly more than the game groups; all three intervention groups improved significantly more than no-contact controls. There was a lack of difference between the two game conditions, differing from findings with younger adults. Discussion considers whether games posing less challenge might still be effective interventions for elders, and whether optimal training dosages should be higher.

  10. 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.

  11. The beneficial effects of sounds on attentional blink performance: An ERP study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kranczioch, Cornelia; Thorne, Jeremy David

    2015-08-15

    Auditory information can affect the processing of visual information. The present study used event-related potentials (ERPs) to characterize the temporal dynamics of this interaction in a rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) task that created an attentional blink (AB), that is, a profound deficit in detecting or identifying the second of two visual targets embedded in an RSVP stream. When a sound preceded the second target, T2, by 250ms or was played simultaneously with T2, T2 identification accuracy increased to a comparable degree. Sound-related modulations of the visual response to T2 emerged from around 140ms when the sound preceded T2, and from around 100ms when the sound was played simultaneously with T2. Timing and topography of this earliest modulation indicated that it is not related to early sensory areas, but suggest an attentional filter mechanism. Subsequent modulations are compatible with an improvement of early visual processing of T2 and of processes related to target selection both when the sound precedes and when it coincides with T2. For the latter condition our results also indicated processes related to a convergence of stimulus-driven and goal-directed attention. We also observed some overlap between neural correlates of sound-related modulations of the visual response and of correct vs. incorrect performance. Thus, external task manipulations and internal factors contributing to performance in the AB may rely on overlapping though not identical mechanisms. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. 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.

  13. 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).

  14. Training working memory to improve attentional control in anxiety: A proof-of-principle study using behavioral and electrophysiological measures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sari, Berna A; Koster, Ernst H W; Pourtois, Gilles; Derakshan, Nazanin

    2016-12-01

    Trait anxiety is associated with impairments in attentional control and processing efficiency (see Berggren & Derakshan, 2013, for a review). Working memory training using the adaptive dual n-back task has shown to improve attentional control in subclinical depression with transfer effects at the behavioral and neural level on a working memory task (Owens, Koster, & Derakshan, 2013). Here, we examined the beneficial effects of working memory training on attentional control in pre-selected high trait anxious individuals who underwent a three week daily training intervention using the adaptive dual n-back task. Pre and post outcome measures of attentional control were assessed using a Flanker task that included a stress induction and an emotional a Antisaccade task (with angry and neutral faces as target). Resting state EEG (theta/beta ratio) was recorded to as a neural marker of trait attentional control. Our results showed that adaptive working memory training improved attentional control with transfer effects on the Flanker task and resting state EEG, but effects of training on the Antisaccade task were less conclusive. Finally, training related gains were associated with lower levels of trait anxiety at post (vs pre) intervention. Our results demonstrate that adaptive working memory training in anxiety can have beneficial effects on attentional control and cognitive performance that may protect against emotional vulnerability in individuals at risk of developing clinical anxiety. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. 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

  16. Flipperons for Improved Aerodynamic Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mabe, James H.

    2008-01-01

    Lightweight, piezoelectrically actuated bending flight-control surfaces have shown promise as means of actively controlling airflows to improve the performances of transport airplanes. These bending flight-control surfaces are called flipperons because they look somewhat like small ailerons, but, unlike ailerons, are operated in an oscillatory mode reminiscent of the actions of biological flippers. The underlying concept of using flipperons and other flipperlike actuators to impart desired characteristics to flows is not new. Moreover, elements of flipperon-based active flow-control (AFC) systems for aircraft had been developed previously, but it was not until the development reported here that the elements have been integrated into a complete, controllable prototype AFC system for wind-tunnel testing to enable evaluation of the benefits of AFC for aircraft. The piezoelectric actuator materials chosen for use in the flipperons are single- crystal solid solutions of lead zinc niobate and lead titanate, denoted generically by the empirical formula (1-x)[Pb(Zn(1/3)Nb(2/3))O3]:x[PbTiO3] (where x<1) and popularly denoted by the abbreviation PZN-PT. These are relatively newly recognized piezoelectric materials that are capable of strain levels exceeding 1 percent and strain-energy densities 5 times greater than those of previously commercially available piezoelectric materials. Despite their high performance levels, (1-x)[Pb(Zn(1/3)Nb(2/3))O3]:x[PbTiO3] materials have found limited use until now because, relative to previously commercially available piezoelectric materials, they tend to be much more fragile.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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…

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Roelofs, A.P.A.

    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

  1. Pilot study of light therapy and neurocognitive performance of attention and memory in healthy subjects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bersani, Giuseppe; Marconi, Daniela; Limpido, Lucilla; Tarolla, Emanuele; Caroti, Eleonora

    2008-02-01

    The aim of this pilot study was to investigate whether light therapy improves healthy subjects' neurocognitive performance of attention, memory, and language. Ten subjects were treated with white bright light for 5 days and a control group of 10 with no treatment were assessed with a battery of neurocognitive tests which included the Stroop Colour Word Interference Test, the Verbal Fluency Test, the Story Recall Test, and the Word Pairs Recall Test. Analysis showed improvements in cognitive scores in both groups, although on all the cognitive tests the mean difference scores between baseline and endpoint were significantly larger in the light-treated group. These preliminary results suggest that short-term bright light may exert beneficial effects on cognitive functions.

  2. Vagus nerve stimulation improves working memory performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Lihua; Peräkylä, Jari; Holm, Katri; Haapasalo, Joonas; Lehtimäki, Kai; Ogawa, Keith H; Peltola, Jukka; Hartikainen, Kaisa M

    2017-12-01

    Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) is used for treating refractory epilepsy and major depression. While the impact of this treatment on seizures has been established, its impact on human cognition remains equivocal. The goal of this study is to elucidate the immediate effects of vagus nerve stimulation on attention, cognition, and emotional reactivity in patients with epilepsy. Twenty patients (12 male and 8 female; 45 ± 13 years old) treated with VNS due to refractory epilepsy participated in the study. Subjects performed a computer-based test of executive functions embedded with emotional distractors while their brain activity was recorded with electroencephalography. Subjects' cognitive performance, early visual event-related potential N1, and frontal alpha asymmetry were studied when cyclic vagus nerve stimulation was on and when it was off. We found that vagus nerve stimulation improved working memory performance as seen in reduced errors on a subtask that relied on working memory, odds ratio (OR) = 0.63 (95% confidence interval, CI [0.47, 0.85]) and increased N1 amplitude, F(1, 15) = 10.17, p = .006. In addition, vagus nerve stimulation resulted in longer reaction time, F(1, 16) = 8.23, p = .019, and greater frontal alpha asymmetry, F(1, 16) = 11.79, p = .003, in response to threat-related distractors. This is the first study to show immediate improvement in working memory performance in humans with clinically relevant vagus nerve stimulation. Furthermore, vagus nerve stimulation had immediate effects on emotional reactivity evidenced in behavior and brain physiology.

  3. 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 ...

  4. 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.

  5. Peer tutoring for children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: effects on classroom behavior and academic performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DuPaul, G J; Ervin, R A; Hook, C L; McGoey, K E

    1998-01-01

    We investigated the effects of classwide peer tutoring (CWPT) on the classroom behavior and academic performance of students with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Typical instructional activities were contrasted with CWPT for 18 children with ADHD and 10 peer comparison students attending first- through fifth-grade general education classes. CWPT led to increases in active engagement in academic tasks along with reductions in off-task behavior for most participants. Of students with ADHD, 50% exhibited improvements in academic performance in math or spelling during CWPT conditions, as measured by a treatment success index. Participating teachers and students reported a high level of satisfaction with intervention procedures. Our results suggest that peer tutoring appears to be an effective strategy for addressing the academic and behavioral difficulties associated with ADHD in general education settings.

  6. Visual attention distracter insertion for improved EEG rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) target stimuli detection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khosla, Deepak; Huber, David J.; Martin, Kevin

    2017-05-01

    This paper† describes a technique in which we improve upon the prior performance of the Rapid Serial Visual Presentation (RSVP) EEG paradigm for image classification though the insertion of visual attention distracters and overall sequence reordering based upon the expected ratio of rare to common "events" in the environment and operational context. Inserting distracter images maintains the ratio of common events to rare events at an ideal level, maximizing the rare event detection via P300 EEG response to the RSVP stimuli. The method has two steps: first, we compute the optimal number of distracters needed for an RSVP stimuli based on the desired sequence length and expected number of targets and insert the distracters into the RSVP sequence, and then we reorder the RSVP sequence to maximize P300 detection. We show that by reducing the ratio of target events to nontarget events using this method, we can allow RSVP sequences with more targets without sacrificing area under the ROC curve (azimuth).

  7. Opportunities for Recognition Can Improve Learning and Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    French, Ron; Henderson, Hester L.; Lavay, Barry; Silliman-French, Lisa

    2013-01-01

    Physical educators need to make an effort to catch students being good and recognize them for their positive accomplishments. Unfortunately, it is usually the students who act inappropriately who receive the majority of the teachers' attention. In order to help increase learning and improve performance and behavior, the physical educator must…

  8. Computer-Detected Attention Affects Foreign Language Listening but Not Reading Performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Shu-Ping

    2016-08-01

    No quantitative study has explored the influence of attention on learning English as a foreign language (EFL). This study investigated whether computer-detected attention is associated with EFL reading and listening and reading and listening anxiety. Traditional paper-based English tests used as entrance examinations and tests of general trait anxiety, reading, listening, reading test state anxiety, and listening test state anxiety were administered in 252 Taiwan EFL college students who were divided into High Attention (Conners' Continuous Performance Test, CPT anxieties, general English reading anxiety scales, and general English listening anxiety scales. The Low Attention group had higher test state anxiety and lower listening test scores than the High Attention group, but not in reading. State anxiety during listening tests for EFL students with computer-detected low attention tendency was elevated and their EFL listening performance was affected, but those differences were not found in reading. © The Author(s) 2016.

  9. Attentional Focus and Performance Anxiety: Effects on Simulated Race-Driving Performance and Heart Rate Variability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mullen, Richard; Faull, Andrea; Jones, Eleri S.; Kingston, Kieran

    2012-01-01

    Previous studies have demonstrated that an external focus can enhance motor learning compared to an internal focus. The benefits of adopting an external focus are attributed to the use of less effortful automatic control processes, while an internal focus relies upon more effort-intensive consciously controlled processes. The aim of this study was to compare the effectiveness of a distal external focus with an internal focus in the acquisition of a simulated driving task and subsequent performance in a competitive condition designed to increase state anxiety. To provide further evidence for the automatic nature of externally controlled movements, the study included heart rate variability (HRV) as an index of mental effort. Sixteen participants completed eight blocks of four laps in either a distal external or internal focus condition, followed by two blocks of four laps in the competitive condition. During acquisition, the performance of both groups improved; however, the distal external focus group outperformed the internal focus group. The poorer performance of the internal focus group was accompanied by a larger reduction in HRV, indicating a greater investment of mental effort. In the competition condition, state anxiety increased, and for both groups, performance improved as a function of the increased anxiety. Increased heart rate and self-reported mental effort accompanied the performance improvement. The distal external focus group also outperformed the internal focus group across both neutral and competitive conditions and this more effective performance was again associated with lower levels of HRV. Overall, the results offer support for the suggestion that an external focus promotes a more automatic mode of functioning. In the competitive condition, both foci enhanced performance and while the improved performance may have been achieved at the expense of greater compensatory mental effort, this was not reflected in HRV scores. PMID:23133431

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Short-term meditation training improves attention and self-regulation

    OpenAIRE

    Tang, Yi-Yuan; Ma, Yinghua; Wang, Junhong; Fan, Yaxin; Feng, Shigang; Lu, Qilin; Yu, Qingbao; Sui, Danni; Mary K. Rothbart; Fan, Ming; Posner, Michael I.

    2007-01-01

    Recent studies suggest that months to years of intensive and systematic meditation training can improve attention. However, the lengthy training required has made it difficult to use random assignment of participants to conditions to confirm these findings. This article shows that a group randomly assigned to 5 days of meditation practice with the integrative body–mind training method shows significantly better attention and control of stress than a similarly chosen control group given relaxa...

  13. Different Effects of Adding White Noise on Cognitive Performance of Sub-, Normal and Super-Attentive School Children

    OpenAIRE

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

    2014-01-01

    Objectives: 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 atte...

  14. Heat Acclimation Improves Exercise Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    test concluded after four to seven stages. Gas exchange was continuously measured by open- circuit spirometry . During the last 30 s of each stage a...continuously measured by open-circuit spirometry . Time-trial performance. After a brief warm-up (5 min at 40% of maximal power on cycle ergometer...cardiac performance (maximal cardiac output and maximal stroke volume) following a period of chronic heat stress is also supported by several animal

  15. 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.

  16. improving performance of laying hens

    OpenAIRE

    A.P Sinurat; P Ketaren; A.J Cowieson; M.H.L Bento

    2012-01-01

    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...

  17. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hijazi, Mona Mohamed Kamal

    2013-12-18

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

  19. 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.

  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. 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.

  2. Video game players show higher performance but no difference in speed of attention shifts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mack, David J; Wiesmann, Helene; Ilg, Uwe J

    2016-09-01

    Video games have become both a widespread leisure activity and a substantial field of research. In a variety of tasks, video game players (VGPs) perform better than non-video game players (NVGPs). This difference is most likely explained by an alteration of the basic mechanisms underlying visuospatial attention. More specifically, the present study hypothesizes that VGPs are able to shift attention faster than NVGPs. Such alterations in attention cannot be disentangled from changes in stimulus-response mappings in reaction time based measurements. Therefore, we used a spatial cueing task with varying cue lead times (CLTs) to investigate the speed of covert attention shifts of 98 male participants divided into 36 NVGPs and 62 VGPs based on their weekly gaming time. VGPs exhibited higher peak and mean performance than NVGPs. However, we did not find any differences in the speed of covert attention shifts as measured by the CLT needed to achieve peak performance. Thus, our results clearly rule out faster stimulus-response mappings as an explanation for the higher performance of VGPs in line with previous studies. More importantly, our data do not support the notion of faster attention shifts in VGPs as another possible explanation. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. 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.

  4. Attention performance among Brazilian truck drivers and its association with amphetamine use: pilot study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lucio Garcia de Oliveira

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this article was to describe the attention functioning of twenty-two truck drivers and its relationship with amphetamine use. Those drivers who reported using amphetamines in the twelve months previous to the interview had the best performance in a test evaluating sustained attention functioning. Although amphetamine use may initially seem advantageous to the drivers, it may actually impair safe driving. The findings suggest the importance of monitoring the laws regarding amphetamine use in this country.

  5. Attention and P300-based BCI performance in people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Angela eRiccio

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of this study was to investigate the support of attentional and memory processes in controlling a P300-based brain-computer interface (BCI in people suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS. Eight people with ALS performed two behavioural tasks: i a rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP task, screening the temporal filtering capacity and the speed of the update of the attentive filter, and ii a change detection task, screening the memory capacity and the spatial filtering capacity. The participants were also asked to perform a P300-based BCI spelling task. By using correlation and regression analyses, we found that only the temporal filtering capacity in the RSVP task was a predictor of both the P300-based BCI accuracy and of the amplitude of the P300 elicited performing the BCI task. We concluded that the ability to keep the attentional filter active during the selection of a target influences performance in BCI control.

  6. 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.

  7. 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…

  8. Attention, temporal predictability, and the time course of context effects in naming performance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Roelofs, Ardi

    2010-01-01

    Models of attention and context effects in naming performance should be able to account for the time course of color-word Stroop interference revealed by manipulations of the stimulus onset asynchrony (SOA) between color and word. Prominent models of Stroop task performance (Cohen, Dunbar, &

  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. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. An Adaptive Middleware for Improved Computational Performance

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bonnichsen, Lars Frydendal

    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....... In this thesis we champion using software to improve energy efficiency — in particular we develop guidelines for reasoning and evaluating software performance on modern computers, and a middleware that has been designed for modern computers, improving computational performance both in terms of energy...

  14. [Attention and reading performance in children with ADHD, reading disorder and the combined condition].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Günther, Thomas; Peters, Katharina; Scharke, Wolfgang; Horbach, Josefine; Kraatz, Christina; Herpertz-Dahlmann, Beate; Konrad, Kerstin; Vloet, Timo D

    2016-09-01

    Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Dyslexia co-occur more often than expected by chance. Both disorders can have severe negative impact on children’s development. The aim of the present study was to compare attention and reading performance in children with ADHD, dyslexia and the comorbid condition. Ninety-nine German children in 3rd and 4th grade with ADHD (n = 26), dyslexia (n = 22) and the comorbid condition (n = 24) compared to a healthy control group (n = 27) were assessed with a model oriented assessment battery for reading and attention. Additionally, comorbid problems were examined. Children with ADHD were characterized by difficulties in decoding and reading comprehension, while children with dyslexia showed impairments in their attentional performance. Psychometric data revealed that children with dyslexia showed both externalizing and internalizing symptoms, while children with the comorbid condition scored the highest on all psychopathological dimensions. The results suggest, that reading problems in children with ADHD might be an epiphenomenon of the task used dependent on time constraints inherent to the task. Impairments of attentional functions in children with dyslexia emphasize the importance of a sufficient diagnostic procedure for subclinical ADHD symptoms as possible comorbid disorder. Future studies should focus the impact of early treatment of attentional deficits on reading acquisition.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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)

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

    2013-11-01

    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. 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). At week 16, atomoxetine treatment resulted in significant (p<0.05) improvement from baseline in subjects with ADHD+D versus placebo on ADHDRS-IV-Parent:Inv Total (primary outcome) and subscales, ADHDRS-IV-Teacher-Version Inattentive subscale, K-SCT Interview Parent and Teacher subscales, and WMTB-C Central Executive component scores; in subjects with Dyslexia-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

  19. 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.

  20. Improving classification of posture based attributed attention assessed by ranked crowd-raters

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrick Heyer

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Attribution of attention from observable body posture is plausible, providing additional information for affective computing applications. We previously reported a promissory 69. 72 ± 10. 50 (μ ± σ of F-measure to use posture as a proxy for attributed attentional state with implications for affective computing applications. Here, we aim at improving that classification rate by reweighting votes of raters giving higher confidence to those raters that are representative of the raters population. An increase to 75. 35 ± 11. 66 in F-measure was achieved. The improvement in predictive power by the classifier is welcomed and its impact is still being assessed.

  1. Clutter in electronic medical records: examining its performance and attentional costs using eye tracking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moacdieh, Nadine; Sarter, Nadine

    2015-06-01

    The objective was to use eye tracking to trace the underlying changes in attention allocation associated with the performance effects of clutter, stress, and task difficulty in visual search and noticing tasks. Clutter can degrade performance in complex domains, yet more needs to be known about the associated changes in attention allocation, particularly in the presence of stress and for different tasks. Frequently used and relatively simple eye tracking metrics do not effectively capture the various effects of clutter, which is critical for comprehensively analyzing clutter and developing targeted, real-time countermeasures. Electronic medical records (EMRs) were chosen as the application domain for this research. Clutter, stress, and task difficulty were manipulated, and physicians' performance on search and noticing tasks was recorded. Several eye tracking metrics were used to trace attention allocation throughout those tasks, and subjective data were gathered via a debriefing questionnaire. Clutter degraded performance in terms of response time and noticing accuracy. These decrements were largely accentuated by high stress and task difficulty. Eye tracking revealed the underlying attentional mechanisms, and several display-independent metrics were shown to be significant indicators of the effects of clutter. Eye tracking provides a promising means to understand in detail (offline) and prevent (in real time) major performance breakdowns due to clutter. Display designers need to be aware of the risks of clutter in EMRs and other complex displays and can use the identified eye tracking metrics to evaluate and/or adjust their display. © 2015, Human Factors and Ergonomics Society.

  2. 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.

  3. Beneficial outcome from EEG-neurofeedback on creative music performance, attention and well-being in school children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gruzelier, J H; Foks, M; Steffert, T; Chen, M J-L; Ros, T

    2014-01-01

    We earlier reported benefits for creativity in rehearsed music performance from alpha/theta (A/T) neurofeedback in conservatoire studies (Egner & Gruzelier, 2003) which were not found with SMR, Beta1, mental skills, aerobics or Alexander training, or in standby controls. Here the focus was the impact on novice music performance. A/T and SMR training were compared in 11-year old school children along with non-intervention controls with outcome measures not only of rehearsed music performance but also of creative improvisation, as well as sustained attention and phenomenology. Evidence of effective learning in the school setting was obtained for A/T and SMR/beta2 ratios. Preferential benefits from A/T for rehearsed music performance were replicated in children for technique and communication ratings. Benefits extended to creativity and communication ratings for creative improvisation which were shared with SMR training, disclosing an influence of SMR on unrehearsed music performance at a novice level with its greater cognitive demands. In a first application of A/T for improving sustained attention (TOVA), it was found to be more successful than SMR training, with a notable reduction in commission errors in the children, 15/33 of whom had attention indices in the ADHD range. Phenomenological reports were in favour of neurofeedback and well-being benefits. Implementing neurofeedback in the daily school setting proved feasible and holds pedagogic promise. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Long-term effects of attentional performance on functional brain network topology.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas P K Breckel

    Full Text Available Individuals differ in their cognitive resilience. Less resilient people demonstrate a greater tendency to vigilance decrements within sustained attention tasks. We hypothesized that a period of sustained attention is followed by prolonged changes in the organization of "resting state" brain networks and that individual differences in cognitive resilience are related to differences in post-task network reorganization. We compared the topological and spatial properties of brain networks as derived from functional MRI data (N = 20 recorded for 6 mins before and 12 mins after the performance of an attentional task. Furthermore we analysed changes in brain topology during task performance and during the switches between rest and task conditions. The cognitive resilience of each individual was quantified as the rate of increase in response latencies over the 32-minute time course of the attentional paradigm. On average, functional networks measured immediately post-task demonstrated significant and prolonged changes in network organization compared to pre-task networks with higher connectivity strength, more clustering, less efficiency, and shorter distance connections. Individual differences in cognitive resilience were significantly correlated with differences in the degree of recovery of some network parameters. Changes in network measures were still present in less resilient individuals in the second half of the post-task period (i.e. 6-12 mins after task completion, while resilient individuals already demonstrated significant reductions of functional connectivity and clustering towards pre-task levels. During task performance brain topology became more integrated with less clustering and higher global efficiency, but linearly decreased with ongoing time-on-task. We conclude that sustained attentional task performance has prolonged, "hang-over" effects on the organization of post-task resting-state brain networks; and that more cognitively

  7. 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

  8. 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…

  9. 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

  10. Interpersonal early-life trauma alters amygdala connectivity and sustained attention performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fortenbaugh, Francesca C; Corbo, Vincent; Poole, Victoria; McGlinchey, Regina; Milberg, William; Salat, David; DeGutis, Joseph; Esterman, Michael

    2017-05-01

    Interpersonal early life trauma (I-ELT) is associated with a myriad of functional impairments in adulthood, increased risk of drug addiction, and neuropsychiatric disorders. While deficits in emotional regulation and amygdala functioning are well characterized, deficits in general cognitive functioning have also been documented. However, the neural underpinnings of cognitive dysfunction in adults with a history of I-ELT and the potential relationship between amygdala-based functional connectivity and behavioral performance are currently poorly understood. This study examined how I-ELT affects the cognitive and neural mechanisms supporting sustained attention. A total of 66 Veterans (18 with and 48 without a history of I-ELT) completed a nonemotional sustained attention task during functional MRI. The individuals with I-ELT showed significant impairments in sustained attention (i.e., higher error rates, greater response variability). This cohort exhibited increased amygdala functional connectivity with the prefrontal cortex and decreased functional connectivity with the parahippocampal gyrus when compared to those without I-ELT. These connections were significantly correlated with individual differences in sustained attention performance. Notably, classification analyses revealed that the pattern of amygdala connectivity across the whole brain was able to classify I-ELT status with 70% accuracy. These results provide evidence of a lasting negative impact for those with a history of I-ELT on sustained attention ability. They also highlight a critical role for amygdala functioning in cognitive control and sustained attention for those with a history of I-ELT, which may underlie the observed attention deficits in clinical assessments and cognitive tests involving both emotional and nonemotional stimuli.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Modulation of Spatial Attentional Allocation by Computer-Based Cognitive Training during Lacrosse Shooting Performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hirao, Takahiro; Masaki, Hiroaki

    2017-01-01

    It has been reported that repetitive execution of a stimulus-response compatibility (SRC) task attenuates the interference effect of a choice reaction time task, known as a Simon task. We investigated whether attentional control, enhanced by repetitive execution of an SRC task, would reduce the interference effect of a Simon task and could be transferred to lacrosse shooting skills, increasing the likelihood that players would shoot in the direction opposite to the goalie's initial movement. Female lacrosse players who were matched in terms of age, handedness score, competitive lacrosse playing experience, and playing position, were allocated to the SRC task group ( n = 15) or the 2-back training group ( n = 14). Participants underwent 10 sessions of 180 trials of a computer-based version of either a Type 2 SRC task or the 2-back task, within four consecutive weeks. Eight practice trials were completed prior to the execution of each task in every training session, during which feedback was provided to confirm accurate mapping between the stimulus and response. Before and after the training phase, both the magnitude of the Simon effect and the lacrosse shooting performance were assessed. After participating in computer-based cognitive training, players did indeed increase the number of shots toward the direction opposite to that of the movement of the goalie. In conclusion, these findings indicate that computer-based cognitive training is beneficial for improving the shooting ability of lacrosse players.

  14. 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

  15. Attention and time constraints in perceptual-motor learning and performance: Instruction, analogy, and skill level

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Koedijker, J.M.; Poolton, J.M.; Maxwell, J.P.; Oudejans, R.R.D.; Beek, P.J.; Masters, R.S.W.

    2011-01-01

    We sought to gain more insight into the effects of attention focus and time constraints on skill learning and performance in novices and experts by means of two complementary experiments using a table tennis paradigm. Experiment 1 showed that skill-focus conditions and slowed ball frequency

  16. Internal versus External: Oral-Motor Performance as a Function of Attentional Focus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freedman, Skott E.; Maas, Edwin; Caligiuri, Michael P.; Wulf, Gabriele; Robin, Donald A.

    2007-01-01

    Purpose: Previous studies (e.g., G. Wulf, M. HoB, & W. Prinz, 1998; G. Wulf, B. Lauterbach, & T. Toole, 1999; for a review, see G. Wulf & W. Prinz, 2001) have reported that limb motor performance is enhanced when individuals adopt an external focus (focusing on the effect of the movement) versus an internal focus of attention (focusing on body…

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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...

  20. Sprint cycling training improves intermittent run performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hardaway Chun-Kwan Chan

    2018-01-01

    Conclusions: Sprint cycling significantly improved intermittent run performance, VO2max and peak power output at VO2max. Sprint cycling training is suitable for intermittent sports athletes but separate speed and COD training should be included.

  1. 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.

  2. Anxiety, arousal and visual attention: a mechanistic account of performance variability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janelle, Christopher M

    2002-03-01

    Despite extensive research devoted to determining the nature of the relationship between stress and performance, there has been little systematic examination of the mechanisms underlying this relationship. Recently, researchers have begun to empirically address the attentional mechanisms underlying theoretical accounts of how stress, anxiety and arousal influence performance. Given the critical role of visual attention to sport expertise, this paper focuses primarily on literature dealing with how visual cues are differentially identified and processed when performers are anxious. Emerging evidence indicates that gaze behaviour tendencies are reliably altered when performers are anxious, leading to inefficient and often ineffective search strategies. Alterations of these visual search indices are addressed in the context of both self-paced and externally paced sports events. Recommendations concerning the utility of perceptual training programmes and how these training programmes might be used as anxiety regulation interventions are discussed. The theoretical implications and directions for future research are also addressed.

  3. 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

  4. 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

    Study Objectives: To identify baseline behavioral and physiologic markers that associate with individual differences in sustained attention during sleep deprivation. Design: 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. Setting: Chronobiology and Sleep Laboratory, Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School Singapore. Participants: Healthy volunteers aged 22-32 years from the general population. Interventions: 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). Measurements and Results: 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). Conclusions: 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. Citation: Chua EC; Yeo SC; Lee IT; Tan LC; Lau P; Cai S; Zhang X; Puvanendran K; Gooley JJ. Sustained attention performance during sleep deprivation associates with instability in behavior and physiologic measures at baseline. SLEEP 2014;37(1):27-39. PMID:24470693

  5. 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...

  6. Short-term meditation training improves attention and self-regulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Yi-Yuan; Ma, Yinghua; Wang, Junhong; Fan, Yaxin; Feng, Shigang; Lu, Qilin; Yu, Qingbao; Sui, Danni; Rothbart, Mary K; Fan, Ming; Posner, Michael I

    2007-10-23

    Recent studies suggest that months to years of intensive and systematic meditation training can improve attention. However, the lengthy training required has made it difficult to use random assignment of participants to conditions to confirm these findings. This article shows that a group randomly assigned to 5 days of meditation practice with the integrative body-mind training method shows significantly better attention and control of stress than a similarly chosen control group given relaxation training. The training method comes from traditional Chinese medicine and incorporates aspects of other meditation and mindfulness training. Compared with the control group, the experimental group of 40 undergraduate Chinese students given 5 days of 20-min integrative training showed greater improvement in conflict scores on the Attention Network Test, lower anxiety, depression, anger, and fatigue, and higher vigor on the Profile of Mood States scale, a significant decrease in stress-related cortisol, and an increase in immunoreactivity. These results provide a convenient method for studying the influence of meditation training by using experimental and control methods similar to those used to test drugs or other interventions.

  7. 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

  8. Improved Performance via the Inverted Classroom

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weinstein, Randy D.

    2015-01-01

    This study examined student performance in an inverted thermodynamics course (lectures provided by video outside of class) compared to a traditional lecture class. Students in the inverted class performed better on their exams. Students in the bottom third of the inverted course showed the greatest improvement. These bottom third students had a C…

  9. 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…

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    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......) found that increasing the contrast of T1 decreased the attentional blink but Chua (2005) found the opposite effect. In the current study, we varied the perceptual difficulty of T1 in the two-target paradigm (Duncan, Ward, & Shapiro, 1994) both by changing the contrast and by changing the exposure...

  11. Critical success factors for performance improvement programs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barron, William M; Krsek, Cathleen; Weber, Diane; Cerese, Julie

    2005-04-01

    Most health care organizations struggle with the design and implementation of effective, systemwide improvement programs. In 2000, the University HealthSystem Consortium initiated a benchmarking project to identify the organizational elements that predict a successful perfermance improvement (PI) program and that are best suited to support change initiatives. Forty-one organizations completed a survey about the presence of critical components, processes used to improve performance, and organizational PI structures. Follow-up site visits were conducted at three organizations. CRITICAL SUCCESS FACTORS FOR A PI PROGRAM: Eight organizational success factors for an effective performance improvement program were identified: (1) Strong Administrative Fxecutive and Performance Improvement Leadership, (2) Active Involvement of the Board of Trustees, (3) Effective Oversight Structure, (4) Expert Performance Improvement Staff, (5) Physician Involvement and Accountability, (6) Active Staff Involvement, (7) Effective Use of Information Resources-Data Used for Decision Making, and (8) Effective Communication Strategy. The approach offered is grounded in the belief that effective organizational structures and processes are prerequisites to improving health care delivery. Although some empirical support for the proposed model is provided, additional research will be required to determine the effectiveness of this approach.

  12. 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.

  13. Factor analysis of the continuous performance test and parent-teacher reports of attention deficit disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raggio, D J; Rhodes, R L; Whitten, J D

    1999-12-01

    The relationships between a computerized measure of attention deficit disorder and scores from two commonly used parent-teacher reports were investigated. A factor analysis of the raw omission and commission scores provided by the Continuous Performance Test and Conners' Parent Rating Scale and the ADD-H Comprehensive Teacher Rating Scale indicated that for a sample of 54 children the Continuous Performance Test was most closely associated with measures of impulsivity and hyperactivity provided by the Conners' rating. This finding was congruent with the use of the Continuous Performance Test in the evaluation as a measure of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and suggestive of a positive and significant relation between this computerized measure of behavior and parents' perception of behavior. Little association was detected between scores on the teachers' scale and omission and commission scores.

  14. 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.

  15. 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).

  16. The value journey: improving cost structure through performance improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeMarco, Victor G; Richards, Barton S; Volkmar, Larry; Gorski, Lauren C

    2016-06-01

    A performance improvement project helped Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center in New York, which serves a highly indigent population, to increase efficiencies and cost savings as it moved toward value-based health care. Specific initiatives included in-depth analyses of provider and employee productivity, performed by focus teams led by executive sponsors and the department directors or managers. Through two broad phases, focusing on nonlabor and labor areas, the organization was able to realize savings amounting to more than $20 million.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: does cognitive behavioral therapy improve home behavior?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fehlings, D L; Roberts, W; Humphries, T; Dawe, G

    1991-08-01

    This study evaluates the effectiveness of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) in improving the home behavior of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Twenty-five boys (age 7 to 13) with a diagnosis of ADHD were randomized to a CBT or supportive therapy control group. Outcome measures included parent and teacher ratings of the child on the Behavior Problem Checklist-Attention Problem Subscale (BPC-AP), and the Self-Control Rating Scale (SCRS), parent ratings on the Modified Werry Weiss Activity Scale, and child ratings on the Piers Harris Self-Concept Scale and Matching Familiar Figures Task. Data were analyzed using a two-way analysis of variance for main effects. A significant improvement favoring CBT was found on the Werry Weiss Scale, which measures the parent's perception of the child's hyperactivity in the home, and the child's rating of his/her self-esteem on the Piers Harris Self-Concept Scale. Other outcome measures did not demonstrate statistical differences. This research provides support for the use of CBT in children with ADHD. CBT was found to improve the parent's perception of the child's hyperactivity in the home as well as the child's self-esteem.

  20. 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…

  1. 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…

  2. 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....

  3. 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

  4. Improving human performance in maintenance personnel

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gonzalez Anez, Francisco [Maintenance Training Centre, TECNATOM, S.A, Avd. Montes de Oca, 1. 28709-San Sebastian de los Reyes, Madrid (Spain); Agueero Agueero, Jorge [Technologic Institute, TECNATOM, S.A, Avd. Montes de Oca, 1. 28709-San Sebastian de los Reyes, Madrid (Spain)

    2010-07-01

    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)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-09-23

    2014), who reported a negative relationship between physio-behavioral coupling and task performance in teams playing a cooperative video game ...Annual Meeting, 19-23 September 2016. 14. Previous research indicates that measures of joint attention provide unique insight into team cognition ...linearly over time, starting out comparatively high and decreasing as a function of time on task. Additionally, we found evidence of negative

  6. Human performance under sustained operations and acute sleep deprivation conditions: toward a model of controlled attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pilcher, June J; Band, David; Odle-Dusseau, Heather N; Muth, Eric R

    2007-05-01

    Although a number of studies have examined the effects of sleep deprivation on performance, the results are not easily explained. The purpose of the current study was to examine the effects of sustained operations and acute sleep deprivation on tasks that require a wide range of information processing. The current study also provided preliminary data on the use of the controlled attention model to better understand the effects of sleep deprivation. There were 24 college students who were paid to remain awake for one night and complete a variety of cognitive and vigilance tasks. Each task was administered four times during the night, once in each testing session (17:30-21:30, 21:45-01:45, 02:30-06:30, and 06:45-10:45). All tasks were counterbalanced across the testing sessions. The data were converted to z-scores and repeated-measures ANOVAs were completed. Performance did not significantly decrease on the more complex cognitive tasks over the night of sleep deprivation. Performance on the vigilance tasks decreased significantly across the night. Examining the characteristics of the cognitive tasks indicated that although they required different types of processing, they encouraged the participants to remain attentive to and engaged in the task. In contrast, the vigilance tasks were less intrinsically interesting and engaging. Thus, it seems likely that the participants were less capable of maintaining attention on the vigilance tasks than the cognitive tasks. These results indicate that a controlled attention model may be useful in better understanding the effects of sustained operations and sleep deprivation on performance.

  7. Peer tutoring for children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: effects on classroom behavior and academic performance.

    OpenAIRE

    DuPaul, G J; Ervin, R A; Hook, C L; McGoey, K E

    1998-01-01

    We investigated the effects of classwide peer tutoring (CWPT) on the classroom behavior and academic performance of students with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Typical instructional activities were contrasted with CWPT for 18 children with ADHD and 10 peer comparison students attending first- through fifth-grade general education classes. CWPT led to increases in active engagement in academic tasks along with reductions in off-task behavior for most participants. Of student...

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Long-term estrogen replacement is associated with improved nonverbal memory and attentional measures in postmenopausal women.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Y R; Giordani, B; Lajiness-O'Neill, R; Zubieta, J K

    2001-12-01

    To determine the cognitive domains improved or preserved by long-term hormone replacement therapy (HRT). A comprehensive neuropsychological test battery was administered to healthy postmenopausal women who had been treated or not treated with long-term HRT without interruption since menopause. Women were recruited by advertisement from a university town and surrounding areas. Women 60 years or older were studied who were treated (n = 16) or not treated (n = 13) with HRT. Neuropsychological testing included tests of memory, verbal fluency, executive functions, attention and concentration, and psychomotor function. Tests of intellectual function, depressive symptoms, and emotional functioning assessed general functions and comparability of the groups. Neuropsychological testing scores were compared between groups. No statistically significant differences between the groups were found for general demographic, intellectual, and psychological measures. Scores from both the Weschler Memory Scale Visual Reproduction (delayed recall) and the Digit Vigilance Test (attention) showed statistically significant better performance and fewer errors in the group of women on HRT. Long-term postmenopausal HRT is associated with higher scores in tests of nonverbal memory and attention.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammad-Ali Nikouei Mahani

    Full Text Available 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.

  12. Improvement of electrophoresis performance by spectral analysis ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This paper describes a new design of standard agarose gel electrophoresis procedure for nucleic acids analysis. The electrophoresis was improved by using the real-time spectral analysis of the samples to increase its performance. A laser beam illuminated the analysed sample at wavelength with the highest absorption of ...

  13. Electrolysis Performance Improvement and Validation Experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schubert, Franz H.

    1992-01-01

    Viewgraphs on electrolysis performance improvement and validation experiment are presented. Topics covered include: water electrolysis: an ever increasing need/role for space missions; static feed electrolysis (SFE) technology: a concept developed for space applications; experiment objectives: why test in microgravity environment; and experiment description: approach, hardware description, test sequence and schedule.

  14. 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...

  15. Significant improvement of electrochemical performance of Cu ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Significant improvement of electrochemical performance of Cu-coated LiVPO4F cathode material for lithium-ion batteries ... School of Mechanical Engineering and Automation, Northeastern University, Shenyang 110819, China; School of Mechanical Engineering, Shenyang University of Chemical Technology, Shenyang ...

  16. Does Reflective Journal Writing Improve Course Performance?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cisero, Cheryl A.

    2006-01-01

    This study investigated whether a reflective journal writing assignment would improve students' course performance. A total of 166 students from undergraduate sections of a course taught by the same instructor over three semesters completed the assignment as part of their requirements. Students (N = 317) from five previous semesters of the same…

  17. 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.

  18. Verbal communication improves laparoscopic team performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shiliang Chang; Waid, Erin; Martinec, Danny V; Bin Zheng; Swanstrom, Lee L

    2008-06-01

    The impact of verbal communication on laparoscopic team performance was examined. A total of 24 dyad teams, comprised of residents, medical students, and office staff, underwent 2 team tasks using a previously validated bench model. Twelve teams (feedback groups) received instant verbal instruction and feedback on their performance from an instructor which was compared with 12 teams (control groups) with minimal or no verbal feedback. Their performances were both video and audio taped for analysis. Surgical backgrounds were similar between feedback and control groups. Teams with more verbal feedback achieved significantly better task performance (P = .002) compared with the control group with less feedback. Impact of verbal feedback was more pronounced for tasks requiring team cooperation (aiming and navigation) than tasks depending on individual skills (knotting). Verbal communication, especially the instructions and feedback from an experienced instructor, improved team efficiency and performance.

  19. 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.

  20. Quiet eye training expedites motor learning and aids performance under heightened anxiety: the roles of response programming and external attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Lee J; Vine, Samuel J; Cooke, Andrew; Ring, Christopher; Wilson, Mark R

    2012-07-01

    Quiet eye training expedites skill learning and facilitates anxiety-resistant performance. Changes in response programming and external focus of attention may explain such benefits. We examined the effects of quiet eye training on golf-putting performance, quiet eye duration, kinematics (clubhead acceleration), and physiological (heart rate, muscle activity) responses. Forty participants were assigned to a quiet eye or technical trained group and completed 420 baseline, training, retention, and pressure putts. The quiet eye group performed more accurately and displayed more effective gaze control, lower clubhead acceleration, greater heart rate deceleration, and reduced muscle activity than the technical trained group during retention and pressure tests. Thus, quiet eye training was linked to indirect measures of improved response programming and an external focus. Mediation analyses partially endorsed a response programming explanation. Copyright © 2012 Society for Psychophysiological Research.

  1. 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…

  2. 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.

  3. The role of habituation and attentional orienting in the disruption of short-term memory performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Röer, Jan Philipp; Bell, Raoul; Dentale, Sandra; Buchner, Axel

    2011-07-01

    A series of experiments explored habituation and dishabituation to repeated auditory distractors. Participants memorised lists of visually presented items in silence or while ignoring continuously presented auditory distractors. No habituation could be observed, in that the size of the auditory distractor effect did not decrease during the experiment. However, there was evidence for attentional orienting when novel auditory material was presented after a long period of repetitive stimulation, in that a change of distractors was associated with a temporary decrease in recall performance. The results are most consistent with theoretical accounts that claim that the auditory distractor effect is caused primarily by automatic interference, but that still allow attention to play a limited role in the short-term maintenance of information.

  4. Can sensory attention focused exercise facilitate the utilization of proprioception for improved balance control in PD?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lefaivre, Shannon C; Almeida, Quincy J

    2015-02-01

    Impaired sensory processing in Parkinson's disease (PD) has been argued to contribute to balance deficits. Exercises aimed at improving sensory feedback and body awareness have the potential to ameliorate balance deficits in PD. Recently, PD SAFEx™, a sensory and attention focused rehabilitation program, has been shown to improve motor deficits in PD, although balance control has never been evaluated. The objective of this study was to measure the effects of PD SAFEx™ on balance control in PD. Twenty-one participants with mild to moderate idiopathic PD completed 12 weeks of PD SAFEx™ training (three times/week) in a group setting. Prior to training, participants completed a pre-assessment evaluating balance in accordance with an objective, computerized test of balance (modified clinical test of sensory integration and balance (m-CTSIB) and postural stability testing (PST)) protocols. The m-CTSIB was our primary outcome measure, which allowed assessment of balance in both eyes open and closed conditions, thus enabling evaluation of specific sensory contributions to balance improvement. At post-test, a significant interaction between time of assessment and vision condition (p=.014) demonstrated that all participants significantly improved balance control, specifically when eyes were closed. Balance control did not change from pre to post with eyes open. These results provide evidence that PD SAFEx™ is effective at improving the ability to utilize proprioceptive information, resulting in improved balance control in the absence of vision. Enhancing the ability to utilize proprioception for individuals with PD is an important intermediary to improving balance deficits. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  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

    2017-11-09

    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. 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.

  7. Improving performance via mini-applications.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Crozier, Paul Stewart; Thornquist, Heidi K.; Numrich, Robert W. (University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN); Williams, Alan B.; Edwards, Harold Carter; Keiter, Eric Richard; Rajan, Mahesh; Willenbring, James M.; Doerfler, Douglas W.; Heroux, Michael Allen

    2009-09-01

    Application performance is determined by a combination of many choices: hardware platform, runtime environment, languages and compilers used, algorithm choice and implementation, and more. In this complicated environment, we find that the use of mini-applications - small self-contained proxies for real applications - is an excellent approach for rapidly exploring the parameter space of all these choices. Furthermore, use of mini-applications enriches the interaction between application, library and computer system developers by providing explicit functioning software and concrete performance results that lead to detailed, focused discussions of design trade-offs, algorithm choices and runtime performance issues. In this paper we discuss a collection of mini-applications and demonstrate how we use them to analyze and improve application performance on new and future computer platforms.

  8. Improvement in Attention and Executive Functions During Isotretinoin Treatment in Patients With Acne

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erdem Deveci

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Background and Design: We assessed attention, memory, verbal-linguistic ability, and executive functions in acne vulgaris patients before and during isotretinoin treatment.Materials and Methods: Fifty-two treatment-naive acne patients at baseline and 24 at the second visit were evaluated. A neurocognitive battery including the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning and Memory Test, Auditory Consonant Trigram Test, Controlled Word Association Test, Digit Span Test, Trail Making Test A and B and the Stroop Test was used. The Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis I Disorders (SCID-I, Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS, and the Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale (LSAS were also applied.Results: We found improvements in attention and executive functions at the second visit in comparison with the baseline evaluations. No alteration was found in verbal episodic memory, learning, working memory, and phonemic verbal fluency (Digit Span Forwards Test p=0.003, Trial Making-A Test p=0.002, Trial Making –B Test p=0.000, Stroop test p=0.028.Discussion: The positive effects of isotretinoin on cognitive functions may be related to the decline in acne lesions and less mental occupation with the social impacts of acne.

  9. 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.

  10. Methods to improve joint attention in young children with autism: a review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paparella T

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Tanya Paparella, Stephanny F N Freeman Department of Child Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, USA Abstract: We provide an overview of studies in the past 10 years (2004–2014 that have aimed to improve joint attention (JA in young children at risk for, or with, autism spectrum disorder. Thirteen randomized controlled trial (RCT interventions were found, which received particular focus. Three studies used intervention methods with a developmental orientation and focused on caregiver-mediated methods. Others used combined developmental and behavioral approaches and delivered intervention via trained interventionists, caregivers, and teachers. Interventions ranged widely in density, both with respect to the amount of intervention delivered weekly and the total duration of intervention. Fourteen single-subject research design (SSRD studies and one quasi-experimental pre–post design study were also included. Notably absent in the RCTs were studies using only behavioral methods, while behavioral methods dominated in the SSRDs. The outcomes of the RCTs using combined behavioral and developmental methods generally demonstrate short-term social communication gains. While some studies demonstrated long-term maintenance and positive outcomes in related areas such as language, many did not. The mixed results for language outcomes indicate a need for further investigation. In addition, future studies should further examine participants' developmental readiness and intervention dose in relation to outcome, as well as aim to isolate active ingredients of interventions. Keywords: intervention, joint attention, joint engagement, language, randomized controlled trial

  11. MCP performance improvement using alumina thin film

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Yuzhen; Yan, Baojun; Liu, Shulin; Zhao, Tianchi; Yu, Yang; Wen, Kaile; Li, Yumei; Qi, Ming

    2017-10-01

    The performance improvement using alumina thin film on a dual microchannel plate (MCP) detector for single electron counting was investigated. The alumina thin film was coated on all surfaces of the MCPs by atomic layer deposition method. It was found that the gain, the single electron resolution and the peak-to-valley ratio of the dual MCP detector were significantly enhanced by coating the alumina thin film. The optimum operating conditions of the new dual MCP detector have been studied.

  12. Improving creativity performance by short-term meditation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ding, Xiaoqian; Tang, Yi-Yuan; Tang, Rongxiang; Posner, Michael I

    2014-03-19

    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. 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. 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). Our results suggested that emotion-related creativity-promoting mechanism may be attributed to short-term meditation.

  13. 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

  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. The Influence of Attentional Focus Instructions and Vision on Jump Height Performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdollahipour, Reza; Psotta, Rudolf; Land, William M

    2016-12-01

    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 attentional focus on the performance of body movements through space (body projection). Participants (N = 24, Mage = 25.0 ± 3.3 years) performed a maximum vertical jump in a room with a 4-m ceiling under full-vision and no-vision conditions. Additionally, participants performed 3 trials under each of 3 attentional conditions, presented in a counterbalanced order: external focus (ExF; "concentrate on the ceiling and try to touch it"), internal focus (InF; "concentrate on your fingers and try to bring them up as high as possible"), and control (Con; no-focus instruction). Results indicated that regardless of visual condition, a statistically significant difference was observed such that participants in the ExF condition (30.93 ± 8.37 cm) jumped significantly higher than participants in both the InF (30.09 ± 8.66 cm, p = .004, d = 0.68) and Con (30.23 ± 8.73 cm, p = .002, d = 0.57) conditions. Furthermore, jump height was overall significantly higher in the full-vision condition compared with the no-vision condition (p = .004, d = 0.47). Importantly, there was no interaction between ExF and vision. The present findings demonstrate the benefit of an ExF on a body projection task and further provide evidence of the independence of ExF and visual information.

  16. Noradrenergic versus dopaminergic modulation of impulsivity, attention and monitoring behaviour in rats performing the stop-signal task: possible relevance to ADHD.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bari, A; Robbins, T W

    2013-11-01

    Deficient response inhibition is a prominent feature of many pathological conditions characterised by impulsive and compulsive behaviour. Clinically effective doses of catecholamine reuptake inhibitors are able to improve such inhibitory deficits as measured by the stop-signal task (SST) in humans and other animals. However, the precise therapeutic mode of action of these compounds in terms of their relative effects on dopamine (DA) and noradrenaline (NA) systems in prefrontal cortical and striatal regions mediating attention and cognitive control remains unclear. We sought to fractionate the effects of global catecholaminergic manipulations on SST performance by using receptor-specific compounds for NA or DA. The results are described in terms of the effects of modulating specific receptor subtypes on various behavioural measures such as response inhibition, perseveration, sustained attention, error monitoring and motivation. Blockade of α2-adrenoceptors improved sustained attention and response inhibition, whereas α1 and β1/2 adrenergic receptor antagonists disrupted go performance and sustained attention, respectively. No relevant effects were obtained after targeting DA D1, D2 or D4 receptors, while both a D3 receptor agonist and antagonist improved post-error slowing and compulsive nose-poke behaviour, though generally impairing other task measures. Our results suggest that the use of specific pharmacological agents targeting α2 and β noradrenergic receptors may improve existing treatments for attentional deficits and impulsivity, whereas DA D3 receptors may modulate error monitoring and perseverative behaviour.

  17. Experience level influences the effect of attentional focus on sprint performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winkelman, Nicklaas C; Clark, Kenneth P; Ryan, Larry J

    2017-04-01

    Two experiments evaluated the influence of attentional focus on 10-meter sprint time and start kinetics in a group of collegiate soccer players and highly experienced sprinters. In Experiment 1, the collegiate soccer players were asked to perform 10-meter sprints under an external focus condition, an internal focus condition and a control condition. For the 10-meter sprint time, the results showed that both the external focus and control conditions resulted in significantly faster sprint times than the internal focus condition. There were no significant differences observed between the external focus and control conditions. There were also no significant differences observed across any of the conditions for a select set of kinetic variables. In Experiment 2, the highly experienced sprinters performed the same 10-meter sprint task using the same instructional conditions as in Experiment 1. For the 10-meter sprint time and kinetic variables, there were no significant differences observed across any of the conditions. These results provide new evidence that experience level mediates the influence of attentional focus on sprint performance. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. 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.

  19. Improving Fatigue Performance of AHSS Welds

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Feng, Zhili [ORNL; Yu, Xinghua [ORNL; ERDMAN III, DONALD L [ORNL; Wang, Yanli [ORNL; Kelly, Steve [ArcelorMittal USA; Hou, Wenkao [ArcelorMittal USA; Yan, Benda [ArcelorMittal USA; Wang, Zhifeng [Colorado School of Mines, Golden; Yu, Zhenzhen [Colorado School of Mines, Golden; Liu, Stephen [Colorado School of Mines, Golden

    2015-03-01

    Reported herein is technical progress on a U.S. Department of Energy CRADA project with industry cost-share aimed at developing the technical basis and demonstrate the viability of innovative in-situ weld residual stresses mitigation technology that can substantially improve the weld fatigue performance and durability of auto-body structures. The developed technology would be costeffective and practical in high-volume vehicle production environment. Enhancing weld fatigue performance would address a critical technology gap that impedes the widespread use of advanced high-strength steels (AHSS) and other lightweight materials for auto body structure light-weighting. This means that the automotive industry can take full advantage of the AHSS in strength, durability and crashworthiness without the concern of the relatively weak weld fatigue performance. The project comprises both technological innovations in weld residual stress mitigation and due-diligence residual stress measurement and fatigue performance evaluation. Two approaches were investigated. The first one was the use of low temperature phase transformation (LTPT) weld filler wire, and the second focused on novel thermo-mechanical stress management technique. Both technical approaches have resulted in considerable improvement in fatigue lives of welded joints made of high-strength steels. Synchrotron diffraction measurement confirmed the reduction of high tensile weld residual stresses by the two weld residual stress mitigation techniques.

  20. [Improved performance in endurance sports through acupuncture].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benner, Stefan; Benner, K

    2010-09-01

    In many years of experience in treating athletes with acupuncture, I often had the impression that athletes in endurance sports showed improved performances after such treatments. In order to scientifically verify these impressions, I performed a field test with three groups of runners of different performance levels preparing for a marathon. The first group was given acupuncture, the second a placebo, with the third being the control group. After their maximum pulse rates were recorded, the runners were asked to run 5000m four times in 4 weeks at 75 % of their maximum pulse rate. Their pulse rates were measured for each runner at the finish of the run, and subsequently, one, two and five minutes after the run. Based on these data, the complexity factor (running time multiplied by the respective pulse rate) was calculated for all four recorded pulse rates for each run and each runner. All groups showed statistically significant enhancements in their running times and their complexity factors, but in the case of the runners treated with acupuncture, the improvements were highly significant. Therefore, the field test proves that acupuncture has a significant impact on the performance of the athletes in endurance sports. © Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York.

  1. Improving Access to Foundational Energy Performance Data

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Studer, D.; Livingood, W.; Torcellini, P.

    2014-08-01

    Access to foundational energy performance data is key to improving the efficiency of the built environment. However, stakeholders often lack access to what they perceive as credible energy performance data. Therefore, even if a stakeholder determines that a product would increase efficiency, they often have difficulty convincing their management to move forward. Even when credible data do exist, such data are not always sufficient to support detailed energy performance analyses, or the development of robust business cases. One reason for this is that the data parameters that are provided are generally based on the respective industry norms. Thus, for mature industries with extensive testing standards, the data made available are often quite detailed. But for emerging technologies, or for industries with less well-developed testing standards, available data are generally insufficient to support robust analysis. However, even for mature technologies, there is no guarantee that the data being supplied are the same data needed to accurately evaluate a product?s energy performance. To address these challenges, the U.S. Department of Energy funded development of a free, publically accessible Web-based portal, the Technology Performance Exchange(TM), to facilitate the transparent identification, storage, and sharing of foundational energy performance data. The Technology Performance Exchange identifies the intrinsic, technology-specific parameters necessary for a user to perform a credible energy analysis and includes a robust database to store these data. End users can leverage stored data to evaluate the site-specific performance of various technologies, support financial analyses with greater confidence, and make better informed procurement decisions.

  2. Training methods to improve vertical jump performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perez-Gomez, J; Calbet, J A L

    2013-08-01

    This study aims to review the main methods used to improve vertical jump performance (VJP). Although many training routines have been proposed, these can be grouped into four main categories: plyometric training (PT), weight training (WT), whole body vibration training (VT) and electromyostimulation training (ET). PT enhances muscular force, the rate of force development (RFD), muscular power, muscle contraction velocity, cross-sectional area (CSA), muscle stiffness allowing greater storage and release of elastic energy. WT improve muscular force, velocity, power output, and RFD during jumping on a force plate, muscle hypertrophy and neural adaptations. One of the most effective methods to improve VJP is the combination of PT with WT, which takes advantage of the enhancement of maximal dynamic force through WT and the positive effects of PT on speed and force of muscle contraction through its specific effect on type II fibers. Some authors have found an increase in VJP with the use of VT while other did not see such an effect. However, it remains unknown by which mechanisms VT could enhance VJP. ET has been shown to elicit muscle hypertrophy. The VJP may be improved when ET is applied concomitantly with PT or practice of sports. In summary, scientific evidence suggests that the best way to improve VJP is through the combination of PT with WT. Further research is needed to establish if better results are possible by more complex strategies.

  3. Improving Contract Performance by Corrective Actions Plans

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dowd, A.S., jr.

    2002-06-23

    Corrective Action Plans (CAPs) are required to be developed, submitted, and reported upon by the prime contractors for the U.S. Department of Energy (U.S. DOE) Management and Operations (M and O) contracts. The best known CAP ''type,'' and there are many, is for Price-Anderson Amendments Act (PAAA) ''potential noncompliances.'' The M and O contractor fines for PAAA problems have increased from approximately $100,000 in 1996 to almost $2,000,000 in 2000. In order to improve CAP performance at the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) site at Y-12 in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, the contractor chose to centralize the company-wide processes of problem identification and reporting with the PAAA (and other) CAP processes. This directly integrates these functional reports to the contractor General Manager. The functions contained in the M and O contractor central organization, called ''Performance Assurance,'' are: PAAA; Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board (DNFSB) Liaison; Contract Requirements Management; Issues Management (including the CAP processes); Lessons Learned; Independent and Management Assessments; Internal Audits; and Ethics. By centrally locating and managing these problem identification and problem correction functions, the contractor, BWXT Y-12, L.L.C., has improved PAAA (and other) CAP performance more than 200 percent in the first year of the contract. Much of this improvement (see Table 1 for examples) has been achieved by increasing the knowledge and experience of management and workers in the specific contract and company requirements for CAPs. The remainder of this paper will describe some of the many CAP processes at Y-12 to show the reader the non-trivial scope of the CAP process. Improvements in CAP management will be discussed. In addition, a specific recommendation for CAP management, in a major capital construction project, will be presented.

  4. 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.

  5. Is it time to turn our attention toward central mechanisms for post-exertional recovery strategies and performance?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rattray, Ben; Argus, Christos; Martin, Kristy; Northey, Joseph; Driller, Matthew

    2015-01-01

    Key PointsCentral fatigue is accepted as a contributor to overall athletic performance, yet little research directly investigates post-exercise recovery strategies targeting the brainCurrent post-exercise recovery strategies likely impact on the brain through a range of mechanisms, but improvements to these strategies is neededResearch is required to optimize post-exercise recovery with a focus on the brain 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 optimizing recovery of the brain. In this narrative review we assemble evidence for the role that many currently utilized 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 minimizing brain 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.

  6. 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...

  7. 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.

  8. Technetium Getters to Improve Cast Stone Performance

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Neeway, James J.; Lawter, Amanda R.; Serne, R. Jeffrey; Asmussen, Robert M.; Qafoku, Nikolla

    2015-10-15

    The cementitious material known as Cast Stone has been selected as the preferred waste form for solidification of aqueous secondary liquid effluents from the Hanford Tank Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant (WTP) process condensates and low-activity waste (LAW) melter off-gas caustic scrubber effluents. Cast Stone is also being evaluated as a supplemental immobilization technology to provide the necessary LAW treatment capacity to complete the Hanford tank waste cleanup mission in a timely and cost effective manner. Two radionuclides of particular concern in these waste streams are technetium-99 (99Tc) and iodine-129 (129I). These radioactive tank waste components contribute the most to the environmental impacts associated with the cleanup of the Hanford site. A recent environmental assessment of Cast Stone performance, which assumes a diffusion controlled release of contaminants from the waste form, calculates groundwater in excess of the allowable maximum permissible concentrations for both contaminants. There is, therefore, a need and an opportunity to improve the retention of both 99Tc and 129I in Cast Stone. One method to improve the performance of Cast Stone is through the addition of “getters” that selectively sequester Tc and I, therefore reducing their diffusion out of Cast Stone. In this paper, we present results of Tc and I removal from solution with various getters with batch sorption experiments conducted in deionized water (DIW) and a highly caustic 7.8 M Na Ave LAW simulant. In general, the data show that the selected getters are effective in DIW but their performance is comprised when experiments are performed with the 7.8 M Na Ave LAW simulant. Reasons for the mitigated performance in the LAW simulant may be due to competition with Cr present in the 7.8 M Na Ave LAW simulant and to a pH effect.

  9. Objective measurement of motor activity during cognitive performance in adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lis, Stefanie; Baer, N; Stein-en-Nosse, C; Gallhofer, B; Sammer, G; Kirsch, P

    2010-10-01

    This study investigates whether hyperactivity, i.e. an increased level of motor activity, can be observed in adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). An infrared motion-tracking system was used to measure motor activity in 20 unmedicated adults with ADHD and 20 matched healthy controls (HC) during a 1-back working memory task. Motor activity was higher in ADHD. It increased with the duration of testing and co-varied with cognitive performance in ADHD only. Subjective and objective measurements of motor activity were related in HC, but not in ADHD. Higher levels of motor activity in ADHD are objectively measurable not only in children, but in adults as well. It is linked to cognitive performance arguing against distinguishable diagnostic subtypes. The objective measurement of motor activity seems to extend the description of ADHD symptoms derived from rating scales and might thus help to bridge the gap between psychopathological symptom description and neurobiological alterations.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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,…

  14. 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.

  15. Impact of acute aerobic exercise and cardiorespiratory fitness on visuospatial attention performance and serum BDNF levels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsai, Chia-Liang; Chen, Fu-Chen; Pan, Chien-Yu; Wang, Chun-Hao; Huang, Tsang-Hai; Chen, Tzu-Chi

    2014-03-01

    The purpose of the current study was to explore various behavioral and neuroelectric indices after acute aerobic exercise in young adults with different cardiorespiratory fitness levels when performing a cognitive task, and also to gain a mechanistic understanding of the effects of such exercise using the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) biochemical index. Sixty young adults were separated into one non-exercise-intervention and two exercise intervention (EI) (i.e., EIH: higher-fit and EIL: lower-fit) groups according to their maximal oxygen consumption. The participants' cognitive performances (i.e., behavioral and neuroelectric indices via an endogenous visuospatial attention task test) and serum BDNF levels were measured at baseline and after either an acute bout of 30min of moderate intensity aerobic exercise or a control period. Analyses of the results revealed that although acute aerobic exercise decreased reaction times (RTs) and increased the central Contingent Negative Variation (CNV) area in both EI groups, only the EIH group showed larger P3 amplitude and increased frontal CNV area after acute exercise. Elevated BDNF levels were shown after acute exercise for both EI groups, but this was not significantly correlated with changes in behavioral and neuroelectric performances for either group. These results suggest that both EI groups could gain response-related (i.e., RT and central CNV) benefits following a bout of moderate acute aerobic exercise. However, only higher-fit individuals could obtain particular cognition-process-related efficiency with regard to attentional resource allocation (i.e., P3 amplitude) and cognitive preparation processes (i.e., frontal CNV) after acute exercise, implying that the mechanisms underlying the effects of such exercise on neural functioning may be fitness dependent. However, the facilitating effects found in this work could not be attributed to the transient change in BDNF levels after acute exercise. Copyright

  16. Effects of state anxiety on performance using a task-switching paradigm: an investigation of attentional control theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Derakshan, Nazanin; Smyth, Sinéad; Eysenck, Michael W

    2009-12-01

    Low- and high-anxious participants performed arithmetical tasks under task-switching or nontask-switching conditions. These tasks were low or high in complexity. The task on each trial was either explicitly cued or not cued. We assumed that demands on attentional control would be greater in the task-switching condition than in the nontask-switching condition, and would be greater with high-complexity tasks than with low-complexity ones. We also assumed that demands on attentional control would be greater when cues were absent rather than present. According to attentional control theory (Eysenck, Derakshan, Santos, & Calvo, 2007), anxiety impairs attentional control processes required to shift attention optimally within and between tasks. We predicted that there would be greater negative effects of high state anxiety in the task-switching condition than in the nontask-switching condition. Our theoretical predictions were supported, suggesting that state anxiety reduces attentional control.

  17. 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

  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

  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. 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.

  1. The written language performance of children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in Taiwan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Hom-Yi; Chen, Rou-An; Lin, Yu-Shiuan; Yang, Yu-Chi; Huang, Chiung-Wei; Chen, Sz-Chi

    2014-08-01

    Poor writing is common in children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). However, the writing performance of children with ADHD has been rarely formally explored in Taiwan, so the purpose of this study was to investigate writing features of children with ADHD in Taiwan. There were 25 children with ADHD and 25 normal children involved in a standardization writing assessment - Written Language Test for Children, to assess their performance at the dictation, sentence combination, adding/deducting redical, cloze and sentence making subtests. The results showed that except for the score of the sentence combining subtest, the score of children with ADHD was lower than the normal student in the rest of the subtests. Almost 60% of ADHD children's scores were below the 25th percentile numbers, but only 20% for normal children. Thus, writing problems were common for children with ADHD in Taiwan, too. First, children with ADHD performed worse than normal children on the dictation and cloze subtests, showing the weaker abilities of retrieving correct characters from their mental lexicon. Second, children with ADHD performed worse on the adding/deducting redical subtest than normal children did. Finally, at the language level, the score of children with ADHD on the sentence combination subtest was not lower than normal children, implicating their normal grammatic competence. It is worth mentioning that Taiwanese children with ADHD ignore the details of characters when they are writing, a finding that is common across languages. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. 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).

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. GPU Computing to Improve Game Engine Performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abu Asaduzzaman

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Although the graphics processing unit (GPU was originally designed to accelerate the image creation for output to display, today’s general purpose GPU (GPGPU computing offers unprecedented performance by offloading computing-intensive portions of the application to the GPGPU, while running the remainder of the code on the central processing unit (CPU. The highly parallel structure of a many core GPGPU can process large blocks of data faster using multithreaded concurrent processing. A game engine has many “components” and multithreading can be used to implement their parallelism. However, effective implementation of multithreading in a multicore processor has challenges, such as data and task parallelism. In this paper, we investigate the impact of using a GPGPU with a CPU to design high-performance game engines. First, we implement a separable convolution filter (heavily used in image processing with the GPGPU. Then, we implement a multiobject interactive game console in an eight-core workstation using a multithreaded asynchronous model (MAM, a multithreaded synchronous model (MSM, and an MSM with data parallelism (MSMDP. According to the experimental results, speedup of about 61x and 5x is achieved due to GPGPU and MSMDP implementation, respectively. Therefore, GPGPU-assisted parallel computing has the potential to improve multithreaded game engine performance.

  6. 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.

  7. Parental perceptions of academic performance and attainment of children diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnard-Brak, Lucy; Schmidt, Marcelo; Wei, Tianlan; Parker, Sonia L; Attai, Shanna L

    2013-07-01

    We examined parental perceptions of academic performance and attainment of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) according to both parent and child gender along with the interaction of parent and child gender. The current study adds to the body of research by examining the perceptions of parents of children with ADHD according to both parent and child gender. The results indicate that fathers, on the whole, seemed less likely to consider ADHD to have negative academic implications for their children as compared with mothers. With regard to child gender, the fathers seemed less likely to consider ADHD to have negative academic implications for their sons over their daughters. The results suggest that interventions for parents of children with ADHD should be targeted to fathers with sons with ADHD.

  8. Eye movement feedback fails to improve visual search performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peltier, Chad; Becker, Mark W

    2017-01-01

    Many real-world searches (e.g., radiology and baggage screening) have rare targets. When targets are rare, observers perform rapid, incomplete searches, leading to higher miss rates. To improve search for rare (10% prevalence) targets, we provided eye movement feedback (EMF) to observers during their searches. Although the nature of the EMF varied across experiments, each method informed observers about the regions of the display that had not yet been inspected. We hypothesized that feedback would help guide attention to unsearched areas and increase the proportion of the display searched before making a target-absent response, thereby increasing accuracy. An eye tracker was used to mark fixated areas by either removing a semiopaque gray overlay (Experiments 1 and 4) as portions of the display were fixated or by adding the overlay once the eye left a segment of the image (Experiments 2 and 4). Experiment 3 provided automated EMF, such that a new region was uncovered every 540 milliseconds. Across experiments, we varied whether people searched for "Waldo" in images from "Where's Waldo?" search books or searched for a T among offset Ls. We found weak evidence that EMF improves accuracy in Experiment 1. However, in the remaining experiments, EMF had no effect (Experiment 4), or even reduced accuracy (Experiments 2 and 3). We conclude that the one positive result we found is likely a Type I error and that the EMF method that we used is unlikely to improve visual search performance.

  9. 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.

  10. Using Teams to Improve Outcomes and Performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ulrich, Beth; Crider, Nancy Manning

    2017-01-01

    Mastering the use of teams in healthcare organizations can maximize outcomes and optimize the use of resources. Most work in healthcare organizations is done by teams, whether it's the clinical team taking care of patients on a unit, the leadership team accountable for operations of the organization, or a team formed to solve a specific problem, improve quality, or plan an event. Effective teams make organizations successful; ineffective teams can create more problems than they solve. This article describes how to successfully use the power of teams within the healthcare setting, create and develop teams, be a team leader or member, create conditions for team effectiveness and high performance, and provide team training. Copyright© by the American Nephrology Nurses Association.

  11. 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.

  12. PACER Performance of Children Ages 11-14 with Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martinson, Timothy; Butterfield, Stephen A; Mson, Craig A; Tu, Shihfen; Lehnhard, Robert A; Nightingale, Christopher J

    2017-09-05

    The purpose of this study was to examine 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. Also investigated was the possible influence of age, sex, school sport participation, and body mass index (BMI) on results. Utilizing a repeated measures design, 892 middle school children ages 11-14 (mean=12.25, SD=0.94) including 55 children with ADHD participated. While controlling for age, sex, sports participation, and BMI, children were tested on the Progressive Aerobic Cardiovascular Endurance Run (PACER) three times during the school year. Procedures specified in the FITNESSGRAM test manual were explicitly followed. Hierarchical linear modeling (HLM) 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 BMI. A diagnosis of ADHD, independent of selected predictor variables, explained lower PACER performance.

  13. 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.

  14. Can quantization improve error performance in CDMA?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Efraim, Hadar; Yacov, Nadav; Kanter, Ido [Minerva Center and Department of Physics, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan 52900 (Israel); Shental, Ori [Center for Magnetic Recording Research (CMRR), University of California, San Diego (UCSD), 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, CA 92093 (United States)], E-mail: hadar.efraim@mail.biu.ac.il, E-mail: oshental@ucsd.edu, E-mail: nadav.yacov@mail.biu.ac.il, E-mail: kanter@mail.biu.ac.il

    2008-09-12

    A K-user direct-sequence spread-spectrum code-division multiple-access (CDMA) system with (q << log{sub 2}K)-bit baseband signal quantization at the demodulator is considered. It is shown that additionally quantizing the K + 1 level output signal of the CDMA modulator into q bits improves significantly the average bit-error performance in a non-negligible regime of noise variance, {sigma}{sup 2}, and user load, {beta}, under various system settings, like additive white Gaussian noise (AWGN), Rayleigh fading, single-user detection, multi-user detection, random and orthogonal spreading codes. For the case of single-user detection in random spreading AWGN-CDMA, this regime is identified explicitly as {sigma}<{gamma}(q){radical}{beta}, where {gamma}(q) is a certain pre-factor depending on q, and the associated BER improvement is derived analytically for q = 1, 2. For the other examined system settings, computer simulations are provided, corroborating this interesting behavior.

  15. Investigation of microwave antennas with improved performances

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Rongguo

    This dissertation presents the investigation of antennas with improved performances at microwave frequencies. It covers the following three topics: the study of the metamaterial with near-zero index of refraction and its application in directive antenna design, the design technique of a wideband circularly polarized patch antenna for 60GHz wireless application and the investigation of a novel direction of arrival (DOA) estimation technique inspired by human auditory system. First, the metamaterial composed of two-dimensional (2-D) metallic wire arrays is investigated as an effective medium with an effective index of refraction less than unity (neff MUSIC) algorithm is applied to calculate the DOA. The improved estimation accuracy is demonstrated in both simulation and experiment. Furthermore, inspired by the sound localization capability of human using just a single ear, a novel direction of arrival estimation technique using a single UWB antenna is proposed and studied. The DOA estimation accuracies of the single UWB antenna are studied in the x-y, x-z and y-z planes with different Signal to Noise Ratios (SNR). The proposed single antenna DOA technique is demonstrated in both simulation and experiment, although with reduced accuracy comparing with the case of two antennas with a scatter in between. At the end, the conclusions of this dissertation are drawn and possible future works are discussed.

  16. 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

  17. Stimulant adherence and academic performance in urban youth with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marcus, Steven C; Durkin, Michael

    2011-05-01

    This analysis assessed whether stimulant adherence was associated with improvement in academic grade point average (GPA) among children diagnosed with and treated for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Medicaid claims were merged with academic records from Philadelphia public schools of Medicaid-eligible children in first through eighth grades who were diagnosed with ADHD and who had filled one or more stimulant prescription. Students diagnosed with mental retardation, autism, or speech, hearing, visual, or language impairments were excluded. Marking periods were scored for GPA (range: 0-4.0) based on English, mathematics, social studies, and science grades and for stimulant adherence (medication possession ratio ≥ 0.70). Random and fixed-effects models estimated the effects of stimulant adherence on GPA, between all adherent and nonadherent marking periods in aggregate and within individual student's marking periods, respectively. A total of 3,543 students contributed 29,992 marking periods, of which 18.6% were adherent. Mean GPA was significantly higher during stimulant-adherent (2.18) than stimulant-nonadherent (1.99) marking periods in aggregate (p student association between stimulant adherence and GPA over time was 0.108 (p students, and 0.118 for middle school students (all p students with (0.139) than without (0.088) comorbid disruptive behavior disorders (both p students diagnosed with ADHD, was associated with a marginal improvement in GPA. Copyright © 2011 American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Treadmill exercise improves spatial learning ability by enhancing brain-derived neurotrophic factor expression in the attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder rats

    OpenAIRE

    Jeong, Hye Im; Ji, Eun-Sang; Kim, Su-Hyun; Kim, Tae-Wook; Baek, Sang-Bin; Choi, Seung Wook

    2014-01-01

    Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) patients show learning difficulty and impulsiveness. Exercise is known to improve learning ability and memory function. In the present study, we investigated the duration-dependence of the effect of treadmill exercise on spatial learning ability in relation with brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) expression in ADHD rats. For this study, radial 8-arm maze test and western blot for BDNF and tyrosine kinase B (TrkB) were performed. Spontaneou...

  19. Will working memory training generalize to improve off-task behavior in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Chloe T; Long, Debra L; Green, David; Iosif, Ana-Maria; Dixon, J Faye; Miller, Meghan R; Fassbender, Catherine; Schweitzer, Julie B

    2012-07-01

    Computerized working memory and executive function training programs designed to target specific impairments in executive functioning are becoming increasingly available, yet how well these programs generalize to improve functional deficits in disorders, such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), beyond the training context is not well-established. The aim of this study was to examine the extent to which working memory (WM) training in children with ADHD would diminish a core dysfunctional behavior associated with the disorder, "off-task" behavior during academic task performance. The effect of computerized WM training (adaptive) was compared to a placebo condition (nonadaptive) in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled design in 26 children (18 males; age, 7 to 14 years old) diagnosed with ADHD. Participants completed the training in approximately 25 sessions. The Restricted Academic Situations Task (RAST) observational system was used to assess aspects of off-task behavior during the completion of an academic task. Traditional measures of ADHD symptoms (Conners' Parent Rating Scale) and WM ability (standardized WM tests) were also collected. WM training led to significant reductions in off-task ADHD-associated behavior on the RAST system and improvement on WM tests. There were no significant differences between groups in improvement on parent rating scales. Findings lend insight into the generalizability of the effects of WM training and the relation between deficits in WM and off-task behavioral components of ADHD. These preliminary data suggest WM training may provide a mechanism for indirectly altering academic performance in children with ADHD.

  20. 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

  1. A Motor Imagery During Blind Action is Guided by the Same Foci of Attention as Actual Performance in a Sample Comprising Females

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bassem Khalaf

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available There is strong evidence that focussing on the goal of an action improves performance relative to focussing on the concrete motor behaviours. The current study tests whether blind action guided by imagery relies on the same foci of attention. Thirty female participants took part in an experiment. In each condition there were 20 trials, they were asked to close their eyes and draw a straight line between two landmarks on a graphics tablet. We instructed them, in three conditions, to focus on (1 mental imagery of the goal landmark (external focus of attention, (2 drawing a straight line with the fingers (internal focus, or (3 without a specific focus of attention (control. We tested to what extent these attention instructions affected drawing performance, in terms of both deviations of the participants’ lines from an ideal straight line, and the time it took to complete the line. The study revealed that the manipulation specifically affected the deviation measure and that an external focus of attention was better than an internal focus and the control condition. These findings reveal that that mental imagery during blind action relies on same processes as actual performance. These data give perceptual representations of a direct role in motor control. They will be related to current theories of action control (constrained action hypothesis, ideomotor theories, and dual task accounts.

  2. Environmental enrichment improves cognitive deficits in Spontaneously Hypertensive Rats (SHR): relevance for Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pamplona, Fabrício A; Pandolfo, Pablo; Savoldi, Robson; Prediger, Rui Daniel S; Takahashi, Reinaldo N

    2009-10-01

    The interaction between genes and environment seems to be relevant for the development of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), one of the most prevalent childhood psychiatric diseases. The occurrence of ADHD is typically associated with poor academic performance, probably reflecting learning difficulties and/or cognitive impulsiveness. The inbred Spontaneously Hypertensive Rats (SHR) strain has often been considered as an animal model of ADHD, since they 'naturally' display the main ADHD symptomatology. Although pharmacological agents improve SHR's cognitive deficits, little is known about the involvement of environmental factors in SHR disabilities and to what extent 'protective' non-pharmacological factors may be considered as strategy for ADHD prevention. Here we investigated whether the rearing environment during neurodevelopment may counteract later cognitive deficits presented by adult SHR. Wistar (WIS) rats were also used to investigate whether the putative effects of environmental enrichment depend on a specific genetic background. The animals were reared in enriched environment (EE) or standard environment (SE) from the post-natal day 21 until 3 months of age (adulthood) and tested for cognitive and non-cognitive phenotypes. EE improved SHR's performance in open field habituation, water maze spatial reference, social and object recognition tasks, while non-cognitive traits, such as nociception and hypertension, were not affected by EE. Response of WIS rats was generally not affected by the present EE. These results show that the general low cognitive performance presented by SHR rats strongly depends on the rearing environment and they may suggest modifications of the familial environment as a putative preventive strategy to cope with ADHD.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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)

  6. 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

  7. 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

  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. Mechanical performance improvement of electroactive papers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Jaehwan; Seo, Yung B.; Jung, Eunmi

    2001-07-01

    Electro-Active Paper (EAPap) is a paper that produces large displacement with small force under electrical excitation. EAPap is made with a chemically treated paper by bonding thin aluminum foils on both sides of the paper to comprise electrodes. When electric voltage is applied on the electrodes the EAPap produces bending displacement. However, the displacement output has been unstable and degraded with time scale. To improve the bending performance of EAPap, different paper fibers-broad-leaf, needle-leaf, bacteria cellulose and Korean traditional paper, and additive chemicals are tested. It was observed that needle-leaf paper exhibits better results then others. By eliminating the effect of adhesive layer and selecting a proper paper fiber, the displacement output has been stable with long time scale. The operational principle of EAPap is, we believe, based on the electrostriction effect associated with intermolecular interaction of the constituents of the paper. To confirm this result, more investigation of the paper quality should be followed in the beginning of paper manufacturing process. Since EAPaps are quite simple to fabricate and lightweight, various applications including flexible speakers, active sound absorbing materials and smart shape control devices can be possible.

  10. 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.

  11. Attentional Focus Effects in Standing Long Jump Performance: Influence of a Broad and Narrow Internal Focus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becker, Kevin A; Smith, Peter J K

    2015-07-01

    The content of instructions that strength coaches give can have a significant impact on how an athlete or client performs. Research on motor learning has shown an advantage of instructions focusing on the effects of movements (external focus) over those focusing on the movements themselves (internal focus) in the performance of motor skills. Internally focused cues are abundant in coaching, therefore the purpose of this study was to test whether some internally focused cues might be more helpful than others. Participants (68) were randomly assigned to either an external focus (EX), broad internal focus (B-IN), narrow internal focus (N-IN), or a control group (CON), and performed 5 standing long jumps. All groups were instructed that the goal was to jump as far as possible. In addition, the EX group was told to "jump as far past the start line as possible." The B-IN group was told to "use your legs." The N-IN group was told to "extend your knees as rapidly as possible," and the CON group received no additional instruction. An analysis of covariance showed that the EX group (198.09 ± 31.89 cm) jumped significantly farther than both the B-IN group (173.74 ± 35.36 cm), p = 0.010 and the N-IN group (178.53 ± 31.17 cm), p = 0.049, with no group different from the CON group. The results suggest that a broad internal focus is no more effective than a narrow internal focus, and that an external focus leads to the greatest jump distance. Strength and conditioning professionals should carefully word their instructions to induce an external focus of attention whenever possible.

  12. 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

  13. Veterans Affairs Information Technology: Management Attention Needed to Improve Critical System Modernizations, Consolidate Data Centers, and Retire Legacy Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-02-07

    Consolidate Data Centers, and Retire Legacy Systems Statement of Statement of David A. Powner, Director Information Technology Management Issues...Management Attention Needed to Improve Critical System Modernizations, Consolidate Data Centers, and Retire Legacy Systems What GAO Found GAO...department had not assessed user satisfaction, or established user satisfaction goals. In addition, VA’s consolidation and closure of data centers

  14. How design can improve company performance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    J.C.M. van den Ende (Jan); M. Candi (Marina); G. Gemser (Gerda)

    2010-01-01

    textabstractEmphasising design and including designers in product development teams contributes to new product success. Likewise, involving designers in developing websites and corporate visual identity helps to improve firm image. When taken together this can contribute to improved

  15. A selective dopamine reuptake inhibitor improves prefrontal cortex-dependent cognitive function: potential relevance to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmeichel, Brooke E; Zemlan, Frank P; Berridge, Craig W

    2013-01-01

    Drugs used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) improve prefrontal cortex (PFC)-dependent cognitive function. The majority of ADHD-related treatments act either as dual norepinephrine (NE) and dopamine (DA) reuptake inhibitors (psychostimulants) or selective NE reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). Certain benztropine analogs act as highly selective DA reuptake inhibitors while lacking the reinforcing actions, and thus abuse potential, of psychostimulants. To assess the potential use of these compounds in the treatment of ADHD, we examined the effects of a well-characterized benztropine analog, AHN 2-005, on performance of rats in a PFC-dependent delayed-alternation task of spatial working memory. Similar to that seen with all drugs currently approved for ADHD, AHN 2-005 dose-dependently improved performance in this task. Clinically-relevant doses of psychostimulants and SNRIs elevate NE and DA preferentially in the PFC. Despite the selectivity of this compound for the DA transporter, additional microdialysis studies demonstrated that a cognition-enhancing dose of AHN 2-005 that lacked locomotor activating effects increased extracellular levels of both DA and NE in the PFC. AHN 2-005 produced a larger increase in extracellular DA in the nucleus accumbens, although the magnitude of this was well below that seen with motor activating doses of psychostimulants. Collectively, these observations suggest that benztropine analogs may be efficacious in the treatment of ADHD or other disorders associated with PFC dysfunction. These studies provide a strong rationale for future research focused on the neural mechanisms contributing to the cognition-enhancing actions and the potential clinical utility of AHN 2-005 and related compounds. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled 'Cognitive Enhancers'. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Hatha Yoga Practice Improves Attention and Processing Speed in Older Adults: Results from an 8-Week Randomized Control Trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gothe, Neha P; Kramer, Arthur F; McAuley, Edward

    2017-01-01

    Age-related cognitive decline is well documented across various aspects of cognitive function, including attention and processing speed, and lifestyle behaviors such as physical activity play an important role in preventing cognitive decline and maintaining or even improving cognitive function. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of an 8-week Hatha yoga intervention on attention and processing speed among older adults. Participants (n = 118; mean age, 62 ± 5.59) were randomly assigned to an 8-week Hatha yoga group or a stretching control group and completed cognitive assessments-Attention Network Task, Trail Making Test parts A and B, and Pattern Comparison Test-at baseline and after the 8-week intervention. Analyses of covariance revealed significantly faster reaction times for the yoga group on the Attention Network Task's neutral, congruent, and incongruent conditions (p ≤ 0.04). The yoga intervention also improved participants' visuospatial and perceptual processing on the Trail Making Test part B (p = 0.002) and pattern comparison (p attentional and information processing abilities. Although the underlying mechanisms remain largely speculative, more systematic trials are needed to explore the extent of cognitive benefits and their neurobiological mechanisms.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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…

  3. 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…

  4. Improving Sports Skill and Sportsmanship in Children Diagnosed with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hupp, Stephen D. A.; Reitman, David

    1999-01-01

    Reports on a multi-component skills and behavior management program for children diagnosed with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder developed in the context of a sports-skills camp. The first component, which studied the efficacy of basketball skills, resulted in decreased dribbling errors. A second component, which implemented a token system…

  5. 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…

  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. Improving classification of posture based attributed attention assessed by ranked crowd-raters

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Patrick Heyer; Jesus Rivas; Luis Sucar; Felipe Orihuela-Espina

    2015-01-01

    .... We previously reported a promissory 69. 72 ± 10. 50 (μ ± σ) of F-measure to use posture as a proxy for attributed attentional state with implications for affective computing applications...

  8. 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.

  9. Association Between Medication Use and Performance on Higher Education Entrance Tests in Individuals With Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Yi; Sjölander, Arvid; Cederlöf, Martin; D'Onofrio, Brian M; Almqvist, Catarina; Larsson, Henrik; Lichtenstein, Paul

    2017-08-01

    Individuals with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are at greater risk for academic problems. Pharmacologic treatment is effective in reducing the core symptoms of ADHD, but it is unclear whether it helps to improve academic outcomes. To investigate the association between the use of ADHD medication and performance on higher education entrance tests in individuals with ADHD. This cohort study observed 61 640 individuals with a diagnosis of ADHD from January 1, 2006, to December 31, 2013. Records of their pharmacologic treatment were extracted from Swedish national registers along with data from the Swedish Scholastic Aptitude Test. Using a within-patient design, test scores when patients were taking medication for ADHD were compared with scores when they were not taking such medication. Data analysis was performed from November 24, 2015, to November 4, 2016. Periods with and without ADHD medication use. Scores from the higher education entrance examination (score range, 1-200 points). Among 930 individuals (493 males and 437 females; mean [SD] age, 22.2 [3.2] years) who had taken multiple entrance tests (n = 2524) and used ADHD medications intermittently, the test scores were a mean of 4.80 points higher (95% CI, 2.26-7.34; P higher education entrance tests during periods they were taking ADHD medication vs nonmedicated periods. These findings suggest that ADHD medications may help ameliorate educationally relevant outcomes in individuals with ADHD.

  10. 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…

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Neural basis of superior performance of action videogame players in an attention-demanding task

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Mishra, Jyoti; Zinni, Marla; Bavelier, Daphne; Hillyard, Steven A

    2011-01-01

    ...) and from non-videogame players (NVGPs) during an attention-demanding task. Participants were presented with a multi-stimulus display consisting of rapid sequences of alphanumeric stimuli presented at rates...

  14. Enhanced expectancies improve performance under pressure

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brad eMcKay

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Beyond skill, beliefs in requisite abilities and expectations can affect performance. This study examined effects of induced perceptions of ability to perform well under generic situations of challenge. Participants (N = 31 first completed one block of 20 trials on a throwing accuracy task. They then completed questionnaires ostensibly measuring individual differences in the ability to perform under pressure. Enhanced-expectancy group participants were told that they were well-suited to perform under pressure, while the control group received neutral information. Subsequently, all participants completed another block of 20 trials on the throwing task, with their performance being videotaped and under the assumption that they could secure a prize for themselves and a paired participant with successful performance. Both groups had similar accuracy scores on the first trial block. The enhanced-expectancy group significantly increased their throwing accuracy in the high-pressure situation (second block, whereas the control group showed no change in performance. Furthermore, beliefs regarding performance under challenge predicted throwing accuracy on the second block. The present findings provide evidence that enhancing individuals’ generic expectancies regarding performance under pressure can affect their motor performance.

  15. 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...

  16. 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.

  17. Performance samples on academic tasks: improving prediction of academic performance

    OpenAIRE

    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 bridging program. Many Dutch universities set up bridging programs that aim to prepare students with non-university degrees in the Netherlands for Master’s programs at the university level. Some univ...

  18. 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

  19. On the temporal characteristics of performance variability in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bernd Feige

    Full Text Available Increased intra-subject variability of reaction times (ISV-RT is one of the most consistent findings in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD. Although the nature of this phenomenon is still unclear, it has been hypothesised to reflect interference from the Default Mode Network (DMN. So far, ISV-RT has been operationally defined either as a frequency spectrum of the underlying RT time series, or as a measure of dispersion of the RT scores distribution. Here, we use a novel RT analysis framework to link these hitherto unconnected facets of ISV-RT by determining the sensitivity of different measures of RT dispersion to the frequency content of the underlying RT time series. N=27 patients with ADHD and N=26 healthy controls performed several visual N-back tasks. Different measures of RT dispersion were repeatedly modelled after individual frequency bands of the underlying RT time series had been either extracted or suppressed using frequency-domain filtering. We found that the intra-subject standard deviation of RT preserves the "1/f noise" characteristic typical of human RT data. Furthermore and most importantly, we found that the ex-Gaussian parameter τ is rather exclusively sensitive to frequencies below 0.025 Hz in the underlying RT time series and that the particularly slow RTs, which nourish τ, occur regularly as part of an quasi-periodic, ultra-slow RT fluctuation. Overall, our results are compatible with the idea that ISV-RT is modulated by an endogenous, slowly fluctuating process that may reflect DMN interference.

  20. 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 < 0.001), Tension-POMS (p < 0.001), and Vigour-POMS (p = 0.01) scales. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. The role of skin conductance level reactivity in the impact of children's exposure to interparental conflict on their attention performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zemp, Martina; Bodenmann, Guy; Mark Cummings, E

    2014-02-01

    Previous research suggests that undermining of attention performance might be one decisive underlying mechanism in the link between marital conflict and children's academic maladjustment, but little is known about specific risk patterns in this regard. This study examines, in an experimental approach, the role of children's history of interparental discord and skin conductance level reactivity (SCLR) as moderators in the link between analogue marital conflict exposure and children's attention. The attention performance of 57 children, aged 11 to 13 years, was assessed prior to and immediately after a 1-min video exposure to either (a) a couple conflict or (b) a neutral condition. SCLR was measured continuously throughout the stimulus presentation. Results indicated that children's family background of interparental conflict and their physiological reactivity moderated the influence of the experimental stimulus on children's short-term attention performance. Lower SCLR served as a protective factor in children from high-conflict homes exposed to the couple conflict. The current study advances the body of knowledge in this field by identifying risk patterns for the development of attention problems in children in relation to marital conflict exposure. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  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, R.M.A.; Veeger, H.E.J.; Hoozemans, Marco J.M.

    2017-01-01

    Objectiev:
    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

  5. Improving the Academic Performance of Athletes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Rosemary

    1986-01-01

    The new higher standards required of entering collegiate athletes will not immediately create change in the performance and attitudes of student athletes. Academic performance of student athletes can be enhanced through the development of a comprehensive program fusing the relationship between athletics and academics. (MD)

  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. 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…

  8. Improving Mobility Performance in Wheelchair Basketball

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Veeger, Thom T.J.; De Witte, Annemarie M.H.; Berger, Monique A.M.; van der Slikke, R.M.A.; Veeger, H.E.J.; Hoozemans, Marco J.M.

    2017-01-01

    Objectiev:
    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

  9. BMI, a performance parameter for speed improvement.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adrien Sedeaud

    Full Text Available The purpose of this study is to investigate the association between anthropometric characteristics and performance in all track and field running events and assess Body Mass Index (BMI as a relevant performance indicator. Data of mass, height, BMI and speed were collected for the top 100 international men athletes in track events from 100 m to marathon for the 1996-2011 seasons, and analyzed by decile of performance. Speed is significantly associated with mass (r = 0.71 and BMI (r = 0.71 in world-class runners and moderately with height (r = 0.39. Athletes, on average were continuously lighter and smaller with distance increments. In track and field, speed continuously increases with BMI. In each event, performances are organized through physique gradients. « Lighter and smaller is better » in endurance events but « heavier and taller is better » for sprints. When performance increases, BMI variability progressively tightens, but it is always centered around a distance-specific optimum. Running speed is organized through biometric gradients, which both drives and are driven by performance optimization. The highest performance level is associated with narrower biometric intervals. Through BMI indicators, diversity is possible for sprints whereas for long distance events, there is a more restrictive aspect in terms of physique. BMI is a relevant indicator, which allows for a clear differentiation of athletes' capacities between each discipline and level of performance in the fields of human possibilities.

  10. 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.

  11. 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...

  12. Neurophysiological Signals of Ignoring and Attending Are Separable and Related to Performance during Sustained Intersensory Attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lenartowicz, Agatha; Simpson, Gregory V.; Haber, Catherine M.; Cohen, Mark S.

    2017-01-01

    The ability to attend to an input selectively while ignoring distracting sensations is thought to depend on the coordination of two processes: enhancement of target signals and attenuation of distractor signals. This implies that attending and ignoring may be dissociable neural processes and that they make separable contributions to behavioral outcomes of attention. In this study, we tested these hypotheses in the context of sustained attention by measuring neurophysiological responses to attended and ignored stimuli in a noncued, continuous, audiovisual selective attention task. We compared these against responses during a passive control to quantify effects of attending and ignoring separately. In both sensory modalities, responses to ignored stimuli were attenuated relative to a passive control, whereas responses to attended stimuli were enhanced. The scalp topographies and brain activations of these modulatory effects were consistent with the sensory regions that process each modality. They also included parietal and prefrontal activations that suggest these effects arise from interactions between top–down and sensory cortices. Most importantly, we found that both attending and ignoring processes contributed to task accuracy and that these effects were not correlated—suggesting unique neural trajectories. This conclusion was supported by the novel observation that attending and ignoring differed in timing and in active cortical regions. The data provide direct evidence for the separable contributions of attending and ignoring to behavioral outcomes of attention control during sustained intersensory attention. PMID:24666167

  13. Improve Compressed Air System Performance with AIRMaster+

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None

    2005-05-01

    AIRMaster+ provides a systematic apporach for assessing the supply-side performance of compressed air systems. Using plant-specific data, the software effectively evaluates supply-side operational costs for various equipment configurations and system pro

  14. Warehouse Performance Improvement at Linfox Logistics Indonesia

    OpenAIRE

    Pratama, Riyan Galuh; Togar M. Simatupang

    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...

  15. Improving Team Performance for Public Health Preparedness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peck, Megan; Scullard, Mickey; Hedberg, Craig; Moilanen, Emily; Radi, Deborah; Riley, William; Bowen, Paige Anderson; Petersen-Kroeber, Cheryl; Stenberg, Louise; Olson, Debra K

    2017-02-01

    Between May 2010 and September 2011, the University of Minnesota School of Public Health partnered with the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) to assess the effect of exercises on team performance during public health emergency response. Participants were divided into 3 research teams exposed to various levels of intervention. Groups consisted of a control group that was given standard MDH training exercises, a didactic group exposed to team dynamics and communication training, and a treatment group that received the didactic training in addition to a post-exercise facilitated debriefing. To assess differences in team performance, teams engaged in 15 functional exercises. Differences in team performance across the 3 groups were identified, although there was no trend in team performance over time for any of the groups. Groups demonstrated fluctuation in team performance during the study period. Attitudinal surveys demonstrated an increase in workplace satisfaction and confidence in training among all groups throughout the study period. Findings from this research support that a critical link exists between training type and team performance during public health emergency response. This research supports that intentional teamwork training for emergency response workers is essential for effective public health emergency response. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2017;11:7-10).

  16. Improving Children's Working Memory and Classroom Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    St Clair-Thompson, Helen; Stevens, Ruth; Hunt, Alexandra; Bolder, Emma

    2010-01-01

    Previous research has demonstrated close relationships between working memory and children's scholastic attainment. The aim of the present study was to explore a method of improving working memory, using memory strategy training. Two hundred and fifty-four children aged five to eight years were tested on measures of the phonological loop,…

  17. 7804 PERFORMANCE OF IMPROVED BEAN VARIETIES IN ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Win7Ent

    2013-06-03

    Jun 3, 2013 ... library.ciat.cgiar.org/articulos/ciat/paperb..Accessed on 27 October 2011. 9. Kanyeka E, Kamala R and R Kasuga Improved Agricultural Technologies. Recommended in Tanzania. The Department of Research and Training,. Ministry of Agriculture Food Security and Cooperatives, Dar Es Salaam,. Tanzania ...

  18. 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

  19. Performance Improvement/HPT Model: Guiding the Process

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dessinger, Joan Conway; Moseley, James L.; Van Tiem, Darlene M.

    2012-01-01

    This commentary is part of an ongoing dialogue that began in the October 2011 special issue of "Performance Improvement"--Exploring a Universal Performance Model for HPT: Notes From the Field. The performance improvement/HPT (human performance technology) model represents a unifying process that helps accomplish successful change, create…

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Improving business performance through brand management practice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Veljković Saša

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The aims of this study are to determine which variables are common as brand management practices, how these variables affect a company’s business performance, and whether there are statistically significant differences between companies in the sample in terms of individual elements of the Brand Management Practice (BMP model. The research took place in Serbia, and comprised 118 managers and specialists involved in marketing and brand management. After validating the proposed BMP model, we found a link between certain variables of the model and companies’ business performance. There are statistically significant differences between companies in terms of individual elements of brand management practice, and we identify three clusters: brand-guided companies, emerging brand companies, and brand-agnostic companies. They differ from each other in terms of: brand-oriented approach, innovativeness, brand support activities, unique marketing offers, marketing channel relationships, brand performance measurement, brand barriers, company size, and specific business area of a key-brand. They also differ according to estimated and actual business and financial performance. The results are valuable for explaining the main drivers of good brand management practice and their effects on business performance in different industry sectors. The implications for managers of domestic companies are also discussed.

  3. 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

  4. 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.; 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

  5. The Effects of Highlighting on the Math Computation Performance and Off-Task Behavior of Students with Attention Problems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kercood, Suneeta; Grskovic, Janice A.

    2009-01-01

    This study evaluated the effects of color highlighting during a math computation task on performance accuracy and behavior of students with attention problems. Using a multiple baseline across participants design, three students solved math computation problems on worksheets with and without highlighting. Off-task behavior recorded from videotape…

  6. Research participation improves student's exam performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gil-Gómez de Liaño, Beatriz; León, Orfelio G; Pascual-Ezama, David

    2012-07-01

    Although there have been several attempts to explore for beneficial effects of research participation in social sciences, most of them have mainly explored satisfaction and students learning perceptions (e.g., Bowman & Waite, 2003). Very few works have studied learning by measuring exam performance. Moreover, participation has been usually conceptualized as a mixture of active and passive participation, including in the same measure different practices such as filling up questionnaires, running experiments or reading and answering questions about a journal article or a scientific conference. The present work tries to determine if there is an advantage due to research participation comparing exam performance, satisfaction and perceived learning of the matter Research Methods in Psychology, in three different groups (non-participating, passive and active participating). As we can see in the results, the mere participation benefits exam performance. Results are discussed in terms of the use of research participation as a new powerful active method in education.

  7. Chewing and Attention: A Positive Effect on Sustained Attention

    OpenAIRE

    Yoshiyuki Hirano; Minoru Onozuka

    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 ...

  8. Improving Student's Lab Practices: the Performance Grade

    CERN Document Server

    Lippi, G L

    2015-01-01

    Instilling good laboratory working attitudes in students is a difficult but very important task, especially in the first level courses. The introduction of a grade, based on the observation of work practices during laboratory sessions, can be strongly beneficial towards the acquisition of positive skills covering not only the technical aspects, but also the acquisition of both independence and team work. Explicit suggestions are given for basing the grade on specific observations and a quantitative analysis is performed to guarantee that the higher intrinsic volatility of the Performance Grade does not affect the final laboratory grade.

  9. Medical Device Regulation: Time to Improve Performance

    OpenAIRE

    Kramer, Daniel B.; Shuai Xu; Kesselheim, Aaron S.

    2012-01-01

    Editors' Summary Background Medical devices—health technologies that are not medicines, vaccines, or clinical procedures—cover a vast range of equipment from the simple to the more complex. Medical devices are essential for patient care, and in the past decade, new devices have offered improved treatment alternatives for many diseases and conditions, leading to substantial growth in the US$350 billion medical device industry. However, new medical devices also pose substantial risks to patient...

  10. HIPO in-flight performance improvements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunham, E. W.; Bida, T. A.; Collins, P. L.; Mandushev, Georgi; Zoonematkermani, S.; Van Cleve, J.; Angerhausen, D.; Mandell, Avi

    2014-07-01

    The High-speed Imaging Photometer for Occultations (HIPO) is a special purpose science instrument for SOFIA. HIPO can be co-mounted with FLITECAM in the so-called FLIPO configuration for stellar occultation or extrasolar planet transit observations. We gained some flight experience with HIPO and FLITECAM in 2011 as described in a previous publication (Dunham, et al., Proc SPIE, 8446-42, 2012). Since that time a number of improvements to HIPO have been made and a deeper understanding of the airborne environment's impact on photometric precision at optical wavelengths has been obtained. The improvements to HIPO include an improved beamsplitter for the FLIPO configuration, adding deep depletion CCDs as a detector option, expanding the filter set to include a Sloan Digital Sky Survey filter set as well as two custom filters for transit work, and an ability to guide the SOFIA telescope using HIPO data being acquired for science purposes. We now understand that variations in PSF size due to varying static air density has a noticeable impact on photometric stability while the related effect of Mach number is unimportant. The seriousness of ozone absorption in the Chappuis band is now understood and an approach to avoid this has been found. Finally we present demonstration transit data to illustrate our current transit photometry capability.

  11. 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.…

  12. 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.

  13. 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…

  14. Blueberries extract supplementation improves physical performance ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Jane

    2011-10-05

    Oct 5, 2011 ... supplementation on physical performance and exercise-induced oxidative stress. 40 male Swiss mice .... was generated by circulating water with a pump, and the strength of the current was adjusted to 8 ... Table 1. Effect of BBE supplementation on the antioxidant enzymes of skeletal muscle of mice. Group.

  15. Does Musical Training Improve School Performance?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wetter, Olive Emil; Koerner, Fritz; Schwaninger, Adrian

    2009-01-01

    In a retrospective study, we compared school performance of 53 children practicing music (group 1) with 67 controls not practicing music (group 2). Overall average marks as well as average marks of all school subjects except sports were significantly higher in children who do (group 1) than in those who do not practice music (group 2). In a…

  16. 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

  17. Performance of Normal and Disabled Nigerian Students on a Selective Attention Task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uba, Anselm

    1982-01-01

    To determine to what extent disabled students may be selected and integrated into the regular schools in Nigeria, 42 normal and blind students were compared for differences in selective attention in a task involving letters and numbers. The hypothesis was substantiated that, because of the sociocultural stigma attached to blindness, normal…

  18. 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

  19. Impact of the Ability to Divide Attention on Reading Performance in Glaucoma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swenor, Bonnielin K; Varadaraj, Varshini; Dave, Paulomi; West, Sheila K; Rubin, Gary S; Ramulu, Pradeep Y

    2017-05-01

    To determine if the ability to divide attention affects the relationship between glaucoma-related vision loss and reading speed. Better eye mean deviation (MD), contrast sensitivity (CS), and better-eye distance visual acuity (VA) were measured in 28 participants with glaucoma and 21 controls. Reading speeds were assessed using MNRead, IRest, and sustained silent reading tests (words per minute, wpm). The ability to divide attention was measured using the Brief Test of Attention (BTA; scored 0-10). Multivariable linear regression models were used to determine the relationship between visual factors and reading speeds. Effect modification by BTA score (low BTA: reading speed on MNRead test for participants with low BTA scores (β = -9 wpm; 95% confidence interval [CI]: -16, -2), but not for those with high BTA scores (β = -2 wpm; 95% CI: -6, +2). Similarly, for the IRest test, worse CS was associated with slower reading speeds (β = -12 wpm; 95% CI: -20, -4) among those with low, but not high BTA scores (β = -4 wpm; 95% CI: -10, +2). For the sustained silent reading test, glaucoma status (versus controls), worse visual field (VF) MD (per 5 dB), and worse CS were associated with 39%, 21%, and 19% slower reading speeds, respectively, for those with low BTA scores (P 0.1 for all). Decreased ability to divide attention, indicated by lower BTA scores, is associated with slower reading speeds in glaucoma with reduced CS and VF defects.

  20. 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…

  1. 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…

  2. 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…

  3. Effects of Tutorial Interventions in Mathematics and Attention for Low-Performing Preschool Children

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnes, Marcia A.; Klein, Alice; Swank, Paul; Starkey, Prentice; McCandliss, Bruce; Flynn, Kylie; Zucker, Tricia; Huang, Chun-Wei; Fall, Anna-Mária; Roberts, Greg

    2016-01-01

    Two intervention approaches designed to address the multifaceted academic and cognitive difficulties of low-income children who enter pre-K with very low math knowledge were tested in a randomized experiment. Blocking on classroom, children who met screening criteria were assigned to a Math + Attention condition in which the Pre-Kindergarten…

  4. Executive and attentional functions in chronic pain: does performance decrease with increasing task load?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2012-01-01

    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

  5. Executive and attentional functions in chronic pain: Does performance decrease with increasing task load?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2012-01-01

    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

  6. Improving fatigue performance of rail thermite welds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Winiar L.

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  7. Multifunctional coprocessed excipients for improved tabletting performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saha, Sumit; Shahiwala, Aliasgar F

    2009-02-01

    With the advancement of tablet manufacturing process, the demand of excipients with improved functionalities, mainly in terms of flow and compression properties, has increased. Coprocessed excipients are a mixture of two or more existing excipients at subparticle level, offer substantial benefits of the incorporated excipients and minimize their drawbacks. These multipurpose excipients have dramatically reduced the number of incorporating excipients in the tablet. The present review discusses the potential advantages of coprocessing and coprocessed excipients, material characteristics required for coprocessing, methods of coprocessing and various coprocessed excipients for direct compression available in the market.

  8. Improvement of Adaptive Cruise Control Performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nakagami Takashi

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper describes the Adaptive Cruise Control system (ACC, a system which reduces the driving burden on the driver. The ACC system primarily supports four driving modes on the road and controls the acceleration and deceleration of the vehicle in order to maintain a set speed or to avoid a crash. This paper proposes more accurate methods of detecting the preceding vehicle by radar while cornering, with consideration for the vehicle sideslip angle, and also of controlling the distance between vehicles. By making full use of the proposed identification logic for preceding vehicles and path estimation logic, an improvement in driving stability was achieved.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Simon; Petersen, Anders; Andersen, Tobias

    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......) found that increasing the contrast of T1 decreased the attentional blink but Chua (2005) found the opposite effect. In the current study, we varied the perceptual difficulty of T1 in the two-target paradigm (Duncan, Ward, & Shapiro, 1994) both by changing the contrast and by changing the exposure...

  14. Improving Robotic Operator Performance Using Augmented Reality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maida, James C.; Bowen, Charles K.; Pace, John W.

    2007-01-01

    The Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator (SPDM) is a two-armed robot that functions as an extension to the end effector of the Space Station Robotics Manipulator System (SSRMS), currently in use on the International Space Station (ISS). Crew training for the SPDM is accomplished using a robotic hardware simulator, which performs most of SPDM functions under normal static Earth gravitational forces. Both the simulator and SPDM are controlled from a standard robotic workstation using a laptop for the user interface and three monitors for camera views. Most operations anticipated for the SPDM involve the manipulation, insertion, and removal of any of several types of Orbital Replaceable Unit (ORU), modules which control various ISS functions. Alignment tolerances for insertion of the ORU into its receptacle are 0.25 inch and 0.5 degree from nominal values. The pre-insertion alignment task must be performed within these tolerances by using available video camera views of the intrinsic features of the ORU and receptacle, without special registration markings. Since optimum camera views may not be available, and dynamic orbital lighting conditions may limit periods of viewing, a successful ORU insertion operation may require an extended period of time. This study explored the feasibility of using augmented reality (AR) to assist SPDM operations. Geometric graphical symbols were overlaid on one of the workstation monitors to afford cues to assist the operator in attaining adequate pre-insertion ORU alignment. Twelve skilled subjects performed eight ORU insertion tasks using the simulator with and without the AR symbols in a repeated measures experimental design. Results indicated that using the AR symbols reduced pre-insertion alignment error for all subjects and reduced the time to complete pre-insertion alignment for most subjects.

  15. Applying sport psychology to improve clinical performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Church, Helen R; Rumbold, James L; Sandars, John

    2017-12-01

    Preparedness for practice has become an international theme within Medical Education: for healthcare systems to maintain their highest clinical standards, junior doctors must "hit the ground running" on beginning work. Despite demonstrating logical, structured assessment and management plans during their undergraduate examinations, many newly qualified doctors report difficulty in translating this theoretical knowledge into the real clinical environment. "Preparedness" must constitute more than the knowledge and skills acquired during medical school. Complexities of the clinical environment overwhelm some junior doctors, who acknowledge that they lack strategies to manage their anxieties, under-confidence and low self-efficacy. If uncontrolled, such negative emotions and behaviors may impede the delivery of time-critical treatment for acutely unwell patients and compound junior doctors' self-doubt, thus impacting future patient encounters. Medical Education often seeks inspiration from other industries for potential solutions to challenges. To address "preparedness for practice," this AMEE Guide highlights sport psychology: elite sportspeople train both physically and psychologically for their discipline. The latter promotes management of negative emotions, distractions and under-confidence, thus optimizing performance despite immense pressures of career-defining moments. Similar techniques might allow junior doctors to optimize patient care, especially within stressful situations. This AMEE Guide introduces the novel conceptual model, PERFORM, which targets the challenges faced by junior doctors on graduation. The model applies pre-performance routines from sport psychology with the self-regulatory processes of metacognition to the clinical context. This model could potentially equip junior doctors, and other healthcare professionals facing similar challenges, with strategies to optimize clinical care under the most difficult circumstances.

  16. Sprint cycling training improves intermittent run performance

    OpenAIRE

    Hardaway Chun-Kwan Chan; Weeraya Ka-Yan Ho; Patrick Shu-Hang Yung

    2018-01-01

    Background/Objective: The aim of this study was to examine the effect of sprint cycling training on the intermittent run performance, sprinting speed, and change of direction (COD) ability of recreational intermittent sports athletes. Methods: Sixteen participants participated in the study. The experimental group (EG, n = 8) received a total of 12 sessions of sprint cycling training in a 4-week period and the control group (CG, n = 8) received no training. Both EG and CG were instructed to...

  17. Algorithms for improved performance in cryptographic protocols.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schroeppel, Richard Crabtree; Beaver, Cheryl Lynn

    2003-11-01

    Public key cryptographic algorithms provide data authentication and non-repudiation for electronic transmissions. The mathematical nature of the algorithms, however, means they require a significant amount of computation, and encrypted messages and digital signatures possess high bandwidth. Accordingly, there are many environments (e.g. wireless, ad-hoc, remote sensing networks) where public-key requirements are prohibitive and cannot be used. The use of elliptic curves in public-key computations has provided a means by which computations and bandwidth can be somewhat reduced. We report here on the research conducted in an LDRD aimed to find even more efficient algorithms and to make public-key cryptography available to a wider range of computing environments. We improved upon several algorithms, including one for which a patent has been applied. Further we discovered some new problems and relations on which future cryptographic algorithms may be based.

  18. 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

    2017-10-10

    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.

  19. 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/.

  20. The role of driver age in performance and attention allocation effects of roadway sign count, format and familiarity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zahabi, Maryam; Machado, Patricia; Pankok, Carl; Lau, Mei Ying; Liao, Yi-Fan; Hummer, Joseph; Rasdorf, William; Kaber, David B

    2017-09-01

    White-on-blue logo signs are used to inform drivers of food, gas, lodging, and attraction businesses at highway interchanges. In this study, 60 drivers were asked to look for food and attraction targets on logo signs while driving in a realistic freeway simulation. The objective of the study was to quantify effects of the number of sign panels (six vs. nine), logo familiarity (familiar vs. unfamiliar), logo format (text vs. pictorial), and driver age (young, middle, and elderly) on performance, attention allocation and target identification accuracy. Results revealed elderly drivers to exhibit worse performance in comparison to middle-age and young groups even though they adopted a more conservative driving strategy. There was no significant effect of the number of panels, logo familiarity, and logo format on driver performance or attention allocation. In target identification, drivers were more accurate with familiar or text-based panels appearing in six-panel signs. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Improving performance of catalysts for water electrolysis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Frydendal, Rasmus

    This Ph.D. thesis presents work on non-noble metal oxide catalysts for the oxygen evolution reaction, OER. This reaction is currently a bottleneck in electrolyzer technologies, which are promising for energy storage purposes. In particular, Polymer Electrolyte Membrane, PEM, cells are attractive...... for decentralised hydrogen stations. PEM electrolyzers rely on scarce noble metals to achieve high effciency and durability, which limits the scalability of the technology. Finding new catalysts for OER is therefore a thriving research field with new materials being reported frequently. However, many of these new...... was evaluated with Electrochemical Quartz Crystal Microbalance measurements combined with Inductively Coupled Plasma - Mass Spectrometry. The results showed that a stable electrochemical performance can be achieved, while a constant mass loss is occurring. The proposed protocol can guide future research efforts...

  2. Effects of state anxiety on performance using a task-switching paradigm: An investigation of attentional control theory

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Derakshan, Nazanin; Smyth, Sinéad; Eysenck, Michael W

    2009-01-01

    .... According to attentional control theory (Eysenck, Derakshan, Santos, & Calvo, 2007), anxiety impairs attentional control processes required to shift attention optimally within and between tasks...

  3. Improving the Performance of Urban Road Intersection.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dr. Fareed M.A.Karim

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Road intersection is responsible for an important proportion of air pollution especially in urban areas, due to long queues of vehicles waiting for discharge. Therefore, it is necessary to quantify their emissions as accurately as possible. In this study an attempt was made to research on reducing the traffic air pollution such as CO, CO2, HC and NOx, fuel consumption and vehicle operating cost along with improving the traffic flow and delay at a road intersection. One major uncontrolled (un signalized intersection in capital city Sana'a (Yemen was chosen for the study. The traffic air pollution, fuel consumption and vehicle operating cost as well as vehicle delay was calculated for the base year 2012 using aaSIDRA 2.0 software developed in Australia. For the horizon year 2022, three scenarios were considered for investigation viz. (1 do nothing, (2 signalizing the intersection and (3 construction of flyover. The analysis shows that for the above mentioned parameters scenario (3 will be the best scenario followed by scenario (2, while worst case scenario will be do nothing.

  4. Flue gas conditioning for improved baghouse performance

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Laudal, D.L.; Miller, S.J.

    1986-02-01

    Baghouse performance has been shown to be dependent on both the chemical and physical properties of the ash. Small amounts of ammonia and sulfur trioxide were added to the flue gas as conditioning agents to modify ash characteristics and reduce fine particulate emissions from a pilot-scale coal combustion/baghouse system. Tests were made with three western low-rank coals which produce difficult to collect fly ash. Total particulate emissions over several cleaning cycles were substantially reduced and fine particulate emissions were reduced up to four orders of magnitude between the cycles. With conditioning baghouse pressure drop increased at a slower rate and reached a lower operating pressure drop after several cleaning cycles. Ash samples were analyzed to determine physical and chemical changes due to ammonia and sulfur trioxide addition. Several ammonia-sulfur compounds were found indicating a complex chemical mechanism. Changes in the fly ash particle size distribution and bulk ash cohesiveness may help explain the physical mechanism by which both pressure drop and particulate emissions are reduced. 14 refs., 7 figs., 4 tab.s

  5. The acute effects of caffeinated versus non-caffeinated alcoholic beverage on driving performance and attention/reaction time.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howland, Jonathan; Rohsenow, Damaris J; Arnedt, J Todd; Bliss, Caleb A; Hunt, Sarah K; Calise, Tamara Vehige; Heeren, Timothy; Winter, Michael; Littlefield, Caroline; Gottlieb, Daniel J

    2011-02-01

    Marketing that promotes mixing caffeinated 'energy' drinks with alcoholic beverages (e.g. Red Bull with vodka) targets young drinkers and conveys the expectation that caffeine will offset the sedating effects of alcohol and enhance alertness. Such beliefs could result in unwarranted risk taking (e.g. driving while intoxicated). The aim of this study was to assess the acute effects of caffeinated versus non-caffeinated alcoholic beverages on a simulated driving task and attention/reaction time. We conducted a 2 × 2 between-groups randomized trial in which participants were randomized to one of four conditions: beer and non-alcoholic beer, with and without caffeine added. Caffeine was added in the same proportion as found in a commercially available caffeinated beer (69 mg/12 oz of beer at 4.8% alc. by vol). Participants were 127 non-dependent, heavy episodic, young adult drinkers (age 21-30) who were college students or recent graduates. The target breath alcohol level was 0.12 g%. Driving performance was assessed with a driving simulator; sustained attention/reaction with the Psychomotor Vigilance Task (PVT). Across the driving and attention/reaction time we found main effects for alcohol, with alcohol significantly impairing driving and sustained attention/reaction time, with mainly large statistical effects; however, the addition of caffeine had no main or interaction effects on performance. The addition of caffeine to alcohol does not appear to enhance driving or sustained attention/reaction time performance relative to alcohol alone. © 2010 The Authors, Addiction © 2010 Society for the Study of Addiction.

  6. The continuous performance test (rCPT) for mice: a novel operant touchscreen test of attentional function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Chi Hun; Hvoslef-Eide, Martha; Nilsson, Simon R O; Johnson, Mark R; Herbert, Bronwen R; Robbins, Trevor W; Saksida, Lisa M; Bussey, Timothy J; Mar, Adam C

    2015-11-01

    Continuous performance tests (CPTs) are widely used to assess attentional processes in a variety of disorders including Alzheimer's disease and schizophrenia. Common human CPTs require discrimination of sequentially presented, visually patterned 'target' and 'non-target' stimuli at a single location. The aims of this study were to evaluate the performance of three popular mouse strains on a novel rodent touchscreen test (rCPT) designed to be analogous to common human CPT variants and to investigate the effects of donepezil, a cholinesterase inhibitor and putative cognitive enhancer. C57BL/6J, DBA/2J and CD1 mice (n = 15-16/strain) were trained to baseline performance using four rCPT training stages. Then, probe tests assessed the effects of parameter changes on task performance: stimulus size, duration, contrast, probability, inter-trial interval or inclusion of flanker distractors. rCPT performance was also evaluated following acute administration of donepezil (0-3 mg/kg, i.p.). C57BL/6J and DBA/2J mice showed similar acquisition rates and final baseline performance following rCPT training. On probe tests, rCPT performance of both strains was sensitive to alteration of visual and/or attentional demands (stimulus size, duration, contrast, rate, flanker distraction). Relative to C57BL/6J, DBA/2J mice exhibited (1) decreasing sensitivity (d') across the 45-min session, (2) reduced performance on probes where the appearance of stimuli or adjacent areas were changed (size, contrast, flanking distractors) and (3) larger dose- and stimulus duration-dependent changes in performance following donepezil administration. In contrast, CD1 mice failed to acquire rCPT (stage 3) and pairwise visual discrimination tasks. rCPT is a potentially useful translational tool for assessing attention in mice and for detecting the effects of nootropic drugs.

  7. Allium sativum L. Improves Visual Memory and Attention in Healthy Human Volunteers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tasnim, Sara; Haque, Parsa Sanjana; Bari, Md. Sazzadul; Hossain, Md. Monir; Islam, Sardar Mohd. Ashraful; Shahriar, Mohammad; Bhuiyan, Mohiuddin Ahmed; Bin Sayeed, Muhammad Shahdaat

    2015-01-01

    Studies have shown that Allium sativum L. (AS) protects amyloid-beta peptide-induced apoptosis, prevents oxidative insults to neurons and synapses, and thus prevent Alzheimer's disease progression in experimental animals. However, there is no experimental evidence in human regarding its putative role in memory and cognition. We have studied the effect of AS consumption by healthy human volunteers on visual memory, verbal memory, attention, and executive function in comparison to control subjects taking placebo. The study was conducted over five weeks and twenty volunteers of both genders were recruited and divided randomly into two groups: A (AS) and B (placebo). Both groups participated in the 6 computerized neuropsychological tests of the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB) twice: at the beginning and after five weeks of the study. We found statistically significant difference (p 0.05) beneficial effects on verbal memory and executive function within a short period of time among the volunteers. Study for a longer period of time with patients suffering from neurodegenerative diseases might yield more relevant results regarding the potential therapeutic role of AS. PMID:26351508

  8. Progenitor cell release plus exercise to improve functional performance in peripheral artery disease: the PROPEL Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Domanchuk, Kathryn; Ferrucci, Luigi; Guralnik, Jack M; Criqui, Michael H; Tian, Lu; Liu, Kiang; Losordo, Douglas; Stein, James; Green, David; Kibbe, Melina; Zhao, Lihui; Annex, Brian; Perlman, Harris; Lloyd-Jones, Donald; Pearce, William; Taylor, Doris; McDermott, Mary M

    2013-11-01

    Functional impairment, functional decline, and mobility loss are major public health problems in people with lower extremity peripheral artery disease (PAD). Few medical therapies significantly improve walking performance in PAD. We describe methods for the PROgenitor cell release Plus Exercise to improve functionaL performance in PAD (PROPEL) Study, a randomized controlled clinical trial designed to determine whether granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF) combined with supervised treadmill walking exercise improves six-minute walk distance more than GM-CSF alone, more than supervised treadmill exercise alone, and more than placebo plus attention control in participants with PAD, respectively. PROPEL Study participants are randomized to one of four arms in a 2 by 2 factorial design. The four study arms are GM-CSF plus supervised treadmill exercise, GM-CSF plus attention control, placebo plus supervised exercise therapy, or placebo plus attention control. The primary outcome is change in six-minute walk distance at 12-week follow-up. Secondary outcomes include change in brachial artery flow-mediated dilation (FMD), change in maximal treadmill walking time, and change in circulating CD34+ cells at 12-week follow-up. Outcomes are also measured at six-week and six-month follow-up. Results of the PROPEL Study will have important implications for understanding mechanisms of improving walking performance and preventing mobility loss in the large and growing number of men and women with PAD. © 2013.

  9. Chewing and Attention: A Positive Effect on Sustained Attention

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yoshiyuki Hirano

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available 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 inspected the attributes of effects on attention in studies investigating the effects of chewing on attention or alertness conducted with pre-post design in healthy subjects, except elderly. We identified 151 references, 22 of which were included: 14 (64% showed positive attributes of effects on attention, 1 (5% showed negative attributes of effects on attention, 5 (23% showed both positive and negative attributes of effects on attention, and 2 (9% showed no significant attributes of effects on attention. Thus, positive attributes of effects of chewing on attention, especially on sustained attention, were shown in over half of the reports. These effects also appeared with improvement in mood and stress relief and were influenced by time-on-task effect. Further studies are needed, but chewing could be useful for modifying cognitive function.

  10. Chewing and attention: a positive effect on sustained attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 inspected the attributes of effects on attention in studies investigating the effects of chewing on attention or alertness conducted with pre-post design in healthy subjects, except elderly. We identified 151 references, 22 of which were included: 14 (64%) showed positive attributes of effects on attention, 1 (5%) showed negative attributes of effects on attention, 5 (23%) showed both positive and negative attributes of effects on attention, and 2 (9%) showed no significant attributes of effects on attention. Thus, positive attributes of effects of chewing on attention, especially on sustained attention, were shown in over half of the reports. These effects also appeared with improvement in mood and stress relief and were influenced by time-on-task effect. Further studies are needed, but chewing could be useful for modifying cognitive function.

  11. Virtual-reality-based attention assessment of ADHD: ClinicaVR: Classroom-CPT versus a traditional continuous performance test.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neguț, Alexandra; Jurma, Anda Maria; David, Daniel

    2017-08-01

    Virtual-reality-based assessment may be a good alternative to classical or computerized neuropsychological assessment due to increased ecological validity. ClinicaVR: Classroom-CPT (VC) is a neuropsychological test embedded in virtual reality that is designed to assess attention deficits in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or other conditions associated with impaired attention. The present study aimed to (1) investigate the diagnostic validity of VC in comparison to a traditional continuous performance test (CPT), (2) explore the task difficulty of VC, (3) address the effect of distractors on the performance of ADHD participants and typically-developing (TD) controls, and (4) compare the two measures on cognitive absorption. A total of 33 children diagnosed with ADHD and 42 TD children, aged between 7 and 13 years, participated in the study and were tested with a traditional CPT or with VC, along with several cognitive measures and an adapted version of the Cognitive Absorption Scale. A mixed multivariate analysis of covariance (MANCOVA) revealed that the children with ADHD performed worse on correct responses had more commissions and omissions errors than the TD children, as well as slower target reaction times . The results showed significant differences between performance in the virtual environment and the traditional computerized one, with longer reaction times in virtual reality. The data analysis highlighted the negative influence of auditory distractors on attention performance in the case of the children with ADHD, but not for the TD children. Finally, the two measures did not differ on the cognitive absorption perceived by the children.

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

    OpenAIRE

    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 tes...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Teri Lawton

    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) using linguistic word building. Visual pathway training in dyslexics to improve direction-discrimination of moving test p...

  14. 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 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 reactor heat exchanger was also investigated, specifically in the gas section. Axial conduction cannot be assumed to be negligible in the reactor heat exchanger because of the iron-based catalytic bed. Results in this section show that axial conduction is detrimental for the system. It was found that for Peclet number greater than 100, axial conduction can be neglected. An alternative solution to address axial conduction was proposed, namely to include a well-insulated non-reacting section (without a catalytic bed) upstream of the reactor. The modified reactor heat exchanger was a novel solution to avoid the negative effect

  15. Improving crop classification through attention to the timing of airborne radar acquisitions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brisco, B.; Ulaby, F. T.; Protz, R.

    1984-01-01

    Radar remote sensors may provide valuable input to crop classification procedures because of (1) their independence of weather conditions and solar illumination, and (2) their ability to respond to differences in crop type. Manual classification of multidate synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imagery resulted in an overall accuracy of 83 percent for corn, forest, grain, and 'other' cover types. Forests and corn fields were identified with accuracies approaching or exceeding 90 percent. Grain fields and 'other' fields were often confused with each other, resulting in classification accuracies of 51 and 66 percent, respectively. The 83 percent correct classification represents a 10 percent improvement when compared to similar SAR data for the same area collected at alternate time periods in 1978. These results demonstrate that improvements in crop classification accuracy can be achieved with SAR data by synchronizing data collection times with crop growth stages in order to maximize differences in the geometric and dielectric properties of the cover types of interest.

  16. What is a clinically important level of improvement in symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hazell, Philip; Lewin, Terry; Sly, Ketrina

    2005-05-01

    To compare the desired and actual reduction in scores on a parent reported behaviour rating scale in a naturalistic sample of children and adolescents who had been treated with psychostimulant medication, referenced to global ratings of treatment benefit. Forty-five parents reporting poor global response to psychostimulant treatment, 44 reporting moderate response, and 49 reporting a high response retrospectively completed Conners rating scales describing their child prior to treatment, the child currently, and how the parent hoped the child would be following treatment. Percentage actual improvement in behaviour rating scales from baseline ranged from around 25% for the poor responders to above 50% for the high responders. Desired improvement was above 50%, with no significant difference between the groups on level of expectation. Percentage cut points used to indicate clinical improvement reported in previous controlled trials of psychostimulant medication are probably too low, and could lead to an overestimate of treatment effect. Expectation of treatment benefit is unlikely to contribute to variation in treatment response.

  17. Improvements in Attention and Decision-Making Following Combined Behavioral Training and Brain Stimulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Filmer, Hannah L; Varghese, Elizabeth; Hawkins, Guy E; Mattingley, Jason B; Dux, Paul E

    2017-07-01

    In recent years there has been a significant commercial interest in 'brain training' - massed or spaced practice on a small set of tasks to boost cognitive performance. Recently, researchers have combined cognitive training regimes with brain stimulation to try and maximize training benefits, leading to task-specific cognitive enhancement. It remains unclear, however, whether the performance gains afforded by such regimes can transfer to untrained tasks, or how training and stimulation affect the brain's latent information processing dynamics. To examine these issues, we applied transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) over the prefrontal cortex while participants undertook decision-making training over several days. Anodal, relative to cathodal/sham tDCS, increased performance gains from training. Critically, these gains were reliable for both trained and untrained tasks. The benefit of anodal tDCS occurred for left, but not right, prefrontal stimulation, and was absent for stimulation delivered without concurrent training. Modeling revealed left anodal stimulation combined with training caused an increase in the brain's rate of evidence accumulation for both tasks. Thus tDCS applied during training has the potential to modulate training gains and give rise to transferable performance benefits for distinct cognitive operations through an increase in the rate at which the brain acquires information. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  18. Quality management system as a tool for improving the performance companies railways

    OpenAIRE

    Grishko, O.

    2014-01-01

    Increasing globalization, railway reforms and growing competition on the transport market require attention towards quality management in railway enterprises. Apart from external competitive advantages, modern quality management system can be useful for railway enterprises to focus on cutting services’ primecost without reducing reliability and quality. Therefore, a quality management system can become a real tool for improving the performance of domestic railway enterprises, a source of econ...

  19. Comparing Auditory Noise Treatment with Stimulant Medication on Cognitive Task Performance in Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: Results from a Pilot Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Söderlund, Göran B W; Björk, Christer; Gustafsson, Peik

    2016-01-01

    Recent research has shown that acoustic white noise (80 dB) can improve task performance in people with attention deficits and/or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). This is attributed to the phenomenon of stochastic resonance in which a certain amount of noise can improve performance in a brain that is not working at its optimum. We compare here the effect of noise exposure with the effect of stimulant medication on cognitive task performance in ADHD. The aim of the present study was to compare the effects of auditory noise exposure with stimulant medication for ADHD children on a cognitive test battery. A group of typically developed children (TDC) took the same tests as a comparison. Twenty children with ADHD of combined or inattentive subtypes and twenty TDC matched for age and gender performed three different tests (word recall, spanboard and n-back task) during exposure to white noise (80 dB) and in a silent condition. The ADHD children were tested with and without central stimulant medication. In the spanboard- and the word recall tasks, but not in the 2-back task, white noise exposure led to significant improvements for both non-medicated and medicated ADHD children. No significant effects of medication were found on any of the three tasks. This pilot study shows that exposure to white noise resulted in a task improvement that was larger than the one with stimulant medication thus opening up the possibility of using auditory noise as an alternative, non-pharmacological treatment of cognitive ADHD symptoms.

  20. Comparing Auditory Noise Treatment with Stimulant Medication on Cognitive Task Performance in Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: Results from a Pilot Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Göran B W Söderlund

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Background: Recent research has shown that acoustic white noise (80 dB can improve task performance in people with attention deficits and/or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD. This is attributed to the phenomenon of stochastic resonance in which a certain amount of noise can improve performance in a brain that is not working at its optimum. We compare here the effect of noise exposure with the effect of stimulant medication on cognitive task performance in ADHD. The aim of the present study was to compare the effects of auditory noise exposure with stimulant medication for ADHD children on a cognitive test battery. A group of typically developed children (TDC took the same tests as a comparison.Methods: Twenty children with ADHD of combined or inattentive subtypes and twenty typically developed children matched for age and gender performed three different tests (word recall, spanboard and n-back task during exposure to white noise (80 dB and in a silent condition. The ADHD children were tested with and without central stimulant medication.Results: In the spanboard- and the word recall tasks, but not in the 2-back task, white noise exposure led to significant improvements for both non-medicated and medicated ADHD children. No significant effects of medication were found on any of the three tasks.Conclusion: This pilot study shows that exposure to white noise resulted in a task improvement that was larger than the one with stimulant medication thus opening up the possibility of using auditory noise as an alternative, non-pharmacological treatment of cognitive ADHD symptoms.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wilms, Inge Linda; Nielsen, Simon

    Visual perception serves as the basis for much of the higher level cognitive processing as well as human activity in general. Here we present normative estimates for the following components of visual perception: the visual perceptual threshold, the visual short-term memory capacity and the visual...... perceptual encoding/decoding speed (processing speed) of visual short-term memory based on an assessment of 94 healthy subjects aged 60-75. The estimates are presented at total sample level as well as at gender level. The estimates were modelled from input from a whole-report assessment based on A Theory...... speed of Visual Short-term Memory (VTSM) but not the capacity of VSTM nor the visual threshold. The estimates will be useful for future studies into the effects of various types of intervention and training on cognition in general and visual attention in particular. (...

  2. Gaining hospital administrators' attention: ways to improve physician-hospital management dialogue.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohn, Kenneth H; Gill, Sandra L; Schwartz, Richard W

    2005-02-01

    Despite marked differences in training and professional interests, physicians and hospital managers face similar problems stemming from the unprecedented rate of change in the health care delivery system: failure of reimbursement to keep pace with rising costs, new therapeutic modalities, increasing government and managed care regulations, heightened consumerism, and an aging patient population. In the face of these mounting challenges, both physicians and hospital managers could benefit significantly from a climate of collaboration and interdependence. This article presents a "case report" of a community teaching hospital in which practicing physicians and hospital administrators collaborated to develop an operating plan for the next 3 years to improve the practice environment. The physicians recommended new clinical priorities to enhance service to patients and families, to improve physician-physician communication, to develop clinical protocols, and to build coordinated diagnostic treatment centers, which the administration has implemented. Physicians and hospital managers can no longer pass on cost increases at will to patients and third-party payers. Nor can physicians and managers ignore the heightened power of patients and third-party payers. Effective dialogue and collaboration are in all parties' interests to optimize patient care and to develop innovative services. Despite the tensions created by competition and rapid change, transformation from a blaming to a learning environment may be a key strategic advantage in today's health care marketplace.

  3. 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.

  4. 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....

  5. Measuring Performance Improvement in a Strategic Planning Context.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parry, Daniel A.; Parry, Arthur E.

    2001-01-01

    Examines employer-assisted tuition support as a means that organizations use to improve human performance, considers how these programs are aligned with the overall strategic interests of the organization, and makes recommendations about how to measure performance improvement efforts in alignment with organization strategy. (LRW)

  6. Contribution of visuospatial attention, short-term memory and executive functions to performance in number interval bisection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ranzini, Mariagrazia; Carbè, Katia; Gevers, Wim

    2017-05-01

    Number interval bisection consists of estimating the mid-number within a pair (1-9=>5). Healthy adults and right-brain damage patients can show biased performance in this task, underestimating and overestimating the mid-number, respectively. The role of visuospatial attention during this task, and its interplay with other cognitive abilities (e.g., working memory) is still object of debate. In this study we explored the relation between visuospatial attention and individual differences in working memory and executive functions during number interval bisection. To manipulate the deployment of visuospatial attention, healthy participants tracked a dot moving to the left or moving to the right while bisecting numerical intervals. We also collected information concerning verbal and visuospatial short-term memory span, and concerning verbal and visuospatial fluency scores. Beside replicating what is typically observed in this task (e.g., underestimation bias), a correlation was observed between verbal short-term memory and bisection bias, and an interesting relation between performance in the number interval bisection, verbal short-term memory, and visuospatial attention. Specifically, performance of those participants with low verbal span was affected by the direction of the moving dot, underestimating at a larger extent when the dot moved leftward than rightward. Finally, it was also observed that participants' verbal fluency ability contributed in the generation of biases in the numerical task. The finding of the involvement of abilities belonging to the verbal domain contributes to unveil the multi-componential nature of number interval bisection. Considering the debate on the nature of number interval bisection and its use in the clinical assessment of deficits following brain damage, this finding may be interesting also from a clinical perspective. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Uncertain behaviours of integrated circuits improve computational performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoshimura, Chihiro; Yamaoka, Masanao; Hayashi, Masato; Okuyama, Takuya; Aoki, Hidetaka; Kawarabayashi, Ken-ichi; Mizuno, Hiroyuki

    2015-11-20

    Improvements to the performance of conventional computers have mainly been achieved through semiconductor scaling; however, scaling is reaching its limitations. Natural phenomena, such as quantum superposition and stochastic resonance, have been introduced into new computing paradigms to improve performance beyond these limitations. Here, we explain that the uncertain behaviours of devices due to semiconductor scaling can improve the performance of computers. We prototyped an integrated circuit by performing a ground-state search of the Ising model. The bit errors of memory cell devices holding the current state of search occur probabilistically by inserting fluctuations into dynamic device characteristics, which will be actualised in the future to the chip. As a result, we observed more improvements in solution accuracy than that without fluctuations. Although the uncertain behaviours of devices had been intended to be eliminated in conventional devices, we demonstrate that uncertain behaviours has become the key to improving computational performance.

  8. Improve strategic supplier performance using DMAIC to develop a Quality Improvement Plan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jardim, Kevin P.

    Supplier performance that meets the requirements of the customer has long plagued quality professionals. Despite the vast efforts by organizations to improve supplier performance, little has been done to standardize the plan to improve performance. This project presents a guideline and problem-solving strategy using a Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control (DMAIC) structured tool that will assist in the management and improvement of supplier performance. An analysis of benchmarked Quality Improvement Plans indicated that this topic needs more focus on how to accomplish improved supplier performance. This project is part of a growing body of supplier continuous improvement efforts. With the input of Zodiac Aerospace quality professionals this project's results provide a solution to Quality Improvement Plans and show objective evidence of its benefits. This project contributes to the future research on similar topics.

  9. Written Expression Performance in Adolescents with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeBono, Tony; Hosseini, Armita; Cairo, Cassandra; Ghelani, Karen; Tannock, Rosemary; Toplak, Maggie E.

    2012-01-01

    We examined written expression performance in a sample of adolescents with ADHD and subthreshold ADHD using two different strategies: examining performance on standardized measures of written expression and using other indicators of written expression developed in this study. We examined associations between standardized measures of written…

  10. Prefrontal cortical-ventral striatal interactions involved in affective modulation of attentional performance: implications for corticostriatal circuit function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christakou, Anastasia; Robbins, Trevor W; Everitt, Barry J

    2004-01-28

    Anatomically segregated systems linking the frontal cortex and the striatum are involved in various aspects of cognitive, affective, and motor processing. In this study, we examined the effects of combined unilateral lesions of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and the core subregion of the nucleus accumbens (AcbC) in opposite hemispheres (disconnection) on a continuous performance, visual attention test [five-choice serial reaction-time task (5CSRTT)]. The disconnection lesion produced a set of specific changes in performance of the 5CSRTT, resembling changes that followed bilateral AcbC lesions while, in addition, comprising a subset of the behavioral changes after bilateral mPFC lesions previously reported using the same task. Specifically, both mPFC/AcbC disconnection and bilateral AcbC lesions markedly affected aspects of response control related to affective feedback, as indexed by perseverative responding in the 5CSRTT. These effects were comparable, although not identical, to those in animals with either bilateral AcbC or mPFC/AcbC disconnection lesions. The mPFC/AcbC disconnection resulted in a behavioral profile largely distinct from that produced by disconnection of a similar circuit described previously, between the mPFC and the dorsomedial striatum, which were shown to form a functional network underlying aspects of visual attention and attention to action. This distinction provides an insight into the functional specialization of corticostriatal circuits in similar behavioral contexts.

  11. Distracting the mind improves performance: an ERP Study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefan M Wierda

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: When a second target (T2 is presented in close succession of a first target (T1, people often fail to identify T2, a phenomenon known as the attentional blink (AB. However, the AB can be reduced substantially when participants are distracted during the task, for instance by a concurrent task, without a cost for T1 performance. The goal of the current study was to investigate the electrophysiological correlates of this paradoxical effect. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Participants successively performed three tasks, while EEG was recorded. The first task (standard AB consisted of identifying two target letters in a sequential stream of distractor digits. The second task (grey dots task was similar to the first task with the addition of an irrelevant grey dot moving in the periphery, concurrent with the central stimulus stream. The third task (red dot task was similar to the second task, except that detection of an occasional brief color change in the moving grey dot was required. AB magnitude in the latter task was significantly smaller, whereas behavioral performance in the standard and grey dots tasks did not differ. Using mixed effects models, electrophysiological activity was compared during trials in the grey dots and red dot tasks that differed in task instruction but not in perceptual input. In the red dot task, both target-related parietal brain activity associated with working memory updating (P3 as well as distractor-related occipital activity was significantly reduced. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The results support the idea that the AB might (at least partly arise from an overinvestment of attentional resources or an overexertion of attentional control, which is reduced when a distracting secondary task is carried out. The present findings bring us a step closer in understanding why and how an AB occurs, and how these temporal restrictions in selective attention can be overcome.

  12. A trial-by-trial analysis reveals more intense physical activity is associated with better cognitive control performance in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartanto, T A; Krafft, C E; Iosif, A M; Schweitzer, J B

    2016-01-01

    Hyperactivity is a key symptom and the most observable manifestation of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The over-activity associated with ADHD can cause specific challenges in academic settings, extracurricular activities and social relationships. Cognitive control challenges are also well established in ADHD. The current study included 44 children between the ages of 10 and 17 diagnosed with ADHD or who were typically developing (TD), all of whom had no psychiatric co-morbidity or significant learning disorders. Participants wore an actometer on their ankle while performing a flanker paradigm in order to objectively measure their rates of activity in association with cognitive control. Analyses assessed the relationship between frequency and intensity of activity to task accuracy on a trial-by-trial basis. A significant interaction effect between group and performance revealed that more intense movement was associated with better performance in the ADHD group but not in the TD group. The ADHD group demonstrated more intense activity than the TD group during correct (but not error) trials. Within-group, children with ADHD generated higher intensity movements in their correct trials compared to their error trials, whereas the TD group did not demonstrate any within-group differences. These findings suggest that excessive motoric activity associated with clinically significant ADHD symptoms may reflect compensatory efforts to modulate attention and alertness. Future research should systematically explore the relationship between motion in ADHD and how it might be used to improve cognitive performance.

  13. Time estimation as a secondary task to measure workload. [attention sharing effect on operator performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hart, S. G.

    1975-01-01

    Variation in the length of time productions and verbal estimates of duration was investigated to determine the influence of concurrent activity on operator time perception. The length of 10-, 20-, and 30-sec intervals produced while performing six different compensatory tracking tasks was significantly longer, 23% on the average, than those produced while performing no other task. Verbal estimates of session duration, taken at the end of each of 27 experimental sessions, reflected a parallel increase in subjective underestimation of the passage of time as the difficulty of the task performed increased. These data suggest that estimates of duration made while performing a manual control task provide stable and sensitive measures of the workload imposed by the primary task, with minimal interference.

  14. The influence of low level pre- and perinatal exposure to PCDD/Fs, PCBs, and lead on attention performance and attention-related behavior among German school-aged children: results from the Duisburg Birth Cohort Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neugebauer, Julia; Wittsiepe, Jürgen; Kasper-Sonnenberg, Monika; Schöneck, Nina; Schölmerich, Axel; Wilhelm, Michael

    2015-01-01

    Prenatal exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and lead are thought to be risk factors for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), whereas the prenatal influence of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and -furans (PCDD/Fs) on attention performance has been less studied. Within the Duisburg Birth Cohort Study, we investigated low-level exposure to these compounds in relation to children's attention. We measured blood levels of PCDD/Fs, PCBs and lead from pregnant mothers (32(nd) week of pregnancy) and PCDD/Fs and PCBs in breast milk (2 weeks after delivery). The attention of school-aged children (N=117) was investigated with a computer-based test battery of attention performance (KITAP) and a parent rating questionnaire of behaviors related to ADHD (FBB-ADHS). Influences of the exposure on attention were analyzed by multiple regression analyses. Increasing prenatal PCDD/F and PCB concentrations were significantly (plead concentrations had few significant associations with attention performance (e.g., a 23% higher number of omission errors in the subtest Distractibility; 95%-CI: 1.00-1.51), whereas ADHD-related behavior (questionnaire based) was increased with increasing lead exposure (Overall-ADHD: 9%; 95%-CI: 1.01-1.17). ADHD-related behavior was negatively associated with prenatal PCDD/F or PCB exposures (e.g., for PCB exposure: -10%; 95%-CI: 0.82-0.99). Pre- and perinatal PCDD/F and PCB exposure may have subtle influences on attention performance in healthy children at low environmental levels, while behavior changes are negatively associated. Furthermore, we provide additional evidence for the impact of prenatal lead exposure on attention deficits. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  15. Redirecting learners' attention during training: effects on cognitive load, transfer test performance and training efficiency

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Merriënboer, J.J.G.; Schuurman, Jan Gerrit; de Croock, M.B.M.; Paas, F.G.W.C.

    2002-01-01

    Cognitive load theory provides guidelines for improving the training of complex cognitive skills and their transfer to new situations. One guideline states that extraneous cognitive load that is irrelevant to the construction of cognitive schemata should be minimised. Experiment 1 (N=26) compares

  16. Spelling performance of students with developmental dyslexia and with developmental dyslexia associated to attention deficit disorder and hyperactivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alves, Débora Cristina; Casella, Erasmo Barbante; Ferraro, Alexandre Arcanjo

    2016-04-01

    Purpose to analyze and classify the spelling performance according to the semiology of spelling error of children with developmental dyslexia (DD) and with developmental dyslexia associated to attention deficit disorder and hyperactivity(DD and ADHD) comparing them to a group of children without learning process complaints. Methods Seventy students, from the third to fifth grade, participated in this study divided as follows: 32 children without complaints of learning difficulties (GI), mean age 9.5 years; 22 students with developmental dyslexia (GII), mean age 10 years; 16 scholars with developmental dyslexia associated to attention deficit disorders and hyperactivity (GIII), mean age 9.9. Spelling skills were assessed through a standardized word dictation task. Results Data indicated that GII and GIII children presented lower performance when compared with typically developed children. There was no statistical difference between the performance of GII and GIII children regarding the score reached in spelling, although GIII children presented the lowest performance. We observed differences between GII and GIII only in the type of misspelling. Conclusion Data from this research contribute to develop better programs for intervention in the studied population.

  17. The influence of observers’ sex on attention-demanding performance depends on performers’ sex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lijun eWang

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Post-error slowing (PES indicates the slower responses after errors than after correct responses. Prior studies mainly focus on how the observation errors influence one own’s performance, there is no study investigating how other’s monitoring influence one own’s performance. Additionally, the issue that whether social context influences the PES effect differently for females and males is still unclear. To address aforementioned issues, we required the participants to interact with a same-sex or opposite-sex partner to complete a color flanker task together (they sat next to each other, Experiment 1. One was the performer (perform the flanker task, and the other was the observer (monitor the error responses of performer. They alternated their roles in two successive blocks. To further verify the role of the interaction context, a control experiment was conducted in the individual context (Experiment 2. The results revealed that (1 larger PES effect was observed in females than in males in the interaction context; (2 the sex difference of PES effect mainly benefited from the opposite-sex interaction; (3 larger PES effect was observed in the interaction context than in the individual context; (4 females’ performances were influenced after an interaction with a same-sex or opposite-sex partner, whereas males’ performances were merely influenced after an interaction with an opposite-sex partner. Taken together, these findings may suggest that (1 interaction context modulates the PES effect differently for females and males; (2 females are more susceptible to social information and hence more effective to adjust the post-error behaviors.

  18. Oscillatory dynamics track motor performance improvement in human cortex.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefan Dürschmid

    Full Text Available Improving performance in motor skill acquisition is proposed to be supported by tuning of neural networks. To address this issue we investigated changes of phase-amplitude cross-frequency coupling (paCFC in neuronal networks during motor performance improvement. We recorded intracranially from subdural electrodes (electrocorticogram; ECoG from 6 patients who learned 3 distinct motor tasks requiring coordination of finger movements with an external cue (serial response task, auditory motor coordination task, go/no-go. Performance improved in all subjects and all tasks during the first block and plateaued in subsequent blocks. Performance improvement was paralled by increasing neural changes in the trial-to-trial paCFC between theta ([Formula: see text]; 4-8 Hz phase and high gamma (HG; 80-180 Hz amplitude. Electrodes showing this covariation pattern (Pearson's r ranging up to .45 were located contralateral to the limb performing the task and were observed predominantly in motor brain regions. We observed stable paCFC when task performance asymptoted. Our results indicate that motor performance improvement is accompanied by adjustments in the dynamics and topology of neuronal network interactions in the [Formula: see text] and HG range. The location of the involved electrodes suggests that oscillatory dynamics in motor cortices support performance improvement with practice.

  19. Oscillatory Dynamics Track Motor Performance Improvement in Human Cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dürschmid, Stefan; Quandt, Fanny; Krämer, Ulrike M.; Hinrichs, Hermann; Heinze, Hans-Jochen; Schulz, Reinhard; Pannek, Heinz; Chang, Edward F.; Knight, Robert T.

    2014-01-01

    Improving performance in motor skill acquisition is proposed to be supported by tuning of neural networks. To address this issue we investigated changes of phase-amplitude cross-frequency coupling (paCFC) in neuronal networks during motor performance improvement. We recorded intracranially from subdural electrodes (electrocorticogram; ECoG) from 6 patients who learned 3 distinct motor tasks requiring coordination of finger movements with an external cue (serial response task, auditory motor coordination task, go/no-go). Performance improved in all subjects and all tasks during the first block and plateaued in subsequent blocks. Performance improvement was paralled by increasing neural changes in the trial-to-trial paCFC between theta (; 4–8 Hz) phase and high gamma (HG; 80–180 Hz) amplitude. Electrodes showing this covariation pattern (Pearson's r ranging up to .45) were located contralateral to the limb performing the task and were observed predominantly in motor brain regions. We observed stable paCFC when task performance asymptoted. Our results indicate that motor performance improvement is accompanied by adjustments in the dynamics and topology of neuronal network interactions in the and HG range. The location of the involved electrodes suggests that oscillatory dynamics in motor cortices support performance improvement with practice. PMID:24586885

  20. Parametric Study for MOV Performance Improvement Using PPM Program

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lee, Seungho; Seon, Juhyoung; Han, Bongsub [SOOSAN INDUSTRIES, Seoul (Korea, Republic of)

    2016-10-15

    Nuclear power plants mainly use Air Operated Valve(hereinafter referred to as AOV) and Motor Operator Valve(hereinafter referred to as MOV) for protecting system, blocking and controlling flow. Field test(static, dynamic test) results and performance prediction program are used to evaluate if MOV currently installed on nuclear power plants has the operational performance. The improvement of operating performance for Flexible Gate valve was confirmed on changing input variables of performance program(PPM). here are several methods through reviewing design basis, changes operating procedures and maintenance work of stem(or packing, etc.) to improve operating performance of MOV generally installed in the nuclear power plants. This study verified the changes of the MOV operating performance through the improvement of stem and hydraulic parts(seat, guide etc.). Especially, MOV operating performance was much greater improved when the Disk Seat Angle was decreasing. Generally, improvement work to minimize friction of seat, disk and guide is limited and dynamic diagnostic testing has to be performed with change in valve factor for improvement of hydraulic parts.

  1. Flashing characters with famous faces improves ERP-based brain-computer interface performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaufmann, T.; Schulz, S. M.; Grünzinger, C.; Kübler, A.

    2011-10-01

    Currently, the event-related potential (ERP)-based spelling device, often referred to as P300-Speller, is the most commonly used brain-computer interface (BCI) for enhancing communication of patients with impaired speech or motor function. Among numerous improvements, a most central feature has received little attention, namely optimizing the stimulus used for eliciting ERPs. Therefore we compared P300-Speller performance with the standard stimulus (flashing characters) against performance with stimuli known for eliciting particularly strong ERPs due to their psychological salience, i.e. flashing familiar faces transparently superimposed on characters. Our results not only indicate remarkably increased ERPs in response to familiar faces but also improved P300-Speller performance due to a significant reduction of stimulus sequences needed for correct character classification. These findings demonstrate a promising new approach for improving the speed and thus fluency of BCI-enhanced communication with the widely used P300-Speller.

  2. Further examination of embedded performance validity indicators for the Conners' Continuous Performance Test and Brief Test of Attention in a large outpatient clinical sample.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharland, Michael J; Waring, Stephen C; Johnson, Brian P; Taran, Allise M; Rusin, Travis A; Pattock, Andrew M; Palcher, Jeanette A

    2018-01-01

    Assessing test performance validity is a standard clinical practice and although studies have examined the utility of cognitive/memory measures, few have examined attention measures as indicators of performance validity beyond the Reliable Digit Span. The current study further investigates the classification probability of embedded Performance Validity Tests (PVTs) within the Brief Test of Attention (BTA) and the Conners' Continuous Performance Test (CPT-II), in a large clinical sample. This was a retrospective study of 615 patients consecutively referred for comprehensive outpatient neuropsychological evaluation. Non-credible performance was defined two ways: failure on one or more PVTs and failure on two or more PVTs. Classification probability of the BTA and CPT-II into non-credible groups was assessed. Sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value were derived to identify clinically relevant cut-off scores. When using failure on two or more PVTs as the indicator for non-credible responding compared to failure on one or more PVTs, highest classification probability, or area under the curve (AUC), was achieved by the BTA (AUC = .87 vs. .79). CPT-II Omission, Commission, and Total Errors exhibited higher classification probability as well. Overall, these findings corroborate previous findings, extending them to a large clinical sample. BTA and CPT-II are useful embedded performance validity indicators within a clinical battery but should not be used in isolation without other performance validity indicators.

  3. Attentional switching in intellectually gifted and average children: effects on performance and ERP.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duan, Xiaoju; Shi, Jiannong

    2014-04-01

    The study compared the performance and brain activity of children who were intellectually gifted or of average intelligence. 13 intellectually gifted (4 girls, 9 boys; M age = 12.0 yr., SD = 0.2) and 13 average children (5 girls, 8 boys; M age = 11.9 yr., SD = 0.3) participated in a task-switching experiment. The children performed a task repeatedly (single-trial blocks) or switched between two different tasks (mixed-trial blocks). Intellectually gifted children performed quicker than the average group for both mixed and single-trial blocks. The electroencephalography P300 amplitude was larger in the mixed compared to the single-trial condition, but this effect was observed only in the gifted children. The results support the notion that gifted children are characterized by a faster maturation that leads to an 'adult-like' brain activity.

  4. Attention to Attention

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tække, Jesper; Paulsen, Michael Eric

    In these years digital media and wireless networks are introduced in upper secondary schools in Denmark. This implies new “attentional objects” like updates on Facebook or tweets on Twitter within instant reach of the pupils and teachers. Also it implies new kinds of attention (awareness) like when...... this interpretation theoretically through systems theory and medium theory. Further we present initial results from the action research project Socio Media Education (SME) in which we work with how teachers and pupils can handle the new attention-demanding situation, so the new media do not mean spoiled teaching...

  5. Non-CEO executive mobility : The impact of poor firm performance and TMT attention

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Buyl, T.P.L.; Boone, Christophe; Wade, James B.

    We present a comprehensive and integrative study of non-CEO executive mobility, proposing two complementary approaches: (1) mobility as a reactive process, driven by poor organizational performance (the dominant approach in prior literature) and (2) mobility as a proactive process, reflecting

  6. Impact of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scanner noise on affective state and attentional performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacob, Shawna N; Shear, Paula K; Norris, Matthew; Smith, Matthew; Osterhage, Jeff; Strakowski, Stephen M; Cerullo, Michael; Fleck, David E; Lee, Jing-Huei; Eliassen, James C

    2015-01-01

    Previous research has shown that performance on cognitive tasks administered in the scanner can be altered by the scanner environment. There are no previous studies that have investigated the impact of scanner noise using a well-validated measure of affective change. The goal of this study was to determine whether performance on an affective attentional task or emotional response to the task would change in the presence of distracting acoustic noise, such as that encountered in a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) environment. Thirty-four young adults with no self-reported history of neurologic disorder or mental illness completed three blocks of the affective Posner task outside of the scanner. The task was meant to induce frustration through monetary contingencies and rigged feedback. Participants completed a Self-Assessment Manikin at the end of each block to rate their mood, arousal level, and sense of dominance. During the task, half of the participants heard noise (recorded from a 4T MRI system), and half heard no noise. The affective Posner task led to significant reductions in mood and increases in arousal in healthy participants. The presence of scanner noise did not impact task performance; however, individuals in the noise group did report significantly poorer mood throughout the task. The results of the present study suggest that the acoustic qualities of MRI enhance frustration effects on an affective attentional task and that scanner noise may influence mood during similar functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) tasks.

  7. Attention, memory, visuoconstructive, and executive task performance in adolescents with anxiety disorders: a case-control community study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rafaela Behs Jarros

    Full Text Available Abstract Objective: The aim of the present study was to assess children and adolescents with mild and severe anxiety disorders for their performance in attention, verbal episodic memory, working memory, visuoconstructive skills, executive functions, and cognitive global functioning and conduct comparative analyses with the performance of children free from anxiety disorders. Methods: Our sample comprised 68 children and adolescents aged 10 to 17 years (41 with current diagnoses of anxiety disorders and 27 controls selected from a larger cross-sectional community sample of adolescents. Children and adolescents with anxiety disorders were categorized into two groups on the basis of anxiety severity (mild or severe. All participants underwent a neuropsychological assessment battery to evaluate attention, verbal episodic memory, working memory, visuoconstructive skills, and executive and cognitive functions. Results: No differences were found in any neuropsychological tests, with the single exception that the group with mild anxiety had better performance on the Digit Span backward test compared to subjects with severe anxiety and to controls (p = 0.041; η2 = 0.11. Conclusions: Not only might anxiety disorders spare main cognitive functions during adolescence, they may even enhance certain working memory processes.

  8. Attention, memory, visuoconstructive, and executive task performance in adolescents with anxiety disorders: a case-control community study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jarros, Rafaela Behs; Salum, Giovanni Abrahão; Silva, Cristiano Tschiedel Belem da; Toazza, Rudineia; Becker, Natália; Agranonik, Marilyn; Salles, Jerusa Fumagalli de; Manfro, Gisele Gus

    2017-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to assess children and adolescents with mild and severe anxiety disorders for their performance in attention, verbal episodic memory, working memory, visuoconstructive skills, executive functions, and cognitive global functioning and conduct comparative analyses with the performance of children free from anxiety disorders. Our sample comprised 68 children and adolescents aged 10 to 17 years (41 with current diagnoses of anxiety disorders and 27 controls) selected from a larger cross-sectional community sample of adolescents. Children and adolescents with anxiety disorders were categorized into two groups on the basis of anxiety severity (mild or severe). All participants underwent a neuropsychological assessment battery to evaluate attention, verbal episodic memory, working memory, visuoconstructive skills, and executive and cognitive functions. No differences were found in any neuropsychological tests, with the single exception that the group with mild anxiety had better performance on the Digit Span backward test compared to subjects with severe anxiety and to controls (p = 0.041; η2 = 0.11). Not only might anxiety disorders spare main cognitive functions during adolescence, they may even enhance certain working memory processes.

  9. Improving Fan System Performance: A Sourcebook for Industry

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    2003-04-01

    This is one of a series of sourcebooks on motor-driven equipment produced by the Industrial Technologies Program. It provides a reference for industrial fan systems users, outlining opportunities to improve fan system performance.

  10. Visuospatial and Attentional Abilities Predict Driving Simulator Performance Among Older HIV-infected Adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foley, J M; Gooding, A L; Thames, A D; Ettenhofer, M L; Kim, M S; Castellon, S A; Marcotte, T D; Sadek, J R; Heaton, R K; van Gorp, W G; Hinkin, C H

    2013-03-01

    To examine the effects of aging and neuropsychological (NP) impairment on driving simulator performance within a human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected cohort. Participants included 79 HIV-infected adults (n = 58 > age 50, n = 21 ≤ 40) who completed a NP battery and a personnel computer-based driving simulator task. Outcome variables included total completion time (time) and number of city blocks to complete the task (blocks). Compared to the younger group, the older group was less efficient in their route finding (blocks over optimum: 25.9 [20.1] vs 14.4 [16.9]; P = .02) and took longer to complete the task (time: 1297.6 [577.6] vs 804.4 [458.5] seconds; P = .001). Regression models within the older adult group indicated that visuospatial abilities (blocks: b = -0.40, P simulator performance. The NP-impaired group performed more poorly on both time and blocks, compared to the NP normal group. Older HIV-infected adults may be at risk of driving-related functional compromise secondary to HIV-associated neurocognitive decline.

  11. Methylphenidate-Related Improvements in Math Performance Cannot Be Explained by Better Cognitive Functioning or Higher Academic Motivation : Evidence From a Randomized Controlled Trial

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kortekaas-Rijlaarsdam, Anne Fleur; Luman, Marjolein; Sonuga-Barke, Edmund; Bet, Pierre; Oosterlaan, Jaap

    2017-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: This study investigated whether improvements in working memory, reaction time, lapses of attention, interference control, academic motivation, and perceived competence mediated effects of methylphenidate on math performance. METHOD: Sixty-three children (ADHD diagnosis; methylphenidate

  12. Improving Industrial Engineering Performance through a Successful Project Management Office

    OpenAIRE

    Spałek, Seweryn

    2013-01-01

    The improvement of industrial engineering performance is currently a key issue. Companies can achieve such an improvement in different ways. One way, especially for companies operating in a multi-project environment, is a successfully operating Project Management Office (PMO). Recent studies have revealed that a successful PMO is a key factor influencing organisational performance. The author of this study conducted a world-wide research with a sample of over four hundred PMO cases to identif...

  13. Using Audio Books to Improve Reading and Academic Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montgomery, Joel R.

    2009-01-01

    This article highlights significant research about what below grade-level reading means in middle school classrooms and suggests a tested approach to improve reading comprehension levels significantly by using audio books. The use of these audio books can improve reading and academic performance for both English language learners (ELLs) and for…

  14. Advanced Materials and Technologies for Structural Performance Improvement

    OpenAIRE

    Stefano Sorace; Bert Blocken; Claudio Borri; Luca Caracoglia; Francisco Javier Molina; Gerhardt Müller

    2016-01-01

    The development of advanced materials and technologies for application to new and existing structures, infrastructures, and equipment, aiming at improving their response to service and extreme loads, represents an emerging issue both from an academic and a professional viewpoint. Relevant performance assessment procedures, based on effective experimental verification methods [1] and refined numerical simulation models [2], are quickly evolving as well. New or improved ...

  15. Training for Template Creation: A Performance Improvement Method

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyons, Paul

    2008-01-01

    Purpose: There are three purposes to this article: first, to offer a training approach to employee learning and performance improvement that makes use of a step-by-step process of skill/knowledge creation. The process offers follow-up opportunities for skill maintenance and improvement; second, to explain the conceptual bases of the approach; and…

  16. Performance improvement of silicon solar cells by nanoporous silicon coating

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dzhafarov T. D.

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available In the present paper the method is shown to improve the photovoltaic parameters of screen-printed silicon solar cells by nanoporous silicon film formation on the frontal surface of the cell using the electrochemical etching. The possible mechanisms responsible for observed improvement of silicon solar cell performance are discussed.

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

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

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

    2017-01-01

    .... 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...

  18. Neurofeedback as an Intervention to Improve Reading Achievement in Students with Attention- Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Inattentive Subtype

    Science.gov (United States)

    La Marca, Jeffry P.; O'Connor, Rollanda E.

    2016-01-01

    Research consistently demonstrates that attention deficits have a deleterious effect on academic achievement. Impairments in attention, and not hyperactivity/impulsivity, are associated with learning difficulties and academic problems in students with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). To date, most studies have focused on symptoms…

  19. Designing a Large-Scale Multilevel Improvement Initiative: The Improving Performance in Practice Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Margolis, Peter A.; DeWalt, Darren A.; Simon, Janet E.; Horowitz, Sheldon; Scoville, Richard; Kahn, Norman; Perelman, Robert; Bagley, Bruce; Miles, Paul

    2010-01-01

    Improving Performance in Practice (IPIP) is a large system intervention designed to align efforts and motivate the creation of a tiered system of improvement at the national, state, practice, and patient levels, assisting primary-care physicians and their practice teams to assess and measurably improve the quality of care for chronic illness and…

  20. Does Multiple Intelligence Improve Performance? Evidence from a ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This study reports the findings of a study that investigated the relationship between multiple intelligence (MI) and academic performance in higher education. It addresses one question: does MI improve academic performance? Taking the case of the finalist cohort of the university's Faculty of Education of the academic year ...

  1. Priming Ability-Relevant Social Categories Improves Intellectual Test Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Phoebe S.; Kennette, Lynne N.; Van Havermaet, Lisa R.; Frank, Nichole M.; McIntyre, Rusty B.

    2012-01-01

    Research shows that priming affects behavioral tasks; fewer studies, however, have been conducted on how social category primes affect cognitive tasks. The present study aimed to examine the effects of social category primes on math performance and word recall. It was hypothesized that Asian prime words would improve math performance and word…

  2. Maintenance performance improvement with System Dynamics : A Corrective Maintenance showcase

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Deenen, R.E.M.; Van Daalen, C.E.; Koene, E.G.C.

    2008-01-01

    This paper presents a case study of an analysis of a Corrective Maintenance process to realize performance improvement. The Corrective Maintenance process is supported by SAP, which has indicated the performance realisation problem. System Dynamics is used in a Group Model Building process to

  3. Linear Motion Systems. A Modular Approach for Improved Straightness Performance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nijsse, G.J.P.

    2001-01-01

    This thesis deals with straight motion systems. A modular approach has been applied in order to find ways to improve the performance. The main performance parameters that are considered are position accuracy, repeatability and, to a lesser extent, cost. Because of the increasing requirements to

  4. Improving Employee Satisfaction Priority through Performance Control Matrix

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shun-Hsing Chen

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available The study addresses Performance Control Matrix (PCM to determine service quality items of priority for improvement. Most businesses focus on customer satisfaction when undertaking surveys of satisfaction and dissatisfaction, while generally neglecting employee satisfaction. Therefore, this study develops an integrated model to improve service quality in Taiwanese finance industry employees. A questionnaire is designed to determine the priority of improvement objectives derived from certain questionnaire items that fall into the improvement zone of the PCM. Ten items are found to fall into the improvement zone of the PCM. The present results show that the finance industry employees surveyed in Taiwan were dissatisfied with their job security, salaries, annual bonus, and fair distribution of operational profits. The ten improvement items mostly belong to two dimensions - ‘Pay and Benefits’ and ‘Motivation’. The managers of the financial institutions should seek to improve these quality attributes by devoting more resources to these items, thus promoting employee satisfaction.

  5. Physician Perceptions of Performance Feedback in a Quality Improvement Activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eden, Aimee R; Hansen, Elizabeth; Hagen, Michael D; Peterson, Lars E

    2017-10-01

    Physician performance and peer comparison feedback can affect physician care quality and patient outcomes. This study aimed to understand family physician perspectives of the value of performance feedback in quality improvement (QI) activities. This study analyzed American Board of Family Medicine open-ended survey data collected between 2004 and 2014 from physicians who completed a QI module that provided pre- and post-QI project individual performance data and peer comparisons. Physicians made 3480 comments in response to a question about this performance feedback, which were generally positive in nature (86%). Main themes that emerged were importance of accurate feedback data, enhanced detail in the content of feedback, and ability to customize peer comparison groups to compare performance to peers with similar patient populations or practice characteristics. Meaningful and tailored performance feedback may be an important tool for physicians to improve their care quality and should be considered an integral part of QI project design.

  6. Maintenance performance improvement with System Dynamics: A Corrective Maintenance showcase

    OpenAIRE

    Deenen, R.E.M.; Van Daalen, C.E.; Koene, E.G.C.

    2008-01-01

    This paper presents a case study of an analysis of a Corrective Maintenance process to realize performance improvement. The Corrective Maintenance process is supported by SAP, which has indicated the performance realisation problem. System Dynamics is used in a Group Model Building process to structure the problem and to develop a dynamic business model with which the process is analysed. This is performed by the evaluation of changes in external factors and interventions in the process on pe...

  7. On the validity of self-report assessment of cognitive abilities: Attentional control scale associations with cognitive performance, emotional adjustment, and personality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Paula G; Rau, Holly K; Suchy, Yana; Thorgusen, Sommer R; Smith, Timothy W

    2017-05-01

    Individual differences in attentional control involve the ability to voluntarily direct, shift, and sustain attention. In studies of the role of attentional control in emotional adjustment, social relationships, and vulnerability to the effects of stress, self-report questionnaires are commonly used to measure this construct. Yet, convincing evidence of the association between self-report scales and actual cognitive performance has not been demonstrated. Across 2 independent samples, we examined associations between self-reported attentional control (Attentional Control Scale; ACS), self-reported emotional adjustment, Five-Factor Model personality traits (NEO Personality Inventory-Revised) and performance measures of attentional control. Study 1 examined behavioral performance on the Attention Network Test (ANT; Fan, McCandliss, Sommer, Raz, & Posner, 2002) and the Modified Switching Task (MST; Suchy & Kosson, 2006) in a large sample (n = 315) of healthy young adults. Study 2 (n = 78) examined behavioral performance on standardized neuropsychological tests of attention, including Conner's Continuous Performance Test-II and subtests from the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scales, Third Edition (WAIS-III; Psychological Corporation, 1997) and Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System (D-KEFS; Delis, Kaplan, & Kramer, 2001). Results indicated that the ACS was largely unrelated to behavioral performance measures of attentional control but was significantly associated with emotional adjustment, neuroticism, and conscientiousness. These findings suggest that although self-reported attentional control may be a useful construct, researchers using the ACS should exercise caution in interpreting it as a proxy for actual cognitive ability or performance. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).

  8. The control algorithm improving performance of electric load simulator

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Chenxia; Yang, Ruifeng; Zhang, Peng; Fu, Mengyao

    2017-01-01

    In order to improve dynamic performance and signal tracking accuracy of electric load simulator, the influence of the moment of inertia, stiffness, friction, gaps and other factors on the system performance were analyzed on the basis of researching the working principle of load simulator in this paper. The PID controller based on Wavelet Neural Network was used to achieve the friction nonlinear compensation, while the gap inverse model was used to compensate the gap nonlinear. The compensation results were simulated by MATLAB software. It was shown that the follow-up performance of sine response curve of the system became better after compensating, the track error was significantly reduced, the accuracy was improved greatly and the system dynamic performance was improved.

  9. Logistics Indicators Could Improve Logistics Performance of Hospitals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wajong Andre M. R.

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Hospitals are institutions in which numerous transactions take place. A significant amount of those transactions happen in the realm of logistics. Logistifics is one of the concern of the hospital’s managing entities. Hospitals must provide a variety of logistics within a limited amount of time. The implementation of hospital logistics indicators were expected to assist the management in improving performance in the logistics units of hospitals in the Province of Jakarta. It was expected that by attending to a number of variables, namely information technology support, logistics management, logistics business intelligence, and logistics performance, such improvement could be achieved. The result of this study provided a description of major indicators that could improve the logistics performance in hospital industry located within the Province of Jakarta. Index Terms: hospital logistics indicator, information technology support, logistics business intelligence, logistic management, logistics performance.

  10. Benchmarking and Performance Improvement at Rocky Flats Environmental Technology Site

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Elliott, C. [Kaiser-Hill Co., LLC, Golden, CO (United States)], Doyle, D. [USDOE Rocky Flats Office, Golden, CO (United States)], Featherman, W.D. [Project Performance Corp., Sterline, VA (United States)

    1997-12-31

    The Rocky Flats Environmental Technology Site (RFETS) has initiated a major work process improvement campaign using the tools of formalized benchmarking and streamlining. This paper provides insights into some of the process improvement activities performed at Rocky Flats from November 1995 through December 1996. It reviews the background, motivation, methodology, results, and lessons learned from this ongoing effort. The paper also presents important gains realized through process analysis and improvement including significant cost savings, productivity improvements, and an enhanced understanding of site work processes.

  11. The effect of methylphenidate on sustained attention among adolescents with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lufi, Dubi; Bassin-Savion, Shiry; Rubel, Lilach

    2015-01-01

    Twenty-seven adolescents diagnosed as having attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) were tested twice with a computerized MATH-CPT (mathematics continuous performance test). In one administration, the participants took medication (methylphenidate, MPH) 1.5 hr before being tested. In another administration, the MATH-CPT was administered without the medication. Treatment with MPH improved the "overall attention level" and in measures of "reaction time" and "impulsivity." MPH did not improve the performance in the four measures of sustained attention. Knowing that treatment with MPH does not improve sustained attention can be helpful in reaching a decision of whether or not a child should be treated with MPH.

  12. Assessing the Effectiveness of a Learning Community Course Design to Improve the Math Performance of First-Year Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hansen, Michele J.; Meshulam, Susan; Parker, Brooke

    2013-01-01

    National attention is focused on the persistent high failure rates for students enrolled in math courses, and the search for strategies to change these outcomes is on. This study used a mixed-method research design to assess the effectiveness of a learning community course designed to improve the math performance levels of firstyear students.…

  13. Event- and time-triggered remembering: the impact of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder on prospective memory performance in children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Talbot, Karley-Dale S; Kerns, Kimberly A

    2014-11-01

    The current study examined prospective memory (PM, both time-based and event-based) and time estimation (TR, a time reproduction task) in children with and without attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). This study also investigated the influence of task performance and TR on time-based PM in children with ADHD relative to controls. A sample of 69 children, aged 8 to 13 years, completed the CyberCruiser-II time-based PM task, a TR task, and the Super Little Fisherman event-based PM task. PM performance was compared with children's TR abilities, parental reports of daily prospective memory disturbances (Prospective and Retrospective Memory Questionnaire for Children, PRMQC), and ADHD symptomatology (Conner's rating scales). Children with ADHD scored more poorly on event-based PM, time-based PM, and TR; interestingly, TR did not appear related to performance on time-based PM. In addition, it was found that PRMQC scores and ADHD symptom severity were related to performance on the time-based PM task but not to performance on the event-based PM task. These results provide some limited support for theories that propose a distinction between event-based PM and time-based PM. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Functional MRI mapping of visual function and selective attention for performance assessment and presurgical planning using conjunctive visual search.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parker, Jason G; Zalusky, Eric J; Kirbas, Cemil

    2014-03-01

    Accurate mapping of visual function and selective attention using fMRI is important in the study of human performance as well as in presurgical treatment planning of lesions in or near visual centers of the brain. Conjunctive visual search (CVS) is a useful tool for mapping visual function during fMRI because of its greater activation extent compared with high-capacity parallel search processes. The purpose of this work was to develop and evaluate a CVS that was capable of generating consistent activation in the basic and higher level visual areas of the brain by using a high number of distractors as well as an optimized contrast condition. Images from 10 healthy volunteers were analyzed and brain regions of greatest activation and deactivation were determined using a nonbiased decomposition of the results at the hemisphere, lobe, and gyrus levels. The results were quantified in terms of activation and deactivation extent and mean z-statistic. The proposed CVS was found to generate robust activation of the occipital lobe, as well as regions in the middle frontal gyrus associated with coordinating eye movements and in regions of the insula associated with task-level control and focal attention. As expected, the task demonstrated deactivation patterns commonly implicated in the default-mode network. Further deactivation was noted in the posterior region of the cerebellum, most likely associated with the formation of optimal search strategy. We believe the task will be useful in studies of visual and selective attention in the neuroscience community as well as in mapping visual function in clinical fMRI.

  15. Improvability of assembly systems I: Problem formulation and performance evaluation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chiang S.-Y.

    2000-01-01

    Full Text Available This work develops improvability theory for assembly systems. It consists of two parts.Part I includes the problem formulation and the analysis technique. Part II presents the so-called improvability indicators and a case study. Improvability theory addresses the questions of improving performance in production systems with unreliable machines. We consider both constrained and unconstrained improvability. In the constrained case, the problem consists of determining if there exists a re-distribution of resources (inventory and workforce, which leads to an increase in the system's production rate. In the unconstrained case, the problem consists of identifying a machine and a buffer, which impede the system performance in the strongest manner. The investigation of the improvability properties requires an expression for the system performance measures as functions of the machine and buffer parameters. This paper presents a method for evaluating these functions and illustrates their practical utility using a case study at an automotive components plant. Part II uses the method developed here to establish conditions of improvability and to describe additional results of the case study.

  16. Structural and functional correlates of motor imagery BCI performance: Insights from the patterns of fronto-parietal attention network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Tao; Liu, Tiejun; Li, Fali; Li, Mengchen; Liu, Dongbo; Zhang, Rui; He, Hui; Li, Peiyang; Gong, Jinnan; Luo, Cheng; Yao, Dezhong; Xu, Peng

    2016-07-01

    Motor imagery (MI)-based brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) have been widely used for rehabilitation of motor abilities and prosthesis control for patients with motor impairments. However, MI-BCI performance exhibits a wide variability across subjects, and the underlying neural mechanism remains unclear. Several studies have demonstrated that both the fronto-parietal attention network (FPAN) and MI are involved in high-level cognitive processes that are crucial for the control of BCIs. Therefore, we hypothesized that the FPAN may play an important role in MI-BCI performance. In our study, we recorded multi-modal datasets consisting of MI electroencephalography (EEG) signals, T1-weighted structural and resting-state functional MRI data for each subject. MI-BCI performance was evaluated using the common spatial pattern to extract the MI features from EEG signals. One cortical structural feature (cortical thickness (CT)) and two measurements (degree centrality (DC) and eigenvector centrality (EC)) of node centrality were derived from the structural and functional MRI data, respectively. Based on the information extracted from the EEG and MRI, a correlation analysis was used to elucidate the relationships between the FPAN and MI-BCI performance. Our results show that the DC of the right ventral intraparietal sulcus, the EC and CT of the left inferior parietal lobe, and the CT of the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex were significantly associated with MI-BCI performance. Moreover, the receiver operating characteristic analysis and machine learning classification revealed that the EC and CT of the left IPL could effectively predict the low-aptitude BCI users from the high-aptitude BCI users with 83.3% accuracy. Those findings consistently reveal that the individuals who have efficient FPAN would perform better on MI-BCI. Our findings may deepen the understanding of individual variability in MI-BCI performance, and also may provide a new biomarker to predict individual

  17. Comparing the Effectiveness of Paroxetine, Attention Modification Program and Combination of both on Improving Social Anxiety Symptoms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aliasghar Asgharnejad Farid

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: Although the effectiveness of paroxetine and Attention Modification Program has been studied separately in treating social anxiety disorder, there has been no research comparing them according to the literature. The aim of this study was to compare the effectiveness of paroxetine, Attention Modification Program (AMP and combination of both on improving the Social Anxiety Symptoms.Methods:33 patients meeting DSM-IV-TR criteria for social anxiety disorder were randomly assigned in 3 groups: 11 in paroxetine group, 11 in AMP group and 11 in combined group. Treatment intervention was done during 8 weeks period. Social Phobia Inventory (SPIN, Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-II and Sheehan Disability Scale (SDS were administered before and after treatment intervention. One-way Analysis of Covariance (ANCOVA was used to determine the differences and efficacy of treatment interventions between groups. Data analysis was done by SPSS-16 software.Results:28 participants completed the treatment period. One-way ANCOVA results showed statistically significant differences in post-treatment scores of social phobia (p=0/007, depressive symptoms (p=0.007 and daily life functioning (p=0.011 between three groups. Bonferroni correction showed that combined treatment is significantly more effective than AMP in reducing social phobia symptoms (p=0.007, depressive symptoms (p=0.022 and enhancing daily life functioning (0.019. Yet, there were no significant differences between Paroxetine and combined treatment in all post-treatment scores (p=0.890, p=1.000, p=1.000 for social phobia, depressive symptoms and daily life functioning respectively. Paroxetine showed more significant improvement of depressive symptoms (p=0.016 and enhancing daily life functioning (p=0.045 than AMP. Also, there were no significant differences between paroxetine and AMP in reducing social anxiety symptoms.Discussion:It seems that paroxetine has wider effect in reducing social

  18. The effects of attentional focus on jump performance and knee joint kinematics in patients after ACL reconstruction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gokeler, Alli; Benjaminse, Anne; Welling, Wouter; Alferink, Malou; Eppinga, Peter; Otten, Bert

    2015-05-01

    The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of an internal and external attentional focus on single leg hop jump distance and knee kinematics in patients after ACL reconstruction (ACLR). Experimental. Outpatient physical therapy facility. Sixteen patients after ACLR. Patients received either an instruction with an internal focus or an external focus before performing a single leg hop jump. The jump distance, knee valgus angle at initial contact, peak knee valgus angle, knee flexion angle at initial contact, peak knee flexion angle, total ROM and time to peak angles for the injured and non-injured legs were recorded. A repeated measures MANOVA was used to determine significance between the experimental conditions with the primary outcome measures as dependent variables. The external focus group had significant larger knee flexion angles at initial contact, peak knee flexion, total ROM and time to peak knee flexion for the injured legs. This study demonstrates the applicability of using an external focus during rehabilitation of patients after ACLR to enhance safer movement patterns compared to an internal focus of attention and subsequently may help to reduce second ACL injury risk. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. 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...... factors, determination of induction in center of rotor, measurements of yaw error, inflow angles and turbulence intensity, and measurements of power performance, comparing the spinner anemometer with the mast cup anemometer and the nacelle anemometer. A statistic of yaw error measurements were made...... in the Vedersø Kær wind farm on nine wind turbines. Finally, estimates of potential power performance gain on the wind farm and the test wind turbine by optimized yaw error measurements was made....

  20. Carbohydrate mouth rinse: does it improve endurance exercise performance?

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    It is well known that carbohydrate (CHO) supplementation can improve performance in endurance exercises through several mechanisms such as maintenance of glycemia and sparing endogenous glycogen as well as the possibility of a central nervous-system action. Some studies have emerged in recent years in order to test the hypothesis of ergogenic action via central nervous system. Recent studies have demonstrated that CHO mouth rinse can lead to improved performance of cyclists, and this may be associated with the activation of brain areas linked to motivation and reward. These findings have already been replicated in other endurance modalities, such as running. This alternative seems to be an attractive nutritional tool to improve endurance exercise performance. PMID:20799963

  1. The effect of a third party observer and trait anxiety on neuropsychological performance: the Attentional Control Theory (ACT) perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rezaei, Fatemeh; Hosseini Ramaghani, Nasrin Alsadat; Fazio, Rachel L

    2017-04-01

    Studies have reported that the presence of a third party observer (TPO) during neuropsychological assessments negatively affects the test performance of the examinee. The present study aimed to investigate the effects of a TPO and trait anxiety on neuropsychological performance according to Attentional Control Theory (ACT). A sample of college students was recruited (n = 318) and then 80 participants were selected to represent the high and low trait anxiety groups. Participants of each of group were randomly assigned to either the NTPO (non-TPO) or TPO conditions. The State-Trait Anxiety Inventory - Trait measure (STAI-T), Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST-64), Stroop test, and Rating Scale for Mental Effort (RSME) were administered to both groups. To analyze the data, univariate ANOVAs were conducted. The results indicated that under the conditions without a TPO the group with high trait anxiety had poorer processing efficiency, but under the conditions with a TPO they had poorer processing efficiency and poorer performance effectiveness than the group with low trait anxiety. In addition, the group with low trait anxiety showed poorer processing efficiency in the TPO compared to non-TPO condition. These findings provide support for the hypotheses of ACT regarding the relation between observer presence and poorer performance on neuropsychological tests, with individuals with higher trait anxiety showing greater negative effects. Implications and suggestions for further research are discussed.

  2. Using alternative feedback strategies to improve aircraft inspection performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaewkuekool, Sittichai

    The aircraft inspection and maintenance system consists of several interrelated human and machine components, with visual inspection playing a significant role in ensuring aircraft safety. Training has been identified as one of the most important intervention strategies for enhancing the quality and reliability of aircraft inspection. This process has the potential to be improved using advancements in computer technology, especially virtual reality (VR) technology, which is becoming increasingly more affordable and prevalent. In light of this situation, this study investigated the use of VR technology to support training in the improvement of aircraft inspection performance. An experiment was developed to investigate the use of performance and process feedback in both statistical and graphical forms in two different task environments. In addition, information on defect criticality, defect location, and occurrence of defect was provided to subjects to study the effectiveness of feedforward information on inspection performance. Specifically, the experiment involved the inspection of an aircraft cargo bay using VR technology with eye tracking movement devices and a 6 degree of freedom mouse for pointing and clicking on defects. Results from the feedback training indicated that providing process along with performance feedback improved inspection performance as evidenced in the speed, accuracy and search strategy measures. Similar results were shown for both task environments. However, the addition feedforward information in the heterogeneous task environment yielded ever better inspection performance, and process and performance feedback coupled with feedforward information on defect criticality, defect location, and occurrence of defect yielded the best inspection performance as seen in the speed, accuracy and search strategy measures. The findings of this study indicate that using a combination of training intervention strategies leads to an improvement in

  3. Teacher’s comprehensive training strategy for improving didactics performance

    OpenAIRE

    Pozas, W. J; Marrero, O. S.

    2014-01-01

    The paper describes a Teacher’s comprehensive training strategy for improving didactics performance, together with its theoretical foundations. The strategy is structured into several dimensions related to teachers’ development (lesson planning, continuing education and research). It is organized into two phases and seven stages intended to improve leadership in the teaching-learning process. The finding are the expression of a comprehensive approach to school organization at Services Polytec...

  4. Retrospective cues based on object features improve visual working memory performance in older adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilchrist, Amanda L; Duarte, Audrey; Verhaeghen, Paul

    2016-01-01

    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 presented either with an informative cue based on an object feature (here, object shape or color) that would be probed, or with an uninformative, neutral cue. Although older adults were less accurate overall, both age groups benefited from the presentation of an informative, feature-based cue relative to a neutral cue. Surprisingly, we also observed differences in the effectiveness of shape versus color cues and their effects upon post-cue memory load. These results suggest that older adults can use top-down attention to remove irrelevant items from visual working memory, provided that task-relevant features function as cues.

  5. Connectivity supporting attention in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anita D. Barber

    2015-01-01

    While CON–DMN anti-correlation is associated with improved attention in ADHD, other circuitry supports improved attention in TD children. Greater CON–DMN anti-correlation supported better attentional control in children with ADHD, but worse attentional control in TD children. On the other hand, greater DMN–occipital anti-correlation supported better attentional control in TD children.

  6. Lightning Performance on Overhead Distribution Lines : After Improvement Field Observation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Reynaldo Zoro

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available Two feeders of 20 kV overhead distribution lines which are located in a high lightning density area are chosen to be observed as a field study due to their good lightning performance after improvement of lightning protection system. These two feeders used the new overhead ground wire and new line arrester equipped with lightning counter on the main lines. The significant reduced of lines outages are reported. Study was carried out to observe these improvements by comparing to the other two feeders line which are not improved and not equipped yet with the ground wire and line arrester. These two feeders located in the nearby area. Two cameras were installed to record the trajectory of the lightning strikes on the improved lines. Lightning peak currents are measured using magnetic tape measurement system installed on the grounding lead of lightning arrester. Lightning overvoltage calculations are carried out by using several scenarios based on observation results and historical lightning data derived from lightning detection network. Lightning overvoltages caused by indirect or direct strikes are analyzed to get the lightning performance of the lines. The best scenario was chosen and performance of the lines were improved significantly by installing overhead ground wire and improvement of lightning arrester installation.

  7. Network Performance Improvement under Epidemic Failures in Optical Transport Networks

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fagertun, Anna Manolova; Ruepp, Sarah Renée

    2013-01-01

    In this paper we investigate epidemic failure spreading in large- scale GMPLS-controlled transport networks. By evaluating the effect of the epidemic failure spreading on the network, we design several strategies for cost-effective network performance improvement via differentiated repair times....... First we identify the most vulnerable and the most strategic nodes in the network. Then, via extensive simulations we show that strategic placement of resources for improved failure recovery has better performance than randomly assigning lower repair times among the network nodes. Our OPNET simulation...

  8. Electro optical performance of an improved deformable mirror device

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Wen R.; Gale, Richard O.; Hornbeck, Larry J.; Sampsell, Jeffrey B.

    The design, fabrication, and performance of an improved 128 x 128 deformable mirror device (DMD) are discussed. The present DMD consists of a monolithically formed array of cantilever beams which are electrostatically deflected by an underlying MOS transistor address matrix. In contrast to an earlier version, the improved DMD on-chip address circuitry supports a single video input to the chip, with all demux operations performed on-chip. The cantilever beams are formed by two layers of high-reflectivity aluminum alloy. The dynamic range of the DMD in the Fourier plane at the Nyquist frequency has been determined at greater than 45 dB.

  9. Using a NIATx based local learning collaborative for performance improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roosa, Mathew; Scripa, Joseph S; Zastowny, Thomas R; Ford, James H

    2011-11-01

    Local governments play an important role in improving substance abuse and mental health services. The structure of the local learning collaborative requires careful attention to old relationships and challenges local governmental leaders to help move participants from a competitive to collaborative environment. This study describes one county's experience applying the NIATx process improvement model via a local learning collaborative. Local substance abuse and mental health agencies participated in two local learning collaboratives designed to improve client retention in substance abuse treatment and client access to mental health services. Results of changes implemented at the provider level on access and retention are outlined. The process of implementing evidence-based practices by using the Plan-Do-Study-Act rapid-cycle change is a powerful combination for change at the local level. Key lessons include: creating a clear plan and shared vision, recognizing that one size does not fit all, using data can help fuel participant engagement, a long collaborative may benefit from breaking it into smaller segments, and paying providers to offset costs of participation enhances their engagement. The experience gained in Onondaga County, New York, offers insights that serve as a foundation for using the local learning collaborative in other community-based organizations. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Using a NIATx based local learning collaborative for performance improvement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roosa, Mathew; Scripa, Joseph S.; Zastowny, Thomas R.; Ford, James H.

    2012-01-01

    Local governments play an important role in improving substance abuse and mental health services. The structure of the local learning collaborative requires careful attention to old relationships and challenges local governmental leaders to help move participants from a competitive to collaborative environment. This study describes one county’s experience applying the NIATx process improvement model via a local learning collaborative. Local substance abuse and mental health agencies participated in two local learning collaboratives designed to improve client retention in substance abuse treatment and client access to mental health services. Results of changes implemented at the provider level on access and retention are outlined. The process of implementing evidence-based practices by using the Plan-Do-Study-Act rapid-cycle change is a powerful combination for change at the local level. Key lessons include: creating a clear plan and shared vision, recognizing that one size does not fit all, using data can help fuel participant engagement, a long collaborative may benefit from breaking it into smaller segments, and paying providers to offset costs of participation enhances their engagement. The experience gained in Onondaga County, New York, offers insights that serve as a foundation for using the local learning collaborative in other community-based organizations. PMID:21371751

  11. Optimal control model predictions of system performance and attention allocation and their experimental validation in a display design study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johannsen, G.; Govindaraj, T.

    1980-01-01

    The influence of different types of predictor displays in a longitudinal vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) hover task is analyzed in a theoretical study. Several cases with differing amounts of predictive and rate information are compared. The optimal control model of the human operator is used to estimate human and system performance in terms of root-mean-square (rms) values and to compute optimized attention allocation. The only part of the model which is varied to predict these data is the observation matrix. Typical cases are selected for a subsequent experimental validation. The rms values as well as eye-movement data are recorded. The results agree favorably with those of the theoretical study in terms of relative differences. Better matching is achieved by revised model input data.

  12. Teacher’s comprehensive training strategy for improving didactics performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pozas, W. J

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available The paper describes a Teacher’s comprehensive training strategy for improving didactics performance, together with its theoretical foundations. The strategy is structured into several dimensions related to teachers’ development (lesson planning, continuing education and research. It is organized into two phases and seven stages intended to improve leadership in the teaching-learning process. The finding are the expression of a comprehensive approach to school organization at Services Polytechnic School “Horacio Cobiellas Domínguez” resulting in teachers’ academic and scientific development and a significant growth of the staff scientific potentials manifested in scientific forum enrolment. The resulting impact should lead to a general use of the proposed strategy in the Polytechnic school web. Key words: professional performance, pedagogic professional performance, didactic professional performance, teachers’ developmental strategy

  13. Improving Software Performance in the Compute Unified Device Architecture

    OpenAIRE

    Alexandru PIRJAN

    2010-01-01

    This paper analyzes several aspects regarding the improvement of software performance for applications written in the Compute Unified Device Architecture CUDA). We address an issue of great importance when programming a CUDA application: the Graphics Processing Unit’s (GPU’s) memory management through ranspose ernels. We also benchmark and evaluate the performance for progressively optimizing a transposing matrix application in CUDA. One particular interest was to research how well the op...

  14. Using Critical Systems thinking to Improve Student Performance in Networking

    OpenAIRE

    Albertus G. Joubert; Roelien Goede

    2012-01-01

    This paper explores how Critical Systems Thinking and Action Research can be used to improve student performance in Networking. When describing a system from a systems thinking perspective, the following aspects can be identified: the total system performance, the systems environment, the resources, the components and the management of the system. Following the history of system thinking we observe three emerged methodologies namely, hard systems, soft systems, and critical systems. This pape...

  15. Fatty fish intake and attention performance in 14-15 year old adolescents: FINS-TEENS - a randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Handeland, Katina; Øyen, Jannike; Skotheim, Siv; Graff, Ingvild E; Baste, Valborg; Kjellevold, Marian; Frøyland, Livar; Lie, Øyvind; Dahl, Lisbeth; Stormark, Kjell M

    2017-10-02

    Fatty fish is the dominant dietary source of n-3 LCPUFAs but it also contains other micronutrients considered important for brain development and function. To our knowledge, the effect of fatty fish intake on cognitive function in adolescents has not been investigated in randomized controlled trials (RCTs) previously. The aim of the present trial was to investigate whether consumption of fatty fish meals three times per week for 12 weeks could alter attention performance in adolescents compared to similar meals with meat or n-3 LCPUFA supplements. In the Fish Intervention Studies-TEENS (FINS-TEENS), adolescents from eight secondary schools (n = 426; age: 14-15y) were individually randomized. Attention performance was assessed with the d2 test of attention. Differences between groups from pre to post intervention were assessed with linear mixed effect models and general estimates equation. The fish group was set as reference. Dietary compliance was recorded for each meal throughout the trial and controlled for in the adjusted analyses. The improvement in processing speed was significantly lower in the meat (-11.8; 95% CI: -23.3, -0.4) and supplement (-13.4; 95% CI: -24.9, -1.8) group compared to the fish group (reference). The supplement group also showed inferior improvement in total performance (-10.4; 95% CI: -20.0, -0.7) compared to the fish group (reference). The results were slightly affected when controlling for dietary compliance. Omission errors decreased in the meat group compared to the fish group (Incidence rate ratio = 0.85; 95% CI: 0.74, 0.98), but the difference disappeared when controlling for dietary compliance. We observed a small beneficial effect of fatty fish, compared to meat meals and supplements on processing speed. However, these results are difficult to interpret due to low dietary compliance. This study shows that different taste preferences among participants is challenging in intervention trials with food. A prospective cohort

  16. Access Agent Improving The Performance Of Access Control Lists

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thelis R. S.

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available The main focus of the proposed research is maintaining the security of a network. Extranet is a popular network among most of the organizations where network access is provided to a selected group of outliers. Limiting access to an extranet can be carried out using Access Control Lists ACLs method. However handling the workload of ACLs is an onerous task for the router. The purpose of the proposed research is to improve the performance and to solidify the security of the ACLs used in a small organization. Using a high performance computer as a dedicated device to share and handle the router workload is suggested in order to increase the performance of the router when handling ACLs. Methods of detecting and directing sensitive data is also discussed in this paper. A framework is provided to help increase the efficiency of the ACLs in an organization network using the above mentioned procedures thus helping the organizations ACLs performance to be improved to be more secure and the system to perform faster. Inbuilt methods of Windows platform or Software for open source platforms can be used to make a computer function as a router. Extended ACL features allow the determining of the type of packets flowing through the router. Combining these mechanisms allows the ACLs to be improved and perform in a more efficient manner.

  17. Improving Steam System Performance: A Sourcebook for Industry

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    2002-06-01

    The sourcebook is a reference for industrial steam system users, outlining opportunities to improve steam system performance. 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 the following three main sections: Section 1: Steam System Basics--For users unfamiliar with the basics of steam systems, or for users seeking a refresher, a brief discussion of the terms, relationships, and important system design considerations is provided. Users already familiar with industrial steam system operation may want to skip this section. This section describes steam systems using four basic parts: generation, distribution, end use, and recovery. Section 2: Performance Improvement Opportunities--This section discusses important factors that should be considered when industrial facilities seek to improve steam system performance and to lower operating costs. This section also provides an overview of the finance considerations related to steam system improvements. Additionally, this section discusses several resources and tools developed by the U. S. Department of Energy's (DOE) BestPractices Steam Program to identify and assess steam system improvement opportunities. Section 3: Programs, Contacts, and Resources--This section provides a directory of associations and other organizations involved in the steam system marketplace. This section also provides a description of the BestPractices Steam Program, a directory of contacts, and a listing of available resources and tools, such as publications, software, training courses, and videos.

  18. Short-Term Effects of Methylphenidate on Math Productivity in Children With Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder are Mediated by Symptom Improvements: Evidence From a Placebo-Controlled Trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kortekaas-Rijlaarsdam, Anne Fleur; Luman, Marjolein; Sonuga-Barke, Edmund; Bet, Pierre M; Oosterlaan, Jaap

    2017-04-01

    Although numerous studies report positive effects of methylphenidate on academic performance, the mechanism behind these improvements remains unclear. This study investigates the effects of methylphenidate on academic performance in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and the mediating and moderating influence of ADHD severity, academic performance, and ADHD symptom improvement. Sixty-three children with ADHD participated in a double-blind placebo-controlled crossover study comparing the effects of long-acting methylphenidate and placebo. Dependent variables were math, reading, and spelling performance. The ADHD group performance was compared with a group of 67 typically developing children. Methylphenidate improved math productivity and accuracy in children with ADHD. The effect of methylphenidate on math productivity was partly explained by parent-rated symptom improvement, with greater efficacy for children showing more symptom improvement. Further, children showing below-average math performance while on placebo profited more from methylphenidate than children showing above-average math performance. The results from this study indicate positive effects of methylphenidate on academic performance, although these were limited to math abilities. In light of these results, expectations of parents, teachers, and treating physicians about the immediate effects of methylphenidate on academic improvement should be tempered. Moreover, our results implicate that positive effects of methylphenidate on math performance are in part due directly to effects on math ability and in part due to reductions in ADHD symptoms.

  19. Attentional processes, not implicit mentalizing, mediate performance in a perspective-taking task: Evidence from stimulation of the temporoparietal junction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santiesteban, Idalmis; Kaur, Simran; Bird, Geoffrey; Catmur, Caroline

    2017-07-15

    Mentalizing is a fundamental process underpinning human social interaction. Claims of the existence of 'implicit mentalizing' represent a fundamental shift in our understanding of this important skill, suggesting that preverbal infants and even animals may be capable of mentalizing. One of the most influential tasks supporting such claims in adults is the dot perspective-taking task, but demonstrations of similar performance on this task for mentalistic and non-mentalistic stimuli have led to the suggestion that this task in fact measures domain-general processes, rather than implicit mentalizing. A mentalizing explanation was supported by fMRI data claiming to show greater activation of brain areas involved in mentalizing, including right temporoparietal junction (rTPJ), when participants made self-perspective judgements in a mentalistic, but not in a non-mentalistic condition, an interpretation subsequently challenged. Here we provide the first causal test of the mentalizing claim using disruptive transcranial magnetic stimulation of rTPJ during self-perspective judgements. We found no evidence for a distinction between mentalistic and non-mentalistic stimuli: stimulation of rTPJ impaired performance on all self-perspective trials, regardless of the mentalistic/non-mentalistic nature of the stimulus. Our data support a domain-general attentional interpretation of performance on the dot perspective-taking task, a role which is subserved by the rTPJ. Crown Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Mindfulness training affects attention--or is it attentional effort?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jensen, Christian Gaden; Vangkilde, Signe; Frokjaer, Vibe; Hasselbalch, Steen G

    2012-02-01

    Improvements in attentional performance are at the core of proposed mechanisms for stress reduction in mindfulness meditation practices. However, this claim can be questioned because no previous studies have actively manipulated test effort in control groups and controlled for effects of stress reduction per se. In a blinded design, 48 young, healthy meditation novices were randomly assigned to a mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), nonmindfulness stress reduction (NMSR), or inactive control group. At posttest, inactive controls were randomly split into nonincentive and incentive controls, the latter receiving a financial reward to improve attentional performance. Pre- and postintervention, 5 validated attention paradigms were employed along with self-report scales on mindfulness and perceived stress and saliva cortisol samples to measure physiological stress. Attentional effects of MBSR, NMSR, and the financial incentive were comparable or significantly larger in the incentive group on all reaction-time-based measures. However, selective attention in the MBSR group improved significantly more than in any other group. Similarly, only the MBSR intervention improved the threshold for conscious perception and visual working memory capacity. Furthermore, stress-reducing effects of MBSR were supported because those in the MBSR group showed significantly less perceived and physiological stress while increasing their mindfulness levels significantly. We argue that MBSR may contribute uniquely to attentional improvements but that further research focusing on non-reaction-time-based measures and outcomes less confounded by test effort is needed. Critically, our data demonstrate that previously observed improvements of attention after MBSR may be seriously confounded by test effort and nonmindfulness stress reduction.

  1. Neurofeedback as an Intervention to Improve Reading Achievement in Students with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Inattentive Subtype

    Science.gov (United States)

    La Marca, Jeffry Peter

    2014-01-01

    Attention deficit disorders are among the most prevalent and widely studied of all psychiatric disorders. The National Center for Health Statistics reports that 9.0% of children (12.3% of boys and 5.5% of girls) between ages 5 to 17 have been diagnosed with ADHD. Research consistently demonstrates that attention deficits have a deleterious effect…

  2. Need for mentorship to improve learning in low-performers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mysorekar, Vijaya V

    2012-01-01

    About 15% of medical students perform poorly in examinations. This study was done to ascertain the causes for low performance and the effectiveness of counselling and advice regarding study skills in improving performance in a subsequent assessment. Of the 353 students who appeared for the first internal assessment examination in pathology, 83 (23.5%) scored less than 30% marks. These 83 low-performers were given a questionnaire listing stress-inducing factors and academic problems; 81 filled the questionnaire. Of these, 73 attended sessions on study skills and counselling where they interacted on a one-to-one basis regarding their personal problems. Their performance was evaluated in an internal assessment 6 months later. The low-performers included 52 boys and 29 girls, 19-20 years of age. Non-academic problems contributing to low performance included language problems, problems in adjustment to life outside home, lack of self-confidence, fear of failure and worrying about the future. Academic problems included difficulty in managing study time, lack of concentration while studying, inability to retain what is studied, anxiety before examinations and inability to write an examination. Paired t-test revealed a statistically significant improvement in the post-programme performance of the 73 students who participated in the counselling sessions (pperformance (average score 3.83/6.00), change their study behaviour (3.74/6.00) and change their attitude (3.46/6.00). The programme also improved their confidence and self-esteem. Low-performers can benefit from tailored remedial programmes which include counselling and training in stress-coping strategies. Copyright 2012, NMJI.

  3. Tracking performance under time sharing conditions with a digit processing task: A feedback control theory analysis. [attention sharing effect on operator performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gopher, D.; Wickens, C. D.

    1975-01-01

    A one dimensional compensatory tracking task and a digit processing reaction time task were combined in a three phase experiment designed to investigate tracking performance in time sharing. Adaptive techniques, elaborate feedback devices, and on line standardization procedures were used to adjust task difficulty to the ability of each individual subject and manipulate time sharing demands. Feedback control analysis techniques were employed in the description of tracking performance. The experimental results show that when the dynamics of a system are constrained, in such a manner that man machine system stability is no longer a major concern of the operator, he tends to adopt a first order control describing function, even with tracking systems of higher order. Attention diversion to a concurrent task leads to an increase in remnant level, or nonlinear power. This decrease in linearity is reflected both in the output magnitude spectra of the subjects, and in the linear fit of the amplitude ratio functions.

  4. Basic equipments for improved practical performance in creative arts ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This paper addresses the issue of adequate provision equipment for improved practical performance of ceramics study in Nigerian higher institutions. It was noted that ceramics equipments are very expensive yet they are indispensable to the study of ceramics. Nigerian Journal of Technology and Education in Nigeria Vol.

  5. Learning Organization and Transfer: Strategies for Improving Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weldy, Teresa G.

    2009-01-01

    Purpose: This study aims to explore a relationship between the learning organization and transfer of training as strategies for learning and managing knowledge to make performance improvements and gain or maintain a competitive advantage. Design/methodology/approach: Various similarities are identified in the literature that are indicative of a…

  6. Improving Performances in the Public Sector: The Scientific ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The need for improve performances in organization has always been a source of concern for management in both the public and the private sector. This paper sought to discuss the principle of scientific management theory as propounded by F.W. Taylor with the aim of ensuring that public services organizations adopts the ...

  7. Warning Signals for Poor Performance Improve Human-Robot Interaction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van den Brule, Rik; Bijlstra, Gijsbert; Dotsch, Ron|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/328554197; Haselager, Pim; Wigboldus, Daniel HJ

    2016-01-01

    The present research was aimed at investigating whether human-robot interaction (HRI) can be improved by a robot’s nonverbal warning signals. Ideally, when a robot signals that it cannot guarantee good performance, people could take preventive actions to ensure the successful completion of the

  8. Employee Retention and Performance Improvement in High-Tech Companies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ware, B. Lynn

    2001-01-01

    Considers the benefits of employee retention and performance improvement in high technology, new economy companies. Discusses attracting and retaining top talent in information technology companies; targeted recruiting and hiring; employee achievement; learning and professional growth; recognition; nurturing careers; team collaboration; the TALENT…

  9. Evaluation of the performance of improved sweet potato ( Ipomoea ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Evaluation of the performance of improved sweet potato ( Ipomoea batatas L. LAM) varieties in Bayelsa State, Nigeria. ... There was incidence of diseases but that of insects was low. For fresh root phenotypic characteristics, Ex-Igbariam and 199004-2 had yellow flesh, indicative of the presence of vitamin A precursor.

  10. Improving the performance of hysteresis direct torque control of ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    This paper describes an active filter topology to improve the performance of hysteresis direct torque control (HDTC) of interior permanent magnet synchronous motor (IPMSM). The filter topology consists of an active filter and two RLC filters, and is connected to the main power circuit through a 1:1 transformer. The active filter ...

  11. Active Learning Improves Student Performance in a Respiratory Physiology Lab

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolf, Alex M.; Liachovitzky, Carlos; Abdullahi, Abass S.

    2015-01-01

    This study assessed the effectiveness of the introduction of active learning exercises into the anatomy and physiology curriculum in a community college setting. Specifically, the incorporation of a spirometry-based respiratory physiology lab resulted in improved student performance in two concepts (respiratory volumes and the hallmarks of…

  12. Motivation to Avoid Loss Improves Implicit Skill Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chon, Danbee; Thompson, Kelsey R.; Reber, Paul J.

    2018-01-01

    Implicit learning reflects learning from experience that occurs without intention or awareness of the information acquired and is hypothesized to contribute to skill acquisition by improving performance with practice. The role of motivation has not been examined because this kind of memory is represented outside awareness. We manipulated…

  13. Warning signals for poor performance improve human-robot interaction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brule, R. van den; Bijlstra, G.; Dotsch, R.; Haselager, W.F.G.; Wigboldus, D.H.J.

    2016-01-01

    The present research was aimed at investigating whether human-robot interaction (HRI) can be improved by a robot's nonverbal warning signals. Ideally, when a robot signals that it cannot guarantee good performance, people could take preventive actions to ensure the successful completion of the

  14. Performance of Improved Dairy Cattle Technologies Among Farmers ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    User

    Performance of Improved Dairy Cattle Technologies Among Farmers in. Northern Nigeria. Http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/jae.v20i1.1. Saleh, M.K.. Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology,. Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. Email: quagyangsaleh@gmail.com or salequa@yahoo.com. Phone: 08123431446 / ...

  15. Strategies for Improving Participation and Performance of Girls in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The findings indicate that initiation of awareness programmes on the relevance of science for parents and girls and also making perception and attitudes of teachers vis-à-vis girls in science positive will go a long way in improving girls participation and performance in science. Furthermore, organization of science groups ...

  16. Prioritising indicators in improving supply chain performance using fuzzy AHP

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Govindan, Kannan; Mangla, Sachin Kumar; Luthra, Sunil

    2017-01-01

    In this contribution, we aim to prioritise the indicators to enhance the organisational supply chain’s (SC) effectiveness from an industrial perspective. It will help industries to develop strategies for managing the SC effectively and ensuring improvement in performance continuously. To achieve ...

  17. Performance in physiology evaluation: possible improvement by active learning strategies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montrezor, Luís H

    2016-12-01

    The evaluation process is complex and extremely important in the teaching/learning process. Evaluations are constantly employed in the classroom to assist students in the learning process and to help teachers improve the teaching process. The use of active methodologies encourages students to participate in the learning process, encourages interaction with their peers, and stimulates thinking about physiological mechanisms. This study examined the performance of medical students on physiology over four semesters with and without active engagement methodologies. Four activities were used: a puzzle, a board game, a debate, and a video. The results show that engaging in activities with active methodologies before a physiology cognitive monitoring test significantly improved student performance compared with not performing the activities. We integrate the use of these methodologies with classic lectures, and this integration appears to improve the teaching/learning process in the discipline of physiology and improves the integration of physiology with cardiology and neurology. In addition, students enjoy the activities and perform better on their evaluations when they use them. Copyright © 2016 The American Physiological Society.

  18. Improving health worker performance : in search of promising practices

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dieleman, M.A.; Harnmeijer, JW

    2006-01-01

    Qualified and motivated human resources (HR) are essential for adequate health service provision, but HR shortages have now reached critical levels in many resource-poor settings, especially in rural areas. Strategies improving performance are essential to address shortages of the existing

  19. Driving Performance Improvements by Integrating Competencies with Human Resource Practices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Jin Gu; Park, Yongho; Yang, Gi Hun

    2010-01-01

    This study explores the issues in the development and application of a competency model and provides implications for more precise integration of competencies into human resource (HR) functions driving performance improvement. This research is based on a case study from a Korean consumer corporation. This study employed document reviews,…

  20. Coaching as a Performance Improvement Tool at School

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yirci, Ramazan; Karakose, Turgut; Kocabas, Ibrahim

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to examine the current literature and have an insight about coaching as a performance improvement tool at school. In today's world, schools have to survive and keep their organizational success in the highest level because of the high expectations from school stakeholders. Taking place in such a fierce competitive…