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Sample records for attentional set-shifting task

  1. Attentional Set-Shifting Across Species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Verity J; Tait, David S

    2016-01-01

    Attentional set-shifting, as a measure of executive flexibility, has been a staple of investigations into human cognition for over six decades. Mediated by the frontal cortex in mammals, the cognitive processes involved in forming, maintaining and shifting an attentional set are vulnerable to dysfunction arising from a number of human neurodegenerative diseases (such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Huntington's diseases) and other neurological disorders (such as schizophrenia, depression, and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder). Our understanding of these diseases and disorders, and the cognitive impairments induced by them, continues to advance, in tandem with an increasing number of tools at our disposal. In this chapter, we review and compare commonly used attentional set-shifting tasks (the Wisconsin Card Sorting Task and Intradimensional/Extradimensional tasks) and their applicability across species. In addition to humans, attentional set-shifting has been observed in a number of other animals, with a substantial body of literature describing performance in monkeys and rodents. We consider the task designs used to investigate attentional set-shifting in these species and the methods used to model human diseases and disorders, and ultimately the comparisons and differences between species-specific tasks, and between performance across species. PMID:26873018

  2. Subtype-selective nicotinic acetylcholine receptor agonists can improve cognitive flexibility in an attentional set shifting task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, Christopher; Kohli, Shivali; Malcolm, Emma; Allison, Claire; Shoaib, Mohammed

    2016-06-01

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are considered to be viable targets to enhance cognition in patients diagnosed with schizophrenia. Activation of nAChRs with selective nicotinic receptor agonists may provide effective means to pharmacologically treat cognitive deficits observed in schizophrenia. Cognitive flexibility is one aspect of cognition, which can be assessed in a rodent model of the attentional set-shifting task (ASST). The aim of the present study was two-fold, firstly, to evaluate the efficacy of a series of subtype selective nAChR agonists, such as those that target α7 and α4β2 nAChR subtypes in non-compromised rodents. Secondly, nicotine as a prototypic agonist was evaluated for its effects to restore attentional deficits produced by sub-chronic ketamine exposure in the ASST. Male hooded Lister rats underwent habituation, consisting of a simple odour and medium discrimination with subsequent assessment 24 h later. In experimentally naïve rats, α7 subtype selective agonists, compound-A and SSR180711 along with PNU-120596, an α7 positive allosteric modulator (PAM), were compared against the β2* selective agonist, 5IA-85380. All compounds except for PNU-120596 were observed to significantly improve extra-dimensional (ED) shift performance, nicotine, 5IA-85380 and SSR180711 further enhanced the final reversal (REV3) stage of the task. In another experiment, sub-chronic ketamine treatment produced robust deficits during the ED and the REV3 stages of the discriminations; rodents required significantly more trials to reach criterion during these discriminations. These deficits were attenuated in rodents treated acutely with nicotine (0.1 mg/kg SC) 10 min prior to the ED shift. These results highlight the potential utility of targeting nAChRs to enhance cognitive flexibility, particularly the α7 and β2* receptor subtypes. The improvement with nicotine was much greater in rodents that were impaired following the sub-chronic ketamine

  3. Set Shifting Training with Categorization Tasks

    OpenAIRE

    Anna Soveri; Otto Waris; Matti Laine

    2013-01-01

    The very few cognitive training studies targeting an important executive function, set shifting, have reported performance improvements that also generalized to untrained tasks. The present randomized controlled trial extends set shifting training research by comparing previously used cued training with uncued training. A computerized adaptation of the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test was utilized as the training task in a pretest-posttest experimental design involving three groups of university s...

  4. A Domain-Independent Source of Cognitive Control for Task Sets: Shifting Spatial Attention and Switching Categorization Rules

    OpenAIRE

    Chiu, Yu-Chin; Yantis, Steven

    2009-01-01

    In order to optimize task performance as circumstances unfold, cognitive control mechanisms configure the brain to prepare for upcoming events through voluntary shifts in task set. A foundational unanswered question concerns whether different domains of cognitive control (e.g., spatial attention shifts, shifts between categorization rules, or shifts between stimulus-response mapping rules) are associated with separate, domain-specific control mechanisms, or whether a common, domain-independen...

  5. Set shifting training with categorization tasks.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna Soveri

    Full Text Available The very few cognitive training studies targeting an important executive function, set shifting, have reported performance improvements that also generalized to untrained tasks. The present randomized controlled trial extends set shifting training research by comparing previously used cued training with uncued training. A computerized adaptation of the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test was utilized as the training task in a pretest-posttest experimental design involving three groups of university students. One group received uncued training (n = 14, another received cued training (n = 14 and the control group (n = 14 only participated in pre- and posttests. The uncued training group showed posttraining performance increases on their training task, but neither training group showed statistically significant transfer effects. Nevertheless, comparison of effect sizes for transfer effects indicated that our results did not differ significantly from the previous studies. Our results suggest that the cognitive effects of computerized set shifting training are mostly task-specific, and would preclude any robust generalization effects with this training.

  6. Attentional Set-Shifting in Fragile X Syndrome

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van der Molen, M. J. W.; Van der Molen, M. W.; Ridderinkhof, K. R.; Hamel, B. C. J.; Curfs, L. M. G.; Ramakers, G. J. A.

    2012-01-01

    The ability to flexibly adapt to the changing demands of the environment is often reported as a core deficit in fragile X syndrome (FXS). However, the cognitive processes that determine this attentional set-shifting deficit remain elusive. The present study investigated attentional set-shifting ability in fragile X syndrome males with the…

  7. An Operant Intra-/Extra-dimensional Set-shift Task for Mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheggia, Diego; Papaleo, Francesco

    2016-01-01

    Alterations in executive control and cognitive flexibility, such as attentional set-shifting abilities, are core features of several neuropsychiatric diseases. The most widely used neuropsychological tests for the evaluation of attentional set-shifting in human subjects are the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST) and the CANTAB Intra-/Extra-dimensional set shift task (ID/ED). These tasks have proven clinical relevance and have been modified and successfully adapted for research in animal models. However, currently available tasks for rodents present several limitations, mainly due to their manual-based testing procedures, which are hampering translational advances in psychiatric medicine. To overcome these limitations and to better mimic the original version in primates, we present the development of a novel operant-based two-chamber ID/ED "Operon" task for rodents. We demonstrated the effectiveness of this novel task to measure different facets of cognitive flexibility in mice including attentional set formation and shifting, and reversal learning. Moreover, we show the high flexibility of this task in which three different perceptual dimensions can be manipulated with a high number of stimuli cues for each dimension. This novel ID/ED Operon task can be an effective preclinical tool for drug testing and/or large genetic screening relevant to the study of executive dysfunction and cognitive symptoms found in psychiatric disorders.

  8. Attentional set-shifting deficit in Parkinson's disease is associated with prefrontal dysfunction: an FDG-PET study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yoichi Sawada

    Full Text Available The attentional set-shifting deficit that has been observed in Parkinson's disease (PD has long been considered neuropsychological evidence of the involvement of meso-prefrontal and prefrontal-striatal circuits in cognitive flexibility. However, recent studies have suggested that non-dopaminergic, posterior cortical pathologies may also contribute to this deficit. Although several neuroimaging studies have addressed this issue, the results of these studies were confounded by the use of tasks that required other cognitive processes in addition to set-shifting, such as rule learning and working memory. In this study, we attempted to identify the neural correlates of the attentional set-shifting deficit in PD using a compound letter task and 18F-fluoro-deoxy-glucose (FDG positron emission tomography during rest. Shift cost, which is a measure of attentional set-shifting ability, was significantly correlated with hypometabolism in the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, including the putative human frontal eye field. Our results provide direct evidence that dysfunction in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex makes a primary contribution to the attentional set-shifting deficit that has been observed in PD patients.

  9. Set shifting and working memory in adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rohlf, Helena; Jucksch, Viola; Gawrilow, Caterina; Huss, Michael; Hein, Jakob; Lehmkuhl, Ulrike; Salbach-Andrae, Harriet

    2012-01-01

    Compared to the high number of studies that investigated executive functions (EF) in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a little is known about the EF performance of adults with ADHD. This study compared 37 adults with ADHD (ADHD(total)) and 32 control participants who were equivalent in age, intelligence quotient (IQ), sex, and years of education, in two domains of EF--set shifting and working memory. Additionally, the ADHD(total) group was subdivided into two subgroups: ADHD patients without comorbidity (ADHD(-), n = 19) and patients with at least one comorbid disorder (ADHD(+), n = 18). Participants fulfilled two measures for set shifting (i.e., the trail making test, TMT and a computerized card sorting test, CKV) and one measure for working memory (i.e., digit span test, DS). Compared to the control group the ADHD(total) group displayed deficits in set shifting and working memory. The differences between the groups were of medium-to-large effect size (TMT: d = 0.48; DS: d = 0.51; CKV: d = 0.74). The subgroup comparison of the ADHD(+) group and the ADHD(-) group revealed a poorer performance in general information processing speed for the ADHD(+) group. With regard to set shifting and working memory, no significant differences could be found between the two subgroups. These results suggest that the deficits of the ADHD(total) group are attributable to ADHD rather than to comorbidity. An influence of comorbidity, however, could not be completely ruled out as there was a trend of a poorer performance in the ADHD(+) group on some of the outcome measures.

  10. Prenatal malnutrition leads to deficits in attentional set shifting and decreases metabolic activity in prefrontal subregions that control executive function.

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    McGaughy, Jill A; Amaral, Ana C; Rushmore, R Jarrett; Mokler, David J; Morgane, Peter J; Rosene, Douglas L; Galler, Janina R

    2014-01-01

    Globally, over 25% of all children under the age of 5 years experience malnutrition leading to cognitive and emotional impairments that can persist into adulthood and beyond. We use a rodent model to determine the impact of prenatal protein malnutrition on executive functions in an attentional set-shifting task and metabolic activity in prefrontal cortex (PFC) subregions critical to these behaviors. Long-Evans dams were provided with a low (6% casein) or adequate (25% casein) protein diet 5 weeks before mating and during pregnancy. At birth, the litters were culled to 8 pups and fostered to control dams on the 25% casein diet. At postnatal day 90, prenatally malnourished rats were less able to shift attentional set and reverse reward contingencies than controls, demonstrating cognitive rigidity. Naive same-sexed littermates were assessed for regional brain activity using the metabolic marker (14)C-2-deoxyglucose (2DG). The prenatally malnourished rats had lower metabolic activity than controls in prelimbic, infralimbic, anterior cingulate, and orbitofrontal cortices, but had comparable activity in the nearby piriform cortex and superior colliculus. This study demonstrates that prenatal protein malnutrition in a well-described animal model produces cognitive deficits in tests of attentional set shifting and reversal learning, similar to findings of cognitive inflexibility reported in humans exposed to early childhood malnutrition. PMID:25342495

  11. Further Study on the Attentional Set-shifting Task in Rats:Effects of Strain and Testing Protocol%大鼠注意定势转移任务模型的深入研究:种系和检测程序的影响

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    原三娜; 罗晓敏; 张帆; 邵枫; 王玮文

    2014-01-01

    Attentional set-shifting task (AST) is a newly developed rodent-based model that can be used to specifically evaluate cortically-mediated cognitive flexibility. The AST has been increasingly used to investigate the neural basis underlying cognitive flexibility and related disorders. In the present study, we investigated the effects of strain and testing protocol on cognitive function by comparing the performance during different cognitive stages in the AST, between Sprague-Dawley (SD) and Wistar rats, and between a seven-stage and five-stage AST. Our data showed differences in cortically-mediated cognitive function between SD and Wistar rats when they were tested in both seven-stage and five-stage AST. In general, Wistar rats exhibited better performance in each stage of the AST compared with SD rats. Especially in the reversal learning (RL) stage, Wistar rats required fewer trials to reach the criterion and lower error rates compared with SD rats, suggesting better cognitive flexibility in strategy shifting. In contrast, the reactive pattern between different cognitive stages (simple discrimination, SD; compound discrimination, CD; intra-dimensional shifting, IDS; reversal learning, RL;extra-dimensional shifting, EDS) in the AST did not significantly differ by strain or testing protocol. Theoretically, there is a general response pattern across these cognitive stages, namely, more trials to reach criterion and/or higher error rates are generally seen during higher complexity learning stages (i.e. RL and EDS) than in simpler learning stages (i.e. SD and CD), which is a prerequisite for the interpretation of performance in the RL and EDS in terms of strategy and attentional set-shifting. Consistent with this, we found that both SD and Wistar rats required more trials to reach criterion and showed higher error rates during RL and/or EDS stages than other stages in both the five-stage and seven-stage AST, demonstrating a stable reactive pattern of set establishment

  12. Task-specific effects of tDCS-induced cortical excitability changes on cognitive and motor sequence set shifting performance.

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    Jorge Leite

    Full Text Available In this study, we tested the effects of transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS on two set shifting tasks. Set shifting ability is defined as the capacity to switch between mental sets or actions and requires the activation of a distributed neural network. Thirty healthy subjects (fifteen per site received anodal, cathodal and sham stimulation of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC or the primary motor cortex (M1. We measured set shifting in both cognitive and motor tasks. The results show that both anodal and cathodal single session tDCS can modulate cognitive and motor tasks. However, an interaction was found between task and type of stimulation as anodal tDCS of DLPFC and M1 was found to increase performance in the cognitive task, while cathodal tDCS of DLPFC and M1 had the opposite effect on the motor task. Additionally, tDCS effects seem to be most evident on the speed of changing sets, rather than on reducing the number of errors or increasing the efficacy of irrelevant set filtering.

  13. Effects of acamprosate on attentional set-shifting and cellular function in the prefrontal cortex of chronic alcohol-exposed mice

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    Hu, Wei

    Background: The medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) inhibits impulsive and compulsive behaviors that characterize drug abuse and dependence. Acamprosate is the leading medication approved for the maintenance of abstinence, shown to reduce craving and relapse in animal models and human alcoholics. Whether acamprosate can modulate executive functions that are impaired by chronic ethanol exposure is unknown. Here we explored the effects of acamprosate on an attentional set-shifting task, and tested whether these behavioral effects are correlated with modulation of glutamatergic synaptic transmission and intrinsic excitability of mPFC neurons. Methods: We induced alcohol dependence in mice via chronic intermittent ethanol (CIE) exposure in vapor chambers and measured changes in alcohol consumption in a limited access 2-bottle choice paradigm. Impairments of executive function were assessed in an attentional set-shifting task. Acamprosate was applied subchronically for 2 days during withdrawal before the final behavioral test. Alcohol-induced changes in cellular function of layer 5/6 pyramidal neurons, and the potential modulation of these changes by acamprosate, were measured using patch clamp recordings in brain slices. Results: Chronic ethanol exposure impaired cognitive flexibility in the attentional set-shifting task. Acamprosate improved overall performance and reduced perseveration. Recordings of mPFC neurons showed that chronic ethanol exposure increased use-dependent presynaptic transmitter release and enhanced postsynaptic N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) function. Moreover, CIE-treatment lowered input resistance, and decreased the threshold and the afterhyperpolarization (AHP) of action potentials, suggesting chronic ethanol exposure also impacted membrane excitability of mPFC neurons. However, acamprosate treatment did not reverse these ethanol-induced changes cellular function. Conclusion: Acamprosate improved attentional control of ethanol exposed animals

  14. Evaluation of a neurodevelopmental model of schizophrenia - Early postnatal PCP treatment in attentional set-shifting

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Broberg, B.V.; Dias, R.; Olsen, C.K.;

    2008-01-01

    Phencyclidine (PCP) was administered to male and female Lister hooded rats on postnatal days (PND) 7, 9 and 11. All PCP animals tested in adulthood (PND 53-93) showed deficits in cognitive flexibility, specifically in their ability to shift attentional set, compared to controls. This novel findin...... is reminiscent of the impairment observed in schizophrenia patients, and supports the validity of the early postnatal PCP regimen as a disease-like model. (c) 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved Udgivelsesdato: 2008...

  15. Individual Differences in Cognitive-Flexibility: The Influence of Spontaneous Eyeblink Rate, Trait Psychoticism and Working Memory on Attentional Set-Shifting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tharp, Ian J.; Pickering, Alan D.

    2011-01-01

    Individual differences in psychophysiological function have been shown to influence the balance between flexibility and distractibility during attentional set-shifting [e.g., Dreisbach et al. (2005). Dopamine and cognitive control: The influence of spontaneous eyeblink rate and dopamine gene polymorphisms on perseveration and distractibility.…

  16. Evaluation of a neurodevelopmental model of schizophrenia--early postnatal PCP treatment in attentional set-shifting

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Broberg, Brian Villumsen; Dias, Rebecca; Glenthøj, Birte Yding;

    2008-01-01

    Phencyclidine (PCP) was administered to male and female Lister hooded rats on postnatal days (PND) 7, 9 and 11. All PCP animals tested in adulthood (PND 53-93) showed deficits in cognitive flexibility, specifically in their ability to shift attentional set, compared to controls. This novel finding...

  17. Evaluation of a neurodevelopmental model of schizophrenia--early postnatal PCP treatment in attentional set-shifting

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Broberg, Brian Villumsen; Dias, Rebecca; Glenthøj, Birte Yding;

    2008-01-01

    Phencyclidine (PCP) was administered to male and female Lister hooded rats on postnatal days (PND) 7, 9 and 11. All PCP animals tested in adulthood (PND 53-93) showed deficits in cognitive flexibility, specifically in their ability to shift attentional set, compared to controls. This novel findin...... is reminiscent of the impairment observed in schizophrenia patients, and supports the validity of the early postnatal PCP regimen as a disease-like model....

  18. Set-shifting in healthy children and in children with idiopathic or cryptogenic epilepsy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schouten, A; Oostrom, KJ; Verloop, D; Jennekens-Schinkel, A

    2000-01-01

    Set-shifting is an important aspect of attention and regulation of behaviour. The ability of young children to shift set is debated. Set-shifting is usually examined using sorting tasks that are designed for adults and hence are inadequate for children. In this study, an experimental Sorting Task fo

  19. Learning to Model Task-Oriented Attention

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaochun Zou

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available For many applications in graphics, design, and human computer interaction, it is essential to understand where humans look in a scene with a particular task. Models of saliency can be used to predict fixation locations, but a large body of previous saliency models focused on free-viewing task. They are based on bottom-up computation that does not consider task-oriented image semantics and often does not match actual eye movements. To address this problem, we collected eye tracking data of 11 subjects when they performed some particular search task in 1307 images and annotation data of 2,511 segmented objects with fine contours and 8 semantic attributes. Using this database as training and testing examples, we learn a model of saliency based on bottom-up image features and target position feature. Experimental results demonstrate the importance of the target information in the prediction of task-oriented visual attention.

  20. Learning to Model Task-Oriented Attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zou, Xiaochun; Zhao, Xinbo; Wang, Jian; Yang, Yongjia

    2016-01-01

    For many applications in graphics, design, and human computer interaction, it is essential to understand where humans look in a scene with a particular task. Models of saliency can be used to predict fixation locations, but a large body of previous saliency models focused on free-viewing task. They are based on bottom-up computation that does not consider task-oriented image semantics and often does not match actual eye movements. To address this problem, we collected eye tracking data of 11 subjects when they performed some particular search task in 1307 images and annotation data of 2,511 segmented objects with fine contours and 8 semantic attributes. Using this database as training and testing examples, we learn a model of saliency based on bottom-up image features and target position feature. Experimental results demonstrate the importance of the target information in the prediction of task-oriented visual attention. PMID:27247561

  1. Differentiation of rodent behavioral phenotypes and methylphenidate action in sustained and flexible attention tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chu, Richard; Shumsky, Jed; Waterhouse, Barry D

    2016-06-15

    Methyphenidate (MPH) is the primary drug treatment of choice for ADHD. It is also frequently used off-label as a cognitive enhancer by otherwise healthy individuals from all age groups and walks of life. Military personnel, students, and health professionals use MPH illicitly to increase attention and improve workplace performance over extended periods of work activity. Despite the frequency of its use, the efficacy of MPH to enhance cognitive function across individuals and in a variety of circumstances is not well characterized. We sought to better understand MPH׳s cognitive enhancing properties in two different rodent models of attention. We found that MPH could enhance performance in a sustained attention task, but that its effects in this test were subject dependent. More specifically, MPH increased attention in low baseline performing rats but had little to no effect on high performing rats. MPH exerted a similar subject specific effect in a test of flexible attention, i.e. the attention set shifting task. In this test MPH increased behavioral flexibility in animals with poor flexibility but impaired performance in more flexible animals. Overall, our results indicate that the effects of MPH are subject-specific and depend on the baseline level of performance. Furthermore, good performance in in the sustained attention task was correlated with good performance in the flexible attention task; i.e. animals with better vigilance exhibited greater behavioral flexibility. The findings are discussed in terms of potential neurobiological substrates, in particular noradrenergic mechanisms, that might underlie subject specific performance and subject specific responses to MPH. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled SI: Noradrenergic System. PMID:26688113

  2. Learning to Model Task-Oriented Attention

    OpenAIRE

    Xiaochun Zou; Xinbo Zhao; Jian Wang; Yongjia Yang

    2016-01-01

    For many applications in graphics, design, and human computer interaction, it is essential to understand where humans look in a scene with a particular task. Models of saliency can be used to predict fixation locations, but a large body of previous saliency models focused on free-viewing task. They are based on bottom-up computation that does not consider task-oriented image semantics and often does not match actual eye movements. To address this problem, we collected eye tracking data of 11 ...

  3. Effects of a Coactor's Focus of Attention on Task Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bockler, Anne; Knoblich, Gunther; Sebanz, Natalie

    2012-01-01

    Coactors take into account certain aspects of each other's tasks even when this is not required to perform their own task. The present experiments investigated whether the way a coactor allocates attention affects one's own attentional relation to stimuli that are attended jointly (Experiment 1), individually (Experiment 2), or in parallel…

  4. Serum glutamine, set-shifting ability and anorexia nervosa

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    Collier David A

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Set-shifting is impaired in people with anorexia nervosa (AN, but the underlying physiological and biochemical processes are unclear. Animal studies have established that glutamatergic pathways in the prefrontal cortex play an important role in set-shifting ability. However, it is not yet understood whether levels of serum glutamatergic amino acids are associated with set-shifting performance in humans. The aim of this study was to determine whether serum concentrations of amino acids related to glutamatergic neurotransmission (glutamine, glutamate, glycine, l-serine, d-serine are associated with set-shifting ability in people with acute AN and those after recovery. Methods Serum concentrations of glutamatergic amino acids were measured in 27 women with current AN (AN group, 18 women recovered from AN (ANRec group and 28 age-matched healthy controls (HC group. Set-shifting was measured using the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST and the Trail Making Task (TMT. Dimensional measures of psychopathology were used, including the Eating Disorder Examination Questionnaire (EDEQ, the Maudsley Obsessive-Compulsive Inventory (MOCI and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS. Results Serum glutamine concentrations in the AN group (1,310.2 ± 265.6 μM, mean ± SD were significantly higher (by approximately 20% than those in the HC group (1,102.9 ± 152.7 μM, mean ± SD (F(2, 70 = 6.3, P = 0.003, 95% CI 61.2 to 353.4. Concentrations of serum glutamine were positively associated with markers of the illness severity: a negative correlation was present between serum glutamine concentrations and body mass index (BMI and lowest BMI and a positive correlation was found between duration of illness and EDEQ. The AN group showed significantly impaired set shifting in the WCST, both total errors, and perseverative errors. In the AN group, there were no correlations between serum glutamine concentrations and set shifting. Conclusions Serum

  5. CNTRICS final animal model task selection: Control of attention

    OpenAIRE

    Lustig, C.; Kozak, R; Sarter, M.; Young, J.W.; Robbins, T. W.

    2013-01-01

    Schizophrenia is associated with impaired attention. The top-down control of attention, defined as the ability to guide and refocus attention in accordance with internal goals and representations, was identified by the Cognitive Neuroscience Treatment Research to Improve Cognition in Schizophrenia (CNTRICS) initiative as an important construct for task development and research. A recent CNTRICS meeting identified three tasks commonly used with rodent models as having high construct validity a...

  6. Task specificity of attention training: the case of probability cuing

    OpenAIRE

    Jiang, Yuhong V.; Swallow, Khena M.; Won, Bo-Yeong; Cistera, Julia D.; Rosenbaum, Gail M.

    2015-01-01

    Statistical regularities in our environment enhance perception and modulate the allocation of spatial attention. Surprisingly little is known about how learning-induced changes in spatial attention transfer across tasks. In this study, we investigated whether a spatial attentional bias learned in one task transfers to another. Most of the experiments began with a training phase in which a search target was more likely to be located in one quadrant of the screen than in the other quadrants. An...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  8. Reduced theta connectivity during set-shifting in children with autism

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    Sam McLeod Doesburg

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Autism spectrum disorder (ASD is a characterized by deficits in social cognition and executive function. An area of particular difficulty for children with ASD is cognitive flexibility, such as the ability to shift between attentional or response sets. The biological basis of such deficits remains poorly understood, although atypical development of structural and functional brain connectivity have been reported in ASD, suggesting that disruptions of normal patterns of inter-regional communication may contribute to cognitive problems in this group. The present MEG study measured inter-regional phase synchronization while children with ASD and typically developing matched controls (6-14 years of age performed a set-shifting task. Reduced theta-band phase synchronization was observed in children with ASD during extradimensional set-shifting. This reduction in task-dependent inter-regional connectivity encompassed numerous areas including multiple frontal lobe regions, and indicates that problems with communication among brain areas may contribute to difficulties with executive function in ASD.

  9. Attentional modulation of emotional conflict processing with flanker tasks.

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    Pingyan Zhou

    Full Text Available Emotion processing has been shown to acquire priority by biasing allocation of attentional resources. Aversive images or fearful expressions are processed quickly and automatically. Many existing findings suggested that processing of emotional information was pre-attentive, largely immune from attentional control. Other studies argued that attention gated the processing of emotion. To tackle this controversy, the current study examined whether and to what degrees attention modulated processing of emotion using a stimulus-response-compatibility (SRC paradigm. We conducted two flanker experiments using color scale faces in neutral expressions or gray scale faces in emotional expressions. We found SRC effects for all three dimensions (color, gender, and emotion and SRC effects were larger when the conflicts were task relevant than when they were task irrelevant, suggesting that conflict processing of emotion was modulated by attention, similar to those of color and face identity (gender. However, task modulation on color SRC effect was significantly greater than that on gender or emotion SRC effect, indicating that processing of salient information was modulated by attention to a lesser degree than processing of non-emotional stimuli. We proposed that emotion processing can be influenced by attentional control, but at the same time salience of emotional information may bias toward bottom-up processing, rendering less top-down modulation than that on non-emotional stimuli.

  10. Statistical regularities attract attention when task-relevant

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    Andrea eAlamia

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Visual attention seems essential for learning the statistical regularities in our environment, a process known as statistical learning. However, how attention is allocated when exploring a novel visual scene whose statistical structure is unknown remains unclear. In order to address this question, we investigated visual attention allocation during a task in which we manipulated the conditional probability of occurrence of colored stimuli, unbeknown to the subjects. Participants were instructed to detect a target colored dot among two dots moving along separate circular paths. We evaluated implicit statistical learning, i.e. the effect of color predictability on reaction times (RT, and recorded eye position concurrently. Attention allocation was indexed by comparing the Mahalanobis distance between the position, velocity and acceleration of the eyes and the 2 colored dots.We found that learning the conditional probabilities occurred very early during the course of the experiment as shown by the fact that, starting already from the first block, predictable stimuli were detected with shorter RT than unpredictable ones. In terms of attentional allocation, we found that the predictive stimulus attracted gaze only when it was informative about the occurrence of the target but not when it predicted the occurrence of a task-irrelevant stimulus. This suggests that attention allocation was influenced by regularities only when they were instrumental in performing the task. Moreover, we found that the attentional bias towards task-relevant predictive stimuli occurred at a very early stage of learning, concomitantly with the first effects of learning on RT.In conclusion, these results show that statistical regularities capture visual attention only after a few occurrences, provided these regularities are instrumental to perform the task.

  11. Anxiety, emotional distraction, and attentional control in the Stroop task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalanthroff, Eyal; Henik, Avishai; Derakshan, Nazanin; Usher, Marius

    2016-04-01

    Using a Stroop task, we investigated the effect of task-irrelevant emotional distractors on attentional proactive control and its interaction with trait anxiety. On the basis of recent findings showing opposed neural responses in the dorsal-executive versus the ventral-emotional systems in response to emotional distractors and of the attentional control theory (Eysenck, Derakshan, Santos, & Calvo, 2007), we hypothesized that negative distractors will result in a reduction of proactive task control in the executive system, especially for high-trait-anxious individuals. Using a computational model of the Stroop task, we derive 2 specific behavioral predictions of reduced proactive task control: increased Stroop interference and reversed Stroop facilitation. Twenty-five high- and 25 low-trait-anxious participants completed a Stroop task in which the target stimuli were preceded by brief (neutral vs. aversive) emotional distractors. While no effects of picture valence on proactive control was found in the low-anxious group, the predicted signatures of reduced proactive control were observed in the high-anxiety group. These results indicate that trait anxiety influences the interaction between irrelevant emotional stimuli and proactive control.

  12. Meditation training increases brain efficiency in an attention task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kozasa, Elisa H; Sato, João R; Lacerda, Shirley S; Barreiros, Maria A M; Radvany, João; Russell, Tamara A; Sanches, Liana G; Mello, Luiz E A M; Amaro, Edson

    2012-01-01

    Meditation is a mental training, which involves attention and the ability to maintain focus on a particular object. In this study we have applied a specific attentional task to simply measure the performance of the participants with different levels of meditation experience, rather than evaluating meditation practice per se or task performance during meditation. Our objective was to evaluate the performance of regular meditators and non-meditators during an fMRI adapted Stroop Word-Colour Task (SWCT), which requires attention and impulse control, using a block design paradigm. We selected 20 right-handed regular meditators and 19 non-meditators matched for age, years of education and gender. Participants had to choose the colour (red, blue or green) of single words presented visually in three conditions: congruent, neutral and incongruent. Non-meditators showed greater activity than meditators in the right medial frontal, middle temporal, precentral and postcentral gyri and the lentiform nucleus during the incongruent conditions. No regions were more activated in meditators relative to non-meditators in the same comparison. Non-meditators showed an increased pattern of brain activation relative to regular meditators under the same behavioural performance level. This suggests that meditation training improves efficiency, possibly via improved sustained attention and impulse control.

  13. Friendly Fire and the Sustained Attention to Response Task

    OpenAIRE

    Wilson, Kyle M.; Head, James; de Joux, Neil R.; Finkbeiner, Kristin M.; Helton, William S

    2015-01-01

    Objective: We investigated whether losses of inhibitory control could be responsible for some friendly-fire incidents. Background: Several factors are commonly cited to explain friendly-fire incidents, but failure of inhibitory control has not yet been explored. The Sustained Attention to Response Task (SART) could be a valid model for inhibition failures in some combat scenarios. Method: Participants completed small-arms simulations using near infrared emitter guns, confronting researc...

  14. Serum glutamine, set-shifting ability and anorexia nervosa

    OpenAIRE

    Collier David A; Campbell Iain C; Tchanturia Kate; Schmidt Ulrike; Hashimoto Kenji; Nakazato Michiko; Iyo Masaomi; Treasure Janet

    2010-01-01

    Abstract Background Set-shifting is impaired in people with anorexia nervosa (AN), but the underlying physiological and biochemical processes are unclear. Animal studies have established that glutamatergic pathways in the prefrontal cortex play an important role in set-shifting ability. However, it is not yet understood whether levels of serum glutamatergic amino acids are associated with set-shifting performance in humans. The aim of this study was to determine whether serum concentrations o...

  15. Attentional resource allocation in visuotactile processing depends on the task, but optimal visuotactile integration does not depend on attentional resources

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Basil eWahn

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Humans constantly process and integrate sensory input from multiple sensory modalities. However, the amount of input that can be processed is constrained by limited attentional resources. A matter of ongoing debate is whether attentional resources are shared across sensory modalities, and whether multisensory integration is dependent on attentional resources. Previous research suggested that the distribution of attentional resources across sensory modalities depends on the the type of tasks. Here, we tested a novel task combination in a dual task paradigm: Participants performed a self-terminated visual search task and a localization task in either separate sensory modalities (i.e., haptics and vision or both within the visual modality. Tasks considerably interfered. However, participants performed the visual search task faster when the localization task was performed in the tactile modality in comparison to performing both tasks within the visual modality. This finding indicates that tasks performed in separate sensory modalities rely in part on distinct attentional resources. Nevertheless, participants integrated visuotactile information optimally in the localization task even when attentional resources were diverted to the visual search task. Overall, our findings suggest that visual search and tactile localization partly rely on distinct attentional resources, and that optimal visuotactile integration is not dependent on attentional resources.

  16. Mental Set Shifting in Childhood: The Role of Working Memory and Inhibitory Control

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brocki, Karin C.; Tillman, Carin

    2014-01-01

    The role of working memory (WM) and inhibition in mental set shifting was examined from an individual difference perspective in children aged 5-14?years (N?=?117). Using the Hearts and Flowers task the rationale of the present study was to directly test the theoretical assumption that mental set shifiting in childhood primarily builds on WM and…

  17. Set-shifting as a component process of goal-directed problem-solving.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooper, Richard P; Marsh, Verity

    2016-03-01

    In two experiments, we compared secondary task interference on Tower of London performance resulting from three different secondary tasks. The secondary tasks were designed to tap three different executive functions, namely set-shifting, memory monitoring and updating, and response inhibition. Previous work using individual differences methodology suggests that, all other things being equal, the response inhibition or memory tasks should result in the greatest interference. However, this was not found to be the case. Rather, in both experiments the set-shifting task resulted in significantly more interference on Tower of London performance than either of the other secondary tasks. Subsequent analyses suggest that the degree of interference could not be attributed to differences in secondary task difficulty. Results are interpreted in the light of related work which suggests that solving problems with non-transparent goal/subgoal structure requires flexible shifting between subgoals-a process that is held to be impaired by concurrent performance of a set-shifting task.

  18. Transient Distraction and Attentional Control during a Sustained Selective Attention Task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Demeter, Elise; Woldorff, Marty G

    2016-07-01

    Distracting stimuli in the environment can pull our attention away from our goal-directed tasks. fMRI studies have implicated regions in right frontal cortex as being particularly important for processing distractors [e.g., de Fockert, J. W., & Theeuwes, J. Role of frontal cortex in attentional capture by singleton distractors. Brain and Cognition, 80, 367-373, 2012; Demeter, E., Hernandez-Garcia, L., Sarter, M., & Lustig, C. Challenges to attention: A continuous arterial spin labeling (ASL) study of the effects of distraction on sustained attention. Neuroimage, 54, 1518-1529, 2011]. Less is known, however, about the timing and sequence of how right frontal or other brain regions respond selectively to distractors and how distractors impinge upon the cascade of processes related to detecting and processing behaviorally relevant target stimuli. Here we used EEG and ERPs to investigate the neural consequences of a perceptually salient but task-irrelevant distractor on the detection of rare target stimuli embedded in a rapid, serial visual presentation (RSVP) stream. We found that distractors that occur during the presentation of a target interfere behaviorally with detection of those targets, reflected by reduced detection rates, and that these missed targets show a reduced amplitude of the long-latency, detection-related P3 component. We also found that distractors elicited a right-lateralized frontal negativity beginning at 100 msec, whose amplitude negatively correlated across participants with their distraction-related behavioral impairment. Finally, we also quantified the instantaneous amplitude of the steady-state visual evoked potentials elicited by the RSVP stream and found that the occurrence of a distractor resulted in a transient amplitude decrement of the steady-state visual evoked potential, presumably reflecting the pull of attention away from the RSVP stream when distracting stimuli occur in the environment. PMID:26967946

  19. Set shifting impairments in an outpatient eating disorder sample

    OpenAIRE

    Swanson, Helen M.

    2009-01-01

    Background: Patients with anorexia nervosa have been consistently reported to show impairments in set shifting ability. Such deficits may be associated with characteristics commonly observed in this patient group, such as obsessive thoughts and behaviours around eating, maladaptive problem solving and a rigid thinking style. Objective: Much of the preceding literature on set shifting ability has involved inpatient samples meeting strict diagnostic criteria for anorexia nervosa....

  20. 利他林对注意缺陷多动障碍大鼠注意定势转移能力与内侧前额叶神经递质及其代谢产物的影响%The effects of ritalin on the both attentional set shifting and levels of neurotransmitters and their metabolites in the mPFC in rat as a model of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    刘军; 苏巧荣; 曹枫林; 苏程

    2010-01-01

    Objective To evaluate the enhancement effects of ritalin enhancement of attentional set shifting and motor activity by assessing ability of attentional set shifting in juvenile spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRs)as an animal model of attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder.Methods Sixteen male 4 week-old SHRs were randomly divided into titalin(SR)and saline(SN),control groups(WN)respectively.The number of trails were recorded as the sign of the ability of attentional set shifting.Results The number of trails to reach the criterion of six consecutive was significantly more in the SN group than those of WN group in SD,CD,CDR,IDS,EDS(P<0.05,P<0.01).The same was observed in the SN group than in the ritalin-treated group(SR)in all stages except IDSR(P<0.05,P<0.01).Ventral subdivisions of mPFC:(1)At the base line,SN((504.142±100.96)ng·g~(-1))group have exhibited a higher NE((354.42±125.38)ng·g~(-1),P=0.001)level,MHPG/DOPAC ratio,a lower utilization ratio(MHPG/NE=3.28±1.11,DOPAC/DA=0.93±0.31)and a lower MHPG level((1560.04±159.69)ng·g~(-1))when compared with the WN subgroup((1709.95±322.29)ng·g~(-1),P=0.000).(2)The ritalin treatment in SHRs decreased MHPG/DOPAC ratio and also increased the utilization ratio(MHPG/NE:1.95±0.37,3.28±1.11,P=0.000;DOPAC/DA:0.31±0.15,0.93±0.31,P=0.000),and MHPG,DOPAC level when compared with the SN group(P<0.05~P<0.01).Conclusions(1)The juvenile SHRs have the disability of attentional set shifting,ritalin has shown effect to improve the ability of attentional set shifting in SHRs.(2)Decreased utilization ratios(DOPAC/DA,MHPG/NE)were found in in the ventral subdivision of mPFC in the SHRs while a relative unbalance between hypodopaminergic and hypemoradrenergic activity was also noted.(3)Effects of ritalin has been observed in enhancement of cognitive flexibility by way of increasing the utilization ratios(DOPAC/DA,MHPG/NE)and hence the relative unbalance hypodopaminergic and hypemoradrenergic activity is

  1. Monitoring attentional processes for intelligent channelling of educational tasks

    OpenAIRE

    Heyer Wollenberg, Patrick; Orihuela-Espina, Felipe; Herrera Vega, Javier; Sucar, Luis Enrique

    2014-01-01

    Aims: - Detection of attention: Map a lexicon of body postures to binarizedattentionallevels (Experiment I). - Attribution of attention: Identify postural features leading to appreciation of attention by third parties (e.g. educators) (Experiment II).

  2. The coupling between spatial attention and other components of task-set: A task-switching investigation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Longman, Cai S; Lavric, Aureliu; Monsell, Stephen

    2016-11-01

    Is spatial attention reconfigured independently of, or in tandem with, other task-set components when the task changes? We tracked the eyes of participants cued to perform one of three digit-classification tasks, each consistently associated with a distinct location. Previously we observed, on task switch trials, a substantial delay in orientation to the task-relevant location and tendency to fixate the location of the previously relevant task-"attentional inertia". In the present experiments the cues specified (and instructions emphasized) the relevant location rather than the current task. In Experiment 1, with explicit spatial cues (arrows or spatial adverbs), the previously documented attentional handicaps all but disappeared, whilst the performance "switch cost" increased. Hence, attention can become decoupled from other aspects of task-set, but at a cost to the efficacy of task-set preparation. Experiment 2 used arbitrary single-letter cues with instructions and a training regime that encouraged participants to interpret the cue as indicating the relevant location rather than task. As in our previous experiments, and unlike in Experiment 1, we now observed clear switch-induced attentional delay and inertia, suggesting that the natural tendency is for spatial attention and task-set to be coupled and that only quasi-exogenous location cues decouple their reconfiguration. PMID:27033987

  3. Differential effects of inactivation of the orbitofrontal cortex on strategy set-shifting and reversal learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghods-Sharifi, Sarvin; Haluk, Desirae M; Floresco, Stan B

    2008-05-01

    Different subregions of the rodent prefrontal cortex (PFC) mediate dissociable types of behavioral flexibility. For example, lesions of the medial or orbitofrontal (OFC) regions of the PFC impair extradimensional shifts and reversal learning, respectively, when novel stimuli are used during different phases of the task. In the present study, we assessed the effects of inactivation of the OFC on strategy set-shifting and reversal learning, using a maze based set-shifting task mediated by the medial PFC. Long-Evans rats were trained initially on a visual-cue discrimination to obtain food. On the subsequent day, rats had to shift to using a response strategy (e.g., always turn left). On Day 3 (reversal), rats were required to reverse the direction of their turn (e.g., always turn right). Infusions of the local anesthetic bupivacaine into the OFC did not impair initial visual discrimination learning, nor did it impair performance on the set-shift. In contrast, inactivation of the OFC did impair reversal learning; yet, these rats ceased using the previously acquired response rule as readily as controls. Instead, rats receiving OFC inactivations made a disproportionate number of erroneous arm entries towards the visual-cue, suggested that these animals reverted back to using the original visual-cue based strategy. These findings, in addition to previous data, further support the notion that the OFC and medial PFC play dissociable roles in reversal learning and set-shifting. Furthermore, the lack of effect of OFC inactivations on the set-shift indicates that this type of behavioral flexibility does not require cognitive operations related to reversal learning. PMID:18054257

  4. Residual attentional capacity amongst young and elderly during dual and triple task walking

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Læssøe, Uffe; Hoeck, Hans C.; Simonsen, Ole;

    2008-01-01

    Walking is considered an automatic function which demands little attentional resources. Thus a residual attentional capacity is available for a concurrent task (dual task). Minor age-related deficits in postural control may minimize the residual attentional capacity, however this may not be detec...

  5. Attentional Focus Effects as a Function of Task Difficulty

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wulf, Gabriele; Tollner, Thomas; Shea, Charles H.

    2007-01-01

    The purpose of the present study was to examine whether the advantages of adopting an external focus would be seen primarily for relatively challenging (postural stability) tasks but not less demanding tasks. To examine this, the authors used balance tasks that imposed increased challenges to maintaining stability. The present results support the…

  6. More Attention to Attention? An Eye-Tracking Investigation of Selection of Perceptual Attributes during a Task Switch

    Science.gov (United States)

    Longman, Cai S.; Lavric, Aureliu; Monsell, Stephen

    2013-01-01

    Switching tasks prolongs response times, an effect reduced but not eliminated by active preparation. To explore the role of attentional selection of the relevant stimulus attribute in these task-switch costs, we measured eye fixations in participants cued to identify either a face or a letter displayed on its forehead. With only 200 ms between cue…

  7. Time reproduction during high and low attentional tasks in Alzheimer's Disease. "A watched kettle never boils".

    Science.gov (United States)

    El Haj, Mohamad; Omigie, Diana; Moroni, Christine

    2014-07-01

    A wealth of empirical evidence suggests that directing attention to temporal processing increases perceived duration, whereas drawing attention away from it has the opposite effect. Our work investigates this phenomenon by comparing perceived duration during a high attentional and a low attentional task in Alzheimer's Disease (AD) patients since these participants tend to show attentional deficits. In the high attentional task, AD patients and older adults were asked to perform the interference condition of the Stroop test for 15s while in the low attentional task, they had to fixate on a cross for the same length of time. In both conditions, participants were not aware they would be questioned about timing until the end of the task when they had to reproduce the duration of the previously-viewed stimulus. AD patients under-reproduced the duration of previously-exposed stimulus in the high attentional relative to the low attentional task, and the same pattern was observed in older adults. Due to their attentional deficits, AD patients might be overwhelmed by the demand of the high attentional task, leaving very few, if any, attentional resources for temporal processing. PMID:24794142

  8. Differential neural correlates of set-shifting in the bingeing-purging and restrictive subtypes of anorexia nervosa : An fMRI study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Autreve, Sara; De Baene, W.; Baeken, Chris; van Heeringen, Kees; Vancayseele, Nikita; Vervaet, Myriam

    2016-01-01

    In this study, possible differences in the neural correlates of set-shifting abilities between the restrictive (AN-R) and bingeing/purging (AN-BP) subtypes of anorexia nervosa have been explored. Three groups of participants performed a set-shifting task during functional magnetic resonance imaging:

  9. Psychometric Intelligence and Visual Focused Attention: Relationships in Nonsearch Tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blanco, Manuel J.; Alvarez, Antonio A.

    1994-01-01

    The relationship between general intelligence and the ability to ignore irrelevant stimuli appearing in the same visual field as an attended target was studied for 167 college students. Results indicate that psychometric intelligence does not tap visual focused attention. (SLD)

  10. Role of Gestalt grouping in selective attention: Evidence from the Stroop task

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lamers, M.J.M.; Roelofs, A.P.A.

    2007-01-01

    Selective attention has been intensively studied using the Stroop task. Evidence suggests that Stroop interference in a color-naming task arises partly because of visual attention sharing between color and word: Removing the target color after 150 msec reduces interference (Neumann, 1986). Moreover,

  11. Brain activity during divided and selective attention to auditory and visual sentence comprehension tasks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mona eMoisala

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we measured brain activity of human participants while they performed a sentence congruence judgment task in either the visual or auditory modality separately, or in both modalities simultaneously. Significant performance decrements were observed when attention was divided between the two modalities compared with when one modality was selectively attended. Compared with selective attention (i.e., single tasking, divided attention (i.e., dual-tasking did not recruit additional cortical regions, but resulted in increased activity in medial and lateral frontal regions which were also activated by the component tasks when performed separately. Areas involved in semantic language processing were revealed predominantly in the left lateral prefrontal cortex by contrasting incongruent with congruent sentences. These areas also showed significant activity increases during divided attention in relation to selective attention. In the sensory cortices, no crossmodal inhibition was observed during divided attention when compared with selective attention to one modality. Our results suggest that the observed performance decrements during dual-tasking are due to interference of the two tasks because they utilize the same part of the cortex. Moreover, semantic dual-tasking did not appear to recruit additional brain areas in comparison with single tasking, and no crossmodal inhibition was observed during intermodal divided attention.

  12. Age, task complexity, and sex as potential moderators of attentional focus effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becker, Kevin; Smith, Peter J K

    2013-08-01

    The study tested whether age, sex, or task complexity moderate the effect of attentional focus on motor learning. Children (24 boys, 24 girls) and adults (24 men, 24 women) were assigned to an internal or external attentional focus, and were timed while riding either a Double Pedalo with handles (simple task) or without handles (complex task) over a distance of 7 meters. A Double Pedalo is a four-wheeled device that involves standing on two connected platforms, and alternately pushing them forward to make it move. Participants completed 20 acquisition trials, followed by a 24-hour retention test. For the simpler task, no time differences due to attentional focus emerged. With the complex task, an external focus resulted in faster times in retention than an internal focus, but only for males. These findings suggest that attentional focus affects children and adults similarly, but task complexity and sex moderate these effects.

  13. Selective attention to task-irrelevant emotional distractors is unaffected by the perceptual load associated with a foreground task.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Catherine Hindi Attar

    Full Text Available A number of studies have shown that emotionally arousing stimuli are preferentially processed in the human brain. Whether or not this preference persists under increased perceptual load associated with a task at hand remains an open question. Here we manipulated two possible determinants of the attentional selection process, perceptual load associated with a foreground task and the emotional valence of concurrently presented task-irrelevant distractors. As a direct measure of sustained attentional resource allocation in early visual cortex we used steady-state visual evoked potentials (SSVEPs elicited by distinct flicker frequencies of task and distractor stimuli. Subjects either performed a detection (low load or discrimination (high load task at a centrally presented symbol stream that flickered at 8.6 Hz while task-irrelevant neutral or unpleasant pictures from the International Affective Picture System (IAPS flickered at a frequency of 12 Hz in the background of the stream. As reflected in target detection rates and SSVEP amplitudes to both task and distractor stimuli, unpleasant relative to neutral background pictures more strongly withdrew processing resources from the foreground task. Importantly, this finding was unaffected by the factor 'load' which turned out to be a weak modulator of attentional processing in human visual cortex.

  14. Attention effects on the processing of task-relevant and task-irrelevant speech sounds and letters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mittag, Maria; Inauri, Karina; Huovilainen, Tatu; Leminen, Miika; Salo, Emma; Rinne, Teemu; Kujala, Teija; Alho, Kimmo

    2013-01-01

    We used event-related brain potentials (ERPs) to study effects of selective attention on the processing of attended and unattended spoken syllables and letters. Participants were presented with syllables randomly occurring in the left or right ear and spoken by different voices and with a concurrent foveal stream of consonant letters written in darker or lighter fonts. During auditory phonological (AP) and non-phonological tasks, they responded to syllables in a designated ear starting with a vowel and spoken by female voices, respectively. These syllables occurred infrequently among standard syllables starting with a consonant and spoken by male voices. During visual phonological and non-phonological tasks, they responded to consonant letters with names starting with a vowel and to letters written in dark fonts, respectively. These letters occurred infrequently among standard letters with names starting with a consonant and written in light fonts. To examine genuine effects of attention and task on ERPs not overlapped by ERPs associated with target processing or deviance detection, these effects were studied only in ERPs to auditory and visual standards. During selective listening to syllables in a designated ear, ERPs to the attended syllables were negatively displaced during both phonological and non-phonological auditory tasks. Selective attention to letters elicited an early negative displacement and a subsequent positive displacement (Pd) of ERPs to attended letters being larger during the visual phonological than non-phonological task suggesting a higher demand for attention during the visual phonological task. Active suppression of unattended speech during the AP and non-phonological tasks and during the visual phonological tasks was suggested by a rejection positivity (RP) to unattended syllables. We also found evidence for suppression of the processing of task-irrelevant visual stimuli in visual ERPs during auditory tasks involving left-ear syllables

  15. Measuring attention in rodents: comparison of a modified signal detection task and the 5-choice serial reaction time task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karly Maree Turner

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Neuropsychiatric research has utilised cognitive testing in rodents to improve our understanding of cognitive deficits and for preclinical drug development. However, more sophisticated cognitive tasks have not been as widely exploited due to low throughput and the extensive training time required. We developed a modified signal detection task (SDT based on the growing body of literature aimed at improving cognitive testing in rodents. This study directly compares performance on the modified SDT with the traditional test for measuring attention, the 5-choice serial reaction time task (5CSRTT. Adult male Sprague-Dawley rats were trained on either the 5CSRTT or the SDT. Briefly, the 5CSRTT required rodents to pay attention to a spatial array of 5 apertures and respond with a nose poke when an aperture was illuminated. The SDT required the rat to attend to a light panel and respond either left or right to indicate the presence of a signal. In addition, modifications were made to the reward delivery, timing, control of body positioning and the self-initiation of trials. It was found that less training time was required for the SDT, with both sessions to criteria and daily session duration significantly reduced. Rats performed with a high level of accuracy (>87% on both tasks, however omissions were far more frequent on the 5CSRTT. The signal duration was reduced on both tasks as a manipulation of task difficulty relevant to attention and a similar pattern of decreasing accuracy was observed on both tasks. These results demonstrate some of the advantages of the SDT over the traditional 5CSRTT as being higher throughput with reduced training time, fewer omission responses and their body position at stimulus onset was controlled. In addition, rats performing the SDT had comparable high levels of accuracy. These results highlight the differences and similarities between the 5CSRTT and a modified SDT as tools for assessing attention in preclinical animal

  16. Genetic Influence on Slope Variability in a Childhood Reflexive Attention Task.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rebecca A Lundwall

    Full Text Available Individuals are not perfectly consistent, and interindividual variability is a common feature in all varieties of human behavior. Some individuals respond more variably than others, however, and this difference may be important to understanding how the brain works. In this paper, we explore genetic contributions to response time (RT slope variability on a reflexive attention task. We are interested in such variability because we believe it is an important part of the overall picture of attention that, if understood, has the potential to improve intervention for those with attentional deficits. Genetic association studies are valuable in discovering biological pathways of variability and several studies have found such associations with a sustained attention task. Here, we expand our knowledge to include a reflexive attention task. We ask whether specific candidate genes are associated with interindividual variability on a childhood reflexive attention task in 9-16 year olds. The genetic makers considered are on 11 genes: APOE, BDNF, CHRNA4, COMT, DRD4, HTR4, IGF2, MAOA, SLC5A7, SLC6A3, and SNAP25. We find significant associations with variability with markers on nine and we discuss the results in terms of neurotransmitters associated with each gene and the characteristics of the associated measures from the reflexive attention task.

  17. The Effects of Focus of Attention and Task Objective Consistency on Learning a Balancing Task

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, Brian H.; Holmes, Amanda M.

    2011-01-01

    In motor learning, a popular area of research has been to examine the importance of where individuals focus their attention during the acquisition of motor skills. Researchers in this area have proposed that, when teaching a motor skill, the instructions used to direct the learner's attention can affect the immediate and long-term retention of…

  18. Design and validation of HABTA: Human Attention-Based Task Allocator

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Maanen, P.P. van; Koning, L. de; Dongen, C.J. van

    2007-01-01

    This paper addresses the development of an adaptive cooperative agent in a domain that suffers from human error in the allocation of attention. The design is discussed of a component of this adaptive agent, called Human Attention-Based Task Allocator (HABTA), capable of managing agent and human atte

  19. Enhancing perceptual and attentional skills requires common demands between the action video games and transfer tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oei, Adam C; Patterson, Michael D

    2015-01-01

    Despite increasing evidence that shows action video game play improves perceptual and cognitive skills, the mechanisms of transfer are not well-understood. In line with previous work, we suggest that transfer is dependent upon common demands between the game and transfer task. In the current study, participants played one of four action games with varying speed, visual, and attentional demands for 20 h. We examined whether training enhanced performance for attentional blink, selective attention, attending to multiple items, visual search and auditory detection. Non-gamers who played the game (Modern Combat) with the highest demands showed transfer to tasks of attentional blink and attending to multiple items. The game (MGS Touch) with fewer attentional demands also decreased attentional blink, but to a lesser degree. Other games failed to show transfer, despite having many action game characteristics but at a reduced intensity. The results support the common demands hypothesis.

  20. Effects of Auditory Attention Training with the Dichotic Listening Task: Behavioural and Neurophysiological Evidence

    OpenAIRE

    Jussi Tallus; Anna Soveri; Heikki Hämäläinen; Jyrki Tuomainen; Matti Laine

    2015-01-01

    Facilitation of general cognitive capacities such as executive functions through training has stirred considerable research interest during the last decade. Recently we demonstrated that training of auditory attention with forced attention dichotic listening not only facilitated that performance but also generalized to an untrained attentional task. In the present study, 13 participants underwent a 4-week dichotic listening training programme with instructions to report syllables presented to...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  2. Qualitative attentional changes with age in doing two tasks at once.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maquestiaux, François

    2016-02-01

    Does practice reduce, or even eliminate, aging effects on the attentional limitations responsible for dual-task interference? The studies reviewed in this article show that age differences reliably persist after extensive practice. Strikingly, dual-task interference remains larger among older adults even in training conditions that allow them to achieve single-task performance as fast as younger adults. These findings demonstrate that age deficits in attentional functioning are robust. Advancing age also can be accompanied by improvements in cognitive functioning, such as in the ability to access the lexicon without attention (i.e., automatically), due to lifelong experience with word reading. Future research needs to establish whether age deficits in central attention are due to structural changes that are irreversible or reversible to some extent. PMID:26106060

  3. Emotion has no impact on attention in a change detection flicker task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert Colin Alan Bendall

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Past research provides conflicting findings regarding the influence of emotion on visual attention. Early studies suggested a broadening of attentional resources in relation to positive mood. However, more recent evidence indicates that positive emotions may not have a beneficial impact on attention, and that the relationship between emotion and attention may be mitigated by factors such as task demand or stimulus valence. The current study explored the effect of emotion on attention using the change detection flicker paradigm. Participants were induced into positive, neutral, and negative mood states and then completed a change detection task. A series of neutral scenes were presented and participants had to identify the location of a disappearing item in each scene. The change was made to the centre or the periphery of each scene and it was predicted that peripheral changes would be detected quicker in the positive mood condition and slower in the negative mood condition, compared to the neutral condition. In contrast to previous findings emotion had no influence on attention and whilst central changes were detected faster than peripheral changes, change blindness was not affected by mood. The findings suggest that the relationship between emotion and visual attention is influenced by the characteristics of a task, and any beneficial impact of positive emotion may be related to processing style rather than a broadening of attentional resources.

  4. Intra- and Inter-Task Reliability of Spatial Attention Measures in Pseudoneglect.

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    Gemma Learmonth

    Full Text Available Healthy young adults display a leftward asymmetry of spatial attention ("pseudoneglect" that has been measured with a wide range of different tasks. Yet at present there is a lack of systematic evidence that the tasks commonly used in research today are i stable measures over time and ii provide similar measures of spatial bias. Fifty right-handed young adults were tested on five tasks (manual line bisection, landmark, greyscales, gratingscales and lateralised visual detection on two different days. All five tasks were found to be stable measures of bias over the two testing sessions, indicating that each is a reliable measure in itself. Surprisingly, no strongly significant inter-task correlations were found. However, principal component analysis revealed left-right asymmetries to be subdivided in 4 main components, namely asymmetries in size judgements (manual line bisection and landmark, luminance judgements (greyscales, stimulus detection (lateralised visual detection and judgements of global/local features (manual line bisection and grating scales. The results align with recent research on hemispatial neglect which conceptualises the condition as multi-component rather than a single pathological deficit of spatial attention. We conclude that spatial biases in judgment of visual stimulus features in healthy adults (e.g., pseudoneglect is also a multi-component phenomenon that may be captured by variations in task demands which engage task-dependent patterns of activation within the attention network.

  5. Attentional Capture by Salient Distractors during Visual Search Is Determined by Temporal Task Demands

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kiss, Monika; Grubert, Anna; Petersen, Anders;

    2012-01-01

    until response onset. Equally strong evidence for top–down control of attentional capture was obtained in spatial cueing experiments in which display durations were very brief. To demonstrate the critical role of temporal task demands on salience-driven attentional capture, we measured ERP indicators of...... capture by task-irrelevant color singletons in search arrays that could also contain a shape target. In Experiment 1, all displays were visible until response onset. In Experiment 2, display duration was limited to 200 msec. With long display durations, color singleton distractors elicited an N2pc...

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

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    Fernanda Machado Lopes

    2015-12-01

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

  7. Advert saliency distracts children's visual attention during task-oriented internet use

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    Nils eHolmberg

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available The general research question of the present study was to assess the impact of visually salient online adverts on children's task-oriented internet use. In order to answer this question, an experimental study was constructed in which 9-year-old and 12-year-old Swedish children were asked to solve a number of tasks while interacting with a mockup website. In each trial, web adverts in several saliency conditions were presented. By both measuring children's task accuracy, as well as the visual processing involved in solving these tasks, this study allows us to infer how two types of visual saliency affect children's attentional behavior, and whether such behavioral effects also impacts their task performance. Analyses show that low-level visual features and task relevance in online adverts have different effects on performance measures and process measures respectively. Whereas task performance is stable with regard to several advert saliency conditions, a marked effect is seen on children's gaze behavior. On the other hand, task performance is shown to be more sensitive to individual differences such as age, gender and level of gaze control. The results provide evidence about cognitive and behavioral distraction effects in children's task-oriented internet use caused by visual saliency in online adverts. The experiment suggests that children to some extent are able to compensate for behavioral effects caused by distracting visual stimuli when solving prospective memory tasks. Suggestions are given for further research into the interdiciplinary area between media research and cognitive science.

  8. Advert saliency distracts children's visual attention during task-oriented internet use.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holmberg, Nils; Sandberg, Helena; Holmqvist, Kenneth

    2014-01-01

    The general research question of the present study was to assess the impact of visually salient online adverts on children's task-oriented internet use. In order to answer this question, an experimental study was constructed in which 9- and 12-year-old Swedish children were asked to solve a number of tasks while interacting with a mockup website. In each trial, web adverts in several saliency conditions were presented. By both measuring children's task accuracy, as well as the visual processing involved in solving these tasks, this study allows us to infer how two types of visual saliency affect children's attentional behavior, and whether such behavioral effects also impacts their task performance. Analyses show that low-level visual features and task relevance in online adverts have different effects on performance measures and process measures respectively. Whereas task performance is stable with regard to several advert saliency conditions, a marked effect is seen on children's gaze behavior. On the other hand, task performance is shown to be more sensitive to individual differences such as age, gender and level of gaze control. The results provide evidence about cognitive and behavioral distraction effects in children's task-oriented internet use caused by visual saliency in online adverts. The experiment suggests that children to some extent are able to compensate for behavioral effects caused by distracting visual stimuli when solving prospective memory tasks. Suggestions are given for further research into the interdiciplinary area between media research and cognitive science. PMID:24575057

  9. Task-related changes in functional properties of the human brain network underlying attentional control.

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    Tetsuo Kida

    Full Text Available Previous studies have demonstrated task-related changes in brain activation and inter-regional connectivity but the temporal dynamics of functional properties of the brain during task execution is still unclear. In the present study, we investigated task-related changes in functional properties of the human brain network by applying graph-theoretical analysis to magnetoencephalography (MEG. Subjects performed a cue-target attention task in which a visual cue informed them of the direction of focus for incoming auditory or tactile target stimuli, but not the sensory modality. We analyzed the MEG signal in the cue-target interval to examine network properties during attentional control. Cluster-based non-parametric permutation tests with the Monte-Carlo method showed that in the cue-target interval, beta activity was desynchronized in the sensori-motor region including premotor and posterior parietal regions in the hemisphere contralateral to the attended side. Graph-theoretical analysis revealed that, in beta frequency, global hubs were found around the sensori-motor and prefrontal regions, and functional segregation over the entire network was decreased during attentional control compared to the baseline. Thus, network measures revealed task-related temporal changes in functional properties of the human brain network, leading to the understanding of how the brain dynamically responds to task execution as a network.

  10. Effects of Thermal Stress on Dual Task Performance and Attention Allocation

    OpenAIRE

    Chase, Bradley; Karwowski, Waldemar; Benedict, Michael E.; Queseda, Peter M.

    2005-01-01

    A visual-visual dual task was designed to test the effect of the thermal environment on dual task performance and attention allocation. The temperatures selected for testing were 20 and 35°C Wet Bulb Globe Temperature (WBGT) in experiment 1 and 25, 30 and 35°C Wet Bulb Globe Temperature (WBGT) in experiment 2. In experiment 1, 34 volunteers were randomly assigned to one of the two temperature conditions. A variable representing accuracy on both tasks was coded such that a correct response was...

  11. Are divided attention tasks useful in the assessment and management of sport-related concussion?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Register-Mihalik, Johna K; Littleton, Ashley C; Guskiewicz, Kevin M

    2013-12-01

    This article is a systematic review of the literature on divided attention assessment inclusive of a cognitive and motor task (balance or gait) for use in concussion management. The systematic review drew from published papers listed in PubMed, MEDLINE, EMBASE and CINAHL databases. The search identified 19 empirical research papers meeting the inclusion criteria. Study results were considered for the psychometric properties of the paradigms, the influence of divided attention on measures of cognition and postural control and the comparison of divided attention task outcomes between individuals with concussion and healthy controls (all samples were age 17 years or older). The review highlights that the reliability of the tasks under a divided attention paradigm presented ranges from low to high (ICC: 0.1-0.9); however, only 3/19 articles included psychometric information. Response times are greater, gait strategies are less efficient, and postural control deficits are greater in concussed participants compared with healthy controls both immediately and for some period following concussive injury, specifically under divided attention conditions. Dual task assessments in some cases were more reliable than single task assessments and may be better able to detect lingering effects following concussion. Few of the studies have been replicated and applied across various age groups. A key limitation of these studies is that many include laboratory and time-intensive measures. Future research is needed to refine a time and cost efficient divided attention assessment paradigm, and more work is needed in younger (pre-teens) populations where the application may be of greatest utility.

  12. Attention Capture by Direct Gaze is Robust to Context and Task Demands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palanica, Adam; Itier, Roxane J

    2012-06-01

    Eye-tracking was used to investigate whether gaze direction would influence the visual scanning of faces, when presented in the context of a full character, in different social settings, and with different task demands. Participants viewed individual computer agents against either a blank background or a bar scene setting, during both a free-viewing task and an attractiveness rating task for each character. Faces with a direct gaze were viewed longer than faces with an averted gaze regardless of body context, social settings, and task demands. Additionally, participants evaluated characters with a direct gaze as more attractive than characters with an averted gaze. These results, obtained with pictures of computer agents rather than real people, suggest that direct gaze is a powerful attention grabbing stimulus that is robust to background context or task demands. PMID:24976664

  13. Self-regulation of frontal-midline theta facilitates memory updating and mental set shifting

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    Stefanie eEnriquez-Geppert

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Frontal-midline (fm theta oscillations as measured via the electroencephalogram (EEG have been suggested as neural working language of executive functioning. Their power has been shown to increase when cognitive processing or task performance is enhanced. Thus, the question arises whether learning to increase fm-theta amplitudes would functionally impact the behavioral performance in tasks probing executive functions (EFs. Here, the effects of neurofeedback, a learning method to self-up-regulate fm-theta over frontal-midline electrodes, on the four most representative EFs, memory updating, set shifting, conflict monitoring, and motor inhibition are presented. Before beginning and after completing an individualized, eight-session gap-spaced neurofeedback intervention, the three-back, letter/number task-switching, Stroop, and stop-signal tasks were tested while measuring the EEG. Self-determined up-regulation of fm-theta and its putative role for executive functioning were compared to an active control group, the so-called pseudo-neurofeedback group. Task-related fm-theta activity after training differed significantly between groups. More importantly, though, after neurofeedback significantly enhanced behavioral performance was observed. The training group showed higher accuracy scores in the three-back task and reduced mixing and shifting costs in letter/number task-switching. However, this specific protocol type did not affect performance in tasks probing conflict monitoring and motor inhibition. Thus, our results suggest a modulation of proactive but not reactive mechanisms of cognitive control. In sum, the modulation of fm-theta via neurofeedback may serve as potent treatment approach for executive dysfunctions.

  14. Attention as a Cueing Function during Kindergarten Children's Dimensional Change Task Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coldren, Jeffrey T.; Colombo, John

    2009-01-01

    The purpose of this experiment is to test whether shift flexibility in kindergarten children is a joint function of rule-usage and inhibition of attention. Sixty-six children were given either a distraction or facilitation condition in a computerized version of the dimensional change card sort task. In the distraction condition, the background of…

  15. Attention, gaze shifting, and dual-task interference from phonological encoding in spoken word planning

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Roelofs, A.P.A.

    2008-01-01

    Controversy exists about whether dual-task interference from word planning reflects structural bottleneck or attentional control factors. Here, participants named pictures whose names could or could not be phonologically prepared. and they manually responded to arrows presented away from (Experiment

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  17. 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…

  18. 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.

  19. Searching for inhibition of return in the rat using the covert orienting of attention task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagner, Ulf; Baker, Lucy; Rostron, Claire

    2014-09-01

    Inhibition of return (IOR) is an important psychological construct describing inhibited responses to previously attended locations. In humans, it is investigated using Posner's cueing paradigm. This paradigm requires central visual fixation and detection of cued stimuli to the left or right of the fixation point. Stimuli can be validly or invalidly cued, appearing in the same or opposite location to the cue. Although a rat version of the spatial cueing paradigm (the covert orienting of attention task) does exist, IOR has so far not been demonstrated. We therefore investigated whether IOR could be robustly demonstrated in adult male rats using the covert orienting of attention task. This task is conducted in holed wall operant chambers with the central three holes mimicking the set-up for Posner cueing. Across four samples of rats (overall n = 84), we manipulated the following task parameters: stimulus onset asynchronies (Experiments 1-3), cue brightness (Experiment 1b) and the presence of a central reorienting event (Experiment 4). In Experiment 1, we also investigated strain differences by comparing Lister Hooded rats to Sprague-Dawley rats. Although Lister Hooded rats briefly showed evidence of IOR (Experiment 1a, and see Online Resource 1 data), we were unable to replicate this finding in our other experiments using different samples of this strain. Taken together, our findings suggest that IOR cannot be robustly demonstrated in the rat using the covert orienting of attention task conducted in holed wall operant chambers. PMID:24682709

  20. Effects of Auditory Attention Training with the Dichotic Listening Task: Behavioural and Neurophysiological Evidence.

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    Jussi Tallus

    Full Text Available Facilitation of general cognitive capacities such as executive functions through training has stirred considerable research interest during the last decade. Recently we demonstrated that training of auditory attention with forced attention dichotic listening not only facilitated that performance but also generalized to an untrained attentional task. In the present study, 13 participants underwent a 4-week dichotic listening training programme with instructions to report syllables presented to the left ear (FL training group. Another group (n = 13 was trained using the non-forced instruction, asked to report whichever syllable they heard the best (NF training group. The study aimed to replicate our previous behavioural results, and to explore the neurophysiological correlates of training through event-related brain potentials (ERPs. We partially replicated our previous behavioural training effects, as the FL training group tended to show more allocation of auditory spatial attention to the left ear in a standard dichotic listening task. ERP measures showed diminished N1 and enhanced P2 responses to dichotic stimuli after training in both groups, interpreted as improvement in early perceptual processing of the stimuli. Additionally, enhanced anterior N2 amplitudes were found after training, with relatively larger changes in the FL training group in the forced-left condition, suggesting improved top-down control on the trained task. These results show that top-down cognitive training can modulate the left-right allocation of auditory spatial attention, accompanied by a change in an evoked brain potential related to cognitive control.

  1. Drive for muscularity and muscularity-oriented disordered eating in men: the role of set shifting difficulties and weak central coherence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griffiths, Scott; Murray, Stuart B; Touyz, Stephen

    2013-09-01

    Set shifting difficulties and weak central coherence are information-processing biases associated with thinness-oriented eating and body image pathology in women. However, little is known about the relationship between these processing biases and muscularity-oriented eating and body image pathology. We investigated whether set shifting and central coherence were uniquely related to the drive for muscularity and muscularity-oriented disordered eating in a sample of 91 male undergraduates. Participants completed the Wisconsin Card Sort Test, the Matching Familiar Figures Task, the Drive for Muscularity scale, and a modified Eating Disorders Examination-Questionnaire. Results indicated that set shifting difficulties and weak central coherence were both uniquely positively associated with the drive for muscularity, and that set shifting difficulties were uniquely positively associated with muscularity-oriented disordered eating. Results are discussed with regard to the male experience of body image and eating pathology, and in regard to muscle dysmorphia. PMID:23680082

  2. 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

  3. Role of Gestalt grouping in selective attention: evidence from the Stroop task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamers, Martijn J M; Roelofs, Ardi

    2007-11-01

    Selective attention has been intensively studied using the Stroop task. Evidence suggests that Stroop interference in a color-naming task arises partly because of visual attention sharing between color and word: Removing the target color after 150 msec reduces interference (Neumann, 1986). Moreover, removing both the color and the word simultaneously reduces interference less than does removing the color only (La Heij, van der Heijden, & Plooij, 2001). These findings could also be attributed to Gestalt grouping principles, such as common fate. We report three experiments in which the role of Gestalt grouping was further investigated. Experiment I replicated the reduced interference, using words and color patches. In Experiment 2, the color patch was not removed but only repositioned (Gestalt grouping in selective attention.

  4. Go-stimuli proportion influences response strategy in a sustained attention to response task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Kyle M; Finkbeiner, Kristin M; de Joux, Neil R; Russell, Paul N; Helton, William S

    2016-10-01

    The sustained attention to response task (SART) usefulness as a measure of sustained attention has been questioned. The SART may instead be a better measure of other psychological processes and could prove useful in understanding some real-world behaviours. Thirty participants completed four Go/No-Go response tasks much like the SART, with Go-stimuli proportions of .50, .65, .80 and .95. As Go-stimuli proportion increased, reaction times decreased while both commission errors and self-reported task-related thoughts increased. Performance measures were associated with task-related thoughts but not task-unrelated thoughts. Instead of faster reaction times and increased commission errors being due to absentmindedness or perceptual decoupling from the task, the results suggested participants made use of two competing response strategies, in line with a response strategy or response inhibition perspective of SART performance. Interestingly, performance measures changed in a nonlinear manner, despite the linear Go proportion increase. A threshold may exist where the prepotent motor response becomes more pronounced, leading to the disproportionate increase in response speed and commission errors. This research has implications for researchers looking to employ the SART and for more applied contexts where the consequences of response inhibition failures can be serious. PMID:27329605

  5. The effects of acute alcohol on psychomotor, set-shifting, and working memory performance in older men and women.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoffman, Lauren A; Sklar, Alfredo L; Nixon, Sara Jo

    2015-05-01

    A limited number of publications have documented the effects of acute alcohol administration among older adults. Among these, only a few have investigated sex differences within this population. The current project examined the behavioral effects of acute low- and moderate-dose alcohol on 62 older (ages 55-70) male and female, healthy, light to moderate drinkers. Participants were randomly assigned to one of three dose conditions: placebo (peak breath alcohol concentration [BrAC] of 0 mg/dL), low (peak BrAC of 40 mg/dL), and moderate (peak BrAC of 65 mg/dL). Tasks assessed psychomotor, set-shifting, and working memory performance. Better set-shifting abilities were observed among women, whereas men demonstrated more efficient working memory, regardless of dose. The moderate-dose group did not significantly differ from the placebo group on any task. However, the low-dose group performed better than the moderate-dose group across measures of set shifting and working memory. Relative to the placebo group, the low-dose group exhibited better working memory, specifically for faces. Interestingly, there were no sex by dose interactions. These data suggest that, at least for our study's task demands, low and moderate doses of alcohol do not significantly hinder psychomotor, set-shifting, or working memory performance among older adults. In fact, low-dose alcohol may facilitate certain cognitive abilities. Furthermore, although sex differences in cognitive abilities were observed, these alcohol doses did not differentially affect men and women. Further investigation is necessary to better characterize the effects of sex and alcohol dose on cognition in older adults.

  6. Alpha spindles as neurophysiological correlates indicating attentional shift in a simulated driving task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sonnleitner, Andreas; Simon, Michael; Kincses, Wilhelm E; Buchner, Axel; Schrauf, Michael

    2012-01-01

    The intention of this paper is to describe neurophysiological correlates of driver distraction with highly robust parameters in the EEG (i.e. alpha spindles). In a simulated driving task with two different secondary tasks (i.e. visuomotor, auditory), N=28 participants had to perform full stop brakes reacting to appearing stop signs and red traffic lights. Alpha spindle rate was significantly higher during an auditory secondary task and significantly lower during a visuomotor secondary task as compared to driving only. Alpha spindle duration was significantly shortened during a visuomotor secondary task. The results are consistent with the assumption that alpha spindles indicate active inhibition of visual information processing. Effects on the alpha spindles while performing secondary tasks on top of the driving task indicate attentional shift according to the task modality. As compared to alpha band power, both the measures of alpha spindle rate and alpha spindle duration were less vulnerable to artifacts and the effect sizes were larger, allowing for a more accurate description of the current driver state.

  7. Anatomy of an Error: A Bidirectional State Model of Task Engagement/Disengagement and Attention-Related Errors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheyne, J. Allan; Solman, Grayden J. F.; Carriere, Jonathan S. A.; Smilek, Daniel

    2009-01-01

    We present arguments and evidence for a three-state attentional model of task engagement/disengagement. The model postulates three states of mind-wandering: occurrent task inattention, generic task inattention, and response disengagement. We hypothesize that all three states are both causes and consequences of task performance outcomes and apply…

  8. Parietal theta burst TMS: Functional fractionation observed during bistable perception not evident in attention tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schauer, Georg; Kanai, Ryota; Brascamp, Jan W

    2016-02-01

    When visual input is ambiguous, perception spontaneously alternates between interpretations: bistable perception. Studies have identified two distinct sites near the right intraparietal sulcus where inhibitory transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) affects the frequency of occurrence of these alternations, but strikingly with opposite directions of effect for the two sites. Lesion and TMS studies on spatial and sustained attention have also indicated a parcellation of right parietal cortex, into areas serving distinct attentional functions. We used the exact TMS procedure previously employed to affect bistable perception, yet measured its effect on spatial and sustained attention tasks. Although there was a trend for TMS to affect performance, trends were consistently similar for both parietal sites, with no indication of opposite effects. We interpret this as signifying that the previously observed parietal fractionation of function regarding the perception of ambiguous stimuli is not due to TMS-induced modification of spatial or sustained attention.

  9. Real-time performance modelling of a Sustained Attention to Response Task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larue, Grégoire S; Rakotonirainy, Andry; Pettitt, Anthony N

    2010-10-01

    Vigilance declines when exposed to highly predictable and uneventful tasks. Monotonous tasks provide little cognitive and motor stimulation and contribute to human errors. This paper aims to model and detect vigilance decline in real time through participants' reaction times during a monotonous task. A laboratory-based experiment adapting the Sustained Attention to Response Task (SART) is conducted to quantify the effect of monotony on overall performance. Relevant parameters are then used to build a model detecting hypovigilance throughout the experiment. The accuracy of different mathematical models is compared to detect in real time - minute by minute - the lapses in vigilance during the task. It is shown that monotonous tasks can lead to an average decline in performance of 45%. Furthermore, vigilance modelling enables the detection of vigilance decline through reaction times with an accuracy of 72% and a 29% false alarm rate. Bayesian models are identified as a better model to detect lapses in vigilance as compared with neural networks and generalised linear mixed models. This modelling could be used as a framework to detect vigilance decline of any human performing monotonous tasks. STATEMENT OF RELEVANCE: Existing research on monotony is largely entangled with endogenous factors such as sleep deprivation, fatigue and circadian rhythm. This paper uses a Bayesian model to assess the effects of a monotonous task on vigilance in real time. It is shown that the negative effects of monotony on the ability to sustain attention can be mathematically modelled and predicted in real time using surrogate measures, such as reaction times. This allows the modelling of vigilance fluctuations.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julie Bolduc-Teasdale

    2012-01-01

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

  11. Functional neuroimaging of visuospatial working memory tasks enables accurate detection of attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rubi Hammer

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Finding neurobiological markers for neurodevelopmental disorders, such as attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD, is a major objective of clinicians and neuroscientists. We examined if functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI data from a few distinct visuospatial working memory (VSWM tasks enables accurately detecting cases with ADHD. We tested 20 boys with ADHD combined type and 20 typically developed (TD boys in four VSWM tasks that differed in feedback availability (feedback, no-feedback and reward size (large, small. We used a multimodal analysis based on brain activity in 16 regions of interest, significantly activated or deactivated in the four VSWM tasks (based on the entire participants' sample. Dimensionality of the data was reduced into 10 principal components that were used as the input variables to a logistic regression classifier. fMRI data from the four VSWM tasks enabled a classification accuracy of 92.5%, with high predicted ADHD probability values for most clinical cases, and low predicted ADHD probabilities for most TDs. This accuracy level was higher than those achieved by using the fMRI data of any single task, or the respective behavioral data. This indicates that task-based fMRI data acquired while participants perform a few distinct VSWM tasks enables improved detection of clinical cases.

  12. Set-Shifting Ability Is Associated with Gray Matter Volume in Older People with Mild Cognitive Impairment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kota Tsutsumimoto

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Background/Aims: An understanding of the association between gray matter volume and executive functioning could provide strategies to reduce dementia risk in older people with mild cognitive impairment (MCI. Methods: In a cross-sectional analysis, we assessed executive functioning in 83 older people with MCI using three standard neuropsychological tests: set shifting (difference between Trail Making Test Parts B and A, working memory (difference between Digit Span forward and backward from the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-IV, and selective attention/response inhibition (difference between the second and third conditions of the color- and picture-word Stroop test. Gray matter volume was computed from brain MRIs and SIENAX from FSL software. Results: Gray matter volume was significantly associated with set-shifting performance after accounting for age, gender, body mass index, education, and global cognition (standardized β = -0.376, p = 0.001, but not with working memory or selective attention/response inhibition. Conclusion: The executive function of set-shifting ability was correlated with gray matter volume in older people with MCI.

  13. GUTI: a measure of urgent task involvement among adults with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glickman, M M; Dodd, D K

    1998-04-01

    Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has been proposed to represent adaptive responding to highly urgent situations as in primitive hunting. In the present study, 31 adults with self-reported ADHD were compared with 33 normal adults on a newly developed, 10-item measure of urgent task involvement. The internal consistency of the scale was suitable, and the group with ADHD scored significantly higher than the control group, as predicted. Validation and further development of this scale is required for it to become a tool for the study of performance of highly urgent tasks. PMID:9621734

  14. Transient inactivation of the neonatal ventral hippocampus impairs attentional set-shifting behavior

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Brooks, Julie M; Pershing, Michelle L; Thomsen, Morten Skøtt;

    2012-01-01

    Cognitive deficits represent a core symptom cluster in schizophrenia that are thought to reflect developmental dysregulations within a neural system involving the ventral hippocampus (VH), nucleus accumbens (NAC), and prefrontal cortex (PFC). The present experiments determined the cognitive effec...... of transient hippocampal inactivation as an animal model for studying the cognitive impairments in schizophrenia as well as the pro-cognitive therapeutic potential of α7 nAChR agonists....

  15. Attending at a Low Intensity Increases Impulsivity in an Auditory Sustained Attention to Response Task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roebuck, Hettie; Guo, Kun; Bourke, Patrick

    2015-12-01

    Why attention lapses during prolonged tasks is debated, specifically whether errors are a consequence of under-arousal or exerted effort. To explore this, we investigated whether increased impulsivity is associated with effortful processing by modifying the demand of a task by presenting it at a quiet intensity. Here, we consider whether attending at low but detectable levels affects impulsivity in a population with intact hearing. A modification of the Sustained Attention to Response Task was used with auditory stimuli at two levels: the participants' personal "lowest detectable" level and a "normal speaking" level. At the quiet intensity, we found that more impulsive responses were made compared with listening at a normal speaking level. These errors were not due to a failure in discrimination. The findings suggest an increase in processing time for auditory stimuli at low levels that exceeds the time needed to interrupt a planned habitual motor response. This leads to a more impulsive and erroneous response style. These findings have important implications for understanding the nature of impulsivity in relation to effortful processing. They may explain why a high proportion of individuals with hearing loss are also diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

  16. An investigation into the temporal dimension of the Mozart effect: evidence from the attentional blink task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ho, Cristy; Mason, Oliver; Spence, Charles

    2007-05-01

    In the present study, we examined whether the 'Mozart effect' would influence participants' temporal attention using a visual attentional blink (AB) task that provides a reliable measure of the temporal dynamics of visual attention. The 'Mozart effect' refers to the specific claim that listening to Mozart's Sonata for Two Pianos in D Major, K.448 can improve the performance in spatio-temporal tasks. Participants had to try and identify two target digits (in their correct order of presentation) presented amongst a stream of distractor letters in three different conditions (presented in separate blocks of trials): while listening to the Mozart sonata played normally, while listening to the same Mozart sonata played in reverse, and while in silence. The results showed that the participants were able to detect the second target (T2) significantly more accurately (given the correct detection of the first target, T1) in the AB stream when the Mozart sonata was played normally than in either of the other two conditions. Possible explanations for the differential effects of Mozart's music being played normally and in reverse and potential confounds in previous studies reporting a facilitatory 'Mozart effect' are discussed. Our results therefore provide the first empirical demonstration supporting the existence of a purely temporal component to the 'Mozart effect' using a non-spatial visual AB task.

  17. The conflict adaptation is affected by attentional strategies: evidence from the arrow flanker task

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2009-01-01

    Recently, several studies have considered factors affecting the occurrence of congruency sequence effect (CSE) in the arrow flanker task. In the present study, the influence of the following factors was examined: the presentation of a fixation and the intertrial interval (ITI) were considered. Results of the study showed that the CSE was significant when there was no fixation and when the ITI was long for response repetitions and response changes, but disappeared for response change trials in other conditions. These results showed that, even in the arrow flanker task, the conflict adaptation effect did contribute to the CSE. The current results suggested that the conflict adaptation effect in the arrow flanker task was based on the appropriate application of attention strategies.

  18. Working memory benefits creative insight, musical improvisation, and original ideation through maintained task-focused attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Dreu, Carsten K W; Nijstad, Bernard A; Baas, Matthijs; Wolsink, Inge; Roskes, Marieke

    2012-05-01

    Anecdotes from creative eminences suggest that executive control plays an important role in creativity, but scientific evidence is sparse. Invoking the Dual Pathway to Creativity Model, the authors hypothesize that working memory capacity (WMC) relates to creative performance because it enables persistent, focused, and systematic combining of elements and possibilities (persistence). Study 1 indeed showed that under cognitive load, participants performed worse on a creative insight task. Study 2 revealed positive associations between time-on-task and creativity among individuals high but not low in WMC, even after controlling for general intelligence. Study 3 revealed that across trials, semiprofessional cellists performed increasingly more creative improvisations when they had high rather than low WMC. Study 4 showed that WMC predicts original ideation because it allows persistent (rather than flexible) processing. The authors conclude that WMC benefits creativity because it enables the individual to maintain attention focused on the task and prevents undesirable mind wandering. PMID:22301457

  19. Working memory benefits creative insight, musical improvisation, and original ideation through maintained task-focused attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Dreu, Carsten K W; Nijstad, Bernard A; Baas, Matthijs; Wolsink, Inge; Roskes, Marieke

    2012-05-01

    Anecdotes from creative eminences suggest that executive control plays an important role in creativity, but scientific evidence is sparse. Invoking the Dual Pathway to Creativity Model, the authors hypothesize that working memory capacity (WMC) relates to creative performance because it enables persistent, focused, and systematic combining of elements and possibilities (persistence). Study 1 indeed showed that under cognitive load, participants performed worse on a creative insight task. Study 2 revealed positive associations between time-on-task and creativity among individuals high but not low in WMC, even after controlling for general intelligence. Study 3 revealed that across trials, semiprofessional cellists performed increasingly more creative improvisations when they had high rather than low WMC. Study 4 showed that WMC predicts original ideation because it allows persistent (rather than flexible) processing. The authors conclude that WMC benefits creativity because it enables the individual to maintain attention focused on the task and prevents undesirable mind wandering.

  20. Effect of Different Attentional Instructions on the Acquisition of a Serial Movement Task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mei Teng Woo

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Recent research in attentional focus of instruction has predominantly over-emphasized the investigation of discrete and continuous skills rather than serial skills. The purpose of this study was therefore to examine the effect of different attentional focus instructions on learning a serial skill task (i.e., taekwondo routine in novice learners. It was predicted that the use of movement outcome instructions could enhance the learning of a serial skill as previously supported in studies examining the acquisition of discrete and continuous skills. Thirteen female participants were recruited for this study and were assigned to either movement form condition - control group (n = 7 or movement outcome condition – treatment group (n = 6. All participants underwent 12 practice sessions over an 8-week period with their respective instructional conditions with each session lasting 30 minutes. Video recording of the serial skill tasks (hand techniques, kicking techniques and 10-step routine were captured at “the-twelfth-training session”, “after 1-week”, and “after 1-month”. It was found that more participants in the treatment group obtained a higher score in all three serial skill tasks, especially in Mastery component of ‘Kicking’ techniques at ‘after 1-week’ (p < 0.05, r = 0.57. This study suggested that movement outcome instructions have positive medium effect on balance control for serial skill task, especially in kicking actions.

  1. Distraction task rather than focal attention modulates gamma activity associated with auditory steady-state responses (ASSRs)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Griskova-Bulanova, Inga; Ruksenas, Osvaldas; Dapsys, Kastytis;

    2011-01-01

    To explore the modulation of auditory steady-state response (ASSR) by experimental tasks, differing in attentional focus and arousal level.......To explore the modulation of auditory steady-state response (ASSR) by experimental tasks, differing in attentional focus and arousal level....

  2. Attentional bias in high math-anxious individuals: evidence from an emotional Stroop task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    MACARENA eSUÁREZ PELLICIONI

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Attentional bias towards threatening or emotional information is considered a cognitive marker of anxiety, and it has been described in various clinical and subclinical populations. This study used an emotional Stroop task to investigate whether math anxiety is characterized by an attentional bias towards math-related words. Two previous studies failed to observe such an effect in math-anxious individuals, although the authors acknowledged certain methodological limitations that the present study seeks to avoid. Twenty high math-anxious (HMA and 20 low math-anxious (LMA individuals were presented with an emotional Stroop task including math-related and neutral words. Participants in the two groups did not differ in trait anxiety or depression. We found that the HMA group showed slower response times to math-related words than to neutral words, as well as a greater attentional bias (math-related – neutral difference score than the LMA one, which constitutes the first demonstration of an attentional bias towards math-related words in HMA individuals.

  3. Attentional bias in high math-anxious individuals: evidence from an emotional Stroop task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suárez-Pellicioni, Macarena; Núñez-Peña, Maria Isabel; Colomé, Àngels

    2015-01-01

    Attentional bias toward threatening or emotional information is considered a cognitive marker of anxiety, and it has been described in various clinical and subclinical populations. This study used an emotional Stroop task to investigate whether math anxiety is characterized by an attentional bias toward math-related words. Two previous studies failed to observe such an effect in math-anxious individuals, although the authors acknowledged certain methodological limitations that the present study seeks to avoid. Twenty high math-anxious (HMA) and 20 low math-anxious (LMA) individuals were presented with an emotional Stroop task including math-related and neutral words. Participants in the two groups did not differ in trait anxiety or depression. We found that the HMA group showed slower response times to math-related words than to neutral words, as well as a greater attentional bias (math-related - neutral difference score) than the LMA one, which constitutes the first demonstration of an attentional bias toward math-related words in HMA individuals.

  4. The roles of reward, default, and executive control networks in set-shifting impairments in schizophrenia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James A Waltz

    Full Text Available Patients with schizophrenia (SZ show deficits on tasks of rapid reinforcement learning, like probabilistic reversal learning (PRL, but the neural bases for those impairments are not known. Recent evidence of relatively intact sensitivity to negative outcomes in the ventral striatum (VS in many SZ patients suggests that PRL deficits may be largely attributable to processes downstream from feedback processing, involving both the activation of executive control task regions and deactivation of default mode network (DMN components. We analyzed data from 29 chronic SZ patients and 21 matched normal controls (NCs performing a PRL task in an MRI scanner. Subjects were presented with eight pairs of fractal stimuli, for 50 trials each. For each pair, subjects learned to choose the more frequently-rewarded (better stimulus. Each time a criterion was reached, the better stimulus became the worse one, and the worse became the better. Responses to feedback events were assessed through whole-brain and regions-of-interest (ROI analyses in DMN. We also assessed correlations between BOLD signal contrasts and clinical measures in SZs. Relative to NCs, SZ patients showed comparable deactivation of VS in response to negative feedback, but reduced deactivation of DMN components including medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC. The magnitudes of patients' punishment-evoked deactivations in VS and ventromedial PFC correlated significantly with clinical ratings for avolition/anhedonia. These findings suggest that schizophrenia is associated with a reduced ability to deactivate components of default mode networks, following the presentation of informative feedback and that motivational deficits in SZ relate closely to feedback-evoked activity in reward circuit components. These results also confirm a role for ventrolateral and dorsomedial PFC in the execution of response-set shifts.

  5. The roles of reward, default, and executive control networks in set-shifting impairments in schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waltz, James A; Kasanova, Zuzana; Ross, Thomas J; Salmeron, Betty J; McMahon, Robert P; Gold, James M; Stein, Elliot A

    2013-01-01

    Patients with schizophrenia (SZ) show deficits on tasks of rapid reinforcement learning, like probabilistic reversal learning (PRL), but the neural bases for those impairments are not known. Recent evidence of relatively intact sensitivity to negative outcomes in the ventral striatum (VS) in many SZ patients suggests that PRL deficits may be largely attributable to processes downstream from feedback processing, involving both the activation of executive control task regions and deactivation of default mode network (DMN) components. We analyzed data from 29 chronic SZ patients and 21 matched normal controls (NCs) performing a PRL task in an MRI scanner. Subjects were presented with eight pairs of fractal stimuli, for 50 trials each. For each pair, subjects learned to choose the more frequently-rewarded (better) stimulus. Each time a criterion was reached, the better stimulus became the worse one, and the worse became the better. Responses to feedback events were assessed through whole-brain and regions-of-interest (ROI) analyses in DMN. We also assessed correlations between BOLD signal contrasts and clinical measures in SZs. Relative to NCs, SZ patients showed comparable deactivation of VS in response to negative feedback, but reduced deactivation of DMN components including medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). The magnitudes of patients' punishment-evoked deactivations in VS and ventromedial PFC correlated significantly with clinical ratings for avolition/anhedonia. These findings suggest that schizophrenia is associated with a reduced ability to deactivate components of default mode networks, following the presentation of informative feedback and that motivational deficits in SZ relate closely to feedback-evoked activity in reward circuit components. These results also confirm a role for ventrolateral and dorsomedial PFC in the execution of response-set shifts. PMID:23468948

  6. Hemodynamic Responses on Prefrontal Cortex Related to Meditation and Attentional Task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Singh eDeepeshwar

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Recent neuroimaging studies state that meditation increases regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF in the prefrontal cortex (PFC. The present study employed functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS to evaluate the relative hemodynamic changes in prefrontal cortex during a cognitive task. Twenty-two healthy male volunteers with ages between 18 and 30 years (group mean age ± SD; 22.9 ± 4.6 years performed a color-word stroop task before and after 20 minutes of meditation and random thinking. Repeated measures ANOVA was performed followed by a post-hoc analysis with Bonferroni adjustment for multiple comparisons between the mean values of ‘During’ and ‘Post’ with ‘Pre’ state. During meditation there was an increased in oxy-hemoglobin (∆HbO and total hemoglobin (∆THC concentration with reduced deoxy-hemoglobin (∆HbR concentration over the right prefrontal cortex (rPFC, whereas in random thinking there was increased ∆HbR with reduced total hemoglobin concentration on the rPFC. The mean reaction time was shorter in stroop color word task with reduced ∆THC after meditation, suggestive of improved performance and efficiency in task related to attention. Our findings demonstrated that meditation increased cerebral oxygenation and enhanced performance, which was associated with prefrontal cortex activation.

  7. How attention can create synaptic tags for the learning of working memories in sequential tasks.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jaldert O Rombouts

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Intelligence is our ability to learn appropriate responses to new stimuli and situations. Neurons in association cortex are thought to be essential for this ability. During learning these neurons become tuned to relevant features and start to represent them with persistent activity during memory delays. This learning process is not well understood. Here we develop a biologically plausible learning scheme that explains how trial-and-error learning induces neuronal selectivity and working memory representations for task-relevant information. We propose that the response selection stage sends attentional feedback signals to earlier processing levels, forming synaptic tags at those connections responsible for the stimulus-response mapping. Globally released neuromodulators then interact with tagged synapses to determine their plasticity. The resulting learning rule endows neural networks with the capacity to create new working memory representations of task relevant information as persistent activity. It is remarkably generic: it explains how association neurons learn to store task-relevant information for linear as well as non-linear stimulus-response mappings, how they become tuned to category boundaries or analog variables, depending on the task demands, and how they learn to integrate probabilistic evidence for perceptual decisions.

  8. Relationships between the Color-Word Matching Stroop Task and the Go/NoGo Task:Toward Multifaceted Assessment of Attention and Inhibition Abilities of Children

    OpenAIRE

    Oka,Makio; Hanafusa,Kaoru; Takeuchi, Akihito; Ogino,Tatsuya; Morooka,Teruko; Ohtsuka, Yoko

    2012-01-01

    Both selective attention and response inhibition can be assessed through the Stroop task and the Go/NoGo task (Go/NoGo). The color-word matching Stroop task (cwmStroop) differs from the traditional Stroop task in ways that make it easy to administer, and it enables the examiners to analyze reaction time. It is expected that the cwmStroop and Go/NoGo tasks will be useful as clinical assessments for children with developmental disorders and in combination with functional magnetic resonance imag...

  9. Attentional spreading to task-irrelevant object features: Experimental support and a 3-step model of attention for object-based selection and feature-based processing modulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Detlef eWegener

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Directing attention to a specific feature of an object has been linked to different forms of attentional modulation. Object-based attention theory founds on the finding that even task-irrelevant features at the selected object are subject to attentional modulation, while feature-based attention theory proposes a global processing benefit for the selected feature even at other objects. Most studies investigated either the one or the other form of attention, leaving open the possibility that both object- and feature-specific attentional effects do occur at the same time and may just represent two sides of a single attention system. We here investigate this issue by testing attentional spreading within and across objects, using reaction time measurements to changes of attended and unattended features on both attended and unattended objects. We asked subjects to report color and speed changes occurring on one of two overlapping random dot patterns, presented at the center of gaze. The key property of the stimulation was that only one of the features (e.g. motion direction was unique for each object, whereas the other feature (e.g. color was shared by both. The results of two experiments show that co-selection of unattended features even occurs when those features have no means for selecting the object. At the same time, they demonstrate that this processing benefit is not restricted to the selected object but spreads to the task-irrelevant one. We conceptualize these findings by a 3-step model of attention that assumes a task-dependent top-down gain, object-specific feature selection based on task- and binding characteristics, and a global feature-specific processing enhancement. The model allows for the unification of a vast amount of experimental results into a single model, and makes various experimentally testable predictions for the interaction of object- and feature-specific processes.

  10. Effects of Task Difficulty and Teacher Attention on the Off-Task Behavior of High-Ability Students with Behavior Issues

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simonsen, Brandi; Little, Catherine A.; Fairbanks, Sarah

    2010-01-01

    This study used traditional behavioral assessment procedures (functional behavioral assessment and structural analysis) in a single-subject design to determine whether a functional relationship existed between (a) levels of task difficulty and teacher attention and (b) off-task behavior in 3 students identified as highly able in mathematics who…

  11. Assessment of pedophilic sexual interest with an attentional choice reaction time task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mokros, Andreas; Dombert, Beate; Osterheider, Michael; Zappalà, Angelo; Santtila, Pekka

    2010-10-01

    Choice-reaction time (CRT) is an experimental information-processing paradigm. Based on an interference effect in visual attention, the CRT method has been shown to be suitable for measuring sexual orientation in men and women. The present study assessed the potential of the CRT to identify deviant (i.e., pedophilic) sexual interest. Participants were patients from forensic-psychiatric hospitals: 21 child molesters and 21 non-sex offenders. The dependent variable was reaction time in an ostensible seek-and-locate task (i.e., identifying the position of a dot superimposed on a picture of a person). There was an interaction effect between stimulus age category and participant group status: Child molesters took longer to respond to pictures of children relative to pictures of adults. Non-sex offenders showed an opposite pattern (i.e., longer reaction times with pictures of adults than with pictures of children). In addition, the data supported the notion of sexual content induced delay: Subjects took longer for the task with nude stimuli than with clothed ones. A subtractive preference index, derived from the reaction times for child and adult stimulus material, allowed distinguishing participants from both groups almost perfectly (ROC-AUC = .998). We conclude that a match of sexual interest with properties of visual stimuli led to a cognitive interference effect: Attentional resources were drawn from the ostensible task of locating the dot towards exploring the picture. This opens up the possibility of using this interference effect (i.e., the delay of response times) for diagnostic purposes. PMID:19705271

  12. Reward favors the prepared: Incentive and task-informative cues interact to enhance attentional control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiew, Kimberly S; Braver, Todd S

    2016-01-01

    The dual mechanisms of control account suggests that cognitive control may be implemented through relatively proactive mechanisms in anticipation of stimulus onset, or through reactive mechanisms, triggered in response to changing stimulus demands. Reward incentives and task-informative cues (signaling the presence/absence of upcoming cognitive demand) have both been found to influence cognitive control in a proactive or preparatory fashion; yet, it is currently unclear whether and how such cue effects interact. We investigated this in 2 experiments using an adapted flanker paradigm, where task-informative and reward incentive cues were orthogonally manipulated on a trial-by-trial basis. In Experiment 1, results indicated that incentives not only speed reaction times, but specifically reduce both interference and facilitation effects when combined with task-informative cues, suggesting enhanced proactive attentional control. Experiment 2 manipulated the timing of incentive cue information, demonstrating that such proactive control effects were only replicated with sufficient time to process the incentive cue (early incentive); when incentive signals were presented close to target onset (late incentive) the primary effect was a speed-accuracy trade-off. Together, results suggest that advance cueing may trigger differing control strategies, and that these strategies may critically depend on both the timing-and the motivational incentive-to use such cues. (PsycINFO Database Record PMID:26322689

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ronald eHübner

    2012-10-01

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

  14. Relationships between the Color-Word Matching Stroop Task and the Go/NoGo Task:Toward Multifaceted Assessment of Attention and Inhibition Abilities of Children

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oka,Makio

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Both selective attention and response inhibition can be assessed through the Stroop task and the Go/NoGo task (Go/NoGo. The color-word matching Stroop task (cwmStroop differs from the traditional Stroop task in ways that make it easy to administer, and it enables the examiners to analyze reaction time. It is expected that the cwmStroop and Go/NoGo tasks will be useful as clinical assessments for children with developmental disorders and in combination with functional magnetic resonance imaging studies. The objectives of this study were to elucidate the pattern of developmental change in cwmStroop scores and Go/NoGo scores and to determine whether and how cwmStroop scores are related to Go/NoGo scores. The subjects consisted of 108 healthy Japanese children aged 6-14 years. We found that cwmStroop and Go/NoGo scores displayed clear developmental changes between 6 and 14 years of age. The childrenʼs scores on the 2 tasks followed different developmental courses, however, and the correlation between scores on the two tasks was weak on the whole. These results indicate that the cwmStroop and Go/NoGo tasks tap different aspects of selective attention and response inhibition. Therefore it is expected that the combination of both tests will be useful in the multifaceted assessment of selective attention and response inhibition in childhood.

  15. ERP Components Activated by the "GO!" and "WITHHOLD!" Conflict in the Random Sustained Attention to Response Task

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zordan, Lara; Sarlo, Michela; Stablum, Franca

    2008-01-01

    The present study investigates the event related potential (ERP) components associated with the random version of the Sustained Attention to Response Task (SART). The random SART is a Go/No-Go task in which the No-Go target appears unpredictably and rarely. In the present experiment, the EEG was recorded from 58 electrodes with mastoids as…

  16. 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…

  17. Investigation of attention via the counting Stroop task in patients with functional constipation

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    SUN Yi; LI Xiao-yi; YAO Lin-yan; ZHAO Lan; DAI Ning; WU Hao

    2012-01-01

    Background The etiology and pathology of functional constipation (FC) is unclear.Some researches suggest that psychological factors may be related to this common problem.This study aimed to investigate the relationship between attention processing and emotional status in FC patients compared with healthy controls.Methods We investigated selective attention and emotional status in patients with FC using the counting Stroop task.Thirty-five FC patients (FCP group) and 24 healthy controls (HCs) underwent an event-related potential (ERP) study while performing the task.Response time,latency and amplitude of P300 were collected and compared between the two groups.The Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAMD-17),Hamilton Anxiety Scale (HAMA),Symptom Checklist-90 (SCL-90) and Eysenck Personality Questionnaire (EPQ) were administered prior to the counting Stroop task.Results Scores for the FCP group differed significantly from those for the HCs on the HAMD-17,HAMA,SCL-90 (Global Severity Index,Positive Symptoms Total,dimensions of somatization,obsessive-compulsive,depression,anxiety,and psychosis),as well as extraversion and neurosis dimensions of the EPQ (P<0.05).There was no significant difference in response time or accuracy rate between the two groups (P>0.05).ERP results showed prolonged latency at F4,additionally found enhanced activation at F3,FC1 and T8,and decreased activation at sites FC6 and P7 in the patients with FC.Statistically,significant differences of P300 latency at site F4 (P <0.05) and P300 amplitude at F3,F4,T8,P7,FC1 and FC6 (P<0.05) between the patients with FC and the HC were revealed.Conclusions The findings suggest that patients with FC are more susceptible to depression and anxiety,as well as somatization,obsessive-compulsive tendencies and other neurotic personality characteristics.Patients may employ psychological defense mechanisms to avoid the pain of depression and anxiety.ERP results imply there may be some brain dysfunction and

  18. Altered visual-spatial attention to task-irrelevant information is associated with falls risk in older adults

    OpenAIRE

    Nagamatsu, Lindsay S.; Munkacsy, Michelle; Liu-Ambrose, Teresa; Handy, Todd C

    2013-01-01

    Executive cognitive functions play a critical role in falls risk – a pressing health care issue in seniors. In particular, intact attentional processing is integral for safe mobility and navigation. However, the specific contribution of impaired visual-spatial attention in falls remains unclear. In this study, we examined the association between visual-spatial attention to task-irrelevant stimuli and falls risk in community-dwelling older adults. Participants completed a visual target discrim...

  19. Attentional Effects on Phenomenological Appearance: How They Change with Task Instructions and Measurement Methods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Britt

    2016-01-01

    It has been reported that exogenous cues accentuate contrast appearance. The empirical finding is controversial because non-veridical perception challenges the idea that attention prioritizes processing resources to make perception better, and because philosophers have used the finding to challenge representational accounts of mental experience. The present experiments confirm that when evaluated with comparison paradigms exogenous cues increase the apparent contrast. In addition, contrast appearance was also changed by simply changing the purpose of a secondary task. When comparison and discrimination reports were combined in a single experiment there was a behavioral disassociation: contrast enhanced for comparison responses, but did not change for discrimination judgments, even when participants made both types of judgment for a single stimulus. That a single object can have multiple simultaneous appearances leads inescapably to the conclusion that our unitary mental experience is illusory.

  20. Attentional Effects on Phenomenological Appearance: How They Change with Task Instructions and Measurement Methods.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Britt Anderson

    Full Text Available It has been reported that exogenous cues accentuate contrast appearance. The empirical finding is controversial because non-veridical perception challenges the idea that attention prioritizes processing resources to make perception better, and because philosophers have used the finding to challenge representational accounts of mental experience. The present experiments confirm that when evaluated with comparison paradigms exogenous cues increase the apparent contrast. In addition, contrast appearance was also changed by simply changing the purpose of a secondary task. When comparison and discrimination reports were combined in a single experiment there was a behavioral disassociation: contrast enhanced for comparison responses, but did not change for discrimination judgments, even when participants made both types of judgment for a single stimulus. That a single object can have multiple simultaneous appearances leads inescapably to the conclusion that our unitary mental experience is illusory.

  1. Differential Neural Correlates of Set-Shifting in the Bingeing-Purging and Restrictive Subtypes of Anorexia Nervosa: An fMRI Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Autreve, Sara; De Baene, Wouter; Baeken, Chris; van Heeringen, Kees; Vancayseele, Nikita; Vervaet, Myriam

    2016-07-01

    In this study, possible differences in the neural correlates of set-shifting abilities between the restrictive (AN-R) and bingeing/purging (AN-BP) subtypes of anorexia nervosa have been explored. Three groups of participants performed a set-shifting task during functional magnetic resonance imaging: patients with AN-R (N = 16), AN-BP (N = 13) and healthy control participants (N = 15). As in a typical set-shifting experiment, participants had to switch between two easy tasks (i.e. 'Is the presented number odd/even' or 'Is the presented number smaller/larger than 5'). The trials in which the task was repeated (repeat trials) were compared with trials in which the task was switched (switch trials). With regards to the level of task performance, no significant group differences could be established. However, when comparing switch specific brain activity across study groups, a stronger activation was found in the insula and the precuneus in AN-R when compared to AN-BP and HC. These results suggest that the both subtypes of AN might have different neurobiological correlates, and thus, might benefit from different treatment approaches. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and Eating Disorders Association. PMID:26856396

  2. Effects of task and image properties on visual-attention deployment in image-quality assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alers, Hani; Redi, Judith; Liu, Hantao; Heynderickx, Ingrid

    2015-03-01

    It is important to understand how humans view images and how their behavior is affected by changes in the properties of the viewed images and the task they are given, particularly the task of scoring the image quality (IQ). This is a complex behavior that holds great importance for the field of image-quality research. This work builds upon 4 years of research work spanning three databases studying image-viewing behavior. Using eye-tracking equipment, it was possible to collect information on human viewing behavior of different kinds of stimuli and under different experimental settings. This work performs a cross-analysis on the results from all these databases using state-of-the-art similarity measures. The results strongly show that asking the viewers to score the IQ significantly changes their viewing behavior. Also muting the color saturation seems to affect the saliency of the images. However, a change in IQ was not consistently found to modify visual attention deployment, neither under free looking nor during scoring. These results are helpful in gaining a better understanding of image viewing behavior under different conditions. They also have important implications on work that collects subjective image-quality scores from human observers.

  3. Investigation of the effect of EEG-BCI on the simultaneous execution of flight simulation and attentional tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vecchiato, Giovanni; Borghini, Gianluca; Aricò, Pietro; Graziani, Ilenia; Maglione, Anton Giulio; Cherubino, Patrizia; Babiloni, Fabio

    2016-10-01

    Brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) are widely used for clinical applications and exploited to design robotic and interactive systems for healthy people. We provide evidence to control a sensorimotor electroencephalographic (EEG) BCI system while piloting a flight simulator and attending a double attentional task simultaneously. Ten healthy subjects were trained to learn how to manage a flight simulator, use the BCI system, and answer to the attentional tasks independently. Afterward, the EEG activity was collected during a first flight where subjects were required to concurrently use the BCI, and a second flight where they were required to simultaneously use the BCI and answer to the attentional tasks. Results showed that the concurrent use of the BCI system during the flight simulation does not affect the flight performances. However, BCI performances decrease from the 83 to 63 % while attending additional alertness and vigilance tasks. This work shows that it is possible to successfully control a BCI system during the execution of multiple tasks such as piloting a flight simulator with an extra cognitive load induced by attentional tasks. Such framework aims to foster the knowledge on BCI systems embedded into vehicles and robotic devices to allow the simultaneous execution of secondary tasks.

  4. Aging, Emotion, Attention, and Binding in the Taboo Stroop Task: Data and Theories

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Donald G. MacKay

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available How does aging impact relations between emotion, memory, and attention? To address this question, young and older adults named the font colors of taboo and neutral words, some of which recurred in the same font color or screen location throughout two color-naming experiments. The results indicated longer color-naming response times (RTs for taboo than neutral base-words (taboo Stroop interference; better incidental recognition of colors and locations consistently associated with taboo versus neutral words (taboo context-memory enhancement; and greater speed-up in color-naming RTs with repetition of color-consistent than color-inconsistent taboo words, but no analogous speed-up with repetition of location-consistent or location-inconsistent taboo words (the consistency type by repetition interaction for taboo words. All three phenomena remained constant with aging, consistent with the transmission deficit hypothesis and binding theory, where familiar emotional words trigger age-invariant reactions for prioritizing the binding of contextual features to the source of emotion. Binding theory also accurately predicted the interaction between consistency type and repetition for taboo words. However, one or more aspects of these phenomena failed to support the inhibition deficit hypothesis, resource capacity theory, or socio-emotional selectivity theory. We conclude that binding theory warrants further test in a range of paradigms, and that relations between aging and emotion, memory, and attention may depend on whether the task and stimuli trigger fast-reaction, involuntary binding processes, as in the taboo Stroop paradigm.

  5. Aging, Emotion, Attention, and Binding in the Taboo Stroop Task: Data and Theories.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacKay, Donald G; Johnson, Laura W; Graham, Elizabeth R; Burke, Deborah M

    2015-10-01

    How does aging impact relations between emotion, memory, and attention? To address this question, young and older adults named the font colors of taboo and neutral words, some of which recurred in the same font color or screen location throughout two color-naming experiments. The results indicated longer color-naming response times (RTs) for taboo than neutral base-words (taboo Stroop interference); better incidental recognition of colors and locations consistently associated with taboo versus neutral words (taboo context-memory enhancement); and greater speed-up in color-naming RTs with repetition of color-consistent than color-inconsistent taboo words, but no analogous speed-up with repetition of location-consistent or location-inconsistent taboo words (the consistency type by repetition interaction for taboo words). All three phenomena remained constant with aging, consistent with the transmission deficit hypothesis and binding theory, where familiar emotional words trigger age-invariant reactions for prioritizing the binding of contextual features to the source of emotion. Binding theory also accurately predicted the interaction between consistency type and repetition for taboo words. However, one or more aspects of these phenomena failed to support the inhibition deficit hypothesis, resource capacity theory, or socio-emotional selectivity theory. We conclude that binding theory warrants further test in a range of paradigms, and that relations between aging and emotion, memory, and attention may depend on whether the task and stimuli trigger fast-reaction, involuntary binding processes, as in the taboo Stroop paradigm. PMID:26473909

  6. Can task-switching training enhance executive control functioning in children with attention deficit/-hyperactivity disorder?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jutta eKray

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The key cognitive impairments of children with attention deficit/-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD include executive control functions such as inhibitory control, task switching, and working memory. In this training study we examined whether task-switching training leads to improvements in these functions. Twenty children with combined type ADHD and stable methylphenidate medication performed a single-task and a task-switching training in a crossover training design. The children were randomly assigned to one of two groups. One group started with the single-task training and then performed the task-switching training and the other group vice versa. The effectiveness of the task-switching training was measured as performance improvements (relative to the single-task training on a structurally similar but new switching task and on other executive control tasks measuring inhibitory control and verbal working memory as well as on fluid intelligence (reasoning. The children in both groups showed improvements in task switching, that is, a reduction of switching costs, but not in performing the single tasks across four training sessions. Moreover, the task-switching training lead to selective enhancements in task-switching performance, that is, the reduction of task-switching costs was found to be larger after task-switching than after single-task training. Similar selective improvements were observed for inhibitory control and verbal working memory, but not for reasoning. Results of this study suggest that task-switching training is an effective cognitive intervention that helps to enhance executive control functioning in children with ADHD.

  7. 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.

  8. N2pc and attentional capture by colour and orientation-singletons in pure and mixed visual search tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez Holguín, Socorro; Doallo, Sonia; Vizoso, Carmen; Cadaveira, Fernando

    2009-09-01

    The capture of attention by singleton stimuli in visual search is a matter of contention. Some authors propose that singletons capture attention in a bottom-up fashion if they are salient. Others propose that capture is contingent upon whether or not the stimuli share task-relevant attributes with the target. This study assessed N2pc elicited by colour and orientation singletons in a mixed task (the singleton defined as target changed block-to-block), and a pure task (the target was the same across the whole task). Both singletons elicited N2pc when acting as targets; when acting as non-targets, orientation singletons elicited N2pc only in the mixed task. The results suggest that the singletons were not salient enough to engage attention in a purely bottom-up fashion. Elicitation of N2pc by non-targets in the mixed task should be attributed to top-down processes associated with the current task. Stimuli that act as targets in part of the blocks become not completely irrelevant when non-targets. PMID:19409424

  9. Measuring attention in rodents: comparison of a modified signal detection task and the 5-choice serial reaction time task

    OpenAIRE

    Karly Maree Turner; Thomas Burne

    2016-01-01

    Neuropsychiatric research has utilised cognitive testing in rodents to improve our understanding of cognitive deficits and for preclinical drug development. However, more sophisticated cognitive tasks have not been as widely exploited due to low throughput and the extensive training time required. We developed a modified signal detection task (SDT) based on the growing body of literature aimed at improving cognitive testing in rodents. This study directly compares performance on the modified ...

  10. Influence of low-level stimulus features, task dependent factors, and spatial biases on overt visual attention.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sepp Kollmorgen

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Visual attention is thought to be driven by the interplay between low-level visual features and task dependent information content of local image regions, as well as by spatial viewing biases. Though dependent on experimental paradigms and model assumptions, this idea has given rise to varying claims that either bottom-up or top-down mechanisms dominate visual attention. To contribute toward a resolution of this discussion, here we quantify the influence of these factors and their relative importance in a set of classification tasks. Our stimuli consist of individual image patches (bubbles. For each bubble we derive three measures: a measure of salience based on low-level stimulus features, a measure of salience based on the task dependent information content derived from our subjects' classification responses and a measure of salience based on spatial viewing biases. Furthermore, we measure the empirical salience of each bubble based on our subjects' measured eye gazes thus characterizing the overt visual attention each bubble receives. A multivariate linear model relates the three salience measures to overt visual attention. It reveals that all three salience measures contribute significantly. The effect of spatial viewing biases is highest and rather constant in different tasks. The contribution of task dependent information is a close runner-up. Specifically, in a standardized task of judging facial expressions it scores highly. The contribution of low-level features is, on average, somewhat lower. However, in a prototypical search task, without an available template, it makes a strong contribution on par with the two other measures. Finally, the contributions of the three factors are only slightly redundant, and the semi-partial correlation coefficients are only slightly lower than the coefficients for full correlations. These data provide evidence that all three measures make significant and independent contributions and that none can be

  11. Synthetic Synchronisation: From Attention and Multi-Tasking to Negative Capability and Judgment

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    Stables, Andrew

    2013-01-01

    Educational literature has tended to focus, explicitly and implicitly, on two kinds of task orientation: the ability either to focus on a single task, or to multi-task. A third form of orientation characterises many highly successful people. This is the ability to combine several tasks into one: to "kill two (or more) birds with one…

  12. Quantative EEG during baseline and various cognitive tasks in children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

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    Bakhtadze, S; Janelidze, M

    2010-09-01

    It is known that attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder is a widely spread condition in school aged childhood population. Making of precise diagnosis is a serious problem of modern pediatric neurology. In spite of large amount of guidelines and questionnaires the unified consensus of diagnosis is still absent. Thus it is important to search additional diagnostic criteria which can help physicians to confirm ADHD. For this purposes we have used quantative EEG (QEEG) parameters. There are numerous papers regarding QEEG changes of ADHD children during baseline (resting with closed eyes, resting with opened eyes, photic stimulation, hyperventilation).But information concerning QEEG evidences during cognitive tasks is insufficient. For this purposes we have used QEEG during Raven test, reading and calculation in children with ADHD and control group. QEEG was carried out according to standard 10-20 electrode placement rule from the following derivations: F3, F4, C3, C4, P3, P4, O1, O2. We have observed that in controls fulfilling of Raven test is more difficult than reading. Thus they are eulectic but in ADHD children reading is more difficult than Raven test. Thus they are dyslexic. By means of alpha and delta bands analysis it became apparent that alpha band is inversely proportional to mental effort and delta band is directly proportional to mental activity. PMID:20972277

  13. Attention orienting and inhibitory control across the different mood states in bipolar disorder: An emotional antisaccade task

    OpenAIRE

    García Blanco, Ana; Perea Lara, Manuel; Salmerón, Ladislao

    2013-01-01

    tAn antisaccade experiment, using happy, sad, and neutral faces, was conducted to examine the effect ofmood-congruent information on inhibitory control (antisaccade task) and attentional orienting (prosac-cade task) during the different episodes of bipolar disorder (BD) - manic (n = 22), depressive (n = 25), andeuthymic (n = 24). A group of 28 healthy controls was also included. Results revealed that symptomaticpatients committed more antisaccade errors than healthy individuals, especially wi...

  14. Unraveling the anxious mind: anxiety, worry, and frontal engagement in sustained attention versus off-task processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forster, Sophie; Nunez Elizalde, Anwar O; Castle, Elizabeth; Bishop, Sonia J

    2015-03-01

    Much remains unknown regarding the relationship between anxiety, worry, sustained attention, and frontal function. Here, we addressed this using a sustained attention task adapted for functional magnetic resonance imaging. Participants responded to presentation of simple stimuli, withholding responses to an infrequent "No Go" stimulus. Dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) activity to "Go" trials, and dorsal anterior cingulate (dACC) activity to "No Go" trials were associated with faster error-free performance; consistent with DLPFC and dACC facilitating proactive and reactive control, respectively. Trait anxiety was linked to reduced recruitment of these regions, slower error-free performance, and decreased frontal-thalamo-striatal connectivity. This indicates an association between trait anxiety and impoverished frontal control of attention, even when external distractors are absent. In task blocks where commission errors were made, greater DLPFC-precuneus and DLPFC-posterior cingulate connectivity were associated with both trait anxiety and worry, indicative of increased off-task thought. Notably, unlike trait anxiety, worry was not linked to reduced frontal-striatal-thalamo connectivity, impoverished frontal recruitment, or slowed responding during blocks without commission errors, contrary to accounts proposing a direct causal link between worry and impoverished attentional control. This leads us to propose a new model of the relationship between anxiety, worry and frontal engagement in attentional control versus off-task thought.

  15. Dissociation in performance of children with ADHD and high-functioning autism on a task of sustained attention

    OpenAIRE

    Gallagher, Louise; Gill, Michael; JOHNSON, KATHERINE ANNE; Robertson, Ian

    2007-01-01

    (242) PMID: 17433378 ABSTRACT: Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism are two neurodevelopmental disorders associated with prominent executive dysfunction, which may be underpinned by disruption within fronto-striatal and fronto-parietal circuits. We probed executive function in these disorders using a sustained attention task with a validated brain-behaviour basis. Twenty-three children with ADHD, 21 children with high-functioning autism (HFA) and 18 control children were...

  16. IQ-Related fMRI Differences during Cognitive Set Shifting

    OpenAIRE

    Graham, Steven; Jiang, Jiaying; Manning, Victoria; Nejad, Ayna Baladi; Zhisheng, Koh; Salleh, Shan R.; Golay, Xavier; Berne, Yeh Ing; McKenna, Peter J.

    2009-01-01

    This event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging study compared neural correlates of executive function (cognitive set-shifting) in 28 healthy participants with either high (HIQ) or average (AIQ) intelligence. Despite comparable behavioral performance (except for slower reactions), the AIQ participants showed greater (especially prefrontal) activation during response selection; the HIQ participants showed greater activation (especially parietal) during feedback evaluation. HIQ partici...

  17. The cerebral correlates of set-shifting: an fMRI study of the trail making test

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    Moll Jorge

    2002-01-01

    Full Text Available The trail making test (TMT pertains to a family of tests that tap the ability to alternate between cognitive categories. However, the value of the TMT as a localizing instrument remains elusive. Here we report the results of a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI study of a verbal adaptation of the TMT (vTMT. The vTMT takes advantage of the set-shifting properties of the TMT and, at the same time, minimizes the visuospatial and visuomotor components of the written TMT. Whole brain BOLD fMRI was performed during the alternating execution of vTMTA and vTMTB in seven normal adults with more than 12 years of formal education. Brain activation related to the set-shifting component of vTMTB was investigated by comparing performance on vTMTB with vTMTA, a simple counting task. There was a marked asymmetry of activation in favor of the left hemisphere, most notably in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (BA 6 lateral, 44 and 46 and supplementary motor area/cingulate sulcus (BA 6 medial and 32. The intraparietal sulcus (BA 7 and 39 was bilaterally activated. These findings are in line with clinico-anatomic and functional neuroimaging data that point to a critical role of the dorsolateral and medial prefrontal cortices as well as the intraparietal sulci in the regulation of cognitive flexibility, intention, and the covert execution of saccades/anti-saccades. Many commonly used neuropsychological paradigms, such as the Stroop, Wisconsin Card Sorting, and go - no go tasks, share some patterns of cerebral activation with the TMT.

  18. Automatic Shifts of Attention in the Dimensional Change Card Sort Task: Subtle Changes in Task Materials Lead to Flexible Switching

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    Fisher, Anna V.

    2011-01-01

    Two experiments tested a hypothesis that reducing demands on executive control in a Dimensional Change Card Sort task will lead to improved performance in 3-year-olds. In Experiment 1, the shape dimension was represented by two dissimilar values ("stars" and "flowers"), and the color dimension was represented by two similar values ("red" and…

  19. Neuroelectric and Behavioral Effects of Acute Exercise on Task Switching in Children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hung, Chiao-Ling; Huang, Chung-Ju; Tsai, Yu-Jung; Chang, Yu-Kai; Hung, Tsung-Min

    2016-01-01

    The main purpose of this two-part study was to examine the effects of acute, moderate intensity exercise on task switching in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). In Study 1, we compared the task switching performance of children with and without ADHD. Twenty children with ADHD and 20 matched controls performed the task switching paradigm, in which the behavioral indices and P3 component of event-related potentials elicited by task-switching were assessed simultaneously. The amplitude and latency of P3 reflected the amount of attention resource allocated to task-relevant stimulus in the environment and the efficiency of stimulus detection and evaluation, respectively. The task switching included two conditions; the pure condition required participants to perform the task on the same rule (e.g., AAAA or BBBB) whereas the mixed condition required participants to perform the task on two alternating rules (e.g., AABBAA…). The results indicated that children with ADHD had significantly longer RTs, less accuracy, and larger global switch cost for accuracy than controls. Additionally, ADHD participants showed smaller amplitudes and longer P3 latencies in global switch effects. In Study 2, we further examined the effects of an acute aerobic exercise session on task switching in children with ADHD. Thirty-four children with ADHD performed a task switching paradigm after 30 min of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise on a treadmill and after control sessions (watching videos while seated). The results revealed that following exercise, children with ADHD exhibited smaller global switch costs in RT compared with after control sessions. The P3 amplitude only increased following exercise in the mixed condition relative to the pure condition, whereas no effects were found in the control session. These findings suggest that single bouts of moderate intensity aerobic exercise may have positive effects on the working memory of children with ADHD. PMID

  20. Flexible attention allocation to visual and auditory working memory tasks : manipulating reward induces a trade-off

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Morey, Candice Coker; Cowan, Nelson; Morey, Richard D.; Rouder, Jeffery N.

    2011-01-01

    Prominent roles for general attention resources are posited in many models of working memory, but the manner in which these can be allocated differs between models or is not sufficiently specified. We varied the payoffs for correct responses in two temporally-overlapping recognition tasks, a visual

  1. The Roles of Feature-Specific Task Set and Bottom-Up Salience in Attentional Capture: An ERP Study

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    Eimer, Martin; Kiss, Monika; Press, Clare; Sauter, Disa

    2009-01-01

    We investigated the roles of top-down task set and bottom-up stimulus salience for feature-specific attentional capture. Spatially nonpredictive cues preceded search arrays that included a color-defined target. For target-color singleton cues, behavioral spatial cueing effects were accompanied by cue-induced N2pc components, indicative of…

  2. The Development of Memory Maintenance: Children's Use of Phonological Rehearsal and Attentional Refreshment in Working Memory Tasks

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    Tam, Helen; Jarrold, Christopher; Baddeley, Alan D.; Sabatos-DeVito, Maura

    2010-01-01

    Past research suggests that children begin to phonologically rehearse at around 7 years of age. Less is known regarding the development of refreshment, an attention-based maintenance mechanism. Therefore, the use of these two maintenance methods by 6- and 8-year-olds was assessed using memory span tasks that varied in their opportunities for…

  3. Task Performance and Response to Frustration in Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scime, Melinda; Norvilitis, Jill M.

    2006-01-01

    The present study examined performance on an arithmetic task of increasing difficulty and a frustrating puzzle task for children with ADHD and comparison children. Emotional competence also was investigated in the two groups. Sixty-four children, 21 previously diagnosed with ADHD, participated. Performance on the arithmetic task was measured in…

  4. Attention to irrelevant contexts decreases as training increases: Evidence from eye-fixations in a human predictive learning task.

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    Aristizabal, José A; Ramos-Álvarez, Manuel M; Callejas-Aguilera, José E; Rosas, Juan M

    2016-03-01

    Participants were trained in a human predictive learning task in which they had to predict whether the ingestion of a given food (cue) by the imaginary customer of an imaginary restaurant (context) was followed by gastric malaise (outcome). One food was always followed by gastric malaise in one of the contexts, while other foods were not followed by gastric malaise in the same, or in an alternative context. Predictive responses and eye-fixations were recorded throughout the 48 training trials with each cue involved in the task. In agreement with the predictions of the Attentional Theory of Context Processing, attention to the contexts measured through eye-fixations decreased while attention to the cues increased as training progressed. The results of this study give support to the idea that contexts are actively processed at the beginning of acquisition, and that this processing decreases as training increases.

  5. The pharmacological characterization of attentional processes using a two-lever choice reaction time task in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mishima, Kenichi; Fujii, Megumi; Aoo, Naoya; Yoshikawa, Tetsuya; Fukue, Yoshihiko; Honda, Yoko; Egashira, Nobuaki; Iwasaki, Katsunori; Shoyama, Yukihiro; Fujiwara, Michihiro

    2002-12-01

    Activating the noradrenergic and cholinergic systems is known to enhance attentional processes, while stimulating dopaminergic, serotonergic, and GABAergic systems suppresses them. The objective of the present study was to investigate the pharmacological characterization in the attentional processes of a two-lever choice reaction time (CRT) task using different centrally acting drugs. We designed seven parameters in this task: the correct response (CR) rate; error response rate; nonresponse (NR) rate; differential reinforcement of other behavior (DRO) responses; number of incorrect lever pressings during both the intertrial interval and DRO periods; the mean CRT of CR; and activity during 30 trials. The compounds produced different profiles at each dose. 1) Facilitative and disruptive effects on attentional processes occurred with changes in CRT alone. Scopolamine (0.1 mg/kg) and prazosin (0.3-1 mg/kg) prolonged the CRT, whereas methamphetamine (0.3 mg/kg) shortened the CRT. 2) Attentional deficits occurred with abnormal behavior showing premature response or perseverative behavior. Scopolamine (0.2-1 mg/kg), methamphetamine (3 mg/kg), delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (10 mg/kg), and MK-801 (0.1-0.3 mg/kg) produced a marked increase in the number of total lever pressings. 3) Motor function deficits rather than attentional deficits occurred. 8-OH DPAT (1 mg/kg) and muscimol (1 mg/kg) produced a decrease in CR and an increase in NR with a marked decrease in activity and prolonged the CRT. Activating noradrenergic alpha(1) receptors was found to enhance the attentional processes, while blocking muscarinic receptors, alpha(1) receptors, and NMDA receptors, and stimulating cannabinoid receptors and the dopaminergic systems impaired the attentional processes in the two-lever CRT task.

  6. Attention Capture by Direct Gaze is Robust to Context and Task Demands

    OpenAIRE

    Palanica, Adam; Itier, Roxane J.

    2012-01-01

    Eye-tracking was used to investigate whether gaze direction would influence the visual scanning of faces, when presented in the context of a full character, in different social settings, and with different task demands. Participants viewed individual computer agents against either a blank background or a bar scene setting, during both a free-viewing task and an attractiveness rating task for each character. Faces with a direct gaze were viewed longer than faces with an averted gaze regardless...

  7. Differential effects of three 5-HT receptor antagonists on the performance of rats in attentional and working memory tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruotsalainen, S; Sirviö, J; Jäkälä, P; Puumala, T; MacDonald, E; Riekkinen, P

    1997-05-01

    The effects of three different serotonin (5-HT) receptor antagonists (ketanserin, methysegide, methiothepin) in the modulation of attention, working memory and behavioural activity were investigated in this study by assessing the performance of rats in two separate cognitive models; the 5-choice serial reaction time (5-CSRT) task, which measures attention, and the delayed non-matching to position (DNMTP) task, which measures working memory. Methysergide and methiothepin bind at the 5-HT1 and 5-HT2 as well as the 5-HT5-7 receptors, with varying degrees of selectivity, and ketanserin binds at the 5-HT2A receptors rather selectively. None of these agents bind to any significant extent to 5-HT3 or 5-HT4 receptors. In the 5-CSRT task, neither methiothepin (0.15 mg/kg) nor ketanserin (1.0 and 3.0 mg/kg) impaired the choice accuracy of rats, although they induced sedation. The low doses of methysergide (1.5 and 3.0 mg/kg) slightly increased the behavioural activity of rats, whereas the high dose of methysergide (15.0 mg/kg) reduced behavioural activity and slightly reduced choice accuracy of the rats in the attentional task (monitoring of visual stimuli) under the baseline conditions or curtailed stimulus duration. This effect was not augmented at the reduced stimulus intensity. These findings suggest that the high dose of methysergide did not interfere with the visual discrimination of rats. Furthermore, methysergide did not reduce motivation for this task, since it did not increase food collection latencies. In the DNMTP task, methiothepin (0.15 mg/kg) induced a delay non-dependent deficit in choice accuracy. This could be due to an impaired alternation ability or akinesia, which increases an actual delay between sample and choice. Methiothepin (0.15 mg/kg) also interfered with behavioural activity of rats. Interestingly, ketanserin (1.0 mg/kg and 3.0 mg/kg) and methysergide (3.0-15.0 mg/kg) neither impaired the choice accuracy nor reduced the behavioural activity of

  8. The distribution of attention in RSVP tasks and its sensitivity to affect, personality traits and estradiol

    OpenAIRE

    Dhinakaran, Janani

    2014-01-01

    In this thesis, the influences of positive and negative affect state, the personality trait neuroticism, and the hormone estradiol on selective attention are explored in three studies. In Study 1 a double-stream RSVP paradigm was used to explore if attention can be spatially diffused and focused by affect. A spatial interpretation of the diffuse mental state was not found. Study 2 studied the distribution of attention as influenced by neuroticism and cognitive control. Results confirmed that ...

  9. Methylphenidate Improves Working Memory and Set-Shifting in AD/HD: Relationships to Baseline Memory Capacity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mehta, Mitul A.; Goodyer, Ian M.; Sahakian, Barbara J.

    2004-01-01

    Objective: Catecholamine stimulant drugs are highly efficacious treatments for attention deficit/hyperactivity disorders (AD/HD). Catecholamine modulation in humans influences performance of numerous cognitive tasks, including tests of attention and working memory (WM). Clear delineation of the effects of methylphenidate upon such cognitive…

  10. Attentional Modulation of Word Recognition by Children in a Dual-Task Paradigm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, Sangsook; Lotto, Andrew; Lewis, Dawna; Hoover, Brenda; Stelmachowicz, Patricia

    2008-01-01

    Purpose: This study investigated an account of limited short-term memory capacity for children's speech perception in noise using a dual-task paradigm. Method: Sixty-four normal-hearing children (7-14 years of age) participated in this study. Dual tasks were repeating monosyllabic words presented in noise at 8 dB signal-to-noise ratio and…

  11. Separable roles for attentional control sub-systems in reading tasks: a combined behavioral and fMRI study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ihnen, S K Z; Petersen, Steven E; Schlaggar, Bradley L

    2015-05-01

    Attentional control is important both for learning to read and for performing difficult reading tasks. A previous study invoked 2 mechanisms to explain reaction time (RT) differences between reading tasks with variable attentional demands. The present study combined behavioral and neuroimaging measures to test the hypotheses that there are 2 mechanisms of interaction between attentional control and reading; that these mechanisms are dissociable both behaviorally and neuro-anatomically; and that the 2 mechanisms involve functionally separable control systems. First, RT evidence was found in support of the 2-mechanism model, corroborating the previous study. Next, 2 sets of brain regions were identified as showing functional magnetic resonance imaging blood oxygen level-dependent activity that maps onto the 2-mechanism distinction. One set included bilateral Cingulo-opercular regions and mostly right-lateralized Dorsal Attention regions (CO/DA+). This CO/DA+ region set showed response properties consistent with a role in reporting which processing pathway (phonological or lexical) was biased for a particular trial. A second set was composed primarily of left-lateralized Frontal-parietal (FP) regions. Its signal properties were consistent with a role in response checking. These results demonstrate how the subcomponents of attentional control interact with subcomponents of reading processes in healthy young adults. PMID:24275830

  12. Selective visual processing across competition episodes: a theory of task-driven visual attention and working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneider, Werner X

    2013-10-19

    The goal of this review is to introduce a theory of task-driven visual attention and working memory (TRAM). Based on a specific biased competition model, the 'theory of visual attention' (TVA) and its neural interpretation (NTVA), TRAM introduces the following assumption. First, selective visual processing over time is structured in competition episodes. Within an episode, that is, during its first two phases, a limited number of proto-objects are competitively encoded-modulated by the current task-in activation-based visual working memory (VWM). In processing phase 3, relevant VWM objects are transferred via a short-term consolidation into passive VWM. Second, each time attentional priorities change (e.g. after an eye movement), a new competition episode is initiated. Third, if a phase 3 VWM process (e.g. short-term consolidation) is not finished, whereas a new episode is called, a protective maintenance process allows its completion. After a VWM object change, its protective maintenance process is followed by an encapsulation of the VWM object causing attentional resource costs in trailing competition episodes. Viewed from this perspective, a new explanation of key findings of the attentional blink will be offered. Finally, a new suggestion will be made as to how VWM items might interact with visual search processes. PMID:24018722

  13. 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.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tucha, Lara; Simpson, William

    2011-01-01

    Recent research examined the effects of chewing gum on attention and reported a significant interaction of gum chewing with time. Using a crossover within-subject design, the present study examined the effect of gum chewing on sustained attention in healthy adults over a period of 30 min. The result

  15. Learned Predictiveness Influences Rapid Attentional Capture: Evidence from the Dot Probe Task

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Pelley, Mike E.; Vadillo, Miguel; Luque, David

    2013-01-01

    Attentional theories of associative learning and categorization propose that learning about the predictiveness of a stimulus influences the amount of attention that is paid to that stimulus. Three experiments tested this idea by looking at the extent to which stimuli that had previously been experienced as predictive or nonpredictive in a…

  16. Associations between neural correlates of visual stimulus processing and set-shifting in ill and recovered women with anorexia nervosa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sultson, Hedvig; van Meer, Floor; Sanders, Nicole; van Elburg, Annemarie A; Danner, Unna N; Hoek, Hans W; Adan, Roger A H; Smeets, Paul A M

    2016-09-30

    Women ill with anorexia nervosa (AN) have been shown to exhibit altered cognitive functioning, particularly poor set-shifting (SS). In this study, we investigated whether brain activation in frontal and parietal regions during visual stimulus processing correlates with SS ability. Women currently ill with AN (AN; N=14), recovered women (REC; N=14) and healthy controls (HC; N=15), viewed alternating blocks of food and non-food pictures during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). The Berg's Card Sorting Task was completed outside the scanner to measure SS. A priori regions of interest (ROIs) were defined in frontal and parietal regions. The activation during visual stimulus processing in several ROIs correlated positively with poor SS ability in REC, particularly in the left dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC). The correlations with poor SS ability were opposite in AN patients, particularly in the right dACC. These findings underscore that addressing heightened levels of cognitive control associated with higher frontal activation could reduce cognitive inflexibility in recovered women. In AN, greater activation in frontal and parietal regions might be necessary to perform at normal levels during various tasks. Thus, weight restoration could be necessary for AN patients prior to addressing cognitive inflexibility. PMID:27518327

  17. Investigating Glutamatergic Mechanism in Attention and Impulse Control Using Rats in a Modified 5-Choice Serial Reaction Time Task

    OpenAIRE

    Abigail Benn; Emma S J Robinson

    2014-01-01

    The 5-choice serial reaction time task (5CSRTT) has been widely used to study attention and impulse control in rodents. In order to mimic cognitive impairments in psychiatry, one approach has been to use acute administration of NMDA antagonists. This disruption in glutamatergic transmission leads to impairments in accuracy, omissions, and premature responses although findings have been inconsistent. In this study, we further investigated glutamatergic mechanisms using a novel version of the 5...

  18. Acute aerobic exercise enhances attentional modulation of somatosensory event-related potentials during a tactile discrimination task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Popovich, Christina; Staines, W Richard

    2015-03-15

    Neuroimaging research has shown that acute bouts of moderate intensity aerobic exercise can enhance attention-based neuronal activity in frontal brain regions, namely in the prefrontal cortex (PFC), as well as improve cognitive performance. The circuitry of the PFC is complex with extensive reciprocal corticocortical and thalamocortical connections, yet it remains unclear if aerobic exercise can also assist attentional control over modality-specific sensory cortices. To test this, we used a tactile discrimination task to compare tactile event-related potentials (ERPs) prior to and following an acute bout of moderate intensity aerobic exercise. We hypothesized that exercise preceding performance of the task would result in more efficient sensory gating of irrelevant/non-attended and enhancement of relevant/attended sensory information, respectively. Participants received vibrotactile stimulation to the second and fifth digit on the left hand and reported target stimuli on one digit only. ERP amplitudes for the P50, P100, N140 and long latency positivity (LLP) were quantified for attended and non-attended trials at FC4, C4, CP4 and P4 while P300 amplitudes were quantified in response to attended target stimuli at electrodes FCZ, CZ and CPZ. Results showed no effect of attention on the P50, however, both P100 and LLP amplitudes were significantly greater during attended, task-relevant trials, while the N140 was enhanced for non-attended, task-irrelevant stimuli. Moreover, unattended N140 amplitudes over parietal sites contralateral to stimulation were significantly greater post-exercise versus pre-exercise, while LLP modulation varied with greater unattended amplitudes post-exercise over frontal sites and greater attended amplitudes post-exercise over parietal sites. These results suggest that a single session of moderate intensity aerobic exercise facilitated the sensory gating of task-irrelevant tactile stimuli so that relevant sensory signals could be enhanced at

  19. Set-shifting abilities, mood and loss of control over eating in binge eating disorder: An experimental study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dingemans, Alexandra E; Visser, Hiske; Paul, Linda; van Furth, Eric F

    2015-12-15

    Executive functions play an important role in problem-solving and self-control. Set-shifting is an aspect of executive functioning and represents cognitive flexibility. The inability to control eating in Binge Eating Disorder (BED) may imply deficits in set-shifting which could be exacerbated by negative mood and depressive symptoms. The aim of the study was to test whether there is a causal relationship between set-shifting ability, changes in mood and loss of control over eating in BED. Seventy-five participants diagnosed with BED were randomly assigned to a negative or neutral mood induction. Set-shifting abilities, depressive symptoms, current mood and loss of control over eating were assessed. Having depressive symptoms and poorer set-shifting abilities resulted in a more negative mood after a negative mood induction, whereas this was not observed in the neutral mood induction. Post-hoc analyses revealed that individuals with poorer set-shifting abilities and more changes in negative mood, experienced more feelings of loss of control over eating than individuals whose set-shifting abilities were better and whose mood did not change. The results suggest that both depressive symptoms and deficits in set-shifting abilities may decrease an individual's ability to handle negative affect and increase loss of control over eating in individuals with BED.

  20. Attention during functional tasks is associated with motor performance in children with developmental coordination disorder: A cross-sectional study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fong, Shirley S M; Chung, Joanne W Y; Cheng, Yoyo T Y; Yam, Timothy T T; Chiu, Hsiu-Ching; Fong, Daniel Y T; Cheung, C Y; Yuen, Lily; Yu, Esther Y T; Hung, Yeung Sam; Macfarlane, Duncan J; Ng, Shamay S M

    2016-09-01

    This cross-sectional and exploratory study aimed to compare motor performance and electroencephalographic (EEG) attention levels in children with developmental coordination disorder (DCD) and those with typical development, and determine the relationship between motor performance and the real-time EEG attention level in children with DCD.Eighty-six children with DCD [DCD: n = 57; DCD and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): n = 29] and 99 children with typical development were recruited. Their motor performance was assessed with the Movement Assessment Battery for Children (MABC) and attention during the tasks of the MABC was evaluated by EEG.All children with DCD had higher MABC impairment scores and lower EEG attention scores than their peers (P ADHD (P = 0.009) and 17.5% of the variance in children with both DCD and ADHD (P = 0.007). Children with DCD had poorer motor performance and were less attentive to movements than their peers. Their poor motor performance may be explained by inattention. PMID:27631272

  1. Electrophysiological evidence of atypical processing underlying mental set shifting in ecstasy polydrug and polydrug users.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roberts, Carl A; Fairclough, Stephen H; McGlone, Francis P; Fisk, John E; Montgomery, Catharine

    2013-12-01

    Executive functioning deficits are reported in ecstasy users. However research into mental set switching has been equivocal, with behavioral studies suggesting the function is preserved. The current study sought to address the issue of switching deficits in ecstasy users by combining behavioral performance with electrophysiological correlates (electroencephalography; EEG). Twenty ecstasy polydrug users, 20 nonecstasy polydrug users, and 20 drug naive controls were recruited. Participants completed questionnaires about their drug use, sleep quality, fluid intelligence, and current mood state. Each participant completed a mental set switching task (the number-letter task) while EEG measures were recorded. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) revealed no between-group differences on performance of the task; however a regression suggested that ecstasy use was a significant predictor for performance, after controlling for cannabis use. Mixed ANOVA revealed a significant effect of group on the P3, with significant differences between both drug groups and naives. There was also an interaction between electrode and group on the P2 component, with ecstasy users differing from both other groups. On the P3 component the results suggest a reduction in positivity at parieto-occipital electrodes for drug users compared to controls. Furthermore a significant increase in negativity in ecstasy users compared to control groups could be observed in several occipito-parietal electrodes at an N2 component as well as observable atypicalities in early processing (P2) displayed by ecstasy users and polydrug controls. The present study provides evidence of atypical processing of attentional shifting in ecstasy and polydrug users. Deficits in this executive function could reflect cognitive inflexibility and paucity of rapid behavioral adjustment, which may be problematic in real world situations. PMID:24080019

  2. Electrophysiological evidence of atypical processing underlying mental set shifting in ecstasy polydrug and polydrug users.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roberts, Carl A; Fairclough, Stephen H; McGlone, Francis P; Fisk, John E; Montgomery, Catharine

    2013-12-01

    Executive functioning deficits are reported in ecstasy users. However research into mental set switching has been equivocal, with behavioral studies suggesting the function is preserved. The current study sought to address the issue of switching deficits in ecstasy users by combining behavioral performance with electrophysiological correlates (electroencephalography; EEG). Twenty ecstasy polydrug users, 20 nonecstasy polydrug users, and 20 drug naive controls were recruited. Participants completed questionnaires about their drug use, sleep quality, fluid intelligence, and current mood state. Each participant completed a mental set switching task (the number-letter task) while EEG measures were recorded. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) revealed no between-group differences on performance of the task; however a regression suggested that ecstasy use was a significant predictor for performance, after controlling for cannabis use. Mixed ANOVA revealed a significant effect of group on the P3, with significant differences between both drug groups and naives. There was also an interaction between electrode and group on the P2 component, with ecstasy users differing from both other groups. On the P3 component the results suggest a reduction in positivity at parieto-occipital electrodes for drug users compared to controls. Furthermore a significant increase in negativity in ecstasy users compared to control groups could be observed in several occipito-parietal electrodes at an N2 component as well as observable atypicalities in early processing (P2) displayed by ecstasy users and polydrug controls. The present study provides evidence of atypical processing of attentional shifting in ecstasy and polydrug users. Deficits in this executive function could reflect cognitive inflexibility and paucity of rapid behavioral adjustment, which may be problematic in real world situations.

  3. Visual Attention During Brand Choice : The Impact of Time Pressure and Task Motivation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pieters, R.; Warlop, L.

    1998-01-01

    Measures derived from eye-movement data reveal that during brand choice consumers adapt to time pressure by accelerating the visual scanning sequence, by filtering information and by changing their scanning strategy. In addition, consumers with high task motivation filter brand information less and

  4. Interference within the Focus of Attention: Working Memory Tasks Reflect More than Temporary Maintenance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shipstead, Zach; Engle, Randall W.

    2013-01-01

    One approach to understanding working memory (WM) holds that individual differences in WM capacity arise from the amount of information a person can store in WM over short periods of time. This view is especially prevalent in WM research conducted with the visual arrays task. Within this tradition, many researchers have concluded that the average…

  5. Older Adults Do Not Notice Their Names: A New Twist to a Classic Attention Task

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naveh-Benjamin, Moshe; Kilb, Angela; Maddox, Geoffrey B.; Thomas, Jenna; Fine, Hope C.; Chen, Tina; Cowan, Nelson

    2014-01-01

    Although working memory spans are, on average, lower for older adults than young adults, we demonstrate in 5 experiments a way in which older adults paradoxically resemble higher capacity young adults. Specifically, in a selective-listening task, older adults almost always failed to notice their names presented in an unattended channel. This is an…

  6. Task Engagement, Cerebral Blood Flow Velocity, and Diagnostic Monitoring for Sustained Attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matthews, Gerald; Warm, Joel S.; Reinerman-Jones, Lauren E.; Langheim, Lisa K.; Washburn, David A.; Tripp, Lloyd

    2010-01-01

    Loss of vigilance may lead to impaired performance in various applied settings including military operations, transportation, and industrial inspection. Individuals differ considerably in sustained attention, but individual differences in vigilance have proven to be hard to predict. The dependence of vigilance on workload factors is consistent…

  7. Static and dynamic posterior cingulate cortex nodal topology of default mode network predicts attention task performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Pan; Yang, Yong; Jovicich, Jorge; De Pisapia, Nicola; Wang, Xiang; Zuo, Chun S; Levitt, James Jonathan

    2016-03-01

    Characterization of the default mode network (DMN) as a complex network of functionally interacting dynamic systems has received great interest for the study of DMN neural mechanisms. In particular, understanding the relationship of intrinsic resting-state DMN brain network with cognitive behaviors is an important issue in healthy cognition and mental disorders. However, it is still unclear how DMN functional connectivity links to cognitive behaviors during resting-state. In this study, we hypothesize that static and dynamic DMN nodal topology is associated with upcoming cognitive task performance. We used graph theory analysis in order to understand better the relationship between the DMN functional connectivity and cognitive behavior during resting-state and task performance. Nodal degree of the DMN was calculated as a metric of network topology. We found that the static and dynamic posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) nodal degree within the DMN was associated with task performance (Reaction Time). Our results show that the core node PCC nodal degree within the DMN was significantly correlated with reaction time, which suggests that the PCC plays a key role in supporting cognitive function. PMID:25904156

  8. The effect of practice on a sustained attention task in cocaine abusers

    OpenAIRE

    Goldstein, Rita Z.; Tomasi, Dardo; Alia-Klein, Nelly; Zhang, Lei; Telang, Frank; Volkow, Nora D.

    2007-01-01

    Habituation enables the organism to attend selectively to novel stimuli by diminishing no-longer necessary responses to repeated stimuli. Because the prefrontal cortex (PFC) has a core role in monitoring attention and behavioral control especially under novelty, neural habituation responses may be modified in drug addiction, a psychopathology that entails PFC abnormalities in both structure and function. Sixteen cocaine abusers and 12 gender-, race-, education-, and intelligence-matched healt...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Julie Bolduc-Teasdale; Pierre Jolicoeur; Michelle McKerral

    2012-01-01

    Individuals who have sustained a mild brain injury (e.g., mild traumatic brain injury or mild cerebrovascular stroke) are at risk to show persistent cognitive symptoms (attention and memory) after the acute postinjury phase. Although studies have shown that those patients perform normally on neuropsychological tests, cognitive symptoms remain present, and there is a need for more precise diagnostic tools. The aim of this study was to develop precise and sensitive markers for the diagnosis of ...

  10. Behavioral and ERP measures of attentional bias to threat in the dot-probe task: Poor reliability and lack of correlation with anxiety

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emily S. Kappenman

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The dot-probe task is often considered a gold standard in the field for investigating attentional bias to threat. However, serious issues with the task have been raised. Specifically, a number of studies have demonstrated that the traditional reaction time measure of attentional bias to threat in the dot-probe task has poor internal reliability and poor test-retest reliability. In addition, although threatening stimuli capture attention in other paradigms, attentional bias to threat has not usually been found in typical research participants in the dot-probe task. However, when attention is measured in the dot-probe task with the N2pc component of the event-related potential (ERP waveform, substantial attentional orienting to threat is observed, and the internal reliability is moderate. To provide a rigorous comparison of the reliability of this N2pc measure and the conventional behavioral measure, as well as to examine the relationship of these measures to anxiety, the present study examined the N2pc in conjunction with reaction time in the dot-probe task in a large sample of participants (N = 96. As in previous studies, reaction time showed no bias to threatening images across the sample and exhibited poor internal reliability. Moreover, this measure did not relate to trait anxiety. By contrast, the N2pc revealed a significant initial shift of attention to threat, and this measure was internally reliable. However, the N2pc was not correlated with trait anxiety, indicating that it does not provide a meaningful index of individual differences in anxiety in the dot-probe task. Together, these results indicate a serious need to develop new tasks and methods to more reliably investigate attentional bias to threat and its relationship to anxiety in both clinical and non-clinical populations.

  11. Behavioral and ERP measures of attentional bias to threat in the dot-probe task: poor reliability and lack of correlation with anxiety.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kappenman, Emily S; Farrens, Jaclyn L; Luck, Steven J; Proudfit, Greg Hajcak

    2014-01-01

    The dot-probe task is often considered a gold standard in the field for investigating attentional bias to threat. However, serious issues with the task have been raised. Specifically, a number of studies have demonstrated that the traditional reaction time (RT) measure of attentional bias to threat in the dot-probe task has poor internal reliability and poor test-retest reliability. In addition, although threatening stimuli capture attention in other paradigms, attentional bias to threat has not usually been found in typical research participants in the dot-probe task. However, when attention is measured in the dot-probe task with the N2pc component of the event-related potential waveform, substantial attentional orienting to threat is observed, and the internal reliability is moderate. To provide a rigorous comparison of the reliability of this N2pc measure and the conventional behavioral measure, as well as to examine the relationship of these measures to anxiety, the present study examined the N2pc in conjunction with RT in the dot-probe task in a large sample of participants (N = 96). As in previous studies, RT showed no bias to threatening images across the sample and exhibited poor internal reliability. Moreover, this measure did not relate to trait anxiety. By contrast, the N2pc revealed a significant initial shift of attention to threat, and this measure was internally reliable. However, the N2pc was not correlated with trait anxiety, indicating that it does not provide a meaningful index of individual differences in anxiety in the dot-probe task. Together, these results indicate a serious need to develop new tasks and methods to more reliably investigate attentional bias to threat and its relationship to anxiety in both clinical and non-clinical populations. PMID:25538644

  12. BDNF polymorphism associates with decline in set shifting in Parkinson's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Kolk, Nicolien M; Speelman, Arlene D; van Nimwegen, Marlies; Kessels, Roy P C; IntHout, Joanna; Hakobjan, Marina; Munneke, Marten; Bloem, Bastiaan R; van de Warrenburg, Bart P

    2015-03-01

    Parkinson's disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder caused by nigrostriatal dopaminergic degeneration. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a key protein in brain plasticity and is particularly important for survival of dopaminergic neurons. The Val66Met polymorphism of BDNF (rs6265) has been associated with functional differences (mainly cognitive) between healthy adults and also with differences in the clinical expression of several other neuropsychiatric illnesses including PD. However, these studies used different outcome measures, have not been replicated, and were cross sectional, making it difficult to establish the role of BDNF in the clinical variability of PD. Here, a large cohort of 384 PD patients were followed up for 2 years, and associations between BDNF genotype and various clinical characteristics were examined. The BDNF Met-allele carriers showed a significantly smaller decline in set shifting during follow-up compared with the homozygous BDNF Val-allele carriers. Contrary to previous assumptions, these results indicate that mental flexibility is one of the cognitive processes that may benefit from the BDNF Met allele in PD patients. PMID:25444596

  13. The Communication of Culturally Dominant Modes of Attention from Parents to Children: A Comparison of Canadian and Japanese Parent-Child Conversations during a Joint Scene Description Task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Senzaki, Sawa; Masuda, Takahiko; Takada, Akira; Okada, Hiroyuki

    2016-01-01

    Previous findings have indicated that, when presented with visual information, North American undergraduate students selectively attend to focal objects, whereas East Asian undergraduate students are more sensitive to background information. However, little is known about how these differences are driven by culture and socialization processes. In this study, two experiments investigated how young children and their parents used culturally unique modes of attention (selective vs. context sensitive attention). We expected that children would slowly learn culturally unique modes of attention, and the experience of communicating with their parents would aid the development of such modes of attention. Study 1 tested children's solitary performance by examining Canadian and Japanese children's (4-6 vs. 7-9 years old) modes of attention during a scene description task, whereby children watched short animations by themselves and then described their observations. The results confirmed that children did not demonstrate significant cross-cultural differences in attention during the scene description task while working independently, although results did show rudimentary signs of culturally unique modes of attention in this task scenario by age 9. Study 2 examined parent-child (4-6 and 7-9 years old) dyads using the same task. The results indicated that parents communicated to their children differently across cultures, replicating attentional differences among undergraduate students in previous cross-cultural studies. Study 2 also demonstrated that children's culturally unique description styles increased significantly with age. The descriptions made by the older group (7-9 years old) showed significant cross-cultural variances in attention, while descriptions among the younger group (4-6 years old) did not. The significance of parental roles in the development of culturally unique modes of attention is discussed in addition to other possible facilitators of this

  14. The Communication of Culturally Dominant Modes of Attention from Parents to Children: A Comparison of Canadian and Japanese Parent-Child Conversations during a Joint Scene Description Task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Senzaki, Sawa; Masuda, Takahiko; Takada, Akira; Okada, Hiroyuki

    2016-01-01

    Previous findings have indicated that, when presented with visual information, North American undergraduate students selectively attend to focal objects, whereas East Asian undergraduate students are more sensitive to background information. However, little is known about how these differences are driven by culture and socialization processes. In this study, two experiments investigated how young children and their parents used culturally unique modes of attention (selective vs. context sensitive attention). We expected that children would slowly learn culturally unique modes of attention, and the experience of communicating with their parents would aid the development of such modes of attention. Study 1 tested children's solitary performance by examining Canadian and Japanese children's (4-6 vs. 7-9 years old) modes of attention during a scene description task, whereby children watched short animations by themselves and then described their observations. The results confirmed that children did not demonstrate significant cross-cultural differences in attention during the scene description task while working independently, although results did show rudimentary signs of culturally unique modes of attention in this task scenario by age 9. Study 2 examined parent-child (4-6 and 7-9 years old) dyads using the same task. The results indicated that parents communicated to their children differently across cultures, replicating attentional differences among undergraduate students in previous cross-cultural studies. Study 2 also demonstrated that children's culturally unique description styles increased significantly with age. The descriptions made by the older group (7-9 years old) showed significant cross-cultural variances in attention, while descriptions among the younger group (4-6 years old) did not. The significance of parental roles in the development of culturally unique modes of attention is discussed in addition to other possible facilitators of this

  15. The Communication of Culturally Dominant Modes of Attention from Parents to Children: A Comparison of Canadian and Japanese Parent-Child Conversations during a Joint Scene Description Task.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sawa Senzaki

    Full Text Available Previous findings have indicated that, when presented with visual information, North American undergraduate students selectively attend to focal objects, whereas East Asian undergraduate students are more sensitive to background information. However, little is known about how these differences are driven by culture and socialization processes. In this study, two experiments investigated how young children and their parents used culturally unique modes of attention (selective vs. context sensitive attention. We expected that children would slowly learn culturally unique modes of attention, and the experience of communicating with their parents would aid the development of such modes of attention. Study 1 tested children's solitary performance by examining Canadian and Japanese children's (4-6 vs. 7-9 years old modes of attention during a scene description task, whereby children watched short animations by themselves and then described their observations. The results confirmed that children did not demonstrate significant cross-cultural differences in attention during the scene description task while working independently, although results did show rudimentary signs of culturally unique modes of attention in this task scenario by age 9. Study 2 examined parent-child (4-6 and 7-9 years old dyads using the same task. The results indicated that parents communicated to their children differently across cultures, replicating attentional differences among undergraduate students in previous cross-cultural studies. Study 2 also demonstrated that children's culturally unique description styles increased significantly with age. The descriptions made by the older group (7-9 years old showed significant cross-cultural variances in attention, while descriptions among the younger group (4-6 years old did not. The significance of parental roles in the development of culturally unique modes of attention is discussed in addition to other possible facilitators of

  16. Desynchronization of Theta-Phase Gamma-Amplitude Coupling during a Mental Arithmetic Task in Children with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jun Won Kim

    Full Text Available Theta-phase gamma-amplitude coupling (TGC measurement has recently received attention as a feasible method of assessing brain functions such as neuronal interactions. The purpose of this electroencephalographic (EEG study is to understand the mechanisms underlying the deficits in attentional control in children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD by comparing the power spectra and TGC at rest and during a mental arithmetic task.Nineteen-channel EEGs were recorded from 97 volunteers (including 53 subjects with ADHD from a camp for hyperactive children under two conditions (rest and task performance. The EEG power spectra and the TGC data were analyzed. Correlation analyses between the Intermediate Visual and Auditory (IVA continuous performance test (CPT scores and EEG parameters were performed.No significant difference in the power spectra was detected between the groups at rest and during task performance. However, TGC was reduced during the arithmetic task in the ADHD group compared with the normal group (F = 16.70, p < 0.001. The TGC values positively correlated with the IVA CPT scores but negatively correlated with theta power.Our findings suggest that desynchronization of TGC occurred during the arithmetic task in ADHD children. TGC in ADHD children is expected to serve as a promising neurophysiological marker of network deactivation during attention-demanding tasks.

  17. Neuropsychological weaknesses in anorexia nervosa : Set-shifting, central coherence, and decision making in currently ill and recovered women

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Danner, Unna N.; Sanders, Nicole; Smeets, Paul A. M.; van Meer, Floor; Adan, Roger A. H.; Hoek, Hans W.; van Elburg, Annemarie A.

    2012-01-01

    Objective: The purpose of this study is to examine set-shifting, central coherence, and decision making in women currently ill with anorexia nervosa (AN), women recovered from AN, and healthy control women. We aim to test whether these neuropsychological weaknesses persist after recovery, and explor

  18. Psychophysiological correlates of sexually and non-sexually motivated attention to film clips in a workload task.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandra Carvalho

    Full Text Available Some authors have speculated that the cognitive component (P3 of the Event-Related Potential (ERP can function as a psychophysiological measure of sexual interest. The aim of this study was to determine if the P3 ERP component in a workload task can be used as a specific and objective measure of sexual motivation by comparing the neurophysiologic response to stimuli of motivational relevance with different levels of valence and arousal. A total of 30 healthy volunteers watched different films clips with erotic, horror, social-positive and social-negative content, while answering an auditory oddball paradigm. Erotic film clips resulted in larger interference when compared to both the social-positive and auditory alone conditions. Horror film clips resulted in the highest levels of interference with smaller P3 amplitudes than erotic and also than social-positive, social-negative and auditory alone condition. No gender differences were found. Both horror and erotic film clips significantly decreased heart rate (HR when compared to both social-positive and social-negative films. The erotic film clips significantly increased the skin conductance level (SCL compared to the social-negative films. The horror film clips significantly increased the SCL compared to both social-positive and social-negative films. Both the highly arousing erotic and non-erotic (horror movies produced the largest decrease in the P3 amplitude, a decrease in the HR and an increase in the SCL. These data support the notion that this workload task is very sensitive to the attentional resources allocated to the film clip, although they do not act as a specific index of sexual interest. Therefore, the use of this methodology seems to be of questionable utility as a specific measure of sexual interest or as an objective measure of the severity of Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder.

  19. Gap Effect Abnormalities during a Visually Guided Pro-Saccade Task in Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuka Matsuo

    Full Text Available Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that starts in early childhood and has a comprehensive impact on psychosocial activity and education as well as general health across the lifespan. Despite its prevalence, the current diagnostic criteria for ADHD are debated. Saccadic eye movements are easy to quantify and may be a quantitative biomarker for a wide variety of neurological and psychiatric disorders, including ADHD. The goal of this study was to examine whether children with ADHD exhibit abnormalities during a visually guided pro-saccadic eye-movement and to clarify the neurophysiological mechanisms associated with their behavioral impairments. Thirty-seven children with ADHD (aged 5-11 years and 88 typically developing (TD children (aged 5-11 years were asked to perform a simple saccadic eye-movement task in which step and gap conditions were randomly interleaved. We evaluated the gap effect, which is the difference in the reaction time between the two conditions. Children with ADHD had a significantly longer reaction time than TD children (p < 0.01 and the gap effect was markedly attenuated (p < 0.01. These results suggest that the measurement of saccadic eye movements may provide a novel method for evaluating the behavioral symptoms and clinical features of ADHD, and that the gap effect is a potential biomarker for the diagnosis of ADHD in early childhood.

  20. Attentional deployment in visual half-field tasks: the effect of cue position on word naming latency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindell, Annukka K; Nicholls, Michael E R

    2003-11-01

    Divided visual-field research suggests that attentional factors may contribute to the left hemisphere's (LH) superiority for language processing. The LH's parallel recognition strategy, specialised for whole word encoding, is largely unaffected by the distribution of spatial attention. In contrast, the right hemisphere's (RH) serial, letter-by-letter strategy places far greater demands on attentional resources. By manipulating spatial attention, the present study gauged the effect of cueing the beginning vs. the end of the word on LH and RH naming latency. Results indicated no effect of cue position on LH performance, consistent with research indicating that the LH enjoys an attentional advantage, deploying attention in parallel across the stimulus. As anticipated, the RH showed a facilitatory effect of beginning cue, which draws spatial attention to the initial letter cluster, enabling efficient implementation of the RH's sequential strategy. These findings suggest that differences in attentional deployment contribute to hemispheric asymmetries for word recognition. PMID:14607163

  1. 两种注意方式对前瞻记忆任务的影响%Influence of Two Types of Attention on the Prospective Memory Task

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    张茗

    2014-01-01

    It examined the effect of the top-down and bottom-up attentional resources on the prospective memory by adopting double-task paradigm .It showed that the top-down attentional resources affect the performance of prospective memory task , the higher the task of prospective memory occupies , the better the prospective memory scores .The bottom-up attentional resources also had a marginal significant effect on prospective memory .The interaction between top-down attentional resources and bottom-up attentional resources would be a significant factor to prospective memory .The result supported the dual-processing theory .%采用双任务实验范式探讨自下而上和自上而下的两种注意方式对前瞻记忆的影响。结果表明:自上而下的注意对前瞻记忆成绩有影响,前瞻记忆任务的任务权重越高,前瞻记忆成绩越好;自下而上的注意对前瞻记忆的成绩呈现边缘显著;两者交互作用达到显著性水平。实验结果支持双重加工理论。

  2. Set-Shifting Ability Is Associated with Gray Matter Volume in Older People with Mild Cognitive Impairment

    OpenAIRE

    Tsutsumimoto, Kota; Makizako, Hyuma; Shimada, Hiroyuki; Doi, Takehiko; Suzuki, Takao

    2015-01-01

    Background/Aims An understanding of the association between gray matter volume and executive functioning could provide strategies to reduce dementia risk in older people with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Methods In a cross-sectional analysis, we assessed executive functioning in 83 older people with MCI using three standard neuropsychological tests: set shifting (difference between Trail Making Test Parts B and A), working memory (difference between Digit Span forward and backward from th...

  3. Self-Rated Attentiveness Interacts with Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation and Noise Stimulation in Reaction Time in a Go/No-Go Task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sikström, Sverker; Jürgensen, Anna-Maria; Haghighi, Maryam; Månsson, Daniel; Smidelik, David; Habekost, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    Previous research has found that stimulating inattentive people with auditory white noise induces enhancement in cognitive performance. This enhancement is believed to occur due to a statistical phenomenon called stochastic resonance, where noise increases the probability of a signal passing the firing threshold in the neural cells. Here we investigate whether people with low attentiveness benefit to a larger extent than attentive people from stimulation by auditory white noise and transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS). The results show, for both auditory noise and tDCS stimulation, that the changes in performance relative to nonstimulation correlate with the degree of attentiveness in a Go/No-Go task, but not in a N-back task. These results suggest that the benefit of tDCS may interact with inattentiveness. PMID:26881116

  4. The impact of road traffic noise on cognitive performance in attention-based tasks depends on noise level even within moderate-level ranges.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schlittmeier, Sabine J; Feil, Alexandra; Liebl, Andreas; Hellbr Ck, J Rgen

    2015-01-01

    Little empirical evidence is available regarding the effects of road traffic noise on cognitive performance in adults, although traffic noise can be heard at many offices and home office workplaces. Our study tested the impact of road traffic noise at different levels (50 dB(A), 60 dB(A), 70 dB(A)) on performance in three tasks that differed with respect to their dependency on attentional and storage functions, as follows: The Stroop task, in which performance relied predominantly on attentional functions (e.g., inhibition of automated responses; Experiment 1: n = 24); a non-automated multistage mental arithmetic task calling for both attentional and storage functions (Exp. 2: n = 18); and verbal serial recall, which placed a burden predominantly on storage functions (Experiment 3: n = 18). Better performance was observed during moderate road traffic noise at 50 dB(A) compared to loud traffic noise at 70 dB(A) in attention-based tasks (Experiments 1-2). This contrasted with the effects of irrelevant speech (60 dB(A)), which was included in the experiments as a well-explored and common noise source in office settings. A disturbance impact of background speech was only given in the two tasks that called for storage functions (Experiments 2-3). In addition to the performance data, subjective annoyance ratings were collected. Consistent with the level effect of road traffic noise found in the performance data, a moderate road traffic noise at 50 dB(A) was perceived as significantly less annoying than a loud road traffic noise at 70 dB(A), which was found, however, independently of the task at hand. Furthermore, the background sound condition with the highest detrimental performance effect in a task was also rated as most annoying in this task, i.e., traffic noise at 70 dB(A) in the Stroop task, and background speech in the mental arithmetic and serial recall tasks. PMID:25913554

  5. The impact of road traffic noise on cognitive performance in attention-based tasks depends on noise level even within moderate-level ranges

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sabine J Schlittmeier

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Little empirical evidence is available regarding the effects of road traffic noise on cognitive performance in adults, although traffic noise can be heard at many offices and home office workplaces. Our study tested the impact of road traffic noise at different levels (50 dB(A, 60 dB(A, 70 dB(A on performance in three tasks that differed with respect to their dependency on attentional and storage functions, as follows: The Stroop task, in which performance relied predominantly on attentional functions (e.g., inhibition of automated responses; Experiment 1: n = 24; a non-automated multistage mental arithmetic task calling for both attentional and storage functions (Exp. 2: n = 18; and verbal serial recall, which placed a burden predominantly on storage functions (Experiment 3: n = 18. Better performance was observed during moderate road traffic noise at 50 dB(A compared to loud traffic noise at 70 dB(A in attention-based tasks (Experiments 1-2. This contrasted with the effects of irrelevant speech (60 dB(A, which was included in the experiments as a well-explored and common noise source in office settings. A disturbance impact of background speech was only given in the two tasks that called for storage functions (Experiments 2-3. In addition to the performance data, subjective annoyance ratings were collected. Consistent with the level effect of road traffic noise found in the performance data, a moderate road traffic noise at 50 dB(A was perceived as significantly less annoying than a loud road traffic noise at 70 dB(A, which was found, however, independently of the task at hand. Furthermore, the background sound condition with the highest detrimental performance effect in a task was also rated as most annoying in this task, i.e., traffic noise at 70 dB(A in the Stroop task, and background speech in the mental arithmetic and serial recall tasks.

  6. The relationship between language proficiency and attentional control in Cantonese-English bilingual children: Evidence from Simon, Simon switching, and working memory tasks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chi-Shing eTse

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available By administering Simon, Simon switching, and operation-span working memory tasks to Cantonese-English bilingual children who varied in their first-language (L1, Cantonese and second-language (L2, English proficiencies, as quantified by standardized vocabulary test performance, the current study examined the effects of L1 and L2 proficiency on attentional control performance. Apart from mean performance, we conducted ex-Gaussian analyses to capture the modal and positive-tail components of participants’ reaction time distributions in the Simon task. Bilinguals’ L2 proficiency was associated with higher scores in the operation span task, and a shift of reaction time distributions in incongruent trials, relative to congruent trials (Simon effect in µ, and the tail size of reaction time distributions (τ regardless of trial types. Bilinguals’ L1 proficiency, which was strongly associated with participants’ age, showed similar results, except that it was not associated with the Simon effect in µ. In contrast, neither bilinguals’ L1 nor L2 proficiency modulated the global switch cost or local switch cost in the Simon switching task. After taking into account potential cognitive maturation by partialling out the participants’ age, only (a scores in the working memory task and (b RT in incongruent trials and (c Simon effect in µ in the Simon task could still be predicted by bilinguals’ L2 proficiency. Overall, the current findings suggest that bilingual children’s L2 proficiency was associated with their conflict resolution and working memory capacity, but not goal maintenance or task-set switching, when they performed the cognitive tasks that demanded attentional control. This was not entirely consistent with the findings of college-age bilinguals reported in previous studies.

  7. Mental rotation impairs attention shifting and short-term memory encoding: neurophysiological evidence against the response-selection bottleneck model of dual-task performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pannebakker, Merel M; Jolicœur, Pierre; van Dam, Wessel O; Band, Guido P H; Ridderinkhof, K Richard; Hommel, Bernhard

    2011-09-01

    Dual tasks and their associated delays have often been used to examine the boundaries of processing in the brain. We used the dual-task procedure and recorded event-related potentials (ERPs) to investigate how mental rotation of a first stimulus (S1) influences the shifting of visual-spatial attention to a second stimulus (S2). Visual-spatial attention was monitored by using the N2pc component of the ERP. In addition, we examined the sustained posterior contralateral negativity (SPCN) believed to index the retention of information in visual short-term memory. We found modulations of both the N2pc and the SPCN, suggesting that engaging mechanisms of mental rotation impairs the deployment of visual-spatial attention and delays the passage of a representation of S2 into visual short-term memory. Both results suggest interactions between mental rotation and visual-spatial attention in capacity-limited processing mechanisms indicating that response selection is not pivotal in dual-task delays and all three processes are likely to share a common resource like executive control.

  8. Working Memory Capacity in a Go/No-Go Task: Age Differences in Interference, Processing Speed, and Attentional Control

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez-Villagra, Odir Antonio; Göthe, Katrin; Oberauer, Klaus; Kliegl, Reinhold

    2013-01-01

    We tested the limits of working-memory capacity (WMC) of young adults, old adults, and children with a memory-updating task. The task consisted of mentally shifting spatial positions within a grid according to arrows, their color signaling either only go (control) or go/no-go conditions. The interference model (IM) of Oberauer and Kliegl (2006)…

  9. Attention and gaze shifting in dual-task and go/no-go performance with vocal responding

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lamers, M.J.M.; Roelofs, A.P.A.

    2011-01-01

    Evidence from go/no-go performance on the Eriksen flanker task with manual responding suggests that individuals gaze at stimuli just as long as needed to identify them (e.g.. Sanders, 1998). In contrast, evidence from dual-task performance with vocal responding suggests that gaze shifts occur after

  10. Motor preparation, motor execution, attention, and executive functions in attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klimkeit, Ester I; Mattingley, Jason B; Sheppard, Dianne M; Lee, Paul; Bradshaw, John L

    2005-04-01

    Attention and executive functions were investigated in medicated and unmedicated children with ADHD combined type using a novel selective reaching task. This task involved responding as rapidly as possible to a target while at times having to ignore a distractor. Results indicated that unmedicated children with ADHD showed slow and inaccurate responding. Slow responding reflected problems at the stage of movement preparation but not movement execution. An attentional impairment, rather than a motor planning problem per se, appeared to underlie the slow movement preparation. Inaccurate responding reflected problems with response inhibition and selective attention, impulsivity, set-shifting, and difficulties in maintaining vigilance. Although medicated children with ADHD did not show slow movement preparation, they did show some response inaccuracy, resulting especially from impulsive responding. These findings suggest that ADHD is characterized by slow motor preparation (but not motor execution), and deficits in selective attention, vigilance, and executive functions. Preliminary results suggest that stimulant medication may resolve some of these motor, attentional and executive function deficits.

  11. Lack of attentional bias for emotional information in clinically depressed children and adolescents on the dot probe task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neshat-Doost, H T; Moradi, A R; Taghavi, M R; Yule, W; Dalgleish, T

    2000-03-01

    The present study utilised a cognitive paradigm to investigate attentional biases in clinically depressed children and adolescents. Two groups of children and adolescents--clinically depressed (N = 19) and normal controls (N = 26)--were asked to complete a computerised version of the attentional dot probe paradigm similar to that used by MacLeod, Mathews, and Tata (1986). Results provided no support for an attentional bias, either toward depression-related words or threat words, in the depressed group. This finding is discussed in the context of cognitive theories of anxiety and depression.

  12. The Effects of Classroom Interventions on Off-Task and Disruptive Classroom Behavior in Children with Symptoms of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: A Meta-Analytic Review

    OpenAIRE

    Geraldina F Gaastra; Yvonne Groen; Lara Tucha; Oliver Tucha

    2016-01-01

    Children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) often exhibit problem behavior in class, which teachers often struggle to manage due to a lack of knowledge and skills to use classroom management strategies. The aim of this meta-analytic review was to determine the effectiveness of several types of classroom interventions (antecedent-based, consequence-based, self-regulation, combined) that can be applied by teachers in order to decrease off-task and disruptive classroom behavior...

  13. EFFECTS OF TAI CHI EXERCIE ON ATTENTION IN HEALTHY ELDERLY SUBJECTS AS MEASURED BY NEAR-INFRARED SPECTROSCOPY DURING THE STROOP TASK

    OpenAIRE

    Wang, Wenchao; Qiu, Chen; Ota, Toyosaku; Sawada, Masayuki; Kishimoto, Naoko; Kishimoto, Toshifumi

    2013-01-01

    Background: To our knowledge,there is no study that has examined the effect of Tai Chi exercise(Tai Chi) on attention function using functional brain imaging methodologies. Recent developments in near-infrared spectroscopy(NIRS) have enabled non-invasive clarification of brain functions by measurement of hemoglobin concentrations as cerebral blood volume. So, in the present study, we examined the effects of Tai Chi in the healthy elderly as measured by NIRS during the Stroop task. Methods: Tw...

  14. Medio-Frontal and Anterior Temporal abnormalities in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) during an acoustic antisaccade task as revealed by electro-cortical source reconstruction

    OpenAIRE

    Rockstroh Brigitte; Kissler Johanna; Goepel Johanna; Paul-Jordanov Isabella

    2011-01-01

    Abstract Background Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is one of the most prevalent disorders in children and adolescence. Impulsivity is one of three core symptoms and likely associated with inhibition difficulties. To date the neural correlate of the antisaccade task, a test of response inhibition, has not been studied in children with (or without) ADHD. Methods Antisaccade responses to visual and acoustic cues were examined in nine unmedicated boys with ADHD (mean age 122.44 ±...

  15. A system of token economy associated to response cost applied to the out of the task behaviour of two adolescents suffering from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

    OpenAIRE

    Eduardo Chaves Cruz; Rosangela Bertelli; Agostinho Jorge Assanção Marafão

    2013-01-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of a program of token economy, that is, positive reinforcement, associated to negative punishment, that is, response cost, on the “out of the task” behaviour of two adolescents diagnosed as suffering from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The program involved presenting or removing points contingent to the emission of adequate or inadequate behaviour, respectively, considering the task at hand. The token economy system was carrie...

  16. Age Changes in Cardiac Deceleration within a Fixed Foreperiod Reaction-Time Task: An Index of Attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sroufe, L. Alan

    1971-01-01

    Thirty 6-, 8-, and 10-year-old boys were subjects in this study whose findings suggest that the obtained differences in anticipatory heart-rate deceleration reflect developmental changes in the ability to maintain attention. (WY)

  17. Apolipoprotein E (APOE) genotype and the pesticide chlorpyrifos modulate attention, motivation and impulsivity in female mice in the 5-choice serial reaction time task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peris-Sampedro, Fiona; Reverte, Ingrid; Basaure, Pia; Cabré, Maria; Domingo, José L; Colomina, Maria Teresa

    2016-06-01

    Organophosphate pesticides - and chlorpyrifos (CPF) in particular - contribute to a wide range of neurobehavioural disorders. Most experimental research focuses on learning and memory processes, while other behaviours remain understudied. The isoforms of the human apolipoprotein E (apoE) confer different cognitive skills on their carriers, but data on this topic are still limited. The current study was performed to assess whether the APOE genotypic variability differently modulates the effects of CPF on attentional performance, inhibitory control and motivation. Human apoE targeted replacement adult female mice (apoE2, apoE3 and apoE4) were trained to stably perform the 5-choice serial reaction time task (5-CSRTT). Animals were then subjected to daily dietary CPF (3.75 mg/kg body weight) for 4 weeks. After CPF exposure, we established a 4-week CPF-free period to assess recovery. All individuals acquired the task, apoE2 mice showed enhanced learning, while apoE4 mice displayed increased premature and perseverative responding. This genotype-dependent lack of inhibitory control was reversed by CPF. Overall, the pesticide induced protracted impairments in sustained attention and motivation, and it reduced anticipatory responding. ApoE3 mice exhibited delayed attentional disruptions throughout the wash-out period. Taken together, these findings provide notable evidence on the emergence of CPF-related attentional and motivational deficits. PMID:27106138

  18. Involuntary attentional capture by task-irrelevant objects that match the search template for category detection in natural scenes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reeder, Reshanne R; van Zoest, Wieske; Peelen, Marius V

    2015-05-01

    Theories of visual search postulate that the selection of targets amongst distractors involves matching visual input to a top-down attentional template. Previous work has provided evidence that feature-based attentional templates affect visual processing globally across the visual field. In the present study, we asked whether more naturalistic, category-level attentional templates also modulate visual processing in a spatially global and obligatory way. Subjects were cued to detect people or cars in a diverse set of photographs of real-world scenes. On a subset of trials, silhouettes of people and cars appeared in search-irrelevant locations that subjects were instructed to ignore, and subjects were required to respond to the location of a subsequent dot probe. In three experiments, results showed a consistency effect on dot-probe trials: dot probes were detected faster when they appeared in the location of the cued category compared with the non-cued category, indicating attentional capture by template-matching stimuli. Experiments 1 and 2 showed that this capture was involuntary: consistency effects persisted under conditions in which attending to silhouettes of the cued category was detrimental to performance. Experiment 3 tested whether these effects could be attributed to non-attentional effects related to the processing of the category cues. Results showed a consistency effect when subjects searched for category exemplars but not when they searched for objects semantically related to the cued category. Together, these results indicate that attentional templates for familiar object categories affect visual processing across the visual field, leading to involuntary attentional capture by template-matching stimuli. PMID:25810159

  19. Sociodemographic and Individual Predictors of Performance in an Attentional Task with Alert, Orienting and Control Demands in Preschoolers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Colombo, Jorge A.

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available This study explores the predictive value of socioeconomic status, maternal mental health and child temperament on the performance in the attentional network test (ANT, which assesses attentional processes of alert, orienting and control, administered to 203 4-to-5 years-old children (M = 4.78; SD = .59 from Unsatisfied and Satisfied Basic Needs homes (UBN and SBN, respectively. Results from the linear regression analysis indicated that gender, age, effortful control, and marginally parental occupation, predicted increments in reaction times of trials corresponding only to the control network. Predictors were not verified when sociodemographic variables (parental education and occupation, dwelling and overcrowding were replaced in the model by the predictor socioeconomic group (UBN, SBN. These results suggest a differential modulation of individual and environmental factors on different attentional processing networks.

  20. Spotting from The Rightmost Deep: A Temporal Field Advantage in A Behavioural Task of Attention And Filtering

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Germán Gálvez-García

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available During the past decades, animal and human physiological studies have suggested that subcortical structures that are part of the extrageniculate pathways have an important role to play in the attentive selection of targets and the filtering of distractors. However, not much has been done to investigate the filtering of distractors in purely behavioural experiments through cues that might reveal extrageniculate functions, such as the asymmetry in performance between the nasal and the temporal visual fields. Here, under monocular conditions, participants viewed laterally and tachistoscopically presented sets of visual stimuli and were required to decide whether a target was present in the set or not. The manipulation of attention demands was achieved by varying the degree of spatial organization of the stimuli. A temporal field advantage in detection accuracy was found, and was observed only for disorganised sets of stimuli, that is, when demands on attention were greater. Furthermore, this pattern was found only for stimuli projected to the right hemisphere. The results suggest that the extrageniculate pathways of the right hemisphere in humans are involved in filtering out distractors. They are discussed in light of findings and theories about extrageniculate mediation of selective attention.

  1. Evaluation of Planning Dysfunction in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Autistic Spectrum Disorders Using the Zoo Map Task

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salcedo-Marin, M. D.; Moreno-Granados, J. M.; Ruiz-Veguilla, M.; Ferrin, M.

    2013-01-01

    Attention-Deficit-Hyperactivity-Disorders (ADHD) and Autistic-Spectrum-Disorders (ASD) share overlapping clinical and cognitive features that may confuse the diagnosis. Evaluation of executive problems and planning dysfunction may aid the clinical diagnostic process and help disentangle the neurobiological process underlying these conditions. This…

  2. D-amphetamine improves attention performance in adolescent Wistar, but not in SHR rats, in a two-choice visual discrimination task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bizot, Jean-Charles; Cogrel, Nicolas; Massé, Fabienne; Chauvin, Virgile; Brault, Léa; David, Sabrina; Trovero, Fabrice

    2015-09-01

    The validity of spontaneous hypertensive rat (SHR) as a model of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has been explored by comparing SHR with Wistar rats in a test of attention, the two-choice visual discrimination task (2-CVDT). Animals were 4-5 weeks old during the training phase of the experiment and 6-7 weeks old during the testing phase in which they were tested with D-amphetamine, a stimulant drug used for the treatment of ADHD. As compared to Wistar, SHR showed a slightly better attention performance, a slightly lower impulsivity level, and a lower general activity during the training phase, but these differences disappeared or lessened thereafter, during the testing phase. D-amphetamine (0.5, 1 mg/kg) improved attention performance in Wistar, but not in SHR, and did not modify impulsivity and activity in the two strains. In conclusion, the present study did not demonstrate that SHR represents a valid model of ADHD, since it did not show face validity regarding the behavioral symptoms of ADHD and predictive validity regarding the effect of a compound used for the treatment of ADHD. On the other hand, this study showed that the 2-CVDT may represent a suitable tool for evaluating in adolescent Wistar rats the effect on attention of compounds intended for the treatment of ADHD. PMID:26037943

  3. Brain wave correlates of attentional states: Event related potentials and quantitative EEG analysis during performance of cognitive and perceptual tasks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freeman, Frederick G.

    1993-01-01

    The increased use of automation in the cockpits of commercial planes has dramatically decreased the workload requirements of pilots, enabling them to function more efficiently and with a higher degree of safety. Unfortunately, advances in technology have led to an unexpected problem: the decreased demands on pilots have increased the probability of inducing 'hazardous states of awareness.' A hazardous state of awareness is defined as a decreased level of alertness or arousal which makes an individual less capable of reacting to unique or emergency types of situations. These states tend to be induced when an individual is not actively processing information. Under such conditions a person is likely to let his/her mind wander, either to internal states or to irrelevant external conditions. As a result, they are less capable of reacting quickly to emergency situations. Since emergencies are relatively rare, and since the high automated cockpit requires progressively decreasing levels of engagement, the probability of being seduced into a lowered state of awareness is increasing. This further decreases the readiness of the pilot to react to unique circumstances such as system failures. The HEM Lab at NASA-Langley Research Center has been studying how these states of awareness are induced and what the physiological correlates of these different states are. Specifically, they have been interested in studying electroencephalographic (EEG) measures of different states of alertness to determine if such states can be identified and, hopefully, avoided. The project worked on this summer involved analyzing the EEG and the event related potentials (ERP) data collected while subjects performed under two conditions. Each condition required subjects to perform a relatively boring vigilance task. The purpose of using these tasks was to induce a decreased state of awareness while still requiring the subject to process information. Each task involved identifying an infrequently

  4. Silent infarction or white matter hyperintensity and impaired attention task scores in a nondemented population: the Osaki-Tajiri Project.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ishikawa, Hiroyasu; Meguro, Kenichi; Ishii, Hiroshi; Tanaka, Naofumi; Yamaguchi, Satoshi

    2012-05-01

    Whether silent infarction can be completely asymptomatic remains unclear. Although the central cholinergic system affects cognition, little attention has been given to infarction. We hypothesized that specific damage to the cholinergic pathways due to infarction or white matter hyperintensity (WMH) would deteriorate cognition, especially attention. A total of 502 representative elderly participants enrolled in the Osaki-Tajiri Project in 1998 were studied. Participants with focal neurologic signs or previous history of stroke or transient ischemic attack were excluded from the analysis. MRIs were available for all participants, and the Cholinergic Pathways Hyperintensities scale (CHIPS) was used to assess vascular damage in the cholinergic pathways. The Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), word fluency test, Digit Symbol test, and digit span test were used to assess global cognitive function and several aspects of attention. Participants were divided into 3 groups according to the comorbidity of cerebrovascular disease (CVD) and cholinergic involvement: non-CVD, CVD with cholinergic involvement [CVD-Ch(+)], and CVD without cholinergic involvement [CVD-Ch(-)]. Cognitive scores were compared among the 3 groups. In the non-CVD group, the correlations between cognitive function and the CHIPS score were examined. The CVD-Ch(+) group exhibited significantly lower scores for the Digit Symbol test compared with the other two groups, regardless of the MMSE score. In the non-CVD group, the CHIPS score of white matter changes was irreversibly correlated (ie, biologically meaningful) with the Digit Symbol score in participants age >80 years. Our findings suggest that silent infarction or WMH may deteriorate attention regardless of global cognitive function by interrupting the central cholinergic pathway.

  5. The set-shifting profiles of anorexia nervosa and autism spectrum disorder using the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test: a systematic review and meta-analysis

    OpenAIRE

    Westwood, H.; D. Stahl; Mandy, W.; Tchanturia, K.

    2016-01-01

    Difficulties in set-shifting are commonly reported in both autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and anorexia nervosa (AN) populations. Despite this, it is not known whether this cognitive profile persists across different ages, or whether the profiles seen in ASD and AN are comparable. This systematic review and meta-analyses aimed to compare the set-shifting profiles, as measured by the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST) in adults and younger people with either ASD or AN, relative to healthy contr...

  6. The set-shifting profiles of anorexia nervosa and autism spectrum disorder using Wisconsin Card Sorting Test: a systematic review and meta-analysis

    OpenAIRE

    Westwood, H.; D. Stahl; Mandy, W.; Tchanturia, K.

    2016-01-01

    Difficulties in set-shifting are commonly reported in both autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and anorexia nervosa (AN) populations. Despite this, it is not known whether this cognitive profile persists across different ages, or whether the profiles seen in ASD and AN are comparable. This systematic review and meta-analyses aimed to compare the set-shifting profiles, as measured by the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST) in adults and younger people with either ASD or AN, relative to healthy contr...

  7. Rejection Positivity Predicts Trial-to-Trial Reaction Times in an Auditory Selective Attention Task: A Computational Analysis of Inhibitory Control

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sufen eChen

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available A series of computer simulations using variants of a formal model of attention (Melara & Algom, 2003 probed the role of rejection positivity (RP, a slow-wave electroencephalographic (EEG component, in the inhibitory control of distraction. Behavioral and EEG data were recorded as participants performed auditory selective attention tasks. Simulations that modulated processes of distractor inhibition accounted well for reaction-time (RT performance, whereas those that modulated target excitation did not. A model that incorporated RP from actual EEG recordings in estimating distractor inhibition was superior in predicting changes in RT as a function of distractor salience across conditions. A model that additionally incorporated momentary fluctuations in EEG as the source of trial-to-trial variation in performance precisely predicted individual RTs within each condition. The results lend support to the linking proposition that RP controls the speed of responding to targets through the inhibitory control of distractors.

  8. 不同特征维度下ADHD儿童的任务切换特点%The Effect of Dimensionalities of the Task Stimulus on Task Switching in Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    丁颖; 杨双

    2012-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to examine the effect of dimensionalities of the task stimulus on task switching in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). In the present study, two experiments were conducted. Results showed that both in the two experiments, compared to normal children, children with ADHD had slower response times and less accurate responses. In the first condition, which the dimensionality of the task stimulus is the same, children with ADHD showed more switching cost at the fixed sequence than at the random sequence. But in the second condition, which the dimensionalities of the task stimulus are different, children with ADHD showed more switching cost at the random sequence than at the fixed sequence. The results indicated that the different loads of the working memory may affect the task switching in children with ADHD, but it only occurred when the attention dimensionality of the task stimulus were the same.%本研究采用双向刺激设置,通过操纵两实验的特征维度,以考察任务维度对ADHD儿童任务切换的影响。结果发现,在两个实验中,相对于正常组儿童,ADHD儿童在任务切换上都表现出缺损。当注意维度相同时,ADHD儿童在固定顺序上的切换损耗大于随机顺序,但在跨维度任务中,ADHD儿童在固定顺序上的切换损耗则小于随机顺序,这与正常儿童的表现模式不一致。该结果表明,工作记忆会对ADHD儿童产生影响,但这取决于任务的特征维度是否一致。

  9. 17β-estradiol replacement in ovariectomized female rats slows set 1 dorsolateral striatial-dependent learning and enhances learning of set 2 in an extradimensional set-shifting paradigm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lipatova, Olga; Wiener, Nicholas; Andrews, Kelly; Kirshenbaum, Ari P; Green, John T; Toufexis, Donna J

    2016-02-01

    The role of estrogen in extradimensional set-shifting was evaluated with replacement of 17β-estradiol (E2) in ovariectomized (OVX) female rats. Rats were reinforced with food when they entered an arm of a plus-maze that was distinguished by visual and/or tactile cues (Set 1). In Set 2, reinforcement was shifted to construct a new association between food and visual/tactile cues that were different from Set 1. The purpose of using this extradimensional set-shifting task was to differentiate the effect of acute or continuous E2 on the dorsolateral (DLS) versus dorsomedial (DMS) striatum and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), because Set 1 and 2 learning, respectively, are associated with these particular brain regions. Results showed that compared to controls, acute E2-replaced female rats required more training trials to reach criterion in Set 1. Moreover, E2-replaced females showed a significant delay in the rate of acquisition of Set 1 learning compared to controls. In Set 2 there were no group differences in perseverative errors, which are reduced by mPFC activation, or when learning took place in a previously reinforced arm, a DMS-mediated effect. Despite this, control females required more training trials to learn Set 2 compared to Set 1, suggesting that prior learning in Set 1 interfered with Set 2 performance in non-E-replaced rats. In contrast, E2 groups learned Set 2 in fewer training trials than Set 1. These data suggest that E2 facilitates set shifting, apart from any apparent enhancement of DMS or mPFC function, perhaps by interfering with DLS-mediated Set 1 learning.

  10. 17β-estradiol replacement in ovariectomized female rats slows set 1 dorsolateral striatial-dependent learning and enhances learning of set 2 in an extradimensional set-shifting paradigm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lipatova, Olga; Wiener, Nicholas; Andrews, Kelly; Kirshenbaum, Ari P; Green, John T; Toufexis, Donna J

    2016-02-01

    The role of estrogen in extradimensional set-shifting was evaluated with replacement of 17β-estradiol (E2) in ovariectomized (OVX) female rats. Rats were reinforced with food when they entered an arm of a plus-maze that was distinguished by visual and/or tactile cues (Set 1). In Set 2, reinforcement was shifted to construct a new association between food and visual/tactile cues that were different from Set 1. The purpose of using this extradimensional set-shifting task was to differentiate the effect of acute or continuous E2 on the dorsolateral (DLS) versus dorsomedial (DMS) striatum and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), because Set 1 and 2 learning, respectively, are associated with these particular brain regions. Results showed that compared to controls, acute E2-replaced female rats required more training trials to reach criterion in Set 1. Moreover, E2-replaced females showed a significant delay in the rate of acquisition of Set 1 learning compared to controls. In Set 2 there were no group differences in perseverative errors, which are reduced by mPFC activation, or when learning took place in a previously reinforced arm, a DMS-mediated effect. Despite this, control females required more training trials to learn Set 2 compared to Set 1, suggesting that prior learning in Set 1 interfered with Set 2 performance in non-E-replaced rats. In contrast, E2 groups learned Set 2 in fewer training trials than Set 1. These data suggest that E2 facilitates set shifting, apart from any apparent enhancement of DMS or mPFC function, perhaps by interfering with DLS-mediated Set 1 learning. PMID:26795582

  11. Impaired performance on advanced Theory of Mind tasks in children with epilepsy is related to poor communication and increased attention problems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lunn, Judith; Lewis, Charlie; Sherlock, Christopher

    2015-02-01

    Children with epilepsy (CWE) have social difficulties that can persist into adulthood, and this could be related to problems with understanding others' thoughts, feelings, and intentions. This study assessed children's ability to interpret and reason on mental and emotional states (Theory of Mind) and examined the relationships between task scores and reports of communication and behavior. Performance of 56 CWE (8-16years of age) with below average IQ (n=17) or an average IQ (n=39) was compared with that of 62 healthy controls with an average IQ (6-16years of age) on cognition, language, and two advanced Theory of Mind (ToM) tasks that required children to attribute mental or emotional states to eye regions and to reason on internal mental states in order to explain behavior. The CWE-below average group were significantly poorer in both ToM tasks compared with controls. The CWE - average group showed a significantly poorer ability to reason on mental states in order to explain behavior, a difference that remained after accounting for lower IQ and language deficits. Poor ToM skills were related to increased communication and attention problems in both CWE groups. There is a risk for atypical social understanding in CWE, even for children with average cognitive function.

  12. Aging, exercise, and attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hawkins, H L; Kramer, A F; Capaldi, D

    1992-12-01

    The authors investigated the relationship among aging, attentional processes, and exercise in 2 experiments. First they examined age differences on 2 attentional tasks, a time-sharing task and an attentional flexibility task. Young adults alternated attention between 2 sequenced tasks more rapidly and time-shared the processing of 2 tasks more efficiently than older adults. They then investigated the effects of aerobic exercise on the same 2 attentional tasks in older adults. Following the 10-week exercise program, older exercisers showed substantially more improvement in alternation speed and time-sharing efficiency than older controls. Interestingly, this exercise effect was specific to dual-task processing. Both groups of subjects showed equivalent effects on single-task performance. These results indicate that aerobic exercise can exert a beneficial influence on the efficiency of at least 2 different attentional processes in older adults. PMID:1466833

  13. Theta-band oscillatory activity differs between gamblers and nongamblers comorbid with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder in a probabilistic reward-learning task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abouzari, Mehdi; Oberg, Scott; Tata, Matthew

    2016-10-01

    Problemgambling is thought to be comorbid with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). We tested whether gamblers and ADHD patients exhibit similar reward-related brain activity in response to feedback in a gambling task. A series of brain electrical responses can be observed in the electroencephalogram (EEG) and the stimulus-locked event-related potentials (ERP), when participants in a gambling task are given feedback regardless of winning or losing the previous bet. Here, we used a simplified computerized version of the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT) to assess differences in reinforcement-driven choice adaptation between unmedicated ADHD patients with or without problem gambling traits and contrasted with a sex- and age-matched control group. EEG was recorded from the participants while they were engaged in the task which contained two choice options with different net payouts and win/loss probabilities. Learning trend which shows the ability to acquire and use knowledge of the reward outcomes to obtain a positive financial outcome was not observed in ADHD gamblers versus nongamblers. Induced theta-band (4-8Hz) power over frontal cortex was significantly higher in gamblers versus nongamblers in all different high-risk/low-risk win/lose conditions. Whereas induced low alpha (9-11Hz) power at frontal electrodes could only differentiate high-risk lose between gamblers and nongamblers but not the other three conditions between the two groups. The results indicate that ADHD nongamblers do not share with problem gamblers underlying deficits in reward learning. These pilot data highlight the need for studies of ADHD in gambling to elucidate how motivational states are represented during feedback processing.

  14. Delta, theta, and alpha event-related oscillations in alcoholics during Go/NoGo task: Neurocognitive deficits in execution, inhibition, and attention processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pandey, Ashwini K; Kamarajan, Chella; Manz, Niklas; Chorlian, David B; Stimus, Arthur; Porjesz, Bernice

    2016-02-01

    Higher impulsivity observed in alcoholics is thought to be due to neurocognitive functional deficits involving impaired inhibition in several brain regions and/or neuronal circuits. Event-related oscillations (EROs) offer time-frequency measure of brain rhythms during perceptual and cognitive processing, which provide a detailed view of neuroelectric oscillatory responses to external/internal events. The present study examines evoked power (temporally locked to events) of oscillatory brain signals in alcoholics during an equal probability Go/NoGo task, assessing their functional relevance in execution and inhibition of a motor response. The current study hypothesized that increases in the power of slow frequency bands and their topographical distribution is associated with tasks that have increased cognitive demands, such as the execution and inhibition of a motor response. Therefore, it is hypothesized that alcoholics would show lower spectral power in their topographical densities compared to controls. The sample consisted of 20 right-handed abstinent alcoholic males and 20 age and gender-matched healthy controls. Evoked delta (1.0-3.5Hz; 200-600ms), theta (4.0-7.5Hz; 200-400ms), slow alpha (8.0-9.5Hz; 200-300ms), and fast alpha (10.0-12.5Hz; 100-200ms) ERO power were compared across group and task conditions. Compared to controls, alcoholics had higher impulsiveness scores on the Barrett Impulsiveness Scale (BIS-11) and made more errors on Go trials. Alcoholics showed significantly lower evoked delta, theta, and slow alpha power compared to controls for both Go and NoGo task conditions, and lower evoked fast alpha power compared to controls for only the NoGo condition. The results confirm previous findings and are suggestive of neurocognitive deficits while executing and suppressing a motor response. Based on findings in the alpha frequency ranges, it is further suggested that the inhibitory processing impairments in alcoholics may arise from inadequate early

  15. Delta, theta, and alpha event-related oscillations in alcoholics during Go/NoGo task: Neurocognitive deficits in execution, inhibition, and attention processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pandey, Ashwini K; Kamarajan, Chella; Manz, Niklas; Chorlian, David B; Stimus, Arthur; Porjesz, Bernice

    2016-02-01

    Higher impulsivity observed in alcoholics is thought to be due to neurocognitive functional deficits involving impaired inhibition in several brain regions and/or neuronal circuits. Event-related oscillations (EROs) offer time-frequency measure of brain rhythms during perceptual and cognitive processing, which provide a detailed view of neuroelectric oscillatory responses to external/internal events. The present study examines evoked power (temporally locked to events) of oscillatory brain signals in alcoholics during an equal probability Go/NoGo task, assessing their functional relevance in execution and inhibition of a motor response. The current study hypothesized that increases in the power of slow frequency bands and their topographical distribution is associated with tasks that have increased cognitive demands, such as the execution and inhibition of a motor response. Therefore, it is hypothesized that alcoholics would show lower spectral power in their topographical densities compared to controls. The sample consisted of 20 right-handed abstinent alcoholic males and 20 age and gender-matched healthy controls. Evoked delta (1.0-3.5Hz; 200-600ms), theta (4.0-7.5Hz; 200-400ms), slow alpha (8.0-9.5Hz; 200-300ms), and fast alpha (10.0-12.5Hz; 100-200ms) ERO power were compared across group and task conditions. Compared to controls, alcoholics had higher impulsiveness scores on the Barrett Impulsiveness Scale (BIS-11) and made more errors on Go trials. Alcoholics showed significantly lower evoked delta, theta, and slow alpha power compared to controls for both Go and NoGo task conditions, and lower evoked fast alpha power compared to controls for only the NoGo condition. The results confirm previous findings and are suggestive of neurocognitive deficits while executing and suppressing a motor response. Based on findings in the alpha frequency ranges, it is further suggested that the inhibitory processing impairments in alcoholics may arise from inadequate early

  16. Distinct changes in CREB phosphorylation in frontal cortex and striatum during contingent and non-contingent performance of a visual attention task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mirjana eCarli

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available The cyclic-AMP response element binding protein (CREB family of transcription factors has been implicated in numerous forms of behavioural plasticity. We investigated CREB phosphorylation along some nodes of corticostriatal circuitry such as frontal cortex (FC and dorsal (caudate putamen, CPu and ventral (nucleus accumbens, NAC striatum in response to the contingent or non-contingent performance of the five-choice serial reaction time task (5-CSRTT used to assess visuospatial attention. Three experimental manipulations were used; an attentional performance group (contingent, master, a group trained previously on the task but for whom the instrumental contingency coupling responding with stimulus detection and reward was abolished (non-contingent, yoked and a control group matched for food deprivation and exposure to the test apparatus (untrained. Rats trained on the 5-CSRTT (both master and yoked had higher levels of CREB protein in the FC, CPu and NAC compared to untrained controls. Despite the divergent behaviour of master and yoked rats CREB activity in the FC was not substantially different. In rats performing the 5-CSRTT (master, CREB activity was completely abolished in the CPu whereas in the NAC it remained unchanged. In contrast, CREB phosphorylation in CPu and NAC increased only when the contingency changed from goal-dependent to goal-independent reinforcement (yoked. The present results indicate that up-regulation of CREB protein expression across cortical and striatal regions possibly reflects the extensive instrumental learning and performance whereas increased CREB activity in striatal regions may signal the unexpected change in the relationship between instrumental action and reinforcement.

  17. The Effects of Classroom Interventions on Off-Task and Disruptive Classroom Behavior in Children with Symptoms of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: A Meta-Analytic Review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaastra, Geraldina F; Groen, Yvonne; Tucha, Lara; Tucha, Oliver

    2016-01-01

    Children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) often exhibit problem behavior in class, which teachers often struggle to manage due to a lack of knowledge and skills to use classroom management strategies. The aim of this meta-analytic review was to determine the effectiveness of several types of classroom interventions (antecedent-based, consequence-based, self-regulation, combined) that can be applied by teachers in order to decrease off-task and disruptive classroom behavior in children with symptoms of ADHD. A second aim was to identify potential moderators (classroom setting, type of measure, students' age, gender, intelligence, and medication use). Finally, it was qualitatively explored whether the identified classroom interventions also directly or indirectly affected behavioral and academic outcomes of classmates. Separate meta-analyses were performed on standardized mean differences (SMDs) for 24 within-subjects design (WSD) and 76 single-subject design (SSD) studies. Results showed that classroom interventions reduce off-task and disruptive classroom behavior in children with symptoms of ADHD (WSDs: MSMD = 0.92; SSDs: MSMD = 3.08), with largest effects for consequence-based (WSDs: MSMD = 1.82) and self-regulation interventions (SSDs: MSMD = 3.61). Larger effects were obtained in general education classrooms than in other classroom settings. No reliable conclusions could be formulated about moderating effects of type of measure and students' age, gender, intelligence, and medication use, mainly because of power problems. Finally, classroom interventions appeared to also benefit classmates' behavioral and academic outcomes. PMID:26886218

  18. The Effects of Classroom Interventions on Off-Task and Disruptive Classroom Behavior in Children with Symptoms of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: A Meta-Analytic Review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaastra, Geraldina F; Groen, Yvonne; Tucha, Lara; Tucha, Oliver

    2016-01-01

    Children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) often exhibit problem behavior in class, which teachers often struggle to manage due to a lack of knowledge and skills to use classroom management strategies. The aim of this meta-analytic review was to determine the effectiveness of several types of classroom interventions (antecedent-based, consequence-based, self-regulation, combined) that can be applied by teachers in order to decrease off-task and disruptive classroom behavior in children with symptoms of ADHD. A second aim was to identify potential moderators (classroom setting, type of measure, students' age, gender, intelligence, and medication use). Finally, it was qualitatively explored whether the identified classroom interventions also directly or indirectly affected behavioral and academic outcomes of classmates. Separate meta-analyses were performed on standardized mean differences (SMDs) for 24 within-subjects design (WSD) and 76 single-subject design (SSD) studies. Results showed that classroom interventions reduce off-task and disruptive classroom behavior in children with symptoms of ADHD (WSDs: MSMD = 0.92; SSDs: MSMD = 3.08), with largest effects for consequence-based (WSDs: MSMD = 1.82) and self-regulation interventions (SSDs: MSMD = 3.61). Larger effects were obtained in general education classrooms than in other classroom settings. No reliable conclusions could be formulated about moderating effects of type of measure and students' age, gender, intelligence, and medication use, mainly because of power problems. Finally, classroom interventions appeared to also benefit classmates' behavioral and academic outcomes.

  19. Medio-Frontal and Anterior Temporal abnormalities in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD during an acoustic antisaccade task as revealed by electro-cortical source reconstruction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rockstroh Brigitte

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD is one of the most prevalent disorders in children and adolescence. Impulsivity is one of three core symptoms and likely associated with inhibition difficulties. To date the neural correlate of the antisaccade task, a test of response inhibition, has not been studied in children with (or without ADHD. Methods Antisaccade responses to visual and acoustic cues were examined in nine unmedicated boys with ADHD (mean age 122.44 ± 20.81 months and 14 healthy control children (mean age 115.64 ± 22.87 months, three girls while an electroencephalogram (EEG was recorded. Brain activity before saccade onset was reconstructed using a 23-source-montage. Results When cues were acoustic, children with ADHD had a higher source activity than control children in Medio-Frontal Cortex (MFC between -230 and -120 ms and in the left-hemispheric Temporal Anterior Cortex (TAC between -112 and 0 ms before saccade onset, despite both groups performing similarly behaviourally (antisaccades errors and saccade latency. When visual cues were used EEG-activity preceding antisaccades did not differ between groups. Conclusion Children with ADHD exhibit altered functioning of the TAC and MFC during an antisaccade task elicited by acoustic cues. Children with ADHD need more source activation to reach the same behavioural level as control children.

  20. The role of social cues in the deployment of spatial attention: Head-body relationships automatically activate directional spatial codes in a Simon task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Iwona ePomianowska

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available The role of body orientation in the orienting and allocation of social attention was examined using an adapted Simon paradigm. Participants categorized the facial expression of forward facing, computer-generated human figures by pressing one of two response keys, each located left or right of the observers’ body midline, while the orientation of the stimulus figure’s body (trunk, arms, and legs, which was the task-irrelevant feature of interest, was manipulated (oriented towards the left or right visual hemifield with respect to the spatial location of the required response. We found that when the orientation of the body was compatible with the required response location, responses were slower relative to when body orientation was incompatible with the response location. This reverse compatibility effect suggests that body orientation is automatically processed into a directional spatial code, but that this code is based on an integration of head and body orientation within an allocentric-based frame of reference. Moreover, we argue that this code may be derived from the motion information implied in the image of a figure when head and body orientation are incongruent. Our results have implications for understanding the nature of the information that affects the allocation of attention for social orienting.

  1. The Effects of Classroom Interventions on Off-Task and Disruptive Classroom Behavior in Children with Symptoms of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: A Meta-Analytic Review.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Geraldina F Gaastra

    Full Text Available Children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD often exhibit problem behavior in class, which teachers often struggle to manage due to a lack of knowledge and skills to use classroom management strategies. The aim of this meta-analytic review was to determine the effectiveness of several types of classroom interventions (antecedent-based, consequence-based, self-regulation, combined that can be applied by teachers in order to decrease off-task and disruptive classroom behavior in children with symptoms of ADHD. A second aim was to identify potential moderators (classroom setting, type of measure, students' age, gender, intelligence, and medication use. Finally, it was qualitatively explored whether the identified classroom interventions also directly or indirectly affected behavioral and academic outcomes of classmates. Separate meta-analyses were performed on standardized mean differences (SMDs for 24 within-subjects design (WSD and 76 single-subject design (SSD studies. Results showed that classroom interventions reduce off-task and disruptive classroom behavior in children with symptoms of ADHD (WSDs: MSMD = 0.92; SSDs: MSMD = 3.08, with largest effects for consequence-based (WSDs: MSMD = 1.82 and self-regulation interventions (SSDs: MSMD = 3.61. Larger effects were obtained in general education classrooms than in other classroom settings. No reliable conclusions could be formulated about moderating effects of type of measure and students' age, gender, intelligence, and medication use, mainly because of power problems. Finally, classroom interventions appeared to also benefit classmates' behavioral and academic outcomes.

  2. A system of token economy associated to response cost applied to the out of the task behaviour of two adolescents suffering from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eduardo Chaves Cruz

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of a program of token economy, that is, positive reinforcement, associated to negative punishment, that is, response cost, on the “out of the task” behaviour of two adolescents diagnosed as suffering from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD. The program involved presenting or removing points contingent to the emission of adequate or inadequate behaviour, respectively, considering the task at hand. The token economy system was carried out through the adoption of colourful individual cards numbered from one to 10 points. Points were also removed when the student showed at the present session an increased frequence of inadequate behaviour compared to the last session. When reaching 10 points, the cards were exchanged for the privilegies (positive reinforcers previously negotiated between teacher and student. Statistical treatment was carried out through the use of Levene and Student t tests. The significance of the difference between means (p < 0.0001 revealed the efficacy of the intervention treatment on the behaviour of both participants. It was concluded that the merging effect of the positive reinforcement and negative punishment (= response cost learning principles leads to the modification of classroom disruptive behaviours in children with ADHD.

  3. The set-shifting profiles of anorexia nervosa and autism spectrum disorder using the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Westwood, H; Stahl, D; Mandy, W; Tchanturia, K

    2016-07-01

    Difficulties in set-shifting are commonly reported in both autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and anorexia nervosa (AN) populations. Despite this, it is not known whether this cognitive profile persists across different ages, or whether the profiles seen in ASD and AN are comparable. This systematic review and meta-analyses aimed to compare the set-shifting profiles, as measured by the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST) in adults and younger people with either ASD or AN, relative to healthy controls (HCs) and to statistically compare performance on the WCST between ASD and AN. In all, 24 studies on ASD and 22 studies on AN were identified. In ASD, there were significant differences between the clinical group and HCs, with the ASD group making significantly more perseverative errors, indicating greater difficulty in set-shifting [pooled effect size of d = 0.67, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.53-0.81, p ⩽ 0.001]. This effect was consistent across the age span. For AN studies, there was a significant difference between adults with AN and HCs (d = 0.52, 95% CI 0.36-0.68, p ⩽ 0.001) but a non-significant effect in child studies (d = 0.25, 95% CI -0.05 to 0.55, z = 1.66, p = 0.096). Meta-regression indicated no effect of diagnosis (AN or ASD) on performance in adult studies but there was a non-significant trend (p = 0.053) towards children with ASD performing worse than children with AN. While difficulties with set-shifting appear to be stable in ASD, there may be differences between children and adults with AN, which warrant further investigation. PMID:27109830

  4. Assessment of attention in preschoolers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahone, E M; Schneider, H E

    2012-12-01

    In the past two decades, there has been an increased interest in the assessment and treatment of preschool children presenting with concerns about attention problems. This article reviews the research and clinical literature involving assessment of attention and related skills in the preschool years. While inattention among preschoolers is common, symptoms alone do not necessarily indicate a disorder, and most often represent a normal variation in typical preschool child development. Thus, accurate identification of "disordered" attention in preschoolers can be challenging, and development of appropriate, norm-referenced tests of attention for preschoolers is also difficult. The current review suggests that comprehensive assessment of attention and related functions in the preschool child should include thorough review of the child's history, planned observations, and formal psychometric testing. The three primary methods of psychometric assessment that have been used to characterize attentional functioning in preschool children include performance-based tests, structured caregiver interviews, and rating scales (parent, teacher, and clinician). Among performance-based methods for measurement of attention in the preschool years, tests have been developed to assess sustained attention, selective (focused) attention, span of attention (encoding/manipulation), and (top-down) controlled attention--including freedom from distractibility and set shifting. Many of these tests remain experimental in nature, and review of published methods yields relatively few commercially available, nationally normed tests of attention for preschoolers, and an overall dearth of reliability and validity studies on the available measures.

  5. Learners' Attention to Input during Focus on Form Listening Tasks: The Role of Mobile Technology in the Second Language Classroom

    Science.gov (United States)

    de la Fuente, María José

    2014-01-01

    This study explores the differential effects of medium of delivery of aural input during listening tasks on learners noticing and type of comprehension (top-down and bottom-up) of Spanish object pronouns during focus on form listening tasks. Twenty-two college students enrolled in second year Spanish in a technology-enhanced classroom participated…

  6. Mental rotation impairs attention shifting and short-term memory encoding: neurophysiological evidence against the response-selection bottleneck model of dual-task performance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    M.M. Pannebakker; W.O. van Dam; G.P.H. Band; K.R. Ridderinkhof; B. Hommel

    2011-01-01

    Dual tasks and their associated delays have often been used to examine the boundaries of processing in the brain. We used the dual-task procedure and recorded event-related potentials (ERPs) to investigate how mental rotation of a first stimulus (S1) influences the shifting of visual-spatial attenti

  7. Selective Attention and Attention Switching: Towards a Unified Developmental Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanania, Rima; Smith, Linda B.

    2010-01-01

    We review and relate two literatures on the development of attention in children: one concerning flexible attention switching and the other concerning selective attention. The first is a growing literature on preschool children's performances in an attention-switching task indicating that children become more flexible in their attentional control…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  9. The Effects of Cueing Temporal and Spatial Attention on Word Recognition in a Complex Listening Task in Hearing-Impaired Listeners

    OpenAIRE

    Gatehouse, Stuart; Akeroyd, Michael A.

    2008-01-01

    In a complex listening situation such as a multiperson conversation, the demands on an individual's attention are considerable: There will often be many sounds occurring simultaneously, with continual changes in source and direction. A laboratory analog of this was designed to measure the benefit that helping attention (by visual cueing) would have on word identification. These words were presented unpredictably but were sometimes cued with a temporal cue or a temporal-and-spatial cue. Two gr...

  10. Attentional processes and meditation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hodgins, Holley S; Adair, Kathryn C

    2010-12-01

    Visual attentional processing was examined in adult meditators and non-meditators on behavioral measures of change blindness, concentration, perspective-shifting, selective attention, and sustained inattentional blindness. Results showed that meditators (1) noticed more changes in flickering scenes and noticed them more quickly, (2) counted more accurately in a challenging concentration task, (3) identified a greater number of alternative perspectives in multiple perspectives images, and (4) showed less interference from invalid cues in a visual selective attention task, but (5) did not differ on a measure of sustained inattentional blindness. Together, results show that regular meditation is associated with more accurate, efficient, and flexible visual attentional processing across diverse tasks that have high face validity outside of the laboratory. Furthermore, effects were assessed in a context separate from actual meditation practice, suggesting that meditators' better visual attention is not just immediate, but extends to contexts separate from meditation practice.

  11. Can Motivation Normalize Working Memory and Task Persistence in Children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder? The Effects of Money and Computer-Gaming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dovis, Sebastiaan; van der Oord, Saskia; Wiers, Reinout W.; Prins, Pier J. M.

    2012-01-01

    Visual-spatial "Working Memory" (WM) is the most impaired executive function in children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Some suggest that deficits in executive functioning are caused by motivational deficits. However, there are no studies that investigate the effects of motivation on the visual-spatial WM of children with-…

  12. An Evaluation of a Self-Management Intervention to Increase On-Task Behavior with Individuals Diagnosed with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slattery, Lindsey; Crosland, Kimberly; Iovannone, Rose

    2016-01-01

    "Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder" (ADHD) is one of the most prevalent disorders in school-age children. Children with ADHD often have difficulty at school and at home. Medication is a common treatment for children with ADHD; however, it has been shown to be more effective when combined with behavioral interventions.…

  13. The Effects of Classroom Interventions on Off-Task and Disruptive Classroom Behavior in Children with Symptoms of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder : A Meta-Analytic Review

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gaastra, Geraldina F; Groen, Yvonne; Tucha, Lara; Tucha, Oliver

    2016-01-01

    Children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) often exhibit problem behavior in class, which teachers often struggle to manage due to a lack of knowledge and skills to use classroom management strategies. The aim of this meta-analytic review was to determine the effectiveness of seve

  14. Can motivation normalize working memory and task persistence in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder? The effects of money and computer-gaming

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    S. Dovis; S. van der Oord; R.W. Wiers; P.J.M. Prins

    2012-01-01

    Visual-spatial Working Memory (WM) is the most impaired executive function in children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Some suggest that deficits in executive functioning are caused by motivational deficits. However, there are no studies that investigate the effects of motivati

  15. Individual Differences in Asymmetric Resting-State Frontal Cortical Activity Modulate ERPs and Performance in a Global-Local Attention Task

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boksem, Maarten A. S.; Kostermans, Evelien; Tops, Mattie; De Cremer, David

    2012-01-01

    Recent research has demonstrated that individual differences in approach motivation modulate attentional scope. In turn, approach and inhibition have been related to different neural systems that are associated with asymmetries in relative frontal activity (RFA). Here, we investigated whether such i

  16. Differential long-term effects of haloperidol and risperidone on the acquisition and performance of tasks of spatial working and short-term memory and sustained attention in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hutchings, Elizabeth J; Waller, Jennifer L; Terry, Alvin V

    2013-12-01

    A common feature of the neuropsychiatric disorders for which antipsychotic drugs are prescribed is cognitive dysfunction, yet the effects of long-term antipsychotic treatment on cognition are largely unknown. In the current study, we evaluated the effects of long-term oral treatment with the first-generation antipsychotic haloperidol (1.0 and 2.0 mg/kg daily) and the second-generation antipsychotic risperidone (1.25 and 2.5 mg/kg daily) on the acquisition and performance of two radial-arm maze (RAM) tasks and a five-choice serial reaction-time task (5C-SRTT) in rats during days 15-60 and 84-320 days of treatment, respectively. In the RAM, neither antipsychotic significantly affected the acquisition or performance of a spatial win shift or a delayed non-match-to-position task. Conversely, in the rats administered 5C-SRTT, haloperidol was associated with profound deficits in performance, and the subjects were not able to progress through all stages of task acquisition. Depending on the dose, risperidone was associated with a greater number of trials to meet specific performance criteria during task acquisition compared with vehicle-treated controls; however, most subjects were eventually able to achieve all levels of task acquisition. Both haloperidol and risperidone also increased the number of perseverative and time-out responses during certain stages of task acquisition, and the response and reward latencies were slightly higher than controls during several stages of the study. These results in rats suggest that while long-term treatment with haloperidol or risperidone may not significantly affect spatial working or short-term memory, both antipsychotics can (depending on dose) impair sustained attention, decrease psychomotor speed, increase compulsive-type behaviors, and impair cognitive flexibility. PMID:24042161

  17. 略论北仑经济新一年发展重点%Paying Special Attention to Economic Work and Ensuring Fulfillment of the Economic Task

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    陈旭

    2000-01-01

    文章阐述了北仑区2000年经济工作的6个重点,即扩大对外开放、优化经济结构、深化体制改革、推进科教兴区、加快城市化步伐、改善投资环境,并提出了具体措施。%The paper puts forward six key tasks of economic work in Beilun District in 2000. They are: further opening to the outside world, optimizing economic structure, deepening reform, promoting science and technology, quickening urbanization and improving investing environment. Specific measures to fulfil the tasks are also suggested in the paper.

  18. Attention to Attention

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tække, Jesper; Paulsen, Michael Eric

    , but new expanded possibilities for teaching and learning provided by the new media. Our core postulate is that the teachers and pupils have to develop social reflexion on ‘the practice of attention’ in the class, both on a social and individual level; use the new media to facilitate this reflexion...... and simultaneously (based on the on-going reflexion) learn to cope better with the new attention-demanding medium milieu, which means both to restrict oneself and behave more socially responsible and to develop better awareness skills (e.g. multiplexing skills). Only this (and not prohibition against Facebook......, online games etc. neither unconcern and ignorance of the new media and their consequences for attention) - we argue - can generate adequate social norms regulating psychic awareness in the new digital learning environment....

  19. Changes in frontal EEG coherence across infancy predict cognitive abilities at age 3: The mediating role of attentional control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whedon, Margaret; Perry, Nicole B; Calkins, Susan D; Bell, Martha Ann

    2016-09-01

    Theoretical perspectives of cognitive development have maintained that functional integration of the prefrontal cortex across infancy underlies the emergence of attentional control and higher cognitive abilities in early childhood. To investigate these proposed relations, we tested whether functional integration of prefrontal regions across the second half of the first year predicted observed cognitive performance in early childhood 1 year prior indirectly through observed attentional control (N = 300). Results indicated that greater change in left-but not right-frontal EEG coherence between 5 and 10 months was positively associated with attentional control, cognitive flexibility, receptive language, and behavioral inhibitory control. Specifically, a larger increase in coherence between left frontal regions was positively associated with accuracy on a visual search task at Age 2, and visual search accuracy was positively associated with receptive vocabulary, performance on a set-shifting task (DCCS), and delay of gratification at Age 3. Finally, the indirect effects from the change in left frontal EEG coherence to 3-year cognitive flexibility, receptive language, and behavioral inhibitory control were significant, suggesting that internally controlled attention is a mechanism through which early neural maturation influences children's cognitive development. (PsycINFO Database Record PMID:27441486

  20. Selective Attention and Attention Switching: Toward a Unified Developmental Approach

    OpenAIRE

    Hanania, Rima; Smith, Linda B.

    2010-01-01

    We review and relate two literatures on the development of attention in children: one concerning flexible attention switching and the other concerning selective attention. The first is a growing literature on preschool children’s performances in an attention switching task indicating that children become more flexible in their attentional control during the preschool years. The second literature encompasses a large and robust set of phenomena for the same developmental period that indicate a ...

  1. Drug treatment and familiar music aids an attention shift from vision to somatosensation in Parkinson's disease on the reach-to-eat task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sacrey, Lori-Ann R; Travis, Scott G; Whishaw, Ian Q

    2011-03-01

    Sensory control of the natural skilled movement of reaching for a food target to eat (reach-to-eat) is closely coupled to the successive phases of the movement. Control subjects visually fixate the target from hand movement onset to the point that the digits contact the food, at which point they look away. This relationship between sensory attention and limb movement suggests that whereas limb advance is under visual control, grasping, limb withdrawal, and releasing the food to the mouth is guided by somatosensation. The pattern of sensory control is altered in Parkinson's disease (PD). PD subjects may visually fixate the target for longer durations prior to movement initiation, during the grasp, and during the initial portion of hand withdrawal suggesting that vision compensates for a somatosensory impairment. Because both medication and listening to favorite musical pieces have been reported to normalize some movements in subjects with PD, the present study compared the effect of medication and listening to preferred musical pieces on sensory attention shifts from vision to somatosensation during the reach-to-eat movement. Biometric measures of eye movement and the movement of the reaching limb were collected from PD subjects and aged-matched control subjects in four conditions in their own homes: off medication, off medication with music, on medication, and on medication with music. Unmedicated PD subjects were slower to visually disengage the target after grasping it. Their disengage latency was shortened by both music and medication. Medication and music did not improve other aspects of reaching, including reaching duration and the ratings of the movement elements of limb advance, grasping, and limb withdrawal. The results are discussed in relation to the idea that one way in which medication and music may aid movement in PD by normalizing somatosensory control of forelimb movement thus reducing compensatory visual monitoring. PMID:21073905

  2. A novel variable delay Go/No-Go task to study attention, motivation and working memory in the head-fixed rodent [v2; ref status: indexed, http://f1000r.es/1sn

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samuel D Dolzani

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available In order to parse the causal elements underlying complex behaviors and decision-making processes, appropriate behavioral methods must be developed and used in concurrence with molecular, pharmacological, and electrophysiological approaches. Presented is a protocol for a novel Go/No-Go behavioral paradigm to study the brain attention and motivation/reward circuitry in awake, head-restrained rodents. This experimental setup allows: (1 Pharmacological and viral manipulation of various brain regions via targeted guide cannula; (2 Optogenetic cell-type specific activation and silencing with simultaneous electrophysiological recording and; (3 Repeated electrophysiological single and multiple unit recordings during ongoing behavior. The task consists of three components. The subject first makes an observing response by initiating a trial by lever pressing in response to distinctive Go or No-Go tones.  Then, after a variable delay period, the subject is presented with a challenge period cued by white noise during which they must respond with a lever press for the Go condition or withhold from lever pressing for the duration of the cue in the No-Go condition. After correctly responding during the challenge period (Challenge and a brief delay, a final reward tone of the same frequency as the initiation tone is presented and sucrose reward delivery is available and contingent upon lever pressing. Here, we provide a novel procedure and validating data set that allows researchers to study and manipulate components of behavior such as attention, motivation, impulsivity, and reward-related working memory during an ongoing operant behavioral task while limiting interference from non task-related behaviors.

  3. Analysis of slow- and fast-α band asymmetry during performance of a saccadic eye movement task: dissociation between memory- and attention-driven systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanfim, Antonio; Velasques, Bruna; Machado, Sergio; Arias-Carrión, Oscar; Paes, Flávia; Teixeira, Silmar; Santos, Joana Luz; Bittencourt, Juliana; Basile, Luis F; Cagy, Mauricio; Piedade, Roberto; Sack, Alexander T; Nardi, Antonio Egídio; Ribeiro, Pedro

    2012-01-15

    This study aimed at analyzing the relationship between slow- and fast-alpha asymmetry within frontal cortex and the planning, execution and voluntary control of saccadic eye movements (SEM), and quantitative electroencephalography (qEEG) was recorded using a 20-channel EEG system in 12 healthy participants performing a fixed (i.e., memory-driven) and a random SEM (i.e., stimulus-driven) condition. We find main effects for SEM condition in slow- and fast-alpha asymmetry at electrodes F3-F4, which are located over premotor cortex, specifically a negative asymmetry between conditions. When analyzing electrodes F7-F8, which are located over prefrontal cortex, we found a main effect for condition in slow-alpha asymmetry, particularly a positive asymmetry between conditions. In conclusion, the present approach supports the association of slow- and fast-alpha bands with the planning and preparation of SEM, and the specific role of these sub-bands for both, the attention network and the coordination and integration of sensory information with a (oculo)-motor response.

  4. Emotional distractors can enhance attention

    OpenAIRE

    Sussman, Tamara J.; Heller, Wendy; Miller, Gregory A.; Mohanty, Aprajita

    2013-01-01

    The deleterious effects of emotional distractors on attention are well demonstrated. However, it is unclear if emotional distractors inevitably disrupt task-relevant attention. Using multilevel modeling (MLM), the present study examined the impact of valence and arousal dimensions of distracting emotional stimuli and individual differences in anxiety on task-relevant processing. Consistent with prior literature, high-arousal negative distractors were associated with poor task-relevant attenti...

  5. Dissociation between spontaneously hypertensive (SHR) andWistar–Kyoto (WKY) rats in baseline performance and methylphenidate response on measures of attention, impulsivity and hyperactivity in a Visual Stimulus Position Discrimination Task

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Thanos, P.K.

    2009-10-08

    The spontaneously hypertensive rat (SHR) is a widely accepted rodent model of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and methylphenidate (MP) is a central nervous systemstimulant that has been shown to have a dose-related positive effect on attention task performance in humans with ADHD. The current study was undertaken to compare SHR to its typical control strain, Wistar-Kyoto(WKY) rats, on the performance of a Visual Stimulus Position Discrimination Task (VSPDT) as well as of the responsiveness of the two rat strains to MP treatment. The rats were initially trained on the VSPDT, in which a light cue was presented randomly at three different cue-light intervals (1 s, 300 ms and 100 ms) over one of two levers, and presses on the lever corresponding to the light cue were reinforced with a food pellet. Once rats reached stable performance, the treatment phase of the study began, during which they received daily intraperitoneal (IP) injections of saline, 2 mg/kg, 5 mg/kg, and 10 mg/kg of MP in a randomized order immediately prior to being tested on the VSPDT. Baseline performance accuracy on the VSPDT did not differ between the groups. Furthermore, a striking strain dissociation was evident in the response of the two strains to treatment; VSPDT performance was substantially disrupted by the 5 and 10 mg/kg dose in the WKY rats but only mildly in the SHR rats. Response omissions were also increased only in WKY rats. Finally, both strains had increased locomotor activity in the operant chamber following MP treatment. These findings point to an important difference in response tendency toMP in the two strains that supports a view that a critical difference between these strains may suggest neurochemical and neuroadaptive differences associated with the behavioral impairments of ADHD.

  6. Emotional distractors can enhance attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sussman, Tamara J.; Heller, Wendy; Miller, Gregory A.; Mohanty, Aprajita

    2015-01-01

    The deleterious effects of emotional distractors on attention are well demonstrated. However, it is unclear if emotional distractors inevitably disrupt task-relevant attention. Using multilevel modeling (MLM), the present study examined the impact of valence and arousal dimensions of distracting emotional stimuli and individual differences in anxiety on task-relevant processing. Consistent with prior literature, high-arousal negative distractors were associated with poor task-relevant attention compared to positive and neutral distractors. However, low-arousal negative distractors were associated with better task-relevant performance than were positive and neutral distractors. Furthermore, these effects were accentuated by individual differences in worry. These findings challenge assumptions that distraction and worry must be minimized for augmented attentional performance. Overall, these results emphasize the importance of taking into account emotional dimensions of arousal and valence as well as individual differences in anxiety when examining attention in the presence of emotional distractors. PMID:24058065

  7. Attention Economies

    OpenAIRE

    Falkinger, Josef

    2003-01-01

    Attracting attention is a basic feature of economic life but no standard economic problem. A new theoretical model is developed which describes the general structure of competition for attention and characterizes equilibria. The exogenous fundamentals of an attention economy are the space of receiving subjects with their attention capacity, and the potential set of competing companies (senders) with their radiation technologies. The endogenous variables explained by the theory are equilibrium...

  8. Desempenho neuropsicológico de tipos de transtorno do déficit de atenção e hiperatividade (TDAH em tarefas de atenção visual Neuropsychological performance of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD subtypes in visual attention tasks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gabriel Coutinho

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available OBJETIVO: Comparar o desempenho dos tipos de TDAH em tarefas de seletividade, sustentação e atenção alternada, considerando tempo médio de reação, número de erros por ação e número de erros por omissão em teste computadorizado de atenção visual (TAVIS-III. MÉTODOS: Cento e duas crianças e adolescentes de duas escolas particulares e uma escola pública da cidade do Rio de Janeiro, com idades entre 6 e 17 anos com diagnóstico de TDAH, segundo DSM-IV, foram submetidas ao TAVIS-III. A separação por grupos respeitou os tipos determinados por entrevista semi-estruturada (P-CHIPS, e os resultados foram comparados levando-se em consideração o fator grupo. RESULTADOS: O tipo combinado (C revelou-se o mais comum (n = 65; 63,7%, seguido pelo predominantemente desatento (D (n = 32; 31,4%. O tipo predominantemente hiperativo-impulsivo (HI foi excluído das análises estatísticas em virtude da baixa freqüência. O desempenho do grupo C revelou-se inferior apenas em tarefa de atenção sustentada, no que tange ao número de erros por ação e tempo médio de reação (p OBJECTIVE: To compare the effect of ADHD subtypes in tasks of focused, shifted and sustained attention in a visual attention test (TAVIS-III. Indexes of hit reaction time, omission errors and commission errors were considered for each task. METHODS: One hundred two children and adolescents aged from 6 to 17 years old recruited from one public and two private schools in the city of Rio de Janeiro with ADHD diagnosis, according to DSM-IV criteria, were evaluated. Three groups were created following the subtypes determined by the semi-structured interview (P-CHIPS. Group performances were compared in order to determine subtype effects. RESULTS: The combined subtype (C was the most common group (n = 65; 63.7%, followed by the inattentive subtype (I (n = 32; 31.4%. Hyperactive-impulsive (HI group was excluded from statistical analysis due to its low frequency. The performance

  9. The Effects of Focused Attention on Inhibition and State Regulation in Children with and without Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ketch, Karen M.; Brodeur, Darlene A.; McGee, Robin

    2009-01-01

    This study investigated the effects of response rate and attention focusing on performance of ADHD, clinical-control (CRNA) and non-clinical control children in response inhibition tasks. All children completed the "Go-NoGo" task, a computer-based task of attention and impulsivity. Focused attention on this task was manipulated using a priming…

  10. Reversal of cognitive deficits by an ampakine (CX516) and sertindole in two animal models of schizophrenia--sub-chronic and early postnatal PCP treatment in attentional set-shifting

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Broberg, Brian Villumsen; Glenthøj, Birte Yding; Dias, Rebecca;

    2009-01-01

    /kg, subcutaneously (s.c.)) and tested on PNDs 56-95, after reaching adulthood. The single test session required rats to dig for food rewards in a series of discriminations following acute administration of either vehicle, or CX516 (5-40 mg/kg, s.c.), or sertindole (1.25 mg/kg, perorally). RESULTS: The specific......RATIONALE: Therapies treating cognitive impairments in schizophrenia especially deficits in executive functioning are not available at present. OBJECTIVE: The current study evaluated the effect of ampakine CX516 in reversing deficits in executive functioning as represented in two animal models...

  11. Human treadmill walking needs attention

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel Olivier

    2006-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The aim of the study was to assess the attentional requirements of steady state treadmill walking in human subjects using a dual task paradigm. The extent of decrement of a secondary (cognitive RT task provides a measure of the attentional resources required to maintain performance of the primary (locomotor task. Varying the level of difficulty of the reaction time (RT task is used to verify the priority of allocation of attentional resources. Methods 11 healthy adult subjects were required to walk while simultaneously performing a RT task. Participants were instructed to bite a pressure transducer placed in the mouth as quickly as possible in response to an unpredictable electrical stimulation applied on the back of the neck. Each subject was tested under five different experimental conditions: simple RT task alone and while walking, recognition RT task alone and while walking, walking alone. A foot switch system composed of a pressure sensitive sensor was placed under the heel and forefoot of each foot to determine the gait cycle duration. Results Gait cycle duration was unchanged (p > 0.05 by the addition of the RT task. Regardless of the level of difficulty of the RT task, the RTs were longer during treadmill walking than in sitting conditions (p 0.05 was found between the attentional demand of the walking task and the decrement of performance found in the RT task under varying levels of difficulty. This finding suggests that the healthy subjects prioritized the control of walking at the expense of cognitive performance. Conclusion We conclude that treadmill walking in young adults is not a purely automatic task. The methodology and outcome measures used in this study provide an assessment of the attentional resources required by walking on the treadmill at a steady state.

  12. Effects of lesions to ascending noradrenergic neurones on performance of a 5-choice serial reaction task in rats; implications for theories of dorsal noradrenergic bundle function based on selective attention and arousal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carli, M; Robbins, T W; Evenden, J L; Everitt, B J

    1983-09-01

    Five experiments examined the effects of destruction of the dorsal noradrenergic bundle (DNAB), arising in the locus coeruleus, both on brightness and spatial visual discrimination, and selective attention. An analogue o Leonard's 5-choice serial reaction task for human subjects was used. Hungry rats were trained to detect brief (0.5 sec) flashes of light presented randomly in one of 5 locations with a fixed intertrial interval of 5 sec, paced by the rat. Correct responses were rewarded with food and incorrect responses punished by time-out (darkness + delay). Following training to high levels of accuracy (80%, with less than 20% errors of omission), rats received either 6-OHDA (4 micrograms/2 microliters) injected bilaterally into the trajectory of the dorsal bundle, or injection of vehicle (0.1% ascorbic acid in 0.9% saline). The 6-OHDA lesion was sufficient to reduce cortical NA by 84%. Performance on both the spatial discrimination and brightness (produced by graded reductions in the brightness of the stimuli) discrimination was unaffected by DNAB lesions. However, the DNAB lesion produced significant decreases in accuracy and increases in omissions when the stimuli were presented at faster, unpredictable rates. In addition, although intense white noise failed to produce differential impairments when presented simultaneously with the visual discriminanda, the DNAB lesion significantly impaired accuracy when the noise was presented immediately prior to, but not overlapping, the onset of the visual stimuli. The implications of this pattern of deficits in performance found following DNAB lesions is discussed in terms of disruptive effects of cortical NA depletion upon mechanisms of selective attention and arousal. PMID:6639741

  13. Shifting Attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ingram, Jenni

    2014-01-01

    This article examines the shifts in attention and focus as one teacher introduces and explains an image that represents the processes involved in a numeric problem that his students have been working on. This paper takes a micro-analytic approach to examine how the focus of attention shifts through what the teacher and students do and say in the…

  14. Now, Pay Attention! The Effects of Instruction on Children's Attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kannass, Kathleen N.; Colombo, John; Wyss, Nancy

    2010-01-01

    We investigated the effects of instructions to "stay on task" on preschoolers' attention and cognitive performance in the face of either incomprehensible or comprehensible distraction. Three- and 4-year-olds completed problem-solving tasks while a distracting event played continuously in the background under conditions of (a) no instruction, (b)…

  15. Predictive coding in autism spectrum disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonzalez-Gadea, Maria Luz; Chennu, Srivas; Bekinschtein, Tristan A; Rattazzi, Alexia; Beraudi, Ana; Tripicchio, Paula; Moyano, Beatriz; Soffita, Yamila; Steinberg, Laura; Adolfi, Federico; Sigman, Mariano; Marino, Julian; Manes, Facundo; Ibanez, Agustin

    2015-11-01

    Predictive coding has been proposed as a framework to understand neural processes in neuropsychiatric disorders. We used this approach to describe mechanisms responsible for attentional abnormalities in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). We monitored brain dynamics of 59 children (8-15 yr old) who had ASD or ADHD or who were control participants via high-density electroencephalography. We performed analysis at the scalp and source-space levels while participants listened to standard and deviant tone sequences. Through task instructions, we manipulated top-down expectation by presenting expected and unexpected deviant sequences. Children with ASD showed reduced superior frontal cortex (FC) responses to unexpected events but increased dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (PFC) activation to expected events. In contrast, children with ADHD exhibited reduced cortical responses in superior FC to expected events but strong PFC activation to unexpected events. Moreover, neural abnormalities were associated with specific control mechanisms, namely, inhibitory control in ASD and set-shifting in ADHD. Based on the predictive coding account, top-down expectation abnormalities could be attributed to a disproportionate reliance (precision) allocated to prior beliefs in ASD and to sensory input in ADHD.

  16. A Deficit in Shifting Attention Present in High-Functioning Autism but Not Asperger's Disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rinehart, Nicole J.; Bradshaw, John L.; Moss, Simon A.; Brereton, Avril V.; Tonge, Bruce J.

    2001-01-01

    A study examined the executive functioning, in particular the attentional set-shifting deficits in Australian individuals ages 6-20 with high-functioning autism (n=12) and Asperger's disorder (n=12). Results indicate that individuals with autism had a deficiency in shifting from local to global processing, however, this was not observed in…

  17. Attention: A Machine Learning Perspective

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Lars Kai

    2012-01-01

    We review a statistical machine learning model of top-down task driven attention based on the notion of ‘gist’. In this framework we consider the task to be represented as a classification problem with two sets of features — a gist of coarse grained global features and a larger set of low...

  18. Caffeine Modulates Attention Network Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brunye, Tad T.; Mahoney, Caroline R.; Lieberman, Harris R.; Taylor, Holly A.

    2010-01-01

    The present work investigated the effects of caffeine (0 mg, 100 mg, 200 mg, 400 mg) on a flanker task designed to test Posner's three visual attention network functions: alerting, orienting, and executive control [Posner, M. I. (2004). "Cognitive neuroscience of attention". New York, NY: Guilford Press]. In a placebo-controlled, double-blind…

  19. Voluntary attention increases perceived spatial frequency

    OpenAIRE

    Abrams, Jared; Barbot, Antoine; Carrasco, Marisa

    2010-01-01

    Voluntary covert attention selects relevant sensory information for prioritized processing. The behavioral and neural consequences of such selection have been extensively documented, but its phenomenology has received little empirical investigation. Involuntary attention increases perceived spatial frequency (Gobell & Carrasco, 2005), but involuntary attention can differ from voluntary attention in its effects on performance in tasks mediated by spatial resolution (Yeshurun, Montagna, & Carra...

  20. Revealed Attention

    OpenAIRE

    Masatlioglu, Yusufcan; NAKAJIMA, Daisuke; Ozbay, Erkut Y

    2012-01-01

    The standard revealed preference argument relies on an implicit assumption that a decision maker considers all feasible alternatives. The marketing and psychology literatures, however, provide wellestablished evidence that consumers do not consider all brands in a given market before making a purchase (Limited Attention). In this paper, we illustrate how one can deduce both the decision maker's preference and the alternatives to which she pays attention and inattention from the observed behav...

  1. Revealed Attention

    OpenAIRE

    Yusufcan Masatlioglu; Daisuke Nakajima; Ozbay, Erkut Y

    2012-01-01

    The standard revealed preference argument relies on an implicit assumption that a decision maker considers all feasible alternatives. The marketing and psychology literatures, however, provide well-established evidence that consumers do not consider all brands in a given market before making a purchase (Limited Attention). In this paper, we illustrate how one can deduce both the decision maker's preference and the alternatives to which she pays attention and inattention from the observed beha...

  2. Shared Attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shteynberg, Garriy

    2015-09-01

    Shared attention is extremely common. In stadiums, public squares, and private living rooms, people attend to the world with others. Humans do so across all sensory modalities-sharing the sights, sounds, tastes, smells, and textures of everyday life with one another. The potential for attending with others has grown considerably with the emergence of mass media technologies, which allow for the sharing of attention in the absence of physical co-presence. In the last several years, studies have begun to outline the conditions under which attending together is consequential for human memory, motivation, judgment, emotion, and behavior. Here, I advance a psychological theory of shared attention, defining its properties as a mental state and outlining its cognitive, affective, and behavioral consequences. I review empirical findings that are uniquely predicted by shared-attention theory and discuss the possibility of integrating shared-attention, social-facilitation, and social-loafing perspectives. Finally, I reflect on what shared-attention theory implies for living in the digital world. PMID:26385997

  3. Attention in Urban Foraging

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Malcolm McCullough

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available This position paper argues how there has to be much more to smart city learning than just wayshowing, and something better as augmented reality than covering the world with instructions. Attention has become something for many people to know better in an age of information superabundance. Embodied cognition explains how the work-ings of attention are not solely a foreground task, as if attention is something to pay. As digital media appear in ever more formats and contexts, their hybrids with physical form increasing influence how habitual engagement with persistent situations creates learning. Ambient information can just add to the distraction by multitasking, or it can support more favorable processes of shifting among different kinds of information with a particular intent. As one word for this latter process, foraging deserves more consideration in smart city learning

  4. Transport Task Force Leadership, Task 4

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The Transport Task Force (TTF) was initiated as a broad-based US magnetic fusion community activity during the fall of 1988 to focus attention on and encourage development of an increased understanding of anomalous transport in tokamaks. The overall TTF goal is to make progress on Characterizing, Understanding and Identifying how to Reduce plasma transport in tokamaks -- to CUIR transport

  5. Effect of Backward Walking on Attention: Possible Application on ADHD

    OpenAIRE

    2015-01-01

    The human requires attentive effort as assessed in dual-task experiments. Consistently, an attentive task can modify the walking pattern and a attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is accompanied by gait modifications. Here we investigated the relationships between backward walking and attentive performances in ADHD children (n=13) and healthy age-, height and weight matched controls (n=17). We evaluated the attentive/impulsive profile by means of a Go/No-Go task and the backwar...

  6. Attention Sensor

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Börner, Dirk; Kalz, Marco; Specht, Marcus

    2014-01-01

    This software sketch was used in the context of an experiment for the PhD project “Ambient Learning Displays”. The sketch comprises a custom-built attention sensor. The sensor measured (during the experiment) whether a participant looked at and thus attended a public display. The sensor was built us

  7. Attention Sensor

    OpenAIRE

    Börner, Dirk; KALZ Marco; Specht, Marcus

    2014-01-01

    This software sketch was used in the context of an experiment for the PhD project “Ambient Learning Displays”. The sketch comprises a custom-built attention sensor. The sensor measured (during the experiment) whether a participant looked at and thus attended a public display. The sensor was built using the Processing 1.5.1 development environment and the open source computer vision library OpenCV for Processing. Available under the GNU LGPL licence version 3 or higher.

  8. A dopaminergic basis for working memory, learning and attentional shifting in Parkinsonism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moustafa, Ahmed A; Sherman, Scott J; Frank, Michael J

    2008-11-01

    Parkinson's disease (PD) patients exhibit cognitive deficits, including reinforcement learning, working memory (WM) and set shifting. Computational models of the basal ganglia-frontal system posit similar mechanisms for these deficits in terms of reduced dynamic range of striatal dopamine (DA) signals in both medicated and non-medicated states. Here, we report results from the first study that tests PD patients on and off dopaminergic medications in a modified version of the AX continuous performance (AX-CPT) working memory task, consisting of three performance phases and one phase requiring WM associations to be learned via reinforcement feedback. Patients generally showed impairments relative to controls. Medicated patients showed deficits specifically when having to ignore distracting stimuli during the delay. Our models suggest that this impairment is due to medication causing excessive WM updating by enhancing striatal "Go" signals that facilitate such updating, while concurrently suppressing "NoGo" signals. In contrast, patients off medication showed deficits consistent with an overall reduction in striatal DA and associated Go updating signals. Supporting this dichotomy, patients on and off medication both showed attentional shifting deficits, but for different reasons. Deficits in non-medicated patients were consistent with an inability to update the new attentional set, whereas those in medicated patients were evident when having to ignore distractors that had previously been task relevant. Finally, in the feedback-based WM phase, medicated patients were better than unmedicated patients, suggesting a key role of striatal DA in using feedback to update information into WM. These results lend further insight into the role of basal ganglia dopamine in WM and broadly support predictions from neurocomputational models. PMID:18687347

  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. A relational structure of voluntary visual-attention abilities

    OpenAIRE

    Skogsberg, KatieAnn; Grabowecky, Marcia; Wilt, Joshua; Revelle, William; Iordanescu, Lucica; Suzuki, Satoru

    2015-01-01

    Many studies have examined attention mechanisms involved in specific behavioral tasks (e.g., search, tracking, distractor inhibition). However, relatively little is known about the relationships among those attention mechanisms. Is there a fundamental attention faculty that makes a person superior or inferior at most types of attention tasks, or do relatively independent processes mediate different attention skills? We focused on individual differences in voluntary visual-attention abilities ...

  11. Separable Attentional Predictors of Language Outcome

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salley, Brenda; Panneton, Robin K.; Colombo, John

    2013-01-01

    The aim of this study was to examine the combined influences of infants' attention and use of social cues in the prediction of their language outcomes. This longitudinal study measured infants' visual attention on a distractibility task (11 months), joint attention (14 months), and language outcomes (word-object association, 14 months;…

  12. Effects of noise and task loading on a communication task loading on a communication task

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orrell, Dean H., II

    Previous research had shown the effect of noise on a single communication task. This research has been criticized as not being representative of a real world situation since subjects allocated all of their attention to only one task. In the present study, the effect of adding a loading task to a standard noise-communication paradigm was investigated. Subjects performed both a communication task (Modified Rhyme Test; House et al. 1965) and a short term memory task (Sternberg, 1969) in simulated levels of aircraft noise (95, 105 and 115 dB overall sound pressure level (OASPL)). Task loading was varied with Sternberg's task by requiring subjects to memorize one, four, or six alphanumeric characters. Simulated aircraft noise was varied between levels of 95, 105 and 115 dB OASPL using a pink noise source. Results show that the addition of Sternberg's task and little effect on the intelligibility of the communication task while response time for the communication task increased.

  13. Low attentional engagement makes attention network activity susceptible to emotional interference.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mäki-Marttunen, Verónica; Pickard, Natasha; Solbakk, Anne-Kristin; Ogawa, Keith H; Knight, Robert T; Hartikainen, Kaisa M

    2014-09-10

    The aim of this study was to investigate whether emotion-attention interaction depends on attentional engagement. To investigate emotional modulation of attention network activation, we used a functional MRI paradigm consisting of a visuospatial attention task with either frequent (high-engagement) or infrequent (low-engagement) targets and intermittent emotional or neutral distractors. The attention task recruited a bilateral frontoparietal network with no emotional interference on network activation when the attentional engagement was high. In contrast, when the attentional engagement was low, the unpleasant stimuli interfered with the activation of the frontoparietal attention network, especially in the right hemisphere. This study provides novel evidence for low attentional engagement making attention control network activation susceptible to emotional interference.

  14. Social reward shapes attentional biases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Brian A

    2016-01-01

    Paying attention to stimuli that predict a reward outcome is important for an organism to survive and thrive. When visual stimuli are associated with tangible, extrinsic rewards such as money or food, these stimuli acquire high attentional priority and come to automatically capture attention. In humans and other primates, however, many behaviors are not motivated directly by such extrinsic rewards, but rather by the social feedback that results from performing those behaviors. In the present study, I examine whether positive social feedback can similarly influence attentional bias. The results show that stimuli previously associated with a high probability of positive social feedback elicit value-driven attentional capture, much like stimuli associated with extrinsic rewards. Unlike with extrinsic rewards, however, such stimuli also influence task-specific motivation. My findings offer a potential mechanism by which social reward shapes the information that we prioritize when perceiving the world around us. PMID:25941868

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-22

    Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) manifests by high levels of inattention, impulsiveness and hyperactivity. ADHD starts in childhood and results in impairments that continue into adulthood. While hyperactivity declines over time, inattention and executive function difficulties persist, leading to functional deficits. Adolescents and adults with ADHD have pervasive impairment in interpersonal and family relationships. They may develop addiction, delinquent behavior and comorbid psychiatric disorders. Despite advances in diagnosis and treatment, persistent residual symptoms are common, highlighting the need for novel treatment strategies. Mindfulness training, derived from Eastern meditation practices, may improve self-regulation of attention. It may also be a useful strategy to augment standard ADHD treatments and may be used as a potential tool to reduce impairments in patients with residual symptoms of ADHD. Clinically, this would manifest by an increased ability to suppress task-unrelated thoughts and distractions resulting in improved attention, completion of tasks and potential improvement in occupational and social function. PMID:26740931

  16. Developmental Changes in Infants' and Toddlers' Attention to Gender Categories.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnston, Kristen E.; Bittinger, Kathleen; Smith, Amy; Madole, Kelly L.

    2001-01-01

    Three studies examined the emergence of attention to gender categories in toddlers. Results suggested that 18-month-olds showed little attention to gender on a sequential touching task. The possibility that they could not discriminate the dolls used in the task by gender was ruled out. There was a sharp increase in attention to gender between 18…

  17. Can Rhesus Monkey Learn Executive Attention?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bramlett-Parker, Jessica; Washburn, David A

    2016-01-01

    A growing body of data indicates that, compared to humans, rhesus monkeys perform poorly on tasks that assess executive attention, or voluntary control over selection for processing, particularly under circumstances in which attention is attracted elsewhere by competing stimulus control. In the human-cognition literature, there are hotly active debates about whether various competencies such as executive attention, working memory capacity, and fluid intelligence can be improved through training. In the current study, rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) completed an attention-training intervention including several inhibitory-control tasks (a Simon task, numerical Stroop task, global/local interference task, and a continuous performance task) to determine whether generalized improvements would be observed on a version of the Attention Network Test (ANT) of controlled attention, which was administered before and after the training intervention. Although the animals demonstrated inhibition of prepotent responses and improved in executive attention with practice, this improvement did not generalize to the ANT at levels consistently better than were observed for control animals. Although these findings fail to encourage the possibility that species differences in cognitive competencies can be ameliorated through training, they do advance our understanding of the competition between stimulus-control and cognitive-control in performance by nonhuman and human primates. PMID:27304969

  18. Can Rhesus Monkey Learn Executive Attention?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jessica Bramlett-Parker

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available A growing body of data indicates that, compared to humans, rhesus monkeys perform poorly on tasks that assess executive attention, or voluntary control over selection for processing, particularly under circumstances in which attention is attracted elsewhere by competing stimulus control. In the human-cognition literature, there are hotly active debates about whether various competencies such as executive attention, working memory capacity, and fluid intelligence can be improved through training. In the current study, rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta completed an attention-training intervention including several inhibitory-control tasks (a Simon task, numerical Stroop task, global/local interference task, and a continuous performance task to determine whether generalized improvements would be observed on a version of the Attention Network Test (ANT of controlled attention, which was administered before and after the training intervention. Although the animals demonstrated inhibition of prepotent responses and improved in executive attention with practice, this improvement did not generalize to the ANT at levels consistently better than were observed for control animals. Although these findings fail to encourage the possibility that species differences in cognitive competencies can be ameliorated through training, they do advance our understanding of the competition between stimulus-control and cognitive-control in performance by nonhuman and human primates.

  19. Defining the Focus of Attention: Effects of Attention on Perceived Exertion and Fatigue.

    OpenAIRE

    Keith eLohse; SHERWOOD, DAVID E.

    2011-01-01

    This manuscript presents two experiments designed to explore the effects of attention on perceived exertion and time to failure in a fatiguing athletic task. There were two major motivating factors for these experiments. First, there are few studies evaluating attentional focus effects in endurance tasks and, second, there is a lack of integration between studies of attentional focus as external/internal (e.g., Wulf, 2007a) compared to associative/dissociative (e.g., Stevinson and Biddle, 199...

  20. Designing for dynamic task allocation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dongen, C.J.G. van; Maanen, P.P. van

    2005-01-01

    Future platforms are envisioned in which human-machine teams are able to share and trade tasks as demands in situations change. It seems that human-machine coordination has not received the attention it deserves by past and present approaches to task allocation. In this paper a simple way to make co

  1. Deficient maturation of aspects of attention and executive functions in early onset schizophrenia

    OpenAIRE

    Jepsen, Jens Richardt M.; Fagerlund, Birgitte; Pagsberg, Anne Katrine; Christensen, Anne Marie R.; Nordentoft, Merete; Erik L. Mortensen

    2010-01-01

    Abstract The few existing long-term, neuropsychological follow-up studies of early onset schizophrenia (EOS) patients have reported relative stability in some cognitive functions but abnormal developmental trajectories in verbal memory, set shifting, aspects of attention, and speed of information processing throughout late adolescence into early adulthood. The current 5-year follow-up study compared the development of specific cognitive functions in EOS patients (N = 17) from the t...

  2. Vision and Haptics Share Spatial Attentional Resources and Visuotactile Integration Is Not Affected by High Attentional Load.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wahn, Basil; König, Peter

    2015-01-01

    Human information processing is limited by attentional resources. Two questions that are discussed in multisensory research are (1) whether there are separate spatial attentional resources for each sensory modality and (2) whether multisensory integration is influenced by attentional load. We investigated these questions using a dual task paradigm: Participants performed two spatial tasks (a multiple object tracking ['MOT'] task and a localization ['LOC'] task) either separately (single task condition) or simultaneously (dual task condition). In the MOT task, participants visually tracked a small subset of several randomly moving objects. In the LOC task, participants either received visual, tactile, or redundant visual and tactile location cues. In the dual task condition, we found a substantial decrease in participants' performance and an increase in participants' mental effort (indicated by an increase in pupil size) relative to the single task condition. Importantly, participants performed equally well in the dual task condition regardless of whether they received visual, tactile, or redundant multisensory (visual and tactile) location cues in the LOC task. This result suggests that having spatial information coming from different modalities does not facilitate performance, thereby indicating shared spatial attentional resources for the tactile and visual modality. Also, we found that participants integrated redundant multisensory information optimally even when they experienced additional attentional load in the dual task condition. Overall, findings suggest that (1) spatial attentional resources for the tactile and visual modality overlap and that (2) the integration of spatial cues from these two modalities occurs at an early pre-attentive processing stage.

  3. Visuospatial selective attention in chickens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sridharan, Devarajan; Ramamurthy, Deepa L; Schwarz, Jason S; Knudsen, Eric I

    2014-05-13

    Voluntary control of attention promotes intelligent, adaptive behaviors by enabling the selective processing of information that is most relevant for making decisions. Despite extensive research on attention in primates, the capacity for selective attention in nonprimate species has never been quantified. Here we demonstrate selective attention in chickens by applying protocols that have been used to characterize visual spatial attention in primates. Chickens were trained to localize and report the vertical position of a target in the presence of task-relevant distracters. A spatial cue, the location of which varied across individual trials, indicated the horizontal, but not vertical, position of the upcoming target. Spatial cueing improved localization performance: accuracy (d') increased and reaction times decreased in a space-specific manner. Distracters severely impaired perceptual performance, and this impairment was greatly reduced by spatial cueing. Signal detection analysis with an "indecision" model demonstrated that spatial cueing significantly increased choice certainty in localizing targets. By contrast, error-aversion certainty (certainty of not making an error) remained essentially constant across cueing protocols, target contrasts, and individuals. The results show that chickens shift spatial attention rapidly and dynamically, following principles of stimulus selection that closely parallel those documented in primates. The findings suggest that the mechanisms that control attention have been conserved through evolution, and establish chickens--a highly visual species that is easily trained and amenable to cutting-edge experimental technologies--as an attractive model for linking behavior to neural mechanisms of selective attention.

  4. Feature- and category-specific attentional control settings are differently affected by attentional engagement in contingent attentional capture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Xia; Liu, Xiaoyue; Fu, Shimin

    2016-07-01

    A distractor can capture attention and impair target processing when it shares a target-defining property and matches specific attentional control settings (ACS). We studied how feature-specific ACS (fACS) and category-specific ACS (cACS) operate in a conjunction search task and how they are influenced by attentional engagement. The feature- and category-matching level and temporal lags between the distractor and target were manipulated in a rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) task. The N2pc component and impairment of target identification, which are associated with attentional allocation at an earlier stage and response selection at a later stage, respectively, were measured as markers of attentional capture. The interaction of two ACSs was observed in behavioral data, but disappeared in N2pc data, suggesting two-stage processing of multiple ACSs during a conjunction search, including an early independent and a late integrated stage. Moreover, a reliable N2pc was observed for fACS regardless of the sufficiency of attentional engagement, whereas the N2pc for cACS was only observed with sufficient attentional engagement, but disappeared when the attentional engagement was insufficient. This suggests that cACS demands sufficient attentional engagement, while fACS does not. In conclusion, fACS and cACS can be activated independently at an earlier stage, but they are integrated at a later stage during a conjunction search task and are differently influenced by attentional engagement.

  5. The effects of advertisement location and familiarity on selective attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jessen, Tanja Lund; Rodway, Paul

    2010-06-01

    This study comprised two experiments to examine the distracting effects of advertisement familiarity, location, and onset on the performance of a selective attention task. In Exp. 1, familiar advertisements presented in peripheral vision disrupted selective attention when the attention task was more demanding, suggesting that the distracting effect of advertisements is a product of task demands and advertisement familiarity and location. In Exp. 2, the onset of the advertisement shortly before, or after, the attention task captured attention and disrupted attentional performance. The onset of the advertisement before the attention task reduced target response time without an increase in errors and therefore facilitated performance. Despite being instructed to ignore the advertisements, the participants were able to recall a substantial proportion of the familiar advertisements. Implications for the presentation of advertisements during human-computer interaction were discussed. PMID:20681345

  6. Attention, Joint Attention, and Social Cognition

    OpenAIRE

    Mundy, Peter; Newell, Lisa

    2007-01-01

    Before social cognition there is joint processing of information about the attention of self and others. This joint attention requires the integrated activation of a distributed cortical network involving the anterior and posterior attention systems. In infancy, practice with the integrated activation of this distributed attention network is a major contributor to the development of social cognition. Thus, the functional neuroanatomies of social cognition and the anterior–posterior attention ...

  7. Voluntary attention increases perceived spatial frequency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abrams, Jared; Barbot, Antoine; Carrasco, Marisa

    2010-08-01

    Voluntary covert attention selects relevant sensory information for prioritized processing. The behavioral and neural consequences of such selection have been extensively documented, but its phenomenology has received little empirical investigation. Involuntary attention increases perceived spatial frequency (Gobell & Carrasco, 2005), but involuntary attention can differ from voluntary attention in its effects on performance in tasks mediated by spatial resolution (Yeshurun, Montagna, & Carrasco, 2008). Therefore, we ask whether voluntary attention affects the subjective appearance of spatial frequency--a fundamental dimension of visual perception underlying spatial resolution. We used a demanding rapid serial visual presentation task to direct voluntary attention and measured perceived spatial frequency at the attended and unattended locations. Attention increased the perceived spatial frequency of suprathreshold stimuli and also improved performance on a concurrent orientation discrimination task. In the control experiment, we ruled out response bias as an alternative account by using a lengthened interstimulus interval, which allows observers to disengage attention from the cued location. In contrast to the main experiment, the observers showed neither increased perceived spatial frequency nor improved orientation discrimination at the attended location. Thus, this study establishes that voluntary attention increases perceived spatial frequency. This phenomenological consequence links behavioral and neurophysiological studies on the effects of attention.

  8. Stroop interference and disorders of selective attention

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kingma, A.; LaHeij, W.; Fasotti, L.; Eling, P.

    1996-01-01

    Fourteen patients with a right-hemisphere CVA and 8 patients with a left-hemisphere CVA were examined for selective attention deficits using a variant of the Stroop color-word task: the picture-word interference task. Experiments 1 and 2 first compared the performance of the two patient groups and a

  9. Attentional Control and Asymmetric Associative Priming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hutchison, Keith A.; Heap, Shelly J.; Neely, James H.; Thomas, Matthew A.

    2014-01-01

    Participants completed a battery of 3 attentional control (AC) tasks (OSPAN, antisaccade, and Stroop, as in Hutchison, 2007) and performed a lexical decision task with symmetrically associated (e.g., "sister-brother") and asymmetrically related primes and targets presented in both the forward (e.g., "atom-bomb") and backward…

  10. Attention Supports Verbal Short-Term Memory via Competition between Dorsal and Ventral Attention Networks.

    OpenAIRE

    Majerus, Steve; Attout, Lucie; D'Argembeau, Arnaud; Degueldre, Christian; Fias, W.; Maquet, Pierre; Martinez Perez, Trecy; Stawarczyk, David; Salmon, Eric; Van der Linden, Martial; Phillips, Christophe; Balteau, Evelyne

    2012-01-01

    Interactions between the neural correlates of short-term memory (STM) and attention have been actively studied in the visual STM domain but much less in the verbal STM domain. Here we show that the same attention mechanisms that have been shown to shape the neural networks of visual STM also shape those of verbal STM. Based on previous research in visual STM, we contrasted the involvement of a dorsal attention network centered on the intraparietal sulcus supporting task-related attention and ...

  11. Interactions between working memory and selective attention

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2007-01-01

    Event-related potential (ERP) was used to examine the interactions between working memory and selective attention. We combined two unrelated tasks, one requiring working memory and the other selective attention, which were performed by some undergraduates. The ERP results revealed that both congruent and incongruent stimuli in the selective attention task evoked an N400 component, reaching the peak point at around 500 ms. The N400 evoked by incongruent stimuli was more negative than that of congruent, which indicated the difference of semantic N400. Furthermore, working memory load had a significant influence on the N400 evoked by selective attention task in parietal region. And working memory load showed difference in the ERPs of working memory retrieval in central and parietal regions. The ERPs of probe under high working memory load were more positive from 350 to 550 ms post-stimulus; however, stimulus type of selective attention had no influence on working memory retrieval. The present study shows that working memory does not play a major role in the selective attention, especially in ignoring distracter, but it influences the performance of the selective attention as the background. The congruency of target and distracter in the selective attention task does not influence the working memory retrieval.

  12. The Attentional Boost Effect and Context Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mulligan, Neil W.; Smith, S. Adam; Spataro, Pietro

    2016-01-01

    Stimuli co-occurring with targets in a detection task are better remembered than stimuli co-occurring with distractors--the attentional boost effect (ABE). The ABE is of interest because it is an exception to the usual finding that divided attention during encoding impairs memory. The effect has been demonstrated in tests of item memory but it is…

  13. Remediation of attention deficits in head injury.

    OpenAIRE

    Nag S; Rao S

    1999-01-01

    Head injury is associated with psychological sequelae which impair the patient′s psychosocial functioning. Information processing, attention and memory deficits are seen in head injuries of all severity. We attempted to improve deficits of focused, sustained and divided attention. The principle of overlapping sources of attention resource pools was utilised in devising the remediation programme. Tasks used simple inexpensive materials. Four head injured young adult males with post conc...

  14. Trait Mindfulness and Cognitive Task Performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emalee J. W. Quickel

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Mindfulness meditation (MM training has been shown to have positive effects on working memory and focused attention tasks. Clarifying the construct of mindfulness is important so that mindfulness can be studied effectively in individual differences and cognition research. The current study tested whether trait mindfulness alone explains any of the variability on task performance. Five commonly used mindfulness scales, as well as six standardized and experimental attention and working memory tasks were administered to 164 participants with no meditation experience. Confirmatory factor analysis found that the common variance denoted by measures of trait mindfulness is unrelated to the common variance among tasks requiring focused attention. These results indicate that mindfulness scales may not be capturing the attentional aspects of mindfulness. Individuals who score high on mindfulness scales do not perform better on focused attention tasks than those who score lower on mindfulness scales. These results have implications for defining and operationalizing mindfulness.

  15. Infant Visual Attention and Object Recognition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reynolds, Greg D.

    2015-01-01

    This paper explores the role visual attention plays in the recognition of objects in infancy. Research and theory on the development of infant attention and recognition memory are reviewed in three major sections. The first section reviews some of the major findings and theory emerging from a rich tradition of behavioral research utilizing preferential looking tasks to examine visual attention and recognition memory in infancy. The second section examines research utilizing neural measures of attention and object recognition in infancy as well as research on brain-behavior relations in the early development of attention and recognition memory. The third section addresses potential areas of the brain involved in infant object recognition and visual attention. An integrated synthesis of some of the existing models of the development of visual attention is presented which may account for the observed changes in behavioral and neural measures of visual attention and object recognition that occur across infancy. PMID:25596333

  16. [Neuropsychological approach to visual attention].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suzuki, Kyoko

    2007-01-01

    Visual experience depends critically on visual attention, which selects a particular aspect of a visual display. Recent clinical, neuroimaging, and animal studies revealed that visual attention was divided into active and passive or top-down and bottom-up attention. Although these dichotomies are clear-cut in definition, visual attention could be modulated by many factors. Detailed observation of brain-injured patients provides with evidence for dynamic and fine control of visual attention. We observed patients with dorsal simultanagnosia and that with callosal disconnection syndrome. Patients with dorsal simultanagnosia demonstrated that extent of visual attention was dynamically changed depending on the level of visual processing. Despite the ability to read a kanji character and to describe its components correctly, a patient could not notice a component that he had just written and could not assemble individual components to make up a correct kanji character. He could point to an overlapping area of two figures. But once he started to color the overlapping area, he missed the margin of the area and colored much larger area. Another patient with dorsal simultanagnosia missed borderlines between columns of a newspaper and read letters continuously across columns. In contrast, he could point to lines between figures or meaningless patterns easily. These findings indicated that visual attention was directed automatically to meaningful characters. A patients with callosal disconnection syndrome demonstrated left unilateral spatial neglect only when he used his right hand to draw figures. Right hand movement, controlled by the left hemisphere, elicited visual attention to the right hemispace, resulting in the left unilateral spatial neglect. Thus visual attention is not simply top-down or bottom up, but is implicitly affected by the visual recognition as well as motor component of the task. PMID:17354375

  17. The Commingled Division of Visual Attention.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuechuan Sun

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

  18. Supramodal Executive Control of Attention

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ALFREDO eSPAGNA

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available The human attentional system can be subdivided into three functional networks of alerting, orienting, and executive control. Although these networks have been extensively studied in the visuospatial modality, whether the same mechanisms are deployed across different sensory modalities remains unclear. In this study we used the attention network test for visuospatial modality, in addition to two auditory variants with spatial and frequency manipulations to examine cross-modal correlations between network functions. Results showed that among the visual and auditory tasks the effects of executive control, but not effects of alerting and orienting were significantly correlated. These findings suggest that while alerting and orienting functions rely more upon modality specific processes, the executive control of attention coordinates complex behavior via supramodal mechanisms.

  19. Effects of ritalin and reboxetine on attentional set shifting in an animal model of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in rats.%呱醋甲酯、瑞波西汀对注意缺陷多动障碍大鼠注意定势转移能力的影响

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    刘军; 苏林雁; 李飞; 曹枫林; 龚梅恩

    2007-01-01

    目的 通过测评注意缺陷多动障碍(ADHD)动物模型幼年自发性高血压大鼠(SHR)的注意定势转移能力,探讨呱醋甲酯(利地林)和瑞波西汀对 ADHD 大鼠模型注意定势转移能力的改善作用.方法 4周雄性SHR 27只随机分为SHR呱醋甲酯组(SR)9只、SHR瑞波西汀组(SRB)10 只和 sHR 生理盐水对照组(SN)8 只,WKY大鼠对照组(WN) 8 只.SR组腹腔注射"呱醋甲酯"5 mg·kg-1·d-19 d,SRB组腹腔注射瑞波西汀10 mg·kg-1·d-1 9 d,SN对照组按同期对照原则注射等量生理盐水.投药的第6~9 d连续完成注意定势转移能力测评,记录评定注意定势转移任务的循环数.结果 ①sHR在简单辨别阶段(SD)、复杂辨别阶段(CD)、复杂辨别反向阶段(CDR)、内维度转换阶段(IDS)、外维度转换阶段(EDS)能够连续6次正确完成操作任务所需要的次数明显多于WKY大鼠(P<0.05~P<0.01).②SR组大鼠在上述所有阶段完成任务所需要的循环次数都较SN对照组减少(P<0.05),不过在内维度转换反向阶段(IDSR)两组差异无统计学意义(P>0.05).③SRB组大鼠在完成所有阶段任务所需要的循环次数都较SN对照组减少(P<0.05),不过在复习辨别反向阶段(CDRre)两组差异无统计学意义(P>0.05).结论 幼年SHR存在注意定势转移能力缺陷,"呱醋甲酯"和瑞波西汀均可以改善SHR注意定势转移能力.

  20. Attention and Olfactory Consciousness

    OpenAIRE

    Keller, Andreas

    2011-01-01

    Understanding the relation between attention and consciousness is an important part of our understanding of consciousness. Attention, unlike consciousness, can be systematically manipulated in psychophysical experiments and a law-like relation between attention and consciousness is waiting to be discovered. Most attempts to discover the nature of this relation are focused on a special type of attention: spatial visual attention. In this review I want to introduce another type of attention to ...

  1. Study between supraliminal and subliminal N-back task in the children with symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder%注意缺陷多动障碍患儿阈上和阈下N-back任务研究

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    朱文礼; 蔡昌群; 尹良爽; 王道金; 张恩; 熊伟

    2015-01-01

    Objective To explore the mechanisms underlying supraliminal and subliminal N-back task in the children with symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).Methods Thirty-five ADHD children and thirty-three matched normal controls were enrolled.Working memory was measured with the different reaction time of N-back task.Results The error number of the subliminal 2-back task in ADHD group ((4.49± 1.20) times) was worse than that of the healthy controls ((3.79±-1.14) times), and the difference was significant(t=-2.459, P=0.017).In ADHD group,the error number of 1-back task and reaction time of 2-back task in subliminal task ((4.77±1.09) times, (1 447.49±271.35) ms) were worse than those of supraliminal task ((3.09± 1.63) times, (1 315.48±229.63) ms), and the difference was significant between the two tasks (t=4.755, P=0.000;t=-2.281, P=0.029).But there were no significant findings in healthy controls(P>0.05).Conclusion The present study suggests that the working memory is impaired in ADHD children.%目的 探讨注意缺陷多动障碍(attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder,ADHD)患儿不同阈值的工作记忆.方法 研究采用35例ADHD儿童及与其人口学资料相匹配的33名健康儿童;采用不同反应时的N-back任务测量工作记忆.结果 ADHD组在阈下2-back任务中的错误数[(4.49±1.20)次]显著高于对照组[(3.79±1.14)次],差异有统计学意义(t=-2.459,P=0.017).ADHD组在阈下1-back任务的错误数及2-back任务反应时[(4.77±1.09)次;(1 447.49±271.35) ms]均差于阈上刺激[(3.09±1.63)次;(1 315.48±229.63) ms],差异有统计学意义(t=4.755,P=0.000;t=-2.281,P=0.029),而对照组差异无统计学意义(P>0.05).结论 ADHD儿童工作记忆功能存在损伤.

  2. Sustained attention, selective attention and cognitive control in deaf and hearing children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dye, Matthew W G; Hauser, Peter C

    2014-03-01

    Deaf children have been characterized as being impulsive, distractible, and unable to sustain attention. However, past research has tested deaf children born to hearing parents who are likely to have experienced language delays. The purpose of this study was to determine whether an absence of auditory input modulates attentional problems in deaf children with no delayed exposure to language. Two versions of a continuous performance test were administered to 37 deaf children born to Deaf parents and 60 hearing children, all aged 6-13 years. A vigilance task was used to measure sustained attention over the course of several minutes, and a distractibility test provided a measure of the ability to ignore task irrelevant information - selective attention. Both tasks provided assessments of cognitive control through analysis of commission errors. The deaf and hearing children did not differ on measures of sustained attention. However, younger deaf children were more distracted by task-irrelevant information in their peripheral visual field, and deaf children produced a higher number of commission errors in the selective attention task. It is argued that this is not likely to be an effect of audition on cognitive processing, but may rather reflect difficulty in endogenous control of reallocated visual attention resources stemming from early profound deafness.

  3. Modality-specific attention in foraging bumblebees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nityananda, Vivek; Chittka, Lars

    2015-10-01

    Attentional demands can prevent humans and other animals from performing multiple tasks simultaneously. Some studies, however, show that tasks presented in different sensory modalities (e.g. visual and auditory) can be processed simultaneously. This suggests that, at least in these cases, attention might be modality-specific and divided differently between tasks when present in the same modality compared with different modalities. We investigated this possibility in bumblebees (Bombus terrestris) using a biologically relevant experimental set-up where they had to simultaneously choose more rewarding flowers and avoid simulated predatory attacks by robotic 'spiders'. We found that when the tasks had to be performed using visual cues alone, bees failed to perform both tasks simultaneously. However, when highly rewarding flowers were indicated by olfactory cues and predators were indicated by visual cues, bees managed to perform both tasks successfully. Our results thus provide evidence for modality-specific attention in foraging bees and establish a novel framework for future studies of crossmodal attention in ecologically realistic settings. PMID:26587245

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

    OpenAIRE

    Li, Qi; Saiki, Jun

    2014-01-01

    Previous studies have shown conflicting data as to whether it is possible to sequentially shift spatial attention among visual working memory (VWM) representations. The present study investigated this issue by asynchronously presenting attentional cues during the retention interval of a change detection task. In particular, we focused on two types of sequential attention shifts: (1) orienting attention to one location, and then withdrawing attention from it, and (2) switching the focus of att...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Qi eLi; Jun eSaiki

    2014-01-01

    Previous studies have shown conflicting data as to whether it is possible to sequentially shift spatial attention among visual working memory (VWM) representations. The present study investigated this issue by asynchronously presenting attentional cues during the retention interval of a change detection task. In particular, we focused on two types of sequential attention shifts: 1) orienting attention to one location, and then withdrawing attention from it, and 2) switching the focus of atten...

  6. Executive Function and Attention Profiles of Children with ADHD and / or Reading Disorder: Developmental Neuropsychology and Genetic Contributions

    OpenAIRE

    Marzocchi,

    2006-01-01

    The object of this study was to analyze Attention and EF in children with ADHD and/or Reading Disability. Four groups of children aged between 7 and 12 years (38 ADHD-only, 39 RD-only, 17 ADHD+RD and 37 Normal Controls) were tested Energization Processing, Executive Functioning (Inhibition, Set-shifting, Strategy Application and Verbal Fluency) and Episodic Memory. Children with ADHD-only may present a double deficit of Energization and Strategy Application. Energization and Inhibition defici...

  7. Effects of Psychiatric Symptoms on Attention in North Korean Refugees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Yu Jin; Jun, Jin Yong; Park, Juhyun; Kim, Soohyun; Gwak, Ah Reum; Lee, So Hee; Yoo, So Young

    2016-01-01

    Objective We investigated the performance of North Korean refugees on attention tasks, and the relationship between that performance and psychiatric symptoms. Methods Sustained and divided attention was assessed using the computerized Comprehensive Attention Test in North Korean refugees and in South Koreans. All participants also completed the Beck Depression Inventory, the Beck Anxiety Inventory, the Impact of Event Scale-Revised and the Dissociative Experiences Scale-II (DES-II). Results The North Korean refugees showed slower reaction times (RTs) on the visual sustained attention task compared to the South Koreans after controlling for age and sex. North Korean refugees had a greater number of omission errors (OEs) on the divided attention task and a higher standard deviation (SD) of RT. Total DES-II scores of the North Korean refugees were associated with the number of OEs and the SD of RT on the sustained attention task, and with the number of OEs on the divided attention task. Conclusion North Korean refugees showed poorer performance on computerized attention tasks. In addition, attention deficit among North Korean refugees was associated with their dissociative experiences. Our results suggest that refugees may have attention deficits, which may be related to their psychiatric symptoms, particularly dissociation. PMID:27757125

  8. Face-gender discrimination is possible in the near-absence of attention

    OpenAIRE

    Reddy, Leila; Wilken, Patrick; Koch, Christof

    2004-01-01

    The attentional cost associated with the visual discrimination of the gender of a face was investigated. Participants performed a face-gender discrimination task either alone (single-task) or concurrently (dual-task) with a known attentional demanding task (5-letter T/L discrimination). Overall performance on face-gender discrimination suffered remarkably little under the dual-task condition compared to the single-task condition. Similar results were obtained in experiments that controlled fo...

  9. Sustained Attention and Response Inhibition in Young Children at Risk for Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berwid, Olga G.; Curko Kera, Elizabeth A.; Marks, David J.; Santra, Amita; Bender, Heidi A.; Halperin, Jeffrey M.

    2005-01-01

    Background: Studies of school-aged children, adolescents, and adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) have variably shown ADHD-related impairment in both inhibitory control and sustained attention. However, few studies have examined ADHD-associated patterns of performance on these tasks among younger children (below age 7…

  10. Attention Stabilizes Representations in the Human Hippocampus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aly, Mariam; Turk-Browne, Nicholas B

    2016-02-01

    Attention and memory are intricately linked, but how attention modulates brain areas that subserve memory, such as the hippocampus, is unknown. We hypothesized that attention may stabilize patterns of activity in human hippocampus, resulting in distinct but reliable activity patterns for different attentional states. To test this prediction, we utilized high-resolution functional magnetic resonance imaging and a novel "art gallery" task. On each trial, participants viewed a room containing a painting, and searched a stream of rooms for a painting from the same artist (art state) or a room with the same layout (room state). Bottom-up stimulation was the same in both tasks, enabling the isolation of neural effects related to top-down attention. Multivariate analyses revealed greater pattern similarity in all hippocampal subfields for trials from the same, compared with different, attentional state. This stability was greater for the room than art state, was unrelated to univariate activity, and, in CA2/CA3/DG, was correlated with behavior. Attention therefore induces representational stability in the human hippocampus, resulting in distinct activity patterns for different attentional states. Modulation of hippocampal representational stability highlights the far-reaching influence of attention outside of sensory systems.

  11. Attention trees and semantic paths

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giusti, Christian; Pieroni, Goffredo G.; Pieroni, Laura

    2007-02-01

    In the last few decades several techniques for image content extraction, often based on segmentation, have been proposed. It has been suggested that under the assumption of very general image content, segmentation becomes unstable and classification becomes unreliable. According to recent psychological theories, certain image regions attract the attention of human observers more than others and, generally, the image main meaning appears concentrated in those regions. Initially, regions attracting our attention are perceived as a whole and hypotheses on their content are formulated; successively the components of those regions are carefully analyzed and a more precise interpretation is reached. It is interesting to observe that an image decomposition process performed according to these psychological visual attention theories might present advantages with respect to a traditional segmentation approach. In this paper we propose an automatic procedure generating image decomposition based on the detection of visual attention regions. A new clustering algorithm taking advantage of the Delaunay- Voronoi diagrams for achieving the decomposition target is proposed. By applying that algorithm recursively, starting from the whole image, a transformation of the image into a tree of related meaningful regions is obtained (Attention Tree). Successively, a semantic interpretation of the leaf nodes is carried out by using a structure of Neural Networks (Neural Tree) assisted by a knowledge base (Ontology Net). Starting from leaf nodes, paths toward the root node across the Attention Tree are attempted. The task of the path consists in relating the semantics of each child-parent node pair and, consequently, in merging the corresponding image regions. The relationship detected in this way between two tree nodes generates, as a result, the extension of the interpreted image area through each step of the path. The construction of several Attention Trees has been performed and partial

  12. Antecedent acute cycling exercise affects attention control: an ERP study using attention network test

    OpenAIRE

    Yu-Kai eChang; Caterina ePesce; Yi-Te eChiang; Cheng-Yuh eKuo; Dong-Yang eFong

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate the after-effects of an acute bout of moderate intensity aerobic cycling exercise on neuroelectric and behavioral indices of efficiency of three attentional networks: alerting, orienting, and executive (conflict) control. Thirty young, highly fit amateur basketball players performed a multifunctional attentional reaction time task, the attention network test (ANT), with a two-group randomized experimental design after an acute bout of moderate inte...

  13. Executive and attentional contributions to Theory of Mind deficit in attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mary, Alison; Slama, Hichem; Mousty, Philippe; Massat, Isabelle; Capiau, Tatiana; Drabs, Virginie; Peigneux, Philippe

    2016-01-01

    Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children has been associated with attentional and executive problems, but also with socioemotional difficulties possibly associated with deficits in Theory of Mind (ToM). Socioemotional problems in ADHD are associated with more negative prognoses, notably interpersonal, educational problems, and an increased risk of developing other psychiatric disorders that emphasize the need to clarify the nature of their ToM deficits. In this study, we hypothesized that ToM dysfunction in children with ADHD is largely attributable to their attentional and/or executive deficits. Thirty-one children with ADHD (8-12 years, IQ > 85) and 31 typically developing (TD) children were assessed using executive functions (inhibition, planning, and flexibility) and attentional tasks, as well as two advanced ToM tasks (Reading the Mind in the Eyes and Faux Pas) involving different levels of executive control. Children with ADHD performed more poorly than TD children in attentional, executive function, and ToM tasks. Linear regression analyses conducted in the ADHD group indicated that inhibition scores predicted performance on the "Faux Pas" task the best, while attention scores were the best for predicting performance on the Reading the Mind in the Eyes task. When controlled for inhibition and attentional variables, ToM performance in children with ADHD was actually similar to TD children. Contrarily, controlling for ToM scores did not normalize performance for inhibition and attentional tasks in children with ADHD. This unidirectional relationship suggests that deficits in the EF and attentional domains are responsible for ToM deficits in ADHD, which therefore may contribute to their socioemotional difficulties.

  14. Executive and attentional contributions to Theory of Mind deficit in attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mary, Alison; Slama, Hichem; Mousty, Philippe; Massat, Isabelle; Capiau, Tatiana; Drabs, Virginie; Peigneux, Philippe

    2016-01-01

    Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children has been associated with attentional and executive problems, but also with socioemotional difficulties possibly associated with deficits in Theory of Mind (ToM). Socioemotional problems in ADHD are associated with more negative prognoses, notably interpersonal, educational problems, and an increased risk of developing other psychiatric disorders that emphasize the need to clarify the nature of their ToM deficits. In this study, we hypothesized that ToM dysfunction in children with ADHD is largely attributable to their attentional and/or executive deficits. Thirty-one children with ADHD (8-12 years, IQ > 85) and 31 typically developing (TD) children were assessed using executive functions (inhibition, planning, and flexibility) and attentional tasks, as well as two advanced ToM tasks (Reading the Mind in the Eyes and Faux Pas) involving different levels of executive control. Children with ADHD performed more poorly than TD children in attentional, executive function, and ToM tasks. Linear regression analyses conducted in the ADHD group indicated that inhibition scores predicted performance on the "Faux Pas" task the best, while attention scores were the best for predicting performance on the Reading the Mind in the Eyes task. When controlled for inhibition and attentional variables, ToM performance in children with ADHD was actually similar to TD children. Contrarily, controlling for ToM scores did not normalize performance for inhibition and attentional tasks in children with ADHD. This unidirectional relationship suggests that deficits in the EF and attentional domains are responsible for ToM deficits in ADHD, which therefore may contribute to their socioemotional difficulties. PMID:25763856

  15. Delayed Attentional Engagement in the Attentional Blink

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nieuwenstein, Mark R.; Chun, Marvin M.; Lubbe, van der Rob H.J.; Hooge, Ignace T.C.

    2005-01-01

    Observers often miss the 2nd of 2 visual targets (first target [T1] and second target [T2]) when these targets are presented closely in time; the attentional blink (AB). The authors hypothesized that the AB occurs because the attentional response to T2 is delayed by T1 processing, causing T2 to lose

  16. Entirely irrelevant distractors can capture and captivate attention

    OpenAIRE

    Forster, Sophie; Lavie, Nilli

    2011-01-01

    The question of whether a stimulus onset may capture attention when it is entirely irrelevant to the task and even in the absence of any attentional settings for abrupt onset or any dynamic changes has been highly controversial. In the present study, we designed a novel irrelevant capture task to address this question. Participants engaged in a continuous task making sequential forced choice (letter or digit) responses to each item in an alphanumeric matrix that remained on screen throughout ...

  17. Task Prioritization in Dual-Tasking: Instructions versus Preferences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jansen, Reinier J.; van Egmond, René; de Ridder, Huib

    2016-01-01

    The role of task prioritization in performance tradeoffs during multi-tasking has received widespread attention. However, little is known on whether people have preferences regarding tasks, and if so, whether these preferences conflict with priority instructions. Three experiments were conducted with a high-speed driving game and an auditory memory task. In Experiment 1, participants did not receive priority instructions. Participants performed different sequences of single-task and dual-task conditions. Task performance was evaluated according to participants’ retrospective accounts on preferences. These preferences were reformulated as priority instructions in Experiments 2 and 3. The results showed that people differ in their preferences regarding task prioritization in an experimental setting, which can be overruled by priority instructions, but only after increased dual-task exposure. Additional measures of mental effort showed that performance tradeoffs had an impact on mental effort. The interpretation of these findings was used to explore an extension of Threaded Cognition Theory with Hockey’s Compensatory Control Model. PMID:27391779

  18. Attentional Control and the Relatedness Proportion Effect in Semantic Priming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hutchison, Keith A.

    2007-01-01

    In 2 experiments, participants completed both an attentional control battery (OSPAN, antisaccade, and Stroop tasks) and a modified semantic priming task. The priming task measured relatedness proportion (RP) effects within subjects, with the color of the prime indicating the probability that the to-be-named target would be related. In Experiment…

  19. Alcohol, selective attention and sexual arousal in men.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, G T; Niaura, R S; Adler, J L

    1985-03-01

    Thirty-two men social drinkers were randomly assigned to the cells of a balanced placebo design to investigate the effects of expected and actual alcohol consumption on sexual responsiveness. Using a dichotic listening task, erotic and nonerotic information was presented in the nonattended channel while subjects performed simple (low-attention demand) and complex (high-attention demand) numerical tasks presented in the attended channel. Penile tumescence was recorded continuously in response to all audiotaped information. The high-attention demand task significantly interfered with sexual arousal compared with the low-attention demand task, primarily because of the significant suppressant effect of alcohol on arousal during the complex task. The lack of differences in tumescence under the two cognitive tasks when subjects were sober is inconsistent with the cognitive interference model of sexual arousal. Alcohol expectations increased arousal during the low-attention demand task, whereas actual alcohol consumption decreased arousal only during the high-attention demand task. Both effects are attributed to the different effects of these separate variables on attentional processes. The clinical implications are discussed. PMID:3990295

  20. Attention alters the appearance of motion coherence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Taosheng; Fuller, Stuart; Carrasco, Marisa

    2006-12-01

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

  1. The Development of Attention and Response Inhibition in Early Childhood

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartgis, Jami; Thomas, David G.; Lefler, Elizabeth K.; Hartung, Cynthia M.

    2008-01-01

    The goal of this study was to examine the development of attention and response inhibition from ages 5 to 7. Forty children (20 5-year-olds and 20 7-year-olds) completed four counterbalanced phases of a continuous performance task. Phase 1 was designed to measure attention without distraction, Phase 2 was designed to measure attention with…

  2. Relating Dopaminergic and Cholinergic Polymorphisms to Spatial Attention in Infancy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Markant, Julie; Cicchetti, Dante; Hetzel, Susan; Thomas, Kathleen M.

    2014-01-01

    Early selective attention skills are a crucial building block for cognitive development, as attention orienting serves as a primary means by which infants interact with and learn from the environment. Although several studies have examined infants' attention orienting using the spatial cueing task, relatively few studies have examined…

  3. Spatially distributed encoding of covert attentional shifts in human thalamus

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hulme, Oliver J; Whiteley, Louise Emma; Shipp, Stewart

    2010-01-01

    Spatial attention modulates signal processing within visual nuclei of the thalamus--but do other nuclei govern the locus of attention in top-down mode? We examined functional MRI (fMRI) data from three subjects performing a task requiring covert attention to 1 of 16 positions in a circular array...

  4. Eye Movements during Auditory Attention Predict Individual Differences in Dorsal Attention Network Activity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Braga, Rodrigo M.; Fu, Richard Z.; Seemungal, Barry M.; Wise, Richard J. S.; Leech, Robert

    2016-01-01

    The neural mechanisms supporting auditory attention are not fully understood. A dorsal frontoparietal network of brain regions is thought to mediate the spatial orienting of attention across all sensory modalities. Key parts of this network, the frontal eye fields (FEF) and the superior parietal lobes (SPL), contain retinotopic maps and elicit saccades when stimulated. This suggests that their recruitment during auditory attention might reflect crossmodal oculomotor processes; however this has not been confirmed experimentally. Here we investigate whether task-evoked eye movements during an auditory task can predict the magnitude of activity within the dorsal frontoparietal network. A spatial and non-spatial listening task was used with on-line eye-tracking and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). No visual stimuli or cues were used. The auditory task elicited systematic eye movements, with saccade rate and gaze position predicting attentional engagement and the cued sound location, respectively. Activity associated with these separate aspects of evoked eye-movements dissociated between the SPL and FEF. However these observed eye movements could not account for all the activation in the frontoparietal network. Our results suggest that the recruitment of the SPL and FEF during attentive listening reflects, at least partly, overt crossmodal oculomotor processes during non-visual attention. Further work is needed to establish whether the network’s remaining contribution to auditory attention is through covert crossmodal processes, or is directly involved in the manipulation of auditory information. PMID:27242465

  5. Exogenous spatial attention decreases audiovisual integration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van der Stoep, N; Van der Stigchel, S; Nijboer, T C W

    2015-02-01

    Multisensory integration (MSI) and spatial attention are both mechanisms through which the processing of sensory information can be facilitated. Studies on the interaction between spatial attention and MSI have mainly focused on the interaction between endogenous spatial attention and MSI. Most of these studies have shown that endogenously attending a multisensory target enhances MSI. It is currently unclear, however, whether and how exogenous spatial attention and MSI interact. In the current study, we investigated the interaction between these two important bottom-up processes in two experiments. In Experiment 1 the target location was task-relevant, and in Experiment 2 the target location was task-irrelevant. Valid or invalid exogenous auditory cues were presented before the onset of unimodal auditory, unimodal visual, and audiovisual targets. We observed reliable cueing effects and multisensory response enhancement in both experiments. To examine whether audiovisual integration was influenced by exogenous spatial attention, the amount of race model violation was compared between exogenously attended and unattended targets. In both Experiment 1 and Experiment 2, a decrease in MSI was observed when audiovisual targets were exogenously attended, compared to when they were not. The interaction between exogenous attention and MSI was less pronounced in Experiment 2. Therefore, our results indicate that exogenous attention diminishes MSI when spatial orienting is relevant. The results are discussed in terms of models of multisensory integration and attention. PMID:25341648

  6. The effects of menstrual-related pain on attentional interference.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keogh, Edmund; Cavill, Rebecca; Moore, David J; Eccleston, Christopher

    2014-04-01

    Pain-related attentional interference has been found in both chronic pain and laboratory-inducted pain settings. However, few studies have examined such interference effects during common everyday painful episodes. Menstrual cycle-related pain is a common pain that affects a large number of women on a regular basis. The purpose of the current study was, therefore, to examine the effects of menstrual pain on attentional interference. Fifty-two healthy adult women were tested during 2 different phases of their menstrual cycles: once during a nonpain phase (mid follicular), and once while experiencing menstrual pain (late luteal/early follicular). On each testing session, participants received a battery of 4 attentional interference tasks that included selective attention (flanker task), attention span (n-back task), attentional switching (switching task), and divided attention (dual task). Greater attentional interference effects were found to occur during the menstrual pain phase compared to the nonpain phase. Interestingly, the nature of this effect was a general worsening in performance (e.g., slowing, less accurate), rather than a specific attentional deficit. These results add to a growing literature that generally indicates that attentional interference occurs across a range of different types of pain, including common painful episodes. However, they also highlight that the specific nature of this interference effect may depend on the type pain under consideration. Implications of these findings are also considered.

  7. Attention-Orienting and Attention-Holding Effects of Faces on 4- to 8-Month-Old Infants

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeNicola, Christopher A.; Holt, Nicholas A.; Lambert, Amy J.; Cashon, Cara H.

    2013-01-01

    Attention-orienting and attention-holding effects of faces were investigated in a sample of 64 children, aged 4 to 8 months old. A visual preference task was used, in which pairs of faces and toys were presented in eight 10-second trials. Effects of age and sitting-ability were examined. Attention-orienting toward faces was measured using the…

  8. Mindful Movement and Skilled Attention

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dav eClark

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Bodily movement has long been employed as a foundation for cultivating mental skills such as attention, self-control or mindfulness, with recent studies documenting the positive impacts of mindful movement training, such as yoga and tai chi. A parallel mind-body connection has also been observed in many developmental disorders. We elaborate a spectrum of mindfulness by considering ADHD, in which deficient motor control correlates with impaired (disinhibited behavioral control contributing to defining features of excessive distractibility and impulsivity. These data provide evidence for an important axis of variation for wellbeing, in which skillful cognitive control covaries with a capacity for skillful movement. We review empirical and theoretical literature on attention, cognitive control, mind wandering, mindfulness and skill learning, endorsing a model of skilled attention in which motor plans, attention, and executive goals are seen as mutually co-defining aspects of skilled behavior that are linked by reciprocal inhibitory and excitatory connections. Thus, any movement training should engage higher-order inhibition and selection and develop a repertoire of rehearsed procedures that coordinate goals, attention and motor plans. However, we propose that mindful movement practice may improve the functional quality of rehearsed procedures, cultivating a transferrable skill of attention. We adopt Langer’s spectrum of mindful learning that spans from mindlessness to engagement with the details of the present task and contrast this with the mental attitudes cultivated in standard mindfulness meditation. We particularly follow Feldenkrais’ suggestion that mindful learning of skills for organizing the body in movement might transfer to other forms of mental activity. The results of mindful movement training should be observed in multiple complementary measures, and may have tremendous potential benefit for individuals with ADHD and other

  9. Manipulating attentional load in sequence learning through random number generation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wierzchoń, Michał; Gaillard, Vinciane; Asanowicz, Dariusz; Cleeremans, Axel

    2012-01-01

    Implicit learning is often assumed to be an effortless process. However, some artificial grammar learning and sequence learning studies using dual tasks seem to suggest that attention is essential for implicit learning to occur. This discrepancy probably results from the specific type of secondary task that is used. Different secondary tasks may engage attentional resources differently and therefore may bias performance on the primary task in different ways. Here, we used a random number generation (RNG) task, which may allow for a closer monitoring of a participant’s engagement in a secondary task than the popular secondary task in sequence learning studies: tone counting (TC). In the first two experiments, we investigated the interference associated with performing RNG concurrently with a serial reaction time (SRT) task. In a third experiment, we compared the effects of RNG and TC. In all three experiments, we directly evaluated participants’ knowledge of the sequence with a subsequent sequence generation task. Sequence learning was consistently observed in all experiments, but was impaired under dual-task conditions. Most importantly, our data suggest that RNG is more demanding and impairs learning to a greater extent than TC. Nevertheless, we failed to observe effects of the secondary task in subsequent sequence generation. Our studies indicate that RNG is a promising task to explore the involvement of attention in the SRT task. PMID:22723816

  10. Attentional bias in math anxiety

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rubinsten, Orly; Eidlin, Hili; Wohl, Hadas; Akibli, Orly

    2015-01-01

    Cognitive theory from the field of general anxiety suggests that the tendency to display attentional bias toward negative information results in anxiety. Accordingly, the current study aims to investigate whether attentional bias is involved in math anxiety (MA) as well (i.e., a persistent negative reaction to math). Twenty seven participants (14 with high levels of MA and 13 with low levels of MA) were presented with a novel computerized numerical version of the well established dot probe task. One of six types of prime stimuli, either math related or typically neutral, was presented on one side of a computer screen. The prime was preceded by a probe (either one or two asterisks) that appeared in either the prime or the opposite location. Participants had to discriminate probe identity (one or two asterisks). Math anxious individuals reacted faster when the probe was at the location of the numerical related stimuli. This suggests the existence of attentional bias in MA. That is, for math anxious individuals, the cognitive system selectively favored the processing of emotionally negative information (i.e., math related words). These findings suggest that attentional bias is linked to unduly intense MA symptoms. PMID:26528208

  11. Attentional Bias in Math Anxiety

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Orly eRubinsten

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Cognitive theory from the field of general anxiety suggests that the tendency to display attentional bias toward negative information results in anxiety. Accordingly, the current study aims to investigate whether attentional bias is involved in math anxiety as well (i.e., a persistent negative reaction to math. Twenty seven participants (14 with high levels of math anxiety and 13 with low levels of math anxiety were presented with a novel computerized numerical version of the well established dot probe task. One of 6 types of prime stimuli, either math related or typically neutral, were presented on one side of a computer screen. The prime was preceded by a probe (either one or two asterisks that appeared in either the prime or the opposite location. Participants had to discriminate probe identity (one or two asterisks. Math anxious individuals reacted faster when the probe was at the location of the numerical related stimuli. This suggests the existence of attentional bias in math anxiety. That is, for math anxious individuals, the cognitive system selectively favored the processing of emotionally negative information (i.e., math related words. These findings suggest that attentional bias is linked to unduly intense math anxiety symptoms.

  12. Attentional bias in math anxiety.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rubinsten, Orly; Eidlin, Hili; Wohl, Hadas; Akibli, Orly

    2015-01-01

    Cognitive theory from the field of general anxiety suggests that the tendency to display attentional bias toward negative information results in anxiety. Accordingly, the current study aims to investigate whether attentional bias is involved in math anxiety (MA) as well (i.e., a persistent negative reaction to math). Twenty seven participants (14 with high levels of MA and 13 with low levels of MA) were presented with a novel computerized numerical version of the well established dot probe task. One of six types of prime stimuli, either math related or typically neutral, was presented on one side of a computer screen. The prime was preceded by a probe (either one or two asterisks) that appeared in either the prime or the opposite location. Participants had to discriminate probe identity (one or two asterisks). Math anxious individuals reacted faster when the probe was at the location of the numerical related stimuli. This suggests the existence of attentional bias in MA. That is, for math anxious individuals, the cognitive system selectively favored the processing of emotionally negative information (i.e., math related words). These findings suggest that attentional bias is linked to unduly intense MA symptoms.

  13. Attention Mosaics: Studies of Organizational Attention

    OpenAIRE

    Carvalho de Mesquita Ferreira, Luciana

    2010-01-01

    textabstractOrganizational studies emphasizing the role of attention in organizational behavior depart from the idea that organizations, like individuals, have limited capacity to attend to environmental stimuli. The bounded capacity of the organizations to respond to stimuli is conditioned by the limited cognitions of individuals and by the limited capability of organizations to distribute, coordinate and integrate those cognitions. The cross-level nature of organizational attention, its dua...

  14. Conscious attention, meditation, and bilateral information transfer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bob, Petr; Zimmerman, Elizabeth M; Hamilton, Elizabeth A; Sheftel, Jenna G; Bajo, Stephanie D; Raboch, Jiri; Golla, Megan; Konopka, Lukasz M

    2013-01-01

    Recent findings indicate that conscious attention is related to large-scale information integration of various brain regions, including both hemispheres, that enables integration of parallel distributed modalities of processed information. There is also evidence that the level of information transference related to integration or splitting among brain regions, and between hemispheres, establishes a certain level of efficiency of the information processing. The level of information transference also may have modulatory influences on attentional capacity that are closely linked to the emotional arousal and autonomic response related to a stimulus. These findings suggest a hypothesis that changes in conscious attention, specifically during meditation could be reflected in the autonomic activity as the left-right information transference calculated from bilateral electrodermal activity (EDA). With the aim to compare conscious attention during meditation with other attentional states (resting state, Stroop task, and memory task), we performed bilateral EDA measurement in 7 healthy persons during resting state, Stroop task, neurofeedback memory test, and meditation. The results indicate that the information transference (ie, transinformation) is able to distinguish those attentional states, and that the highest level of the transinformation has been found during attentional processing related to meditation, indicating higher level of connectivity between left and right sides. Calculations other than pointwise transinformation (PTI) performed on EDA records, such as mean skin conductance level or laterality index, were not able to distinguish attentional states. The results suggest that PTI may present an interesting method useful for the assessment of information flow, related to neural functioning, that in the case of meditation may reflect typical integrative changes in the autonomic nervous system related to brain functions and focused attentional processing.

  15. Attentive Turkers: MTurk participants perform better on online attention checks than do subject pool participants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hauser, David J; Schwarz, Norbert

    2016-03-01

    Participant attentiveness is a concern for many researchers using Amazon's Mechanical Turk (MTurk). Although studies comparing the attentiveness of participants on MTurk versus traditional subject pool samples have provided mixed support for this concern, attention check questions and other methods of ensuring participant attention have become prolific in MTurk studies. Because MTurk is a population that learns, we hypothesized that MTurkers would be more attentive to instructions than are traditional subject pool samples. In three online studies, participants from MTurk and collegiate populations participated in a task that included a measure of attentiveness to instructions (an instructional manipulation check: IMC). In all studies, MTurkers were more attentive to the instructions than were college students, even on novel IMCs (Studies 2 and 3), and MTurkers showed larger effects in response to a minute text manipulation. These results have implications for the sustainable use of MTurk samples for social science research and for the conclusions drawn from research with MTurk and college subject pool samples.

  16. Visual attention capacity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Habekost, Thomas; Starrfelt, Randi

    2009-01-01

    Psychophysical studies have identified two distinct limitations of visual attention capacity: processing speed and apprehension span. Using a simple test, these cognitive factors can be analyzed by Bundesen's Theory of Visual Attention (TVA). The method has strong specificity and sensitivity...

  17. Attention Breaks in Lectures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnstone, A. H.; Percival, F.

    1976-01-01

    Describes research into student attention patterns during lectures that suggests that student attention declines steadily during a lecture, and that the rate of decrease is dependent upon several variables including subject difficulty. (MLH)

  18. Attention Competition with Advertisement

    OpenAIRE

    Cetin, Uzay; Bingol, Haluk O.

    2012-01-01

    In the new digital age, information is available in large quantities. Since information consumes primarily the attention of its recipients, the scarcity of attention is becoming the main limiting factor. In this study, we investigate the impact of advertisement pressure on a cultural market where consumers have a limited attention capacity. A model of competition for attention is developed and investigated analytically and by simulation. Advertisement is found to be much more effective when a...

  19. Single-Trial Inference on Visual Attention

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  20. Single-Trial Inference on Visual Attention

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

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

  1. Scope of Attention, Control of Attention, and Intelligence in Children and Adults

    OpenAIRE

    Cowan, Nelson; Fristoe, Nathanael M.; Elliott, Emily M.; Brunner, Ryan P.; Saults, J. Scott

    2006-01-01

    Recent experimentation has shown that cognitive aptitude measures are predicted by tests of the scope of an individual’s attention or capacity in simple working-memory tasks, and also by the ability to control attention. However, these experiments do not indicate how separate or related the scope and control of attention are. An experiment with 52 children 10 to 11 years old and 52 college students included measures of the scope and control of attention as well as verbal and nonverbal aptitud...

  2. Antecedent acute cycling exercise affects attention control: an ERP study using attention network test

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yu-Kai eChang

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of this study was to investigate the after-effects of an acute bout of moderate-intensity aerobic cycling exercise on neuroelectric and behavioral indices of efficiency of three attentional networks: alerting, orienting, and executive (conflict control. Thirty young, highly fit amateur basketball players performed a multifunctional attentional reaction time task, the attention network test (ANT, with a two-group randomized experimental design after an acute bout of moderate-intensity spinning wheel exercise or without antecedent exercise. The ANT combined warning signals prior to targets, spatial cueing of potential target locations and target stimuli surrounded by congruent or incongruent flankers, which were provided to assess three attentional networks. Event-related brain potentials and task performance were measured during the ANT. Exercise resulted in a larger P3 amplitude in the alerting and executive control subtasks across frontal, central and parietal midline sites that was paralleled by an enhanced reaction speed only on trials with incongruent flankers of the executive control network. The P3 latency and response accuracy were not affected by exercise. These findings suggest that after spinning, more resources are allocated to task-relevant stimuli in tasks that rely on the alerting and executive control networks. However, the improvement in performance was observed in only the executively challenging conflict condition, suggesting that whether the brain resources that are rendered available immediately after acute exercise translate into better attention performance depends on the cognitive task complexity.

  3. Antecedent acute cycling exercise affects attention control: an ERP study using attention network test.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Yu-Kai; Pesce, Caterina; Chiang, Yi-Te; Kuo, Cheng-Yuh; Fong, Dong-Yang

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate the after-effects of an acute bout of moderate intensity aerobic cycling exercise on neuroelectric and behavioral indices of efficiency of three attentional networks: alerting, orienting, and executive (conflict) control. Thirty young, highly fit amateur basketball players performed a multifunctional attentional reaction time task, the attention network test (ANT), with a two-group randomized experimental design after an acute bout of moderate intensity spinning wheel exercise or without antecedent exercise. The ANT combined warning signals prior to targets, spatial cueing of potential target locations and target stimuli surrounded by congruent or incongruent flankers, which were provided to assess three attentional networks. Event-related brain potentials and task performance were measured during the ANT. Exercise resulted in a larger P3 amplitude in the alerting and executive control subtasks across frontal, central and parietal midline sites that was paralleled by an enhanced reaction speed only on trials with incongruent flankers of the executive control network. The P3 latency and response accuracy were not affected by exercise. These findings suggest that after spinning, more resources are allocated to task-relevant stimuli in tasks that rely on the alerting and executive control networks. However, the improvement in performance was observed in only the executively challenging conflict condition, suggesting that whether the brain resources that are rendered available immediately after acute exercise translate into better attention performance depends on the cognitive task complexity. PMID:25914634

  4. Hierarchical nonlinear dynamics of human attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rabinovich, Mikhail I; Tristan, Irma; Varona, Pablo

    2015-08-01

    Attention is the process of focusing mental resources on a specific cognitive/behavioral task. Such brain dynamics involves different partially overlapping brain functional networks whose interconnections change in time according to the performance stage, and can be stimulus-driven or induced by an intrinsically generated goal. The corresponding activity can be described by different families of spatiotemporal discrete patterns or sequential dynamic modes. Since mental resources are finite, attention modalities compete with each other at all levels of the hierarchy, from perception to decision making and behavior. Cognitive activity is a dynamical process and attention possesses some universal dynamical characteristics. Thus, it is time to apply nonlinear dynamical theory for the description and prediction of hierarchical attentional tasks. Such theory has to include the analyses of attentional control stability, the time cost of attention switching, the finite capacity of informational resources in the brain, and the normal and pathological bifurcations of attention sequential dynamics. In this paper we have integrated today's knowledge, models and results in these directions. PMID:25869439

  5. Sustained Attention in Children With Two Etiologies of Early Hydrocephalus

    OpenAIRE

    Swartwout, Maegan D.; Cirino, Paul T.; Hampson, Amy W.; Fletcher, Jack M.; BRANDT, MICHAEL E.; Dennis, Maureen

    2008-01-01

    Several studies have shown that children with spina bifida meningomyelocele (SBM) and hydrocephalus have attention problems on parent ratings and difficulties in stimulus orienting associated with a posterior brain attention system. Less is known about response control and inhibition associated with an anterior brain attention system. Using the Gordon Vigilance Task (Gordon, 1983), we studied error rate, reaction time, and performance over time for sustained attention, a key anterior attentio...

  6. Attention competition with advertisement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cetin, Uzay; Bingol, Haluk O.

    2014-09-01

    In the new digital age, information is available in large quantities. Since information consumes primarily the attention of its recipients, the scarcity of attention is becoming the main limiting factor. In this study, we investigate the impact of advertisement pressure on a cultural market where consumers have a limited attention capacity. A model of competition for attention is developed and investigated analytically and by simulation. Advertisement is found to be much more effective when the attention capacity of agents is extremely scarce. We have observed that the market share of the advertised item improves if dummy items are introduced to the market while the strength of the advertisement is kept constant.

  7. Urban task force

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Grubović Ljiljana V.

    2002-01-01

    Full Text Available The Urban Task Force Report has brought to our attention, that English towns and cities today require a new renaissance. The comprehensive planning has retarded urban living (Urban Renaissance, Sharing the Vision 01.99, 1999. Forty percent of inner-urban housing stock is subsidized 'social' housing. A review of the demographic and development trends have lead to the UK Government’s new urban policy that prioritizes the regeneration of towns and cities by building on recycled urban land and protecting the countryside. As result, Urban Task Force (UTF was founded the with the following aims To identify causes of urban decline in England; To recommend practical solutions how to bring people back into cities; To establish a new vision for urban regeneration based on the principles of design excellence, social well being and environmental responsibility within a viable economic and legislative framework (Urban Task Force, 1999:1. This paper represents the analysis of the economic and political effects of the program and its viability.

  8. Attention Alters Perceived Attractiveness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Störmer, Viola S; Alvarez, George A

    2016-04-01

    Can attention alter the impression of a face? Previous studies showed that attention modulates the appearance of lower-level visual features. For instance, attention can make a simple stimulus appear to have higher contrast than it actually does. We tested whether attention can also alter the perception of a higher-order property-namely, facial attractiveness. We asked participants to judge the relative attractiveness of two faces after summoning their attention to one of the faces using a briefly presented visual cue. Across trials, participants judged the attended face to be more attractive than the same face when it was unattended. This effect was not due to decision or response biases, but rather was due to changes in perceptual processing of the faces. These results show that attention alters perceived facial attractiveness, and broadly demonstrate that attention can influence higher-level perception and may affect people's initial impressions of one another. PMID:26966228

  9. Influence of attentional capture on oculomotor control

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Theeuwes, J.; Kramer, A.F.; Hahn, S.

    1999-01-01

    Previous research has shown that when searching for a color singleton. top-down control cannot prevent attentional capture by an abrupt visual onset. The present research addressed whether a task-irrelevant abrupt onset would affect eye movement behavior when searching for a color singleton. Results

  10. Attentional Focus Effects in Balance Acrobats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wulf, Gabriele

    2008-01-01

    Performing and learning motor skills has been shown to be enhanced if the performer adopts an external relative to internal focus (or no focus) of attention (Wulf, 2007). The present study examined the generalizability of this effect to top-level performers (balance acrobats). Participants performed a balance task (standing on an inflated rubber…

  11. What determines consumer attention to nutrition labels?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bialkova, S.E.; Trijp, van J.C.M.

    2010-01-01

    To identify the key determinants of consumer attention to nutrition labels, visual search tasks (present – absent; one – two targets) were used as an effective experimental tool. The main manipulation concerned: set size (number of labels on front of pack); label characteristics (display size, posit

  12. Training-associated changes and stability of attention bias in youth: Implications for Attention Bias Modification Treatment for pediatric anxiety

    OpenAIRE

    Britton, Jennifer C.; Bar-Haim, Yair; Clementi, Michelle A.; Sankin, Lindsey S.; Chen, Gang; Shechner, Tomer; Norcross, Maxine A.; Spiro, Carolyn N.; Lindstrom, Kara M.; Pine, Daniel S.

    2012-01-01

    Attention Bias Modification Treatment (ABMT), an emerging treatment for anxiety disorders, is thought to modify underlying, stable patterns of attention. Therefore, ABMT research should take into account the impact of attention bias stability on attention training response, especially in pediatric populations. ABMT research typically relies on the dot-probe task, where individuals detect a probe following an emotional-neutral stimulus pair. The current research presents two dot-probe experime...

  13. Response terminated displays unload selective attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roper, Zachary J J; Vecera, Shaun P

    2013-01-01

    Perceptual load theory successfully replaced the early vs. late selection debate by appealing to adaptive control over the efficiency of selective attention. Early selection is observed unless perceptual load (p-Load) is sufficiently low to grant attentional "spill-over" to task-irrelevant stimuli. Many studies exploring load theory have used limited display durations that perhaps impose artificial limits on encoding processes. We extended the exposure duration in a classic p-Load task to alleviate temporal encoding demands that may otherwise tax mnemonic consolidation processes. If the load effect arises from perceptual demands alone, then freeing-up available mnemonic resources by extending the exposure duration should have little effect. The results of Experiment 1 falsify this prediction. We observed a reliable flanker effect under high p-Load, response-terminated displays. Next, we orthogonally manipulated exposure duration and task-relevance. Counter-intuitively, we found that the likelihood of observing the flanker effect under high p-Load resides with the duration of the task-relevant array, not the flanker itself. We propose that stimulus and encoding demands interact to produce the load effect. Our account clarifies how task parameters differentially impinge upon cognitive processes to produce attentional "spill-over" by appealing to visual short-term memory as an additional processing bottleneck when stimuli are briefly presented. PMID:24399983

  14. Pre-attentive and attentive vision module

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nyamsuren, Enkhbold; Taatgen, Niels A.

    2013-01-01

    This paper introduces a new vision module, called PAAV, developed for the cognitive architecture ACT-R. Unlike ACT-R's default vision module that was originally developed for top-down perception only, PAAV was designed to model a wide range of tasks, such as visual search and scene viewing, where pr

  15. Age trends for failures of sustained attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carriere, Jonathan S A; Cheyne, J Allan; Solman, Grayden J F; Smilek, Daniel

    2010-09-01

    Recent research has revealed an age-related reduction in errors in a sustained attention task, suggesting that sustained attention abilities improve with age. Such results seem paradoxical in light of the well-documented age-related declines in cognitive performance. In the present study, performance on the sustained attention to response task (SART) was assessed in a supplemented archival sample of 638 individuals between 14 and 77 years old. SART errors and response speed appeared to decline in a linear fashion as a function of age throughout the age span studied. In contrast, other measures of sustained attention (reaction time coefficient of variation), anticipation, and omissions) showed a decrease early in life and then remained unchanged for the rest of the life span. Thus, sustained attention shows improvements with maturation in early adulthood but then does not change with aging in older adults. On the other hand, aging across the entire life span leads to a more strategic (i.e., slower) response style that reduces the overt and critical consequences (i.e., SART errors) of momentary task disengagement.

  16. Peripheral Attentional Targets under Covert Attention Lead to Paradoxically Enhanced Alpha Desynchronization in Neurofibromatosis Type 1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, Gilberto; Ribeiro, Maria J; Costa, Gabriel N; Violante, Inês; Ramos, Fabiana; Saraiva, Jorge; Castelo-Branco, Miguel

    2016-01-01

    The limited capacity of the human brain to process the full extent of visual information reaching the visual cortex requires the recruitment of mechanisms of information selection through attention. Neurofibromatosis type-1 (NF1) is a neurodevelopmental disease often exhibiting attentional deficits and learning disabilities, and is considered to model similar impairments common in other neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism. In a previous study, we found that patients with NF1 are more prone to miss targets under overt attention conditions. This finding was interpreted as a result of increased occipito-parietal alpha oscillations. In the present study, we used electroencephalography (EEG) to study alpha power modulations and the performance of patients with NF1 in a covert attention task. Covert attention was required in order to perceive changes (target offset) of a peripherally presented stimulus. Interestingly, alpha oscillations were found to undergo greater desynchronization under this task in the NF1 group compared with control subjects. A similar pattern of desynchronization was found for beta frequencies while no changes in gamma oscillations could be identified. These results are consistent with the notion that different attentional states and task demands generate different patterns of abnormal modulation of alpha oscillatory processes in NF1. Under covert attention conditions and while target offset was reported with relatively high accuracy (over 90% correct responses), excessive desynchronization was found. These findings suggest an abnormal modulation of oscillatory activity and attentional processes in NF1. Given the known role of alpha in modulating attention, we suggest that alpha patterns can show both abnormal increases and decreases that are task and performance dependent, in a way that enhanced alpha desynchronization may reflect a compensatory mechanism to keep performance at normal levels. These results suggest that dysregulation of

  17. Components of attentional set-switching.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rushworth, M F S; Passingham, R E; Nobre, A C

    2005-01-01

    A series of distinct event-related potentials (ERPs) have been recorded from the scalp of human subjects as they switch from one task to another. It is possible that task switching may depend on different mechanisms depending on whether the switch requires a change in attentional set, in other words the redirecting of attention to different aspects of a sensory stimulus, or whether it requires a change in intentional set, in others words a change in the way that responses are selected. To address this issue, the current study recorded ERPs while subjects switched between attentional sets and the results were compared with those of a previous investigation in which subjects switched between intentional sets. Subjects selected stimuli according to two conflicting attentional sets, each emphasizing one visual stimulus dimension (colour, shape). Pairs of stimuli, only one of which was to be attended, were presented for between eight and seventeen trials then either a switch or a stay cue was shown. The switch cue instructed subjects to switch from the current attentional set to the other set, while the stay cue instructed subjects to maintain the current set. Comparing ERPs time-locked to the switch and stay cues revealed neural correlates of the initiation of a task switch. Comparing the ERPs time locked to the first stimuli after either stay or switch cues identified neural correlates of the implementation of a task switch. A similar modulation over parietal electrodes was seen when subjects were switching between either attentional or intentional sets. While an intentional set switch began with a medial frontal modulation, attentional set switching began with a lateral frontal modulation. Implementing a new attentional set was associated with modulation of relatively early visual potentials, while implementing a new intentional set was associated with modulation of later response-related potentials. The results confirm that task switching consists of a number of

  18. Attentional Focusing Instructions and Force Production

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David C Marchant

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Research progress assessing the role of attentional focusing instructions on skill acquisition and performance has lead researchers to apply this approach to force production tasks. Initial converging evidence indicates that force production tasks are sensitive to verbal instruction; externally focused instructions (onto movement outcomes, or onto the object force is being exerted against are shown to be more beneficial than internally focused instructions (focusing attention onto the movements being executed. These benefits are observed for maximal and accurate force production, as well as the maintenance of force production in prolonged tasks. A range of mechanisms are identified supporting the proposal that an external focus promotes movement efficiency in line with energy and effort conservation. Future research is required to assess how this developing body of work interacts with the broader understanding of psychological and physiological factors implicated in the effective production, maintenance and limitation of maximal or sub-maximal forces.

  19. Attention Mosaics: Studies of Organizational Attention

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    L. Carvalho de Mesquita Ferreira (Luciana)

    2010-01-01

    textabstractOrganizational studies emphasizing the role of attention in organizational behavior depart from the idea that organizations, like individuals, have limited capacity to attend to environmental stimuli. The bounded capacity of the organizations to respond to stimuli is conditioned by the l

  20. Principles of visual attention

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bundesen, Claus; Habekost, Thomas

    The nature of attention is one of the oldest and most central problems in psychology. A huge amount of research has been produced on this subject in the last half century, especially on attention in the visual modality, but a general explanation has remained elusive. Many still view attention res....... The book explains the TVA model and shows how it accounts for attentional effects observed across all the research areas described. Principles of Visual Attention offers a uniquely integrated view on a central topic in cognitive neuroscience.......The nature of attention is one of the oldest and most central problems in psychology. A huge amount of research has been produced on this subject in the last half century, especially on attention in the visual modality, but a general explanation has remained elusive. Many still view attention...... research as a field that is fundamentally fragmented. This book takes a different perspective and presents a unified theory of visual attention: the TVA model. The TVA model explains the many aspects of visual attention by just two mechanisms for selection of information: filtering and pigeonholing...

  1. Does attention redirection contribute to the effectiveness of attention bias modification on social anxiety?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yao, Nisha; Yu, Hongyu; Qian, Mingyi; Li, Songwei

    2015-12-01

    Attention bias modification (ABM) is designed to modify threat-related attention bias and thus alleviate anxiety. The current research examined whether consistently directing attention towards targeted goals per se contributes to ABM efficacy. We randomly assigned 68 non-clinical college students with elevated social anxiety to non-valence-specific attend-to-geometrics (AGC), attention modification (AMC), or attention control (ACC) conditions. We assessed subjective, behavioral, and physiological reactivity to a speech task and self-reported social anxiety symptoms. After training, participants in the AMC exhibited an attention avoidance from threat, and those in the AGC responded more rapidly toward targeted geometrics. There was a significant pre- to post-reduction in subjective speech distress across groups, but behavioral and physiological reactivity to speech, as well as self-report social anxiety symptoms, remained unchanged. These results lead to questions concerning effectiveness of ABM training for reducing social anxiety. Further examination of the current ABM protocol is required.

  2. Intensive meditation training improves perceptual discrimination and sustained attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacLean, Katherine A; Ferrer, Emilio; Aichele, Stephen R; Bridwell, David A; Zanesco, Anthony P; Jacobs, Tonya L; King, Brandon G; Rosenberg, Erika L; Sahdra, Baljinder K; Shaver, Phillip R; Wallace, B Alan; Mangun, George R; Saron, Clifford D

    2010-06-01

    The ability to focus one's attention underlies success in many everyday tasks, but voluntary attention cannot be sustained for extended periods of time. In the laboratory, sustained-attention failure is manifest as a decline in perceptual sensitivity with increasing time on task, known as the vigilance decrement. We investigated improvements in sustained attention with training (approximately 5 hr/day for 3 months), which consisted of meditation practice that involved sustained selective attention on a chosen stimulus (e.g., the participant's breath). Participants were randomly assigned either to receive training first (n = 30) or to serve as waiting-list controls and receive training second (n = 30). Training produced improvements in visual discrimination that were linked to increases in perceptual sensitivity and improved vigilance during sustained visual attention. Consistent with the resource model of vigilance, these results suggest that perceptual improvements can reduce the resource demand imposed by target discrimination and thus make it easier to sustain voluntary attention.

  3. The centroid paradigm: Quantifying feature-based attention in terms of attention filters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Peng; Chubb, Charles; Wright, Charles E; Sperling, George

    2016-02-01

    This paper elaborates a recent conceptualization of feature-based attention in terms of attention filters (Drew et al., Journal of Vision, 10(10:20), 1-16, 2010) into a general purpose centroid-estimation paradigm for studying feature-based attention. An attention filter is a brain process, initiated by a participant in the context of a task requiring feature-based attention, which operates broadly across space to modulate the relative effectiveness with which different features in the retinal input influence performance. This paper describes an empirical method for quantitatively measuring attention filters. The method uses a "statistical summary representation" (SSR) task in which the participant strives to mouse-click the centroid of a briefly flashed cloud composed of items of different types (e.g., dots of different luminances or sizes), weighting some types of items more strongly than others. In different attention conditions, the target weights for different item types in the centroid task are varied. The actual weights exerted on the participant's responses by different item types in any given attention condition are derived by simple linear regression. Because, on each trial, the centroid paradigm obtains information about the relative effectiveness of all the features in the display, both target and distractor features, and because the participant's response is a continuous variable in each of two dimensions (versus a simple binary choice as in most previous paradigms), it is remarkably powerful. The number of trials required to estimate an attention filter is an order of magnitude fewer than the number required to investigate much simpler concepts in typical psychophysical attention paradigms.

  4. Symbiosis of executive and selective attention in working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vandierendonck, André

    2014-01-01

    The notion of working memory (WM) was introduced to account for the usage of short-term memory resources by other cognitive tasks such as reasoning, mental arithmetic, language comprehension, and many others. This collaboration between memory and other cognitive tasks can only be achieved by a dedicated WM system that controls task coordination. To that end, WM models include executive control. Nevertheless, other attention control systems may be involved in coordination of memory and cognitive tasks calling on memory resources. The present paper briefly reviews the evidence concerning the role of selective attention in WM activities. A model is proposed in which selective attention control is directly linked to the executive control part of the WM system. The model assumes that apart from storage of declarative information, the system also includes an executive WM module that represents the current task set. Control processes are automatically triggered when particular conditions in these modules are met. As each task set represents the parameter settings and the actions needed to achieve the task goal, it will depend on the specific settings and actions whether selective attention control will have to be shared among the active tasks. Only when such sharing is required, task performance will be affected by the capacity limits of the control system involved.

  5. EEG-Based Attention Tracking During Distracted Driving.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yu-Kai; Jung, Tzyy-Ping; Lin, Chin-Teng

    2015-11-01

    Distracted driving might lead to many catastrophic consequences. Developing a countermeasure to track drivers' focus of attention (FOA) and engagement of operators in dual (multi)-tasking conditions is thus imperative. Ten healthy volunteers participated in a dual-task experiment that comprised two tasks: a lane-keeping driving task and a mathematical problem-solving task (e.g., 24+15=37?) during which their electroencephalogram (EEG) and behaviors were concurrently recorded. Independent component analysis (ICA) was employed as a spatial filter to separate the contributions of independent sources from the recorded EEG data. The power spectra of six components (i.e., frontal, central, parietal, occipital, left motor, and right motor) extracted from single-task conditions were fed into support vector machine (SVM) based on the radial basis function (RBF) kernel to build an FOA assessment system. The system achieved 84.6±5.8% and 86.2±5.4% classification accuracies in detecting the participants' FOAs on the math versus driving tasks, respectively. This FOA assessment system was then applied to evaluate participants' FOAs during dual-task conditions. The detected FOAs revealed that participants' cognitive attention and strategies dynamically changed between tasks to optimize the overall performance, as attention was limited and competed. The empirical results of this study demonstrate the feasibility of a practical system to continuously estimating cognitive attention through EEG spectra. PMID:25850090

  6. Focusing on Attention: The Effects of Working Memory Capacity and Load on Selective Attention

    OpenAIRE

    Lubna Ahmed; de Fockert, Jan W.

    2012-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Working memory (WM) is imperative for effective selective attention. Distractibility is greater under conditions of high (vs. low) concurrent working memory load (WML), and in individuals with low (vs. high) working memory capacity (WMC). In the current experiments, we recorded the flanker task performance of individuals with high and low WMC during low and high WML, to investigate the combined effect of WML and WMC on selective attention. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In Experi...

  7. The lasting memory enhancements of retrospective attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reaves, Sarah; Strunk, Jonathan; Phillips, Shekinah; Verhaeghen, Paul; Duarte, Audrey

    2016-07-01

    Behavioral research has shown that spatial cues that orient attention toward task relevant items being maintained in visual short-term memory (VSTM) enhance item memory accuracy. However, it is unknown if these retrospective attentional cues ("retro-cues") enhance memory beyond typical short-term memory delays. It is also unknown whether retro-cues affect the spatial information associated with VSTM representations. Emerging evidence suggests that processes that affect short-term memory maintenance may also affect long-term memory (LTM) but little work has investigated the role of attention in LTM. In the current event-related potential (ERP) study, we investigated the duration of retrospective attention effects and the impact of retrospective attention manipulations on VSTM representations. Results revealed that retro-cueing improved both VSTM and LTM memory accuracy and that posterior maximal ERPs observed during VSTM maintenance predicted subsequent LTM performance. N2pc ERPs associated with attentional selection were attenuated by retro-cueing suggesting that retrospective attention may disrupt maintenance of spatial configural information in VSTM. Collectively, these findings suggest that retrospective attention can alter the structure of memory representations, which impacts memory performance beyond short-term memory delays. PMID:27038756

  8. Word semantics is processed even without attentional effort.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Relander, Kristiina; Rämä, Pia; Kujala, Teija

    2009-08-01

    We examined the attentional modulation of semantic priming and the N400 effect for spoken words. The aim was to find out how the semantics of spoken language is processed when attention is directed to another modality (passive task), to the phonetics of spoken words (phonological task), or to the semantics of spoken words (word task). Equally strong behavioral priming effects were obtained in the phonological and the word tasks. A significant N400 effect was found in all tasks. The effect was stronger in the word and the phonological tasks than in the passive task, but there was no difference in the magnitude of the effect between the phonological and the word tasks. The latency of the N400 effect did not differ between the tasks. Although the N400 effect had a centroparietal maximum in the phonological and the word tasks, it was largest at the parietal recording sites in the passive task. The effect was more pronounced at the left than right recording sites in the phonological task, but there was no laterality effect in the other tasks. The N400 effect in the passive task indicates that semantic priming occurs even when spoken words are not actively attended. However, stronger N400 effect in the phonological and the word tasks than in the passive task suggests that controlled processes modulate the N400 effect. The finding that there were no differences in the N400 effect between the phonological and the word tasks indicates that the semantics of attended spoken words is processed regardless of whether semantic processing is relevant for task performance.

  9. How Attention Modulates Encoding of Dynamic Stimuli

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oren, Noga; Shapira-Lichter, Irit; Lerner, Yulia; Tarrasch, Ricardo; Hendler, Talma; Giladi, Nir; Ash, Elissa L.

    2016-01-01

    When encoding a real-life, continuous stimulus, the same neural circuits support processing and integration of prior as well as new incoming information. This ongoing interplay is modulated by attention, and is evident in regions such as the prefrontal cortex section of the task positive network (TPN), and in the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC), a hub of the default mode network (DMN). Yet the exact nature of such modulation is still unclear. To investigate this issue, we utilized an fMRI task that employed movies as the encoded stimuli and manipulated attentional load via an easy or hard secondary task that was performed simultaneously with encoding. Results showed increased intersubject correlation (inter-SC) levels when encoding movies in a condition of high, as compared to low attentional load. This was evident in bilateral ventrolateral and dorsomedial prefrontal cortices and the dorsal PCC (dPCC). These regions became more attuned to the combination of the movie and the secondary task as the attentional demand of the latter increased. Activation analyses revealed that at higher load the prefrontal TPN regions were more activated, whereas the dPCC was more deactivated. Attentional load also influenced connectivity within and between the networks. At high load the dPCC was anti-correlated to the prefrontal regions, which were more functionally coherent amongst themselves. Finally and critically, greater inter-SC in the dPCC at high load during encoding predicted lower memory strength when that information was retrieved. This association between inter-SC levels and memory strength suggest that as attentional demands increased, the dPCC was more attuned to the secondary task at the expense of the encoded stimulus, thus weakening memory for the encoded stimulus. Together, our findings show that attentional load modulated the function of core TPN and DMN regions. Furthermore, the observed relationship between memory strength and the modulation of the dPCC points

  10. Mobile EEG on the bike: disentangling attentional and physical contributions to auditory attention tasks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zink, Rob; Hunyadi, Borbála; Van Huffel, Sabine; De Vos, Maarten

    2016-08-01

    Objective. In the past few years there has been a growing interest in studying brain functioning in natural, real-life situations. Mobile EEG allows to study the brain in real unconstrained environments but it faces the intrinsic challenge that it is impossible to disentangle observed changes in brain activity due to increase in cognitive demands by the complex natural environment or due to the physical involvement. In this work we aim to disentangle the influence of cognitive demands and distractions that arise from such outdoor unconstrained recordings. Approach. We evaluate the ERP and single trial characteristics of a three-class auditory oddball paradigm recorded in outdoor scenario’s while peddling on a fixed bike or biking freely around. In addition we also carefully evaluate the trial specific motion artifacts through independent gyro measurements and control for muscle artifacts. Main results. A decrease in P300 amplitude was observed in the free biking condition as compared to the fixed bike conditions. Above chance P300 single-trial classification in highly dynamic real life environments while biking outdoors was achieved. Certain significant artifact patterns were identified in the free biking condition, but neither these nor the increase in movement (as derived from continuous gyrometer measurements) can explain the differences in classification accuracy and P300 waveform differences with full clarity. The increased cognitive load in real-life scenarios is shown to play a major role in the observed differences. Significance. Our findings suggest that auditory oddball results measured in natural real-life scenarios are influenced mainly by increased cognitive load due to being in an unconstrained environment.

  11. Examining the relationship between skilled music training and attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xiao; Ossher, Lynn; Reuter-Lorenz, Patricia A

    2015-11-01

    While many aspects of cognition have been investigated in relation to skilled music training, surprisingly little work has examined the connection between music training and attentional abilities. The present study investigated the performance of skilled musicians on cognitively demanding sustained attention tasks, measuring both temporal and visual discrimination over a prolonged duration. Participants with extensive formal music training were found to have superior performance on a temporal discrimination task, but not a visual discrimination task, compared to participants with no music training. In addition, no differences were found between groups in vigilance decrement in either type of task. Although no differences were evident in vigilance per se, the results indicate that performance in an attention-demanding temporal discrimination task was superior in individuals with extensive music training. We speculate that this basic cognitive ability may contribute to advantages that musicians show in other cognitive measures.

  12. Selective and sustained attention in children with spina bifida myelomeningocele

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Caspersen, Ida Dyhr; Habekost, Thomas

    2013-01-01

    Spina bifida myelomeningocele (SBM) is a neural tube defect that has been related to deficits in several cognitive domains including attention. Attention function in children with SBM has often been studied using tasks that are confounded by complex motor demands or tasks that do not clearly...... attention in 6 children with SBM and 18 healthy control children. The two tasks had minimal motor demands, were functionally specific and were sensitive to minor deficits. As a group, the children with SBM were significantly less efficient at filtering out irrelevant stimuli. Moreover, they exhibited...... frequent failures of sustained attention and response control in terms of omission errors, premature responses, and prolonged inhibition responses. All 6 children with SBM showed deficits in one or more parameters of attention; for example, three patients had elevated visual perception thresholds...

  13. Dynamics of Media Attention

    CERN Document Server

    Traag, V A; Hicks, J; van Klinken, G

    2014-01-01

    Studies of human attention dynamics analyses how attention is focused on specific topics, issues or people. In online social media, there are clear signs of exogenous shocks, bursty dynamics, and an exponential or powerlaw lifetime distribution. We here analyse the attention dynamics of traditional media, focussing on co-occurrence of people in newspaper articles. The results are quite different from online social networks and attention. Different regimes seem to be operating at two different time scales. At short time scales we see evidence of bursty dynamics and fast decaying edge lifetimes and attention. This behaviour disappears for longer time scales, and in that regime we find Poissonian dynamics and slower decaying lifetimes. We propose that a cascading Poisson process may take place, with issues arising at a constant rate over a long time scale, and faster dynamics at a shorter time scale.

  14. Special Attention Network

    CERN Document Server

    Indekeu, J O

    2003-01-01

    In this Note a social network model for opinion formation is proposed in which a person connected to $q$ partners pays an {\\em attention} $1/q$ to each partner. The mutual attention between two connected persons $i$ and $j$ is taken equal to the geometric mean $1/\\sqrt{q_iq_j}$. Opinion is represented as usual by an Ising spin $s=\\pm 1$ and mutual attention is given through a two-spin coupling $J_{ij} = J Q/\\sqrt{q_iq_j}$, $Q$ being the average connectivity in the network. Connectivity diminishes attention and only persons with low connectivity can pay special attention to each other leading to a durable common (or opposing) opinion. The model is solved in "mean-field" approximation and a critical "temperature" $T_c$ proportional to $JQ$ is found, which is independent of the number of persons $N$, for large $N$.

  15. Attention and choice

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Orquin, Jacob Lund; Mueller Loose, Simone

    2013-01-01

    This paper reviews studies on eye movements in decision making, and compares their observations to theoretical predictions concerning the role of attention in decision making. Four decision theories are examined: rational models, bounded rationality, evidence accumulation, and parallel constraint...... satisfaction models. Although most theories were confirmed with regard to certain predictions, none of the theories adequately accounted for the role of attention during decision making. Several observations emerged concerning the drivers and down-stream effects of attention on choice, suggesting...... that these assumptions are implausible, and that more accurate assumptions could have been made based on prior attention and eye movement research. Future decision making research would benefit from greater integration with attention research....

  16. At the Heart of the Ventral Attention System: the Right Anterior Insula

    OpenAIRE

    Eckert, Mark A.; Menon, Vinod; Walczak, Adam; Ahlstrom, Jayne; Denslow, Stewart; Horwitz, Amy; Dubno, Judy R.

    2009-01-01

    The anterior insula has been hypothesized to provide a link between attention-related problem solving and salience systems during the coordination of and evaluation of task performance. Here we test the hypothesis that the anterior insula/medial frontal operculum (aI/fO) provides linkage across systems supporting task demands and attention systems by examining patterns of functional connectivity during word recognition and spatial attention functional imaging tasks. A shared set of frontal re...

  17. Evaluating comparative and equality judgments in contrast perception: Attention alters appearance

    OpenAIRE

    Anton-Erxleben, Katharina; Abrams, Jared; Carrasco, Marisa

    2010-01-01

    Covert attention not only improves performance in many visual tasks but also modulates the appearance of several visual features. Studies on attention and appearance have assessed subjective appearance using a task contingent upon a comparative judgment (e.g., M. Carrasco, S. Ling, & S. Read, 2004). Recently, K. A. Schneider and M. Komlos (2008) questioned the validity of those results because they did not find a significant effect of attention on contrast appearance using an equality task. T...

  18. Attentional flexibility and memory capacity in conductors and pianists.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wöllner, Clemens; Halpern, Andrea R

    2016-01-01

    Individuals with high working memory (WM) capacity also tend to have better selective and divided attention. Although both capacities are essential for skilled performance in many areas, evidence for potential training and expertise effects is scarce. We investigated the attentional flexibility of musical conductors by comparing them to equivalently trained pianists. Conductors must focus their attention both on individual instruments and on larger sections of different instruments. We studied students and professionals in both domains to assess the contributions of age and training to these skills. Participants completed WM span tests for auditory and visual (notated) pitches and timing durations, as well as long-term memory tests. In three dichotic attention tasks, they were asked to detect small pitch and timing deviations from two melodic streams presented in baseline (separate streams), selective-attention (concentrating on only one stream), and divided-attention (concentrating on targets in both streams simultaneously) conditions. Conductors were better than pianists in detecting timing deviations in divided attention, and experts detected more targets than students. We found no group differences for WM capacity or for pitch deviations in the attention tasks, even after controlling for the older age of the experts. Musicians' WM spans across multimodal conditions were positively related to selective and divided attention. High-WM participants also had shorter reaction times in selective attention. Taken together, conductors showed higher attentional flexibility in successfully switching between different foci of attention. PMID:26404532

  19. Mental training enhances attentional stability: neural and behavioral evidence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lutz, Antoine; Slagter, Heleen A; Rawlings, Nancy B; Francis, Andrew D; Greischar, Lawrence L; Davidson, Richard J

    2009-10-21

    The capacity to stabilize the content of attention over time varies among individuals, and its impairment is a hallmark of several mental illnesses. Impairments in sustained attention in patients with attention disorders have been associated with increased trial-to-trial variability in reaction time and event-related potential deficits during attention tasks. At present, it is unclear whether the ability to sustain attention and its underlying brain circuitry are transformable through training. Here, we show, with dichotic listening task performance and electroencephalography, that training attention, as cultivated by meditation, can improve the ability to sustain attention. Three months of intensive meditation training reduced variability in attentional processing of target tones, as indicated by both enhanced theta-band phase consistency of oscillatory neural responses over anterior brain areas and reduced reaction time variability. Furthermore, those individuals who showed the greatest increase in neural response consistency showed the largest decrease in behavioral response variability. Notably, we also observed reduced variability in neural processing, in particular in low-frequency bands, regardless of whether the deviant tone was attended or unattended. Focused attention meditation may thus affect both distracter and target processing, perhaps by enhancing entrainment of neuronal oscillations to sensory input rhythms, a mechanism important for controlling the content of attention. These novel findings highlight the mechanisms underlying focused attention meditation and support the notion that mental training can significantly affect attention and brain function.

  20. Individualism-collectivism and interpersonal memory guidance of attention

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    He, X.; Sebanz, N.; Sui, J.; Humphreys, G.W.

    2014-01-01

    Recently it has been shown that the allocation of attention by a participant in a visual search task can be affected by memory items that have to be maintained by a co-actor, when similar tasks are jointly engaged by dyads (He, Lever, & Humphreys, 2011). In the present study we examined the contribu

  1. Multiple object tracking: Anticipatory attention doesn't "bounce

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Atsma, J.S.; Koning, A.R.; Lier, R.J. van

    2012-01-01

    We investigated motion extrapolation in object tracking in two experiments. In Experiment 1, we used a multiple-object-tracking task (MOT; three targets, three distractors) combined with a probe detection task to investigate the distribution of attention around a target object. We found anisotropic

  2. Resolving Semantic Interference during Word Production Requires Central Attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kleinman, Daniel

    2013-01-01

    The semantic picture-word interference task has been used to diagnose how speakers resolve competition while selecting words for production. The attentional demands of this resolution process were assessed in 2 dual-task experiments (tone classification followed by picture naming). In Experiment 1, when pictures and distractor words were presented…

  3. Using Goal Setting and Task Analysis to Enhance Task-Based Language Learning and Teaching

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rubin, Joan

    2015-01-01

    Task-Based Language Learning and Teaching has received sustained attention from teachers and researchers for over thirty years. It is a well-established pedagogy that includes the following characteristics: major focus on authentic and real-world tasks, choice of linguistic resources by learners, and a clearly defined non-linguistic outcome. This…

  4. Evidence against mood-congruent attentional bias in Major Depressive Disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Philip; Preston, Stephanie D; Jonides, John; Mohr, Alicia Hofelich; Thummala, Kirti; Casement, Melynda; Hsing, Courtney; Deldin, Patricia J

    2015-12-15

    Depression is consistently associated with biased retrieval and interpretation of affective stimuli, but evidence for depressive bias in earlier cognitive processing, such as attention, is mixed. In five separate experiments, individuals with depression (three experiments with clinically diagnosed major depression, two experiments with dysphoria measured via the Beck Depression Inventory) completed three tasks designed to elicit depressive biases in attention, including selective attention, attentional switching, and attentional inhibition. Selective attention was measured using a modified emotional Stroop task, while attentional switching and inhibition was examined via an emotional task-switching paradigm and an emotional counter task. Results across five different experiments indicate that individuals with depression perform comparably with healthy controls, providing corroboration that depression is not characterized by biases in attentional processes. PMID:26477954

  5. MAOA Influences the Trajectory of Attentional Development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lundwall, Rebecca A.; Rasmussen, Claudia G.

    2016-01-01

    Attention is vital to success in all aspects of life (Meck and Benson, 2002; Erickson et al., 2015), hence it is important to identify biomarkers of later attentional problems early enough to intervene. Our objective was to determine if any of 11 genes (APOE, BDNF, HTR4, CHRNA4, COMT, DRD4, IGF2, MAOA, SLC5A7, SLC6A3, and SNAP25) predicted the trajectory of attentional development within the same group of children between infancy and childhood. We recruited follow up participants from children who participated as infants in visual attention studies and used a similar task at both time points. Using multilevel modeling, we associated changes in the participant’s position in the distribution of scores in infancy to his/her position in childhood with genetic markers on each of 11 genes. While all 11 genes predicted reaction time (RT) residual scores, only Monoamine oxidase A (MAOA) had a significant interaction including time point. We conclude that the MAOA single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs1137070 is useful in predicting which girls are likely to develop slower RTs on an attention task between infancy and childhood. This early identification is likely to be helpful in early intervention. PMID:27610078

  6. Development of Attention Networks and Their Interactions in Childhood

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pozuelos, Joan P.; Paz-Alonso, Pedro M.; Castillo, Alejandro; Fuentes, Luis J.; Rueda, M. Rosario

    2014-01-01

    In the present study, we investigated developmental trajectories of alerting, orienting, and executive attention networks and their interactions over childhood. Two cross-sectional experiments were conducted with different samples of 6-to 12-year-old children using modified versions of the attention network task (ANT). In Experiment 1 (N = 106),…

  7. An integrated agent model for attention and functional state

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bosse, T.; Lambalgen, R. van; Maanen, P.P. van; Treur, J.

    2012-01-01

    To provide personalized intelligent ambient support for persons performing demanding tasks, it is important to have insight in their state of attention. Existing models for attention have difficulties in distinguishing between stressed and relaxed states. To solve this problem, this paper proposes t

  8. Inhibition of prepotent responding and attentional flexibility in treated phenylketonuria

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Huijbregts, S; de Sonneville, L; Licht, R; Sergeant, J; van Spronsen, FA

    2002-01-01

    Inhibition of prepotent responding and attentional flexibility were assessed in 58 early and continuously treated phenylketonuria (PKU) patients and 69 controls, age 7 to 14 years. A computerized task was used requiring participants to process consecutive stimuli according to various attentional set

  9. Irrelevant Auditory and Visual Events Induce a Visual Attentional Blink

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van der Burg, Erik; Nieuwenstein, Mark R.; Theeuwes, Jan; Olivers, Christian N. L.

    2013-01-01

    In the present study we investigated whether a task-irrelevant distractor can induce a visual attentional blink pattern. Participants were asked to detect only a visual target letter (A, B, or C) and to ignore the preceding auditory, visual, or audiovisual distractor. An attentional blink was observ

  10. Enclothed Cognition and Controlled Attention during Insight Problem-Solving

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Stockum, Charles A., Jr.; DeCaro, Marci S.

    2014-01-01

    Individual differences in working memory capacity (WMC) increase the ability and tendency to devote greater attentional control to a task--improving performance on a wide range of skills. In addition, recent research on enclothed cognition demonstrates that the situational influence of wearing a white lab coat increases controlled attention, due…

  11. Attention induces conservative subjective biases in visual perception

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  12. Impulse Control or Selective Attention: Remedial Programs for Hyperactivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Ronald T.; Conrad, Kendon J.

    1982-01-01

    Compared various cognitive treatment approaches for ameliorating the difficulties of hyperactive children on tasks requiring sustained vigilance and accuracy. Differential training techniques comparing training in attention to inhibitory control indicated that a combination of attentional and inhibitory control strategies was most efficacious in…

  13. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... finish things? If so, your child may have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Nearly everyone shows some of these behaviors at times, but ADHD lasts more than 6 months and causes problems ...

  14. Attention enhances feature integration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paul, Liza; Schyns, Philippe G

    2003-08-01

    Perceptual processing delays between attribute dimensions (e.g. color, form and motion) [Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B 264 (1997) 1407] have been attributed to temporal processing asynchronies resulting from functional segregation of visual information [Science 240 (1988) 740]. In addition, several lines of evidence converge to suggest that attention plays an important role in the integration of functionally processed information. However, exactly how attention modulates the temporal integration of information remains unclear. Here, we examined how attention modulates the integration of color and form into a unitary perception. Results suggest that attending to the location of an object enhances the integration of its defining attributes by speeding up the perceptual processing of each attribute dimension. Moreover, the perceptual asynchrony between attributes remains constant across attended and unattended conditions because attention seems to offer each processing dimension an equal processing advantage. PMID:12826102

  15. More than meets the eye: The attentional blink in multisensory environments. Commentary on Kranczioch and Thorne

    OpenAIRE

    Till R. Schneider

    2013-01-01

    Temporal fluctuations of attention can influence performance of cognitive tasks substantially. A common paradigm to investigate temporal fluctuations of attention is the attentional blink paradigm. Kranczioch and Thorne (2013) report new evidence for the impact of auditory stimuli on the visual attentional blink in the current issue of Advances in Cognitive Psychology.

  16. Iconic memory requires attention

    OpenAIRE

    Persuh, Marjan; Genzer, Boris; Melara, Robert D.

    2012-01-01

    Two experiments investigated whether attention plays a role in iconic memory, employing either a change detection paradigm (Experiment 1) or a partial-report paradigm (Experiment 2). In each experiment, attention was taxed during initial display presentation, focusing the manipulation on consolidation of information into iconic memory, prior to transfer into working memory. Observers were able to maintain high levels of performance (accuracy of change detection or categorization) even when co...

  17. Switch Attention to Listen

    OpenAIRE

    Dhamani, Imran; Leung, Johahn; Carlile, Simon; Sharma, Mridula

    2013-01-01

    The aim of this research was to evaluate the ability to switch attention and selectively attend to relevant information in children (10–15 years) with persistent listening difficulties in noisy environments. A wide battery of clinical tests indicated that children with complaints of listening difficulties had otherwise normal hearing sensitivity and auditory processing skills. Here we show that these children are markedly slower to switch their attention compared to their age-matched peers. T...

  18. Adaptive visual attention model

    OpenAIRE

    Hügli, Heinz; Bur, Alexandre

    2009-01-01

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

  19. Using Direct and Indirect Input Devices: Attention Demands and Age-Related Differences

    OpenAIRE

    McLaughlin, Anne Collins; Rogers, Wendy A.; Fisk, Arthur D.

    2009-01-01

    Researchers have suggested that attention is a key moderating variable predicting performance with an input device [e.g., Greenstein & Arnaut, 1988] without directly assessing the attention demands of devices We hypothesized that the attentional demands of input devices would be intricately linked to whether the device matched the input requirements of the on-screen task. Further, matching task and device should be more important for attentionally reduced groups, such as older adults. Younger...

  20. Cognition, emotion, and attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Müller-Oehring, Eva M; Schulte, Tilman

    2014-01-01

    Deficits of attention, emotion, and cognition occur in individuals with alcohol abuse and addiction. This review elucidates the concepts of attention, emotion, and cognition and references research on the underlying neural networks and their compromise in alcohol use disorder. Neuroimaging research on adolescents with family history of alcoholism contributes to the understanding of pre-existing brain structural conditions and characterization of cognition and attention processes in high-risk individuals. Attention and cognition interact with other brain functions, including perceptual selection, salience, emotion, reward, and memory, through interconnected neural networks. Recent research reports compromised microstructural and functional network connectivity in alcoholism, which can have an effect on the dynamic tuning between brain systems, e.g., the frontally based executive control system, the limbic emotion system, and the midbrain-striatal reward system, thereby impeding cognitive flexibility and behavioral adaptation to changing environments. Finally, we introduce concepts of functional compensation, the capacity to generate attentional resources for performance enhancement, and brain structure recovery with abstinence. An understanding of the neural mechanisms of attention, emotion, and cognition will likely provide the basis for better treatment strategies for developing skills that enhance alcoholism therapy adherence and quality of life, and reduce the propensity for relapse. PMID:25307584

  1. Interocular conflict attracts attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paffen, Chris L E; Hessels, Roy S; Van der Stigchel, Stefan

    2012-02-01

    During binocular rivalry, perception alternates.between dissimilar images presented dichoptically. Since.its discovery, researchers have debated whether the phenomenon is subject to attentional control. While it is now clear that attentional control over binocular rivalry is possible, the opposite is less evident: Is interocular conflict (i.e., the situation leading to binocular rivalry) able to attract attention?In order to answer this question, we used a change blindness paradigm in which observers looked for salient changes in two alternating frames depicting natural scenes. Each frame contained two images: one for the left and one for the right eye. Changes occurring in a single image (monocular) were detected faster than those occurring in both images (binocular). In addition,monocular change detection was also faster than detection in fused versions of the changed and unchanged regions. These results show that interocular conflict is capable of attracting attention, since it guides visual attention toward salient changes that otherwise would remain unnoticed for longer. The results of a second experiment indicated that interocular conflict attracts attention during the first phase of presentation, a phase during which the stimulus is abnormally fused [added]. PMID:22167536

  2. Attenuation of Attention Bias in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

    OpenAIRE

    Amir, Nader; Najmi, Sadia; Morrison, Amanda S.

    2008-01-01

    Cognitive theories of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) suggest that the disorder is characterized by an attention bias towards personally relevant threatening material. However, existing research on attention bias in OCD has yielded conflicting findings. One possibility that might account for the null findings is that attention bias may diminish over the course of the experiment. The present study tested this hypothesis using a visual dot-probe task with idiographic word selection. Results...

  3. Hierarchical Object-Based Visual Attention for Machine Vision

    OpenAIRE

    Sun, Yaoru

    2003-01-01

    Human vision uses mechanisms of covert attention to selectively process interesting information and overt eye movements to extend this selectivity ability. Thus, visual tasks can be effectively dealt with by limited processing resources. Modelling visual attention for machine vision systems is not only critical but also challenging. In the machine vision literature there have been many conventional attention models developed but they are all space-based only and cannot perform ...

  4. Emotional cuing to test attentional network functioning in trait anxiety

    OpenAIRE

    Gómez Íñiguez, Consolación; Luis J Fuentes; Martínez-Sánchez, Francisco; Campoy, Guillermo; Montoro, Pedro J.; Palmero Cantero, Francisco

    2014-01-01

    The Attention Networks Test (ANT) has been widely used to assess the three attentional networks proposed by Posner and his collaborators. Here we present a version of the ANT that uses emotionally laden words as cues to evaluate the functioning of the attention networks and their interactions. University students participated in the task and the results replicated those found in previous studies with the original version of the test. Then, those with extreme scores on a trai...

  5. Executive functions and selective attention are favored in middle-aged healthy women carriers of the Val/Val genotype of the catechol-o-methyltransferase gene: a behavioral genetic study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gutiérrez-Muñoz Mayra

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Cognitive deficits such as poor memory, the inability to concentrate, deficits in abstract reasoning, attention and set-shifting flexibility have been reported in middle-aged women. It has been suggested that cognitive decline may be due to several factors which include hormonal changes, individual differences, normal processes of aging and age-related changes in dopaminergic neurotransmission. Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT, a common functional polymorphism, has been related to executive performance in young healthy volunteers, old subjects and schizophrenia patients. The effect of this polymorphism on cognitive function in middle-aged healthy women is not well known. The aim of the current study was to investigate whether measures of executive function, sustained attention, selective attention and verbal fluency would be different depending on the COMT genotype and task demand. Method We genotyped 74 middle-aged healthy women (48 to 65 years old for the COMT Val158Met polymorphism. We analyzed the effects of this polymorphism on executive functions (Wisconsin Card Sorting Test, selective attention (Stroop test, sustained attention (Continuous Performance Test and word generation (Verbal Fluency test, which are cognitive functions that involve the frontal lobe. Results There were 27 women with the Val/Val COMT genotype, 15 with the Met/Met genotype, and 32 with the Val/Met genotype. Women carriers of the Val/Val genotype performed better in executive functions, as indicated by a lower number of errors committed in comparison with the Met/Met or Val/Met groups. The correct responses on selective attention were higher in the Val/Val group, and the number of errors committed was higher in the Met/Met group during the incongruence trial in comparison with the Val/Val group. Performance on sustained attention and the number of words generated did not show significant differences between the three genotypes. Conclusion These

  6. Attentional Control Theory in Childhood: Enhanced Attentional Capture by Non-Emotional and Emotional Distractors in Anxiety and Depression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waszczuk, Monika A; Brown, Hannah M; Eley, Thalia C; Lester, Kathryn J

    2015-01-01

    Attentional control theory (ACT) proposes that anxiety is associated with executive functioning deficits. The theory has been widely investigated in adults. The current study tested whether symptoms of childhood anxiety and depression were associated with experimentally measured attentional control in the context of non-emotional and emotional stimuli. Sixty-one children (mean age = 9.23 years, range = 8.39-10.41) reported their trait anxiety and depression symptoms and completed three visual search tasks. The tasks used a variant of an irrelevant singleton paradigm and measured attentional capture by task-irrelevant non-emotional (color) and emotional (facial expressions) distractors. Significant attentional capture by both non-emotional and emotional distractors was observed, and was significantly correlated with trait anxiety and symptoms of depression. The strength of relationship between attentional capture and the symptoms did not differ significantly for non-emotional and emotional distractors. The results suggest that symptoms of childhood anxiety and depression are associated with poorer attentional control both in the presence of emotional and non-emotional stimuli, supporting ACT in younger populations. This attentional deficit in the context of non-emotional information might be as central to childhood internalizing symptoms as attentional biases often observed on tasks investigating processing of emotional stimuli. PMID:26599268

  7. Attentional Control Theory in Childhood: Enhanced Attentional Capture by Non-Emotional and Emotional Distractors in Anxiety and Depression.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Monika A Waszczuk

    Full Text Available Attentional control theory (ACT proposes that anxiety is associated with executive functioning deficits. The theory has been widely investigated in adults. The current study tested whether symptoms of childhood anxiety and depression were associated with experimentally measured attentional control in the context of non-emotional and emotional stimuli. Sixty-one children (mean age = 9.23 years, range = 8.39-10.41 reported their trait anxiety and depression symptoms and completed three visual search tasks. The tasks used a variant of an irrelevant singleton paradigm and measured attentional capture by task-irrelevant non-emotional (color and emotional (facial expressions distractors. Significant attentional capture by both non-emotional and emotional distractors was observed, and was significantly correlated with trait anxiety and symptoms of depression. The strength of relationship between attentional capture and the symptoms did not differ significantly for non-emotional and emotional distractors. The results suggest that symptoms of childhood anxiety and depression are associated with poorer attentional control both in the presence of emotional and non-emotional stimuli, supporting ACT in younger populations. This attentional deficit in the context of non-emotional information might be as central to childhood internalizing symptoms as attentional biases often observed on tasks investigating processing of emotional stimuli.

  8. Moving to Capture Children’s Attention: Developing a Methodology for Measuring Visuomotor Attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coats, Rachel O.; Mushtaq, Faisal; Williams, Justin H. G.; Aucott, Lorna S.; Mon-Williams, Mark

    2016-01-01

    Attention underpins many activities integral to a child’s development. However, methodological limitations currently make large-scale assessment of children’s attentional skill impractical, costly and lacking in ecological validity. Consequently we developed a measure of ‘Visual Motor Attention’ (VMA)—a construct defined as the ability to sustain and adapt visuomotor behaviour in response to task-relevant visual information. In a series of experiments, we evaluated the capability of our method to measure attentional processes and their contributions in guiding visuomotor behaviour. Experiment 1 established the method’s core features (ability to track stimuli moving on a tablet-computer screen with a hand-held stylus) and demonstrated its sensitivity to principled manipulations in adults’ attentional load. Experiment 2 standardised a format suitable for use with children and showed construct validity by capturing developmental changes in executive attention processes. Experiment 3 tested the hypothesis that children with and without coordination difficulties would show qualitatively different response patterns, finding an interaction between the cognitive and motor factors underpinning responses. Experiment 4 identified associations between VMA performance and existing standardised attention assessments and thereby confirmed convergent validity. These results establish a novel approach to measuring childhood attention that can produce meaningful functional assessments that capture how attention operates in an ecologically valid context (i.e. attention's specific contribution to visuomanual action). PMID:27434198

  9. Individual working memory capacity is uniquely correlated with feature-based attention when combined with spatial attention

    OpenAIRE

    Bengson, Jesse J.; Mangun, George R.

    2011-01-01

    A growing literature suggests that working memory and attention are closely related constructs. Both involve the selection of task-relevant information, and both are characterized by capacity limits. Furthermore, studies using a variety of methodological approaches have demonstrated convergent working memory and attention-related processing at the individual, neural and behavioral level. Given the varieties of both constructs, the specific kinds of attention and WM must be considered. We find...

  10. Designing CALL Tasks for College English Learners

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2007-01-01

    <正>As CALL(Computer Assisted Language Learning) became a new trend among China’s college English learners nowadays,it is time that teachers reflected on their teaching methodology innovation with the new technological advancement,one part of it is writing CALL tasks for their own individual classes.This paper presents a few basic principles and rationales of designing such tasks,and hope to work as a reminder for task writers.These principles and rationales include how to realize CLT(communicative language teaching) and learner-centredness and foster learner autonomy.In order to achieve this,it is reminded that task writers pay attention to a few points,like the communicativeness,contextualization,authenticity,and relatedness in task writing. Aspects of syllabus design,choice of texts,contents of activities and tasks and sequencing are put under investigation.

  11. EEG predictors of covert vigilant attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martel, Adrien; Dähne, Sven; Blankertz, Benjamin

    2014-06-01

    Objective. The present study addressed the question whether neurophysiological signals exhibit characteristic modulations preceding a miss in a covert vigilant attention task which mimics a natural environment in which critical stimuli may appear in the periphery of the visual field. Approach. Subjective, behavioural and encephalographic (EEG) data of 12 participants performing a modified Mackworth Clock task were obtained and analysed offline. The stimulus consisted of a pointer performing regular ticks in a clockwise sequence across 42 dots arranged in a circle. Participants were requested to covertly attend to the pointer and press a response button as quickly as possible in the event of a jump, a rare and random event. Main results. Significant increases in response latencies and decreases in the detection rates were found as a function of time-on-task, a characteristic effect of sustained attention tasks known as the vigilance decrement. Subjective sleepiness showed a significant increase over the duration of the experiment. Increased activity in the α-frequency range (8-14 Hz) was observed emerging and gradually accumulating 10 s before a missed target. Additionally, a significant gradual attenuation of the P3 event-related component was found to antecede misses by 5 s. Significance. The results corroborate recent findings that behavioural errors are presaged by specific neurophysiological activity and demonstrate that lapses of attention can be predicted in a covert setting up to 10 s in advance reinforcing the prospective use of brain-computer interface (BCI) technology for the detection of waning vigilance in real-world scenarios. Combining these findings with real-time single-trial analysis from BCI may pave the way for cognitive states monitoring systems able to determine the current, and predict the near-future development of the brain's attentional processes.

  12. Reduced attentional capture in action video game players.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chisholm, Joseph D; Hickey, Clayton; Theeuwes, Jan; Kingstone, Alan

    2010-04-01

    Recent studies indicate that playing action video games improves performance on a number of attention-based tasks. However, it remains unclear whether action video game experience primarily affects endogenous or exogenous forms of spatial orienting. To examine this issue, action video game players and non-action video game players performed an attentional capture task. The results show that action video game players responded quicker than non-action video game players, both when a target appeared in isolation and when a salient, task-irrelevant distractor was present in the display. Action video game players additionally showed a smaller capture effect than did non-action video game players. When coupled with the findings of previous studies, the collective evidence indicates that extensive experience with action video games may enhance players' top-down attentional control, which, in turn, can modulate the negative effects of bottom-up attentional capture.

  13. Towards the quantitative evaluation of visual attention models.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-11-01

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

  14. Using Highlighting to Train Attentional Expertise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roads, Brett; Mozer, Michael C; Busey, Thomas A

    2016-01-01

    Acquiring expertise in complex visual tasks is time consuming. To facilitate the efficient training of novices on where to look in these tasks, we propose an attentional highlighting paradigm. Highlighting involves dynamically modulating the saliency of a visual image to guide attention along the fixation path of a domain expert who had previously viewed the same image. In Experiment 1, we trained naive subjects via attentional highlighting on a fingerprint-matching task. Before and after training, we asked subjects to freely inspect images containing pairs of prints and determine whether the prints matched. Fixation sequences were automatically scored for the degree of expertise exhibited using a Bayesian discriminative model of novice and expert gaze behavior. Highlighted training causes gaze behavior to become more expert-like not only on the trained images but also on transfer images, indicating generalization of learning. In Experiment 2, to control for the possibility that the increase in expertise is due to mere exposure, we trained subjects via highlighting of fixation sequences from novices, not experts, and observed no transition toward expertise. In Experiment 3, to determine the specificity of the training effect, we trained subjects with expert fixation sequences from images other than the one being viewed, which preserves coarse-scale statistics of expert gaze but provides no information about fine-grain features. Observing at least a partial transition toward expertise, we obtain only weak evidence that the highlighting procedure facilitates the learning of critical local features. We discuss possible improvements to the highlighting procedure.

  15. Neuropsychological attention skills and related behaviours in adults with tuberous sclerosis complex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tierney, Kevin M; McCartney, Deborah L; Serfontein, Jaco R; de Vries, Petrus J

    2011-05-01

    Tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) is a genetic disorder associated with mTOR over-activation and disruption of MAPK, PI3K and AMPK signalling. Children with TSC have significant deficits on neuropsychological attention tasks, particularly dual tasking. Here we investigated attentional skills and related behaviours in daily life in normally intelligent adults with TSC and matched controls using the Test of Everyday Attention for Children (TEA-Ch) and the Attention-Deficit Scales for Adults (ADSA). No group differences were demonstrated on selective or sustained attention tasks carried out alone. However, adults with TSC performed significantly worse when these tasks were combined in a cross-modal dual task condition. On the ADSA the TSC group had significantly worse scores on several subscales (attention/concentration, behaviour/disorganization, academic and emotional behaviours) compared to controls and these correlated with dual task performance, indicating a clear impact of dual task deficits on attention-related behaviours in daily life. The presence or absence of epilepsy did not influence dual task performance or attention-deficits in daily life. Taken together with similar findings in children, results suggest that dual task difficulties are a core feature of the neuropsychological phenotype of TSC.

  16. Dissociating temporal attention from spatial attention and motor response preparation: A high-density EEG study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faugeras, Frédéric; Naccache, Lionel

    2016-01-01

    Engagement of various forms of attention and response preparation determines behavioral performance during stimulus-response tasks. Many studies explored the respective properties and neural signatures of each of these processes. However, very few experiments were conceived to explore their interaction. In the present work we used an auditory target detection task during which both temporal attention on the one side, and spatial attention and motor response preparation on the other side could be explicitly cued. Both cueing effects speeded response times, and showed strictly additive effects. Target ERP analysis revealed modulations of N1 and P3 responses by these two forms of cueing. Cue-target interval analysis revealed two main effects paralleling behavior. First, a typical contingent negative variation (CNV), induced by the cue and resolved immediately after target onset, was found larger for temporal attention cueing than for spatial and motor response cueing. Second, a posterior and late cue-P3 complex showed the reverse profile. Analyses of lateralized readiness potentials (LRP) revealed both patterns of motor response inhibition and activation. Taken together these results help to clarify and disentangle the respective effects of temporal attention on the one hand, and of the combination of spatial attention and motor response preparation on the other hand on brain activity and behavior.

  17. Dissociating temporal attention from spatial attention and motor response preparation: A high-density EEG study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faugeras, Frédéric; Naccache, Lionel

    2016-01-01

    Engagement of various forms of attention and response preparation determines behavioral performance during stimulus-response tasks. Many studies explored the respective properties and neural signatures of each of these processes. However, very few experiments were conceived to explore their interaction. In the present work we used an auditory target detection task during which both temporal attention on the one side, and spatial attention and motor response preparation on the other side could be explicitly cued. Both cueing effects speeded response times, and showed strictly additive effects. Target ERP analysis revealed modulations of N1 and P3 responses by these two forms of cueing. Cue-target interval analysis revealed two main effects paralleling behavior. First, a typical contingent negative variation (CNV), induced by the cue and resolved immediately after target onset, was found larger for temporal attention cueing than for spatial and motor response cueing. Second, a posterior and late cue-P3 complex showed the reverse profile. Analyses of lateralized readiness potentials (LRP) revealed both patterns of motor response inhibition and activation. Taken together these results help to clarify and disentangle the respective effects of temporal attention on the one hand, and of the combination of spatial attention and motor response preparation on the other hand on brain activity and behavior. PMID:26433120

  18. Interactions of attention, emotion and motivation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raymond, Jane

    2009-01-01

    Although successful visually guided action begins with sensory processes and ends with motor control, the intervening processes related to the appropriate selection of information for processing are especially critical because of the brain's limited capacity to handle information. Three important mechanisms--attention, emotion and motivation--contribute to the prioritization and selection of information. In this chapter, the interplay between these systems is discussed with emphasis placed on interactions between attention (or immediate task relevance of stimuli) and emotion (or affective evaluation of stimuli), and between attention and motivation (or the predicted value of stimuli). Although numerous studies have shown that emotional stimuli modulate mechanisms of selective attention in humans, little work has been directed at exploring whether such interactions can be reciprocal, that is, whether attention can influence emotional response. Recent work on this question (showing that distracting information is typically devalued upon later encounters) is reviewed in the first half of the chapter. In the second half, some recent experiments exploring how prior value-prediction learning (i.e., learning to associate potential outcomes, good or bad, with specific stimuli) plays a role in visual selection and conscious perception. The results indicate that some aspects of motivation act on selection independently of traditionally defined attention and other aspects interact with it.

  19. 图片点探测任务法观察加压诱发的实验性疼痛对健康人注意偏向的影响%The effect of experimental pain on attentional bias in a pictorial dot-probe task

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    罗艳琳; 崔敏; 杨延辉; 窦鑫; 于洋; 韩松; 李俊发

    2012-01-01

    .Pain was inflicted by inflating the tourniquet,and the pressure was maintained at 26.66kPa.While tourniquet was inflated (with pain) or not (no pain),each subject was asked to finish a pictorial dot-probe task with three kinds of pictures-emotionally positive,negative and neutral.In experiment 1,subjects performed the dot-probe tasks with the contralateral hand while the tourniquet was tied on the left upper arm without inflation.In experiment 2 the tourniquet was inflated until the subject completed the dot-probe task (for about 10min).The reaction times (RTs) and the error rates (Ers) in the recognition task were recorded,and the intensity of the subject's pain and discomfort were measured using a verbal rating scale.Results The subjects reported moderate to severe pain with the tourniquet inflated.The RT and ER data were analyzed using two-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) which showed a significant difference between the average RTs of the males (482±73ms without pain and 466±82ms with pain) and those of the females (536±90ms without pain and 519±100 ms with pain).The average ER was significantly different between the pain (2.38±1.49)% and no pain (1.09±0.82)% conditions in both groups.Holn-Sidak multiple comparison testing showed significant differences in both groups' average ER between the negative picture (3.81±1.73)% and the positive picture (1.66±0.97)%,and between the negative and neutral pictures (1.68±0.8) % in the pain condition.Mild attentional avoidance was observed with the positive [pain condition (-5.1±4.8) ms and no pain (-4.6±4)ms] and negative pictures [pain condition (-3.43±6) ms and no pain (-0.79±4.1)ms],but no significant difference was found between the pain and no pain conditions.Conclusion The error rate in a pictorial dot-probe task is influenced by pain,especially with negative pictures.

  20. Orienting of attention, pupil size, and the norepinephrine system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gabay, Shai; Pertzov, Yoni; Henik, Avishai

    2011-01-01

    This research examined a novel suggestion regarding the involvement of the locus coeruleus-norepinephrine (LC-NE) system in orienting reflexive (exogenous) attention. A common procedure for studying exogenous orienting of attention is Posner's cuing task. Importantly, one can manipulate the required level of target processing by changing task requirements, which, in turn, can elicit a different time course of inhibition of return (IOR). An easy task (responding to target location) produces earlier onset IOR, whereas a demanding task (responding to target identity) produces later onset IOR. Aston-Jones and Cohen (Annual Review of Neuroscience, 28, 403-450, 2005) presented a theory suggesting two different modes of LC activity: tonic and phasic. Accordingly, we suggest that in the more demanding task, the LC-NE system is activated in phasic mode, and in the easier task, it is activated in tonic mode. This, in turn, influences the appearance of IOR. We examined this suggestion by measuring participants' pupil size, which has been demonstrated to correlate with the LC-NE system, while they performed cuing tasks. We found a response-locked phasic dilation of the pupil in the discrimination task, as compared with the localization task, which may reflect different firing modes of the LC-NE system during the two tasks. We also demonstrated a correlation between pupil size at the time of cue presentation and magnitude of IOR.

  1. Adaptive Task Assignment in Online Learning Environments

    OpenAIRE

    Andersen, Per-Arne; Kråkevik, Christian; Goodwin, Morten; Yazidi, Anis

    2016-01-01

    With the increasing popularity of online learning, intelligent tutoring systems are regaining increased attention. In this paper, we introduce adaptive algorithms for personalized assignment of learning tasks to student so that to improve his performance in online learning environments. As main contribution of this paper, we propose a a novel Skill-Based Task Selector (SBTS) algorithm which is able to approximate a student's skill level based on his performance and consequently suggest adequa...

  2. Reduced attentional scope in cocaine polydrug users.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lorenza S Colzato

    Full Text Available Cocaine is Europe's second preferred recreational drug after cannabis but very little is known about possible cognitive impairments in the upcoming type of recreational cocaine user (monthly consumption. We asked whether recreational use of cocaine impacts early attentional selection processes. Cocaine-free polydrug controls (n = 18 and cocaine polydrug users (n = 18 were matched on sex, age, alcohol consumption, and IQ (using the Raven's progressive matrices, and were tested by using the Global-Local task to measure the scope of attention. Cocaine polydrug users attended significantly more to local aspects of attended events, which fits with the idea that a reduced scope of attention may be associated with the perpetuation of the use of the drug.

  3. Feature-based attention enhances performance by increasing response gain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herrmann, Katrin; Heeger, David J; Carrasco, Marisa

    2012-12-01

    Covert spatial attention can increase contrast sensitivity either by changes in contrast gain or by changes in response gain, depending on the size of the attention field and the size of the stimulus (Herrmann et al., 2010), as predicted by the normalization model of attention (Reynolds & Heeger, 2009). For feature-based attention, unlike spatial attention, the model predicts only changes in response gain, regardless of whether the featural extent of the attention field is small or large. To test this prediction, we measured the contrast dependence of feature-based attention. Observers performed an orientation-discrimination task on a spatial array of grating patches. The spatial locations of the gratings were varied randomly so that observers could not attend to specific locations. Feature-based attention was manipulated with a 75% valid and 25% invalid pre-cue, and the featural extent of the attention field was manipulated by introducing uncertainty about the upcoming grating orientation. Performance accuracy was better for valid than for invalid pre-cues, consistent with a change in response gain, when the featural extent of the attention field was small (low uncertainty) or when it was large (high uncertainty) relative to the featural extent of the stimulus. These results for feature-based attention clearly differ from results of analogous experiments with spatial attention, yet both support key predictions of the normalization model of attention. PMID:22580017

  4. Attention and Distraction

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Petersen, Anne Ring

    2010-01-01

    This article aims to examine the interrelationship between attention and distraction in the reception of video installation art, a genre which is commonly associated with "immersion" and an intensified feeling of presence in the discourses on new media art and installation art. This tends to veil...

  5. Emotional Stroop Dilution: The boundary conditions of attentional capture by threat words.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reynolds, Michael G; Langerak, Robin M

    2015-07-01

    It is widely believed that threatening stimuli in our environment capture attention. Much of the core evidence for attentional capture by threatening stimuli comes from the Emotional Stroop task. Yet recent evidence suggests that the Emotional Stroop task does not measure attentional capture (e.g., Algom et al., 2004). The present paper assesses whether threat words can capture attention using a modified Stroop Dilution procedure (e.g., Kahneman & Chajczyk, 1983), where attentional capture by a threat word is inferred from a reduction in color-word interference for threat words compared to non-threat words (emotional Stroop Dilution). The outcome of the present experiments indicates that threat words can capture attention, but only when task demands do not require that a word be attended. It is suggested that threat words produce (1) cognitive slowing, and influence two processes of selective attention (2) attentional capture and (3) the ability to filter irrelevant dimensions of an attended stimulus. PMID:26093219

  6. Attentional bias training in reducing symptoms of anxiety

    OpenAIRE

    Joanna Kłosowska; Agata Blaut; Borysław Paulewicz

    2015-01-01

    Anxiety is related to attentional bias, i.e. a tendency to pay attention to threatening stimuli. This occurs both in individuals suffering from anxiety disorders, and in healthy individuals with elevated levels of trait anxiety. This article is an analysis of a research paradigm, used to modify attentional bias (CBM-A Cognitive Bias Modification – Attention). A growing number of studies indicate that with the help of computer methods such as a modified version of the dot-probe task we can tra...

  7. Sustained Attention to Local and Global Target Features Is Different: Performance and Tympanic Membrane Temperature

    Science.gov (United States)

    Helton, William S.; Hayrynen, Lauren; Schaeffer, David

    2009-01-01

    Vision researchers have investigated the differences between global and local feature perception. No one has, however, examined the role of global and local feature discrimination in sustained attention tasks. In this experiment participants performed a sustained attention task requiring either global or local letter target discriminations or…

  8. Domain Specific Attentional Impairments in Children with Chromosome 22Q11.2 Deletion Syndrome

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bish, Joel P.; Chiodo, Renee; Mattei, Victoria; Simon, Tony J.

    2007-01-01

    One of the defining cognitive characteristics of the chromosome 22q deletion syndrome (DS22q11.2) is visuospatial processing impairments. The purpose of this study was to investigate and extend the specific attentional profile of children with this disorder using both an object-based attention task and an inhibition of return task. A group of…

  9. Processing bias in anxious subjects and repressors, measured by emotional Stroop interference and attentional allocation.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    J.F. Brosschot; C. de Ruiter; M. Kindt

    1999-01-01

    Hypothesized that repressors (Ss high in defensiveness with low trait anxiety) would show cognitive avoidance of threatening information in an attention deployment task, but an attentional bias for the same information in an emotional interference task, while Ss high in anxiety would show a threat-r

  10. An In-Home Token System for a Student with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gannon, Paul; Harmon, Mary; Williams, Betty Fry

    1997-01-01

    A study of a 12-year-old boy with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder investigated the effectiveness of a token economy incentive program implemented in the home setting to increase attention to task while doing homework assignments. Results found the boy's percentage of time spent on-task increased markedly. (Author/CR)

  11. The modality effect of ego depletion: Auditory task modality reduces ego depletion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Qiong; Wang, Zhenhong

    2016-08-01

    An initial act of self-control that impairs subsequent acts of self-control is called ego depletion. The ego depletion phenomenon has been observed consistently. The modality effect refers to the effect of the presentation modality on the processing of stimuli. The modality effect was also robustly found in a large body of research. However, no study to date has examined the modality effects of ego depletion. This issue was addressed in the current study. In Experiment 1, after all participants completed a handgrip task, one group's participants completed a visual attention regulation task and the other group's participants completed an auditory attention regulation task, and then all participants again completed a handgrip task. The ego depletion phenomenon was observed in both the visual and the auditory attention regulation task. Moreover, participants who completed the visual task performed worse on the handgrip task than participants who completed the auditory task, which indicated that there was high ego depletion in the visual task condition. In Experiment 2, participants completed an initial task that either did or did not deplete self-control resources, and then they completed a second visual or auditory attention control task. The results indicated that depleted participants performed better on the auditory attention control task than the visual attention control task. These findings suggest that altering task modality may reduce ego depletion. PMID:27241617

  12. The modality effect of ego depletion: Auditory task modality reduces ego depletion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Qiong; Wang, Zhenhong

    2016-08-01

    An initial act of self-control that impairs subsequent acts of self-control is called ego depletion. The ego depletion phenomenon has been observed consistently. The modality effect refers to the effect of the presentation modality on the processing of stimuli. The modality effect was also robustly found in a large body of research. However, no study to date has examined the modality effects of ego depletion. This issue was addressed in the current study. In Experiment 1, after all participants completed a handgrip task, one group's participants completed a visual attention regulation task and the other group's participants completed an auditory attention regulation task, and then all participants again completed a handgrip task. The ego depletion phenomenon was observed in both the visual and the auditory attention regulation task. Moreover, participants who completed the visual task performed worse on the handgrip task than participants who completed the auditory task, which indicated that there was high ego depletion in the visual task condition. In Experiment 2, participants completed an initial task that either did or did not deplete self-control resources, and then they completed a second visual or auditory attention control task. The results indicated that depleted participants performed better on the auditory attention control task than the visual attention control task. These findings suggest that altering task modality may reduce ego depletion.

  13. Multiple object tracking: anticipatory attention doesn't "bounce".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atsma, Jeroen; Koning, Arno; van Lier, Rob

    2012-01-01

    We investigated motion extrapolation in object tracking in two experiments. In Experiment 1, we used a multiple-object-tracking task (MOT; three targets, three distractors) combined with a probe detection task to investigate the distribution of attention around a target object. We found anisotropic probe detection rates with increased probe detection at locations where a target is heading. In Experiment 2, we introduced a black line (wall) in the center of the screen and block-wise manipulated the object's motion: either objects bounced realistically against the wall or objects went through the wall. Just before a target coincided with the wall, a probe could appear either along the bounce path or along the straight path. In addition to MOT, we included a single-object-tracking task (SOT; one target, five distractors) to control for attentional load. We found that linear extrapolation is dominant (better probe detection along the straight path than bounce path) regardless of attentional load and the motion condition. Anticipation of bouncing behavior did occur but only when attentional load was low. We conclude that attention is not tightly bound to moving target objects but encompasses the object's current position and the area in front of it. Furthermore, under the present experimental conditions, the visuo-attentional system does not seem to anticipate object bounces in the MOT task. PMID:23211268

  14. Survival Processing and the Stroop Task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephanie A. Kazanas

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available This study was designed to investigate the impact of survival processing with a novel task for this paradigm: the Stroop color-naming task. As the literature is mixed with regard to task generalizability, with survival processing promoting better memory for words, but not better memory for faces or paired associates, these types of task investigations are important to a growing field of research. Using the Stroop task provides a unique contribution, as identifying items by color is an important evolutionary adaptation and not specific to humans as is the case with word recall. Our results indicate that survival processing, with its accompanying survival-relevance rating task, remains the best mnemonic strategy for word memory. However, our results also indicate that presenting the survival passage does not motivate better color-naming performance than color-naming alone. In addition, survival processing led to a larger amount of Stroop interference, though not significantly larger than the other conditions. Together, these findings suggest that considering one’s survival when performing memory and attention-based tasks does not enhance cognitive performance generally, although greater allocation of attentional resources to color-incongruent concrete objects could be considered adaptive. These findings support the notion that engaging in deeper processing via survival-relevance ratings may preserve these words across a variety of experimental manipulations.

  15. Does attention exist?

    OpenAIRE

    Wilson, Keith

    2007-01-01

    In the introduction to the Phenomenology of Perception, Merleau-Ponty (2002: 34) states that ‘Attention, [...] as a general and formal activity, does not exist’. This paper examines the meaning and truth of this difficult and surprising statement, along with its implications for the account of perception given by theorists such as Dretske (1988) and Peacocke (1983). In order to elucidate Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenological account of human perception, I will present two alternative models1 of ho...

  16. Attention, communication, and schizophrenia.

    OpenAIRE

    Rund, B. R.

    1985-01-01

    The paper starts by drawing the historical lines for and giving an account of the main methods and results from an empirical investigation of cognitive disorders in schizophrenics and communication deviances in their parents. The focus of the report is on the significant correlations that were found between some aspects of parents' style of communication and offsprings' cognitive functioning. On the basis of the empirical study, the relationship between attention and communication is discusse...

  17. Recalling academic tasks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Draper, Franklin Gno

    This study was focused on what students remembered about five middle school science tasks when they were juniors and seniors in high school. Descriptions of the five tasks were reconstructed from available artifacts and teachers' records, notes and recollections. Three of the five tasks were "authentic" in the sense that students were asked to duplicate the decisions practitioners make in the adult world. The other two tasks were more typical school tasks involving note taking and preparation for a quiz. All five tasks, however, involved use of computers. Students were interviewed to examine what and how well they recalled the tasks and what forms or patterns of recall existed. Analysis of their responses indicated that different kinds of tasks produced different levels of recall. Authentically situated tasks were remembered much better than routine school tasks. Further, authentic tasks centered on design elements were recalled better than those for which design was not as pivotal. Patterns of recall indicated that participants most often recalled the decisions they made, the scenarios of the authentically situated tasks, the consequences of their tasks and the social contexts of the classroom. Task events, in other words, appeared to form a framework upon which students constructed stories of the tasks. The more salient the events, the richer the story, the deeper and more detailed the recall of the task. Thus, authentic tasks appeared to lend themselves to creating stories better than regular school tasks and therefore such tasks were recalled better. Implications of these patterns of recall are discussed with respect to issues of school learning and assessment.

  18. 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.

  19. Eye Movements Reveal Dynamics of Task Control

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayr, Ulrich; Kuhns, David; Rieter, Miranda

    2013-01-01

    With the goal to determine the cognitive architecture that underlies flexible changes of control settings, we assessed within-trial and across-trial dynamics of attentional selection by tracking of eye movements in the context of a cued task-switching paradigm. Within-trial dynamics revealed a switch-induced, discrete delay in onset of…

  20. 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.

  1. Neural substrates of shared attention as social memory: A hyperscanning functional magnetic resonance imaging study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koike, Takahiko; Tanabe, Hiroki C; Okazaki, Shuntaro; Nakagawa, Eri; Sasaki, Akihiro T; Shimada, Koji; Sugawara, Sho K; Takahashi, Haruka K; Yoshihara, Kazufumi; Bosch-Bayard, Jorge; Sadato, Norihiro

    2016-01-15

    During a dyadic social interaction, two individuals can share visual attention through gaze, directed to each other (mutual gaze) or to a third person or an object (joint attention). Shared attention is fundamental to dyadic face-to-face interaction, but how attention is shared, retained, and neutrally represented in a pair-specific manner has not been well studied. Here, we conducted a two-day hyperscanning functional magnetic resonance imaging study in which pairs of participants performed a real-time mutual gaze task followed by a joint attention task on the first day, and mutual gaze tasks several days later. The joint attention task enhanced eye-blink synchronization, which is believed to be a behavioral index of shared attention. When the same participant pairs underwent mutual gaze without joint attention on the second day, enhanced eye-blink synchronization persisted, and this was positively correlated with inter-individual neural synchronization within the right inferior frontal gyrus. Neural synchronization was also positively correlated with enhanced eye-blink synchronization during the previous joint attention task session. Consistent with the Hebbian association hypothesis, the right inferior frontal gyrus had been activated both by initiating and responding to joint attention. These results indicate that shared attention is represented and retained by pair-specific neural synchronization that cannot be reduced to the individual level.

  2. Learning-induced changes in attentional allocation during categorization: a sizable catalog of attention change as measured by eye movements.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Caitlyn M McColeman

    Full Text Available Learning how to allocate attention properly is essential for success at many categorization tasks. Advances in our understanding of learned attention are stymied by a chicken-and-egg problem: there are no theoretical accounts of learned attention that predict patterns of eye movements, making data collection difficult to justify, and there are not enough datasets to support the development of a rich theory of learned attention. The present work addresses this by reporting five measures relating to the overt allocation of attention across 10 category learning experiments: accuracy, probability of fixating irrelevant information, number of fixations to category features, the amount of change in the allocation of attention (using a new measure called Time Proportion Shift - TIPS, and a measure of the relationship between attention change and erroneous responses. Using these measures, the data suggest that eye-movements are not substantially connected to error in most cases and that aggregate trial-by-trial attention change is generally stable across a number of changing task variables. The data presented here provide a target for computational models that aim to account for changes in overt attentional behaviors across learning.

  3. Handwriting Skills: Attention Co-varies with Graphic Pattern Stability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kostrubiec V.

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Attentional cost of graphic patterns generation was investigated using the classic dual-task procedure, in which a concurrent reaction time (RT task was used as an index of the attentional cost incurred by the motor task. Participants had to trace graphic patterns characterized by 0°, 45°, 90°, 135° and 180° relative phase, while responding by a keypress as fast as possible to an auditory signal. The results evidenced a strong and significant correlation between the stability of the produced pattern and the associated attentional cost measures. The size of minor and major axes of the ellipsoids, capturing the amplitude of graphic patterns, decreased as movement frequency increased, as expected by nonlinear models of pattern generation. In cursive writing, this decrease in amplitude with increasing movement frequency is at origin of most frequent letter malformation.

  4. Orienting of visual attention in aging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erel, Hadas; Levy, Daniel A

    2016-10-01

    Changes in attention are among the most important cognitive shifts associated with aging, with implications for maintenance of vocational competencies, participation in social interactions, and successful execution of activities of daily living. An important facet of attention is orienting, the ability to selectively attend a location or modality and thereby engender perceptual augmentation. Orienting also involves shifting of the focus of attention in response to unanticipated salient events. Aging may impact orienting through a variety of neurocognitive mechanisms and the interactions between them. We review findings regarding factors that mediate the impact of aging on orienting, including overt vs. covert attending, exogenous vs. endogenous processes, orienting benefits vs. reorienting costs, cue-target onset asynchrony (SOA), post-orienting task factors, and stage of aging. We also consider aging-related changes in the brain substrates of orienting, including cortical and white matter integrity, laterality, connectivity, neuromodulatory functions, and compensatory activity. Taken together, these findings suggest that healthy aging impacts performance on orienting tasks less through direct effects than via interactions with additional cognitive processes. PMID:27531234

  5. All set, indeed! N2pc components reveal simultaneous attentional control settings for multiple target colours

    OpenAIRE

    Grubert, Anna; Eimer, Martin

    2016-01-01

    To study whether top-down attentional control processes can be set simultaneously for different visual features, we employed a spatial cueing procedure to measure behavioural and electrophysiological markers of task-set contingent attentional capture during search for one or two possible colour-defined targets (One Colour and Two Colour tasks). Search arrays were preceded by spatially non-predictive colour singleton cues. Behavioural spatial cueing effects indicative of attentional capture we...

  6. Plasticity of visual attention in Isha yoga meditation practitioners before and after a 3-month retreat

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claire eBraboszcz

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Meditation has lately received considerable interest from cognitive neuroscience. Studies suggest that daily meditation leads to long lasting attentional and neuronal plasticity. We present changes related to the attentional systems before and after a 3 month intensive meditation retreat. We used 3 behavioral psychophysical tests - a Stroop task, an attentional blink task, and a global-local letter task - to assess the effect of Isha yoga meditation on attentional resource allocation. 82 Isha yoga practitioners were tested at the beginning and at the end of the retreat. Our results showed an increase in correct responses specific to incongruent stimuli in the Stroop task. Congruently, a positive correlation between previous meditation experience and accuracy to incongruent Stroop stimuli was also observed at baseline. We also observed a reduction of the attentional blink. Unexpectedly, a negative correlation between previous meditation experience and attentional blink performance at baseline was observed. Regarding spatial attention orientation as assessed using the global-local letter task, participants showed a bias toward local processing. Only slight differences in performance were found pre- vs. post- meditation retreat. Previous meditation experience influenced the Stroop and attentional blink tasks in opposite directions – for the Stroop task congruent with the improvements seen after the retreat whereas for the attentional blink previous experience correlated negatively with performance. Biasing towards the local stimuli in the global-local task and negative correlation of previous meditation experience with attentional blink performance is consistent with Isha practices being more focused-attention practices. Given the relatively small effect sizes and the absence of a control group, our results do not allow clear support nor rejection of the hypothesis of meditation-driven neuronal plasticity in the attentional system for Isha yoga

  7. Selective visual-spatial attention alters induced gamma band responses in the human EEG

    OpenAIRE

    Gruber, Thomas; Müller, Matthias M.; Keil, Andreas; Elbert, Thomas

    1999-01-01

    Objectives: The present study was designed to investigate the attentional modulation of gamma band responses in a visual spatial attention task using a 128-channel-EEG-montage.Methods: Colored rectangles were presented on a screen. After 500 ms an arrow indicated whether subjects had to shift their attention to the left or right half of the screen to detect target stimuli. During the task, either the attended half of the screen rotated horizontally while the unattended part remained motionles...

  8. The Normalization Model of Attention

    OpenAIRE

    Reynolds, John H.; Heeger, David J.

    2009-01-01

    Attention has been found to have a wide variety of effects on the responses of neurons in visual cortex. We describe a model of attention that exhibits each of these different forms of attentional modulation, depending on the stimulus conditions and the spread (or selectivity) of the attention field in the model. The model helps reconcile proposals that have been taken to represent alternative theories of attention. We argue that the variety and complexity of the results reported in the liter...

  9. Attentional bias training in reducing symptoms of anxiety

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joanna Kłosowska

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Anxiety is related to attentional bias, i.e. a tendency to pay attention to threatening stimuli. This occurs both in individuals suffering from anxiety disorders, and in healthy individuals with elevated levels of trait anxiety. This article is an analysis of a research paradigm, used to modify attentional bias (CBM-A Cognitive Bias Modification – Attention. A growing number of studies indicate that with the help of computer methods such as a modified version of the dot-probe task we can train individuals to direct attention away from threatening stimuli, which in turn reduces symptoms of anxiety. This effect was observed in adults, adolescents and children suffering from social phobia, generalised anxiety disorder and subclinical symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder. Effectiveness of this method constitutes the evidence for attentional bias being among the causes of anxiety disorders. The article also analyses the still not completely clear mechanisms of CBM-A and limitations of this method.

  10. Controlling attention to nociceptive stimuli with working memory.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valéry Legrain

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Because pain often signals the occurrence of potential tissue damage, a nociceptive stimulus has the capacity to involuntarily capture attention and take priority over other sensory inputs. Whether distraction by nociception actually occurs may depend upon the cognitive characteristics of the ongoing activities. The present study tested the role of working memory in controlling the attentional capture by nociception. METHODOLOGY AND PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Participants performed visual discrimination and matching tasks in which visual targets were shortly preceded by a tactile distracter. The two tasks were chosen because of the different effects the involvement of working memory produces on performance, in order to dissociate the specific role of working memory in the control of attention from the effect of general resource demands. Occasionally (i.e. 17% of the trials, tactile distracters were replaced by a novel nociceptive stimulus in order to distract participants from the visual tasks. Indeed, in the control conditions (no working memory, reaction times to visual targets were increased when the target was preceded by a novel nociceptive distracter as compared to the target preceded by a frequent tactile distracter, suggesting attentional capture by the novel nociceptive stimulus. However, when the task required an active rehearsal of the visual target in working memory, the novel nociceptive stimulus no longer induced a lengthening of reaction times to visual targets, indicating a reduction of the distraction produced by the novel nociceptive stimulus. This effect was independent of the overall task demands. CONCLUSION AND SIGNIFICANCE: Loading working memory with pain-unrelated information may reduce the ability of nociceptive input to involuntarily capture attention, and shields cognitive processing from nociceptive distraction. An efficient control of attention over pain is best guaranteed by the ability to maintain active goal

  11. Obesity impact on the attentional cost for controlling posture.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jean-Baptiste Mignardot

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: This study investigated the effects of obesity on attentional resources allocated to postural control in seating and unipedal standing. METHODS: Ten non obese adults (BMI = 22.4±1.3, age = 42.4±15.1 and 10 obese adult patients (BMI = 35.2±2.8, age = 46.2±19.6 maintained postural stability on a force platform in two postural tasks (seated and unipedal. The two postural tasks were performed (1 alone and (2 in a dual-task paradigm in combination with an auditory reaction time task (RT. Performing the RT task together with the postural one was supposed to require some attentional resources that allowed estimating the attentional cost of postural control. 4 trials were performed in each condition for a total of 16 trials. FINDINGS: (1 Whereas seated non obese and obese patients exhibited similar centre of foot pressure oscillations (CoP, in the unipedal stance only obese patients strongly increased their CoP sway in comparison to controls. (2 Whatever the postural task, the additional RT task did not affect postural stability. (3 Seated, RT did not differ between the two groups. (4 RT strongly increased between the two postural conditions in the obese patients only, suggesting that body schema and the use of internal models was altered with obesity. INTERPRETATION: Obese patients needed more attentional resources to control postural stability during unipedal stance than non obese participants. This was not the case in a more simple posture such as seating. To reduce the risk of fall as indicated by the critical values of CoP displacement, obese patients must dedicate a strong large part of their attentional resources to postural control, to the detriment of non-postural events. Obese patients were not able to easily perform multitasking as healthy adults do, reflecting weakened psycho-motor abilities.

  12. Attention decay in science

    CERN Document Server

    Parolo, Pietro Della Briotta; Ghosh, Rumi; Huberman, Bernardo A; Kaski, Kimmo; Fortunato, Santo

    2015-01-01

    The exponential growth in the number of scientific papers makes it increasingly difficult for researchers to keep track of all the publications relevant to their work. Consequently, the attention that can be devoted to individual papers, measured by their citation counts, is bound to decay rapidly. In this work we make a thorough study of the life-cycle of papers in different disciplines. Typically, the citation rate of a paper increases up to a few years after its publication, reaches a peak and then decreases rapidly. This decay can be described by an exponential or a power law behavior, as in ultradiffusive processes, with exponential fitting better than power law for the majority of cases. The decay is also becoming faster over the years, signaling that nowadays papers are forgotten more quickly. However, when time is counted in terms of the number of published papers, the rate of decay of citations is fairly independent of the period considered. This indicates that the attention of scholars depends on th...

  13. Attention stabilizes the shared gain of V4 populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rabinowitz, Neil C; Goris, Robbe L; Cohen, Marlene; Simoncelli, Eero P

    2015-11-02

    Responses of sensory neurons represent stimulus information, but are also influenced by internal state. For example, when monkeys direct their attention to a visual stimulus, the response gain of specific subsets of neurons in visual cortex changes. Here, we develop a functional model of population activity to investigate the structure of this effect. We fit the model to the spiking activity of bilateral neural populations in area V4, recorded while the animal performed a stimulus discrimination task under spatial attention. The model reveals four separate time-varying shared modulatory signals, the dominant two of which each target task-relevant neurons in one hemisphere. In attention-directed conditions, the associated shared modulatory signal decreases in variance. This finding provides an interpretable and parsimonious explanation for previous observations that attention reduces variability and noise correlations of sensory neurons. Finally, the recovered modulatory signals reflect previous reward, and are predictive of subsequent choice behavior.

  14. Does oculomotor readiness mediate exogenous capture of visual attention?

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacLean, Gregory H; Klein, Raymond M; Hilchey, Matthew D

    2015-10-01

    The oculomotor readiness hypothesis makes 2 predictions: Shifts in covert attention are accompanied by preparedness to move one's eyes to the attended region, and preparedness to move one's eyes to a region in space is accompanied by a shift in covert attention to the prepared location. Both predictions have been disconfirmed using an endogenous attention task. In the 2 experiments presented here, the same 2 predictions were tested using an exogenous attention task. It was found that participants experienced covert capture without accompanying oculomotor activation and experienced oculomotor activation without accompanying covert capture. While under everyday conditions the overt and covert orienting systems may be strongly linked, apparently they can nonetheless operate with a high degree of independence from one another. (PsycINFO Database Record PMID:26076176

  15. Online decoding of object-based attention using real-time fMRI

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Niazi, Adnan M.; Broek, van den Philip L.C.; Klanke, Stefan; Barth, Markus; Poel, Mannes; Desain, Peter; Gerven, van Marcel A.J.

    2014-01-01

    Visual attention is used to selectively filter relevant information depending on current task demands and goals. Visual attention is called object-based attention when it is directed to coherent forms or objects in the visual field. This study used real-time functional magnetic resonance imaging for

  16. Spatial Working Memory Interferes with Explicit, but Not Probabilistic Cuing of Spatial Attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Won, Bo-Yeong; Jiang, Yuhong V.

    2015-01-01

    Recent empirical and theoretical work has depicted a close relationship between visual attention and visual working memory. For example, rehearsal in spatial working memory depends on spatial attention, whereas adding a secondary spatial working memory task impairs attentional deployment in visual search. These findings have led to the proposal…

  17. Attention to the color of a moving stimulus modulates motion-signal processing in macaque area MT: evidence for a unified attentional system

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steffen Katzner

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available Directing visual attention to spatial locations or to non-spatial stimulus features can strongly modulate responses of individual cortical sensory neurons. Effects of attention typically vary in magnitude, not only between visual cortical areas but also between individual neurons from the same area. Here, we investigate whether the size of attentional effects depends on the match between the tuning properties of the recorded neuron and the perceptual task at hand. We recorded extracellular responses from individual direction-selective neurons in area MT of rhesus monkeys trained to attend either to the color or the motion signal of a moving stimulus. We found that effects of spatial and feature-based attention in MT, which are typically observed in tasks allocating attention to motion, were very similar even when attention was directed to the color of the stimulus. We conclude that attentional modulation can occur in extrastriate cortex, even under conditions without a match between the tuning properties of the recorded neuron and the perceptual task at hand. Our data are consistent with theories of object-based attention describing a transfer of attention from relevant to irrelevant features, within the attended object and across the visual field. These results argue for a unified attentional system that modulates responses to a stimulus across cortical areas, even if a given area is specialized for processing task-irrelevant aspects of that stimulus.

  18. Project Tasks in Robotics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sørensen, Torben; Hansen, Poul Erik

    1998-01-01

    Description of the compulsary project tasks to be carried out as a part of DTU course 72238 Robotics......Description of the compulsary project tasks to be carried out as a part of DTU course 72238 Robotics...

  19. 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

    2016-03-01

    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%). PMID:27231602

  20. Counterproductive effect of saccadic suppression during attention shifts.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandre Zénon

    Full Text Available During saccadic eye movements, the processing of visual information is transiently interrupted by a mechanism known as "saccadic suppression" [1] that is thought to ensure perceptual stability [2]. If, as proposed in the premotor theory of attention [3], covert shifts of attention rely on sub-threshold recruitment of oculomotor circuits, then saccadic suppression should also occur during covert shifts. In order to test this prediction, we designed two experiments in which participants had to orient towards a cued letter, with or without saccades. We analyzed the time course of letter identification score in an "attention" task performed without saccades, using the saccadic latencies measured in the "saccade" task as a marker of covert saccadic preparation. Visual conditions were identical in all tasks. In the "attention" task, we found a drop in perceptual performance around the predicted onset time of saccades that were never performed. Importantly, this decrease in letter identification score cannot be explained by any known mechanism aligned on cue onset such as inhibition of return, masking, or microsaccades. These results show that attentional allocation triggers the same suppression mechanisms as during saccades, which is relevant during eye movements but detrimental in the context of covert orienting.

  1. Counterproductive effect of saccadic suppression during attention shifts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zénon, Alexandre; Corneil, Brian D; Alamia, Andrea; Filali-Sadouk, Nabil; Olivier, Etienne

    2014-01-01

    During saccadic eye movements, the processing of visual information is transiently interrupted by a mechanism known as "saccadic suppression" [1] that is thought to ensure perceptual stability [2]. If, as proposed in the premotor theory of attention [3], covert shifts of attention rely on sub-threshold recruitment of oculomotor circuits, then saccadic suppression should also occur during covert shifts. In order to test this prediction, we designed two experiments in which participants had to orient towards a cued letter, with or without saccades. We analyzed the time course of letter identification score in an "attention" task performed without saccades, using the saccadic latencies measured in the "saccade" task as a marker of covert saccadic preparation. Visual conditions were identical in all tasks. In the "attention" task, we found a drop in perceptual performance around the predicted onset time of saccades that were never performed. Importantly, this decrease in letter identification score cannot be explained by any known mechanism aligned on cue onset such as inhibition of return, masking, or microsaccades. These results show that attentional allocation triggers the same suppression mechanisms as during saccades, which is relevant during eye movements but detrimental in the context of covert orienting. PMID:24466181

  2. Strategic Adaptation to Task Characteristics, Incentives, and Individual Differences in Dual-Tasking

    OpenAIRE

    Janssen, Christian P.; Brumby, Duncan P.

    2015-01-01

    We investigate how good people are at multitasking by comparing behavior to a prediction of the optimal strategy for dividing attention between two concurrent tasks. In our experiment, 24 participants had to interleave entering digits on a keyboard with controlling a randomly moving cursor with a joystick. The difficulty of the tracking task was systematically varied as a within-subjects factor. Participants were also exposed to different explicit reward functions that varied the relative imp...

  3. Processing of task-irrelevant emotional faces impacted by implicit sequence learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peng, Ming; Cai, Mengfei; Zhou, Renlai

    2015-12-01

    Attentional load may be increased by task-relevant attention, such as difficulty of task, or task-irrelevant attention, such as an unexpected light-spot in the screen. Several studies have focused on the influence of task-relevant attentional load on task-irrelevant emotion processing. In this study, we used event-related potentials to examine the impact of task-irrelevant attentional load on task-irrelevant expression processing. Eighteen participants identified the color of a word (i.e. the color Stroop task) while a picture of a fearful or a neutral face was shown in the background. The task-irrelevant attentional load was increased by regularly presented congruence trials (congruence between the color and the meaning of the word) in the regular condition because implicit sequence learning was induced. We compared the task-irrelevant expression processing between the regular condition and the random condition (the congruence and incongruence trials were presented randomly). Behaviorally, reaction times for the fearful face condition were faster than the neutral faces condition in the random condition, whereas no significant difference was found in the regular condition. The event-related potential results indicated enhanced positive amplitudes in P2, N2, and P3 components relative to neutral faces in the random condition. In comparison, only P2 differed significantly for the two types of expressions in the regular condition. The study showed that attentional load increased by implicit sequence learning influenced the late processing of task-irrelevant expression. PMID:26445285

  4. Attentional Biases in Currently Depressed Children: An Eye-Tracking Study of Biases in Sustained Attention to Emotional Stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harrison, Ashley Johnson; Gibb, Brandon E

    2015-01-01

    Cognitive theories state attentional biases contribute to the development and maintenance of depression. Like depressed adults, there is growing evidence for the presence of attentional biases to sad stimuli in depressed youth. Although the direction of this bias among children remains unclear, preliminary evidence indicates attentional avoidance of sad stimuli in children. This is the first known sudy to use eye-tracking to investigate the exact nature of attention biases among depressed children. To assess sustained attention, the current study used eye-tracking and a passive viewing task in which children viewed a series of four facial expressions (angry, happy, sad, neutral) presented simultatiously for 20 s on a computer screen. The current study compared the attentional allocation of currently depressed children (n = 19; M age = 11.21) to a group of never depressed children (n = 22; M age = 10.82). Consistent with earlier research with children, we found that children with current major or minor depression, compared to children with no history of depression, exhibited attentional avoidance of sad facial stimuil as well as some evidence for preferential attention to happy faces. This study provides additional evidence that although depressed children demonstrate mood congruent attentional biases like that observed depressed adults, the nature of these biases may reflect attentional avoidance of sad stimuli, rather than preferential attention. PMID:25010145

  5. Attention and awareness in human learning and decision making

    OpenAIRE

    Aczel, Balazs

    2010-01-01

    This dissertation presents an investigation of the modifying role of attention and awareness in human learning and decision making. A series of experiments showed that performance in a range of tests of unconscious cognition can be better explained as resulting from conscious attention rather than from implicit processes. The first three experiments utilised a modification of the Serial Reaction Time task in order to measure the interaction of implicit and explicit learning processes. The ...

  6. Detection is unaffected by the deployment of focal attention

    OpenAIRE

    Jeff eMoher; Brandon K Ashinoff; Howard E Egeth

    2013-01-01

    There has been much debate regarding how much information humans can extract from their environment without the use of limited attentional resources. In a recent study, Theeuwes, Van der Burg, and Belopolsky (2008) argued that even detection of simple feature targets is not possible without selection by focal attention. Supporting this claim, they found response time benefits in a simple feature (color) detection task when a target letter’s identity was repeated on consecutive trials, sugge...

  7. Control of attention before reflexive and intentional saccades

    OpenAIRE

    Casana-Perez, Susana Maria

    2004-01-01

    The relation between covert and overt spatial attention and saccadic eye movements was investigated in control subjects, Parkinson’s Disease (PD) patients, and cerebellar patients in a dual-task paradigm. The main question was how different types of cues (reflexive/intentional) guide the spatial attention during fixation or during the preparation phase of a saccade. The subjects were asked to follow a reflexive or intentional cue, to discriminate a character that appeared either at the cued s...

  8. A Prototyping Environment for Integrated Artificial Attention Systems

    OpenAIRE

    Tünnermann, Jan; Hennig, Markus; Silbernagel, Michael; Mertsching, Bärbel

    2013-01-01

    Artificial visual attention systems aim to support technical systems in visual tasks by applying the concepts of selective attention observed in humans and other animals. Such systems are typically evaluated against ground truth obtained from human gaze-data or manually annotated test images. When applied to robotics, the systems are required to be adaptable to the target system. Here, we describe a flexible environment based on a robotic middleware layer allowing the development and testing ...

  9. The influence of scopolamine on motor control and attentional processes

    OpenAIRE

    Bestaven, Emma; Kambrun, Charline; Guehl, Dominique; Cazalets, Jean-René; Guillaud, Etienne

    2016-01-01

    Background: Motion sickness may be caused by a sensory conflict between the visual and the vestibular systems. Scopolamine, known to be the most effective therapy to control the vegetative symptoms of motion sickness, acts on the vestibular nucleus and potentially the vestibulospinal pathway, which may affect balance and motor tasks requiring both attentional process and motor balance. The aim of this study was to explore the effect of scopolamine on motor control and attentional processes. M...

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2010-01-01

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

  11. Launching Complex Tasks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, Kara J.; Shahan, Emily C.; Gibbons, Lynsey K.; Cobb, Paul A.

    2012-01-01

    Mathematics lessons can take a variety of formats. In this article, the authors discuss lessons organized around complex mathematical tasks. These lessons usually unfold in three phases. First, the task is introduced to students. Second, students work on solving the task. Third, the teacher "orchestrates" a concluding whole-class discussion in…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-08-01

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

  13. Attentional Capture by Emotional Faces is Contingent on Attentional Control Settings

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Barratt, Daniel; Bundesen, Claus

    2012-01-01

    Attentional capture by schematic emotional faces was investigated in two experiments using the flanker task devised by Eriksen and Eriksen (1974). In Experiment 1, participants were presented with a central target (a schematic face that was either positive or negative) flanked by two identical...... distractors, one on either side (schematic faces that were positive, negative, or neutral). The objective was to identify the central target as quickly as possible. The impact of the flankers depended on their emotional expression. Consistent with a threat advantage hypothesis (negative faces are processed...... was a standard flanker task with letter stimuli except that the task-neutral flankers were schematic faces that were either positive, negative, or emotionally neutral. In this case, in which faces and emotional expressions were to be ignored, performance seemed entirely unaffected by the faces. This result...

  14. Attentional effects in the visual pathways

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bundesen, Claus; Larsen, Axel; Kyllingsbæk, Søren;

    2002-01-01

    Attentional effects in the visual pathways were investigated by contrasting the distribution of regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) measured by H(2)(15)O positron emission tomography (PET) during performance of a shape-matching task with the distribution of rCBF during a less demanding color...... and middle temporal gyri. The attentional effects found by the shape-color comparison in the thalamus and the primary visual cortex may have been generated by feedback signals preserving visual representations of selected stimuli in short-term memory.......CBF in visual areas in the occipital and parietal lobes, including the primary visual cortex. Subcortical activations were found in cerebellum (particularly the vermis) and in the thalamus with the focus in a region comprising the lateral geniculate nucleus, the pulvinar, and adjacent parts of the reticular...

  15. Salivary a-Amylase Reflects Change in Attentional Demands during Postural Control: Comparison with Probe Reaction Time

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akizuki, Kazunori; Ohashi, Yukari

    2014-01-01

    Purpose: The influence of attention on postural control and the relationship between attention and falling has been reported in previous studies. Although a dual-task procedure is commonly used to measure attentional demand, such procedures are affected by allocation policy, which is a mental strategy to divide attention between simultaneous…

  16. Attentional Processing of Letter Strings by Children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leclercq, Virginie; Siéroff, Eric

    2016-01-01

    Reading a letter string requires attentional orienting toward the beginning of the string (left-dominant orientation), followed by orienting along the string. These attentional-orienting processes differ according to the lexicality of the letter string: Sequential processes apply when reading nonwords or pseudowords, while words can be processed more globally. The aim of this study was to evaluate the development of these attentional processes involved in reading. We conducted two experiments in 6- (first grade), 7- (second grade), and 9-year-old (fourth grade) children, using a procedure that required the detection of a letter (Experiment 1) or a nonletter (Experiment 2) target in a string of five characters. The target character could occur in the second (left) or fourth (right) position in the string. Results showed an advantage for left nonletter targets as early as age 6 and of left letter targets as early as age 7. In 6-year-olds, only good readers detected a left letter target faster than a right letter target; others detected a right letter target faster. Thus, dominant orienting toward the beginning of the letter string is not fully developed in children before the second year of reading. A possibility is that beginning readers have difficulties inhibiting an attention-orienting bias toward the right visual field in linguistic tasks. The results also showed that the lexicality effect on these attentional processes develops gradually until the fourth year of reading. We believe that the procedure used in this study will be very valuable for evaluating attentional difficulties during reading acquisition. PMID:25386702

  17. Culture, attention, and emotion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grossmann, Igor; Ellsworth, Phoebe C; Hong, Ying-yi

    2012-02-01

    This research provides experimental evidence for cultural influence on one of the most basic elements of emotional processing: attention to positive versus negative stimuli. To this end, we focused on Russian culture, which is characterized by brooding and melancholy. In Study 1, Russians spent significantly more time looking at negative than positive pictures, whereas Americans did not show this tendency. In Study 2, Russian Latvians were randomly primed with symbols of each culture, after which we measured the speed of recognition for positive versus negative trait words. Biculturals were significantly faster in recognizing negative words (as compared with baseline) when primed with Russian versus Latvian cultural symbols. Greater identification with Russian culture facilitated this effect. We provide a theoretical discussion of mental processes underlying cultural differences in emotion research.

  18. Stroke caused auditory attention deficits in children

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karla Maria Ibraim da Freiria Elias

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available OBJECTIVE: To verify the auditory selective attention in children with stroke. METHODS: Dichotic tests of binaural separation (non-verbal and consonant-vowel and binaural integration - digits and Staggered Spondaic Words Test (SSW - were applied in 13 children (7 boys, from 7 to 16 years, with unilateral stroke confirmed by neurological examination and neuroimaging. RESULTS: The attention performance showed significant differences in comparison to the control group in both kinds of tests. In the non-verbal test, identifications the ear opposite the lesion in the free recall stage was diminished and, in the following stages, a difficulty in directing attention was detected. In the consonant- vowel test, a modification in perceptual asymmetry and difficulty in focusing in the attended stages was found. In the digits and SSW tests, ipsilateral, contralateral and bilateral deficits were detected, depending on the characteristics of the lesions and demand of the task. CONCLUSION: Stroke caused auditory attention deficits when dealing with simultaneous sources of auditory information.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Christian Gaden; Vangkilde, Signe Allerup; Frokjaer, Vibe;

    2012-01-01

    , 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...

  20. Energy Efficient Task Light

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Logadottir, Asta; Ardkapan, Siamak Rahimi; Johnsen, Kjeld;

    2014-01-01

    the light source as far from the bottom edge as possible. The main results of the project show opportunities for energy savings in an office environment by reducing the installed power for the general lighting by applying a task light with a wide light distribution across the desk area , providing high...... and thereby a reduction in installed power for general lighting of about 40 % compared to the way illuminance levels are designed in an office environment in Denmark today. This lighting strategy is useful when the placement of the task area is not defined in the space before the lighting is design ed...... and the strategy also allows for the task area to be redefined in the space . The task lighting follows the task area as the developed task light is designed to be placed on the desktop of an office desk. The work carried out within this project is the architectural design of the task light, the optical design...

  1. Learn the effective connectivity pattern of attention networks: a resting functional MRI and Bayesian network study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Juan; Li, Rui; Yao, Li; Wu, Xia

    2011-03-01

    Task-based neuroimaging studies revealed that different attention operations were carried out by the functional interaction and cooperation between two attention systems: the dorsal attention network (DAN) and the ventral attention network (VAN), which were respectively involved in the "top-down" endogenous attention orienting and the "bottomup" exogenous attention reorienting process. Recent focused resting functional MRI (fMRI) studies found the two attention systems were inherently organized in the human brain regardless of whether or not the attention process were required, but how the two attention systems interact with each other in the absence of task is yet to be investigated. In this study, we first separated the DAN and VAN by applying the group independent component analysis (ICA) to the resting fMRI data acquired from 12 healthy young subjects, then used Gaussian Bayesian network (BN) learning approach to explore the plausible effective connectivity pattern of the two attention systems. It was found regions from the same attention network were strongly intra-dependent, and all the connections were located in the information flow from VAN to DAN, which suggested that an orderly functional interactions and information exchanges between the two attention networks existed in the intrinsic spontaneous brain activity, and the inherent connections might benefit the efficient cognitive process between DAN and VAN, such as the "top-down" and "bottom-up" reciprocal interaction when attention-related tasks were involved.

  2. Disparities in attention to HIV-prevention information.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Earl, Allison; Crause, Candi; Vaid, Awais; Albarracín, Dolores

    2016-01-01

    Compared to European-Americans, African-Americans have greater probability of becoming infected with HIV, as well as worse outcomes when they become infected. Therefore, adequate health communications should ensure that they capture the attention of African-Americans and do not perpetuate disadvantages relative to European-Americans. The objective of this report was to examine if racial disparities in attention to health information parallel racial disparities in health outcomes. Participants were clients of a public health clinic (Study 1 n = 64; Study 2 n = 55). Unobtrusive observation in a public health waiting room, message reading times, and response-time on a modified flanker task were used to examine attention to HIV- and flu-information across racial groups. In Study 1, participants were observed for the duration of their time in a public health clinic waiting room (average duration: 31 min). In Study 2, participants completed tasks in a private room at the public health clinic (average duration: 21 min). Across all attention measures, results suggest an interaction between race and information type on attention to health information. In particular, African-Americans differentially attended to information as a function of information type, with decreased attention to HIV- versus flu-information. In contrast, European-Americans attended equally to both HIV- and flu-information. As such, disparities in attention yielded less access to certain health information for African- than European-Americans in a health setting. The identified disparities in attention are particularly problematic because they disadvantage African-Americans at a time of great effort to correct racial disparities. Modifying the framing of health information in ways that ensure attention by all racial groups may be a strategy to increase attention, and thereby reduce disparities in health outcomes. Future research should find solutions that increase attentional access to health

  3. The effects of selective and divided attention on sensory precision and integration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Odegaard, Brian; Wozny, David R; Shams, Ladan

    2016-02-12

    In our daily lives, our capacity to selectively attend to stimuli within or across sensory modalities enables enhanced perception of the surrounding world. While previous research on selective attention has studied this phenomenon extensively, two important questions still remain unanswered: (1) how selective attention to a single modality impacts sensory integration processes, and (2) the mechanism by which selective attention improves perception. We explored how selective attention impacts performance in both a spatial task and a temporal numerosity judgment task, and employed a Bayesian Causal Inference model to investigate the computational mechanism(s) impacted by selective attention. We report three findings: (1) in the spatial domain, selective attention improves precision of the visual sensory representations (which were relatively precise), but not the auditory sensory representations (which were fairly noisy); (2) in the temporal domain, selective attention improves the sensory precision in both modalities (both of which were fairly reliable to begin with); (3) in both tasks, selective attention did not exert a significant influence over the tendency to integrate sensory stimuli. Therefore, it may be postulated that a sensory modality must possess a certain inherent degree of encoding precision in order to benefit from selective attention. It also appears that in certain basic perceptual tasks, the tendency to integrate crossmodal signals does not depend significantly on selective attention. We conclude with a discussion of how these results relate to recent theoretical considerations of selective attention.

  4. The effect of attention to distractor on inhibitory processes in selective attention

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    GENG Haiyan; SONG Qianlan; LI Yunfeng; ZHU Ying

    2005-01-01

    Selective attention has been viewed as a dualprocess mechanism, that is, exciting targets and inhibiting distractors. Most early studies concentrated mainly on the target-excitation, whereas recent investigations began to pay more attention to the inhibitory selective attention mechanism. A measure named negative priming (NP) was extensively employed to probe into the inhibitory processes. The Houghton and Tipper Model put forward a notion: the inhibition that feeds back to the distractor is reactive. That means, the level of inhibition is determined by the activation state of the distractor. Distractors that are more salient and intrude into the control of action receive greater inhibitory feedbacks than less salient distractors. Because increasing attention to an object would enhance the early processing of this object, we thus hypothesized that augmenting the level of attention to a distractor might lead to a higher level of inhibition, revealed as a corresponding augmentation in the magnitude of NP effect. To test this assumption, an object- based identification task was then applied, and participants were asked to make the animate/inanimate categorization. Attention level was manipulated by varying the relative spatial locations of target and distractor (overlapped or separated). A reliable greater NP effect was found in the overlapped than separated condition, indicating that distractors under the high-level attention condition (overlapped) got greater initial excitation, and then evoked greater subsequent inhibitory feedbacks, therefore resulting in a larger NP effect. These results provide direct evidence for the reactive inhibition suggested by the Houghton and Tipper model. Meanwhile a coincident greater positive priming (PP) effect was obtained under the overlapped than separated condition, which could be attributed to the higher level of target activation in the overlapped condition. The covariation of NP and PP effects further confirmed that the way of

  5. Attentional Modulation of Binocular Rivalry

    OpenAIRE

    Chris ePaffen; David eAlais

    2011-01-01

    Ever since Wheatstone initiated the scientific study of binocular rivalry, it has been debated whether the phenomenon is under attentional control. In recent years, the issue of attentional modulation of binocular rivalry has seen a revival. Here we review the classical studies as well as recent advances in the study of attentional modulation of binocular rivalry. We show that (1) voluntary control over binocular rivalry is possible, yet limited, (2) both endogenous and exogenous attention in...

  6. Attentional networks in developmental dyscalculia

    OpenAIRE

    Henik Avishai; Askenazi Sarit

    2010-01-01

    Abstract Background Very little is known about attention deficits in developmental dyscalculia, hence, this study was designed to provide the missing information. We examined attention abilities of participants suffering from developmental dyscalculia using the attention networks test - interactions. This test was designed to examine three different attention networks--executive function, orienting and alerting--and the interactions between them. Methods Fourteen university students that were...

  7. Attention, Media and Fuel Efficiency

    OpenAIRE

    Thoenes, Stefan; Gores, Timo

    2012-01-01

    This study examines attention effects in the market for hybrid vehicles. We show that local media coverage, gasoline price changes and unprecedented record gasoline prices have a significant causal impact on the consumers’ attention. As attention is not directly observable, we analyze online search behavior as a proxy for the revealed consumer attention. Our study is based on weekly panel data of local newspaper coverage, gasoline prices and Google search trends for 19 metropolitan areas in the...

  8. Long-Term Episodic Memory in Children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skowronek, Jeffrey S.; Leichtman, Michelle D.; Pillemer, David B.

    2008-01-01

    Twenty-nine grade-matched 4th-8th-grade males, 12 with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) (age M = 12.2 years, SD = 1.48), and 17 without (age M = 11.5, SD = 1.59), completed two working memory tasks (digit span and the Simon game) and three long-term episodic memory tasks (a personal event memory task, story memory task, and picture…

  9. Towards Cognizant Hearing Aids: Modeling of Content, Affect and Attention

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Karadogan, Seliz

    attention is studied. A computational top-down attention model is presented and behavioral experiments are carried out to investigate the role of top-down task driven attention in the cocktail party problem. Finally, automatic emotion recognition from speech is studied using a dimensional approach...... and with a focus of integrating semantic and acoustic features. An emotional speech corpus that consists of short movie clips with audio and text parts, rated by human subjects in two affective dimensions (arousal and valence), is prepared to evaluate the method proposed....

  10. Dividing Attention Lowers Children's but Increases Adults' False Memories

    OpenAIRE

    Otgaar, H.; Peters, M.; Howe, M. L.

    2012-01-01

    The present study examined the impact of divided attention on children’s and adults’ neutral and negative true and false memories in a standard DRM paradigm. Children (7- and 11-year-olds; n = 126) and adults (n = 52) received 5 neutral and 5 negative DRM word lists where half of each group received a divided attention task. The results showed that divided attention affected children’s and adults’ false memory levels differently, but did not alter true memory differently. Specifically, our re...

  11. Attention Networks and Consciousness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael ePosner

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available The term consciousness is an important one in the vernacular of the western literature in many fields. It is no wonder that scientists have assumed that consciousness will be found as a component of the human brain and that we will come to understand its neural basis. However, there is rather little in common between consciousness as the neurologist would use it to diagnose the vegetative state, how the feminist would use it to support raising male consciousness of the economic plight of women and as the philosopher would use it when defining the really hard question of the subjective state of awareness induced by sensory qualities. When faced with this kind of problem it is usual to subdivide the term into more manageable perhaps partly operational definitions. Three meanings that capture aspects of consciousness are: (1 the neurology of the state of mind allowing coherent orientation to time and place (2 the selection of sensory or memorial information for awareness and (3 the voluntary control over overt responses. In each of these cases the mechanisms of consciousness overlap with one or more of the attentional networks that have been studied with the methods of cognitive neuroscience. In this paper we explore t

  12. Stimulus-driven reorienting in the ventral frontoparietal attention network: the role of emotion

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Witt Frank

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Activity in the human temporoparietal junction and inferior frontal gyrus is hypothesized to underlie stimulus-driven, or bottom-up attention reorienting. Demanding tasks require focused attention, and as task difficulty increases, activity suppression in the ventral network correlates positively with task performance, an effect thought to reflect the gating of irrelevant cues. However, activation in these structures is elicited by a range of stimulus features and task demands that vary across multiple characteristics, complicating the interpretation of the functional role of this pathway. Consideration of several current studies suggests that, in addition to task difficulty, the motivational relevance or emotional intensity of distractor stimuli may supersede ongoing task priority, and evoke ventral network activation. Support for this possibility is offered from a review of recent reports, and the import of this perspective for models of attention reorienting are discussed.

  13. Action Planning Mediates Guidance of Visual Attention from Working Memory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tobias Feldmann-Wüstefeld

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Visual search is impaired when a salient task-irrelevant stimulus is presented together with the target. Recent research has shown that this attentional capture effect is enhanced when the salient stimulus matches working memory (WM content, arguing in favor of attention guidance from WM. Visual attention was also shown to be closely coupled with action planning. Preparing a movement renders action-relevant perceptual dimensions more salient and thus increases search efficiency for stimuli sharing that dimension. The present study aimed at revealing common underlying mechanisms for selective attention, WM, and action planning. Participants both prepared a specific movement (grasping or pointing and memorized a color hue. Before the movement was executed towards an object of the memorized color, a visual search task (additional singleton was performed. Results showed that distraction from target was more pronounced when the additional singleton had a memorized color. This WM-guided attention deployment was more pronounced when participants prepared a grasping movement. We argue that preparing a grasping movement mediates attention guidance from WM content by enhancing representations of memory content that matches the distractor shape (i.e., circles, thus encouraging attentional capture by circle distractors of the memorized color. We conclude that templates for visual search, action planning, and WM compete for resources and thus cause interferences.

  14. Action Planning Mediates Guidance of Visual Attention from Working Memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feldmann-Wüstefeld, Tobias; Schubö, Anna

    2015-01-01

    Visual search is impaired when a salient task-irrelevant stimulus is presented together with the target. Recent research has shown that this attentional capture effect is enhanced when the salient stimulus matches working memory (WM) content, arguing in favor of attention guidance from WM. Visual attention was also shown to be closely coupled with action planning. Preparing a movement renders action-relevant perceptual dimensions more salient and thus increases search efficiency for stimuli sharing that dimension. The present study aimed at revealing common underlying mechanisms for selective attention, WM, and action planning. Participants both prepared a specific movement (grasping or pointing) and memorized a color hue. Before the movement was executed towards an object of the memorized color, a visual search task (additional singleton) was performed. Results showed that distraction from target was more pronounced when the additional singleton had a memorized color. This WM-guided attention deployment was more pronounced when participants prepared a grasping movement. We argue that preparing a grasping movement mediates attention guidance from WM content by enhancing representations of memory content that matches the distractor shape (i.e., circles), thus encouraging attentional capture by circle distractors of the memorized color. We conclude that templates for visual search, action planning, and WM compete for resources and thus cause interferences. PMID:26171241

  15. Fuel oil quality task force

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Laisy, J.; Turk, V. [R.W. Beckett Corp., Elyria, OH (United States)

    1997-09-01

    In April, 1996, the R.W. Beckett Corporation became aware of a series of apparently unrelated symptoms that made the leadership of the company concerned that there could be a fuel oil quality problem. A task force of company employees and industry consultants was convened to address the topic of current No. 2 heating oil quality and its effect on burner performance. The task force studied changes in fuel oil specifications and trends in properties that have occurred over the past few years. Experiments were performed at Beckett and Brookhaven National Laboratory to understand the effect of changes in some fuel oil properties. Studies by other groups were reviewed, and field installations were inspected to gain information about the performance of fuel oil that is currently being used in the U.S. and Canada. There was a special concern about the use of red dye in heating oils and the impact of sulfur levels due to the October, 1993 requirement of low sulfur (<0.05%) for on-highway diesel fuel. The results of the task force`s efforts were published in July, 1996. The primary conclusion of the task force was that there is not a crisis or widespread general problem with fuel oil quality. Localized problems that were seen may have been related to refinery practices and/or non-traditional fuel sources. System cleanliness is very important and the cause of many oil burner system problems. Finally, heating oil quality should get ongoing careful attention by Beckett engineering personnel and heating oil industry groups.

  16. Flexible Attention Deployment in Threatening Contexts: An Instructed Fear Conditioning Study

    OpenAIRE

    Shechner, Tomer; Pelc, Tatiana; Pine, Daniel S.; Fox, Nathan A.; Bar-Haim, Yair

    2012-01-01

    Factors leading humans to shift attention away from danger cues remain poorly understood. Two laboratory experiments reported here show that context interacts with learning experiences to shape attention avoidance of mild danger cues. The first experiment exposed 18 participants to contextual threat of electric shock. Attention allocation to mild danger cues was then assessed with the dot-probe task. Results showed that contextual threat caused subjects to avert attention from danger cues. In...

  17. Spatial Attention Is Attracted in a Sustained Fashion toward Singular Points in the Optic Flow

    OpenAIRE

    Shuo Wang; Masaki Fukuchi; Christof Koch; Naotsugu Tsuchiya

    2012-01-01

    While a single approaching object is known to attract spatial attention, it is unknown how attention is directed when the background looms towards the observer as s/he moves forward in a quasi-stationary environment. In Experiment 1, we used a cued speeded discrimination task to quantify where and how spatial attention is directed towards the target superimposed onto a cloud of moving dots. We found that when the motion was expansive, attention was attracted towards the singular point of the ...

  18. The neural circuitry underlying the executive control of auditory spatial attention

    OpenAIRE

    Wu, C-T; Weissman, D.H.; Roberts, K. C.; Woldorff, M.G.

    2007-01-01

    Although a fronto-parietal network has consistently been implicated in the control of visual spatial attention, the network that guides spatial attention in the auditory domain is not yet clearly understood. To investigate this issue, we measured brain activity using functional magnetic resonance imaging while participants performed a cued auditory spatial attention task. We found that cued orienting of auditory spatial attention activated a medial-superior distributed fronto-parietal network...

  19. The Yin and Yang of Sleep and Attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirszenblat, Leonie; van Swinderen, Bruno

    2015-12-01

    Sleep is not a single state, but a complex set of brain processes that supports several physiological needs. Sleep deprivation is known to affect attention in many animals, suggesting that a key function of sleep is to regulate attention. Conversely, tasks that require more attention drive sleep need and sleep intensity. Attention involves the ability to filter incoming stimuli based on their relative salience, and this is likely to require coordinated synaptic activity across the brain. This capacity may have only become possible with the evolution of related neural mechanisms that support two key sleep functions: stimulus suppression and synaptic plasticity. We argue here that sleep and attention may have coevolved as brain states that regulate each other.

  20. Multimodal computational attention for scene understanding and robotics

    CERN Document Server

    Schauerte, Boris

    2016-01-01

    This book presents state-of-the-art computational attention models that have been successfully tested in diverse application areas and can build the foundation for artificial systems to efficiently explore, analyze, and understand natural scenes. It gives a comprehensive overview of the most recent computational attention models for processing visual and acoustic input. It covers the biological background of visual and auditory attention, as well as bottom-up and top-down attentional mechanisms and discusses various applications. In the first part new approaches for bottom-up visual and acoustic saliency models are presented and applied to the task of audio-visual scene exploration of a robot. In the second part the influence of top-down cues for attention modeling is investigated. .